So I finally decided to release this thing. Let me start off by covering what this video is:
To me, the majority of people who do combo videos do them because they find something worth showing and create a video around their favorite moments. I think I fall into that category, and so this video contains everything I think is cool. Also, I really enjoy editing video and syncing it to music I like. The synergy between the clips and music when everything lines up is its own end that I feel makes these projects worthwhile.
Seven years ago, I was sure that I'd never do this kind of thing again, but I was wrong. The main reason I had decided to stop was because I didn't feel like putting in that much time and effort into using programmable controllers anymore. Although I was happy with Variable Atmosphere 2, I wanted to pursue other things in life and step away from the fighting game scene altogether.
After some time went by, I met and began to talk with a combo maker from Japan by the name of Izumojin. He told me how it's possible to use a Playstation 2 emulator with re-records and save states to create MvC2 content. He showed me how it worked and mentioned that I should do content again if I wanted to.
I think it was the right place and time for me then, so I decided to try to do something with it. I saw how easy it made the content-creation process and decided to pursue the ideas I had back in 2010. At first, I didn't think I'd end up making a video like this; I was just enjoying creating individual clips without having to spend days on one of them.
I'm really happy with the video and for the longest time I wasn't planning on releasing it; I guess I changed my mind on that too (I finished it in 2015, and then changed it in 2016). I wanted to say thanks to basically everyone who made MvC2 content in the past. This kind of thing wouldn't have been possible without everyone's contributions.
MP4s & BGM
Chaos Dimension Combo Movie
MP4 File | Youtube Link
Duration: ~ 45 minutes
File Size: ~2.6 GB
Date of Completion: 10/2015 & 01/2017
||Blast from the Past
||Romancing Saga 3: Magical Tank Battle
||Falcom Sound Team jdk
||The Legend of Heroes: Zero no Kiseki Super Arrange Version
||Touhou Arrange: Dream Express
||Falcom Sound Team jdk
||The Legend of Heroes: Zero no Kiseki Super Arrange Version
|| Inevitable Struggle
||Tales of Graces F: Battle Remix
||Blast Wind: Ultimate Destroyer
||Falcom Sound Team jdk
||The Legends of Heroes:
Sen no Kiseki
Super Arrange Version
|Don't be Defeated by a Friend!
||Falcom Sound Team jdk
||Ys vs. Sora no Kiseki Alternative Saga Collective Music Files
||Touhou Kaikidan: Plastic Mind
||Falcom Sound Team jdk
||Ys Seven Original Soundtrack
||Desert of Despair
Chaos Dimension Extra
MP4 File | Youtube Link
Duration: ~ 6 hours 30 minutes
File Size: 6.3 GB
Unused Videos BGM
|Falcom Sound Team jdk
||The Legend of Heroes: Sen no Kiseki Super Arrange Version
||Tie a Link of ARCUS!
||Blast from the Past
||Thunder Force IV: Metal Squad
|Falcom Sound Team jdk
||The Legend of Heroes: Sen no Kiseki Super Arrange Version
|Falcom Sound Team jdk
||The Legend of Heroes: Zero no Kiseki Super Arrange Version
||The Darkness Nova
|Falcom Sound Team jdk
||The Legend of Heroes: Sen no Kiseki Super Arrange Version
Chaos Dimension - Combo Movie: Notes
Music & Trailer
The majority of the music was suggested to me by Izumojin. With this kind of thing, I wasn't going to edit the video unless I had the right music. So in order to go through with it, I listened to a lot of different stuff. I also wanted the video to have a similar sound throughout the whole thing, so that made it harder.
Izumojin showed me "Don't Be Defeated by a Friend" by Falcom Sound Team as a sample of what type of music to use and I instantly loved it. It went well with S.S.H., which I've always liked since I first heard it in Satsujin 2. A year after, Izumojin showed me one of Stone McKnuckle's songs, Full Metal Goddess, and I decided to use some of his songs for my video. In fact, I decided to make a trailer because I liked Full Metal Goddess so much.
It was fun to create a trailer since I could go overboard with the presentation of the content. Also, I thought it'd be cool to use scrapped clips for the trailer and have it be a surprise when people saw the main video. Anyway I really like the song, but after about 2 minutes I didn't know what to do, so I just ended the video. Outside of the credits and release date, I didn't know what to mention. The trailer didn't feel like the right place to say how long the video was, or that it had like 220 clips in it.
Chaos Dimension Trailer
MP4 File | Youtube Link
Duration: ~ 2 minutes
File Size: 157 MB
Date of Completion: 08/2017
BGM: Stone McKnuckle - Full Metal Goddess
Magical Tank Battle
The first song is a remix of Magical Tank Battle from Variable Atmosphere 1. When I heard it, I knew that it was going to be the first song in the video. Variable Atmosphere 1 was special to me because that was around the time I started to really enjoy situational clips over everything else. I had a lot of fun creating the content in that video, and the song brought back good memories.
It was hard to decide on the first clip to use for the video, very hard. I wasn't sure on what to do until I heard the song a few more times. I thought the very beginning was just setting up the part at around 30 seconds. To me, that was the most memorable part of the song. So when that part came up again, I thought that a situational clip was the best way to go.
I liked the Ken-Cammy clip 'cause it has a lot of stuff going on, and it looks cool. Thats what I like the most about MvC2: how it can be controlled-craziness; a lot of stuff can be going on and it all looks chaotic, but it's actually controlled with super-precise inputs.
That made me think about how I had a hard time trying to come up with a name for the video - Variable Atmosphere. I was trying to think of two words that conveyed what I just mentioned about MvC2 being controlled-craziness. In a way, the perfect name was there the whole time -- Chaos Dimension. It's one of Shuma-Gorath's moves, and it's part of a bug that allows crazy stuff to happen. I'm happy the name "Chaos Dimension" wasn't used until this video since I think this one better-captures what I wanted to do in 2007.
Most of the Dreamcast bug clips stem from an idea Jadon Brown found a long time ago. This was my favorite result.
I may have mentioned it before, but Jadon Brown's Combo Exhibition # 2 was one of the first MvC2 combo videos I ever saw -- and it was the video that inspired me to try to make my own videos. To me, that video had everything I thought was cool about MvC2.
During that time I remember watching Meikyousisui 5 as well and thinking that it was really cool, but not getting the same feeling I got from Jadon's video. That was probably the first sign that what I thought was cool was not what Joo did. Personal tastes just don't align sometimes; which is kind of interesting 'cause we both had a unique interest, yet we carried it out in different ways.
Though our styles clashed, we both liked to try and retry stuff 'til we got something cool. The difference is that he usually found frame data first, and then made a combo from it. I usually had a broad idea in my head, and then went about trying stuff over and over to fine-tune it.
The Magneto HK-Throw bug was one of the last things about MvC2 I wanted to figure out. I ended up finding it when I did the new Magneto reset video, which was well-after the first version of Chaos Dimension. Anyway, the bug is explained in the Battle Remix section.
The Wolverine-Anakaris No-Damage sequence was probably my favorite part of the first video because of how it came together with the editing. It's really awesome seeing cool stuff go with cool music. I think that's the feeling I got from Jadon Brown's video, and it's most likely what got me into doing these videos in the first place.
Anyway, the song needed a fast clip and I remember trying a bunch of stuff to get it to feel right. When I finally got it working, everything seemed to just click all at once. I remember thinking that I knew for sure that I wanted to complete the whole endeavor in that moment. I don't know, it feels like it reminded me of how fun this stuff can be, and I remembered why I loved doing these videos again.
The clip with Bison wave-dashing away from Servbot went through some changes. I'd used another character at first, but then chose Bison 'cause it could mirror something I did in Variable Atmosphere 1 where he did his Kneepress Nightmare on Silver Samurai to kill him.
I liked referencing some of my favorite things from older videos, either mine or others'. I don't know if it's strange to do that, but some stuff is really cool and I wanted to show it in a different way, or revisit the idea with the PS2 emulator. Some clip ideas and even the editing from the past really stuck with me. In fact, my trailer's credits copied the grid animation from Satsujin 2. I've always liked how cool it looked, and I wanted to try to do something like it for my trailer.
The last clip uses an idea that Izumojin gave me in 2014 around the time I edited his MCE2014 video. This was one of those clips where almost every single input on every single frame had to be correct or it wouldn't work..
