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Fighting Games’ Most Infamous Combos, Round 1

There are many things that make a fighting game but there’s no doubt that the one aspect that really draws attention are the combos. The scene has greatly evolved in the past ten years and so have the combos that inhabit the genre’s many titles, but only a select few are made common practice. The following are only a fraction of the nebula of combos that have been popular in the last decade of hardcore play (with accompanying video links).

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Game: Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3
Character: Kung Lao
Combo: Kung Lao Infinites

Yes, for those of you who didn’t know, MK has infinites and the MK community still plays UMK3 to this day as it is the only tournament worthy title in the franchise. There are various infinites for the game’s third best, but usually to start things off perform his special spin as an anti-air at midscreen, jump high kick then immediately dive kick to hit the ground ASAP, standing high punch, jump high kick to dive kick, standing high punch, repeat to corner, then spin, jump straight up with high kick, land and spin, repeat to death.

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Game: Marvel vs Capcom 2
Character: Magneto
Combo: The Rom

A number of MvC2 experts will tell you that the guy who lands the first hit wins the match. They’re usually referring to Magneto. Named after the player who discovered this infinite, there are a number of variations in doing it but the most basic one involves performing a launch, super jump into heavy kick, chase after the opponent with diagonal air dash and immediately bust out two light kicks, land, super jump and immediately again bust out two light kicks, then diagonal air dash into two more light kicks, land, you get the idea. At high level play, experts utilize assists in the mix along with air throwing to keep the damage fresh.

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Game: Capcom Vs SNK 2
Character: M.Bison, a.k.a. Vega, a.k.a. Dictator
Combo: Paint The Fence

Within about 1-2 months after its release, this combo was discovered by veteran Japanese player, D44Bas. Bison must be played in A-Groove, the custom combo mode, to do this. The combo is scary not just because of damage but because it can be set up from any point on the screen. Once you have the opponent in your custom combo grasp, you must carry your victim to the corner, if not already, then repeatedly juggle with Bison’s heavy punch version Psycho Banish and perform a super right before the meter runs out. The catch is that the Psycho Banish involves a dragon punch motion and you need to bust it out continuously at a steady pace but it’s the only way to ensure that all five hits of the slash will land each rep thus keeping the person in the air. Guess how the combo got its nickname.

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Game: Tekken Series
Character: Mishima characters
Combo: EWGF Combos

There’s Wind God Fist that’s performed by doing forward, neutral, down, down/forward, right punch. Then there’s the Electric version, same command, but the moment the stick hits the diagonal and the moment you press right punch must happen at the EXACT same time, otherwise the EWGF will not come out. T3 and Tag demanded a faster input. If your character’s upper torso and fist is covered in lightning while letting out a special scream, pat yourself on the back, you did it. Among the reasons to use it is the fact that it’s faster, more damaging, safe on block, and instant recovery on hit allowing access to a number of damaging combos. If you plan to compete in any of the current Tekken games, and looking to play as a Mishima, it is not only imperative that you learn this move but be able to execute it consistently. Otherwise, consider using someone else.

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Game: Guilty Gear X2/Guilty Gear X2 #Reload
Character: Sol Badguy
Combo: Dust Loop

Debatably the biggest crowd upsetting combo in X2. How the combo is performed depends on where you are on the screen, which character you are fighting against, and how you set it up but regardless it will end up with Sol bouncing the opponent around repeatedly in midair at the corner with the Dust attack. Despite the nickname, this is not an infinite as eventually the opponent will stray so once you near this point finish with an airborne Volcanic Viper to Knockdown. Compared to the other characters’ top-level combos, this is actually the easiest to learn hence why it tends to garner quite a bit of hate, let alone how it inclines to irritate even onlookers as they have to hear Sol constantly scream “DEYA” while being subjected to watch one of history’s most boring and abused combos. Funny thing is, in an attempt to “balance” things out, Arc Sys released #Reload but the Dust Loop still existed.

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Game: Street Fighter Alpha 3
Character: Akuma
Combo: V-ism OTG custom

This combo looks just as bad ass as it is damaging. From midscreen, Akuma will bounce the opponent into the corner using a combination of demon flip kicks to carry the person and landing with standing fierce punch to keep the enemy in midair. Though there are a multitude of ways to start the combo, one of the most intriguing involves activating custom, sweep, demon flip onto the fallen opponent, pick him off the ground (OTG), then carry on with first degree murder. Moral of the story, Raging Demon is overrated.

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Game: Street Fighter IV/Super Street Fighter IV
Character: Ryu
Combo: Shoryuken FADC Ultra

Viral footage of Daigo Umehara discovering this combo during testing caused many gamers to add it amongst the things they wish to accomplish before they die. This essential combo is truly self-rewarding as you need to be relaxed yet quick in executing the shoryuken, then quickly hold down mid punch and mid kick to cancel into focus, immediately dash and release the aforementioned buttons, then fire off the Metsu Hadoken. Remember, you need at least two stocks of super meter to perform the cancel. Also worth noting is the fact that even if your opponent blocks the shoryuken and you have the meter, you can still Focus Attack Dash Cancel to spare yourself some misery and attempt to psyche out your opponent for momentum. Example: throw.

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Game: Blazblue Series
Character: Iron Tager
Combo: Magnetism Combos

You gotta love it when an underdog proves everyone wrong. In this case, it’s Iron Tager, your typical grappler who suffers the common flaws of being a large, slow moving target. His solution however comes in the form of D button moves that magnetizes opponents on contact, whether it’s hit or blocked. Once you’ve magnetized your opponent it’s time to bring the pain. D moves will then suck people in, but more importantly using his anti-air grab, Atomic Collider, will really attract making for some interesting combos. Magnetized opponents are also susceptible in being drawn into his A version 360 grab, his supers, and even his instant kill. Mr. Tager said it best: “Don’t put down science.”

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Game: Hokuto No Ken
Character: Toki
Combo: Instant Death Combos

HNK is profound madness. It’s not just the crazy air juggles, but the fact that many of the instant death moves are easily accessible. Once you’ve emptied your opponent’s Seven Stars of the Hokuto meter with certain attacks, you can pull off an instant kill move. For people like Toki, you can do it as a combo finisher thus ending a match almost immediately. Even more ridiculous is the fact that his instant kill is a beam that covers the entire screen’s width and even hits opponents when they’re lying down.

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Game: Street Fighter 3 Third Strike
Character: Yun
Combo: Genei Jin

Arguably the #1 crowd pleaser in fighting game history. The Genei Jin is a super that grants Yun the ability to perform custom combos. However, unlike custom combos in other Capcom fighters, it does not provide the benefit of initial invincibility so anticipating an attack and activating custom to go through it will not work. Furthermore, there are only 2-3 ways of comboing into its activation which are rare in opportunity and the combos you can pull off greatly vary depending on your opponent’s size and weight class. No doubt, Genei Jin is one of the most difficult party tricks to master. So what do you do? Be fearless.

Once the meter is full you must activate the super, preferably when you’re reasonably close to your opponent or after knocking them over. Given that the super gives a significant increase in speed and priority, this usually causes opponents to freeze up in panic making it ideal to sneak in low attacks or Yun’s special side switch grab. From there it’s up to you to incorporate all the knowledge you have of character specific combos and making the best out of whatever meter you have left to deal the most damage. The true skills of a Yun player is measured by how well one improvises. Additionally, the Genei Jin’s super meter is small making it rather easy to build and exploit.

The author of this fine article

is a Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in August 2010. Get in touch on Twitter @S_Chyou.

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