===================
 KOF99 Leona guide
===================

Version 0.75 (final version) - Nov 10th 1999
Scribbled out by Steven Scougall (s_scougall@hotmail.com)


-------
 INTRO
-------

This guide is all about the KOF99 version of Leona.
   Well, not completely.  It started off as a mini-report about what was 
different in KOF99 and could be considered a 'supplement' to Tony Wedd's 
excellent KOF97 Leona FAQ (available at www.gamefaqs.com).  As such, it 
doesn't include all her moves in it.  A fair bit of Tony's FAQ still 
applies, so I suggest to read that as well.
   This guide assumes a little bit of knowledge of the KOF99 game engine 
and is still a bit messy.  It's going to stay that way as I'm not updating 
it anymore.


----------
 NOTATION
----------

Fd, Bk, Up, Dn   - Forward, Back, Up, and Down, respectively
UF, UB, DF, DB   - Up-forwards, Up-backwards, Down-Forwards, Down-Backwards
                   respectively
A, B, C, D       - The A, B, C, and D buttons.  When written together it
                   means to press those buttons together (ie, AB means A
                   and B buttons at the same time)
QCF + something  - Dn, DF, Fd + something
QCB + something  - Dn, DB, Bk + something
ZF + something   - Fd, Dn, DF + something (ie, a "Z motion" forwards)
ZB + something   - Bk, Dn, DB + something
HCF + something  - Bk, DB, Dn, DF, Fd + something
/                - "or".  for example, ZF + A/C means "Forward, Down, Down-
                   Forwards with either A or C."


-------
 MOVES
-------

 Quick movelist
----------------
So you know roughly which moves I mean when I talk about them later on.  I 
talk about almost all of these, except for her 'core' moves (Moon Slasher, 
Grand Sabre, Baltic Launcher), as those are pretty much the same they've 
been since KOF97.  Read Tony's FAQ for their descriptions, and descriptions
of her notable normal moves, if nothing else.

Strike Arc           Fd/Bk + B

Moon Slasher         Charge Dn, Up+A/C
Grand Sabre          Charge Bk, Fd+B/D
Gliding Buster       Fd+D after D version of Grand Sabre
Baltic Launcher      Charge Bk, Fd+A/C
Earring Bomb 1       QCB+B/D
Earring Bomb 2
 - Heart Attack      ZB+B/D
 - Set Explosion     ZB+B/D after a succesful Heart Attack
X-Calibur            QCB+A/C in air

V-Slasher            QCF, HCB+A/C in air.  Requires one stock
Revolver Spark       QCB, HCF+B/D  Requires one stock
Grateful Dead        QCF, QCF+A/C  Requires one stock


 Charging
----------
Charging times are reduced in KOF99.  Instead of charging in one direction 
for two seconds before being able to do a charge move, you only have to 
charge for one second.  As Leona's 'core' moves (Moon Slasher, Ground 
Sabre, A Baltic Launcher) are all charge moves, this means her game can be 
a bit quicker this year.


 Dashing
---------
When she dashes Leona no longer crouches low to the ground.  This means you 
can no longer dash under high fireballs.  (Well, you can, you just do it 
with a Grand Sabre, where she still does a crouching run, but you have to 
be charged for that.)  Slide (Fd+AB) past them instead, I guess.


 Dodging
---------
Fd+AB now elicits a Slide Dodge, where the character stays standing as they 
slide and dodge towards the opponent at the same time.  During most of this 
dodge, your character is invulnerable to all attacks except throws.  Also 
during this dodge, you can press a button to get a Slide Attack.  This 
Slide Attack is not normally comboable but is so in Counter Mode.  In 
Armour Mode it juggles the opponent.  (For more info about the two modes 
see the Modes section below.)
   Bk+AB now gives an invulnerable backwards dodge, followed by a 
vulnerable hop forwards so that your character ends up where he/she 
started.  However!  Just as your character is landing from the backwards 
dodge, you can perform a special move to cancel the forwards hop, to either 
stop hopping back into danger, or hit the opponent.
   With regards to Leona her forward dodge is much the same as her old 
forward roll.  Her Slide Attack is a two handed fingertip thrust to the 
midsection, and doesn't have that much range, so make sure she's close to 
her opponent when she does it.
   For her backwards dodge, her Heart Attack is a very fast move that can 
be used to reliably cancel the hop forwards.  It's possible, but very 
difficult, to do a Revolver Spark or Grateful Dead to cancel the hop 
forwards, to hopefully catch your opponent out of the move you just dodged 
away from.
   During the hop forwards she can do either the X-Calibur or the V-
Slasher, as she's considered in mid-air.


 Linking
---------
A low B no longer links into a low A.  *sigh*  It does however link into a 
stand A, which may or may not be comboable into a Moon Slasher.  I've only 
ever done this by accident, but have heard that it is possible with 
something like Dn+B, Neutral+A (hold A), Up, and that you have to do this 
really quickly and fluidly.


 Crouch A
----------
The Crouch A seems to have been slowed down a bit this year, and you can no 
longer mash out Crouch As like crazy when the opponent gets close.


