HOW TO BEAT FATAL FURY WITH RELATIVELY LITTLE PAIN Written by Michael W. Dean (firstname.lastname@example.org) February 16, 2006 Final Version (unless I think of something else to add) Note: This document is Copyright 2001 Michael W. Dean. This document is for private use and may not be reprinted in part or whole without permission of the author. Fatal Fury and its roster of characters are trademarks of SNK, and I lay no claim over them, but the text of this FAQ is another issue. INTRODUCTION Back in 1991, when Street Fighter II was ruling the arcades, the Neo Geo gave us a head to head fighter of its own: Fatal Fury. Fatal Fury was a simpler game than Street Fighter II, featuring only three attack buttons, three selectable characters, and eight enemies. The game went mostly unnoticed, heavily overshadowed by its famous competitor. Little did we know that this humble game would spark numerous sequels and off-shoots, including the popular King of Fighters series. Fatal Fury also launched SNK's dubious tendency towards cheap, insanely difficult fighting game bosses. He's the first, and still one of the best: Geese Howard. These days, the game that gave us Joe Higashi and the Bogard brothers is something of a curiosity to SNK fighting game fans, a sort of living museum piece. More than a few of the newer fans have given Fatal Fury a spin, just to see how far things have come, only to be flummoxed by the game's difficult CPU characters. Then there are those of you who have played the game for years, but have never figured out how to get past Raiden or Billy Kane or, most likely, Geese Howard himself. This FAQ is loaded with anti-computer strategies that have served the author well since the game was fresh in the arcades. Perhaps they can help you out as well. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- BASICS Joystick legend (these directions are relative to the opponent's position): d = down da = down-away a = away ua = up-away u = up uf = up-forward f = forward df = down-forward Buttons: A = punch B = kick C = throw (only works if the joystick is pressed forward) D = not used As is the case with most 2D fighters, moving the joystick down causes the character to crouch, up causes him to jump, while forward and away cause him to walk toward and away from the opponent, respectively. Moving the joystick away and down-away also causes the character to block incoming attacks. Up-away and up-forward cause him to jump away from and toward the opponent, respectively. Each character's punches and kicks change depending on how close the character is to the opponent when the strike is executed. Terry Bogard, for example, throws an aerial spinning side kick with the B button at long range, a roundhouse kick at medium range, and a knee strike at close range. Fighting in Fatal Fury takes place in two rows: one in back, one in front. When your opponent is a different row, pressing the punch or kick buttons causes your fighter to leap at the opponent with a strike. The strike will usually knock the opponent down, but if blocked, leaves you very open to a counter. To change to your opponent's row without a strike, simply press the joystick up (to move to the back row) or down (to move to the front row). This is the safest way to change rows. Throws in Fatal Fury are very powerful, taking off about 25% of the opponent's energy per successful application. Against the computer in particular, always be ready to throw; it is one of your best weapons! A word on crouching attacks: while the three main characters each have a crouching punch and a crouching kick, none of these are sweeps or knockdown moves. You must remove any ingrained sweeping strategy from your thinking when you play the game. Instead, use the crouching attacks as components of your combos. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- CHARACTERS All three of the selectable characters are of equivalent striking power and speed. Andy is perhaps a little bit faster than the others and Joe has the best range, but aside from that there's little difference between them. It is their special moves that set them apart the most. A look at each individual character follows: TERRY BOGARD Terry wears a red ball cap and jacket, with sneakers and blue jeans. He is the most balanced of the characters in terms of range and speed. He has good combos and some powerful special moves. His Burning Knuckle is particularly fast and strong. Details of his special moves follow: Power Wave - d, df, f + A The Power Wave is a slow but powerful projectile attack. It travels along the ground and automatically snuffs out after it reaches about two thirds distance. It can be used in combos, but is generally best avoided...it's just too slow to snuff the bad guys' quicker attacks. Rising Tackle - d (charge), u + A Terry inverts himself and leaps straight into the air feet first, arms extended and body spinning. This is a solid anti-air move that can snuff just about any jumper. Crack Shoot - da, uf + B Terry jumps forward and somersaults into an axe kick. Another anti-air move, a little quicker and easier to use than the Rising Tackle. It can skip right over most low attacks, but must be used at relatively close range. Burning Knuckle - d, da, a + A Terry abruptly glides across the ground with one fist extended and wreathed