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Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition - Advanced Combo Guide

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  1. Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition - Advanced Combo Guide
  2. by: Gunbo13
  3.  
  4. Visual Guides
  5. Devil May Cry 3 SE - HD Combo Video (Red Devil)
  6. Devil May Cry 3 SE - HD Combo Video (Blue Devil)
  7.  
  8. Glossary
  9.  
  10.     AF juggle - Using an air flicker at a specific tempo to ESC with extremely small gravity drop.
  11.     Bounce Back - Getting the enemy to bounce off the wall at the player after executing a ricochet special.
  12.     Buffering - Inputting attack commands before an animation is finished. Buffering is typically either rapid input or an input with a hold.
  13.     Cancel - Normal move canceled into a special move would be a cancel. You are interrupting animation frames with that of another move.
  14.     Chain - It's simply a canned move one after the other. There is very little timing involved and there is a lot of flexibility when you can go into the other move. /\ , /\ , /\ is basically a chain combo.
  15.     Crumple - An enemy receives a blow that causes them to immediately slump/fall to the ground.
  16.     Dash out and Go - Using a combination of a star dash away, AH, and air trick for a stylish effect.
  17.     Dead Zone - The dead zone is an area where the player can ESC yet not follow with a special. It is the lowest possible altitude an action can be performed in DMC3:SE.
  18.     Downed State - State where the enemy is on the ground vulnerable.
  19.     Elevator combo - Using AR + AF to ESC up and down on aerial.
  20.     Enemy Step Cancel - Using a jump input to jump off an enemy canceling your attack into another.
  21.     ESC threshold - The base level where the player loses the ability to ESC as they are too low in position to enemy step.
  22.     Full Aerial Kill - Killing an opponent using only aerial attacks and not touching the ground until completion.
  23.     Flop - The enemy flops to the ground from the air.
  24.     Fire-wheel - The final attack on Dante’s Sky Dance, involves an aerial drop
  25.     Ground Stun - Keeping an enemy stunned on the ground in order to execute moves like free-ride.
  26.     Hit-Box - Defined geometric area on an enemy or player which determines if an attack connects.
  27.     Hit-Confirm - When an attack successfully hits a hit-box.
  28.     Hit-Stun - When an enemy is "stunned" from a player's attack and they are trapped in the stun animation. They are vulnerable to attacks without defensive options.
  29.     Homing - Targeting and executing melee specials with projectile type tracking.
  30.     Janky - ESC causes animation frames to halt and transition into new animation frames awkwardly. Almost like a stutter on the change-over.
  31.     Knock-Back - An attack which knocks back the enemy away from the player.
  32.     Lag - Any animation stall during attacks, enemy, or otherwise.
  33.     Lag Windows - Input windows during lag to start buffering for future attacks without executing an animation.
  34.     Link - A link is where a move finished it's recovery animations completely but you still "link" a move after it if it's fast enough and the hit stun of the previous move allows it.
  35.     Max Tempo - The fastest ESC tempo possible per special attack.
  36.     Mix-Up - Mixing up special attacks or ESC in creative ways.
  37.     Multi-hit - Canned animations which hit the enemy repeatedly.
  38.     Multi-lock release - Releasing a multi-lock Artemis charge. This is best done canceling with the shoot button instead of simply releasing the button.
  39.     Near Zero Gravity - Basically keeping the enemy in the air with almost zero drop. A&R SD x2 and AF.
  40.     Outward Priority - An attack will commit to the direction Dante is facing and not necessarily at the enemy.
  41.     Red Shots - Red colored shots from charged shots
  42.     Rise - When an enemy is rising from the ground.
  43.     Retreat Jump - Jump that occurs after you kick-off on enemy at the end of a free-ride.
  44.     Rush Down - The idea of chasing down the enemy in 3d space not allowing them free inputs.
  45.     Straight Drop - Not doing any inputs in the air to drop straight to the ground.
  46.     Swing Stall - using an Artemis multi-lock release during swing ESC, letting Dante drop, and then resuming the swing ESC.
  47.     Space Control - Controlling 3d space regarding you and the enemy. This includes offensive and defensive maneuvers to always press the advantage.
  48.     Tempo - The pace you can ESC with certain weapons.
  49.     The Lab - mission 16, hell sloth chamber, straight ahead -> right turn.
  50.     Tracking - Specials that will track the enemy, following and aligning them closely in 3d space.
  51.     Trampoline - The idea of using attacks to “bounce” on enemies in a downed state.
  52.     Vanilla - Specials which are not based on style choice; weapon based.
  53.     Whirlwind - Doing an extremely fast ESC SD x1 at the base of the enemy to put Dante into a frenzy.
  54.     Vertical Down - An attack which lowers the player vertically when performing an ESC in relation to the enemy.
  55.     Vertical Up - An attack which raises the player vertically when performing an ESC in relation to the enemy.
  56.     Wall Bounce - Hitting an enemy against the wall, keeping them within reach for subsequent attacks.
  57.     Wall Splat - Kicking an enemy into the wall with the jump input or letting the animation finish.
  58.     X1/X2/X3 - The input number that you ESC on during a special. X1 would be the first input, X2, the second, X3 the third.
  59.  
  60.  
  61. Acronym Guide
  62.  