This is part of the combo played back at 10 frames per second. It's possible to see every hit this way, but it's still kind of fast:
I knew from the beginning that I'd have to make videos with different themes because of all the content I had. So for this one, I wanted to introduce the extended-situational clips that got broken up. Some clips were really long, and so I had to figure out which parts best-fit the music.
The reason I was able to do so much stuff is because of how easy the PS2 emulator made it. It lets you test and see results without having to repeat the setups every time. You can also pause and recall any moment in time; and then when you play it back, it'll work 'cause there's no frame skipping or randomness to worry about.
Having assists interact with the point characters was something that took forever to get right 'cause it requires frame-perfect movement and timing from both controllers. Although it was possible, it was always hard to get perfect, so I didn't use it much.
The combo with Magneto vs. Chun-Li is something that I wanted to talk about because it contained a special kind of FSD setup:
The Magnetic Tempest rock that hits Chun-Li sets Flying Screen -- which is not supposed to happen. Chun-Li was captured by the Hyper-Grav after the Shockwave hit, and then shook out early. She then got hit by the Tempest during the time that the Hyper-Grav would have still been holding on to her. A way to imagine it is: if the Hyper-Grav stun is 100 frames, and Chun-Li shakes out at 50, there's still another 50 frames of stun left. In this case, she got hit before the Hyper-Grav's total time ran out, so Flying Screen was set by the Tempest.
I had this idea in mind for Variable Atmosphere 2 in 2010. However, since it was predicated on so much randomness, I didn't go through with it. It was very hard to get it to work just once, so instead I used the combo where Magneto did the overhead wave on Chun-Li after the Shockwave.
I feel like this video was the first one to really show what's possible when you can manipulate luck. In a way, that's what the clip at the beginning where Magneto combos 5 Tempests in a row was meant to represent. The clip kind of shows that luck wasn't going to be an issue at all anymore.
To be honest, it took a while for me to appreciate just how much stuff was possible with the emulator. After years of doing combos with controllers on a Dreamcast, it shaped the way I approached the game for ideas. So over time, I realized that randomness-based content could be its own subset of ideas; and that it's pretty much in every part of the game.
Also, some bugs from the past could be explored to the point where it was possible to get unique combos or results from their setups. The clip where Cable did a ground Hyper Viper Beam to kill a full-life Ruby Heart was an example of what you could do by manipulating luck. That bug was originally shown in MIkeZ's second bug video, but I was curious to see if the AHVB could kill a full life character by mashing it just right.
Videos like these are all about including stuff you like to see; there's no objective mandate of what should go in a combo video. So as a result, some things were included simply because I liked them aesthetically, or just thought they were cool for some reason. In a way, it feels like a bad reason to include something, but I don't think I engaged in that too much.
I ended up having about 220 clips in the video, and around 300 that weren't used. Some of those 300 clips were ideas that weren't technical; they were just aesthetically cool or something. As the whole video developed in editing, I started to replace those clips with better ideas or better-executed clips.
I'm not 100% sure what my criteria is: I know I can say that every single clip has a reason for being there, but it's not always because of its technical merit. It feels like it's a balance of technical stuff, as well as stuff I just find cool.
I think my criteria came from watching videos a long time ago. For instance, Mike Z and Joo's content: their main thing was to show cool stuff they liked, but they also went out of their way to try to include new findings. As a result, I felt like that was the correct way to make videos while I was growing up. I tried to keep a high bar for the situational stuff I did, but it also changes with time. In this case, I was able to make better content over all because of the emulator; but some stuff was still left in the video just because I liked it.
The Sentinel combo was inspired by Izumojin's 2014's Marvel Exhibition video. There was a Charlie combo that used Magneto's assist to bring Cable back down from the top of the screen. After seeing it, I thought about the other ways to do the 2-character glitch and had the idea of using Spider-Man. I thought it'd be cool since he can put the dummy back into standing position.
I remember this combo was way longer, but I trimmed it down to fit the editing. The combo's main idea was the Spider-Man assist, so the rest wasn't as important. I just wanted to show the viewer the top of the screen at the end, so I did an air combo all the way up.
I've mentioned before that my favorite clip in Variable Atmosphere 2 was Spiral-Doom -- so I wanted to redo it using the emulator to see what could happen. It was hard coming up with an ending since I had the goal to have both characters die at the end. It went through about 2 or 3 changes 'til I decided on something I liked. I made it harder for myself by trying to get the timing to the music's end as well. Having both characters die sequentially to the beat of the music felt like a cool way to end it, so I tried to match it in editing.
As I kept creating content, I started to try more Dreamcast stuff -- that's how I ended up figuring out what doesn't work on the PS2. In a way, it's a good thing because it forced me to try to use something else other than the old stuff I knew. However, it's still disappointing 'cause there's lots of Dreamcast-only bugs I wish I could test with the emulator.
The main one was the Shuma combo vs Sentinel with Dhalsim. This combo idea is from Jadon Brown's bug video. It's my favorite bug for some reason. it looks so crazy, and it's actually possible to use it for a combo. However it's really hard, and I wish I could have used the emulator to explore it. Unfortunately, the PS2 version crashes during the setup.
The Spiral & Strider dead body combo was me revisiting the Spiral DBC on Hulk from VA2. This combo idea is a good example of save states being incredibly time-saving when doing stuff. Originally this was longer, but I trimmed it down in order to time it to the music.
Something kind of interesting that happened as a result of being able to create content so easily: at first, a lot of clips were extended for no creative reason. Since it's so easy to create content, it was something that I had to learn to not do. However if I did add stuff to a clip, I would make sure not to show it in the video. So in some cases, the unedited clips are a lot longer than expected since they were cut in editing.
After a while, I learned to just step away from an idea for days, weeks, and even months since I wasn't in a hurry to finish it. It was kind of cool to approach the video this way 'cause sometimes I'd have a different outlook on a clip after not looking at it for a while.
On the other hand, sometimes I wanted to finish something, but couldn't. I guess you can't rush this kind of thing since you can't just will something into existence; it's kind of like writer's block, I guess. But since I was able to do this video in a very slow and methodical pace, I feel like the quality of the content was properly developed. I won't say that each clip is the best possible rendition of its idea, but I feel good about the overall quality of the content because of how much time I spent redoing some of it.
A long time ago after finishing Joo's DVD, I saw this image of a triangle with one thing written on each corner. It said, "Time, Quality, Quantity -- pick two". It's impossible to do good stuff quickly -- if you rush it, it's inevitable that the quality will suffer. It really resonated with me, and it's something that I always remembered.
This video had a lot of shorter ideas thrown in to match the music. In general I feel like there's two types of content, short but interesting, or long and technical. I think for this one, the song called for shorter clips, or long ones that were faded in and out. I threw in some of the clips that I liked for aesthetic reasons into this video. They went well with the song and were kind of a break from the other content.
I've always liked the VA1 credits because of the 3D animation that Digital Gypsy made. The training mode stage is pretty much my take on MvC2. Exhibition content is what I like about the game, and these videos are something that I'm proud of.
Once I started to get used to the PS2 emulator, I played around with the idea of making another Magneto Reset video. It was the first thing I created when I received my first programmable controller from Joo in 2004. I basically started off doing Magneto reset videos -- and I felt like doing another one with the emulator would make sense.
At first, it started off as a quick project just to show resets I had in mind for a while. But after finishing it, I basically re-did the entire thing once I set out to make the content more technically-meaningful. So during the revision, I ended up squeezing more out of every second in the song. That is, I tried to squeeze in as many unblockables and ideas in every clip as I could within the song's time-frame. In some cases, the editing beats in the song dictated the amount of content that I could fit into a clip.
It was weird, only after finishing the video did I get ideas on how to improve it. I ended up re-watching it and thinking of spots where I could improve the quality here and there; and that grew into a big list of things after a while. At some point, I thought that Magneto was a good character to show the game's engine and unblockables; but it was just strange that I didn't have any of that in mind when I set out to do this video.
The HK-throw bug was one of the last things I found while doing content for this video. I figured I had every type of clip I wanted to use -- that the only thing missing was the HK-throw bug. Using it as the centerpiece of a reset felt like an emphatic period to the whole thingo; it felt like I finally lived up to the expectations I had 12 years ago of making a cool video.
