Monstrous - Combat Guide
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Monstrous - Combat Guide

By Teknoir   /   May 21, 2018     Guides
Monstrous - Combat Guide

This guide goes over combat basics and fundamentals such as controls, attack properties and chaining attacks.

Keyboard Controls



Monstrous - Combat Guide

Monstrous is built around free targeting melee combat. You can move around with WASD and control the camera with the Mouse. Rotating the camera also rotates your character in game, like aiming mode in third person shooters. Attack arcs are aimed horizontally, vertical camera movement is currently used only for exploring and viewing the world. If you are playing with a gamepad you can press the right stick in to reset the camera.

When you press the Left Mouse Button your character launches a directional attack. You can simply stand still and attack, or move forward and attack. Both inputs will launch a series of forward attacks. You can also launch different attacks by holding down left, right or back when you press the attack button. These are referred to as left attack, right attack or back attack in the guide.

There is a separate input to launch character specific special or heavy attacks, bound by default to the RMB. These attacks can be used in combination with directional attacks within the combo system.

Holding Left and Right Mouse Buttons down launches a super move if you have at least 50% Tenebris (the purple bar).

Combination of Space + WASD allows you to dash in one of the four directions. You can also tap Alt while moving to start sprinting.

Holding down Shift is used to guard.

Grabs can be performed by pressing Q. Grabs catch guarding opponents but lose out to regular attacks.

The E key can be used to interact with objects in the world. Holding it down allows you to jump to highlighted rooftops. These rooftop jumps exhaust about half your Vigor (the yellow bar, yes, it's stamina) and have a slow startup. Using this move to escape combat when overwhelmed is possible but dangerous.

You can activate character specific powers with F. These are often buffs or auras but can activate other secondary features that don't require targeting.

Last but not least, pressing C triggers the Comeback action at a cost of 50% Tenebris. This energy burst pushes enemies away and gets you out of hit states; it is an expensive combo breaker.

Gamepad Controls



Monstrous - Combat Guide

Monstrous is built around free targeting melee combat. This guide will use xinput labels, but the game can be played with a DS4 pad just as well.

You can move around with the Left Stick and control the camera with the Right Stick. Rotating the camera also rotates your character in game, like aiming mode in third person shooters. Attack arcs are aimed horizontally, vertical camera movement is currently used only for exploring and viewing the world. If you are playing with a gamepad you can press the Right Stick Click to reset the camera.

When you press the Right Trigger your character launches a directional attack. You can simply stand still and attack, or move forward and attack. Both inputs will launch a series of forward attacks. You can also launch different attacks by holding down left, right or back when you press the attack button. These are referred to as left attack, right attack or back attack in the guide.

There is a separate input to launch character specific special or heavy attacks, bound by default to the Left Trigger. These attacks can be used in combination with directional attacks within the combo system.

Holding Right and Left Triggers down launches a super move if you have at least 50% Tenebris (the purple bar).

Combination of the Right Bumper & Left Stick allows you to dash in one of the four directions. You can also press the Left Stick Click while moving to start sprinting.

Holding down the Left Bumper is used to guard.

Grabs can be performed by pressing X. Grabs catch guarding opponents but lose out to regular attacks.

The A key can be used to interact with objects in the world. Holding it down allows you to jump to highlighted rooftops. These rooftop jumps exhaust about half your Vigor (the yellow bar, yes, it's stamina) and have a slow startup. Using this move to escape combat when overwhelmed is possible but dangerous.

You can activate character specific powers with Y. These are often buffs or auras but can activate other secondary features that don't require targeting.

Last but not least, pressing B triggers the Comeback action at a cost of 50% Tenebris. This energy burst pushes enemies away and gets you out of hit states; it is an expensive combo breaker.

Core Attack Properties & Canceling



Monstrous - Combat Guide

Most actions in Monstrous can be broken down to three segments; these segments follow a Startup > Active > Recovery sequence.

  • You can continue aiming a strike during the startup period, but not during the active and recovery periods.
  • The active period is when a character applies force and hits a target.
  • Recovery is time your character spends regaining composure and goes back to fighting stance after swinging a weapon.

You can input another move while one attack is executing to buffer the next attack. If the next move is of a higher combo tier, then you will cancel the recovery animation of the attack currently being executed and start the next attack.

There are 4 move tiers:

  • An Opener can be followed up by a Linker, an Ender or a Super.
  • A Linker can be followed up by an Ender or a Super.
  • An Ender can only be followed up by a Super.
  • A Super cannot be immediately canceled into anything else.

Different characters have different properties on their attacks, allowing for different combinations. For example:

  • The Ghoul can use his left opener (reverse grip slash), cancel that into back linker (overhead cut right) and then finish with his right ender (spin slash). He could have also canceled directly from the left opener (reverse grip slash) into the right ender (spin slash) for a shorter chain, but doing so would have dealt less total damage. 
  • The Promethean has three different gauntlet attacks available on the RMB (Left Trigger). The backhand is an opener, the uppercut is a linker and the cross is an ender. They can be used as a whole attack series by themselves, or be mixed into his hammer chains. He could start with the armored backhand (heavy opener), then cancel into his forward linker (hammer strike right) and then finish with the forward ender (overhead strike), left ender (wide strike left), back ender (smash) or the heavy ender (gauntlet cross).