  63.     AC - Air Cross
  64.     AF - Air Flicker
  65.     AH - Air Hike
  66.     AR - Aerial Rave
  67.     Art - Artemis
  68.     A&R - Agni & Rudra
  69.     AT - Air Trick
  70.     Beo - Beowulf
  71.     CS - Charged Shot
  72.     DoG - Dash out and go
  73.     DS - Downed State
  74.     DSL - Downed State & Low
  75.     DZ - Dead Zone
  76.     E&I - Ebony and Ivory
  77.     ESC - Enemy Step Cancel
  78.     FAK - Full Aerial Kill
  79.     FE - Force Edge
  80.     FR - Free Ride
  81.     FW - Fire-wheel
  82.     GS - Gunslinger
  83.     HB - Helm Breaker
  84.     KB - Killer Bee
  85.     LBC - Lag buffered cancels
  86.     LTG - Low to Ground
  87.     MLR - Multi-lock release
  88.     MS - Million stab
  89.     Nev - Nevan
  90.     nZero - Near Zero Gravity
  91.     OTG - Off the Ground
  92.     R&B - Rise and Body
  93.     Reb - Rebellion
  94.     RD - Rising Dragon
  95.     RG - Royal Guard
  96.     SD - Sky Dance
  97.     SF - Starfall
  98.     SG - Shotgun
  99.     SM - Swordmaster
  100.     SS - Spiral Swords, BS - Blistering Swords, ST - Storm Swords
  101.     Tele - Teleport
  102.     Tramp - Trampoline
  103.     TU - Trick-Up
  104.     TS - Trickster
  105.     VertD - Vertical Down
  106.     VertU - Vertical Up
  107.     WS - Wild Stomp
  108.     Yam - Yamato
  109.  
  110.  
  111. Acryonms Image
  112. Glossary Image
  113.  
  114. Controller Mapping
  115. Get used to having multiple controller configurations. I've gone through more then 10 and am currently settled on 3-5.
  116.  
  117.     Balance you mappings. You don't want one hand to be overstressed hurting your input rates or consistency.
  118.     Utilize "swiping" for Enemy Step Cancels. Swiping means to swipe your thumb across two buttons quickly to execute both inputs rapidly.
  119.     Keep all inputs accessible at all times. Don't make an often used button a hard to reach face button for example.
  120.     Make sure to keep your buffers in check. You will be required to hold 3-4 buttons using the Gunslinger style for many combo options. You have to make them comfortable. Buffers are typically mapped to the top buttons.
  121.     All buttons which may require rapid inputs need to be mapped so you can meet the requirements during lag windows.
  122.     No controller mapping is perfect and you will usually sacrifice one functionality for another.
  123.     Dante's Drive special can cause additional button configurations not related to ones defined per style/character. You need to buffer on melee for drive and with Gunslinger that may be 4 buttons to hold. It will cause discomfort and can mess up inputs. I have custom configurations for certain drive combos.
  124.  
  125.  
  126. Hit-Boxes
  127. There are four relative hit-boxes cited in this guide. They are generalizations based on ESC and not a complete technical breakdown.
  128.  
  129. [Head]
  130.  
  131. [Rise & Body] (R&B)
  132.  
  133. [Downed State & Low] (DSL)
  134.  
  135. [Dead Zone] (DZ)
  136.  
  137. [Head]
  138. The area at the head or neck level of enemies with body types similar to the player character. The head hit-box is relatively poor for many ESC since an ESC elevates the player or the height is already too high. This will cause whiffs on many attacks.
  139.  
  140. [Rise & Body] (R&B)
  141. The body portion of the enemy or the hit-box on a rising enemy off the ground. This is an often used area for ESC into head hit-box attacks.
  142.  
  143. [Downed State & Low] (DSL)
  144. The top of the enemy when they are on the ground and the legs portion when they are standing. There is not much application to the legs level since very few attacks effectively hit that low. The downed state hit-box is key for trampoline combos where the player rapidly ESC's on the fallen enemy.
  145.  
  146. [Dead Zone] (DZ)
  147. The dead zone is an area where the player can ESC yet not follow with a special. It is the lowest possible altitude an action can be performed in DMC3:SE. The issue is that a rapid ESC from the dead zone doesn't register because the player is too low to the ground. Some moves are more strict in how much animation space is necessary. The player will then always jump and the input fails. To get around the dead zone, you have to delay your attack input after ESC. This will raise your character enough so that one of the workable hit-boxes is available. This makes many ESC from DZ poor due to the animation breaks and the needless difficulty of the required delay.
  148.  
  149. Dead Zone Examples
  150. http://i.imgur.com/dg6pF.gif
  151. http://i.imgur.com/KAKCM.gif
  152. http://i.imgur.com/IGyda.gif
  153.  
  154. Combo Segments
  155. I define combos as having three segments, starter, middle, and finisher. The definitions can easily bleed across but it is a good way to summarize how combos work.
  156.  
  157. Starter
  158. You don't start combos with complex specials like tempest. Starters typically use a standard chain defined in DMC however you typically cancel out of them early. An easy example is to use the first two hits on Beowulf (Beo) combo I. Chains are typically cut short as they lead to knock-back, lag, or just look odd as starters.
  159.  
  160. Middle
  161. Everything happens in the middle. Most of your ESC happens here along with all the other complexities in the combo game. You may start a combo with a few Cerberus (Cerb) attacks but you then ESC right into a few swings. That means the middle has started. All mix-ups, buffers, executions happen here, etc...
  162.  
  163. Finisher
  164. Middle execution might be a pain but finishers are the most annoying thing for combo styling. You have to make sure you are going to kill or you will screw up the fluidity of the combo. Therefore, finishers usually have "power" such as hammer or tempest. This removes some of the guessing that occurs with finishers. As you improve, finishers become less of a deal. You learn all the damage properties of attacks and will have good predictability on what will kill. It becomes much more fun and less frustrating. However, there is a big learning curve for more advanced combos. The more advanced you get, the less you depend on the power finishers. If you just finish everything with a million carrots your combos will be stale and repetitive. You want to start getting used to advanced finishers like a Vergil storm swords kill or a Dante free-ride into [wall splat].
