_________ _________ ____ ______ _________ _______ ___ ___ \ ____/ \__ __/ | \ | \ \ __/ / \ \ \ / / GG \ \ | | | \ | - | | |_ | _ | \ \/ / \ \ | | | |\ \ | / | _| | |_| | > < ____\ \ | | | | \ \ | |\ \ | | | | / /\ \ GG /________\ |__| |__| \__\|__| \__\ |__| \_______/ /__/ \__\ ___ ___________ __ ___________ / _ | / __/ __/ _ | / / / / //_ __/ / __ |_\ \_\ \/ __ |/ /_/ / /__/ / /_/ |_/___/___/_/ |_/\____/____/_/ They should make a T-shirt saying "I do all my own ASCII". I'd buy. :P +-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+ .-. .-. . .---. : :.--. .-.-..-: :.-..-.-.' - : : : . : - : - :: :: . '._. : :_:.__.'`_'_'`._.':_::_.'.: ,' ,' ~ ~ ~ -.-' Table of Contents - with tagged sections for easy browsing * * * * * * * * * * Intro -- ntrmssn UPDATES: General Updates -- genupdts Technical Updates -- techup THE MOVES: Terms and Such -- tmansc What's T3h Point? -- wht3hpn Why Revoleague Rules? -- whrvlr Tech List -- tchlst Combos -- cmbs ADVANCE GUIDE: The Art of War - thartw The Triple Triangle Theory - tttheor Take Note Here: Useful Stuff - tknthr Situational Specifics -- sitspec General Info/Advice -- grlinad Fine Print/Words of Thanks -- fpwofth End -- ENDGAME * * * * * * * * * * Note that this guide is immensely long, has a lot of text in it, and is not easily digestible in one go. Regardless of how painful this looks to read, DO NOT skim it, DO NOT skip parts, and DO NOT give up halfway through. If it gets too lengthy for you, I recommend copying and pasting it into Notepad and adding a marker to wherever you stopped. If you do decide to read this all the way through, good luck. This could turn your game around completely. * * * * * * * * * * And now a message from Cac and HAXage: Sign up on sfacorner.forumer.com to officially join the Revoleague! ,.,,.____.____ ,' / ========== Intro (ntrmssn) ,' ,-,,..__.__: ,' ,'.-' '._' I've been playing SFA for around four and a half years as of now, and I've had a lot of fun with it. But something simply occurred to me one day - maybe while I was watching a Youtube video, maybe while playing SFA with my friends - that this game is a candidate to be one of the really good competitive games of the twenty-first century. Because really, while everyone's opinion on how to play this game differs, and there may be some kinks in how the mechanics of SFA work, in general this game is smoothly balanced, incredibly deep if you look at it the right way, and all in all, boasts a huge edge of competitive potential. At any rate, I started thinking - really thinking - about this game, and over the course of maybe a year and a half have amassed this collection of thoughts, advice and ideas that make up the competitive side of Star Fox Assault. All the research, all the insights I've had, have all fallen into place into this nice little 90kb file. And it just keeps going. So how to share this knowledge? How to get out the fact that this game is, in point of fact, tremendously good, and deserves far more attention as a competitive game than it's getting? Well, this is what this guide is for. Yup, it's the SFA player-who-wants-to- get-better's dream - a 10-section ADVANCED GUIDE FOR STAR FOX ASSAULT. In this I can guarantee you'll find all the techs, strats, advice and info you need to r0x0r your friends' b0x0r5 and blow off their s0x0r5. NOTE THAT THIS GUIDE IS NOT FOR NEW PLAYERS! Preferably if you are a player that would be open to new ideas but are not too ignorant of the general notions of how to play, this guide is for you. Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. No viruses. I can spot the things a mile off and it will just end in me dumping your carefully booby-trapped mail in the trash. No random strings of l33t-speak and acronyms. I don't spend effort on reading things. If you mail me, put a subject relating to this guide in so I know what it's about. Mentioning typos in the guide/leaving suggestions/comments is always welcome. The important bit: This guide is not only a random question-and-answer trope. What I am attempting to do here is outline the basics of advanced competitive Star Fox Assault play. That being said, here are the rules: ------------------ REVOLEAGUE RULES | ------------------ The Revoleague is the Star Fox Assault association that attempts to provide a competitive look at this game. In order to make this game balanced, we (the Revoleague) have had to constrain the game a fair bit. Therefore, to make this FAQ actually worth something in advanced or competitive terms, it adheres to the following rules primarily: - No vehicles - No Wolf These rules will be explained, never fear! In fact, there is a whole section devoted to them. This guide is configured for SINGLE STICK. This is not because I discriminate against Dual Stick players. It is simply because I know that these techs can, in fact, be done with Single, and that they work better with Single. Rest assured that if I find some way of playing this game better with Dual I will immediately notify the SFA community. This guide, like so many others, has a CTRL-F (or Command-F on Mac) system. All the sections have a random jumble of letters after them which makes finding the sections easy. Just press CTRL-F/Command-F and enter the jumble of letters you want to find. All the codes are displayed in the Table Of Contents. For example the keyword for "Updates" is updts. All right, questions? - Q: Didn't you do another guide for Pilots? - A: Yep. It kinda sucked and got removed. This one's better. Much better. - Q: I've been wondering: if these techs are so good, how come pros don't use them all the time like you? - A: First, thanks for distinguishing between me and a pro. Second, here's why: THERE ARE NO SFA "PROS"! It's a very weird fact, but the truth remains that this game totally lacks a large community, regular tournaments, and other things like that, and thus has no real "pros" to use these moves. What you are seeing here is the birth of the movement. - Q: Who's this guide written for? The pros, or the newer players who want to learn something? - A: This one is tricky! If you are a *very* new player, it is probably unfair to load all this stuff into you at the moment of your SFA beginnings. Often, though, the so-called "high-level" players tend not to want to abandon their old style of play. Therefore I'd have to say that this guide is primed for the mid level players who have played for a couple of years and are looking for a more competitive side to this game. - Q: Do a barrel roll. Or try a loop. How bout holding A to charge up shots? - A: Just cut to the guide already- +-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+ .__. __ . ___.__ ___ .___ / / / | / \ / : / / / / / /__./ / | / -: / /.. /... / / / / | / : / / / .___. / /_____/ / : / /___ ___./ (updts) ,.,,.____.____ ,' / ========== General Updates (genupdts) ,' ,-,,..__.__: ,' ,'.-' '._' 6:23 PM 7/28/2008 1.00 :--: *hums Ride Of The Valkyries* MY REIGN OF TERROR - whoops, the FAQ - is begun. It's the first version, so obviously typos and whatever are expected. 1.10 :--: xD up and already typos found. fixed them, anyway. Removed some unflattering remarks about certain players. 1.20 :--: added stuff, changed how many pages are allowed to post guide 1.30 :--: removed redundancies, changed stuff, etc, etc, gripe, gripe 1.40 :--: fine-tune stuff, some errors needed fixing. put some stuff in. 1.50 :--: mainly additions. fixed a bit of buggage. 1.60 :--: fixed some stuff, added to Thanks To: section 1.70 :--: tuned up in general, made easier to read, language, other stuff. 1.80 :--: pretty much overhauled the whole guide! Fixed format, fixed a lot of sections, fixed almost everything that was wrong with it in the first place. ,.,,.____.____ ,' / ========== Technical updates (techup) ,' ,-,,..__.__: ,' ,'.-' '._' 6:23 PM 7/28/2008 1.00 :--: Everything is complete. Have fun reading. 1.10 :--: Fixed me saying "revoloution" instead of "revolution" and added Charge Cancelling. Removed Double-Jump Cancelling which was for the wrong game. x_X Changed two very similar and confusing terms. 1.20 :--: SuperCheats is now allowed to post this guide. -_- Added Springdashing which is pretty cool. 1.30 :--: NOW i added springdashing. lol. removed a redundant Dodge Chasing section. 1.40 :--: pep is NOT good at rolling. remember that. *smack* Added a quote by Cac and fixed the Airdash code. 1.50 :--: added Corking. very useful technique. added why Dual Stick is un- desirable. 1.60 :--: fixed code for Corking and added some placeholders in the Art Of War section. also put Akp in the Thanks section. 1.70 :--: added a bunch of spaces between each tech so it's easier to see the line breaks. 1.80 :--: reformatting complete! many sections are now easier on the eyes. Also replaced some sections, moved some around, and fixed a lot of the "wall of text" section that is The Art Of War. +-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+ - - . - - . . - - - . . _ - -_ . . - - - - - - / / / / / : / : . . : / / / . . - - . . - - . : . : / / : . . - - . . . / / / / / : / : . . : / / / . . . . - - - . :. : \_ _ / :,. . - - - . . ./ ,.,,.____.____ ,' / ========== Terms And Such (tmansc) ,' ,-,,..__.__: ,' ,'.