Kage by R.Williams

Version: 1.12 | Updated: 06/12/01 | Printable Version

by Rich Williams <scumchop@hotmail.com>
version 1.12 [last updated 6/12/01]


This FAQ is for private and personal use only. It can only be reproduced
electronically / placed on a web page or site as long as it is unaltered, with
this disclaimer and the copyright notice appearing in full. Any information
used from this document, quoted or no, should have this author's name somewhere
clearly as acknowledgement. Feel free to distribute between others, but this
FAQ is not to be used for profitable/promotional purposes; this includes being
used by publishers of magazines, guides, books, etc. or being incorporated into
magazines, etc. in ANY way.

Movelist statistics Copyright Gamest, 1996,1998; all rights reserved.
Translation copyright Wojciech Dworak, 1999; all rights reserved. Used by

Dreamcast VF3tb & Arcade VF3 rev A - D disclaimer 

This guide is written and applies only to Kage in arcade VF3tb. Apply to
Dreamcast VF3tb, as well as the arcade VF3 Rev A through D at your own risk.
There are far more differences than you might imagine.


1. Foreword
2. General notation
3. The system
   3.1 General movement
   3.2 Executing moves
   3.3 The round
4. Move analysis
   4.1 General moves
   4.2 Running moves
   4.3 Turn-away attacks
   4.4 Back-turned moves
   4.5 Hopping attacks
   4.6 Jumping moves
   4.7 Rolling and rolling attacks
   4.8 Pounces
   4.9 Reversals
   4.10 Rising attacks
   4.11 Misc. movements
   4.12 Throws   
5. Versus guide
   5.1 Character data
   5.2 Versus Akira
   5.3 Versus Aoi
   5.4 Versus Jacky
   5.5 Versus Jeffry
   5.6 Versus Kage
   5.7 Versus Lau
   5.8 Versus Lion
   5.9 Versus Pai
   5.10 Versus Sarah
   5.11 Versus Shun
   5.12 Versus Taka
   5.13 Versus Wolf
6. Misc. tactics and info     
   6.1 Option select
   6.2 Fuzzy guard
   6.3 Translated taunts
   6.4 Dreamcast info
7. Credit, sources and thanks


All Lion players must hang.

I will be the first one to point out that this guide is four years too late. I
suppose I am only following the grand tradition of releasing massive VF
character guides far too late and in the shadow of the impending sequel - see
Dirk Tebben's and Tan Wu Meng's VF2 Kage guides. 

Sections 2 and 3, as well as the movelist template, are used by permission of
the original author, GLC, from his VF3tb General Faq. I felt that a general
overview of the game system was necessary, and GLC was kind enough to let me
use his text. Thanks for saving me the trouble, GLC :)


This guide assumes that you have at least a very rudimentary understanding of
the VF game system. The following will help explain what's what.

The movelist template is as follows:

Move Name                       Motions               Damage
Hit Level / Reversal Level      Ex-Co-Re[/Re2/Re3]    Advantage (G/hit/MC)
Throw Counterable? +Level       Notes                 Cancel Notes

Move Name
Self-explanatory; names mostly classical or created by players themselves. I've
tried to use the most common names for Kage's moves as referred to by players
over the years.

f,b,d,u     joystick motions (forward, back, down, up); hold if capitalized
db...       diagonals (db,df,uf,ub); again, hold if capitalized
P,K,G,E     press punch, kick, guard or evade buttons, respectively
+           buttons must be pressed together
,           move separator
,,          denotes a slight pause between motions
n           return joystick to neutral
FS          execute from standing position only
FC          execute from crouching position only

Given in points, standardized to Wolf's giant swing throw being 100 points. It
is not the percentage of the lifebar. Attacks that do damage equal or greater
than 30 points usually knock down.

~ : damage range; as a general rule, sweeps do more damage when they connect at
a greater distance (more momentum).

{}: stat changes vs. Taka-Arashi

Hit Level
H,M,L,G     attack levels; low, mid, high and ground respectively
Ht,Lt       high and low throw, respectively

Reversal Level
H*P, H*K    high-level punch or kick
M*P, M*K    mid-level punch or kick
L*P, L*K    low-level punch or kick
elbow       ]
sweep       ] respective
crescent    ] reversals
flipkick    ]

Ex: execution;
Co: collision (aka coverage), when collision detection takes place;
Re: recovery;
/ : different stat figure, as explained in 'notes'
{}: stat changes vs. Taka-Arashi

Some stats (ex-co) are based on VF3 version D, as no figures have been
published solely for TB. Therefore numbers for new moves are missing and
some others CAN be inaccurate. The point of having re times is to give the
player a general idea of how much time there is to counter attack a _missed_

Note: as the throws are instantaneous, and the execution time listed is for
their animation before actual hit collision; catch throws have two execution
times listed, so-called "charge-up" and "before collision" ones.

In frames; the more, the better. Generally, moves that are of equal or
less time in execution time are guaranteed to connect (you must take the
hit level into account though). The format is:

* move blocked / regular hit / major counter hit

Throw Counter
Ht,Lt       move can be countered with either high- or low-throw when
Bt,LBt      move can be countered with either high- or low-back throw
            when blocked

Cancel Notes

X:  The threshold when you can not G-cancel a move anymore.  Thus from
    1 to  X-1  frames you can cancel the move.

Z:  At what frame of animation the move actually cancels.

    Case A:  You pressed G at a frame less than Z.
         Then the move stops execution at Z+1

    Case B:  You pressed G at a frame greater than or equal to Z.
         Then the move stops execution at the next frame after you pressed G.

Y:  Determines your rigour time.
         Rigour = (Frame the move stops execution) - Y + 2

ground      character recovers on the ground
-x DP       the move sobers Shun (-x drinking points)

Note: the above are only for approximate reference. Check versus section for
details on Shun's drinking.

Other Notes
> If a hopping/jumping move has "f+x" in its motion, it can usually be done
  with "df+x" and "uf+x". Same with "b+x" motion (..."db+x" & "ub+x")
> ~s denote stat range


Refer to earlier General Notation section for explanation on conventions.
This section is also very important. Although I tried to make things as concise
as possible, it's still much to learn. But believe me, it can't be made any

3.1 General Movement

to inch: F / B
to dash: f,f / b,b or f+E (b+E gives Kage's backward somersault)
to crouch dash (CD): df,DF / df,d,DF (you cannot crouch dash back)
to run: f,F or F+E
dodge into the screen: E / u+E / uf+E / ub+E
dodge out of the screen: d+E / df+E / db+E
regular hop: d,u / d,uf / d,ub
regular jump: d,U / d,UF / d,UB

In other words, characters' feet alignment. There are two types of stance:

    closed stance:            open stance:

  Player 1    Player 2     Player 1    Player 2
  --------    --------     --------    --------
  left        right        left           right
     right       left         right    left

When Kage gets knocked down, he retains the stance from before being knocked

* character is considered a standing non-defender during dashes and dodges,
  and crouch non-defender during crouch dashes;
* E & d+E can be cancelled by CDs;
* normal dashes can be cancelled by anything;
* you cannot do consecutive back dashes;
* to do a back-turned dash to opponent, press G, b,b release G;
* when a move requires the character to be standing, while crouching do
  f,f (or b,b) then input the move - everything as one motion. This results
  in so-called instant stand and you execute the move like you would normally.

3.2 Executing Moves

You cannot execute moves while holding guard, but you can buffer the motions.
The move is then executed after releasing the G button. There are some rules
and exceptions to buffering:
* you can only buffer one-hit moves, therefore you cannot buffer multi-hit
  sequences like PPK etc.;
* you can buffer moves with complex motions by leaving the last motion out,
  for instance: press G, b,f, release G, f+P+K for Akira's body check;

It's usually applied in the moment of move's collision detection but:
* in case of some throws, damage isn't dealt until character's body hits the
  ground or wall (eg. Wolf's giant swing, Akira's pull-in push-out throw);

Hit levels:
There are 4 hit levels in the game, high, mid, low and ground (H/M/L/G). You
cannot execute pounce-type moves if your opponent isn't on the ground. There
are some exceptions to this - for example, opponent stumbling or executing
a sacrifice move like Shun's db+K,G.
Character's behaviour:
* standing: H/M/L moves hit normally;
* crouching: H moves miss, M moves connect, L moves hit, subject to low
* standing guard: blocks H/M moves, L moves hit, subject to high throws;
* crouching guard: H moves miss, M moves connect, blocks L moves, subject to
  low throws;
* lying on the ground: H/M/L moves miss, G moves hit;
* bouncing on the ground: any move may hit, it largely depends on move's
  properties, bouncing height plus other circumstances like angulation etc.;

If you are hit while backfacing the opponent:
* you can crouch under H moves normally;
* as a general rule if you're hit, you turn towards automatically;
* if he executes a sequence of moves not being a guaranteed combo, you
  automatically turn towards after being hit with the last guaranteed move;
* the above this is true for moves at H or L level... if you're hit with M
  move, you stumble forward;
* in case of sequences, like PK/PPP etc., it's possible that first hit pushes
  you forward, making the rest of normally guaranteed combo escapable;
* some moves just knock down or float;

Priority hits:
When two moves hit at the same time, which move wins?
1. Rising Attacks always has first priority
2. The attack with the greater damage wins
3. If same damage, then air attacks wins
4. If the difference between the opponents' life bar is 50 or over, then the
   player with the smaller life bar has priority.
5. The move with the quicker detection, then execution time hits.
6. If it's still a tie, then both players get knocked down.

If you hit your opponent with mid-level move and it doesn't knock them down,
the character enters the stagger animation (be warned though, as not all the
mid-hitting moves stagger!) You can struggle out of stagger by wiggling the
stick and pressing buttons as fast as possible. Tidbits:
- you cannot be thrown during staggers;
- you cannot buffer any moves, all joystick/button inputs count towards
  shortening stagger time;
- all attacks hit normally, although stagger is a special case, the character
  is considered standing non-defender;
You can easily tell which moves stagger by looking into the movelist; usually,
the chart provides range of frame advantage, eg. Kage's elbow (+4~+11) means
up to +4 frames for Kage if you struggle, +11 if you don't.

Countering is either:
* hitting the opponent while he's executing a move, that is, in his execution
  phase (major counter - MC), move damage increases by 50%. There are no MC 
* hitting the opponent while he's still in his move's recovery phase (minor
  counter - mC), move's damage increases by 25%. You can throw as mC but the
  damage doesn't increase in that case.
There are more rules to damage, I'll leave them out until next update.

General minor countering rules:
- if you have +8 frames of advantage, you have a free throw;
- counter with fast moves such as punch combos, elbows etc.;
- frame advantage statistic is your friend, check the movelist section...
  consult moves' execution stats to determine which are best used for counters.
In some cases you cannot execute a throw for some reason (weird angle, opponent
stumbles etc.) - learn to recognize and react accordingly.

Techniques you perform when opponent is executing a moves. As the result, you
you block the opponent's move with technique of your own, either directly
damaging him or shoving his attack aside (in which case you have frame
advantage). Tidbits:
- there are three levels of reversals;
- moves that hit with two limbs, may that be arms or legs, cannot be reversed;
- executing a reversals without your opponent executing an appropriate attack
  will result in whiffed reversals animation (just like in case of throws,
  although the recovery time is quicker);

3.3 The Round
Beginning of the round (before 'Go!' is called):
* every character can crouch;
* Jacky can change stance by (d,d);
* Shun can sit (d,d), then lie down (d,d) or get up (u,u);
* you cannot buffer any moves in!

Means of winning the round:
* opponent's vitality bar reaches 0;
* opponent's character falls out of the stage's playing area (if both fall out
  at the same time, the first one that touches the ground loses);
* if time runs out, the character with more vitality wins;
* if there's a draw for any reason, both opponents are awarded a round - if
  they're tied at the end of the match, it becomes sudden death (fast round
  with only 10 vitality points each);


Kage is an extremely straightforward character. His moves are quite simple, and
those that do not knock down generally allow the familiar rules after they
connect: throw if standing, mid if crouching, etc, etc. He has a huge
assortment of moves, most of which are useful, and even fun to play around
with. Experiment, have _fun_. 

Regarding flowcharts, and about keeping the initiative after connecting moves:
I have a distaste for flowcharts. I have found that flowcharts for most of the
characters in VF are not very useful at all. They are all almost exactly the
same on a certain level, and follow the basic principals in VF: throw or low
attack if the opponent stands or dodges; attack mid if the opponent crouches;
guard, dodge or execute a quick move if you expect an attack from the
opponent...and so on. Repeat after me: "DUH."

In addition to that, what you choose to use and how you choose your followups
will always depend on what character you're up against, and moreso, what kind
of player you're up against. What will be useful will completely vary. It is
simply not possible to list off all the possible options and outcomes - it is,
essentially, an infinite list. I will give you as much factual information as
possible, and I will leave it to you to figure the rest out on your own.

I really should point out here that, before, I did say the basic principals
apply for "most" characters' moves. Not every move, not all characters have the
same attributes; certain special situations will arise from certain moves from
certain characters that deserve mention. There are a few for Kage here and
there, and I will list them.

Also, "Guaranteed" does not always mean "guaranteed". 

Lastly, and importantly, I would like to quote Dirk Tebben from his excellent
VF2 Kage guide with a rule that applies to any of the VF series. It's an simple
but important rule to follow.

"The Cardinal Rule

Before the guide starts, here is the Cardinal Rule of playing with Kage or any
other character:  Don't Get Predictable...Don't let yourself get into grooves
of habit, so that you always respond in a preset pattern.  This is the one
thing to keep in mind as you read about moves and tactics.  No matter how
effective a move may be, if you overuse it you'll lose."

Anyway, let's go...

4.1 General moves

low punch from standing         d+P                  11
L / L*P                         16-1-14              -2 / 0 / +4
-                               -                    _

Kage's low punch is uncounterable, gives a very respectable and useful bit of
advantage time over the opponent if it MC's, and most importantly it leaves
Kage crouching.

However, the standing low punch is quite slow, and it's range is not all-too
spectacular. It will not track dodging opponents. 

For those reasons the usefulness of the low punch is almost entirely contained
to its use as a flowchart starter, a move to set up other moves - that's where
this attack excels. Although there are no fully guaranteed followups you're
free to try virtually anything. Ultimately what you choose to use, and the
success or failure of your followup depends on your ability as a player, as
well as what the opponent does...as always. For example, it can be used to try
to bring opponents to a crouch; it is also a relatively safe low attack that
can be used to avoid throws and certain rushes. And so on...it is a very long

But follow the cardinal rule. Don't use it too carelessly. It's recovery is not
stellar, and whiffed low punches will leave you open to quick mids (i.e
staggers) and low throws from competent players. It may not seem like a
particularly amazing move (and in many hands and minds it is not), but there is
plenty of potential, many possibilities in its use.

low punch from crouch           FC,d|D+P             9
L / L*P                         10-1-14              -2 / -1 / +2
-                               -                    _

This is what you get when you execute a low punch while crouching and/or if the
opponent is downed. 

As the numbers show, it's weaker and leaves less advantage time for Kage when
compared to his "standing" low punch. That said, it is virtually identical in
its characteristics, ability and potential to the standing low punch, if not
slightly less effective. It is much much quicker, though, and that makes it all
the more safe, and more effective as a harrassment and spacing tool. 

low kick                        d+K                  14
L / L*K                         16-1-24              -13 / -4 / +2
Lt                              -                    -

Kage is blessed with one of the better low kicks in the game. Kage will always
thrust with his leading leg, which gives it _excellent_ range in either stance.
It ducks many moves and has generally good priority. It won't nail dodgers but
it tracks fairly well, and it recovers low. The AD numbers don't entirely speak
for themselves - depending on range to opponent it can be a very decent
flowchart starter if it hits normally; for example meta-comboing with the
crouching low punch can be suprisingly effective against some characters and
opponents. Finally, it can be used to tick the opponent.

It's not all fun and games, though. It's fairly easy for competent opponents to
mC you in a very severe way if blocked, and it has an irritating tendency to
completely whiff, especially against opponents in open stance who are slightly
off axis. Expect to be staggered or low (side) thrown in the worst cases.

All of the above add up to it being a useful pecking, stopping and spacing
tool, doubling with a secondary usage of flowcharting and potential ticking.
Just use it intelligently.

dodging tackle                  db+K                  19
L / -                           19-6-48               -32 / D / D
Ht                              -                     -

An interesting an actually quite useful move if you know when to use it. This
move is quite slow, but it does track dodging (and rising) opponents well, and
it will always knock down if it hits. It changes stance, as well, and Kage
recovers standing, which only makes things even worse if it should be blocked.

It is a good "surprise" move, but probably it's best application is against
rising opponents. Timed right you can either nail opponent out of siderolls
and/or rising attacks (moreso high rising attacks than low rising attacks; it
often ducks right underneath them). The dodge in the dodging tackle will always
be to Kage's own open side - it is possible to dodge at the wrong angle when
attacking risers, but it will usually connect just fine regardless.

Even it's dodging properties aside, it can hit hesitant or confused opponents,
or delayed rising attacks. Much of its success is very dependant on timing. Use
at your own risk.

Followups: the db+K recovers too slow to safely attempt a df+K swat - just
concentrate on oki-zeme.

backheel sweep                  f,f+K                20~30
L / sweep                       27-4-36              -15 / D / D
Ht                              -                    -

A slow, long reaching low sweep with horrendous recovery. Like most sweeps it
will collect dodgers, and as with some of his other low level attacks, Kage
recovers standing. There is no stop animation if blocked, unlike most other
sweep and crescent attacks.

The move is really just too slow and long to recover to be used effectively as
a stand alone move (save as a way to humiliate your opponent). Through years of
Kage play throughout the VF series this move has been distilled into having
essentially one useful purpose: an OTB followup to knockdowns. It can be tagged
on after almost any knockdown, and it connects reliably enough that it's not
unwise to make it a habit of automatically going for it, but do use your

The f,f+K sweep not likely to hit OTB in extreme uphill terrain and/or if you
have knocked down an opponent at very close range - Taka, however, is very
bouncy and the sweep will rarely whiff. Judge appropriately, consider using the
df+K swat instead.

roundhouse I                    K                    25
H / H*K                         12-2-23              -2 / D / D
-                               -                    12, 4, 5

The high kick is not terribly fast, does not track well, and has a very
pronounced animation that says in a seductive voice: "duck me and then throw
me, stud." 

Outside of using it as a move to humiliate and piss off your opponent (an
application which actually requires a fair bit of skill against competent
players), there are no truly practical applications to the high kick. Kage has
far better moves to choose from for any purpose. Yes, it's uncounterable if
blocked, and might catch opponents who dodge to his open side, but that doesn't
make much of a difference.

Followups: Usually you'll have enough time for a f,f+K followup if it connects
as a normal hit. At the least a df+K swat is likely to connect. The high kick
can actually float pretty well on MC for some very decent damage potential.

roundhouse II                   F+K                  25
H / H*K                         14-2-25              -4 / D / D
-                               -                    9, 4, 5

The alternative version of the simple K. Identical in every way to the standard
K, save for the slower execution, longer recovery and more restrictive cancel

If you can explain to me precisely why Sega included this version of the kick
as well as the purpose and usage of the move, then I will FedEx you a big

dodging kick                    K+E                   25
H / H*K                         14-2-23               -2 / D / D
-                               -                     12, 4, 5

Pressing K+E results in a dodge followed by the standard K. 

The interesting thing about this move is that the dodge is not the standard
dodge; Kage is crouching during most of the animation of the dodge;  This leads
to the fact that the K can be cancelled at the end of the dodge, which
essentially gives a crouching dodge. However, Kage is still vulnerable to all
high throws and sweeping moves. 

Unfortunately, the cancel rigour and the fact that you're still vulnerable to
throws and so many attacks, as well as the fact that you have to occupy
yourself with cancelling the kick take away much of the potential of this

Oh, and it's hardly useful by itself. If you dodge a move and are able to
counterattack, you have so many better options.

punch                           (B|F+)P               10     
H / H*P                         8-2-12                0 / +2 / +5
-                               -                     -

This is one of the three fastest punches in the game, and has the best range of
those three, as well as over most of the other characters. One might think that
would make it the finest punch in the game, but it does have one thing holding
it back - its damage. Because it is not as powerful as the majority of the
other character's punches, he simply can not stuff up his opponents with hit
stun in any condition: MC, mC, or normal, as much as the others. But, it is
fast, and Kage players must use this to their advantage and opponents must find
ways to overcome it.

As a single move, it is a general purpose, relatively safe high attack to use
in close combat. Defensively it can be used stop attacks and throws from the
opponent, sometimes even if you're at a disadvantage. Used aggressively you
have so many options to choose from after it connects, whether it be blocked,
mC or MC. The AD numbers speak for themselves; used correctly it can make life
hell for the opponent. How and what you choose to followup the move up with is
up to you to figure out, all depending on the opponent.

Be sure to follow the cardinal rule, though. 12 frames of recovery time may not
seem like a long time, but constantly whiffed or even dodged punches can and
will spell disaster. It's a great move, but do not take it for granted as a
completely safe wonder-punch.

punch-kick                      P,K                  20
H / H*K                         12-2-25              -1 / +3 / 0
-                               -                    10, 1, 6

Ah, the good old PK. You should like the PK...the PK likes you. It is your

If the P connects, whatever the situation - MC, mC, blocked or normal hit, the
K will almost always connect, providing that you did not delay the K at all.
You will only need to worry about the K whiffing if the P connects at extreme
range and/or on bizarre terrain. Holding F while executing the PK may help
prevent this from happening; it's actually recommended that you hold F in any
case. Kage gets more penetration this way, which can be important when using
the PK as a mC tool (see below).

