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X-Men: Children of the Atom/System

From SuperCombo Wiki

Game Mechanics

Be sure to read the : SF Notation Manual, as this game uses the standardized Capcom control scheme.

In addition to the usual mechanics and controls of Capcom fighting games at the time, all characters are capable of:
-Dashes (tap toward 2x or 2 punches at the same time): Dashing adds momentum, which can add stun, change juggle arcs and make forward jumps go farther.
-Super Jumps/SJ Cancel (tap down, up quickly or 3 kicks at the same time)
-Chain Combos (varies per character)
-Normal-to-Special/Super Buffers
-Juggles/Air Combos
-Tech Hit/Safe Fall/Counter Throw (varies per character)
-"Kara"/Empty/Whiff cancel their chains as well as cancel to SJ (more detail under basic)
-Supers act as Guard Cancels (but few characters can use it as a "true" guard cancel)

X-Power: Many characters have an "X-Power up" that requires a minimum of Level 2/Orange to use. This usually grants an ability for a certain amount of time (flight/power up/armor/speed, varies per character). More details will be in the character sections. You also need it to tech hit.

Tech Hitting (Throw Escape/Safe Fall and Counter Throw):
You need meter to tech hit against throws. Orange(Level2) or blue right before it turns to orange, is the minimum required.

  • A reliable method to tech hit is do DP/RDP motions while pianoing punches. Officially, it's "hold toward/back and press punch", but the former seems more reliable. Or when in doubt, mash.

Half of the cast can escape throws and take no damage, or take the first part of damage and then "safe fall" out of the rest; and the other half can counter throw which must be done immediately, they cannot safe fall.
Escape/Safe fallers:

  • Cyclops, Wolverine, Omega Red, Spiral, Storm, Silver Samurai, Akuma

Counter throwers:

  • Colossus, Iceman, Psylocke, Sentinel

Note: Escape/Safe fallers can escape Omega Red's Coils, Counter Throwers cannot.

Some Tech tactics for safe fallers: A common tactic is to throw someone, and if you tech immediately, they will walk up and try to throw you again. One way to disrupt this is, instead of immediately teching, wait until they go for the first hit of the combo and try to tech after they've committed to a move. Ideally though, you'll just try and throw them first after they go to throw again.

Normal Jump Notes:
During a normal/regular jump, you are limited to two "normal" punches/kicks, whether they are chained or linked, unless the character has a modifier (double jump/air dash/flight and other certain x-specials*). Before, inbetween or after, you can also use one special move. During any of this, if you go into a state where you're not attacking or in recovery, you are able block if need be. You could block an attack, do an air move/special, then be able to block again when you recover. This is not the case in MSH and every game after, where once your block releases, you're vulnerable to hit.
-* Certain X-Specials are also allowed after everything, and Spiral's Sword Summons and Tosses can be used as many times possible during her regular jump arc.
-Another Normal Jump limitation is all normal chains must "crossover", in that you cannot chain from punch to punch, or kick to kick. Only one to the other.

Knockdowns and Wakeups:
If you are knocked down, press toward or back and any attack to roll. You can also wakeup with a special attack or super. If you are hit on your back before you roll, it's important to note that once you get out of that hit animation, you STAND UP. If you are still attempting to roll (or do a wakeup attack) after being hit, there's a very good chance you'll eat another hit, should the opponent be attacking. Wakeup times (time until you can roll or wakeup move) vary per character, see OTG times for more info.
- Generally after a ground sweep attack, the opponent cannot be hit again until they've completed their "falling down" animation, and are flat on their backs. If the sweep manages to hit as a juggle (very situational) they'll be a window to hit them while they're still in the air, but once they start hitting the ground, the same rule applies.
- After a throw where the opponent crashes into the ground, they can be OTG'd and the opponent will be in standing hitstun as you continue your combo ("restand"). This is different from throw OTGs in later games, where continued hits will make them airborne. This only applies to hitting OTGs after throws.
- Pushing attack during a roll usually results in a dashing attack, however if the opponent is in your range, you can throw them.

Recovery Bounce:
There are certain attacks that will keep you in stun or juggle until you hit the floor and "bounce" in to a low air recovery. During the airborne bounce, characters have their full superjump chains and can perform air specials and supers.

