Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram Beginner's Guide

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commonlogik
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Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram Beginner's Guide

Postby commonlogik » 05 May 2009, 17:16

Hey folks,

With the release of VOOT on XBLA, long-time fans of the series are going online for high-strung exciting daily battles. Of course, not everyone has had experience playing VOOT in the arcades or on the Dreamcast and the game certainly has a high-learning curve for VOOT rookies. To that end, here's the first (and hopefully final) version of the VOOT Beginner's Guide - I created this guide many years ago when VOOT first came out on the Dreamcast, but have reformated and re-edited it for verison 5.66. The hope is that new players to this game will be able to learn the fundamentals of the VOOT gameplay systems so they can truly enjoy the depth of this game fully. For those who want to download it rather than read from a browser, a fancy-shmancy Word version can be downloaded here: http://www.oratan.com/VOOT_BeginnersGuide_v2.doc


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Virtual On Oratorio Tangram – Beginner’s Training Guide 2.0
By commonlogik (commonlogick@gmail.com)

TOC
1. Release Notes & Introduction
2. Five Fundamentals
    A. Jump Canceling
    B. Dashing: Ground and Air
    C. Special Dashing Tactics: Curving and Watari
    D. Dash Vectoring
    E. Close Combat

3. Extra Basics
    A. Turbo Attacks
    B. Virtual Armor
    C. Dashing Close Combat
    D. Special Attacks

4. Character overviews
5. Special Thanks

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1. Release Notes & Introduction

Release Notes
Version 1.0 – (Released sometime in 2000) Original guide released, based
on US Dreamcast version

Version 2.0 – Release 4/30/09 Updated text, incorporated feedback from
various VOOT veterans (MentholMoose & GSaturnZ), restructured format,
added new information regarding added Virtuaroids of Temjin 10/80,
Stein-Vok, and Apharmd-C.

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Introduction

I grew up watching Macross, Robotech, Voltron, Gundam, Saber Riders,
Dangaioh and the list goes on. Anime and especially anime robots have
always fascinated me. When "Virtual On: Cyber Troopers" first came out in
the arcades, well, it was over – finally, a video game company got all the
elements of what makes anime mechs so cool: speed, agility, cool designs,
awesome weapons and an actual balanced gameplay system. The sequel,
"Virtual On Oratorio Tangram" not only improved upon the system and
character design, it pretty much perfected it. Widely respected, but
never really popular in the US, with the XBLA release of "Virtual On
Oratorio Tangram" (ver 5.66), not only is this wonderful for all VOOT
players in the US to enjoy, but it also gives a new generation of gamers
who also share the same interest in anime robots and style to experience
this great game.

With that in mind, this game is not for the impatient. The controls are
hardly intuitive, the speed of the game is dizzying and the game system is
fairly unconventional to what most gamers have played. The hope of this
Beginner’s Guide is to help new users learn the most important gameplay
fundamentals so they can begin to appreciate the system mechanics that make
VOOT so unique. While intermediate to advanced VOOT players will likely
look past this guide, it’s always good to brush up on the fundamentals,
especially since the last time anyone played VOOT against each other was 4-5
years ago (unless, of course you’re lucky enough to have a VOOT arcade
machine in your neighborhood).

NOTE: Button Configuration description will always be based on the default
config for Virtual On Oratorio Tangram ver. 5.66 as follows:

Left Analog – Moves your Virtuaroid
Right Analog – Rotates your Virtuaroid

Left Trigger – Fires Left Weapon
Right Trigger – Fire Right Weapon
X button – Left Turbo
B Button – Right Turbo
Y Button – Jump (press twice to double jump)
A button - Crouch
Back button – Special (not used for all characters)

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2. Five Fundamentals

While I have provided a good number of basic strategies and techniques, the
first five are what I deem the absolutely most important and fundamental to
understand and execute. It’s good to know more, of course and I do
encourage beginners to read on beyond the five fundamentals.

Also, this is a guide, not an instruction manual – I trust those who are
reading this know the basic commands on how to move, lock-on to opponents
and fire weapons.


A. Jump Canceling
With a game as fast as VOOT, it’s imperative to keep track of the
opponent. While players can use the Right Analog stick to rotate
the mech to keep track of an opponent, this leaves a Virtuaroid
absolutely stationary and vulnerable to attack. So it is HIGHLY
RECOMMENDED for all new players to use the Jump Cancel. Nothing
says "I'm a scrub at this game", more than having to manually turn
your robot to track a target; while it may seem to be more natural
and intuitive to rotate your character, it’s infinitely faster and
more efficient using the Jump Cancel.

The reason: whenever you jump (by pressing the Y button), your
Virtuaroid automatically turns to face the opponent in the air.
While in the air, you can immediately cancel your jump by pressing
the A buttonas long the A button is pressed before a robot’s
thrusters stop firing (i.e. the white-blue jets that appear whenever
a dash or jump is performed). Canceling the jump will immediately
place you back on the ground. There’s no need to wait until you're
at the peak of your jump to cancel; the second a robot leaves the
ground after the Y button is pressed, IMMEDIATELY press A to
cancel; even a short canceled jump will automatically turn the mech
to face the enemy. There are secondary reasons to cancelling jumps
as well – jumping on environment structures, evading enemy fire –
so learning the Jump Cancel is one of the most important beginner
techniques to master.


B. Dashing - Ground and Air
Virtual On is a fast game and a big reason why are the dash
commands. It’s safe to say you will be spending 70% or more of
your time dashing, so it’s important to learn to tactically dash
rather than just running around like a headless machine.

Each character will have different dash accelerations, speeds and
lengths. It’s important to learn the speed, duration, and length of
a dash for each Virtuaroid; in general, bigger robots will have
slower speeds compared to lighter, smaller robots. When dashing
without firing a weapon, at any time during the dash period you can
cancel a dash by simply pressing the dash button. It doesn’t matter
if a player uses the Left or Right dash buttons to cancel a dash.
You may also cancel dashing by jumping (Y button). One piece of
personal advice for beginning players – AVOID dashing backwards
unless absolutely necessary. There are exceptions (i.e. dashing
backwards to get behind an obstacle) but dashing backwards will
likely leave you wide open for an easy shot by the opponent.

