Wednesday, February 03, 2016

My Horrible Experience with an Auto Body Painter


I contracted a guy to paint my arcade cabinet in the beginning of January 2016. He said it would take 3 days tops. He dodged me for 3 weeks until I called the police, and they made him give me my unfinished/totally botched cabinet back.

Here is what the cabinet looked like before it was sent to the painter:

The cabinet breaks down into 3 main parts. The Arch, the Base and the Control Panel. Here you can see the Base and the Arch. There are extra parts in the back that just needed to be painted flat black. Those are done.


Here is the Arch attached to the Base WITHOUT the monitor/speaker bezel in place. You can also see my other arcade cabinets already painted in the background.


I had started to work on sealing the cut/rough edges of the control panel with bondo. I did an OK job, but felt that a professional should finish it up and paint it with the right paints and equipment. Ha!


Here are examples of what the cabinet was SUPPOSED TO LOOK LIKE after being sent off to a local painter:

I like this example except that I didn't want red ALL the way around the control panel like this. Just the sides. Also, this is a different version of the arcade cabinet. It has a black side piece that does not exist on the version I have.

.
In this example, the pin-striping is unnecessary, but the rest looks good.
In this example, you can see a two tone paint job. On my version, the white parts would have been red. Ignore the Plexiglas parts. I have those already done.


And here's the current state of the cabinet... which is what I got back from an idiot painter in Hutto:

You can't really tell how BAD the paint job is here.


Notice that he didn't seal the cut/rough edges so all the paint soaked through. Terrible.


Another example of why you NEED to seal the cut/rough edges with wood filler or bondo or something BEFORE priming.


More non-sealed edges.


The Arch separated from the Base.


This should have been red/black on the back too. This guy just didn't care at all.


There is so much dust on it from the guy ignoring it for 3 weeks.


It almost looks decent here. It's not. Trust me.


Another deceptively "clean" shot.


You can see some scratches in this picture.


The bottom of the Control Panel wasn't even primed correctly. I would be ashamed if I had done this.


The bottom of the Control Panel with the access panel removed.


The only reason THIS primed part looks decent is because *I* bondo'd it BEFORE I gave it to the painter. It's the only part that looks like it came out smooth prior to painting.


More dust from weeks of neglect.


More rough edges. The yellow lines are due to sunlight. 


The arch part scratched the side all up. Those lines are NOT sunlight. Those are spray marks from who knows what he was doing..


More scratches and more spray marks. Just terrible workmanship.


Even the "good" side looks really really bad. Not smooth at all.


NO attempt to do a good job. The masking wasn't done right either.


Again, you have to SEAL the rough edges first! C'mon!


And another pic of the part that I sealed with bondo before he primed it. He never got around to painting it.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A look into a particularly tight session of $1/$2

A complete listing of every single hand that I got dealt at The Venetian $1/$2 No Limit Hold 'Em game.

Interesting stats:

179 hand dealt in 4 hours and 15 minutes. That's  42 hands per hour! Or, a new hand every 1 minute 25 seconds! That's really fast for a live game!

I folded 121 out of 179 hands. That's 68%. This doesn't count checked big blinds or chopped blinds or forced posts.

I flat called 30 out of 179 hands. That's 17%. 11 of those calls were small blind hands where I called $1. So 19 times, or 11% of the time time I flat called a raise.

I raised only 13 times. That's 7% of the time. 

In 179 hands, I was dealt:

AA: 0
KK: 2
QQ: 0
JJ: 0
TT: 0
99: 1
88: 1
77: 0
66: 0
55: 0
44: 3
33: 1
22: 0
AK: 0
AQ: 1
AJ: 2

Date: July 22nd 11:30pm.

Starting stack: $300.

You'll see the hand, my action, and how my stack looked (up or down) compared to my starting stack of $300 after that hand was completed.

