Virtua Fighter 3 (Arcade)
Version 1.0
By John Culbert (tigeraid@geocities.com)

This FAQ and all my others can be accessed at the following sites:

http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Heights/1910 (my page)

Well, Happy Man arcade still hasn't gotten SF3, so we have to settle for VF3,
which came in a while ago. IIRC, the game premiered last November or 
December, so this may be a tad late for the rest of you. 
As a whole I haven't seen all that much attention to VF3 on the net since its
release, with the exception of r.g.v.a posts and www.vfhome.com. And, with
the exception of a GREAT Wolf FAQ by Jes 'WolfMan' Joudrey <jes@npsnet.com>
and a decent Lau FAQ by Lars, there are few in-depth FAQs for any of the 
other fighters. So hopefully I can rekindle an interest in VF3 through my
FAQs for Sarah, Taka, Akira and now a Kage FAQ--my favorite characters 
(possibly with others to follow). Hopefully others will follow my lead...

So anyway, I've always been so-so with Kage, who was a fun character to play,
but I was not "devastating" with him, as I was with Sarah or Akira... Now in
VF3, I feel Kage has been strengthened ever-more, and I've decided to write
this because so far I have had very good luck with him in the game.

So, why play Kage? Here's my take:


1. fast character (but not THE fastest)
2. Has AWESOME balance of defense and offense
3. Effective pecking attacks
4. Good overall damage
5. Powerful Throws
6. good setup possibilities
7. powerful reversal


1. Big damage moves leave Kage in trouble if missed or blocked
2. Some moves leave Kage's back vulnerable
3. No longer has Reaping Throw/Elbow offensive tactic because of new Throw
   system... :(


               .----------Guard (block)
               | .--------Punch
               | |
               | | .------Kick
               | | |
               | | | .----Evade (sometimes refered to as Dodge)
   u/b u u/f   | | | |
      \|/      | O O O
    b--o--f    O
   d/b d d/f
HCT  = Half Circle Toward (roll the joystick from B to D to F)
HCB  = Half Circle Back (roll the joystick from F to D to B)
 ,   = commands made one after the other
 +   = enter commands simultaniously
 N   = Neutral (return joystick to center)
 f   = Forward (tap joystick forward)
 b   = Back (tap joystick back)
 d   = Down (tap joystick down)
 u   = Up (tap joystick up)
 F   = HOLD Forward
 B   = HOLD Back
 D   = HOLD Down
 U   = HOLD Up
 MC  = Major Counter
 TFT = Ten-Foot Toss (b+P+G)
 DP  = Dragon Punch (f,d,d/f+P)
 PK  = Punch-Kick (P,K)
 PP  = Double Punch (P,P)
 PPP = Triple Punch (P,P,P) 
 PPK = Double Punch-Striaght Kick (P,P,K)
PPPK = Triple Punch-Heel Kick (P,P,P,K)

Note: so, for those who don't understand the directional stuff, directions
      capitalized mean to HOLD in that direction. For example, when doing
      Kage's Elbow (f+P), it means to tap forward on the joystick and hit 
      punch at the same time. On the other hand, Kage's Rising Knee is done 
      D,f+K, meaning that he must first crouch for a moment (HOLD down)
      then tap f+K at the same time.



*Attack Levels*

This is were the specific attack hits on an opponent's body. 

H- high level (can be ducked or blocked while standing)
M- mid level (CANNOT be ducked and MUST be blocked high; cannot be blocked
L- low level (CANNOT be blocked high, must be blocked low)
D- Downed (cannot be blocked at all, hits fallen opponent)


In VF3, there are many different ways in which to Throw your opponent; 
remember that Throws are totally unblockable... Another change to VF Throws
is that, like Tekken, they now have a missed animation where your fighter
grabs at the air. This means that if you go for a Standing P+G Throw, and the 
enemy ducks, you will not get the punch you did in VF2; instead, you'll grab
at the air and give the enemy an opportunity to counter.

-Types of Throws-

HT- High Throw (only grabs standing opponents)
LT- Low Throw (only grabs crouching opponents or a sitting Shun Di)
ST- Side Throw (grabs opponents at a sideways angle in relation to your 
    character's front)
BT- Back Throw (grabs opponents with backs facing your character)
GT- Ground Throw (grabs fallen opponent only)
WT- Wall Throw (animates Throw differently depending on position near wall)
CT- Catch Throw (has execution time and recovery)

Low Throws have instant execution, CAN be broken out of, and have an obvious 
missed animation with the fighter reaching downward slightly. 

A Side Throw has instant execution and CANNOT be broken out of. 

Back Throws are instant like regular frontal Throws and cannot be broken 

Ground Throws are attacks that grab the enemy off the ground, but have a 
noticable execution time, allowing fast foes to avoid them. They also have a 
slower recovery animation, meaning the enemy can also counter with a rising 
attack; note that the Ground Throws cannot be broken, however. 

Wall Throws are basically regular Throws that have been modified with 
different animations if you or your opponent are near the wall. A cool 
example is with Jeffry's Exchange Throw (d/b+P+G); in normal circumstances, 
he'll just grab your arm, whip you around and leave your back exposed. 
However, if Jeffry's back is to the wall, Jeffry will whip you INTO the wall, 
drag your face along it, then knee you (ouch!) The only difference between 
Wall Throws and regular Throws is that they are inescapable.

Catch Throws are a special type of grab; they are inescapable, and usually
lead to big damage multi-Throws, but also have a noticable execution time,
allowing the enemy to counter quickly if they see it coming, and also have a
slower recovery so the enemy can counter if it misses. These Catch Throws 
only grab high and therefore can be ducked easy, so it is best to bait the
enemy into blocking high and then snag them (see tactics later on).

Note on Regular Throws: "regular" refers to a Throw that grabs high and is
escapable. Generally a character has three or four regular Throws, one being
P+G, which is escaped with the same motion. Other Throws can also be 
considered regular Throws, as long as they don't fall into ANY OF THE ABOVE
CATEGORIES OTHER THAN HIGH THROW. For example, a Low Throw, or a Side Throw,
is not considered "regular". 

*Throw Escapes*

Unlike VF2, most Throws in this game can now be escaped. The general rule is
that any REGULAR or LOW Throw can be escaped. Now, as far as I know there is
a common way to break out of all Throws if you anticipate them, and I will
explain this later on in the tactics section.
To escape from a throw, tap the motion the moment the opponent begins to 
throw you (around 10 frames in).


Some characters in VF3, including Kage, have the ability to grab the enemy's 
oncoming attack and counter it. Only certain attacks can be reversed however. 
Each move in the moves list that can be reversed will be designated with "R" 
followed by one or a combination of the following indicators:
L-  must be reversed low         
M-  must be reversed high
H-  must be reversed high
P-  must be reversed with a Punch reversal
K-  must be reversed with a Kick reversal
Kn- must be reversed with a Knee reversal
KF- must be reversed with a Kickflip reversal
C-  must be reversed with a Crescent reversal
n-  cannot be reversed

Therefore, LP means it must be reversed with a low reversal, or a Low Punch
reversal. These can however vary--for example, a Side Kick from Kage can be 
reversed by a mid-Level reversal (eg. Akira's d/b+P+K), but it can also be
reversed with a specific Side Kick reversal (eg. Wolf's).

*Floating and the Art of the Counterhit*

Floating is the term used when the enemy is knocked up in the air and stays 
there long enough to be juggled. A lot of moves will "float" the opponent, 
but not all the time. It depends on where you hit them, where they are, which 
character they hit (lighter characters like Pai float better) and wether or 
not they're on the ground. Note that opponents float the easiest when you hit 
them with a move DURING the animations of their own move (MC). 

Three things happen when you connect an attack as a major counter:
1) The attack is given a 50% damage (maybe a little less now?) point bonus!
2) The attack can have the potential to float the enemy high enough for a 
   good juggle
3) As well, the attack can sometimes become more stunning (i.e. the opponent
   will lay on the ground longer) allowing you to get in a good Pounce.

NOTE: there is also a "minor counter", which is done by attacking the enemy 
      during their RECOVERY frames--you are awarded a smaller damage bonus, 
      and it will also sometimes knock down/float (though usually less than 
      the MC). Also note that you can recieve a minor counter bonus with
      Throws (eg. duck a high attack & Throw), but it does considerably LESS 
      than a minor counter otherwise.


In VF3 your character can stand in two stances, closed stance and open 
stance. Consider the diagram below as a bird's eye view, the Xs being the 
character's feet position.

