Super Smash Bros

Officer Howard Arrives at the Scene! A Smash Ultimate Design Concept.

Hello I’m back once again for another Smash concept. If you dont remember me I made three Devil May Cry movesets for Dante, Nero, and Vergil. Being done with DMC doesnt mean I’m done doing these concepts so lets talk about another game I enjoy: Astral Chain. With it being a new IP I could see Nintendo wanting to promote it with a character (I understand the spirits but there’s always a chance). So I’ll be doing a moveset for Officer Howard, though in this moveset Ill refer to them as Akira for brevity’s sake (yes I know Akira is the sibling but its easier than calling them officer or Legionis). Astral Chain is an action game made by Platinum Games where you effectively control two characters, Akira and the Legion, so this is another puppet fighter like ICs or Rosalina but obviously with different combos and dumb nonsense.

Terminology to get out of the way first. Legion: the creatures that Akira summons (of which they summon 5). Sword is a humanoid one with two blade arms. Arrow is a humanoid one with bows on their arms. Arm is just a floating torso with two floating arms. Beast is a large wolf. Axe is a humanoid with a large sword, no I dont know why either. X-Baton is a transforming weapon that Akira uses with 3 forms: Baton, Blaster, and Gladius (giant buster sword). Legaultus the thing on Akira’s arm that houses the legion and forms the Astral Chain.

Aesthetics.

Since its one game we’re just using the default Male and Female designs for Akira. Male will have the odd numbered alts and Female with have the even alts. When Akira enters Legion mode they gain blue accents on their hair and weapon. The Legions do not change color aside from Alts 7 and 8. 1. Default Neuron Male. 2. Default Neuron Female. 3 Male with Mechanic set which is an orange with darker orange accents. 4. Female with Security set which is a lime green with grey accents. 5. Male with Resue set which is a Red color with black accents 6. Female with Medic set which is white with green accents 7. Male Raven set 8. Female Raven set (Note: the Raven sets are the only ones that change the legion’s color to match, the chain aswell will become red instead of blue and Akira’s blue accents in Legion mode also become red.) The raven sets dont have a helmet and the added accents are based on Akira (the twin not the playable character).

Intro: Either Jumping in on their motorcycle or coming through a portal from the Astral Plane.

Outro: Music can be a remix of Savior or Dark Hero. Since its male and female I should make 6 total instead of just 3. First one is Akira swiping their hand away all dramatic like as they walk forward, this is in reference to what they do when they accept a case in File 12. Second one Akira picks up a can and throws it away (Akira really just dunks it). Third one drifts on their motorcycle/beast legion going horizontal, this isnt in the game but Astral Chain references so much anime that I think having a character called Akira do the famous Akira motorcycle scene makes sense. Fourth one Akira strikes a pose with the Sword Legion doing its special (which if you played MGR is blade mode). Fifth one Akira whips around the legion by the chain and then poses with he Legion. Sixth one Akira summons Beast Legion and pets him.

Up Taunt: Akira salutes

Side Taunt: Akira views his Legaltus menu before putting it away

Down taunt: Akira summons the beast legion and pets him.

Onto the Moveset:

Lets start with the Gimmick. I mention a lot about Legions. Their basically his Luma to put it briefly though obviously functions differently. Akira does not start the match with the Legion out instead they have to activate the Legion which can be done in a multitude of ways. Once the Legion is out it has a stamina meter (which will be above Akira's indicator and potentially above the character) that will drain 1 unit for every second its out (Max units is 100 and Akira starts the match at max). Most actions with the Legion will cause it to drain Stamina. The Legion getting hit will also drain stamina as well as deal 1/4th damage to Akira (no knockback to Akira though). The Legion also floats so it cant be killed by hitting it off stage. Stamina only regens when the Legion is deactivated. If the Legion’s stamina drops to 0, the Legion disappears and Akira cannot summon the Legion again until the stamina meter is fully recharged(this will take about 20 second to fully recharge). Akira also gains a buff while the Legion is out dealing more damage, moving faster, dodging faster, and having more range on moves. This is the balance, Akira gets stronger and has the legion for various things but now has effectively a larger hurtbox and can take 1.25x damage.

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The Legion has 3 stages. Deactive, Synched (the Legion is active and next to Akira), Desynched (the legion is active and away from Akira). The Legion does not attack while Deactive or Synched. While Desynched you can command certain attacks. Some moves and state for Akira can only be used while Synched.

