-----------------------------
VIRTUA FIGHTER 2
THE LAU FIGHTING GUIDE
LAU FAQ v0.9 02 November 1995
-----------------------------
written by Colin Leong <Colin@MAILHOST.NET, leongtk@singnet.com.sg>

Copyright 1995.

No part of this FAQ may be reproduced for sale, compilation, or any other
form of commercial/non-personal distribution without express permission
from the author.  Reproduction of this FAQ in any form by game magazines
is a direct violation of the applicable copyright laws.  Copies of this
FAQ and the information within may be freely distributed throughout the
VF2 community or to would-be players of this wonderful game.

Please send all comments and corrections to Colin@MAILHOST.NET, and flames
to the fire department. 8)

-------------------
WHAT'S IN THIS FAQ?
-------------------

INTRODUCTION
  -LAU
  -TERMINOLOGY USED IN THIS FAQ
THE BASICS
  -LAU'S MOVES
  -HIT LEVELS AND BLOCKING
  -PRACTICAL USAGE OF THE "G" BUTTON
  -COUNTERS, RECOVERY AND RECOVERY POSITION
  -WHAT'S STANDING/CROUCHING GOT TO DO WITH THROWS?
  -MORE ABOUT THROWS
  -FOOT POSITION
  -THE IMPORTANCE OF THE LOW PUNCH
  -MOVEMENT
  -THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GREEN AND PURPLE LAU
MOVE ANALYSIS
  -BASIC MOVES
  -SPECIAL MOVES
  -THROWS
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER I (LAU BASIC STRATEGY)
  -PUNISHING MISSED ATTACKS
  -STAGGERS
  -BASIC TACTICS
  -SPECIAL TECHNIQUE: THE M-UPKN
  -COUNTERS
  -FLOATING 1: AN ANALYSIS
  -FLOATING 2: KNOWN LAU FLOATS (not ready yet)
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER II (LAU ADVANCED STRATEGY)
  -ADVANCED TACTICS
RISING ATTACKS AND OKI-ZEME
COMBAT CONQUEST: AN IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS vs HUMAN PLAYERS
  -vs AKIRA
  -vs JACKY
  -vs SARAH
  -vs LAU
  -vs PAI
  -vs JEFFRY
  -vs WOLF
  -vs KAGE
  -vs LION
  -vs SHUN
BEATING THE CPU (not ready yet)
VERSION CHRONICLES
CREDITS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS



------------
INTRODUCTION
------------

VF2 is truly a complex game.  There are so many options available when you
play, that the discussion of these options have taken up a large proportion
of the postings on rec.games.video.arcade since January 1995.  So large, in
fact, that several people have actually commented that when reading r.g.v.a,
they feel like they are in the alt.games.vf2 newsgroup.  Those posters who
have contributed to this sense of VF2 supremacy, we know who we are, don't
we?  8)

Due to the complexity of the game, several people have attempted to write
strategy guides for different characters.  Chia Jin Ngee's wonderfully
massive VF2 FAQ, at first glance, seems to be overwhelmingly detailed, yet
it still proves to be impossible to master the game mechanics from the FAQ
alone.  Even the strategy guides sometimes seem woefully inadequate, but we
do try to make them as useful as possible.

Chia's VF2 FAQ, currently in version 3.0, is still a must-read document,
encompassing as much game information as possible without being excessively
lengthy.  The FAQ is available from Andy Eddy's ftp site at

        ftp://ftp.netcom.com/pub/vi/vidgames/faqs,

or for those without ftp access, check out Lars' The Home of VIRTUA FIGHTER
webpage, at

        http://www.digiweb.com/~vfhome/vfhome.htm

for the most up-to-date information on Virtua Fighter, and most FAQs.


* LAU *

Lau Chan is the father of Pai Chan.  His fighting style is classified as
Koenken, translated as Tiger-Swallow Fist.  Lau's fighting style involves a
lot of single hand strikes and punches.  In the right hands, Lau's floating
ability, more often than not, spells either KO or RO for the opponent.  Lau
is up there with Kage as one of the Kings of Ring Out.

This FAQ is dedicated to teach you how to utilise Lau to his fullest
potential.  If you are in one of those locations that view RO as "cheap",
then you're in the wrong place.  8)  Seriously, Lau's potential is only
maximised in an arena where he can threaten Ring Out.  His power floats
are still devastating enough to KO, but Lau's natural inclination is to
push his opponents backwards.  Best to find some place where RO's are not
a big issue, to practise...  When you're practiced enough, you'll know how
not to RO, but still do big damage.

The FAQ contains information for the beginner as well as the accomplished.
Most intermediate players will still benefit from reading the Basics
section, although it covers some information that you probably already
know.  This FAQ specialises in fighting against human opponents, but a
section on fighting the CPU has also been included for those who have
difficulty on the upper stages of the game.

The following section covers terms used in this document.


* TERMINOLOGY USED IN THIS FAQ *

P               - Punch
K               - Kick
G               - Guard (Defense)
,               - move separator
+               - press together, eg P+G means press P and G together
All             - Punch+Kick+Guard
d               - tap down on the joystick
f,f             - tap forwards twice
U               - hold up on the joystick
d/f             - the diagonal direction between down and forward
b+K             - tap back and press K together
FC              - from crouching position
UpKn            - lifting palm (see Moves)
DnKn            - knife hand (see Moves)
m-UpKn          - modified lifting palm (see MOVE ANALYSIS, Advanced Moves)
reverse(-sals)  - special move to catch attacks; only Akira, Pai, Kage and
                  Wolf possess these moves.  See Joji's Akira FAQ for more
                  info.  Lau does NOT have reversals.
countering      - hitting the opponent before they fully recover from their
                  attack.  See COUNTERS, RECOVERY AND RECOVERY POSITION,
                  and also INTERRUPTION.
frames          - a period of time equal to 1/60th of a second.  This is
                  because VF2 runs at 60 fps (frames per sec).
floating        - the action of continuing to hit a knockdown character
                  before he completely hits the floor.


----------
THE BASICS
----------

I have attempted to include all the tips that I can remember for the game
basics.  Lau's movelist includes the move, description, damage, recovery
and recovery posture.  Please send all corrections or additions to my email
address above.

Usage of the movelist:  the statistics shown for each compound move refer
to the LAST move indicated.  Eg. the stats listed for P,P,K is the damage,
execution/hit/recovery time, hit level etc for the _kick_.  To find the
stats for the second punch, look under P,P.


* LAU'S MOVES *

Legend:

Damage  -   Self-explanatory!  Given in points (NOT percent)
Exe     -   Execution time (frames)
Hit     -   Hit detection time (frames)
Rec     -   Recovery time (frames)
Lvl     -   Hit level (high=H, mid=M, low=L, ground=G)
Reverse -   Move can be reversed by: A=Akira, P=Pai, K=Kage, W=Wolf
Pos     -   Recovery position (S=standing, C=crouching)

Basic Moves        Damage  Exe Hit Rec Lvl Description         Reverse  Pos
-----------------  ------  --- --- --- --- ------------------  -------  ---
P                  12      9   2   10  H   high punch          A,P,K    S
d+P                10      10  2   8   L   low punch           A        C
K                  30      12  4   22  H   high kick           A,P      S
d+K                10      14  2   22  L   low kick            A        C
d/f+K              23      14  3   25  M   sidekick            A,P,W    S


Hopping attacks    Damage  Exe Hit Rec Lvl Description         Reverse  Pos

----------------  ------  --- --- --- --- ------------------  -------  ---
P (same time)      30      24  7   16  M   Hopping Knife                S
P (ascending)      30      51  4   20  M   Landing punch                S
K (same time)      20      27  2   16  M   Hop kick I          P        S
K (ascending)      30      35  2   21  M   Hop kick II         P        S
u/f+K              30      24  3   25  M   Cartwheel kick               S
u/f+K+D            32      17  4   24  M   Hop Roundhouse               S
K (descending)     20      54  3   28  L   Hopping sweep                C ?


Turning attacks    Damage  Exe Hit Rec Lvl Description         Reverse  Pos
-----------------  ------  --- --- --- --- ------------------  -------  ---
P                  12      12  2   18  H   Turning punch I     A,P      S
d+P                14      15  4   --  L
                   +14     18  2   15  L   Double low swipes            S
D+P                12      14  5   21  H   Turning punch II             S
K                  36      12  2   30  H   Turning kick I      A,P      S
d+K                36      21  8   18  L   Turning split kick           S
D+K                36      15  3   36  H   Turning kick II              S


Other Lau moves    Damage  Exe Hit Rec Lvl Description         Reverse  Pos
-----------------  ------  --- --- --- --- ------------------  -------  ---
P,K                30      14  4   38  H   Punch-kick          A,P      S
P,P                12      8   2   15  H   2 running punches   A,P,K    S
P,P,K              30      14  4   24  H   2 punches & kick    A,P      S

P,P,P              14      10  2   18  H   3 running punches   A,P,K    S
P,P,P, K           50      17  7   40  H   3P + high crescent           S
P,P,P, d+K         40      18  5   43  L   3P + low sweep               S
P,P,P, u/b+K       20      10  3   18  M   3P + flip kick               S
      (OR b+K)

P, K+G             20-40   18  4   34  H   punch & crescent             S
P, d+K+G           20-40   22  4   34  L   punch & sweep                C

d/f+P (near)       15      15  3   22  M   Knife Hand, also    A,P,K    S
      (far)        15      17  3   20  M   known as DnKn       A,P,K    S
d/f+P,P            12      10  2   14  H   Knife and punch
                                           (aka DnKnP)         A,P,K    S
d/f+P,P,K          30      14  2   26  H   Knife-punch & kick
                                           (aka DnKnPK)        A,P      S

d/f+P,P,P          14      10  2   18  H   Knife & 2 punches   A,P,K    S
d/f+P,P,P, K       50      17  7   40  H   Knife, 2 punches             S
                                           and high crescent
d/f+P,P,P, d+K     40      18  5   43  L   Knife, 2 punches             S
                                           and low sweep
d/f+P,P,P, u/b+K   20      10  3   18  M   Knife, 2 punches             S
         (OR b+K)                          and flip kick


FC, d/f+P          20      13  3   22  M   Lifting Palm, aka
                                           the infamous UpKn   A,P,K    S
d/f,d/f+P          20      23  4   18  M   Lunging Knife Hand
                                           (aka LgKn)          A,P,K    S
f+P                19      11  2   21  M   Elbow strike        A,P      S
d/b+P              14      19  3   22  H   Overhead elbow      A,P,K    S

f+K                19      15  2   15  M   Snap kick           A,P      S
FC, release+K      40      14  4   30  M   Heel kick           A,P      S
K+G                30-50   24  6   24  H   Crescent kick                S
d+K+G              20-35   24  6   32  L   Sweep                        C
u/b+K              40      20  2   34  M   Flip kick                    S
f,d+K              30      21  3   30  L   Double-footed sweep
                                           aka Sliding Tackle  A        C


Lau's Throws       Damage  Recvr Opp's Rec Description         Escape
-----------------  ------  ----- --------- ------------------  ------
P+G                40      109    Ground   Waterwheel Drop     P+G
b,f+P              60      164    Ground   Face Grab           Nil
b+P                50      98     Ground   Shoulder Drop       Nil
b,d+P+G            10      59      93      Stumble Throw       Nil


Lau's Pounces           Damage  Exe Hit Rec Lvl Description
----------------------  ------  --- --- --- --- --------------------------
d/f+K                   15      21  8   51  G   Foot Stomp
u+P                     30      32  7   60  G   Single Flying Stomp
u+P                     --      32  7   23  -   Single Flying Stomp (miss)
U+P  (first stomp)      25      33  6   --  G
     (second stomp)     15      90  6   59  G   Double Flying Stomp
U+P                     --      33  6   29  -   Double Flying Stomp (miss)


* HIT LEVELS AND BLOCKING *

There are three attack levels in the game (not counting aerial and ground)
- high, middle and low; and two defensive positions - standing and
crouching.  Basically, high attacks will only hit standing non-defenders,
mid attacks hit crouching characters and standing non-defenders, and low
attacks hit standing characters and crouching non-defenders.

In table form:

Attack                  HIGH      MID       LOW         CAN BE THROWN BY
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Standing Vulnerable     Hit       Hit       Hit         All
Crouching Vulnerable    Missed    Hit       Hit         Jeff/Wolf/Dural
Standing Defending      Blocked   Blocked   Hit         All
Crouching Defending     Missed    Hit       Blocked     Jeff/Wolf/Dural

Notice that I use the term "vulnerable" instead of "non-defender".  This
is because there are times where you can be holding the Guard button and
still not be in a defensive position (while you are in move recovery, for
example).

How can you attack a standing defender?  By using either low attacks, or
standing throws.  Hit crouching defenders using mid-level attacks.  Jeffry
and Wolf have the added advantage of being able to throw crouchers.  Pai
can cartwheel over a crouching opponent, but it is not as advantageous as
Wolf's or Jeffry's anti-croucher throws.  Also, certain moves, when hitting
a crouching opponent, will cause them to stagger.  See STAGGERS, later.

The GamestMook VF2 Act 1 mentions that a defending character, when hit by
an attack of the appropriate level, will take less damage than when in the
same position but not defending.  Eg, a kickflip that hits a crouching
defender will do less damage than to a crouching non-defender.


* PRACTICAL USAGE OF THE "G" BUTTON *

When beginners play Virtua Fighter, they see three buttons:  one Punch, one
Kick, and one that they have NO idea how to use - Guard (also known as
Defense, but we use Guard to avoid confusion with Down notations).  What in
the world is a Guard button for!?

Most of the time, people who start playing Virtua Fighter also have some
basic knowledge in SF2-type 2D fighting games.  So when playing VF2, they
will tend to hold down/back as a defensive position.  This mistake is hard
to correct, as it is an instinctive action.  But against good VF2 players,
the SF2 block syndrome spells instant disaster.

