Frame Data: The Way Gentleman Works

SoapSuds

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#1
There has been a lot of speculation, myth, and mysteriousness surrounding Captain Falcon's gentleman in NTSC over the past 15 years of Melee. Additionally, how to do the gentleman is one of the most asked questions on this forum. I want to bring science and data to this discussion, disprove the myths, and reveal everything I know about the technique.

Jab Frame Data

(This chart is based on the Debug mode display numbers rather than the standard frame data convention.)


IASA: interruptible as soon as - the frame where you can act out of the move's animation before it is over
IASA into next jab: When, if you've pressed A before that, the next jab will come out
f after end to n jab: Frames after the end of the animation where pressing A still leads into the next jab.

Notes:
A presses that are started during hitlag don't lead into the next jab even if they are held through hitlag, otherwise the A press that leads into the next jab can happen any time during the jab animation. F after end to n jab is avaliable if the animation ends or if it is interrupted.


Getting the Gentleman Every Time

Release A During Hitlag
The A press that starts either jab 1 or 2 is held until hitlag starts and then released during hitlag. The third A press is either held until the end of the third jab or is held until hitlag start and then released during hitlag. Here is some example frame data:

Done with jab one
Jab 1 Frame 0 -> Jab 1 Frame 3: A (Frame 3 is repeated 3 times because of hitlag, 3 frame window. This was released during the first frame of hitlag)
Jab 1 Frame 4: A (After hitlag ends)
Jab 2 Frame 1 -> Jab 3 Frame 21: A
Interrupt with anything
video

Done with jab two
Jab 1 Frame 0: A
Jab 1 Frame 2 -> Jab 2 Frame 4: A (Frame 4 is repeated 4 times, 4 frame window)
Jab 2 Frame 5 -> Jab 3 Frame 21: A
Interrupt with anything
video

Another property of this is that you don't have to wait for a jab to end to get a perfect gentleman if one of the jabs misses.
Video of whiffing jab 1 -> perfect gentleman

Walk Out of Either Jab

Interrupting either jab by walking allows you to cancel the animation much sooner than if you let it end by waiting. If one of the jabs is allowed to end or is canceled you will not enter rapid jabs.

Done with jab one
Jab 1 Frame 0: A
Jab 1 Frame 1 -> Jab 1 Frame 15: Hold forward
WalkSlow 1: A
Jab 2 Frame 2 -> Jab 3 Frame 21: A
Interrupt with anything
video

Done with jab two
Jab 1 Frame 0: A
Jab 1 Frame 2: A
Jab 2 Frame 1 -> Jab 2 Frame 17: Hold forward
WalkSlow 1 -> Jab 3 Frame 21: A
Interrupt with anything
video


How to Apply This Information in Real Time

Basically hit a + a + hold A.. JK. To have the greatest chance to get the gentleman you want to time your presses carefully or walk out of one of the jabs. When aiming to release during hitlag press the first A for 3 - 6 frames which is around short hop timing but a frame or two longer. In my opinion trying to get the first press is far superior to trying to do it with the second. The second A press is harder to get because it can start at different times.

Walking out of one of the jabs will be consistent, but it is a fair bit slower, and possibly predictable if you always walk out of one or the other. I think this is easier to do with jab one because there is a larger window to link into the next jab, but it is very doable on either. This is an easy 100% consistent gentleman and you do not have to hit the opponent to get it.


Wrap Up

That's it! Hopefully this guide helps you understand how to get consistant gentlemans!
To look at the functions governing this behaviour please read Achilles' post on the subject slightly farther down the thread or click this link https://smashboards.com/threads/frame-data-the-way-gentleman-works.394171/#post-21554393



Dissecting Common Ideas For How Gentleman Works
--edit-- This section isn't important anymore! Below you can read Achilles' post walking through the game's code on how it decides if you get rapid jabs or not. https://smashboards.com/threads/frame-data-the-way-gentleman-works.394171/#post-21554393