  165.  
  166. Sylish Combos
  167. DMC3:SE has varied ways to style. You can exploit royal guard (RG) with some cool releases, go full trickster (TS) with movement, or just buffer kill with gunslinger (GS). However, in [the lab] and when doing free-styles there are categories for the combo types you will want to execute. These are combo styles that DO NOT include LTG/trampoline. Those are very stylish in their own right but are covered later.
  168.  
  169. ------Swordmaster (SM) Aerials------
  170. SM is tough. The issue is that when styling you want to exploit the foundation of the style. SM just has way too many instances where you are overwriting other styles. For example, why would you do a Rising Dragon (RD) lvl 2 into a series of Swing ESC when it is doable in both Gunslinger (GS) and Trickster (TS)? It doesn't make sense because you overwrite the vanilla middle segments of the limited arsenal for the sibling styles. What is left are unique aerials that SM can do but luckily there is quite the variety.
  171.  
  172. Rebellion [REB]
  173. Aerial Rave (AR)[vertD] - (x1-x2)
  174. AR is the bread and butter for Reb SM. It is tempo based vertical down (vertD) special that has great synergy with other weapons. Because it is vertD it works great with Cerb air flicker (AF), which is vertical up (vertU). I call this the elevator combo which has the ability to do a full aerial kill (FAK). Aside from the elevator combo AR works well with Agni and Rudra (A&R) sky dance (SD) x1. The reason you use the janky x1 is because it is a vertU which will work with AR. If you do x2 on SD then Dante will track and you will not rise enough to ESC AR. Beo Killer Bee (KB) also works well with AR especially on LTG or an aerial. In both cases you can KB into the head hit-box which aligns great for AR. AR x1 then can be used a few times on ESC hit confirming as Dante drops.
  175.  
  176. AR x1 is my preferred ESC. It is fast and works in more situations then AR x2. However, AR x2 is very viable especially for aerial segments. It tracks well and does not have knock-back. Therefore, you should try to mix it in with AR x1. It’s not easy to wrap your head around changing between the number of attack inputs to ESC. Yet, it adds variety to aerials which can grow stale easily. AR is a tempo based attack. I classify it as having stall and max tempos. Max tempo is used most often and is the fastest possible ESC for AR. A stall tempo will allow you to slowly lower gravity with less AR inputs before landing. This can be used for more unique type stall combos or even to halt the pace for Dante to align better with a target hit-box.
  177.  
  178. Advanced Technique:
  179. AR can ESC on itself with air hike (AH). It is very difficult but it can be done for an entire aerial segment. As AR drops Dante you typically would ESC into another weapon to continue when aligned with the body hit-box. However, you can instead ESC AR all the way down until Dante breaks the ESC threshold. Dante will then AH due to breaking the threshold. If you identify when this occurs you then can delay your AR execution. By delaying your AR, Dante will rise up and will be aligned with the head hit-box. You can then execute AR again and restart the ESC sequence.
  180.  
  181. Cerberus [CERB]
  182. Swing [Track]
  183. Swing should be used more as a mix-up with SM as it is vanilla. You want to save its use for GS. However, swing is my favorite aerial ESC in DMC3:SE and many may agree with me. It has numerous tempos and aligns well with KB. Swing is a tracking attack and therefore has no synergy with vertD/U specials like AR. However, Cerb fortunately has the vertU AF which can be used when required. Swing as I stated works very well with KB. You can do a rising dragon (RD) into KB -> Swing ESCs. Swing has multiple tempos. I’ve generally observed 3 variations in ESC speed. I don’t see much merit except to use max tempo on ESC.
  184.  
  185. Air Flicker [AF][vertU][nZero]
  186. AF works well with AR and as a mix-up with all Cerb aerials. AF has two important tempos. AF slow tempo has the AF juggle which has near zero gravity (nZero). This can lead to many FAK combos. Slow tempo is very difficult to pull off when paired up with ESC specials with other tempos. An example would be AR at max tempo straight into AF juggle. It can be jarring and requires practice. The AF fast tempo is used for the vertU aspect of AF to scale up the enemy.
  187.  
  188. Advanced Technique:
  189. Combine an AF juggle with any tracking or vertU special for an FAK. You should be able to FAK with almost a body sized gap to the ground.
  190.  
  191. Agni and Rudra [A&R]
  192. Sky Dance [SD][Track][vertU][nZero] – (x1-x2)
  193. A crowd favorite I’m sure, SD is fast and flashy. SD is a tracking aerial so it is important to line up to the appropriate hit-box. Typically, it is more effective starting around the head hit-box. It is a vertU with x1 and nZero with x2. X1 is very janky and has almost no fluidity compared to x2. However, it is useful if you want to pair it with attacks like AR.
  194.  
  195. SD is not tempo based. If you try to play the tempo game, you will drop your combo. SD instead puts emphasis on your ESC timing. With multiple animation swings from both swords, you have the ability to ESC on numerous animation frames.
  196.  
  197. Advanced Technique:
  198. An x1 execution after crossing the ESC threshold with AH at the base of an enemy can put Dante into the whirlwind. If you continue to properly cancel on x1 it will appear like Dante is in a frenzy.
  199.  
  200. Air Cross [AC]
  201. Air cross may be vanilla but it is still handy with SM aerials. Using wall bounce you can execute an AC and still be lined up with enemy hit-boxes. Therefore, you can execute a sequence such as AC -> SD -> AC with ESC.
