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The position, or state, of your character will change the options available to you. The most common positions are standing and crouching. Less common are back turned and side turned. In addition, more subtle classification of character positions is the relative foot position of you and your opponent -- closed stance and open stance.
Standing is sometimes used to also describe the state of the opponent's attack. For example, Jacky's is a standing attack, whereas his is a crouching attack. The distinction matters in the sense that crouching attacks go under high attacks.
Neutral crouching - The simplest way to crouch from standing position is by holding , or . This method of crouching requires 7 frames for a character to be considered crouching. Thus, at certain frame disadvantages (for example, at -6 frames), you will be unable to avoid an opponent's high throw by simply crouching.
Defensive crouching - by holding plus , or you will be able to avoid standard high and other high attacks in non-guaranteed damage situations. However, this method to crouch from standing position is still unable to avoid high throws at large disadvantage situations.
Crouch dashing - a dash that recovers in a crouch position performed by (forward crouch dash) or (backward crouch dash). A forward crouch dash takes 5 frames to crouch from standing, while backward crouch dash takes 6 frames.
When Side Turned, it takes 3 frames before you can guard or evade.Characters can also be side turned (standing or crouching). There are very few moves that leave the opponent side turned; you will most often be in a side turned situation after certain successful attacks or throws, when the opponent DMs or OMs certain attacks, or after a throw escape situation.
When side turned, it takes 3 frames to be able to face forward and guard, or evade. Therefore when you have +12 advantage on a side turned situation, 15 frame attacks (or faster) will connect if the opponent simply attempts to guard or evade. Throws against a sideturned opponent will come out as side throws, regardless of the command used.
When Back Turned, it takes 5 frames before you can guard or evade.Being Back Turned (commonly abbreviated as BT) refers to when a character is turned away from the opponent with his or her back facing the opponent. The character can be back turned standing or crouching but you cannot guard while remaining BT.
All characters have special attacks from BT stance. For example, El Blaze has a quick middle kick from BT that will crumple the opponent on counter hit. This kick is available only while BTed and often denoted by BT .
There is no universal way to get to BT stance. Some characters have attacks that will recover BT, while others don't. There are also attacks, throws, and throw escapes that can result in the opponent recovering in a BT situation.
Listed below are common BT actions shared by all the characters and unique to characters in the back turned position.
- Turn Around, Standing Guard: defend against high and mid attacks; at certain disadvantages, unable to defend against fast attacks.
- Turn Around, Crouching Guard: defend against low attacks; avoid high attacks in non-guaranteed damage situations; avoid high throws up to -5 frames disadvantage.
- Crouch: remains back-turned; very unsafe; avoid high attacks in non-guaranteed damage situations; avoid high throws up to -5 frames disadvantage.
- BT or
- Side Step, Turn Around: a relatively unsafe way to turn around; you cannot successfully evade attacks when back-turned.
- Walk Away: remains back-turned; limited ARM available while back-turned; you are not allowed to go in the or direction while back-turned.
- Side Step: remains back-turned; extremely unsafe; limited ARM available while back-turned.
- Turn Around, Forward Dash: Non-buffered.
- Forward Dash, Turn Around: Non-buffered.
- Turn Around, Forward Crouch Dash: avoid high attacks.
- Forward Crouch Dash, Turn Around: takes 6 frames to crouch; avoids high throws up to -6 frames disadvantage; at certain disadvantages, avoid high attacks.
- BT (buffered)
- Back Dash: remains back-turned; can be repeated multiple times to close distance with opponent while remaining back-turned.
- BT (buffered)
- Backward Crouch Dash: remains back-turned; takes 8 frames to crouch; avoid high attacks in non-guaranteed damage situations; can be repeated multiple times to close distance with opponent while remaining back-turned.