6h Td fold 
4s 5h fold 
Kh 5h fold
Ks 3d fold 
Js 2d fold 
7c 2d fold
7h 3c BB fold -2 LOSE
Ad 9c SB folded for $1 more -3 LOSE
8c Qs DLR fold
Qc Jd raise to $7. 4 callers.  J65A +44 WIN
Jh 9h call $2 JT9 +65 WIN
Qc 4d fold
4d 6c fold
Td Ks raise to $6 Qd Td 8c Jd +76 WIN
As Qd raise $8 Folded to reraise $34. +68 LOSE
Jd 6c BB checked. folded on flop +66 LOSE
Tc 3c SB folded to raise to $10 +65 LOSE
6c 4h DLR fold
3h 4s fold
Kc 6h fold

5h 6d fold
7c 9d fold
9h 2s fold
Kd 8c BB folded to $9 raise LOSE +63
Kd 9h SB folded to $7 raise LOSE +62
 
TABLE BROKE

NEW TABLE - MOVED
8h 4h fold +62
2d 3h fold
2d 4c fold
9d 9h call $7. 4QQ6 +94 WIN
5h 8a BB check LOSE +92 LOSE 
Jd 7c SB call 2 +90 LOSE
8s 3c DLR fold 
6c Qs fold
Ad 8c fold
4s 4c call 7 +81 LOSE

12:30a
Jh 5c fold
8h Kc fold
8c Ks fold
9s 8h BB folded to straddle 4 +79 LOSE
Ad 5c SB call 2 +60 LOSE
4s Tc DLR fold 
7s 2s fold
Qs Kd call $10  +16 LOSE
8h 6s fold
Qs 4c fold
2c 3c fold
6h 9d fold
7s 9c fold
7s 8d BB fold +14 LOSE
9s Ts SB call 2 +12 LOSE

Ad 7s DLR fold 
Qh 4s fold
Th Jc raise $7 call $13 -8 LOSE
Kh Ks raise 12 +10 WIN
6c 7d fold 
3c 6c BB fold +8 LOSE
Kh 8d SB call 2 -59 LOSE with flopped 2 pair
2s 5s DLR fold
Kd 6d fold
7h Ts fold
7h 8d fold
Kd Ks raise to $6 -56 WIN
7s 9d BB fold -58 LOSE 
Qs 4s SB fold -59 LOSE
Js 8c DLR fold
8d 9h fold 
Js 9h raise to 6 -52 WIN
Ah Jh BB call 6. -8 WIN
Jc 9d SB  fold -9 LOSE
Qc 4h DLR fold
JS 4h fold
8c 6h fold

TABLE BROKE

NEW TABLE - MOVED
9s 5h fold -9
Qc 7s fold
8d Td called $10. +35 WIN ChkRais w/pair/draw
Ah 7c fold
QH JS BB chopped blinds +35 DRAW
7h 8c SB fold +34 LOSE 
Kh Th DLR raise to 12. +22 LOSE
Ks 3h fold
Kh Qc call 6 +41 WIN
3s 5d fold
2h 4c fold
4d 4s call $2. +39 LOSE
Ac 8c BB call $11 +28 LOSE
Qh 2s SB fold +27 LOSE
JC 5c DLR fold
Tc 3c fold
Qh Td raise to $7. +41 WIN
Ah 5s fold
Qd 3h fold
Kc 4s BB  check +39 LOSE
Ah 6c SB call 2. +42 WIN
4s 8d DLR fold 

3a 6s fold
3d 3c call $2. Folded to reraise. +40 LOSE
As 2d fold 
Kh 8c fold
3h 9c fold
4h 3s BB check +38 LOSE
Qc 9c SB Call 2. +36 LOSE
2c Qh DLR fold
4h 9c fold
Js 8c fold
2c 3c fold
Th 6d fold
Jc 6s fold
Jd Td BB call 7. Chopped. +36 DRAW
Ah 7c SB fold +35 LOSE
4d Jc DLR fold
Jh 3c fold
4s 5h fold
Ac 5c call $2. +33 LOSE 
4h 4c call $2. +31 LOSE
5c 3d BB check +29 LOSE

2:30a
Kc Th SB call $2.+27 LOSE
Qs Jd DLR raise to 7. +33 WIN
9c Tc call $2. +31 LOSE
As 7s fold
5c 6c call 2. +29 LOSE
4s 6h fold
2c 5h BB fold +27 LOSE
Kh 3s SB fold +26 LOSE
6c 4h DLR fold
9d 8s fold
Qd Td raise $6. +29 WIN
Jd 6d fold
5h 5d call $12. +17 LOSE
4s 8d BB fold +15 LOSE
9d 3c SB called 2. +13 LOSE
Qs 3s DLR fold
As 2s called $6. +196 WIN
As 7c folded. 

