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                 - Archived Entry -

09.13.2004 - CvS2 OTG Capability Retention

Game Version: Capcom vs SNK 2 / Dreamcast / Japan / 2001

Off the ground combos come in two flavors in CvS2. The first type is nothing more than a throw performed during active CC mode against the fallen opponent. Only Dan and Rolento are susceptible to this method. The other set works against any character, but requires an attack possessing the extremely rare OTG property. This second technique is mirrored in CvS and CvSPro, but the reduced range of engine features limits the possibilities.

Although CvS2 has many throws that appear to incorporate OTG hits, throws are generally neither interruptible nor cancelable. Furthermore, an opponent knocked down midway into a throw animation is not necessarily in the generic knockdown state found elsewhere in the game. It may very well be a modified visual state lacking the degree of invulnerability provided by the standard knockdown state. For example, the first hit of Honda's Ooichou Nage (360 + P) seems to knock down and the second seems to be an OTG hit. However, since both are internal collisions of a pre-programmed animation, there's no way to tell whether the opponent is fully knocked down by the first hit and whether the second is a true OTG hit. After all, the Ooichou Nage looks similar in SSF2T. Does SSF2T have an undiscovered OTG engine? This objection also extends to quasi-throw attacks such as Iori's Dark Crescent Slice (HCB + K) and Todo's Mind's Eye Slingshot (QCF, HCB + P). In any case, it's inconsequential. Little can be done to avoid neutral state following a throw.

With throws out of the picture, the only remaining attack exhibiting inherent OTG capabilities is the final strike of Kyo's Wicked Chew (QCF + P) -> Rusting Eight Combos (HCB + P) -> Flashing Slash (P) series. Even before CvS2 was released, this move served as a combo finisher following Kyo's lvl3 Serpent Wave (QCB, HCF + P) in the classic CvS combo video by Kamui and mopreme. It didn't take long for people to discover that A-Kyo could cancel the move into his c.LK during Custom Combos to pick the opponent off the ground and continue the combo.

Since neither roll canceling nor the lvl2 cancel extended juggle glitch had yet emerged, the whole concept of passing on properties of one move to the next was too unprecedented to be considered. Even with the revelation of roll canceling, everyone considered it a programming fluke. (In retrospect, it's actually pretty surprising how long it took to recognize property transference as a basic tenet of the CvS series game engine.) So the initial prevailing theory regarding the A-Kyo combo was that the Flashing Slash left the opponent susceptible to OTG hits and that the follow-up c.LK took advantage of this condition. With that perceived limit in place, nobody really bothered to experiment further. When Sai-Rec first demonstrated the ability to OTG with a Reversal super after an interrupted Flashing Slash (using Rolento's Steel Rain as the catalyst), it made sense to assume that the same thing was happening as before. Even though the method allowed Kyo to perform an illegal OTG outside CC mode, there was still at most one additional OTG performed per Flashing Slash.

As i recall, the first evidence to the contrary appeared in a combo/strategy video released this February by Toro Online. A-Kyo followed up his CC mode Flashing Slash with an OTG attack, knocked the opponent into the air and juggled with Kyo's R.E.D. Kick (RDP + K), then performed another OTG c.MK upon landing to set up a surprise F+MK overhead mixup. This suggested that OTG potential is not connected to the opponent's state, but rather stems from extending the OTG capability of an imbued attack.

It turns out that once the OTG trait is activated, it can be transferred from move to move for as long as no neutral states occur. A-Groove Custom Combos are by far the easiest and most flexible way to capitalize. In the third clip, A-Kyo performs five OTG hits within a single Custom Combo. Two noteworthy details are the repeated chained whiff c.LK attacks to avoid neutral state until the opponent reaches full knockdown position and the fact that Kyo's final R.E.D. Kick connects long after CC mode ends. Also, most of Kyo's attacks don't have the proper hit boxes to connect against fallen opponents. All of the eligible ones are shown.

Another example phenomenon appears in the first clip with Yamazaki's lvl2 Drill (HCB, HCB + P). Despite being categorized as a throw, it contains several cancelable portions throughout its many variations. Yamazaki gains OTG capability upon the first strike following the brief power up window. If canceled within the imbued period, Yamazaki can transfer the trait and score an OTG hit using several of his special moves. The extra super meter provided by the final Taunt of Dan's Chohatsu Densetsu (QCF, QCF + Start) allows the insertion of a second lvl2 super before the OTG attempt. Continuing the historical references, i should mention that jchensor's early CvS2 combo video contained the first showing of Yamazaki's OTG potential and that laugh was the first to apply advanced OTG capability retention to Yamazaki through SRK forum discussions.

Finally, the second clip mimics the Sai-Rec setup - the most awkward of the set. For some reason, taking a hit and performing a Reversal passes on the active OTG trait. It's difficult to say whether neutral state is truly avoided in this case, especially since this trick fails to keep lvl2 cancel state active.

With this variation of OTG capability retention, Reversal is absolutely crucial. This is the key fact that helped me understand the whole phenomenon. Whether Kyo's Flashing Slash is interrupted by a light attack or a hard attack, it still requires a Reversal to score a second OTG hit. If follow-up OTG hits were truly dependant on the opponent's state and it was possible to do one following a hard attack interrupt, the window to do so following a light attack interrupt would be much longer. Performing follow-up OTG hits after light attack interrupts would not necessitate a Reversal.

In fact, Kyo's Flashing Slash doesn't even need to connect in order to activate and transfer the OTG trait. With all of these hints and clues laying about, it's surprising that OTG capability retention was not discovered during year one. But of course, nobody bothers to try this stuff out on their own.

cvs2otg01.jpg (320x240, 46 KB, JPG)
cvs2otg01.wmv (0:20, 1,616 KB, WMV9)
cvs2otg02.jpg (320x240, 43 KB, JPG)
cvs2otg02.wmv (0:11, 1,028 KB, WMV9)
cvs2otg03.jpg (320x240, 44 KB, JPG)
cvs2otg03.wmv (0:12, 1,046 KB, WMV9)