3 Thoughts about Diving or not Diving (Life and Videogames)

Dr. Doom's Foot Dive. All day. Attribution: http://s8.invisionfree.com/Cliff_Hanger/ar/t44625.htm

This is obviously another gaming article. I’m processing a game development entry and will post that soon.

I wanted to sort of prepare myself for the local fighting game community’s tournament season, so what I did the other night was research on one of the more commonly used characters in Ultimate Marvel VS. Capcom 3: Dr. Doom. When I play fighting games, I normally look into the more popular characters and try to learn the character’s bread and butter stuff. So in this case, I looked into how Dr. Doom’s Foot Dive loops are done.

After about an hour that comprised of unguided experimentation, online research, and further application, I found myself enjoying the use of Dr. Doom’s Foot Dive loops, even figuring out how the loops end with the mid-air blast then fingers hyper combo as well as his link to Level 3 (which almost guarantees an instant kill). In fact, I felt like Foot Diving all day, hehehe.

Looking back at it, I had some interesting observations about these diving moves in video games, and how, ironically, they apply to our lives:

1.) Dive attacks allow you to get in your opponent’s faces faster than jump attacks. Jump attacks have a bit of delay due to the natural arc brought about by the diagonal input, and because of that delay, the opponent has a chance to punish the attack by either jumping and attacking, jumping and throwing, or using an anti-air move. Dive attacks are a different story, because the downward velocity is a whole lot faster, there is a smaller amount of time to react. Because of that, the diver is within their opponent’s breathing space much faster.

So what does this mean in life? Often times when try to take advantage of a favorable situation, we either go for it but delay our movement a bit, or we go in with full commitment. And while both are decisions made on initiative, having to put a bit of delay in your action may be costly. When you make a commitment to go for something, it means your mind is made up and all you have to do is go for it. And speaking of commitment:

2. Dive attacks have portions of invincibility, but afterwards you become vulnerable. If you look at characters with these moves like Wolverine’s Dive Kick or the Dive Kick of the Kung-Fu Twins of Street Fighter, when they go into that move, they choose to stay in that position the whole time in order to keep the frames where they are rendered untouchable. And it’s crazy that with the speed that comes with a Dive Kick, it makes it so hard to retaliate. But what if the diver kicker completely misses? Then they are now subject to recovery times that put them in the worst state possible – vulnerability. And when this happens, there’s a lot of pain involved.

And how does this apply to life, Raph? Well, it’s still about committing yourself to anything that you do, regardless of what may happen. If you’re looking for a way out of your job, then you should stick with your plan of increasing your visibility or shipping your resume around. If you score an interview and job offer, then great! If you get rejected, then that’s part of it. There are always pros and cons, but if you commit yourself to something, be assured that with all the misses that come, you will always make your way towards the eventual hit.

And finally..

3. It’s a gift.. that gets abused. Oh man, I remember when the Twins came out in Super Street Fighter 4 AE. Everything that you would see online games, videos and tournaments are dive kicks, dive kicks and dive kicks. I can’t stress enough how awfully monotonous it became seeing these twins darting downwards in the Crane Stance. But because of this (and most other reasons pertaining to balance in the world and the game), two things happened: (1) There came an influx of anti-Dive Kick techniques that leveled the playing field (see: C. Viper players for Thunder Knuckle-Burn Kick.. or search Joshua Philpot who is the best at C. Viper), and (2) balances that made the twins a little less invincible even with the Dive Kick. Don’t get me wrong, though, I have seen a couple of players who relied less on the Dive Kick in favor for more strategic play. It’s just that things are lot more fair in AE 2012. :)

At the same time, people who don’t use the Dive Kick at all are left with a big disadvantage, too – they cannot get in on their opponents. And with the twins having smaller lifespans, that’s an automatic loss.

So what do we learn from this? We are often gifted with something wonderful – it could be a the roll of the dice in our life, a new car, and even the skills that we were given due to us being unique individuals. But imagine what would happen to this gift if you do not use it the right way? The gift starts to break and becomes less effective. And on the other end, what if you choose not to use the gifts that you have? Then you become less effective as a person. It’s important to strive for that balance of not overusing or underestimating the gifts that you have.


With that said, the game of life, like any fighting game out there, is an exhilarating experience that we are fortunate to have. We don’t get enough opportunities like this to make good use of what we have. So with a full heart and absolute gusto, I encourage you to harness your talents, aim clearly at your goals.. and dive in on your opportunities!