Virtua Fighter 4 version B/C^ AAAAAAAA* KKKK* KKKK* IIIIIIII* RRRRRRRR* AAAAAAAA* AAAA**AAAA* KKKK* KKKK* *IIII*** RRRR**RRRR* AAAA**AAAA* AAAA* AAAA* KKKKKKKKK* IIII* RRRR* RRRR* AAAA* AAAA* AAAAAAAAAA* KKKKKKKKK* IIII* RRRRRRRR** AAAAAAAAAA* AAAA**AAAA* KKKK**KKKK IIII* RRRR**RRRR* AAAA**AAAA* AAAA* AAAA* KKKK* KKKK IIIIIIII* RRRR* RRRR* AAAA* AAAA* **** **** **** **** ******** **** **** **** **** FAQ ^sidenote: I wrote this FAQ for both versions of the game. most of the VF4's in the US arcades right now is the version B type, but the one released onto the PS2 is the version C type. I tried to point out differences between the 2 whenever possible, but if I don't catch them all, I'm only human written by ReCharredSigh e-mail me at email@example.com (title all your messages as "VF4 Akira FAQ comments", or i'll ignore them; if you give me an email and don't get one back by 3 weeks(i usually reply before then), that means that your email got bounced; try sending your email w/a different address) version 2.1 307 KBs Beginners, don't be discouraged, what you need to look at is summarized in the "what's the reasons to read this FAQ" section. July 7, 2002 Copyright 2002 ReCharredSigh First of all, lemme sum the legal mumbo jumbo regarding this FAQ in the simplest terms, please don't be like those snobby lawyers that twist every word to their own benefit, it's really degrading of you: =================================================================================== 1. I am not responsible for harm to you due to something in this FAQ, whether it was in the computer sense(i.e. your computer crashed while you tried to save this FAQ) or in the arcade playing sense(lost/won and got beat up due to some technique in this FAQ). 2. This FAQ is free. Plain and simple. That means trying to make money off of this FAQ is wrong, and that this FAQ can't be included in any publications in any way for money profit. You can find it free at the websites I listed. 3. For you people who do write free publications(most likely on the web) and want to use this FAQ for aid in some way, give me credit if you want to use anything from this FAQ, you don't need to quote me on everything, just give me credit at the beginning/end of your work, and I will have no beefs against you. If you want to post this FAQ on your website, please e-mail me first asking permission, else I will be pissed off. 4. And lastly, if you don't want to obey the above, please just ignore this FAQ, and read some other. 5. What characters Sega has created, is of their entire copyright. I have in no effort tried to take one of their works as my own. 6. You can find this FAQ at the following sites: Gamefaqs.com, http://www.gameadvice.com, http://www.neoseeker.com Virtuafighter.com There is also a small chance that this will appear on CreeD's FTP server site; he did ask me for the FAQ ;) If you didn't find it there, chances are it isn't in the latest version. =================================================================================== WHAT TO EXPECT IN THIS FAQ note: since I wrote such a long FAQ, it helps to navigate around if you use the "find" feature(CTRL+F, then type in the subcategory JUST AS IT APPEARS in this table, i.e. A.General Strategy) 0.CREDITS I.INTRO A.Storyline of Akira B.Why choose Akira C.What's the reasons to read this FAQ II.MOVE COMMANDS A.General Move Commands B.Move Command Summary C.Akira's Normal Attacks D.Akira's Hopping Attacks E.Akira's Turn-Toward Attacks F.Akira's Special Attacks G.Akira's Reversals H.Akira's Throws I.Akira's Ground Attacks III.COMBOS IV.STRATS A.General Strategy a.Beginner Player's Section b.Advanced Player's Section c.Initiative Frames d.Option Select(Defense) e.Okizeme(Punishing QR/TRers) f.Misc Stance Countering Weight/height/width Damage scaling system Guard cancelling Crouch dashing Evading/Dodging Tech-rolling/Quick-rising Throws Wall dynamics Reversals Sabaki Inashi Crumble stuns Staggers/stumbles K.O. Hits Flowcharts Fuzzy guard Machi Yomi CD cancel Rising attacks B.Character specific strategies 1.Lion 2.Lei 3.Pai 4.Kage 5.Jeffry 6.Vanessa 7.Lau 8.Jacky 9.Aoi 10.Shun 11.Wolf 12.Sarah 13.Akira 14.Dural V.REVISIONS VI.IN CLOSING *********************************************** | 000 CCC RRRR EEEEE DDDD III TTT SSSS | |0 00 C C R R E D D I T SSS S| |0 0 0 C RRRR EEE D D I T SS | |00 0 C C R R E D D I T S SSS| | 000 o CCC R R EEEEE DDDD III T SSSS | *********************************************** /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\ Sega(www.sega.com) and its AM2 department -Yu Suzuki, you have always made the best 3D fighting games that I have seen. Keep it up; you're doing a good job making VF more popular around the US, maybe if you keep it up, we'll find VFers abundant in US arcades someday. VirtuaFighter.com -For being such a great site for VFers. I got a LOT of stuff from this site. All of you deserve a huge thanks for helping me make this FAQ happen. Here goes the list of people on the site to thank(sorry if I forgot some names): CreeD:for some technical info such as best followups after the BG, if a SPoD is guarenteed after an inashi, best followups after a ST Mr. Bungle:for the excellant FAQs he had online; the revision B counterability FAQ, the combos FAQ, and the VF3tb Kage FAQ(for writing the option select and fuzzy guard specifics); all these helped to write stuff about their respective sections FeixaQ:for helping answer some of my questions about Akira, such as what was guarenteed after a BG Nutlog:for providing the excellant backstagger combo with Akira, as well as his damage scaling FAQ, which I used to write the damage scaling section; it's an excellant FAQ BTW, check it out if you have time ken:for his Lei dojo which most definitely helped to write anti-Lei strategies, and for starting the anti-rising attacks forum which helped to write some okizeme specifics ice-9:for his excellant Jeffry, Lion, Pai, and Sarah dojos, all which helped to write their respective strategies against them. and if you're a beginner, you can read those dojos if you want to get good at the respective characters; just beware, they're strictly for revision B only uk-guy:for the excellant Kage FAQ, which some snippets were used to write the anti-Kage section, as well for some of the combos that he posted online, and a few little things here and there. he also helped me INCREDIBLY, giving me hints on fighting Kage, as well as new thoughts on Akira's attacks SummErs:for writing the excellant throw escape article(or translating it anyhow), helping to determine the best thing to do after certain escaped throws; this definitely helped me write the situations about Akira's throws as well as the situations to do after the opponent's escaped throws. in addition, it is a very great article; check it out if you have time. and for helping edit my anti-Jacky tactics for me. oh yeah, he helped me revise my anti-Pai strats, and I also give him credit for the VF4 storyline, which i cut and pasted GLC:for writing the revision B movelist which helped to get down Akira's moves, as well as some of the specifics of the game(newbies, if you're confused about the dynamics of the game, reading his FAQ would help). sorry I didn't ask you for permission to use your FAQs beforehand, but it's all good; all is forgiven, no? ;) MisterWhite:directly gave me advice on Akira. Thanks man, and yes, I will try to help give you advice on your Wolf flowchart FAQ Myke:last, but not least, for the site, and the excellant version B and C movelists, as well as all the excellant articles he wrote; sabakis, evading, and the break falling articles. all these helped to write certain aspects of Akira such as moves that the opponent can evade, or what attacks Akira can evade, as well as touch on the concept of break falling; all of them are excellant articles, and I strongly suggest that if you have time, you go and check them out; they would tremendously help your knowledge of the game. in addition, he has written some seriously good posts in the forums, which i used to help write this FAQ. VirtuaProject.com -Another good VF website to check out. I got how to walk in 8 directions from this site. Gamefaqs.com -For providing a place to put this FAQ. Joji Suzuki(firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com) -THE man, because like many VF players he got me started on how to use Akira through his VF2 Akira FAQ. I will forever thank him. Weili Huang(firstname.lastname@example.org) -For giving me an excellant email detailing the specs on Hakkyoku-ken. actarus(email@example.com) -For giving me a rundown of Akira's martial art style. Silent J(firstname.lastname@example.org) -My online game chatting buddy. I wrote this FAQ for people who are still hooked on VF like him. God -For the air I breathe, the ability to live and everything I've got. Oh yeah, and putting up with all those losers in the world like me. \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/ ************************************ | 11 III NN N TTT RRRR OOO | | 1 I NNN N T R R O O | | 1 I N NN N T RRRR O O | | 1 I N NNN T R R O O | | 111o III N NN T R R OOO | ************************************ /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\ =========== A.Storyline ******* =========== *I.INTRO ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ VF1 Storyline: Hakkyoku-ken is one of the foremost Chinese martial arts. During the Second World War, the Japanese army developed their own Hakkyoku-ken techniques to improve their infantry's fighting ability. Akira Yuki is the son of the man who developed these techniques. He serves as the assistant instructor at Yuki Budokan. Hot-blooded and impulsive by nature, he also can be naive and intemperate. After completing his training under his father's tutelage at the age of 23, he went on a quest to test his abilities. When he got word of the 1st World Fighting Tournament, he decided to enter. VF2 Storyline: The only person to whom the ultimate martial art of Hakkyoku-ken is handed down. Realizing that the last time he lacked experience; Akira is now testing the results of last year's training and practice. During the last Tournament, Akira was a bit too "enthusiastic" and his attitude was met with much disapproval. He was humiliated by Kage and bears a grudge against him. VF3 Storyline: Realizing that he lacked experience from his failure to win the First World Fighting Tournament, Akira went through rigorous training to prepare himself for the Second World Fighting Tournament. Akira returned home, with the second tournament trophy. Yet as he was about to proclaim his victory, his grand-father told him, "Don't flatter yourself. You haven't mastered anything yet." In order to answer the question, "What is true strength," Akira resolved to fight in the tournament once more. On the eve of the Third Tournament, Akira is about to demonstrate his prowess. Are we ready to see what deadly powers Akira will unleash? VF4 Storyline: After Akira failed to win the tournament, he went back to Japan and told his grandfather about the disappointing results. With further encouragement from his grandfather, Akira decides to continue his training in the mountains. This time, Akira trained harder than ever, while trying to understand exactly what "true power" really is. However while training, Akira received an invitation for the 4th world tournament. Akira decides to join the tournament to test out the new skills he has learned and try to find the "real" power within him. Short analysis of Hakkyoku-ken: Ok, I made a BIG mistake in writing my analysis of Hakkyoku-ken. Weili Huang, a Hakkyoku-ken student for 5 years sent me an excellant email describing in detail the specifics of Hakkyoku-ken, so I'd thought I would just paraphrase what he said: The japanese have no influence in Hakkyoku-ken, but still think this is the most powerful chinese martial art. The chinese however disagree because they've never believed in invincibility. According to a japanese friend of Huang, the japanese never saw this martial art, so they go to Huang's instructor to ask him to teach them. However, Huang himself states that he learns Hakkyoku-ken to practice its "one-hit" techinique and to beef up a martial art that he is learning. Also in point is that japanese probably got influenced by a japanese manga known as "Kenji;" the story deals w/chinese martial arts and the author believes that Hakkyoku-ken is the most powerful of them. Some of the sensei in Japan will teach their students this art based upon the manga. Akira's Grasping Mind throw actually belongs to the Shaolin Art, but since it came from the comic book, this is why you see the move. 95% of Akira's Hakkyoku-ken is genuine though, according to Huang. The chinese word for Hakkyoku-ken is BaJiQuan, or Eight-Extremity Fist. It is a Northern chinese style of martial art that stresses knocking down the opponent in a single blow. The practioner has a philosophy of "never afraid of a thousand techniques, but do afraid of one." The art stresses "Bear Step, Tiger Form" style of attacking; break the opponent's defense like a bear, then give a short quick blow like a tiger. It uses eight parts of the body to attack; hands, elbows, shoulders, knees, feet, head, hips, and buttocks. Releasing of internal strength is also common practice in Hakkyoku-ken; practitioners will stomp their feet in order to add power to their strikes. Huang also states that going to http://www.sega.com/games/post_gamegame.jhtml?PRODID=827 and clicking on the Official Game Site link will lead to accurate information about Akira's martial art. Another person replied to me; actarus(email@example.com) showed me how the style of Akira could come from the martial art Xingyiquan, which has 3 internal martial art styles(Baguazhang, Taijiquan, and Xingyiquan); he pointed me to the site below and stated that parts 2 and 3 would explain it. http://martialarts.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cis.ohio -state.edu%2Fhypertext%2Ffaq%2Fusenet%2Fmartial-arts%2Ffaq%2Ftop.html ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ================== B.Why Choose Akira ******* ================== *I.INTRO ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Akira is obviously the main character of Virtua Fighter. He is one of the best characters in the game, in fact, I think he is THE character in the game! The biggest reason is his power; 99% of what he does either inhales life by itself or used properly in combos. Akira is also versatile; he has no really useless move. His option select is also one of the best because he is in the possession of many reversal-type moves. It's even arguable that he has some of the coolest attacks in the game. There are a couple of weaknesses with Akira though; many of his attacks are linear and he doesn't have many attacks that hit low. In addition, he is the most un-button masher friendly character in the game. While it doesn't take much to know how to play Akira properly, the actual commands for many of his key moves(knee, shoulder ram, double palm, SPoD to name a few) either require precision & speed or require knowledge of the crouch dash to use properly. But all in all, his damage potential more than makes up for it. Akira's play has also been improved upon once again, making it easier to use him than in the past games. If you can learn to get past the technical control needed to play Akira well, you'll find he's quite easy to pick up on and you'll LOVE the way he deals out damage and just plain kicks @$$. I just want to comment on something; Akira is not cheap; he is not broken to the point where his most effective tactics are uncounterable. In fact, no character in VF4 is cheap, and no tactic is cheap; if you think something is cheap, most likely it's because you don't know how to counter it. Main point, if you become predictable with a tactic, you die. This is the basic rule of VF. SPEED-Many of Akira's attacks come out very quickly and recover quickly, making them perfect for poking at the opponent. The downside is often his pokes outside of the PG and StPm when blocked give the opponents more than 3 frames of initiative, so your Akira can't be 100% aggressive. Some of his insanely damaging attacks take a very long time to recover, but then, this is VF, where you'll expect that big damage=big risk. Akira still doesn't have many quick AND safe low attacks. BTW, Akira's regular movement is decently quick(still not insanely fast though). POWER-Akira is POWERFUL; he is arguably the most powerful character in the game. It shouldn't take you more than 3 properly executed knockdowns to kill your opponent. His combos can take off near 50%, and his bodycheck can take out 60% damage by itself. And that's talking about his non-wall combos; Akira's combos involving a wall will take off at least 50% life, and can go up to around 75% if done properly. Akira's throws aren't very powerful, but the staple ones do good damage at around 60 pts, and some of the throws also start his wall combos. OFFENSE-Akira has his share of great pokes, semi-circular attacks, combo starters, mid attacks, and throws. Excellant okizeme potential and plays best at midrange up to close range. All in all a good offensive character, however he can't play as aggressively as Lau or Jacky, because of some strikes' recoveries, many of his attacks being linear, and having only 1 good low attack(it starts up slowly). He plays best using the mid-level strike/throw guessing game, instead of characters who can use multi-level throw guessing games, or multi-level strike guessing games. DEFENSE-Akira has many good tools to prevent an opponent from attacking him; besides reversals/inashis/sabakis(used properly in option select) and his quick pokes, he also has many moves which can duck or sidestep or backstep moves during their execution. An excellant character to play machi style with. RANGE-Akira can play at mid range to close range. He has his share of short ranged moves making him suitable for fighting up close dictating the pace of the match. Or he can play machi style with his long ranged moves, wait for your opponent to make a mistake, and then unloading on them with a power combo. Keep in mind though that Akira doesn't have a fast, long ranged AND circular attack. WEIGHT-Akira is a somewhere between heavy and midweight. Thus it's a bit harder to create powerful combos on him compared to other characters, meaning you'll suffer less damage in the air. EASE OF USE-Akira is contrary to beginner belief, NOT a hard character to use; true, using him requires being able to master the crouch dash to make your FC moves come out faster, as well as being able to do some of the harder to do moves in the game like the stun palm of doom, but in general, you don't need to mix up as many attacks with Akira as with other characters. True, he is the most un-button masher friendly character in the game, but once you get past the technical side of Akira, he's VERY easy to use, his play style was improved so much in this game that you don't even NEED to use his 3-hit strings to play him properly! You'll have slightly harder time picking up on him at the beginning compared to other characters because of the technical aspect, but once you get past that, he becomes one of the easiest characters to use. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ===================================== C.What's the reasons to read this FAQ ******* ===================================== *I.INTRO ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I think the reasons are simple enough; -Simply put, to learn how to play Akira well. This is the main focus of this FAQ; to educate you the reader about close to everything I think is necessary for you to get good at Akira; that includes the basic stuff, as well as the more advanced tactics that are found. If you are curious about the game system (I don't exactly cover everything there), try the general FAQ written by GLC. -Take a look at the main FAQ hosting sites, and you'll find a fairly sorry list of FAQs for VF4; a lot of the FAQs written are basically glorified movelists with 4 line long strategies and the best part of the FAQ is the covering of the items each character gets(and even then, the item FAQ does way better on this part). For a casual gamer who doesn't have time to kill on the forums at VF.com, this makes it extremely hard getting into VF4 without doing something wrong. This is why I wrote this FAQ(and I also congratulate Robyrt, UKGuy, Nutlog, GLC, and Hyun amongst the few for having attempted to correct this problem with their great FAQs as well). It's also helpful for those who aren't used to the VF4 style of play just yet. -Beginners, to help you find what's most helpful to you, I listed what you should look at in order of getting you best acquainted with the game: 1)beginner's player section 2)general move commands 3)move command summary(and maybe the analysis on key moves) 4)combos 5)initiative frames From there, just look up whatever else interests you; the misc section might shed some light on some of the dynamics of VF4(GLC's general FAQ also touches on the dynamics of VF4 and does a better job than me) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/ ******************************************* | 222 MM MM OOO V V EEEEE SSSS | | 2 22 M M M O O VV VV E SS S| | 22 M M M O O VV VV EEEEE SS | | 22 M M M O O VVVV E S SS| | 22222o M M M OOO VV EEEEE SSSS | ******************************************* /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\ Here's a quick legend to help orient you with what means what f: Tap the joystick towards the opponent once b: Tap the joystick away from the opponent once d: Tap the joystick towards yourself once u: Tap the joystick away from yourself once G: Tap the button that is labeled "Guard" once P: Tap the button that is labeled "Punch" once K: Tap the button that is labeled "Kick" once +: And(i.e. for+P means "tap forward and punch together") : Items in brackets can be "charged," or held down to increase damage F: Tap and hold the joystick towards the opponent briefly B: Tap and hold the joystick away from the opponent briefly D: Tap and hold the joystick towards yourself briefly U: Tap and hold the joystick away from yourself briefly N: Let the joystick go into the neutral position /: diagonal direction(i.e. up/for means tap the diagonal up-forward) HCB: half-circle back(f,d/f,d,d/b,b) HCF: half-circle forward(b,d/b,d,d/f,f) QCB: quarter-circle back(d,d/b,b) QCF: quarter-circle forward(d,d/f,f) H: attack can only hit standing people, and must be blocked^ high M: attack can hit both standing and crouching people, and must be blocked^ high L: attack can hit both standing and crouching people, and must be blocked^ low sL: attack can hit both standing and crouching people, and may be blocked^ at any level G: attack can only hit a person knocked down and on the ground Ht: denotes a high throw St: denotes a side throw Bt: denotes a back throw Ct: denotes a catch throw Lt: denotes a low throw Gt: denotes a ground throw *: note the description FS: move requires to stand first(if you are crouching, you can just do a dash to immediately stand) FC: move requires a crouch first(this is NOT the same as D, as there are numerous ways to crouch) [BT] character must have their back to opponent; short for "back-turned" O: no effect on opponent Note in the above legend, ^ means that it only pertains to strikes. throws and reversals can't be blocked. reversals with a certain hit level can only reverse attacks at that hit level. In section B.Move Command Summary, damage is based upon the standard lifebar setting set to 200 pts. In section C. through I. the frame speed(execution and initiative frames) are based upon the engine running at 60 frames per second. Also, here's the format of the move analysis(I thought it'd be best to explain it right at the beginning to make things a bit easier this time around): Name of move (move command) ------------ (possible abbreviation of the move) reversability level: (if the attack can be reversed, then as what type of attack) execution speed: (how fast the move takes to execute before it hits) initiative frames: (advantage when blocked) / (advantage when normally hit) / (advantage when the attack MCs, or interrupts) PROS: (what are the advantages of this attack?) CONS: (what are the disadvantages of this attack?) NOTABLE FLOWCHARTS: (only pertains to strikes: some recommended options after the move; note that I can't list all good options; it is essentially an infinite list and depends highly on how good your opponent is as well as what he/she does) HOW TO DO IT: (only pertains to "difficult" moves: basically tips on getting the move out) IF ESCAPED: (only pertains to throws and describes the situation that occurs to you when they are escaped) TIPS: (last words on using this move; should you abuse it, should you not, how to use it better, etc) REVISION C CHANGES: (if there are any differences between the move from rev B to rev C, I note that here) final notes: the execution speeds and initiative framestats were based ON THE REVISION C VF4; in revision B some framestats were different. if something recovers in -8, it is throw counterable. look at the "initiative frames" section to get a good idea of whose PG can counter others at what initiative. ======================= A.General Move Commands **************** ======================= *II.MOVE COMMANDS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Standing Dash/Instant Stand =========================== f, f or b, b Dashes can be guard-cancelled. They are also useful to make your character instantly stand; to do any attacks that need to be started from the "FS" position from a "FC" position, simply buffer in the dash right before doing the command. Dashes can be cancelled with anything. Crouch Dash =========== (abbreviated CD) d/f, d, D/F or d/b, d, D/B(the "d" part is optional; d/f, N, D/F or d/b, N, D/B also works) A dash where the character is considered crouching and ends crouching. 3 major pluses to CDing in VF4 are that backwards CDing is possible, CDs can now be done in the crouching position, and that CDing is much easier; you don't need to hold the 2nd diagonal input to get a CD; 2 directional taps will be fine. Learning to execute your "FC" moves by first doing a CD and then immediately buffering the move enables you to execute the moves faster than actually holding down to fully crouch; crucial for Akira, since he has excellant FC moves. In addition, CDing can be useful for ducking high attacks while advancing/retreating. CDs can be cancelling into almost anything(much like the dash). Run === f, F If you are farther than 3/4 of a dash, holding the 2nd forward will cause your character to run until you let go of the F, or press guard. No more running away anymore in VF4. 8-Way Walk ========== (abbreviated ARM for All Range Movement) B/F, then hold joystick in any direction If you hold back/forward, your character will begin to inch forward/backward. If you hold the joystick in any direction, your character will walk in that direction, so now it is possible to walk in/out of the screen for positioning; possible mind games can result from this, and then MC dodging their attack. Escaping Throws =============== To escape a standing frontal throw: tap (last directional input of opponent's throw)+P+G in no more than 10 frames after the throw connects To escape a low frontal/side throw: tap (last directional input of opponent's throw)+P+K+G in no more than 10 frames after the throw connects To escape a standing side throw: tap (left/right, depending on which side the opponent is throwing you)+P+G in no more than 10 frames after the throw connects Learn option select to make escaping throws much easier, especially since in VF4 it is much easier to counter with a throw now. Guard Canceling =============== G during move initiation Why you should use this is best taught by example; you want to do a punch, then an elbow; if you tried P,f+P, the computer would think you were going for the PP combo as Akira. So you'd have to delay some time before doing the elbow, which could cost you. But now, you can do P,G,f+P all in one smooth motion and you won't have to worry about this anymore. Guard Buffering =============== Hold G while inputting commands, release G for the last command Another example why to use this; you want to do Akira's super dashing elbow, however you know the command is f,f,f+P; anyone who's looking carefully will see Akira twitch forward, and be ready for this. By holding G, tapping f,f, releasing G, then doing f+P, the opponent will only see you guard, then come right out with a super dashing elbow, thus, your moves are harder to read. Hop === u,hold P or u,hold K (the up direction can be any up direction) There is no more high jumping in VF. Hopping is still risky though, so don't go for it a lot. Dodge ===== (abbreviated E for evade, MC E for an evade done during an attack, or MC dodge) u(or d),N (any up or down direction will be fine) No more Korean Step maneuvers, the normal dodge's distance, execution, speed, and recovery are all toned down, plus the opponent tracks you during the E. Useful for positioning though(with discretion). The dodge is still useful though; by executing it like a reversal(right when an attack's about to hit) ie MC dodge, you'll get the VF3 dodge with a special sound effect, which has much better speed and distance(and then you'll get a good chance to punish your opponent while he/she is recovering from their attack). Dodges can be cancelled into forward CDs and some attacks. However opponents can be thrown out of a dodge. Getting up ========== Once knocked down, -tap P to stand up faster -tap u to kip up -tap u+G to side-roll into the screen -tap d+G to side-roll out of the screen -tap b+G to back-roll -tap K or d+K repeatedly during any of that to execute a rising kick or sweep Rollers are vulnerable to low/mid attacks during the roll. Kippers are slightly vulnerable to anything that would hit a standing opponent just as they are almost fully recovered. Both are vulnerable to ground attacks, given that the attack has enough hit detection and is in the proper range to tag the rising opponent. If an attack does more than 20 pts and hits at the exact same time as the rising attack, it can beat it out. If you're more interested about Akira's rising attacks, look up GLC's general FAQ. To get up just when you touch the ground -tap P+K+G just as you touch the ground to immediately kip(abbreviated QR as a quick rise) -tap d+P+K+G just as you touch the ground to immediately side-roll out of the screen(abbreviated TR as a tech roll) -tap u+P+K+G just as you touch the ground to immediately side-roll into the screen(abbreviated TR as a tech roll) QR/TR reduces damage that can be dealt in combos and throws. Throws that give out some of their damage when the opponent touches the ground can be QR/TR'd to reduce damage. Attacks that hit OTB(on the bounce) can be QR/TR'd to avoid getting hit by them. QR/TRing every knockdown isn't the end-all solution though; some attacks are circular middle/low levelled attacks that can hit opponents who QR/TR when their opponents recover too soon. In addition, sometimes those middle attacks can cause backstaggers or back-turned crumbles. uk-guy's notes on QR/TRing: "It is possible to TR/QR and take damage or no damage depending on timing. Some moves (usally certain grabs) will allow you to QR/TR but to do the 'just break fall' you have to time a TR/QR just as you hit the ground to take NO FURTHER damage. If you do not time QR/TR on the exact frame of ground hit you will still QR/TR, but you may still take a little damage." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ====================== B.Move Command Summary **************** ====================== *II.MOVE COMMANDS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Damage points are given based on Wolf's Giant Swing(80 pts), and not the lifebar. It usually takes about 200 points to kill someone. If I'm uncertain about a piece of information I'll put a "?" in place of it. Note: the damage and hit levels listed here are based on the revision B game, whereas the execution speed and initiative frames in the move analysis are based ON THE REVISION C game; if there are any differences from revision B to revision C, I point them out in the move descriptions. I DO NOT cover Akira's rising attack options; if you want them, GLC's excellant version C general FAQ does nicely. ***Normal Attacks*** ==================== Description |Command |Level |Damage |Notes ---------------------------------------------------------- Punch |P |H |12 | ---------------------------------------------------------- Low punch |d+P or D+P |sL |9 | ---------------------------------------------------------- Roundhouse kick |K |H |25 |G-cancel possible ---------------------------------------------------------- Low kick |d+K |L |10 |G-cancel possible ---------------------------------------------------------- Side kick |d/f+K |M |24 |crouch-stagger ***Hopping Attacks*** ===================== Description |Command |Level |Damage |Notes ---------------------------------------------------------- Hopping smash |u+P,release P |M |25 | ---------------------------------------------------------- Hopping punch |u+P,P |M |25 | ---------------------------------------------------------- Hopping kick |u+K,release K |M |25 | ---------------------------------------------------------- Landing side kick |u+K,K |M |20 | ***Turn-Toward Attacks*** ========================= Description |Command |Level |Damage |Notes ---------------------------------------------------------- Turning punch |[BT]P |H |12 |continues into P sequences ---------------------------------------------------------- Turning smash |[BT]d+P |M |14 | ---------------------------------------------------------- T. roundhouse |[BT]K |H |30 | ---------------------------------------------------------- T. shin kick |[BT]d+K |L |10 | ---------------------------------------------------------- Turning sweep |[BT]D+K |L |30 | ***Special Attacks/Combos*** ============================ Description |Command |Level |Damage |Notes ---------------------------------------------------------- Punch-kick combo |P,K |HH |12+20 |G-cancel possible ---------------------------------------------------------- Punch-body blow |P,P |HM |12+12 | ---------------------------------------------------------- Elbow |FS,f+P |M |19 |crouch-stagger ---------------------------------------------------------- Dashing elbow |f,f+P |M |20 |crouch-stagger,MC-float ---------------------------------------------------------- S. dashing elbow |f,f,f+P |M |20 |crouch-stagger,normal-float,MC-crumble ---------------------------------------------------------- Single palm |FC,f+P |M |20-35 | ---------------------------------------------------------- Standing palm |FS,b,f+P |H |25 |flop,-2 DP ---------------------------------------------------------- Double palm |FC,b,f+P |M |20-55 | ---------------------------------------------------------- S. double palm |QCB+P |M |30 |normal-crumble ---------------------------------------------------------- Low backfist |FS,d/f+P+K |L |22 |MC-crumble ---------------------------------------------------------- S. jumping kick |f,f+K |M |20 |normal-float ---------------------------------------------------------- D. jumping kick |f,f+K,K |MM |20+30 | ---------------------------------------------------------- Shoulder ram |FC,f+P+K |M |30 |normal-float ---------------------------------------------------------- Standing shoulder |d/f+P+K+G |M |15 |sabakis HP/HE/LP ---------------------------------------------------------- Standing shoulder,|d/f+P+K+G, |M |15+ |MC-crumble power elbow |P |M |20 | ---------------------------------------------------------- Body check |b,f,f+P+K |M |20-80 | ---------------------------------------------------------- E. body check |d(or u),P+K+G |M |20 |dodges ---------------------------------------------------------- 2-fisted strike |b,f+[P+K] |M |25-45 |standing guard-stagger on max power ---------------------------------------------------------- Power fist |b,f+P+K+G |M |28 |backsteps ---------------------------------------------------------- Overhead smash |b,d/f+P |M |25 |force crouch,-1 DP ---------------------------------------------------------- Yoho |d/f,d/f+P |M |35 |normal-float ---------------------------------------------------------- F. break guard |FS,f+P+G |H |5 |standing guard-stagger ---------------------------------------------------------- D. break guard |FS,d+P+G |M |5 |standing guard-stagger ---------------------------------------------------------- Wall climbing |f+P+K+G |wall,M |20 |standing guard-stagger,normal-crumble, jump kick | | | |MC-crumble, can't be dodged ---------------------------------------------------------- Knee |K+G,release G |M |30 |normal-float, see move analysis ---------------------------------------------------------- Stun palm of doom |P+K+G, |M |18+ |RBC can't be escaped |b,d/f+P+G, |Ht |22+ | |b(or d,f)+P |M |30 | ---------------------------------------------------------- Dragon lance combo|d/f+K+G, |M |19+ | |f+P, |M |20+ | |b,f,f+P+K |M |30 | ---------------------------------------------------------- Akira special #3 |FS,d+K+G, |sL |10+ |Overhead smash: |f+K, |M |10+ |force crouch,-1 DP, |b,f+P |M |15 |slam on float ***Reversals*** =============== Description |Command |Level |Damage |Notes ---------------------------------------------------------- High reversal |b+P+K |H |30 |reverses HP/HE/HK ---------------------------------------------------------- Middle reversal |d/b+P+K |M |30 |reverses MP/ME/MK/SK/KN/KF ---------------------------------------------------------- Low reversal |d+P+K |L |30 |reverses LP/LK ---------------------------------------------------------- Parry |b+P+K+G |H or L |0 |inashis HP/HK/LP,stumble ---------------------------------------------------------- Parry, |b+P+K+G, |H or L |30 |-2 DP standing palm |f+P | | | ***Throws/Up-Close Attacks*** ============================= Description |Command |Level |Damage |Notes ---------------------------------------------------------- R.T. and punches |P+G |Ht |40 | ---------------------------------------------------------- Elbow rush |P+G |St |40 |QR/TR possible ---------------------------------------------------------- Big finish |P+G |Bt,Ct |55 | ---------------------------------------------------------- Pull-in throw |f,b+P+G |Ht,Ct |0 |force crouch ---------------------------------------------------------- "",dodge |f,b+P+G,u or d|Ht,Ct |0 | ---------------------------------------------------------- "", |f,b+P+G, |Ht,Ct, |25 |opponent must guard with reverse body check|u(or d)+P+K |M | |u(or d)+G, respectively ---------------------------------------------------------- "", |f,b+P+G, |Ht,Ct, |20 |-1 DP, opponent must guard shoulder smash |P+K |M | |with f+G ---------------------------------------------------------- Stumble throw |FS,b,d+P+G |Ht |10 |stumbles ---------------------------------------------------------- Surprise exchange |d/b+P+G |Ht |0 |turns opponent around ---------------------------------------------------------- Reverse body check|b,d/f+P+G |Ht |25 |turns opponent around ---------------------------------------------------------- Close-in ram |b,f+P+G |Ht |50 |QR/TR possible ---------------------------------------------------------- Grasping mind |d/b,f+P+G |Ht |60 |-1 DP,QR/TR possible ---------------------------------------------------------- Inverted bodycheck|d/f+P+G |Ht |50 | ---------------------------------------------------------- Wall bodycheck |d/f+P+G |wall,Ht |65 | ***Ground Attacks*** ==================== Description |Command |Level |Damage |Notes ---------------------------------------------------------- Ground punch |d/f+P |G |12 | ---------------------------------------------------------- Jumping punch |u+P |G |25 | ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ======================== C.Akira's Normal Attacks **************** ======================== *II.MOVE COMMANDS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Don't ever forget the basic normal attacks, especially the punch and low punch, both are extremely useful for poking at the opponent and setting them up. Punch P ----- (PG for punch-guard) reversability level: high punch execution speed: 12 initiative frames: +2 / +5 / +10 PROS: It is your fastest attack, gives you initiative as long as it touches the opponent, and has a very high chance of interrupting MANY attacks, sometimes even when you've lost initiative. It also makes one of your best flowchart starters. It also has the best initiative afterward compared to other 12-frame punches. CONS: Weak, little range, hits high, doesn't track dodgers. NOTABLE FLOWCHARTS: In all cases, an elbow is interruptable(best used after a blocked PG), however, if the opponent wises up to this, mix between various strikes and a throw. If you're going for the virtually guarenteed throw after a MC, delay the throw command slightly, or Akira's throw will whiff, since throws can't grab people out of hit stun. TIPS: If you aren't going for the punch-kick combo or the punch-body blow(which is very likely to happen), always press guard afterward(hence the abbreviation of PG). When using the PG or PKG in combos, hold forward to gain a bit more range. USE THIS MOVE! Alone PGs won't do the damage for you, but they'll set the opponent up for more damaging attacks. Low punch d+P or D+P --------- (abbreviated LP) reversability level: low punch execution speed: 12 initiative frames: -4 / +3 / +5 PROS: It is your fastest attack(it's back to VF2!), ducks low immediately(those 2 facts already mean you can interrupt MANY attacks, even with lost initiative at times), and uncounterable. It is fairly safe to mix the LP in with your game. A great flowchart starter, since it gives you initiative if it hits. CONS: Weak, little range, no longer hits low(now hits special low), doesn't track dodgers, Akira loses initiative if it's blocked. NOTABLE FLOWCHARTS: Akira is put right into a "FC" situation afterward, so doing your "FC" moves can be a considered option(mixing between your double palm or your shoulder ram and a throw if the LP hits is an easy simple option). Mixing between SDE and throw if the LP hits is a good option too. ECD(see option select) can be a good option after blocked LPs, but you of course need to see what your opponent favors. TIPS: Don't LP to condition the opponent to block low; it should be used to INTERRUPT attacks(especially high attacks). USE THIS MOVE! Like the PG it won't do damage, but it will turn the tables and allow you to set the opponent up for more damaging attacks. Roundhouse kick K --------------- reversability level: high kick execution speed: 14(16 if done while holding F) initiative frames: -1 / - / - PROS: Good damage, tracks those who dodge to Akira's front, better priority than in previous games, and possible combo followup if it MCs. Cancelling the kick with guard can be used to draw attacks or move in closer for a throw. Uncounterable if blocked. CONS: Hits high, good luck if it's ducked. TIPS: Don't use it unless if you're showing off. Low kick d+K -------- (abbreviated LK) reversability level: low kick execution speed: 14 initiative frames: -15 / -6 / 0 PROS: Akira's fastest true low-level attack(good speed), has better range than the LP, can track those who dodge to Akira's front, switches him stance, and in rev B, if it MCs, the double palm is guarenteed afterwards. Hits OTB, making it a good ender for juggle combos, yet still enables Akira to recover quickly enough that he can punish those who QR/TR. Can be cancelled, which can be used as a bait move, or to safely change stance(enables some evil guessing games with DFS and SPoD during a QR/TR). CONS: Akira loses initiative if it hits normally, and if blocked he's toast; in short, the framestats suck. It's also weak. TIPS: An easy way to finish opponents off when they get down to about 10-20 pts of life is to discreetly use this move. Or use the cancelled version to change stance or bait; other than that, not really useful. REVISION C CHANGES: The LK is a linear attack. But then, it's not like you use the LK as your primary way to hit dodgers anyhow. I also believe LK(MC),DblPm is no longer a combo in revision C. Side kick d/f+K --------- reversability level: side kick execution speed: 16 initiative frames: -5 / 0 / +8 PROS: Good range, decent speed, can stagger opponents if it hits crouchers, and gives Akira HUGE initiative if it MCs. Because it changes stance, it has slightly better tracking properties than other sidekicks. Can be used to backstagger opponents. CONS: Akira loses initiative if it's blocked. TIPS: If it staggers the opponents or MCs them, force a strike/throw guessing game. Also use it for backstaggering(see okizeme under misc). In general though, Akira has better mid-level attacks. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ========================= D.Akira's Hopping Attacks **************** ========================= *II.MOVE COMMANDS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Hopping attacks are risky as ever, only use them in rare occasions. Just keep in mind that they can't be reversed. Hopping smash u+P,release P ------------- reversability level: - execution speed: 35 initiative frames: -11 / - / - PROS: Knocks down the opponent. CONS: Slow in execution, slow in recovery. TIPS: Only use against the scrubs. Hopping punch u+P,P ------------- reversability level: - execution speed: 26 initiative frames: -9 / -1 / - PROS: Knocks down the opponent on MC CONS: Slow on execution and recovery; doesn't even knock down on normal hit! TIPS: You shouldn't be using hopping attacks. Hopping kick u+K,release K ------------ reversability level: - execution speed: 10 initiative frames: -5 / - / - PROS: Startup is insanely quick, and uncounterable! CONS: Huge initiative loss when blocked TIPS: It's your best hopping attack; when you are desperate to interrupt your opponent's attacks, you can try this. Still, try to refrain from using hopping attacks frequently. Landing side kick u+K,K ----------------- reversability level: - execution speed: 10 initiative frames: -11 / -7 / - PROS: Insanely quick startup CONS: The initiative frames just blow, they speak for themselves TIPS: Don't bother with. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ============================= E.Akira's Turn-Toward Attacks **************** ============================= *II.MOVE COMMANDS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Due to an absence of turn-away attacks, Akira's turn-toward attacks don't play a large role in his game. But sometimes, an escaped throw may place you with the back to the opponent. Keep in mind unlike the past, you can't do many back-turned maneuvers anymore; almost any tap of the G button or the directional joystick places you back around. Turning punch [BT]P ------------- reversability level: high punch execution speed: 11 initiative frames: -7 / -4 / +1 PROS: Can continue into the canned PP or PK options. Does slightly more damage at the cost of slightly slower speed compared to the regular punch. CONS: Leaves you with a massive disadvantage if blocked. TIPS: ALWAYS do the move as PKG to lessen the crap recovery. It's still fairly useless using this to turn around, as d+G is probably much safer. Turning smash [BT]d+P ------------- reversability level: high punch execution speed: 17 initiative frames: -8 / +1 / +1 PROS: Hits mid level, and gives Akira initiative when it hits. CONS: Akira is barely throw counterable when blocked, and the attack is slow. TIPS: There are better options to turning around. REVISION C CHANGES: this attack is a linear attack in this version of the game, which means you won't be able to use it to nail dodgers. Doesn't really matter, cause Akira doesn't rely on turning attacks anyhow. Turning roundhouse [BT]K ------------------ reversability level: high kick execution speed: 14 initiative frames: -2 / - / - PROS: Uncounterable, good speed, knocks down on a hit. CONS: Hits high, and can't be cancelled unlike the regular kick. TIPS: No need to use this. REVISION C CHANGES: the turning roundhouse can hit those who try to dodge to Akira's back Turning shin kick [BT]d+K ----------------- reversability level: low kick execution speed: 17 initiative frames: -9 / -4 / -1 PROS: Hits low. CONS: Slow execution, slow recovery; doesn't even give you initiative in any case! TIPS: Not very useful... starting to see a trend with Akira's back-turned attacks? ;) Turning sweep [BT]D+K ------------- reversability level: low kick execution speed: 15 initiative frames: -17 / - / - PROS: Knocks down on a hit, hits low, decent speed. Hits those who dodge to Akira's back. CONS: Bad recovery. TIPS: Don't use it. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ========================= F.Akira's Special Attacks **************** ========================= *II.MOVE COMMANDS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Akira has the least number of special attacks but the most number of useful moves in the game; many of his strikes are excellant moves. Punch-kick combo P,K ---------------- (PK for the punch-kick combo, PKG stands for the senbon punch) reversability level: high punch, high kick execution speed: 12, 12 initiative frames: -2 / +2 / - PROS: If the punch connects, the kick is virtually guarenteed as long as it wasn't delayed for a fast, good damage attack. CONS: Not as many things are PK-counterable in VF4. NOTABLE FLOWCHARTS: Upon normal hit, an elbow is uninterruptable. TIPS: If you cancel the PK, you get the PKG, which is essentially the PG, except it moves Akira slightly closer at the cost of less initiative(useful for combos and sometimes flowcharts). Use the PK when the opponent has little life for an easy way to finish them off. Punch-body blow P,P --------------- (abbreviated PP) reversability level: high punch, middle punch execution speed: 12, 10 initiative frames: -8 / -7 / -1 PROS: Body blow virtually guarenteed after high punch, and hits mid-level in the cases that the opponent ducks the punch. CONS: Throw counterable if blocked, HUGE loss of initiative if blocked, slight loss of initiative if MC'd, weak damage. TIPS: NEVER USE THIS COMBO Elbow FS,f+P ----- reversability level: middle elbow execution speed: 13 initiative frames: -6 / -2 / +5 PROS: The fastest elbow(and best by that fact) in the game, uncounterable, can stagger crouchers, and gives Akira huge initiative if it MCs; it's an excellant move. CONS: Huge loss of initiative if blocked; slight loss upon normal hit. Somewhat small range. NOTABLE FLOWCHARTS: If it staggers or MCs, force a strike/throw guessing game. TIPS: Virtually uninterruptable in +2 scenarios(and sometimes in +1 scenarios). Learn to use it; it's not that shoddy elbow that Akira had in the previous VF incarnations, this elbow is GOOD. Dashing elbow f,f+P ------------- (DE for dashing elbow) reversability level: middle elbow execution speed: 14 initiative frames: -3 / +2 / - Akira rushes forward then strikes with an upward elbow strike. PROS: Fast execution, uncounterable, +2 if normally hits, juggles if it MCs, and staggers crouchers. Decent range and moves Akira in for up-close games. It's excellant for flowcharting. One of the best moves in the game. CONS: Very linear. Slight loss of initiative if blocked. NOTABLE FLOWCHARTS: An elbow is uninterruptable on normal hit, when the attack staggers, force a strike/throw guessing game. Of course, combo if it MCs(see combos section). When blocked, if you dodge and your opponent attacks immediately, you have a very high chance of evading nearly anything he/she dishes out. TIPS: This DE gives better initiative than the SDE; while the SDE is more of a combo starter, this one is more like a flowchart starter. Choose well. REVISION C CHANGES: The DE's speed is now as slow as the SJK's startup. Still a safe attack if blocked though. However, all in all, the SDE is still better than the DE, because the results afterward are much more favorable when using the SDE. Super dashing elbow f,f,f+P ------------------- (SDE for super dashing elbow) reversability level: middle elbow execution speed: 14 initiative frames: -6 / - / - Basically, same thing as the dashing elbow, but with a farther linear reach, and switches stance. PROS: Fast execution, uncounterable, juggles on normal hit, puts the opponent into a stomach crumble stun on MC, staggers crouchers, HUGE range and moves Akira in for a up-close game. Changes Akira's stance, giving it slight tracking abilities. It is Akira's lynchpin move, and it is arguably THE best move in the game. CONS: Very linear. Loss of initiative if blocked. NOTABLE FLOWCHARTS: When blocked, try to read your opponent; in rev B the initiative Akira lost was equivalent to the DE so an immediate E worked extremely well afterward, but in rev C, you're going to have to try to be very cautious. TIPS: It is the best guard bufferable move in the game; hold G and keep tapping forward; if you see the opponent flinch, let go of G and tap P to do the SDE. Learn your combo followups; they can hurt upon MC. USE THIS MOVE! REVISION C CHANGES: the SDE's speed has been tinkered with. The recovery is still fast enough to make it uncounterable, but the opponent will suffer less blockstun, making Akira lose a bit more initiative when blocked; be extremely careful. The startup has also been tinkered with; the speed is now comparable to the SJK. However, the SDE will still play a big role in your game(the damage potential and staggering mind games are still there). Just that you can't abuse it as much since it doesn't come out/recover as quickly. Single palm FC,f+P ----------- (abbreviated SgPm, m-SgPm for a SgPm done right after a CD) reversability level: middle punch execution speed: 16(15 if done up-close) initiative frames: -7~-3(up-close) / +2~+6(up-close) / +6~+8(up-close) Akira crouches slightly then rushes forward and thrusts his palm forward at the midsection. PROS: Decent speed, good range, uncounterable, gives initiative upon a hit, pushes the opponent back very far giving you breathing room. Will cause a strong wall stagger when the opponent is near a wall, enabling for some guarenteed combo followups(see combos). Also does good damage. Can cause a back-turned crumble stun(use it in backstagger situations). Guarenteed after a stumble throw or forward break guard(in these cases, you can key in the SgPm as QCF+P or d,f+P, which are known as autopalms). CONS: Disadvantage if blocked(although because you're out of range, it's hard for the opponent to force a guessing game), linear attack. NOTABLE FLOWCHARTS: Doing a backwards CD into a double palm or a low backfist after this move are excellant tactics. TIPS: You get better initiative if you connect this move up-close. You must learn to buffer these out of a CD to make them especially useful. Useful for pushing an opponent out of a ring or towards a wall or simply putting breathing room between you and the opponent. It's also your best backstagger tool, and your best wall stagger tool; nailing it gives you STRONG combos. REVISION C CHANGES: the SgPm is a special mid level attack in this game, in other words, it will not give out its damage when the opponent is crouching and blocking; doesn't matter, Akira usually uses other mid-level attacks to hit his crouching opponent, like the shoulder ram. Standing palm FS,b,f+P ------------- (abbreviated StPm) reversability level: high punch execution speed: 14 initiative frames: +1 / - / - Akira steps forward then thrusts his palm forward at head level. PROS: Uncounterable, good speed, gives initiative if blocked, causes a flop if it hits(enables free combo followups), takes drunken points from Shun. Damage no longer range dependent; in general the move's been improved. CONS: Hits high, doesn't have as far a reach as its cousin the SgPm(just slightly further than the PG), and not as fast as the PG. It's also linear. NOTABLE FLOWCHARTS: The elbow, PG, and LP are uninterruptable when blocked. TIPS: Treat it like it was a slow high punch; don't use it to beat quick attacks, but mix it in with your pokes. One of Akira's best followups after an MC dodge, and less riskier than a BC done after a dodge. Double palm FC,b,f+P ----------- (abbreviated DblPm, m-DblPm for a DblPm done right after a CD) reversability level: - execution speed: 12 initiative frames: -12 / - / - Akira crouches slightly, rushes forward then pushes the opponent with both hands. PROS: Speed is now as fast as your PG(!). Damage is VERY good. Recovery has been improved. Good range. Knocks down. Arguably the best FC move in the game. CONS: Throw and 12-frame punch counterable if blocked. TIPS: Excellant mC tool against low opponents in -12 situations, and an excellant juggle combo ender. You must be able to do this move buffered from a CD if you want your Akira to be considered dangerous. If you are doing the m-DblPm as a standalone move; try doing it after a backwards CD; it makes the move 10x harder to interrupt, especially at midrange, making it a sick move. After a LP, a DblPm works wonders, because of its speed and damage, sometimes even when the LP is blocked you'd beat a lot of attacks. Also one of Akira's best attacks right after he QR/TRs. REVISION C CHANGES: the damage has been tinkered with; the DblPm will now do 45 pts max damage as opposed to the 55 in revision B, but the DblPm is still very useful; don't take the reduced damage as a sign to use the DblPm even less; you should still use the move in your game. Standing double palm QCB+P -------------------- (abbreviated StDblPm) reversability level: - execution speed: 24 initiative frames: -10 / - / - Akira rears back with both fists above him, then punches forward at the midsection with both palms. PROS: Uncounterable if blocked(in rev B), causes a head crumble on normal hit, can potentially dodge some high/mid attacks during the startup because Akira rears back. StDblPm,DBC does more than 100 pts of damage in rev B, making this one of the deadliest yet simplest combos in the game(see combos section). This is arguably one of Akira's best new moves. CONS: It has a SLOW startup(it will get beat out if you keep doing it up-close). TIPS: Try doing this move at close-mid range, or as a round opener; it has a good chance of beating attacks during then, and less likely to be beat out at that range. Avoid throwing this move out every second due to its slow startup; set it up. REVISION C CHANGES: the StDblPm will now do 23 pts as opposed to the 30 pts in rev B. Akira is throw counterable if the attack is blocked. It will slam an airborne opponent. All in all, with the reduced damage that the DBC does, the StDblPm is fairly useless in rev C; the max damage you can do with a StDblPm-->DBC combo is about 75 pts, hardly compared to the 100+ pts you could do in rev B. Definitely not as abusable as it was in rev B. Low backfist FS,d/f+P+K ------------ (abbreviated LBF) reversability level: low punch execution speed: 25 initiative frames: -4 / +3 / - Akira rears back, then lunges forward hitting low with a backfist. PROS: Uncounterable if blocked, gives slight initiative on normal hit, causes a leg crumble upon a MC, hits low, ducks very low(it sometimes seems to beat out LPs and many high/mid moves once you get past that slow startup), tracks dodgers very well, and has great range. Also leaves Akira in an FC position afterward, giving him access to FC moves. It's been beefed from VF3, and still one of the best low-level attacks in the game. CONS: SLOW startup(you will get beat if you use it up-close), loss of initiative if blocked. NOTABLE FLOWCHARTS: Very similar to that of your LP; SDE, and DblPm will be uninterruptable when the attack normally hits; mix between one of these and a throw for an easy rewarding guessing game at an intermediate level, and sometimes an expert level once in a while. Mixing between ShRm and throw or a break guard is also a good option too. ECD can be useful if blocked(like your LP), but it depends on your opponent. TIPS: Use it at midrange where it'll be harder to interrupt. Learn your combo followups when it MCs; they hurt. Single jumping kick f,f+K ------------------- (abbreviated SJK) reversability level: middle kick execution speed: 14(13 if done after a successful guard break) initiative frames: -14 / - / - Akira hops up and does a punt kick in midair. PROS: Fast startup, low hit detection for OTB combos. CONS: Counterable if blocked. Also not nearly as effective as in VF3, because a SJK after a break guard or stumble throw doesn't fling the opponent sky high. TIPS: DON'T USE THIS MOVE Double jumping kick f,f+K,K ------------------- (abbreviated DJK) reversability level: middle kick execution speed: 14(13 if done after a successful guard break), 11 initiative frames: -25 / - / - Akira does his SJK, then follows with his other foot doing another punt kick. PROS: The DJK is a true combo in most cases. Does HUGE damage, has a fast startup. An excellant combo ender, for juggle combos, wall combos, and crumble combos; it can enable you to really pile on the damage if you do. Difficult to dodge for those who try a TR into a dodge. The DJK can be used to beat low rising attackers. CONS: Recovery REEKS, enough to warrant that you DON'T use this move as a standalone attack very often. If you tag this to end a wall combo, there is a small chance that the opponent can TR and throw or PG you before you recover, so beware of that(key in your option select). TIPS: If you want to combo a crumble stun into this, it's recommended that you key in the DJK as soon as possible; the 2nd kick of the DJK doesn't hit as low as the 1st kick, so there's a chance that the 1st kick hits, and the 2nd kick whiffs if you waited too long. The DJK's uninterruptable after a normal hit of a LP or LBF. In +14 situations the DJK is guarenteed as a mC tool, and makes it one of the strongest mC weapons in the game at that. Shoulder ram FC,f+P+K ------------ (abbreviated ShRm, m-ShRm for a ShRm pulled out immediately from a CD) reversability level: - execution speed: 16 initiative frames: -13 / - / - Akira quickly stands while lunging forward to hit the opponent with his shoulder. PROS: Knocks the opponent into the air on normal hit or MC for juggle combos, and arguably the move which has the highest damage potential for Akira. Decent speed. Can't be reversed. Initial animation makes Akira duck, giving it good priority against high attacks, and makes it much more useful than other juggle starters. Tracks those who dodge to Akira's back. In open stance, it has a higher chance of beating attacks, such as Kage's d+K+G in 50/50 situations. CONS: Throw and 11-frame punch counterable if blocked. Limited horizontal range. TIPS: You MUST buffer this out of a CD if you want to be able to play a good Akira. To connect this move it's helpful to CD under a high attack then hit f+P+K to ShRm them. Easiest guessing game for Akira is to get into a crouch(LP, CD, or LBF), then ShRm if the opponent tries to hit back/duck, or throw/break guard if they stand block. LEARN YOUR COMBO FOLLOWUPS AFTER THIS MOVE! REVISION C CHANGES: the ShRm is a linear attack, making it much easier to dodge now. The recovery's also been toned down; it is supposedly strike counterable by everyone. Standing shoulder d/f+P+K+G ----------------- reversability level: middle punch execution speed: 19 initiative frames: -6 / 0 / +3 Akira basically does a slow overhead smash with his fist. PROS: Sabakis, or deflects anything that can be reversed as a high elbow, high punch, and low punch during the animation(huge priority against these moves). CONS: Counterable if blocked in rev B. Slow startup(shouldn't matter though; the intention of you doing this move is to beat high elbows, high punches, and low punches). TIPS: Timing of the sabaki is early to mid-early in the shoulder animation; do the move just when the opponent's attack is close to hitting you. REVISION C CHANGES: the standing shoulder's recovery has been improved; Akira is not throw counterable if the attack is blocked, making it much easier to use this attack more often, but you still lose initiative; beware of that. uk-guy suggested the parry after a blocked standing shoulder since many people go for a LP afterward. Doing multiple standing shoulders in a row according to uk-guy is also a powerful tactic. -->power elbow d/f+P+K+G,P reversability level: middle elbow execution speed: 19, 20 initiative frames: -14 / - / - Akira follows up his standing shoulder with a dashing elbow that looks a lot like the stun palm. PROS: Power elbow usually connects after the standing shoulder connects. It knocks down and enables some followups. It causes a stomach crumble upon MC. It can be delayed after the standing shoulder to catch aggressive opponents. CONS: Counterable if blocked. TIPS: Use the delay option to your advantage. Body check b,f,f+P+K ---------- (abbreviated BC, DBC for a deep BC(b,f,F+P+K)) reversability level: - execution speed: 13 initiative frames: -27~-24(up-close) / - / - Akira rushes forward low then stands and turns his body to hit the opponent with his back. PROS: Fast startup, knocks down, can potentially dodge high attacks during the rush animation. Is THE most powerful strike in the entire game up-close; 80 points on NORMAL hit! An excellant and powerful crumble combo and wall combo ender. Has a very low hit detection, making it easy to hit OTB with this. Damage-wise it can also be used to beat rising attacks, as long as you connect this move at the exact same time that the opponent's rising attack connects. You WILL use this move because it's SOOOO powerful, connecting 1 DBC up-close as an MC will make your opponent cry. CONS: Recovery REEKS. Only do this move when you're sure that it'll connect. Damage is sooo range dependent, that if you do the move slightly out, the damage will go very far down to 20 pts. When you connect the DBC near a wall or in a wall combo and the opponent TRs, the opponent may have a guarenteed throw or PG counter like the DJK; key in the option selects just in case. TIPS: Helps incredibly to do the DBC command more than the BC command; the CPU will read the forward taps as the beginning of a dash before the BC command gets registered, giving a higher chance that you nail the move at max damage slightly out. It works great against moves with slow startups(think charge moves) or slow recoveries, or after an MC dodge. Other than that, it's main purpose is as a combo ender. REVISION C CHANGES: the BC will do a damage range of 20-65 pts. This is a HUGE change to Akira, because he used to be able to do up to 80 pts of damage for the BC up close. Akira can't do absolutely horrendous damage anymore(granted, 65 pts is still a very broken number, but Akira used to be able to win just by connecting a MC up-close DBC). You'll still use this move though cause it hurts. Evading body check d(or u),P+K+G ------------------ (abbreviated eBC) reversability level: middle punch execution speed: 19 initiative frames: -15 / - / - Akira dodges then spreads his arms out to hit his opponent with his back and arms. PROS: Slightly more versatile in this game, because Akira can control which way he dodges, and the eBC command can be delayed slightly. Very good priority against linear attacks because Akira must dodge first. Knocks opponents down for a guarenteed ground pounch. Opponent needs to evade away from Akira(opposite the direction he dodged) in order to MC dodge the attack. CONS: Bad recovery(blocked or whiffed), and slow startup. Unlike the normal BC, this BC CAN BE REVERSED as a middle punch. Only decent damage. TIPS: Can still play a good role in your offensive games; get the opponent to hit back after a poke, then do the eBC. 2-fisted strike b,f+[P+K] --------------- (abbreviated DFS for Double Fisted Strike) reversability level: - execution speed: 18(49 if fully charged) initiative frames: -3 / - / - Akira rears back then does a lunging strike where he hits the opponent with both of his fists. Hard to describe exactly how it looks, you'll know when you see it. PROS: Faster execution compared to VF3(just slightly faster than the SPoD). Only -3 if blocked(usually opponents are fooled into thinking the recovery's more, so they go for big-risk moves). Tracks those who dodge to Akira's front (great against dodgers, rollers, and people who TR/QR(mix between SPoD and DFS for a killer tactic)). Can start some combos. Unreversible. The fully charged version of the move not only does great damage, but when blocked causes a stagger making the StPm combos unblockable. Has HUGE range, making it great against backdashers or backward CDers. CONS: Fully-charged DFS has LOONG execution, and an opponent Eing correctly RIGHT at the beginning will make the move miss. Non-charged DFS does fairly weak damage; 25 pts(damage increases closer Akira is to his opponent though). Slow startup(better used at midrange). NOTABLE FLOWCHARTS: After a blocked DFS, use a standing shoulder against people who like poking w/PGs, mid reversal/parry against LPs or mid-level attacks, SPoD against throws, or dodge--> StPm; remember, it's only -3, and definitely not counterable as some may think. TIPS: VERY useful for beating TR attempts if the opponent TRs towards Akira's front; mix up SPoD and DFS with some low kick-cancels here and there for a powerful tactic. Due to its huge range, a backdash into a DFS is an extremely powerful tactic; you can even combine the 2 commands; only need to hit f+P+K during a backdash to get the DFS. Power fist b,f+P+K+G ---------- reversability level: - execution speed: 23 initiative frames: -16 / - / - Akira steps back then lunges forward to hit with his fist at the midsection. PROS: Backsteps at the beginning, so that you can avoid some attacks during the beginning. A LK will hit OTB, and if the opponent TRs, you can backstagger them. Tracks those who dodge towards Akira's front. CONS: SLOW startup, bad recovery. TIPS: Most useful at close-mid to midrange situations(like after a SgPm). Also good against aggressive opponents or rising attacks. However, this is for the most part, a style move; only useful if you want to try for a backstagger oppurtunity and show off. Also can be used with a slight delay after a dodge for some trickiness. When in doubt, DON'T USE THIS MOVE; Akira has much better options. Overhead smash b,d/f+P -------------- reversability level: middle punch execution speed: 24 initiative frames: 0 / +2 / +11 Akira raises his hand then comes down with an overhead fist strike. PROS: Forces the opponent to a crouch, leaves Akira at a crouching position afterward, takes off drinking points from Shun, uncounterable if blocked, can give some wicked initiative upon an MC! Also will give a strong wall stagger when done near a wall, much like the SgPm. CONS: SLOOOW startup. NOTABLE FLOWCHARTS: Not really necessary since it's so rare that you'll use this move, but you're neutral when blocked; fast pokes should work fine; on normal hit, PG, elbow, and LP are all uninterruptable, and upon MC you should just force a strike/throw game. TIPS: DON'T USE THIS MOVE; you have much faster and safe attacks to use on your opponent; only use it if you're fooling around. Yoho d/f,d/f+P ---- reversability level: high punch execution speed: 17 initiative frames: -13 / - / - Akira steps forward low then stands up and does a 2-handed upward strike. PROS: During the startup Akira has some potential to dodge some high attacks. Does good damage by itself, upon MC the damage goes upward of 50 pts, or basically throw damage. Is Akira's most powerful juggle starter. Makes a good followup to some specific combos(Akira's most powerful non-SPoD followup to a strong wall stagger involves this move), see the combos section for more info. Guarenteed after a parry or forward break guard for some powerful followups. CONS: Counterable if blocked. Slow startup. TIPS: Is useful, but NOT AS A STANDALONE ATTACK, usually best in combos. Only do it if you're trying to showboat or are desperate(although I don't think this is the