As a normal hit, the K will never knock down whether or not the P hits the
opponent. But outside of that fact, the K in the PK is all but identical to his
stand alone K, and retains most of the qualities of the normal K. Additionally,
if K nails a dodging opponent, or is delayed and/or MC's the opponent, the K
will float, usually high enough to add on the usual moves, such as an ub+K+G

Overall, this move is an excellent defensive/offensive move for Kage's close-in
game. It's a fabulous mC tool - probably the most important use to the move -
because if just about anything is counterable, it's counterable with Kage's PK. 

And because it does not knock down as a normal or mC hit and leaves Kage with a
nice advantage, there is huge potential for mind games. It can be quite nasty
for the opponent to deal with if you mix up your followups and condition him
well. Px will interrupt most anything an opponent does after a normal or mC PK. 

Don't get carried away with it, though. If you whiff the PK, you're likely
toast. And although the PK is so widely useable as a mC move, the PK will not
always fully connect against certain blocked, counterable moves from the
opponent, even if you are holding F. For example, the P will often whiff
against Jacky's (PP)EK, leaving Kage in a very dangerous spot.

P,K,G: The alternative to the single P is derived from the PK. It retains all
of the qualities of the normal P, except in the distance covered, as well as
the recovery aspect. Kage will inch forward with a PKG, as opposed to standing
in place. This is extremely important in combos, as well as how it's used in
close-in combat. And on that point, the K cancel works as a feint. How
effective it is when used as a feint is going to depend on your opponent, as
well as how long you let the kick animation go before you cancel it. See the
cancel formula for recovery specifics.

double punch                    P,P                  10
H / H*P                         8-2-17               -6 / -6 / 0
-                               -                    -

I suppose one way of looking at the double punch combo, as far as how to
incorporate into your close-in game as a tool for flowcharting, is to compare
it to the single P. PP has longer recovery, so if whiffed or ducked, you're in
a much tighter spot against those with quick reflexes. Because of the longer
recovery and the weakness of his canned followups, it will not be very
effective against those that do not hesitate to be aggressive after seeing this
move. And importantly, the hit stun has been tinkered with by Sega so that
there is no difference in advantage between hitting the opponent with the PP
and having it blocked. And that disadvantage is very noticeable and heavily
affects your options.

Basically, as with all moves, it's a matter of personal preference, your
opponent and your own ability as to how much you want to use this move, and how
you're going to make it effective. Also as with most other characters' double
punch, the second punch has minimal range. It will very commonly miss in

Regaining initiative: well, this move is only two frames away from
counterability if it's blocked. You've got your canned followups, though, which
can be delayed.

triple punch                    P,P,P                12
H / H*P                         9-2-18               -5 / -1 / 0
-                               -                    -

Like the PK, the full PPP will always connect if the first P connected, as long
as you did not delay any of the P's. But unlike the PK, Kage pushes forward
during PPP, so terrain/range distances are unlikely to be an issue (it also
tracks the opponent well). In addition, if the last P connects for a MC hit,
all of Kage's canned followups after the PPP are guaranteed.

This string can be compared favorably to the PK from a few more angles
concerning its use in combat. The move does slightly more damage than the PK,
and works just as well as mC tool. And, like the PK, it will never knock down. 

However, Kage maintains less advantage time over the opponent with the PPP
compared to the PK. He will also usually be closer to the opponent afterwards,
perhaps too close for comfort. Used offensively, it's about as safe (or unsafe,
depending on how you look at it) as the PP in terms of recovery and initiative
when blocked; however you have much more initiative than the PP if it hits in
full. There is the potential for mindgames with the PPP, but if it whiffs,
you're usually toast; although your canned followups may help you here. Or make
it even worse.

I suppose in the end it's the same with so many other moves; personal
preference, ability and the opponent will dictate how much success you have
with it. Experiment with it, your mileage will vary. 

double punch-kick               P,P,K                30 
H / H*K                         14-2-29              -6 / D / D
-                               -                    _

Unlike many other PPK combos with other characters, the K in Kage's PPK will
never connect in full, unless the second P hits as a MC. In addition, the K in
this PPK will always knock down, and it will not track dodging opponents. These
facts gnaw away at whatever potential the move might have as far as use for
mC'ing and flowcharting, either alone or when used with P(P)x. 

It is uncounterable, though (barely), and if you manage to MC an opponent,
either by delaying the K, or just by luck, you can float the opponent for some
decent damage. So, there is some possible reward in using this move.

One thing worth mentioning is that the K's collision detection does hit quite
low to the ground, which only adds to my conclusion that PPK is perhaps best
kept for use in certain combos. But, be my guest to prove me wrong (*snicker*).

double punch-helix              P,P,b+P              17
H / H*P                         13-2-21              -6 / 0 / +4
-                               -                    -

Another canned followup option after PP. As with the K in the PPK, the b+P in
the PPb+P will never connect in full along with the PP, unless the second P
MC's the opponent. 

The b+P in the PPb+P is all but identical to the single move b+P - its tracking
ability, its pronounced animation and crap recovery, and so on. The only
difference is the slightly longer AD time Kage has if it hits. This doesn't
really amount to much in the end; it can still be used as a ticking tool, and
the extra time may help with followups. 

It can be compared to the PPP in terms it being a move to use for flowcharting,
followups and mindgames, as it does not knock down; the tracking aspect of the
b+P makes it slightly more difficult for opponents to dodge compared to the
PPP. But otherwise, the longer recovery and fact that it will never connect
with the PP eat away at its potential as a flowchart starting move, and makes
it useless even as a mC tool.

Once again, it's a matter of personal preference, the opponent and your own
ability to decide how to use this move. It can also be used to start some of
his more novel TFT combos.

triple punch-heelkick           P,P,P,K              30
M / M*K                         16-2-35              -12 / D / D
Ht                              -                    _

The K in the PPPK will always knock down, and it will collect any opponents who
dodge in the direction of Kage's open side as it is executing.

It will only connect with the PPP if the final P MC's the opponent. It's
(obviously) sort of idiotic to the full move as a stand alone attack. It is
worth mentioning, though, that the K can be delayed after the PPP for quite a
long time, and if it MC's the opponent there may be the potential for floats.
If it's blocked, though, you're likely to be hurting.

You'll probably get the most usage out of this string in float combos or as a
surprise attack.

double punch-helix-heelkick     P,P,b+P,K            30
M / M*K                         16-2-35              -12 / D / D
Ht                              -                    _

The K in the PPb+PK is identical in every way to the K in the PPPK; it is not
the heelkick seen in his stand alone b+PK combo. Also, it will not connect with
the PPb+P unless the final b+P punch MC's. 

Like the PPPK, it's probably most useful when floating the opponent.

triple punch-backflip kick      P,P,P,b+K | ub+K     20
M / kickflip                    10-3-39              -22 / D / D
Ht                              -                    _

Another canned mid level option for Kage after the PPP. It's crap, though. It
will not hit with the PPP in full unless the third P MC's; it does not track
opponents at all, it has poor range, it's very counterable and does little

Like the PP(b+P)K it can be delayed for a relatively long time. 

The only functional point to using this move, outside of variety and taunting,
is in certain TFT combos: Kage flips backward with the kickflip, so it can be
used in places where you're approaching the edge of the ring and do not want to
risk RO'ing yourself by accident.

swipe                           db+P                 14
H / H*P                         12-2-17              -4 / -1 / +3
-                               -                    _

dodging punch                   P+E                  14
H / H*P                         12-2-17              -4 / -1 / +3
-                               -                    _

The P+E and db+P are identical in every way except for the input commands.
This is a dodging punch (or swipe, whichever you prefer to call it). Except it
doesn't really "dodge" much at all; Kage just makes a very slight lean to the
side. It can be used in place of his P for any of his Px strings. It does more
damage, but is far too slow in execution and recovery to be used in effective
place of his normal P or Px strings. Otherwise this is a totally unremarkable
move and I really can't think of much to say about it. 

swipe-kick                      db+P,K               20
H / H*K                         12-2-25              -3 / +2 / 0
-                               -                    10, 1, 9

The db+P,K is ever so slightly different from the normal PK. It has the same
recovery time, same characteristics of the normal PK, however the AD statistics
and cancel formula have been altered slightly by Sega. Presumably it was
altered to make swipeKG less useful in floats, especially after the TFT (see
VF2 Kage guides if you want to know why).

Generally not useful or especially interesting, at least not in place of the
standard PK.

helix                           b+P                  17
H / H*P                         13-2-21              -6 / -3 / +1
-                               -                    _

The helix tracks dodging opponents fairly well due to the spinning motion of
the animation. In addition, the helix can be used as a ticking tool if you MC
the opponent.

Outside of that, the move is very slow for a high punch attack, making it
useless as a mC tool. It's priority is generally pathetic, and its animation
is very pronounced - whiff it, and against a good opponent you're likely going
for a ride. All of this combined with the relatively long recovery time means
you will likely find it difficult to use effectively against aggressive
opponents regardless of whether it hit or was blocked; the canned heelkick
followup is not dangerous enough to make most people think twice about doing
so. Lastly, it changes Kage's stance.

I wish I could find more to say about it, but that's really about it. Perhaps
best kept for use in certain [TFT] combos, or just dropped in here and there as
a move for variety, or taunting/baiting the opponent. I dunno, try to have fun
with it. Hear Kage's "soo!" grunt!

helix-heelkick                  b+P,K                25
M / M*K                         16-2-37              -10 / -2 / D
Ht                              -                    _

helix-heelkick (stagger)        b+P,K                25
M / -                           16-2-37              - / +2~+12 / -
-                               -                    -

Kage's canned heelkick followup to the helix is very similar to the heelkick in
his PP(b+)PK strings. However, it differs in a few ways - it will only knock
down on MC, and it will stagger crouching opponents. And even though it does
less damage and has a longer recovery than his PP(b+)PK heelkick, the opponent
has less advantage time after it's blocked, a result of special tinkering by
Sega that makes it defy the normal blockstun/hitstun rules.

The heelkick will only connect with the helix if the helix MC's. The K can only
be delayed for very short amount of time, and although the heelkick will float
on MC, the height and distance of the float is usually mediocre.

Not much reward in the risk of this move.

elbow                           f+P                  19
M / elbow                       11-2-22              -5 / -2 / +2
-                               -                    -

elbow (stagger)                 f+P                  19
M / -                           11-2-22              - / +4~+11 / -
-                               -                    -

Arguably the best (single move, "normal") elbow in the game. Although it shares
the same execution time and damage as most other similar elbows, it has the
fastest recovery. It's a lovely tool, but if the Kage player overuses it he
_will_ be destroyed. And he does lose quite a bit of initiative if it's

Like most elbows this move has much better range if used in open stance. For
instance Kage can punish most blocked low rising attacks with the elbow only if
he's in range and in open stance; it will almost always whiff in closed stance.
In any situation, you can also enter the elbow in as f,f+P; you'll get a little
more range with the extra f motion. 

Essentially this move should be used mainly in search of staggers, either by
mixing it in with other moves during close-in combat, or mC'ing low recovering
moves. If the elbow hits (non counter) but does not stagger, Kage does not have
the advantage. Be careful, do not push too hard after this situation.

Regaining initiative, and/or simply deciding what to do after blocked elbows
can be difficult. Of course, what your opponent chooses to do should be your
first input. Go from there. It should be known that a backwards roll (HCB) will
avoid throws and most attacks. It gets you away from the opponent quickly and
leaves you breathing and thinking room.

side kick                       df+K                 22
M / M*K                         14-2-25              -6 / -3 / +1
-                               -                    -

side kick (stagger)             df+K                 22
M / -                           14-2-25              - / +4~+14 / -
-                               -                    -

I like to think of this move as sort of a fusion of Kage's elbow and heelkick.
It shares the same execution time as the heelkick, and its staggering and AD
time properties are very similar to the the elbow's.

While the move does not track opponents that well, it has excellent range and
its collision detection is low to the ground. Because of this it is actually
safer to mC low recovering moves with the sidekick rather than with the elbow
(just make certain you have enough advantage time to mC them with the side
kick). This is very important against many of Shun and Lion's low moves, for

If the move MC's and does not knock down, you have the initiative by one frame
- it is actually possible to tick the opponent with it, however you will likely
never be in range for your throw to nail the opponent. If the move MC's and
floats, most of the time you can add on some air followups for very decent

You're in a similar situation to the elbow if it's blocked or hit,
initiative-wise. Do not push too hard after a normal hit. It's not an
especially comfortable situation when it's blocked - follow the opponent, try
your best to regain the initiative. Backward rolls can be useful. 

Overall it is a versatile and extremely effective move if used right. If
overused, you will die. Follow the cardinal rule.  

dodging sidekick                df+K+E                22
M / M*K                         14-2-26               -6 / D / D
-                               -                     _

Unlike the K+E, df+K+E does not result in a dodge followed by the kick.
Instead, the dodging sidekick has Kage hop/swivel ~30-40 degrees in the
direction of his leading leg. It's essentially one solid move.

Outside of its dodging properties it's virtually identical to the normal df+K
sidekick, except that it will always knock down if it hits. In fact, even on
low power MC hits you have serious potential for floating. You have to know
when to use it, though...

heelkick                        d+K+G | FC,K+G       35 
M / H*K                         14-2-33              -10 / D / D
Ht                              -                    -

The heelkick has good speed, good damage (brutal if it MC's), and it can only
be dodged in one direction (opponent must E toward Kage's open side). It's an
excellent move for mC'ing.

This move has a bunch of good things going for it, but it's a little bit risky
to use in the middle of close-in combat. However, a MC heelkick followed by a
sweep or slide can do horrendous damage, so the reward _is_ there. Basically,
just use the move very carefully - it's not for use against all opponents and
all types of players. And against Aoi, and to a lesser extent Lion, you should
basically consider it a high level attack, especially in closed stance.

Regaining initiative: against sharp, quick reacting opponents, you're usually
going to get mC'ed, either by Px or a throw. However, if the opponent blocked
it at extreme range, you may have a chance of surviving. At that range, an
elbow can stagger CD'ers, and Px _may_ interrupt slower moves. It's also much
more difficult for moves that are within 10 frames of execution time to mC;
they are usually just too far out of range.

Followups: A f,f+K sweep will connect on virtually any d+K+G knockdown, except
in cases against heavier characters who are uphill from Kage and/or in very
close range. It's usually easy to tell if it won't hit; use a df+K swat

A running slide after a heelkick knockdown connects for the same amount of
damage. You must make certain, however, that you're at a long enough range for
the slide to connect. Oddly, it can have a higher success rate uphill than the
sweep. And, if the heelkick connected for maximum MC damage (50+ points), a
slide followed by a df+K heelswat is often possible. Tremendous damage, at
around 88 points.

kickflip                        ub+K+G               50 
M / kickflip                    12-4-59              -39 / D / D
Ht                              -                    -

Fast execution, hideous damage potential, hideous recovery. This move is not
for everyone, at least when it comes to using it in normal close-in combat.
However I think if one fools around with it long enough you might begin to like
it as much as i do. 

Because of the damage and speed of the move, and the dynamics of the animation,
the kickflip has very good priority. It'll beat many staple moves, including
punches and elbows, under many circumstances.

Outside of close-in combat, it's an excellent no-brainer mC tool for when you
don't want to take chances with a throw. It is also tremendously useful in
floats. Alone, it can work as a demoralizing move against some players, moreso
if you connect with it multiple times. And you're put in a dominating situation
when it comes to the player getting up. 

Regaining initiative: ha! You're toast if it whiffs. However, occasionally some
players do seem to have trouble counterrattacking a blocked kickflip with a
throw at long range. If that happens, most often a result of them not getting
into close enough range, you'll usually have enough time to punish their
whiffed throw attempt.

Followups: df+K swat can be easily kipped away from if the kickflip does base
or slightly more than base damage. df+K swat will hit rollers most, but not
all, of the time. If they kip, it gives you a chance to u+P pounce, either at
mid or short range. Very "screw you"-ish.

backflip kick                   ub+K                  40
M / kickflip                    20-2-35               -16 / D / D
Ht                              -                     -

Not as suicidal a move as most would believe (well, almost). This move has
horrendously slow execution, but like his ub+K+G kickflip it has very decent
priority over numerous attacks. There is no tracking ability, but it always
knocks down and does very decent damage.

Kage flips backwards a fair distance with this move and it does have a quick
recovery time for it's damage. Sometimes it can be difficult for opponents to
mC if they block this at long range.

It's too slow to be used for most mC'ing purposes. It's really best used if
you're feeling cheeky and want to show up your opponent in close-in combat, and
it's also a float followup tool after the uf+K+G.

Followups: if you land a big MC with it, the run+K slide is usually a good bet,
it will hit OTB. There's really not much else you can do afterwards, though.
You're just too far away.

downward side chop              P+K                  16    
M / H*P                         23-3-20              -6 / -4 / 0
-                               -1 DP                -
A unique and interesting move, most notable for the fact that Kage recovers
crouching after the move. This is a mid level move which can only be done from
standing. It is uncounterable if blocked by the opponent and allows for ticking
if certain requirements are met. On the downside, its execution is slow and
quite pronounced. If the move is MC'ed by mid level staggering moves from the
opponent, Kage will be staggered. 

You'll probably have the most luck with this move in neutral situations when
you're at a fairly safe distance from the opponent, such as round openings.
However there is plenty of potential for experimentation and fun. The fact that
Kage recovers low is not well known by many and difficult to sight by the
opponent; if you whiff the move, or even hit them, they may try to high throw
you, which will fail and leave them open. I've had luck with the move as a
bait, and it's good in that aspect as you can also tick the opponent if you MC

Try it, see if you like it. Remember that it changes Kage's stance and sobers
Shun up.
shuto chop                      f+P+K                16
M / H*P                         16-3-27              -13 / -11 / -4
Ht                              -2 DP                -

Outside of the fact that this move sobers Shun up, this move is totally
unremarkable. It's extremely dangerous if used alone; you will almost always
want to do the P+K canned followup (which can be delayed for a short while) no
matter what - and not that the P+K follow up chop is all that safe (see below).
It's slow and does not track dodging opponents well. 

Although, in my experience, this move does seem to have reasonable priority,
and/or it does seem to catch opponents unawares occasionally enough to make
someone think it might be an okay move. But Kage has so many other mid level
attacks to choose from, almost all of which are just so much better than this

This move will still sober Shun if used inside floats, and it can be placed in
certain TFT combos.

shuto chop combo                f+P+K,P+K            14
H / H*P                         13-2-25              -12 / D / D
Ht                              -                    -

Provided that you didn't delay it, the P+K chop followup will always connect
with the f+P+K chop. If it hits it will always knock down, more often than not
just high enough for a f,f+K followup.

Good luck if it's blocked or whiffed.

upward chop                     d+P+K                20
M / H*P                         16-2-25              -8 / -4 / 0
Ht                              -                    -

Not much to say about this move. In close combat, the slow execution time, its
counterability and total lack of any initiative gain if it hits makes it pretty
much useless, or at least resigns it to a variety/taunting move.

It does have its uses when it comes to a few specific (TFT) combos, though.
spinning chop                   df+P+K               24
M / H*P                         16-3-30              -10 / D / D
Ht                              -                    _
Similar to the d+P+K in terms of overall usefulness in close combat. However
it's worth mentioning that this will always knock down opponents if it hits,
often good enough for a f,f+K followup, and the spinning motion will (usually)
catch dodging opponents. Other than that..not a very remarkable move. 

It's mostly useless inside combos, but it can be used to start combos after the
front f+P+G throw. 

downward hack                   FC,df+P              20
M / H*P                         14-1-32              -14 / D / D
Ht                              -                    _

You'll notice a general theme of "not-really-useful" with most of Kage's chop
moves, and the hack isn't too different. Although, I have had luck with it at
round openings; it does seem to have decent priority, likely due to the
dynamics of the animation. Otherwise, it's fairly slow, very counterable, does
not track dodging opponents well and does little damage.

All but useless inside floats; only a f,f+K or df+K swat followup might be
possible if it hits.

rising knee                     FC,f+K               38
M / -                           14-2-39              -16 / D / D
Ht                              -                    _

A high powered knee with a high altitude, long recovery. It's technically a mid
level move but its hit detection is small, and displays a tendency to whiff by
miles against crouching opponents. It has poor priority. It can float high
enough for some spectacular looking float followups on a large MC, but
generally only the boldest and bravest, and perhaps maybe the least intelligent
Kage players should be seen using this move in close-in combat. Against
non-drooling-lackwit opponents you're toast if it's blocked or whiffed.

All that aside, this move is still one of Kage's most important moves. It's
usefulness is almost entirely contained within its application as a followup to
his b+P+G TFT throw. See the TFT section for specific info.

Followups: the usual - f,f+K or df+K. If you land a large enough MC a DP or
ub+K+G may be possible.

dragon punch                    f,d,df+P             40
M / H*P                         15-5-41              -21 / D / D
Ht                              -                    -

Kage's been playing too much Street Fighter on his time off - this is basically
a "dragon punch" straight out of SF. This move may seem at first to be a purely
show move, but it is actually quite practical and useful in some areas of
Kage's play.

It's reasonably quick, hits extremely low to the ground, and does very decent
damage. It won't track opponents but its collision detection is active for a
relatively long time. But it's extremely counterable if blocked - any opponent
can mC with basically anything they'd like. All of this makes it a very
effective and useful float tool. The DP can be used in almost any reasonably
sized float where the opponent has not been knocked too far out of range.
Always be on the lookout for a float to use it in.

