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SF? Balrog Exhibition (WNF:AE Edition)

September 7th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

This brief, tool-assisted combo video starring Balrog was presented live on stream today – at the inaugural Wednesday Night Fights: Arcade Edition tournament held at Super Arcade. The idea to make a Balrog combovid came up during Balrog: Behind the Glory filming. I couldn’t say no, but i didn’t have much time to work on it, so it’s missing a few of his appearances.

0:04 / SF2CE Dhalsim’s non-knockdown air recovery animation has a vulnerable period exclusive to Champion Edition, leading to inescapable juggle combos. Normally that weak spot rises with every hit, but the corner changes everything. Touching the wall makes him descend with each hit, so the entire combo revolves around precise corner spacing. Balrog’s F+HP hold allows him to set up another juggle situation after the dizzy, which most characters can’t do.

0:15 / HSF2 Balrog’s c.HP, close s.MP, and Dash Upper originally shared the same exact active sprite. All three are showcased in the first combo, starting with backwards c.HP against ST N.Dhalsim’s whiff far s.MK, followed by his c.LK -> s.MP CPS1 chain, linked into HK Dash Upper for the dizzy. Unfortunately the only reason this combo requires CE Balrog is because HF Balrog’s fully-extended backwards c.HP refuses to hit Dhalsim’s s.MK cleanly. They always trade. CE Balrog is better than HF Balrog in the most subtle ways, which is surprising because he wasn’t even considered good in Champion Edition.

0:22 / HSF2 Jumping backward into T.Hawk’s close s.HK allows Balrog’s j.HP to act as a makeshift crossup. He actually has enough time to whiff an extra c.LK amid his c.LK -> far s.MP CPS1 chain. Once again, CE Balrog was needed only because HF Balrog’s far s.MP is 2 frames slower, so it won’t link at the end of the triple Dash Upper combo. Throughout the SF2 series, holding any jump direction during any killing hold performs a post-KO jump. Attacking in the air after KO causes dramatic slowdown for whatever reason.

0:32 / HSF2 HF Balrog’s HP Dash Straight provides enough frame advantage to link c.LP and the backwards attack setup solves the pushback problem, allowing Balrog to combo a pair of HP Dash Straights. Too bad Blanka dies so easily. I was planning on pushing more buttons, but there’s no way to keep him alive any longer without weakening the Turn Punch.

0:38 / SSF2T How could any oldschool Balrog exhibition be complete without a proper Super Turbo non-dizzy touch-of-death combo? Inflicting 100% damage while avoiding premature dizzy is an extremely rare occurrence.

0:44 / CvS Anyone who’s seen T-7’s Storm Zero trailer should recognize this combo instantly. It’s the same basic framework with a different starter and more light attack variety. Zangief’s c.HP reaches into the active space of C-Balrog’s backwards lvl1 Turn Punch, providing a meaty crossup setup. There seems to be some sort of cooldown period between Dash Uppers, because the second one requires nearly perfect charge precision. Only EX-Balrog can recycle a single charge to link his Crazy Buffalo super after Dash Upper, via delayed inputs.

0:50 / CvSP Here’s another T-7 combo with minor alterations. In fact, all i did was find a way to haul it midscreen and knock out a Ratio 3 character, whereas T-7 killed R2 Sagat in the corner. Balrog’s moveset simply doesn’t have the versatility to continually innovate beyond a certain point in a game engine as restrictive as CvS1/CvSPro.

0:59 / CvS2 S-Honda’s delayed dodge attack lends a counterhit meaty setup to C-Balrog’s Final Turn Punch. However, it actually connects several frames before its last active frame, providing barely enough frame advantage to link c.HP while preserving as much forward movement as possible. Even under ideal conditions, every luck factor has to fall into place for that lvl2 Crazy Buffalo to connect at that range. Obviously the uppercut version is far less effective for combos, but it can’t be avoided while Balrog is charging kicks for Turn Punches. The rest is fairly straightforward. Linking after LK Dash Upper requires a mid-combo meaty setup against Honda, which is a matter of precise spacing achieved by timing the last Final Turn Punch to attain the desired balance between pushback and forward movement.

