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General Ukebash Guide
Hi there

I'm tabby. I've made one or two replays in my time.

I decided I'd finally post some kind of guide for making ukebash replays, seeing as I'm potentially alright at them these days, even though the game is sort of dead. I wrote a majority of this like 4 years ago and never posted it because it was unfinished (and also because the file was called tut93it and I couldn't find it). I am deciding to post it now because otherwise this fat ass text file is just going to rot in my downloads folder forever, and it might be a helpful guide.

Please note that this will not be your end all be all ukebash guide. Ukebashing is one of the most 'situational' replaymaking types there are, and there is never a concrete answer to any question posed by the replays, everyone's answer is different. In other words we all suck I think.

You won't become insane at it overnight (probably, I hear I'm pretty decent at this advice thing!) but hopefully you'll learn a thing or two about getting started on pushing this dude's shit in =)

1. How do I start my Ukebash replay? What gamerules should I use?

You ever watch fred's fantastic splitcap stock replay and think "wow I wanna try that" and then you're met with this screen and have no idea what to do:

toribash



This is one of the most common hurdles you can experience when even attempting the genre. You'd think just leaving the gamerules at complete default would be easier, but contrary to popular belief default engage distance ukebash is among the most challenging. It requires a specific skill set working with an enclosed space to generate enough momentum for a stylish opener.

150-300 is generally the sweet spot for making a good replay, the further away you are the more time you have to rack up epic style points B) but what about gravity?

Gravity depends on what kind of background you have as a Toribash player, and also what kind of ukebasher you wish to become. If you're interested in an avant-garde style like mine I can recommend default gravity. If you want to try out a more modern spinny style like Rajen, Dezrai or mused, I can recommend anywhere between 15-25 depending on what kind of replay it is, and if you come from a realism background -30* or above is suitable.

Even with this said, experimenting with other gravities is still a very important part of growth. I make a lot of replays on -30 myself.
* please note that -30 ukebash can be quite overwhelming to learn due to how fast Uke will fall, keep this in mind when practicing

You have to figure out where you find it most comfortable to operate before you start making your best replays, so don't be discouraged if you feel sluggish or underprepared at the beginning.

1.1. I don't care about gamerules, enough extending the word count! How do I create my Ukebash opener?

At this point it becomes more up to you, so I can't tell you the black and white dos and don'ts, but I can give some insight into how I personally view the beginning of a replay along with some general pointers

When I'm making replays, my absolute top priority is having fun, as I feel it should be for everyone. For me, the fun is in making the silliest movements that make me laugh and abusing the engine to get a large amount of abnormal dismemberments. I also really enjoy getting close to the ground/to uke without directly making contact. Don't sweat the details, honestly. Your movement does not need to be perfect (unless you like that kind of thing), it just has to be effective. I think the best ukebash replays come from having fun, not trying to reinvent the genre. You can try and do that too if you want, don't let me stop you.

My openers personally take minutes to make, seconds even. I just mash x and z, hit space and go from there. I'm a fan of improvisation and I can work with pretty much anything because I just want to get the replay started. The key is finding your environment and exploring your options. Try new stuff.

However, if you wish to create an effective opener, here are some pointers;
  • Pick a side to face and aim to set up some kind of "launch" to start spinning in that direction.
  • Aim for a more traditional area of Uke to strike first, one where he won't fall too fast and become too difficult to attack.
  • Don't overwhelm yourself by spinning around too much, long replays tend to become frustrating to edit.

eg



Once you've become comfortable with that position, and these "rules" you should begin to experiment more with your Tori and hone your style. Create habits and find things you like. I like to contract my wrists, relax most of my body and do everything wrong because I think it's fun. If you can find an avenue where practicing ukebash is the most fun for you, then go that route regardless of what others may tell you (of course, don't disregard the paragraphs I put in your replay threads though). Most importantly, consuming a lot of ukebash content, especially from players you find appealing will skyrocket your own abilities by proxy, and you'll subconsciously notice and pick up on a lot of "instinctual" techniques.

2. first dismembermente?

More often than not, the first dismemberment can make or break a replay, as some are far, far easier to continue from for their own reasons, here's my shitty little graph depicting them in order:

graph



Elbows, wrists, head and knees are your bread and butter, usually. With the exception of the head and maybe the wrists, you'll pretty much always be in a totally fine position to continue your replay with no issues. Wrists and head depend more on your setup, but you should be fine.

The torso and hip area is a little more tricky, at this point you'll be separating Uke in two, making it challenging to focus on both halves while still looking good. On higher gravities these types of DMs can be somewhat tedious, as Uke will fall quite quickly making the replay a bit boring if he's left lying on the ground for long periods.

