Killer Instinct Season 2: Character Guides

Season 2 Line-Up

Select Your Fighter

Click on a character to go to their guide.

TJ Combo Maya Kan-Ra
Riptor Omen Aganos
Hisako ARIA Cinder

Season 2 of Killer Instinct is finally complete, so I thought it’d be a cool idea to tie everything up in a nice big messy and bloodstained bow by making a basic ‘hub’ page for all the character guides I’ve written over the past ten months. I’ll probably wax unlyrically about my overall thoughts on Season 2 in the future, but for now I thought that this would be a good way to wrap things up.

When Iron Galaxy first started their monthly roll-out of characters for Season 2 back in September 2014 with TJ Combo, I knew that I really wanted to write in more detail about Killer Instinct, but I was also deeply aware of the fact that this was the first proper fighting game I’d ever really played. I’d already fallen head over heels in love with Double Helix’s foundational Season 1 content, but what I’d previously waffled on about was just my own dumb feelings about the game, nothing particularly involved or technical. How could I write something more in-depth and useful about the new season with just the paltry scraps of beginner knowledge I had at my disposal?

As I watched and re-watched the TJ Combo reveal trailer in rapturous glee, an idea suddenly hit me like the fist of a cybernetically-enhanced boxer smashing through the brittle sternum of a six-hundred year old skeletal warrior. “Aha!” I thought, as a hackneyed giant yellow light bulb simultaneously pinged into existence over my noggin, “I can write character guides to teach other idi-erm, players, like me the basics!”

This epiphanic thought was quickly followed up with the familiar but unpleasant sting of anxiety, an ice-cold Glacius-like lance of doubt if you will. Could I actually do this, or had I essentially taken one too many heavy punches to the virtual face? Was I Tiger Fury-ing above my weight or just plain Shoryuken out of luck? Could I actually expand my Killer Instinct knowledge or was this the Endokuken of the line for me? Doing my best to put aside these concerns, I started typing ‘n’ fighting.

My aim was pretty simple – I wanted to make a very basic written resource for an entry-level player to learn the basics of each Season 2 fighter with minimum fuss. As each new character released, I wanted to put together something simple and accessible (and littered with as many awful puns as my pea-sized brain could produce) for a brand new player to use that might just help them learn the rudiments of each new fighter and hopefully give them a few helpful pointers along the way.

I tried to strip out any complicated technical terms where possible and explain the game’s concepts in plain terms without having to refer to external mechanics used in other fighting game franchises. You see, although there’s some incredible experts online making fantastic Killer Instinct tutorials, I find that as a low-level player myself, very little of this content is often delivered in a way that is considerate to a new player, ironically, even when that content is supposedly aimed at a beginner. All too frequently, the teacher makes the underlying assumption that the reader/viewer has some grounding in other fighting games and their mechanics. While this is arguably a fair assumption to make considering the popularity and proliferation of the fighting game genre since the late ’80s, there’s still going to be anomaly cases and weird outliers like me out there, for whom Killer Instinct is their primary jumping-off point.

To be totally honest here and to make sure I don’t just sound like I’m blowing my own trumpet in an endless free-form bebop jazz solo, these guides are pretty inconsistent to say the least, and pretty poorly written when I look back at them now. To say the earlier ones are really sparse when it comes to key information (sorry TJ and Maya, my bad) is putting it very lightly, and I think it’s only when I get to Kan-Ra and beyond that I start to actually go beyond surface-level impressions and into more useful nitty-gritty details. Alternately, when I go back and read some of the later guides now, I find there’s parts where I bafflingly go completely against my original intentions by incorporating more technical terminology into my descriptions – going exactly against everything I set out to do in the first place, despite my previous paragraph’s pontification! D’oh! Amusingly/pathetically, there’s also really obvious points in the writing where you can tell that I still couldn’t really understand how to properly use a character by the conclusion of a guide (sorry Omen, you crazy masked sonofabitch you).

Hopefully though, I think for the most part with the majority of the guides I was able to deliver somewhat on my goal some basic jargon-free information to the reader. Even if I was able to pass on just a couple of incredibly basic but helpful tips to a new player, then hey, I’m satisfied that they’ve served their purpose. Personally, to hold myself up as a clear example of if I can do it, anyone can, I’ve noticed that just from the process of writing these guides my paltry Killer Instinct skills have definitely improved quite a bit. Nothing incredibly impressive at all, don’t get me wrong – i.e. I won’t be competing at this year’s EVO tournament (I know, I know, a crying shame) – but to say that I actually managed to make it into the Gold tier of the ranked league system at all is definitely way beyond where I ever thought I could reach with my limited knowledge and skills. Please feel free to knock me down several pegs though by knocking my Jago Shadow (Gamertag: TB321) around for a few rounds to show me your moves as Captain Falcon would say; I’ll consider it a job well done!

If you’ve suffered with my guides long enough, and you’re looking for a place to get far better KI knowledge than anything my brain and fingers could produce (with way less cringe-inducing puns), then I highly recommend checking out Infil’s excellent Killer Instinct Guide for SFIV Players. It’s an incredibly detailed guide that goes through all Season 1 + 2 characters. Though as indicated by the very nature of the title the guide is designed for a player with a prior knowledge and familiarity of the Street Fighter series, I found the writing to actually be very considerate to those unlucky few like me with no previous knowledge of Capcom’s champion brawler. I discovered the site about halfway through writing my guides, and it provided an incredibly useful resource and framework to draw upon. Thanks Infil! (Please don’t hit me).

So, without further ado, below are links to my guides for all nine Season 2 fighters. They are messy, inconsistent and were a big challenge for me to write, but also an incredible amount of fun to put together. Congratulations to Iron Galaxy for a fantastic Season 2 of Killer Instinct. Bring on Season 3!