— TJ Combo
Tyler-Johnson Garrett, more commonly known by his ring name, "TJ Combo", is an American boxer and major playable character in the Killer Instinct franchise.
TJ Combo maintains a fairly consistent appearance throughout the Killer Instinct franchise.
In the first game, Combo is depicted as a tall, African-American man with a fairly-muscular physique and short, dark hair. Combo wears a red, white and blue, star-spangled tank top, black shorts with a red belt and red and white striped socks under his blue and white shoes. His primary weapons are his red, boxing gloves.
In the second game, Combo gets some slight changes to his appearance. His tank top is fairly shredded and he now wears long camo pants instead of shorts, along with new American-themed shoes. He wears an eyepatch over his left eye, a wound he sustained from Riptor, and he has ditched his boxing gloves for wrist wraps.
In Killer Instinct 2013, TJ Combo's redesign is more in-line with his original appearance when compared to some of the major design overhauls. He now wears a blue workout shirt with the name of his gym on the front, star-spangled blue shorts, long boxing shoes that go up to his ankles but instead of boxing gloves, he now wears red MMA style fighting gloves. He no longer wears the eyepatch from KI2/Gold, and both of his upper arms are covered in long scars from the surgeries that removed his cybernetic implants.
Powers & Abilities
As a boxer, TJ Combo had cybernetic implants until he ripped them out to regain his title. But due to this, the implants somehow left some nanotechnology that bonded with his DNA, allowing him to gain enhanced strength.
TJ Combo was once the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world for five years straight. He was stripped of his title for his use of cybernetic enhancements in his arms, he fights to regain his lost fame and fortune.
Having to fight his way from a seedy backstreet gym to the world heavyweight title through sheer raw power and aggression, after 5 years at the top T. J. "Combo" Garrett is brought crashing down by his own overwhelming greed. Having blown most of his cash on titanium arm implants to ensure that the title remained his, Combo is stripped of his belt, wealth and public respect when the Ultratech surgeon who performed the operation sells his story to the media. Furious and humiliated, Combo returns to his old ghetto haunts and vows to defy the world at large in reaching the top once more.
Stage: Boxing Gym
- Powerline: Charge Back Then Forward, Fierce Punch
- Rollercoaster: Charge Back Then Forward, Medium Punch
- Spinfist: Charge Back Then Forward, Quick Punch
- Flying Knee: Charge Back Then Forward, Fierce Kick
- Knee K.O.: Charge Back Then Forward, Medium Kick
- Fast Flying Knee: Charge Back Then Forward, Quick Kick
- Turn Around Punch: Charge Forward Then Back, Quick Punch
- Cyclone: Charge Fierce Punch Then Release
- Combo Breaker: Back Then Forward And Any Kick
- Ultra Combo: Forward, Back, Fierce Punch
- End Special 1: Charge Back Then Forward, Fierce Punch
- End Special 2: Charge Back Then Forward, Medium Punch
- End Special 3: Charge Back Then Forward, Quick Punch
- No Mercy 1: [Stand Close] Down, Quarter Forward, Forward, Fierce Kick
- No Mercy 2: [Stand 1 Character Distance Away] Back, Back, Forward, Forward, Medium Punch
- Humiliation: Down, Down, Down, Quick Punch
With victory in the tournament, Combo has finally achieved his ambition to regain his lost fortune and popular status. Once a nobody from the ghetto, Combo celebrates his win and new found wealth by parading through those same streets. With money and fame at his side, Combo believes he can now achieve anything.
Killer Instinct 2
After a decisive victory over Riptor in the tournament, Combo attempted to destroy Ultratech HQ. Caught as Ultratech is ripped into the past, Combo must escapes home before it is too late.
