Soul Calibur XiangHua FAQ version 0.97 written by: Premium G. (real name prefer to be withheld) Email: PremiumG@yahoo.com Date: 1/16/2000 Updates: 0.97: - Added When being Poked at section, almost done! 0.9: - Original Beta FAQ. _____________________________________________________________________________ How to Use This FAQ: This is the best way to get the most out of this FAQ- 1-first go into practice mode, and get to know ALL of XiangHua's moves from the command list. ALL of them. Put CPU on Stand and Guard all moves so you don't ring the CPU out too easily. 2-read my insights of the moves that I find effective. Repeat those moves and try to understand why what I wrote what I did about each move. 3-read my in-game insights and try out the different tactics from midrange, beginning of match, up-close, etc., etc. Get a feel for the tactics until you can do them and mix them up without thinking about it (it should just come out with no hesitation and should feel natural). Note the inclose tactics and their hit ranges and height. Mid, low, etc. It's important to know the height of the inclose tactics... It's also very important to get to know which moves advances XiangHua so you can continue poking. If you don't advance, you'll simply push the opponent away and you will not be able to poke anymore. 4-put CPU on Final Boss level and Ultrahard... keep playing using my tactics and making up your own as you go along. Make up your own "style" of playing... keep playing until you can defeat your CPU opponent with no problems... Play against all the characters you have so that you are familiar with their moves (know how to anticipate and block their moves) Introduction: I am writing this FAQ because I believe that I am a good XiangHua player in Soul Calibur. I'm not going to brag or anything and I am welcome to comments or suggestions. If you think my tactics suck, e-mail me. Anyway, I'm not going to mess around with the very basics of Soul Calibur like how to guard parry, etc., etc. All that can be found on move lists. That is not what I am writing to write here. I am trying to write a FAQ with tactics and strategy on how to play an effective XiangHua. I think XiangHua is one of the most effective characters to play in Soul Calibur because of her speed and interrupt ability. Her speed is only second to Taki's. I believe an effective XiangHua is played "in your face" style, countering and poking at the opponent. This FAQ is to help people to play XiangHua better. General tips: The best thing to do in any fighting game is be as unpredictable as you can. Everyone has their own style of playing but all the experts have something in common, they are unpredictable. That means mix up your moves. The best way to win with XiangHua is to do fast, good priority moves, mixed in with slower low hits mixed in with throws every once in a while. XiangHua's speed is her best weapon. Although her throw range is poor, her speed allows you to run up and throw before the opposition know what happened. Also remember after you've been parried or repelled (except at far range i.e. parrying Kilik's b+B move), you cannot block or duck fast enough to avoid the next move if he follows immediately. You can however parry or repel yourself. That is the only thing that will stop a move done immediately after a parry or repel. However, the other person can mix it up be delaying his move after your parry or repel.... or the other person can do a low move versus his usual high slashes ... etc. etc. This goes back to the most universals rule of fighting games.... be unpredictable. Don't be afraid to run straight up and throw. A lot of people don't throw enough.... There is a line though where you can go overboard. When you think you're opponent will least expect it, don't be afraid to run up and throw. This can throw off the timing of people who like to parry attacks a lot because they'll parry at the range of the attack, and not the throw.. so when they parry, no attack is coming. For XiangHua, once the opponent gets use to her super-fast pokes, they will most likely turtle up and block. This is the time to run up and throw. Know ALL your character's moves. I don't list all of XiangHua's moves in this FAQ but they are available in the command list of the game. Even moves you think are worthless and moves you don't ever think you'll use. By knowing all the moves, this allows you more variety in a match, thus making you more unpredictable, thus a deadlier opponent. Don't be afraid to try moves you think are worthless. Sometimes by trying those "worthless" moves out in a match, you find out situations when those moves might actually be pretty good. There seems to be no difference between guard parries and repels in regard to time initiative gained. I prefer to use guard parries though because it seems to leave the opponent closer sometimes than guard repels. Although some people say repels are better against heavy hits and parries against lighter hits, I find they work both equally well in both situations. Remember that a high parry or repel works for