Strategy Guide by MTham

Version: 0.9 | Updated: 03/03/00 | Printable Version


version 0.9 

by Michael Tham (

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Welcome to my strategy guide for KOF 98. I've always wanted to get my thoughts 
about KOF (figuratively) on paper but never got around to it. IMO, what makes 
KOF better than Capcom fighters is that there are so many ways to play the 
characters and there are always new strategies to find and experiment with. I am 
far from being an expert at KOF and would consider myself an intermediate 
player. Nevertheless, I have access to a neo geo and play almost every 
character. It is my hope that this guide will help some of you get more from KOF 
and encourage the use of more characters. (hey, that's what the roulette is for) 
This guide is divided into 3 sections: General Strategies, Character Strategies 
and Misc. Under general strategies are tactics that apply to most if not all 
characters. Characters strategies is about tactics for and against certain 
characters. Misc is for stuff that doesn't fit in the above two categories. I'm 
writing from memory and there may be some stuff in the guide that are wrong. The 
strategis are mostly for advance mode as I and everyone I've played with uses 
advanced. Also, if you have any strategies that you think is useful, do email me 
and share your thoughts with the rest of the KOF world. All strategies should be 
applicable in the arcade, neo geo, PSX and Dreamcast versions.

Happy reading!  

p.s. I would gladly appreciate it if someone could mail me the gamest rankings 
for 98 or even 97.



2)punishing rolling
4)waking up
6)fake short jump
7)vertical jump
8)CD countering
9)guard cancel roll
10)jumping in on grapplers
12)uncounterable moves
13)to POW or not to POW
14)corner trapping
15)grappling range

Andy Bogard
Athena Asamiya
Benimaru Nikaido
Blue Mary 
Chang Koehan
Chin Gentsai
Chizuru Kagura
Choi Bounge
Chris (Orochi)
Clark Steel
Goro Daimon
Heavy D!
Iori Yagami
Joe Higashi
Kyo Kusanagi
Lucky Glauber
Ralf Jones
Robert Garcia
Rugal Bernstein
Ryo Sakazaki
Saisyu Kusanagi
Shermie (Orochi)
Shingo Yabuki
Sie Kensou
Terry Bogard 97
Terry Bogard RB
Yashiro (Orochi)
Yuri Sakazaki
Yuri Sakazaki 95

Ordering your characters

K E Y (taken from Moonrun's combo faq and modified)

[all notations are in 1st player's side]

 o  o  o         jump backwards     vertical jump     jump forward
  \ | /
o-- n --o        block/go back         neutral          go forward
  / | \
 o  o  o         blocking crouch     normal crouch    forward crouch/crawl*

A = light punch        B = light kick
C = heavy punch        D = heavy kick

d   = down joystick direction
u   = up joystick motion
b   = hold joystick in blocking direction
f   = joystick forward motion
QCB = quarter cirlce back joystick motion
QCF = quarter circle forward joystick motion
HCB = half circle back joystick motion
HCF = half circle forward joystick motion
DP  = uppercut joystick motion
RDP = reverse uppercut joystick motion
j   = jump
s   = standing
c   = crouching
cx  = cross over



This is what makes KOF such a great game. Basically your character tucks into a 
ball and rolls on the ground. When you are rolling, you are invincible, except 
for throws and have a small period of vulnerability when going into a roll and 
getting up. Rolling can be used offensively or defensively. You can roll through 
fireballs, DMs or special moves. Basically most moves can be rolled through as 
long as you time it properly. When should you roll? Its a hard question to 
answer because there's so many ifs and buts. The main idea is to use it to avoid 
a move and attack before the move recovers. It is dangerous to roll through fast 
recovery moves like standing/crouching A/B because your opponent recovers before 
you. Learn the range of the roll and time your rolls well. Incorporate the roll 
in your flowchart. For eg, after your jump in combo is blocked, roll through the 
counter attack and punish. Alternatively, learn your opponent's flowchart. For 
eg, your opponent always throws two fireballs in a row. After blocking the 
first, roll through the second. One important advice, don't roll too much and 
don't get predictable with rolling. Remember that you can jump as well and don't 
stick on the ground all the time.


Basically, there is always a pattern to your opponent's rolling. Maybe your 
opponent always does a run-roll after blocking a fireball in anticipation of a 
fireball. Or maybe your opponent always does two rolls in a row. Whatever it is, 
anticipating rolls is important, unless you have lightning fast reflexes. If 
your opponent tries to roll through you, you can always normal throw him out of 
the roll. Most of the time, you can only punish rolling when your opponent gets 
up from the roll. Some DMs are design for getting rollers like Billy's qcf, 
hcb+A/C DM but most DMs should work. Doing a combo or command throw when the 
opponent is getting up is pretty effective too. Some ppl just mash at A/B while 
crouching. Moves tha have long hitting animations like Shingo's f+B are also 
effective. The key is doing it at the right moment. Attacking too soon when the 
roller is still invincible leaves you open. Do it too late and most likely 
you'll eat a command throw. When your opponent rolls through you, ie at close 
range, do a low chain into a special move or DM. At high levels, learning to 
combo from a crouching A/B is a must. Here's a basic tip for fireballers with a 
running grab. Fire a fireball and if you anticipate a roll, meet them halfway 
with a running grab.

A word of warning when grapplers have stock. Once, a Yamazaki rolled into my 
Chang's spinning iron ball and did the hcbx2+A/C DM. The DM was instantaneous 
but I'm not sure if it can cancel the period of vulnerabality. Command throws 
can beat cA/B and throw DMs can beat a lot of moves. Unless you have a very good 
anti-roll move, I would suggest vertical hopping when you see a grappler with 
stock rolling towards you.


Poking involves using a series offast, high priority, long ranged moves to 
safely attack the opponent, usually from a character's width away. The aims or 
poking are:
1) pressure the opponent
2) slow down agressive opponent
3) keep the grappler from coming close
Any damage resulting from poking is considered a bonus. Many characters have 
poking moves and the ones that generally spring to mind are Terry and Kyo's 
standing B and Vice, Ralf and Iori's standing C. There are two types of pokes, 
light pokes and hard pokes. Ligh pokes like Terry's standing B serve to annoy 
the hell out of the opponent and usually cannot be cancel. Damage is minimal but 
is faster. Hard pokes do much more damage and some can be canceled into special 
moves. Hard pokes are very useful and a few hits when POWed will lead to 
victory. Not all normal moves can be used to poke. Poking moves have long range 
and higher priority, meaning that most of the them, the moves beat other moves. 
Poking can be used offensively as well, for example with Heidern. Heidern has 
fast and long ranged normal. While poking he can also charge up for his special 

Another poking technique is to a light attack followed by a hard attack. For 
example, Iori's sB followed by his sD. The sB recovers very quickly and if the 
opponent tries to attack, chances are, he will get hit by the high priority sD. 
Poking from light to hard is also good for pushing your opponent away.

A good way to poke is a crouching D cancelled into a special move, ie Terry's cD 
into power wave(qcf+A/C) or Shingo's cD into Shingofist(qcf+A). Usually this 
technique is applied as the opponent is getting up. 

How do you counter? 
1) Use autoguard moves like Kyo's fists or Goro's hcfx2+B/D DM.
2) Stand out of range and when the poke comes out, poke back or do a special 
3) Use high priority attack.
4) Reversal.

Rolling through a poke is very risky since pokes recover fast or can be 


A wake up attack is an attack that can be done immediately when getting up that 
will hit your opponent that is attacking you. Most wake up attacks are dragon 
punches and DM. If you see your opponent jumping in or trying to hit you when 
you're getting up, do a wake up and gain the initiative back. Don't be too 
obsessed with wake up thoughs. A good trick is to pretend to attack a downed 
opponent and then block the wake up. Most wake ups leave you open when blocked. 
(A fair trade for the priority) And example would be a standing A/B before the 
opponent wakes up and then blocking. The timing for waking up in KOF is very 
stringent compared with Street Fighter so practice to learn to timing. It seems 
that you have to do the wake up a bit early before your getting up animation 

Command throws and throw DMs make excellent wake up moves. The golden rule of 
KOF is never stand in front of a grappler when he's getting up. A good trick is 
to hop just when the grappler is getting up and if he does a throw, you can 
punish him. When using a grappler and if you're opponent is pretty good, chances 
are he's going to try the trick on you. Do an anti air or wait for him to land 
and command throw.


In order words sitting on floor all the time aka having the stick at db 90% of 
the time. Turtlers will more often than not use a character who has a good d+C 
anti air and wait for you to jump. If you jump, they use d+C and throw you if 
you roll. Sometimes it seems like there's nothing you can do against them, 
particularly when time's running out. Here's some suggested counter techniques:

1) Hyper jump over. The d+C attack may miss, leaving your opponent open. 
2) Dash forward until one character apart and see what happens. If your opponent 
justs sits there, do an overhead or a low chain.
3) Poke.
4) Taunt. 
5) Mix short hopping with CD and empty short hop into low combo.
6) Have a turtling competition and see who can hold db the longest without 
getting bored.
7) Tick off some damage by shooting a projectile.