  202.  
  203. Advanced Technique:
  204. Utilize AC and mix in multiple SM aerial specials. An example would be to use AC with AF and SD. Try to see if you can use all three specials with ESC before the aerial ends.
  205.  
  206. Beowulf [Beo]
  207. Killer Bee [KB][Homing]
  208. KB is always useful and SM aerials are no exception. Many players will use KB ESC alone to do combos. Due to the high damage of KB and the ease of execution, this is a poor use of styling. I recommend using KB to control space and only ESC to lower your hit-box to body if needed. For SM aerials, KB should be used to ESC into other specials. It has the best alignment possibilities in the game and will allow seamless ESC into aerial segments.
  209.  
  210. KB is a homing attack and therefore has no tempo. The only combo restriction you have is getting the hit confirm before the enemy flops.
  211.  
  212. Hammer
  213. Hammer is simply the best finisher in DMC3:SE. And pairing it with an ESC volcano is basically perfect. Hammer can also be used to simply get the enemy to flop so you can execute follow-ups. While this is more of an LTG sequence, it is still useful with SM aerials. Possible follow ups include AH -> HB, million stab from buffer, firewheel (FH), etc…
  214.  
  215. ------Swordmaster Buffering------
  216. SM has a variety of rapid input buffer specials. This includes million stab (MS), cerb combo II, distortion, etc... There are two basic categories, multi-hit buffered cancels and lag buffered cancels.
  217.  
  218. Multi-hit buffered cancels
  219. These cancels are between multi-hit specials. An example would be to execute distortion and buffer inputs into MS. You will cancel the finisher straight into MS instead. Another example is to do an A&R combo III with multi-hit straight into MS. There aren't many multi-hit buffer cancels so have fun experimenting and finding them.
  220.  
  221. Lag buffered cancels (LBC)
  222. Lag buffered cancels basically means executing a buffered attack within a lag window. An easy example would be the simple mix-up I cite below with million carrots -> tempest. Basically, you are using the lag window to allow you to buffer the proper number of inputs for the next attack. You can get pretty fancy with this especially with MS. I like to try to MB off pretty much everything with lag windows. Try and see what works!
  223.  
  224. ------Swordmaster Mix-Ups------
  225. SM mix-ups is a category I don't want to dig into too much. The reason is that the list of SM mix-ups never ends. It's more of a lag battle then playing the execution game. However, this also makes for a great starter point for beginners who are uncomfortable with heavy ESC. What can I do? Well, I can at least provide some examples to learn from.
  226.  
  227. Cerb/A&R (Million Carrots -> Tempest)
  228. The simplest example this guide will tell. This is a very common mix-up between two moves. Simply input million carrots continuing to buffer the attack button. When you switch weapons, you will execute a tempest from the buffer.
  229.  
  230. Reb/Cerb (Pop shredder -> pop shredder -> Drive -> Ice Age -> Million Stab -> Million Carrots)
  231. A more advanced mix-up here. The first pop-shredder launches the enemy and the second one juggles. However, in order to buffer the drive charge you have to hit the melee button and hold immediately after the first pop shredder (within the lag window so the animation doesn't come out). So when the enemy lands you release the melee button and drive will execute. Drive also pops the enemy up and you can hit the ice age attack after a weapon switch. Ice age is a long animation so you can buffer for million stab by hitting the melee button repeatedly. After ice age, million stab will execute. You can then cancel out of million stab before the finisher by hitting the melee button repeatedly for million carrots. That attack will come out instead for a possible finisher.
  232.  
  233. ------Open-Ended ESC------
  234. SM is also very stylish with its ESC abilities outside long aerials. An example would be KB -> volcano. It is a simple single ESC using one of the SM specials. You can also do things like ESC out of real impact at multiple points straight into a different combo type. An obvious favorite of mine is KB -> hammer. It can then be ESC'd into a volcano. To manage the open-ended ESC system you basically have to keep trying to see what successfully works with what. Can you cancel KB into AR x2? Yep. How about an advanced LTG SD x1 into hammer? Yep. The list is too long but it is up to the player to train these ESC combinations into their head.
  235.  
  236. ------You're Turn------
  237. That's the extent I will cover for SM. And the last mix-up in that section is not close to an advanced. You simply have to play and learn the small nuances. I can't remember all the little tricks like when I cancel on lag windows, etc... My Dante combo video is 17 minutes long and has more mix-ups then one requires to learn as a visual.
  238.  
  239. ------Gunslinger Buffer/Juggle Games------
  240. GS is all about buffering when styling.
  241.  
  242. Charge Buffer
  243. The weapons that you charge buffer are Ebony and Ivorty (E&I), Shotgun(SG), and Artemis (art). E&I and SG are buffered on the shoot input. Art is buffered with multi-lock on the style button. So if you have two of these weapons, get ready to hold two triggers nearly the entire time. That's three holds with lock-on and four for Reb drive. If you were playing single player that could be 5 with t-flux.
  244.  
  245. E&I/SG Charged Shots (CS)
  246. E&I CS can be released for multiple red shots. It simply requires the player to shoot E&I as you normally would after charge. This doesn't gain much regarding functionality but the damage increase is significant. And it is all about the style. The SG functions about the same way except the shots are less and slower.
  247.  
  248. You want to use CS as intermediates with GS. Since they juggle or have knock-back you can use that to design your combos. An example would be the SG juggle where you ESC off the first shot. As long as you are aligned properly with the enemy, you get two shots without AH. This is a great combo for corner traps. E&I CS is great for aerials. You can release right after an RD and follow up into KB from the juggle. E&I CS is also great on descent with the enemy in downed state. You can then buffer into Wild Stomp (WS).