1:11 / SF4 My initial goal for this clip was to add another whiffed jab to Balrog’s SF4 TACV combo, but it proved extremely difficult – so i settled on adding his Crazy Buffalo super to the end. Only the LP version of Dash Straight connects at that range, meaning FADC followups are out of the question. In fact, it turns out that Sagat is the only viable dummy character for this combo. I knew it was character-specific, but didn’t realize it was that sensitive.

1:19 / SSF4 This is basically the next-to-last combo in Balrog’s SF4 TACV, except performed against SSF4 Dee Jay instead of SF4 Guile.

1:34 / SSF4AE Balrog can link close s.HK after c.MK against several characters, both standing and crouching. However, c.MP will only connect against standing Dee Jay. The rest is LK Dash Upper xx LP Crazy Buffalo. The sole alternative is LP Dash Straight, ruling out FADC followups.

1:43 / SSF4AE Trading with Sagat’s s.LK began producing a counterhit bonus since SSF4. Counterhit Final Turn Punch deals 700 damage and 363 stun by itself. The rest of the combo is designed to dizzy Sagat with minimal damage, prepping him to survive a lvl3 Focus Attack. Altogether, this combo yields 1064 damage.

This is a tool-assisted combo video recorded using programmable controllers and time-saving emulator features. No cheats, hacks, or game-altering devices were used in the making of.

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  1. September 7th, 2011 at 22:52 | #1

    This will probably be my last combovid release for a while. Hope you guys enjoyed it. Sorry it was so short. I had more planned but ran out of time.

    I’ll try to write up some form of transcript this weekend, but we’ll have to see what happens.

  2. N00b_Saib0t
    September 7th, 2011 at 23:48 | #2

    that was dope. i’m guessing he’s pretty limited in alpha 3 since it was excluded?

  3. September 8th, 2011 at 00:57 | #3

    No, i just didn’t have time. I have a trio of SFA3 Balrog combo ideas written down someplace, but i never got around to implementing them.

    The opportunity to showcase this project at WNF:AE kind of came out of nowhere. I’m actually running on about 75 minutes of sleep right now, because i stayed up all night to edit this.

  4. Pokey86
    September 8th, 2011 at 01:49 | #4

    Ouch… Great video though, it seems like Rog has always been able to pull off the one combo kills thanks to that turn punch. i mean the maojority of those combos KO’d

    Great video enjoyed it thoroughly, great ending to, when you started the EX loops with just crouch LK i was expecting some kind of saved turn punch.

  5. September 8th, 2011 at 09:06 | #5

    OMG! I was watching WNFs last night and got up to get some PB&J. I swear I watched every minute except for those 5 minutes. I wonder if that’s when they played it! Great job, Maj! I love the U2 finisher.

  6. Bob Sagat
    September 8th, 2011 at 22:51 | #6

    Good stuff man! And congrats on the new job!

  7. September 8th, 2011 at 23:15 | #7

    Eh, it’s alright. Just looking at the credits screen, you can tell i was rushing to edit this thing at 5am. It’s all thrown up there at once, like it was copy/pasted from a .txt file and i remembered the tool-assisted disclaimer at the very last minute. (All of which happened.)

    Haha even the block with the “Street Fighter” logo is on a different shade of white than the rest of the intro storyboard. So ghetto.

  8. Dammit
    September 8th, 2011 at 23:47 | #8

    Lovin’ the HSF2 post-KO attack.

    I look forward to the transcript when you get around to it.

  9. September 11th, 2011 at 04:11 | #9

    Thank you sir. The transcript is up now, but there wasn’t much to explain other than slight version differences.

    Speaking of which, holding kick buttons to perform uppercuts during Balrog’s Crazy Buffalo super in CvS and CvSPro reduces its damage significantly. But damage wasn’t the focus of the CvS1 combo, so i did it anyway because i think alternating looks cool. The discrepancy was eliminated in CvS2.

