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    Starting Guide for Tekken Players by Hyun Supul

    Version: 0.3 | Updated: 04/22/02 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    Virtua Fighter 4 Starting Guide
    (With bonus character guide.)
    Put together by Hyun Supul (hyun@earthling.net)
    April 22, 2002
    Revision History:
    v0.1 December 19, 2001 Initial Version
    v0.2 December 20, 2001 Fixed formatting
    Legal Crap:
    You can distribute this doc freely as long as you don't make
    money off of it. (Not beyond the cost of reproduction) If you put this on a
    website, please let me know as courtesy.  All the trademarked names are
    properties of the trademark owners.
    - Why this FAQ?
    - Okay, so what are the similarities between Tekken
       and VF4? (50000 ft view)
    - Terminology and legends
    - Basic Poke Mechanism
    - Let's inflict some damage:
       Canned combos and Juggles in VF4
    - Double Over Stun (Hey, this looks familiar!) and Stagger
    - But you also need to throw!
       (Throw mechanism in VF4)
    - Note about Reversals
    - About the sticks
    - Tell me more about dodging in this game
    - More about movement: crouch dashing in VF4
    - The riser and the attacker: Eternal Struggle
    - Walls: Friend or Foe?
    - Advanced Techniques
    - Misc
    - Web Sources
    - Ackonwledgements
    Why this FAQ?
    The short answer is, because there is a demand for it. Those who continue
    to play fighting games belong to the last echelon of hardcoregamers
    who populate our arcades. I would like to think of us fighting game
    players as not a group with territorial mindset, but open to new idea
    and always willing to learn.
    In fact, when I first played Tekken 3 I wished there was a "Tekken Guide
    for VF Players," something that explains the similarity and differences of
    the two. It's a mystery why there weren't FAQs like that. Wouldn't it be
    logical for us to have "KOF FAQ for SF players" or such, given everyone and
    his momma played SF at some point. Anyway, I felt the time was right for a
    guide like this.
    Before I go on, I MUST CLARIFY that this FAQ is NOT intended to fuel the
    never ending and pointless Tekken VS VF debate or anything of that nature.
    Both of them are great series and I have no intention to suggest otherwise.
    However, it's a fact now that there are significant number of Tekken players
    out there interested in learning VF4. The reasons are varied of course. Some
    Tekken 3/TTT players are not too happy with Tekken 4. There are some old
    ex-VF2 players interested in picking up VF again because VF4 resembles VF2
    more than VF3 did. Some players simply want to pick up something new after
    their long history of Tekken.
    I personally think Tekken 4 to be a pretty good game. Actually superior to
    TK3/TTT in many aspect. But without touching all the controvertial debate
    going on, this FAQ will simply try to address the demand: Demand for a VF4
    guide for people with Tekken background.
    Throught this guide I will often assume that the reader has some
    knowledge of TK3/TK4. I will also assume you want to learn comparable,
    intermediate to advanced knowledge of VF4. But even if you have no Tekken
    background, you may still find some useful info, as fundamental issues
    explained should be no different whether you have Tekken background or not.
    Before we begin: Terminology and legends
    Stick directions:
    b/u  u   f/u
    b    n   f
    b/d  d   f/d
    P (VF) Punch button
    K (VF) Kick button
    G (VF) guard button
    LP or 1 (TK) left punch
    RP or 2 (TK) right punch
    LK or 3 (TK) left kick
    RK or 4 (TK) right kick
    FC = from crouch
    CD = crouch dash
    MC = Major counter. Interruting your opponent's attack during its execution
    mC = Minor counter. Attacking your opponent while s/he is recovering from
         a move.
    RFF = right foot forward
    LFF = left foot forward
    Okay, so what's the similarity between Tekken and VF4? (50000 ft view)
    At the fundamental level, they are both fighting games, meaning that your
    aim is to deplete your opponent's life bar using a series of punches, kicks,
    throws and what not.
    But you have known these already. So let's get down to things less obvious.
    The fundamental, most basic "strategy" behind both games are still the same.
    "Blocking" defeats "Strike." "Throw" defeats "Blocking." "Strike" defeats
    "Throw." At the most basic level both games have this rock/paper/scissors
    mechanism. Of course, in practice things become more complex as we have
    high/middle/low/ground level strikes, priorities, (a concept that's never
    easy to explain in a 3D fighter.) high/low throws, reversals, parries,
    sidesteps and so on. To be successful in either game, one needs to
    understand all these properities of both his/her own character and the
    opposing character.
    You may find that VF4 and Tekken4 share many of these properties. Both
    Tekken and VF4 characters have set of moves including varying level of
    strikes, ground attacks, reversals and so on. And there are juggles, stun
    combos, wall combos and tech roll and etc. In both games the goal is to
    capitalize on the opponent's mistakes and deal maximum damage in given
    situations using all these factors.
    Now with that out of the way, it's time to examine the subtle differences,
    Basic Poke Mechanism
    As you know, in Tekken 4 poke became much more important. Everyone has to
    poke to survive. This has been a topic of heated debates in Tekken community
    and I will refrain from reproducing the debate here.
    What I need to say here is that poking is a very important part of VF4 as
    well. But you may find things work somewhat differently from Tekken 4.
    Let me first give you a general picture and go into specifics.
    In VF4 the basic poke game involves punch, low punch, midlevel moves of
    some sort, and or 2 or 3 punch string and variations. These are primarily
    used to
    1. Control the flow of the game. (Are you under pressure? Defensive
    poke. Do you want to pressure your opponent? Offensive poke.)
    2. Eventualy lead into bigger damage sequence by leading your opponent
    into mistakes.
    As you see fundamental idea behind poking is not too different from that
    of Tekken. Now let's see examine the details. (Before I go on, let me
    make a brief mention about that the difference in the effectiveness of
    backdash makes the poking game somewhat different from Tekken 4 as well.
    More about this in the movement section.)
    Dead or Low Punch
    If you are fighting against someone going at you with a series of PPP 
    an easy way to stop this would be a low punch.
    Used defensively, low punch is a great way to stop high attacks and can
    even often interrupt mid attack when timed right. In that regard low
    punches are much more effective that those in Tekken (or even VF3 for that
    matter) This is an important difference from Tekken that you need to
    Once you hit low punch as a counter, you gain substantial initiative in
    terms of frame numbers and then you can change the flow of the battle and
    start attacking (or throwing) yourself. Low punches can be both great
    defensive and offensive tools, as it also allows you to execute FC
    moves. (Think of Julia's use of low punch to set up mid/low guessing
    Of course, low punch is not a solution to everything. For example if you low
    punch a standing defender, you will see the defender lifting his/her leg to
    "block."  This is a variation of Tekken mechanism as you might realize. (Low
    punch being a "special low" that can be blocked high.) In this situation the
    defender recovers faster than you and consequently you just lost initiative.
    Also low punch has very limited range and don't forget that either. You
    may not be able to win the game with low punch, but it leads to bigger and
    better things.
    Beyond Low punch
    The fundamental idea behind PP or PPP plus mid level pokes are not too
    different from Tekken. Of course, different characters have different
    variations/effectiveness in poking. But never forget that you have universal
    jab/low punch poke to get out of tight spots or to keep pressure.
    Also, here is a clarification of a VF terminology. Where the Tekken players
    use the term "custom string" the VF players use the term "flow chart." The
    two terms are very similar but the idea is slightly different. Basically the
    idea behind "flow chart" is that there are multiple branches of action you
    can take after punch/low punch or other move. To use a Tekken 4 example,
    after Lp,Rp,Lk string of Law, Law can do another Lp,Rp,Lk, high parry,
    low parry, d+LP (more poke), d+Rp,LK (juggle starter), and so on. It all
    depends on what you think your opponent will do. "Poking" in both VF4 and
    Tekken 4 revolve around the same idea too, and "flow chart" is just a VF
    terminology to refer to this concept.