             Player 1    Player 2             Player 1     Player 2
               X         X                     X                 X
                     X         X                     X     X
                 Closed Stance                      Open Stance
Think of the bottom of those diagrams as facing you, the player. Notice that 
the legs closest to you in open stance are close together, but the opposite
legs are extremely far apart. Thus, the open stance does not allow the 
opponents to get very close together. But, in closed stance, one leg of
player one is forward (in the diagram, the right) and their opponent's right
leg is forward. This allows the opponents to get closer in to each other.
This is one of the things that occur with different stances. Other things
happen as well, such as moves hitting different attack levels and attacks 
coming out different or having more range.

*Guard Cancelling*

To pull back a punch or a kick, tap guard during its initial animations (as
it is coming out). This is very good for faking out the opponent, and its
recovery is instant. After it you can do a number of moves; for example, the
opponent will attempt to block your incoming punch, but you can quickly pull
it back and immediately Throw if they are close enough. Guard cancelling is
also a big part of some combos; after floating the opponent, you could juggle
with maybe two punches. But, if you G-cancel those punches, you can get
more punches in. As well, this allows for quick punch juggling then going
into a follow-up attack.


These are attacks on fallen enemies. Kage has four Pounces: u+P (from 3 
different distances) and d/f+K. These will be explained further on.


You can dash by tapping f,f and you can also dash backward with b,b. To RUN
forward, tap f,F. 
Alternately, you can now tap f+E (or F+E) or b+E to dash (or run) as well. 
Surprisingly, the only way to cancel your dash in VF3, is to cancel the f+E
or b+E; you cannot G-cancel the f,f or b,b! See tactics for more info.


To Evade, or dodge, press the E button. This will cause Kage to slip off to
the side of the opponent AWAY FROM YOU, THE PLAYER (i.e. "dodging in"). To
"dodge out", or toward you the player, tap d+E. Dodging avoids a lot of 
attacks that are not circular... The following is from Andrew Ryan Chang's
VF3 Beginner's FAQ (dodge=evade):

"Attacks can be classed into four categories: linear, backside-to-frontside 
 circular, frontside-to-backside circular, and circular. It is nearly 
 impossible to dodge the last. The first can usually be dodged in either 
 direction. Dodging an attack that comes across the opponent's backside 
 requires dodging towards their frontside, and vice-versa. Combo attacks and 
 G button taps will align a player with a person who has just sidestepped."

A good example of a circular attack is Pai/Lau's Crescent Kick, meaning that
if you try to evade this, you're (usually) screwed. :) See tactics for more 

*Rising Moves*

These are attacks or technqiques done while recovering from a knockdown. 
These are listed (as many as I know) in the general moves section. See 
tactics for more info.



-Step Forward: F
-Step Back: B
-Crouch Step: D/F or D/B
-Dash Forward: f, F or F+E
-Dash Back : b, B or B+E
-Run Forward: f, F
-Evade In: E
-Evade Out: d+E
-Roll Forward: F (when knocked down; can perform other recovery attacks after)
-Roll Back: B (when knocked down; can perform other recovery attacks after)
-Roll to Side: G (when knocked down; can perform other recovery moves after)
-Kip Up: E
-Rising Heel Kick: K
-Rising Sweep: D+K

(NOTE: any more rising attacks, please! I would also appreciate frames and
       damage where applicable too...)



Note: frame intervals of each move are listed in the Moves analysis. Also,
      additional notes are included in the analysis.


-damage points in squiggly brackets ( { } ) for Throws indicate changed 
 damage when the Throw is done to Taka-Arashi.
-a tilde ( ~ ) indicates the damage points vary depending on distance of the
 enemy away when the move is started
-an * between reversal types indicates how each hit is reversed; for example,
 with Kage's Punch-Kick combo, the reversals are designated HP*HK--meaning
 that the first hit is reversed with a high Punch reversal, and the second is
 reversed with a high Kick reversal. If it is a multiple attack but has only
 one reversal type, then assume that all hits can be reversed with the same
-damage pts. in [] indicate ranged attack damage.

   MOVES NAME:             MOTION:          LEVEL:     DAMAGE:      NOTES:
-Punch:                    P              | H      | 10           | R-HP
-Low Punch:                d+P            | L      | 11           | R-LP
-Low Punch:                D+P            | L      | 9            | R-LP
-Kick:                     K              | H      | 25           | R-HK
-Low Kick:                 D+K            | L      | 14           | R-LK
-Side Kick:                d/f+K          | M      | 22           | R-MK

TURN-TOWARD ATTACKS: (done w/back facing opponent)
   MOVES NAME:             MOTION:          LEVEL:     DAMAGE:      NOTES:
-Turning Punch:            P              |   H    | 12           | R-HP
-Turning Kick:             K              |   H    | 25           | R-HK
-Turning Low Punch:        d+P            |   L    | 15           | R-LP
-Turning Low Punch:        D+P            |   L    | 14           | R-LP
-Turning Sweep:            D+K            |   L    | 30           | R-LK
-Overhead Knee:            u+K            |   M    | 30           | R-none
-Turning Reverse Kickflip: u/b+K          |   M    | 40           | R-none
-Turning Reverse Kickflip: u/f+K          |   M    | 25           | R-none

   MOVES NAME:             MOTION:          LEVEL:     DAMAGE:      NOTES:
-Punch-Kick:               P,K            | HH     | 10+20        | R-HP*HK
-Elbow:                    f+P            | M      | 19           | R-MP
-Double Punch:             P,P            | HH     | 10+10        | R-HP
-Double Punch-Helix:       P,P,b+P        | HHH    | 10+10+17     | R-HP
-Double Punch-Helix-Kick:  P,P,b+P,K      | HHHM   | 10+10+17+30  | R-HPx3*MK
-Double Punch-Straight Kick: P,P,K        | HHH    | 10+10+30     | R-HPx2*HK
-Triple Punch:             P,P,P          | HHH    | 10+10+12     | R-HP   
-Triple Punch-Kickflip:    P,P,P,b+K      | HHHM   | 10+10+12+20  | R-HPx3*KF
-Triple Punch-Heel Kick:   P,P,P,K        | HHHM   | 10+10+10+30  | R-HPx3*MK
-Swipe Punch:              d/b+P (or P+E) | H      | 14           | R-HP
-Swipe Punch-Kick:         d/b+P,K        | HH     | 14+20        | R-HP*HK
-Helix:                    b+P            | H      | 17           | R-HP
-Helix-Heel Kick:          b+P,K          | HM     | 17+25        | R-HP*MK
-Dodging Scissor Tackle:   d/b+K          | L      | 19           | R-LK
-Back-Heel Sweep:          f,f+K          | L      | 20~30        | R-LC
-Downward Chop:            D,d/f+P        | M      | 20           | R-HP
-Rising Dragon Punch:      f,d,d/f+P      | M      | 40           | R-HP
-Downward Side Chop:       P+K            | M      | 16           | R-HP
-Upward Chop:              d+P+K          | M      | 20           | R-HP
-Spinning Chop:            d/f+P+K        | M      | 24           | R-HP
-Shuto Chop:               f+P+K          | M      | 16           | R-HP
-Double Shuto Chop:        f+P+K,P+K      | MH     | 16+14        | R-HP
-Rising Knee:              D,f+K          | M      | 38           | R-none
-Back-Handspring:          d,u/b          | n/a    | n/a          | R-n/a
-Cartwheel:                b+E            | n/a    | n/a          | R-n/a
-Back-Handspring Kick:     u/b+K          | M      | 40           | R-KF
-Spinning Heel Kick:       d+K+G          | M      | 35           | R-HK
-Inverted Kickflip:        d/f+K+G        | M      | 40           | R-none
-Corkscrew Kick:           f,f+K+G        | M      | 40           | R-none
-Kickflip:                 u/b+K+G        | M      | 50           | R-KF
-Overhead Kickflip:        u/f+K+G        | M      | 35           | R-HK
-Thunder Dragon:           f,f+P+K+G      | H->L   | 40           | R-none
-Low Sliding Attack:       run+K          | L      | 30           | R-none
-Stepping Back Thrust:     b+K+G          | H      | 30           | R-HC 
-Turn-away Sweep:          b,b+K+G        | L      | 12           | R-LK
-Turn-away Punch:          b,b+P          | H      | 14           | R-HP
-Turn-away Kick:           b,b+K          | H      | 24           | R-HK
-Punch Reversal:           b+P+K          | n/a    | 30           | R-n/a
-Forward Roll:             HCT            | n/a    | n/a          | R-n/a
-Backward Roll:            HCB            | n/a    | n/a          | R-n/a
-Double Roll:              HCT,HCB+P      | n/a    | n/a          | R-n/a
-Double Roll:              HCB,HCB+P      | n/a    | n/a          | R-n/a
-Shinsodan:                HCB,HCT+P      | L      | 15           | R-none
-Shinsodan:                HCT,HCT+P      | L      | 15           | R-none
-Forward Roll-Sweep:       HCT+K          | L      | 20~30        | R-LC
-Backward Roll-Sweep:      HCB+K          | L      | 20~30        | R-LC
-F. Roll-Dragon Punch:     HCT,f,d,d/f+P  | M      | 40           | R-HP
-B. Roll-Dragon Punch:     HCB,f,d,d/f+P  | M      | 40           | R-HP
-F. Roll-Thunder Dragon:   HCT,HCT+P+K+G  | H->L   | 40           | R-none
-B. Roll-Thunder Dragon:   HCB,HCT+P+K+G  | H->L   | 40           | R-none

