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 hiryu33@hotmail.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 hiryu33@hotmail.com.