A quick side note: the song's name, "Battle Remix" ended up being well-suited for the video. For a while, I didn't even know the name of the song because it was in Japanese and the title just said F+ToG. I found out that it's an original track that takes its inspiration from the game "Tales of Graces F". Anyway, I really like this song and it just happened to fit with the video as a whole since it never really slowed down enough to disrupt the pace. My favorite part of the song ended up coalescing with my favorite clip where Magneto throws Sentinel upward.
I wanted to write a bunch of technical notes for this since it has the explanation video to accompany it. I guess the idea is that I wanted to have the technical stuff explained in one video. Lots of it is applicable elsewhere, so it's not just for the Magneto video.
Frame Skipping | PS2-Only Phenomena
Unblockable Types | Magneto | Universal Unblockables| Pausing During Unblockables
HK-Throw Bug | Hyper-Grav
Airdash Momentum | Autoblock | Blocking Into a Super Jump | Corners | Hitboxes | Hitstop | Randomness | Same-Frame Flashes | Standing & Crouching | X-Boost | X-Orientation
Frame skipping is basically what causes a lot of the probability in MvC2.
The game skips every 5th frame to create Turbo Mode since it's a sped-up version of Normal Mode. So if there's a 1-frame input that is done on the skipped frame, it won't register, or it'll come out on the next frame after the skipped one. As a result, some stuff doesn't work when the input was done on the skipped frame.
By pausing the game, the frame-skip cycle can be changed, which causes stuff to work or not work.
It's easy to think of it as a timeline of things that are destined to happen. So if a pause-and-unpause happen, the game will skip different frames from there onward.
I think that's all there is to it. Since the emulator's replay file always starts on the exact frame every time, knowing where the game skips frames is not an issue; and if something isn't working, pausing and unpausing the game can usually make it work.
Some of the things that get affected by the frame skipping are:
1) Super Jumping or Dashing on the first frame of turning around.
2) Airdashing or attacking as soon as possible after a Super Jump Cancel.
3) Some unblockables working/not working.
4) Blocking-Into a Super Jump right away.
5) Having a super freeze align with another freeze, such as a Snapback or Counter.
6) Frame-Pixel perfect DHCs that create unblockables.
7) Combos in general that have lots of one-frame links.
There were two things in the video that I believe are PS2-only occurrences:
One was where Doom did a counter into Cable and was still hit on the way out by Psylocke's assist. This is also a 1 in 4 thing where the outgoing character won't be hit unless the Counter is done on the correct frame and the attack hits right after. In that case, Psylocke's attack was just about to hit before Doom countered, so it hit him the next frame while he was leaving.
The other is doing a super or Snapback freeze right when another attack hits the opponent. In the video, Magneto did a Tempest on the frame that his Magnetic Blast OTG'ed Storm. As a result, the Magnetic Blast hit a second time the frame after the Tempest's super freeze finished.
I don't know for sure if it's impossible to do this on Dreamcast, but I don't remember seeing it. I vaguely remember trying to do it with programmable controllers, but I don't recall. Anyway, it's consistently doable on the PS2. The timing is just really strict 'cause it has to be on the frame the attack hits, but before the hitstop occurs.
These were all the unblockables in the video shown in some way.
1) The CR.LK, CR.HP and CR.HK on Sentinel as he is landing. These all shared the same setup, and they also work against Juggernaut.
2) The Magnetic Shockwave when an assist takes a hit.
3) The Magnetic Tempest for a short time if Magneto is hit during its start-up.
4) The LK-Forcefield. The counter is unblockable 50% of the time if the Forcefield is triggered at the beginning, and 50% of the time if the Forcefield is triggered near the end of its animation. Pausing the game can change the outcome.
5) DHC'ing right before an attack hits the opponent in the air.
6) Assists on-screen right after a point character dies for a short amount of time.
7) The main character's attacks right after they die for a short amount of time.
8) Attacks that hit during a 1-frame window after Pushblocking in Super Jump mode.
9) Certain throws can be punished by mashing in order to get up faster.
10) Quick-DHC'ing into instant-supers after doing one that doesn't cause blockstun. I used Dhalsim's Yoga Strike into Proton Cannon in the video.
11) Doing a super that doesn't cause blockstun right before an assist hits. I used Dhalsim's Yoga Strike right before Cyclops activated blockstun.
12) Some Triple Hyper Combos (THCs). I used Zangief's THC to show that it's unblockable 1/2 the time due to the frame skipping.
13) Attacks against a character attacking on their way down. The falling character can't block as soon as they land if they were attacking before landing.
14) Super Armor-only unblockables. Magneto's CR.LK into CR.MK is completely unblockable since the CR.MK hits too fast after the CR.LK. The other example was using the Magnetic Tempest's super freeze to make Psylocke's assist unblockable.
15) Attacks on a character who is FSD-Dashing back on-screen. I used Sentinel's CR.HP on Magneto when he was being forced to dash into the screen.
16) The second charge of Psylocke's Psythrust is unblockable if the game is on 1 of 2 frame skipping patterns.
17) Sentinel's unblockable was shown in the video, but it was avoided by pressing jab on the first frame of standing up.
18) Dooms' CR.HK was also shown and avoided by pausing the game to offset the frame skipping pattern.
19) Some attacks on an incoming character (after death or a Snapback). I used Magneto's S.HP vs. Sentinel after a Snapback.
20) Chun-Li's air-D+HK is unblockable 50% of the time due to the frame skipping. The move is instant and doesn't cause blockstun until the 2nd frame.
21) The Hyper-Grav can be unblockable on a falling opponent. Holding either direction will cause it to be unblockable since the Hyper-Grav tracks the opponent.
22) Spiral's Dancing Swords. They don't cause blockstun until the second frame they're out. .
I guess the only other one is more of a Guard Break than outright unblockable. It's possible to create Guard Breaks with supers by using their freezes to create time for the incoming character to lose their guard.
Also, I wanted to mention that I tried to get a high+low-attack unblockable to work, but never could. For instance, Juggernaut's splash, + a low attack, or Wolverine's slide-assist + an overhead. I was never able to get them to be unblockable. The game prioritizes the point character's attacks over the assist and will automatically block the other accordingly.
In the video, Chun-Li's stomp was blocked low by Magneto. It was done by pressing back then down the next frame. The game automatically blocked the stomp and Wolverine's slide.
I'm not sure where Normals fall because this setup only works on Sentinel and Juggernaut. Both characters' hitboxes are wide enough to be hit on both sides while they're landing. Strictly speaking, this setup works with other characters and should probably be thought of "Sentinel and Juggernaut-Only" unblockables.
Only a few of Magneto's normal attacks that have this property: his CR.LK, CR.HP, and CR.HK.
The Hyper-Grav unblockable works in a unique way due to the directional influence the opponent has while falling. The Hyper-Grav can always be unblockable depending on which direction the opponent holds. It basically tracks them in a way that it can be unblockable every time. It's dependent on the opponents height and Magneto's position. Also, Magneto can very-lightly influence where the Hyper-Grav goes by holding a direction.
Depending on which frame Magneto does his LK-Forcefield and when it's triggered, it'll be unblockable. 50% of the time it's unblockable if it gets activated at the beginning of the animation; and 50% of the time it'll be unblockable when it gets triggered later into the animation right before the window closes.
This took a while to figure out because I wasn't able to understand what kind of issues were causing it to act as an unblockable. I thought it had to do with pausing, but it turned out that wasn't the case. So depending on the frame skip cycle, sometimes it'll be unblockable at the start, and other times it'll be unblockable toward the end of its counter animation.
However, this is still reversible using pausing. If the LK-Forcefield was going to be unblockable, pausing can make it blockable, and vice versa.
The Shockwave hits in intervals; and if there's an assist already getting hit, the point character is susceptible to being unblockabled by the next pillar. This also works with Jin's Blodia Punch and Blackheart's Heart of Darkness. The supers hit intermittently, and when assists are being hit, the main character doesn't have anything to block. As a result, the positioning is really important.
The Tempest rocks are unblockable for a short time after Magneto is interrupted during his startup. This requires him to be hit from around 1-5 frames into his animation for the set-up to work. From there, it depends on the way the rocks come out. During this time, there's nothing for the opponent to block, so if they try to Super Jump Guard Cancel, they'll just end up SJ'ing up-back.