    Art of Jab
    It's useful to know the "right" way to jab in VF. The right way to throw a
    single punch in Vf is not just to tab P, but tab P then tab G. The rational
    is this, explained using a Tekken example: With Law let's say you do b+Lp.
    You know this starts dragon storm (b+LP,RP,LP) string, and you can delay
    the rest of the string. But what if you don't want the rest of the string
    and immediately want to get into some other move involving RP? Since
    everyone in VF4 has PP or PK string of some sort and they can be delayed
    slightly, you need to tab G to cancel the string in the buffer if you want
    to just single jab and get into other moves as fast as possible. Hopefully
    that made sense.
    Some Anti-Low Punch Tactics
    Technically you can interrupt low punch with elbow or sidekick to score
    stagger. (Refer to "Double Over Stun and Stagger" section for explanation
    about stagger.)
      But this happens only if you had equpped yourself with frame advantage.
    Let's say you notice that your opponent always low punches after his
    certain mid move get blocked. This is not a bad tactic per se, but armed
    with frame advantage the blocker can get his elbow out first to interrupt
    low punch. And after stagger you can deal some serious damages. So, even
    low punch game boils down to predicting your opponent and understanding
    frame advantage. (Unfortunately, as of now frame stat for VF4 is not
    available. But most of the time using intuition to guess on frame
    advantage would be useful.) And an expert WILL make you pay if you abuse
    low punch too much in a predictable manner.
      Also it's worth mentioning that there are some moves with special
    "priority" over low punches. Shun's u+K is a good example. And most
    people's knee (f+K) do seem to have some priority over low punch. While
    you can't really count on them, it's worthwhile to take note.
    Important Announce About Buffering
    In VF4, it's important to take advantage of the fact that you can buffer
    moves while you are in recovery (either from block stun or recovery from
    your own move.) This can make things work better for you after you
    block a move, going on your poke, doing juggle, and many other situations,
    as it lets you excute moves as fast as possible without worrying too
    much about timing of command input.
    Let's inflict some damage: Canned combos and Juggles in VF4
    Eventually, you want to use poking to lead into some real damage. We will
    examine the ways to inflict real damage.
    First, canned combos and juggles: This would be a part where the two games
    are quite similar. Both have share of short canned strings where if the
    first hit connects, the rest is guarranted. An example would be Jacky's
    elbow heelkick (f+P,K) Regardless of whether the elbow counters or not,
    heelkick is guarranted for knockdown if the elbow connects.
    Beyond canned strings, it's important to juggle starters and set of
    possible juggles.
    Matter of Weight
    In VF4 the heavier characters are generally harder to juggle, and the juggle
    height often varies depending on whether it was a counter and what kind of
    move it countered and so on. This kinda happens gradually across the
    characters, unlike TTT that had weight classes (or even VF3 that had Taka)
    So compared to most juggles in tekken, the juggles in VF4 tend to be more
    situation specific than TK4 or even TTT, and you need to watch out how
    high your opponent flies after your successful juggle starter. However,
    there are also plenty of juggles that works almost all the time. To master
    a character, you would need to learn both reliable canned strings/juggles
    and the ones less reliable but potentially more damaging.
    A good example would be Jacky's canned P+K,P,K (bitch slap, backfist,
    spinning kick) string. If P+K connects the rest almost always connect as
    juggle. But if P+K floats your opponents higher than average, than P+K,P,(G)
    u/b+K (kickflip) or P+K,P,  P,P,f+K can connect for greater damage. As
    you gain more experience you will be able to pick and choose right juggles
    for given situations.
    If we follow the character stat given by Sega, here is the order from the
    lightest to the heaviest:
        Aoi, Pai, Sarah/Vanessa, Shun/Lion/Lei, Kage, Jacky, Lau, Akira, Wolf,
    Double Over Stun (Hey, this looks familiar!) and Stagger
    Yes, VF4 has double over stuns. As in Tekken, this is a great way to add
    guarranted damage. But you need to know subtle differences. First, it
    doesn't work like Tekken where you can add WGF after stun with Kazuya and
    start juggling.
      In most cases you cannot add much more than a canned string, instead of a
    full-pledged juggle combo. Of course, even just a canned string can hurt
    Also no double-over stun in the game is quite the same. Some stun-creator
    require MC, some don't. Some allow you to connect full PPPK variants.
    Others give you lesser options.
    Also it's useful to remember that the least you can connect after these
    stuns is pounce. (u+P for everyone.) Also those with low throws can often
    low throw while the opponent is in double over stun. (You have to input
    commands fast.)
    Some examples of double over stun and follow ups
       b,b+K+G (requires major counter in PS2 version) u+P pounce
       b,b+P+K (requires no major ocunter) PPPK
       dashing elbow (f,f+P) (major counter) Dragon Lance combo
                                          or Double Jumping kick (f,f+K,K)
       f+P+K (requires major counter in the arcade version) low throw
       d+G+K (major counter) butt pounce (u+K+G)
    In other VF documents, you will find words like "crumple stun" or
    "kuzure" used to describe these stuns. In VF4 we make distictions
    between the three different types of "crumples"
    1. Head crumple: Stuns created by a high attack (Example: Aoi's b,b+P+K,
        Jeffry's b,f+P) YOu can't low throw, but often allows you
        a very damaging combo
    2. Stomach crumble: Stuns created by a mid attack (Example, Jeff's
        f+P+K)  Looks like your classic Kazuya double over stun. Allows
        you to low throw (if you have low throw) or other mid level
    3. Foot crumble: Stuns created by a low attack. The weakest kind
        of the three since it doesn't give too many options for
        follow ups. At least you have guarranteed pounce.
    Now let's talk about stagger.
    Stagger can be thought of as a different kind of stun where you
    can "struggle" out of. Visually, your opponent staggers, not crumpling
    down. It's important to distinguish between a real stagger and what
    _looks_ like stagger. This especially confuses people who played DOA
    extensively. (Where staggers are big part of the gameplay too.)
    The game actually tells you whenever a real stagger occurs by showing that
    joystic wiggling symbol.
    Basically what happens is that you are vulnerable and unable to block
    when you are staggered. (And unlike DOA, you can't reverse either.)
    You can however reduce that vulnerable time by "struggling." By holding
    G and moving joystick rapidly back and forth, you may be able to recover
    faster and block your opponent's follow up attack. (That's why they show
    that wiggling joystick symbol.)
    Of course, your opponent may anticipate that and choose to throw instead.
    Mashing on P or d+P will let you stop a throw attempt. So can break throw
    commands (refer to the next section about throws). But then your opponent
    may try a juggle starter anyway . . . You see? The stagger creates an
    interesting psychological guessing game situation.
    Some examples of stagger situations follow:
    Connecting mid-elbow (f+P for several characters) or mid kick (d/f+K for
       some characters) against low-blocker.
    Countering a low punch or other low move with mid-elbow (f+P for several
      characters) or mid kick (d/f+K for some characters)
    You get hit by Akira's guard crushing double fisted strike (You will know
      when you see it.)
    But you also need to throw!
    Let's get this clear: In VF if you want to win you have to throw. A look at
    the movelist will make it obvious why this is so: In Tekken most throws do
    around 30 points damage and maybe a ground attack. But in VF even basic
    throws tend to do 40-50 points and there are plethora of more powerful
    throws for just about everyone. It cannot be overemphasized that in VF4,
    throw is a very important and integral part of the game play. Far more so
    than Tekken.