Combo is beginning to wish that he had never seen that tournament bulletin on TV, never succumbed to the wild temptation to use it as a ladder back to the peak of public acclaim. His toughest clash of the contest, in which he only just managed to rid the world of the bestial Riptor, left him hospitalized: on his release, Combo made for Ultratech HQ with a vengeance and was in the process of looting and vandalizing when he was caught up in the temporal chaos…
- TJ Tremor: Charge Back Then Forward, Medium Kick [Great Opener]
- Roller Coaster: Charge Back Then Forward, Medium Punch [Great Opener]
- Spinfist: Charge Back Then Forward, Quick Punch [Great Opener]
- Skull Crusher: Charge Back Then Forward, Fierce Kick [Great Opener]
- Air Tremor: Back, Quarter Back, Down, Quarter Forward, Forward, Medium Kick
- Spinfist 2: Charge Forward Then Back, Quick Punch
- Behind Back: Charge Back Then Forward, Quick Kick
- Cyclone: Hold Fierce Punch, Release Fierce Punch, Fierce Punch
- Powerline: Charge Back Then Forward, Fierce Punch
- Stop Powerline: Back, Fierce Punch [Must Be Running]
- Fake Dizzy: Forward, Quarter Forward, Down, Quarter Back, Back, Quick Kick
- Air Double: Forward, Back, Any Kick
- Throw: Forward, Medium Punch
- Reverse Throw: Back, Medium Punch [In Opponent's Throw Move]
- Parry Move: Back, Hold Quick Punch
- Pressure Move: Forward, Fierce Kick
- Combo Breaker: Back, Forward, Any Punch And Any Kick
- Ultra Combo Breaker: Forward, Quarter Forward, Down, Quarter Back, Back, Forward, Fierce *Punch [Requires 6 Super Bar Blocks]
- Mini-Ultra Combo: Charge Back Then Forward, Fierce Kick
- Ultra Combo: Charge Forward Then Back, Fierce Punch
- Ultimate Combo: Hold Quick Kick For 2 Seconds, Release Quick Kick
- 0-Combo Ultimate: Forward, Quarter Forward, Down, Quarter Back, Back, Fierce Kick [Hold Forward For 1 Second]
- Super Roller Coaster: Forward, Quarter Forward, Down, Quarter Back, Back, Forward, Fierce Kick [Requires 3 Super Bar Blocks]
- Super Spinfist: Forward, Quarter Forward, Down, Quarter Back, Back, Forward, Quick Punch [Requires 3 Super Bar Blocks]
- Shadow Move: Forward, Quarter Forward, Down, Quarter Back, Back, Forward, Quick Punch [Requires 3 Super Bar Blocks]
- Dash Frenzy: Forward, Quarter Forward, Down, Quarter Back, Back, Forward, Fierce Punch [Requires 2 Super Bar Blocks]
- Super Tremor: Forward, Quarter Forward, Down, Quarter Back, Back, Medium Kick [Requires 6 Super Bar Blocks]
- End Special 1: Charge Forward then Back, Quick Punch Quick Punch
- End Special 2: Charge Back Then Forward, Quick Kick, Quick Kick
- End Special 3: Charge Back Then Forward, Fierce Punch, Fierce Punch
- End Special 4: Charge Back Then Forward, Medium Kick, Medium Kick
- End Special 5: Charge Back Then Forward, Fierce Kick [After First 4 Enders]
Having won the tournament and vanquish Gargos, Combo knows he can achieve anything. With no challenge remaining in the past Combo returns to the future through a time portal. Strengthened by his experience he vows soon to regain his lost fame and fortune once again.
Don't Kill Tusk
Having won the tournament and vanquish Gargos, Combo knows he can achieve anything. Rejected by modern society for cheating, Combo grabs the chance to again win fame in the arena. Staying in the past he puts his fighting skills to work and soon becomes a great champion.
Killer Instinct (2013)
To defend his world championship title, TJ resorted to illegal cybernetic implants. When discovered, he was stripped of his title and his world crumbled. Determined to prove himself and regain glory, TJ rips out his cybernetics and returns to the fight.