-' '._' So, you're trying to improve your skillZ by reading this. Good. That's the first step to getting a whole ton better. The second step is to know your language. There's a lot of technical stuff here in this game that makes this guide a bit hard to understand. Most of the terms I use will make sense most of the time, but there are a few things that can be hard to figure out. ===== Common Skill: Just generally being smart. Do you go look for a fight if all you have is Sensors and your blaster vs. a Homing Launcher? Do you run into the elevator if your opponent's about to chuck 10 grenades into it? Do you actually think about your next move or just do whatever the heck you want? Stage/Map/Level: A battleground. "Level" sounds like a floor or ledge or w/e, "map" makes people think I'm talking about the radar, and "stage" just sounds like 1p stuff. Anyway, yeah, a battleground in Multiplayer. Strafe: A lot of people think this means "hold down L lightly and move the Control Stick to the left or right, usually while attacking." WELL YOU'RE JUST PLAIN WRONG. Strafing (yes, this has been DICTIONARY VERIFIED) means just a vicious, nondefensive attack with a rapid-fire weapon. Think Blitzkrieg and you've got it. Refers to a rapid-fire weapon like the Machine/Gatling guns. Tank: Fairly obvious. Making sure you're stocked up on defense and just plowing your way through the enemy stubbornly. Usually done with a Barrier on and a Homing Launcher. Concentrates on defense more than offense. Primarily used by Krystal and Fox, because they both have defensive/mid-range attributes. Uses all of a player's stats equally to make use of an average stat spread. Wall: Yes, a different definition than "tank". Walling is, rather than running right into/over your opponent with lots of defense, waiting for them to come up to you, avoiding their shots with great dexterity, and maybe wasting their ammo/barrier. Mainly used by Falco. Relies on speed more than anything. Uses speed as a "second health" i.e. a way to extend life even though the actual character's health may be low. Assault: This one is kind of tricky, but it usually refers to staying in a far range with long-range weapons that will hit hard. This style is extremely fun. Prime point of Peppy or Slippy. Requires long-range, which is taken care of with Peppy and Slippy's charge blasters, and uses range as the method of survival. Chokepoint/Choke: Starcraft players anyone? A choke/chokepoint is an area on the map where you can only go one way: backwards or forwards. It's a useful area for trapping your opponent in. Bridges and stuff don't count because you can jump off them and survive. Maps with Chokes: Aparoid City, Sauria (few), Zoness (there are LOTS), Simple Map 3, Inner Sargasso (few), Titania (few and short), Fichina Center-Ban: A center-banned stage is a stage with a clearly defined middle that has been set up to ban players from going out of that middle area. This is to allow for quicker, more action-packed games and eliminate needless camping and such. Stages that can be centerbanned are Fichina, Corneria, and Aparoid City. Revoleague: A self-proclaimed "semi-pro" group of SFA players that plays with constrained rules and attempts to adhere to a higher level of gameplay. Their headquarters is Lylat Systems, at sfacorner.forumer.com. Terminal(s): A place in Aparoid City or Zoness where, if you step off, you will die. Short for "terminal fall" which is supposedly short for "terminally-ill life fall". I think. Mastie: A flying platform in Aparoid City or Zoness that you can ride around on. Short for master-lift. Boiler Room: The area in the absolute middle of the stage where most players hang around. Stages that have this: Kat, Ap, Fich and Simp1/2. Plippy: Peppy or Slippy. Used to mean the high-jump players with lower speed. Floxtal: Fox, Krystal or Falco. Used to mean the mid-jump players with usually average speed. Green/red/blue blaster: The charge level of the blaster corresponding to what color it turns. <insert weapon here>: When I say "with a Homing Launcher" or whatever, I mean that you have exactly 1 amount of Homing Launcher ammo when you pick it up, meaning you have 10 shots. If I say "use 2 homing launchers" that means 20 shots, and so on. Therefore, when I refer to a weapon by itself I mean that you should pick that weapon up once. <insert action here>rat: (example: techrat, sargassorat) Refers to someone who just won't give the aforesaid action/thing up, to the point of whoring the thing out. Dodge chase: The term for hitting an opponent right as they come out of their roll or jump, so they have no way to counter the attack. This is best done to Peppy and Slippy, whose large jumps make them a lot less maneuverable. - Ness: Zoness Sea Base. - Titan: Titania Desert. - Kat: Katina Outpost. - Simp1/2/3: any Simple Map. - Sarg: Inner Sargasso. - Aparoid/Ap: Aparoid City. - Fich: Fichina Outpost. - Finesse: The time between the landing of your jump and your next action. - UCB: Uncharged Blaster. - CB: Charge Blaster. - PCB: Peppy's Charge Blaster. - SCB: Slippy's Charge Blaster. - GCB: Green Charge Blaster. - BCB: Blue Charge Blaster. - RCB: Red Charge Blaster. - AD: Airdash. - AtkD: Attackdodge. - Rec: Recycle. - Lat: Lateral Slide. - QD: Quickdraw Sniper. - MGun/MG: Machine Gun. - GGun/GG: Gatling Gun. - Sniper: Sniper Rifle. - Demon: Demon Rifle. - <insert weapon here>'d: For example Demon'd/GGun'd, etc... Badly owned by the aforementioned weapon. - Pep: Peppy. - Slip: Slippy. - Falc: Falco. - Krys: Krystal. - OP: Overpowered. Variants are "imba" for "imbalanced" and "broken". _ _, _ __, _, __, ___ _, _, _ ___ __, _ ___ _, _, _, __, __, ___ , | |\/| |_) / \ |_) | /_\ |\ | | |_) | | (_ / \ | |_ |_) | | | | | | \ / | \ | | | | \| | |_) | | , ) |~| | , | | \ | | ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~~ ~~~ ~ ~ ~ . WHAT IS A TECH? Tech (noun "tek") 1. anagram of "etch" 2. a move with useful applications, discovered and developed by players, utilizing a combination of buttons Okay, so the above definition is a little hazy. But yeah, that's about it. Let's give you an example here: the most simple attack tech that probably everyone has done at some point. Jump-attacking: it's simple. You hit Y, and roll your finger to A. Or R. This is obvious. Since you can attack and jump at the same time, there's no real skill to it. But it's still a tech, since the main definition is "a combo of buttons". Since the concept is fairly new, there aren't too many techs. But in this list you can probably find a fair few of them. There is, most likely, a tech for any possible situation in SFA. One of the good descriptions of what happens in a tech is that whatever happens happens instantly. There is no wait. However, there's a bit of a problem with the idea of using techs in SFA. A game such as SSBM is so fast-paced and versus-oriented that the entire match is practically a series of techs. There is so much use of tactics and psychology in SFA that actual skirmishes with your opponent are quite rare. It's more like an RTS game than an action game. That being said, there are fewer techs in SFA than in SSBM or whatever. But they still exist - go to "Tech List" for proof. But now you're asking yourself, why use them? What's the (or t3h) point? ,.,,.____.____ ,' / ========== What's T3h Point? (wht3hpn) ,' ,-,,..__.__: ,' ,'.-' '._' Well, what IS t3h point? To put it succinctly, techs are something that just help you improve your skill in whatever method of play you choose to use. There's a big difference between playing for the sake of playing and playing to win, but techs are a way to bridge that gap. Looking for something different to do in your spare SFA time? Master some cool combos! Want to get a bit of an extra edge on a friend who is as good as you are? Try some out! A lot of people will argue that the point of the game is to have fun, and being blindingly fast and so good that you kill anyone is not the point. After all, the point of a video game is to have fun (with your friends, preferably). Well, I say, sure, why not? Personally, I'm not against having fun, and I do think that it does kill your fun if one of you is too overwhelmingly good (for you, Cac, READ THAT OVER :P). But I live for heated matches. I live for the multiplayer madness of hiding behind corners with a Sniper while your friends are in heated combat down below. I live for the rapid-fire skirmishes that can only happen when you both have good cover and good weapons. And that stuff is multiplied hundreds of times by the skill of both players. So what to do if your friends aren't as good as you? Let them GET as good as you. For the time being, let them play as Wolf and on Low Handicap at least, and then switch their character after they get better. Then take off their handicap and just play match after match. That's my suggestion, but you can do whatever. Chances are, if you're reading this guide you're looking for ways to get better anyway. To put all this in a different method of understanding, it's like gaining knowledge. No matter what that knowledge is about - if it's specific or general, in your line of work or out of it, it will help you in life. It may or may not directly expand your life, but it will definitely and positively expand your mind. Techs in SFA are like that. Just knowing them will help you. ,.,,.____.____ ,' / ========== Why Revoleague Rules (whrvlr) ,' ,-,,..__.__: ,' ,'.-' '._' But before we delve into the messy world of button mashing and clickety- clackety that the competitive SFA world encompasses, let us go over those rules outlined in the beginning of this guide that state thus: * * * * * NO VEHICLES. NO WOLF. * * * * * Well, why no Wolf? This one is easy. He is broken. Cheap, imbalanced, overpowered, unfair. In every single way. At five stars health, you will be hard pressed to wear his health down in any possible manner. It takes three red charge blasters to kill him. A SNIPER RIFLE does not one-hit him. And his monstrous speed means that should he fall prey to a few vicious attacks that manage to wear down his health, he can just as easily retreat to seek out health, weapons, and items. Against almost any character, he is almost unstoppable. This is not hard to prove. If you need further proof, look up the "Why It's Banned" series of videos on YouTube and view the Wolf one. Why no vehicles? -POINT -NUMBER -ONE: When playing with vehicles, do you EVER have the choice to use anything OTHER than a vehicle? Thus killing completely the whole aspect of what is more than half the game, owing to all the weapons, characters, and Pilot-available maps there are in Multiplayer in general. In other words, playing with vehicles will result in the game being dominated by vehicles. -POINT -NUMBER -TWO: Arwings are unkillable, in any scenario. They out-speed Landmasters, they out- damage Pilots, they shrug off most lockon attacks and only by getting in another plane does any player have the chance at fighting back, which recurses to Point One. -POINT -NUMBER -THREE: Pilots in vehicle matches are only used by the suicidal. Not one weapon you can holster does anything to an Arwing, and it is extremely rare to see a Pilot survive a Landmaster battle. Essentially, vehicles eliminate a whole aspect of the game - one which has so many weapons, so much depth, and so much potential that to ignore it in favor of playing with vehicles is like buying a small rock instead of a diamond at the same price because you're afraid that the diamond will be stolen. Again, this recurses to Point One! -POINT -NUMBER -FOUR: Do you know why no one plays the multiplayer of this game? Because when they look at it, they see a spammy, repetitive, gimpy game that is almost always horribly skewed by whoever got the Arwing first. Sad fact is, it's true, too. With vehicles, this game's multiplayer is ridiculously imbalanced. Games between two evenly skilled players often end 5-2 or 5-0 for the simple reason that someone grabbed the plane first. -POINT -NUMBER -FIVE: What is there to do in a vehicle? No techs, no weapons, no strategy, no fun. No interesting maneuvers besides hitting the C-stick a whole ton. No depth besides picking the fast character and hammering A. Given the chance, would you not play the game with skill, with strategy, with PROFUNDITY? Let's face it people, vehicles completely skew the results of matches, make a mockery of the wonderful and many-appendaged thing that is Pilot v Pilot, and generally make even the most intelligent gamer into a gimping, spammy freak. ,.,,.