   MOVES LIST:             MOTION:          LEVEL:     DAMAGE:      NOTES:
-Head Drop:                u+P (close)    |   D    | 30           | R-n/a
-Flying Stomp:             u+P (mid)      |   D    | 40           | R-n/a
-Knee Drop:                u+P (far)      |   D    | 30           | R-n/a
-Heel Smash:               d/f+K          |   D    | 13           | R-n/a

   MOVES LIST:             MOTION:          LEVEL:     DAMAGE:      NOTES:
-Shoulder Toss:            P+G           | HT     | 50{60}       | R-n/a
-Turnover Throw:           d/f+P+G       | HT     | 50{45}       | R-n/a
-Reaping Throw:            b,f+P+G       | HT     | 50           | R-n/a
-Backflip Stomp:           b,d+P+G       | HT     | 60{65}       | R-n/a
-Flip-over:                f+P+G         | S/B/HT | 0            | R-n/a
-Scissor Grab:             P+G           | ST     | 40           | R-n/a
-Torso Takedown:           P+G           | BT     | 50{60}       | R-n/a
-Torso Takedown:           P+K+G         | LBT    | 50           | R-n/a
-Takedown-smack:           u/f+P+G       | CT     | 50{50}       | R-n/a
-Ten-Foot Toss:            b+P+G         | HT     | 40{55}       | R-n/a
-TFT-Inverted Piledriver:  b+P+G,u+P+G   | HT     | 60{70}       | R-n/a
-Leg Grab (back turned):   u+P+G         | CT     | 50           | R-n/a



Note on Frame Rates:        

There are three numbers of frames; the first is how many frames the move 
takes to execute, the second is the number of frames the move takes when
hitting the enemy, and the last is the number of frames in recovery. More
specifically, the executing frames indicate the time from when you finish
the motion for the move, and when the move begins. The second indicates how
long the move takes to hit ONCE IT HAS STARTED HITTING (for example, Kage's
normal standing P has a small amount of hit frames, whereas his Backflip 
Stomp (b,d+P+G) takes considerably longer hit time). The recovery indicates 
how long it takes him to get to his normal stance after the hit frames are 

Frame Legend:

/  : separates miss and hit recovery times if they vary
() : different recovery time when the attack is blocked, or when a ground 
     throw misses (grabbing animation)
{} : indicate different frame rates for Throws done against Taka



(Kage quickly throws a jab at face level)


The main advantage of the Punch is its speed and recovery. By itself it 
should be used only to set up for further attacks, like the PK. Because of 
its speed, it is very useful for interrupting the opponent's attack up close, 
or to trick the enemy into crouching to avoid it, then throwing out a 
mid-level attack. You can also Punch then Throw--when doing a setup of this 
kind, you should always G-cancel the Punch to gain more initiative if it is 

*Low Punch*

(Kage squats low and punches the enemy in the legs)


An important technique for Kage, defensively. If you press d+P with Kage from
standing, he will crouch fairly fast to throw the punch--this makes it ideal 
for evading high attacks and, most importantly, Throw attempts when you can 
anticipate it. From this position, Kage can also whip off a number of 
powerful attacks, like the Spinning Heel Kick or Rising Knee. 

BIG NOTE: after playing a few really good human opponents, I have found that 
the Low Punch isn't as useful as before, and I have just noticed that it 
comes out significantly slower than it did in VF2--so much in fact that QUICK 
attacks will snuff d+P, so it is not the all-purpose defense that I thought 
it was. The reason WHY I thought it was as good as in VF2 was because I 
wasn't playing a lot of GOOD human opponents, who anticipated it and snuffed 
it, so I thought it was a great counter to high attacks. Note that the Low 
Punch is still NOT useless, however. You can still buffer it into any of the 
attacks from crouching, and the second Low Punch (D+P) still comes out quite 
fast. To me this means that more anticipation is required so that you can 
crouch THEN throw the Punch, and follow up. My other FAQs still promote the 
"good ol'" Low Punch, but I will update them soon. Sorry for the 
inconvenience, I'm REALLY getting annoyed at the lack of competition around
here... See tactics for more info. 


(Kage brings his leg up from the side, kicking the enemy in the head)


A slightly more effective move for Kage, but still pretty useless. It doesn't
come out too slow, and always knocks down, but its recovery isn't too hot,
and it hits high, so it can be ducked and countered easily. With Kage, it can
rack up a decent amount of damage, because Kage can always tack on a Back-
Heel Sweep for an extra 20 or 30 pts of damage. Still, where this will 
connect there are other moves of Kage's that are more worthwhile. BTW, if you
hold forward while hitting K, the Kick will come out 2 frames faster, but
will also recover 2 frames slower...

*Low Heel Slide*

(Kage squats low and slides his foot into the enemy's shin area)


A really cheap looking kick that can have its uses. It has longer range than
the Low Punch, but recovers slower, and as a result also cannot be followed
usually with one of Kage's powerful moves from a crouch. If the Low Heel
Slide misses or is blocked, Kage can be Low Thrown, and fast Side Kicks can
also beat this out if they anticipate. One good thing about the Low Heel
Slide is that if it hits as a MC you can buffer it into a Throw from within
range! See tactics for more info.

*Side Kick*

(Kage turns to the side and throws a kick straight to the enemy's stomach)


An important attack for Kage, if not every fighter in VF3. The Side Kick does
decent damage, comes out fairly fast and has great range. If it is blocked
the enemy can rarely counter. If the Side Kick hits a crouching opponent, 
they will stagger and you can often combo or move in and Throw (though 
stagger combos work much better with the Elbow (f+P), because of its faster 
recovery). In addition, the Side Kick will float slightly on a MC and allow a 
QUICK juggle. NOTE: if the Side Kick is blocked, do NOTHING if the enemy is 
fast on the counter--occasionally they can Throw you, but staying put (or 
guarding) is better than trying a follow-up attack; a simple Punch by the 
blocking opponent will interrupt anything you try to throw out. 
Definetely an attack NOT to forget. See tactics and combos for more info.

*Turn-Toward Attacks*

I don't use these often enough to get really detailed with them. They aren't
useless, however. The Turning Punch can be chained into anything that the
normal Punch can be chained into, but it can of course be ducked. The Turning
Sweep is probably the best Turn-Around attack, because it hits low and has
good range; good after any move that leaves you with your back turned. The
Overhead Knee is a useful attack against those who would attack you from
behind with a low attack... :)


(Kage throws a Jab followed by a Kick)


An important attack, but not as useful as before, definetely. The Punch-Kick
could be thought of as a powerful Punch, really; the Kick is always 
guarenteed, turning 10 pts. of damage instantly into 30 pts. of damage. In
VF2 this worked even better for Kage, as he could tack on a Back-heel Sweep
for 50~60 pts. of damage! Unfortunately, it seems in VF3 that a PK doesn't
knock down, even on MC (?). The best way to use the PK still works though; as 
a mC--because the Punch is of course so fast, you can counter even fast-
recovering moves with the PK (eg. blocked Side Kick in some cases). 
Still, the PK is a good follow-up to a stagger, or in a simple juggle. If 
blocked, a fast counter can hit, so don't be too liberal with it.


(Kage steps forward with an elbow thrust to the mid-section)


An important up-close attack; the Elbow comes out and recovers LIGHTNING
fast (there may be a few RARE cases where an Elbow has been mC), and will
also stagger a crouching opponent. Because of its recovery, you have MANY
options for stagger combos or Throws too. If blocked, you can frequently 
follow with a Throw. The Elbow also works well as a counter-attack after you
block a move that you know leaves the enemy in a crouching position (eg.
Lau/Pai's d+K+G). 
NOTE: it is possible to perform a Dashing Elbow with Kage--simply tap f,f+P
and Kage will combine his Elbow with a short dash, furthering its range. See 
tactics for more info.

