The term “footsies” refers to a subset of zoning focusing primarily on close range normals, where the most common goals are to knock the opponent down and set up crossup opportunities. What the hell does that even mean?
Unfortunately it means literally everything at the core of competitive Street Fighter strategy. That makes it a difficult subject to cover in one session. None of the short definitions are useful and it takes time to process conceptual ideas before they can be converted into anything practical. I’ll give it a shot, but i have a feeling i’ll have to come back to this on several occasions because there’s always more to it.
Footsies is figuring out what your opponent wants to do and punishing them for being predictable. Footsies is putting your opponent in a situation where they have to take risks they were trying to avoid. Footsies is knowing both characters’ attack ranges better than your opponent does, and finding ways to exploit that advantage.
The concept is so complex, that you may as well define it as “close-range critical thinking.” When you try to create a comprehensive definition of footsies, that definition refuses to end. Watson, Valle, and Choi could probably write books on the subject.
The simplest concrete example of footsies is walking into your opponent’s attack range to bait them into poking at you, walking back out of range to let their attack whiff, then punishing their recovery animation with a sweep. When someone decides to learn footsies, this is commonly the first tactic attempted. However, anyone who’s actually tried this will tell you that (alert) people stop falling for it very quickly. Then what do you do? Well, mastery of footsies is knowing how to punish everything, including your opponent’s decision not to poke.
What do you guys think? Not bad huh? I’m digging it so far, though i’m sure i’ll find dozens of minor annoyances in no time. 0100001100100111011001010111001101110100 0110110001100001 011101100110100101100101.
Alright back to Zangief / El Fuerte combos. SF4 Gief is a combo beast! You’ll see. Or maybe you won’t. Maybe i’m bluffing? Suspense, tovarishch!
It’s unbelievable how often this topic comes up, especially since Capcom released SSF2T HD Remix, publicly declaring that 15-year-old ST is a new game again.
First of all, why is it difficult to combo into supers in this game? If you look at the frame data you’ll notice that ST gives you 20 frames to cancel normal moves into special moves. If you’re trying to cancel into a super move, you only have 7 frames. Considering that the double quarter circle motion consists of six individual inputs, pulling it off the direct way is a challenge to say the least. Not to mention, ST will usually skip over at least one of those frames at default turbo speed.
Thankfully, the Street Fighter community has developed two practical methods for comboing into supers: advance input buffering and renda-kara-canceling.
Instead of performing a normal move and then rushing to execute the entire super command within its 7-frame window, it’s much easier to incorporate the normal move into the super motion. For example, here’s the best way to perform Ryu’s c.MK xx Shinkuu Hadoken combo: D, DF, F, D, DF+MK, F+LP
There’s no need to rush either, because you have about half a second to complete the whole thing and you have 7 frames to get from DF to F. Pretty easy, right? Actually, whether you press MK at the D input or the DF input comes down to personal preference. For me, DF is a lot easier and allows me to go slower.
As with most combo attempts, your success rate will improve if you use the piano method (tapping all three punch buttons in quick succession instead of pressing only one). Every character can take advantage of this technique. We can go into specifics if anyone’s got specific questions.