Another form of turtling is keep jumping backwards into the corner. Usually, the 
turtler will use a character with command grab or unblockable close range move 
like Robert's hcf+B/D. Their plan is to block your attacks and then throw you. 
If you have a command throw, throw them when they land. If your character 
doesn't have a command throw, you can try to make them miss the throw or just 
poke until the turtler gets out of his shell. Alternatively, just taunt from the 
other side while the turtler realises how boring he is just jumping back all the 


This technique is emplowed primary by grapplers but can be used by non grapplers 
as well. The idea is to jump early with an attack, prompting the opponent to 
block in reaction. The attack will miss since it is executed early and the user 
command throws or normal throws upon landing. Clark users always do this with a 
jumping D and Shermie with a jumping CD as both attacks have high anti air 
priorities just in case you jump. You can also jump without an attack. Best way 
to counter empty jumps is to use an anti-air. If you're not fast enough, hop 
when they land and the command throw will miss, giving you a free combo or do 
your normal move anti-air. If your character has a decent normal anti air 
(usually a d+C) use it. Its better to trade hits than get command thrown. DO NOT 
try to hit grapplers when they land because their command throw will over 
prioritise you attack. However, if you are using a grappler and are being empty 
jumped on, your command throw will beat anything when the jumper lands. 


Favourite technique for offensive Kyo and can be used by any character with a 
good low chain. Do a short jump (tap uf) but do not attack. The opponent block 
high expecting a high attack while you go for a low combo, in Kyo's case, 
usually the low B, low A, df+D. What I like about this attack is that it is very 
offensive and punishes turtling. Mix it up with multiple jump attacks, 
especially high priority attacks like CDs or in Kyo's case d+C. This technique 
is very useful and is a good reason to learn your characters' low chain. It can 
be done with the normal jump but the short jump is faster and more confusing for 
the opponent.

How to counter? Firstly, learn your opponent's pattern, ie when does he usually 
do a fake short jump? Maybe after two consecutive blocked jump attacks? A good 
player will always change is pattern. Secondly, don't go into blocking mode 
everytime your opponent does multiple short jumping attacks. Counter with your 
anti air attack or CD counter. Don't turtle. The best defence is a good offense.


Unlike Capcom games, vertical jumps are very important in KOF. So important that 
my friends say I use it too much. So important that SNK gave different 
animations for vertical/horizontal jumping attacks. So why should you vertical 

KOF is about movement because movement causes reaction from your opponent. 
Moving back puts you on the defensive while moving forward may put you at risk. 
Vertical jumping lets you test out your opponent in a safer way.

See the 'waking up' section for more discussions. Also, vertical jumping avoids 
running grabs and air-to-ground throws like like Mary's scum spider (qcf+A). 
Most ppl jump back and this prevents you from punishing your opponent. Do an air 
attack into a combo when coming down.

You can air block when jumping back or vertically but not forward. Jumping back 
is lame, boring and too much is scrubby. Actually vertical jumping too much is 
also scrubby....


An important feature of KOF. You CD counter by pressing C and D while blocking. 
CD counters knock the opponent away with a bit of damage and use up one stock. 
Why use a CD counter when the stock can be better used with DMs? First, there's 
no guarantee you can hit your opponent with that DM. Secondly, there are lots of 
uncounterable attacks in KOF and CD counters are the only way to punish your 
opponent for using them. Not only that, CD counters allow you to regain the 
initiative, especially when playing aggressive. I've played with offensive Kyos 
and Ioris who CD counter every blocked attack. Of course CD countering can work 
the other way to stop offensive opponents. Usually it is the offensive opponent 
who controls the tempo of the game. Also, its prevents from getting guard 
crushed. CD counter uncounterable moves like Takuma's heinshippukyaku to 
discourage use. 


Its interesting to see that there are players who prefer to CD counter a multi 
hit DM rather than blocking the whole thing and then punishing the opponent. KOF 
is about making the most out of every opportunity and a blocked multi hit DM is 
the opportunity to inclict maximum damage. If you only have on stock and a 
healthy life bar, its best to block the whole thing and the combo into a DM. If 
your life is low, guard cancel roll, don't CD counter, run to your opponent and 
do your most damaging combo when your opponent finishes. Its pretty funny to 
guard cancel Ryo's ryokuranbu and follow it with your own!

Another tactic that I've not seen in the arcades is to guard cancel roll in the 
middle of blocking a combo. I did it last week and attack my opponent's back 
with a DM combo. This should work easily against characters such as Blue Mary. 
More info as I try this technique out at my next KOF session.


When jumping in on grapplers, always make sure that your attack hits low. If 
your attack is blocked at the head area, there's enough time for the grappler to 
throw you when you reach the ground. If you land right next to a grappler, 
he/she can command throw you normal attack. Try vertical jumping or making your 
attack hit low but not too deep. Remember that command throws have higher 
priority than normal attacks so try jumping away immediately after jumping away. 


Why taunt? Firstly, your opponent will want to taunt back. I know I do everytime 
I'm taunted. Secondly, it irritates your opponent. I taunt with Joe all the 
time. My friends curse his name everytime. It makes your opponent reckless and 
they might do the same mistake twice. Thirdly, its fun to taunt. It gets rid of 
the tension a bit. Lastly, it might persuade the turtler to let go of db. Mostly 
I taunt after DMs. Get into the right distance and taunt. Your opponent will 
either jump towards you or roll. Knock them back down with the appropriate 
attack. I hardly taunt in the arcades unless I know my opponent or he's just 
jumping backwards all the time or just sitting on db. I'm interested to hear 
about what players think about taunting in the arcades. Do you find it rude? 
Personally I think it adds life to the game.


What's an uncounterable move? Basically, its a move that when blocked, does not 
leave the opponent open for retaliation. KOF has more uncounterable moves to 
encourage risk taking gameplay.

Why do I sometimes get a counter message on the screen? There are two types of 
counters: minor and major. (this are VF terminologies) Minor counter refers to 
hitting back after blocking and major counter means hitting your opponent when 
he is doing a move (also known as interrupting a move). An uncounterable move 
cannot be minor countered but any move can be major countered. The counter 
message in KOF refers to major counters. It is important to know which moves are 
uncounterable or cannot be minor countered. Use your fighter's uncounterable 
moves more as the risk is lower. If you expect retaliation after your opponent 
has blocked your uncounterable move, launch a high priority move. 


POWing (ABC) is an important element in KOF. It raises your damage by about 25% 
and allows you to access SDMs. The counter argument to POWing is that the stock 
will serve better as a DM. The arguments can go both ways but here's my take on 
it: if you have more than 2 stocks, POW. Especially is you are using a high 
damage character because the higher the damage the more that 25% is worth. You 
also have to look at how useful having a stock ready is for you. For my Chang, I 
am very reluctant to POW because I need to use the qcfx2+A DM as my main anti 
air. Takuma needs his big priority qcf,hcb+A/C DM as a threat so that it easier 
to land a shoran kyaku. Different characters have different needs and it depends 
on how you play. I always POW with Clark because I hardly DM with him and 4 
command throws when POWed spells victory. If its difficult to land a DM, POW. 
Another thing to note is that when POWed, your attacks pushes your opponent back 
more so be wary about using some long combos.


To corner trap, you have to first get your opponent into the corner. duh... 
Next, follow these set of rules:
1) If they roll just throw them back in.
2) If they jump, anti air.
3) Poke and refer to 1 & 2.
4) If you're feeling lucky, do a high priority but safe move when they're 
getting up. eg King's surprise rose(dp+A/C) or Clark's sC into hcf+D.
5) If they're still sitting on db, overhead or dash in command throw. 
Just keep them in the corner. Nevermind if your don't land a hit. Continue 
poking and cancelling into special moves. There are many other things you can 
do, depending on your characters but the above rules are the basic things you 
should be looking for. One rule which has worked for me but will not work work 
all the time is that after getting knocked down when getting up, the opponent 
will wise up and play defensive. Dash in and command throw. 


This is probably one of the mysteries of KOF. Sometimes a command throw can 
connect from half a character away and sometimes it will miss even if the 
grappler is next to the opponent. Here are some explanations on why command 
throws can miss:

1)Block stun. When your opponent blocks an attack, he goes into block stun. 
During this very short period he cannot move and neither can he be thrown. If 
you combo a blocked normal attack into a command throw, the command throw will 
miss because of the block stun. To tick, wait for the block normal's animation 
to finish and then do the command throw. By this time, your opponent will be out 
of his block stun.

2)Character movement. I've read in various FAQs that you can't command throw 
your opponent at maximum range when he is moving. I'm not sure if moving 
includes attacking but I doubt it. I've had this incident where Yashiro blocks 
Kyo's sC from Kyo's arm length away and command throws Kyo instantly. I belive 
that the character movement mentioned refers to moving left/right/up/down. For 
example, Goro's dp+B/D command throw will miss if the opponent crouches when one 
character away. Any confirmation or corrections will be very much appreciated.