*Double Punch*

(Kage throws a Jab followed by a straight punch)


The Double Punch is important to Kage player; if blocked, you can quickly
G-cancel and Throw, and if it connects, you can chain into a Helix, or a
Triple Punch combination. It is also important for setting up and enemy to
crouch. If blocked, the Double Punch recovers fast enough that Kage is free
from counterattack. See tactics for more info.

*Double Punch-Helix*

(Kage follows his Double Punch with a Helix)


*Double Punch-Helix-Heel Kick*

(Kage finishes the combination with a spinning heel kick)


As far as I know, the Helix will always connect if the 2nd Punch of the PP
connects. Similiarily, if the Helix hits, the Heel Kick will too. So this
combination will all connect usually, however it never knocks down. Still,
you should use the whole thing rarely, because the first 3 hits are high, so
if the enemy crouches you're screwed. However, The Double Punch-Helix by
itself can be a useful setup technique; see the Helix section and tactics for
more info.

*Double Punch-Straight Kick*

(Kage throws a Double Punch followed by a straight kick to the face)


Dangerous to use liberally, as it can be countered if blocked or missed with
a quick move, and also can be ducked. However, if the last Kick hits, a
Back-heel Sweep will connect, for a powerful 70~80 pts. of damage! Basically,
this is effective if the PP hits as a MC and you notice in time to follow
with the Kick (you can pause a short moment between the Double Punch and
Straight Kick, BTW). It can also be used as a counterattack to slow moves
that you block.

*Triple Punch*

(Kage throws three consecutive punches)


*Triple Punch-Kickflip*

(Kage follows the Triple Punch with a Kickflip)


*Triple Punch-Heel Kick*

(Kage follows his Triple Punch with a Heel Kick)


Altogether, these moves are only used by scrubs. They are not totally useless
provided they are used in the right places. Other than float combos, the 
PPPK works well at pushing the enemy quite a far distance, especially if
blocked--so use it to pressure opponents near the edge of the ring. You're
usually safe from counter if this is blocked, except against quick moves like
and Elbow, but if ducked, the opponent has plenty of time to counter during
the PPP before either the Kickflip or the Heel Kick comes out. For the most
part, use only in juggles.

*Swipe Punch*

(Kage steps to the side and throws a quick jab)


*Swipe Punch-Kick*

(Kage follows the Swipe Punch with a Kick)


The Swipe Punch can be chained into ANY of Kage's various Punch series; the
added advantage to this Punch is that it has a slight Evade built into it,
allowing you to avoid linear attacks. It does, however, execute and recover
slower than a normal punch--if blocked or missed, it is still uncounterable
as far as I know, but its slower execution makes it better used on 
anticipation to a linear attack (eg. Akira's Dashing Elbow). It also works
QUITE well in float combos. NOTE: the Swipe Punch can also be done with P+E.


(Kage spins a full circle forward while hitting high with a roundhouse elbow)


*Helix-Heel Kick*

(Kage follows the roundhouse elbow with a spinning Heel Kick)


I LOVE this new move! the Helix comes out nearly as fast as a Punch, and the
recovery is good too. If the Helix connects, the Heel Kick always will, 
however it will NEVER knock down. 
The most important feature of the Helix though is its execution speed; it is 
an excellent all-around surprise move, and can also be used as a 
counterattack to a blocked or missed attack that has relatively good recovery 
(eg. blocked Side Kick from Jeffry). As well, it can be used for bait--the 
enemy must be REALLY fast in order to counter you if they duck the Helix. 
Usually, you can snag them with a fast mid-level attack if the Helix is 
ducked (the follow-up Heel Kick is slow enough to be interrupted); and Elbow 
is your best bet, allowing a stagger combo. If the enemy blocks the Helix, 
try for a Throw--if the enemy is lightning fast, they MAY be able to counter 
you first, but I have had great success with Throws after a blocked Helix. If 
the enemy Evades, follow through with the Heel Kick; chances are you SHOULD 
catch them before their Evade is completed.

NOTE: it is also possible to combo other attacks after the Helix, other than
the Heel Kick; See tactics and combos for more info.

*Dodging Scissor Tackle*

(Kage slides sideways and falls on his side, tripping the enemy up with both


A good move, but often overused. It is LIGHTNING fast, ducks under all high 
attacks (maybe even some mid-level attacks ala Shun Di?) and always knocks 
down. However, its recovery is HORRIBLE if blocked or missed, and Kage can be
Low Thrown or hit with just about anything else. Therefore it is only good
as a MC to high attacks, OR to counter linear attacks, because this move has
a slight evade built in. NOTE: the Scissor Tackle is a great opener to a 
fight, but only use it once per opponent (humans, of course), because all 
they have to do is block Low...

*Back-Heel Sweep*

(Kage spins low and beings the back of his heel around to sweep his enemy)


Although it cannot be used in conjunction with the PK anymore, it is still a
powerful attack. You should note that it should NEVER be used when the enemy
is on their feet, because it comes out and recovers EXTREMELY slow. The ONLY
place where this is useful is on fallen opponents--now, note that you simply
cannot knock down the enemy and hit them with this; it MUST connect AS they
hit the ground, not too early, not too late! Basically, you can use this on
fallen enemies after knocking them over with any attack that lets you move
BEFORE they hit the ground, even for the briefest moment. Here are all the
attacks AS FAR AS I KNOW, that allow a Back-Heel Sweep:

1. P,P,K
2. d/b+P,P,K
3. d+K+G
4. K
5. d/f+K (on MC--a juggle is usually better, though)
6. D,f+K
7. f+P+K,P+K
8. u/b+K (may need a MC)
9. D,d/f+P

In addition, you can frequently tack on a Back-heel Sweep after most float
combos. In order to insure this connects ALL the time, you must BUFFER the
Back-heel Sweep into the knockdown attack, so that the final f+K in the 
motion is done before the enemy hits the ground. See combos for more info.

*Downward Chop*

(Kage lunges forward from a crouch with a terrific overhead knife-hand)


Not too useful, mainly because of its weak damage. When you are in a crouch,
it should be under a high attack, or to bait an enemy into crouching 
themselves--however, if the enemy is within range, a Rising Knee is often
better than the Chop, as it does MUCH more damage. If you are out of range
for the Knee, the Spinning Heel Kick is also a fine choice. There are also
many other choices for moves done from a crouch or crouch dash, so for the
most part this isn't too effective--if there's one thing good about it, it's 
that its recovery if blocked is slightly better than the Rising Knee

*Rising Dragon Punch*

(Kage lunges forward and up in a spin, hitting with a terrific uppercut)


Hee,hee! I was wondering when a VF character would get a DP! And this DP is
no lousy move, for sure. Unfortunately, it doesn't do a WHOLE lot of damage,
but it certainly isn't weak. It comes out lightning fast, and of course has
the same bad DP recovery. The DP is best used to get under slow high attacks
that you anticipate, or for that matter any attack--I have yet to see the DP
get interrupted by any attack other than a reversal, so use it well. It is
also a great move after the f+P+G Flip-over, or the TFT (b+P+G). And, if
close to the corner, you can sometimes juggle after the DP!!! :)

*Downward Side Chop*

(Kage brings his open hand in from the side in a chopping strike)


Quite useless, IMO, except that it takes 1 Drunken Point from Shun Di 
*Upward Chop*

(Kage stoops low, then brings his hand upward in a knife strike)


Not a bad move, it is generally overlooked. It will float on MC for a good
juggle, but its range is limited. If it hits a crouching opponent, it will
force them to a standing position where you MAY try for a Throw... Not much 
else on this, Kage has better moves to counter high attacks--mix this in just 
for fun. See combos for more info.

*Spinning Chop*

(Kage stoops into a full spin, and brings the edge of his hand to hit the
 enemy's mid-section)

At a glance this looks like a low attack, but it cannot be blocked low. Use
it occasionally on offensive opponents, but if blocked you can be countered.

*Shuto Chop*

(Kage performs a side-swiping knife hand)


*Double Shuto Chop*

(Kage follows the Shuto Chop by bringing another chop back from the other


An important attack, the Double Shuto Chop is a guarenteed knockdown, and 
also comes out quite fast--it can be followed with a Back-heel Sweep. The 
Double Shuto Chop is useful for counterattacking or float combos, but it also 
works well after forcing an opponent into a crouch; immediately toss this out 
for a quick, damaging combo. This is also useful after crouch-dashing a high
attack, but there are better options.

