Fighting game glossary
Compiled by Alex "icycalm" Kierkegaard
with help from the members of the Shoryuken forums community
Last updated: December 15, 2006
2-1 combo: See Combo
360: The act of moving the joystick from the forward position in a circle going down, backward, up and then forward again, doing a 360 degree angle. Most games allow a shortcut that involves stopping this circular motion at the input instead. It is most commonly used in very short-range grappling attacks in older games, such as Zangief's Spinning Piledriver.
Abare: A relatively new term used to describe a character's ability to do high or massive damage off of random hits and circumstances, such as being able to inflict effective combos off of most basic hits.
Advanced Blocking: An advanced block is a block that is made to improve on normal blocking. This kind of blocking generally has a good deal of advantages over normal blocking, at the cost of being either more difficult to execute, or having some sort of other cost related to it. The first game to introduce this concept was SNK's World Heroes 2. The most notable advanced blocks are the Parry from the Street Fighter III series, the Just Defended from Garou: Mark of the Wolves, the Impact Guard from the Soul Calibur series, and the Faultless Defense & Instant Block from the Guilty Gear series.
Aerial Rave: Marvel vs. Capcom series terminology for a chain combo that is performed while a character is airborne, either linked from a ground attack or started while jumping. The main difference between an Aerial Rave and a juggle is that in Aerial Raves, both characters are airborne, while during a juggle the attacking character is on the ground and the attacked character is airborne. This term has been used in the 3D action game Devil May Cry 3 as the name of a maneuver where Dante launches an enemy into the air, follows them up and attacks them with four mid-air sword swings. The playable version of Vergil can do the same, but it deviates from the original in that his Aerial Rave only has one hit per enemy struck.
Anti-Air: An attack done from the ground serving the purpose of attacking an opponent who is jumping in. Moves of this kind generally enjoy high priority.
Armor Mode: A feature exclusive to the King Of Fighters series. Armor Mode is activated by pressing BCD. It costs three stocks to use, and, when activated, the character will pose momentarily and flash yellow for a short period of time (indicated by the timer at the top of the screen). During this time there is no Power Gauge and you cannot amass Power Gauge energy or stocks. Even though the Power Gauge disappears, players can use the Guard Cancel Attack or Guard Cancel Slide (in either direction) as many times as they want.
While in Armor Mode, all attacks inflict more damage (A little less than in Counter Mode). Characters also take less damage from attacks. Furthermore, the Dodge Attack will knock down an opponent, just like the Body Blow Attack (Guard Cancel CD attack). Another feature of Armor Mode is that your character takes no damage from blocking special moves, DMs, or SDMs. Although DMs or SDMs can't be used, your character cannot be hit out of an attack--an opponent's attack can still push him/her back, but he/she will continue his/her attack instead of going into "hit" animation. This doesn't apply to certain attacks that knock down to the ground or up into the air, though.
Once this mode ends, the Power Gauge will not reappear for a few seconds, and the character will still be unable to collect energy / stocks until it reappears.
Auto Combo: See Combo
Auto Guard: An interesting built-in feature for various fighting game characters that originates from the King Of Fighters series. Moves with autoguard have a specific set of animation frames, during which any move that comes in contact with the character is automatically blocked: this is different from regular move invincibility in that autoguard usually nullifies any move that comes in contact with it during its duration by blocking it and thus renders it harmless, while moves with invincibility might run out of invincibility while the attack is still able to connect with the character, causing the character to get hit regardless.
As a tradeoff, moves with autoguard are often slowed down when they block enemy attacks, allowing the other character to avoid getting hit by them if the move they use to trigger the autoguard is fast enough. Moves with autoguard are most effective at going through projectiles due to the fact that projectiles usually hit only once and it's relatively easy to time the move with autoguard animation frames so that they're active during the point of impact with the projectile. Some Super Moves also have this feature, and the length of the autoguard animation frame might be exceptionally long for them, in some cases even several seconds.
Baiting: Baiting consists of doing certain moves and movements to try and elicit a certain reaction or move from an opponent, and then punishing that reaction or move. A good example of this would be in a Street Fighter game. Ryu uses a Hadouken on Ken. Ken jumps. Ryu then uses a Shoryuken to knock Ken out of the air.
Balance: A term (derived from "balance of power") used to describe the overall cast of a particular game, specifically referring to whether or not certain characters are inherently stronger or weaker than others. "Good balance" or "well-balanced" refers to when most, if not all, of the characters in a game are on generally even footing with one another. The larger the cast, the more difficult it becomes to maintain good balance. Samurai Shodown III is frequently cited as a game with bad balance, whereas the Guilty Gear series is generally considered an example of good balance.
Block: When a character is blocking, he or she is in a defensive state that protects him from being damaged by his opponent's moves (or, in certain cases, softens the damage). Blocking is often performed by tilting the joystick away from the player's opponent, otherwise a specific button is used to block. Usually there is more than one kind of block (most often "high" and "low"), each of which protects against and is vulnerable to different classes of moves. In most games, blocking can be countered by a throw. The same term is known in Japan as guard, or even defense in some places.
Block stun: This term is used to refer to three distinct things: The first and most rare is to refer to the delay after a player ceases to hold back or press the block button before which the player can move again. The second is the delay before which the player can perform another move after successfully blocking a move. The third is the delay before which a player can perform another move if the opponent blocked his move. In Mortal Kombat-4, both the blocker and the blocked recover at the same time, while other two dimensional fighters have subtle differences depending on the particular move used.
Blow Away Attacks: A particular type of normal move in The King Of Fighters, also known as CD Attacks. Blow Away attacks are performed by pressing CD while standing or jumping. They cannot be used while crouching. All characters can use CD attacks, except for May Lee when she is in Hero Mode (she only has a standing CD in this mode, and it functions differently from most CD attacks). Most ground Blow Away attacks are cancelable, but some aren't. Furthermore, some are only cancelable into special moves and (S)DMs, while others are cancelable into command attacks.
Guard Cancel Blow Away Attacks (Guard Cancel CD Attacks) can only be used while you're blocking while standing up. They do less damage than normal Blow Away Attacks, look different, and are not cancelable.
1) In The King Of Fighters, performing a normal attack and cancelling it in the middle of its animation with a special, cancelling the ending frames of the normal move's animation (like Kyo's CD attack into his Aragami Style No. 104: Wild Bite or a R.E.D Kick). This is a tactic usually used to manipulate the rhythm of the opponent, or to bait them.
2) In Capcom games, buffering a special move into a non-special move so quickly that the special move comes out before the normal move ends (often making a combo). This use of the term is synonymous with the term 2-1 combo.
3) Entering the commands for one move while your character is still in the animation of another move, so the second move comes out as soon as the animation ends. This is an important element of 3D fighters, not in and of itself, but because many 3D fighters have "glitches" or "unintended features" which modify the properties of buffered moves compared to if they were simply immediately executed after the last move. The most famous of this is the tactic in Tekken Tag Tournament of buffering a low parry with an Electric Wind Godfist movement. If it is buffered, the computer will choose to execute the move only if it is in the best interests of the player, a process known as option select.
Button Mashing/Button Bashing: Derogative term used to define the way in which inexperienced players play fighting games. It literally involves the consistent, focused mashing of one or more buttons in a random fashion, with or without random joystick movements.
It can also be used to describe what occurs in certain situations where buttons must be mashed to achieve a desirable outcome, such as weapons clashing in Samurai Shodown, rapidly mashing on punch buttons to increase the damage on a Shoryu Cannon performed by Sean of Street Fighter III, mashing on buttons to try to escape from a dizzy state, or an attempt to mash out of certain combos like Magneto's Magnetic Tempest combos in Marvel vs. Capcom 2.
One feature of Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance is a mini-game titled "Test Your Might." It required the player to rapidly bash the buttons to keep a green meter above a certain level when the count-down ended.
When a player is intentionally trying to mash more hits from a super, a common technique is to fan or drum the fingers out over the buttons and wave the entire hand back and forth over the buttons.
