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.
Since this is so prevalent, only special cases or aversions should be noted.
- The Neo Geo remake of Double Dragon did this based on the stage you fought on. Player 1 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 jet ski, then jumps out, as the jet ski 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.
- Prior to Mortal Kombat 9, the Mortal Kombat series has never had any intros for its characters. After Mortal Kombat 9 there are several custom intros for each character combination.
- In Guilty Gear, depending on the characters, sometimes they'll fight a bit as a battle intro. Most notable are Sol Badguy vs. Ky Kiske and Millia Rage vs. Zato-1/Eddie. In the Story Mode of XX and Accent Core Plus, these can become more elaborate and the characters may 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).
- Capcom vs. SNK and its sequel has a few special ones.
- Arcade Mode in BlazBlue has special ones for a lot more than just the combinations of characters listed at the top of the page. The following match-ups 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 (from BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger alone):
- 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
- BlazBlue: Continuum Shift gives just about every single pairing its unique intro, too many to list here.
Noel: I had to work super duper hard to memorize all of that!
- The Badass Creed at the top of the page is voiced simultaneously by both combatants. If Makoto's one of them, she may occasionally screw it up and cue a response from her opponent.
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...
- BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle foregoes battle intros between opponents for battle intros between tag partners. A few examples include:
- The Soul series mostly lacked this in the beginning, though the Destined Battles of each character's Arcade route in Soulcalibur would usually feature match-specific exchanges. Soulcalibur II expanded on the concept of Destined Battles with pre-battle cutscenes (one of which sees Maxi crashing through one of the windows in Ostrheinsburg Chapel from off-screen to get the drop on Astaroth), as well as individual quotes before the battle with Inferno. Tales of Souls, the Story Mode of Soulcalibur III, would keep this general format while also giving the various sub-bosses (Tira, Zasalamel, Astaroth, Cervantes, Raphael, Olcadan) and bosses (Siegfried, Nightmare, Zasalamel, Abyss, Night Terror) their own cutscenes (several of which involved QTEs). Soulcalibur IV retained the boss intros (Siegfried, Nightmare, Algol) and character-specific dialogue for certain Story Mode stages, whereas V greatly increased the number of special introductions and victory quotes.
- All games in the Super Smash Bros. franchise (except for Melee) had this, with pretty much all of the battle intros being some sort of throwback to the characters' original games; the Mario Bros. emerge from pipes, most of the Pokémon are released from Poke Balls, any characters known for piloting a vehicle drive to their position and jump out, and so on.
- Some Street Fighter games had at least some intros, most notably M. Bison throwing away his cloak.
- In the Alpha series (specifically Alpha 3), 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 adaptation, as is the "Ken helps Ryu up" win animation.)
- As of III, Ryu and Ken will tap fists before the fight starts. This is also used for Capcom vs. SNK 2.
- Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Though the characters' animations never change, the first character will often have a different line for certain match-ups.
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.
- SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos 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.
- Probably the funniest: Hercule telling Adult Gohan to stay away from his daughter.
- Same goes for the Budokai Tenkaichi series, which has plenty of character-specific intro lines - including some stuff the censors only caught on to afterwards. The first game has Jeice calling his enemy a wanker, while the second...
Zangya: Your man's kinda cute.
Android 18: Skank!
- Playstation All Stars Battle Royale not only has a Battle Intro for each character, but you can unlock 3 more, as well as 3 more victory/defeat screens and 2 more taunts, and you can choose which intro/outro each character does in the Customization menu.
- The Touhou fighters were rather late to the party, with 13.5 being the first game in the series to use this.
- 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. For the most part, if the characters facing one another have something in common, or something about one character reminds the other of something else, a little Mythology Gag is thrown in, like the Onion Knight asking the summoner Yuna why she doesn't have a horn, or Vaan asking female characters of indeterminate age how old they are. And of course, if you like, you can be boring and turn on short battle intros which just have generic pre ass kicking one liner.
- Blazblue Cross Tag Battle will feature unique ones for certain team pairings. As the game combines the casts of Blazblue, Persona 4: Arena, Under Night In-Birth and RWBY into a single fighting game, a big part of the fun is watching how different characters interact in funny and awesome ways. One of the funniest is Ruby Rose in a team with Ragna, which has her fangirling excitedly over Bloodscythe.
- 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.
- Mega Man (Classic)'s boss intros, with their iconic music and XYZ Man doing an 8-bit pose, are an example of this, notable in that Mega Man (apart from the Power Fighters spinoff) was not a fighting game series. Some of the games even had cool patterns behind the bosses, like Streaming Stars.
- 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.
- In Undertale, the final boss of No Mercy route has a relatively lengthy introductory monologue saying how you should be burning in hell for all you've done. But see, if you go for a rematch after getting past his opening barrage for the first time, there's a good chance he will skip his monologue at random straight into his opening barrage to catch you off-guard.
Admiral Badroo: Hey! No! You're not...! THIS MOTHERFUCKER! SKIPPED HIS OWN INTRO TO GET THE DROP ON ME!
- Dawn of War has a specific line for every enemy faction when spotted for the first time offscreen. Later expansions use a generic line if the enemy was added after your faction.