1) Incoming after a death or Snapback is its own state. Attacks that look like they cross-up are can be unblockable during this time. The only way to block these is to tap the correct direction at the last moment before they hit. Some characters can't do this because their neutral hitboxes on the way down will get hit before the window to block presents itself.
In this case, it was kind of weird that Magneto's S.HP was unblockable when it hit in a non-ambiguous way. That is, it doesn't hit in the middle of his body; it looks like it should be blocked like normal, but it's unblockable.
Also, I tried to re-create setup without the Snapback on Sentinel, but I could never get it to work; it only hit as a cross-up, never unblockable.
2) DHC'ing right before an attack hits an airborne opponent causes them to lose their guard on the frame after the DHC flash finishes. The game switches the characters' properties and re-assigns their hitboxes.
3) Unblockables after a pushblock: there's a one frame window where the opponent will lose their guard after a pushblock. However, there has to be gap in the attacks for it to happen.
4) Super Freeze unblockables: Some super freezes don't cause blockstun. So, if an attack hits right after the super freeze, it'll be unblockable. Dhalsim's Yoga Strike super was used to have Cyclops' assist and Iron Man's Proton Cannon be unblockable.
5) Fast-THCs are similar. In the video, Zangief's THC was unblockable. However, this works half the time due to the frame skip cycle. The freeze doesn't cause block stun, and then the attack hits immediately after, before the opponent can block.
6) Death-Related unblockables: If the point or assist characters die, the attacks on-screen will end up being unblockable for a short time.
7) FSD-Dash is a special state that doesn't allow the point character to block or be put into hitstun if an attack hits them right as they're entering the screen.
8) Immediately blocking on the ground after doing an attack in the air. This exists in other games where a character who was attacking in the air, can't block immediately upon landing. In MvC2, this extends to airthrows as well, as some characters can't block on the way down after doing an airthrow.
9) Super Armor-only unblockables seem to be their own thing. In the video, Sentinel was hit by something as a cross-up or unblockable, and then the hit afterwards would also be unblockable. In both cases, the follow-up attack hit right away, before he had a chance to block.
Pausing During Unblockables
There are certain types of unblockables that will or not work when a pause is done to change the frame skip cycle. Sentinel's CR.HP, Magneto's Forcefield, Doom's CR.HK, and Psylocke's Psythrust were all changeable by pausing the game. Their windows for being unblockable are all really small, so offsetting the frame skip cycle had an effect. However in Sentinel's case, the beam has a huge window to be unblockable when a character lands on it, so pausing didn't change the outcome; but on wake-up it has a small window, so pausing affected it then.
The HK-Throw bug where Magneto threw Sentinel high into the air was something I accidentally did in 2005 when I got my first program pad from Joo. I was trying to create something with the program pad and with a joystick by hand -- and every now and then, that bug happened. I was never able to figure out why, all I remembered was that the program pad was mashing Hyper-Grav in the setup I was trying.
Anyway, since I never knew how to do it, I never put it in anything. At this point, I figured it had to do with Unfly 'cause it's the root-cause of some of the other bugs like this. So my setup was just Magneto with Unfly doing a HK-throw, and repeatedly doing HCB+LK. So after some time, one of the variations finally happened. I saved the replay file and tried to figure out how it worked.
Having the bug happen from scratch took a long time 'cause I wasn't even sure what the requirements were. Since I thought it was based on Unfly, I didn't bother hitting Magneto again. When that didn't work, I went back to the original file, and it worked again. So I figured a trigger was necessary in order to get the effect.
Finally, the inputs themselves ended up being really weird: QCB + a button 3 times in a row starting on a certain frame. Depending on the strength of the button, a different effect will occur. Also, once the bug is done, Magneto has be swept be given Unfly for it to work again.
On a side note, the way the effect was activated in the video ended up coming together nicely. Sentinel's CR.HP causes Unfly, but since Magneto was FSD-Dashing, he didn't get stunned by it, but the effect was still activated by the CR.HP.
This move has a lot of attributes and effects. Part of the design process of the video was trying to utilize its different properties.
1) Since it tracks, it creates "unblockables" that are predicated on Magneto's position and the opponent holding a direction to block. They will always end up putting themselves on the 'wrong' side of it, and get hit. This was done in the video where Sentinel was blocking on the ground, switched positions with Magneto in the corner, and got hit by the Hyper-Grav at the last moment.
This can also be done on a falling opponent. They have to be high-up enough to affect their falling, and Magneto has to be directly underneath them. Since there is no cross-up protection in the air, they'll get hit if they aren't blocking the right way when the Hyper-Grav hits.
2) The opponent's hitbox changes while captured and when they're released from it for a few frames. In one clip, Magneto took the corner from Storm by doing a SJ.LK. Normally, the LK would never hit in this position, but in this case, it was a cross-up that allowed Magneto to take the corner before Storm landed.
3) The Hyper-Grav has trailing momentum while Magneto is moving around. For instance, he can get attacks to hit from behind by dashing forward and past the opponent before doing them. There was a clip where Magneto did a CR.LP on Sentinel while he was in the Hyper-Grav. Normally that's never possible, but since Magneto was falling, the Hyper-Grav dragged Sentinel low to the ground.
4) The Hyper-Grav versus Super Armor is really particular. Depending on where it hits, it'll break Super Armor on its own. The positioning has to be exact for two orbs to hit 1 frame apart. When that happens, Super Armor gets broken.
It's also possible to OTG with it as by having the orbs hit one frame apart. One orb causes OTG stun, then the other orb will capture the opponent.
5) Since the Hyper-Grav comes out slow-ish, it's possible to get cross-ups with it. When its done under Sentinel, it will track him while he's moving over or under Magneto. Since cross-up protection doesn't work in the air, the opponent has to be pressing the correct direction when the Hyper-Grav hits.
6) It can exist while Magneto is in the air and on the ground. That is, Magneto can start it in the air, and it'll still exist as he lands. That allows him to change hitboxes while it's out, as well as Super-Cancel it after a Normal Jump.
7) The Hyper-Grav gives him a huge amount of upwards momentum while he's doing the airdash float bug. The momentum keeps going until he finishes the animation.
8) It materializes off-screen; which is rare for a projectile. For instance, Hail Storm and other projectiles stop existing when they cross the upper-threshold of the screen. In the video, the Hyper-Grav hit Cyclops off-screen while he was switching directions with Magneto.
9) The Hyper-Grav doesn't capture opponents low to the ground. This is also predicated on how big they are. For instance, Roll will get captured very low to the ground where as Sentinel won't. This was used in the video with Storm after she did a Lightning Attack. In that case, she was too low to be brought to Magneto when the Hyper-Grav hit her.
10) It's possible to move where the Hyper-Grav goes by holding a direction. The amount of influence is almost un-noticeable, but it's possible to move it. This was used in the video to have the Hyper-Grav OTG Cyclops after he was hit by Psylocke's assist. The Hyper-Grav wouldn't OTG unless left was held the entire way through.
Magneto, Storm and Dhalsim have unique airdashes in that they can get momentum upward after they do them. This carries into flight mode as well, but the effects are less-pronounced than in Super Jump mode.
This effect is based on two things: airdashing after the character begins to descend, and attacking right before the airdash finishes so that the chain attacks carry through it. The slower the attack series is done, the more pronounced the effect will be.
It's also possible to have a big impact on left/right movement while doing the bug. So for some of the clips, left or right was held for specific amounts of frames in order to nudge him a little bit. This is much more pronounced than the normal amount of directional influence that's possible during a Super Jump.
Something that became a lot more evident to me while doing this video was how autoblock worked. When I did the video, some of the resets I had in mind were not possible because the autoblock in the game would prevent the hit from working. The game has a set amount of time where it'll block stuff for the character.
The best example of this is the clip with Magneto's Tempest versus Spiral. This works since the Tempest hit so late that autoblock goes away. At that point, the only way to block it is to hold the proper direction, or to switch at the last moment.
Also, it doesn't carry through when the opponent is blocking in the air and lands into a cross-up, or when they're crossed up in the air.
Blocking Into a Super Jump
I remember seeing the computer do this in Arcade Mode and I had always wondered how it was done. Anyway, the effect is kind of reliant on the frame skipping cycle as well.
Basically to get the best effect, both characters' inputs have to be done on specific frames, or the effect will be different. This ended up really helping the flow of the video since it allows the blocking character to follow-up almost right after hitstop.