3:00a
3c 7h BB Fold  +194 LOSE
Qc 5h SB chopped blinds +194 DRAW

3:05a
TABLE BROKE

3:10a
NEW TABLE - MOVED
8s Th fold +194 
As 3h fold
Tc 5c seat change $2. fold +192 LOSE
8h 8c call $2. Fold to reraise. +190 LOSE
3s 7s fold
6h 2d BB fold +188 LOSE

3:30a
9h 6d SB call 2. +186 LOSE
4d Td DLR fold
3d 9d fold
6s 7s call $2. +184 LOSE
6c 2h fold  
Jh 8s fold
Qs 2h BB check. +182 LOSE
Td 6d SB chopped the blinds +182 DRAW
Ac 5h DLR fold
4d 3c fold
Jd Td call 2. +130 LOSE
Ad Jd raise to 10. +$133 WIN
6h 9s fold
6s Qh BB fold +131 LOSE

4:00a
TABLE BROKE

NEW TABLE - MOVED
Ad 7d fold +131
4h Ad fold
Jd 4d fold
4s 2h fold
5s 7s BB check. +129 LOSE
6c 5s SB call 2. +121 LOSE
Qs 2d DLR fold
Td 5s fold
Qc Tc raise to $11. +110 LOSE
Qh 2c fold
Js 6c fold
Jd 8c fold
Ts 2c fold
Qd 9h BB check. +108 LOSE
6s 8s SB call 2. +76 LOSE
Ks 3d DLR fold
Jd Th called 2. Folded to raise. +74 LOSE

4:30a
Js 2h fold
Jc 9d call 2. +80 WIN
6s 3s BB fold  +78 LOSE
Kd Ks SB raised to 12. +101 WIN
5s 3d DLR fold
Ac 2h fold
Jd 8h fold

4:45a
TABLE BROKE

Could not be moved to a new table because there was only one left and it was full.




Tuesday, November 25, 2014

From Where is the *69 Moniker Derived?


So those of you that have hung around me long enough, within the last 15 years or so, have known that certain things I'm associated with are named with some variant of *69: video game tournaments, poker games, even my Wifi network have s69 or Star Six Nine in it somehow. I get asked a lot where that came from. Well, that's a medium-long story.

When I first moved to Austin in 1999, Quake 3 was a big thing for PC gaming. I had dabbled in Quake 2, but when Quake 3 came out, I got into it pretty hardcore. There was a local LAN tournament in Austin called "IRQ Conflict" (the Q was stylized to look like the Quake "Q" logo.) The best players from the Austin Area (and some even from other parts of Texas) would gather there several times a year.

At the first tournament I went to, I think I placed 5th or 6th in Quake 2. So I didn't do that great, but I played well enough to get noticed by the locals. One of the locals, Josh, decided that he should form a Quake 3 clan comprised solely of Austin players. Nobody could agree on a name, so Josh just used his old Quake 1 clan name, which had been dissolved by now. Since nobody cared, we just went with it: *69.

For a while, none of us in the clan even knew why it was called *69. Eventually I asked Josh why he'd chosen the name *69. The story wasn't that inspiring. He told me that he had hastily formed a clan for a tournament, and he needed a clan name for registration. In true Brick Tamland fashion, Josh simply looked around the room for inspiration. He saw a refrigerator magnet that was advertising a phone service, *69, and just used that.

Many of you younglings might not know this, but back then, when people had home land-line phones, you could add features to your service... like call waiting, caller-id and last-call-return. These were not included in your regular phone service. The last-call-return service was accessed by dialing *69 on your phone. It would simply call back whatever number last called you. So if you had someone that'd call you and hang up on you, you could dial *69 and call them back without knowing their number and go, "Hey, asshole! Why'd you hang up on me!... Oh!... Sorry, Mom! I didn't know it was you. Oh, the cat unplugged your phone as I answered? No, I'm fine. Sorry I haven't called." The funny thing is that some people thought that by naming ourselves *69 that we were saying, "If you frag us, we'll frag you back!" Ha! If only we'd have been that clever...