Cancel: Cancelling is defined as breaking out of a current animation or move by inputing another move that cancels the previous one. Attacks are defined as "cancelable" meaning they have the ability to be canceled (and effectively comboed) into a special or super (the act of cancelling a special move into a super move is usually called Super Cancel). It also sometimes referred to as interrupting. In some games, the move which is used to cancel a previous move usually does less damage than if the move is used alone.
Normal to special move combos are based on cancelling a normal attack into a special attack. The King of Fighters and to a lesser extent Street Fighter Zero are known for having guard cancel techniques that immediately put you out of block stun and allow you to hit your opponent at the cost of some super gauge. The King Of Fighters has a detailed system of evasion and counterattacking based on cancelling your blocking animation, the "CD Guard Cancel" allows you to knockdown your opponent breaking out of your blocking animation to land a CD attack that does little damage at the cost of 1 power bar (which is even cancelable in some cases and allows you to start combos), while the "Guard Cancel Emergency Evade" allows you to roll both backwards and forward to evade and punish the attacker if you time it when he's doing an attack whose recovery will leave him open after your evasion. Systems like Guilty Gear XX, which features the ability to completely Roman Cancel any move a character is doing by pressing 3 different attack buttons (except Dust) and spending 50% of your Tension bar (super gauge; 25% bar in the case of False Roman Cancels) -- thus completely eliminating recovery time.
A term exclusive to King of Fighters XI is Dream Cancel, where the leader of the team of three, the sole character who can use Leader Desperation Move, can cancel a Desperation Move (a 1-stock super move) into a Leader Desperation Move (a 2-stock super move).
Soul Calibur allows players to cancel moves, sometimes stopping the move altogether. This can effectively be used as a form of baiting, since cancelled moves take little time and can often be followed up by a quick attack.
Chain Combo: See Combo
Character Match: (also Mirror Match) A match in which both players use the same character.
Charge Move: A move whose command input involves holding (charging) either a direction on the joystick or button(s) for a brief period of time. This kind of move is most popular in 2D fighters, although it is occasionally seen in 3D fighters (more commonly as a button charge than a joystick charge).
Cheap / Cheese: Being cheesy or cheap is a derogative term used to point out an overpowering or repetitive tactic, or a player that uses overpowering or repetitive moves. Of course, whether a move or tactic actually is overpowered is a universal source of controversy. Such tactics may be discouraged during casual play with friends, but they are usually fair game during tournament play and amongst tournament players.
It is not so uncommon for a tactic to be deemed cheap by casual players and be considered a poor or weak tactic among higher end players.
In Capcom fighters, this also doubles as an ingame term for defeating an opponent via block damage from a special or a super move, which fits the above description.
Also see balance.
Chicken Blocking: A term most often used in Capcom vs. SNK 2 and Marvel vs. Capcom 2 circles, means to jump and block an incoming attack in the air instead of on the ground. The idea is that after blocking, the defending player lands first and is no longer in block stun, while the attacker is still in the air and either recovering from his attack or unable to block, rendering him or her vulnerable to counterattack.
Chip Damage: (also Block Damage) The reduced damage a character takes from an attack while blocking. Generally an extremely small amount; in some games, normal moves do not cause this. The term refers to the visual effect of the player's life bar being "chipped" away, bit by bit.
Clone: A clone character is a character whose moveset is extremely similar, if not identical, to another's, despite (usually) a different appearance. In the original Street Fighter, for example, Ken and Ryu were clones. There is a tendency for clone characters to become more different with later versions of the game (for example, Ralf and Clark from KOF, Yun and Yang from Street Fighter 3rd Strike). A clone differs from a palette swap in that a different actual sprite or model is usually used, but the movelist is still the same. Palette swaps are simply differently-colored sprites (usually alternate costumes for 2D fighting game characters).
Combo: In traditional 2D fighter terminology, a string of attacks that cannot be blocked if the first hit is not blocked. The word "combo" is also used presently by some 3D fighter fans to describe simply a series of moves which when done in a certain order perform more quickly than when done out of order (also known as a "string").
Command Move: A simple or complex move, in execution or animation, usually performed with a simple combination of joystick and button action, such as a 'Forward' Punch or Kick. The properties of these moves are usually not radically different from other normal moves, but rather they are performed with a button press and a joystick action to allow a wider array of normal moves without having to add extra buttons. Most command moves usually enjoy special properties such as hitting overhead or low. Particularly in The King of Fighters, if a normal attack is cancelled into a command move, the command move loses its special properties but become cancellable themselves into a special, while there are others that are immediately cancelable into special or super attacks when performed alone without previous canceling.
Counter Hit: A counter hit is a term for an attack that hits another player while they are in the process of performing an attack. In many fighting games this type of attack is granted bonus damage. and/or additional effects (i.e. dizzying, stagger). In The King Of Fighters, aside from adding damage, they are given juggling properties, meaning that an opponent caught in a counter hit is immediately eligible for a second attack, for example, a jumping CD attack that hits as counter, can be followed up by a second CD attack of the same nature, or a special, or super, or other moves that have other juggling properties.
Counter Mode: A feature exclusive of The King Of Fighters 99 and The King Of Fighters 2000. Counter Mode is activated by pressing ABC. It costs 3 stocks to use, and when activated, the character will pose momentarily and flash red for a short period of time (indicated by the timer at the top of the screen). During this time there is no Power Gauge and you cannot amass Power Gauge energy or stocks. Even though the character's Power Gauge disappears, he/she can use the Guard Cancel CD Attack or Guard Cancel Slide (in either direction) as many times as he/she want.
While in Counter Mode, all attacks inflict more damage. And even though there is no Power Gauge, Desperation Moves can be performed infinitely: no stocks are required. Furthermore, the character becomes able to cancel the Dodge Attack into command attacks, special moves, and DMs, just like a normal punch or kick. A unique feature of Counter Mode is that the character can interrupt a special move with a DM, the same way he might cancel a normal attack into a special move.
Once this mode ends, the Power Gauge will not reappear for a few seconds, and the character will still be unable to collect energy / stocks until it reappears.
Criticals: Criticals are moves that may cause more than the default damage, resulting in critical or more damage. Criticals usually occur at random. One example of a character able to use criticals is Shingo Yabuki from King of Fighters, whose attacks always result in a "critical" in The King Of Fighters 97 and The King Of Fighters 98, which did more damage than normal.
Cross-Up: A cross-up is a situation where it is more difficult for your opponent to determine whether they must block left or right. Most commonly, this is done by attacking while jumping over your opponent so that it hits as one passes over them. Cross-ups are most easily used in many games after knocking down your opponent, as the opponent will be unable to move or attack while the attacker begins the cross-up (see okizeme).
The term 'cross-up' generally refers to jumping attacks, but is sometimes applied to any situation in which an opponent may have difficulty in determining which direction to block in. In particular, when dashes pass through their opponent it can create cross-up opportunities on the ground. When an opponent must also guess or react quickly to block high or low, or to defend against a throw, the more general term mix up is preferred.
Starting combos with a cross-up is preferred because it makes the combo more difficult to defend against, as well as providing an extra hit.
Cross-ups are said to have originated from Street Fighter II as a glitch, though much like combos, they were later intentionally maintained by the developers to add depth to the game. Crossups were not only implemented into the system, but, for example, Iori from King of Fighters's air Back B command actually has him kicking backwards after jumping over an opponent, and ideally only useable for easy crossups.
Crouch Dash: A dash either executed from a crouching position or involving a crouching movement at some point. Seen most often in 3D fighters, particularly the Tekken series, where its command is usually forward, return stick to neutral, down, down-forward. Many characters in Tekken have several different moves available from the crouch dash, and a few (the Mishimas in particular) can actually link one crouch dash into another, which creates a move known as the wavedash. Crouch dashes in Tekken usually have the property of automatically evading high attacks, and some have automatic low parries.
Damage Scaling: Damage scaling refers to the fact that in some games, attacks may sometimes inflict less (or occasionally more, as seen in Guilty Gear) than normal damage due to any number of reasons. Damage scaling can be a result of the number of hits in a combo (Many games; numerous), the specific move used to start a combo (needs example), the amount of damage that has been inflicted so far in the combo (Last Blade), the type of move (Third Strike), or other factors.
