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SF4 Biweekly TACV 17: Sagat

May 25th, 2011 34 comments

Sagat may not seem like an exciting combo video candidate at first glance, but how could the consensus strongest character in the game not to have at least a few interesting tricks? Between his overall damage output, generous juggle potential, frame advantage across the board, and kara-cancel movement capabilities, there’s plenty to work with.

0:11 Sagat’s whiff F+HK xx HP Tiger Uppercut catches Zangief’s rotating feet from maximum range without sacrificing damage. In fact, every regular Tiger Uppercut in this video registers full first-phase damage. There’s a slight delay before the F+HK juggle to avoid slipping under Gief, but the rest is airtight. Although he doesn’t bounce higher than average, Zangief is a useful combo dummy because his falling hitbox is bulky enough to reach up into the fourth phase of Sagat’s EX Tiger Uppercut.

0:20 Dhalsim’s c.LP extends into Sagat’s LK Low Tiger Shot roughly 17 frames after its first active frame, generating a counterhit in the process. Sagat pushes some buttons and finds himself at the perfect distance to cross over crouching Sim with two-hit EX Tiger Knee. At this point, Dhalsim is the only character who floats high enough to get hit by EX High Tiger Shot, which allows Sagat to follow up with a few bonus hits of Tiger Destruction. Note that the spacing for the EX Tiger Knee crossup was actually established via the starting point of the combo, because projectile pushback doesn’t reflect off the corner. Furthermore, this combo only works in the right corner. EX Tiger Knee strictly refuses to cross into the left corner, and the downward portion always whiffs midscreen.

0:32 All three of Sagat’s command normal attacks are contained in this combo, along with a pair of Fake Kicks for good measure. Although Sagat’s j.HK hurts less than j.HP does, only j.HK strikes low enough to make Seth lean forward into F+HK. Otherwise it simply whiffs over his head. Normally Sagat’s close s.HP grants +4 frame advantage while his far s.LK connects on the 6th frame. However, Seth’s crumple animation visibly dips under Sagat’s fist, then rises into s.HP as a meaty setup to round out those 2 missing frames. Everything else is fairly straightforward. This combo tallies exactly 750 stun to dizzy Seth, amounting to 518 damage.

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SF4 Biweekly TACV 16: Dan

May 5th, 2011 13 comments

Dan’s limitations are as difficult to overcome as they are obvious. Despite gaining significant frame advantage from his fireball, his normal move arrangement denies him any natural Gadoken loop flexibility. Nearly every deviation requires meticulous character-specific setups. In a nutshell, Dan sucks at combos – adjust your expectations accordingly.

0:11 After trading a lvl3 Focus Attack with Rufus’ j.DF+MK divekick, Dan’s HK Airborne Dankukyaku connects once to send Rufus into knockdown state and again to raise the juggle count to one. Dan’s Hissho Buraiken super has zero juggle potential for the first hit, one for the second hit, two for the third hit, and onward incrementally with each successive hit. Fortunately he manages to reach the third hit before Rufus falls through.

0:23 Dan’s close s.MP causes abnormally lengthy hit stun at 26 frames, which outlasts hard attack hit stun of 21-22 frames. From certain ranges, Dan’s s.MP xx MK Dankukyaku crosses over crouching C.Viper, Sakura, and Vega – and connects despite whiffing the first kick, due to extended s.MP hit stun. The hard part is finding that range during a midscreen combo, since it looks much cooler outside the corner. The trick is to delay the FADC slightly, allowing Sakura to start reeling backward before trying to catch up to her. Otherwise the first few frames of Dan’s dash go to waste, and his walk speed is too slow to make up that lost ground.

0:30 Dan’s EX Gadoken generates +6 frame advantage and his close s.MP connects on the 6th frame, making them a perfect match. Few characters permit two s.MP xx EX Gadoken loops in a row, and even fewer after a point-blank EX Gadoken starter. Dan’s c.MK becomes active on the 7th frame, so it calls for additional frame advantage from the preceding EX Gadoken. The dummy character must lean back far enough during s.MP hit stun to delay EX Gadoken impact by at least 1 frame to yield +7 frame advantage. Only Vega and Sakura satisfy all of these conditions. This combo causes 495 damage and 660 stun.