So, in short, Josh had this GTE (not even AT&T, hmph) magnet reminding him of the *69 service, and he simply chose that for the clan name kinda randomly. And the dojo part? Well, ever since being part of that clan, people would come over to practice Quake. I'd host many, many LAN parties over the years. And since my clan was called *69, and we practiced at my place all the time, people starting calling my house the *69 Dojo. Makes sense, right?

Anyway, the name stuck with me and anytime I couldn't come up with a better name for something, which is almost always, I just name it s69 or STAR69 or *69. The end.

TL;DR = *69 comes from my Quake clan's name which was in turn inspired by a lame refrigerator magnet.



Friday, November 21, 2014

Button Layouts for Popular Fightsticks

Yesterday's post on fightsticks reminded me of a discussion that several of my FGC buddies and I have had regarding button layout. More then a few have "complained" that the Qanba Q4RAF's buttons were "too close to the stick" and would cause them to play poorly. I maintained that there was no difference between the Q4RAF's button-joystick spacing and the Mad Catz TE's button-joystick spacing.. which are the only points of reference that I have since those the only two sticks that I currently own.

I decided to download the templates from Art's Hobbies (who I highly recommend if you plan to customize your stick... they do very good work!) and compare the templates. What I found was that 4 out of the 6 templates that I compared had almost exactly the same distance between the joystick and the leftmost buttons. The Qanba Q4RAF, the Mad Catz TE, the Mad Catz TE2, and the Hori HRAP V3 were nearly identical in their spacing. In fact, the Hori HRAP V3 and the Qanba Q4RAF were almost pixel-for-pixel the same. The only difference was that the joystick hole for the HRAP was just a tiny bit smaller.The TE and TE2 were also nearly identical. The TE2 just had ever so slightly bigger button holes.The SFxT Mad Catz stick was a few millimeters further away than the ones I mentioned and the Mad Catz Soul Calibur V stick was waaaay over to the right. Honestly, that's more variation that I thought there would be on that SCV stick.

Anyway, take a look for yourself: (CLICK PHOTO TO EMBIGGEN):

 (NOTE: Most of you probably know this, but the Eightarc Fusion stick is the same as the Q4RAF but without the start button on the top. That's why I didn't bother putting it in.)

You can download all the templates from Art's Hobbies yourself if you'd like: http://www.tek-innovations.com/arthobbies/index.cfm?loc=about&sub=templates


UPDATE: Someone asked me for JUST the Q4RAF vs the TE layout. I left the HRAP V3 because it's literally the same exact layout as the Q4RAF.




Thursday, November 20, 2014

My Fighting Game Controllers Over the Years

So today someone asked me how people could have "survived" playing on American-style sticks back in the 90s. The topic came up because I'd bought some Mortal Kombat fight sticks with the retro layout for the Xbox 360. You know, the ones with the block button in the middle and a dedicated run button for your thumb. Let me tell you, having gotten used to Sanwa-based fight sticks, I have to admit, that these old school sticks do feel pretty awful. The answer was that back then, we were just used to the the bat-top Happ sticks. We didn't know any better. :)

In fact, when Street Fighter II came out for the SNES, it was the first time anybody really cared about specifically designed fighting game controllers for a console.

THE BEGINNING...



To be sure, the SNES controller is one of the best of all time. The d-pad is actually pretty responsive, and you can certainly hold your own with one in any SNES fighting game. But having invested 100s of hours in SF2 at the arcades, playing on a d-pad just didn't seem right. So, on went the hunt for a better controller.

Because we were young and naive, or at least I was, I was very easily swayed by video game magazine ads. And when I saw this baby, I just had to have it!

THE PROGRAMMABLE PAD...




Looking at it now, we can tell without even touching it that it's just a load of hot garbage. But when you're a teenager staring a the glossy pages of EGM and see that there's a controller that will do a fireball FOR YOU with a touch of a button, oh, man. How can you resist?

