Bot Glossary Of Terms v1.0
Focus Definitions And Execution
In the process of creating these bots for ourselves and you, we developed a collection of special techniques that most people, and certainly most beginners, will never encounter. Each of these techniques is based on various tricks or details of how Street Fighter handles inputs and recordings. So, to make the process of learning how our bots work easier, and to provide a clear reference for techniques or terminology we might use elsewhere, we have created this glossary of terms. We hope you find it helpful, and of course, if you ever have any questions about how our bots work or what something means and you can't find answers on our site, feel free to contact us any time.
'Hidden' and 'Late Hidden' Inputs
Let's start with the basics of what a 'hidden' input is. A 'hidden' input is an input that is pressed during the animation of a move from a previous input, and does not appear while recording the action. For this demonstration, let's use this input:
236LK, late hidden [1HP], end recording.
Notice the notation? Hidden inputs are placed within [square brackets] in the text. Usually, all the inputs within the square brackets need to be done before the animation of the previous move ends. If there is some leniency, the text will say so.
If the word 'late' comes before either the word 'hidden', or before a specific input within the square brackets, you should try to do that input as 'late' as possible without it appearing.
In the demonstration video, both 'hidden' and 'late hidden' are shown, with just 'hidden' shown first. A 'late hidden' normal sometimes is needed to allow for cancel combos. Try it for yourself!
Sometimes, when a character has charge moves, you will see this sort of input instead:
236LK, hidden [hold 1, late 1HP], end recording.
This type of input may seem confusing but it is done in a natural way. First, do the 236LK motion, then move your input to 1 (down back/crouch block) as soon as you can. This isn't always written as 'hidden' when it is just a direction, but I'll be making sure everything is standardized soon! Finally, hit the 1HP late, in the same way. When a direction input is given, followed by a button input using the same direction, assume that you should just keep holding the direction the whole time, and you don't need to 'return to neutral' or 'let go'. If not, the text will say so, so don't worry.
The 'end recording' part of the input is special because it sometimes has specific instructions like 'instantly' or 'immediately'. I'll explain those terms later. For now, assume that if it doesn't use either of those words, that you should press the button to end the recording as quickly as you can comfortably do so, but don't stress yourself too much about it!
'Hold Until End'
Another input type that is less frequent, but is very important when you see it, is the special instruction to 'hold until end'. This instruction means that the button or direction must be held from whenever it is pressed until the end of the recording, including while pressing the button that ends the recording. Let's look at this input:
236LK, hidden [hold 1, late 1HP(hold until end)], end recording.
It's the same, right? But holding HP while pressing the 'end recording' button can be hard without changing it, for those who happen to have HP set to a button that they press with the same finger/thumb that they need to press the 'end recording' button with.
For directions this is usually easier, but on a 'pad' this can be hard with buttons if the button is on the face of the device. It can be better to change some button settings around to make this easier.
Eh? You want to know why this is ever needed? I will show you in a later lesson. For now, just watch the video. Note that the important part is that it does not look any different at all. If you want to try this, you can record over Action #1 again, but if you want to move on, we can come back have you do this recording later when I explain what it is for.
Normally, the text will suggest to change buttons, even if the button to be pressed is already probably in a convenient placefor doing this. Not everyone uses the same controller configuration, after all! Of course, there are the occasional very advanced inputs where you have to hold one button from the time it is pressed, and hold another button from the time it is pressed also! Make sure to arrange your button configurations to account for this. We wouldn't want you to get frustrated because of something like that!
Edge-Shifting: Charge Inputs
Now let's talk about the main technique you need to know for most bots; 'Edge-Shift'. This is when you split an input into parts, and enter the first half at the very end of one recording, and the second half at the beginning of a different recording. For various reasons, the text does not say this in the input itself. Here's a simple 'edge-shift' second half recording for a Kikoken. It will also have the first half of a Kikoken at the end. It's simple, look:
6MP+HP, hold 1 (until end), until you see crouch animation, end recording.
Notice that the input instructions specify both 'until end' and a special trigger to wait for. It also doesn't say anything about ending the recording instantly or immediately. This is often the case for Charge Inputs. The text specifies if to hold long enough for a charge or not.
