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Hit Stop

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Agent Smith will feel that for a long time.

Freezing or slowing time right at the moment of an impact to create the impression that something hits harder, or for dramatic effect. For particularly dramatic scenes it may continue into a full-blown Overcrank. Some video games will also use it to make combo input easier. The trope name comes from the term used for this in the Guilty Gear fighting game series.

Compare Bullet Time. May be combined with Hit Spark.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Used and abused for great effect in Attack on Titan. starting with the opening theme.
  • Done in the beginning of Barakamon when Handa punches the Director in the face.
  • Occurs in Bleach episode #144 when Chad punches the arrancar Demora in the face and crushes half of his mask.
  • In the final episode of Cowboy Bebop when Julia is shot.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Dragon Ball Z uses this effect often when someone gets hit with a penetrating attack, such as when Goku and Raditz are run through on Piccolo's Special Beam Cannon, when Vegeta gets shot through the heart by Frieza, and when Cell blasts a hole through Trunks.
    • In Dragon Ball Super, Jiren gets this treatment from Goku after he tries to kill his friends. It's named the "Silver Dragon Flash" in Dragon Ball Heroes.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Giorno Giovanna's Gold Experience is absolutely brutal. It may look like a simple punch at first, but with the Stand's ability to manipulate life energy, it becomes even worse. When a person is infused with life energy per punch, it causes their five senses to go into overdrive, essentially hyper-enhancing their perception of time to the point that the pain of getting your nose broken or your jaw dislocated remains for minutes, even a few hours according to you. And when that first punch is the herald to Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs, as both Cioccolatta and Diavolo can attest, your rough ride is about to get unbearable.
    • Dio's punch on Jonathan during their boxing match in Part 1. He tries again when they grow up, but it's no longer effective. Note, both incidents were before Dio became a Vampire and when his strength was not yet superhuman, but still correct for the average adult man in great health.
  • In the final chapter of Poison Berry in My Brain, this is used when Saotome smashes the fish sculpture he made.
  • Used in Usavich when the giant robot smacks Kirenenko and he collides with Putin and their robot.

    Films — Animation 
  • Used a lot for the comic effect in Kung Fu Panda, especially during Tai Lung's escape, and later when Po lands on Tai Lung butt-first as they fight their way down the long, long, long, long stairway from the Jade Palace.
  • Zootopia: During Judy's training at the Police Academy, the scene where she dropkicks a rhino's fist into his own face is shown in slow-motion, with drool and teeth protector comically flying.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania: When Cassie gets bigger to fight M.O.D.O.K., the shot of her giant fist crashing into Darren's large face is shown in extreme slo-mo.
  • In The Campaign, Cam Brady slo-mo punches a baby. He was aiming for his political rival as they were fighting over the baby to kiss him, but his opponent ducked.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves: We watch in all its glorious slo-motion... Forge getting hit in the face by a potato. Mind you, Holga threw it hard enough for the potato to shatter on impact.
  • Hobbs & Shaw has several at the hands of Brixton Cole mostly to show off his Super-Strength.
  • Jackass 3D had a few skits involving this, usually featuring a cast member being hit with a heavy object in high speed slow-mo. The funniest example is definitely a dildo being shot out of a cannon, flying past some model scenes, and shattering a glass of milk, before slamming into Rick Kosick's face.
  • The Matrix Revolutions, when Neo punches Agent Smith in the face in slow motion during their Battle in the Rain.
  • In Raging Bull, Jake LaMotta slo-mo punches an opponent for a KO.
  • Guy Ritchie is also a bit of a fan:
    • Snatch. uses two during the film's final boxing match: the first, an uppercut that sends Mickey flying; and the second, when Mickey recovers from said uppercut, and lays out his opponent with one punch.
    • Used a few times in Sherlock Holmes, while Holmes is going through his fight moves in his head. The actual fight is then shown in real time to prove that Holmes' moves worked. Its sequel would re-use the trope as well.
    • Also used in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, once Arthur gets his hands on Excalibur.
  • Romeo Must Die, complete with x-ray flashes of the underlying damage.
  • Serenity: When River Tam kicks some Reaver ass, she punches one in the face in slo mo.
  • Zack Snyder loves this trope:
    • 300 made extensive use of it during fight scenes.
    • Watchmen had a ton of this, starting with Nite Owl I in the Minutemen sequences of the opening credits.
    • Sucker Punch uses this extensively during the single-take fight scene on the train in the third fantasy sequence.
    • Justice League has Flash dodging a punch from an angry resurrected Superman that lands on the monument to the Battle of Metropolis, which gets appropriately shattered. Averted when Superman dodges a punch to the face from Steppenwolf thanks to his Super-Reflexes (still in slow motion) in the final fight.
    • Snow Steam Iron has a variant with a baton and plenty of Teeth Flying.
  • In Undefeatable, early on in their final confrontation, Stingray gives Nick two of these, and Nick gives one back.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Seen in Loki, where one of the TVA's hunters smacks Loki in the face with her baton after the latter resists arrest. The punch causes Loki's movements to slow down to 1/16th of normal, while his perception of time and pain remains steady.
  • Parodied in one episode of Malcolm in the Middle where a bully attempts to punch Malcolm in the face while everyone else in the schoolyard watches. The action goes into slow motion and Malcolm ducks to the side to avoid being hit. The bully's momentum keeps going and, while still in slow motion, makes an Oh, Crap! expression as he sees his fist is now going towards Stevie, who is in a wheelchair, and is unable to stop himself. The impact of the punch is just a light tap on the cheek, but once the speed returns to normal, Stevie suddenly falls over in his wheelchair.
  • One of the most hilarious moments in MythBusters was when Jamie slapped Adam across the face while testing cures for drunkenness and seeing how viable having sense slapped into you was, which was repeated in slow-motion for them to watch. Even Adam thought it was hilarious, though he was drunk at the time.
  • Used all the time in Spartacus: Blood and Sand, as the show had a similar overall style to Zack Snyder's 300.