in energy. This knockdown move covers about two thirds of the screen. It is fast and powerful, but you can be knocked out of it. It is best used as a long distance counter after the enemy somehow leaves himself open. More on this later. ANDY BOGARD Andy appears as a golden-haired fellow in a white sleeveless outfit with orange boots. While quick, Andy suffers from relatively short range and some strange attack angles. His long range kick is an odd sort of aerial hook that hits higher than Terry and Joe's aerial spinning side kicks. His specials are unremarkable, with the notable exception of the Zaneiken rushing elbow, which is easily the best special in the game. Hishoken - d, df, f + A This is Andy's projectile, a standard fireball that travels about two thirds of the screen before snuffing out. Most characters can jump it and hit Andy before he can recover. Shoryudan - d (charge), u + A Andy leaps off the ground with his arms extended and spins. A good anti- air move, similar to Terry's Rising Tackle. Kuhadan - db, uf + B Andy leaps forward and arcs toward the opponent with both feet extended. This is a decent counter that can catch retreating enemies and skip over low attacks. Zaneiken - a, f + A Andy does a rushing slide across the ground with an elbow extended. This knockdown move travels about half the screen and is both fast and easy to use. Once an opponent is knocked down, Andy can often cheap them to death by executing another Zaneiken each time they try to stand. JOE HIGASHI Joe fights in his Muay Thai garb, which consists pretty much of orange shorts, a headband, and hand-wraps. Often underrated by gamers, he is actually a powerful character with some very good normal attacks. His crouching B is a sliding knee strike that is actually quite useful, unlike the crouching kicks employed by the Bogards. His crouching A elbow strike and his sliding knee can be strung together for simple but lengthy combos. Bakuretsuken (a.k.a. TNT Punch, a.k.a. Megaton Punch, etc.) - Press A repeatedly Joe launches into a long series of rapid fire jabs, ended with a hard cross. Once Joe cranks this one up, he has to execute all of the punches, which means he'll just stand there punching for several seconds. Be very careful timing this. If the opponent backs away before you start hitting him, you will be very open to counters. Hurricane Upper - d, df, f + A Joe throws a uppercut which launches a mini-tornado projectile. The tornado travels about two thirds of the screen before dissipating. Like all of the player fireballs, this move is of limited usefulness. It's very big, however, and can be difficult to avoid. Tiger Kick - da, uf + B Surrounded by a fiery aura, Joe glides across the ground with one knee extended for a strike. This is a knockdown move and travels about two thirds of the screen. It is fairly powerful, but predictable, as Joe pauses for a second before he throws it. Slash Kick - f, df, d, da, a + B Joe executes his typical long range B kick, but as he extends it he glides across the screen while flame trails from his foot. This knockdown move travels almost the entire length of the screen and is very fast. It pretty much renders the Tiger Kick superfluous. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ENEMIES Most of the bad guys in the game are unbalanced; they are for the most part very strong, but have weaknesses that the clever player can exploit for a relatively easy win. Each character is detailed below. DUCK KING Duck King, an athletic punk with some seriously huge M.C. Hammer pants, is one of the more balanced enemies. His offense consists mostly of spinning and flying kicks, a sliding kick from the ground, and a powerful aerial rolling body attack. His main weakness is his jump-in kick; it doesn't knock you back if it catches you on the ground, so even if you fail to block it, you can counter easily. Your best counter is a throw, if Duck lands close enough. Once knocked down, Duck can be victimized by a long range B attack as he stands up. More dangerous is Duck's rolling body attack; it is pretty much invulnerable. Once blocked, Duck will bounce off you into the back row (or the front row, if you're fighting in the back one). The second Duck bounces off your guard, hit the attack button to follow him into his new row. Most likely, your row-switch attack will hit, and can be followed up by a quick crouching punch. Fight Duck defensively, always ready to block. Sometimes you can nail Duck with a standing A before he can launch one of his trademark spinning kicks, but your best bets are to counter his jump-in kicks with throws, and to follow his spinning body attack with the one-two combo mentioned above. RICHARD MEYER A deceptive Capoeira fighter, Richard can be a bit confusing the first few times you face him. He kicks at you from handstands and while hanging from the ceiling, and will leap at you in a spinning flurry of outstretched legs. He also crouches frequently for low kicks. Once you get used to his tactics, however, he's really not so tough. His jump-in pinwheel kick (you will know this when you see it) can be blocked into a throw with little effort, and most of his regular moves can be stuffed with simple standing A punches...watch for his crouching kicks, however. When he jumps up and grabs the ceiling, don't try for a