high and mid moves while a low one works for mid and low moves. When someone is poking you, usually the moves consist of mid and low hits..... therefore use low parries more when you find yourself being poked at.... Beware though, only a high parry or repel can work against a throw. _____________________________________________________________________________ Let's go over the legend of my FAQ: d - down f - forward b - back u - up A - horizontal slash B - vertical slash K - kick G - guard + - means press at the same time (i.e., A+B) ~ - means slide the buttons. Press one button then quickly press the other 8WR - eight way run ws - while standing (from crouch) wc - while crouching That's about it!!! First, I'm going to give a run-down of basic moves for XiangHua that I think are very effective (not in any order). Note, NOT EVERY MOVE IS LISTED!! Just the ones I find I use most often.... NOTE: Some move names are taken off Dreamcast, some are taken off a Soul Calibur FAQ by Mr MG. so names might be different from the game command list or other FAQs. _____________________________________________________________________________ Beautiful Rhythm (A, A, B) - Two fast high swings followed by a mid stab. Very good starting speed, very good priority and horizontal arc. Drawbacks are that the first two hits are high and the final stab knocks the opponent too far to continue pokes. XiangHua has a lot of variations from this move. First variation (A, A). This only does the first two swings of the string. After this, you can throw or do another move. The second variation is (A, A, up or down). With this XiangHua does two swings then side-steps, and spins her sword. This repels high and mid attacks. The only time I see a feasible use for this is if the (A, A) misses (from either being too far or if your opponent ducks the two swings) and you know your opponent is about to attack you. During a "poke session" as I like to call it, you want to constantly bombard your opponent with moves. If you could delay the last part of the string (A, A, up or down) that would make this move a lot more useful. When an opponent is being poked at with (A, A) they will most likely block the mid stab they think is coming or suspect that you will only do (A, A) and try to interrupt you as you go for another move. But the (A, A, up or down) side-steps too quick. Yes, TOO quick! Not to mention when XiangHua does this side-stepping repel move, she steps back, not forward... thus halting your poke session. So now you see why I only do (A, A, up or down) when (A, A) misses. The third variation is (A, A, b+B). After that, there are subvariations (A, A, b+B, B) or (A, A, b+B, B, B) or (A, A, b+B, B, G). When you press (A, A, b+B, B) XiangHua does two horizontal swings followed by two mid attacks where she spins her sword at you. (A, A, b+B, B, B) gives you two horizontal swings, a mid sword spin, then a high stab. Although the stab hits high, it seems to have better priority then the two mid spins of (A, A, b+B, B). The (A, A, b+B, B, G) is a cancel for her fourth hit. She annouces her cancel by saying "sorry" in chinese so I find it more useful to end the string at (A, A, b+B) rather than using the cancel. I don't find much use for the cancel really. In most cases, you will mix up between (A, A) or (A, A, B). Feung Yun Feint (A~K, B) - A butterfly kick (hits mid) followed by a low stab (hits low). Start-up time is a little slow so use this move in mid-range or after a faster move for best results. Doubt Feung Feint (A~K, K) - Two butterfly kicks that hit mid. A good mix-up from the previous move. Again start-up time is a little slow and recovery speed is only fair. If blocked a safe follow up is a (d+A). Another way to mix it up is to stop after the first kick and do another move. Striking Lian Hua (f, f+A) - XiangHua runs foward and slashes in a wide horizontal arc for a high hit that results in a knockdown. This move is best used for opponents who like to 8WR a lot to avoid attacks. It hits high though... Best used at mid-range and an ender to a poking session (when opponent tries to back out of range of your pokes). Shui Shian Strike (df+A) - A low hit that has good range. Start-up time is fair and if the move hits, your opponent end up crouching and in while-rising status (unless he presses down). This limits the opponents' ability to strike after being hit. This move advances XiangHua fairly well and a good follow up is a throw or (ws, K) mix-up. Rhythm Halt (d+A) - You will be using this move a lot during your poke sessions. Range and damage is lacking but it's speed of execution, and recovery cannot be beaten. It his special mid so and guard will block your attack. Whenever you don't know what to do or are in a bad situation, this move will bail you out. Counters almost anything up close. Lan Hua Slice (b, b+A) - This move is a very good move to use at close-range or mid-range. Start-up time is a little slow so precede this move with a (d+A) or (A, A). Hold down (A) to do two slashes instead of one. I always do this instead of just pressing