    In Tekken throws tend to do little damage and relatively easy to defend
    against. Sure throws are still integral part of the gameplay, but in VF4
    it's more so because they are much more dangerous and hard to defend
    How to Escape Throws
    Beside the damage factor let's see what makes the throws in VF4 dangerous.
    First, it's harder to escape throws in VF4 as the escape mechanism is more
    complex. To escape throw, you have to know the command of the throw your
    opponent is using, and match the last command of the said throw. For
      Jeffry has crucifix pile driver that features a jaw dropping damage. The
    command for this is f/d,f/d+P+G and to escape this you have to input
    f/d+P+G. Same idea for Wolf's Giant Swing (HCF+P+G) You have to hit f+P+G in
    order to escape. (If you want, doing HCF+P+G yourself will also escape giant
    If the throw has only single command, then just duplicate that command.
    Since many characters have more than a few throws, you now see it's a harder
    guessing than Tekken. But fortunately you can option select throw-escape
    like following:
    If you quickly input P+G (joystick neutral) then f+P+G, you will escape
    regular P+G throw and any command throw that ends in f+P+G.
    Connecting Throws
    Now let's examine the important differences between the properties of the
    In both Tekken 4 and VF4, throws have execution times. However, in VF4, the
    throws tend to have longer reach and execute faster, so you may find
    yourself being thrown from an unexpected distance in unexpected situations,
    especially when dealing with the heavies. (Well, in Tekken this also happens
    too I guess, against the likes of King and Julia etc.)
    As a general rule of thumb, if you have to dash in order to throw that means
    the throw is no longer guarranted. But of course, there are many situation
    when you can guess that he will block thus allowing you to dash in and
      Still it's important to learn to take avantage of VF4's deceptively long
    throw ranges and speed. Also quite a few moves in VF4 are minor counterable
    with throw if blocked.
      As matter of fact, throw is the FASTEST MINOR COUNTER MOVE in the game.
    Even many moves (though not all) that have less than 8 frame disadvantage
    can be minor countered if blocked. (Again, think of Julia's Mad Axe
      To use this move as minor counter you just have to buffer in throw
    command quickly after blocking. (Refer to the note about buffering under
    "Basic Poke Mechanism" section.)
    It's useful to know what are throw counterable and what aren't. Some
    examples that are throw counterable:
    Most juggling knees. (f+K)
    Akira's juggling shoulder. (FC, f+P+K)
    Jacky's Elbow-Heelkick (f+P,K)
    Most rising attacks are not throw couterable however. But if they block
    afterward. . .
    What these mean
    Here let me sum up the general implications of the throw mechanism in VF4.
    In VF4, unlike Tekken, throws are integral part of the gameplay at all
    competition levels. Just imagine Tekken where everyone has easy access
    for Julia and King's throws. . . that should start to give you an idea.
    If the opponent defends standing and just blocks low attacks on reflex,
    you can always fall back to throw game. This contributes to the overall
    game balance since not everyone needs strong and fast low attacks (Think of
    Mishimas and Julia in TTT) to survive. May the best player, not the 
    character, win.
    Notes about Reversal
    In VF4 all the high reversals are done by b+P+K, all the mid-reversals done
    by b/d+P+K, and all the low reversals done by d+P+K. Unlike DOA,
    not every move can be reversed or parried of course. Here are some
    breakdowns of reversal class:
    Moves that cannot be reversed/parried by anybody:
    Moves that use either headbutt, butt (Seriously) or both hands
    (urgh, save the stupid jokes please) Anyway,
    examples: Jeffry's headbutt. Akira's double palm.
    Moves that can only be parried by Aoi:
    Kicks and sweeps that involve full spinning motion.
    Elbows and punches:
    Some character can reverse both elbows and punches. Some can only
    reverse punches.
    Knees and kicks:
    Some characters can reverse both knees and kicks. Some can only
    reverse kicks.
    This does not cover everything but will give you general idea on different
    reversal/parry situations. Also, you might know this already but the
    reversals and parries in VF4 cannot be "chicken"ed unlike as in Tekken.
    Also there is no universal low parry like Tekken. Akira and Aoi have
    low reversals. Wolf has low punch reversal.
    Auto Parries
    There are certain stances where you can auto parry your opponent's move.
    These include Lei's crane stance, Vanessa's Vale Tudo stance and Jacky's
    regular stance. To auto parry from this stance, do NOT do anything. No
    guard button and no stick movement and you will auto parry punches.
    Aoi's Yin Yang stance works more like Law's Fake Step. She will auto
    parry high/mid punches and kicks while she is swinging her arms around.
    This is the term used for those special parrys that behave differently from
    regular parries. Good examples are Akira's b+P+K+G and Sarah's P+K from
    Flamingo stance. While many of them are just different kind of parries,
    there are a few that actually "hit" if the opponent doesn't block. An
    example is Lei's P from his Tiger Stance. During the execution it overrides
    high and mid attacks and unlike parries/reversals, it will actually hit as a
    mid attack. Many of these Sabaki moves can be very useful if used right.
    About the sticks: Can you count the number of buttons?
    Let's discuss some subtle issues. On the VF4 panel, there is a block button.
    And one punch button and one kick button. The first significance of the
    block button, in comparison to Tekken 4, is that it lets you block low
    without worrying about finding that d/b diagnoal. Hold the block button and
    hold either down or d/b and you will be able to block low.
    There are more advanced uses for the block button, but for now let's move on
    to the punch and kick buttons. Unlike Tekken, VF always had one button for
    punch and one button for kick. This has a very subtle, but important
    Let's back track a little and consider the fact that Hwoarang is the only
    Tekken character who fights with either left foor or right foot forward
      And just to throw a single jab with Hwoarang, you need to watch out the
    stance he is in so you know if you have to push LP or RP button. Thankfully,
    again Hwoarang is the only character who requires you to do this. Now let's
    get back to the VF world, where EVERY character can fight with either RFF or
    In most cases it doesn't matter since there are no LP/RP LK/RK kick anyway.
    Hitting f,f+KK with Akira will give you double jumping kick regardless of
    which leg you have up front.
    At the intermediate/advanced level this has a couple of important
       The first is that in order to dodge successfully, you have to watch out
    which foot of your opponent is forward. Let's say you expect your opponent
    to throw a basic elbow (f+P) and you want to dodge it with a sidestep.
    Since the basic elbow uses whatever hand that is put forward, you need to
    watch his stance and dodge accordingly. (So if your opponent has left foot
    forward, you dodge to his right. If you opponent has right foot forward,
    you dodge to his left.) You may notice that the fundamental idea behind
    dodging is not different from Tekken. But since VF characters often change
    the stance, that's something you need to watch out for, unlike Tekken.
    It's not difficult once you get used to it.
    In the VF circle, another terminology often used is "closed side" and "open
    side" Closed side means where the character's back points. "Open side" means
    the side where the character's stomach's points. (Stupid terminology if you
    ask me.) Alternatively, we also say "dodge to the oppoent's back" or "dodge
    to the oppoent's front" when we explain the proper dodge direction.
    Relative stance issues
    Other term you may run into are: "Closed stance" and "Open stance." What
    this means is as follows:
    the feet position of the two fighters
    X      X             Here we have "closed stance" (1P has RFF, 2p has RFF)
      X      X
    X        X           Here we have "open stance" (they have different foot
      X    X               forward)
    For VAST majority of situations you don't actually have to worry about this
    too much. And in fact most VF players don't bother paying attenion to this
    issue. There are however some specific situation where this comes into play.