  10. Bob Sagat
    September 11th, 2011 at 10:56 | #10

    Hey Maj, first of all: is it my ears, or did I hear 3 “Final”‘s in one of the CvS2 combos? Second: In ST you can hold one punch button to still get the punch super while charging kick TAP, doesn’t this work in CvS2? (Can’t test it here)

  11. September 11th, 2011 at 12:38 | #11

    Yeah, you only need to hold two punch or kick buttons for Turn Punch in CvS2, so you can store up to four of them. That combo starts with all six buttons held down. Then i release punches for the first Final TAP, which gives Rog access to HP for c.HP and MP for lvl2 super. Then i release HK for the second Final TAP, then the other two kicks for the third Final TAP.

    But no, Crazy Buffalo uppers take priority over straights, so you can’t use the straights at all while you’re holding kicks. And most of his kicks don’t have frame advantage, so you need punches for combo glue. Plus the Crazy Buffalo command requires punches in CvS2, unlike ST or SF4.

    Turn Punch combos present an interesting conceptual challenge, but implementing them is a huge pain. Balrog’s like, “Oh you want to try again? Hold on a minute … A full minute.”

    There’s a clever way to perform this combo without releasing all three punches at the beginning. Start with just enough meter to be one pixel shy of lvl3 super after c.HP connects. Then you can use HP to perform a lvl2 super.

    But you’d still need to build one more bar to reach another lvl2 super, because there’s no other bridge between two Final TAPs. Then you lose the wakeup meaty setup opportunity for Final TAP, because Rog builds meter slowly in CvS2. He can’t even alternate between headbutt and dashlow or TAP, because using any special move resets charge. You gotta hang back and kara-cancel s.HP into LK Dash Upper over and over.

    Normally you get +2 frame advantage from Final TAP, but you can make it meaty just by starting from full screen away. Whether that’ll be enough to connect c.MP the way you want, i can’t say. That mid-combo meaty LK Dash Upper needs to be pixel-perfect too.

    I’ll give this another try if i ever remake this combovid, but it’s an extremely slow process even in Training Mode.

    By the way, draining a character’s lifebar gives them a slight damage boost. In this case, it’s necessary for R1 Balrog to kill R4 S-Honda.

  12. Bob Sagat
    September 11th, 2011 at 14:41 | #12

    Holy shit. Thanks for explaining all that. I don’t know enough about that game, even though I’ve played it a million times as a PS2 pad noob.

  13. Dammit
    September 19th, 2011 at 19:04 | #13

    How do you switch over to ppad control without losing the TAP charge?

  14. September 20th, 2011 at 00:17 | #14

    It’s impossible as far as i know. The whole thing has to be done through the program pad from beginning to end. It takes like 14 inputs to charge Final TAP, because each input maxes out at 255 frames.

    I could probably incorporate meter building into the script, but it’s too much of a hassle so i end up building meter manually – then starting the sequence and either staring at the screen for a full minute or trying to do something productive. But there’s not a whole lot you can do in 50 seconds.

  15. Dammit
    September 20th, 2011 at 19:29 | #15

    That’s harsh.

    You should consider those newer Dreamcast emus if you do more TA CvS2 work. They probably don’t have much more than savestates but that’d still be easier than the waiting game.

  16. September 20th, 2011 at 23:17 | #16

    I have a hard time trusting emulation when 3D elements are involved. Basically anything from PSX onward scares me. I don’t have a problem with other people using Dreamcast emulation, but i’d rather stick to console.

    Plus emulated CvS2 just doesn’t look right. Something about the lifebars and special effects looks off, like they’re too sharp and crisp. I like my CvS2 a little grimy. It’s meant to be played on a CRT monitor, connected through composite cables, or S-Video at best. The more duct tape, the better.

  17. September 26th, 2011 at 22:21 | #17

    Something i forgot to mention – SF4 series Balrog can cancel his super/ultra straights into uppercuts surprisingly late. If you look closely at 1:28, you can see SSF4 Rog sort of flinch as i press kick as late as possible to initiate that ultra upper after KO.

    Maybe this delay can be utilized to maximize juggle combos where one hit of the ultra normally misses by a couple of frames.

  1. September 9th, 2011 at 00:54 | #1
  2. September 9th, 2011 at 23:41 | #2
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