===========================================================================
Virtua Fighter 2 Sarah FAQ Ver 2.0b 


Compiled by S. Hyun Yim (Esak+@cmu.edu)
With LOTS of contributions from:
 CHIA Jin Ngee
 Juri Munkki(jmunkki@beta.hut.fi)
 Jirawat Uttayaya
 wumeng@pacific.net.sg
 Yupasawa(Yupasawa@aol.com)
and others
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Table of Contents
======================
Foreword

PART I Moves and Basics
  Sarah's Moves List
  Basics You Should Know
  Moves Analysis: Sarah's Core Special Moves
  Moves Analysis: Sarah's Secondary Moves
  Special Topic: Shun puri and Follow ups

PART II Tactics and Combos
  Sarah's Defensive Strategies
    Turtling
    Machi play
    Getting up
    Crouch Dash
  Oki Zeme
  Combos. . . Combos. . .  
    Built-in Combos
    Stagger Combos
    Float Combos
    Combos as Retaliation
  Traps (Ambush)

PART III Fighting a Specific Character
  How Do I Fight This Dude/Dudette?
    Akira
    Jacky
    Sarah
    Lion
    Lau
    Pai
    Kage
    Shun
    Jeffry
    Wolf
  Playing Against CPU

PART IV Misc
  Some Notes about Sarah's Fighting Style and Background
  Closing Words
  Credits


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
FOREWORD
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
"The most vicious are the females of predators."  
     --Aristotle


  Welcome to the wonderful of Virtua Fighter 2 where 10 fighters of 
different nationalities, genders, races, fighting styles, ages, and 
occupations join together in harmony and beat the snod out of one another.
(A true vision of future, I should say.)

  Sarah Bryant stands out with her vast arsenal of kicks and monstrous 
combo potential, and fast speed.

  More than one year had passed since the introduction of VF2 and the net
community is still discovering many new strategies. And the contributions
from the net community revealed many new informations that were previously 
unavailable to me. This FAQ was written to replace the old Sarah FAQ which 
was quite out of date and contained many inaccuracies. About 70% are 
written from scratch. 10% are cannibalized from old FAQ, and 20% are 
stolen from other people's posts :)

  Doing so, I dropped most of direct quotes, but I still owe great deal 
to many people in R.G.V.A, especially to the four people mentioned above. 
I am just stealing their contributions to put this together.
  This FAQ is available from my Sarah homepage at 
  http://www.contrib.andrew.cmu.edu/usr/sy2b/sarah.html.

  It will be also available at Lars Sorensen's VF2 hompage, along with
lots and lots of other VF2 resources:
  http://www.digiweb.com/webm/vfhome/

  Also, there is another important Sarah FAQ. It's the Sarah Floating Combo
FAQ written by Pakorn Pongpaet. We intend that our FAQs complement each
other. In this FAQ I covered mechanisms of floating combos and other kinds
of combos, and their relationship with stance. Pak's FAQ covers extensive
list of floating combos. After you read this FAQ, I strongly suggest you 
to check his FAQ out. 

   
GENERAL OBSERVATION OF SARAH'S STRATEGY
  Sarah has a great defensive and offensive potential. To be honest, at a 
lower level of competition even a button mashing Sarah can go pretty far, 
although she is likely to be stopped by a button mashing Jacky. However, 
at a high level of competition, a kick-button mashing Sarah can be easily 
smattered across the floor. That doesn't mean she cannot handle standing 
defenders. You just have to know the right way to attack.
  Defensive, or "machi" Sarah can be a great annoyance and a tough problem 
to many. Despite popular opinion, it IS possible to "turtle" in VF 2. But 
defensive Sarah's real strength lies in play based on reflexes rather than
turtling.
  Sarah has many moves, but your strategy should center around 5-8 core
moves. In short, keep it simple, efficient, and brutal.

==========================================================================
PART I
         
MOVES AND BASICS

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
SARAH'S MOVES LIST
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Terminlogies:
--------------
Name: Gives description of the move
Motion: Assuming you are facing right, the symbols correspond to joystick
        like this:
          b/u u f/u           When these notions are capitalized, that means
          b     f             that you should HOLD the joystick in that
          b/d d f/d           direction

          H.d  hold down, or from crouching position
                  G Guard (defense) button
                  P Punch button
                  K Kick button
Damage: These numbers are in damage points. Depending on difficult setting,
        each player will have 160-220 points of life bar at the beginning of 
        round. The length of life bar depends on difficulty setting. Life 
        bar will be shorter in vs. CPU mode. (between 128-176)
Frames: Standard time unit in VF2. Each frame is 1/60 second.
Ex: Execution time in frames
Co: Coverage time (Hit)
Recov: Recovery time in frames
AD: Advantage time in frames.
         What this is:
                Blockstun-Recovery

         So when your opponent blocks this move, you gain this many 
         advantage time in frames.


Lev: Attack level, H: High, hits standing non defender
          M: Middle, hits standing non defender and crouchers
          L: Hits standing defender and crouching non defender
          n: Hits a standing or crouching non defender
Foot: Y means you will change your stance after executing this move.



