================================== KING OF FIGHTERS 98 STRATEGY GUIDE ================================== version 0.9 by Michael Tham (email@example.com) Best view with Wordpad. Set text to 'wrap to window' Latest version can be found at www.gamefaqs.com INTRODUCTION ------------ Welcome to my strategy guide for KOF 98. I've always wanted to get my thoughts about KOF (figuratively) on paper but never got around to it. IMO, what makes KOF better than Capcom fighters is that there are so many ways to play the characters and there are always new strategies to find and experiment with. I am far from being an expert at KOF and would consider myself an intermediate player. Nevertheless, I have access to a neo geo and play almost every character. It is my hope that this guide will help some of you get more from KOF and encourage the use of more characters. (hey, that's what the roulette is for) This guide is divided into 3 sections: General Strategies, Character Strategies and Misc. Under general strategies are tactics that apply to most if not all characters. Characters strategies is about tactics for and against certain characters. Misc is for stuff that doesn't fit in the above two categories. I'm writing from memory and there may be some stuff in the guide that are wrong. The strategis are mostly for advance mode as I and everyone I've played with uses advanced. Also, if you have any strategies that you think is useful, do email me and share your thoughts with the rest of the KOF world. All strategies should be applicable in the arcade, neo geo, PSX and Dreamcast versions. Happy reading! p.s. I would gladly appreciate it if someone could mail me the gamest rankings for 98 or even 97. INDEX ===== KEY --- GENERAL STRATEGIES ------------------ 1)rolling 2)punishing rolling 3)poking 4)waking up 5)turtling 6)fake short jump 7)vertical jump 8)CD countering 9)guard cancel roll 10)jumping in on grapplers 11)taunting 12)uncounterable moves 13)to POW or not to POW 14)corner trapping 15)grappling range CHARACTER STRATEGIES ==================== Andy Bogard Athena Asamiya Benimaru Nikaido Blue Mary Chang Koehan Chin Gentsai Chizuru Kagura Choi Bounge Chris Chris (Orochi) Clark Steel Goro Daimon Heavy D! Heidern Iori Yagami Joe Higashi King Kyo Kusanagi Leona Lucky Glauber Mature Ralf Jones Robert Garcia Rugal Bernstein Ryo Sakazaki Saisyu Kusanagi Shermie Shermie (Orochi) Shingo Yabuki Sie Kensou Terry Bogard 97 Terry Bogard RB Vice Yashiro Yashiro (Orochi) Yuri Sakazaki Yuri Sakazaki 95 MISC ==== Ordering your characters Bugs K E Y (taken from Moonrun's combo faq and modified) [all notations are in 1st player's side] o o o jump backwards vertical jump jump forward \ | / o-- n --o block/go back neutral go forward / | \ o o o blocking crouch normal crouch forward crouch/crawl* A = light punch B = light kick C = heavy punch D = heavy kick d = down joystick direction u = up joystick motion b = hold joystick in blocking direction f = joystick forward motion QCB = quarter cirlce back joystick motion QCF = quarter circle forward joystick motion HCB = half circle back joystick motion HCF = half circle forward joystick motion DP = uppercut joystick motion RDP = reverse uppercut joystick motion j = jump s = standing c = crouching cx = cross over GENERAL STRATEGIES ------------------ ROLLING ======= This is what makes KOF such a great game. Basically your character tucks into a ball and rolls on the ground. When you are rolling, you are invincible, except for throws and have a small period of vulnerability when going into a roll and getting up. Rolling can be used offensively or defensively. You can roll through fireballs, DMs or special moves. Basically most moves can be rolled through as long as you time it properly. When should you roll? Its a hard question to answer because there's so many ifs and buts. The main idea is to use it to avoid a move and attack before the move recovers. It is dangerous to roll through fast recovery moves like standing/crouching A/B because your opponent recovers before you. Learn the range of the roll and time your rolls well. Incorporate the roll in your flowchart. For eg, after your jump in combo is blocked, roll through the counter attack and punish. Alternatively, learn your opponent's flowchart. For eg, your opponent always throws two fireballs in a row. After blocking the first, roll through the second. One important advice, don't roll too much and don't get predictable with rolling. Remember that you can jump as well and don't stick on the ground all the time. PUNISHING ROLLING ================= Basically, there is always a pattern to your opponent's rolling. Maybe your opponent always does a run-roll after blocking a fireball in anticipation of a fireball. Or maybe your opponent always does two rolls in a row. Whatever it is, anticipating rolls is important, unless you have lightning fast reflexes. If your opponent tries to roll through you, you can always normal throw him out of the roll. Most of the time, you can only punish rolling when your opponent gets up from the roll. Some DMs are design for getting rollers like Billy's qcf, hcb+A/C DM but most DMs should work. Doing a combo or command throw when the opponent is getting up is pretty effective too. Some ppl just mash at A/B while crouching. Moves tha have long hitting animations like Shingo's f+B are also effective. The key is doing it at the right moment. Attacking too soon when the roller is still invincible leaves you open. Do it too late and most likely you'll eat a command throw. When your opponent rolls through you, ie at close range, do a low chain into a special move or DM. At high levels, learning to combo from a crouching A/B is a must. Here's a basic tip for fireballers with a running grab. Fire a fireball and if you anticipate a roll, meet them halfway with a running grab. A word of warning when grapplers have stock. Once, a Yamazaki rolled into my Chang's spinning iron ball and did the hcbx2+A/C DM. The DM was instantaneous but I'm not sure if it can cancel the period of vulnerabality. Command throws can beat cA/B and throw DMs can beat a lot of moves. Unless you have a very good anti-roll move, I would suggest vertical hopping when you see a grappler with stock rolling towards you. POKING ====== Poking involves using a series offast, high priority, long ranged moves to safely attack the opponent, usually from a character's width away. The aims or poking are: 1) pressure the opponent 2) slow down agressive opponent 3) keep the grappler from coming close Any damage resulting from poking is considered a bonus. Many characters have poking moves and the ones that generally spring to mind are Terry and Kyo's standing B and Vice, Ralf and Iori's standing C. There are two types of pokes, light pokes and hard pokes. Ligh pokes like Terry's standing B serve to annoy the hell out of the opponent and usually cannot be cancel. Damage is minimal but is faster. Hard pokes do much more damage and some can be canceled into special moves. Hard pokes are very useful and a few hits when POWed will lead to victory. Not all normal moves can be used to poke. Poking moves have long range and higher priority, meaning that most of the them, the moves beat other moves. Poking can be used offensively as well, for example with Heidern. Heidern has fast and long ranged normal. While poking he can also charge up for his special moves. Another poking technique is to a light attack followed by a hard attack. For example, Iori's sB followed by his sD. The sB recovers very quickly and if the opponent tries to attack, chances are, he will get hit by the high priority sD. Poking from light to hard is also good for pushing your opponent away. A good way to poke is a crouching D cancelled into a special move, ie Terry's cD into power wave(qcf+A/C) or Shingo's cD into Shingofist(qcf+A). Usually this technique is applied as the opponent is getting up. How do you counter? 1) Use autoguard moves like Kyo's fists or Goro's hcfx2+B/D DM. 2) Stand out of range and when the poke comes out, poke back or do a special move/DM. 3) Use high priority attack. 4) Reversal. Rolling through a poke is very risky since pokes recover fast or can be canceled. WAKING UP ========= A wake up attack is an attack that can be done immediately when getting up that will hit your opponent that is attacking you. Most wake up attacks are dragon punches and DM. If you see your opponent jumping in or trying to hit you when you're getting up, do a wake up and gain the initiative back. Don't be too obsessed with wake up thoughs. A good trick is to pretend to attack a downed opponent and then block the wake up. Most wake ups leave you open when blocked. (A fair trade for the priority) And example would be a standing A/B before the opponent wakes up and then blocking. The timing for waking up in KOF is very stringent compared with Street Fighter so practice to learn to timing. It seems that you have to do the wake up a bit early before your getting up animation starts. Command throws and throw DMs make excellent wake up moves. The golden rule of KOF is never stand in front of a grappler when he's getting up. A good trick is to hop just when the grappler is getting up and if he does a throw, you can punish him. When using a grappler and if you're opponent is pretty good, chances are he's going to try the trick on you. Do an anti air or wait for him to land and command throw. TURTLING ======== In order words sitting on floor all the time aka having the stick at db 90% of the time. Turtlers will more often than not use a character who has a good d+C anti air and wait for you to jump. If you jump, they use d+C and throw you if you roll. Sometimes it seems like there's nothing you can do against them, particularly when time's running out. Here's some suggested counter techniques: 1) Hyper jump over. The d+C attack may miss, leaving your opponent open. 2) Dash forward until one character apart and see what happens. If your opponent justs sits there, do an overhead or a low chain. 