"Survival of the fittest is the only rule of the game. If you're strong, you live... Too weak, you die. But... Don't worry. And I'm strong so..." ======================================================================== "Tenken no Chris" King of Fighters '98 Chris Guide Version 1.1, by Tony W. ======================================================================== v1.1 6/10/98 Revised according to feedback from KoF ML members. Updates throughout; most minor, some not so minor. v1.0 29/09/98 First released version. The latest version of this guide can be found at: http://www.adelaide.net.au/~miku/chris.txt Please feel free to email me (email@example.com) any suggestions, additions, corrections, or other comments you may have. Contents -------- 1. Introduction 1.1 Purpose of this document 1.2 Why Chris is cool 1.3 Changes from '97 2. Background Stuff 2.1 Biography 2.2 Colours 2.3 Intros, Quotes, etc 3. Moves 3.1 Normals 3.2 Command attacks & throws 3.3 Specials 3.4 DMs 4. Strategy 4.1 Combos 4.2 Advanced vs. Extra 4.3 Elements of gameplay 4.4 Matchups 5. Acknowledgements/Credits ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1. Introduction ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1.1 Purpose of this document ----------------------------- The purpose of this document is to provide information about the Cephalopod Anthraxia Virus (CeAV). The Cephalopod Anthraxia Virus is a virus which affects both the metabolism and nervous system of most species of this well known family of molluscs. It is of concern particularly to captive breeders for two reasons. Firstly, the conditions available in a typical closed aquarium environment are very favourable to the virus. Secondly, several frequently "domesticated" species such as the common and dwarf octopodes, as well as several varieties of commonly bred cuttlefish, are particularly susceptible to the virus. Additionally, it should be noted that the information contained herein is on the whole equally applicable to both the "Advanced" and "Extra" strains of the virus. Although in the author's experience the Advanced strain is typically more commonly diagnosed, the particular nature of this virus makes both strains equally dangerous. Where differences in symptoms and/or treatment exist between the two strains, it will be explicitly noted in the text. As with most related pathogens, the virus has a tendency to mutate approximately every year or so. This document deals exclusively with the most recently appearing variety (_Arachnis Scumii_ sp.), first described in July 1998. This species differs enough from its immediate ancestor that no familiarity with the (comparatively rare) latter virus will be assumed herein, save a brief primer for those whose experience is based on treatment of the 1997 outbreaks. Finally, this document will not address the oft-confused but unrelated family of viruses, _Orochii_ sp. Although one subspecies of the latter bears certain superficial structural resemblances to the _A. Scumii_ genus, symptoms and treatment are radically different enough to merit an entirely separate document. It has also been observed (with some relief) in the literature that, not only has this year's strain of _Orochii Minimus_ become easier for researchers to cultivate in the laboratory, it has also decreased considerably in virulence. 1.2 Why Chris is cool ---------------------- "One is the 'Tenken' Soujiro, that smiling little brat..." If you're not interested in listening to my ramblings about fighting game and anime characters, skip this section :) It's weird, but in any new fighting game I seem to always end up playing the character(s) I at first say I hate and/or am never going to touch. When KoF'97 first came out, I hardly gave Chris a second look. Early on, I remember being of the opinion that he was actually a girl. Once it was generally accepted this wasn't the case, he became simply a "cute" kid character with an annoying voice (and an annoying jump CD, hahaha). Not the sort of character I'd normally ever think of taking up. So what if he turned out to be the mortal incarnation of the major villain of the entire KoF series. Yawn. Plot stuff doesn't interest me much. To discover the true coolness of Chris one must look to the samurai anime Rurouni Kenshin, which I first saw a few months after KoF'97's release. My theory is that Chris was (rather heavily) based on the character Seta Soujiro - the ruthless killer with the appearance and disposition of a polite, inscrutably cheerful adolescent boy. A prodigy at _kenjutsu_ (Japanese swordsmanship), Soujiro is the right hand of the chief nemesis of the story. Having no emotions beneath his deceptively sunny exterior, his warped childlike amorality allows him to kill in cold blood with a smile on his face. There's a lot more I could say about why I think this character simply kicks ass, but since this is a Chris guide I'll confine myself to the similarities to Chris. And I guess it's weird, but before listing them I should advise anyone intending to watch this anime that the following may contain SPOILERS! :) OK, with that out of the way... - Soujiro looks just like Chris! The face is the same, and he has the same overgrown bowl haircut you see in some of Chris's portraits (check Chris's '98 "life bar portrait" for an example). - Their voices are very similar, both fundamentally and in the tone in which they speak. - Personality wise, it's easy to imagine any of Chris's quotes coming from Soujiro, and vice versa. - Both are introduced as relatively innocuous characters, but are later revealed to be among the most dangerous enemies in their respective stories. Stretching it a bit, both also form part of a core man/woman/boy triumvirate of adversaries. - Chris's A button colour scheme (blue top and white pants) matches Soujiro's fighting outfit rather well, despite the obvious period differences in their clothing. - Both their fighting styles are oriented around "speed based attacks." ('98 Chris's teleport is particularly reminiscent of Soujiro.) - Have you noticed Chris's "foot tapping" animation in the background while a team mate is fighting? It's similar to what Soujiro does when setting himself for a "Shukuchi" attack. - The key ring figurine of Chris has him doing the same thing, only it's even more Soujiro-like. - Chris's pose during the DM flash of his Twister Drive (QCBx2+K) DM looks somewhat like Soujiro poised to unleash a "Bathow-jutsu" (minus the sword of course :P). You can find a scan of the latter at: http://www.adelaide.net.au/~miku/soujiro.jpg I don't know if the inspiration has been officially acknowledged anywhere, but suffice it to say there is no doubt in my mind that the character of Chris was ripped off of this guy (since I'm pretty sure the source material of the anime predates KoF'97 by several years). Hell, in my mind, Chris _is_ Soujiro, somehow transported in time to the modern age :) Just for interest's sake, a "shrine" to the Soujiro character can be found at: http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Dojo/4059/ Have a look and see if you agree with me. Conversely, if you are already a fan of Chris (or even if you're not, but _especially_ if you are) and haven't seen the anime Rurouni Kenshin, let me humbly suggest that YOU MUST SEE IT NOW! Particularly episodes 28 through 62, which form the story arc containing the Chris guy (although earlier episodes contain important background material). Pester your local anime club, or if you are extremely rich you can order the fansubbed tapes from the so-called Shin Sen Gumi at: http://www.concentric.net/~Mibu/ Anyway, that's pretty much the only reason I started playing KoF's very own "smiling little brat." Now that I've bored you to death with all that, we can get on with the rest of the guide :) 1.3 Changes from '97 --------------------- "Such a mystery. Why would you get so strong so quickly..." I think it would be fair to say that '98 Chris is a completely different character from '97 Chris. His most useful special from '97, the QCF+P Slide Touch, is now obsolete at best. Conversely, the HCB Shooting Dancer moves, which were peripheral to say the least in '97, are now central to his gameplay. So too is the new DP+K which has replaced the equivalent "style points only" Hunting Air of '97. Two of his more useful normals (the low C and far D) have been replaced. He has gained two new command attacks - a long ranged overhead and an extremely useful slide - as well as a teleport and a short ranged version of Orochi Yashiro's infamous so-called Scum Spider. Some things have remained the same though. His two most useful air attacks, the jump D and the evolutionary throwback to '96 jump CD, have remained unchanged. His low B and stand B have likewise survived the transition and remain his two best poking moves at their respective ranges. For combos, his close C and fwd+A command attack are the same as they were in '97. His air QCF+K special remains intact, and may be employed in the same way this year. He has gained no new DMs, and the existing two haven't changed, at least appearance-wise. Finally, his peculiar ground CD is still there. Overall, Chris is a lot stronger this year. A lower tier character in '97, he can now hold his own among the upper echelons of '98's rankings. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 2. Background Stuff ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 2.1 Biography -------------- Of course, we all know the _real_ origin of Chris, but just to bulk the guide up a bit, I'll put this stuff in :) Thanks to Kao Megura's '97 FAQ for this bit. CHRIS ----- NATIONALITY: Swedish BIRTH DATE: 5/3/1983 LENGTH: 160 cm MASS: 48 kg BLOOD TYPE: AB + Orochi HOBBIES: Cooking FAVORITE FOOD: Butan FAVORITE SPORT: Orienteering MOST VALUABLE: Nature HATES THE MOST: Gummy candy, people who touch his head FIGHTING STYLE: No particular style, mainly speed-based attacks Hahaha, "people who touch his head." :) Man I love reading these "hates the most" sections. Celery. Grasshoppers. Eggplants. The list goes on. Plus, need I mention the reference to "speed-based attacks?" :) 2.2 Colours ------------ A - Light blue shirt/shoes, white pants. His old A button Advanced colour from '97. For reasons alluded to earlier, this is one of my favourite colours :) B - Dark red shirt/shoes, white pants. It's darker than his old D button Advanced colour from '97. More like Orochi Chris's '97 A button Advanced colour. Anyway, I don't pick this one much. C - Dark blue shirt/shoes, white pants. The blue is pretty close to his A button Extra colour in '97, maybe a bit darker. Matches a blue Heidern and Yuri quite nicely, if you're into that sort of thing. D - Grey shirt/shoes, white pants. This is my other favourite colour, since it sort of matches the grey Leona whom I have on my team quite often. 