Dash: A dash is a movement which is both faster than normal movement and requires some sort of input more complex than simply holding one direction on the joystick. Dashes are executed in most fighting games by double-tapping the direction (such as forward, forward or back, back.) Many types of dashes exist, depending on the game, such as air dashes, and some games even include special properties into dashes (Slayer from the Guilty Gear series is invulnerable during certain portions of his dash, for example). There are often variations on the basic dash, such as the crouchdash (executed from a crouching position) or wavedash (a type of dash in the Tekken series specific to certain characters), and in some games mastering the execution of a certain dash is pivotal to winning strategies.
Deadly Rave: A super move in which a player must press a series of buttons (traditionally, eight button presses and a quarter-circle move) after execution in order to complete the move. Each button press must be performed with precision timing. Named after the first such super combo of its kind, Geese Howard's (from Fatal Fury) Deadly Rave.
Death Trap: A portion of an arena that can be used to instantly dispatch of an opponent. Examples include the cliffs and pits in the Soul Calibur series which may be used to obtain a "ring out", and the various death traps in Mortal Kombat: Deception.
Deep Hit: A hard attack, usually airborne, that causes the attacker's sprite to overlap far into the target's sprite. This results in the attacker being sufficiently close to the target upon completing the attack to allow for the next hit to be part of a combo. While "deep hit/attack" is the original term coined by GamePro magazine, this is now often referred to as a "meaty" hit.
Desperation Move: Initially used to describe moves that can only be performed when one's health was critically low, it has since expanded to include any super move. It is often abbreviated to DM. This term is pretty much exclusive to SNK games, more particularly to The King Of Fighters and Fatal Fury, where it was a known feature to be able to perform unlimited supers when your energy bar was reduced to a point where it started to flash in red.
An even more powerful version of a desperation move is called Super Desperation Move (frequently abbreviated into SDM), usually a crazier and far more powerful-looking version of a normal Desperation Move typically requiring either two or more (usually a maximum of three depending if it is cancelled from a special move or not) super stocks, and/or very low life, depending on the game. King of Fighters 96, 97, 98, 99, 2001 and 2002 featured both kinds of SDMs, one is the normal SDM which requires you to either be with your bar on MAX or in 2002, in "MAX Mode", or in some cases, a combination of the older feature of red bar (described above) and the power gauge system where you need to have both a power stock and your energy flashing red, and the other being Hidden SDM which adds low life as an additional requirement.
Starting from King of Fighters 2003, SNK included another term: Leader Desperation Move (LDM), which is basically the same as SDM. However, unlike SDM which can be used by any character in previous King of Fighters games, only one out of three characters chosen in the team can use LDM (this character is called the leader). Since the bosses usually do not form teams, they are already capable of doing LDMs as well.
Double KO: Both players are knocked out at the same time. Double KOs may award wins to both players or losses to both players, and the behavior is dependent on the game.
In The King Of Fighters it results in both characters being taken away from the fight and both of the next ones jumping in to continue the fight and if both KOed characters were the last ones, they are pitted against each other in a last round with only 25% of their energy and a full 60 seconds timer, if a Double KO occurs again, the game ends for both.
In old Mortal Kombat games, it was a known trick to cause this to continue playing extra rounds. In the case of Guilty Gear, if wins to both players would result in the end of the match, a win is given to the player with the lesser number of wins only.)
If there is a DKO on the final round of a match Soul Calibur, will require a sudden death round, in which the stage area is shorter. Also in Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, if both players each have the same amount of wins and are in the final round, a DKO will incur a Judgement. In this case 2 of the 3 judges must turn over a "paddle" with your character's face on it for you to win the match.
In Marvel vs. Capcom 2, if a DKO happens during 1 player mode, the screen will say "Draw Game", but you lose automaticaly. In Tekken 3, if a DKO occurs during the final round of a match, the first player wins (!)
Dragon Punch (DP): This is used to describe a few different things:
-A motion in 2D fighting games consisting of moving the joystick in a forward, to down, then down-forward motion.
-Any other kind of move that is generally done with some sort of variation of the above motion, that mostly serves as an anti-air attack.
-Ryu's and Ken's trademark uppercut move from the Street Fighter games, done with the motion described above and any punch button. Also called Shoryuken in Japanese, meaning "deep uppercut".
Dramatic Battle: A type of match where two teams of characters are fighting each other, all of whom are fighting at the same time. The first instance of this was in the original Fatal Fury, the term is derived from the Street Fighter Alpha series.
Endurance Match: An endurance match is a match where a limited amount of opponents must be defeated, one after another, on a single life bar. These matches are similar to survival matches, where a player continues to play until defeated (with the timer being reset after defeating an opponent), or time attacks, where a player continues to play until time runs out or is defeated. Unlike survival matches or time attacks, endurance matches are not one-round affairs, but are typical three-round matches.
A dramatic endurance match is similar, but incorporates elements from dramatic battles.
Endurance matches were first introduced in Mortal Kombat, where three such matches (each with a single character facing two characters) were played before facing the game's bosses.
Enhanced Special Move: A special move where attacks can increase in power by using power stored in a super move gauge. Also known as an ESpecial Move, EX Move, or an ES Move.
Fierce: In the Street Fighter series and related Capcom six-button fighters, a heavy punch.
Finish: The method in which a player is knocked out. For example, a player knocked out by a special move is called a special finish. A dedicated special move that knocks out an opponent in spectacular fashion is called a finishing move. In Mortal Kombat, a finish is also the method of finishing your opponent with such a move when the match is won (also known as a fatality).
Footsies: Also known as a ground game, a game of footsies consist of a set of high-priority pokes, safe blockstrings, good throw games, smart blocking and other such ground mix up that does not involve aerial attacks and jumping to deal damage. Footsies are mostly prevalent in 2D games. A strong ground game is generally considered more solid than a strong aerial game in a myriad of different games because of the presence of a safe method of blocking while on the floor and a simply bigger presence of options with which to mix up and deal damage.
Forward: In the Street Figher series and related Capcom six-button fighters, a medium kick.
Four-button Fighter: A type of fighting game controls that uses punch and kick buttons of two different strengths, typical of King of Fighters and other SNK fighting games.
Four Fierce Combo: Attributed to Guile from Street Fighter II, his lack of delay after executing a Sonic Boom allowed him to follow up with another attack that proved to be one of the most devastating and difficult combos in early Street Fighter II history. Fully executed, it drained 60% of an opponent's full lifebar.
This combo was generally done once an opponent was dizzy to aid in setup: jumping FP (fierce punch), standing FP, sonic boom, FP backfist (-> FP). While there are actually only 3 punches, all 4 attacks can be done with only the Fierce Punch button. Expert players could add a Sonic Boom to the beginning of the combo, making it a 5-hit, 70% damage combination. Oftentimes, this combo also redizzied the opponent, making them vulnerable once again to a very potentially round-ending combo or attack.
In a similar fashion, Ken had this ability as well after Street Fighter II: Champion Edition was released. His standing FP Shoryuken would hit twice, so a jumping FP and standing/crouching FP into a similar Shoryuken would deliver as much, if not more than Guile's combo.
Frame Advantage: A move which allows the player to recover before his opponent leaves either hit stun on hit or block stun on block is considered to have frame advantage in those areas. Moves that enjoy frame advantage on hit are often used in links to perform combos, while moves that enjoy frame advantage on block are often used as pokes.
Frames: A frame is a single still picture on a display screen such as a television set or computer monitor. Fighting games generally run at a fixed 60 frames per second (50 frames in Europe) which means they show 60 still pictures every second to simulate motion. Thus, the time that a move takes to start, how long it is considered to actually be hitting and how long the character takes to recover immediately after the move can all be measured in frames. One frame is 1/60th of a second, so a move that takes 10 frames to start up equates to 1/6th of a second.
