@KillerSwift7 is right. It’s not that I couldn’t understand it - I knew exactly how to do it. It was all about the timing and having the moves come out properly. I would often mess up because I couldn’t get the DP to come out properly (it would do an endokuken instead) or because I couldn’t pull off a shadow a certain move fast enough off of a juggle. For example, some of those combos require you to rotate the joystick in 1 direction like 2 or 3x in a row, and then suddenly asks you to do a move right after a juggle that rotates the joystick in the other direction while your opponent is falling to the ground very quickly. If you did it too late, you’d whiff. If you did it too early, you’d hit and then whiff half-way through the move.
Like some have said, I had to split it into smaller parts, practice sections of it, and then piece it all together. All I could think while reading these super-long combos was: “people actually try and pull off combos this complicated? Why!?” …and then the very next combo would show me how to have Jago use 3 shadow moves in a combo while only having 2 stocks of shadow meter (because you had to use the 1st 2 mid-combo and then build the 3rd and use it before you finished it - crazy, I tell you!). That’s the kind of tech that I’m not prone to figuring out.
Me? I just like to perform simple combos that follow the default combo string mixed in with a few suprises (such as a linker followed by a linker or a manual or 2) to lock out my opponents and punish them. When I do combos, I don’t even really think about what I’m doing unless I need something, like damage or shadow meter. Othewise, I’m generally trying to legitimately do things randomly in the moment so my opponents can never quite figure me out.
As far as I can tell, it’s obviously working, because I came ever so-close to beating @CStyles45 yesterday (I had him in the danger-zone - you can see the clip of the entire fight under my profile) where I made quite a few mistakes, but I didn’t think I could pull that off. To make myself feel even better, even though I couldn’t beat him, I beat a top-32 player twice and a Sadira player that he couldn’t with his own Aganos in the same lobby while he was watching. I look forward to fighting and learning from him again - his defense is rock-solid.
That’s 1 of the reasons I like this game though; because of its constant 2-way interaction and combo-breaking and lockout system, it allows for me to try different patterns or just go completely ham to confuse and obliterate my opponent. While you can do that in other fighting games, it’s not as apparent or as easy, and if you get punished, there’s often little to no chance to counter it (and sometimes it will even require resources). After seeing and playing KI for so long, I now find other fighting games that do that as, well to be rather blunt, absolutely stupid.
Even better than that, KI is consistently getting better at teaching new people how to play the game and (by extension) other fighting games, as well as experience just how great the fighting game community and genre can really be as a whole (CAM notwithstanding) and I appreciate that. DH and IG have done everyone a favor even if not everyone realizes it just yet (but they will, you just wait until S3 blows everyone’s expectations out of the water).
Thanks for the advice, I’ll give that a try - it shouldn’t take me long either, since I breezed through the 1st 31 Dojo Lessons just fine.