3)Off the ground. Some normal attacks make the character hop a bit from the 
ground. Some notable examples are Chris' standing CD and Kim's f+A. 



The main thing you are looking for is the dam breaker (hcf+A/C when close) into 
a dash, df+A (2hits) into hcf+D. However the dam breaker has low priority so 
don't focus on it too much.Poke with his hishouken(qcb+A), zaneiken (db,f+A/C 
qcf+A/C) or poke agressively with crouching C into qcb+A. Andy's shoryuu 
dan(dp+A/C) despite being a dragon punch, is only good as an early anti air. It 
has poor priority so don't use it as a wake up or late anti air. Always POW when 
you have stock. Andy's DMs are practically useless and it allows you to use the 
fire DM (qcb, hcf+B/D) after after a dam breaker. Catch a rolling opponent with 
a couching A into df+A into qcb+A. U can easily combo from the 2nd hit of the 
df+A, making it the easiest low combo starter. Jump qcf+B/D, P/K is a good move 
to do from long range. It has a deceptive descent speed to throw your opponent 
off guard but use it sparingly because it leaves you open when blocked. Try 
jumping back and surprise your opponent with the move. Andy is really bad in 
air-to-air combat so stick to the ground most of the time.

Main combos
jC/D, sC(1hit),hcf+C, f, F, df+A(2hits), hcf+D
sC(1hit), df+A(2hits), db, f+A, qcf+A
cA, df+A, qcb+A (anti roll)


For some stupid reason, SNK decided to weaken Athena. She's not as powerful as 
she was in 97, unless you use her bug. Anyway, the core of her strategy is her 
command throw(hcf+A/C) which tosses her opponent into the air. It has a short 
but invincible startup. Unfortunately, it can only be comboed from standing/low 
A/B. Standing B is prefered since it has more range. If you intend to psycho 
ball or dp after the throw, don't. The damage from falling down is higher than 
getting hit by a psycho ball or dp. If you have stock, jump or run forward and 
do her hcbx2+A/C (s)dm. Alternatively, jump with a C to set up a guessing game. 
Athena will land a bit earlier allowing you the first action. If you feel your 
opponent is going to attack, interrupt it with a standing B into her command 
throw or hcbx2+A/C DM. If your opponent just blocks, dash and command throw. 

Athena's shining crystal bit(hcbx2+A/C) is her most useful move. It has quick 
startup, invincibility and does good damage. Use it to counter most of your 
opponent's attacks, especially jump ins. Also, its great when time's running out 
since it lasts pretty long and is pretty much invincible.  

Fighting Athena
If your Athena sets you up with the hcf+A/C, jC guessing game, just jump back. 
If Athena does the hcbx2+A/C dm at close range, just wait for her to stop or 
shoot the fireball. If she raises her hand for the fireball, run and roll 
behind. There's a bit of lag before the fireball can come our. If she ticks you 
in the corner with the DM, a rushing DM can get through.


Benimaru, no more the cheap character he was in 97 is more of a skill character. 
Use his raijinken(qcf+A/C) with care. It has slow start up and recovery. Use it 
more with anticipation than mindless poking, especially when your opponent has 
stock. The shinkuu katategoma is no more the ticking nightmare it was in 97. 
Benimaru is left open to counters if blocked so use it in anticipation of rolls. 
However, if your opponent rolls behind, he will not be knocked down and Benimaru 
is left open. The dp+B/D is a good anti air and all around safe poke as well as 
wake up. The Benimaru coreda is your typical command grab with less range. The 
raikoken(qcfx2+A/C) is slow to come out and should be done in anticipation. 
Benimaru's electrigger(hcbx2+A/C) is his best DM. It goes great damage you have 
to land it at least once in order to win. It has a small period of 
invulnerability in the beginning though he can be thrown out of it, which is 
very rare. Here are some suggestions on how to connect electrigger:

1)Use it as a very late anti air and the opponent's attack will miss while 
he/she lands in Benimaru's grab. 
2)The electrigger is also useful as anti roll or wake up. The lag before the 
move allows Benimaru to track the roll.
3)After a having your Handou Sandan Geri(hcb+B/D) blocked. The Electrigger will 
make Benimaru immune to the sweep or counter attack.
4)After knocking your opponent down, roll behind and electrigger. 
5)Corner trap after knocking opponent down. Do the electrigger as your 
opponent's geting up. The electrigger will catch rolls and be immune to some 
attacks in its initial frames. 
6)Empty jump/hop.

Playing Benimaru in 98 is very different from 97 because you have to rely more 
on anticipation and his normal moves than just mindless poking. 

Main combos
jC/D, sC, hcb+B
cB, cB, cB, qcf+B (anti roll and all round safe poke)


Billy is a long range character and the whole idea is to poke your opponent 
until he loses. Billy has a poor close range game so always keep your distance. 
Billy's most important move is his wheel flame DM(qcf,hcb+A/C). Use it against 
rollers or after blocking a sure-couter move. Using it as an anti-air is a waste 
of potential. Billy's other moves do poor damage so the wheel flame is his best 
comeback move. At ground level, poke with cA and his Cane Strike(hcf+A/C, 
qcf+A/C). His cane strike can be easily rolled through so use it sparingly. 
Also, the cane strike can be used to lure your opponent into the wheel flame DM. 
After your opponent rolls through a cane strike from far range, fake another 
cane strike and do the wheel flame if your opponent rolls forward again. If you 
don't have stock, use the Whirlwind Cane(tapA/C rapidly). In KOF and 3D fighting 
games there is a 'you move-I move-you move-etc' rythm. To play Billy well, you 
have to break the rythm as his moves leave him very open. Use Billy's 
uppercut(dp+A/C) as your typical dragon punch and wake up but be aware of its 
limited priority, especially as a wake up. Billy's reversals are very important 
to his gameplay. If you've played a tough CPU Billy, you'll get the idea of how 
to play him: poke and knockdown, poke and knockdown. Use Billy's reversals or 
uppercut to knockdown. Mix in a bit of offence with jC, f+A or f+B. Use the jC 
as a weaker version of Chang's jC. If your opponent gets close, your best bet is 
his cB and his uppercut. Billy has a crap d+D sweep. It was good range but is 
very slow to recover. Use only if sure it will hit. 

Fighting Billy
Block his extended pole(hcf+A/C) and then AB counter. You have enough time to 
punish him before he recovers. Anticipate his attacks, roll/jump and punish. Be 
extremely careful about rolling in when he has stock.

Main combos
jC/D, sC, hcf+A, qcf+A
jC/D, sC, f+A
jC/D, sC/D, dp+D, qcf,hcb+A/C (corner)


Blue Mary is a jack of all trades fighter: she has a command throw, great anti 
air and good combos. The basis of your gameplay should center around landing 
that close standing C into a DM combo. This is her most important tactic and 
what opponents fear about her. The bad news is that far C will leave you wide 
open for punishment though I've never been punished before. Another question is 
whether to do one or two hits with the standing C? Sometimes, 2hits with the sC 
will leave you too far for the DM to connect, especially if the jump in is very 
shallow. It rarely happens though. I'm not sure about the hcbx2DM since I rarely 
use it in combos. I'm too used to the qcf,hcb+A/C from 97 that I never bothered 
to change. Always use qcf,hcb+A instead of C cause its faster. The best DM to 
combo is of course hcbx2+B/D. qcf+A/C is a good move to use against scrubs but 
never against good players. If you see the Spider(qcf+A/C), jump up and do a 
combo. Against experienced players, use the spider in the unlikeliest of places 
like when they're getting up. Poke rapidly with B while getting reading ready 
for the dp+B/D in case the opponent jumps. Use the straight slicer(hold b,f+B/D, 
qcf+B/D) as a hit and run, ie attack, dash/roll back and straight slicer. Use 
the straight slicer to go under high fireballs. The vertical arrow(dp+B/D) is 
much weaker this year because it has to connect in order for the M.Snatcher to 
come out. The vertical arrow will lose to high priority jump ins like Chris' CD 
if done late. Mary's M. Reverse Facelock(qcb+B) is great way to stop high 
priority air attacks like Kyo's R.E.D kick(rpd+B/D) or the Shingo Kick(hcf+B/D).

The whole idea of playing Mary is using her sC combo and employing her command 
throws when her opponent gets too defensive. Mary is a very flexible character. 
You can play offensively with her jump ins and command throws or play 
defensively with her vertical arrow and counters. Occasionally, if her jump in 
is blocked, do her overhead(f+A). 

