The Art Of Johann Sebastian Joust
Wisdoms as collected, verified & interpreted by Johann Sebastian Joust enthusiast Rami Ismail of Vlambeer of the Netherlands.
"Joust is lost through change, not through speed."
Johann Sebastian Joust is a game using Playstation Move controllers that can measure a variety of things. A pair of inertial sensors, a three-axis accelerometer, a rate sensor and a magnetometer track every players movement during the game.
Young players will often assume the deciding factor in a game of Joust is the speed at which one moves the controller. This is incorrect. Joust decides upon your fate through the 'delta' on your speed along all axis – on the change in speed. This means that, as long as ones movement is constant or the change gradual enough, one can theoretically move at any speed.
At higher speeds, the human body comes down with more speed after each step. If one wants to move faster, good strategies are to walk on ones toes or to move backwards. Moving fast – even during 'slow' parts of battle – might take some practice, but it can definitely be helpful in positioning yourself or in escaping from a particularly thorny situation.
"One good at Joust will take out all foes. One great at Joust will take out only the last one."
Since a game of Joust only has one (or one team) as winner, it is never harmful to let others precede one self in combat. The wise avoids combat as long as possible, and as such one should position oneself continuously at the far end of the active area. Reposition to force others into combat until one is left. Strike directly at anyone who allows their controller close enough to Strike without fail, but stay your hand and simply continue to force people together if one might be uncertain.
"Only the fool requires eyes in the back of the head."
Never allow anyone to remain behind you and always keep all action visible in front of you. Use fast movement to continuously reposition at the outer edge of the active area in such a way that the above remains true. If for any reason, you should find yourself between two others, move out of the way and around the easier prey and force said prey into the more threatening prey.
"The ears are as powerful as the arms."
The tempo of Joust is dictated by the tempo of the music. The game can take on two distinctive modes: a slow, deliberate mode and a fast, spontaneous mode. Each mode has its own nuances and offers advantages to a specific type of participant.
The slow mode is useful for positioning properly, for defensive action and for re-evaluating strategy. The fast mode is useful for taking initiative, for repositioning quickly and for escaping tight situations. The change between modes is often a great opportunity to Strike at an opponent.
"The most powerful weapon against any participant is the participant."
The human body is a great system that constantly tries to balance itself. A true master of Joust knows this to be a weakness. Victory is thus found not only in direct Strikes, but in Strikes that force the foes body to move the arm holding the controller. The body also has the physical properties of a lever, so that a minimal amount of force can cascade into powerful forces on the arm holding the controller.
"One should stay their hand unless one can Strike without fail."
Strikes are the decisive moments in Johann Sebastian Joust – and also the most dangerous moments. As the body must make an abrupt movement, both good defense and fast counterattacks can cause one to lose control over their weight, balance and defense. A Strike should not be taken lightly nor without consideration.
Often, defense is preferable to offense. Allow foes to fail continuously during their Strikes or simply throw disruptive but indecisive attacks at them to keep them from Striking properly. Keep them busy until one has an open chance to Strike properly.
"The Strike of a master is not aimed at Victory alone."
Strikes are an offensive move, but should not be taken solely as an offensive move. During Strikes, it is easy to forget to remain between ones foe and ones controller. A great Strike will move in one fluid action from the offensive movement to the defensive movement, either by stepping onwards or by rotating one's body between controller and foe.
If one cannot Strike without proper repositioning, a weak Strike is final. Against a worthy opponent, missing said strike will cause ones demise without fail. One would be wise to not attempt a Strike that cannot flow into a defensive movement.
"The fool fights, the wise watches."
As with any effort, knowing ones strengths and weaknesses is vital. Some great players use their flexibility to absorb the shock of a Strike before it can reach the arm. Some are simply strong, light on their feet, blessed with long arms, quick wits or with a great sense of balance.
Observe during which mode of Joust ones foe is more likely to Strike, move, defend and recover. Adjust accordingly. Observing foes while battling amongst each other will allow one to deduct their strengths and weaknesses. Use this knowledge and attempt different strategies to defeat superior foes.
"Time moves faster for the weak."