2.3 Intros, Quotes, etc ------------------------ "You can't leave this room if you don't beat me. Please, be ready to fight." Generic Intro ------------- Hands behind his back, Chris regards his opponent and amiably remarks "Yadana, tsuyosou." (Roughly, "Oh no, he/she looks strong.") He then calmly assumes his trademark fighting stance without changing expression. This is the generic intro he had in '97. It's the same whether he's first up or not. Vs. Yashiro ----------- Chris raises one arm in greeting and cries delightedly "YA-shiro!" Yashiro gives a quick "Yo!" in return. Vs. Shermie ----------- Chris raises one arm in greeting and cries delightedly "Shermie!" Except he somehow manages to get three syllables out of it :) Anyway, it sounds cool. Shermie waves back and says "hi!" It's particularly cool if you manage to get these two consecutively. Vs. Kim ------- Facing an evil opponent as he is, Kim performs his "evil is unforgiveable!" opening. Initially his back is to the screen. His eye glints. As he turns to face Chris, he declares "Aku wa yurusan!" followed by a short "huh!" battle cry as he faces up. Chris does his generic intro. Vs. Chizuru ----------- Against any member of the New Face Team (and certain other Orochi- related characters), Chizuru has a special opening similar to the one she had in '97 vs. Orochi himself. She faces up in a ceremonial robe of some sort and waves a streamer type thing back and forth for a while. For his part, Chris doesn't do anything special. Vs. Yamazaki ------------ The sight of Chris (or indeed any member of the NFT) causes Yamazaki's Orochi blood to boil. He clutches his head and laughs insanely, then does a brief Snake Arm windup before assuming his normal pose. Chris just faces up normally. Vs. Rugal --------- Finally confronting the source of the Orochi power he has long sought, Rugal leans back and laughs maniacally. He then looks at Chris and says something like "I was waiting for this chance!" Again, Chris just faces up normally :) Victory Poses ------------- A - The A button pose from '97. Chris turns away from the screen, hands behind his back, looks up, and casually wonders aloud "Ashita mo hareru kana?" ("Will it be sunny again tomorrow?") I guess this is his most contemptuous win pose. B - The B button pose from '97. Hands clasped in front of him, Chris smiles as he faces his fallen opponent and cheerfully pronounces "Tanoshikatta desu... hai?" ("It was fun... yes?") Seems to be applicable after a close, hard fought round. C - You guessed it - the C button pose from '97. Chris puts his hands behind his back, smiles as he faces his fallen opponent, and lets out a short happy chuckle. Fairly generic in application. But it's probably the most reminiscent of you-know-who, so it's one of my favourites. D - The much awaited NEW POSE! Smiling, Chris puts his hands behind his back, turns his body away from his opponent while still looking in their direction over his shoulder, and lets out the same short happy chuckle. Man, the first time I saw this pose I had to make sure I hadn't somehow slipped into a parallel universe, it's so different :) Winning quote (text) -------------------- "You make me laugh, chump. And laugh. And laugh. And laugh." Chump? Hmm. As with most of these things, the less said about that the better probably :) Taunt ----- Chris shrugs, palms outward, as he appeals to the heavens with a slightly puzzled/exasperated expression on his face. He says, um... something in Japanese (I need translations dammit! Someone with my part-time anime fan's vocabulary doesn't have a hope. Unless it's something like "Hello, sorry, are you an idiot? I can't forgive you. Don't worry. Bye!" :P). Rather than a taunt, to me it seems like the kind of thing that's appropriate after _you've_ just stuffed up a relatively simple combo or made some other idiotic mistake. For example, it looks kind of cool immediately after a botched Scum Spider followup. I'd be really interested to know what he actually says though. Background animation -------------------- Before he fights: Chris is listening to a walkman. He shuffles/taps one foot and nods to the beat, head down. When his team-mate lands a hit he gives a brief thumbs-up (without raising his head). When his team-mate is hit, he winces but again doesn't look up. If his team-mate wins he looks up and pulls the walkman plugs out of his ears. If his team-mate loses he looks up and simply smiles and shrugs. After all, this world is a survival of the fittest. After he's defeated: He's slumped in an awkward kneeling position, one shoulder showing. Looks a lot like Yuri's time-out loss, actually. He won't move from this position unless a team-mate subsequently wins, in which case Chris looks up with a big grin on his face. KO -- As he flies backward to hit the ground for the final time, Chris's voice trails off as he gasps: "Ah - hikari ga..." ("Ah - the light is..."). Cool huh? Time-out loss ------------- Chris turns his back to the screen and seems to be gazing at his open palm. If you want to try and interpret it... um, the hand represents his fighting style/ability, and he is wondering how it let him down. Cryptic enough for you? :) Getting up animation -------------------- I wouldn't normally mention something trifling like this, but have you ever really _looked_ at it? He just sort of "peels" himself off the ground from the head down, without any visible leverage or assistance from his arms or legs. It's quite uncanny. Definitely a weird kid :) ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 3. Moves ------------------------------------------------------------------------ When describing Chris's moves I'll rate each one's usefulness on a scale of one to five "stars," a technique pioneered by Andrew Park and Greg Kasavin in their excellent '97 Kim and Yashiro guides respectively (both are available at http://www.gamefaqs.com ). 3.1 Normals ------------ Standing A ---------- I can't really see any point distinguishing between the far and close versions. They both look identical (a short, standing jab) and are both interruptable. So I'll just regard it as the one crap-ranged, whiffs-on-a-lot-of-crouchers move. Pretty much the only useful thing about it is that it is interruptable and links after a low B. Even there, Chris has better options. Usefulness: Nigh useless [*----] Far B ----- A quick standing kick to the opponent's side with the far leg. This is Chris's best stationary poke. It's quick, has good range, will hit crouchers (as in it won't whiff), and will stuff hops and jump attempts from within its range. Use it liberally, either as a simple poke or to gain the initiative prior to some other form of offence. Usefulness: Very useful [*****] Close B ------- An interruptable high kick done with the near leg. It can be linked after a low B. Has more range than the standing A, and, despite its appearance, it never whiffs on crouchers. Usefulness: Fairly useless [**---] Far C ----- A short ranged elbow followed by a long ranged backfist strike with the other arm for a total of two hits. Looks a bit like his fwd+A command attack. The first hit (the elbow) is interruptable, which is useful because it doesn't matter so much if you get this instead of a close C, so you don't have to be so worried about getting close enough. Other than that overlap, I don't see this as being very useful. It's not a terrible move by itself, but for any possible application Chris has a better option. Usefulness: Marginally useful [***--] Close C ------- A single hit standing uppercut delivered with both hands clasped together. Interruptable and doesn't whiff on crouchers. This is your best move to start a combo from close-in when your opponent is vulnerable, as well as your best move to follow up a deep jump-in attack. You'll pretty much always want to interrupt it into a fwd+A + followup. Don't be too shy about the range, because the first hit of the far C serves much the same purpose (although you have to be a bit quicker to interrupt the latter). Usefulness: Quite useful [****-] Far D ----- Chris leans back and performs a high roundhouse kick with one leg. About its only useful property is that it provides a mediocre alternative to the low C as a normal move air defence. If you've got time to think about it, use the low C if the jumper is more out in front of you, and the standing D if they are closer to being overhead. If you haven't got time to think about it, just use the low C (of course a kick DP or DM is usually a better choice than either). Usefulness: Fairly useless [**---] Close D ------- Another interruptable high kick, higher and closer to the body than the close B. The handstand from '97 has been replaced with what appears to be recycled animation from the apex of a Twister Drive DM. I haven't really found a use for this move. It would constitute a potential alternative to the close C for combo purposes, except that (peculiarly) you _can't interrupt it into command attacks (ie. the fwd+A), only specials._ To my knowledge it's unique among single button normals in that respect, although the same property can be found in many ground CDs. Intuitively you might also expect it to be useful as an air defence against crossup attempts, but I've almost never seen it work well like that. About the only time I see this move is when Chris is walking in for a D throw attempt but the opponent is out of range/in block stun/ jumping. Usefulness: Nigh useless [*----] Stand CD -------- Leaving the ground completely for a moment, Chris twists horizontally in mid-air as he thrusts forward with both legs for a single interruptable hit. Being a CD, it will knock the opponent over if it connects. It's slow to come out, but the fact that it leaves the ground means that it can, at least in theory, be used on anticipation to pass over low attacks from the opponent and hit them. Unfortunately it tends to whiff on some crouching characters, the combination