____.____ ,' / ========== Tech List (tchlst) ,' ,-,,..__.__: ,' ,'.-' '._' - Q: What's the difference between a tech and some cool combo that someone does? - A: The definition of a combo is a series of techs strung together. In addition, if you see some cool terrain-based stuff like using elevators to one's advantage or hopping ledges in a weird way, it's not a tech. There are more distinctions on this later. This section will cover all instant techs. Combos come later. This whole section operates with a code system to determine what buttons are being pressed. Note that cstick is the C-stick and constick (shortened) is the control stick. THIS IS IMPORTANT, MAKE A NOTE OF IT! --- All buttons with names (A, B, Y) are listed as such. constick = Control stick cstick = C-stick > after constick = right constick < after constick = left constick <> after constick = right or left constick ^ after constick = up constick v after constick = down constick ^v after constick = up or down constick , between two buttons = hit next button after taking finger off first : between two buttons = hold both -> between two buttons = hold one and hit other <- between two buttons = hit one and hold other + between two buttons = hit both at same time --> between two buttons = hit other immediately after first / between two buttons = either button ~ after L/R = hold lightly # after button = hit button repeatedly w after button = hit button lightly --- You might wanna print this out, you'll probably get tired of scrolling back up. Or if you really feel the urge to show off, memorize it. Here's a fake template for a tech: Tech Name <Code goes here (example: A+Y)> Tech Description <insert text here> When to Use <insert text here> So let's begin: ======== Attackdodge A(+optional constick v)-->L+constick<> Description: You cannot POSSIBLY continue without mastering this little wonder. This is perhaps the most useful and possibly the most important tech ever invented. The idea is to attack and consecutively do a rolling dodge to the left/right, preferably to behind cover. This will, with luck, hit your opponent and avoid their return shot. The constick down is optional if - and only if - you really feel the need to retreat while doing this. This tech should be done REALLY short and quickly, otherwise the point is lost. When to Use: You should overuse this thing like hell. Yes, not only does it fire and dodge at once, but it can also actually speed up the firing rate of weapons like the Homing Launcher. You can do it with any single-shot weapon (yes, even Snipers, see a little later on for more info) but it works best with Homing Launchers or charged (green) blasters. Even when using a reaaaaally bad roll (eg. Pep) this will work well. Cac summed it up best - "Attackdodging is good for the soul." ======== Dodgeattack L+constick<>+A# Description: This is cool if you want to get out of cover while attacking but stay safe. It's just a reverse attackdodge, but used less since there are fewer opportunities to do so. The code listed (hammering A) is the easiest, but if you're a cold-steel machinelike obsession gamer you will probably care about winning enough to learn when exactly to hit A. CB shots are best because you can release A before you've finished the roll. When to Use: See Attackdodge When To Use. Of course, this one is cut down a bit because it attacks after the dodge and not before. Still prevents getting dodge chased, which is useful in most circumstances. ======== Shorthop Yw# Description: I dunno, would this be considered the most useful defensive tech? If you play SSBM, you'll know (probably) about the shffl, short-hop or SHL if you play Falco. (It's a tiny little hop in the air followed by an attack that allows for combo chains.) Well, SFA has it too. Your manual will most likely tell you that the constick is a very sensitive thing - it reacts to the slightest pushes. Guess what, Otis Redding? So's the Y button. Just a little tap will do here. All you have to do is reach your thumb up, tap it, and return to A. Hey, why return to A? You can just hit A with your thumb joint when it's up there for Y! So, why is this useful? Why not a full jump? Well, when you do a full jump as you're running you lose speed in the air slightly. However, when you do a shorthop you don't lose speed, making it good to do all the time. Peppy and Slippy are the exception, because not only do they not rely on speed, their full jump is actually better than a shorthop because it's a better dodge. When to Use: If you use a character with 3 or more speed and 3 or less jump, use this all the time, every time you do anything. Since it doesn't cut down on your speed and doesn't hinder any other action, it will only ever help. One note - you might not even notice the difference between a short-hop and a regular jump, it's so small. Just trust to luck. Note that this is the sole reason that Dual Stick is discouraged in competitive SFA, because it is a lot harder to have to reach up and hit Y at will. It's that important. ======== Airdash Y-->L~:constick<>+Yw Description: Defensive tech. Designed by Uzzbuzz. This one is a bit tricky. What it involves is a use of a small "glitch" in the game's animation frames. During the landing of a jump - usually JUST after one is landed - there is a period during which you can immediately short-hop again and travel a much farther horizontal distance. This one is fairly easy to figure out; this interval is immediately a fter the landing of your jump. The result is a very light, springy, low to the ground dodge that is very useful for... well, anything, really. NOTE: There are TWO versions of this! One is the simple lateral jump, which is smooth and acts like a sort of slide. The other is the springdash, which is activated during the landing portion of a jump. The term "airdash" is used to refer to EITHER ONE OF THESE THINGS. However, as an actual tech, the springdash is more useful since it can be used more often in combat while providing more forceful movement. When to Use: Sort of like the SFA answer to SSBM wavedashing. In other words, if you use a fast character and practice mid or close-range combat, USE THIS ALL THE TIME. ======== Dodgedance L~:constick<># Description: Boy, it's tough to write that out in code. Anyway, just hold L lightly and wiggle the constick back and forth, it's easier in words. This gives the effect of dancing back and forth and back and forth and back and forth, etc. The idea is to look so mobile that it'll make your opponent unsure of which way you're going. When to Use: If you and your opponent are caught up in dodge wars, use it. With luck, they might stop for a minute and let you attack. Also if you're behind a pillar and your opponent's got you covered either way, dodgedance. They might pause for a second and let you escape. You can also get a lot better range with a rapid- fire this way. ======== Rota-shot A#<-L~:constick^ , > , v , < Description: It's a non-charge Blaster tech primarily, but it can be done with the MGun or Gatling as well. It's harder to spell out in code, but hammer A with one hand and rotate the constick rapidly with the other. This is kind of a "staying alive" tech like Attackdodge, but it's with rapid-fire weapons instead. Once rotated one full revolution, you should probably switch so your opponent gets confused by the change of direction. Short-hop is useful here too. When to Use: The MGun is rather weak, so this could be useful for the stereotypical "MGun vs GGun/Blaster" scenario. Of course, it hogs a lot of ammo so you might want to lay off the GGun use in this tech. ======== Vertile Y , constickv+L+constick<> Description: Ok, this is just a defensive tech first and foremost, but I guess you could use it for attacking purposes. Geez laweez, I just need more defensive techs! EVERYTHING these days seems to be def/off! Well, this tech is just jumping and, almost as soon as you hit the ground, rolling. You gotta time it right so you don't do it too early and waste vital milliseconds. Finesse is important here. When to Use: When you're just completely screwed for defense and your opponent's engaged you in combat. Fairly obvious. You can attack in between the jump and roll. Use this with Peppy a whole bunch so you don't get dodge-chased. ======== Quickdraw X-->A-->X Description: This is the most deadly weapon-specific tech in the game, no questions. It goes with a Sniper. You thought that Snipers were things to shoot at your opponent when they couldn't hit you? You were wrong, buddy. With this tech, you can turn the Sniper into a little rapid-fire machine of destruction. Press X, almost instantly press A to fire, and press X again instantly. Don't bother looking at where your shot went - just fire. An alternative? Jump off a ledge, press X in the air, and press A right before you fall. Then while you're falling, zoom out again. If you're fast enough you can even turn it into an attackdodge! P.S. I note that kirbyroks' Weapons guide notes that the Sniper is not very useful in close quarters. Maybe he should try this and change his mind. >_> When to Use: Just about any time, ever. If you have a Sniper, I recommend that it