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SF2 Series Backwards Attack Conditions

December 22nd, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

In many advanced ST combo videos, you see someone cross up an opponent, and then hit them with an attack while facing the wrong way. Everyone knows that the crossup must barely make it over the opponent and that the follow-up must be performed as soon as possible, usually on the landing frame. However, there are quite a few additional conditions which must be satisfied in order for the attack to come out facing backwards.

The main trick lies in causing the dummy character to reel backward fully before you land. That way their head is extended past your body and the game takes longer to figure out that your opponent is actually behind you. Here are the basic rules which apply to most characters:

1) must use a medium or hard jump attack because light attacks don’t trigger full hit reel
2) opponent must be crouching because jump attacks cause more pushback against crouching characters, plus they lean back further
3) jump attack must hit early enough during jump arc to give opponent enough time to lean back fully before landing
4) 1P characters must cross up by jumping from left to right and 2P characters must cross up jumping from right to left

It’s much easier to perform against opponents who lean back farthest during hit stun, such as Blanka, Honda, and Chun Li. Certain characters have a much easier time getting this to work than others. Most notably, T.Hawk and Chun Li can bypass almost every rule listed above. It has to do with their flat descent arcs, as well as having crossup attacks with great vertical and backwards horizontal reach.

If you take a closer look at various classic combo videos, you’ll start noticing patterns and it’ll become easier to figure out which characters need to obey all the rules. Generally with Tosaka and zerokoubou videos, if they can find a way to break one of the rules above, they’ll show it off. If they abide by the rules, that probably means they couldn’t find a way around them with the character they were using and/or the combo they had in mind.

Another point to consider is that performing an early crossup attack during a forward jump can give your character too much extra air time to continue flying forward before landing. Depending on the unique jump arc of the character in question, putting that extra space between your character and the opponent can be a deal-breaker. That’s why a lot of backwards attack setups utilize the corner in one way or another. It’s also why vertical jumping attacks are employed so often in these setups.

Hopefully this information sheds a little light onto the subject and makes it easier for everyone to set up these combos. There are one or two additional rules but they’re hard to pin down and they don’t come into play very often.

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  1. CPS2
    December 23rd, 2009 at 05:20 | #1

    Great stuff. Rule #4 sounds a bit strange, I didn’t realise there was anything in SF2 that only worked on one side.

  2. Smileymike101
    December 23rd, 2009 at 05:57 | #2

    I saw a tutorial vid featuring bison,in which the guy showed in wich corner psycho crusher and scissor kicks cross up a downed opponent ,and in which corner they do not.Yes it is a strange thing.I have a felling that there are side specific things even in sf4.

  3. Kareeeeem
    December 23rd, 2009 at 08:45 | #3

    Rule 1. is not set in stone, it happens to me somewhat regularly when crossing up with Blankas j.lk. I’m also temped to say that it has happened with the opponent standing but am not quite sure of that.

  4. Kareeeeem
    December 23rd, 2009 at 08:48 | #4

    Oh, I should have read properly before commenting. I thought you meant that ruleset were mandatory conditions that everyone had to obey to get this result.

    Anyways great post, I always wondered how and why this happened.

  5. deadfrog
    December 23rd, 2009 at 14:59 | #5

    I never realized that punching someone in the back with your shoulder could be so complicated. {:-|

  6. Remxi
    December 23rd, 2009 at 16:53 | #6

    Mmm thanks for explaining this, I’d always wondered what the conditions for this to occur were. It’s kinda annoying when it happens in a real match though. :P

  7. Smileymike101
    December 28th, 2009 at 17:06 | #7

    can this be done in sf4?

  8. December 28th, 2009 at 17:41 | #8

    Not that i know of, but then again i’ve never seen anyone try.

    Though if it was possible, it probably would have shown up in a match video by now.

  9. Dammit
    December 28th, 2009 at 21:49 | #9

    Hm. Could we get some example video links?

  10. Dammit
    December 29th, 2009 at 21:34 | #11

    Cool, I get it now.

    Has it happened outside of SF2 at all?

  11. December 30th, 2009 at 03:34 | #12

    It happens all over the place in Street Fighter Alpha 2 and Zero 2 Alpha, mostly against Rolento and Sagat. Look up any zerokoubou video and you’ll see it.

    I can’t recall ever seeing it in SFA1 or SFA3. Wouldn’t be surprised if it was in SFA1. I’d be very surprised if it was in SFA3 though. It’s not in CvS or SF3 series as far as i know. Dunno about Marvel but the general rule is that everything’s possible in Marvel.

  12. January 2nd, 2010 at 02:03 | #13

    Hm, it’s possible that there are no backwards attacks in SF4 whatsoever. With the obvious exception of attacks which naturally hit in both direction, i’ve never seen that happen in matches. Not once.

    In fact if you record Gen’s mash punch special and jump over him, you can always hit him clean. Same with all of Bison’s Psycho Crushers and everyone’s Focus Attacks.