of which two facts can lead to some amusing exchanges :) It's also something to keep in mind when you're contemplating doing a CD counter with Chris - if it's a low attack you're CD countering, it's possible you'll miss them. Note that despite the fact Chris is off the ground, he's still considered to be on the ground as regards what specials he can interrupt the standing CD into. That is to say, he could interrupt it into a Scum Spider (DP+P) for example, but not a Glider Stomp (QCF+K in the air). Note also that, like many CDs, you _may not chain a command attack off it_ despite the fact that it is interruptable. No big deal really, but an interesting piece of trivia nontheless. Just as a final useless piece of information, the animation is also used for his "throw escape." Yuri is like this too. Hell, maybe everyone is and I've been too thick to notice it. Usefulness: Fairly useless [**---] Low A ----- A simple interruptable crouching jab. This move isn't particularly fast for a low A, in fact both range and speedwise it loses out to the low B. So this isn't your move to be used in close-range poke wars - you want the low B for that. Where this move can be useful is in link combos. For example, it can be linked after a low B and then interrupted into a fwd+A or whatever else. It's got the best range out of your possible options here, and obviously won't whiff on crouchers :) Furthermore, the low A can itself be linked into a low C (the first hit of which can then be interrupted into a fwd+A or whatever else). See the combo and strategy sections for more details. This move can be blocked either high or low. Usefulness: Marginally useful [***--] Low B ----- Chris supports himself with his hands briefly as he performs a fast stab at the opponent's shins with his near leg. The result is a single non-interruptable hit that must be blocked low. Both very fast and deceptively long, this is the move you'll be using in close-in poke war situations. Use it liberally, either as simple push back (nothing gets the job done like a low B barrage followed by a standing B barrage), or to gain the initiative so you can attempt some nasty in-close tactic like a crossup hop/jump D, Scum Spider, fwd+B overhead, or maybe a simple walk-in throw. If you're close enough you can even start combos off this move by linking it into a low A, close standing B, standing A, or low C. What more could you ask for? Usefulness: Very useful [*****] Low C ----- A rising two hit punch done from a semi-kneeling position. The first hit is interruptable. This move replaces Chris's awesome '97 low C, and predictably it's not as good. It's still quite useful as an air defence against opponents who aren't directly overhead, and it's also extremely good at stuffing rolls (it's the move of choice for that application IMHO). As mentioned earlier, it is also possible to use this move after a low A or low B in a link combo. If you're not using it for one of those three applications, however, I wouldn't advise just sticking this move out, since it has a tendency to whiff on crouching characters. Usefulness: Marginally useful [***--] Low D ----- Chris assumes the "pushup" position and pistons both legs at his opponent's shins. This costs him his balance and is rather slow to recover. In keeping with most low Ds, it must be blocked low and knocks the opponent over if it connects. As well as being laggy, it's not all that fast to come out either (certainly nothing like Iori's, for example), and it's not interruptable. It has _slightly_ more range than the low B, but certainly that's not enough to make it worth using (there's always the slide, remember?). The combination of the long recovery time and the fact that Chris gets down so low means the low D can be used to duck under high fireballs (Athena's, Kensou's, Takuma's etc.), but again why would you bother when you've got the slide? Overall, it's probably one of the worst low Ds in the game. I don't suggest you use it at all. Usefulness: Nigh useless [*----] A preliminary note on jumping attacks: -------------------------------------- In '98 Chris's jumping attacks are the same whether they are done from a vertical jump or a diagonal jump (this was not the case in '97). And we wondered how they were managing to stuff so much into the game with this hardware, those sneaky SNK rascals. Jumping A --------- Chris extends one arm down at a shallow angle and strikes with his palm. I don't see this move being too useful, but will admit that I haven't messed around with it much. Uselessness: Nigh useless [*----] Jumping B --------- Chris extends one leg down at a shallow angle and strikes with his foot. Again, I don't find this move useful, but haven't fiddled around with it much. Hopping back and forth with B might be useful occasionally for general harassment. Usefulness: Nigh useless [*----] Jumping C --------- A quick downward punch at roughly a 45 degree angle. The horizontal range on this move is quite low, but it comes out quickly enough that it is sometimes useful to surprise your opponent with in air-to-air situations where the jumping CD would be too slow. The priority is quite good too. This move is interruptable, so if you wanted to be really weird I guess you could do stuff like jump C, QCF+K (although it won't combo). Usefulness: Marginally useful [***--] Jumping D --------- Chris twists away from the screen and strikes downward with one leg at roughly a 45 degree angle. This is your best jumping combo starter. It's also great at crossing up. Another thing to note is that it now comes out a lot faster than it did in '97 (where it was kind of slow). Usefulness: Very useful [*****] Jumping CD ---------- Chris swings both legs together in an arc from upward to downward. Kind of slow to come out, but the priority is truly godlike - one of the highest priority air attacks in the game. Use it early and use it often. A jump or hyper-jump CD is a great way to get in close while possibly outprioritising any air defence your opponent may attempt. Only certain counters (eg. Yamazaki's Sado-maso), moves that have autoguard (eg. Terry's Rising Tackle), or moves that have true invulnerable windows (eg. Clark's Frankensteiner) will be consistently effective against it. It's also great for air-to-air if you do it early (ie. if you can get it out in time). You can even outprioritise Iori's infamous jump D, although it helps to be in the air first. Again, if you want to be weird, it's interruptable into the Glider Stomp (QCF+K in the air). And of course as a CD, it knocks the opponent down. Curiously, it can be blocked low. Usefulness: Too good [*****]** 3.2 Command Attacks and Throws ------------------------------- Spinning Array (Fwd + A) ------------------------ Man, I wish I could have phrased the above so it didn't rhyme. Anyway, this is the old faithful from '97. Chris clasps his hands together and spins around completely, arms extended, in a long ranged single hit bludgeoning move. This move is interruptable (whether chained or not) and chains successfully off anything, so it is very useful. Needless to say, most of your combos will involve this move. It's also your longest ranged stationary poke. In '97, the heavy Slide Palm (QCF+C) was the preferred followup. However, with the changes that have occured this year not only has the fwd+A -> QCF+C combo become somewhat unreliable, but it has also been superceded by the new and improved HCB moves as followups. In particular, both HCB+P variations combo flawlessly off the fwd+A from all but absolute maximum range for both their hits. The HCB+P moves are also unpunishable if blocked, so that little sequence is a good thing to toss out occasionally from mid-long range. Be warned though, that an opponent who is on the ball and has a really quick, high priority move (like for example Ryo's DP or certain DMs) can hit Chris _between the fwd+A and the HCB followup_ if the fwd+A is blocked. A corollary to this fact is that _any_ character should be able to roll through (or dodge) the move and probably punish Chris afterward. So if your opponent starts doing any of this to you, um, don't use the fwd+A -> HCB+P so much when it could be blocked. Sage advice, I know. You can combo DMs off a close move -> fwd+A starter as long as you didn't have a jumping attack in there as well. Except maybe a crossup, not quite sure about that yet. Oh, and also, this doesn't include a Scum Spider - you _can_ combo close C -> fwd+A -> (S)DM after a successful Scum Spider. Anyway, on MAX only, the QCFx2+P SDM will combo. If you don't have MAX, only the QCBx2+K DM will combo. On the down side, you are left fairly vulnerable if you whiff the fwd+A, and it does occasionally miss certain crouching characters. It's also vulnerable to coincidentally timed jumps and rolls. Finally, if your opponent is really on the ball, you can be swept out of this move (try it against CPU Mai, Ryo, or Yashiro in a bad mood, for example, and you'll see what I mean). Usefulness: Very useful [*****] Reverse Anchor Kick (Fwd + B) ----------------------------- Chris balances on his hands and does a splits, kicking forward with one leg for two hits. It's his standing D animation from '97. The second hit is overhead when the move is not chained, and is interruptable when the move is chained. However, since it's a two hit move, it pushes the opponent further away than the equivalent chain involving a fwd+A, and as such nothing will combo off it. It's best used in isolation as an overhead and/or poke. Although it's easier to see coming that many of the other overheads in the game, it's still quick enough to be useful when thrown in occasionally. As a poke its range is comparable to that of the fwd+A. The two hits also make it very difficult to roll through. Usefulness: Quite useful [****-] Carry Off Kick (DwnFwd + B) --------------------------- Chris slides forward with one leg outstretched. It's long-ranged, hits low, is fast enough that it's hard to block (let alone counter) on reaction, and is unpunishable if blocked from anything approaching reasonable range. In short, it's a really nasty and annoying move that probably should have been banned by the Geneva convention. From your perspective as a Chris player, it's a move that - along with the jump CD and the low and standing Bs - you can and should just toss in whenever you can't think of anything better to