A. My reasoning? Well, let's examine (b, b+A) without holding A. You get one mid slash. If it hits, the opponent will grab his stomach and fall down. You can then follow up with (df+B) or (f, f+K) when they are on the floor and those two hits are guaranteed by the way. But the damage from (b, b + hold A) is only slightly less that (b, b+A) followed up with (df+B) or (f, f+K). (b, b + hold A) keeps the opponent standing up allowing you to continue your pokes. (b, b + hold A) does two slashes, one mid and one high. The high hit although not guaranteed comes out so fast that pretty much anyone who gets hit by the first hit will not be able to press guard fast enough to block the second hit. (b, b + hold A) has better follow-up options that (b, b+A) and advances XiangHua very, very well. After (b, b + hold A), you can go into a throw which works very well, or do (f, f+K) for a mid-hit mix-up. To summarize (b, b + hold A) advances XiangHua better, the second hit is almost guaranteed after the first (cause it's so fast), and has better follow-up options. So do (b, b + hold A) instead. Oh yeah, the first hit will go under high attacks. Muu Jiann Rhythm (ws, A, A) - You will also be using these in your pokes a lot. With this move, you get two mid hits. The range is poor and but speed is good (for the first A). The second slash comes out way to slow and usually is best left out. Do one slash and press (d+K). Then when the opponent gets use to that, do both slashes. I have had a lot of people even retreat before the second hit comes out!! This move advances XiangHua only fair when poking. Elegant Rhythm (B, B) - Two vertical mid slashes. Good speed and damage. Range is not bad but this move can be side-stepped fairly easily. This is another move you will be using in your pokes fairly commonly. Precede this with (A, A) or just (A). Doing this will stop a 8WRunner before you do the move. Lian Hua Twist Right (B~A) - A mid hit that comes out really slow but it repels high attacks. That's all I can really say about this move. You probably won't use this much unless you see a pattern in the opponent's attacks and can predict a high attack. Usually I would counter his attack rather that just using this attack. The delaying propery of this move (because it comes out a little slow) is good if you can also predict a guard parry or repel. The move will come out after they already done the guard parry and will hit them when they are vunerable. Advancing Rhythm (f+B, A) - a high stab immediately followed by a mid horizontal slash. Advances XiangHua pretty well during poke session. Read description for next move.... Deadly Rhythm (f+B, B) - a high stab followed by a low stab. The low stab comes out really slow and is extremely telegraphed. But what makes (f+B, A) and (f+B, B) useful is the mix-up potential. Common mix-ups I use that will make these two moves more useful: (f+B), (df+B) (f+B), throw (f+B), (f, f+K) or just do (f+B, B) or (f+B, A) Playful Rhythm (f, f+B, B) - a mid stab followed by another mid hit which XiangHua does a little twirl of the sword. The second hit is not guaranteed after the first but it will usually hit because it comes out quick after the first hit. You can press back after first hit to retreat with a guard repel or you can press back after the second hit to retreat with a guard repel (only if second hit misses). I usually press back after the second hit. When you press back after the second hit, you will twirl your sword around and repel high and mid attacks. When the opponent gets use to you retreating, he will usually try to run up and throw you (because he doesn't want to get his attacks repelled). You can mix it up by not pressing back and attacking the opponent who tries to rush in a throw you. Good attacks to use are throws as they run in or (f, f+K). Lian Hua Upper (df+B) - a mid hit that lifts up opponent for juggles. It goes under some high attacks. Execution speed is good and recovery is pretty good. Be wary of side-steps though. Rhythm Break (b+B) - XiangHua twirls her sword at your for a mid hit with pretty good range. If you press (b+B, B) she will do two mid-hits. (b+B, B, B) will give you a stab instead which hits high so it's not that useful. However the high hit seems to have better priority can comes out a bit faster. Becareful of accidentally doing the high stab by pressing (B) too many times. You can also press (b+B, B, G) to cancel the second hit which I don't find that useful. If you're going to cancel the second hit, just do the first hit instead (b+B). Cancelling the second hit lengthens your recovery time. Fairly good mix-up potential.. Shan Ji (db+B, A) - A mid vertical slash followed by a little hop into a low stab. The low stab is telegraphed pretty bad but can go over low attacks with the little hop. The low stab can also be delayed for a while. The first hit of the move (if hit or blocked) will protect the hop-stab pretty well from counters. The second hit I have never seen countered so feel free to do it. The hop goes over low attacks and the low stab is low enough to