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Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid/System
Every character can walk forwards and backwards. Characters walk faster forward than they do backwards. The speed at which they walk is character-specific and strongly impacts their footsies: for example, Kat Manx has a very fast walk speed, but Dragon Armor Trini walks very slowly and uses other options to move quickly across the screen.
Every character can jump, and can block while jumping. All jumps have 3 pre-jump frames where the character is still considered grounded and can block, but cannot block highs or lows. There are no other universal air actions, however many characters have unique air movement options such as divekicks, airdashes, and other moves that can alter jump arcs.
Every character can quickly move forwards or backwards on the ground by tapping a direction twice (or hitting L+M with a direction); this results in a dash. Like walking, each character has a unique distance and speed covered by their dash. Additionally, most characters can cancel their dash by crouching as early as frame 1. This allows many characters to quickly approach relatively safely by canceling their dash into a block or quickly chaining multiple crouch-cancelled dashes together in either direction.
By canceling a dash with a jump, you'll carry over momentum into the jump and do a "dash jump". Dash jumping can be performed by hitting or holding up forward while performing a forward dash. This changes the character's jump arc and speed, providing another option to quickly approach. Dash jumps can't be performed from a back dash. Certain characters such as Lord Zed may have additional properties on their dash such as crossing up teleportation and invulnerability frames.
Throws are 8f startup with 3 active frames and an 11f tech window after the throw connects. Inputting M+H during the throw tech window will push the characters apart and leave both in a neutral situation.
Blocking on the ground works in the following ways. Characters can block high by holding the direction away from the opponent, or block low by holding down and away. Most attacks in the game are mid attacks that can be blocked either high or low, but certain attacks called overheads must be blocked high, while other attacks, typically crouching attacks, must be blocked low. Virtually all jumping attacks are overheads and some characters can perform an overhead attack from the ground using a specific command normal or special. Projectiles are typically mid attacks and are blocked by holding away from the opponent's active character, not the projectile.
Blocking in the air is performed by simply not hitting a button while you are in the air. Beware though; some characters have moves that will punish jump blocking such as Goldar's back special anti-air throw.
Characters will take a small amount of damage from special moves, assists, supers, and Zords even while blocking. This is known as chip damage. Chip damage can kill characters in this game.
You can perform a pushblock by hitting S while in blockstun from an attack and can be performed on the ground or in the air. The opponent's character is then pushed away a set distance. This often allows you the spacing to get out of continuing offense or even start offence of your own. Be careful though, as pushblocking has a recovery of 10 frames (though the last frame of the pushblock animation clears all blockstun). A badly timed pushblock may make an opponent's unsafe attack safe thanks to distance. If you time your pushblock too early, or too late, or your opponent baits it by stopping their attack string early you will perform a special instead and often can be punished if the special has a long startup or recovery.
While in blockstun you can perform a Zord Counterattack by inputting forward and both assist buttons. Doing this costs 1 bar of Zord meter and performs a counterattack based on which Zord is selected. You cannot Counterattack while Zord ultra is active.
Some characters can use moves that are armored. Armored attacks will absorb a number of hits equal to its armor points without being interrupted, which makes them useful for blowing through certain types of attacks. However, being armored does not protect against throws and you will stack the damage from the attack the armor absorbed. When the armor is triggered, an unique sound effect will play and characters will be covered by a shader.
Certain moves, on the other hand, have invulnerability frames. If an enemy attack would collide while character is in invincibility frames, the attack will simply pass through. Similar to armored attacks, this can be useful for blowing through certain types of attacks. All characters' EX Attacks and most supers are invincible on startup and can be done immediately upon rising from the ground as a reversal. EX Attacks can often be punished on block or whiff without an assist to cover the recovery. Supers are almost always punishable on block or whiff as well. Swap Strike (2+S+A1/A2) is an universal reversal, as it has invun startup, 6f startup, and is safe on block, but doesn't do much damage.
Meter, Assists, tagging, and Zords
Super meter is gained from hitting the opponent and by getting hit. 1 Bar allows for use of an EX Attack (L+S), while 2 bars allows for use of a Super attack (H+S). Additionally, Jen can cancel some of her moves into a teleport for half a bar.
Every character has only 1 assist available to them (with the exception of Eric, who changes his assist while Quantum Power is active), which can be done by pressing the Assist button. When coming in, Assists can be hit and take extra damage. When recovering from a knockdown, assists are fully invincible.
While an Assist is out and neither the Assist nor the point character is in block or hitstun, pressing the Assist button again will switch control to the Assist for a tag. While tagging out, the old point character is still vulnerable for a brief period. If an Assist is swapped to while it's in the middle of an attack, that attack can be canceled into anything.
While taking damage Zord meter is built up to a maximum of 3 bars and can be used to either perform a Zord Counterattack or activate a Zord Ultra. Zord Counterattacks cost 1 bar of Zord meter and Zord Ultras cost at least 2 and will last longer with more meter.