The other thing about this is that the character ascends much faster into their SJ. I soft-of-utilized this in VA2 when I did a Cyclops combo that wouldn't have worked without blocking into a SJ; but it was hard to notice it.
In the video, the technique is done by doing 'downback, up' or 'back, down, up' without hitting neutral.
Most of the interesting stuff in the corner has to do with hitboxes colliding in the air and on the ground. Since it's possible to influence falling direction, there were some resets where both characters had to be holding a direction to switch sides. A clip that showed this a lot was the one where Magneto did flight mode while in the corner, but ended up switching with Sentinel. From there, he switched with Sentinel again by doing a reset, and finally switched back once more to get thrown.
Some characters can walk forward toward the corner, but not take it. There was a reset against Cable where the game was paused so that Magneto's attack could hit Cable while walked into the corner. There was also a clip on Sentinel where Magneto could do his flying-Infinite on him while he was facing the corner.
When a character sets Flying Screen with their back into the corner, they'll stay in there until the game forces them back on-screen. In the video, there was a clip where Sentinel back dashed away from Magneto after he set Flying Screen. Since Magneto fell down like normal, it gave Sentinel time to get up and dash away before Magneto came back on-screen.
I tried using a variety of characters in the video so that I could show hitbox-stuff. For instance, Iron Man can be hit by 4 falling SJ.LPs in a row. Some of the resets against the top 4 characters were specific to one of them. One in particular I liked was how Doom's S.HK drastically changes his hitbox. In the video, Magneto's SJ.HK completely whiffed against Doom while he did his S.HK.
There's subtle hitbox differences between the top 3 characters in the game. It's hard to describe it, I guess. It's something like: Storm is able to be hit before landing on the ground 'cause her hitbox is smaller; Cable has a wider hitbox, so some cross-ups are Cable-only out of the three; and Magneto is kind of normal as far as little quirks go.
Hitboxes are different during air-to-ground and air-to-air interactions. Air-to-Air interactions get affected more by the subtle directional influence. Ground-to-ground stuff usually involves OTG rolls where the character getting up can be crossed up as they're rising.
Some air-to-ground stuff used assists to move the opponent. There was one where Psylocke moved Sentinel under Magneto as he was doing an air-Hyper-Grav.
Another air-to-ground note, when a grounded character dashes into an airborne character, they won't experience resistance while moving. In the video, Magneto did a backdash on an airborne Storm who was being hit by a Typhoon. As a result, Magneto moved at 100% speed and Storm was able to be hit by all 8 hits of the Typhoon.
Blocking or doing normal attacks are easy ways to change hitboxes. However, blocking is usually very drastic. Also, blocking usually has the added effect of making the character's sprite smaller, so attacks will whiff and cause sides to switch sometimes since the hitboxes change.
Characters can pass through each other during hitstop. So it's possible to use an assist to let the point characters move through each other. When hitstop goes away and assists are involved, the assists move the characters toward or away, but not through. Since hitstop is generally 9 or 10 frames, precise timing is required in most cases.
Stuff like that has always been fascinating to me, but I was never able to really do much with it because of how long it took to do perfectly on program pads. It's really easy to work out pixel and frame perfect stuff on an emulator since everything is frozen in time and you can recall any particular frame.
There's other stuff that has to do with hitstop, but it's hard to explain. The game has a window where you can register inputs during hitstop, but there's a special leniency to them. So the way you usually input stuff doesn't necessarily work during hitstop. Sometimes you have to program the inputs sloppily so the game will register them. There's some motions that don't come out if you program them ASAP during hitstop; and some moves are given more priority: for instance, dragon-punch motions have a greater chance registering during hitstop than fireballs.
This was one of the biggest things preventing me from doing videos again. I had ideas, but most of them required some use of randomness along with the already-arduous path of programming. So with the emulator, I was able to circumvent unwanted randomness -- and better yet, make clips around it.
For the Magnetic Tempest, I found that randomness is affected by holding a direction during certain times as its coming out. From there, holding or changing the directions keeps affecting where the next wave of rocks go.
There was a clip in the video where Storm air threw Magneto out of his Tempest, he then Tech Hit and the Tempest hit Storm as an unblockable. That clip ended up taking a long time due to the randomness of the Tempest; but the emulator lets you reload anywhere, so it wasn't that bad.
The Hail Storm chip damage was similar. In order to get 0 chip damage, I had to move Storm's directions while the Hail Storm was coming out. There's no set-inputs to get the most or least amount of damage for it; it depends on when the super is done and inputs pressed as it's coming out. In this case, I found the opposite of optimal since I wanted absolutely no chip damage from it. I remember this also took a lot of reloads -- I ending up having to move Magneto from standing to crouching in order for it to work.
Mashing for damage or shaking out of stuff is random to an extent. I learned that mashing as soon as the move hits has more of an impact than preemptively trying to mash it. With throws, the max amount of damage possible is based on which frame the throw is done. That is, even if the mashing sequence is perfectly optimized, the throw will not do the max amount. In order for it to be max-damage, the throw has to happen on the right frame, and the perfect-mashing sequence has to be done. Usually, the best mashing sequence in the game is Left+a kick or punch, then right + a kick or punch.
To get super freezes to line up with a Snapback or Counter, both inputs have to end on the same frame, but there's a 1 in 4 chance of it working; 3/4ths of the time, they'll come out in sequence instead. Sometimes, the incoming character will go to the other side of the screen to do their super.
There was a clip where Psylocke's Snapback was going to hit Magneto, but since the DHC was done on the frame as the Snapback's freeze, Storm came out from behind Psylocke instead.
It's also possible to affect this by pausing and unpausing the game in order to have the frame on which both inputs are done simultaneously exist.
Two DHCs happening at the same time always works. When this happens, the characters coming in don't go through their normal DHC animations. Instead, they go through their normal-super animations, as if they were point characters. For instance, Iron Man's Proton Cannon is instant on DHC, but when two DHCs happen at the same time, the start-up is like normal.
Standing & Crouching
Some resets were predicated on how long Magneto stood before crouching or vice versa. Standing or crouching for a certain amount allowed him to take a side at the last second during a cross-up.
There was a clip that was Sentinel-only: Magneto stood up a little before crouching and as a result, Sentinel's horizontal movement while falling was reduced, keeping him close to Magneto. This wouldn't work on other dummies since they would have bounced higher than Magneto's height.
This can also be used for combos or reset set ups where having the dummy crouch or stand while being hit makes a difference. For instance, in Joo's DVD, he showed an infinite with Charlie that only worked on a crouching Captain America due to the size of his hitbox. In the Magneto video, Cable's crouching hitbox was used since it's a lot wider than the other normal-sized characters.
When Joo and I did the Y-Boost video, I wanted to include something about how dashing has "X-Boost" which is basically moving left/right if an input is done on a particular frame after dashing. He said that since he didn't use it in his DVD combos, he didn't want to cover it in the explanation videos. This was something that I always wanted to use for something 'cause I knew that it could provide for unique setups.
There was a clip where Magneto pressed 'down' right as his dash ended -- by doing so, he got extra momentum while also changing his hitbox. Another used a S.HK which allowed him to move farther to the right, and act as a cross-up.
Finally, there's something unique about the crouching and standing HPs. Their X-boost effect carries through any animation if Magneto dashed before doing them. As a result, it allows him to move left/right while he's starting up an attack or Super Jump. This was used a few times to put him in a unique spot that allowed for another reset or set up to happen.
The direction that the characters are facing affects knockback after hitstop. In the clip with Doom, Doom's SJ.HK knocked Storm the opposite way because he was turned around when Magneto hit him. There's two parts to every attack - when they connect and hitstop occurs, and then the knockback of the attack. Hitstop is around 10 frames most of the time, so if a side switch happens during then, the knockback will change directions.
The X-orientation of characters also affects how long a special or super input can be done in a certain direction. There was a clip in the video against Iron Man where Magneto did a Forcefield while facing left. In that case, the timing was strict because Magneto would turn around if the input was 1-frame too late. Also, if Magneto had done it too early, he would have stood up before for Iron Man could go over him.
Finally, although this is not exactly an X-orientation thing, crossing up a character during OTG stun can change which directions they are forced to roll in. In the video, Magneto switched sides with Sentinel as he was being hit by the Typhoon, from there Sentinel rolled to the other side, away from Magneto.
