Sunday, 15 May 2011

Dancing with the claw - For intermediates - Part III

The art of Kara throwing.

Why it's important.
Kara-throwing, is a giant chunk of Vega's game, therefore important, but it isn't exactly beginner; which is why it's being covered on a more intermediate level. Along with footsies, okizeme and having a pretty solid defense, this is another tool that you need to learn with Vega.

Kara, meaning "Empty", is the art of cancelling a normal into a throw or a special, namely a normal that moves the character forward. Some characters can do it with specials, but not into throws (For example, Sagat's Tiger Uppercut kara is off a f+lk. He can only Kara his specials. Makoto, on the other hand, can do both. Some characters, like Dictator, cannot kara at all.) and vice versa.
Bearing in mind, that a kara throw has more startup frames than a standard throw, as you are accounting for the frames of the normal that you have cancelled too.
Now, you're probably asking "What button do I kara throw off?"
Vega, as it presently stands, has two kara normals. However, only one of them is useful; you want the most maximum range that you can account for.
The first, is st.MK. His standing medium kick will pull him forward only a tiny fraction, so it doesn't make for a great kara, especially when you're accounting for those extra frames. Every little helps.
The second, and most important, and the one that you will be using. Is his standing heavy kick.
Standing heavy kick pulls Vega so far forward, it gains him the second largest range on a kara throw in the game (First being Ken's from a f+mk. You don't want to experience that range being done to you, it isn't pretty).

So, how do I do a kara throw?
A kara throw is performed by tapping your normal, and instantly inputting for a throw after (It must be before the animation starts. If he's doing a st.HK and nothing else. You're inputting for the throw too slow, if you're getting a throw and he's not moving at all, you're inputting too fast).
As a guide. Go into training mode and turn input display ON.

If you're doing it too fast, your inputs will look like this:

Vega will throw, but you won't get the kara cancel, meaning you're just throwing normally. And with a kara setup, if you do this, you're giving your opponent 20 frames to hit you. When put in that perspective, it doesn't look good, does it?

If you're doing it too slow, your inputs will look like this:

Vega will not throw at all, a standing heavy kick will come out. In some instances, this might be beneficial for you; but we're not basing our game on lucky execution mistakes.

Now, if done correctly, your inputs will look like this;

Vega will now move forward (Watch his feet) and a throw will come out. This is your kara throw. Use it and abuse it.

By now, you're thinking "So I know HOW to kara throw...but when do I use it?"
In truth, there is no "time" to use it. It varies by player and how they play. You won't be playing the same for everyone you come across. The important thing to remember, is to try to always always use it at maximum range.

However, to help you along your way, I will go through some setups that you can test out. These, like any "Tick throw" (Interrupting your own links to throw your opponent.), can be interrupted by mashed out normals, reversals, etc. Or quite simply countered if you get predictable as they aren't true links.

Kara setups;
All of these setups are done on block, but some can also be done on hit. You just need to leave a minor gap that is a little bigger than usual to accommodate for the hitstun. Some will even link on counterhit.

  • clMP, crMK > Kara throw
    The nice thing about this setup, is that aswell as having slight frame trap capabilities (which I will be covering in the next article) , it is capable of hit confirming.
    If the cr.MK connects, you will have the time to go into cr.lp, xx EX FBA.
    It is a tough link to get down on reaction, but once you're into the habit, it is a very effective setup.
  • crLP, crLK, crLK > Kara Throw
    This is a very very fast block string that leads to a kara throw. On counterhit, the crLK, crLK will combo, but there is very little that can be done from it. It is merely a setup and nothing more.
  • crLP, crLP > Kara throw
    If you're confident in your links, this would also be another great to consider. If your cr.lp, cr.lp connects, you could then hit into a into an EX FBA. It is also one that can get predictable very quickly, so use it with caution.
  • crLP, crLP > st.LK > Kara throw
    My favourite thing about this setup, is that in the midst of putting yourself at a very far range from your opponent is that it contains two hit-confirmable setups.
    Obviously, as mentioned before; crlp, crlp can be hit confirmed into another crlp or a crmp and then cancelled into EX FBA.
    The other, is if they try to counterpoke after your cr.lps and the connects, you can cancel that into st.HK or crHP.  The cr.HP is a little tougher and quite spacing specific so I would heavily recommend doing st.HK instead.
    Obviously, if you have godlike reactions and the confidence to try it, another combo that you could try is;
    -, cr.lp, xx EX FBA.

There are several more kara throw setups, but out of the twelve that I could think of, these were the most effective and efficient that I wanted to put out there.
Kara throws in themselves always have been rather situational, but they are a very important aspect of Vega's game.
Learn how to use them alongside your footsies and they will soon become very powerful tools that will make your opponent want to throttle you in the long run when they've fallen for several of them in a row.

And now for a fun fact;
If you attempt to Kara Throw using Cosmic Heel [df.HK], it will infact move Vega backwards. Difficult to pull off, funny to watch, but nonetheless absolutely useless.

