Counter-Hit FAQ by JScott

Version: 1.0 | Updated: 03/04/96 | Printable Version | |

From: (Jefferson T. Scott)
Subject: [TK2] Counter FAQ 1.0
Date: Mon, 04 Mar 1996 15:12:35 -0500

Here it is, y'all... the counter FAQ that I published in part a while
back.  I had intended to make it a part of a Jack-2/P.Jack/Kuma FAQ, but
it kind of evolved onto something all its own.

Any archive/WWW maintainers: feelfree to include this on your
pages if you deem it worthwhile.
Thanks to and Andy Eddy for making it available
at their sites.

                        The Counter-Hit FAQ v1.0
                        Exclusively for Tekken 2
                       by Jefferson T. Scott (JTS)
   A. The Hits
      1. Blocked Hit
      2. Active Blocked Hit
      3. Basic Hit
      4. Counter Hit
      5. The phantom "Minor Counter Hit" 
   C. The "Floating vs. Grounded" Explanation
   D. "Exceptions"
      1. "Why didn't I get a Flash?"
      2. "Why did I get a Flash for that?"
   E. Conclusions
   F. Credits


The counterhit system in Tekken 2 is a very widely debated matter.  Now, 
since I'm no Bill Gates, I don't plan on declaring anything I write as a 
"standard," but I think I have a good way of looking at it.
        Through countless hours of play and observation (I have the good 
fortune to work in an arcade) I have come to the conclusion that hit 
detection can provide 4 results.  I have described all of these below, 
and have also included a section on the phantom "Minor Counter" that some 
people swear by, but which I say does not exist.  I explain why later, 
but for now, on with it...

        1) Blocked hit
                Yeah, this is fairly obvious, but for completeness it 
needs to be in here.  This includes any contact between fighters that 
results in the "grey flash."
        2) Active Blocked hit
                This covers all of the "counters" that some characters 
have, namely Wang, Nina, Paul, Anna, and Jun.  Any incoming "high" attack 
that strikes during the brief "active block" or "counter" window is 
counted as an active block, and the appropriate throw/counter is executed 
by the blocking character.  The active block window is very small, and 
leaves a short stun time afterwards during which the character is unguarded.
        3) Basic hit
                This includes any hit which produces the "red flash" with 
none of the other bells or whistles.  Any high or low stirke that 
connects with the character while he is just standing there or moving 
counts as a Basic Hit.  This is the base damage level for attacks.
        4) Counter hit
                A Counter Hit is any attack (other than an unblockable) which 
results in an "energy flash" accopanying the "red flash" of a hit.  This 
occurs when one of your attacks connects with the opponents' frame while 
he too is attacking.  One annoying example from personal experience 
would be Kazuya crouchdash uppercutting one of Yoshi's kicks.  After 
any basic or special character move (or throw attempt) there is also a 
very small period of time in which a connecting attack will register as a 
counter hit.
                Counter hits typically do about 50% bonus damage above 
the basic hit damage.  Sometimes, you will counterhit someone out of 
their unblockable.  These seem not to be any special case, except that 
the normal move damage yield in this event is double that of a Basic 
                Some moves "stun on counterhit," that is, when they 
connect as a counter, a slight stun is recieved, preventing blocking for 
the other character and sometimes allowing different moves by the 
attacker.  Examples are King's Stomach Smash (f,f, N, 2) and Paul's 
Hammer (d+1).  Yeah, I know this is really called a "stone splitter" or 
such, but this is my faq, eh?

        5) The phantom "Minor Counter Hit"
                This is something that has come up quite a bit on 
r.g.v.a, and I've done some testing.  The problem with the "Minor 
Counter" is not in the counter system at all: it doesn't differentiate 
between "major" and "minor" counters.
                The confusion arises from a bit of program logic which I 
find fascinating.  Apparently, when a character has a foot stuck out for 
a high or mid kick, the computer treats them as being "in the air" as far 
as hit detection is concerned.  This happens for many, but not all, high 
kicks.  If the kick being executed is one of these, different results are 
obtained when counter hitting them.

   B. EXAMPLE:  Paul's Hammer (d+1)
                This little beauty is highly useful.  We've all seen it.  
Now, when it enters the hit detection algorithm, these are the possible 
        -Blocked: defender was blocking high. RESULTS: nil.
        -Active Blocked: countered, by Jun or such. RESULTS: Begin "Smash 
Punch" counter.
        -Basic Hit: defender was blocking low, or WALKING forward.  RESULTS: 
NO STUN! Followup powerpunch can always be blocked.
        -Counter Hit: defender was executing (or drawing back from) an 
attack, leaping, dashing/running, or crouch-dashing. 
                Now, the results from this final category are what is in 
question.  Sometimes you get no green flash and the person is stuck in a 
stunned crouch.  Sometimes you get a green flash and the defender is 
clobbered to the ground, bouncing, and you get an urge to yell, "Who's the 
Daddy?!?! Who's the Daddy?!?!"  What's the difference?
                They are both counterhits.  The difference is the move 
they are countering.  If the move they counterhit is an "airborne-style" 
(floating) kick or a leap, then the "float counter" result resolves.  
Now, in this case the "float" is a crashing groundward smash, but the 
terminology must be constant.  Otherwise, the "ground counter" effect 
occurs, knocking them into a short stun wherein you are free to shove 
your right fist halfway down the opponent's throat. The fact that no 
green "counter flash" occurs here is due to the 'followup effect', which 
is explained in section D.1.