should be maybe even your primary attack. I don't even ever bother sniping - I just do engage combat with it. Remember, the idea is not even to look at your opponent - just trust to complete luck that you might hit them. This relies on a whole ton of blind firing. ======== Uzzdrop A->L+constick<> Description: If you charge up a grenade, and while you are STILL HOLDING IT, roll, you will drop the grenade on the ground, leaving it to explode on its own spacious time, hopefully in your opponent's face. Why? First of all, it's a great way to shake an opponent off if you don't have the ultimate shakeoff weapon: Pod. Of course, the disadvantage is that a grenade doesn't OHKO, but still it's a nice little alternative. Another reason is that it can get you out of fights quickly. Drop this and run. While your opponent is blinking in the pretty lights, hightail it out of there. Let's face it, Grenades are not the most accurate things - but they do great damage. If you want to use them, the best way is to either Uzzdrop or throw all of them at once. Named for Uzzbuzz, who popularized this tech. When to Use: If you're in the middle of a fight, drop one of these quick if you're losing and need to make a quick getaway. This is also a shakeoff move, and if you are really that good, an offensive attack. Some players can drop these so quickly you can't even see the grenade turn pink in their hand. Grenade pros should master this cause it's just about essential. ======== Stickdraw X-->A-->cstick<>^v Description: Yes, that's a tech with the c-stick (not Control Stick)! The basis here is that you should use this just like Quickdrawing, but hit the c-stick instead of X a second time - this will switch your weapon and zoom you out the same way! This can be incorporated into all sorts of combos and in some ways it's even more useful than a Quickdraw. Slower than Quickdrawing (you have to reach down to the stick) but better not to have to wait for the Sniper to cool down. Created by Cac. When To Use: See Combos for specific details. Mostly string this into a combo. ======== ,.,,.____.____ ,' / ========== Combos (cmbs) ,' ,-,,..__.__: ,' ,'.-' '._' Combos are a series of techs or just random things thrown together to make one cool move. These are really flashy if you can pull them off. There are a few defined ones that are listed below, but keep in mind that you can create a combo just by stringing together a bunch of techs or moves. The combos listed here are simply commonly used or useful ones to learn. This comprises about 1% of the possible combos in SFA! The code is the same, but to save space I'm just going to put the tech names in the spots where they go. Combo Template: Combo Name <Tech Name inserted> + rest of random code Where: <insert, e.g. the end of a tunnel, below a cliff, etc.> Description: <insert text here> When to Use: <insert text here> Offensive? (Yes/No) <Is the combo integrated with attacks? Does it do damage?> Defensive? (Yes/No) <Is the combo solely for keeping yourself alive?> Random? (Yes/No) <Do you use it in a specific situation, or anytime?> ======== Corking <Airdash>--> constick<>^v+L~ , <Airdash>--> constick<>^v+L~ Where: In combat, while running, wherever you need to Description: This is a hugely important thing for Single Stick players because it is, essentially, aiming while moving. This gives you a huge advantage because you now have 100% more mobility and a whole ton more power to aim. The idea is to airdash, and while in the air, aim wherever, locking your view by holding L lightly. When you land, do a springdash. While still holding L, and still in the air, aim again. With this, you can: *turn while moving sideways or backwards *turn, come around a corner, and shoot (this one will work best with homing launchers) *go up a ramp while preserving your aim *retreat while turning around to get a revenge shot *Make distance between your opponent, pivot around and attack with splash weapons like homers When to Use: If you are a Single Stick player (many are) don't ever NOT use this. The whole idea is to emulate Dual (well, the better parts of Dual, anyway) which will give you a very, very large edge. Offensive? No Defensive? No Random? Yes ======== Coverguard <Dodgedance> , Y+A OR <Aircircle>+A Where: Behind cover (cover explained below) Description: Well, cover is anything built into the terrain that you can hide behind. The idea of cover is, like almost everything else, not entirely built for defense, but a good cover would be a place that you can also attack back. There is one helluva lot of this in Sauria. Anyway, the idea behind this tech is that you dodgedance (to make sure your opponent doesn't know where you're going to go), jump (to let your opponent know that you're hittable and it's not a lost cause) and attack (to tell your opponent that you lied about the lost cause). Maps with Cover: I believe the only maps with no real usable cover are Simple Maps 2 and 3. Of course, my definition of "cover" is anything you can see over top of, but I guess it could be really a wall or anything. In Simple 2 you can kinda... kinda... use the ramps as cover. When to Use: When you're behind cover and you can't get out without your opponent killing or at least hurting you badly. Offensive? Yes Defensive? Yes Random? No, you need cover ======== Chainslide <Airdash> , attack with Launcher/blaster , L+constick in opposite direction , Y+cstick change to Mgun/Ggun , <Airdash> , attack , L+constick in opposite direction Where: Anywhere on flat ground where the odds are even Description: Wow, this is a combo move as could probably have been guessed by all the commas and such. Anyway, the whole thing should look like this: Springdash/airdash, follow up immediately with Launcher/charge blaster, roll immediately oppositely to the slide in air, jump and switch to rapid-fire weapon, slide again, attack with rapid weapon, roll. Fairly easy considering a lot of these things you can start before the previous thing is over. This should be done really smooth and VERY quick. The whole thing should look like a kind of figure 8 - one AD left, one roll right, one AD right, one roll left, with attacks interspersed. When to Use: Looking for good video quality? This thing is a thing of beauty and ownage when executed perfectly. Not only does it look cool, but it will wreak havoc on all those solid strafers who just tend to Barrier and tank. Offensive? Yes Defensive? I suppose so Random? No, you need a single shot weapon and a rapid-fire weapon ======== Lateral Slide <Airdash> , A , L+constick in same direction , repeat Where: Pretty much anywhere except some bridge, this is a very wide move Description: This is such a slick and awesome combo for all sorts of matches, it's just an amazing way to move to one side REALLY fast in an attack. A long roll/w fast character goes well for this, which is why Wolf is cheap and Falco is cool. :P Whole thing should look like: Slide, immediately attack, immediately roll, repeat. When to Use: After you get good at this, you should unconsciously use it whenever you want. It's like unconsciously shorthopping, or unconsciously attackdodging. Offensive? Yes, but less so than def Defensive? Yes Random? Yes, but large amount of ground needed ======== Corkscrew <Rotashot>+<Shorthop>+A , Y+R+constick , A+L , <Rotashot>+<Shorthop>+A as needed Where: Eh, anywhere? >,< Ok, so a moderate amount of ground needed. Description: Shut up about the name. All right; this is a move all/most Falco players should master as it's quite useful in terms of walling. This is a great way to just completely waste your opponent's ammo, starve their barrier to nothing and wall them to hell. Just RS a bit with some SH thrown in while attacking, aim to wherever they're running to, and RS some more. Repeat as needed/all you want, this is just about impossible to overuse in engage combat. When to Use: Repetition is important. Repetition is important. Repetition is important. Offensive? Yes Defensive? Sorta Random? Yes ======== Recycle <Airdash> , A-->L+constick in opposite<> , repeat Where: Cover or around a tunnel, there's no real purpose for this except with cover Description: If you are a Peppy player, learn this. The idea is to have cover, AD or jump out, and "recycle" that cover by rolling back into it again. This is very seamless, very smooth, so it beats simply sidestepping out a whole ton. When to Use: If you're afraid of too much damage (hey, who isn't?) and you have a good cover advantage, then go ahead. Offensive? Yes Defensive? Yes Random? No, cover needed ======== Ringmaster <Stickdraw> , <Uzzbuzz Drop> , cstick change to CB, charge, <Attackdodge> Where: Middle of a fight, probably against an engage-combat player (see Advance Guide). Helpful for Boxers (see Advance Guide, Triple Triangle Theory). Description: Boxers take note. This incorporates their kind of weapons that they will probably already have, and is pretty dangerous against players who tend to get up close in a fight. The idea is to do this seamlessly (easy with Grenades because you don't have to wait for the Sniper's cooldown time) and make it so that your opponent never has a chance to do more than 1 thing (i.e. avoid grenade and shoot at you) at once. When to Use: If you have these weapons, then go ahead! Not fussy on this one, but you may find it a bit easier if you're a boxer and used to this stuff. Of course, if you kill your opponent with the Stickdraw, you don't need to bother wasting a Grenade. Offensive? Yes Defensive? A bit Random? No, you need all the Boxer-preferred weapons ======== --------------------------------------- . __ . . ___ ___ __ / : / \ : / / : /| / / / / \ / -: / | : / / -: / | / / /.. / | / : / | : / / : / | / / / / | / : /_____/ :./ / : / |. /___ /___ /_____/ ____ _____ __ ___ / / / / / \ / | __ / / / / | /.. | | / / / / | / \____/ .___. _____ /_____/ /___ -------------------------------------- ,.,,.____.____ ,' / ========== The Art Of War (thartw) ,' ,-,,..__.__: ,' ,'.