Free Cancels: Also known as dokomademo cancels. Often making reference to the MAX Mode feature of The King Of Fighters 2002 that gives the player the ability to cancel normal, command and special moves into other command and special moves, Free Cancels are the term used to describe these cancels. Free Cancels work in the following manner:
-Any Normal attack can be canceled into certain special moves (i.e. Kyo's far standing D into Dokugami).
-Any jumping Normal attack, Command or CD attack that hits or is blocked can be canceled into certain special moves (i.e. Kensou's jumping C into Ryuu Sougeki).
-Any normally uncancelable Normal, Command or CD attack can be canceled into certain special moves (i.e. Ramon's standing CD into Tiger Road).
-Any command attack can be canceled into certain special moves (i.e. Benimaru's Flying Drill into Kuuchuu Raijin Ken).
-Many special moves can be canceled into other special moves (i.e. Maxima's Double Bomber into Vapour Cannon).
Each time a Free Cancel is used, the character flashes white and a small amount of energy from the MAX timer is lost.
Free canceling an attack into a command attack or (HS)DM is not possible (unless that attack is cancelable normally). It isn't possible to Free Cancel a special move into itself, although moves that can be done on the ground and in mid-air are an exception. For example, you could free cancel a (C) Psycho Sword into a mid-air Psycho Sword, or the ground Minutes Spike into the mid-air Minutes Spike.
One advantage of using free cancels is that you can cancel moves that might lose their properties otherwise.
Guard Break: The action of performing an attack which is blocked, but leaves the blocking player open to further attack. This usually happens when a character receives too many attacks from a defense position, thus losing the guarding status. It is also known as a guard crush. There can also be attacks that are meant to cause this effect. The first known instance of guard breaking was in the original Samurai Spirits, where continual blocking can actually cause one's weapon to break.
This is also the name of a common exploit in Marvel vs. Capcom 2 in which a character is rendered unable to block in mid-air. In the game, when a character is considered to be in a "normal jump" (either a normal jump or coming into the screen after another character was defeated), the character can only block once (this blocking action will expire after a certain amount of time passes without blocking any attacks). Therefore, any attack executed after the character is no longer blocking cannot be blocked.
Cable is especially notorious for this strategy and combining it with his Air Hyper Viper Beam (AHVB), however all characters are capable of exploiting the phenomenon, if not with the same ease or to the same extent.
Guard Cancel: The action of cancelling out of block stun with another move to counterattack. An example of this is The King Of Fighters series, where many types of guard cancel techniques exist that immediately put you out of block stun and allow you to hit your opponent at the cost of some super gauge. The "CD Guard Cancel" allows you to knockdown your opponent breaking out of your blocking animation to land a CD attack that does little damage at the cost of 1 power bar (which is even cancelable in some cases and allows you to start combos), while the "Guard Cancel Emergency Evade" allows you to roll both backwards and forward to evade and punish the attacker if you time it when he's doing an attack whose recovery will leave him open after your evasion. In some other SNK games and also in some Street Fighter games you can break out of your defense using Specials, Super moves, Alpha Counters, and similar moves. Systems like Guilty Gear XX feature Dead Angle attacks, in which the blocking character presses forward and two buttons (besides Dust) to move out of block stun and attack to knock away the opponent (though a Dead Angle is blockable itself, and costs 50% tension).
In the Rival Schools series, these are known as "tardy counters."
In some games this is the action of an attacking player to instantaneously stop the attack while it is in progress by using the guard button. This can be used many times to instantly go into other attacks without lag time.
Guard Meter: A guard meter has two meanings. The most common is a gauge that drains as a player blocks attacks. When it completely drains, the player is guard crushed, and is vulnerable to attacks. In some games, the length of the guard meter may shrink after repeated guard crushes to the point where a character cannot block at all. Like low and overhead attacks, the guard meter serves as one of the many countermeasures to prevent turtling.
However, in other games, such as Guilty Gear, a guard meter fills up as a player blocks attacks, and the higher it gets the more chip damage the player receives.
Half Circle Backward (HCB): The act of moving the joystick from the forward position to the down position, then to the backward position, forming a half-circle.
Half Circle Forward (HCF): The act of moving the joystick from the back position to the down position, then to the forward position, forming a half-circle.
Hit Stun: This refers to the amount of time of frames it takes you to recover after being hit by a certain attack. This, combined with recovery time, is what determines whether or not an attacker will have enough frame advantage after an attack to execute a link.
Hunter Chain: This is a type of chain combo where:
any punch can combo into a kick of the same strength, and
an attack of lower strength can be comboed into the subsequent attack of the next strength forming a chain.
The name is obtained from Night Warriors: Darkstalkers' Revenge (Vampire Hunter: Darkstalkers' Revenge in Japan). This is sometimes known as "the chain combo", and variations of this exist in many other games, the most common being a two-chain (where only the first applies), three-chain (where only the second applies), and the five-chain (where you cannot combo a punch of the highest strength to a kick of the highest strength). It's a most common feature in the crossover Series of X-Men and Marvel vs Street Fighter.
Jab: In the Street Figher series and related Capcom six-button fighters, a light punch.
Juggle: A combo in which the victim is hit multiple times in midair. The move used to start the juggle is called a "launcher" or "floater." This was the second type of combo to ever appear in a fighting game, and first appeared in Mortal Kombat.
In recent King of Fighters games, juggling is supported by another feature called wire.
Jump Installing: Jump installing is a Guilty Gear term referring to an aspect of the engine that was originally a bug, but later became a feature. The idea is to press an upwards direction during a jump-cancelable move, but then cancel the attack into another attack instead of allowing the jump to occur. This "tricks" the engine into believing you are in an airborne-state. At the end of the attack string, if you end up in the air via an attack that would not normally allow you to do anything before you land, you will have all the options available to you that you'd normally have from a jump, such as air dashing or double jumping.
Life: Also called "energy", "health", or "vitality", a character's life is how much more damage he can take, represented by a bar at the top of the screen, with the bar depleting inwards in most cases (Darkstalkers 3 being a notable exception). When a character's life bar is completely drained, the round is lost. Some games like Real Bout Fatal Fury, Samurai Showdown and Art of Fighting have a total life bar that is composed by two bars, one which is the classical yellow one and a red one. This feature is used to implement certain super gauge systems and other strategical details.
Link: Linking moves is the act of performing a move with quick startup immediately after a move with quick recovery has connected while your opponent is still in hit stun, thus linking both attacks together into a combo.
Low Attack: Quite simply, a low attack is an attack that must be blocked crouching. They are an integral part of mind games when mixed up with overhead attacks.
MAX Mode: MAX Mode is a feature present in The King Of Fighters 2002, it is a mode which the player can "enter into" or activate. MAX mode costs one level of power gauge to activate (by pressing BC). When the player does this, the character will do a starting pose, then start to flash. During this time, a blue gauge appears above the Power Gauge and begins to slowly drain. Once it is empty, MAX mode ends.
When it is activated, it becomes possible to cancel moves from normal, command and Special moves into Special moves, and even some Command Attacks. Hence, it is possible to cancel normally uncancelable moves into safer moves, Uppercut moves, and many other types of moves to surprise the opponent, attacking or defending yourself, or to create complex sequences of attacks. As for combos, it is also used to create combinations that otherwise wouldn't be possible, such as repeating one special move into another and canceling into the same previous move again to create a semi-infinite (which is prevented and limited by the bar that depletes from itself a certain quantity of bar energy whenever a move is cancelled). Certain attacks can only be canceled from initially and not into when in the middle of a combo or string of attacks.
Also, to allow the player to activate MAX Mode dynamically, there is a feature called the Quick MAX Mode Activation, performed by pressing BC when one of your attacks hits or is blocked. Quick MAX Mode activation costs 2 levels to use. Quick MAX Activate offers the advantage of canceling instantaneously the animation of any Normal or Command attack, and eliminates its own MAX Mode startup animation. When the current attack is canceled, you can immediately attack your opponent after pressing BC, having the absolute freedom of continuing your movements and do anything that you want, from running forward to continue the combo, to jumping, to evading, etc.
