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"Dispatched, in mankind's darkest hour, we are the knights of the blue flame!"
The creed of the Novus Orbis Librarium, recited at the start of any match between Noel, Jin, Tsubaki or Hazama, Blaz Blue.
"Dispatched in mankind's darkest... uhh... umm... Oh, forget it!"
Makoto's "unique" take on the Novus Orbis Librarium creed, Blaz Blue.

Just before the actual fight, characters tend to give a short introduction. Usually a cool pose or quote that'll make them somewhat more memorable. As a way of adding characterization, they will often have characters with a shared history perform entirely different actions when facing each other.

Some games may instead give the characters a voice clip that, like above, may change depending on who they face.

A staple in fighting games, and so expected in fighting games that some gamers will actually be surprised or stunned in some way if a game lacks it.

See also Witty Banter.

Since this is so prevalent, only special cases or aversions should be noted.

Examples
  • Until the most recent game, the Mortal Kombat series has never had any intros for its characters.
  • In Guilty Gear, depending on the characters, sometimes they'll fight a bit as a battle intro. Most notable are Ky vs. Sol and Millia Rage vs. Eddie. In Story Mode, these can become more elaborate and the characters sometimes even deal damage or do other effects during the intro sequence.
    • Bridget can override his opponent's battle intro with a two-hit combo (which doesn't actually deal any damage).
    • Guilty Gear also has many more special ones, Ky vs. Sol and Millia Rage vs. Eddie are the only ones where the characters actually attack each other. Actually, Slayer and Order-Sol also fight. There's also Johnny vs Dizzy and Johnny vs May, Millia Rage vs. Venom, Dizzy vs. Justice, Sol vs. Order-Sol, Potemkin vs. Slayer, Axl vs. Sol, Jam vs. Ky Kiske, Dizzy vs. Testament, and doubtless there are many others for the more "normal" special battle intros.
  • Capcom vs SNK has a few special ones.
  • Blaz Blue has special ones for a lot more than just those combinations of characters in Arcade mode, and I'm pretty sure Guilty Gear does as well. Off the top of my head for Blaz Blue, the following matchups have special intros:
    • Ragna and Jin are already fighting.
    • As are Rachel and Hazama.
    • The Clover family in Extend is already fighting prior to showtime as well, especially the ladies.
    • Others (Just from Calamity Trigger):
      • Ragna vs.: Jin, Noel, Rachel, Nu 13, Taokaka
      • Jin vs.: Ragna, Noel, Hakumen
      • Noel vs.: Ragna, Jin, Nu 13, Rachel
      • Taokaka vs.: Litchi, Noel, Ragna
    • Continuum Shift is well towards giving every single pairing its unique intro, too many to list here.
      • The Badass Creed at the top of the page is voiced simultaneously by both contestants. If Makoto's one of them, she may occasionally screw it up and cue a response from her opponent.

 Noel: I had to work super duper hard to memorize all of that!

Jin: *sigh* You just never change, do you?

Tsubaki: We're going to practice it until you get it right!

Hazama: Don't think this won't show up on your review...

  • Soul Calibur
  • Super Smash Bros. and Super Smash Bros. Brawl had this, with pretty much all of the battle intros being some sort of throwback to the characters' original games. Super Smash Bros. Melee, however, did not include this.
  • Some Street Fighter games had at least some intros, most notably M. Bison throwing away his cloak.
    • In the Alpha series, Gen and Akuma will attempt to do their ultimate supers on each other, and both will block each other's attempts. Ken, meanwhile, will give Ryu a noogie. (This is a Shout-Out to a scene in the the animated film adapation, as is the "Ken helps Ryu up" win animation.)
  • Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Though the characters' animations never change, the first character will often have a different line for certain matchups.

 Iron Man, (vs. Captain America): "This armor knows your next move before you do, Steve."

Captain America: "You think I'm going down to some pampered punk like you?"

  • Iori and Kyo have had a custom intro against each either for the vast majority of The King of Fighters.
  • Dissidia Final Fantasy has 23 match-start quotes for each of 22 characters - one specific one for each opponent, their Mirror Match, and the Final Boss.
    • Dissidia 012 has even more, thanks to the addition of eight more characters well, nine, technically, but Feral Chaos doesn't talk. In addition, during the story mode, at the beginning of non-Manikin battles, the characters will banter. Sometimes it's witty, sometimes it's awesome, sometimes it's lame. It's always cool.
  • The Neo-Geo remake of Double Dragon did this based on the stage you fought on. Player one would always just stand there, while the computer opponent made some cool entrance using the scenery. For example, one stage takes place by a river. Your opponent rides up on a jetski, then jumps out, as the jetski crashes into a nearby barrel and explodes. In two-player mode, though, the intro is always the same: the two characters trade some blows (without doing any damage) then separate and await the start of the fight.
  • Most of the more important bosses in Tales of Symphonia got a close-up and a short quote or mini dialogue before the battle begun.
  • Not a fighting game, but at the start of every multi-player round of Shadow the Hedgehog, each player would give a short taunt. The problem was that there were only about four taunts available, and they were long, annoying, and unskippable.
  • SVC Chaos: SNK vs. Capcom took it a step further with entire conversations custom-made for just about every combination of fighters there may be.
  • Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3 had three kinds besides the normal intros; one-way character specific (where one character would say something specific and the other would just say a generic intro line), two-way character specific (where both would talk to each other before the fight) and character-specific VICTORY quotes. Among these, Goku vs. Vegeta had Vegeta shouting "Accept my challenge, Kakarot!" and Goku replying "Right, let's do it!". If Goku defeated Frieza in battle, he would end with "Give up your evil ways!". Goku vs. Kid Goku would have the older Goku proclaiming "I've grown, huh?" Other examples are Kid Goku vs. Piccolo (Kid Goku mistakes him for Demon King Piccolo and gets scared), Goten vs. Omega Shenron (Goten says that he wants candy, and Omega Shenron replies that he doesn't grant wishes for candy) and Super Buu vs. Frieza, Cell, Cooler or Omega Shenron (Buu wonders if they're strong). Surprisingly enough, Mirror Matches just get generic intros and endings. Characters' ending quotes would also change depending on how much health they had - for example, if Goku finished the fight on full or nearly full health, he would actually seem slightly irritated and say "I want to fight you again!", implying he didn't get a decent enough challenge. If his health was low when the fight ended, he would remark "That was pretty fun!" in a happy tone of voice.
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