=================================================================
Virtua Fighter 4
Emergency Lau FAQ


Put together by Hyun Supul (hyun@earthling.net)
(That's NOT earthlinK.net)
=================================================================
Revision History:
v0.3 April 24, 2002 Fixed more errors, added Urawamari section
                    and crouch dash section
v0.2 April 22, 2002 Fixed some errors.
v0.1 April 22, 2002 Initial Version

Legal:
You can distribute this doc freely as long as you don't make
money off of it. (Not beyond the cost of reproduction) If you put this on
a website, please let me know as courtesy.  All the trademarked names are
properties of the trademark owners.


Contents:
===================================================================
- Why this FAQ?
- Terminology and legends
- Lau Introduction
===================================================================
- Move list with frame stat
===================================================================
- Move Analysis 1: Bread and Butter
- Move Analysis 2: Throws
- Move Analysis 3: Secondary but Important Moves
- Combos 1: Bread and Butter
- Combos 2: Special Situations
- Note About Crouch Dashing
- Tricks and Setups
- Tips on Fighting Against Lau Players
========================================
Appendix:
- About the CPU
- Web Sources
- Acknowledgements
========================================


============================================================================
INTRODUCTION
============================================================================
Why this FAQ?
============================================================================
A character guide should have something more than a lame-o movelist (which
is on the manual) or some lame four lines long "strategy".
This guide will try to give some basic information on what works against
human competition.

I am not a Lau expert. But since there were no Lau FAQs--not even bad ones--
here is an "emergency" Lau FAQ designed to hold things up until a more
complete guide is available.

For the Lau veterans from VF3, "Secondary but Useful Moves" section could
be more of interest than the "Bread and Butter Section."


Possible Future Revisions:
Compilation of damage stats for combos. And maybe a minor counter list
like the one found in ReCharredSigh's excellent Akira FAQ.

==============================================================================
Before we begin: Terminology and legends
==============================================================================

Stick directions:
b/u  u   f/u

b    n   f

b/d  d   f/d



P  Punch button
K  Kick button
G  guard button


FC = from crouch
CD = crouch dash
MC = Major counter. Interruting your opponent's attack during its
        execution
mC = Minor counter. Attacking your opponent while s/he is recovering
        from a move.

HCF = half circle forward
HCB = half circle backward

Closed Stance & Open Stance
-------------------------------------
These refer to the relative feet positions of you and your opponent. The
following diagram shows the feet positions of you and your opponent when
looked down from above.

YOU   X        X  The other guy
        X    X

The above is "open stance."

YOU   X     X    The other guy
        X     X

The above is "closed stance."



=============================================================================
Lau Introduction
=============================================================================

Lau has been progressively weakened in each incarnation of VF. Yet he
continues to be a power to be reckoned with. And in VF he is easier to use
than ever. That makes Lau a good beginner character. Heck, he is even a good
button masher's character. (But mashers are not players.)

Lau is best played aggressively. The fundamental, most basic idea of VF4 Lau
is this:

Dash out attacks. When your opponent blocks, throw. When your
opponent fights back to avoid throw, juggle. Dash out attacks. Rinse and
Repeat.


About Lau's Storyline
--------------
If you are interested in the stupidiest fighting game storyline ever
conceived (which is saying a lot) just read the "story" presented in the
manual of the PS2 version of VF4. I don't think anyone accused Yu Suzuki
of being worthy of Shakespeare, anyway. Onto the game. . .

==============================================================================
Move list with frame stat
==============================================================================
The movelist here is based on the movelist found on VirtuaProject
(www.virtuaproject.com) The damage and frame stats are for the Version C
(AKA PS2 version)


DMG = Damage points
LVL = Hit level
      h = High
      m = mid
      m* = special middle (can be blocked crouching)
      l = low
      l* = special low (can be blocked standing)
EXC = Execution time in number of frames
BLK = Advantage time when blocked
HIT = Advantage time when hit
CNT = Advantage time when counter hit

TT = turn toward

***Normal Attacks***
====================
Name                 |Cmd       |DMG |LVL  | EXC BLK HIT CNT
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
punch                |P         |12  |h    | 12  +2   +5  +10
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
low punch            |d+P       |9   |l*   | 12  -4   +3  +5
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
elbow                |f+P       |19  |m    | 14  -4   0   +6
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
elbow-spear palm     |f+PP      |20  |mh   | 21  -4   -1
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
kick                 |K         |25  |h    | 14  -5
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
sidekick             |df+K      |21  |m    | 16  -5   0  +8
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
low kick             |d+K       |15  |l    | 15  -14  -9  -3
-----------------------------------------------------------------------


***Punch String***
======================
Name                 |Cmd       |DMG |LVL  | EXC BLK HIT CNT
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
punch-heel kick      |PK        |20  |hh   | 14  -8  -1
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
double punch (PP)    |PP        |10  |hh   | 8   -7  -6  0
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
PP-heel kick         |PPK       |20  |hhh  | 15  -10
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
triple punch (PPP)   |PPP       |12  |hhh  | 10  -10  -9  -1
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
PPP-crescent         |PPPK      |40  |hhhh | 17  -15
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
PPP-sweep            |PPPd+K    |30  |hhhl | 17  -27
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
PPP-kickflip         |PPPb+K    |20  |hhhm | 10  -23  -13  -5
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
punch-crescent       |P(hits)   |30  |hh   | 15  -16
                     |K+G       |    |     |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
punch-sweep          |P(hits)   |30  |hl   | 19  -1~-5
                     |d+K+G     |    |     |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
punch-lifting palm   |P,b+P     |20  |hm*  | 17  -5  -1
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
punch-lifting palm-  |P,b+P,P   |22  |hm*m | 25  -14
double palm          |          |    |     |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------


