Guilty Gear XX Accent Core

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Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Official Logo


Guilty Gear XX Λ Core, usually referred to as Guilty Gear XX Accent Core, is the most recent version of Guilty Gear XX released to Japanese arcades on December 20, 2006. The 4th installment in the GGXX Series.

In addition to balance changes along the lines of those in #Reload and Slash, Λ Core features a new type of special move, the "Force Break," which consumes 25% of the Tension bar when used. Most characters have gained new special moves, and some have had existing specials (or powered-up versions of existing specials) converted into Force Break attacks. It also introduces moves that make opponents stick briefly to walls or slide across the floor of a stage. New additions also include Slashback, a form of parrying with reduced block stun, and throw breaks.

In addition to its gameplay changes Λ Core features the first major aesthetic change for the series since the original release of Guilty Gear XX. All voices, including that of the announcer, have been re-recorded (or replaced with previously unused samples), sometimes by different actors. The playable characters artwork was also redone.

Both versions of the game feature three gameplay modes per character, based on the Guilty Gear, Guilty Gear X, and Λ Core fighting systems.


The controls for Guilty Gear is unusual compared to most other fighting games. The correct arcade layout resembles this (numbers indicate the joystick directions):

7 8 9    (K) (S) (HS)
4(5)6    (P)     (D)
1 2 3

In particular, Kick (K), Slash (S), and Hard Slash (HS) are on the first row. In the second row are Punch (P), an empty spot, and Dust (D). It may help to think of the buttons as being in a "rainbow" formation instead of row formations.

While the Start/Taunt (T) button has no assigned position, the two Start buttons should not be close to each other, to avoid accidentally (or not,,,) forcing the other player into a disruptively vulnerable Taunt animation.

A Capcom control panel can be quickly converted into a suitable Guilty Gear panel by removing or disabling the MK button. The buttons can be reassigned in the arcade setup menu, avoiding rewiriing.

Common Arcade Bastardizations:

  • The arcade mechanic just reads off the setup menu ("Punch", "Kick", "Slash", "Hard Slash", "Dust") and assigns the buttons in reading order (top-left to bottom-right):
    P  K  S
    HS    D
  • The arcade mechanic is in the Capcom mentality of punches in top row and kicks in bottom row:
    P  S  HS
    K     D

Game Mechanics

Old Game Mechanics:

  • Normal Attacks: The standard attacks that every character has access to are Punch (P), Kick (K), Slash (S), Hard Slash (HS), and Dust (D) (see below), each of which can be done while standing, crouching, or jumping (in mid-air). In addition to this, the Slash attack has two forms: close Slash, written as S(c), and far Slash, written as S(f); however, close and far Slash can only be done while standing.
  • Command Normal: A normal attack which varies by character, performed by pressing Forward and any attack button except Dust. All characters have a Forward + Punch attack which (except for Testament's, which instead hits as an overhead attack) offers upper-body invincibility, and all characters except for Bridget have a Forward + Hard Slash attack that deals the most damage that any normal attack can. Most characters have a Forward + Kick attack, and the properties of these vary. Only Bridget has a Forward + Slash attack; this attack is the equivalent of other characters' Forward + Hard Slash.
  • Taunting: This is a move used solely to show off or taunt the other player. It typically deals no actual damage, although some characters' taunts, such as Chipp's, will do 1 damage point. Taunting adds a small amount of tension to the opponent's tension gauge. Taunting after winning will cause the opponent to start the following round (within the same match) with 50% tension - this is called rakushou, which is Japanese for "easy win".
  • Respect: Holding forward while hitting the taunt button will cause your character to do an alternate taunt called a "respect". Aesthetically, this taunt has the character pause to praise the opponent's fighting style. Unlike a taunt, a respect can be cancelled with a move or ground movement at any time, and thus can be used to trick a player into believing that their opponent is vulnerable.
  • Dashing: By tapping forward (backward) twice, the character can dash forward very briefly (hop backwards). If a forward dash is executed and the directional button is held after dashing forward, the character will run forward. Forward dashing can be instantly cancelled if one uses the Faultless Defense (see below) maneuver. Backdashing gives the player some frames of invulnerability, allowing the character to avoid certain attacks with a well-timed dash.
  • Air Dashing or AD: A dash performed after having already jumped into the air. Each character except for Potemkin can air dash once, and Millia and Dizzy can air dash twice. Air dashing provides no invulnerability frames and cannot be cancelled with Faultless Defense.
  • Instant Air Dashing or IAD: An advanced technique which allows the character to instantly air dash from the ground and immediately perform air attacks. It is performed by quickly tapping forward after jumping forwards, or quickly tap back after jumping backwards, and works because the computer recognizes the forward jump as the first motion for the air dash, so the player only needs to tap one more time to follow up.
  • High Jump, Super Jump, HJ or SJ: Tapping Down and then quickly pushing Up makes the character jump higher than normal. A high jump can also be performed diagonally (pushing Up-Right, or Up-Left). A trail of "shadows" follows the character during a High Jump.
  • Double Jump or DJ: A character can jump directly up or diagonally up while already in the air. This is useful for avoiding attacks or confusing the opponent. A double jump cannot usually be performed after a High Jump.
  • Gatling Cancel or Gatling Combo: If a successful normal attack is performed while standing, crouching or in mid-air, and is quickly followed up with a second normal or command normal attack, the character will "cancel" the recovery frames of their initial attack into the second attack and the opponent will not have the opportunity to block the second attack. This, in turn, can be followed by another attack, usually one of equal or greater damage, and so on, allowing skilled players to chain up long combos.
  • Just Link: Similar to gatling cancels and special cancels, a "just link" allows the player to link together two attacks (usually normal -> normal or occasionally normal -> special) that, normally, cannot be linked together via gatling cancel or special cancel. What distinguishes a "just link" is the precise timing required to link the moves, which is usually in the range of 1-3 frames, and that very few moves can be "just linked". (One famous example is #R Slayer's S(c)-S(f)-> (just link) S(c)-S(f), although there are certainly others.)
  • Special Cancel: If a successful normal attack is quickly followed up with a particular special attack, the character can "cancel" the recovery frames of the normal attack into the special attack. Usually, special attacks themselves cannot cancel into other moves (although they can still link to other attacks), requiring Roman Cancels (see below) to allow further attacks to be made after a special attack.