-' '._' One of the downsides of SFA is that it is extremely hard to tell people directly how to play well or get better. The only thing you can really do is just play matches where someone is better than you. Not only will you have to develop new ways to survive, but they will have to think of better options to kill you. It's a win-win scenario. However, there are some things that you can drill into people's heads. Keeping this in mind, let's begin. These are three rules, listed here, that, if broken, will result in the game you're playing being drastically changed and possibly result in a different ending to a match. =====+++===== RULE THE FIRST, INTRODUCTION =====+++===== You are playing an opponent that is obviously better than you in Inner Sarg. You are hard-pressed - they have 4 points, you only have 2, and you're running out of options. The up-side? You have 1 Barrier, and about 3/4 of your health. You are playing Peppy, and they play Krystal. You have nothing but your blaster and a Machine Gun. The opponent has 2 barriers, but low health, and they are on the upper level with grenades and a Homing Launcher. You suspect that they will come down soon to the bottom level to try and engage you. ____ / \ |STOP| \____/ What do you do? First, let's list your disadvantages. You are playing as a slow character, which means that you can't pick up weapons as effectively. You don't have the greatest amount of health. There are no Barriers to pick up, which is why I chose this stage as an example. You have relatively close-range weapons that won't do much to a Sniper and a Homing Launcher unless you can attack from up close. Now your advantages. You have been given an advantage over Krystal right away in that you have more health. Krystal is all about surviving, but she can only endure a few shots without a Barrier. She relies on them to survive. So if you can hit that Krystal once without them suspecting your hit, they're gone. This gives you a great advantage because you have one of the best weapons in the game with you - Peppy's Charge Blaster. Second, you have greater dodging ability than they do with your 5* jump. Now, how to make all this work in your favor? Well, just think about it for a while. The charge blaster will completely decimate the weapons Krystal has if you can get them up close. So are you going to sit out in the open and wait for them to come to you? Hell no - you're going to run into the closest cover and starve them out. This does not mean that you shouldn't move - but just stay away for the time being until they have no option but to come for you. Say they come for you on the bottom level. They pull out their Homing Launcher and start tanking you. You manage to dodge the first shot, and realize that you can't possibly waste their entire ammo. You can't use a Barrier, because not only do they have 2 but you won't be able to get another. ____ / \ |STOP| \____/ What do you do? This is where the rules of engage combat come in. First of all, I've seen some points in matches on YouTube and whatever where a player's idea of close-up combat is to run wildly at the opponent shooting with an uncharged blaster. It's quite pathetic, to be honest. Now, what did I say before about Pep's jump being a better dodge than his roll? So use the jump to your advantage. Instead of trying to cover a large amount of ground in your attack, stay in one place so that you can control a smaller area. Not only is this easier to do, it gives you a better advantage over a character that actually needs to control the same small area to win. Fight on the enemy's own terms. This is a weird thing to say, but it's easier to do. Jump around, moving but not over a large area, and shoot at the same time. Remember what I said about Pep's CB being one of the best weapons in the game? Use it all you can - it is a massive advantage that you have over low-health characters in general, but also over one that doesn't have much going for it other than a fantastic special. While you jump, charge up your blaster. As you jump you can be charging. As you shoot you can be rolling. This is the first key point of advanced SFA: *** *1* *** A player will never perform one single action at a time. There is almost nothing in Star Fox Assault that forces you to only do that thing at one time. The one exception is rolling, and while you cannot perform an action WHILE rolling you can link other actions before and after the roll. =====+++===== RULE THE SECOND, INTRODUCTION =====+++===== Let's move on. We've gone into a somewhat simple theoretical situation, so now it's time to think about something slightly harder. Out of the three best characters - Falco, Peppy and Krystal, Peppy is the easiest to use, Falco next, and Krystal hardest. Let's put in a situation with Falco vs Slippy - something that is undoubtedly the hardest match in the game. Being a Falco player, I've come across this sort of (extremely tough) situation many times. Remember that something like this is NOT easy. The first time I tried Falc vs Slip I got 5-1'd - and I'm not exactly the worst player in the world. How about we set the stage on Simple Map 2? You, as Falco, have 2 points, no barrier, and low health. Slippy has 1 point, almost-full health, and a barrier. You have 2 packs of Grenades and one Sniper. Slippy has nothing but its (yes, its) CB. (Did you know that some species of frogs can switch genders, by the way?) Let's consider the opportunities. You are in Simple Map 2, which is your first advantage. This level is suited to Falco - lots of chokepoints that can be reversed and gotten out of quickly, high ground, a good spread of weapons that allows you to get your choice weapons at the right time, and an all-around useful layout suited to a character with higher speed. However, there are some disadvantages. Sure, you're leading, but you have the lower ground in the area. Slip, having just spawned (ha-ha, stop laughing), is planted firmly, like a wart, on the yellow building (the one with the two ramps and the choke in the middle). You are getting worried. You have two points mainly because of luck and the fact that some weapons might have luckily spawned in the right places. You are going to pay for those two points - plain and simple. Slip devastates Falco, this is the pure fact. The health completely outweighs the lack of speed that Slip has, and the special is almost as good as Peppy's. ____ / \ |STOP| \____/ What do you do? First of all, GET OUT OF RANGE. I'm not talking about close range here - I mean get so far out of range that you can't hit your opponent with a Homing Launcher even. Slip's CB is so amazingly devastating against your rather pitiful 1* Health that you just cannot risk staying closer than a rather large distance. However, most people think the term "out of range" applies to "edge of the stage". It does not. The reason being, the edge of the stage is a massive hunting ground, and you, if you are out there, are prey. Get something between you and the offending weapon. Two or three somethings, in fact. The second thing to do is PLAY YOUR STRENGTH. Slip might be out-healthing you, but you are blindingly fast. While you are staying away, I admit that it gives Slip the chance to pick up weapons. But you shouldn't be worrying about that. Worry, first and foremost, about the CB. The reason? Slip is not as good as utilizing weapons as, say, Peppy, because it doesn't need to depend on the things it picks up because of its health. Peppy, on the other hand, has lower health, so he needs to rush his opponent in an Indigo Flow of shells, bullets and lasers. (Whoa, that sounded trippy.) Your weapons are not exactly the best thing to have. What you could really, really use right about now is a Homing Launcher or a Missile Launcher. Unless you are so good with a Sniper that you can somehow get a 1-hit on a character that has a better dodge than its roll and has one of the best weapons in the game right after startup, you should be looking for better weapons. I have yet to find said player that is that good with a Sniper, by the way. Even a QDpert won't help here. All right, so we know WHAT you want to do. Let's say you manage to dodge your pursuing CB shot and get some cover. As Slip pathetically crawls out trying to get a better vantage point, you're whizzing away towards the blue buildings after grabbing a Homing Launcher. What luck - as you move away from the gray middle point you discover a conveniently placed Missile Launcher within the blue buildings' maze. You grab that too. No barrier, though - well, whatever. Now, you attack Slip back with your Missile Launcher. If you don't do any damage, at some point they will be forced to use their barrier. The second you get them to waste that shield, you run for it. And now I mean run for it like it's not just a genderless frog chasing you - imagine that frog is the most rabid thing in the entire universe, has a mouthful of teeth that drip poison, is about as fast as Wolf x3, and packs a pretty mean CB. Oh, and is about three times your size. Of course, it isn't actually, but dude, just IMAGINE it. The same thing will happen to you either way if you don't run. x_X So you run, leaving Slip with a disintegrating barrier and hopefully some less health. This is the only option you have here - fight and run, maybe popping some HL shots off on the way. Just keep wearing away at that mound of health until it finally gets run out. Remember, IN NO WAY SHOULD YOU GET CLOSE. If you remember the Pep vs. Krys conflict that I mentioned previously, you will also remember that I advised to meet the enemy on their terms rather than try and make styles of combat mesh. Of course, sometimes there just is no other option. Sometimes your opponent is just better than you and by some miracle manages to get into range. This is Falco engage combat - one of the hardest things to explain and one of the best ways to fight in the game. The first thing? Stop, drop and turn around. At this point you should realize that you are SCREWED unless you are good enough. Do not even bother to attack as you run towards your opponent. Act like the frog suddenly has held up about a trillion dollars in cash, but with the other hand is blasting you with a .45 or something. Remember NOT to just run - you will make the easiest target in the world. Run and dodge, shorthop, zigzag and use every opportunity you have to get closer. Concentrate every nerve you have on getting closer and staying alive. Like I said, don't even attack. When you get in close enough for a hard-hitting weapon like a GGun, a utility weapon like CB/UCB (either is fine), or