Pecs and shoulders I generally don't recommend starting with, as you'd lose out on DMs (if the arm goes flying from a pec dm, you just lost 3 potential DMs you could have gone for later) however, if you're going for a boomhit as a starter none of this is an issue, it's up to you (though starting with a boomhit can be troublesome).

Also worth adding that going for a double hip is actually a good start, however you lose out on the knee DMs AND a potential crotch boomhit later.

ankles are self-explanatory lol. They're actually a great place to start if you can fucking do them though, but don't ask me.

3. Makin' movement gooder

The best advice I can give here is to truly understand the relax function, it's your best friend. Relax is the key to achieving huge amounts of speed, and also the key to being lazy and creating "smooth" movement without trying too much. Of course, certainly don't use this as an excuse to not care about movement, but the relaxed joint's natural motion is often the tori's natural movement.

However, please take note of your form, "form" in ukebash is fairly different from form in other areas, such as tricking. While tricking form is typically restricted to realism, form in ukebash is less about creating realistic moves and just specifically about keeping your tori in sync and aligned for optimal speed. Ukebash is a lot more freeform in this sense. You can have good form while being unrealistic - if you've seen any of my replays, you might have noticed that despite my abnormal movement style I pay relatively close attention to keeping my lumbar and other joints aligned, and this results in me moving at an overall very fast rate. It's important to edit earlier than you'd expect to sync up some of your movements better.

There is a common misconception that "form" merely refers to your lumbar being straightened, and this is an oversimplification of what form actually means, take a look here:

eg



Aside from all that, try to take note of the movements you've already made and make sure your whole pattern makes sense, instead of looking at specific situations, if you already kicked off the floor a few frames ago, doing it again would understandably look horrendous. Try and employ some kind of variety in your replays.

Most of ukebash is improvisation, but it's important to go back and refine the decisions you make to make them look intentional. Let's say you want to push off of the ground, but your arm isn't exactly in a position to do so and you're required to abruptly lower it to get it in position, take a look at this:

eg



Keeping fairly close to your center of gravity and conserving your momentum will make your movement a whole lot more efficient. Try not to dump all of your momentum into individual launches and spins and try to keep it consistent.

Absolutely do not underrate the abs joint. In my opinion it is one of the most important joints on the tori in terms of effectively dictating the moves you want to do, it can sometimes completely change how certain moves turn out. Some people make the mistake of restricting themselves to a held or contract abs joint, which they rarely touch unless a hit requires them to.

I know I'm promoting the relax function a lot, but I also want to highlight the hold function very strongly. Using them in conjunction can help you create "whipping" motions with your body parts which I will go into more detail about later, as well as avoiding self dismemberments from moving too fast or from the whipping movements (some ukebashers just use the "R" tech, but don't do that because it's super lame)

Now that I've gone over generals, let's go over some specifics:

eg



3.1. BOOMHITS?

Read pusga's guide, I ain't got much else to teach you that isn't already there. All I will say is that more DMs is not always better and sometimes sacrificing a boomhit to keep more of uke closer to you is going to produce a better replay in the long term, but also counter-rotating most of your body can juice up the perceived momentum quite substantially. If you ask me, certain boomhits simply don't matter if they aren't visually appealing or they completely compromise the replay.

3.2. GRABS?

Grabs are one of your most valuable tools, abuse them, and use them creatively. They can be used for anything between boomhits and setups, or just for some good ol' Rajen grab-switching. The grab hand itself has a completely different hitbox to the regular hand. It is thinner, and longer. This can be used to do movements that are otherwise not possible with the regular hand. You can use the thin hand for ghosting or tightly dodging contact with uke, and you can use the slightly longer hand to extend your reach slightly if you plan on touching the ground or something like that.

eg



It's also important to mention that how you position your grabs when setting up hits is arguably more important than the hit itself. I like to think of it as your "hit" being a gate, your grab being one side and your striking limb being another. Your grab can pretty much influence every joint on its respective side of the strike, and the opposite applies to your striking limb of course. Syncing this up in tandem can create huge boomhits.

eg



3.3. DISMEMBERMENTS?

Okay okay, I hear you. All this rambling about grabs, boomhits, and movement, and you still have no fucking clue how to just simply break a joint and move on. I got you. Let's say you're currently spinning and really want a simple dismemberment. Your first instinct, obviously, is to kick and punch at whatever joint(s) you're trying to break as hard as you physically can. You might succeed in getting the dismemberment, but you'll quickly find the replay hard to continue due to all of your momentum being sucked up by a single pec DM and you're forced to wait for a good position. Does this sound familiar? Have a look at this:

eg



Transitioning out of hits is a different question entirely. It's not always optimal to fully extend the limbs you're striking with because it may actually diffuse a lot of momentum into the joints you're breaking. If you find this happening, try experimenting with holding the joint or relaxing the joint just after the strike and allowing the dismembered piece to pass, and then extending it in post to create the illusion of a powerful strike.