Give it a try by recording this in Action #2, and then let the action play back, by itself. Do you see an EX Kikoken? Make sure CA Gauge is set to 'Infinite' or 'Auto-Recover', but if you still don't it could be that your input was too slow. There are multiple ways for this to happen, and you'll understand as you go through the other lessons. For now, keep trying!
Notice that in the video, the input is actually 6MP.MP+HP (this is how we note this fairly often). This is a 'plink'. As far as the system is concerned, because these inputs are extremely close together, it assumes that the second one was intended. But it only normally does this if the input is for a move that has an EX version, or the plinked input is for something like Throw or V-Skill. This is important later. Most of the time, if you are trying to input a two-button combination like this and it plinks, that's okay. The text will say if it is not.
Edge-Shifting: Motion Inputs
Edge-Shift for Motion inputs can be a lot harder than for charge inputs for multiple reasons. The easiest way to get used to these is to train yourself to do the motion and press the End Recording button as if it is the attack button. But even this won't always work, because many of us don't even do the entire motion before we press the button! The game just figures out what we wanted and allows it anyway. It won't do this as easily for edge-shifts, so you have to be on point! Here's a basic edge-shifted input for Hyakuretsukyaku.
1MK, 236 end recording instantly.
Normally when a motion input must be edge-shifted, the text has two special markers to show it and help you remember or realize it when you are reading through, so that you don't necessarily have to read the full explanation that comes with the inputs, or so that you can keep them somewhere in shorthand and still know. Firstly, there's no final comma between the end of the motion and the 'end recording', but it also adds 'instantly' to the end, to make it clearer. Note that 'immediately' means something else, even if the something is similar.
You want to know why it works even though it is 1MK? Well, if you are quick enough, the system doesn't really care which direction you press along with the attack button, as long as it would not result in a different move. So 236 5MK, 236 2MK and even 236 9MK, are all the same, if they're right after. I'll explain later just how close 'right after' needs to be and how it can affect the outcomes.
For now, watch the video and try to recreate it in your own recording for Action #3. Since there is only one MK pressed, Hyakuretsukyaku will mostly just repeat. You can even turn on the current Action #1 to see something special! Since those inputs, combined, are:
1MK, 236, 236LK, late hidden [1HP]
This is the input for a Critical Art! This technique is used to enable certain bots to use their Critical Art occasionally without overdoing it, since they will only do it when an action that ends with 236 plays directly into another action that starts with 236 and uses the right attack button. There are some other tricks to sneak in more inputs, but it's all the same thing happening. Experiment with this on different characters, some can even do it in more complex ways!
The concept of Masked Inputs is really easy to understand using the example, and incredibly easy to record. So I'm going to let you experiment with this during this lesson. Just make sure that before you move on, you come back and use this recording for your Action #4:.
5MK (hold until end), end recording.
Yes, that's really it! But the video shows why this is important. If you are holding a button or direction at the end of a recording, and it is the exact same button hit on the first frame of another recording, that button's input, at the start of the second recording, disappears completely! There are all sorts of ways to use this. Use Action #4 and Action #5 to experiment with this yourself. You can change Command Normals into other normals by pressing both buttons (such as 6MP+HP becoming just HP if you held MP at the end of another recording), but be careful, this won't always work! The next lesson explains why.
Of course, this has another obvious use for certain characters. Some characters' moves or V-Skills change when you hold the button for a longer time, but you can use this to vary it so that you can get experience with multiple durations of the button-press. You'll only see this in Advanced bots usually, though. This technique is the combination of "Hold Until End" and "Edge-Shift", so it doesn't have a special notation. As long as you know how to do those things, you don't need to worry about getting this right, except if the button isn't FirstFrame. which is a concept that is only two lessons away. But first, let's quickly cover one more thing...
Okay, that's enough fun with Masked Inputs. Did you make sure that your Action #4 is just what was given in the last lesson? Good. Now let's do an Aerial Input. These are a little hard to understand because it doesn't mean 'doing a move in the air'. It means 'doing the input for a move while still in the air so that the move comes out when on the ground. In order to make this even clearer, we're going to use an edge-shift, too. Here's the input for Action #5, for this lesson:
9, 236 end recording on landing.