When used in conjunction with weapon attacks, Dash Attacks become
really useful and will be a central part of a player’s offensive
game. With Dash Attacks,players can avoid enemy fire while closing
in on an enemy and/or gaining better position (i.e., behind obstacles,
away from the enemy's field of view). Another advantage is the homing
ability of all Dash Attacks. When a Dash Attack is initiated, the
Virtuaroid will always rotate toward its enemy and fire; each robot
rotates and tracks at different speeds, so some robots are better at
locking on to their targets, and some can rotate faster to face them
(Both Raiden and Temjin are very good characters for beginners to use
because of their comfortable Dash Attack rotating speed and tracking
ability). There are three main types of Dash Attacks: forward, side
and backward. Forward Dash Attacks deliver great damage and speed,
but run the risk of sustaining serious damage if hit during a forward
Dash Attack. Side Dash Attacks are great for evading the enemy, but
are less damaging and are slower than forward attacks. Backward Dash
Attacks should be performed as often as back dashes--never!
Diagonal dashing attacks, (as pointed out by VOOT player PtBlank),
are a combination of a side dash and forward/backward dash attack
(obviously depending if a player is dashing diagonally forward or
backwards). For beginners, Dash Attacks will likely be a primary
method of attack but use these attacks wisely as there is a penalty–
there is a brief recovery period at the end of a Dash Attack that
leaves a robot immobile for a brief second and vulnerable to
retaliation. Needless to say, many beginners are constantly
frustrated when dashing side-to-side, weapons ablaze, only to be
met with a heavy attack at the end of the dash. There are ways to
shorten this delay through some highly advanced (and difficult)
techniques but for the beginner player, learn the speed and length
of dashing and use Dash Attacks wisely and with precision.

Finally, a few words on Air Dashing: to execute an air dash, press
the Y button to jump in the air, then press a direction and any
Turbo button. Ground dashing rules apply to air dashing and there
is one additional rule: once a mech is done with an Air Dash, the
Virtuaroid will slowly fall to the ground and that can leave a robot
vulnerable during this descent. Players can try to speed up this
descent from an Air Dash by pressing the A button (Crouch), but a
better way to avoid being an easy target while floating down from
an Air Dash is not to jump too high when executing an Air Dash.
Known as SLD (Super Low-Altitude Dashing), performing an Air Dash
low to the ground will greatly cut down your descent duration.


C. Dash Vectoring: To outsiders, Virtual On may seem like a game
where robots constantly dash side to side, forward and back, firing
weapons randomly and hoping with luck something hits. But there is
a fundamental strategy (some say science) that comes in to play and
draws a clear distinguishing line between a VOOT rookie and an
intermediate competitor. That fundamental is Dash Vectoring, a
combination of techniques and tactics based on a simple principle
that even new players can use to improve their skills almost
immediately.

The “science” of Dash Vectoring was introduced in Virtual On: Cyber
Troopers by Virtual On legend Chris Tan and, by its nature, is a
reflexive tactic that always starts off with this question: "Which
way is my opponent dashing and when is he firing?" Dash Vectoring
only works if an opponent performs a Dash Attack FIRST. So, keeping
the enemy in your sights, here are the basic steps to Dash Vectoring:
1) Make your opponent dash
2) Wait for him/her to fire his Dash Attack
3) Dash to the correct dashing path
4) Fire your Dash Attack as your foe's Dashing ends

While this may sound somewhat complicated, let’s break it down step
by step.

Step 1: Make your opponent dash
As stated earlier, the theories of Dash Vectoring won’t
necessarily work unless the opponent dashes first; whether
a player flushes a target out with a bomb, fires a high
damaging weapon to get him to force an opponent out of the
area or evades a Close Combat attack by dashing, get the
enemy to start dashing first.

Step 2: Wait for him/her to fire his Dash Attack
Whether by sight, sound or ESP, avoid dashing early until
the opponent fires their Dash Attack. This can be a very
difficult discipline, especially if the enemy is very close.
Once the opponent fires his Dash Attack...

Step 3: Dash to the correct dashing path
Now, what's the correct dashing path? The answer lies with
your opponent and what direction their taking during a Dash
Attack. While it’s optimal to keep a target in line of sigh,
here's what direction a player should dash after an opponent
fires his Dash Attack:
Opponent Forward Dash Attack = You Side Dash
Opponent Side Dash Attack = You Forward Dash
Opponent Back Dash Attack = Stupid Opponent

Now the explanations... When an opponent commits to a forward Dash
Attack, side dashing will force the opponent to change his firing
angle at the last second and that can decrease the chances of
getting hit. Likewise, when an opponent executes a side Dash Attack,
a forward Dash also forces the enemy to change his shot angle,
reducing the precision of the enemy. And obviously, back Dash
Attacking enemies are inviting you to beat them up. (Actually, a
diagonal Forward Dash Attack is best in that scenario). While this
is the basic theory of Dash Vectoring, players must also keep in
mind the varying dash speeds of different robots as well as the
different weapon attack characteristics of opponent weapons and
their weapons as well. Adjust accordingly, as the Dash Vectoring
timing and spacing will definitely be different when facing a
Virtuaroid like Raiden versus a Fei-Yen.


D. Close Combat: While there’s excitement as VOOT players exchange
firepower across an arena, nothing quickens the heart and sweats the
palms quite like melee engagements; nothing cooler than three-story
robots executing kung fu fighting moves on each other (see: G Gundam).
While certain characters are much better at Close Combat (CC) than
others, beginners should definitely know the basics to survive melee
brawls that occur more often than not.

