Superhuman reaction

What it is

Ever been up against someone who seemed to know what you were going to do beforehand, even though all they were doing was reacting quicker than seemed humanly possible, so you thought they were psychic when really, they’re just an alien or a computer?

Okay, maybe not, but computers and some truly wicked players are capable of amazing feats of reaction. Mostly computers.


The A.I. is not technically obligated to perform command input, so it may on occasion do things that players simply cannot do. If this is taken too far, it reaches a dimension that players cannot reach, of course.

It’s mostly older fighting games that hit this level: Art of Fighting 2 (and other older SNK games) will pull your chair right out from under you given the chance, and Kaiser Knuckle (with it’s hard, hard boss, General) will do it to your children if you’re not careful. Capcom is also guilty of this, particularly in the original Darkstalkers and in Super Street Fighter II Turbo.


When it comes to players, there are those such as Umehara Daigo (whose reactive skill is immortalized in Japanese circles in memetic statements such as “after I saw the LK, there was time for a Shōryū” [he didn’t say this himself, though], and inserting the abbreviation “Ume” in front of move names to indicate that they have been performed with astonishingly good reaction speeed). Some players on this side of the ocean are wholly convinced that he is actually an alien, but I don’t think there are going to be a whole lot of people that would argue the other way on that.

Examples to work on

Ha, you can’t do these. Nobody can! And if you program an A.I., you have to figure out what proportion of these opportunities should be missed.

Well, in truth, you can get lucky sometimes. There is no one key to it, but chance does favor the prepared mind.

Further reading

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Based off the article on the wiki, edited on or before 5 January 2009.
Unofficial translation published by BRPXQZME / Alfie Parthum 4 February 2009. No unauthorized redistribution permitted.