3) Poke. 4) Taunt. 5) Mix short hopping with CD and empty short hop into low combo. 6) Have a turtling competition and see who can hold db the longest without getting bored. 7) Tick off some damage by shooting a projectile. Another form of turtling is keep jumping backwards into the corner. Usually, the turtler will use a character with command grab or unblockable close range move like Robert's hcf+B/D. Their plan is to block your attacks and then throw you. If you have a command throw, throw them when they land. If your character doesn't have a command throw, you can try to make them miss the throw or just poke until the turtler gets out of his shell. Alternatively, just taunt from the other side while the turtler realises how boring he is just jumping back all the time. EMPTY JUMP ATTACKS ================== This technique is emplowed primary by grapplers but can be used by non grapplers as well. The idea is to jump early with an attack, prompting the opponent to block in reaction. The attack will miss since it is executed early and the user command throws or normal throws upon landing. Clark users always do this with a jumping D and Shermie with a jumping CD as both attacks have high anti air priorities just in case you jump. You can also jump without an attack. Best way to counter empty jumps is to use an anti-air. If you're not fast enough, hop when they land and the command throw will miss, giving you a free combo or do your normal move anti-air. If your character has a decent normal anti air (usually a d+C) use it. Its better to trade hits than get command thrown. DO NOT try to hit grapplers when they land because their command throw will over prioritise you attack. However, if you are using a grappler and are being empty jumped on, your command throw will beat anything when the jumper lands. FAKE SHORT JUMP =============== Favourite technique for offensive Kyo and can be used by any character with a good low chain. Do a short jump (tap uf) but do not attack. The opponent block high expecting a high attack while you go for a low combo, in Kyo's case, usually the low B, low A, df+D. What I like about this attack is that it is very offensive and punishes turtling. Mix it up with multiple jump attacks, especially high priority attacks like CDs or in Kyo's case d+C. This technique is very useful and is a good reason to learn your characters' low chain. It can be done with the normal jump but the short jump is faster and more confusing for the opponent. How to counter? Firstly, learn your opponent's pattern, ie when does he usually do a fake short jump? Maybe after two consecutive blocked jump attacks? A good player will always change is pattern. Secondly, don't go into blocking mode everytime your opponent does multiple short jumping attacks. Counter with your anti air attack or CD counter. Don't turtle. The best defence is a good offense. VERTICAL JUMP ============= Unlike Capcom games, vertical jumps are very important in KOF. So important that my friends say I use it too much. So important that SNK gave different animations for vertical/horizontal jumping attacks. So why should you vertical jump? 1)SAFE. KOF is about movement because movement causes reaction from your opponent. Moving back puts you on the defensive while moving forward may put you at risk. Vertical jumping lets you test out your opponent in a safer way. 2)AVOIDS THROWS. See the 'waking up' section for more discussions. Also, vertical jumping avoids running grabs and air-to-ground throws like like Mary's scum spider (qcf+A). Most ppl jump back and this prevents you from punishing your opponent. Do an air attack into a combo when coming down. 3)AIR BLOCK. You can air block when jumping back or vertically but not forward. Jumping back is lame, boring and too much is scrubby. Actually vertical jumping too much is also scrubby.... CD COUNTERING ============= An important feature of KOF. You CD counter by pressing C and D while blocking. CD counters knock the opponent away with a bit of damage and use up one stock. Why use a CD counter when the stock can be better used with DMs? First, there's no guarantee you can hit your opponent with that DM. Secondly, there are lots of uncounterable attacks in KOF and CD counters are the only way to punish your opponent for using them. Not only that, CD counters allow you to regain the initiative, especially when playing aggressive. I've played with offensive Kyos and Ioris who CD counter every blocked attack. Of course CD countering can work the other way to stop offensive opponents. Usually it is the offensive opponent who controls the tempo of the game. Also, its prevents from getting guard crushed. CD counter uncounterable moves like Takuma's heinshippukyaku to discourage use. GUARD CANCEL ROLL ================= Its interesting to see that there are players who prefer to CD counter a multi hit DM rather than blocking the whole thing and then punishing the opponent. KOF is about making the most out of every opportunity and a blocked multi hit DM is the opportunity to inclict maximum damage. If you only have on stock and a healthy life bar, its best to block the whole thing and the combo into a DM. If your life is low, guard cancel roll, don't CD counter, run to your opponent and do your most damaging combo when your opponent finishes. Its pretty funny to guard cancel Ryo's ryokuranbu and follow it with your own! Another tactic that I've not seen in the arcades is to guard cancel roll in the middle of blocking a combo. I did it last week and attack my opponent's back with a DM combo. This should work easily against characters such as Blue Mary. More info as I try this technique out at my next KOF session. JUMPING IN ON GRAPPLERS ======================= When jumping in on grapplers, always make sure that your attack hits low. If your attack is blocked at the head area, there's enough time for the grappler to throw you when you reach the ground. If you land right next to a grappler, he/she can command throw you normal attack. Try vertical jumping or making your attack hit low but not too deep. Remember that command throws have higher priority than normal attacks so try jumping away immediately after jumping away. TAUNTING ======== Why taunt? Firstly, your opponent will want to taunt back. I know I do everytime I'm taunted. Secondly, it irritates your opponent. I taunt with Joe all the time. My friends curse his name everytime. It makes your opponent reckless and they might do the same mistake twice. Thirdly, its fun to taunt. It gets rid of the tension a bit. Lastly, it might persuade the turtler to let go of db. Mostly I taunt after DMs. Get into the right distance and taunt. Your opponent will either jump towards you or roll. Knock them back down with the appropriate attack. I hardly taunt in the arcades unless I know my opponent or he's just jumping backwards all the time or just sitting on db. I'm interested to hear about what players think about taunting in the arcades. Do you find it rude? Personally I think it adds life to the game. UNCOUNTERABLE MOVES =================== What's an uncounterable move? Basically, its a move that when blocked, does not leave the opponent open for retaliation. KOF has more uncounterable moves to encourage risk taking gameplay. Why do I sometimes get a counter message on the screen? There are two types of counters: minor and major. (this are VF terminologies) Minor counter refers to hitting back after blocking and major counter means hitting your opponent when he is doing a move (also known as interrupting a move). An uncounterable move cannot be minor countered but any move can be major countered. The counter message in KOF refers to major counters. It is important to know which moves are uncounterable or cannot be minor countered. Use your fighter's uncounterable moves more as the risk is lower. If you expect retaliation after your opponent has blocked your uncounterable move, launch a high priority move. TO POW OR NOT TO POW ==================== POWing (ABC) is an important element in KOF. It raises your damage by about 25% and allows you to access SDMs. The counter argument to POWing is that the stock will serve better as a DM. The arguments can go both ways but here's my take on it: if you have more than 2 stocks, POW. Especially is you are using a high damage character because the higher the damage the more that 25% is worth. You also have to look at how useful having a stock ready is for you. For my Chang, I am very reluctant to POW because I need to use the qcfx2+A DM as my main anti air. Takuma needs his big priority qcf,hcb+A/C DM as a threat so that it easier to land a shoran kyaku. Different characters have different needs and it depends on how you play. I always POW with Clark because I hardly DM with him and 4 command throws when POWed spells victory. If its difficult to land a DM, POW. Another thing to note is that when POWed, your attacks pushes your opponent back more so be wary about using some long combos. CORNER TRAPPING =============== To corner trap, you have to first get your opponent into the corner. duh... Next, follow these set of rules: 1) If they roll just throw them back in. 2) If they jump, anti air. 3) Poke and refer to 1 & 2. 