SFZ3 Dhalsim Player's Guide Revision 1 (c) Mondu Quiambao, February, 2000 Contents In the Beginning... Preface, Dhalsim Overview General Game Info Control Layout, The SFZ3 System, -ISMs and Modes Dhalsim Basic Play The Various Moves (Regular, Special, etc.) General Strategies Dhalsim Vs. Tactics The Various Characters (Adon, Akuma, etc.) Other Dhalsim Stuff Storyline, Colors, Win Poses, etc. Miscellany =================== In the Beginning... =================== *** Preface *** This is the second part of a series that I'm making for SFZ3 -- very comprehensive guides for the various characters. It contains pretty much everything I can come up for Dhalsim, from the very basics of SFZ to more advanced tactics. Those already with working knowledge of the SFZ3 system should skip right to the middle of this document, where tactics are discussed. To those of you who are just browsing through and trying to see which character to use in SFZ3, try other documents, such as those of Kao Megura, who has much better coverage of all the characters of SFZ3 in general. Beginners who have decided that Dhalsim should rule and would like to take part in his glory, start at the beginning. Copyright notices, glossary, and personal info on me are at the end of this document. *** Dhalsim Overview *** Dhalsim made his debut in SF2: World Warrior, where he quickly gained the reputation of being one of the most powerful characters in the game. Even with various tweaks to make him more "balanced", Dhalsim consistently ranked rather high. Despite this, he was an underpicked character, mainly because he was... well... boring. His patented Yoga Fire -> foot-up-your-ass strategy simply did not appeal to players who wanted fast, furious action. Dhalsim entered the Zero series with SFZ2, where, not only was he boring, he was so weak very few people actually played him. In SFZ3, CAPCOM reinvested Dhalsim with much of his previous power. He's still pretty boring, but at least he's a back to being a respectable fighter. I love playing Dhalsim. Like Zangief, Dhalsim players attract hordes of challengers, all unable to believe that such a "worthless" character can beat their Akumas, Ryus, and Blankas. Even today, two years after SFZ3 was introduced, Dhalsim seems to need to prove his worth. It's my hope that, with this document, I can help those who want to see beyond the light of Akuma/Ryu fireball. Regarding the differences between PSX and arcade Dhalsim... I'll try to point them out whenever I can. This guide is based on my experiences with X/Z-ism in the arcades and V-ism in the PSX. While I can't say that I'm pleased with what CAPCOM did with Dhalsim in the PSX, he's still a formidable character. ================= General Game Info ================= *** The Control Layout *** Controller (joystick) layout for the arcades: This joystick position diagram assumes Dhalsim is facing right. Up-back Up Up-forward O O O Back O neutral O Forward O O O Down-back Down Down-forward From the neutral, pushing the joystick back or forward causes Dhalsim to walk in that direction. Pushing the joystick in any down position makes him crouch, while pushing it up causes him to jump up-back, straight up, or up-forward. Jumping up-forward is synonymous to "jump-in". Button layout (buttons are located to the right of the joystick) JP SP FP <- Jab Punch, Strong Punch, Fierce Punch SK FK RK <- Short Kick, Forward Kick, Roundhouse Kick The start button can be located anywhere, depending upon the cabinet. Since the button layout in the PSX can be customized, I won't bother putting it here. *** The SFZ3 System *** Timer - The number in the top-middle of the screen. Once the timer ends, the round ends. Life Bar - Those two big bars in the upper screen, to the sides of the Timer. Obviously, you lose if it becomes depleted, or if Dhalsim's life bar is lesser than your opponent's when time runs out. In the arcades, this is a yellow bar. In the PSX, this is green shading to yellow as it depletes. Block - Hold the joystick back prior to being hit by an attack aimed at the head, chest, or waist. Hold the joystick down-back to defend against attacks that hit low. - When Dhalsim blocks, Regular Moves, Command Moves and Taunts do no damage. Special Moves and Super Combos do reduced damage, but some Special Moves and Super Combos cannot be blocked. Throws cannot be blocked. - Blocks can be done in the air or on the ground under Z/V-ism. In X-ism, air-blocking is not available. - Not all moves may be air-blocked. All air-to-air moves can be air-blocked. If a character's feet is near the ground, any attack he performs cannot be air-blocked. All projectile Special Moves (fireballs, Sonic Boom, etc.) can be air-blocked. Almost all Super Combos cannot be air-blocked. - Blocking takes a chunk out of the Guard Meter. Generally, the stronger the attack blocked, the bigger the chunk. Guard Meter; also known as "Guard Power", or GP in the PSX - The bar right underneath the Life bar. If Dhalsim blocks any move, the Guard Meter is reduced. The Guard Meter replenishes itself over time. - If the Guard Meter is completely depleted, then Dhalsim becomes "Guard Crashed". Dhalsim grunts and holds a pose. During this short period he becomes unable to move. After this period, the Guard Meter replenishes itself in full, but the total capacity is permanently decreased. At least one bar will always be left, no matter how many times a character is Guard Crashed. - Classic-ism has no Guard Meter, and therefore cannot be Guard Crashed. Guard Meter Protection - Do the block just before being hit. If you're successful, Dhalsim will flash blue. The chunk that would have been taken from Dhalsim' Guard Meter is reduced. - This move is not available in Classic-ism Damage Reduction - When hit by an opponent, by any move or a hold, move the joystick in any direction and press a button. If you're successful, Dhalsim will flash red. The damage Dhalsim would have taken is reduced. - This move is not available in X/Classic-ism. Air Recovery - Press any two punch buttons after being hit in the air before Dhalsim touches the ground. He'll flip upright. Holding the joystick back causes him to flip further back. Holding it forward causes him to flip nearer the opponent. - Not all attacks can be air-recovered from. Generally, moves that launch Dhalsim high in the air can be air-recovered from, but not always. - Once Dhalsim flips, he can air-block (in Z/V-ism) or attack with any usual aerial attack, but with the priority increased tremendously. - Air recovery is not available in Classic-ism. Ground Recovery Roll, Forward - Press any two kick buttons when Dhalsim has been knocked down or did an air-block. Once he hits the ground, he'll roll a bit forward then get up on his feet. Holding the stick forward as he rolls makes him roll farther than usual. - Like the air recovery, not all moves can be ground-rolled from. - Dhalsim can still be hit while rolling. - This move is not available in X/Classic-ism. Ground Recovery Roll, Backward - Press any two punch buttons the moment Dhalsim lands flat on him back. She'll roll a bit backward then get up on him feet. - There are very few instance that can be rolled backward from (I haven't found the exact ones) - Dhalsim can still be hit while rolling. - This move is not available in X/Classic-ism. Dizzy and Dizzy recovery - To dizzy an opponent, repeatedly hit him with attacks. Generally, the more damage inflicted, the greater the chance to do a dizzy. A dizzied character is seen with stars or fish around his head and is unable to respond to controls for a couple of seconds. - If you find Dhalsim dizzied, waggle the joystick and mash buttons to wake him up. Regular Moves/Attacks - Press any of the six buttons to do a Regular Move. Generally, the top row is for punches, while the bottom row is for kicks. The left most column represents fast but weak attacks, and the right most column represents powerful but slow attacks. Regular Moves do no damage when blocked. Command Moves/Attacks - Command Moves are moves that require a certain controller position in addition to a button press. Like Regular Moves, Command Moves do no damage when blocked. Special Moves/Attacks - Special Moves are moves that often require specific joystick motions and/or button press. These moves inflict damage even when blocked, and some cannot be blocked at all. Super Combo Meter - The bar in the bottom of the screen. This bar is filled up by attacking, by being hit, and by hitting an opponent. - In X-ism, this is a red bar. The Super Combo Meter is used for executing Super Combos, which completely depletes it. - In Z-ism, the bar is green and divided into 3 "levels". The Super Combo Meter, aside from being used for Super Combos, is also used for Zero Counters. Super Combos will consume 1 - 3 levels of the meter, while Zero Counters consume 1. - In V-ism, the bar is blue and is recorded as a percentage. It's used for "Variable Combos" and is slowly depleted once the VC is started. Zero Counters consume 50% of the bar. - Classic-ism has no Super Combo Meter Super Combos - Super Combos are extremely powerful moves that require complex joystick motions and keypress in addition to at least 1 charge of the Super Combo Meter. Super Combos inflict damage even when blocked, and some cannot be blocked at all. - Super Combos are available in X/Z-ism only Variable Combo; called "Oricom" in the PSX - Press the same strength punch and kick buttons (ie. fierce punch + roundhouse kick). If you're successful, Dhalsim will flash and be trailed by purple shadows. The final "shadow" will perform any move that Dhalsim does, effectively doubling most moves. Using fierce punch + roundhouse kick to start the Variable Combo causes the shadow to follow approximately 1.5 seconds after Dhalsim. Using the strong punch + forward kick causes the shadow to follow around 3/4ths of a second after Dhalsim, while the jab punch + short kick causes the shadow to follow immediately after Dhalsim. - During the Variable combo, Dhalsim's attacks are speeded up considerably. him Regular Moves become "cancelable" and "links", and the recovery time from him Special Moves is shortened. - During the brief period that Dhalsim flashes as he starts the Variable Combo he is completely invulnerable to all attacks. - The Variable Combo require that the Super Combo Meter be at least 50% full. - Characters cannot block while their Variable Combo is activated. - The Variable Combo ends when the Super Combo Meter becomes depleted or if the character is hit by any attack. If Dhalsim is hit by any attack during the Variable Combo or if the round ends then the Super Combo Meter is decreased by 50%. - Variable Combo is available in V-ism only Damage Increase - The damage of certain moves can be increased by waggling the stick and mashing buttons as you attack. The effect of this can be most seen with holds (such as Dhalsim's Yoga Smash). If you're successful, Dhalsim will flash white as you mash the buttons. Zero Counter - Upon blocking an attack on the ground, push the joystick forward and press the same strength punch and kick buttons (ie. fierce punch + roundhouse kick). - This move is not available in X/Classic-ism. Combo - Not to be confused with "Super Combos". A combo is a series of attacks where if one of the attacks hit the rest will probably hit too. If you're successful, the number of hits in the combo will appear right beneath Dhalsim's picture. Links - Links are a type of combo. A link is performed when two or more Regular Moves hit in succession. Links require special timing, and few Regular Moves will actually link together. Cancelable attacks/2-in-1s - 2-in-1 are a type of combo. All moves have recovery time. For example, when Dhalsim does a crouching kick, you have to wait until he finishes before you can make another move. Certain moves, however, can be "canceled". The recovery times of these moves may be cut short. To do this, do a Regular Move. Immediately after the Regular Move connects, do a Special Move or a Super Combo. Instead of recovering from the Regular Move, Dhalsim will do the Special Move/Super Combo. Note that not all Regular Moves can be canceled in this manner. Counter-hit - If you hit your opponent while he's attacking, he will take more damage than usual. If you're successful, the game pauses and there is a "smashing" sound. The message "Counter" appears. Counter-Counter Hit - If an opponent hits Dhalsim while he's attacking, usually the attack will end. You can force Dhalsim to continue with the move by moving the joystick in any direction and pressing a button (as if you're trying a Damage Reduction). If you're successful, Dhalsim will flash red and your attack will still continue. Some particularly powerful moves will do this automatically. Reversals, BlockStuns, HitStuns - Normally, if Dhalsim blocks an attack he will be unable to move for a brief moment. Some authors call this brief moment "BlockStun". This is also true with being hit -- if he's hit by an attack he will be unable to move for a brief moment. This is called "HitStun". The blockstun and the hitstun are the very reason combos exist -- if Dhalsim blocks or gets hit by an attack, he can't move so the next attack can't be avoided. In real life, blockstun and hitstun are equivalents to flinching after being hit. - If your opponent is hit as a counter-hit (see "Counter-hit", above), the hitstun of your move is increased dramatically. - However, during the blockstun and the hitstun, there exists a very, very, very tiny window of opportunity. With a lot of skill and luck, you may be able to use this extremely brief period to launch an attack of your own, hopefully hitting your opponent before his next attack hits Dhalsim. If you're successful, the message "Reversal" appears. Reversal Only Moves - Some characters have moves that can only be performed during a Blockstun, a Hitstun, or while getting up after being knocked to the floor. These are "Reversal Only Moves". Dhalsim has one Reversal Only Move: Yoga Escape Combo Escape - Some multi-hit moves (such as Ken's Shoryureppa and Rose' level 3 Aura Soul Throw) can be escaped from (meaning that the rest of the move will no longer hit). To do this, waggle the joystick and mash the buttons as he is being hit (as if you're trying to do damage reduction). - Combo escape is not available in Classic-ism. Wake-up Move - If Dhalsim is knocked flat on his back (and did not do a ground recovery roll) he is granted a very brief period of invulnerability as he's getting to his feet. During this period of invulnerability, he can try to do a Special Move or a Super Combo. If done successfully, the message "Reversal" appears. Throw/Hold - While very near the opponent, hold the joystick forward or back, then press any two punch buttons or any two kick buttons. - If Dhalsim is too far away to throw, trying to do so will leave him vulnerable for a small period of time (Dhalsim makes a weird gesture and grunts). Tech. Hit; also known as "throw escape" - Do a throw as soon as the opponent does a throw. If you're successful, the message "Tech. Hit" appears. The damage Dhalsim would have taken is reduced, depending upon how fast you do the Tech. Hit. - Not available in Classic-ism. Taunts - Press the start button (select button on the PSX) and Dhalsim will do a taunt. - During a taunt, Dhalsim will not respond to any other command, leaving him wide open to attack. - Some Taunts deal damage. - The recovery period of certain moves can be cut short by the taunt, the effect of which is similar to a two-in-one. - You can taunt once per round in Z/V-ism, or an as many times as you want during a VC. *** ISMS *** Presented below are the general characteristics for the various -isms. X-ism/"Simple" - Guard Meter around 5 1/2 blocks long - Most of Dhalsim's attacks cause up to 10% more damage than in Z-ism - Dhalsim takes up to 10% more damage from attacks than in Z-ism - no air-block, no ground recovery roll, no Zero Counter, no damage reduction - no taunt - one Super Combo (the Yoga Tempest) Z-ism/"Standard" - Guard Meter around 4 1/2 blocks long - Zero Counter requires 1 level of the Super Combo Meter - taunt, once per round - three Super Combos available (Yoga Inferno, Yoga Strike, Yoga Stream) V-ism/"Variation"/"Original" - Guard Meter around 4 1/2 blocks long - Dhalsim's attacks cause up to 10% less damage than in Z-ism - Zero Counter requires 50% of the Super Combo Meter - taunt, once per round; while in VC, Dhalsim may taunt repeatedly - no Super Combo - Variable Combo available Classic/"No-ism" - 0/infinite Guard Meter (therefore cannot be guard crashed) - damage inflicted and taken same as X-ism - no air-block, no ground recovery roll, no air recovery, no taunt, no tech. hit, no damage reduction - Dhalsim is difficult to juggle; being hit in the air usually causes him to fall to the ground - no Super Combo Meter (and therefore no Super Combos, no Variable Combos, no Zero counter) - In the arcades, the Classic-ism cannot be accessed from the screen. Instead, do the following: a) insert your coin/token b) press and hold fierce punch and roundhouse kick buttons at the same time c) press the start button d) move the joystick to the character of your choice (Dhalsim in this case) e) press any button other than start f) you can now release the fierce punch and roundhouse kick buttons In the PSX, Classic-ism can be accessed from the screen (provided you've unlocked it, of course -- this document will not discuss how to unlock PSX features). *** Modes *** In addition to the X/V/Z-ism, two additional modes can be added to your character. Low-guard mode/"Saikyou" - the Guard Meter is extremely short (two blocks) - Dhalsim gets dizzied 2x - 4x times faster than normal - there are no "cancelable" attacks, making combos extremely difficult to do - In the arcades, Low-guard mode cannot be accessed from the screen. Instead, do the same thing as you would do to access Classic-ism (see above), except you must press and hold the jab punch and short kick buttons instead of the fierce punch and roundhouse kick Serious mode/"Mazi" - increased inflicted and taken damage, around 2x more than usual - if you lose even 1 round, you've lost the entire match - In the arcades, Serious mode cannot be accessed from the screen. Instead, do the same thing as you would do to access Classic-ism (see above), except you must press and hold the strong punch and forward kick buttons instead of the fierce punch and roundhouse kick. Also, while it's possible to win using this mode against a human player, computer-controlled opponents inflicts _much_ more damage than usual (up to 4x more). ================== Dhalsim Basic Play ================== *** Regular Moves *** All of Dhalsim's regular moves have several versions, depending upon Dhalsim's position (standing, crouching, jumping), his distance from the opponent, the position of the joystick, and the version of SFZ3 you're playing. In the list below are moves that are marked with "<near>". To do these moves in Z/V-ism the joystick must be pushed backward while the appropriate button is pressed. To do these moves in X-ism the opponent must be near Dhalsim. Other moves are marked "<far>". To do these moves in Z/V-ism the joystick must be in "neutral" position or pushed forward. To do these moves in X-ism the opponent must be far from Dhalsim. Moves marked with "<?>" are moves that may be different in the arcade version. The names I use for the moves aren't their real names, but are descriptive ones to make recall easier. Official names (as far as my sources go) are written between square brackets -- I don't use these since many moves use the same name. Jab Punch - abbreviated as JP; also known as "Light Punch" or LP in the PSX - Standing JP - Jab of Doom -- Dhalsim brings his hand over his head then chops down to about waist level. [Yoga Chop] <far> - Palm -- Dhalsim thrusts his hand forward; X-ism only [Jab] - Jumping JP <far> - Long Range Downward Punch -- Dhalsim punches downward, stretching his fist nearly to the ground. [Jab] <near> - Downward punch -- Dhalsim punches downward, but doesn't stretch out. [Jab] - Crouching JP <far> - Ducking Punch -- Dhalsim bends forward and stretches his arm out far and low. [Yoga Jab] <near> - Slash -- Dhalsim does a horizontal chop. [Jab] Strong Punch - abbreviated as SP; also known as "Medium Punch" or MP in the PSX - Standing SP <far> - Shoulder Punch -- Dhalsim stretches his arm out at shoulder level. [Yoga Straight] <near> - Uppercut -- Dhalsim arcs his hand upward. [Yoga Upper] - Jumping SP <far> - Horizontal Punch -- Dhalsim stretches his arm out horizontally while in the air. [Straight] <near> - Short Horizontal Punch -- Dhalsim punches horizontally, but doesn't stretch out his arm. [Straight] - Crouching SP - Dhalsim's crouching SP, both <far> and <near>, look _exactly_ the same as his crouching JP, but are slightly slower, are longer ranged, and inflict more damage. [<far> crouching SP -- Yoga Straight, <near> crouching SP -- Straight] Fierce Punch - abbreviated as FP; also known as "Hard Punch" or HP in the PSX - Standing FP <far> - Double Punch -- Dhalsim stretches out both arms. [Long Punch] <near> - Headbutt -- Dhalsim headbutts his opponent. Hits twice. [Yoga Headbutt] - Jumping FP <far> - Pokedown -- Dhalsim stretches his arm low at around 45 degrees. [Straight] <near> - Downward punch -- Dhalsim punches downward, but doesn't stretch out. [Straight] - Crouching FP - Dhalsim's crouching FP, both <far> and <near>, look _exactly_ the same as his crouching JP, but are slower, longer ranged, and inflict more damage than both JP and SP versions. [<far> crouching FP -- Yoga Straight, <near> crouching FP -- Straight] Short Kick - abbreviated as SK; also known as "Light Kick" or LK in the PSX - Standing SK <far> <?> - Long Shin Kick -- in Z-ism/V-ism, the <far> standing SK makes Dhalsim stretch his foot out and hit the opponent at shin level. [Long Low Kick] <far> <?> - Short Face Kick -- in X-ism, the <far> standing SK makes Dhalsim stretch his foot out and hit the opponent in the face. [Kick] <near><?> - Short Shin Kick -- In Z-ism/V-ism, this is a short-ranged version of the <far> standing SK. [Low Kick] <near><?> - Very Short Face Kick -- In X-ism, this is a short-ranged version of the <far> standing SK. [High Kick] - Jumping SK <far> - Pokedown -- Dhalsim stretches his foot downward at about 45 degrees downward. [Jump Kick] <near> - Downward Foot -- Dhalsim kicks downward, but doesn't stretch out. [Jump Kick] - Crouching SK <far> - Short Slide -- Dhalsim slides under his opponent. [Slide Kick] <near> - Foot Thrust -- Dhalsim thrusts the bottom of his foot out. [Low Kick] Forward Kick - abbreviated as FK; also known as "Medium Kick" or MK in the PSX - Standing FK <far> - Face Kick -- Dhalsim stretches his foot out and hits his opponent in the face. This move looks _exactly_ the same as his X-ism <far> standing SK (PSX version), but has much longer range. [High Kick] <near> - Stomach Kick -- Dhalsim kicks his opponent in the gut. [Kick] - Jumping FK - Dhalsim's jumping FK, both <near> and <far> look exactly the same as his jumping SK, but have longer range and damage. [Jump Kick] - Crouching FK <far> <?> - Medium Slide -- Dhalsim slides under his opponent; slightly longer range and damage than his <far> crouching SK. [Slide Kick] <near> - Foot Thrust -- Dhalsim thrusts the lateral aspect of his foot out. [Low Side Kick] Roundhouse Kick - abbreviated as RK; also known as "Hard Kick" or HK in the PSX - Standing RK <far> - Very Long Range Kick -- Dhalsim stretches his foot out high quite a distance. [High Kick] <near> - Knee -- Dhalsim knees to about waist level. [Yoga Knee] - Jumping RK <far> - Very Long Range Kick -- This move looks like his <far> standing RK. [Jump Kick] <near> - Upward Foot -- This move looks like his <near> standing FK. [Jump Kick] - Crouching FK <far> - Long Slide -- Dhalsim slides under his opponent. slightly longer range than his <far> crouching FK. Greater damage, causes knockdown. [Slide Kick] <near> - Foot Thrust -- Dhalsim thrust his foot out. This move looks _exactly_ the same as his <near> crouching FK. Causes knockdown. [Low Side Kick] *** Command Moves *** Command Moves are like Regular moves, except that the joystick has to be in a certain position when the button is pressed. Yoga Palm - hold joystick forward, press JP - This move is exactly the same as his X-ism <far> standing JP. - Z/V-ism only Yoga Shock - back, press and hold JP, release JP - Dhalsim holds his palm high, then chops downward, This moves looks and functions exactly the same as his <near> standing LP. However, if you hold LP for more than a second, the damage it inflicts is increased (about triple the damage). - Z-ism only Drill Zutsuki; also known as "Yoga Mummy" and "Drill Heading" - while in the air, push the joystick down, press FP - Dhalsim spins downward at a near horizontal angle, head first Drill Kick; or "Drill Foot" - while in the air, push the joystick down, press any kick - Dhalsim spins downward, foot first. The kick used determines the angle. SK -- near horizontal angle, similar to the Drill Zutsuki FK -- about 45 degrees downward RK -- nearly vertical *** Throws *** All throws assume that Dhalsim is near his opponent. If a Dhalsim misses a throw he will go into his "missed throw" animation (he makes a weird gesture and grunts, unable to move for a moment). Throws cannot be blocked. Yoga Smash; also known as "Yoga Noogie" - while Dhalsim and the opponent is on the ground, hold the joystick backward or forward, press any two punch buttons - Dhalsim holds onto to his opponent and repeatedly smashes his skull in. To increase the damage, waggle the joystick and press buttons repeatedly. Dhalsim will flash white if you're successful. - Dhalsim will release the opponent to his left or right, depending on how you were holding the joystick when you did the Smash Yoga Throw - while Dhalsim and the opponent is on the ground, hold back or forward, press any two kick buttons - Dhalsim hurls his opponent towards the middle of the screen. Aerial Yoga Throw; also known as "Yoga Trip" - while Dhalsim and the opponent are in the air, hold back or forward, press any two punch buttons - Looks exactly the same as his Yoga Throw. *** Special Moves *** Special Moves inflict damage even when blocked (except the Teleport and Escape). Yoga Fire - move joystick down, down-forward, forward, press any punch - Dhalsim spits out a fireball. The fireball's damage decreases the farther it travels - In Z-ism and V-ism, the punch you use causes different effects. - JP -- the fireball travels slowly for a whole screen width (if Dhalsim is standing in a corner, the fireball will travel to the other corner) before it disappears; if it hits the opponents, he will be engulfed in flames and be stunned for a moment - SP -- the fireball travels nearly a whole screen width (if Dhalsim is standing in a corner, the fireball won't reach the other corner); if it hits the opponent, he will be engulfed in flames and be knocked down - FP -- the fireball travels fast, but travels only for 4/5ths screen distance (if Dhalsim is standing in a corner, the fireball won't hit an opponent in the other corner); if it hits the opponent, he will be engulfed in flames and be knocked down - In X-ism, the fireball's damage also diminishes, but the fireball itself will not dissipate (unlike in Z/V-ism). Also, Dhalsim's fireball in X-ism will not stun an opponent (unlike the JP version of Z/V-ism) Yoga Flame - move joystick forward, down-forward, down, down-back, back, press any punch (in Z/V-ism) - back, down-back, down, down-forward, forward, press any punch (in X-ism) - Dhalsim breaths out a large, stationary ball of fire. Yoga Blast - forward, down-forward, down, down-back, back, press any kick (in Z/V-ism) - back, down-back, down, down-forward, forward, press any kick (in X-ism) - Dhalsim breathes fire upwards. Yoga Teleport - forward, down, down-forward, press all three kicks or punches _or_ back, down, down-back, press all three kicks or punches - Dhalsim teleports. Using the "forward" version teleports him to the rear of the opponent. Using the "back" version teleports him in front of the opponent. The "kick" version teleports him farther than the "punch" version. - In Z/V-ism, Dhalsim can use this move while in the air. Yoga Escape - back, down-back, down, press any kick - Dhalsim teleports from wherever he is down to the ground. This move can only be used if he's been hit in the air or just right after air-blocking (in the same situations where you can air-recover or do a ground roll). - Z/V-ism only *** Super Combos *** All of Dhalsim's Z-ism only Super Combos can be done in several levels, each level consuming the same amount of charges in the Super Combo meter. The higher the level, the more hits and damage they inflict. For the Yoga Inferno and Yoga Stream, using JP does a level 1, SP does a level 2, FP does a level 3. For the Yoga Strike, SK does a level 1, FK does a level 2, RK does a level 3. The Yoga Tempest has no level setting and consumes the entire Super Combo Meter no matter which button is used. Yoga Inferno - move the joystick down, down-forward, forward, down, down-forward, press punch - Dhalsim bobs his head up and down, breathing small balls of fire. - Z-ism only Yoga Stream - down, down-back, back, down, down-back, back, press punch - Dhalsim spews fire on the floor. - Z-ism only Yoga Strike - down, down-forward, forward, down, down-forward, press kick - Dhalsim jumps up, and if the opponent is in his path, Dhalsim catches him and slams him down. - Z-ism only Yoga Tempest - back, down-back, down, down-forward, forward, back, down-back, down, down-forward, forward, press punch - Dhalsim does a 5-hit version of his Yoga Flame - X-ism only *** Taunts *** Taunts are meant to irritate your opponent. Both of them leave Dhalsim open for quite some time. Only Z/V-ism can taunt, once per round. During a VC, you can taunt as much as you want. Prayer - press select (start in the arcades) - Dhalsim assumes a prayer pose. Kuuchuu Chouhatsu; also known as "Kuuchuu Miyuu" - press select/start while Dhalsim is in the air - Dhalsim floats down to the ground slowly, saying "Yoga..." *** Zero Counters *** Zero Counters are very fast moves with high priority. They are meant to stop your opponent's combo attempt and give you time to catch your breath. Uppercut - block an attack on the ground, push the joystick forward and press the same strength punch and kick buttons (eg. FP + RK) - Dhalsim does his <near> standing SP - Z-ism only; consumes 1 block of Guard Meter and 1 block of Super Combo Meter Long Slide - block an attack on the ground, push the joystick forward and press the same strength punch and kick buttons (eg. FP + RK) - Dhalsim does his <near> standing SP - V-ism only; consumes 1 block of Guard Meter and 50% of Super Combo Meter *** General Strategies *** This section is written more for beginners rather than experienced players. It's divided into "Lessons", in the order of which I think beginners can learn to play Dhalsim more effectively. Lesson #1 -- Which -ism should be used ? Most players choose Z-ism. The more experienced players dabble with V (and at the higher levels of gameplay, V-ism is the way to go). Few characters are at their best in X-ism, but I believe Dhalsim is one of them. X-ism provides the most amount of power for the least amount of effort. The general merits of the various -isms have already been discussed. This section discusses specific Dhalsim quirks. Lesson #1.1 -- The benefits of X-ism In Z/V-ism, Dhalsim's Yoga Fire vanishes. Diminishing fireballs are a nuisance to Sakura. To Dhalsim, its a liability. Dhalsim's strength comes from his distance games. Playing Z/V-ism Dhalsim forces you to play at closer ranges. In Z/V-ism, Dhalsim's JP Yoga Fire stuns an opponent, leaving him open to another attack. While this may sound fantastic, it doesn't knock the opponent down and the stun time is quite short. More often than not, I end up thinking "holy crap, he didn't fall down !" right before my opponent delivers a Super Combo as Dhalsim is recovering from the Yoga Fire. In Z/V-ism, Dhalsim's attacks are affected greatly by the position of the joystick. In general, holding the stick back causes <near> attacks to come out, while holding the stick in neutral causes <far> attacks. In X-ism, the computer decides which version to use. If the opponent is near, then <near> attacks come out. If the opponent is far, then <far> attacks come out. Naturally, being able to manually determine which version comes out is much better than letting the computer decide. Unfortunately, being that clear-headed in the heat of battle is a hallmark of only the most expert of players. Here's a situation I often find myself in when playing Z/V-ism Dhalsim: I throw a Yoga Fire, luring my opponent into the air. My opponent, too slow to react, jumps a bit late. In glee, I press RK, expecting to see Dhalsim's foot knock my opponent out of the air. Instead, Dhalsim does a knee, making him miss completely. My opponent then lands a vicious combo. As it turned out, right after I threw the Yoga Fire, I held the joystick in the back position instead of letting it stay in neutral. Here's another situation: my opponent (playing Ryu) is pumping the joystick for a Shinkuu Hadou Ken. Laughing, I crouch and press RK, expecting to see Dhalsim slide under the Shinkuu Hadou Ken. Instead, Dhalsim sticks out his foot a short distance. The Shinkuu Hadou Ken hits full force. Again, I realize later that I was holding the joystick down-back instead of just down. I could have avoided these two mistakes, but I can't really keep conscious of the joystick position _all_ of the time. Playing X-ism Dhalsim lets me be more effective. Instead of paying attention on what is happening on both the screen and my left hand, I just keep an eye on my opponents distance and press the appropriate button in response. In X-ism, Dhalsim's Guard Meter is a block longer than Z/V-ism. To other characters, this may not seem much, but to Dhalsim, who must be able to weather out a close-ranged assault until he gets into a more favorable position, the extra length of the Guard Meter is invaluable. The lack of Yoga Inferno/Stream/Strike may seem to be a great loss for X-ism Dhalsim, but the Yoga Tempest duplicates the Yoga Inferno and Yoga Strike, and few people ever get caught by the Yoga Stream anyway. Plus, it seems that Dhalsim can replenish his Super Combo meter rather quickly than other characters, to the point of filling up his bar twice in a single round (mainly because Dhalsim can keep on attacking from whatever range), in effect canceling the disadvantage of being unable to use multiple Super Combos. Unlike other characters, Dhalsim actually has more combos in X-ism than in Z-ism -- he has more cancelable attacks in X-ism than in Z-ism, making him a combo machine. Lesson #1.2 -- The disadvantages of X-ism No air-block. This is a rather terrible disadvantage, if it happens that your favorite tactic is to "turtle" and whose first response to aggression is to jump up and air-block. While Dhalsim is not a turtler's character, being able to air-block is a lot better than not being able to when it counts. Weak Super Combo. Unlike other characters, Dhalsim's Super Combo in X-ism (the Yoga Tempest) actually inflicts less damage than his level 3 Super Combos in Z-ism (the Yoga Tempest is still a very respectable move, though). The Yoga Tempest is also harder to do than his Super Combos in Z-ism, and using it in a combo is sometimes more trouble than its worth. Weak regular moves. Unlike other characters, who get a 20% increase in damage with their regular moves, the damage of Dhalsim's regular moves in X-ism is increased by only 5% to 10%. No Zero Counter, no Yoga Escape. After reading this text, you shouldn't be relying on such pathetic moves anyway. Yoga Fire/Flame/Blast confusion. The Yoga Fire, Yoga Flame, and Yoga Blast have similar joystick movements under X-ism, so much so that it becomes a liability. There are players who detest playing X-ism Dhalsim because whenever they try to do a Yoga Fire Dhalsim does a Yoga Flame, leaving them open to attack (I also make this mistake a lot). Lesson #1.3 -- The advantages of the other -isms In X-ism, the CPU decides when to do the <near> or <far> versions of a move. Unfortunately, the CPU does make mistakes. Nothing is worse than doing a <far> crouching FP when you actually wanted the <near> version and vice-versa. In Z/V-ism, the JP Yoga Fire has some devastating applications. The brief stun period it confers allows you to deliver another attack. In V-ism, the JP Yoga Fire is even more deadly during a Variable Combo. Ground Roll Recovery. This is a useful escape that is not available in X-ism. While the Ground Roll Recovery may not be that fantastic, being able to get out of a corner is very important to