Subject: SoulCalibur: Beginner's Guide (FAQ) for Maxi
From: Jimmy Ip <tip01@utopia.poly.edu>
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998 03:47:24 -0800
Newsgroups: rec.games.video.arcade

Sorry, my email program screwed up my last posting... let me try again.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Beginner's Guide to Kicking A$$ With Maxi
Written by Jimmy Ip (tip01@utopia.poly.edu)
Updated version at: http://utopia.poly.edu/~tip01/maxi.txt
Last updated: 12/29/98

I.  Introduction
==================================================

I'm myself a novice in Soul Calibur.  There is not much resource on the net
about Maxi, one of the most confusing characters to use (which by the way
gives this character strength) in the game.  So I'll take a shot at
clarifying the confusing notations used in the movelists.

This is not intended to be a movelist.  You may find a complete movelist for
Maxi at

	http://www.luminpro.com/soulcalibur/maxi.html
                or
        http://www.soulcalibur.com/souls/maxmain.html

This guide will take you step by step through recognizing and utilizing the
vast arsenal of attacks available to you when fighting with Maxi.



II.  Step One - Movement
==================================================

Mobility is very important in any fight, business, military operation.  This
is especially true in Soul Calibur.  When your opponent charges at you with
reckless attacks, you have four options (listed in the order effectiveness):

        1. Block
        2. Guard impact, parry
        3. Move away, get out of harms way
        4. Interrupt the attack with your own attack

Blocking is the least useful option.  Most of the moves in SC will stagger or
"block stun" your character when you block them.  What this means, if you're
not familiar with arcade game jargons, is after you blocked the incoming
attack, your character will freeze for a very brief moment and will not able
to execute any move.  This gives your opponent a window to execute his next
move and force you to block again.  You block, you lose initiative.

Guard impact or parry is difficult for beginners.

Your next option is to move out of the attacker's path and retaliate with
your own attack.  Since you will not be block stunned, your attack will be
executed fast (as opposed to block, and then attack).

There are a few ways to move.  

 1. You can move back with b,b.  If you examine the moves for Maxi, you will
    find that b,[b]+K is the command for his Rolling Sobat kick.  When your
    opponent charges at you with an attack, tap back twice, hold the joystick
    at the back position.  When Maxi starts to move back, tap K.  Maxi will
    avoid the incoming attack, and jump right back in with his flying Sobat
    kick.  Try another similar move "Wave Slice" b,[b]+A

 2. Side step and attack.

 3. Start an 8way-run by holding d/b or u/b.  Once the 8way-run has started,
    there are a number of attacks you can initiate.  Try this.  Dash
    forward (f,f) to lure your opponent into attacking.  Immediately move
    back and start 8way-run by [b],[d/b].  Once the 8way-run starts, press
    f+A.  Maxi will step forward and smack the opponent with his "Striking
    Snake," which hits high.  Immediately back off and start 8way-run again
    by hold [b], then [d/b].  Then move back in with another f+A.  Repeat.
    After you get the hang of it, try doing the following instead of f+A:

    - Dragon Cannon - f+B+K (this move can also be done using u/f+B+K or 
        d/f+B+K) instead of f+A.  This move highs mid.

    - Dandy Surprise - hold any direction on the joystick during an 8way-run
        and hitting A+K.  This move highs low.

    - Back kick - d/f+K or u/f+K. This move may ring out the opponent. Should
        this happen just come calm and say "Sorry, the arena is too small for
        the two of us."  This technique is called "Trash talking", or more
        commonly referred to as "Pissing Your Opponent off."

    - Then try using any-direction+A+B.

    (Note: the "Return of Fear" comes out kind of slow, so be careful
     whenever you use it.  You opponent will most likely beat you to the
     punch.  Use this move when you expect your opponent to try a guard
     impact/parry.  Your attack will come out after his guard impact attempt
     and will smack him.)

You can pretty much beat the CPU and finish the game by repeating these
moves. just 8way-run, attack, 8way-run, attack, etc.  You never even need to
block.  Boring though effective.



III.  While-Standing Move, Beginner Combos/Strings
==================================================


Before getting to know the more complicated stances, you should first
familiarize yourself with the WS or while-standing moves.  A while-standing
move is executed while Maxi is standing up from a crouch position.

For example, to do the "Dragon Brand" or WS+A+B, try the following.  Hold
down on the joystick.  When you see Maxi crouch, release the joystick back to
the neutral position.  Maxi will start to stand up.  Tap A+B (Note that you
do not have to actually see Maxi stand up before hitting A+B.  That will be
too late.  Just hit A+B immediately after releasing the joystick.)  When done
correctly, Maxi will step forward and hit the opponent multiple times in the
stomach as if he was a drummer playing a drum.