***Knifehand Strings***
=========================
Name                 |Cmd        |DMG |LVL  | EXC BLK HIT CNT
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
knife hand           |df+P       |13  |m*   | 15  -4  -4  +3
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
down knife-punch     |df+PP      |10  |m*h  | 9  -9  -5  -1
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
down knife-p-p       |df+PPP     |12  |m*hh | 10  -11  -10  -1
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
down knife-p-        |df+PPPK    |40  |m*hhh| 17  -15
crescent             |           |    |     |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
down knife-PP-sweep  |df+PPP,d+K |20  |m*hhl| 17  -27
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
down knife-PP-       |df+PPPb+K  |30  |m*hhm| 10  -23  -13  -5
kickflip             |           |    |     |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
down knife-punch-    |df+PPK     |20  |m*hh | 14  -7  -4
kick                 |df+PPK     |    |     |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
lifting palm         |FC,df+P    |22  |m    | 15  -1  -7
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
*lifting palm-punch  |FC,df+PP   |12  |mh   | 13  -3  0  +5
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
lifting palm-        |FC,df+P    |    |     |
super knife          | ,df+P+K   |18  |mm   | 20  -14
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
lunging knife hand   |df,df+P    |22  |m    | 23  +2  +3
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
lunging knife        |           |    |     |
hand-punch           |df,df+PP   |12  |mh   | 9  +1  +3  +5
-----------------------------------------------------------------------


***Low Kicks And Sweeps***
=========================
Name                 |Cmd        |DMG |LVL  | EXC BLK HIT CNT
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
low kick-heel kick   |d+K, n+K   |19  |lh   | 19  -13
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
double low kick      |D+KK       |10  |ll   | 19  -14  -6  -6
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
low kick-sweep       |D+K,K+G    |12  |ll   | 18  -19
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
lunging sweep        |f,d+K      |25  |l    | 23  -18
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
sweep                |d+K+G      |30  |l    | 24  -17
-----------------------------------------------------------------------


***Other Moves***
=============================
Name                 |Cmd       |DMG |LVL  | EXC BLK HIT CNT
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
spear palm           |b,f+P     |24  |h    |13  -6
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
heel kick            |FC, n+K   |30  |m    |15  -9(-10)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
body blow            |b+P       |18  |m    |22  -5  0  +8
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
body blow-kick       |b+P,K     |18  |mm   |18  -10
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
turn away palm       |b,b+P     |30  |m*   |23  -11
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
turn away palm       |          |    |     |
-crescent            |b,b+P,K+G |28  |m*m  |32  -11
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
turn away palm       |          |    |     |
-sweep               |b,b+P,d+K |25  |m*l  |18  -6
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
turn away palm       |b,b+P,d+P |18  |m*m* |27  0  0  +7
-knife hand          |          |    |     |
(contunues into PP.. |          |    |     |
string)              |          |    |     |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
double palm          |P+K       |20  |m    |23  -12  0
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
double palm          |hold      |40  |m    |52
(charge)             |P+K       |    |     |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
overhead smash       |d+P+K     |21  |m    |22  -10  -1  +5
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
super knife          |df+P+K    |30  |m    |21  -14
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
elbow strike         |f+P+K     |25  |m    |20  -9  -1
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
uppercut             |b+P+K     |22  |m    |22  -6  +3
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
uppercut-spining     |b+P+K,P   |22  |mh   |17  -9
elbow                |          |    |     |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
evading palm         |d|u,P+K+G |21  |m    |24(26)  -13(-14)  0
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
sidekick-punch       |df+KP     |15  |mh   |19  -3  -8  +4
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
sidekick-punch-spear |df+KPP    |15  |mhh  |16  -3
palm                 |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
backflip kick        |ub+K      |30  |m    |20  -15
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
cartwheel kick       |uf+K      |20  |m    |20  -14
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
kick-crescent        |KK        |30  |hh   |22(16)  0~-3
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
crescent             |K+G       |30  |h    |25  -6~-7
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
super crescent       |f+K+G     |35  |h    |15  -20~-22
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
reverse crescent     |b+K+G     |30  |h    |20  -13
-----------------------------------------------------------------------



***Ground Attack***
=====================
Name                 |Cmd       |DMG |LVL  | EXC BLK HIT CNT
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
jumping pounce       |u+P       |25  |g    |32
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
ground stomp         |df+K      |13  |g    |19
-----------------------------------------------------------------------


***throw***
=============
-All the throws here are high throws

Name                 |Cmd      |DMG | EXC BLK HIT CNT
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
water wheel drop     |P+G      |30  | 8
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
shoulder whip        |df,df+P+G|60  | 8
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
roaring thunder      |f+P+G    |50  | 8
enters forest        |         |    |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
roaring thunder      |f+P+G    |60  | 8
enters forest[wall]  |         |    |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
willow wheel drop    |b+P+G    |45  | 8
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
willow wheel drop    |b+P+G    |60  | 8
[wall]               |         |    |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
stumbling trip       |b,d+P+G  |10  | 8
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
choking vortex       |b,f+P+G  |50  | 8
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
talon vortex         |P+G      |40  | 8
[side]               |         |    |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
firece tiger attack  |P+G      |50  | 8
[back]               |         |    |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------