While in MAX mode, your attack power decreases. Only DMs do a normal amount of damage. Furthermore, you cannot earn Power Gauge energy while in MAX mode.
You can perform a DM without losing any levels from the Power Gauge. You can also perform an SDM, which will only cost one level to use. If your Life Gauge is very low (to be exact, below 1/3rd of the total gauge length), you can use HSDMs as well, which have the same requirements as SDMs. In all of these cases, performing the (HS)DM will immediately end MAX mode.
Mercy: An old courtesy tactic that appeared back when Street Fighter II became popular. When fighting someone in a 2-player game; the winner of the first round lets the other player win the second round. This "mercy" round not only gave players who were outclassed the opportunity to play a little longer, but to also practice moves etc. The term mercy was first officially used in Mortal Kombat 3, where instead of finishing an opponent off, players were also able to give an enemy a small portion of energy back - called a mercy.
-Mind games are described as the use of psychology to maximize one's chances of winning. A big part of mind games is archetyping, dissecting the way an opponent plays and then immediately gearing oneself to prepare an effective counter strategy, as well as a great deal of other tactics that take advantage of the amount of predictability present within an opponent.
-Mind games generally used within fighting games can include:
Training an opponent into doing a certain move in response to something, then baiting that response to punish.
Putting forward an incredible rushdown game and then suddenly shifting gears at the least expected moment, and viceversa.
Mix Up: A strategy or technique of making one's attacks more difficult to predict. In 2D fighting games such as Street Fighter or The King Of Fighters, it typically involves using low attacks, overhead attacks, throw attacks, and generally any assortment of attacks which require different actions from the opponent in order to defend against them. Mixups become more effective as the variety and complexity of the required defenses increases, and as the amount of time available to react decreases. When used in a pressure string, mix up can allow a player to connect a combo or score a knockdown to continue the pressure if his opponent fails to correctly guess what to do, how to evade/counterattack or where to block.
Certain mixups are so effective that they are frequently considered impossible to defend against except by luck or knowledge of your opponent's tactics; in this case, they are sometimes called 'resets.'
Mix up can also refer to the strategy of entering poses or stances which have multiple moves with different attack properties available to them, such as Lei Wulong's animal kung-fu arts.
Negative Edge: Use of button release in place of button press within a command sequence; most Capcom fighting games allow special and super moves to be performed by this method
Normal move: Any attack performed using a single button press, without moving the joystick and usually without being in midair.
OCV (also Straight): Abbreviation for One Character Victory. It is used to refer when a person wins a team based fighting game by only using one character on their team (like in The King Of Fighters, or tag games like Tekken Tag Tournament or Marvel vs. Capcom. Since the one character doesn't necessarily regain all of his or her energy after defeating an opponent, and has been able to defeat the whole team of the other player by himself, this type of victory indicates a very decisive win
Okizeme: The art of putting pressure on a rising or grounded opponent. This is often done by putting an opponent in a situation in which he must immediately block, often with a new string of attacks or a projectile. This term and the techniques effectiveness is much more prevalent in the world of 3D fighters, which generally allow characters to attack downed opponents, something minimally found in 2d fighters. In 2D fighters, an opponent can't generally be attacked while knocked down, and can rise and immediately theoretically counter or block any move, making okizeme more of a psychological concept, known instead as wake-up game.
Option Select: Describes a situation in a fighting game where the action of the player is ambiguous, and the computer will determine the outcome based on the situation. Generally speaking, the result chosen is the one that is best for the acting player. For example, in Virtua Fighter 3 it was possible to do an action for both a block and a throw, and if the throw would have successfully captured the opponent it would do that, otherwise it would do a block. In SNK vs. Capcom: Chaos, attempting an air throw will result in a light attack if there is no opponent within throw range. Option select is sometimes the result of a flaw or overlooked feature within the game.
Overhead Attack: An overhead attack is an attack (normally a command move) that hits players who are crouching and blocking, and must be blocked standing. It is among one of many countermeasures to deter turtling. Because of the nature of the attack, many attacks done from the air are overhead attacks. Therefore, this term is usually used within the context of a ground attack. Examples of overhead attacks include Kyo Kusanagi's Ge Shiki: Gou Fu You (Foreign Style: Thunder Axe Positive), Ryu's overhead punch, Ky Kiske's Greed Saber and Terry Bogard's Hammer Punch. Some games, such as the Soul Calibur series, have a "mid"-level attack (in addition to high and low attacks) that serves the same purpose.
In some games, these attacks are cancelable and comboable into special or super moves, or even cancelable into special features of the gameplay system, like The King Of Fighters 2002's MAX Mode, which can be used to cancel the animation of these moves as soon as they hit to run and start a normal combo into any thing.
Parry: A move that deflects an incoming attack. This differs from a block in that parries specifically require a command input (with the exception of an auto-parry). Parries usually result in some sort of reward if pulled off successfully - either leaving the attacking character at a frame disadvantage (leaving them open for attack for a short time), or adding to the defending character's lifebar or super meter. A feature created and seen for the first time in SNK's World Heroes 2, and later adopted in games like Street Fighter III as an integral part of its system. In some games, certain characters are able to auto-parry - that is, performing a certain move, entering into a certain stance or mode will automatically parry specific attacks or those that the attack is meant to parry, such as Ryo's Joudan Uke, which comes accompanied with Invincibility. This greatly contributes to the mindgames of certain games like Street Fighter, a game that favors zoning instead of mobility. It will be used again for the next Mortal Kombat game on the PS2 & XBox.
Confusingly enough, the term used for parrying in Japanese for Street Fighter III is 'blocking' ('burokkingu'), while the term used for blocking is 'guard' ('gaado').
Poke: Generally, an attack that is done to hit an opponent from just about the maximum range that specific move will allow, generally done as a single attack to generally accomplish any of the following things (sometimes more than one): to stuff an opponent's current attack, even one of their own pokes; to create distance between the two players; to deal "safe", unpunishable damage.
Pressure: A technique involving a sequence of attacks to keep an opponent on the defensive and often involves okizeme and mix up tactics. The purpose of pressure is to keep an enemy from effectively attacking back until they make a mistake, usually allowing for a damaging command move or combo to be performed. Pressure tactic usually makes use of guard crush.
Priority: A descriptive measure of an attack's tendency to strike the opponent when that opponent is also attacking. In general, higher priority attacks tend to interrupt lower priority attacks, damaging the opponent while the opponent's attack fails to connect. It's important to note that this is usually simply a term of convenience - very few games actually have an internal mechanism that governs the resolution of attacks via priority. Instead, this term simply reflects the fact that most 2D fighting games use hit-boxes to determine whether a player is hit by an attack, and attack hit boxes do not usually exactly correspond to an extension of the player's target hit-box.
Punish: Attacking an opponent who is recovering from performing an attack. It is, of course, easier to "punish" whiffed attacks, as well as attacks that have high recovery time.
Pursuit Attack: An attack that hits a character who is lying down on the ground. A combo that contains, but does not end with, a pursuit attack is known as an off-the-ground combo, or simply OTG.
Quarter Circle Back (QCB): The act of moving the joystick from the downward position to the direction that makes your character move backwards, forming a 90 degree angle, or quarter circle.
Quarter Circle Forward (QCF):
The act of moving the joystick from the downward position to the direction that makes your character move forward, forming a 90 degree angle, or quarter circle. Sometimes referred to as a "Fireball Motion", as it is commonly used to perform a character's projectile attack.
Rage Gauge: A super move gauge where the only way to gain energy is to get hit. It was introduced, and most commonly used, in the Samurai Spirits series of games.
Because of the way power in the gauge is obtained, the rage gauge typically gives many bonuses when completely filled up. For example, characters typically deal significantly more damage when the rage gauge is full. However, this gauge often has drawbacks: it is not uncommon for the gauge automatically empty after a certain period of time (when the rage starts to "cools off"), or at the start of every round.
The rage gauge was originally designed as a variation of a super move gauge: the first Samurai Spirits game did not have super moves, but did allow a player to deal substantially more damage when his "rage gauge" was high".
