Interruptibility

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While Meta Knight and Fox's down tilts both last 26 frames, Meta Knight can cancel his on the 16th frame

Interruptibility refers to the ability to begin a new action before the current action's animation has completely finished. For example, while Mario's forward smash in Super Smash Bros. Brawl takes 56 frames to complete execution, the player can interrupt the ending frames and do something else as early as frame 48. In this case, many players use the phrasing that Mario's forward smash has a first actionable frame of 48, or can be interrupted as soon as frame 48. For most intents and purposes, this results in the last part of the animation simply being filler, as the player is likely to attack, jump, or simply move as soon as possible. Many attacks have a minor amount of interruptible frames during their ending lag, while special moves and get-up animations typically do not; some attacks such as Marth's or Ness's down tilts have a significant interruptibility window which allows them to perform another action significantly faster than the animation would suggest.

In Super Smash Bros., interruptibility is not very common, only being used at the ends of some taunts and non-final neutral attacks. Super Smash Bros. Melee expanded interruptibility's applications to many attacks, and Brawl continued the idea as a common mechanic. It is important to note that in terms of buffering from Brawl onwards, the window for an input to be buffered is related to interruptibility, and not the entire animation when applicable.

It is possible for actions to be interruptible with only certain kinds of actions and specifically not with others, such as the case with jump cancelling. This is known as selective interruptibility or limited interruptibility, though many players use the "interruptible as soon as" phrase to refer to it, which can result in confusion due to the term's history. In Melee, aerials cannot be cancelled with air dodges, while they can be in Brawl onwards. Most grounded moves (such as many down tilts) can be interrupted with a dash, jump, or other attacks, but not with some combination of shielding, walking, or turning around. A character stuck in the animation of their aerial or air dodge will not be able to grab the ledge until it is completely finished, regardless if it can be interrupted much earlier. This is most prominent with Sheik's forward aerial.

In Super Smash Bros. and Melee, interrupting a delayed double jump results in double jump cancelling. This is no longer possible from Brawl onwards, where doing so only interrupts the animation of the double jump (as well as any special properties it may have, such as Yoshi's knockback resistance), not the execution.

Trivia[edit]

  • Most other fighting games also feature interruptibility, but extra frames are used for the sole purpose of making attack animations less choppy if performed by themselves, and are not as useful for throwing opponents off with deceptively fast moves. These extra frames are also not subject to any restrictions like moves in the Super Smash Bros. series can be.

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