***With your Back toward your opponent***
===========================================
Name                 |Cmd       |DMG |LVL  | EXC BLK HIT CNT
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
TT sweep             |d+K       |22  |l    | 16  -17
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
TT knife hand        |d+P       |20  |m    | 14  -3  -2
(into PP. . string)  |          |    |     |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
reverse kickflip     |ub+K      |30  |m    | 26  -10
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
drop kick            |u+K+G     |30  |m    | 22  -22
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
TT punch             |P         |12  |h    | 11  +3  +6  +11
(into PP. . string)  |          |    |     |
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
TT kick              |K         |30  |h    | 10  -8
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

***wall***
=================
Name                 |Cmd       |DMG |LVL  | EXC BLK HIT CNT
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
jumping kick off
the wall             |f+P+K+G   |20  |m    | 43
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
backflip off the wall|uf+P+K+G  |  -
-----------------------------------------------------------------------


***hopping***
===================
Name                 |Cmd       |DMG |LVL  | EXC BLK HIT CNT
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
hopping knife        |u+P       |15  |m    |21  -5
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
hopping punch        |u+P(hold)P|25  |m    |26  -9
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
hopkick              |u+K       |20  |m    |16  -6  +13
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
landing sidekick     |u+K(hold)K|20  |m    |16  -6  +13
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
landing sweep        |u+K(hold) |    |     |
                     |d+K       |20  |l    |20  -2
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
hopping sidekick     |uf+K+G    |32  |m    |25  -2
-----------------------------------------------------------------------



==============================================================================
Move Analysis 1: Bread and Butter
==============================================================================
====================
Pokes and Strings
====================

P (The universal jab)
d+P (The universal low punch)
-------------------------------
These are the water you drink and the air you breath. How well you use
these can make difference between victory and defeat and scrub and a master.
You can use these moves to stop your opponent's attacks. You can use these
to keep your momentum as you rush. You can use to setup throws. You can use
these to set up juggles. Let's look at the numbers (in frames)

                                 P       d+P
Execution Time                  12      12
Advantage When Blocked          +2      -4
Advantage When Hit              +5      +3
Advantage When Counter-Hit      +10     +5

At 12 frames they are some of the fastest moves in the game. They don't
have great reaches. But in close range they become difficult to interrupt.
And more importantly, with the exception of d+P when blocked, they give
you ADVANTAGE even when blocked. This forces the opp to be on defense and
you can force throw-strike guessing game on your opponent. COnnecting these
moves are great ways to turn the table around when you are on defense, and
maintain your momentum when you are offense. Jab (or low jab) into throw
is a technique that you need to learn by heart. When your opponent starts
to stop your "poke-into-throw" attempt, then you switch to juggle or
stagger moves. Once your opponent starts turtling, then you poke into
throw. You get the picture.


f+P  (elbow)
-------------------------
Lau's elbow is, quite possibly, the best in the game, rivaled only by
Jacky's elbow. If it hits as counter, you get 6 frame advantage which
means you can go for throw much the same way as low-punch-throw
set up.

If it hits a croucher, you get a stagger, forcing throw/juggle
guessing game on the defender.

It's entirely possible to become a tournament winning Lau just relying
on these three moves--punch, low punch and elbow. These provide your
high/mid/low pokes and setups for all your throws and juggles.



d/f+P,P (downknife followed by a punch)
-------------------------------
Think of this as mid hitting version of the jab. However, it's very
important to remember that this move DOES NOT give frame advantage like
the above two.



PPP
PPK
PPPK
PPPd+K
PPPb+K   (punch strings)

d/f+PPK
d/f+PPP
d/f+PPPK
d/f+PPPd+K
d/f+PPPb+K (downknife-punch strings)
--------------------------------------
These are your basic Lau strings. They all share P or d/f+P as the starter
meaning that they are some of the fastest moves in the game. At least
when they start, that is. You can be in a world of hurt if any of them
get blocked or ducked. They guarrantee throw for your opponent if they
get blocked. (That's right, even PPP! As matter of fact, Throw is
guarranteed even if PPP hits.)

As far as these strings go, there are two types of Lau players. The first
one is the orthodox type who will never use these strings unless the 
opponent
is already airbone. There is nothing wrong with this approach and in fact is
recommended.

The second type mixes these strings against standing opponent.
This second type, again divides into two groups:

1. Scrubs. Seasoned players will simply block their PPPd+K or PPPK and
crush them.
2. Stylish types who know what they are doing: Now if you want to be this
type, it's important not to abuse the above strings in a predictable
manner.
Mix up, and make use of the delays. (They all can be delayed
substantially in different parts.) Mix these up with the shorter strings
so that your opponent never knows what comes up next.


It's nice to know that if the first hit of the PPK or d/f+PPK hits against
male characters, the rest of the string guarranteed.

As far as using these moves in combos, refer to the combo section.


====================
Juggle Starters
====================

Super knife (a juggle starter!)
d/f+P+K
-----------------------------
Lau's most easily accessible juggle starter. You can almost think of this
like Lau's juggling knee. In most cases you will be able to follow up
with d/f+PPPd+K. If you score a counter the whole combo takes off 40%
life bar. You need to be aware of this move's weakness however. First,
at 21 frames of execution time, this move is one of the slower moves
in the game. A good defender can easily block this on reflex. And
once you get blocked, for the defender, throw or punch strings are
guarranteed. (-14 frame advantage time once blocked.)