do. As long as you don't become _too_ predictable, it's almost never a bad option and will be effective in many different situations. You can use it to get in close pretty much at will. Used liberally, it will greatly reduce your opponent's mobility since they need to be constantly worrying about it and blocking low so much. This slide doesn't knock over if it hits, so with the recovery being what it is you get to play fun mind games with your opponent afterward whether it's blocked or not (more about this later). The slide is quite useful defensively as well. Because of the motion it will _option select with the low B_ if your opponent rolls past you just as you go to do the latter, and the resulting slide will stuff their roll. It will also hit opponents who are landing from a jump, and since the slide travels low enough that most jumping attacks not done specifically late will whiff on it, it's a useful incidental air defence as well. Last but not least, you can use it to slide under "high" fireballs (Athena's, Kensou's, Takuma's, "alternate" AoF characters', etc.) on reaction and hit the fireballer. Again, what more could you ask for? He didn't need this move. Usefulness: Too good [*****]** Step Turn (Fwd/Back + C [close]) -------------------------------- Otherwise known as the punch throw. Chris grasps his opponent briefly and then "runs up" him or her like a miniature version of Yuri's kick DM. This throw will leave your opponent on the same side of you. The opponent can recovery roll as they land from this throw. Usefulness: Very useful [*****] Aerial Drop (Fwd/Back + D [close]) ---------------------------------- A.k.a. the kick throw. Chris grabs his opponent and flips over backward, using his angular momentum to toss them away. Looks a bit like Yuri's kick throw actually. Weird, why do I keep comparing things to Yuri? Anyway, as with Yuri's - ahem - as with a lot of kick throws, this will leave the opponent on the _opposite_ side of you, and I don't think they can recovery roll as they land. On a more superfluous note, I reckon there's a few frames in Chris's recovery from this throw that look like they were used in the Scum Spider animation. So which is the best throw to use? They leave the opponent on different sides of you, so there are corner issues to be considered. If your opponent is cornered and you want to keep them there, you should clearly use the punch throw. Likewise, if _you're_ the one cornered you should use the kick throw. Other than that, you might think that the opponent being unable to recovery roll after the kick throw is enough of an advantage to make it the superior choice. However, note that while both option select into interruptable heavy hits (which have the additional useful property of hitting _upward_, in that such a hit will often tag an opponent who jumps at the last minute), remember that the close D may not be interrupted into a fwd+A. So if you wanted to get really fancy and buffer in a fwd+A after all your walk-in throw attempts to take full advantage of the option select, you couldn't do it with the kick throw. Talk about minor issues though. I guess in the end it comes down to personal preference. I need to check on the relative damages of the two throws in case there's a difference. Usefulness: Very useful [*****] 3.3 Specials ------------- Slide Touch (QCF + P) --------------------- Chris lunges forward and gives a close-fisted punch to the opponent's midsection. The C version is slower to come out, but travels further. Both versions of the move knock over if they connect. This was probably his best special in '97, but that's all changed now. For one thing, it's been slowed down - enough such that Chris's trademark '97 combo of close C, fwd+A, QCF+C is no longer reliable. Both versions of the move have also been given increased recovery, and are now punishable if blocked. Finally, in '97 he used to strike with his palm after the lunge. None of this matters too much though (except possibly that last one - I thought it looked cooler with the palm), because the powered-up HCB+P moves have evolved to fill that yawning ecological niche quite nicely. You won't find yourself using the Slide Touch much at all in '98. The A version might _possibly_ come out faster than the first hit of a HCB+X, in which case it's potentially useful for punishing slightly laggy blocked moves when you end up just a bit too far away to start a combo and don't have stock. But that's about it. Usefulness: Fairly useless [**---] Scramble Dash (QCF + K) ----------------------- The full potential of Chris's trademark speed is finally unleashed. You see a brief after-image of him pushing off, there's a short "swish!" sound and then before you can think, he's travelled about 2/3 of the way across the screen. An indescribably cool move. For all intensive purposes it's a teleport - it will pass through the opponent. Using B will cause Chris to dash along the ground, while in the D version he will cross the distance with a single blindingly fast leap. The latter version will clear fireballs like Iori's that travel along the ground. Both versions travel (approximately) the same distance. Chris is fully vulnerable while dashing/leaping, but whereas most teleport type moves gain their advantage through some form of invulnerability window or ambiguity in destination, the thing that makes this one useful is the sheer raw speed of it. There's a tiny bit of recovery, but even factoring that in you will often be able to teleport and hit/throw/whatever your opponent before they can recover/react, provided you don't try it every five seconds of course. It also makes a great escape when you're cornered. Usefulness: Marginally useful [***--] Direction Change (DP + P) ------------------------- Chris flips forward into the air, grabs his opponent by the head and swings over them, leaving them momentarily exposed to a rear attack. It's very similar to Orochi Yashiro's extremely nasty move from '97. Historically this move is often referred to on the KoF ML as the Scum Spider (a Mary Spider with the properties of Iori's Scum Gale), so I'll call it that here too. Chris's Scum Spider doesn't have the range range that Orochi Yashiro's does. I'm pretty sure there's a slight difference in range between versions (the C version has more), but it's low enough so that you'll have to be officially "in close" (within your low B range) to attempt it successfully. To compensate for that, it's quite fast compared to other moves with arachnoid nomenclature. Of course it's unblockable, but as with Mary's and Orochi Yashiro's Spiders, an opponent performing any type of jump becomes completely immune regardless of proximity, and will likely hit you either in the air or during the brief recovery after you've landed. Despite this, the damage payoff from the free combo you get when you land this move makes it worth attempting reasonably often from in close. Try it after you've blocked a move from the opponent that leaves them safe, but gives you the initiative - they might well be blocking low, anticipating a retaliatory poke. Alternatively, try it after _they've_ blocked a safe move of _yours_ (slide, jump D/CD. HCB+P being the most common examples) if you think they'll continue blocking in fear of a DP+K or kick DM. You can also chuck it in at random during a low or standing B barrage up close with a reasonable chance of success. It's a good move to use sometimes as the opponent is getting up, if you think they'll try and block. Another thing you can try is to roll past your opponent and immediately do a Scum Spider - seeing a roll, most players will try and hit you with a barrage of low attacks, or block; few will instinctively _jump_ (against Chris anyway), at least until they've seen this trick. One final thing you might want to experiment with is to interrupt blocked combos (or single hits) into a Scum Spider for a sort of pseudo-"tick" - for example, jump D, close C, fwd+A -(interrupt)-> Scum Spider. Or low B, low A-(interrupt)-> Scum Spider. Or simply fwd+A -(interrupt)-> Scum Spider. Or whatever. It's certainly not hard for the opponent to get out of if they're expecting it, but it will at least force them to stay awake while blocking your combos. Furthermore, if you can react to your Scum Spider "tick" combo actually hitting by doing a HCB+P or DM on the fly instead (or react to your combo attempt being blocked by doing a Scum Spider instead occasionally, depending on which way you look at it), you'll really be kicking goals. As you can see, there are many little tricks you can use to land this move. If you mix things up enough you'll land one or two here and there, and that should be all it takes to be well on the way to winning the round. As for followups... well, I guess many things are possible but IMHO the most useful are: close/far C (1 hit), fwd+A, HCB+C (without stock) close/far C (1 hit), fwd+A, QCBx2+K (stock but not MAX) close/far C (1 hit), fwd+A, QCFx2+P (stock and MAX) If you're having trouble timing the C after the Scum Spider, I suggest doing it earlier than you might expect. Depending on some factor I haven't quite figured out yet (possibly the version of the Scum Spider used), sometimes it will come out as a far C and sometimes as a close C. In either case you can do the combo without having to move. Usefulness: Very useful [*****] Hunting Air (DP + K) -------------------- Leaving a momentary after-image of himself crouching on the ground, Chris shoots diagonally forward into the air and performs a fast somersault kick. His foot leaves a brief light blue circular wake. Forget the crappy (but cool looking) Hunting Air from '97, this one is much more useful. One of its main uses is as a bog standard uppercut- type air defence. It's very solid against all but the highest priority air attacks (Iori's jump D, Joe's jump D, Chris's jump CD :P). It hits in a wide arc, so doesn't miss incoming jumpers unless they're nearly overhead. Certainly it has _huge_ reach forward in the air. It's also great at hitting limbs on the ground, so it's always worth buffering after a slide or HCB+P if you think they'll stick something out (unless you want to try the kick DM instead, of course :) ). Unsurprisingly, as a pseudo-uppercut it makes a reasonable wake-up move too. Use the B version of the Hunting Air for limb-hitting/wake-up, as the D version won't knock over grounded