best of Akira's desperation moves). Forward break guard FS,f+P+G ------------------- (abbreviated fBG) reversability level: high punch execution speed: 12 initiative frames: - / -10 / -9 Akira does a small uppercut. PROS: FAST startup. Staggers standing opponents who block(they will get their arms knocked upwards), making the autopalm(d,f+P or QCF+P) or the StPm guarenteed for some combos. Look at the combos section for followups. It gives +17 minimum, so the knee, yoho, and SJK(amongst the recommended followups) are also guarenteed. CONS: Akira is throw counterable if the attack hits. Hits high. Weak damage when it does hit at all. The SJK is no longer a good option after the fBG because it doesn't fling the opponent sky high anymore. TIPS: Try this after a weak wall stagger, since Akira has nothing guarenteed afterward there(incentive for the opponent to block right into this move) or in the pull-in throw mixups. Downward break guard FS,d+P+G -------------------- (abbreviated dBG) reversability level: middle punch execution speed: 16 initiative frames: - / -12 / -12 Akira does a small upward elbow strike. PROS: See fBG, except it hits middle, and comes out at a decent speed. CONS: Akira is counterable if the attacks hits, and it does weak damage. Aside from a perfectly buffered m-DblPm, nothing's guarenteed(it gives a minimum of +12 when it connects on a guarding opponent). TIPS: Arguably Akira's most useless move because it's easily overshadowed by the fBG; nothing huge is guarenteed after the dBG. (although if you're near a wall you can still try for the SgPm--> SPoD combo) Wall climbing jump kick f+P+K+G ----------------------- reversability level: - execution speed: 43 initiative frames: - / - / - PROS: Can't be evaded, can't be reversed, causes a stagger when guarded, and a head crumble on normal or MC hit. CONS: Startup REEKS. Also, Akira needs to face a wall up-close to do this move, so it's hard for him to use often(since he has no turn-away attacks). TIPS: Not many people use wall attacks in VF4; neither should you. However, uk-guy noted that you can try using this on grounded opponents; do an inverted bodycheck so the opponent ends up close to the wall, m-SgPm up-close to cross over their body, then execute the wall climbing jump kick and it should beat out their rising attack; flashy and effective. Knee K+G,release G ---- reversability level: knee kick execution speed: 17 initiative frames: -9 / - / - Akira hops forward to hit the opponent with his knee. PROS: It is only barely throw counterable when blocked, making it have the best recovery of all the knees in the game, and making it the best knee in the game. Can hit those who dodge to Akira's back. Juggles just as well as the m-ShRm(is an abuse move against people who can't reverse knees). Ok startup as well. It is one of Akira's best juggle combo starters. Changes Akira's stance(which may or may not be a good thing). CONS: It is HARD to do. Don't worry if you can't do it consistently, not many can. It's only really useful if you can consistently do it, otherwise, it's just a show off move, since you'll be whiffing high kicks all the time. HOW TO DO IT: You're supposed to tap K+G, but let go of G before 1 frame has passed(that's 1/60th of a second). Press K w/your middle finger and G w/your thumb, then pull off the thumb like you're flicking. But try to graze the guard button instead of jamming it down and pulling your thumb off; on arcade joysticks, you don't need to press a button all the way down to register it, and using this to your advantage will help you do this move(hence why you need to graze the G button, not jam it down). TIPS: If you can't do this move, it doesn't matter, because the m-ShRm is a good substitute, and you're running the risk of whiffing a standing kick everytime you do a knee attempt. If you can do it consistently, it can make for a very good show off move. Stun palm of doom P+K+G,b,d/f+P+G,b(or d,f)+P ----------------- (abbreviated SPoD) reversability level: middle punch, - , - execution speed: 20 initiative frames: -15 / -11 / -4 , - / -6 / - , - / - / - Akira steps forward and spreads his arms to hit the opponent in the midsection with a palm, immediately does his reverse body check, then turns around and does a double palm. PROS: The SPoD is a true combo once again; the RBC can't be escaped(which strangely has changed to the b,d/f+P+G input). It is POWERFUL; doing 70 pts of damage on normal hit. It will track those who dodge/TR/roll towards Akira's back; mixing between this and the DFS during TRers can be a powerful tactic; they must guess which way to correctly dodge. Unlike your DBC, the SPoD isn't range-dependent on damage. Also has great range; can hit those who are midrange to close-mid. And let's not forget that it hits middle. Beginners also tend to think this move is the shnit. CONS: The SPoD starts slowly, and is counterable in ALL cases unless if it MCs(which is rare). The RBC leaves you with a disadvantage if you just stop there. It's all in all best to do the entire 3-hit string instead of stopping short. Also, if you like nitpicking, the total damage is now 10 pts less than that of VF3(still won't really matter now that the string is a true combo). Beginners may also find it hard to do this 3-hit string, due to the motions. HOW TO DO IT: In order to do the combo, it's actually not hard; just remember to be fast, but precise. Make sure you don't start tapping back for the RBC command until you let go of the P+K+G command. Complete the RBC before the stun palm actually hits, and tap b+P for the DblPm as soon as you finish the RBC command(preferably before the animations start showing it). Just remember; though speed is stressed, it's much better that you input the commands correctly. Try doing the commands slowly, then speed up your timing. TIPS: It can be an excellant counter to throws; the throw will whiff, but this will connect. Mixing between this and the DFS to punish TRers should be a constant. This move is SOOO easy to connect in this game, you don't need to connect it as a standalone attack! It's virtually guarenteed after a parry, a SgPm near a wall, and a SgPm on a back-turned opponent, making for some HUGE damage! The SPoD is still not necessary for Akira to play well in VF4, but it's his best 3-hit string, because of its damage and the fact that it's(like I said) SOOO easy to connect! Expect 100+ everytime you stick this in combos! Dragon lance combo d/f+K+G,f+P,b,f,f+P+K ------------------ (abbreviated DLC) reversability level: middle kick, middle elbow, - execution speed: 16, 20, 13 initiative frames: -16 / -12 / -12 , -15 / -13 / - , -17 / - / - Akira steps forward and does a modified side kick(the dragon lance), immediately goes into a dashing elbow(although it looks a lot like the power elbow after the standing shoulder), then immediately goes into a body check. PROS: This makes for Akira's most reliable juggle combo ender. It also makes a good way of pushing opponents out of the ring when near a ring edge as a standalone move, since a DLC can push the opponent very far back. It's also Akira's best juggle combo ender FOR DISTANCE; great for open stages. CONS: The DLC isn't a true combo, and the recovery after any of the attacks in ANY situation leaves Akira counterable. It's best whenever you use it to do ALL 3 attacks; otherwise you'll be worse off. The damage potential of this move was tinkered from VF3 so that this move stuck in combos will only do mediocre damage, not the ludicrously high 81+ damage points you got in VF3. Beginners will have a hard time doing this string due to the complex motions. HOW TO DO IT: Much like the SPoD, when you do the move, speed AND precision are the key. Make sure the joystick goes through the center and that you let go of the K+G command before you tap f+P for the dashing elbow. Let go of the P, then make sure you tap back and 2 forward taps for the bodycheck(common mistake is to not tap back far enough, or tapping forward too quickly, registering as a long forward tap instead of 2 distinct forward taps). And again, don't wait for the animations to show to do the commands; do it before the animations even show(finish the DE before the dragon lance comes out, and be finished with the bodycheck before the DE comes close to hitting). Don't let the pace of the game ruin your DLC attempt; also it helps to do the dragon lance and dashing elbow as close to each other as possible so you get more time to do the BC. TIPS: The DLC is Akira's most useless 3-hit string; that's because in almost all cases you could do a DLC as a combo ender, you can get away with more powerful combo enders(or easier to do combo followups for that matter). It's only really useful for the ring-out distance. Beginners never really seem to realize this, but it's true; when in doubt, don't finish your combos with the DLC; it's not necessary for you to play a good Akira. Akira special #3 FS,d+K+G,f+K,b,f+P ---------------- (abbreviated AS3) reversability level: low kick, knee kick, middle punch execution speed: 16, 21, 14 initiative frames: -17 / -13 / -9 -17 / -17 / -14 -17 / -2 / -1 Akira does a standing low kick called the axe blade(looks a lot like his head down,feet away rising sweep, except with only 1 leg), follows that with a shot knee, then follows that up with his overhead smash. PROS: Next to the DLC as the most reliable juggle combo ender. The 1st hit hits extremely low to the ground. This gives you the ability to add more combo fillers to your combo compared to the DLC(or makes it great for extremely low floats). The AS3 when done as a combo ender will slam the opponent giving you a good chance of connecting a ground punch afterward, since the opponent can't tech roll. The 3rd hit can force the opponent to a crouch and take off some drinking points from Shun. CONS: The entire string isn't a guarenteed combo, and doing it outside of a juggle combo is very risky, as the opponent has a HUGE ability to counter Akira, the framestats speak for themselves. It's best to once again, go for all 3 attacks should you want to bother with this move at all, by the framestats. And finally, when done in juggle combos, the AS3 is WEAK. You can make up for this by learning how to add as many fillers to your juggle combo before connecting the AS3 though. HOW TO DO IT: Good news; the AS3 is Akira's easiest to do 3-hit string. Same concepts apply though; be quick on the commands, but precise. Let go of the buttons and let the joystick go through neutral before doing the shot knee( finish the command before the axe blade fully comes out), then make sure to tap back, forward and punch(make sure that you let go of the K and that the joystick goes through neutral before tapping the overhead smash) before the shot knee starts coming out. Like the DLC, try to get the 1st 2 hits out as soon as possible, which gives you more time to do the 3rd hit of the AS3. TIPS: AS3 is useful, but do use your discretion when you tag it into combos; it does less than 50% of the damage that the DLC does, so when you do use it, make sure to wring out every single combo filler that you can before you do the AS3; this will make the overall combo damage high. It's probably most useful in cases that you get a low juggle(such as knocking down a heavyweight with the SDE), since most other attacks won't be guarenteed. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ =================== G.Akira's Reversals **************** =================== *II.MOVE COMMANDS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The new reversal system makes it that you need to match the reversal's hit level with the attacks' hit level; in previous VF games you could reverse Sarah's punt kick with the high reversal, but here since it hits mid level, you now need to reverse it with the mid reversal. Akira has an excellant variety of reversals; his mid reversal is powerful, and his other reversals have their uses; he even has a new inashi. Reversals are excellant when you have lost initiative; they are ideal against fast uncounterable attacks or repetitive attacks. Remember the general rule for reversable attacks; only attacks that are on the ground and use only 1 limb can be reversed. All the reversals have 1 frame of execution, whereas the parry has 0 frames of execution. High reversal b+P+K ------------- Whenever Akira reverses a high attack, he'll usually do either a yoho, or dashing elbow after parrying the opponent's attack. PROS: In pretty much all cases, the opponent is knocked down, enabling you to pressure them as they get up. If they hit a wall going backward, you can add more damage to the sequence. CONS: The high reversal doesn't reverse EVERY high attack; crescents can't be reversed(that is a Aoi-specific attribute). TIPS: The high reversal is really good for stopping pesky PGers. Best used when you lost initiative. Middle reversal d/b+P+K --------------- Should Akira reverse a mid attack, he will either parry and execute a dashing elbow or a shoulder ram. PROS: In most cases the opponent is knocked down flying backward. This gives you a chance to pressure them when they rise. If they hit a wall going backward, you can combo them. Also, the mid reversal is insanely versatile in VF4 and probably your best reversal; basically he can reverse anything classified as a reversible mid-level attack(and it's pretty much a constant that everyone has a good share of mid-level attacks in their game). CONS: It won't reverse circular attacks or rising attacks. TIPS: When in doubt about which reversal to plug in, jam in this, or the parry. Also best used when you lost initiative. Low reversal d+P+K ------------ Should Akira reverse a low attack, he'll either grab the incoming punch and deliver an overhead into the opponent's back(ugh), or parry and counter with a double palm. PROS: The punch reversal knocks the opponent down right next to you; try to pressure them as they get up. The kick reversal will knock down the opponent far away, and you can pressure them as they get up. If they hit a wall going backward, you can combo them as they fall off. Due to a comeback of the LP's power, the low reversal's threat has returned. CONS: Will not reverse sweeps; again an Aoi privilege. TIPS: Exceptionally great option after a blocked DE if the opponent is conditioned in LPing to avoiding a possible attempted throw. Parry b+P+K+G ----- initiative frames: +14~+26 against HP, +22~+34 against HK, +25~+37 against LP Akira puts his hands together at the midsection height then spreads them apart vertically. If it deflects the opponent's move, the opponent will go stumbling on their ass to a nice "whhkkksshht" sound. PROS: Parries at 2 different hit levels; the move will deflect high punches and kicks, as well as the powerful low punch. An SPoD followup is virtually guarenteed after your parry! It's only not guarenteed after a HP if the opponent is struggling like mad, but in that case, you can either go for the guarenteed SDE and followup, or try to throw the opponent or break their guard as they come out blocking. CONS: Will not deflect low kicks; thus it is NOT a high AND low reversal, more like a high reversal and LP reversal. Also, the opponent can struggle to reduce the amount of initiative that Akira gets; the SPoD won't be guarenteed after an inashi'd HP. TIPS: Make it a habit to ALWAYS key in the SPoD after a successful parry! It's your best followup to this reversal, because think, you're essentially reversing for huge throw damage(at 70 points)! The only exception of course is the HP, in which you could SDE them instead or throw them/break guard them as they come out blocking. Also, you might want to consider yoho combos in place of the SPoD if you're feeling creative! Mix between this and your mid reversal when it comes to reversals. -->standing palm b+P+K+G,f+P execution speed: 23 Akira follows up his parry with a StPm. PROS: Takes off drinking points from Shun, does good damage. CONS: Well, the SPoD is pretty much guarenteed after a parry, so why go for this move? It doesn't even produce the flop that the normal StPm does! TIPS: It's useless doing this canned followup. Even if you can't do the SPoD, SDE or DBC are still guarenteed and still can do more damage than the standing palm followup. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ================ H.Akira's Throws **************** ================ *II.MOVE COMMANDS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Akira has a good variety of throws. They aren't insanely damaging, but they give good damage(he has 2 staple throws that give out guarenteed 60+ points of damage) so they shouldn't be overlooked. Plus, he has a lot of throws ending in different throw escapes to fall back on should those 2 fail. 2-3 of Akira's throws have potential to do very powerful damage when they are done near a wall. Throws now have have an execution time, but they are still the fastest attacks in the game(8 frames). However, if you're a beginner to the VF series, it's important to note that normal throws have 0 priority; they will only connect when the opponent is not attacking; don't try interrupting attacks with throws(except for the catch throws). In addition, the range that one needs to be in to throw has been increased; a LOT more things are throw counterable, but not punch counterable; even Sarah, who has the game's fastest PG, doesn't have as many counters as with her PG as with her throws. Reaping throw and punches P+G ------------------------- execution speed: 8 initiative frames: -6 if escaped Akira trips the opponent then crouch punches them 3 times. PROS: Will have higher priority over other throws if both are executed at the exact same time. Places the downed opponent right next to Akira for a good chance of okizeme afterward. CONS: MEDIOCRE DAMAGE. No ground punch guarenteed afterward. IF ESCAPED: The opponent is up-close and is in position to force a strike/throw guessing game; be careful. TIPS: Should only be used if all your other throws are being escaped. Elbow rush P+G ---------- execution speed: 8 initiative frames: -6 if escaped Akira will rush into the side of the opponent with an elbow, knocking them down. PROS: In order to successfully reverse this throw, the opponent needs to key in P+G and tap left or right to escape it, the direction depending on which side you were on(it's a side throw); for instance if you dodge to their left and throw, they need to escape with left+P+G. CONS: Damage is mediocre by itself, but even worse, it can be QR/TR'd(unless if near a wall). TIPS: It's generally much better to try hitting with a DBC or m-ShRm. Big finish P+G ---------- execution speed: 11 initiative frames: - Akira will rear back then punch forward with both fists knocking the opponent down. PROS: Can't be escaped. CONS: Slow startup for a back throw. Why oh why does it ALSO have to be a catch throw? Does mediocre damage. TIPS: If you're going for damage, best advice is to avoid it all together; go for a m-ShRm or DBC. Definitely the worst throw in the entire game. Pull-in throw f,b+P+G ------------- (abbreviated PIT) execution speed: 19 initiative frames: - / +5 / - Akira will grab the opponent's arm and drag them forward to a crouch. PROS: Leaves the opponent in a crouching position afterward, and gives Akira initiative. The throw can't be escaped, making it excellant for dodgers. Can interrupt standing attacks in their execution phase. Excellant in cases where you have a large amount of initiative to work with. PIT now works like a multi-throw, as Akira has various canned options he can take afterward which the opponent must guess to escape. PIT is now a catch throw(not always a good thing, but sometimes it is). CONS: SDE no longer guarenteed afterward. Longer execution(due to it now being a catch throw). Can be interrupted by normal throws during its execution(to make up for it being able to interrupt standing attacks during THEIR execution). Also, can't interrupt attacks that crouch under this throw. Works poorly in situations where you have few initiative frames to work with. The opponent can option select to avoid all canned followups; holding forward, tapping G until Akira dodges, then tapping u or d depending on which way Akira dodged and tapping G will avoid ALL followups. TIPS: It's rare that you just do the PIT and stop there, but if you do, you have some intiative to work with; go for a strike/throw guessing game. -->dodge f,b+P+G,u or d (abbreviated PIT-E) initiative frames: - / +5 / - Akira will follow up his PIT with a dodge either into the screen or out depending on which way you inputted the command. PROS: Leaves Akira with initiative over his opponent. Interesting guessing games can result from doing this if your opponent knows how to option select to avoid all canned followups to the PIT(see PIT section's CONS); do a PIT-E, what'll happen is they'll end up blocking, and then you can do a fBG, staggering them and giving you a free combo. CONS: Nothing's guarenteed. TIPS: Some other mindgames submitted by MisterWhite include PIT-E,fBG,SPoD. Another one is to place Akira's back directly to the wall, then PIT-E,PIT-RBC (you should be facing a passive opponent who's holding guard afraid of the RBC followup to have the PIT connect again, then fearful of being thrown so he tries to throw himself), which should bring the opponent into the wall, then do SDE--> wall hit--> DBC for over 80 pts. You can also try PIT-E x2 into something else, like fBG,SPOD or fBG,throw. Experiment. -->reverse body check f,b+P+G,u(or d)+P+K (abbreviated PIT-RBC) initiative frames: -13 / +20 / - Akira follows up his PIT with a RBC. PROS: An SDE followup is almost guarenteed, enabling you to do DLC or AS3,ground punch afterward for great damage. Reverses ring. CONS: Note that if the opponent keys in the correct directional escape, Akira can be countered. So mix up which way you do the RBC, or whether you do the RBC at all. REVISION C CHANGES: the advantage Akira gets after the RBC has been up'd a bit; now it is much easier to tag on your combos after the RBC, making them much harder to escape. SDE will be much easier to connect than before. You can also risk a m-SgPm for a back-turned crumble oppurtunity. -->shoulder smash f,b+P+G,P+K initiative frames: -10 / - / - Akira follows the PIT with a hit with the shoulder. PROS: A perfectly timed m-DblPm will combo after the shoulder smash for a decent 50 pts of damage. CONS: Should the opponent key in the escape, Akira can be countered. So mix it up with the RBC. If the opponent hits the wall going backward from the shoulder smash, they suffer a weak wall stagger; nothing's guarenteed. TIPS: After the wall hit, try going for a SgPm or fBG--> SgPm. Stumble throw FS,b,d+P+G ------------- (abbreviated ST) execution speed: 8 initiative frames: -7 if escaped Akira will stick out his leg and knock the opponent down over it, then they slowly get to their feet. PROS: Opponent stumbles so they can be hit with a free combo. The autopalm (d,f+P or QCF+P) is guarenteed afterward. Furthermore, the autopalm gives Akira a +12 initiative, making a perfectly buffered m-DblPm guarenteed for a total 60 pts of damage, this makes the ST Akira's 2nd best throw. Reverses ring position, and does good distance as well. CONS: The throw itself does very little damage. If the autopalm hits the opponent into a wall, they will suffer a weak wall stagger; nothing's guarenteed, so you'll have to force a guessing game. The SJK is no longer a good followup because it doesn't knock the opponent sky-high. ST,SgPm,m-DblPm is HARD to do; only practice will enable you to connect it reliably. IF ESCAPED: Akira will end up with his back to the opponent, but out of throw range; nothing's guarenteed. Opponent has a slight advantage. TIPS: After the wall stagger from the autopalm, try fBG combos or another SgPm. Make use of this throw whenever you can; it's one of Akira's better throws. Surprise exchange d/b+P+G ----------------- (abbreviated SE) execution speed: 8 initiative frames: -6 if escaped, +7 if connected Akira will push the opponent behind him as he runs behind and turns around. PROS: DblPm is guarenteed(compared to VF3 where this throw had nothing guarenteed); immediately roll the joystick from d/b to f then tap b+P to get it. Reverses ring. CONS: SE,DblPm is very weak damage; around 30 pts. IF ESCAPED: Opponent faces Akira's back, and he is counterable. TIPS: More useful if you SE them into a wall; SE,DblPm,pounce with Akira's back to a wall does 60 pts. If they never try to turn around after the SE, do the m-SgPm for a back-turned crumble, then combo in a SPoD. Only use this throw when you find the opponent escaping all your other throws, or when you want to risk for a backstagger(if they don't turn around, SE,DblPm forces the opponent onto their stomach, so if they QR, you can backstagger them). Akira's worst throw, even the P+G throw's better. Reverse body check b,d/f+P+G ------------------ (abbreviated RBC) execution speed: 8 initiative frames: -6 if escaped, +11 if connected Akira will walk behind the opponent, then do a BC at their back, staggering them forward. PROS: Does decent damage, gives Akira initiative, reverses the ring and leaves the opponent with his/her back to Akira at a distance. If you can knock down the opponent before they turn around(like with a m-DblPm), you can set up for a backstagger combo if they QR. If you RBC the opponent into the wall, you have potential to do huge damage if they can't struggle out quickly. CONS: The opponent can turn around to escape all followups. A RBC right into a wall actually enables the opponent to struggle very quickly, making nothing guarenteed. IF ESCAPED: The opponent is up-close and can push a strike/throw guessing game. Try to read and react. REVISION C CHANGES: the initiative frames after the RBC were tweaked so that the RBC is truly now a setup throw; the SDE is guarenteed afterward, making DLC or AS3 guarenteed provided the opponent doesn't turn around in a crouched position(more on the combos in the combos section); also, should the opponent try to attack you, you can go for the MC SDE--> DJK combo for HUGE damage! Damage from a RBC into the wall still isn't guarenteed if the opponent struggles though, although depending on the stagger they suffer when they hit the wall, you could end up nailing with up to a SDE--> DBC for huge damage. In addition, the RBC can be used for swapping sides and ringing the opponent out. Close-in ram b,f+P+G ------------ (abbreviated CIR) execution speed: 8 initiative frames: -25 if escaped Akira grabs the opponent's arm, lifts it up, ducks underneath then rams the opponent in the crotch and then stands up to knock them away. PROS: Does good damage, knocks the opponent far away. If they don't QR/TR, you can dash up and get a free guarenteed ground punch. If they do, you can still run up and pressure them. Damage unavoidable when the opponent hits a wall, and can enable some POWERFUL combo followups(see combos)! CONS: Part of the throw damage given out only occurs when the opponent touches the ground; the opponent can QR/TR here to reduce damage. Damage potential from a CIR done near a wall dependent on how high on the wall the opponent hit; remember though at the very least you can get a DBC. Remember that if you connect a DBC or DJK as a wall hit, the opponent can TR and might get a guarenteed throw or PG counter, so key in the option selects. IF ESCAPED: Akira swaps sides with his opponent and gets pushed very far forward; also, he is CLEARLY COUNTERABLE by long-range attacks! Avoid getting too predictable with the CIR near a ring edge or wall, or YOU could be the one who eats massive combo damage or gets rung out! TIPS: Best used near a ring edge for ring outs or wall combos. Do beware that many know Akira's CIR gets very powerful close to the edge/wall, but also very risky when escaped, so beware of that, otherwise, this is Akira's 3rd best throw. Grasping mind d/b,f+P+G ------------- execution speed: 8 initiative frames: -8 if escaped Akira grabs the opponent's arm, drags them to a crouch, then rams them with a headbutt. PROS: Akira's strongest normal throw at 60 pts if the opponent DOESN'T QR/TR. Also pushes the opponent far back. Gives out all its damage if the opponent hits a wall going backward, and you can even try for a ground punch for around 70 pts. CONS: QR/TRable. It will give out all its damage when the opponent touches a wall, but in that case, a CIR would do so much more damage. IF ESCAPED: Akira is throw counterable. Key in the option selects. TIPS: Best used in open stages(CIR would be useless as the grasping mind does about the same distance, but much less risk), or to push an opponent to a ring edge, or in a closed stage, to push them closer to a wall so Akira can attempt his sick SgPm and CIR wall combos. In wall stages, the CIR is a better option, although the grasping mind is still much more safer. If your opponent doesn't know how to QR/TR, this is one of Akira's best throws. Inverted bodycheck d/f+P+G ------------------ (abbreviated IBC) execution speed: 8 initiative frames: -6 if escaped Akira does an upward elbow on the opponent near their stomach so they flip over his shoulder and fall down. PROS: Does 62 pts with the guarenteed ground punch for good damage. Reverses the ring and places the opponent next to you for okizeme games as he/she is trying to get up. Is in general Akira's best throw. CONS: Since it is Akira's best throw, most people try to escape this throw the most. IF ESCAPED: The opponent is up-close and can push for a strike/throw guessing game. Note that a LP done immediately by your opponent during an escaped IBC will whiff, giving you a free SPoD. TIPS: This is your best throw, but learn to mix up your throws, or you'll keep getting this throw escaped. Wall bodycheck d/f+P+G -------------- execution speed: 8 initiative frames: -6 if escaped Akira will flip the opponent over his head so the opponent is sandwiched between the wall and him, then he will bodycheck at close range. PROS: This is the IBC done with Akira's back to a wall; gives out close to 80 pts with the guarenteed ground punch for big damage. Akira's best throw when he is UP-CLOSE w/his back to a wall. CONS: Same as IBC. IF ESCAPED: Same as IBC. TIPS: Same as IBC. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ======================== I.Akira's Ground Attacks **************** ======================== *II.MOVE COMMANDS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Due to the QR/TR system, ground attacks don't play such a big role in games anymore; however, in the case that you cause an un-QR/TRable knockdown, you can try for the pounces. Ground punch d/f+P ------------ execution speed: 17 Akira crouches and punches the opponent. PROS: Faster than your pounce, and in general very reliable. CONS: Slower recovery than your pounce. TIPS: Good after a AS3, your eBC, and your IBC. Anytime you knock the opponent down right next to you and they can get up quickly, do this. Jumping punch u+P ------------- (commonly known as "pounce") execution speed: 42 Akira jumps and crouch-punches the opponent. PROS: More damage and faster recovery than your ground punch. It is guarenteed after wall hits, and some other rare specific moves. CONS: Slow execution; only do it when you are SURE the opponent can't get up in time to counter you. TIPS: Best done after wall combos; also good in some other specific combos. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/ ******************************************** |333333 CCC OOO MM MM BBB OOO SSS | | 33 C C O O M M M B B O O SS S| | 33 C O O M M M BBB O O SS | |33 33 C C O O M M M B B O O S SS| | 3333 o CCC OOO M M M BBB OOO SSS | ******************************************** /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\ Now here's the fun part; Akira's combos are POWERFUL. The ones that you'll use in your games take off a TON of power. He has a lot of potential in his combos, as he has MANY combo starters, and many types of combos you can try. Often times you can just sit back, wait for your opponent to make a mistake, then unload on them. Keep in mind that stance, what type of hit you did, what level you hit at, what your opponent's weight, height and width are, the damage scaling system and whether you are close to a wall(as well as other factors) will all determine what combos you can perform on your opponents. I cover most of these factors in the misc section. Here's the typical format for a combo: #) xx--> xx--> xx| xx| xx R: blah, blah, blah anyways, the xx will basically be a move, and the --> will separate each move. the | translates to basically "or," the followups are up to you given the options. the R will show if there is any restriction(specific weight class needed, closed/ open stance, MC, etc) the blah(if there is any) will basically be any thoughts on the combo the majority of the combos were either taken from Mr. Bungle's transcribed misc. combos FAQ, or various posts from ppl on Virtuafighter.com(specially, from CreeD, UKguy, FeixaQ, Spotlite, Shang, Iron Monkey Fist and a couple of others) staple combos that I THINK should be learned if you are going specifically for damage with as much reliability as possible have a * next to the combo number CURRENT COMBO COUNT: 111 Standing palm combos: --------------------- *1) StPm--> PG--> m-DblPm R: none? This is the staple StPm combo; get used to doing this a lot. It might work on all characters, this is probably the best StPm combo; does around 55 to 67 pts of damage; not too bad. *2) StPm--> DLC| AS3| DJK R: open stance for DJK, middleweights for DLC All the combos do roughly 65 points. The DJK ender should be a staple IF YOU ARE IN OPEN STANCE; if they hit the wall going backward, add on a DBC for up to 96 pts of damage! 3) StPm--> LP--> DblPm R: none This should be a staple combo that you should get used to if you're a beginner, because it will work on all characters. MisterWhite suggested to me that he usually needs an MC to do this on rev B arcades, but he stated that he wasn't sure. Neither am I, but this is still Akira's most reliable followup to the StPm; go for it whenever you are facing heavyweight characters. 4) StPm--> DBC R: none 5) StPm--> Knee--> m-DblPm R: I don't think this will work on heavyweight characters, but I'm not too sure if it will work on middleweights as well. 6) StPm--> DE--> DBC R: MC, lightweights A combo submitted from MisterWhite. Dashing elbow combos: --------------------- *1) DE--> m-DblPm R: MC This is your best DE combo; get used to holding D/F right after doing the DE so that if it floats, you can immediately key in d/f,b,f+P for the m-DblPm. This also happens to be your best normal hit SDE combo. *2) DE--> DBC R: MC The combo should do roughly 80 points in rev B. 3) DE--> LP--> DblPm R: MC 4) DE-->DE| SDE| SJK R: MC all of the combos do roughly 50 points 5) DE--> m-ShRm--> DblPm R: MC Super dashing elbow combos: --------------------------- *1) SDE--> DE| SDE| DBC| m-DblPm R: none The m-DblPm followup should be a staple normal hit SDE combo, the DBC is also a good followup if you aren't used to doing the m-DblPm yet. See DE combo #1 for the way to connecting the m-DblPm right after the SDE. *2) SDE--> DJK| DBC| DLC| AS3 R: MC All the combos do roughly 80 points or less; go with the DJK or DBC for damage, or do the DLC for flashiness. SDE--> DJK| DBC are THE staple followups to your MC SDE, unless if you are against a lightweight. The DBC has potential to do more damage than the DJK, but it needs to be a near-perfect point blank DBC; the DJK is always consistent in damage. *3) SDE--> m-ShRm--> AS3--> Ground punch R: MC on lightweight characters The combo does roughly 90 points; it is THE staple MC SDE combo on lightweights; whenever you get the chance, do this combo! If you want to risk it, you can stop at the m-ShRm and hopefully try to attack an opponent who TRs to try to get a backstagger. 