  • Jump Cancel or JC: If certain "jump-cancellable" attacks are executed successfully while either standing or in mid-air, pushing Back-Up or Forward-Up will "cancel" the recovery frames of the attack into a jump. This may allow the player to follow their opponent into the air for an air combo. Jump-cancelling in the air after an air attack is called Double Jump Cancelling or DJC. One can High Jump Cancel or HJC a "jump-cancellable" attacks into a high jump. High jump cancelling can also allow the player to follow their opponent into the air for an air combo, but usually does not allow double jump cancelling.
  • Throw: Pressing Forward/Back and Hard Slash when near an opponent will perform a throw, which typically knocks the character to the ground.
  • Air Throw: This is the same as throwing on the ground, except the range of such a throw is usually double that of a normal throw. Individual characters' air throws can vary - for example, Venom's and Anji's air throw will "float" the character further into the air, and several other characters can induce "wallbounce", allowing combos to be made after the throw. It is also possible to combo into an air throw if the air throw is performed on the first frame the opponent recovers (in mid-air) from an attack.
  • Dust Attack: An overhead attack which launches the enemy into the air, after which the character may press Up to follow the character into the air and continue attacking. Although the execution time and recovery for this move is slow, it is still a viable mix-up option and can lead into damaging knockdown combos.
  • Blocking: The standard way to defend against an opponent's attack is to block it. Blocking is done by holding Back on the D-pad/stick; however, until the opponent actually attacks, the character will simply walk backwards. After blocking an attack, it will take a certain amount of time before you recover from the block and are able to continue moving and fighting. (This effect is called block stun.)
  • Instant Block: (AKA IB) An instant block is a block that is executed at the exact moment (specifically, the exact frame) the opponent's attack would otherwise hit you. If done correctly, your character will flash white very briefly and react from the block much more quickly (i.e. you will incur less block stun), allowing you to interrupt your opponents attack combos, for example.
  • Recovery or Teching: After being knocked into the air or struck after being knocked down, pressing any direction except Down and any attack button except Dust will allow the character to "recover" or "tech out", regaining control. Recovery will not work against certain attacks which disallow recovering.
  • Tension Gauge: This bar increases whenever the character performs certain actions such as attacking, blocking and running toward his opponent. If a player performs a taunt move, his opponent's tension gauge also raises slightly. Expending part or all of one's accumulated tension, or having a certain amount of tension in reserve, enables the use of certain special abilities:
  • Overdrive Attack or Super: Each character has one or more unique overdrive attacks, such as Ky's Ride the Lightning or Sol's Tyrant Rave. Using one of these moves costs 50% of a full tension bar. An overdrive attack is typically a more complex move to pull off than other attacks. Certain characters' overdrive attacks grant a short period of invincibility during the move's start-up, which can allow a well-timed overdrive to protect against an opponent's incoming attack.
  • Dead Angle Attack or DAA: While blocking against an attack, holding forward and any two attack buttons will push the opponent away and knock them down. This requires 50% of a full tension bar. This move is not guaranteed to hit, and experienced players can bait their opponent to use a DAA, block it, and then punish their opponent's mistake.
  • Faultless Defense or FD: Holding Punch and Kick while blocking will create a green ring that rotates around the character, negating any block damage and increasing pushback from the opponent's attacks. This is the only way for a mid-air character to block attacks from a grounded (standing) character. Faultless defense gradually expends the tension gauge, the player must still pay attention to attack levels - i.e., a standing FD will not defend a low attack.
  • Roman Cancel or RC: Pushing any three Attack buttons (except Dust) during a successful attack will perform a Roman Cancel, which cuts the attack's animation short and expends 50% of a full tension gauge. Whereas most attacks are followed by a recovery delay during which the player cannot attack or defend, a well-timed Roman Cancel lets you ignore this recovery time, allowing the creation of some particularly innovative combos. ("Roman Cancel" is thought to be an abbreviation of "Romantic Cancel", although what that could possibly be referring to is unknown.)
  • False Roman Cancel or FRC: Performing a Roman Cancel during certain attacks will instead perform a False Roman Cancel, requiring 25% of the tension gauge instead of the full 50% giving off the blue flash instead of the normal red one. Its disadvantage is it can only be done in specific animations of the attack, making the timing more difficult. ("False Roman Cancel" is thought by some players to be a mistranslation of "Force Roman Cancel".)