Turn away palm (a juggle starter!)
b,b+P
-----------------------------
This move has been weakened in the PS2 version compared to the
arcade version. But it still remains to be one of Lau's important
juggle starters. Immediately follow up with canned d+PPPd+K if it
hits. Compared to d/f+P+K this move comes out slower and more easily
interrupted. But there are other merits of this move.

1. You can directly continue to d+P or d+K follow ups after this.
Actually, let me be honest. Even if you do a good player can jab
you after blocking b,b+P and before you can do d+P. But it can
intimidate less experience players to keep blocking. Will write
more on this section if I can find a safe way to use this move.

2. This move is a more reliable juggle starter than d/f+P+K when
dealing with the heavyweights. (Jeffry and Wolf) b,b+P,d+PPPd+K
will always work even against Jeffry and Wolf. (If the first hit
hits) While d/f+P+K doesn't always juggle high enough for combo
against Jeff and Wolf.



Spear Palm (a juggle starter! sort of. . .)
b,f+P
----------------------------
Clearly one of the best moves in the game. It executes at 13 frames (faster
than Lau's elbow!) and allows you to combo once it hits.
Probably the only real bad thing about this move is that it hits high.
(Meaning that your opponent can duck or low punch under this move.)
Refer to the combo section for the follow ups. This also takes drinking
point off Shun when it connects.


lifting knife
FC,d/f+P (continues into PPPx strings sequences)
---------------------------------------------------
Back in VF2 days, this was Lau's primary juggle starter. Combined with Lau's
monstrous juggle options back then, it was the single most feared Lau move.

However, these days it has been toned down so it should be now considerd a
secondary juggle starter. This can be still very useful if used right. This
move starts juggle if hit as a counter. YOu will rarely use this move alone
but with the Px sequence that can be followed. All the PPPx sequences can
be started from this move so you can do:

FC,d/f+PPPPK
FC,d/f+PPPPd+K
FC,d/f+PPPPb+K
FC,d/f+PPPK. . . And so on.

Here is an example of usage: You low punch to go into crouch, than execute
FC,d/f+P,P. If your opponent tried to hit back after your low punch, he
will be floated and you can continue onto d/f+PPPd+K juggle.

Mixing low punch, lifting knife with low punch, throw sequences can be a
good attack pattern for Lau.




=======================
Sweep and Heel kick
=======================

Lunging Sweep
f,d+K
------------------------
This is Lau's most important sweep against a standing opponent. This
arguably is one of the best sweeps in the whole game.
It's fast. Ducks under high attacks and even middle attacks in many
situations. And you can even juggle off this sweep if the opponent doesn't
quickrise/techroll.(Look at the combo section)

This move still has a few drawbacks, however. First, this move can be
reversed by Akira and Aoi. Secondly this move is half-circular. This means
that this sweep can be evaded if the opponent sidesteps to the correct
direction. (Unlike most other sweeps in the game that can't evaded.)

And as with most sweeps in the game, you are screwed bigtime if you are
blocked. The fact that you have 23 frames of disadvantage when blocked
means that your opponent can throw out pretty much whatever they want
after blocking this move.

In case of another Lau for example, they can return rising heel kick
(FC, n+k) and there isn't a thing you can do to block. Those with low throws
can low throw. Those with elbow can elbow-stagger you. AKira can SPOD you.
And so on.

Despite these risks, when used right this move is too good to ignore. Just
don't abuse it.

Heel Kick
FC, n+K
----------------------
Depending on your playing style, this could turn into the second most
important mid level move next to elbow. This is a fast, long ranged mid
level move that knocks down. To do this move you have to be in crouch first
then move the stick to to neutral as you hit K. In general you use this
move from:

1. After a low punch. Mixing Low punch-throw sequence with low punch-heel
kick sequence is another good pattern.
2. Out of crouch dash. This is where crouch dash shines. In Vf4 crouch dash
is not too difficult to do. It's highly recommended you practice crouch dash
till you can comfortably move back and forth only using crouch dashes.
3. Out of side-tech roll. You recover crouch after techrolling sideways. So
you can execue this move just by moving the stick to neutral and hitting K
as you tech roll.

If you get proficient with crouch dash you can execute this move instantly
from standing position.


==============================================================================
Move Analysis 2: Throws
==============================================================================
Make no mistake. Even though Lau is equipped with multitude of strings
and combo starters, he still needs to throw just like everyone else. I am
not afraid of Laus who know how to juggle. However I am deadly afraid of
Laus who know how to juggle AND how to mix up throws.

These are some of basic throw set ups you need to learn:
1. Block and throw. (You need to learn which moves of your opponent give you
at least 8 frames of advantage after you block. These are "guarranteed"
throw situations. All your opponent can do is to enter escape throw
command.)
2. Poke into throw. P, d+P, d/f+PP, f+Px are all good set ups for this.
3. Anticipate your opponent's evasion/dodge, then throw.



b,f+P+G
-----------------
Lau's biggest guarranteed damage throw. d/f+K stomp is guarranted after the
throw, giving 63 damage total (50+13) You should be able to do this throw
in your sleep.

b,d+P+G
-----------------
This is Lau's biggest POTENTIAL damage throw. The throw itself doesn't do
much damage (10 points) But you have a multitude of possible follow ups that
do enough damage to change tide of the battle. If your opponent doesn't
struggle, you can go for d/f+P+K,d/f+PPPd+K for total of 80 points of
damage. If your opponent struggles, buffered b,f+P is guarranteed. Well,
if your opponent is slow to rise you can just delay b,f+P if you want,
rather than going for other juggle starters.
Or you can play even more demoralizing psychological game: Simply let your
opponent stand up and block, and go for another throw.