Doing WS moves in this fashion is slow, since there are 3 commands you need
to enter (hold down joystick, release joystick, A+B) before the attack comes
out.  A better way to initiate a WS move is to first execute another move
which ends in a crouching position and then "flow" into the desired WS move.
This concept is called "Stringing."

For example, the Illusion Low Kicks d+K,K ends in the crouching position.  So
try d+K,K, then immediately enter A+B.  Maxi will perform two low kicks and
then "flow" into the Dragon Brand smacking your opponent in the stomach.  At
this point, you wave your hands in the air and yell "Aaa daaaaa!!!" like
Bruce Lee did in Enter the Dragon.  This technique is called "Psyching Your
Opponent Out."  You may add more effectiveness by drooling a little while
waving your hands.  I'm sure this will affect your opponent's game big time.

Moves that can be initiated from the normal standing position which ends in
the crouching position are as follows:

  - Tongue - d+A - hits only when your opponent is not blocking, but fast

  - Snake Scythe - d/b+A - hits low, staggers the opponent

  - Wave Slice - b, [b]+A - hits low

  - Falling Fang - d+B - hits mid, similar to d+A

  - Falling Dragon - K~B, A - the first move jumps over any incoming low
      attacks and hits mid, the second move hits low.  Mix this move up with
      the "Dragon Pounce" K~B,K which hits mid, and then mid again.  Note
      that the "Dragon Pounce" version does not end in the crouching
      position.

  - Illusion Low Kicks - d+K, K - hits low and low again, pretty fast.  Mix
      this move with "Illusion Kick" d+K,B which hits low then mid and ends
      in PRO (see the Stance Section below)

  - Quick Slice - d/b+K - hits low.

The moves that can be initiates while-standing are as follows:

  - Nunchaku Cross - WS, A - hits mid, fast, but there are better choices

  - Rolling Biting Upper - WS, B - hits mid, pretty fast, ends in PLI (see
      the Stance section)  I found this to be the best choice from the
      crouching position.

  - Dragon Scream - WS, K, K - hits mid, then high.  The first move will send
      the opponent into the air on a hit, and the second will get him while
      he is in the air.  These kicks have good ring-out abilities.

  - Dragon's Brand - WS, A+B or just hit A+B while still crouching - hits mid
      This is the homeless drummer move.  It ends in PRC (see Stance section)

  - Rope Dancer - FC, d/f+A,A,A - hits low low low, in order to do this move,
      you must be fully crouched (do not return the joystick to neutral after
      crouching down).

After familarizing yourself with the basic moves above, try these strings:


  Move - Illusion low kicks -> Dragon Scream -> Smack his butt with Nunchakus
  Command - d+K,K, note you will be fully crouched at this point, just let go
     of the joystick and hit K, K, and then flow into B,B,B,B....


  Move - Illusion low kicks -> Dragon's Brand
  Command - d+K,K flow into A+B

  Move - Tongue -> Rolling Biting Upper -> PLI -> PurityCross or CanyonCarve
  Command - d+A flow into B (ends in PLI) flow into either A or B
  Note: The PurityCross or CanyonCarve has a build-in side step which avoids
        counter attacks and then smack the opponent at an angle.

IMPORTANT NOTE: When using strings (especially the ones that involve Pure
                Soul stances below since there is usually a brief delay at
                the beginning of the stance), it is important to use moves
                that staggers your opponent.  Even if your opponent blocks
                them, you cannot interrupt your next move.


IV.  Pure Soul Stances, Intermediate Combos/Strings
==================================================

This section outlines the basic usage of Maxi's Pure Soul stances.  This is
where Maxi swings his nunchakus around his body like Bruce Lee did in "Enter
the Dragon".  You should practice yelling out "Gaja Gaja Gaja!!" whenever you
are in the Pure Soul stances.  Whenever you execute a move from these stance,
yell "OoooWaaaaaAAAaaaAAAaaaaAAAaaa...."  This is the first step towards
mastering the Pure Soul stance, as it is also the first step in getting
famous in your local arcade.  This technique is called "Kiai"ing.  Refer to
Bruce Lee's "Enter the Dragon" for more advanced "Kiai" techniques heheheh.