Extended Story — "Glory Days": Tyler-Johnson Garrett was born near Galveston Texas, the birthplace of the first African American Heavyweight Champion—the great Jack Johnson—whom TJ’s dad idolized. TJ’s family was poor and they worked hard, and TJ was taught to earn every penny that came into his pocket. His father was a dockworker and a former sergeant in the Army—the kind of man who flew the Stars and Stripes outside his house every day of the year. He trained TJ to fight using a stack of old tires as a heavy bag.
When TJ was twelve years old he got beaten badly in a city league bout. The other kid taunted him when he was down on the mat. TJ had never felt so ashamed. “Life isn’t about winning, son,” his dad told him. “It’s about losing and still keeping on. That’s called grit.”
But TJ wanted revenge. Before he and the other boy fought again, TJ removed some of the padding in his right hand glove and replaced it with a roll of quarters. He broke the other kid’s nose with one punch. The feeling of power was exhilarating. He started using different tricks to cheat, and won a lot of trophies until he finally got caught and was banned from the league. The one good thing in his life was gone.
TJ was in and out of trouble at school and with the law from that point on. He tried to join the military after dropping out of high school, but he coldcocked a drill sergeant in boot camp and was kicked out. He bought a one-way bus ticket to Chicago, carrying nothing more than a duffel bag full of workout clothes and a pair of boxing gloves. He found a job at a boxing gym on the South Side, doing menial tasks like sweeping the floors, taking care of the bathrooms, and cleaning up the cutman’s bloody rags…all to pay for his own training. He slept on a cot in the storage room.
Nobody knew him here. Nobody knew about his cheating. He was starting over doing the one thing that he loved. He turned his life around.
Over the next five years TJ grew tall and his body filled out. All during that time he studied the sweet science of boxing with the zeal of a scholar, analyzing the fighting techniques of his boxing idols like Ali and Tyson. And he worked his body until he was a rippling specimen of muscles and raw power. In his early twenties he started winning fights.
Journalists began calling him “Combo” for his devastating combination of jabs followed by a skull-hammering right hook. It took five more years of grinding it out on the boxing circuit, but eventually he got his shot and won the Heavyweight Championship. But he became the victim of every cliché: the over-the-top mansion; the grasping trophy wife; the collection of flashy cars; the entourage of worthless sycophants.
TJ got sloppy in his training and abused his body, partying like a rock star. He barely won the next two fights in defense of his title, and when he finally lost the belt three years after his first championship victory, he fell into a deep depression. Soon after he found out that his manager had fled the country, leaving him in debt and owing millions in back taxes. That’s when TJ’s wife left him. The boxer went crazy with rage and punched a brick wall, shattering his right forearm.
When he was in the hospital, drugged up on painkillers, a strange man approached him and told him about a special research program to rehabilitate athletes and make them superhuman. He was taken to an Ultratech lab and shown a production line creating cybernetic implants, and then given a demonstration of this tech’s miraculous powers. TJ was mesmerized and signed a contract on the spot, essentially handing over his life, career and potential earnings to the megacorporation.
Surgeons implanted titanium shafts into his forearms to add bone-crunching strength to his punches. At first TJ relished this newfound strength, and started training in earnest at an Ultratech facility. They put him through an array of tests, analyzing every aspect of his fighting style and even recording his brain waves when he fought. And they cut on him again and again.
Within six months he’d won back the title, pushing in his opponent’s face and putting the man in the hospital. Ultratech took the lion’s share of the purse and ordered him to live at their facility like a caged animal. He was watched day and night. TJ looked in the mirror one morning and saw a man wearing an iron slave collar staring back.
Ultratech forced TJ into fighting one of their Mark 01 Fulgore battle cyborgs in a highly publicized exhibition bout to show off their new military technology. ARIA—the artificial intelligence mind behind Ultratech—wanted to prove that her machine was better than a human. TJ was ordered to throw the fight just in case, but he went into the ring filled with a rage that made him mighty, and he pounded that metal man into the floor. To punish him ARIA leaked the information about TJ’s cybernetic implants to the press. “We made him a champion,” she announced. “He’s nothing more than an Ultratech product.” TJ was stripped of his title belt and banned from boxing for life.
