THE KING OF FIGHTERS '98:
DREAM MATCH NEVER ENDS

SAISHU KUSANAGI FAQ v 1.1
by Douglas Shin (penpen70@yahoo.com)

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This FAQ is copyright 1999 by me. It is intended solely to be used as a 
help guide and is not to be used for profit. Otherwise feel free to 
distribute, put up or use. Please give credit where it is due and ask 
permission before using parts of my FAQ. 

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

I.Intro
II.Background
III.Basic Info
IV.Moves
V.Combos
VI.Strategy
VII.Credits and Thanks
VIII.History

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I.Introduction

 Why am I writing an FAQ for Saishu Kusanagi? For several reasons. First 
off, I happen to think that Saishu is a pretty cool character to use 
since he's not one of those unbalanced, super powerful characters that 
everyone always picks (ehem, Iori, cough, cough). Second of all, I saw 
that there were no FAQs out there devoted to him. And finally, I have 
some extra time on my hands now that I'm on vacation. Hopefully, you 
will be able to get some useful info out of this FAQ and use it to have 
a lot of fun playing KOF 98 with friends. Who exactly is this fellow? 
Read on to find out...


II.Background Information

If you didn't know, Saishu Kusanagi is the father of Kyo Kusanagi, the 
hero of the King of Fighters series. He is the head of the Kusanagi 
clan, longtime rivals with the Yagami clan. His fighting style is 
centered around the deadly flames that he can produce when he fights, a 
trait of the Kusanagis. In King of Fighters '94, it was revealed that he 
fought Rugal and lost. He was brainwashed by Rugal and served as his 
henchman in King of Fighters '95. However, Kyo and the Hero team manage 
to defeat Rugal and save him. Now, he is back in full style for the King 
of Fighters '98 tournament! Saisyu teams up with Takuma Sakazaki and 
Heidern to form the "Masters" Team, or as I call them, the "Old Men's" 
Team. He was never selectable as a player in any previous KOF until this 
one, unless you used the code in '95 to select him.


III.Basic Info

1.Introductory Pose

NORMAL
Saishu turns toward the screen and brings his hands together. A small 
flame appears between his hands as he poses. He then extinguishes the 
flame and turns to face his opponent.

VS. VICE
Vice turns to Saishu and says, "Anta mitetto hara tatte kundayo!" and 
then spits on the ground. This loosely translates to "The sight of your 
face ticks me off!" 

VS. KYO
Saishu turn to Kyo and says something to him and then says, "Dooshita?"
while Kyo does his normal intro.

VS. RUGAL
Saishu asks Rugal if he thinks he can defeat him, to which Rugal 
responds by cracking his knuckles and saying, "Yeah!"

[NOTE:Info for special intros with Vice, Kyo and Rugal taken from Kao 
Megura's general FAQ for KOF 98]

2.Rolling (Press A+B)

Saishu moves and simply rolls his body on the ground and gets up 
smoothly to face his opponent. This move is the exact same as Kyo's 
roll, I think.

3.Taunt (press Start)

Saishu starts picking his ear for ear wax (???), looks at the finger and 
then grunts.

4.Win Poses

You can choose the win pose you want by holding down A,B,C,or D. There 
are four different poses for Saishu.

HOLD A
Saishu starts laughing and then say utters something that I can't make 
out.

HOLD B
Saishu starts scratching his belly and then says something.

HOLD C
Saishu scratches his beard and then says, "Yaosobi wa kikenjazo," which 
translates to "Going out at night is dangerous." (???)

HOLD D
Saishu puts his hand on his chin and says something.

[NOTE:Info for C pose comes from Joe Palanca's General FAQ]

5.Win Quote

Saishu (who looks really weird in the winning picture) says, "Defeat is 
defeat. Fighting's no picnic, kid."

IV.Moves

I will be going in depth with both normal and special moves, in that 
order:

1.Normal Moves

STANDING A

Saishu stands using one arm with the elbow bent to attack with his fist. 
Very awkward looking and has very limited horizontal or vertical range. 
There is no use for this move, so I don't recommend using it. It has no 
poking or comboing value.

CROUCHING A

This is a standard crouching A, similar to most everyone else's 
crouching A. It's fast, has decent range and can be used in chains and 
standard comboes. It can also be used to poke, so this move has some 
usefulness.