Also featured in "Capcom v. SNK 2" as the K-Groove gauge.
Recovery: The time or frames it takes for a character to return to a neutral state after the frames in which the attack actually hits have passed. The shorter the time, the better.
Red Parry: Exclusive to Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, a red parry is any parry done while in block stun. Because the stick must return to neutral before you can parry again, the timing window is much more precise than a standard parry. No additional benefits are given for executing this move outside of the benefits normally given for a parry, although there are some cases where it can be used to gravely punish a very predictable opponent. The move is otherwise extremely risky even for advanced players. Your character flashes a reddish-orange color instead of the standard blue when red parrying.
Repel: Term used in the Last Blade games, whose command is D or forward/down-forward+D. A repel reverses an opponent's attack and gives the chance to counter with an attack/combo of choice. This way, the player not only can avoid getting hit but also punish the opponent for attacking.
Reversal: A move that is done at what the game considers the optimal time necessary to take advantage of both the move's invincibility frames or priority for the best possible outcome. The timing window for such moves is generally small. An example of this is present in Street Fighter, where a move done at the first possible frame on wake up is considered to have "reversal timing". The Dragon Punch is a popular move to use as a reversal.
Reversals can also refer to moves specifically designed to be used while the opponent is attacking, but do no damage on their own - i.e., if the opponent attacks during the active frames of the reversal within sufficient range of the player's character, an automatic counterattack will be launched. The most prominent and known example of this is Kyo Kusanagi's Nue Tsumi (Style No. 902: Clipping Chimera), another one is Blue Mary's Mary Reverse Facelock and (for short) M. Head Buster (that can even be comboed into special and super moves, as it has juggle capabilities, further expanding on the concept). An easier way to think of this form of reversal is a throw that only deals damage if the opponent attempts to attack while it is active. This kind of move is more common in SNK games and in 3D fighters, where they can also be known simply as "counters", and this form of reversal differs from parries in that parries do no damage - they simply interrupt an opponent's attack. Some games offer command options for escaping a reversal (and thus negating the damage from it), though the complexity of the escape varies wildly.
Ring Out: A victory achieved by sending the opponent out of the ring or fighting arena; these are usually only found in 3D fighting games. This is usually the only way to KO an opponent in the Super Smash Bros. series.
Rolling: Rolling is a gameplay feature found in some SNK games, and is an important part of the engine in The King Of Fighters. The entire concept behind Rolling is to evade the opponent either by Rolling forward when you know that his attack will have a slower recovery time than your roll so you can punish it with frame advantage (players can also calculate the timing of the roll to reach the opponent's back before his attack finishes, even if it is an attack that is normally thought to be "safe", anticipating his movements) or by Rolling backwards to prevent any dangerous attacks from him and neutralize any poking attempts. The Rolling moves (otherwise referred to as the "Emergency Evade") can be used by themselves, or while blocking an attack. You are immune to attack as the Roll begins, but you can be attacked while recovering from the Roll (before you have a chance to block). Throws of any kind can grab characters out of a Roll at anytime.
A third type of roll was added in The King Of Fighters 2002, the "Quick Emergency Evade." Basically, what it allows you to do is cancel any normal attack, command attack, or Blow Away Attack (CD Attack) into a forward roll, successfully adding another mind game that comes in effect when the opponent tries to knock you down with a Guard Cancel CD Attack. While he spends one power gauge to perform this CD attack to knock you out of any sequences or strings of attack that you may be doing, you can spend one power gauge yourself to evade his Guard Cancel CD Attack by rolling forward, which leaves him open to your attacks. It can be used even if the attack is not cancelable, or before the attack even hits. Canceling a roll in this manner will cost 1 level of Power Gauge, even if the character is in MAX Mode.
Roll Cancel: In Capcom vs. SNK 2, roll cancelling is the ability to cancel a roll into a special attack. This changes the roll "animation" into that of a special attack, but the engine does not re-evaluate the invincibility frames from the roll. This means that for the first 17 frames of your special (about 1/3rd of a second), you are completely invincible.
Roundhouse: In the Street Fighter series and related Capcom six-button fighters, a heavy kick.
Rushdown: The complete opposite of turtling, a rushdown style is considered to be completely offensive, often using a huge variety of mix up, pressure and mind games to force an opponent into a suboptimal defensive situation, seeking to create openings and watch for sudden mistakes to capitalize with proper, devastating punishment. Because of its overtly offensive, flashy nature, rushdown is generally considered to be a very entertaining -- if risky -- style of fighting. The King Of Fighters is a game acknowledged for having a universal system of movements that allow an evolved form of rushdowns.
Run: Running is the act of approaching your opponent through continuous movement much like Jumping, but unlike it, Running lets you travel through the ground. Thus, considering this, it could be said that it is the opposite of the act of Jumping, since it uses the opposite direction to approach the opponent.
The game that most prominently established the maneuver of Running for the first time was The King Of Fighters, more precisely The King Of Fighters '96, when the game earned a completely new system that changed the typical lack of mobility to maneuver through the screen of old games with more primitive systems of movement. Instead of only walking forward, when the player could just jump instead for added mobility in Street Fighter, the Run came into scene to complement Jumps, effectively giving a better notion of mobility that contradicts the often aerial advancement that characterized games of the past. Other games then, such as SNK's own Samurai Showdown and later Guilty Gear implemented this feature.
By Running a player can:
-Approach the opponent quickly but sticking to the ground
-Stop at any moment, with freedom to block, to do a Low Attack, an Overhead Attack, a Throw, and any other type of movement such as Jumping or Rolling to evade, retreating, etc.
-When timed well, it can be used to anticipate the opponent's movements by running and attacking (when they attack or try to jump)
-Accompained with backsteps, it can be used for zoning.
-When a player does a Jump, it can actually pass below it, end in the back of a player, and the Running character can then turn and attack the opponent in the back, successfully punishing them for jumping.
Scrub: A derogative term, mostly synonymous with "loser." It is usually used to indicate a player whose skill level is low or who is deemed to simply be unable to win. Scrubs are usually either beginners to their chosen game, players who simply lack the raw skill to succeed (though they may have a high understanding of advanced play), or players who are not willing to advance their tactics.
Members of the last group are commonly not willing to learn, not able to adapt to high-level play, and often complain about losing to "cheap" tactics.
Other types of scrubs includes people who are more interested in the aesthetics of how to play a beautiful game rather than how to play a winning game. e.g. They may lose because they are preoccupied with ending the match with a certain special move. Hence their opinion that someone who wins regardless of the tactics may be "cheap."
Short: In the Street Fighter series and related Capcom six-button fighters, a light kick.
Short Jump: A Short Jump or a Small Jump, even known sometimes as Hops is a concept characteristic of The King Of Fighters, which was introduced in The King Of Fighters '96 along with the run and the roll, later included in games such as Real Bout Fatal Fury, Street Fighter III (in the form of Universal Overheads), Garou: Mark of the wolves and Guilty Gear. A Short Jump, performed by tapping Up lightly and releasing the directional instantly, is obviously a shorter version of a normal Jump, with a lesser degree of elevation and a faster falldown. It is, in every sense, a quicker jump that allows the following:
-Elevation from the ground to evade low attacks and ground fireballs
-Because it falls faster than a normal Jump, when timed right, it can be used not only to evade but also to punish sweeps.
-Aerial rushdown due to the quicker recovery
-Faster and more effective mind games of different degrees of rhythm through alternation with Runs, Short Jumps and normal Jumps
-More safety in jumping
Shotokan Character: a.k.a. Shotoclone, or just Shoto. A character whose primary moves involve a projectile and an uppercut attack. Named after the supposed fighting style of Ryu and Ken from Street Fighter.
Six-button Fighter: A type of fighting game controls that uses punch and kick attack buttons of three different strengths, much like that of Street Fighter.
SNK Boss Syndrome: A term use to describe the abnormal level of difficulty of the bosses in certain fighting games, especially games made by SNK. Bosses suffering from SNK Boss Syndrome have these characteristics:
-Their moves have very high priority, very high damage or amount of hits, very wide range (including full-screen) and occasionally special features such as unblockability and auto-guard.