some sort of blind like a couple of insanely quick Uzzbuzz Drops, go to it. But this is the tricky bit - do NOT just attack. Don't just do 1 thing at a time, or even 2 things. You should AT THE VERY LEAST be attacking, dodging and moving at the same time. I'm not sure if there are actually any other things to do in the game, but at least do those three. As a Falco player, the shorthop is your most valuable weapon. Use it. I speak from experience, being a Falco techrat myself that just will not stop tapping Y. You can ABSOLUTELY NOT waste the time you have doing a full jump. And because you are faster, your aim should be to stay close to Slippy, getting behind preferably so that you stay OUT of the auto-aim square and IN safety. Well, that about wraps this one up. This is more a character guide than anything, but hey - we need that too. x_X Summary: KEEP MOVING. This is the second main point of advanced SFA: *** *2* *** A player will never, if they value their life/GCN/girlfriend/boyfriend/ parents/dog/cat/whatever, stop moving unless in the absolutely most necessary situatons or when they are forced not to. Movement is the most valuable gift that anyone is given in this game. It is essential to survival to use it. Examples? You stop moving after you shoot, and your opponent's retaliatory shot kills you. You stop moving after you fire your Sniper, and your opponent is able to pinpoint your location and get you back with a launcher. You stop moving after you grab a weapon, and your opponent, hoping to get that same weapon, surprises you and kills you. You stop moving, and you die/lose the opportunity/lose weapons. It's pointless trying to avoid this fact - you stop, you die. Take note of this one, because this is a very important rule here. =====+++===== RULE THE THIRD, INTRODUCTION. IMPORTANT. =====+++===== Now, let's move on to the last example I have here that should illustrate the last basic point in advanced SFA. The scene is Krystal vs Falco - you Krys, they Falc. Stage is center-ban Fichina. Center ban means that you cannot go out of the central structure or move out of the tunnels. In other words, your field is confined to the place where you start, making the fight simpler and a lot more tech-heavy. Why do this? The center in Fich has good cover, a simple spread of weapons, a smallish area, no chokepoints to be cheap on if it's center-ban, and a fixed dodge point in the very middle. In other words, a center-ban Fich match comes down to raw, pure skill - absolutely nothing else. Falc > Krys. Usually. USUALLY. The speed just outweighs Krys' special. To an advanced Falco close-combat player, a barrier is nothing and will die to some quick SH, corkscrew and up-close engage combat. This means that theoretically, Falc will always survive a Krys barrier. It's not completely true in practice, because there are a billion other factors to take into account, but Falc is generally better than Krys. The points are tied at 3. Falc's weapons are a homing launcher and a machine gun. He has no barrier but full health. You have a Pod and two barriers but low health. The situation is tense - a tied game with intense, tech-filled combat that will usually result in someone chugging barriers to stay alive or to just strafe desperately and usually end up dying. You think that they're coming after you for more engage, and you are probably going to lose because of the situation. ____ / \ |STOP| \____/ What do you do? Now there are a lot of variables in this fight. The stage is not really suited towards either character - a good choice for center-ban Fich is Plippy. However, in the circumstances, Falco has, by a tiny margin, the advantage here, being able to utilize what little cover there is and move around the quicker. Obviously the speed is not too large of an advantage since it's such a small area, but it still makes a difference. One thing that should worry Krys here is that the match is almost entirely engage combat, and Falc is EXTREMELY good at engage combat if the player is decent. Falc and Krys are on even ground when it comes to SH, so that's all right. However, Falc can strike and disappear in almost the same second with the speed advantage. It's going to be very tough for Krys to survive doing the standard Krys strat - which is tank. Tanking involves a mid-range style. Less SH is used, and AtkD and DAtk will run rife. The tanking weapon of choice is usually CB or a homing launcher - something that does good damage, is not too hard to use, has a moderately slow rate of fire so the ammo doesn't get chugged in a miss situation, and is easy to AtkD or DAtk on. This is the perfect style for Krystal, who will most likely be in mid-range due to average speed, has barriers to use, and is more at home rolling than SH. Falc, on the other hand, is a waller. This means that the perfect situation is to get up close and unleash SH, rapid-fire weapons or green/blue CB. This, again, works well with the character's high speed and average auto-aim - Falc will easily get in close and demolish an average-speed character. Now, you will most likely die if you are too close to Falc. Your opponent is going to expect you to start tanking and start moving already to get closer. Well, you know something? You're not even going to let them move - you're going to start moving towards them first, before they even start. ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ < WHAAAAAAAT? > v v v v v v Let me explain. Krys is a character that is suited for a player with skill enough to easily hit with all weapons, dodge against most shots and know when and where to use barriers. She has equal stats that help her SWITCH HER STYLE OF PLAY IN THE MIDDLE OF A FIGHT. At this point, though you're probably getting very tired of me saying it, remember to MEET THE ENEMY ON THEIR OWN TERMS. In this case, your opponent is going to be alarmed at your sudden change to the psycho and run backwards. You know what just happened? By walling Falc in reverse, you have turned the situation into your advantage. Falc will now begin to get into mid-range and tank, because you are playing his walling game, which he is not used to. So by a neat little turn of hand you've turned yourself into the aggressor. What would have happened if you hadn't rushed? What if you had tanked as usual? Well, the situation would have gone like this. Falc fires a homing launcher as he runs up, and you have to barrier or die. Falc gets in close in this time. Your CB shot misses due to excessive SH. You roll, trying to get out of range, but Falc is fast enough to stay with you. He wears down your barrier with a machine gun until it dies, still SHing as he attacks. You are sitting there helplessly with low health and only 1 barrier, unable to get away from an aggressive waller who will kill you in a matter of time. Downside for sure. _ _, _ __, _, __, ___ _, _, _ ___ __, _ ___ _, _, _, __, __, ___ , | |\/| |_) / \ |_) | /_\ |\ | | |_) | | (_ / \ | |_ |_) | | | | | | \ / | \ | | | | \| | |_) | | , ) |~| | , | | \ | | ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~~ ~~~ ~ ~ ~ . This, then, is the third rule of advanced SFA... ,.,,.____.____ ,' / ========== The Triple Triangle Theory (tttheor) ,' ,-,,..__.__: ,' ,'.-' '._' *** *3* *** A player's style will never stay in one style for so long that no matter how good he/she/it is, they are easily taken down because other players know how they play. This means changing attack to defense, favorite stage to another, and even (gasp) changing your character. Your opponents will be adapting too. This rule ensures that the style change will never end and will simply roll higher and higher up the scale of skill. In this way it is a cycle that grows but changes. There are exactly three styles of play in SFA - the boxer, the smasher and the techer. There is a triangle that is like a RPS thing that is displayed as such: Boxer > smasher > techer > boxer. This theory is essential not only to the gameplay but to the entire competitive aspect - without this, the game would not be able to be classified as a competitive game. BEFORE STARTING THE EXPLANATIONS, LET US GO OVER A COUPLE OF KEY POINTS: POWER could also be described as common sense. One with high power tends not to worry overmuch about how many buttons they can push. Instead, they look for openings in the fight, opportunities to blitz their opponents with every weapon they have, and prefer high-damage weapons rather than ones that gradually wear the opponent down. A power player often uses long-term strategy planning more than wondering about what will happen when they actually engage their opponent. Power players also usually avoid teching and rapid movement. Because of this, power is more a term applied to Peppy and Slippy players. SKILL is flashy, potent and generally irritating. It refers, mainly, to one's motion and speed in combat. You will often hear a torrent of clicking coming from the controllers of players with high skill due to the amount of button pushing that goes on. A skill player often relies on many techs and worries more about what will happen in the actual combat than their long-term strategy. These are the two terms that can be used to describe the three styles of play. That said, here are the styles themselves. ===== The BOXER is a player that combines skill and power, but will slightly outweigh their teching power with the attacking ferocity that they have. The boxer's character of choice will usually be Krystal or Fox. Boxers prefer weapons like the CB, grenades, or sniper - sometimes so much so that they will spam a single weapon to the point of it being the only thing they use. Boxers are more inclined to roll than SH, and use Barriers in the exact, perfect circumstances. Boxers also prefer a tank style. Boxer is one of the hardest styles to achieve, and fairly tough to slip out of. ===== The SMASHER is a player that far outweighs the amount of skill they have with sheer ferocious attacking power. While the boxer's ratio of skill:power is something like 4:6, the smasher is more like 1:9. The smasher's character of choice will usually be Peppy or Slippy, but sometimes the smasher will feel the need to have a faster character to hit harder and will go for Falco. The aim of the smasher is to attack with an unbridled ferocity that