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Raikousen (雷光閃, lit. Lightning Flash) is one of Zero's special moves in Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Zero draws his sword behind him, and charges forward with a flying thrust. When he hits his recovery frames, lightning appears where Zero just passed and stabbed through.
45 degrees downwards
|45 degree upwards|
This move hails from Mega Man X8, and unlike most of Zero's other moves is more unique in comparison to the other techniques which acted as iconic staples. Raikousen mainly had one variation in its own debut game, being the Raijinken (Thunder Swift Fist), a fisted/bare-handed version. The attack causes Zero to draw his saber back behind himself and disappears via invisibility, only to reappear with a stab forward trailed by pale-blue lightning from a purple saber. This feature can enable Zero to phase through most targets with the invincibility. It can also be used in midair, and be used during an air dash to increase its fixed distance.
In Marvel vs. Capcom 3, this move replaces Zero's midair Ryuuenjin from Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, and slightly resembles a Sentsuizan covered in lightning. The stab itself does not hit, and Zero no longer disappears during the attack. Just like its original appearance, after a brief moment of activating the attack, a trail of lightning appears along the path Zero stabbed through. The lightning unlike in X8 is more blue in its color and notably less pale.
A total of three hits is landed from this move in full, and it knocks down the foe lightly; making it great for extending combos. It can also be aimed in three directions, diagonally up, diagonally down, and straight forward. Zero at times will have passed to the opposite side of the screen before the trail appears, making the move great for crossups. The lightning is also not part of Zero's hitbox, so it acts as a projectile that cannot be displaced by Advancing Guards.
However, should Zero get hit during any part of his dash, especially before his recovery frames, the lightning will not appear.
In the Ultimate version, this move combined with Zero's new ability to fire his Hyper Zero Blaster right after his special moves gives him great zoning ability with the Raikousen+Hyper Zero Blaster combo. In both versions of MvC3, Zero after activating Sougenmu can launch his foe in a small knockdown in the corner (e.i. connecting with a Lv. 3 Hyper Zero Blaster to achieve it), then with Sougenmu activated can rapidly spam Raikousen in small jumps for a corner loop. This makes it oddly similar to Zero's midair Triple Rod corner loop in SvC Chaos, which oddly the Triple Rod has the same command as Ryuuenjin/Raikousen.