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In this guide I’ll be going over a buttload of DTD setups that can come in handy when playing F-Zero X. DTD’s are difficult to discuss, seeing as setting one up will in most cases require a left, right, up, and down input within less than a second, often paired with air control side attacks that require precise timing. I’ll be going over the structure of a DTD, and how to tell if you’re doing it correctly.
Part One: Pitch, Roll, and Yaw
The key to good DTD’s is manipulating your ship in the air as quickly as possible to make sure one side of your ship is higher than the other. But you’ll notice that this game is played with only one control stick and four buttons, none of which directly influence the roll of the spacecraft. Makes sense, most of the game, especially when playing casually, is spent on the ground turning the ship left and right. However, unlike most racing games, we get to manipulate our pitch when we are in the air. The reason DTD’s are difficult is that you have to find the fastest way of turning pitch and yaw manipulations into an end result where your roll is exactly where you want it to be, depending on your desired dive form. Well, how in blazing piss do you do that? In most instances, changing the pitch and roll at the same time is the fastest way to start the process. This leads us to our next section.
Part Two: Trying to explain the inputs but ultimately just confusing and annoying people who want to learn
Take, for example, the opening dive on Sector BEE. I like to leave the track with a right side attack while holding down-right on the control stick. This makes your vehicle leave the track pointing diagonally up AND to the right. Immediately once your ship is travelling upward, move the stick to the down position to gain a little bit of height, then start moving down-left to left while side attacking twice. This will also gain a slight amount of height if you time it well. Then you will need to move to the up-left position briefly before pointing fully up on the control stick and mashing the shit out of the R button. While you are in the air, you will need to steer the ship by pointing slightly up-right, but keep in mind that fully upward is the position that will gain the most speed. You’ll notice that at no point should the stick not be touching the absolute outside edge of the controller box. This is because you want to be at the maximum range of movement that the controller will allow, so as to set up your dive as quickly as possible. You’ll also notice that, if done correctly, you’ve gone wide to the right of the track and curved in the air in order to land as straight as possible. It should be mentioned that this method of setting up this particular dive is the one I personally use, but I can think of two other setups off the top of my head which are also used. That’s too much to get into at the moment, however, so I’ll just move onto some little minutiae of air control. Holy fuck this guide is hard to write, I’ll be back after a smoke break.
Part Three: Done with my cigarette, now here’s how the floating mechanic interacts with air control
As you should be well aware of before you’ve read this, when your machine is at full minus 7 settings and you pitch upward, you will gain height for a certain amount of time before your “float” ends. After this point, you can stay in the air for a long while, but your ship will no longer gain height. During air control, it is possible to side attack while still holding the stick downwards, gaining as much height as you can. To do so, you must use these side attacks when your float is slowing down (when your float is almost over). The tricky part is that your float will be longer at higher speeds, meaning there is a highly variable amount of time that your float can last. I cannot impart the relationship of speed and float length with words alone. You’ll have to actually practice air control at different speeds to get the hang of this one. Luckily, it is easy to tell whether or not you are timing air control side attacks correctly. If your float has expired by the time you begin to side attack, your ship will fall slightly rather than gaining that last bit of extra height. This is a great time to practice your “Start->Down->A” inputs and try it again. It’s best to not learn air control side attacks incorrectly because while your ship will be at a DTD angle no matter when you use them, you don’t want to squander any height while in the air control phase.
Part Four: Good shit, Walkman, but you’ve only mentioned one dive setup, you promised buttloads, remember?
While every single dive is unique and should be practiced individually, there are a few general categories you can classify them in. These are categorized by actions during setup, and the general shape of the dive. All of these will be written as DTD-R, but can easily be converted to DTD-Z by mirroring the inputs.
Category #1: Regular ass straight dives
This is the Sector B setup I mentioned earlier, it is used in situations when there is a space in the track (like the beginning of Sector B) and can be used off of jump plates.
Inputs: Simultaneous down-right and right side attack, down to float briefly, down-left to left with air control side attacks, up-right to up to point the nose down, mash R while steering up to slightly up-right
Category #2: Flat dives which curve
I refer to these as flat dives because in contrast to most dives where the idea is to have your machine in as low a dive form as possible to gain more speed, you do not want to create such a drastic roll manipulation. Instead, you remain fairly flat, causing your dive to curve more severely and gain speed at a lower rate. This is used at the beginning of Mute City 3 when drifting into the first jump plate, and on Red Canyon.
Inputs: Up left very briefly, up in order to point the nose down, mash R while holding up-right
Category #3: Philippe Bro-Dives
This is a relatively simple setup which is used most often by my man Philippe Brodier, hence the name. If you plan on playing F-Zero X Climax, learn this shit because he built the whole game by doing this setup.
Inputs: Float up while going slightly right, down-left, left, heavy emphasis on up-left, up to make sure the nose is indeed pointing down, mash R
Category #4: Unidirectional air control side attacks
This is an extension of the Philippe Bro-Dive, just add right side attacks during air control to gain height while doing so. This is used during the big jump on Fire Field, making it easy to avoid the death barrier on the left. This dive is a direct contrast to regular straight dives. While they both have roughly the same stick inputs on paper, dives with side attacks in a single direction put less emphasis on going one way, then the other way in the air. If that even makes any fuckin sense.
Category #5: Drift on the ground, side attack opposite direction in the air
Arguably I use these way more than the previous two I mentioned but I’m just writing these as they pop into my head. This is very effective off of jump plates, but can also be used in situations like the Sector B dive that I keep mentioning.
Inputs: Drift right on the ground, hold down as soon as you leave the track, air control side attack left while moving down-left to left, up-right to up, pointing the nose down, mash R
Part Five: I’m done writing this shit
Obviously I haven’t covered every way you could set up a dive in this guide. You could endlessly make up ways to make one side of your aircraft be higher than the other, I’ve just mentioned the most common methods I use. Now, I’ve spent all this time writing about how to set up a good dive, why am I done now when I haven’t mentioned how to actually perform a dive. My reasons are twofold: #1, my teeny tiny little brain can’t handle the strain of writing an essay anymore, and #2, the dive literally does itself if you’ve set it up properly. Just mash whichever way is pointing up and steer. The set up is the hard part, and I hope I’ve done a good job of explaining the different parts of air control and how they interact with each other. But then again, this could all be nonsense and now your more confused than ever. Sorry ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Guess you just gotta practice more.
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