4. Moving this idiot around

Manipulations, easily the part I was dreading talking about the most. While there's a manipulation guide made by Larfen(feel free to check it out), I think it's fairly outdated and a little bit of the advice I straight-up disagree with, so let's talk about them.

4.1. le gamerules

Its 2024 gamerules don't matter but I still wouldn't strongly recommend -30 manips lmaooo. It's not that they're impossible, but keeping him afloat and rotating without him touching the ground will usually require you to compromise your movement in some way.

4.2. le lift

I don't think images are specifically necessary here. There are multiple ways you can start a manipulation, and I'll list some of the most obvious;
  • Under a select armpit is the most popular means of lifting uke, it results in immediate height and some rotational momentum too. For more momentum, aim closer to the elbow.
  • Shins. Kicking uke's shins back will cause him to bounce up and start tilting forward, which you can then link with a strike to his sides to create immediate rotation. Underrated.
  • Crotch lift. Wouldn't recommend it, because it's so wasteful and not very rewarding, but it can technically lead to uke spinning towards you which can be interesting. It can get a whole lot of height but uke can be quite heavy and it results in continuing from there being shaky at best.
  • Grabs. Seen as a cop-out means of lifting uke by some older players, I actually find it to be among the most interesting forms of lift. One grab to the stomach in the middle of a jump and you can simultaneously send uke up and you down to the ground, very situational though.

4.3. le spin

It may seem difficult at first, but after some exposure to the concept of manipulations it's actually an extremely simple skill to pick up. Putting it simply, hit stuff furthest away from uke's center of gravity (shins, forearms, etc) in the direction that he's spinning (you can also try forcing a multi-axis manipulation too).

More often than not, using two limbs to push uke is pretty much the meta for 90% of manip situations, usually referred to a scissor-kick or scissor-SOMETHING? Anyway, take a look at this shit:

eg



4.4. le filler

Nothing crazy to say here, just know that it's okay to touch uke if only for your own balance or to slow him down or keep him afloat. It doesn't necessarily have to contribute to the overall rotation. It's in areas like these that grabs are usually frowned upon.

I do think it's worth adding here that as soon as uke touches the ground in any capacity, even via a scrape, the manip is pretty much "over", because continuing it after that just looks extremely unpolished. Try to work on keeping him close to you and the ground without directly touching it and you have a pretty killer manipulation replay!

4.5. le killing

Alright you've done your manip, now you'll probably be struggling with how the hell you stop this train. It's fairly simple actually, just by using pretty much any of the techniques we previously talked about you can quite easily begin a chain of dismemberments. You can start off by chipping off a wrist joint or something, or fully clip your foot inside his hand and stretch his entire arm off, etc. You can also go directly into a boomhit if you want, which will be made easier by uke's rotation.

As long as you're kicking against uke's general momentum it will amplify the hits you go for and make tearing him apart feel like child's play. Just try not to grab him to set up to your first dismemberment because it's considered a cop-out, unless you can do something unique with the grab of course. After your first dismemberment on uke I think him touching the ground is pretty much fair game, even better if you can actively work the ground impact into the dismemberments.

5. Bruising

While this is technically a subcategory of movement or manipulations, I think having a category of its own is pretty fair. Bruising is pretty important in ukebash. Keeping track of how you're getting bruised and where will help you clean up your movement and avoid making unnecessary contact. Bruising is a generally good measurement of effort when it comes to ukebash replays and there's a reason that "flawless" replays (0 points) are so highly regarded, especially in manipulation replays.

Above all else, I think it is paramount that no matter what you absolutely avoid bruising your head on anything unless a movement you are doing specifically requires you to (such as headbutts). Such carelessness regarding bruising is just laziness and your refinement will improve when you focus on it. Bruises can also influence dismemberments in some ways, and while I don't know the math behind it or nothing I just know that you might explode sometimes if you rub against stuff too much.

6. Posing

Often a very overlooked part of ukebash, striking unique poses that you can flow into naturally can really make or break a replay's overall result. Replays look much more polished when you've put time and effort into making a cool pose. Of course you don't always have to, you can always do some silly replayhacking stuff or relax all (just don't explode all your joints that is super boring).

I absolutely hate that this replay is in stock and I wish I could unmake it but this pose is hard as fuck:


If you have any questions about anything mentioned here or want to school me on bruising mathematics feel free to drop a post

Hopefully one of you finds this useful, just ask and I'll gladly cnc your replays!

I plan on fixing these diagrams, they're terrible I made them a long time ago. Special thanks to epoch and iris for giving some input on this shit
Last edited by tabby; Jun 4, 2024 at 12:12 AM. Reason: if these break one more time...