Since I first heard this song, I knew that I wanted to use it for the versus clips I made. The song was long enough to fit a lot of stuff in it and I would be able to converge the clips at the end.
It was kind of hard to put this video after the Magneto one since it's so slow at first. After thinking about it, I realized that it was necessary to build up to something again after the last video. So although it starts off slow, it builds up in pace with the music throughout the video.
The clip with Cammy and B.B. Hood was one of the first matches I made. This one had some things I liked in the beginning, but I found myself in a difficult situation near the end; I basically had no ending and didn't know what to do. After doing these types of clips for a while, I started to think more about the entire match before doing them.
I remade some of the clips to be situations that had the spots I wanted from the versus matches. In some cases, this was necessary because the Versus clips wouldn't work with the music. So it was easier to just redo some clips and script the spots in the order that I knew would work with the music.
The clip with Bison vs. Bone-Wolverine picked up in speed at around the same time the song did. I feel like it was a turning point for the video where the theme had been established, and the situations were just gonna get faster as the song did.
This kind of interaction is my favorite in the game. Who the characters are doesn't matter that much as the way everything can flow together. I guess it goes back to the thing I said about Spiral-Doom being my favorite clip in VA2 because it encapsulated that idea the best. That for all the chaos and fast-paced stuff going on, there's a way to plan and control it in the finest degree.
I think it goes back to the idea of the sum being greater than its parts. The speed and flow of everything leaves its own impression in addition to all the technical stuff going on in the clip.
One of my favorite parts in the video was the opening skirmish between Shuma and Amingo. The first part of the clip has a lot of stuff happening in a short amount of time.
I decided to end this video in a double K.O. since who won didn't matter. I just wanted to show cool stuff happening between two controllers, and ending it in a double K.O. was a way of saying, "OK, I'm finished now."
This is something that I've thought about since I started to do these clips. Since it's two programmable controllers playing against each other, it's not a real competition. These matches are just another way of showing situational interplay -- but in the format of an entire match instead of training mode with infinite health.
Don't be Defeated by a Friend!
The Akuma-Storm-Gambit combo is one of my favorite clips in this video. I wanted to explore the hyper armor spinout setup again to see if there were other combo possibilities. Unfortunately, this is a Dreamcast-only bug 'cause it causes the PS2 version to crash mid-way through.
It was really surprising to see what happened after the hitstop. I was not expecting Colossus to fly the other way after the dragon punch. In some cases there's stuff you think might happen, or that you want to happen -- but sometimes it's just unpredictable.
This video was special 'cause it was the first one I edited and I had to figure out a lot of stuff coming into it; stuff that would apply to every other video.
Izumojin sent me this song when I mentioned that I was thinking of doing a video. He sent it as an example of a style of music to use. I remember really loving this song and thinking that this type would go well with S.S.H. At that point I had no idea that Stone McKnuckle existed, so the entire video was just S.S.H. and Falcom Sound Team.
Having the right type of music was probably the last push I needed to commit to doing an entire video. From there, it was about choosing an editing style. That is, less editing-centric and more content-centric. I didn't want the editing to be the centerpiece, but I still wanted to make an effort to present it in a cool way. Although I really liked Joo's DVD, I think if it had been presented more like Meikyousisui 6, it would have been really cool.
This video was my first real attempt to do a lot of speed changes for the editing. It was hard to keep the whole thing from being jarring though. I can imagine if you're not used to it, the speed changes will stand out in some cases; I just feel like I had to do it in order to fit all the content in.
Another new thing was using white flashes to take breaks between longer clips. It was necessary 'cause some of them were way too long, and I just couldn't show the whole thing uninterrupted. The default transition couldn't be used over and over 'cause it wouldn't match the music most of the time, so I used custom bézier keyframe animations to have more control over it.
But even getting to the editing was its own journey. Before that started, I had to figure out how to address the PS2-Dreamcast issue.
At some point I had one hundred PS2 clips, and a few dozen DC ones with no idea how to show them.
The main differences between the PS2 and Dreamcast versions of MvC2 are aesthetic things like video and sound. However, some bugs also don't work on the PS2; but for the most part, the fundamentals of the game are the same.
A long time ago, I sort of found this out because of how I used to make MvC2 content. I received my first program pad from Joo in around late 2004: it's a Playstation one pad that needs extra power to light up its on-board screen. In order to see what I was programming, I'd do it in PS2-training mode, since it didn't have stage lag, and then record it on the Dreamcast on whatever stage I wanted. That worked for almost a year until I found another solution; but during then, I realized that the PS2 and DC versions were really alike.
The real glaring differences were the video and audio. The default PS2 hardware makes the game look and sound really bad. The sprites were jagged, the lifebars shake a lot, and some stages had a lot of lag. But still, the worst part of it was the sound: the PS2 version sounds awful.
Fortunately, the emulator fixed most of the video stuff, the lag, and some of the audio issues; however, some SFX sound worse than others.
In some cases, I ended up inserting the Dreamcast sound effects over the PS2 stuff. For instance, Spiral's Dancing Swords: for some clips, I replaced their sounds with the Dreamcast SFX. In other clips, the audio didn't come through at all, and so I just put in the corresponding sounds that you'd expect to hear.
With regards to video, the emulator lets you use plugins to make the image look much better. As a result, it's possible to get 4K video out of it. However for Chaos Dimension, I didn't want to use a super-high resolution image because I knew the Dreamcast clips would end up getting stretched a bunch and I thought they wouldn't look good, so I kept it down to double-the-native resolution. Now though, I wish I had recorded at a higher resolution.
These images show how much the image changes when video filters are used. The clip on the left is the original version of the Spiral combo that Izumojin used in his MCE2014.
The MSP mirror match was one of the first matches I made. I thought it'd be interesting to see what was possible between two MSPs being controlled by an emulator in order to get pixel and frame-perfect stuff to happen. This isn't a super-elaborate or complicated clip, it just has a lot of stuff happening really fast.
I wanted to show same-character interactions just to see a mirror match. Same-character scenarios aren't usual in combo videos, so I was wondering what was possible. For the Magnetos, I thought it'd be cool to have them whiff stuff and sort of punish each other from max ranges. The Storm-Storm stuff was fun to do in a different way. Her normals have different speeds and properties, and her dash moves her forward on the first frame, so it was possible to move around back and forth faster than Magneto-Magneto.
The Dreamcast-MvC2 Ruby Heart clip was unique. For the longest time, I wondered how the Schwarzeile bug worked. The bug has different effects depending on which direction is held, and down-right is the one that usually freezes the game. I say usually, 'cause I knew it wasn't always the case, and that had been in the back of my mind for a while.
The key thing ended up being which characters were present during the bug. Just having some characters present in a team would cause the bug to freeze the game. So I had to figure out the right characters that wouldn't allow that to happen. I was lucky that Bison worked here 'cause he can do stuff with Ruby Heart's bug.
I ended up slowing down the video clip a lot when the opponent died since that's what happens on the Dreamcast (this clip is sped up like 300% and it's still pretty slow). However on the emulator there's no slowdown, so I ended up adding it in post. It's kind of nice that way, or else the clip would have been like 10 minutes long.
The Psylocke-Psylocke stuff at the end was my favorite exchange during the whole MSP match. It was mostly-luck that the taunt ended up killing Magneto since I didn't plan for it. Also, the end with the Double KO was something I didn't expect to sync up so well. I wish I could say I planned it, but sometimes little things like that just present themselves.
Originally, the video was centered around this clip. However, after thinking about it for a while, I thought it would be too much to just show one clip for the majority of a video. It went through a few style changes: first it was centered around the versus match, then it had lots of different situations, and finally lots of "buggy-combos". That is, most of the content has a bug-setup or uses bugs throughout the clip. All the changes happened over the course of about a year.
Deciding to completely overhaul the video was a slow process that built up over time. I started to notice stuff that could have been better, or that I didn't like -- and it kind of grew into a list. At that point I was sure I wanted to change it, but I didn't know how; so I just waited, thinking that something would eventually come to me.
This video had another song at first: Metal Squad by S.S.H. After a while, I started to feel that the song did'nt fit with the rest of the video's music. A while after I finished the first version of Chaos Dimension, Izumojin showed me Stone McKnuckle's song, Full Metal Goddess. Like I mentioned, I really liked it and I looked through his other music and I found this song, Plastic Mind.