    Music Videos 
  • Rammstein's music video for Deutchland includes a couple of guys engaging in an underground fight ring. There's a hit stop each time one of them lands a punch.

    Video Games 
  • Afterimage:
    • There's a slow-motion effect every time the playable character is damaged.
    • The blade weapon Deathmatch is mechanically built around parrying attacks. Its Flavor Text and lore aren't the only ones supplementing this, the weapon also changes Renee's basic attack into the "Clashing Blades" weapon skill - a slash that produces a dramatic slow-motion effect whenever it successfully connects with an enemy's attack. As of the Trio in the Sea update, playable Karsa has "Mighty Blow" as the name of his own equivalent of the "Clashing Blades" skill.
  • ALLTYNEX Second has this as a toggleable feature. When enabled, the game pauses for a few frames when you kill an enemy with the blade.
  • Guilty Gear's Creator-Driven Successor BlazBlue has this in egregious amounts, particularly with its Fatal Counters. It's often stated that the hitstop makes it very easy for a lot of frame-perfect combos in the first two iterations, though the general game speed became faster-paced from Chronophantasma onward.
  • Death Stranding will briefly slow down time whenever you land the incapacitating blow on a human enemy or boss. The one-on-one fight against Higgs uses this to even greater effect in the final phase, zooming in on his face whenever Sam lands a particularly strong haymaker.
  • Devil May Cry 5:
    • Employed in the trailers. While mostly done to emphasize specific moves, this is done excessively in trailers with Dante, where the trailer constantly slows down after almost every shot to the point that it almost becomes meaningless. Noticeably, this isn't that case when demonstrating the other characters, meaning this was likely in order to keep with the slower, droning pace of his theme ("Subhuman"), which lacks the high energy of every other theme in the series such as "Devil Trigger", "Taste the Blood", "Lock and Load", and "Devils Never Cry".
    • Hit Stop is also utilized ingame during each step of Balrog's "Real Impact" move, freezing both Dante and the enemy being hit very briefly for every time the uppercut lands.
  • In Dragon Ball Xenoverse, Goku's Super God Fist has this effect on anyone he hits with it, slowing down and zooming in to show the impact of the punch.
  • In Dusk Diver 2, doing a Break Strike will cause the speed to slow down for a few seconds to give the move more impact. Simply beating the last enemy in the area will also do this.
  • Time slows during some third-person finishing blows in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
  • Any successful hit landed in VATS in the (post-Interplay) Fallout series employs this, often with a healthy dose of Ludicrous Gibs.
  • The staggering blow to an enemy in Final Fantasy XIII will typically do this.
  • A correctly done Counter-Attack in Final Fight: Streetwise, be it by blocking the attack at the right time or parrying, and you're treated to several variations of this trope.
  • In Fortnite's Battle Royale mode, when a kill causes the match to end (due to there being only one player or team remaining), the game will momentarily slow down to acknowledge it.
  • Used in Golden Sun whenever a Critical Hit strikes.
  • The Guilty Gear series is the Trope Namer. The Xrd installments introduced a feature known as Danger Time, randomly activated by any clash between attacks, wherein any attack successfully landed during the next 10 seconds causes what is known as a Mortal Counter, briefly freezing up the assailee before they experience immense slowdown — all while attack damage is boosted by 20%.
  • A part of the character select in Injustice 2; the characters exchange blows, with P1's blow to P2 resulting in a hit stop. Unless P1 is The Flash; while it's still nominally slowed down to ultra-slow motion, the Flash just moves so fast he looks like he's moving at normal speed during the hit stop.
  • Jak X: Combat Racing would do this when the player pulled off certain kill moves, along with a close up zoom of the wrecked car and one of several randomized messages appearing on the screen. The player's car also got this treatment when they were killed. Both of these could be toggled off in the menu, even in mid-race.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising uses this trope on the finishing blow of every boss. Mid-chapter bosses get only brief pauses, while chapter-end bosses (including chapter-end bosses that get reappearances) get dramatic camera angles, an extended slow-down, a Bond One-Liner from Pit, and a reaction from either Palutena or the boss itself.
  • Critical Counters in The King of Fighters XII have a lot of this.
  • Lethal League even displays a hitstop meter. The hitstop time increases the faster the ball is going.
  • MadWorld uses this when you're finishing off victims of your brutality with special moves. Special shoutout goes to the Final Boss the Black Baron where the camera focuses on their teeth being punched out of their face.
  • By using the slow-motion feature during replays in Mario Kart 8, you can create the effect of making an impact from items look devastating.
  • The mobile game Marvel Strike Force not only changes the animation when your character's standard attack is the one that KO's an enemy, but dips into this trope as well.
  • Used in the Mega Man X and Zero series whenever Zero cuts something with his Z-Saber.