That night TJ cut the cybernetic implants from his arms, screaming in agony as he pulled the metal from his flesh. He staggered to the local hospital and got them to stitch him up. His arms healed up fast. Too fast. He realized that Ultratech had done something more to him when they’d put him on the operating table and cut him open. They’d messed with his DNA.
His flesh healed fast, but his soul took longer. Using the little money that he had left to himself he leased his old gym on the South Side and slowly started to fix it up. He named it the “Combo Gym” and started training young fighters. He put up an American flag out front to remind him of his dad.
One day a man came around asking about him. A guy with a strange accent. He told TJ that people had been watching him—a group called the Disavowed. Their goal was to utterly destroy Ultratech and they wanted to enlist him. The foreigner showed TJ information linking his former manager to Ultratech. The megacorp had been playing the fighter for years. They’d bankrupted him so that they could get him in their clutches and study him like a lab rat. And now the Disavowed was offering to help TJ get even.
TJ told them everything that he knew about his procedures, and every detail about the Ultratech facilities and the cybernetic labs where he’d been operated on and trained. He even gave them his bloodstained implants.
The Disavowed starting feeding TJ information, enabling him to track down Ultratech agents, like the assassin Sadira. After a while TJ and the spy Orchid became friends, and infiltrated Ultratech together. He joined her on another mission to South America and the headquarters of the Night Guard to meet its last surviving member—the monster hunter Maya—and the warrior-monk Jago. But then they were attacked by an Ultratech army of Fulgore and Riptor units. TJ was ready to go out swinging. And then, by some miracle, the army suddenly called off the attack and retreated.
The boxer had survived another round and will continue his training, hoping to live up to the nickname “Combo.”
During an Ultra Combo, a train will collapse through the road-rail bridge and crashes near the stage.
Stage ULTRA - WRECKED: During an Ultra Combo, the victor would send his/her defeated opponent in the air, causing the wrecking ball to hit the defeated opponent, sending him/her flying towards the "TJ Combo Boxing" sign, and explodes on impact.
Combo Trait - Auto-Barrage: Combo can cancel the first hit off any Auto-Double into another Auto-Double of a different strength, punch or kick. He can keep doing this as long as that Auto-Double has not been used in the Auto Barrage, (i.e. Hard Punch to Medium Kick to Medium Punch etc.) until he hits all six buttons. Repeating a normal attack, or using all six normals without repeating, will trigger either a Damage Ender or Advantage Ender. This can be done continuously, but once he begins Auto-Barrage, he cannot leave the sequence using other linkers or enders, and the attacks slow down slightly over time.
Instinct Mode - Glory Days: Combo earns a speed boost to all aspects of his ground movement and frame data; all moves have faster startup and recover and his dashes are faster. Additionally, if Combo is fully KO’d with a full Instinct Meter, Last Breath will be activated - he will use half his Instinct Meter to resurrect with 20% life and Instinct Mode activated.
- Superman Punch - (Down-Forward+HP) - Combo throws a large leaping hook. Acts as an overhead.
- Rollercoaster - (Down-Forward+MP) - Combo combat rolls forwards with a punch at the end. Any normal can be canceled into Rollercoaster.
- Turn-Around Punch - (Back+MP, midair) - Combo performs an awkward backwards cross-up punch.
- Throw - (Forward or back+LP+LK) - Combo punches the opponent in the gut, then weaves around and punches them again into the ground.
- Spin Fist - (Back-Forward+LP) - Combo spins around and throws a wild hook.
- Shoot Toss - (Back-Forward+MP) - Combo grabs the opponent around the waist and slams them down. Acts as a launcher.
- Powerline - (Back-Forward+HP) - Combo dashes forwards and throws a straight jab. Can be canceled into other moves before the jab is performed. Has one hit of armor. Works as a Wall Splat Ender.
- Backstep - (LK, during Powerline) - Combo cancels his dash and hops backwards.