As you can see b,f+P+G and b,d+P+G are Lau's most damaging throws and should
be your primary throws. But sooner or later your opponents will break out
of these throws. Also there are some situations where it's advantageous to
go for other throws. Let's take a look at them.


d/f,d/f+P+G
------------------
Compared to the arcade version, this throw has been weakened in the PS2
version. Still, at 60 points of damage this throw is Lau's another strong
throw. Together with the above two throws, you have enough basis to fuel
your throw game. Having three high impact throws makes Lau a serious threat
in the throw department.


P+G
---------
Lau's basic P+G throw. With d/f+K stomp it does 43 points of damage (30+13)
While damage is not so great, this can be used to throw those opponents who
are intent on escaping your command throws. Also this switches the positions
of your opponent and the ring. This is true even if the throw is escaped. So
this is the most reliable way to switch the position if needed.
So here is one devious idea: If you have your back against the edge of the
ring, and you have throw opportunity, use this throw.

b+P+G
---------
Lau's "ring-out" throw. Most players will be weary of this throw if you
have your back against an edge of the ring. In other cases this throw is
rarely escaped. So while the damage is not so great (45 points) it maybe
worthwhile to mix it up time to time.

Oh, if you have your back against the wall, this also turns into a special
wall throw that does extra damage.

f+P+G
--------
Use this throw if:
1. This will throw your opponent out of the ring
2. This will smack your opponent against the wall
3. You have a wall right behind your back.

I don't I need to explain #1. As far as #2 goes, this will let you JUGGLE
your opponent as s/he bounces off the wall, creating a monster damage
combo.

In case #3, f+P+G becomes a special wall throw that does more damage
than usual. (60 points, plus guarranted d/f+K ground kick for total of 73
points of damage.)




==============================================================================
Move Analysis 3: Secondary but Important Moves
==============================================================================
Extra note: P+K, b+P+K, d+P+K, and f+P+K have certain "evasive property"
that can evade punch or low punch or other short ranged moves during their
execution. It's somewhat difficult to explain when exactly these moves can
override what moves. Just try to mix these moves in your game and develop
intuition.


b+P+K
b+P+K,P
---------------------
This is one of the Lau's most useful new moves. b+P+K can evade certain
moves during its execution, including high and low punch. Moreover, this
string has other qualities that make it very useful.

1. b+P+K juggles if hit as major counter. Although the canned follow up P
is guarranted in this case, it's recommended that you go for d/f+PPPd+K as
juggle finisher.

2. The second hit in b+P+K, P can be delayed heavily. So you can force a
guessing game against your opponent after b+P+K gets blocked or hits
without counter.

3. If the second hit hits as major counter, it creates head crumble. Go
for d/f+PPPd+K


f+P,P (elbow-palm string)
---------------------------
Although I am categorizing this as a secondary move, this is an abusable
move depending on the situation. The palm is guarranted if the elbow
hits.

BUT, it's important to know that you actually lose initiative even
if it hits (-1 frame) So any character can easily interrupt you with a jab
if you go for repeated f+P,P.

If your opponent doesn't have a fast punch, d/f+Px sequences are
recommended after b+P,P hits. Or you can go for b,f+P. If you think your
opponent will try to interrupt with you a jab or elbow, you can go for
lunging sweep (f,d+K) after f+PP.

Remember that if your opponent is good, s/he can duck under the palm
after blocking your elbow.

This move takes drinking points off Shun.


f/d,f/d+P (lunging palm)
----------------------------
Yet another Lau move that starts PPP. . . string. This juggles on major
counter. You can think of this like FC, d/f+P except it's slower
and have longer range. This is a classic way to "close the distance"
between you and your opponent so you can continue rush. (And if it
major counters you can directly go into a juggle.)


d/f+K (sidekick)
------------------------------
While this move is not as useful as elbow because of slower speed, remember
that this gives you whopping 8 frame advantage on major counter.

d/f+K,P,P
-----------------------------
Sidekick followed by punch and spear palm. In general it's better to use the
first two hits (d/f+K,P) so you can continue on your rush. This can be used
as an alternative way to close the distance. As usual, the spear palm part
takes a drinking point off Shun.

f+P+K
----------------------
Another good evasive move that can duck under high attacks.
If this hits as major counter, it causes Tekken style double over stun.
(In VF terminology, we call it stomach crumble or kuzure.) After the stun
go for d/f+PPPd+K. If your opponent crouches, this move will stagger.


while side steping, P+K+G
----------------------
This is another double over stun/stomach crumble creator. On major counter,
just like f+P+K, you can follow up with f/d+PPPd+K.

(Warning: This doesn't cause stomach crumble on the arcade version
(verison B))

b+P,K
----------------------
Another fairly useful string.