When executing attacks a Blue flash along with ping audio cue can happen. This is a Synch Attack (SA) opportunity. By pressing the special button the Legion will follow up. SA can be done no matter the state of the Legion as long as the Legion has stamina. Each SA cost 10 units when Akira’s attack connects and 15 on whiff. Synch Attacks will interrupt the knock back of any of Akira’s move but the move is stronger (though with the added power it can be hard to follow up SA). After executing a SA the Legion will be Synched

One thing Astral Chain fans might expect is Legion switching. No. Similarly to my Dante moveset, the Legions dont individually cover everything Akira can do rather all the legions together create a moveset. By default the Sword Legion appears and the Legion will change depending on what move is done.

Unique Traits in Legion Mode while Synched: Akira rides the Beast legion for their dash and Axe Legion buffs their shield. The Dash causes the drain to increase from 1 to 1.5 for the duration of that dash. While shielding while synched damage to the shield will decrease the Stamina.

Long Preamble, onto the attacks

NORMALS

Jab: A Four hit combo with the X Baton. In game its a 6 hit jab but that’d be too much. Instead You can delay any part except the finisher and Akira will do a slash while backsteping. Holding the attack at any part but the finisher will cause Akira to reverse Grip the Baton and take a step forward swiping at the opponent.

  • For the 4hit Jab SA Akira will throw the Sword Legion ahead of them and do a slash.

  • For the Charge SA Akira will Lunge forward with the Sword Legion

  • For the Delay SA Akira will throw the Sword Legion forward who does a lunging stab

FTilt: Assault Attack. Akira lunges forward with both legs in almost a drop kick/sex kick style.

  • SA: Akira Summons the Arm Legion who does a 3 hit combo follow up.

UTilt: Akira does a backflip kicking the opppoent in the air

  • SA: Sword Legion will follow up and kick the opponent down (Note: This isnt based on an actual synch attack combo rather part of a continuing synch attack from a chain bind in the main game.)

DTilt: Akira does a low kick sweep, this was taken from the standard 6 hit combo.

Dash Attack: Akira does a slide kick.

  • In legion mode Akira rides the beast Legion for his dash and so his Dash attack is a swing with the Gladius

SMASHES

FSmash: Gladius Charge attack Akira slams the gladius down infront of them

  • SA: Arm Legion will slam their arm down at the opponent (this is modified from the actual SA)

USmash: Somersault Kick. Similar to Fox’s Up smash

  • SA: Axe Legion does an upwards slash knocking them up further

DSmash: Gladius spin attack. Akira spins the Gladius around them * SA: Axe Legion Spins once more

AERIALS

NAir: Baton Spin attack. Funnily enough with the name its just two kicks in front of Akira.

  • SA: Arm Legion Spins around with his arms

FAir: Four hit combo with the X baton.

  • SA: Cross Slash with both Akira and the Sword Legion
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BAir: A Slash with the Gladius similar to Cloud’s Bair

  • SA: Axe Legion slashes once more

UAir: Sommersault Kick. Similar to Usmash but faster, weaker and no charge.

  • SA: Akira launches the Sword Legion up to hit the opponent once more.

DAir: A falling slam with the Gladius similar to Ike/Chrom end of Uspecial or Bayo’s dair

  • SA: Axe Legion follows up with a slam before Akira falls down, if the SA connects Akira stops descending.

SPECIALS

NSpecial: X Baton Blaster. This Blaster is a 3 hit combo. Similarly to Jab there is a charge and a delay. The charge will charge up a large blast and the delay will cause Akira to dodge back and shoot forward.

  • Standard SA: Arrow Legion Comes out and does a Large Blast with Akira

  • Charge SA: Arm Legion comes out and does a Large Blast with Akira

  • Delay SA: Akira throws out the Gladius which spins and Beast Legion throws out a Large Blast.

While in the Air Akira will do a large blast (in game this is actually a combo of 3 with a SA but im cutting that out for simplicity and less frustration with all the SA). If Synched while doing Neutral Special in the Air, Arrow Legion will follow up with a second blast by rolling over on Akira’s back. On the ground if Synched Akira can use the Arrow Legion’s Special ability where he can shoot arrows, either uncharged or charged (while charging this move meter drains at 1.5x).

SSpecial: Legion Throw/Pull. Akira throws out their Legion in the direction inputted. The Legion is a projectile and on hit goes into a small combo. Pressing Side Special when the Legion is away from you will cause the Legion to Pull Akira to them and Akira will do a shoulder check on contact with the opponent. Pressing the Opposite Direction of where the Legion is will cause Akira to pull the legion back to them i.e. If the Legion is to Akira’s right and you press left on side special then that will pull the Legion back to Akira. Sending the Legion out and pulling it back both cost 10 units. The Legion pulling Akira costs 0 though if Akira gets hit mid pull this will drain 5. This move activates the Legion but immediately Desynchs them but being pulled by the Legion or pulling them back will Synch them.