First off, Close Combat is only initiated when a robot gets within
CC activation range; this occurs when a “double-lock cursor” appears
on a target, and when at least one of the weapon meters turns
completely yellow. Each robot has different CC activation ranges for
each weapon; Raiden needs to be very close (34.9 Virtual Meters) in
order to activate the Center Weapon CC attack as opposed to Apharmd-B
who can surprise players in how far and fast his CC attack can be
initiated (134 Virtual Meters). When a Close Combat double-lock
appears, a player performs a Close Combat attack with any weapon
that has a full yellow weapon meter; if a player presses a weapon
attack button that isn't highlighted with the yellow meter, the
weapon will fire normally. Avoiding CC attacks can be done by
simply dashing away or jumping; players can also block Close Combat
attacks by inputting the Crouch command (A button). Note, that a
block can only be performed if a player is close enough to initiate
a Close Combat Attack (i.e., when you have the double-lock on your
opponent). What this means is gamers have to know the exact timing
and spacing when to execute a block command; if entered too early,
CC attacks will not be blocked. Lastly for beginners, CC attacks
come in three basic forms: standing, crouching, and jumping. The
timing for crouching and jumping CC attacks is a little tricky and
involve entering a crouch or jumping command, IMMEDIATELY followed
by a CC attack command. It should also be mentioned that crouching
CC attacks cannot be blocked, but are much slower than standing
attacks. There is a complete art to Close Combat, including many
advanced techniques (i.e. combinations, “Q Step”, Right Turbo CC
attacks) that I encourage beginners to explore, but learn the CC
basics first.


E. Special Dashing Techniques - Curving and Vertical (Watari)
Dashing: Determining the final of the Five Fundamentals was a bit
of a brain exercise, but in the end, the special dashing techniques
of Curving and “Watari Dashing will ultimately be very useful as
rookie players begin to improve on the basics.

The concept behind Curving (Curve Dashing) is pretty simple. During
any dash, use the Right Analog Stick and press left or right to "
curve" the dashing path left or right, respectively. Curving cannot
be performed after a Dash Attack, but can be done before you
activating a Dash Attack. Curving gives players slightly more
maneuverability, and can be pretty useful when attacking an opponent
prior to a Dash Attack; Curving to rotate a mech towards the target
right before a Dash Attack is executed can increase the chances of
hitting the target.

Vertical Dashing, better known as Watari Dashing is an EXTREMELY
useful dash technique; story goes that when Virtual On: Oratorio
Tangram debuted, the Vertical Dashing technique was demonstrated
first by producer Juro Watari. This technique enhances dashing
strategy - during the middle of a dash phase, press any direction
90 degrees away from your original direction. If done properly,
the Virtuaroid will shift to dash in that direction. For example:
Start a forward dash, and in the middle of the dash, press either
left or right on the Right Analog Stick. The mech will change its
forward dash direction to a left dash! This can be done multiple
times, and in some cases, players can initiate 130 degree change
in Watari Dashing (try side dashing left then Vertical Dash
diagonally forward right). Watari Dashing affords the player great
maneuverability, not only in dodging enemy fire, but also in
offensive positioning. For example, begin dashing sideways, then
perform a Watari Dash Attack forward; the Dash Attack will be
treated as a Forward Dash Attack, even though it started out by
dashing to the side. Watari Dashing Attacks will always take the
effect of the dashing direction right before the attack.

NOTE: On default config for VOOT XBLA, Watari Dashing can be a bit
tricky as players will likely need to feather the Left Analog stick
back to its neutral position to properly perform the Watari Dash, so
keep that in mind.

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3. Extra Basics

The following “Extra Basics” are all pretty important and should eventually
be learned. Some may argue that the techniques, tactics and information
below are just as important as the fundamentals, but I felt that beginners
really need to learn the fundamentals above first before learning even more
advanced and complex techniques.


A. Turbo Attacks: Some of the most useful, powerful and sometimes
comical weapon attacks are done with Turbo Attacks. Turbo Attacks
are executed by pressing a Turbo button (X for Left Turbo or B for
Right Turbo) simultaneously with an attack command (Right, Left, or
Center). Turbo attacks cannot be performed while dashing but can be
performed in every other situation (i.e. standing, crouching,
jumping). Each character's turbo attacks will obviously be somewhat
different, but all share the following basic functional similarities.

Right Turbo (RT) weapon attacks will always inflict more damage than
normal attacks, and can often freeze enemies for a short time (i.e.,
Angelan's Right Turbo Right Weapon and Apharmd-B's Right Turbo Center
Weapon). Unfortunately, Right Turbo weapons deplete the weapon energy
meter very quickly and have very little to no homing ability; they
also deplete little to no Virtual Armor (more on Virtual Armor below)
off opponents. More often than not though, Right Turbo weapons issue
the coolest-looking attacks.

Left Turbo (LT) weapon attacks don't get the same attention as their
Right Turbo counterparts but they can be a lot more useful in the
middle of battle. In most cases, Left Turbo weapon attacks will deal
less damage than basic attacks, but will have very unique effects;
most Left Turbo attacks will deplete Virtual Armor very quickly (i.e.
Temjin's Left Turbo Left Weapon), some can immobilize opponents (like
Raiden's Left Turbo Center Weapon) and others have their own special
abilities that are unique for each character. For example, all of
Specineff's Left Turbo attacks will temporarily disable certain
weapons from the enemy. Left Turbo weapons also have great homing
ability and, for the most part, don't rapidly deplete the weapon
energy meter.


B. Virtual Armor: Virtual Armor (V. Armor) was introduced in
VOOT as a way to combat defensive long distance play and promote
aggressiveness in battle. At the bottom right corner of the screen,
there are two V. Armor measurements - one in orange (yours), and
one in green (your opponent's). Heavier, better armored mechs will
have higher V. Armor ratings than lighter armored robots, enabling
them to deflect all but the most powerful weapon attacks from afar
(fyi: Dordray has the highest rating of V. Armor). In general,
having a high V. Armor rating gives a increased ability to deflect
long range attacks. Having good V. Armor doesn't equate to invin-
cibility though; all center weapon attacks will either decrease
V. Armor or simply go through it, all Right Turbo weapon attacks
will ignore V. Armor, forward Dash Attacks can penetrate V. Armor,
and almost all Left Turbo Right Weapon attacks will decrease
V. Armor. It’s often useful when playing against robots with high
V. Armor to use Left Turbo weapon attacks to deplete V. Armor in
order to make opponents more vulnerable to normal weapon attacks.