4) SDE--> DLC| AS3 R: normal hit If you haven't mastered SDE--> m-DblPm, you can go for AS3--> ground punch as a substitute; should work on all characters; don't even bother with the DLC. 5) SDE--> Knee--> DBC R: MC, DBC can be QR/TR'd, unless if the knee hit the opponent onto the wall, causing a wall hit This can cause over 100 pts of damage. Highly restrictive to people who haven't learned to QR/TR yet or wall combos. 6) SDE--> LP--> DblPm| SJK| Knee R: MC All the combos do roughly 80 points; screw around with the knee if you can get it out, otherwise, the DblPm is the easiest followup. 7) SDE--> m-ShRm--> DLC| Knee R: MC, middleweights for knee A flashy, good damaging combo. 8) SDE--> Yoho--> DLC| AS3 R: MC You can add a ground punch after the AS3; if you want, you can stop at the yoho and try to get a backstagger if the opponent TRs. Low backfist combos: -------------------- *1) LBF--> DBC| DJK| DLC| AS3 R: MC Your staple LBF combo, just be quick on the followups; the DJK works exceptionally well, and does a lot of damage. 2) LBF--> SJK R: MC You can use this combo to pressure opponents who try to QR/TR after the combo. Standing double palm combos: ---------------------------- *1) StDblPm--> DLC| AS3| DBC R: normal hit The DBC followup does more than 100 points in revision B; it one of the sickest combos you can do in rev B. To get it to hit more than 100 points, you need to dodge towards the opponent's back foot before doing the DBC. However, even if you don't, you can simply wait til the opponent completely falls to the ground(thus they will be closer to you) before doing the DBC. For its simplicity and damage I will say that this is THE combo of VF4 revision B. If they don't QR/TR the DBC then you have a guarenteed ground punch. 2) StDblPm--> Knee--> DBC R: DBC can be QR/TR'd, or knee needs to hit a person into a wall for this to be a guarenteed combo Surprise, you can still get close to 100 pts of damage from the StDblPm in rev C! Too bad it's highly dependant on you being close to a wall, or playing against a scrub who doesn't know how to TR. But at least it's damage. You can sub the m-ShRm for the knee if you're going for the wall version of the combo. Shoulder ram combos: -------------------- *1) ShRm--> SDE| DJK| DLC| AS3 R: none The DJK ender is a staple ender to the ShRm; you can go for the DLC if you want style over damage. Anyways, although the 2 enders will work all the time, there's really only one place you want to use this; against heavyweight characters IN OPEN STANCE; otherwise, it's better to do ShRm--> PG--> DLC| DJK; it will connect on normal hit in all other circumstances. *2) ShRm--> PG--> SDE| DJK| DLC| AS3 R: none Should be your staple normal hit ShRm combo; go for the DJK for damage, the DLC if you want variety; very good against heavyweights, as it is very consistent to hit. However, it should mainly be used for heavyweight characters(normal hit, closed stance) and maybe some heavy-mid characters(normal hit); in all other cases, you should learn to squeeze multiple m-ShRm's and m-DblPm's into your ShRm combos for HUGE damage. *3) ShRm--> PG--> m-ShRm--> LK R: normal/MC on middleweights/lightweights, MC on heavyweights This is one of your staple combos to use against heavyweights(and for normal hits on midweights), and does a lot of damage(around 80 points on an MC, around 70 on a normal hit). It's weaker than combo #4(which is your best ShRm combo), but it's easier for beginners to do this combo, and gives you an oppurtunity to punish people who try to QR/TR afterward. *4) ShRm--> PG--> m-ShRm--> m-DblPm R: normal/MC on lightweights, and MC on midweights The combo does roughly 100 points; it is your flashiest and one of the best staple combos against lightweights(although it also works on midweights). Anytime you have the oppurtunity to do this combo, go for it! Your most powerful and desired ShRm combo to nail by far; it is tough, but becomes easy with practice. One helpful hint to getting the m-DblPm in there is to try doing it like you were doing the SDE,m-DblPm combo, since the height will be about the same. *5) ShRm--> m-SgPm--> DJK R: closed stance I believe that this combo needs to be done in closed stance to work; it's pretty much the same as ShRm,PG,DJK, except it does even more damage and has a stance requirement. It's stance specific, but while I'm not 100% sure it's closed or open, PG also uses the frontal arm, and that combo works better in CS. Mukky the best japanese Akira always uses his LK-cancel so that he can stay in a specific stance and go for this combo over ShRm,PG,DJK. 6) ShRm--> LP--> SgPm--> AS3--> Ground punch R: MC, closed stance This does 94 pts; pretty amazing damage, and looks very flashy; if you like doing something other than multiple m-ShRms in your ShRm combos, try this. Just watch your stance. 7) ShRm--> PG--> m-ShRm--> DBC R: MC, middleweights or heavier(heavyweights can QR/TR the DBC) Before you are able to do ShRm combo #4 consistently, you should aim to practice to do this to mastery; the DBC is much easier to do than the m-DblPm. A staple combo, but it does do less damage compared to combo #4(and leaves you with less initiative, especially near a wall). Once you master ShRm,PG,ShRm,DblPm, you shouldn't use this combo anymore. Thanks to MisterWhite for this combo. 8) ShRm--> LP--> DblPm R: middleweights(or heavier?) One of the most staple normal hit ShRm combos for heavyweight and midweight characters; well, at least the jap experts use this the most(or was it PG--> m-DblPm?) 9) ShRm--> PG--> LP--> DblPm R: middleweights 10) ShRm--> PG--> StPm--> SDE R: middleweights 11) ShRm--> PG--> StPm--> m-DblPm R: MC, lightweights 12) ShRm--> PG--> StPm--> DFS R: TR/QR may avoid the DFS 13) ShRm--> PG--> DFS R: middleweights 14) ShRm--> StPm--> DFS| DJK R: none 15) ShRm--> StPm--> m-DblPm R: MC, lightweights The combo does roughly 80 points 16) ShRm--> StPm--> AS3 R: MC, closed stance Pretty reliable and does around 80 points of damage. 17) ShRm--> m-ShRm--> m-DblPm R: MC, middleweights 18) ShRm--> PG--> PG--> PG--> m-DblPm R: I'm assuming that you need to MC a lightweight to midweight character to do this Supposedly, not much damage, but flashy, and requires precise timing; do it if you're bored. 19) ShRm--> PG--> m-ShRm--> DFS R: not too sure; maybe MC, and only on mid to light weights? 20) ShRm--> m-ShRm--> m-ShRm--> m-ShRm--> m-ShRm--> LK--> Ground punch R: heavyweight, all the m-ShRm's can be QR/TR'd if the opponent was crouching and the ShRm hit for normal hit; if it didn't, then only 3 of the m-ShRm's can be QR/TR'd Too bad nothing after the 1st ShRm is really guarenteed. But it looks VERY stylish and does a ton of damage, I think 50%. Great for humiliating opponents. Knee combos: ------------ 1) Knee--> PG--> Standing shoulder,power elbow R: not too sure about the restrictions as of now; probably works better if it MCs, and if the opponent is a certain weight(probably mid to light) 2) Knee--> PG--> m-ShRm--> DJK| DLC R: MC, Pai/Aoi, closed stance Very powerful combo. -Look up the ShRm combos; most of the knee combos have the same possibilities and restrictions. Keep in mind the knee switches your stance. Yoho combos: ------------ 1) Yoho--> PG--> m-ShRm--> DJK| DLC R: MC, Pai/Aoi, open stance Very powerful combo. 2) Yoho--> PG--> m-ShRm--> PG--> m-DblPm R: MC, lightweights, closed stance Very powerful combo. -Look up the ShRm combos; most of the yoho combos have the same possibilities and restrictions. You might have stance issues(yoho,PG,DJK requires you to be in open stance). Single palm combos: ------------------- these combos are assuming that you're doing the SgPm as a standalone move with the opponent next to a wall so that they suffer the strong wall stagger; all of these combos can have the beginning SgPm substituted with fBG--> m-SgPm or the overhead smash *1) SgPm--> Wall stagger--> SPoD R: none The #1 wall stagger combo in the game; just make sure they touch the SgPm, and you're set; and if they hit a wall going backward from the SPoD, combo in a DBC for a massively huge 135+ pts of damage! *2) SgPm--> Wall stagger--> StDblPm--> Yoho--> Wall hit--> DBC R: none This is the other staple wall combo that Hong Kong players go for a lot; it will take 75% of a lifebar, and looks flashy as heck. It essentially does the same damage as the SgPm,SPoD,DBC combo, except you only need 1 wall and it's easier for beginners to do, the problem is that if the opponent TRs, there is a good chance that they can throw you or PG counter you before you recover. 3) SgPm--> Wall stagger--> m-DblPm--> Wall hit--> DBC| DJK R: none This is 10x easier than the ST counterpart combo; because the opponent suffers a strong wall stagger, you have a lot of time to key in the m-DblPm; this is an easy, yet powerful combo. 4) SgPm--> Wall stagger--> m-ShRm| Knee--> Wall hit--> DBC R: none Another easy, flashy, powerful SgPm combo. 5) SgPm--> Wall stagger--> LBF--> DJK R: none This is a sick wall combo; it will take off more than 1/2 of an opponent's life bar. 6) SgPm--> Wall stagger--> Yoho--> DBC R: none The combo should do roughly from 70 to 90 points, depending on how well you connect the DBC. 7) SgPm--> Wall stagger--> m-DblPm--> Wall hit--> AS3 R: none The combo should do roughly 70 points if you can add a ground punch. 8) SgPm--> Wall stagger--> StPm--> d+K+G--> AS3 R: The opponent can TR/QR to avoid the AS3 If you add a ground punch, the damage should be roughly 70 points. 9) SgPm--> Wall stagger--> StPm--> LP--> d+K+G,f+K--> DBC R: Possible TR/QR before the DBC? Forward guard break combos: --------------------------- general restriction of the fBG combos are that the opponent must block the fBG; that's it *1)fBG--> StPm--> PG--> m-DblPm R: none This is the best fBG combo, and the one the japanese experts use the most; you should too; very reliable, does good damage. *2)fBG--> m-SgPm--> m-DblPm R: none This will work as long as you are quick. The SgPm can be done with d,f+P or QCF+P. Essentially the same as the bread-and-butter ST combo; read that if you want specifics. It gets very easy when done next to a wall though; the m-SgPm will cause a strong wall stagger, making it VERY easy to combo into the m-DblPm, and after they slump against the wall, you can add the DBC for huge damage. *3)fBG--> StPm--> DJK R: open stance? Staple combo if you are in open stance; don't forget the DBC followup if the opponent hits a wall going backward. *4)fBG--> SJK--> PG--> DJK R: closed stance, possible weight class restriction? Go for this if you are in closed stance, there might be a weight restriction. *5)fBG--> m-SgPm--> Wall stagger--> SPoD R: Opponent must hit wall after the m-SgPm Staple wall combo; remember that if the opponent hits another wall going back from the SPoD, you can DBC them. *6)fBG--> m-SgPm--> Wall stagger--> StDblPm--> Yoho--> Wall hit--> DBC R: Opponent must hit wall after the m-SgPm This is the other staple wall combo that Hong Kong players go for a lot; it will take 75% of a lifebar, and looks flashy as heck. It essentially does the same damage as the SgPm,SPoD,DBC combo, except you only need 1 wall and it's easier for beginners to do, the problem is that if the opponent TRs, there is a good chance that they can throw you or PG counter you before you recover. 7)fBG--> StPm--> AS3--> Ground punch R: none This is a staple fBG combo; get used to using it. 8)fBG--> m-SgPm--> PK R: none Just remember to hold forward after doing the m-SgPm to give the PK a good chance of connecting. 9)fBG--> m-SgPm--> ST--> m-SgPm--> m-DblPm R: opponent must not key in the ST throw escape This is more of a setup; you have to hope that the opponent believes that you will goof up the m-SgPm followup, and so blocks the ST followup, and the SgPm can be done with either d,f+P or QCF+P. 10)fBG--> m-SgPm--> Wall stagger--> LBF--> DJK R: Akira must have cornered the opponent This is a sick wall combo; it will take off more than 1/2 of an opponent's life bar; just have the knowledge to do it. You can actually do the m-SgPm specially in this case by doing d,f+P, or QCF+P. 11) fBG--> m-SgPm--> Wall stagger--> Yoho--> DBC R: Akira should have cornered the opponent The combo should do roughly from 70 to 90 points, depending on how well you connect the DBC. 12) fBG--> m-SgPm--> m-DblPm--> Wall hit--> AS3 R: Akira should have cornered the opponent The combo should do roughly 70 points if you can add a ground punch. 13) fBG--> m-SgPm--> Wall stagger--> StPm--> d+K+G--> AS3 R: Akira should have cornered the opponent, the opponent can TR/QR to avoid the AS3 If you add a ground punch, the damage should be roughly 70 points. 14) fBG--> m-SgPm--> Wall stagger--> StPm--> LP--> d+K+G,f+K--> DBC R: Akira should have cornered the opponent, possible TR/QR before the DBC? 15)fBG--> Knee--> ? R: knee must be perfectly timed I haven't figured out the best followup, but a lotta potential lies after the knee. 16)fBG--> Yoho--> ? R: yoho must be perfectly timed I haven't figured out the best followup, but a lotta potential lies after the yoho. Stumble throw combos: --------------------- *1) ST--> m-SgPm--> m-DblPm--> Wall hit--> DBC| DJK R: Akira's back to wall It should be noted that if you aren't near a wall, doing the entire combo up to the m-DblPm is still considered a true combo, and in fact one of Akira's staple ST combos; at about 60 points, this makes it a good throw. If you are near a wall, you can add the DBC or DJK for huge damage. As for specifics to doing the combo, it's actually tricky; all inputs for the m-DblPm must happen within 2 frames after the SgPm hits; inputs done during the SgPm won't register. The way to do this properly is to hold D/F after the SgPm comes out, and once you see it connect, immediately tap d/f,b,f+P very quickly. It's hard, but this is really Akira's most reliable ST combo, and the entire thing is guarenteed to connect; just master the timing. 2) ST--> m-DblPm R: none This is a good combo for beginners; you can do the m-DblPm by doing QCB,f+P here, and if they try to TR afterward, you can try to go for a stagger. 3) ST--> m-SgPm--> PIT R: none This is not really a true combo, but a setup to get the opponent to be thrown with the PIT; very hard to avoid, as long as the opponent doesn't try crouching. 4) ST--> m-SgPm--> Wall stagger--> m-SgPm--> Wall stagger--> SPoD R: Akira's back to wall After I discovered that the SgPm after a ST into a wall causes a WEAK wall stagger, I modified this combo to become more of a setup; instead of going for the SPoD right after(which can be blocked), you can try to go for another m-SgPm, and hope that the opponent doesn't dodge or reverse, which if they do, gives you the true combo. 5) ST--> SDE--> DLC R: On lightweights Close-in ram combos: -------------------- *1) CIR--> Wall hit--> DBC R: Akira must have cornered the opponent This is hands down Akira's easiest and staple CIR wall combo. Very easy to do and does a lot of damage, just remember the DBC followup. *2) CIR--> Wall hit--> PK--> DBC R: Akira must have cornered the opponent, needs a high wall hit The combo is fairly simple to do. Does a HUGE amount of damage, around 116 pts! *3) CIR--> Wall hit--> PG--> DJK R: Akira must have cornered the opponent, needs a high wall hit Insane damage; 99 pts *4) CIR--> Wall hit--> PK--> Pounce R: Akira must have cornered the opponent For your risk vs reward, this is a powerful combo; 100 pts, and the opponent can't TR to punish you(compared to the DJK or DBC enders). 5) CIR--> Wall hit--> PG--> DE--> DBC R: Akira must have cornered the opponent, needs a high wall hit The combo can do up to a maximum of 113 pts, according to CreeD. Very flashy and very powerful. 6) CIR--> Wall hit--> PG--> StPm--> AS3 R: Akira must have cornered the opponent, needs a high wall hit Not that damaging, but flashy. It's fairly hard because it requires good positioning. 7) CIR--> Wall hit--> DJK--> Ground punch R: Akira must have cornered the opponent Very easy to do, very damaging. Pull-in throw combos: --------------------- *1) PIT-RBC--> SDE--> DLC R: none A staple PIT combo *2) PIT--> shoulder smash--> m-DblPm R: none The other staple PIT combo 3) PIT-RBC--> SDE--> m-DblPm| DBC R: none MisterWhite suggested that for mindgames you could also try stopping at the RBC, running in and throwing the opponent. Reverse body check combos: -------------------------- remember; all RBC combos are only guarenteed in revision C PROVIDED THE OPPONENT DOESN'T CROUCH(or followups after the 1st hit after the RBC will miss) *1) RBC--> SDE--> AS3--> Ground punch R: opponent can't crouch The damage of this combo is huge; 79 pts, and pushes the opponent far back. *2) RBC--> SDE--> DLC R: opponent can't crouch The damage of this combo is huge; 80 pts, and pushes the opponent far back. *3) RBC--> SDE--> m-DblPm R: opponent can't crouch Basically, perform the m-DblPm the same way as the SDE,m-DblPm combo; good damage, a good staple combo. 4) RBC--> SDE--> PG--> m-ShRm--> m-DblPm R: Against Pai, Pai can't crouch Always try for this against Pai(and possibly other lightweights). The damage is amazing; 105 pts! It's fairly easy to avoid though; most people would crouch after an RBC to make followups not guarenteed. Still, very flashy, and very powerful. 5) RBC--> m-DblPm R: none If the opponent forgets to turn around and tries to QR, you can backstagger them. 6) RBC--> Wall stagger--> SDE--> Wall hit--> DBC R: opponent can't struggle too hard, Akira's back has to be a 45 degree angle to the wall behind him This will only work if the RBC is done at near point blank range; that way the opponent will suffer a STRONG wall stagger; they can still block the SDE if they struggle hard though. 7) RBC--> Wall stagger--> m-SgPm--> SPoD R: Akira's back has to be a 45 degree angle to the wall behind him If you constantly find your RBC,SDE combo attempts next to the wall being foiled, try this; sure, they may struggle out in time to avoid the m-SgPm, but then they'll still hit the wall and suffer wall stagger, enabling the SPoD to combo! And if they don't, then they'll suffer a back-turned crumble stun, and the SPoD will still combo! Against Aoi, it becomes more of a 2-way guessing game, since she can reverse your SgPm with her back turned, so mix up RBC,SDE and RBC,m-SgPm against her. Surprise exchange combos: ------------------------- *1) SE--> m-DblPm R: none The canned DblPm is unavoidable for 33 pts of damage. Do the canned m-DblPm by doing d/b,QCF,f,b+P after the SE. While it's really measly damage, always look for someone who QRs, cause then you can back-crumble them with a m-SgPm and add more than 100 pts of damage, turning this into a huge damage sequence. If the m-DblPm hits them into a wall, you can add a guarenteed pounce to make the damage more respectable at around 60 pts minimum(there's a possibility that you can add more than just a pounce). *2) SE--> m-SgPm--> SPoD R: Akira's back to wall While SE,m-SgPm isn't guarenteed in non-wall circumstances, when Akira does it with his back to a wall, the opponent will either remain back-turned and suffer a back-turned crumble stun, by which the SPoD will combo, or they will turn around in time to block the m-SgPm, but it will push them against the wall causing a strong wall stagger, making the SPoD inescapable(or you can go for SgPm combo #2 for well over 70% damage)! Just beware of this against Aoi; she can reverse your SgPm, back-turned or facing you. Parry combos: ------------- general restriction of the parry combos is that the parry must actually inashi an attack(duh) *1) Parry--> SPoD R: none Just to be thorough ;). The "combo" will work on anyone provided the parry was successful and you keyed in the commands as soon as you heard the whiffing sound. A staple followup to the parry. It might not be guarenteed if you inashi'd a HP and the opponent struggled like mad; however anything faster than or equal to 14 frames is still guarenteed. 2) Parry--> Yoho--> PG--> DJK R: Open stance, against Kage? I dunno too much about the specs of this combo, but uk-guy gave me this combo against Kage, so supposedly similar restrictions(i.e. midweights). 3) Parry--> Yoho--> PG--> m-ShRm--> m-DblPm R: Open stance, lightweights Sick damage, try this combo against lightweights instead of the stereotypical SPoD followup; it'll hurt. Low kick combos: ---------------- *1) LK--> DblPm R: Revision B only, LK must MC Pretty straightforward(and from uk-guy), just remember it and have the knowledge to quickly tap b,f+P for the followup power hit. It may be possible to MC LK into a guarenteed throw. Standing shoulder combos: ------------------------- *1) Standing shoulder,power elbow--> m-ShRm--> AS3 R: none Should be a staple followup to your standing shoulder. *2) Standing shoulder,power elbow--> DBC| DJK R: power elbow needs to MC If you can delay the power elbow to bait your opponents into attacking you, then you can combo off of the stomach crumble stun for huge damage. Double fisted strike combos: ---------------------------- *1) DFS--> StPm--> DLC R: none *2) DFS--> StPm--> PG--> m-DblPm R: the DFS must be charged to maximum power, and the opponent must block the DFS; it will break their guard enabling the rest of the combo to connect 3) DFS--> Yoho--> DLC R: none Power fist combos: ------------------ *1) Power fist--> Pounce| LK R: none The LK is much more preferable to the pounce; it is unavoidable, and if the opponent TRs after it, then you can backstagger them and light them up. If they don't, you still have a good chance at connecting a ground punch. Backstagger combos: ------------------- backstagger combos are basically combos that start with a backstagger(read the misc. section for more info on this); they aren't guarenteed in that the opponent can choose not to QR/TR and risk getting hit to lose about 80% of their life. I won't list setups for backstaggers(you should know how in the misc section), but here I instead list followups that you can perform AFTER you backstagger them; the 1st hit of each combo here is the one which produces the backstagger *1) m-SgPm--> SPoD(--> Wall hit--> DBC) This combo is very formidable(BTW thanks Nutlog for the combo!); the total damage with the DBC amounts to 71% of damage(plus whatever knockdown setup you used to get that oppurtunity to backstagger). And even if you aren't near a wall, without the DBC the entire combo does 55% of damage; not bad. Considering how in rev C the StDblPm--> DBC combo was toned down, instead you could opt to try for a StDblPm setup into this combo and take off close to all of the opponent's life. *2) sidekick--> SDE--> DLC Take this as your bread-and-butter backstagger combo; very reliable, and does quite some damage; if you want, you can even do sidekick,SDE,m-DblPm instead. *3) sidekick--> m-DblPm The other staple backstagger combo, since it comes out faster. 4) m-SgPm--> m-ShRm--> DLC According to Nutlog, the m-SgPm when done as a backstagger will crumble the opponent, thus I created this combo. Follow with a DLC; not too sure if this combo works as I haven't tried it out, but it looks ok to me; perhaps you can sub the DLC with a m-DblPm? \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/ ************************************** | 4 SSS TTT RRR AAA TTT SSS | | 44 SS S T R R A A T SS S| |4 4 SS T RRR AAAAA T SS | |4444 S SS T R R A A T S SS| | 4 o SSS T R R A A T SSS | ************************************** /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\ ================== A.General Strategy ********* ================== *IV.STRATS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Here's the good part; even though Akira relies on attacks that have complex commands to perform, his actual fighting style isn't that hard. He doesn't have any stances to worry about, and you can actually use very few moves to win with him unlike Shun. I'll try to write down the "core" moves to use with Akira for you beginners, then add "variety" moves to mix up the game for you more advanced players. Akira falls into the category of characters who do best by constant aggressive poking to set up attacks. There are 3 main types of attacks to win: pokes, counterhits, and throws. Those are what I tackle in each section. Also keep in mind that between each move you make, you can dodge, crouch dash, backwards crouch dash, dash, backdash, guard, as well as do various option selects by itself or during your dodges and the like. ***************************** *a.Beginner Player's Section* ********* ***************************** *IV.STRATS ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ This section tackles the minimum tools you need to play Akira effectively. Remember that I don't explain anything, just suggest the moves; best to look up the move analysis section for a more thorough review of moves. Pokes: Pokes are generally attacks that have fast startups and recovery and can be thrown out to keep the momentum going. In general, they won't do the most damage, but they will keep the gameflow in your favor. What you followup your pokes depends on what your opponent does afterward. Your opponent may try to throw/ throw escape, they may try to duck, to stand block, dodge, or counterattack. Keep these things in mind for your followups. 1)PG(Punch) 2)SDE(Super dashing elbow) 3)LP(Low punch) Power Hits: These are attacks that have huge damage potential and should only be thrown out when you know they will hit or to punish slow recovering attacks that either whiffed or were blocked. These attacks are typically set up from wise poking. 1)DBC(Bodycheck) (best used after a MC E) 2)eBC(Evading bodycheck) (very easy to do for beginners compared to MC E-->StPm or DBC) 3)ShRm(Shoulder ram) (as a beginner, it's easier to get into a crouch by the LP rather than CD, although you should practice doing the m-ShRm) Throws: I placed throws in here kinda loosely; these attacks are best used against a standing opponent who is guarding or against an opponent who is recovering from an attack. Due to the increase in throw range it has become increasingly important to know how to counter recovering attacks with throws. Throws are also very good at catching people who try to dodge; the throw attempt will track the dodging opponent. Dodging after a TR is especially useful once in a while, and this can lead into a throw as well. 1)IBC(Inverted bodycheck) 2)ST(Stumble throw) 3)fBG(Forward break guard) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ***************************** *b.Advanced Player's Section* ********* ***************************** *IV.STRATS ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ In this section I tackle some of the attacks you can add to add variety to Akira's game; note that while I don't list the moves I put in the beginner's section, those moves are still staple moves, and you should still use them, it's just that I don't want to repeat myself. Remember that I don't cover everything about each move here; best to look up the move analysis section for a more thorough explaination of moves. Pokes: Pokes are generally attacks that have fast startups and recovery and can be thrown out to keep the momentum going. In general, they won't do the most damage, but they will keep the gameflow in your favor. What you followup your pokes depends on what your opponent does afterward. Your opponent may try to throw/ throw escape, they may try to duck, to stand block, dodge, or counterattack. Keep these things in mind for your followups. 1)Elbow (Better in revision C, since the DE and SDE's startup speed were toned down) 2)DE(Dashing elbow) 3)m-SgPm(Single palm) 4)LBF(Low backfist) (Slow startup, so watch the distance) 5)StPm(Standing palm) 6)DFS(2-fisted strike) (Semi-slow startup) 7)LK(Low kick) (Counterable if blocked) Power Hits: These are attacks that have huge damage potential and should only be thrown out when you know they will hit or to punish slow recovering attacks that either whiffed or were blocked. These attacks are typically set up from wise poking. 1)StDblPm(Standing double palm) 2)Parry 3)SPoD(Stun palm of doom) 4)Standing shoulder (throw in the occasional power elbow if it connects, or occasionally delay it if the shoulder gets blocked) 5)Reversals (usually you'll only need the mid reversal, but there are times when you'll need the high or low reversal; it's rare though, since in those instances the parry usually works better) 6)Knee 7)m-DblPm(Double palm) 8)Power fist Throws: I placed throws in here kinda loosely; these attacks are best used against a standing opponent who is guarding or against an opponent who is recovering from an attack. Due to the increase in throw range it has become increasingly important to know how to counter recovering attacks with throws. Throws are also very good at catching people who try to dodge; the throw attempt will track the dodging opponent. Dodging after a TR is especially useful once in a while, and this can lead into a throw as well. 1)PIT(Pull-in throw) (mix in your basic multi-throw mixups) 2)CIR(Close-in ram) 3)Grasping mind 4)RBC(Reverse bodycheck) (a more viable option in revision C) 5)Reaping throw and punches 6)SE(Surprise Exchange) (You should never have to fall back on this unless if all your other throws are being escaped or want to be flashy) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ********************* *c.Initiative Frames* ********* ********************* *IV.STRATS ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ The numbers next to this term in the movelists determine who recovers first and by how much advantage. A positive number indicated that you have initiative, a negative number indicates the opponent has initiative. The higher the number, the higher the degree of advantage you have over your opponent. Format of this was covered at the beginning of the movelist section. In general, -8 = throw counterable by everyone -11 = throw and PG counterable by Aoi/Pai/Sarah -12 = throw and PG counterable by above and Akira/Jacky/Kage/Lau/Lei/Lion/Shun; also -12 is LP counterable by everyone; Akira can also counter with his m-DblPm -13 = throw and PG counterable by above and Jeffry/Vanessa/Wolf; some people have 13 frame moves and can counter with those here -14 = pretty much everyone can now counter with something other than PG,LP and throw So what do you do when initiative is between +1 and +8 for you? Here's a handy guide, based upon VF.com Myke's post: advantage is in: 1 frame - 1 frame advantage is honestly nothing; in general cases, even if you attempt an elbow of some type, the opponent's LP will still beat you. If you do a m-DblPm and anyone who has an 11-frame punch PG's, your attack will take higher priority, but cases like that are rare. 2 frames- Elbows that execute in 13 frames will beat the opponent's LP. In revision B, do Akira's SDE. In revision C, do his elbow. Although 13-frame moves are uninterruptable at this point, do beware defensive maneuvers. 3 frames- Any elbow at this point will beat the opponent's LP and PG. Of course, the elbow's still open to defensive maneuvers, such as sabakis, reversals, and inashis. Basically 14-frame moves are uninterruptable. 4 frames- Same as 3 frames. 5 frames- At this point, force a 50/50 guessing game and go offensive. Most knees will beat any LP attempts here(if your knee comes out in 17 frames or quicker, they will win out). The opponent in this case will start using advanced defense option selects, such as E-GTE. For Akira, you can try either m-ShRm or throw. 6 frames- Same as 5 frames. 7 frames- Same as 5 frames. 8 frames- Anything that gives you 8 frames or more in initiative and recovers high is throw counterable provided it's in range. If it recovers low it is throw counterable by anyone possessing low throws. The throw is of course escapable if the opponent keys in the escape. In the case that you are the one that's throw counterable, you should key in the escape before you recover. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ************************** *d.Option Select(Defense)* ********* ************************** *IV.STRATS ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Here is where the majority of the depth from VF games comes from; some Tekken players complain how VF has less depth; it's because they've never seen the deep games that come from someone losing initiative or being counterable. Option select is being able to enter multiple commands at once and get the desired options that you want. It separates a good player from an average player; w/o it, you are going to fall for many throws that grab you when you are recovering, or you may fall to 50/50 guessing games all the time. VF is notorious for having a very hard to guess throw system; are you going to implement f+P+G to escape his f+P+G throw? What if he does d/b+P+G? Or attacks? Ideal situations to use option select are when you have a disadvantage by at least 5 frames(see initiative frames section in the misc section). Theory behind it is that you can implement a throw escape in 10 frames after the opponent keys in the throw and still escape it, and the VF system enables you to buffer throw escapes or whatever move command you want to do while you're recovering from an attack, which is where the concept of this strategy comes in. Anyways, here's the specifics. GTE- this stands for guard throw escape. one of the biggest weaknesses of doing a throw escape during the recovery of a move is that if the opponent did not try to implement a throw, you end up whiffing a throw. however, if you remember how to do akira's knee, and do a throw escape in the same way, (tap the direction+P+G,release P very quickly and keep holding G, or if you're escaping a low throw, tap the direction+P+K+G, etc), you will do the escape, but still be blocking when you come out of recovery. it's actually not as hard as Akira's knee, the timing isn't as strict, just be sure you implement a throw escape during the recovery. of course, it will protect you from the inputed throws as well as any strikes that would be done after you come out of recovery, but it won't protect you from attacks done WHILE you are recovering. and keep in mind GTE is useless when you are staggered. this is(usually) your best option when things leave you throw counterable. however, it's still not that bad to use this in cases where you have a disadvantage, but aren't throw counterable(RTE won't stop EVERYTHING, y'kno). ATE- this is an attack throw escape. or basically, doing an attack then buffering a throw escape in. granted, if the opponent blocks an attack which is clearly throw counterable, and goes for a throw, the attack won't come out regardless. but if he tried to attack you instead, then you'll get a chance if you shoot out some quick fast strike like a DE or PG, or LP. you can even try a sabaki or the eBC if you want, but typically, you want to try a fast attack, otherwise, you'll just get beat out. ATE tends to work best when you run at a disadvantage, but aren't throw counterable. HtTE- high throw-throw escape. or basically, inputting a high throw, and then your throw escape. maybe say you are against Jeffry or Wolf who possess low throws, and say you're stuck in recovery in a crouching position. buffer in a high throw, and then immediately tag on a low throw escape. it's of course best when the opponent can low throw and so you're put in a scenario much similar to this one. of course, if Jeffry/Wolf decides to knee you, that's a totally different story. i don't need to get into low throw-throw escape(LtTE) simply because Akira doesn't possess low throws not to mention that the principles are about the same, but if you are a Wolf/Jeffry player or anyone who possess low throws, you can try this option if you are recovering high and the opponent is crouching. RTE- this stands for reversal throw escape. if you whiff a reveral, you are vulnerable to a throw. by inputting the throw escape during the recovery, you can escape the throw if it was done. this makes your reversal a lot more powerful. RTE is especially useful when you can reverse a very large arsenal with the reversal command you choose; RTE is one of Akira's most powerful tools. this is especially useful when you are at a disadvantage( but not throw counterable in most cases, except for maybe Shun), for instance, against Jeffry, if you key in d/b+P+K,d/f+P+G, this stops his knee/crucifix piledriver game. ETE- evade throw escape. this is basically entering a dodge, then a throw escape during the evade. this tends to work best when you have a disadvantage by at least 5 frames but no more than 7; ETE is an especially great option after a blocked SDE, because either you will evade an attack(evading after a SDE has a very good chance of avoiding many attacks), which you can cancel into a CD to DBC or m-ShRm them, or they will try to throw you out of the evade, which results(in most cases) with an escaped throw. DTE- this stands for double throw escape. remember how i said as long as you keyed in the throw no longer than 10 frames after execution, you'd escape it? that's what this is for. say for instance, you're facing Jacky, who often goes for either the Trip & Hammer or the Sadistic Hanging Knee throws. the former can be escaped with b+P+G, and the latter w/d/f+P+G. So suppose you get your ShRm blocked. enter b+P+G,d/f+P+G quickly together and you'll escape both. or if you wanted to escape his normal P+G throw and the Trip and Hammer, you'd enter P+G,b+P+G quickly. a BIG difference between VF4 and VF3(ob and tb) is that DTE in VF4 enables you to escape 2 command throws at one time, instead of only the default throw and 1 command throw; you need to use this to your advantage, or you'll get thrown all over the place. TTE- now we're getting tougher. the triple throw escape is much harder to enter than the DTE, and in most cases, very difficult. however, against people who have very limited throw options(Shun), this can severely dent their throw counterability game. it follows the same principles as the DTE, except you add another escape command alongside. however, most people stick with the DTE because it is much easier to implement, but if you can do this, go for it; it nearly protects you well. now you can do things like combine the 1st 5 option selects alongside the last 2 to produce some very formidable defense; for instance, a R-DTE will reverse attacks and escape 2 throws if it whiffs; a G-TTE done during a move's recovery will ensure that you escape 3 throws, but given that you do the 3rd throw escape just as you are close to recovering, will ensure you come out holding G. and so on; the TE option select is very important if you ever wish to become very competitive; it limits the opponent's options in countering you. at very high levels of competition, if you don't have good option select techniques, you're basically handing the opponent free throw oppurtunities. this is again why the depth of VF is so great; what if he does a catch throw instead of a normal throw? or what about if he tries to do a nonreversible attack? or the idea that he may do a throw that your throw escape didn't cover? but that's the fun of VF4, and only practice will determine how well you are at reading these mind games. there is also a new, special option select available in VF4, that doesn't involve throw escapes, but can be used to escape ALL throws. Myke of VF.com explained this new option select that came from the Arcadia magazine. if you'd like more on this, go to VF.com, to "versus city" and search for "Escape- Crouch Dash defensive technique." ECD- this stands for escape- crouch dash. or dodging once, and then inputting a forward crouch dash during the execution of the escape. it of course, is useful for setting yourself up to punish whiffed moves, but it will also work wonders as an option select. it works best when you have a 3-4 frame disadvantage, since all evades can be cancelled into a crouch dash. essentially, you have a 4-5 frame window to quickly punch in the ECD option select; too slow, and if the opponent tried a throw, you'd be thrown. the beauty of the ECD over an E-GTE is that you won't worry having to escape the right throw; you'll simply go under the opponent's throw attempt. but you must key in the commands quickly. you'll know if you did this technique correctly, because if your opponent tried an attack, you'd MC dodge the attack, and if they tried to throw, you'd do a slow dodge, but it'd be cancelled into a crouch dash right under their throw attempt. but like all option selects, ECD has its weaknesses; don't forget that circular attacks can't be dodged, and if the attack is delayed, you wouldn't necessarily be able to crouch dash under it. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ******************************* *e.Okizeme(Punishing QR/TRers)* ********* ******************************* *IV.STRATS ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Okizeme is the ability to pressure your opponent as they get up. While not as broken as Tekken's okizeme, VF's okizeme can also be powerful, and good news, Akira has some of the best QR/TR punishing tactics in VF4! PUNISHING RISING ATTACKS: Basically, when your opponent gets knocked down, they can execute rising attacks; if your attack does over 20 pts and hits AT THE EXACT SAME FRAME THE RISING KICK HITS, you will beat them out. Akira's DBC is an excellant choice, of course, the StDblPm, m-DblPm, knee, and m-ShRm are all good choices as well. Tips are that the attack executes at 16-24 frames, and that you enter it when the opponent is starting to rise. In addition, if you have moves that have built-in dodges, you can use those to "beat out" the rising attacks(power fist is a good example). You can also learn to successfully dodge the rising attack(see Hyun's FAQ on this), or simply learn to correctly block it; see the framestats to see if blocked rising kicks simply give you initiative or are counterable. PUNISHING QR/TRers: The best way to okizeme though is to hit the opponent AS they are getting up, not beat out their attacks. Against kippers or QRers; they go through 3 phases: 1)grounded; ground attacks will hit them 2)crouching opponent standing up; mid/low attacks or low throws can hit them 3)opponent can move Good mid attacks to beat your opponent out of the 2nd phase are the m-SgPm, sidekick, m-DblPm, DBC, StDblPm, SPoD. Against siderollers or TRers; they go through 3 phases: 1)grounded; ground attacks will hit them 2)crouching opponent near roll's end; mid/low attacks or low throws can hit them 3)opponent can move Good mid attacks to beat your opponent out of the 2nd phase are the m-SgPm, sidekick, m-DblPm, DBC, StDblPm, SPoD and DFS. Interestingly enough, if you just mix between DFS and SPoD with low kick-cancels, you can beat TRing opponents all over the place. Finally, just make note that if your opponent holds G during the roll, your attacks track them. Against forward/backward rollers, they can be punished much like those who side roll, except they are ALSO vulnerable to low and mid attacks during the roll itself; best to try hitting them just as they begin to roll; if they roll forward, DBC is EXCELLANT; if they roll backward, SPoD is also EXCELLANT. BACKSTAGGERS: Special scenario: if you hit an opponent with a sidekick in the 2nd phase as they are: 1)QRing when they have their head AWAY FROM you, and their FACE DOWN, or 2)TRing when they have their head TOWARD you, and their FACE DOWN, you'll notice how they'll fall on their knees with their backs towards you, giving you a free combo oppurtunity; of course they can struggle. this is known as a backstagger; a stagger with an opponent's back to you. it is a potent technique, and used properly you can get your share of extra damage. in addition, Akira can do his m-SgPm in place of the sidekick, which causes a back-turned crumble stun, making followups inescapable! Now, how do you set up for this? Head and stomach crumbles set up for a backstagger if the opponent TRs a quick-recovering followup; setup throws often set up for a backstagger if the opponent QRs after a quick-recovering followup. To defend against backstaggers, never TR when you have your stomach down and your face forward, and never QR when you have your stomach down and your face away(still be aware of your opponent QR/TR punishing you). Or just get up regularly(hopefully w/o rolling/kipping); you'll risk OTB hits and pounces though. Keep in mind how far your opponent is from you and how quick they'll recover before you QR/TR, and you should be fine. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ******** *f.Misc* ********* ******** *IV.STRATS ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Here are some explaination of terms or some unorthodox techniques covered here. Stance: Remains an important concept in VF(think of foot stance w/Hwaorang for you TKers) Basically, if you can see both backs of the opponents or both fronts, then you are in open stance(OS). If you can see only 1 back and 1 front, then it's closed stance(CS). In most cases, stance isn't that necessary to pay attention to, but when you get to ranges and stuff, some things obviously get better in a certain stance, as well as specific combos. Basically, anything that uses the frontal arm/leg will work better in open stance, and anything that uses the back arm/leg will work better in closed stance. General examples: throws are better in CS, and elbows better in OS. Countering: Basically, there's the major counter(MC) and then the minor counter(mC). Major countering is hitting an opponent out of the execution phase of WHATEVER THEY DO( this is important; you don't need to hit an opponent out of an attack to get it to count as an MC; hitting whiffed throws/reversals or dodges also count). The sound effect should change(higher and louder), and maybe the hit color will be different. Opponents get stunned longer or knocked higher during MCs; which can be important for your combos and flowcharts. MC also does up to 50% more damage than it would normally do. Minor countering is hitting the opponent out of the recovery of their attack. mCing is very important, not only does it reward you 25% extra damage for strike counters, but will give you free damage. Since the way you hit the opponent with a juggle starter also determines how high they will fly, here's a handy chart I got from Myke that shows this situation: _____________________________________________________________ | Highest Float Lowest Float | +---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+ | MC | MC |Normal/mC| mC | Normal | Guard | |opponent |opponent |opponent |opponent |opponent |opponent | |standing |crouching|standing |crouching|crouching|crouching| +---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+ Weight/height/width: Here's how these factors can affect your game: weight: the lighter the opponent, the farther they get hit as well as the higher and slower they float in the air during a juggle; light characters SUFFER during juggles more than heavy characters height: the shorter the opponent, the more likely certain attacks are to whiff against them(against Aoi, for instance, your elbow has a very high chance of whiffing when she crouches, even though the elbow's classified as a mid attack) width: kinda determines how well you can hit OTB against the character; wider characters are more susceptible to this Weight Height Width(B/W/H) ------ ------ ------------ Jeffry 1st 1st 121/93/97 Wolf 2nd 3rd 123/93/98 Akira 3rd 4th 115/90/94 Lau 4th 9th 99/90/93 Jacky 5th 2nd 110/87/92 Kage 6th 5th 101/89/90 Shun 7th 12th 88/86/89 Lei 7th 6th 98/85/83 Lion 7th 10th 90/84/88 Sarah 10th 8th 90/57/90 Vanessa 10th 6th 93/57/93 Pai 12th 11th 85/54/88 Aoi 13th 13th 83/53/86 There seems to be some stuff wrong with the offical SEGA data though; a recent post by Myke showed the tiering of weight class(this is the revision C weight class, in revision B Vanessa was tiered alongside Aoi): HEAVY 1st tier: Jeffry Wolf MIDWEIGHT 2nd tier: Akira Jacky 3rd tier: Lau Kage 4th tier: Shun Lion Lei-Fei LIGHTWEIGHT 5th tier: Vanessa Sarah 6th tier: Pai Aoi Damage scaling system: The damage scaling system of VF4 has a simple principle; the more hits you add to a combo, the less damage the later hits will do. The intention of this is to prevent combo damage from going into overkill most of the time. Here's the general formula(you can use it to calculate the damage potential from each combo I posted), and remember that if a wall hit is involved, the followup hits after the wall collision also result in reduced damage(thanks to Nutlog for the damage scaling FAQ). BTW... OTB means on the bounce, a good example would be Kage's SE,DP,DP combo; the 2nd DP hits the opponent just as they touch the ground, so it hits OTB. the 1st hit will obviously do 100% damage, then it's ========================================================================= |2nd hit|3rd hit|4th hit|5th hit|6th hit|7th hit|8th hit|9th hit|OTB hit| ------------------------------------------------------------------------- | 80% | 80% | 60% | 50% | 40% | 30% | 25% | * % | 50% | ========================================================================= * Nutlog stated that he wasn't too sure about the exact damage for the 9th hit; it was either 20% or 25%; the numbers were too small. finally, damage scaling DOES NOT start if the opponent hasn't been knocked down; performing combos that use wall staggers, stumbles, and crumble stuns is the way to doing insanely powerful combos in VF4. Example; Kage's sidekick reversal, jumonji sidekick,inverted kickflip combo; because the opponent never gets knocked down until the end of the combo(and since each hit does over 30 pts), this combo easily does over 100 pts of life(setting it up is a different story). Guard cancelling: Guard cancelling is quite useful in VF; I already explained it partially in the general moves section, using the punch,elbow flowchart as an example; you don't want to accidently do PP, but you still want to do the 2 moves as quickly as possible, hence you can cancel the canned PP option from the punch and immediately go for an elbow. However, some techniques can be cancelled in mid-animation with the G button as well, such as the LK(for Akira/Lau), the dashes and the CDs; these are useful for baiting and control in their own ways. Crouch dashing: CD's purpose and use is multifold; high attacks and standing throws will miss you as you are CDing. Low attacks, mid attacks and low throws will hit you though. This makes the CD useful for both going in for the attack and retreating. The other use is to bring your character into a FC position so your FC moves can be executed(think of the possibilities if you can execute your ShRm and DblPm instantly from a standing position). CDing is even better in VF4, because it's made even easier to CD, you DON'T need to be standing to CD, you don't have to hold the 2nd command(thus a lot more m-whatever moves can be squeezed into juggle combos) and you can backwards CD once again. On a side note, since you can cancel CDs and that CDs can be started from a crouch, you can keep doing CDs over and over(see CD cancelling). All in all, a versatile technique. Evading/Dodging: See general moves; anyways, you already know that the dodge was made useless except in cases where you do a MC E. Furthermore, E's can STILL be cancelled into CDs, so MC E--> CD should be a constant for punished whiffed attacks. There's no extensive Korean Stepping in this game though, so for those of you who still dream on, give it up. In order to MC E successfully though, you need to know which attacks are semi-circular(thus you need to know which side to correctly E), which ones are fully circular, and which ones are linear. Also, you need to know which ones have better tracking properties. The dodge is still powerful, but in a more defensive way now. You can't E throws though, so to beat constant E attempts, simply do a catch throw. Last note: attacks that can be charged can be MC E'd RIGHT WHEN THE OPPONENT BEGINS TO CHARGE in the correct direction. You don't need to wait til they attack. Not to mention, most charge attacks are linear anyhow except for Akira. Tech-rolling/Quick-rising: Read the notes I made in the general moves section. Anyways, proper use of the QR/TR will ensure that your opponent misses extra damage in combos and reduces the damage they perform with throws; improper(over) use of it will lead to you getting hit by backstaggers and mid-level circular attacks. In any case where you hit the ground "normally", you can QR/TR. There are situations where you can't QR/TR though, just look for "abnormal" knockdowns. Pounces can connect easier when you QR than when you TR, but there's more chances to be backstaggered if you TR. If you TR and hold G, the opponent's actions will track you(in other words, don't do it). When you recover from a QR/TR, you recover in a FC position. In most cases, it's safest to TR whenever you get the chance, but when you think you can get punished by circular mid moves or backstaggered, then you mix it up with the QR and getting up the old fashioned way. Throws: Throws have been tweaked in VF4; they now have an 8-frame execution, and have increased range. Much more things are throw counterable, but not punch counterable(decreased PG speed). They still have the slow whiffing animation if you miss though. You can escape normal standing, low and side throws, but not catch throws, or back throws. Hit throws(except for Jeff's) can't be escaped. Side throws require a special escape. You must learn to counter with throws and mix up your throws if you ever want to be a good player. In turn, learning how to escape your opponent's throws is a must to be a good player. Wall dynamics: Introduced in VF3 and refined here. VF4 wall dynamics are FUN. Basically, if you hit the opponent with an attack that doesn't push them back hard and they hit the wall, they suffer a weak wall stagger. Nothing's guarenteed here, but you massive initiative to work with. If you hit the opponent with an attack that pushes them back hard and they hit the wall, they suffer a strong wall stagger; almost anything you dish out will combo! If you knock your opponent down and they hit the wall hard, they'll bounce off, giving you a huge oppurtunity to add damage. Oh yeah, whatever damage in VF4 wall combos occurs, occurs; no tech-rolling like in Tekken. You should already know what to do with Akira when you get the opponent near a wall; Akira simply destroys his opponents when he can use a wall. Walls have varying lengths, so some characters can ring others over the walls(like Kage). Others are breakable; panels of the wall can be broken off and result in a hole that opponents can be rung out from if the opponent hits the wall HARD. Reversals: New change to VF is that reversals now only reverse attacks that match its hit level. People who have mid reversals have a HUGE advantage; no need to explain why. Whiffing reversals causes your character to grab at air; it's shorter than the recovery time of whiffing throws, but you still don't want to do it. Reversals should be mixed into your game, and IMO really only used to reset the momentum of the game if you find yourself losing initiative and find your opponent predictable. Sabaki: A sabaki is an attack that has the potential to override other attacks by knocking them away with a sound effect while connecting with its own. When dealing/using sabakis, it's necessary to note what attacks can/can't be knocked away, and during when of that attack will the sabaki be effection. Inashi: This is a japanese term for a parry; it won't do damage, but gives the character initiative; usually enough for a guarenteed retaliation of some sort. Again, like reversals, it's important to note who has them, when they can be used(a lot of people has inashis during their stances), and against what are they effective. Crumble stuns: If you loved Tekken's double over stun combos, you'll love this, plus, they're inescapable. Akira has his share of crumbles and big damage combos involving them. 3 specific crumbles in the game: head crumble: opponent gets their head whipped back then falls forward; longest crumble, biggest potential for combo damage(think up-close DBC) stomach crumble: opponent holds their gut and falls forward; moderate crumble, but can combo into a low throw for those who have them; still good combo potential though foot(leg) crumble: opponent quickly falls backward ending up head forward, feet back, face in the ground; quickest crumble, but still good combo potential if the recovery of your attack is good Staggers/stumbles: Staggers look like the opponent is about to slip and fall over; stumbles look like the opponent fell down and is struggling to get up. But in general, you'll recognize these scenarios by the wiggling joystick on the side. Most of the time, you'll get a stagger if you connect an elbow or sidekick on a crouching opponent; in this scenario, nothing's guarenteed, but you can use the advantage to push a strike/throw guessing game. It's helpful that you dash up first, to make yourself more threatening. Then throw if they block, or hit them with a big damage move if they throw escape. In cases of staggers/stumbles outside of the elbow/sidekick, you'll usually have guarenteed combo followups though. As for dealing with staggers/stumbles? Well, like the wiggling joystick suggests, roll the joystick repeatedly, hold G and tap P and K rapidly; this ensures that you'll reduce the advantage time the opponent has on you and that you'll escape as soon as possible. You can't go for any option selects during your stagger/stumble though, so don't bother with them(at least, not until you can move again). K.O. Hits: This is fun; sometimes when you KO your opponent they will waver slightly, then slowly fall down; during this time, they are slightly lighter. What's even better though is that they can be thrown; interesting KOs can result. Experiment; it's fun; for instance I did LK(KO),LK(OTB),LK(OTB),LK(OTB) before, another time I did DBC(KO),CIR. Flowcharts: Flowchart is the VF term for custom string, only the concept's slightly different. This is partially due to the fact that often you lose initiative whenever you get your pokes blocked in VF. Thus, it's more like a "tree;" branching areas with different routes to take based upon what your opponent does, instead of a long chain of pokes like in Tekken. Hope that explained the term in the move analysis. Here's some brief SDE flowcharts(in other words, incomplete; find more options for your game) to give a good example of what to do when what happens: SDE blocked: ->1)ETE | Good option against aggressive people; StPm or DBC after a MC E are good options ->2)backdash| Another good option; much better in rev C since you lose more initiative as the SDE is blocked ->3)back CD | Good against high attacks ->4)GTE | Useful since opponents will force the strike/throw game ->5)RTE | Especially useful with the mid reversal or parry ->6)LP | Great against high attacks ->7)SPoD | Against possible throw attempts; risky, but high reward SDE staggers: ->1)throw | Buffer in a dash first; useful against those who block, and make sure you grab them AFTER they recover; also consider the PIT, since it'll be very hard to E it and escape ->2)fBG | Buffer in a dash first; great for beating out those who block coming out of the stagger ->3)SDE | Beats those who try a throw escape ->4)m-ShRm | Also a good option against those who try to throw escape ->5)LBF | Insanely useful against those w/o low reversals ->6)CD/dash | To keep the pressure on SDE hits: ->1)combo | Self explainatory Furthermore, each of those branched options lead to new options, much like custom strings do; I hope this clarified a few things. Fuzzy guard: Fuzzy guard is the ability to middle and low attacks as well as being able to avoid high and low throws. There's a certain point when you are rising from a crouch that the above situations will occur when you block; it's a very tiny bit, but it's there. Easiest way to perfect this is to CD a rising opponent then block when you expect the attack. If you've consistently blocked the attack, maybe you have fuzzy guard down. However, it's not invincible; as the attacker, delay your throw/attack attempt slightly, and the invincibility will most likely be gone. Plus, with VF4's longer throw detection, it's much harder to fuzzy guard throws. Machi: Machi is total defensive play, letting the opponent attack first, then reacting appropriately; if you want to see machi play at its best, I highly recommend you watch tourney clips of Napoleon, who plays an excellant machi-style Jacky. Attacks that are appropriate for machi play include long ranged fast attacks, reversals, basically defensive attacks. Good throws are also good(for counterability oppurtunities). Machi is active turtling; it's not setting down and blocking everything. Don't stay still; it helps to play at long range as well. Some characters have it easier with machi(like Sarah with her fast long ranged kicks). Yomi: Yomi, which literally is mind-reading, while physically impossible, involves conditioning the opponent to do something you want. Important stuff for landing reversals and power strikes. The key to it are your pokes to set the opponent up. Make the opponent think you're going to do action "B" after action "A", but instead do action "C" to beat whatever he wanted to do, fair enough? Good yomi skills are necessary for you to beat the opponent. CD cancel: This is the ability to cancel your crouch dash into another crouch dash of the same direction. This is useful in its own respects; to get out faster while in a crouched position, or to move in quicker from a distance when your opponent whiffs a high attack. You'll notice how similar this is compared to the Mishima wavedash seen in Tekken. Learning when and where to use it can make your character flashy and harder to read. Here's the best way to do it(modified from Myke's post): What you do is this: 1)do d/b,D/B 2)tap G and release it; keep holding the D/B input from step 1 3)enter D/B 4)repeat step 2 as much as you like If you want more info on this, take a look at my Movement System FAQ. Rising attacks: When you try to get up the old fashioned way, any input you make into the joystick or the buttons contributes to making yourself get up faster. If you want to get up old fashioned, roll the joystick and tap P and G, but not K unless if you intentionally want to do a rising attack. Usually when you do a rising attack, you can choose to either do a rising middle kick(mash K), or rising sweep(mash d+K). In addition, you can delay the rising attack during your roll, by not tapping the K(or d+K) command until you're beginning some of the roll. Rising attacks are usually only useful if the opponent isn't trying to apply okizeme(ie lazy) or whiffing their ground attacks. You can't do rising attacks if you QR/TR. General rule of thumb about initiative after rising attacks: there is none, seriously. Even when you hit sometimes, sometimes you gain initiative, sometimes you don't, other times you get the leg crumble(combo in a pounce), other times nothing. And when you get the attack blocked, it's pretty random at times too; sometimes you lose initiative, other times you are counterable; it's best looking up GLC's general FAQ if you want rising attack info. Last note: All of Akira's rising attacks ARE NOT fully circular! That means ALL of them can be evaded; beware. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ =============================== B.Character specific strategies ********* =============================== *IV.STRATS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Granted, I am not an expert at VF(although I am a definite avid fan). So don't expect me to be able to tell you everything you need to do well; in addition, no matter how much I tell you, that won't make you good unless if you go out and practice hard yourself. General format of each character section is: OVERVIEW: I give a quick intro of the character; what his/her strengths are, whether they are considered top-tier, what are some of their weaknesses, etc. GENERAL STRATEGY: What the basic idea behind how the person playing the character will be, what should be his/her weakness, and how you should apply that to win out. Also, I include a subtopic called "Some tips" and hint about some of the things you'll see. I in most cases, used the available online dojos, my knowledge of the character, and framestat specifics all in an attempt to write this section. STANCES: If the character has any stances, I cover this next, with the title being their respective stance's name. I point out some tidbits here and there, and kinda hope you get the basic idea. CIRCULAR ATTACKS: What attacks of theirs are circular, and which way to dodge them; I used Myke's excellant evading article for this; check it out. SABAKIS: Any sabakis that they have, and some stuff about them. The sabaki article by Myke helped here. REVERSALS: Any reversals the character has, as well as what they can reverse. The various movelists that I listed in the credits helped here. THROWS: Ok, the format of this section is that first I list what I consider to be the character's best frontal standing throws that can be escaped, and follow this up with some descriptions, such as the initiative you have afterward. Next, I list the other frontal standing throws, and also the intiative you get afterward. Finally, I delve into other throws, such as low throws or catch throws. This was a huge section, and I used SummErs' throw escape article for this entire section, as well as the movelists available. And of course, the resources I listed were extremely helpful; it'd be helpful if you looked them up yourself. REV B COUNTERABILITY LIST: I used Mr. Bungle's counterability FAQ for this; I simply cut and pasted the moves that are counterable if blocked IN REVISION B; this is important because if you play the PS2 version, some moves will have different counterability possibilities, which is why it's best to look up a movelist with framestats; I simply listed these if you're playing at an arcade. (note how I completely got rid of a possible computer strategies FAQ; the best way to play against the computer is to pretend the computer is a human opponent as this will help you learn more and teach you to not be predictable, so that when you do face a good opponent you won't be killed because you repeated some pattern that would've killed the CPU. otherwise, the computer tends to do repeatable patterns that leave them open to throws, and its "combos" are nothing more than juggle starter-->pounce, although it starts getting tougher the more opponents you beat) The cool part is given Akira's damage potential, that NO SINGLE MATCH IS HOPELESS for you; even if it gets down to 10% vs. 90%, one StDblPm and it's down to 10% vs. 40%. And unlike Jeffry, Akira actually is decently quick, which means it isn't hard to regain initiative compared to the slow characters. ******** *1.Lion* ******** OVERVIEW It's strange, really, the way Lion is analyzed. Technically, he has nothing going for him, and yet, he has everything going for him. His attack speed is rather slow, his damage potential is much lower compared to the other characters, and yet, he's still considered a very good character if played effectively. Because Lion is so small and many of his attacks start out looking the same, this compensates for his slow speed and weak power, as he can force some very annoying guessing games. Plus, his agility and movement are rather quick. Most of the time, Lion can stay rather offensive and poke away due to his ability to force simple 50/50 guessing games that are hard as heck to predict. And given his small height, some of your middle attacks have to be treated like they were high level attacks. The match isn't hopeless though; many of Lion's attacks recover slowly, and Lion himself is considered to be a middle-light character, which in the hands of a very powerful combo-based character such as Akira, spells disaster for him. Don't be discouraged when Lion is pecking at you like crazy, because if he makes 1 mistake, the game will be half won for you. GENERAL STRATEGY What to say; Lion will basically try to poke you to death and throw if you stay still too much; he really can't combo you. Because he is an excellant long range fighter, with great agility, you may find him dipping in and out with his unique backward and forward dodges(which are much better than the reg. dodges), poking long range then switching to up close range. But here's something to note; unlike other characters, his basic framework for poking doesn't involve the PG, elbow, and LP as much; his PG and LP are both slower than most, so it isn't that useful(still useful, but like I said...). Instead, he will use all sorts of attacks to poke you to death, that I'm not too sure I even want to bother listing them(it's of course best if you learn best by experience and what others tell you too). Keep in mind many of Lion's attacks(usually 2 for each scenario) look similar in startup, but end up hitting low or middle. Do beware that the lower the skill level, the more likely the Lion player is going to use his double low kicks. Also beware his okizeme potential; Lion has it really well. Because Lion is rather an offensive pecking freak, it actually might play to your advantage to be defensive, and be on the consistent look for openings. Since he's also rather small, learn what middle attacks will whiff against him. Learn what's counterable and what's not; try a counterability FAQ or find some framestats. Overall, don't get impatient; Akira has the tools to handle Lion; if you hit Lion with any of your power attacks at all, then the battle's half won. Some tips: Lion is one of the better characters who can "blindfight," or fight using TT attacks; watch to see if Lion turns away, and then try to guess between his 50/50 middle/low guessing game. Lion's elbow-poke string has some delay between the elbow and the poke; if you block the elbow and sense the poke, give Lion a nice DBC for some major damage. This is one of your biggest oppurtunities to hand Lion his behind for doing the wrong thing; don't forget it! Many of Lion's attacks duck low at the beginning; this is important to know; learn what mid attacks will hit him for this reason. Lion is a master at okizeme and ura(term for getting behind the opponent as they rise; a subtopic of okizeme); beware of funky stuff that he does as you are rising or QR/TRing. As you are falling from combos, his b,f+K+G,d+K will connect if you don't QR/TR, but even if you do, the timing can be quite difficult, and his pounce is difficult to avoid. Then you have to beware what he tries when you get up, not limited to strikes(expect some dodges too). Lion's lunging poke is not counterable, but gives you a ton of initiative. His low lunging poke is counterable. And both attacks are annoying, because both start low and either hit middle or low(the lunging poke mid, the low lunging poke low). They are also some of Lion's best far range attacks, but they are slow and can be dodged easily. Lion's dodge attack sucks, period. Even Chibita doesn't use it a lot. Either I'm nearsighted or something, but according to VP.com's rev C framestats, Lion is throw counterable if his PK hits OR is blocked(!) Lion's b,f+P+K is probably one of his best moves; it will come out as quick as your PG, and only gives him -1 initiative if blocked. All the canned followups can be blocked high though, and are highly throw counterable if so. The b,f+P+K by itself hits high. Lion will also use his TA kick; by itself it is uncounterable, and if it hits/MCs, he can turn back around with the P+K followup and combo you. However, he does have his back to you; try a m-DblPm. If you block the P+K, well, you know what to do. Both can be ducked because they hit high. Lion's u+K,K is used to beat low attacks. Look for delayed attempts. Lion's attacks that he will use to regain initiative are the d/b+K and u+P+K; both are very much counterable if blocked; be on the lookout for these moves when you are pressing the attack; the d/b+K ducks and rears back as well as hits low, the u+P+K is also fast like the d/b+K and dodges and it will hit middle. Lion's d/f+P+K and d/b+P+K look insanely