An important note about Back Turned commands:
The directional arrows are assumed from Player 1's perspective, and always refer to the direction the character is facing. So is always the forward direction. By default, the forward direction is toward the opponent. But when Back Turned, the forward direction (still represented as ) is away from the opponent. So a command such as BT is input as right, right for Player 1.
In every Virtua Fighter game, the relation of each player's foot position would be collectively known as the stance. This is also known as "foot stance" or "foot position".
Stances can be one of two types:
Closed Stance refers to the case where each player has the same foot forward.
The term "Closed Stance" originated from a reference to door positions. If you imagine a line connecting Player 1's feet, and another line connecting Player 2's feet, then the two lines would look like // or \\ resembling a closed door when viewed from above.
Open Stance refers to the case where each player has an opposing foot forward.
The term "Open Stance" originated from a reference to door positions. If you imagine a line connecting Player 1's feet, and another line connecting Player 2's feet, then the two lines would look like /\ or \/ resembling an open door when viewed from above.
Application of Stance(top)
There are two main applications of stance within the VF system:
- Effect on Combos
- Evading Half Circular Attacks
Effect on Combos(top)
Regardless of whether the player is standing, crouching, jumping, being launched in the air, slammed to the ground, and even when knocked down, they will always maintain a stance.
In other words, no matter what the situation, the two players will always be in either a closed or open stance.
So consider 2P standing with their left foot forward. If 2P is then launched, then their left foot will be higher and closer to the opponent than their right foot. From 1P's perspective, this means it'll be easier to hit 2P with attacks that initiate from the right.
In fact, some combos are only possible when you're in a particular stance due to the properties of the attack(s) used in relation to the opponent's foot position.
Evading Half Circular Attacks(top)
In the VFDC Command Lists, the Evade column shows the direction an attack may be evaded, if at all. For Half Circular attacks it's either "back", or "front"; for Linear attacks it's "both"; and for Full Circular attacks it's "-".This has less to do with your foot position, and more to do with your opponent's. As the name suggests, Half Circular attacks will strike within the semi-circular space either side of the attacker's body. Since a player's stance has one foot leading the other, then each side of the body can be referenced as either the "front" (also referred to as stomach), or "back". These areas are indicated in the figure below:
As can be seen, if Player 1 Akira evades with , then he'll be evading towards Player 2 Akira's "back".
The following sequence shows Kage successfully evading the opposing Kage's attack. This spinning heel kick is a Half Circular attack -- Kage spins around his back side so the correct direction to evade is toward Kage's front side with the command.
After a successful evade, you expose your opponent's side from which you can usually mount an offensive.
In Final Showdown, getting hit with a Half Circular attack during an evade will result in a Counter Hit (CH). Continuing with the example above, Player 1 Kage attempts to evade toward the opposing Kage's back side with the command, and gets Counter Hit in the process.
Many of these types of attacks often yield good reward on CH, such as crumple or launch. So, if you suspect that your opponent will use a particular half circular in a certain situation, you'll want to evade in the opposite direction. That is, if the half circular attack comes from the opponent's stomach side, then you'll want to evade toward their back side.
For most beginners, being able to check the stance can be quite difficult. It's not something you would normally do in most other fighting games, so this skill is unique to the Virtua Fighter series could take some getting used to. Some may think they need to watch foot stance constantly throughout the game, but in actual fact this is not necessary. Since the major application of stance is in combos, or evading half circulars, then you only really need to check stance the moment you need to. Since the subject of evading half circulars has already been covered, this section will focus on stance checking after a launch or knockdown (i.e. for combos).
In short, you should always check stance after the launcher. There are some signs to look for, some more obvious than others, that reveals the stance and will be covered in detail below. However, there's a school of thought that recommends you check the stance before the launch, but this is arguably more difficult than checking after the launch, and here are a couple of reasons why:
- Combos are stance dependent, not launchers: It's the actual combo itself, and not the starting move, that's dependent on stance. You may have a combo that only connects against an airborne opponent in Open Stance. However, you can start this combo with either Launcher X or Launcher Y - but - Launcher Y actually changes your player's foot position during the move. Therefore, it's easier to think of the combo being an "Open Stance Combo" for either launcher, provided you just check the stance after the launch. Otherwise, the same combo would be an "Open Stance Combo" for Launcher X, and a "Closed Stance Combo" for Launcher Y, and that doesn't make a lot of sense.
