On Hisako and Makoto

In my journey with Hisako since her release this year, I desired to gain a greater fundamental understanding of her archetype. She’s an odd character with an odd plan, hard work and not at all a character you just pick up and go bananas with… which would lead one to the question: what has occurred in fighting game history that would influence (no pun intended) IG/MS to create such a character?

I could be wrong (and feel free, Mr. @TheKeits, to correct me if I’m off base here), but it seems as though Hisako has been influenced, at least in part, by one Ms. Makoto Rindou of the SF series.

After having noticed some superficial similarities between these two characters, and having always been a fan of observation from alternate perspectives, I spent some time studying and playing Makoto. Further similarities revealed themselves to me in the process of game play.

Some key ways in which they are quite similar:

  • Hayate/ORZ: Both characters have a :arrow_down: :arrow_lower_right: :arrow_right:+P special that controls space in front of them. The big difference being that ORZ makes Hisako travel far less than Hayate makes Makoto travel.

  • Tsurugi/Air-ORZ: The airborne version of ORZ operates in a very similar fashion to Makoto’s Tsurugi (despite having a much more generous hitbox).

  • Slow walk speed: Both of these characters have a significantly slow gait. Which must be compensated with…

  • Fast Forward Dash: Hisako and Makoto’s forward dashes are extremely fast, and instrumental to spacing. Speaking of spacing…

  • Spacing aided by normals and commands: It is vital to learning both characters that the distance by which a normal or special will displace them is memorized and near-constantly considered.

  • Command Throws: Well… yeah. Command throws. That lead to combos in certain scenarios. They’ve got 'em.

  • No Zoning: controlling the space in front of both Hisako and Makoto will put you at greater risk of being in range of the opponent’s attack. There is no zoning at play here.

  • Wakeup Pressure: Both characters excel in harassing the bejeezus out of their opponents on wakeup with various methods.

  • Deliberate Normals: Both characters have normals that are unwise to just toss out all willy-nilly-like. The expression of this idea is evident in Makoto’s susceptibility to punish, and in Hisako’s Wrath/Counter Hit mechanics.

Of course there are some ways in which they differ:

  • Backdash: Makoto has a serviceable back-dash. Hisako has… uhh… a back-shamble? A back-saunter? I don’t know what to call that thing, but it’s been useful for me about twice in history.

  • Standing Overhead: Makoto has Oroshi with which to deliver chops to the skull, a-la Jago’s Neck Cutter, while on her feet. The closest thing Hisako has to this is light-TK-ORZ, which causes her to leap like a freak and scream at the top of her lungs.

  • Anti-Air: all in all, Hisako has an easier time anti-airing her opponent than Makoto, who has more options for anti-air but has to work harder for them (see the differences in Fukiage vs. Cr.Forward, or using the effective but admittedly counter-intuitive Stand-Strong).

  • Air Mobility: Hisako can fly around the screen like a witch on a broom. Makoto doesn’t quite have this luxury.

  • Catch-Counters: Makoto called and said she wanted these for Christmas.

  • Defense Vs. Projectiles: Hisako and Makoto deal with projectiles in dissimilar ways. Makoto has her standby Tsurugi methods (ex: Tsurugi > EX Hayate), whereas Hisako’s forward dash (and amazing ability to block the fireballs that her dash didn’t quite clear) similarly avoids the fireball but moves her in a very different way on the screen. Hisako’s shadow-ORZ is a near insta-punish on predictable/poorly timed fireballs. Hisako also has a teleport that can be used when you make a read on an impending fireball (not quite as good as a reaction to a fireball unless your opponent doesn’t know the matchup).

After playing Makoto in USF4, I definitely feel as though playing this archetype from a different perspective was time well spent. I am able to look at Hisako in a very different light, and I feel as though my gameplay took a step in the right direction. This may not be the case for you, dear Onryo, but it’s certainly worth a shot (the worst that could happen is, you might have fun playing some USF4).