This also shows the notation used. Sometimes the text will say 'until jump' if the 9 input could be done as a hidden input. Normally, for these, you don't hold 9 longer than necessary. The harder part to understand is the notation for the second half. 'On landing' is similar to 'immediately' and often replaces it for Aerial Inputs. 'Immediately' is used for the end of a move or similar, but I waited to explain it until now so that you could get an idea of something to compare it to.
Most of the time, when you see a 9 input, it will be at the end, or the text will specify when you need to input any other buttons. This is because 9 inputs are often Aerial edge-shifts, so that the bots can vary their jumping attacks with different buttons that come from the start of other inputs. However, sometimes we specifically need the bot to do nothing at all during the jump, and only act when landing, and that's where this sort of 'Aerial Input' comes in. If you did this right, when combined with Action #4, it should sometimes cause a jump, with a Hyakuretsukyaku on landing. If an air one happens, or a standing MK happens, the timing is a little off. If Air Hyakuretsukyaku happens, it usually also means something is mistimed, but note that it can happen after a while naturally. It just should not happen often, especially if you did not hold 9 for very long to start the jump. This sort of input is rare, but it helps to understand it well because a lot of bot rhythms are heavily affected by it.
Now, as promised, I'm going to explain 'FirstFrame' inputs. In order to keep this simple to understand, and to preserve most things so that you can review earlier lessons if you want to go back to any of them, we're just going to change Action #4 again, and not very much. Here's the new input:
FirstFrame 3MK (hold until end), end recording.
This notation is important, but with a particular trick, it's not too hard to do. It means that the directional button and the Attack Button must be pressed together on the very first frame of the recording. If the directional button is pressed for even one frame before the Attack button is pressed, the Masked Input will lose its effect and it will appear that the button is hit anyway. This can be even harder if you also have to do something like 'hold until end' on that same button input, like this.
You don't have to worry about this for neutral inputs (e.g. 5HP) because you should be doing recordings such that the button starts it and is always therefore 'on the FirstFrame'. What makes non-neutral inputs hard is that most people's left and right hands have a sort of 'mental lag' between them. Even when you think you hit the button and the direction simultaneously, you might be a bit off. Try and see what kind of lag you have, and then adjust. For most people, it's right handed, but that might be from playing exactly this sort of game. So to fix it, try 'mentally telling yourself' to hit the attack button an instant before the direction. This won't work for everyone though! This is an important technique to learn your personal method for doing, since inputs may start with FirstFrame but be quite long, and nothing's more frustrating than getting an input perfect finally but realizing you missed the FirstFrame requirement! Luckily, there is a trick that can make most FirstFrame recordings much easier.
In order to easily put a FirstFrame input, before you press 'Start Recording', change the Interval Setting to 1. Make sure that the 'Start Recording' setting is set to 'Button Input'. Then, press 'Start Recording', and immediately start holding the direction that you want (3, in this case). Because the one second hasn't passed yet, the game won't record your direction input, but you will still be holding it. Then after one second, when the game is ready to accept your input, you can press the button (MK, in this case), and finish putting in the recording. Because you were already holding the direction desired before the recording started, you didn't need to do anything else to make sure that the direction and button (3MK) were on the same frame. Unfortunately, this method doesn't work for FirstFrame jump inputs (7/8/9 + button), becuase your character will jump immediately, so you won't be able to properly time the rest of the inputs.
Though you will nearly never see the word 'SecondFrame' in the input notation, it's hard to miss it. The reason most Charge inputs don't actually need to be FirstFrame is that normally, the Charge Buffer means that the edge-shift works either way. So sometimes when a character has many charge moves, you won't see it. However, there are some special cases where the charge input requires a trick. Here's an example input, use this to replace Action #2:
63MP+HP, 1 (hold until end) until crouch animation, end recording.