-They often have great endurance, either because of their unusually longer life bar or their defense (in that they take less damage than normal characters).
-Their speed, both in movement and in attacks, are usually above every other character in the game. One of the most well known occurrences is during the final boss fight with M. Bison in the Street Fighter series.
-Their AI pattern is usually less advanced than most normal enemies, supposedly to 'compensate' their high capability of doing damage.
The King of Fighters XI adds one more symptom to this syndrome:
Whenever a fighter hits an opponent, a pointer moves towards the attacking fighter, giving them some sort of advantage point. When a boss hits a player however, the advantage they get is far greater than the advantage taken by normal players/enemies. Since the one with greater advantage points will win upon time out, this makes beating bosses via time out in this game near impossible.
Special Move: A move is simply a fighting technique such as a kick or a throw. Each character usually has many moves, each performed by a different combination of joystick movements and/or button presses. A special move is a unique, sometimes difficult-to-perform move that often has an exaggerated or supernatural effect. The majority of the games also include super moves, powerful but costly special moves.
Startup: The time or frames it takes for a character to enter a state in which the attack actually hits after leaving its neutral state. The shorter the time, the better.
String: A sequence of attacks. Usually used to refer to strings that aren't combos. This distance (this is better known as a blockstring).
Some 2D games (or 2D game players) misuse the term when naming chain combos as strings (generally, precanned strings or canned strings).
Strong: In Street Fighter II and related Capcom six-button fighters, a medium punch or kick.
Stuffing: Stuffing an opponent's attack refers to the act of using a move to stop or beat an opponent's move, such as beating out an opponent's poke with a higher priority poke. This does not necessarily mean using a higher priority attack (for example, in The King Of Fighters, the act of using a Weak Attack to trade hits with an anti air move or in Street Fighter III Chun-Li's Houyokusen Super can be stuffed in the beginning by throwing out a very quick, low poke, such as a crouching light kick).
A temporary state of helplessness caused by taking a lot of damage quickly. The opponent is usually guaranteed a free hit. Also called daze or dizzy.
Block stun: a short frozen state after blocking a move or performing a blocked move.
Hit stun: a short frozen state after being hit.
Summon: A special command move that temporarily calls an object, character or creature onscreen that performs a variety of actions - dealing damage to the opponent, absorbing damage for the player or restoring the health of the character. Character summons are usually referred to as Assists, whereas creature and object summons are more properly thought of as projectile attacks (see Dizzy). Examples of summons can be seen throughout the fighting game world, but are more common in the SNK world where inactive characters on the player's team can be called in to assist a limited number of times per match.
Super Canceling: Super cancelling is the act of canceling a Special move into a Super Move, and it is a feature found in The King Of Fighters 99, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, Neowave and XI, original from Street Fighter EX. In The King Of Fighters, the character will flash white as soon as the cancel occurs to provide confirmation of its success.
In order to perform a super cancel, a spare level of Power Gauge energy is needed to expend. This means that super canceling into a Desperation Move or Super Desperation Move actually costs two levels of power. Also, you can only supercancel into moves that hit or are blocked: you can't supercancel from a missed attack.
In The King Of Fighters 2002 some characters can cancel uncancelable moves directly into (HS)DMs. This is not considered supercanceling, as you only lose Power Gauge levels for the (HS)DM used, and not the act of canceling. Examples include Kula and K's One Inch, Maxima's Mongolian and Blue Mary's Hammer Arch.
Also, characters with "button-press" (S)DMs (like Mary's Dynamite Swing, or May Lee's Disposition Frog) or even HSDMs, (like Mai's Kubi no Kitsune), can cancel out of any uncancelable normal attack or command attack. For example, you could cancel the 2nd hit of the Benitsuru no Mai (which is uncancelable even if canceled into) into the Kubi no Kitsune. The same would apply to Mary's far standing D canceled into the Dynamite Swing.
Super Combo and Super Combo Guage: See Combo
Super Stock: A unit of measurement in a super gauge; one or more stocks are used when performing a super move. A stock gauge is a gauge where a sometimes visual, sometimes numerical indicator exists to indicate the number of stocks collected. A levelled gauge is a gauge where a portion of the super moves gauge represents a super stock. Super stocks allow players to use super moves and other moves requiring super gauge power such as evasion, counterattacking, etc.
Survival Battle: A type of match where a player must defeat as many opponents as possible (using the same life bar) before being knocked out. In most instances, some life is recovered before the next opponent is fought.
Tag: In games that allow the player to select multiple characters at a time, Tagging refers to the act of switching between those characters mid-round. In The King Of Fighters XI, there are multiple tagging instances, such as tagging out to save your character's life (although none is recovered when he's resting), to bring in your Leader partner, to save yourself from a lenghty combo with an emergency maneuver, or to cancel one of your own attacks in the middle of the animation to bring in another character and create longer combos. Some games, such as Marvel vs Capcom 2, include some sort of attack from the tagged-in character to cover the tagged-out character's escape, while others such as Tekken Tag Tournament leave the entering and exiting characters vulnerable and require careful timing. In most games that include the tagging feature, inactive (offscreen) characters can slowly regenerate health, though this is usually limited to a section of the life bar colored red - i.e., most games will not allow an inactive character to completely regenerate all of their health. In the Dead Or Alive series, many of the throw attacks when used in Tag Mode will bring in the Tag Partner for a special, extra damaging attack involving both characters if the two have similar fighting styles. The partner who came in for the attack will then remain while the other leaves.
Taunt: A taunt (chouhatsu in Japanese) is a move that generally has little to no offensive use, its entire purpose mainly to mock your opponent. Different games, however, may have taunts that may be used in offensive situations or as tactics. Of note are many different SNK games such as the Art of Fighting series and some earlier versions of The King of Fighters, where taunting decreases your opponent's special gauge or super move gauge. In other editions of The King Of Fighters, they can be canceled into anything from normal to super moves, and are used to bait your opponent. The DBZ Budokai series uses taunts in a similar fashion, as a successful taunt deducts one Ki Gauge from the opponent. In the Strikers era, it is used to replenish one stock of your Striker's bar. Other games, such as Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, feature taunts that may give certain properties and enhancements to characters when utilized. Of note in this game is Q, whose defense increases drastically every time he taunts, maxing out at 3 taunts, thus making taunting an integral part of his gameplan. In Tekken Tag Tournament, Bryan Fury possessed a combo in which he dealt a small amount of damage with his taunt, and most of his more devastating combos in Tekken 4 begin from a taunt. Recent entries in the Mortal Kombat series feature taunts for some fighters which serve to replenish some of the fighter's health. Naruto: Ultimate Ninja gives some characters the ability to restore small amounts of health by completing a taunt as well.
Dan from the Street Fighter Zero series, is known for being both a low tier character in almost every game he is in, and for having a multitude of taunts to do in the air, ground, floor, rolling, and even as a super combo.
On the other side, Ryuji Yamazaki from the Fatal Fury and King of Fighters series has a couple of moves, one in which he first taunts the opponent, offering a free hit. When the opponent complies he or she is counter-attacked. The other one is a delayed attack that is simulates a taunt when the attack button is held.
Luigi of Super Smash Brothers also has a 'useable taunt'; his ground kick can (under extremely rare circumstances) deal a point of damage and knockback to an oncoming foe.
Kliff Undersn, a character from the Guilty Gear series, has a taunt that works as a projectile attack.
Guilty Gear also has two different forms of taunt: a standard Taunt in which the character mocks his/her opponent, and a Respect, in which the character instead compliments the opponent. The gameplay difference is that Respect can be cancelled at any time, into any move or jump (allowing Mind Games to be played if the opponent doesn't recognize it), whereas Taunt stops the character from doing anything for a few seconds.
Throws: Block-defeating moves that usually involve pressing an attack button and occasionally a direction at extremely close range. A predefined animation typically plays that ends up with the opponent taking a reasonably significant amount of damage. This can be used to punish turtlers or add to mix up. It is possible, in some games, to either minimize or negate a throw, usually done by throwing back as soon as one is thrown.
