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Wednesday
Nov122008

Street Fighter HD Remix: Dhalsim

Dhalsim is squarely in the top tier of Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo (ST) and he’s pretty universally accepted as one of the top 2 characters in that game, along with Balrog (the boxer).

He can keep away, he can go on offense, and he’s got an answer for pretty much everything. On top of all that, he’s also pretty good at keeping some characters in a throw loop of repeated noogies. His throw range is so long that he can hit some characters just outside of their throw range, then noogie them. Considering all the things Dhalsim is great at, he doesn’t need this throw abuse to win.

Shorter Range Noogie

Dhalsim’s noogie (his hold with the medium punch button) now has shorter range. He can still attempt a throw trap, but only from close enough that the opponent can reverse it. The range on his fierce throw is unchanged (still far!) so he can still “cheap” into a fierce throw. Remember that the fierce throw tosses the opponent away so that Dhalsim cannot repeat the trap very easily.

New Control Motions

Dhalsim’s yoga fire was--and still is--qcf+p. The yoga flame command is a bit too similar in ST, though. The half-circle-forward sometimes comes out accidentally if you’re not careful when trying to yoga fire. To correct this, later Street Fighter games changed the command to half-circle-back + punch. To be consistent, that means the upward yoga flame is half-circle-back + kick, and the super is hcb x 2 + punch.

To encourage people to actually try to use the upward yoga flame, I set the motion to qcb+k, and it really did feel much better. But then I painted myself into a corner. Shouldn’t yoga flame be qcb+p and the super be qcb x 2 + p, to be consistent? It borders on violating the scared to make yoga flame not a half circle, but that upward yoga flame sure feels good on qcb…and qcb+p feels pretty good for the regular yoga flame. It’s tough weighing the history of the series with what’s practical today, but I chose to shorten both versions of yoga flame to the qcb command.

I tried the super with a qcb x 2 + p command also, but the shorter time to perform the motion gave Dhalsim too good of a damaging anti-air attack. It’s now half-circle-back x 2 + punch.

The teleport was always a really frustrating move to do. It required you either do a dragon punch or reverse dragon punch motion, then press 3 kick or 3 punch buttons. We lessened the requirement to just 2 kick or 2 punch buttons (though you can press all 3 if you like) and the timing window on the dragon punch command is more lenient and not random. That teleport only had 3 frames of recovery in the original game, but no one noticed how good it was because it was just too hard to perform. Now that it’s easier, it has 9 frames recovery. It’s not longer, but more frames at the end are vulnerable. It’s still a nice escape though.

Command Summary:

  • Yoga Fire: qcf+p
  • Yoga Flame: qcb+p
  • Upward Yoga Flame: qcb+k
  • Teleport: Dragon Punch or reverse Dragon Punch + pp or kkSuper: hcb x 2 + p

Super

Dhalsim’s super does a LOT of damage in ST. About 60% of a lifebar. I reduced the damage to around 50%, to go along with Balrog’s reduction (also to about 50%) and Chun Li’s reduction.

My point is that while Dhalsim’s super does a bit less damage, it’s not a nerf to him specifically, just a general attempt to get supers down to 50%, which is still a whole lot of damage.

Dhalsim’s super is also ridiculously invulnerable in ST. Even if you jump over the flame part, you can’t hit his head, and even if you jump behind him, you can’t throw him during most of the super. Both of those have changed. If you get on the other side of him, you can throw him, and if you manage to get over that huge super flame, you can kick him in the head. Also the amount of super meter he gains from doing both types of yoga flames is slightly reduced.

Finally, Dhalsim’s super can now be done as a reversal attack, fixing a bug from ST.

New Upflame

I have played the Dhalsim vs. Vega match (as Vega) in many, many tournaments, usually versus two-time US National Champion Jason Cole. It is my theory that Vega wins “most of this match,” but that he loses very badly to a throw loop. Cole has proven in many tournaments that he can reliably kill me with just that, even though I do just fine during the “actual fighting” part of the match. Incidentally, I was the only player to defeat Japanese player Gian in a tournament match at Evolution 2005 (he won the singles ST tournament), and I used Vega vs. his Dhalsim. He should have done more noogies.

Even though Vega just might have one of his repeatable abuses toned down, I worry that Dhalsim will suffer a lot in this particular match without his abusive noogie trap. To help him out a little, the upward yoga flame now actually detaches and travels diagonally upward. The short version is almost the same as ST, but the roundhouse version’s flame travels really high up. I know it sounds wonky, but it actually looks really natural (which I chalk up to luck!) Hopefully this will help Dhalsim hit those pesky off-the-wall Vegas.

So where does this leave us? Easier control motions (including easier teleport), but toned down noogie throw trap. Toned down super, but new bigger upflame to help in one of his problem matches. Though Dhalsim has more competition than ever, he’s still a solid character able to keep out, go on offense, and even still go for some cheap throws…just not repeated, nearly irreversible ones.

--Sirlin