Dhalsim. This, in conjunction with the air-block, provides a great defensive boost. Air-teleport. Like the Ground Roll Recovery, being able to suddenly disappear mid-air is rather useful to Dhalsim as an escape. Personally, I don't use this move (then again, maybe it's because X-ism Dhalsim doesn't have it so I never really learned to use it). As such, none of the strategies I have written in this document uses it. Sorry. Taunt. Dhalsim's Kuuchuu Chouhatsu is one of the coolest taunts in the game and is only available in Z/V-ism. Taunts sometimes infuriates opponents into making mistakes. In V-ism, Dhalsim has what I call "mid-move cancel", a variation to the usual 2-in-1 moves. It adds to Dhalsim's combo and poking capability. Details on the mid-move cancel will be discussed later. V-ism Dhalsim has some of the coolest-looking, easiest, most damaging VCs in the game. Classic-ism Dhalsim bears mentioning. Classic Dhalsim has no Super Combo, which takes a huge chunk away from his offense, but since he has no Guard Meter either, his defensive capability is boosted dramatically. It is also difficult to juggle Classic Dhalsim (but not impossible -- VCs can juggle Classic Dhalsim just as easily), another big defensive bonus. Players who can't use Dhalsim's Yoga Tempest consistently should seriously consider playing Classic Dhalsim instead of X-ism. Lesson #1.4 -- Disadvantages of V-ism V-ism Dhalsim has a lot of cool combos. Unfortunately, there is almost no way for him to land them on a live opponent. There are two ways for most characters to land their VCs: The first is right after hitting with an jump-in. They'll take advantage of their jump-in attack's hitstun to activate the VC then continue the combo. Dhalsim has almost no jump-in attack to speak of other than his Drills (which are hard to use in combos). The second way to land VCs is to go through an opponent's attack with the brief invulnerability VC activation gives, then do a combo. This, at least is a bit more effective (see Lesson #8). However, because a lot of Dhalsim's strategy involves keeping opponents at bay, landing a VC can be quite a challenge. V-ism Dhalsim inflicts very little damage with his Regular moves. When faced with high-priority opponents it's almost impossible for him to gain an upper hand by poking. If you're the type who can play Dhalsim with absolute and complete control of the joystick position at all times, then go play Z/V-ism Dhalsim -- otherwise, go with X-ism/Classic Dhalsim. Lesson #2 -- Basic training This section discusses Dhalsim's individual moves, dividing them to the "need to know", the "nice to know", and the "forgettable". Note that for the purposes of readability, I've given names to the various moves. Moves have a "Start-up". This is the time between pressing a button and the time when the move actually hits. Most moves (particularly Super Combos) have a very small and negligible start-up. Some, however, have do have rather long ones. Start-up time is a very important thing to mindful of. If your opponent uses a move with a large start-up time (such as if Ryu's attempts a fireball) you can stop it by using a move that has a small start-up time (such as a jab, provided, of course, you're close enough). Moves have a "duration". Duration is the brief amount of time that a move can hit. Duration is usually only important with aerial (jumping) moves and Super Combos. Dhalsim's Drill Zutsuki, for instance, has fantastic duration -- the Drill Zutsuki lasts for as long Dhalsim is in the air. The importance of duration is simple -- the longer the duration, the easier it is to hit with. Moves have a "recovery time". This is the time Dhalsim requires to recover (to be able to block or do another move) right after finishing one. For example, do a Yoga Fire. Notice that Dhalsim is vulnerable for a quite a long time. He can't move as he's "recovering" from the Yoga Fire. In general, the more powerful the move, the longer the recovery time. The recovery time of certain moves can be cut short (such as in a "cancel"/"2-in-1"). For all intents and purposes, all aerial moves have the same recovery time (since you can usually do one aerial move at a time anyway). Moves have "range", which is usually used to describe how far a move can hit. A move that is termed long-ranged can hit an opponent farther than usual. This is a rather relative term, so use a bit of common sense. Moves have a "hit area". This is similar to it's range, but hit area is usually used to describe which parts of a character's body can inflict damage while doing an attack. Most moves will only hit with the limb being extended. For example, when Dhalsim does his Double Punch, only his fists will inflict damage -- not the rest of his arms. Moves have a "priority". When two characters attack at the same time, the one with the higher priority wins. A move's priority is affected by it's speed, range, and hit area, but some moves have plainly more priority than others. The most infamous high- priority attack is Ryu and Ken's Dragon Punch. Very few moves will beat it. Generally, Dhalsim's <far> moves have much less priority that other characters', while his <near> moves have much higher priority than average. Moves have "damage" -- the amount of... er... damage it can inflict. The damage inflicted by a move influences the hitstun/blockstun time as well as how far a character is pushed back when hit. A jab will just nudge you opponent backward (and stun him only for a little while), while a fierce punch will push him back farther (and stun him longer). Also, there is such as thing as "scaling damage" in SFZ3. Basically, the less life a character has, the less damage attacks do. For example, doing a Yoga Tempest when your opponent's Life Bar is full will do around 40% damage. If you do the level 3 Aura Soul Throw when his Life Bar is already at 50% it will only deal around 30% damage. Damage scaling also affects combos -- the greater the number of hits in a combo, the less damage the individual attacks make. Finally, there are certain characters that take less damage from attacks than others. Zangief, for example, takes less damage when hit than Ken. All of these are reasons why I did not include specific damage values of the attacks -- simply too many factors are involved. "Poking" or "to poke" means to use an attack from far away in the hopes that you'll hit your opponent without him hitting you. "Anti-air" means hitting an opponent while he's jumping. The various ranges mentioned below ("Extreme", "Long", "No Man's Land", "Close", and "Point Blank") are discussed in more detail in Lesson #10. Extreme -- beyond the range of the <far> standing FP Long -- beyond the range of the <far> standing FK No Man's Land -- just within range of the <far> standing FK Close -- the tip of the <far> standing SK Point Blank -- throwing range The need to know naturally come first. Mastery of these moves is required to play Dhalsim with any degree of success. Lesson #2.1 -- Jab of Doom The Jab of Doom is Dhalsim's standing JP (<near> standing JP in X-ism). Dhalsim brings his hand high then chops downward. This move has one of the highest priorities in SFZ3, rivaling the Dragon Punch as anti-air. It's fast and cancelable. Its so fantastic that some opponents can't believe in its power. They jump on Dhalsim then get knocked back by the jab. They think "Hmm, Dhalsim got a lucky shot there". They jump at Dhalsim and get knocked back again. "Hmm, maybe I should attack earlier in the jump." They jump at Dhalsim and get knocked back again. "Maybe I'll try a fierce punch instead." They jump at Dhalsim and get knocked back again. "Grr..." They jump at Dhalsim and get knocked back again... The psychological impact is astounding. It will beat even dreaded moves like Zangief's Body Splash, Cammy's Hooligan Roll, ARK's jumping hurricane. Memorize the area in which Dhalsim can hit with the Jab of Doom, and you'll never fear attacks from those areas again. The only weakness to the Jab of Doom is it's lack of range. Lesson #2.2 -- Double Punch The Double Punch is Dhalsim's <far> standing FP. Dhalsim bends forward a bit and stretches his fists to about 3/4th of the screen. The primary use of this attack is to hit your opponent from a distance (obviously). Against characters with fireballs, the Double Punch becomes your main weapon of intimidation. Fireball characters, especially when used by beginners, love to get into the fireball "shootout". Realizing that trying to get near Dhalsim can be difficult, they stay at Extreme range then keep on throwing fireballs, hoping that you'll make a mistake and get hit by one. Indulge them by nullifying a couple of their fireballs with Yoga Fire. Then, as they're recovering or winding up for the next fireball, move a bit forward then nail them with the Double Punch. Few players will get caught by this tactic more than once, but its often enough to convince them to stop throwing fireballs at Dhalsim at start getting close to him (usually by jumping, which is fine by Dhalsim). Against characters who have no fireballs (or those who stopped using them) the Double Punch becomes a poking weapon. As your opponent moves forward, hit them with the Double Punch. If they get hit, fine. If they block, then they just lost a large amount of Guard Meter. Occasionally, some opponents try to hit Dhalsim's fists. Fortunately, only the Dragon Punch and Sakura's <far> standing FP out-prioritizes the Double Punch. All other attacks will either trade hits or be snuffed (with the words "Counter" appearing). Watch out for opponents who jump the moment Dhalsim does the Double Punch. Opponents who jump forward only do so if they're within range of their jump-in attacks, hoping to hit Dhalsim as he recovers. In order to avoid this bit of nastiness, learn the jump-in attack distance of your opponent as well as the hit area of the Face Kick (discussed below). To fully visualize the limitations of the Double Punch as a poke try fighting a computer-controlled Charlie and you'll see what I mean. The Double Punch can also be used as anti-air. As your opponent is about to land, attack. However, there is a danger to this: while Dhalsim's fists have high priority, the rest of his arms don't. Be aware that a lot of aerial attacks are pointed downward and can hit Dhalsim's arms. Note: at Close and Point Blank ranges (see Lesson #4) the Double Punch won't hit. Dhalsim's fist will go right through his opponent, leaving him open. Note: in the PSX, the Double Punch was considerably slowed down from the arcades. Lesson #2.3 -- Shoulder Punch The Shoulder Punch is Dhalsim's <far> standing SP. Dhalsim stretches out his fist and hits the opponent at about shoulder level. The Shoulder Punch has uses similar to that of the Double Punch. However, the Shoulder Punch is less effective because of its shorter range and much lesser priority. The sole redeeming factor for the Shoulder Punch is its speed -- it pretty fast for such a long-ranged move and can catch opponents by surprise. As such, the Shoulder Punch (along with the Face Kick) actually becomes Dhalsim's primary poke. Remember: the Shoulder Punch is useless close-up. In Z-ism, using this move without being mindful of its range can lead to disaster, as it cannot hit opponents up close and its recovery cannot be canceled like in V-ism. In X-ism, an Uppercut will appear if the Shoulder Punch is mis-ranged. Note: in the PSX, the Shoulder Punch is pretty slow (compared to the arcades, anyway). Lesson #2.4 -- Short Slide The Short Slide is Dhalsim's <far> crouching SK. Dhalsim slides a bit forward. This move is very fast, has excellent recovery, range, and priority. There are three uses for the Short Slide. The first is part of the Slide -> Yoga Flame combo. Mastering the range and speed of the Short Slide move is imperative to learning this combo (to be discussed later), especially in X-ism/Classic, where the computer may suddenly decide to do a <near> crouching SK instead of the Short Slide if you're too close to your opponent. The second use is the Short Slide Irritation. When an opponent is standing at Close or Point Blank range then do repeated Short Slides (about two or three). Because of the fast recovery time of the Short Slide, there are some players who can't react properly. Unfortunately, you can't beat your opponent with just sliding, plus he may have the presence of mind to retaliat rather viciously. Do the repeated slides sparingly, and always end the sequence with a Short Slide -> Yoga Flame combo. The third use to of the Short Slide is to get behind an opponent who's jumping at you. Hopefully, Dhalsim can slide beneath and behind an aerial opponent as he sails overhead. Characters with steep jump angles (Blanka and Vega) are particularly vulnerable to this. Note: in the PSX, the Short Slide's priority has been reduced (compared to the arcades). Lesson #2.5 -- Face Kick The Face Kick is Dhalsim's <far> standing FK. Dhalsim stretches his foot out around 1/2 screen distance to about face level and hits with his toes. The Face Kick is Dhalsim's anti-air of choice next to his Jab of Doom. The most common use of the Face Kick is part of the Yoga Fire -> Face Kick trap (do a Yoga Fire and if your opponent jumps over it, nail him with the Face Kick). Unfortunately, the Face Kick has very low priority. An aerial opponent will almost always try to hit Dhalsim's leg as it stretches out. The best way to use the Face Kick as anti-air is to hit your opponent on his way up. Since this isn't always possible with the Yoga Fire -> Face Kick trap, we come to the second use of the Face Kick -- use it to poke. Poke at your opponent with alternating Face Kick and Double Punch. Some players try to second guess the Double Punch and jump toward Dhalsim (and right into the Face Kick). Also, the Face Kick is fast enough to stop Fireball-type moves before the projectile comes out. Don't forget that the Face Kick has low priority -- your opponent can easily poke back at Dhalsim's leg (CPU-controlled Zangief is good at this, and human-controlled characters with good pokes, like Rose, Sakura, Karin, and Rolento, will definitely try it). Note: at Point Blank range the Face Kick won't hit. Dhalsim's foot will go right through his opponent. Note: In the PSX, this is a _freakishly_ slow move. Of all of Dhalsim's moves, this has been the most lobotomized, IMHO. To fully appreciate this move's power, play in the arcades. Lesson #2.6 -- Pokedown Dhalsim has two Pokedown moves, the <far> jumping FK and the <far> jumping FP. In the <far> jumping FK, Dhalsim stretches his foot down quite low. It has very low priority and inflicts moderate damage. In the <far> jumping FP, Dhalsim stretches his fist down, not quite as low as the <far> jumping FK, but it has much higher priority and damage. When an opponent is walking towards you from mid-screen distance, try this: jump back, and on your way down, do a Pokedown. The Pokedowns reach very far down, and may catch your opponent by surprise and hit him. Unfortunately, the Pokedowns are not that effective against those with fast and high-priority anti-air (such as the Shotos or Adon). These Pokedowns can also be used as anti-fireball. When you're too close to use the Drill Zutsuki, jump straight up as your opponent throws a fireball, then do a Pokedown. Done in the correct range, the Pokedowns can hit your fireball-happy opponent. I've noticed that the players most vulnerable to this technique are those that are thinking "Dhalsim's too close to use the Drill Zutsuki to counter my fireball -- now's my chance !". The Pokedowns work best when you're jumping back or straight up. Try them while you're jumping forward and you'll be left vulnerable and near your opponent. Lesson #2.7 -- Drill Zutsuki In the Drill Zutsuki Dhalsim spins downward in a nearly horizontal angle, head first. Dhalsim's head gains remarkably high priority and will snuff out most attacks directed at it. It also launches Dhalsim forward faster than he can walk or jump. The higher Dhalsim is when his head hits, the longer his recovery time (i.e. if you hit a standing opponent's head, Dhalsim takes quite to recover; if you hit a standing opponent's waist or thighs, Dhalsim recovers fast). The Drill Zutsuki has a variety of uses. My favorite application of the Drill Zutsuki is anti-air. If an opponent is still some distance away and jumps at Dhalsim, jump backward and do the Drill Zutsuki on the way up. As mentioned, the Drill Zutsuki has high priority, and it will beat any other air-based attack, provided only Dhalsim's head makes contact with the opponent. Using the Drill Zutsuki in this manner surprises many players and may even intimidate them, to the point of simply blocking instead of using a higher priority move to snuff it. Those not intimidated react the same way they do to the Jab of Doom -- they vainly attempt to beat it, assuming that the reason why their attacks are being snuffed is because of wrong timing. Note: do not use the Drill Zutsuki against a character that is blocking in the air with his back near the wall. Usually, if the Drill Zutsuki is air-blocked, Dhalsim would either have recovered by the time he hits the ground or the opponent would be knocked back too far away to do serious damage. However, if the opponent has been cornered and manages to air-block the Drill Zutsuki, Dhalsim will be hovering right next to him, still stuck in the final frames of the Drill's animation. The second, more risky use of the Drill Zutsuki is anti-fireball. If a fireball-wielding character throws one at you, jump forward then do the Drill Zutsuki. Timed correctly, Dhalsim will sail over the fireball and hit your opponent. The dangers of this tactic are: a) do the Drill too early Dhalsim will be hit be the fireball; b) do it too late and your opponent can block it; c) if you hit an opponent too high, you'll recover very slowly and may be open to attack. The third use of the Drill Zutsuki is to get out of corners. When Dhalsim is trapped in a corner with your opponent closing in jump and at the apex of the jump do the Drill Zutsuki. Or you can do it right after an air-recovery (if, for example, you've been hit by an uppercut). In theory, Dhalsim will sail right over your opponent and behind him. I don't use this tactic too often though, for these reasons: a) I use X-ism Dhalsim, who can't air-block and can be hit before reaching the apex of his jump; b) Dhalsim is slow in the air, and he has other faster means of escape; c) when I was starting out with Dhalsim I did this tactic often, and my opponents sometimes lost their tempers; e) some characters can chase Dhalsim as he's sailing away, sometimes with disastrous results. The Drill Zutsuki can be used to start combos (such as Drill Zutsuki -> Short Slide -> Yoga Flame). Remember: if hit too high the Drill Zutsuki will leave you vulnerable. However, there are some players who absolutely refuse to attack Dhalsim while he's doing the Drill Zutsuki (particularly those who were already caught by it a couple of times). If your opponent is the type that just watches and blocks as Dhalsim is spinning downward, then use the Drill Zutsuki repeatedly. Learn when to do the Drill Zutsuki right after an air-recovery. Lots of players love to jump after Dhalsim as he sail backward after being hit with an anti-air (Akuma players especially). When knocked backward in the air then your opponent does a follow-up move (like jumping forward with an attack or a Super) air-recover then do the Drill Zutsuki, trying to hit as low as possible. I think the Drill Zutsuki's priority was lessened in the PSX, but I'm not that sure -- it still beats nearly as much moves as it does in the arcades. What I'm sure it does is cause lesser hitstun -- I find it very hard to do combos off the Drill Zutsuki in the PSX. Lesson #2.8 -- Yoga Fire If you can't do this move, then go play another character. Dhalsim isn't for you. The Yoga Fire is the cornerstone of Dhalsim's offense. No Yoga Fire = worthless Dhalsim. Seriously, though, there are some people who can't get the Yoga Fire with X-ism/Classic. This is particularly true with Shoto- players who are used to doing Hadoukens from a blocking position. Doing a Yoga Flame from a blocking position often results in a Yoga Flame appearing instead. I have very little advice to give except to practice, practice, practice. Of all of Dhalsim's moves, the Yoga Fire is the most variable between the different -isms. In Z/V-ism, you must master when _not_ to do the JP Yoga Fire. Remember: do the JP version of the Yoga Fire only if you intend to follow it up with another attack. If you can't, then don't have the audacity to look surprised when your opponent suddenly retaliates while Dhalsim is recovering from the JP Yoga Fire. Lesson #2.9 -- Yoga Flame On the opposite end of the spectrum lies people who can't do the Yoga Flame in Z/V-ism and those who find it next to impossible to use in a combo. The motion of the Yoga Fire in Z/V-ism is foreign to those not playing Akuma. The Yoga Flame is a big, stationary ball of fire that Dhalsim breathes out after taking a deep breath. The Yoga Flame takes slightly longer time to come out than the Yoga Fire. If the Yoga Flame hits it inflicts considerable damage and will cause a knockdown. The Yoga flame hits or is blocked, it immediately ends. If it whiffs, then Dhalsim continues to breath out and will be unable to move. The strength of the punch button used determines the duration of the ball. The JP version lasts for about a second, while the FP version lasts for nearly three. There is no point to using the SP and FP versions of the Yoga Flame other than trying to fool an over-eager opponent into jumping on it. The JP version if fast enough and lasts long enough for most purposes (last too long, in my opinion). Using the SP and FP versions is just asking for trouble. The Yoga Flame has three uses: As an opponent is getting up, stand next to him, at range of the very tip of the Yoga Flame, then do it. The sheer size of the Yoga Flame will force most players to block it, and the damage it inflicts even when blocked is considerable. Some players will try a wake-up move, but few Super Combos can hit Dhalsim at that range (namely, Ken's Shoryureppa and Akuma's Messatsu Gou Shouryuu, and even then Dhalsim will block after two or three hits; watch out for Rose's level 3 Aura Soul Throw, though). The Yoga Flame can be used as anti-air, but this can be difficult. The Yoga Flame is too slow on the start-up, and so it cannot be used against an opponent already on his way down from a jump. However, it can be used in conjunction with the Yoga Fire in faking out an opponent. Check out how far you opponent is, and see if he's the type who'll jump on you if you throw a Yoga Fire. Wiggle Dhalsim down and forward a bit, as if you're going to throw a Yoga Fire, but instead do a Yoga Flame. With luck, your opponent will jump on it. The third use of Yoga Flame is part of a combo. Combos involving the Yoga Flame have similar uses as the ones involving the Yoga Fire, except that the Yoga Flame is bigger, inflicts more damage, and much harder to do. What can I say ? Practice... Be aware that if the Yoga Flame is blocked Dhalsim recovers immediately. Take advantage of this by doing the Face Kick or Shoulder Punch. A lot of players underestimate the recovery time of a blocked Yoga Flame and get caught by the Face Kick/Shoulder Punch. Important ! During a VC, the trailing shadow duplicates any of Dhalsim's moves. This is not the same with the Yoga Flame. The Shadow will _not_ duplicate the Yoga Flame. Lesson #2.10 -- Yoga Tempest The Yoga Tempest, Dhalsim's Super Combo in X-ism, can be thought of as a five-hit version of the Yoga Flame, with the some differences.. The Yoga Tempest is _insanely_ fast. Unlike the Yoga Flame, the Yoga Tempest has _no_ start-up time (although it looks like it does). It will interrupt _any_ move that falls within its range -- I haven't seen anything stop it short of an attack that comes from a direction that isn't covered by it (such as from behind or directly above Dhalsim). Because it can't be air-blocked and its speed, the primary use of the Yoga Tempest is anti-air. If your opponent is in jumping and within range, hit him with the Yoga Tempest. It doesn't matter if your opponent already has his foot in Dhalsim's face -- the Yoga Tempest will still stop him. The second use of the Yoga Tempest is in combos. Unfortunately, because of its extensive joystick motion, this is _very_ hard to do. The third use of the Yoga Tempest is during an "opportunity". Here's a common example: Ryu is weaving back and forth in front of Dhalsim, occasionally poking with his crouching FK. The moment Ryu misses, do the Yoga Tempest. Because of its speed, it will catch Ryu even before his foot retracts. Here's another example: you do two Short Slides, then pause. Your opponent, expecting a third, retaliates (often with a crouching RK) or jumps. Do the Yoga Tempest, and your opponent will be hit, no matter if the sweep animation is already touching Dhalsim. Traditionally, all characters can use their Super Combos in this manner. In SFZ2 and the EX series, for instance, all Super Combos practically override everything. In SFZ3, a lot of Super Combos can be stopped by Regular attacks, but not the Yoga Tempest -- it's just _so_ fast. Practice ! As mentioned earlier, the Yoga Tempest has a very extensive joystick motion. If you can't do it consistently, then use Classic-ism Dhalsim instead of X-ism. Lesson #2.11 -- Yoga Throw I love this move. Dhalsim hurls his opponent towards the middle of the screen (and therefore giving Dhalsim more space). If you're uncomfortable fighting close-up, throw your opponent. This pisses a lot of people off, and makes them more prone to making mistakes. Remember: Dhalsim walks slowly, so it's unlikely that you'll be able to walk up to him then throw. If found that the best time to throw is: a) right after a Drill Zutsuki, b) right after a couple of Short Slides, c) right after your opponent attempts a cross-up. You can also throw right after a Teleport, but this doesn't work as well as it did in previous editions of SF. What follows are the "nice to know". These moves either have functions that are already duplicated with those listed in "need to know" (but are still worth mastering because they add unpredictability and flexibility to Dhalsim's gameplay) or are useful only against certain characters. Lesson #2.12 -- VLRK (Very Long Range Kick) The VLRK is Dhalsim's <far> standing RK. Dhalsim stretches out his foot, higher and farther than his Face Kick. The VLRK has anti-air applications similar uses as the Face Kick, but has higher priority and damage. Unfortunately, it's also hellishly slower and so usually cannot be used as a poke. Lesson #2.13 -- Long Slide The Long Slide is Dhalsim's <far> crouching RK. Dhalsim slides forward, at about three times the range of his Short Slide. The Long slide goes underneath certain moves, is fairly fast on the start-up, inflicts decent damage, and causes knockdown. Unfortunately, it has a _very_ long recovery time. It's like a sign saying "hit me ! hit me !" if it misses or is blocked. The sole use of the Long Slide is anti-fireball. Anticipate when an opponent is about to throw a fireball, then do the Slide. Dhalsim will slide underneath the fireball and hit your opponent as he's recovering. Against the Shotos, the Long Slide is indispensable. It's not as effective against Charlie (who can recover from the Sonic Boom quickly), or even Sakura and Sagat (who wouldn't be throwing her fireball that often). Obviously, the Long Slide has little use against non-fireball characters. Mastery of the range of the Long Slide is important in X-ism, as it cannot be used when Dhalsim is too close. Don't be tempted to use the Long Slide as anti-air. In previous editions of SF, the Long Slide can hit an opponent as he is about to land from a jump. In theory, this still works. In practice, Dhalsim will end up eating a combo, either because he gets hit while sliding (by an aerial attack ?!), or the Slide is blocked. Lesson #2.14 -- Ground Kick The Ground Kick is Dhalsim's <far> standing SK. Dhalsim stretches his foot out to kick at shin level. It's _very_ fast for such a long-ranged move, but has low priority. It's primary use is to poke. The Ground Kick is useful against another Dhalsim player. Often, Dhalsim-to-Dhalsim matches ends up with who pokes faster. Note: in the PSX, this move is not available in X-ism. Dhalsim will instead do a Modified Face Kick. The Modified Face Kick looks _exactly_ like the Face Kick, but is much faster, has shorter range (?!), and inflicts less damage. The Modified Face Kick can be used as a faster alternative to the Face Kick. Note: in the PSX, the Ground Kick of Z/V-ism has been slowed down and the priority a bit lessened compared to the arcades. Lesson #2.15 -- Ducking Punch The Ducking Punch is Dhalsim's <far> crouching FP (also his <far> crouching JP and SP, but the FP version is the most useful). Dhalsim bends down low, then stretches his fist out. The Ducking Punch has similar uses to the Double Punch. Poke, anti-air, etc. The Ducking Punch, however, is slower to come out, slower to recover, and has shorter range. The Ducking Punch has a unique use, however. The first few frames of animation goes _underneath_ fireballs. Here's an example: Ryu is standing about 1/2 screen away, then winds up for a fireball. If you react late and do the Double Punch, chances are Dhalsim's fist will get hit by the fireball. If you do the Ducking Punch instead, Dhalsim will duck under the fireball and hit Ryu. Dhalsim will still be hit by the fireball, but the damage you inflict on Ryu will be extensive (with the words "Counter" appearing). With X-ism Dhalsim, the Ducking Punch used in this manner is a real menace. Often, fireball-happy players don't realize the amount of damage they're taking ("Hah, Dhalsim's too dumb to avoid my fireball ! He's already taken 3 hits in a row ! Wait, a minute... Where's my life bar ?!"). The Ducking Punch also renders M. Bison's Psycho Shot and Sagat's High Tiger Shot worthless, as Ducking Punch goes under the Psycho Shot completely. Remember: up close, the Ducking Punch will miss completely. This will present problems to all the -isms if used improperly. Note: in the PSX, the Ducking Punch was slowed down a bit (compared to the arcades) Lesson #2.16 -- Uppercut The Uppercut is Dhalsim's <near> standing SP. Dhalsim arcs his arm upward, open-handed. The Uppercut has uses similar to the of the Jab of Doom. The Uppercut inflicts more damage, has _much_ more hit are, and has comparable priority. It's also slower, and therefore less effective as anti-air if you can't get the timing down. It can replace the Jab of Doom once you get the hang of it. In X-ism, the greatest problem to the Uppercut is it's unpredictability. Sometimes, the Shoulder Punch appears instead of the Uppercut when an opponent is too far. It's probably best for X-ism Dhalsim to use the Jab of Doom in most instances rather than to gamble with the Uppercut's range. The Uppercut's damage and higher hit area still make it worth learning, though. The Uppercut is cancelable, but for some reason it's pretty hard to use in combos -- the uppercut hits late in its animation and using it in combos feels odd. Lesson #2.17 -- the Slash The Slash is Dhalsim's <near> crouching punches. The three punches (JP, SP, FP) all produce the same animation -- Dhalsim makes a horizontal slash from a crouching position. The JP Slash is average in the way of jabs go. It's fast, cancelable, and can link into Dhalsim's <near> crouching SK rather easily. What elevates the JP Slash is that it has an unusually large vertical hit area, and can hit opponents directly over Dhalsim. This doesn't mean that the JP Slash can be used as anti-air, but it does mean that it can be used against the Shoto's Hurricane kick. The Shotos (Akuma and Ryu) often attempt to use their Hurricane kick as part of their confusion tactics, and most players really don't expect that Dhalsim can simply jab up their crotches. If you hit them with the JP Slash while in their Hurricane, try to cancel into a Super or Yoga Flame. The FP Slash has the same uses as the JP version (except you can't link it into anything). For an FP move, the FP Slash is pretty fast. It's priority isn't bad. It's cancelable. It has a larger vertical hit area than the JP Slash, and can therefore be sometimes used as anti-air. It's damage is much greater than the JP Slash, and so is much easier to use in combos (longer hitstun). Against the Shotos, try to use the FP Slash more than the JP Slash against their Hurricane kicks, since this will be considered a "major" counter, giving you more time to cancel into a Super, Yoga Flame, or even Yoga Fire. The Slash has one other use -- counter-poke. When an opponent tries to poke at you, use the Slash to hit their limbs. The SP Slash has no practical use that would make it more useful than the JP and FP Slash. Don't use it. In X-ism, using the Slash presents some big problems. If the opponent is too far away (or even sometimes close-up) Dhalsim will do a Ducking Punch instead, leaving Dhalsim completely vulnerable. Note: in the PSX, the priority of the Slash seems to have been reduced compared to the arcades. Also, it seems to cause lesser hitstun -- in the arcades, I can easily pull of Slash -> Super Combo, but find it hard to do so in the PSX. Maybe it's just the PSX controller. Lesson #2.18 -- Drill Foot The SK Drill Foot is useless. Well, not really, but nearly anything you can do with it you can do with the Drill Zutsuki. And the Drill Zutsuki is a much better move. The FK Drill Foot can be used to start combos (such as FK Drill foot -> Short Slide -> Yoga Flame). It presents with the same difficulties as the Drill Zutsuki: land too high and you'll be left vulnerable. The RK Drill Foot can also be used this way, but the timing and spacing is different because of the RK Drill Foot's steep angle. The FK Drill Foot can be used as anti-fireball. Jump up, and if the opponent throws a fireball, do a FK Drill Foot in order to either land on him then combo, or land behind the fireball then do a long-ranged move. In this regard, the RK Drill Foot may be better (since, because of it's steeper angle, causes Dhalsim to land faster than the FK Drill Foot). Certain character can hardly deal with this (Charlie and Z/V Chun Li comes to mind). The FK and RK Drill Foot can be used as part of Dhalsim's confusion tactics. When near your opponent, jump forward then _immediately_ do a Drill Foot. Then another. Then another. Mix this up with the Short Slide Irritation and throws. I don't do this often, since it's rather hard to keep up for long. To get an idea what this looks like, watch CPU Dhalsim. The Drill Foot (all versions, even SK) can be used to discourage opponents from jumping after Dhalsim, much in the same way the Drill Zutsuki and Pokedowns do. The Drill Foot isn't as effective as either of the two moves, since the Drill Foot's priority and area aren't too great. On analysis, it seems that the FK Drill Foot is nothing more than a toned-down Drill Zutsuki. What makes the FK Drill Foot worth learning is it's surprise factor. Because of it's angle, the FK Drill Foot feels faster than the Drill Zutsuki, and there are even less players that can react to a well-timed FK Drill Foot than a Drill Zutsuki. Note: the priority of the Drill Zutsuki was toned down in the PSX version. Lesson #2.19 -- Palm Dhalsim's <far> standing JP has priority and speed equal to his Jab of Doom, but since it's angled differently, it can be used to hit an aerial opponent a little farther off than you would be able to. Don't overlook this move. Lesson #2.20 -- Ground Teleport When Dhalsim Teleports, it's hard to tell _exactly_ where he'll reappear, but here are the basic rules. If you use the "forward" version (that is, you moved the joystick forward, down, down-forward) Dhalsim will materialize behind your opponent unless he's already in a corner (in which case Dhalsim will materialize right in front him). If you use the "back" version (that is, you moved the joystick back, down, down-back) Dhalsim will rematerialize in front of your opponent. Pressing the three kick buttons will _usually_ cause Dhalsim to rematerialize farther away from the opponent than the three punch buttons. In theory, Dhalsim can use the Teleport to confuse opponents. This doesn't happen often, if at all. Lesson #2.20.1 -- "Teleporturtle" I've found only one use for the Teleport -- something I dubbed the "Teleporturtle". Basically, I do the KKK "forward" teleport when facing V-ism opponents (with a Super Combo Meter charge) jumps at me. There are several precautions to doing this. First, don't attempt the Teleporturtle if your opponent jumped at you because you did a slow move (such as a Yoga Fire). This is a mistake I see often with