Tool-Assisted Combo Videos?

I’m sure everyone has heard of Tool-Assisted Speedruns. Check out bisqwit’s site for some crazy playthrough videos of classic games using all sorts of emulator tricks:

By emulator tricks, they mean stuff like lowering game speed to one frame per second, pausing the game and using frame advance, and replaying the same segment over repeatedly until they get the desired result. Then when they play back the emulator movie they recorded, it plays in standard speed with all the crazy lucky one-frame one-in-a-million shit they did.

So my question is … does anyone know if that sort of stuff can be done using a CPS2 emulator?

I’ll admit that i’m very new to this and know next to nothing about how these vids are made. But i want to learn, because it seems like a cool way to make old school combo videos instead of trying the same thing 98798273948723434 times. That repetitive bullshit was by far my least favorite part of making combo videos. Now i realize that CvS2 isn’t emulated well enough yet, and even if it was my computer couldn’t handle it. But for now i’d be more than happy to do tool-assisted combos in a game like Alpha 3.

Any help, advice, clarifications, even naysayers will be appreciated. There are some videos that i’ve seen where i just can’t believe those combos were done by hand. For example, that whole SnH series of X-Men vs Street Fighter videos has waaaaaay too much bullshit for me to believe that no emulator tricks were used.

Just to make things clear, i’m not trying to point fingers at anyone or to steal anyone’s thunder. It’s cool with me if they used some kind of trick to make combo execution easier because as far as i’m concerned the only thing that matters in combo videos is creativity. The only thing i’m trying to do here is learn the methods. If there are some emulator tricks being used to make combo videos, i think sharing them would lead to a lot more interesting combo videos. These days the traditional methods of making combo videos are pretty much dead anyway. We’re not exactly getting new Alpha 2 videos every day, and the ones that are released usually just repeat combos from 8 years ago.

Mods: If i’m breaking rules, feel free to lock/delete this thread. I tried to find some FGD mods on IRC before posting this but nobody was around at the time.

The only FGD mod that’ll give half a damn on IRC would be Jae AFAIK. You’re better off AIMing us. =x

Oh, and my reply to this is, KYSG uses program pad. I’m fairly sure you can freak some one frame links using frame stepping. So there’s your answer. Go make some vids. =D

are you still on aim mr maj?

Saotome Kaneda: As i understand it, frame advance is supported by most console emulators but i don’t think there’s an arcade emulator that has the feature. There’s a faq on bisqwit’s site that covers the different emulator tools and Final Burn Alpha is lacking most of them:

eKiN: Yeah, now and then, but not very much.

Kawaks has the feature you’re talking about, but:

Combos are different from speedruns in that because the number of pad/stick inputs required to do a combo is miniscule compared to number required to complete a full game, and also what will happen as a result of your actions in a fighting game - assuming your opponent is doing nothing - is far more clear cut than in say, a platformer (i.e. there are far fewer random elements which you need to in control to see and deal with), there is little to be gained by advancing frame by frame vs. other frame-accurate alternatives, where you program what you want done in advance and then hit a button and it’s all done for you automatically.

You might as well use Kawaks’ macro feature (which I never could really figure out; ask NKI), or use a program pad, both of which are functionally identical to frame-by-frame advancing in that they provide frame-accurate inputs. I guess advancing frame by frame could be useful in that it allows you to test stuff in a more “hands on” way than writing and re-writing macros, but for actually executing finalized combos, macros/program pad is the way to go, I think; it seems less labor-intensive and less prone to error, plus once you have the macro done you’ll always have it on record and can re-use it or parts of it later if necessary.

That said, I’ve don’t have a great deal of experience with either method myself, so don’t take my word as gospel or anything. I think NKI is the guy to ask about this.

Kawaks lets you do frame-by-frame input, but like polarity said, it’s the macro feature that is really powerful, because you can assign any move or sequence of moves, perfectly timed to the frame, to a single button. With that you can do crazy impossible stuff like standing 720s in ST (without kara canceling) or Dhalsim’s standing normals xx super.

Personally, as far as combo vids go, I think that emulators are a double-edged sword. It’s great that we don’t have to sit there for 18 hours anymore trying to get one combo (save/load state is a god send), but it also introduces a couple of problems. I agree that creativity is very important in vids, but I also think execution is very important. Being able to actually do st.Fierce xx Shinkuu in ST is a hell of a lot more impressive than programming a macro to do it. There’s nothing really creative about that combo (eveyone knows his st.Fierce is cancelable), but the fact that some people can actually do it by hand is amazing to me.

One thing that I really don’t like though is that emulators introduce a lot of combos that are just straight impossible in the arcade version (due to the emu’s cheats, or other things). That’s not cool, especially when there is no disclaimer in the vid saying that it’s emu-only. I remember seeing an MvC vid with a Strider/Strider combo, and I got all hyped thinking that there was some same-character glitch (like in XSF) that I didn’t know about, but it turns out they were just using emu cheats.