    I may add those situation in a future revision (or maybe even another FAQ?)
    But for now let's move on.
    Okay then tell me more about dodging in this game
    VF4 abandoned VF3's dodge system and made some drastic changes. In short VF3
    dodge system resembled Tekken3/4 a little more.
      In VF3 dodges covered longer distance and could be canceled by crouch dash
    and this allowed what we call "Korean step." This basically was the same 
    as sidestep canceled into wave dash in Tekken. In both games this mechanism
    allowed some crazy 3d movements.
    In VF4, however, dodge became much more restricted and more difficult to
    use. There are in fact two diffrent kinds of side step in VF4. One is when
    you just sidestep when the opponent is not attacking you. The sidestep you
    get at this situation is pretty useless except may be for strategic
    positioning. You get very limited movements, your opponent can track you,
    and can't be canceled with dashes. More useful sidestep happens when you
    time your dodge correctly just as your opponent attacks you. You will hear
    audible grunt made by your own character when s/he successfuly dodges your
    opponent in this manner. The right way to think about this is that dodge
    should be timed precisely LIKE REVERSAL. And then you can attack your
    helpless opponent who just whiffed his attack.
    For us, this is a serious change from VF3 where dodge was very powerful and
    relatively painless to use.
    Before letting you go, another very important property of dodge in VF4 is
    that you can be high-thrown anytime while you are dodging. So forget
    about using sidestep to avoid throw attempt. In VF3 if your opponent
    abuses dodges going for throw was a very good strategy. But in VF4 it's less
    so since those who abuses dodging would be killed _anyway_.
    Okay here is a reminder on how to dodge/evade/sidestep/whatever you call it:
    hit u or d, return the stick to neutral. Try to time your dodge so it
    "major counters" the opponent's move. (Unlike Tekken 4, if you hit d and 
    down your will crouch.)
    More about movement: VF's crouch dashing
    Of course, you know how to crouch dash in Tekken, but only for certain
    characters. In VF4 series EVERY character can crouch dash.
    The official way to use crouch dash is to f/d, F/D for forward crouch dash
    and b/d, B/D for backward crouch dash. Alternative way to do this is
    d, f/d,d,F/D. (Think of Law's sliding tackle for example.) This used to be
    more reliable way to crouch dash especially on a lousy stick. But in VF4 you
    can go into dodge by mistake if you are not carefull. If you buffer the
    command into a move's recovery, or buffer with block button down (let the
    button go after buffering), you won't have to worry about accidental dodging
    too much.
    There are no crouch-dash specific moves in VF4 like the ones found in Tekken
    (for example, Wind God Fist) So every move that requires FC position can be
    done from crouch dash without any cancelling technique. Most characters have
    useful FC move of some sort, so ability to quickly buffer crouch dash can be
    very useful.
    Crouch dash can be canceled with the guard button.
    So to sum it up, compared to Tekken3/4 or VF3, VF4 doesn't have as much
    potential for sidestep maneuvers. It however has backward crouch dash.
    This can be a very good defensive move that avoids high throw and high
    attacks while allowing you to move backward.
    Combined with backward crouch dash and regular backdash, VF4 offers
    substantial amount of options for people who like to (ab)use backdash. Of
    course, there are factors working against backdashers as well. All the VF4
    stages are confined one way or the other so you can't just keep running
    away. VF4's throw mechanism also make turtling not so easy.
    The riser and the attacker: Eternal Struggle
    You have seen this zillion times: The one who's down wants to get up safely
    and turn the table around if possible. The attacker wants to make sure the
    other guy stays down. At the intermediate level and up the question often
    becomes not who can do the most impressive juggles, but who can survive this
    wake-up game better.
    In VF4 it's no different. What's different, of course, is in the details.
    First, tech roll is done by hitting P+K+G as you hit the ground. d+P+K+G
    will let you roll out of the screen, u+P+K+G will roll into the screen. And
    plain P+K+G will let you kip up. In general tech rolling in VF4 is safer
    than the ones in Tekken. You recover standing after kipping up in place.
    You recover crouching after tech rolling side ways.
    Once the tech role is over, of course, fight starts again.
    The attacker can force brutal guessing games after tech roll
    as victim must predict which way the attacker will attack. Middle? Low?
    Throw? If the victim guesses right, of course, s/he can turn the table
    (If you guessed wrong, well, then it's another wake up game for you.)
    Since you recover low after techrolling side ways, you can perform FC move
    right after. This is quite useful for characters like Akira, Pai and Lau
    who have strong FC moves. On the other hand, if you techroll sideways your
    opponent can connect low throw or a mid level move with a right timing.
    For some throws you can tech roll just as you hit the ground to reduce
    damage. The examples are:
      Wolf's Giant Swing(HCF+P+G)
      Kage's Ten Foot Toss (b+P+G, if you didn't get hit on your way down)
      Jeff's body press (b+P+G)
    The rising attacks are basically mid-low guessing game like Tekken.
    Walls: Friend or Foe?
    The wall dynamic in VF4 is quite different from both Tekken 4 and VF3.
    What's common is that in both Tekken 4 and VF4 wall combos can be quite
    painful. Let's examine the differences then.
    There is a form of wall stun but a little different from Tekken 4. Instead 
    sticking up against the wall, VF4 wall stun causes the character to collapse
    down. For example, Jeffry's d/b+P+G throw is a good way to
    create this situation.
    If your opponent hits the wall during juggle s/he bounces off the wall
    fairly quickly and that means there are less time for wall combo and many
    are tricky to do compared to Tekken 4 wall combos.
      On the other hand, wall tech roll is not possible in VF4. So whatever
    damage happenes, happens, no matter what the victim does.
    Finding wall combos are still an on-going process so can't give an extensive
    list. But if you see your victim bouncing off the wall try _something_
    and you will find you can add extra damage quite easily and frequently.
    Just adding a sweep, sommersault kick, or knee or double low kicks and
    such against your opponent bouncing off the wall may work surprisingly well.
    Some of more obscure examples:
    Akira: b,f+P+G throw, (opponent bounces off the wall) bodycheck (b,f,f+P+K)
    Kage: Ten Foot Toss throw, (b+P+G) Instant rising knee (buffer crouch dash,
    then f+K) PP,b+PK, (opponent hits the wall) Dragon Punch (f,d,d/f+P) (Isn't
    it scary what you can do after a throw?)
    A Note about Ring Out
    This also has been a controvertial subject ever since VF1. But at the end,
    you will get used to this factor. Most arcades have set their machine so
    that the challenger can choose either open or closed rings. So if you don't
    want to deal with it you can simply choose a closed ring. Compared to the
    earlier versions of the game ring outs are considerably less frequent in
    Advanced Techniques
    Option select Defense
    So far, you learned that there are plenty of decision games involved in
    defensive aspect of VF4. This defensive game is quite harsh for defenders
    compared to Tekken really.
    Do I block? Do I reverse? Do I break throw? Of course you have same
    situations in Tekken too, but since throw is more dangerous in VF4 the odds
    are tilted in the attacker's favor once you are forced to defend.
    To keep the long story short, here is a defensive trick that lets you both
    block and break throw at the same time. (Of course here the assumption is
    that you can recover fast enough to block the particular move the opponent
    throws at you.) Let's say you got your move blocked by Jeffry and you decide
    to defend. (But what about his throw?)
       In this situation, hit d/f+P+G to break his piledriver while you are
    still recovering. And before you recover, hit G and hold. (Some people may
    tell you that you need to hit d/f+P+G and hold G. But from my experience you
    can quickly tap d/f+P+G, then hit G and hold G. Either way would be fine.