The Dragon Punch has one other almost custom made purpose to it, as a followup
to Kage's f+P+G throw. See the f+P+G section for more information.

back thrust                     b+K+G                 30
H / H*K                         22-3-22               0 / D / D
-                               -                     _

Kage hops forward a fair distance while executing a sort of crescent. The
semi-crescent characteristic of this move makes it possible to nail opponents
in mid-E. It recovers very quickly for the damage it does, and if it's blocked,
you are at a completely neutral situation - here is where your yomi skills will
be needed, and where the speed of Kage's moves can pay off.

The only problem is that it hits high. Very high. And it's really slow, to
boot. More likely than not it's going to be ducked and get you a load of
trouble if you use it during close-in combat.

However, it's collision detection hits ridiculously low to the ground, which
makes it useful in some very notable combos, mostly TFT combos. It's also a
good TFT float starter (refer to the TFT section). 

Followups: the df+K swat, f,f+K or the DP are all pretty reliable followups if
the b+K+G connects for a normal hit, weight and terrain permitting. ub+K+G can
be used on a normal hit, but usually only in open stance. If you MC the
opponent, go nuts. 

catapult kick                   f,f+P+K+G             40
L / -                           20-20-77              -66 / D / D
Ht                              -                     _

The foremost and classic taunt/desperation attack belonging to Kage. It's slow,
with very pronounced animation. It's collision detection is open for a huge
amount of time, and it has a very limited ability to track dodgers. It has
excellent priority, it will duck under or override a great number of attacks. 

At close range it can be completely ducked overhead by an opponent, and at long
range it can be blocked low. So obviously it's not a healthy thing to fail at
this attack - you're just toast if you do. Good luck with it...
corkscrew kick                  f,f+K+G               40
M / -                           25-8-43               -22 / D / D
Ht                              -                     _

The corkscrew kick is essentially a mid level counterpart to the catapult kick.
It's a little bit slower, with less range, and it's priority is not quite as
good at the f,f+P+K+G. And you're toast if it's whiffed or blocked.

Still, it can be used to push opponents out of the ring, either by hitting them
or having the move blocked near the edge of the ring. Of course, they could
just dodge it, and you'll look like the village idiot.

4.2 Running moves

running slide                   f,F or F+E,K          20~30
L / -                           18-6-36               -17 / D / D
Ht                              -                     _

The running slide is quite a useful move if you know where and how to use it.
It's much like the f,f+K in that it recovers high, hits very low to the ground,
and it's an excellent, almost purpose-built OTB followup tool. As long as you
are able to run the distance required for this to execute (~3/4 forward dash),
you can use this to followup most floats. It's especially useful in many TFT

It's actually a semi-decent stand alone attack, but it'll become rather
predictable after a while - mix up your moves after a run-in. Otherwise expect
it to be blocked, MC'ed or dodged. Most people understand by now that this
recovers high, but against someone capable of low throws be on the lookout to
take advantage of any failed low throw attempts.

Followups: if it hits as a MC or as a deep normal hit on a standing defender,
the opponent will usually soar over Kage's head, in which case it's possible to
dash towards the opponent while back turned, and then combo with a TT d+K. If
you hit an opponent in mid-dodge they will usually go flying off at some weird
angle, usually negating the possibility of the TT d+K. If you MC Taka while he
is executing a low move, Taka will do a really awkward and bizarre float/flop
in front of Kage, where you can usually combo with an ub+K+G.

4.3 Turn-away attacks

TA punch                        b,b+P                 17
H / -                           13-2-16               -1 / +2 / +5
-                               -                     -

Erm, well, if you ever need to turn around and run out of the ring, this is
your move. That is to say, there's not much purpose to this move other than to
simply turn around. The TA punch tracks well, but it will never knock down,
doesn't offer many options if it connects, and if it is ducked at close range
by your opponent you're looking at an immediate and likely painful back throw.
Like most TA attacks in the game, it is not reversable.

However, this move can be used in certain floats, mostly after the TFT. It can
be used to start the age old TFToD, and within the TFT, hopkick combos.

TA kick                         b,b+K                 24
H / -                           15-2-24               -3 / D / D
-                               -                     -

Much like the TA punch in that it's another method of turning around. It tracks
opponents somewhat well, can not be reversed and will always knock down.
However, this differs from the TA punch in that the TA kick can actually be
used to start floats. 

Followups: a very risky float starter, but mondo cool if you do land it. You
don't have to worry about reversals, so it is possible to place it in
situations where your opponent may be expecting a throw or high attacks. TT
d+K; TT PKG, DP or TT PKG, ub+K+G are among a few followups you can do.

inverted kickflip               df+K+G               40 
M / -                           23-4-42              -21 / D / D
Bt                              -                    _

This is one of the few mid level TA attacks in the game, Kage sharing the honor
of having one along with Lau. Kage's is awfully slow and it telegraphs light
years away. The move has the potential for horrendous damage if it MC's,
comboed with a TT d+K, but if it's blocked the potential for the opponent to do
horrific damage to Kage is very clear and present. You're looking at easy back
throws or brutal damage by bodychecks and other moves if it's blocked. 

It's a very funky looking move, and it has some special qualities worth
mentioning. It hits very low to the the ground and its collision detection time
is open longer than most moves. Those attributes combine to give it fairly good
priority. It often simply ducks under many attacks.

All in all, however, this move is best used in certain mC situations, after the
f+P+G, inside floats or, as a total and complete desperation last-ditch attack.
Or maybe as an insult move. Up to you.

Followups: the move will always knock down if it hits, and Kage will have his
back to the opponent. A TT d+K will hit almost anytime as long as the opponent
is not simply crouching (or crouch guarding) when the df+K+G hits, except for
Taka, who will almost always eat the TT d+K no matter what.

TA slide kick                   b,b+K+G              12 
L / -                           21-2-24              -11 / D / D
LBt                             -                    _

The only low level TA attack in the game. Although it is slow, it does have
relatively decent priority and tracking abilty. It has pitiful damage alone,
but a TT d+K will connect after the b,b+K+G hits in almost every situation.

Quite useful. You generally should not be too afraid to use this move in
close-in combat. The [amusing] best thing about it is that few people ever seem
to block it, either out of reaction or just as a stand alone move. It knocks
down, leaves them in an awkward rising position (with or without the followup
TT d+K float) which is excellent for dominating them in oki-zeme, and does
reasonable damage (with the TT d+K). "Nha."

Just, as always, follow the cardinal rule. Mix it in with the standard close-in
game for the best results. And don't do it at too far a range against
characters with damaging low back throws...although it _can_ be fun to taunt
Taka players with it, looking for that low back throw. Neener neener.

Regaining initiative: with the exception of Akira, many players/characters seem
to have trouble mC'ing Kage after this is blocked. You can't blame them; it is
fairly awkward. And not just for them, but you as Kage will probably not be
sure what to do. In short: never, never run/dash away. CD or E, and hope for
the best; if you manage to get away they whiff a move, punish them. Against the
best, though, you're looking at low back throws or getting nailed in the back
with mid moves. It is, however, all but uncounterable at long range.

Followups: if the b,b+K+G hits and knocks down, the TT d+K is practically
guaranteed. The only times it might miss are in cases of extreme range or
uphill terrain, or if the TA low kick hits at an awkward angle.

As for followups after the full b,b+K+G,d+K combo, a df+K swat is not
recommended except against lazy or demoralized opponents who are slow to rise.

4.4 Back-turned moves

TT punch                        P                     12
H / H*P                         10-2-19               -6 / -5 / -1
-                               -                     -

A relatively slow turning punch. It has an arc and it will track opponents to
one direction. However, as the numbers show, you really don't enough have
advantage to do much of anything if it connects in any way.

Because you can turn around by simply tapping f or E'ing, it's not recommended
that you use this move to simply TT. That will likely get you thrown or worse.

This punch can be used like the standard P; any Px combo can be done
afterwards. Using the TT P,K combo and cancelling the K (TT PKG) saves you very
noticeable time, and almost makes it an effective stand-alone move. It
especially makes it useful if you are back turned during a float. In almost
every case where the TT P is used in a float, the TT PKG is what you'll need to
use if you want the full float to connect.

TT kick                         K                     30
H / H*K                         15-3-26               -2 / D / D
-                               -                     -

The TT kick is uncounterable and it has sort of a half-crescent arc which can
hit dodgers in one direction. But don't ever use this unless you want to be
reamed. It's just too slow and likely to be ducked. It can be used immediately
following the TA b,b+K in a float, but other than that there is little
practicality to this move.

TT low punch                    d+P                   15
L / L*P                         14-1-24               -13 / -6 / -2
Lt                              -                     -

The TT low punch is almost a completely superflous move, IMO. It does have an
arc similar to a low backfist which means it can hit dodgers, but other than
that it's a totally unremarkable move. Pitiful damage, and no matter how it
connects you're at a disadvantage (it's very counterable with low throws and
mids) and it will never knock down. It also has zilch utility in almost any
floating situation.

The TT d+K is a better choice if you want to TT with a low attack. 

TT low kick                     d+K                   30
L / L*K                         16-2-37               -14 / D / D
Lt                              -                     _

Like most other TT moves this has tracking ability, perhaps better than most of
the others. It does reasonable damage and will always knock down. You're not
exactly safe if it's blocked - look to be low thrown or smacked with a quick

If you find yourself in a position where a TT move is a good choice, this is
your safest, best best. It's among the quickest of his TT moves and assuming
you have the initiative needed, not likely to whiff.

As far as floating goes it is, for all intents and purposes, almost a custom
made followup to the TA b,b+K+G (see the b,b+K+G summary for more info) and is
also extremely useful in back-turned floating situations.

reverse kickflip                ub+K                  40
M / -                           26-5-26               -5 / D / D
-                               -                     -

This kickflip is nearly identical to his front facing ub+K kickflip; a few
frames slower in execution time, a little bit quicker in recovery time, and run
in the reverse direction. The move does track to a slight extent, and Kage does
not turn toward at the completion of this move. If you have trouble executing
this move, try holding G, entering ub+K, then releasing G.

The back turned kickflip recovers very quickly for the amount of damage it does
(which is notable itself). It recovers quickly enough, in fact, that it's not
possible for the opponent to back throw Kage if it's blocked. However, you
suffer from a distinct lack of initiative, and you're very vulnerable to strike
attacks, as you cannot guard with your back exposed...

But all in all it's a fun move if you're bold enough to play around with it.
You can do the back turned u+P+G on opponents who try to back throw you. You
can use it as an oki-zeme move; it's possible to nail low rising attacks with
it. It's also fast and damaging enough to start floats...

Followups: a TT d+K will connect on almost any knockdown. If you manage a large
enough MC, it's possible to TT PKG, DP or TT PKG, ub+K+G, among many other
possibilities. Experiment.

reverse kickflip                uf+K                  25
M / -                           32-4-37/35            -32 / D / D
Bt                              re 35 if blocked      _

Similar to the back turned kickflip, but a whole lot crappier. It's much slower
- visibly slower to the eye - and counterable beyond belief. Kage also turns
around to face the opponent with this move. It tracks opponents to a slight
extent and will always knock down, but it's not possible to float opponents. 

Like the back turned ub+K it can be used in oki-zeme applications, but that's
about that can be said about it. 

sky knee                        u+K                   30
H / -                           31-5-31/42            -24 / D / D
Bt                              re 42 if blocked      _

Ouch. Think the reverse kickflip was bad? Well, this is worse. At least in
terms of effectiveness and overall danger in using the move. It does not track,
is slow as feck, and leaves Kage's back to the opponent afterwards.

It can actually be used in some obscure floats (and oki-zeme, like the other
back turned kickflips), but other than that it's really up to you to try find
something to do with this move.

4.5 Hopping attacks

van Halen kick                  u|uf+K               20
M / -                           10-2-34              -11 / D / D
Ht                              -                    -

This hopkick is one of the fastest mid-level attacks in the game, as fast as
Akira's DE. It's unreversable and will always knock down if it hits, usually
high enough for a follow-up f,f+K sweep. Right away those facts make it
exceptionally useful as a mC tool against many moves from opponents, especially
against quick low-recovering moves. You may prefer to use this move as a mC
tool after blocking moves that allow you 10-11 frames of advantage time, as
opposed to chancing a throw, stagger, or using Px, simply because it is a
guaranteed knockdown. The move is also one of the preferred followups to Kage's
f+P+G throw (see the f+P+G description).

It's arguable how useful a move this is used stand-alone in close combat. It
has very good priority, but the lack of damage and float potential, and its
high counterability make it low in the risk vs reward dept. Up to you; play
around with it.

Followups: as noted before, in most situations you have enough float height to
connect a f,f+K sweep after this connects, save for crouching or heavy
opponents, and when facing severe upslopes. A df+K swat may be a wiser choice
in those circumstances. Also, the DP has a good chance of connecting on larger

hopkick                         d,ub|u|uf,K asc.     20
M / -                           10-2-13              -6 / +8 / +12
-                               -                    -
A potentially very powerful move, but difficult to apply outside of limited
parameters. The execution time listed above is for the kick itself, which of
course only comes after the hop, the length of which varies slightly on
terrain, and is (obviously) otherwise slow.

The numbers tell the tale. It's uncounterable. If it hits normally, Px is
guaranteed. If it MC's but does not knock down, then Px; uf+K; ub+K+G; and
throw are all but guaranteed. If it MC's and knocks down, more often than
not you're given a prime float. Cool, eh? It does not track opponents, though.

Best applied to low moves, low rising attacks and such. If used wisely it can
actually be successful if applied during close-in combat. Depends on your
opponent. Try it, you might like it.

Regaining initiative: treat a blocked hopkick as you would a blocked elbow or
sidekick. Safe, but not very comfortable.

landing sweep                   d,ub|u|uf,K desc.    20
L / L*K                         19-4-40              -20 / D / D
Lt                              -                    -

A sweep followup to a hop. This will always knock down, and will collect
dodgers. Extremely counterable if blocked.

Obviously this is just too slow and too dangerous to be used as a stand alone
or close-in combat move. However, some practical uses can be eked out of it.
It's possible to use along with the hopkick to condition your [rising]
opponent, or if you mucked up a hopkick (or if you mucked up and got a hop when
you didn't want one) and want to salvage something out of it. Whatever the
situation, use it at your own risk.

It can also be used in floats, such as after knocking down Taka with the
uf+K+G. It'll actually work in most similar floating situations with Taka.

hopping chop                    ub|u|uf+P            30
M / H*P                         33-4-23              -6 / D / D
-                               -                    -

A slow lunging chop preceded by a hop. The chop will always knock down, but
will not track dodging opponents. It is uncounterable if blocked. If it hits a
standing non defender the opponent will fall in a way unique to this move (like
most similar moves by other characters).

As with most other hopping attacks, this can be applied in useful and
interesting ways, but only within a limited scope. Even then, there are better
hopping/air moves to use that this one. Still, it's good to use if you're
looking for variety and/or interesting floats. 

Followups: f,f+K as the usual knockdown followup will work, but uf+K+G can hit
opponents just before they land (an f,f+K after this is possible depending on
terrain and character). df+K+G is pretty reliable on most characters on flat or
downhill terrain, and f,f+P+K+G is possible on lighter characters.

hopping punch                   d,ub|u|uf,P          24
M / L*P                         14-3-34              -7 / -4 / +1
-                               -
A hop completed with an odd looking jab.

Other than being like the hopping sweep as way to salvage a botched command,
I'm really not sure what uses this has, outside of a variety or taunt move.

reverse kickflip (< 3.0 m)      uf+K+G               35
M / H*K                         30-4-23              -2 / D / D
-                               -                    -

reverse kickflip (> 3.0 m)      uf+K+G               35
M / H*K                         30-1-23/40           -17 / D / D
Ht                              re 40 if blocked     -

This is an interesting move, although it think it is overrated (and overused)
by many other Kage players. This move has very specific applications, mostly
centered around oki-zeme. It does good damage and is usually uncounterable, but
it's simply too slow and vulnerable to be a practical move in close-in combat.
Best used on rising opponents when expecting low rising attacks, or inside

Regaining initiative: if it's blocked at a greater distance that 3 virtual
meters, you're toast. However this is a rare sight, mainly as the move doesn't
have much range beyond 3 meters. It's far more likely to just whiff.

Kage is left at a slight disadvantage if the move is blocked within 3 meters.
It's slight enough that his Px will be interrupted by most others. uf+K might
be good, and his low attacks could be a another good option, too...

Followups: if the move knocks your opponent down with the standard "butt flop"
animation, then: ub+K+G is possible on crouching or standing opponent; a delay
is needed in both cases. ub+K is possible only on crouching opponent. Do not
delay. f,d,df+P is possible on crouching or standing opponent. Delay needed if
opponent crouches.

4.6 Jumping moves

jumping hammer                  d,UB|U|UF,f+P         30
M / -                           14-2-44               -21 / D / D
Ht                              -                     -

A completely mediocre landing hammer. The numbers tell its story, and I am at a
complete loss for any sort of information on practical uses, or why you would
use this attack over certain other jumping attacks of his. Be my guest to find
something interesting about it...

take-off kick                   d,UB|U|UF+K           30
M / -                           5-4-61                -62 / D / D
Ht                              -                     -

The fastest strike attack in Kage's entire arsenal. And one of his riskiest. It
is very fast and has excellent priority, but with that comes the _huge_ jump
and _huge_ recovery time. However, since Kage soars almost a full two meters
higher than anyone else when he jumps, he is somewhat safer than most similar
jumps - but not really. If you fail with this attack look to be smeared with
kickflips and other air attacks. 

The height of his jump also prevents him from starting floats with this kick,
as certain other characters can do.

This is best suited as a desperation/taunt move and/or a move to be used in
conjunction with the jump for when you need to get out of a particular area
(away from a ring edge or whatnot).

in-air kick                     d,UB|U|UF,K asc.      30
M / -                           10-2-28               - / D / D
-                               -                     -

Kage lets out a weird looking straight kick in mid-air. Among the most
impracticable moves in Kage's arsenal, since 1993. I don't think I've ever once
hit an opponent with this move. You're welcome to screw around with it and find
something interesting about it; mail me if you ever do.

landing kick                    d,UB|U|UF,K desc.     30
M / -                           11-5-11               +9 / D / D
-                               -                     -

Look at the damage of this attack, and then look at the recovery time. That
should open your eyeballs. It is _the_ safest move he's got, at least in terms
of block advantage. In fact if the opponent blocks it, the opponent can do
nothing but block P(x), and Kage is guaranteed a throw! It has excellent
priority and If it hits, MC or not, Kage is usually awarded a very nice float.
It does not track, however, and can easily be dodged.

The hit detection on this move is large enough that it can connect on opponents
who are behind Kage as he is landing. They have to be close, though.

2.5 roll & slam                 d,UF+K (far)          30
M / -                           30-38-46              -21 / D / D
Ht                              -                     -

The one interesting thing about this move is that you can go straight into the
shinsodan attack right after you land. That is, if you manage to survive
getting to the ground. It is slow, but it's collision detection is open for an
absurdly long time.

Other than the shinsodan combo ability, and the potential for making your your
opponent look like the biggest VF chimp ever if you manage to nail him with it,
it's essentially just another odd jumping attack that just seems be there for
the sake of being there.

jumping dropkick                d,UB|U|UF,f+K         40
M / -                           21-4-39               -18 / D / D
Ht                              -                     -

This landing dropkick is similar in appearance to his uf+K+G reverse kickflip,
but the similarity ends there. It recovers too slow to follow up with any
floats, and is easily mC'ed if blocked. Overall, the landing kick is a better
option as a landing offense, unless you just want variety in your jumping game.
Not that you really should even have a jumping game, but anyway...

backward dropkick               d,UB|U|UF,b+K         40
M / -                           12-4-44               -23 / D / D
Bt                              -                     -

Best used as a last ditch effort to stave off your opponent if you happen to
find yourself landing with your back turned. However, as with the jumping
dropkick, the landing kick might be a better option, as it can connect against
opponents who are behind Kage.

4.7 Rolling and rolling attacks

forward roll                    b,db,d,df,f          -
-                               1-27-22              - / - / -
-                               -

= another roll                  b,db,d,df,f+P        -
-                               1-30-1               - / - / -
-                               = link

backward roll                   f,df,d,db,b          -
-                               1-27-22              - / - / -
-                               -

= another roll                  f,df,d,db,b+P        -
-                               1-30-1               - / - / -
-                               = link

shinsodan after a roll          b,db,d,df,f+P        15
L / -                           1-9-35               31 / D / D
Ht                              -                    -

forward roll-sweep (near)       b,db,d,df,f+K        20~35
L / sweep                       25-5-41              -19 / D / D
Lt                              -                    -

forward roll-sweep (far)        b,db,d,df,f+K        20~35
L / sweep                       25-5-36              -13 / D / D
Lt                              -                    -

backward roll-sweep (near)      f,df,d,db,b+K        20~35
L / sweep                       27-5-39              -17 / D / D
Lt                              -                    -

forward roll-sweep (far)        f,df,d,db,b+K        20~35
L / sweep                       25-5-32              -9 / D / D
Lt                              -                    -         

Rolling facts:

- The first shinsodan attack roll must be preceded with a normal non-attacking
shinsodan roll. 

- The first non-attacking shinsodan roll must be preceded with either a normal
forward roll (HCF), a backward roll (HCB) or the 2.5 somersault attack
(d,UF+K). The following shinsodan may either be forward (HCF+P) or backward

- All shinsodan rolls may be followed by subsequent shinsodan rolls. 