 Close Standing D
------------------
A knee to the stomach followed by another.
   This is quite useful, but not in the way it used to be.  Before, you 
could throw it out and have enough time to see if it connected, and if it 
did you could go into the Revolver Spark DM.  If it was blocked, then you 
just let the move finish and you were safe.  Now, however, the Revolver 
Spark takes too long to come out and will no longer combo from the Close D.
   The Close D has a new use, however, in that the first hit is about the 
only move she can combo into a Heart Attack (ZB + B/D) from.  Seeing as 
Close D (1 hit), Heart Attack is now a basic combo starter for her you 
should get into the habit of doing a Heart Attack after the first hit of a 
Close D.
   Another change is that if you do both hits, a Strike Arc, and then 
cancel into a V-Slasher, the V-Slasher misses.  The opponent has been 
pushed too far away.  So, erm, if you want to do a Strike Arc into a V-
Slasher, then do the Strike Arc after the first hit of the close D.


 Close standing C / Far Standing C
-----------------------------------
The far C is a straight shoulder level fingertip lunge, and the close 
standing C is a 2 hit 'uppercut' type move.  Before, the Far C wasn't 
cancellable and neither was the 2nd hit of the Close C - now they both are.  
At the very least, they're chainable into a Strike Arc.  Just make sure 
you're reasonably close if you want to a Strike Arc after a Far C - if 
you're too far the Strike Arc misses.
   This means that the two moves can overlap somewhat.  You can hit C after 
a jump in attack or a dash and regardless of which one comes out you can 
chain into a Strike Arc.  In that sort of situation you're probably close 
enough for the Strike Arc to work after the Far C.  However, if you started 
with a Far C then the opponent will be too far away to do a V-Slasher after 
the Strike Arc.
   Apart from that overlap, I can't think of much use for the Far C.  For 
the Close C, as it's an uppercut, it can work as some half assed air 
defence/offence if the opponent jumps at the last second.


 Strike Arc
------------
Fd/Bk + B
Just as useful as before, and she can now also do it with a Bk+B motion, 
meaning she can keep a backwards charge as she does it.  Also, this is 
always an overhead, even if it's chained from a normal hit.  You can cancel 
this into a special or DM ONLY if it was chained from a normal hit.
   This chains after her Far C, Crouching C, either hit of the Close C, and 
either hit of a Close D.  That is, most of her strong normals.  If you're 
planning on doing a V-Slasher combo, then for reasons mentioned earlier you 
should perform the Strike Arc after the first hit of her close moves.  
After the Far C or the second hit of her close moves, she's out of luck.
   This is also useful in that it's totally safe if blocked, so you should 
always tack it on after a blocked strong hit.  You won't do any extra 
damage, but you'll get a little bit closer to a Guard Crush and you'll 
build up a fair bit of super meter.
   Also, don't forget that by itself this is an overhead.  I've fought 
against opponents who seem to forget that and I've caught them trying to 
crouch-block against the Strike Arc a few times before they catch on.  One 
thing you can try is a couple of low Bs to get the opponent blocking low, 
then do a Strike Arc, as a moderate high-low game.


 Earring Bomb 1
----------------
QCB+B/D
In this move Leona takes off an earring and throws it at the opponent.  
With the B version the arc is half a screen long, the bomb bounces and 
continues along and hits low.  The D version's arc is a full screen in 
length.
   This is a slow move to come out, but like a lot of Leona's moves she can 
follow up with anything.  It's a lot easier to follow up if the opponent is 
in the corner, though.  If you have a stock, then you can connect any of 
her DMs, though some positioning and timing is needed for all three.
   Of course, because the opponent can see the bomb coming from a mile away 
they almost never get hit, and you have to either be close or know the bomb 
is going to hit if you want to follow up with something.  What this 
effectively means is that you won't be landing Earring Bomb 1 into DM 
combos very often.  But it's great fun when you do.
   This move is also a great boss-killer.  When fighting against the 2nd 
stage CPU Kryzalid, get a full screen's length between the two of you and 
then just keep on throwing earring bombs at him.  The idiot can't seem to 
work out that he should be doing something about this projectile coming at 
him and gets hit by it almost every single time.  Boring and not very fun, 
but if Kryzalid's being his typical bastardly self and you REALLY want to 
see the ending, use this method.  If you're feeling fancy then have a 
followup juggle ready.
   Oh, and there shouldn't be any more of going for a Close D, Revolver 
Spark combo and getting this move instead, because as that combo no longer 
works you shouldn't be trying for it anymore.  ^_^



