The Flash Kick (サマーソルトキック Samaasoruto Kikku?, "Somersault Kick") is one of Guile's special attacks, introduced with him in Street Fighter II. His friend Charlie has a similar version called Somersault/Flash Kick Shell (サマーソルトシェル Samaasoruto Sheru?).
DescriptionEditExecuted by charging downward then pressing upward and kick, the user performs a backflip, kicking his opponent harshly as he does. The attack is almost instantaneous, and the arc of the kick leaves a flash in its wake.
The size of the flash and the height achieved as performed are usually determined by the strength of the kick used, as well as the damage, stun, recovery: the light kick has the least damage, height, stun, and recovery, while the heavy kick version grants the most damage and stun with the greatest height, but the longest recovery; and the medium kick version is a balance of the two.
Marvel vs. Capcom seriesEdit
A non-charge variation (simply downward then upward without charging the former) of this move exists in Marvel vs. Capcom 2, which can be done only in mid-air. In X-Men vs. Street Fighter, the Flash Kick sends out an arc of energy diagonally-upwards in the form of an energy wave, which acts as a normal projectile which only dissipates when it clashes with another instead of upon impact of a target.
There are visual differences in how Guile and Charlie execute the move. Guile simply leaps up and executes the overhead kick with one leg while performing a moonsault, rather than a somersault. Charlie turns to face away from the opponent and performs a front-flipping kick with one leg before finishing it off with another kick from the other leg, all while somersaulting forward.
The kick's speed means it is useful as a nigh-impenetrable anti-air counter. It is also good for zoning, ending combos, punishing, and preventing certain cross-up attempts. The EX Flash Kick is the best anti-air variant (with light kick coming second), and heavy kick can set up juggles.
The highest priority of the move is during the deepest point of impact, i.e. if the move is performed at the last possible moment (especially during the beginning of the move). If used at this point, the Flash Kick will beat almost any other normal attack, short of a Shoryuken.
In the original Street Fighter II, the move had no recovery time on landing, having been designed as analogous to a normal jump attack. This meant Guile could often beat an opponent to a throw, even if the Flash Kick is whiffed. This feature was removed in subsequent games, and the recovery time on landing was changed to match that of the Shoryuken. However, it still can be rather difficult to punish in some situations, mainly due to how fast the user starts to fall to the ground compared to the delayed falling of other similar anti-air specials.
Also compared to other anti-airs, what makes the Somersault/Flash Kick stand out from the aformentioned anti-airs is how the hitbox works. Normally, most anti-air specials have a lasting hitbox all the way to its apex, but in the Flash Kick's case, the hitbox notably "dies" out upon hitting the peak while moving in a back-flipping arc as opposed to being consistent throughout until the apex. Due to this, there are specific situations where the Flash Kick may whiff against midair targets properly spaced from it and/or high enough above it, and it usually has a better horizontal hitbox in this regard.
In the Street Fighter IV series, all versions of the move break armor and grant split-second invulnerability during start-up.
- In Street Fighter Alpha 3, the color of flash changes based on the color swap of the character using it. For example, if the player uses Charlie's red costume, the flash will be red instead of teal. In addition, Charlie's version, when performed with heavy kick, will always hit twice.
Appearances in other games Edit
- In Final Fight Streetwise, Kyle has a counterattack that bears a striking resemblance to the Flash Kick.
- In Asura's Wrath, the titular character uses an uppercut followed with a Flash Kick-like move as a heavy attack while fighting Akuma.
- In Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6, both Sheva Alomar and Jake Muller use Flash Kick as one of their melee attacks.
- In Project X Zone, Frank West from the Dead Rising series uses a Somersault Kick in two of his special moves, as in his said home series Frank is able to naturally learn a Somersault Kick technique in that vein.
- In The King of Fighters '94, Korea Team (Kim Kaphwan, Chang Koehan, and Choi Bounge) each have a Flash Kick-style move called the Hien Zan (Flying Swallow Slash; Choi's is comically written in a different kanji however, and Chang Koehan always slips and falls on his back upon attempting it).
- In Double Dragon Neon, a boss called Mecha Biker, designed as a reference to Mega Man, sometimes performs a Flash Kick-like if the player(s) is standing directly in front of him.
- In X-Men: Next Dimension, Cyclops has a move called Power Flash Kick, which involves him kneeing the opponent and then performing the Flash Kick. There are three variations of this move.