Magus

rapid punches are triggered by comparing your total A input duration vs total time.
First off, Magus's idea found here: http://smashboards.com/threads/scar-talks-lean-melee-2012yotf.197123/page-235#post-9899943 This idea hasn't held up for me when I've tested it. Here is my most damning evidence - in this video I mess up the perfect gentleman by inputting the first A for two frames, then I wait to press A until the frame before jab one ends, jab 2 starts and I wait until the frame before it ends to input A for jab 3, finally I hold A thru jab 3 but rapid punches start anyway. "Damning Evidence: Video Form" I have tested this in other ways that weren't recorded like doing the same thing in the video without hitting anyone (I found that it didn't work) and only hitting two of the jabs. Spacing the presses didn't work there either.

The Wiki

In the NTSC version, a Gentleman will be performed if the animation of each jab is allowed to complete before linking the next jab (i.e. there was idle time between each of the first three hits).
This method works, but it isn't good. Additionally, it doesn't mention the perfect gentleman which I think causes people to dismiss it instantly (if you watch anyone gentleman you know they aren't letting each jab end.) I've also found that you don't need to let both jabs end, just one of them.)


Some of the comments on the thread are confusing because I've edited this post so much since it was uploaded originally. If you want some context you can check out one of the first versions here https://web.archive.org/web/2015030...ds/frame-data-the-way-gentleman-works.394171/
 
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#2
Nice post. I'm having difficulty swallowing that the only way to not get rapid jabs and not let your jab animation finish is to press A for only 1 frame. That is like a super hard short hop, twice. Experience tells me there is something in between the perfect gentleman you're describing and letting jab 1 and jab 2 finish. I can't prove it though atm. I always press A A A (hold) and it usually works as long as I hit something. The only explanation by your post is that I've been hitting A only 1 frame, but that doesn't make sense. I'll see if I can prove it later but what you're saying doesn't add up for me now though you may be right.
 

standardtoaster

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#6
"A presses that are started during hitstun don't lead into the next jab even if they are held through hitstun and the A press that leads into the next jab can happen any time during the jab animation."

Hitlag*. I'm actually surprised that pressing it during the hitlag doesn't count towards the window
 

SoapSuds

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#8
@ Stratocaster Stratocaster I just found something else that explains this. It has to do with letting go of the A press during hitlag. I honestly thought that there must be something else to it as well b/c I've had some gentlemans that I couldn't explain with the 1 frame presses. Anyway, I'm going to update the OP with this new info and some new videos along with some clarity edits.
 

Pumpinz

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#9
There has been a lot of speculation, myth, and mysteriousness surrounding Captain Falcon's gentleman in NTSC over the past 15 years of Melee. Additionally, how to do the gentleman is one of the most asked questions on this forum. I want to bring science and data to this discussion, disprove the myths, and reveal everything I know about the technique.
Jab Frame Data

IASA: interruptible as soon as - the frame where you can act out of the move's animation before it is over
IASA into next jab: Where, if you've pressed A before that, the next jab will come out

f after end to n jab: Frames after the end of the animation where pressing A still leads into the next jab.

Notes:
A presses that are started during hitstun don't lead into the next jab even if they are held through hitstun and the A press that leads into the next jab can happen any time during the jab animation.


The Perfect Gentleman

The perfect gentleman has to hit something on all three jabs. The inputs are:
Jab 1 Frame 0: A - just that one frame!
Jab 1 Frame 2: A
Jab 2 Frame 1 -> Jab 3 Frame 21: A
Interrupt with anything

Here is a video

The timing for the perfect gentleman can be messed around with quite a bit - the important bits are to press the first two A presses ONE FRAME ONLY even if the rest of the inputs are correct if one of the first two A presses are held for more than one frame you will get rapid punches; next is to press A for the next jab before the IASA for next jab frame so that it combos as quickly as possible; third, hold A for the third press - even if the third A input is pressed for only one frame you will get rapid punches; and finally, interrupt after jab3 on the IASA frame.

