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.
- Double Dragon: The Neo Geo remake does this based on the stage you fight on. Player 1 always just stands there, while the computer opponent makes 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.
- BlazBlue: Arcade Mode 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. 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.
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...
- BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle foregoes battle intros between opponents for battle intros between tag partners. A few examples include:
- 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.
- Dragon Ball Z: Budokai: The third game 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.
- Dragonball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 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!
- 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 her opponent's battle intro with a two-hit combo (which doesn't actually deal any damage).
- Xrd and -STRIVE- take this further by giving each character a short cutscene for their intro (e.g. May riding to the stage on a dolphin or Slayer draining his bride of blood).
- The King of Fighters:
- Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Though the characters' animations never change, the first character will often have a different line for certain match-ups.
- Mortal Kombat: Prior to Mortal Kombat 9, the series does not any intros for its characters. After 9 there are several custom intros for each character combination. Mortal Kombat X onwards massively expanded on pre-combat banter, using a 1-2-1 dialogue structure and giving each unique match-up several different dialogue.
- The same 1-2-1 dialogue structure from MKX would be reused in Injustice 2, also made by Netherrealm Studios.
- 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.
- SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos takes it a step further with entire conversations custom-made for just about every combination of fighters there may be.
- Soul Series mostly lacks this in early games, 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.
- Street Fighter: Some games have at least some intros, most notably M. Bison throwing away his cloak.
- Street Fighter Alpha: In Alpha 3, Gen and Akuma attempt to do their ultimate supers on each other, and 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.
- Super Smash Bros.: All games in the franchise (except for Melee) use these, with pretty much all of the battle intros being some sort of throwback to the characters' original games; the Mario Bros. emerge from pipes, Yoshi hatches from an egg, most of the Pokémon are released from Poke Balls, any characters known for piloting a vehicle drive to their position and jump out, Link swoops in on his paraglider, Samus steps out of a save point, King Dedede is carried in on a palanquin by Waddle Dees, the Ice Climbers are carried in by a condor, Snake stands up from a crouch as his cloaking device turns off, and so on.
- Tales of Symphonia: Most of the more important bosses get a close-up and a short quote or mini dialogue before the battle begun.
- Undertale: The final boss of the 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 a random point and go 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.
- Cuphead: Before boss battles, Cuphead tightens his shorts, Mugman takes a sip from his own head, an announcer blurts out a snappy battle intro blurb, and the boss taunts the duo.