JUMPING A

Saishu jumps forward with one arm outstretched and attacks with his palm 
at a downward angle. This move is not very good air to air so be careful 
in using it. It can be used as a combo starter but there are other much 
better combo starters. Use with caution since it is not a very good 
move.

STANDING B

Saishu uses his right leg to kick sideways parallel to the ground ala 
Terry Bogard style. It has good poking range but is not that fast so use 
accordingly.

CROUCHING B

Saishu sticks his leg out a short distance from his body and pokes low. 
This move doesn't have the range of a Terry or Leona and is comparable 
to Yuri's low B in terms of reach. It comes out quickly, but the short 
range limits its effectiveness. Make sure you're close enough to use 
this poke if you are attempting a chain.

JUMPING B

Saishu jumps in, using his knee to attack you, a la Ken or Ryu jumping 
short style from SF. It can be used as a combo starter although I would 
not recommend it. It's not useful as air to air attack, so you should 
avoid using this attack 99% of the time.

STANDING C (near)

This is a double hit attack that can be buffered into any special attack 
that Saishu has. This attack is the heart of his comboes. The first hit 
is interruptable, depending on what type of punishment you want to 
inflict on your opponent or if you are going for style points =). Use 
conservatively, meaning use when you have clear opportunity to combo. 
Otherwise, you can be tagged right after with a nice Iori Eight Maidens 
DM or a Leona Revolver Spark DM and those hurt!

CROUCHING C

Saishu attacks with the palm of one hand and both arms extending upward 
vertically. This attack has almost NO horizontal range. Therefore, I 
emphasize DO NOT attempt to use this attack as anti-air. The only place 
you would use it in such a way is if they were directly above you. It 
can be used in comboes but near standing C is much better and hits 
twice.

JUMPING C (forward)

Saishu extends his arms downward at a 45 degree angle to hit his 
opponent. This attack does not work well as a air to air attack because 
of the lag time that Saishu has bringing his arms down. Use it if you 
can get it out early. However, it is useful as a combo starter when you 
jump in.

JUMPING C (stationary)

Saishu jumps up in the air and then extends both his arms outward, 
almost like he's trying to fly. Depending on which side your opponent is 
on he hits them with his right or left arm. It can be used sometimes 
during air to air confrontation. Otherwise, it has very limited use. It 
can be used to start a combo if it connects with the opponent on the 
ground. 

STANDING D

Saishu brings his leg up very high swing lika a crescent kick, out to 
in. It looks like he is straining to pull this move off as it looks 
somewhat awkward. Rarely, you can catch someone out of the air with this 
move. It is somewhat slow but is a decent move.

CROUCHING D

This move is almost identical to Kyo's crouching D. Saishu crouches and 
then extends one leg forward to try to trip the opponent. This move is a 
little slow, but you should throw it out occasionally. It doesn't quite 
have the range of Kyo's sweep though.

JUMPING D

We know that Kyo learned a lot of his normal moves well since many of 
his moves are copied off Saishu =). Saishu jumps forward and extends his
leg in a slight up to down motion, not as exaggerated as Kyo's D. This 
serves well as a jump in combo starter and is decent air to air against 
most opponents.


2.Special Moves

Move names were taken from Kao Megura's FAQ, many thanks!

[NB:I will list the move first and then give a brief explanation and 
appropriate comment.]

Abbreviations:

B=back
F=forward
QCF=quarter circle forward
QCB=quarter circle back
DP=dragon punch (I hope you know what this motion is =)...F,D,DF)
HCF=half circle forward
HCB=half circle back

Throws
------
Hikari Tsuchi (Signal Fire Hammer)
B/F + C when close

Issetsu Seoi Nage (Single Arm Shoulder Throw)
B/F + D when close

"Special" Normals
-----------------
Ge Shiki: Gou Tsuchi (Foreign Style: Roaring Hammer)
F + A

Ge Shiki: Kubu Tsuchi (Foreign Style: Head Mallet)
F + B

Moves
-----
Hyaku Shiki Yami Barai (Style No. 100: Darkness Sweep)
QCF + P

Nana Hyaku Ni Juu Shiki Homura Gasane (Style No. 720: Heavy Blaze)
QCB + P (x2)
Hachi Juu Shiki Oniyaki (Style No. 180: Demon Scorcher)
DP + P

