Microsoft and Iron Galaxy held a special panel at the Evolution Fighting Game Championships (Evo) this past weekend. During the panel, the two companies confirmed that Maya (originally from Killer Instinct 2) would be making an appearance when Killer Instinct: Season 2 arrives later this year. At E3 2014, TJ Combo was revealed and playable on the show floor. At the end of his reveal trailer, another character was teased that most assumed was Cinder. It was also assumed that Cinder would be the big character reveal at Evo. However, at the moment Cinder has yet to be officially confirmed. Instead, we get confirmation of Maya.
While we have yet to see gameplay footage of Maya (that trailer is coming later), we got quite a bit of information about the character during the panel. First and foremost, Maya retains her two trademark daggers. This time around they have been named Temperance and Vengeance. One dagger is considered her “light” dagger, while the other is considered a “dark” dagger.
TJ Combo is a very different character compared to the original eight characters in the game, and Maya continues that trend. She can throw her daggers independently, and catch them as they bounce off the opponent. However, she can also lose her daggers if an opponent is able to avoid the attack. Once Maya loses a dagger she has to physically go to the location of the dagger to pick it back up (think Cody’s knife in Ultra Street Fighter IV).
Much of Maya’s gameplay revolves around attacking with the daggers. As they bounce off an opponent (presumably by connecting with an attack or having an attack blocked) her abilities with the daggers level up. If you put in enough work into this new mechanic, Maya can actually gain a “homing, bouncing, unblockable projectile.” However, if the opponent dodges an attack, it seems as though everything resets and Maya has to level them up all over again (once she picks the dagger back up).
She can attack individually with the daggers or stick them together for what is assumed to be more powerful (but possibly slower executing?) attacks. Normal punch attacks are all dagger attacks. Light Punch uses Temperance, Medium Punch uses Vengeance, and Heavy Punch uses both daggers. However, if you lose one of her daggers, that punch results in the equivalent kick option. So if you lose Temperance, pressing Light Punch will give you her Light Kick attack, which will be very limiting to her offensive abilities.
From what we know of Maya, she is a high pressure character that uses projectiles as her may form of offense. Skilled Maya players should be able to keep an opponent blocking daggers for quite an extended period of time. Of course, Shadow Counters will be a possible stop to Maya’s offense, so even the best Maya players will have to be careful with her blistering offensive style.
We may see Maya’s gameplay trailer as early as San Diego Comic-Con, or it may not come until PAX or even later this year. Whenever it makes an appearance, we’ll be sure to keep you updated with any new information on the second season of Killer Instinct. Stay tuned to Prima Games!