4) If you're feeling lucky, do a high priority but safe move when they're getting up. eg King's surprise rose(dp+A/C) or Clark's sC into hcf+D. 5) If they're still sitting on db, overhead or dash in command throw. Just keep them in the corner. Nevermind if your don't land a hit. Continue poking and cancelling into special moves. There are many other things you can do, depending on your characters but the above rules are the basic things you should be looking for. One rule which has worked for me but will not work work all the time is that after getting knocked down when getting up, the opponent will wise up and play defensive. Dash in and command throw. GRAPPLING RANGE =============== This is probably one of the mysteries of KOF. Sometimes a command throw can connect from half a character away and sometimes it will miss even if the grappler is next to the opponent. Here are some explanations on why command throws can miss: 1)Block stun. When your opponent blocks an attack, he goes into block stun. During this very short period he cannot move and neither can he be thrown. If you combo a blocked normal attack into a command throw, the command throw will miss because of the block stun. To tick, wait for the block normal's animation to finish and then do the command throw. By this time, your opponent will be out of his block stun. 2)Character movement. I've read in various FAQs that you can't command throw your opponent at maximum range when he is moving. I'm not sure if moving includes attacking but I doubt it. I've had this incident where Yashiro blocks Kyo's sC from Kyo's arm length away and command throws Kyo instantly. I belive that the character movement mentioned refers to moving left/right/up/down. For example, Goro's dp+B/D command throw will miss if the opponent crouches when one character away. Any confirmation or corrections will be very much appreciated. 3)Off the ground. Some normal attacks make the character hop a bit from the ground. Some notable examples are Chris' standing CD and Kim's f+A. CHARACTER STRATEGIES -------------------- ANDY BOGARD =========== The main thing you are looking for is the dam breaker (hcf+A/C when close) into a dash, df+A (2hits) into hcf+D. However the dam breaker has low priority so don't focus on it too much.Poke with his hishouken(qcb+A), zaneiken (db,f+A/C qcf+A/C) or poke agressively with crouching C into qcb+A. Andy's shoryuu dan(dp+A/C) despite being a dragon punch, is only good as an early anti air. It has poor priority so don't use it as a wake up or late anti air. Always POW when you have stock. Andy's DMs are practically useless and it allows you to use the fire DM (qcb, hcf+B/D) after after a dam breaker. Catch a rolling opponent with a couching A into df+A into qcb+A. U can easily combo from the 2nd hit of the df+A, making it the easiest low combo starter. Jump qcf+B/D, P/K is a good move to do from long range. It has a deceptive descent speed to throw your opponent off guard but use it sparingly because it leaves you open when blocked. Try jumping back and surprise your opponent with the move. Andy is really bad in air-to-air combat so stick to the ground most of the time. Main combos jC/D, sC(1hit),hcf+C, f, F, df+A(2hits), hcf+D sC(1hit), df+A(2hits), db, f+A, qcf+A cA, df+A, qcb+A (anti roll) ATHENA ASAMIYA ============== For some stupid reason, SNK decided to weaken Athena. She's not as powerful as she was in 97, unless you use her bug. Anyway, the core of her strategy is her command throw(hcf+A/C) which tosses her opponent into the air. It has a short but invincible startup. Unfortunately, it can only be comboed from standing/low A/B. Standing B is prefered since it has more range. If you intend to psycho ball or dp after the throw, don't. The damage from falling down is higher than getting hit by a psycho ball or dp. If you have stock, jump or run forward and do her hcbx2+A/C (s)dm. Alternatively, jump with a C to set up a guessing game. Athena will land a bit earlier allowing you the first action. If you feel your opponent is going to attack, interrupt it with a standing B into her command throw or hcbx2+A/C DM. If your opponent just blocks, dash and command throw. Athena's shining crystal bit(hcbx2+A/C) is her most useful move. It has quick startup, invincibility and does good damage. Use it to counter most of your opponent's attacks, especially jump ins. Also, its great when time's running out since it lasts pretty long and is pretty much invincible. Fighting Athena If your Athena sets you up with the hcf+A/C, jC guessing game, just jump back. If Athena does the hcbx2+A/C dm at close range, just wait for her to stop or shoot the fireball. If she raises her hand for the fireball, run and roll behind. There's a bit of lag before the fireball can come our. If she ticks you in the corner with the DM, a rushing DM can get through. BENIMARU ======== Benimaru, no more the cheap character he was in 97 is more of a skill character. Use his raijinken(qcf+A/C) with care. It has slow start up and recovery. Use it more with anticipation than mindless poking, especially when your opponent has stock. The shinkuu katategoma is no more the ticking nightmare it was in 97. Benimaru is left open to counters if blocked so use it in anticipation of rolls. However, if your opponent rolls behind, he will not be knocked down and Benimaru is left open. The dp+B/D is a good anti air and all around safe poke as well as wake up. The Benimaru coreda is your typical command grab with less range. The raikoken(qcfx2+A/C) is slow to come out and should be done in anticipation. Benimaru's electrigger(hcbx2+A/C) is his best DM. It goes great damage you have to land it at least once in order to win. It has a small period of invulnerability in the beginning though he can be thrown out of it, which is very rare. Here are some suggestions on how to connect electrigger: 1)Use it as a very late anti air and the opponent's attack will miss while he/she lands in Benimaru's grab. 2)The electrigger is also useful as anti roll or wake up. The lag before the move allows Benimaru to track the roll. 3)After a having your Handou Sandan Geri(hcb+B/D) blocked. The Electrigger will make Benimaru immune to the sweep or counter attack. 4)After knocking your opponent down, roll behind and electrigger. 5)Corner trap after knocking opponent down. Do the electrigger as your opponent's geting up. The electrigger will catch rolls and be immune to some attacks in its initial frames. 6)Empty jump/hop. Playing Benimaru in 98 is very different from 97 because you have to rely more on anticipation and his normal moves than just mindless poking. Main combos jC/D, sC, hcb+B hcb+C cB, cB, cB, qcf+B (anti roll and all round safe poke) BILLY KANE ========== Billy is a long range character and the whole idea is to poke your opponent until he loses. Billy has a poor close range game so always keep your distance. Billy's most important move is his wheel flame DM(qcf,hcb+A/C). Use it against rollers or after blocking a sure-couter move. Using it as an anti-air is a waste of potential. Billy's other moves do poor damage so the wheel flame is his best comeback move. At ground level, poke with cA and his Cane Strike(hcf+A/C, qcf+A/C). His cane strike can be easily rolled through so use it sparingly. Also, the cane strike can be used to lure your opponent into the wheel flame DM. After your opponent rolls through a cane strike from far range, fake another cane strike and do the wheel flame if your opponent rolls forward again. If you don't have stock, use the Whirlwind Cane(tapA/C rapidly). In KOF and 3D fighting games there is a 'you move-I move-you move-etc' rythm. To play Billy well, you have to break the rythm as his moves leave him very open. Use Billy's uppercut(dp+A/C) as your typical dragon punch and wake up but be aware of its limited priority, especially as a wake up. Billy's reversals are very important to his gameplay. If you've played a tough CPU Billy, you'll get the idea of how to play him: poke and knockdown, poke and knockdown. Use Billy's reversals or uppercut to knockdown. Mix in a bit of offence with jC, f+A or f+B. Use the jC as a weaker version of Chang's jC. If your opponent gets close, your best bet is his cB and his uppercut. Billy has a crap d+D sweep. It was good range but is very slow to recover. Use only if sure it will hit. Fighting Billy Block his extended pole(hcf+A/C) and then AB counter. You have enough time to punish him before he recovers. Anticipate his attacks, roll/jump and punish. Be extremely careful about rolling in when he has stock. Main combos jC/D, sC, hcf+A, qcf+A jC/D, sC, f+A jC/D, sC/D, dp+D, qcf,hcb+A/C (corner) BLUE MARY ========= Blue Mary is a jack of all trades fighter: she has a command throw, great anti air and good combos. The basis of your gameplay should center around landing that close standing C into a DM combo. This is her most important