Main combos
jD, sC(2hits) f+A, dp+B/D, dp+B/D
jD, sC(2hits) f+A, hcb,f+A/C /qcf,hcb+A /hcbx2+B/D


Brian is sorely in need of a command throw. How could SNK not have given him 
such an important move? Anyway, I digress. Brain's main attributes are his high 
damage and higher resistence to damage. At close range, do his sC, qcb+C, hcf+C, 
ddd+D, d, u+C combo. If the sC is blocked, don't proceed with the rest of the 
combo as it will leave Brian open for attack. The combo can only be done from 
cross over so if you managed a normal jump in, do a sC into qcb+A/C x3. Brian's 
rocket tackle(dp+B/D) is a decent enough uppercut with moderate priority and 
good damage. Brian's screw body press(j, qcf+A/C) is an important move. It 
allows him to move a good distance, tick of damage and is safe. If your opponent 
turtles, this is the only safe move you can do. Brian's hyper tackle(hcf+B/D) 
can absorb one hit but leaves you open when blocked. The American Supernove 
DM(qcfx2+A/C) is a good early anti air. The Big Bang tackle DM(qcfx2+B/D) is a 
risky move. The two other charges will only connect if the opponent is at the 
middle of the screen. An interesting note, the Big Bang SDM will absorb any 
move, including Kyo's qcfx2+A/C DM! Playing Brain requires very basic strategies 
such as the old school jump kick-> down kick.  

Main combos
cxC, sC(1hit), qcb+C, hcf+C, ddd+B/D, d, u+A/C
jC, sC(2hits), qcb+A/C x3


Probably one of my favourite characters. He's big, slow but does great damage. 
Use his hold b, f+A/C moves at long range to poke, preferably with A since it 
recovers faster. Use his jumping C to poke from the air and jump D to attack. 
Use the standing CD to poke and always cancel it into a spinning ball thing. 
(Tap A/C rapidly) Chang's command throw (hcb, f+A/C) is his best move and should 
be used all the time. It has high priority and better range than it seems. Tick 
with standing B or crouching A. The qcfx2+A is Chang's best DM as an anti air. 
If done deep, it will score two hits and a butt-load of damage. In fact, its 
always best to have a stock ready. The DM does decent damage (around 30%) and 
has huge priority. Avoide using it when the opponent is on the ground as it 
leaves Chang open, even if it hits. Use the other DM, qcf, hcb+A/C as an early 
anti air, wake up or to counter combos as it has invincibility in the beginning. 
Chang's staple combo is jump D, standing B/crouching A, HCB, f+A/C. The combo 
does about 40% damage. When your opponent rolls towards you, command throw or do 
a crouching A into the spinning ball when they roll through. Having at least one 
stock is very important for Chang especially for his qcfx2+A DM as an anti air 
so its best not to put him as the first member of the team. Use the charge b,f+A 
as a far away poke but make sure your opponent is in a defensive mood. If 
Yamazaki charges for a snake arm, charge b,f+A/C will knock him out with big 

Fighting Chang
When jumping and Chang does the qcf,hcb+A/C DM, throw him/block before the 
attacking animation comes out. If Chang does the qcfx2+A/C SDM, block the drop 
high and the crouch for the earthquake. When Chang does the charge b,f+A/C move, 
run and roll under the ball and combo. To differentiate between both, the C 
version has Chang spinning the ball first. Most importantly, never jump in on 
Chang when he is getting up and has stock.

Main combos
jD, sB/cA, hcb, f+A/C
jD, cA/B, u+D
cA, rapid A (anti roll)


Please mail me your strategies if you are a Chin user.


I just wish someone would write a good FAQ for her. So far I've only seen one 
good Chizuru player but he was very good. The guy used Chizuru's slide (df+B) a 
lot as well as the d+C, f+A, hcb+A/B combo. The slide has very fast recovery and 
the d+C would often interrupt any attack. Even if blocked the combo leaves 
Chizuru very safe. Furthermore, the combo uses Chizuru's shadow to attack, thus 
making it harder as to guess her next action, ie hard to tell whether she's 
standing or crouching.  For the hcb+ABCD move, press the same button again 
immediately to make the attack come out. Otherwise the attack will not combo. 
The funny thing is (correct me if I'm wrong), non of the 98 stuff on the net 
says anything about it. It caused me great concern because I couldn't combo with 
the hcb+ABCD moves and only found out while reading through Moonrun and Matt 
Hall's 97 combo FAQ. 

Here's some Chizuru strategies from :

Chizuru's move are a good mix of both offense and defense.  However, to a
novice player Chizuru is as confusing to the player as it is to the opponent.
 But as soon as you know when you're sending out an illusion or the real
thing, Chizuru is pretty neat and fun character to use, and you'd get the fun
of watching your opponent dazzle-minded.  Her fwd + A and her fwd + B have a
end and beginning lag, respectively, and should be used only for retreating
opponents.  Her Standing CD has a short beginning lag (but it doesn't look
anything like a CD setup so it could look confusing to opponent), but her
jumping CD comes out quickly and has great range.

One serious mistake many FAQs make is that after her HCB+any button move, one
have to follow up with QCB+ (same button you used before).  If her move was a
rushing standing slap (HCB + A or C), it could followed up with a jump slap
(QCB + A or B), if her move was a rushing crouching slap (HCB + B or D), it
could be followed up with with a ground slap (QCB + C or D).  Chizuru's
Oracle Decree (DP + punch), especially the A version, is hard to roll or jump
over.  However, her projectile reflector shouldn't be used unless reflecting
really slow projectiles (mature's ebony tears or heidern's x-caliber),
because it has a relatively long lag after it.  Also take note not to send
your illusions out into projectiles or attacks in progress (e.g. Vice's
Outrage), as the real Chizuru takes the blow and possibly the fall (e.g. if
the illusion ran into a CD attack) if her illusion gets hit.  And it is often
much more recommended that you send out the illusions rather than the real
thing (less lag and leaves Chizuru less vulnerable), unless the purpose of
your special is to get from one place to another.

One really could abuse Chizuru's illusion-dance super.  If the opponent
blocks the dance standing, one could use a crouching kick, if the opponent is
crouch-blocking, jump kick!  Very rarely does the opponent knows enough (or
perhaps calm enough) to block both the jump kicks and crouch kicks, and even
though the super isn't that damaging, it is guaranteed to hit 90% of the
time.  Her other super though, even though it does deal damage, has a long
beginning and end lag (bad if missed, worse if blocked), its damage is half
that of most supers and opponent could usually make do without special moves
by retreating and blocking for the few seconds the the opponent is

Oh yea, keep a lookout for her mirror-opening when facing Kyo or Iori.  It
looks really cool! ^_^

And from Sum Yin Ngai :

First of all,I think Chizuru Kagura should be used as a defensive character when 
opponent is up close and offensive when opponent is far away. 
It's best to try to keep the opponent away once they're close because besides 
her DP + A/C move,Kagura doesn't have any moves to play offensive.Always DP + A 
them once they are beside her.Once they are at least 1/2 a screen away,use the 
HCB ABCD move,and mix them up at random,using the shadows to hit sometimes,using 
Kagura to hit sometimes,to confuse the opponent. 
Use the QCF 2 times super to do ticking damage.That's what is good for.The QCB 
HCF super shouldn't be used often I think,though damage is quite good but a bit 


I'm crap at him. Please mail me your strategies if you are a Choi user.


Chris is definitely a top-tier fighter. First on his list of arsenals is the 
high priority jumping CD. His jumping CD will beat most air attacks unless its 
another high priority jump that's higher than his. Abuse for all its worth. 
Chris main attack is his jD, sC, f+A chain. If blocked, follow up with the 
Direction Change(dp+A/C) or hcb+A. Chris' hcb+A has very fast recovery so if you 
think your opponent will attack, quickly do a Twister Drive(qcbx2+B/D). Chris' 
slide(df+B) is a great poking move. Its fast, safe and frustrating for the 
opponent. Chris' other main move is the Direction Change(dp+A/C), Chris will 
flip on the opponent's head and land on the other side, leaving the opponent 
wide open. Combo into a sC,f+A,hcb+A/C or if you have stock, replace hcb+A/C 
with a Twister Drive(qcbx2+B/D). The Direction Change is very fast but must be 
used sparingly. Mix it with a slide, after a combo, in the middle of a combo or 
just use it anytime. Do not use his CD counter on low chains because it will 

Fighting Chris
If you block Chris' hcb+A deep enough, you can command throw him. Don't attack 
straight away after blocking his slide because of his instant recovery. Stay 
grounded because Chris' jumping CD rules the air. Always be on the look out for 
his Direction Change(dp+A/C). The problem with Chris' Direction Change is that 
it is a low risk-high return move. Most of the time, the only way to punish the 
Direction jump is either an anti air or jump attack. To get better returns for 
avoiding the Direction Change, use characters with air DMs like 
Leona(qcf,hcb+A/C) and Kim(qcf,hcb+B/D). Jump the Direction Change and DM!