Dizzy/Stun Factor:
If you take too many hits, whether comboed or not, you will spin out and be dizzy, completely open to attack. Your character's portrait near their health meters will tell you if you are in danger of being dizzied. Several attacks have more stun "power" than others, and if you take uncomboed hits from powerful moves back to back, you could end up dizzied "out of the blue" or yellow. If you get thrown alot in a short period of time, it will take very few hits to get dizzed.
- Colossus and Sentinel have normals with extra dizzy power, and if they are the dizzying hit, the opponent will be dizzy on the ground (except Akuma, who has no ground dizzy animation).
- Not all character "wake up" into dizzy the same way. Some bounce right up after the spinout, some go through their hit-the-floor animation then standup (more time for unique combo setups).
- Mash the directions and buttons to recovery from dizzy faster. If you are Storm, you may note she stands up into a few frames of her regular stance. From here (and any point in her dizzy) she can Lightning Attack. Because it's not invincible it's not exactly a "get out of jail free" card.
- Something to note about dizzy animations are hitbox changes. Omega Red for instance isn't as tall (eg Storm's s.HK which usually hits him, will now miss), Silver Samurai and the "forward leaning" frames of Psylocke's dizzies may make normals with an outward hitbox miss them (like Silver Sam's c.HP, if too close on these characters it will miss).
- If a character recovers from a dizzy, or you break a combo not long after a dizzy to "reset" the damage scaling, the opponent is in a state where it takes them far longer than normal to become dizzy again. Some "resets" get around this faster than others.

Using Dammit's Fighting OSD LUA script ( shows that:
- Characters have a different amount of dizzy "points" they must lose to become dizzy (50 to 60)
- Once they're hit a timer counts down until their dizzy meter refills. This timer restarts after a hit.
- Once dizzy, there's a timer for when they are dizzy (this can be mashed to go faster)
- After recovering, there's an "extended dizzy" timer that counts down (and stops on hit) that prevents someone from being mixed up into another dizzy too fast. They take extra hits on reset to dizzy in this state. Hitstun causes this timer to freeze, then continue. Throwing does not actually reset this timer, it just runs the clock on it since the timer does not freeze during the throw. This is why throw resets lead to redizzies faster than a basic mixup.

Dash Bonus and Penalty:
A dashing normal attack inflicts extra hit stun compared to a standing one. The penalty for this is getting pushed further away from the opponent.
Pushback/Slide distances vary per character and per opponent. Some might incur extra push penalties, Storm for example: Standing AND dashing, her jabs push her further away than most other characters (dashing especially) due to the bonus of her electric stun on hits.
It does seem possible to lessen the pushback by crouching, which has the added bonus of lessening recovery for some characters, and outright cancelling recovery for a few.
Dash momentum also changes the trajectory of juggle attacks, and can lengthen the distance of forward normal jumps.

Hard and medium attacks get a slight damage bonus from dashing (1 to 2 points), light attacks get no damage bonus. How much depends on the character and opponent.
More detail to come in character pages.

Sudden Death Event:
Sudden Death occurs when the round score is tied, and a draw or double KO happened. You have 30 seconds to kill your opponent with one hit. It's important to note that NO CHIP KILLS can happen in Sudden Death, period. An opponent can block an entire super and it won't kill them.

Several backgrounds not only affect combos, but the flow of the match as well. The most obvious would be the continually breaking floors in Spiral's stage at the start of the match. Objects that you crash into also effect combos. -More on stages.

In Depth:

Basic Strategy

Super Meter Building: Unlike all later Marvel games, you cannot build meter by whiffing normal attacks. Attacks must connect with the opponent (hit or blocked) to build meter. Whiffing specials on the other hand, does build meter.
Most characters can't build any meter at all during X-Special power ups. Exceptions are: Flights, Psylocke's Ninjutsu images and Spiral's Invisibility. Iceman can build meter during the icefist with anything but his punches, until the fist breaks.

Super Jump Canceling:
As in, cancel any normal attack into a super jump whether the attack hits or misses (in later games, you can only SJC if the attack hits). The ability to do this makes normal attack pokes very safe in many cases. Characters with good mobility options and good air specials can take even better advantage of this, rushing with normal pokes, SJ cancel and still keep the pressure on from the air in whatever way they can.

Whiff Canceling:
Characters with any-Punch-to-Kick and any-Kick-to-Punch chains are able to do things like: HK whiff cancel to LP or HP whiff cancel to LK, significantly reducing the "Harder" attack's recovery time. This can greatly aid poke/rush strings, and combos.