similar; if you aren't paying attention to which way Lion is moving(into or out of the screen) before hitting, you won't know whether to counter; both hit low, but the d/b+P+K recovers high and Lion can be thrown, whereas the d/f+P+K recovers low and probably only counterable with mid attacks up to the SDE(or an LP) if you act quickly. I guess I put too many tips down, but basically, a lot of Lion's key attacks are throw counterable if blocked; however, there are a few that aren't; it's helpful to look up a framestats list, but some of the ones that aren't counterable are his elbow, lunging punch, TA kick, b,f+P+K and his d/f+P. Both hits of his u+K,K are both uncounterable. Study which moves are similar, and the scenarios afterward, then make him pay. CIRCULAR ATTACKS Helix [b+P] - evade towards front Low kick [d+K] - evade towards back Hopping kick [u+K] - evade towards back Sidekick [d/f+K] - evade towards back Sweeping hand [d+P+K] - evade towards back Double poke [f+P+K] - evade towards front Wind-up swipe [d/f+P+K] - evade towards front A ton of Lion's attacks are circular or hit dodgers, but these should be the ones you can MC dodge as long as you dodge in the right direction. SABAKIS Meteor punch [qcb+P(P)] - sabakis HP/HE/HK/MK/KN Arguably one of the best sabakis of the game, Lion's sabaki will not only defeat all high attacks, but also anything classified as a middle kick, knee or sidekick. In addition, when it does hit, the opponent will go into a stomach crumble for guarenteed combos. Not to mention Lion can do this sabaki on reaction, because it is most effective during the beginning of the animation. Of course, notice how it will not sabaki your middle punches and elbows; keep this in mind and press the attack with those as well as LPs. Just don't be predictable. If you do block the meteor punch, it is throw counterable. Lion can followup with the 2nd P if the 1st punch is blocked, and if it MCs, it will also MCs. However, it too is counterable if blocked. THROWS Kickflip throw[FC,f+P+G] Frontal face grab[HCB+P+G] SE[d/f+P+G] Lion has a very good throw arsenal to mix up, which makes life even more hell for you. Starting off, the kickflip throw(f+P+G) should be the one escape you go for the most; while the damage by itself is mediocre, Lion can combo afterward, and set up some okizeme no matter whether you QR/TR or not. If escaped the situation is close to neutral. His frontal face grab(b+P+G) does great damage and leaves him safe if escaped; if you don't struggle hard enough, the pounce afterward is hard to avoid. Finally, his SE throw leaves some guessing games he can try; PPP or u+P+K are guarenteed; d/f+P,P then pounce does better damage but can be escaped(dash forward after the 1st d/f+P then press G to block the 2nd P then throw as a counter), but then Lion can do d/f+P then throw as an alternative. From there, you have your P+G escape(disadvantage for Lion if escaped I think), another b+P+G escape(Lion's at a disadvantage if escaped), a u/f+P+G escape (beware of this, it's not often someone gets a normal throw with this, so don't be caught off guard), 2 more f+P+G throws which both do 50 pts(one of them when escaped leaves Lion at a disadvantage). Finally, Lion's mantis catch[f,d/b+P+G] is his catch throw(slow but inescapable); observe which way he dodges then tap the respective direction(up or down) and P+G to escape that respective throw, but beware of him stopping at the dodge and throwing you again. To clarify on Lion's catch throw followups, the flying takedown followup is escaped by d+P+G, the bulldog by u+P+G. REV B MINOR COUNTERABILITY LIST rising uppercut [FC,f+P] - high throw uppercut, swipe [df+P,P] - high throw overhead poke [u+P+K] - high throw standing palm, meteor hand, low swipe [b,f+P+K,P,P] - high throw TA half-moon kick, sweeping hands [b,f+K+G,d+P] - high throw elbow, poke [f+P,P] - high throw / P TA double handed peck, TT kick [f+P+K,K] - high throw / P TA half-moon kick-low slide [b,f+K+G,d+K] - back throw / FC,b,f+P lunging low poke [b,df+P] - FC,b,f+P sweep [d+K+G] - FC,f+P+K handstand kicks [db+K] - d+P / QCB+P ******* *2.Lei* ******* OVERVIEW Lei is the newest character to feed on the "WTF" factor. He seems to play like Shun, in that he needs to constantly switch his stances and stay about at midrange. He is the game's most masher friendly character, so you may find newbies picking him a lot. But anyways, what his real strengths are are that he has a lot of moves that have dodging properties, he has a number of excellant strikes(such as some of the best crumble attacks), and is the most sabaki-dependent character. And his best throw gives him free combos. But Lei is strictly that; a midrange opponent; his up-close game is hindered greatly, and he has a throw arsenal that is fairly easy to break out of (comparable to Sarah's, except no catch throws). GENERAL STRATEGY Er, how do I start... Lei doesn't rely on the atypical strategy much like Shun, but this is what I do know; Lei relies on constantly switching between stances, attacking from midrange, and trying to get sabaki oppurtunities. To be honest, I don't know how to play as Lei or how to play against Lei, but I will say that Lei has a lot of weaknesses, although he has many great strengths. Although he has a number of good anti-dodging attacks, the vast majority of his attacks are linear. In addition, Lei has a rather slow speed for the vast majority of his attacks, either in recovery or startup. And his throw variety is generally limited. The way to defeating Lei is to get up close and apply pressure, but not get predictable so that you fall vulnerable to his sabakis. There's a lot of rules to remember against a Lei, but it gets simple once you get up close and personal. Some tips: Lei has the best sabaki and crumble attacks in the game; not only that, sometimes the attacks are considered to be BOTH. QCF+P+K, b,f+P+K, [DM]P+K(MC or fully charged), [TG]P(MC), P+K,P, P+K,P,P, [EV]P+K,P(MC), [EV]P+K,P,P(MC). Watch out for the QCF+P+K, b,f+P+K, [DM]P+K, [TG]P especially; these are all head crumble attacks, and can actually set up a possible 80% backstagger combo if you QR/TR during the wrong sequence; look up ken's Lei Dojo for the actual combo. For the most part though, Lei's crumble attacks are fairly high risk/high reward moves; if you block any of the head crumble attacks, he is fairly throw counterable. Lei's [DM]P,P+K is evil; this is the fastest punch in the game running at 10 frames, the P+K has huge range and can float on MC; in addition, the initiative given Lei after the P+K is evil; according to VP.com, he's given +7 if the move is blocked, and +10 on normal or +21 on MC(yikes); look for this move during the defeat miss stance as it is arguably the best move of Lei; ken rated it 6/5. The good thing is that the P+K component can be reversed/sabaki'd as a middle punch. Unlike some characters, Lei naturally flows from one stance to another. Lei has a very good okizeme potential; he has some moves that can sabaki/duck/ beat out mid rising kicks; look for them. Framestats help; look up some at VP.com. For the most part, I don't know too much about Lei's stances, so instead, I'm going to cut and paste the pros and cons of Lei's respective stances from ken's Lei dojo and leave the rest up to you. INDEPENDENT STANCE This is going to be used when Lei has the initiative, also gives him the most options: pros: -mid, low, throw variations(look out for the d+K, very fast in startup/recovery and allows for combo followups) -auto reversal ANY punch attack(in rev C, it won't reverse LPs though, so keep that in mind; hit your LP and put the pressure on, or your LBF and the followup DJK) cons: -zero mobility -auto-reversal only when fully in stance -MC on any successful hit on Lei Fei(that is, any attack you do will count as an MC; go for a SDE immediately when you get the chance) DEFEAT MISS STANCE pros: -close to instantaneous stance execution. Most of the DM moves can be done at any instant or stance. -fast jab "PP+K" -fast/charged long range mid attack -semi-decent float midattack -certain high attacks are ducked due to his pose -anti throws to some extent due to stance/feet placement cons: -vulnerability to the d+P at close range TIGER STANCE pros: -sabaki(all high/mid) with Head Crumble -sabaki(low) -low Attack into MD,IN -hopping attack into EV -guard cancel for back-turned cons: -need to execute certain offensive moves to enter stance -limited exit stance options... though with the sabaki options Lei doesn't need them -usually the Lei player will look for oppurtunities to enter TG rather than not exit it EVADE STANCE pros: -it evades, back dodges ie "db+P+K+G" -high/mid sabaki into IN or N -high/mid sabaki into IN or N or Stomach crumble on MC -hopping high attack into TG stance -fast low sweep cons: -slow execution ie "db+P+K+G" -vulnerability to d+P BACK TURNED pros: -stylish and unpredictable from EV and TG stances -8 way walk will avoid many attacks, because chances are you(Akira) might be too aggressive when Lei has his back turned(avoid this mentality!) cons: -can't block(duh), just be sure you don't push too hard; the good Lei player knows you are going to jump seeing how Lei is presenting his back to you usually it's either d+K or K(middle level) when backturned, as well as the K+G or the forward crouch dash CIRCULAR ATTACKS High kick [K] - evade towards back Vertical chop [f+P+K] - evade towards front High crescent [K+G] - evade towards front Double leg crescent [f+K+G] - evade towards front Inverted kickflip [u+K+G] - evade towards front Hammer(evade stance) [P] - evade towards front Although the list seems to suggest that Lei has a lot of circular attacks, remember that his total number of moves are way more than these; he is a strictly linear character; this should be kept in mind; careful evading will avoid the majority of his key attacks. SABAKIS Double palm [QCF+P+K] - sabakis HP/HE/MP/ME Hammer(evade stance) [P] - sabakis HP/HE/HK/MP/ME/MK Backfist(evade stance) [P+K] - sabakis HP/HE/HK/MP/ME/MK Hammer punch(tiger stance) [P] - sabakis HP/HE/HK/MP/ME/MK/KN Upward kick(revision C only, tiger stance) [K] - sabakis LP/LK/LC TT double palm(back turned, tiger stance) [P] - sabakis LP/LK/SW Lei is obviously the game's best sabaki-dependent character; he has the most variety of sabakis, and all of them are capable or reversing a very large variety of attacks; you should beware of sabaki oppurtunities that are presentable to Lei and not to present yourself as sabaki bait; the good part is that the majority of Lei's sabakis will not be able to reverse your low attacks, but then, there's his auto-reversal from IN stance(in rev B), and the TT double palm from tiger stance(in rev B). REVERSALS auto reversal(independent stance) [n] - reverses HP/MP/LP(in rev B) Lei has the best auto reversal, because it will reverse ALL punches. Beware not to present yourself as able to be reversed in independent stance. In revision C he can't reverse LPs, so push for the low attacks when this occurs. THROWS Reaping throw[d/f+P+G] In order to balance Lei's great strikes, his throw options are extremely limited; this is his best throw; it does mediocre damage, but causes a flop which will give him a free combo oppurtunity. Always key this in as your 1st throw escape. Then watch for the okizeme game afterward. If escaped nothing's guarenteed, but Akira has initiative. After that, Lei's throw options are very limited; P+G, b+P+G, and f+P+G are the remainder of the throw escapes you need to know; only the P+G when escaped leaves you 2 even; the others give Akira initiative to push. Lei's throws are all rather weak and very limited, so it is imperative that you have a good option select against Lei; if you look at it, this strengthens Akira's up-close game even more against Lei; he sucks at close range, is slow, is linear, AND if you have good option select, then Lei will not be able to counter the majority of your power moves, and since you're right on top of him it'll be hard for him to switch into other stances where his sabaki potential lies w/o getting hit. REV B MINOR COUNTERABILITY LIST single palm [FC,f+P] - high throw double leg hopkick [uf+K+G] - high throw knuckle, punch [b+P,P] - high throw [tiger stance] hammer punch [[TG] P] - high throw [independent system] crescent [[IN] K+G] - high throw double palm [d,df,f+P+K] - high throw / P evading crescent, backfist [u|d+P+K+G,P] - high throw / P [independent system] punt kick [[IN] K] - high throw / P knifehand, upward strike [df,df+P,P] - high throw / P / FC,b,f+P [independent system] sweep [[IN] d+K] - high throw / P / FC,b,f+P dodging backfist, TA backcheck [uf|df+P+K,P] - back throw / FC,b,f+P double leg sweep [d+K+G] - d+P / FC,b,f+P ******* *3.Pai* ******* OVERVIEW Pai is considered by many to be one of the easiest characters to LEARN in the game; however, the higher up the experience ladder the game gets, the harder it is for Pai to win. This is because Pai needs to use yomi, conditioning, and to do evil setups. This should force opponents to try to evade to eat circular attacks or attack Pai into sabakis forcing her to dictate the game. She's got a multiple array of reversals and inashis, a good selection of throws, and on top of her plain annoying speed as well as her PG, sidekick, and LBF. Pai is often played mechanically, and if played correctly can be so damn annoying. However, this match is entirely in Akira's favor; Pai is light, and that factor alone should be enough; Akira is already a damage monster, and when you consider the weight of Pai, for every damage point Pai does to you, hitting her back would give you about 3x the amount. Just don't underestimate her. GENERAL STRATEGY Pai's general strategy is simple; while people will mix up more stuff than said, she will rely mainly on her PG and its strings, her sidekick, her LBF-P, which will continue into her Px strings, throws, and LPs. From there, expect a couple of things to be thrown in here and there, like her reversals and inashis, her faster sweep, and her retreating chop (d/b+P). And maybe expect to see a heelkick here and there at midrange. Her swipe(f+P) is often added too. It is extremely important for Pai to poke, but Pai tends to wait for Akira. Good Pais aren't afraid of Akira's staple moves, just the followups after them. Pais will try to dictate the game by inviting Akira to attack first, guarding correctly then putting the pressure on. In other words, Pai tries to lock down Akira's mobility. Your LP works extremely great against the PGs, and in up-close games as long as you know you won't staggered. At midrange, try to find a good move to hit her that she can't hit you with; like a sidekick or SDE. The key to fighting Pai is to stop her rushes and to keep her from stopping your mobility, and then find those damage oppurtunities; the difference between Pai and Lau is while Lau does more damage than Pai, Pai is much more suited on defense, so don't think you'll get off just by putting Pai on the defensive. Some tips: Most prominently, Pai's LBF is slow to startup and slow to recover; easily counterable. It is essentially a slow LP, except it has the potential to actually dodge really low attacks like your LP. Most of the time Pais won't use it alone, they tend to continue onto the P, and then see what you do. It's usually best to block low after the LBF and remain low then quickly do a ShRm. BTW, the LBF-P-uppercut string will never be guarenteed, even if the LBF MCs. Don't worry about Pai's combo starters, they are in general pretty pathetic; the 2-handed upper(D,f+P) and retreating chop(d/b+P) both need an MC to float, and are both counterable if blocked(but be quick). The K will always lift the opponent, but is counterable, the followup K will be middle, but if blocked also is counterable. Just beware of the K continuing into the canned LBF; it should be easy to read and see coming due to the slow startup, just don't be braindead at the moment. Expect to see the swallow kicks once in a while too, the 1st kick comes out quickly and is hard to counter; the 2nd kick is very much counterable. Pai may use these against LPs because she has no low reversal. Try to be on the defense after the 1st kicks, as SummErs states how it is one of Pai's best offense and defense tools. It will enable Pai to play a 2-way guessing game of throws, sweeps, or what not. Learn what your opponent favors, and how to defend against it. Beware of Pai trying to set you up to eat her fully charged K. SummErs gave an example; Pai has Akira near a wall, and she floats him, pushing him into the wall, but lets him QR/TR, however, when Akira does, the charged K is released and Akira can't evade it. This is an example of Pai's evil setups. Beware of always QR/TRing at the 1st possible moment; Pai might have been trying to set you up to eat moves like this. Against scrubs, the low kick and its followup hits all can either be ducked or blocked low. SWAY STEP From this stance, the majority of Pai's attacks are either low, or middle. For the record, she has only 1 standalone low level attack(a sweep) from this stance, and it's highly counterable if blocked, not to mention slow to startup. However, her punches from this stance are particularity good in initiative, although they start up pretty slow. Her punches will carry her into circular evade stance. Nothing to truly worry too much about in this stance. Pai can do b+P+K+G to get into sway step, but it's not that fast, so be ready to hit her. CIRCULAR EVADE Much like ths sway step, the majority of Pai's low attacks come out slowly and are highly counterable if blocked. Other than that, you will find the majority of her high/middle attacks are faster than her low ones. Her punch from this stance tends to be good at interrupting. Keep in mind Pai bends kinda low during this stance. Her double strike(P+K) will juggle opponents, but it is strictly up-close. Not that much to worry about. CIRCULAR ATTACKS The majority of Pai's attacks that are circular tend to be full 360 motions, so they are impossible to dodge, but if blocked, Pai tends to be in deep shee-at. However, it is good to learn to MC dodge Pai's LBF at the very last second; while it's slow, the slow speed makes it easier to track opponents. SABAKIS Lunging palm [f,b+P] - sabakis HP/HE/HK/MP/ME/MK Pai has a particularly good sabaki; it has very fast execution and good reach, not to mention she can add a canned P for another palm, to keep the initiative. However, it's interesting to note that it will still not sabaki any of your low attacks; use this to your advantage. Just learn how to deal with this move; most likely you'll see it used quite some. REVERSALS High reversal [b+P+K] - reverses HP/HE/HK Mid reversal [d/b+P+K] - reverses MP/ME/MK/SK/KN High inashi [f+P+K] - inashis HP/HE/HK Mid inashi [d/f+P+K] - inashis MP/ME/MK/KN Trip [d/u+P+K] - reverses TRs, side rolls, forward rolls, circular rising kicks Pai is definitely a character loaded with reversals; don't get abusive. Granted, the reversals themselves do particularly little damage, although you might want to beware the elbow reversal because it does push you quite far back. However, one thing to note is that she can't reverse anything that hits at the low level and of course, as long as you mix up your hit levels, there's nothing Pai can really do; if she looks to land that reversal/inashi, you will win. What is worthy to note is that she has a reversal specifically built for okizeme; it will reverse TRs, side rolls, forward rolls, and circular rising kicks. You can only QR, do a straight rising kick/rise w/o kicking, or roll backwards, keep this in mind. But overall, the general rule is that as long as you aren't consistently doing the same hit level over and over and mixing in unreversable attacks in your offense, you should be hard to reverse. THROWS Flipover throw[FC,f+P+G] ST[b,d+P+G] Trip & Fling [270+P+G] Pai surprisingly is a pretty good thrower; she has many throws, all do roughly 60 points of damage, and she has at least 1 throw for every direction, but I think these are the 3 best throws of hers; the flipover is her best throw(f+P+G), but remember that you can QR/TR to reduce damage; just beware of her followup trip reversal. Concerning her stumble throw, if she goes for anything else other than the crane kick (f,f+K), chances are it won't be guarenteed. After the crane kick connects, struggle and be ready for guessing games; often a puncture fist-jumping kick (f,f+P,K) will connect afterward if you are slow. To point back to the ST, while the crane kick is the only really guarenteed followup, you shouldn't underestimate it; Pai can force a guessing game of either a low sweep or sidekick, while you must quickly struggle and try to read and react; simple guarding is not a good idea; learn to block correctly. The trip & fling is all in all better than her DDT and serves the same purpose and escaped the same way(b+P+G); it won't leave Pai at a disadvantage if escaped. Other than that, besides P+G, you have the d/f+P+G to escape her SE; she can only do the DSK for guarenteed damage. She also has 3 more f+P+G escaped throws (all do very good damage and chances are they will be mixed in place of the flipover here and then, plus they reverse the ring often), and 1 more b+P+G escaped throw. Finally her low throw is escaped by f+P+K+G, which leads to another bad situation for Akira, since Akira doesn't fair too well when his back is turned. Try to avoid this situation as much as you can. Finally, her back throw; again, nothing's really guarenteed(cept for the K+G followup), but you're still in an uncomfortable situation; be ready for guessing games; struggle hard and try to read and react. REV B MINOR COUNTERABILITY LIST double palm [FC,f+P] - high throw low blue fist, punch, uppercut [df+P,P,f+P] - high throw retreating chop [db+P] - high throw heelkick [FC,n+K] - high throw kick, kick [K,K] - high throw kick [K] - high throw low blue fist, crescent [df+P,K] - high throw pounce [u+K+G] - high throw reverse crescent [b+K+G] - high throw double moon kick [f+K+G] - high throw [sway step ] crescent, lunging punch, sweep [[SW] K+G,P,K] - high throw / P evading crescent [u|d,P+K+G] - high throw / P / b,f+P double sparrow kick [uf+K,K] - high throw / P / b,f,f+P+K triple punch, kickflip [P,P,P,b+K] - high throw / P / f,f,f+P / b,f+P triple punch, sweep [P,P,P,d+K] - d+P / FC,f+P+K sweep [d+K+G] - d+P / FC,b,f+P quick sweep [db+K+G] - d+P / FC,f+P+K ******** *4.Kage* ******** OVERVIEW It's too bad that Kage got toned down so much in the transition to VF4; I agree his ability to set up throws, his throw damage, and his ability to play near at every distance besides being overall very quick all added up to a very broken character, but the fact that they toned down almost all of the said things above makes him only a good middle-tier character in the hands of a good player. That said, Kage is still one really good opponent being generally quick, being able to attack at any distance, and possessing some of the game's best throws. His main strategy obviously centers around getting throw oppurtunities and using them. Compared to VF3 Kage gained some ability to do juggle combos outside of throw combos now, so you'll have to beware of that, but overall the reduction of his quick pokes means this game is more in your hands than that of Kage; you'll in most cases only lose because you didn't try. GENERAL STRATEGY Kage basically will try to set up throw attempts. That's the basic goal of any Kage player. His basic flowchart starters are PG, LP, and PPb+P. Then either the elbow or sidekick to try to stagger you(good thing the elbow's speed is slower). And from there, Kage will tend to mix in heelkicks at midrange, his TA sweep, his Van Halen kick for interrupting(its speed was actually toned down a bit), his d/f+P, FC,d/f+P, and d+P+K to MC you in the hopes of a juggle combo. Kage was toned down so that he can't exclusively go for throw attempts and simply try to peck you to death in the hopes of setting that up by becoming slower, so expect him to try to MC you with some float tools every once in a while. Basic strategy? I dunno...Kage is very well rounded, however, he was definitely toned down in every aspect. So basically follow the principle of not giving Kage the oppurtunity to throw; a note is that he seems somewhat slower than the previous VF incarnations, so use your speed to your advantage; pressure him and keep the initiative away from him. Some tips: uk-guy wrote, "If you get hit by f,f+P+K+G then TR doublepalm is guaranteed. If you TR and are near Kage then b,f+P combos and f,f+KK are good options too. However doublepalm is always guaranteed so if in doubt always do this." uk-guy wrote, "If Kage whiffs df+P you can stagger him with an elbow or sidekick." uk-guy wrote, "You can duck the b+P in a blocked PPb+P for a guaranteed doublepalm or throw opportunity." After a TR, a really good bet for Akira against Kage is his DblPm, due to its speed and damage it will take priority over MANY of Kage's attacks. For the most part, Kage's reliable OTB weapons(backheel sweep and running slide) are pretty much worthless IF you know how to TR/QR reliably, but do beware TR stagger oppurtunities. Kage can also cancel his backheel sweep into a TA position, so beware that. Should you get staggered by the dragon punch-drop kick, a VERY GOOD struggle attempt will result in Akira recovering BEFORE Kage. uk-guy's notes on rev C Kage: "Kage has been improved a bit in version C. His Jumonji Stance has become a bit stronger thanks to the P+K and K+G crumble properties. His side and back SE throw now gives +14 frames advantage meaning (db+)PPb+P and some other attacks are guaranteed now, although a throw attempt will whiff. The Jumonji reverses now lead to some strong guaranteed combos too. One big tone down is the b,b+K+G which now only crumbles on MC. Because of the improved [JM] Kage may try to force a guessing game after his elbow connects or is blocked. You will need to guess well and attack with stuff like Shrm, df+P+K, d/u P+K+G or throw to battle his [JM] options." uk-guy stated, "If Kage likes to do d+P alot, say after PPb+P then do your inashi for a possible SPoD or even yoho - P - f,f+KK in Open Stance!" uk-guy wrote, "If Kage goes in [JM] after his elbow be careful. It is not wise to counter with jabs and elbows because you could get crumbled by the P+K sabaki. Stick to attacks like ShRm or b,f+P+K. Your dodge move(eBC) can also work well." uk-guy's notes on Kage's Jumonji reversals, "Be wary of doing rising kicks on Kage when he is in the [JM]. If you get [JM] rising kick reversed you can say goodbye to 1/2 bar thanks to the [JM] reversal - G cancel - uf+K+G - d+P - DP combo! If you get [JM] neutral P reversed Kage gets a guaranteed DPK before you can recover!" uk-guy wrote, "Backheel sweep (f,f+K) is Kage's main fully circular attack. Kage may use it to hit your dodges attempts from a TR. If you block f,f+K remember it recovers high so you get a throw, or other possible counters like b,f+P - P - doublepalm." uk-guy wrote, "A blocked DPK recovers low so cannot be high thrown. However you do get SPoD or qcb+P or yoho combos!" uk-guy wrote, "If Kage favors attacking your TR with d+K+G or df+P then RTE can beat his attacks and throw guessing games." uk-guy wrote, "A blocked b,b+K+G leads to DblPm, but if it connects in mC Kage has a couple of frames advantage. If Kage favors attacking with a back-turned attack in this situation then dodge, crouch dash, ShRm is very effective." uk-guy wrote, "Some attacks like d+K+G are only throw-counterable. In this situation Kage may favor the GTE so as not to eat a b,f+P+K or SPOD ETE hit. SO use your f+P+G into b,f+P!" uk-guy wrote, "Blocking Kage's d+K gives you a guaranteed doublepalm. Useful near the end of a match when both fighters are low on energy and a low hit is needed to win." uk-guy wrote, "After blocking Kage's uf+K+G attack b+P+K+G-TE works well because Kage's usually favor doing d+P in this situation." uk-guy wrote, "Akira's df+P+K can crouch under a lot of Kage's moves if timed right including low jabs and elbows sometimes!" If Kage tries a TFT--> rising knee--> combo and ends up doing the QCF+K in place of the rising knee, you can TR for no damage, then SPoD him. uk-guy's list on mC counters in revision C against Kage using Akira: Rev C counters (more damage may be possible, these are just some off top of my head) PPP (mC or blocked) = HT b+PK = HT PPb+PK = HT / b,f+P FC,f+K = HT / b,f+P b+KKK = HT / DbPm d+P+KK = BT u+P+K = HT / SPOD f+K+G = HT / b,f+P DP = HT / SPOD DPK = df+K stagger / SPOD db+K = HT / SPOD d/u P+K+G = HT / PK JUMONJI STANCE Kage's Jumonji stance contains some useful tidbits that Kage can use, but in general, not too many things he'll use. His sideways roll and stance dodge are particularily useful, as his knee, and his sweep. He also has some reversals/ sabakis that he can use from Jumonji stance. But that's about it. Kage's Jumonji isn't that useful that you'll find Kage constantly going for it. Amongst the most useful ways for Kage to go into Jumonji include after an elbow or helix. CIRCULAR ATTACKS Downward float chop [d/f+P] - evade towards back Dodging tackle [d/b+K] - evade towards back Shuto chop [f+P+K] - evade towards front Heelkick [d+K+G] - evade towards front In general, the main ones are to beware of the downward float chop, and the heelkick. Those are main attacks that Kage WILL go for in a game, so especially learn how to dodge those. SABAKIS TA mid crescent [b+K] - sabakis HP/HE/HK/MP/ME/MK Circular kick [f,b+K] - sabakis LP/LK/SW Clap [P+K] - sabakis HP/HK Advancing kick(Jumonji stance) [P+K] - sabakis HP/HE/HK/MP/ME Do beware the TA mid crescent and advancing kick; look at the number of things that they can sabaki. Keep in mind Kage takes so long to go into the 2nd kick after the f,b+K that it's easy to interrupt him if they do go for the 2nd kick. The clap has slow execution. Keep in mind Kage has some advantage if the advancing kick connects. Well, that's about it, just learn what the sabakis look like and learn how to beat them; Kage has a large arsenal, but if you know what they are, you shouldn't have problems beating Kage and avoid these. REVERSALS High punch reversal [b+P+K] - reverses HP Mid punch reversal [d/b+P+K] - reverses MP Jumonji punch reversal [n] - reverses HP/MP Jumonji sidekick reversal [P+K+G] - reverses MK I think Kage was toned down reversal-wise. He now needs to know which level the opponent is going for reversals in order to reverse them instead of the past where he could just key in b+P+K. If the jumonji punch reversal occurs, little damage is done, but Kage has initiative. If the sidekick reversal occurs, Kage can actually combo into it IF he stance dodges towards Akira's backfoot and does a dragon punch-drop kick combo. But then, who really sidekicks Kage when he's in Jumonji? Not to mention Akira doesn't use his sidekick except for TR staggers. But it will reverse rising kicks so don't go for that when Kage is in Jumonji. And of course, don't punch/palm Kage when he's neutral in Jumonji; either LP or throw, or DFS, you get the idea. THROWS Ten foot toss[b+P+G] Turnover throw[d/f+P+G] Flipover shoulder throw[b,d+P+G] Arguably Kage's best asset, Kage is known for possessing some of the best throws. These are Kage's best throws, and the ones you should look out for. Of course, the highest priority escape should ALWAYS be the TFT(b+P+G). Kage was hurt because his damage potential AND RO potential were both hurt; now he not only needs to choose which one he wants to go for, but both potentials were toned down greatly. It is still his best weapon though so if you can reliably escape this throw you are limiting Kage's offense for sure. Anyways, if Kage fails his TFT attempt you can QR/TR to avoid the 40 pts damage. If he goes for the knee he's going for damage, and if he goes for the d+P+K he's trying to ring you out. In any case, once you get close to the ground, QR/TR(to nullify any chance of the running slide hitting), but do beware if he's trying to get a TR stagger on you. The damage and RO potential with the TFT combos are sorta outta your hands, the only thing you can do is not give Kage the chance to throw you and try to escape if you think you will get thrown. The turnover throw is the next highest throw escape priority; the ground kick is guarenteed and gives out good damage. Press the offense when you escape it. And finally, the flipover shoulder throw(d+P+G). It's a fairly powerful throw but the ground stomp isn't guarenteed; however you are in a poor rising situation, so don't try kicking as you get up, and do beware any attempts to end up behind you. BTW, when all of the said throws are escaped, Kage has a huge disadvantage; press the attack. Now because Akira's option select is so good(R-DTE using the mid reversal, TFT and Flipover shoulder throw already kills his counterability game so much), expect Kage to actually mix in other throws as well; you have your typical P+G escape, Kage also has 3 catch throws; one from normal stance, one from Jumonji, and one with his back turned; all are fairly slow and easy to see IF you are attacking. And he has some other throws that can be escaped with f+P+G(some are throw counterable, the SE is not). Speaking of the SE, it's not a worry for Akira; immediately press d+G when you get thrown by it, and you'll avoid the kick in the DPK combo and the low back throw. Kage can try elbow backstagger combos, but they aren't guarenteed after the SE and you can always struggle outta them. REV B MINOR COUNTERABILITY LIST helix, mid-kick [b+P,K] - high throw heelkick [d+K+G] - high throw dodging sweep [db+K] - high throw triple punch, mid-kick [P,P,P,K] - high throw / P dodging chop [u|d+P+K+G] - high throw / P double punch, helix, kick [P,P,b+P,K] - high throw / P / b,f+P TT chop, kick [BT] P+K,K] - high throw / P / b,f+P TA kickflip [df+K+G] - back throw low kick - d+P / FC,b,f+P TA low kick [b,b+K+G] - d+P / FC,f+P+K TT low kick [[BT] d+K] - d+P / FC,f+P+K dragon punch, drop kick [f,d,df+P,K] - d+P / QCB+P ********** *5.Jeffry* ********** OVERVIEW Jeffry tends to be a character who is overlooked by the average player, most people simply think Jeffry is a punching bag. Of course, Jeffry's main strength is in his power, but also in his variety of throws and strikes. Almost no one else has a more painful strike/throw guessing game than him; either you eat a knee and lose close to 50% life(especially if you get hit by the KKP as a combo ender), or you eat a XPD and lose, well close to 50% life. He seemed to be a bit toned down from VF3 though; he can't take off 50% life as reliably now, but he still can. Jeffry basically wants to try to find the advantage, and when he does, he'll start mixing up stuff. However, faster characters than Jeffry always have some advantage over slower characters such as Jeffry, and this you'll need to exploit. GENERAL STRATEGY The general strategy of Jeffry is that he'll poke with his PG, DE(expect the occasional delayed uppercut to catch you, as well as the entire DEU whenever the DE hits normally or when you are crouching), and LP and sometimes his regular elbow, and his throws. When he gets things going, expect float starters like the knee and kenka upper to be added in, as well as attacks that produce crumble stuns such as the hell stab(f+P+K), d+K+G, and others. But in general, Jeffry is a character who basically sticks to finding the advantage, then mixes it up(don't I sound redundant). The best way to beat Jeffry is to keep the pressure up close, out-poke him and to master your option selects; once momentum builds for Akira, it will become hard for Jeffry to recover(especially since Jeffry must rely on traditional defense like Lau, but is also very slow), so careful poking is a must. Some tips: Jeffry's shot knee is insanely good; it is one of his best counterhits, and will tend to beat almost anything you try; look for it during your rushes; it is throw counterable if blocked; beware of the canned elbow(it