When you are in any of the Pure Soul stances, you will not be able to block
or walk.  A dangerous position indeed.  If you leave the joystick and buttons
alone (neutral), the nunchaku playing session will end after a brief moment.
If you hold the joystick forward or backward or hold down A+K, however, Maxi
will start the "Pure Soul Infinite Loop Series", which simply means Maxi will
cycle through various Pure Soul stances non-stop, not blocking, not walking.
You should avoid the Pure Soul Loops as a novice.  If you ever find yourself
in the loop and don't know how to stop, just leave the joystick at neutral
and keep on hitting B.


If you do not have the memory of Dustin Hoffman in RainMan, it is highly
recommended that you learn one (or two) stance per day.  Don't worry, for you
will have enough to work with even without any Pure Soul stance.  It is also
recommended that you learn the stance in the order listed below.  Okey, on
with the stances...


Pure Soul Right Outer (PRO)
---------------------------
From the normal standing position, you may get into PRO by doing the
following:

  - Lunging Snake - f+A into PRO - hits high, fast

  - Rope Dancer - crouch, d/f+A,A,A into PRO - hits low, you may stop at the
      first or second hit, this move staggers opponent when blocked

  - Snake Bite - B into PRO - hits mid so it works better than f+A IMHO. But,
      if there is some distance between you and your opponent, and you dash
      forward before executing this move (ie. f,f,B), you will most likely
      get the piss slow "Return of Fear" move instead.  So in this case, it
      is better to do f,f+A instead.

  - Nunchaku Lick - WL,B into PRO - hits low.

  - Illusion Kick - d+K,B into PRO - hits low then mid, nice move.

  - Fury - B+K, B,B,B,A into PRO - hits mid, easy to block, this move will
      stagger opponent.

  - Nunchaku Lick - d/f+B+K, immediately hit B, into PRO, hits low, good for
      interrupting incoming attacks or as a surprise move.

Once you finished the above moves, you are technically in PRO.  There are a
number of special moves you can initiate from PRO.  You can do them any time
during PRO.  Or you can "buffer" them into the system while Maxi is still
doing one of the above moves.  Try to offset your opponent's defense by
varying your rhythm.  Do one of the above moves, pause, let your opponent
attack, then interrupt him using one of the PRO move below.

Here are the moves that you may execute from the PRO:

  - Dragon Bite - A,K - hits high then mid - if the second K is not executed
      Maxi will go into PBL.

  - Dragon Wing - B,B - hits mid mid - both of these moves ends in PRC.

  - Falling Dragon - K,A - jumps up and hits mid then low - ends in the
      crouching position.

  - Dragon Pounce - K,K - jumps up and hits mid mid - staggers opponent, mix
      this move with Falling Dragon above.


>>Strings utilizing PRO<<

  Move: SnakeBite -> PRO -> Dragon Wing -> PRC -> Mark of the Beast
  Well this may sound like a complicated sequence, but the command is just...
  Command: B, B,B, B    heheheh... Note that the last hit usually misses, so
                        the following sequence is better

  Move: SnakeBite -> PRO -> DragonWing -> PRC -> TigerPounce -> DragonScream
  Command: B -> B,B -> A -> K,K

  Move: IllusionKick -> PRO -> FallingDragon -> DragonScream
  Command: d+K,B -> K,A -> K,K  hits low, mid, mid, low, mid, mid heheheh...

The next logical step in the learning map would be...


Pure Soul Right Cross (PRC)
---------------------------
From the normal standing position, you may enter PRC using:

  - Twin Snakes - A,A into PRC - hits high high - fast, nice and sweet.
      There is a slight pause before the PRC moves, so the opponent will most
      likely be lured foolishly into attacking and eating your PRC attacks.
      Use this move to interrupt incoming high/mid attacks.

  - Snake Scythe - WL,A into PRC - hits low, staggers.

  - Serpent's Pleasure - A+B - hits mid mid.  The two hit Serpent's Pleasure
      does not end in PRC.  But you can cancel the second hit by holding down
      on the joystick.  When the second hit is canceled, the move ends in PRC
      Mix the full version A+B, and the canceled A+B to confuse the opponent.

  - Dragon's Brand - WS+A+B or while fully crouched+A+B - hits mid - powerful
      drummer move!

Of course, Maxi can flow into PRC from other Pure Soul stances

  - PRO DragonWing into PRC - from PRO B or B,B

  - PLO 1st hit of WingSobat into PRC - from PLO B

  - PLO -> PRC - from PLO if you leave the joystick and buttons at neutral,
      Maxi will automatically go into PRC.

  - PLI PurityCross into PRC - from PLI double tap A

Moves that you can do from PRC are as follows:

  - Tiger Pounce - A - jumps up and hits mid mid, ends in crouching position

  - Mark of the Beast - B - hits mid, another drummer move! staggers opponent

  - Water Slice - K,K - hits low then mid.  Mix this up with the above moves!