Tick Throw: Tick throwing is a technique that involves tricking your opponent into getting thrown, such as dropping your attack in the middle of a pressure string and then throwing then opponent who is still expecting to block, or using a move with low recovery and startup to force your opponent into blockstun to give them a very small gap of time in which to counteract the actual throw. Tick throwing is also often used during okizeme, where an opponent will often have to rise in a defending position and usually will not try to attack. The attacker can then simply walk forward and throw.
Command Throw: Similar to a Command Move, command throws are moves that require motion and button sequence to achieve and is usually unique to the character. These throws typically do not come out as fast as normal throws or are harder to perform (such as requiring a 360 motion), but usually either yield higher damage or the possibility for a follow up combo. To solve this problem, The King Of Fighters was the first game to introduce simple motions for throws and special throws, usually Hcf, Hcb, or for some of them that had extra properties (such as Iori's Kuzu Kaze, which leaves the opponent open to any attack after switching sides with him) with an added direction like Fwd then Hcf, Hcb then forward, or viceversa, simplifying the player's life and making them far more practical for real fights. Super versions of these moves are often the same motions twice, or sometimes completely different ones. Command throws are generally inescapable if they connect.
3D fighting games usually include a multitude of Command Throws (instead of the normal definition of Throw, above) which ARE escapable, but the complexity of the escape command required differs from game to game - in the Virtua Fighter series, for example, throw escapes are rare, whereas in the Tekken series it's often possible for a player to mash their way out of a throw.
Tier: A relative measure of a selectable character's inherent (or, sometimes through engine bugs) attributes; generally this refers to high-level play found in organized tournaments. Top Tier characters are those whose attributes are seen as the greatest, and are the characters most often used in tournaments. Low Tier characters, on the other hand, are those whose attributes are seen as the worst, and thus take the most amount of effort to be used properly to be able to win and may not even be viable in tournament play at all.
Tiger Knee: Certain aerial moves in some games can be tiger kneed. Originally what was a glitch of sorts seems to be an intentional addition to most new games. Tiger kneeing allows air moves to be performed on the ground or extremely close to it. This is done, usually, by performing the required attack motion and quickly pressing up as well as the necessary button, causing the move to go off as soon as the character leaves the ground. The term comes from Sagat, whose Tiger Knee required a Down to Up motion.
Time Killer: A player who intentionally runs down the clock for the whole round the moment a lifebar advantage is gained. No single technique is employed to play keep-away, but turtling and pressure are the two most often, and easy, ways to do this.
Time Over: Typically, players have about a minute or 99 seconds to try to knock each other out. If time runs out before one player KOs the other player, the player who has done the most overall damage wins the round. In the rare event that both fighters have the exact amount of health at Time Over, the match is usually declared a draw.
In King of Fighters XI, when a time out occurs, winner is no longer determined by amount of Life Gauge left anymore, instead, a judging system determines which party is worthy of the victory, who usually is the one doing more hits and combos. This however, is abused by the game to worsen the SNK Boss Syndrome, in that even when the bosses do minimal damage, they are immediately favoured by the judging system by leaps and bounds, thus unlike the previous King of Fighters games, beating a boss via Time Out in this game is practically impossible.
Turtling: The act of staying in a defensive stance for most or all of the match, only attacking when the opponent misses or with a reversal move. Usually done when far ahead in the match and running low on time. This strategy is generally looked down on by fighting game aficionados as it can be quite boring to watch and frustrating to fight against, but competitive fighting game aficionados pride themselves on not looking down on the use of any particular tactic, as long as it can be used to win.
Victory Symbols: Usually seen in Capcom games. Each symbol represents a different type of victory; some good, some bad. Here's a list of them:
-Cherry-Victory by weak attack (Jab or Short).
-Cheese-Victory by block damage.
-Lasso-Victory by Command Throw.
-Hourglass-Victory by Time Over.
-"C"-Victory by Chip Damage (equivalent of Cheese)
-"V"-Victory by Normal Attacks (not including weak attacks, special attacks, or throws)
-"A" (Street Fighter) -Victory by Alpha Counter
-"A" (Marvel)-Victory by Air Combo
-"S"-Victory by Special Move
-"SC"-Cheap Victory by means of Special or Super Moves (see "C" and Cheese)
-"S*"-Victory by Level 1 Super
-"S**"-Victory by Level 2 Super
-"S***"-Victory by MAX Level 3 Super
-"X"-Victory by use of X-Power (Supers in "X-Men Children of the Atom")
-Lemniscate (or Infinity Symbol) -Victory by use of Infinity Combo (Supers in "Marvel Super Heroes")
-"P" (Perfect) - This means you've taken no damage and defeated your opponent
Hand Shake-Victory by Tag Team Attack (Seen in the VS series)
Wakeup: The frames in which a character is considered to be standing up from the floor. In 2D games, the character waking up is generally invincible, as opposed to in 3D games, where characters waking up may still be vulnerable to attack.
As a corrolary to this, a wakeup game is the ability for a player (usually only in 3D fighting games) to choose how they stand up, or not at all. Such options open to the player includes: rolling towards or away from the opponent, attacking, or staying on the floor. Because 3d fighers still allow a player waking up to be attacked, wakeup games are considered vital to offset that vulnerability, as a waking character can bait and punshish an opponent who thinks they can get an extra hit in while the player is down.
Wavedash: Wavedashing is accomplished when a character successfully links one crouch dash into another, named so for the bobbing motion this produces in a player character. The primary notoriety of this technique originates from the Mishima family - Jin, Heihachi and to a lesser extent Kazuya - in Tekken Tag Tournament, where wavedashing by a skilled player using those characters was one of the more frustrating tactics to play against. Many considered the tactic almost unbeatable, as wavedashing allowed for rapidly closing on the opponent, automatically parrying most low attacks and preparing the character to unleash a lightning fast signature attack known as the Wave God Fist, a mid-hitting launcher that dealt respectable damage on its own and led into several devastating juggles. Attempting to poke a wavedashing character often resulted in failure due to the Wave Godfist's extreme speed and priority, and attempting to simply block it would usually result in being tripped (All Mishima characters have some variation or other of the Hell Sweep from a crouch dash). Blocking low to block the trip would leave the defending player vulnerable to the Wave Godfist. All of this combined to make the wavedash a very rapid mindgame that was difficult to counter. Other characters in the Tekken series have proven to be capable of limited wavedashing through complicated (and often glitchy) commands that most likely weren't intended by the programmers, but none of these come close to the effectiveness of the Mishima Wavedash. Since Tekken Tag, most of the Mishima characters no longer possess the ability to abuse the crouch dash system.
A form of wavedashing is possible in Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Weapons Fighter: A fighting game where most or all characters have weapons, and there are gameplay rules that involve these weapons (such as how to disarm and rearm weapons). The first high-profile example of this was the Samurai Spirits series, but the more common modern example is Soul Calibur, as all of the fighters are armed with melee weapons
Whiff: A move that misses the opponent completely. Sometimes used intentionally to bait an opponent or to build super meter.
Wire: In recent King of Fighters game, some attacks which hit a fighter hard enough can make the victim fly straight onto the 'wall' and get bounced, ripe for follow-up attacks. This is called wiring. Most wire attacks are usually counter-wires, in that if the attack hits an enemy as a counter-attack, wire effect will occur, otherwise, the opponent will merely be thrown far away.
Zoning: Zoning is a tactic in 2D fighters usually used at mid-range or far mid-range, the purpose of which is to out-prioritize your enemy's moves. The idea is to space yourself so that you are in a position to respond to or punish any entry angle or attack of your opponent's. Ideally, you can use certain pokes and attacks to beat your opponent's attacks, punish his advances or jumps, and hopefully shut down his offensive options, while landing hits. In attempting to zone, it is important to know the properties of your own attacks as well as the attacks of your opponent, in order to find the best move to use in countering your opponent's move. The ability to predict your opponent's next move, and having good reflexes to react to that move, are also important.