- Your opponent: Given that there are moves which change the player's foot position, you just might interrupt your opponent who suddenly changed their foot position, but it was too quick for you to see. If you were relying on the stance before the launch, then you'd be relying on incorrect information. On a related note, sometimes your opponent is transitioning from Side Turned, Back Turned, or a fighting stance, making it difficult to determine the stance before the launch.
Stance Check during Flop(top)
A Flop is a hit effect that slowly launchers the opponent up into the air before the come crashing down, legs flopping back over their head before coming back down to rest. The main reason for checking stance during a Flop is that some combos require an Offensive Move (OM) toward the opponent's back.
The figure below illustrates the Flop during Closed Stance (top row) and Open Stance (bottom row). The opponent's leading leg is highlighted in each case, and you can see that it maintains this leading position during the majority of the Flop animation. As you should know by now, the leading leg is in the direction of the opponent's back.
Stance Check during Slam(top)
A Slam is a hit effect that knocks the opponent hard into the ground, with their legs flopping back over their head before coming back down to rest. Slams can be considered a much faster version of a flop, so you'll have less time to check the opponent's feet in relation to yours.
The figure below illustrates the Slam during Closed Stance (top row) and Open Stance (bottom row).
You might notice from the first two frames in the figures below, that once the opponent hits the ground it can be difficult to tell the stance. However, for most Slam combos (and Flop combos too) you can check the stance after the next attack, like a standing as shown in the third frame below:
So after the standing , you check the stance, and proceed as required!
Stance Check after the Knockdown(top)
The main purpose for checking stance after a knockdown is for evading half circular rising attacks. The VFDC Command Lists indicate the direction the rising kick can be evaded, if at all.When the opponent is knocked down, lying flat on their back or stomach, it can be difficult to identify which direction is toward the opponent's back or front side, but there are some subtle signs to look for.
The figure below illustrates the opponent being knocked down in Closed Stance (top row) and Open Stance (bottom row).
Your combined stance (Closed or Open) doesn't actually matter. The only thing we care about is finding out which direction is toward the opponent's back or front side. The first two frames show the standing and launch positions with the opponent's leading leg highlighted, i.e. the direction to their back side.
Now look at the opponent lying on the floor. There are three key signs to look for:
- The opponent's head is facing toward the back side.
- The opponent's feet are angled toward the back side.
- The opponent's body, due one knee higher than the other, is generally angled toward the back side.
In Japanese, different terms are used for denoting stance.
Closed stance in Japanese is 平行, pronounced Heikō and means "parallel". If you imagine one line drawn between the player's feet and another line between the opponent's, then diagrammatically Closed stance looks like // or \\. That is, the lines are parallel, and hence the term.
Open stance in Japanese is 八の字, pronounced Hachinoji and means "figure of eight". Again, if you imagine the lines for Open stance, they could look like /\ or \/. In Japanese, /\ looks like the Japanese character for the number eight (八 - Hachi), hence the term.
The term stance can also used when referring to a unique fighting stance, or style, available some characters. Usually, the word stance will be used in conjunction with the name of the stance or style. For example, Pai has a Bokutai stance from which she can perform unique attacks.
Once in the fighting stance, a character cannot use their normal attacks, but a new set of attacks now become available. Characters also cannot guard while in these special stances.
Lei Fei's , , and are examples of these unique stances. When Lei Fei is Dokuritsu Shiki () he can perform a heavy hitting mid kick with .
Otherwise, a performed normally would produce a high circular kick. Full details for a character's fighting stance can be found in the VFDC Command Lists.