    The key point is that you should be holding G at the moment you recover)
    And voila! You just performed an option select defense that stops both his
    piledriver and knee. In VF circle we call it G-TE. It stands for guard-throw
    escape. A variation of this is performing a reversal then buffering throw
    escape into reversal animation. So if you can reverse knee (Pai, Akira and
    Aoi can do this) instead of G-TE you can hit knee reversal command then
    buffer in throw escape. That way if he does knee you will reverse. If he
    piledrives you break out of it.
      Also you can do up to multiple throw escapes at once. so quickly hitting
    d/f+P+G, f+P+G, then hitting G and holding will let you escape both his
    piledriver and backbreaker, and lets you even block. We call it G-DTE.
    (guard-double throw escape.)
    Of course this defense is not invincible. Jeffry can simply
    do some other throw or simply go into poke game. (Poke into throw!)
    Still if you can do this option select consistently without being too
    predictable, you will gain a substantial upper hand in this offense-defense
    "modified" moves
    This basically is the VF terminology for using quick crouch dash to perform
    FC moves instantly without taking time to sit down first. Of course, you
    know Tekken has its equivalents and the idea is the same.
    Running Attacks
    Unlike Tekken, there are no standard "running attacks" Some characters have
    character specific running attacks such as Kage's running slide. (Run, K
    causes "foot crumble")
    But that hardly means running doesn't have its place in the game. Even if
    Tekken didn't have specific "running attacks," running would still be an
    important part of offense.
    VF4 doesn't have Tekken's mega damage unblockable moves. (Which you don't
    use anyway) Wolf has unbrekable running clothesline however. Also some
    characters have "guard crushing" move that cause stagger even if you block.
    (Those work a little like Jin's(TK4) unblockable uppercut at the end of his
    laser string. The move is slow but you have to be able to react.)
    "Charge attacks"
    There are quite a few attacks that change the property if you hold down the
    buttons. (Most of them become guard crushing version of the normal move.)
    Appendix A: Character Guide
    Okay, this section is intended to help you pick a character and give you
    basic tactics behind each charcters. (So no complaining that this section
    doesn't have everything. This "Appendix" is already as long as the rest of
    the guide. Refer to "web sources" section to find out where to go from here)
    Ah, Paul of VF world. Back in the VF1 days, in some places it was considered
    cheap to pick Jacky. Except against an expertly played Lau, Jacky was so
    blatantly overpowered compared to other characters. Also traditionally it
    required few moves to win with Jacky. (Think of Paul players who use no more
    than 2-5 moves in Tekken)
    Fast forward to VF4: Now he has been somewhat toned down and made less
      What still makes Jacky deadly is, as usual, that he is one of the best
    striker but also has strong throws. Combined with his strong multi level
    strike arsenal, he fits naturally into VF4's poke/mid strike/low strike/
    throw guessing game.
    If you want to be minimalistic, just jab, low punch, elbow and throw can
    serve as the frame work of your poke game. If your opponent ducks
    to avoid throw, elbow can stagger. You can either follow up with canned
    heel kick follow up after the elbow, or try throw or juggle. (Refer to
    the section about double over stun and stagger for more explanation.)
    As you can see, Jacky is a very good character to learn the feel and
    general strategy behind the game. He may not have the strongest throw or
    the most damaging juggles, but his balanced, easy to use arsenal allows
    you to inflict damage as long as you can keep your opponent off balance.
    Basic strategy:
    Poke using Punch, low punch, low kick, elbow, and b/d+P low backfist. Mix
                   up throw
    Some basic combos: P+K,P,K canned juggle
                       knee (f+K), P,P,f+K (two punches and knee for juggle)
    Alternate f,b+P+G throw and f/d,f/d+P+G throws once you get pressure
    Clone of Jacky, faster but not as strong.
    Actually that's not really true! Before, she could be played like Jacky if
    you wanted to. But in VF4 that's no longer an effective way to play her.
    Unlike Jacky, she doesn't have canned juggles, strong throws, low backfist
    and his set of low arsenal. To make up for it, she has faster punch and
    generally better speed overall. In addition, she has FLAMINGO STANCE. Yay
    like Hwoarang!. Well sorta. If you are a Hwoarang player it's important
    to know similarities and differeces. First of all, she can only move forward
    while she is in flamingo stance. No backdash or side step. What a bummer
    compared to Hwoarang. Although I agree this kinda sucks, be assured that
    it's still a lot of fun to use flamingo stance with Sarah. Like Hwoarang,
    she can hit high, middle, low, and jab. She can even throw, hit throw,
    sommersault kick, and parry low punch from flamingo. Also, although she
    can't sidestep normally, she has dodging attacks she can do from this
    stance. Mix them up.
    Overall, she is more poke oriented character than Jacky. Your throws
    may not do as much damage but combined with your speed and poke you should
    be able to add up damage. Also combined with flamingo stance you can keep
    pressure going while demoralizing your opponent. You also have a greater
    juggle potential than Jacky. (As far as juggles go, she is a high-risk,
    high-return character. All her juggle starters are quite riskly to
    use but she can deal some serious damage if they connect.)
    Basic strategy:
    Poke using punch, low punch, low kick, elbow, elbow-chop(f+P,f/d+P) and
    chop-flamingo stance kick (f/d+P,K) Mix up throw
    Once a while use elbow, (delayed) knee (f+P,(optional delay)K) But be
    aware that her f+P,K is one of the riskiest move as it has large
    recovery time if blocked.
    Flamingo string:   1. Move into flamingo stance using f/d+P,K  f,f+P+K  b+K
                        or b+P+K
                       2. You can do lots of stuff here, refer to the move list
                          in the web resource section.
                       3. Move out of flamingo stance by punch(s) or other move,
                          GOTO 1
    Basic combos: knee or b/d+K (like Nina's divine cannon) into
                       f/d+P,K,b/u+K (recommended)
                  Other (less frequently used) juggle starters include
    He is basically a custom string generator from Hell, to use Tekken
    terminology. He also traditionaly has been a juggle monster.
    Let's see. His building blocks for his custom string rushes:
    f/d+P,P mid level chop followed by punch.
    FC, f/d+P,P lifting palm followed by punch. The lifting palm juggles on
          major counter. (To get into FC position, you can either use low
          punch or buffered crouch dash. Buffer d,d/f,d,d/f+P motion to do
          this quickly and you have rush going on.)
    d/f,d/f+P,P lunging palm. Also juggles on major counter and used to close
          distance otherwise.
    Note: You have option to continue on to his PPPK, PPPd+K, PPPb+K string from
          the above three strings. (All those strings can be delayed at various
          points too.) But if you G cancel, you have a mid level string that 
          as a jab. (And THAT jab can't be ducked if the first mid-hit connected
          or got blocked) See how these can be amazing custom string tool?
    f+P,P   elbow, palm. If elbow hits palm is guarranted. Throw this out
            to get those who try in vain to duck under your punch string.
    Okay now you have tools to brain freeze your opponent. From here you can
    mix throws, sweeps, and other high impact moves.
    d/f,d/f+P+G a fairly strong throw. If you need to switch position use b+P+G
                or P+G.
    f,d+K       One of the best sweeps in the game
    d/f+P+K     super knife, juggle starter
    b,b+P       Turnaway palm, juggle starter
    FC, d/f+P,P+K Lifting palm followed super knife, juggle starter.
    b+P,K       Can juggle on major counter.
    b,f+P       High knockdown palm. Use follow ups like (d/f+PPPd+K if
                 the opponent is not good at tech roll, or p,b+P,P)
    As juggle ender, try PPPd+K, d/f+PPPd+K, or P,b+P,P
    Pai can be played somewhat like Lau, but it's important to know
    differences.  She is faster than Lau and doesn't have as many string
    options, not to mention that her juggles aren't as strong either. In short
    she is more poke oriented character than Lau. Her basic string starter is
    d/f+P,P. From there you can either go to d/f+P,P,f+P (juggles if hit) or
    d/f+P,P,P,d+K (Optional delays.)