can be delayed slightly), but if blocked, it too is counterable. The double hammer combo can be delayed; it is slow to start out, but just keep that in mind. Jeffry's b,d/f+P+K,(b or d)+P+G hit throw sequences are the only ones in the game that can be escaped. His TKoD is now guarenteed(I think); still, it's a good idea to crouch dash, so that if he mucks up the command, you'll get a free reaming oppurtunity. He can also go into the TKoD from the K,K,P combo, provided he hit with the 2nd kick and not the 1st. Jeffry's hell stab causes a stomach crumble on MC; usually I won't delve into crumble stuns, since the damage afterward is guarenteed save for oppurtunities where you can QR/TR(that doesn't mean you shouldn't watch out for Jeffry's d+K+G on MC or any of his other moves that cause crumble stuns), but I will here because when Jeffry gets a stomach crumble, he can combo into a low throw; it is important that you start doing your low throw option selects here, because you've got a fighting chance, and you're stuck in a crumble stun; you can't block, so you might as well try it. Jeffry's d+P+K on MC gives him a near guarenteed low throw(+6 frames). Look for Jeffry's triple body blows(d/f+P+K,P,P); he can try throwing after the 2nd or 3rd attacks hit, the downside is that the 1st body blow comes out slowly. I think there's one combo of Jeffry's that I want to touch on; knee(MC), PG, headbutt, pounce. It will take off more than 50%, but the pounce is avoidable; make sure you struggle hard and roll to the side. Given how Jeffry has slow speed and larger throwing range than most, expect to be mC'd the most with his throws, rather than his strikes. And considering how he can throw from all angles, including low throws, you might want to beware which attacks leave you at a -8 disadvantage when you recover low. R-DTE is especially useful against Jeffry; mid reversal,d/f+P+G,f+P+G kills his best mC tools. That's really about it; of course, also beware the headbutt(b,f+P+K) and b,f+P; both allow for combo oppurtunities if they hit. But in general, a lot of Jeffry's attacks are very much throw counterable if blocked; look up some framestats to find out more. THREAT STANCE Jeffry has a new stance, but it fairly simple; he can only do a threat stance P or K. The K will enable a stomach crumble(beware low throws), and hits middle. It is a fairly useful move(speed/recovery are good, range good, etc). And his P; well it hits high and knocks down, but if it doesn't, he can do a hit throw(timing's sorta strict though), and follow up with the ducking low kick into the butt pounce for 50% life. But that's about it; just learn how your opponent uses threat stance, then adapt. Jeffry can only get into threat stance as a standalone move, not as part of a canned string. CIRCULAR ATTACKS Ankle kick [d/f+K+G] - evade towards back Low kick [D+K] - evade towards back Single hell stab [P+K] - evade towards front Hell stab [f+P+K] - evade towards back Body blow [d/f+P+K] - evade towards back Backfist [b+P+K] - evade towards front Knee [f+K] - evade towards front Amongst the circular attacks you should know to evade are the hell stab and backfist the most; also, his knee is good to know how to evade. THROWS Crucifix piledriver[d/f,d/f+P+G] Backbreaker[b,f,f+P+G] Military Press[b+P+G] SE[d/b+P+G] Jeffry really has a very powerful throw arsenal(and arguably it's the best in the game; not even Wolf has this many command throws with all different directions), which is why a good option select is so critical to defeating Jeffry; the good thing is Jeffry still doesn't have a catch throw, and that outside of the XPD and backbreaker, Jeffry doesn't have many insanely damaging throws. Anyways, the XPD is still Jeffry's most powerful throw (escaped w/d/f+P+G); extra range due to the crouch dash motion, and if escaped, both characters are even(both backs to each other); should definitely be your more used escape. Then, the(frontal) backbreaker(escaped with f+P+G) also has good range and does huge damage(maybe even moreso than the XPD due to the pounce), but if escaped, Akira can push for a throw/strike guessing game. From there, the military press is also a very powerful throw; while you can TR/QR to avoid 20 points of damage, if you QR, Jeffry can low pounce, and if you TR, he can do his shot knee-elbow combo, which still makes the damage worth close to 60 pts(but it's still not a bad idea to try). When done near a wall, Jeffry can combo off of the throw, making it a powerful throw. If escaped, you have a guarenteed throw. Finally, the SE; the drop elbow is near guarenteed, and then he can follow up with a pickup throw and do some more stuff such as the knee or triple body blow, so while the damage isn't that much, it will push you very far back. And of course, if he does it near a wall, he can do a very sick wall combo taking off 50% life; if escaped, press the advantage. Of course, any good Jeffry player will not just rely on those throws, but also his other ones; expect the d+P+G in rare occasions. He can do his d/f+P+G Fireman's carry throw as a wall throw. What else, he has additional f+P+G throws; one leaves the both of you downed, the 2nd(the headbutt multithrow which you either escape with b+P+G or f+P+G) leaves you with advantage. The multipunch one isn't used much. His b,d/f+P+G throw can be done as a wall throw, so beware of that. Finally, you have his low throws; the d/f+P+K+G should be keyed in the most (press the initiative if escaped), then the f+P+K+G(for its damage, but it is slightly slower to do compared to the powerbomb, and if escaped, you get a free throw), and then the d+P+K+G, which does ok damage, but is even when escaped. But Jeffry basically has throws for every angle(high, low, front, side, back), and all have at least 2 different commands(that's right, Jeffry has more than 1 default P+G side and back throw). And since he has a slightly longer throwing range than most, expect to be mC'd the most with his throws; it is imperative that you learn how to option select, or it'll be game over in 3 throws. Finally, his ground throw guarentees him nothing(unless if you get pushed into a wall, in that case Jeffry has a guarenteed throw), but he obviously has the advantage and it pushes you back for RO distancing; struggle then try to read and react. And whenever you touch the ground, try to QR/TR or struggle hard and get up quickly in order to avoid the ground throw. REV B MINOR COUNTERABILITY LIST dashing elbow, uppercut [f,f+P,P] - high throw elbow drop [b+P] - high throw side kick [df+K] - high throw elbow, hammer [f+P,b+P] - high throw / P knee [f+K] - high throw / P shot knee, hammer [b+K,P] - high throw / P hell stab [f+P+K] - high throw / P headbutt [b,f+P+K] - high throw / P / b,f+P ducking low kick [d+K+G] - d+P / FC,b,f+P low kick [db+K] - d+P / FC,b,f+P *********** *6.Vanessa* *********** OVERVIEW Vanessa is the 2nd new character to VF4. She deviates from the stereotypical female character; she doesn't aim to poke the opponent to death and find some combo oppurtunities; she actually aims to poke with her special strings and find oppurtunities to throw; she is also aimed at using both of her fighting stances to her advantage. By switching around, she can find offense when she needs it most and power when she needs it. The big downside to Vanessa is that she doesn't have many power combos, and that she is light. These, as well as a good option select and a knowledge of how to play each stance will help you come out on top of Vanessa. GENERAL STRATEGY Vanessa's basic strategy is of course to poke. Of course, she relies on the stereotypical PG, f+P LP as well as her canned strings, sticking in delays here and there when doing them and sometimes cancelling the followups altogether. What stance she is in will depend on what she centers on after that. In defensive stance(DS for short, MT for Muai Thai), Vanessa will center on utilizing her sabaki/reversal ability and her vast variety of throws. In MT, she will try to utilize her speed to go offensive and poke you to death. Seeing how I don't have experience on Vanessa I instead had to look up other people's posts, then try to generalize it. In DS, your goal should be to outpoke Vanessa because she is slower in that fighting style; don't give her an oppurtunity to sabaki/reverse you, and make sure you perfect your option selects against Vanessa. And don't give her the oppurtunity to connect her dodge attacks. In MT, your goal is simply to outpoke her; once you remove her greatest asset in this mode(her speed), you can just pressure her to death. Some tips: Whenever Vanessa puts you into a stomach crumble, start entering your low throw option selects; because Vanessa has a large arsenal of low throws, and because you can't block, this should be very important; she can't juggle you as well as others, so you might as well and save yourself from losing close to 50% life. Speaking of things that cause stomach crumble stuns, her dodging hook is one of the better dodge attacks in the game; be on the lookout for it as it can easily link into a low throw on MC. And it dodges a LOT of attacks. Vanessa's b,b+K+G is a good move for her; it can be guard-cancelled, it is uncounterable, on full charge it will stagger. She does recover with her back-turned though, so pressure her. I guess Vanessa is mainly a character who relies on delaying her strings and playing with them; it'd be helpful to look up a movelist and see the framestats of certain blocked moves. CIRCULAR ATTACKS Elbow smash(DS) [f+P] - evade towards front Dashing body blow(DS) [f,f+P] - evade towards back Back kick(DS) [FC,n+K] - evade towards front Low kick(DS) [D+K] - evade towards back Heavy roundhouse(DS) [b,f+K] - evade towards back Dashing elbow(DS) [P+K] - evade towards back Super dashing elbow(DS) [d/f+P+K] - evade towards back Low crescent(DS) [f,f+K+G] - evade towards front Back kick(MT) [FC,n+K] - evade towards front Low kick(MT) [D+K] - evade towards back Side kick(MT) [d/f+K] - evade towards back Dashing body blow(MT) [P+K] - evade towards back Dashing elbow(MT) [f,f+P+K] - evade towards front According to Myke's post (DS)f+P, (DS)FC,n+K, (DS)D+K, (DS)b,f+K, (DS)P+K, (DS)f,f+K+G and (MT)FC,n+K are especially good to know. SABAKIS Heavy roundhouse(DS) [b,f+K] - sabakis HP/HE/HK/MP/ME Vertical elbow(DS) [d/b+P] - sabakis LP/LK/SW Low blow(MT) [d+P] - sabakis LP/LK/SW The heavy roundhouse is especially insidious because besides being able to sabaki a large variety of your attacks(make sure you mix in LPs and unreversible attacks), the followup P leaves Vanessa with initiative IN ANY CASE. Luckily both hits are aimed high. The other 2 sabakis execute a bit faster, but they can only reverse your low attacks; long story short, mix it up. If Vanessa is in MT, you can abuse your SDEs a lot more. REVERSALS Auto-reversal [n] - reverses HP/MP High reversal [b+P+K] - reverses HP/HK Mid reversal [d/b+P+K] - reverses MP/MK/KN/KF I think the reversals are pretty straightforward and you should know how to deal with them already, but it's the auto-reversal that needs explaination; when you are caught with this, you can struggle(notice the joystick?), but then you can escape her followups; escape with either G(against the K), d+G (against the d+K) or the P+G(against the P+G throw). I dunno, try to read and react; possible option select might work. THROWS Flip & leg lock[f,d+P+G] Sacrifice arm lock[d/f,d/f+P+G] Elbow & palm[HCF+P+G] Spinning takedown[270+P+G] Surprisingly, Vanessa's throw options are comparable to Jeffry's, and they are still formidable; they tend to do at least 50 pts of damage, some reaching the 70s. And save for the f,f+P+G,f+P+G wall throw and the HCF+P+G throw, when escaped, most of her throws present her with a -6 disadvantage, but in general aren't counterable. Some even recover with an even initiative, and some even give her the initiative! Anyways, the flip & arm lock is her best throw; escaped with d+P+G, does the most damage(actually, her 270+P+G throw that is escaped with f+P+G does 70 pts, but 270s are never easy to do in general games), and leaves both characters at an even initiative. Next, the sacrifice arm lock is also a very good throw because it has a buffered crouch dash and does decent damage; press the attack if you key in the d/f+P+G escape. The elbow & palm is probably her next best throw; escaped with f+P+G and does 60 pts. If escaped, you can actually throw her. While her spinning takedown is escaped the same way as the elbow & palm and takes slightly longer to do, it has the virtue of doing a massive 70 pts of damage and being uncounterable, leaving her with a disadvantage instead. From there, Vanessa has some other DS throws(you know most of her throwing ability comes from DS, not MT, right?). Her SE(escaped w/d/b+P+G) leaves her with a disadvantage. It can be done from DS or MT. She has another f+P+G throw which escaped is neutral. The wall throw(also escaped w/f+P+G) leaves her at a disadvantage. When you escape her other 270+P+G throw w/b+P+G, she is at a disadvantage. In MT stance, her best throws are in order from best to worst; d/f+P+G,f+P+G,and d/b+P+G(interestingly, besides her P+G throw, those are all her options from MT throw-wise, much easier to figure out her out). Vanessa has only 2 low throws; d+P+K+G and d/f+P+K+G. Both are insidious, although both do decent throw damage at best(50 and 55, respectively), but the d+P+K+G is even more insidious; if escaped, Vanessa has a 2 frame advantage; it's not much, but it's enough to keep you from LPing immediately. I'm guessing you can do low throw option select, so key in both, and you'll be able to avoid both throws. Especially useful after stomach crumble stuns. REV B MINOR COUNTERABILITY LIST triple punch, kick [P,P,P,K] - high throw punch, elbow smash [P,df+P] - high throw elbow smash, punt kick [f+P,df+K] - high throw slap, body blow [df+P,P] - high throw dashing body blow [f,f+P] - high throw evading hook #1 [G,u+P] - high throw evading hook #2 [G,d+P] - high throw elbow smash, roundhouse [f+P,K] - high throw / P elbow smash, roundhouse, sidekick [f+P,K,K] - high throw / P double punch, low kick [P,P,K] - high throw / P lightning combination [b,f+P+K+G] - high throw / P low kick [d+K] - high throw / P/ FC,b,f+P low kick, punch [d+K,P] - high throw / P heel seed [f+K+G] - high throw / P evading big boot [u|d,P+K+G] - high throw / P / b,f+P sweep [d+K+G] - d+P slide kick [D+K] - d+P / FC,b,f+P [muay thai stance] double body blow [[MT] f+P,P] - high throw [muay thai stance] dashing uppercut, knee [[MT] df+P,K] - high throw [muay thai stance] dashing elbow, double punch [[MT] f,f+P+K,P,P] - high throw / P / b,f+P [muay thai stance] double knee, uppercut [[MT] f+K,K,P] - high throw / P / b,f+P ******* *7.Lau* ******* OVERVIEW Lau is one of the game's top tier characters. Nevermind the fact that he has no sabaki/reversal/inashi of any type, or that he can't play defensively to win; his damage potential and ability to rush the opponent down alone gives him the tools to kick ass. The variety of attacks that he uses is fairly minimal, but the pressure he can put on all characters, as well as the damage that he can take off is incredible. The guessing games as to whether he will hit high, middle, low, or throw are all very hard, fast, and unpredictable, and if you guess wrong, obviously you can pay with a lot of damage, not to mention if you try to reverse something that can't be reversed, you could be eating some painful damage. GENERAL STRATEGY In general, Lau will try to keep the pressure on, and stay very close to you, trying his best to keep the pressure on. He typically will stick to PG(or Upward knife hand-PG), his elbow-palm, his low punch, to poke and confuse, and then mix in a throw here and there. Once he gets the momentum going, he will start mixing in stuff like the TA lifting palm, heelkick, and lunging sweep. It is safe to say if you play Lau like he was in VF3tb, you will get fairly similar results; there's nothing really that huge that he gained. Don't crouch too long, and don't get brain-frozen too long. Lau's looking for that oppurtunity to MC you with his FC,d/f+P,P or variants so he can connect a triple punch-sweep combo and end the round. Obviously, your best bet is to turn the tables and attack him as soon as possible; keep him from rushing you down. The good side is once you put Lau on the defensive, he has a hard time regaining initiative; he has no sabaki, or inashi, or reversal of any type. And he is definitely not the midrange fighter that he appears to be of some extent. Figure out his pattern(if any), counterattack, then keep the pressure on. If you can, try to play a distance game with him, staying about somewhere between close-mid to midrange. Keep alert and be ready for any oppurtunity Lau throws you; there won't be many big oppurtunities for you to punish a good Lau, so when you detect one, be ready to mC him at once. Some tips: The palm in Lau's elbow-palm hits high, as well as the palm done by itself or in the d/f+K,P,P string; be ready to crouch dash and punish Lau. Unlike the VF3 incarnations of the move though, the palm in the elbow-palm is guarenteed if the elbow hits or staggers. If it is blocked though, crouch dash and punish Lau. This is one of your biggest oppurtunities to hand Lau his ass; don't forget it. Lau's single palm is one of the best attacks in the game; it comes out in 13 frames, recovers with only a frame or two of lost initiative, and gives a flop; remember the hit level of it(see above)! DO NOT reverse Lau's TA Lifting Palm; the reason is obvious; not only is it unreversible due to being a TA attack; on normal or MC hit it will float you, and then Lau can finish with a b,b+Pd+PPPd+K combo. And on the topic of Lau's TA Lifting Palm, this is one of your biggest oppurtunities to put the hurt on him when you block it; especially when he continues into the TT Downward Palm; the overall execution between the 2 moves is really slow, so Lau's basically handing you a free MC with your DBC or m-ShRm. On the case of Lau's juggle combos, they are powerful, but aren't as nearly reliable as in the past incarnations; in some cases the sweep in his PPPd+K string or variants in a combo will hit OTB; when it does, you can TR and recover BEFORE Lau does, giving you a free hit. What else concerning Lau's combos; oh yeah, beware when you get too near walls; like you, Lau is a master of sick wall combos. Beware of what PPPK variant Lau is trying. If he uses PPP(K+G) and variants instead, these AREN'T COUNTERABLE. This is important to know, although he is left at a disadvantage. However, these variants also start 2 frames slower. It shouldn't be that hard to figure out, because Lau won't be yelling "OYEAH!" or anything like that(I think). In revision B, Lau's FC,d/f+P hits HIGH. That's right, you didn't read a typo. His d/f+P in revision C hits special mid, and if the followup P is blocked, he is throw counterable; if d/f+PPP connects normal or blocked, he is also throw counterable. His TA Lifting Palm hits sM in revision C; I'm sure there's other quirks; look up some framestats and movelists. CIRCULAR ATTACKS Body blow[b+P] - evade towards front Heelkick[FC,n+K] - evade towards front Lunging sweep[f,d+K] - evade towards front Low kick[D+K] - evade towards back While Lau has a lot of circular attacks that can't really be evaded(crescents, sweeps, etc), the above are the ones that can be evaded, and the ones you should pay most attention to. THROWS Shoulder whip[d/f,d/f+P+G] ST[b,d+P+G] Face grab[b,f+P+G] It is safe to say that d/f+P+G should be your top priority throw escape; this is Lau's best throw; the damage is very high, especially with the additional stomp(expect close to 80 pts worth of damage). And if escaped, both you and Lau recover very close to each other, and he has a disadvantage, so force the 50/50 guessing game. If the ST(escaped w/d+P+G) is keyed in, the palm is pretty much guarenteed, but Lau needs to time it in based on how much you mash. Beware re-throw attempts. If escaped, Lau has a disadvantage, but is slightly out of range, pressure him. His face grab with the guarenteed stomp will do about 60 pts of damage; if escaped w/f+P+G, it leaves him with a massive disadvantage and up close; press the attack. From there, Lau doesn't really use any other throws. The default P+G throw when escaped enables you to pressure him(it will be used to switch sides). The f+P+G throw when escaped is throw counterable(but beware its ability to link into combos when your back is to a wall, as well as it becoming a wall throw when Lau is cornered). When the b+P+G throw is escaped(he'll use it to switch sides), it also leaves him with a massive disadvantage; press the attack. REV B MINOR COUNTERABILITY LIST double palm (uncharged) [P+K] - high throw heelkick [FC,n+K] - high throw overhead smash [d+P+K] - high throw body blow, kick [b+P,K] - high throw uppercut [b+P+K] - high throw uppercut, overhead elbow [b+P+K,P] - high throw punch, TA knife, TT palm [P,b+P,P] - high throw hopkick [uf+K] - high throw triple punch [P,P,P] - high throw TA palm, TT mid-crescent [b,b+P,K+G] - high throw special crescent [f+K+G] - high throw evading attack [u|d,P+K+G] - high throw / P triple punch, kickflip [P,P,P,b+K] - high throw / P / b,f+P punch, TA knife, TT palm [P,b+P,P] - high throw / P / b,f+P superknife [df+P+K] - high throw / P / b,f+P upknife, superknife [FC,df+P,df+P+K] - high throw / P / b,f+P TA crescent [b+K+G] - back throw one leg sweep [f,d+K] - d+P / FC,f+P+K triple punch, sweep [P,P,P,d+K] - d+P / FC,f+P+K low kick [d+K] - d+P / FC,b,f+P / FC,f+P+K double low kick [d+K,K] - d+P / FC,b,f+P / FC,f+P+K ********* *8.Jacky* ********* OVERVIEW Jacky is simply put, the master of mixing hit levels. If you don't think he's a top tier, you have been playing too much the Jacky scrub who only does KK as his main strategy. It will take all the skill in the world to beat a good Jacky player, and since he's so easy to pick up on, sometimes even a moderate Jacky player will give you headaches. Like Lau, Jackys will stick to only maybe 5 moves at maximum, and then mix them up so well and rush you down with a bunch of jabs and elbows to overwhelm you. DO NOT treat Jacky as a scrub character; beating a good Jacky is the mark that you are very proficient with your character. GENERAL STRATEGY Jacky basically sticks to poking and rushing you down. He will use only PG, LP, elbow, and 2 different throws as his flowcharts. It is fairly simple to defeat Jacky, the biggest part is not getting overwhelmed by his rushes. For his combos, he will use beat knuckle-backfist or his knee to start them off. Try not to crouch too long; Jacky can stagger you with elbow(or beat knuckle in revision C), then follow up with the canned heelkick for an easy combo. Or, he can use his 2 power attacks (beat knuckle or knee) to set up free combos when you crouch too long. Like Lau, Jacky plays best up close. Play mid-range to close-mid for best results, and try to take the initiative away from him, then force it onto him. Like Lau, once Jacky starts losing initiative, it'll be hard for him to recover. You also have to watch out for midrange/machi Jackys; due to versatile combo starters and damaging combos, Jacky ranks right up there in VF4 according to GajinPunch as one of the best who can be played waiting for mistakes and then unloading; best thing to do in this case is try to play just as passive and hope to out-damage him in combos. And be ready for any mC or MC oppurtunities; good Jackys don't hand you a lot of chances at these, because they'll be poking you to death. Also watch for his PG; he has a ton of followups that he can go for after it, including the canned ones, always be ready for his followups, since they are so simple and easy to begin. Some tips: Almost ALL of Jacky's attacks if blocked leave him vulnerable. This is an important note to make of. If you block heelkick, knee or LBF, do not hesitate on putting the hurt on him. The only ones besides the basic PG and LP that can't be countered is the elbow. In revision C the uppercut isn't counterable, so beware of that. Maybe looking up some framestats could be helpful. Jacky got improved in revision C; for instance his auto-inashi now gives him a free throw, and his punt kick now stumbles on normal hit. I'm sure there's more improvements, these are just the ones off the top of my head. Jacky can continue the beat knuckle into the backfist even if it is blocked. This stops throw attempts and leaves Jacky safe, but the backfist is slow, and most importantly, hits high. This is one of the biggest oppurtunities you have to punish Jacky; if you can't train yourself to DBC a blocked beat knuckle or crouch dash and ShRm, you will lose to Jacky, period. If you can't teach yourself to crouch dash after a blocked elbow, you will also lose to a good Jacky. While you aren't guarenteed a free hit, if Jacky does either the backfist or heelkick followup, they will whiff. This also applies to the elbow done after PP; the heelkick will go high. A crouch dash into ShRm works extremely well; just beware of Jacky G-cancelling and doing another elbow or LP or PG to stop you. Jacky may occasionally switch his stance to open stance so that his elbow's range may increase. Jacky's d/f+P,P+K move can cause a crumble, but the P+K needs to be charged to maximum power to do so; if blocked, it will stagger you. Expert Jackys may toy around with the b,f+K+G move(fast,hits dodgers,good damage), and some of his lightning kicks for poking. The b,f+K+G attack is especially good for catching QR/TRers due to its circular motion and it being a mid-level attack. Unless if I(or anyone else) has figured out a way to successfully MC dodge this attack, when you get knocked down and Jacky has recovered before you hit the ground, don't QR/TR if you know Jacky will do this move, or you'll get nailed with some free damage. Jacky's backstagger combo hurts; it takes off 68% damage all by itself(without counting the setup knockdown combo); beware of attacks of his that cause crumble stuns. If you see him turning away during your TR attempt, he may be prepping to hit you with the TT P+K beat knuckle that starts the combo. Unfortunately, it's out of your hands; the TT P+K causes a back-crumble, not a backstagger, so whatever damage happens, happens. The best you can do is to see if Jacky goes for crumble stuns a lot, and then to just get up normally or QR. SHUFFLE STEP Jacky's new stance, it actually doesn't benefit Jacky that much that he will depend on it that much, to be honest, he has some very good stuff from it, but because all of his attacks are already so good, he doesn't even need to use the shuffle step stuff. However, to say that his shuffle step is worthless is wrong, because he has a good option select in the stance. He can do an iaigeri with the mid-level K from that stance, but it's hard, I believe. Just like VF2, if he can do the iaigeri consistently, he can use it to draw attacks or to do powerful combos. The iaigeri will hit high far away, but middle up close. Jacky will usually either go for the iaigeri that or the mid-level punch when he is in shuffle step. The punch is counterable in revision B, but in revision C, it leaves Jacky safe. You should watch out for this move; upon an MC, it will cause you to crumble, giving Jacky the oppurtunity to either deal some powerful damage or lead into his powerful backstagger combo. Most of the other things Jacky can do in shuffle step aren't that useful; the low kick can be blocked and countered, and the followup kick will hit high. Last notes, Jacky can do a special crouch dash forward from this stance. Most of the time, Jacky's safest way to go into shuffle step is by doing it as a standalone move; most of the canned strings that end in the shuffle step are rather risky to do. CIRCULAR ATTACKS Backfist [b+P] - evade towards front Low backfist [d/b+P] - evade towards front Beat knuckle [P+K] - evade towards front Stepping body blow [f+P+K] - evade towards back Low kick [FC,d+K] - evade towards back Sweep [d+K+G] - evade towards back Knee [f+K] - evade towards front Amongst the circular attacks that CAN be evaded, the ones you should know especially are the LBF, Knee and Beat knuckle. REVERSALS Auto-inashi [n in normal stance] - parries HP/MP Jacky got slightly beefed in the transition to VF4; he can now parry high and middle punches. He is actually given about 10 frames of initiative if he parries your high/middle punches, so beware of any throw attempts. This is why you don't PG or m-SgPm a neutral Jacky. However, the common sense is if you do see a motionless Jacky, you don't PG or m-SgPm him of all ways to punish him; throw him or m-ShRm or StDblPm him! THROWS Sadistic hanging knee[d/f,d/f+P+G] Trip and hammer[f,b+P+G] The above 2 throws are the ones that Jacky will go for; the damage after both are very powerful and Jacky can even add a ground kick or a low pounce after the sadistic hanging knee throw to take off even more life. The good part is that the knee's damage can be TR/QR so that you reduce damage, but whatever damage that occurs with the trip and hammer, happens. So all in all, your best throw escapes are d/f+P+G and b+P+G. When both are escaped you should press the initiative. The only other throw escapes you might need to know besides the standard P+G is f+P+G to escape Jacky's jumping clothesline and his wall throw variant. Situation is neutral for all three in most cases, except the P+G, where you have initiative. REV B MINOR COUNTERABILITY LIST uppercut [FC,df+P] - high throw punt kick [f,f+K] - high throw sidekick [df+K] - high throw knee [f+K] - high throw / P stepping body blow combo [f+P+K,P] - high throw / P TT beatknuckle [[BT] P+K] - high throw / P double sidekick [df+K,K] - high throw / P / FC,f+P+K spinning mid-kick [b,f+K+G] - high throw / P / b,f+P dodging sidekick [u|d+P+K+G] - high throw / P / b,f+P elbow, kick [f+P,K] - high throw / P / SPoD double punch, low kick [P,P,d+K] - FC,b,f+P low kick [FC,d+K] - FC,b,f+P elbow, backfist, low kick [f+P,P,d+K] - FC,b,f+P / FC,f+P+K crescent, sweep [K+G,d+K+G] - d+P / FC,f+P+K low backfist, sweep [db+P,K] - d+P / FC,f+P+K ******* *9.Aoi* ******* OVERVIEW Aoi is weak, somewhat slow(her attacks, not her mobility), and light. Those following elements tend to make people overlook her as being one of the weaker characters, and in a way, she is. However, to say she doesn't have potential isn't true; she is the smallest character in the game, and when her size is utilized so that some of your middle attacks consistently whiff against her, that spells trouble. Sega was somewhat nicer to her in this game, still has the best reversal potential, but now can do some decent combo damage, and her mobility is still great. And of course, her variety of throws are large enough that she can throw instead of striking for the majority of her attacks. The good Aoi player will bait you with guessing games as well as her unique G-cancels. But no one will argue that this game is in Akira's hands; ShRm,PG,m-ShRm,m-DblPm works the easiest against her. GENERAL STRATEGY The general way Aoi plays is to poke with PG, her elbow(and sometimes its canned strings), and her LP, as well as the throws. From there, Aoi tends to mix in things like her sweep, lifting palm(d/f+P), her sabakis/inashis/reversals, and more strikes such as b,b+P+K(can be guard-cancelled, and is a TA attack which causes a head crumble), f+K+G,P(which causes a stomach crumble), and the double stop which will cause a stomach crumble on MC. But that's basically it; the main way Aoi wants to attack you is using her defensive maneuvers as well as her throws, and sometimes her combos. Use the speed of your attacks to your advantage, don't keep throwing out moves that are reversible or at the same level, and try to stay on her. Remember; make sure the pressure is on Aoi so that she can't lure you into being thrown or reversed. Some tips: Aoi may play with her G-cancels to fool you, but just remember that whenever Aoi cancels her attacks, she is vulnerable to throws and strikes for a brief period of time(unlike "normal" G-cancels such as the senbon punch). In version C, a large majority of Aoi's attacks are considered special mid, but the more notable ones are the double stop and the PPPK. Because of this, it's overall harder for Aoi to force high/low guessing games in rev C, which you should use to your advantage; block low whenever Aoi goes for the PPP then K or d+K guessing game. The f+P+K,P will still be counterable even if it normally hits. Keep in mind Aoi does have low throws; why is this fact important? Some of Aoi's moves place the opponent into a stomach crumble; learn to key in the d+P+K+G,d/b+P+K+G DTE everytime this occurs. You might as well too, since you can't block for the moment. The majority of Aoi's attacks are throw counterable if blocked; look up a framestats list for more info. YIN-YANG STANCE Aoi's yin-yang stance can be done as a standalone move, or after certain strings, such as the lifting palm and sweep. The whole purpose of Aoi's yin-yang stance is to inashi attacks; as long as the player is holding down P+K+G, Aoi will stay in the stance. She can also dodge up or down during the stance, but if that occurs, you can always throw Aoi. In fact, throwing's the best way to beating yin-yang stance. As for the attacks that she can inashi while in the stance, it's HP/MP/HK/MK/SK/KN, which is a lot, but like I said, she can't do anything else in stance, so don't attack her, just throw her right out. CIRCULAR ATTACKS Spinning elbow [f,f+P] - evade towards front Low smash [d/b+P] - evade towards back Low kick [d+K] - evade towards back Side chop [P+K] - evade towards front Spinning strike [f+P+K] - evade towards back Helix [f,f+P+K] - evade towards back Slow double strike [b,f+P+K] - evade towards front Spinning roundhouse [f+K+G] - evade towards back Amongst the circular attacks which you should beware the most, I believe the spinning strike is the one, since it can be delayed into canned strings. SABAKIS Dodging chop [b+P] - sabakis HP/HE/HK/MP/ME/MK/SK Chin slap [f,b+P] - sabakis HP/HE/HK/MP/ME/MK/SK TA punt kick [b+K+G] - sabakis HP/HE/HK/MP/ME/MK/SK Aoi is in the possession of some of the more versatile and useful sabakis. The chip slap hits high but is neutral when blocked and advantageous to Aoi when it hits. Close to the same thing with the dodging chop. The TA punt kick leaves Aoi's back exposed, hits middle and is counterable. All of these sabakis reverse the exact same thing, the only thing they can't reverse that Akira has are low attacks. What's more the timing for the sabaki for all of the attacks are fairly lenient; it can be done early OR late. So don't throw out too many sabaki-able attacks at a time. REVERSALS High reversal [b+P+K] - reverses HP/HK/HC Mid reversal [d/b+P+K] - reverses MP/MK/MC/ME/SK/KN/KF Low reversal [d+P+K] - reverses LP/LK/LC Ground reversal [P+K] - reverses G, assuming they aren't the jumping type TT high reversal [b+P+K] - reverses HP/HK TT mid reversal [d/b+P+K] - reverses MP/MK Aoi is hands-down the best reversal-based character in the game(Akira comes in a close 2nd because he can't reverse crescent based attacks). In fact, she can reverse rising kicks and sweeps, a big shock if you aren't used to this fact. And she can also reverse Akira's ground punch, which is another huge surprise if you aren't prepared for this. The good side is that most of Aoi's reversals are fairly weak. Do beware that she can add on ground throws for some of the reversals, so be prepared to struggle and get up. As long as you aren't getting predictable doing the same attacks over and over, you shouldn't have a big problem handling Aoi's reversal arsenal. THROWS Aiki throw[FC,f+P+G] Shiho nage[270+P+G] 2nd control throw[d/f+P+G] In general, Aoi has a very good variety of throws, but they are still weak. However, the fact that she has so many means that it will be very hard to decide which one she's doing, which Aoi can obviously use to her advantage, considering how her strikes aren't exactly that quick. 