tactic and what opponents fear about her. The bad news is that far C will leave you wide open for punishment though I've never been punished before. Another question is whether to do one or two hits with the standing C? Sometimes, 2hits with the sC will leave you too far for the DM to connect, especially if the jump in is very shallow. It rarely happens though. I'm not sure about the hcbx2DM since I rarely use it in combos. I'm too used to the qcf,hcb+A/C from 97 that I never bothered to change. Always use qcf,hcb+A instead of C cause its faster. The best DM to combo is of course hcbx2+B/D. qcf+A/C is a good move to use against scrubs but never against good players. If you see the Spider(qcf+A/C), jump up and do a combo. Against experienced players, use the spider in the unlikeliest of places like when they're getting up. Poke rapidly with B while getting reading ready for the dp+B/D in case the opponent jumps. Use the straight slicer(hold b,f+B/D, qcf+B/D) as a hit and run, ie attack, dash/roll back and straight slicer. Use the straight slicer to go under high fireballs. The vertical arrow(dp+B/D) is much weaker this year because it has to connect in order for the M.Snatcher to come out. The vertical arrow will lose to high priority jump ins like Chris' CD if done late. Mary's M. Reverse Facelock(qcb+B) is great way to stop high priority air attacks like Kyo's R.E.D kick(rpd+B/D) or the Shingo Kick(hcf+B/D). The whole idea of playing Mary is using her sC combo and employing her command throws when her opponent gets too defensive. Mary is a very flexible character. You can play offensively with her jump ins and command throws or play defensively with her vertical arrow and counters. Occasionally, if her jump in is blocked, do her overhead(f+A). Main combos jD, sC(2hits) f+A, dp+B/D, dp+B/D jD, sC(2hits) f+A, hcb,f+A/C /qcf,hcb+A /hcbx2+B/D BRIAN BATTLER ============= Brian is sorely in need of a command throw. How could SNK not have given him such an important move? Anyway, I digress. Brain's main attributes are his high damage and higher resistence to damage. At close range, do his sC, qcb+C, hcf+C, ddd+D, d, u+C combo. If the sC is blocked, don't proceed with the rest of the combo as it will leave Brian open for attack. The combo can only be done from cross over so if you managed a normal jump in, do a sC into qcb+A/C x3. Brian's rocket tackle(dp+B/D) is a decent enough uppercut with moderate priority and good damage. Brian's screw body press(j, qcf+A/C) is an important move. It allows him to move a good distance, tick of damage and is safe. If your opponent turtles, this is the only safe move you can do. Brian's hyper tackle(hcf+B/D) can absorb one hit but leaves you open when blocked. The American Supernove DM(qcfx2+A/C) is a good early anti air. The Big Bang tackle DM(qcfx2+B/D) is a risky move. The two other charges will only connect if the opponent is at the middle of the screen. An interesting note, the Big Bang SDM will absorb any move, including Kyo's qcfx2+A/C DM! Playing Brain requires very basic strategies such as the old school jump kick-> down kick. Main combos cxC, sC(1hit), qcb+C, hcf+C, ddd+B/D, d, u+A/C jC, sC(2hits), qcb+A/C x3 CHANG KOEHAN ============ Probably one of my favourite characters. He's big, slow but does great damage. Use his hold b, f+A/C moves at long range to poke, preferably with A since it recovers faster. Use his jumping C to poke from the air and jump D to attack. Use the standing CD to poke and always cancel it into a spinning ball thing. (Tap A/C rapidly) Chang's command throw (hcb, f+A/C) is his best move and should be used all the time. It has high priority and better range than it seems. Tick with standing B or crouching A. The qcfx2+A is Chang's best DM as an anti air. If done deep, it will score two hits and a butt-load of damage. In fact, its always best to have a stock ready. The DM does decent damage (around 30%) and has huge priority. Avoide using it when the opponent is on the ground as it leaves Chang open, even if it hits. Use the other DM, qcf, hcb+A/C as an early anti air, wake up or to counter combos as it has invincibility in the beginning. Chang's staple combo is jump D, standing B/crouching A, HCB, f+A/C. The combo does about 40% damage. When your opponent rolls towards you, command throw or do a crouching A into the spinning ball when they roll through. Having at least one stock is very important for Chang especially for his qcfx2+A DM as an anti air so its best not to put him as the first member of the team. Use the charge b,f+A as a far away poke but make sure your opponent is in a defensive mood. If Yamazaki charges for a snake arm, charge b,f+A/C will knock him out with big damage. Fighting Chang When jumping and Chang does the qcf,hcb+A/C DM, throw him/block before the attacking animation comes out. If Chang does the qcfx2+A/C SDM, block the drop high and the crouch for the earthquake. When Chang does the charge b,f+A/C move, run and roll under the ball and combo. To differentiate between both, the C version has Chang spinning the ball first. Most importantly, never jump in on Chang when he is getting up and has stock. Main combos jD, sB/cA, hcb, f+A/C jD, cA/B, u+D cA, rapid A (anti roll) hcb,f+A/C CHIN GENTSAI ============ Please mail me your strategies if you are a Chin user. CHIZURU KAGURA ============== I just wish someone would write a good FAQ for her. So far I've only seen one good Chizuru player but he was very good. The guy used Chizuru's slide (df+B) a lot as well as the d+C, f+A, hcb+A/B combo. The slide has very fast recovery and the d+C would often interrupt any attack. Even if blocked the combo leaves Chizuru very safe. Furthermore, the combo uses Chizuru's shadow to attack, thus making it harder as to guess her next action, ie hard to tell whether she's standing or crouching. For the hcb+ABCD move, press the same button again immediately to make the attack come out. Otherwise the attack will not combo. The funny thing is (correct me if I'm wrong), non of the 98 stuff on the net says anything about it. It caused me great concern because I couldn't combo with the hcb+ABCD moves and only found out while reading through Moonrun and Matt Hall's 97 combo FAQ. Here's some Chizuru strategies from WarlockOfWater@aol.com : Chizuru's move are a good mix of both offense and defense. However, to a novice player Chizuru is as confusing to the player as it is to the opponent. But as soon as you know when you're sending out an illusion or the real thing, Chizuru is pretty neat and fun character to use, and you'd get the fun of watching your opponent dazzle-minded. Her fwd + A and her fwd + B have a end and beginning lag, respectively, and should be used only for retreating opponents. Her Standing CD has a short beginning lag (but it doesn't look anything like a CD setup so it could look confusing to opponent), but her jumping CD comes out quickly and has great range. One serious mistake many FAQs make is that after her HCB+any button move, one have to follow up with QCB+ (same button you used before). If her move was a rushing standing slap (HCB + A or C), it could followed up with a jump slap (QCB + A or B), if her move was a rushing crouching slap (HCB + B or D), it could be followed up with with a ground slap (QCB + C or D). Chizuru's Oracle Decree (DP + punch), especially the A version, is hard to roll or jump over. However, her projectile reflector shouldn't be used unless reflecting really slow projectiles (mature's ebony tears or heidern's x-caliber), because it has a relatively long lag after it. Also take note not to send your illusions out into projectiles or attacks in progress (e.g. Vice's Outrage), as the real Chizuru takes the blow and possibly the fall (e.g. if the illusion ran into a CD attack) if her illusion gets hit. And it is often much more recommended that you send out the illusions rather than the real thing (less lag and leaves Chizuru less vulnerable), unless the purpose of your special is to get from one place to another. One really could abuse Chizuru's illusion-dance super. If the opponent blocks the dance standing, one could use a crouching kick, if the opponent is crouch-blocking, jump kick! Very rarely does the opponent knows enough (or perhaps calm enough) to block both the jump kicks and crouch kicks, and even though the super isn't that damaging, it is guaranteed to hit 90% of the time. Her other super though, even though it does deal damage, has a long beginning and end lag (bad if missed, worse if blocked), its damage is half that of most supers and opponent could usually make do without special moves by retreating and blocking for the few seconds the the opponent is "enchanted". Oh yea, keep a lookout for her mirror-opening when facing Kyo or Iori. It looks really cool! ^_^ And from Sum Yin Ngai : First of all,I think Chizuru Kagura should be used as a defensive character when opponent is up close and offensive when opponent is far away. It's best to try to keep the opponent away once they're close because besides her DP + A/C move,Kagura doesn't have any moves to play offensive.Always DP + A them once they are beside her.Once they are at least 1/2 a screen away,use the HCB ABCD move,and mix them up at random,using the shadows to hit sometimes,using Kagura to hit sometimes,to confuse the opponent. Use the QCF 2 times super to do ticking damage.That's what is good for.The QCB HCF super shouldn't be used often I think,though damage is quite good but a bit slow. CHOI BOUNGE =========== I'm crap at him. Please mail me your strategies if you are a Choi user. CHRIS ===== Chris is definitely a top-tier fighter. First on his list of arsenals is the high priority jumping CD. His jumping CD will beat most air attacks unless its another high priority jump that's higher than his. Abuse for all its worth. Chris main attack is his jD, sC, f+A chain. If blocked, follow up with the Direction Change(dp+A/C) or hcb+A. Chris' hcb+A has very fast recovery so if you think your opponent will attack, quickly do a Twister Drive(qcbx2+B/D). Chris' slide(df+B) is a great poking move. Its fast, safe and frustrating for the opponent. Chris' other main move is the Direction Change(dp+A/C), Chris will flip on the opponent's head and land on the other side, leaving the opponent wide open. Combo into a sC,f+A,hcb+A/C or if you have stock, replace hcb+A/C with a Twister Drive(qcbx2+B/D). The Direction Change is very fast but must be used sparingly. Mix it with a slide, after a combo, in the middle of a combo or just use it anytime. Do not use his CD counter on low chains because it will miss. Fighting Chris If you block Chris' hcb+A deep enough, you can command throw him. Don't attack straight away after blocking his slide because of his instant recovery. Stay grounded because Chris' jumping CD rules the air. Always be on the look out for his Direction Change(dp+A/C). The problem with Chris' Direction Change is that it is a low risk-high return move. Most of the time, the only way to punish the Direction jump is either an anti air or jump attack. To get better returns for avoiding the Direction Change, use characters with air DMs like Leona(qcf,hcb+A/C) and Kim(qcf,hcb+B/D). Jump the Direction Change and DM! Main combos jD, sC, f+A, hcb+A/C qcbx2+B/D cB, cA, f+A, hcb+A/C CHRIS (Orochi) ===== Orochi Chris has been weakened from 97 and in a reversal of roles, normal Chris has become the powerful one. One obvious weakening is that his Limb Biting Blaze(hcf+B/D) can only be followed by a A version uppercut(dp+A) or a standing D in the corner. To connect the Limb Biting Blaze into the uppercut, do the uppercut just before the move finishes. Main combos jD, sC, f+A, hcf+B/D, dp+A qcb,hcf+A/C CLARK STEEL =========== Clark is one of the best characters of the game and is fun to use. Command throws have high priority in the game so use it to your advantage. Firstly, uf+D is your best anti air. Use like an early dragon punch. It'll beat anything in the air. Jumping CD is a good air attack. Use short hop with CD to pressure your opponent. The running grab(hcf+A/C) is a very good move. Use it when your opponent is turtling or poke with it. The backbreaker(hcf+B/D) is his best throw. Its easy to use, fast and can be comboed with a sC. To follow up, do qcf+A/C the same instant Clark dumps the opponent down. For hcf+C, do it the same time as the last roll. Clark has the best okizeme in the entire game and if you guess right, you'll just knock him down again and again. Okizeme just means attacking your opponent when their getting up. Your first option is to do a crouching D. If your opponent gets up blocking, hcf+A/C or dp+B/D. Your third option is to trick grapplers by vertical jumping at the last moment. Your final option is a close standing C into hcf+B/D. The key is to mix your options up well and know which to use. A good way to start would be crouching D. Scrubs fall for this and when you've conditioned your opponent to block everything you crouch low, use hcf+A/C or dp+B/D. If your opponent pulls an empty vertical jump, do Clark's dp+A/C. Fighting Clark The man of steel is a strong opponent. First rule to keep in mind always be prepared for an anti air. The whole idea is to prevent him from throwing you. Vertical jump into a combo everytime you see a running grab. When you empty hop, don't land too close to Clark. As for Clark's okizeme, block low and if nothing happens in half a second, jump. Main combos jD, sC(1hit), hcf+D, qcf+C jD, hcb+C, hcb+C GORO DAIMON =========== Goro has two of the best normal moves in the game, standing B and D. The standin D is an all purpose poke and anti-air move with high priority. Its only weakness is that your opponent can easily roll through and punish. Abuse the standing D for all its worth. Standing B is a good poke at close range. When your opponent is crouching close, the kick will miss. Buffer into a throw. Goro's D is his best jump in. The dp+B/D is an important move. It has a small lag where it has limited invincibility and does great damage. Use it against opponents when they're getting up or rolling. The lag allows Goro to track the roll, even if they roll through to the other side! Most opponents won't think about jumping to escape this move. Next is the hcb,f+A/C throw. Its your all purpose throw. Use it after the tumble(qcb+B/D) at close range. The hcf+C has the longest reach and a bit of invincibility. Do it after a blocked jumping D to eat most counter attacks. hcf+A is an early anti air but you need to anticipate the jump. When you're opponent does a fireball from full screen, dp+A unless you're low on life. You'll trade hits but guess who get hurts more. Use dp+C to fake. The computer falls for it all the time. Goro's ukemi roll(qcb+B/D) is a great offensive weapon. Poke with sB, qcb+B into hcb,f+A/C or his hcbx2+A/C DM. The ukemi is great for getting pass opponent's rapid A/B. Use the hcbx2+A/C DM to instantaneously grab your opponent after rolling, empty jump etc. The hcfx2+B/D DM has been given some lag but now has autoguard. Goro will raise his arms and during this time, he will take damage but will not flinch, only to grab the opponent 1/2 a second later. The autoguard will stop moves moves but not multi hitting ones like Kyo's qcfx2+A/C DM. The DM can be used as an anti air. Do it late when your opponents jump in is about to hit you. Goro will absorb the hit and then throw them when they land. The DM is also effective against poking opponents. Goro also has a good okizeme game like Clark but as effective because he lacks a good running grab. Use his cD and dp+D to play a two way guessing game. If your opponent blocks the cD, cancel into qcb+B/D and command throw. Fighting Goro If Goro is abusing the sD, just roll through and combo. Goro has incredible defence so its best to make him come to you. When you see the hcfx2+B/D DM, jump up or just normal throw him before his throw comes out. Main combos jD, sC, hcf+C/hcb hcb,f+A/C hcbx2+A/C cD, hcf+C (escapable by rolling) jCD, hcf+C (escapable by rolling) HEAVY D! ======== Go read the Heavy D! faq by EX Andy. Nuff' said. Main combos jC(2hits), sD(2hits), f+A, qcb,hcf+A/C qcf+A/C cB, cA, f+A, qcf+A/C (anti roll) qcb,hcf+A/C HEIDERN ======= Heidern luckily is not the overpowered character he was in 95. His leaping moves now leave him open when blocked. One if Heidern's main attributes is his ability to suck the opponent's life and add it to his own with the storm bringer(hcb+A/C), killer bringer(qcfx2+A/C) and his counter(hcb+B/D). The storm bringer has poor range so its best to use it as an anti-roll. Blocking a sure counter move will not guarantee a storm bringer because Heidern needs to be right next to the opponent. The same applies to using it offensive: hold the dash a tad longer than with other characters. Tap your buttons rapidly to encrease the damage. The killer bringer is ideal as an early anti-air and anti- roll. As for the counter, don't bother with it: the countering window is too small. Main combos jC, sC(2hits), f+B(1hit), qcb,hcf+B/D jC, cB, cA, u+A/C IORI YAGAMI =========== I'm not going to write about using Iori. Walk into any arcade and you'll see more Iori strategies than you care to. 10 commandments on fighting Iori. 1) Never roll a Iori fireball from full screen. This depends on your opponent but if he's good, he'll punish you. The fireball recovers fast enough that he can DM you when you roll. The same if you run and roll. Iori can do the standing C into you know what. Approach him carefully. 2) Never try to punish Iori when you've blocked on or two of the qcb+A/C moves. Its better to take the block damage than to eat the third qcb+A/C or a DM. If your instincts tell you otherwise go ahead. 3) Never stand in front of Iori when he's getting up. That's the perfect invitation to scum gale. Of course, you can jump at the last minute and combo the missed scum gale. 4) Never jump at Iori when he has stock. Sometimes Iori will waste one stock when you hyper jump over him. 5) Always block his cross over. Watch out if he fakes and does a scum gale instead. 6) Thou shalt not fire a high fireball at Iori when he has stock. eg: Athena, Aku.. I mean 95 Ryo. 7) Roll through the fireball DM, don't jump. If you're close, roll and immediately attack. If not wait for the fireball to get close before rolling, if not you will roll into the fireball. When at full screen, run and roll when you reach the middle. Usually the DM is done unintentionally when doing the scum gale. 8) Punish Iori with your most damaging combo when you block his rushing DM. If you block his crouching D, punish with a DM. Iori has too many safe moves so make the most of it. 9) Do not stand next to Iori or attack him when he is waking up. Always be patient and tempt him to do the rushing DM in hopes of catching you. 10)When Iori does an empty jump or early jump air attack, use your anti air. If not vertical hop to avoid the scum gale and combo away. A defensive Iori is a pain in the @$$ and I always have problems fighting him. Defensive Iori's always poke with a standing D or a standing C into qcb+C. Best place to fight Iori is to stand outside his poking range. If he does the fireball, you can roll through and punish before he has time to recover. Anticipate a poke and counter with a high priority move. Iori has a high priority jumping D so stick to the ground unless you have a high priority jumping attack as well. It seems that Iori's sB cannot or is extremely difficult to wake up on, similar to Clark/Ralf's cD. JOE HIGASHI =========== Another of my favourite characters. Joe is mostly a zoning/pressure type character. Most importantly, learn the cC/sC, f+B chain. Combo into B Tiger Kick(hcf+B) or the rushing punch DM (qcf, hcb+A/C) if it connects. Cancel the chain into A hurricane upper or B Tiger Heel (qcb+B) if blocked. Be aware that your opponent can roll through the hurricane upper. Try to throw them as soon as Joe recovers. Alternatively, don't do anything and wait. If the opponent rolls, throw him back or just hold d and mash and A. Joe will combo into the multi punch move. Finish with qcf+A into an overhead of qcf+C to knocdown. Try to get the qcf+A/C finisher out as fast as possible. If you are too slow, ie it takes two or more low As before the multi punch comes out, your opponent can block the remaining hits and punish you. If he waits, jump with a C/D into the C, f+B chain. Poke with standing C, f+B, df+B and B slash kick. If you feel your opponent is going to attack after a blocked slash kick, do the tiger kick or qcf, hcb+A/C DM. Use the B flash kick at about half screen away. The golden heel(qcb+B/D) is a good anti air and poking move. If the B version hits your opponent in the air, cancel into a B slash kick. After a golden heel, poke with B/C into another golden heel. The tiger kick (dp+B/D) is a very important move. It was good priority and is useful as an anti air or wake up move. Use Joe's rushing DM (qcf, hcb+A/C) as a wake up or to interrupt ground attack. It has good priority and will eat most attacks. As for the other DM, avoid using it unless you are POWed. A good technique is POW, attack a blocking opponent with jump D, C, f+B, hcf+A, qcb+B, etc and then do the hurricane SDM(qcfx2+A/C). After about 9 consecutive blocked hits, the multi his SDM will cause a guard crush. The hurricane DM(qcfx2+A/C) is good for an anticipated jump in but other than that, it is crap because it can be so easily rolled through. Joe is ideal as the first fighter of your team as he doesn't need stocks that much and he can easily build up real fast because of his gameplay. Fighting Joe Use a high priority rush move like Kyo's qcfx2+A/C DM /Iori's qcf,hcb+A/C DM when Joe does his hurricane upper. Main combos jD, sC, fB, hcf+B/qcf,hcb+A/C cA, rapid A, qcf+A/C (anti roll) cC, hcf+A (poke) KING ==== Her illusion dance DM(qcf,hcb+B/D) is slow to come out but moves her back and then forward. Use it in anticipation of a early jump in, roll or any attack. Use the B version as the D version is too slow. Avoid using the illusion dance too much as you can never be sure whether it will connect. King's silent flash DM (qcbx2+B/D) is an ok wake up move but I've been hit out of it before. Best to use it in combos or as very late anti air. Finish of combos with a tornado kick(hcb+B/D). The tornado kick is great for anti, similar to Kensou's hcf+C move. The mirage kick(hcb+A/C) sets the opponent up for a guessing game which isn't so favourable for King. Avoid using the venom strike/double strike within half screen range, unless it for poking a downed opponent. Tick of damage with a surprise rose(dp+A/C). Use it when the opponent's getting up, especially in the corner. Cancel the surprise rose from any normal attack after a blocked jump in. The surprise rose will pass over your opponents attack and hit on the way down. Use King's slide(df+B) to poke and cC as early anti-air. Main combos jC/D, sD(2hits), hcbA/B/C/D jC/D, sD(1hit), qcbx2+B/D jC/D, sD(1hit), dp+A, hcb+D (corner only) KYO KUSANAGI ============ The hero of the game is luckily not a ryu clone. Kyo is a versatile character that is hard to use. Basically, Kyo is a poke type character and is best played offensively. His main poking weapons are his A fire fists, standing B, rdp+B/D and the all important low B, low A, df+D chain. Most of the time poke with qcf+A firefist. If your opponent crouch blocks, follow up with hcb+A, A. The low B, low A, df+D chain is a very interesting weapon. Even if blocked, it pushes the opponent back to poking range, setting up for a guessing game. If the opponent turtles, rpd+B, firefist or hop attack into the chain again. If the opponent rolls, do the chain when they come up. When doing the chain, do not complete it if the df+D misses as your opponent will have time to roll through and punish. The firefists' autoguard should beat any move with one notable exception, Shingo's qcf+A/B. Anticipate Shingo's fists and do qcf+C early to beat it. Kyo's R.E.D. kick (rpd+B/D) is a very useful poking move. Its safe, fast, has high priority and knocks down. Avoid landing on top of fighters with command throws. Kyo's qcf+B/Dx2 is quite safe when blocked and is best used after a sC. Use the oniyaki(dp+A/C) or cC as his anti air. Always use the A version of the oniyaki. Kyo's qcfx2+A/C DM has great priority and can easily stop many attacks. The DM is great for stopping projectiles. If your opponent moves after a low chain, blast him away with the DM. The DM has limited invulnerability versus jump ins. No point using it as an early anti air as it will only do limited damage. If done late and timed will, the jump in will miss and Kyo will get all the hits in. Main combos jC/D, sC, qcf+C, hcb+C, C jC/D, sC, qcf+D, D, qcb, hcf+C hcb+D sC, f+B(2hits), qcb, hcf+C hcb+D qcf+C, hcb+C, C cB, cA, df+D cB, cA, qcfx2+A LEONA ===== Use the A Baltic Launcher(holdb,f+A) continuous when on the defensive. Watch out for characters who can go under the Baltice Launcher (eg Iori's Maiden masher DM). Use the C version on anticipation of a jump/roll and then jump into the V slasher(qcf,hcb+A/C) to combo. Leona should most of the time be charging at db, poking with cB/cA or A Baltic Launcher. Use jC or B ground saber(hold b,f+B) to move forward and continue poking, alternatively using her overhead(f+B). The ground saber will run under high fireballs. Use the x-caliber as an early anti air or anti-poke move. Main combos jC/D, sD(2hits), qcb,hcf+B/D f+A, qcf,hcb+C jC, cB, cA, u+A/C cA, cA, u+A/C (anti roll) LUCKY GLAUBER ============= Please send your strategies if you are a lucky user. Main combos sC, f+B, qcfx2+A/C MATURE ====== Mature is an offensive fighter. Jump in with B, into sB cancelled into Death Row(qcb+A/Cx3). Death Row is a great way to tick of damage and gain stock. At full screen, do her Ebony Tears(qcf,hcb+A/C) followed up by a run/jump in into a combo for pressure. Her sB(2hits) can be followed by the Nocturnal Lights DM(qcfx2+A/C) but not her Heaven's Gate(qcb,hcf+B/D) which can only be comboed from a sD. Main combos jB(2hits), sB(2hits), qcb+A/Cx3 qcfx2+A/C cA, cA, qcb+A/Cx3 MAI SHIRANUI ============ The downgrade for Mai is that her Hakuro no Mai is no longer safe when blocked. Use the cC into Ryuu Enbu(qcb+A/C) to poke safely or stop rolls. If your opponent jumps, use Hishou Ryuu Enjin(dp+B/D). Main combos jC/D, sC, qcb+A/C qcf+A/C dp+A/C RALF JONES ========== Your main weapon is the C button. Standing C/ low C liberally while charging the Ralf kick or the Diving Bomb Punch(hold d,u+A/C). The ralf kick (hold b,f+B/D) is useful as a poke and setting up a guessing game. If the Ralf Kick connects as a counter ie hits the opponent in the middle of a roll, follow up with a Gatling Attack(hold b, f+A/C) Mostly use the B version unless full screen away. After a block Ralf kick a standing/low C will interrupt any attack. Alternatively dash forward and command throw. Use qcb,hcf+B/D as an early anti air. When the opponent's getting up, poke with a cC into Ralf's baackbreaker(hcf+B/D) or dash in and throw. Fighting Ralf Its difficult to get close to Ralf when he goes crazy on the C button. Stand outside the range, wait for the C to whiff and attack as he recovers. Main combos jC/D, sC/dC, hcf+B/D qcf,hcb+A/C qcb,hcf+B/D hold b,f+B, qcb,qcf+B/D (corner) ROBERT GARCIA ============= Robert always has that annoying Hein Ryuujin Kyaku(in air, qcb+B/D) to poke rather safely with. However, if it connects the opponent will not be knocked down and both fighters will be standing next to each other. To be safe sC,f+B into hcb+B. Finish every blocked combo with a B hien shippu kyaku(hcb+B) to tick damage. The D hien shippu kyaku hops in the air a bit Use the fireball(qcf+A/C) as a defensive wall against jump ins, projectiles and rolling. If you don't have stock, combo his sC into hcf+B/D, f+B, dp+C. The combo does great damage. Do f+B half a second after hcf+B/D finishes. At ground level play a high-low game with his cD and f+A. Always combo with the A version of the Ryuku Ranbu(qcf,hcb+A/C) as it is faster. Main combos jC/D, sC, f+B, qcf,hcb+A/C hcb+B/D jC/D, sC, hcf+B/D, f+B, dp+C