November 7, 2013 12:35 PM   Subscribe

Zombo Combo
posted by not_on_display at 12:45 PM on November 7, 2013 [4 favorites]

posted by Valued Customer at 12:59 PM on November 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have no idea what actually happened in the original, but this meme is fun!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:31 PM on November 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

A few years ago I was at an anime convention at a university in Atlanta, where they had a video game tournament. (I showed up because I had heard one of the games was Super Monkey Ball, but apparently I missed that part.) It was after the tournament had ended and people were just playing around, where I sew a number of kids playing Smash Melee on a big screen. There was a one-on-one match involving Donkey Kong, and the player of DK was obnoxious -- every time he connected with an attack, he'd taunt and pause the screen, which causes it to zoom in on the pausing player, so the screen zoomed in on DK's taunt, not to mention the pausing itself was very disruptive both to play and to timing. And his friends were very loud in a "you got served" kind of way.

The shouting in the Wombo Combo video took me right back to that.
posted by JHarris at 1:36 PM on November 7, 2013

As for what happened, well it's been a while since I've played, and I'm completely unfamiliar with public tournament Smash, but I'll try to explain:

The characters who look like an anthropomorphic fox in a helmet are "Fox," natch. The one human character is Captain Falcon. All of these characters are speedsters in a game that's very very fast. So, the reaction times involved are pretty great.

It's a Stock Match, meaning, each player has a number of lives, and if you run out you're out of the round. At this point, Blue Team only has one player on the board, and the match ends when he dies, so it's his last life and he has no backup.

At the time where the announcers start saying Wombo Combo, Capt. Falcon and Fox (on the Green team) are around the poor Blue Fox, trading combos to build up his damage.

In Smash Bros. you don't have a health bar; instead, as you take hits you gain a damage percentage. The higher your percentage, the "lighter" you become, and thus the further enemy attacks fling you. The object is to raise the enemy damage high, then use a powerful attack to launch the opponent off the screen. If you go too far off-screen (either down off the board or to the side or top) you lose a life. (Generally, you start trying to launch opponents at around 100%, where they get a fair bit lighter.)

Then, when the Blue team's Fox was at 44%, a fairly low percentage, the Green Fox uses a launching attack, knocking Fox toward the left side of the screen. 44% isn't that much, and Fox would probably survive this.

Except Green doesn't have another player around to harass, leaving Blue's two players free to beat up Green's one. That's how they were able to surround Green and pound on him unopposed. I wouldn't doubt that they had worked this out as a strategy in practice, which would explain why Falcon was able to take advantage of the sudden launch so quickly.

In Smash, when you're being send flying somewhat off-screen but not all the way, you have recovery moves (multiple jumps or an attack that gives you mid-air momentum) you can use to try to get back in, to get back to the playfield and not lose a life. These rely on you not being stunned from another attack though; if you're reeling from a blow you can't use any move, attack or recovery.

Falcon leapt towards the flying Blue Fox, already heading off screen, and attacked again. The attack stunned Fox and prevented him from recovering, and sent him off screen to die. Falcon, to make sure the Fox got hit, had actually jumped off the board, and was also falling out, and would die -- except he performed his recovery, off the bottom, before Blue died, keeping him just away from the magic boarder that indicates defeat. The match ends immediately once one team runs out of lives, so he didn't die. (And he had a life in reserve anyway. It wasn't a close match.)

Melee is a very fast game, and these are some of the fastest characters in it, so the reactions involved were impressive, especially Falcon catching Blue Fox on his way out. It's almost certain that this is a known "thing" the players worked up, which might be why the announcer shouted "Wombo Combo."
posted by JHarris at 1:59 PM on November 7, 2013 [3 favorites]

Gah, I got the two colors mixed up in the above. I tried editing it to make it consistent but I think I still failed. I presume you can work out what I meant to say.
posted by JHarris at 2:07 PM on November 7, 2013

Thanks for the description, I think I followed! Makes way more sense now!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 2:27 PM on November 7, 2013

God damn it now I'm on Youtube searching "EVO moment" instead of actually working on my freelancing assignment.
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:02 PM on November 7, 2013

It's worth noting that the game played in the video happened nearly five years ago.
posted by JHarris at 4:04 PM on November 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

Does that mean that it's about time for a Yipes "Mahvel Baybee" MvC2 trash talk video link?
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:58 PM on November 7, 2013

Something something Mango Sentinel
posted by penduluum at 5:17 PM on November 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

That ain't Falco.
posted by erniepan at 7:38 PM on November 7, 2013

Graph of Zhu's percentage (damage) vs time.
Same graph, labeled with commentary.

From /r/smashbros.
posted by knuckle tattoos at 11:02 PM on November 8, 2013

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