Guard Cancel Supers:
All supers can be used as guard cancels, but only a few characters have truly useful ones. Wolverine, Spiral, Colossus and Akuma (DP Super) are the most useful. Those supers could also be used as stuffs, but it's usually best to wait for the opponent to actually attack so you don't get baited. The rest of the cast's supers have too much startup time to be useful GC's, though Sentinel's may have some rare situational use (anti-air vs a low vital opponent).

Throw Tactics:
When anti-airing your opponent, if they block and land before you recover, you can be thrown. Even if you try to superjump out, there are still frames where you're in range to be grabbed if you do it too late. Another common throw trap vs escape types is to throw them immediately upon landing from their tech out. To escape this, it's best for the victim to tech the second half of the throw rather than immediate, although this varies per character as when they are able to move after the tech. Tick throw timing (force them to block, then throw when they recover) is slower than in later games.

Start of a Round:
For the first (roughly) 2 seconds of a round, no player can throw (except for "blockable" throw types like Colossus's Tornado Grab and Omega Red's Coil). The goal at the start of the first round in particular is to get meter, due to needing meter to tech hit throws.

Advanced Strategy

Suki Cancelling: A subset of SJ cancelling (also termed SJGC) - the idea being you use the first frames (around 4ish) of a superjump where you are still considered on the ground; if you're holding back and there's a threat onscreen, you won't jump but instead will block.

Throw Baiting and Counter Throwers Notes: Counter throwers who are good at tech hitting can bait the opponent in to throwing them, then tech throw them off, forcing them to burn meter as well. Or better yet, get a combo because they had no meter to begin with. Tech wrestling/counter throw wars will be won by the person who throws first and continues mashing more, since the first person to tech is the first person to lose meter. Something to keep in mind if you are both at full meter, in that case you would not want to bait a throw since you would lose the tech war.

Weight Classes:

  • Feather - Storm, Spiral, Psylocke
  • Light - Akuma, Wolverine
  • Middle - Iceman, Cyclops
  • Heavy - Omega Red, Silver Samurai
  • Super-Heavy - Colossus, Sentinel

Corners: Corners in this game are different sizes, with the right being "looser" than the left, meaning you can cross under your opponent (on purpose or accidentally), particularly during juggles and jumps. Crossovers can happen on the left somewhat rarely, but the left corner appears to have a bug where certain moves when performed "offscreen" (because you dashed underneath your jumping opponent and attacked so deep the hittable area of the move is as far left as it can go) will either be unblockable, or must be blocked fowards rather than backwards. This does not occur on the right side (unless you end up behind the opponent legit). This seems to be most noticeable with upwards-striking moves and vs large characters.

The top 5 lightest might all be in the same class, but I don't believe so. Weights may possibly be further broken down into an order (eg: everyone's a different weight even if it's by a little), but I'm not certain.
Pushback (how far the attacker gets pushed back after a ground hit, the opponent in hitstun is the variable) and ground hitstun length seem related to weight, with heavier characters having less of both.

Standing Height Comparison: (Throwable boxes not shown)
Storm's height and axis changes as she floats on idle. Near minimum shown, maximum is slightly less than Colossus' height.
She can float high enough to go over some lows, but only at idle stance (not while trying to block).

Crouching Height Comparison:

Chain Combo and Combo Terminology

This is pasted from James Chen's XMCOTA combo FAQ, since I haven't seen this anywhere else on the Wiki, I'm copying it here for easy reference
--JedahsMinistry 04:12, 15 August 2006 (CDT)

Magic Series: Here is a list of definitions to help understand the Magic Series.

Weak Attacks: Jab punch and Short kick.
Medium Attacks: Strong punch and Forward kick.
Hard attacks: Fierce punch or Roundhouse Kick

ZigZag 1 - The Series used in Darkstalker's Revenge. Basically, it's:
-Jab -> Short -> Strong -> Forward -> Fierce -> Roundhouse
ZigZag 2 - Backwards of ZigZag 1:
-Short -> Jab -> Forward -> Strong -> Roundhouse -> Fierce
Punch to Kick - Can cancel any punch button with any kick button.
-Jab/Strong/Fierce -> Short/Forward/Roundhouse
Kick to Punch - Can cancel any kick button with any punch button.
-Short/Forward/Roundhouse -> Jab/Strong/Fierce
Stronger - The Series used in Darskstalkers 1. Can go to any stronger attack.
-Jab/Short -> Strong/Forward -> Fierce/Roundhouse
Note: Can skip the medium attacks from the Weak attacks if desired.
Weak Start - Start on Jab or Short and end with any of the other four attacks.
-Jab/Short -> Strong/Forward/Fierce/Roundhouse