 Earring Bomb 2: Heart Attack
------------------------------
ZB + B/D
Leona does a grabbing motion - it's the same 'throw bomb' animation from 
the Earring Bomb move.  I've noticed no difference between the B and D 
versions yet.  It might be the length of the time the bomb takes to go off.
   If she connects then she places a bomb-like energy type thing on the 
opponent.  While it's placed, you can see it as a small sparkle on the 
opponent - specifically, on their leg.  If Leona takes or even just blocks 
a hit, then this bomb goes away.
   There are two ways for this bomb to go off.  The first is with another 
ZB+B/D motion (the "Set Explosion" move).  The opponent can't block it, 
either, meaning it's a guaranteed hit.  However, the Set Explosion 
animation takes ages to get to the actual blowing up part and then takes 
ages after that to finish - ie it has terrible startup and end lag.  Never 
ever use this method, unless you're miles away and aiming to REALLY 
humiliate your opponent.
   The second, much more useful way for the bomb to explode is to wait 
approximately three and a half seconds (D version), when it goes off on its
own.
   As in the other version of the Earring Bomb the explosion juggles the 
opponent, and you can further hit the opponent in mid air.  If you 
detonated the bomb with the Set Explosion, however, the lag means you can't 
actually DO anything.
   In a truly bizarre twist, however, it appears that the opponent can 
Slide Dodge the explosion.  If they Slide Dodge just before the bomb goes 
off, then it explodes but because they're Slide Dodging, they avoid the 
explosion completely.  So it's not quite as guaranteed as I thought.
   The main use of this move is as a combo extender.  While the bomb is on 
the opponent they can't block.  At all.  This means you can immediately 
follow up with something and because the opponent can't block they take the 
hit.  This also means you can do things like a crouch C into a Grand Sabre, 
and the only way the opponent can evade is with a well timed Slide Dodge.  
However, because a follow up hit doesn't register on the rush meter, it's 
theoretically possible for an opponent with EXTREMELY good timing to Slide 
Dodge after the Heart Attack.
   As you can imagine, this move is vital to Leona's lengthier combos.  
More on that in the comboing section.
   However, the *true* pain of this move is that it's so short ranged.  The 
only thing it will combo reliably off is the first hit of the close 
standing D.  As such, you only ever use this move in combos.  It's very 
useful nonetheless.


 X-Calibur
-----------
QCB+A/C in air
Argh!  SNK continues messing with this move - this is the fourth revision 
in as many games.  Sigh.
   This year, Leona fires a very short ranged X shaped fireball while in 
mid-air, flying backwards from the recoil.  The speed is odd - I've tried 
to combo from a jumping normal and Strike Arc into it before, and it hasn't 
worked, but I saw in a combo video that she can combo the Strike arc into 
it, at the very least in Counter Mode and if she's close enough.  And I'm 
pretty sure that Counter Mode has no effect on your specials at all.  In 
any case, this move is generally quite slow and not an assured hit, so 
don't make it part of standard combo procedure.
   Also, this move overlaps with the V-Slasher DM.  Now, if you mess up 
with a V-Slasher motion, you can often end up with the X-Calibur coming out 
instead, which is not what you want.  So, um, be precise with the motions.  
More on this in the V-Slasher section.
   This move has its redeeming features.  For one, it's great anti-anti-
air.  As it's a fireball, it will take out the opponent's attempted anti-
air move with no danger to Leona.  At the very least, it'll keep her in 
place in the air and then bounce her away from the opponent's attempted 
anti-air move.
   Another possible use is to use this immediately after a blocked Strike 
Arc - the Strike Arc has to be blocked high and the X-Calibur has to be 
blocked low, so you can do this as a mildly effective high-low changeup.  
Smart players will catch on quickly, though.
   And, if you're in Counter Mode, you can follow the X-Calibur with a V-
Slasher.


 V-Slasher DM
--------------
QCF, HCB + A/C in air.  Takes one stock.
The old faithful.  Leona goes flying downwards at her opponent and if she 
connects she does a huge V-shaped slash.  The priority is still amazing and 
still makes Leona Queen of the Air.  The DM also still combos from a 
chained Strike Arc.  Very useful.
   There are two notes to make about it this year.  The first is that 
because of the overlap with the X-Calibur, you have to be careful when 
going for this move.  ALWAYS do the shortcut motion, which is QCF, DF, 
Bk+A/C.  That way you can't get the X-Calibur by accident.
   The other note is that it will miss if you do it from a chain combo that 
pushes the opponent too far away.  For example, Close D (2 hits), Strike 
Arc, V-Slasher will miss.  Whereas Close D (1 hit), Strike Arc, V-Slasher 
connects.
   I haven't noticed any difference between the normal mode and Counter 
Mode versions.  Apart from the fact that the Counter Mode version can be 
cancelled into from an X-Calibur, in which case it comes out extremely 
quickly.


 Revolver Spark DM
-------------------
QCB, HCF+B/D.  Takes one stock.
Leona lunges forwards and if she connects with the lunge she puts some sort 
of energy bomb *through* the opponent.  (Ouch!)  She then poses for a bit, 
and then the bomb goes off in a massive explosion.
   Only... she now pauses for a while before lunging forwards.  The pause 
is long enough for this move to not combo from a C or D.  This lack of 
comboability drastically reduces the move's usefulness.  It will combo from 
a Grand Sabre in the corner, but then again almost anything will.  It may 
also combo from a CD counter, counterhit CD, or a Striker action that 
launches the opponent.
   The lunge is still low enough to go under high fireballs, so it's still 
useful to punish fireball happy opponents with.
   You might think it'd be sped up in Counter Mode, right?  I thought so 
too.  And then I tried it out in Counter Mode.  It's even SLOWER.  Except 
when cancelling from a Grand Sabre.  So you can forget about Close D (2 
hits), Revolver Spark DM combos this year.
   Overall - nowhere near as useful as it used to be.  Concentrate on her 
other DMs instead.


