ATHENA ASAMIYA FIGHTING STRATEGIES FAQ Version 1.2 Written by Henry Huang- "HH" Intended for use with KOF 97 Current release at http://members.tripod.com/~athenaasamiya/athfaq.html 5/1/98 Created 5/27/98 Modified "I love it when these battles go full contact!"-96 This FAQ carries no personal information about Athena. I assume that you are familiar with Athena's attacks. If you're in a rush, just note the paragraphs with ***** five stars around them*****. Three stars are a symbol for "NOTE". If you are a beginner, don't even think about choosing Athena. She is not a character that can use 3 or 4 good attacks to win. You must take advantage of Athena's entire arsenal to play effectively (that's good, because it makes her a deep character) and must have at least some skill in performing combos and juggles. If you don't know Athena that well yet, I suggest you read some of Lump's FAQ first... or simply play around with Athena for a while. *****ATHENA SHOULD ALWAYS BE IN ADVANCED MODE!!!***** -Version 1.2 Updates: More Terms New Setting Up the Super Psychic Throw Strategies (GOOD!) More and Modified Specific Character Strategies More Attacks Usage Customized for Universal Use -Version 1.1 Updates: Terms section made from Quick List of Attacks Attacks Usage General Pointers About the Game New and Modified Setting Up the Super Psychic Throw strategies Slightly modified Psychotic Combos and Juggles Slightly modified Blocker Strategy Specific Character Strategies-Far from complete CONTENTS 1.) Terms 2.) Attacks Usage 3.) Psychotic Combos and Juggles 4.) Setting Up the Super Psychic Throw 5.) General Pointers About the Game 6.) Psycho Soldier Strategy 7.) Life Chipper Strategy 8.) Blocker Strategy 9.) Specific Character Strategies- Incomplete 10.) Conclusion 1.) TERMS TOP-DOWN (overhead): An attack that unexpectedly hits through low blocks. FOOT GAMES (ground games, tanks): When you or the opponent begins sticking out ground attacks that usually have high priority and snuff or hit the other player out of their own attacks. SURE-KILL (special moves, special techniques): An attack that probably does more damage than normal attacks and must be done by using some type of complex controller/button motions. CHEAP: Attacking (usually throwing) your opponent when they are in a bad or unexpected position to defend against it. CROSS-UP: Using a jumping on the attack on the opponent so that you land on the other side of them. DESPERATION MOVES (super moves, super combos): These moves do more damage than normal moves and sure-kills, but require on super bar or for your life bar to be flashing. They are unblockable in the air. PERFECT (flawless): Since you'll get a lot of these, I'd better explain them. It means that you are the perfect Athena player! Here are Athena's special moves, sure-kill techniques, and desperation attacks. (Modified from Lump's FAQ... Lump_23@Hotmail.com) Specials: Chain Thigh : Fw + B Phoenix Bomb : Dn + B during mid-air Sure-kills: Psycho Ball : QCB + A or C Phoenix Arrow : HCB + A or C during mid-air Psycho Reflector : HCB + B or D Psycho Sword : DP + A or C Kuuchuu Psycho Sword : DP+ A or C during mid-air Psychic Teleport : QCF + B or D Super Psychic Throw : HCF + C while opponent is near Desperations: Shining Crystal Bit : Bk, HCB + A or C Phoenix Fang Arrow : QCF, QCF + A or C during mid-air 2.) ATTACKS USAGE Attack Key: Punch=P Strong Punch=SP Kick=K Strong Kick=SK Knockdown Attack=KD "Ground Attacks" *****Standing K: It has the best range and speed. Crouching K: It has almost as much range as the Standing K and is good for starting short chains. ***A number of characters have attacks that have a dominant priority over this (like Andy's crouching SK). Crouching SP: Goes over some low attacks but is slow to come out and recover. Standing SP: It has reach and power, but only use it if the other player isn't trying to play foot games with you because Athena is very vulnerable to crouching attacks when doing it. *****Standing SK: This attack goes over low attacks- even ones that go slightly upwards, like Shermie's crouching SK. The range is good, too. ******Chain Thigh (fw+K): Use it when you're close in because it has autoguard capability in the first part. "Jumping In Attacks" Forward KD: Good dominance over some attacks, but it knocks them down... and that's not what you really want when you jump in. Only jump in to start combos or if they're killing you on the ground. Forward SK: It has long reach. Forward K: Basically the same move as the SK, except it comes out faster. Forward SP: I don't consider this as good as the SK, but it seems to work well for whatever reason and you can tag a Phoenix/Fang Arrow onto it. Phoenix Bomb (dwn+K): Great priority!! When you do this after a running hop, it even butts in the way of sure-kill uppercut attacks sometimes! This would be the ultimate jumping in attack if Athena didn't actually bounce off her opponent once it connected. Still, it is a good way to distance yourself from them. Run over to the opponent and hop with Athena's Phoenix Bottom... er, Bomb sticking out to discourage them from trying air counters as it will usually hit them or at