What should have been last week's Secret is finally here! And with the arrival of #4 I think I've finally caught up, assuming I continue with my plan to make this weekly. Then two more 3rd Party Memory Card moments, and another Secret this Friday. The things I do for you people....
Anyway, hello again, and so soon at that! This week I finally live up to my name by uncovering a nugget of mystery buried in a Street Fighter game. I think there's a very good chance none of you have ever dreamed in your wildest dreams that the secret you are about to learn existed; I myself was giddy upon learning of it. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Strap yourselves in, because:
Marvel vs. Capcom 2 took the tag-team fighting of its three ancestors to new levels of insanity.
Yes, the pyrotechnics on display reached new heights as you commanded three characters with roughly the power of one Death Star apie-
Err.... yeah.... okay-
WILL YOU PICK YOUR FUCKING TEAM ALREADY?!? FUCKING HELL!!! Finally.
Hey, you picked Dan Hibiki. What a fortuitous coincidence, because today's secret is all about you, Danny Boy.
What Is It?
As I was saying before the character select screen intruded, shit got crazy in the Marvel vs. series. In order for Capcom's stable to match the power of the Marvel superheroes, the Street Fighters, Darkstalkers, and others all got a boost in power from their usual incarnations.
All, that is, except for perennial whipping boy, Dan Hibiki. Compare his super fireball:
and it becomes clear that this is the most that Dan has ever sucked, and probably will ever suck. This is absolute zero on the suckometer. Servbot is arguably a weaker character, but even he has a couple of screen-filling moves to match the rest of the cast. Capcom appears to have dropped The Pink Wonder into a warzone without so much as a spork. Dan has always been subpar, but here.... here he's just hamburger.
Or so it seems. True, all of his regular attacks, specials, and supers leave much to be desired. But Capcom have indeed given Dan more power than he is accustomed to having, just like everyone else in the game. They have bestowed upon him an undocumented special move: The Otoko Michi.
How do you use it?
First, you need to have your super meter filled to level 3 or above, as this move uses three bars. Then, enter the following button combination carefully and quickly: Fierce, Short, Back, Jab, Jab. In the standard notation, that's HP LK <- LP LP. Make sure you're standing close to your opponent, as the move doesn't have much range.
How awesome is this secret?
HOLY SHIT LOOK AT AKUMA'S LIFE!!
Ouch, now look at Dan's!
The Otoko Michi is the single most powerful move in the entire game. Here it is being used on Sentinel, the character with the toughest defense:
Who would have thought Dan would ever get the most powerful move in any Street Fighter game? Of course, there are drawbacks as you've already noticed. It takes three bars of super meter to use, just like most of the really powerful moves in the game. Second, and the biggest setback, Dan will come out of the move in a bad way, as he will always be left with one pixel width of life left on his meter regardless of how much he had before. One hit, and he's toast. Third, it's slow and easy to dodge.
Fourth, unlike any of the other grab specials and supers, the Otoko Michi can be tech hit
out of as if it were a normal throw, the damage thus being avoided.
This is the very definition of a desperation move. But desperate times call for desperate measures, and if Dan isn't as desperate as he'll ever be in MvC2, well, I shudder to think of a time when he's in a worse way. Of course, if Dan is about to die anyway, the move won't kill him, so that is indeed the perfect time to use it.
The Otoko Michi actually originated in the earlier Marvel Superheroes vs. Street Fighter, although its effect was a bit different:
Dan's super taunt was a better use of your super meter in that game.
Eagle-eyed fans may have noticed something.... familiar about this move. A level three super where the character rushes forward, grabs onto the opponent, and simply unleashes raw power upon them. Look again at that button combination:
HP LK <- LP LP
Why, in reverse, that's.... LP LP -> LK HP!
Indeed, Dan's hidden technique is a parody of Akuma's Shungokusatsu, going so far as to use the reverse of the button combination for that infamous move. Ever since Street Fighter Alpha Dan has been the Yin to Akuma's Yang, and the Otoko Michi came about as another joke to tie them together.
Personal story time: I didn't get into fighting games beyond Street Fighter II until I met my group of friends in college a few years ago. Dan quickly became one of my favorite characters, because I'm just like that, and I suck anyway. Before knowing about the existence the Otoko Michi, I actually had a conversation with a friend where we suggested that Dan should have almost this exact same move, complete with the reverse button combination. Shortly after, I found out about his move in Pocket Fighter/Super Gem Fighters: Mini Mix where he sends out the ghost of his father to do the Shungokusatsu. That was cool, but when I found out about the Otoko Michi I just about pissed myself with glee, and couldn't wait to try it out in front of friends, and inevitably screw it up but stll surprise them.
Intentionally hidden techniques have been in fighting games since at least the original Street Fighter, when Ryu and Ken's special moves were unlisted on the cabinet. The Otoko Michi stands as one of my favorites for all of the reasons above. Successfully unleashing it in the heat of battle is one of the most beautiful and satisfying moments you'll ever experience in a fighting game.