Disproving Common Ideas

Magus
First off, Magus's idea found here: http://smashboards.com/threads/scar-talks-lean-melee-2012yotf.197123/page-235#post-9899943 This idea hasn't held up for me when I've tested it. Here is my most damning evidence - in this video I mess up the perfect gentleman by inputting the first A for two frames, then I wait to press A until the frame before jab one ends, jab 2 starts and I wait until the frame before it ends to input A for jab 3, finally I hold A thru jab 3 but rapid punches start anyway. "Damning Evidence: Video Form" I have tested this in other ways that weren't recorded like doing the same thing in the video without hitting anyone (I found that it didn't work) and only hitting two of the jabs. Spacing the presses didn't work there either.
The Wiki
This is getting close, but has some deception. First, it doesn't mention the perfect gentleman which I think causes people to dismiss it instantly (if you watch anyone gentleman you know they aren't letting each jab end.) I've found that if you miss the perfect gentleman letting either of the first two jabs end before going into the next you can do the other inputs as fast as possible to still gentleman. I think that it is better to let jab 2 end since it ends 4 frames before jab 1, but I need to do more research about what they can do if you have to let jab 2 end (it probably doesn't combo into jab3 anymore at some percents, for one thing). Basically the Wiki is at least partially correct, but not optimal.

How I Think it Works and What that Means for Falcon
I think that the perfect gentleman is a gift in the code like l-canceling. It doesn't rely on anything complex, it's just a very specific input with specific conditions and if you take advantage of them you get minimal lag. If you don't hit the 1st and 2nd A's for just one frame or you don't hit every hit the only way to skip rapid jabs is to let jab1 or jab2 end completely. If you accept this then the optimal way to still gentleman if you miss a punch is to let jab 2 end. Don't space every hit, just let jab2 go its full 17 frames and do the other inputs as fast as possible.

If you're still learning how to do it concentrate on only hitting A one and two for one frame.


Is Gentleman even good if you don't hit one of the jabs?
I honestly don't know, I think that the better option might just be to dash out of jab1's ISAI frames.


Mysteries that still remain
How the A A A+Z method works (I think I know how to test this without debug it's just a lot harder)
You're a nerd boi
 
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SoapSuds

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#14
So I made some major edits today. I realized that the one frame A press method was only working because Jab 2's A press was released during jab 1's hitlag. I also added a section about how to apply this in real time. I think that this version is much closer to the truth.
 

Coffeemug

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#15
So, if you were to release A during both jab 1 and 2's hit lag does it still work? I haven't been able to mess around with this since I read it haha. From what I understand you only need to do one but during the pressure of a match human error's gonna take over so would aiming for releasing during both hitlags increase your odds of a successful gentleman?
 

AJawesome07

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#16
This was a super duper cool post with a lot of information that I'll definitely need to digest later, but I've pretty much given up on the gentleman. Even the best Falcons of all time screw up the gentleman. Hax was probably the most consistent, and he really only hit it successfully about half of the time. I just don't think it's worth it. Please prove me wrong, though. I'd love to find a way to execute this move consistently.
 

SoapSuds

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#17
Gentleman is a 3 frame window followed by a 4 frame window. I don't think there is any reason to not get really good at it. Depending on how you apply the information you can make it a mechanical timing. I've been using it heavily over the past week and have gotten 100% gentlemans in some of my matches. Knowing how it works and why it isn't working really helps in knowing that it is possible, and helps you practice.
 
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Sizzurp

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#18
I don't know if someone has mentioned this but I was taught to Gentleman by pressing L, Z, or R (I use L, it's easier on my fingers) at the same exact time you press the third A. This works pretty consistently, but I'm not sure what the exact window for it is. I don't have any way of popping up some vids to show you guys.

I've never heard of the A+Hold method before, that seems neat. Too hard for me to get down, tho
 

Coffeemug

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#19
I don't know if someone has mentioned this but I was taught to Gentleman by pressing L, Z, or R (I use L, it's easier on my fingers) at the same exact time you press the third A. This works pretty consistently, but I'm not sure what the exact window for it is. I don't have any way of popping up some vids to show you guys.

