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Breakthrough Sindel's Full Levitate Demystified (Finally!)

BillStickers

Do not touch me again.
Hey everyone!

I've been labbing Sindel off-and-on for the past few weeks (PS Vita ftw) and finally figured out the tricks to Sindel's levitate. All of this info is testable/repeatable, so you'll be able to avoid the bugs of levitate and change the dynamics of some of Sindel's matchups.

  1. Staying in the air
    After you levitate, you simply need to wait for about 1/4-1/2 of a second before sending out a fireball. You do not need to tap "up" after levitating in order to stay up! You'll know you're safe to start zoning after Sindel does a tiny little "bounce" at the end of her levitate animation. The key is to practice! After a while, knowing when to start zoning will become second nature.


    Notes:
    I suspect the reason why tapping up worked is because:
    1. up is not part of any fireball input and
    2. Pressing up takes about as long as you need to wait to start zoning.

  2. Shooting multiple fireballs while stationary
    To shoot multiple fireballs while levitating in-place, simply enter either fireball attack then *wait* before buffering the next fireball. The concept here is similar to Sonya's military stance where if you buffer too early, you end up getting an arc kick. You don't have to use the same type of fireball, either; if your opponent's jumping in on you from full screen, switching to close fireballs or doing close fireball canceled into backdash (more on that later) is a great way to avoid getting knocked out of levitate.


  3. Preventing "no fireball" bugging
    Most Sindel mains know the torture of messing up a levi-cancel and getting stuck up in the air in levitate, frantically mashing fireball but getting nothing out of it. Here's the deal: the "no fireball" bug is caused by entering an input other than df1, df3, bb, ff, or block while either levitating or entering levitation. For example, this can happen if your block input doesn't come out after a 2~levicancel and you auto-pilot another 2~levicancel.

    Technical details/Theorycraft (feel free to skip if you don't care)
    Sindel's levitate stance seems to implement its own (buggy) input buffer of sorts that's either built on top of, or is separate from, the MK9 engine's input buffer.

    For those that don't know, an input buffer is a kind of queue that stores the buttons pressed by a player. As the buffer queues up inputs, it processes them starting at the front of the queue every few milliseconds to look for sequences of button presses that form attacks, special moves, etc. Once a sequence at the front of the line matches a known attack, the matching inputs are removed from the buffer, allowing the next set of inputs to be processed.

    The levitate input buffer initializes immediately after a levitate command (ddu) is recognized by the engine input buffer, so any inputs read by the engine after ddu are added to the levitate input buffer. The issue seems to be the way the levitate input buffer handles "junk" inputs; I suspect that the the levitate buffer only flushes inputs once it registers a valid move, but since sindel has no valid moves with certain buttons in levitate stance, the junk inputs sit in the queue.

    Example: Suppose a player tries the sequence 21~levicancel, d4~levicancel, low fireball, but presses block too quickly after the first levicancel, thereby leaving Sindel in the air. If the player continues on autopilot, the 4 in d4 will remain in the levitate input buffer and the low fireball (which one would expect to option select into a close air fireball) will never come out.

  4. Getting out of the "no fireball" bug
    If you get stuck in the air or suspect you might get the bug if you try to fireball, you don't have to cancel the levitate to get out of it. You actually have 2 options that will let you continue floating:

    1. Dash
      Dashing either forwards or backwards seems to flush the levitate input buffer and will allow you to zone as usual. Keep in mind that if you want to stay in the air after dashing, do not fireball right away; you have to wait for that short interval (just like when you buffer a fireball) if you want to continue zoning.

    2. Use negative edge inputs
      This is a strange one, but inputting 1df and 3df instead of df1 and df3 will allow you to zone as usual. Negative edge inputs will also work normally in levitate, so if you want to play it safe you could always just use negative edge inputs while in levitate every time. I prefer to just use them when I have to, then backdash to reset the levitate buffer.

  5. Combining attacks with movement while levitating
    Some of the biggest issues with levitate are the clunky movements of Sindel's air dashes. Here are some tips to keep yourself in the air while your opponent tries to move in:

    1. Fireball~backdash (the backstroke)
      Canceling a fireball into backdash is a great way to keep moving backward while your opponent tries to get in. If you wait a few milliseconds after backdashing, you can do another fireball~backdash and repeat the process as much as you think is safe.