  • Staggering: Certain attacks will make a character "staggered", a state in which they are stunned and cannot block or avoid additional attacks or make attacks. However, the character's recovery can be sped up by by shaking the stick or quickly "mashing" on the D-pad and the buttons.
  • Counter Hit: (AKA CH) If a character is about to execute an attack (that is, their attack animation has started but the attack itself hasn't become "active") and they are interrupted ("countered") by an attack from the opponent, then the interrupting attack is a "counter hit". Counter hits have differing properties depending on what move was used in the counter hit.
  • Dizzy: A character is hit for a lot of damage over a short period of time can become "dizzy", a state similar to being staggered except that little birds fly around the character's head, and the status lasts for longer. Recovery can be sped up in the same method as recovering from being staggered. (Not to be confused with the character named "Dizzy".)
  • Psyche Burst or Burst: Put simply, the Burst Gauge is a gauge located below the life gauge which carries over from one round of the match to the next and allows the player to expend part of the bar to "burst" (or make Burst Attacks). This burst is activated by pressing any attack button and Dust simultaneously, and has two purposes. The first is to break out of an opponent's combo by knocking them away, a technique known as the "blue burst". This deals no damage, but it gives the character back one third of their burst gauge if successful. The second purpose is to hit the opponent with the burst attack itself, a technique called a "gold burst". If this attack hits, it fills the attacker's tension gauge to maximum. One should note that although there are several frames of invincibility at the start of the burst attack, it is possible to be air-thrown out of a burst attempt if the air throw occurs before the burst effect becomes active.
  • Guard Gauge: A small bar located underneath the player's life bar, this indicates how much the player has been blocking. This gauge starts filled midway, decreases as the character takes damage and increases as they block damage, returning gradually to midway while they do neither. A low guard gauge decreases damage taken, reducing the effectiveness of each successive hit of an opponent's combo. If the gauge goes high enough that it flashes, attacks that hit the character are considered "counter hits" and may have certain predefined attack properties depending on the attack used. Unlike other games with a guard gauge, a full guard gauge does not cause a guard crush.
  • Instant Kill Technique or IK: Simultaneously pressing all 4 attack buttons causes the character to go into an Instant Kill mode where the tension gauge turns red and starts to gradually decrease. The character can unleash a special Instant Kill Attack while in this mode, which kills the opponent if it hits but extinguishes the attacker's tension bar for the entire round if it misses. Should the tension gauge reduce to zero in this mode, the character's life bar will decrease at the same rate until the attack is performed or Instant Kill mode is canceled by the same 4 buttons. The Instant Kill is difficult to use successfully and is usually only possible on a "dizzied" character, and other states where it is impossible to block (eg. after Sol misses with a Grand Viper).
  • Adjusted Damage: There are two reason why some characters take more damage than others: the defense modifier (ratio), and the guts rating of a character. For example, Chipp's defense mod is 1.30, so he takes 130% damage of whatever damage is dealt to him, while Potemkin has a defense of 0.87 takes only 87% of the original damage. In regard to the guts rating, a character will take less damage when they have less health left, so an attack which remove the character's first 5% of health will not remove all of his last 5%. Furthermore, the guts system adjusts damage differently for overdrive attacks than for special and normal ones.
  • The "Tiger Knee" (TK) Maneuver: (AKA Tiger-Kneeing) While not officially mentioned, many players have observed and exploited this phenomenon. Aerial-only special and overdrive attacks can be performed close to the ground, even to the extent of effectively BEING on the ground by performing the necessary directional motion and then moving quickly to diagonally up-back or up-forward (whichever is more convenient) before pressing the necessary attack button.
  • Jump Install or JI: A glitch in Guilty Gears X and an actual feature then on, jump installing can allow you to double jump and airdash in situations where you normally could not. Moves that take you off the ground and into the air usually prevent you from double jumping after an FRC or RC. By Jump Installing, you make the game engine consider you in a jumping state before you execute the move. Jump installing is usually is performed by pressing up during a Jump Cancelable move and then canceling into another normal or a special before you have a chance to jump. This can allow for longer and more damaging combos. There are also other types and techniques for Jump Istalling, such as TK Jump Installing or Super Jump Installing.

