Trials generally go over some of a character's available attacks and combos, and increase in difficulty as the player completes them.
Of note is that, in some cases, the trials do not necessarily have to be completed in the exact given order, although this is the 'default' method. The player can use certain moves to keep the dummy in a vulnerable state and give them the time needed to perform the next required move. A trial can be cleared so long as the player strings together a combo involving the listed moves, and they are used in the order given. Naturally, the dummy must not leave the hitstun state at any point (which occurs when they hit the floor, or the player takes too long to string the hits together and the dummy recovers).
In all games, the mode functions similarly to Training Mode, where the player is provided with a character that serves as a training "dummy" for the player to practice increasingly difficult combos on. The dummy will take appropriate action based on the type of trial, e.g. jumping for anti-air combo trials, and attacking for counter-based trials. As with Training Mode, KO is normally impossible for either character, except with Pandora in Street Fighter X Tekken.
The number of Trials and the training "dummy" provided vary with the game.
Trial Numbers and ContentEdit
Street Fighter IVEdit
Each character has 24 trials. Trials are grouped into sets based on their difficulty: a first set of a 5, a second set of 7, a third set of 5, a fourth set of 4, a fifth set of 2, and the final 24th trial. There is a short break between each set.
The first half of these trials usually go over some of the character's basics, i.e. normal attacks, special attacks, Super Combos, and Ultra Combos. The 'intermediate' group of trials often task the player with chaining at least 2-3 moves together into a relatively simple combo, usually including one with a Focus Attack. The harder trials, all in the last half, involve slightly more complex moves, and often combo into that character's Super and/or Ultra Combos. The last few trials are the hardest, and require the player to chain together normal moves, but with very strict timing.
The order of the trials is changed; the player can now retry, progress to the next trial, or quit to the trial menu after any trial is completed. The strict-timing combos are rearranged, now coming after the more basic trials. The latter half of the trials is harder as well, and may use Focus Cancels and other advanced techniques in combos that lead into a character's Super or Ultra Combo.
In addition, the Arcade Edition characters are excluded; when Trial Mode is selected, the game reverts to the "vanilla" edition of Super Street Fighter IV for reasons currently unknown.
Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online EditionEdit
Each character has 5 trials, composed entirely of multi-move combos. The "dummy" provided varies with the character and trial, as explained below.
Street Fighter X TekkenEdit
There are 20 trials for each characters, and they are designed in a way similar to Super Street Fighter IV.
In the home console ports of the Street Fighter IV series, Dan (in training gear that serves as his first alternate costume) serves as the training dummy. In Street Fighter IV Volt, Ryu serves as the training dummy, and is the only one that can be KO'd, which is done by completing the trial.
In Third Strike Online Edition, the dummy varies with the trial, as some of the combos may be character-specific (e.g. a combo that would only work on opponents the size of Hugo).
Street Fighter X Tekken uses Ryu as the default dummy for all Tekken character trials, and Kazuya for all Street Fighter character trials.