An MvC2 Dhalsim-only combo video. A memory editor was used to alter game values.
I figured out how to remove the default MvC2 HUD, and thought that a style-oriented Dhalsim video would be a nice way to show everything.
Dhalsim art by Murakumo.
MP4 File | Youtube Link
Duration: ~ 26 minutes
File Size: 3.3 gigabytes
Codec Used: X264 ~18,000 KB/s
Date of Completion 06/01/2019
This project started out with me wanting to do another Dhalsim project for some time now. However, I wanted to do a project that centered around the presentation first and foremost. I was messing around with Cheat Engine, a memory editing program, to find different types of addresses in MvC2. Stuff like, health, timer, and meter were easy to find. I kept digging and found a ton of system values, player-specific values, and character-specific stuff.
More importantly, I found the 3D HUD values which allowed me to create a completely 'blank' interface. Without going into to much detail, I was able to remove the HUD and capture the combos multiple times in different colors 'cause I knew I was going to use a multi-camera sequence to facilitate color switching mid-combo. That lead to the logical conclusion of wanting to insert my own HUD into the video.
I think at this point I realized that I could dovetail my idea of doing a presentation-oriented video with the inchoate Dhalsim project. Again, without going into a lot of detail, I was able to get the data from each combo into a CSV/Excel format. From there, it was about figuring out how to insert it into Adobe After Effects in order to drive the animations.
To say that I bit off more than I could chew would be an understatement.
A huge part of it was just sitting down and planning out how I was going to keep everything organized and malleable within the After Effects project.
From there, I realized that I would need a lot more animations and bumpers between combos to keep the video interesting. So I came up with capturing stages, and finding out ways to sorta-protract the intros to both inform and keep the video lively.
Again, I can't reiterate how imperative it was to simply sit down and cogitate the video's organization (and map it out in Excel). I suppose this is a good segue for me to briefly mention how much I value Joo's way of doing things: it was seeing how he organized his DVD that sowed the seeds for doing this type of stuff. I couldn't have done this without having done the DVD alongside of him.
Anyway, I created custom intros for the name of the combo, the characters, RAM hacking declarations, and other stuff. This took the most time overall. After I finished, the After Effects side of things, I had to put everything together in Premiere; which was a breeze, comparatively.
I had to kinda shift my way of thinking back to 'editing' where I had to figure out the order of combos and how the video flowed overall. It took a bit longer than I thought because I had to keep switching back and forth from Premiere to After Effects to modify some animation here and there.
Anyway, at some point I decided that I would try to incorporate MvC2 stuff, as well as XVSF and MVSF win quotes. I think it helped with the overall style of the video. For example, I had fancier animations and graphics originally, but I figured that I should try to sorta-match the style of MvC2 since the video is like one big giant love-letter to the game overall.
That's not to say that I didn't try to incorporate AE stuff into the video; I just decided that the style was priority-1 over technique.
So finally, I managed to finish the whole thing. It was: a learning experience, difficult, and fun. I still can't-sorta believe I finished it. For a while it felt like this nebulous goal I wanted to achieve, but for which I had no road-map or end-destination figured out.
For the longest time, I forgot that this project 'had combos'. That is, I spent so much time on every other facet that I forgot I made the combos to begin with. Honestly, those were the easiest since PCSX2 has so many features that make programming the combos easier.
I don't remember how or when, but I decided that I would use 17 combos because the game has 17 stages and there are 17 characters (including space) in "Dhalsim Revisited".
So I wanted to write a little about the combos since I did try to make them stand out in some way:
#1 Dhalsim 78:
A while ago, during Chaos Dimension, I found out that Iron Man had weird properties as a dummy. He can be hit a bit lower to the ground while he's airborne. The main idea in the combo was doing a bunch of S.HKs over and over on him.
From there, the Unfly stuff was something I did in the Dhalsim DVD -- and I wanted to include it again for this video.
#2 Dhalsim 77:
At some point, I figured out that Dhalsim can do Fast Fly combos using his Y-Boosted LK and MKs.
However for this combo, I wanted to use Spiral as the dummy because of her Metamorphosis setup. She has the fastest 'interrupt' in the game (1 frame of stun), so I thought it could be used for a unique FSD setup.
From there, I wanted to show a little bit of the flight stuff that I found with Dhalsim and Cyclops, as well as the side switching he can do on some dummies during flight mode.
#3 Dhalsim 86:
The main idea in this combo was the double-Spiral-assist call. Since the game isn't showing her, she disappears off-screen instantly. That allows her to be called again before her Swords hit Cable. A similar idea was done in Meikyousisui 8 with Doom calling Spiral and Storm assists in the same way. But for the Dhalsim stuff, it allows him to do a unique air-to-ground because Cable can be hit by Dhalsim's air attacks backwards.
#4 Dhalsim 57:
This one was directly inspired by Meikyousisui 10. I really love the set up in this clip, and wanted to my own take on it.