I've never heard of the A+Hold method before, that seems neat. Too hard for me to get down, tho
these work, in fact its the way I used to do it, the main problem is sometimes you will end up shielding/light shielding after jab 3, and sometimes it just doesn't work.

Also this method is pretty concrete. Ever since switching to this way I've moved up from like 50% consistency to up near 90% and the times I miss my gentleman I can point out where I went wrong.
 

AJawesome07

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#23
Have there been any movements to move all melee play to PAL? Isn't it pretty much better in a lot of ways?
People have said this before, but I don't think it's ever happening because it would be a massive pain in the ***. Pretty much a logistical impossibility.

Also people don't want to give up their OP fox recoveries.
 

Coffeemug

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#24
Random characters get nerfed too, Shiek, Ganon, and some other low tiers. I think the only characters it actually makes better is falcon/peach
 

Stride

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#25
http://www.ssbwiki.com/List_of_regional_version_differences_(SSBM)

Due to region locking and people being used to their version, amongst other reasons, you will never see PAL being played in NTSC region tournaments or vice versa.

Basically: it buffs a lot of the low tiers without bringing them even remotely close to being viable, while nerfing most of the top tiers and Ganon/Link/Samus/Mario. A lot of the nerfed characters actually end up with better matchup spreads than in NTSC because the characters who counter them have been nerfed too. The changes are significant, but not game-changing.
 
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_trix_

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#26
Doing this frame perfectly is basically impossible, and doing it at all is really hard, so I did some testing and found that z can be substituted for a on any of these presses, which makes it a lot easier.
 

Jebus244

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NNID
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#27
So if I understand this correctly, if I do it with jab1, there is a 1 frame delay of initiation of the jab, which hits on frame 3, with 3 frames of hitstun. As long as I've released A during this hitstun (which happens on frames 4-7 after the actual press) then hold A for the 3rd hit, I will gentleman.

With jab2, even if jab 1 whiffs, as long as I've released A during its 4 frame hit stun, and hold A during the 3rd jab, I will gentleman. Is that right?

Basically, you want to time the release of A for either jab1 or jab2 during the actual hit, then hold A for the 3rd hit?
 

SoapSuds

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#28
Yep, that's the only trick! :D Sounds easy enough, but releasing buttons at certain times is pretty strange tech skill, and there isn't any real feedback for the input. But the frame windows are big enough, and on jab one it should be easy mechanical timing.
 

SoapSuds

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#30
I think that's actually a problem with dolphin frame advance. There is a two frame delay between the input and when it is put into the game. Try releasing two frames earlier.
 

Achilles1515

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#32
The Gentleman

** General **

Z button = A button + analog L/R

Action State (slang):
Attack11 (Jab1)
Attack12 (Jab2)
Attack13 (Jab3)
Attack100Start (Rapid Jabs)


Interrupt Function:
  • A function specific to an action state that is executed once per frame while in the action state animation. Interrupt functions generally handle monitoring controller inputs to put a character into a new action state, and to handle any associated flags.
  • Only one interrupt function is executed per character per frame. If a character is in Wait and the Wait interrupt function noticed an instant A button press and no joystick input, the character will be immediately put into Jab1. The Wait interrupt function will then break, and the interrupt function entered into next frame will be that of Jab1.
  • Interrupt functions are not executed during hitlag.

** Specific **


Jab2/3 Link Window:
  • The number of frames, since the start of the previous jab action state, available to link into Jab2/3. This window exists to allow successful jab links even after the natural transition from Jab1/2 --> Wait has occured.
  • The link window is a timer variable that decrements 1 per frame, if not already zero, during the interrupt functions for the Wait, WalkSlow/Middle/Fast, and Jab1/2/3 action states. For the Jab1/2/3 interrupt, this timer decrement occurs after the rapid jab counter check, mentioned below.
  • Jab link window timer is destroyed (set to 0) upon any action state change except the following: Wait, WalkSlow/Middle/Fast. So IASA'ing a jab into Squat, for example, will remove the ability to link the next jab.
  • Jab2 and Jab3 link window values for Captain Falcon are both 24 [frames].