  249.  
  250. Artemis (Art)
  251. Artemis has multi-lock on charge which stores the projectiles increasingly over time. The game here is juggles and finishers. Art's juggle ability is really a foundation of GS. The stall on the juggle is the most important as it allows the player "time."
  252.  
  253. Multi-lock release (MLR) can be used similarly to the CS moves. You can execute a launcher straight into MLR to stall the enemy in the air. That provides you time to do something like jump up into a series of melee ESC. You can also MLR on aerials for that type of stall providing you time to land or rush down with something like KB. This really is an open-ended category regarding your options and the list goes on.
  254.  
  255. MLR however has an advanced technique where you use the stall time to execute combo types. An example would be to execute a launcher but not follow it. MLR to keep the enemy stalled and that's when you execute your combo type such as Beo combo II. You are actually whiffing on all the combo II attacks except the rapid finisher. You have to time this all out perfectly. Everything relies on the correct stall time with the proper charge amount and your ability to quickly execute the next set of inputs. If successful, Dante will land the final rapid finishers on the enemy before they hit the ground. This also works with Reb combo II to million stab and A&R combo III.
  256.  
  257. Lag Buffered Cancels (LBC)
  258. GS has its own set of LBC along with SM. An easy example is wild stomp (WS). WS can be executed on an enemy as long as they are in ground stun and you use an attack with a large lag window. Bat rift has a huge lag window and allows buffering into WS as long as your positioning is proper. You can also buffer into WS after an aerial releasing CS and continuing to input shoot. SG's point blank is similar except it is more demanding on the input frequency. A more reliable LBC here is to use air fireworks on fall, which already has you inputting on the style button necessary for point blank, and continue your inputs into multiple point blanks.
  259.  
  260. ------Gunslinger Antics------
  261. Spiral and Kalina Ann are all about antics.
  262.  
  263. Spiral
  264. Spiral can be a nice juggle with a standard shot or a longer one with trickshot. You can also buffer ricochet as a combo finisher or play mix-ups as ricochet can cause [bounce back]. There isn't much more depth then just playing these little games with Spiral.
  265.  
  266. Kalina Ann (KA)
  267. KA is all about grapple and hysteric mix-ups. Grapple is typically used to either pull the enemy into proper space for a launcher or even whip them behind you. Hysteric goes well with MLR for an extended projectile juggle.
  268.  
  269. ------Trickster------
  270. Trickster doesn't have much depth. You basically want to utilize Reb HB and Beo KB. Otherwise, you are just going to be doing vanilla combos. So you should pack at least one of these moves or with my recommendation, both.
  271.  
  272. Air Trick (AT)
  273. You want to ESC into an air trick for the trickster style. It's not much different then other ESC except it constantly requires the toward input. After the air trick you will want to follow up with another attack. Be careful with KB as it may put Dante too high resulting in a miss. You have the choice of using an AH with either ESC air trick method. You can also ESC off an enemy on downed state after HB/KB into another ESC with AT.
  274.  
  275. Dash Out & Go (DoG)
  276. DoG requires using a star dash away, AH, and then an air trick off the AH. Basically, you ESC with the star dash holding back. Dante will dash away from the enemy in a straight line based on the hit box you utilized. You can then quickly AH into an AT. You will end where you normally would with an AT ready to continue your combo. This is extra fun the lower you are to the ground when you execute the star dash.
  277.  
  278. Vergil
  279. Vergil is all about execution. Unlike Dante, most of his style execution is advanced with little simplicity. However, he also has less options meaning there is less to learn.
  280.  
  281. ------Executions------
  282. The easiest way to state how Vergil styles is just to cover his executions. If you learn them, then you just have to create your own mix-ups.
  283.  
  284. Spiral Sword (SS) Charging
  285. You just hold down the shoot button right? That would be nice. Charging for SS has a science. Do it too early and you kill your launcher. Try for the input on an aerial and drop your inputs due to the added complexity. Charging has to become second nature and you need to basically program your mind to get the timing right. An example would be to delay your charge start if you are doing a combo with a rising sun. Do it too early and you will hit the enemy with the spiral before they launch. You basically have to learn that you have to initiate the charge as to not interrupt launchers or mess up the timing so you don't have them when you need them. Getting the hand of recharging after release is also mandatory. This basically means to get right back into a buffered charge after a sword release.
  286.  
  287. Spiral Sword (SS) Releases
  288. SS releases are not complicated. It is back or towards -> shoot. However, you have to time everything correctly in lag windows. Your back/towards are possible movement inputs and if you miss a window, you will jump in that direction on the ESC. Knowing the proper lag window is all about practice. You can also simplify things like combining a back input for a launcher and a blistering swords (BS). You are then simply killing two birds because the back input is already active. This can also be done with forward moves like rapid slash and storm swords (ST).
  289.  
  290. Sword Juggling
  291. Shoot -> shoot -> shoot -> go to start. You need to know this well. Sword juggling is about turning your brain off and having you shoot inputs monotonously fire. You want a steady juggle for style and to increase air time of the enemies. You can also do advanced stuff like trick up and attack. To do this you need to quickly send out swords on your way up just to get that last juggle in so you can attack.
  292.  
  293. Double Launcher
  294. You can do a high time to rising sun to launch the enemy to rising dragon lvl3 space. However, it will take a bit of time to learn how to do this into trick-up -> Yamato (Yam) Aerial Rave (AR). I have no advice except that the tele comes earlier then you think and don't get caught with a late AR input.