no other style has. Once the smasher will have a chance to hit you, they will never, ever give that chance up. Smashers prefer an assault style, which is the sort of thing that Pep does excellently, but will also never miss a chance to attack from up-close with their weapons of choice such as homing launchers or missile launchers. The smasher is perhaps the easiest style to achieve and can be either the hardest or the easiest to slip out of, whether accidentally or on purpose. Smashers are outbattled by boxers, who have the skill that smashers lack and yet the power that smashers have. N.B. If you've just started out playing, you will probably go for a homing launcher. This does not necessarily mean that you are a smasher - it just means that the HL is the easiest weapon to use and new players like it because it's easy to use. Another important fact is that a lot of new players end up starting out as smashers because it is the easiest style to slip into. ===== The TECHER, the final type of player, is the reverse of the smasher. While the boxer is a near-balanced mix of skill and power, the techer will throw what skill they have into pure, unhinged teching skill. Their ratio of skill:power is at least 8:2. Some techers will prefer to have a slightly more rounded style and will make the ratio more like 7:3. The techer in combat is usually a graceful mix of SH, very fast rolling, and fast movement. The techer's character will usually be Falc, although sometimes the techers that tend more towards power will choose Pep for the CB use. Techers' only combat option is engage, and this they usually do very well. However, mid-range combat with a smasher will usually spell death for a techer. The techers' weapons are usually but not limited to MGuns, GGuns, and UCB. Techers beat boxers for the sole reason that boxers simply cannot match the techer in SH-filled engage combat. Smashers cream techers because the smasher never needs to get in close, usually having a slow character. While the boxer sacrifices the power they need to tear through the techer, the smasher will simply not bother with techs and just fire (a situation which really messes up some players that are too tech-happy). ===== Now the important part of this, like I have been explaining, is that if you have a rival that is a boxer when you are a smasher and they beat you more, you are probably not going to be too happy with this. You will look for ways that they can be taken down - you might choose a faster character to get better weapons or get in closer. You might learn how to SH and do engage combat really well. You might read this. (:P) You might become a techer. Then of course your friend is not going to be happy about you beating them, and they will look for ways to beat you. Do we all get the point by this point? No? If you don't, here's a real-life example. Cac used to play a tank-style boxer Krystal. A solid strategy with good balance but the right amount of skill to maintain. I was a wall techer Falco with a tendency to run away from fights to preserve myself - something which is incredibly irritating to mid-range players. Well, Cac started looking at stuff like health difference, speed offsets, weapon choice, and all that crap, and, just for fun, played Slippy in a 1v1 Titan match vs me once. Guess what? I got 5-1'd, because Cac was already gravitating towards a smasher style. To this day, Cac has realized that he hit upon something, and now plays an assault smasher Slippy. And let me point out here that Cac was a HARDCORE Krystal player. He was practically a Krys veteran. But he saw that the way to get better was to switch styles, and took the chance - and is OWNING because of it. Even though I lose most of the time now, I am really quite happy, because this has proved my theory correct - partially, at least. How do you find out what style you are? Think about it. Which character do you naturally want to play? Look at the character's stats and precisely why you like those stats/special, instead of looking at how cool the character is. Which weapon do you naturally gravitate towards when playing a match? Why do you like that weapon's special attributes? See how everything falls into place? Now the one-line formula a few pages up can be changed a bit - it's like this, kid... TECHER v ^ BOXER > SMASHER This is why the theory is known as the Triple Triangle. This little triangle, when drawn out as a chart, will also function as a way to determine people's playing attributes. By placing them closer to one point on the triangle, one can determine what will counter them and how. ,.,,.____.____ ,' / ========== Take Note Here: Useful Stuff (tknthr) ,' ,-,,..__.__: ,' ,'.-' '._' All right, now that we've got this over with, let's go through some techs I have lined up here that are ESSENTIAL TO LEARN. ===== THE ATTACKDODGE ===== vvvvvvvvvvvvvvv Attackdodge. Imagine this - something that lets you attack while being completely immune to your opponent's retaliatory shot. That is exactly what this is. There is absolutely no reason not to do this, except maybe on Zone near the edge. It takes no effort, takes you far out of your opponent's auto- aim, and doesn't take you out of the place you're going. It's really easy, too - just roll as soon as you press A/let go of A. Practice just shooting and then rolling afterwards, and then gradually cut down on the time it takes for you to roll. If you don't know how to do this immediately, effortlessly and thoughtlessly, you will have huge problems countering... well, pretty much anything. ===== THE SHORTHOP ===== vvvvvvvvvvvv Shorthop. Now imagine THIS - a continuous dodge that you can attack in the middle of, that you can keep up for ages, that costs no speed to use, that costs you no extra energy, and that keeps you moving (see rule #2). This, essentially, is a SH. There is only really one rule to this, and it is: NO EXCUSE NOT TO USE THIS. None. You can use it on Zone, you can use it on Aparoid and anywhere on any bridge, you can use it while you attack, you can use it while you run, and you can use it right after you QD. This is just as important as AtkD if not more. Truth be told, it is quite hard to learn and very hard to do unconsciously. However, it should be something that absolutely everyone should use. Admittedly, Plippy does not need it, because their full jump is just as good as a dodge, but it is essential for Floxtal. To practice learning this, first find out how much stress you need to place on your controller to make it not react to pressing Y. (This is important, as all controllers are slightly different.) Then just tap it slightly heavier and heavier until you get the maximum amount of lightness for the minimum amount of jump. Or you can do it the other way - hit it heavily and then go lighter and lighter until you find the point where you get a SH. ===== THE AIRDASH ===== vvvvvvvvvvv Airdash. This is the fastest non-rolling dodge you will find in SFA. It's light, it's fairly easy to do, it can be strung into attacks or made use of by attacking while in the dodge itself. It's a roll in the air that you can't be dodge-chased from. It's that fast. Even slow characters need this! The smoother motion of airdashing without the "spring" in it is equally useful for utilizing small amounts of cover or simply moving around in engage combat. As far as lateral movement goes, you could do worse than to learn this one. ,.,,.____.____ ,' / ========== Situational Specifics (sitspec) ,' ,-,,..__.__: ,' ,'.-' '._' This section covers little bits in the game that are so... special. Ever been in a situation where nothing in this guide seems to help, you throw up your hands and curse HAXage, and then you get a phone call and the voice comes on and says YOU WILL DIE IN SEVEN DAYS!? No, because I don't practice voodoo (much). But seriously, folks... There are moments in 1v1 where nothing in standard play will work. This section deals with those little moments. # # 1 # Using A Slow Character When... # Your opponent is fast. Seriously. This is a huge problem for many players simply because it is very easy for fast characters to exploit the fact that, well, their opponent can't catch up with them. This is common. Very much so. It's the reason that people think Peppy sucks. Here's the thing: it's not all about speed. The reason some characters are slow is because they have a certain attribute which makes up for their lagging behind: their charge blaster. The makers of this game, instead of simply making useless characters, provided the ones unable to move around as easily with a weapon that facilitates LONG-RANGE ATTACKING AND STRATEGIC GAMEPLAY. Every part of playing a slow character is placement. The reason slower players are typically smashers is because, rather than thinking towards the next battle, they tend to think in terms of the whole match. If you are Peppy, where will you need to be in three minutes when your opponent is stocked up on missiles and gatling guns? You should constantly be looking ahead, predicting in five minutes what will happen in six, and so on. As hard as this sounds when you're facing aggressive wallers who can starve you of your ability to attack pretty much indefinitely, keep in mind that the reason there are multiple weapons in this game is because they were intended to be used. And always remember that in the land of the jump-happy, the man who dodge chases is king. Battles like this have nothing to do with how fast your attack is and everything to do with where your attack goes. In the end, keep in mind that the only reason some characters are slow is because they have things that make up for their low speed. Try to figure out why one would bother making Peppy, for instance, stuck with such low health and low speed. Once you jump to the natural conclusion, you will have a lot easier of a time using slower characters. # # 2 # Any Stage When... # Your opponent is camping. Camping is completely legit and NOT a bannable offense, because it CAN be countered. It can, however, be a huge problem as far as your strategy goes because it is usually very HARD to counter. Usually this will be in the spot where the Missile Launchers are. The key to beating this strategy is to remember that your opponent relies on you to pick up weapons to replenish their little