you can jump to dodge

“The snow won’t stop falling, so Dad said he’d stay here with me until it stops. He’ll probably leave again when it does, so I kinda hope it snows forever. ”

NieR is a peculiar little game that came out in 2010 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It was published by Square Enix and developed by now defunct Cavia Inc. NieR is what most would consider a flawed gem and a cult classic. In this guide, I’ll tell you what NieR is about, why I think it deserves your time, and I’ll briefly go over Drakengard, the series that ties into NieR, and the “sequel”, NieR: Automata.

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That's No Moonstone


Regarding Emily’s “regarding the update a half hour ago” update- If you can dodge a spell by jumping behind a wall then I think a superheated blade filtered through a kyber crystal is more than sufficient. Hell if magic is regarded as a form of energy transference I would go so far as to say that you could deflect a spell back at it’s caster and have it affect them instead.


Neutral Special: Hair-Snare Swing

In my moveset, Dixie grabs with her hands when you press the Grab Button, but she uses her hair when you press B. She doesn’t grab immediately though; the angle in which she catches someone is up to you.

Once you press B, Dixie takes a stance. A mode has been activated for her, in which she stands still and ready to react in various ways. The stance is easy to assume and thus has no startup or ending lag; you can’t walk around while in this stance, but you can easily get out of it by pressing B or A, jumping, dodging or by getting attacked. You can also shield while you’re in the stance, and unlike the other options above, you’ll automatically return to this position. Retaliating won’t be a problem for you.  

So, you know how to cancel this, but what is this used for? This Special is Input-Sensitive on the ground, and the inputs are strictly directional. One thing to note is that if someone comes up opposite from where Dixie’s facing, you can press back on the Control Stick for her to reverse her stance at any time. Now, Dixie has 3 real options when in this stance: Forward, Diagonal and Upward. If you press the Control Stick in any of these directions, she’ll grab with her ponytail. 

Here’s the Forward Swing. She extends her hair in hopes of catching a foe. This is the critical moment; it’s fast, far-reaching and can grab those right behind her at the start of the swing, but if Dixie misses she’ll return to the “Ready Stance” above with negligible ending lag preceding it. There’ll be nothing stopping her from trying again, so enemies should break her out of that stance ASAP.

If she does catch you with this move, you’ll be grabbed, swung and likely slammed opposite of where she caught you. In this case it’ll be behind her initial stance. The strength of the Neutral Forward is the weakest of the 3; a nice trade off for not punishing Dixie for missing her target. The ending lag of all the successful swings are the same. In the Forward’s case that means it’s worse than when you miss, but only slightly. Those caught are snared and swung in one swift motion, making the attack-throw quite quick. Where Dixie slams her hair into is important, because the force of the impact will hurt whoever stands there. Those who didn’t get grabbed should keep that in mind. This move works on projectiles and items in a limited sense as well; if you use this on a crate or barrel she’ll pick it up with her hair like in DKC 2 and knock away smaller items, but she doesn’t reflect projectiles, especially not things like Link’s arrows or Fox’s lasers. At best, she can deflect–not reflect–grabbable projectiles, but it’s not a reliable move for that. She only grabs crates/barrels with the Forward Input or picking them up normally; the Diagonal and Up will knock them away or slam them into the ground.

Let’s escalate things with the Diagonal Input.  This Swing catches combatants coming from the air, at an angle. Say for instance, Dixie assumes this stance as someone runs toward her; the opponent anticipates a Forward Swing and so jumps to avoid it, but instead Dixie swings her hair diagonally. Or, an airborne assailant approaches at an angle, allowing an appropriate application of this move. What’s likely to happen? She’s sure to swing the Hair Snare into the ground at a diagonal angle, slamming snatched smashers at an angle opposite of the grab. Since this is a grounded throw, the trajectory is a reverse of the swing itself, but what’s interesting here is that regardless of whether you catch someone, Dixie will slam her hair like this and won’t return to the Ready Stance. She’s swinging at an angle and in a way that makes her unable to ignore the impact; missing means she’ll have more ending lag than when she succeeds. She’ll shrug off a failed swing and take no damage, but if she catches someone she’ll rebound quickly to her idle pose–not her Ready Stance–free to do whatever. Like the Forward Swing, where her hair hits the ground is important. Non-grabbed victims are at risk of being hit by this, and there’s more force and damage in the Diagonal than the Forward swing. The stakes are higher here, so Dixie’s throwing more might into this.