 Grateful Dead
---------------
QCF, QCF+A/C.  Takes one stock.
After a quick moment of preparing herself, Leona leaps forwards at the 
opponent, and if she connects she drains their life energy from them - 
*through their FACE* (ouch!) - all the while surrounded by smoke and white 
lines of energy.
   I *love* this DM.  It's quite quick to start up and the leap is FAST.  
I'm not sure about the priority - I've been jumpkicked out of it, but I've 
also seen it grab Mary out of her dodge and King out of her Illusion Dance 
DM.  It's more to do positioning than priority - make sure that Leona can 
jump to above her opponent and then come down on them.
   This DM doesn't *quite* make Leona Queen of the Screen, but it gets 
close.  The further away the opponent is the more time Leona will need to 
get to him/her.  So, um, don't use this to punish small mistakes from a 
full screen's distance.
   The drawback is that there's that small moment of preparation just 
before she leaps.  This appears to be invulnerable, however.
   I've tried this a couple of times in Counter Mode, and haven't noticed 
anything extra different about it in that mode.
   This does combo from a normal attack - at the very least it combos from 
the first hit of the Close Standing D.  To do this combo, you have to be 
fast and input the motion as QCF+D, QCF+C.  Thanks to Gunsmith for pointing 
that out.
   The Grateful Dead combos quite easily off Earring Bombs, CD counters, 
counterhit CDs, and launching Striker actions.  In Counter Mode it also 
combos quite nicely off a Grand Sabre - not sure about normal mode, though.
   Truly a useful DM.
   One final note - there is some bug in the game where the SDM version 
takes over 90% of life when used against Benimaru, Ryo, or Yuri, and
sometimes Kasumi.


 Striker Action - "Killer Touch"
---------------------------------
Leona's Striker Action - the "Killer Touch" (where DO they get these 
names?) - is to come scuttling out in the crouching dash animation.  If she 
is unblocked she slides past the opponent, dropping a small bomb that 
explodes and throws the opponent into the air, where he/she can be juggled.  
Because Leona crouches as she runs, this is good to use against a high 
fireball happy opponent.


-------------------------
 COMBOS AND COMBO THEORY
-------------------------

Bleah, I'm not doing a combo list.  I'm not putting down complex combos 
that require a specific Striker and Counter Mode.  There are other FAQs for 
that sort of thing.  This section is about her more useful combos and how 
they work.

 Basic DM combo
----------------
Optional jump-in attack, Close D (1 hit), Heart Attack, Close D (1 hit), 
Strike Arc, V-Slasher

This comes out fast and does pretty good damage.  On SDM level the V-
Slasher takes a few seconds longer to complete so the combo isn't quite as 
fast.
   This is very good because everything up to the DM is safe if blocked.  
So you can jump in, tap out the sequence, and you have plenty of time to 
see it's been blocked and if you should go into the DM.
   You can replace the second Close D with a 1-hit Close C.
   But this only works at DM level.  At SDM level, the V-Slasher takes too 
long and the Earring Bomb explodes just after the V-Slasher finishes.  If 
you're in the red and at SDM level, look at the next combo.


 A better SDM combo
--------------------
Optional jump-in attack, Close D (1 hit), Heart Attack, Close D (1 hit), 
Grateful Dead

According to Gunsmith, this does more damage than the above combo.  
(Excepting the Grateful Dead followup, but then, you can't follow up with 
the Grateful Dead at SDM level.)


 Basic non-DM combo
--------------------
Optional jump-in attack, Close D (1 hit), Heart Attack, Crouch C, C 
Moonslasher

Just keeping holding DB after the Heart Attack and you have enough time to 
charge for a Moonslasher.  If the Moonslasher isn't coming out then try a 
barrage of crouching As instead of a Crouch C, to give youself more time 
for the charge.  You should be able to do at least two crouching As at the 
range the Heart Attack leaves you at.


 If the combo attempt is blocked
---------------------------------
Optional jump-in attack, Close D (1 hit), Heart Attack, Any ground C/D, 
Strike Arc

This is safe and builds up stock.  Using a 2 hit Close C/D should build up 
slightly more power meter, so they're probably the better ones to use 
between the Heart Attack and Strike Arc.
   If you want to mess about, then consider this - the Strike Arc has to 
always be blocked high, even in combos.  The X-Calibur, when done after a 
Strike Arc, will hit low, meaning that the opponent has to block low.  
Skilled opponents, however, will quickly catch on, block low, and then run 
up to and attack Leona.  So, um, don't abuse this too much.