I just rambled for three paragraphs. Did any of that actually address your original post…? :confused:

<3 eKiN

Yep, Kawaks is the one to go to. Like polarity, I never really got the hang of the macro feature myself, but it can do some pretty cool stuff.

Sometimes I mess around with emu cheats just for the hell of it to see what happens. You can get some pretty bizarre and funny (to me, anyway) results. In ST, change character mid-super-flash (again, pause and frame-by-frame comes in handy), and you’ll freeze the game for everyone but you, just like the glitch in NKI’s video where Gouki gets hit mid-super-flash. Change from Vega (dictator) to Dee Jay and watch your opponent die instantly. Change from Guile to Ryu at the right time during a Sonic Boom, and you’ll throw a simultaneous Sonic Boom and Hadoken. Change character during Honda’s Ochio after he’s slammed the opponent to the ground, but before he’s butt-slammed them, and leave your opponent stuck on the floor indefinitely. And so on. :stuck_out_tongue:

Hm, that’s all very interesting/informative. Thanks good people of Shoryuken dot com.

So i have two follow-up questions:

  1. How exactly do you program these macros?

  2. How do you differentiate between legal uber-execution tricks and illegal cheats?

Obviously i have no interest in doing combos that involve illegal stuff. Removing the game’s rules is just not as interesting as going around them using legal tricks.

NKI: Regarding the value of execution, i’m totally interested in and impressed by cool execution methods for doing combos or whatever. Like those ST Balrog players that can play tournament matches while always using their palm to hold down the kick buttons for Turn-Around Punches. Or those Marvel players with their crazy button-tapping methods for doing Magneto infinites. Or those Tekken 4 players that keep finding ways to move the character select cursor away from Jin. All that stuff is cool and amazing and noteworthy.

But trying Ryu’s standing fierce xx super FB with the VCR recording, getting it to work once out of a hundred times and recording that for the internet is just not that impressive to me. Yeah if you try a “technically possible but humanly impossible” controller motion enough times, you’ll get lucky and it’ll work out. Watching someone get lucky once teaches me nothing new.

Don’t get me wrong - i don’t think emu-assisted combo videos are going to automatically be good. There are a LOT of Japanese CvS2 videos out there using programmable sticks that are essentially rehashes of old Sai-Rec combos from three years ago. I’m sure if we get everyone interested in this stuff, we’re still going to wind up with countless boring combo videos, but at least it will give the creative people some new toys to play with.

Yeah, I know how you feel. I was tricked at seeing a certain SFA2 combo vid of Ken doing like two or three Hurricane Kicks in a row thinking its real. :tdown:

I assure you there where no cheats or tricks that were done in that video, Prozac and Lezard just have a lot of patients and will keep on trying the combo until they get it.

Kawaks’ readme file explains it pretty well, but if it’s not clear, I’d be happy to explain it.

A good example would be Magnetro’s recent Magneto vid. It is hands-down top 5 best Marvel vids ever, but pretty much none of the stuff in that vid is humanly possible, and he even says so in the beginning of the vid. It’s all perfectly legal as far as the game’s rules go, but no human could do that stuff. To me that’s still crazy and awesome to see, even if I know it’s not humanly possible, as long as (like in Magnetro’s vid) no rule-breaking cheats are used.

Exploiting the game’s rules through whatever tools you have available = :tup:
Changing the game’s rules = :tdown:

The problem with the Kawak’s macro feature is that it only supports up to ~32 commands. For example, programming in Akuma’s full VC is extremely difficult, as you’d have to assign several keys the different macros.

Would it be possible to program smaller macros into larger ones? Say for example, you program a macro for a fireball (we’ll call this M1) and another macro a hurricane kick (M2) and then you have one more macro telling it to use the fireball macro and the hurricane kick macro (M3 = M1 + M2)? That might help get around the command input limitation.

Anyways, I’ve always been entertained and impressed by your combo videos. I say go for it.

It’ll do both macros at once, not one after the other, unless you force empty input frames in there(which defeats the purpose).

Not under Kawaks. Kawaks is “assign one keystroke one series of joystick/button press”, so you can’t go M3=M1+M2.

So far, the best I can see with Kawaks is to divide the combo into several macros, then as one part ends, start the other one.

There are other options. Wingman Profiler, for example, allows large macros to be programmed to a single joystick press (can work in conjunction with Kawaks). Unfortunately, in order to program the Profiler, you’d have to be able to do the combo in the first place. Unlike Kawak’s macros, which you can type in, Wingman Profiler copies commands you input into the joystick.

I think that kysg’s 3rd Strike vids are some of the most entertaining vids out there right now, and I enjoy watching them a lot. I know he uses a programmable stick, but that doesn’t affect my opinion of the videos at all, mostly because he concentrates on “creativity” combos and not execution combos.

