What makes a good combat scene?

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Re: What makes a good combat scene?

Post by zerogradius » Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:31 pm

Gundam Wing also suffered from lazy battling, where the Gundam would stand in one spot and just shoot down hordes of enemy units as they haplessly charged toward it.

As for Zeta, as much as I love the show, it did have some poor battles, particularly disappointing was Camille vs Scirocco in ep 50. However, it aslo did some battles very well, like the atmospheric drop to Jaburo where Cacricon was killed. It was one of the better atmospheric reenty fights Gundam ever had.

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Re: What makes a good combat scene?

Post by Ouroboric » Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:24 am

Yeah, I did feel that some of the battles took the side line to the story. The final battle was a bit of a let down when viewed alone, i still get goosebumps from it if i've had the whole show building up to that moment, and Kamille's final blow is at a Mortal Kombat level of brutality.

I agree on the comment about Wing, one big pet peeve in anime for me is the random slashing marks that appear on screen, and then it goes back to a normal view and we see the leo's fall apart. And it often seemed very lazy, when the Taurus's come on the scene things get more interesting. I feel that the middle part of the show was the best in just about every way, the first 6 episodes are incredibly tedious as far as combat goes.

One thing I appreciated about 0083, was how Kou never surpassed Gato, not even close, he managed to get lucky when Gato had demolished him and was about to finish him so the GP02 was lost, and got saved by that huge blast that hit Neu Ziel and the GP03 at once, Gato was about to finish him off there as well.
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Re: What makes a good combat scene?

Post by Mark064 » Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:09 am

I should throw in my two cents...

When talking about battles I think it's silly to say what makes a good combat scene. There's 3 main types of combat scenes worth going over. Grunt vs Grunt, Main vs Grunt, and Main vs Main. Each of them are going to have different standards and some the same standards.

But before that let's make a list of things I hate to see in battle.

1) Inconsistency. This is near the top I hate seeing when things are inconsistent. A shot from a weapon should be consistent or near consistent on the targets. This includes things like plot armor, your robot moving faster because you are pissed off, slashes that do damage to areas it shouldn't and so on.

2) Rewinding. This one doesn't appear that often but I hate it when it does. When the battles are slightly rewound a bit to change the outcome. This happened in one of the latter episode of SEED when the Dominion's missiles were about to hit Freedom at the end of one episode and the next episode had them placed quite a bit back. The same can be said about episode 14 of AGE and the pink MS, more rewinding to give space. This always alters the outcome.

3) Not moving. Okay there is always going to be some defending of locations but if one side is not going to move at all it's horrible.

4) Invincibility. This rarely comes off good especially if used more than once. Examples of this include Trans-Am for 00.

5) Predictable. If the outcome of the battle is too obvious, like seeing a girl jump in front of a beam saber to save a guy.

6) Cutting corners. Anything that cuts corners which includes blurs of high speed, clips instead of action (think final battle of Aegis vs Strike), slashes that take up the screen.

7) BS moves. Beams all around? Better go into the tiny gap to dodge them, no. You get shot.

Okay with that done let's go for something that are good for battles.

1) Fighting back. Yes it sounds silly but it happens when the enemy just stands there and doesn't attempt to fight back for whatever reason.

2) Music. Not always super important but good music can aid to scene greatly.

3) Originality. Seeing something we haven't seen before is always great.

4) Location. We rarely see this but a good location helps a lot.

Okay l think that's enough of that for now so let's go into the three battle types.

Grunt vs Grunt is the hardest battle type as they are usually lower quality to enlarge the scope of the battle. While high quality fights are wanted they are rare and are thus held to a lower quality. So for grunt battles keep at least one side moving to some degree and not just two sides standing relatively still firing shots at each other. These battles may also exist to show the superiority of one side but should be played as how they are superior (see initial colony battle of Gundam F91). Best example I can think of this at the moment is Unicorn episode 4 either at Dakar or Torrington but such level is insanely rare.

Main vs Grunt if the main can kill the grunts without trying for 30 out of 50 episodes you have failed. The grunts must provide some kind of challenge and not be a one sided slaughter fest. However this is possible if done correctly usually in shorter productions (see end of Gunbuster episode 5 and Mazinkaiser Death! Ankoku Daishogun when Mazinkaiser appears). Keep the main moving and keep the challenge there. Shows like First Gundam and Zeta kept the enemies as a threat, SEED and Destiny made them a joke.

Main vs Main this is the main one. Once again not a one sided fight, it's not interesting to see one side fly in trash the other in 3 seconds and fly away. The intensity must be high at all times. Generally a good combination of ranged and melee and good movements no simple flying into each other with repeated beam saber clashes (Wing Zero vs Epyon). Some good examples of excellent main vs main battle is basically anything Turn A vs Turn X, God vs Master in their final battle, and Sazabi vs Nu.

Note: I tried the kept the examples as Gundam as possible to be understandable to the largest amount of people.
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Re: What makes a good combat scene?

Post by Gyra Solune » Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:27 pm

...That post is now my Bible for writing fight scenes.

I will speak from personal experience writing fighting scenes for what is essentially a mecha anime in a serialized novel format. I HATE writing them. Maybe my desire to extend interaction scenes to avoid fighting means I have awesome characters, maybe it doesn't. But even when there's a clear beginning and end result with midpoints in mind, the actual fighting is a pain to conjure. I can think of...TWO fight scenes out of approximately 20 thus far that I've actually enjoyed going in-depth with. One of them magically was capable of taking up the entire chapter while staying interesting, if only because he was a major threat and gave a lot of exposition to the protagonist's backstory in the midst of the fight. The other was the chapter right afterwards, in which I deliberately tried to avoid blabber-heavy fighting, and while it turned out nicely, it contrasted with the fast-paced aerobatic style I keep envisioning, maybe for the better. Even then it only constituted half of the chapter.

In short, fight scenes tend to suck unless you either REALLY know how to choreograph them, have something interesting in mind, or can put in enough unique twists to work with it. Maybe it's the setup I have- the protagonist's mech, after all, has a plot-important infinite energy generator and regenerating armor, but doesn't have any neat tricks or weapons- it can either spam lasers, blade/arm kick, or charge up said kicks, along with a mini Big Bang and two alternate-universe things. Essentially I'm working with Zeorymer but hindered by the pilot sucking at piloting. For lesser mechs with more interesting armament (i.e. Daimos, Fafner), it might come a bit easier. But yeah.
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Re: What makes a good combat scene?

Post by YokozunaBulldozer » Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:08 pm

Just get Obari Masami to do the fight scenes. :D

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Re: What makes a good combat scene?

Post by Ouroboric » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:42 pm

So I'm re watching Zeta, and one thing really stuck out to me in a fantastic battle in the Asshimar ark. And that is the need for realistic limitations and ingenuity. Things like throwing a gun at the enemy and blowing it up in front of them to blind them, and then going in for a kill, the Mark II getting on Hyaku Shiki's shoulders so it can boost high enemy to reach the Asshimar, and Char being forced down by earth's gravity, making him miss his shot, all help towards making a much more exciting experience as far as the battles go. For Zeta haters I would strongly suggest revisiting episodes 12-17 if you are confused to how someone could like the battle scenes so much. There is such a variety in maneuvering and strategy, orthodox and unorthodox.
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