With at least 2 bars of Zord meter, pressing both Assist buttons at the same time will activate the chosen Zord's Ultra. While the Zord Ultra is active, pressing either L, M or H will activate the Zord attack for that button. Zord Ultra activation can also be used to cancel the recovery animation of any attack on hit, however the Zord Ultra activation itself does still have recovery.
Note that only one Zord Ultra can be active at a time; if a player activates their Zord Ultra, their opponent cannot activate theirs until the active Zord's timer runs out. The timer lasts longer depending on how much Zord meter the player had when activating their Ultra.
Offense and Combo Mechanics
When a Grab and a hit collide on the same frame, the grab will win out.
Many normals can be canceled during the first few frames of their startup into a multi-button action with an overlapping input. For example, Jen can input 5H~M+H to cancel the first few frames of 5H into grab (you'll know it's been done because the sound effect for 5H will play as the throw whiffs). In some cases, this can effectively extend the range of some throws by carrying over momentum/movement from the first few frames of the move being canceled into the throw. This can also allow moves which are not normally dash-cancelable to be canceled into a dash by first canceling into an L or M normal, and then karaing that normal into L+M for the dash input. Canceling into an M or H move and Karaing into grab can also sometimes let a move recover faster, or create stronger tick throws by throwing earlier than normally possible. The timing for these kara cancels is fairly quick and typically done with a plink style input.
Limited combo states
Some hit effects have a hard limit on how many times they can be done in a combo. Every combo can contain 1 ground bounce, 1 wall bounce, 1 stagger, 1 reverse launcher, 2 launchers, and 2 spin states. Moves that ground bounce or a spin state against standing opponents do not count toward the ground bounce or spin state limits.
Juggle limit and hitstun deterioration
Once a hit connects, juggle limit will start building, both passively over time and in chunks whenever a hit connects. If the juggle limit is not full, characters will be in hitstun as long as they're in the air. Once juggle limit is full, characters will flip out of juggle state unless they're hit by a move with minimum hitstun (see below). Grounded hits aren't effected by juggle limit, but grounded hitstun shortens over time, so ground loops will eventually drop.
All special moves, EX Attacks, Supers, and some specific normal moves ignore the juggle limit and can keep comboing once juggle limit is full. Additionally, any moves with launch/bounce properties will ignore juggle limit; however, theses are limited as described above. Attempting to do additional bounces or launches will result in a knockdown or flipout instead. Juggle limit can be seen in training mode, but not in regular matches.
Damage scaling is a system to prevent long combos from being too overpowered. Each move that you perform in a combo adds a damage penalty to all subsequent moves. The damage penalty mostly depends on the type of move being performed, with some exceptions for certain moves. The maximum cumulative damage penalty is 70%, meaning once you hit this limit, all subsequent attacks in the combo will only do 30% of their standard damage. Damage is rounded down to the nearest whole number.
Standard damage penalties are as follows:
- 5L and 2L attacks have a 25% penalty
- 5M, 2M, and JL attacks have a 15% penalty
- JM attacks have a 10% penalty
- H attacks, most specials and swap strikes have a 5% penalty
- Throws generally have penalties ranging from 30-50%
- EX attacks mostly have a 35% penalty
- The penalty for supers and assists varies greatly depending on the move.
- Successive attacks of the same type have a 5% penalty (5LLL has a penalty of 25%+5%+5%)
- Standing and Crouching attacks are NOT considered the same type, so performing 5L2L will have a total penalty of 50%
- Some attacks like swap strikes will ignore the damage penalty and always do full damage. Certain hits of an EX or Super can also ignore damage penalties.
Certain moves differ from the standard penalties. For example, Dragon Armor Trini's L attacks have a 15% penalty rather than 25%. Goldar's 2L only has a 15% penalty, but his JL has a 20% penalty. The majority of moves use the standard damage scaling system above, just keep in mind that other exceptions like these do exist.
- Tommy's 5HHH combo does unscaled damage of 50+50+90=190. However, each attack carries a 5% damage penalty, so the actual damage looks like this: 50*(1) + 50*(.95) + 90*(.9) = 50+47+81=178.
- What if we add some move moves? 5LLMHHH would do unscaled damage of 35+35+40+50+50+90=300. But with damage scaling, we get this: 35*(1) + 35*(.75) + 40*(.7) + 50*(.55) + 50*(.5) + 90*(.45) = 35+26+28+27+25+40=181. The combo had twice as many moves but did almost the same damage!
- 5L>2L>5M>2M>5HHH does unscaled damage of 35+35+40+60+50+50+90=360. Applying the damage scaling formula it comes out as follows: 35*(1) + 35*(.75) + 40*(.5) + 60*(.35) + 50*(.3) + 50*(.3) + 90*(.3) = 35+26+20+21+15+15+27=159. With this one, the damage actually DECREASED because we had such large damage penalties at the beginning. Everything after the first 4 moves was doing the minimum damage possible.
In general, if you want to maximize damage for your combo, you should avoid using light and medium attacks near the beginning. However, it can still be beneficial to start combos with these moves because they are quicker and safer, and adding more moves to your combo will help build more super meter.