Hyaku Shiki Nata Guruma (Style No. 100: Hatchet Wheel)
DP + K

Yon Hyaku Ni Juu Nana Shiki Kamu Kakari (Style 427: God Consult)
HCB + K

Desperation Moves (DM)
----------------------
Ura Hyaku Hachi Shiki Orochi Nagi
(Style No. 180 Reversed: Great Serpent Mow)
QCB, HCF + P (Can be delayed by holding down P)

Sen Hyaku Ni Juu Nana Shiki Tsumu Gari
(Style No. 1027: Eye of the Metropolis Reap)
QCF, QCF + P

ANALYSIS OF HIS MOVES
-Saishu's special moves are pretty good. His Oniyaki uppercut, while not
close to Kyo's effectiveness (since there is no autoguard), is still 
very good as anti air or wake up and will at worst, trade hits most of 
the time. Having a projectile that reaches across the screen doesn't 
hurt either and his Heavy Blaze move can be delayed slightly between the
first and second hit, in similar way to Iori's Hollyhock Flower (QCB+P 
x3) move. His forward A attack is also very good since it must be 
blocked high and often catches people off guard. The only move that is 
not very useful is his HCB + K move, which has too long of a delay 
coming out and therefore, you can easily be hit out of it.

V.Comboes

Now the crucial part of the FAQ! Mastering Saishu's combos is the key to 
success and mastering his character. If you can land all of his combos 
consistently, you will have a very good chance of winning a round or two 
with him.

Simple Combos
-------------
1.Crouching A/B, Crouching A, Oniyaki (dp+P)
-using A, Rush 3 Hits
-using C, Rush 4 Hits

2.Close Standing C (2 Hits), Oniyaki (dp+P)
-using A, Rush 3 Hits
-using C, Rush 4 Hits

3.Close Standing C (2 Hits), Darkness Sweep (qcf+P)
-Rush 3 Hits

4.Close Standing C (2 Hits), Hatchet Wheel (dp+K)
-using B, Rush 4 Hits
-using D, Rush 5 Hits

5.Close Standing C (2 Hits), Heavy Blaze (qcb+P x2)
-Rush 4 Hits

*in all of the above combos, you can substitute Crouching C or Far 
Standing C for the close Standing C

Normal Combos
-------------
6.Close Standing C (1 Hit), interrupt fwd+A, Darkness Sweep (qcf+P)
-Rush 3 Hits

7.Close Standing C (1 Hit), interrupt fwd+A, Oniyaki (dp+P)
-Rush 3 Hits

8.Close Standing C (1 Hit), interrupt fwd+A, Hatchet Wheel (dp+K)
-using B, Rush 4 Hits
-using D, Rush 5 Hits

9.Close Standing C (1 Hit), interrupt fwd+A, Heavy Blaze (qcb+P x2)
-Rush 4 Hits

10.Jump C/D + any of above
-Rush ???

Corner Combos
-------------
11.Jump C/D, Standing C (2 Hits), interrupt fwd+A, Darkness Sweep
-Rush 5 Hits

Super Combos
------------
12.Crouching A/B, Crouching A, 1027 Tsumu Gari (qcfx2 +P)
-DM, Rush 5 Hits
-SDM, Rush 16 Hits

13.Crouching/Far Standing C, Tsumu Gari (qcfx2 +P)
-DM, Rush 4 Hits
-SDM, Rush 15 Hits

14.Crouching/Far Standing C, Orochi Nagi (qcb, hcf+P)
-DM, Rush 2 Hits
-SDM, Rush 4 Hits

15.Close Standing C (2 Hits), Tsumu Gari (qcfx2 +P)
-DM, Rush 5 Hits
-SDM, Rush 16 Hits

16.Close Standing C (2 Hits), Orochi Nagi (qcb, hcf+P)
-DM, Rush 3 Hits
-SDM, Rush 5 Hits

17.Close Standing C (1 Hit), interrupt fwd+A, Tsumu Gari (qcfx2 +P)
-DM, Rush 5 Hits
-SDM, Rush 16 Hits