avoid high attacks as well as having good priority. Good move to use in a poke session. Use the delay only after the opponent starts blocking the low stab. Mix-up potential for this move is limited because recovery time for (db+B) when not followed by (A) is pretty bad. This move ends crouching so you can mix it up by pressing (db+B), (ws, B) for a mid hit. Even this is limited because the (A) part of the move is so telegraphed it can be blocked by good players on reaction. Here's a little trick to lengthen the delay even more though. Press (db+B). Then keep crouching by pressing down. Then while crouching press (B~A). This is a separate move that only does the little hop into the low stab. The object of this mix-up is to make the opponent think that you've delayed it too long and the low stab isn't coming after all. Vengeful Lian Hua (b, b+B) - XiangHua bounces back a little and lunges forward with a mid stab. You will be using this move a lot as a counter. You can press back during this move to retreat with a guard repel. This only works if move is blocked or misses. But why would you want to retreat if it hits anyways because this move will knock them down if hit. Read description for Playful Rhythm for mix-ups regarding the guard repel retreat. Shaing Ryh Kwei (ws, B) - XiangHua lunges forward a bit and twirls her sword for two mid hits with good range. Useful to end pokes with but can be side-stepped pretty easily. If blocked, best follow-up is (f, f+K). Mei Guai Hua (wc, df+B) - A pretty fast vertical slash that hits mid. Enables juggles if this move hits. Useful follow-up to (d+A). Recovery time is pretty good too. This is another move to stick somewhere in a poke session. Mei Guan Hua Feint (wc, df+B, B) - A fake uppercut slash followed by a low stab to the legs. VERY telegraphed. It would be useful if you can fake the uppercut slash and cancel into another move but you can't. You will probably get someone the first few times but after that, it loses its usefulness. Ok, why did I even put this move down? Outer Heh Kick (K~B, B) - a tornado kick that hits mid and hops over low attacks followed by a sword twirl that hits mid. Execution time is a little slow but it's a good move to use in mid range. You can mix-up by only doing the kick into the throw. Also not a bad move to use for wake-up games as it hits downed opponents (the kick only). A good tactic to use is to use this move so the kick misses them on the ground. Assuming the opponent seizes the oppurtunity to counter after the missed kick, the second part of the move (twirling sword) will hit them. Woan Shyoung Swing (f, f+K) - You will be using this move a LOT. When I say a lot, I mean a lot. You will learn to love this move. Your opponent will learn to hate this move. It comes out SUPER fast, has good range, good damage, and AWESOME priority. AWESOME means AWESOME. I've never seen this move countered before except during the beginning when the kick hasn't come out yet. Once the leg comes out though, this move is almost unstoppable. Best used at close to mid-range. You must learn to buffer this move. Buffer means to begin the motion of one move within another. A good example is when you a blocking an opponent's attack. Press (f, f) while blocking. Then let go of guard and press kick to release this power house. After this kick hits, the opponent will be spun to his side. This is the perfect time to...... do another one!! Yes, don't be afraid to throw this move out repeatily. Vary the timing to throw off people who like to guard repel. Immediatly after a successful kick, another kick is guaranteed unless the opponent blocks or repels. Doing another kick will counter pretty much anything the opponent throws out leaving him only two choices. Block and guard parry. Now, left with these two options, you can run in and throw, or go into your pokes. If the opponent blocks this kick then he can counter an attempt at another kick [only with a few select moves... really fast attacks suck as (d+A) and (A, A) or avoidance attacks such as XiangHua's (b, b+B)]. So did you get that clearly? That means only a few selet attacks can even have the possibility of countering two kicks in a row (with first one blocked). If the first one hits, the second kick will only bow down to a guard parry or block. So mix-ups include: After successful kick: (f, f+K) again (WILL NOT BE COUNTERED, only blocked or parried) delayed (f, f+K) to hit them after they miss their parry throw (b, b + hold A) run up and start pokes (d+B+A) After blocked kick: (f, f+K) again (can be countered) delay (f, f+K) and hit them after they miss their attack or miss their parry (b, b+B) to stop opponent's counter throw (d+B+A) You have to realize that the you get more initiative blocking that after being hit. The frames for recovery are faster for blocking that recoving after a hit. This is important to realize when poking or being poked at... A good example is this.... Two XiangHua's are fighting each other. One XiangHua (we'll call her ME) does a (d+A) that hits up close. Now (ME) will do another (d+A). The second XiangHua (YOU) tries to stop the pokes inbetween my (d+A)'s with her own (d+A). My second swing will hit her before her's comes out. However if my first (d+A) was blocked and (YOU) was fast enough then she can let go of block and do (d+A) before I can swing again with (d+A) so I will get hit. Sounds a little confusing? Sorry, that's as clear as I can make it. Woan Shyong Nibble (d+K) - a good alternative to (d+A). XiangHua does a little kick that hits low. Speed and recovery are superb. Damage, and range is pitiful. This move has no horizontal arc at all. (d+A) gives you a little horizontal arc at least to stop 8WRunners up close. At this range, horizontal arc doesn't make that big of a difference anyways. Stick this move out every once in a while to counter a opponent's attack. Also very useful when poking because it hits low. Circle Breaker (db+K) - a low kick with good range, and good damage. Recovery and execution time is ok. If this move is blocked up close, you will probably eat some damage. This is alternative to (d+K) during pokes because you remain standing up. This move pushes opponents away so good follow-ups include (d+B+A), (f, f+K), or (b, b + hold A). Circle Breaker Feint (db+K~A, A, B or K) - this is a mid slash move going into the butterfly kick mix-up. Read above description for Feung Yun Feint for butterfly kick mix-ups. The added hit isn't really that good. The slash comes out kind of slow and range isn't that good. This is another one of those moves I put in this FAQ just to tell you the drawbacks. I usually use the (A~K) mix-ups at mid-range. The extra slash this move adds usually doesn't cover that distance so I really don't do it much. Ta (b, b+K) - This kick is an alternative to situations when you would use (f, f+K). Sacrifices a bit of speed in the beginning for a little extra damage. After this kick hits, a (f, f+K) is 90% likely to hit. So damage is pretty good if you get both kicks. However the few extra frames that slow down this kick compared to (f, f+K) can make a big difference in some cases. Use this move only during mid-range. This can be used in pokes but is a bit slow. Follow up with (f, f+K) if blocked. Inner Heh Kick (u+K) - a tornado kick. Hits mid and can go over low attacks. I use this sometimes in my pokes but press (uf+K) instead which is recommended. (u+K) doesn't do that much but (uf+K) has good priority, advances XiangHua and avoids low attacks. Starting time is a bit slow. Best used at about mid-range. Rising Shui Shuian (ws, K) - a handstand kick that hits mid. Very good priority and speed. Very good to use for ending a poke session. This move will push the opponent back though and has limited wake-up game potential afterwards. Best used as a retreating move. When being poked at, do a (d+A), the (ws, K). Muu Jiann (A+B) - This is an AWESOME move. But holding down (A+B) your second hit becomes unblockable. If you tap (A+B), the second hit is guaranteed if first hit connects. Once your opponent gets hit by a couple of unblockable second hits, start varying the time you hold down (A+B). Release (A+B) when you as soon as you see your opponent flinch from this guard. If you do the unblockable version too many times, the opponent will start to retreat from the second hit or counter with a fast move. By varying the length you hold down (A+B), this one move can be extremely tricky. Has good priority, and recover. Speed of execution is good, as well as range and damage. So all that means this move is very useful. Great Wall (f, f+A+B) - XiangHua side-steps a little to her left and pushes out with her sword. Very good tracking ability for people who like to 8WR. Good priority and if blocked, you are safe afterwards. Good to start off the match with or when an opponent is trying to retreat from your pokes. Mei Hua Carve (wc, A+B, d+B) - XiangHua does a little sword spin for a low hit followed by a high hit then a low stab to the legs. The second hit is guaranteed if first hit connects and opponent is within range. Very good move to use after (d+A) during pokes. Advances XiangHua a bit, execution is a bit slow, but has good damage since two hits are guaranteed if the first one hits. And since the first one hits low, chances are it will probably hit. For mix-ups, leave out the low stab (d+B) and do this instead (wc, A+B), (B, B) or (ws, A+B), (f, f+K) or do a throw in place of the kick. You can do a variation of this move (wc, A+B, B) which results in a stab that hits high instead of low but I find its uses limited because the last hit is high. The high hit has good priority but I would still rather leave out the stab and do (B, B) instead. Guei (when on the floor, A+B) - XiangHua gets upset and hits the floor with her hands and feet. This is more of a taunt move than anything else but I have gotten many people with this move. Priority is surprisingly good. Range, and damage is limited but it hits low so when someone is close to you on the ground, you are likely to hit them. Afterwards, you can try for this move again to hit them but don't do it too many