I.  Speical moves

Name      Motion        Damage    Ex(Co)   Recov   AD    Lev  Foot
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Mini-      d/f+P         12       12(4)     14    0     H    N
Knuckle

Axe        d/b+K+G       20       15(3)     22   -3     M    N
Kick

Dodging    d/b+P         14       21(2)     19   -4     H    N
Punch

Double     b+K         10+30    13(1) 19(1) 29   -7    HH    Y
Kick

Round      G+K         20-30      22(2)     26  -7/-4  H/M   N
house

Snap       d+K           30       13(3)     30   -8     M    N 
Kick

SnapKick  d+K, K       20+30      13-18(3)  31   -12   MM    Y
Sidekick     23

Double
Illusion  d/f+K, K       20       10(2)     36   -17   MH    N 
Kick           24
 
Triple
Illusion  d/f+K, K, K    21       18(2)     32   -12   MHH   N
Kick          24  21                          

Leg         d+K+G        20       18(2)     36   -17    L    N          
Slicer

Elbow       f+P          15       11(2)     19   -3     M    N

Knee        f+K          30       15(2)     29   -7     M    Y

Lunging   f, f+K         30       13(5)     36   -14    M    Y   
Knee       16  

Rising    H.d, f+K       40       14(6)     40   -18    n    Y
Knee

Knee,
Rising   f+K, d/f+K      40       50(6)     52   -30   Mn    N
Knee        16

Elbow,    f+P, K         25       14(4)     28   -6    MM    Y
Knee         31

Flip      u/b+K          50       10(4)   42(48) -20    M    N
Kick



II. Turning Away Attacks

Name      Motion        Damage    Ex-Co   Recov   AD    Lev  Foot
------------------------------------------------------------------
Spin
Heel     H.d, b+K        20       12(3)    24     -5     H   N 
Kick

Spin
Kick,  H.d, b+K, K       20       19(3)    18      1    HH   Y      
Kick           19

Turning
Away      b, b+P         14       13(3)    14      1     H   N
Backfist     16

Turning
Hop       b, b+K         30       19(3)    27     -5     H   N
Kick       16

Shun-     hold d,b+K,G   0        0(0)      0
puri


III. Turning Toward Attacks

Name      Motion        Damage    Ex-Co   Recov   Lev  Foot
------------------------------------------------------------------
Turn-toward  P           20       9(3)    31     H+    
Backfist

Turning      d+P         14       13(3)   22     L
low punch

Turning      hold d+P    20       14(2)   34     H
punch

Turn-toward  K           36       12(2)   30     H
Kick

Hop kick     b+K         36       16(3)   21     H

Single leg   d/b+K       36       19(4)   33     H
Mule kick

Turn around  d+K         36       14(7)   19     L     Y
Sweep I

Turn around  hold d+K    36       14(8)   25     L     Y
Sweep II



IV.  Punch Combos and Basic Moves

Name      Motion        Damage    Ex-Co   Recov   AD    Lev  Foot
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Punch            P       10        8-2     10      2     H    N

Low            d+P       10       10-2      8      4     L    N
Punch

Kick             K       30       12-4     22      0     H    N

Low            d+K       10       16-2     22    -10     L    N
Kick

Sidekick     d/f+K       19       12-3     38    -20     M    N

Punch,        P, P       10+10    9-2     11      1     HH   N
punch          19

2 Punch,  P, P, K      10+10+30   14-2    28     -6    HHH   N
Kick       19  21

3 Punch   P, P, P      10+10+10   11-2     14     -2    HHH   N
                          19  21

3 Punch   P, P, b+P    10+10+10    9-2     16     -4    HHH   N
var I      19  21

3 Punch   P, P, u+P    10+10+10    8-2     12      0    HHH   N
var II     19  21

3 Punch,  P, P, P, K   10+10+10+40 14-6    40     -18  HHHH*  Y
Knee       19  21 26

3 Punch,  P, P, P, u/b+K  (30)+30 10-4    46(48)  -24  HHHM   N
FlipKick  P, P, P, b+K
           19  21 26      

3 Punch,  P, P, P, u+K   (30)+30  15-5     50     -28  HHHM   Y
Up Kick    19  21 26

Punch,    P, K           10+30    12-3     23     -1     HH   N
Kick       19

Punch,    P, d+K         10+19    12-3     21     -3     HM   N
SideKick   19

Kick,     K, P           30+8     22-2     12     -1     HH   N
Punch      19


V.    Throw

Name         Motion       Damage    Recov        Lev  Foot
------------------------------------------------------------
Suplex        P+G          50       112           H    N
                        (If the opponent escape, you and your opponent
                        both recover in 60 frames.)

Clothes     f, f+P         40        81           H    N 
Line         16

Back          P+G          60        91        (B)H    N
Throw


VI.  Ground Attack

Name      Motion        Damage    Ex(Co)   Recov
-------------------------------------------------
Ground     d/f+K         15       18(3)    48
Kick

Low        u+P           30       33(5)    70(44)       
Pounce                                     (short range)

High       U+P           40       36(2)    70(44)
Pounce                                    (medium range)




VII.   Hurricane Kicks

Name      Motion        Damage    Ex-Co   Recov   AD    Lev  Foot
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Hopping   u+K           25       20-3     19      3     M    N
Roundhouse

Forward
Hopping   u/f+K          25       28-2     23     -1     M    N
Roundhouse

Tornado   u/f+K+G       20-50      28-4     28   -9/-6    H    Y
Kick


VIII. Other Hopping Attacks (Normal hopping moves)

Name          Motion                Damage ex-co-recov    Level
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Hopping       P while ascending       30   45-6-24         n 
elbow hammer

Hopping jab   P while descending      30   51-4-20         n

Hop kick      K while ascending       30   35-2-21         M

Hopping       K while descending      20   50-4-18         M
sidekick


VIIII. Distance jumping attacks

Name         Motion             Damage   ex-cov-recov Level
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Overhead     JUMP, for+P          20    83-2-43       M
hammer         while ascending

Take-off     JUMP+K               30    17-5-68       M
jumpkick

Mid-air      JUMP,K               30    10-4
kick          while ascending

One-legged   JUMP, for+K          40    79-5-43       M
drop kick      while ascending
to the front

Landing      JUMP, K              30    77-4-10       M
kick           while descending