opponents. Naturally this move has nasty punishable recovery if blocked or whiffed, but what do you expect. Usefulness: Quite useful [****-] Shooting Dancer Thrust (HCB + P) -------------------------------- Chris lunges forward and strikes with his (Fist? Shoulder? Elbow? I'll have to actually pay attention one of these days), followed by either a low B style kick (A version) or a Slide Touch style punch (C version). The second hit of the A version must be blocked low (as in '97, Chris will quip "Shita da yo!" ("Below you!") as he does it). The second hit of the C version can be blocked anywhere (but possibly does more damage? I still have to check this). In both cases, the second hit will combo if the first hits. Both versions are completely unpunishable if blocked. This is a great move now. The inclusion of that early first hit has made all the difference. It will combo off any interruptable heavy hit (in particular, once you've played Chris for a while you will _dream_ about close C, fwd+A, HCB+P combos). You're usually safe putting it in whether the combo was blocked or not, so it's also your workhorse special move for ticking off damage and generally building up that ole' guard crush meter. But beware of opponents trying to sneak an uppercut, DM, or roll between the fwd+A and the HCB+P when they block it. That is to say, it's not a true combo if blocked. Neither version of the move will knock the opponent down if it hits, so both can be used to set up further mind games with throw/DP+K/overhead/ Scum Spider/whatever whether blocked or not. I wouldn't suggest using this move in isolation very often, since the startup is kind of vulnerable (especially to sweeps). I'd advise making the opponent block with a preliminary standing B or two before firing it up, or alternatively 2-in-1ing off an isolated fwd+A poke. Strangely enough, the first hit of a HCB+X seems to be fairly good against air attacks though. In combos I'd suggest using the C version for the possibly greater damage (it's gotta have something going for it, right?). If you're not sure whether the move will be blocked or not (ie. you did it on its own, or off a single fwd+A) then you might want to go for the A version, since you never know when your opponent might fall asleep and you'll catch them with the last low kick. Possibly even try one of the HCB+K overhead versions, if you're pretty sure the opponent will block - they're probably more likely to catch him/her off guard with the second hit, but the downside is you don't get a combo if the first hit lands. Usefulness: Very useful [*****] Shooting Dancer Step (HCB + K) ------------------------------ This is the overhead version of the Shooting Dancer Thrust. The startup and first hit is the same as the latter. Chris will then leap into the air (with a cry of "Ue da yo!" ("Above you!")) and deliver a stomp to the opponent's head, This must be blocked high, and will knock the opponent over if it hits. Note that the stomp will not combo even if the first hit of the move connects. After delivering the stomp Chris will bounce off and land about 1/3 of the screen away, either continuing forward to land behind the opponent (B version) or bouncing back to land in front of the opponent (D version). In both cases the "bouncing away" phase can be cancelled into a Glider Stomp (QCF+K). In the case of the D version this can be done throughout the bouncing away phase, so depending on what the opponent is doing you should be able to time/space your Glider Stomp such that you escape from the whole experience unpunished. In the case of the B version, the Glider Stomp must be done before Chris actually gets behind his opponent (I think), ie. almost _immediately_. From this range the Glider Stomp itself is often punishable. What happens if you don't cancel the "bouncing away" animation? Well, depending on the opponent, you can _sometimes_ get away with it as long as you're not near the corresponding corner (your corner in the case of the D version, the opposite corner in the case of the B version). Your opponent may have a rushing move that can hit you as you land/recover, or they may simply be fast enough to dash after you and hit you. What it boils down to is that this is a move that should be used pretty infrequently. Maybe once or twice a round just to keep the opponent honest. The second hit is not difficult to block on reaction - when dealing with any HCB move, the best protocol for the opponent is to block low as a general rule and switch to high if Chris leaves the ground after the first hit. But if you use it rarely enough you might occasionally catch someone. When you do use it, I'd generally stick to the D version so you have the option of cancelling safely into a Glider Stomp. The B version might be used on occasion as a stylish way of getting out of the corner, if you can 2-in-1 it off something or otherwise get the initiative. Usefulness: Fairly useless [**---] Glider Stomp (QCF + K in air) ----------------------------- From an airborne position, Chris suddenly lunges diagonally downward to strike with his extended leg. It's another speed-based move that makes a "whoosh!" noise and leaves a brief after-image behind. You also get to hear Chris's C win pose chuckle just as he does it (which kind of telegraphs it a bit, actually). Despite its appearance, this move can be blocked low. The B version comes down at a steeper angle than the D version. If done at the apex of a vertical jump, the D version will hit from just over half screen. The B version will hit from just under 1/3 screen. Although you certainly can't start combos using this move (someone will probably correct me on this one :P), the recovery is kind of OK. You should be safe when this move is blocked if you spaced it correctly, meaning you chose the correct version from about the correct height and neither whiffed nor hit too "shallowly" (early). You should aim to hit your opponent at about waist height or below. It's more forgiving than say a Phoenix Arrow but less so than a Hishoukyaku. As far as applications go, the business about cancelling the bounce-back animation of a Shooting Dancer Step has already been described. Other than that, it's pretty much like all moves of its type. Occasionally jump straight up (or back, if you're really close), and if you see your opponent coincidentally whiff something do it straight away. Otherwise wait for the safe height/spacing, or stick out some other jumping attack on the way down. You might also occasionally surprise someone by firing it up well into a backward jump as they advance after you. Usefulness: Marginally useful [***--] 3.4 DMs -------- Chain Slide Touch (QCF, QCF + P) -------------------------------- DM: Chris performs a series of five short dashing strikes with his palm. The last one knocks the opponent over. SDM: Chris performs a series of seven short dashing strikes with his palm, with a huge burst of orange energy accompanying each one. He finishes with a similarly endowed lunging strike, knocking the opponent over. As he starts the DM he's saying "Enryonaku ikimasu!" ("Without hesitation, here I come!"). This is the less useful of Chris's two DMs. At DM the first hit comes out quite quickly (it's among the quickest of all Chris's moves), but has poor range. The DM version will combo off a close heavy hit, but will not combo off a close C, fwd+A chain. Still, the speed of that first hit makes it occasionally useful for punishing laggy blocked moves that leave you just a bit too far away to start a better combo, and where you haven't got time to dash in (King's Mirage Kick being an example). On SDM the first hit has more range, so it _will_ combo off a close C, fwd+A chain started on the ground for the ultimate Scum Spider followup. If you're having trouble with overlaps with the Scum Spider during this combo, try delaying the button press just a little bit. The SDM is also similarly useful for punishment of blocked moves. Other than combos and occasional punishment, this DM isn't that useful. Because of its fairly crap priority, it's not useful for outprioritising your opponent's attacks on reaction/anticipation. For the same reason it's also fairly crap as wake-up (the kick DM is better), and neither is it any sort of air defence at all (even if you hit an airborne opponent, they will bounce away safely after taking one or maybe two hits). Usefulness: Marginally useful [***--] Twister Drive (QCB, QCB + K) ---------------------------- DM: Chris winds up and launches himself forward into the air, performing multiple Hunting Air somersault kicks. At the peak of his ascent there is a pause, then he shoots back to the ground in a Glider Stomp-like fashion. SDM: The above prefaced with a similar (but lower) assault. Other than in certain pathological situations, the opponent will always be juggled by the second series of kicks if the first hits. As he starts the DM he's saying "Honki dashimasu ne" ("I'm putting forth seriously" (?)). This is your best DM by far. It really kicks ass now. In stark contrast to last year, the priority on it is pretty much unquestionable even at DM level. I'm pretty sure there's at least one invulnerable frame in the startup somewhere (again, even at DM level), as I've had hit frames literally right on top of me when I've done it and I ended up hitting them. At DM level it will combo off a close C, fwd+A chain started on the ground (it won't on SDM level - I guess the additional MAX pushback puts the opponent out of its fairly suck range). This is the best Scum Spider followup if you have stock but not MAX. The great priority means it's an excellent air defence at both levels. Being a multi-hit affair, you want to do it as late as possible against a jumper to maximise your damage. Do it too early and you might only get two crappy hits. The invulnerable frame(s) coupled with the priority also make it an awesome wake-up move (Chris's best, and only one worth mentioning other than DP+B). It's similarly great for outprioritising your opponent's attacks up close and nabbing them. And needless to say, it's perfect for use late against rushing attacks. To sum up, you should get a lot of opportunities to land this move. From mid range, occasionally just start performing the motion and if you see them do a rushing attack (beware of dash fakes though), follow through with it and hit the button. Likewise, if you see them hop or even jump, follow through and hit the button (remember later is better for jumps). As wake-up, or after a blocked slide, jump CD, or HCB+P, buffer the motion and hit the button if you see them stick out anything. One cautionary note: The horizontal range on this move is lower than you'd think, so I'd advise against using it to punish whiffed/blocked moves unless they've really stuffed themselves down your throat (in which case you'll have better options). Likewise with wake-up and "limb grabbing" - don't try it from very far away at all or you might completely whiff. A DP+B is probably a better choice for limb grabbing and wake-up if you're not sure about the range. Usefulness: Very useful [*****] ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 4. Strategy ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Just jump CD and slide all day. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 5. Acknowledgements/Credits ------------------------------------------------------------------------ If you think you should be here and you're not, let me know :) * The membership and administration of the King of Fighters Mailing List. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with SUBSCRIBE as the subject to subscribe. * Adelaide's "Tilt" arcade (the first arcade here to get KoF'98), and the KoF regulars there. * Nene - fellow Chris player and initial proofreader. * Shlomo Abraham - administrative assistant to the writer and creator of the FAQ. * Various KoF ML members for their feedback and suggestions: "But wait! I can't just do that! It's cheesy. And scrubby. Plus, it's turtling. I want to _combo_ my opponent!" 4.1 Combos ----------- "Oh, it's his nickname. That means he is a little genius at killing." This section almost certainly still needs work. Bear with me :) It'll be better once I have the cart. At least all the common/useful in an actual match combos should be here. A (?) means I'm pretty sure but not 100% sure about the combo. Jumping combos -------------- Jump D, close C, fwd+A, HCB+P - Pretty much the only jumping combo you'll need. (?) Crossup D, close C, fwd+A, QCBx2+K - DM only (?) Crossup D, close C, fwd+A, QCFx2+P - SDM only Ground combos (includes Scum Spider followups) ---------------------------------------------- Close/far C (1 hit), fwd+A, HCB+P - The old faithful. Close/far C (1 hit), fwd+A, QCBx2+K - DM only. Close/far C (1 hit), fwd+A, QCFx2+P - SDM only. Link combos ----------- Low B, stand A, fwd+A, HCB+P Low B, close B, fwd+A, HCB+P Low B, low A, fwd+A, HCB+P (?) Low B, [stand A/close B/low A], fwd+A, QCBx2+K - DM only (?) Low B, [stand A/close B/low A], fwd+A, QCFx2+A - DM or SDM (?) Low C (1 hit), fwd+A, QCFx2+A - DM or SDM VCD combos ---------- Thanks to Yasakani for posting these. i cannot confirm them yet. (?) Crossup D, low A, low C, fwd+A, QCFx2+A (?) DP+P, low B, low A, low C, fwd+A, HCB+A - Corner ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 5. Acknowledgements/Credits ------------------------------------------------------------------------ If you think you should be here and you're not, let me know :) * The membership and administration of the King of Fighters Mailing List. Email email@example.com with SUBSCRIBE as the subject to subscribe. * Adelaide's "Tilt" arcade (the first arcade here to get KoF'98), and the KoF regulars there. * Nene - fellow Chris player and initial proofreader. * Shlomo Abraham - administrative assistant to the writer and creator of the FAQ. * Various KoF ML members for their feedback and suggestions: What, still not enough for you? You want even _more_ strategy? No? Well, here's some anyway. Most of this stuff is kind of obvious and/or generic at the moment. Hopefully I'll figure out (or someone will tell me) some more subtle/tricky stuff later. Plus, a lot of it has probably already been said in one way or another somewhere in the "moves" section, so apologies in advance if I get too redundant. 4.2 Advanced vs. Extra ----------------------- Although I'm a fairly hard core Advanced player, I can see a case for using Chris in Extra mode. Moves like the teleport, slide, and the various lunging attacks should in theory offset the mobility loss caused by the lack of the Advanced dash, even though his Extra dash is too short to be useful IMHO. Both modes can now hop, so there's no distinction to be made there. The extra 25% damage on MAX is always useful, although since comparitively few of Chris's moves knock the opponent over he may have a harder time charging up than other characters (you might want to put your Extra Chris towards the end of the team for this reason). On the bright side, you don't have to worry about the capriciously random "mood" system that Advanced mode enjoys. Individual preference for rolls or dodges might also play a part. Personally I don't roll much, so it's not a big issue for me. I also have to rather shamefully admit that I don't know anything about Chris's dodge attack or what he can do with it. I'll have to fiddle around with that later (this guide rocks with skill, doesn't it? :P). For pros of Advanced Mode we have obviously the throw escapes, although even they are tighter to pull off this year. The biggest advantage given to Chris by Advanced Mode IMHO is that due to his style of play - his frequent largish risk-free blocked combos, and his relatively safe basic offense in general, he charges up stocks quite quickly. As a rule of thumb I like to save one stock for the ever-present possibility of landing a Twister Drive DM, and MAX myself if and when I get two or more. I don't use CD counters or MAX rolls much, unless I'm full on stock _and_ MAXed (very rare). In summary, I can't clearly recommend one mode over the other. He's OK in either, really. 4.3 Elements of gameplay ------------------------- At the core of your game will be four moves: the jump CD, the slide, and the low and far standing Bs. With these four moves you have the tools to effectively control the distance to most opponents, and possibly score a few incidental hits in the bargain. If you want to be up close, you can get in with a jump CD or slide. If you want to be far away again, you can poke your way out with a combination of low and standing Bs. This is the fundamental framework into which you will insert Chris's various offensive techniques. Poking with fwd+A -> HCB+X -------------------------- This is a good tactic to try fairly often, since the range and speed on the fwd+A can catch people not blocking. Additionally, since it's not telegraphed by a preceding jump D, standing C combination, it should be harder for the opponent to try something nasty on reaction between the fwd+A and the HCB+X if they do block. The fwd+A also helps shield the somewhat vulnerable startup of the HCB+X. If it hits, you also get both hits on a HCB+P followup FOR FREE! If it's blocked, you hopefully get to do some tick and guard crush damage, and then you're in close for a nice follow-up guessing game. Obviously you want to do this from a fairly reasonable distance, but not _too_ far - just toward the limit of your standing B range (or a bit further) is good. You will not want your opponent to jump just as you do the fwd+A, so it might be a good idea to pin them (at least psychologically) with a stand B or two beforehand if you're in range. Another alternative would be to throw a fwd+A -> HCB+X poke in right after you've just DPed them out of the air, when they might not be in such a jumpin' mood. So which variation of HCB+X should you use? I talked about this a fair bit in the "Moves" section, but here's a brief recap: HCB+C Advantages: Both hits combo. More damage? Disadvantages: Won't ever "trick" the opponent if blocked. HCB+A Advantages: Both hits combo, second low hit might "trick" the opponent. Disadvantages: Less damage than HCB+C? Less "tricky" than the kick variations. HCB+D Advantages: Second overhead hit might "trick" the opponent. Disadvantages: Second hit doesn't combo after first. Potentially risky if blocked. Doesn't leave you close for a possible guessing game. HCB+B Advantages: Second overhead hit might "trick" the opponent. Disadvantages: Second hit doesn't combo after first. HCB+D is just as "tricky," and less risky if blocked. Doesn't leave you close for a possible guessing game. Pretty clearly the punch versions should be your stock followup (I'd suggest using the A version). I'd suggest throwing in a kick variation only rarely, maybe once a round on average. And there I'd advise sticking to the D version with it's safer Glider Stomp followup window, unless your proximity to the corner is an issue. Poking with fwd+B ----------------- Not only is this an overhead (on the second hit), but it's also one of your longer-ranged moves. So it's fairly useful to stick out one of these from longish (stand B or a bit further) range on a semi-regular basis. From this sort of range, the first hit will whiff so your opponent will have less warning about the second hit (the overhead). If you've been going kind of heavy on the slides and/or low Bs, a sudden long ranged overhead thrown into the mix might pose a bit of a problem for all but dedicated caffiene drinkers. It's also a safer option than the fwd+A - the double hit tends to stuff rolls, and it seems to be better at stuffing coincidental jumps. Mind games after blocked moves ------------------------------ This is where you'll get a lot of your damage as Chris. The blocked moves referred to are mainly the slide, HCB+P, and the jump CD. Each is unpunishable and leaves you close to your opponent. The opponent will have the initiative (except in the case of the jump CD), but whatever they decide to do, you have a counter for it. Here is a list of some of your options: # DP + B (buffered, then react to their attack) # QCBx2 + K (buffered, then react to their attack) # Nothing (just block, hoping they whiff something big) * Crossup jump D * Overhead * Throw * Scum Spider The options marked with a # are applicable if you expect your opponent to attempt to _retaliate_ in some way, while those marked with a * are applicable if you expect them to _block_. Although this section refers to _blocked_ moves, note that these techniques will be applicable even after a slide or HCB+P _connects_ since they don't knock your opponent over. More generally, this list applies pretty much whenever you're close to your opponent, although