Roman Cancel (ロマンキャンセル, Roman Kyanseru?), shortened to RC, is a mechanic in the Guilty Gear series that allows a player to cancel the ending lag of their attack in order to extend combos, to apply pressure, or to make certain moves safe. They are signalled by a circle flash that comes for a split-second.
First appearing in Guilty Gear X, the player can cancel while hitting the opponent with an attack by pushing any three of the attack buttons (, , , or ). It will forcefully stop attack actions and return the character to a neutral standing stance, even in mid-air. A Roman Cancel consumes 50% of the Tension Gauge.
Roman Cancels are distinctively known by their unique effect of a pair of crossing light rings surrounding and emitting the character performing it. As of Guilty Gear XX ♯Reload, the graphics for the rings become more light-based and transparent, akin to the startup flashes of Overdrive Attacks. As a bonus, the announcer also yells out "ROMANTIC".
The Roman Cancel system in the Xrd games offers much more freedom compared to previous games, while also changing into a mere expanding circular aura in three colors: red, yellow, and purple. It allows cancelling almost any attack at almost any time, allowing players to easily create new blockstrings, combos, and mixups on the fly. It also decreases Tension gain by 80% for 6 seconds. During a Roman Cancel, the opponent's movement speed is briefly and approximately halved. In case an attack cannot be yellow or purple Roman Cancelled, a red X will appear over the character during the attempt.
The mechanic remains in Guilty Gear -Strive-, although with modifications. There are now four colors, all of which consume 50% of the gauge. On activation, a shockwave forms around the character, temporarily slowing down the opponent's movements if they are within its range. The slow down lasts until the clock above the character's head disappears. Its properties depend on the character's state when used.
With the exception of yellow cancels, these Roman Cancels can be performed right after a Dash in any direction, allowing characters to move quickly in the direction inputted (colloquially called a "RC Drift"), and can be cancelled by inputting an attack command right after the RC activation effects disappear (colloquialy called a "RC Fast Cancel"). When this happens, it won't produce the shockwave, but will cancel into special moves. Charge inputs do not need to be held to activate.
- Roman Cancel - Normal version. It flashes with faint red rings if done right, and costs 50% Tension. It will cancel a wide variety of moves, making the character return to a neutral state.
- Force Roman Cancel - Shortened to FRC. Introduced in Guilty Gear XX, this move costs 25% Tension. It cannot be used freely as it must be used during very specific frames of certain moves (commonly on non-connected projectiles), and each character has their own set of FRCs. It flashes blue if done right, and can be done on whiff, making it an extremely invaluable technique to be able to extend pressure through feints or return to neutral without as much commitment. By Λ Core Plus R its input window has increased by 3 frames.
The following types are equipable abilities in Survival Mode in Λ Core Plus:
- Easy Force Roman Cancel - It increases the active frames of a Force Roman Cancel to 20 to make them easier to perform.
- Yellow Roman Cancel - First appearing in Guilty Gear Isuka as one of Robo-Ky II's upgrades, it reduces Tension usage by half: all FRCs cost 12% Tension and all RCs cost 25% Tension. It has no effect on Force Breaks, Chaos RCs, or Overdrives in general. It is used for projectiles.
- Chaos Roman Cancel - It enables the player to cancel Special Attacks, Overdrives, and Force Breaks into each other just by input alone (no button pressing) at 25% Tension cost.
- Red - It costs 50% Tension. In Xrd, it occurs during an attack, or a blue Psych Burst, and the opponent is in blockstun or hitstun. In -Strive-, at the moment the attack hits the opponent, the red shockwave it generates also makes the opponent float up slowly.
- Yellow - In Xrd, it costs 25% Tension, and will happen during an attack's startup or early active frames, and the opponent is not in blockstun or hitstun. In -Strive-, it costs 50% Tension, and is generated while blocking an attack; the shockwave knocks back on contact and, in a way, replaces Dead Angle Attacks.
- Purple - It costs 50% Tension. It occurs during the late active/recovery frames of an attack—i.e. before the attack hits or as it ends—and the opponent is not in blockstun or hitstun.
- Blue - Appearing in -Strive-, it uses up 50% Tension, and happens when Roman Cancel is used when not attacking; in other words, when the character is in neutral.
- In Japanese, the word ロマン (roman?) means "romance, heroic tale" and is related to dreams and adventure. The English word romantic means "marked by the imaginative or emotional appeal of what is heroic, adventurous, remote, mysterious, or idealized".
- Its name might be a play on words of Roman candle with the fighting game term.