I wanted to mention the topic of just being patient: doing these videos is a creative process from the style of content, to how it's presented, and I don't think it's possible to rush either part. The whole process took a while since I had to redo content, find new music, and figure out how to re-arrange all the clips in the videos.
I remember it happening in stages: sometimes I'd have content ideas, but then I wouldn't know where in the video to put them. Likewise, I'd have times where I knew how I should edit the video, but then I found myself lacking clips. However, having the right music outranked everything, so sometimes I couldn't move forward with anything.
Anyway, since I wasn't in a rush to finish this video, I was able to decide when it was done; which is both a good thing and bad thing. The bad side of it is that I'll start feeling like something is amiss, and then that feeling gets stronger and stronger. Then I get ideas on how to fix it, but those ideas get more and more inclusive, which leads to the majority of the video being affected. It's like a snowball that rolls downhill and by the time gets to the bottom, it's a huge boulder.
That's exactly what ended up happening. I basically felt unhappy with some parts of the original video, and it just grew to where I wanted to change most of it. I also wanted to make a Magneto reset video with the emulator, but I knew that if I did, I'd have to do an entire overhaul of the whole thing.
But I'm glad I did; I'm really happy with the whole thing. It also sort of re-affirmed the importance of not rushing this kind of thing.
At some point, I had run out of content ideas and was trying to come up with something when I remembered that the emulator allows you to explore Arcade Mode (since there's save states). I thought about trying to do something with the Morrigan bug since I thought it looked cool. It was kind of hard to figure out how to get the AI to do what you want -- moving around makes the AI do different things, depending on which direction is being held, they'll go into a set sequence.
For the Morrigan bug, I would save a state everytime she jumped, and then tried to get her to come down with an air dash. From there, I found that doing a chain attack would cause her to go up really high (if I only did a jab, she wouldn't fly up as much).
The second-to-last combo was something that I guess I knew was possible, but never tried to do. In fact, my friend suggested that I try it. It goes back to the idea of how the emulator made me change the way I approached the game for what was possible. This would be near-impossible on the Dreamcast for a ton of reasons, so it didn't even occur to me to attempt it.
It was really hard since one pad controls all three characters' actions, and I wanted to have it be a 'real combo' in that none of the assists would get uncomboed during it. It's possible to tell when something uncombos: damage scaling resets and the lifebar drains differently.
I don't remember how long it took to do, but it was done frame-by-frame, one input at a time. I remember running into dead ends where I couldn't keep the combo going 'cause someone would drop or be out of position. I think this one was one of those clips that took over a thousand reloads to figure out; it's kinda like a puzzle 'cause some pieces wouldn't go together and I had to re-evaluate the whole thing.
When I played the combo back at full speed, I was surprised at just how fast it was, and how much stuff happens in a short amount of time. I knew the combo had to go at the end of the song; the ridiculousness of the combo fit perfectly. This and the Spiral combo went really well with the song, I think.
The last combo was centered around an idea Izumojin showed me a long time ago. He found a way to keep an assist character frozen in the air by using Omega Red. I tried different characters with the set up, but I ended up liking the combo with Magneto and Omega Red the most. I'm happy he presented the idea before I did in his MCE2016 video -- I thought that was probably his coolest idea, and I would have felt bad if my video had come out before his.
Anyway, I ended up re-doing the combo and adding the extra throw in the middle. One of the reasons I re-did the clip was because I wanted to use the HK-Throw bug; the other being that the first iteration of this combo was done in training mode, which I wanted to avoid if I could.
The ending to the combo was something I saw in Jadon Brown's Combo Exhibition # 2. There was a combo in it where he used Omega Red and Dan to create a set up like this where an attack interrupted Omega Red's super and ended up crashing the game. I thought it was cool way to end the combo, and it ended up being a good last-clip because of how it freezes. Having it stall like that fit with the way the song eventually ended.
Finally, in a sort-of meta way, this combo felt like a testament to how complicated emulator-based content can be. In addition to the combo's setup and bugs during it, I used pausing stuff to get the whole thing to work. I don't know, I just remember it looked ridiculous after watching it the first time, and it made me think of how this combo is also practically impossible on Dreamcast just like the 3-3 character one.
Desert of Despair
This song had a different sound and feeling than the other ones to me. I liked it when I first heard it, and it wasn't until I started doing all the editing that I realized it should go at the end. Also, the very last part where the theme basically restarts felt like a great way to end the video since I knew I'd have the 999 hit combo going there.
The Magneto & Ruby Heart combo against Sentinel has some history:
This was THE combo idea that Izumojin showed me which got me to do stuff again.
He had shown me a few other clips before this one that I thought were cool, but didn't really make me miss the whole thing. When I saw his version of this combo though, I was blown away with how much stuff he managed to fit into it. Best of all, it made the process look like fun again. I think this combo best-represented the concept of emulator-based MvC2 combos.
There's a difference between a program-pad combo and an emulator combo for me. I think the former feels like it's a culmination of frame-counting and creating a perfect script which is focused on numbers. Whereas with emulators, the ideas utilize ridiculous setups and reloading the combo hundreds and hundreds of times to find the right inputs to maximize those crazy setups.
I was never sure why Izumojin didn't release a version of this combo in his videos. My version ended up being a bit longer and had a different ending. There was even a scrapped version that used a memory hacker to freeze the value for dizzy. That made it so that the dummy would never spin out, allowing for a 999 hit combo.
The last combo:
So the last combo in this video was a long time coming. At some point in 2009, I thought this combo idea would demonstrate hardcore-dedication. It was so hardcore that I never did it. I remember hating it because I thought it would be a cool idea to end Variable Atmosphere 2 with, but it was so just so prohibitively random that it would have taken at least 6 months to make.
The first 999-hit combo from Variable Atmosphere 1 was a nightmare. I still can't believe I made that clip, to be honest. The thing that it so nightmarish was that the setup required 14 minutes of waiting before 1 instance would happen. Moreover, the combo was done in 2007, before I knew about the 100% technique to ensure the controllers' inputs would work. Lastly, there were also random elements in the combo which made it all the more difficult to create. So thinking of adding the 999 hit idea to it made it even more ridiculous.
The combo in Variable Atmosphere 1 left me reluctant to ever try something like that again. I have very clear memories of the combo not working when Magneto and War Machine re-flew while Sentinel was stunned. I remember that the characters would just drop and not actually refly. To be honest, I still get slightly anxious watching that part. I remember that part being one of the most inconsistent moments in the entire combo.
I'm still not sure whether the original 999-hit combo I made was a sign of dedication or just stupidity. I think there's a line that can be drawn somewhere between the two, and I never decided which side I fell on.
Anyway, this combo was one of the first things I did when I started using the emulator. It was one of the very first things that I thought about when I began to use it. Since the past experience was so terrible, I wanted to have a pleasant one this time around.
I remember just being in disbelief of how easy the emulator made everything. At some point, Joo told me the same thing when he saw some of the clips I made. I could only imagine how much annoyance could have been avoided if we both had access to the emulator from the beginning. Although some DC-only ideas wouldn't have been made, a ton of content could have been created, and in a much faster time-frame. That reminded me that Joo's DVD content took him like 5 years to create -- and it ended up being around 35 minutes of combos.
A long time ago, Joo told me something along the lines that it was hard to understand the horror of using program pads, so people might not understand why he (and I for that matter) would want to stop doing these videos. He and I had reached a point where the things that we wanted to do were too time-consuming to try. So when he saw some of the clips I made, he asked me to try stuff that he had in mind from way back when. I don't know if he will ever make another video again -- but if he does, I'm sure it'll be with the PS2 emulator.
Anyway, the characters in the combo were chosen as a result of the 999 hit combo from Variable Atmosphere 1. Also, the 999-hit-setup I used in VA2 doesn't work on the PS2, so the only way was using Rogue. Although come to think of it, I could have cheated by using the RAM hacker to allow for a 999 hit combo, and just pick the characters that would have worked on Dreamcast. I could have even recorded the setup on the Dreamcast, and then faded into the PS2 version or something.
So the 999 hit combo from VA1 took about a week's worth of time to make; the second one from VA2 took about 3 days worth since the setup wasn't random and I used the 100% technique to ensure that the combo would work every time. This 999 hit combo took about 6 hours in total. A lot of it came from manually doing the last infinite to 999 hits since there isn't support for scripting in the PS2 emulator; so I had to do each repetition one hit at a time. Compared to the other ones though, that was a non-issue.
