The King of Fighters ’98 Joe Higashi Character Guide. version 1.0 Contents: I: About the Author II: Introduction ( Character profile, Basic fighting system ) III: Quotes, Taunt, Poses, etc. IV: Movelist V: Normal Moves VI: Special Moves,DMs VII: Combos VIII: Strategy IX: Miscellaneous stuff This FAQ is was created 1998 by Abe Belonio. No part of this faq may be used for profit or promotion. This faq may be distributed only by electronic media and may be modified as long as this disclaimer appears in full. This faq may be posted at any site only with the permission of its creator. For questions and comments, I can be reached at email@example.com. Thanks for reading this faq, I hope it helps. May you win all your challenges! Abe Belonio I: About the Author: I read somewhere that you shouldn’t believe everything you read, so, here are my credentials. I’ve been playing King of Fighters since its inception in 1994. And I have been playing KOF 98 since it came out, using Joe again as a main fighter. I’ve been using Joe as my best character since KOF 96. In KOF 97, I was a very good Joe player, being able to win my matches consistently and even being able to defeat on a consistent basis even the orochi characters. ( Iori, Leona, Yashiro, etc.)In this guide I hope to share my techniques in using Joe as a very strong character in a challenge match against players of all skill levels. I hope this guide helps you in using Joe. II: Introduction: This is an in-depth guide to Joe Higashi, friend of the Bogards and KOF contender since 1994. In KOF 98, Joe comes back with nearly the same style and strength as in KOF 97. Although not as popular as Terry or Andy, Joe is able to hold his own against them or any other character. And in the hands of the right player with the right techniques, Joe will win. Joe has also beefed up since his early days and no longer looks scrawny. Instead, great pectorals and washboard abs add definition to his figure. His Muay Thai kickboxing skill is renowned in international circles. And Joe has the belt (and trophies) to prove it. Always rash, reckless and impulsive, Joe often serves as a foil to Andy’s serious manner and Terry’s silent angst. Always willing to laugh and joke, Joe also loves traveling with Terry, Andy and Mai. But then again, when you’re a kickboxing champ, you don’t worry about money. Though he’s not romantically attached at the moment, Joe’s not exactly despondent (When does Joe Higashi get the girl?). So then, lets get down to business. Yossha! Fighting System: I use Advanced exclusively, and this guide is made for a fighter using Advanced Mode. Also, Advanced is ideal for an aggressive and dynamic way of fighter. And a lot of Joe’s technique relies on advanced modes’ running and rolling techniques. So if you’re an Extra mode player and feel there are techniques only available in Extra mode that I missed, inform me. All the directions in this guide assume you are facing right. Abbreviations: F= Forward DF= Diagonally down-forward HCF= Half circle forward B= Back DB= Diagonally down-back P= Punch D= Down QCB= Quarter circle back K= Kick U= Up QCF= Quarter circle forward III: Quotes, Taunt, Poses, etc. Win Quote: How’s that? I’m the Satan of martial arts. Taunt: Joe turns his back to the opponent, pulls down his shorts and moons the opponent. First round intro: Joe appears in his champion’s robe from Fatal Fury the Movie. Normal round intro: Joe slams his fist into his palm twice, then points at the opponent and says Sakusaku ikuze! Lets finish this quickly! Against King: Joe turns his back to the player then spins around with his championship belt around his waist, laughing hysterically while King holds a hand to her head in an expression of exasperation. Win poses: ( selected by holding down a button after winning a match ) Button A: Joe goes down on his knees, lifts his arms above his head and shouts “ Yossha!” “All right!” Button B: Joe turns his back, points down at the opponent and says “Tatte!” “Get up!” Button C: Joe does a short punch combo and ends with his arm in a defiant gesture and says “Yossha” Button D: Joe begins to chuckle while still in his fighting stance and ends up laughing with his hands on his hips. IV: Movelist: Command Attacks: Shin Kick: F + B bufferable, can be chained from a close standing or crouching C, can be followed with any special move Slide Kick: DF + B can be chained from a close standing or crouching C Hurricane Upper: HCF + P Slash Kick: HCF + K Tiger Kick: F,D,DF + K Golden Heel: QCB + K TNT Punches: Tap P rapidly TNT Finisher: D,DF,F + P after TNT punches V: Normal Moves: Muay Thai Power! Joe Higashi has trained in the ways of Muay Thai from childhood and has reached the heights of the international fighting circuit. In fact, it was through competition that he met Andy while training in Japan. And later, Terry in Southtown. Muay Thai uses all the parts of the body as weapons, and is a very brutal fighting style. Joe relies on his powerful kicks as well as his variety of quick and effective punches to ensure victory. His closed stance allows few opening in his defence and allows him to unleash quick attacks at close range. Moves are rated from 1 to 5 stars (***) with 1 meaning more or less useless, while 5 means a very useful and effective move. Standing A Rating: *** Joe throws out a short quick jab with his far hand. A semi useful poking move, this jab has decent priority if used with the right timing. You can also do a small combo by pressing repeatedly and this can be chained into his TNT punches. Standing B: Rating: *** Joe does a traditional Muay Thai push kick, stretching his leg straight out. This is also a very good poking move, due to its longer range