- You can roll forward indefinitely, even if your back is turned. To roll with
your back turned, hold G before excuting the roll.

- You cannot do two consecutive backward rolls. 

- All rolls may be followed by a sweep by pressing K. The sweep on the end of a
normal roll can be delayed up to 27 frames.

- All rolls may be followed by the catapult kick by entering HCF+P+K+G before
the roll's end. The frame stats are identical to the the standard catapult

- All rolls may be followed by a DP by entering f,d,df+P before the roll's end.
The frame stats are identical to the the standard DP.

With all that established...

Backward rolls are an effective and useful alternative to the b,b back dash. It
can avoid a great number of attacks and it is nigh-impossible for an opponent
to throw Kage during a roll. It quickly puts you at a comfortable range several
meters away in a mostly neutral situation. It can be _very_ helpful in
situations of questionable and uncomfortable initiative loss, such as after
blocked elbows, sidekicks and other attacks (generally around ~-4 to ~-7
frames). Keep it in reserve and experiment with it.

Forwards rolls are probably best used to initiate the shinsodan. It's somewhat
reckless to simply roll forward right up to an opponent. You have little
control and don't have enough initiative to do much once you get there. 

The shinsodan itself hits low and will always knock down.  It is possible to
"rush" your opponent with consecutive shinsodans. There is a very small window
between consecutive shinsodans where Kage is vulnerable to standing throws, and
it is also possible for certain attacks (usually low attacks) to stop the
shinsodan rush. The shinsodan floats even on a normal hit, and it's possible to
float opponents with consecutive shinsodans and other rolling followups. It
also has hit detection which follows the arc of the roll, which means it is
possible to hit opponents while executing the shinsodan while back-turned. 

4.8 Pounces

heel swat                       df+K                  13
G                               28-2-43               - / - / -
-                               -                     -

Kage is different from most other characters in that he can followup most of
his knockdowns with moves that connect OTB, specifically the f,f+K and the
running slide. However it is not always possible to do so, and that's where the
heel swat comes in. This should be used when you want to tag on a few more
points of damage and no other move will do.

This move tracks rising opponents fairly well; Kage will swivel with his front
foot while he swats with his rear leg. Because of this it's most effective
against side-rollers. From the head up feet toward position, kipping is the
most effective way of avoiding it. This is best illustrated after a kickflip

Through experience (and notes in this guide) you will know when it is best to
use this attack. Be as sure as you can before committing to it, because if it's
whiffed or rolled away from you are very, very vulnerable (although if it's
avoided by a kip, you are in a fairly neutral situation).

head slam                       u+P (<2.5m)           30
G                               41-9-60/58            - / - / -
-                               ground if missed, re 58 if missed

This pounce is pathetic. It's horribly slow all around, does little damage for
the risk involved, and if it's whiffed you are toast - even while you are
falling to the ground you are vulnerable to attacks from almost any level;
kickflips and bodychecks and such will plaster you for horrendous damage.

There are _very_ few instances where it's even remotely possible to connect
with this pounce after knockdowns. However, the head slam can nail rising
opponents who kip. Since the df+K swat is best avoided by kipping, it's
possible to mix and match, and condition. Play around with it if you're bold

foot stomp                      u+P (2.5m-4.0m)       40
G                               49-2-26/80            - / - / -
-                               re 80 if hit          -

About the only thing remarkable about this pounce is that it recovers very,
very quickly if it misses. You're actually quite safe if you just miss a rising
opponent. More likely than not you will be be able block any rising attacks
from opponents who attack as they get up.

Other than that it's much like the head smash in that there are practically no
places to use this pounce. It can, however, nail people who rise with a kip,
but only at a certain point much later into the kipping animation. So, it is
possible to use to defeat kippers and used much the same way that the head
smash can, but your timing must be spot-on.

knee smash                      u+P (>4.0m)           30
G                               48-4-69/73            - / - / -
-                               re 73 if missed       -

If you say that you've managed to connect this in serious combat, I'll call you
a liar. It's the most useless pounce in the entire game. It's somewhat rare
that you'll even get a chance to use it (due to the range requirements), for it
to even come out, and it's even more unlikely that it'll ever hit. 

4.9 reversals

punch reversal                  b+P+K                 30
H                               1-75-1                - / - / -
-                               -                     -

This reversal can either be totally useless or contain plenty of potential for
cleverness, depending on your point of view. 

Kage can snag any attacks with a HP classification. The general, but far from
ironclad, rule of reversals is that if you can block a reversable move, you can
reverse it. Single P's and Px strings are very common attacks in VF3tb, which
makes the potential of this move even greater.

Followups: the df+K swat is really risky, although dashing toward your opponent
and then entering the swat gives you slightly greater chances of success. In
general, though, it's not recommended. Concentrate on oki-zeme.

4.10 Misc. movements

cartwheel                       b+E                   -
-                               1-45-1                - / - / -
-                               -                     -

backflip                        d,ub                  -
-                               1-43-1                - / - / -
-                               -                     -

Both of these are similar to the backward roll in that they take Kage a
distance away from the opponent without making himself vulnerable throws. They
are also similar in that you have no control over how much distance they take
you back. And both are vulnerable to attacks, but the dynamics of their
animations make them less vulnerable to certain attacks, specifically but not
limited to low attacks. Also, the backflip can be cancelled up to a certain
point in its animation with an attack.

4.11 Rising attacks

You have so many options when rising, and only through experience and case by
case situations will you learn the best way to rise in the countless situations
you will encounter. It should be known, though...

- While the exact AD times for block/hit/MC is not known, it is known that: all
low rising attacks are 11 frame elbow and low throw mC'able; all high rising
attacks are high throw and Px counterable by all characters; the stagger that
results from a successful high or low rising attack is guestimated to be equal
to that of an elbow stagger (+4-+11) or so.

- Forward rolling is vulnerable to many midlevel attacks; it is a very risky

- Siderolling is generally safe from most attacks (with the notable exception
of Jeffry's b,df+P,P), but opens you to many uramawari setups.

face down, feet towards         K,K,K...              20
M / -                           29-8-44/37            - / - / -
Ht                              re 37 if blocked      _

face down, feet towards         delay K,K,K...        20
M / -                           14-2-33/37            - / - / -
Ht                              re 37 if blocked      _

face down, feet towards         D+K,K,K...            20
L / -                           29-5-25/27            - / - / -
Lt                              re 27 if blocked      _

face down, feet towards         delay D+K,K,K...      20
L / -                           17-3-30/27            - / - / -
Lt                              re 27 if blocked      _

face down, head towards         K,K,K...              20
M / -                           30-4-27/34            - / - / -
Ht                              re 34 if blocked      _

face down, head towards         delay K,K,K...        20
M / -                           14-3-30/34            - / - / -
Ht                              re 34 if blocked      _

face down, head towards         D+K,K,K...            20
L / -                           30-3-31/27            - / - / -
Lt                              re 27 if blocked      _

face down, head towards         delay D+K,K,K...      20
L / -                           17-2-28/27            - / - / -
Lt                              re 27 if blocked      _

face up, feet towards           K,K,K...              20
M / -                           34-6-17/34            - / - / -
Ht                              re 34 if blocked      _

face up, feet towards           delay K,K,K...        20
M / -                           14-4-30/34            - / - / -
Ht                              re 34 if blocked      _

face up, feet towards           D+K,K,K...            20
L / -                           32-5-22/27            - / - / -
Lt                              re 27 if blocked      _

face up, feet towards           delay D+K,K,K...      20
L / -                           16-5-26/35            - / - / -
Lt                              re 35 if blocked      _

face up, head towards           K,K,K...              20
M / -                           34-4-21/37            - / - / -
Ht                              re 37 if blocked      _

face up, head towards           delay K,K,K...        20
M / -                           14-2-35/37            - / - / -
Ht                              re 37 if blocked      _

face up, head towards           D+K,K,K...            20
L / -                           17-7-17/27            - / - / -
Lt                              re 27 if blocked      _

face up, head towards           delay D+K,K,K...      20
L / -                           17-3-30/37            - / - / -
Lt                              re 37 if blocked      _


face up, feet towards           K,K,K...              20
M / -                           14-4-30/34            - / - / -
Ht                              re 34 if blocked      _

face up, feet towards           D+K,K,K...            20
L / -                           16-5-26/35            - / - / -
Lt                              re 35 if blocked      _

face up, head towards           K,K,K..               20
M / -                           14-2-35/37            - / - / -
Ht                              re 37 if blocked      _

face up, head towards           D+K,K,K...            20
L / -                           17-7-17/27            - / - / -
Lt                              re 27 if blocked      _

face down, feet towards         K,K,K...              20
M / -                           14-2-33/37            - / - / -
Ht                              re 37 if blocked      _

face down, head towards         K,K,K...              20
M / -                           14-3-30/34            - / - / -
Ht                              re 34 if blocked      _

face down, head towards         D+K,K,K...            20
L / -                           17-2-28/27            - / - / -
Lt                              re 27 if blocked      _


face up, feet towards           K,K,K...              20
M / -                           14-4-30/34            - / - / -
Ht                              re34  if blocked

face up, feet towards           D+K,K,K...            20
L / -                           16-5-26/35            - / - / -
Lt                              re 35 if blocked      _

face up, head towards           K,K,K...              20
M / -                           14-2-35/37            - / - / -
Ht                              re 37 if blocked      _

face up, head towards           D+K,K,K...            20
L / -                           17-7-17/27            - / - / -
Lt                              re 27 if blocked      _

face down, feet towards         K,K,K...              20
M / -                           14-2-33/37            - / - / -
Ht                              re 37 if blocked      _

face down, head towards         K,K,K...              20
M / -                           14-4-30/34            - / - / -
Ht                              re 34 if blocked      _

face down, head towards         D+K,K,K...            20
L / -                           17-2-28/27            - / - / -
Lt                              re 27 if blocked      _


face up, feet towards           K,K,K...              20
M / -                           14-4-30/34            - / - / -
Ht                              re 34 if blocked      _

face up, feet towards           D+K,K,K...            20
L / -                           16-5-26/35            - / - / -
Lt                              re 35 if blocked      _

face up, head towards           K,K,K...              20
M / -                           19-2-35/37            - / - / -
Ht                              re 37 if blocked      _

face up, head towards           D+K,K,K...            20
L / -                           20-3-33/37            - / - / -
Lt                              re 37 if blocked      _

face down, feet towards         K,K,K...              20
M / -                           14-2-33/37            - / - / -
Ht                              re 37 if blocked      _

face down, head towards         K,K,K...              20
M / -                           14-3-30/34            - / - / -
Ht                              re 34 if blocked      _

face down, head towards         D+K,K,K...            20
L / -                           17-2-28/27            - / - / -
Lt                              re 27 if blocked      _

4.12 Throws

Throwing info: normally throws are instantaneous, meaning they have no
execution time (but you have to be in range for a throw). The frame times
listed are pretty much superflous; they only indicate how long the throw
animation lasts. If you enter the throw motion when a throw isn't possible, you
get a whiffed throw animation. It's not known how long the whiffed throw
animation is, but a guesstimation will put it at ~50 or so frames. Also,
throwing is usually easier in closed stance.

You cannot throw when:
- opponent is floated (juggled);
- opponent is executing a move;
- opponent is hopping/jumping;
- opponent is staggered (although after stagger animation ends, there's a
  small window when your throw is guaranteed);
- opponent stumbles (including falling out of the ring and hitting the wall);

In some cases you have a guaranteed throw, provided YOU'RE IN RANGE for one
(this is very important!). Those include:
* having +9 frames after hitting your opponent or being hit by him;
* having +1 frame of advantage after hitting your opponent with MC;
* having +8 frames of advantage after blocking your opponent's attack

shoulder throw                  P+G                  50 {45}
H                               20-50{70}-10{1}      - / - / -          
-                               high throw           _

The classic shoulder toss. Aside from seeing the nice, smooth and realistic
looking animation, it's both pointless and dangerous to use this throw
intentionally when you have a wide open throw opportunity. However, as always,
the P+G throw has priority over command throws from the opponent if both are
executed at the same time. Otherwise, this throw shouldn't be seen outside of
knee jerk throw reactions or when you muck up a command throw attempt.

If escaped: your opponent will slough off Kage's back before Kage can pull him
over. This escape situation leaves Kage at a positional disadvantage, both
being barely outside of throw range, approximately 45 degrees at eachothers
side. Kage's opponent also recovers several frames before Kage does. A
difficult situation; beware Akira's who like to bodycheck or Taka's who like to

Followups: a df+K swat isn't too difficult and very far from impossible for
your opponent to escape. 

Against Taka: the df+K swat followup is impossible for him to roll away from.
Which only slightly makes up for the 5 less points the throw does against him.

flipover shoulder throw         b,d+P+G              60 {65}
H                               10-114-1             - / - / -
-                               high throw           _

Lovely crunching noise, eh? This is probably Kage's best throw after the TFT.
The throw does good damage, reverses the ring, and it leaves your opponent in a
poor rising situation, too. Just don't overuse it, because you will hurt if you
do. Mix it up well and you shouldn't have much to worry about. Also, about
doing this throw near the edge: if you go out of the ring, most of the time you
will win by RO. However, it is _not_ consistent. Don't fully expect to win if
you both go out, because it just might end up in your opponents favor.

If escaped: your opponent shoves Kage off to the side, and is in position for a
guaranteed side throw. A neutral situation outside of throw range results if
opponent does not take advantage of side throw.

Followups: a df+K swat is fairly easy for your opponent to escape. Careful.

Against Taka: along with the guaranteed df+K swat, the extra five points
against Taka makes this the most damaging single throw against him.

reaping throw                   b,f+P+G              50
H                               20-79-1              - / - / -
-                               high throw           _

This throw shares the same escape motion as one of the more commonly expected
throws from Kage. That alone wouldn't be that awful, because it does do
reasonable damage, but there is the fact that your opponent is given a side
throw if it's escaped. And it neither reverses the ring or pushes the opponent
away from Kage. There's really not too much to speak about this throw, except
it's mainly a variety throw. Kage also has a grunt unique to this throw. Yay-o.

If escaped: your opponent shoves Kage off to the side, and is in position for a
guaranteed side throw. A neutral situation outside of throw range results if
opponent does not take advantage of side throw.

Followups: a df+K swat is guaranteed.

turnover (toka) throw           df+P+G               50 {40}
H                               20-60{75}-1          - / - / -
-                               high throw           -

This is an excellent throw to keep in reserve. There's no ring reversal, but it
does quick, decent damage (except against Debu) and does not share any escape
motions with any of his other throws. 

If escaped: the opponent yanks his leg and arm away from Kage. This is a very
quick animation, and although both recover in a neutral position outside of
throw range facing eachother, you may be able to take advantage of the
situation if you act quickly. In any case, Kage is very safe if it is escaped. 

Followups: a df+K swat is guaranteed.

Against Taka: Taka has a guaranteed high throw if he escapes this throw...which
along with the lesser damage makes it an utterly crap throw against Taka. The
df+K swat is still guaranteed, at least.

shoulder drop                   P+G                   50{45}
Ht                              20-127{125}-1         - / - / -
-                               high-back throw       -

Kage's back throw is best used if your opponent presents his back to you and
you have no options (or need) other than to throw him immediately. For example
Lion whiffs his b,b+K right over your head; strike attacks from Kage risk being
MC'ed by Lion's TT attacks, so your best choice is to throw. However, if you
are facing a back turned opponent who is waiting out a long recovery or in a
ura situation, you have other options that do more damage. Think about other
strike attacks. Also, remember that you have his f+P+G back throw variation if
you're feeling playful.

Followups: the df+K swat is very easily rolled away from.

Against Taka: the df+K swat followup is impossible for him to roll away from.
Which only slightly makes up for the 5 less points the throw does against him.

leg hold takedown               P+G                   40
Ht                              15-80-1               - / - / -
-                               high-side throw       -

The majority of side throws in VF3tb are not much to speak about, but Kage's
side throw is especially unexceptional. Mediocre damage, with no pounces or
oki-zeme possible at all, as Kage is downed with the opponent after reversing
the ring. 

As with the back throw, weigh your options. The f+P+G side throw may be a
better choice if you know you have a side throw coming; most of the guaranteed
followups do as much damage or more, and most offer better followup options.
However if, for example, you've just escaped Aoi's P+G throw or dodged a move
and know a side throw is waiting, and you only need a few points to KO your
opponent - then just go for it.

Followups: none possible.

low shoulder drop               P+K+G                 60
Lt                              20-119-1              - / - / -
-                               low-back throw        -

The low level version of Kage's standard back throw. You might have more
opportunities to use this throw than you might think. Depending on who you're
up against it can be very effective after the f+P+G throw, as crouching, crouch
inching or CD'ing avoids or reduces the effectiveness of many of his followups.
(see the f+P+G section for more info). It's also an excellent followup if you
manage to ura a low rising attack from your opponent.

If you "whiff" this throw, there is no whiffed low throw animation. Instead, a
single P results. You cannot go into any Px canned followups with this P.

Followups: the df+K swat is very, very difficult for your opponent to avoid.

Against Taka: the df+K swat followup is impossible for him to roll away from.

slapZ-U-silE                    uf+P+G               20+10+10+10 {10+20+10+10}
H                               24-146-1(71)         - / - / -
-                               catch throw          -

Kage's only frontal catch throw. Not too much to speak about it. Its range is
not all too spectacular, and its 24 frames of execution time makes it nearly
useless as a mC tool. Not terribly useful by itself, although it can catch an
opponent unawares, particularly after staggers. Even then, it's fairly risky,
with a massive 71 frame recovery to deal with if it misses. While the reward in
terms of damage is just barely there enough to make it worthwhile, the style
points you get (*snort*) make up for it. 

Keep it in mind, and in reserve. Just use it intelligently if you plan on using
it at all. No followups are possible at any time.

frankensteiner                  (back turned) u+P+G   50
Ht                              21-91-1/65            - / - / -
-                               catch throw, re 65 if missed

For bold Kage players only. Mondo style points if you manage to land this throw
- and landing it is the hardest part. Kage can only do this throw with his back
turned, and he is vulnerable to strike and back throws during its execution. 

So how in the world can you ever use this throw? Wellll...it's mostly going to
be a matter of luck, chance, and foresight. However, outside of those
requisites, it is guaranteed to connect after certain throw escapes if the
opponent dodges. See the versus section for more details.

surprise exchange               f+P+G                0
H                               20-57-1              - / +11/ -     
-                               high throw           -

Technically Kage has 11 frames of advantage over his opponent after the f+P+G.
However, this number is not cut and dried. Because of the positioning of the
characters, and also because the opponent has his back to Kage and cannot
block, certain moves that take longer than 11 frames to execute are completely
unavoidable by the opponent.

Unlike Pai or Shun's SE throws, he is unable to buffer in a back throw during
this time.

If escaped: your opponent shoves Kage backwards; it's a neutral situation
outside of throw range.

Followups: it all boils down to the followups, as this is a SE throw, after
all. Fortunately it's a far sight easier than the TFT to make something of it;
buffer and plug and chug away. Here's a nice tidy summary.

After the f+P+G (right as he is descending behind the opponent) there is a
short period of time where the Kage player may buffer in a move freely. If the
Kage player buffers the move in correctly, then:

Note: only one, not necessarily two or all of the listed requirements or
exceptions are needed to enable or prevent the combo in question.

f+P+G, DP is unavoidable EXCEPT:
- on downhill terrain, where any character except Taka may CD away from it.
Taka may avoid it on extreme/wacky terrain such the joint between the boat and
rafts on Shun's stage.
- on level terrain, where most (especially smaller) characters except Taka may
CD away from it. This isn't always very consistent, however, for whatever
- on Aoi, who may reverse the DP

f+P+G, DP, DP is doable on everyone (except Taka*) in _any_ circumstance
- the opponent is downhill
- the opponent TT attacks
- the opponent is uphill, and either crouch walked or CD'ed away

f+P+G, DP, ub+K+G (OTB) is doable on everyone (except Taka*) IF:
- the opponent is on level or uphill terrain
- the opponent crouches, crouch walks or crouch dashes away, except on extreme
uphill terrain.

f+P+G, DP, b,b+K+G, d+K is doable on everyone (except Taka*) IF:
- the opponent stands still, walks away or tries to run away; TT d+K is
dependant on terrain as well

f+P+G, df+K+G is completely unavoidable by everyone except:
- Jacky, Sarah and Kage who may ub+K/ub+K+G kickflip with their back turned,
hitting Kage out of the df+K+G for massive damage
- Aoi who may use her TT d+P to stop Kage out of the df+K+G

f+P+G, df+K+G, d+K is doable on everyone UNLESS:
- the opponent crouches, crouch walks, or crouch dashes (Taka excluded... the
combo will always work even if he crouches in any way)
- the opponent TT attacks
- if opponent is on extreme downhill terrain
- if opponent, as Shun, rolls away as he is hit by the df+K+G

f+P+G, P+K+G low back throw cannot be buffered in. Kage has to hope his
opponent will stick around crouching to land the throw. However, as crouching
(crouch walking or CD'ing) avoids so many of his followups, you might find this
to be a very successful option depending on the player you're up against. Just
be careful not to accidentally enter a f,f+P+K+G catapult kick when attempting
to low back throw your opponent.

f+P+G, d+K+G and f+P+G, ub+K+G can be avoided by everyone by simply crouching
or crouch-inching away from Kage. Aoi can reverse the d+K+G.

f+P+G, uf+K is guaranteed on everyone in any circumstance, save for extreme or
wacky terrain such the joint between the boat and rafts on Shun's stage.

f+P+G, uf+K, c-DP/delay DP will work on everyone (except Taka*), although
uphill and downhill terrain (almost but not quite entirely) eliminate the c-DP
as an option if they crouch[dash]. 

f+P+G, uf+K, b,b+K+G, d+K will work on everyone (except Taka*) if they do not
crouch and are not on uphill terrain.

f+P+G, uf+K, df+K+G will work on everyone (except Taka*) if they do not crouch
and are not on uphill terrain.