The PCSX2 emulator allows exploration with greater ease than the DC. Furthermore, I had to use the memory hacker to basically re-create the Shuma-Gorath bug since it doesn't exist in the PS2 version. I basically sent Shuma up really, really high to bide time for the bug and set up to occur.
I remember this combo being very fun to do since I like the side-switching stuff a lot.
#5 Dhalsim 103:
I remember this combo very well for the sole-reason that it was the one where I found the Fast Fly setup using Y-Boost. I was surprised he could also combo his Yoga Inferno from it. Similarly, Joo had the same reaction as I did and noted that this was his favorite clip / idea in the video.
I also I wanted to re-use a set-up that Joo did with Magneto where he does the late air-dash-down to cause the floating glitch at the beginning. Dhalsim can do a full magic series and still combo afterwards. I remember doing this with program pads in like 2004, but never using it for a full, and published combo. I don't think I had enough original content to merit a combo with that setup at the beginning.
#6 Dhalsim 64:
This combo's main idea was the Hyper Armor stuff with Silver Samurai. At some point in 2015, I found that it's possible to keep the combo meter going for 1 frame after the dummy recovers in the air from certain stun types (more on that later).
In this case, I found that Venom's super was one of the only ones in the game that allowed the dummy to keep the combo going. From there, I had to find a way to switch back Dhalsim without dropping the combo; so Magneto's Tempest was a good option since it hits while he's in stun.
#7 Dhalsim 47:
This is the other stun type that can keep the combo going for 1 frame. The stun type from Tron's trap-gun allows air throws to be comboed. At some point, I found that the dummy can finish their input on the frame they get 'released' and keep the combo meter going.
As a result, this combo is all sorts-of-unique. In addition to multiple airthrows being done, Dhalsim has a unique property in that his airthrow allows him to set SJ mode for himself even though he's in Unfly or NJ mode. As a result, the Yoga Fire sets Flying Screen.
This combo is probably the #2 candidate for strangest type in the video.
#8 Dhalsim 90:
The main idea in this combo was the P2-Only stuff that Dhalsim does on Anakaris. After certain throws, the camera will follow P2 for a bit. This allows Dhalsim to do a lot of unique things on Anakaris. One of them being the post-Yoga Blast OTG combo. The camera movement being the way it is allows the Yoga Blast to connect -- and Anakaris holds right toward Dhalsim so that he can follow up afterwards.
Lastly, the far-Standing-HP into Inferno is a 1 frame link for which the game need to be paused to get to work. HP -> Inferno works 50% of the time, depending on the frame skip cycle.
#9 Dhalsim 97:
This combo was one of the last ones I made because I ran out of ideas. Two Dhalsims doing stuff to one dummy felt like a good idea-type for this video specifically. I wouldn't have used this idea otherwise. Anyway, it was fun to get the Y-Boost stuff working on Juggernaut. The FSD combo afterwards felt like the perfunctory thing to do.
#10 Dhalsim 125:
This was one of my favorite combos. This is one of the combos where the removal of dizzy and infinite Unfly really helped.
It begins with the double-projectile trick that Izumojin found. By switching Dhalsim in while his Yoga Fire is out (from his assist), he can do two Yoga fires. From there, I used Flight mode to cause Y-Boost on the Yoga Fire.
While I didn't mention it, I did camera hacking -- in this case, I unlocked it so that it would follow Dhalsim above the usual vantage point at the top of the screen.
From there, Storm DIDN'T have Unfly, and so she acted as a meat shield that kept Sentinel close to Dhalsim during the air combo.
Then I included the Murakumo Infinite. He was such a big part of the video, I felt like I *had* to include it at some point. It was the far-SJ infinite on a standing Sentinel.
Finally, I did the Flight stuff on Sentinel that lead to the dead body combo. It was easier than I thought to do that Flight-Mode LK switch thing. I thought it looked cool, and figured that I should include a dead body combo afterwards.
#11 Dhalsim 100:
This is my favorite combo. It looks so ridiculous. It encapsulates/demonstrates my favorite part of MvC2: the controlled chaos.
I don't know where to begin. Almost every hit in this combo was special in some way. Basically, Dhalsim is stuck to Spider-Man, so anything Spider-Man does affects the combo. This can be changed a bit by using the hitstop in the game to freeze Dhalsim/Spider-Man
As a result, Dhalsim can do all sorts of crazy hits on Magneto. Although he's an assist, I made sure not to do 'fake combos' where the assist would recover after hitstun.
Then the air stuff with upside-down Dhalsim. Spider-Man's dash changes Dhalsim around, and allows upside-down-reverse hitboxes. What was crazy is that Dhalsim could follow up after the upside-down-reverse HK hit multiple times! I was surprised by this combo as it was developing -- way more than usual.
Anyway, this combo really encapsulates what I find fun about Mvc2. The whole chaotic element that bellies the absolute-frame-perfect-control.