  295.  
  296. Trampoline
  297. Jump to Vergil's trampoline section below. It describes this area in detail.
  298.  
  299. Charge Buffering
  300. Vergil has charges with judgment cut and round trip. You have to learn how to buffer these charges. The easiest way is during a sword juggle where you just hold the melee button after whatever launcher you used. Switch to either Yam or force edge (FE) since the buffer carries over on weapon switch. You can also do a rapid slash holding the melee button buffering into judgment cut. A /\ chain Force Edge combo can also be buffered if you hold melee right after the final necessary input. There is enough animation lag that you can release for round trip right after. You need to experiment to learn the proper charge buffers for Vergil.
  301.  
  302. Finishers
  303. Vergil has slim options regarding finishers compared to Dante. I would consider none of them "power" moves which are easy to estimate for a kill. You have to figure out how to use moves like AR on the final animation and blistering swords for the kill. Advanced finishers would be to kill just with a Yam slash or a sword storm. However, you will find that a Vergil finishing segment is much more difficult then Dante's.
  304.  
  305. LTG
  306. LTG stands for "low to ground" stolen from OTG "off the ground," a competitive fighting game term. The concept is to use enemy step cancels (ESC) at low altitude to allow attacks that normally wouldn't combo, to do so.
  307.  
  308. ------Hit-Boxes Reminder------
  309. LTG is very complex regarding inputs. They need to be fast because the player needs to maintain low altitude. LTG is also hit-box specific. You cannot perform inputs monotonously or you will drop combos.
  310.  
  311. [Head]
  312.  
  313. [Rise & Body] (R&B)
  314.  
  315. [Downed State & Low] (DSL)
  316.  
  317. [Dead Zone] (DZ)
  318.  
  319. ------Specials------
  320. Aerial specials are the only attacks that work with LTG links. That's because the player isn't on the ground so no ground attacks will work.
  321.  
  322. Rebellion [REB]
  323. Helm Breaker [HB] - (Head)(DSL)
  324. HB is key to trampoline combos. You can utilize air hike (AH) to delay until an enemy rises for DSL or you can rapidly bounce cancel into DSL available specials. HB is a crumple special so it is a head attack on a standing enemy. Due to this, most R&B links will not be available. You can follow-up with another HB or use another space control move to start bounce combinations.
  325.  
  326. Aerial Rave [AR] - (x1-x2)(ALL)
  327. Typically to lower knock-back only x1/x2 are utilized with ESC’s. The head/R&B hit-boxes can be hit in sequence before you have to ESC into the next attack. The player gradually lowers in altitude from these inputs so you can't chain it any longer. The DSL also works for fallen enemies especially with HB ESC. You can reach the DZ by attempting three x1 inputs on a downed state enemy. If you want to ESC three inputs during these combo types, then you have to delay until the enemy is rising into R&B.
  328.  
  329. Cerberus [CERB]
  330. Swing - (Head)(R&B)
  331. Swing is a move that has fantastic synergy with revolver. Doing an ESC after revolver puts Dante is prime position to ESC into a swing. Typically when ESC'ing multiple swings in a row you utilize the head hit-box. If you don’t then you will hit the DZ. However, when doing ESC into other moves such as air flicker, you may want to do a single ESC on R&B. This gives a tighter combo starter and puts air flicker in a good hit-box area for another ESC. Input timing is what determines the hit-box. The amount of times you can ESC swing is up to the player’s skill.
  332.  
  333. Air Flicker [AF] – (Head)(R&B)
  334. AF is typically utilized on R&B. Any higher can whiff and lower is DZ. However, you can ESC quickly on an R&B confirm straight into a head attack. AF is also very input delay friendly allowing multiple attacks without rapid ESC’s. I typically will execute three up to the head hit-box before ESC into another attack.
  335.  
  336. Agni and Rudra [A&R]
  337. Air Cross [AC] – (Head)(R&B)
  338. AC is an extremely powerful attack on ESC. And with rapid ESC, it is quite doable to input more then 3 in a row. The problem with AC is that it has tremendous knock-back. So with LTG, if you are in open space you are only going to get one AC and then have to rush-down. Typically the only realistic follow-ups are killer bee and HB. To combat knock-back though you can keep AC going with a wall bounce. A wall bounce with AC will allow easy inputs of two attacks, which is what I typically limit my combos to. You can utilize free-ride to setup for wall bounce AC but that is leaning more towards trampoline combos.
  339.  
  340. Sky Dance [SD] – (x1)(Head)
  341. SD is only practical with LTG on the head hit-box as it is super easy to hit the dead zone due to the large spacing requirement. It is also one the hardest LTG inputs to execute. If timed correctly, you MUST ESC on x1. An ESC on x1 is basically breaking animation only on Rudra attacks making for the most janky ESC you will ever see. The x1 tracks with ESC so Dante will basically float towards the opponent like a ghost. These ESC's are extremely fast.
  342.  
  343. Nevan [Nev] - Nev is a disaster for LTG. The best you can do is ESC on air play bounces or perform a rush-down after scythe slash x1. My advice is to save your Nev for GS or free form SM as it is awful for LTG.
  344.  
  345. Beowulf [Beo]
  346. Killer Bee [KB] – (ALL)
  347. KB is the savior of LTG along with being the best attack in DMC3:SE. You can typically ESC into other attacks gracefully from KB if you target R&B. If you hit too high at the head hit-box, you can simply ESC into another KB to lower yourself to hit confirm on R&B. KB is also the rush-down you need with any knock-back attacks. It is also a perfect attack to keep the enemy in a downed state in order to perform a freeride. This also applies to softer knock-backs caused by specials in open space, as KB can be ESC'd right back into another combo segment.