TT attacks botch almost any hope Kage has of floating after the f+P+G, because
usually the opponent will be floating turned around, facing Kage, which royally
screws up the floating dynamics. However, it's made up for in damage points by
the fact that a followup MC'ing after the f+P+G does very nasty damage.

The f+P+G is nearly useless in TB, at least as far as being able to expect
massive, reliable damage. It takes a lot of luck and reliance on chance to be
able to start conditioning your opponent, but it can be quite rewarding if you
do manage to.

Kage can do more than what I have listed above, basically anything you want,
but these are the more important ones. Don't dismiss the DP, b,b+K+G,d+K and DP
kickflip. They look pure style but in fact do mondo damage and can work on any
player if you predict their response.

*The combos may in fact be done to Taka, but only as a death combo. It's still
very rare and difficult in that case, however.

side surprise exchange          f+P+G                0
H                               20-76-1              - / +11 / -
-                               side throw           -

This is the side throw variation of his frontal SE throw. Although Kage retains
the same amount of advantage time over the opponent, his opponent can block
almost any move over 11 frames in execution time, as the opponent aligns
himself when he holds G.

Again, you cannot buffer in a throw, so your chances of success if you try one
is entirely up to how your opponent reacts. If you choose to followup the side
SE with a move, your best results will come from the uf+K van halen kick. You
can also try Px, if you'd like. Here is a summary of followups with the side SE
After the f+P+G (right as he is descending to the side of the opponent) there
is a short period of time where the Kage player may buffer in a move freely. If
the Kage player buffers the move in correctly, then:

Any move 11 frames in execution or less may or may not connect; dependant on
angle of Kage to opponent and terrain.
f+P+G, uf+K is guaranteed on everyone in any circumstance, save for extreme or
wacky terrain such the joint between the boat and rafts on Shun's stage.

f+P+G, uf+K, c-DP/delay-DP will work on everyone (except Taka*), although
uphill and downhill terrain eliminate the c-DP as an option if they

f+P+G, uf+K, bb+K+G, d+K will work on everyone (except Taka*) if they do not
crouch and are not on uphill terrain.

f+P+G, uf+K, df+K+G will work on everyone (except Taka*) if they do not crouch
and are not on uphill terrain.

*The combos may in fact be done to Taka, but only as a death combo. It's still
very rare and difficult in that case, however.

back surprise exchange          f+P+G                0
H                               20-76-1              - / +11 / -
-                               back throw           -

Another SE variation! Aye, the f+P+G works on standing opponents with their
back turned to Kage. And again, how you're able to follow up on it differs.
Although, it's quite similar to the side throw variation. As always, you cannot
buffer in a throw (which is really quite fortunate for the opponent in this
case). And again, opponents will be able to guard anything longer than 11
frames in execution. Although, there are opportunities for conditioning and
mind games here. Althought that's only likely if you're getting these back
throws often. And that likely is not going to be too likely.

Here's the self-obligatory summary:

After the f+P+G (right as he is descending in front of the opponent) there is a
short period of time where the Kage player may buffer in a move freely. If the
Kage player buffers the move in correctly, then:

Any move 11 frames or less in execution will connect.
f+P+G, uf+K is guaranteed on everyone in any circumstance.

ten-foot toss                   b+P+G                40{55}
Ht                              20-8-60              - / - / -
-                               high throw           -

Ah, the Ten Foot Toss. What can I say about this throw that no one already
knows? Indeed, it's one of the most useful and versatile throws in the game.
It's probably best compared to Wolf's Giant Swing - but the one major
difference between that throw and the TFT is that the damage is not
automatically given out; you must work for it. Also, terrain, walls, and which
character you Toss all change the dynamics and potential of the throw.

This throw can essentially be considered a setup throw. By itself it only
reverses the ring and does a measly 40 points of damage (55 points on Taka -
but TFT'ing Taka is whole different subject). The whole point of the throw is
for you to take advantage of your floating opponent. All potential followups
will be discussed below.

If escaped: technically, as far as attacks and throws are concerned, you are in
a neutral situation. However, you are in a very awkward positional situation.
The opponent will face Kage's side at about a ~90 degree angle. Backing away
from the opponent is probably the safest option, but because of the positioning
and depending on how your opponent reacts, occasionally you'll turn around and
walk the wrong way; the same quandary applies to attacks - you might end up
throwing a TT attack. E'ing or just holding G can solve this direction problem,
but this makes you _very_ vulnerable to throws and some attacks from aggressive

The best thing to do is pay very close attention and react as best as you can.
It's very likely that you will have this throw escaped, so try to record what
your opponents favor and adapt. 

Against Taka: by itself, the throw is nothing special. 55 points of damage,
little ring distance, and no oki-zeme or pounce options. It's really only
useful if you follow up with the canned u+P+G/d+P+G izuna drop (see further
down). Also, Taka gets a free side throw if he escapes the "two foot toss". 

Followups: ugh, where do I start? The knee is he most effective and most
powerful followup, and is the one that garners the most questions about how it
is executed, so I'll start with that.

And here is how it is accomplished - b+P+G, buffer into recovery the
appropriate length of forward crouch dash, then f+K. I understand that most
people know this already, but this really is the best way to explain it. If you
have trouble with it then just practice, practice, practice. Keep at it until
you find it. Eventually you will find the timing, and hopefully it will be
engrained in muscle memory.

There are, however, some tips I can offer. There is a point during the recovery
animation where Kage places his hand on the ground as he rises up. I have found
this to be a helpful timing indicator; your CD should be buffered by that
point, and the f+K should be entered very shortly afterwards. However
everyone's technique is different, and there are other ways to find the timing
for the knee. Experiment.

The length of the CD depends on the weight of the character, but not by very
much. When buffering the CD, the final DF before the f+K should be held longer
or shorter if they are lighter or heavier, respectively. Only a very short CD
is needed for the heavies and mid-heavies; in fact with Jeffry and Wolf it is
possible to simply do D,f+K and the knee will connect just fine.

The damage of the knee and the float height depends on how the knee hits. The
correct, optimum knee results when you nail your opponent in the back of the
head. This does %25 more damage and gives the best float possible. So
obviously, the point is to "aim for the head". It is fairly easy to tell if you
landed the optimum knee or not; if you hit them too late, in their back, they
will float too low and your punches will overshoot them. If you hit lighter
characters too early they will float too high and too far away.

Terrain must also be considered. When TFT, knee'ing someone downhill, your CD
will have to be longer if you want the best knee possible. Conversly, on uphill
terrain you want your CD to be shorter.

With that out of the way, which TFT, knee combos should you use? That's
entirely up to you. You can go for RO distance, damage, or style. The following
is a handy chart of all sorts of combos. They apply to any character and flat
or downhill terrain, unless noted.

Knee floats:

Knee counts as the first hit. If done correctly (i.e. the knee hits the
opponent in the head) it causes 47 points of damage. If done incorrectly the
knee will do its base 38 points of damage; subtract 9 points from the total for

2nd hit(s)    3rd hit(s)     4th hit        5th hit    Total damage
F+P (8)       db+K (15)      --             --         70                   
F+P (8)       d,uf,K (15)    --             --         70      
F+P (8)       F+PKG (6)      d+K (10)       --         71
F+P (8)       df+P+K (18)    --             --         73
F+P (8)       F+P (6)        F+P,P (12)     --         73
F+P (8)       F+PKG (6)      df+K (13)      --         74
F+P (8)       F+PKG (6)      db+K (14)      --         75
F+P (8)       F+P (6)        FC, df+P (14)  --         75
F+P (8)       F+P (6)        d+P+K (14)     --         75
F+P (8)       F+P (6)        d,uf,K (15)    --         76
F+P (8)       F+P (6)        df+K (15)      --         76
F+P (8)       F+P (6)        f,f+K (15)     --         76
F+P (8)       P (8)          d+P+K (14)     --         77
F+P (8)       F+P (6)        df+P+K (16)    --         77
F+P (8)       f+P+K,P+K (22) --             --         77
F+P (8)       b,b+P (0)      d+K (23)       --         78
F+P (8)       P (8)          d,uf,K (15)    --         78
F+PKG (8)     db+PK (25)     --             --         80
F+P (8)       P (8)          f,f+K (17)     --         80
F+PKG (8)     db+PPP (25)    --             --         80
df+K (17)     f,f+K (17)     --             --         81
d+P+K (15)    f,f+K (21)     --             --         83
F+PKG (8)     uf+K (15)      [G] df+K (13)  --         83
F+PPPb+K (36) --             --             --         83
F+P (8)       F+P (6)        run,K (23)     --         84
F+P (8)       F+P (6)        F+P (6)        f,f+K (17) 84
F+PPK (37)    --             --             --         84
F+P (8)       f,f+K+G (30)   --             --         85
F+P (8)       f,f+P+K+G (30) --             --         85
F+PKG (8)     f,d,df+P (30)  --             --         85
F+P (8)       df+K+G (30)    --             --         85
F+P (8)       P (8)          run,K (23)     --         86
F+P (8)       F+P (6)        P (8)          f,f+K (17) 86
F+PPP (24)    f,f+K (15)     --             --         86
F+P (8)       F+PPK (33)     --             --         86
df+K (17)     run,K (23)     --             --         87
F+PKG (8)     b,b+K+G (9)    d+K (23)       --         87
F+P (8)       F+PPPb+K (32)  --             --         87
F+P (8)       F+PKG (6)      f,d,df+P (27)  --         88
F+P (8)       F+P (6)        df+K+G (27)    --         88
F+P (8)       PPK (33)       --             --         88
F+P (8)       b+K+G (23)     d+K (10)       --         88
F+PPb+P (28)  [G] df+K (13)  --             --         88
F+PKG (8)     uf+K (15)      f,f+K (19)     --         89
F+PPPK (42)   --             --             --         89
F+P (8)       PPPb+K (34)    --             --         89
F+P (8)       P (8)          df+K+G (27)    --         90
F+P (8)       f+P (16)       f,f+K (19)     --         90
F+P (8)       df+K (17)      f,f+K (18)     --         90
F+P (8)       F+P (6)        F+P (6)        run,K (23) 90
F+PPb+P (28)  f,f+K (15)     --             --         90
F+PKG (8)     db+PPK (36)    --             --         91
F+P (8)       d+P+K (15)     f,f+K (18)     --         92
F+PKG (8)     F+K (19)       f,f+K (22)     --         92
F+PKG (8)     ub+K+G (38)    --             --         93
F+PK (23)     run,K (23)     --             --         93
F+P (8)       d+P+K (15)     run,K (23)     --         93
F+PPb+PK (46) --             --             --         93
F+P (8)       F+PPPK (38)    --             --         93
F+P (8)       df+K  (17)     run,K (23)     --         95
F+P (8)       F+PPb+PK (40)  --             --         95
F+P (8)       PPPK (40)      --             --         95
F+P (8)       PPb+PK (42)    --             --         97
F+P (8)       F+PK (20)      run,K (23)     --         98
F+P (8)       b+PK (32)      df+K (13)      --         98
F+P (8)       PK (22)        run,K (23)     --         100
F+P (8)       d+K+G (26)     run,K (23)     --         104
F+P (8)       b+K+G (23)     f,d,df+P (27)  --         105      Aoi only
F+P (8)       b+K+G (23)     df+K+G (27)    --         105      
F+PPK (37)    run,K (23)     --             --         107
F+P (8)       b+PK (32)      run,K (23)     --         108
F+P (8)       F+PPK (31)     run,K (23)     --         109      DC VF3tb only
F+P (8)       PPK (33)       run,K (23)     --         111      DC VF3tb only

As mentioned before, terrain is a big player in how you choose your TFT
followups. While it's not recommended that you even bother with the TFT on
extreme uphill terrain, the b+K+G is an excellent alternative to the knee, on
two counts - it's much easier than the knee and offers comparable damage and
float distance. Obviously this is very helpful for those that cannot do the
knee. It also offers very decent damage combos when facing uphill terrain.

Like the knee, there is an optimum way to connect with the b+K+G - you want to
nail your opponent directly in the back with it. This give an extra %25 of
damage and the best possible float. This is much easier to accomplish compared
to the knee, but will likely take some practice. Simply dash forward and wait
for your opponent to reach the correct height, then enter b+K+G. Presto.

Choosing you b+K+G floats is similar to the knee. Judge on weight, terrain and
distance to ring edge. It should be know that the TFT,b+K+G,DP,df+K is an
excellent choice on extreme uphill terrain.

Here is a helpful summary of genyo floats...

Genyo (b+K+G) floats:

Genyo counts as the first hit. If done correctly (i.e. the genyo hits the
opponent in the back) it does 37 points of damage. If done incorrectly the
genyo will do its base 30 points of damage; subtract 7 points from the total
for reference.

2nd hit(s)      3rd hit(s)     4th hit        Total damage
P (8)           d,uf,K (15)    --             60
P (8)           f+P+K,P+K (22) --             67
P (8)           P (8)          d,uf,K (15)    68
ub+K+G (37)     --             --             74
PKG (8)         f,d,df+P (30)  --             75
PKG (8)         f,f+P+K+G (30) --             75
db+PPK (40)     --             --             77
P (8)           PPK (33)       --             78
PPPK (42)       --             --             79
f,d,df+P (30)   df+K [G] (13)  --             80
db+PPPK  (45)   --             --             82
PK (23)         run,K  (23)    --             83
PPb+PK (46)     --             --             83
P (8)           PPPK (40)      --             85
db+PK (26)      run,K  (23)    --             86
db+PPb+PK (49)  --             --             86
f,d,df+P (30)   f,d,df+P (23)  --             90             Aoi & Rev A-D only
P (8)           b+K+G (23)     f,d,df+P (27)  95             Aoi only
P (8)           b+K+G (23)     df+K+G (27)    95                
PPK (37)        run,K (23)     --             97    

Almost all of the other knee combos can be done after the genyo anyway. The
same goes for wall TFT, DP combos.

Here's some more which are either ancient combos, useless combos or novelty
combos. Many of the latter are very dependant on angle of terrain and weight of

TFT, (OTB) DP                                               
TFT, back dash, running slide otb                           
TFT, PPP, DP                                                
TFT, b,b+P, PPPK
TFT, b+K+G, b+K+G, PPPK
TFT, run underneath and behind opponent, TT PPPK
TFT, run underneath and behind opponent, TT PKG, PPPK
TFT, run underneath and behind opponent, TT PPb+P, DP
TFT, b,b+P, TT PKG, d+K+G, ff+K
TFT, c-dash shuto chops, b+K+G, PPPK
TFT, TA Swipe, PPP, d/f+K+G, TT d+K
TFT, knee, PPP, PPPK
TFT, knee, PPPK, run,K (DC only)
TFT, E towards Kage's own open side, b+P, P, P, PP, run+K
TFT, E towards Kage's own open side, b+P, P, P, PPP, run+K
TFT, d,uf,K, b,b+P, PPb+PK 
TFT, d,uf,K, b,b+P, PK, slide 
TFT, dash underneath opponent, d+P+K, (behind/inside opponent) ub+K+G
TFT, dash underneath opponent, d+K+G, (behind/inside opponent) ub+K+G
TFT, dash near/under opponent, FC df+P, (behind/inside opponent) ub+K+G
TFT, dash forward, PPb+P, (behind/inside opponent) d+P+E, d+P+E, ub+K+G
TFT, (OTB) uf+K+G, DP
TFT, (OTB) uf+K+G, ub+K+G
(wall) TFT, DP, TT PKG, ub+K+G
(wall) TFT, DP, TT PKG, b+K+G, ub+K+G (Aoi only)
(wall) TFT, DP, TT PKG, P, b,b+K+G, TT d+K.
(wall) TFT, DP, TT PKG, P, P, df+K+G
(wall) TFT, uf+K+G, P, P, d+p, ub+K+G
(wall) TFT, uf+K+G, P, P, d+p, DP
(wall) TFT, uf+K+G, DP, DP (Aoi only)
(near wall, back to wall) TFT, knee, P, P, P, ub+K+G

There are really countless variations and possibilites for comboing with the
TFT. Find as many as you can.

= izuna drop                    u+P+G                 60{70}
Ht                              107{?}-71{?}-1        - / - / -
-                               = TFT link            -

"YEEEEEEE", Kage says. I say, "Ehhn." I suppose 60 points isn't something to
completely ignore, but obviously you can do so much more with a TFT. You are
basically throwing away a huge opportunity when you do the izuna drop. If
you're incapable of doing any TFT combo at all, either through lack of ability
or due to terrain, choose a different throw. This is best kept as an insult
move or when you're just too lazy and/or just need to finish the opponent off.

About RO'ing with this throw - if you do the izuna drop at the ring edge and
land outside of the ring, the animation does not change. You will smash into an
invisible barrier in mid-air equal to the level of where you initially TFT'ed
your opponent. _Then_ you'll fall all the way to the ground outside of the
ring. Who wins by ring out is much like how it is with the b,d+P+G throw; there
is no consistency. You may or may not win. You've been warned... 

Against Taka: Taka lands face down feet toward, which is about the worst
position a character can rise from. Kage also faces Taka at the completion of
the throw. There are no followups guaranteed, but you're in a dominating
position for oki-zeme. Kage also recovers sooner with the u+P+G version, and if
Taka is even slightly slow in rising, an u+P mid range leg pounce has a
reasonably good chance of connecting.

= knee smash                    d+P+G                 70
Ht                              45-80-1               - / - / -
-                               = TFT link, possible on Taka-Arashi only

Against Taka: if you're fixing for some VF3ob nostalgia, here's your move. It
does the same damage as the u+P+G izuna drop variation, but it's different in a
few ways. Kage rises with his back turned to the downed Taka, and Taka lands
face up head toward. Kage is closer to Taka as well, which gives you an
opportunity for back turned oki-zeme.

The differences between the two are small and there are no major advantages to
either. It's a matter of personal preference in the end.


Here are the authors own thoughts on how to go up against the other characters.
I have tried to keep this as factual as I could. As with Kage I don't bother
too much with listing the potential flowcharts that the other characters are
capable of. 

And inevitably, in the end, each readers experience (and opinion) will probably
differ to some degree. Please take what's written below for what it's worth,
and ultimately make your own judgements.

First, some helpful information...

5.1 Character data

         Weight    High      Low    Back      Ground     Jump    Hop
          (kg)     Throw    Throw   Throw     Attack  

Taka     230.0     1.50      1.5     1.4       2.5       44      23
Jeffry   111.0     1.50      1.5     1.4       2.5       48      32
Wolf     101.0     1.50      1.5     1.4       2.5       48      32
Akira    79.0      1.40      1.5     1.3       3.0       52      32
Jacky    75.0      1.40      1.5     1.3       3.0       52      32
Kage     66.0      1.40      1.5     1.3       5.0       80      32
Lau      65.0      1.40      1.5     1.3       3.0       52      32
Shun     63.0      1.40      1.5     1.3       3.0       52      32
Lion     61.0      1.40      1.5     1.3       3.0       58      32
Sarah    55.0      1.40      1.5     1.3       3.5       55      32
Pai      48.0      1.40      1.5     1.3       3.0       58      32
Aoi      47.0      1.40      1.5     1.3       3.0       52      32

* all distances are in meters;
* throwing distance does not apply to catch throws;
* units which jumping and hopping are measured with are unknown;

General weight classes:
* Lightweight - Aoi, Pai, Sarah, Lion(1), Shun(1)
* Middleweight - Lau, Kage, Jacky, Akira
* Heavyweight - Wolf, Jeffry
* Super-heavyweight - Taka
(1) These characters behave differently in some circumstances.

5.2 Versus Akira:

The star, your [Kage's] nemesis. He's got an excellent P, excellent mid level
moves, excellent floating tools, excellent floating followup, and good throws.
Sounds overwhelming, but Akira really is _not_ a big deal at all once you have
him figured out. It takes time and practice mostly to do so, but the following
tidbits should help.

Important combat points:

- Your AD time after blocking some of Akira's moves are dependant on range. The
most important one is Akira's sgpm. It is Px and throw counterable at close
range (+9 frames in advantage), but it is uncounterable at far range (+7
frames). It's pretty obvious how obnoxious this can be, especially as it's
generally not very clear at which range something is classified in when it's
blocked. Be very cautious if you're unsure; be careful of reversal attempts
from Akira.

As for others moves which have this property, Kage has +7 frames over Akira
when he blocks his f,f+P dashing elbow at long range, +4 at close range. Big
difference. His SDE is also affected, but it is very counterable at either
close or long range (+16 and +15 frames, respectively).

- Akira's d+P+G and f+P+G: if either connect as a normal hit, Kage can
counterattack with Px. If either MC, Kage can counter with Px _or_ throw Akira,
assuming you're in range. Do not dash in. Quickly enter in a throw.

If the f+P+G staggers Kage in either closed or open stance, then the SDE is
unavoidable. The SJK is unavoidable in closed stance except at long range. The
SJK is avoidable in open stance at any range.