--For COTA I'll add one more:
Stronger Cross - Start with a weaker attack and move to one stronger one, that must be the opposite kind of attack. Examples:
-Jab -> Forward, -or- Short -> Strong, -or- Jab -> Roundhouse, -or- Short -> Fierce, -or- Strong -> Roundhouse, -or- Forward -> Fierce

General Combo Terminology ---

Launcher: A move that knocks the opponent into the air at a vertical angle, although most launchers in COTA go into an arc that makes them most useful in the corner.

Mini/Micro-launcher: A move that pops the opponent up but very low to the ground.

Knock back/Knock away: Pops the opponent up but knocks them away at a harsh horizontal angle. Can be good for juggles and launches in the corner.

Launch String: A combination of micro-launches/low juggles and/or multiple launchers to get the opponent at the proper height for an air combo. Usually needed on heavier characters.


It's impossible to list every combo in a system as open and variable as this. This page will attempt to give a basic understanding of the system and character pages will have some example combos.

The simplest combos would be chain combos cancelled into specials. Start with a throw, chain XX special or super. Corner juggle and aircombos are fairly easy (depending on the character), mid-screen juggles (beyond very simple things) are very character and opponent dependent.

With almost any long combo/loop/infinite, you have to keep a close eye on you and the opponents position. You might have an aircombo/juggle that will loop, but minute changes in your timing and positioning could lead it to break in the next rep or so. Some air combos might require you to hold toward the opponent on the way up, and let go of the stick on the way down, lest your last attacks/relauncher miss around when you land.

Launch/Air Combo Basics :
To get air combos akin to games later in the series, you must "manually" super jump cancel any launcher. Done by tapping down, up (or a quick rolling "tiger knee" motion, which is useful in some cases), or tapping all 3 kicks.

Very few launchers in this game hit the opponent straight upwards (as opposed to the later games), the majority launch at an angle, and the opponent is flown further away if the launcher is hit off a dash. Hence most air combo loops take place in the corner.
Because of the large difference in character weights, varying "launch strings" are often needed to get an opponent at the right height for a certain air combo or loop.

The corners are different "sizes", with the left being tighter than the right. In the right corner if you dash for the launch string then hold forward for the aircombo, there's a good chance you'll end up behind the opponent. This is far less likely in the left corner. Corners will also "cancel" certain moves (Omega Strike, Berserker Barrage), referred to as "wall cancel".

The left corner appears to have a bug where certain moves when performed "offscreen" (because you dashed underneath your jumping opponent and attacked so deep the hittable area of the move is as far left as it can go) will either be unblockable, or must be blocked fowards rather than backwards. This does not occur on the right side (unless you end up behind the opponent legit). This seems to be most noticeable with upwards-striking moves and vs large characters.

Damage Calculation

Damage Scaling
Every hit in a combo is damage scaled incrementally. That is, each hit does a fraction of what it normally does, and that fraction is lessened each hit in the combo. After around 8 hits, all hits in the combo do one pixel of damage, including most (not all) comboed throws and supers.
Some examples:
Sent vs Storm - LP, HK does 3/4s of the damage a single HK does.

For maximum damage, try getting all the hard hits in as soon as possible, and super as early as possible.

Counter Damage
Getting hit out of attacks causes more damage to be received. (more research needed)


Air to Ground Throws -
To combo/get a ground to air throw, the opponent should be just above you when you hit toward/back and attack. Kinda like you're grabbing where they're going, and not where they are.

Ground to Ground Throws -
A few characters are capable of ground-to-ground throws in a combo, which the engine normally tries to prevent. Usually off of specific moves, although they may not work on all characters. The timing is very tight. Some known ones:
Storm: After Lightning Attack or Lightning Storm
Sentinel: After super deep j.down+HK
Psylocke: After s.HK
Wolverine: After super deep j.HK


After a throw-type move, a character can be comboed as they are landing "on the ground". When they're hit after they've hit the ground, they will stand up in hitstun. This only works after a throw-type. If a character is on their back during any other kind of knockdown, they'll instantly wakeup after their hitsun has stopped.

OTG Time -
The time you have to OTG depends on the character. Sentinel and Colossus have the least, while Psylocke, Cyclops and Akuma have the most. Full order to be posted.