    Or G-cancel go into other strings and poke (recommended) Since Pai doesn't
    have elbow strike it's important to mix in her sidekick (d/f+K) to score
    stagger. Also, FC, neutral+K is a strong mid-level attack that knocks
    down. Mixing low punch, throw and low punch, n+K is another basic pattern.
    Juggle starter:
    d/f+P,P,f+P (if the last mid hit hits.)
    FC,f+P (major counter)
    Juggle Ender:
    b+P cause double over stun on major counter. After this f,f+P,K, u/f+KK,
    f+K,K, or u+K+G will connect.
    To the newbies he may look like a slow moving punchbag armed with a limited
    set of vocabulary, but at the hand of an expert he transforms into a deadly
    As a matter of fact, when you analyze throw/strike guessing game none offers
    greater threat than Jeffry. It's possible that he can win just by
    alternating between knee juggle and throw, and both do serious amount of
    damage when they connect. Of course, he is not without weaknesses. Against
    expert players who do option select defense (see Advanced tactics section)
    and out-poke Jeffry, poor Jeff quickly loses momentum. Still, playing Jeffry
    can also teach you the basic guessing game/distance game involved in
    VF4 and award you with some serious damages when you do the right thing.
    Jeff can be considered as Jacky on steroid except the drugs made him slower
    and reduced his move set.
    Basic strategy:
    Poke with punch, double punch, low punch, low kick, dashing elbow(f,f+P),
              dashing elbow-upper(f,f+P,P) and d+G+K (stuns on MC for guarranted
              follow ups)
              Good poking game is especially important against the expert types
    Connect f/d,f/d+P+G throw to win. Mix up other throws or strikes for people
              who break out of it.
    Basic combos/juggles:
              knee(f+K) or kenka upper (f/d,f/d+P) juggle starter followed by:
               P,(P) dashing elbow upper (f,f+P,P)
               P, (P) knee
               low punch, dashing elbow upper or knee (most reliable against
                          medium weight and heavy weights)
               (with high float) K,K,P
              After f+P+K MC double over stun
               low throw
               Other mid-level power hit sequences
              After d+K+G MC foot crumble (ARCADE ONLY)
               pounce (u+P or u+K+G)
               Pick up to start guessing game (d+P+G)
              After d+P+K hits
               Low throw (This is NOT guarranted but has good chance of working.
                  Throw knee instead if your opponent starts struggling out.)
    Against people who do mid reversal/throw escape option select:
              K, K, P
              b,f+P (double over stun) K,K,P
    Wolf is well, a little like Jeff. Also you may find that he resembles King
    from Tekken too. Traditionally he has been considered easier to use than
      His Giant Swing (HCF+P+G) has been the single most damaging throw in the
    game with its jaw-dropping damage and immense ring-out potential. (This
    also has a deceptively long grab range.) But now this throw has been
    somewhat toned down because you can tech-roll/quick-rise at the moment you
    hit the ground to reduce damage. (No tech roll for you if you hit the wall
    or go out of the ring though.)
    Basically you need to poke, throw, and juggle like Jeff does. Wolf is armed
    with more of useful medium range/long range arsenal than Jeff so distance
    game is easier on Wolf. Also his short shoulder (b,f+P+K) is a juggle
    starter that cannot be reversed.
    Some useful moves and combos.
    d/f+P+K is a low knockdown hook (Think of Steve's you-know-what move.)
    and b,f+G+K will connect on ground if the opponent doesn't tech roll.
    f,d+K is another low move that causes double over stun. (pounce
    guarranted.) So unlike Jeff he has low moves for guarranted
    knockdown and that's good to remember.
    dodge+P+K+G gives you his long range catch throw that may remind you of
    a move of King. Just try it and see.
    after f+K or b,f+P+K juggle starter:
    P(G), b+P, u+P
    Ah, so called "Expert's character." A lot has been made about Akira being
    hard to use but seriously, his hard to use moves are really Sega's plot
    to collect more money from those obsessed about mastering his moves. If
    you have dexterity to do Tekken 4's just frame moves and wave dash around
    for breakfast, using Akira's arsenal should be no problem.
    Basically if you can do those difficult moves/combos in Tekken, you have
    enough dexterity to use Akira or any other difficult moves in VF4, sticks
    Even if you can't use Akira's more difficult moves with good accuracy, he
    still has a set of easier and damaging arsenal as well.
    It's true that Akira requires a stiffer learning curve than most. He is
    probably least friendly to mashers maybe except Jeffry, but you are not
    a masher anyway. Compared to VF3 he has been made stronger. So you may find
    it rewarding to learn him after you tried simpler characters.
    Basic Strategy and Combos
    In addition to jab and low punch, his dashing elbow (f,f+P) and super
    dashing elbow (f,f,f+P) are abusable moves. (They cause double Over stun
    when you connect as major countered) As far as juggles go, just learn to
    do Dragon Lance Combo (d/f+K+G,f+P,b,f,f+P+K) and Akira Special 3 (d+K+G,
    Akira Special 3 is especially useful for low float situation. Once you put
    the fear of mid attacks, start throwing.
    (His throws are not bad either.)
    After dashing elbow MC double over stun:
       f,f+K,K  double jumping kick
       d+P, (low punch) plus double palm (FC, b,f+P)
       Dragon Lance Combo
    If dashing elbow floats:
       bodycheck (b,f,f+P+K) seems to be a reliable follow up.
       FC, b,f+P   The best follow up, if you can do this instantly
    FC, f+P+K Shoulder ram (This is a juggle stater. Mix low punch, shoulder
                          ram sequence with low punch, throw
                          and you should start building win streak.)
       Dragon Lance Combo (optional jab before DLC)
       d+P, b,f+P (low punch followed by FC, b,f+P (Double Palm strike)
       P, b,f+P+K (jab followed by double fisted strike)
       P, f,f+KK  (against lightweights)
    d/f+P+K low attack MC double over stun:
       FC, f+P+K shoulder ram (since you are considered crouching after d/f+P+K,
         you can just do f+P+K when you see your opponent falling down.)
       bodycheck (b,f,f+P+K)
       Akira Special 3
    Additional Note: It's safe to say being able to crouch dash can beef up
    Akira significantly, given his options from FC. If you can instantly
    excute his shoulder ram or double palm using buffered crouch dash, you
    will really start to scare your opponent.
    She is a girlfriend of Marduk :) Actually, Sega intended her to be somewhat
    unique in the sense that she is a strong grappler unlike the fast kick
    oriented female characters that populate fighting game worlds. (Except
    Tina of DOA and Jane of Sega's own Fighting Vipers.)
    She has two stances and different set of moves belonging to each stance. The
    one you start with is throw/reversal oriented Vale Tudo stance. The second
    stance is strike oriented Muay Thai stance. You switch stance by hitting
    P+K+G. Once you switch you won't switch back until you hit P+K+G again.
    Compared to Jeff and Wolf, Vanessa lacks strong juggle potential. Well,
    actually, she lacks juggle potential period. She more than makes up for it
    with her large set of strings and throw set up sequence.