counter unless you are out of his range; from there, a fireball is your best bet. One particular trick of Richard's is to hit a handstand and just stay there, lashing his legs out continuously. This tactic negates your ability to throw him and makes standing moves difficult. However, if you're playing as Joe, this is the perfect time to punish Richard with a series of sliding knees. Do it until Richard gets the message and rights himself. If you are Terry or Andy, crouching punches work reasonably well instead. As a general rule, Richard is a victim for rushing moves like the Zaneiken, Burning Knuckle, or Slash Kick. You can use these almost anytime Richard is on the ground and at a distance from you. MICHAEL MAX Probably the easiest CPU enemy to beat, Michael Max is a mean looking boxer who takes you on by the seashore. Michael's standing punches are fast and damaging and he has his own version of Joe Higashi's Hurricane Upper (the perhaps more accurately named Tornado Upper). However, these attacks are easy to avoid. All you have to do is jump in on Michael with a kick, then follow up with a crouching strike. Rinse, repeat. If you're using Joe, the sliding knee should again give you an especially easy time of it. None of the characters should have too much trouble, however. One word of warning: don't try to get in Michael's face and match him blow for blow unless your blocking game is very good. His punches are as fast or faster than anything the player characters can put together. It's also very hard to get a throw in on him. Attack from the air or from the ground, and be ready for counters. TUNG FU RUE Tung Fu Rue is two different characters. He starts out as an unassuming little old man, but after taking a few hits he changes into a hulking brute. He transforms into his roid rage form after you knock him down to about 75% health. He transforms back to geezer form at about 25% health. In geezer form, Tung is deceptively strong. He has no projectiles and no moves that send him hurtling across the screen, but his punches and kicks have very high priority and take off noticeable chunks of damage. In addition, he's so short that most of your regular standing moves will whiff right over his head. If you try to walk up to Tung and punch him, you will miss and he will clobber you repeatedly. Jump-ins are the key to approaching the old man, and your best bet once you close the distance is to stay low and poke him with crouching shots. Again, Joe's sliding knee is highly recommended. Tung has a way of changing rows if you try to hit him with a special, but if you hit the attack button promptly, you will jump after him. Most of the time you will get a hit in this way, and often you can follow it up with a crouching strike. During Tung's transformation into a gigantic twisted freak, he is invulnerable. The change takes a couple of seconds, after which he will assume his fighting stance; at that point, he can again be hit. Take advantage of the transformation time and set yourself to get some shots in on Tung before he starts fighting. If you're playing as Joe, one solid move is to set up the rapid fire punch, timing it to go off just as Tung becomes vulnerable. This will do decent damage, but Tung will usually manage to block the second or third punch, which will scoot him away before the combo is finished. He usually won't try a counter until Joe is done punching, however. No matter which character you are playing, learn to time Tung's transformation so you can get a free hit or two on him at the moment his invulnerability wears off. You cannot throw Tung in his giant freak form. In addition, he gains a projectile (a hellish big one at that) and hurricane kick sort of move where he flies at you spinning with both arms extended. Your best option now is a cautious offense; come at Tung with a jump kick, immediately crouch and follow up with a ground strike, then block. Tung will usually counter after the second hit, which will knock you back into decent range for another jump kick. Standing moves are not your friend against big Tung; jump and crouch, jump and crouch. Once you knock steroid Tung down to about 25% health, he will transform back into his geezer form, and from there it should be your fight. HWA JAI Hwa Jai is another Muay Thai stylist; he's basically a palette-swapped Joe with a different head. He has Joe's basic moves and after taking a few hits, he gains a special called the Rocket, an improved version of the Tiger Knee. At the beginning of the match, Hwa Jai isn't much of a problem. He throws a few punches and kicks, and occasionally leaps in with a punch. Once you get him to about 70% health, however, a green-suited man (undoubtedly one of Geese's lackeys) throws him a bottle of some dubious liquid. Hwa Jai turns invulnerable as he catches the bottle and chugs it. Once he's done he becomes vulnerable again, but his skin turns red, he starts drooling, and he gains the ability to use the Rocket maneuver. The juiced-up Hwa Jai is stronger and faster than he was in the beginning, but it's the Rocket that's your real worry. The move is very quick and has extremely high priority, and he can throw it over and over and over again. It can knock a jumper out of the air and stuff almost any special move. Hwa Jai can turn the tide of the match in a hurry with