Main combos
jD, sC, f+A, hcb+A/C 
cB, cA, f+A, hcb+A/C

CHRIS (Orochi)

Orochi Chris has been weakened from 97 and in a reversal of roles, normal Chris 
has become the powerful one. One obvious weakening is that his Limb Biting 
Blaze(hcf+B/D) can only be followed by a A version uppercut(dp+A) or a standing 
D in the corner. To connect the Limb Biting Blaze into the uppercut, do the 
uppercut just before the move finishes. 

Main combos
jD, sC, f+A, hcf+B/D, dp+A


Clark is one of the best characters of the game and is fun to use. Command 
throws have high priority in the game so use it to your advantage. Firstly, uf+D 
is your best anti air. Use like an early dragon punch. It'll beat anything in 
the air. Jumping CD is a good air attack. Use short hop with CD to pressure your 
opponent. The running grab(hcf+A/C) is a very good move. Use it when your 
opponent is turtling or poke with it. The backbreaker(hcf+B/D) is his best 
throw. Its easy to use, fast and can be comboed with a sC. To follow up, do 
qcf+A/C the same instant Clark dumps the opponent down. For hcf+C, do it the 
same time as the last roll.

Clark has the best okizeme in the entire game and if you guess right, you'll 
just knock him down again and again. Okizeme just means attacking your opponent 
when their getting up. Your first option is to do a crouching D. If your 
opponent gets up blocking, hcf+A/C or dp+B/D. Your third option is to trick 
grapplers by vertical jumping at the last moment. Your final option is a close 
standing C into hcf+B/D. The key is to mix your options up well and know which 
to use. A good way to start would be crouching D. Scrubs fall for this and when 
you've conditioned your opponent to block everything you crouch low, use hcf+A/C 
or dp+B/D. If your opponent pulls an empty vertical jump, do Clark's dp+A/C.

Fighting Clark
The man of steel is a strong opponent. First rule to keep in mind always be 
prepared for an anti air. The whole idea is to prevent him from throwing you. 
Vertical jump into a combo everytime you see a running grab. When you empty hop, 
don't land too close to Clark. As for Clark's okizeme, block low and if nothing 
happens in half a second, jump. 

Main combos
jD, sC(1hit), hcf+D, qcf+C
jD, hcb+C, hcb+C


Goro has two of the best normal moves in the game, standing B and D. The standin 
D is an all purpose poke and anti-air move with high priority. Its only weakness 
is that your opponent can easily roll through and punish. Abuse the standing D 
for all its worth. Standing B is a good poke at close range. When your opponent 
is crouching close, the kick will miss. Buffer into a throw. Goro's D is his 
best jump in. The dp+B/D is an important move. It has a small lag where it has 
limited invincibility and does great damage. Use it against opponents when 
they're getting up or rolling. The lag allows Goro to track the roll, even if 
they roll through to the other side! Most opponents won't think about jumping to 
escape this move. Next is the hcb,f+A/C throw. Its your all purpose throw. Use 
it after the tumble(qcb+B/D) at close range. The hcf+C has the longest reach and 
a bit of invincibility. Do it after a blocked jumping D to eat most counter 
attacks. hcf+A is an early anti air but you need to anticipate the jump. When 
you're opponent does a fireball from full screen, dp+A unless you're low on 
life. You'll trade hits but guess who get hurts more. Use dp+C to fake. The 
computer falls for it all the time. Goro's ukemi roll(qcb+B/D) is a great 
offensive weapon. Poke with sB, qcb+B into hcb,f+A/C or his hcbx2+A/C DM. The 
ukemi is great for getting pass opponent's rapid A/B.

Use the hcbx2+A/C DM to instantaneously grab your opponent after rolling, empty 
jump etc. The hcfx2+B/D DM has been given some lag but now has autoguard. Goro 
will raise his arms and during this time, he will take damage but will not 
flinch, only to grab the opponent 1/2 a second later. The autoguard will stop 
moves moves but not multi hitting ones like Kyo's qcfx2+A/C DM. The DM can be 
used as an anti air. Do it late when your opponents jump in is about to hit you. 
Goro will absorb the hit and then throw them when they land. The DM is also 
effective against poking opponents.

Goro also has a good okizeme game like Clark but as effective because he lacks a 
good running grab. Use his cD and dp+D to play a two way guessing game. If your 
opponent blocks the cD, cancel into qcb+B/D and command throw. 

Fighting Goro
If Goro is abusing the sD, just roll through and combo. Goro has incredible 
defence so its best to make him come to you. When you see the hcfx2+B/D DM, jump 
up or just normal throw him before his throw comes out. 

Main combos
jD, sC, hcf+C/hcb
cD, hcf+C (escapable by rolling)
jCD, hcf+C (escapable by rolling)


Go read the Heavy D! faq by EX Andy. Nuff' said.

Main combos
jC(2hits), sD(2hits), f+A, qcb,hcf+A/C
cB, cA, f+A, qcf+A/C (anti roll)


Heidern luckily is not the overpowered character he was in 95. His leaping moves 
now leave him open when blocked. One if Heidern's main attributes is his ability 
to suck the opponent's life and add it to his own with the storm 
bringer(hcb+A/C), killer bringer(qcfx2+A/C) and his counter(hcb+B/D). The storm 
bringer has poor range so its best to use it as an anti-roll. Blocking a sure 
counter move will not guarantee a storm bringer because Heidern needs to be 
right next to the opponent. The same applies to using it offensive: hold the 
dash a tad longer than with other characters. Tap your buttons rapidly to 
encrease the damage. The killer bringer is ideal as an early anti-air and anti-
roll. As for the counter, don't bother with it: the countering window is too 

Main combos
jC, sC(2hits), f+B(1hit), qcb,hcf+B/D
jC, cB, cA, u+A/C


I'm not going to write about using Iori. Walk into any arcade and you'll see 
more Iori strategies than you care to. 

10 commandments on fighting Iori.

1) Never roll a Iori fireball from full screen. This depends on your opponent 
but if he's good, he'll punish you. The fireball recovers fast enough that he 
can DM you when you roll. The same if you run and roll. Iori can do the standing 
C into you know what. Approach him carefully.

2) Never try to punish Iori when you've blocked on or two of the qcb+A/C moves. 
Its better to take the block damage than to eat the third qcb+A/C or a DM. If 
your instincts tell you otherwise go ahead.

3) Never stand in front of Iori when he's getting up. That's the perfect 
invitation to scum gale. Of course, you can jump at the last minute and combo 
the missed scum gale.

4) Never jump at Iori when he has stock. Sometimes Iori will waste one stock 
when you hyper jump over him.

5) Always block his cross over. Watch out if he fakes and does a scum gale 

6) Thou shalt not fire a high fireball at Iori when he has stock. eg: Athena, 
Aku.. I mean 95 Ryo.

7) Roll through the fireball DM, don't jump. If you're close, roll and 
immediately attack. If not wait for the fireball to get close before rolling, if 
not you will roll into the fireball. When at full screen, run and roll when you 
reach the middle. Usually the DM is done unintentionally when doing the scum 

8) Punish Iori with your most damaging combo when you block his rushing DM. If 
you block his crouching D, punish with a DM. Iori has too many safe moves so 
make the most of it.

9) Do not stand next to Iori or attack him when he is waking up. Always be 
patient and tempt him to do the rushing DM in hopes of catching you. 

10)When Iori does an empty jump or early jump air attack, use your anti air. If 
not vertical hop to avoid the scum gale and combo away. 

A defensive Iori is a pain in the @$$ and I always have problems fighting him. 
Defensive Iori's always poke with a standing D or a standing C into qcb+C. Best 
place to fight Iori is to stand outside his poking range. If he does the 
fireball, you can roll through and punish before he has time to recover. 
Anticipate a poke and counter with a high priority move. Iori has a high 
priority jumping D so stick to the ground unless you have a high priority 
jumping attack as well. It seems that Iori's sB cannot or is extremely difficult 
to wake up on, similar to Clark/Ralf's cD. 


Another of my favourite characters. Joe is mostly a zoning/pressure type 
character. Most importantly, learn the cC/sC, f+B chain. Combo into B Tiger 
Kick(hcf+B) or the rushing punch DM (qcf, hcb+A/C) if it connects. Cancel the 
chain into A hurricane upper or B Tiger Heel (qcb+B) if blocked. Be aware that 
your opponent can roll through the hurricane upper. Try to throw them as soon as 
Joe recovers. Alternatively, don't do anything and wait. If the opponent rolls, 
throw him back or just hold d and mash and A. Joe will combo into the multi 
punch move. Finish with qcf+A into an overhead of qcf+C to knocdown. Try to get 
the qcf+A/C finisher out as fast as possible. If you are too slow, ie it takes 
two or more low As before the multi punch comes out, your opponent can block the 
remaining hits and punish you. If he waits, jump with a C/D into the C, f+B 
chain. Poke with standing C, f+B, df+B and B slash kick. If you feel your 
opponent is going to attack after a blocked slash kick, do the tiger kick or 
qcf, hcb+A/C DM. Use the B flash kick at about half screen away. The golden 
heel(qcb+B/D) is a good anti air and poking move. If the B version hits your 
opponent in the air, cancel into a B slash kick. After a golden heel, poke with 
B/C into another golden heel. The tiger kick (dp+B/D) is a very important move. 
It was good priority and is useful as an anti air or wake up move.  Use Joe's 
rushing DM (qcf, hcb+A/C) as a wake up or to interrupt ground attack. It has 
good priority and will eat most attacks. As for the other DM, avoid using it 
unless you are POWed. A good technique is POW, attack a blocking opponent with 
jump D, C, f+B, hcf+A, qcb+B, etc and then do the hurricane SDM(qcfx2+A/C). 
After about 9 consecutive blocked hits, the multi his SDM will cause a guard 
crush. The hurricane DM(qcfx2+A/C) is good for an anticipated jump in but other 
than that, it is crap because it can be so easily rolled through. Joe is ideal 
as the first fighter of your team as he doesn't need stocks that much and he can 
easily build up real fast because of his gameplay.