*Rising Knee*

(Kage leaps from a crouch with his knee upward)


Does GREAT damage and allows a Pounce in all cases. This is most useful after
crouching or crouch-dashing a high attack. It is also important to BIG combos
after the TFT--however, this should be used with caution, because the 
recovery is BAD. Because of the bad recovery, I don't even recommend using it
often under a high attack, as it may be too risky...


(Kage performs a back-handspring; don't feel like describing it :)



(speaks for itself)


For the most part, these are useless; Kage is completely vulnerable during
their animations, and they are slower than a simple backwards dash or Evade.
Use them just to show off (additions?)

*Back-Handspring Kick*

(Kage performs a Back-handspring, hitting with his foot on the way up)


Kinda useless, it does good damage and allows a Back-heel Sweep, but it is
slow coming out and in recovery, especially if missed. It also has much less
range than the Kickflip (u/b+K+G). (additions?)

*Spinning Heel Kick*

(Kage spins around and connects with the back of his foot)


Ask any REALLY good Kage player and they will agree this is one of, if not 
his best, attack. The Spinning Heel Kick ALWAYS knocks down and guarentees a
Back-heel Sweep. It can also be done from a crouch with K+G as well as d+K+G.
Because of its fast execution time it is a great counter to the enemy's
crouching attacks, like pestering Low Punches. IF the Heel Kick hits as a MC,
go instead for the Flying Stomp Pounce for more damage. Otherwise, follow
with f,f+K.
Above all else, the Spinning Heel Kick is an ideal counterattack to blocked
moves, thanks to its quick execution speed. See tactics for much more info.

*Inverted Kickflip*

(Kage dashes low while spinning around, then performs a flip, hitting the
 enemy on the way up with his HEELS, finishing with his back turned)


A GREAT new move, it has awesome capabilities if used CAREFULLY. If blocked
or missed, it not only has bad recovery, but it also leaves Kage with his
BACK turned, allowing Back Throws or devastating floats. I _THINK_ if the
Inverted Kickflip hits as a MC, a Turning Sweep (d+K with back turned) will
connect (I heard this on the net, haven't tried it yet, though) for great
damage. This move is best used as a juggle, or a SURE counter to high 
attacks; it is risky to use this on opponent's who can do something about it.

*Corkscrew Kick*

(Kage leaps forward in a spin feet first, knocking the enemy over)


Still a good move, but a move to be careful with. The good thing about it is
that it hits mid, but also has great range. Still, it comes out kinda slow so
it can often be anticipated, and recovers VERY slow, with Kage getting off
the ground. This will also, however, knock down crouching defenders; against
inexperienced opponents, use this around mid-range after a Thunder Dragon was
used sometime in the round--to novices they look similiar in execution 
(quick foes will notice the Thunder Dragon has a little ground roll first),
and they will crouch to avoid the Dragon, only to be nailed with the 
Corkscrew Kick. In addition, you can also use the Corkscrew Kick as a 
counterattack; it can be buffered during a block, however other attacks are
more useful--use it in this case against moves that leave the enemy at a
slight distance when blocked (eg. Lau's Double Punch-Kick). The Corkscrew is 
also useful if the enemy has their back to the edge of the ring, because even 
if blocked the Corkscrew Kick pushes them back significantly.


(Kage performs a very high backflip, hitting with his foot on the way up)


Still a powerful attack that must be used CAREFULLY. The recovery is insanely
long if blocked or missed, giving the enemy a LOT of time to think up a 
damaging counter. The good thing about it is that it allows Kage's mid-range 
Flying Stomp pounce, for a total of 90 pts. or more of damage! Best used in 
retaliation to blocked or missed attacks that leave the enemy close, or as a
juggle or after a stagger. By all means you must be SURE that it will connect
or you'll be one dead ninja.

*Overhead Kickflip*

(Kage performs a forward flip, smashing his foot downward)


To be used carefully, it can be interrupted quickly, and if missed or blocked
can be countered easily. Because it is initially an airborne attack, it is
ideal for hopping over low attacks, and should only be used in this fashion.
It is excellent when you can anticipate the enemy's low attack; if it is a MC
you can tack on some VERY quick juggles, most of which tend to hit the enemy
VERY low to the ground. See tactics for more info.

*Thunder Dragon*

(Kage rolls forward, then leaps toward the enemy with both feet)


Absolutely HORRIBLE recovery, and if ducked will leave your back vulnerable.
As for the attack level, it is written so because the Dragon will hit high
initially, but as Kage reaches maximum range, he will still hit low on the
way down... This move can be buffered out of a block, to counterhit in the
same fashion as the corkscrew, but there are better attacks. IMO this is best
used as a juggle after the TFT (see combos) or to counterhit missed attacks
from a far distance (although again, there are better options here), and it
can briefly duck under high attacks. Another useful application of the 
Thunder Dragon is in "okizeme"--the philosophy of okizeme shows that once the
enemy is knocked down and you remain standing, you have the initiative. From
here you can perform quite a few more techniques then the rising opponent 
can. In the case of the Thunder Dragon, you can hit the enemy with the
Thunder Dragon if you notice them Safety Rolling away! See tactics for more
One important note about the Thunder Dragon is that it is COMPLETELY 
unblockable due to its tremendous force, so it can be effective on defending 
opponents from mid-range who may be expecting a dash-in Throw...

*Low Sliding Attack*

(Kage dashes in and throws his whole body into a foot slide)


This will bowl the enemy right over for decent damage, but as a whole it
isn't too useful. One ideal place for it is against opponents that you know
will block high--if the enemy likes playing from Dashing distance, run in 
with f+E and throw a few Punches and Elbows to scare them into remaining
standing; next time you get the chance, whip this off instead. Either way,
don't be too anxious to use this often, because its recovery isn't too hot.

*Stepping Back Thrust*

(Kage performs a full spin while stepping forward, and kicks the enemy high)


Overlooked by novice Kage players, the Stepping Back Thrust is extremely
useful, mostly because it will float enemies for a good juggle. Note however
that it should not be used conventionally; although it is uncounterable if
blocked, it can be ducked fairly easily and countered. The Stepping Back
Thrust should be used occasionally as a counter to missed attacks from within
range, although as usual there are better options. The BEST place to use this
move is juggling after the TFT; this is because it actually allows you to
juggle even further after it, in combos like:
TFT, b+K+G, f,d,d/f+P, d/f+K.

*Turn-away Sweep*

(Kage spins 180 degrees stooping low, and lashes is foot out behind him)


An effective move, because you can tack on a d+K after turning around for
added damage. It is useful for surprising standing, defending opponents,
though it is slower coming out than in VF2 :(. This is a decent move as a
counterattack to fast recovering moves that leave the enemy standing. For
example, if you block Lau's P,P,K, which usually recovers fast enough when
you block to be uncounterable, buffer the Turn-away Sweep in--even if Lau can
counter your counter, he will probably not be expecting a low attack.

*Turn-away Punch*

(Kage punches the enemy as he spins 180 degrees to face away)


Comes out nearly as fast as the regular Punch, and you recover fast enough
to usually surprise attempted counters with a Turning attack. As a whole,
this is kinda useless because of its high level, so stick with it only in
combos. See combos for more info.

*Turn-away Kick*

(Kage kicks the enemy and spins 180 to face away)


About as useful as the Turn-away Punch, meaning not very useful. The only
thing to note is that you can tack on a d+K if it hits.

*Punch Reversal*

(Kage grabs an incoming hand strike, and flips the enemy around by their arm
 to land on their back)


A useful addition to Kage's arsenal, but not as important as reversals are to
Akira or Aoi. However, there are some interesting possibilites--see tactics
for info on landing reversals... A HEEL SMASH IS USUALLY GUARENTEED AFTER THE

*Roll Techniques*

I won't get into these a lot, because quite frankly I don't find them very
useful. They can be somewhat confusing to the opponent, but Kage can still
get hit out of any of these. You can perform either a DP or a Thunder Dragon
out of a Roll, and if you think the opponent will counter your Forward Roll,
you can roll backwards to avoid and counter. The Roll will avoid high attacks
but Kage already has a vast arsenal of counterattacks in this case. For more
info on Rolls, see the VF2 Kage FAQ by Tan Wu Meng <wumeng@pacific.net.sg> on 

*Head Drop*

(Kage leaps and drops on a fallen foe with the top of his head)


Not a very safe move, IMO. If this misses, he will stay up on his head 
briefly, long enough to allow a quick move (eg. Akira's Dashing Body Check!),
and after a short moment, Kage will fall on his back and can be hit with a 
Pounce. You can usually connect with the Head Drop after these knockdowns:

1. P,P,P,K (risky)
2. f,d,d/f+P (MC only)
3. D,f+K
4. d/f+K+G (MC--risky)

As a whole you should refrain from this Pounce at all, as the risk is 
frequently too great.