this move. The first thing you want to do is weaken Hwa Jai as much as possible before he juices up. The best recipe for this is a pair of throws. Two throws in a row will have Hwa Jai at a mere 50% health before he starts rocketing around the screen. Your best bet for a throw is right after Hwa Jai jumps in with a punch; then you can do it cleanly. Once again, Joe has an especial advantage in this fight. While Hwa Jai is sucking down his joy juice, you can set him up to receive some rapid fire punches once he becomes vulnerable again. With proper timing, this move can finish Hwa Jai before he can do anything. You will have to practice this a few times until you finally get the timing of it exactly right. If you're playing as a Bogard or if you miss the timing on Joe's rapid fire punch, you'll have to take Hwa Jai down the old fashioned way. Don't give the guy any breathing room at all! You have to keep the pressure on him at all times or he'll just Rocket you to death. Stay close to him and throw quick strikes to stuff the Rocket before Hwa Jai can launch it. If you're Andy, look for an opening to hit the Zaneiken, and give Hwa Jai a taste of his own medicine. RAIDEN Raiden is a tremendous masked wrestler, and almost impossible to take down in a stand up fight. Both his range and power are incredible, and he's not nearly as slow as you'd expect. Aside from his punch and ground kick, he has a throw with absurdly long range, a grab and choke maneuver, a flying body splash, and the ability to spit a cloud of damaging mist. If you attack Raiden head on, he will likely make you regret it. His throw is a particular danger up close; he can apply it from well outside of what most gamers think of as proper range. Instead, it is best to keep your distance and counter Raiden with throws and special moves. It is important that you learn the range of Raiden's mist attack; you want to play just outside of that range, waiting for the big guy to give you an opening. Standing outside of mist range and throwing random punches often seems to spur Raiden into action. Generally he will do one of three things: jump at you with a body splash, spit his mist, or jump into the back row. If he goes for a splash, block it and throw him as soon as he lands, then back quickly out of his range. If he spits mist, wait for it to go away and hit Raiden with a special: Terry should use his Burning Knuckle, Andy should bust out a Zaneiken, and Joe should go for a Tiger Knee or a Slash Kick. If Raiden jumps to the back row, immediately jump after him. Typically, he will jump back to the front row to avoid you. Keep hammering on the button so you follow him. Most of the time, you will eventually hit him doing this, usually scoring a knockdown. After a little practice, you'll get a feel for the method. So, as an overview, you should never walk or jump at Raiden. You should only approach him with a row jump or one of the specials listed above. Otherwise, let him come to you and throw him. Sometimes you'll find that Raiden is simply in the wrong range for one of these tactics, however; in that case, block and look for an opening to back away. If you get cornered, try to knock Raiden down with a special. This won't be easy, but it is preferable to trying to match the big guy blow for blow. Once in a while a desperate combo of regular moves will catch him off guard, but this is in no way dependable and should only be used if you're having trouble using a special. BILLY KANE Billy's a punk with a bandanna, motorcycle boots, and a big red staff. He is a dangerous fighter who will poke you to death while remaining well out of your range. He has two special moves, one of which is his greatest strength and the other of which is his greatest weakness. In Billy's strong special, he uses his staff to vault toward you and boot you in the head. This move is fast and it hurts, and up close it seems unblockable. The trick is, you have to press the joystick toward Billy to block the move, which takes pretty sharp timing (Street Fighter 3 players should be up for it, though). You can also jump over Billy as he vaults, but you won't be able to get a clean counter in. If Billy uses the move from long range you can block it normally, but it's tougher to get a counter. Basically, at close range it's an automatic cross-up. In Billy's weak special, he throws his staff and sends it spinning at you. If you happen to be jumping at the time, the move will knock you down, but otherwise it's a minor inconvenience at best. While Billy's staff can hit a human being all day with no trouble, it shatters instantly when it hits the ground. Without his weapon, Billy cowers with his hands over his face, which for some reason renders him invulnerable. However, he cannot attack...he just stands there, being invulnerable. This will end when a green-suited fellow in the crowd - the same dickweed who gave Hwa Jai his power drink - throws Billy a new staff. This is your chance to destroy Billy Kane. Billy leaps into the air to catch his new staff. As he comes in for a landing, just walk right up and throw him. As he hits the ground he will drop his staff again, where again it will shatter. Green Suit throws him a new one, you throw him again, the staff shatters, and so forth. You can easy spam this technique until Billy is