This is how the text will normally mention this because it's automatically 'SecondFrame'. The reason for this is simple. A charge of 1 or 4, going straight to 3HP, without going through 6, doesn't do a Kikoken. However, 63HP does. There are multiple ways to use this advanced type of input.
The other type of 'SecondFrame' is when there is the potential for a Masked Input but we specifically do not want it to happen. This is when you are likely to see the term 'SecondFrame' in an input. In this case, it's much easier. Just find a technique (or stop using the FirstFrame one) for hitting the button just after the direction. When it does not matter which, usually for a edge-shifted charge, it is usually not said at all. Sometimes, if the character has multiple charge moves, the text will specify that it does not need to be FirstFrame, but this doesn't mean that other directions are okay! You must still do your best to only press the direction given, and no others!
Now on to the final lesson, since understanding this will also explain 'nonplink' indirectly. A CrossPlink is ... a Plinked SecondFrame Edge-Shifted Input Sometimes Masked Option Select. And that's why we made up a name for it. I wanted to fudge the acronym and call it a SEISMOSPlink but that didn't go over well with the focus group. In order to demonstrate this beauty of a technique we will need to change two different inputs, not just one. First, Action #3:
1HP, 2369 end recording instantly.
Next, we're also making a final change to Action #5:
FirstFrame 6MP.MP+LK, hold 1 for charge timing, end recording.
These can be even more difficult if a different direction must be pressed for the plink. Even though it says FirstFrame, the Option Select part is on the Second Frame. The MP still needs to be FirstFrame though. In this case you won't see an effect of that in the Masked Input sense, but it still has one.
The video shows lots of things going on! Firstly, it has activated Actions #3, #4, and #5. Let's review what this can cause.
Action #4 will build up a down charge when it repeats into it self, but not a back charge. So it can lead into a Spinning Bird Kick, but not a Kikoken. Action #3 doesn't build any charge naturally, but it doesn't break the down charge from Action #4, allowing for #4->#3->#4 to do M-Spinning Bird Kick if everything is timed right. Action #5 is the important one, because it builds a down charge and a back charge, and can do a Kikoken through #5->#5 but not through #4->#5. The 6MP allows it to do this.
But this still doesn't answer what a 'CrossPlink' is. The CrossPlink part happens when #3->#3->#5 happens in the playback. There is no down charge built up here, because 1 was released in order to go up to 9, but usually the HP animation hid the jump. So what we have is 23696MP.MP+LK on the edge-shift. When everything is right, this does L-Hyakuretsukyaku!
That's not all though, since that's not as likely as either #4->#5->#4 or #3->#5->#4. The first gives us a down-back charge, then 1HP, then 6MP, which gives a Kikoken. The second has a down charge but no back charge, so Kikoken is impossible, but L-Spinning Bird Kick can still happen!
You could also use Masked Input technique to hide the MP altogether by holding it at the end of another input. A Plink registers two presses of the MP button, but it is actually only pressed once. As a result, holding it will mask both apparent MP inputs and leave just the LK. You can try this for yourself by changing #3 to:
Firstframe 1MP+HP (hold until end), 2369 end recording
You can also use PPP and set a button to this, it makes it much easier, or you can hold just the MP. This will prevent 1HP from ever canceling into Kikoken and only allow for Spinning Bird Kicks on cancel.
More Advanced Techniques
You've reached the end of the lessons needed to understand and probably input all of the Version 1.0 bots. Who knows hat more advanced techniques will be required in Arcade Edition's 2.0 Bots, however, so there's always a chance that we will expand more on this. This should be enough to understand almost all bot inputs and eventually, inputs for 'Katas' and your own execution practice that we offer. As a final challenge to round things out, here's one last input for you to mess with, because you can improve RyuBot by knowing how to do it. Enter this in Action #2:
Hold 1 for charge timing, 1MK, 236 end recording instantly.
And this in Action #5:
FirstFrame 6LP, OneFrame 9, 6LP+MP+LK, hold 1 for charge timing, end recording.
This specifically is nonplinked. What do you think will happen if you get it done perfectly? Try it both as 696 and 669 (not a dash) to see what happens. Until next time, we wish you success with all your execution. May your combos never drop!