Dhalsim beginners. They do a Yoga Fire, then try to teleport away when the opponent jumps at them. While this may work _sometimes_, don't rely on it. The better your opponent, the less likely this works. The Teleporturtle only works if you're just standing there, waiting for your opponent to jump. You can do a jab (in order to fake your opponent into jumping), but that's about it. Second, don't wait for the aerial attack to come out. This is another mistake I see often. Beginner Dhalsim players treat the Teleport like a Dragon Punch -- they wait until the opponent attacks before they teleport, or they wait until the opponent will hit a "deep" aerial attack. The result is that they get hit. When teleporting, do it as soon as you see your opponent jump toward you. Don't wait. You can fool around with the other versions of the teleport (PPP/ "back" versions), but, personally, I haven't found uses for these yet. The PPP versions will land you near your opponent, but, considering that the Teleport has a recovery time, it's likely that your opponent will punish you severely. The KKK "back" version also poses the same problems -- it's probably safer just to jump backward instead of gambling on the teleport. Lesson #2.21 -- The Headbutt The Headbutt is Dhalsim's <near> standing FP. This move hits twice, and is cancelable on the first hit only. This move has no practical value during general combat. In fact, I have no idea of it's worth regarding priority, since I've never used it to trade hits and its range is short. In previous editions of SF, the Headbutt could be used as anti-air, but because Dhalsim has better moves for this purpose, I haven't tried using the Headbutt in this manner in SFZ3. What makes the Headbutt useful is its damage, plus it can be used in several combos. Lesson #2.22 -- Z-ism Super Combos I don't like the Z-ism Super Combos much. Lesson #2.22.1 -- Yoga Inferno In the Yoga Inferno, Dhalsim bobs his head up and down, breathing small balls of fire. The higher the level done, the more balls of fire he gouges out. The amount of damage the Yoga Inferno inflicts is directly proportional to number of balls of fire that hit. The more balls that hit, the greater the damage. This brings us to the basic problem of this move -- sometimes not all the balls hit, especially when this move is used as anti-air, or used as a counter-hit. There are too many instances when I felt that the Yoga Inferno inflicted way too little damage. Also, the Yoga Inferno bounces your opponent around. This is especially bothersome if your opponent bounces away or to the _rear_ of Dhalsim -- there is a chance that your opponent will recover and make you pay. Finally, the Yoga Inferno has a huge start-up time (_way_ longer than the Yoga Tempest), which means you can't use this move to stop an opponent's attack reliably -- if Ryu's foot is in Dhalsim's face, the Yoga Inferno will be snuffed. The advantage of the Yoga Inferno is that it inflicts _massive_ damage (if all those balls of fire hit), more than the Yoga Tempest. Also, the Yoga Inferno is very easy to do and use in combos (which, it seems, is its only use). Finally, the Yoga Inferno has some interesting combo potential when an opponent is cornered (see the Combos section). Lesson #2.22.2 -- Yoga Stream Dhalsim breaths fire on the floor. This move can reach up to half screen away (!) and is very fast. It also must be blocked crouching (which means if your opponent is blocking while standing up he will be toasted by this move) and can catch jumping characters with proper timing. In theory, this move is a great surprise attack. Do this at half screen distance (No Man's Land) and if your opponent is standing he'll get hit. In practice, at any time I try this move my opponents reflexively crouch-block or attempt to jump -- leaving me vulnerable for quite a _long_ time. I've had more success hitting jumpers about to land, or those I've knocked on the ground then try to jump away. Lesson #2.23.3 -- Yoga Strike Now, _this_ is a Super Combo worth learning. So far the greatest use for the Yoga Strike I've had is when my opponent tries to jump over a Short Slide (which is _very_ common, see the Patterns section). This move also stops jump-in attacks from certain angles. Unfortunately, this is not a move that you'll likely hit with especially if your opponent is paranoid about jumping. In this move, Dhalsim jumps up and forward. If the opponent is in his way, Dhalsim will catch him and slam him to the floor. This is, by far, Dhalsim most damaging Super. Even at level 1, your opponent will wince at the damage. This move has very high priority. If your opponent is within it's area, he _will_ be caught, no matter what he's doing. Unfortunately, this area is very small. Aiming the Yoga Strike properly is its major weakness. And if you miss, you will pay, as this move has serious recovery problems. Lesson #2.24 -- Yoga Smash Nugie ? Noogie ? How is this thing spelled ? Anyway, the Yoga Smash generally inflicts less damage than the Yoga Throw. What makes the Yoga Smash so cool is that you can follow it up with a Super Combo. The Yoga Tempest can catch your opponent even before he can do anything. I haven't been able to pull off VCs after the Yoga Smash (please mail me if you do !) Lesson #2.25 -- Zero Counter Zero Counters are moves of last resort -- the penalty for using them is very high (1 block of Guard Meter, 1 level or 50% of Super Combo Meter), and the damage they inflict is laughable. Zero Counters do have some use... First is when you're going to be Guard Crashed. Since you're going to lose some amount of Guard Meter when you're Guard Crashed, might as well do a Zero Counter and avoid the "stunning" effect being crashed does. Second is when you're about to take die from a blocked Special or Super Combo, such as a Super Combo fireball or Dragon Punch, or even some VCs. Third, it's a flashy way to win. Being finished off by a Zero Counter is a very humbling experience. What follows are the "forgettable". These moves are _tempting_ to learn, but they have very little practical use. Lesson #2.26 -- Yoga Blast One of the most common questions I get is "why don't you use the Yoga Blast ?" The Yoga Blast is slow. Considering that it's supposed to be anti-air, the startup is horrifically long. It can be air-blocked. It has very low priority. I inflicts very little damage. It can only hit a few characters standing on the ground and completely miss crouching ones. Use Dhalsim's Super, Jab of Doom, Uppercut, or even Drill Zutsuki instead of the Yoga Blast. The Yoga Blast is only useful to show off. Like the Yoga Flame, the Yoga Blast is not duplicated by the trailing shadow. Lesson #2.27 -- Yoga Escape Wow. Talk about masochism. Use the Yoga Escape only when you feel like losing. Sure, it can catch some opponents by surprise, but, like the Teleport, this move has a recovery time (which means that even if you catch your opponent by surprise, it's unlikely that you'll be able to do anything about it). Lesson #2.28 -- Yoga Shock This "improved" version of the Jab of Doom sucks badly, as for it to be useful, you have to ask your opponent to stand still. Who on earth would jump on Dhalsim while he's obviously charging up for this move ? Also, if you aren't careful, you're going to mix up the Jab of Doom and Yoga Shock, leading to disastrous results. Dhalsim has a ton of other useless moves. For example, nearly all of his <near> jumping attacks fall into this category. Another example: his crouching FK, both <near> and <far>, is also replaceable by the Short Slide in X/V-ism, and is useless in Z-ism. If you find any _practical_ use for his other moves, mail me. Lesson #3 -- Jump-attacks and combos Dhalsim jumps and attacks in the air for five reasons. The first is to jump as anti-air. The second is to jump forward, then attack if your opponent attempts to jump and hit you in the air. The third is to jump backward, then attack in order to discourage opponents from jumping after you. The fourth is to do an "early" aerial attack, also known as the "shallow" attack (as opposed to "deep", which is the fourth reason). The sixth type of jump-attack, the "Cross-up" is also discussed below. This section may seem like a repetition of the previous Lesson, but I found it worth pointing out, since these situations illustrate the myriad uses of the Drill Zutsuki. Lesson #3.1 -- Jump-attacks as anti-air Here's the situation: you're on the ground, then opponent jumps at you. What can you do ? The obvious answer would be to use Dhalsim's arsenal of anti-air, such as his Super Combos, the Jab of Doom, the Face Kick, etc. However, there are a lot of players who are wise to this, so they'll try to attack early in their jump and hopefully hit Dhalsim's limb. Here's another option: jump backward, then do a Drill Zutsuki. If your opponent attempted an early attack to nail Dhalsim's limb, then chances are the Drill Zutsuki will nail him quite neatly. There are several caveats to this. First, you have to have enough space to jump backward in the first place (so this is something you shouldn't try if you're already in a corner). Second, you have to react fast enough to do this. If your opponent jumped at Dhalsim because of a Yoga Fire, chances are you won't have enough time to jump backward. Third, don't do this if your opponent is i a corner. If her air-block instead of attacking, you'll be in serious trouble if he lands first. Lesson #3.2 -- Jump forward then meet an opponent in the air Here's the situation: you jumped forward, then opponent decides to jump at you. This often happens when Dhalsim and the opponent are on opposite sides of the screen, then the opponent does a fireball, then you jumped forward (this is something that happens with Charlie a lot, or Rose right after Soul Reflect). As with Lesson #3.1, do a Drill Zutsuki. If you're fast enough, you can also use a Pokedown. Lesson #3.3 -- Jump backward then discourage follow-up Here's the situation: you jumped backward. If the opponent jumps after you, do a Drill Zutsuki as late as you can (it's as if you're trying to hit his legs while he's in the air), a Pokedown, or even the <far> jumping SP. If he just stands there, you can do a Pokedown (try to hit the top of his head), but watch out when facing the Shotos. If he fireballs after you, do a Drill Zutsuki or a Drill Foot, or even a Pokedown if his timing is really poor. If you're feeling adventurous you can try an air-teleport. Lesson #3.4 - "Early" and "Deep" jump-attacks A early jumping attack involves trying to hit the top of your opponent's head. Simply jump the attack on your way down. Usually, the advantage of doing early attacks is that they will snuff most anti-air or air-to-air (and therefore almost doubles as a jump attack as anti-air). Dhalsim has a hard time doing this. He's too slow in the air and he has no attack that can do this with any degree of safety. If you try a early jumping attack, then chances are your opponent will be able to recover from the hitstun/blockstun then punish you. A "deep" aerial attack involves trying to hit your opponent's chest or waist. Often, this is done by attacking _just before_ you land. Deep aerial attacks are required if you want to do jump-in combos. A jump-in combo is basically a jump-attack followed by another attack on the ground. Dhalsim can't do this either. Actually he can -- against a training dummy. Since Dhalsim is so slow in the air, you would have taken hits longs before you come down. There are only a few ways for Dhalsim to land a deep aerial attack. The first is to hit an opponent at about hip level with the Drill Zutsuki, or about waist level if with counter-hit. The second is to hit an opponent at about knee level with a FK/RK Drill Foot, or about hip level with counter-hit. If you land deep enough, you can follow up with a JP Slash -> <near> crouching SK/Short Slide -> Special/Super Combo. IMHO, one of the reasons why Dhalsim is so unpopular is his inability to jump and deliver a combo. Dhalsim is not a character for impulsive players. Lesson #3.5 -- Cross-ups Cross-ups are a type of jump-attack where you attack your opponent in such a way that he can't tell whether you're going to land to his left or to his right (and therefore, hopefully confusing him enough so that he won't be able to block at all). No, Dhalsim can't do this (at least, not to my knowledge). Dhalsim can deal with most cross-up attempts with the Jab of Doom or Short Slide. The only time when these two moves won't help is if Dhalsim was knocked to the ground. There are numerous debates about how to block a cross-up, so my only advice is to block the best way you know how (and not get in such a situation again). Lesson #4 -- Linking A link is a type of combo where two Regular Moves will connect if you press the appropriate buttons fast with the right timing. Dhalsim has but one reliable link: JP Slash -> <near> crouching SK. Just crouch and press the JP and SK buttons fast enough. This doesn't even work well in the PSX. Dhalsim has other links, but nearly all of them have to be used as counter-hits to work properly (and so, some might argue, they aren't links at all). Lesson #5 -- cancelable attacks/2-in-1's All moves have a recovery time. However, there are some Regular Moves whose recovery time can be shortened by doing a Special Move or a Super Combo fast enough. This is called "canceling" (because, in effect, the recovery time is "canceled" by the Special/Super Combo). These Regular Moves are called "cancelable attacks". The Regular Move -> Special/Super Combo sequence is often called "2-in-1's" (because it's as if you're doing two moves in one motion). Listed below are Dhalsim's cancelable attacks. Moves marked with "<*>" can be canceled even if they don't hit (to be discussed in Lesson #5.5) Lesson #5.1 -- X-ism Dhalsim's cancelable attacks - <far> standing JP - all <near> standing punches; note that the <near> standing FP (the headbutt) hits twice, but only the first hit is cancelable - all <near> crouching punches - all <near> standing kicks <*> - <far> crouching SK - <near> crouching SK - <near> crouching FK Lesson #5.2 -- Z-ism cancelable attacks - all <near> standing punches; note that the <near> standing FP (the headbutt) hits twice, but only the first hit is cancelable - all <near> crouching punches <*> - <far> crouching SK - <near> crouching SK Lesson #5.3 -- V-ism cancelable attacks - <far> standing JP <*> - <far> standing SP - all <near> standing punches; note that the <near> standing FP (the headbutt) hits twice, but only the first hit is cancelable <*> - all <far> standing kicks - all <near> standing kicks <*> - <far> crouching SK - <near> crouching SK - <near> crouching FK Z-ism has the least amount of cancelable attacks -- X/V-ism have twice the cancelable attacks than Z-ism (and yet more reason not to play Z-ism). Lesson #5.4 -- How to do 2-in-1s There are three methods to do 2-in-1s. All of them obey these rules: a) the first move must be cancelable attack (see Lesson #5.1 to #5.3), b) it must hit or be blocked by the opponent, c) the second move must be a Special Move or Super Combo. Method 1. This is the simplest (but not necessarily the easiest). Do a cancelable attack, then do a Special Move/Super Combo as fast as you can. For this example, we'll do a <near> crouching SK -> Yoga Fire combo. Crouch near your opponent. Hold the joystick down. Press SK. As soon as the crouching SK hits, move the joystick down-forward, forward, then press JP (the motion for a JP Yoga Fire). If you're successful (and your opponent wasn't blocking), the message "2 hit combo" will appear. Here's another example, this time we'll do a Headbutt -> JP Yoga Fire. Stand near your opponent. Hold the joystick back and press FP. As soon as the first hit of the headbutt connects, move the joystick down-back, down, down-forward, forward, then press JP. This is my preferred method of doing 2-in-1's. Basically, it involves doing the moves consecutively as fast as possible. A lot of Dhalsim's combos can only be performed using this method. Method 2. This method involves doing a cancelable attack _during_ the motion for the Special Move/Super Combo. The cancelable attack will hit first, then as you complete the Special Move/Super Combo it will hit, too. For this example, we'll do a Short Slide -> JP Yoga Flame under Z/V-ism (note: this combo is pretty hard, so don't feel frustrated if you can't do it right now). Stand near your opponent. Hold the joystick forward, then move it down-forward, press SK, continue moving the stick down, down-forward, forward, press JP. In this method, you are trying to do the Short Slide while in the middle of the motion for the JP Yoga Flame. This is actually simpler than it sound, since this is the preferred method for a lot of players. This method is also "faster" than method 1, since the joystick movement is more fluid (once you get the hang of it). Method 3. This method takes advantage of the "button-release" action the CAPCOM has supposedly programmed into their fighting games. According to some sources, whenever you press and release a button, this actually counts as _two_ button presses. For this example, we'll do a Headbutt -> Yoga Tempest. Hold the joystick back, then move it down-back, down, down-forward, forward, back, press and _hold_ FP, continue moving the stick down-back, down, down-forward, forward, release FP. Whoa, did you get all that ? Of the three methods mentioned, this is undoubtedly the fastest. The disadvantage in this method is that it's obviously impossible to use with a lot of combos (those that require two different buttons). Lesson #5.5 -- "Mid-move cancel" Dhalsim has a special type of 2-in-1, which I called the "Mid-move cancel" (MMC). An MMC obeys these rules: a) the first move must be a cancelable attack marked with an "*" (see Lessons #5.1 to #5.3), b) the second move must be a Special Move or Super Combo. MMCs differ from 2-in-1's in that the first move _doesn't_ have to hit. You can immediately cancel it into a Special/Super. What this means is that Dhalsim can use MMC to deliver combos faster than expected, hopefully catching your opponent by surprise. The problem with MMCs is that, if you aren't careful, you may accidentally cancel your attack even if you didn't want to, spoiling your combo. Lesson #6 -- Combo lists In SF (and practically all CAPCOM fighting games) the traditional combo system goes something like this: aerial attack -> one or more Regular Moves -> Special or Super Combo. Dhalsim, with his long limbs and extremely slow speed, breaks this pattern. For one thing, even if he dizzies/guard crashes an opponent it's unlikely that he'll be able to jump in with a combo. His combos tend to be short, meant to deliver nibbling damage instead of knocking out the opponent in one swoop. The combos I presented below are those which I can perform myself (or have seen). Short Slide -> Yoga Flame A lot of people will argue that this isn't really a combo, since there's no way (or just plain hard) for the Yoga Flame to hit unless the Short Slide hits as a counter. Anyway, this combo (for the lack of a better term), is Dhalsim's most important. This _must_ be learned. It's so useful in so many levels. Unblocked, it inflicts tremendous damage. Even if it's blocked, the block damage of the Yoga Flame is decent, it's size considerable, and it's recovery _really_ fast. Another thing that makes this combo so useful is the fact that the Short Slide doesn't have to connect to be canceled (it's an MMC). A lot of players are caught by surprise, as they try to react to a missed Short Slide then get hit by the Flame instead. Short Slide -> Yoga Fire This is much easier to hit with than the previous combo. Unfortunately, the recovery time of the Yoga Fire is very long, so if it's blocked you will pay. The Short Slide can be replaced with the <near> crouching SK, the <near> crouching FK (under X/V-ism only), or the Slash (all versions). The Yoga Fire can be replaced with a Super Combo (Yoga Inferno/Stream), but it's such a waste if blocked. JP Slash -> <near> crouching SK -> Yoga Flame Here's an example of a linking combo. Here the JP Slash is linked to the <near> crouching SK, then canceled into the Yoga Flame. Since the Yoga Flame is hard to combo properly you can replace it with a Yoga Fire/Tempest/Inferno/Stream, but be prepared to pay if it's blocked. Drill Foot/Drill Zutsuki -> (any of the previous combos) This is the only example of a jump-attack from Dhalsim. Because of the timing required for the Drills, any jump-attack into a combo is hard to do. Yoga Fire -> Double Punch An example of Dhalsim's unique combo system: a Special followed by a Regular Move. This combo works best if you're about half-screen distance, since Dhalsim has to recover from the Yoga Fire before he can do the Double Punch. You can replace the Double Punch with a Face Kick or Shoulder Punch (or just about any long-ranged attack). This move is useful even if the Yoga Fire is blocked, since the Double Punch really eats the Guard Meter. JP Yoga Fire -> Yoga Stream A painful variation of the combo above. Z-ism only. Dhalsim must be mid-screen and the opponent in a corner. Yoga Smash -> Headbutt -> Yoga Flame Works only when an opponent is cornered. The Headbutt will nail him while he's flailing mid-air. The Headbutt can be replaced with the Jab of Doom or Uppercut. If the Headbutt connects, your opponent can do an air-recovery, so this combo can be risky when facing Z-ism Akuma or any V-ism character -- they can attack through the Yoga Flame. To alleviate this problem you can replace the Yoga Flame with a Super Combo (any except Yoga Stream). You can also skip the Headbutt entirely, which brings us to our next combo... Yoga Smash -> Yoga Tempest You can do this from anywhere (unlike the previous combo). Toast, anyone ? The Yoga Tempest can be replaced by a level 1 Yoga Inferno, but the damage isn't that great. Never replace the Yoga Tempest with a level 2/3 Yoga Tempest -- the opponent will just bounce away after getting hit a couple of times. Yoga Smash -> level 1 Yoga Inferno -> level 2 Yoga Strike Z-ism only. Opponent must be in a corner. He can air-recover right after the Yoga Inferno, but he'll still be caught by the Yoga Strike (unless he VCs through it, or Z-ism Akuma does an air fireball Super). You can try to insert a Jab of Doom, Uppercut, or Headbutt right after the Yoga Inferno (so that it resembles the combo below). Level 1 Yoga Inferno -> Slash -> level 2 Yoga Strike Z-ism only. Opponent must be in a corner. There are a _lot_ of variations to this combo. The Slash may be replaced with a Jab of Doom, Uppercut, or Headbutt. The Yoga Strike can be replaced with a Yoga Flame, Yoga Fire, or another Yoga Inferno. You can change the levels of The Yoga Inferno and Yoga Strike. Or you can stick a Drill Zutsuki/Drill Foot -> Short Slide right before the Yoga Inferno. Here are combos that can only be performed with VC active. Due to Dhalsim's rather loose combo system, he has a _lot_ of possible VCs. All the combos listed below (except the last) assume that the opponent is in a corner. The combos listed are only the repetitive portions. All of them can have a jump attack opener (such as a Drill Zutsuki) prior to the VC activation. (JP+SK VC activation) -> JP Yoga Fire (repeat) Definitely Dhalsim's most powerful VC. You have to be pretty near your opponent when you do this. You have to end the combo with a move other than Yoga Fire (such as a Yoga Flame), otherwise your opponent will be standing there looking very pissed with his Super Combo Meter full. The full version of this combo would look like this: FK/RK Drill Foot -> (JP+SK VC activation) -> Short Slide -> JP Yoga Fire (repeat until Super Combo Meter near empty) -> FP Yoga Fire -> Yoga Flame -> Yoga Blast The Drill Zutsuki provides the obligatory jump-attack. The last three attacks end the VC in a classy manner. (JP+SK VC activation) -> FP Yoga Fire (repeat) If you replace the JP Yoga Fire in the previous combo you get this combo. This is much easier, and you can do this combo from farther away. The FP Yoga Fire juggles the opponent in the air instead of nailing him repeatedly. Only one of the Yoga Fire will hit. Conversely, this combo does about half the damage as the previous one. This and the previous combo are the only combos that are safe to do against a blocking opponent. As such they are useful when you're trying to Guard Crash your opponent. (any VC activation) -> Yoga Flame (repeat) The Yoga Flame juggles your opponent. The timing is easy, but getting all that half-circle motions is hard. This is Dhalsim's second most damaging combo. Remember: the trailing shadow does not duplicate the Yoga Flame (so if you mess up you can't rely on your shadow to cover you). I think there's something seriously wrong with the Yoga Flame if blocked during a VC. It feels as if Dhalsim recovers very slowly. Am I just imagining it ? You can mix and match the Yoga Fire and Flame once the juggle starts. You can try this: (any VC activation) -> [Yoga Flame -> Yoga Fire] (repeat). Carpal tunnel syndrome, anyone ? (JP+SK VC activation) -> [FP Yoga Fire -> whiff Headbutt] (repeat) This doesn't inflict that much damage, but it's a sight to see. The FP Yoga Fire hits twice and juggles, then whiff Headbutt prevents the opponent from recovering in the air and sets him up for the next Yoga Fire. Unlike the previous VC combos, this combo can be done nearly a half-screen away (your opponent still has so be in a corner, though). (JP+SK VC activation) -> FP Slash -> FP Yoga Fire -> [VLRK -> JP Yoga Fire] (repeat) My favorite VC. The timing and spacing can be hard. The damage is decent, but the cheers from the audience and the look of resignation/ indignation on your opponent's face makes it worth learning. The FP Slash is an opener that pushes Dhalsim right into range. The FP Yoga Fire (hits once, sometimes twice) knocks your opponent into the air. The VLRK hits him while he's up there. The JP Yoga Fire sets him up for another VLRK. In theory, the FP and JP Yoga Fire can be replaced with a Yoga Flame, but I haven't pulled this off consistently. You can skip the Slash and FP Yoga Fire if, for example, you opponent is jumping up and down in a corner. Activate the VC, then hit your opponent with the VLRK then start juggling them. Lesson # 7 -- Counter-hits (landing combos, part 1) What is a counter-hit ? A counter-hit is when you hit an opponent while he's attacking. He'll take more damage than usual. The action pauses for a moment (the stronger the attack to do the counter-hit, the longer the pause). And, most importantly, he'll be hit so hard that it takes longer for him to recover (in SF jargon: prolonged hitstun). More often than not, counter-hits happen accidentally rather than on purpose. "Hey ! He attacked ! I attacked ! I got a counter-hit !". Counter-hits are important to Dhalsim because it happens so often when using him. Remember that the traditional pattern for Dhalsim is the Yoga Fire -> anti-air. Both the Yoga Fire and the anti-air bits tends to generate a lot of counter-hits. In order to fully appreciate Dhalsim's combo potential, you have to learn to react properly when Dhalsim does a counter-hit. Whenever any of your attacks hit as a counter-hit, do another quickly enough so that you'll hit again. For example, Ken jumps on Dhalsim with a kick. You hit him in the air with an Uppercut, then the message "Counter-hit" appears. The action pauses for a brief moment. During this moment you can do a Super Combo and hit Ken again. Although it's possible to hit Ken with a Super Combo even without the counter-hit, the pause and the extra hitstun time time counter-hits provide give you more time to react and hit him again. Here's another example. You do a Short Slide. Usually, even if the Short Slide hits, it's very difficult to combo into a Yoga Flame. Chances are, your opponent will be able to block the Yoga Flame. If, however, Ken was trying a crouching SK (which the Short Slide will snuff as a counter-hit), the counter-hit will stun Ken long enough for the Yoga Flame to hit, too. Lesson #8 -- Landing combos, part 2 Combos don't play as much a role with Dhalsim as they do with other characters. Nearly all of the damage you inflict with Dhalsim will be from individual moves. In fact, when playing X-ism Dhalsim, you may want to avoid having to combo -- after all if you can combo, chances are your opponent can, too. Z-ism Dhalsim, however, has to combo whenever possible. V-ism Dhalsim _needs_ to combo to justify the small damage he inflicts with his individual moves and the lack of defense Super Combos provide. Dhalsim's most common combo is the Short Slide -> Yoga Fire. The most obvious application of this combo, naturally, is while an opponent is recovering from a move. For example, if Ken is in Close range then does a whiff Dragon Punch, the Short Slide -> Yoga Fire is a quick combo you can do against him. However, this really won't happen often, as few characters will have such long-recovering moves, and few players will do then right next to Dhalsim. Instead, The Short Slide -> Yoga Fire most commonly hits when you are performing a Short Slide Irritation. When your opponent makes a mistake while blocking the Short Slide Irritation, simply cancel into a Yoga Fire for a nice two-hitter. If you can, instead of doing a Yoga Fire, you can do a Yoga Tempest/Inferno/Stream. Personally, I don't like using the Tempest in combos (since I the Tempest motion is so hard). On the other hand, the Inferno is rather easy to cancel off the Slide, and therefore the Short Slide -> Yoga Inferno is one of Z-ism Dhalsim's staple combos. Another common combo is the JP Slash -> <near> crouching SK -> Yoga Fire. Actually, this is a "defense" combo that I use right after my opponent blocks a Drill Zutsuki. For example, I did a Drill Zutsuki, and Ken blocks on the ground. The moment I land, I do the combo. The JP Slash is fast enough to stop whatever Ken was planning (in case he didn't react fast enough to hit me while still recovering from the Drill), then I link into the <near> crouching SK then cancel into a Yoga Fire if the SK hit, or a Yoga Flame if it didn't (obviously, this is only possible using Method 1 in doing 2-in-1s). Another common combo is the Yoga Fire -> Double Punch/Shoulder Punch. I use this mostly to pressure my opponent rather than to inflict damage, since it's quite rare that my opponent will sit still long enough for the Yoga Fire to hit at that range. Still, this is a very useful combo to learn when facing Fireball-chucking opponents. The last common combo I employ is the Yoga Smash -> Yoga Tempest. This is yet another "defensive" combo. A lot of players will try to hit Dhalsim with an early jump-in attack, hoping to snuff his anti-air, usually from an angle that isn't covered by the Yoga Tempest (directly on top of Dhalsim). Instead of knocking them out of the air with a Jab of Doom, I simply block the early jump-in attack then grab them with the Yoga Smash. Once Dhalsim releases my opponent, I wind up for the Tempest and toast is served. Z-ism Dhalsim can use the Yoga Inferno in place of the Tempest, but I only use level 1. V-ism Dhalsim has to play much more aggressively than X/Z-ism. His combos are nearly all corner-reliant. When playing V-ism Dhalsim, you have to push your opponent into a corner. Once the opponent has been cornered, Dhalsim has three methods of landing a VC. The first is to use the Drill Zutsuki to close the gap, hit your opponent, then use the Drill's hitstun to activate the VC (then combo from there). This is hard as hell, but not impossible -- fireball characters are particularly prone to this. For example, Ken is in a corner. He throws a fireball. Do a Drill Zutsuki to go over the fireball and hit Ken. Once the Drill hits (preferably as a counter-hit), activate the VC, then combo. The second method is to employ the Yoga Teleport (the PPP "forward" version). Let's say you're facing Ken in a corner (again), and Ken keeps on using his fireball to nullify your Yoga Fire. If he's too fireball-happy, you can teleport right in front of him, activate the VC, then combo. Lesson #8.1 -- Teleporting into a combo I'm not too fond of this. Dhalsim can certainly try this under any -ism, but it's more trouble than its worth most of the time. I only try it under V-ism, mainly because V-Dhalsim _has_ to land a combo (otherwise there's no point in playing V-Dhalsim at all). The third method is to use the Short Slide Irritation (this is my favorite method of setting up a VC). Short Slide your opponent into a corner, then fake out with a Slash or <near> crouching SK, and if your opponent does _anything_ other than block, activate the VC then combo (I usually begin with the Short Slide). If he tries to jump up or backward, activate the VC then hit him with an anti-air Regular move, then juggle him in the air -- this is a bit risky, though, since Dhalsim might get hit by an aerial attack. The fourth method I've called the "Confusion". Lesson #8.2 -- VC Confusion Here's the gist: activate the VC from far away, the do Regular Moves, Yoga Fire, and Teleport (usually to your opponent's rear) in order to confuse him. Supposedly, it looks like Dhalsim has split into two and attacking from both sides. If any of the Yoga Fire hits, Teleport beside him then do a juggling combo. What a load of theoretical crap. I've _never_ seen this work. I can't even pull it off against the PSX training dummy, much less a human being. I keep on hearing things like "activate VC -> JP Yoga Fire/Regular Move -> teleport behind opponent -> repeat". All I have to say is... BS ! Lesson #9 -- Patterns A pattern is a series of attacks that is hard to avoid. Like combos, they are performed consecutively, not mindful of whether the opponent blocks or not. Unlike combos, these moves won't all hit. They are meant not to inflict damage, but to confuse and frustrate your opponent. Lesson #9.1 -- Short Slide Irritation Dhalsim's Short Slide is fast and has good priority. You can abuse it by simply doing repeatedly. Short Slide -> Short Slide -> Short Slide -> ad nauseum. A lot of characters and players simply can't deal with it. If your opponent can't deal with the Short Slide Irritation, he'll most likely try to jump. If he jumps backward, you can try to nail him with an long-ranged anti-air, such as the Face Kick or VLRK. If he jumps straight up you can him with the Jab of Doom, Uppercut, or Super Combo such as the Yoga Tempest or Yoga Strike. If he jumps forward (trying to get behind Dhalsim), you can hit him with the same moves (if you're fast enough), or simply do the Short Slide Irritation again once he lands. Once in a while your opponent might try a Regular Move to try to stop the Short Slide (the Shotos love trying to use their crouching kicks). More likely than not, the Short Slide will snuff their attack as a counter-hit. If happens, cancel into a Yoga Flame for a nice 2-hit combo. You can try to throw your opponent during the Irritation. Sometimes he'll be too busy trying to figure out how to deal with the Slide that he can't react fast enough to throw attempts. Do _not_ do the Short Slide Irritation against characters with easy Super Combos. Ken and Akuma, for instance, can easily punish Dhalsim for abusing the Short Slide. Very good players also aren't prone to the Irritation. Finally, be _very_ aware of jump-up attempts to avoid the Short Slide. I've seen a lot of Dhalsim players make the mistake of doing the Short Slide _after_ their opponent jumps straight up -- they end up getting hit by a jump-attack. Lesson #9.2 -- Fun with the Flame If the Yoga Flame has excellent recovery when blocked. There are a lot of nasty things you can do with it because a lot of players assume that if they've blocked the Flame they can retaliate. Short Slide -> Yoga Flame -> Shoulder Punch You have to use the very tip of the Short Slide's range. A lot of players attempt a sweep right after blocking the Yoga Flame. The Shoulder Punch will nail them. You can also replace the Shoulder Punch with a Super Combo. Yoga Flame in conjunction with Short Slide Irritation You can end the Short Slide Irritation with a Yoga Flame to give you space to recover (such as when you suddenly noticed that your opponent still has a Super Combo Meter charge). As with the pattern above, if your opponent attempt to counter- attack after the Flame you can do a Shoulder Punch or Super Combo. JP Slash -> Yoga Flame -> JP Slash -> Yoga Flame -> Short Slide -> Yoga Flame -> Short Slide -> Yoga Flame A nice Guard Crash Pattern to be used against cornered opponents. anti-air counter-hit -> Yoga Flame/Inferno/Tempest/Strike Not really a combo. The works is if your opponent tried to do a "forward" air-recover then attack. The Yoga Flame is so big it'll hit him. Don't do this to Z-ism Akuma, though. He can do a Super Combo air fireball (which will go over the Yoga Flame). By