#12 Dhalsim 101:
This was another favorite combo of Joo's. He really liked the basic-idea (in the sense that there isn't super-elaborate setups going on) of using Y-Boost to combo into one long Unfly combo.
For me, the centerpiece of the combo was the beginning set up. First of all, projectiles allow characters to Super Jump Cancel attacks that they can't normally do. In this case, Dhalsim SJC'ed his Standing HP using Felicia's assist.
Then, the set up with Dhalsim vs Dhalsim -- he has a unique hitbox while he's spinning. He can be hit by sweeps while he's in the air. This allows a special FSD set up using Doom's assist. It took a while to figure out the timing on the far-HK so that Doom's body would prevent Dhalsim from moving away.
After that, I wanted to be able to show that Dhalsim could do a very-long-Unfly combo using his Y-Boost stuff. The last 3 HP's in the air were kinda hard to time. The arch that Dhalsim falls at isn't the easiest to combo from.
#13 Dhalsim 123:
This was one of the hardest combos I ever had to make.
It was such a nightmare to combo the launch into the HK, into the backwards hitting LP. Altogether, it might have taken like 6 hours to combo those 3 hits. I remember having to systematically test every combo-pattern while using pauses.
Joo mentioned that the pauses were distracting; I was thinking of editing them out and keeping the sound effect, but I figured I should keep it for authenticity. Those 4 pauses -- particularly the last 2 were super critical and difficult to time.
From there -- the last part of the combo was Anakaris coming in to do his THC, allowing Dhalsim to keep the combo going. This was an idea i had in like 2008 or 2009. I used it for Variable Atmosphere 2 -- but I thought it could be done with Anakaris since his super is good for interrupting. Figuring out the memory address for his THC was invaluable since it's very hard to time it out on PCSX2.
#14 Dhalsim 32:
Again, I wanted to keep the themes of the combos together -- in this case the 14 minute wait thing came into play along with one more wrinkle.
The character who does the THC gets their inputs 'read' once every 255 frames. This makes it theoretically possible to do a combo if the circumstances are just right. This allowed for a pretty unique combo that would be really difficult on the PS2 emulator.
From there, I wanted to include a thing I saw in Joo's videos from like 2003. Dhalsim's instant-Yoga-Strike-to-DHC-Proton-Cannon. After the Snapback, it's necessary (in this combo) to pause to get the absolute-fastest-DHC-time.
#15 Dhalsim 74:
I had the idea for this combo for a while. The basic premise was that a special X-Position for Venom would allow for a unique combo from Dhalsim since he has far-and-close limbs.
The number in this case was 642 -- it allows Dhalsim to do far or close attacks depending on what sprite War Machine is doing. In this case War Machine's sprite is what allows Dhalsim to switch between far and close attacks.
The only small trouble was the stun and frame skip issues, so I had to pause/unpause the game twice to get the the attacks to connect. Dhalsim is also able to switch between air/ground attacks by holding up.
#16 Dhalsim 51:
I feel embarrassed for saying it, but this combo is kinda basic. The most note-worthy thing for me is the 4 SJ.LKs on Bison near the end. This was a result of testing ASAP-Super Jumps after using a Drill-attack to land faster. It was very specific timing, but overall, this combo felt basic for me.
The main reason I wanted to do this combo was the set up and the fact that I could unclamp the camera and have it follow Iceman during the bug setup.
I wanted to show the combo idea because it mirrored a combo set up I did in Variable Atmosphere 2. But also because of how cool it looked being able to see Iceman being hit up over and over, achieving a height of like 8000 pixels.
Because of the idea around this combo, I wanted to embellish it with editing stuff. I added Dhalsim's wife with camera tracked x-positions, and edited together Dhalsim's Alpha-version of his Yoga fire into the combo. It was done using a combination of After Effects tools, data-driven animation, sprite capturing, and capturing the combo without any characters visible.
#17 Dhalsim 106:
This combo kinda mirrors the Iceman one where I wanted to show it because a memory-hack I wanted to include. The main idea was the Abyss stage transformation during the combo.
However, I was surprised the FSD idea worked -- Dhalsim gets dragged back into the screen from the 'same side' after FSD. Basically the game has to force Dhalsim back-on-screen after FSD, but it doesn't make sense. I couldn't believe it worked when I did it because it felt like a 1-in-a-100-long-shot at the time.
Anyway, the FSD set up looks cool, but I'll admit that I wanted to simply design a combo around the Abyss stage breaking and transforming. That being said, I thought it would be a good combo to end the video on.
It felt like an accomplishment getting to the last stage. In theory because that's how Arcade Mode goes -- and for me, because of how tumultuous this thing was. It felt like I beat some kind of final boss.
#18 Bonus Credits:
The credits were literally the last thing I did. It felt very cathartic to finish everything up, and re-write my credits. All of the people mentioned helped in some invaluable way. From contributing direct and explicit feedback, to contributing essential knowledge and work into the scene.
Thank you, all!
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