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Spinal has a dive kick, an overhead fireball, 'Ghostly Manuals' and drains meter in Killer Instinct, rage quit issue being addressed in next update

Posted by Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez • January 23, 2014 at 4:14 p.m. PST • Comments: 79

Microsoft Studios had their weekly Killer Instinct stream today, and although we didn't get to see any Spinal gameplay footage this time around, the MS team did divulge a slew of information on the next Killer Instinct character.


We here at EventHubs have sifted through the stream archive to recap all of the key information about Spinal that was released today.

Along with Spinal, his accessories and stage, the next update will address the rage quit issue many online players are currently experiencing.

Hit the jump to read the breakdown of today's stream, and the check out the archive.

Killer Instinct Spinal notes


Spinal's unique combo trait is called, "Ghostly Manuals."
- After hitting a normal Auto Double, you hit the same button again, and an extra third hit will come out.
- That third hit deals a nice chunk of potential damage.
- Timing on breaking the third hit is tight, like a regular manual.

• Currently equipped with the most tools out of any character on the roster.

• Spinal's entry level to play is not quite as high as Glacius'.

Spinal can acquire skulls in this iteration of Killer Instinct.
- Most common way to do so right now is using a particular Combo Ender.
- Skulls give him a powered up version of each special move.
- They allow him to shoot a bunch of skulls as well.

Spinal has three types of skull fireballs: One hits low, one recovers very fast, and one is an overhead that comes from the top of the screen. Each of the fireballs reportedly recovers quite quickly.

If skulls hit you, they will attach to you and work like a status ailment, draining Shadow meter, and granting it to Spinal.
- The skulls also have a stacking function, so if you hit the opponent with multiple skulls, you can potentially drain all of their meter.

Regular skull fireballs drain Shadow meter, super skull fireballs, (which you don't need summoned skulls to perform), drains Instinct meter.

Spinal is a momentum based character, with a "varying archetype".

• Another way to acquire skulls is by using his shield absorb special move.
- This attack can absorb physical attacks. (The stream used the example of Spinal absorbing Jago's Wind Kick, gaining 1 skull, then punishing Jago even though he'd normally have frame advantage in that situation. They also mentioning being able to absorb a full Shadow Wind Kick from Jago.)

Spinal does not morph into other characters in this game.

• He still has his Skeleport move. Has three versions of it, and the MS team compared it to that of Dr. Strange or Phoenix from UMvC3.
- When he has a summoned skull, he can cancel one of the teleports directly into a special move.
- Skeleport can be used in the air, but only when using the Shadow version.

Spinal has a run, a dive kick, and a slide.

• When Spinal activates Instinct mode, he immediately acquires 5 skulls (which is the maximum number right now.)
- He also quickly regenerates skulls during Instinct mode.

His dive kick is very unsafe on block, but can be made safer when aiming at the opponent's ankles.
- Leads into a full combo on hit.

• Spinal does not have a dash, but his run can be used instead.
- Run can be cancelled into any of Spinal's moves, and is reported to be one of the most mobile characters in the game.
- He is incredibly slow when he's not running.

• Spinal retains his classic laugh, and can do so by performing his taunt.

• Throws will grant Spinal with a skull, and absorbing special moves with his shield will give him a number of skulls based on how many hits are absorbed. (i.e. 5 hits of a Shadow move would give Spinal 5 skulls.)

• Shield absorb does have a bit of start up, but recovers quickly.
- Can't cancel into shield. (The MS team notes that you can't be blocking, and then cancel into shield absorb. This was considered, but they felt it would be too powerful.)

• Spinal has a command normal overhead (Back + HP), and a command normal slide (Down + HK) that works as an opener and is very unsafe on block.
- Back + (hold) LP is his "Power Devour" attack.

• He has really good pokes, but his frame data is "pretty average."

• His normals aren't that fast, and aside from his particular long range pokes, he doesn't have much range on his attacks.

• Shield Bash attack is safe on block, and with a skull, the HK version is projectile invincible.
- All of the heavy versions of his special moves use up a skull, but they gain special properties.

• At the moment, Spinal is well-balanced. He does well against Glacius, and Sadira.
- Thunder and Sabrewulf currently do pretty well against Spinal.

Along with the Spinal update, the rage quitting issue will be addressed. Patch notes will be released when the update goes live and will detail what changes are being made in that regard.

• Fulgore expected to be shown at the end of Spinal's trailer, which will drop some time next week.

Source: Microsoft Studios.
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