As far as these articles have gone, it's been a very long road for me. However, I will be continuing them and I thank everyone for the support along the way.

So next up;
Frame Traps - A method of irking your opponent into walking into counterhits.


Rizhall said...

That first karathrow setups is... well... amazing o_o I'm stealing it!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for these so far, I'm an awful player but I love Vega and want to get ok with him. Useful stuff!

.Francys Pai said...

Haha thanks for the kind words :) Good luck!

Jess said...


this is a bit weird, and this isn't about games, but you and I used to know each other a long time ago, and after flicking through old ntoebooks and diaries today I googled your name, and the crumb trail led me here!
I don't know if you'd remember, but I couldn't not say hi, so hi!


Jess said...

Oh wow, that's so strange!
Things are going good for me. It's been a long time since we've spoken, and doubtless a lot has changed, but I still roll on much the same. I don't know if you've gathered, but I'm working on my art degree at the moment, which is keeping me verrrry busy, and various other bits and pieces.
How are you doing? What are you up to these days?

Jess said...

My degree is going really well actually thanks. I'm only in my second year, so it's yet to get a lot harder, but I got a first last year and I'm working very hard! You are right though, it is incredibly time consuming, and definitely a thinkers subject. There's a lot of learning and reading to be done, but as with most things, you choose how much of your life are willing to give for it.
The writing that I'm having published it only a few bits in a newspaper- they approached me a few months ago to work on something to go hand-in-hand with British Art Show 7. It's been hard work, but a great opportunity all-in-all, and it now means that I'm getting invited to lots of private views which is exciting!
That sounds fantastic that you get to travel about! I'd love to do that, I feel like I've lost so much of my freedom with doing my degree. I spent a few months in Washington State last year, and have been pining for it since. Do you work as well? What kind of drawing have you been doing?


Jess said...

Hey, sorry it's taken me a minute to respond- I'm back in Plymouth now and the internet's down. I've just managed to latch onto a neighbours unsecured connection, but it's reaaaally slow.
What kind of job would you like to do full-time, or just anything? I'd love to have enough money to get my own flat! I live with 5 other people, and it can be a little hard at times.
Drawing is all about practice, and about training yourself. I don't draw nearly enough, so it's no surprise that I'm pretty poop at it! Perseverethough, and you'll see yourself getting better.
I'm a painter and a print-maker mostly, and I'm really interested in nature's chaos and macro/micro. Our relationship with our environment. I also do a bit of writing + walking art as well though; just go where my thoughts take me! It's been really interesting being on a course that offers so much freedom, I really feel like I'm beginning to learn what kind of an artist I am.
Do you have any plans to go to uni at all, or is it not for you? It has been a looong time since we've seen each other, what, 5 years? At least? I bet we're conpletely different people.

Jess said...

We have the internet back now (thank God!) It's such a big house, that when the router got a bit knackered it could only stretch to one floor, and unfortunately that floor was not mine. All fixed now, which is just as well because today is my first day back at college and internet it a necessity.
Uni isn't for everyone, and especially I think if you're doing an art degree,, you have to be ready to throw yourself into it 100%. So many people from the course dropped out or got kicked out last year just because they didn't realise what they were getting themselves into. And it's so expensive, if you're not sure, it's not a risk worth taking.
It certainly sounds like you've been very busy with everything else that you've been doing- another thing that I'm envious of! Doing this degree leaves little time for hobbies, and hobbies are where it's at! I like knitting, hiking and sewing. What do you like to do?
Right, I must away now. I've just been for a run and am in desperate need of a shower!

Jess said...

Asthma sucks, I know. A few years ago I was diagnosed with asthma that has gotten gradually worse over time, and is often bordering on debilitating. Surprisingly though, I've found that exercise has really helped me. It's no miracle cure, and it's certainly not easy, but it has really helped me learn to control my breathing, and increased my lung capacity hugely. Start slow, you might surprise yourself.
Sewing's good. I thought maybe this Christmas I'd try my hand at making some little toys or nick-nacks, which is something that I've never really done. We'll see how times goes though.
I do indeed make skirts and other clothes, as well as knitting socks and hats, and that sort of thing; much less during term-time though. While I was in the States last year I really worked hard at getting better at dressmaking, and ended up doing a fair bit of making clothes, as well as fixing and altering for other people. It's another thing I think that just takes practice- and lots of patience!
It's so great that you have the time to do all of these things that you enjoy. Perhaps one day, if you fancied, you'd be able to start selling your crafts or working on commission.
I'm currently working on a design commission myself (that's making me want to kill myself, but I need the money), so I'm procrastinating hugely here. It's sat on my desk right now... staring at me.
Well it's an unusually warm and sunny day here in Plymouth- the weather here is usually even worse than it is in Cardiff. I hope it's a nice day for you too, and wish that I could get out in it, but duty calls! (grrr)

Kitchen Benchtops said...

Thank you for the kind tutorial. It was really important to know what kara means that as a Street Fighter fan, I hear that term a lot & have know idea what it means.

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