If K hits as counter, it will land your opponent on his/her butt, much
like Jacky's f,f+K. In this situation you can basically force your a
juggle/throw guessing game against your opponent. If your opponent
doesn't struggle fast enough, you can go for d/f+PPPd+K which becomes
a juggle combo.


While the string is not really delayable, there is a built in delay
between b+P and K. So it can be used to catch unsuspecting opponents or
play throw/strike guessing game after b+P hits or gets blocked.

b+P also takes drinking points off Shun when it connects.


P+K (can be charged)
-----------------------
When this hits, it knocks down. But in general no combo follow ups are
possible. When charged this move becomes a guard crusher.
b,f+p is guaranteed after a fully charged p+k is blocked.


When your opponent is against the wall, the charged version of this
move will slams the opponent against the wall even if blocked. You can
immediately follow up with b,b+P,d+PPPd+K.



d+P+K
------------------------
A good anti-low punch/anti-high punch attack. Use it if your opponent
abuses low punch or frequently tries to jab you. Be warned that you can
be thrown if blocked. But against inexperienced players, this would
look very much like b+P.


u+P or u/f+P
------------------------
Hopping knife (not to be confused with pounce that happens when the
opponent is down)
Actually this can be even a better anti-low punch move since it
juggles. (Follow up with d/f+PPPd+K) Use this to interrupt and juggle
all kinds of low attacks.


b+K+G
------------------------
This is a circular attack that has a sidestep built into it. This is
a quite useful move to use in medium range as it has good priority thanks
to its circular pattern and built in side step.

Also this is one of the moves that are difficult to tech roll from after
getting hit. (If the opponent fails to tech roll, go for u+P pounce.)


u/f+K
------------------------
Jump kick that can be used to start juggles. Be warned that you can be
thrown if blocked.

u/f+K+G
------------------------
Although this doesn't juggle, it recovers much faster than u/f+K. After
it gets blocked, you can gamble by throwing out b,f+P to hit the opponents
who are not aware of the move's fast recovery.

u+K
------------------------
This could be a very useful move if used right. This hop kick juggles
if hit as a counter. (follow up with d/f+PPPd+K) If it hits without a
counter, you get a lot of advantage time. b,f+P is guarranteed as long
as it's buffered. Or you can go for throw or other juggle.


lifting knife, super knife
FC,d/f+P, P+K
---------------------------------------------------
I decided to put this move to "secondary moves" section because the value
of this move over the normal lifting knife or super knife is somewhat
dubious. Sure this is a juggle starter, but just using the normal
lifting knife string is safer and works just as well.

This move however can be a decent juggle finisher. Refer to the combos
section.


Low kick strings:
d+K     (single low kick)
d+K,K   (double low kicks)
d+K,n+K (low kick, heel kick)
d+K,K+G (low kick, sweep)
-----------------------
In particular, d+K,K is used a lot by scrubs. You can use them if you want
to. But it's critical to know this: even if low kick hits, you
can be low thrown! A good Wolf or Jeff player will love you for throwing
low kicks against them because then they have guarranteed low throws. (I
know, since I am a Jeffry player.) And if AKira blocks them, his double
palm is guarranteed. You can occasionally use single low kick as poking
tool if you want. And throwing out low kicks when your opponent is about
to die happans quite often in real matches. But it's important to know that
you don't have advantage even if low kick hits, unlike jabs and low jabs.

All the follow ups after the single low kick either hits low or high.
Not good. You can occasionally delay sweep or the rising kick hoping to
trick your opponent. But in general keep the use of these strings to
minimum.


==============================================================================
Basic Strategy and Flow Charts
==============================================================================

At the most basic level VF4 boils down to rock, paper and scissors. Blocking
beats strikes. Throws beats blocking. Striking beats throw. Heck, even real
life sports like baseball or such could be reduced this kind of idea.

Of course in reality things are more complicated. In VF4 we have reversals,
parries, sabaki (Deflecting moves) and sidestep/evade and so on. In that
sense, Lau is one of the most straightforward characters in the game. Lau
doesn't have reversals or a variety of stances. He however has balanced
aresenal of strikes and throws. Lau's basic offensive philosophy should be:

1. If opponent defends standing, throw or sweep
2. If opponent ducks, stagger, juggle, or d/f+P or f+PP rush.
3. If opponent strikes back: jab, low punch, sweep, or evade, use one of
the moves that have evasive properties (such as b+P+K, d+P+K, P+K or f+P+K
or may be even b+K+G if you feel cocky), or block and force the opponent
into defense. Lau has plenty of options to turn the table around and go on
offense.

The idea is that you vary your attacks to force your opponent into one of
the above mode, and as soon as he changes his defensive option, you
change your offensive option.

As far as distance goes: Lau is best at medium-to-close range where your
punches can hit but the opponent's low punch wouldn't. COnnecting elbow palm
puts you and your opponent into this ideal Lau range.

As far as playing style goes. . .
There are, IMO, three major types of Lau players. The first is Pai-type Lau.
These type of Laus are not big into juggles. But rather into pokes, rushes,
and throws. They use flurry of punches and will throw you once you start
blocking. The second type of Laus are Jacky-type Lau. They are the most
boring type but could be deadly in their effectiveness. They basically use
jab, low punch and elbow, throws and little else. They will rarely commit to
risky moves so difficult to fight back. Just like the boring Jackys that
they resemble, these Laus can be very frusting to play against. The third
types are the classic Lau-type Laus. They play a little like Pai-type Laus
but will frequently commit to combo/juggle starters.