far the most common application of this pattern I've seen is the Jab of Doom -> Yoga Tempest. A lot of players try to do a "forward" air-recovery then stick out an attack, making the Yoga Tempest hit. Lesson #9.3 -- Drill Foot Madness Do repeated FK/RK Drill Foot as fast as you can. Aim for your opponent's knees. Watch how CPU Dhalsim does the Drill Foot, but you have to do it about thrice as fast. The principle is the same as the Short Slide Irritation. Often, your opponent can't react properly (or gets hit while trying to retaliate). This is a rather difficult pattern to use, since you timing and ranging must be flawless. However, it's also much more effective than the Short Slide Irritation. For one thing, Dhalsim's body is off the ground, so a lot of multi-hit Super Combos won't inflict as much damage as they would against the Short Slide Irritaion (for example, Ken/Akuma's Super Combo Dragon Punch won't all hit). Also, there are even fewer Regular moves than can outprioritize a well-timed Drill Foot than a Short Slide. As with the Short Slide, if you score a counter-hit be prepared to do a combo. Lesson #9.4 -- Drill Zutsuki -> Super Combo Often, if you manage to hit your opponent in the air with a Drill Zutsuki, they'll try to air-recover and counter attack. Sometimes it works and Dhalsim gets hit. Sometimes Dhalsim lands first (because the air-recovery causes your opponent to jerk upward a bit). If this is the case toast them with a Super Combo. Use the Yoga Tempest or Strike. The Inferno sometimes works, but Dhalsim can easily get hit out of it and the Inferno doesn't inflict that much damage used this way. Lesson #9.5 -- Jump up for no reason at all Because Dhalsim is so slow in the air if you jump straight up a lot of players assume that he's vulnerable. Yeah right. Specifics on this tactic are given on the next sections (particularly the Vs. ARK section) Lesson #10 -- The distance game (Patterns ver. 2) Dhalsim has five ranges: Lesson #10.1 -- Extreme (beyond Dhalsim's Double Punch) At this range, Dhalsim has his most basic strategy: throw a Yoga Fire to lure your opponent to jump toward you, then knock him out of the air. The most commonly used move for this purpose is the Face Kick, although the VLRK will also work, but its generally too slow. Ideally, you should hit your opponent on his way up. Alternatively, you can try the Double Punch as your opponent lands, but this is dangerous because Dhalsim's arms leave more surface area to be hit with. If your opponent jumps straight up or backward instead of at you, move a bit forward and do a VLRK or a Double Punch as they are coming down. Remember: your opponent will try to hit Dhalsim's limbs on his way down. This is the very reason why you should hit your opponent on his way up -- few characters are capable of attacking effectively on the way up, and few players do so. There are some characters you may not want to try this strategy with. Namely: Rolento, Adon, Vega, M. Bison. These characters can cross the screen very quickly, especially Rolento, and if you throw Yoga Fire indescriminately at them you'll pay. Lesson #10.1.1 -- "Neutral Zone" A safer strategy is _not_ to hit your opponent while he's in the air. I call this the "Neutral Zone" tactic. When a character is about to land from a jump (about at level of the thighs or knees), any attack he makes simply won't come out -- at this height, aerial attacks can no longer be used and it's too early to use grounded moves. Throw a Yoga Fire, let your opponent jump, then hit him with a Double Punch or Ducking Punch _right before_ he touches the ground. Your opponent will be forced to block, and these two punches will take a healthy chunk off his Guard Meter. You can always wait for your opponent to touch the ground, but attacking while he's in the "Neutral Zone" ensures that he won't be able to retaliate or jump again. Also, he'll be pushed back into extreme range. Remember: you're goal is not to inflict damage, but to poke safely and wear away at the Guard Meter. This tactic may not seem much (and is useless against Classic-ism opponents), but it induces panic (and therefore promotes mistakes) when the Guard Meter starts flashing. At this range, Dhalsim rules the air from the ground, so if you let you opponent come closer (by not throwing a Yoga Fire), chances are they'll walk into Long range (discussed below). Note: Extreme range tactics are next to impossible to pull off in Z/V-ism because of Dhalsim's diminishing Yoga Fire (yet another reason to play X-ism). Lesson #10.2 -- Long (between Extreme and a bit beyond Dhalsim's Face Kick) Strategies here are similar to the one for Extreme range. However, there are many characters with limbs sufficiently long enough to hit Dhalsim face when they jump at him from this range (Charlie, Ken, and Sakura comes to mind). Not only that, but Dhalsim's VLRK too slow to deal with jump-ins. Yoga Fire -> Face Kick still works, as well as the Yoga Fire -> Double Punch, but the latter is more of a push-away rather than a damaging tactic (ie. "Neutral Zone"). Most players facing Dhalsim hunker down when they get to this range, using a tactic I call "creeping". Instead of walking bravely forward (as they do so from Extreme range), they walk a bit forward then immediately crouch, blocking. Then they try to walk forward a bit again and crouch. Watch them carefully. The moment the _start_ the crouch, let loose a Double Punch. It will push them back to a more comfortable distance. If your opponent is the enthusiastic type who's actually wants you to throw a Yoga Fire then jump on you, or if he's the Shoto-type who's planning to do a Hurricane Kick over the Yoga Fire, fake him out by pumping the joystick a bit from neutral and down positions then do a Yoga Flame. Considering that the starting animations of the Yoga Fire and Flame are similar, the players with quick-reflexes get caught more often than beginners. Alternatively, you can try a Super Combo instead of the Yoga Flame. Don't do this too often, though. Few players get caught more than once. Or do a Jab of Doom or Palm, then immediately poke them with a Face Kick (which will nail them if they tried to jump). If your opponent is just standing there then poke at him with alternating Face Kick and Double Punch. The Face Kick will not hit at this range, but it will hit if your opponent tries to jump-in. Watch out for players trying to hit Dhalsim's leg (in my experience, most often by a fireball or a crouching attack). Try fighting arcade CPU Charlie or Zangief with nothing but Face Kick and you'll see what I mean. The Double Punch is another matter entirely. Very few moves will beat it cleanly. If your opponent tries to poke back at Dhalsim's fists chances are he'll be sorry. Finally, the Drill Zutsuki works wonders at this range, especially against characters with powerful air-to-ground attacks (like the Shotos, Blanka, Zangief, Vega) and aggresive players. When they jump at you jump back then _immediately_ do the Drill Zutsuki. Dhalsim is amazingly hard headed, and the Drill Zutsuki will beat nearly any other aerial attack. Try to aim for their legs. Once the Drill Zutsuki hits _immediately_ do a Yoga Flame/Tempest. Beginner players won't get hit, but, strangely, good ones will. This is because most good players have the presence of mind to do an air-recovery and aerial attack in order to discourage follow-ups. Unfortunately for them, the size of the Yoga Flame is sufficient to hit them if they do anything other than block (and the Yoga Tempest can't be air-blocked at all). If you're in a corner, the Drill Zutsuki works slightly differently. Do the Drill Zutsuki at the apex of Dhalsim's jump so that he flies behind your opponent. Don't do this too often, as some opponents are expecting it. Lesson #10.3 -- No Man's Land (just within range of the Face Kick) I called this range No Man's Land simply because this is Dhalsim's weakest range. At this range, most opponents will absolutely become aggresive. They won't crawl towards you like they do at Long range -- they'll jump and attack. At this range, it is _imperative_ that you hit jumping opponents on their way up with a Face Kick. There's almost no way to stop them once they're on their way down other than with a Super Combo. Unless your opponent is a total idiot, _do not_ throw a Yoga Fire -- it will 100% convince them to jump at you. That being said, you _can_ try doing a Yoga Flame instead, in the hopes that they'll jump on it. Or, if you're feeling confident (or faced with a slow reacting player), do a Yoga Fire -> Super Combo. Drill Zutsuki tactics (mentioned above) also works at jumping opponents at this range, but it's a bit harder because you have to react faster. If your opponent isn't jumping at you, then poke at him with the Face Kick (hopefully it will catch him if he tries to jump). You can also try the Double Punch, but it's a bit too slow and if your opponent jumps over it, you're toast. Try Dhalsim's quicker long-range attacks, such as the Shoulder Punch and Ground Kick. Poking serves two purposes -- if it will push him back to a more comfortable range or, if you're lucky, hit him. Although Dhalsim's pokes inflict poor damage at this range, few players will think of poking back. Most of them are too caught up with jumping at Dhalsim. If your opponent is the type who pokes back (and does it well), then abandon the poking game entirely and concentrate on letting him come closer and out of No Man's Land. Another tactic do do when your opponent isn't jumping at you is to jump back. If your opponent jumps after you or throws a fireball (hoping to catch Dhalsim on the way down), do the Drill Zutsuki or the Drill Kick. If he just stands stands there well and good -- you are now out of No Man's Land. Most likely, he'll walk forward. If he does, do a Pokedown on your way down. With luck, it will connect with your opponent's face. This tactic works best if your opponent just recently went inside No Man's Land from long range (by walking, usually) because, as mentioned earlier, opponents in long range often do the walk forward -> crouch pattern to approach. At this range fireball-characters will start throwing fast fireballs at Dhalsim in the hopes of catching him. Most previously discussed anti-fireball measures still work, but you have to be very quick on responding. Aside from the Drill Zutsuki, the Long Slide can be used, especially against Shotos. The Ducking Punch is _not_ advisable at this range. Against a fast fireball, Dhalsim will get hit before his arm fully stretches out (Akuma's fireballs come into mind.) Learn to teleport out of the way. See Lesson #2.20.1. The better your opponent, the more important it is to teleport when he jumps in from No Man's Land. Be aware that a lot of players will try "early" jump-in attacks when jumping at Dhalsim from this range. If this is the case (and you blocked the early jump-attack), Dhalsim can recover from the blockstun before your opponent can follow-up his attack. Try a Slash or a Short Kick canceled into a Yoga Flame. Or you can throw. Lesson #10.4 -- Close (just outside the range of Dhalsim's Short Slide) If your opponent is crouching at this range, or he's just jumped in from Long range, then throw a Yoga Flame or Yoga Fire. Chances are, he'll block it. If your opponent is standing at this range, then he's going to do two things: jump on Dhalsim or start to poke. Inexperienced players try to jump on Dhalsim from this range for several reasons: a) they realize that the most of Dhalsim's anti- air kicks are next to worthless, b) most characters are very powerful coming down from the air (Shotos, Blanka, and Vega in particular are overconfident), c) they haven't been sufficiently educated in the ways of the Jab of Doom. Jumping on Dhalsim from this range is a fruitless exercise -- do an evil laugh as you unleash the Jab of Doom. More level-headed players will try to poke at Dhalsim instead. They'll crouching and start creeping towards Dhalsim with their limbs sticking out. When faced with extremely potent pokers (such as Rolento and Sakura), you have to learn to use the Slash as a counter-poke. More details on poking strategies are discussed in the Vs. Section. Also, be careful when attacking under X-ism. At this range, Dhalsim sticks his limbs out rather undpredictably (so the Slash may be dangeroud to use). Dhalsim's combos and patterns come into play in this range. The Short Slide -> Yoga Flame, Short Slide Irritation, and Drill Foot Madness are very effective. Unlike previous editions of SF, Dhalsim at Close range is no longer his weakest range. If anything, it's his second strongest (next to Extreme range). Master when to use the Jab of Doom, how to combo properly, and when to poke when an opponent does a slow-recovering move, and you won't see the need to use "escapes" such as the Yoga Teleport and high Drill Zutsuki (both of which have serious problems at this range). Lesson #10.5 -- Point Blank (throwing range) Throw ! Dhalsim has two throws, both of which are very useful. The Yoga Throw forces your opponent back away. The Yoga Smash won't push your opponent far, but it has some really nasty combos (discussed in the Combo section). The patterns mentioned for Close range also work well at Point Blank range. Also, the Slash is very effective. Combos such as Slash -> Yoga Flame are devastating, while the Slash -> Short Slide -> Yoga Flame can catch a lot of players by surprise ("My God ! Dhalsim can link !"). Lesson #11 -- Air-recovering So when can you air-recover ? What are the guidelines for doing juggles ? First, you obviously cannot air-recover while in a hitstun (since you almost can't do anything during a hitstun anyway). This is the basis of a lot of true juggles -- hit with a lot of attacks and air-recovery can't be done. Second, there are some moves and situations you plainly can't air-recover from. If you stood still and let Akuma hit you with a 3-hit JP Dragon Punch you can air recover. If Akuma hits you with a 3-hit FP Dragon Punch, however, you won't be able to air-recover and will fall on your back. What these moves are you have to learn for yourself -- a list of such situations wouldn't be useful (since nobody can be expected to memorize and reconize them all). Third, you can't air recover while your opponent is attacking, missed or not -- for as long as he is in the "duration" phase of a move, Dhalsim will not recognize the air-recover command. What, does this mean he has the ability to influence your ability to air recover ? Yes. This is most noticable in VCs. For a PSX training example, pick V-ism Charlie. Set Breakfall to Back. Push the dummy to a corner. Activate the VC with JP + SK, then do a Flash Kick. Right after the Flash Kick the dummy will air-recover. If, however, you press SP right after the Flash Kick, the dummy will _not_ air-recover, even if the SP missed completely. Here's another example: this time, pick V-ism Zangief, set breakfall to Back, then push the dummy to a corner. Activate the VC with FP + RK, then do a kick Spinning Clothesline. After 2 hits, the dummy will air-recover. If, however, you do a crouching FK right after the Clothesline, the dummy won't air-recover and instead fall to the ground. So what's the point of knowing all this ? You now know why some of your own juggling attempts fail. Also, once you familiarize yourself with the rules of juggling you're on your way to creating your own juggling combos. You can now also spot if an opponent made a mistake in his juggle an allowed you the opportunity to do an air-recovery (since simply mashing the punch buttons hoping to recover usually results in being combo'd again -- besides, it looks amateurish). Lesson #11.1 -- When to air-recover (and what to do after) Details on when to air-recover are given mostly on the specific Vs. section, but here are the guidelines I use. Unlike the other aspects of SFZ3 gameplay, when or when not to air-recover is basically affected by gut instinct. I will do an air recovery when: a) My back is to the wall. In this case, I do the air recovery at the highest point possible. Then, as the highest point of of the air-recovery (sometimes beyond the top of the screen -- you have to "feel" when Dhalsim is at the apex of his air-recovery) I either do a Drill Zutsuki or an KKK forward aerial teleport. This lands me all away across the screen and out of danger. b) There's a danger of being juggled by a Regular or Special Move. Shotos love trying to do this. In this case I _immediately_ do a "forward" air-recovery. Depending upon which move they tried to do, I'd either simply block the juggle attempt (rarely, since I usually use X-ism) or do an attack (such as Drill Zutsuki, Drill Foot, or Pokedown) to snuff their attack. c) I want to land as far back as possible. This works only if Dhalsim's back isn't to a wall. This is something I do when fighting characters like Zangief. I do a "back" air-recovery and do a Pokedown do discourage follow-up attacks. d) My opponent hits me with a counter-hit but failed to juggle. For example, he's on the ground and managed to hit me out of a Drill Zutsuki. In this case, I do a "forward" air-recovery as fast as possible, then do a FK Drill Foot. e) There's a danger of being juggled by a Super Combo. Akuma and Ryu love this with their Super Combo fireball. In this case, I wait at the last possible moment before doing a "forward" air-recovery into a Drill Zutsuki (to escape). =================== Dhalsim Vs. Tactics =================== *** Vs. Strategies *** First off, a disclaimer (something I feel the need to put, particularly after the responses I got from my SFZ3 Rose Guide): The assessments and tactics below are based purely on my experiences (and therefore please don't go mailing me "hey, character X can do this and that, you idiot"). Situations that I haven't personally dealt with or seen I did not include. All entries assume someone whom you have never fought before comes up and challenges (ie: "casual" play). They do _not_ represent a tourney environment. I haven't won any tourneys (sob), but these tactics have certainly given me the edge over a _lot_ of players (read again: "casual" play). Hopefully, you'll also find them useful. Anyway, comments (constructive or otherwise) are still welcome (Mondu.Quiambao@mailcity.com), but do try to be polite. The "Threat" entry is a general indication of how hard it is to win against that particular character all things considered. The "Common -ism" entry represents which -ism players mostly choose for that character. 90% of the time, it's Z-ism. Players who choose other -isms are likely those who are fooling around, expert players, or both. I've also included which -ism is more powerful, in my opinion, for that character. Most characters have a "Moves of note" entry. This is by no means a complete list of that character's moves, but simply what moves are mortly used when facing Dhalsim. I have no entries for the PSX characters Fei Long, Guile, and T. Hawk, Evil Ryu and Shin Akuma. Since they aren't in the arcades (and therefore I'll never meet a challenger playing these characters), I can't comment on their gameplay. All ranges discussed in this section are Dhalsim-based. Unless stated otherwise, in situations where I mention using the Jab of Doom (<near> standing JP), this assumes that the Palm (<far> standing JP) and the Uppercut (<near> standing SP) can also be used. Remeber, though, the Palm and Uppercut take much more timing than the Jab of Doom. * Dhalsim Vs. Adon * Threat - moderate Common -ism - Any Moves of note - jumping FK and SK (Adon's aerial attacks of choice; fast; high priority; the FK can cross-up) - crouching SP (an elbow to the ground; can sometimes out-poke Dhalsim) - Jaguar Crunch (rushing elbow attack that must be blocked standing; slow; play Dhalsim's slide aggresively and you shouldn't have any reason to fear this move) - Rising Jaguar (double knee to the air; extremely high priority; against Dhalsim, almost worthless outside of a combo) - Jaguar Tooth (Adon bounces off the screen then heads toward Dhalsim foot first; nasty) - Jaguar Kick (reverse somersault; overrated) - Jaguar Varied Assault (several elbows and knees; first few frames are invulnerable; used in combos or as anti-fireball) - Jaguar Revolver (several reverse somersaults; anti-fireball; can sometimes be used against opponents jumping away) Tip #1 -- How Adon plays Adon has two basic methods of fighting Dhalsim. a) Adon Turtle. Adon inflicts a little damage, then stays away from his opponent, usually crouch-blocking in a corner. He'll poke at Dhalsim's limbs if he think he can, and simply block moves he can't. He uses the Jaguar Tooth if Dhalsim gets predictable with the Yoga Fire then slowly back away after the Tooth hits or is blocked. Or he can simply jump over a Yoga Fire and nail Dhalsim's limb if it stretches out. b) Aggresive Adon. Since Adon has high-priority moves extending to nearly every range, aggressive players will likely poke at their opponents. Sample Adon pattern: cross-up FK/SK -> crouching JP -> crouching SK -> crouching FK. At Point Blank range, the Jaguar Crunch is sometimes used. At Close range, the standing RK is a potent poke. At farther distances and against fireballers, the Jaguar Tooth and Jaguar Kick come into play, particularly against defensive opponents. Agressive Adon players will often go for guard breaks. Adon players will be very aggresive when facing Dhalsim, capitalizing on their pokes, then switch to turtle mode after gaining a lead. Tip #2 -- The Jaguar Tooth The Jaguar Tooth is an insanely fast move that Dhalsim is hard pressed to deal with. Adon's leading foot has very high priority and can be used to go over fireballs as well as cross the screen very quickly. Also, because of its angle, the Jab of Doom cannot be reliably used aginst it. A Super Combo is the only hope to stop a Tooth headed Dhalsim's way. There are problems with this (see tip #2.2). Otherwise, you can jump back to avoid it, then do a Pokedown or a FK/RK Drill Foot (try to hit Adon before he lands). This doesn't always work, since if Adon aimed high (with RK Jaguar Tooth) Dhalsim can still be hit on his way up, or if you reacted too late, Adon may have already landed (at which point he can punish Dhalsim). You can also simply block the Tooth, then throw him (which works _extremely_ well if he aimed high), or do a Short Slide -> Yoga Flame (its unlikely that this will hit, though -- but Adon can hardly avoid it either). Tip #2.1 -- At No Man's Land, Long and Extreme ranges Adon will use the Jaguar Tooth to poke, most likely right after you try a Yoga Fire. First, check whether Adon is standing or crouching. If he's standing, its a safe bet that your opponent is keeping his hand loose on the controls so that he can do the Jaguar Tooth the moment you do a Yoga Fire. Instead of throwing a Yoga Fire, you can try to fake Adon out with a FP Yoga Flame. If your opponent doesn't fall for it, then walk a bit forward so that Dhalsim's poking attacks (the Double Punch and the Face Kick) come into range. If Adon is crouching, then throw a FP Yoga Fire. If Adon tries a Jaguar Tooth, chances are Dhalsim will be able to block it. Tip #2.2 -- At Close and Point Blank ranges Check if Dhalsim's back is near a wall. If Dhalsim is cornered, make it a point to get out of it -- with Dhalsim unable to jump back he can easily be pinned down. This is the only situation where Adon will try a Jaguar Tooth at Close and Point Blank ranges. Fortunately, if Dhalsim's back is near the wall and Adon is at Close range, then it means that the Jaguar Tooth has a very slow start-up (since Adon has to jump back to the opposite wall first), giving you more time to react than usual. The momen Adon leaps for the Jaguar Tooth teleport or jump into a Drill Zutsuki. Watch out for fake-outs. Adon may try a SK Jaguar Tooth in order to get mid-screen and _away_ instead of heading towards Dhalsim, followed-up with a Rising Jaguar if you try the Drill Zutsuki. Also, this is the reason why I don't suggest using a Super Combo to stop the Jaguar Kick -- Adon may not be headed you at all and your Super Combo would just have been wasted (you can try the Yoga Stream to catch Adon if he Jaguar Tooths away, but this if more of a guessing game -- looks cool if you guess right; you'll pay if you don't). If Adon tries the Jaguar Tooth if Dhalsim is mid-screen then you can punish him severely for it. Simply jump back and do a Drill Zutsuki, a Drill Zutsuki, or a Pokedown. Tip #3 -- Specific range games Tip #3.1 -- Extreme range Adon's only safe option is the Jaguar Tooth. As mentioned, check whether Adon is standing or crouching. If he's crouching, then throw a Yoga Fire. If he's standing, fake out with a Yoga Flame or get into Long range. Tip #3.2 -- Long range Adon has three options. The first is to jump at Dhalsim and attack, hoping to hit Dhalsim's limb. This can be nullified by poking at Adon with the Face Kick -- try to hit Adon as he's leaving the ground. If Adon jumped because Dhalsim threw a Yoga Fire or tried a slow poke, don't expect to be able to stop Adon with an anti-air move -- Adon's jumping FK has very high priority, plus Adon will land beyond the range of Jab of Doom. Instead, jump up or back then do a Drill Zutsuki (try to hit Adon before he lands). You can also let Adon jump, them nail him with a Super Combo, or use the Neutral Zone tactic and nail him with a Double Punch or Shoulder Punch right as he lands. The second is to do the Jaguar Tooth. see tip #2. The third option is for Adon to poke back at Dhalsim's limb. This becomes a threat becomes a threat to Dhalsim if you become predictable with your pokes. Tip #3.3 -- No Man's Land Your primary concern is to get Adon to another range. The best way to do this (if Dhalsim's back isn't to a wall) is to jump back then do a Pokedown if Adon follows (watch out for the Rising Jaguar). You can also crouch and block, hoping than Adon will try to get closer -- the Jaguar Crunch won't reach this far out. You can occasionally poke at him, but do be careful with this as Adon can poke at Dhalsim's limbs. Do _not_ Yoga Fire. It will only intice Adon to jump-in with an attack while Dhalsim is recovering. Try faking him out with Yoga Flame, but don't this too often as the Jaguar Revolver or sometimes even the Jaguar Tooth can go over it. If Adon jumps at Dhalsim, you can try to hit him early in his jump with a Face Kick (remember: do the Face Kick as fast as you can -- it won't stop Adon once he's on the way down), teleport out, jump back into a Drill Zutsuki (provided Dhalsim hasn't been cornered) or Super Combo. Remember: all of these options can only be done successfully if you didn't do a Yoga Fire. If you don't think you can do any of the above, just block. Tip #3.4 -- Close and Point Blank Range. As long as Adon doesn't have a Super Combo Meter charge, you can abuse the Short Slide. Do the Short Slide Irritation or do a Short Slide -> Yoga Flame -> Face Kick/Shoulder Punch pattern. Right after the Face Kick/Shoulder Punch jump back then _immediately_ do a Drill Zutsuki or Drill Foot (which is less vulnerable to the Rising Jaguar), then proceed again with the pattern again. This pattern is quite effective because of the Short Slide's excellent recovery time, Adon's inability to deal with the Yoga Flame at this range, and the basic uselessness of the Rising Jaguar except when Dhalsim is in the air. The key to this pattern is the timing to the Drill Zutsuki/Drill Foot. Tip #3.4.1 -- Jaguar Varied Assault If X/Z-ism Adon has a Super Combo Meter charge, he can use the Jaguar Varied Assault through the Short Slide. Lay off the Short Slide Irritation and instead use the Short Slide -> Yoga Flame -> Face Kick/Shoulder Punch -> Drill attack pattern exclusively. Even if Adon was blindly trying to squeezes the Assault through the pattern, it's very likely that Dhalsim will get hit between the Drill and the Short Slide (which means only a couple of the Assault's hits will connect). Tip #3.4.2 -- Adon's VC's; dangers at Point Blank range Nearly all of Adon's VC start with a Rising Jaguar that has to hit _very_ close. Since Dhalsim doesn't jump around much, Adon's only opportunity to land a VC (aside from a jump-in combo) is when Dhalsim does a <near> crouching SK instead of a Short Slide at Point Blank range. You may want to lay off the Short Slide Irritation if using X-ism Dhalsim and facing V-ism Adon with a Super Combo Meter charge. Try mixing up wuth the JP Slash prior to doing the Short Slide. You may also want to lay off the Drill Zutsuki, since this attack leaves a lot of Dhalsim's body to be hit with the Rising Jaguar. The Drill Foot is safer. The ground pattern against V-ism Adon now looks like this: crouching JP -> Short Slide -> Yoga Flame -> Face/Kick -> Shoulder Punch -> (optional RK Drill Foot) -> repeat. With this pattern, Dhalsim won't go into Point Blank range, nor will his aerial atack leave him open to VCs. Adon may attempt to use his VC to try to confuse you, mixing various crouching attacks, jumping FK, and the Jaguar Kick. If this happens you can always try to block the VC, but if you don't think you can (it is, after all, a _confusion_ VC) then you have three choices (other than to teleport out). The first would be to jump. The danger here is that Adon can readily hit you with the Rising Jaguar then do the rest of his VC. The advantage to jumping is if Adon _doesn't_ hit you with the Rising Jaguar -- chances are you'll be knocked to the floor and out of Adon's VC. The second choice would be to do a Long Slide. The advantage to the Long Slide is that it can hit Adon out of the VC, and it's also not very vulnerable to the Rising Jaguar. The disadvantage to this is that if you miss Adon may try to combo Dhalsim during the recovery of the Slide. The third option would be to do a fast, large-area attack. This can either be the Uppercut or the Shoulder Punch. This is my preferred way to get out of a confusion VC, since both moves are fast enough and cover enough area to hit Adon. The only reason to throw a Yoga Fire at Adon at Close range is if you know that he's too slow to react. Otherwise, forget it. A quick player can jump over it and attack Dhalsim as he's recovering or do a Jaguar Varied Assault through the Yoga Fire. Don't forget the Jab of Doom. If Adon jumps on Dhalsim from Close range, then chop at him in the air. Once his Super Combo meter is empty, Adon is vulnerable to the Short Slide Irritation -- most Adon players will try to use a Rising Jaguar against it at first then his various kicks later (which are too slow to be used well). Remember: do the Short Slide Irritation only if Adon can't respond with a Jaguar Varied Assault or a VC. When fighting at Point Blank range, don't jump away, as Adon can quickly jump up and air-throw Dhalsim as he's rising. Personally, I don't feel comfortable fighting Adon at this range. Get farther away or throw. Tip #4 -- Fear not the Jaguar Kick and the Jaguar Revolver; X-ism Adon Occasionally, Adon will try the Jaguar kick and the Jaguar Revolver to close the distance. Dhalsim can respond by blocking or by using the Jab of Doom, which can completely stop both moves. You can also jump and attack him in the air. Remember: these two moves have rather low priority. X-ism Adon has a unique strategy available to him: mid-air Jaguar Kick. Adon will jump, and if Dhalsim tries to do an anti-air, then Adon will do a Jaguar Kick, making Dhalsim miss and leaving him vulnerable. The mid-air Jaguar Kick can also be used to close the distance between him and Dhalsim rather rapidly, and is also used sometimes as a poke because it has excellent recovery. When faced with X-ism Adon, the Drill Zutsuki become Dhalsim's primary weapon. Remember three things: a) X-ism Adon has no air-block, b) the Jaguar Kick has low priority c) that the Drill Zutsuki has high priority. If you see Adon jump for any reason, jump and meet him in the air head-on. In closing: Dhalsim cannot blindly throw a Yoga Fire at Adon from any distance. Adon is best fought in two areas: air-to-air and up close, places where Dhalsim can out-prioritize or out-manuever him. * Dhalsim Vs. Akuma (Gouki in Japan)/Ryu/Ken ("ARK" or "Shotos") * Threat - low to high (ARK players display a wide variety of skills) Common -ism - Z/V (V's superiority of Z has been demostrated time and again; despite this, most ARK players will choose Z) Moves of note - jumping FK (Ken's oddly-angled, longest-ranged aerial kick) - jumping FP/RK (standard aeril attacks; tons of priority) - crouching FK (a low, long-ranged kick used a poke and in combos) - crouching SP (a low, high-priority punch; counter-poke) - crouching RK (short ranged, low kick; good damage; causes knockdown; slow recovery; insane priority) - Sakotsu-wari (downward chop/fist; must be blocked standing; Akuma/Ryu only) - Inazuma-kakato-wari (slow axe-kick; must be blocked standing; Ken only) - Ushiro Mawashi-geri (Ken's thrust kick; nasty on the Guard Meter) - Fireball (flaming projectile) - Hurricane kick (Akuma hits initially hit low and juggles; Ken fast but weak) - Dragon Punch (Ryu hits once; Akuma/Ken up to 3x) - Sempuu-kyaku (hopping kick; looks like a half-baked Hurricane kick; Akuma/Ryu only) - Tenma-kujinkyakuu ("Dive Kick"; Akuma only; hard to stop) - Hyakki ??? (the "Demon Flip" where Akuma jumps a distance forward with a flip followed by a punch, a throw, or a slide; used mainly in combos) More than 90% of SFZ3 matches are fought against these three. Dhalsim's greatest strength comes from the fact that most ARK (particularly Akuma) players severely underestimate Dhalsim. I wrote the tips below in a more specific and personal fashion than the other Vs. tactics. Also, the tactics below are geared specifically for use with X-ism Dhalsim (since this is the only -ism I'm willing to fight Akuma in). Tip #1 -- Fireball matters ARK loves getting into this: I throw a Yoga Fire, and he'll nullify it with his fireball. When he does, I quickly do a Double Punch and hit ARK as he's recovering or as he winds up for another fireball. If ARK gets caught more than once with this tactic, the player's an idiot. Once in a while when I'm within range of the Ducking Punch, I use it to hit ARK as he releases his fireball (and I'd inflict more damage). When facing Akuma, I lay off the Yoga Fire a bit. His Demon Flip can catch Dhalsim even as he recovers. However, the Jab of Doom and Yoga Tempest can stop it cold. Tip #2 -- Extreme and Long range Here's a tactic I find particularly useful: When ARK and Dhalsim are at Extreme ranges, I jump forward. A lot of ARK players will also jump forward, often with a Hurricane Kick or some other aerial attack, at which point I land and toast them with a Yoga Tempest or even a Yoga Flame (if I'm feeling confident). Here's another: Same situation as above. I jump forward. ARK jump-attacks forward. I do a Drill Zutsuki and nail them in the air, land, then do a Yoga Tempest. The Drill Zutsuki will snuff _all_ of ARK's Regular moves in the air, and will occasionally trade hits with the Hurricane Kick. If ARK air-blocks the Drill Zutsuki, be prepared to do a Jab of Doom -> Yoga Flame or throw the moment you land. When ARK is playing footsie at Long range, I do Face Kick or Shoulder Punch, neither of which is likely to hit (or be hit), but will definitely nail him if he tried to jump. It's surprising how many times I can hit ARK with a Face Kick before he stops playing footsie. These tactics also work in other ranges: I jump up (sometimes for no reason, sometimes in order to let a fireball go under Dhalsim). If ARK does anything (such as jumping forward) I do a Pokedown. A Pokedown will snuff just about anything, provided Dhalsim's altitude is higher. If they try to fireball (so that Dhalsim lands on it), I do a RK Drill Foot, land just behind the fireball, then do a Double Punch. Sometimes, if I know that I can get away with it, I do a Drill Zutsuki -> Short Slide -> Yoga Flame. A mark of a good ARK player is one who _doesn't_ attempt a fireball under Dhalsim. I throw a Yoga Fire. ARK jumps and air-blocks. I do a Double Punch, Face Kick, or Shoulder Punch. I think most players assume that they can air-block Dhalsim's anti-air. Duh. I throw a Yoga Fire. ARK jumps up and is planning to hit Dhalsim's limb. When I feel that my opponent is going to try this, I either employ the Neutral Zone tactic, I hit him early in his jump, or I jump into a Drill Zutsuki. I throw a Yoga Fire. ARK jumps with a Hurricane Kick. I wait for him to almost land, then nail him with a Ducking Punch or Double Punch. There's a timing to this. ARK loves going for a Super Combo if he sees Dhalsim attacking as he lands from a Hurricane Kick. Too bad, since the Ducking Punch and Double Punch will still hit ARK even during the initial frames of animation. Dhalsim takes a hit at most. ARK loses his Super Combo Meter charge and probably took horrific damage from a