least trade hits. ***If the Phoenix Bomb is blocked... you're in trouble. *****"Cross-Ups" Forward K: Although you can't combo after this attack connects, cross-ups are still uncommon in KOF and that makes it very valuable. I'm not sure which way the opponent has to block when you do it, though. But be sure to attempt a Super Psychic Throw when you land behind them. ***You must press K early in your jump for this to cross-up. ***It is very hard to cross-up short/hunching characters Strong Phoenix Arrow: When you land behind them and they are not already blocking, they will have to change the direction of their block or they will get hit by your pretty kick! Very tricky!! "Air Counters" Psycho Sword: Generally Athena's all-purpose air counter. The priority is seemingly improved from KOF 96, but it still does very little damage (not like any other uppercut moves do-except maybe Sie...). If you do it too late you'll get hit. Shining Crystal Bit ***SDM ONLY: They'll think twice about jumping in after getting hit by this one. But that could be bad, since people who go airborne are generally more vulnerable then those that stay on the ground. *****Standing K: This works very well against jumping K's. It is also an easy choice when they jump in on you while you were chipping away at them with standing K's! The only downside is that the move is weak. "Roll Reactions (when they roll in)" *****Super Psychic Throw: The best thing to do! The only problem is, if they roll behind you, you'll do a Psycho Ball instead. "Hop Move Counters (attacks that go over low attacks)" Shining Crystal Bit: See "Shining Crystal Bit" below for details. "Psycho Ball" It's a good idea to throw this at an opponent while they're getting up; they get a whole notch of block damage!! "Phoenix Arrow" It does great damage and it can be a really confusing move. The only downside is that it is easily countered. The best way to get this to connect is to by doing it after a hop. ***** If your opponent is dumb enough to shoot a projectile at you from mid- distance, than jump over it and Phoenix Arrow them. "Psycho Sword" A counter for jumping in attacks and not much else. Just remember that you can't do it late or you'll trade hits (and they'll do more damage to you than you do to them). "Psychic Teleport" If you use this at all, don't use it more than once or twice per round. It's very easy to get hit or thrown while doing this move. "Super Psychic Throw" Athena's best move!!! I've given a whole section to it further below. *****"Shining Crystal Bit" DM- It does 25% damage and destroys projectiles both normal and DM (like Chin's Roaring Space Flame Burn [Yoga Flame] and Billy Kane's Super Flame Whirlwind Cane. ***This move can hit twice for 50% damage depending on where your opponent is and what he/she is doing. When you are very close to the opponents and they are doing special moves, this usually hits twice. It has happened in the following instances for me: In the air with Kim as he was beginning his Hienzan (upperward kick). Jumping in on Yashiro as he was doing his Missile Might Bash (forward rushing punches). Jumping in on Ralf when he was doing his Vulcan Punch (rapid punches). Jumping on top of Terry during his Rising Tackle (the upside down uppercut). *****Clark's Running Three (the DM where he grabs you, makes a flying kind of pose while running forward with you, and then throws you down). This worked because Clark was nearly upon Athena when the Crystal Bit came out. I did it when he was a little less than half a screen away. It probably works on other running DM's. *****Ryo's RaiJinSatsu (top-down hopping punch). This one isn't hard to do, and it's a nasty trick on them!! *****"Phoenix Fang Arrow" SDM- The chances of you getting this move to hit the other opponent are very low... But it does 33% block damage!!! Use it to finish your last opponent off!!! And believe me, if they see this move coming, they will block it by trained DM reaction!!! So be sure to pull it off when you are high up in the air so they will not accidentally try to uppercut you (because there is a good chance they will succeed!). I have used this technique many times to make amazing (well, not amazing, but unexpected) comebacks! ***Don't do this if you're only trying to get free damage on them. You are open to any attack that hits low after they block your Fang Arrow. *****If your opponent is dumb enough to shoot a projectile at you from mid- distance, jump over it and Fang Arrow them. 3.) PSYCHOTIC COMBOS AND JUGGLES *****"50% Damage Psychic Psycho Combo+Juggle"***** Jumping SK, Standing/Crouching SP, Super Psychic Throw, Strong Psycho Reflector Difficulty Rating: Intermediate ***You must time the Psycho Reflector so that Athena does it instantly after her opponent is tossed up by the Super Psychic Throw... this combo does not work if the Phoenix Reflector sends Athena far into the corner: the enemy will fall in between her and the giant energy ball. If, however, you go just into the corner with this combo, you can tag on a Shining Crystal Bit for MASSIVE damage if you're quick. So what the heck do you do if you did the Jumping SK, standing SP, and