If the d+P+G staggers Kage in either either closed or open stance, then the SDE
is unavoidable. The SJK is avoidable in either closed or open stance (much
easier in open stance).

Beware of throw attempts after being staggered. It is helpful to crouch as
you're struggling or about to be hit by the SJK, as occasionally you'll be hit
as a crouching defender and flop quickly to the ground. In any case, the SJK is
unavoidable if Kage has his back against the wall when staggered.

- Akira's df+P+K low backfist is slow and easily interruptable/staggerable by
mid level attacks from Kage. However it is extremely difficult to dodge
(usually only if you dodge late in its execution and/or towards his back) and
if it connects and does not knock down, or even if it is blocked
(uncounterable, +7 frames in advantage), then you are faced with a conundrum. 
If it is blocked, then: Akira's sgpm can be avoided only by blocking, b+P+K
reversal, and by dodging (Kage _must_ dodge towards Akira's back). Akira's
FC,f+P+K can be avoided only by blocking as well as by dodging. Beware of
throws and d|f+P+G from Akira. E-(D)TE can be useful.

If it hits, then: Akira's sgpm can only be avoided by blocking and b+P+K
reversal; Akira's FC,f+P+K can only be avoided by blocking as well as by
dodging (Kage _must_ dodge towards Akira's back). Beware of throws and d|f+P+G
from Akira. E-(D)TE can be useful.

- Akira's b,f+P+K double fisted strike recovers ridiculously fast. It is
technically Px and [side]throw counterable if blocked, but due to range and
positioning neither are a sure bet. Some Akira players like to do a b,f+P+K+E
eBC right after the DFS is blocked, as it can interrupt punches and other
moves; Kage's kickflip will MC for horrendous damage.

That said, Kage has +12 frames of advantage over Akira after blocking his
b,f+P+K+E. Easily counterable.

- Akira's P+K+G stun palm is ub+K+G; Px; uf+K; or throw counterable if it is
blocked or if it hits normally. Just don't hesitate in either case and you
should be fine.

- Most of his moves are very linear and fairly easy to dodge. You can dodge
consecutive DE's even if the initial DE hit.

- Quick mC'ing list: Akira's PP; FC,f+P+K; df,df+P; and FC,b,f+P are all
counterable with ub+K+G; Px; uf+K; or throw if blocked. Akira's d+K low kick
recovers _high_ and is Px; uf+K; or throw counterable (+10 frames), as is his
f+P elbow and K+G,G knee. Ream him!

It can be really helpful to consult a VF3tb movelist and study the AD times.
Dealing with Akira's throws: 

Akira has fairly large selection of throws to choose from, but in general most
Akira's largely prefer the df+P+G throw and the b,d+P+G stumble-throw. The
df+P+G offers Akira quick, solid damage with an easy ura option (if he doesn't
df+P ground punch you, don't fall for the ura). Now, technically, it is
possible to throw Akira immediately after you've escaped the df+P+G; you must
immediately buffer in a forward dash - whack f+E,x+P+G as quickly as you can at
first sight of the throw escape. This takes some practice, and it is by no
means easy.

If you do not take advantage of Akira and throw him when you are able to, then
the df+P+G is particularly insidious because Akira then has the advantage. In
my experience, the vast majority of Akira's go into "moron mode" (or is this
redundant?) and instantly try for another df+P+G throw - even though they could
use another, more powerful throw. While you can attack Akira out of a throw
attempt the situation is otherwise neutral; Akira can duck/reverse/block
anything you try. It is mostly a win-win situation for Akira, and it really
sucks. The same case exists for Akira's db,f+P+G throw.

The majority of Akira's throws are setup or stumble throws. All have variable
rigour times; struggling will reduce your rigour rime.

After the b,d+P+G stumble-throw: Akira's guaranteed power followups are the SDE
and SJK. And no matter what anyone ever tells you, the SJK is %100 guaranteed.
The only way you're going to avoid the SJK is if the Akira player mucks it up.
Since this happens to even the best Akira players, it is generally worth your
while to struggle like a madman to try to avoid the SJK.  It's helpful to
crouch as you're struggling or about to be hit, as occasionally you'll be hit
as a crouching defender and flop quickly to the ground. And be careful of
Akira's who try to take advantage of your struggling by throwing you after the
rigour time.

After the f,b+P+G: this throw forces Kage into a crouching position. The only
two power moves guaranteed for Akira after this throw are his DE, SDE and
jumping takeoff kick. It is quite easy to avoid a bodycheck by struggling. The
difficult part is reacting quickly enough to the throw and stuggling out of it
in time.

After the b,df+P+G: in ideal circumstances (flat terrain, no wall) struggling
and CD'ing away from Akira after the throw will avoid anything he can throw at
you. If you are facing severe uphill terrain after the throw, it is difficult
to avoid his SDE. If you find yourself facing the wall after the throw...then
you're screwed.

After the db+P+G: this throw is pathetic. If you struggle, Akira is left at a
disadvantage by 6 frames. Dashing/running forward will avoid just about
everything he can attempt.

Throw         Reversed by     Situation when reversed

P+G           P+G             Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range, slightly off axis.

df+P+G        df+P+G          Advantage Akira / advantage Kage: Akira has a 
                              guaranteed throw; Kage can stop Akira from 
                              throwing by strike attacking / Kage has a 
                              guaranteed throw; forward dash must be buffered.

db,f+P+G      f+P+G           Advantage Akira / advantage Kage: Akira has a 
                              guaranteed throw; Kage can stop Akira from 
                              throwing by strike attacking / Kage has a 
                              guaranteed throw; forward dash must be buffered.

b,df+P+G      df+P+G          Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range, slightly off axis.

b,d+P+G       d+P+G           Positional advantage: Kage faces back-turned 
                              Akira outside of throw range.
db+P+G        db+P+G          Advantage Kage: several frame strike attack 
                              advantage. Outside of throw range. Ring reversed.

f,b+P+G       b+P+G           Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

b,f+P+G       f+P+G           Advantage Kage: Kage faces Akira's back outside 
                              of throw range. Ring reversed. Back throw 
                              guaranteed, dash in. Running slide; f,f+P+K+G; 
                              and f,f+K+G are difficult (but not impossible) 
                              for Akira to avoid.

Pounce avoidance: 

Kipping is by far the most effective way to avoid his jumping pounce as well as
his df+P ground punch. The latter has horrendous recovery, so if you are in a
position to avoid it by rolling, you generally shouldn't be afraid to counter
with a high rising attack. 

TFT combo: 

Akira is fat and heavy, and it is with him where many TFT combos start to
become noticeably difficult. Unless you're facing downhill,
TFT,Kn,P,b+P,K,df+K; TFT,Kn,(P)PPb+PK; TFT,Kn,P,ub+K+G are your most damaging
choices. If you have a slope to work with, go crazy.

5.3 Versus Aoi:

Poor Aoi, she never gets any respect. Like Shun and Lion, she is small and
lower to the ground (she does not crouch, she kneels instead). Her moves are
straightforward and relatively slow. However, she is able to change this at any
second because of her ability to cancel many of her moves in mid-execution.
While a good Aoi player can really keep you guessing over what will come next,
cancelling moves does have its risks for her. Aoi is vulnerable to throws and
attack for a very brief period after any cancel. If an Aoi is repeatedly doing
cancels at close range she's just begging for a throw or MC.

Important combat points:

- Aoi's d,d+P double palm is sort of deceptive. It hits mid, can stagger, and
recovers high. It's Px and throw counterable.

- Aoi's d+K+G sweep is mC'able with DP,d+K,DP on most terrain.

- The vast majority of her move are very counterable if blocked. Best if you
consult a full VF3tb movelist. However it's good to know:

Aoi's f+P,P is Px, uf+K and throw counterable even if it connects.

Her db+K recovers high and is extremely counterable.

You can throw Aoi even if you are staggered by her PPPK. Struggle quickly and
enter throw.

- Unless you're being a moron by constantly and predictably doing the same move
or pattern over and over again and being reversed/inashi'ed by Aoi, you really
should not pay much thought to them. 

Dealing with Aoi's throws:

The biggest threat in her throw arsenal is her FC,f+P+G aiki throw, with 50
points plus a 25 point guaranteed ground throw followup. Be on the constant
lookout for it.

She does have the ability to mix up her throws fairly well, but the remainder
of her throws do relatively low damage. Unless the Aoi player is repeatedly
abusing a particular throw, don't stress too much about it. DTE is useful
against her, and do remember that you can side throw her after escaping her
db+P+G and P+G.

"But what about her 3-dan throw!", you ask. My response: "Bah!" Unless you
_know_ the HCF+P+G or HCB+P+G throw starter is coming and avoid it, just wail
on d+P+G after it begins. "But wait! Can't Aoi just do the b,u+P+G varation
there?" Yes, she can. However, the important difference is that Aoi cannot do
the final ground throw after any of her b,u+P+G variation throws. Just struggle
and get up.

Throw         Reversed by     Situation when reversed

P+G           P+G             Advantage Kage: side throw.

df+P+G        df+P+G          Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

b+P+G         b+P+G           Positional advantage: Kage faces Aoi's side at 
                              ~90 degrees, outside of throw range.

db+P+G        db+P+G          Advantage Kage: side throw.

FC,f+P+G      f+P+G           Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

d+P+K+G       d+P+K+G         Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

- Three-dan throw:

HCF+P+G       b,f+P+G         Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

HCB+P+G       f,b+P+G         Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

- After either HCF+P+G or HCB+P+G:

= f|b,u+P+G    u+P+G          Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

= f|b,d+P+G    d+P+G          Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

- After any preceding three-dan throw combination: 

== d,u+P+G     u+P+G          Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

== u,d+P+G     d+P+G          Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

Pounce/ground throw avoidance: 

For all, roll! Never kip. Her jumping pounces are slow and there are very few
circumstances where you will not be able to avoid them. If they whiff, they
have horrible recovery; be sure to nail her with a rising attack.

Ground throws: same with Jeff and Wolf...their success mainly depends on your
ability to get up and the skill of the Aoi player. However, there are
circumstances where it is unavoidable: after her FC,f+P+G throw; multithrow
ending with d,u+P+G; right-handed elbow reversal; right-footed M*K reversal;
closed stance (flipover) H*P reversal; 30+ damage H*K reversal from open
stance; db+P+G wall throw.

It is difficult but far from impossible to avoid her ground throws after her
P+G back throw and d+P+K+G low throw, and several other reversals. Struggle
like a bastard and get up. Wacky and/or uphill terrain may also help you avoid
ground throws.

TFT combo: 

Too light, too small. She's no fun to TFT. Your CD length needs to be
absolutely spot on if you don't want your punches to whiff. It takes an awful
lot of practice to find the sweet spot with her. But if you get it right, go
nuts; the TFT,Kn,P,b+K+G,DP is great on flat ground, replace the DP with df+K+G
on a downslope. TFT,Kn,P,d+K+G,slide is also good.

5.4 Versus Jacky:

It takes all the skill in the world to defeat a competent Jacky...sometimes
even against just a mediocre Jacky. He has a powerful P, powerful Px strings,
an elbow which leads off to the most useful/simple/powerful canned combo in the
game, and powerful throws. His flowchart options are very simple and easily

Watch him carefully. Try not to get staggered, be on the constant alert for his
elbow and P(x). Take the initiative after you block the elbow - you have it,
use it. Punish him with mC's at every opportunity. The one fortunate thing
about fighting Jacky is that almost every special move of his is counterable
after blocking it, and usually in a big way. It's imperative that you do not
let these opportunities pass you by when you get them, because against a good
Jacky they will not come around often.

Keep your distance - Kage is better equipped to handle him at mid/mid-close
range - and try to use your head and bait him or make him whiff his moves, and
quickly nail him. It's also important that you pay attention to his P(x)
followups (this is essentially his lynchpin move) and attempt to decipher and
stop any patterns. Usually there is very little beyond the question of "will he
P? f+P? throw? or d+P?"

Jacky is usually played very simply, with few moves, and it is a simple matter
to defeat him. The biggest part of it is concentration and focus - plenty of

Important combat points:

- Every single low attack of Jacky's, save for his d/D+P, is f+P elbow
counterable by Kage if blocked. Most of those are ub+K+G kickflip counterable
as well.

- Kage has +7 frames of advantage over Jacky after blocking his elbow. This is
one frame away from being Px counterable. Remember this and use this fact to
your advantage. Press the initiative - but beware of (delayed) heelkicks.
Remember that you can duck the heelkick if the elbow is blocked; it's only
possible to block or duck the heelkick after the elbow hits normally if Jacky
delays the heelkick.

Jacky's PPf+P elbow is Px counterable if blocked (+8 frame advantage).
Technically there is enough time to allow a throw but this is a risky
proposition. Also, the elbow will _never_ connect along with his PP even if the
second P MC's. 

f+PK, if blocked, leaves Kage with +14 frames over Jacky. mC with ub+K+G;
d+K+G; Px; uf+K; or throw. Jacky's PPf+PK leaves Kage with +20 frames to do
whatever you'd like.

- Jacky can still execute the canned backfist if you block his P+K bitchslap,
which will stop mC throw attempts - good Jacky's will know and use this.
However, it's slow in execution time and it can be easily ducked, and most
common mC tools (including the ub+K+G kickflip) from Kage will connect before
the backfist can connect.

- The vast majority of Jacky's special moves are very mC-able. Consult a VF3tb
movelist for a specific listing. Unfortunately, Jacky has no use for most of
his moves.

- Jacky does not have a low rising attack from the face up/head toward

- Why do so many Jacky's switch stance to open at the beginning to round? To
increase the range/effectiveness of their elbow and most other moves. Also,
most of his kickflip combos, most notably his P+K,P,ub+K combo, are much more
likely to work in open stance.

Dealing with Jacky's throws:

Most Jacky's, when throwing, mix up the df,df+P+G sadistic hanging knee with
his f,b+P+G trip and hammer. It's a simple 50/50 guess, but it's very painful
50/50 guess as both do horrendous damage. Some players prefer one over the
other. Just follow the opponent and try your best to guess. Don't worry much
about the neckbreaker. The damage is so pathetic and it is seen so rarely. 

Throw         Reversed by     Situation when reversed

P+G           P+G             Neutral / Advantage Kage: Kage faces downed 
                              Jacky. Ring reversed.

f,f+P+G       f+P+G           Neutral, Kage's back faces toward downed Jacky. 
                              Ring reversed.

f,b+P+G       b+P+G           Neutral, both characters face eachother slightly 
                              off axis outside of throw range.

df,df+P+G     df+P+G          Advantage Kage: side throw.

Pounce avoidance: 

It's pointless to try to avoid Jacky's low pounce in nearly all but the most
obvious cases. It is nearly %100 guaranteed after most common knockdowns from
single and canned moves, as well as some combos by Jacky. 

If you are playing against a greedy or stupid Jacky who is attempting pounces
when he shouldn't, then the general rule is to always roll - never kip. Jacky's
high pounce is very difficult to avoid in many circumstances, especially in the
case of MC knockdowns by his f,f+K; K; heelkick; and f+K, among other moves.

It's fairly easy to avoid a high pounce after Jacky's sadistic knee by
side-rolling, and although it's technically possible to avoid his low pounce
the same way, it is _incredibly_ difficult. Jacky's df+K soccer kick is
unavoidable. After the f,b+P+G throw Jacky's df+K soccer kick is technically
avoidable by rolling, but nigh impossible if the Jacky player dashes forward
after the throw. 

Even if you are unable to avoid Jacky's pounce, struggling and then siderolling
or kipping is still very helpful, as the damage awarded to Jacky will be cut in
half if he connects with the pounce during those situations.

TFT combo: 

On even terrain, anything but TFT,Kn,PPK,slide is a good bet. Jacky is somewhat
heavy and the normal bread and butter TFT combos become a bit more difficult on

5.5 Versus Jeffry:

Jeffry is usually played very similarly to Wolf, at least in broad, general
terms. His moves are very straightforward and there really is not much room for
much tomfoolery - like Wolves, most simply try to find the advantage, then mix
up throws and strikes. One thing that Jeffry does have over Wolf is a larger
assortment of damaging throws with different command inputs. Pay very close
attention and use your head when fighting him. As with Wolf, Kage is well
equipped to deal with him. Get in his face and take the initiative at all

Important combat points:

- Your punches and elbows have better priority than Jeffry's own. In most

- Be aware of his d+K+G low kick. If this MC's Kage and does not knock him
down, Jeffry is awarded an extremely easily buffered free throw. This is
important to remember when you are charging him with Px and elbows. 
If you block the d+K+G, stagger him.
- Know that Jeffry has a larger throw range than everyone save for Taka and
Wolf, and combined with the fact that his moves are generally slow, mC'ing with
throws is usually preferred by most Jeffry's. It's easier, less risky and he
has many throws to mix up.

- Jeffry cannot delay his b+KP shot knee combo. It is possible to duck; b+P+K
reverse; or MC the slap with quick and/or low moves if the b+K is blocked. The
b+KP is mC-able with almost anything. 

By itself, the b+K is Px, throw and uf+K counterable. This move has _insane_
priority. It is one of Jeffry's lynchpin moves in tb and otherwise a major pain
in the neck for you. Look for it to be used in borderline situations when you
are at a disadvantage or during Px rushes. Also, don't bother trying to avoid a
pounce if you are hit by it, it is hopeless.

- Jeffry's knee is his lynchpin power strike attack. Unlike most other knees
you have time to mC with an ub+K+G kickflip after blocking it, along with Px,
throw, uf+K, etc.

Dealing with Jeffry's throws: 

Against a competent Jeffry player who likes to throw and knows how to mix up
his throws well, you probably will have a tough time figuring him out, if at
all. It's an extremely painful guessing game to lose. Just try your best.

After the db+P+G "box" throw: struggling and turning toward/E'ing will avoid a
back throw, but puts you in a prime position for frontal throws from Jeffry.
Pay attention and react quickly. Struggle and E or dash/run away to avoid his
b,f+K axe kick. Struggling and CD'ing away from him is a good option but will
open you up to low back throws to astute Jeffry players (like myself :)

After the d+P+G ground throw: there are no guaranteed followups for Jeffry,
however it is still a very uncomfortable situation. Struggling will reduce your
rigour time a large bit, and d,UB+K will avoid or MC everything Jeffry can
throw at you - but this is not always feasible. If you are against the wall,
Jeffry has a guaranteed throw.

Throw         Reversed by     Situation when reversed

P+G           P+G             Neutral, Kage rises with his back/side facing 
                              Jeffry at a fair distance. Ring reversed.

d+P+G         d+P+G           Positional advantage: Kage faces Jeffry's side at 
                              ~90 degrees, outside of throw range.

f+P+G         f+P+G           Neutral / Advantage Kage: Kage faces downed 
                              Jeffry. Ring reversed.

b+P+G         b+P+G           Advantage Kage: Kage faces Jeffry's side outside 
                              of throw range, with several frame attack     

db+P+G        db+P+G          Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

db,f+P+G      f+P+G           Advantage Kage: side throw.

df,df+P+G     df+P+G          Neutral, both characters face opposite eachother. 
                              Ring reversed. u+P+G back turned catch throw will 
                              catch E'ing opponent.

b,f,f+P+G     f+P+G           Advantage Kage: Kage has a guaranteed throw; 
                              Jeffry can stop Kage from throwing by strike 

b,f+P+G       f+P+G           Neutral, both characters face eachother within 
                              throw range.

= b+P+G       b+P+G           Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

= f+P+G       f+P+G           Neutral, both characters face eachother within 
                              throw range.

== f+P+G      f+P+G           Neutral, both characters face eachother within 
                              throw range.

== b+P+G      b+P+G           Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

d+P+K+G       d+P+K+G         Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

df+P+K+G      df+P+K+G        Neutral, both characters face opposite eachother. 
                              Ring reversed. u+P+G back turned catch throw will     
                              catch E'ing opponent.

d,f+P+K+G     f+P+K+G         Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

Avoiding pounces/ground throws: 

Assuming you have time enough to avoid them - roll to avoid his u+P and d,U+P
pounces. Kipping usually will avoid his df+K stomp, and sometimes will save you
from his jumping pounces if you are far enough away from him. 

You can avoid the df+K after his f+P+G throw. Get up quickly after that throw
as well as the db,f+P+G, as some Jeffry's attempt low pounces. It is difficult
but possible to avoid his low pounce after his df,df+P+G throw. It is also easy
to roll out of the u+P pounce after his f+K,P,f+K combo.

The success of Jeffry's ground throw depends much on the ability of the Jeffry
player as well as circumstance such as terrain and range. The best way to avoid
them is obvious: simply struggle and rise as fast as possible. However, it is
unavoidable after: P+G back throw; b+P+G back throw; P+K+G low back throw;
df,df+P+G; b,f+P+G,f+P+G,f+P+G; and his df+P+K+G. Be aware of them after knee;
f+P+K and rising attack knockdowns, as well as both his side throws. Get up

TFT combo: 

As with Wolf - TFT,Kn,PK,slide; TFT,Kn,PKG,ub+K+G; or TFT,Kn,b+PK,df+K if you
can. Again, have fun if you're going downhill.

5.6 Versus Kage:

I'll simply quote Dirk Tebben from his VF2 Kage guide (again), as he wrote it

"Well, if you've read this whole thing you have a pretty good idea of his
strengths and weaknesses; reiterating them won't help. Obviously the outcome of
a mirror match depends entirely on the skill of the players."

TFT combo: Kage, along with Lau, is in the perfect TFT weight range. He's not
so heavy that you have to worry too much about getting the CD length in
correctly at the right time, and he's not so light that you can easily overdo
the knee. 

