A combo (コンボ, Konbo?) is a cohesive sequence of hits that are unavoidable once the first hit lands, which can be done on the ground or in the air. A staple of the fighting game genre, they involve linking or chaining normal attacks together, or canceling a normal attack into a Special Attack or an Overdrive Attack.
Since the original Guilty Gear, the basis of the series' combo system is the Gatling Combination (ガトリングコンビネーション, Gatoringu Konbinēshon?), a method of linking normal attacks together. The moment the player hits an opponent with a normal attack, they can enter the commands for another normal attack; the first move will hit, and the recovery motion will be canceled into the second move. Each character has a different set of Gatling combinations, called Gatling routes (ガトリングルート, Gatoringu Rūto?), available to them.
Chaining must always increase or stay at the same level of strength, going from weak attacks to strong attacks. In its most basic form, the combo progression is → → → → . In Guilty Gear -Strive-, the Gatling system is changed for the first time in the series: weak attacks no longer universally cancel into heavy attacks; instead, they combo into Command Normals or Special Attacks. While there are character-specific variations, the general rule is:
- → or Command Normal
- → or Command Normal
- Close → or or or Command Normal
- → as long as it's not a Command Normal
After a Gatling Combo, the player can then usually cancel into a Special Move by inputting its command before the animation of their last Gatling hit finishes. The use of Roman Cancels may be required to extend a combo.
On screen, when a combo is being performed, the number of hits as they connect and the word "BEAT" (ビート, Bīto?) will appear. Since Guilty Gear XX Slash, the combo counter's color is determined by the "validity" of the combo that is being performed. If blue (in Slash) or yellow-orange (in the Λ Core and Xrd titles), it is a combo that cannot be avoided by the opponent. If it turns black, the attacking player has botched the timing of their combo, but the opponent does not correctly air tech when he is able, so the combo continues hitting them anyway. Strive does away with this distinction, merely showing the number of hits, with "Beat!" appearing only at the very end.
Characters may escape combos by using a Psych Burst (introduced in Guilty Gear XX), which will do no damage but will send the opponent away. However, some combos just naturally avoid the hitbox of a burst attack, for which are thus called "burst safe" combos.
- Combo on Wikipedia