Rapid Jab Counter:
  • The counter value that must meet a certain threshold before entering the Rapid Jab action state from Jab3.
  • Counter is reset to 0 upon entering the Jab1 action state.
  • The Jab1/Jab2/Jab3 interrupt functions will increment the rapid jab counter by 1 if an instant A button press is noticed this frame, or if the A button is released this frame (so A is not being pressed this frame, but was last frame). This rapid jab counter check is done before the check to put the character into Jab2/Jab3.
  • Rapid jab counter is not incremented for the instant A press to enter Jab2/Jab3 from the Wait/Walk action states.
  • The minimum rapid jab counter value necessary to make Captain Falcon enter the Rapid Jab action state is 4. For PAL, it is 7.


--------------------------

Additional thoughts regarding the logic above:

  • Z button can be swapped for any of the "A button" statements above, except when linking a jab from the Wait/Walk action states (this will obviously make you grab instead).
  • Because interrupt functions are not executed during hitlag, an instant A press or A release during this time will not increment the rapid jab counter. When hitting an opponent, releasing A during hitlag is the best approach, as outlined in the OP.
  • Although it is possible to Gentleman with an A button release during Jab3, there is basically no reason to ever not hold A throughout this entire animation so as to not increment the rapid jab counter. Remember that the rapid jab counter check is executed every frame of Jab3 during its interrupt function. So even if you "perform" a Gentleman, but accidentally release the A button a single frame before Jab3 animation's last (with rapid jab counter currently at 3 -> which is common), a rapid jab action state will occur. For this reason, I would also recommend always holding down or forwards to IASA Squat (crouch cancel safety) or Walk out of a Jab3 Gentleman.
  • Once the IASA flag is enabled during Jab3, the interrupt function will essentially be an exact copy of Wait's interrupt function, which is not the case for Jab1 and Jab2 that have more unique interrupt functions. This allows an IASA shield out of Jab3 which can be buffered by using and holding Z to execute the Jab3 Gentleman.

** Assembly Notes (NTSC v1.02) **

Function Start:

800D6A50 - RapidJabCountIncrement_ExecuteAttack100Start
8008ACD8 - Interrupt_AS_Attack11(Jab1)
8008B07C - Interrupt_AS_Attack12(Jab2)
8008B390 - Interrupt_AS_Attack13(Jab3)

Internal Character Data Offset:
0x018C - float, Jab2 window initial
0x0190 - float, Jab3 window initial
0x01A8 - uint32, rapid jab window minimum for Attack100

0x196C - float, Jab2/3 link window variable
0x1970 - uint32, action state ID to link into
0x1A54 - uint32, rapid jab window counter

he's saying to do it as fast as possible requires 1 frame presses


also magus disproved with science...im scared
Magus wasn't really wrong, he was just speaking vaguely and practically. I understand what he means now after fully grasping the mechanic.

SoapSuds SoapSuds Nice post. I was initially confused by your frame data at the top, but now see that you were just using a different convention than what is used in the Hitbox-and-Frame-Data project (stickied thread in this forum), and that your IASA numbers are Develop Mode action state display text based and one less than the actual first IASA frame using this convention - might want to make a note of this somewhere by that picture.
 
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tauKhan

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#33
Z button can be swapped for any of the "A button" statements above, except when linking a jab from the Wait/Walk action states (this will obviously make you grab instead).
Is that a given though? I suppose it could've been possible for jab2/jab3 to have higher priority than grab in that situation.
 

ssknight7

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#34
achilles i dont understand how you got so good at reversing so quickly, pretty inspiring. asm itself is daunting for most people but reversing is so much more difficult because theres always the potential that you are completely misunderstanding and misinterpreting waht a function is actually doing.

at least that's how it is for me. at any rate great job :D
 

Klemes

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#35
Came here to do the PAL joke... Apparently I'm late.

Oh Whatevs fück it. Step 1 : play PAL. Step 2 : profit. You's all scrubs ;)
 

Achilles1515

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#37
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