USpecial: Chain Pull. Similar to the pull with Side Special however the Legion will automatically start from Akira’s position (no matter the Legion’s state)and go up at an angle, once the max distance is reached the Legion will pull Akira up, both the Legion And Akira have a hitbox while moving. This is the only move that moves the Legion that will snap to ledge. Now if the Legion hits the ledge it will hang from the ledge, since the Legion is its own entity it has its own ledge invincibility and can be hit off the ledge, aside from that it functions like most normal tether recoveries. This can be done even if Stamina is at 0 and costs 0. If the Legion is active they will Synch automatically, if deactive they will stay deactive.

DSpecial: Legion Call. Akira Summons out their Legion. This costs 10 units to summon the Legion and the Legion starts Synched. Tap DSpecial Again to dismiss the Legion no matter the state and hold it to move the Legion around, the legion can be moved omni directionally but has a max distance it can go, Akira is completely immobile while moving the legion and will fall slower in air. With perfect timing Akira can call the legion while being attacked and become invincible for a moment and knock the opponent back, this is called a Perfect Call. You can then SA after the Perfect Call. Calling costs 10 units but unlike other moves the meter will not drain normally until 10 second have passed, this allows the player to get all 100 seconds of uptime off a normal call but weaken spamming call to get Perfect Call (this is unlike other moves that summon where it will drain normally). * Perfect Call SA: Akira causes the Axe Legion to Slam the axe down. Between both the perfect call and the SA this will cost a total of 20 units.

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EXTRA

Similarly to Perfect Call there is a Perfect Dodge. After a perfect dodge you can execute an attack where Akira sweeps the opponent before launching themselves upward with a kick with both legs or you can perform a SA where Akira summons out the Arrow legion to launch a large energy arrow (this drains 15).

While the Legion is Synched with Akira it will not Attack on its own only through SA however while Desynched when inputting an attack with Akira the Legion will do its own attack Notation of L (for legion),Position, Attack. The Legion is considered floating so these are considered Aerials.

LNAir: Beast Spin. The beast Legion Spins around

LFAir: Sword Legion 3 hit combo

LBAir: Axe Legion slash

LUair: Assault Attack Sword: Sword Legion does a rising cross slash above him

LDAir: Sweep below with Axe Legion

LNSpecial: Arrow Legion Fires shots.

LFSmash: Spin Attack Arm. After Charging the Arm Legion unleashes a flurry of punches

LUSmash: Assault Attack Axe: Basically Cloud’s USmash

LDSmash: Arm charged Slam Similar to the finisher of the Arm Legion’s Special the Arm Legion charges a large punch that slams down and creates a shockwave. This can spike.

GRABS

Akira Grabs with the Arm Legion. Sending it out costs 5 units and will Synch on successful Grab and Desynch on whiff. Akira can still grab even without any Stamina left however, this pauses Stamina regen and does not activate the legion at all and the throws are slightly weaker.

Zair: Effectively the same as a SSpecial but costs 5 units and will only go a shorter distance.

UThrow: Arm Legion Uppercuts the opponent

FThrow: Beast Legion Launches the opponent up and away doing a flip

BThrow: Axe Legion Props the opponent up and Akira Swings the Gladius like a bat

Dthrow: Chain Bind, The opponent is effectively buried.

Final Smash: Either what I call All out Synch Attack or Legion Fusion. There are potential spoilers if you havent played the game and are interested in it.

  • All out Synch Attack (what I call it) is the sequence done to Noah Prime. The activation would start with Akira dashing forward before a cutscene starts. Akira rides the beast legion swiping up knocking the opponent before going to Arm and punch rushing the opponent, knocking them with one large hit, Arrow comes out next and does one large blast before Axe slams the opponent back down before Akira uses the sword legion to Chain bind the opponent and go for a stab.

  • Legion Fusion is just the mechanic of well, Legion Fusion and going into almost a DT state. Akira takes the core out of their Legatus and slams it into their chest, this effect creates an explosion and anyone hit will be dragged into a custcene (the appropriate Dark Hero theme plays during cutscene) and Akira in Fusion mode will just attack the opponent wildly.

And thats it, this took a long time to make as I’m kinda bad at the game so getting these moves to proc so I can get a decent idea of how these work took a bit. But compared to the DMC characters this required the least amount of drafts I needed to do. The biggest hurdle was figuring out how to do Legion Call because well I cant give Kirby a Legion….although…., and I didnt know to include Legion swapping or not. Anyway once I accepted not to do Legion switching and kinda follow my DMC moveset logic it all fell into place.

As always feedback and thoughts are welcomed.

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