you may need to gain the initiative with a low B or whatever so you've got time to buffer any motions (since your opponent generally won't be in block stun). If you're feeling particularly spontaneous, remember that another available option is to jump back or up, ready to Glider Stomp any whiffed move. Jump D combo attempts --------------------- Don't forget that like everyone else, you can occasionally get lucky with these. Things like anticipating a laggy low move from up close with a hop D combo attempt still work. Another good trick is to jump in with either CD or D, assuming/hoping they'll block, then straight away jump again with D - you'll be perfectly spaced for a crossup, while their first instinct will be to block low in the _other_ direction, expecting a followup from your previous attack. Even if a jump D combo is blocked, you've still done a bit of tick damage, a whole lot of guard crush damage, and you're left up close for a nice guessing game to boot. Using links: low B -> X ----------------------- As a preface to this section, I'll say that IMHO these links aren't as useful to Chris as they are to characters like say Kim or Ralf, who need the extra time afforded by the link to both charge their special move and to see if the combo will actually connect (since doing the move otherwise would leave them vulnerable). Chris has no charge moves and his standard combos tend to be safe if blocked anyway, so he can get along fine without bothering about these links. They do add a bit of sting to his close-in game, but they aren't _essential_ by any means. Nevertheless, I'll include a section on them for completeness. Chris can link his excellent low B into his standing A, close standing B, low A, and low C. If you want to use these things, typically, you'll be aiming for something like low B -(link)-> X -(interrupt)-> fwd+A -(interrupt)-> followup. Each of the candidates for "X" mentioned above has advantages and disadvantages, although some have more of one than the other :) Here's a summary: Low A - Advantages: Longest range, hits all crouchers. Disadvantages: Low A -> fwd+A possibly overlaps with Slide Palm (or even Scum Spider if you're a spaz). Low C - Advantages: Range is reasonable. More damage (even though you must interrupt the first hit, it's still a heavy move right?). Disadvantages: A _lot_ harder to time the link than with the light moves. May whiff on crouchers if you're a bit too far away. Vulnerable lag if whiffed. Overlaps may be a problem, as above. Close B - Advantages: Hits all crouchers, no overlap. Disadvantages: Low A and low C have more range. Stand A - Advantages: No overlap, um... that's about all :P Disadvanatges: Smallest range, whiffs a lot on crouchers. OK in "empty hop -> low B" case described below. Looking at the above chart, the low A looks like the clear winner unless you're having tangible problems with associated overlaps. The low C might be there as well, except that it's significantly harder to pull off. The standing moves don't seem to have much going for them. But of course it all comes down to personal preference in the end. So, how do you make these things useful in an actual match? One thing you can do is simply to get into the habit of tapping out the whole sequence (or at least the start of it) instinctively whenever you're really close to your opponent and have nothing better to do. Initially it will be easier to do if you know an opportunity is coming, so start by employing your choice of link combo as one of your stock followups to an offensive approach (roll, dash, telelport) that you initiate. Once you've got it down, try and start using it any time your opponent is up close and you'd normally stick out a single (or more than a single) low B. That is, whenever you'd normally go "Yikes! He's right next to me! Better do a few low Bs," instead do say low B, low A, fwd + A, buffer a followup motion, and then worry about whether you actually hit with the low B (not that it usually matters if your followup was a HCB+P anyway). If that becomes your instinctive response to any sudden "close proximity of opponent" situation rather than a mindless barrage, then you're in good shape. However, none of this is anything that can't be done just as safely and effectively with a single close C as the combo starter. One trick that can't be done just as well with a close C I'll call the "empty hop -> low B" trick. The idea is to suddenly hop in from reasonably close range and, instead of attacking in the air, go straight into a low B link combo upon landing. It works because the opponent is still blocking high, waiting for the air attack. Obviously you want to do it while air defence isn't the topmost thought in your opponent's mind, either due to the unexpectedness of the hop or because you've otherwise intimidated them into blocking your jumping attacks (*coughjumpCDcough*). Unsurprisingly this trick can be (and is often) employed by other characters as well. People who've played as/against offensive Kyos, for example, probably know it pretty well. Using the Teleport ------------------ "It'll be one step short..." With a move as cool as this in your arsenal, it would be a shame if it never served any useful function. Fortunately there are a few applications that come to mind involving it. One thing that's fun to do every once in a while, and can be quite effective, is to simply use the intimidating speed of the teleport to your advantage in a straightforward offensive fashion. From longish range, dash backward to get the spacing approximately right (so you will land very close to your opponent). Then just B teleport in and do some random shit - throw (especially effective in my experience), DP, Spider, combo (this might be a good time to attempt a low B link combo, since you'll hopefully end up very close), whatever. Your Scramble Dash is so fast that you'll often be able to get there before they can react, and once they do react they'll have to guess what you're doing. Ideally you'd want to space the teleport exactly enough so that it's ambiguous even what side of the opponent you'll end up on. If you're up against a character with a ground FB (Iori, Saishu, Rugal, '94 Kyo, RB2 Terry), always keep your D teleport in mind for clearing their FB and possibly hitting them before they recover. Give them plenty of opportunities to throw one as you meander apparently uncertainly around your D teleport distance, on a hair trigger to nail that QCF+D motion. Obviously the teleport provides an excellent means of escaping the corner. Extending this realisation to its logical conclusion, we find it's also an excellent means of keeping away from your opponent generally. Indeed, when you're ahead and time's running out it can be fun to do exactly that. Allow yourself to be backed near or into the corner, then when you get an opportunity teleport through your opponent to safety (using a B teleport to go under jumps and a D teleport to go over a grounded opponent makes it less likely you'll be accidentally hit). Stand there grinning at them until they come after you again, then repeat the process. Do this for a while, then just when you think they're getting desperate/frustrated beyond the point of caution, suddenly counterattack and finish them off. Or don't :) Wake-up ------- Chris has a really good wake-up move: the Twister Drive (S)DM (QCBx2+K). Whenever you're getting up and have stock, buffer this motion and hit the button if/when you see them attack. If you don't have a DM available the DP+B can be used as an acceptable substitute, or you can always just try and block of course (or jump if you suspect a wake-up throw attempt is coming). When you're the one standing over your temporarily prone opponent, I'd suggest you mix up the following things as they get up: - Crossup jump D - Scum Spider - Overhead (fwd + B) - Throw (DON'T try this on grapplers) - Nothing (Walk in purposefully, then stop and crouch block just as they stand up.) Obviously if your opponent is someone with a great wake-up DM like Ralf or Athena and they have stock, you should modify your alternatives somewhat. Air defence ----------- I thought it might be useful to summarise all your options here under the one heading. Ground-to-air (roughly in descending order of usefulness): - Late QCBx2 + K (S)DM - Early DP + K - Low C - Standing D Air-to-air - Jump CD, if you have time - Jump C, if you need it quickly Mixing it up ------------ "Having no emotions, no one can really anticipate him in any way." Unpredictability is of course helpful when playing any character, but I can't think of anyone who can profit from it as much as Chris. You have attacks that hit your opponent when they're blocking high (slide), attacks that hit them when they're blocking low (fwd+B), attacks that hit no matter which way they're blocking (throw, Scum Spider), attacks that hit _unless_ they're blocking (Twister Drive DM or DP+K up close, fwd+A from nowhere into a HCB combo), attacks that hit them if they jump (DP+K), and attacks that hit them if they don't jump (Scum Spider). You can cross the screen in an instant (teleport). With all this, if you play your cards right, you can have your opponent helplessly thinking "what the hell is going on here?", and that everything they do, or don't do, is a mistake. Above everything else, being hard to anticipate and constantly outguessing your opponent will be the real key to your success as a Chris player. I can present various techniques here, but it's up to you as the player to be unpredictable enough in using them that they become consistently successful. 