done. Otherwise, it's best to approach Billy from the air; unless he does his staff throw, you can usually get in on him. Once you're close, you can try for a throw, which will of course set up the pattern mentioned above. If the throw isn't happening, low punches and Joe's knee slide are OK offense, but never throw more than a couple of strikes in a row before you start blocking. Billy does have some potent offense, and he can beat you in a hurry if he catches you napping. Waiting him out works quite well if you're good at blocking his vaulting kick special, but otherwise you're going to have to give him a little offense to interrupt his specials. Keep him off balance and always look for a throw opportunity. GEESE HOWARD Here he is, it's the big man himself, and he makes every other bad guy on this list seem about as tough as a wayward gang of Care Bears. He doesn't look too bad; he's a moderately sized blonde man in a gi and hakama pants. In addition, he only has two special moves...but let me tell you right now, they are more than enough to get the job done. First off is the Reppuken, Geese's projectile attack. It looks just like Terry's Power Wave, except it's blue in color, much faster, travels the entire length of the screen, and does somewhere around 40% damage! Geese can only have one Reppuken onscreen at a time, but they are so fast it will seem like he is throwing them in full autofire. The move has absolutely zero recovery time; if you try to jump over it and boot Geese in the head, you are liable to meet the Ateminage, Geese's second special move. The infuriating Ateminage is Geese's all purpose counter. You never see it coming, it just kinda happens. You'll be tossing a move at Geese, any move at all other than a fireball or a throw, and suddenly you will freeze for a second and Geese will throw you for heavy damage. That's it, that's all there is to the move. There are a few ways around it, which will be discussed below. The major rule when fighting Geese is DEFENSE. Always be ready to block! Never jump at him...jump-in attacks are not defensive. Stand your ground and stay on full alert at all times, ready to block at the drop of hat. With Geese, you must choose your moment to strike very carefully. There are basically two ways to deal with Geese, and both of them require careful timing. The best method is to cautiously approach him, still ready to block at any moment, and throw him. That's right, just walk up and throw the guy. When you get close enough, he will typically try for a spinning kick, but you can usually get the throw in beforehand. Don't use any regular moves or specials, as Geese is too likely to use the Ateminage on you. The real trick here is the approach. When the match opens, Geese will frequently start tossing Reppukens like there's no tomorrow. Jumping over one towards Geese is a bad idea, as discussed above. Jumping straight up is also ineffective, as you will just wind up landing on a second Reppuken on the way down. Your best bet is to just stand there and block. Although a blocked Reppuken takes off about 5% damage, you'll have to grin and bear it. Eventually Geese will get tired of Reppukens and try some of his other moves. Study Geese as you fight him. You want to learn what the Reppuken animation looks like so you can block it the second he starts to toss one. If you can do that, you can approach Geese and set him up for a throw. As a side note, you can get an easy throw on Geese if he tries to hit you with a jump kick. Blocking the move leaves you in perfect throw range almost every time. A second side note: if Geese starts walking backwards as you approach him, he's yours. March right up to him and throw him down hard. The second anti-Geese tactic is generally inferior to the one mentioned above, but it is included here to provide the reader with an alternative. For this method, you must be very familiar with the maximum range of your B kick. Approach Geese cautiously, in the same manner listed above, but in this case you throw your B kick at the absolute outside edge of its range. Most of the time Geese will go for a Reppuken to counter, but so long as he doesn't start throwing the fireball before you start your kick, you will hit him right out of it. After hitting him, reacquire the correct range as soon as possible and repeat the method. He will very rarely use the Ateminage when you're at this range...almost never. Again, you must approach Geese cautiously; after you kick him away, he will occasionally barrage you with Reppukens. You must ride out the storm, then you can again try to get Geese in range for a swift kick. Also, if Geese row jumps, use the joystick to roll to his row; there is no sense in flying at him and leaving yourself open for pain. BONUS STAGES After every two matches, you get to do a short bonus stage for extra points. It's the same stage each time...you challenge an arcade arm wrestling machine. To win, all you have to do is jam on the A button like a madman. If you lack the finger speed for this, try using the two-handed approach: drum both index fingers on the button in an alternating pattern. For some people, this increases their button-mashing speed dramatically. AUTHOR'S NOTE Some people enjoy writing gigantic author's notes, but I am not one of them. That's it, end of FAQ...good luck!