 Earring Bomb explosion and Striker followups
----------------------------------------------
For the Basic Non-DM combo and the Basic DM combo, once the combo is 
finished there is an Earring Bomb still on the opponent's leg.  And about 
three and a half seconds after placing it, it explodes, flinging the 
opponent into the air, and Leona can perform some followup.  The explosion 
IS escapable, however;  your opponent can roll through it if he or she has 
good timing.  So it's not a true combo.  Just a nice bonus.
   If a thrown Earring Bomb 1 hits the opponent then you can also follow it 
up with something.
   Also, a fair number of Striker Actions - I'd say at least half - knock 
the opponent up into the air, and Leona can perform some followup juggle.
   So what can you do to juggle the opponent?
   Well, all sorts of things.  If she has a stock, then I think she can use 
any of her DMs - the Grateful Dead is probably the easiest.  If you don't 
have a stock, then go for a Grand Sabre or a Crouch C into C Moon Slasher.  
If you're doing it into the corner, then you should be able to do a Grand 
Sabre INTO a Moon Slasher.  And if you're in Counter Mode you can do a 
Grand Sabre into either a Revolver Spark or a Grateful Dead.  There's lots 
of stuff you can try, so experiment.


 Heart Attack Followups
------------------------
I'll say it again - once a bomb has been placed on the opponent, the 
opponent can't block.  So you can basically unleash anything and it's 
unblockable.  This means you can get really creative and do stuff like 
Crouch C, Grand Sabre, Crouch C, A Baltic Launcher, bomb explodes, Grateful 
Dead.  Or, harry them like mad with an unpredictable barrage of pokes until 
the bomb explodes, and then do a Earring Bomb explosion follow-up.
   I stress that these Heart Attack Followups aren't true combos, but 
because the opponent can't block they suddenly have a much harder time 
trying to escape, and have to develop expert timing so as to use a Slide 
Dodge between hits.


 Notable Striker mention
-------------------------
I said before I wouldn't mention specific Strikers.  I'm going to break 
this rule for a moment and mention Ralf as a Striker.  The great thing 
about his Striker action is that it's not a normal launching action.  As 
the opponent descends from the Galactica Phantom part of his Striker 
Action, you can do a regular combo.  So if, for example, it hits, then you 
can run up (or start from a jump in attack if you're feeling confident) and 
do Leona's Basic DM Combo.


-------
 MODES
-------

A new addition to KOF99, these provide another way to use your super meter.  
Once you have a full three stocks, you can use all of them at once to go 
into either Counter Mode or Armour Mode.  These modes have their advantages 
and disadvantages, which I'll detail below, along with their relevance to 
Leona.  However, note here that they both have one BIG disadvantage - once 
they've run out your super meter disappears completely and you can't do ANY 
Desperation Moves at all for about ten seconds.

 Counter Mode
--------------
ABC (requires three stocks)
This mode is all about the combos.  It lasts about thirty seconds.  During 
that time, your character flashes red, the overall attack damage goes up, 
he/she can do unlimited DMs, and can cancel some special moves into DMs.  
However, even if your lifebar is flashing red, you can't do SDMs.
   Also in this mode, DMs usually have different properties.  Their 
priority is weakened and startup times are changed, though as far I 
understand it their startup is always very short if you cancel into a DM 
from a special move.  This is to encourage you to use them in combos.
   So... the question is, how does this apply to Leona?
   In terms of comboing ability, she isn't drastically improved.  The moves 
she can cancel into DMs are the Heart Attack, Moon Slasher, Gliding Buster, 
and maybe the Grand Sabre and X-Calibur (unsure about these two.)  Only the 
Heart Attack and Moon Slasher can be comboed into and she can already 
follow the Heart Attack with something, leaving a Moon Slasher cancel the 
only true addition to her combo ability.
   Being able to do unlimited DMs is nice, but their startup time seems 
increased when done by themselves.  So try to limit solo DM usage in 
Counter Mode.
   The main advantage is that her overall attack damage would go up, and 
she has access to a few tricks.  One is cancelling a Gliding Buster into a 
V-Slasher.  You can use this when your opponent tries to retaliate after 
the blocked Gliding Buster and gets a V-Slasher to the face instead.  
Another trick is sliding past an attack, doing a Slide Attack, and then 
comboing into either a Grateful Dead or Revolver Spark.
   After Counter Mode runs out you don't have a power guage for about 
twelve seconds, so you won't be able to do any DMs for a while.  However, 
if you land just ONE combo in Counter Mode your opponent should be either 
knocked out or extremely low on life, so it shouldn't matter too much.
   So I guess my overall verdict is it should be useful, but beware of her 
DMs' increased startup times.


 Armour Mode
-------------
BCD (requires three stocks)
This mode is all getting a chance to blitz through your opponent's assault 
and wipe 'em out.  It lasts about eight seconds.  During that time, your 
character flashes yellow, doesn't take any damage from ANY blocked moves 
(including specials and DMs), can't do ANY DMs, and has super armour.  That 
is, if he/she takes a hit they still take damage but continue on with 
whatever he/she was doing.  A couple of hits will still knock your 
character down, however, with the humble low D being one of them.
   I won't comment any further, because 1) I haven't used this mode much, 
and 2) because I don't think this mode suits Leona at all.  This mode 
really only suits grappler characters or those that can do HUGE damage 
really quickly without using DMs.  One such character I can think of 
immediately is Chang.  Two other possible contenders for Armour Mode are 
Maxima and Clark.  Leona is not such a contender.