Other than it being completely awkward to hold and the d-pad being junk, this thing had many problems. For one, it just recorded motions and stored them into one of the three programmable bean-shaped "buttons."  But guess what? If you record yourself doing a fireball to the right, and you're on the left, it's not going to work if you end up on the right! That and it almost never worked right. What a waste of money.

One of the things that this pad didn't address was the button layout. SF2 had a distinct 2 x 3 matrix of buttons. The shoulder buttons were awesome for stuff like F-Zero, but lousy for fighting games. Even Capcom understood this and introduced a couple of Capcom-branded fighting controllers.

THE 2 X 3 LAYOUT PAD...


We can admire Capcom's effort here, but the final product was not that great. Once again, the d-pad just wasn't as good as the original SNES d-pad. That and even though it was ergonomically designed, it just felt weird in your hand. We wanted a real joystick. And Capcom knew this.

THE OFFICIAL CAPCOM FIGHT STICK...



Or Powerstick as Capcom liked to calll it. It still retained that goofy ergonomic design, but the buttons and joystick itself were terrible. Had they simply used arcade standard parts, it would have been a pretty decent stick, but alas these are junk. The stick was super mushy and the buttons felt terrible. To my knowledge, Capcom never tried to create another fightstick again.

And Capcom wasn't the only one trying to cash in on the SF2 craze on SNES. Oh, no.

ASCIIWARE SNES JOYSTICKS...




A company called ASCIIWARE made a couple of attempts to get into the SNES joystick scene. If I recall correctly, that terrible SNES/SFC/NESAdvantage-inspired stick came out first. It might have come out before SF2 even. At least I hope it did because check out that button layout... wow! It's like a drunk 4 year old slapped some buttons on a prototype and they just went with it. "Looks great! Throw 'em into production!"

The 2nd attempt was much more on target. It had probably the best layout of all the SNES sticks, but again, the problem was the shoddy joysticks and buttons. There was too much play in the stick. It was very easy to drop the simplest of combos.

Ultimately, like most people, I ended up reverting back to the original SNES pad for SF2. I believe that MAS Systems created a genuine arcade joystick for the SNES, but it was ridiculously expensive, and I never met anyone who had one.

Fast forward a few years. Skipping over the PSX and Saturn era which did have a multitude of quality joysticks. But this is my story, and so let's move to the 128bit era.

MY 1ST JAPANESE STYLE JOYSTICK...


The Dreamcast was a wonderful system. At it's core, it was a Naomi arcade machine, so it had plenty of power to run a multitude of great arcade quality fighting games. And while the SNES, PSX and Saturn pads were very capable controllers for fighting games, the DC controller was absolutely not. In fact, it was God awful. Luckily, I found one of these babies at EB Games marked down to $10. I'd have bought two, but they only had one left. It didn't have official "Sanwa" parts, but I didn't know any better back then. All I knew was that it was heavy, looked awesome and had a square joystick gate that drove me nuts.... at the beginning. After a while, I came to love the square gate. I realized what many people had known for years... that it really helps you "feel" the corners and makes moves that end in diagonals like dragon punches much easier.

After this stick, I was sold on Japanese style sticks, so when the first fighting game for the Xbox 360 came out, I bought two!

MY 2ND JAPANESE STYLE JOYSTICK...


Again, no Sanwa parts, but again, I didn't even know what that meant. This stick, in retrospect, was probably a bit worse than the DC stick, but we didn't have any choice. That's all that there was. While I first bought it for DOA4, it got the most use when Street Fighter 2 Turbo Hyper Fighting came out for XBLA. I LOVED that game, and playing on this stick gave me a huge advantage over pad players. We all know how bad the Xbox 360 pad is, right? Right? RIGHT?!?! (*AHEM*)

So this stick was good for a while, until I heard that SFIV was coming out and a new stick was debuting with it.

THE NEW STANDARD...