*Flying Stomp*

(Kage flies HIGH into the air in a flip, landing on the enemy with both feet)


A spectacular move that does GREAT damage, it is possible after some select
attacks and will leave you standing if missed--frequently you also have the
initiative once you have landing, often placing you to the side or behind the
risen foe. The Flying Stomp connects after the following moves:

1. b+P+G (wait briefly and execute as they land; BIG damage)
2. d+K+G (MC only--DAMN does it hurt)
3. u/b+K+G

So although there are rare places to use it, when it hits it HURTS!

*Knee Drop*

(Kage leaps a TREMENDOUS distance and lands on the enemy with both knees)


Should NOT be used, for sure. For some reason this does less damage than the
Flying Stomp, and also has possitively horrible recovery, leaving you open
to anything. If you can connect with this thing, you can also dash in for
the Flying Stomp, or run all the way in for a Heel Smash (even this happens
rarely, like after certain TFT combos).

*Heel Smash*

(Kage brings his foot up stretching high, and drops his heel on his opponent)


Sure it's weak, but is guarenteed in many places (however a Back-heel Sweep
is obviously better when possible). The Heel Smash is possible after these

1.  K (althogh f,f+K is better)
2.  P,P,K (althogh f,f+K is better)
3.  P,P,P,K (usually have to dash slightly)
4.  D,d/f+P (althogh f,f+K is better)
5.  f,d,d/f+P (if DP is a MC, go for Head Drop instead)
6.  f+P+K,P+K (althogh f,f+K is better)
7.  D,f+K (althogh f,f+K is better)
8.  u/f+K+G
9.  P+G
10. d/f+P+G
11. b,f+P+G 
12. b,d+P+G

*Shoulder Throw*

(Kage grabs the enemy's arm and tosses them over his shoulder)


A good all-around Throw that ALWAYS GUARENTEES a Heel Smash. It is the 
easiest throw for your enemy to break out of, but it takes priority over
complex motion Throws (eg. Jeffry goes for his Crucifix Piledriver 
(d/f,d/f+P+G) AT THE SAME TIME you go for the P+G, you will get the Throw),
and will also give you the motion to break out of other P+G Throws. Mix it up
with your other Throws.

*Turnover Throw*

(Kage goes low and scoops the enemy's feet out from under them)


For all intents and purposes, the same as P+G--guarentees a Heel Smash, and
easy to perform. Mix it in with your other Throws.

*Reaping Throw*

(Kage grabs the enemy by the shoulders, hooks his foot around their calf and
 pulls it back while pushing on their shoulders, toppling them over)


Again, basically the same thing as P+G, allowing a Heel Smash. This Throw WAS
important to Kage's strategy in VF2 because the motion doubled for an Elbow,
which would catch enemies attempting to crouch the Throw--now with the missed
grab animations, that strategy no longer works :(. Mix this in with other

*Flipping Stomp*

(Kage hauls the enemy atop his shoulder while flipping backwards; he then
 drops them on their back while at the same time stomping on them)


A spectacular Throw that does GREAT damage and USUALLY allows a Heel Smash.
Mix it in with the other Throws--this is as complex as motions go for 
Kage :).


(Kage places his hands on the enemy's shoulders and vaults to the opposite


A great thing about this is that it can also be done behind the enemy, which
can really mess them up :). It can still be broken out of like all the other
normal Throws, but it sets up some fun combos for Kage. See combos for more

*Scissor Grab*

(Kage hops up and wraps his legs around the enemy's head, throwing them to
 the ground)


Does decent damage but you cannot Pounce. Use it when you've evaded the
enemy and you're left close enough for it to connect. However, don't go
crazy trying to connect with it, like dashing into the enemy if you're too
far away after evading, because other attacks from the side can do more

*Torso Takedown*

(Kage grabs the wrong-facing enemy around the waist and drops them to the


Looks cool, but not TOO damaging. You can actually connect with this after
a Flip-over, but only if you pause briefly after the f+P+G--a pause long
enough for the enemy to hit you, so don't try it often. Kage also has a Low
Back Throw which I haven't connected with yet, but I assume it looks the 
same. Its frame rates are: 20-119-1


(Kage flips toward the enemy and mounts them as they fall, repeatedly 
 slapping them in the face)


Does a decent 50 pts. of damage, has good range and most importantly, totally
humiliates the enemy! However, not only can the enemy interrupt it, they can 
also simply duck and counter afterward. Still, it cannot be escaped and has a 
few uses--see tactics for more info.

*Ten-Foot Toss*

(Kage grabs the enemy by the arms, falls onto his back and plants his foot in 
 their stomach, then shoves them off and high into the air)


This move is SOOO important to Kage it's sickening. Kage players should know
ALL the ups and downs of the TFT and must be able to pull it off in ALL
conditions. I GUARENTEE it is THE way to win with Kage. It does a good 40 
pts. of damage by itself, and allows a Flying Stomp for 80 pts. right there;
but even better, Kage is left able to juggle the enemy as they fall, and DAMN
are there big possibilities. Kage is hurt in VF3 because the TFT can now be 
escaped, so you cannot use it exclusively against a good player at every
Throw attempt--it's best mixed up with the Flip-over and Flipping Stomp. 
Altogether the most important move in Kage's arsenal, for sure. See Tactics
and ESPECIALLY combos for much more info.

*Ten-Foot Toss-Inverted Piledriver*

(Kage follows the TFT by flipping backwards following the thrown opponent,
 grabs them in mid-air while upside down and drives their head into the


This Throw shows the TRUE coolness of Kage, even if you can get more damage
with a juggle after the TFT. This should be used to show off (of course!) or
when you think you're doing well enough in a fight to waste the opportunity
for a major float combo. This doesn't allow a Pounce, the animations alone
are worth it! Note that to perform the Piledriver, you must hit b+P+G, u+P+G
in ONE SMOOTH MOTION. NOTE: this Throw gains new animations and MORE damage
when done to Taka-Arashi--Kage will perform the TFT (which BTW will NOT throw
the sumo up enough to juggle), then quickly lash both legs out to grab Taka
and slam him to the ground. Try it and I think you'll be pleased.

*Leg Grab*

(Kage flips back and grabs the enemy's head with both legs, twisting them to
 the ground)


You'd be surprised how often the enemy will fall for this, mainly because of
its fast execution time. Basically, use it to nail opponents dashing in to
punish you with a Back Throw, or against enemies who will stand there and
block, thinking you'll do a high or mid turning attack. Note though that the
recovery of this Catch Throw is ugly, and can be easily countered, especially
if ducked. Note: this is involved in a nasty bit of okizeme, too :).



Offensive Rush Tactics/Setups:

The basis of offensive strategy for Kage revolves around the Crouch Dash and
his various Punch rushes. Coming in with the Double Punch is probably the
best--pester them with it, and if they decide to block, G-cancel and Throw;
alternately, you can perform d+K which may catch them for a MC, allowing a
Throw. If they duck, G-cancel and Elbow Stagger. This is your basic 
strategy--now, this of course is far from fool-proof. The enemy can not only 
reverse (in most cases) your Punches, but they can also mix up various 
attacks that will pass under your Punches (eg. Akira's Low Backfist). 
Therefore, it is often better to mix up your offense with Elbows and f+P+K,
P+K as well, because if they are blocked (especially the Elbow), Kage can 
recover quickly enough not to be countered. 

Now, as I mentioned earlier, I have discovered that a Low Punch (d+P) is not
as powerful to duck under attacks as it used to be. To remedy this, you can
still "auto-duck" by instead tapping d+G (which will also of course block low
attacks), and following with a crouching attack...

HELIX SETUPS: Because of the great recovery of the Helix and Double 
Punch-Helix, Kage can often combo or Throw afterwards. If you don't 
anticipate the enemy crouching the Punches, throw out the Double Punch-Helix 
liberally; if they block, quickly whip off a Throw or Dodging Scissor Tackle 
to snag 'em (mix up the Throws--if you do this often enough with the same 
Throw, they will anticipate and escape it, awarding you no damage). If the 
enemy chooses to try and dodge the Helix, the follow-up Heel Kick will often 
snatch them in the act. If the enemy manages to duck the Helix, they have an 
advantage, but you can still follow the Helix with an Elbow which MAY catch 
them. If the Helix is not blocked, you can chain into the Heel Kick, or many 
other combinations--b/d+K works but is kinda weak (although it will avoid 
high attacks if you were a little slow). Another good follow-up is the 
Turn-away Sweep (b,b+K+G), or if you're really feeling lucky, try a Kickflip
The Helix strategy I have been using as of late, and is quite effective;
basically it involves the enemy either getting hit with the Helix or Double
Punch Helix and following with a combo, OR getting the Helix blocked and
Throwing or low attacking, OR getting the Helix ducked under and staggering
with the Elbow...