times. Prepare to guard when rising after this move because the opponent will probably try to attack you with a fast move. Hou Lee (A+K) - Another execellent move to attack retreating opponents. XiangHua does a weird little spin on the ground that avoids high attacks and advances her VERY well. After (A+K), XiangHua is considered while rising unless you press and hold down on the control pad. If you press forward, and a button, you can do any move that has (f+anything) or (f, f+anything). Good moves to link to this is (ws, K), (wc, A+B) mix-ups, (d+K) into poking game, (B+K), (f, f+K) - you gotta buffer this one pretty good, or press (f+A+G) or (f+B+G) to throw. The best mix- ups are the throw and the (ws, K). Execellent move to use in mid-range with a (d+K) to start up pokes. Lian Hua Sweeps (d+A+K, K) - XiangHua does two low sweeps. Recovery is fair. This move is extremely telegraphed so be wary of using it. But you can mix it up by only doing one sweep (d+A+K) into (f, f+K) or just do both sweeps. Advances XiangHua a little bit. Pretty good to use in wake-up games because it hits them low and on the ground so they have to rise blocking low to guard this move. Cross Lian Hua (f+A) - XiangHua swings her sword out in a wide horizontal arc. Good range and speed but it hits high. When I do this move, I am hoping for a counter-attack in which then the opponent turns to his side. If this happens, a (f, f+K) is guaranteed unless blocked or guard parried. Please read description for Woan Shyoung Swing (f, f+K) for more details on this works. Storming Lian Hua (b+A) - XiangHua does a small side-step to her right and swings her sword. Start-up time is a bit slow. The little side-step has limited uses. Although sometimes you will side-step an attack, at close range, most opponents will use horizontal attacks because they tend to be faster. After this move hits, the opponent is turned to his side. Often times you can just press (f+A+G) to go straight into a side throw. Sometimes this move will knock them out farther though. Read description for Woan Shyoung Swing (f, f+K) for more info. on what to do when an opponent is hit to their side. Best follow ups are throws, (f, f+K), and (df+B+K). Yann Dive (d+A+B) - XiangHua ducks and swings her sword at the opponent's legs for a effective low hit. This is a great move to use at mid-range or after a few pokes. This move can duck high attacks, and has very good priority. Start-up time is a bit slow, though. Nevertheless, this is a VERY effective move just for the fact that it hits low. Also use this move in wake-up games. This move doesn't hit downed opponents but if they roll or try to attack, they will get knocked right back down for more wake-up games. Lower Great Wall (df+B+K) - XiangHua lunges forward pushing out her sword at the opponent. This is a very good ring-out move when the opponent has their back to the edge. Very good priority and recovery. The start-up time for this move is almost an instant. Use this when you see the opponent rush in at you and be assured that you will counter pretty much anything they do. Best used a close range or mid-range. Use this move for a quick knockdown into wake-up games. This move as an alternative to (f, f+K) is great for different situations. (f, f+K) doesn't knock them down but allows you to do mix-ups afterwards. Also (f, f+K) is a better move to do while running at the opponent because it is easier to do (all you have to do is press K to release the kick, this allows you to control when you want your move to come out). (df+B+K) will knock down the opponent if it connects and push them out if blocked giving you some time to plan your next attack. Hwu Dye (db+B+K) - XiangHua does a side-step to the left and swings her sword downwards. A very good move to use when being poked at or just to stick in between your pokes when you think your opponent will counter. The side-step for this move is very good. I've seen it avoid horizontal attacks before. Effective follow-ups include (df+B+K), (B, B), throw, or (f, f+K). Li (8WR, uf or df +A) - Good range and priority but start-up time is a bit slow. On a counter hit, a (df+B) or throw is guaranteed afterwards. Good damage move and recovery isn't bad either. Spinning Lian Hua (8WR, u or d + A) - XiangHua advances slightly with two mid horizontal strikes. Start-up time and recovery is very good. Range is only fair though. A very good move to use when advancing from mid-range to close-range via 8WR. This move ends up with while rising status unless you press and hold down. Best follow ups: (ws, K), (d+K), (f, f+K) Ing Hua (8WR, db or ub + A) - XiangHua swings her sword with good speed then steps out of danger. Although this move hits high, it comes out very fast, has fair range and good priority. Use this when retreating. If blocked, you are most likely not going to get hit after this move. Playful Slice (8WR, u or d + B) - XiangHua does a little twirl with her sword that hits mid. Very good priority and lifts up for a juggle. Range is also very good. When she does this move though, she