To block, hold the Guard button.  It's that simple.  Well, no it isn't.
As you have seen from the table in the previous section, no one defensive
position is completely safe from assault.  Blocking in VF2 requires good
knowledge of the opponent's attacks' hit levels.  This is not too difficult
to learn, as most attacks can be seen to aim at their respective hit levels
very prominently.  (There are other not-so-obvious attacks - later.)
    So simply, to block standing, hold Guard and leave the joystick either
in neutral, forward or backwards.  To block crouching, hold Guard with the
joystick in any of the down positions.  Yes, even down/forward.

The mechanics of VF2 are such that all characters have a very substantial
array of attacks designed to hit crouching defenders.  The instinct to
crouch and Guard against every single attack also must be overcome.  The
consequences of stubbornly crouch defending are most evident during a match
of a novice player against a beginner Akira.  The Akira player will just try
to dashing elbow all over the place.  When the novice player panics and sets
his Guard and starts crouching, Akira's elbow strikes will cause the novice
to stagger.  If Akira is slightly slow with the repeated elbows, the novice
will _continue_ to stagger all the way until RO or KO.

(The correct way of blocking Akira's dashing elbow, a mid-level attack,
and any mid-level attack is - you guessed it - to stand and hold Guard.)

Obviously, it's not a good idea to stay upright defending all the time,
either.  Through experience, and fighting with other people, you will
learn when to block high and when to block low, and when you shouldn't be
blocking but should be attacking instead, or moving.

The Guard button is also employed in movement.  When you dash forwards or
backwards using doubletaps, you can hit the G button to stop yourself
before moving the entire length of the dash.  If you hit and hold the G
button during a dash, you will instantly come to a standing block position.
You can also stop in the middle of a RUN by using the G button.  Use G taps
during movement to fine-tune your positioning, which is crucial when it
comes down to whether you avoid your opponent's attack, or are forced to
block it.

One other function of the Guard button is the much-hyped Guard-cancel.  In
this game, there are certain strings of moves that are executed by specific
strings of button presses.  The most obvious example is the PPPK series,
which Kage, Lau, Sarah and Pai have, and to a certain extent, Jacky as
well.  Tapping G in the middle of the sequence, say after two punches, and
hitting the third P and the subsequent K, will end up with the character
punching twice, then doing a punch-kick.

The G-cancel, if employed before any pre-defined series of moves (eg PPPK)
is finished, will allow the move to recover slightly faster.  A popular use
of the G-cancel is in Sarah's elbow stagger-kickflip sequence.  Against a
crouching enemy, Sarah throws an elbow which staggers the opponent.  The
Sarah player then taps G, u/b+K for the kickflip.  This allows the kickflip
to execute with minimal delay after the elbow.  To kickflip without the
G-cancel, Sarah must delay the kickflip command slightly, resulting in a
kickflip that is slower by a handful of frames.  (If without the G-cancel,
Sarah does not delay the kickflip, she will perform a backflip without a
kick, due to the lingering potential for the elbow-knee.)
    Jacky's elbow stagger-kickflip sequence is similar, but his kickflip,
unlike his sister's, has a "built-in" G-cancel.  Jacky's kickflip can be
done by hitting u/b+K+G instead of u/b+K.  It is the same move; in fact,
all situations requiring Jacky to kickflip can be done with the u/b+K+G.
(Sarah, if attempting to use the u/b+K+G, will backflip instead of
kickflip.)  Thus, Jacky can just elbow stagger a crouching opponent, then
tap u/b+K+G for the followup kickflip, eliminating the need for a separate
G-cancel.  On the other hand, if Jacky does NOT G-cancel the kickflip after
the elbow, either by tapping G before or with the kickflip, the u/b+K will
produce Jacky's heelkick instead.

Some of Lau's fighting tactics also involve the G-cancel function, though
it may not be that evident to the observer.


* COUNTERS, RECOVERY AND RECOVERY POSITION *

What is a counter?  Basically, it refers to hitting your opponent with an
attack, during a part of his move.  Hitting the opponent before his move's
hit detection begins, or while his hit detection is active, is called a Major
Counter.  (Hitting as a Major Counter is more commonly referred to as
interrupting the attack, or simply an interrupt.)  Hitting the opponent
during his move's recovery phase is called a Minor Counter.  Throws can also
register as Major or Minor Counters.
    Major Counter attacks register a substantially larger amount of damage
than the normal attack value.  Minor Counters also register more damage than
normal, but slightly less in comparison.  Knockdown moves that hit as a
counter will also float opponents higher than normal, possibly for a good
floater combo.
    Generally a major counter hit will do 1.5 times more damage, and a
minor counter hit will do 1.25 times.  For more accurate details on counter
damage, see the Akira FAQ on Part II, (3) Misc Information, under Damage.

"Counterable" and "uncounterable" normally refer to the ability of the
opponent to get free hits after blocking an attack (as a minor counter, ie.
hitting while you are still in move recovery).  Akira's double palm, when
blocked, can be countered with a throw, a punch-kick or any power move.
Akira's double palm is thus considered counterable by all characters.  His
dashing elbow (f,f+P), though, is uncounterable when blocked.  Even the
fastest attacks of any character cannot touch Akira as a counter after his
dashing elbow.
    Akira's single dashing palm, though, can be counterattacked by
everybody's PK except Jeffry and Wolf - the two heavies' punches are a
frame too slow to counter the single palm.

During your opponent's move recovery, as the attacker you have two things
to note - one, whether you have enough time to counterattack;  and two,
which body position the opponent recovers in, either standing or crouching.
It is obviously a waste of time trying to PK Pai after her d+K+G low sweep.
The recovery position is especially important when deciding how to punish a
missed attack.  You can't pull a standing throw on Kage after his rolling
sweep, either...

I will attempt to cover in depth about recovery positions when discussing
tactics against other human players.


* WHAT'S STANDING/CROUCHING GOT TO DO WITH THROWS? *

This is obvious... a standing throw can only be pulled off on a standing
character.  Likewise, a crouching throw can only be pulled off on a
croucher.  Most characters do not have a crouch throw, which is a privelege
that only belongs to Jeffry, Wolf and Dural (see the table under HIT LEVELS
AND BLOCKING, above, for a tabular representation).

It technically takes 20 frames for a character to go from a standing
position to a crouching position.  The first ten frames, the character is
still considered to be a standing character for the purposes of throwing.
Only in the second ten frames is he considered to be crouching.  If you
throw a low punch or kick, you will be _instantly_ in a crouching position.
This can make the difference between getting thrown and staying alive.
Similar but not quite as useful, is the fact that if you throw a normal
punch, you can also instantly stand from a crouch position.

Now, here's where it gets interesting.  When you tap f,f or b,b, for a
forward or backward dash, you will automatically be standing.  Similarly,
if at any time you engage a low dash, you will automatically be crouching.
this is the reason why some people seem to get standing throws just after
the opponent low punches - the opponent tapped f,f to close in, unwittingly
standing in throw range.


* MORE ABOUT THROWS *

The basic throw that every character will have is the P+G throw.  In Lau's
case, this is his Waterwheel Drop that Sarah escapes out of in the game's
introduction.

The simple P+G throw is the easiest throw to execute, not requiring any
joystick motions.  However, the throw victim can escape the throw by
hitting P+G within 10 frames of execution of the P+G throw.  In Lau's case,
the escaped Waterwheel Drop switches the positions of the fighters around
180 degrees, and both fighters recover at the same time.

With the exception of Jeffry's Body Press (b+P+G;  b+P+G to escape), all
other complex throws cannot be escaped from.  However, it is important to
note that the P+G throw has priority over all other throws, if the proper
throw conditions are satisfied.  Meaning, if Lau happens to hit P+G at the
same time that Kage goes for b+P, Lau will end up throwing Kage.

Complex throw instructions can be entered while holding the Guard button,
but the final direction+buttonpress must be entered with Guard released.
For example, in the instance of Lau's b,f+P Face Grab, G can be held while
buffering the back component.  G must be released prior to hitting f+P,
though, otherwise the throw will not execute.  This is true for all
characters in the game - Jeffry's backbreaker can also be done this way.

Evidently, when the opponent is attacking, he cannot be thrown while his
attack is executing (unless the attack is the type that "dodges" first; for
example, Sarah's dodge-punch can be thrown while she is dodging to the
side), and during the hit detection.  You can only throw the opponent
during the recovery stages of his move.


* FOOT POSITION *

There are two types of foot positions, or stances:  closed and open.  These
are represented below:

                CLOSED                              OPEN

       <Player A>===<Player B>          <Player A>========<Player B>

     (L           (R                  (L                            R)
                 R)           L)                  R)    (L

Basically, at the closest range possible in either stance, the two players
will be closest together in CLOSED stance (due to foot overlapping), and
further away from each other in OPEN stance.  This is why it is more
difficult to throw an opponent while in open stance.

Some mid-level attacks which have notoriously short range, like Lau's elbow
and lifting palm, will entirely miss against a crouching defender in open
stance.  This is why it is more advantageous for Lau (and most players) to
maintain a closed stance while on the offense, and try to keep an open
stance while on defense.

There are ways, however, to get around the open stance "minimum safety
distance" problem, though.  One way is to use the run-and-stumble method
(detailed below, in MOVEMENT) to bring the bodies especially close, even in
closed stance (though I suspect that the constant foot position change
while running has something to do with it).  The alternative is to switch
stances, which is not an easy task when using Lau.  If anyone comes up with
a better way to close the minimum separation in open stance, let me know.


* THE IMPORTANCE OF THE LOW PUNCH *

In Singapore, the low punch is an essential part of VF2 gameplay.  Low
punches are short and weak, but fast.  At close range, low punches can
interrupt most moves designed to hit crouchers, such as sidekicks and
elbows.

Low punches are normally used as harrassment, and also a starting point for
bigger attacks.  One of the most common uses of the low punch harrassment
is the low punch-elbow sequence popularised by Kage players (who tend to
over-rely on stagger, PK and sweep).  Similarly, Lau can also use this form
of harrassment.

Other low punch-xxx techniques include low punch-throw, low punch-sliding
tackle, low punch-sidekick.  But perhaps the most important implications
of the low punch is that Lau is crouching and ready to go into a lifting
palm sequence.  Be warned, though;  the low punch-xxx does not guarantee
execution of the following move.  It is still possible to be interrupted
before your follow-up attack fully materialises.

As mentioned above in the section on throws, low punching is one way to get
out of standing throws before the opponent can pull the throw.  As a low
punch makes the player crouch instantaneously, he is no longer in the
standing throw-vulnerable position.

The true power of the low punch is only evident when your opponent totally
clams up under a close-up barrage.  Once he stops trying to attack your low
punch sequence, you're basically free to do anything - move up and b,f+P!
The low punch is one way with which you take the initiative away from your
opponent - by creating the illusion that he must block.  Once your opponent
takes the defensive stance, then you're free to do all sorts of funny
things to him, depending on his block position.


* MOVEMENT *

There are several different types of movement techniques that you should
attempt to master.  Dashing is done by a double tap in either the back or
forward direction, and running is done by double tap forwards and hold
forward, from long distance.  You can control the distance of the dash,
limiting it by tapping the Guard button to stop short.

Inching is done by holding the joystick in the forward or backward
direction.  An interesting feature of inching is that if you inch while
the opponent is getting off the ground, you will automatically switch foot
positioning to match a closed stance formation.  This is particularly
advantageous when pressing the attack.

VF2 allows your character to run forward without much restriction, except
when facing an opponent.  Upon reaching 3 metres (game distance) of the
opponent, the running character will immediately slow to inching movement.
At this distance, it is still much too far to attack.  The way around this
is to release the joystick, somewhere just before the 3 metre mark, causing
the running character to stumble into a stop, but in this case _much_
closer to the opponent (usually within throw range).  This is known as the
run-and-stumble method of movement.
    This technique is still in frequent use, mainly employed as a means to
do running throws from a distance.  Of course, when the opponents start
attempting to duck when you run in, you know it's time to rush in with the
elbows...

Crouching movement is seldom used because it seems slower than normal
standing movement.  In a way, it is - you can't do a crouch run.  8)  But
I'll try to explain the basics anyway.

Take a forward dash and analyze it.  The motion is scripted as f,f.  But
your joystick will physically hit forward, neutral, forward.  A crouch dash
is similar to the standing dash, except that everything is done in the
vertical position of "down" instead of "neutral".  So to execute a forward
crouch dash, the joystick should hit down/for, down, down/for.  A crouch
dash looks like a little squatting hop forward (or back), where the
character st-ret-ches his legs to move while staying low.
    Remember, though;  at all times that the character is crouch dashing,
he is considered a crouching vulnerable/non-defender.  And also susceptible
to crouch throws, even halfway during a crouch dash.  You can still use the
G button to fine-tune distances with the crouch dash, as with the standing
dash.

Regular inching can also be done when crouching, by holding d/f or d/b
(without holding Guard).  But I haven't seen any character change stance
automatically while in a crouching position yet (without doing any moves).


* THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GREEN AND PURPLE LAU *

Is there a difference? you might wonder.  And the answer is, in VF2, yes.
The Green (Dragon) Lau will float his opponents higher than the Purple
(Tiger) Lau.  So what difference does that make?

The "classic" 7-hit stagger float combo (detailed later) can only be done
by the Green Lau.  When attempted by the Purple Lau, the second part of the
combo will not connect.  Similiarly, most m-UpKn float combos will fail
when using Purple Lau, as his opponents hit the floor sooner.

This bug is fixed in VF2.1, making both Laus equally deadly, but whether by
reducing the overall float power or increasing Purple's to match Green's, I
don't know.  This FAQ only details fighting in VF2.  If VF2.1 ever appears,
I will probably consider writing a VF2.1 version.  8)



-------------
MOVE ANALYSIS
-------------

In this section, Lau's significant moves are discussed.  I will attempt to
go into as much detail of the move's usage as possible, where possible.