Ahhh. Now we're talking! By this time, I was familiar with what was what when it came to joysticks. I'd read all about Sanwa and Seimitsu and when this was announced, everybody pounced in it. As far as I know this was the first all Sanwa parts fight stick released in the US. The problem was that it was being made by Mad Catz, which up until then, had made nothing but cheap Chinese garbage peripherals. So this was a big departure for them. And it really turned the company image around. Everyone scrambled to pre-order it, but supplies were super scarce. When rumors on the 'net started spreading that some people had gotten their hands on one, I called every video game store around town looking for one. Luckily, one Game Crazy about 10 minutes away said they got an "extra" one in stock. I had already pre-ordered a couple online, but I HAD to have one that day. I drove down there during my lunch hour and when I got there, the guy didn't want to sell it to me. He said his manager said it was on hold for someone that had pre-ordered it. Somehow,  I don't know how, I convinced him to sell it to me anyway, and I couldn't remember ever being happier bringing a new video game peripheral home.

About a week later I got the two I had pre-ordreed shipped to me. I sold one to a friend of mine at cost and kept the 2nd one for guests. Best purchase ever.

Until...

MY CURRENT FAVORITE FIGHTSTICK..


Or my personalized version...



This stick is essentially the same as the Mad Catz TE. It comes with high quality Sanwa parts, which I've customized, but the real big thing about this stick is that it works on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or PC with just a flick of a switch. While others might mod their sticks to have this functionality, I've found that none work as easily and as consistently as the Qanba Q4RAF. 

Will this be my last stick? Almost certainly not. With the release of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, I'm eagerly awaiting a X360/PS3/XBO/PS4/PC compatible stick. It may be a while. Perhaps when the next Capcom fighter gets released for the newest generation of consoles. :)


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Display Performance: Input Lag (i.e. Display Lag) Vs. Pixel Response Times

OK, this is beginning to bug me. I see a lot of people confusing these two things ALL THE TIME! And worse yet, some people are misinforming others! I'm sick of people telling others to only buy monitors with 1 or 2ms of input lag. While that would be awesome, NO monitor to my knowledge even comes close to those input lag times.

A lot of the confusion is due to both input lag and pixel response times being measured in milliseconds (ms = 1/1000th of a second), and both having to do with display (monitor) performance. However, they're TOTALLY different.

For years, most people only talked about pixel response times. Those are the numbers you see that are less than 5ms. Pixel response time is how long it takes a pixel to change from one color to another. Most manufacturers measure this as GTG (grey-to-grey). Essentially, this is how fast the pixels can change color. The longer the pixel response time is, the more you're likely to see "ghosting" (i.e. after-images or blurring) on your flat panel display during fast moving sequences. Really good monitors range from 1ms to 5ms or so for pixel response GTG times. CRT and Plasma displays, due to the nature of their technology, typically don't have to worry about response times because they're super fast.

Input lag (i.e. Display Lag) is kind of a newer thing that people have been measuring (and a lot of people don't quite understand.) Input lag is how long it takes for a display to show an input on your screen. For example, input lag measures how long it takes from when you press the light punch button to when the action is displayed. To my knowledge no display manufacturer publishes this value. Maybe they will soon because it's becoming a hot topic... especially in the fighting game community, but I've yet to see places like amazon.com or newegg.com list input lag values for a display. So if you see a low ms value listed on a website where you're buying something, you're most likely seeing the pixel response time, not this. A really good input lag rating is about 10ms. Anywhere from 10ms to 40ms is considered pretty good. Above 40ms, and you'll start to notice a delay from when you punch to when you see it. AFAIK, THERE ARE NO COMMERICALLY AVAILABLE 1ms INPUT LAG MONITORS. Not by Asus or Benq or anyone else.

For a database of input lag (i.e. display lag) ratings, check http://www.displaylag.com/display-database/

To be perfectly honest, how well a display performs for gaming is going to be due to a combination of both input lag and pixel response times. Both are important. And high values for either can cause your game controls to feel sluggish.

Bonus: While I'm at it... Refresh Rates are something completely different too. But, most people don't confuse them with input lag or pixel respone times because they're measured in Hz as opposed to ms. A 60Hz monitor is standard and refreshes 60 times a second. Higher performance monitors can do 120Hz (120 times a second) and some gamer specific models are rated as 144Hz. You'll even see some displays listed as 240Hz or 480Hz. Plasma displays don't work like LCDs do, but to complete with the Hz-heavy marketing used by LCD manufacturers, they typically list plasmas as 600Hz. Unless you're doing 3D (which requires 120HZ or more), you don't need to worry about this too much. For fighting games, 60Hz is fine as most games run at 60 frames per second anyway.