----------
 STRATEGY
----------

The main focus for Leona in KOF99 is now to get in close and use the Heart 
Attack to unleash a big 70+% DM combo on the opponent, and abuse the fact 
that the opponent can't block when the bomb is on them.

See the Comboing section for further detail.

(End Strategy section)
































Alright, so it's not really the end of the Strategy section.  But it might 
as well be.  All the neat little stuff she had in KOF97 and KOF98 is toned 
down and by using the Heart Attack she can do 90%+ pseudo-combos.

*grumble*

Suddenly I don't care all that much for this version of Leona anymore.

I'll throw in the old notes I had for her Strategy, just to beef up this 
guide, I suppose.  Maybe it'll be some help.  They're a bit messy, as the 
General Notes section was in the middle of being expanded on when I decided 
to finish with this guide.


 General Notes, Exceptions, and Ramblings
------------------------------------------
 * An exception to 'what you did in KOF97' - DON'T try comboing the close D
   (2 hits) into the Revolver Spark.  It doesn't combo anymore and you'll
   waste a stock.
 * Try not to use the Revolver Spark too much.  The Grateful Dead has about
   the same startup time and can be used to catch the opponent anywhere on
   screen, not just on the ground.  The Revolver Spark might do more
   damage, though.
 * Do the Strike Arc after most strong hits, whether they're blocked or
   not.  It comes out reasonably quickly and recovers safely, helps to add
   pressure, and it builds up the super meter.
      Also, throw it out against idiotic crouching opponents who haven't
   yet realised Leona has an overhead.  (The number of such players who get
   caught by it, at least around here, is amazing.)
 * Throw Earring Bombs when you're at mid to long range as you just might
   get lucky and hit the opponent, at which point, depending on how far
   away you are and if the opponent is in the corner, you can follow up
   with something.
 * Use the Grateful Dead to catch opponent's mistakes if you're on the
   ground and reasonably close.  The Grateful Dead is sort of like a ground
   based V-Slasher like "catch the opponent out of whatever they're doing"
   DM.  But be careful of the positioning.  Also, she aims for where the
   opponent currently is - if they're doing a move that moves them
   horizontally quickly, then the Grateful Dead will miss.
 * After a backwards AB dodge, you can cancel into a special move to avoid
   the hop forwards.  This could be a good use of the Revolver Spark DM or
   the Grateful Dead DM - dodge backwards from an attack and then DM the
   opponent as they recover from the attack he/she just tried to hit you
   with, for example.
      If you don't want a counterattack and just want to dodge backwards,
   then a Heart Attack comes out quick and is virtually recovery-free and
   is probably the best option.


 It's all about the combos, baby (uh-huh, uh-huh)
--------------------------------------------------
Comboing is now Leona's main strength, with the addition of the Heart 
Attack.  When going for combo attempts, you should always start with a 
Close D(1 hit), Heart Attack as part of Standard Combo Procedure.  This 
gives you time to see if your combo attempt was blocked and will add to the 
super meter.  And with the speed that the super meter charges in KOF99, 
Leona can do DM combos quite often.
   For more detail, see the Combo and Combo Theory section, above.


 Help!  The Grand Sabre/Poke game isn't working all that well!
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Grand Sabre/Poke game is reduced in effectiveness because her low A is 
a bit slower, and is certainly no longer fast enough to link after a low B.  
But one thing you can after a low B is wait for it to retract and then 
immediately do a Strike Arc.  The opponent has to block the low B low and 
then has to block high for the Strike Arc.  If it's blocked then 
immediately do the low B again.  ^_^  The Strike Arc is a bit slow, so an 
alert opponent will be able to punish Leona before it comes out fully, but 
the same can be said of the Grand Sabre.
   A problem with that is that if the Strike Arc actually connects it will 
knock the opponent over and you can't cancel it into a V-Slasher.  If you 
want this option, then you have to cancel the Strike Arc from a low A.  
Which as has been said before doesn't link from a low B, so the opponent 
will have plenty of time to switch to a high block.
   Overall, the Grand Sabre/Poke Arc game is a bit slower than in KOF97, 
but with the addition of the Strike Arc can be a bit more varied.


 Help!  A K' player is jumping at me with that
 bastardly jump D and it's giving me trouble!
-----------------------------------------------
For air-defence, if you can do it early enough (ie, shortly after the 
opponent has left the ground), then a Grateful Dead works well.  You have 
to do it early so that you come up above the level of the opponent and down 
onto him/her.
   An early-timed Moon Slasher (A version preferably) works really well.  
You must do it early, however, so that her arm is down out of the way and 
all there is above her is the slash residue.  A late-timed Moon Slasher 
means Leona will get hit.
   An A Baltic Launcher sometimes works, and if you're fast you can jump 
after the opponent and hit them in mid air after the Baltic Launcher hits 
them.  But the startup is so long you need to do it really early, almost on
anticipation.
   Or just jump up above the opponent and sit them back down with a Jump D, 
Jump C, Jump CD, or a V-Slasher.  Possibly even a Jump D comboed into a V-
Slasher.  ^_^


 AAAARRRGH!  That K' player is now HOPPING at me with 
 that even MORE bastardly hop D and I can't get away!
------------------------------------------------------
If you're being pressured by someone like a hop D crazy K' player, then you 
don't have the time for most of the above, and you need the reflexes of a 
hyperactive monkey on speed in order to do a Grateful Dead early enough.  
So in the case of such a hopping opponent you have to resort to other 
options.  (Note that all these work for jumping opponents as well.)