* BASIC MOVES *

High punch (P)
    This is one of the moves that you use to set up for a bigger attack.  A
single high punch always recovers very fast, so use it to preceed a bigger
attack.  Sequences such as punch-throw work brilliantly, although a better
attack for the opponents who reflexively duck when they see a punch, is
punch, G-cancel, sidekick.  The single punch has the fastest execution time
in Lau's entire arsenal (so see Punch-kick and PPK for info on reactive
countering).

High kick (K)
    The high kick is one move that is entirely underused.  It is a fast
high-level attack that guarantees a knockdown.  What is different about
Lau's kick from the others', is that the next punch following the kick is
automatically a lifting palm (AutoPalm).  This is very useful when the
single kick hits as a major counter - the AutoPalm will start off the float
combo without you having to execute complex motions.  See later for more on
lifting palms.

Low punch (d+P)
    Most of the advantages of the low punch have been discussed above, in
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE LOW PUNCH.

Low kick (d+K)
    Having more range than a low punch, the low kick is also an ideal
jabbing attack when you're trying to get the opponent to part with his last
ounce of life.  However, the recovery from the low kick also means that
moves following it have a much higher chance of getting interrupted by the
opponent.

Sidekick (d/f+K)
    Another generic move, Lau's sidekick hits mid-level and will stagger
crouching opponents.  Lau's sidekick is considered somewhat safe, as its
recovery time is 25 frames.  Technically, only Kage, Sarah and Pai can
counter Lau's blocked sidekick.
    The sidekick should be used at about medium range.  What range?  Well,
if you look at the space between the characters when they first start out,
that should be about right.  Remember, against the other characters, Lau's
sidekick is uncounterable, so make sure that your sidekick either connects
or is blocked at medium range.  A missed sidekick at that range is open to
quick retaliation or a throw, so make them at least block that sidekick.
    More often than not, if Lau's sidekick results in a (interrupt)
knockdown, it's quite possible to tag on a quick P,P,P,d+K for extra float
damage.  Against lighter characters you might want to try d/f+P combos, or
possibly P,P,P,K instead.

Pounces (u+P, U+P and d/f+K)
    There are certain circumstances in which you should use the double
flying pounce, the single flying pounce, and the standing ground stomp.
This mostly has to do with your opponent's body position while on the
ground, the attack which grounded him, and how he is struggling to get up.
    The second stomp of the double flying pounce can be escaped by the
opponent if Lau is stomping on his legs, simply by pressing Up and tapping
P to get up.  The victim will do a handspring and escape the subsequent
pounce.  Thus, it is better (most of the time) to use the single pounce if
the opponent knows how to escape.  You should do a double pounce when:  Lau
is stomping on the victim's chest or head area.  Kipping (handspring) won't
help the victim on the floor.
    If you think the victim will recover in time to escape the pounce, move
forward and do a standing stomp instead.  This reduces the risk of having
the opponent roll to the side and get up _behind_ Lau (after a missed
flying pounce).
    Note:  there are certain circumstances where it is difficult to execute
an u+P or U+P pounce, namely after most heavy Lau kicks.  This is because
the next punch button pressed is programmed to execute a lifting palm.  To
avoid getting the lifting palm when you attempt the pounce after a kick,
instead of tapping u+P, use u+P+G.  This will prevent the palm from
executing, and give you your pounce instead.


* SPECIAL MOVES *

Punch-kick and PPK
    A single punch is any character's fastest attack.  In the same vein, a
punch-kick should therefore be the fastest sure knockdown combo.  As such,
the generic punch-kick is the standard by which we measure the after-block
"counterability" of a move.  If you can punch-kick counter against a
blocked move, then that move is considered counterable (for standing
position).
    In normal usage, the punch-kick is a standard combo.  If the punch
connects, then the kick will.  Lau's PPK is special in that it will combo
against MOST characters if the first punch lands, except against the two
gals, Sarah and Pai.  The interesting thing about the PPK is that after
blocking certain moves of Pai and Sarah, some can be countered using PPK
and some must be countered with PK alone.  Details of countering opponents'
moves are discussed later.
    If the opponent manages to block the first punch, then he will be
forced to block the kick if it is a PK attack.  After blocking the kick,
the opponent has LOTS of room to punish you back, so try not to carelessly
loose Lau's punch-kick.  Whereas in the PPK, the last kick is uncounterable
so if blocked, it is not a problem.  However, with the PPK, the problem
lies in the fact that if the opponent blocks the first two punches, he can
duck _under_ the kick, and punish at will.
    I'd recommend that the PK and the PPK only be used during sure-hit
situations.  It's quite dangerous to carelessly throw them out.  Until you
are certain that you can react fast enough to venture two punches and can
decide on the kick when the punches hit, use them only for punishment and
elbow staggers.
    (See also the DnKnPK series, under Knife Hand below)

Knife Hand (d/f+P)
    The d/f+P knife hand (from standing), or DnKn, is not normally a safe
move to use alone.  The minimum that you should consider when throwing a
DnKn is to DnKnP (knife and punch).  The DnKn hits mid-level, but it will
not do damage against a crouching opponent.  Instead, it will force the
croucher into a standing position for the following series of punches to
hit.  Thus, if the croucher was defending, he will just be forced by the
DnKn to stand, but take no actual damage (unless Guard was released).
    The most common application of the DnKn series is the DnKnPK.  As the
DnKn is considered the first punch in the PP* series, DnKnPK is quite
similar to the PPK.  However, there are subtle differences between the two.
(Also note that you cannot DnKnK - there is no DnKn equivalent for the PK.)
    The most obvious difference is that the DnKnPK will hit crouching non-
defenders while PPK will simply fly over the croucher's head.  Evidently,
against Sarah and Pai, the kick in PPK tends to get blocked or ducked even
when the first two punches hit.  However, DnKnPK will combo all the way
if the DnKn hits.  The problem with this is that DnKn execution is likely
not fast enough to be used as a counter against most moves.
    DnKnP is one of the "safer" moves to throw out, as the second punch
recovers in 14 frames.  Much safer than throwing a single DnKn (which seems
to take an eternity to recover).  It is also easier to tell whether to add
on the kick or not (add the kick if the DnKn hits, not if blocked), due to
the slightly slower execution of the DnKnP in comparison to the PP(K).
    Because the recovery from the DnKnP is so short, following the DnKnP
with another DnKnP (with a G-cancel in-between) is almost as irritating as
Akira's double dashing elbow.  (This is one of the "first-generation" Lau
attacks used in Japan.)  Only quick attacks can break the series; slower
attacks will get caught by the second knife hand (probably with another
punch and kick tagged on for a knockdown).

Lunging Knife (d/f,d/f+P)
    The lunging knife covers a lot of distance in the 23 frames before its
connection.  Best used as a mid-range attack, the lunging knife has the
advantage of being able to HIT crouching defenders instead of merely
forcing them into a standing position.  If the lunging knife connects as an
interrupt, it will float the opponent for an aerial combo.
    Like the lifting palm, the LgKn does not count as the first punch in
the PP* series.  Thus, LgKnPPPK will give the lunging knife, three running
punches and a crescent kick.
    Due to its lengthy execution time, the LgKn is not a good attack to use
at close range.  All characters can PK Lau out of the LgKn with good
reflexes.  It is, however, very useful against overly defensive opponents.
    The LgKnP, except for the execution, is otherwise identical to the
UpKnP, and can actually be used to initiate the UpKnP-xxx series of attacks
from a distance.

Lifting Palm (FC,d/f+P) and the AutoPalm
    The d/f+P from crouching position will produce the lifting palm, or
UpKn.  Beginners often have a problem with the punches following the palm.
To make sure you don't get stuck in the would-you-like-a-drink? posture,
be sure to release or move the joystick from the d/f position after the
palm command is executed, ie. after you hit the first P.  Same with the
DnKn, too.
    The lifting palm, like the knife hand, will force a crouching opponent
into a standing position.  Thus, the UpKnPPP will force even a crouching
defender quite a large distance backwards.  See the RO potential?
    The lifting palm, unlike the knife hand, will float the opponent if
it connects as an interrupt (major counter).  The DnKn will not float an
opponent except during a stagger - see Elbow.  Also, like the lunging
knife, the UpKn does NOT count as the first punch of the PP* series,
meaning that UpKnP refers to the UpKn followed by the _first_ single punch
of the punch series.  Thus, UpKnPPPK will give you the UpKn, three punches
and a crescent (while the DnKn equivalent is DnKnPPK - DnKn, two more
punches and crescent).
    The UpKn is one of Lau's more important moves, just because of its huge
float potential.  Any interrupted move and the lifting palm is true to its
name - the victim is lifted into the air for a very meaty float combo.  The
basic float combo for Lau would be the UpKnPPPK, where the UpKn starts the
float and the rest drains the lifebar.  8)
    The basic usage of the UpKn would be with a single following punch, ie.
UpKnP.  As the UpKn is not part of the PP* series, the P following the UpKn
is the same as a normal single punch.  Thus, the UpKnP has the effective
recovery speed of a single punch - 10 frames!  Quick followups to the UpKnP
are therefore extremely unlikely to be interrupted.  More UpKnP usage and
other followups will be discussed later in PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER I.
    The UpKnPPK is equivalent to a PPK except for the preceeding UpKn.
Because of this, it suffers the same problems against Sarah and Pai - the
K can be avoided by the two gals, even if the UpKnPP hits (not floating).
Against other characters, though, the UpKnPPK will combo as effectively as
the PPK.
    Lau's kicks have an interesting feature - most knockdown kicks, less
the flipkick, will cause the next P hit to become an UpKn automatically,
hence the term AutoPalm.  Versus the CPU, on Lau's or Sarah's stage, try
a single kick (which should, thanks to the programming, connect as a major
counter), then hit punch once.  This punch should produce the automatic
lifting palm.
    This feature will work even if the knockdown kick did not hit as a
major counter.  The hopping roundhouse and Cartwheel kick will also result
in the AutoPalm, as will the kick in PPK.

Overhead Elbow Strike (d/b+P)
    Like the Knife Hand, the Overhead elbow is considered the first attack
of the PP* series.  Lau rears back a little and comes down with the elbow
strike.  This move can avoid certain attacks if timed right, but overall
doesn't provide that much advantage.  Having the same reversable property
as any other high punch, I don't recommend usage of this move at all.

PPPK series and Variants
    Lau's PPPK variants (including the DnKn~ series) all have one major
drawback - the recovery of all three possible kicks after the third punch
is very, very vulnerable.  Against an opponent whose feet are still on the
ground (not floating yet), the only two viable end kicks are the sweep
which hits low, and the flipkick which hits mid-level.  Even if the three
punches connect, the opponent will still be able to block whichever kick
you attempt.  Thus, throwing out that last kick is a very risky thing.
    The advantage of the series is that you can actually delay the string
of moves almost anywhere along the line.  In fact, PPP, delay, d+K sweep is
a viable trick that still catches seasoned players off-guard once in a
while.
    The PPPK series is best used as a tag-on to a float sequence,
especially after a floating lifting palm.  In most float cases, only the
high sweep (PPPK) and the low sweep (PPPd+K) are used.  The PPP(b OR u/b)+K
should not be used during a float, due to the limited forward range of the
flipkick.  Also with regards to floating, both the PPPK and the PPPd+K will
fling the opponent off to the side.  If you want the opponent to fly
straight and farther, then use the two punches and straight kick instead
(PPK).

Elbow (f+P)
    Jacky has an elbow-heelkick combo.  Sarah has an elbow-knee combo.
Akira's dashing elbows are his major weapon.  But for Lau (and to a certain
extent, Kage), the one and only purpose of the elbow is to stagger his
opponent.
    Staggering is very important to Lau.  After an elbow stagger, a PPK (PK
against Sarah and Pai) is a guaranteed followup, much like Kage's elbow
stagger-punch-kick.  This is the most basic stagger combo that you should
learn.  This basic combo is also the only way to hit someone who is good at
struggling out of the elbow stagger.  (Against Dural, elbow stagger-PK will
also work.)
    But you get more fun out of those people who don't manage to struggle
out in time.  If, while the opponent is still staggering, Lau hits him with
another elbow, single kick, or sidekick, the opponent will be knocked down.
But if you connect with a knife hand or lifting palm instead, the opponent
will be floated high enough for Lau to land a PPPK combo or variant.
    The classic Lau elbow stagger float is:
elbow (stagger), DnKn, P, P, (natural pause), P, P, P, d+K; holding forward
after the DnKn will help.
    The "natural pause" there is the recovery period of the second P after
the DnKn.  Joji has mentioned that tapping G after this punch will speed
things up a fraction, but personally, I find that both G-cancel and no
G-cancel work fine.  Use whatever you're comfortable with.
    Some other Lau floats will be discussed later.  Joji has mentioned a
handful of fantastic floats that even I can't pull off, so I'm not going to
post a complete list.

Low Sweep (d+K+G)
    One of the basic moves taken from Lau's VF arsenal, the sweep is still
a knockdown move that does substantial damage.  This move will definitely
leave Lau vulnerable crouching for a handful of frames, 2 frames longer
than the Sliding Tackle.  If the opponent happens to block the sweep, then
Lau is open to at least an elbow retaliation.
    The advantage of this move over the sliding tackle is that it cannot be
reversed low by Akira.  If the sweep knocks down, foot stomp the opponent;
never pounce after a sweep.  The opponent will very likely get up in time
to punish you.
    There is only one other advantage to using the sweep over the tackle,
but it is a situational advantage, one which I will probably discuss later
in RISING ATTACKS AND OKIZEME.

