It varies from game to game, but the basic version involves canceling the stun of a special move, activating a super special move (and depending on the game, perhaps into an even higher-ranking move).
Using this, you can put together otherwise impossible combos, racking up lots of damage. Also, this allows you to follow up a special move with a lot of recovery time.
This ability is generally restricted to only a few moves, such as in Street Fighter III.
In various series, there are systems with the same name, but their operation can vary in subtle ways:
- In the King of Fighters series, it is only possible during “counter mode” in KOF ’99 and KOF 2000. In KOF 2001 and afterwards, it is possible from command moves as well. In Neowave, it is possible to activate into special moves, and from supers as well.
- In Street Fighter EX, other than special moves, it is also possible after a guard break, and from one super into another.
- In Melty Blood, other than Arc Drives and Another Arc Drives, EX Edge is also cancelable in this fashion.
- In Arcana Heart, canceling a super special move to activate an Arcana super is possible.
- Among normal moves and command moves, there are some that are only cancelable with super special moves; in this context, this may also be referred to as a super cancel at times.
Conditions of use
Normally, a super cancel doesn’t require anything but the meter for the super itself.
But KOF in particular requires one extra stock of the meter for the cancel (except in the “counter mode” of ’99–2000, or the Power MAX of 2002; canceling from a command move does not carry this requirement. In XI, it takes one stock from the “skill gauge”).