Distance     JUMP, back+K         40    81-4-43       H
drop kick      while descending
to the rear


X. Movement

Name           Motion       Distance traveled   Exec.
-------------------------------------------------------------
Forward         f,f           1.1 m               32
Dash

Backward        b,b           1.1 m               33
Dash

Crouch          f/d,F/D       1.1 m               40
Dash Forward

Crouch          b/d,B/D       1.1 m               40
Dash Backward



XI.Rising Attacks:

Position                   Motion   Dam/Exec-Co-Recovery
------------------------------------------------------------------
getting up in place:
  head position: up-away: high K       20/34-8-16
                          low  d+K     20/32-8-18
               down-away: high K       20/27-7-26
                          low  d+K     20/29-7-26
                up-close: high K       20/34-6-26
                          low  d+K     20/34-6-26
              down-close: high K       20/28-8-29
                          low  d+K     20/33-6-21

twisting away (tap G):
  head position: up-away: high K       20/20-16-24
                          low  d+K     20/15-10-15

               down-away: high K       20/24-12-24
                          low  d+K     20/15-10-15

               up-close: high K       20/25-13-22
                         low  d+K     20/15-10-15

             down-close: high K       20/22-15-23
                         low  d+K     20/15-10-15

rolling away (tap back):
  head position: up-away: high K       20/17-7-26
                          low  d+K     20/17-7-26

               down-away: high K       20/17-5-33
                          low  d+K     20/17-4-32

                up-close: high K       20/19-5-31
                          low  d+K     20/19-4-32
              down-close: high K       20/17-7-26
                          low  d+K     20/17-7-26


---------------------------------------------------------------------------
BASICS YOU SHOULD KNOW
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

This section deals with basic mechanisms of VF2. While most of these would
be old to the netters who have been keeping up with rec.games.video.arcade
recently, I suggest at least you check out stance section since it has
informations that are relevant to Sarah.

Strikes
--------------------------
These include kicks, punches, knees, etc, and are often categorized by
their "attack levels" as described in CHIA Jin Ngee's VF2 FAQ. When you
perform a strike move, the move goes through execution, coverage, and
recovery stage. You can be hit during execution and recovery stage, or
during the coverage stage if your opponent's move has bigger hit points.
If you hit your opponent during his execution phase, it will result in
major counter, and your move will do 50% more damage and, if your opponent
gets knocked out, will usually cause your opponent to float higher. 
  This opens a room for Sarah's devastating float combos. Even if you don't 
go for float combo, it will make your pounce a lot more likely to connect, 
not only because your opponent gets knocked out longer, but also because
your opponent's spends more time in the air. Since you can start your 
pounce before your opponent hits the ground, he will have less time to
avoid pounce.
  If you hit during his recovery phase, it will result in minor counter,
and will inflict 12.5% more damage. Attacking your opponent in his recovery
phase is a crucial part of VF2 play.


"Safe" Moves
-------------------------------
Also called uncounterable moves.

These are the moves that have very short recovery time. If these moves are
blocked, the attacker can recover fast enough to block incoming
retaliation. Apparently, basic punches and elbow are safe moves.
    Some special moves are safe moves. Others are not. However, "safe"
doesn't mean that you are invincible using these moves. These moves can be
interrupted or reversed. When your "safe" moves miss entirely instead of 
blocked, you can be vulnerable.
    Also fast recovery just means that you have enough time to make right
move after recovery. If you block high after your "safe" move is blocked,
you can get thrown or sweeped. If you block low, you can get hit by
mid-level moves or thrown by Jeff and Wolf. If you back off, your opponent
can chase you down. If you follow with another attack, the result will 
depend on what your opponent does.


Throw
--------------------------
Throw is the standard method of attacking a standing defender for Sarah,
and can be quite effective. You cannot be thrown when:
1. You are crouching. (If you are not fighting Wolf or Jeff.)
2. You are airborne.
3. You are being "staggered."
4. You are in execution stage of a strike move, but only if you are not
in the first frame of execution. (The exceptions: dodging punch (d/b+P)
and Akira's bodycheck. You can throw while these moves are in execution 
phase.)

A move that are very useful when you feel a throw attempt coming is low 
punch (d+P) Against characters like Kage, low punch whenever you feel 
threatened in close range. (Unless you are fighting Akira.)

Stun
------------------------
There are block stun and hit stun in VF2. According to Jirawat Uttayaya,
the length of block stun is calculated as:

(damage point*2/3)+6

Maximum block stun: 22 frames

According to Yupasawa, block stun begins at the moment block is 
registred. It complicates things greatly. For example, if you block knee
at the last frame of its execution, knee would be actually uncounterable 
with punch kick in this case.  Let me quote Yupa on this one:

Take Sarah's high kick as an example (30/12-4-22). Say you
are very close, and the kick makes contact with a standing defender 
on the 13 frame of the attack--the first frame of hit detection. There 
are still 3 frames of hit detection left for Sarah to go thru, but the 
block stun has already started. So the "variable recovery" for Sarah 
is 22+3=25 frames.

Stagger
------------------------
In VF2, damages greater than 30 causes knockdown. Other hits causes hit 
stun and stagger. The most common move to cause stagger is elbow against
a crouching defender.

When you stagger, you are vulnerable for certain amount of time. So after
you stagger an opponent, you can often follow up with other strikes
to cause stagger combo.


