Samurai Shodown III : Blades of Blood Bust Ukyo Strategy Guide version 3.0 April 27, 1996 send comments/corrections/suggestions/ASCII art :) to Jeff Leung (JefLeung@cory.EECS.Berkeley.EDU) This guide and future versions of it can be found at WWW: http://www-scf.usc.edu/~edju/Ukyo.html http://styx.ios.com/~damone/ss3page.html http://www4.NCSU.EDU/eos/users/j/jzyang/www/ukyo.html http://leonardo.gprep.pvt.k12.md.us/~mehdim/ukyo.html FTP: ftp://ftp.southwind.net/users/b/bchapman NOTE: Anyone posting this guide on an FTP server or WWW page, please mail me the URL so that I can add it to the above list. Future versions of this guide will also be available via newsgroup rec.games.video.arcade and will be mailed to the mailing list neogeo.dhp.com This guide is PUBLIC DOMAIN and should be distributed FREELY as filename: BustUkyo.SS3 Table of Contents ============================================================================== Revision History Acknowledgements/Credits Introduction Why Play Bust Ukyo? Ukyo's Transition From SS2 to SS3 Bust Ukyo Character Info (taken from TAPFAQ and KGSS3CFAQ) - Ukyo's Historical Background - Stage description - Poses - Ending Ukyo's Normal Moves Bust Ukyo's Special Moves General Strategy Combos - The "Approved" Combo List Dream Mist - the Counterstrike - About the Dream Mist - Dream Mist Target Table - Dream Mist Strategy Musouzankouka - the Power Special - About the Musouzankouka - Musouzankouka Strategy - Musouzankouka FAQ Specific Character Strategies (vs. humans) - Haohmaru - Shizumaru - Ukyo - Nakoruru - Rimururu - Galford - Hanzo - Kyoshiro - Genjuro - Gaira - Basara - Amakusa - Zankuro vs. CPU strategies Notes After The Fact ============================================================================== Revision History ============================================================================== 1.0 (08Jan96): Just started it. I got no art, I got no sites, somebody help me! Still far from complete, so any feedback (and other help) would be greatly appreciated. 2.0 (17Jan96): Added some sites where updates of this guide could be found. Also added a PD disclaimer if anyone cares, and made some revisions. 2.1 (26Jan96): Lots of revisions, added some more info and another site. 2.2 (06Feb96): Added more stuff from "research." Check out the Dream Mist table, which still needs a LOT of work. 3.0 (27Apr96): Added an FTP site. Added a combos list. Reformatted and added a lot of material to specific character mini-guides. Added more material to other parts of guide, made revisions to some parts. Also added section for CPU strategies. ============================================================================== Acknowledgements/Credits: ============================================================================== Many thanks to... - Red Fox (RedFox08@aol.com) for answering many questions and testing out some moves for me. I also used pieces of his KGSS3CFAQ (Kafuin Gaira's Samurai Shodown 3 Complete FAQ). - Shawn Holmes (email@example.com). I used some of his TAPFAQ in this, too. - Scott Fujimoto (SFUJIMOTO@DELPHI.COM) because he thinks Ukyo is cool too! Also made plenty of corrections and I used his Character History Guide (at first without knowing it. Sorry about that!). - Kenneth Hsu (firstname.lastname@example.org). I used his SS2 Nakoruru guide as a model. - Edward Ju (email@example.com) for putting this guide up on his SS3 Endings page. - Damone (firstname.lastname@example.org) for putting this guide up on his grand ol' SS3 page. - Jin Yang (email@example.com) for putting this up on his Ukyo (!!!) page. - Mehdi Malekzandi (firstname.lastname@example.org) for putting this up on HIS Ukyo page. - NeoKage (email@example.com) for putting this up on his FTP site. - Patrons of the NEOGEO mailing list and rec.games.video.arcade (especially Anthony Cho (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Peter Young (email@example.com), who have thoroughly amused me with their verbal abuse of each other on the game). - All the guys that frequent the SS3 machine at the Underground at Berkeley. Without competition and getting my butt whupped every now and then, where would I be? ============================================================================== Introduction ============================================================================== First off, if you are the kind of person that played Ukyo in SS2, but not in SS1, chances are this guide is not for you. This guide is for people who are loyal to the Ukyo we saw a few years ago in the original Samurai Shodown because he was, and still is, the coolest fighting personality in the fighter genre :). If you are the win-at-all-cost-cheezy-exploit-overpoweredness type of player, stop reading now; you're wasting your time. Generic SS2 Ukyo players relied heavily on the fact that he was overpowered, and that he really wasn't too challenging to play. For challenge, I play upper grade, although I doubt people who just want to win will want to follow. If you actually play the game so that you're expected to lose but try to win anyhow, ie. play for the challenge (which is what I do), and happen to like Ukyo (or SS2 Jubei), read on. Second, I am not including any strategies on playing against the CPU. I have had extremely little experience against the computer, and I must say, it does seem quite impossible to beat the CPU on upper grade. This guide is pretty much completely devoted to beating up on your friends (and making them look bad :). Sorry, but if you want to beat the game, I am probably not the best source for that. I am about to ramble about how I play Bust Ukyo, or some strategies I employ when playing Bust Ukyo. If you are even remotely interested in using Bust Ukyo, you're in luck. If you want to play UPPER GRADE Bust Ukyo, you are in even more luck; I have done lots and *LOTS* of playing with upper grade Bust Ukyo and have gotten experienced enough to take out medium grade Naks on a regular basis with him (for those of you who play frequently, you know that's not an easy task), and have lots to share with everyone else. Tips explicitly for use with upper grade will be denoted with a "*UG!*," like this: *UG!* These tips are not only for upper graders; they work for medium grade, too, but a lot of these tips require a full POW meter. Please keep in mind that I am not an employee of SNK and so am not absolutely sure of everything I cite in this text (but I'm quite sure of most of it). If you spot any errors, please feel free to mail me and tell me I am wrong, and I will add it to the guide. Once again, send any comments, suggestions, or any feedback about this guide to JefLeung@cory.EECS.Berkeley.EDU. ============================================================================== Why Play Bust Ukyo? ============================================================================== One question a novice SS3 player might ask would be "why play Bust Ukyo?" There are many answers, but I prefer to answer aesthetically. Actually, to sum it up, it's because he's so COOL. First, he fights with his back turned to his opponent. Such disrespect, such arrogance, I love it! Second, he fights with his weapon sheathed, showing his extreme confidence in his speed. Again, such arrogance, I love it! And when he wins a match, he's surrounded by women. You don't see Haohmaru surrounded by women, do you? And his Power Special is so classy, and his animation frames include how he resheathes his sword after each slash, and how he shuts his eyes when he performs a Sasame Yuki, and how he makes the opponent feel so stupid when he connects a Dream Mist, etc, etc. Anyhow, the point of playing Ukyo is the reward of winning, at least to me. Even better is if you play upper grade Bust Ukyo, because then you can say, "hey, I didn't even block!" Consider it. ============================================================================== Ukyo's Transition From SS2 to SS3 ============================================================================== Most everyone will tell you that Ukyo has been severely downgraded from SS2. I tend to agree, but must say that this is only in the case of Slash Ukyo, a character that I do not regularly play. Bust Ukyo, if you'll notice, is not anywhere close to the Ukyo people have been complaining about over the net in SS2, but he shouldn't be regarded as the downgraded Ukyo people have been describing either. If anything, Bust Ukyo is closer to a mix of SS2 Jubei and SS1 Ukyo; he has pretty much the same normal moves as he did in SS1, but no longer has the AI attack, and has two of Jubei's bread and butter moves (and some of his strike priority) incorporated into his arsenal. If you played SS2 Ukyo and depended on the TG projectile and/or the AI attack, forget it. Those pattern players have either bit the dust or have moved on to Nak :(. Ukyo's transition into SS3 isn't really a bad one, just an unfamiliar one. However, if you played SS1 Ukyo, but NOT SS2 Ukyo, the transition will be much easier; the only difference you will see is that the TG has lost its firebird, and some new moves. I can't say that playing SS3 Ukyo is just like playing SS1 Ukyo, but it's a lot closer than from SS3 to SS2. To sum up the differences between SS2 Ukyo and SS3 Bust Ukyo... - No more AI attack (no more SS2 cheese). - Lost firebird from TG (see above). - EVERYONE has a ground-to-air attack now (see above again). - TG does less damage, greater lag. - Missed standing slashes given much more lag time. - A and B slashes no longer do much more damage than they should. - Dodging introduced in SS3; Ukyo can't turtle as well anymore. - Low C slash (diving) slides you farther forward again and doesn't hit low anymore. - Jumping B now strikes down; jumping C does not. - Has improved (debatable) version of Jubei's counterstrike. - Has a ground projectile (similar to Jubei's). - New move: Skylark Slice. See moves list below. - Faster running speed. - Sasame Yuki now traps opponent if it connects one hit. - Much cooler looking and more effective Power Special. ============================================================================== Bust Ukyo Character Info (taken from TAPFAQ, KGSS3CFAQ, and the Character History guide) ============================================================================== "Master, friends, and fans -- rest in peace. I shall avenge you..." TACHIBANA UKYO "Hmmph!" Ukyo's Historical Background (from Character History guide) ----------------------------------------------------------- Based on Sasaki Kojiro Genryu (1572--1612), Musashi's skilled rival. Genryu wielded a VERY long sword called the "Drying Pole". He was reputed to be the most skilled swordsman around, and could slice swallows in mid-air, according to Yoshikawa. The preface to the Book of Five Rings says that he developed a sword technique inspired by the movement of a swallow's tail in flight. This is the basis of Ukyo's "swoop swallow slice". Genryu even named the school of swordsmanship he founded Tsubame Gaeshi. Despite his skill, during their duel Musashi killed him in one blow (two, according to some accounts). Just like Ukyo and Haohmaru (in SS2), Musashi and Genryu fought on an isle off of the coast of Japan, and Musashi showed up late for the duel as a psychological tactic (this could explain why Ukyo and Haohmaru are at the same place, but totally different times). After he defeated Genryu, the island was renamed Genryu Isle ("Gairyu Isle"), although it's actually by Shimonoseki and not where the SS map says it is. Note that this was Musashi's most famous duel, and is pretty much a cultural reference in Japan. In the book "Musashi", Genryu comes off as a totally selfish and arrogant person. Yoshikawa made him the symbol of a swordsman gifted with "mere" technical virtuosity, to contrast him against Musashi's spiritual strength. He's not a womanizer either. However, later Murakami Genzo wrote a best-selling novel about Sasaki Kojiro, depicting him in a more heroic light. This Genryu was an aristocratic, dignified swordsman, who was a hearthrob with the ladies. His amorous affairs, fancy clothes, and sophisticated air were contrasted sharply with Musashi's rough-and-tumble look and attitude. He also had a sense of -aware-, a Japanese word meaning a deep understanding of both the briefness and sweetness of life. This is probably the portrayal of Genryu that Ukyo is based on. However, neither Yoshikawa's nor Murakami's Genryu had blue hair :-) Note on Ukyo's sword and fighting style: I strongly suspect that these two aspects of his design are not based on Genryu, but instead the blind swordsman Zato Ichi, a character in a series of popular movies. For one, Ukyo's unusual sword looks EXACTLY like Zato's "cane sword." Zato kept the blade sheathed in his cane most of the time, but could draw it at lightning-quick speeds to dispatch his enemies, just like Ukyo. Being blind, he used sound to locate his enemies. Ukyo is obviously not blind, but his quirky style of facing away from his enemy may be inspired by Zato's blind technique. Historically, during the duel with Musashi, Genryu was wearing an -iga-bakama- (skirt) and straw sandals, just like Ukyo. Incidentally, a tachibana is a type of mandarin orange. Stage description... -------------------- Raft -- Swamp: Fight takes place on a raft floating on a green river, with a thick forest in the background. Rotten trees and dead weeds scroll by in the foreground--several layers of parallax. Occasionally bodies float by in the river (looks sort of like a Hanzo riddled with arrows?!?!). During desperation, the background turns black and filtered blue light flows in, while flourescent green polyps flash on the black background. Poses... -------- Character Select Screen: Pulls sword out, spins it around before re-sheathing it. Before Round One: Bows and grabs sword, the end of the scabbard glows momentarily as he pulls his sword out a little, and then he re-sheathes it. 1st Win: Stands upright as the wind blows through his hair and clothes. 2nd Win: Stands upright, runs his hand through his hair as a group of women surround him. (Slash doesn't have this. A good reason to play Bust instead of Slash!) Unarmed Victory: Runs hand through hair and then humphs. Loss To Time: Falls to the ground and begins to cough repeatedly. Stalemate: Coughs once and covers face. Dizzy: Lies down and coughs. Ending (sorry to spoil it)... ----------------------------- Ukyo. 18-years-old. "The world is nothing... a barren dream it seems." 20-years-old. "Knowing you, life's murky waters have cleared." 25-years-old. "I remember the beautiful face of an evil goodness." "I cannot go with you... I shall die alone boo hoo." ============================================================================== Ukyo's Normal Moves: ============================================================================== If the move is not obviously blocked high or low (like air attacks), MBBL = must be blocked low, MBBH = must be blocked high, and UB = unblockable. I am not going to bother with punches here. They are all just palm pushes, at different speeds and damages, and they all look the same. STANDING FAR: STANDING CLOSE: A: straight slash scabbard whip (great priority vs. air attacks) B: straight slash upwards slash (longer lag than A) (easily interrupted, comboable) (also cancellable) C: straight side slash up/down double slash (hits 2x) (hits 2x) CROUCHING FAR: CROUCHING CLOSE: A: straight slash scabbard punch (quick, possibly comboable) B: straight slash low stab/upward slice (hits 2x) C: diving low slash one-handed overhead slash (not MBBL!) (good air defense) JUMPING STRAIGHT UP JUMPING DIAGONALLY A: scabbard swipe scabbard swipe B: upwards slash down slash (excellent close priority) C: straight slash straight slash (delayed arc, long ranged) RUNNING A: straight slash B: diving slash (not MBBL! Sends opponent crashing into wall if hit) C: up/down double slash (UB, minimal damage, long wind-up, hits 2x) HOP CRUSHES -O + BC: hopping diving slash (MBBH) -O + BC: short jump kick forward (unarmed) (MBBH) KICKS standing D: forward kick -O + D: sliding foot sweep (MBBL) | + D: low leg kick O (MBBL) \ + D: high leg lick O running D: sliding foot sweep (MBBL) jumping D: side kick ============================================================================== Bust Ukyo's Special Moves: ============================================================================== ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ - CONCEALED SABRE SWALLOW SLICE (Tsubame Gaeshi): (jump) / | \ -O + slash OR / | \ -O O + slash O O O O O O / Swings sword in circular motion, hits for fire damage, lag time after move hits or is blocked. Anything terrible I have said before about this move, I take it back. Of course, you still get whupped if you get this move blocked or if you miss, but it CAN do damage! Corresponding to the button strength of course. I suggest using this if you happen to dizzy one of the ninjas (wouldn't want them to pop out a Musouzankouka, would we?), and as the last hit in the BHFLC combo (see combos) instead of the low C. If you are going for all the marbles late in the round and your opponent turtles up, try running at them and doing a standing TG with C. Great damage! Pro: Good air priority, does good damage, GREAT damage as a counter! Con: Horrid lag times for B and C if blocked, no longer has a projectile, no longer a unique ground-to-air move, reduced damage, can be air blocked (yikes!!!). ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ - CONCEALED SABRE DREAM MIST (Counterstrike): \ | / O- -O + C O O O Holds out scabbard to block for a half second. If opponent attacks and connects with a normal standing or jumping slash, Ukyo will block with the scabbard, and then slash the opponent, hitting usually for 50+% at UG. Can be done relatively instantaneously, and sometimes can be done right after one is missed. This move is so cool, it has an entire section devoted to it below! Pro: Does massive damage!!! Has ultimate priority over normal standing and jumping slashes. Con: Only counters about 15% of all moves in the game. If missed, you'll probably end up doing a Snowfall Slash Flash, which would be bad. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ - CONCEALED SABRE HEAT FLASH: -O | \ + C O O Fires a low arc-like projectile. Using A comes out faster, but does less damage. If Heat Flash hits, the opponent is pushed back very late after the hit, stunning for a but, so it is REALLY good for comboing. I always use A for this move, though C seems to travel slower and makes it less prone to being dodged. Lag time is independent on which slash you use, only the initial throw time depends on that. Pro: Gives excellent stun time if opponent is hit. Con: Comes out very slow. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ - CONCEALED SABRE SKYLARK SLICE: O- -O + A Ukyo jabs outward with his sheathed sword. Does very little damage, but stuns the opponent for a bit, comes out almost instantaneously, and has great combo ability. Pro: Stuns opponent if hit. Hits up to three times. Comes out quick. Great for comboing. Not too shabby lag time. Con: Does very little damage. Often knocks opponent too far back to follow with anything else. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ - CONCEALED SABRE SNOWFALL SLASH FLASH (Sasame Yuki): | / O- + slash O O Ukyo tosses an apple over his shoulder and slashes at it repeatedly. If the opponent is hit by any of the slashes, he is caught and will take damage regardless of further blocking. No longer has more upward angle if done with A, but has less latter lag time than with C. I rarely use this move. If you use A, it will have more lag before the move is performed, and less after. Conversely, C will have less initial lag, but more final. B is middle of the road. Pro: Catches opponent if hit. Con: Does mediocre damage. Bad lag time. Can be easily jump-attacked over if missed (and it will count as a counter! Yikes!). ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ - MUSOUZANKOUKA (Power Special): -O O- -O + CD Ukyo unsheathes an inch of his sword (which glows!) and charges at opponent at running speed. If unblocked, Ukyo will first hit for tick damage, and then will run around the opponent at light speed, leaving slash marks on the opponent's body. Ukyo then twirls and sheathes his sword, and then the opponent starts to contort and spurt blood. Very GQ move! Unfortunately, it takes a little under 8.5 seconds, and will do no damage other than the first tick if the move is not completed before time runs out (ie, if you start the move with 07 left on the clock, you're out of luck). No lag time if unblocked, terrible lag time if blocked. Check the section below about it! Pro: It looks so cool! Does wondrous damage. No lag if missed. Comes out instantaneously. Easy to do. Goes at running speed, so can easily be a combo finish. High priority vs. normal moves. Great for air defense. Con: Takes too long to finish. Bad lag time if blocked. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ============================================================================== General Strategy ============================================================================== *UG!* The first and last tip for anyone who plays upper grade: You MUST learn to dodge and sidestep consistently!!! It must become somewhat a habit to slam on the AB after each attack you have blocked or missed. Experience playing upper grade will help with this, and probably lots of quarters, but the key is to take notice of any time that you instinctively hold back to block. From now on you must learn to press AB instead. *UG!* I should have mentioned this in earlier updates. Another thing you can do at upper grade is a stun block (half circle forward, no buttons). Do this often if at close range. If one connects, follow with a Musouzankouka for a quick 25+%. Unfortunately, this has the same hit detection as a Dream Mist, except that it does not block air attacks (see Dream Mist section below). Someone who plays Bust Ukyo must understand that Bust Ukyo is a defensive character by nature. His moves are generally long ranged and quick to come out and do decent damage (at least now in SS3, unlike ridiculous damage as in SS2). Even his special moves are defensive (Dream Mist comes to mind). If you play Bust Ukyo like you would play SS2 Ukyo (ie. coming out fists-a-flyin' and TG's-a-hurlin'), you would get creamed in a snap by the first Nak to pass by. Since from SS2 Ukyo has lost much offense, it is pretty difficult to win on just offense (which was pretty easy in SS2). Playing Bust Ukyo requires that you force the opponent to make the first move and respond accordingly (best case would be a connected Dream Mist). To start the round, just hang back and maybe toss a Heat Flash or two. If the guy jumps, watch what he does. If the jump is a slash attack, calmly block it, retreat a bit and start over with another Heat Flash. Next time your opponent jumps, make sure a Dream Mist is waiting. An alternate strategy would be to do some prodding. Walk towards the opponent and, when in range, do a B slash, block their retaliatory slash, do another B slash, and then a Dream Mist. This strategy is also described in the Dream Mist section below. Ukyo, although downgraded from SS2, still has some excellent air defense. One defensive tactic would be to throw a Heat Flash, and, if the opponent jumps and it looks like he'll land about C range in front of you, do a C slash to knock him out of the air. Also an air defensive tactic would be to, if the opponent jumps, jump at him, but do not do anything yet. Instead, hold back to air block. If the opponent attacks, quickly retaliate after blocking with C or a Tsubame Gaeshi. If you do it quick enough, you'll do counter damage. This is one of the few times I will use a TG (and I can't do this if I play upper grade, so you can figure how often I do a TG). A subtactic would be, if the opponent is far and you throw a Heat Flash, you should always run after it. Ukyo can actually run faster than his Heat Flash can travel, and if the Heat Flash hits, the opponent is open game for another attack to combo from. A good idea would be to, while running, hit B if the opponent gets hit by the Heat Flash. If you are close enough, do a Musouzankouka instead. There are other possibilities for running in after a Heat Flash, either to get closer to the opponent or move in safely into a specific range (one that comes to mind is about double B range so that if they jump, you can greet them with a standing C). Yet another subtactic would be to try to get into a projectile war with your opponent at medium range. Throw a Heat Flash. If they cancel with their own projectile, throw another. If they cancel again, run at them with B. 90% of the time they will be expecting you to throw another Heat Flash, and will start their own projectile, and you'll hit them with the running B. If possible, however, it is almost always better to do a Musouzankouka instead. *UG!* It is almost a cardinal rule to avoid jumping while playing upper grade. Why? Because, whereas medium graders can block in the air, you cannot! You can't even dodge in the air, which means that if you jump and the opponent tosses a projectile timed to hit you as you land, there is nothing you can do. If you must jump, it is generally safer for upper graders to jump forward rather than backwards, as the opponent will have more time to throw a projectile if you jump back. In any case, use your better judgement, and remember that you will always be at a disadvantage in the air against medium graders. *UG!* Dodging is a godsend to upper graders, especially to upper grade Ukyos due to the fact that Ukyo's slashes come out quick. One good thing about not being able to block is that you won't be compromising any safety by walking at your opponent without hesitation. When you think the opponent is about to strike, dodge, then follow with a quick slash of your own, or, if you're close enough, a Musouzankouka. Even better would be to sidestep the opponent (you need to be close and do -O + AB) and follow with the B, Heat Flash, low C combo (see Combos below). *UG!* If the opponent is POWed (the POW meter is full), stay away. Try to wait them out, as one Power Special can ruin your day and since most Power Specials come out quick, you will be hard pressed to dodge it. It's better to avoid it. If you do want to jump (which usually has less rewards than pitfalls with Ukyo), and want to do a C slash in the air, wait until the last second to do it. Ukyo's C slash comes out pretty much instantaneously, and goes back in just as fast. Therefore, you can do some comboing off the air C if you do it late enough. If you're POWed, do a Musouzankouka. Otherwise, you might want to do a low C. All this defensive talk should not lead you to believe that Bust Ukyo must be adamantly played defensively. A good Bust Ukyo will, although remaining predominantly defensive, be on the attack at times. All the offensive strategies I can think of generally involve combos of some sort. These will be discussed in the next section. Anything else really isn't much of a strategy, and it's pretty much knowing your and your opponent's strengths and weaknesses. It's the obvious stuff; slash when your opponent may not be blocking, block when the opponent attacks, try to leave yourself open as little as possible, etc, etc. I will skip discussing these things as I don't see them as being unique to playing Bust Ukyo. ============================================================================== Combos ============================================================================== The most common thing about character guides are the combos. Bust Ukyo's got some, but are only useful at certain times. Now, if you play upper grade, then Bust Ukyo's got GREAT combo magic! The most commonly posted on the Internet is the BHFLC combo (B from behind, Heat Flash with A, low C). This combo dizzies and does between 25% and 40%, but the situations in which the Heat Flash hits after the B are rare, as you must hit the opponent from the back (usually after an AB switch). If you do hit with the Heat Flash, an alternative for the low C would be a standing C, which hits twice and will sometimes do more damage, but the low C will dizzy. Yet another alternative for the low C would be a standing C TG, which actually does more damage and also dizzies, but this is much harder to do than just hitting down and C. *UG!* A much better and more reliable combo to do is a B, then the Musouzankouka (same theory as Galford's B, Plasma Kick combo). Also, this will connect if you do the B from in front of your opponent. Hint: Use this combo A LOT!!! *UG!* The ultimate combo I have found is an up/down double C slash from the back followed by a Musouzankouka. Easiest way to do this is while in the corner, do a PULLING guard crush (backwards and C from very close) and then execute the combo. This cannot be done in the open, however. If not in the corner, do a B slash into a Musouzankouka instead. Also remember that you can combo ANYTHING off the Heat Flash; the Heat Flash temporarily stuns the opponent and doesn't push them back very far if at all. A good tactic is to run at the opponent immediately after throwing a Heat Flash. If the Heat Flash hits, do the Musouzankouka or some other attack for some extra healthy damage (my personal favorite is to do a Heat Flash and follow with a running B. It sends the opponent flying back and looks really cool). Another good attack to combo from is Ukyo's air C. If you hit the opponent with his air C very close to landing, the opponent will not have much time to recover, and you may have time for a B (or if your Power meter is full, a Musouzankouka). Finally, you can do some combos from Ukyo's Skylark Slice, although it is best to be A range or closer to the opponent. Ukyo's Skylark Slice stuns the opponent for a brief moment, and unless you hit with the last thrust, you probably won't get a chance to do anything else. Since it comes out instantaneously, you can combo off any close B or A slash and follow with a low C or Musouzankouka. A very easy and effective combo to do is jump with B, close standing B into a Skylark Slice, and then low C. Another would be to do a low A, Skylark Slice, and then low C. However, this seems only to work from behind due to the fact that the A doesn't stun for very long. Try doing it with B from the front in the corner so that the Skylark Slice doesn't push the opponent too far back for you to follow with a low C or standing C TG. *UG!* At upper grade, you, obviously, do a lot more damage than at beginner or medium class. Here is a little psychological help: Think of playing a round as consisting of putting together a puzzle, but you only need to put together two pieces. As most people figure, though, puzzle pieces are joined at four sides. Stupid analogy? Here's my logic: Dream Mist takes 50% at UG. The B/HF/LC combo takes over 50%. A B into a Musouzankouka takes 50%. The C into Musouzankouka does well over 50%. All you need to do is do two of these in a round to win. Even better would be to weaken the opponent down to 50% and then do ust one of these. If you think this idea is stupid, then forget I mentioned it. The "Approved" Combo List ------------------------- Value of combo in *'s NOTE: All the BHF... combos can be started with a jumping crossover B slash. - The celebrated BHFLC combo ***: B from behind -> Heat Flash A -> low C. Dizzies. - The even better BHFTG combo ***(and a 1/2): B from behind -> Heat Flash A -> Tsubame Gaeshi C. Dizzies. NOTE: This may not work on some characters, notably the invisible characters (Shizumaru, Nakoruru, Rimururu) because they are too short o be hit by the TG. - The really cool ending BHFM! combo: B from behind -> Heat Flash A -> Musouzankouka. Dizzies? I usually use this as an ending combo because it looks cool. - The standard upper grade combo ****: B close -> Musouzankouka. - The frontal Skylark Slice combo *: B close in corner -> Skylark Slice -> low C. Supposedly dizzies. - The BHFJC 100% combo ***: B from behind near corner -> Heat Flash A -> jump C -> HF A -> jump C -> continue HF/jump C to leisure. NOTE: this will keep pushing the opponent farther and farther away until the combo will not connect anymore. In other words, it will not work going from corner to corner, but once the opponent gets to the corner it is infinite. Last hit should be a TG or a Musouzankouka, just for flash. ============================================================================== Dream Mist - the Counterstrike ============================================================================== About the Dream Mist -------------------- This move is, if connected, probably one of the best moves in the game. What most people will tell you is that this move only turns 15% of all moves in the game, and leaves you a sitting duck for everything else. What I'll tell you is the following: - That 15% is the 15% most used in the game. Probably the most used move in the game by most characters would be the standing C slash, followed by the low C slash (which Dream Mist doesn't connect), then jumping C, then standing B. That's the top 3 out of the top 4 that Dream Mist turns. - Dream Mist does between 33+-50%, dependent on the POW meter. I'm not sure of the exact percentages, but here's a rough estimate for each grade: Empty meter: about 33+%. You need a bit more than two to kill, possibly three. Halfway full: about 40%. You need a little more than two to kill. Full meter: exactly 50%. Just need two. Dream Mist Target Table ----------------------- Here's a table of what the Dream Mist is confirmed to turn. f=far, c=close, r=running, d=diagonal jump, v=vertical jump, BC=hop crush All slashes are standing or jumping. y=yes (confirmed), n=no (many failed attempts), p=probably, u=unlikely Blanks mean have no idea. N's don't necessarily mean it cannot be done, it just means that I doubt it can be done because I've tried so many times unsuccessfully. |Bas|Gnj|Hao|Uky|Han|Gai|Ama|Nak|Rim|Glf|Shz|Kyo| fA| n | y | p | y | p | n | n | p | p | p | p | | fB| n | y | y | y | y | | n | p | p | y | p | p | It doesn't seem like fC| n | y | y | y | p | y | y | y | p | p | p | p | you can DM Nak off cA| n | u | u | n | p | n | n | p | p | p | u | n | an animal, but I cB| y | u | p | y | p | | n | p | p | p | p | p | haven't really tried. cC| y | | p | y | p | | n | p | p | p | p | p | rA| y | u | n | p | y | n | n | p | p | y | | p | Haven't tried against rB| y | u | y | n | n | | y | p | p | n | u | p | Bust Shizumaru on an rC| | | | | | | | | | | | | umbrella, either. dA| p | u | | p | p | n | | y | p | p | p | n | dB| u | p | | p | p | | y | y | p | p | p | p | dC| y | y | y | y | y | y | | y | y | y | y | y | vA| p | u | | p | p | n | n | p | p | p | p | n | vB| u | p | | p | p | | p | p | p | p | p | p | vC| y | y | y | y | y | y | | y | y | y | y | y | BC| u | y | p | p | p | | p | p | p | p | p | p | Special note!: The Dream Mist can actually turn crouching attacks, if the opponent's blade passes through the glowing region of Ukyo's sword. Confirmed opponents that this works on are Genjuro's low C up close and Galford's low C (weird, isn't it?) at close range. It is quite possible (now that I think about it) that Ukyo's Dream Mist can turn any normal weaponed attack if at extremely close range (hey, it turns Galford's low sweeping C!). Dream Mist strategy ------------------- Just performing a Dream Mist will help you in the round; the opponent will be wary to do standing or jumping slashes and that could disturb their game plan. Even better is if you connect a Dream Mist. They are half finished AND afraid to slash. Even though it is an awesome move, you shouldn't use it too much. Since it comes out almost instantaneously, the best time to do it is in the middle of a sword fight, or when the opponent jumps at you. Here are some tactics to using Dream Mist (most are like psychological warfare): - One very annoying thing is when your opponent refuses to stand up and fight, literally. What I mean is, sometimes, it is convenient for your opponent to just sit back in a defensive crouch and slash at your shins if you get close. A solution is to run and do a hop crush. Enough of this will get them to stand up. Another solution would be to throw lots of Heat Flashes, and then run up to them. In any case, it is important to get your opponent to stand so that their slashes are Dream Mist-able. - Throw a Heat Flash and if they jump, execute a Dream Mist. 90% of the time when any character throws a projectile and the opponent jumps, it will be a jumping C. Sometimes it will be B, but it will almost never be a D (unless the opponent is expecting you to do a Dream Mist). Here the opponent will really pay. Unfortunately, this trick will not always work, since most people are not stupid; they'll fall for it a few times at most and will start kicking instead. - Walk up to the opponent and slash with B. If they block, watch what they do. If they slash back, block, slash with B again, and immediately do a Dream Mist. They will probably try to slash back after blocking again and the Dream Mist will get them. Once again, this is a 90% of the time thing. - Some annoying players are intermittent dodge-and-A players. That is, they dodge, A, dodge, A, etc. at mid-close range. What you can do is time a Dream Mist to hit them mid-cycle, and not only do some beautiful damage, but also will mess up their game plan for the rest of the round. Unfortunately, this won't work on characters like Basara, who have punches instead of slashes at mid-close range. - A cool way to end the round is, if time is winding down and if you are winning, hop back away from the opponent. If the opponent tries to chase you by jumping at you, they will probably jump at you with C. Hop back again and execute a Dream Mist. This is more like a 50% of the time thing as some opponents are smarter and will run at you instead. *UG!* Remember that since you can't block, Dream Mist is probably the ultimate equalizer against medium graders. Usually, when someone sees someone playing upper grade, they go slash-happy. Apparently, people think that someone playing upper grade is a sitting duck to muchas C-slashes. So, whenever you get into range of a C, do the Dream Mist. If you miss, do it again. Inevitably, they will try to C you to death, but a pair of Dream Mists will end up winning you the round. ============================================================================== Musouzankouka - the Power Special ============================================================================== About the Musouzankouka ----------------------- This is an excellent move, and, to me, is what makes Bust Ukyo worth playing upper grade with. At first I thought that it only looked really cool, but after playing Bust Ukyo on upper grade, I realized that this move has amazing priority over normal moves, comes out instantaneously, and has no lag if missed. And it looks cool! The tradeoff is that it has relatively low priority versus other Power Specials and some special moves, it takes a long time to finish (a little under 8.5 seconds), and has terrible lag time if blocked. Here are some rules of thumb (tips) for using the Musouzankouka: Musouzankouka Strategy ---------------------- - Unless the opponent is down to a tick of life left, you should never ever EVER do it if you know the opponent will block. One instance would be if you jump attacked your opponent and they blocked. They will almost ALWAYS be blocking after your initial jump attack. - If it is a close match, and you are down and you think your opponent will try to tick off damage, try rolling closer and doing the Musouzankouka upon getting up. - If you are relatively close to your opponent and they are hopping away from you, do it! Since it is impossible to block while hopping, and since running is faster than hopping, and since the Musouzankouka goes at running speed, you can get them before they land from their hop. - Since it comes out at running speed and instantaneously, it goes great with other moves for comboing. Try it with any close B or A slashes, or maybe even some far A or B slashes. I'm not sure if it can be done out of a close C double slash consistently, but I am sure it can be done as I have done it a few times while the opponent was trapped in the corner. - You can use the Musouzankouka to interrupt some moves that normally have terrible lag times. My favorite is doing a running B (low sliding slash) and, if missed, interrupting with the Musouzankouka. I'm not sure how this works (as in when to do the Musouzankouka), but it pisses people off to no end, as they usually see a missed running B as a sitting duck. - Something you might want to try is, if both characters are in the air after an air confrontation, if you land first, try doing a Musouzankouka upon landing. Since an opponent can no longer block in the air after doing an attack, it should be able to hit them. I'm not absolutely sure if this works, as I have not confirmed whether or not my opponent was blocking on the ground or actually still in the air. - Try to avoid doing the Musouzankouka when the opponent is Powered up. Musouzankouka has terrible priority over other Power Special moves, and, unless you somehow hit the opponent's body before their weapon hits you, their Power Special will win. Exceptions include characters whose Power Specials just plain suck (see the part about characters not recommended for upper grade play), Bust Galford, and another Bust Ukyo (against these two characters, I think whoever does the Power Special first wins). - Never EVER even think about doing it in the last 8 seconds left on the clock! Even if you connect, the move will do only the first tick of damage, and it will be a waste (well, unless you are winning and just want to show off). However, prime time to do it is about the last 20 seconds before 08. - Musouzankouka can also make for great air defense! Try to time hitting the opponent out of the air just before he hits the ground or before he hits you. - Lot's of hop crushes have bad lag time after they connect, so if you think you have ample time, pull one after getting hit by a hop crush. I don't remember which characters you can do this to. Maybe I should draw up another table. *UG!* If you have great confidence in your timing, and the opponent is jump attacking you, dodge the attack a little early and do the Musouzankouka right out of the dodge. If you get the timing right, you can hit the opponent out of the air and out of their attack before they land (often will do extra damage due to counter). *UG!* Another thing to do is a Musouzankouka right out of a dodged standing slash. Most players (per mentioned before) will attack an upper grade character viciously, meaning standing/jumping C's galore. Since most missed C slashes have horrible lag times, doing a Musouzankouka right out of a dodge frequently results in a counter. *UG!* Here is a little bit of etiquette. Since you can't block, you might try to rationalize that after a successful Musouzankouka, your opponent should not have the right to getting their weapon back without a fight. I say let them have it. Not only does it show what a big person you are and that it fits the Ukyo persona (fighting with a sheathed sword, back to opponent, etc.), but, since punches are quicker, have less lag times than slashes or kicks, and cannot be turned by a Dream Mist, it is probably in your best interests that they get their weapon back. Musouzankouka FAQ ----------------- Can the Musouzankouka beat... - Bust or Slash Nakoruru's Power Special?: No. - Bust or Slash Basara's Power Special?: No. - Bust or Slash Shizumaru's Power Special?: Bust, yes. Slash, no. - ANY Power Specials?: Just Bust Galford's or Bust Ukyo's, and even that's 50/50. Sometimes will beat other Power Specials if you do yours first. - any projectiles or projectile-like attacks?: I wish. - Haohmaru's Kogetsuzan (uppercut)?: Yes. - Slash Haohmaru's Lightning Slash?: It worked!!! - Bust Haohmaru's Sword Shockwave (football tackle)?: Yes. - Bust Haohmaru's Typhoon Wave (ground sweep)?: Yes. - Shizumaru's Windshear Slice (dash attack)?: If you're lucky. - any of Shizumaru's special moves?: Only if you're lucky (damned umbrella). - Slash Ukyo's AI?: Yes. - Ukyo's Snowfall Slash?: No way. - Nakoruru's Kamui Risse (cape twirl)?: Yes. - any of Nakoruru's Mutsube attacks?: Never done it. - Kamui Mutsube (dive off bird)?: It's a Mutsube, right? See above. - any of Bust Nakoruru's Shikite (wolf) attacks?: If you're lucky, but not the Epunkine Shikite (she's already down). - Rimururu's Konril Myu (freeze ground)?: Only if close. - Bust Rimururu's Lupu Thomumu (icy uppercut)?: Yes. - Galford's Replica Attack (air drop)?: No. - Bust Galford's Plasma Factor (Haohmaru-esque lightning slash)?: Did it on Haohmaru's, but I wouldn't try on this. - Bust Galford's Lightning Slash (should be called lightning flash kick)?: Only if you're lucky. - Kyoshiro's Lion's Tail?: Yes. - Genjuro's Lightning Wings (uppercut)?: Yes. - Slash Genjuro's Death Hack (dash attack)?: If you're lucky. - Genjuro's Scarlet Slash/Purple Dusk (delayed slash)?: Yes. - Bust Genjuro's Three Heavens Death (triple uppercut slide)?: Yes. - Bust Genjuro's Death of 100 Demons (looks like dash)?: Yes. - Gaira's Nag Blast?: Yes. - Slash Gaira's Victory Riser (multi-rush)?: Yes. - Slash Gaira's Profound Pummel (bead-chucker)?: No. - Bust Basara's Shadow Exit (sink, then uppercut)?: Yes. - Amakusa's Evil Hornet dashes?: Previously no, but not so sure anymore. I'd say maybe. - Amakusa's Judgement Blow (bitch-slap)?: Argh! No! - Amakusa's Miasma Plasma (stupid looking spin)?: Yes. ============================================================================== Specific Character Strategies (vs. humans only) ============================================================================== These anticharacter mini-guides are not yet done, as there are some characters that I never get to play because, well, no one plays them where I play. If anyone has any ideas to add please mail me. Notice that some of the mini-guides have a different format corresponding to Slash/Bust rather than the character pair. This is because some characters are played practically the same for either alignment (Shizumaru), while others are remarkably different between Bust and Slash (Haohmaru). Haohmaru -------- Slash: Not much strategy here. Block, strike back. Use Dream Mists sparingly (most people figure it out after the umpteenth one, then they wait for it to finish and greet you with a C). A few good things to know are that Slash Haoh's Power Special is probably the worst in the game, and his Lightning Slash can't hit you if you are right in front of him. Generally, Slash Haohs are the ones that don't know that Bust Haoh is a million times more powerful, and just try to do the Earthquake Slash into the Lightning Slash (or a C). Since Haoh relies so much on his standing C and B slashes, it might be a good idea to keep some Dream Mists up the sleeve, but once again, use them sparingly. Bust: Bust Haohmaru is probably one of the most powerful characters in the game, and probably one of the biggest problems for a Bust Ukyo. Keys to winning, or rather, not losing are to not get hit by his Typhoon Wave (which sets up his TW -> run B infinite combo). Also, his standing C slashes are more punishing than Slash Haoh's due to possible Broiler Blast or Force Fang slashes (the C follow-throughs). Really cheesy Bust Haohs will low kick you repeatedly and then follow with a Typhoon Wave, into the infinite. This is one character with whom a standing TG is very handy. If he starts to kick you, take the kicks standing up, and as soon as you're out of range, he will probably go for a sliding foot sweep. That'd be the prime time for a standing TG. One important note about Bust Haoh's infinite combo is that it is difficult to maintain because he has to run after the Typhoon Wave. Sometimes, his running B comes too late. If it looks like this will be the case, by all means, do a Dream Mist. Yes, it will connect a running B from Haoh. *UG!* Note about the Typhoon Wave: It is VERY hard to dodge. The Wave lasts about as long as the full time length of a dodge, so if you plan on dodging it, it almost must be attempted right when the Typhoon Wave is being executed. Shizumaru --------- Shizumaru is by far one of the most difficuly characters to beat with Bust Ukyo. That damned umbrella just does too much damage. Try to avoid jumping in on a Shizumaru as a good Shiz will throw that damned umbrella like there's no tomorrow, and that makes for more than adequate air defense against an Ukyo. To beat a Shiz, you must be extremely patient, otherwise, you'll be on the receiving end of a dash combo in no time. Try to stick to one of the General Strategies, but try to keep a good distance away as the umbrella toss will not just cancel your Heat Flash, but will go through it. On special moves... - If you block one of his Windshear Slices (dash attack), follow with either a low C, dashing B, or Musouzankouka. - If he misses a Crosscurrent Slicer (uppercut), you must hit him out of the air before he lands. Any attack will do as long as it comes out quick enough to knock him out of the air, but he can block the second he lands. - For his Power Specials (both versions), just block and retaliate with either a low C or a dashing B, or Musouzankouka if POWed up. - Avoid getting hit at close range with a low B from a Powered up Shizumaru at all costs!!! A close low B can easily combo into Shizumaru's (either one) Power Special, which will dizzy, AND do massive amounts of damage!!! Careful (especially UG)! *UG!* Shizumaru is an upper grade Bust Ukyo's nightmare (Slash especially). Try not to get knocked down at all. I'm serious. If you do, roll upon getting up. Why? Because Shizumaru has a nice assortment of moves that just NEED to be blocked. His umbrella toss, umbrella spin, most his slashes, are extremely difficult to dodge upon getting up. Even worse will be when he takes advantage of your inability to block and just sits on top of you doing that damned umbrella spin. You will NEED to roll out of it. Also, watch out because most his standing slashes can be comboed into that damned dash attack. *UG!* When Shizumaru jumps, if you get hit by a C (where he pops the umbrella open), Shizumaru has a great lag time before hitting the ground, while you recover rather quickly. So, if it looks like Shizumaru is a bit too high off the ground when he hits you, do a Musouzankouka. Slash: Jumping in close on a Slash Shizumaru will sometimes (and almost always against a good Shiz) be greeted with his umbrella spin. This cannot be air-blocked, not can it be hit with a jumping C! However, it will ALWAYS get hit by a jumping B. So, use jumping B, especially to cross over, so you can use the BHFLC combo when you land behind him. *UG!* If Slash Shizumaru does his Power Special (this will require timing), dodge it at the last minute (dodge, not sidestep), and then follow immediately with a Musouzankouka. Looks really cool that you're running after a spinning umbrella, and then it kicks his butt real good. Bust: There is a little debate as to whether Slash is inherently better than Bust with Shizumaru (Slash has the Umbrella Spin, Bust can float). I have seen one guy playing Bust, and he uses the float to keep intermittent dodgers (dodge a jump attack) guessing by delaying his air attacks a second. Also, I have seen him use it to float behind the opponent and hit them with a C after the dodge. Ukyo players will not have to worry about this, as all you have to do is hit B while he is in the air. Chances are you'll hit him. Ukyo ---- Still not much. I guess people just realize how crappy Slash Ukyo's post-SS2 toning has been, and so no one plays him. Also, no one plays Bust Ukyo, either. I guess I'm the only Ukyo player in Berkeley (upper grade, at that!). There have been a few impersonations, but none like the original. :) Nakoruru -------- Amazingly enough, it is not as difficult to beat Nakoruru as it seems. Just stay far away (approx. outside of C range), block down, throw Heat Flashes, and block up when she sends the bird. Eventually she will get impatient and will hopefully end up making a mistake. Try to stay along the lines of one of the General Strategies also. However, you might want to be a little careful on the Dream Mist strategies. If you get hit with a low C, it'll be combo time, so watch out. On special moves... - (Slash) If she gets on the bird, just wait for her to get off. If you jump at her, you're practically begging for a Kamui Mutsube. If you've got a lot of courage, try TG'ing her off of it. - If she does a Kamui Risse up close, all you can do is block, and hopefully get in a quick retaliatory strike. This move has very little lag (like most of her moves) so you'll need to hit her quickly. - If she does an Annu Mutsube, block down and follow with a low A. If this hits, combo into a Skylark Slice, then a low C. - If she does a Leyla Mutsube, block down until she starts to rise, and then up. Afterwards, quickly do a low C if you are close enough. Don't try to run at her, the game won't let you (stupid lag trap). If you are too far away, she will get away scot-free and there will be nothing you can do about it. - (Bust) At any time you see her get on the wolf and her POW meter is full, you must assume that she is about to perform her Power Special. As soon as you spot this, throw an A Heat Flash and then run at her. If she does her Power Special, she will get hit and then you can combo. If not, then no harm done. - (Slash) If she executes a Kamui Mutsube, block it. If you are in range after your block, follow with a low A, then Skylark Slice, then low C. If not in range for that, just try a low C. Sometimes you will be unfortunate enough to be out of range for even that, and she will get off scot-free once again. - (Slash) If Nak does an Amube Yatoro, you will be able to tell (Trust me. She's got a big wind-up). Easiest thing to do is to run under it as soon as you see her turn, and hit B. If you're POWed, do the Musouzankouka instead. - (Bust) Her on-the-ground wolf-attack is extremely annoying after a Dream Mist, due to the fact that Ukyo takes a little while to gloat while resheathing after a successful Dream Mist. If you are almost dead against a Bust Nak, try to refrain from doing a Dream Mist unless you think it will kill her. However, most people either don't know about her on-the-ground wolf attack or don't remember to do it. *UG!* If you play upper grade, it is considerably harder to beat a Nak. Above all, try to stay away from the opponent so that you are ready for any surprise Annu Mutsubes. Also, since you can't block, you will be unable to do most of the move counters as described above. However, in the event of a missed Leyla Mutsube, or any lag from far away, a Musouzankouka will most likely reach in time. Rimururu -------- Despite popular outcry, Rimmy's have turned out to try to be the SubZeroes of SS3. They generally throw muchas popsicles, and try to do their low C as much as possible. On special moves... - If she executes the Power Special, run at her and jump with C over the rock she dumps. Gets her every time. - Rimmy's cure for the Heat Flash is that icy wall she casts. It reflects back the projectile. If you notice that your opponent is beginning to do this, throw a Heat Flash anyways, run after it, and jump when you see her cast the wall, and then do a TG (if you don't TG, you might get hit by the wall). *UG!* There has been a recent development of unethical Rimmy players around here, ie. they don't really care that UGraders can't block. They try to freeze the ground while you get up and cream you. Luckily for us, the frozen ground trick has a little delay before you get dazed (I guess it takes a little time for the pain in your feet to register), delay enough to pull a Musouzankouka and hit her before the daze goes into effect if you are close enough. If you see that Rimmy is doing this, while you're down, roll forward, and do the Musouzankouka upon getting up. A friend suggests, upon getting up, madly shaking the joystick back and forth and pressing CD a lot, which seems to get the desired effect, minus some style. Galford ------- At any time Galford runs at you, you must assume it will be an SPD. If you can get it off quick enough, do a Heat Flash. Otherwise, try to dodge and then do an A slash, or, to be safe, just sidestep him. Another thing to note is that Galford can pull the dazed log trick to get out of a Musouzankouka. Just so that you aren't taken by surprise if and when this happens, you are invulnerable while the screen is still blue from the move. However, all that wondrous damage will not be inflicted on Galford (sigh). Note: the time it takes before the screen returns to normal is random (or so it seems). Sometimes it stops right after the vanish, and sometimes it lasts until he end of the round. If Galford does his Windsplitter (splits into two), move to one side of the screen and throw a Heat Flash. Easiest way to avoid being SPD'd. Note about Galford players: if they jump straight up in front of you, I can almost guarantee that they will try to slash you. Perform a Dream Mist. *UG!* Most Galford players believe that upper graders can't deal with Replica attacks (the air drop). Little do they know that from a missed air drop, Galford has a short lag time. So, if you see them disappear, wait a bit, then dodge as they are about to hit you, and quickly do a B then a Musouzankouka. *UG!* If Galford performs a Shadow Copy (splits into two), move directly to the middle of the spin and perform a Musouzankouka about a half second before the images are about to materialize. While the images are setting, Galford is vulnerable and a Musouzankouka will find the right image and hit him out of the move. Slash: General thing that Slash Galfords do is use the Rolling Crush throw a lot. Also, Galford can cancel a low C slash with a dog air drop, and then follow with another low C. Obvious problem with this is that if you want to block the dog drop, the low C will hit you! Be prepared to dodge this tactic and to avoid getting in close so as not to get thrown. Bust: Bust Galford is quite possibly one of the most powerful characters in the game. His Lightning Kick (and Power Special) can be comboed from any B slash he puts out, at any range. Also, his Lightning Slash does wonderful damage and makes for great air defense (and anti-UG!!!). Fortunately, his SPD is considerably less painful in comparison to the other Galford or either Hanzo. Hanzo ----- Very similar to playing against Galford, but Hanzo doesn't have that nifty Lightning Kick, so you don't really have to worry about being comboed out of a B slash. You can be less careful about doing Dream Mists. Try to stay away and send out LOTS of Heat Flashes. If you do get close, stop throwing Heat Flashes as Hanzo's fire slinky thingy does more damage and sometimes can hop over your Heat Flash. One key is that Hanzos tend to do more air C's than Galfords. Take advantage of this fact with some Dream Mists after a thrown Heat Flash. At any time Hanzo runs at you, you must assume it will be an SPD. If you can get it off quick enough, do a Heat Flash. Otherwise, try to dodge and then do an A slash, or, to be safe, just sidestep him. If Hanzo does his Windsplitter (splits into two), move to one side of the screen and throw a Heat Flash. Easiest way to avoid being SPD'd. Note about Hanzo players: if they jump straight up in front of you, I can almost guarantee that they will try to slash you. Perform a Dream Mist. *UG!* Your worst nightmare will be Hanzo's fire slinky. It's slow and comes back by itself; perfect for cornering upper graders while they are down. Hope that you are not hit by this move. One way to avoid it is to hop back each time you see it coming. After the slinky disappears, you must try to get back to the middle of the field; if you are cornered it will be very difficult to dodge and you can't hop back. One way of doing this is to throw a Heat Flash immediately after your hop, and then run after it. If you are somehow cornered and Hanzo starts chucking slinkies at you while you are down, roll forward (past the slinky) and dodge upon getting up if you need to. *UG!* If Hanzo performs a Shadow Splitter (splits into two), move directly to the middle of the spin and perform a Musouzankouka about a half second before the images are about to materialize. While the images are setting, Hanzo is vulnerable and a Musouzankouka will find the right image and hit him out of the move. Bust: Hanzo's multiple disappearing tricks are really annoying, mainly due to the fact that he can appear below or above you. If you can confidence in your reflexes, here is the way to tell the difference: if the screen pans out, he's coming from up top. If not, continue to block down. Otherwise, you can just jump and hold back to air block. That way, he'll just miss if you if he's from the ground and you'll block him from the air. However, you will not be able to retaliate this way. If Hanzo is POWed, you must try to be blocking up at all times. Even if he runs at you and you think he'll do a running B (low), let him. It does considerably less damage than his Power Special. To avoid such a dilemma, just try to stay far from him while he is POWed or dodge. Slash: If Hanzo is POWed, try to maintain about a 3 inch distance from him. That way, if he does his Power Special, you can immediately throw a Heat Flash without getting hit by his Power Special. Slash Hanzo can also pull the dazed log trick to get out of a Musouzankouka. Just so that you aren't taken by surprise if and when this happens, you are invulnerable while the screen is still blue from the move. However, all that wondrous damage will not be inflicted on Hanzo (sigh). Note: the time it takes before the screen returns to normal is random (or so it seems). Sometimes it stops right after the vanish, and sometimes it lasts until he end of the round. Kyoshiro -------- Finally! Some people here play Kyoshiro now! Welp, Kyoshiro has developed into some sort of a Charlotte, with lots o' poking (due to some MASSIVE range). Smart Kyoshiros have learned from getting DM's by me so much to use ducking B (which is EXTREMELY annoying, and effective). These smart Kyoshiros tend to really kick my butt, until I get behind them and do a BHFLC combo (see Combos) and get them dizzy. To date I haven't really found a specific strategy to beating them, as Kyoshiros are still rare. Some hints for medium graders, however, who will fare much better than I would (what with me refusing to block): If playing against a Slash Kyo, which you probably will, block down!!! The frog thingy that grabs you with its tongue hits low, comes out quick (past reaction time), and does great damage! Watch out for it. *UG!* Like Shizumaru, Kyoshiro has some lag (not as much as Shiz, but still some) after a connected jump slash. You can try to do a Musouzankouka before he lands. Genjuro ------- Genjuros are similar to Haohmarus in that they have powerful C slashes with major lag time. Stick to a General Strategy or a Dream Mist strategy. On special moves... - (Slash) Seems that EVERYONE knows how to do Slash Genj's five hit dash with CbBbC. This means that this move must be blocked forwards. Block it forwards and retaliate. It Genj begins to get smarter and starts to go with an A dash, just start sidestepping the dashes (don't dodge, as you'll get hit on the return slash). - (Bust) Bust Genjuros seem to love that new card toss that comes down from the air after it's blocked, and they use it as a safety device for jumping in on you. If you have confidence in your timing, block the initial card toss, dodge the dropped one, and then do a Dream Mist. Otherwise, just block everything. If you get annoyed with the ticking damage, just run forward after the first block, or dodge the initial card altogether. *UG!* Genjuro is another dodge-and-strike target. Dodge his big C and follow with some retaliation, especially the Musouzankouka. *UG!* If Genjuro does his delayed slash close to you, he is an open target for a Musouzankouka. Gaira ----- Slash: This guy is the ultimate turtle, since he has three block-cancel moves (the Nag Blast, leg grab, and up grab). Most Slash Gairas will try to close in, back you into a corner, if you jump, they'll up grab you, and if you slash, they'll either Nag Blast you or leg grab you. However, as is the case with most turtlers, you can always run up to him and guard crush him. Since he will try to get you in the corner, do a pulling guard crush into the corner, and then do a 100% combo (see Combos). That'll teach them! Bust: Bust is much more offensive than Slash, due to his two active grabs (one where he jumps, grabs you, and twirls you with his beads, another where he just grabs you from the ground and twirls you). Basically, whether or not you are playing upper grade, you will need to dodge a lot. Dodging a lot leads to sidestepping occasionally. Sidestepping leads to BHF.. combos. End of story. A minor note here is that Bust also has the Nag Blast. Basara ------ Try to block down as much as you can against Basaras. Basara's low B can hit up to 3 times, and it is a pain is the butt to get in close on a good Basara. Also, he has excellent air defense, so it is best to get him to come to you instead of you go to him. Throw lots of Heat Flashes and force him to come to you. Another thing is that Basara has that move where his feet glow and he steps on your head. This cannot be turned by a Dream Mist, so if it looks like he can connect one, don't do a Dream Mist. On special moves... *UG!* Both his Power Specials can be hit by a Heat Flash. If he is POWed, as soon as you see him hop back, you must assume it will be his Power Special. Throw an A Heat Flash immediately. If you don't have time, dodge it (or jump straight up) and follow with a Musouzankouka. Amakusa ------- Amazingly enough, Amakusa is an extremely difficult character to beat if your opponent knows how to play him. He has the strongest normal slash in the game (standing/crouching far C) and the most powerful kicks. Also, his yo-yo has excellent priority in that it is almost impossible to hit him out of a slash (due to the fact that he doesn't actually hold the yo-yo when he slashes). However, Amakusa seems to be helpless when you get into about A range. At A range, his crouching C just tosses the yo-yo upwards, his slashes do less damage, and since most his special moves have long initiation times and are aimed for long range, they are rendered useless. Key is to try to avoid his kicks at this range, but otherwise, he is pretty much at your mercy until he can get out of this range. Also, I have only connected a Dream Mist on two of Amakusa's moves (not his more popular slashes, though), so it may be a good idea to pack away the Dream Mist when playing against an Amakusa. On special moves... - If Amakusa does a Dark Destroyer (jumps into air and turns into a flaming ball), immediately jump at him and do a TG. It'll hit him out of the air almost all the time. Zankuro ------- Good luck against Zankuro. None of the Dream Mist strategies that involve turning jump slashes work on him because none of Zankuro's jump slashes can be turned by a Dream Mist (Argh!). Also, I'm not sure if it's possible to do a BHFLC combo on him (double ARGH!). The best way to beat Zankuro players is to throw many Heat Flashes and use jump/air block/retaliate in the air tactics. On special moves... - When Zankuro is POWed, try to stay a healthy distance away so that when he does his Power Special you are not affected by his big step (it shakes the ground so that even if you block, if you are close enough he will hit you). When he performs his Power Special and you are unaffected by his step, throw a Heat Flash and run after it, then do some stuff (preferably a B). - On his projectile: don't get hit by it. *UG!* Whew! Zankuro is a dodging clinic. If you can beat Zankuro at UG, and perfect him, you probably will have mastered dodging. Do this all match: Get in close, dodge, B->Musouzankouka. Once again, good luck on this. ============================================================================== vs. CPU strategies ============================================================================== Sorry, but since I play Bust Ukyo exclusively on upper grade, I do it against the CPU also. However, I have beaten the CPU many times with upper grade, and actually think it might be easier than playing medium grade. Major key to playing upper grade against the CPU is that if the computer is weaponless and happens to be standing right on top of the weapon, it will always get it back. Remember that you are vulnerable when you pick up a weapon? Remember that a Musouzankouka knocks the opponent's weapon out of their hands? Big hint. Haohmaru: Walk up to him before the round begins. Throughout the match, try to do a crossover air B into the BHFLC combo. B->Musouzankouka as much as possible. Shizumaru: Same as Haohmaru. Ukyo: Back Ukyo into the corner before the round begins. When the round starts, sidestep around him and do a BHFLC combo. Repeat. Nakoruru: Same as Haohmaru. Rimururu: Same as Haohmaru. Galford: Back Galford into the corner before the round begins. When the round starts, jump at him with B and try to cross over. If at any time Galford does an air drop, dodge and B->Musouzankouka or low C. Do NOT try to sidestep Galford at any time! If you do, Galford will low C you. Hanzo: Same as Galford. Kyoshiro: Same as Ukyo. Genjuro: Same as Ukyo. Gaira: Same as Ukyo. Can also try B crossovers a la vs. Haohmaru. Basara: Back Basara into the corner and do a B->Skylark->low C combo. Or do a B->Musouzankouka combo. Repeat to leisure. Reason I don't say same as Haohmaru is because crossover B slashes usually don't hit Basara; he's just too skinny. Amakusa: Same as Ukyo (getting pretty boring, isn't it?) Zankuro: Good luck. Back Zankuro into he corner before the round begins. Try to get in close and dodge intermittently. If he does a frontal heavy slash and you manage to dodge it, do a B->Musouzankouka. If you happen to sidestep him, do a low C instead (you can't combo Zankuro from behind). If you get him in the corner and hit him with a close B, do a Skylark->low C instead of the Musouzankouka (it will dizzy). ============================================================================== Notes After The Fact ============================================================================== Whew! After such work in college, I have finally found the time to send out another update for this Bust Ukyo guide! Took long enough. Other Ukyo sources: If I can't help you on an Ukyo topic, talk to either... Scott Fujimoto (SFUJIMOTO@DELPHI.COM), Anthony "Master" Cho (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Peter "Master" Young (email@example.com) I am sure they are as happy to ramble about Ukyo as I am when I have spare time. Ukyo pages: I only know of two WWW pages devoted to Ukyo. They are... http://www4.NCSU.EDU/eos/users/j/jzyang/www/ukyo.html http://leonardo.gprep.pvt.k12.md.us/~mehdim/ukyo.html Also, for more Ukyo info, contact Scott Fujimoto. He wrote the SS1 Ukyo guide, and has a lot of character background info. Once again, if you see any errors (spelling, poor grammar, incorrectness, etc.), please mail me about it! Until next time... ============================================================================== Jeff. JefLeung@cory.EECS.Berkeley.EDU -- Diplomacy is the art of saying "nice doggy" until you can find a rock.