Now we’re raising the stakes even higher for her Upward Swing.  Dixie swings her hair to catch those directly above. It’s strictly vertical, and like the other 2 swings is performed quickly. The launch trajectory is vertical as well. Dixie slams her hair and victim into the ground and bounces them up with sheer might. The raw power behind this is on par with her Forward Smash fully charged, enough to startle heavyweights. IT IS THE STRONGEST OF ALL HER THROWS, and when using this one it is absolutely necessary that this move connects, otherwise Dixie’s gonna be in trouble. As you can see, she’ll rebound quickly if she succeeds and send her opponent flying, but if she misses she’ll crash into the ground, toppling over as if laid out by a terrible punch. A far cry from a graceful fall–one that leaves a valuable window of opportunity for vulnerability. She doesn’t take damage from failing, but the amount of pain a fighter can unleash–like a Falcon Punch–makes that a cold comfort. She’s putting everything she’s got into this swing, and this move is one she wants–no NEEDS–to succeed. Good luck with it.

The Up Swing is high-risk, high-reward. Of her 3 Up throws, this one is the only with vertical trajectory. Her traditional Up Throw is diagonally oriented while her Cargo Up has her throw at a highly curved arc.

On the ground, her Neutral Special is tactical, simple but strategic and meant to accommodate a shifting situation. It can be used in the air too, but it’s much simpler off the ground.

She does one spin, tossing whoever she touches in front of her an alright distance away, regardless if they were in front already. It is quick, not spectacular and the antithesis of the ground version. Simplicity in the air, versatile on the ground. This is her 2nd aerial grab, but her Down Air is better.

Her Neutral Special, Down Air and Forward Throw all highlight her possibilities as a Grapple-oriented fighter–allowing Dixie to have 12 throws in her moveset–9 added to her 3 regular throws. Those standing directly behind her when she performs either swing will get swept into the entire sequence, and if you’re swung with more force based on where you get caught in the swing. I hope everyone gets the gist of how this concept is meant to work. We’ve covered all the throws she has in her arsenal.

Hyper Jumping Primer

TowerFall is a game that you can pick up and play with very little prior knowledge. If you’ve ever hopped around in a platformer before, the basics should be intuitive. As a party game, accessibility is a central goal of the design. But there are layers of depth to dig through as you improve your archery skills. TowerFall really begins to expand as your group transitions to playing competitively.

Mastery of the movement systems in particular will allow you to pull off stunts which may seem at first to break the rules of the game. This post will go in-depth on one of the highest-level TowerFall techniques for competitive players: Hyper Jumping. It’s going to get pretty technical.

Hyper Jumps allow you to leap across entire arenas in one smooth motion. They’re difficult to use well, but it’s possible to perform hyper jumps with enough precision to land directly on enemies’ skulls from across the stage. Here’s how they work.

This is a regular jump, for comparison. It’s a safe move. It’s easy to execute, moves predictably, and you aren’t left vulnerable because you can always dodge mid-flight to catch arrows.

This is a Super Jump. To perform it, start by holding the analog stick diagonally forward and down to run. Next, hit the dodge button. This will start a dodge slide, which you can immediately cancel by jumping. Keep holding forward and you’ll retain your speed boost for a distance.

It’s important to hold the stick diagonally forward and down at the start. Holding just forward, you’ll enter a regular dodge rather than a slide. You can still jump out of a regular dodge of course, but dodge slides are faster and give you more distance.

Keep in mind that Super Jumps are a form of dodge cancelling - this means that your dodge cooldown starts from the moment you jump. All dodge cancels leave you vulnerable, unable to catch arrows for a short time, gaining you mobility in return.

With Super Jumps you reach higher-than-normal speeds by jump cancelling out of a slide, but that speed is capped. There’s a way around this cap with another form of cancelling.

During any dodge, you can tap the dodge button a second time to cancel it - this is known as a tap cancel. You may have noticed that your archer moves very quickly as a dodge begins, and then slows to a near stop before it finishes. When you tap cancel a dodge, you keep the speed you had at the moment you cancelled it. The sooner after the start of a dodge you cancel, the faster you’ll go! But if you accidentally try to dodge and cancel on the same frame, the game won’t register the cancel at all and you’ll just perform a regular old dodge instead.

Because it’s very difficult to double-tap the same button in such short time windows, I recommend using a “galloping” motion across the top of your controller. On PS4 every button on top of the controller is a dodge button, so I press R1 and then L1 in very quick succession for my cancels.

Hyper Jumping is a specific application of this technique. The start will be familiar: run forward, holding diagonally forward and down (remember, slides are faster than normal dodges). Then dodge, immediately cancel the dodge by hitting another dodge button, and jump, in that order. Continue holding forward as you fly across the stage to get the most distance.

There are many creative applications for dodge cancels - hyper jumps are just the beginning! Once your group masters these techniques, it’s like you’re playing a whole new game. Happy cancelling!