    Basic Tactics and Combos
    Again, basic jab and low punch pokes are important. Switch to Muay Thai
    stance if you need some more leverage against faster characters.  You gain
    access to faster, stronger, and more useful strings in this stance. (You
    are vulnerable while switching stance so don't switch when you are under
    attack!) Never forget that she has some serious throwing power and can
    reverse form Vale Tudo stance.
    Here, let me change the format a little and give analysis of some very
    useful moves for Vanessa.
    d+K,P,P (Both stances)
    Here you have two canned high punches that follow a low kick. If the last
    punch connects it knocks down and ground hit/pounce is guarranted. And even
    better news: If the low kick major counters standing the rest of the string
    is guarranted! If the opponent starts ducking your punches, switch to
    d+K,P,K string.
    This move ignores high attacks and if this get blocked, or hits without
    knocking down, you have frame advantage. Enter throw! Connecting this move
    plus a damaging throw would take off half life bar easy. (Recommended throws
    from Vale Tudo: HCF+P+G, d/f,d/f+P+G)
    If this move hits as major counter you can juggle (PPPK or PPK)
    But do not abuse this move as people can duck under it and punish you.
    While holding G: d+P or u+P: Dodging gut punch(both stances)
    She learned this gut punch from Kazuya :) It has built in dodge and causes
    double over stun, allowing you to connect a low throw.  While this is throw
    counterable if blocked, this can easily turn tide of the battle if used
      This can be used against pitbull type players to dodge their attack and
    punish them. Possibly the best dodging move in the game. If the opponent
    breaks out of low throw, use d/f+G+K if you are in Vale Tudo. Use f+P,P,K
    if you are in Muay Thai. (You have to buffer in the moves)
    (Also, pounce works too)
    This move is a guard crusher. You can use the following two options after
    Good moves to mix from a medium range:
    f,f+P+K,P (unblockable take down)
    b,f+P+K,P (med lunging punch string that knocks down)
    These provide basic mid/take down guessing game, as both look quite similar.
    Muay Thai stance:
    f+P+K knocks down and can be followed with f+PPK or d/f+P,K string.
    Well, technically you can juggle with d/b+K+G too. But try connecting that
    move. . . Perhaps only when you expect a rising sweep.
    Muay Thai strings that start with f+P, b,f+P, d/f+P or K are all useful.
    Don't forget that you can low throw in this stance too.
    He is one masher friendly character! Well, okay, he is Lei from Tekken
    fused with masher friendliness of Eddy. Actually it's not that bad. For
    starter you cannot take off close to half-life bar with two hits, like
    Eddy could back in Tekken 3. Still he gives a masher an edge over a
    player without an experience against Lei. If you actually learn a few
    combos he might become even more troublesome.
    Unlike other VF4 characters, Lei's moves naturally move him from one
    stance to another. In that sense, Lei, well, resembles Lei from Tekken,
    or Siegfried from Soul Caliber and etc. The following may not be the
    best and most compregensive collection of streategy for Lei, but I
    will give some idea behind his four stances.
    P,P  (And crane stance)
           This puts him into his crane stance where he can auto reverse
           Those not used to Lei will try to jab or low punch after you P,P,
           only to be auto reversed. (You just have to leave stick neutral and
           leave buttons alone. That's why you will never see this reversal done
           by a button masher.) Eventually your opponent will catch on and do a
           kick or throw after your PP. That's when you resume button mashing :)
           No, seriously, hitting K from crane stance gets you back to crane
           stance and can interrupt any throw attemp and most mid attacks. Now
           you are back to crane stance and the same guessing game begins again.
           d+K gets you sweep if you need alternate guessing game.
           Alternatively, f+PP will also get into crane stance. Hitting G
           cancels crane stance.
    P,P,P (And scorpion stance)
           Altenatively, you can use f+PPP or single K to go into scorption
           stance (d+P+K+G also works.) Hitting d+P+K+G from scorpion goes
           into crane.
           PP from scorpion goes into crane. Perhaps the biggest reason to go
           into scorption is P+K frm Scorpion Stance, AKA da Lungin Power
           Strike. If you hit P+K and hold P+K, you will get guard crushing
           version of this move.
           Even when blocked it will push back the opponent. Just try mixing
           scorpion stance, P+K sequence and you will start seeing immediate
           results. This is an excellent okizeme attack too.
          (These moves go into crab stance)
          From here you can do semi-unversal d+K sweep and perhaps the best move
          to use is P,K. (It auto parries some moves and goes into crane
          You can move in this stance actually and it looks like there is a
          potential for advanced stepping technique. (Subject for further
          experiement.) K from crab stance goes into Tiger stance.
          (These moves go into Tiger stance)
          Actually even though they call it "Tiger Stance" this looks
          disturbingly similar to the crab stance. But you should be able to
          tell the difference soon enough.
          Just hitting P out of Tiger stance executes the move called hammer.
          This move goes through high and mid attacks and cause double over
          stun when hit. (Follow it with b+P,P)
          your opponent tries to block this, you can do d+K,P. (BTW,
          d+K,P from Tiger Stance gets you into crane stance, which is
          great for continuing the pressure.)
    From normal stance:
    f,f+K Use these moves when thing get hairy.
    d+K+G a sweep.
    u/f+K+G Juggle starter. Something like d+P, u/f+K+G or simple PPP will
          connect as juggle ender.
    d/f,d/f+P,P Another juggle starter. Try P+K,P,P or d+P+K,P (The latter
          goes into Tiger and creates an interesting wake up game.)
    d/f+P+G This is a throw that lets you do a bounce juggle. After this throw
    you can try P+K,P,P or d/f,d/f+P, K+G
    What I have written so far will give you basic building block of your
    strategy, but be aware there are so many moves not mentioned here. Just
    like Tekken Lei, he has mind boggling combincation involving many
    different stances so get a move list and start experimenting.
    It's unfortunate that he attracts newbies with his funny stances. Then the
    newbies get their ass handed back to them and lose interest in the game. He
    is simply not an easy character to use and even tougher to use him to win.
    (Akira is hard? Bah. He is a cheap bastard compared to Shun.) At the high
    level of competition it's not really a matter of how hard it is to do a
    move, but how hard it is to conect your move. THAT is not easy with Shun.
    With Shun it's very important to keep mixing up since he doesn't have many
    easy to abuse moves (unlike Akira even.) At least not until you get drunk.
    So for now I advise against using Shun as a beginner character.
    Basic Strategy and Combos
    I am not a Shun expert but I will write what I know.
    To win with Shun you need to drink. As you drink, your move will
    do more damage and gain access to new moves. To drink, connect P+G throw,
    back throw (P+G), f+P+K, or hit P+K+G from lying down stance. (HCF) To
    connect throws you will have to poke. In early stage you might even want to
    forfeit juggle opportunities in order to drink. (Knock him down, lie down,
    then drink.)
    Some other useful moves:
    d+K       Shun's low kick is one of the best. Poke with this in addition to
              jab and low punch.
    d/b+KK    Low-high kick. If the first kick hits the standing opponent the
              high kick is guarranted for knockdown.
    FC, d/f+P This creates double over stun.
    d/f,f+P   This is THE juggle starter for Shun. Once you get 6 drink points
              you can do d/f,f+P,P combo (uppercut followed by backfist)
    b,d/f+P   Sliding palm, another juggle starter and can be used as juggle
              ender too.
    d/f+P,P,K You won't be able to use it till you get 8 Drink points. (d/f+P
              works without drinks but the rest of the string won't) Once
              you get this move use it as juggle finisher. To use this in
              a juggle, after juggle starter move the stick to d/f
              first and let it sit there before hitting PPK, rather than hitting
              d/f and P at the same time. (You will get ground attack if you do)
              When you don't have drink points, f,f+K or b,d/f+K are recommended
              as juggle enders. (Extra note: It is highly recommended that
              you go into headstand stance by hitting P+K+G right after the
              last K. The reason is that if you don't, you will fall down lose
              one drinking point)
    u+K       This is another juggle starter that beats low punch. Also, you can
              connect f+P+K as juggle ender after this to gain drinking points.