OTG Penalty -
For a few characters, if their feet are facing the corner,they can be hit infinitely by a fast, repeating move (like Storm or Akuma's c.LKs); or they could take a super on their back. This is avoidable, as it only works if the opponent doesn't roll. Akuma is roughly the only one in the best position to abuse this (Storm would have to airdash over, where Akuma just needs and Hard throw and the opponent not rolling/wakeup reversalling instantly).

Damage/Dizzy -
Heavier characters (Sentinel, Colossus) take extra damage from throws.
Throws will not cause a dizzy but they do add to the dizzy counter, even if they do not change the portrait themselves.


Momentum and Juggle Trajectory

Momentum applies to both dashing and superjumps. Vs many characters, a dash attack will add a little extra hitstun (this is what makes jab infinites possible). Dash momentum will also make forward jumps go farther. An example, Silver Samurai cannot normal jump over a standing Sentinel, unless Sam dashes.

Dashing launchers will send the opponent further away from you (when midscreen). There's a bug where some dashing towards the left side aren't affected.

In an air combo, an attack typically juggles in the direction of the attack animation (down knocks down, up pushes up), although there are exceptions. Momentum adds a modifier to some. Example: Cyclops' j.MP on the way up will send an opponent higher relative to him than a j.MP that's on the falling down arc. Downward hits always knock downward, but if you're on the way down yourself you can typically "catch" the opponent before they hit the ground.

Weight Classes and Character Specifics

  • Feather - Storm, Spiral, Psylocke
  • Light - Akuma, Wolverine
  • Middle - Iceman, Cyclops
  • Heavy - Omega Red, Silver Samurai
  • Super-Heavy - Colossus, Sentinel

The top 5 lightest might all be in the same class, but I don't believe so. Weights may possibly be further broken down into an order (eg: everyone's a different weight even if it's by a little), but I'm not certain.
Pushback (how far the attacker gets pushed back after a ground hit, the opponent in hitstun is the variable) and ground hitstun length seem related to weight, with heavier characters having less of both.

Storm - "Larger" hitbox that it looks like, doesn't fold much when she's hit during juggles (think Rogue in XvSF or Captain America in MSH). Not a very long OTG time, but has a penalty if she doesn't roll. Super-low crouch.

Spiral - Folds a lot when she is hit, things that hit others in her weight class may miss her. Not a very long OTG time. Her tech hit teleport is vulnerable when she reappears for a few frames.

Psylocke - Very long OTG time.

Akuma - Longest OTG time, but glitchy as he "bounces" during the landing.

Wolverine - Super-low crouch.

Iceman - Folds alot when he is hit, things that hit others in his weight class may miss him. Not a very long OTG time, but has a penalty if he doesn't roll. Bent in half when dizzy.

Cyclops - Very long OTG time.

Omega Red - Super-low crouch. Bent in half when dizzy.

Sentinel - Shortest OTG time, but has a penalty if he doesn't roll. Due to his size, Sentinel's penalty is worse.

Stage Influence

Stages that (are believed to) have no influence on combos or matches:
Wolverine, Cyclops, Omega Red, Iceman, Storm.

Breakable floors:
Colossus - Breaks in 6 hits, afterwards there are no further obstacles on the stage.
Spiral - First 3 floors break in 2 hits, afterwards there are no further obstacles on the stage.
When the floor breaks, throwable boxes appear to be disabled until the characters land, unless they are hit on the way down.

Obstacle stages: (outline)
Psylocke - Barrels in the corner, girders appear and scroll across until the stage reaches the maximum height.
Silver Samurai - Obstacles in the background break when hit then disappear (more detail needed).
Sentinel - Corner pillars affect juggles, pillars always stay. Juggernaut - Corner pillars like Sent's stage.

Obstacles affect juggle trajectories and recoveries, and in some cases cause a slight hit stop (minute pause, like when an opponent is hit) on impact. Sometimes this can aid combos, other times it hurts them. In extremely rare cases, they will count on the combometer but this could just be an emulator bug.


Escape Tech Screen Lock:

Floor Break Related Bugs:
1.) Floor breaking tends to disable the throwboxes until one character lands (at least on Spiral's stage).

2.) Floor breaking during Akuma/Gouki's teleport removes his pushbox for at least 10 seconds.

Character Specific Bugs:


Game Navigation

Omega Red
Silver Samurai