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Every Character has one or more command normal that must be blocked standing. Unlike jump attacks, these will stagger a crouching opponent, leaving them wide open for a followup. On counter-hit these instead put them in a very floaty knockdown, giving plenty of time for a juggle
Stun is an invisible meter for each character that fills when you take damage and drains very quickly when you aren't taking damage. When you're stunned you'll instantly be knocked down and you'll drop your weapon if drawn, after which you'll be stuck in a long dizzy animation. You can reduce the time spent dizzied by mashing.
There is a very short period after any attack that knocks down in which you can attack your opponent out of the air. Juggles are typically very short and rarely come up outside of counter-hit command overheads, but it's still important to know about them.
Every character has preset combo routes performed with specific inputs a la tekken. Most of them are started on close normals, though this isn't always the case. String routes are often interconnected: mulitple starters can go into the same enders at different points. Any part of the string can have these properties:
* - can perform special/super right after if connected E - ends string O - overhead _ - must be blocked low L - launches opponent into the air (can be juggled with many attacks,including air throws if your character possesses one) T - notes that this is a Throw maneuver (throws in chains CAN be blocked) W - Weapon is drawn U - Weapon is put away SE - Combo Super ender (must be in Hyper Mode or have a full super meter for this to come out)
Your Spirit Gauge fills as you deal damage and has many different uses:
- EX Special Moves
- Stronger version of a special move, typically done by pressing both button strengths with the regular input. You need MAX spirit gauge to use them, but they don't cost any meter so use them as much as you want.
- Power Moves
- Somewhere between a special and a super. Come in two forms:
- Leveled: Can be done at any time, but have 4 levels of strength depending on how much meter you have. The notches on the spirit gauge help indicate which level you're on, with lvl 0 being before the first notch and lvl 3 being at max meter.
- Charged: Can only be done at max meter. Doing the input with less than a full meter will put your character in a charge animation and quickly fill your meter. You can't cancel out of the animation and the move will always come out once you reach max meter, but if you're interrupted you keep all the meter you gained.
- Combo Super
- A specific string ender that costs a full meter and deals heavy damage.
- Desperation Move
- A powerful attack that can be done any number of times, as long as your health is flashing red (about 25%). Doesn't use your meter
- These can be done when your opponent's life is flashing red and costs a full meter. Under these conditions, they do enough damage to kill on hit.
+ + - Hyper Mode
Going into hyper mode causes a small, invulnerable burst that knocks your opponent down on hit and changes your meter to HYPER:
The hyper bar slowly ticks down over time. While active, your attacks do slightly more damage, and you can perform any kind of super or max level power move at any point. However, doing so will cost the rest of your meter and end hyper mode.
Any time an action that costs meter is performed, the meter first freezes for a second, and then drains to nothing. You can only start to gain meter again once it's completely empty
The spirit gauge retains its current state between rounds. This means:
- You start the round with as much meter as you had at the end of the previous round
- If you end a round in hyper mode you will start the next round still in hyper mode, with the same amount of time remaining
- If the meter is draining after a super it will pause at the end of a round and resume once the round starts