Heelkick (FC, release stick+K)
    This move is as fast as a sidekick, hits crouchers and is a guaranteed
knockdown move.  Frankly speaking, I only use this to take out jumping
opponents, and that's when I don't think I can smack them with an aerial
combo.  Gamest recommends using this move to counter certain blocked low
attacks, though.
    Tested this under controlled circumstances:  the heelkick cannot hit
crouching _blockers_ in open stance.  It will only hit a crouching blocker
at _very_ close range in closed stance, so be careful about throwing this
move against people who block more than they attack.  Also remember that
Lau's heelkick is counterable by alert opponents.
    Possible usage of this move could be to attack those opponents that
like to use low punches excessively (like Kage).  Unlike the sidekick and
elbow, Lau does not step forward when doing the heelkick, making it much
less likely to be interrupted by the low punch barrage.
    Anybody with a better way to use this attack, please feedback, thanks.

Sliding Tackle (f,d+K)
    At last, Lau is granted a move that hits low, knocks down his opponent
and doesn't have a horrendous recovery.  This move has pretty long range,
good priority and good damage.  A major counter hit with the tackle can
occasionally result in a float high enough to combo (!) with a P,P,P,d+K.
    The tackle's recovery is not perfect, but almost (close to Sarah's
elbow-knee recovery, but low).  Definitely fast enough to land a pounce
after a knockdown, though.  The range of this attack is long enough to
catch a rising attack from just outside sweep range, but the timing must be
anticipatory, as the tackle takes 21 frames to execute.
    During execution of the move, rolling the joystick from front to down
is acceptable;  the command detection is quite forgiving for this move.
    A better usage of the tackle would be to catch people who like to run
in with throws.  Because of the range, (Lau actually moves a little forward
first) the distance at where the opponent can get caught is actually quite
far.
    The down side of this attack is that it can be reversed low by Akira.
Any player with good reflexes can just elbow back after blocking, and Lau
will stagger.  Worse, if immediately after blocking, Akira looses a single
palm, Lau will go flying backwards on his butt... and probably eat an SPoD.

K+G Crescent
    This move should only be used to humiliate not-so-good players, or to
take out jumping opponents from a substantial distance.  The execution of
this move is a very slow 24 frames, but its recovery is also 24, making it
uncounterable after being blocked.  (However, most people who can see it
coming will duck, then punish you for it.)
    The Crescent kick can also be used, at extreme distance, to take out
those players who like to approach with PPP from a distance.  Time it
nicely and I doubt that you'll see them come back for more.
    Overall, not a very useful move.

u/b+K Flip kick
    This move can take out low punching opponents at close range.  However,
the timing for this must be anticipatory.  The flip kick's execution of 20
frames makes it quite unsuitable for punishing missed or blocked moves.
You might want to throw this in now and then if the close-in combat is
getting hot with low attacks.  The damage done is quite satisfactory, but
hitting with this move is a matter of luck.
    Also, the recovery of this move, at 34 frames, leaves Lau open for a
throw or a PK.  Definitely not a move that you would consider using often
against a good player.

Hop kicks and Variants
    There are four variants of the hop kick that you will probably want to
use.  Most prominent are the Cartwheel kick (u/f+K), Hopping Roundhouse
(u/f+K+G), Hop Kicks I & II (u+K or K while ascending; both are similar
except for the execution delay), and the Hopping Sweep (K while
descending).
    The main usage of the hop kick would be to punish anticipated sweeps
such as Sarah's turning low sweep (while her back is facing Lau).  Against
an opponent on the ground, hopping kicks are only good when the opponent is
known to rise with low sweeps, or without any attacks.  Vary the hopping
attacks between the Sweep and the others, but try not to attempt the Sweep
too often, as its recovery is horrible.

Hop Knife
    So far, there's not much use for the hop knife except when close up,
due to the move's blatant lack of forward range.  The only known benefit to
using this move is that it will knockdown if it connects.  However, if you
don't hit (or at least get it blocked), Lau is open to counterattack.

f+K Snap kick
    I have not found any good use for this move.  Anyone with a good use
for it, please contribute.  The only interesting thing to note is that this
move is supposedly reversed high, whereas Pai's similar counterpart is
reversed mid.


* THROWS *

P+G Waterwheel Drop
    As mentioned under the MORE ABOUT THROWS section, the P+G throw is very
useful.  All of Lau's throws are likely to switch sides with the opponent.
The P+G, escaped or not, brings Lau to the other side of the opponent.  One
of the safest ways to switch sides if you have a side-specific joystick
problem.
    The P+G is best used offensively in situations where throws are not
expected;  if your opponent can see a throw coming, he will probably be
hitting P+G to try to escape your P+G throw.  In cases where your throw is
being expected, it would be better to use a complex throw like the b+P
Shoulder Drop instead.
    Defensively, a P+G has two advantages - in a case where both players
attempt a throw simultaneously, P+G will be given priority;  and a P+G
throw obviously doubles as a P+G escape, if you are slow.
    After a successful P+G, you can double pounce if your opponent is not
struggling.  If he struggles to get up, then single pounce will do.  If he
is really needling the buttons, then the foot stomp (d/f+K) is the safest
followup.  Since you pounce on his head, he can't kip up...

b+P Shoulder Drop
    The Shoulder Drop is the "complex" alternative to the P+G.  Having only
a single stick motion with a button, this throw is easier to pull off than
the other complex throws, and it is unescapable.  This is the best quick-
response throw to use, especially when your back is near the edge of the
ring.
    Lau ends up on the ground after this throw.  He can recover immediately
but not in time to add on a pounce.  This is another good position change
move in that the victim is dropped directly behind Lau, although the way he
gets up will change the angle slightly.
    Because Lau ends up on the ground, Lau loses the initiative when using
this throw - he cannot effectively pressure his opponent when his opponent
is rising.  Thus, try not to use this throw unless in a tight spot, or as
a finishing move.

b,f+P Face Grab
    This throw is quite useful because a missed throw doubles as an elbow.
So if you're close up, and you try this move, you will grab a standing
opponent or elbow a crouching one!  However, the throw is instantaneous
whereas the elbow has an execution time.  Thus you may find that in some
cases, the enemy was crouching when you hit b,f+P but managed to stand up
within the execution time to block your elbow.  Don't stand there stupidly
if this happens.  Either continue to fight or back off.
    The Face Grab does the most damage of all the four throws that Lau can
pull.  Besides that, it is also likely that you will swap directions after
the throw, but not exactly at 180 degrees.  Sometimes the screen will just
switch such that you are still on the same side as before the throw.
    This throw is similar to the P+G Waterwheel Drop in that you can pounce
immediately after the Grab.  Like the Waterwheel, double pounce on someone
who isn't struggling, single pounce on him if he's wiggling the stick, and
just foot stomp if he's struggling like crazy.  In this position Lau will
stomp on the head/chest area, and the victim cannot kip up to escape the
pounce.

b,d+P+G Stumble Throw
    This throw is Lau's equivalent to Pai's Stomach Throw and Akira's
Trip & Stumble.  Lau pushes the opponent's face into the ground, at an
angle, such that the opponent staggers to recover, giving Lau time for a
free strike.  Note that this throw can be done by rolling the joystick from
back to down, passing through b/d is all right.
    It has been mentioned that PPPK will connect solidly after this throw.
After controlled testing, it seems that the stance before the throw makes
a big difference when it comes to connecting with the PPPK.  Evidently,
if Lau pulls the throw in closed stance, then the third P and the K will
connect.  However, if Lau lands the throw from open stance, then the
opponent will get hit by the third punch but is able to block the kick (!).
    Also, Pai and Sarah will never get hit by the PPPK, either in closed or
open stance.
but personally, I am unconvinced as Sarah and Pai seem to be able to elude
the final blow.  The best followup to this throw would be either LgKnPPK or
UpKnPPK against male characters, and DnKnPK against Sarah and Pai.
    When playing against the CPU for Ranking Mode, though, this throw is
the best setup for the moves that you need to perform.  Other moves that
can connect after the throw include:  K+G, d+K+G, f,d+K, u/b+K, u/f+K,
u/f+K+G, heelkick.
    Against human players, only use this if you are (1) very sure of your
timing, and (2) if you have a definite opening.  The complex motions make
it harder to pull this throw as an instant punishment.  If you are not too
sure of your success rate, try using b,f+P instead.



-------------------------
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER I (LAU BASIC STRATEGY)
-------------------------

There are certain things that you should train to react to, such as
situations that Lau can take advantage of.  Things like missed attacks,
slow recovery attacks, and float opportunities.  There are also danger
situations and setups that you should be aware of, and only experience will
teach you to react in time.
In this section, I will attempt to cover basic fighting techniques and
tactics.  Any additional suggestions are always welcome.

* PUNISHING MISSED ATTACKS *

Your opponent's attacks can be classified into three categories - quick
recovery, average recovery and slow recovery.  Quick recovery moves are
mostly those "uncounterable when blocked" moves;  Average recovery refers
to moves that you have ample time to react to at close distance;  and Slow
recovery refers to those moves that give you plenty of time to come in at
mid range.

    Examples of each include:
Quick - Sarah's side hook kick, Akira's dashing elbow, Kage's sidekick,
        Pai's downward slap, Jacky's low backfist.
Average - Lau's low sweep, Knee attacks, Akira's Double Palm, Shun's triple
          punch, Wolf's low drop kick.
Slow - Sarah's rising knee, Kage's flying kicks, Akira's bodycheck, Pai
       and Lau's PPPK, Wolf's shoulder ram.

Punishing missed attacks depends on two factors - how far away you are in
relation to the recovery speed, and which position the opponent recovers in
(standing or crouching).  Basically, to punish a missed quick attack, you
must be very close, such that the attack just misses you.  An average
recovery attack will give you enough time to move in from about a dash
away.  A slow attack will enable you to move in from about one and a half
dash lengths to attack.

To punish a standing opponent, PPK (PK for Sarah and Lau) or DnKnPK if you
think you have time.  Add a pounce or move forward to stomp.  Do a throw
only if you don't want to push back the opponent, or if you want to change
your orientation.

Against a crouching recovery move, elbow if you are close enough, then
follow up with whatever you are familiar with when the opponent staggers.
At long range, sidekick the opponent, then use the stagger opportunity to
close the distance and gain attack initiative.

Against missed attacks that end up recovering in the air, such as missed
kickflips, don't hesitate!  Move in and PPPK, or use a float combo (m-UpKn
time!).  As long as the opponent hasn't touched the ground yet, he's wide
open.


* STAGGERS *

Staggering occurs when a crouching opponent is hit by an elbow, or a
sidekick that has a damage rating of 24 or less.  Jacky's sidekick (25
oints) will knockdown a croucher, as will Jeffry's and Wolf's (33 each).

The actual length of a normal stagger is not known.  But it is true that
you can struggle out of a stagger faster by wiggling the joystick and
hitting the buttons.  The fastest recommended method to struggle out of a
stagger is to circle the joystick rapidly, hold G and needle the P and K
buttons.  This way, you will get the most stick direction/buttonpress
entries in that short length of time.

However, there seems to be a minimum time for the stagger.  After Lau's
elbow stagger, the PK will always hit (if within range), no matter how hard
the character struggles.  This will also work against the CPU Dural, even
in Expert Mode, implying that there _is_ a definite minimum time for the
stagger.

When a character is staggering, he cannot be thrown.  (Joji also mentions
that in hit or block stun, the character cannot be thrown - he must have
recovered from the stun.)  What some players will do is delay for a
split-second before entering the throw command, so that the opponent will
be thrown just after he recovers from the stagger.

Certain attacks (I believe, attacks of damage rating 15 or more) will float
the opponent if they connect during the stagger.  The float by each attack
during the stagger is _always_ the same height for the same character - if
you get a float of a different height, then you hit the opponent after he
recovered from the stagger.

How to followup a stagger depends basically on two things - the recovery of
the staggering move, and the distance of the opponent.  This is why the
sidekick and elbow staggers must be treated slightly differently.

The following table is a list of possible followup moves to Lau's two
different staggers.

Key
0   -   Will not connect (blocked or fail)
5   -   Maybe (probably I haven't tested this.  Not recommended)
4   -   Opponent can struggle easily
3   -   Opponent can struggle, but difficult
2   -   Opponent can struggle, but very difficult
1   -   Sure-hit
<>  -   Recommended followup

                    Sidekick Stagger    Elbow Stagger
Followup Move       Close   Far         Close   Far         Remarks
-------------       -----   -----       -----   -----       ---------------
PK                  3       0           <1>     0           Short range
PPK                 <3>     0           <1>     5           Not vs Sarah/Pai
K                   4       0           2       0           AutoPalm will
                                                            not connect
Elbow               3       0           2       0           Short range
Sidekick            <3>     <4>         2       <3>         Keep enemy at
                                                            mid range
DnKn (to float)     4       0           3       4           Float time
m-UpKn (float)      3       0           <2>     4           Float time!

As the far sidekick stagger has no good followup, the best thing to do is
use the opportunity to close the distance.  Since the opponent will
probably recover in time to block most of your attacks, close in and try a
throw with Lau, timed to catch just after the enemy recovers from the
stagger.  (This won't be too successful if the opponent tries to attack
upon recovery, so be careful.)

After the elbow stagger, the DnKn is a good floating followup if the
opponent doesn't know how to struggle.  If the opponent doesn't struggle,
the DnKn,P,P,K (crescent) will work (float) even for the Purple Lau.  DnKn
is also the beginning of the "classic" elbow stagger combo mentioned
earlier, that works against lighter characters (and may not work against
Jacky) using the Green Lau, as follows:

elbow(stagger), DnKn,P,P, (pause or G-cancel), (hold forward)P,P,P,d+K.

The elbow will stagger; an immediate DnKnPP will float.  Doing a G-cancel
will speed up the pause slightly, and holding forward will increase the
depth of the second series of punches.  All of the DnKnPP will hit;  of the
second series, only the first and third punch, and the sweep, will connect,
making a total of seven hits.