C. Dashing Close Combat Attacks This is one of the most
spectacular attacks to pull off on an opponent; it's also one of
the most difficult, no matter what robot you play with. Dashing
Close Combat attacks are Close Combat attacks performed while
dashing. These attacks can be performed anytime but be aware that
Dashing CC attacks have to be manually aimed.

This is undoubtedly a powerful attack with Close Combat specialists
like Temjin and Apharmd-B. To perform a Dashing CC attack, you
must be dashing forward (or diagonally forward). While dashing,
press back on the Left Analog Stick and execute a weapon attack
simultaneously. To attack an opponent on the left, press your Left
Weapon Attack button; to attack an opponent on right, press your
Right Weapon Attack button. You can even use the Center Weapon attack
though they have to be lined up more perfectly to hit. Dashing CC
attacks can be blocked with good timing, but are probably easier
to avoid by dashing and/or jumping. Last note, Cypher is the only
character that features an Aerial Dashing CC attack.

D. Special Attacks: The following Special Attacks are especially
unique to each Virtuaroid. These “hidden” techniques aren’t all
very useful; some are done more for comic relief than for
practicality. But they’re fun to perform and see; as a personal
touch, I’ve give each special attack a grade on how useful they can
be (IMHO, of course):


Angelan
Angel Wings: (Grade: C)
Performed by: Press Crouch (A button) + Special Button.
Activating this special ability will drain 50% of Angelan's
current health, but gives Angelan an incredible amount of
speed and maneuverability. Can be executed an unlimited
number of times and last for about 20 seconds.


Apharmd-B
Apharmd-B Diving Kick: (Grade: D)
Performed by: Jump (Y button), forward Air Dashing Center
Weapon attack; requires Center Weapon meter at 100%.
Apharmd-B jumps in the air and descends with a powerful
diving kick; the higher the jump, the steeper the diving
angle. The Diving Kick has absolutely no homing ability,
so unless your opponent is dashing backward, this move is
rarely used.

Hyper Mode: (Grade: C)
Performed by: Double Jump (press Y twice) + Center Weapon
attack; requires Center Weapon meter at 100%
Once activated, you'll be surrounded by "the glow" for
about ten seconds; while in Hyper Mode, Apharmd-B's weapons
recharge faster, dash speed is slightly increased, and his
weapon damage is slightly increased. Can only be activated
once per round.


Apharmd-C
Apharmd-C Diving Tackle: (Grade: D)
Jump (Y button), Air Dash forward + Center Weapon Attack;
requires Center Weapon meter at 100%.
Nearly identical to Apharmd-B's Diving Kick, Apharmd-C jumps
in the air, then dives toward the target, engulfed in an
energy field. Again, you must manually aim this move; it has
no homing ability whatsoever.

Hyper Mode: (Grade: C)
Performed by: Double Jump (press Y twice) + Center Weapon
Attack; requires Center Weapon meter at 100%
This is exactly the same ability Apharmd-B has, with all
the same features. This mode can only be activated once per
round.


Apharmd-S
Apharmd-S Diving Tackle: (Grade: D)
Jump (Y button), Air Dash forward + Center Weapon Attack;
requires Center Weapon meter at 100%.
Nearly identical to Apharmd-B's Diving Kick, Apharmd-S
jumps in the air, then dives toward the target, engulfed in
an energy field. Again, you must manually aim this move; it
has no homing ability whatsoever.

Hyper Mode: (Grade: C)
Performed by: Double Jump (press Y twice) + Center Weapon
Attack; requires Center Weapon meter at 100%
This is exactly the same ability Apharmd-B has, with all the
same features. This mode can only be activated once per
round.


Bal Bados
E.R.L. (Ejectable Remote Launcher) Specials
All the special attacks of Bal Bados involve ejecting all
four of his E.R.L’s and all require a 100% Center Weapon
energy meter.

Delta End Pyramid (Grade: D)
Performed by: Crouching Right Turbo Center Weapon Attack
(A + B + Center Weapon attack)
With the proper anticipation, you can trap your opponent in
an energy pyramid; once trapped, your E.R.L's can still fire
within the pyramid. Long set up and slow initiation speed.

Black Hole: (Grade: D)
Performed by: Standing Right Turbo Center Weapon Attack
(B + Center Weapon attack)
A huge stationary energy ball is formed and all of the
opponent's attacks will be sucked into this Black Hole.
Lasts for about 10 seconds, and can only be performed once
per round.

Reflect Laser: (Grade: B)
Performed by: Jumping Right Turbo Center Weapon Attack (Y +
B + Center Weapon attack)
The ejected E.R.L.'s will form an intricate satellite laser
attack;delivers great damage though leave Bal Bados a little
vulnerable in the air (Bal Bados performs a little “dance”
in the air).

E.R.L. Switch (Grade: C)
Performed by: Press the Special button (Back)
By default, all right-side E.R.L.'s shoot Ring Lasers,
while left-side E.R.L.'s shoot Mines. This can be switched
when Bal Bados ejects his E.R.L’s. Not particularly useful
for beginners but quite useful for intermediate players.


Cypher
Cypher S.L.C.: (Grade: B)
Performed by: Jump (Y button), forward Air Dashing Center
Weapon Attack; requires all weapon meters at 100%.
Cypher transforms into his jet fighter form and charges
the target surrounded by an energy field. Great damage,
though you actually have to "steer" your plane to hit the
target (Use Left Analog stick to climb and descend, Right
Analog stick turn left and right). And yes, if someone starts
firing a barrage of weaponry, it can disrupt your S.L.C.

Jet Fighter Mode: (Grade: C)
Performed by: Double Jump (press Y twice), Press the Special
button (Back) For this attack, Cypher double jumps and
transforms into his Jet Fighter Mode; you can fire weapons
while in this mode, though you're limited to three attacks.
While not extremely practical, you can do it as many times
as you like as it doesn’t deplete weapon energy to perform -
and it's just plain fun.