To be honest, it was so easy that I felt annoyed after I completing it because of how hard the previous 3-Character combos were in comparison. It seems kind of stupid to think that now, but that's how I felt at the time.
I think it goes back to being too stupid or dedicated to stop.
Chaos Dimension - Extra: Notes
Meta referred to the emulator since it's a new approach to doing MvC2 content. It was basically new ground for me since I never used one before. It was surprising to see how easy it made things, and I felt like it'd be cool to briefly show the way it worked.
I've always wanted to explain the pausing stuff. The whole thing originated when Joo found a technique with program pads to ensure sequences would work. The technique basically finds frame skipping, and allows the user to program around it so stuff will work. After a while though, I noticed that it still wasn't working 100% -- that's when I accidentally stumbled on the pause stuff. I realized that after a pause, the sequence would either work or not work -- guaranteed. Eventually, I found out that the length of the pause is what determines the effect.
In 2010, I didn't have that many ideas that utilized it, but I remember thinking that in theory, it was possible to use it in a combo. Fast forward to when I made Battle Remix, some ideas lent themselves to pausing/unpausing. Since frame skipping is such a fundamental part of MvC2, pausing/unpausing affects almost everything in the game.
02. Battle Remix Explanation
I decided to make the Battle Remix explanation video a few months after I finished the combo video. Frankly, it was mainly because this particular video turned out really dense in terms of content. I mentioned it in the Battle Remix section, but this video was originally not-at-all like the final version. It kept getting more and more complicated to the point where I thought it warranted an explanation video.
At some point, I realized that I could include every type of unblockable, as well as all the other stuff. I think it was around then that I wanted to make an explanation video since a long time ago, I tried to tackle the idea of making videos for the unblockables in MvC2, but I never finished them. It was nice to be able to cover all that stuff, as well as the super-technical Magneto stuff.
I'm fortunate that Mike Z decided to do the voice over for the entire thing -- firstly, I hate my voice so I didn't want to do it; secondly, he knows the game really well so we were able to talk about the content to better-explain it. We ended up talking about stuff and it resulted in new or improved content.
03. Bug Explanation
The bug explanation video was something Izumojin and I were thinking about doing in 2015. He wanted to have some video to put alongside his text-explanations on his website. I figured this would be a good vessel to show all the stuff from my video as well. It just ended up being delayed because of my hesitation to release Chaos Dimension.
Like with Joo's DVD, as we were explaining stuff, Izumojin and I had ideas for new clips. It's a nice side-effect of doing these things, I guess. Usually, just wanting to figure out how something works leads into new content.
The last part of the video that shows the differences between the PS2 and Dreamcast serves as a good list of stuff wish I could explore; but there isn't a DC emulator with the tools to do something like that. I used simple save states to do the Dreamcast emulator content. Since there wasn't a need to program anything elaborate, it was possible to do it by hand -- I'd just save from time to time, and edit the clip once I finished it. If I needed to do an elaborate combo, I used the Dreamcast, but I tried to avoid it as much as possible.
04. Used Clips
Originally, Chaos Dimension Extra was just going to have the used and unused clips without editing. I figured it'd be a good idea to include this stuff since there's so much content that wasn't used as a result of editing. Also in a way, I thought it would serve as "explanation content" since some clips have their setups shown in full.
05. Unused Clips
This section was a bit hard to do. There's about 225 clips here, but there's actually another 150 or so that didn't make it into the "Scrapped" section. The other 150 clips are almost 1:1 duplicates of used or unused content. In some cases, they were recorded on the Dreamcast, and then eventually re-recorded on PS2 or Dreamcast emulator when I wanted to use the highest quality possible in terms of video.
Anyway, the clips in here have something sort-of-unique to them as they relate to the main content. There's "B" versions of clips that weren't used for one reason or another. Some things were tested thoroughly, so I had different clips stemming from one idea.
There's lots of unused resets from the Magneto video. However,I ended up making a lot more of them after I finished Battle Remix. I still wanted to do reset clips just because I like exploring that stuff with the emulator; so there's like 60 unused resets in here.
Finally, the Versus matches that weren't used: I don't remember when, but at some point I started to do entire matches just to see if I could. I always thought it was a possibility, but it took a while before I decided to try it since it seemed so daunting. Anyway, the first ones I did were bad, so I didn't include them. In some cases, they had cool spots that eventually made their way into the video through a situation or something, but not in the entirety of a versus match.
06. Unused Videos
So as I mentioned, the first version of Chaos Dimension was finished in October 2015, but starting mid-2016, I changed stuff around significantly. At that point, it was almost an entirely new video, so I wanted to include some from the first iteration.
03. Tie a Link of ARCUS! by Falcom Sound Team: After a while, I started to have reservations about the song. I wanted to change it, but I didn't have the replacement until mid-2016; that's when Izumojin showed me Stone McKnuckle's music. I found Dream Express and decided to use it instead of this one.
This video has traces of stuff that got put into "Dream Express", as well as Magneto resets that were changed and put into Battle Remix. The anchoring clip was supposed to be the Spiral-Doom situation, and the rest of the clips were meant to go alongside of it.
08. Metal Squad by S.S.H.: This was another video that got scrapped and changed. I wanted to replace this one because I felt it was too similar to Ultimate Destroyer. It was replaced with my favorite song of Stone McKnuckle's: Plastic Mind.
Metal Squad's content showed up in Plastic Mind, while some of the other stuff got cut out. During mid-2016, in addition to editing the video, I created some new content, as well as improved some clips. Although I didn't think I would, I'm glad I practically did a version 2 of Chaos Dimension since it turned out for the better.
09. Belief and 10. Formidable Enemy by Falcom Sound Team: were used in the original version. They were situational videos with some resets and bugs. I liked them because of how they turned out after everything was edited; but after a while, I realized that they didn't really bring new themes or content to the whole thing, so I scrapped them.
I felt like the video ended up being leaner as a result; the content-types are better separated and there's less overlap. But for the longest time, I really liked these videos and fought with myself to keep them in since they were setting up the final video.
03. The Darkness Nova by Stone McKnuckle: This video was me going through different songs that I wanted to use, as well as trying to fit video-3's content into something. It's a remix of the song used in Meikyousisui 4 that I thought was cool. However, there wasn't a good ending to the song, and I felt like I had to just end it abruptly for time. I didn't feel right doing that, so I didn't use it.
The content of the video is pretty much everything from Dream Express, just laid out differently.
09. Belief-02: Around the time that I decided to scrap videos 9 and 10, I was wrestling with the idea of getting rid of the content, so I made a consolidated version of the videos. I was also in the process of figuring out how to re-edit video-8, Ernst, so the content really varied for this one. Originally, 08. Ernst had much different content before it took the role of "Buggy Combo Video".
I feel that Belief-02 is a better version of Belief and Formidable Enemy, but in the end, the same thought process won out -- that it wasn't showing anything significantly different than the other videos. As a result, I scrapped it altogether. By doing that, it made it easier to edit Ernst since the content wasn't going to be tied up. The idea was to have the situational stuff kept to a minimum after Ultimate Destroyer.
Hyper-Grav Special-FSD Video: A long time ago, I tried using this set up for Variable Atmosphere 2, but never could get a satisfactory combo since so much of the idea is based on randomness. I had some proof-of-concept clips from VA2 that I ended up using to make this video. The entire setup is so elaborate just to get one hit -- so I thought it made for a good subject to show in a video.
Shenanigans++: For a while, I wanted to re-do Shenanigans+ since I made it in like 2 days and had to cut the video to 10 minutes because of then-Youtube time restrictions.
Anyway, I wanted to revisit old stuff, and show some of the new things I figured out. Honestly, there's no point in doing this since it's 2017; I just wanted to have it exist for some reason. The PS2 emulator makes it easy to do clips, so it was fun to use it for simple things.
Zangief Tutorial: This was a video I did with ECZangief in 2015. We thought it'd be funny to make a tool-assisted video that stretches Zangief's limits and makes him seem quasi-usable. We never mention just-how-much tool assistance is being used in the clips. There's lots of one-frame stuff everywhere in the video that's never mentioned, so if you look into it, it'll be clear just how bad he is.
I like this video since it really did explore Zangief's potential.
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