      Note:
      If you do the fireball backdash cancels fast enough without dropping, Sindel will float closer to the ground on each successive fireball. It seems like the best way to do it is to cancel the fireball on the first available frame (i.e. mash backdash lol).

    2. Fireball~forward dash (a safer forward air dash)
      If, for some reason, you want to close in on your opponent safely while levitating (or maybe even cross them up!), you can fireball immediately beforehand in order to make the forward dash safer (assuming it hits the opponent). Further testing is needed to see how well this works with the invincibility bug found by Mr. Mileena.

    3. Fireball~dash~fireball (the eject button)
      If you've decided that Sindel has had her fun in the air and needs to land now before suffering damage, you can do any fireball into either a forward or backward dash into any fireball. The most common type seen is usually far fireball~backdash~far fireball, but there are other interesting options with the forward dash as well.

  6. Experiment and practice to see when Sindel can get away with levitation!
    At first glance, you might find it very difficult to add levitation into Sindel's repertoire. However there are many cases where projectiles don't hit Sindel in levitation (Jax, Sheeva), some cases where Sindel can make teleports completely whiff (backdashing Sheeva's telestomp), and other cases where she's invincible to air melee attacks completely (while forward dashing). The best ways to safely get into full levitate are at the ends of combos with very high hit advantage. 31b2, despite not being able to cancel directly into levitate, seems to be the best option if you simply raw levitate after she recovers from the string.
Hope this helps all you Sindel players out there. Long live MK9! :)

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Last edited:

BillStickers

Do not touch me again.
I updated the fireball~backdash section with the following information:

Note: If you do the fireball backdash cancels fast enough without dropping, Sindel will float closer to the ground on each successive fireball. It seems like the best way to do it is to cancel the fireball on the first available frame (i.e. mash backdash lol).
 

DanCock

Cock Master!!
Lead Moderator
Hey everyone!

I've been labbing Sindel off-and-on for the past few weeks (PS Vita ftw) and finally figured out the tricks to Sindel's levitate. All of this info is testable/repeatable, so you'll be able to avoid the bugs of levitate and change the dynamics of some of Sindel's matchups.

  1. Staying in the air
    After you levitate, you simply need to wait for about 1/4-1/2 of a second before sending out a fireball. You do not need to tap "up" after levitating in order to stay up! You'll know you're safe to start zoning after Sindel does a tiny little "bounce" at the end of her levitate animation. The key is to practice! After a while, knowing when to start zoning will become second nature.


    Notes:
    I suspect the reason why tapping up worked is because:
    1. up is not part of any fireball input and
    2. Pressing up takes about as long as you need to wait to start zoning.
tapping up is to allow the sindel player to do fireballs in the air AGAIN. there is a glitch that happens while in the air where no fireballs come out. a quick tap up allows you to start doing fireballs again.


sindels levitation would be so much better if it worked like her mk3 version or ermacs spectral variation in MKX. sadly i dont see her in MKX because of ermac :( so ill be using him alot in this stance pretending im sindel LOL
 

BillStickers

Do not touch me again.
tapping up is to allow the sindel player to do fireballs in the air AGAIN. there is a glitch that happens while in the air where no fireballs come out. a quick tap up allows you to start doing fireballs again.


sindels levitation would be so much better if it worked like her mk3 version or ermacs spectral variation in MKX. sadly i dont see her in MKX because of ermac :( so ill be using him alot in this stance pretending im sindel LOL
Please read the whole thing because I cover how to avoid the glitch and what causes it.
 

BillStickers

Do not touch me again.
There's also a bug when you'll be inputting far fballs but she'll be spitting close ones or vice versa lol
Even one that the fballs are phasing through the floor instead of hitting it.
And a pink aura left on screen sometimes after a successful hit.
I get that glitch sometimes and I really want to figure out how to make it consistent! Doing phantom close fireballs with a far fireball on the screen is awesome lol. I'll keep messing around a bit and see if I can figure out what causes it. It seems like it happens when you buffer the fireball inputs really close together, similar to when you fireball~dash~fireball really fast and the second one comes out invisible.

There's an even weirder bug I've found that works similar to jip~b1~ex low fireball in the corner except it happens while Sindel is levitating, but it's only happened to me twice and I can't figure out what causes it!

@BillStickers Do you know her levitate arena glitch in the challenge tower 300? It's pretty funny :D
I haven't seen it; I'll have to check it out! :D