major counter-hit. I throw a Yoga Fire. ARK attempts to Hurricane Kick over it. As with the jumping Hurricane Kick, I wait until he almost lands then nail him with a Ducking Punch or Double Punch. Alternatively, I jump back and do a Pokedown or a Drill Zutsuki. Tip #3 -- No Man's Land I never do a Yoga Fire at this range. Instead, I sometimes do a whiff Short Slide -> Yoga Flame or jump back. As with Tip #2, if ARK tries to fireball beneath Dhalsim, I either do a Drill Foot or a Drill Zutsuki into a combo. Try not to overuse the Yoga Flame when facing Z-ism Akuma. He's likely to Super Combo Air Fireball over it. If ARK is dumb enough to do a fireball outside of a combo, do a Long Slide and kick his feet right under him. As with Extreme and Long ranges, poking at ARK with the Shoulder Punch and Face Kick works wonders, particularly against those playing footsie, since they're often to busy weaving back and forth to do a Dragon Punch against my pokes. Also, I watch ARK _very_ carefully from this range. If it looks like he's going to jump I do a Face Kick to try to hit him on his way up. From No Man's Land a lot of ARK's aerial attacks can't be stopped by Dhalsim, so it becomes imperative the he be stopped as early as possible, before his attack comes out. If my opponent is _really_ good (such as someone who can flawlessly pull off a VC), I just teleport the hell out of there the moment I see ARK jump towards me. I've been called many things because of this turtly tactic, but I'm not the type to sit there and take a VC when I can avoid it. The following assume that I didn't spot the jump early enough to use the Face Kick (and I wasn't feeling threatened enough to teleport away). Tip #3.1 -- Ken jumps forward If Ken jumps from this range, it's a safe bet that he'll use his jumping FK, which grants him the range to hit Dhalsim without risking being hit with the Jab of Doom. Since I never Yoga Fire in this range (and therefore never leave myself vulnerable long), my usual response is to toast Ken with a Yoga Tempest. Barring that (or faced with a fully charge V-ism Ken), I jump back into a Drill Zutsuki -- as an escape if I'm already cornered, or as fast as possible (therefore hitting Ken even before he reaches the ground). If I'm forced to block (such as when I really don't have enough space for a Drill Zutsuki), I just do so then try to do a Short Slide -> Yoga Flame. Ken's jumping FK hits remarkably early, and because of that he sometimes screws up the combo attempt -- and ends up eating the Short Slide. It's possible that Ken may instead use his jumping FP/RK instead of his jumping FK. If he does, the Jab of Doom or Yoga Tempest can be used to stop it. It's quite possible that Ken may try to jump and Hurricane Kick. I simply block and do a Short Slide. Like the FK, the Hurricane Kick tends to hit early and enabling Dhalsim to retaliate. Either that or Ken lands behind Dhalsim, completely missing -- so in cases of a jumping Hurricane kick, I avoid using the Yoga Tempest. Tip #3.2 -- Ryu jumps forward As with Ken, I go for a Yoga Tempest (if possible) or jump back into a Drill Zutsuki, or try the Jab of Doom. I'm less likely to attempt a Short Slide attack after blocking, because it's almost for certain the Ryu will use his jumping FP/RK, both of which usually land deeper than Ken's jumping FK or Hurricane Kick. Tip #3.3 -- Akuma jumps forward Without a Yoga Tempest, I will try my utmost best to jump back then use the Drill Zutsuki as an escape, never mind if Akuma attacks or not. Akuma jumping in from No Man's Land means he'll land in Close/Point Blank ranges. I don't gamble on trying to stop Akuma from descending -- I just get the hell out of there. See Tip #4.2. Tip #4 -- Close and Point Blank ranges It's at these ranges that the differences between the three become apparent. Tip #4.1 -- Ken At Close range Ken may start using the Inazuma kick as part of his confusion tactics, but it's really too slow. I just do a poke or a Short Slide (actually, just about anything can stop it). Dhalsim can abuse his Short Slide Irritation and Short Slide -> Yoga Flame for a little while (watch out for Super Combos). If I'm feeling confident I mix in a RK Drill Foot. If If I feel closed in I just jump backward then do a Drill Zutsuki to escape. If Ken jumps at Dhalsim from this range he's an idiot. Only a drop-through VC will save him from Dhalsim's Jab of Doom. Ken may use his Guard Crash VC ([fireball -> Ushiro kick] repeat) from this range. Unless he started this VC from an aerial attack (in which case I bash myself for not teleporting out of the way in the first place, see Tip #3), doing a Ducking Punch can stop the VC cold. A Short Slide might also work, since it can go under both the fireball and Ushiro kick. Tip #4.2 -- Akuma I hate fighting Akuma at this range, which is why I try to get away if he jumps in from No Man's Land. Akuma can mix up his Dive-kick, crouching JP, crouching SK, crouching FK, Sempuu-kyaku, SK Hurricane Kick, and fireball to create a trap that Dhalsim can hardly get out of. In particular, the Dive-kick and Sempuu-kyaku are unstoppable with anything other than a Yoga Tempest (without it he's just like Ryu). With Z-ism Akuma, any hit from the trap can lead into being hit by the Super Combo Dragon Punch. With V-ism Akuma, any hit from the air will likely lead to a VC. Most Akuma players use this as the very core of their gameplay. The best way to deal with this crap... err... trap is to not get into it in the first place. I use Dhalsim's Drill Zutsuki extensively to escape. This is my primary goal when fighting Akuma -- I never let him get close to Dhalsim. Akuma players hate it when Dhalsim is already cornered, then suddenly flies out of it -- they hate it enough that they make serious mistakes. If, however, you do find yourself cornered and Akuma begins his trap, keep these in mind: a) The moment Akuma jumps, do an Uppercut (Dhalsim's <near> standing SP) -- the Uppercut will _not_ stop the Dive-kick, but it _can_ hit Akuma _before_ the Dive-kick. Remember: X-ism Dhalsim may do a Shoulder Punch instead of an Uppercut if you mis-range the SP press. b) Watch out for the Sakostsu-wari. If you don't pay attention to what Akuma is doing, this top-down move will nail you for sure. c) If you do get hit with the Sakotsu-wari, keep your temper. Most players' response to being hit by a top-down move is irrational (they feel like they must get "even"). As such, a lot of Akuma players do a Super Combo right after hitting with a Sakotsu-wari. If Dhalsim's has been cornered, Akuma will go for his Super Combo Dragon Punch (simply block this). If Dhalsim is somewhere mid-screen, Akuma will go for the Super Combo Fireball (do a Long Slide under this one). d) Watch out for throws. Use the Short Slide to foil a throw attempt. Again, as with the Sakotsu-wari, control your temper and don't try to get "even". e) _Don't_ try to jump away from Akuma's trap. While jumping away will net you results against a beginner Akuma player, Akuma's trap was designed to foil jump attempts -- even a moderately skilled Akuma will nail Dhalsim (in any -ism) if he tries to jump away from the trap. f) Keep in mind that not all Akuma players can combo properly right after the Dive-kick. If the Dive-kick is blocked at the level of Dhalsim's head _throw_ the bastard. g) If Akuma attempts the Hurricane Kick, do a Slash (Dhalsim's <near> crouching punch), preferrably the FP version (but the JP version works as well). It will hit Akuma (even if the graphics don't show it). Immediately cancel into a Yoga Flame. Under a VC, the trap takes a whole new dimension, as Akuma's trailing shadow now make blocking next to impossible. This is a confusion VC at it's finest. Once Akuma mixes a VC with the trap, stop being defensive and start mashing buttons -- who knows, you might hit Akuma by accident. As with Ken, Akuma has a Guard Crash VC ([Sempuu-kyaku -> FP Red Fireball] repeat). Also as with Ken, this VC can be stopped cold (if he didn't start it from the air). I use the Short Slide. Tip #4.3 -- Ryu Ryu shares the trap with Akuma. Ryu, however, does not have a Dive-kick, nor does his Hurricane Kick hit low (therefore Ryu has a harder time holding the trap). Nevertheless, a good Ryu player can still maintain the trap. Ryu has a confusion VC that, like Akuma, is loosely based on the trap. Ryu's Guard Crash VC similar to Akuma's but works best in corners. Reportedly, he has devastating mid-screen VCs, but I haven't seen them. At Point Blank range, ARK's damage VCs (as opposed to Guard Crash and confusion VCs), are very position-dependent. Ryu and Ken's VCs require Dhalsim to be in a corner and are very devastating. Akuma's VCs can be started away from corners, but Akuma inflicts slightly less damage. Keep this in mind: when facing V-ism Ryu/Ken, avoid corners. When facing V-ism Akuma, avoid him entirely. Tip #5 -- ARK air-recovering; watch out for Akuma's Super Combo Air Fireball (SCAF) If you've hit ARK with something other than a flaming breath attack (such as Jab of Doom) and he's sailing in the air, resist the urge to try to hit him with a Regular Move. If ARK decides to air-recover and attack, Dhalsim _will_ be snuffed. Akuma can throw an air fireball or SCAF. That being said... When you've managed to hit Akuma in the air (such as with a Jab of Doom, Uppercut, or Yoga Tempest), do a whiff Jab of Doom or wait a bit... Then jump back into a Drill Zutsuki. A lot of Akuma players have trained themselves to throw a SCAF once they're in the air and spot an attack. The whiff Jab of Doom or wait is too fool them into throwing the SCAF. The jump back into a Drill Zutsuki is a 100% hit if they did the SCAF -- Akuma will jerk backward in the air because of the SCAF, right into the path of the Drill Zutsuki. If you still have a Super Combo Meter charge, do a Yoga Tempest once you land or a Yoga Flame or a Face Kick. In closing: If you can, avoid Close and Point Blank ranges, particularly when faced with Akuma and Ryu. Otherwise, ARK is as susceptable to general tactics as anyone. * Dhalsim Vs. Balrog (M. Bison in Japan) * Threat - moderate Common -ism - X Moves of note - crouching SP (a low punch; high priority and large hit area; poke and anti-poke) - crouching FP (an uppercut; generally low priority, but can hit Dhalsim's pokes) - Dash Straight (a charging straight punch; quite fast) - Crazy Buffalo (several straight punches/uppercuts; _very_ fast) This assumes "Extra Balrog" in the PSX, who is identical to the one in the arcades. Balrog the boxer, surprisingly, can be difficult to deal with. Balrog's moves have slightly higher priority than Dhalsim's and he definitely has hit area and damage on his side. While in Extreme and Long ranges, Balrog can be dealt with with a Yoga Fire, followed by a Ducking Punch or a Double Punch (i.e. the Neutral Zone tactic). Do not try to hit Balrog while he's in the air -- he'll trade hits. A good Balrog player is aware of attempts to hit him on the way up (he'll do an extremely early SP whenever he tries to jump), so this doesn't work well, either. The only safe poke against Balrog is the Double Punch. Balrog's crouching SP/FP can snuff all of Dhalsim other pokes. Beginning No Man's Land range, do _not_ use the Yoga Fire. Balrog can Crazy Buffalo through it quite easily. At Close range (which is usually the case right after Balrog tries a Dash Straight), Dhalsim can abuse his Short Slide Irritation and Short Slide -> Yoga Flame. Balrog can hardly deal with it, since Dhalsim's slide, oddly enough, outprioritizes all of Balrog's attacks. In the air, nearly all of Dhalsim's moves get snuffed by Balrog, with the exception of the Drill Foot and Drill Zutsuki. Unfortunately, Balrog's size makes him pretty immune to the Drill Zutsuki. Balrog will almost always be hit high, giving him time to recover and retaliate. Also, the Drill Zutsuki's wide area leaves Dhalsim vulnerable to Balrog's attacks -- you can't use it effectively as an escape. The FK/RK Drill Foot work well against Balrog -- again due to his size. The Drill Foot has much less surface area to be hit with by Balrog's attacks. In closing: Drill foot -> Slide Irritation -> Yoga Flame. This is the only safe way to hurt Balrog (but please watch out for the Crzy Buffalo). Most of Dhalsim's other tactics (poking, Yoga Fire -> anti-air) don't work well against him. * Dhalsim Vs. Birdie * Threat - low to moderate Common -ism - Z Moves of note - Murderer/Bandit Chain (throws of good damage and range) - Bull Revenger (Super combo version of the Murder/Bandit chain; long ranged) - Body Splash (Birdie jumps up then tries to land chest-first; only the Jab of Doom or a Super Combo will reliably stop it) - Bull Horn/Head (Birdie charges with a headbutt) - Fierce Punch (crouching, standing, jumping, whatever; all of them are pretty nasty) Against the computer, Birdie's a cinch. Just do a Yoga Fire -> Face Kick/Double Punch. A human controlled Birdie can be a nightmare. While Birdie is considered a weak character, a well-played Birdie can give Dhalsim a hard time. Sheer damage and priority are on Birdie's side so trading hits is not an option. Fortunately, good Birdie players are as rare as they come. Tip #1 -- Use the Yoga Fire and Flame sparingly. Keep an eye on Birdie's Super Combo meter. If it has a charge in it, don't do the Yoga Fire. The Bull Revenger was specifically designed to be used against fireball-happy opponents. Faking out with the Yoga Flame with Birdie's Super Combo meter full doesn't work well, either, as the Bull Revenger can sail over the Yoga Flame. Tip #2 -- If Birdie's in the air, watch out Birdie's aerial moves have incredible priority against grounded characters. It's imperative to stop Birdie with a Face Kick on his way up. If Birdie is on his way down from a jump and Dhalsim is on the ground, there's no way to stop him (aside from the Jab of Doom or a Super Combo). Watch out for Birdie who jumps repeatedly with his Body Splash -- keep the presence of mind to use the Jab of Doom when he comes into range.. Tip #3 -- It doesn't work ! Most of Dhalsim's distance games will not work on Birdie. Birdie can simply swat at Dhalsim's limbs if you try a Yoga Fire -> anti-air, and only the Double Punch has priority enough to be used as a poke. Using the Short Slide doesn't work well either. Good Birdie players are acutely conscious of any move that will bring them into range of the Murder/Bandit chain, and can therefore react quickly to the Short Slide. This also applies to using the Drill Zutsuki/Drill Foot against a grounded Birdie. If you do decide to use these moves, try to make sure to end the sequence with a Yoga Flame. Tip #4 -- Go easy on the jumps When jumping backwards, remember that Dhalsim in slow in the air. A common Birdie tactic is to use the Bull Revernger just as Dhalsim is about to touch the ground from a backward jump. To avoid this, do a attack as you land, such as a <far> jumping SP. You can still get caught, though. Tip #5 -- Options left; the Neutral Zone tactic and poking Birdie can be treated like Balrog. Do a Yoga Fire, followed by a Ducking Punch or a Double Punch. The idea here is not to hit Birdie mid-air, but to force him to block and wear away at his Guard Meter. Remember, though: do _not_ use the Yoga Fire if he a Super Combo Meter charge. When poking at Birdie, be as unpredictable as possible. Birdie's size makes him an easy target, but he can poke back (such as with his FP) at Dhalsim's limbs if you get predictable (and he has damage on his side, too). I've found that a good way to deal with Birdie is to lure him into No Man's Land, then turtle. I ignore his attempts to poke and watch him carefully. The moment his feet leave the ground, I hit him with the Face Kick. If he walks a bit closer before jumping, I hit him with the Jab of Doom. Ocassionally, I jump backward, then watch his reaction. If he tries anything, I do a Pokedown to nail him or a Drill Zutsuki to get behind him. If he walks into range of the Drill Foot then I do it, immediately followed by a Short Slide -> Yoga Flame. In closing: Go easy on the Yoga Fire and play defensively. * Dhalsim Vs. Blanka * Threat - low (Dhalsim reams him) Common -ism - doesn't matter Moves of note - Rolling Attack (horizontal, vertical, and arching; all useless against Dhalsim) - jumping FP/FK/RK (high priority aerial moves you should try to stop other than with the Jab of Doom or a Super Combo) Blanka is normally a very irritating character to fight against, and many Dhalsim players are intimidated by his airspeed, priority, and damage. Blanka is better than Dhalsim in other SF games, but not here in SFZ3. Blanka's jump angle and lack of projectile places him at the mercy of Dhalsim. Tip #1 -- Dealing with the ball Against Dhalsim, Blanka's roll is useless outside a combo. Simply block any ball he does and do a Double Punch. Tip #2 -- Dealing with a jumping Blanka Dhalsim's lack of speed and priority seems to place him at a disadvantage when Blanka starts jumping and attacking from the air. Typical Blanka patterns: jumping FP/FK -> jumping FP/FK; jumping FP/FK -> crouching FK -> Horizontal Ball; jump and do nothing -> throw. If you've noticed, all these attacks have something to do with jumping of some sort, and Blanka players mix their attacks up, hoping that you'll get confused with his speed and block in the wrong position or mis-anticipate and try to block a throw. Tip #2.1 -- Lazy, turtling Dhalsim Keep calm and rely on the Jab of Doom. Watch Blanka carefully and block any attack that the Jab of Doom cannot reach. Sooner or later, Blanka will jump too close and -BAM- hit him with a Jab of Doom then combo. Blanka has a very steep jump angle which doesn't leave him enough space to avoid the Jab of Doom well. Tip #3 -- Other tactics Even at Extreme and Long ranges, the standard Yoga Fire -> anti-air doesn't work well against Blanka mainly because he's too fast in the air and his aerial attacks all have insanely high priority. Throwing a Yoga Fire is safe, though, as long as you don't try to hit Blanka while he's in the air. Wait until he's about to land, then do a Double Punch or a Ducking Punch that he'll be forced to block. Be aware, though, that the Neutral Zone tactic is harder to pull off against Blanka because of his low profile and airspeed. The Drill Zutsuki works very well against Blanka. The favorite approach of most Blanka players is to jump towards an opponent blocking all the way up, then only attacking when an opponent is within range. Meeting an aerial Blanka with the Drill Zutsuki often results with Blanka being hit ("Hey, Dhalsim's within range -- I'll nail him !"). If the Drill Zutsuki hits, _immediately_ do a Super Combo or a Yoga Flame and catch Blanka as he falls. Note: the Drill Zutsuki requires a slightly different timing when against Blanka than other characters. In Blanka's in the air, do the Drill Zutsuki slightly _later_ than you would for other characters. This is to ensure that Dhalsim's head will hit Blanka's head (and therefore higher than Blanka's attacing limbs). Also, do _not_ do the Drill Zutsuki against Blanka if he's on the ground. Blanka has a very low profile, and Dhalsim can end up sailing behind him. After being hit a couple of times by the Drill Zutsuki, Blanka players will jump but _not_ attack, waiting to block the Drill Zutsuki instead. If this happens, jump back the moment Dhalsim's feet touch the ground and do an _immediate_ FK Drill Foot -> Short Slide -> Yoga Flame. This tactic will catch "turtling" Blanka players, as they will be a) trying an attack of their own, hoping to catch Dhalsim as he recovers from the Drill Zutsuki, b) are crouching, c) trying to ball, hoping to catch Dhalsim as he floats down from the jump. Note: this tactic will not work if Blanka's back is near a wall -- Blanka can recover before Dhalsim does (at Point Blank range too). If you've noticed that Blanka is jumping and _not_ attacking (hoping to bait your Drill Zutsuki), you have two options: a) jump back, but do a Pokedown or FK Drill Foot as Blanka is about to land, b) do a Super Combo (such as the Yoga Tempest) and hit Blanka in the air. Alternatively, you can try to air-throw Blanka, but this is rather hard because of their discrepancies in airspeed. Do _not_ poke at Blanka with anything other than the a Double Punch or Ducking Punch. Most other pokes will miss Blanka, and he can poke back at Dhalsim's kicks. Also, do not poke if he's in No Man's Land. Blanka can simply jump over Dhalsim's limb and attack. Tip #4 -- Blanka's only approach Blanka's only realistic chance of victory against Dhalsim is for him to walk up into Close range then poke at Dhalsim with crouching RK, hoping for a Guard Crash (which basically means Blanka has little chance of victory against Classic Dhalsim). Despite this, Blanka players still lose patience and will try to jump-attack even before the Guard Crash. Play with patience and wait for his jump. In case you do face a persistent attempt to Guard Crash, do a Short Slide -> Yoga Flame the moment Blanka takes a step forward (when he tries to regain ground right after being pushed backed by the crouching RK). Or you can jump _forward_ into a FK/RK Drill Foot to a Short Slide -> Yoga Flame. The aim is not to actually hurt Blanka, but to give you a breather and recharge some Guard Meter. After the Yoga Flame you can relax and turtle again. In closing: Rely on the Jab of Doom. While Blanka can be intimidating, Dhalsim can easily make mince-meat out of him, provided you play with patience. To quote a Blanka player: "Damn, what am I supposed to do ?" * Dhalsim Vs. Cammy (plus Juli and Juni) * Threat - moderate to high Common -ism - Z/V Move of Note: - standing SK/FK, crouching FP, FK, RK (all pokes) - jumping SK/RK (rather long-ranged) - various throws (since Cammy has terrific ground speed, expect her to weave in and out then throw) - Spiral Arrow (Cammy/Juni twists her body feet first toward her opponent; recovery time mainly depends on how "deep" she lands the attack -- if only the tip of her feet touch Dhalsim, she'll recover fast) - Sniping Arrow (Juli does a thrusting kick that carries her across the screen) - Cannon Spike (a rising kick; anti-air) - Dive Bomb (also known as "Cannon Strike"; Cammy kicks downward; fast as hell; V-ism Cammy only) - Axle Spin Knuckle (Cammy/Juni twists then hits with her forearm; anti-fireball ?) - Hooligan Roll (Cammy spins in the air to be followed by throw or a low slide; the throw is hard to stop; Juli's version of this move can inflict double damage) - Killer Bee Assault (also known as "Phantom Layette"; Cammy's level 3 Super Combo where she juggles her opponent across the screen) Cammy, Juli and Juni are similar enough to be lumped together. Tip #1 -- Air Battle First off, let me point out that in a Dhalsim Vs. Cammy match, she rules the air. Keep this in mind when reading this tip. Always try to keep the match on the ground. Never, ever let yourself be in the air when Cammy is on the ground. Her Cannon Spike can reach Dhalsim at ranges impossible for other characters. Dhalsim fares _slightly_ better in an air-to-air battle, since the Drill Zutsuki has comparable priority to most of Cammy's aerial attacks. When Cammy is attacking in the air, whatever are covered by her attacking limb (such as her leading boot or fist) has nearly absolute priority. Trying to hit those areas just won't work. The almighty Jab of Doom, whose hit area is almost always smaller than Cammy's hit areas, is rather hard to use against her. It's still possible, though, so don't abandon the Jab of Doom completely. Aim for the other parts of her body, namely, her butt. Look at her jumping SK or RK. Her foot is stretched out rather far, and any of Dhalsim's body parts crossing the area her leg covers will only get hit. However, if you try to hit her lagging leg (or her butt) with a Face Kick (or Jab of Doom, if she happens to be directly above Dhalsim), Dhalsim can manage to hit her cleanly. In an air-air battle, try to hit her face. Again, look at her jumping SK or RK. A Drill Zutsuki that will collide with her legs can lose the exchange, but if you have a higher altitude that she has then you can hit her face cleanly. Tip #2 -- Ground battle If Cammy keeps on weaving in and out (rather effective, considering her walking speed) then just let her. She'll occasionally stick out one of her kicks in order to poke at Dhalsim, or throw if your reaction time is too slow. Once in a while she'll try a SK Spiral Arrow, trying to bait you. You can crouch block and poke back occasionally with a Shoulder Punch or Long Shin Kick (fast pokes). Cammy has no top-down moves, so you can crouch block all you want. As for her pokes, she doesn't inflict a lot of damage and if Dhalsim trades hits she'll be at the losing end. Do not try to poke with Dhalsim's standing kicks -- Cammy can duck and punch at them. Do not use slow pokes -- a good Cammy player can jump over it then hit Dhalsim even as he recovers. If your opponent is the type who like to weave in and throw, let her get into Point Blank range then shove the Short Slide Irritation or the Short Slide -> Yoga Flame -> Face Kick/Shoulder Punch in. Watch if she tries her crouching RK (the kick where she swings her legs on the ground) to poke -- this is the mark of an amateur Cammy player. The crouching RK has long range but hideous recovery time. Block it and retaliate. Watch out if Cammy like to fake out with her Spiral Arrow. Some players will try a SK Spiral Arrow, then do a Cannon Spike Super Combo if your try to retaliate. Remember: the Spiral Arrow will be used for one purpose -- to fake out (I know this move can combo, but I have yet to see it used that way effectively in a human Vs. human match). Just block the Arrow then move the stick a bit (as if you're going to do something -- this time, _you're_ the one faking out). Once Cammy goes to standing position then you can retaliate. Tip #3 -- Dhalsim's fiery breath This doesn't work well against Cammy, as only Super Combos and the Jab of Doom can stop her. She is, however, vulnerable to the Yoga Flame, as most Cammy players will start to jump on Dhalsim once they see him taking a deep breath. As with all fake-outs, don't expect this to work more than a couple of times. Don't worry about he Axle Spin Knuckle -- its hard to time properly. Cammy is also very vulnerable to Super Combos. I don't know -- maybe it's just me, but it seems that every Cammy player I come up against will try to air-block Dhalsim's Yoga Tempest/Inferno. I keep on hearing things like "Hey, I was blocking !". Tip #4 -- The Hooligan Roll and Killer Bee Assault The Hooligan Roll is extremely irritating. Because Dhalsim is so slow, Cammy will defintely try it. The Yoga Tempest (but not the Z-ism Super Combos -- you have to react pretty fast in order for the Yoga Inferno to hit) can stop it. Also, despite the Hooligan Roll's abnormality high priority (it can stop a Dragon Punch cold !), it's surprisingly vulnerable to the Jab of Doom, Palm, and Uppercut. The key is not to panic and try to walk or jump away (which is the usual reaction I see). Cammy has a level 3 Super Combo, the Killer Bee Assault, where Cammy rolls into the air, then bounces off the wall towards her opponent. The Killer Bee Assault inflicts around 5x more damage than the Cannonball Leap, but can be blocked if you're on the ground. It _must_ be blocked, as I have yet to see a move that can stop it. Unforunately, the initial animation for the Killer Bee Assualt and the Hooligan Roll can be confusing. If you aren't careful, you might try to attack Cammy while she rolls in the air, thinking that she'll do a Hooligan Roll. The Killer Bee Assault has three uses: a) off the bat, for no reason at all, hoping to hit you (beginners only), b) when you try a fiery breath attack, c) while you're in the air (quite possible against Dhalsim because he's so slow in the air). Lesson: Cammy moves a lot, and if she's crouching on the ground away from you, then assume that she's "charging" up for the Assault -- once you see her roll from such a distance block instead of attacking. Lesson: if Cammy's charging down-back at a distance away from you, do _not_ throw a Yoga Fire/Flame or jump for no good reason. Tip #6 -- V-ism Cammy V-ism Cammy has her Dive Bomb, which is insanely fast with matching priority. Fortunately, its recovery if blocked sucks badly. Just block the damn thing then make her pay. As with all V-ism characters, Cammy can activate her VC in order to avoid an anti-air attack, then whack Dhalsim. If Cammy is in the air on her way down just block her attack. Get her the next time on he way up from a jump. Watch carefully if Cammy going for the VC instead of a normal attack. Those going for a normal attack will try to get their limb out early, possible around the time they reach the apex of their jump (ie. and "early" jump-attack). I've noticed that those activating the VC do so when as if they're trying a "deep" jump-attack. Poke aggresively at V-ism Cammy. This keeps her at bay, plus the damage she inflicts is small compared to what Dhalsim can deal if they trade hits. As usual, go easy with the Short Slide Irritation she has a full Super Combo Meter. Tip #7 -- Juli Juli is a poor imitation to Cammy. Treat her like Cammy, minus the Spiral Arrow, Hooligan Roll, Killer Bee Assault, and Dive Bomb. Don't play as defensively as you would Cammy -- Juli has a top-down move (the Falling Arc -- a slow, akward looking top-down kick). Tip #8 -- Juni Juni, unlike Cammy, has moves that are "charge" type, which basically means that she's less likely to use the Cannon Spike and Spiral Arrow. Against Dhalsim, Juni can be much more dangerous than Cammy. At certain ranges, Juni's Hooligan Roll inflicts _double_ damage ! Also, like Juli, she has a top-down move. Otherwise, treat her like Cammy. BTW, I haven't met any serious V-Juni players. Does anyone know how well she does ? In closing: Play defensively. Let Cammy come to you, then poke back at her. Take advantage of Dhalsim's superior damage and Jab of Doom. Let her make the mistake of jumping from an unfavorable angle and then kick her butt (otherwise just block). * Dhalsim Vs. Charlie (Nash in Japan) * Threat - moderate Common -ism - Z/V Moves of note - jumping FK/RK (rather long-ranged aerial kicks that can snuff Dhalsim's anti-air) - Sommersault (generally anti-air; surprisingly low priority) - Sonic Boom (his projectile) - Sonic Break (Super Combo Version of the Sonic Boom) - crouching JP/SP (low punches that can sometimes snuff Dhalsim's) - Knee Bazooka (charging knee; against Dhalsim, this is a counter-poke; Z-ism Charlie never uses this move) Tip #1 -- The Charlie turtle I hate Charlie. Not because he's difficult to handle, but Charlie is almost _always_ a turtler. Charlie can block pretty quickly after the Sonic Boom. A common anti-Dhalsim tactic is for him to sit in a corner, throw Sonic Booms, then either do crouching JP/SP or Knee Bazooka (X-ism Charlie loves this) against Dhalsim's pokes or simply block. Very patient Charlie players can keep this up for hours. V-ism turtling Charlie is worse. He'll VC then throw Sonic Booms, then turtle and recharge. I admit it -- I've lost to amateur Charlie players because I lost my temper and did things incredibly stupid, like jump-attacking him (remember that I prefer X-ism). Argh. First off, don't be like me. Don't lose control, even when there's 5 seconds left on the clock and you're going to lose because Charlie still has a full life bar and you blocked a Sonic Boom. Stay at Extreme or Long range Tip #1.1 -- At Extreme and Long range Z/V-ism Charlie. Throw Yoga Fire. Poke with the Double Punch (which is Dhalsim's only move that likely won't get snuffed by Charlie crouching JP/SP), but poke only if Charlie nullified the Yoga Fire with a Sonic Boom. Do _not_ poke at him just for the sake of it -- Dhalsim's fist will likely meet a Sonic Boom or Sommersault. X-ism Charlie. As above, but don't poke as much, even with the Double Punch. X-ism Charlie's Knee Bazooka can snuff a lot of Dhalsim's pokes. You can go on the offensive if Z-ism Charlie decides to a) do Sonic Break, b) VC then do multiple Sonic Booms, c) nullify the Yoga Fire with a late Sonic Boom (you've already recovered from the Yoga Fire), d) Charlie did a Sonic Boom while you were doing nothing. Jump forward and do a Drill Zutsuki. As usual, try to aim as low as possible. Charlie will almost definitely stand and block, since almost anything he does will be snuffed by the Drill (even his VC). If you reacted a bit late Charlie might try to jump, but any attack he still does will still get snuffed by the Drill. If Charlie just stands and blocks, try to go for a throw the moment you land. Unfortunately, it's likely that Dhalsim will go into his missed throw animation -- anticipate this and _immediately_ do a Super Combo (Z-ism Dhalsim is at a disadvantage here because of Z-ism's lag time for Supers) or VC. Alternatively, you can try a JP Slash the moment you land, linked into a <near> crouching SK then cancel into a Yoga Flame. Or you can go straight into the Short Slide Irritation. Also, keep in mind that Charlie might try to throw _you_ (which is precisely the reason why you should try to aim the Drill Zutsuki as low as possible). Tip #2 -- Non-turtling Charlie (and other stuff) See Tip #1.1 for Long and Extreme Range. If Charlie jumps over the Yoga Fire, test him out by trying to hit him with a Face Kick. If he snuffs it with his jumping FK/RK, you can probably abandon the Yoga Fire -> anti-air tactic. Charlie's jumping FK/RK have pretty long range and can hit unnaturally deep. Even the "Neutral Zone" tactic is hard to do on him. Instead, wait for him to land before nailing him with the Double Punch -- he'll still be forced to block (and he wouldn't have had the time to charge the Boom or 'sault). Once he's in No Man's Land, do _not_ throw Charlie Yoga Fire. He can simply jump over it and stick out his foot. Poke at him instead (still, watch out for Booms, 'saults or Knees), or jump back. It's unlikely that Charlie follow after Dhalsim (because he's a charge character), but if he does nail him with a Pokedown. If he tries to Sonic Boom after Dhalsim, do a Drill Zutsuki and sail behind him (provided you have space to land safely) or do a FK Drill Foot to land between the Sonic Boom and Charlie or to hit him. If he just sits there, don't stick a limb out. It's quite likely he's preparing a crouching FP or Sommersault. Note: When facing V-ism Charlie, lay off the Drill Zutsuki as an escape. While the Drill Zutsuki will certainly snuff Charlie's Sommersault VC at certain angles, it will not do so if Dhalsim is directly overhead. Using the Drill Zutsuki as an escape places you in a situation where you're asking to be VC'd. At Close and Point Blank ranges, you can bash Charlie around with whatever you want. He's particularly vulnerable to the Short Slide Irritation -- Charlie generally lacks the priority to be any good at these ranges, but do watch out for Supers, VCs, and the Sommersault. When playing X-ism Dhalsim, avoid jumping when facing V-ism Charlie -- if Dhalsim jumps from this range, he's VC bait. Tip #2.1 -- Charlie's VC Charlie's most common VC is repeated Sommersaults. Unfortunately for Charlie, this VC is very easy to snuff, even if Charlie uses the VC to go through an attack. Also, if you're playing Z/V-ism Dhalsim you can try to fake out Charlie's VC -- jump at V-ism Charlie and air-block. A lot of V-Charlie players will try the Sommersault VC _way_ too early (since Dhalsim is so slow in the air), and you can simply airblock. If you're already on your way down (and you're about to come into range of Charlie's crouching FP) and Charlie still hasn't activated his VC, do a FK Drill Foot -- Charlie still will find it hard to snuff it, VC or not. If you find yoursef being juggled by the Sommersault VC, try air-recover as soon as you can then do a FK Drill Foot. Charlie's Sommersault VC is notoriously hard to keep doing consistently while mid-screen and you can take advantage of this. Once Charlie's Super Combo Meter is depleted he's generally helpless against Dhalsim -- only the Sommersault will save him from the Short Slide Irritation. Fake him out with an occasional JP Slash or <near> crouching SK. Tip #3 -- Vs. Charlie training In general, the CPU is too dumb to represent a human challenger. CPU-controlled Charlie, however, is pretty good when facing Dhalsim. As practice, try to win against CPU-Charlie without using the Ducking Punch, Super Combos, or the Jab of Doom. In closing: Charlie's strength lies in two areas: turtling, and a jump-in FK/RK into a combo. Turtling you can deal with if you're patient. The jumping FK/RK can be dealt with by simply not trying to trade hits with them. * Dhalsim Vs. Chun Li * Threat - moderate Common -ism - X/Z (V-ism sucks) Moves of note: - all aerial attacks - crouching RK (with her hand on the floor Chun Li kicks out to about thigh level; will outprioritize or trade hits with most Regular moves) - Kikou Ken (her fireball; this sucks so badly that you shouldn't see this being chucked at Dhalsim outside of a combo; Z/V-ism only) - Sen'en Shuu (she does a split, flips forward, then hits with her leg; must be blocked standing; Z/V-ism only) - Kaku Kyaku Raku (Chun Li flips forward high in the air then knees her opponets back of the head; looks like a cross-up, but it's not; must be blocked standing) - Tenshou Kyaku (Chun Li spins up in the air kicking; anti-air) - Hazan Tensou Kyaku (Z-ism only; Super Combo version of the Tenshou Kyaku) - Senretsu Kyaku (Z/X-ism Super Combo where Chun Li charges with kicks) - Spinning Bird Kick (Chun Li flips upside down then twirls; X-ism only) - Sou Hakkei (a double palm strike; immense damage, but lousy recovery; X-ism only) In theory, Chun Li should rip Dhalsim apart. However, her inability to combo well means that she's a pale imitation of her SFZ2 incarnation. Chun Li's speed and jump angle make it difficult for Dhalsim to fight her in the usual way. She can weave in and out of Dhalsim's ranges with relative ease. Tip #1 -- Poking Dhalsim can Poke at Chun Li. Any poke will do, but Chun Li can use specific counter-pokes. For example, Dhalsim's Double Punch can be snuffed by Chun Li's standing SK or crouching FK. Despite this, Dhalsim still has the advantage when it comes to poking (after all, it's a guessing game). Simply vary your attacks as much as possible when faced with Z/V-ism Chun Li. Poking at her also deters her from jumping too much (the Face Kick, for instance, can hit her on the way up) -- I don't like fighting Chun Li when she's in the air. Once Chun Li is in No Man's Land and closer, lay off the pokes if X/Z-ism Chun Li has a Super Combo Meter charge. Poke unecessarily and she'll shove a Senretsu Kyaku in. Tip #1.1 -- The Senretsu Kyaku The Senretsu Kyaku has but one practical use: Chun Li will use it if you poke at her and she's within range. It can also be used in combos, but this usually means that Chun Li had to jump within Jab of Doom range or if Dhalsim is Dizzy. Anyway, be aware that if you block the Senretsu Kyaku that you have to retaliate very quickly, otherwise you might end up in a Tenshou Kyaku or Hazan. You may want to lay off the pokes when facing X-ism Chun Li, though. X-Chun inflicts _way_ too much damage to justify poking at her. Tip #2 -- Lay off the Yoga Fire Don't use the Yoga Fire outside of a combo. Chun Li jumps rather fast, high, and far, and she can punish Dhalsim if you do the Yoga Fire indiscriminately. Laying off the Yoga Fire gets rid of half of Dhalsim's problems when facing Chun Li. The only time to use the Yoga Fire is if Chun Li insists on using her Kikou Ken. If, for example, she chucks one at you from Extreme range, you can immediately do a Yoga Fire to nullify it (don't wait for it to cross the screen, otherwise Chun Li would have already recovered and moved). Nullifying the Kikou Ken at Extreme range often gives your opponent (false) courage to try it at closer ranges -- do a Ducking Punch for a meaty counter-hit. Tip #3 -- Watch that Sen'en Shuu and Kaku Kyaku Raku The Sen'en Shuu is rather unpredictable to stop. It's a hit-and-miss affair. Sometimes Slides work. Sometimes the Ducking Punch, or even the Jab of Doom work. Sometimes, _nothing_ works. Other than a Yoga Tempest, I still haven't figured out what move to use against the Sen'en Shuu consistently. If your opponent insists on using this move, simply block it (if you can't toast her with a Super), then do a Short Slide -> Yoga Flame. The damage she would have taken from even a blocked Yoga Flame should deter her from trying the Sen'en Shuu again. Dhalsim is also is hard-pressed to stop the Kaku Kyaku Raku. It has good priority and the angle makes it hard to hit. It has good recovery and hard to realiate against. Visually, it looks like Chun Li is attacking from behind, so blocking is sometimes confusing (since it also must be blocked standing), and walking forward or Sliding (trying to get underneath and past it) is a no-no. This move has two weaknesses. First, it's slow as hell. Second, the effective range is very short. Keep Chun Li beyond Point Blank range and you shouldn't see much of this move. Giving your opponent no opportunity to use the Kaku Kyaku Raku is much easier than trying to deal with it. Tip #4 -- Chun Li in the air Chun Li players are rather overconfident when they're in the air -- with good reason. Her jumping attacks have decent priority and area. The only ground-based anti-air moves effective against her are Super Combos and Jab of Doom. The rest are either too slow, too low in priority, and not angled in the direction Chun Li would approach. If you don't think the jab of Doom will hit, just block the attack then concentrate on what she'll do next. Why did I say overconfident ? Well, if you time it right, the Drill Zutsuki stops Chun Li in the air cold. Head-on, nothing in Chun Li's aerial arsenal will stop the Drill Zutsuki. The only chance for her to beat it is if she's above Dhalsim (so time the Drill Zutsuki to hit Chun Li's mid-section instead of the usual of trying to hit as low as possible). A lot of Chun Li players will try to beat the Drill Zutsuki with varying attacks repeatedly, even to the point of stupidity. BTW, there's very little reason to jump when facing Chun Li. The only reason why I'd jump would be to do a Drill Zutsuki if she did a poor jump-in, or if I think I can hit her with a Drill Zutsuki (and combo) right after she does a Kikou Ken. Tip #5 -- X-ism X-ism Chun Li plays radically different from Chun Li from SFZ1/2 and Z/V-ism. It's almost like fighting a completely different character. No fireball, no air-block, and reversal-only Tenshou Kyaku means she's less likely to attempt to turtle, and more likely to make full use of her speed, priority and damage. She's also less "tricky", as the lack of She'en Shuu means you can crouch-block without being afraid of being nailed by a fast top-down move. Despite this, IMHO, X-ism is her best -- the sheer damage she inflicts can make me cry sometimes. The primary strategy of X-ism Chun Li would be to use superior ground speed to weave in and out of most of your attacks, then snap out an occasional crouching RK (or standing SP/FP if you're poking too predictably), or Senretsu Kyaku if you make a big enough mistake. Tip #5.1 -- Crouching RK Chun Li's crouching RK has amazing priority and damage. With he walking speed, this is her primary poke. Dhalsim might be able to out-poke it, but only the Short Slide is reliable. The rest don't inflict enough damage to justify exchanging hits with Chun Li. Tip #5.2 -- Spinning Bird Kick The Spinning Bird Kick can be tricky to deal with. Like the Sen'en Shuu, dealing with it can be a problem -- I haven't figured out which moves will reliably stop it. "That Double Punch should have hit !" and all that bull. Here's how I deal with it: a) Chun Li lands in front of Dhalsim, and she doesn't have a SC meter charge -- Short Slide -> Yoga Flame once she lands if within range, Double Punch _as_ she's recovering if not; b) Chun Li lands in front of Dhalsim, with an SC meter charge -- try a Short Slide _as_ she's recovering and within range (then simply crouch block if I miss -- don't want to get hit with a Super !); c) Chun Li lands behind Dhalsim -- Yoga Tempest/Inferno (if possible) the moment she passes over, a Short Slide -> Yoga Flame, or a Double Punch. Tip #5.3 -- Sou Hakkei This is a double palm strike that inflicts massive damage. Fortunately, it's also very slow in recovering, and sometimes misses completely. If Chun Li whiffs this attack or you block it, punish her severely. Tip #6 -- Chun Li with no Super Combo Meter charge Once X/Z-ism Chun Li's Super Combo Meter is depleted, she's meat to Dhalsim's Short Slide Irritation. Only her Tenshou Kyaku has any real chance of stopping the Short Slide (and using this in X-ism is very hard). Watch Chun Li carefully. If she gets hit while she's in a standing position this means that she attempted a Tenshou Kyaku (or tried to jump) but failed -- you can shove in a two or three more Slides safely. Once she blocks three consecutive Slides successfully, you can assume that she's charged enough for a Tenshou Kyaku attempt -- do a Slash or a <near> crouching SK instead to fake her out. Or you can mix in a FK/RK Drill Foot so that her down-charge would be ruined. In closing: Avoid Yoga Fire. Poke with caution. Be mindful of X-ism Chun Li's damage potential. Abuse the Short Slide once she's depleted. * Dhalsim Vs. Cody * Threat - low to high Common -ism - any (although Dhalsim has a hard time dealing with V) Moves of Note: - Prisoner Throw/Bad Stamp (Cody's throws) - Bad Stone (Cody picks up and throws a stone; can go over Dhalsim's Yoga Fire) - Knife Pickup (Cody picks up his knife; all punches inflict minimal damage, even when blocked) - Knife Throw (Cody throws his knife) - Yoke (Cody dodges an attack instead of blocking it) X/Z-ism Cody presents very little opposition to Dhalsim. All basic tactics work against him. V-ism Cody, however, is hard to deal with. V-ism Cody is practically immune to almost all of Dhalsim's attacks. Tip #1 -- Z/X-ism Cody Z/X-ism Cody has a difficult time against Dhalsim, as the only thing Cody has over Dhalsim is damage and the Bad Stone. Basic tactics discussed previously all work well against him. The Bad Stone can go over the Yoga Fire, and a common tactic of Z/X-ism Cody against Z/V-ism Dhalsim is to pelt Dhalsim with stones. The Yoga Fire will still hit, but the damage is miniscule. Z/V-ism Dhalsim has no choice but to get closer. Try this: jump forward, then use the Drill Zutsuki once Cody throws the stone, or a Pokedown if he doesn't. You can also just block the stone, then do a ground recovery roll once you land. Cody may try to hit Dhalsim with his various kicks. Just remember: if he's jumping within range, use the Jab of Doom. Otherwise, just block the attack then get into the Short Slide Irritation and Short Slide -> Yoga Fire. I find his aerial attacks hard to hit with Dhalsim's other anti-air. Go easy with the kicks when poking, as Cody can slide-kick Dhalsim's crotch if you aren't careful. Tip #2 -- V-ism Cody; his weakness Aside from the Bad Stone tactic mentioned above, V-ism Cody has another, more insidious one. V-ism cody can walk forward and throw Dhalsim. This works extremely well because only very few of Dhalsim's attacks can hit Cody: a) all of Dhalsim's crouching kicks, b) Ducking Punch, c) Headbutt. Cody will simply creep towards Dhalsim and dodge if you try to hit him, then throw or combo once he comes into range. "All crouching kicks" may sound a lot, but remember that only the Short Slide has any use against Cody. Good Cody players won't be dumb enough to throw a Bad Stone when he's within range of the Long Slide, and Dhalsim's <far> crouching FK isn't that fantastic either. The Short Slide Irritation is the best viable strategy, as Short Slide -> Yoga Flame does _not_ work (chances are he'll dodge the Flame). In X/V-ism, the <near> crouching FK can be used to combo into a Yoga Flame that won't be dodged. Dhalsim's Ducking Punch, while being able to hit Cody, should be avoided. These moves simply are too slow, and won't hit Cody at all at Point Blank range. The Headbutt isn't too useful either, as only the second hit will connect (and therefore will not combo). The Yoga Fire, Yoga Flame and Yoga Tempest will simply pass through Cody. These three moves will only hit if Cody is also attacking, or if combo'd with a <near> crouching FK. The Yoga Inferno and Yoga Stream will force Cody to block and will also eat a good amount of Guard Meter. Naturally, aerial attacks can also hit Cody, but there are serious problems to this. First, V-ism Cody won't jump unecessarily (since his jump-in VCs isn't all that good, and his aerial attacks have odd angles). This means that you can't expect to use Dhalsim's air-to-air tactics (such as the Drill Zutsuki) to work. Second, good V-ism Cody players are very much conscious of their inability to dodge aerial attacks. Once you jump, they won't be crouch-blocking at all, and therefore air-to-ground attacks like the Pokedowns aren't reliable. Finally, Cody is a tall character. If you try a Drill Zutsuki, chances are you'll hit high and recover slowly, leaving you open counter- attack. If you do plan to attack from the air, use the FK/RK Drill Foot, followed quickly with Short Slides or another Drill Foot. V-ism Cody has a very short Guard Meter. Not only that, but all attacks that V-ism Cody blocks inflict _double_ the amount that his Guard Meter is depleted. For example, it takes around four Short Slides to remove one of Cody's Guard Meter blocks under X/Z-ism, but it takes only two to do so if he's V-ism. Knowing this, Cody's can easily be Guard Crashed with a couple of applications of the Short Slide Irritatation, a Short Slide -> Yoga Inferno/Stream, a couple of Short Slides -> Long Slide, or a Drill Foot -> Short Slide Irritation. Remember: once V-ism Cody comes into range, abuse Dhalsim's kicks. Forcing Cody to dodge then throwing him works better than most ticks. Cody recovers slowly if he dodges Dhalsim's Slash, particulary the FP version. Get into Point Blank range, do a FP Slash, then as Cody recovers from his dodge, throw. RK Drill Foot -> FP Slash -> throw also works, as well as Short Slide -> FP Slash -> throw in Z/V-ism. In closing: Most of Dhalsim's strategies work against X/Z-ism Cody, but not V-ism. Faced with V-ism go for the Guard Crash or throw. * Dhalsim Vs. Dan * Treat Dan as a scaled-down Ryu. Check out the entry for ARK. Dan has no move that is different enough to warrant mentioning. Well, maybe his crouching SP, which is superior to ARK's with regard to hit area (and thus may be used to counter-poke at Dhalsim's limb). That's about it. * Dhalsim Vs. Dhalsim * He who pokes better, wins. V-ism Dhalsim has the advantage here, as he can activate a VC and start teleporting around and poking, plus V-ism Dhalsim has a ton of cancelable moves. Classic-ism (followed closely by X-ism) comes next -- no guard meter (or 1 block longer in X-ism) to worry about, non-disappearing Yoga Fire, higher damage ratios. Note: in the PSX, X-ism Dhalsim has no Ground Kick (and thefore his poking capability is diminished). Z-ism is the weakest when in comes to a mirror match -- another Dhalsim player wouldn't manuever into the Yoga Inferno and Strike. Never use a Yoga Fire to neutralize your opponent's Yoga Fire, as your opponent can hit you with a Double Punch as you recover. Use the Ducking Punch instead against the Yoga Fire. You'll still be hit by the Yoga Fire, but you'll inflict more damage with the Ducking Punch. Once within Close and Point Blank range, the winner is the one who can use the Short Slide most effectively. Dhalsim simply has no move to counter his own Short Slide other than with a Super Combo or trying to outslide the opponent. That being said, if you're using X/Z-ism Dhalsim, save the Super Combo meter against a sliding Dhalsim. If you're using V-ism, never let your opponent within Close range. Use your numerous cancelable attacks and poke -> Yoga Fire your way to victory. Activate FP + RK VC -> long ranged cancelable attack (such as the Face Kick or Shoulder Punch) -> Yoga Fire -> Teleport (behind your opponent) -> repeat. Attempting to corner another Dhalsim is a joke, so don't waste your time trying to go for corner combos. * Dhalsim Vs. Gen * Threat - moderate Common -ism - Z Moves of note (Sou-ryuu style) - Gekirou (looks like Gen is doing bicycle kicks in the air; powerful anti-air and can fake) (Ki-ryuu style) - Jasen (Gen rolls forward, hitting multiple times; large damage) - Kyoutetsu (Gen arcs his arm downward; two-hit punch that must be blocked standing) - Onkyou (Gen arcs his arm upward; punch that must be blocked crouching) - Jakouha (nasty anti-air Super Combo) This is an equal match. While Dhalsim has range on his side, Gen can outprioritize Dhalsim (except for the Jab of Doom and Super Combos) all the way. Fortunately, the skill required to play Gen is considerable, so you won't really meet much of him. Tip #1 -- Gen Basics All the basic tactics that have been mentioned work against Gen. You can poke at him (Gen is particularly vulnerable to the Face Kick). You can do Yoga Fire -> anti-air. You can lure him into Jab of Doom range. You can use repeated slides. I've found that the key to fighting Gen is to diversify your attacks as much as possible so that your opponent won't be able to guess what you're about to do and thefore won't know which move to use to counter with. He's also a combo machine, and if you play predictably you may find your attack snuffed and in a devastating combo. Tip #2 -- Gen's styles Although being familiar with Gen's style is not a requirement, it can be useful if you know which of his moves become available to which style. In the Sou-ryuu style, Gen holds his hands relaxed in front of him. He can use the Gekirou, and almost all of his regular moves will link and are cancelable (sort of like Wolverine in the Vs. series). I don't play Gen myself, but my friends say that this is the style they generally prefer. In the Ki-ryuu style, Gen keeps his hands at an angle, with thumb, index, and forefinger forming a point. Gen loses most of his combo he gains a variety of sneaky moves, such as the Kyoutetsu and Onkyu. Gen also has more pokes and inflicts more damage in this mode. While Gen players may prefer the Sou-ryuu style, I believe that the Ki-ryuu style is more deadly to Dhalsim (since Gen has to get really close for his Sou-ryuu combo capability to be useful). Note that X-ism Gen has no "styles". He gets the good moves of both Sou-ryuu and Ki-ryuu styles, but loses most of his combo capability and air-block. Don't expect to see this -ism used much against Dhalsim. Tip #3 -- Gen in the air The second tactic Gen may use is to jump at Dhalsim from a certain distance, then kick with only the very tip of his foot about to touch Dhalsim's face. The timing, angle, and distance of this attack makes it hard for Dhalsim to counter it. Often, this jumping attack will be followed-up with Gen's poking games. Gen has to be in No Man's Land for this to work. Also, he has to be confident enough to think that it _can_ work -- this usually happens if you over-use the Yoga Fire or become predictable with your pokes. Dhalsim can nullify this jump-in tactic by hitting Gen on his way up (such as by poking at him with the Face Kick) or by jumping backward and meeting him in the air with a Drill Zutsuki. If Gen happened to jump at Dhalsim because you did a Yoga Fire, just block the jump-attack (or do a Super Combo). Tip #4 -- Gen poking game The first style for Gen to play is for him to get into poking distance (which is Close range for Dhalsim) and start poking. Since Gen's strength comes from his combo ability, keeping him out of Close range is Dhalsim's priority. Gen will first try to poke while in Sou-ryuu style. Fortunately for Dhalsim, while Gen is in this style the damage he inflicts (per poke) is an acceptable risk. Simply use Dhalsim's Short Slide Irritation, Short Slide -> Yoga Flame, Shoulder Punch, and other Close range tactics. Do _not_ attempt to use the various fiery breaths outside of a combo -- Gen will simply hit Dhalsim as he takes in a breath. Once he starts poking using the FK/RK Drill Foot against him works well. Jump back or up and _immediately_ do the Drill Foot as Gen sticks out a limb. The Drill Foot will catch him, and it's also fast enough and angled sharp enough to avoid Gen's anti-air. _Don't_ go defensive and block -- I'd rather risk trading hits than sit there and take a Guard Crash or a combo. If Gen tries to poke in the Ki-ryuu style, don't try to trade hits anymore. He inflicts _way_ to much damage to justify trading hits. Fortunately for Dhalsim, once Gen goes into Ki-ryuu he loses use of the Gekirou -- you can now attack him from the air more aggresively. Besides, I'd rather not deal with Gen's Onkyou, Kyoutetsou, and Jasen while on the ground. While it's theoretically possible for Gen to switch styles (and thus regain the Gekirou) when you attack from the air, I haven't seen _anyone_ who can do this well. His Jakouha can sometimes pose a problem, but since it's a Super Combo you won't see it being abused. Remember: it's best not to let Gen come this close in the first place. Tip #5 -- Gekirou fake-out The Gekirou is not a very useful attack against Dhalsim, who doesn't jump at opponents often enough. The Gekirou, however, can be used to fake Dhalsim out. Gen will do a Gekirou and _intentionally_ miss. If you try to attack him, he will suddenly recover then do another Gekirou. Lesson: if Gen does a Gekirou for no reason, respond with a Yoga Fire/Flame/Super Combo and only if you're too far away to be hit with another Gekirou. Tip #6 -- Keep the Yoga Fire in check In Ki-ryuu style, Gen's Jasen can roll underneath a Yoga Fire. To deal with this, keep in mind the Gen is a mobile character. If he just sits there, he's probably charging up the Jasen, so don't throw him a Yoga Fire. Poke at him or throw a Yoga Flame instead -- Gen players hate that. In closing: As long as he doesn't come into Gen's range, Dhalsim's pokes give him the advantage. Stay on the ground and abuse Dhalsim's Yoga Fire -> anti-air tactics when in Long or Extreme range. Poke at him at No Man's Land, and either duke it out in Close range or try to get away. * Dhalsim Vs. Guy * Hmm... nothing much to say here. I've met very few Guy players, and most of them rely on that elbow drop of his whenever I try a Yoga Fire. I stopped using the Yoga Fire and intead simply poked. Whenever Guy tried to jump I just jump back into a Drill Zutsuki. When he comes into Close range I shove the Short Slide in. I dunno -- I haven't lost to Guy yet (in SFZ3, anyway). Please mail me if anyone has anything to contribute. * Dhalsim Vs. Honda * Threat - low or high Common -ism - Z/V (I haven't seen anyone use X-ism with any degree of success) Moves of note: - crouching/standing JP/SP (Honda thrusts his palm forward; long ranged pokes with good priority; these moves effectively neutralize Dhalsim's pokes and his projectiles) - crouching FP (Honda arcs his fist downward; long-ranged, quite damaging; really eats the Guard Meter; causes knockdown; longer recovery than it looks) - standing FP (anti-air swat; low priority but has surprise value; rather long-ranged) - jumping FP/RK (long-ranged air attacks; unless used from Close range, Dhalsim has a hard time stopping these moves) - Body Splash (also known as the Flying Sumo Press; Honda jumps and stretches out his arms wide then lands chest first; good priority and area; shortens Honda's jump time; not particularly effective against Dhalsim because of the Jab of Doom, but can swat Dhalsim's other attacks; used as cross-up or in ticks) - Harai-geri (Honda stretches his foot out low; fair speed and range) - Headbutt (also known as the Super Zutsuki; Honda flies horizontally in the air; first few frames of animation have insanely high priority; lots of uses) - Butt Slam (also known as the Super Hyakkan Otoshi; Honda flies up then lands on his butt; hits on the way up and down; must be blocked standing; used as anti-air, anti-fireball, anti-turtle; long recovery if blocked) - Ooichou Nage (Honda grabs his opponents head, slams it on the ground, then sits on him; used primarily after Honda jumps, doesn't attack in the air, and then lands right next to his opponent; not useful against Dhalsim because Honda has to come within range of the Jab of Doom, unless Honda does a cross-up) - Orochi Kudaki (Super Combo version of the Ooichou Nage; very damaging) There is no such thing as an "average" Honda player. He's either meat or a real threat. Tip #1 -- Is he charged ? A "charged" Honda is one that has been holding down-back for 2 seconds and therefore capable of the Sumo Head Butt, Butt Slam, and his two Super Combos. _Always_ be mindul of Honda's charge state. Don't poke at him or attack him from the air if he is. He'll simply headbutt through the attack. Tip #2 -- Honda's strengths, part one; things that don't work against a good Honda player Poking does not work well against Honda at any range. Honda can poke back at Dhalsim's limbs with his crouching/standing JP/SP and he has damage on his side. Headbutt is also used as a return-poke -- if Honda is at Long range or nearer, using a slow poke is like painting a bull's eye on Dhalsim's chest for the Headbutt to hit. If you do decide to poke, use the Shoulder Punch (since it's quick enough and Honda might not be able to react) or the Double Punch (since it has priority enough to trade hits). _Never_ use the kicks to poke. Only the Jab of Doom or a Super Combo has any hope of stopping Honda once he's in the air (if Dhalsim is on the ground). While all of Dhalsim's moves will stop an inexperienced Honda player, a good opponent will simply sit/swat/body splash on Dhalsim's extended limbs. Honda also won't indulge you and jump into range of the Jab of Doom -- his jumping FP/RK are designed to let him hit an opponent from quite a distance. Honda will only come into range of the Jab of Doom if you've been cornered and he's "snuffling" you or as a cross-up. Trying to hit Honda on the way up is not easy, either. Honda has a low profile, and a mistimed Face Kick can end up with Honda's head up Dhalsim's crotch. Finally, Honda's jumping SK and Body Splash can actually affect Honda's aerial trajectory -- the jumping SK causes him to jump higher and land later while the Body Splash causes him to jump lower and land earlier. What this basically means is that Honda can consciously avoid certain types of anti-air, particularly if you get predicatable. Tip #2.1 -- "Snuffling" "Snuffling" is a what I named a tactic characters with a Body Splash-type move (Honda, R. Mika, Birdie, and Zangief) occasionally do. A Snuffle is when they do a Body Splash _immediately_ followed by another Body Splash. This can be very confusing, as most players expect a tick attempt and instead find themselves crouching and crossed-up. Dhalsim can easily handle snuffling with a Jab of Doom. This requires presence of mind. You have to spot the snuffling attempt if you want to be able to stop it. Jumping on Honda is a joke. Aerial tactics that work for other characters against Honda simply won't work for Dhalsim. One said tactic is to jump on Honda, air-block the Headbutt, then counter attack as Honda is recovering. This does't work for Dhalsim because he's so slow in the air (and besides, X-ism Dhalsim can't air-block). Honda can use an entire arsenal of anti-air moves (such as the standing FP and the Butt Slam) he wouldn't consider using against other characters. The Drill Zutsuki and Drill Foot can actually snuff Honda's anti-air, but these moves sometimes have unpredictable recovery times, so Honda can simply use the Headbutt after blocking. Do _not_ use the Yoga Fire unless at Long and Extreme ranges. Honda will just jump over it and snuff your anti-air attempt. At Close and Point blank range, the Yoga Flame (outside of a combo) is also not advisable (but is slightly more useful than the Yoga Fire). The problems facing the Yoga Flame are the same as those of the Yoga Fire, but at least the Yoga Flame is bigger and more likely to catch Honda if he tries to jump over it. If Honda tries a Headbutt from far away, most players' tactics involve jumping and trying to land behind Honda as he recovers. While this works very well for most characters, this does _not_ work for Dhalsim. Dhalsim is too slow in the air for this tactic to be of any use. Honda would have recovered from the Headbutt before Dhalsim lands. Tip #3 -- Distance games; things that work, part one Go for the Guard Crash. At Long and Extreme ranges, throw a Yoga Fire, the either try to hit early in his jump with a Face Kick or Shoulder Punch or wait until he's about to land, then do a Double Punch or Ducking Punch, forcing him to block ("Neutral Zone"). Watch the timing. Do the punch too early, and Honda will hit Dhalsim's arms. Do the punch too late, and Honda can Headbutt Dhalsim's arms. At No Man's Land, the moment you see Honda moving forward (either by walking or jumping), use the Teleport to get behind him. Try to keep Honda in the center of the screen. Don't force him into a corner. This would allow you to use the Kick version of Yoga Teleport without fear of being hit as Dhalsim rematerializes behind Honda. If Honda tries to Headbutt from Long and Extreme ranges (or No Man's Land, if you can react fast enough), jump back and do a FK Drill Foot. The Drill Foot, while useless against the first few frames of the Headbutt, will nail Honda once he's sailing in the air. Alternatively, you can also try the Drill Zutsuki to sail overhead and behind Honda (do the Drill Zutsuki at the apex of Dhalsim's jump). Tip #5 -- Honda's strengths, part two (Close and Point Blank ranges) Honda is horrifyingly effective against Dhalsim at Close range. All of his punches have high priority and a typical Honda strategy against cornered opponents is to mix up his various punches and Butt Slam to wear away the Guard Meter, and a standing FP or Head Butt against those who jump at him. Try a Yoga Fire/Flame, and he'll simply use one of his long range attacks to stuff it before the fireball comes out. Worse, he may react fast enough to jump over the fireball and attack before Dhalsim can recover. Block. Simmply weather out Honda's punches (sample Honda pattern: crouching JP -> crouching SK -> standing/crouching SP -> crouching FP). He will then sit there and wait for your response for a moment. You have these options: Jump back. This option works best if Dhalsim's back isn't near a wall. If Honda jumps after Dhalsim, see if he tries to attack you mid-air. If he does, do a Drill Zutsuki, a SK/FK Drill Foot, or a Pokedown. The Drill Zutsuki will outprioritize most of Honda's aerial moves, while the Drill Foot and Pokedown have a great surprise factor. If he jumps after Dhalsim but doesn't attack, do a Pokedown at the apex of Dhalsim's jump (to push him away) or a Drill Zutsuki (to try to get behind Honda and not as an attack -- this works because Honda will likely land on the ground before Dhalsim does). In Z/V-ism, you can also try to use the mid-air Yoga Teleport to get behind Honda. If Honda doesn't jump after Dhalsim, it's a 100% chance that he's charging up the Headbutt to hit Dhalsim as he lands. If Honda tries to Headbutt on your way down (something he'll definitely try against X-ism Dhalsim), use the SK/FK Drill Foot to knock him out of it. If you think that Honda's waiting for you to be nearly touching the ground (so that you're forced to block the Headbutt), use the RK Drill Foot to land more quickly, then a Super Combo if Honda is gooing to try the Headbutt anyway. If Honda doesn't jump or Headbutt after you, do _not_ be tempted to use a air-to-ground attack (the Drill Zutsuki, Drill Foot, Pokedowns) as Honda can simply swat/Headbutt/sit on Dhalsim's limb. Tip # 6 -- The pressure; things that work, part two Drill Foot (preferrably RK) -> Short Slide -> Yoga Flame -> jump forward and _immediately_ repeat. The idea here is for Dhalsim to pelt Honda as _fast_ as possible, not giving Honda the chance to jump away (or nailing him if he tries). The Drill Foot is basically used to gain ground as fast as possible or snuff the Headbutt. If you find the RK Drill Foot too hard to use consistently you can use simply Short Slide Irritation and Short Slide -> Yoga Flame. The Short Slide is fast enough to avoid being poked at by Honda, and the Headbutt can't hit Dhalsim mid-slide (Dhalsim's slides won't go under the Headbutt, so don't try it even if you're just fooling around). Unfortunately, a blocked Yoga Flame will only will only push Honda into No Man's Land. If, at any time, you block Honda's crouching FP, _immediately_ counter attack. The crouching FP has a much longer recovery time than it looks. In closing: The key to fighting Honda is to Guard Crash him, or lure him into the range of the Jab of Doom then roast him with a Super Combo. If you're ahead, don't press the attack -- Dhalsim cannot corner Honda effectively. If you're behind, don't panic. If you're cornered, weather out the onslaught and don't panic -- Honda cannot keep up steady stream of attacks without coming into the range of the Jab of Doom. * Dhalsim Vs. Karin * Threat - high Common -ism - Z/V (Dhalsim has a hard time dealing with V) Moves of note - jumping RK (long-ranged; Karin will definitely try this kick with only the tip of her foot connecting with Dhalsim) - Arakuma Inashi (throw; Karin knees her opponent then trips him; longer range than her other throws; V-ism Karin will definitely abuse this move) - Mujin Kyaku (hop kick that hits twice; launches opponent into the air if it hits; long recovery time, but pushes Karin too far away for most counter attacks to work) - Ressen Ha (Karin jumps and does a windmill punch; can go over fireballs with difficulty; must be blocked standing; used mainly in combos) - Tsumuji-gari (Karin hop and spin kick; fast and must be blocked standing) - Kanzuki-ryuu Shinpikaibyaku (Super Combo rushing attack) - Kanzuki-ryuu Kou'ou Ken (Super Combo anti-air) While Karin is ranked very highly, the skill level required to play her successfully against Dhalsim is _enormous_. This, of course, means that a Karin player challenging Dhalsim knows what he's doing and will prove to be a real threat. Most of Dhalsim's general strategies work. Below are the exceptions. Tip #1 -- Karin's first path to victory; aerial approach Karin will try to jump at Dhalsim and attack with the jumping RK. This attack will be done in such a way that only the tip of her foot touches him. Only a Super Combo will stop her on her way down. If the jumping RK hits, she will then deliver a devastating combo. If its blocked, she will either jump back or start to poke then slowly back away to try the jumping RK again. Since Dhalsim is hard-pressed to stop Karin once she's coming down, you have to hit Karin on her way up. Be familiar with the range Karin will jump, then do a Face Kick once her feet leave the ground. Alternatively, you can also jump up an meet her in the air with a Drill Zutsuki, or just wait on the ground then toast her with a Super Combo. As such, try not to over-use the Yoga Flame once she's in No Man's Land -- a fireball headed her way only gives her an opportunity to jump-attack. Tip #2 -- Karin's second path to victory; V-ism combos Agh. I hate V-ism Karin. Karin is a character whose VCs have been throughly developed. Not only does she have damaging combos, she has _unblockable_ ones too. A common tactic is to jump at Dhalsim and activate the VC if Dhalsim tries an anti-air. If Karin didn't do an Arakuma Inashi and you managed to block, thank whatever gods you have and do a Zero Counter _immediately_. I usually advise using the Zero Counter as late as possible, but when facing Karin with the unblockable Arakuma Inashi you have to stop the rest of the VC as soon as possible. Karin's standard VCs can be avoided if you can hit her as soon as she leaves the ground instead of hitting her on the way down. As for her unblockable VCs or if you're using X/Classic-ism... Do your best to keep her as far away as possible. Other than that, instead of trying to stop her in the air, employ the KKK "forward" Teleport whenever she jumps at you (i.e. "Teleporturtle"). Tip #3 -- Karin's third path to victory; Z-ism Mujin-Kyaku fakeout Karin's double hop kick, the Mujin-kyaku, has a very long recovery time. Unfortunately, it also pushes her and Dhalsim far apart. Do not be tempted to attack Karin as she's recovering from the Mujin-Kyaku (such as with a Long Slide or a Yoga Fire). Most regular attacks won't reach her in time and Super Combos can miss. She can easily do Kanzuki-ryuu Shinpikaibyaku right through most of Dhalsim's attacks. If you do decide to attack Karin as she's recovering, do so with a Drill Foot (watch out for Kanzuki-ryuu Kou'ou Ken) or a Shoulder Punch (still may not be fast enough). If your opponent is over-enthusiastic, you can outfake him by doing a JP (which will miss, of course) then a Super Combo (which will stop the Kanzuki-ryuu Shinpikaibyaku). Tip #4 -- other Karin tactics The Ressen Ha is Karin's anti-fireball move. She jumps forward and over the fireball, hitting twice with her arms moving in a circular manner. This also doubles as a nasty poke, as both hits must be blocked standing and the move has decent recovery. Don't expect to see much of this move, though -- it's quite hard to pull do consistently and the priority isn't that great. Even if your opponent is rather proficient with the Ressen Ha, it shouldn't deter you from Dhalsim's Yoga Fire -> anti-air tactics (and the Ressen Ha is quite vulnerable