There are definitely two types of combos: creativity and execution. In the case of “kysg”, you’ll see him make combos just to see if he can do it (like putting, what was it, 9 Uppercuts with Elena into one combo!!). So having a programmable stick makes it fine because the shit he comes up with is awesome. But then there are some Combos, like Stand Fierce into Shinkuu Hadouken in ST, or Crouch Jab into CPSI chain Stand Fierce into Flash Kick Super in X-Groove in Alpha 3, that are put in solely to show that, hey, I can do this shit. Those are execution Combos and have NO place in videos with programmable tools.

My thoughts are this: if you ue a programmable stick, emulator trick, or anything of that sort, CALL IT OUT. Let people know at the beginning of your vid that the things you are doing are inhuman, like that Magneto Combo Vid NKI talked about did. Then it’s cool. But, if you make such a video, you’d better concentrate on creative combos and not execution combos.

But as a Combo Video Maker, I will say this: performing a combo just right is a pain in the ass. I always try to make sure there is “white space” before and after the combos when I try to record them; i.e. characters just standing there doing nothing. It’s just for editing purposes, as I like to have lead-in and lead-out space just in case I need them for good timing in a Combo Video. But as anyone who’s ever tried Combo Videos before can tell you, having those stupid “white spaces” really throws off your timing and your rhythm. You’re way more likely to perform a combo properly if you just keep trying over and over again without delays and pauses. So doing Combos for videos sucks for me sometimes for that reason, especially combined with me clicking “record” on my capture device and having to stop it from time to time so that my captured file doesn’t end up being 45873965367349653 MB large.

I would love to make a Combo Video with a programmable tool. And if I did, more than likely what I’d do is this: don’t bother recording anything, and just do the combo over and over again in Training Mode with no breaks for white spaces or waiting for the enemy’s life meter to replenish or whatever until I finally get it within my natural rhythm. Once i do it the one time, I’ll THEN go and program it on the programmable tool, and record it with the white spaces before and after. It’s the same thing: I pulled it off, and if I were using my old method, I’d’ve recorded it there and then. But this way, I didn’t have to worry about rhythm problems to do it.

If I do end up making combo videos with combos that are not humanly possible, or that it is just way too hard to do without a programmable tool, I’ll call it out right away. I think that’s the right path to go, and makes Tool-assisted videos just fine. As long as you call it out and don’t break rules, like NKI said.

  • James

Lezard’s Final Chapter at 9:37 he has this ST Guile vs Zangief combo:
meaty Sonic Boom, whiff knee, c.MP xx Sonic Boom, c.MP xx Sonic Boom, walk forward LK Flash Kick

No cheats or tricks? Are you fucking serious?? I’ve never even seen anything like that even in a TZW video and that guy has been making OG Guile combos for 10 years.

I mean don’t get me wrong, i was totally psyched when i saw that combo. I’m glad someone has found a way to do it. But i don’t think anyone here believes that shit was done by hand so what’s the benefit in lying to us? Just say you used some emulator tricks. Lezard’s and Prozac’s combos are damn creative. They have nothing to be ashamed of.

I know all about emulator tricks and tips. But I learned of them, all after SnH2. Kawaks macro feature is weak… I played around with it, and as far as I can tell, it can record from 1 to 5 seconds of input, depending on how it’s coded(It’s a processed character limit.). All that would do is trip me up. I’ve tried it, and it didn’t work. The Frame-Advance option that essentially “every” EMU has(Kawaks, FBA, Mame), used in conjuction with pausing the game, is more useful than that kawaks crap.

I would assume, that if you have the patience… You can input anything you want, as long as you do it frame by frame. Of course, with the precision required… Messing up on a frame(Pressing up instead of left, pressing left one frame too long, whatever), will throw a wrench into the rest of the input. I tried it a couple times on a Jugg FSD. It worked, but it took hours. More time, than it would have taken me to try it over and over until I got it. But… Let’s say I wanted to do Jugg FSD -> 200% Glitch -> Zangief FSD -> KO Glitch… Than sure… I’d probably spend the hours doing it frame by frame, instead of the days doing it manually.

And no, the only EMU trick I used in SnH was 3P/3K, and No Dizzy cheat. I can’t speak for lezard, but I know my own work.

Koforever team also used those type of tricks. Persona had informed me that they used something called a hex editor. No fuckin way you could do that iori infinite(repeating qcb, which involved canceling the first qcb A into qcb B but immediately canceling back into qcb A repeat times 40)Or s.LPx3 into flash kick in svc. After seeing that combo by the leader of koforever, I didnt give a fuck about him. I knew it was all true.

I gotta agree with Maj…even though I give mad props to Lezard, I don’t believe that Guile combo is humanly possible. TZW would have done it by now. (Well, he did do it…but it was in the “no charge combos” section…)

Prozac, you just reminded me of one thing that I wanted to get some opinions on.

What do you guys think of the “No Dizzy” cheat? Here is something that clearly changes the game’s rules (characters are supposed to get dizzy, thus ending the combo), but it doesn’t change the combo rules, and it allows for longer, better combos.

I say using “No Dizzy” is OK, but what do you guys think?