than the Standing A. Also, this kick doesn’t hit right away, it only hits in its last frames. This is good for confusing the opponent with its quirky timing. You can also chain this from a Standing A. the downside is that you can’t buffer anything after this, thus limiting its usefulness. Standing C Rating: **** Joe throws out a Straight Punch with his near hand. Good damage, decent speed, good reach. Fairly useful for poking, this can be used to punish an opponent’s minor mistakes. Don’t count on using this that often, as you’ll have more use for the Standing D. Standing D Rating: **** Joe swings a powerful roundhouse with his near leg. This is one of Joe’s more useful normal moves. It’s quite good for poking, has decent speed, and has more range than most opponent’s sweeps and pokes. You’ll be using this a lot, especially to keep the opponent in the corner. Only down side is that it has a bit of lag at the end if it whiffs. And it doesn’t have a Close D version. Standing CD Rating: * Joe does a slow high roundhouse to his foe’s head with his far leg. This move is, unfortunately, quite useless. It’s too slow, can be ducked, has fairly low priority to boot. Only possible use is to fake this into a canceled hurricane upper. Crouching A Rating: *** Quick, fast, accurate, this is one of Joe’s better low moves. It can be chained from his low B and linked to another A 2 or 3 times. Short range, though, but at least it’s bufferable into the TNT Punches. Crouching B Rating: *** Another quick and fast move, you can chain 2 to 3 of these together or chain an A ( low or high ) to the second B and take it from there. Crouching C Rating: *** This move is quite fast, has good priority, and can be chained to almost anything. The disadvantage to this move is that it’s range is fairly short even though Joe slides forward a bit when executing it. Its fairly useful for stifling the opponent’s combos at short range, and if it’s blocked, just buffer in a Hurricane Upper to be safe. Crouching D Rating: *** This move has greater range than in KOF 97, but it’s no longer as useful, since it’s more difficult to cancel into a Jab Hurricane due to KOF 98’s move detection. Still, the range is good, though it seems slower. You still can cancel into a special, it’s just more difficult to do. Close A Rating: *** This is similar in priority and damage to his Standing A, but Joe bends his arm a bit. This main use for this is that it can be comboed into either of Joe’s DMs. But due to the range needed to do this, you’re better off doing a Close C, Fwd + B into a special move. And the damage will be higher. Close C Rating: **** Joe throws out a short, vicious bodyblow with his near hand. This is the move you’ll be using in most of your combos. It’s fast, has good priority and damage. Plus, you can combo this into almost any command or special attack. A slight disadvantage is that this move is so fast you may have difficulty comboing this into special moves, but with practice it becomes second nature. Jumping D Rating: **** Most of Joe’s air attacks are nor really effective and you won’t be using them much so I’ll concentrate on the really useful Jumping D. This is the move that Joe will use almost always in the air. It’s angled down and forward and is the best air-to-ground and air-to-air offense and defense. This can be comboed into a Close C or almost any other attack. VI: Special Moves and DMs Moves are rated in the same way as Joe’s normal moves. Hurricane Upper Rating: ***** (A button throws one hurricane, while C does 2.) Joe slides forward slightly and does a quick uppercut, kicking up a whirlwind in front of him. This is one of the most useful moves that Joe has. It has quick recovery time and can interrupt almost any move used by the opponent if timed correctly. This will also knock an enemy out of the air if the opponent tries to jump from sweep distance. This will make up most of your offense if used in conjunction with Joe’s zoning tactics. More on this in the strategy section. Slash Kick Rating: **** ( B button travels ¼ screen distance, D travels about half the screen ) Joe turns around, leaps forward and kicks out with his rear leg. This move is useful mostly as a combo move chained from his Shin Kick, and it does decent damage on its own. The problem with this is if done too deep and blocked, ( esp. the D version ) it leaves Joe open to a devastating counter attack. But its good for catching an opponent unawares. As with the Hurricane Upper, this is best used in combos or as part of Joe’s zoning game. Tiger Kick Rating: *** Joe does his trademark jumping knee attack. This move is quite improved from 97, though it’s still a bit tough to use effectively. This will now knock a standing opponent down in one hit, and it seems to be quicker and have more priority in KOF 98. This can be used on high jumping opponents although the Golden Heel works just as well. Overall, you won’t be using this very often. Golden Heel ( range is similar to Slash Kick ) Rating: **** Joe leaps forward and arcs his near leg through a semicircle in the air. This move, used with anticipation and zoning tactics, is Joe’s bestanti-air defence. Plus, if you catch the foe midair in the corner, you can chain this to a Slash kick for more damage. This will almost always catch a high jumping opponent when done a bit early. And this can be done on a standing opponent from the correct range without being countered if blocked. Pretty effective, though timing is a must. TNT Punches Rating: *** Joe throws out a fast punch combo which connects with several hits. This move is pretty good, but hard to begin and end. Chain this from a low B, low A then hammer the A button to chain the punches. Good