stash of Missile Launchers. REMEMBER THAT! If you go whizzing around getting stuff you think will help you, you are HELPING your imminent demise. Instead, quietly and as fast as possible, make your way to their camping spot. Get up close, being sure that you do so with minimum fuss and using as much cover as you can. If you have to cross open ground, see if you can get a Machine Gun to shoot down their missiles. Once up there, proceed to get in close, maybe use a Barrier, and nullify their Missile Launchers. Use your CB or UCB, both of which are great close-up desperation weapons. Your opponent will pretty much be forced to flee. If you have the chance to pursue them, do so. # # 3 # Any Stage When... # You accidentally or on purpose get a jetpack. This is a problem because it eliminates all jump-based techs. That's two most important techs gone - AD and SH. Although this is fun as anything to fly around unimpeded, it's not actually useful to your game, which will still be ground-based and center around close combat whether you like it or not. Well, having a pack does help in some ways. On a stage where the fighting is confined to a small area with lots of levels above, if you want to get out of an engage matter all you have to do is press Y and get up higher. Or if you see a weapon that you really want up higher, you can get it before your opponent does. In other words, the mobility of your character just goes sky-high. All right, so now that we've established this thing's uses, let's point out that the jetpack is a fundamentally defensive item. This means that you should be concentrating on more using it to get away than get close. Use it to your advantage but DON'T try to engage your opponent just yet. Careful of Homing Launchers as you're pretty much completely helpless in the air. Once you do have enough weapons, you can try and use the thing to attack. You can easily get out of range, so now play an assault far-range style. Again, remember that you can't shorthop, so just roll a lot to avoid your opponent's attacks. If you do want some vertical dodge, quickly tapping A while sidestepping can give you huge glorious airdashes that look cool and are a lot more mobile than the standard one. If you do happen to die, count it as a mixed blessing due to it getting rid of your jetpack. Shrug the point off and keep going! ,.,,.____.____ ,' / ========== General Info/Advice (grlinad) ,' ,-,,..__.__: ,' ,'.-' '._' Well, we're nearly done this show, so what better way to wrap it up than to just list some general stuff to take note of? ----------- SCREEN-PEEK! It's an integral part of the game. It's not broken, as both players can do it, it helps a great deal, and it keeps everyone on their toes. ----------- ----------- Why is Dual Stick not a great option? It eliminates one of the most important techs in the game, and that is shorthopping. While you gain the capability to aim and move at the same time, you lose an incredibly valuable tech. This is not too cool. If you want to use it, remember what its advantages are and use them ALL THE TIME - you want to have given up SH for something at least! ----------- ----------- Make sure you use the radar a lot! You should almost be constantly glancing back and forth to triangulate your opponent's location. Note that the little mini-map (obtained by pressing the D-pad) is banned in Revoleague play and you can get disqualified for it (when playing in official tourneys anyway). ----------- ----------- When going for weapons, don't be too transparent with your choices. Keep your strategy a mystery for your opponent! Don't run in a straight line all the time either, for the same reason. ----------- ----------- To retreat while avoiding shots, DO NOT turn your back on your opponent. Keep facing them and move back quickly while shooting. This will make sure you can still see everything going on. ----------- ----------- Don't look down at your controller - you should be able to know it by feel. ----------- ----------- Try to memorize the general layout of a map; it never helps to be completely in the dark when playing this game. ----------- ----------- Use Barriers sparingly. They're very rare and sometimes unattainable on most maps. Even playing as Krys with 2x shields, don't think you can chug them all the time. Be careful not to Barrier against Missiles a lot - sometimes your opponent wants more to waste the shield than damage you. ----------- ----------- Don't be generally stupid, like putting a Sensor down and then not running away from it, or firing a weapon when you KNOW you won't hit anything, or using a Homing Launcher in the middle of a corridor, or Uzzbuzz Dropping and having nowhere to roll to. ----------- ----------- If you're playing on the Revoleague and want to know exactly what will get you disqualified, head to Lylat Systems (sfacorner.forumer.com) and check out the list there. It'll always be updated, which is why I'm not uploading it here, because here it won't. ----------- ----------- If you feel like uploading an SFA match on YouTube, take note that people don't like watching videos taken with a shaky camera trained on a grainy, line- infested TV. It may be too expensive for you to get a Capture Card, and I don't actually recommend getting one unless you're a big uploader as they're very expensive. However, you are never too poor to put your camera on something to steady it, and however much you think you'll get glare off the TV, DON'T angle the camera. We don't like standing on our heads to watch games. ----------- ----------- Always give your opponent a friendly "Good game" or even "GG" after a game, even when you totally owned them up. It's not cool to leave without saying anything, and even worse to laugh or something. ----------- ----------- Don't forget that there's more to this game than being pro! Have fun when you want - how about a Booster Pack Brawl or a Sniper match with your friends? Just take a friendly 4 player FFA once in a while or something. Those are always fun. ----------- ----------- And finally, remember that this guide is not telling you what to do! You can play however you want as long as everyone has fun doing it - this isn't meant to change your lifestyle or anything! ----------- ,.,,.____.____ ,' / ========== Fine Print/Words Of Thanks (fpwoth) ,' ,-,,..__.__: ,' ,'.-' '._' Ok. Everything except the friggin game, the friggin console you play it on, and its characters featured in it, is mine. The only people I WON'T get on the case on if they try to claim it is Cac (because he practically wrote a quarter of it) and Nintendo (because the only way they're getting this is to buy it as an official guide. Wouldn't that be awesome, though?). AT THE MOMENT, the only websites allowed to reproduce this guide (WITH acknowledgement that I wrote it) are GameFaqs, GameSpot and SuperCheats. If you see anyone trying to grab this guide in their greedy, sweaty (hairy?) palms, contact me at email@example.com RIGHT away! Apart from anything else, I don't want this to be contaminated. This is as near a copyright as I can get! Take note, because I didn't do all this legal shmaaaahhhh for nothing! THANKS TO: Cac - mr. #1-person-I-can-test-stuff-on! you wrote half this guide, man! Slip still sucks btw :P neimis - Dad, you made the guide, how crazy is that? :D Thanks for beating me a whole bunch and keeping my interest in this game. talking_chicken - referenced OUR SITE (sfacorner.forumer.com) on SmashBoards. BEn - camper, Uzzbuzz-dropper, and mistake-KO master extreme. Thanks for not giving up on this game when I kill you mercilessly. Uzzbuzz - this guy made up the 3rd most important tech... ACCIDENTALLY. You gotta love that kind of pro. Akp56 - for being patient (well, mainly) about our obsessive competitiveness, but mainly thanks for getting me into the game! Merik - so you get to watch a bunch of nerds play a game? ;P Ok, so you deserve a spot too. Namco - a great game. oh, how wonderfully cliched. Gamefaqs - for letting me host this. This is practically obligatory, but whatever. You - for reading this. Enough said; I love watching read-counts grow on Gamefaqs. ,.,,.____.____ ,' / ========== End (ENDGAME) ,' ,-,,..__.__: ,' ,'.-' '._' So you've reached the end. Congrats for actually getting this far and not giving up reading in the middle. Because honestly, I am glad that you actually took the time. Maybe we've hit something that we haven't realized - which is that this game is not just something to play when you're bored. Maybe it's a game that needs to be recognized and found to be a game which you can play competitively - something as huge as all the classic FPS games and something which is brought out less as a novelty item and more as an all-around great game. It might not get that far. I've been trying, but maybe it is doomed to just be me and my friends who play in our little community. But in case I fail - and JUST in case I fail to make this game the size it should really be - remember this. Remember that no one can say we didn't try. I hope you think about these things not only because it means I'll have someone to talk to who shares my viewpoint, but because I know that good games should always be appreciated. And about all the abuse I've given players on YouTube or whatever, let me just tell you this - the fact that you have thought about this game's advanced side makes you a better player right away, because you can adapt to the new stuff like this. And if you do slip out of your old ways and start playing with some depth, some more common sense, then you have earned my respect forever. Just think about this. It's the same way in every game - there is going to be someone that beats you in your life, whether they win on luck or if they simply fair-and-square kill you. But nevertheless, in every game there seems to exist a way to play that stretches the boundaries of button-mashing and straight-up aggression. And maybe, just maybe, we've found that way to play this game. In case you admit that maybe we have, where is it? Here's what I think: It's here. You've just finished reading about it. +-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+=+-+ ^ ^ ,.,,.____.____ <^ ^ ^> ,' / ================ < < @ > > ,' ,-,,..__.__: <v v v> ,' ,'.-' v v '._' GOOD GAMING TO EVERYONE See you on Lylat Systems!