Which type Lau you should be, is up to you. Just find the style that fits
you and the situation.

A sample flowchart:

After jab, low punch or elbow(f+P) connects:
----------------------------------------------
   -throw if you think they will block. Much better chance of success if
    the above moves hit as counter.
   -Another elbow or sidekick (d/f+K) if you think they will try to duck.
    They may also interrupt low punch attempt if the above moves hit as
    counter.
   -f,d+K sweep if you think they will retaliate with high or mid attack.
   -juggle starter (risky but worth trying after throwing your opponent
       several times) Or other "evasive moves"
   -jab or low punch to keep the rush going

After elbow stagger
-----------------------------
   -throw
   -juggle starter
   -f,d+K sweep

After elbow gets blocked
------------------------------
   Take a defensive move, such as:
   -low punch
   -evade (with throw escape buffered in)
   -go for evasive strike moves


==============================================================================
Combos 1: Bread and Butter
==============================================================================
Air juggles and such. . .

After d/f+P+K or FC, d/f+P,P+K
  PPPd+K
  d/f+PPPd+K
  PPPK or d/f+PPPK               after major counter (or use as wall combo)
  p,b+P,P

After b,f+P spear palm
(many of these combos become bounce combos for med and heavy weights)
  P,b+P,P                       reliable and good damage
  d+P,d+K,K                     Doesn't have great damage but reliable.
  d+P,n+K                       Stance dependent. Only if you were in closed
                                stance before connecting the palm
  d+P, FC, d/f+P,P+K            Stance dependent. Only if you were in open
                                stance before connecting the palm
  PPPd+K
  d/f+PPPd+K

After FC, d/f+P,P (major counter)
  PPPd+K
  d/f+PPPd+K

After f+P+K (major counter)
  d/f+PPPd+K

sidestep+P+K+G (major counter)
  d/f+PPPd+K

After b,b+P hits
  d+PPPd+K                      Works Against Everybody.
  d+PPPK                        Works against lightweight (ie girls) after
                                major counter.


Combos that work only if your opp doesn't tech roll
=======================================================
After f,d+K (sweep)
  PPPd+K
  FC, d/f+P,P+K
  FC, d/f+P,P,b+P,P

b+P,K (normal hit)
  d/f+P+K
  D+K,K

u/f+K+G
  D+K,K

==============================================================================
Combos 2: Special Situations
==============================================================================

Juggles from throws
=================================
After using f+P+G to slam your opponent against the wall:
  PPPK
  d/f+PPPK
  d/f+PPPd+K

After b,d+P+G
  if the opponent doesn't struggle:
    d/f+P+K, then juggle
    b,b+P,d+PPP,d+K
  if the opponent struggles:
    b,f+P, then juggle



General Wall Combo Theory
==================================

Air Wall Combos
------------------------
Lau is a serious powerhouse when it comes to wall combos. If you manage to
slam your opponent in middle of PPP. . . sequence, you can often finish
the combo with high crescent kick (PPPK) instead of sweep (PPPd+K) which
does more damage. And when you slam your opponent against the wall with that
last crescent kick, you can often add u+P pounce. The reason is that,
in VF4, after you get slammed "hard" against the wall, you can't tech roll
to avoid ground attacks.

Also, some moves that normally don't allow you to juggle, such as
b+P+K,P or P+K, turn into juggle starters if they manage to slam the
victim into the wall. Just add PPPd+K or d/f+PPPd+K as they bounce off the
wall. In the similar vein, hitting the wall at the right time can extend
your combo. For example, againt Vanessa I once did this: d/f+P+K, P(g)
f+PP (Vanessa hits the wall), PPPd+K


Standing Wall Combos
-------------------------
Also, when you manage to hit the opponent with his/her back against the
wall, you create extra long stun. (You can distinguish this situation by the
special wall stun animation.) In this situation, often a follow up move
becomes a part of the true, unescapable combo. Here are some examples.

P+K (fully charged) against a blocking opponent with his/her back against
the wall:
  d/f+PPPd+K


d/f+K (major counter or normal hit) against an opponent with his/her back
against the wall
  u/f+P+K
  f+P,P
  d/f+PPP. . .etc

Lau is one of the best characters when it comes to pushing the opponents
across the ring toward the wall. Make good use of this ability.


==============================================================================
Note About Crouch Dashing
==============================================================================

While all the VF4 characters can benefit significantly if you can crouch
dash comfortably, Lau is one of the characters that especially benefits from
crouch dash. Out of crouch dash you can execute lifting palm (FC,d/f+P) and
heel kick (FC, n+K). Both moves can be very useful when used right.

You can actually buffer crouch dash into recovery time of one of your move
to execute instant heel kick or lifting palm. For heel kick I like to do
d/b, d/b, n+K. For lifting palm, the standard and most common way to do this
is : f/d,d,f/d+P  (Rolling motion) If you do f/d,f/d+P you will get a 
lunging
palm instead. So a slight modification of crouch dash is necessary in this
case.

==============================================================================
Tricks and Setups
==============================================================================

Okizeme Trick When your opponent falls face down, head toward you
==================================================================
This is one of the peculiarity of VF4 game engine: If your opponent 
techrolls
sideways after falling "face down, head toward you" position, you can do the
following: Short dash forward, sidekick (d/f+K) If you timed it right, you
will find your sidekick hitting your opponent on his back, staggered with
his back turned toward you. Now you are free to smack him from behind.