Killer Instinct - Jago/Shadow Jago Auto-Doubles

Combo breaking in Killer Instinct is relatively straight-forward. If your opponent is attacking you with light attacks, you tap both LP+LK at the same time to combo break him. If he's attacking you with medium attacks, then tapping MP+MK will combo break. And, of course, if he's attacking you with heavy attacks, simply hitting the HP+HK buttons will break the combo.

The real trick is being able to tell which attack your opponent is using. Because if you hit the wrong combo breaker (ex: hitting MP+MK when you're being hit with light attacks), then you're going to be "locked out" with a giant X and an exclamation point over your head. And then for the next 3 seconds, you'll be helpless to a combo onslaught.

Without getting into too much detail, there are several components to a combo. And other than the opening move (and most ending moves) each of the middle components of the combo can be broken. However, the easiest combo component to identify is an auto-double. This is where you hit a single button during your combo to get an automatic two-hits on your opponent. The speed, damage and animation for an auto-double is different for every button for every character. That means that each character has 6 possible auto-doubles to choose from when doing his combo. During the heat of battle, it can be hard for a beginner (and sometimes veterans!) to discern them all.

So, in an effort to train my brain into recognizing all the various auto-doubles of each of the 8 characters in Killer Instinct, I created a series of animated GIFs so that I can see them all side-by-side. Note that I've slowed the animation of the moves down to 1/2 speed to make them a bit easier to see. In a real combo, these animations will look *much* faster.

Notes on Jago's/Shadow Jago's Auto-Doubles: (Currently Jago and Shadow Jago play exactly the same in Vs. Mode.)
  • Like a few other characters, his MP involves him throwing an elbow.
  • His only auto-double to crouch/hit low is his MK. So if you see a sweep: MP+MK!
  • His MP has a very distinctive hard fist sword slam attack.
  • His only auto-double to swing his sword is his MP. So if you see a sword swing: MP+MK! 

Light Punch

Medium Punch

Heavy Punch

Light Kick

Medium Kick

Heavy Kick

Killer Instinct - Spinal Auto-Doubles

Combo breaking in Killer Instinct is relatively straight-forward. If your opponent is attacking you with light attacks, you tap both LP+LK at the same time to combo break him. If he's attacking you with medium attacks, then tapping MP+MK will combo break. And, of course, if he's attacking you with heavy attacks, simply hitting the HP+HK buttons will break the combo.

The real trick is being able to tell which attack your opponent is using. Because if you hit the wrong combo breaker (ex: hitting MP+MK when you're being hit with light attacks), then you're going to be "locked out" with a giant X and an exclamation point over your head. And then for the next 3 seconds, you'll be helpless to a combo onslaught.

Without getting into too much detail, there are several components to a combo. And other than the opening move (and most ending moves) each of the middle components of the combo can be broken. However, the easiest combo component to identify is an auto-double. This is where you hit a single button during your combo to get an automatic two-hits on your opponent. The speed, damage and animation for an auto-double is different for every button for every character. That means that each character has 6 possible auto-doubles to choose from when doing his combo. During the heat of battle, it can be hard for a beginner (and sometimes veterans!) to discern them all.

So, in an effort to train my brain into recognizing all the various auto-doubles of each of the 8 characters in Killer Instinct, I created a series of animated GIFs so that I can see them all side-by-side. Note that I've slowed the animation of the moves down to 1/2 speed to make them a bit easier to see. In a real combo, these animations will look *much* faster.

Notes on Spinal's Auto-Doubles:

  • Only his light auto-doubles crouch So if you see him crouching, time for LP+LK!
  • His MP and HP look awfully similar! Main difference is speed and the order of the shield attack.
  • Like a few other characters, his HK involves that telling stomp!


Light Punch

Medium Punch

Heavy Punch

Light Kick

Medium Kick

Heavy Kick