  348.  
  349. Hammer – (ALL)
  350. Hammer can be your best friend or your worst enemy. It is very easy to whiff hammer on the head hit-box as it has basically no vertical drop. But it can also be ESC'd even at DSL for that same reason. It is also one of the biggest pains of a special to ESC into due to tight timing constraints.
  351.  
  352. Vergil
  353. Vergil does not really have much of an LTG game. The main reason is his lack of free ride and limited specials, especially those with knock-down.
  354.  
  355. Yamato [Yam]
  356. Aerial Rave (x1)[AR] – (Head)
  357. AR with Yam is the extent of Vergil’s LTG. It can only be executed twice before knock-back puts you out of range. Starfall is a nice link to AR x1 for LTG as long as you hit the body hit-box. You can also link into AR x1 from Lunar Phase using an ESC early in the execution. To rush-down after knock-back you can use a Trick Up into Starfall to restart the sequence.
  358.  
  359. Trampoline (Tramp)
  360. The idea of using attacks to “bounce” on enemies in a downed state. It combines the usage of free-ride (FR) and certain special attacks, mainly helm breaker with sky dance -> [fire-wheel (FW)]. Tramp attacks are always on the DSL hit-box or downed state (DS) for more clarity as low is not used. Both DS and DSL include enemy rise.
  361.  
  362. ------Specials------
  363. Rebellion [REB]
  364. Helm Breaker [HB]
  365. The heart of tramp. Typically HB is used in four different ways.
  366. A) After a free ride wall splat you can either time it right to get a quick HB (quite difficult and I don’t have a science on the timing) or use AH on the retreat jump to get back in there for an HB. It is not easy to jump in the right direction with the proper spacing on the AH so you have to practice it.
  367. B) Low altitude bouncing of HB occurs when you ESC quickly into the next execution. It really looks like you are bouncing on the enemy.
  368. C) High altitude bouncing uses AH to do more pronounced bounces.
  369. D) You can ESC into other moves directly from HB but I will warn that this is not easy to do. Some timings are possibly the hardest to pull off in DMC3:SE.
  370.  
  371. Aerial Rave [AR] - (x1-x2)
  372. You can cancel FW or HB into AR x1/x2. You will hit the DZ immediately after x2 so you have to be careful. AR x1 is very important with tramp. It allows you to move into free ride by causing ground stun. Otherwise, FR will fail as the enemy will be rising. You can also get more attack combinations by delaying until the enemy is in rise.
  373.  
  374. Cerberus [CERB]
  375. Swing
  376. Swing is similar to AR x1 in how it can be ESC'd into a single attack on DS and a hit on rise. However, swing is also the most difficult tramp attack to control. It has [outward priority] reflecting the direction Dante is facing, however it is horizontally slim. So you can actually whiff on the sides of enemies which is a RARE property in DMC3:SE when utilizing ESC. It also leads to a lot of frustration as you cannot really control it. If Dante isn’t perfectly facing the DS&R enemy, then you whiff. It helps to do an AR x1 ESC into swing on a delay in order to line Dante up but this is a tricky ESC to say the least.
  377.  
  378. Agni and Rudra [A&R]
  379. Air Cross [AC]
  380. Same story, different attack. AC is mostly useful as a single execution after a fire-wheel. However, it is still doable on ESC using HB. It also can be ESC'd multiple times on rise like the other attacks. However, I rarely use AC outside FW into a single or double ESC on rise.
  381.  
  382. Sky Dance [SD]
  383. SD will only work on rise. It is just way too tall. And it is also an absolute nightmare to time. It can only be linked directly after an attack like AC immediately or you rise too high. I would not toy around with SD cancels on tramp until you have mastered everything else.
  384.  
  385. Fire-wheel [FW]
  386. FW isn’t actually a special attack but the final animation on SD. For tramp it is integral for vertical space control on enemies in DS. You actually whiff on all SD attacks in order to trigger FW above the DS enemy. It can ESC into many moves such as AC.
  387.  
  388. Nevan [Nev] - Nev is more effective with tramp then it is with LTG. However, it still should be reserved for GS as there is no uniqueness in its use for tramp. It only provides a delay or at best a little showmanship with air play ESC. But I wouldn’t even use it.
  389.  
  390. Beowulf [Beo]
  391. Killer Bee [KB]
  392. HB is the savior for tramp but KB is its close friend. KB has amazing priority to ground stun for FR and should be used as such. The only issue with KB is that has way too much horizontal travel for tramp. So you are going to use it as a utility more than anything.
  393.  
  394. Hammer
  395. Hammer is decent for tramp but not amazing. It is very difficult to cancel into from either FW or HB.
  396.  
  397. Vergil
  398. Unlike LTG, Vergil has a developed tramp game. It is only limited by his lack of free-ride making it a stationary execution.
  399.  
  400. Force Edge [FE]
  401. Helm Breaker [HB]
  402. HB with FE acts almost identical to Dante’s execution regarding tramp combos.
  403.  
  404. Yamato [Yam]
  405. Aerial Rave [AR] - (x1)
  406. AR is the key to tramp combos for Vergil as it is where the attacks come from. By doing an ESC on HB you can quickly cancel straight into AR x1 which can be executed until enemy death. The absence of a limit on the number of hits before required ESC is beneficial.
  407.  
  408. Beowulf [Beo]
  409. Starfall [SF]
  410. SF can be utilized with an ESC off HB or AR x1. You simply need to elevate enough to give space for the execution. You can ESC into AR x1 from SF as well. So you have the ability to do AF x1 mix-ups between both HB as well as SF.
