It hadn’t occurred to me before, but it’s been a while since I played much in the way of fighting games. If my collection of old PlayStation, Saturn, and Dreamcast games is any indication I was really into those back in the day, and I have a good number of both import and domestic releases (Sega Saturn represent and all that). The point of all this is to get into the nitty-gritty of the special moves for Thrash 2.0, since I was getting a nagging feeling that there were some important moves I was missing. There were, though it was primarily the kind of stuff most people would overlook.
I played some of Touki Denshou: Angel Eyes, an obscure all-girl fighting game that Tecmo put out in 1999, with some of my favorite and most blatant fighting game characters (like Mysterious Power, a retro superheroine with bouncy breasts and a ray gun, or Chibiko, a loli P.E.-themed girl in bloomers), and an array of dashing and jumping moves that make for insane, kinetic fights (a homing jump!). I also finally actually played the copy of Asuka 120% Burning Fest. Final that I picked up for cheap during my trip to Japan like 3 years ago. That game is also a schoolgirl fighter, with each character using moves based on what club she belongs to (Asuka, the main character, is in the chemisty club, and has a special move where she tosses out a flask that explodes). The fighting in that isn’t as aerial as in Angel Eyes, but it’s still pretty insane. And I haven’t even gotten into the doujin fighters like Queen of Heart and Eternal Fighter Zero, which let you do off-the-ground attacks that most 2D fighting games studiously avoid. Unfortunately, my Saturn has seen better days (I think I need to try another RAM cartridge), so I didn’t get around to playing Vampire Savior or Marvel Super Heroes Vs. Street Fighter. And I ought to go borrow a few games from my friends too. I got plenty of Street Fighter in too. I still need to play:
- King of Fighters
- Capcom Vs. SNK
- SVC Chaos
- Waku Waku 7
- Samurai Shodown
- Last Blade
- What else?
The maneuvers in Thrash are getting a bit broader out of necessity, and certain kinds of moves have become recurring. I’m starting to be able to look at most fighting game characters and define their special moves in Thrash terms, which is a Good Thing. There’s a definite need for the maneuvers in Thrash to not correspond to the number of “hits” in a fighting game (not that they ever did in the first place…). This isn’t just for stuff like the Tiger Uppercut doing 7+ hits (to say nothing of the triple-digit weirdness in MvC2); in Asuka 120% there’s a character whose rising uppercut has a slapdown hit at the end, and it occurs to me that this could easily be treated as a “special effect” rather than making life needlessly complicated with a superfluous modifier or mucking around with combo maneuvers.
Anyway, here’s the new maneuvers I’ve come up with so far:
- Blast Knuckle: A heavy standing punch that sends the opponent flying backwards.
- Death From Above: The character leaps high into the air and comes down on the opponent. Popular with ninjas.
- Forward Leap Kick: The character somehow jumps/flips/whatevers forward to clock the opponent with one or both feet. Not the most widely recognized maneuver, but actually pretty common.
- Intercept Counter: Not 100% sure what to call it, but basically the special counter maneuvers, Geese Howard’s being the most notable.
- Justice Fist: A powerful standing punch that knocks the opponent down. Named (for better or for worse) for Allen’s move from SFEX, but Karin (SFA3) has what amounts to an open-palm version of the same thing.
- Leaping Power Throw: The fighter jumps at the opponent, and grabs them while airborne to do a throw. Alex (SF3) has this maneuver a couple times over.
- Stepping Power Kick: A powerful thrusting kick done with a short hop. As seen in Cody’s Ruffian Kick, amongst others.
- Through Strike: The fighter whisks past the opponent, and delivers a lightning-fast attack whose effects are felt a moment later. A very anime-esque move, and Gen (SFA2) has a super version of this.
I’ve also found myself poking at the Thrash Companion a little bit, which’ll be the first sourcebook for the game, and a general collection of neat stuff. Weird Powers wound up divided into the categories of Freaks (cyborgs, robots, mutant animals, aliens, guys like Blanka and Dhalsim, etc.) and “Metapowers” (espers, magic, gadgets, “otherworld power” — like Dizzy and Jedah — and so on). Freaks will mostly just be a set of themed character traits (should you want stretchy limbs, or claws, or whatever), and I’m not sure how to handle metapowers just yet. It’s also going to be a repository for wackier maneuvers and other character traits. Whatever crazy rules options I come up with will also go in here; I have a vague notion of a universal Thrash variant and an FPS-themed variant. Plus I have this idea for a thing called The Fighter’s Soul which would bring in a sort of narrativist “layer” to the game, and replace the game’s boring character advancement mechanics in the process.
So yeah, I’m definitely in the thick of things with Thrash, and enjoying it. ^_^