    It’s like the game considers you completely harmless if you’re facing away from your opponent. Doesn’t make sense.

  13. Dammit
    January 6th, 2010 at 19:23 | #14

    Here’s some examples from SF3 that I happened to see now that I know what to look for. They all rely on the opponent getting real close rather than the traditional jump-in.


  14. Tarnish
    April 8th, 2011 at 00:29 | #15

    This pertains to rule 4:

    4) 1P characters must cross up by jumping from left to right and 2P characters must cross up jumping from right to left

    I’ve been mulling over an issue I’ve had with ST Cammy’s cross up LK. My method is a bit crude, as I was using the World version of Super Turbo on GGPO Final Burn Alpha emulator.

    At first I believed it was impossible for Cammy to cross up certain characters based on the principle of rule 4. Specifically, if she attempts a cross up from the side opposite to where she was selected. So if you selected Cammy from the 1P position, it means that if you try to cross up with a jumping LK from the 2P side, it will sometimes miss certain characters. Shotos are the best example, as if she attempts the set ups I’m about to show, she will nearly always miss. Yet, it works on characters with fatter hit boxes, like Chun or Honda. And that is where I ended up running into some confusion. Here’s Nakamura attempting the same meaty cross up set up against Dhalsim and Chun Li.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aN8FNgqJ1I0#t=7m22s <– Hits Dhalsim

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aN8FNgqJ1I0#t=8m42s <– Misses Chun

    I believe he attempts the set up with nearly the exact same timing. However, what I believe happens is that against certain characters from the opposite side of where Cammy is selected, you must attempt to hit the cross up the frame after her leg extends. Otherwise, for whatever reason, Cammy seems to just float over her opponent's vulnerable hit box based on rule 4.

    Summarizing all that, I believe if you attempt to float Cammy's jump lk from the side she is selected, she seems to have much more leniency hitting her cross up against all of the cast in ST. However, performing the cross up opposite where she was selected, you seem to have to activate her cross up yourself, rather than just float and meaty it over the opponent. Otherwise, as the video indicates, she seems to just sort of float over her opponent and whiff. That set up Nakamura attempts on Chun actually works, but I simply cannot get the cross up to hit if I press the button early and hope her hit box overlaps. She'll just float over Chun for some reason.

  15. April 9th, 2011 at 21:10 | #16

    Interesting, i guess the phenomenon extends to the behavior/effectiveness of crossups – not just what happens after you land. Thanks for taking the time to do the research and share your findings.

    Sucks for characters with modest crossups, but then again there aren’t too many characters who live or die by their ability to land crossups. And Cammy might be the only member of that group who doesn’t have a great crossup.

  16. Tarnish
    April 10th, 2011 at 11:38 | #17


    I’m still not entirely certain, as here’s a case where the set up successfully crosses up on Chun Li from either side of the screen.



    I’d need more time to test, but there are enough cases of it missing where I’m still certain that rule 4 does have an impact on the effects. Where the hits occur are something to note because it looks like the 1P cross up hits directly in Chun’s back, while the 2P cross up I can only ever see it hit from the top or above the shoulder.

  17. Tarnish
    April 15th, 2011 at 22:42 | #18

    More findings. I tested N. Fei Long’s cross up MK and found that it also suffers from a similar issue that Cammy’s cross up short does. If you try to cross up from the opposite side Fei was chosen, his cross up mk cannot hit deep enough to combo from. If you try to hit it later than allowed, Fei will just float past his opponent.

  18. Tarnish
    April 16th, 2011 at 19:39 | #19

    Courtesy of ComedyBlissOption, a concise, 30 second video of what seems to happen in frame skip:


  19. April 17th, 2011 at 14:11 | #20

    I don’t understand what you mean by “in frame skip.” Are you referring to frame stepping aka frame advance? Or turbo speed frame skip?

  20. Tarnish
    April 18th, 2011 at 05:06 | #21


    Frame advance, yeah, my bad.

  21. April 18th, 2011 at 12:08 | #22

    Yeah i’m not really sure what’s going on. It looks like the green pushboxes interact slightly differently, because she slips away kind of suddenly in the second instance. Anyway i doubt there’s a way to fix it.

    Plus i’m sure it works well as a crossup from either side if they’re crouching, like if you catch them whiffing a sweep or something. And attempting to block or screwing up an uppercut probably changes things as well.

  22. Tarnish
    April 19th, 2011 at 08:27 | #23


    Eh, would hope to understand exactly why it’s happening. But, I’d have no use digging through and trying to understand archaic coding. Your reasoning is a good enough answer to make it stop bothering me. I’m not sure Cammy can footsie like that, though. Her jump is really floaty, unfortunately.

    Not really trying to make her competitive, just understand the character. Seems like similar things happen to other characters cross ups. I’ll probably try to look into those when I get a chance. I wrote 5 essays and took 3 exams within the span of two days, I think I’ll just take my break now. Thanks for showing me about this in the first place, this had really bothered me for a long time.

  1. December 11th, 2010 at 15:15 | #1
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