steps a little in the opposite direction (if you do this move with up, she steps down, vice versa) which can get her in trouble sometimes. One of my most often used 8WR moves because of juggle possibility. San Jann (8WR, uf or df + B) - XiangHua does three vertical slices. If blocked, the third hit can be parried by a skill opponent. I don't use this move much because it is very linear and once you swing, you can't stop the second and third swing. Therefore if someone side-steps this attack, you are extremely vunerable. Damage however is very good and range as well. Just beware of the side-step. Vengeful Lian Hua (8WR, db, b or ub + B) - same as (b, b+B). However I just wanted you to note that this can also be done during 8WR because this move is so effective for avoiding attacks. Bea Her Hua (8WR, any direction + B+K) - When done by pressing foward or back, this only repels high attacks but if done up or down or any diagonal direction, it can repel mid attacks as well. HIGH AND MID ATTACKS!! Very good baiting tool to use during 8WR to get a free parry. If you miss, go right into (d+A) because you will probably be attacked. However, used at the right time, you will get a free parry every time. Best mix-ups to use during 8WR are this, (8WR, u or d + B), (8WR, u or d + A), and (8WR, uf or df + K). This varies your attack from a parry, two choices of mid hits and a low kick. _____________________________________________________________________________ Beginning of the game: I like to start off the match by running in and doing (f, f+K). Rest assured that this move will counter pretty much anything the opponent will throw out. Mix this up with running in and doing (d+A+B). If you are facing a opponent who likes to 8WR during the beginning, use (f, f+A+B). This move will "home" in on them and you will be safe if it is blocked. If you like 8WR moves yourself, try doing (8WR, uf or df + A) and go into a juggle if it hits. Or try (8WR, any direction except forward and back + B+K) for a guard parry. This works wonders because when an opponent sees you in 8WR status, there is a constant threat of this move. The more you do this parry, the less and less the opponent will attack you during your 8WR status allowing you to do a slower 8WR move such as (8WR, uf or df + K) to hit low. Another tactic I used is to guard in the beginning of the game. Just stand there and guard while buffering (f, f). When the opponent gets close enough, release guard and press K to counter. Enemy in Midrange (about range of Nightmare's sword): Although most of XiangHua's moves are limited range, the moves that she does have at mid range isn't that bad. Especially (f, f+K). At mid-range, her fastest and best counters are (f, f+K), (df+B+K), and sometimes (b, b+B). When the opponent starts getting defensive at mid-range, use (A+K) mix-ups to close in. Also when you hit the opponent a couple of times with fast moves such as (f, f+K), this enables you to do slower moves once he starts to block more. At this point, good moves to use are (b, b + hold A) to close in, (uf+K) to close in, (A~K) mix-ups, and throws. Even though, she only has a few moves suitable for mid-range combat, she makes up for it with her speed and priority of her moves. In mid-range, also try to advance in via 8WR and mix up her moves. Her 8WR parry is most effective at mid-range because if she doesn't get the parry, she isn't as vulnerable. The most effective move to close in from this range is (A+K). You can also use (A+K) during 8WR. Don't be afraid to run in either after you hit him a couple of times with (f, f+K) to get him blocking. Her speed makes running in and throwing another option too. Enemy faraway (about Kilik's and Ivy's favorite range): This is not where XiangHua wants to be. She has no attacks that can reach out to Kilik or Ivy if she is kept out. The best way to close in is to do 8WR to mid-range. (A+K) is not a good choice to do at far range because her attacks leading out of (A+K) can be countered. Running straight in is not a good idea because of her limited range, she can be countered pretty easily if she tries to do a move running straight in. (f, f + B+K) only parries high attacks, so that is also not a good option. Her best choice is to run in diagonally via 8WR. Enemy up-close (self-explainatory): Although keeping an opponent here can sometimes be hard, it's okay because XiangHua's mid-range attacks are not that bad. XiangHua is one of the best (if not the best) pokers in the game with simple and fast moves. Let's go over some basic stuff. The fastest moves that she has at close-range are (A, A), (d+A), and (d+K). Slower but still fast moves to use are (b+A), (A+B), (B, B), and (b, b + hold A). Teaching pokes is very difficult to do by writing. So let's just go over some sample custom strings.. (d+A), (wc, A+B), (B, B), (f, f+K) (d+A), (d+K), (ws, A), (f, f+K) After you practice XiangHua pokes for a while, you will see she lacks a good assortment of moves that has good range to do while standing. (ws, A) and (wc, A+B) are moves that I see people retreat