Super Psychic Throw while you're in/near the corner??? Hee hee hee. You do a 60% damage combo+juggle instead!!! Actually, this combo can only be done when you've got them exactly in the corner. *****"60% Damage Psychic Psycho Psycho Corner Combo+Juggle"***** Jumping SK, Standing/Crouching SP, Super Psychic Throw, Normal Psycho Reflector, Strong Psycho Sword Difficulty Rating: Master ***After the Super Psychic Throw, go forward an eensy weensy step. VERY small step. Time a normal Phoenix Reflector so that it gets 4-hits and knocks them as high up as possible. Then immediately do a strong Psycho Sword or SP. Use the SP if you are unsure of your juggle timing because if a Psycho Sword misses you're open to attack. If you have your super meter charged, you can do a Shining Crystal Bit (75% damage) instead of the Psycho Sword, or a jumping attack and then a Shining Crystal Bit. I don't highly recommend it, though, because doing the Shining Crystal Bit will leave you in a bad position. But it is still infinitely easier to pull off than the Psycho Sword juggle. *****5% Damage 3-Kick "Chain" Combo***** Crouching K, Crouching K, Standing K (skip the second crouching K if you are at a distance) Difficulty Rating: Beginner ***5%?? Why bother then? This combo is great if you are in the mid-distance area from your opponent. The crouching K is probably one of Athena's most far-reaching moves (which isn't far, since she's so cutely petite!). And it is easy to do this combo over and over again to damage the other player PSYCHOlogically. Do this a couple of times, and then you can start looking for chances to jump in and do that %50 damage combo when your opponent starts going crazy and makes lots of mistakes. 4.) SETTING UP THE SUPER PSYCHIC THROW The Super Psychic Throw is a great setup for a strong Psycho Reflector or a Shining Crystal Bit (if you are not Psychic Throwing them into the corner, you must dash forward a bit or jump at them and then do the Shining Crystal Bit- be sure to form and release the Crystal Shoot immediately afterwards). Overall, the Super Psychic Throw should be your set up to major attacks. Below are the three types play that your opponent might use. This will affect how you go about setting up the Super Psychic Throw. ***Whenever possible, tag on a SP before the Super Psychic Throw for a little extra damage. Blockers If you jump in, they block. If you Phoenix Arrow, they block, etc, etc. Athena fights well against these types. Normal Move Counter Attackers What are normal-move-counter-attackers? Let's say you do a Phoenix Arrow at them and they do some kind of standing punch that knocks you out of it. That's a normal counter attack. If you throw a Psycho Ball at them, they will jump it or roll under it and try and hit you. That's also a normal counter attack. Sure-kill Counter Attackers Let's say that the opponent uses an uppercut move, like the Psycho Sword, to stop your Phoenix Arrow. That's a sure-kill counter attack. And let me say, these guys are the most annoying! But they are also the most likely to make mistakes!! Rollers They try and either roll forward or roll away! No fair! Come back! It isn't that bad, though, as Athena is pretty good at hitting people even if they roll away. Evaders These types are basically Rollers in Extra Mode. They evade attacks. *****"Where'd She Go?" Use on anyone, but mostly Blockers I discovered this technique by accident, but it has proven to work very well. When an opponent blocks your jumping in 50% damage combo, then do the SP and two-in-one into a Normal Psychic Teleport. You will go behind them while they are blocking dumbly and will be able to attack!!! The best thing to do is to hop straight up and then do the 50% damage combo again, or go for the Super Psychic Throw or a normal throw. ***I actually suggest you only use this as a last ditch surprise technique. You don't have to use this technique to win, and it will only work until your opponent catches on... *****"The Flash!!" (No, it's not what you want to think it is!!!) Use on reaction to opponent's mistake If an opponent is vulnerable to attack at a distance, like after a sure-kill attack that pushes them back a little when blocked, dash up to them like the Flash and Super Psychic Throw them. You will connect many more Super Psychic Throws if you can train yourself to do this on reaction. ***The Super Psychic Throw can be done instantly while dashing. "You're Okay!!!" Use on people who are half asleep After you've knocked an opponent down, position yourself a few steps away. Athena is so overjoyed when they get back up that she'll run over and grab them... with a Super Psychic Throw! "Is That Legal???" Use on Blockers and Normal Move Counter Attackers Cross them up with a jumping K. When you land behind them, Super Psychic Throw them. This only works as a "surprise" tactic. *****"Phoenix Arrow Trained Cheap" Use on Blockers and Evaders Do the Strong Phoenix Arrow on them a couple of times. Characters cannot effectively evade this move so they will probably block it instead. So they will block your Arrow and the pretty kick that comes after it. Once you have them "trained" into blocking