- Tumble - (MK, during Powerline) - Combo combat rolls forward without attacking. Invulnerable to projectiles until recovery.
- Flying Knee - (HK, during Powerline) - Combo hops up with a flying knee attack. Invulnerable to low attacks until recovery. Even though it is not its own specific special move, it can be used as an Exchange Ender using (Back-Forward+K).
- Tremor - (Down-Up+K) - Combo leaps up and punches the ground, creating a shockwave. Button strength determines distance traveled. Acts as an overhead and can recapture airborne opponents. Works as a Battery Ender.
- Vortex - (Down-Up+P) - Combo spins his fist before performing an uppercut. Button strength determines damage and attack speed. Works as a Launcher Ender.
- Cyclone - (hold P, during Vortex) - Combo follows up with a second uppercut to juggle.
- Shadow Tremor - (Down-Up+2K) - Combo leaps up and punches downwards, hitting five times
- Shadow Powerline - (Back-Forward+2P) - Combo dashes forwards, throwing a jab that hits five times. Can be canceled on the fourth hit to swivel behind the opponent and avoid the wall splat in order to continue a combo.
- Shadow Flying Knee - (Back-Forward+2K) - Combo hops up with a flying knee that hits five times.
- Shadow Cyclone - (Down-Up+2P) - Combo spins his fist before performing an uppercut that hits four times, then follows up with a second uppercut. Fully invulnerable until the first punch.
Ultra Combo: 40 Hits
Trivia: During the slow music due to characters not moving, the sample of his classic theme, "Yo, Check This Out!", and his remixed classic theme, "Street" will play. His stage music also has samples of "Freeze" and his conclusion dynamic theme has different variations of the conclusion themes of "Yo, Check This Out!", "Freeze", and "Street" if no Ultras were performed.
Despite being Human and having no supernatural powers, T.J Combo is quite a skilled, brutal, and agile fighter with his boxing style. Thanks to his cybernetic implants, he is able to have punching power far beyond an average human.
- Rolling Thunder: Combo rolls toward his opponent delivering a punch to the mid section.Can be performed twice. (KI, KI2/Gold)
- Powerline: Combo runs towards his opponent delivering a straight powerful punch sending the opponent back. Can be cancelled. (KI, KI2/Gold)
- Flying Knee: Combo thrust towards his opponent hitting them with his knee. (KI, KI2/Gold)
- Upward Knee: Combo thrust him self a few feet in the air hitting his opponent with his knee. (KI, KI2/Gold.
- Tremor: Combo leaps a few feet in the air and comes down with his fist on fire punching his opponent. (KI2/Gold).
- Winding Uppercut: Combo winds one of his hands with extreme speed till the point where his uppercut his strong enough to send his opponent high sky in the air if the hit connects. (KI, KI2/Gold).
- Spinning Backhand: Combo does a spinning back hand punch that hits the opponent's midsection. (KI, K I2/Gold)
No Mercy moves:
- Neck Breaker: Combo hits the opponent forcing them on their knees, and proceeds to finishing them by breaking their neck. (KI)
- The Fourth Wall: Combo delivers a spinning backhand and the second punch sends the opponent flying towards the screen. (KI)
- Target Practice: Combo pulls out his submachine gun and shoots the opponent repeatedly. (KI2/Gold)
- Up in the Air: Combo pumps up and uppercut his opponent so hard, it sends him/her flying into the air disappear. Only to be executed during the combo on the second bar of the opponent's health. (KI2/Gold)
- Combo's profile in Killer Instinct 2 describes him as having claimed a "decisive victory over Riptor in the tournament". This very likely indicates Combo killed Riptor in the first game, leading to its absence in the sequel.
— TJ Combo after defeating Fulgore in Season 2 Trailer
— TJ Combo in Season 2's Trailer
- In Killer Instinct (2013), TJ Combo can be customized to look like Kick from Iron Galaxy's Divekick.
- Some of his techniques/moves can be similar to Street Fighter's Balrog & Dudley.
- He is based off of Mike Tyson.