This set up may sound complicated. But you just need to know what situations
create this set up, and watch if your opponent tech rolls sideways. Then
nail his tech roll with a sidekick.

Normally, there are three different situation when you can create this
setup with Lau.
1. After major counter f+P+K, followed by a juggle.
2. After major counter evading palm (evade+P+K+G), followed by a juggle
3. After a wall combo that causes the opponent to fall face down

For #1 and #2 you might want to go for d/f+PPK instead of d/f+PPPd+K
if you want to set up for this trick. (That way you have more time to
maneuver.)

After a sucessful backstagger with d/f+K sidekick, pretty much anything
goes. Go for a juggle starter. Do your worst.


Urawamari (AKA Going over your fallen victim go to the other side)
===============================================================
Compared to VF3 this trick is not as useful. In ideal situations, you will
end up on the other side of the fallen opponent while at the same time
making your opponent's rising attack go the wrong way. This was easier to
do in VF3 but not as useful in VF4.

Still, if you insist on doing this trick, two moves that can be used by
Lau for this purpose are: f/d+K and d/f,d/f+P. Try this after one of
your throws. (Except b+P+G)

==============================================================================
Tips on Fighting against Lau Players
==============================================================================
Lau in general is weak against the players who can make good use of evade,
as most of his attacks and strings tend to be linear. If you have auto
parry/reversal against punches (Jacky, Vanessa, Lei) make good use of them
to stop his punch rushes.

If Lau abuses f+P,P, learn to the duck under the second hit.

Refer to b,d+P+G stumbling throw section to learn what to do after getting
thrown by this move.

One thing worth remembering is that if the Lau stops his PPP string without
finishing it with a kick, you can throw immediately. If the opponent's Lau
is good he will delay the kick to interrupt the throw attempt. But it's
nevertheless important to remember that you have this option. This way you
force Lau to use his risky moves.

Low punch is your friend.


=============================================================================
Appendix A: The CPU opponents
=============================================================================
Q: How do I beat the Kumite CPU opponents?

Guess what, I DON'T CARE! This FAQ was primarily meant to help you play
against human opponents, not how to "BEAT THE DUMB CPU SO I CAN COMPENSATE
FOR MY DEEP-ROOTED INSECURITY BY SPAMMING MY KUMITE RANK AROUND WHICH NO
ONE CARES."

(Any email sent to me that asks about beating Kumite CPU or items will be
summarily ignored. As far as items are concerned I suggest you to check
Mitchell Wareham's excellent VF4 PS2 item guide.)


Look, the PS2 version of VF4 is designed so that a monkey can become a first
dan. And the Kumite opponents with higher ranks are basically "super-human
retards."

They often show a super human ability to block or even escape throws in
most obscure situations. But by and large all kumite AI opponents are jokes.
They fall into stupid patterns and don't even do the most basic combos.
(CPU Akira is better in this aspect. . . but still a superhuman moron.)
Being able to beat AI opponents hardly amount to any significant 
achievement.
You could be a High King or Emperor for all I care, but if you just used
cheesy CPU tricks or predictable patterns you could be killed by the first
decent human player that comes in your way.

**On the other hand**,
--------------------------
Information in this FAQ should still be helpful even if your primary focus
is playing against the CPU. If you learn the basic Lau patterns and combos
listed in this FAQ--as well as the game basics that they teach you in the
PS2 trial mode--you should be able to climb up the kumite ranks without too
much difficulty.

If you run into situation where it seems the CPU opponent blocks everything,
you should learn when you can go for throws. And you should keep rotating
different throws so the CPU won't break out of them. And attacking the
rising opponents should be an integral part of your game, either against
CPU or humans.

Overall, try to learn the patterns and combos in this FAQ, which should
help you against both human and CPU opponents. And try to stay away from
using cheesy anti-CPU patterns so you can improve your game.



=============================================================================
Appendix B: Web sources
=============================================================================

This guide never meant to be an all-inclusive guide for VF4 and you are
encouraged to look for other sources.


www.virtuafighter.com
Probably the English site with the most traffic. To access the site's forum,
click on the link named "versus city" You may find useful info if you take
patience to wade through the posts. If you have less patience, the site also
has its share of organized info. It has move list, general text FAQs, and
character guides for Lion, Lei, Jeffry, Pai and Sarah.

www.virtuaproject.com
An excellent, information oriented site. It has systems info, extensive
movelist, combo list (in progress) and damage data for the mathheads, and 
more.


For media and a list of non-English links, FeixaQ's Vf4fx website
(http://www.clandxm.com/vf4/) is recommended. You will find a collection of
VF4 play video footage from around the world. CreeD also maintains FTP
mirrors of VF4 videos. (ftp://vf.dyndns.org)



==============================================================================
Appendix C: Acknowledgements
==============================================================================

The movelist is based on virtuaproject.com's Lau movelist. Thanks to the
people there. I should also thank the people from VFDC who gave me feedback
and suggestions. (Alucard, Robyrt, CreeD and Mr Bungle)


Note about contacting me:
Contributions and comments are welcome. However, individual questions, in
general will NOT be answered. (Let's face it, what's the point of writing
a FAQ if I have to answer individual questions anyway? Try first to digest
the content in this FAQ and study the web sources suggested. If you still
can't find answer to your question, post a question on one of the forums.
If it's really a FAQ, I may address it in a future revision.)