Dordray
Dordray Giant Mode: (Grade: C)
Performed by: Press the Special button (Back)
Dordray will start shaking and growing. While this is
happening, Dordray is not only vulnerable to attack, but
taking too much damage will interrupt the growing process.
Once at full size though, Dordray’s armor and damage values
increase. Keep in mind that this attack is mainly for show,
and there's nothing more humiliating than having a giant-
sized Dordray stomp on you (Right Weapon Attack when in
Close Combat range). Can be performed only once per round.

Spinning Drill: (Grade: D)
Performed by: Right Analog Stick left or right, Center
Weapon Attack; requires Center Weapon Meter at 100%.
Spinning like a top, Dordray automatically locks onto the
target, striking the foe with his drill; good damage, but
like Temjin's Spinning Sword, comes out slowly.


Fei-Yen Kn
Manual Hyper Mode: (Grade: B)
Performed by: Press Special button (Back)
Fei-Yen’s Hyper Mode can now be activated manually, though
in exchange 70% of health is lost. But like Fei-Yen’s Hyper
Mode activated after taking damage, Manual Hyper Mode gives
Fei-Yen enhanced speed, range, and damage.


Grys-Vok
ICBM Nuclear Missile: (Grade: C)
Performed by: Crouch (press A button) + Special Button (Back)
Grys-Vok fires a humongous missile that slowly travels up
into the sky, only to come back down with a huge detonation.
Massive damage, the only drawback is that Grys-Vok can be
hurt by the explosion as well. Avoid firing in under or
right next to large obstacles! It can only be fired once
per match.


Raiden
Raiden Armor Shed: (Grade: C)
Performed by: Jump (press Y button). Press the Special
button (Back)
While it sounds bizarre to shed the really good armor of
Raiden, it’s done for the need for speed. Performing Raiden's
Armor Shed will give him the fastest dashing speed of any
robot (yes, faster than Fei-Yen Kn). From a practical
standpoint though, its use is limited if you're really
low on health and are near the end of the match.
Sacrificing armor for speed might give you the edge in such
a situation.


Specineff
Death Mode: (Grade: A)
Performed by: Press Special Button twice
Any time Specineff has less life than the opponent, Death
Mode can be activated. Once done, Specineff has 13 seconds
to defeat the enemy before exploding itself. During these
13 seconds, Specineff is completely invulnerable; Death Mode
is extremely useful if time is running out in a match.

Sliding Tackle: (Grade: F)
Performed: Dash forward + Crouching Center Weapon Attack
(A + Center Weapon buttons); requires Center Weapon Meter
at 100%.
This is a non-aerial version of the Apharmd brothers
diving attacks; in this one, an energy-fielded Specineff
slides into the enemy. While it’s a cool-looking attack,
it has two major drawbacks: the attack needs to be manually
aimed and ALL weapons meters are depleted. The latter reason
is enough to avoid using this attack.

Spirit Arc: (Grade: D)
Performed by: Right Analog stick left or right + Left
Weapon Attack.
Specineff releases 12 floating, purple-flamed orbs that
slowly glide toward the enemy. Homing ability is very low
and damage is average (unless 3 or more orbs hit).
Supposedly, can be used in Close Combat with massive
damage effect.

Scythe Whirl: (Grade: F)
Performed by: CC range, Right Analog Stick left or
right + Center Weapon Attack.
Specineff twirls his scythe in one hand above his head,
helicopter style. Doesn’t hit in normal Close Combat
unless opponent is jumping away or performing a jump CC
attack. Instant style points, though.


Stein-Vok
Giant Magnet Cruise Ball: (Grade: C)
Performed by: Crouch (A) + Special Button (Back)
Similar in concept to Grys-Vok ICBM Nuclear Missile special
attack, Stein-Vok fires a much larger version of his Magnet
Cruise Ball. Homing ability is decent and it ball moves
faster the longer it takes to hit the target. Big time
damage when it connects and the bonus of deplete ALL Virtual
Armor off the opponent. Can only be fired once per match.


Temjin
Surfing Ram (Grade: B)
Performed by: Jump (Y button), forward Air Dashing Center
Weapon Attack. Requires all weapons to be at 100%.
Temjin jumps on his now-transmorphed sword/surfboard and
rams the target. Good homing ability and great damage -
however, Temjin's still vulnerable, and can actually be
knocked off. Can also be avoided if you perform a crouch
attack when the surfboard's about to hit you. It can also
be avoided by jumping and can be blocked as well.

Spinning Sword (Grade: D)
Performed by: Right Analog Stick right or left + Center
Weapon Attack; requires Center Weapon meter at 100%.
Temjin spins with his sword out; no lock is needed, as this
attack automatically homes in on the enemy. However,
doesn't cover much ground and starts out very slowly.


Temjim 10/80
Gliding Ram (Grade: D)
Performed by: Jump (Y button), press forward + Right Turbo
Center Weapon attack; requires Center Weapon meter at 100%.
A salute to Temjin’s old Gliding Ram from the original
Virtual On: Cyber Troopers, Temjin glides forward with his
beam sword to ram opponents. Good damage, but needs to be
manually aimed and is quite slow. Style points for sure.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

4. Character Overviews

Depending on your playing style, technical skill and other intangibles,
everyone will have a different view on how characters are played and rated.
The following is an analysis on each of the characters based on general
effectiveness as well as level of difficulty in playing.


Angelan
A good array of homing attacks, excellent air maneuverability and
solid Virtual Armor for a light robot, Angelan can play “keep away”
all day. A good player can mix her homing ice pillars, Ice Dragons
and Ice blasts to slowing deplete an opponent’s health and her staff
gives her slightly surprising CC range. However, despite her high
Virtual Armor Angelan has weak armor and a solid CC attack on Angelan
can deplete a lot of her health. A very good character in the hands
of intermediate to advanced players.