Character Resources





A Monstrous character has three core resources.

  • Corpus represents health. When this reaches zero, the character is defeated. You will need consumable items or some character powers to recover lost Corpus.
  • Vigor represents stamina. Used when sprinting, dashing, attacking and when guarding. Vigor is quickly and automatically replenished.
  • Tenebris represents magic. Used by super attacks, comeback, character powers and advanced maneuvers like knockdown recovery. Tenebris is regenerated over time, albeit slowly. Killing enemies and using consumable items helps regain Tenebris faster.

In addition to those, player characters obtain "Duograms" or simply put coins to pay for services provided by different interactable spots such as healing at the Blood Altar or buying items in a shop.

Movement & Dashing



Monstrous - Combat Guide

Moving and maintaining a preferable distance between your oppponent and yourself is important as it allows you to control the engagement. Both regular movement and dashing (available via Space+WASD or RB+Left Stick) have their own uses.

Moving around normally costs nothing and leaves all your other options such as guarding, attacking, etc... open but is easy to track. Dashing is very quick and has an invulnerable start, but is expensive and has a recovery period.

Different characters have different properties on their dashes.

  • The Promethean's dashes are openers. He can dash towards an enemy and cancel into an attack as soon as the movement is over. The downside is that once he has started an attack sequence, he cannot dash out of it. 
  • The Vampiress has a linker dash. She can dash between an opener and an ender. It is a great tactical option, but is relatively harder to use in combat. 
  • The Ghoul and the Witch have ender dashes. They can hit a target and then run away by canceling their opener or linker attacks into dashes. Downside is that they can only cancel their dash recovery into a super; meaning most of the time they'll have to wait out the dash recovery.

Guard & Advantage



Monstrous - Combat Guide

You can guard by holding down Shift (or Left Bumper). Guarding allows you to take easily recovered vigor damage instead of lethal corpus damage from incoming attacks. Be careful with guarding though, if you run out of vigor while guarding you can be guard crushed.

When you successfully guard against an attack, the attacker loses "Block Advantage", meaning the attacker's next strike in the sequence will come out slower. Attacks have their own advantage values. In general, lighter attacks are safer to use due to lower block advantage values and stronger attacks are riskier to use due to potentially higher block advantage losses.

Conversely, when you land a hit your next chained attack will come out faster. This is due to "Hit Advantage". Like block advantage, attacks vary in terms of hit advantage. Certain attacks provide strong hit advantage and can be used as a gateway to successfully chaining heavy enders or supers without allowing your opponent to get away from your combo.

In short, both advantage values modify the next chained attack's startup period.

  • If you got blocked, your next combo attack comes out slower.
  • If you landed a hit, your next combo attack comes out faster.

Characters have various attacks with their own timings, properties, damage and advantage values. The decision to play safe or take a riskier approach in a given scenario is up to the player.

Clash, Overpower & Special Properties



Monstrous - Combat Guide

Attacks come in four hitbox types in Monstrous.

  • Slashes and swings are Horizontal attacks.
  • Overhead and some rising attacks are Vertical attacks.
  • Stabs, thrusts and some punches & kicks are Thrusts.
  • Elemental attacks are Energy attacks.

When attacks of the same type and in the active phase come in contact, they clash. You can identify clashes by blue sparks coming out. When two opponents clash in this manner, they both don't take damage.

When two attacks of different types come in contact one overpowers the other. You can identify an overpowered attack resolution by orange sparks flying about.

  • Horizontal attacks get overpowered by vertical ones, but can deflect thrusting attacks.
  • Thrusting attacks can in turn pierce through vertical attacks.
  • Energy attacks are rare, but can overpower any other attack.

Armored attacks can punch through incoming attacks and hit. They are similar to having high "Poise" in Dark Souls or same named mechanic from fighting games. When an armored attack punches through, the hit generates white sparks.

Unblockable attacks should be dodged, as they will punch through everything else including guard. Currently only super attacks are unblockable.

Attack Arcs



Monstrous - Combat Guide

When an attack goes into its active phase, as in the character is actually applying destructive force to cut through an enemy, a distinction is made in the game to determine the outcome of it.

Active periods of attacks have a full hit interval. This is a part of the active period in which the attack will apply full force, hitting hard and applying its properties as normal. Full hits can clash and overpower. You can identify full hits by white impact markers.

If an attack connects with an enemy outside of the full hit interal, the attack lands a glancing hit. Glancing hits don't clash or overpower. They hit for reduced damage. Glancing hits generate grayed out impact markers.

Critical hits are generated when you catch an opponent in a startup period and you manage to land a full hit. Critical hits deal more damage and put the enemy in a hit state for slightly longer, allowing you to chain stronger attacks without allowing the enemy to break free. Critical hits generate yellow impact markers.

All of these hit impacts apply hit advantage to your next chained attack.

When your attack is guarded against, you land a blocked hit. You can identify blocked hits by the blue impact markers they generate. Blocked hits apply block advantage to your next chained attack.
Tags:   Monstrous, PC
Written by Teknoir.