5.7 Versus Lau:

Lau is a very formidable character. He is similar to Jacky in that most good
players use very few moves of his. The moves that they do use are very powerful
and/or uncounterable and present difficult situations after they connect.
Plenty of painful guessing games and uncertainity when playing against Lau. 

In simple-stupid terms...don't crouch too much. Kage's low moves are to be used
sparingly and carefully - Lau's heelkick, knifehands, palms and elbow are
brutal. b+P+K reversal attempts can be very helpful if used intelligently, but
if you try to reverse something that you can't, it's usually going to be a real

Try to keep your distance at mid/mid-close range. Stay on your toes! Keep
looking for and be ready to mC or retaliate blocked or ducked moves at any
time. You generally don't have much time to do so with Lau's moves, at least
his big guns.

Important combat points:

- Lau's b,b+P is easily mC'ed if blocked. It may not seem like it, but you have
plenty of time to act - specifically 15 frames. Even if he goes straight into
the canned d+P continuation, he is completely at your mercy (and it's actually
better for you if he does this. It allows more time to and awards you more MC
damage points). Kage's ub+K+G kickflip is an extremely powerful option, but
feel free to try anything else - Px games, heelkick, etc.

- You have +7 frames of advantage over Lau after blocking his f+P elbow. This
leaves him at a very nasty disadvantage. However, the threat of his canned
b,f+P sgpm can take away much of the danger for him. But remember these facts:
the sgpm can be delayed for a very short period of time; the sgpm can always be
ducked or blocked if the elbow is blocked or if it hits normally; you can b+P+K
reverse the sgpm if the elbow is blocked or hits normally; you cannot dodge the
sgpm if the elbow connects.

If you duck his palm, go for a throw (and be quick about it). Lau recovers
insanely fast from the palm, so even the slightest hesitation will negate any
chance of mC'ing him.

Kage's Px and f+P after blocking Lau's f+P,b,f+P will stop most attacks from
him. Still, he has many flowchart options and can really keep you guessing
(this is an ideal case for the use of fuzzy guard).

- Lau's PPP triple punch is Px counterable if blocked _and_ if it connects as a
normal hit. It is borderline throw counterable if blocked, but this is very
difficult. Both facts apply to his DF+PPPP string as well. 

Lau's df+PPP is throw, Px, and uf+K counterable if blocked or if it hits

- Lau's sidekick is Px and throw counterable (barely) if blocked. Lau cannot
delay his df+K,f+P,b,f+P string. If his sidekick MC's you and does not knock
down, then you can throw Lau, assuming you are within range. Just buffer a
throw in as quickly as possibly.

- Lau's single low kick recovers high and is throw; Px; or uf+K counterable
(+11 frame advantage).

- Lau's FC,n+K heelkick is uncounterable (+7 in frame advantage at close range,
+6 at far range). Evil!

Dealing with Lau's throws: 

Lau has a slew of decent throws that are easily mixed up, but most high-end
users of Lau prefer the df,df+P+G throw the most. It's nasty both if it is
landed and if it is escaped. If it is escaped, both characters recover very,
very quickly and are only just outside of throw range. Stay on your toes. Lau
may try for another throw - although it is actually possible for you to throw
him. If it is landed, Lau has a very easy, very nasty ura options: dash
forward, E towards head; and uf+K+G. If you see him doing either, don't walk
into it! If he doesn't take the ura option, a df+K stomp is guaranteed for him,
making it an extremely powerful throw.

The only two power followups guaranteed for Lau after his b,d+P+G stumble-throw
are his b,f+P sgpm and his HCF+K+G crescent.

Throw         Reversed by     Situation when reversed

P+G           P+G             Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range. Ring reversed.

b+P+G         b+P+G           Positional advantage: Kage faces Lau's side at 
                              ~90 degrees, outside of throw range.

f+P+G         f+P+G           Advantage Kage: side throw.

b,d+P+G       d+P+G           Advantage Kage: side throw.

b,f+P+G       f+P+G           Positional advantage: Kage faces Lau's side at 
                              ~90 degrees, outside of throw range.

df,df+P+G     df+P+G          Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range. / Advantage Kage: front throw, 
                              forward dash required.

Pounce avoidance: 

From the face up, feet toward position, kipping is the most effective way to
avoid Lau's jumping pounces as well as his df+K stomp. Rolling also works quite
well, though. It is a judgement call. Kipping might avoid the second part of
his high pounce, but this is a rare circumstance.

Don't bother trying to avoid the high pounce if Lau MC's you with his heelkick,
and it is possible but insanely difficult to avoid his pounces after a normal
or mC hit. Still, it's good to struggle and kip or roll to reduce the damage of
the pounce.

Beware of Lau's who attempt a low or high jumping pounce after his P+G throw.
It is surprisingly difficult to avoid if you're not expecting it.

TFT combo: 

Anything you'd like, and knock yourself out if you're going downhill. Lau's
weight is very close to Kage's, and he is an excellent character to TFT. His
weight is perfect. 

5.8 Versus Lion:

This obnoxious little pecker can give Kage hell if the Lion player does things
right. Actually, he doesn't even have to do things "right". Many Lion's use
blindfighting as the main part of their approach, and mix it in with the
standard intelligent mC'ing and the standard setups. This can be pure hell,
because you just have no clue what is going to come from them. And while this
may not be a big problem in and of itself, it's made even more difficult with
Lion because although his moves are (generally) slow and have bizarre
animations, the dynamics of those two facts unite against Kage's moves usually
in Lion's favor when it comes to priority. Kage's moves have an extremely
irritating tendency to completely whiff against Lion, or be brutally MC'ed.
Also, your low punches and elbows have even less range and less effectiveness
against him, and the heelkick is very risky. Aaannnnd, most moves of his knock
down, and most defeat E's. Lion can be so frustrating to deal with.

Overall, basically, be patient. Don't get too frustrated. Remember what is
counterable and what is not counterable. Don't be too ashamed to become
defensive against him; wait for an opening and punish him. 

Important combat points:

- Many Lion's like to dodge a whole lot, more than other characters. Watch for
this, and if you see this in the player, try to make him pay with run-in

- Lion's b,b+K (and to a lesser extent his u+P+K) will MC your Px in most
neutral circumstances, notably (and most hellishly) at the outset of the round.
It's also difficult to counter even if it whiffs. If you block it, though, kill
him. Or, try to. It's uncounterable by throwing, but Lion has his back to you,
and cannot block. Try a kickflip or other quick attacks.

- Lion's df+K sidekick is nasty. It will catch you during most E's and has good
priority. It is slow, though, and has a very distinctive execution animation.
Attempt to learn it, and try to react if you can.

- Lion's f+P elbow cannot be done from crouch, and it is Px and throw
counterable if blocked.

- If Lion's f+P elbow is blocked or, importantly, even if it hits (normal), the
followup f+P,P poke can be blocked, dodged or, better yet, MC'ed by almost any
quick move from Kage if you're fast enough to react after blocking the elbow.
This is _important_. Make him pay for using it. Kickflipping him out of an
elbow, poke is a wonderful and damaging way to say "kiss my ass".

It is difficult but possible to block the poke if the elbow staggers; you must
struggle like a madman to do so.
- Lion is the ura wonderboy. Do not fall for it. Be exceedingly careful when
rising against him. If you see him doing funky shit, such as f+P+E happy swirly
punches or his low twisty moves after a knockdown, stay on the ground and rise
slowly and carefully, preferably rolling away or kipping/rising. 

Even w/o ura, getting up against skilled Lions can be hell. Watch for his
d+P+E/d+P+K when getting up. Be very reserved with rising attacks.

- Lion's d+P+E recovers high and is very counterable. His d+P+K recovers low
and is counterable only with an uf+K van halen kick. To quote someone: "Tell
you what, they're both fucking annoying and very similar in appearance. Those
two moves pretty much sum up Lion."

Dealing with Lion's throws: 

The two most damaging (and thus most commonly used) throws Lion has are his
front face-grab and his FC kickflip throw. However, his b+P+G and his df+P+G
are fairly common, too. Lion has a good assortment of throws with different
throw motions, which only makes life that more frustrating when dealing with

Be aware that you can reverse the second P in the df+P+G,df+PP sequence from
Lion. Simply enter in the reversal as you're standing there. But beware of
Lion's who like to try to throw you out of your reversal after the single df+P;
you can use R-DTE to avoid this. Sidekicks or other moves after this throw are
options Lion might use as well. Lion is able to back throw you as well, but as
this is a very difficult option for the Lion player it is rarely seen.

Throw         Reversed by     Situation when escaped:

P+G           P+G             Advantage Lion: several frame attack advantage. 
                              Be careful in your choice of followups. 

df+P+G        df+P+G          Positional advantage: Kage faces Lion's side at 
                              ~90 degrees, outside of throw range.

f,f+P+G       f+P+G           Advantage Kage: guaranteed front high throw. 
                              Remember this, don't let him get away scot-free. 
                              Just quickly enter a throw immediately after the 
                              escape and you'll land it. 

HCB+P+G       f,b+P+G         Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

uf+P+G        uf+P+G          Advantage Kage: side throw.

b+P+G         b+P+G           Advantage Kage: Kage faces Lion's back outside of 
                              throw range. Ring reversed. Back throw 
                              guaranteed, run in. Running slide; f,f+P+K+G; 
                              f,f+K+G are difficult (but not impossible) for 
                              Lion to avoid.

FC,f+P+G      f+P+G           Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

Pounce avoidance: 

Kip to avoid his df+P swipe, or roll if you have time. Rolling will avoid his
uf+K pounce and his jumping pounces. Most knockdowns result in a double low
kick OTB float for him, so it's mostly out of your hands anyway; high and low
jumping pounces are somewhat rare from Lion. You will see them after his
FC,f+P+G throw, and there it is totally unavoidable. 

Lion's df+P swipe after his b+P+G throw is unavoidable. 

TFT combo: Kn,PPK,slide or Kn,F+P,PK,slide. Both are fairly easy (moreso
Kn,F+P,PK, slide) with a well placed knee. 

5.9 Versus Pai: 

Ideally, Kage eats Pai and asks for seconds. Even against the most horrible
obnoxious psychobitch Pai, Kage is well equipped to deal with her.

The majority of Pai players are mechanical in their approach, usually mixing in
only a very few moves and strings. Tons of single P's and Px strings and heaps
of sidekicks, mixed in with the occasional df+Px low blue fist strings and
db+K+G sweeps. 

At mid range, Kage's sidekick and heelkick are effective in dealing with most
of her moves. In close range, Kage's low punch and low kick, as well as the
b,b+K+G, generally work very well against Pai, especially if they're using the
style described above. Just be careful of her sidekick. If you block her
sidekick, you have the initiative; do your best not to let her get away unhurt
after you block her sidekick.

Pai's reversals are a pathetic joke. Don't worry about them. Although, do be
aware that her high punch and elbow reversals reverse the ring, so if you're
facing her near the edge of the ring and going berserk with Px's and elbows, be

On the other hand, her f+P+K inashi can be trouble if the Pai uses it wisely.
However, follow the cardinal rule, and perhaps place emphasis on moves other
than the Px and elbow, and you should not have much to worry about. If she
fails at an inashi attempt, you have plenty of time to make her pay with a
throw or any move.

Important combat points:

- Many Pai's love to P(P), throw (commonly P, FC,f+P+G). You can always
interrupt the sequence with a move of your own, no matter how the P(P)
connected. However, you must be very quick to react. 
- Pai's heelkick is technically counterable with Px and throws (+8), but in
practice it can be difficult, especially at long range (+9). Be quick, and be

- Pai's PPP is Px and (borderline) throw counterable if blocked.

- Pai's single low kick recovers high and is very counterable: throw; kickflip;
and so on.

- Pai's single df+P low blue fist recovers high and is extremely counterable
even if it hits or MC's. She cannot delay her df+PP. If the df+P hits Kage, the
following P/PP is guaranteed for Pai. Anything after that, canned or otherwise,
can be blocked.

Dealing with Pai's throws: 

Most Pai's will vary mostly between the FC,f+P+G throw and the b,d+P+G stumble
throw, but Pai is fairly well equipped in the throwing department and good
opponents will mix it up well. 

After the b,d+P+G: Pai's K is guaranteed. However, the margin for error is
razor thin and her FC,n+K heelkick as well as her FC,f+P+G throw (or any other
throw, for that matter) are two common and very powerful followups. Watch Pai
closely, keep calm, react accordingly.

After the df+P+G: Pai has a guaranteed back throw, but as this is difficult to
do and since her back throw sucks, it is rare. Most Pai's will use df+Px or
sidekicks. CD'ing forward is the best option for both; you'll be hit but remain
on your feet. Her df+PPf+P will whiff if you remain crouching with your back

After the P+G back throw: her K+G canned kick followup is guaranteed. Nothing
else is.

After the f+P+K+G low throw: Pai has no guaranteed followups. However her
sidekick; uf+KK; or df+Px are common folluwps difficult to avoid.

Throw         Reversed by     Situation when escaped:

P+G           P+G             Neutral, both Kage and Pai have their backs to 
                              eachother at a fair distance. Ring reversed.

f,b+P+G       b+P+G           Advantage Pai: Pai has a guaranteed throw; Kage 
                              can stop Pai from throwing by strike attacking.

b,f+P+G       f+P+G           Positional advantage: Kage faces Pai's side at 
                              ~90 degrees, outside of throw range.

f+P+G         f+P+G           Advantage Kage: side throw.

df+P+G        df+P+G          Advantage Kage: side throw.

f,f+P+G       f+P+G           Neutral, Kage faces Pai's side at 90 degrees, 
                              outside of throw range.

b,d+P+G       d+P+G           Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

f+P+K+G       f+P+K+G         Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

Pounce avoidance: 

Kipping will avoid all ground attacks, provided you have enough time. Rolling
is also possible, especially against her df+P ground punch, if you have enough

Don't let Pai df+P you after a f,f+P+G; roll away. With the exception of her
FC,f+P+G, she cannot follow up any throw she lands with a ground punch or

Pai's heelkick, low pounce is nearly completely unavoidable, however it is just
barely possible to avoid a high pounce as long as the heelkick did not MC.

TFT combo: 

Anything you want. She's very light, almost too light, so you must be careful
that you do not overshoot your knee. Otherwise she's ripe for any TFT combo
you'd like. As it should be, TFT,Kn,PPK,slide is easiest against her.

5.10 Versus Sarah:

Sarah is about as straightforward a character as they come. I'm not really even
sure how to preface this summary...just know what is and what is not
counterable, and use Kage's speed to your advantage. She's fun to float and

Important combat points:

- Sarah's f+P elbow is Px and throw counterable if blocked. It is Px
counterable if it connects as a normal hit. Beware delayed knees. However, if
you block the canned knee, then...

- Sarah's f+P,K elbow-knee combo is ub+K+G; Px; throw; or uf+K counterable.

- Sarah's d+K+E low kick is deceptive. It recovers _high_, and is Px; uf+K; or
throw counterable if blocked. If it connects in any way it doesn't leave Sarah
at an advantage framewise, however positionally and tactically she can clean
up. One of the most popular and effective options after it hits is for Sarah to
dodge, so run in throw attempts can be very fruitful. Be careful of elbow(knee)
attempts, though.

- All of Sarah's sidekick strings are Sarah's exceptionally counterable, most
even if they MC and don't knock down. Just know that her df+K,K,b+K double side
kick, low kick recovers high and is throw; Px; uf+K counterable. 

- Sarah does not have a low rising attack from the face up/head toward

- As with Jacky, the overwhelming majority of Sarah's special moves (including
her important and most commonly used moves) are very, very counterable. A
specific list would be too long - consult a VF3tb movelist.

Dealing with Sarah's throws: 

Similar to Jacky, it's mainly a two way choice between two throws: b+P+G and
b,f+P+G. Fortunately it is not as painful a guessing game as with Jacky. 

Throw         Reversed by     Situation when reversed

P+G           P+G             Neutral / Advantage Kage: Kage faces Sarah's side 
                              at ~90 degrees within throw range / side throw, 
                              forward dash must be buffered in.

b+P+G         b+P+G           Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

f,f+P+G       f+P+G           Neutral, Kage's back faces toward downed Sarah. 
                              Ring reversed.

b,f+P+G       f+P+G           Advantage Kage: side throw.

Pounce avoidance: 

Her jumping pounces may look like Jacky's, however they aren't half as
effective as his. They have a shorter range and longer execution. Same as with
him: roll, never kip to avoid. It is, however, unavoidable after her f+P,K
knockdown, and be careful of pounces after her kickflip. Both low and high
jumping pounces have slow recovery, so if you avoid one don't be shy to mC her
with a high rising attack.

Her df+K soccer kick is more commonly used. It is technically avoidable after
her b,f+P+G throw, but it is _extremely_ difficult to roll away from.

TFT combo: 

Sarah is somewhere between being too light and just perfect for TFT abuse. It
actually takes some care not to do the knee too early and send her too high up.
But if the knee is done right - knock yourself out, on any terrain.

5.11 Versus Shun:

I disagree with the notion that Shun's moves are deceptive. Rather, I believe
that he is fairly straightforward a character. However, he is very agile and he
moves rather differently than any other character. He is also quite small and
short, and this creates much of the same problem that you have against Lion,
that he's just not where you want him to be most of the time. Approach him as
you would with any other character, but just be aware of how his moves work, as
well as how your moves work against him.

Important combat points: 

- Quick mC list:

Shun's low kick is f+P; df+K; uf+K, d+K+G and ub+K+G counterable if blocked. If
it hits, look for Shun to dodge as a common followup. Run in and throw may nail
certain players.

Shun's f+P+K double fisted spinning strike is Px; throw; and uf+K counterable,
but you must be quick, and in range if you expect those to mC.

Shun's PPd+K low kick recovers high and counterable with almost anything if
blocked, hit or MC. Shun players know this and may use his falldown option.

Shun's sidekick is Px and throw counterable if blocked.

Shun's FC,f+P old man palm is Px, throw and uf+K counterable.

Shun can be hit and thrown out of any of his falldown moves if you act quickly
enough and if you have enough initiative.

I could go on and on, actually, but these are handy to remember. It's best if
you consult the full VF3tb movelist. Most of his moves are very counterable.

- Be sure to use Kage's sidekick rather than his elbow when mC'ing his sweeps
and low backpush and other whiffed or blocked low attacks of his. He is small
and he recovers extremely low to the ground, and the elbow will usually just

- R-DTE with b+P+K,P+G,df+P+G kills Shun's deadliest mC'ing tools. This
sequence isn't difficult at all with a little practice. Don't expect to be
invulnerable, though; any competent Shun will fall back to his secondary
options (K+G; f+P+K, etc) and those can be very nasty. But then...there _is_
GTE :)

- Shun's drinking properties are vastly overemphasized, especially in tb. Don't
worry too much about it - there's not much you can do. If you see him drink and
you have time enough to attack, kill him! If you think he's getting too drunk,
by all means, try to sober him up. Here's the sobering table, courtesy of Sal:


From: 1dpt To: 19dpt =1dpt off 
From: 20dpt To: 29dpt =2dpt off
From: 30dpt To: 39dpt =3dpt off
From: 40dpt To: 40+dpt =4dpt off


From: 1dpt To: 9dpt =1dpt off 
From: 10dpt To: 14dpt =2dpt off
From: 15dpt To: 19dpt =3dpt off
From: 20dpt To: 24dpt =4dpt off
From: 25dpt To: 29dpt =5dpt off
From: 30dpt To: 34dpt =6dpt off
From: 35dpt To: 39dpt =7dpt off
From: 40dpt To: 40+dpt =8dpt off

Dealing with Shun's throws: 

Simply put, Shun is utterly screwed when it comes to throwing. P+G,df+P+G DTE
eliminates three of his throws, two of which are the most commonly used. 

However, that isn't to say Shun's throws are to be taken lightly. His df+P+G
has the potential to take off more than half your lifebar, and his P+G throw is
the most favored way for Shun players to build up their drunken points. 

His b+P+G does reasonable damage, but you should only worry about that throw if
Shun is getting desperate and doing it repeatedly.

After the df+P+G: Shun can dodge towards Kage's back to land a guaranteed back
throw, or to Kage's open side to land a side throw - ultimately, though, it's
out of your hands and really does not matter. His df,f+P(P) is almost entirely
guaranteed. Dodge to avoid his b,df+P.

After the b,df+P+G: Shun has no guaranteed followups.

Throw         Reversed by     Situation when reversed

P+G           P+G             Neutral / slight positional advantage, Kage faces
                              Shun's side at ~45 degree angle

df+P+G        df+P+G          Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

b+P+G         b+P+G           Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range. Shun is pushed/rolls quite a 
                              distance away.

b,df+P+G      df+P+G          Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

Pounce avoidance: 

In general, rolling is the way to avoid all of his ground attacks...and he has
many. The most common are his u+P hopover heel smash and his df+P elbow drop.
Against a competent Shun who knows when to use them it's a rare circumstance
when you find yourself in a position to avoid either.

TFT combo: 

Shun is weird. His weight is ideal, but his height can present problems with
the CD length needed. It's almost necessary to treat him as a mid-heavy weight.
If you get the knee right, then you're free to nail him with any combo as if he
were a lightweight. 

5.12 Versus Taka:

Taka is far more powerful than many would regard him. In the right hands he has
the potential to melt your lifebar away quicker than any other character. He is
_not_ weak or underpowered.