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SF? Guile Exhibition (Evo2k7/OHN6 Editions)

January 11th, 2011 5 comments

Since u2b lifted their 15-min runtime limit, a lot of people have been requesting my Evo Guile combovid in HD resolution. Here are all three versions re-encoded in 720p. I recommend watching the Evo2k7 Edition Trailer followed by the OHN6 Edition. Skip the Evo2k7 Edition.

The Evo2k7 Edition Trailer was released on July 4th, 2007. Its purpose was to announce the project and provide another (minor) incentive for people to make the trip out to Evo that year. It also allowed me to utilize a handful of bonus clips that didn’t mesh with the format of the main project – and gave me an excuse to publish a Guile video on Independence Day!

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SF4 Biweekly TACV 15: Balrog

August 17th, 2010 25 comments

Wanting to explore the full combo potential of charge characters was my initial reason for making the switch from manual execution to tool-assistance. SF4 Balrog is a great example of a character whose primary limitation is an execution barrier. Combining difficult links with optimized charge timing opens up a whole new layer of combo opportunities for the champ.

0:11 There’s nothing notable about this combo from a technical standpoint. It was the first clip i recorded, simply because i thought it looked cool. Balrog’s Violent Buffalo ultra appears in almost every combo, so i tried to mix it up by using a different pattern every time. It always juggles for exactly seven hits, which seems to be its maximum.

0:24 Although the charge timing is tight, Balrog has just enough time to connect an LP Dash Swing Blow before Rose crumples into airborne state after each lvl2 Focus Attack. The sixth one is a lvl1 Focus Attack to set up the ultra. However, the Violent Buffalo must be initiated with KKK buttons after the backdash, because evidently the PPP version is 1 frame slower.

0:43 These four mini-combos are strung together to save time on transitions. In older games, chain canceling rapid-fire weak attacks would eliminate their entire recovery period, making startup time the only relevant factor. Somehow that’s not the case in SF4, because Balrog can naturally combo far s.LP -> whiff far s.LP -> c.LP whereas c.LP -> whiff far s.LP -> c.LP requires a meaty setup. Balrog’s EX Dash Straight has 6 active frames and provides +2 frame advantage, which becomes +7 on the last active frame, and +9 on counterhit. Far s.MK connects on the 9th frame. Sagat’s HP Tiger Uppercut is invincible for 5 frames and connects on the 5th frame, which makes it impossible to beat or even to trade with a non-invincible attack. Luckily it doesn’t break armor, so Balrog absorbs the impact on the 5th frame, then Sagat cancels into EX Focus Attack on the 6th frame, so EX Dash Straight connects as a perfect meaty counterhit. HP Dash Swing Blow simply links into backward j.LP, and the numbers work out quite nicely to dizzy Sagat at the ideal time. HP Dash Straight, s.LP only works against Sagat and Honda, but HP Dash Straight, c.LK works against Bison and Cammy.

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SF4 Biweekly TACV 14: Chun Li

August 3rd, 2010 38 comments

Obviously Chun Li has an abundance of combo tools within the SF4 engine. She has plenty of juggle potential, she gets frame advantage in important places, she can do interesting things in the air, she gains vast forward movement from canceling c.HP, and having a slow fireball helps too. It’s no surprise that she ends up with such a dynamic assortment of combos.

0:11 With Chun Li’s back to the corner, the pushback from C.Viper’s s.HK gets added to the pushback from Chun’s s.HK, swiftly propelling Viper backward into the LP Kikoken. Chun Li has just enough time to dash forward and connect her Hosenka ultra – which has ridiculous range. Whiffing DF+LK was completely superfluous, but there’s too much idle time to kill while waiting for the fireball to travel as far as possible.

0:25 This is another take on my Fun With SF4 vol.1 Chun Li combo; except replacing the initial LP Kikoken with an HP Kikoken tightens up the timing substantially. It’s now performed by combining two charge tricks: returning to DB before pressing HP and maximizing the reversal window. Evidently the SF4 reversal window is around 5 frames, so instead of the first fireball coming out when i press HP, it comes out 4-5 frames later – thereby reducing the interval between the two fireballs appearing on screen. In other words, the second fireball would’ve come out at the same time no matter what, but the reversal delays the first one by 5 frames.

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