4.3 Matchups ------------- "I guess their match comes down to..." Rather than a blow by blow description of what to do versus each individual character (the stuff from the previous section should work, that's what it's there for, right? :) ), this will simply be a collection of random tidbits that are useful to keep in mind during particular matchups. Kyo --- If it's '98 Kyo, your slide eats his firefists for breakfast. Watch for the low counter if you do it too often though. If it's '94 Kyo, you can D teleport over his fireballs. Benimaru -------- It's best to try to stay on the attack against Benimaru. Playing defensively will only lead to you getting eventually tick damaged/ crossed up to death. Whenever you block a Shinkuu Katategoma (that annoying spinning kick that does 800 million points of tick damage), mash on the slide. Unless he spaced it perfectly, you should hit him with it afterward. A good Benimaru player will devote a fair portion of his life to trying to cross you up. See the section on fighting Shermie for suggestions on how to deal with this. Goro ---- His jump D can out-prioritise your DP+K, but your QCBx2+K DM still works fairly well on his jumps. Other than than, um... good luck :) Leona ----- Slide. Ralf ---- If you're up against a scrub style Ralf (stand C and low C all day), you won't have much luck poking with fwd+A or anything else for that matter. The best idea is to get outside his stand C range and hyper jump in (he's got crap for air defence, unless he's charged), then try something tricky up close. If you lose the initiative, try and get back out again and repeat. Rolling and teleporting are pretty useless, since ralph would "punch" u And need I mention, don't ever attack a stock-endowed Ralf when he's down with a ground based attack. Clark ----- Still a really nasty character. Between his Frankensteiner and his awesome jump D, he can confine you to the ground pretty well (!). You've also got to actually watch the ranges that you slide from (imagine that!), because of the awesome reach of his backbreaker. I pretty much suck against Clark, so you should probably do the exact opposite of what I say. But IMHO it's best to play a conservative game against him. Keep him back on the ground with liberal use of standing B, and _always_ be watching for the jump. Punish jumps with the kick DM, DP+K, low C, whatever... just _don't let him land next to you_! Jump up/back and air-block if you have to. You also need to worry about rolls - if you see him trying to roll through a standing B or whatever, don't try to mash your way out. The best idea is probably to hop straight up (although if you _anticipate_ a roll, _you_ can usually throw _him_, hehehe). If you hop straight up whenever you see a roll (or dash) coming, you'll hopefully be able to punish the whiff animation of the nearly inevitable grab tacked on the end. For offense against Clark, you probably want to pretty much avoid poking with fwd+A since it's so easy to jump over. Fwd+B might be OK to use occasionally. The best idea though is probably to knock him over somehow (you'll probably have to use a CD counter) and then try a crossup D or Scum Spider on him as he gets up. Do _not_ try any close ground based attacks :) Kim --- Slide. Chang ----- You can slide in to hit him whenever he does his spinning ball move and you're out of range. Choi ---- Some Choi players will try and abuse their drill claw move. They'll use the old in-in-in-out at every opportunity, hoping to catch you in the air for a malenky bit of ultra-violence. This is good news for you, since your jump CD will beat their drill claw move cleanly (as well as anything else they can throw at you from the ground). Beat them at their own one move game :) The Choi players you've got to watch are those that spend most of their time doing huge jumps and hyper jumps all over the place, staying far out of reach of your jumping attacks while gaining incidental damage with their own as well as the Hishoukyaku. They'll also be trying to cross you up at every opportunity (see the section on Shermie for advice on this). My advice: Slide. Iori ---- Remember you can D teleport over his FBs. You might have a bit of a problem dealing with his godlike jumping D. Not only can it give you a run for your money air-to-air, but it will also tend to outprioritise anything you throw at it from the ground. See the section on Chris for suggestions on handling moves like this. Another thing to be aware of when fighting Iori is that he can Maiden Masher DM you between a blocked fwd+A and any HCB followup. Mature ------ Slide. Vice ---- Slide. Terry ----- Sli- wait a minute, this guy can hit slides with his FBs! The nerve! If it's RB2 Terry, remember you can D teleport over his FBs. Joe --- His Hurricane Uppers hit your slides as well. His jumping D has gained a whole shiteload of priority this year, and can beat your DP+K cleanly. See the section on Chris for tips on dealing with moves like this. Andy ---- Slide. If it's RB2 Andy, slide. It goes under his FBs. Athena ------ You can slide under her FBs. _Don't_ attack her when she's knocked over with stock, since her SCB DM is an awesome wake-up and does huge damage. Kensou ------ You can slide under his FBs. Chin ---- Slide. Unpredictably, of course, or he'll nail you with a Rush:1E08 DP+P move. Yashiro ------- This is another guy who can give you problems air-to-air, with his own nasty jump D and CD. Stick to the ground more in this fight. Shermie ------- One thing that makes Shermie dangerous is that she has a really nasty crossup jump C. I've found the best defence against it is as follows: When you see it coming, perform a low C in the _opposite_ direction (the side she'll end up on after she jumps). So when you see her jump over you, hold dwnfwd and press C. Hopefully you'll hit her or at least trade (and as a general rule, if you plan on trading frequently, MAX yourself ASAP :) ). If this doesn't work very well for you, another way out is to immediately roll in the direction she jumped _from_. Chris ----- Contrary to the impression given by the rest of this matchups section, players who slide too predictably/often aren't that big of a problem. Just get in the habit of doing sporadic vertical hops/jumps at random every now and again. Sooner or later your slide happy opponent will happen to slide at the same time as you jump, and you'll be able to combo (or at least hit) him/her on the way down. Simple no? This applies when fighting other characters with safe slides too (eg. King, Chizuru). The other issue you'll have to deal with when fighting Chris is the jump CD. How do you deal with a move that can outprioritise anything you throw at it? Fortunately, there is a way that, with a bit of educated outguessing of your opponent, you can still come out on top without resorting to the same thing. What you need to do is mix up your air defence in a way that forces him to guess when to stick out his attack (early or late). For example, suppose your opponent jumps at you intending to time his attack to hit you on the ground. If you suddenly jump at him and stick out an early jump C, for example, he (hopefully) won't be able to react in time to change his plans and you'll hit him. So next time he jumps, he might stick out his attack early in order to counter a repeat jump C counterattack attempt. That's when you want to be doing a late air defence like a crouch C or ideally a really late kick DM or SDM. And remember _you_ don't _have_ to guess - you can always just block, which is a luxury the jumper doesn't have. It also saves you from eating a huge combo every time you guess wrong about an early attack :) Again, this technique can be applied to any character who can outprioritise all your air defences with his/her jumping attacks (*coughIoricough*). One more thing about fighting Chris - remember to unsettle him by touching his head as often as possible. He hates it remember? Go all out on the Scum Spiders, and whenever you land one, rub it in by saying (as you're doing the followup combo) "Well, how did you like that? Guess I touched your head then, huh?" You'll annoy him and have his mind in conflict in no time, and you'll win. It's all about psychological warfare. Heidern ------- Slide. Saishu ------ Remember you can D teleport over his FBs. Takuma ------ You can slide under his FBs. Ryo --- You can slide under '94 Ryo's FBs. One thing you need to be aware of when fighting '94 Ryo is that his A DP has such good range and recovery that, if you block it, he can immediately follow it up with another to hit any retaliatiory attack you may attempt. Basically, it's a safe move for him to tick off damage with. If you want to hit him afterward, you need to fake him out into doing _another_ one after the first, which will whiff. Then you can hit him. Another thing you need to be aware of when fighting Ryo is that he is an example of a character who can hit you between a blocked fwd+A and any HCB followup (with his DP). Robert ------ You can slide under '94 Robert's FBs. Yuri ---- You can slide under '94 Yuri's FBs. Chizuru ------- See the Chris section for suggestions on handling slide happy players. Mai --- You can slide under her Kachosens. King ---- You can slide under her FBs. She's another character who can give you a run for your money air-to-air, but air-to-ground she's not so great. See the Chris section for suggestions on handling slide happy players. Yamazaki -------- Don't jump so much, since the combination of the A Snake Arm and the Sado-Maso counter gives Yamazaki a respectable air defence against you. Mary ---- Slide. Billy ----- You can't slide so much since both his low A and his low counter are effective against it. Brian ----- Slide. Lucky ----- Slide. Heavy D! -------- Slide. Rugal ----- You can D teleport over his Reppukens. Shingo ------ Slide. "I think he's been watching too much 'Sliders'." - Luche. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 5. Acknowledgements/Credits ------------------------------------------------------------------------ If you think you should be here and you're not, let me know :) * The membership and administration of the King of Fighters Mailing List. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with SUBSCRIBE as the subject to subscribe. * Adelaide's "Tilt" arcade (the first arcade here to get KoF'98), and the KoF regulars there. * Nene - fellow Chris player and initial proofreader. * Shlomo Abraham - administrative assistant to the writer and creator of the FAQ. * Various KoF ML members for their feedback and suggestions: EX Andy, Yasakani, Ranchan, Shlomo Abraham, Brian Lui, Pancho. * Biographical data, move names, and translations taken from FAQs by Kao Megura. * Translation of vs. Rugal opening from Henry Moriarty's Rugal guide, available at: http://mmcafe.telnet.or.jp/kof98/rugal98.txt * VCD combos posted by Yasakani. * Various quotes from Rurouni Kenshin, (c) Watsuki Nobuhiro, Jump Comics, and Sony Entertainment. Subtitles (c) Shin Sen Gumi/Hecto. * The Cephalopod page, http://is.dal.ca/~ceph/wood.html ======================================================================== "So... I'll be back soon."