 - If you are already crouching and have a charge, then whip out a quick A
   Moon Slasher.
 - One thing to try is the obvious crouching C, and then cancel that into a
   C Moon Slasher.  If the Crouching C works then the Moon Slasher usually
   connects and even if it doesn't you get some more super meter.
 - The crouching D works as air-defence against some attacks, but not all. 
   Close C works sometimes as well.  Both have the obvious drawback of not
   being able to do a Moon Slasher after them.
 - Time an AB Slide to go through the opponent's attack.  Use a Slide
   Attack if you can get away with it.
 - If you have a stock and the hand speed for it (I don't), then AB Slide
   backwards as the jump attack is about to hit and cancel the forward hop
   with a Grateful Dead.
 - I haven't tried this next one yet so I'm not sure how well it works. 
   What it is is that you backdash just as the opponent is about to hit
   you, and then do an X-Calibur or even a V-Slasher while you're still in
   the air from the backwards hop.
 - If you have a defensive Striker (Kasumi, Whip, Terry) then call them out
   to meet the opponent's attack.  If you don't have a defensive Striker,
   you can still use him/her as air defence, by using the invincibility of
   a Striker Call so that the attack goes through Leona and the Striker
   then hopefully hits the opponent as they're landing.  Be ready with a
   followup juggle.


 A "Don't mind me, I'm just an intermediate level player" disclaimer
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Having said all that, I must throw out this disclaimer:  I'm just an 
intermediate level player.  I can easily beat off the K'/Kyo/Iori scrub 
players, but hit me with a good one and, well, I come unstuck.  Sometimes 
incrdibly quickly, too.  (Very embarassed look)
   So, well, I'm not the best one to be writing a Strategy section.  So 
take the above strategy section as a basic guideline, but it's mainly up to 
you.  Read the descriptions of the moves again and see how to best use 
them.  That works better, I think.
   

-------
 FLUFF
-------

 Winposes
----------

A winpose:
   She turns away from her fallen opponent and holds a hand up to her face.  
A shadow flits across her face as her eye gleams, and she says "Chikara wa 
seigyo dekiru kedo, sore ni, tayoru tsumori wa nai."  ("I can control my 
power but I have no intention of relying on it.")  She then throws her arm 
to the side, as if to fling the opponent's blood off her hand.
   According to DarkStorm, this is not a completely new winpose, but one of 
Orochi Leona's in the Gameboy Nettou King of Fighters 96 game.  Though of 
course she didn't actually say anything in that one.

B winpose:
   She crosses an arm over her midsection, holding her other just above the 
elbow, shakes her head, and says "Anata de wa katenai" ("You cannot win").  
This used to be an introductory pose in KOF98.

C winpose:
   Leona speaks into her wristwatch communicator, saying the good old 
"Ninmu... kanryo."  ("Mission... complete.")  She then takes off her hair 
tie and shakes her hair out, then turns her head partially away from the 
opponent, looking at him/her out of the corner of her eye.  Her old KOF98 C 
winpose.

The D button selects a winpose randomly.


 Introductions
---------------

First up:
   She's standing there in this great big hooded cloak, fluttering madly in 
the wind.  She throws it off, saying "Ninmu suikou shimasu" ("I will 
perform my duty") and goes into her fighting stance.

Non-first-up:
   Pulls something from around her neck - her dogtags, I think - and then 
ties her hair back with them.

With Ralf:
   Ralf does a friendly two-fingered salute type thing, while Leona does a 
crisp military salute.

With Clark:
   Clark takes his cap off and tips it to Leona, then puts it back on;  
Leona does the same crisp military salute she does against Ralf.

With Whip:
   Whip is facing away from Leona, whip held behind her back and her eyes 
closed, and rocking back and forth.  Leona, meanwhile, is crouching down, 
not looking at Whip, fixing her boots.  Leona looks up at Whip, then stands 
up and says "Omatase", which I'm not sure how to translate, but is 
something about the verb 'to keep waiting'.  Whip then turns to face Leona 
and they begin the fight.

With Bao:
   Leona does her usual introduction, while Bao rubs the back of his head 
embarassedly, saying "Iro iro, oshietekudasai!"  ("Please teach me many 
various things!")  Bao does this when facing off against any female 
character.  Gee.  What a playboy he is, and he's only 12 or so, too.  ^_^


 Colours
---------
Characters only have two colours in KOF99 - one with A and another with B.  
Leona's A colour is the old army green colour, and her cloak (from her 
first-up intro) is blue-gray.  Her B colour is a hideous pink, and her 
cloak is green.  Leona in PINK?!?  Gah...  Anyway, you should perhaps check 
it once to see just how awful it is and why you should never pick it again.


