Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Glitch is Born: How I Took Up the Viewtiful Mantle

So, Viewtiful Joe... He just doesn't seem that strong in MvC3. He's got stubby little arms only slightly compensated for by his great air mobility. What if I told you that he could put out his Shocking Pink bomb, it'll stay out for as long as you like, and you can detonate it on command even mid-move? Still not impressed? Well, you're probably right.

A few days ago I was exploring an MvC3 glitch posted on The glitch causes Trish to stay out on-screen as an assist. It has no benefit to the player initiating it. In fact, it'll likely get Trish killed really quickly. I wanted to see if there were any weird effects that were introduced by the Trish glitch. Shuma is required to initiate the glitch, so I made a team of Shuma/Jill/Joe for both players in versus mode. Joe, I figured, could slow down Trish before initiating the glitch, possibly causing some weird stuff to happen. Eventually, I was able to get both Trishes standing on-screen, permanently slowed. With four characters standing around, I kept trying different ways to interact with them. Somehow, I performed a L Shocking Pink, then canceled into Joe's Godhand (aka Slow) super, while never letting go of L. The fuse on his bomb ran down as usual, but it never exploded. I was able to kick the bomb around the screen for as long as I wanted. When I let go of L, it exploded. The Viewtiful Detonators glitch was born. I had entered training mode trying to exploit one glitch, only to discover a completely unrelated one. I submitted it to Shoryuken and it made front-page news.

As a quick aside, the name of the glitch might not be the most elegant ("bomb glitch" would probably suffice), but it's an homage to Super Bomberman. Back in the day, during multiplayer sessions we'd refer to the remote mines as "detonators," as in "Oh, no! He's got detonators!" For whatever reason, that was the first thing that came to mind when I saw the remotely-activated bomb.

The next step was to break the game with this technique. Obviously, Joe could now do all kinds of combos and tricks that were impossible before. The detonator activation may be the only attack in the game that can be activated at literally any time, including times when you cannot X-Factor or DHC. This includes during the Godhand super's cutscene. The detonator can OTG, and throwing an opponent onto the bomb is highly effective; Joe is invincible throughout the throw animation, so there's no special timing required to only hit the opponent. You can store a detonator mid-combo. With specific spacing, you can combo after the Godhand, which is usually impossible (other than a super-tight link directly to snapback). Someone suggested using the trick to get an easier combo to snapback after the Godhand. Other than the spacing requirements, it's not difficult:

This still didn't make the glitch game-breaking. Someone sent me a message that a combo video on SRK's front page was using the glitch:

Any time you see the bomb in a combo, the Detonator glitch is being utilized. These combos take the concept to the extreme. I particularly like the idea of comboing Godhand into another character who can abuse the slowdown, like Magneto or Ammy. Even so, these combos are not very practical and still don't make Joe totally unstoppable. At this point, I'm beginning to think that this glitch will never be broken. The real test will be seeing how it affects match play.

There are a few tricks that may pay off for Joe in match play. The spacing for performing an air-throw reset onto OTG detonator is not that strict, and it can combo into an air Desperado super. Another quirk of the detonator is that is will detonate any time Joe is hit. This allows for defensive uses. Joe can hide on top of the bomb, using it like Dormammu's Flame Carpet. If an opponent lands a surprise hit, the bomb will explode and knock them away. There are definite ways to send your detonator flying behind your opponent using the Desperado super. If you're able to hide the bomb just behind your opponent, you can immediately detonate upon any button press or assist call. These are only a few of the uses I expect to see in the coming days.

In conclusion, in spite of all his new tricks and tons of effort trying to abuse them, I really don't think that this glitch will make Joe overpowered in any way. He's definitely not a bad character, but I feel like he's lacking the potential to be a dominant force in the game, which is kind of pathetic considering that he has an unintended new power.

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