Thoughts? Comments? Diatribes?

Coffee and Donuts?

tl;dr: Love Hisako? Go play some Makoto, then come back to her.

I used to work at a Dunkin’ Donuts. No coffee and Donuts for me. I may have had Donuts to last me a lifetime. As Time of Writing is currently munching on a donut and Drinking Coffee

1 Like

Curious to hear what @Infilament has to say on this subject, as I know he’s a USF4 buff.

I wonder if Infil ever gets tired of being randomly @'ed in every 3rd thread on the forums…I’m genuinely curious :stuck_out_tongue:

2 Likes

Well, I play USF4, (played it yesterday as a matter of fact) and Makoto and Hisako do share some similarities with each other. But I believe Hisako has more tools that make her drastically different. Kinda Like Gouken and Ryu. Sure, by definition, Gouken is a Shoto, and has similar moves like a Hadouken or a Tatsu, but the way his moveset is makes him different than Ryu. Characters can have similar moves, but the way the playstyle that character plays, as well as the tools a char. had, may be enough to differentiate them…

IMO

EDIT: I see what you mean though. That’s why I like playing Jago in KI, because of the similarities in Ryu (My 2nd Main) It’s fun finding a character similar to one you are familiar with, as you see them in a different light. :smile:

1 Like

Heh, nah, doesn’t bother me. :basketball: :musical_note: :8ball:

Yeah, it’s really clear that Hisako has large parts of Makoto in her. The slow walk speed, fash forward dash, unreactable command grab (that leads to a combo sometimes), and safe on block axe kick pressure move are undeniably Makoto. Hisako has two things Makoto doesn’t have, though: great space control normals and an easy way through projectiles (although the projectile game in SF4 compared to KI is very different so this isn’t directly comparable). Makoto also has one of the fastest backdashes in SF4 (so I’d call it a lot more than “serviceable”!) and very good anti-air, so I wouldn’t say she’s weak in those areas.

I like to think of influence as karakusa and possession (the suck in grab) serving the function of hayate cancel -> karakusa (since it can be useful for tick setups). Air ORZ functions almost identically to axe kick, except it can reliably cross up (which is amazing) but it doesn’t always start a combo unlike SF4 Makoto axe kick (which is a necessary price to pay for it being so amazing in every other way).

But yeah, if someone asks me what character Hisako is like, above all else, she’s like Makoto. She gets the space control of a character like Rose/Chun mixed in and her own unique flavor with the counter stuff, because KI is sort of like that, but she “feels like” Makoto most of the time.

1 Like

Thanks for chiming in my good man.

I found the experience of experimenting with Makoto to bleed into my Hisako playing in an interesting way. Having to work within Makoto’s limitations gave me a new perspective on Hisako, by putting a microscope on the ways in which they were different. It made Hisako’s role more clear to me.

Absolutely agree. Raw Karakusa attempts were made in nearly identical situations to raw Influence attempts. Tsurugi worked splendidly for me as an opener since I was already used to using TK-ORZ (though the difference in input took a little getting used to). I found Hayate to be useful in similar, albeit not identical, situations in which grounded ORZ would be useful.

Yeah… I grew up with british comedies, so I’m definitely guilty of the ol’ semi-comedic downplay; which I realize now doesn’t work quite as well without tone of voice to indicate that I was using it inversely as a means to shine light on Hisako’s poor, poor backdash. Re: Anti airs, I definitely agree that Makoto is more than competent with AA, but it seems like you have to work a bit harder as a player for consistency. Could just be me, but AA with Hisako is just so buttery smooth (that’s even to say nothing of PPP counters as anti-air… strictly speaking of attacks).

They might have some similarities, but I think people dwell too much on that notion.

All of the above is certainly not to say that one should drive Hisako as though she were Makoto, I was just sharing the fact that my experimentation with Makoto gave me a new spin on Hisako. :smile: