*A COMPLETE GUIDE TO Z-ISM/A-ISM RYU (PS).* By "NT" (email@example.com) CONTENTS 1. About myself 2. Intro to Ryu 3. Key list (basic & command attacks included) 4. Special moves 5. Basic combo list 6. Advanced combo list 7. Basic strategies 8. Advanced Strategies 9. Beating the crap out of opponents. 10. The End! 1. ABOUT MYSELF =============== This is my second attempt at an FAQ. I decided to write on Shotokans NOT because I love them, this is just the way I think one should play with them. Everybody likes to play as them, hence the FAQ! (My friends are really mad at me for writing one on Ryu though) Other than that, I'm a Manga freak and collect animes and stuff. Drawing is my main hobby and I'm working on a couple of Manga inspired titles of my own. If you want to take a peek at them, feel free to contact me and I'll get the pages scanned and sent to you. That's it about me, let's get down to the FAQ. 2. INTRO TO RYU =============== What's there to say? He's the main character and the SF series can't survive without him. Along with Ken, both these characters made a big splash in the fighting game circuit as the best fighters around. As shotokans have always been easy to control and are also quick to boot, both Ryu and Ken gained immense popularity among SF players and they're still at the top. Although there is criticism about the monopoly these fighters exercise, it would be wrong to blame those who play as them. They're in the game and everyone's free to choose `em. This FAQ focuses on Ryu only. Before we get on with details, I want to make one thing clear that Ryu, Ken and Gouki are three different characters. I've heard many intermediate and novice players complain that all three of them have the same moves and styles, so why doesn't Capcom merge them into just one fighter? Well, the answer is that the style of play changes greatly when you make a transition from one Shoto to another. Try it yourself. The timing of special moves is different for every Shotokan, and so are the combos. Well.. most of them! Ryu was there in the very first Street Fighter, he's here to date, and he's going to stay for the rest of the SF series' life. 3. KEY LIST =========== I'll be using the following abbreviations: ATTACK BUTTONS: JP = Jab punch MP = Medium punch (or the strong punch, whatever) HP = Hard punch JK = Jab kick MK = Medium Kick HK = Hard kick DIRECTION KEYS: F = forward (you're the first player, i.e. to the left) DF = down-forward D = down DB = down-back B = back UB = up-back U = up UF = up-forward I'm including the basic and command attack descriptions in this section so go through them if you want to. BASIC ATTACKS ============= First the STANDING ATTACKS: JP: A quick forward jab. This is not the best weapon for poking, but feel free to use it at close range. Might not hit crouching player. MP: A quick straight punch in the kisser with the right hand. This is a good attack to stop larger characters from coming close to you. HP: This punch has been changed from `Alpha 2'. It's a cross-moving punch and it is not interruptible. At close range however, it turns into a left hook that interrupts readily. JK: A quick poke at the ankles. Interruptible. MK: A kick to the face. Its not as fast as the MP and its no longer an effective anti-air. HK: The trademark roundhouse kick. Its not an effective anti-air, as some people think. Turns into a super fast two hit axe kick at close range. Not interruptible at long or short range (interruptible in X- ism). CROUCHING ATTACKS: JP: A quick left jab to the feet. This is an excellent poke when used in tandem with the JK. Its interruptible. MP: The same as the standing MP, only hits lower as Ryu's crouching. Interruptible. HP: A wild thrusting uppercut. It's a good anti-air and interrupts if the hit is made in its early animations. JK: A quick footsie poke. An excellent attack indeed! Interruptible. MK: A long stretching, interruptible, tailor made for combos kick! You can even use this as an effective poke device when needed. HK: A low arcing tripping kick. Its not interruptible any more. JUMPING ATTACKS: JP: A downward pointing jab punch in the air. I don't use it much. MP: A two hit punch in the air. Its great for juggles, and also for starting expert combos. HP: A smack with the right fist. Great for hitting opponents on the ground and for starting combos. Its not the best attack for aerial combat though. JK: An aerial knee attack. This is good for hitting opponents early. MK: The cross-up attack. Has good priority in aerial fights. HK: A fierce version of the MK. Does not cross-up but it's a good combo starter. COMMAND ATTACKS =============== Command attacks are those which are executed by pressing a direction key along with a punch or kick key. They either act as overheads or quicker versions of the standard attacks. NOTE: Most (if not all) command attacks do not combo. Overhead Punch: Ryu pauses for a second and then performs a two-hit downward pointing punch. Its great to confuse opponents with as it comes out reasonably quickly. Has to be blocked high. MOTION: F + MP. Senpuu Kyaku: Ryu hops forward, kicking with his right leg in a hurricane kick pose. Hits only once and its not an overhead. MOTION: F + MK. 4. SPECIAL MOVES ================ Whew.. Man! The basic attack section can really get to be a bore! Now its time to discuss the special moves, the moves that made Ryu the fighter he is today. Everybody knows the Dragon Punch and the Fireball, what they look like and how to do them, so why do I need to discuss them? Well, to be honest I don't know myself so just skip this section if you don't feel like going thru it. Oh! Before I forget, I've included the Super Attacks in this section as well. Happy? Ok then.. HADOKEN: The basic fireball attack. Ryu stretches both his hands forward, palms facing toward his opponent, and a blue aura emerges from his hands that strikes anyone who gets in its way. This move is great for setups and combos, as we'll see later. There are two available variations of the fireball, the normal one and the flaming one. The flaming fireball, or the stun fireball, seems to dizzy opponents quickly if comboed (not confirmed!). MOTION: For normal Fireball: D,DF,F + ANY PUNCH. For Stun Fireball : B,DB,D,DF,F + ANY PUNCH.(Knockdown at close range) SHORYUKEN: The classic uppercut attack is perhaps the most well know move in business. Its an excellent anti-air and has great priority. Do I really need to tell you what he does? NO! MOTION: F,D,DF + ANY PUNCH. TATSU MAKI SENPUU KYAKU: It hits three times and juggles now. Great to setup juggle combos when fighting against larger characters. Can also be done in air. MOTION: D,DB,B + KICK. FAKE HADOKEN: The animation of the hadoken without the fireball. Read on to find out why this move's so important. MOTION: D,DF,F + SELECT. SUPER ATTACKS ============= These are the attacks that require the super meter. The meter is situated at the bottom of the screen and has a maximum capacity of 3 levels. A LV3 super does the greatest damage but empties the entire meter in one go. A LV1 super can be repeated 3 times if the meter is full but does little damage. LV1 supers are executed by using the light versions of the punch or kick. For LV2, use the strong version and lastly, use the fierce versions for LV3. You can fill up your super meter by performing various attacks. The more aggressive you play the faster the meter fills up. Anyway, I think you know about all this so read on. SHINKUU HADOKEN: A stronger version of the standard Hadoken. It can break thru other projectile attacks and still hit the opponent. The LV3 version of this super flames the opponent and sets up rather gruesome juggles in the corners. Most players prefer to end their combos with the Shinkuu Hadoken cuz its easy to pull off and looks cool as a finisher. MOTION: D,DF,F,D,DF + ANY PUNCH. SHINKUU TATSU MAKI SENPUU KYAKU: A static hurricane kick. Ryu spins around in the hurricane kick pose without moving across the screen. When he's in the frames of the super, sparks fly around the area his feet cover. If anyone gets in range of those sparks, they're in for a nice bashing! It's very easy to combo at LV3 as the range of the super increases. MOTION: D,DB,B,D,DB + ANY KICK. METSU SHORYUKEN: Ryu does a rushing elbow attack followed by a two hit Shoryuken. It does pathetic damage, considering that it can only be done at LV3. MOTION: D,DF,F,D,DF + ANY KICK. SHIN SHORYUKEN: Ryu does a rushing elbow attack followed by a punch in the gut and a powerful rising Shoryuken. During the Shin Shoryuken, the rising Shoryuken that Ryu does in the end will be different than the standard Shoryuken. Its actually a static Shinryuken. The motion for this move is the same as the Metsu Shoryuken, the trick lies in connecting the Metsu Shoryuken as late as possible. Y'see, Ryu slides with an extended elbow before actually doing the super so try to connect the elbow in the last frames of its animation. If you do it right, the entire animation of the super will change and a hell of a lot of damage will be inflicted. Very difficult to connect in actual battles. MOTION: SAME AS THE METSU SHORYUKEN. 5. BASIC COMBOS =============== Now its time to get on with the basic combos. These are very simple to perform if you've played Street Fighter before. If you haven't, well, tough luck. I'll try to help you as much as I possibly can ok? You don't need to read the next few lines if you know the theory behind the two-in-one combo system. THE TWO-IN-ONE SYSTEM: Ok beginner (I'm assuming that you are one if you're going thru this), Capcom's greatest triumph in fighting game engines is its revolutionary two-in-one system. This system allows basic attacks to be interrupted into special and even super attacks to register massive combos. Some basic attacks can be interrupted, some cannot be interrupted. You'll just have to learn that by yourself. Its very easy, trust me. After a little practice, combos become a piece of cake. No, make that reflex! Ryu's greatest strength lies in his ability to combo quickly and effectively. Most of his basic attacks are interruptible so you have a large variety of combos to choose from. To make things simple, I've divided the combos into steps. Here are the simplest combos of them all: BASIC COMBO #1: a) Standing or crouching HP (or any punch for that matter) at close range. b) Two-in-one into a fierce Hadoken (flaming or normal). This is a two hit, very basic combo that can be used time and time again. BASIC COMBO #2: a) Standing or crouching HP (or any punch). b) Two-in-one into a fierce hurricane kick. A four hit combo that does decent damage. Its very effective in intense battles as it sets up juggles in corners. BASIC COMBO #3: a) Jumping HP or HK. b) BASIC COMBO #1 or #2. This is your basic jump in combo. Jump ins require you to jump into an opponent and then start the combo. BASIC COMBO #4: a) Jumping HP or HK. b) Crouching JP. c) Crouching JK. d) Fierce Hadoken. Another 4 hit combo. Its not a high damage combo but it seems to dizzy quickly. Tag an opponent with this combo and after a couple more hits, he'll get dizzy for sure! BASIC COMBO #5: a) Jumping HK. b) Crouching MK. c) Two-in-one into a fierce Hadoken. This is a very well balanced combo that most people do. It does decent damage and its very easy to time. Another plus behind this combo is that even if its blocked, its very hard to counter as Ryu pushes opponents away. Don't do it in corners! If this combo is blocked in the corner, Ryu will be open to attacks. BASIC COMBO #6: a) Jumping HK. b) Crouching JP. c) Crouching JK. d) Standing JK. e) Two-in-one into a fierce Hadoken or Hurricane kick. I find this combo useless but there are people who use this with insane effectiveness. Its tedious to pull off so I stick with COMBO #4 instead. The results are the same so who cares? Ok, these were the simplest combos I could think of. The basic combos that I've mentioned are designed to be used 8-10 times in a normal fight. They chip away at your opponent and can be used to tick as well. Now its time to get on with the advanced combo section. 6. ADVANCED COMBOS ================== These combos take away a large chunk of energy and are hard to do at first. After a little practice, you should be pulling them off easily. I need to make one thing clear at this point: Doing an advanced combo is no big deal. I've seen people say, "man, I pulled off a 19-hit combo yesterday!". What they forget to mention is that they did it in the training mode! An expert player will know how to open an opponent nicely to actually connect the combo. Believe me, sometimes its shit hard to land one of these killers. An opening is something you'll rarely get in an intense fight. The edge goes to the player who actually takes advantage of that opening. Some players get too excited when they see a missed, fierce Shoryuken and mess up the entire setup. You need to be patient and take advantage of whatever comes in your way. Practice these combos to reduce your margin of error. As far as creating an opening is concerned, I'll discuss that in the next two sections on general strategy. NOTE: I'm only including combos that do decent damage. Pathetic combos involving the Metsu Shoryuken have been excluded. I've yet to know the exact way to combo a Shin Shoryuken. Can anybody help me on this one? ADVANCED COMBO #1: a) Jumping HP or HK. b) Crouching MK. c) Two-in-one into Shinkuu Hadoken (any level). This combo is very simple to execute and lays the foundation for comboing with supers. All you need to do is get the timing right for the two-in-one and everything'll be excellent. ADVANCED COMBO #2: a) Jumping HP or HK. b) Crouching HP. c) Two-in-one into a level 3 Shinkuu Tatsu Maki Senpuu Kyaku. This is a high damage combo that takes about 50% energy. Simple to execute but hard to setup. ADVANCED COMBO #3: a) Crossup with MK. b) Crouching MP. c) Crouching LP. d) Two-in-one into a LV3 Shinkuu Hadoken. This combo is best done in corners. If chaining the MP and LP gets to be a pain, forget this combo. It looks good, but when it comes to effectiveness, it sucks BAD! I'd rather do ADVANCED COMBO #2 on a full level 3 gauge. ADVANCED COMBO #4: a) Jumping HP or HK. b) Crouching HP. c) Two-in-one into a HK Hurricane kick. d) Juggle with crouching MP. e) Two-in-one into a LV3 Shinkuu Hadoken. This combo only works in corners. Remember to use the HP at step (b). Using any other punch or kick will make the combo harder to do. This is also a high damage combo but only do this against intermediate players. Experts will recover before the juggle everytime so its pretty useless against them. ADVANCED COMBO #5: a) Jumping HP or HK. b) Crouching JK. c) Crouching JP. d) Standing JK. e) Two-in-one into a LV3 Shinkuu Hadoken. This is a fun combo that's not too hard. It doesn't do as much damage as the rest of the combos, but its quick and effective. ADVANCED COMBO #6: a) Jumping HP or HK. b) Crouching JK. c) Two-in-one into a LV3 Shinkuu Hadoken. d) Juggle with standing HP. e) Two-in-one into a fierce Shoryuken. This is one of Ryu's most damaging combos. Surprisingly, its not too hard to pull off and it makes a great finisher. Timing the JK and the Shinkuu Hadoken is everything so practice this one a lot. Its an invaluable asset. CORNERS ONLY!! ADVANCED COMBO #7: a) Jumping HP or HK. b) Crouching MP. c) Two-in-one into a HK Hurricane kick. d) Juggle with crouching MP. e) Two-in one into a HK Hurricane kick (opponent gets dizzy) f) On dizzied opponent, cross up with MK. g) Crouching MP. h) Two-in-one into a HK Hurricane kick. i) Juggle with crouching MP. j) Two-in-one into a HK Hurricane kick (opponent gets dizzy again) k) On dizzied opponent, jumping HK. l) Crouching MK. m) Two-in-one into a LV3 Shinkuu Hadoken. This is an extremely difficult combo to perform, but its there in the game as I've done it myself. I first saw it in a video file I downloaded from somewhere (forgot!) and I thought, "what a load of crap!". But the truth is that it's a genuine combo. You can only do this on larger characters (very difficult to do on smaller ones). (NOTE: Anybody can recover from the Hurricane kick juggle. Therefore, it would be logical to think that this combo is actually a big fat NOTHING! Anyway, do it for fun in a fight. Who knows, someone might be dumb enough to eat it!) And that's about it. I've excluded pathetic combos, as mentioned earlier, and also those that don't actually work in real fights. What I mean to say is that combos involving extensive juggles after a HK Hurricane kick have not been included (exception: ADVANCED COMBO #7) cuz anybody can recover from the juggle in time. In reality, those combos just aren't there. Ok man, keep practicing these basic and advanced combos. When you think you're ready for the challenge, go thru these basic and advanced strategies to really tick the $#!T out of opponents. 7. BASIC STRATEGIES =================== This is the practical. Learning to combo is one thing, but applying them in real fights is a different thing altogether. I've seen people who have no concept of combos win, just because their basic game plan was effective. The strategies listed in this section will help you start thinking in the right direction. Remember, Ryu's special moves have excellent priority so don't get caught in the "playing too aggressive" trap. That's what most people do. Here we go! BASIC #1: Keep this in mind: The first move that your opponent makes determines his skill level. This is a key to adjust your style of play. You can choose from the three basic fighting patterns: Defensive, Aggressive, and Moderate. Here's what you're supposed to do. If your opponent jumps back and starts to throw fireballs (or any other projectile) when the round starts, that's a clear indication that he's a loser. Such players lack confidence in themselves and resort to fireballs, trying to stay away from the real fight. They'll do the occasional Shoryuken to keep you at bay, but don't worry. I'll recommend the aggressive mode here. Fireball crazy opponents tend to mistime one or two fireballs. They misjudge the distance between them and you, throwing projectiles blindly. Jump over the fireballs and let them have it. Once they're pinned in a corner, beat the crap out of them. They're the most defenseless people on earth I tell you! If your opponent starts jumping at you when the round starts, that obviously means that he's feeling a bit combo deprived. Aggressive players are the easiest to beat. They'll do a fluke super and stuff like that, but in the end, you'll always win. Playing defensive is the key to irritate such players. Keep blocking their quicker attacks and counter any stupid jump or special move. Keep in mind that aggressive players use fireballs sparingly. They're always on the move and that makes it much easier to beat them. Sooner or later they're bound to do something stupid and that's when you take the advantage. WARNING: Most intermediate aggressive players have the basic knowledge of combos so keep an eye out. There's also a third kind of player. He's an expert, and you can tell that by the way he holds the stick and looks at the screen. Expressionless. Expert players will use all the punch and kick attacks to full effect, using lots of jab pokes and heavy attacks for combos. They'll use fireballs when its absolutely safe and they'll start playing aggressive after making sure that they have an advantage over you. To beat such worthy opponents, you have to play in the moderate style, meaning that your style of play will vary between the three modes all the time. He'll be using the moderate style as well, so in the end it all depends in the fighter who makes the least mistakes. And that's about it. This basic lesson lays the foundation of the frame of mind you'll actually be in while fighting. The following lessons will tell you how to use Ryu in battles. BASIC #2: This lesson focuses on the Hadoken. It's an excellent projectile attack with good speed and satisfactory recovery time. Using it effectively can give you an edge, but doing it without thinking can land you in a lot of trouble. The safest way to use this move is when someone is recovering from a knockdown or low juggle. This forces a block and as a consequence, inflicts block-damage. There is only one other way to use this move and that's in combos. Apart from these two situations, there is NO OTHER valid way to use this move. Never use it from the screen's range as it allows opponents to jump over the fireball and come closer to you. Expert players might jump over your misdirected projectile and murder you with a combo. I repeat, this move is only to be used when you know that its absolutely safe to do it. This way you reduce the margin of error and tick the opponent to death at the same time. One last thing, mix up the speed of the Hadoken. Use the extreme versions of the punches (LP & HP) for maximum effectiveness. Use the HP version from close range and the LP version from long range. BASIC #3: This one's really important. I've seen so many Ryu players show off their skill by performing lots of special moves and supers, but all of them suck when their super meter reaches zero. Timing supers is one thing and doing special moves is no big deal. The real art lies in the basic attacks that Ryu possesses. I don't know why people over look the basic kicks and punches. In my opinion, these attacks help the most when you want to inflict maximum damage. Ryu has great kicks and punches so use them more often. Don't go for the super and specials alone, go for a more orthodox fighting style. By orthodox I don't mean to say predictable, just try to count less on luck and more on strategy. If you know the range and speeds of your basic and command attacks, I guarantee you'll become the biggest pain in anybody's butt! BASIC #4: Only use the LP version of the Shoryuken. It reduces your recovery time and its invincible in its earliest frames. You'll be able to break thru most supers with the help of this. Please remember that its impossible to use the Shoryuken as a finisher for a jump-in combo. Use it to juggle and stuff, but never combo it after a standing HP, provided that both you and your opponent are standing on the ground cuz it'll never connect. BASIC #5: This is also a very important strategy. You should try to jump less and concentrate more on a ground-based game. Go for jumps only when you're sure that the opponent is open for combos. Use simple two or four hit combos to keep players on their toes and use super combos sparingly. Playing the ground-based game requires you to use a lot of pokes and accurate placing of jabs. Make the opponent fluctuate his blocking stance from high to low and confuse him. Playing in this fashion will force you to stay close to the opponent, which in turn gives the other player less time to counter Ryu's fast jabs. Don't get aggressive at this point! Keep your cool and play mind games, anticipating missed attacks and stupid jumps. Many players I've met complain that this strategy does little damage cuz the jabs are being used. Well, this is what I have to say: Using jabs repeatedly gives your opponent the illusion that his primary attack strategy is proving to be a failure. Whatever he tries to do, a jab poke is waiting for him. As a consequence, he's bound to release a super attack or jump out of your range, giving you the chance to tag him with a 50% drainer combo. See? Works everytime against intermediates and beginners. BASIC #6: There are times when you face opponents who can do combos and special moves with accuracy, but only from one side of the screen. You can count on this weakness to your advantage. Keep them on their weaker side and wait for mistimed hits and jumps. Sometimes, this is the only way to beat expert players. This strategy does not apply to all players. This concludes the basic section. If you haven't figured it out yet, this section is designed to give you a layout on which to build your overall fighting plan. After you have formulated a sound strategy, use some of the advanced tricks of the trade to rattle the strongest of nerves! Now its time to look at the advanced strategies. 8. ADVANCED STRATEGIES ====================== Listed in this section are those plans and tricks that help you create setups for big combos. Also listed are ticking techniques and other assorted stuff. Please keep in mind that if your basic strategy is not technically correct (eg. You find it hard to keep a cool head, etc.) these attack methods and tricks are not for you. First improve your basics and then build the expert tricks on top of that. It works that way for any character. Here we go! ADVANCED #1: There are two ways to create setups. Either you do something that forces the opponent to open himself up, or they do something stupid. Either way, you are the person responsible for triggering them. The first method requires you to perform an unorthodox pattern or sequence which seems inviting to the opponent, forcing a missed attack. The second method keeps on popping up when you've successfully psyched out the opponent. I'll only deal with the expert players here. Intermediates and beginners will always open themselves up after being psyched out so you don't have to worry about them. Your basic strategy will be more than enough. Experts, however, are a different story altogether. They're very sharp and are very flexible in terms of fighting styles. They have a large arsenal of combos and special maneuvers that they keep a secret until required. You can knock them down but they're never out, that sorta jazz. Expert players have a weakness too. They sometimes fall prey to patterns and you'll notice them repeating the same tick over and over again. Y'see, ticks and combos are things which get integrated with fighting styles quickly. Expert players love to combo and when you starve them by blocking their pokes and giving minimum chances, they get frustrated. This is your chance! At this point, they'll either do a pre-planned sequence of attacks or waste their super meter by doing an unnecessary super. Kill them when that happens and remember to combo correctly. Experts don't give second chances. ADVANCED #2: This is a cool way to force opponents to either block or jump toward you. Its called the "pretend fireball". When you are at combo range from the other player, do the fireball motion but DON'T press any button in the end. Make the fireball motion as noisy as possible to wake the opponent and force him to do something silly. As no projectile comes out in the end, you'll have ample time to Shoryuken their ass or sweep them if they block high. This is a great way to psyche out opponents as it'll make them think about the wide arsenal of tricks you possess. ADVANCED #3: Mix up the fake Hadoken with the normal Hadoken as often as possible. The Fake Hodoken has little recovery time so use that to your advantage. Here's how the two should be used. Use the normal fireball ONLY when its absolutely safe to do it. I've mentioned this earlier in this FAQ so grind this in your head. This is one move you don't want to mistime as it opens you up for quite a long time. The Fake Hadoken should ONLY be used from combo range, i.e. when you do the move, the second player should find the placement of your character most inviting for combos. As your recovery time is shortened by the fake move, you'll be ready for his jump-in attacks and the Shoryuken counter will come into play once again. ADVANCED #4: Whenever possible, use the LV3 Shinkuu Hadoken to counter air attacks. If your opponent jumps and you spot that he'll land short of you, do the LV3 super to make him eat all the hits in the air. Remember to do the super quickly cuz if he reaches the ground first, your super will go to waste. ADVANCED #5: This one works very well against intermediates. If they block your jump-in combo, don't get pissed. Do this instead: Jump with a HP or HK, Do two crouching JKs and then stand right there for a second doing absolutely NOTHING. When you feel they're going to attack, do a super to counter any threats. You need to be quick to pull this off, but if you're able to time this right, it guarantees a successful super attack. Anticipation is everything so keep a cool head. ADVANCED #6: Whenever possible, replace the jumping HP or HK with the MP for starting jump-in combos. The MP hits twice and does a bit more damage, but its difficult to time sometimes. Anyway, if you're looking for an extra hit, this is for you. ADVANCED #7: Crossing up is very important if you want to increase the probability of your combo to connect. Fortunately, it's now easy to perform a cross-up (it was a bit difficult in Zero 2). Ryu's cross-up attack is his jumping MK (same as in Z2). After pinning the opponent to the ground, e.g. after a sweep, jump on top of the fallen sprite and do the MK. As your opponent gets up, he'll have to shift his block to the opposite end to prevent the cross-up attack, which is very difficult. As cross-ups connect deep, they're great for combos even when you're in the middle of the screen. Practice this in the training mode. After a couple of successful hits, you should be able to do them with ease. You can also cross-up a standing opponent, but that takes a bit of practice. Anyway, try it. ADVANCED #8: This is a great confusion move. When you pin your opponent to the ground, walk on top of the fallen sprite and do the Senpuu Kyaku (F + MK) as soon as he gets up. In a split second you'll swap sides with him and this creates a hell of a lot of panic. Use this opening to your advantage and connect a 50% drainer combo! ADVANCED #9: Another confusion creating tactic. If you've jumped with the intention of doing a combo and your opponent manages to sneak under your jump, do a LK Hurricane kick to drop altitude quickly. You just might catch them off guard. The LK Hurricane kick, if executed in the air, makes Ryu reach the ground very quickly. If you've played table-tennis, its almost like playing a top-spin shot! To create super confusion, keep jumping and doing the hurricane with the LK. Intermediates will get so confused, they might leave the arcade! Don't use this tactic excessively against experts. BONUS <FUN WITH RYU>!!!: Here's a neat way to freeze the screen when you beat your opponent. It works with all fireball tossing players (Ryu, Ken, Chun-li, Sakura etc). All you have to do is make the opponent eat a fireball attack from the screen's range WHEN HIS LIFE BAR IS ALMOST EMPTY. This is very important! Make sure that his life bar is on or about zero so that he dies as soon as he blocks or eats the fireball. As soon as your fireball connects, quickly follow with a super attack of your choice. The screen will freeze for a few seconds and while your character will be stuck in the super charging pose (looks extremely cool), the other guy will be stuck in the knockout frames (oooa, oooa, oooa!). There's another way to make this gimmick even more spectacular and that's to kill your opponent with a super fireball instead of a normal one. When the super kills the other guy, the screen will get filled up with blast lines. Now as soon as that happens, do another super (not the super fireball one) and the screen will freeze up again, the only difference being that the blast lines will stay for a long, long time and both characters will remain stuck in their respective poses. Really cool trick! Remember, both characters will remain completely STATIC (i.e. they will not move AT ALL) if you do this right. That's it! Get these attack methods right and you'll become a well- balanced fighter in no time. I've missed out on many things, I admit it, so let me know. Now its time to.. 9. BEAT THE CRAP OUT OF OPPONENTS ================================= In this section, I'll deal with the general strategies against every character (I'm assuming you're playing against a human). (in alphabetical order) 1. ADON: God I hate Adon! Adon players love to take advantage of his speed so you'll have to think faster than usual. His moves have little or no recovery time (he plays like a KOF character if you ask me) so its hard to create an opening. All I can tell you here is that wait for them to make mistakes and counter HARD when that happens. In X-ism, Adon gets an even nastier aerial crescent kick so watch out for it. In a nutshell, Shinkuu Hadoken the stupid jumps and use Shoryukens sparingly. I hate this guy! 2. BIRDIE: Keep him away or you'll get grabbed. Birdie players use his charging attacks to get close so counter them if you're fast, or just block and counter. Don't jump mindlessly as he's got an excellent standing HP anti-air. Use the Hadoken to full effect here as Birdie's large character sprite forces him to land on one every now and then. Cross him up when ever you get the chance and keep him pinned in corners. 3. BALROG: This guy's extra quick! The Shoryuken's your best friend here as most Balrog players are insane jumpers. Get ready to be poked and frustrated as nailing combo on him's very difficult. Use the jumping MK to beat him in the air and the crouching JK to interrupt his rolling attack. Try to keep him down and dictate terms. Don't let him swap sides (i.e. left to right) quickly as this might throw you off balance. Use the jab version of the Shoryuken to slow him down. If he loses his claw, feel free to play aggressively. Keep your cool and hunt him down. 4. BISON: I can't believe it! I forgot to mention this guy in my Zangief FAQ! AAARGH! Ahh well.. He's not as effective as he used to be, that's just my opinion. He has a great standing HP but his rushing attacks have been toned down a bit. Its very easy to counter him whenever he goes into one of his moves so don't worry about this guy. Use your supers freely against his special moves (very easy) and play offensively. He'll give up soon. 5. BLANKA: This guy's a tough cookie. His rolling attack is very unpredictable (comes out of thin air!) and its hard to counter even when blocked. He has a good sweep and the electric charge + zoning moves make things even worse. Don't try to challenge him in aerial combats cuz he'll kick your ass most of the time. Try to play defensively against him and frustrate the hell out of him using the jab and medium attacks. Don't go for the flashy stuff cuz in this fight, there's no room for mistakes. Wait for Blanka to mistime an attack or two and take advantage. Once you psyche him out by unleashing a nasty combo, play a natural game and win. Watch out for the ultra-damaging biting grab! 6. CAMMY: She's a great fighter and has all the necessary moves to kick the hardest of butts. Block and counter the cannon drills and don't jump mindlessly. Her fireball evasion move can juggle now so don't fireball at combo range. Remember not to get stuck in the corner cuz she has the ability to murder you there. Shoryuken, or just jump and counter, her irritating rolling grab attack and Shinkuu Hadoken her cute ass after blocking a Cannon Spike or Spin Dive Smasher. 7. CODY: At first I used to think that Cody players were push-overs but they've improved dramatically in the last couple of months! His basic aerial attacks have a lot of priority so don't try to mess with him in the air. His most dangerous attack is his kicking super (forgot the name.. ummm..) which, people say, is completely invincible in the initial frames (confirmation requested!!). I don't know about you but I've never been able to counter it with special attacks. So for the moment, block the super because its very easy to spot and counter afterwards. For the rest of his attacks, they have a lot of lag time so you shouldn't have much problems. Keep a low block against his special moves cuz he has the ability to sneak in a sliding trip, and counter whenever you get the chance. 8. CHUN-LI: Bitch. That's right, I hate her! There's just one thing I like about her and that's her inability to combo after that ^%#^% crouching MK. Her kicks are faster than ever and her axe kick has been improved. Remember that expert Chun-Li players will make you shift your stance from high to low block, so be prepared for stupid pokes. The best strategy here would be a ground based one. Let her come to you and try to catch her off-guard. Chunners love to come in close for a quick throw so keep your itchy trigger finger on the JK and do a million crouching JKs when she tries that same old trick. Don't jump on her when she's pinned cuz her Tenshou Kyaku can have the same effect as the Shoryuken. Also, provoke players to do the axe kick by keeping a low block whenever they get close. Block the axe and let `em have it with a drainer! 9. DEEJAY: Nobody uses him here so I don't exactly know how experts use him. I just keep on kicking his butt by using simple attacks and stuff, but I don't know how to counter some of his attacks with precision. Wait for the FAQ upgrade for anti-Deejay tactics. 10. DAN: Kill him! Some Dan players can be surprisingly good so watch out for them. If that happens, treat him like any other shoto. 11. DHALSIM: This guy is good. I mean, he can be a major pain if someone knows how to use him properly. Dhalsim's excellent reach is actually his demise against Ryu. Although his attacks go a long way, he takes a lot of time to retract his arms and legs. Use this time to chip away at him using HP Hadokens. His teleportation attack is a nuisance when executed in the air cuz is usually followed by a yoga spear. Whenever that happens, keep a high block and counter the spear AFTER it has been blocked. Another thing that gets to be a bother is his yoga spear frenzy (short jumps followed by HK spears at close range). When Dhalsim gets into that mode its very easy, and at the same time, extremely hard to beat him. If you're good and quick, counter each and every spear with LP shoryukens. If you're not quick, its going to be a hell of a time for you. 12. E.HONDA: This guy is surprisingly effective. The computer doesn't use him all that well so don't underestimate his skills. Honda is very slow and you shouldn't have any problems spotting his lazy jumps. Shoryuken whenever he jumps at you and if you're quick, try to do the same to the torpedoes. Here's the problem: Although he can't jump at you, you can't jump on expert Hondas as well. Don't ever get frustrated by this fact. You can NEVER do a jump-in on an expert Honda cuz he'll torpedo your ass everytime. If his torpedo charge is incomplete and you think that you have a chance, forget it. He has a standing HP chop to counter you everytime. Hadokens will have little effect on his massive body so chip away at him. Patience is everything so don't get intimidated. 13. FEI-LONG: This guy is good! His attacks are very impressive and do a lot of damage. Don't counter his Dragon Kick cuz its hard to interrupt. Instead, block it and them let him have it. Experts love to mix up his Rekka-Ken, doing the first two punches quickly and delaying the third one. Keep such tactics in mind and counter the Rekka-Ken as soon as it ends. Play a balanced game here, cuz Fei- Long's attributes are similar to Ryu's in more ways than one. 14. GEN: His chain combos can get to be a pain so try to interrupt the chain initiating attack with a jab. Gen players are normally aggressive cuz they need to get in close to connect high damage combos. Oblige by letting them get close and counter the `LAST chain attack only'. This is very important. You CANNOT interrupt the chain while it is in progress. Most Ryu players make this mistake against Gen. They think that the chain is over and stick out an attack, realizing in the end that they have been suckered into a delayed chain followed by a LV2 Zan'ei + LV1 Jakouha. Use the crouching MK a lot against him but ONLY when his super gauge is empty. On an empty gauge its much easier to beat him, so make him miss supers and take advantage. You'll find that without his ultra-quick supers, beating Gen is a piece of cake. 15. GOUKI: Fighting against Shotokans is Ryu's greatest strength. Ryu's combos are the easiest to perform and they come out when you want them to. Gouki's fireballs take a longer time to come out, and if you're quick enough to spot that, jump in for a big one. His Shoryuken is a problem though. It hits three times no matter the strength of the button pressed. Here's the good news. Ryu's Shoryuken can counter Gouki's, but ONLY the HP version can do it. If you use any other button to counter an anticipated Gouki Shoryuken, you'll eat the three hits. The air-fireball is not as effective as it used to be so don't worry about that. The air-fireball super is a different story altogether. In a nutshell, use Hadokens sparingly and stay sharp. Ryu is faster than Gouki and that's your primary advantage! 16. GUY: Get ready to be poked! His standing MK has the same effect as in Zero 2 so remember to counter it with a Shoryuken or Hadoken. I haven't seen Guy players use his rolling attack all that much cuz its difficult to get the placement right. Anyway, if they do it mindlessly, Shoryuken their ass. One thing you need to watch out for is the Houzantou. Its Guy's primary attack against Shotokans cuz its invincible in the initial frames. Its easy to spot though, so block and counter everytime. The Bushin Senpuu Kyaku is an anti-air now so don't jump mindlessly. It juggles and does a lot of damage. As far as Guy's supers are concerned, they're still pretty much useless against Shotos unless you're stupid enough to eat `em. Play a well balanced game by mixing up jumps and tick away at him by doing three or four hit combos at most. Guy has a tendency to provide you with openings so take advantage whenever you get a chance. 17. GUILE: Read Nash. Almost the same tactics work against both of them. 18. JULI/JUNI: They're basically Cammy in fighting style. Juli, in my opinion, is the more dangerous one cuz of the Sniping Arrow. It comes out fast and can juggle in corners. Juni's excessive charge timing makes her a bit unpopular in this part of the world so I don't exactly know her complete abilities. In a nutshell, block and counter the Arrow and treat `em as if you're playing against Cammy. 19. KARIN: Once she starts going, there's no way you can beat her! I'm talking about expert Karin players here, they have this uncanny ability to counter every attack you think of (Yasha Gaeshi). I've started to play as Karin now and she's excellent against Shotokans. I'm not exactly sure how to beat an expert Karin, but I've done it using my instincts. What I mean to say is that different people use the same Karin in different ways. You have to learn your opponent's style of play pretty quickly to ensure a win. Her crouching MK is the main poking weapon so don't try to counter it all the time. Play defensively and counter the Rekka-Kens instead. Jump on her ONLY when she's pinned, otherwise she'll let you have it with that anti- air super. 20. KEN: Brrr.. scary fight! Ken is an aggressive player and his moves are designed to inflict large amounts of damage. It doesn't matter how much you beat him up, one of his combos can turn the fight on its head. Your best chance lies in making him miss, and that happens quite a lot. Ken's special and super moves have a lot of lag time so you should have no problems in connecting a 50% drainer. If you eat one of his killer combos at the start of a fight, I would advise you to play a defensive game and make him miss again to even up the odds. His standing HK is an excellent poke so don't try to counter it unless you're sure your attack will hit. In a nutshell, play defensively and poke a lot. 21. NASH: Most Nash players I've been up against are turtles. Fortunately, Ryu is the perfect anti-turtle player! Keep on throwing Hadokens from a short-of-combo range if they keep on blocking low and pounce on `em if their somersault shell charge is incomplete. His Sonic Break super is very easy to spot but the Crossfire Blitz is nasty. Don't let him come close to you, instead keep on charging at him by mixing up the basic attacks. Use the jumping JPs and JKs to counter the backfist and you should be home safe and dry. 22. R.MIKA: Nobody uses her here cuz she's a punching bag. She doesn't have the power and range of Zangief and her butt attacks have bad recovery time. She can get to be a pain on the ground, and that's because of her low attacks. Well, if you think that you're a good Ryu player, you should have no problems with her. Get out there and kick butt! (With all due respect to R.Mika players, I'm not saying that she sucks. Its just that I've never seen anybody win convincingly with her.) 23. ROLENTO: He's quick but his attacks do little damage. Primarily he's a poker and that's what you should expect of Rolento players. They're always on the lookout for a little gap that you might leave and take advantage in split seconds. Don't worry about the Patriot Circle as the damage is pathetic compared to the 9 hits. Also, don't get frustrated if he keeps on poking at you. Remember, poking is Rolento's strength and if you do something rash, like a missed Shoryuken, he'll let you have it with the MineSweeper which hurts quite a lot. Don't throw fireballs from across the screen or he'll hit you with the Steel Rain. And lastly, when you're in close range, keep a low block at all times because of the third and most damaging super "Take No Prisoner". Oh, one more thing, don't jump on him excessively because of his standing HP. Keep a cool head and play a ground based game, inviting him to jump on you instead. 24. ROSE: She's not the quickest of fighters but her long legs make up for that. Her kicks have great reach and they come out quickly as well. Whenever you get in range of her kicks, jump on top of her cuz its hard for Rose to counter unexpected jumps. Ok, so she has the Soul Throw, but it has to be timed properly. If you don't keep on jumping and make her think, it'll be hard for Rose players to counter your jumps. Use this strategy to keep her down. Don't throw fireballs mindlessly otherwise she'll reflect `em back at you. Also, her LV2 Aura Soul Spark can be murder so don't try to counter it even if you can. 25. RYU: This is a tough one. Expert Ryu players will play just like you (if you're an expert as well) so both of you will be aware of each other's capabilities. This round goes to the fighter who makes the least mistakes. Tick away when you find it tough to connect a big combo and don't mistime moves frequently. Play your cards right and you'll be the winner. 26. SAGAT: He has been improved a lot. His combos inflict great damage and they're easy to perform now. Although the Tiger Blast was once his primary weapon, the Tiger Knee is the weapon most experts prefer. Its quick and most importantly, it ends quickly and can be followed by any other move with lightning speed. Your advantage lies in the speed department again. Sagat is way too slow, its only the moves that make him a little fast. Remember to keep a block in the air AT ALL TIMES because the Tiger Blow is easy to block in the air. Also, if you block the Tiger Knee, keep on doing crouching jabs to interrupt the following attack. Don't try heavy hits cuz you'll be surprised at his ability to counter missed attacks. 27. SAKURA: Ryu has everything to counter Sakura's attacks. She's a very slow version of Ryu (when it comes to special moves, that is) so you should have no problems spotting her heavier attacks. Her Hurricane Kick is a pain cuz it juggles three times and does a lot of damage. Expert Sakura players are good at poking and you'll notice that they like to come in close for that occasional JK poke and grab. To discourage them from doing that, do a couple of crouching jabs yourself and if you're quick, follow with a Shinkuu Hadoken. They'll get the message immediately. Don't worry if you eat her uppercut cuz your's does more damage. Play a ground based game and let her jump instead, cuz she can counter almost any jump with her standing HP. 28. SODOM: He's very difficult to use and also slow to boot. I don't know what to say here, but if you're having problems against him, I would advise you to practice more. I have a request though: if anybody out there has access to a really good Sodom guide, please let me know where it is cuz I've not been able to find any good ones. 29. THUNDER HAWK: He's Zangief + Ryu. Although he has 360 degree grabs and uppercut attacks, they're toned down versions. What I mean to say is that his grabs don't have great range and the uppercut attack (Tomahawk Buster) is not as effective as the Shoryuken. The Condor Spire is an overhead and in my opinion, its his most dangerous attack. You take damage if he hits you and if he misses, you get sucked in for a grab if you don't jump out of the setup quickly. The Shinkuu Hadoken is your best friend here so use it against jumps and the Condor Dive. Because of his big size, play a ground based game and jump when its safe. Stay cool. 30. VEGA: His jumps are in the shape of long arcs so you should have no problems countering them. His fireball is as crappy as ever but the Scissor Kick is painful. Don't counter it after blocking, instead, do crouching jabs to make him retreat. Stick with JP Shoryukens and Shinkuu Hadoken the missed Somersault Skull Divers. Exclusion of the ultra damaging Psycho Crusher makes normal Vega much easier to beat compared to Shin Vega. 31. ZANGIEF: Because I love Zangief, I won't give away the secret to beat him. Kidding man! Its actually easy to beat Zangief if you look at his size and speed, but he can be troublesome if you're up against an expert. Expert Zangief players actually train to destroy Shotokans, but don't let that get to you. Keep a cool head and jump as soon as you think that they're setting you up for a grab. It's the only way out. Don't let them jump on you a lot and Shoryuken with extreme caution. Expert `Giefs have this ability to sucker you into a missed Shoryuken and then kill you! I have omitted characters such as Satsui no hadou ni mezameta Ryu and Shin Gouki cuz they're considered "cheap". Yeah, whatever! Anyway, I hope this covers just about anything. If I've left out on anything important please let me know. 10. THE END =========== Well, that's it! I'd like to take this opportunity to thank some of my closest friends, especially Uzair (again) for introducing me to Zangief four years ago. Uzair, if you're reading this, I'd like to thank you for showing me that Shotokans are not the reason behind Street Fighter's success. Thank you! My brother, for playing and practising with me for countless fun filled hours. Mansoor, Umer and Arsalan, for giving me and my brother lots of support and showing that true friendship does exist. They're the only reason why I keep on drawing. Suleman, for providing a decent challenge with Fei-Long. Hey Suleman I'm not kidding, you have improved a LOT! And last but not the least, "BJ", for actually encouraging me to write another FAQ and also to keep on drawing. Please send your comments on this FAQ at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know how good (or bad) it is. Your suggestions will be most welcome. Don't forget to go thru Kao Megura's excellent SFA3 general FAQ. You can find it anywhere cuz of its popularity. Thank you once again for going thru this FAQ. I hope that sharing my little knowledge with you helps improve your game with Ryu.