Apharmd-B
Great speed, good armor but below average long-range weaponry,
Apharmd-B's key to victory is Close Combat. His Tongfers are the
most feared Close Combat weapon in VOOT and as most opponents know
that already, getting in close with AphB will be even more
challenging. AphB's tactics revolve around stunning, knocking
down or freezing targets to get in close – as AphB’s key to victory
is Close Combat, it’s not surprising that he also has the best CC
activation range. Utilizing Dashing Close Combat attacks will be
of great benefit; he's recommended for intermediate to advanced
players.

Apharmd-C
Armed with a throwback shotgun from Virtual On: Cyber Troopers
(complete with pink shells), Apharmd-C is a “tweener” in terms of
speed (slower than B, faster than S). The shotgun packs quite a
punch, but is only really effective a midrange. While armed with
a machete, his CC range is nearly the same as AphS and as a missile
weapon it’s really not effective in both damage and homing ability.
Recommended for intermediate to advanced players.

Apharmd-S
While Apharmd-S is considered the "bastard" version by some Virtual
On purists, he has good speed and much better long-range weaponry
over AphB. In exchange for better long-range weaponry, AphS is
somewhat average in Close Combat with slightly weaker armor compared
to AphB. Also, while he has improved long-range capabilities his
Right Weapon can deplete quickly and the speed and homing ability of
his weapons definitely takes some practice getting used to.
Suggested for intermediate players.

Bal Bados
Bal Bados is not an easy character to learn due to his
non-traditional tactics. The strength of Bal Bados is in the
versatility in the way of using his weapons in various methods. When
used properly, he can flood the arena with an assortment of air mines,
bouncing spiked bombs and ERL attacks making it almost impossible not
to get hit. He is most effective when properly setting up his ERLs
and using the right attack at the right moment. Average armor and
speed ratings, he’s recommended strictly for advanced users.



Cypher
The master of air combat, Cypher is an extremely dangerous opponent
in the hands of a master. While Cypher suffers from the worse
ratings in armor and a lack of a “knockout weapon” attack, Cypher
more than makes up for it with high aerial maneuverability, good
speed and a mixture of weaponry that is designed to annoy and provoke
opponents into mistakes. Cypher belongs in the air and also has the
extremely useful ability to fire two weapon attacks while in air.
Finally, Cypher has arguably the best “style points” attack in the
game – the aerial dashing Close Combat attack that can only be
executed by Cypher. Still, due to his low armor he’s best reserved
for intermediate players.

Dordray
I personally regard Dordray players as the most challenging. While
not very fast, Dordray has possibly the highest V. Armor rating, so
forget about long-distance provocation, because most Right Weapon
attacks will bounce off of him. Dordray's weaponry is an eclectic
mix of flame shots, homing launched arm parts and "charging attacks."
His charging attacks are probably the most lethal; not only do they
deal massive damage, but they enable Dordray to either close in on
enemies or escape opponents very quickly. While not great at Close
Combat, Dordray is the only character I'm aware of with an awesome
throw attack (Right Turbo + Center Weapon in Close Combat range).
Dordray's suggested for intermediate players.

Fei-Yen Kn
If speed is all your care about, here’s your character. The fastest
character in the game has annoying attacks that can really add up
if you don’t pay attention. Worst yet, when Fei-Yen goes into Hyper
Mode after taking enough damage, she becomes especially lethal. Her
phenomenal dashing speed and decent melee-ranged weapon make
her a Dashing CC threat. Beginner players can be successful with
her, though they should keep in mind of her weak armor.

Grys-Vok
Countries like China cower in fear at the type of incendiary
explosive weaponry Grys-Vok wields. Many of his weapons have good
knockdown power and Grys can fill the room with dozens of missiles
and bombs, not to mention mini and full-sized nukes. While he has
average speed, his decent armor combined with excellent long and mid-
range weapons make him a pretty good and fun character for beginner
and intermediate players.

Raiden
Any robot named after a Japanese thunder god is going to have
powerful attacks. While Raiden still features the most powerful
long range normal attack in his twin lasers, he’s has a surprisingly
good variety of solid weapon attacks. Still, it’s all about
setting up the opponent and delivering the fatal knockout laser
attack – for most Virtuaroids, two hits from the Raiden’s standing
laser attack from any distance is fatal. Speed is a problem for
Raiden; he’s slow and most of his weapon attacks aren’t too fast
either. Still, his great armor and good ability to lock-on to
targets with Dash Attacks makes him my recommended choice for
beginner players.

Specineff
Specineff is the most unusual Virtuaroid from the whole VOOT cast
and not only because of the way he looks or moves around like a
hockey player. Weak armor and a very short dash duration may
make him seem like a pretty weak character. However, veteran VOOT
players argue and have proven that in the right hands, Specineff i
s down-right dangerous. While his dash duration is short, it is
lightning quick and he has good ability to lock-on to targets.
His Right Weapon is extremely reliable and his Left Weapon floating
orbs can make it very difficult on opponents. He’s recommended for
intermediate to advanced players because of his relatively weak
armor and unconventional movement patterns.

Stein-Vok
Replacing explosion and incendiary explosions for energy and beam
weapons, Stein-Vok’s has slightly better armor than Grys-Vok though
Stein-Vok is a step slower. His weapon arsenal is a mix of energy
weapons that borrows a little something from everyone including Cypher
(LTCW), Temjin (RTRW), and Raiden (LW). His attacks can do decent
damage, but they’re not very fast attacks. Stein-Vok’s Magnet Cruise
Ball (Crouch RTCW) is slow but has good homing ability and the Giant
Magnet Cruise Ball does awesome damage and strips away all V. Armor
as well – too bad it can only be fired once a match. Like Grys-Vok,
Stein-Vok is a decent beginner choice.

Temjin
The default all-around dude, Temjin does everything pretty well; he
can be an aggressive Close Combat assailant, solid mid-range attacks
and he can handle long-distance exchanges decently. Temjin’s only
possible weakness is that he doesn’t have a true knockout weapon,
other than his high-risk Surfing Ram. Still, given his above average
armor and good speed, Temjin’s the choice character for everyone,
beginner to advanced levels.