              Unfortunately, if the opponent tech rolls after f+P+K s/he will
              recover faster than you do.
    PP,d+KK   You gain this move after 6 drinking points. Note: According
              to a Japanese source, after certain number of drinking points
              the string is guarranted if the first P connects. (!)
    d+G+K,K,K (When you are drunk) These are sweeps to mix up.
    Special dodge: d/f+G+P+K, u/b+G+P+K
    However I still need to repeat this again: I have seen Shun drawing the
    newbies like the bugs being drawn to those electric bug zappers. . . only
    to get slaughtered after doing some stupid drunken dances.  Shun is simply
    not a good beginner character and not a good character to learn basics of
    VF either.
    He clearly is easier to use and win than Shun but he doesn't have strong
    damage potential. He does have his share of double over stuns, juggles, and
    decent throws so still a viable character if you learn to use these. Not
    necessaily a character newbies should pick against an experienced player
    d+P, b/d+PP, f+P,d/f+P, P,P  are all his good poking tools. d/b+K is also
    an annoyingly effective low attack. (You are screwed if you get blocked
    f,f+P, b,d/f+P, b+P+K, HCB+P all can create double over stun, f,f+K,K will
    work in all situations. Also try b,f+K+G.
    His FC,f+P and b,b+K,P+K are primary juggle starters. (b,b+K lifts and P+K
    keeps the opponent in air for further damage.) Use the following moves (or
    combinations there of) after you connect a juggle starter.
    Throw combinations:
    FC,f+P+G throw, b,f+K+G
    b/d+P+G throw,f/d+P,P,f,f+KK (I don't think it's guarranted, but works
    In Vf4 she does have some serious damage potential unlike in the previous
    She is the best reversal user in the game, able to reverse/parry 95% of
    moves including rising atatcks. (This is kinda shock to the VFers who
    are not used to have the rising attacks reversed.)
    Her Yin/Yang stance (b+P+K+G. Refer to move list for other ways to get into
    this stance) is a simply an auto parry stance for high/middle punches and
    kicks. More on this if we find better uses of this stance.
    Basic Strategy
    Poke with punch, punch strings, low punch, low kick. from there mix up
    PPP variants, elbow variants, sweep, throw and reversals.
    f/d+P (major counter),PPPK  f/d+P interrups surprisingly well and overall
          damage is no laughing matter either. The main juggle used by Aoi
    FC, f+P+G throw, ground throw (d/f+P+G)
    b,b+P+K, b,d/f+P, f+K+G,P
          All of these create double over stun and can be followed with one of
    the following
          low throw
    Did I miss anybody? Oh Yeah Kage
    To be honest he was one of the cheaper characters in VF2/VF3 days. He is
    made more difficult to use by toning down his ring-out, combo, and poke
    (Oh boy what else is there to tone down.)
    The way to inflict big damage using Kage is now limited, but the most
    important option still continues to be his ten foot toss throw (b+P+G)
    After you launch your opponent sky high into the air with this there are
    bazillion different juggles you can do. But you just need to find what
    works for you. Many of these combos can be difficult to do on crappy sticks.
    If you don't want to/can't do complex juggles, then canned b+P+G,u+P+G chain
    will do 60 points of damage. (hit u+P+G without delay) But seriously, if you
    want to play Kage you should learn to do more damaging TFT combos. Really
    what else is there for Kage. . .
    Of course, a weary opponent will always try to escape your Ten Foot Toss
    Fortunately Kage has a multitude of different throws that can do at least 50
    points each so mix up.
    Basic Strategy.
    Poke with punch, low punch, throw out elbow to cause stagger(don't overuse
    elbow since it's slow compared to Jacky and Sarah's)
    His d+G+K (mid heelkick that knocks down) seems to avoid high attack just a
    little. b,b+K+G low attack is useful for knockdown. d/f+P and FC,d/f+P,
    although not the fastest moves, should be used since they are juggle
    starters. With these you have foundation for poke/mid/low/throw game.
    Basic Combos
    d/f+P or FC,d/f+P followed by one of the following:
         P, d+P+K,K
         u/b+G+K (sommersault kick)
         P, u/b+G+K
    b,b+K+G, d+P,d+K, dragon punch (this only works against people who don't
             tech roll so don't bother if your opponent knows how to tech
    b,b+K+G, u+P (pounce)
    u/f+K+G, d+P, dragon punch (f,d,d/f+P)
             u/f+K+G gets people who sweep/rising sweep
    f+P+G (exchange throw) dragon-punch, drop kick (f,d,d/f+P,K)
    Ten Foot Toss combos: too numerous to list. Refer to the resources in "Web
             sources" section. But here is an easy one to give you an idea:
             after b+P+G, d+P+K, b+P,K, d+P+K,K
    To sum it up:
    Balanced Striker: Jacky, Sarah
    Balanced Strikes plus Reversal: Akira
    Grappling and brute force: Jeff, Wolf, Vanessa
    Poke and custom strings from Hell: Pai, Lion
    Custom strings and juggle from Hell: Lau
    Stances and strikes: Lei, Shun
    Speed, reversal and stun: Aoi
    Speed and throw: Kage
    Appendix B: Web sources
    This guide never meant to be an all-inclusive guide for VF4 and you are
    encouraged to look for other sources.
    Probably the English site with the most traffic. To access the site's forum,
    click on the link named "versus city" You may find useful info if you take
    patience to wade through the posts. If you have less patience, the site also
    has its share of organized info. It has move list, general text FAQs, and
    character guides for Lion, Lei, Jeffry and Sarah.
    An excellent, information oriented site. It has systems info, extensive
    movelist, combo list (in progress) and damage data for the mathheads, and 
    For media and a list of non-English links, FeixaQ's Vf4fx website
    (http://www.clandxm.com/vf4/) is recommended. You will find a collection of
    VF4 play video footage from around the world. CreeD also maintains FTP
    mirrors of VF4 videos. (ftp://vf.dyndns.org)
    Recommended, general non HTML docs
    -Rich William's VF4 General FAQ/Movelist (go to virtuafighter.com, click on
    vf4 and go all the way to the bottom) This would be the next logical
    document to devour once you are through with this FAQ.
    -Rich William's VF4 Combo FAQ (same location as above. But please note that
    some of the stuff here, as the author himself admitted, have not been
    confirmed and could contain errors or obsolete info.)
    Appendix C: Acknowledgements
    I would like to thank the following Tekken and VF players for
    Harold Hesse
    Rich Williams
    Jeffry Yuwono
    Shang Yang
    Others I played against in England and Massachusetts.
    For the research material, I benefitted from the following sites so I would
    like to thank the people behind them:
    Virtua Project  (www.virtuaproject.com)
    TeamBattle Zone (www.tbzone.co.kr)
    Tekken Zaibatsu (www.tekkenzaibatsu.com)
    Note about contacting me:
    Contributions and comments are welcome. However, individual questions, in
    general will NOT be answered. (Let's face it, what's the point of writing
    a FAQ if I have to answer individual questions anyway? Try first to digest
    the content in this FAQ and study the web sources suggested. If you still
    can't find answer to your question, post a question on one of the forums.)