cB, cB, sB, hcb+B (anti roll) RUGAL BERNSTEIN =============== Second,Rugal can be used like Saisyu Kusanagi's fireball/DP style.The Kaiser Wave(F,HCF + A/C) move should only be used if the opponent is right at the other end of the screen.The HCB + A/C move should only be used as a counter because of its poor recovery time.Similar to the super version of it.Don't try to land the QCF 2 times super because it can be seen coming from a mile away and easily escaped and countered.Force the opponent to come close by using the Kaiser wave and start poking when he's nearby. RYO SAKAZAKI ============ Coming soon. Main combos jC/D, sC, hcb+B/D qcf+A/C qcfx2+A/C qcf,hcb+A/C f,hcf+A cB, cB, hcb+B (anti roll) SAISYU KUSANAGI =============== Saisyu can be played in two ways: the fireball/dragon punch type or the offensive type. The fireball/dp strategy is pretty self explanatory. Throw fireballs and stop jump ins as well as rolls with an uppercut. The offensive Saisyu is more interesting. Pressure with a jC/D, sC(1hit), f+A, qcb+Ax2. Mix in a blocked jump in with an overhead or his hcb+B/D. If the opponent moves, onyaki(dp+A) him to the ground and start applying pressure again. His qcb+A/C is a good move to poke with, similar to Iori's. Try to refrain from using his fireball. Always combo into his orochi nagi(qcb,hcf+A/C) if you have stock. If you don't have stock or your opponent blocks your jump in, cancel the first hit of sC into f+A so that qcb+A/Cx2 will not miss. jC/D, sC(2hits), f+A, qcb,hcf+A/C qcfx2+A/C jC/D, sC(1hit), f+A, qcb+Cx2, dp+A (corner) qcb+A/Cx2 SIE KENSOU ========== Kensou is more of a defensive type character with close range moves. Basic strategy is the fireball-uppercut game. Instead of rdp+B/D, use the C Ryuu Renga(hcf+C) as anti air instead. A useful technique is to cancel a CD into the Choukyuu Dan(qcb+A/C). Why is it so useful? Well, firstly, it changes the timing of the fireball. With the A and C versions, Kensou has two different speeds. With two more a preceeding CD, Kensou has four different speeds of Choukyuudans. Furthermore, the CD can provide safety by serving as a limited anti air and anti roll. To add to its usefulness, its great for poking, particularly for corner trapping. Mix it up with Kensou's cD. Kensou can break his opponents' guard with the Ryuu Renda (dp+A/C) and Senki Hakkei DM(qcfx2+A/C). Be very careful when doing the Senki Hakkei when coming out of the roll. If you do it the wrong way, the useless Niku Man o Kuu will come out. SHERMIE ======= Coming soon. jC, sC, hcf+A/C, qcf+B/D cxC, sC, f+B SHERMIE (Orochi) ======= Coming soon. Main combos cxC, sC, f+B, hcb+A/C /qcfx2+A/C SHINGO YABUKI ============= Shingo is a stronger version of Kyo with a useful command throw. Shingo is best played as a zoning/pressure character. His qcf+A is his most important move. It is fast, allows him to poke safely and moves him back. Cancel every blocked normal move into the qcf+A for tick damage. If the qcf+A hits your opponent, do another one. Its speed makes the move seem like a multi hit attack and leaves Shingo enough time if the opponent rolls. In fact, use qcf+A all the time. qcf+C is strictly for combos as it leaves you open when blocked. Use the Shingo kick as a long range poke. Be careful that your opponent doesn't block it too deep, especially for grapplers and you'll be safe from retaliation. Shingo's command throw dp+B/D is a great move because it allows him to switch from zoning to offensive. Use grappler techniques such as empty hopping. Be careful using it on grapplers because it has less priority than the usual command throws. Follow up his command throw with a C uppercut or if in the corner, hcb+D. The C burning Shingo(qcb,hcf+C) has some invincible frames in the beginning. Use it to pass through close range pokes, projectiles etc. Fighting Shingo The main thing about fighting Shingo is to get through his zoning moves, especially qcf+A and his Shingo kick. For the Shingo kick, wait till he lands in front of you and use a fast attack or low sweep. Move forward slowly and don't be afraid to block even if you feel like rolling because he has very fast recover. If his Shingo kick lands too deep, punish him. Predict Shingo's move and respond with a high priority move. Approach Shingo methodically and don't get frustrated. Do not be stingy about CD countering. Read his attacking pattern and hit him out of his moves with high priority moves. Main combos jC/D, sC, qcf+A/C jC/D, sA, dp+B/D, dp+C f+B(2hits), qcfx2+A/C jC/D, sA, dp+B/D, qcb+D (corner) cB, cA, qcf+A (anti roll) TAKUMA ====== Takuma is a really powerful character. His rushing DM(qcf,hcb+A/C) has the best priority in the game and is uncounterable as well. Use as anti air, wake up or practically everything. His hienshippukyaku (db,f+B/D) is uncounterable as well and sets up a nice guessing game. Beware of grapplers though. Try hopping up and they might miss the throw. If you feel your opponent is going to attack after blocking the hien... do the DM. If your opponent blocks, shoran kyaku him (hcb+B/D). Use the shoran kyaku defensive by prompting your opponent to roll your fireballs and then meeting them with the running grab. Use it offensively by poking and then doing the move. Takuma's jumping CD has incredible priority so use it in air to air combat. Fighting Takuma I prefer using grapplers so I can grab him after his uncounterable hienshippukyaku. Be careful of the zanretsuken(f,b,f+A/C). Wait for the move to almost finish before jumping in. To counter Takuma's shoran kyaku, either vertical jump into a combo or do an early strong attack. After rolling his fireball, be ready for a shoran kyaku. Most importantly, be very careful about jumping in on Takuma when he has stock. Main combos jC/D, db+C, f+D, f,b,f+C jC/D, sC, qcf+A/C cB, cA, f+A, qcf+A/C (anti roll) qcf,hcb+A/C TERRY BOGARD ============ Terry was been weakened a lot now that he cannot connect a power charge into a power geyser. The damage of the power geyser has been reduced and its more damaging to do the overhead geyser in combos instead. Use the power geyser as an early anti-air or anti-roll. Use the standing B or A burn knuckle to poke. Never use the C burn knuckle. It leaves Terry wide open when blocked. Learn the couching B, crouching A, df+C, qcb+A combo to punish rollers. You can substitue the burn knuckle into a power charge or DM. An interesting trick is to do a blocked crack shot (qcb+B/D) into a rising knuckle (dp+A/C). The rising knuckle will catch anyone who tries to retaliate. Speaking of the rising tackle, it is only invincible around Terry's body. His legs are completely vulnerable. Always do the move late as an anti-air. Main combos jD, sC(2hits), hcf+B, dp+D jD, sC(2hits), df+C, qcb, hcf+A/C sC(2hits), fA, hcf+D, jD (corner) cC, hcf+B, dp+D (poke) cB, cA, df+C, qcb+A/hcf+B/qcb, hcf+A/C (anti roll) TERRY BOGARD (RB) ================= This version of Terry is undoubtedly the better one, unless you value the rising tackle as an offensive move more. I don't particularly like using him much as I find him a bit cheap. Still, no one's as cheap as Iori. hehe. j/k THE combo to do is the jump D, standing C (2hits), f+A (2 hits), hcf+D, hold d, u+C for an easy 30% damage. To execute the rising tackle, press up and C at the same time Terry does the second kick. The damage is insane for a normal combo and cannot be done when POWed. I highly recommend putting RB Terry as the first member of your team as he doesn't need stocks. His only DM is very weak and he cannot do the combo when POWed. If you cannot do the low B, low A, df+C ect combo, punish rollers with two or three crouching As into a rising tackle. Use the B fire kick(hcf+B) at medium range. Cancel a low D with a power wave(qcf+A/C) to poke. Main combos jD, sC(2hits), fA(2hits), hcf+D, hold d, u+C cB, cA, df+C, qcb+A (anti roll) hcf+B, hold d,u+A/C qcb,hcf+A/C cA, cA, u+A/C (anti roll) VICE ==== Poke with the standing C with has incredible reach and hit jump ins with an early low C. In fact, I consider her the Mrs C of the game, Ralf's companion. Granted, its not as damaging as Ralf's but it has the advantage of being able to be used as an anti air. The Blackend(hcf+A/C) is Vice's main non-combo throw. It has great priority and does great damage, provided you follow it with Mithan's Robe(qcf+A/C). Do the motion for Mithan's Robe the same time Vice throw's her opponent up. Four Black Ends and the round is won. The only move that can combo with the Black End is Vice's sB(1st hit). Use it as a wake up pressure move like Clark's sC. Mayhem(qcb+A/C) should be used in combos and can be easily done after a cB. It can also be used as an early anti air. Combo a sD into a Gore Fest(hcb,f+A/C) if you don't have stock. Negative Gain(hcbx2+B/D) is an instant grab best used after a sD or using grappler strategies (anti roll, empty jump, etc). Always jump in with her jC. Main combos jC, sD(2hits), hcb,f+A/C hcbx2+B/D jC, sD(2hits), qcb+A/C, qcf+A/C sD(2hits), f+A, qcf+B cB, cB, qcb+A/C, qcf+A/C YASHIRO NANAKASE ================ Normal Yashiro is more of a poking and pressuring fighter. Use his Jet Counter(hcf+A/C,qcf+A/C) in combos to poke safely at your opponent. The Upper Duel(dp+A/C) will counter any normal attack. Cancel Yashiro cD into a B Sledgehammer(qcb+b). Main combos jC/D, sC, f+A, qcf+A/C, qcf+A/C jC/D, sC, f+A, hcb+A/C qcb,hcf+A/C (tap A/C rapidly) *sC, f+A can be substituted by sD, f+B or sC, f+B or sD, f+A YASHIRO NANAKASE (Orochi) ================ Orochi Yashiro is one of the most powerful characters in the game. Besides his throws, O.Yashiro has a great sD and jD. His qcb+A/C is very important as it gives O.Yashiro a free combo. Set it up after a blocked CD or crouching D. After your opponent knows your pattern, use your sD or jD to bring him down. Yashiro's okizeme is even more dangerous than Clark's. He can: 1)cD to knock down and continue again. 