1st of all, her aiki throw can combo into a ground throw, but on top of being able to escape it, you can QR/TR it. When escaped, push for a throw/strike guessing game. The shiho nage throw is escaped with b+P+G; it does 60 pts of damage, but when escaped, enables you to push for the throw/strike guessing game. Finally, the 2nd control throw does ok damage, but when escaped, the situation is even. Aoi can also mix up other throws too; her d/b+P+G throw is weak, but is also a wall throw, and when escaped, Akira has a guarenteed throw. Her HCB+P+G throw sets up a throw combo, but as long as you mash d+P+G to escape the followup, Aoi won't be able to do the 3rd part of the multi-throw; even if she does the b,u+P+G part, she won't be able to continue into the 3rd throw; just mash and get up. If escaped(w/b+P+G) the situation is even. She has another 270+P+G throw which is escaped by f+P+G; when escaped, press the throw/strike guessing game. Also another f+P+G escape is the HCF+P+G throw which leaves Aoi even if escaped. Finally, all the other throws I haven't discussed that can be escaped with f+P+G enable Akira to push the throw/strike guessing game. She also has a mini-TFT throw to switch sides; when escaped with b+P+G, you can push for a throw/strike guessing game. As for her low throws, they're fairly simple to figure out; d+P+K+G,d/b+P+K+G DTE will escape ALL her low throws. Both throws when escaped enable you to push for a throw/strike game. Of course, you still have to beware her side low throw(escaped w/d+P+K+G). Aoi also has a ground throw which actually does damage(although it's rather pitiful, about the damage of the average character's pounce). Whenever you touch the ground from a non-QR/TRable knockdown, struggle hard and get up quick. REV B MINOR COUNTERABILITY LIST double punch, chop, elbow [P,P,f+P,P] - high throw elbow, chop [f+P,P] - high throw double stop [b,df+P] - high throw kick, mid kick [K,K] - high throw knee, kick [f+K,K] - high throw dashing elbow [FC,df+P] - high throw evading attack [u|d,P+K+G] - high throw / P retreating chop [b,b+P+K] - high throw / P chop, elbow [f+P+K,P] - high throw / P triple punch, knee [P,P,P,K] - high throw / P pounce [u+K+G] - high throw / P / b,f+P / b,f,f+P+K low kick [d+K] - d+P / FC,b,f+P triple punch, sweep [P,P,P,d+K] - d+P / FC,b,f+P sweep [d+K+G] - d+P / FC,b,f+P / FC,f+P+K ********* *10.Shun* ********* OVERVIEW Granted, from a far point of view, it appears that Shun has close to nothing; very slow, very weak, and his throw variety is among the worst in the game. However, Shun is a very good opponent; his slow speed is compensated by his ability to move around the ring better than anyone else and that many of his attacks can be cancelled into him falling down or doing weird stuff. His strength actually varies depending on how drunk he is at the moment, and has very good combobility. His throws are rather simple to figure out, but his throws themselves are actually very formidable. There is one thing I'd like to clear up; Shun isn't as unpredictable as he seems; he is unpredictable in the sense that he has a lot of moves and all of them have very funky animations, but he is not unpredictable in the sense that some of his moves start out looking the same but end up hitting at different levels or present different situations when they connect/are blocked(Lion comes to mind). Shun is one of the characters who got beefed the most from VF3tb to VF4, alongside Sarah and Akira, so some of his more worthless moves are more usable, and he has new tricks he can do on you. Remember to take his short height into account, as it will cause some of your mid-level attacks to whiff entirely when he crouches. Your most important aspects to master against a good Shun player are your option select and your yomi. GENERAL STRATEGY I simply can't tell you exactly what Shun does in general; unlike the other characters, he relies on mixing it up as much as possible; predictability is simply not an option for Shun. But the basic idea for any Shun player is to dance around the ring with his various dodges and movements, occasionally moving in to poke(amongst all things with PG, LP, low kick, f+P, sidekick and a few other things), then to retreat and continue. Because of the nature of Shun's attacks(they tend to evade right before hitting), Shun tends to play defensively offensive, using his moves to counter your moves. And of course, when Shun gets the chance, he will either throw or use his chowan uppercut (or other combo starters such as FC,d/f+P, which causes stomach crumble on MC). Early in a match, Shun will actually try to ignore combo oppurtunities for drinking oppurtunities. It is important for Shun to get these oppurtunities; when drunk, Shun gains more moves, his already available moves get beefed up in some way, and his strength increases. What to say; remember to use Akira's speed to your advantage; you want to bring this match up close where Akira is naturally faster than Shun and where you can do your work; don't let Shun control the match moving all around, and don't let yourself get brain frozen by all his funky movements. A good option select is a must for beating Shun; it will eliminate the majority of his mC'ing tools. Some tips: Shun has one of the better low kicks in the game; huge range and decently quick. It suits his purpose well too; as a good spacing tool and to force opponents to block low into a chowan or other mid attacks that he possesses. If you block it, buffer in a DblPm or ShRm. Beware of Shun's standing low kick(d/b+K); deceptive as he is standing. On a side note, once Shun gets drunk enough(I don't know the exact number, maybe more than 25 DPs?), PPd+KK will be guarenteed as a true combo. Look for him to cancel into the falldown option during the standing low kick and/or after the canned high kick. When Shun goes for his fall down cancel, he can be thrown or even struck as he is falling; all contingent on how quickly you act of course. In revision C, Shun's chowan uppercut was toned down. It hits special mid. In fact, it's arguable that Shun is the worst character in VF4 rev C because so many of his bread-and-butter mid moves hit special mid, anyways... The chowan by itself is one of the game's best juggle starters; relatively quick, relatively quick in recovery, and hits middle. Look for it to be used in up-close situations. Remember that you can reverse it as a middle punch. In revision C the canned backfist hits high, but in rev B, the backfist hits middle. Look up a framestats list, because there are a couple of more things that hit special mid in rev C. Many of Shun's key moves are either slow in startup or slow in recovery if blocked; look up some framestats. Against a good Shun player, when he gets drunk, it's sorta outta your hands; look for him to either drink after connecting a combo starting attack that either floats you or puts you into a crumble stun(you might be at a slight advantage if you QR/TR), or after the end of a round. If you find him drinking when you're right in front of him, act quickly and do as you wish; his sit-down drink option is rather slow to recover; you might have harder success if he's doing the standing drink option. Of course, the best way for Shun to drink is to throw you; look for that. R-DTE is important to beating Shun's ability to mC you; keying in d/b+P+K, P+G,d/f+P+G pretty much kills the possibility of him connecting his SE, his dances w/punches, or his chowan. Of course, the good Shun player will also fall back on irreversible attacks, but then you could always do G-DTE. Short list of things that Akira can use to sober Shun if you feel he's too drunk: Overhead smash [b,d/f+P]: -1 DP StPm [FS,b,f+P]: -2 DP AS3 [d+K+G,f+K,b,f+P]: -1 DP Parry, standing palm [b+P+K+G,f+P]: -2 DP PIT, shoulder smash [f,b+P+G,f+P+K]: -1 DP Grasping mind [d/b,f+P+G]: -1 DP I feel it's unecessary to delve in Shun's options from his various stances; they are fairly easy to figure out(not too many either), and with practice you can predict what he's going to do(and I really don't consider his "stances" to be stances, if you know what I mean). And you can always try to hit him out of his stances; he can't block y'kno. CIRCULAR ATTACKS Knuckle [f+P] - evade towards front Backpush [d/b+P] - evade towards back Spinning low kick [d/b+K] - evade towards back Thrust punch [P+K] - evade towards back Low kick [D+K] - evade towards back Hopping spin kick [K+G] - evade towards front Handstand kicks(Handstand) [K] - evade towards front Thrust kick(Lying down) [K] - evade towards back Sweep(Lying down) [d+K] - evade towards back I find it especially useful to know the low kick, the spinning low kick, and the various lying down kicks; those are used quite often. THROWS SE[d/f+P+G] Dances w/Punches[P+G] This is why a good option select is so vital to beating Shun; his options for his throws are so limited; DTE already kills BOTH of his most-used throws; TTE as hard as it is eliminates ALL his throw options. Anyways, for his actual throws, the SE is one of Shun's best options; his chowan is guarenteed afterward giving him a chance to do a lot of damage from 1 throw, and even if he can't connect the triple sweeps as often as before OTB due to the QR/TR, he can use the SE to set up a free backstagger oppurtunity for even more damage; be on the lookout for any sidekicks after you QR/TR. Shun may also use the SE to setup his back P+G throw which also enables him to get drunk. I believe it may still be guarenteed; just try to read and react; turn around quickly! For his dances w/punches, this is Shun's main way to build his DPs(his safest way). And as for your options after escaping his throws, they tend to all be even; he is not at a disadvantage in any way. While it is rare that Shun will use other throws, considering how small his throw options are, he might; b,d/f+P+G requires some DPs to do; there is nothing guarenteed afterward(I think). He may use the throws of his that require a b+P+G to escape; b+P+G does decent damage, and 270+P+G does good damage and builds Shun's drunken points, but requires at least 10 DPs to do. Of course, he has his 3 catch throws that you need to beware of, but all are fairly easy to see coming and hard to connect. REV B MINOR COUNTERABILITY LIST handstand kick [[HS] K] - P mule kick [u+K] - high throw double kick, low backfist, toekick [+16 DP, K,K,d+P,K] - high throw triple punch [P,P,P] - high throw uppercut, thrust punch [df+P,P] - high throw / P dodging cartwheel [u|d,P+K+G] - high throw / P cartwheel kick [f,f+K] - high throw / P spin kick [f+K] - high throw / P lunging uppercut [b,df+P] - high throw / P low kick, high kick [db+K,K] - high throw / P / FC,f+P+K old man palm [FC,df+P] - high throw / P triple drunken sweeps [+7 DP, d+K+G,K,K] - d+P / FC,f+P+K low kick [d+K] - FC,f+P+K ********* *11.Wolf* ********* OVERVIEW Wolf is in many ways similar to Jeffry; his combos and throws are painful, and he can mix up his throws very well. However, he is slightly better than Jeffry because he has more low level attacks, and a better midrange arsenal. Also seems to be slightly faster. The tradeoff is that he doesn't have as many attacks that cause crumble stuns. However, he still plays the same way as Jeffry; find the advantage, then mix it up. A good poking game and option select is a must against Wolf. GENERAL STRATEGY Wolf basically sticks with the atypical PG, comet hook(he doesn't have an elbow, but this is his best stagger tool), LP and his throws. From there, he adds float starters like the short shoulder and knee. In addition, he can add his long range tools like f,d+K(which leads to a leg crumble), or moves that have good priority. But of course, it'd be a waste of my time to list every scenario and move that Wolf has and will use(there are quite a couple). The main point is that Wolf needs to find the advantage before he starts mixing up stuff, and your best advantage going for you is your speed. Keep the pressure up close, keep out-poking him, and master your option selects. Once momentum starts building for you, Wolf will find it hard to recover. Some tips: Wolf's short shoulder could be one of the highest priority attacks in the game; though not that fast and throw counterable if blocked, he ducks really low during the initial animation, enabling him to interrupt so many attacks. Beware of Wolf's pulling this one out as you are poking him. Speaking of high priority moves, also beware his b+P; very fast, as well as a couple others from the midrange space. Wolf has a low hit throw sequence; PPf+Pd/b+P+K+G; luckily you can escape it. Wolf has a lot more hit throws that he can use; beware of the b+K+G-diamond cutter sequence, and a few others. Wolf's f,f+P clothesline is unblockable high, but can be ducked; not likely that many will use this, but against a newbie, you may find this being used a couple of times. His run,P+K+G is unblockable high. A large number of Wolf's attacks(specially his midrange arsenal of kicks) leave him on the ground, so be ready with some ground attacks if he doesn't move quickly(or just okizeme). Wolf can do a shoulder ram feint; beware of this. His dodge attack is crap, right up there with Lion's; it is a slow catch throw, easily interruptable, and TR/QRable. The majority of the time, Wolf will mC with his throws; he has a longer throwing range than most, his strikes are rather slow, and his throws are quite powerful, which all the more encourages him to throw. Although I should be putting this in the throws section, this is useful to know; Wolf's new 270+P+G throw can be TR'd, and on top of that, when you do, you will recover BEFORE he does, giving you a huge chance to ream him. Look up some framestats; it is helpful knowing which attacks leave Wolf throw counterable or on the ground. CIRCULAR ATTACKS Screw shot [HCB+P] - evade towards front Sidekick [d/f+K] - evade towards back Grizzly Lariat [d/f+P+K] - evade towards front Ballet kick [f+K+G] - evade towards back Knee [f+K] - evade towards front I believe you can occasionally see the ballet kick and grizzly lariat used the most of these attacks. The knee is also seen a lot. REVERSALS High kick reversal [b+P+K] - reverses HK Mid kick reversal [d/b+P+K] - reverses MK/SK Low punch reversal [d+P+K] - reverses LP I find that typically you don't have to worry about Wolf's reversals; Akira almost NEVER uses any kicks, and he only uses the sidekick when he wants to backstagger. The LP reversal though, you might want to beware; since Akira uses the LP for poking, if you get too predictable, you could find yourself eating a lot more of these than you expect, and when it does come out, it will leave your back to Wolf; bad idea. However, just place emphasis on other irreversible moves and mix it well. THROWS Giant swing[HCF+P+G] Wrist lock swing[HCB+P+G] Screwdriver[d/f,d/f+P+G] Wolf really has it made when it comes to throwing; while the options aren't as numerous as Jeffry's, it is much more painful making the wrong choice, as he has at least 3 throws all with different command inputs and all do at least 70 points of damage(without possible QR/TRs of course). Of course, the top priority throw escape is f+P+G; the giant swing is still the most powerful throw in the game and rings you out far back big-time, but it's not hopeless even if you can't escape; you can reduce the damage to about 60 pts if you QR/TR. 2nd of all the wrist lock swing is also just as powerful, but throws you forward a great distance. If you start getting thrown, immediately key in P+G to repeatedly escape a possible followup P+G. You can also QR/TR either of the two throws reduce damage. It is escaped with b+P+G, and when you do, you can push for a throw/strike guessing game. Finally, the screwdriver also does as much damage as the wrist lock swing, and can cancel into the jackhammer(although you can escape it with P+G). If you do escape it, you can counter with LP. From there, Wolf doesn't really have any other standing throws with different command inputs; he can do a b+P+G throw, but if escaped you can counter with LP. He can do his body slam with d/f+P+G(and it's also a wall throw), but if escaped he will end up down. He also has a 270+P+G throw(escaped with f+P+G), which does as much damage as the giant swing, but it too is TRable(and gives you a free hit), and when escaped situation is neutral. His catch throws b,b+P+G and f+P+G both lead to a guessing game of either escaping the followups with P+G, d/f+P+G, d/b+P+G, b+P+G, or f+P+G(whew!). If escaped you pretty much don't have that much of an advantage or disadvantage; situation is neutral. For the throw-combos that place you with a slight disadvantage to Wolf (he'll push you away), I believe nothing's guarenteed, but you can never be too sure; struggle hard and try to read and react. It's best to look up a FAQ and see what throws I mean. He still has his frankensteiner, but you can easily duck it. Finally, he has a last catch throw; f,f+P+G. Now his low throws; d/f+P+K+G does the most damage(70 pts) and when escaped push for a guessing game. If he adds another d/f the range gets larger but the damage gets smaller; same situation if escaped. Next, the d/b+P+K+G also does good damage, and situation is even if escaped. Finally, the d+P+K+G does ok damage, and when escaped, push for a throw/strike guessing game. Like Jeffry, Wolf has a throw at every angle(high, low, standing, crouching, side, back); it is simply impossible to list all the possible throws he can do(although I will say if you escape any of Wolf's standing side throws, he is throw counterable). Learn when he will use his throws, and how to escape them, as well as the situations you gain after you escape them; try a movelist. To end, you should beware his ground throw; nothing's guarenteed(unless if you're against the wall, giving Wolf a guarenteed throw oppurtunity), but obviously he has the advantage; struggle hard when you are on the ground to avoid it(even if no damage is caused, you are pushed back for RO distance), and when you do get thrown by it, struggle hard to reduce the initiative time, then try to read and react. REV B MINOR COUNTERABILITY LIST double punch, uppercut [P,P,P] - high throw body blow [f+P] - high throw body blow, slam [f+P,P] - high throw / P / b,f+P knee [f+K] - high throw / P sidekick [df+K] - high throw / P short shoulder [b,f+P+K] - high throw / P toe kick [b+K+G] - high throw / P / FC,b,f+P flying knee [f,f+K+G] - high throw / P leg drop [f,d+K] - FC,f+P+K / SPoD grizzly lariat [df+P+K] - d+P/ FC,f+P+K / SPoD ********** *12.Sarah* ********** OVERVIEW Sarah remains a fairly flat character in VF. She was definitely beefed from the transition to VF4(as a Sarah user, that's something I like), but in general, she is fairly simple to figure out. As usual, she is fast, and possess good combobility, but what I think her greatest asset comes from is the ability to play at nearly any distance the best compared to others; she has one of the best midrange games in VF. Add to that her new Flamingo stance which gives her access to almost a move for every situation, and you have to agree, she is better now. But all in all, Sarah still remains a rather low-mid tiered character because of a couple reasons; she doesn't have a good low level arsenal, she is somewhat weak(compensated by her combobility), her throws don't do too much damage(compensated by the fact that almost none can be QR/TR'd), she is very predictable(although she has very good variety), and most importantly, she is so friggin light. And it's not just that fact that she's light, it's the fact that she is also much taller compared to most of the female characters as well as being somewhat big-footed(see ukguy's TFT combos in his Kage FAQ if you want to know why) which leads her to be so easy to combo. GENERAL STRATEGY In close range, Sarah sticks to the atypical PG, elbow, and LP poking game as well as mixing in throws and juggle starters(knee and DC, both which are highly counterable). When Sarah does her elbow, beware of her delaying a knee or doing the followup chop to keep initiative. When she gets to midrange( she is probably best at playing machi IMO), expect to see punt kicks, toe kicks, and a variety of other kicks thrown in here and there; don't try to reverse too much or you'll eat the full spin dive and a followup combo. Although she has a lotta tools to use, she's rather easy to figure out like I've said. Because her Flamingo stance is so good, expect Sarah to try to use the moves to go into Flamingo a lot. To be good against Sarah, try to keep her from getting into Flamingo. Also, because she can be quite predictable, if it gets to that, you have your reversals/sabaki/parry, so use those. Just remember not to crouch too long; she has an excellant mid-level arsenal. There's not much to learn about Sarah; just know what's counterable and what's not. Get her into the air and combo her; m-ShRm, PG, m-ShRm, m-DblPm rapes lightweights like her. Some tips: Like I've said before, Sarah can delay a couple of her canned strings; they include the elbow-chop, elbow-knee, punt kick-side kick, and toe kick-punt kick. Beware of pushing the initiative too hard after the 1st hit of all these attacks. Her moonsault is slow; just beware of Sarah carefully mixing it in to get you at times. If you block the chop, the followup kick can be crouch dashed under. The chop can be ducked. Sarah has the fastest punch in the game; expect to be countered the most with punches with her more than anyone else. If you ever block her triple punches, you can throw her. She has the best punching strings in the game, so expect to see a lot of mixing up here; look for the punch-sidekick if you crouch under the punch too much. Although she has no low reversal, her u+K+G can make a decent substitute; beware of the said move if you LP too much. The majority of Sarah's moves, including the key ones are very much counterable; just beware of max-ranged toe kicks and punt kicks; hard to counter. FLAMINGO STANCE Like I've said, Sarah has the best stance in the game; she can do everything from this stance, except sidestep. Amongst the things to expect, her triple high kick flowcharts should be taken note of the most. And her low kick-hit throw. She can also inashi LPs from this stance, so beware of that. Her sidekick from Flamingo is also very good, as her kickflip. What else, her dodging roundhouse. And oh yeah, she can still do her moonsault. Finally, she has 2 catch throws to beware of. It's really impossible for me to list everything Sarah can do from Flamingo; she pretty much can do everything save for a reliable juggle combo starter; best to look up a Sarah guide to see what Sarah can do from Flamingo. And oh yeah, most of Sarah's moves that bring her into Flamingo tend to leave her with the initiative, making it hard to hit her out once she tries to get into Flamingo. Again, I repeat; study and learn. CIRCULAR ATTACKS Chop [d/f+P] - evade towards back Low kick[D+K] - evade towards back Hopping crescent [u+K+G] - evade towards back Hopping spin kick [f+K+G] - evade towards back Tornado kick [u/f+K+G] - evade towards back Crash tornado [FC,K+G] - evade towards front Flamingo kick(Flamingo stance) [K] - evade towards front Knee [f+K] - evade towards front Most noteworthy to learn to evade are the hopping crescent, the flamingo kick, and the knee. It's possible that the DC could catch you as you dodge since it's slow on startup. The crescent could catch you as you dodge, but it's slow on recovery if blocked. SABAKIS Inside crescent [P+K] - sabakis HP/HE/HK/MP/ME/MK Sarah has a fairly great sabaki; it will sabaki all high and mid attacks except for knees and kickflips(both of which Akira either doesn't have or doesn't rely on). However, the timing to do the sabaki is somewhat strict and much like a reversal where you need to anticipate and do the attack early (the timing needs to be done rather early against the said attacks), so if the Sarah player doesn't have the timing down right, then just go berzerk. Try not to get too predictable; either mix in LPs or non-reversible attacks to keep Sarah from being able to use her sabaki. Keep in mind that even if blocked, Sarah has an initiative and even worse, this brings her into Flamingo stance, so be ready to defend against her Flamingo followups. REVERSALS Low inashi(Flamingo) [P+K] - inashis LP While Sarah doesn't have the ability to guard low from Flamingo, she can parry any LP attempts you do, then follow up with free combos. So don't LP too much when Sarah's in Flamingo; just enough to keep her honest. Or mix up your low kicks. THROWS Jumping suplex[f,d/b+P+G] Leg hold takedown[b,f+P+G] Triple knee bash[b+P+G] These are Sarah's best throws; although most of them are fairly weak, they are made up by the fact that all of throw damage is un-QR/TR-able. The jumping suplex(d/b+P+G) is Sarah's best throw; with the guarenteed ground kick, it gets her around 60 points, reverses the ring, and if escaped, Sarah is safe(but you can press the attack). Her next best throw would be the leg hold takedown; it does good damage too(55 pts) and reverses the ring. However, if escaped, Sarah leaves her side open to Akira. Her triple knee bash does decent damage, pushes the opponent slightly back, if escaped Sarah is at a disadvantage(press the attack), and when done as a wall throw, gets HUGE amounts of damage. From there, Sarah doesn't really have any other throws to worry about. The only other command throw that can be escaped besides the P+G is the jumping clothesline, which is escaped much like the leg hold takedown. However, Sarah has 3 catch throws to worry about; her neckbreaker[u/f+P+G] is slow, but tracks decently and does good damage, also seems to have good range. Then she has 2 catch throws from Flamingo; the P+G you don't have to worry about, but the kick tornado[270+P+G] will do huge damage; 60 pts, has good range although it starts up slowly, plus it looks demoralizing to get hit by that. REV B MINOR COUNTERABILITY LIST triple punch #1 [P,P,P] - high throw triple punch #2 [P,P,b+P] - high throw triple punch #3 [P,P,u+P] - high throw dashing knee [f,f+K] - high throw punt kick [d+K] - high throw double rising knee [FC,f+K,K] - high throw / P / b,f+P punt kick, sidekick [d+K,K] - high throw / P knee [f+K] - high throw / P evading side kick [u|d,P+K+G] - high throw / P / b,f+P dragon cannon [db+K] - high throw / P / b,f+P elbow, knee [f+P,K] - high throw / P / SPoD shin slicer [d+K+G] - FC,b,f+P sweep [df+K+G] - FC,f+P+K ********** *13.Akira* ********** OVERVIEW In short, it is pretty redundant to point out everything that has been said; you know how Akira plays, what moves can be dodged, what reversals and sabakis he possesses, and the throws he will go for. Given how Akira is basically a powerhouse, I can only list the counterable things below and wish you luck; it's powerhouse vs. powerhouse, and these types of matches tend to test who is a better player. REV B MINOR COUNTERABILITY LIST double punch [P,P] - high throw single jump kick [f,f+K] - high throw double jump kick [f,f+K,K] - high throw knee [K+G] - high throw shoulder ram [FC,f+P+K] - high throw double palm [FC,b,f+P] - high throw / P standing shoulder [df+P+K+G] - high throw standing shoulder, power elbow [df+P+K+G,P] - high throw / P / b,f+P bodycheck [b,f,f+P+K] - high throw / P / QCB+P evading bodycheck [u|d,P+K+G] - high throw / P / b,f+P power fist [b,f+P+K+G] - high throw / P / b,f+P break guard (on hit, not stagger) [f+P+G] - high throw break stance (on hit, not stagger) [d+P+G] - high throw yoho [df,df+P] - high throw / P stun palm [P+K+G] - high throw / P / b,f+P pull-in throw, shoulder [f,b+P+G,P+K] - high throw pull-in throw, reverse body check #1 [f,b+P+G,u+P+K] - high throw pull-in throw, reverse body check #2 [f,b+P+G,d+P+K] - high throw ********** *14.Dural* ********** OVERVIEW Eh, can't really say anything here, nobody put any framestats out for Dural or any general strats with her; obviously you know she's a canned string freak. Concentrate on landing attacks that cause crumble stuns instead of juggling her directly; she's heavy. That's all I have to say. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/ ********************************************************** |5555 RRR EEE V V III SSS III OOO N N SSS | |5 R R E V V I SS S I O O NN N SS S| |555 RRR EEE V V I SS I O O N NN SSS | | 5 R R E V V I S SS I O O N N S SS| |555 o R R EEE V III SSS III OOO N N SSS | ********************************************************** /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\ Version 0.1 January 17, 2002. Started writing this FAQ. Version 0.2 January 18, 2002. Added movelist, storyline, why choose Akira. Version 0.3 January 20, 2002. Added general moves. Version 0.4 January 24, 2002. Began the long analysis of Akira's moves. Version 0.5 January 28, 2002. Continued the analysis of Akira's moves. Version 0.6 February 4, 2002. Finished the analysis of Akira's moves. Started on the general strategy section. Version 0.7 February 6, 2002. Continued the general strategy section. Version 0.8 February 15, 2002. Continued the general strategy section. Version 0.9 February 18, 2002. Finished the general strategy section. Version 1.0 February 20, 2002. Added some combos, will continue to add more. Version 1.1 February 24, 2002. Started on the character specific strategies. Version 1.2 April 1, 2002. Finished all the character specific strategies(no, it ain't no April Fools Joke). Version 1.3 April 4, 2002. More revisions, from advice from VF.com forum member MisterWhite. Version 1.4 April 12, 2002. Moved the option select section to a section all its own, due to the idea that it is VERY important in VF4 to becoming competent. Also gave a LOT more people in the credits part well, credits for what they helped to contribute. Version 1.5 April 17, 2002. After Weili Huang corrected me on Hakkyoku-ken's history, I decided to paraphrase his post and to stick it in, thanks man. Version 1.6 April 23, 2002. SummErs helped edit a couple of anti-Jacky snippets for me this time around. In addition, I added/edited some of the existing stuff around the FAQ. Plus, I ADDED A NEW MISC SECTION CALLED THE SHINZ STEP! WHOOHEEE! Version 1.7 May 2, 2002. Tiny little correction that I did; some of the ascii art titles were incorrect. Also, *smack* I can't believe I forgot to credit uk-guy, because I did use his Kage FAQ to write the anti-Kage section. A couple of his posts helped me to add some new stuff here: new low kick tidbit, and some additions to Lau's and Wolf's anti-character strategies. What else, changed the ShinZ step section to be called the CD cancel section. Added more on Akira's martial art. Version 1.8 May 13, 2002. Lesse, I learned a new option select from Myke, which I have put down in the option select section. SummErs also critiqued my anti-Pai strats, and this is reflected in the new strats. Version 1.9 May 17, 2002. BIG update; uk-guy gave me advice on fighting Kage, and gave me pretty much new advice on almost ALL of Akira's attacks. SummErs gave me hints on fighting Pai, and you can see the revised section as well. Version 2.0 June 24, 2002. Another update; uk-guy never fails to aid me in improving my FAQ. When he sent me a rough of his vs Kage guide, it helped me to revise a couple of sections of my FAQ. First of all, some of the move descriptions have been revised here and there. I have also reorganized the combo section; I pushed the staple combos to the front, as well as added some new combos. There were also tiny revisions to the general strategies section, and elsewhere in the FAQ(too minute to remember). Version 2.1 July 7, 2002. BIG update; taking GLC's advice, I tried to weed out the crap and make my FAQ a bit easier to read; you'll find in places a lot of the text has been modified( the FAQ's still long, but it's a lot more organized). Also added some more combos and moved the okizeme and initiative frames sections to sections all their own. \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/ ******************************************************** | 666 III N N CCC L OOO SSS III N N GGG | |6 I NN N C C L O O SS S I NN N G | |6666 I N NN C L O O SS I N NN G GG| |6 6 I N N C C L O O S SS I N N G G| | 666 o III N N CCC LLL OOO SSS III N N GGG | ******************************************************** /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\ Well, that ended my 1st VF4 FAQ; a lot of the info came from the sources on VF.com and VP.com. Hoped it helped those of you who read this FAQ. Hey, it might even encourage people to pick up VF4 a lot more in the US. Then we might actually see some good VF competition more abundant in arcades!(I can dream) If you want to know, this is my opinion of the tiering for VF4: Version B: 1st tier: Akira 2nd tier: Jacky Lau 3rd tier: Shun Wolf Jeffry 4th tier: Kage Sarah Lion Lei Vanessa 5th tier: Aoi 6th tier: Pai Version C: 1st tier: Akira Jacky 2nd tier: Lau 3rd tier: Kage Wolf Jeffry 4th tier: Sarah Lion Lei Vanessa 5th tier: Aoi Pai 6th tier: Shun Whether I write any more character FAQs for VF4 is beyond me; I guarentee nothing, if I get motivated enough though, I might. If I do, I'll aim for a Jacky FAQ. To beginners who have just begun VF4, I'd like to say, it's an awesome game, and for right now, arguably the best fighting game right now. VF4 was made to be a competitive arcade fighting game with joysticks, so if you own the PS2 version, get a joystick and some friends to compete against; Kumite mode is fun, but the real fun of the game comes from competing and getting good. To the FAQ writers of VF4(ones who write 4-line long strategies and cut-and- pasted movelists): please do a better job. Seriously; anyone can get a movelist off the internet, and it doesn't even have to come from Gamefaqs.com (see credits). And the strategies in some of those FAQs are vague, other times just wrong. You want to take a look at good VF4 guides, try UKguy's, Hyun's, Robyrt's, GLC's, Nutlog's, and if you venture to VF.com, take a look at ice-9's, ken's and GajinPunch's character guides. To those Tekkeners who just have started VF4, and think that it sucks. If you go into VF4 thinking that it's a copy of Tekken and play it that way, it's not going to satisfy your requirements; start over with a fresh slate. VF4 is designed that you need to balance your offense and defense due to the frequent loss of initiative. You don't poke the opponent to death; it's not an all-out offense fest, like Tekken. And don't think that you can master the game in 2 weeks; it takes a ton of time to master the game. VF4 is also not more masher friendly! Due to the throw counterability of moves, mashing is almost unexistant in VF4. If you don't like the game, you haven't given it enough thought. Is anything really cheap? I bring up this topic because scrubs always are quick to label something they can't beat as being cheap. Only 1% of fighting game tactics are truly cheap. Something isn't cheap if it has a counter to it or a way to prevent it. And throws are most definitely not cheap; it takes just as much skill to escape a throw as it is to connect one. So think before you call anything cheap. Don't be like some of the scrubs who rant "throwing is cheap!" or "Jacky is so cheap, he's so brainless to play!" Scrubs would rather label something as being cheap rather than learn how to counter it. To those of you who want to e-mail me. -I need feedback, plain and simple! Please do that! Anything's helpful, from criticisms(if you're polite about it) to tips, I'll accept it! I try to give credit where it's due as well, so don't worry about me throwing something in and not giving you credit for it. \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/ Peter: Hey look Brian I won a free Audi! Brian: No, no, Peter, that's a "T"; it says audit Peter: No, no, it's a foreign language; the "T" is silent! Ah, gotta love Family Guy; brings a nice dose of stupidity to life, and what would life be without a little comedy?