   C. The "Floating vs. Grounded" Explanation
                The "ground" is the phantom "Minor Counter."  The "ground" 
counter effect is usually less visually impressive than the "float" 
effect, but is almost always more useful in terms of followup damage and 
positional advantage (Heihachi excluded: juggling clown).
                The two effects differ only visually, as far as I can 
tell: the damage remains the same.
                If you take issue with this analysis, please email me 
with your complaints and counterarguments (no pun intended).  For now, 
though, I will leave you with a few points to think about:
        -The Mishima's uppercuts float more and higher when they 
counterhit an "off-balance," "airborne-style," or "floating" kick, as 
opposed to hitting a crouching (Basic) or punching (Counter) opponent.
        -Some kicks (like Paul's standing LK, I believe, the one that sweeps 
into the side of the head) just flash when they outrange an opponent's 
puch for a counterhit, but they send the opponent flying if they hit out 
of the air or an "off balance/floating" kick (like Nina's awkward standing 
                I think all this info points towards the "floating vs. 
grounded response" argument for the behavior of counterhits.  There is 
_no_ such thing as a "minor counter." 

Admittedly, there are some times when Tekken is just a little bit 
freaky.  But then again, who isn't?  I think most of these circumstances 
can be handled by looking at the surrounding circumstances, and thinking 
like a CPU.
      1. "Why didn't I get a Flash for that?"
        Sometimes, you just don't get a "funky flash" of whatever color 
your character uses, when you pull off what seems to be a counter.  There 
is a reason for this.
        Whenever this happens, there is _always_ (in my experience, that 
is) another move that can automatically hit because of that counter-hit.  
For example, Nina's falling leg Trip (d/b+3).  This can sometimes hit as a 
Float or Ground counter.  If the opponent is high enough in the air on the 
Float, or was execuing a crouching move when counterhit, then the Rising 
Foot followup will automatically hit (this is done by hitting 4 during 
the fall).
        You won't get a "flash" for the low falling kick, but you _will_ 
get one for the rising kick followup.
        In general, it can be said that any move with preprogrammed 
followups will only get a "counter flash" on the final hit.  Another good 
example of this is Baek's triple jump kick: you can only connect on the 
final hit if the first one is a counterhit.  Thus, the final hit will 
give you a "counter flash" if the first part of that series was a 
counter.  Paul's Hammer, Death Fist combo is another example.

      2. "Why did I get a flash for that?"
        This is somewhat related to the above argument.  Example, 
Jack-2's Three Swipes combo (three standing punches).  Normally, this can 
be blocked after the first hit.  If the first hit is a counter though, it 
will give a green "counter flash" and the opponent will have to eat all 
three punches.  The last punch will also give a "counter flash."  The 
reason for this is given above.
        Sometimes, though, the flashes just always happen.  Paul's 
"Falling Leaf Combo" will always yield a yellow "counter flash" if the 
elbow connects on a falling opponent (after a hit with the sweep).  
        Sometimes, this is explained by the fact that the sweep was a 
counterhit, but that's usually not the case.  In fact, any "sky juggle" 
is interpreted to be a counterhit.  That's why you get flashes for some 
of the followups in Wang and Michelle combos.
        **Note: the computer is not very consistent in what it classifies 
as a "sky juggle." The best indication I can see is that the target must 
be falling from a certain height, or landing headfirst on the ground.
Examples of the first would be followups to Jack-2's catapult Throw or Bravo 
Knuckle.  Examples of the second (headfirst) would be the Falling Leaf, 
and Lei's sweep followed with either the jumping spin kick or straight 
Toe Kick followups.  Both connect with an opponent falling onto his head 
(headfirst), and both result in "counter flashes."

        Use Those Counters!  Even the slowest opponents have highly 
useful moves for counterhits.  I cannot tell you how many times I have 
sent people flying with Jack-2's Bravo Knuckle.  It ducks under _all_ 
high attacks! Timed right, followed with a free heavy pounce, this move 
is devastating.  Even Kuma and P.Jack get in the action with the Bear 
Heaven Cannon and Hammer/Fist combos, respectively.  And don't even get 
me started about Kuni's spinning Left Kick.  Beautiful!
        Everyone has neat moves to crouch in under attacks, step in 
during an attack's retraction, or hop over sweep attacks.  Find these, 
and use them well.  Timing and psychology are the keys here.
        As for "float counters" and "sky counters," well, don't lose 
sleep over the latter.  These are just nice bonus easter eggs when they 
happen, and you can't really control them.  Float counters, though, can 
be very useful, and are Heihachi's bread and butter! Some of his biggest, 
most outlandish combos won't connect unless he starts them with and 
extra-high Float Counter.
        Practice!  Don't take the Tekken FAQ's word for it on the combos: 
the best ones are not preprogrammed.  Use Float Counters to gain extra 
air time in which to pound your opponent.  Watch for their vulnerable 
moves (Lei's Crescent Roundhouse, Kazuya's Jumpkick-DoubleSweep-MidKick, 
Law's flipkick, etc.) and sneak in a counterhit.  Most counterhits force 
them to lay on the ground long enough for you to get in a pounce, so with 
the extra damage, life becomes painful for your opponents in a hurry.

Brian F.,               for countering me more than I'd like
Brian P.,               for an evil bitch Jun that always makes a nice
                        "crunch" when she dies
Burly                   His Lei is Easy Pickin's for Jack-s
Everyone else           For paying my paycheck.  If I didn't have this job
  at Devil's Quarters   I might actually have to WORK.
Everyone Who Wrote to   
  Me after the Adon     For convincing me that I should write another one
  Guide came out,       of these silly things.  See what you get?
Namco,                  for showing that someone besides Sega can make a
                        good 3-d fighting game.        For putting this on his web page first.

This version (and any updates) of this FAQ can currently be found here:
ANDY EDDY's ftp faq site:

Feel free to put this in any archive, compendium, or compilation you 
want.  Distribute as you see fit, but don't charge for it.  Just make 
them pay in the ring. :)