Temjin 10/80
Temjin 10/80 is a throwback character from “Virtual On: Cyber
Troopers”. Essentially, he’s Temjin with no air or Watari dashing
abilities. Still, he has good weaponry including the ability to fire
his Right Turbo Right Weapon attack repeatedly (unlike normal Temjin).
A decent character for all levels limited only by the lack of
maneuverability.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

5. Special Thanks

Special thanks are in order to MentholMoose, a VO veteran, for his input on
the guide. He maintains one of the few US-based VOOT fansites at
http://www.oratan.com with a friendly community – those interested in furthering
their “academics in VOOT” are encouraged to visit the site and don’t act
like an ass.

Thanks to GSaturnZ for all the times of beating me down in the hey-day of
Dreamcast VOOT, as well as making me aware of the value of selective firing
with Apharmd-B.

Special thanks to all players at SHGL learning center for my VOOT experience
back in the arcade days.

For corrections, suggestions, or random VOOT offerings, email me at
commonlogick@gmail.com.

See you online! Happy VOOTing!
"My style? You can call it the... the art of fighting without fighting." -- Bruce Lee, Enter The Dragon

max99
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Re: Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram Beginner's Guide

Postby max99 » 07 May 2009, 00:24

thanks so much for this work...printing out as i type :)

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wraith88
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Re: Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram Beginner's Guide

Postby wraith88 » 07 May 2009, 11:53

Agreed - thanks commonlogik for putting in the effort. Nice guide to ease people into the gameplay. I'm sending this off to some buddies new to VOOT.

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Re: Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram Beginner's Guide

Postby Davo87 » 08 May 2009, 00:45

NOTE: On default config for VOOT XBLA, Watari Dashing can be a bit
tricky as players will likely need to feather the Left Analog stick
back to its neutral position to properly perform the Watari Dash, so
keep that in mind.


Ive been wondering wats wrong, great, Ill remember that.

ranmafan
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Re: Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram Beginner's Guide

Postby ranmafan » 08 May 2009, 09:35

I'd like to add some details for the Raiden. (I take exception to the fact that he's described as a VR for 'beginners', but let's put that aside for now)

First: Raiden's lasers, like many other CW attacks, can be 'economized' by releasing the left or right weapon button just after firing. This will fire the side whose weapon button is still held down, using 50% of the original energy. This has multiple applications with regards to Raiden's prolific CW.

1. His high turning rate (highest of all VRs save Ajim) enables him to control the map with both his Laser Nets (LT+CW) and by 'leading' the opponent with his lasers. (firing lasers at their predicted location when they have committed to a dash/movement) Although 5.66 has balanced this by using up more CW energy for his laser nets and reducing their duration.

(A former tactic used to be 'caging' an opponent into a corner with criss-crossing laser nets. Since the duration has been reduced, you can only almost always place one half of a laser net only)

However, a player with a good feel for his laser nets can still manually 'aim' his laser nets to strike directly at the opponent, stunning him and setting him up for a pummeling.

2. His bazooka acts somewhat different from other VRs in that the crouching and standing forward dash versions are almost reversed in function. The crouching version is actually better for VRs not moving vertically and the standing one better for those already in the air.

3. The Raiden's bazooka weapon seems to have been designed such that he has a better chance of hitting an opponent after they have committed to an attack rather than before (then again, most VRs do that). They have good homing but a poor turning radius so firing them later rather than sooner results in more hits. This is of course riskier because the Raiden will have to hope he can avoid/deflect any incoming attacks if he's caught out in the open.

4. His LT+LW now has (as compared to previous versions) almost no damage and no knockdown at all. However it can cancel almost any attack up to and including another Raiden's standing CW, or many of Angelan's attacks (which used to reign supreme in terms of priority). The fact that it uses very little RW gauge is a big plus, you can fire/jump cancel his LT+RW in mid-burst and counterattack very effectively now.

5. Since his g.napalms (well, whatever they're called now in 5.66) have the ability to skim over obstacles if launched in front of one, and they only travel in a straight, low-profile line, they're also good for setting up an opponent to move in a desired direction as another form of trap.

The Raiden's mobility is limited, but his strengths is in forcing the opponent to cope with the battlefield on his terms. Despite his seeming 'long range' advantage Raiden actually shines best in mid-close range (350 or less) where his projectiles are harder to dodge.

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Re: Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram Beginner's Guide

Postby MASTER » 08 May 2009, 09:52

Very nice guide =)

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Re: Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram Beginner's Guide

Postby MI Galcian » 08 May 2009, 12:38

Excellent guide. Any chance of you submitting it to Gamefaqs so more people can benefit from it?

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Re: Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram Beginner's Guide

Postby commonlogik » 08 May 2009, 16:13

MI Galcian wrote:Excellent guide. Any chance of you submitting it to Gamefaqs so more people can benefit from it?


Ha, i've been trying to... learning the hard way that Gamefaqs wants absolutely no formating whatsoever, so been going back and forth with format changes. SHould be up by Monday, but thanks for the kind comments.
"My style? You can call it the... the art of fighting without fighting." -- Bruce Lee, Enter The Dragon

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Re: Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram Beginner's Guide

Postby Davo87 » 11 May 2009, 22:51

An indepth website for beginners and veterans in Japanese which can be translated with the 2nd link below. It has good references with regard to counters to certain moves and strategies with data of 5.66 aswell.

http://www29.atwiki.jp/oratanbeginners/

http://www.excite-webtl.jp/world/english/web/

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Re: Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram Beginner's Guide

Postby Davo87 » 16 Jan 2010, 00:14

http://voot.wikia.com/wiki/Virtual-On:_ ... ngram_Wiki

Anyone who believe they have solid knowledge of their VRs should fill the wiki. I edited somebody else's Specineff guide and it probably needs some tidying. Someone proofread it pls.

So far the only contributed wikis are Cypher, Specineff, Temjin and AphB.

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Re: Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram Beginner's Guide

Postby DeepInTheHops » 16 Jan 2010, 12:36

Davo87 wrote:I edited somebody else's Specineff guide and it probably needs some tidying. Someone proofread it pls.