>>Strings utilizing PRC<<

  Move: TwinSnakes -> PRC -> TigerPounce -> DragonScream
  Command: A,A -> A -> K,K  Use this move to counter attack after you block
                            an incoming attack.  Also use this for
                            interrupting incoming attacks.

Move: Serpent's Pleasure (Canceled) -> PRC -> MarkofTheBeast
  Command: A+B, immediately hold joystick down -> B
  Source/Credit: fox_ling@yahoo.com

  Move: TwinSnakes -> PRC -> WaterSlice
  Command: A,A -> K,K       hits high high, low mid

  Move: IllusionKick -> PRO -> DragonWing -> PRC -> WaterSlice
  Command: d+K,B -> B,B -> K,K
  Variation: d+K,B -> B,B -> A -> K,K


Pure Soul Left Inner (PLI)
--------------------------
From the normal standing position, use the following to get into PLI:

  - Nunchaku Slap - b+A into PBL - hits H, staggers opponent
      This move does not end in PLI, but after this move, you have the
      following choices:
      a. Steel Dragon - B - hits high, staggers opponent
      b. B~A (meaning hit B immediately followed by A), A, B  Nice move
      c. B~[b] into PLI (meaning hit B immediately hold joystick back)
           this variation ends in PLI

  - Branding Nunchaku into PLI - f+B~[b], immediately hold joystick back
      Same as c. above.  Hits mid, mid, etc.  Staggers opponent.

  - Rolling Biting Upper into PLI - WS,B - hits mid.  Nice Move! I like this.

  - Side Winder into PLI - A+K - this is a side step maneuver, no hit.

Or you can get into PLI from an 8way-run using:

  - Northern Lights into PLI - 8way-run to right side of opponent, A
      This move hits M, and it spins the opponent on a hit.

  - Branding Nunchaku - 8way-run, d+B~[b] (meaning down+B then immediately
      hold joystick back).  u+B~[b] also works.  Same as c. above.

From PLI, if you leave the joystick and buttons at neutral, Maxi will go
into PBL.  During PLI, you may use the following moves:

  - Purity Cross - A - hits high.  Nice.  This is a side step followed by a
      smack!  Staggers opponent.  Maxi will go into PRC if you immediately
      hit A again.  Nice move again...  Note also that the PurityCross is
      may be used to escape ring-edge traps, where the opponent have pushed
      you to the edge of the ring and he keeps constant pressure on you by
      attacking, threatening a ring-out.  When you get a gap do a
Tongue (d+A), RollingBitingUpper (WS+B) into PLI PurityCross (A) and
      sidestep your way back into the arena.

  - Canyon Carve into PBL - B - hits mid.  Nice.  This is a side step
      followed by a over head smack. Staggers opponent. Ends in PBL.  This
      move may be used for ring-edge-trap escape just like the PurityCross.

  - Wheel Kick - K - hits mid, staggers opponent.

This is where you begin to RIP with Maxi!

>>Strings utilizing PLI<<

For starters...  How 'bout...

  Move: Tongue (fast) -> RollingBitingUpper -> PLI -> SideStep -> PurityCross
  Command: d+A -> (release joystick)+B -> A  last attack hits high
  The PurityCross will sidestep incoming attacks and hit the opponent at an
  angle.

  Move: Tongue -> RollingBitingUpper -> PLI -> SideStep -> CanyonCarve
  Command: d+A -> (release joystick)+B -> B  last attack hits mid

How 'bout...

Move: Tongue -> RollingBitingUpper -> PLI -> SideStep -> PurityCross -> PRC
          -> TigerPounce -> RollingBitingUpper -> PLI -> SideStep
          -> CanyonCarve
  Command: d+A -> (release joystick)+B -> A~A (double tap A) -> A -> B -> B

  Move: IllusionLowKicks -> RollingBitingUpper -> PLI -> SideStep
          -> CanyonCarve -> PBL -> FuryKicks
  Command: d+K,K -> (release joystick)+B -> B -> K,K
  Note: The pause before the fury kicks is quite long, so the opponent may
        hit you out of it.
  Note2: If the opponent is outside the range of d+K,K, use begin the string
         with Falling Dragon (K~B,A) instead.

Or simply...

  Move: Side Winder -> PLI -> SideStep -> PurityCross
  Command: A+K -> A
  Note: This is a DOUBLE sidestep and smack, useful for getting out of
        ring-edge traps.

Pure Soul Left Outer (PLO)
--------------------------
From the normal standing position, use the following to get into PLO:

  - Stonewall into PLO - A~K (hit A then immediately hit K) - hits high then
      mid. Staggers opponent.

