Athena drive cancel DP into ex fireball help

I was doing Athena’s level 5 trial, and one of the inputs requires you to drive cancel her DP into an EX fireball, done so that you get the launch from the DP, but immediately cancel it and shoot the fireball. Is there some sort of good way to do this consistently? I can get it maybe 1/5 times with the regular input of: forward down forward lightpunch, immediately down back (more of a half circle back) and hit light punch and heavy punch at the same time.

Is there a shortcut to do this? Can I hit light punch to do the DP, keep it pressed, and then hit heavy punch when I need to do my ex? It also might help if someone explained the mechanics of drive cancelling because the game itself does a very poor job. This is my first KOF game btw, brand new but determined to learn. Any help much appreciated.

Hmmm…for DP into Psycho Ball, you pretty much have to just do it. Once you hit df+P to do the dp, just roll from that position to do the qcb+PP for EX Psycho Ball.

Drive Canceling (in most cases):

Can cancel certain special moves into other special moves. If a special move puts you in an airborne state (DPs) you can cancel the later airborne part of the move into air special moves.

You cannot cancel a special move into itself, unless you cancel it into its EX version.

I practiced more and now I can get it about 50% of the time, the timing is just really strict.

So with drive cancels, you can only cancel moves that put you into the air? Like I couldn’t do the drive cancel the other way around from fireball into DP?

Certain special moves are just unable to be drive canceled. Athena’s Psycho Ball, for instance, cannot be drive cancelled. It simply doesn’t have that property. She can drive cancel her DP, Phoenix Arrow, and Teleport.

One thing that might help you out with executing the DP -> fireball drive cancel is by using the button holding trick. When doing qcb+PP for the EX fireball after the DP, hold down the punch buttons. This will cause the game to repeat the input for a few frames afterwards, making it easier to do. This trick also makes things in HD mode easier, like the DP -> teleport drive cancel, since if you do dp, f+K and hold down K, Athena will teleport on the first drive cancellable frame of the DP.

Note however that the button holding trick only applies to specials and supers. Links involving normals are not made easier.

I think that I hold down the buttons anyway, possibly without realizing it, which is why my success rate may have improved significantly.