Against light characters, Green Lau's elbow(stagger), DnKn, G, P,P,P,K will
also work.  But I think Purple Lau should stick to DnKn,P,P,K for damage.
If you want to push the opponent for a further distance, stick to DnKnPK to
make sure the opponent flies straight, instead of at an angle using the
crescent.


* BASIC TACTICS *

1 - Close-Up Tactics: Low Punch

Use the low punch when close in to engage your opponent, and to harrass him
until he makes a mistake.  Basic harrasment tactics involve a lot of low
punch infighting and good blocking.  Your main purpose is to either force
him to commit a move, or to gain an opening for your attack.

Good harrassment can mean that last little bit of lifebar.  After the enemy
gets off the ground, moving in as close as you can and repeatedly throwing
low punches will almost guarantee you a nibble (unless the opponent is
Akira with his low reversal, of course).  If you find that the opponent
knows how to escape the low punch onslaught unscathed, throw a low kick at
the retreating figure for a slightly longer range.

The most used options after a low punch are:  low kick, elbow, sidekick,
heelkick, UpKn, sliding tackle, throw, block.  Discussed in detail below:

a) low punch - low kick
    The low kick after a low punch is blockable, but not interruptable.
The low kick should be used as a stopper attack if the the opponent is
slightly out of range of the low punch.  This simple sequence is
uncounterable, making it ideal to pick off life with.  Also use this as a
stopper to cover a retreat if you're being over-pressured.
    Always try to make sure that your low kick is at least blocked,
otherwise you're likely to get crouch-thrown, elbowed or sidekicked to
death if you miss.  Best to go defensive for a moment after your low kick,
as most opponents will want to return blows.
    Against Akira, repeating this sequence is not recommended.  Instead,
try the elbow more often after consecutive low attacks... 8)
Hit    :  throw an elbow or UpKnP, block or back off.
Blocked:  best bet is to block standing, catch a breath, and see what the
          opponent is planning.

b) low punch - elbow
    This is the basic low-mid harrassment technique.  If the opponent is
trying to low punch back after your low punch, then your elbow will stagger
him (stagger followups!).  If the opponent attempts to block after the low
punch, then you will find that you need to move a little forward before
throwing the elbow.
    This technique does not work on Lion, due to the nature of his stance
and his low punch, which is likely to interrupt your elbow attempt.  In his
case, try to time the elbow (delay slightly) to hit his low punch instead
of his crouching block position.
Stagger:  do elbow stagger followups.
Hit    :  follow with another elbow.
Blocked:  block, or follow with another elbow or low punch.

c) low punch - sidekick
    If you are not close enough to throw a quick elbow, sidekick instead.
At closer ranges, the opponent's low punching can stop your sidekick.  If
the sidekick is blocked, then you must watch your opponent for his next
attempted move.  A favourite retaliation is to throw if he thinks you're
going to block after your sidekick is blocked, so either hit d+P, P+G, b+P
or an equivalent, if you see him coming (react fast!).
    This technique should be employed at a longer range than the low punch
- elbow, due to the fact that it is not uninterruptable.  Also due to the
required range, the low punch is not intended to hit, but to keep the
opponent at bay and guarding.  If your opponent won't be fooled by this,
close in and use another technique.
Stagger:  either P,P (add K if P,P hits) or close in with pressure move
          like the LgKnP, or move forward and b,f+P, or sidekick again.
Hit    :  follow up with a punch attack, another sidekick, or tackle.
Blocked:  be on your guard.  Block if you see an attack, low punch or throw
          first if you anticipate a throw.

d) low punch - heelkick
    This sequence is good against characters who will try and fight back
with a low punch game, possibly against Kage.  This is NOT good against
Akira and Pai who will probably be trying to reverse your lifting palm, and
catch your heelkick in the process.  The recovery on the heelkick is slow,
so be prepared to get countered if you don't connect.
    The heelkick is also no good against opponents who like to block all
the time.  It is only likely to hit a crouching blocker in a closed stance,
and at _very_ short range.  So use this move when you think the opponent is
gearing for a response to your low punch.
Hit    :  dash up and stomp, or move into position for oki-zeme.
Blocked:  prepare to get countered or thrown; tap d+P+G to attempt escape.


e) low punch - UpKn
    Or more accurately, low punch into UpKnP.  This basic sequence is a
starting point in Lau's floating technique.  It is quite important to get
the hang of only throwing out one more punch after the UpKn - Lau stays on
the offensive after making the opponent block the UpKnP.  A single UpKn by
itself is quite dangerous to use, though;  if it doesn't float, Lau loses
all initiative due to the long recovery time (and is more likely to be
countered if missed).
    If the UpKnP floats, following with a DnKnPK is a 98% sure floater
(even when using Purple Lau).  A DnKnPP with K or d+K should also be
possible after the UpKnP floats.  Use your judgement based on the enemy's
float height.
Float  :  float combo time!
Hit    :  if you're fast enough, tag on a PK (UpKnPPK).  If not, depending
          on how opponent reacts, low punch - UpKnP again, or move forward
          to b,f+P.  DnKnP is safe (add K if hit), or M-UpKnP if you can.
Blocked:  follow with DnKnP (add K if hit), elbow, sidekick.  More UpKnP
          stuff will be discussed under ADVANCED TACTICS.

f) low punch - sliding tackle
    Good in three situations:  when the opponent is unsure of how to block,
when the opponent is outside low punch distance but low punching anyway
(like a Kage who's afraid of the UpKn), and when the opponent is trying a
high attack, throw, or short-ranged mid attack.
    Be careful when the opponent is liable to throw mid attacks all the
time;  a sidekick can take you out of the tackle, and an elbow will stagger
if timed correctly.  Also try not to take this attack too close up.  Your
opponent is more likely to react in time to counter, if he blocks.
Hit    :  this move will knock down for sure.  Pounce, or PPPd+K if it hit
          as a major counter and floats high enough.
Blocked:  prepare to struggle out of a retaliatory elbow or single palm.
          If the opponent is not quick enough, then vary your block
          position;  some opponents will try to throw, while others will
          attempt to elbow late.  With experience you can avoid both...

g) low punch - throw
    Only do this when your opponent is very uncertain of retaliating, or is
trying to block your elbow.  If things look good and your opponent is not
moving, move up and b,f+P so that you get an elbow if he crouches.  If the
opponent is not that hesitant, venture a P+G or a b+P (quick throws).  At
worst you will be stuck with a high punch.
Thrown :  get into position to keep pressuring the opponent, or back off to
          grab a breather if you need one.
Missed :  keep up the pressure!  Best if you don't make it too obvious that
          you tried to throw, so you can try pulling it off again later.

h) low punch - block (or retreat)
    Especially when you're unsure of what your opponent is up to, block or
back off for a split second to take your bearings, then initiate another
attack.  Sometimes backing off for a sliding tackle can be very productive
during a low punch/small attack war.
    Also look out for Akiras who will pound you with elbows as soon as they
see you duck.  Throw a low punch, then block standing to see what they do.
If they elbow, you should be safe.  I will go into detail on how to deal
with Akira's dashing elbow technique later, under COMBAT CONQUEST: vs
AKIRA.
    Use the low punch - block as a delay technique, to draw an attack which
you can interrupt (delay very slightly, then throw a sidekick or a UpKnP
for potential floating, else a DnKnP is good enough).  You can also use
this to gauge the opponent's reaction to a low punch, then later use the
low punch as "bait", and deal accordingly.
    But bear in mind that a good opponent will use the opportunity to
recover and press his own attacks.  So don't pause too often.


2 - Close-Up Tactics: High punch

High punches are normally thrown when closing the distance, to interrupt
the opponent and force his instinct to react (or block).  High punching
when already up close is not a good idea (you tend to suffer down below, or
get thrown) unless you're trying to interrupt your opponent's offensive.

If you know that your opponent likes to low punch - attack as well, most of
the time you will be able to interrupt his attacks with a well timed PPK
after his low punch.  This will work especially if he likes to low punch -
sidekick (but watch the distance when dealing with Lion - too far and he'll
get you first).

A tip when using the high punch to initiate the attack is to hold forward
whenever possible while punching.  This makes your character punch deeper.
A consequence of this advance is that you are suddenly closer to the
opponent, increasing the chance of hitting with close attacks like the
elbow or the m-UpKn...

High punch followups normally include:  another punch(or PK/PPK), DnKnP,
sidekick, elbow, sliding tackle, throw, m-UpKnP.

a) high punch - high punch
    This requires a G-cancel between punches.  Don't expect to use this
often, only when the opponent is still trying to attack with a standing-
based move (elbow, sidekick included, but not low sweeps).  Just treat the
second high punch like the first, and choose another option...

b) high punch - DnKnP
    Also requiring a G-cancel, the P, G, DnKnP is good for catching
overly offensive opponents.  It will only push back defenders, but if it
connects, tag on the K for the DnKnPK (how many times have I mentioned
this?).  The DnKnP will also chase the opponent if he tried to back off
after your punch, but if he blocks it, don't expect to continue the assault
(but you can if you want to risk it).
Hit    :  tag on the K, or if your reflexes were slow, you can try for
          another DnKnP (slightly risky, remember to G-cancel first).
Blocked:  block, or try another DnKnP (risky) or UpKnP (quite risky).

c) high punch - sidekick
    G-cancel (notice a trend here?).  The sidekick is aimed for those
people expecting an easy opening after the punch-kick.  Well, you're not
going to give it to them.  The sidekick comes out relatively fast, and is
not likely to be interrupted (unless the opponent already backed off to
attack in the first place).  Use this at close to mid range.
    It is very likely that the punch will entice more experienced players
to duck, letting your sidekick score a stagger hit.  If the opponent tried
to attack after seeing the punch, then you'll probably score a float which
you can tag on a combo with.
Stagger:  either P,P (add K if P,P hits) or close in with pressure move
          like the LgKnP, or move forward and b,f+P, or sidekick again.
Hit    :  follow up with a punch attack, another sidekick, or tackle.
Blocked:  be on your guard.  Block if you see an attack, low punch or throw
          first if you anticipate a throw.

d) high punch - elbow
    This is where the holding forward punch tip will come in handy.  Use
this sequence at close (or closing) range.  Here you are hoping that the
opponent ducks at the high punch.  Holding forward with the punch will get
you in close;  if the opponent ducks, then you get a free stagger.  If not,
the elbow is uncounterable anyway when blocked.
Stagger:  do elbow stagger followups.
Hit    :  follow with another elbow.
Blocked:  block, or follow with another elbow or low punch.

e) high punch - sliding tackle
    Again, this sequence involves a substantial risk factor, but the payoff
is good.  As with the low punch counterpart, a well-placed mid-level attack
by the opponent will catch you off-balance, so use this attack sparingly,
or when your opponent is a firm believer in non-SF2 blocking.  Make use of
this attack to convince your opponent to crouch, then next time go for the
elbow stagger.
Hit    :  this move will knock down for sure.  Pounce, or PPPd+K if it hit
          as a major counter and floats high enough.
Blocked:  prepare to struggle out of a retaliatory elbow or single palm.
          If the opponent is not quick enough, then vary your block
          position;  some opponents will try to throw, while others will
          attempt to elbow late.  With experience you can avoid both...

f) high punch - throw
    Go for a throw if your punch interrupts your opponent's big attack.  If
you approached from a distance and interrupted his much-too-late sidekick
with a punch (even if it was a failed throw attempt), you can attempt a
surprise throw while he's still struggling with the realization that his
attack didn't score.
    Otherwise, throwing after a high punch is not recommended; most players
will see the (during infighting) high punch as an opportunity to attack.

g) high punch - m-UpKnP
    Good if the opponent blocks the first punch.  This is the basic series
of the m-UpKn Rush.  At this point it is very likely that the opponent
tries something stupid (slow), and gets interrrupted by the UpKn and
floated for his mistake.
    The timing on this is rather tight, as certain moves will be able to
interrupt the m-UpKnP sequence, like a well-timed PK.  Also, certain low
attacks can avoid the UpKn (eg. Lion's low sweep) entirely.  It is also a
possibility, if the opponent ducks and blocks, the lifting palm may go
sailing over the opponent's head, leaving Lau open for a throw.  For more
info, see the section on SPECIAL TECHNIQUE: THE M-UPKN.
Float  :  float combo time!
Hit    :  if you're fast enough, tag on a PK (UpKnPPK).  If not, depending
          on how opponent reacts, low punch - UpKnP again, or move forward
          to b,f+P.  DnKnP is safe (add K if hit), or M-UpKnP if you can.
Blocked:  follow with DnKnP (add K if hit), elbow, sidekick.  More UpKnP
          stuff will be discussed under ADVANCED TACTICS.

If the opportunity exists, any of the above follow-up moves in <1> and <2>
can be used by themselves, often to the same effect as described above.


3 - Mixing in Movement

You certainly don't expect the opponent to stay in one place all the time
for you to bash, right?  Your opponent will also be moving around, trying
to find weak chinks in your offense and defense.  Remember, avoiding the
attack puts you in a much better position to retaliate than blocking it.

The quick recovery moves that Lau has, the elbow, PP, UpKnP, etc. all can
be used as movement play bait.  After throwing a quick recovery move close
up, instead of continuing or attempting to block the opponent's next move,
Lau can back off in the hopes of avoiding the opponent's close-ranged
attacks, and subsequently retaliating.

For example, after throwing a blocked elbow, Lau can back off about half a
pace.  If the opponent was slow and tried to elbow after, Lau is in a
position where he can have a free PPK or throw (counter).  If the opponent
happened to sidekick, which is longer ranged, then Lau must block because
he is too close.

Throwing a sidekick at extreme range is also a good tactic, but make sure
you at least land a block with it.  Otherwise Lau is wide open for an alert
opponent.  If the opponent staggers, Lau can close in for infighting.  If
the opponent blocks, then Lau can try the same half-pace retreat and watch
for the opponent's (hopefully reactive) attack.