- Nunchaku Slap to Steel Dragon to PLO - b+A, B~B

  - Steel Dragon into PLO - f+B~B

  - Snake Kiss into PLO - b+B - hits mid.  This is my move of choice when it
      comes to PLO.

  - Venom Fang into PLO - G(u+B) (meaning hold guard, tap up+B, release
      guard) - jumps and hits mid.  Staggers opponent.  There is a high
      chance for an opponent to hit you out of the air though.

Or you may get into PLO from an 8way-run:

  - Steel Dragon into PLO - 8way-run, u+B (or d+B) - hits high

  - Snake Kiss into PLO - 8way-run, b+B - hits mid

Or you may get into PLO from PBL:

- PBL Lunging Biting Upper into PLO - From PBL hit B - hits mid

During PLO, if you leave the joystick and buttons at neutral, Maxi will flow
into PRC.  The moves you can execute while in PLO are as follows:

  - Bloody Cross - A,K - hits low then mid.  Staggers opponent.  The first
      hit is a knees down and performs a sideway roll avoiding any high
      incoming attacks.  Then he whips the nunchaku at his opponent's shin.
      If the second kick is not performed, this move ends in the crouching
      position. *evil-grin*  Staggers opponent.  Also note that the sideroll
      may be used to escape ring-edge traps, where the opponent have pushed
      you to the edge of the ring and he keeps constant pressure by
      attacking, threatening a ring-out.  When you get a gap do a SnakeKiss
      (b+B) into PLO BloodyCross (A,K) and roll back into the arena.

  - Wing Sobat - B,K - hits mid then high.  Nice variant of the BloodyCross.
      If the second move is not performed, this move ends in PRC. *evil-grin*
      Staggers opponent.

  - Circle Kick - K - hits low.  Yet another nice variant of the above moves.
      This move ends in the crouching position. (!)

>>Strings utilizing PLO<<

  Move: SnakeKiss -> PLO -> Sideroll -> 1st-hit-BloodyCross
-> RollingBitingUpper -> SideStep -> CanyonCarve -> PBL -> Lunging
Biting Upper -> PLO -> repeat PLO strategy...
  Command: b+B -> A -> B -> B -> B -> repeat strategy...
  Note: This is how you can string various Pure Soul stances together using
        attacks.  Notice how the sidesteps and siderolls avoid incoming
        attacks.

  Move: SnakeKiss -> PLO -> Sideroll -> 1st-hit-BloodyCross -> Dragon'sBrand!
  Command: b+B -> A -> A+B

  Move: Stonewall -> PLO -> CircleKick -> RollingBitingUpper -> PLI
    -> Sidestep -> CanyonCarve -> LungingBitingUpper -> PLO -> WingSobat
    -> PRC -> Mark of the Beast
  This is actually pretty simple...
  Command: A~K -> K -> B B B B B...  Just keep on hitting B!  :)
  Note: This string does not do much as the attacks all hit mid.  But it
        keeps the pressure on the opponent none the less.  Beware that your
        opponent may 8way-run his way out of the attack string.

Pure Soul Behind Lower (PBL)
----------------------------
This is the stance that I used the least.  IMO, the pause at the beginning of
the stance is too long for it to be used safely.  Please consult the movelist
for moves related to PBL.


V. Other Moves to Keep in Mind
==================================================

  - Twin Snakes into PRC - A,A - hits high high.  This move was introduced
      above, but I want to reiterate its usefulness.  Use it to interrupt
      incoming attacks.  Remember to use the PRC follow-ups.

  - Striking Snake - f.f+A - hits high.  After your opponent missed a power
      move, if he is not standing close, use this move instead of the Return
      of Fear (f,[f]+B).  f,[f]+B is slow.

  - Wave Slice - b, [b]+A (meaning hold joystick back and tap A) - hits low.
      Ends in the crouching position.

  - b+A, B~A, A, B - hits high, mid, mid, mid

  - Serpent's Desire - f+B~A, A, B - hits mid mid mid

  - Biting Upper - d/f+B - hits the opponent into the air.  Follow up with
      BBBBBB... or B, K, K

  - Dragon Roar - f, [f]+K - hits high



VI. Credits / Thanks
==================================================

   http://www.luminpro.com/soulcalibur
   http://www.soulcalibur.com/
   fox_ling@yahoo.com

And special thanks to HenryYiu who said, "Maxi... I think you've picked the
  Eddy Gordo of SoulCalibur...*sigh*..."

Who did I missed?!  Let me know.  And I'll add you.