18.Close Standing C (1 Hit), interrupt fwd+A, Orochi Nagi (qcb, hcf+P)
-DM, Rush 3 Hits
-SDM, Rush 5 Hits

*Note that you can also add in Jump C/D obviously; add 1 to Rush counter

19.Jump C/D, Close Standing C (2 Hits), fwd+A, Tsumu Gari (qcfx2 +P)
-DM, Rush 7 Hits
**NOTE: This combo works ONLY with DM, not with powered up SDM

20.Jump C/D, Close Standing C (2 Hits), fwd+A, Orochi Nagi (qcb, hcf+P)
-DM, Rush 5 Hits
-SDM, Rush 7 Hits (NB:This is as far as I know, Saishu's most damaging 
combo so use when you can and then smirk at your opponent =P)

NEW!!!

21.Jump C/D, Close Standing C (2 Hits), fwd+A, Heavy Blaze (qcbx2 +P),
   Darkness Sweep (qcf+P), Orochi Nagi (qcb, hcf+P)!!!
-SDM only, Rush ??? Hits

*This is a combo that Kronon emailed to me! Supposedly, the key to this 
combo is timing the Darkness Sweep perfectly as the opponent is falling 
from the Heavy Blaze. Since I no longer have KOF 98, it would be greatly 
appreciated if someone else could confirm that this combo works also. 
Thanks Kronon! Looks like this could be Saishu's best combo!


VI.Strategy

Saishu Kusanagi is a fun character to play but he takes some skill to 
win with. Being a middle tier character, he can hold his own against 
most other characters. Take notice that you CANNOT be passive with 
Saishu; that is, you can't wait for the opponent to come to you as it's 
a sure way to lose. You have to be aggressive with him but not to the 
point of blindly attacking with no strategy. Learn what his weaknesses 
and his strong points are. For example, don't try to use his fireball 
move as a keep away move every time but rather as part of a combo or use 
it occasionally to keep your opponent in a corner. His uppercut move has 
its strengths as well. Although it does have limited range, his uppercut 
does have some horizontal range and is deceptively good. The flame 
produced when he does the motion gives him the horizontal range he 
needs. However, it doesn't have Kyo range. His supers are decent but as 
most other supers, you can be hit out of it fairly easily so watch out. 
However, his Tsumu Gari DM is very useful against people who like to use 
low B's and D's, since it goes through those. Saishu's got one of the 
best taunts in the game, IMHO, so use it 1)if your opponent is a turtler 
who sits in the corner all day, or 2)if you are opening up a major can 
of whup ass on your opponent!
As for gameplay, mix up his moves. Pressure with combos even if they 
don't connect and use his fwd+A move a lot also, since it catches people 
who often like to block only low. Saishu will have trouble against 
speedy characters and overpowering characters like Iori but against 
those people, caution and patience is the theme. Everybody makes 
mistakes and when they do, punish them with combos and DON'T mess up!
Saishu's best range against people is about half a screen or less, since 
many of his moves have good horizontal range at this distance. The key 
to succes with him is his damaging comboes. Saishu can't possibly hope 
to defeat upper tier characters like Iori, Chris and Kyo with poking or 
turtling. Don't hesitate to share new combos or strategies with me by 
mailing me at penpen70@yahoo.com

VII.Credits and Thanks

-First off to SNK of course for making the King of Fighters the best 
fighting game around!

-Kao Megura, for letting me use move names for Saishu and some basic 
info. This guy's the king of FAQ writers! (kmegura@hotmail.com)

-Joe Palanca, for the info on some of Saishu's special intros

-John Shin, for driving me to become a better King of Fighters player 
and teaching me a lot about the game. Stop complaining about no Terry 
power charge infinite in 98!

-Kronon (kitty9@singnet.com.sg) for the cool new combo!

-Jung, for first getting me into KOF as a serious player.

-Edward Ma, for staying up with me and playing KOF on Neo Geo CD at 3 in 
the morning and making me crack up with all those jokes about the game

-UCSD gameroom for getting the game, although they NEVER fixed the 
joysticks or the buttons!

VIII.History

(8/99?)
Version 1.0-First and almost complete draft!

(9/16/99)
Version 1.1-Update with one new combo and strategy section