from a lot. Her best canidates are (ws, B) and (wc, df+B). But these moves pretty much end the poking session but pushing the opponent out. One move I like to use (which is really a while rising move) is (f+B). Although (f+B) hits high, it can be buffered from a crouching position and flows beautifully in a poke string. It has good range and good mix- up potential. But beware, it can be side-stepped pretty easily. By mixing in (d+A), and (ws, A), or other horizontal moves, you can often get away with (f+B) though. Let's go on to more sample strings. (A+K), (d+K), (f+B), (B, B), (d+B+A) (A+K), (ws, A), (f, f+K) (f, f+B), (d+A), (f+B), (df+B+K) (d+A), (f+B), (A, A), (B, B), (d+K), (wc, A+B, d+B) You will also notice most of these strings aren't that long. That's just the way it is with poking games in Soul Calibur. Usually you will knock them down or they will retreat so that's why the pokes aren't that long. The best moves to do when they try to retreat are (f, f+K), and (b, b + hold A). The second move gets you back in poking range. Let's go on to more sample strings again. (A, A), (d+A), (ws, A), (K), (b, b + hold A), throw (A, A), (d+K), (wc, A+B), (B), throw (A), (d+A), (ws, K) (A), (B, B), (d+A), (ws, A), (b, b + hold A), (f, f+K) (A, A), (A+B) (d+A), (d+K), (wc, A+B), (d+A), (ws, A, A), (f, f+K) The most important thing is try to mix it up. Don't try to memorize these strings.. You have to make them up in the game as you go along. The art of poking has no planning involved. You just do as the situation calls for. Basically, it takes experience to learn to be a good poker. Wake-up Games: If you read my Hwang wake-up game after a throw, XiangHua has a similar wake-up game mix-up. After a throw, or any juggle in which the opponent lands pretty close to you, press (f, f+K). This will hit them on the ground, and comes out so fast, it will pretty much counter any move they try to do while rising. Since this move hits them on the ground too. They're only option is to get up and block standing. Bad choice. Now, you rush in a throw them and the mix-up begins all over again! This works for only a little while as the (f, f+K) pushes them away if you hit them but this is a very effective wake-up game done on a downed opponent that's close up. Mid-range wake-up games include (f, f+K), and (d+B+A). The (d+B+A) doesn't hit them unless they move. But, (d+B+A) has high priority and will hit them if they try to roll to the side or back and forward. Another mid-range wake-up game that is very effective is (A+K) into (ws, K) or a throw. For the throw you have to press toward while throwing to cancel the while rising status of (A+K). The (ws, K) will hit them if they stay down. Again, if you need almost guaranteed damage when they are down, use (f, f+K) as this will hit them on the ground too. When Being Poked at: For close range pokes, you best bet is a (d+K) or (d+A). Remember though, you have better initiative after a block than after being hit. So if you try to interrupt an opponent who does 2 (d+A)'s with your own inbetween after getting hit by the first one, you will get hit again. Another move to do are (db+B+K) which is good speed, and side-steps. This move I have seen side-step even some horizontal attacks! Another option is (b, b+B) but this might not step back far enough at close range to avoid some attacks. The most common thing I do when being poked at is block while buffering (f, f). Then as soon as the opponent begins to retract their move, I press kick to release her best move. Juggles: _____________________________________________________________________________ Ok!! That's it!!! I might add more later but making a detailed FAQ is HARD work!!! If you like this FAQ, or dislike it, whatever, please email me. My email is given at the top of this FAQ... My homepage is: http://bounce.to/DragonsDen Whenever I get around to making more FAQ's, that's where it'll be...... So give it a visit every once in a while. I also try to add stuff about music and martial arts. _____________________________________________________________________________ Copyright Info: Any part of this FAQ can be used for any purpose as long as credit is given where deserved. If word-for-word context is used, please give credit right after the context. "Premium G" and his website are to be mentioned when giving credit. _____________________________________________________________________________ Credits: WWW.SOULCALIBUR.COM - a very good site to learn the basics of Soul Calibur.... Also a good site to get pictures, movies, etc. THE SOULCALIBUR NETWORK: http://www.luminpro.com/soulcalibur/ - a very good site to learn the advanced things of Soul Calibur... You can learn a lot from the message forums and get very good tactics from there. Give it a look.... Expert Gamer Magazine. October and November 1999 issues.... - Order back issues of these two magazines for very good incites on all the characters of the game... Mr MG. of Fighters.net - Got some move names off his FAQ so I didn't have to turn on my Dreamcast all the time when doing this FAQ.