Struggling
-------------------------
The most common type of struggling is mashing of buttons in order to rise
up quicker after getting knocked down. The other types of struggles include:

Struggle after getting staggered
Struggle after getting thrown by Akira's stumbling throw
Struggle after getting knocked on butt by Akira's palm

There are number of way to do this. The way I personally do is to hold Guard
button and move the stick back and forth. Other people recommend rolling
the stick. That's probably better. Doing so lets you avoid combos like
Akira's elbow stagger, double kick (struggling after being staggered) combo,
and Akira's stumbling throw, single jump kick, power uppercut combo
(struggling after being stumble-thrown)

What this won't get you out of are fast follow ups like Kage's elbow stagger-
punch kick combo, and the people who expect you to struggle and throw you
after staggering you. In that case, NOT struggling can be also
a solution since you can't be thrown while you are still staggering.

It was noted even low punch leaves you vulnerable to throw during the first
frame. Joji Suzuki reported that take off jumping kick is better for the
purpose of avoiding throw. But you are still not out of trouble. . .

Low-punch
-----------------------
Low-punching is one of the most basic and useful move in the game.
It's an excellent move to avoid throw, dodge high attacks, and retaliate 
fast recovering low attacks. In addition d+G+P doubles as a G+P throw
for Sarah. Moreover, if you interrupt your opponent's high attack in the 
second frame of your low punch's coverage time, punch kick will combo. 

Stance
---------------------
Stance is your feet positioning in relation to your opponent, as outlined
in CHIA Jin Ngee's VF2 FAQ. But let's just show you the old diagram to
clarify it once more.

        God's eye view diagram: X represent feet position

    Open stace                    Closed Stance
   Player1  Player2             Player1  Player2
    X           X                 X      X
      X      X                       X      X

You are in closed stance when you begin each round.

The FAQ states that it's a lot diffcult to throw when you are in open 
stance. But seriously, when I play Sarah, I rarely ever worry about stances
when I want to throw. Her clothesline has built-in forward dash so it's not
that difficult to throw in open stance. You can also include forward dash
for G+P, by simply doing motion as f,f+G+P. By doing so I throw almost
whenever I want. The throws that are most effected by stances are the ones
that end in backward joystick movement, such as Kage's b+P and Jacky's
f,b+P+K throws. So when I play Kage, I try to stay in closed stance so I
can do b+P throw easily. But when I play Sarah, I hardly ever worry about
stances when I go for throw, although, no doubt, closed stance can help.

What matters, however, are your kicks. Stances can effect the range of your
kicks quite substantially. As a rule of thumb, a move that uses Sarah's
front leg has longer reach in open stance, and a move that uses Sarah's 
rear leg has longer reach in closed stance. These differences become
especially important when you go for floating combos. When you go for
floating combos, you need to squeeze out every cubic inch of your move's
hit area (or hit volume, whatever).

Some moves that use rear leg:
 snapkick(d+K)
 snapkick+sidekick combo (d+K,K)
 knee(f+K)
 doublekick(b+K)
Some moves that use front leg:
 Axekick(b/d+G+K)
 kickflip(b/u+K)
 low kick(d/b+K)

Low kick in particular is far more effective in open stance. When in
open stance, rely on low kick a lot as a defensive weapon.

There are other occasions where stances are also important, such as 
when you try to connect your elbow. elbow is a little tricky. Closed 
stance lets you get closer to your opponent, but in some occasions open
stance can be a better choice when you try to connect elbow. 

There are two aproaches to deal with stances. You can try to observe your 
stance and act accordingly. (Pick the moves or strategy that are more
suited to your current stance.) Or you can actively switch your stance
to suit your need. There are many moves you can use to switch your stance
but for practical purposes, you should stick to one of the three following
moves: knee(f+K), double kick(b+K), double spinning heel kick.(D,b+K,K)

Also, you can easily achieve a closed stance by holding forward. Sarah will 
assume a closed stance before starting to inch forward.

Also notice a throw, more times than not, switches your stance to closed
stance (if you were in open stance). Some notable exceptions are Lau's
stumbling throw and Akira's reverse bodycheck. They switch the player's
stance. 

When I checked out movie files from Helsinki tourney, I saw Juri Munkki's
Sarah facing Chris Ostengard's Lau. I noticed Juri going for many Axekicks,
and repeatedely missing Chris' crouching Lau. And guess what, they were in
closed stance.



---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Moves Analysis: Sarah's core "special" moves
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Out of many of Sarah's moves, I find the following moves most crucial and
useful.

Snapkick(d+K)
Snapkick+sidekick combo(d+K,K)
Elbow(f+P)
Clothesline(f,f+P)
Knee(f+K), elbow-knee(F+P,K)
Punch-Kick combo(P,K)
Kickflip(b/u+K)

Yupa also told me to include this:
Punch-Sidekick combo(P,d+K)

I will give a quick run down but much of the starategies involving these
moves are left for COMBOS and TRAPS sections.


Snapkick+sidekick combo (d+K,K)
----------------------------------
It is a very fast move and has a quite long reach even in open stance.
This can be one of your main weapon for minor counter and floating combo,
and "machi" play. A low pounce connects almost always after this move.
However, if you miss this move or gets this move blocked, you can be in
trouble.

Snapkick (d+K)
-----------------------------------
A single snapkick is a lot safer than Snap+sidekick combo, and it's safe
when blocked by Jeff and Wolf. You should use this when:
 1. You are not sure if your kick will connect So use this when your 
   opponent try to close in your kicking range.
 2. You are not sure if the second kick will connect when you used this
         as a part of floating combo.

Note that this and all other kicks are far more effective when used outside
of punching range. Inside punch range, your opponent's punch can often
interrupt your kicks. Outside punch range, and inside your kicking range, 
is where you want to be.


Elbow and clothesline (f,f+P)
----------------------------------
ATTENTION! This should be the CORE of your offensive strategy.

Right, clothesline throw doesn't do much damage. So what you should do is
to be completely merciless with this and connect MANY of them. OK, Kage can
TFT you and pounce to take 80 points of damage. Big deal. You just connect
two clotheslines and now you are even. In fact, Eating multiple clothesline
in a row can be devastating not only on life bar but also on morale.
   The motion for this throw is easy and simple (f,f+P), and 
forward dash is built in, so to your opponent your clothesline may seem to
have a mile range. Advantage of having an easy joystick motion for throw 
is obvious. Mason Wood, the best Jeff I have ran into so far, showed this
ambush trick: frontal foot thrust (missed) back+G+P. Many advanced players 
run in to throw. If they use a command throw, they usually get thrown first 
as it takes a split second longer than Jeff's b+G+P. If they use dash 
forward, G+P throw, Mason's Jeff escapes.
  Sarah's clothesline could defeat this trap since it doesn't require 
additional joystick movements beside dash forward. If you watch out for it,
you will be surprised how many throw opportunities are there, and how
many times people whiff their moves. Clothesline's tremendous range allow
you to punish all these missed attacks easily. Should they recover in time
and block, they get thrown anyway.
  Another great advantage of this throw is that it doubles as an elbow if
throw attempt fails. So if your opponent ducks to avoid throw, he will 
stagger and he is in deep, DEEP trouble.

Sarah's elbow is special. It does less damage than other people's elbow,
but recovers faster. It's two primary uses are:
 1. Combo/delay combo with knee
 2. Stagger crouching opponent

#2 is the primary reason of this move's existent. Sarah's elbow is the
best elbow to use for this purpose. It recovers fast, and delayed knee
can be followed for float.

I will leave the tactics using elbow in COMBO section.

When in doubt, clothesline.


Knee(f+K)
----------------------------------
I will leave the tactics using knee in COMBO section. Just beware of this
move's slow execution time and limited range.


Punch-kick Combo(P,K)
----------------------------------
Sarah's punch is the fastest move in the game, tied only by Kage and
Pai's punches. This is THE retaliation move against fast recovering moves.
(That are not "safe") Low pounce almost always connects after punch-kick.

Another use of this move is to fake out your opponent. More about this in 
TRAPS section.

Special Topic: Senbon Punch
This combo is also the base for infamous senbon punch. hitting P K G in 
rapid succession will result in punch that has no recovery time, because
the punch in PK combo doesn't have recovery, and you just canceled kick.
It's not that easy to do. But if you ever master it, don't use it over
and over. It's possible to connect one senbon punch and just keep 
senbon punching until the kingdom comes. It's considered to be extremely
cheap and phenomenally disturbing, and I won't be surprised if this "combo"
has caused actua' fist fights in places like in Japan or Taiwan where they
discovered this trick long before the players in other places did. So 
don't use this punch in succession, for sake of humanity. What you can do, 
is try things like (one)senbon punch and throw. But I am not sure if 
that's worth the trouble for Sarah. What you should try would be to try 
to use senbon punch as a part of float combos. I have heard of Akira
players who can connect up to 5 senbon punches after floating.


Kickflip (u/b+K)
----------------------------------
This is a very important technique for retaliation, float, ambush, and
machi play. This move is lightening fast (10 frames, faster than elbow), 
does a mega damage when connected as a major counter (pounce guarranted.)
and cannot be reversed. Kickflip+pounce is one of the most devasting
and effecitive retaliating move Sarah has. Be aware of your stance, 
however. It hits with front leg, thus it works better in open stance.
One of the most annoying thing is missing a croucher because of wrong
stance. When that happens even a newbie can make you pay easily. So at
least get it blocked. Sarah's kickflip recovers faster than Jacky's and
Kage's. Also note it does incredibly little damage when it hits a 
crouching defender. Don't go for pounce in that case. Also, if you
connect it from behind, this move doesn't float much, so pounce is 
more difficult to connect.
  Some people say that it's quite a dangerous move. But seriously,
against a good player this is about as dangerous as any other non safe
move. You just have to know when to connect this. Also know your opponent.
Using it against Pai, for example, is safer than using it against, say, 
Kage because blocked kickflip will push Pai farther, making it difficult 
for her to retaliate effectively.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Moves analysis: Sarah's secondary moves and combos
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Axekick(b/d+G+K)
----------------------------------
I had a time of contemplation to decide weather or not I should put 
this moves in "Core Moves"  or "Secondary moves" section. This is an 
important move because of its very quick recovery time, making you "safe"
after this move is blocked. It can also float light characters when hit as
a major counter. But its execution time is not THAT great, doesn't do
much damage, and its range against a croucher is very short in closed 
stance, making it vulnerable to fast interrupting moves. The absolute
worst you can do is just doing b/d+G+K,b/d+G+K,b/d+G+K. . . 
This is a perfect bait for reversal or major counter.
   And I don't think it's a good game if you need to rely heavily on quick 
recovery moves that have little strategic value. This is, however, a good 
opening move that can override many attacks. When it does, it opens a 
room for quick floating combo. But if your opponent opens up with a
sidekick, you will end up getting interrupted. instead
   But if you end up interrupting you opponent's opening move, go for
snapkick-sidekick follow up.(remember you are in closed stance.) It
does wonders against light opponent and you can follow up a pouce.
(30+50+30=110 points of damage at the opening of round, ouch!)

Another nice thing I can say about this move is that it uses front leg.
So what? It means that this kick is evasive. So if the circumstance
is right, you can use this kick to dodge a low level attack that's aimed
at your front leg.


Suplex(G+P)
----------------------------------
This move exists because:
1. It does more damage than clothesline.
2. You can escape your opponent's G+P throw.
3. It changes axis, and has a slight ring out potential, you are not going
  to ring yourself out by accident as you can do with clothesline.

That said, this combo is breakable. So connecting this throw against a good
player becomes a mind game, and you will be trying to connect suplex when
your opponent least expects it.
When suplex is broken, it puts you into an interesting strategic situation.
You can often connect turn around sweep and pounce. But this tactic breaks
down when:
1. Your opponent low punches or low kick. You will end up getting
  interrupted.
2. Your opponent tries other moves that can interrupt your sweep.
  VERY incomplete list of the special moves that can interrupt Sarah's 
  turn around sweep after broken suplex include:
    Akira's dashing elbow
    Shun's cartwheel kick
    Sarah's snapkick-sidekick combo
  When Sarah's G+P throw is broken, both you and your opponent recover 
  simultaneously. So technically any move which execution is shorter 
  than 14 frames can interrupt your sweep.
    You can be in trouble if these moves connect. What you DON'T have to
  worry about are hopping attacks. In my school, people experimented with
  using hopping attacks after breaking out of suplex. But none of normal
  hopping kicks and punches worked as they simply got interrupted as 
  they were about to leave the ground.
3. Your opponent blocks. I think it SHOULD not be much of problem. But 
  whenever an Akira blocked my Sarah's turning sweep after broken suplex,
  palm connected. Exactly same thing happened when I tried Akira against
  Sarah. It seems I have tendency to use DOWN+K instead of down+K after
  broken suplex. But still I should have been able to block palm. The only
  explanation I have is that when you sweep in an angle, the sweep gets
  bloced

So what else can you do beside sweep? 
1. Run. If you tap f,F (hold the second forward.) You will end up running
  around in circle, and perpendicular to your opponent. If you are lucky,
  you can end up behind your opponent. You will be able to dodge most of
  the attacks this way.
2. Block. If you expect your opponent to try a non-safe move, you can
  instantly turn and block by hitting D. Note it won't do you much if
  you block dashing palm. But your opponent is in trouble once you block
  cartwheel or snapkick combo.
3. Hop kick. Here very few people try low-kick or low punch to stop my 
  sweep but against these types, CHIA Jin Ngee suggests you to try f+K.
  (Forward here is the direction you are facing.) It will let you turn
  around with a hop kick, which jumps over your opponent's low punch and 
  low kick. Also, he also suggests you to try turn around low punch (d+P)
  This should get people trying to low block.


Also, another thing. You can use this throw from crouched position. 
Some characters like Wolf cannot do G+P throw from crouch. Sarah
is one of the characters that can G+P throw from crouch. TAKE ADVANTAGE
of this fact!
  Therefore, doing down+G+P is a pretty good idea. I recommend you to
use d+G+P instead of d+P to avoid getting thrown. If your opponent
executes a throw when you are in recovery phase, d+P won't do you much
good. But if you do d+G+P, you will, at least, be able to escape a 
G+P throw. And if your opponent is too late, you will end up throwing
him.

Also try this trick: Hop, G+P as you land. Many non-aggressive players, 
knowing that you can only do mid-level hopping attack, stand and defend.
I tried this sucker trick three times against three different players 
and worked every time. It will cause your opponent to swear, smack his 
forehead, or bust out laughing depending on what kind of mood he is in.
Don't try this trick more than once against the same person, though.


Back throw(G+P from behind)
------------------------------------------
Finally this is a Sarah's throw that does significant damage. But
unfortunately an opportunity to score this throw against a good
opponent comes once in a blue moon. Some occasions when you can
connect this throw include:

-- Your opponent is too happy with turn away moves. But most likely
they will attack you whenever they see you closing for throw.
-- When you duck under Kage's catapult kick (f,f+ALL)
-- When you duck under Wolf's shoulder ram (b,f+ALL)
-- Your opponent widely misses high pounce and you end up rolling  
behind him.

One good thing about back throw is that you can throw croucher with this.
If you back throw your opponent in his recovery phase, you will inflict
60+60*0.25=78 points of damage. Which is not bad at all! I have never
connected a ground kick after this, though.

Punch sidekick combo (P,d+K)
----------------------------------
Finally Sarah has a sidekick that doesn't have a horrible recovery.
Sidekick in punch-sidekick combo is in fact the quickest recovering 
sidekick in the game, tied only by Pai's sidekick. It has no value
as a floater so you can only use it as a stagger move. Even than, it can
be an invaluable weapon. 

Quoting Yupasawa:
It sets up far many more stagger combos than the elbow does, at least in 
my case.
  I used to oscillate between elbows and clotheslines as my major attack
pattern, but with the advent of crouch dashing and primarily better 
crouching skills (turtling) by good players, the elbow is rendered almost 
useless. From a crouch, you can stand up before the elbow connects, and 
the range of the elbow is only half that of the clothesline throw, so 
it's very difficult to get in that close from the long ranges that I'm
usually fighting from.


Kick punch combo (K,P)
----------------------------------
I will mainly quote CHIA's input on this move:

Quoting CHIA Jin Ngee:
Against anyone after a heavy high move, the kick floats them and punch 
keeps them in the air. A knee followed by kickflip or toe kick-side 
kick are good follow-ups. Though slower than the P, K but use this 
when the chance comes. Please note that this is a real combo.

More to add to this move. You cannot delay the punch after the roundhouse
kick unlike the p, k. So retaliate quickly by tapping k, p as you would
quickly dish out a p, k. After the k, p, quickly do the motions for the
follow-up moves. The recovery after the punch is 8 frames! Your follow-
ups are sure to connect. 

Two Punches and High sidekick (P,P,K)
--------------------------------------------------------------
Unfortunately, the kick is blockable even if the first and second 
punch hit. Kick however has a very long reach, and is an excellent move 
to beat CPU Jeff and Wolf. It's also a very good move to stop those who
charge or rush in.

Three Punches and Kickflip Combo (P,P,P,u/b+K) or (P,P,P,b+K)
---------------------------------------------------------------
This is a true combo in the sense if the first punch hits, the rest
of the hits are unblockable. In fact this is the only three punches+a
move combo that's guarranted to hit all the way. It sounds incredible 
at first, until you realize that kickflip does less damage (30 points)
If you hit this as a minor counter you will do 63 points of damage,
which is not bad. Go for low pounce.

I haven't used this move much. But CHIA Jin Ngee commented that this
move should be used when your opponent moves his move an inch away
from you. (Not an inch on the screen!) In occasions like blocked knee,
PK is still better. 

This move sometimes gets those who try to duck under your punches. 
But it's not too reliable, and you are in deep trouble if it gets blocked.
For the purpose of nailing duckers, P,P,G,f+P (2 punches, G-cancel, elbow)
is a lot better move.

Three Punches and Rising Knee (P,P,P,K)
----------------------------------------------
Three Punches and Knee combo connects a lot better than it did in VF1
but knee still can be blocked. Knee is unblockable only if the second 
punch misses and the third punch hits. Remember Pai's stumble throw of
doom combo? Pai's crescent kick in pppk connects only if the second
punch misses and the third punch hits. It's same for Sarah's pppk combo.
But since Sarah doesn't have a stumble throw to set up for such
condition, you should use pppk as a part of floating combo. According 
to Peaking Duck the rising knee hits mid-level in closed stance and H 
level in open stance. But in any case, it's not a good move to use to 
hit a croucher. More in the COMBO section.

Three Punches and Hopkick (P,P,P,u+K)
--------------------------------------------
It gives you more time to pounce after the combo since its air hang time
is smaller than the previous combo. It also pushes your opponent farther 
if it connects. Other than that, its only use is to get a higher rank in
ranking mode.

Sidekick (d/f+K)
--------------------------------------------
Sarah's single sidekick does less damage than any other sidekick in the
game. It never causes a knock down, except against a staggering opponent. 
It's small hit rating and slow recovery makes it most dangerous when 
blocked. However, it's one of the quickest moves in the game, and can 
cause stagger.

Triple Kick (d/f+K,K,K)
-------------------------------------------
This does a very sizeable damage and allows you to pounce IF all three 
connects. That's the diffificult part. I have never connected triple kick  
against Pai. And you are in deep trouble if your opponent blocks your
third kick or duck under it. (Notice that second and third kicks hit
high.) So I generally don't use it except against heavies as the price
of getting your third kick blocked can be very high.

You can use this, however, as a delayed combo trap. You can delay the 
third kick after the second kick. If your opponent blocked the second
kick, he will most likely to try to throw you, only to get interrupted 
by your 3rd kick and go down.


Quoting CHIA Jin Ngee:

On the Saturn. The triple kick is the best follow-up after the low punch. 
I am not sure about the arcade version though. At close range or against
someone who has intentions to throw you. A low punch interrupts, a triple
kick immediately after connects. If they crouch anticipating the low 
punch, the triple kick connects. Sarah is still at an advantage. The 
first kick is the fastest executing side kick in the game, which explains 
why it connects after the low punch. The low punch must not miss for this 
to work.


Lunging Knee (f,f+K)
--------------------------------------------
A quick advice is: Don't use it if you are in doubt. It's faster than
a normal knee. But doesn't really float much and its slow recovery makes
nearly worthless as a floater. You are in deep trouble if this move
whiffs or gets blocked. It's especially dangerous against Lau or Pai 
since they get free pppk floating combo.

It's main purpose is
1. Nail the people trying to back off from a close distance. There are
 various situations when you can use this tactic, but can be also
 dangerous. Don't use it much if your opponent plays a char that can move
 quickly. What you have to do is read their game play.
2. Sometimes elbow stagger staggers people WAY back. It almost looks like
 a teleport. I am not sure what condition causes this but in this case
 lunging knee is the only reliable way to nail stagger combo. Lan commented
 that my elbow stagger and lunging knee as an effecitive tactic. But
 to be honest, I often end up doing this when I don't really intend to do
 it. It's just became a bad habit that's now hard to shake out in heat of
 battle. I am so used to hitting f,f that I often do f,f+P clothesline
 without even thinking. That's good, but this also made me do f,f+K when I
 don't want to do this. Those damn teleporting staggers forced me to tag
 on lunging knee combo and it became a habit. If you can, connecting elbow
 stagger, delayed knee is much, much better since it will allow you to
 float combo.
3. Nail the people that are stuck vulnerable at a long distance. Let's cite
 some examples. Once I played a Pai player who liked to use f/u+K scissor
 kick. But he had a problem hitting diagonal so he was often awakwardly
 stuck in the air doing straight up hop kick. I just rammed lunging knee
 and pounce. Also once I was fighting Kage and he was a little too
 ambitious with his ground kick (f/d+K) and I was able to escape it clear.
 I rammed lunging knee while he was still recovering from ground kick.
   It's also a very easy way to retaliate blocked kickflip.
4. As a part of floating combo.
 Knee, lunging knee, pounce is a legimate float combo.