to a Yoga Flame fake-out). However, under a VC the Ressen Ha is particularly vicious. Karin can use it as an Arakuma Inashi tick, and she has VCs specifically using this move. Karin is an effective thrower. She's quick on her feet and her Arakuma Inashi has good range. Be on your guard against throws. One way to prevent Karin from throwing you is to use the Short Slide Irritation once she gets into range (watch out for the Shinpikaibyaku and VCs. The Short Slide -> Yoga Flame also works well. Avoiding throws becomes absolutely imperative if faced with L-mode Karin in the arcades (where her throws inflict _massive_ damage). Karin's throws are often supplemented with her poking game. Karin can poke effectively with with her kicks, and her Tsumuji-gari is fast and moves her a bit forward. Like her throws, Karin's pokes can be dealt with by using Dhalsim's Short Slide Irritation and Short Slide -> Yoga Flame. Add an occasionaly Drill Foot and Karin will be too caught up with defense to poke back. Also, Karin's moves can't be used as a good counter-poke when facing Dhalsim. You don't have to worry much about Karin poking Dhalsim's limbs at Long and Extreme ranges. Karin may try to jump repeatedly on Dhalsim with her SK. The Jab of Doom will put a stop to this nonsense (again, watch out for VCs). Never try air-to-ground moves against a standing Karin. Karin's anti-air is very easy to do as well as devastatingly effective. In closing: Be patient. Respond to what Karin does with the appropriate counter- attack and she'll have no approach at all (unless you're facing V-ism Karin, in which case don't try to push the offensive -- rely on Dhalsim's distance games) * Dhalsim Vs. M. Bison (Vega in Japan) * Threat - moderate Common -ism - Z Moves of note - standing FK (a mid-section kick; his main poke) - standing RK (a high kick; anti-air) - crouching SP (a low punch; very good poke at close range; used in combos) - Psycho Shot (his fireball; very poor recovery, so is mainly used from far away or in combos) - Double Knee Press (he lunges forward for a 2-hit scissor kick; the deeper the attack, the longer the recovery) - Psycho Crusher (Bison flies, spinning; in Z-ism, this is a Super Combo that is used to punish mistakes and jump-ins, as it's rather unreliable in combos; in X-ism, this is used as anti-air; rather powerful, but in X-ism the recovery is very bad) - Head Press (stomp on the head; extremely high priority, but is vulnerable prior to the stomp itself) - Skull Diver (a dive to the head, hands first; can follow a Head Press or used on its own). - Teleport (his... teleport) - Knee Press Nightmare (Super Combo version of his Double Knee Press; anti-air; used in combos and confusion; good recovery) I've fought numerous Dhalsim Vs. Bison matches, and have won nearly all all of them. I also play Bison myself. ... but for the life of me I can't come up with better tips than the ones below. Tip #1 -- Dealing with Bison Bison has a lot of Regular Moves that can be used as anti-air, such as his standing JP. None of them will outprioritize Dhalsim's Drill Zutsuki or Drill Foot. Try this: Drill Zutsuki/Drill foot -> Short Slide -> Yoga Flame. This is often enough to stop Bison completely. Tip #2 -- Bison poking; Close range Bison pokes primary with his standing FK, and he'll use it at Close range. Dhalsim cannot deal with these pokes. Quite simply, unless Bison moves further in (and into Point Blank range) or further out (into No Man's Land) there's very little Dhalsim can other than block the pokes or try to jump back. Actually, jumping back is a good option, since Dhalsim can do a Drill Zutsuki (see tip #1). Tip #3 -- Bison jumping Bison jumps high and far. He can jump from Extreme range and still manage to hit Dhalsim. Throw in his Head Press and we've go a character that can hit Dhalsim from anywhere. Use the Yoga fire only if Bison is already in the air, such as if he jumps backward or straight up (if beyond Close range). Using Yoga fire when he's just standing there means leaving Dhalsim vulnerable for a jump-in combo or Head Press. Tip #4 -- Bison Point Blank Bison can't deal with Short Slide other than with a Super Combo. Even in X-ism, the Short Slide can snag the Psycho Crusher during the initial frames of animation. Abuse the Short Slide Irritation. If bison attempts to jump backward, nail him with a Face Kick or do a Yoga Fire after him. If he jumps up, use the Jab of Doom or Super Combo. If he tries to jump forward and behind Dhalsim, throw a Yoga Fire right after him. Tip #5 -- The Psycho Shot Bison has a lot of confusion tactics involving the Psycho Shot. If he tries this at No Man's Land range and beyond, jump into a Drill Zutsuki. See tip #1. If he tries it at No Man's Land or Close range outside of a combo, use the Ducking Punch or Long Slide to hit him under the Psycho Shot. CPU-controlled Bison is partuicularly vulnerable to this. If he tries the Psycho Shot to nullify a Yoga Fire (a situation that should never happen anyway -- see tip #3), nail him with a Double Punch. Tip #6 -- Head Press If Bison tries a Head Press, you can either jump back into a Drill Zutsuki (provided Dhalsim isn't cornered) or nail Bison with a Jab of Doom (requires a bit of timing, though). You can simply block, but this only encourages more Head Press attempts. Do not be tempted to hit Bison after the Head Press -- this is a guessing game that's in his favor because of the Skulldiver's high priority. Get out of the corner so that you won't be forced to block again. Tip #7 -- Watch out for mistakes A good Bison will never use his Double Knee Press or Slide as part of his pokes. Be ready to deal out punishment if he does. Tip #8 -- Z-ism confusion Bison can sometimes attempt this costly stunt: Bison does a level 1 Knee Press Nightmare that is blocked. If Dhalsim tries to attack after it, Bison will immediately follow-up with a Psycho Crusher. Lesson: keep an eye on his Super Combo meter. In closing: Bison's strength comes from poking, supplemented by the Head Press and an occasional Super Combo Stunt. All of these can be dealt with by remembering that Bison simply can't deal with Tip #1. * Rose Vs. R. Mika * Threat - high Let me explain my rather skewed R. Mika threat rating: I've lost nearly all of my Dhalsim/R. Mika matches. It's rather embarrassing, considering the R. Mika is supposed to be an underdog character and that Dhalsim is top-ranked. Oh, well. I haven't got any specific R. Mika tips yet (sorry !). * Dhalsim Vs. Rolento * Threat - high Common -ism - X/Z Moves of note - JP/crouching JP (Rolento stabs with his baton; high priority and he'll a couple of these in a row) - jumping JP (looks like his crouching JP, but in the air; high priority and used mainly to meet an aerial opponent) - SP (Rolento turns his back then stabs his baton upward at an angle; anti-air) - crouching SP (he twirls his baton for three hits; annoying) - FP (he bangs his baton downward in an arc; anti-air and occasionally a poke; hits twice) - crouching FP (swings his baton downward; fast poke) - standing RK (kicks like a mule; anti-air) - Patriot Circle (twirls his baton for up to 11 hits; rarely used outside of a sure-hit combo as it has a horrible recovery time; learn when to spot this and make him pay) - Mine Sweeper (Rolento rolls backward, leaving grenades; anti-air; sometimes anti-Slide) - Fake Rod (a hop with his baton; Rolento might use this if you've been poking him with crouching FK/RK -- it can hit Rose' foot; not very damaging, but quite embarrassing) - Stinger (Rolento jumps straight up a hurls a knife; an annoyance tactic, but can sometimes be used in VCs) - High Jump (Rolento can cross vast distances in one jump) Nex to Rose, Rolento is Dhalsim's toughest match (IMHO). Tip #1 -- Don't... Don't throw Rolento Yoga Fire if he's on the ground. He can simply jump across the screen and bash Dhalsim around. Only throw him Yoga Fire if his feet are off the floor (such as when he jumped straight up). In fact, throwing Rolento a Yoga Fire at any range is a bad idea. the only time to use the Yoga Fire is within combos. Don't poke at Rolento. Not only can he poke back, but he's fast enough to jump over the Double Punch and bash Dhalsim around. Don't jump on Rolento when he's on the ground. He has a plethora of anti-air moves. He can also move around fast enough if he happens to be in a poor position to do the proper anti-air. In fact, jumping should be completely abandoned. Don't try to fake Rolento out with the Yoga Flame. He'll get caught by it once or twice, max. Then the next time you do that he'll come up with a nasty combo and make you pay. Tip #2 -- Do... Use another character other than Dhalsim. Seriously, Dhalsim can do very little against Rolento. Whenever someone wanted to humiliate my Dhalsim they simply picked Rolento and started poking away. Rolento will take short steps toward Dhalsim, crouch, then stick a JP/SP. He'll mix this up with a crouching FK and the standing/ crouching FP to induce a Guard Crash. Once in a while he'll insert a Patriot Circle, particularly if one of his attacks hits. Almost anything that Dhalsim can attempt, Rolento has some form of counter. And then I discovered that Rolento can't do squat against the Short Slide. Suddenly, all my Rolento problems faded away. When faced with Rolento, abuse the Short Slide Irritation. Rolento can: a) Attempt a Mine Sweeper. He'll try to lay grenades in the hopes that Dhalsim will Slide over them. This shouldn't hurt Dhalsim at all, since the Mine Sweeper has a very long start-up. If you see Rolento start the Mine Sweeper, simply stop doing the Slides and you'll be fine. b) Jump up into a FP or Fake Rod. Toast him with a Super Combo such as Yoga Tempest or Strike. The Jab of Doom and Uppercut also work well. c) Backward roll or jump. Doesn't work. The Slide will stop it mid-roll. Even if he does manage to roll follow him with a Drill Zutsuki then resume the Slides. d) High Jump. Nope. The High Jump, curiously, still gets caught by the Slide. Even if he does a High Jump, follow him with a Drill Zustuki then Slide again. e) Take no Prisoners Super. Yeah right. The Slide will hit before the wire comes out. f) crouching JP. Watch out, this actually works. Rolento's crouching JP and the Short Slide have approximately the same priority. What determines which move wins is the range where the two are made. The closer Rolento and Dhalsim are, the higher the chance that the Short Slide will win the exchange. Thus, attempting the Short Slide when you're too far away (just hoping to Slide into range) is a mistake. TIp #3 -- How to land the Short Slide Usually I crouch-block until Rolento wanders into his jabbing range (X-ism Rolento loves attempting standing JPs against crouch-blockers). Then I let loose the Slide. At other times I use the FK/RK Drill Foot to bring me into range. I do a jump forward then immediately do the Drill Foot. In closing: Short Slide Irritation. Pathetic, I know, but it's the only way to go against Rolento. * Dhalsim Vs. Rose * Threat - moderate to high (a Rose player who knows what he's doing will completely dominate Dhalsim) Common -ism - Z Moves of note - practically of all her Regular moves - Slide (hmm...) - Soul Spark (her fireball) - Soul Reflect (anti-fireball) - Aura Soul Spark (Super Combo version of her Soul Spark) - Aura Soul Throw (her main Super Combo; at level 3, which is what Dhalsim will most often be receiving, this is a rushing punch forward followed by an uppercut and an air-throw; the rushing part is invulnerable) I'll make this short: a Rose player who knows what he's doing will ream Dhalsim completely. She completely outprioritizes him in all of _his_ ranges. Tip #1 -- Assessing Rose Try to see if the match is going to be a farce by poking at Rose. If Rose just snuffs your pokes with punches (especially her standing/ crouching SP) then concede defeat and go use another character. Seriously, _none_ of Dhalsim's regular moves will outprioritize Rose. If Rose just sits/stands there poking at Dhalsim's outstreched limbs then your only hope of victory is to land a Super Combo and then stay away from her. Tip #2 -- Extreme range Never throw SP/FP Yoga Fire. Rose will just absorb the fireball with her Soul Reflect. Don't throw her JP Yoga Fire. She won't absorb it -- she'll reflect the damn thing back at you. However, you can try this: throw her JP Yoga Fire then walk forward. If she makes the mistake of absorbing the Yoga Fire instead of reflecting it, do a Double Punch. If Rose throws a Soul Spark, simply nullify it with a Yoga Fire or jump over it. Do _not_ poke at Rose. I cannot stress this enough. At Extreme range Rose can snuff Dhalsim pokes _completely_ with her SP. Rose' priority is freakin' scary. If she jumps from this range, it's a judgment call on whether to try to hit her with anti-air or not. She can certainly snuff all of Dhalsim's limbs. Try the Neutral Zone tactic instead. Tip #3 -- Long range Again, don't throw SP/FP Yoga Fire. As with Extreme range, you can try a JP Yoga Fire, then hit her with a Double Punch if she absorbs it instead of reflecting it. Rose might try an FP Soul Spark. Try to nullify this if you can. Jump straight up if you can't. Jump forward into a Drill Zutsuki if Rose Super Combo Meter is empty (see Tip #5). If she attempts a slower Soul Spark try to move forward then hit her with a Ducking Punch. Tip #4 -- No Man's Land Abandon all attempts at Yoga Fire. She can simply jump over it, then bash Dhalsim around. None of Dhalsim's Regular moves will stop her reliably, even the Jab of Doom. In theory, a Super Combo can stop her, but only the Yoga Tempest is truly fast enough. You can try to fake her out with a Yoga Flame. You can try to poke at her with the Double Punch or the Shoulder Punch (since all of Dhalsim's other pokes will likely be snuffed). Watch her carefully, and be prepared to do a Face Kick if she tries to jump. Whether poking at her or attempting to fake her out, be always aware that Rose' level 3 Aura Soul Throw can go through all of Dhalsim's attacks. If Rose starts doing whiffed pokes at Dhalsim, you can respond with a Shoulder Punch. Note: you're not trying to trade hits, but trying to hit her as she recovers from her attack. Remember: Rose outprioritizes Dhalsim. If she's really going wild with her whiffed pokes, you can try a Super Combo (Yoga Tempest or Yoga Stream) in the hopes of nailing her -- this is a bit of a desperation move (particularly with X-ism Dhalsim). Check Rose' Super Combo Meter if she attempts to slide. Don't retaliate against her slide if she has a level 2/full meter -- she's trying to fake you out into a Aura Soul Throw/Aura Soul Spark. Otherwise, respond with a Short Slide -> Yoga Flame. If she attempts a Soul Spark (unlikely) then a Long Slide will nail her nicely. The FP Soul Spark may be hard to avoid, though. Tip #4 -- Close and Point Blank range Rose may start to poke at Dhalsim with her kicks, linked to her Soul Spark or Spiral. As with her slide, counter attack a blocked Soul Spiral only if her Super Combo Meter has been depleted. At Point Blank range Rose will link her attacks together. Even if you manage to block everything, this is a major pain in the Guard Meter. This is not a range you should be fighting Rose in. Dhalsim has no chance of getting past her pokes other than with a Super Combo. Tip #5 -- The path to victory Dhalsim has one path to winning against Rose -- aside from her Aura Soul Throw, there's very little she can do against the Drill Foot and Drill Zutsuki. Once Rose' Super Combo Meter is depleted, you can do Drill Zutsukis and Drill Foot at her without fear of being snuffed. Try to aim as low as possible so that you can combo off the Drills (otherwise she'll combo _you_). Why wait until her Super Combo Meter is empty ? Because if you react to late Dhalsim will end up in an Aura Soul Throw. The best time to Drill her would be if she threw a Soul Spark. From No Man's Land and farther, jump forward into a Drill Zutsuki to a Short Slide -> Yoga Flame. Use the FK/RK Drill Foot if at closer range. In closing: Poke at Rose to and see if your opponent knows how to react. If he knows how to snuff Dhalsim's pokes, then your only hope to win is to attack from the air or fake her out. Always watch out for her Super Combos. * Dhalsim Vs. Sagat * Threat - Low Common -ism - Z/V Moves of Note - Tiger Shot (Sagat throws a fireball at about his shoulder level; Dhalsim can simply duck under it or use his Double Punch or Ducking Punch to hit Sagat; serious Sagat players will never use this against Dhalsim while they're both on the ground) - Low Tiger Shot (Sagat kneels and throws a fireball near the ground; Sagat will likely use this version of his fireball, but with caution because Dhalsim can simply nullify the Low Tiger Shot with a Yoga Fire, followed up with a Double Punch or Ducking Punch) - Tiger Cannon (Super Combo version of the Tiger Shot) - Tiger Uppercut (his anti-air move; generally useless against Dhalsim except in combos) - Tiger Knee (a rising knee) This is a one way match, all in Dhalsim's favor. A good Sagat player will only get into a fireball match against Dhalsim if he's trying to bait you into a Tiger Cannon. What he will try is to jump at Dhalsim then try to hit any outsretched limb (which, like all big characters, he can do well). As such, use the Yoga Fire -> anti-air strategy with caution. Faking out Sagat with the Yoga Flame should only be attempted against over-eager opponents. Sagat isn't much of a jumping character and his Super Combos can cross a good amount of space (and will also beat the Short Slide Irritation rather easily -- lay off of this pattern until Sagat loses his Super Combo Meter charge). A failed fake-out means a Super Combo in Dhalsim's face. V-ism Sagat players are almost all one type: they'll jump on Dhalsim with an RK (as above), or they'll jump then activate the VC if you try an anti-air (again, almost always with an RK). V-ism Sagat, however, inflicts so little damage that you can actually take a couple of VCs without flinching. Anyway, if you get hit by a VC mid-screen, don't try to go for a air-recovery. Sagat's main midscreen VC (Tiger Uppercut -> whiff attack -> repeated Tiger Knee) is hard to connect very reliably and sometimes misses completely. Attempting to air-recover and attack only places you in the path of a Tiger Uppercut. Also, if you corners, the majority of Sagat's VCs would be useless. Since Sagat's forward walking speed if rather slow, you can safely use the KKK "forward" teleport if he's trying to corner you. Once Sagat's Super Combo Meter has been depleted, you can abuse the Short Slide. Fake out with a Slash once in a while just in case he's going to try a Tiger Uppercut. * Rose Vs. Sakura * Threat - high Common -ism - Z/V (good thing V-ism inflicts so little damage...) Moves of note - crouching SP (Sakura delivers a low elbow; combo-able and can swat extended limbs) - <close> standing FP (Sakura delivers a two-handed uppercut; watch out for this in V-ism) - <far> standing FP (Sakura does a straight punch; _nasty_ anti-poke) - Enzuigeri (also known as "Flower Kick"; Sakura brings her foot high for an arching overhead kick; must be blocked standing; rather fast and very dangerous under V-ism) - Shou'ou Ken (Sakura's rushing uppercut; low priority and slow recovery, but a menace because of the damage it inflicts even if blocked) - Sakura Otoshi (Sakura jumps up in the air then brings her fists down; must be blocked standing) - Shinkuu Hadou Ken (Super Combo version of her fireball) - Haru Ichiban (Super Combo version of her Hurricane kick; must be blocked crouching) - Midare Sakura (Super Combo version of her Shou'ou Ken; mostly used in combos) Jeez, I hate Sakura matches. As with the Akuma/Ryu/Ken entry, tactics below are for use with X-ism Dhalsim (mainly because I can't win using other -isms). Tip #1 -- Sakura on the ground; the poking game Sakura is a high-priority character that can easily snuff Dhalsim's limbs. In fact, her standing FP cleanly beats all of Dhalsim's pokes, with the sole exception of his Ducking Punch (which is too low to be hit with her standing FP, but trades with her crouching SP). Do a couple of pokes to see if your opponent is aware of this. If you find Dhalsim snuffed then abandon trying to poke at all. If your opponent doesn't capitalize on the standing FP (ie. Sakura is using crouching punches or standing kicks -- these moves will trade hits), then you can still poke at her with relative confidence. Unless faced with X-ism Sakura, Dhalsim can inflict more damage when they trades hits. Some players may try to use the Shou'ou Ken through Dhalsim's pokes (which would also bring her closer). This is even worse than the standing FP, since the Shou'ou Ken brings her closer to Dhalsim _and_ knocks him down. This, however, is anticipatory, and if Sakura misses Dhalsim can punish her. As such, you can try to fake Sakura out with JPs, and if she tries the Shou'ou Ken you the hit her with a Double Punch or Yoga Tempest/Yoga Flame is she's within range. Tip #2 -- Extreme and Long ranges As I've said, see if you can poke without being at the losing end. Use the Yoga Fire, but if Sakura jumps over it think twice before using anti-air. Sakura can snuff Dhalsim's limbs from the air rather easily. Try the Neutral Zone tactic. Because of Sakura's lousy fireball, it's extremely unlikely that she will get into a fireball shootout (see tip #1 of the ARK entry). If your opponent does get caught by it, it's safe to assume that your opponent isn't _that_ good and you can play more aggressively. Tactics that work on ARK sometimes also works with Sakura: Jump forward. If Sakura jumps forward (and you landed on the ground first), fry her with a Yoga Tempest/Yoga Flame. Jump forward. If Sakura jumps forward, do a Drill Zutsuki. If you snuff Sakura's aerial attack, see if you can follow through with a Yoga Tempest/Yoga Flame. Jump up for no reason. If Sakura jumps after you, do a Pokedown or Drill Zutsuki. Was your opponent able to snuff Dhalsim's pokes on the ground ? If the answer is yes, then abandon this tactic. If the answer is no, then you can gamble with a Pokedown, Drill Zutsuki, or Drill Foot. If Sakura fireballs under Dhalsim, Drill Foot behind it and do a Double Punch. Tip #3 -- No Man's Land. It's a little safer to poke at Sakura from this range, since your opponent may not spot your poke in time. Don't use the Yoga Fire, but you can fake Sakura out with an occasional Yoga Flame. As with tip #2, you can jump up (or backwards) with options to do a Pokedown, Drill Zutsuki (with an additional option of using it as an escape instead of as an attack) or Drill Foot. The same precautions apply. If Sakura jumps at Dhalsim, fry her with a Yoga Tempest, jump back into a Drill Zutsuki, or block. Remember: the first two options are safest if you didn't do a Yoga Fire. It's possible for other anti-air like the Face Kick and the Jab of Doom to snuff Sakura's aerial attacks, but don't count on it. If you're forced to block Sakura's jump-attack, quickly do a Short Slide -> Yoga Flame. It's very likely that Sakura will attempt an early jump-attack (in order to snuff anti-air attempts), so Dhalsim may be able to recover from the blockstun before Sakura lands (and therefore she can't respond to the Short Slide). Why not the Jab of Doom against a jump-in ? Sakura's jumping FP, FK, and RK are angled steeply and can outprioritize the Jab of Doom. Tip #3.1 -- Other stuff that can happen after a jump-in (Z/X-ism Sakura) If you blocked Sakura's jump-in attack (and it was too deep for you to have used the Short Slide against), Sakura will then a) multiple crouching JP/SP/SK -> Hadouken. You can try to attack with a Slide just before the Hadouken (since it can be rather slow) b) crouching JP/SP/SK -> Enzuigeri. Sakura's "flower kick" is rather fast, but its easy to spot because Sakura screams and flashes her underwear. Just Slide under it. c) crouching JP/SK -> crouching FK/RK. In my opinion, this is Sakura's best combo when blocked. Her crouching FK has fast recovery and will leave her within optimum range for her pokes. If your opponent is doing this combo, you can be sure that he's keeping an eye on your Guard Meter. Once you block the crouching FK, try to do a jump back into a FK Drill Foot. d) throw. Wow. Sakura players love to throw because of her ground speed (and Dhalsim is so slow). Not much I can say about this except to expect it and do a Slash or throw also. e) crouching SK -> Sakura Otoshi. Usually only attempted if Dhalsim's back is against a corner, but can happen anywhere if you opponent actually wanted to do something else (like a Shou'ou Ken). The Sakura Otoshi must be blocked standing. If you you blocked the first Sakura Otoshi hit (since it hits up to three times) then simply block the rest. A lot of players make the mistake of trying to walk forward (so that Sakura lands behind them), or try to hit Sakura out of the Otoshi. Simply block then combo when she lands. Tip #3.2 -- V-ism Jump-in If V-ism (with a Super Combo Meter charge) Sakura jumps at Dhalsim, you do not want him to be on the ground when she's coming down. Abandon all attempts of anti-air and simply jump back into a Drill Zutsuki (this has to be done fast enough so that the Drill Zutsuki will hit her before she lands) or teleport to the other side of the screen the moment she jumps (ie. "Teleporturtle") If you were unable to teleport out then simply wait for Sakura to land instead of trying to knock her out of the air. If she doesn't activate her VC, expect her to act like she would under Z/X-ism (see Tip #3.1). Otherwise... Tip #4 -- Close and Point Blank ranges If Sakura's Super Combo Meter is empty, abuse the Short Slide Irritation. Otherwise, forget it. Keep calm and crouch-block. Wait for her to move. Get into a staring match if you have to -- just don't make the first move. If she's dumb enough to jump on Dhalsim, knock her out of the air with the Jab of Doom (unless it's V-Sakura with a Super Combo Meter charge, in which case you have to teleport the hell out of there). If she starts poking, Dhalsim can use his Slash as a counter-poke. You can also sneak in an occasional Short Slide -> Yoga Flame under her standing pokes or immediately right after she whiffs a crouching one. You can attempt a Yoga Flame fakeout once in a while or force her to block it, just make sure you don't accidentally whiff. Also, try to keep the fakeout to a minimum if Sakura has a Super Combo Meter charge. Tip #5 -- V-ism Sakura V-ism Sakura has a nasty Guard Crash combo (<close> standing FP -> Shunpu Kyaku] repeat). This only works well in corners, though. Lesson: don't get cornered against a V-ism Sakura. If Sakura attempts this and Dhalsim is mid-screen, simply block the Shunpu Kyaku then shove a Short Slide in. Another nasty Sakura VC is her [<close> standing FP -> Shunpu Kyaku] repeat juggle. Fortunately, this combo has to be preceeded by a Shou'ou Ken, and Sakura has very limited means of landing _that_: Landing the Shou'ou Ken, method 1. Both Sakura and Dhalsim are on the ground. Most situations that leave Dhalsim open means that Sakura can land her Shou'ou Ken. However, Sakura has to be standing pretty damn close in order to land the Shou'ou Ken properly -- all of the Shou'ou Ken's hits must connect in order to start the VC. Lesson: don't get _that_ close. Lesson: Lay off the Short Slide Irritation until Skaura has lost her Super Combo Meter charge. Remember: Sakura has to be _very_ close, therefore if she did a jump-in attack first then her Shou'ou Ken won't land properly -- she has to walk a bit forward first. Method 2. As anti-air. Don't use the Drill Zutsuki on Sakura if she's on the ground with a Super Combo Meter charge. The Drill is a bit slow and obvious. She can simply VC through the Drill, hit Rose with the Shou'ou Ken, then start the juggle. Method 3. As anti-turtler. Dhalsim and Sakura are on the ground. Sakura will start the VC, do an Enzuigeri -> Shou'ou Ken, then start the juggle. Lesson: if both of you are on the ground then Sakura activate a VC, do a JP Slash -- simply jam the JP button during her VC flash and provided that you weren't doing anything else the Slash will knock her out of her VC. Lesson: once Sakura starts her VC (and you were unable to stop her), crouch-block, then watch for the Enzuigeri _very_ carefully. The moment she lifts her leg shove a Short Slide or Slash in. If you can't react fast enough when Sakura goes for the Enzuigeri, I suggest block standing up, never mind if Sakura can get her crouching kicks in. As I've said, she has to be pretty damn close to start her VC from Method 1, and if she tries to do crouching kicks she won't be able to start her juggle VC properly. Method 4. As anti-anti-air. Sakura will jump on you, the activate the VC when your try an anti-air, land the Shou-ken, then start the juggle. See Tip #3.2. If you're on the ground, blocked an aerial attack from Sakura, then she activates her VC, it's a safe bet that she _can't_ do Method 1 and will instead try Method 3, a corner crusher, or a mixture of the two. Sakura's juggle VC is most dangerous when _she's_ in a corner, since the meat of her combo works best when an opponent is away from a corner. Faced with V-Sakura try to keep the battle mid-screen -- don't push her out too far and don't let yourself be pushed to a corner. When being juggled by Sakura's VC, actively attempt to air recover, especially when you've reached the corner. Sakura's VC is harder to pull off consistently that other characters with juggle VC, so always try to get away. With X-ism Dhalsim, it's imperative that you either retaliate right after the air-recovery with a Drill Foot or try to escape with a Drill Zutsuki. With Z/V-ism Dhalsim, you can either retaliate, escape, air-block the way down (unless you're in a corner) or Teleport. Tip #6 -- Keep your cool Sakura's Doshita is a taunt that does damage. It has short range but can be used against aerial opponents. It's main use, though, is not as an attack, but as psych-out. Don't get angry even if it hits Rose then your opponent says "Hey, that was worth the game -- I can lose now !". In closing: On close inspection it seems that Sakura is simply a higher-priority, less damaging version of ARK. Against Dhalsim, she is. Just play a bit more defensively than you would ARK, and remember that V-ism Sakura is more deadly that ARK outside corners. * Dhalsim Vs. Sodom * Threat - moderate Common -ism - any (under X-ism, Sodom wields katanas instead of jittes, giving him slightly longer range) Moves of note - crouching SP (Sodom arcs his weapon in front of him) - crouching FP (Sodom uppercuts with his weapon) - crouching SK (A short, low kick; noteworthy because it can consistently trade hits with the Short Slide) - jumping RK (a long-ranged kick) - jumping FP (Sodom jumps and arcs his weapon in front and beneath him) - Jigoku Scrape (Sodom lunges forward with his weapon ) - Meido no Miyage (Super Combo version of the Jigoku Scrape) - Butsumetsu Buster (Sodom hops forward and throws) - Ten Chuu Satsu (Super Combo version of the Butsumetsu Buster) Who said Sodom's normals suck ? Not against Dhalsim... Tip #1 -- Long and Extreme range Obviously, you can use the Yoga Fire. Sodom has no choice but to jump over it. Unfortunately, anti-air does not well against Sodom. His jumping FP covers a large area, while his jumping RK has very long range. Both will snuff Dhalsim's libs. Luckily, Sodom is a _huge_ character and can be hit early in his jump more readily than others. When using the "Neutral Zone" tactic or poking, use the Ducking Punch. Sodom's jumping attacks (particularly the SK/FP) can hit Dhalsim's Double Punch even in the Neutral Zone. Sodom's crouching SP/FP will snuff Dhalsim's kicks and trade hits with the Shoulder Punch and Double Punch. Only the Ducking Punch has a low enough profile to avoid most of Sodoms attacks (although his crouching SP sometimes trades hits, this doesn't happen often enough). While the Ducking Punch doesn't have enough range to hit an opponent in Long and Extreme ranges, Sodom is such a large character that, in this matchup, it can. If Sodom tries to poke at the Ducking Punch he definitely _will_ be hit. Tip #2 -- No Man's Land Sodom rules this area. And if he has a Super Combo Meter charge (in any -ism), you'd better not move or you'd find Dhalsim in a combo. Even jumping backward is hazardous. Just crouch-block. Sodom will move soon. The Face Kick and Drill Zutsuki will nail him quite nicely if he tries to jump. Tip #3 -- Close and Point Blank ranges Sodom's crouching SK trades hits with the Short Slide rather easily, but not many players know this. More likely, they'll do a Butsumetsu Buster or Ten Chuu Satsu over the Short Slide. Lay off the Short Slide Irritation when facing Sodom, but the Short Slide -> Yoga Flame works beautifully against throw attempts. As with No Man's Land, Dhalsim is at a terrible disadvantage if Sodom has a Super Combo Meter charge. Dhalsim's best option is to wait and watch Sodom's next move. It's unlikely that he'll try to jump in from these ranges, as the Face Kick will nail any jump, while the Jab of Doom will hit him if he jumps forward. If Sodom pokes, shove in the Short Slide -> Yoga Fire. Try to trade hits instead of blocking then retaliating. Remember that the Butsumetsu Buster can be canceled from his attacks, so if Sodom tries something like crouching FK -> Butsumetsu Buster Dhalsim will definitely get caught if you just blocked the crouching FK then attempted a Short Slide. Tip #4 -- Other Sodom mistakes Sodom can get impatient and attempt to use the Jingoku Scrape as a method of closing the gap. The Jingoku Scrape has horrible recovery time -- make use of it. Sodom's standing FK has can cancel, usually into the Butsumetsu Buster or Jingoku Scrape if it hits. As such, Sodom will occasionally poke with it. However, it's range isn't that great and Dhalsim can easily slide beneath it. Take advantage if Sodom pokes and misses with a Short Slide -> Yoga Flame or a Super Combo. Tip #5 -- V-ism Sodom Until his Super Combo Meter is depleted, do your utmost to keep Sodom at bay. He can VC straight through nearly all of Dhalsim's attacks, and if he's within range of his JP Jigoku Scrape he punish Dhalsim severely. If you absolutely have to go toe-to-toe with V-ism Sodom, then at least try not to get caught by his VCs while in a corner -- Sodom's VCs don't work as well if done mid-screen. If you get caught be his VC mid-screen, it's very likely that you'll be able to block after a few hits. If this happens, Sodom will either attempt to continue the Jigoku Scrapes or he will try a throw (most likely the Butsumetsu Buster). Watch out for this and do a Short Slide -> Yoga Flame. In closing: Some of Sodom's moves give him an edge over Dhalsim. He's hard to poke at and hard to stop in the air. Once he's within range he can unleash a devastating combo. He is, however, a very large character and is quite easily hit. Play with patience and take advatange of his mistakes instead of playing aggressively. * Dhalsim Vs. Vega (Balrog in the Japan) * Threat - low to moderate Common -ism - V (Z if using L-mode) Moves of note - all of Vega's crouching attacks (long-ranged pokes; low priority but fast) - Rolling Crystal Flash (also known as "Rolling Claw"; Vega rolls with his claw; multi-hit) - Scarlet Terror (Vega somersaults forward; anti-air; V-ism only) - Barcelona Attack (Vega jumps off a wall then claws at the opponent's head) - Izna Drop (Vega jumps off a wall, grabs his opponent, then slams him) - Backflip (also known as "Backslash"; Vega... backflips; brief invulnerability) - Kabe Hari Tsuki (also known as "Wall Climb"; Vega scales the walls then dives down with a Izna drop or Barcelona attack; Vega stage only) - Sankaku Tobe (also known as "Wallspring"; Vega bounces off the wall at the height of his jump) - Rolling Izna Drop (Super Combo version if the Izna Drop) - Rolling Barcelona Attack (Super Combo version of the Barcelona Attack) - Scarlet Mirage (Super Combo version of the Scarlet Terror) - Red Impact (Vega stabs his opponent, throws him in the air, then stabs again) Tip #1 -- Forget the projectiles and the anti-air strategy Yoga Fire -> anti-air does not work against Vega, nor does faking him out with the Yoga Flame. His airspeed and steep jump angle render him pretty much immune to such attacks. When fighting Vega, Dhalsim's Special Moves should only be used in combos. Tip #2 -- Stay in Vega's face. Vega can easily be dealt with with Drill Zutsuki/Drill Foot -> Short Slide -> Yoga Flame -> Shoulder Punch pattern. Repeat. Vega can hardly do squat against it. Just make sure you don't accidentally Drill Zutsuki over and behind him (if you do, Vega will just stab you as you pass overhead). If your opponent can manage an anti-air against the Drill Zutsuki (particularly against V-ism Vega), abuse the Short Slide Irritation, something