Super Street Fighter IV/Universal Abilities/Normal Moves

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The Five States of Normal Moves

These are your basic attacks. These are the attacks you get when hitting any of the six attack button. These will be the fundamental building blocks of all of your offense and defense in Street Fighter, so get to know your moves very intimately. This sounds simple, but it must be realized that there are a lot of Normal Moves in the game, and sometimes you actually lose sight of that.

There are five main states of Normal Moves, which is one of the reasons why it's sometimes easy to forget that you have so many Normals. The five states are Standing (hitting an attack button while your character is standing at a distance from your opponent), Close-up (hitting an attack button while your character is standing very close to the opponent), Crouching (hitting an attack button while you are also holding any of the Down positions on the joystick), Angled Jumping (pressing an attack button during a Forward or Back Flip), and Straight-up Jumping (pressing an attack button during a Straight Up Jump). This gives you a total of 30 different basic Normal Attacks.

Unique Attacks

On top of that, many characters have Unique Attacks, which are Normal Moves that can only be accessed by holding the joystick in a certain direction. For example, Ryu has a move that can only be accessed by holding Toward on the joystick and hitting Hard Punch: the Solar Plexus Strike where he slides forward with a double hitting gut punch. Chun Li has a move that can only be accessed while holding Offensive Crouch and hitting Hard Kick: the Kakukyakuraku where she flips over the opponent and kicks them from behind. Zangief has a move that can only be accessed during an Angled Jump by hitting Down on the joystick and pressing Hard Punch: the Flying Body Attack where he tries to land on you with his chest.

Almost every character has a Unique Attack, so make sure you know what they are for your favorite character. Unique Attacks usually have unusual properties associated with them (e.g. they are Overheads), so it's a good idea to get to know them well.

No Chip, No Meter

It should be noted that Normal Attacks do not cause any Chip Damage (damage taken while Blocking). Also, Normal Attacks do not build any meter just for performing them, unlike some past Street Fighter games.

The Four Classes of Normal Moves

Normal Moves are not only the basis of your attack because they are simple to perform and cost nothing to use, but also because Normal Moves come in four types, the first two of which are key to mastering your character: Special Cancelable Normal Moves, Super / EX Focus Only Cancelable Normal Moves, Whiff Cancelable Moves, and Non-Cancelable Normal Moves.

The first class of Normal Moves, the Special Cancelable ones, are the most important. These are Normal Moves that, when they connect on the opponent whether hitting or being blocked, can have the rest of their animation be immediately canceled into a Special Move. This can be useful for combos, attack sequences, escape options, and all sorts of other creative things. These moves can also be canceled into Super Combos and Focus Attacks. Good examples of these Normal Moves are Ryu's Crouching Medium Kick and Guile's Close Standing Hard Punch.

The second class of Normal Moves are ones that can only be canceled by a Super Combo or an EX Focus Attack. These Normals cannot be canceled into a normal Special Move, such as a Hadoken. There are no moves that come to mind that can be canceled by one or the other: one property seems to cover both. If anyone knows of a move that can be canceled into a Super but not an EX Focus or an EX Focus but not a Super, let me know! Examples of this type of Normal Move are Fei Long's Crouching Medium Punch and Adon's Crouching Hard Punch.

The third class of Normal Moves are very rare but have one special trait: they can only be canceled before the move makes contact with the enemy! In other words, these moves can be canceled into Special Moves or Super Combos or EX Focus Attacks during their startups. Examples of this type of Normal Move are Honda's Shikofumi (Offensive Crouch + Hard Kick) and Guy's Neck Breaker (Towards + Medium Punch). Interestingly, all moves that have this property are Unique Attacks.

And finally, there are the Non-Cancelable Normal Moves. They are exactly what it sounds like: Normal Moves that cannot be canceled into anything ever. Examples of these are Ken's Crouching Hard Kick and Dudley's Standing Hard Punch.

It is worth noting that Normal Moves that have multiple hits can contain more than one of these properties. For example, Chun Li's Crouching Hard Punch is a two-hit attack where she hits you with one hand and then the other. Only the first attack is Special Move Cancelable. The second hit cannot be canceled into anything at all. So keep that in mind.