New Game Mechanics:

  • Slash Back - 4 + S + H

Slash Back is a feature in Accent Core which allows any character to "parry" any form of attack(Projectile, Overdrive, Normals) by pressing 4 or 1+S+H. Attempting to Slash Back looks like a gold FD ring around the character for a brief moment. Successfully Slashing Back will cause the character to have a gold aura to flash around them, and they will recover insanely fast. You will recover fast enough that basically any poke in the game you will wind up on advantage on if it is not stringed.

Slashing Back costs SLIGHT tension to do. You cannot "hold" Slashback like you could FD. It needs to be tapped. Successfully Slashing Back will not only give you the parry, but it will net you a small amount of tension on success. You can Slash Back multi-hit moves as well as gatling chains. You must Slash back AS the active frame becomes active. AKA you do not want to do it "before" the hit hits, like with Instant Blocking. You want to do it just as it hits you like a Red Parry in 3S or something.

You have about a 2-3 frame window to activate a Slash Back properly. You also cannot Slash Back for the first 10 frames after you have risen from the ground. You must Slash Back the correct direction (high or low) for the parry to take place (IE you can't 1SH a Dust). You can do either 4SH or 1SH for mid hits that do not hit high or low.

If missed, you are left vulnerable for approximately 30 frames during which time you can block nothing.If you whiff a Slash Back, you can still try with another Slash Back again, but your guardstun will then be 4 frames instead of 2. On that note, Slash Back usually has a guardstun of 2 frames if you're on the ground, and 4 frames if you're in the air, regardless of attack level. You take no block damage and your guard gauge does not increase.

Doing a Slash Back during a dash will cause you to stop dead in your tracks, similar to FD stops.

Slash Back is no more difficult than instant blocking NORMAL attack strings. It can be horribly punished with delayed attacks though so it's risky to use. So far it doesn't seem overpowered, just a good defensive option similar to Instant Blocking, just less safe and more rewarding.

You cannot Slash Back versus Lv1 moves.

  • Force Break

Each character now has one or more Force Break moves. These moves are basically EX moves... they require 25% tension to do. When you use them, the background changes like it would for a super. Force Breaks are character specific.

Some characters gained entirely new moves that are FBs(Slayer's Big Bang Upper), some have had their properties changes(Air 623H for Axl has changed to a downward Axl Bomber, whereas his old one is now an FB with modified properties), and some characters have had moves changed to FB Only(Johnny's Jackhound is now only usable with 25% tension. The 214H command no longer exists).

To perform an FB, you need to have 25% tension, then perform a specific input with Dust instead of the normal command. Some moves are brand new and thus follow no trend. Examples: Ky's Air 214D is new and follows no trend, Axl's Air 623D is an "improved" Axl Bomber, Slayer's 214P D is an improved Pile Bunker etc.

You'll know a Force Break was successfully performed because of a specific noise it makes+the character has a white flash for a second.

  • Throw Break - 4 or 6 + HS

There are 2 versions of throw breaks. The first one occurs when your opponent presses his throw at the EXACT same time as you. This causes a purple graphic to appear and you both back off on even recovery. The second one is if your opponent presses throw within about 2 frames of you throwing them. This causes another purple graphic to appear, but this time the throw animation will start, but they take no damage and they will back off in a less favorable way. It depends on the character's throw(like in Johnny's case, they get tossed in the air a little away from him but take no damage)

Command throws cannot be broken.

You can break air throws just like ground throws.

Overall, this is a good addition. But with good players you can pretty much kiss situations where they were forced to be thrown goodbye. IE if someone does a bad air to ground string that you perfect block and you know they'll throw you, you're not going to get a free throw anymore. That's where the situation is bad. Other things like if Axl does 6HS and it gets perfect blocked in the air, no longer will the opponent get a free throw. As long as the offensive player is paying attention to whether the opponent is going to get a free throw or not, he will be safe from situations where he normally would not recover in time. IMO this should be taken out. If the opponent has not recovered they should not be able to throw break.

  • Sliding/Wallstick Effects

Sliding is a new effect where the opponent will slide across the ground if hit with specific moves. There is a certain frame window where the opponent may be combod off the ground WITHOUT triggering OTG effects. It's as if you just caught them in the air. For example, Sol's Bandit Bringer causes slide. Before he would do something to the effect of: BB, Dash, 5K 2H > Air Combo. In AC, since they are sliding flat on the ground, you'd need to do BB, Dash, 2K c.S 2H or something to that effect to pick them up off the ground so to speak. You can tell sliding apart from normal knockdown from the fact that they slide backwards and have dust kicking up from the ground under them.