Most Taka's will play aggressively - Taka shines when his opponent becomes
defensive and/or doesn't know what to do. Generally his moves are too slow and
throwing is often too awkward to be productive when played defensively. Most
will take huge risks, at any angle; Taka has very few moves that are truly
safe. Try to keep your distance, as well. He becomes more effective the closer
he is to his opponent.

Important combat points:

- Taka's low punch is a massive pain. While he is at a huge disadvantage if
it's blocked or even if it hits (-8 and -6 framewise, respectively), it has a
huuuuge range and decent priority. Mainly it's used as a spacing tool,
something to stop and peck away at the opponent. Try to stagger or respond with
low attacks if they whiff.

- Taka's f+P+K strings are deceptive. They look somewhat similar to his low
punch, but they are mid level moves. His f+P+K is Px; uf+K; or throw
counterable if blocked; it is Px and (barely) throw counterable if it hits
normally. His f+P+K,P is uncounterable (+6 frames) and can be used to tick you.
The f+P+K,P,P is is Px; uf+K; or throw counterable if blocked. All can be b+P+K
reversed by Kage.

- Taka's f+P elbow is Px and throw counterable if blocked (+9 frames), and he
cannot execute it from crouch. His f+P,f,b+P+G elbow hit throw combo does
insane damage. However it can be avoided by _quickly_ attacking him with any
move of your own immediately after the elbow hits you, even if it MC's. This is
easier said than done, generally. Just be quick; don't stand there gawking. It
is, however, very difficult to avoid if the elbow staggers. Your best bet is to
mix up struggling times - don't struggle out of the stagger at consistent

- If you MC Taka during either his P; f+P+K; P+K+G; or df+P with either of
Kage's P; FC low punch; or df+K (non-knockdown), then Taka can throw _you_.
This is "Kurai Nage" in action. It may seem sort of innocuous, but some Taka's
do use this well...just be on the lookout for it.

- Taka's f,f+P string can be delayed, which can be a useful tactic for Taka to
attempt to save himself if the push is blocked. However, the following slaps
after the push can be b+P+K reversed by Kage, and both slaps are ub+K+G; Px;
uf+K; or throw counterable if blocked.

- Taka's low kick recovers high and is ub+K+G; Px; uf+K; or throw counterable
(+15 frames).

Dealing with Taka's throws: 

Taka really has it made when it comes to his throws. Plenty to choose from with
different throw commands, all of them do very respectable damage, and no single
throw escape situation leaves him at even a positional disadvantage to his
opponent. "Good luck" is all I can say...

As for low throws, Taka has only one. But don't think you get off easily here -
he has many vicious mid level attacks that can used in place of a low throw.

After the f+P+G: all followups do 60 points, however it is possible (but far
from guaranteed, avoid by rolling) for Taka to followup the b+P+G with his
df+PP ground punches. 

After the b,f+P+G: d+P+G (70 points) and b+P+G (75 points) are his most
damaging followups, but much moreso the d+P+G - with the d+P+G Taka can follow
with with a low kick OTB and then with a df+PP (which is possible but imhumanly
difficult to avoid) afterwards, bringing the damage up to ~106 points. 

If Taka lands either the b,f+P+G or f+P+G he has a fair bit of time to choose
which followup he'd like - it's usually best to pick one escape and just mash
it in repeatedly, as it is possible for the Taka player to simply enter his
choice after your own, leaving you SOL. If he does not use a followup, then
Kage will slough away from Taka outside of throw range after a second or so.
Taka does not take any damage.

Throw         Reversed by     Situation when reversed

P+G           P+G             Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

df+P+G        df+P+G          Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

f+P+G         f+P+G           Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

FC,b+P+G      b+P+G           Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

db+P+G        db+P+G          Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

f,f+P+G       f+P+G           Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

HCF+P+G       b,f+P+G         Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

df+P+K+G      df+P+K+G        Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

After the grab (f+P+G)

P+G           P+G             Kage elbows Taka for 5 points damage. Otherwise 
                              neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

d+P+G         d+P+G           Kage elbows Taka for 5 points damage. Otherwise 
                              neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

b+P+G         b+P+G           Kage elbows Taka for 5 points damage. Otherwise 
                              neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

After the catch (b,f+P+G) 

P+G           P+G             Kage elbows Taka for 5 points damage. Otherwise 
                              neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

d+P+G         d+P+G           Kage elbows Taka for 5 points damage. Otherwise 
                              neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

db+P+G        db+P+G          Kage elbows Taka for 5 points damage. Otherwise 
                              neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

b+P+G         b+P+G           Kage elbows Taka for 5 points damage. Otherwise 
                              neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

Pounce avoidance: 

Don't worry too much about his jumping ass bomb. It is horribly slow and it is
guaranteed only after his low back throw. It's also a good bet that it'll hit
after MC'ing with K and FC,df+P+K, but far from guaranteed. Roll, don't kip.

Avoid his b+K and df+PP ground slaps by rolling. His df+K stomp is best avoided
by kipping in most cases. It's generally not possible to avoid his stomps after
most big MC's from his f,f+Px, but with most other knockdowns you have a
chance, provided you struggle fast enough and choose the correct way to rise -
even after big MC's by his (FC,)b,f+P. Save for his b,f+P+G,d+P+G, all ground
stomps are avoidable after all of his throws by rolling the correct way.

Taka's d+K low kick hits OTB on many of his knockdowns and/or combos, and it is
his most damaging "ground attack". Unfortunately it's out of your hands - it'll
either hit or miss.

TFT combo: 

d+P+G or u+P+G :) Actually, it should be noted that if Taka is even slightly
slow to rise after the u+P+G version, a mid range leg pounce from Kage has a
suprisingly good chance of connecting - brutal damage. The u+P+G also leaves
him in a worse rising position than the d+P+G version.

5.13 Versus Wolf:

Kage is pretty well equipped to deal with Wolf, but if you find yourself at a
disadvantage to Wolf, it's not fun. He has throws that he can easily mix up,
and if his alternatives to throwing, such as the short shoulder, connect it's
usually very, very painful. Wolf is generally a straightforward, plain-Jane
vanilla character and most Wolf players play him in the same description - in
gross general terms, to get you at a disadvantage (positionally or recovery
wise), and then mix up throws or strike attacks. Kage's speed is your single
best advantage over Wolf. Use it - get up close and personal with him and take
the initiative.
Important combat points:    
- Wolf's short shoulder is evil. It's difficult to dodge, and it will often
just eat through so many of Kage's bread and butter moves, such as the elbow
and many times even his P. 

Kage has +11 frames of advantage over Wolf when the SS is blocked (same as his
f+K knee, often the favorite alternative to the SS). uf+K, Px or throwing are
your best bets to mC.

- Wolf's P is slow. Your punches and elbows have even better priority. Usually.
This is important because this is one major move that will be used to gain
advantage over you.

- Be aware that Wolf has a greater throw range, along with Jeff and Taka, and
this makes throwing, both normally and mC'ing, much easier for him.

Dealing with Wolf's throws: 

Wolf really does not have an overwhelming amount of throws to choose from, and
the majority leave him at a disadvantage if they are escaped. The problem is
that they are all extremely powerful, so if you guess wrong...

Obviously the most feared throw is his giant swing. This will probably be your
first choice to reverse...but then, good Wolves will know that. What to do,
what to do? Try your best.

After the f+P+G,df+P+G: there are no guaranteed followups for Wolf.

After the f+P+G,f+P+G,f+P+G: there are no guaranteed followups for Wolf.

If Wolf doesn't enter in a followup after the f+P+G or f+P+G,f+P+G, Kage will
slough away from Wolf after a moment. Wolf takes no damage. With the exception
of his f+P+G,f+P+G,b+P+G, Wolf cannot followup any of his f+P+G followups with
ground attacks or his d+P+G pickup.

After the d+P+G ground throw: there are no guaranteed followups for Wolf,
however it is still an _extremely_ uncomfortable situation. Struggling will
reduce your rigour time by a large bit, and d,UB+K will avoid or MC everything
Wolf can throw at you - but this is not always feasible. If you are against the
wall, Wolf has a guaranteed throw.

Throw         Reversed by     Situation when reversed

P+G           P+G             Neutral / Advantage Kage: facing Wolf's back 
                              within throw range.

df+P+G        df+P+G          Neutral / Advantage Kage: Kage faces downed Wolf. 
                              Ring reversed.

df,df+P+G     df+P+G          Advantage Kage: back throw. 

HCF+P+G       b,f+P+G         Neutral, both characters rise facing eachother 
                              outside of throw range.

HCB+P+G       f,b+P+G         Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

df+P+K+G      df+P+K+G        Neutral, both characters face opposite eachother. 
                              Ring reversed. u+P+G back turned catch throw will 
                              catch E'ing opponent.

d+P+K+G       d+P+K+G         Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

db+P+K+G      db+P+K+G        Neutral, both characters face opposite eachother. 
                              Ring reversed. u+P+G back turned catch throw will 
                              catch E'ing opponent.

- After the Catch (f+P+G):

P+G           P+G             Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

df+P+G        df+P+G          Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

db+P+G        db+P+G          Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

b+P+G         b+P+G           Neutral, both characters face eachother within 
                              throw range.

f+P+G         f+P+G           Advantage Wolf: Kage elbows Wolf for five points 
                              of damage. Wolf has a guaranteed throw; Kage can 
                              stop him from throwing by strike attacking.

= P+G         P+G             Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

= df+P+G      df+P+G          Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

= b+P+G       b+P+G           Neutral, both characters face eachother outside 
                              of throw range.

= f+P+G       f+P+G           Neutral, both characters face eachother within 
                              throw range.

Avoiding pounces/ground throws: 

Rolling is the best way to avoid all of his pounces - all of which are rather
difficult to avoid in most common circumstances. His df+P elbow drop is
avoidable after his df,df+P+G; df+P+G; and d+P+K+G throws. Just struggle away
from them.

The success of Wolf's ground throw depends much on the ability of the Wolf
player as well as circumstance such as terrain and range. The best way to avoid
them is obvious: simply struggle and rise as fast as possible. However, it is
unavoidable after: P+G back throw; b+P+G back throw; P+K+G low back throw;
df,df+P+G. Be aware of them after knee/SS combos and rising attack knockdowns.

TFT combo: 

He's heavy, but if you do the knee right, then TFT,Kn,PK,slide;
TFT,Kn,PKG,ub+K+G; or TFT,Kn,P,b+PK,df+K if you can. Go nuts if you're facing


Some more little chunks of info which you may or may not find useful.

6.1 Option select

The option select in VF3 is almost completely limited to one main area - the
loss of initiative and escaping throws. The OS in VF3 allows you to combine
several normal ways of regaining your initiative into one quick sequence of

Here's a quick list, in abbreviate form, of some of the throw escaping
techniques that the VF3 engine allows.

HT: high throw
LT: low throw
(L/H)TE: (low/high) throw escape
DTE: double throw escape
E: dodge
A: attack
R: reversal
G: guard

DTE: P+G, x+P+G. This technique will escape both command throws and the basic
P+G throw, should your opponent muck up his command throw attempt and get a P+G
throw instead, or whatever.

There is little extra added risk, it's not much extra work, you might very well
save yourself 40-60+ points, and you might even gain more on your opponent
(remember your throw escape followups). It's extremely effective against
certain characters and players. Getting into the habit of remembering to add
the P+G is the hardest part.

A-DTE / A-LTE: This is an interesting and sometimes very effective way of
avoiding both throws and attacks. It works because if your opponent is in a
position to have a guaranteed throw, and does throw you, any attacks entered
during rigour time won't come out in any case. But you can still escape your
opponents throw. And if your opponent does instead choose to strike attack, you
have a chance to interrupt their move with a move of your own, provided that
your move is fast enough. Of course, you have to choose which move to use
wisely depending on the situation and character you're fighting.

Probably the safest moves to use with Kage are his Px and his elbow; you have a
chance to interrupt numerous alternatives the opponent might have to throwing
you. Depending on the situation Kage's P may work against knees and heelkicks,
and will foil KG-throw attempts. His elbow may work on people attempting to
CD-throw or do CD-attack on you; often you can stagger them.

I'll just give an example to explain this, using one of the most common
examples of lost initiative - a blocked rising attack: Akira has just blocked
Kage's high rising kick. You, as Kage, quickly enter f+P, P+G, df+P+G. Akira
attempts to CD, FC,f+P+K, but because Kage recovers before Akira can fully
execute his shoulder ram, Akira recieves an elbow in the face and gets

So, in three commands you've eliminated the threat from three of Akira's
throws, and the elbow would have protected from a CD-throw attempt, as well as
the possibility of other slow attacks Akira might have tried. Of course, Akira
might have simply chosen to b,f+P+G throw Kage, or any other of his throws.

This technique is not going to work if you've just whiffed a kickflip or
anything similar like that. You should only try it when you have just enough
initiative to attack the opponent back.

E-DTE / E-LTE: This works similar to A-DTE, except it's a bit iffier than
A-DTE, because it really depends quite a bit on what attack the opponent does,
and in what situation. In some cases you might try this only to find that you
simply don't have enough initiative to dodge whatever attack opponent has
chosen. It works simply because while you can be thrown out of E's, you also
can escape throws during E's.

Let's use the blocked rising attack scenario again. You've just had your rising
attack blocked. Because you don't have enough initiative, you won't be able to
dodge quick attacks or certain attacks that track you. But against, say, Kage
in a mirror match, you'll be able to dodge his heelkick (just remember to dodge
to the front), and you'll be able to dodge most knees from anyone, Wolf's short
shoulder, and so on. And of course, you still have a chance to reverse a throw
- provided you guessed right.

You can also use it after being low kick-MC'd, to prevent some people from
strike attacking you when they think you'll simply go for a throw escape. After
Akira lands a df+P+K on you may be a good time to try it. After some SE or ST
type throws, it's good to try and see if will work, as well; it could stop Lau
from being a bastard and throwing you after he just ST'ed you, and so on. Just
remember that if they don't do anything (for whatever reason), you'll simply
dodge and then get a nice big fat whiffed throw animation.

R-DTE & R-LTE: This option is only open to Kage because of his reversal. It
works similar to E-DTE, in that you can also be thrown out of reversal
attempts, but you can also buffer in throw escapes during missed reversal

Kage's HP reversal can prevent Akira from trying to SPoD or f+P+G you, or Aoi's
f+P+K,P after a blocked move or after a stagger. And you still have a chance of
escaping your opponents throw. 

Obviously Kage's use of R-TE is more limited than Akira or Aoi's use of it,
however if used right it can be extremely effective - especially against Shun.
b+P+K, P+G, df+P+G eliminates three of his most common and effective mC tools
in most situations.

Again, this is similar to A-DTE, in that you must have enough initiative to
reverse the attack. The (general, far from ironclad) rule of thumb is that if
you can block it, you can reverse it. I.e: you can block a SPoD attempt after a
blocked rising attack, so you can reverse the stun palm after a blocked rising
attack of yours. And so on.

Of course, they could just use a catch throw or non-reversable attack, or
simply use a throw that you didn't guess upon.

HT-LTE: This can be a good option against people with low throws, such as after
a low rising attack has been blocked at long range or (especially) if whiffed,
as in some situations they can have such borderline throw counterabilty.

Example: Jeffry has just blocked Kage's low rising attack at very long range.
As Jeff dashes in to bash Kage's head in, Kage enters in b+P+G, f+P+K+G. Jeff
is too far away and too slow to dash in, and gets Tossed out of his dash
forward. But if Jeff had been fast enough, Kage would have escaped Jeff's
triple knee bash.

This will also prevent people trying be fancy by trying to (low) side throw you
by dodging your low punch or high punch.

Of course, if they just do a mid like a knee or something, it's all in vain. 

E-LTE & A-LTE: Similar to their high throw counterparts.

G-DTE/GTE: G-DTE can only be entered during your recovery time. It cannot be
done in any other situation: not during staggers, not from standing, not during

The timing is very tricky, similar but not exactly like Akira's knee command.
The way to do it is to do a TE or DTE, and then after the final P+G command,
quickly let go of P, and keep holding G. If done correctly, there will be no
missed throw animation. Apparently it works because the throw escape command
can be entered 10 frames prior to the end of the recovery time, and if you
enter the TE/DTE during this time and are still holding the G button at the end
of the recovery phase, you don't get the missed throw animation. 

The implication of this is very important. If done correctly it can completely
eliminate any chance of the opponent mC'ing you. The rising attack situation
again: you've had your rising attack blocked against Akira. You enter P+G,
df+P+G, then release df+P and hold G. This will prevent three of his throws and
all of his slower attacks. It will not, however, protect against his P, as you
lack the initiative to be able to block it.

G-DTE also works with low throw escapes. So Kage, for example, can tap
db|d|df|f+P+K+G, hold G, and block without the resulting attack.

G-DTE is not infallible, though. As noted beforehand, it can only be entered
during rigour time. It won't work when you are staggered, because the opponent
can't throw you during a stagger anyway, which means you have simply DTE,
R/E-DTE, or attack-DTE. K,G and Jacky's d,d (among other movements) can foil
it, and even simple delays can foil it as well - ther is the possibility of the
opponent entering the throw command _after_ your final TE. It is also pointless
to bother with it after long recovery moves.

It's not fully known if there's a limit to how much you can mix and combine all
of these (i.e E-LTE-HTE, G-LTE, R-HT-LTE, and so on). Some say as much as you
can enter in 10 frames, and others say there's a limit of three specific

E-GTE is not mechanically possible as you cannot guard during the execution
phase of the dodge. You can, however, do it during the recovery period of a

Other tidbits:

K,G: Useful both offensively and defensively. If you are expecting your
opponent to make a throw escape attempt, or to throw you, you can enter K,G
during the time you would normally be expected to throw (or be thrown by) the
opponent. Ideally the opponent's throw[escape] attempt won't come out, as 
your kick will come first - and moves cannot be thrown. That results in a
whiffed throw by the opponent, and plenty of time for you to act on it.

Similarly, Jacky can do his switch stance (d,d) in place of the K,G technique
for the same results, but the timing is a bit less forgiving..it's riskier.

K+E,G: For Kage, K+E results in a dodge followed by a high kick. The
interesting part is that the dodge is a crouching dodge, and that the kick can
be cancelled. Timed right you can duck attacks that would normally hit a dodge.
However, you can still be thrown out of this dodge.

6.2 Fuzzy guard

What is fuzzy guard? Fuzzy guard is a manipulation of the game engine. If you
tap G while rising from a crouch during the execution of a move from your
opponent, there is a brief period where you will block or duck moves from any
hit level. There is also a _very_ brief period where you are invulnerable to

How do you use fuzzy guard effectively? Learn to place CD's (and/or your usage
of crouching) and your usage of the G button appropriately. This is an
extremely simple explanation, but it is a very time and feel based technique.
Here's one effective practice tool: approach a rising opponent with a CD,
tapping G when you expect the rising attack (either low or high - you don't
know which, but that is the point). Through practice and feel you will learn
how and when to apply it in your close-in game.

How do you defeat fuzzy guard? As mentioned before, fuzzy guard has brief
"holes" in its structure. It is very difficult to find them, but with enough
experience and constant struggle, you can find them and exploit them.

6.3 Kage-Maru's taunts, translated:

* "Katajikenai."
  "Thank you (for your gift/challenge)"
* "Namu..."
  "Amen...." ["amida Buddha"; a chant in Buddism]
* "Saraba ja."
  "Bye now!"
* "Shuugyou ga tarin."
  "Your training is not enough."
* "Waga kokoro sude ni kuu nari."
  "My mind is empty and clear (as a cloudless sky)"
* "Ware ni teki'nashi."
  "No one is worthy enough to be my challenge."

6.4 Dreamcast notes: 

As noted at the beginning I wrote this guide with the arcade version of VF3tb
in mind. This may or may not be a problem for readers since so few people (in
North America, at least) have or ever will play on the arcade version. However,
I am unrepentant in my view that the Dreamcast version is cheap, faulty
substitute for what is the true, canon version.

Kage is one of the most seriously affected characters by the errors in the
Dreamcast conversion. As this is an arcade guide, and as this is only a
disclaimer, I will not waste time with a thorough explanation, only a brief

- Most "Aoi only" arcade combos are possible on Sarah and Pai as well.
- The run+K slide is much easier to execute; Kage does not have to run as far
and be as far away from the opponent. 

- Among other high damage TFT combos, the TFT,Kn,PPK,slide is possible on all
characters save Taka on even terrain. TFT,Kn,P,PPK,slide is possible on all up
to Akira on even terrain, and on anyone on downhill terrain. 

- All characters except Taka can avoid Kage's f+P+G,DP sequence on even and
downhill terrain by simply crouch-inching forward.

- Game speed is 10-20% faster.


GLC                             For corrections, additions, and usage of rather
                                large parts of his VF3tb general faq, saving me 
                                the trouble of having to write out a huge chunk 
                                of basic info.

Mike Abdow                      For corrections, additions, and usage of parts 
                                of his VF3 BKK guide.     
Mike Chuang                     For corrections and additions.

Phil Armstrong                  For proofreading.                                
Jirawat Uttayaya                For his Gamest translations regarding the VF3 

Shota Tamura                    For taunt translations.

Dirk Tebben                     For writing his VF2 Kage strategy guide and 
                                giving an excellent template for a vs. guide.

Jan Andrew Bloxham              For writing his VF3 Wolf guide and offering an 
                                outstanding general formula for writing a VF 


"Tomorrow you all will start your training in the outside world. Keep in mind
that you must always be a good Ninja. Understand?"

    "Yes, Master!"

"You will never forget the Ninja commandment: Good must always win over Evil.
Now, go practice."

the end
(c) 2001 Richard S. Williams