In terms of general distance play, try to keep within 1 and 1 1/2 paces for
reactive fighting.  This range will give you enough space to avoid and
counter most missed moves (semi-"machi" style).  If the opponent closes in,
then proceed to use infighting techniques.  Watch out for opponents who
have extremely mobile styles of play (Pai, Kage, Sarah, Lion players in
general);  they will try to use the movement plays like above to draw you
into committing a move.

Long-ranged play is quite predictable - options are mostly (self-)limited
for most people to throws, sidekicks, punch-kicks (not Pai, Lau, Lion, Shun
or Jacky, usually), single punches, low punches and other good recovery
attacks (such as side hook kicks for Sarah and Jacky).  Low kicks are used
mainly as a defensive measure (and to try to take that last nibble out from
under the opponent), especially by Wolf, Jeffry and Kage.

When playing at long range, it pays to study the opponent's style.  There
are a few types of ranged players that you should take note of - those that
like to come in real close to throw or elbow, those that like to initiate
attacks at sidekick extreme range, and those that fake movement to draw
your attack.  Dealing with each of these is entirely dependent on
circumstance and the opponent.  Bear in mind that better players will
attempt different tactics if they think that you're getting wise to their
tricks.

It is also not a good idea to be overly defensive when playing against an
opponent who plays with a lot of movement.  Especially do not stand still
with the block button down - either move around yourself, chase the
opponent, or fake an attack.  If you stand still, the opponent has all the
options when closing in, especially when their character has dual-purpose
moves such as Wolf's f+P body blow (hits crouchers) cum body slam (throws
standers) or Sarah/Jacky's f,f+P elbow/clothesline.  Develop your own
ranged strategies - your best defense is variation (and Lau's ranged play
goal is to close in with initiative).


If there are any other tactics that you'd like to see discussed in detail,
e-mail me or post in rec.games.video.arcade.  I will try to include them in
later revisions of the FAQ.


* SPECIAL TECHNIQUE: THE M-UPKN *

By now, many VF2.net.surfer-players have at least heard of Lau's infamous
m-UpKn.  The terminology, coined by Joji-san, was to help differentiate
between Lau's lifting palm from a crouch, and Lau's knife hand (both moves
with d/f+P), without making a mess of things by using the VF2 FAQ names.

M-UpKn translates to modified lifting palm.  What is a modified lifting
palm?  Basically, a lifting palm from an apparently standing position.
I mentioned earlier that it takes 10 frames for a standing character to get
into crouch position by holding <down>.  By using the modified method, you
get a crouch practically instantly, and subsequently a "from crouch" move
from a standing position.

There are three recommended motions to get an instant crouch, which are:

(1) f, d, d/f           (2) d/f, d, d/f         (3) d, d, d/f

Essentially, what you're trying to do with these motions is to buffer a
crouch dash, which executes instantly.  The exact motion must be very
precise.  The buffered crouch dash does not have a large margin for error,
unlike SF2-type command recognition, which is more lenient.  To do the "m-"
motion, it is recommended that you slide the stick from point to point,
rapidly but accurately.

What you will see if you manage to pull off any of these three _quick_
movements, is Lau (or any character that you use) suddenly doing a
crouching hop-advance from a standing position.  This modified crouch dash
can be done even in the reverse direction, for a back dash.  (This leads to
a lot of crouch dash-xxx strategies, especially crouch dash-throw.)

The m-UpKn motion is any one of the above three plus a punch at the end.
I personally am more comfortable with method (1), so my m-UpKn is executed
as f,d,d/f+P.  As the lifting palm can technically be done at any time from
a crouch position, so long as the stick is in d/f, you can delay the
buttonpress to let Lau crouch dash further.  Of course it's not too good an
idea to delay too long, though.

Also remember that you MUST release the d/f position, in order to proceed
with the subsequent punches following the UpKn.  If not, you'll be stuck in
the here's-your-food pose....

Troubleshooting.  The m-UpKn motion is very precise.  I can't explain it
properly other than to say that yes, I slide the joystick fast, I hit the
directions accurately, and I hit P before I release the d/f direction
(hitting it after will give you normal punches instead).  Note that hitting
P will not have any effect on the success rate of the crouching dash, so
practise on the joystick movement first - it's definitely more important.

With the m-UpKn, all of a sudden floating becomes that much more fun,
because you can tag on lengthy floats to substantial attacks like major
counter sidekicks, or even the stagger elbow.  The most recent issue of the
Gamest Magazine shows Lau with a super combo (207 points) against Lion.
The float combo is as follows:
major counter single K, (auto)UpKnP, m-UpKnP, m-UpKnP,P,P,d+K.
             (30 x 1.5) +    20+12 +  20+12 + 20+12+12+14+40 = 207pts!
On most machines, this is more than enough to KO, but this attack is nearly
impossible to pull.

The elbow stagger is one of the greatest threats to Lau's opponents, once
the m-UpKn becomes consistent.  The bread-and-butter sequence that follows
up to the stagger is m-UpKnP, m-UpKnP.  From there, it is Lau's choice to
continue the second m-UpKn into the PPPK for damage, or the PPK for
straight distance.  On my machine, an elbow stagger, m-UpKnP, m-UpKnPPPK
spells the instant disaster (KO) of any non-heavyweight opponent, even from
the beginning of the round... (!)  I'd call it the Stagger Float o' Doom,
but it's not guaranteed (the opponent CAN struggle big time), and there are
too many o'D moves out there already.  So just call it the Bread-&-Butter
special (apologies to Lan Bui).  8)


* COUNTERS *

When attempting to counter, you actually begin the attack _before_ the
opponent recovers from his move.  Whether the opponent has recovered by the
time your attack reaches him, is the deciding factor for counterable and
uncounterable.  If his move recovers first, then he will be able to block.
If not, you will hit him as a counter.

Listed below are the moves specific to each character, that Lau is able to
counter after blocking.  Moves that are not listed are very likely to be
uncounterable by Lau (or those that I've missed;  if you spot any please
tell me).

Note:  All moves that can be countered by PPK, can also be countered by PK,
       but not vice versa.  The counters list is taken from the GamestMook
       Vol 10, VF2 Act 2.
       I am also not too certain with the entries listed as UpKn counter.
       The UpKn counter should work, but perhaps someone with a better
       understanding of the counter list can shed some light on the topic?

AKIRA's Moves                       Hits at     LAU can counter with
------------------------------      --------    --------------------
Knee (K+G, rel G)                   mid         PPK
Single Jumping Kick (f,f+K)         mid         PPK, throw
Double Jumping Kick (f,f+K,K)       mid         PPK, throw
Single Dashing Palm (FC,f+P)        mid         PPK
Double Dashing Palm (FC,b,f+P)      mid         PPK, throw
Bodycheck (b,f,f+P+K)               none        PPK, throw

JACKY's Moves                       Hits at     LAU can counter with
------------------------------      --------    --------------------
Low kick                            low         low punch (?)
Sidekick                            mid         PPK
P, low sweep                        low         elbow, UpKn
P,P, backfist                       high        PPK, throw
P,P, elbow-heelkick                 mid/high    PPK, throw
Elbow-heelkick                      mid/high    PPK, throw
Knee                                mid         PPK
Backfist-crescent                   high        PPK, throw
Backfist-sweep                      low         elbow, UpKn
Low backfist-sweep                  low         elbow, UpKn
Beat Knuckle/Bitch Slap             mid         PPK, throw
K, K                                mid         PPK, throw
Punt kick (f,f+K)                   mid         PPK, throw
Crescent-sweep (K+G, d+K+G)         low         elbow, UpKn
Spinning roundhouse (b,f+K+G)       mid         PPK, throw
Any Lightning Kick                  mid/high    PPK, throw
Low sidekick (d+K+G)                low         elbow, UpKn
Kickflip                            mid         PPK, throw
Landing hop kick (hop, K desc)      mid         PPK
Face behind kick (b,b+K)            high        PK

SARAH's Moves                       Hits at     LAU can counter with
------------------------------      --------    --------------------
Sidekick                            mid         PPK, throw
P,P,P, rising knee                  mid         PPPK(float), PPK, throw
P,P,P, toekick (P,P,P,u+K)          mid         PPPK(float), PPK, throw
P,P,P, kickflip                     mid         PPK, throw
Elbow-knee                          mid         PPK
Knee                                mid         PPK
Knee-Rising knee (f+K,d/f+K)        airborne    PPPK(float), PPK, throw
Rising knee (FC, f+K)               mid         PPPK(float), PPK, throw
Lunging knee (f,f+K)                mid         PPK, throw
Toekick (d+K)                       mid         PPK, throw
Toekick-sidekick (d+K,K)            mid         PK, throw
Illusion Kick x2 (d/f+K,K)          mid         PK, throw
Illusion Kick x3 (d/f+K,K,K)        mid         PK, throw
Crescent kick (K+G)                 mid         PK, throw
Low sidekick (d+K+G)                low         elbow, UpKn
Kickflip                            mid         PPK, throw
Face behind kick (b,b+K)            high        PK

LAU's Moves                         Hits at     LAU can counter with
------------------------------      --------    --------------------
P, K                                high        PPK, throw
P,P,P, any kick                     h/m/l       PPK, throw (even sweep)
P, low sweep (P,d+K+G)              low         elbow, UpKn
DnKn,P,P, crescent                  high        PPK, throw
DnKn,P,P, flipkick (~b/u+K)         mid         PPK, throw
DnKn,P,P,d+K sweep (~d+K)           low         elbow, UpKn
Heelkick (FC,rel+K)                 mid         PPK, throw
Low sweep (d+K+G)                   low         elbow
Flipkick (b/u+K)                    mid         PPK, throw
Sliding Tackle (f,d+K)              low         elbow
Cartwheel kick (f/u+K)              mid         PK

PAI's Moves                         Hits at     LAU can counter with
------------------------------      --------    --------------------
P, K                                high        PK, throw
P,P,P, any kick                     h/m/l       PK, throw (even sweep)
P, d+K+G                            low         elbow, UpKn
Lunging kick (f,f+K)                high        PPK, throw
Footwork punch (b,b+P)              high        PK
Low sweep (d+K+G)                   low         elbow
Reverse Crescent (b+K+G)            high        PK
Heelkick (FC,rel+K)                 mid         PK, throw
Flipkick (b/u+K)                    mid         PK, throw
Double Sparrow kick (f/u+K,K)       mid         PPK, throw

WOLF's Moves                        Hits at     LAU can counter with
------------------------------      --------    --------------------
Sidekick                            mid         PPK, throw
P,P, elbow (P,P,f+P)                high        PPK
Knee                                mid         PPK
Knife slap (b+P)                    high        PPK, throw
Doublehand Lift (FC,f+P)            mid         PPK, throw
f,f+K+G                             mid         PK, throw
Low dropkick (f,d+K)                low         PPK, UpKn, throw
Shoulder ram (b,f+P)                none        PPK, throw
Turning dropkick (face back,d+K)    low         PPK, throw

JEFFRY's Moves                      Hits at     LAU can counter with
------------------------------      --------    --------------------
Sidekick                            mid         PPK, throw
Dashing elbow-uppercut (f,f+P,P)    mid         PPK
Toekick-hammer (d+K,P)              mid         PPK, throw
Knee                                mid         PPK
Elbow (f+P)                         mid         PPK
Elbow-hammer (f+P,b+P)              mid         PPK, throw
Overhead elbow (b,f+P)              mid         PPK, throw
Double-fisted hammer (b,d/f+P)      mid         PPK, throw
Axe kick (f,d+K)                    mid         PPK
Thrusting headbutt (d/b,f+P+K)      mid         PPK, throw

KAGE's Moves                        Hits at     LAU can counter with
------------------------------      --------    --------------------
P,P,P,K                             mid         PPK, throw
P,P,P, flipkick                     mid         PPK, throw
Rising knee                         airborne    PPK, throw
Heelkick (D+K+G)                    mid         PPK
Flipkick (b/u+K)                    mid         PPK, throw
Kickflip (b/u+K+G)                  mid         PPK, throw
Sliding sweep (f,f+K)               low         UpKn, throw
Catapult kick (f,f+ALL)             low         UpKn, throw
Corkscrew kick (f,f+K+G)            mid         PPK, throw
Sliding trip (b,b/d,d+K)            low         UpKn, throw
KNIFE ATTACKS:
FC, f+P+K                           mid         PPK, throw
FC, f+P+K, P+K                      high        PPK
b,f+P+K                             mid         PPK
b,f+P+K, P+K                        high        PPK, throw
d+P+K, P+K                          mid         PPK, throw
Rolling sweeps (SCR+K)              low         elbow, UpKn
Shinsodan (b,SCR,f+P)               low         throw, low punch
Hopping sweep (K desc)              low         PPK, UpKn, throw
Air Bomb (U/F+K from far)           airborne    PPK, throw
Turning low trip (face back, d+K)   low         UpKn, throw
Sky Knee (face back, u+K)           mid         PPK

SHUN's Moves                        Hits at     LAU can counter with
------------------------------      --------    --------------------
Low kick                            low         UpKn (?)
P, K                                high        PPK, throw
P,P,P                               mid         PPK, throw
Triple punch (f+P)                  high        PPK, throw
Cartwheel kick (f,f+K)              mid         PPK, throw
Two-handed push (P+K)               mid         PPK
Low sweep (D+K+G)                   low         sidekick
Scorpion kick (d+K+G)               mid         PPK, throw
Triple retreat kick (b+K+G)         airborne    PPK
Kick while sitting (d,d,K)          low         PPK, UpKn, throw
Handstand kicks                     mid         PPK
Drunken sweeps (d+P+K[K,K])         low         sidekick
Back dodge(b/d+G), poke(P+K)        high        PPK, throw
Spinning hop (u/f+P)                mid         PPK, throw
Hop kick (u+K)                      mid         PPK
Hopping low trip (K desc)           low         PPK, throw

LION's Moves                        Hits at     LAU can counter with
------------------------------      --------    --------------------
P, K                                high        PPK, throw
P,P,P                               high        PK, throw
Uppercut-smash (d/f+P,P)            mid/high    PPK, throw
Spinning uppercut (u+P)             mid         PPK, throw
Knee                                mid         PPK, throw
Low double kicks (d+K,K)            low         sidekick
Low sweep (d+K+G)                   low         PPK, UpKn, throw
Lunging sweep (d/f+K+G)             low         PPK, UpKn, throw
Lunging mid kick (f,f+K+G)          mid         PPK, throw
Double low kicks (d,d+K)            low         PPK, throw
Low trip (G,d/f+P)                  low         PPK, throw
Hopping swipe (u/f+P)               mid         PK
Somersault kick (u/f+K)             mid         PPK, throw
Hopping low trip (K desc)           low         PK, throw


* FLOATING 1: AN ANALYSIS *

Technically, all knockdowns are considered floats.  But what we want to
look at are the floats that give Lau enough height to tag on an aerial
combo after them.