I might make a few minor grammatical fixes, but it looks good. I might add a few more tidbits about cLW, but I doubt I'll add much more content-wise. I'll also start on a Stein-Vok page despite lack of demand.

What's the ground hit that Japanese Specineff players use? One of the RT CC attacks I'm sure, I'm just not sure which one. I usually stick with cCW since it's fast (almost always hits before they get up and leaves time for an escape) and strips a lot of V-Armor.

Should we import the damage tables from the Auburn VO site? Or maybe just link to them? They're a pretty valuable resource.

Also, has anybody translated this?
http://ot.virtual-on.com/index.php?%A5% ... 5%BB%C9%BD

Google Translate is good for a few laughs but that's about it. I'm wondering if there are any good nuggets of wisdom in there that we could incorporate...

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Re: Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram Beginner's Guide

Postby Davo87 » 17 Jan 2010, 01:37

Most common ground hit for Spec is CWRT for ground hit CC. Always cancel the hit into quickstep incase they getup before the hit. cCW is fast, tho not sure if it can be quickstepped after hit.

Also CWRT is probably specineff's only mid CC attack which naturally hits grounded. When I say "mid" it means it cannot be ducked by cCC attacks. This is where AphB is strong as his CC LW, CW, quickstep CC and guard reversal (needs confirm) are all mids.
Last edited by Davo87 on 17 Jan 2010, 03:44, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram Beginner's Guide

Postby CrouchingLiger » 17 Jan 2010, 02:49

Davo87 wrote:http://voot.wikia.com/wiki/Virtual-On:_ ... ngram_Wiki

Anyone who believe they have solid knowledge of their VRs should fill the wiki. I edited somebody else's Specineff guide and it probably needs some tidying. Someone proofread it pls.

So far the only contributed wikis are Cypher, Specineff, Temjin and AphB.


I added a Fei section, hope it helps :mrgreen:

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Re: Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram Beginner's Guide

Postby Davo87 » 17 Jan 2010, 03:34

Yo, u can probably add Fei has the fastest Guard reversal attack and range for quickstep CC. Also her jump LWRT can be turbo rotated like Dordray's CW ring of death which is dangerous at long range when upgraded with hyper mode. Theres also techniques in CC which can cancel CW's startup frames which i read up in the link DeepInTheHops posted. Anyone who can read JP could they pls translate as it seems to contain more detail info on advance techniques on each VR.

Should we import the damage tables from the Auburn VO site? Or maybe just link to them? They're a pretty valuable resource.


I dunno how code in wikis, plus its probably easier to hyperlink the weapon tables. Btw take note all schemas are atleast ver 5.4+, so not sure how different they are. Even tho I heard the tweaks from 5.45 > 5.66 is very minute.

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Re: Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram Beginner's Guide

Postby CrouchingLiger » 17 Jan 2010, 11:18

Davo87 wrote:Also her jump LWRT can be turbo rotated like Dordray's CW ring of death


Can you elaborate on this? What is turbo rotation and how is it performed?

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Re: Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram Beginner's Guide

Postby MentholMoose » 18 Jan 2010, 00:12

Hold a turbo button and rotate in the air and your rotational speed will be higher. With Dordray's jRTCW, the rings will spread out more if you hold turbo while rotating.
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Re: Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram Beginner's Guide

Postby Gibberish » 18 Jan 2010, 13:25

So if I am to understand it correctly you jump, launch the weapon while holding a turbo then rotate, as in spin the right analog stick, and in Dodorays case it will make the rings spread more?

Sounds pretty awesome right there.
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Re: Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram Beginner's Guide

Postby MentholMoose » 18 Jan 2010, 23:38

Gibberish wrote:So if I am to understand it correctly you jump, launch the weapon while holding a turbo then rotate, as in spin the right analog stick, and in Dodorays case it will make the rings spread more?

Sounds pretty awesome right there.

You have to hold the turbo button while rotating in the air. It's good for more than just certain attacks... you can use it any time you need to rotate faster, like when you are falling to the ground after an air attack.
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Re: Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram Beginner's Guide

Postby Exorcet » 21 Jan 2010, 09:22

Gibberish wrote:So if I am to understand it correctly you jump, launch the weapon while holding a turbo then rotate, as in spin the right analog stick, and in Dodorays case it will make the rings spread more?

Sounds pretty awesome right there.



It is not awesome AT ALL. Not when I face godly Dordrey players anyway haha.

It's a really effective move, and when done unexpectedly can be a pain to dodge. Also, I think getting hit by just one paralyzes you, so you know drills are coming (though I once got around that by jumping into it and being knocked down, no drill for me).

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Re: Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram Beginner's Guide

Postby Davo87 » 29 Mar 2010, 09:20

Ok, I made this table to illustrate the differences between VR health in the specineff matchup versus the minimum percentage that is required for Slide Attack to kill them.

I was interested to know how much dmg Slide Attack does as it killed Raiden below 42% HP. I thought Raiden had good health but in reality his health is lower than Temjin, Grysvok and Aph S in this matchup.

Collected the data by trial and error, result: VRs with 1000 health die at 50%, means slide attack does 500 dmg. The percentages are rough guide but generally translate well.

I thought there was a good purpose in my findings, but easily understood when looking at the matchup chart I linked below. Thats all~~~ :/

Table: VR's health versus Specineff. Percentage min for Slide attack to Kill:

RAI 1150 --- 43.5
APC 1200 --- 41
APB 1100 --- 46.5
TEM 1170 --- 43.5
GRY 1350 --- 36
DOR 1280 --- 39
APS 1300 --- 38
STE 1000 --- 50
TEN 1060 --- 47
BDS 1130 --- 44
FEI 990 --- 51
SPE 1000 --- 50
ANG 1000 --- 50
CYP 900 --- 55
AJM 425 --- Death

http://virtualon.org/voot/resources.php?id=12

Lighter VRs can jump/airdash attack all day. But for Raiden, its a major disadvantage for him as most of his game requires to be on ground.

Also, slide attack dmg does not change with time of the match or get influenced by how much health is remaining. So the data of this move is solid and wont change. I assume it applies to CC and other special moves aswell.


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