Wallstick effects are effects that, when reasonably close to the corner, will cause the opponent to stick in place on the edge of the screen. Wallstick is similar to wallbounce in the sense that the farther the opponent is from the corner when the attack was initiated, the sooner he can tech after the wallstick. So if you hit the opponent from nearly all the way on the right of the screen and they wallstick, they may only do so for like 5 frames. If you hit an opponent with a wallstick effect from a full screen away, they may just fly REALLY far away from you and never stick to the wall. This happens with all that I've seen(HOS's Throw, Johnny's 6K, Slayer's Pilebunker CH etc).

  • Level 6

Level 6 attacks have been added in to the game. This basically means that some moves are going to have more hit/guard stun and a new sound effect associated with blocking them. Some examples are Ky's 6H and Potemkin's 6H.

Basic Strategy

Rule 1: Hit them a lot.

Rule 2: Don't get hit.

I. Hitting them a lot:

  • Universal Anti-Air: 6P (except Testament). All characters with such a move have upper-body (above-waist) invulnerability. Variations are in the exact size and height of invulnerability, attack range, and animation timing (some are slow, some are fast). See Command Normal above.
  • Universial Mid/Overhead hit: 5D. All Dust Launcher attacks must be blocked high. All Dust Launchers are also very slow to connect. Some characters have extra overhead attacks (e.g. Testament 6P).
  • Universal Sweep: 2D (except Robo-Ky). Some characters have more than one sweep attacks.
  • Universal power attack: 6H (except Bridget). Often very slow and qutie often very painful. See Command Normal above.
  • Basic Gatling Combo: P, K, S, H, D. Generally, all characters can Gatling in this order, though not all attacks can be involved (e.g. Johnny's far Slash cannot Gatling into Hard Slash).

II. Don't get hit.

  • Aerial Faultless Defense: air 4 P K. FD is the only way to block a ground-to-air attack (i.e. when you are in the air and your attacking opponent is still on the ground).
  • Backdash: 4, 4. Backdashing grants you a short period of invulnerability, thus doubling as a dodge. The timing of backdashes and invulnerability is different for each character.
  • Double Jump: air 7/8/9. A late double-jump can be used as an evasive maneuver.
  • Air Dash: air 4, 4 (backwards) or 6, 6 (forward). Air dashing changes your trajectory and distance.

Advance Strategy

  • Check the characters section.

Tier List

Combined Tier list of below:

S: Testament, Eddie, Slayer

A: Baiken, Potemkin, Jam, May, Millia

B: Axl, A.B.A, Zappa, Robo-Ky, Order-Sol, Faust, Venom

C: Sol, Ky, Dizzy, Chipp, I-no

D: Anji, Bridget, Johnny

Other Lists:

  • Woshige's list

S: Testament, Eddie, Baiken, Potemkin

A: Slayer, Jam, May

B: Millia, Axl, Zappa, Robo-Ky

C: Sol, Ky, Chipp, Order Sol, ABA, Faust, Venom, Dizzy, I-No

D: Bridget, Johnny, Anji

  • N-Otoko's list:

S: Eddie > Testament >>> Baiken >> Slayer >>> Millia > Potemkin

A: Jam >> Axl > ABA > Faust

B: May, Robo-Ky, Zappa > Venom, Order Sol, Dizzy

C: Sol, Ky, I-No, Chipp

D: Bridget > Johnny >> Anji

  • Koichi's list:

Strong Characters: Eddie, Testament

Stupid Characters: Potemkin, May, Slayer, ABA, Jam

Good Characters: Baiken, Ky, Sol, Millia, Axl, Venom, Order Sol, Zappa

Lesser Characters: Faust, Chipp, Dizzy, Robo-Ky, Anji

CRAP CHARACTERS: I-No, Johnny, Bridget

Notes and References

The Characters