Defensive Rush Tactics:

Kage also plays very well defending against offensive opponents. If you block
many high Punches, you're doing something wrong :). If the enemy comes in
with Punches, you should either reverse them (b+P+K) or duck and counter in
any one of the many ways Kage can from here. To counter high attacks Kage can
use any of the following:

-D+P (then buffer into Rising Knee, Spinning Heel Kick or Downward Chop)
-D+K (on MC Throw guarenteed)
-d/b+K (weak but very effective)
-d+P+K (floats on MC)
-f,d,d/f+P (early!)
-D,f+K (from close--bad range)
-d+K+G (IMO BEST!!!)
-d/f+K+G (early...)

Out of this list, the most effective is certainly the Spinning Heel Kick,
because it comes out lightning fast AND can be done from either standing or
crouching--if it connects, it will chain easily into the f,f+K, and on a MC,
go for the Flying Stomp!! Now, remember that the opponent will also try to
mix up their attack levels (if they're any good), so you cannot always simply
duck and counter--the d+K+G is so effective because the SECOND you anticipate
the high attack (and even some mid attacks) you can whip it off, but 
otherwise, if you're not sure that a long enough Punch rush is coming your
way, DON'T duck, or you could eat a mid-level move. 
As for low attacks, Kage can also deal fairly well with the enemy--if you
manage to block the low attack, you can usually counter best with the D,d/f+P
which will allow a f,f+K often for good damage. If the low attack you blocked
has particularily long recovery time (eg. Pai/Lau's d+K+G), you can try for a
Rising Knee+Pounce (and maybe a juggle on Pai?), or you could quickly stand
and go for an Elbow stagger+combo. Now, instead of blocking the low attack,
you can also MC it with u/f+K+G, and follow with a Heel Smash. However, don't
just try this every time, because from crouching most characters can whip off
an attack high enough to knock you out of the air (and maybe even start a
big float combo).
Along with these tactics, Kage can also Evade, Crouch Dash or dash backwards.
See all their sections below for more info.

Nailing Reversals:

Although reversals are not such a big part of Kage's repitiore compared to
Aoi or Akira, it can still be an effective defense. A good philosophy from
Tan Wu Meng <wumeng@pacific.net.sg> is: 

"As long as you are in a situation where you can block the incoming attack, 
 you can reverse it (assuming it's reversible of course)." 

You have to ask yourself how effective using the reversal will be in certain
situations. The most obvious place to use the reversal is when you anticipate
a Punch rush (OR, if you notice a single hand attack in time to react)--this 
is quite useful against opponents that you find hitting you when you duck the 
Punch rush. 

For example, vs. Taka--he can throw up to six high Punches (or Slaps, 
actually). If you block, he will likely G-cancel and Throw (or do d+P+K,P+K), 
and if you duck, he can G-cancel and either f,f+P or d/f,d/f+P, OR simply 
perform P,P,f+P, a Double Punch ending with a mid-level cross-slap. 

So if you duck and this occurs, the next time he comes in with the Punches, 
try a reversal--in fact, if he starts the rush from a slight distance, fake a 
duck (QUICKLY tap down) then tap b+P+K. The important thing here is that Kage 
will also reverse the f+P if he chooses to use it (or the d/f,d/f+P, but he 
cannot reverse the f,f+P as it is a double-handed attack). OF COURSE, you can
also use the Spinning Heel Kick in cases such as this...

You can also condition the enemy into throwing an attack WHEN you want. For
example, if you notice Jeffry likes to smack you with his various uppercuts
when you crouch, trick him into thinking you're crouching haphazardly. From
JUST within the range of his Uppercut, throw crouching punches here and there
then QUICKLY stand and tap b+P+K--if he goes for the usual uppercut, you got
The whole idea of conditioning involves noticing your opponents use of moves
and patterns--the above example should not be used if your opponent tends to
mix up mid-level attacks (eg. throws a Toe Kick-Hammer now and then).

THE BIG THING--_IF_ you can hit the enemy with a more powerful move, DO IT!

Throw Setups:


The key to winning with Kage is connecting with his Ten-Foot Toss. From here
Kage can set up devastating combos that, if not destroying the enemy with big
damage, can ring them out easily. HOWEVER, Kage has been severily weakened as
far as the TFT is concerned in VF3--it can now be escaped :(. For this 
reason, you may still have to mix it up with other Throws if you're playing
any foe which can escape the Throw. There are THREE really good ways to set
up Throws with Kage:

1. After a Crouch Dash--see the Crouch Dash section.

2. With a Punch or Helix offense--if the enemy ends up blocking the Helix,
THROW! If the enemy blocks the Double or Triple Punch, G-cancel and THROW!
Fairly simple, eh? :)

3. After stagger--after an Elbow stagger (your first), see if the enemy has
the know-how to shake out of it fairly fast. If not, the Heel Kick+f,f+K is
the best stagger combo. IF the are adept at shaking out, dash in (IMO best
with f+E) and THROW! The timing may take some practice, because you cannot
Throw until the enemy begins to come out of the stagger. Practice...

Other simple places for Throws to be used are obvious; like after the enemy
misses a big attack. Personally, I usually go for the TFT in this case,
although of course if the enemy misses one of these big attacks (I'm talking
Kage's Dragon Punch or a Kickflip), you have many other options open to you.

As for Kage's u/f+P+G Catch Throw, its uses are pretty limited. However, I
often TRY to get this move in if I'm fighting some snobby bastard (usually
using that bastard Lion...) One place where it connects fairly consistantly
is after hitting the enemy with a rising Heel Kick (K when getting up), it
may not be a perfect combination like Sarah's rising kick -> Catch Throw,
but if not it will at least surprise them enough to work. Another place to
use this is from its maximum range if the enemy tends to just stand there and
block--note that this usually only works once per fight as the enemy will
surely catch on to the idea, and sometimes standing there and blocking may in
fact be a trap for you to try the Catch Throw, which they will duck and 

Your two most used Throws when not attempting to counter another Throw are
the TFT (b+P+G) and f+P+G, both of which leave the enemy open to good damage.
If you like some variety like me, mix in the b,d+P+G or d/f+P+G.

Anyway, see combos for MUCH more info on the TFT and f+P+G.          

Escaping Throws:

According to R.G.V.A posts and CreeD's Throwing FAQs, in order to escape from
Throws you must input the FIRST and LAST motion of the joystick+P+G. For
example, to escape Wolf's Twirl `n' Hurl (b, d/b, d, d/f, f+P+G), quickly tap
b,f+P+G within the escape time (10 frames). To escape from P+G Throws (with
no joystick motion), you hit P+G. When there is only ONE joystick motion, you
break out of the Throw with the SAME motion. For example, to break out of
Kage's Ten-Foot Toss (b+P+G), you must tap b+P+G. Finally, this single 
joystick escape is also true for DUEL motion Throws. For example, to break
out of Jacky's Trip-Hammer (f,b+P+G), quickly tap b+P+G.
It is because of this technique that you MUST vary your Throws with Kage; if
the enemy knows any of the motions for your Throws, they can and will break
out--that is, unless you use a different Throw than they're expecting... MIX

Long-Range Fighting:

Kage is probably the best overall fighter at long range, along with Lion 
(yuck). However you should still be trying to get in close--if the enemy is
offensive they will probably either dash forward hoping to surprise you, or
edge forward carefully. If they dash, the Thunder Dragon is virtually
unbeatable :), and the Corkscrew Kick (f,f+K+G) works well too. If the enemy
is more careful, any really quick move can surprise them, like d/b+K...

Evading and Dashing:

When you Evade an attack and are left close, go for his Side Throw. The
Spinning Heel Kick is also a good follow-up to Evasion... 
Dashing is an important part of Kage's defensive strategy, with the b+E
allowing a good bit of control. An alternate way of dealing with offensive
opponents is to b+E, then counter appropriately. Just watch for really long-
ranged attacks that may still catch them. 