which Vega has to jump out of to escape. Once he jumps, nail him again with the Drill Zutsuki if he jumps backward, a Jab of Doom or Super Combo if he jumps up (or simply block -- the Jab of Doom sometimes trades with Vega's FP, which he'll almost definitely try if he jumps straight up), and the Short Slide Irritation again if he tries to jump behind Dhalsim (the Short Slide usually isn't useful to get behind your opponent, but it works against Vega because of his steep jump angle). Tip #3 -- Watch out for Vega's anti-airs Vega has four consistent anti-air moves: the crouching FP, the Scarlet Mirage, the Scarlet Terror, and meeting the opponent mid-air with a FP/RK. He has other moves that can hit aerial characters, but they're not as effective as these four. The crouching FP is effective only if he's successfully pulled off a trap (see tip #4). If Dhalsim has been cornered Vega's crouching FP is a real threat. Vega can nail Dhalsim early in his jump. The crouching FP, however, is not as useful against a character already on the way down with an attack and is completely useless against opponents already on top of him. Lesson: never let Vega dominate the game -- keep on the offensive. Lesson: when cornered, don't panic and jump. The Scarlet Terror is only available to V-ism Vega. Don't worry about it -- it doesn't inflict that much damage and is notoriously difficult to get the timing of against the Drill Zusuki and Drill Foot. Plus, if you've been forcing him to crouch block often, he can't use it. The Scarlet Mirage is only available to Z-ism Vega. The Scarlet Mirage has a much higher priority than the Scarlet Terror, but inflicts less damage than what you would expect from a Super Combo. If your opponent insists on using these two moves, let him. Just take the damage then get back on his face again. Vega jumping up and meeting the opponent mid-air with a FP works against most characters. Vega's jumping FP can also be used to intercept Dhalsim's Drill Zustsuki, but Vega's entire body must be above Dhalsim in order for the jumping FP to work. For him to be able to attains such a position Vega must be at a distance to begin with. Lesson: keep in Vega's face and the jumping FP won't be a problem. Tip #4 -- Aggression Vega agression relies on his crouching attacks to keep the pressure up. A typical pattern is jumping SP/FP -> crouching SK -> crouching FK -> (pause) -> jump/crouching SP. Attack during the pause, and the crouching SP will get you. Whenever you try to jump, they'll nail you with a crouching FP. Block too long and your guard will crash or they'll try a Rolling Crystal Flash or a Super Combo, moves which Dhalsim can't defend effectively against. The simplest (but not the safest) way to get out of this trap is to trade hits while Vega's on the ground. Wait for the opponent to come into Close range, then do the Short Slide -> Yoga Flame or Short Slide Irritation. Another way is to jump back then do a Drill Foot, but this doesn't work well as Vega can nail Dhalsim on his way up. You can always try to use the Zero Counter to get out of Vega's trap. Watch out though -- if he can trap you once, he will certainly try to do it again, so try to turn the fight into your favor immediately. Another common Vega pattern is jump-in FP -> jump-up FP. Vega players do consecutive jumping attacks in the hopes that they'll catch their opponent crouch-blocking or blocking in the wrong direction (Vega's airspeed and long reach justify this). Prevent repeated jumps with Dhalsim's Jab of Doom, Super Combo, or just block the damned thing then go on the offensive. Also, Dhalsim will be placed in this kind of situation only if you haven't been playing agressively enough. Lesson: keep in Vega's face. Tip #5 -- Remembering the Yoga Fire In tip #1, I said "forget the Yoga Fire". Well, once you've got Vega cowering at Extreme and Long range (only possible if you've shown Dhalsim's aerial superiority, or if he's turtling) you can throw a Yoga Fire at him, quickly followed by a Drill Zutsuki. Tip #6 -- Watch out for the Vega's aerial attacks Due to Dhalsim's slow speed, Vega will definitely try the Izna Drop and the Barcelona Attack (and their Super Combo equivalents). Knock sense into him with the Jab of Doom, or jump back into a Drill Zutsuki. Take note that good Vega players can actually aim the Izna Drop and Barcelona Attack in such a way that it hits Dhalsim's back (sort of like a cross-up), outside of the area of the Jab of Doom. If this is the case, just do a Teleport. Vega's isn't _that_ manueverable, simply doing a Teleport across the screen will ruin his attack. Next time, don't give him the opportunity to charge down and use those two moves. Play aggresively and keep in his face. Tip #7 -- Vega tumbling Once you've nailed Vega with a couple of Drill Zutsukis Vega will try to Backflip away. Short Slide -> Yoga Flame or Short Slide Irritation will dash his hopes of trying this tactic again. Tip #8 -- L-mode Vega In the arcades, L-mode Vega can be recognized by his very short Guard Meter. This version of Vega can't combo much, but his Izna Drop, Rolling Izna Drop, and Red Impact inflict _massive_ damage. The Red Impact can kill outright (the fastest I've seen is 98 in the clock). Of these moves, the Red Impact is the most problematic to Dhalsim, as Dhalsim can easily avoid the (Rolling) Izna Drop or hit it with the Jab of Doom. Faced against L-mode, use the FK/RK Drill Foot to wear away his Guard Meter or a Super Combo to knock his claw off (no claw = no Red Impact; put on the pressure then). Vega will certainly attempt the Red Impact right after blocking the Drill Foot, but because the Red Impact has a start-up time, Dhalsim will be able to block it. If you find yourself losing to L-mode Vega, don't lose your cool. Take a step back from the machine, count to ten, and walk away. Challenging such a player agains simply gives him satisfaction. Tip #9 -- V-ism Vega In my opinion, V-ism Vega is his most powerful -ism. He has the easiest VC of all the characters. He has two: repeated slides and repeated Rolling Crystal Flash. These tactics are used whether or not Dhalsim is blocking -- they're that effective. The repeated slides is most often used mid-screen to push Dhalsim into a corner and to induce Guard Crash. For X-ism/Classic Dhalsim, this tactic shouldn't be a problem. You can let Vega slide to his heart's content. For Z/V-ism Dhalsim, however, there exists a distinct possibility of being Guard Crashed. That being said, try this: when Vega starts sliding, use the Short Slide to knock Vega out of the VC. There are _very_ few players who can do the repeated slides consistently enough to avoid a Short Slide. The repeated Rolling Crystal Flash is very nasty. Blocked or not, this tactic inflicts considerable damage. Hit or not, you can do one of three things: a) wait it out, but taking damage, b) try a Short Slide or crouching jab to knock Vega out of the VC, c) Zero counter. Attempting to intercept the repeated slides with a Short Slide only works consistently if Dhalsim isn't already in a corner -- if he is, try it anyway. In closing: Vega may look like a difficult match for Dhalsim. However, his low priority and inability to deal with aggessive players is a great disadvantage. Keep up the pressure and Vega will fold. * Dhalsim Vs. Zangief * Threat - Low to high (this is a match that largely depends on your opponent's skill level -- even expert Zangief players can find Dhalsim unapproachable, but moderate ones with experience fighting Dhalsim will give you a very hard time) Common -ism - Any (but V and Classic-ism are Zangief's best when facing Dhalsim) Moves of note - crouching JP (very fast; long-ranged; can poke, and is usually part of Zangief's ticking and mindgames) - crouching SP (good anti-air at medium range; can poke at Dhalsim's limbs) - fierce/crouching FP (long-ranged punches; incredible damage; very low priority) - crouching/standing SK (not powerful, but used often in ticks) - standing FK (fast kick with good range, priority and recovery) - Russian Kick (Zangief stretches out his foot; very long range; slow; low priority; causes knockdown) - Body Splash (Zangief jumps and spreads his arms wide; very powerful all-around move) - Double Knee Press (Zangief jumps up and lands knee first; not that damaging but very high priority) - Spinning Clothesline (Zangief spins in with arms flailing; very damaging and hits up to three times; mostly used as anti-air and anti-fireball; invulnerable torso) - Fast Spinning Clothesline (faster version of the above move; harder to use as anti-fireball; the first few frames of animation hits lower than the Spinning Clothesline) - Spinning Piledriver/Siberian Suplex/Siberian Bear Crusher/Final Atomic Buster (Zangief's various throws; after reading this guide you shouldn't need to tell the difference between them -- just avoid them altogether) - Banishing Punch (a green glowing backfist; tons of uses) - Aerial Russian Slam (Zangief jumps up and slams an aerial opponent; not that accurate, but watch out if you're cornered) Remember: there are no beginners that use Zangief, and a Zangief player that challenges Dhalsim genuinely believes he can beat you. Tip #1 -- Keep Zangief away; Extreme and Long range tactics At Extreme and Long range, throw Zangief a JP Yoga Fire. If he uses the Banishing Punch, hit him with a Shoulder Punch, Face Kick, or Double Punch. Don't hesitate, or Zangief will treat your attack like a poke (discussed below). If he was dumb enough to use the Spinning Clothesline, nail him with the Double Punch. If Zangief jumps over the Yoga Fire, try to hit him in the air with the Face Kick. Don't expect this to work well, though. Zangief can simply Body Splash/Double Knee Press Dhalsim's leg. If your opponent isn't vulnerable to the Face Kick you have two options. First, you can try the VLRK. The VLRK is very slow and has a rather steep angle. While these two attributes usually make it less than useful, it can hit Zangief in such a way that Dhalsim's leg isn't in the path of Zangief's knee. The VLRK also has higher priority than the Face Kick, which means that the likelihood of Dhalsim leg being snuffed is less. The second option is to use the Neutral Zone tactic -- hit Zangief when he's almost on the ground. Remember: timing is critical if you use the Neutral Zone tactic. Do the Double Punch too early and Dhalsim's limbs will be hit by Zangief's knees. Do the Double Punch too late and Zangief will treat it like a poke. Tip #1.1 -- Poking at Zangief It's possible to poke at Zangief, but this can be problematic. All of Dhalsim's kicks have low priority and are bait to Zangief's crouching punches. Dhalsim's punches have higher priority and are hard to poke back at, but Zangief will likely jump over them (followed by a Double Knee Press), block them (Classic-ism Zangief), Banishing Punch or kick them (fast reacting and confident players), or Fast Spinning Clothesline through them (this move can even hit the Shoulder Punch and Double Punch). Tip #2 -- No Man's Land Most often, Zangief will reach this range by jumping into it (usually with a knee so that you can't stop him). Zangief will certainly not stay within range for long. He will either come closer by jumping again (sometimes immediately upon landing, sometimes with a pause to see what you're going to do) or try a Fast Spinning Clothesline (in the hopes that Dhalsim will try to poke). Anticipate Zangief's next jump, and nail him as soon as he leaves the ground with a Face Kick or VLRK. To regain some distance, jump back. If Zangief jumps after you, do _not_ do a Drill Zutsuki. Only X/Classic-ism Zangief is vulnerable to such a move, and he will almost certainly try a Body Spash or FP. These two moves have comparable priority to the Drill Zutsuki, but Zangief inflicts much more damage. Z/V-ism Zangief will try to a) jump after Dhalsim with the Body Splash or FP/RK, b) jump and air-block, c) walk forward. If Z/V-ism Zangief jumps after you, check how far up he is. If Zangief's altitude is lower that Dhalsim's (possible if you wait a bit -- Dhalsim spends a lot of time in the air and will probably be still in the air when Zangief is already on the way down, or if you manage to react fast enough to Zangief's jump), then do a Pokedown. Zangief's aerial attacks are generally pointed downward. If you attack while Dhalsim is higher than Zangief then Zangief's attacks won't hit Dhalsim. If Zangief does not jump but instead walks forward, do a Pokedown. Aim for the very top of Zangief's head (so that you won't be caught by the Spinning Clothesline). Remember: do not be tempted to do the Drill Zutsuki against Zangief under any situation. If Zangief manages to block it, he can respond with his many throws, his Spinning Clothesline or a VC. Lesson: attack Zangief mid-air only when your altitude is higher. Do not throw Zangief a Yoga Fire or Yoga Flame. The Banishing Punch is a potent weapon at this range. It will snuff both the Yoga Fire and Yoga Flame and can even hit Dhalsim mid-breath. Confident Zangief players will also try the Banishing punch at this range simply to get closer, whether or not a fireball is headed his way. Once Zangief comes into Yoga Flame range you can try it out. While the Banishing Punch certainly beats it, not many Zangief players will try it. If they block, fine. Quickly follow-up with a poke. If they try to jump over it, even better. No way can Zangief jump over it. He either air-blocks or takes it. The greatest danger when using the Yoga Flame (aside from the Banishing Punch) is if you mis-range and the Yoga Flame misses completely. If the Yoga Flame misses, Dhalsim is meat. As with Extreme and Long ranges, poking at Zangief at No Man's Land poses problems (see tip #1.1), but not impossible. You can poke Zangief with the Ground Kick, Shoulder Punch, Double Punch, or Face Kick, or even the Ducking Punch. The Shoulder Punch is quick and can catch Zangief even if he tries to jump. This move, however, is vulnerable to the Spinning Clothesline. The Face Kick is also fast and more likely to catch Zangief if he tries to jump, but Zangief can duck under it and deliver a punch up Dhalsim's groin. The Ground Kick is fast and not as vulnerable to retaliation as the two other moves, but it has very low hit area and can entice Zangief to jump (that being said, you can convince Zangief to jump into a Super Combo -- poke at him with the Ground Kick then Super Combo him if he jumps). The Double Punch is vulnerable only to the Fast Spinning Clothesline, but because of its low speed and low altitude, Zangief can easily jump over it. Likewise the FP version of the Ducking Punch is too slow too be effective -- stick with the JP/SP version. Lesson: be unpredictable. Mix up these poking moves. Tip #3 -- Watch that Banishing Punch; Close and Point Blank ranges. The Banishing Punch has three overlapping uses. First, it can be used to catch your projectiles. Second, it's a good setup for the Siberian Suplex, the Spinning Piledriver, and the Final Atomic Buster. Finally, it can be used to catch aerial opponents, particularly slow ones (like Dhalsim). In order to avoid having having Zangief's green hand in Dhalsim's face I suggest using the Yoga Fire only at Extreme and Long range or if he's forced to block it, such as when used in a combo. The Banishing Punch second use is more insidious. If Zangief tries to do a Banishing Punch near you, whether or not it hits, expect a throw afterwards. If you blocked the Banishing Punch, you have these options: First, you can do a Short Slide -> Yoga Flame. Remember: unless within a Variable Combo, Zangief's throws cannot combo. You can attack right after the Banishing Punch. It all boils down on how fast you are. Second, you can use the Yoga Teleport. Nothing is as classy as seeing Zangief miss a level 3 Final Atomic Buster as Dhalsim teleports away. Again, this boils down on how fast you are. You can try a Super Combo right after blocking, but only the Yoga Tempest is truly fast enough -- the other Super Combos have a start-up time and Dhalsim can still be caught by Zangief's throws. Finally, Dhalsim can jump away. There are dangers to this, the most painful being the Aerial Russian Slam or a VC. If you do jump, then jump forward into a Drill Zutsuki (and try to get as far behind Zangief as possible). Jumping backward only places you right into range for the Aerial Russian Slam, Banishing Punch, or an aerial attack. Jumping straight up lessens the chances of the Aerial Russian Slam connecting (it's rather hard to aim properly) but places you within the Spinning Clothesline. If you do jump straight up, do _not_ do a Pokedown. While it's certainly tempting, Zangief will be able to recover fast enough from the Pokedown (whether it hits or not) and make Dhalsim pay. Missed Banishing Punches come in two flavors, both of which are _intentional_ misses. The first is when Zangief does the Banishing Punch from too far away. Do a fast attack or jump. You have to be much quicker as there is no blocking animation to give you time to think. The second is when Zangief does the Banishing Punch against a opponent that's just getting up from being knocked to the ground. Jumping won't do any good -- you're in range for practically anything Zangief can do. Try a wake-up Super Combo (although, as I've said, only the Yoga Tempest is fast enough), or throw Zangief instead. Remember: if you're thinking of attacking right after the Banishing Punch (missed or not), keep in mind Zangief's Super Combo Meter charge. While the Final Atomic Buster certainly won't combo, it can grab Dhalsim even mid-slide. It may be better just to jump back. Once he's lost his charge, attacking right after the Banishing Punch becomes much more viable. Personal Note: strangely, some Zangief players don't try to get to Close range range. They stay just outside Close range and try to hit Dhalsim's limbs instead of throwing him around. Hmm... Zangief will come into this range by three methods. First is by jumping in with a Body Splash. Second is to jump in with a Double Knee Press. The third is to use the Banishing Punch. The fourth is to creep in crouching JP. The first three will most likely happen right after jumping over a Yoga Fire (so don't over-use this move once Zangief is in No Man's Land). The fourth will happen if you get predictable with your pokes -- the crouching JP will stop a lot of Dhalsim's pokes, particularly his kicks. The Body Splash and Double Knee Press can be stopped by the Jab of Doom, but you have to hit Zangief as early as possible. The moment you see the move, JP away. Naturally, Zangief can also be stopped with a Super Combo. If you block the Body Splash or Double Knee Press, you can throw Zangief once he lands or do an immediate Short Slide -> Yoga Flame. The Splash and Knee often hit early in the air, giving time for Dhalsim to recover and attack even before Zangief lands. Tip #5.1 -- The Snuffle I have a tactic with Zangief that I call "Snuffle". I jump at my opponent with a Body Splash then _immediately_ do another Body Splash. The Snuffle can be very confusing, as most players find themselves crouching and crossed-up or their Guard Meter depleted. The most important thing to remember is: don't panic. I see a lot of players panic once the Snuffle starts. Have faith in the Jab of Doom's ability to stop the Body Splash. If Zangief is creeping into Close range by doing crouching JP, toast him with a Yoga Flame. Because the crouching JP is fast, Zangief will likely be able to block the Yoga Flame, but at least he's now pushed back. Tip #4 -- Classic-ism Zangief considerations; the Zangief Turtle This, I believe, is Zangief's strongest -ism against Dhalsim. Dhalsim's pokes simply won't work well, as patient Classic-ism Zangief players will simply block the pokes, then try to hit Dhalsim's limbs if he does the wrong move (such as a misplaced Face Kick). Be ready for a turtling style of play. Zangief turtle can also be seen with V-ism (right after using his Super Combo Meter charge). Create as much distance as you can (which is pretty easy once Zangief turns into a turtle), then pelt Zangief with Yoga Fire -> Double Punch. Tip #5 -- V-ism Zangief Zangief's main VC is a Fast Clothesline -> repeated Banishing Punch -> Piledriver. What this means is that any situation that you can be hit by a Clothesline is automatically VC bait. Situations where you can get caught by the Banishing Punch while you're in the air are equally disastrous. Read the above tips and highlight any situation involving being hit with the Clothesline or Banishing Punch. Avoid them as much as possible. During a VC, Zangief's throws take a whole new dimension -- they can now combo. Add this to the invulnerability VC's confer and you've got a major problem if you let Zangief get into range of his Banishing Punch. Here are some situations: You do an anti-air... Zangief uses the VC to go through it then bash Dhalsim. You poke... he VCs, then Banishing Punches into Dhalsim bashing range. When faced with V-ism Zangief with a Super Combo Meter charge, do your best to keep him out of No Man's Land. Either keep him as far out as possible, or lure him into Close/Point Blank range then teleport the hell out of there. Luckily, once V-ism Zangief loses his Super Combo Meter charge, he's less of a threat than in his other -isms. He has two options. He can either play like in the other -isms (which he'll only do if he's confident of beating you anyway) or he'll back off and do his best to recharge (usually with a Fast Clothesline, as this is harder to poke at). If he backs off, wait until he's about to finish a Clothesline before nailing him with a Double Punch. In closing: Try to keep Zangief as far away as possible, at a distance where you can use the Yoga Fire safely. Barring that, once Zangief uses a move to get into Close range (such as with Body Splash or Banishing Punch), retaliate right after that move, since there's a gap between that attack and a throw. Jumping away is also possible, but only if he can't come after Dhalsim with a Super Combo or VC. =================== Other Dhalsim Stuff =================== *** Dhalsim SFZ3 Storyline *** These were taken from the American version (SF Alpha 3 instead of SF Zero 3), so the guy with with the cape is Bison (instead of Vega) and his organization is Shadoloo (instead of Shadowlaw). Introduction text: The yoga master, Dhalsim, fights for his family and for the poor. The increasingly evil energy forces him to decide.... That one day he will renounce the root of his power. Fifth battle (Vs Rose), pre-fight: Dhalsim : Wait, young lady. You shouldn't live your life so carelessly. Rose : You assumed that I was thinking of dying? Is it because I looked sad? Hm...hm...hm.... Dhalsim : No, it's not your face. In your mind, you're ready to die.... Rose : !! Who are you?! How could you read my mind?! Don't try to stand in my way! No one can stop this fight! post-fight: Dhalsim : Hmm.... So he is called M.Bison.... I can feel an evil omen.... Rose : You can read others' minds, so you must know how evil he is. I have to defeat him. I must defeat him.... Dhalsim : You cannot win if you give up the will to live.... Do not be impatient. Wait for the right time. Ninth battle (Vs Birdie), pre-fight: Dhalsim : Birdie, I would like to ask you a question.... Where is Shadaloo's hideout? Birdie : Ha! Are you out of your mind?! Why should I tell ya? Ya know.... If you play with me, I might consider telling you.... But now I got this urge to make a pretzel! Ha! Ha! Ha! post-fight: Birdie : Blast it!! I lost!! OK.... I promised I'd tell you.... Dhalsim : So, the hideout is in Thailand. I read your mind.... Birdie : ?! What the heck?! Why didn't you read it in the first place?! Tenth battle (Vs. Juni/Juli), pre-fight: Bison : You have an excellent body.... You'll make a fine guinea pig for the Psycho Power.... Dhalsim : So you're M.Bison.... What malevolent energy! So you're the one that is giving out evil energy! Bison : You've taken the bait! I tricked you into increasing my powers! The other maggots of justice did not help me in the way you have! Seize him! Final battle (vs. Shin M. Bison), pre-fight: Bison : You didn't kneel before me! I'll make you sorry! My patience runs short. I urge you to obey my will inmediately. It's such a pity that your power shall not be seen again. post fight: (Bison dizzy) Bison : Ugh.... So it seems you have the ability to read minds.... (Bison grinning) Bison : But...no matter...the nightmare has already begun! I alone control power of the "Psycho Drive"! Fools.... You'll all be sorry! Remember the name of M.Bison when you are full of fear and hatred! (Bison blows up) Bison : Gwaaaaaaa!!! Dhalsim : That's strange.... The evil energy didn't disappear.... (Dhalsim teleports) Dhalsim: YOGA!! (Shadoloo Base; Dhalsim standing in Psycho Drive room) Dhalsim : The energy coming from this machine has the same feel to it. I must destroy it!! (Dhalsim teleports in the machine and goes into his lotus position) Dhalsim : YOOOGAAA.... (The big Buddha [?] statue gets up) Dhalsim : YOOOGAAA.... (Statue powers up) Dhalsim : YOGA!!! (Statue shuts down with a bang; Charlie flies by in his Harrier.) Charlie : An explosion coming from the direction of Shadaloo's base.... What happened...? (Chun Li wearing jacket and headphone.) Chun Li : By the info on the radar.... Psycho Power and a large amount of unknown energy is increasing.... I can't detect M.Bison's vital signs, but there is another.... (Dhalsim standing in the Psycho Drive room, which begins to blow up) Dhalsim : Yes...that will do. As long as the evil sources are completly destroyed.... I can return to my village. (Dhalsim teleports away) Thanks to the mysterious Yoga power of Dhalsim.... The threat caused by the Psycho Drive was terminated. However, there was no record of his involvement.... *** Dhalsim's hepatic colors *** Dhalsim would make a great case study in class. Look at the skin manifestations... Anyway, Dhalsim has a two-tone color scheme. The color of his skin and clothing (pants, anklets, bracelets, head paint) can be controlled by the button used when selecting which "-ism" to use. Square/Start button (PSX), or X-ism Punch button (arcades) - yellow-orange skin, blue clothes Cross button, or X-ism Kick button - yellow-orange skin, green clothes Triangle button, or Z-ism Punch button - brown (normal-looking) skin, yellow clothes Circle button, or Z-ism Kick button - brown skin, purple-gray clothes R1 button, or V-ism Punch button - gray skin, orange-gray clothes R2 button, or V-ism kick button - gray skin, red-gray clothes In the PSX, when there are two players involved (such as in a Challenge or in Dramatic mode), if the second player chooses the same color scheme as the first player, the second player is instead given the color scheme that closely matches the skin color. For example, if both the first and the second player press the Triangle, the first player would be given the brown skin/ blue clothes while the second player gets brown skin/purple-grey clothes. In the arcades, The color scheme used is determined by which -ism chosen and which button used to choose. So chose to play X-ism use a punch button then you'd get yellow-orange/blue. If there's a Challenger (or in Dramatic battle or Survival), and the second Dhalsim picks the same -ism, he'll get the left over color scheme of that -ism, regardless of what button used. For example, if the first player were using the Z-ism punch button color scheme, then the second player (if he chooses also to play Z-ism) automatically gets the kick button color scheme. *** Dhalsim's wife *** In the PSX, Dhalsim's wife Sari can be made to appear in the background by holding JP+RK prior to a round start. Sari, however, will not appear in matches where there are any pre/post-fight text. BtW, her clothes (and to a certain extent, her skin) will match Dhalsim's color scheme. *** Win Symbols *** After winning a round, these big symbols appear under the lifebar. "V" - this is a white letter "V" over a red background - you won the round (finished off your opponent) with a Regular Move or a throw "S" - letter "S" over an yellow-orange background - you won with a Special Move or Taunt lightning "S" - a lightning bolt in the shape of an "S" over a blue background - you won with a Super Combo or VC "T" - letter "T" over a purple background - the time round out and you had more Life Bar than your opponent These small symbols may appear to the right of the lightning bolt "S". "X" - you won with a X-ism Super Combo. "*" - you finished your opponent off with a Super Combo - one "*" for every level of Super Combo (eg. two "*" for a level 2 Super Combo). "V" - you won with a VC These small symbols may appear to the left of the big symbol. "P" - a red letter "P" signifying a perfect victory "C" - a yellow "C" for "Cheezy" -- you won the round round by hitting your opponent with a move that inflicts damage even when blocked (excluding throws). *** Win Poses *** Dhalsim has several win poses after winning a round. You can select which pose he will do by holding the appropriate right as soon as the round ends (otherwise, it's random). Jab Punch - Dhalsim floats in the air in the lotus position, but his hands are pressed as if in prayer. He says "Yoga, yoga, yoga..." (I think) Strong Punch - While standing, Dhalsim rotates his behind and above him. He ends up in a prayer pose with his head bowed. He say "Yooooga !" Fierce Punch - Dhalsim does a classic lotus position while in the air. He says "Yoga, yoga, yoga..." Short Kick - Same as JP, but he says ??? (can't make it out, some sources say it's "Samadhi...") Forward Kick/Roundhouse Kick - Sames as Strong Punch, but he says "Samadhi..." (maybe) *** Win Quotes *** In the arcades, or in the PSX with shortcut off, Dhalsim will have quotes between matches (provided he wins, of course). The last four quotes are in the PSX version only and not the arcades. BTW, Dhalsim has a potrait of him doing a Drill Zutsuki between matches. A friend, no matter how weak or poor... is worth dying for. Meditate now... Then the answers you seek will be revealed. Shed your ego and become a part of what is around you. Awaken! To prove your bravery is to protect those who are innocent. My family... My friends... I will fight for their souls. Peace and tranquility... This is the way of Yoga! The mind can often be a more formidable weapon than the body! Victory is to control yourself as well as control the opponent. ========== Miscellany ========== *** Revision History *** Revision 1 -- February, 2000. Finished the Dhalsim guide a month behind personal schedule. Planning on Zangief and Honda guide, but it's unlikely that either will be as long as this guide. Revision 0 -- November, 1999. Started Dhalsim guide while working on Rose Guide. *** Glossary of terms *** In order to help newcomer SFZ3 'Net surfers, I've come up with this glossary because, personally, it took me a while before I got the hang of the jargon being used in the 'Net. "IMHO" -- In My Humble Opinion "mash" -- to press the buttons as fast as possible; a "masher", on the other hand, is a player who presses buttons without rhyme or reason "top-down move" -- Generally, while Rose is on the ground she can block an opponent's attack by pushing the stick down-back (called "crouch-block"). Some characters, however, have moves that cannot be crouch-blocked, but can be blocked by pushing the stick back (Rose is therefore standing as she blocks). I call these moves "top-down" moves, since this is what these moves look like. An example of a top-down is Ryu's Sakotsu Wari, where he takes a step forward then punches downward. "Shotos" -- Abbreviation for "Shotokan-type", referring to Akuma, Ryu, Ken, and to a lesser extent, Dan, Sakura, and Sagat. Generally, these are characters with some form of fireball and good anti-air moves. Shotokan is the school/style of Karate than is _supposedly_ practiced by these characters. I prefer to call the shotos "ARK" (for "A"kuma, "R"yu, "K"en) "scrub" -- Sometimes synonynous with "beginner", being called a scrub is an insult, generally meaning "without skill" or "refuses to learn". I don't use this term. "cheap" -- Irritating fighting techniques. The definition cheap is subject to much debate. "Turtling" and throws, for example, piss a lot of people off. My advice is this -- never complain and do unto others what they do unto you (or do it first, depending on how you view things) "trade hits" -- being hit while attacking "snuffed" -- An attack that was stopped completely by another attack. For example, the Dragon Punch will snuff/stop a lot of attacks. Being snuffed is associated with the priority of the attack, as well as the timing. "Snuffing" an opponent, therefore, is synonymous to "winning the trade". "whiff" -- An attack that missed, on purpose or otherwise. "turtle" -- A player who is continually on the defensive, often jumping back and simply blocking. "tick" -- weak attack -> throw *** Personal Fluff *** If you're curious and don't mind my vanity, read on. Otherwise, skip to the last section (copyright notices). Hi. My name's Mondu_the_fat and I've been playing Street Fighter since SF2: World Warrior. I play regularly locally, as well as making trips four or five times anually to Japan (Tokyo only), Hongkong (everywhere), Vancouver, San Fransciso, LA, and New York to test my skills against players around the world. Do I have a life ? Yep. I'm about to graduate from Medicine at the Pontifical University of ?!?! (heh, there's only one school that describes itself as "pontifical") and am currently aiming for a Pediatric Residency. My favorite characters: Rose, Zangief, Dhalsim, Honda (it's nice to see the last three made a recovery in SFZ3). I detest Akuma and make it my mission to squash any Akuma player I see (which, unfortunately, I can only do in SFZ3). My favorite fighting games are SFZ3, SFEX+alpha, and SSF2: NC. I don't play much of the Marvel games (I only play to humor my friends). I never touched the first two SF3 games, but I do spend money on SF3:3 in the arcades. I play Tekken and Virtua Fighter only in the PSX and Sega and not in the arcades. I'll play KOF as soon as a fast version comes out in the PSX. Finally, I wouldn't touch a Midway game even if my life depended on it (for fear of being laughed at to death). I was an avid programmer in the 80x86 platform and tinkered around with 8- and 16- bit machines (such as the SNES) prior to studying Med, but I haven't fooled around with an IBM-type computer for nearly six years (we use a typewriter in the hospital -- for heaven's sake, my own computer still runs on DOS !). I program in C++, Turbo Pascal, and 80x86 Assembly. I have no idea how Visual Basic works, as well as any programming language specific to Windows. My other hobbies include MTG, In Nomine, 3D animation, and med missions. I am currently in the process of writing three books (whose topics have, strangely enough, nothing to do with any of my hobbies -- I hope to get them published before internship). Comments, questions, and criticisms (constructive or otherwise), can be e-mailed to: email@example.com If anyone does send criticism of the type that falls under "otherwise" please do try to be polite. Greetings and thanks to: - Team Irreg... We're clerks this year ! And Good luck to those taking the revalida ! - Interns and Residents... Ok, so I was supposed to be a clerk three years ago. So sue me. - the people of alt.games.sf2... the place to go if you love CAPCOM fighting games (having skin thicker than shoe leather and/or a masochistic streak required) - SM WOF regulars... Nick, Jay, Carl, Mike and the rest, who all play SNK games, so will probably never read this document. - gamefaqs.com... without whom I wouldn't have my fifteen minutes worth of fame - YOU ! Give yourself a pat on the back for wallowing through this 300+K file... Also, receiving positive feedback is always appreciated -- thanks to those who supported my previous guide (the SFZ3 Rose Player's Guide) ! And to those who sent flames... Thanks, too (to those whose gave helpful info, anyway) ! Coming next... SFZ3 Honda Player's Guide ! Now my rant: Please play a character other than Akuma. I'm really tired of seeing him and all those pompous idiots who think they're so cool if they win with him (particularly in SFIII, SSF2T, and SFZ1). *** Copyright Notice *** Nasty bit of legality that seems to be required in the 'Net: Street Fighter and all things related to it are owned by Capcom. This document, however, is still mine. Anyone may distribute it freely in any form as long as the content is unedited and no profit be made. Similarities to this text to other like it are purely unintentional (or I _think_ are Public Domain), and no infringement to ownership is challenged by me. If anyone out there feels that I plagiarized some other work, leave me mail and I'll give credit where credit is due.