 Endquote
----------
"Why did you do it?  You never had a chance."  Surprisingly not too bad, 
given how shaky some of the endquotes are.


 Taunt
-------
The same as in KOF97/98 - she turns her back, brings her hands up to her 
shoulder, and says "Nigeru no yo" ("Run away.")


------------------------
 NOTE FOR FINAL VERSION
------------------------

The reason this is the final version is because I just don't care for the 
KOF99 version of Leona anymore.  She's been drastically sidelined and 
shoved FAR into the background in the story.  Her gameplay is focussed on a 
powerful and abusable move.  (Much like in KOF96, though the Heart Attack 
isn't quite as bad as the KOF96 Grand Sabre.  I think.)  And, perhaps most 
heinous of all, SNK went so far as to get rid of all her other costume 
colours, replacing them all with a single alternate colour which is pink.

All right, the pink alternate colour isn't my main grievance.  The "her 
gameplay is focussed on a powerful and abusable move" reason is the main 
one, and reminds me too much of her KOF96 incarnation.  As such I no longer 
find her interesting to play.  I still mostly like her and think she's 
cool, just not her gameplay.  So this is it;  after about a month and a 
half of writing and maintaining this thing I'm finished with it.


-----------------
 VERSION HISTORY
-----------------

Version 0.75 (final version) - Nov x 1999
   Added 0.15 to version number.  Finished up with the guide.  Put in lots 
of "finished with this guide" messages so it's clear enough.  Explained why 
finished with the guide.  Minor edits here and there.  Revamp of Comboing,
Modes, and Strategy sections.  Did I mention I'm finished with the guide?

Version 0.6 - Oct 30th 1999
   Decided to stop recording what all the changes were.  ^_^  A fair number 
of them scattered all over, some large, some small.  But only enough to add 
a .1 to the version number.

Version 0.5 - Oct 16 1999
   Addition of Yuhang's and DarkStorm's info.  Fix up of A winpose quote.  
Fix up of comboing section.  Fix up of Earring Bomb 2 time-to-explode 
information.  Separation of Credits from End Comments.  As usual, minor 
edits all round.

Version 0.3 - Oct 9 1999
   Minor edits.  Addition of MC Gunsmith's helpful tidbits.  Fixed up 
winposes info.  Added taunt.  Positioning note in Grateful Dead section.  
Bit extra about what the special moves that can be supercancelled in 
Counter Mode.  Verified bosskillng ability of Earring Bomb 1.  Linking 
Note.

Version 0.25 - Oct 2 1999
   Lots of changes, both minor and not so minor, and some formatting 
changes.  Biggest obvious change is the addition of sections on dodges and 
on modes.  Some unsure information fixed up.  Move names cleared up.  
Addition of this Version History, stuck down at the bottom where it 
belongs.

Version 0.1 - Sep 26 1999
   First version.


---------
 CREDITS
---------

Thanks must go to the following:

PsychoKick (wyoon@panix.com) - I got the "Z motion" abbreviation from him.  
I think it works better than the usual "DP" (for "Dragon Punch motion") and 
"RDP".  After all, the Heart Attack move isn't a Dragon Punch type move 
going backwards.

MC Gunsmith - for a lot of stuff.  I used his KOF99 FAQ to verify and 
correct the move names.  He e-mailed me some Leona info - where the Earring 
Bomb is on the opponent after a Heart Attack, the "alternative SDM combo", 
and the Gliding Buster into V-Slasher cancel.  And he helped me work out 
her A winpose quote.

Yuhang Ng (pighai@hotmail.com) - for the use of the Gliding Buster -> V-
Slasher combo in Counter Mode, and the use of the X-Calibur after a blocked 
Strike Arc as a high-low changeup.

DarkStorm (raiu@geocities.com) - for pointing out the origins of her A 
winpose.

Setsuna (orochi@ix.netcom.com) - That the opponent can't block while a bomb
is placed on them, the Grateful Dead SDM doing 90% damage to Beni, Ryo, Yuri
and sometimes Kasumi.


--------------
 END COMMENTS
--------------

Do you have comments?  Criticism?  "You're stupid and don't know anything 
about Leona" comments?  Send 'em to s_scougall@hotmail.com.  Flames will be 
ignored, though.

If you want to send something you want to be included in this guide, 
however, then don't - it's no longer being updated.  If some brave soul 
wants to take it up and continue writing it, then go ahead.  If you do, 
it'd be nice if you e-mail me and tell me that's what you're doing.

Do what you like with this guide, on the one condition that you indicate I 
wrote it.  It's only fair.

This miniguide is availabe from GameFAQs (http://www.gamefaqs.com) and is 
also available from my webpage (http://www2.crosswinds.net/~sscougall/ or 
http://w3.to/beyond_forever).

Amazingly, according to international copyright law, this guide is 
copyrighted by me.  As if it's worth nicking from.  However, to please the 
lawyer types, I'll throw in a:

This document is copyright 1999 by Steven Scougall.

Thank you for reading.

Version SomethingAbove0.6AndLessThan1.0AndIsANiceRoundNumberForMeToEndThis
Guide'sUpdatesOn - I'll go with 0.75
Steven Scougall 10th Nov 99