Mechanics and the Games that Spawned them

Something I’ve been wondering about for awhile now. Where exactly did certain staple FG mechanics make their debut? As in, what was the first FG with air-dashes, flight modes, parry-like moves, etc. More importantly, which ones were from games that are barely remembered now but without which the genre wouldn’t be what is is today?

I’m gonna throw my opinion in and any can feel free to correct any mistakes:

KOF - running.

Darkstalkers - air dashes, advancing guard.

Last Blade or Samurai Shodown - Parries.

Guilty Gear - Manual Cancels (RCs).

Jojos Bizarre Adventure - Doll characters.

I’d be interested to find out the first game to have (purposely) cancelable normals, ie., chains.

Weren’t chains also introduced by Darkstalkers?

Also, stuff I can recall that may need correcting.

Asuka 120% - Double jumps

Kizuna Encounter - Tag

Samurai Shodown was the first game with running, while Samurai Shodown 2 introduced parries.

The Fatal Fury games had Feint Cancels and Garou:MOTW had Break Moves, both which could be likened to Guilty Gear’s Roman Cancel, but for normals and special moves specifically.

I looked into this one and I remembered Power Instinct came out a year before Asuka 120% and had Double Jumps.

I actually remember having a big list compiled of the introductions of many fighting gameplay mechanics, I’m gonna have to dig for it.

Yeah i was gonna say power instinct for double jumps, but i wasn’t sure which game first, i remember power instinct around 93/94, i dont remember asuka120% especially the pc engine versions

possibly power instinct for ex/enhanced specials

who had air block first? ss3? or alpha1? or something else

Yup, IIRC chains were introduced by the first Darkstalkers with the “hunter chains”. Well actually what Darkstalkers introduced is the chains built around magic series, but SF Alpha’s chain combos would already count, right?

Parries were popularized by SF3 but I remember a mention (by Mike Z IIRC) that Clayfighter, possibly the N64 one, had them already.

I’m intrigued what spawned just inputs . VF3 or SC1? Just frames also.

I’d love to see that list. I’m particularly interested in any stuff that comes from games that most people have forgotten or aren’t too well known.

pretty sure fighting vipers invented the sabaki

Samurai shodown 3 the universal overhead, and normal throw whiff animation

Pretty sure the original Killer Instinct had universal overheads.

Didnt SF:Movie game home version have EX moves first?


That is a pretty good list, missing alot of things though, still it’s a good start.

We’ve had similar topics before that turned out to be pretty insightful, but I am having a HECK of a time finding them!  Like I know there was a good one about air dashes that eventually got down to people trying to find release dates for doujin games.

This is bugging me.  I’m thinking that maybe we lost those threads in one of the many forum changeovers?


Here’s a very recent one for parries.

Omni put together a (fairly capcom-centric) list here: (this is a revision of the older version )

Surprisingly comprehensive list of firsts in the genre, although most of these things aren’t really mechanics:

For what it’s worth, just a list with of mechanics with no games attached:

I’ve been wondering about this stuff too, Just Defense in particular. Capcom gets a lot of credit for mechanics that they borrowed from other games.

The first two Darkstalkers came out before Street Fighter Alpha. People seem to forget that and assume that Darkstalkers took cues from Street Fighter Alpha when actually it was the other way around. But even then, Fighter’s History Dynamite had a chain system where light attacks would chain into hard ones, and it came out a few months before the first Darkstalkers. I’m pretty sure the first Darkstalkers was the first game to have air blocking, though.

That was after Night Warriors/Vampire Hunter, although I’m not sure if that was the first game to have them. The first Darkstalkers sort of had them, but in an odd way: if your meter was full, any special you performed would automatically use up the meter and comes out as an ES version. Most even had separate light, medium, and hard ES versions. But even then, I’m not sure if it was really the first game to have some sort of “powered up version of special at the cost of meter” mechanic.

Also X-Men VS Street Fighter had advancing guard before Vampire Savior.

Oh dang, that’s embarrassing. I stand corrected!

Double Jump was in World Heroes 1 (Hanzou/Fuuma)

Irony or fun tidbits:

Different jump heights AKA Minijump or Super Jump were invented by Primal Rage 1994 as well as Universal Overheads (all characters have one but they arent assigned to the same button), all chars have command throws.

Jump Cancels as a FEATURE also were present here but using only the motions for super/mini jumps. You couldnt foward jump cancel for the sake of balance.

There is a pseudo alpha counter built into the engine (but not advertised) that kicks in after every 3rd blocked hit, you can negate blockstun and interrupt it with any attack or special.

Damage reduction (scaling) was also implemented on that game as a feature too first, also damage % showing in for combos (fist than MK3)

Link, chain, cancles and Juggles featured in a same combo, also virtually “non fixed” combos let you improvise on the fly your own (combo.

“No cheese” or infinite/trap detection kicked in when you met certain conditions.

Some enviroment interaction as well (eating humans after a combo for free life, not that usefull or well implemented IMO)

Air Chains as Darkstalkers, almost at the same time and air chains + air special cancels

What game introduced assists? Wasn’t it one of the Street Fighter versus games with Marvel before MvC1 came out?

I believe MvSF was the first to do it for tag team games. I don’t know if it was the first to do it in general.