2)sC,f+A,etc. the sC will beat a lot of moves. 3)Block the wake up attack. 4)Grab with qcb+A/C into a combo. 5)Running grab with hcf+B/D or run in and command throw. As you can see, Yashiro has many options going for him and the risks are small while the return is big. Many players (including myself) are scared of Yashiro and a good Yashiro player will exploit that fear. If your opponent is jump happy because of Yashiro's qcb+A/C and his command throws, use Yashiro jD to bring him down. Mix up your flowcharts and don't use the same combination twice. eg, after doing CD into qcb+A twice, use hcf+B. Chances are will wait for the CD before jumping/countering and get thrown. The Niragu Daichi(hcf+A/C) is also a very important mind game move. After Yashiro throws his opponent up, do a jD. The opponent will land in front of Yashiro. After this you have 4 choices: 1)sC,f+A etc. 2)qcb+A and then combo 3)command throw 4)block attack and then counter. If the Nigaru Daichi is enough to win the round, taunt when your opponent falls down for good measure. If you have good yomi (mind game), your Yashiro can dance rings around your opponent while he watches hopelessly. Fighting O.Yashiro Yashiro is a very powerful opponent and the most important thing is to condition yourself to avoid his Kujiki Daichi(qcb+A/C) not by anticipation but by reaction. That's because a good Yashiro player will always change his flowcharts and Yashiro is very fast. Use characters with air DMs like Leona and Kim. Jump the Kujiki Daichi and air DM. Play agressively or keep away. Just don't let him touch you. One combo into DM is enough to win the round. Main combos jC/D, sC, f+A, hcb,f+A/C hcbx2+A/C hcf+B hcb+A/C, sC, f+A, hcb,f+A/C hcbx2+A/C hcf+B YURI SAKAZAKI ============= Coming soon. YURI SAKAZAKI 95 ============= Use simple but effective strategies. The first technique is mixing up her Kouken(qcf+A/C) with her Hyakuretsu Bina (hcb+B/D). Its practically the same as Takuma's strategy. Force your opponent to roll the Kouken and meet them with the bina(slap). Hit an early jump in with the Saiha(qcb+A/C) or cC. At close range, poke with a cD into a Kouken or multiple cB into B Raio Ken(qcf+B). The Shin Yuri Chou Upper is her most damaging DM and has high priority. Do not use it as anti air because the dragon punch will not hit though if done deep enough, the dragon punch may hit. Its better to keep it for combos, wake up, interrupting pokes and rolls. Do not get too obsessed with landing the move though. Main combos jC/D, sC, qcf+A/C MISC ---- ORDERING YOU CHARACTER ====================== Don't tell me this never happened to you: your opponent always waits for you to choose your character order before he chooses his. While waiting, he fiddles the joystick up and down while pretending to have a hard time deciding. If you don't choose he'll even wait until time's over. So what can you do? Choose a character first and see if he follows suit. If he doesn't, wait for a while and if he doesn't, don't let it bug you. Best advice is don't even bother about match-ups. Just choose your characters straight from the go based on the principles of stock, smile and strength. Its preferable to put characters who can build up stock as the first fighter. Characters who build up stock fast use a lot of special moves to poke. Whether the fighter is smiling is als important. For more information, consult Kao Megura's faq. Logically, the angry fighter should be put last so he/she not passing on stocks won't be problem. If you have two angry fighters, put the happy/neutral one first/second. The fighter after happy neutral fighter should be a fighter who needs stocks more, eg Chang/Billy. If you have three angry fighters, well bad luck. On strength, put your best fighter 2nd, your 2nd best 3rd and your weakest 1st. A group is as weak as its weakest link and the 2nd fighter is the link. Your 2nd fighter should overcome your 1st character's shortcomings and set up for your 3rd. BUGS ==== 98 is littered with bugs and bugs have always been a controversial issue. Some say it takes skill and since its in the game, its in the game. Others (like myself) argue that bugs are techniques that are not suppose to be in the game because of flaws in the game. For crying out load, SNK even has a bug checking team. (check the credits) A Singaporean friend gave a different view of bugs. When 97 first came out, Terry's infinity wasn't considered cheap because it was hard to do and only the real good players could do it. After everyone started using it, it was considered cheap. Bugs spoil the gaming experience because it wasn't suppose to be and its cheap. No, I don't think throwing or CD countering is cheap but exploiting flaws in the game system is. Imagine beating the crap of somebody and losing because he manages to land an infinity on his last hair of life. Imagine getting up and not being able to do anything about an unblockable fireball. Sure it takes fast fingers but why not use your fast fingers to play the game as it is meant to be played. What if your opponent uses bugs? Walk away. He may think he's great but he beat you not because he's better. Alternatively, you may want to bug him back and show him the feeling of disgust as Goro does a damaging 3 hit combo from a mere crouching D. VERSION HISTORY --------------- v 0.0 3/09/99 First version. Not released. v 0.1 5/09/99 First public release. Only 30%. Send in suggestion, criticism, and comments. v 0.2 7/09/99 Added strategies for Athena, Blue Mary, Clark and Takuma. Various additions. v 0.3 12/09/99 Changed the 'punishing DMs' section to 'guard cancel'. Added corner trapping to general strategies. Added strategies for Heidern, King and Benimaru. v 0.7 23/09/99 Fixed lots and lots and lots of typos. Added strategies for numerous characters. Added grappling range to general strategies. Many additions and corrections throughout the guide. More strategies to come as I do more 'research'. hehe. One thing I find is that in order to write strategies for a character, I have to play with the intent of writing strategies. Sitting down and typing strategies from the top of my head yields limited results. The next update will see a 'complete' version of the guide. v 0.9 27/02/00 It has been a long time since the last update. I've been busy with 99, exams and holidays. OK, so I lied about this being the complete version. I haven't touched 98 much since 99 came out. Whether or not this guide will reach 1.0 will depend on my KOF group, whether to play 98 or 99. Main updates being Chizuru and Rugal strategies as well as corrections/additions all over. CREDIT AND THANKS (In no particular order) ----------------- SNK For making the best 2D fighting ever. Gamefaqs Hosting this FAQ. Ben, Elvis, Paat My KOF group. For endless hours of competition and fun. This guide and Seng. wouldn't be possible without them. Kakate konu ka? KOFers in Melbourne, Competition and showing me how to play KOF at high levels. esp Melbourne Uni. KOFers on the net. Writing great FAQs and setting up great sites. IMO, there should be more good FAQS for lesser used characters like Chizuru, Choi and Brian. KOF FAQS Plenty of information. My Parents. $$$$$$$. Without which I wouldn't have KOF. William Tham. VS game sparring partner for most of my gaming life. Nick Yee. His scary Heidern in '95. Joe Higashi Best taunt in the game. I use it all the time that my friends call him 'c!b@! Joe' Shermie Sexiest babe in gaming land. I don't mind losing as long as its between her legs! Clark and Ralf Best startup pose ever! Mai Shiranui Being as bouncy as she was in 94. Keep it up! and down....... WarlockOfWater@aol.com Chizuru strategies. Sum Yin Ngai Chizuru and Rugal strategies. NO THANKS --------- Akuma/Gouki Hiding in the game as 95 Ryo. SNK vs Capcom is KOF98! Chizuru Worst dancing ever seen. SNK Not putting Eiji, the boss team and Kasumi in the game. If they did, it would have been the perfect! NO thanks for screwing up 99. For my thoughts on 99 cheack out my Arcade Fighting Games Guide located at Gamefaqs. (Shameless plug) Just look under misc at coin-op. This FAQ is for private and personal use only. It can only be reproduced electronically, and if placed on a web page or site, may be altered as long as this disclaimer and the above copyright notice appears in full. This FAQ is not to be used for profitable/promotional purposes; this includes being used by publishers of magazines, guides, books, etc. or being incorporated into magazines, etc. in ANY way. This FAQ was created and is owned by me, Mike Tham <firstname.lastname@example.org>. All copyrights and trademarks are acknowledged that are not specifically mentioned in this FAQ. Please give credit where it is due. For the record, this disclaimer was taken from Kao Megura's excellent KOF 98 movelist. KING OF FIGHTERS 98 STRATEGY GUIDE Copyright 1999,2000 by Michael Tham.