I will mostly be explaining how to use the UpKn to float people.  The same
techniques can be applied to using other characters as well, although the
specifics are up to the individual character.  The main principle is the
same, though.  (By the way, I am referring to using the UpKn to _initiate_
the float.  Using the UpKn within the float is something else.)

The ideal float occurs when your move interrupts your opponent's move at
its execution phase.  This will make the opponent float at the highest
angle possible, giving you much more height to work with compared to normal
knockdowns.

With the UpKn, things are made slightly easier.  The only ways that the UpKn
will float an opponent are (1) connecting when the opponent is staggering,
or (2) by interrupting the opponent's move.  Anybody knows how to elbow
stagger; I will not discuss staggering here.  What needs to be explored is
the principle of how the interrupt should be factored into Lau's strategy.

Consider two opponents who play low punch-xxx - let's just take Lau vs
Lion, for example.  Now, Lau's objective is to interrupt Lion in the middle
of a move so that he can float.  What Lau needs to do is to time the UpKn
to intercept Lion's power move.  The following is an example of what
happens during a typical battle:

[LAU]                               [LION]
low punch (missed)                  blocking low
blocking low                        low punch (missed) into....
UpKnP before sidekick               ...sidekick (interrupted, floats)
...P,P,P,K "Oyeah!"                 "Ouch!"

Lau low punches, missing.  Lion low punches, and is going into a sidekick,
which the Lau player anticipates.  Being in a crouch position and ready,
Lau throws an UpKn.... and catches Lion's sidekick before it is fully
executed, and floats him up.  (The PPPK followup is only an example.)

Here's another one, an example of oki-zeme and floating, in a match between
Lau and Jacky:

[LAU]                               [JACKY]
sidekick                            low backfist (interrupted, knockdown)
moves forward                       (on ground) rolls to the side
follows rolling Jacky               rising low sweep (uncounterable)
blocks low, follows with UpKnP      attempts kickflip (interrupted, floats)
...m-UpKn,P,P,P,K "Oyeah!"          "Arrrgh!"

Lau's opening sidekick interrupts Jacky's low backfist, knocking him onto
the ground.  Instead of going for the stomp, Lau moves up into an
advantageous position for oki-zeme, and follows Jacky when he rolls to the
side.  Jacky tries an uncounterable low rising sweep, which is well known
for being "bait" for the kickflip.   Lau blocks low, and throws and UpKn,
and Jacky finds that he lands much later than planned...

So, yes;  even fast attacks like the kickflip can be floated by a slower
attack like the UpKn.  It all depends on the timing of the UpKn - if the
UpKn can hit within the execution period of the attack, then the opponent
is floated.  That is why most UpKn attempts require a "setup".

Which is why, actually, it is nigh impossible to catch an Akira going for a
high reversal using a delayed UpKn - the UpKn must start before the punch
begins, to float, and if Akira touches punch for the reversal after the
UpKn is active, he will reverse it.


* FLOATING 2: KNOWN LAU FLOATS *

Not ready by v0.9, sorry!


--------------------------
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER II (LAU ADVANCED STRATEGY)
--------------------------

* ADVANCED TACTICS *

1 - Delay Tactics

Against people who like to use block-attack-block routines, there's nothing
more devastating than dangling an open door in front of them, then closing
it up when they're halfway through.  Sarah has an excellent move for this -
the delayed elbow-knee, which has a remarkable recovery even when blocked
(only PK counters).  Lau can do the same thing with the P,P,P,d+K, but it
is much riskier as the recovery is too substantial.  Or the DnKnPK, delay
the kick slightly.

The main purpose of the delay is to lull your opponent into thinking that
he can attack after some of your moves end.  Then you quash his attack with
one of your own.  This end can be achieved like the above, by using delayed
sequences, or by purposefully inserting a break in the attacks, and
striking just before you feel the tension snap.  This obviously won't work
against beginners who don't block anyway, and against machi (wait) players.

There are certain series of moves that, when put together, provide a
perfect "natural" delay trap.  One good example is Jacky's low backfist
setup-kickflip.  Most inexperienced players will try to sidekick or do
another slow attack after the low backfist, which will be interrupted by
the kickflip for major counter damage.

Lau has several natural setups, the two most prominent being the UpKnP and
the DnKnP.  Both attacks recover very quickly (the UpKnP is faster, as
discussed before), allowing Lau to interrupt most slower attacks with a
followup.  These will be discussed later in this section.

The forced delay is useful especially when Lau is constantly harrassing the
opponent, making him block and block.  It is NOT a good idea to delay too
long, though; waiting too long will dull the reflexes.  If your opponent is
playing a cautious waiting game, then don't wait.  Go up and b,f+P.


2 - Harrassment attacks and throwing

When you come across an opponent who also plays harrassment attacks, be on
your guard, but don't forget to look out for every opportunity to check his
attacks.  Especially when you are infighting, look out for those people who
like to low punch - slight dash and elbow.  This can easily be stopped with
a simple P+G at the right time (catch him just when he's moving forwards
for the elbow).

The other situation you should look out for is against people who like to
low punch and dash forward, or low punch and back off (at close range).
Kages especially, when afraid of infighting, will low kick and back off.
Block the low kick.  The instant he finishes tapping b,b he will be
_standing_ and vulnerable to your throw, so go in with a P+G if you
anticipate a retreat.

Also, Lau can throw while crouching (some characters like Wolf, Akira
cannot).  So look out for high attacks that sail over your head, and hit
P+G the instant the wild attack misses.  Worst thing that can happen is
that you punch the opponent's legs.


3 - Punch series and UpKnP followups

The first generation punch series was described in the GamestMook Act 2.
Simply, the motions of d/f+P, P, G, d/f+P, P, G, d/f+P, P... constitute a
DnKnP-DnKnP-DnKnP.  This series will curb many retaliatory slow attacks,
but then average-fast attacks could break it.  Nevertheless, it is good
enough to catch slower attacks, and you can tag on the K if one DnKnP hits.

This was not good enough.  So what the Japanese players came up with was a
(FC) d/f+P, P, G, d/f+P, P;  an UpKnP-DnKnP second generation punch series.
This attack is practically uninterruptable, would also push crouchers, and
gave Lau the same recovery as the DnKnP-DnKnP series.  This series is much
more difficult to escape, since any retaliation would be quashed by the DnKn.
Kage, Pai and Akira would be able to get out of it by reversing the punch,
though.

Then the modified version of the lifting palm was discovered, and the third
generation of punch series was developed:  UpKnP-UpKnP, using the m-UpKn.
The major advantage of this series is that the second UpKn, if it
interrupts, will float the opponent high.  A well timed high punch will be
able to break the series, but there are ways that Lau can get around this.
The UpKnP-UpKnP punch series is affectionately referred to by r.g.v.a
VF2ers as the "m-UpKn Rush", a term again coined by Joji-san.

Don't worry if you can't do the m-UpKn;  Lau is still very powerful without
it.  You won't be able to float as well, but you can still pressure your
opponent very efficiently.

Since the UpKnP has the recovery of a single punch, almost anything that
follows is highly unlikely to be interrupted.  In the case of the DnKn,
practically impossible.  Depending on circumstance and opponent behaviour,
the followups to a blocked UpKnP can be varied to adapt to different
situations, as follows.

UpKnP,m-UpKnP   :   This is the basis of the m-UpKn rush.  To be used when
                    the opponent is a volatile, reactive player and can be
                    counted on to try to retaliate after the UpKnP.  Or
                    when he doesn't know how to escape.  The second m-UpKn
                    can be escaped by crouching to block, but if Lau delays
                    the UpKn (crouch dashes longer), he can still make the
                    opponent block.  If ducked, the opponent will be able
                    to throw Lau, so watch it.

UpKnP,DnKnP     :   Requires a G-cancel after the UpKnP, otherwise you'll
                    get the rest of the running punches instead.  For all
                    intents and purposes, this series is unbreakable.  Even
                    if the opponent crouches and blocks, he will get
                    pushed.  Use this when you need to force your opponent
                    back.  Also, tag on a K if the DnKn hits, for a sure
                    knockdown and possible stomp.

UpKnP,elbow     :   When your opponent likes to low punch.  Especially
                    useful against Kages who are too scared of Lau's knife/
                    palm followups.  The elbow also cannot be interrupted
                    by the opponent, but if it doesn't connect, it gives
                    him the initiative if he realises it.  The aim is to
                    stagger the opponent.  If your UpKnP was deep enough,
                    the elbow will stagger the opponent if he just crouch
                    blocks.  But if it was a shallow touch, the elbow will
                    not have enough range (unless the opponent low punches)
                    to hit.

UpKnP,sidekick  :   When your opponent is Lion or Shun and he is going to
                    try attacks that dodge initially, like Shun's low
                    bodycheck.  Also when your opponent is trying to escape
                    backwards after blocking; you can catch his retreat.
                    Not recommended, though.

UpKnP,throw     :   When your opponent is scared to the bone and refuses to
                    duck for your elbow or sidekick.  It's time to pull a
                    quick dash forwards, and b,f+P.  If his reaction is
                    moderately fast, dash forwards and use P+G instead,
                    before he attacks and breaks out of his daze.

UpKnP,m-throw   :   This is especially for Akiras.  When Akira reverses
                    high, Lau must give up his punch attack initiative or
                    eat a reversal elbow.  The high reversal will always
                    come out as a high punch, so the idea is to use the
                    modified crouch dash motion to get under him, then
                    throw him all of a sudden (hit P+G once his punch is
                    retreating).  This must be anticipatory.  The
                    alternative is to try to delay the UpKn from the crouch
                    dash until his punch has executed, then catch him on
                    the recovery (difficult; luck or precise timing).

Beginners will fall for the low punch, UpKn, P, low punch, UpKn, P...
sequence.  Normally the low punch will not even touch the opponent.  But
the beginner tries to react after he sees the low punch, thus getting
floated by the following UpKn.


---------------------------
RISING ATTACKS AND OKI-ZEME
---------------------------

I don't have enough information at the time being, but I'll cover this in
more detail as soon as I can get it.

The bast okizeme position is from just outside sweep range - the range of
the opponent's rising sweep.  Ideally, you should learn to recognise at
what height the opponent is going to kick.  So in general, try to punish
high rising attacks (after avoiding) by throwing, and punish low rising
attacks (sweeps) by elbow or sidekicks.

There are certain rising attacks that hit low but actually recover in a
high position.  This includes a majority of the in-position rising low
sweeps, with Sarah's, Kage's, Jacky's and Lau's counting amongst them.  I
believe that most roll-to-the-side sweeps will recover crouching, so elbow
or sidekick those.  But the ones that recover standing, can be thrown.

If you are in a position where you must block the opponent's rising attack,
look carefully at the attack.  A slow attack normally can be countered, but
not always.  Fast sweeps are usually used as bait, especially by Jacky and
Sarah for the kickflip.  If you find that you are in a position to block
Jacky or Sarah's low rising sweep, follow up immediately after blocking
with an UpKn.  Your UpKn will _always_ interrupt them if they try a
kickflip.

If you block a high kick, try using Lau's b,f+P as the opponent normally
tries to block in after seeing you so close.

I will include more details in a later revision.


------------------------------------------------------
COMBAT CONQUEST: AN IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS vs HUMAN PLAYERS
------------------------------------------------------

* vs AKIRA *

Lau's main problems against Akira are dealing with Akira's dashing elbows
plus followups, his reversals and his throws (notably SPoDs and SEs).
Variation is the key to winning against Akira, especially since Lau has no
quick, non-reversible move that he can throw (like Jeffry's knee) when the
heat builds up.

Against Akiras who know nothing but double elbow, break the attack by
blocking the first one standing, then throwing any quick attack in his way
(like PPK).  Don't be afraid of the *boom*boom*boom* of Akira's repeated
elbows - it'll only get in the way of rational thinking.  Break Akira's
sidekick-dashing elbow in the same way.

After a while, he should get smart and start reversing after an elbow.  So
how to deal with Akiras who reverse?  There are a few things to consider -
One, you're only in a position to deal with him if you BLOCK his dashing
elbow.  Two, he can reverse all of Lau's quick attacks.  Three, his low
reverse will put him in a crouch position whereas his mid and high reverses
will leave him standing at this point.  So...

Lau's options at this point are mainly:  P(K) or P(PK), sidekick, elbow,
low punch, low kick, DnKn, m-UpKn.  Any slower attacks can be punched out
by his failed reverses.  If Akira tries a low reverse, the P will miss.
The elbow will stagger Akira nicely, and the sidekick may knock him down.
The DnKn is quite likely to connect (I haven't tried).  The m-UpKn will
probably catch him and float, but your reaction must be fast.  Low punch
and low kick will obviously be reversed.