Fighting Joe
Use a high priority rush move like Kyo's qcfx2+A/C DM /Iori's qcf,hcb+A/C DM 
when Joe does his hurricane upper.

Main combos
jD, sC, fB, hcf+B/qcf,hcb+A/C
cA, rapid A, qcf+A/C (anti roll)
cC, hcf+A (poke)


Her illusion dance DM(qcf,hcb+B/D) is slow to come out but moves her back and 
then forward. Use it in anticipation of a early jump in, roll or any attack. Use 
the B version as the D version is too slow. Avoid using the illusion dance too 
much as you can never be sure whether it will connect. King's silent flash DM 
(qcbx2+B/D) is an ok wake up move but I've been hit out of it before. Best to 
use it in combos or as very late anti air. Finish of combos with a tornado 
kick(hcb+B/D). The tornado kick is great for anti, similar to Kensou's hcf+C 
move. The mirage kick(hcb+A/C) sets the opponent up for a guessing game which 
isn't so favourable for King. Avoid using the venom strike/double strike within 
half screen range, unless it for poking a downed opponent. Tick of damage with a 
surprise rose(dp+A/C). Use it when the opponent's getting up, especially in the 
corner. Cancel the surprise rose from any normal attack after a blocked jump in. 
The surprise rose will pass over your opponents attack and hit on the way down. 
Use King's slide(df+B) to poke and cC as early anti-air.

Main combos
jC/D, sD(2hits), hcbA/B/C/D
jC/D, sD(1hit), qcbx2+B/D
jC/D, sD(1hit), dp+A, hcb+D (corner only)


The hero of the game is luckily not a ryu clone. Kyo is a versatile character 
that is hard to use. Basically, Kyo is a poke type character and is best played 
offensively. His main poking weapons are his A fire fists, standing B, rdp+B/D 
and the all important low B, low A, df+D chain. Most of the time poke with qcf+A 
firefist. If your opponent crouch blocks, follow up with hcb+A, A. The low B, 
low A, df+D chain is a very interesting weapon. Even if blocked, it pushes the 
opponent back to poking range, setting up for a guessing game. If the opponent 
turtles, rpd+B, firefist or hop attack into the chain again. If the opponent 
rolls, do the chain when they come up. When doing the chain, do not complete it 
if the df+D misses as your opponent will have time to roll through and punish. 
The firefists' autoguard should beat any move with one notable exception, 
Shingo's qcf+A/B. Anticipate Shingo's fists and do qcf+C early to beat it. Kyo's 
R.E.D. kick (rpd+B/D) is a very useful poking move. Its safe, fast, has high 
priority and knocks down. Avoid landing on top of fighters with command throws. 
Kyo's qcf+B/Dx2 is quite safe when blocked and is best used after a sC. Use the 
oniyaki(dp+A/C) or cC as his anti air. Always use the A version of the oniyaki.

Kyo's qcfx2+A/C DM has great priority and can easily stop many attacks. The DM 
is great for stopping projectiles. If your opponent moves after a low chain, 
blast him away with the DM. The DM has limited invulnerability versus jump ins. 
No point using it as an early anti air as it will only do limited damage. If 
done late and timed will, the jump in will miss and Kyo will get all the hits 

Main combos
jC/D, sC, qcf+C, hcb+C, C
jC/D, sC, qcf+D, D, qcb, hcf+C
sC, f+B(2hits), qcb, hcf+C
                qcf+C, hcb+C, C
cB, cA, df+D
cB, cA, qcfx2+A


Use the A Baltic Launcher(holdb,f+A) continuous when on the defensive. Watch out 
for characters who can go under the Baltice Launcher (eg Iori's Maiden masher 
DM). Use the C version on anticipation of a jump/roll and then jump into the V 
slasher(qcf,hcb+A/C) to combo. Leona should most of the time be charging at db, 
poking with cB/cA or A Baltic Launcher. Use jC or B ground saber(hold b,f+B) to 
move forward and continue poking, alternatively using her overhead(f+B). The 
ground saber will run under high fireballs. Use the x-caliber as an early anti 
air or anti-poke move. 

Main combos
jC/D, sD(2hits), qcb,hcf+B/D
                 f+A, qcf,hcb+C
jC, cB, cA, u+A/C
cA, cA, u+A/C (anti roll)


Please send your strategies if you are a lucky user.

Main combos
sC, f+B, qcfx2+A/C


Mature is an offensive fighter. Jump in with B, into sB cancelled into Death 
Row(qcb+A/Cx3). Death Row is a great way to tick of damage and gain stock. At 
full screen, do her Ebony Tears(qcf,hcb+A/C) followed up by a run/jump in into a 
combo for pressure. Her sB(2hits) can be followed by the Nocturnal Lights 
DM(qcfx2+A/C) but not her Heaven's Gate(qcb,hcf+B/D) which can only be comboed 
from a sD.

Main combos
jB(2hits), sB(2hits), qcb+A/Cx3
cA, cA, qcb+A/Cx3


The downgrade for Mai is that her Hakuro no Mai is no longer safe when blocked. 
Use the cC into Ryuu Enbu(qcb+A/C) to poke safely or stop rolls. If your 
opponent jumps, use Hishou Ryuu Enjin(dp+B/D). 

Main combos
jC/D, sC, qcb+A/C


Your main weapon is the C button. Standing C/ low C liberally while charging the 
Ralf kick or the Diving Bomb Punch(hold d,u+A/C). The ralf kick (hold b,f+B/D) 
is useful as a poke and setting up a guessing game. If the Ralf Kick connects as 
a counter ie hits the opponent in the middle of a roll, follow up with a Gatling 
Attack(hold b, f+A/C) Mostly use the B version unless full screen away. After a 
block Ralf kick a standing/low C will interrupt any attack. Alternatively dash 
forward and command throw. Use qcb,hcf+B/D as an early anti air. When the 
opponent's getting up, poke with a cC into Ralf's baackbreaker(hcf+B/D) or dash 
in and throw.

Fighting Ralf
Its difficult to get close to Ralf when he goes crazy on the C button. Stand 
outside the range, wait for the C to whiff and attack as he recovers.

Main combos
jC/D, sC/dC, hcf+B/D 
hold b,f+B, qcb,qcf+B/D (corner)


Robert always has that annoying Hein Ryuujin Kyaku(in air, qcb+B/D) to poke 
rather safely with. However, if it connects the opponent will not be knocked 
down and both fighters will be standing next to each other. To be safe sC,f+B 
into hcb+B. Finish every blocked combo with a B hien shippu kyaku(hcb+B) to tick 
damage. The D hien shippu kyaku hops in the air a bit Use the fireball(qcf+A/C) 
as a defensive wall against jump ins, projectiles and rolling. If you don't have 
stock, combo his sC into hcf+B/D, f+B, dp+C. The combo does great damage. Do f+B 
half a second after hcf+B/D finishes. At ground level play a high-low game with 
his cD and f+A. Always combo with the A version of the Ryuku Ranbu(qcf,hcb+A/C) 
as it is faster.

Main combos
jC/D, sC, f+B, qcf,hcb+A/C
jC/D, sC, hcf+B/D, f+B, dp+C
cB, cB, sB, hcb+B (anti roll)


Second,Rugal can be used like Saisyu Kusanagi's fireball/DP style.The Kaiser 
Wave(F,HCF + A/C) move should only be used if the opponent is right at the other 
end of the screen.The HCB + A/C move should only be used as a counter because of 
its poor recovery time.Similar to the super version of it.Don't try to land the 
QCF 2 times super because it can be seen coming from a mile away and easily 
escaped and countered.Force the opponent to come close by using the Kaiser wave 
and start poking when he's nearby. 


Coming soon.