the pretty kick after your strong Phoenix Arrow, begin doing the normal Phoenix Arrow. Immediately after you land right next to them (normal Phoenix has no pretty kick at the end), do the Super Psychic Throw! This technique works very well. Then begin mixing it up, just so they get concentrated on that... and move to another strategy!! ***You don't need to start with the Strong Phoenix Arrow. Most people will naturally stay blocked just to prevent risk of getting hit by the pretty kick, so you can just start doing the normal version and Psychic Throw them when you land. ***What if you actually connect with the normal Phoenix Arrow? You probably won't be in range for a throw, so you may consider doing the 3-Kick "Chain" Combo or sticking out a crouching SK. "Across-the-Screen-Too-Slow-To-Surprise-Throw" Use on Blockers, Evaders, and people with slow reactions Have the enemy knocked down a full screen's distance from you. You can set that up by hitting them with a Psycho Ball after a Super Psychic Throw, hitting them with a Phoenix Bomb (the jumping butt smash), throwing them, etc. Send a normal Psycho Ball coming towards them so that it is approaching them as they get up. Because they are blockers or have slow reactions, they will block it. As soon as you are recovered from your Psycho Ball, do a Strong Psychic Teleport to go all the way across the screen. This may cause the game to slowdown so it doesn't work as a surprise!!! Super Psychic Throw the person while they are getting out of their block. ***Only do this for variation or for fun (Athena teleports in slow motion- I love it!). "Reflector on Blockers" Use on anyone... but mostly Blockers Get near the enemy when you've knocked them down and do a normal Psycho Reflector so they have to block it when they get up. Then walk up and Super Psychic Throw them. ***Doesn't sound like it'll work? Try it on blockers and you'll be in for a pleasant surprise. "Strange But True" Use on Blockers Jump in without attacking and then Super Psychic Throw them! *****"Ei ei ei ei!" Use sparingly on all You may want to try rolling towards your enemy and then Super Psychic Throw them when you recover. Also, try and roll forward so you end up behind them and then Super Psychic Throw. Sometimes, start rolling forwards then instantly rolling backwards. Follow the backwards roll with a hopping strong Phoenix Arrow or by jumping in for a combo while they are confused (they will probably be sticking out random moves trying to hit you). Remember to use running rolls when you are farther away. "Psycho ei ei ei!" Use on slow reaction Counter Attackers This tactic is risky and depends greatly on the reaction time of your opponent. From across the screen, throw a Psycho Ball at them, and if they jump at you, do a forward roll to end up behind them and Super Psychic Throw them. Most of the time, they will jump fast enough to whack you before you can roll, so watch out! Otherwise, you can either attempt a Psycho Sword or try to teleport to the other side of the screen and start all over again. *****"Come to Me" Use on Normal Move Counter Attackers and Sure-kill Counter Attackers This is the only effective tactic that I've been able to come up with against fighters who possess terrific air counters and ground attacks who can knock Athena back constantly. LET THEM COME TO YOU INSTEAD! Crouch while holding back. If your opponent throws a projectile or some sure-kill technique at you, block it. If they start doing it repeatedly, you can safely jump in and combo them or roll in and either Super Psychic Throw or do a standing SP depending on your distance. If they jump in on you, do a Psycho Sword or Shining Crystal Bit (Crystal Bit will probably trade hits unless it's SDM, but you'll do more damage). If they walk towards you, then stick out a standing SP to hit them when they are in range. The SP doesn't have much priority so if you're concerned try a standing or crouching K instead. Hopefully, you will have enticed the other player into playing foot games with you. Now, when they have started sticking out attacks, just roll in and Super Psychic Throw them. One other thing could happen.... they could roll in on you when YOU are sticking out attacks. Not good. You'll have to risk it. *****"Attack Dominance" Use on Normal Move Counter Attackers Use this strategy only if the other player doesn't have very good air counters. Jump in with a SP, which will hopefully have priority over the counterattack your opponent uses. Instantly perform the normal Phoenix Arrow while you are still airborne. Now walk up and Super Psychic Throw them. "PSYCH-o!!!" Use on Sure-kill Counter Attackers and Rollers Position a normal Phoenix Arrow so that Athena lands a small distance away from them. Hopefully, your opponent will have incorrectly estimated his/her distance from you and tried to uppercut you. Proceed to move in and Super Psychic Throw them when they land. If they were Rollers, they will have tried to either roll away or towards you. If they rolled towards you, Super Psychic Throw them. Toss a Psycho Ball or do a Strong Psycho Reflector to chase them depending on distance is they rolled away. *****"PSYCH-o Number Two" Use on Counter Attackers From a full screen distance do a normal Psychic Teleport (travels halfway across the screen). If your opponent anticipated a full screen teleport they will stick out an attack of some sort. Whatever it is, they are probably not ready to counter you so jump in and combo them! "Chain Thigh Throw" Use on all After doing a close, two-hit chain thigh (fw+K), walk forward slightly. Then two-in-one from a standing SP to a Super Psychic Throw. 