  411.  
  412. Summon Swords
  413. Spiral Swords, Sword Storm, Blistering Swords
  414. It is quite easy to summon Vergil’s swords at any time during a tramp combo. The tricky part is how to trigger a Storm or a Blister. You have to input your toward or away -> fire command during a time of lag. Doing this during AR x1 ESC is the most difficult. You have to time the input on the Yam slash and not the jump input. If you time on the jump input Vergil will jump towards or away. It is easier to input your sword commands during attacks like SF or HB. You can even input on a Trick Up which has a lag window for inputs. However, it is most stylish to input on AR x1 especially for Blister which tracks. Storm is a bit more lenient since it circles the enemy on track and there are little style points lost using the easier ESC timings.
  415.  
  416. Darkslayer
  417. Trick Up
  418. You can cancel on HB as you do with Dante in SM however Vergil’s tramp game uses teleports (tele). You typically want to Trick Up for another HB when executing AR x1. Trick Up has nice positioning in this case so the alignment is pretty good. However, you have to be careful of your initial positioning as Vergil will “creep up” on the enemy if your follow-up HB is too slow. Basically, immediately after executing a trick-up you have to execute HB. Otherwise, Vergil will encroach in on the enemy causing all sorts of positioning issues. You can also Trick Up off Starfall for a nice mix-up.
  419.  
  420. Gunslinger (GS) Tramp
  421. GS tramp involves specials from weapons such as Nevan's air play with either E&I, shotgun, or Artemis releases. With E&I you can use rainstorm plus switch things up between your E&I, Art releases. You can stall with air play and then AH into HB to keep the tramp going. You can also ESC on air play for a bit of style. SG is similar except you are going to get fewer releases and probably only do an ESC CS for two red shots. Artemis is reserved to MLR since you are airborne. I recommend Nev for GS Tramp paired with a tramp weapon. This would be Reb as first choice and Beo if you are willing to deal with KB timings. Typically, this means [Nev, Reb, E&I, SG] since art is really monotonous with MLR. Mix things up with air fireworks, rainstorm, CS, HB, and air play.
  422.  
  423. Trampoline (Tramp) Science
  424. While LTG is more execution based tramp has a science. Sure, executing some of these 30sec combos is way harder than most LTG but it also requires precise control.
  425.  
  426. Length
  427. True tramp combos can last as long as 30secs. In this time, a full aerial kill (FAK) tramp combo means Dante has to be off the ground 100% of the time after your combo starter. It is easier with certain weapon sets to pull this off but the lower damage sets with the proper tramp specials are extremely difficult.
  428.  
  429. Essentials
  430. You have to bring Reb and a compliment. It is possible to do tramp combos without Reb but they are monotonous. FAK combos basically require Reb for styling.
  431.  
  432. Helm Breaker
  433. Described already HB is the move that makes tramp work. You want to pack a proper complement. Cerb and A&R are the best for the job. Beo is fantastic for anything but you want to reserve it for LTG. KB does way too much damage to pull off a stylish FAK.
  434.  
  435. Swing
  436. FAK with Cerb will use swing. Typically, I like to start FAK tramp with a revolver into a few swings. Then you start your FAK. However, it is more important for the middle portion of the FAK. It is extremely difficult to control but you can cancel HB into swing. So the main usage is HB -> AR x1 -> Swing. Good luck cause you are right next to the DZ.
  437.  
  438. Fire-Wheel
  439. Here again, the FW is utilized after wall splat. You whiff on the first set of attacks and close the vertical space. FW though is not as efficient as HB with tramp. It is better suited as a mix-up for LTG.
  440.  
  441. Wall Games
  442. You want to use FR to get into the wall area. This allows you to start your wall game with an HB or FW after a jump retreat. There is a secret to wall games though. Actually double jumping off the wall (not using AH) causes Dante to be airborne longer then AH. An enemy in a downed state will try to rise. If you AH and stall a special attack such as AR on fall, you “might” be able to start a new ESC set. However, this requires a proper stall on AH which is not simply done at the maximum height of Dante’s initial jump. If you fail, then the enemy gets knocked down again messing up the combo. The solution is to jump off the wall using that delay.
  443.  
  444. By delaying your jump the enemy will be in a standing state as you fall. With practice, you can now time your specials on fall to start ESC sets. An example is a series of x1 AR which can then be ESC'd right back into HB to continue your FAK.
  445.  
  446. LTG + Tramp
  447. I may describe LTG and tramp separately however combos require them both. They are symbiotic mechanics and most of my descriptions cite the other. The big separation is the use of “bounce” with tramp and the execution of FA combos. You use aspects of LTG on your ESC but the focus is on bounce. LTG also uses tramp for many of its setups but the focus is on the low altitude ESC; not the bounce.
  448.  
  449. END
  450.  
  451. Final Words
  452.  
  453. Favorite SM Weapon Sets
  454. 1. Beowulf, Agni & Rudra
  455. 2. Rebellion, Cerberus
  456. 3. Agni & Ruda, Cerberus
  457.  
  458. Favorite GS Weapon Sets
  459. 1. Beowulf, Cerberus | Artemis, E&I
  460. 2. Nevan, Rebellion | Artemis, E&I
  461. 3. Nevan, Beowulf | Artemis, Shotgun
  462.  
  463. Overall Favorite Weapons
  464. Beowulf (melee)
  465. Shotgun (firearm)
  466.  
  467. Overall Favorite Specials
  468. 1. Killer Bee
  469. 2. Air Cross
  470. 3. Hammer
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