Patience is one of the most powerful weapons in the arsenal of the wise practitioner of Johann Sebastion Joust. The often short rounds in Joust make young players think that a game should be short – the contrary is true: practiced players will often spend minutes taunting with indecisive attacks, searching for openings or encouraging their foe to Strikes.
Patiently awaiting the correct moment to Strike while keeping initiative on movement is crucial in battle against a worthy opponent. Counter a pushing movement by rotating out of the way. Counter rotation by rotating in the opposite movement. The only movement one should allow without contest is a Push – a movement that forces the foe towards the edge of the designated playfield, or into an obstacle.
One should search for a chance to Strike when a foe has grown notably tired or frustrated from their efforts being thwarted by patience.
"Victory can be found between the End and the Beginning."
After a round of Joust is completed, but before the start of a game of Joust, a voice will speak 'Get ready to Joust, go!' Many aspects of battle are decided before this moment.
A great starting position is crucial to a great Joust player. Starting in an area with less foes will allow one to move into a good position to Push foes into one another, while starting between two foes will often lead to a fast demise.
One should quickly convert the starting position into an Edge position at the edge of the active area by Pushing foes forward, ensuring one is the outermost player participating.
"The four Practices of great Joust are Parry, Push, Patience and Position."
Parry: deflect attacks in any way that does not allow the force of a Strike into the arm that holds the controller. Push: move in such a way that one's foes remain visible and preferably, in a way that forces them together. One should not allow ones foe to Push. Patience: await the chance for a proper Strike and move accordingly. One should not meddle in combat until forced to, instead preferring to Push others into combat. Position: Staying outside of combat is preferable to any combat at all. Positioning in such a way that one's foes remain visible is crucial.
"Joust is a dance between foes."
A dance has etiquette. A proper game of Johann Sebastian Joust does too. Acknowledge the skills of ones opponents with a gesture if one remains alone with another. One should always remain courteous and prefer to lose to one with bad manners over winning through a similar display of lack of etiquette. Remain courteous and friendly.
"Light guides the hands and eyes of the master."
The controller emits Light. Light is the tell of a foe and should be the highest priority for ones senses. A faint glow on the ground near a pillar, reflections in windows, the eerily pink glow of the jacket of the audience – any light from the controller that reaches the eye should be treated as a foe. The most devious foes emits the faintest glow.
Conversely, the invisible hand is the safest hand. One should always strive to keep one's body between foe and controller in such a way that direct line of sight between the controller and the foe is only possible if desirable, such as when allowing the foe to Strike.
"The one that is uncompromising in ones defense allows their foe to Strike beyond the reach of their arm."
The forces of a Strike on the human body reverb throughout the limbs. As such, one should always prefer to Parry over blocking the Strike directly. Deflect Strikes sideways instead of frontally, continuously keeping ones foe to the side of the arm. If ones body is for any reason left open for a Strike, consider that a hostile attack at the body still allows one to absorb the shock of the blow before it reaches the arm by moving along in the direction of the Strike.
If a foe is defending rigorously, use their rigid stance as a lever to reach the controller out of reach by Striking at the body in the direction of the controller.
"Foes are to be counted intently."
At the start of a round, count the amount of participants. One should keep track of the sound that indicates ones demise and be constantly aware of how many foes remain. If one finds oneself with less foes in view than in play, one should directly establish no foe is behind oneself – then locate the remaining foe.
The wise participant also keeps track of changes in the amount of participants between rounds. Sometimes, a foe will intentionally refrain from participation and pretend to be part of the audience from start to finish.
"Demise is only outrun by decision."
Dedicate to decisions. Decisions are rapid processes, made within fractions of seconds. However, when a decision to move, Strike or defend is made, the body reacts in a way that is more prolonged, sometimes taking seconds. One changing a decision mid-move will often lead to one's demise due to the sudden reconsideration of movement. Complete movement before deciding again.
Following from this, one can deduce that one should learn to always prefer short movements over long ones.
"Johann Sebastian Joust does not determine who is right. Only who is left."
The rules of Johann Sebastian Joust are unwritten, passed on from generation to generation for as long as the game has existed. Johann Sebastian Joust does not concern itself with arbitration beyond who is the victor. All other rules are not enforced by Joust and are to be agreed upon or creatively pushed beyond their boundaries within the confines of courteousness and etiquette.