5.) SOME GENERAL POINTERS ABOUT THE GAME *****Hopping in for a combo is much more effective than jumping in for one. There is slightly less time for the other player to counter/react. *****Here's a pointer for any fighting game: DESTROY YOUR OPPONENT TO YOUR FULLEST ABILITY EVERY TIME THEY MAKE A MISTAKE!!! That is, do as much damage to them as possible! Don't throw them or use a crouching SK! Use a Fang Arrow, or two-in-one from a standing SP to a Super Psychic Throw. If you can train yourself to do this all the time, then you'll be a great player in any fighting game!! Athena should always be in Advanced mode. If both you and your opponent have at least 50% of your life left, I suggest that you MAX out with your super meter. Otherwise, just spend it on DM's. ***Don't MAX out if you know that you will get very few chances to hit your opponent. ***Its even better to MAX out if you have two supers ready, so you can do a Fang Arrow for 33% block damage! RARELY jump in on characters who have DM's that can hit you in the air. Stay grounded and move in and out playing foot games. They will most likely get too eager to spend their super meter and just waste it. ***Never do that yourself!!! Don't roll in on throw characters either in general or when they have their meters charged. If you keep your distance, they will probably try to use running throws. Just hit them with a standing K (any move is fine) or Shining Crystal Bit. If you're kicking butt, don't forget to taunt!! 6.) PSYCHO SOLDIER STRATEGY This is a strategy that the CPU Athena used against me and it proved really effective for a few rounds. The thing about the Psycho Soldier Strategy is to play like a psycho. Constantly do Psychic Teleports, then Psycho Balls, then maybe another teleport or a Phoenix Arrow. You get the idea. Just move around like crazy and keep attacking. It freaked the hell out of me the first few times, but this strategy can easily be put to an end with calmness and well-timed attacks. 7.) LIFE CHIPPER STRATEGY Use this strategy within a bigger strategy. The game of the Life Chipper is to nip away at the opponent's life bar through consistent block damage from sure-kill techniques, playing lots of foot games (not really that smart for Athena, but you want to see her use those nice-looking attacks, right?), and of course, suddenly pulling off a combo when the opponent thought you were going to try and chip off their life all day. In extra mode, you can constantly do Fang Arrows when your life bar is flashing for great block damage. Every sure-kill attack other than the Psycho Sword and Super Psychic Throw takes off good block damage without too much risk. Use normal Psycho Reflectors when they are getting up, Psycho Balls at a distance and sometimes mid-range (for surprise), and strong Phoenix Arrows from different jump heights everywhere else. For foot games, do lots of crouching K into standing K or crouching K into Chain Thigh (fw+K). The SK is great for going over low attacks (It looks soooooo cool!!). The crouching SP should have priority over some crouching attacks. *****8.) BLOCKER STRATEGY****** For one reason or another, I have noticed that very few people I play like to cheap (it's much harder in KOF than in SF) or cross up. And since people don't cheap much, you can just sit there and block for a loooong time (they'll probably throw you eventually or use a top-down attack, but still...). While you're blocking, you can get a great idea of the opponents playing style. Plus, some sure-kill attacks that your opponent does on you will leave them wide open for Super Psychic Throws. If they actually back off and start throwing projectiles at you, then just Psycho Reflector them or block then jump in. If it's another type of distance move, try to roll through it and attack. Otherwise, you will be able to check out what kind of attacks they like to use on offense. From there figure out if you'd rather roll towards them to set up a Super Psychic Throw, jump in, teleport, or whatever strategy. *****While blocking, constantly do the Super Psychic Throw motion and then return to block position. If the Psychic Throw doesn't connect, you will remain blocking! So do it over and over again!! Roll in or past the opponent when they do moves such as Yamazaki's Snake Tamer (the whip move), Robert's RyuGekiKen (fireball), or any move that either is quick to start and finish (Mai's RyuEnBu- flaming tail spin), keep's the opponent stationary (Benimaru's Raioken- electrical fist), or moves forward a short distance. Jump in on those that stick out lots of random ground attacks because they will have the least time to defend themselves when you jump in. Anything else I leave up to you! 9.) SPECIFIC CHARACTER STRATEGIES For now, this is just a short note on the most important things to watch out for against each character. Kyo: It is only to be expected that Kyo is a very strong character. A good Kyo will be able to knock you out of jump in attacks most of the time with his Demon Scorcher (spinning uppercut), so jump in when they aren't expecting it. Even if you do get hit by a Demon Scorcher, the damage is only equivalent to one SP, so don't worry too much about it. His Final Showdown Secret Technique (the flaming column DM followed with the repeated punches) also hits you out of the air but it must be done early to work. Many of Kyo's move have autoguard. Even though they only do damage equivalent to that of a strong attack, they are annoying and they make an abrupt stop to your assault. Fortunately, many of these moves can be dodged and will leave Kyo open to attack! Not the actually autoguard attack, though: Kyo's autoguard attacks can be chained into continuing sure-kills... and most Kyo's always do the full chain. If they stop then there is a long pause. So you can roll past the first attack in the sequence and attempt to retaliate as Kyo is doing his chain. Or you can block and see if Kyo stops the "chain." Then Psychic Throw him. In addition to the brilliant autoguard crap in Kyo's repertoire, he's also got an "attack catch" move called the Snipping Night Bird (???). Most Kyo's will do this after missing sure-kills attacks and such, because they are expecting retaliation of some sort. Hit them with a Psycho Ball instead of using a normal move because he can't grab that. You may want to simply attack when Kyo is stuck in his uppercut pose (he does an uppercut if their is no attack to grab). You don't want to sit and wait to counter when you see an opening, either. Kyo has a lot of top-downs and tricky moves. His RED Kick (it's like Terry's CrackShoot, a flipping kick that goes over low attacks) is such a move. It is top-down and goes over low attacks. Plus, it knocks you down right next to him. This allows Kyo to immediately set up his next attack on you. IMO, it is Kyo's best move! Kyo can mix this with a bunch of autoguard attacks to really mess you up. I don't know of any good way to take advantage of this move. Overall, just try to work off of Kyo's mistakes. Benimaru: I'm not very good at fighting Benimaru with any character. Benimaru has a superior defense. A very cheap defense, if I might add He's got great air counters, like the Raijinken/Raikoken (DM) (electric fist). He's also got the Lightning Flash Kick. On the ground, he's just as deadly. His ShinkuKateGoma (spinning on one-handed low kick) is the single most annoying move in the game IMO. As far as I know, you can't attack him with anything after blocking it unless you're close in with him. In general, he can do it to you whenever you're in range for it (which is like, two-thirds of the screen away from him), and inflict good damage/block damage. So what the do you do? You can actually trade hits with Benimaru's ShinkuKateGoma, but I think it's too risky. If you just sit there and wait for him to attack, then he can repeatedly do ShinkuKateGoma's to you or dash up and use the Benimaru Koreda (electric shock grab). If you jump anywhere, he'll hit you with an air counter. If walk around on the ground, he'll get you with his ShinkuKateGoma. ARGHH!!! I can't confirm this because I don't play this way in KOF myself, but I'd say that if you were a Normal Move Counter Attacker (see Setting Up the Super Psychic Throw), you'd do best against Benimaru. Daimon: Even though he's supposed to be strong 'cuz he's a Hero Team member, he really isn't if you know how to fight him. Here's the gist of it. The base of his attacks are throws. He can throw you in a number of ways: getting next you, grabbing you when you are attacking, or running towards you. A lot of his throws don't even do much damage (equal to two SP's)! Have I mentioned how skillful Athena is in the art of staying away?? You can always jump off the walls to get away from Goro if you're cornered. Usually, you can jump off the wall and do a strong Phoenix Arrow. Characters with a projectile or DM of some sort may use those on you if you try that... but Goro lacks in those areas. He's not likely to bother you. If he does, just forget running away. Chip away at his life bar with standing SP, crouching and standing K, and standing SK. Goro has a pathetic ground game. For such a large character, he sure doesn't have much range. His moves are not "positioned" very well, either, if you know what I mean. If you constantly escape Goro, he will most likely be less pressed on throwing you and more concerned about simply hitting you. Then you can start jumping in and using Phoenix Arrows. If you knock him down, throw a Psycho Ball at him as he gets up, but consider throwing it slightly late. The usual Goro will try to Mine Quake (slams his fists into the ground), but you'll be recovered and will be able to jump in on him for a combo. By the time Goro knows enough not to do the Mine Quake or tries to fake it... he'll already be dead. Terry: Like Kyo, he is a strong character by default. Fortunately, the roll will take care of the majority of his sure-kill attacks. You can easily roll (dashing roll suggested) past his Power Wave (ground flame) and then two-in-one from a close SP to a Super Psychic Throw. Also, you can just trade hits with the Power Wave by using a standing SP or SK, and you will do the same amount of damage to Terry as he does to you. Block his Power Knuckle (charging blue-flame fist) and use a SP punch right afterwards. I believe you can do that with the Crack Shoot, too. Terry has an excellent air defense. His Rising Tackle upside down uppercut) does good damage for its hitting ability. The move has autoguard in the beginning (so that the player can time it to come out very late and the move will still hit you... unlike Athena's Psycho Sword) and probably has a 99.99% hit rate if you're jumping towards them. In addition to this, Terry also has his damned Power Geyser (the DM Power Wave). He can knock you out of the air with this, but he probably has to be watching for you to jump since it has to be done somewhat early in order to hit you in time. This can be used to your advantage. Terry will probably be too concerned with waiting for you to jump-in and stop concentrating on attacking and normal counter-attacking as much. Take the time to either use constant standing SP's, SK's, etc. or don't do any at all and just try to Super Psychic Throw Terry. If Terry uses the Rising Tackle on the ground, he is taking a big risk. The move has autoguard, but if he misses he is really open to attack. Move in after a missed Rising Tackle and two-in-one from a standing SP to a Super Psychic Throw to a Strong Psycho Reflector. If you see that Terry is trying to hit you on the ground by autoguarding past your attacks with the Rising Tackle, then start tricking him. Walk forward slightly and down stick any attacks out. Hopefully, he bite the bait and you'll have another fine opportunity to inflict great damage upon him. Terry's Power Charge (should ram that knocks you up into the air) is another move to watch out for. He can tag on a DM after it for great damage. Now what does all this mean? It means that you should be blocking most of the time when you are at the one-to-three body distance from Terry. If you don't, you might get hit by a Power Charge or Rising Tackle. But if he does either of those and you block, you can retaliate! Andy: It's a waste of time talking about this guy. Although he has a good normal attacks, that alone never makes a good fighter. The majority of his sure-kill attacks aren't strong and leave him way open to a counter attacks if blocked. Just watch out for that ShoRyuDan (uppercut). It's another one of those air counters. Also, the HiShoKen (flaming palm) is a fast move. Joe: Once again, not exactly too threatening. His sure-kills, like Andy, leave him open to attack, but in different ways. His Machine Gun punch never stops on time, his Slash Kick has a large recovery time if blocked, and the Hurricane Upper will completely miss if you are close to him. Plus, you can easily roll through a Hurrican Upper to attack. The Golden Heel (air kick) simply doesn't work!! Of course, Joe still has great air counter ability. His Screw Upper (DM Hurricane Upper) is a truly deadly move on you when you jump in. The Tiger Kick is Joe's standard air counter attack. Joe's ground attacks are okay, but not good enough to give him an edge. The best way to beat him is by playing defensive-offense. Roll through/under attacks. Block and retaliate, etc. Ryo: If this guy is supposed to be really powerful, I don't really know why. His HienShippuKyaku (spinning air kicks) should be blocked. If you get hit by it, try to hit him immediately when he lands. The KoHo (uppercut) works well, but it doesn't give him an advantage since most characters also have uppercut moves. The KoOKen (fireball) is only useful in combos and as a wimpy fireball shield. Ryo's best sure-kill is the RaiJinSatsu (jumping punch). It goes over low attacks and is a top down. Just be wary of it and you'll be able to block/counter it. His ground attacks are nothing special, and neither are his DM's. The HaohShoKoKen is nearly always blockable, and you can even jump over it with out much risk of being hit. The TenchiHaoKen (unblockable punch) isn't too hot, either. If it hits at all (not likely), it doesn't do "DM worthy" damage. His RyuKoRanbu (attack flurry) is your standard, easy-to-block-at-the- start DM. Robert: There isn't enough that's different about this guy from Ryo to merit much more discussion. The HienRyuJinKyaku (diving air kick) should be nothing if you're use to Benimaru's. His RyuZanSho (flipping kick) is useless since he's already got the Ryu Ga (uppercut). The ??? (jumping multi-kick) DM is pretty easy to get hit by, but it won't kill you. Unfortunately, he can also add a jumping multi-kick after a RenBuKyaku (the close-up series of kicks that knocks you into the air). That will do 50% damage, but don't get obsessed with avoiding that. Yuri: One of the, if not the weakest characters in the game. There's nothing you really have to worry about when fighting her. Except her annoying voice. ***Actually, I think Yuri may be SNK's payback for Capcom's Dan. Although Yuri doesn't look like any Capcom character, lots of her moves are in the vein of Sakura's. Mai: Phew! It's getting hot in here... oh wait. It's just Mai Shiranui! A number of Mai's sure-kills will leave her open to attack. In specific, you can retaliate after a HissatsuShinobibachi (flying elbow), and a RyuEnBu (flaming tale spin) if you dash forward. Never throw projectiles when close because she'll retaliate with her SuchoNoMai (multiple fan throw). Instead, you can throw a Psycho Ball from a distance when Mai is getting up. If Mai does the SuchoNoMai then you can super jump over and combo her. King: Here's a good tactic. Watch if King likes to Double Strike (double projectile) your Psycho Ball or do a Surprise Rose (flip up then downwards kick) it. Maybe King will merely block, jump, etc. If she does the Double Strike, then fire a Psycho Ball from across the screen when King is getting up so that she has time to react to it. If King does a Double Strike, you can easily jump over the second Strike to combo her. King's (DM Trap Shot) will get you sometimes when you are jumping. Watch out for it. Chang: This guy sucks at jumping over and rolling through fireballs. A Chang player is likely to choose to do the Iron Ball Swing or the Iron Ball Smashing Attack. Both have auto guard. Just attack immediately after they're done. Try and stay either at a far distance from Chang or very close. When far, throw more Psycho Balls than usual. When close, simply keep up a constant attack until he does his Iron Ball Swing (most Chang players will do that). Choi: It's very easy to retaliate after this guy's sure-kills, but his TatsuMakiShipuZan (tornado) can do massive damage if he hits you correctly. Let Choi attack you, and then hit him when he's recovering. Don't jump in when he's got a super meter charged because he'll use the DM TastuMakiShippuZan. If he ever does that attack and misses, then get near him and crouch while blocking. When he's done, you can run up and Super Psychic Throw, or even try to go for a combo. Yamazaki: This guy is a high-damage character in general, so don't let him combo you (or you'll lose about 45% life if you're against a good Ryuji). Encourage him to resort to Snake Tamers (the really fast whip), rather than using anything else by staying a mid-distance from him. Stay grounded, and walk up. The Snake Tamer won't do killer damage if you get hit by it. Start rolling through them and then Super Psychic Throwing him. If he fakes them, then he still won't have much time to defend himself. Now that Ryuji is with the mind-set that you are staying on the ground, jump in (normal jump suggested) and combo. If Ryuji is offense, you can still roll through many of his moves. Ryuji has a looong range with his normal attacks, so you don't want to play foot games with him unless you're close in. If he tries to do Judgment Daggers (the charging knife slashes), then roll through them and then run up to Super Psychic Throw. Don't throw Psycho Balls or Shining Crystal Shoots at him because he can reflect them without difficulty using his Double Return (projectile catch). The Tongue Challenge (taunt and counter) is an effective move, but it doesn't do enough damage and is not consistent enough to work well. Many of your attacks will either connect or his counterattack will miss you otherwise. In terms of jumping in on Ryuji, his high Snake Tamer will hit you out well enough. But some seem to believe that the Guillotine (DM shoving you across the ground) will grab you when you jump in. That is not true (most of the time, at least). It has a very bad percentage of connecting or even hitting you (Ryuji usually gets hit instead). You may want to jump in purposely in an attempt to get Ryuji to waste a meter. Shermie: The best way to fight Shermie depends greatly on how the other player is using her. If they try to constantly throw, or set up throws, then you are fairly safe using standing K's to keep her from getting close in any way. It will knock her out of the air, hit her when she's close, and hit her when she dashes. It will also hit her when she uses Axle Spin Kick (the flip and then kick). Just watch out for that damn Shermie Whip (legs forward). It has autoguard, but if she misses with it... you can destroy her. Use other ground moves as well, like SP and SK. Most of Shermie's ground attacks are incredibly ineffective unless they are used as air counters. Just watch out for her knockdown and top-down attacks. They are a bit trickier. 10.) CONCLUSION Using these strategies, I am pretty sure you and Athena will be racking up the wins. The best way to go about playing people is to beat your opponent so badly in the beginning (they'll never expect to see 50% damage come off from one combo... and for it to start happening a lot will really drive them crazy!), so that they just walk away from the machine after the first match. Of course, no one else in the arcade may want to challenge you without picking an Orochi player... so be careful not to beat them too badly!