Crouch Dashing:

An important part of offensive/defensive component of Kage's technique is the 
Crouch Dash. To perform a Crouch Dash, tap d/f,D/F from a crouch (or, 
D,d/f,D/F). If done properly, Kage will perform a small sort of hop forward 
while still in a crouch. You must continue to hold the D/F until you see him 
start the dash, then you are free to move into any attack you wish. 
Crouch Dashing is a great move for Kage mainly because he can follow it with
a throw--the Crouch Dash gets you in fast and against inexperienced 
opponents, may surprise them into freezing up... The Crouch Dash will most
importantly avoid high attacks, so it is yet ANOTHER counter against 
offensive rushes (you must however anticipate, because you can still be hit
with a mid-level attack), and allows you to counter with a Throw.
In addition to throwing, crouch dashing is important in TFT combos. It is
possible to perform ANY attack from a crouch in a crouch dash, however they
motion is simplified. For example, you can crouch dash in a Rising Knee with
this motion: D,d/f,d/f,f+K. This combines a crouch dash with the Knee by
eliminating the D charge. All moves performed from a crouch dash are called 
"modified moves", designated with m-. So, a crouch dash-Rising Knee is 
m-Rising Knee.

NOTE: You can no longer Crouch Dash backward as you could in VF2 :(. 

Dealing With Evasion:

You can track Eing foes with one of your various Punch combinations, and you
can also tag them often with the Spinning Heel Kick. You can also simply
align yourself with the opponent by pressing G.

Rising From Knockdowns:

This is all anticipation; probably the best rising move you can use is to tap
G, to roll to the side--this will sometimes avoid Pounces, in which case you
can promptly counter with a Rising Heel Kick. To rise right away with the 
Heel Kick or Rising Sweep is often foolish, as a good enemy will see them
coming and reverse or MC it, putting you right back where you started. Only
use the Heel Kick if the enemy is foolishly just crouching there in front of
you, and only use the Sweep if they foolishly throw a high attack over your
fallen body.


Kage has two useful okizeme techniques that I know of. One was posted by some
guy on r.g.v.a (sorry, can't find his name): If you knock down the opponent
with a move that leaves your back turned to them (eg. b,b+K+G or d/f+K+G),
wait for them to rise then dash forward (in other words, slightly away from
them), and if they throw a rising attack it will whiff; counter with u+P+G!!
This of course is not foolproof, because all the enemy has to do is roll to
the side or not attack at all, and come up to possibly MC the u+P+G, so be
Another useful okizeme is vs. backwards rolling opponents. If you notice the
enemy begin to roll backward, throw out the Thunder Dragon (f,f+P+K+G) to hit
them on its way down! Additionally, you can hit the enemy with just about any
mid or low attack if they try to roll toward you...
Anyway, I really don't think about the whole idea of okizeme that often,
though I know it has a load of potential... Many other FAQs and r.g.v.a posts
will delve into it much further.



Kage has a couple of decent ways to float the enemy, though none compare to
the TFT :). The following are ways to float with Kage:

1. Side Kick--d/f+K (on a MC)
2. Upward Chop--d+P+K (on a MC)
3. Rising Knee--D,f+K (on a MC)
4. Stepping Back Thrust--b+K+G (on a MC)

As you can see, none of them will work as a MC. The Upward Chop, AFAIK is not
to useful, however the other have their applications. The Side Kick is useful
at long range for countering attempted slow attacks--quick juggles will
connect. The Rising Knee (I SWEAR) will float the enemy for a juggle, though
I'm not too sure how big a juggle--ONCE AND ONLY ONCE I MCed Pai with it and
connected with 2 Punches (I can't remember if it was on a downward slope or
not, and that may affect it). The b+K+G is the best float device if you
anticipate a slow move--you can connect good juggles after this...


1. AFTER f+P+G: 

This is a fun Throw that can set the enemy up for quite a few attacks. 
Against noivce opponents I will use the Triple Punch-Heel Kick, but of course
anyone with half a brain will duck the attacks. A faster version of this that
will often connect and allow a Back-Heel Sweep is the PPK (although this too
might get ducked--not sure if it is guarenteed or not). You can also use 
f+P+K,P+K, f,f+K for good damage. HOWEVER, the two best follow-ups are a
Kickflip (u/b+K+G) or a Dragon Punch (f,d,d/f+P). The latter is better; the
Kickflip can be avoided by dashing away (or ducking?), so only use it against
those you're sure cannot get out in time. The Dragon Punch is much better
overall because not only does it connect solidly (is there a way to avoid 
it?), AND you can even chain into ANOTHER DP for BIG damage! The only thing I
think you have to worry about is Aoi, who can actually reverse the DP with 
her back turned :(.

2. AFTER b+P+G:

Heh, heh. The TFT is the core of Kage's gameplay, allowing him to either RO
the enemy, or drain major amounts of life. Pretty much any attack will 
connect on an enemy floated with the TFT; real easy follow-ups are the
Kickflip (u/b+K+G; requires slight dash; often considered boring or cheap!),
Inverted Kickflip (d/f+K+G) or Spinning Heel Kick (d+K+G). Moderately
difficult follow-ups require a slight controlled dash forward, like PPPK or
b+K+G (which opens to further punishment!). The most difficult TFT combos
involve the m-Rising Knee, or a dash in followed by a Swipe Punch combo.
Basically, you can have lots of fun with follow-ups here... See combos list


1.  f+P (stagger), PK
2.  f+P (stagger), d+K+G, f,f+K
3.  f+P (stagger), d/f+K
4.  f+P (stagger), Low Kick (MC) -> Throw :)
5.  f+P (stagger), Throw
6.  d/f+K (MC), f+P, d/f+K
7.  d/f+K (MC), PPPK (vs. light opponents only)
8.  d/f+K (MC), PG, f,d,d/f+P
9.  b+K+G (MC), u/b+K+G
10. b+K+G (MC), d+P, f,f+K+G
11. b+K+G (MC), PPPK
12. b+K+G (MC), PPb+PK
13. u/f+K+G (MC), f,d,d/f+P
14. u/f+K+G (MC), d/b+K
15. f+P+G, f,d,d/f+P, f,d,d/f+P
16. f+P+G, u/b+K+G
17. f+P+G, d/f+K+G (NOT guarenteed)
18. TFT, m-knee, b+K+G, d/f+K
19. TFT, m-knee, PG, PPPK (good RO possibilities)
20. TFT, u/b+K+G
21. TFT, f,f+P+K+G (hit enemy as close to ground as possible; good RO chance)
22. TFT, b,b+P, PPPK (TFT of DOOM! HUGE RO possibilities!)
23. TFT, d/b+P,G, d/b+P,G, d/b+P,G, PPPK (light enemies? Good RO chance)
24. TFT, d/f+K+G
25. TFT, m-Knee, P,P,b+P, f,d,d/f+P (good RO possibilities)
26. TFT, m-Knee, PK, f,f+K
27. (WALL) TFT, u/f+K+G, PG, d+P, f,d,d/f+P (TFT into wall)
28. (WALL) TFT, f,d,d/f+P, f,d,d/f+P (vs light enemies; TFT into wall)

NOTE: there are MANY more possibilities. Anyone feel free to e-mail me more



To be added in a later update (like my other VF3 character guides), as I have
not yet played a whole lot of human competition, so I'd like to get better
vs. humans first.



Thanks to Jason "Deal with it!" Jamieson (cka@efni.com) using Kage, James
using Aoi, David w/Wolf, "Mustache Man" w/Sarah, Jamie w/Shun Di and that 
dude with beard who works at Happy Man (using Taka) for giving me what 
little human competition I had! Also thanks to Sega and AM2 for ANOTHER great
VF installment. Also thanks to the following FAQ writers/contributors:

-Sitson Lee <eflower@engsoc.carleton.ca> for translating AM2's tactics
-CreeD <meshe@clinic.net> for his awesome Throwing FAQ
-Dodee (Steve Hamilton) <steveh@ime.net -=or=- dodee@vfhome.com> for his
 thorough VF3 moves list
-Tan Wu Meng <wumeng@pacific.net.sg> for an awesome VF2 Kage FAQ
-Takeshi Morozumi for a good VF3 Kage beginner's FAQ
-Chia Wilson <caliburn@cyberway.com.sg> for a decent Kage FAQ
-Lars for the awesome HOME OF VIRTUA FIGHTER; GREAT site! 

This and many other FAQs can be found at my homepage: 

or http://www.gamefaqs.com

Feel free to e-mail comments, suggestions and ESPECIALLY corrections 
to: tigeraid@geocities.com

"I said it before and I'll say it again--democracy simply doesn't work!"

                                          -Kent Brockman, the Simpsons