Main combos
jC/D, sC, hcb+B/D
cB, cB, hcb+B (anti roll)


Saisyu can be played in two ways: the fireball/dragon punch type or the 
offensive type. The fireball/dp strategy is pretty self explanatory. Throw 
fireballs and stop jump ins as well as rolls with an uppercut. The offensive 
Saisyu is more interesting. Pressure with a jC/D, sC(1hit), f+A, qcb+Ax2. Mix in 
a blocked jump in with an overhead or his hcb+B/D. If the opponent moves, 
onyaki(dp+A) him to the ground and start applying pressure again. His qcb+A/C is 
a good move to poke with, similar to Iori's. Try to refrain from using his 
fireball. Always combo into his orochi nagi(qcb,hcf+A/C) if you have stock. If 
you don't have stock or your opponent blocks your jump in, cancel the first hit 
of sC into f+A so that qcb+A/Cx2 will not miss.

jC/D, sC(2hits), f+A, qcb,hcf+A/C
jC/D, sC(1hit), f+A, qcb+Cx2, dp+A (corner) 


Kensou is more of a defensive type character with close range moves. Basic 
strategy is the fireball-uppercut game. Instead of rdp+B/D, use the C Ryuu 
Renga(hcf+C) as anti air instead. A useful technique is to cancel a CD into the 
Choukyuu Dan(qcb+A/C). Why is it so useful? Well, firstly, it changes the timing 
of the fireball. With the A and C versions, Kensou has two different speeds. 
With two more a preceeding CD, Kensou has four different speeds of Choukyuudans. 
Furthermore, the CD can provide safety by serving as a limited anti air and anti 
roll. To add to its usefulness, its great for poking, particularly for corner 
trapping. Mix it up with Kensou's cD. Kensou can break his opponents' guard with 
the Ryuu Renda (dp+A/C) and Senki Hakkei DM(qcfx2+A/C). Be very careful when 
doing the Senki Hakkei when coming out of the roll. If you do it the wrong way, 
the useless Niku Man o Kuu will come out.


Coming soon.

jC, sC, hcf+A/C, qcf+B/D
cxC, sC, f+B

SHERMIE (Orochi)

Coming soon.

Main combos

cxC, sC, f+B, hcb+A/C /qcfx2+A/C


Shingo is a stronger version of Kyo with a useful command throw. Shingo is best 
played as a zoning/pressure character. His qcf+A is his most important move. It 
is fast, allows him to poke safely and moves him back. Cancel every blocked 
normal move into the qcf+A for tick damage. If the qcf+A hits your opponent, do 
another one. Its speed makes the move seem like a multi hit attack and leaves 
Shingo enough time if the opponent rolls. In fact, use qcf+A all the time. qcf+C 
is strictly for combos as it leaves you open when blocked. Use the Shingo kick 
as a long range poke. Be careful that your opponent doesn't block it too deep, 
especially for grapplers and you'll be safe from retaliation.  Shingo's command 
throw dp+B/D is a great move because it allows him to switch from zoning to 
offensive. Use grappler techniques such as empty hopping. Be careful using it on 
grapplers because it has less priority than the usual command throws. Follow up 
his command throw with a C uppercut or if in the corner, hcb+D. 

The C burning Shingo(qcb,hcf+C) has some invincible frames in the beginning. Use 
it to pass through close range pokes, projectiles etc.

Fighting Shingo
The main thing about fighting Shingo is to get through his zoning moves, 
especially qcf+A and his Shingo kick. For the Shingo kick, wait till he lands in 
front of you and use a fast attack or low sweep. Move forward slowly and don't 
be afraid to block even if you feel like rolling because he has very fast 
recover. If his Shingo kick lands too deep, punish him. Predict Shingo's move 
and respond with a high priority move. Approach Shingo methodically and don't 
get frustrated. Do not be stingy about CD countering. Read his attacking pattern 
and hit him out of his moves with high priority moves.

Main combos
jC/D, sC, qcf+A/C
jC/D, sA, dp+B/D, dp+C
f+B(2hits), qcfx2+A/C
jC/D, sA, dp+B/D, qcb+D (corner)
cB, cA, qcf+A (anti roll)


Takuma is a really powerful character. His rushing DM(qcf,hcb+A/C) has the best 
priority in the game and is uncounterable as well. Use as anti air, wake up or 
practically everything. His hienshippukyaku (db,f+B/D) is uncounterable as well 
and sets up a nice guessing game. Beware of grapplers though. Try hopping up and 
they might miss the throw. If you feel your opponent is going to attack after 
blocking the hien... do the DM. If your opponent blocks, shoran kyaku him 
(hcb+B/D). Use the shoran kyaku defensive by prompting your opponent to roll 
your fireballs and then meeting them with the running grab. Use it offensively 
by poking and then doing the move. Takuma's jumping CD has incredible priority 
so use it in air to air combat.

Fighting Takuma
I prefer using grapplers so I can grab him after his uncounterable 
hienshippukyaku. Be careful of the zanretsuken(f,b,f+A/C). Wait for the move to 
almost finish before jumping in. To counter Takuma's shoran kyaku, either 
vertical jump into a combo or do an early strong attack. After rolling his 
fireball, be ready for a shoran kyaku. Most importantly, be very careful about 
jumping in on Takuma when he has stock. 

Main combos
jC/D, db+C, f+D, f,b,f+C
jC/D, sC, qcf+A/C
cB, cA, f+A, qcf+A/C (anti roll)


Terry was been weakened a lot now that he cannot connect a power charge into a 
power geyser. The damage of the power geyser has been reduced and its more 
damaging to do the overhead geyser in combos instead. Use the power geyser as an 
early anti-air or anti-roll. Use the standing B or A burn knuckle to poke. Never 
use the C burn knuckle. It leaves Terry wide open when blocked. Learn the 
couching B, crouching A, df+C, qcb+A combo to punish rollers. You can substitue 
the burn knuckle into a power charge or DM. An interesting trick is to do a 
blocked crack shot (qcb+B/D) into a rising knuckle (dp+A/C). The rising knuckle 
will catch anyone who tries to retaliate. Speaking of the rising tackle, it is 
only invincible around Terry's body. His legs are completely vulnerable. Always 
do the move late as an anti-air. 

Main combos
jD, sC(2hits), hcf+B, dp+D
jD, sC(2hits), df+C, qcb, hcf+A/C
sC(2hits), fA, hcf+D, jD (corner)
cC, hcf+B, dp+D (poke)
cB, cA, df+C, qcb+A/hcf+B/qcb, hcf+A/C (anti roll)


This version of Terry is undoubtedly the better one, unless you value the rising 
tackle as an offensive move more. I don't particularly like using him much as I 
find him a bit cheap. Still, no one's as cheap as Iori. hehe. j/k THE combo to 
do is the jump D, standing C (2hits), f+A (2 hits), hcf+D, hold d, u+C for an 
easy 30% damage. To execute the rising tackle, press up and C at the same time 
Terry does the second kick. The damage is insane for a normal combo and cannot 
be done when POWed. I highly recommend putting RB Terry as the first member of 
your team as he doesn't need stocks. His only DM is very weak and he cannot do 
the combo when POWed. If you cannot do the low B, low A, df+C ect combo, punish 
rollers with two or three crouching As into a rising tackle. Use the B fire 
kick(hcf+B) at medium range. Cancel a low D with a power wave(qcf+A/C) to poke.

Main combos
jD, sC(2hits), fA(2hits), hcf+D, hold d, u+C
cB, cA, df+C, qcb+A (anti roll)
              hcf+B, hold d,u+A/C
cA, cA, u+A/C (anti roll)


Poke with the standing C with has incredible reach and hit jump ins with an 
early low C. In fact, I consider her the Mrs C of the game, Ralf's companion. 
Granted, its not as damaging as Ralf's but it has the advantage of being able to 
be used as an anti air. The Blackend(hcf+A/C) is Vice's main non-combo throw. It 
has great priority and does great damage, provided you follow it with Mithan's 
Robe(qcf+A/C). Do the motion for Mithan's Robe the same time Vice throw's her 
opponent up. Four Black Ends and the round is won. The only move that can combo 
with the Black End is Vice's sB(1st hit). Use it as a wake up pressure move like 
Clark's sC. Mayhem(qcb+A/C) should be used in combos and can be easily done 
after a cB. It can also be used as an early anti air. Combo a sD into a Gore 
Fest(hcb,f+A/C) if you don't have stock. Negative Gain(hcbx2+B/D) is an instant 
grab best used after a sD or using grappler strategies (anti roll, empty jump, 
etc). Always jump in with her jC.

