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Guilty Gear 201 (Intermediate)
Tension Gauge RC & FRC Burst Combo System
Damage Scaling Dizzies Attack Effects Defensive Effects
- Hit Stun Charts Only -

The Tension Gauge System is one of the most important elements of GGAC. It's located at the bottom of the screen and directly effects many of your attack options. Perfect utilization of the Tension Gauge can often be the deciding factor of a win or loss. Knowing each of the features and subtleties of the Tension Gauge System is a definite requirement for high level play.

Increasing Tension
To increase, or fill up, the Tension Gauge, you must perform some type of offensive action. This includes attacking your opponent, or simply advancing towards them. As a general rule: the more agressive the action against the opponent, the faster your Tension Gauge will fill up.

There are basically four quarters to the Tension Gauge. The colors of the meter are as follows:

0% - 25% 25% - 50% 50% - 75% 75% - 100% 100%
Blue Green Red Purple Gold

When the first two quarters are filled (50% meter), and while the second half is building, you can utilize either one Overdrive Attack, one Dead Angle Attack, one Roman Cancel, two False Roman Cancels, two Force Breaks, or continue to use it for Faultless Defense.

Once the Tension Gauge is completely filled, it will indicate this by turning Gold. At this point, you can utilize either two Overdrive Attacks, two Dead Angle Attacks, two Roman Cancels, four False Roman Cancels, four Force Breaks, or any combination. You can also remain using the stored tension for Faultless Defense.

Tension Pulse
Tension pulse dictates your tension gain. Moves have a base tension gain on hit or whiff, listed in the frame data, and tension pulse alters the amount of tension you gain.

First, you see the little pulse running through the tension bar almost like a heartbeat? The faster that is going, the more tension gain you will get per blocked normal/hit (this is why it is called Tension Pulse).

Backdashing, backairdashing, walking backwards, standing still etc...anything to do with turtling really will contribute towards negative penalty and your tension pulse will go down. You'll notice if you sit still or backdash a few times your tension gain off of random hits/blocked normals goes down drastically.

A simple example of this is Johnny. Backdash with Johnny 3 times then walk forward until Johnny has full tension and note how long it takes him to reach full. Now, simply walk forward with Johnny as soon as you press select to reset training mode. You'll notice his tension gain is a lot faster. Or try backdashing a bunch then pressuring the opponent. Your pulse will eventually go up a lot staying on offense but at the start you won't be gaining much tension by doing so.

Now, what IBing does is it actually increases the max potential of your tension pulse. Normally, via offense/blocked normals/hits and forward dashing/airdashing etc all offense related moves, you will eventually hit a limit where your tension pulse is "maxed" out. The thing is, Instant Blocking actually goes beyond this limit to make your tension gain even higher than normally possible. To show this, pick Johnny again. Have Johnny IB about 3-4 of Sol's hits then have him walk forward. He will gain 50% tension in something like 60-90 frames, it's extremely fast.

Different characters have different tension pulse thresholds. Johnny happens to have the highest. Zappa is another person who has a high possible threshold for tension pulse and his backdash reduces his pulse less than most characters.

Bonuses and Penalties
As mentioned above, generally the more offensive action you take, the faster your Tension will rise. The more defensive play, the slower your Tension will rise.

One major bonus has to do with Instant Blocking. After a successful IB, your meter will increase faster than it normally would for a certain period of time. Slash Back has an even greater, but similar effect.

After using FD, your Tension will increase at 20% of it's normal speed for 1 full second after the FD stops. When a Roman Cancel or Dead Angle Attack is used, your Tension will increase at 20% of it's normal speed for 4 full seconds. When Negative Penalty is incurred, your Tension will increase at 20% of it's normal speed for a full 10 seconds.

Performing Overdrives has NO effect on your tension gain, which makes Potemkin very happy.

Negative Penalty
Negative Penalty is basically a feature designed to keep gameplay interesting. While the common misconception is that it actually stops people from turtling, it really just deters players from avoiding any type of contact for a prolonged period of time. If a character consistently attempts to backdash, jump back, and jump backdash (or sits in one place and does nothing... which most opponents won't allow) a warning will appear on the Tension Gauge. If the player still keeps avoiding all types of contact "Negative Penalty" will appear, and that player will lose all stored Tension.

Playing keep-away or run-away will not incur Negative Penalty if the player is actively using some form of offense. Even if it's passive, it's more than enough to not get penalized. For example, if an Axl player remains full screen and tries to keep the opponent away from him using long-range attacks, he will not get penalized.

As mentioned in the "Increasing Tension" section, when Negative Penalty is incurred, your Tension Gauge will increase at only 20% of normal for a full 10 seconds. Don't turtle sucka!

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