  • During the final fight of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, some of Snake and Ocelot's blows are slowed down in this way, showing the sheer force behind them and showing them both pushing through anyways. Even a Cross Counter gets this treatment.
  • Metroid: Samus Returns uses an effect like this to indicate when you have successfully used the Melee Counter against an enemy.
  • Mortal Kombat 9: The X-Ray attacks cause this effect on the hit that actually does internal damage. Mortal Kombat X also has X-Ray attacks but the slowdown effect is not as prominent here.
  • Pizza Tower: When dashing at high enough speeds, ramming through an enemy will freeze time for a frame or two as they're defeated. Mostly noticeable when many enemies are strung together. A more prominent example with a dramatic zoom occurs whenever a boss's health bar is depleted and they transition to the next phase.
  • Rengoku: In the second game depleting boss's health pauses the game and the camera shows the player then the boss before continuing.
  • Rivals of Aether applies hitstop and a faint shockwave effect to particularly powerful attacks or on fighters with high damage.
  • Slap City makes it a plot point in the game's story mode. The diorama at the center of the arena is actually the city's founders, who hit each other so hard they're still in hitstop.
  • Happens in Sonic Adventure 2 when Sonic defeats the Egg Golem, but only when seen from the Dark Story perspective.
  • Present in both Capcom's Street Fighter and Marvel vs. Capcom games. In regards to Street Fighter, there are methods to create more hitstop than normal that vary from game to game, such as fully charged Focus Attacks in Street Fighter IV or scoring a counter hit with a hard-strength attack in Street Fighter Alpha 3 (which would be later revisited with the Crush Counters in Street Fighter V).
  • As far back as Super Mario Bros. — taking a hit and losing your power-up freezes the game briefly while Mario reverts to his original, tiny form.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • It notably applies hitstop to the person(s) taking damagenote  and the person dealing the damage, but everything else continues moving. This includes the background, nearby items and hazards, particle effects (including particle effects of the attacker's attack), and nearby players who didn't take any damage.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate adds this effect to any particularly powerful attack in 1v1 matches, such as the Falcon Punch.
    • Kazyua from Tekken, in his Guest Fighter appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, was given no hitstop on his attacks to preserve the "feel" of his home game.
  • Tales of Berseria features this, which makes multi-hit combos feel satisfying but is also a bane to speedrunning: when the game was featured at Games Done Quick, the runner would save some frames by swapping away from protagonist Velvet whenever she was using the particularly-hit-intensive "Discord" Finishing Move. (This sounds nitpicky until you realize that the run's strategy involves spamming this move.)
  • The final hit of a round in Tekken 7 will slow down the action and zoom in the camera. If two players are closing in at the same moment and at least one of their attacks could potentially end the round, it becomes an Impending Clash Shot instead.
  • ULTRAKILL is a rare FPS example that uses hit stops. These are most notable when performing actions that grant green style bonuses (such as parrying), but multiple tiny hit stops happen when hitting multiple enemies with a piercing shot.
  • In Under Defeat, the game momentarily freezes when the player is killed.
  • Videoball is a sports game that utilizes hit stops. These happen when player gets hit by a triangle of any size. Or when a ball gets hit by a large triangle.
  • A particularly glorious one occurs in Yakuza 0, where Kiryu unloads a rather crunchy Megaton Punch on Lieutenant Kuze after finding Tachibana tortured to death.

    Web Animation 
  • This trope is used twice in Gaming All-Stars Remastered. The first instance occurs when Banjo lands a hit on Nightmare; the viewer witnesses time slowing down and both of their voices deepening for emphasis. This happens again later when Giga Mac wallops Mewtwo, just before the impact of the punch sends it flying.
  • One of the most famous examples in web animation occurs at the end of the third episode of the Xiao Xiao series.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Used in the Futurama episode "Raging Bender" when Destructor delivers a devastating punch to Bender's face which dents in his head and knocks off his mouth piece and some teeth, in a shout-out to Raging Bull.
  • On The Ren & Stimpy Show in the episode "Man's Best Friend," we see this trope in effect as Ren hits his owner George Liquor in the face with a oar.
  • South Park: During Wendy's beating of Cartman in "Breast Cancer Show Ever," there is a seconds-long pause when she delivers the final blow, cutting from the punch to the crowd's reactions.
  • Transformers: Prime absolutely loved this. Loved it. In one instance, Arcee managed to land a normal-speed hit on Starscream during a hit-induced slow-motion shot.

 
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Origami King Hammer Attack

If you get an Excellent on a Hammer attack, time slows as the blow connects.

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