Main combos
jC, sD(2hits), hcb,f+A/C
jC, sD(2hits), qcb+A/C, qcf+A/C 
sD(2hits), f+A, qcf+B
cB, cB, qcb+A/C, qcf+A/C


Normal Yashiro is more of a poking and pressuring fighter. Use his Jet 
Counter(hcf+A/C,qcf+A/C) in combos to poke safely at your opponent. The Upper 
Duel(dp+A/C) will counter any normal attack. Cancel Yashiro cD into a B 

Main combos
jC/D, sC, f+A, qcf+A/C, qcf+A/C
jC/D, sC, f+A, hcb+A/C 
               qcb,hcf+A/C (tap A/C rapidly)
*sC, f+A can be substituted by sD, f+B or sC, f+B or sD, f+A


Orochi Yashiro is one of the most powerful characters in the game. Besides his 
throws, O.Yashiro has a great sD and jD. His qcb+A/C is very important as it 
gives O.Yashiro a free combo. Set it up after a blocked CD or crouching D. After 
your opponent knows your pattern, use your sD or jD to bring him down. Yashiro's 
okizeme is even more dangerous than Clark's. He can:
1)cD to knock down and continue again.
2)sC,f+A,etc. the sC will beat a lot of moves.
3)Block the wake up attack.
4)Grab with qcb+A/C into a combo.
5)Running grab with hcf+B/D or run in and command throw.
As you can see, Yashiro has many options going for him and the risks are small 
while the return is big. Many players (including myself) are scared of Yashiro 
and a good Yashiro player will exploit that fear. If your opponent is jump happy 
because of Yashiro's qcb+A/C and his command throws, use Yashiro jD to bring him 
down. Mix up your flowcharts and don't use the same combination twice. eg, after 
doing CD into qcb+A twice, use hcf+B. Chances are will wait for the CD before 
jumping/countering and get thrown. 

The Niragu Daichi(hcf+A/C) is also a very important mind game move. After 
Yashiro throws his opponent up, do a jD. The opponent will land in front of 
Yashiro. After this you have 4 choices:
1)sC,f+A etc.
2)qcb+A and then combo
3)command throw
4)block attack and then counter.
If the Nigaru Daichi is enough to win the round, taunt when your opponent falls 
down for good measure. If you have good yomi (mind game), your Yashiro can dance 
rings around your opponent while he watches hopelessly.

Fighting O.Yashiro
Yashiro is a very powerful opponent and the most important thing is to condition 
yourself to avoid his Kujiki Daichi(qcb+A/C) not by anticipation but by 
reaction. That's because a good Yashiro player will always change his flowcharts 
and Yashiro is very fast. Use characters with air DMs like Leona and Kim. Jump 
the Kujiki Daichi and air DM. Play agressively or keep away. Just don't let him 
touch you. One combo into DM is enough to win the round.

Main combos
jC/D, sC, f+A, hcb,f+A/C 
hcb+A/C, sC, f+A, hcb,f+A/C 


Coming soon.


Use simple but effective strategies. The first technique is mixing up her 
Kouken(qcf+A/C) with her Hyakuretsu Bina (hcb+B/D). Its practically the same as 
Takuma's strategy. Force your opponent to roll the Kouken and meet them with the 
bina(slap). Hit an early jump in with the Saiha(qcb+A/C) or cC. At close range, 
poke with a cD into a Kouken or multiple cB into B Raio Ken(qcf+B). The Shin 
Yuri Chou Upper is her most damaging DM and has high priority. Do not use it as 
anti air because the dragon punch will not hit though if done deep enough, the 
dragon punch may hit. Its better to keep it for combos, wake up, interrupting 
pokes and rolls. Do not get too obsessed with landing the move though.

Main combos
jC/D, sC, qcf+A/C


Don't tell me this never happened to you: your opponent always waits for you to 
choose your character order before he chooses his. While waiting, he fiddles the 
joystick up and down while pretending to have a hard time deciding. If you don't 
choose he'll even wait until time's over. So what can you do? Choose a character 
first and see if he follows suit. If he doesn't, wait for a while and if he 
doesn't, don't let it bug you. Best advice is don't even bother about match-ups. 
Just choose your characters straight from the go based on the principles of 
stock, smile and strength. Its preferable to put characters who can build up 
stock as the first fighter. Characters who build up stock fast use a lot of 
special moves to poke. Whether the fighter is smiling is als important. For more 
information, consult Kao Megura's faq. Logically, the angry fighter should be 
put last so he/she not passing on stocks won't be problem. If you have two angry 
fighters, put the happy/neutral one first/second. The fighter after happy 
neutral fighter should be a fighter who needs stocks more, eg Chang/Billy. If 
you have three angry fighters, well bad luck. On strength, put your best fighter 
2nd, your 2nd best 3rd and your weakest 1st. A group is as weak as its weakest 
link and the 2nd fighter is the link. Your 2nd fighter should overcome your 1st 
character's shortcomings and set up for your 3rd.


98 is littered with bugs and bugs have always been a controversial issue. Some 
say it takes skill and since its in the game, its in the game. Others (like 
myself) argue that bugs are techniques that are not suppose to be in the game 
because of flaws in the game. For crying out load, SNK even has a bug checking 
team. (check the credits) A Singaporean friend gave a different view of bugs. 
When 97 first came out, Terry's infinity wasn't considered cheap because it was 
hard to do and only the real good players could do it. After everyone started 
using it, it was considered cheap. 

Bugs spoil the gaming experience because it wasn't suppose to be and its cheap. 
No, I don't think throwing or CD countering is cheap but exploiting flaws in the 
game system is. Imagine beating the crap of somebody and losing because he 
manages to land an infinity on his last hair of life. Imagine getting up and not 
being able to do anything about an unblockable fireball. Sure it takes fast 
fingers but why not use your fast fingers to play the game as it is meant to be 
played. What if your opponent uses bugs? Walk away. He may think he's great but 
he beat you not because he's better. Alternatively, you may want to bug him back 
and show him the feeling of disgust as Goro does a damaging 3 hit combo from a 
mere crouching D.  


v 0.0   3/09/99 First version. Not released.
v 0.1   5/09/99 First public release. Only 30%. Send in suggestion, criticism, 
and comments.
v 0.2   7/09/99 Added strategies for Athena, Blue Mary, Clark and Takuma. 
Various additions.
v 0.3  12/09/99 Changed the 'punishing DMs' section to 'guard cancel'. Added 
corner trapping
                to general strategies. Added strategies for Heidern, King and 
v 0.7  23/09/99 Fixed lots and lots and lots of typos. Added strategies for 
numerous characters.
                Added grappling range to general strategies. Many additions and 
                throughout the guide. More strategies to come as I do more 
'research'. hehe.
                One thing I find is that in order to write strategies for a 
character, I have to
                play with the intent of writing strategies. Sitting down and 
typing strategies
                from the top of my head yields limited results. The next update 
will see a 
                'complete' version of the guide.
v 0.9  27/02/00 It has been a long time since the last update. I've been busy 
with 99, exams and
                holidays. OK, so I lied about this being the complete version. I 
haven't touched
                98 much since 99 came out. Whether or not this guide will reach 
1.0 will depend 
                on my KOF group, whether to play 98 or 99. Main updates being 
Chizuru and Rugal 
                strategies as well as corrections/additions all over.

CREDIT AND THANKS (In no particular order)

SNK                    For making the best 2D fighting ever. 
Gamefaqs               Hosting this FAQ. 
Ben, Elvis, Paat       My KOF group. For endless hours of competition and fun. 
This guide  
and Seng.              wouldn't be possible without them. Kakate konu ka?
KOFers in Melbourne,   Competition and showing me how to play KOF at high 
esp Melbourne Uni.
KOFers on the net.     Writing great FAQs and setting up great sites. IMO, there 
should be more
                       good FAQS for lesser used characters like Chizuru, Choi 
and Brian.
KOF FAQS               Plenty of information.
My Parents.            $$$$$$$. Without which I wouldn't have KOF.
William Tham.          VS game sparring partner for most of my gaming life.      
Nick Yee.              His scary Heidern in '95.
Joe Higashi            Best taunt in the game. I use it all the time that my 
friends call him 
                       'c!b@! Joe'
Shermie                Sexiest babe in gaming land. I don't mind losing as long 
as its between 
                       her legs!
Clark and Ralf         Best startup pose ever!
Mai Shiranui           Being as bouncy as she was in 94. Keep it up! and 
down....... Chizuru strategies.
Sum Yin Ngai           Chizuru and Rugal strategies.


Akuma/Gouki            Hiding in the game as 95 Ryo. SNK vs Capcom is KOF98!
Chizuru                Worst dancing ever seen.
SNK                    Not putting Eiji, the boss team and Kasumi in the game. 
If they did, it
                       would have been the perfect!
                       NO thanks for screwing up 99.
                       For my thoughts on 99 cheack out my Arcade Fighting Games 
Guide located
                       at Gamefaqs. (Shameless plug) Just look under misc at 


This FAQ is for private and personal use only.  It can only be
reproduced electronically, and if placed on a web page or site, may be
altered as long as this disclaimer and the above copyright notice
appears in full.  This FAQ is not to be used for profitable/promotional
purposes; this includes being used by publishers of magazines, guides,
books, etc. or being incorporated into magazines, etc. in ANY way.  This
FAQ was created and is owned by me, Mike Tham <>.
All copyrights and trademarks are acknowledged that are not specifically
mentioned in this FAQ.  Please give credit where it is due.

For the record, this disclaimer was taken from Kao Megura's excellent KOF 98 


Copyright 1999,2000 by Michael Tham.