attack from close range, but you have to finish it quickly with either finisher before the opponent can recover. The A finisher will hit a ducking opponent, while the C version will knock down. Do not try this against grapplers! The close range needed to connect with this move will often result in you getting thrown before you know what hit you. DM’s: Screw Upper Rating:*** Joe lets loose with this trademark super whirlwind uppercut. DM special is a stationary hurricane, while SDM flies across the screen. In 98, this move seems slightly less effective than in 97, mostly due to the fact that it’s easier to roll though. His DM now travels forward a bit, allowing an opponent to roll through and get between Joe and the Screw Upper. This is balanced a bit by its stronger anti-air priority. Though it seems no longer possible to chain a Golden heel or Jumping CD after it connects. Muay Thai Explosion Rating: **** This is one of Joe’s best combo finishers, especially if buffered from a Jump D, Close C, fwd B combo. This has decent priority, though some normal and special moves will interrupt this DM. It also does good blocking damage, though the foe will usually CD counter if he does block this. The only problem is that this is more difficult to do in 98’ coz of the move detection. Other than that, a solid, effective move. VII: Combos Joe is a good combo machine, though in a challenge match the opponent will usually CD counter you out of your combos. But when the opportunity arises, Joe has good 3 to 4 hit combos that end with specials or DMs to punish the opponent. But Joe is more effective as a zoning fighter. Anyway, here are some combos: Jump D, Standing C, Fwd + B, Slash Kick/Tiger Kick/Muay Thai Exp.DM Crouching B, Crouching A, TNT Punches Crouching B, Standing A, Screw Upper/Muay Thai Explosion DM Crouching C, Fwd + B, Slash Kick Close C/Crouching C, Hurricane Upper/Muay Thai Explosion DM Crouching B, Crouching A, Standing A, Standing B VIII: Strategy Range, Range, Range! This section is dedicated to helping you hone your skills and win against scrubs. Joe is deadly if used correctly, and correct use depends on using Joe’s best skills. The most effective use of Joe is to utilize his zoning techniques. Meaning, to maneuver the opponent into a distance or range that Joe is more effective at. Joe’s most effective range is just outside sweep distance or roughly 2½ character widths. This range is even more effective with the foe in the corner. From this range, your special moves have a greater chance of connecting, you can force the opponent into making mistakes and take advantage of his errors. If the foe tries to jump, you can usually counter with a hurricane upper or an early Golden Heel. To do this, try throwing 2 or 3 hurricane uppers in quick succession. But the more experienced fighter will roll though the projectiles. So what to do is throw one or two, then wait for his roll, and grab and throw him out of it. Anticipating the next projectile, most players will roll. By throwing him out of it, you’ll put him back on the defensive. Then you cansoften him up with hurricane uppers. With the opponent in the corner try this, do 2 or three hurricanes, then anticipate the roll and apply the throw. With him back in the corner throw 2 or 3 hurricanes again. At this point, he’ll try to jump. Do a standing D immediately after the2nd or 3rd hurricane, and you’ll either connect or be blocked. Either way, follow up with a B Golden Heel, and if you’re lucky, he’ll try to jump again and you’ll hit him in midair. Then you can juggle with a B Slash Kick. Repeat this, and he’ll try a special move after the hurricanes, so be prepared to block or roll. Then punish him. Or you can psyche him out even more by running at him and doing a Close C, Fwd + B, Hurricane Upper combo. Even if he blocks, you’ll do some damage. You could also do one combo, then while he’s waiting for the follow up attack, move close and throw him. Mix up these techniques, and you can effectively confuse the opponent. These are the basic combos you need to keep in mind. Be prepared to apply whichever strategy is best at the moment, and don’t forget to mix them up and be unpredictable. I’ve been able to win consistently by doing this. Word of warning!!! The effective range for Joe is also an effective range for grapplers like Clark and Goro. Grapplers will usually try to anticipate your projectiles and roll through. Don’t go crazy with projectiles coz they’ll roll and command throw. Try to hold back and anticipate the roll, then grab and throw before they come out of the roll. This is the best advice I can give you. Punish mistakes at close to point-blank range with a Close C, Fwd + B into a Muay Thai Explosion DM. At longer ranges use the B Slash Kick to punish mistakes like a blocked Power Geyser or a whiffed uppercut, although Joe is fast enough to run in and apply a combo. A slight problem is that Joe doesn’t have a really good anti-air attack. His Tiger kick is only effective against high jumpers, and his Golden Heel is best used early or with anticipation. A good idea is to CD counter against jumping attacks to put them in the corner and on the defensive. Try to find your own style, but I find that the strategy above works best for me, anyway, thanks for reading this. May you win all your challenges! IX: Miscellaneous stuff Well, this is version 1.0. There is no Extra Mode or 95’ Style Joe info because I don’t use Extra Mode, and IMHO the 95’ version of Joe is really weak compared to the 98 version. Sorry. This is done to help Joe players win in challenges and I hope I have achieved that aim. Thanks for reading this, and if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.