Akira goes for a mid reverse, he is standing.  The elbow and sidekick will
be reversed, but the DnKn will probably catch him (and your ~PK is free!).
The m-UpKn will probably float him up, and the low punch and low kick will
connect as harrassment moves.  PPK will most definitely get him (he's
vulnerable, having reversed the wrong level).  Continuing from the
harrassment move entails a little caution, as he's bound either to try for
another reverse or an elbow to smother.  Best followup would be to UpKn
from the low punch, or duck and P+G if he reverses high (difficult).

High reverse is painful to Lau.  Options available are only elbow,
sidekick, low punch and low kick.  Sidekick will knock him down, but the
other three attacks, even if they connect, still leave Lau in a 50-50 type
of situation.  The other option here is to m-throw, or crouch dash under
and try to throw (P+G) after Akira's failed reverse goes over your head.

If Akira, instead of reversing or attacking, blocks after the dashing
elbow, you can hesitate _slightly_ and throw him where he stands.  If you
happen to get staggered by Akira's dashing elbow, don't wait - struggle on
the joystick and buttons!  You _can_ escape a followup elbow.

Be careful when Akira pulls you behind with his SE.  If he's not aiming for
a change of sides or for damage, then he's going for RO.  If you run and
his super dashing elbow hits you, you will fly further.  So it's one of the
risks to balance.  There's no escape from the single or double palm (unless
he's slow) after the Surprise Exchange.

Watch out for traps like break guard-Pull In/Pull Out throw.  To escape,
low punch immediately upon recovery (you might want to discreetly needle
the P button).

You can counter most of Akira's rising sweeps and kicks, especially when he
rolls to the side or away.  Elbow him if he tries that low sweep, and
you've got a stagger situation which you will definitely take advantage of.


* vs JACKY *

Jacky players like to overuse the low backfist.  That and the kickflip.
Know what you can counter against Jacky, and be very careful when Jacky
seems to do nothing but P,P,elbow, low backfist.

So what to do with Jacky?  Make sure all your series are tight.  Don't slip
in too much opportunity for him to kickflip in between.  The elbow is an
important part of Jacky's game, so either keep up the pressure in close or
stay away.

After blocking the low backfist, a low punch is safe and will stop anything
that Jacky tries to do.  If Jacky always follows the low backfist with an
attack, then Lau should follow up with an UpKn after blocking the low
backfist - any mid or high attack is sure to be interrupted.  Use the UpKnP
and followups (especially DnKnP for hyperactives) to force Jacky back (or
up; float time!) after blocking the low backfist.  If you get hit, then be
alert - you won't have time to interrupt Jacky's attacks.

Always be aware of Jacky's position when getting up - his sidekick to
counter rising attacks will always knockdown, so use your own judgement to
tell if the opponent is expecting an attack or not.

To deal with a "safe" Jacky that plays P,P,elbow and side hook kicks, stop
his P,P at extreme range with sidekicks, or low punches at close range.  If
you see his second punch then you're too late; stand and block, then elbow
back (watch out if he knows how to delay attacks).  The elbow will
hopefully stop the low backfist and give you a stagger to work with.  Side
hook kicks should be avoided just barely, then move in and throw.  Watch
for what he does if you block the side hook kick, then adapt accordingly.
Sometimes he will SHK, then retreat a little and SHK again to catch you.
In this case, giving chase before attacking (preferably with a sidekick)
will help.

Opening against Jacky, a sidekick will beat his side hook kick, but will
lose to his kickflip and P,P,elbow-heel.  To play safe, inch back while
crouching, and punish him if he misses an attack.


* vs SARAH *

Try not to give Sarah a break - she has the advantage at playing distance
and machi.  Some Sarah players will open with a SHK as well - in this case,
Lau's sidekick will float high enough for a very nice aerial combo.

Attacks to beware of against Sarah - watch for her delayed elbow-knee.  It
can be delayed quite substantially, so try to judge when your opponent
will and will not continue with it.  If you block the knee, PK.  Look out
for Sarah's Shun-puri (instant turnaround).  Avoid her followup if you can,
then attack from a distance or go and throw (fast reaction only!).

Most of Sarah's attacks hit crouchers.  Sarah's only standing throws are
the P+G (escapable) and the clothesline, both of which are quite weak, but
can be devastating if she's always on the offensive.  Her shin slicer will
only knockdown as a major counter; at other times you have enough time to
elbow even when the attack hits your legs.

Stick close when you can, and force her backwards to limit her movement
potential.  Use the punch series and followups to push her backwards.  When
she gets too tired of crouching down and staggering, use the sliding tackle
(sparingly) to keep her on her toes.  A major counter with the tackle can
give Lau a ripe combo opportunity.

As with Jacky, retaliate after blocking the low rising sweeps with UpKnP
and followups, to prevent Sarah's kickflips and baited traps.


* vs LAU *

What can I say?  You're fighting yourself, although if you're Purple then
you're at a very bad floating disadvantage.  In any case, try to anticipate
the opponent's power moves and intercept with an UpKn or other attacks.

Watch for when the opponent will go for low punches as a pre-UpKn setup,
then sidekick or elbow to stagger and gain the advantage.  Lau vs Lau will
mostly be UpKn wars, elbows and sliding tackles;  the rest of the moves are
quite useless.


* vs PAI *

Sure, Pai can reverse you, but Pai's much too light and at a serious
disadvantage once she pulls the wrong reverse.  An interrupt sidekick will
float high enough for a PPPK, or even a m-UpKnPPPK as well.  Furthermore,
Pai's reverses don't do enough damage to make up for her lightness.

Sliding tackles and sidekicks are the order of the day, since Pai will
probably attempt to reverse your punches most of the time.  Try for UpKns
to catch Pai while she is attacking, not when she is obviously waiting to
react.

Pai is very fast on her feet.  Be careful of closely missing attacks, as
Pai can DDT you in a moment's notice.  At all costs, make sure that your
attacks land.

If Pai seems to be a flurry of chops, low kicks and single Sparrow kicks,
try to block one.  Then attack back with an UpKn or fast kick; you should
be able to break her pressure series once you block one attack.

Especially beware of the DDT and Pai's reversals once her back is near the
ring edge and not floating.  Either one could ring you out, especially the
DDT, and punch or elbow reversals.  Your options would be to wait for her
to attempt the reversal, then attack, or throw a sidekick/tackle and hope.
Probably the one other thing Pai would attempt is to jump back towards the
center of the ring;  in anticipation of that, block high - your other
attacks will be snuffed otherwise.


* vs JEFFRY *

Be very careful of open opportunities.  Jeffry players will find
opportunities for throws everywhere, so do sliding tackles sparingly.
Elbows and mid-level attacks are the order of the day against Jeffry -
either push him out or keep the pressure on him.

Don't rise with attacks too often - Jeffry can sidekick or worse from
outside kick range.  Throw low sweeps less often if Jeff stays a distance
back - he's probably looking for a PowerBomb opportunity.  (When I play
Jeff, I always do...)

Be careful when things get too hot in close.  Jeffry's best in-close moves
are his uppercut and knee, so be prepared to block and counter more often.
Jeffry players will try to vary the offensive between uppercuts, knees and
throws, so be on your toes.

You can do interrupt-floats on Jeffry as well, but you're more likely to
end up with an UpKnPPPd+K or an UpKnP-DnKnPK.  Force Jeffry backwards in
close, or play distance, but Lau isn't as good at distance play as Sarah
is (or rather he's not equipped).  Again, make sure your shots are at least
blocked, or you're going to be flung around and bashed like a rag doll.

Jeffry can't reverse, so force him back as far as you can, preferably out
of the ring.  8)


* vs WOLF *

Against Wolf, throw your sidekicks sparingly (but throw them when he's
trying to do something other than reverse).  Elbow staggers work fine.
Like Jeffry, Wolf can low throw your low sweeps and sliding tackles, so
refrain from living by them.

Wolf can't reverse your punches either, so push him like you would Jeffry.
Floats are fine, but damage and distance are limited due to the weight
(hence length of float).  Block and counter his sidekick.  Very unfortunate
is the fact that Lau _can't_ counter Wolf's f+P Body Blow.  So elbow, or
try to throw after blocking that move.  Or start an m-UpKn Rush...


* vs KAGE *

Inevitably, most people will gravitate to Kage to face off against Lau.
Let me tell you firstly that Kage players had better find something else to
utilize than their high punch reversal, because one unfortunate elbow
stagger is enough to spell disaster with the Bread-&-Butter float.

Right, so Kage can counter your punches, knives and palms.  So?  The idea
would be to punish Kage by staggering him with elbows and sidekicks if he
tries it.  Hence the UpKnP-UpKnP-elbow... (abridge this to UpKnP-elbow
later).

What you have to look out for when dealing with Kage is not giving him
opportunities to toss you into the sky.  Getting your attacks blocked is
very important.  Not staying still or stunned is also important.  Keep
moving, else you're ten-foot fodder.

Watch for his much-too-quick heelkick.  You can counter it with a PPK after
blocking.  Kages will act on low punch - elbow a lot, to stagger-PK-sweep.
Good Kages will trick you into blocking high, then ten-footing you instead.
The solution?  A good offense is better than a defense...  If you can keep
Kage on his guard, then the advantage is all yours.  If there's too much
pressure and you can't fight him up close because he has the initiative,
take a breather, retreat a step, then go in again.

Kage's flying kicks are easy to block.  Putting it simply, block high until
you see Kage rolling.  Then block low.  In the Catapult kick, Kage starts
off by rolling.  Block this low.  The Corkscrew is started by running.
Block high.  Every time you block either flying kick, don't hesitate -
enter a complex standing throw.  You have a lot of reaction time.

The other way to deal with Kage's flying kicks is to do a takeoff kick
(jump+K) when you feel the opponent tap f,f.  Most of the time, you will
catch Kage in the middle of his body projectile;  if not you will probably
sail right over him.

Kage will probably try to low kick to keep you at bay.  How you should
react depends on what he's going to do next.  If he tries to retreat, and
you can react quickly, rush up and throw.  If he doesn't move, move closer
and sidekick.  Be quick, or you're likely to eat a heelkick first.  Easiest
way to deal with low kicks is to block and see what he does next.  If Kage
is leading in life, and time is running out, then you'll just have to risk
an attack - get slightly out of range and sidekick his low kick, or
something.


* vs LION *

Against Lion, UpKns tend to whiff more often than not.  The only way to get
an UpKn to connect is to get Lion standing, or to interrupt his low
punch-attack routines.  Good Lion players will make use of his speed to
move around and poke or lash out with that uncounterable sidekick of his.
Lion players have the option of playing a strong offensive game with close
in sidekicks, or irritating low-point poking tactics, or a mixture of both.

Elbows and UpKns are useless against Lion unless you manage to get in real
close (by run-and-stumble or otherwise).  Sidekicks and DnKns look good,
though.  Lion is fast enough to pull hit-and-runs, then come in to throw
your missed retaliation.  Keep up with Lion, as his lack of a direction-
changing throw makes it difficult for him to manoeuver when you press his
back up against ring edge.

Lion is nice and light as well, and will float pretty handily.  Follow up
every possible opportunity with an aerial float, and you'll munch big, big
chunks off him.

Your sidekick is very likely going to be your main weapon against Lion.
Take every opportunity to chase him down, but be wary when you get close,
especially when he reverses direction all of a sudden.

Lion's low pokes are uncounterable.  He is likely to follow the lunging
pokes with a sidekick, and block after the crouching pokes.  Adjust your
strategy to avoid the followups and throw, or pressure him while he's
forced to block.  Use back-off-and-attack methods to take small bites out
of him when you're not in a position to float him.


* vs SHUN *

Light, too light!  And too low.  Shun's low backpush (low bodycheck) can
evade your UpKn sequences.  Like Lion, on occassion you will not be able to
connect with an elbow (more chance than Lion, though).

Float him when you can - he's normally meat for a floating PPPK when you
get him up.  Some low attacks of his cannot be punished effectively by an
elbow (such as the low sweep, d+K+G).  Use a sidekick instead.

If you get confused by Shun's attacks, stick to the basics and counter
where you can.  Skipping backwards and returning with a sidekick is
normally good enough to tag a missed move.  UpKn floating is possible, and
you should try every opportunity to land one (featherweight).  Just be
careful of his uncounterable low backpush.

Shun has quite short range for most of his attacks, so take him on at
around mid range where your sidekick is at its optimum "tag" position.


Any additional tactics will be added in later revisions based on
contributions and criticisms; mail me if you have any.


---------------
BEATING THE CPU
---------------

Not ready by v0.9, sorry!

---------------
VERSION HISTORY
---------------

v0.9, 02 Nov 1995   - Semi-official release.  Skeleton and Moves list laid
                      out.  Most of the tactics dredged out from memory.
                      Awaiting criticisms...

----------------------------
CREDITS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
----------------------------

This FAQ could not have been brought to you without the help of the
following people.  Thanks, guys!

AM2 and SEGA            For the best game I have played up to this date.
GamestMook writers      For the sheer amout of information in the
                        GamestMook, and the effort it took to produce it.
                        Never mind that I can't read Japanese.
Chia Jin Ngee           For the wonderful VF2 FAQ that got me going on this
                        solid game.
Joji Suzuki             For LOTS of favours and tireless support.  Also for
                        the very first exemplary Akira FAQ.  Thanks, Joji!
Lan Bui                 For the basic discussion on the m-UpKn rush.
Lars Holst Sírensen     For giving the Lau Fighting Guide a place on his
                        well-constructed webpage, and for constructive
                        criticisms on the FAQ.
Alan Tan                For that first Lion movelist that started me on VF2,
                        and for being (having been) such an enthusiast on
                        the game (locally).
The RQ Group            For their support and similar arcade-craziness.
                        Thanks to Richard, Paul, Linden, Eddie, Ivan, Kiat,
                        and Tye-Wei for the fun!
David of Country        Who first showed me the power of Lau.  Still can't
                        forget those terrible thrashings.  8)