Hopping roundhouse (u+K) and forward hopping roundhouse (u/f+K)
----------------------------------------------------------------
In fact these are very useful and important moves. Both are "safe" if
blocked.
   Two primary uses of these moves are to attack a sweeping/low kicking/
punching opponents, and set up a trap.
   Let's examine the first use.I often find Akira's low reversal unfair
since he is the only one he can do it. The ability to reverse low punch
and low kick, takes a big chunk out of the opponent's crucial arsenal.
Well, Sarah doesn't have a low reversal. But this hopping roundhouse allows
you to punish your opponent when you can guess a "safe" low level moves
coming. 
   A more frequent use of this move is to attack your opponents getting 
up with a sweep. It's often obvious as many players have habits that are 
hard to break when they get up. Since many fast character's rising sweep 
recovers very quickly, going aggressive with forward hopping roundhouse 
against a rising opponent can be often better way than blocking a rising 
attack. Sometimes you will guess wrong, or your opponent gets smarter, 
and try something else. If he just gets up and block, you are "safe". 
If he gets up with a high kick, he may hit you. Or, he may not and you 
may end up hitting him anyway. Those who roll to sideways, see you
coming with hopping round house from FAR away, and execute a high kick
trying to knock you out tend to goof up timing and get hit while they are
recovering.
   There are other times when you can guess a low sweep coming,
such as Jacky turning back with backfist, Sarah doing shun-puri. Note it's
not worth to use it against Lau or Lion's sweep or other slow recovering
sweeps. But against fast recovering sweeps like Pai's or Sarah's, it's
worth trying. Overall, use of this move is just like art of
reversal. You need to study and learn your opponent's gameplay, and guess
his next move. Sometimes, guessing your opponent move is not as hard as
you might think. Even good players are not completely free from their
tendency to repeat a pattern.
   Don't try this tactic too much since guessing incorrectly can have
terrible consquence. Akira still has an unfair advantage, since his low
reversal is a lot safer when missed.

Another major use for this move is to set up for a trap. Because this
has slow execution and is a hopping move, many people try to retaliate
after blocking. Time for kickflip!




Crescent Kick (G+K)
----------------------------------------

Controlled experiment shows that this kick hits crouching defenders in
both closed and open stance. (Although it may not work against Shun and 
Lion, I don't know.) So it may be used to get people who try to
duck under crescent kick. Or may be you can use this as a sucker move 
against player who try to attack after blocking crescent kick. (This 
kick is safe if blocked.) 

Quoting Yupasawa:
I've had some luck using the crescent after reversing Shun's dances w/
punches throw. The circular contact area makes this possible. I haven't had a
change to experiment with all the possible replies that Shun can make, so
take this suggestion with caution for now.

(Editor's note: I think Shun can definitely run away/roll away/ 
dodge away from crescen kick if he choose to. But if he tries some
thing else, I guess he will get hit.)


Tornado Kick (u/b+G+K)
----------------------------------------
Remember when people thought Akira's power uppercut (AKA Yoho AKA big
ass uppercut) was useless? Now people discovered uses for this move.
Sadly, tornado kick still remains as a move that's very useless
against any player who can fight their way out of a paperbag. This move
is safe if blocked deeply, so in this case it has a value as a sucker
move. But most good player will simply duck. You can connect it against
human players if:
1. They don't have a clue
2. They are dashing in for throw.

Other than that, use it against CPU Lau, Sarah, and Shun. (And of course,
view this move in replay!!)


Low sidekick aka shin slicer (d+G+K)
-----------------------------------------
If you want an one-line advice for this move: When in doubt, don't use it
against people who know what they are doing. This move knocks down only
when executed as a major counter and when your opponent has very little
life. Other times, you are vulnerable to all sorts of retaliations even
if this move hits.

A while ago I decided this move sucks against good players and nearly
stopped using it. But after that I decided to try this moves with more
discretion and now I think this move is a worthy attention to Sarah's
arsenal IF you use it carefully. Remember, whenever you use it, you should
try to connect it as a major counter. One particular case I found where
this move is very useful is: against Kage's b+G+K. Kage's b+K+G, kickflip
"trap" is well known. It's pretty easy to see this move coming and duck
under it. But when I try anything else than blocking or quick throw attempt
I end up getting kickfliped. I found that going for d+G+K to interrupt
Kage's b+G+K, kickflip trap works well.

After you knock your opponent down with this, you can go for either low
pounce or ground kick. Don't go for high pounce. I usually do ground kick
for style point, but because your opponent goes face down, head facing you
(possibly the worst way to get knocked down.) low pounce connects often.
But low pounce is not still 100% reliable especially if you don't buffer
this in.

I heard that in VF Ver 2.1 (A new version that has a very limited
distribution outside Japan. You can try this version if you have Saturn
VF2) Sarah's low sidekick is a knockdown move in minor counter, but then
if you have time to connect this move as a minor counter, why not just
go for something else? From the way it sounds Sarah has gotten a lot
worse in VF2.1 and things got easier for turtlers, sigh.


Downward swipe (d/f+P)
------------------------------------
It's stated that it can stagger crouching defender. But seriously I have
never hit a croucher with this. It's range seem to be atrociously
short. It however recovers even faster than elbow so if you ever stagger
with this you should be able to tag on stagger combo pretty easily.

Oh yeah, it's one of those moves with slow execution and fast recovery.
So it can be used as a trap device, I think. But the problem is that 
many expect you to follow a punch or something else after this move.


Double kick (b+K)
-------------------------------------
It's not as fast as single kick and it's recovery is not so good. For 
most time you will do this only when you miss diagonal for kickflip.
It can sometimes used as a part of floating combo but if float hihg enough
to connect this move , go for something else. You can use it to switch your
stance. Not much else to say.


Dodging Punch (d/b+P)
-------------------------------------
It was reported that this punch can dodge many attacks like kickflips,
and hits a standing defender. 
If you want to use it, always use it to begin a built in punch combo. I 
guess if someone just stand and defend, you can tag on dodging punch+kick 
and pounce him. (Which does more damage than either of Sarah's throw.)
But if he is really skilled he will see this punch coming a mile away 
and duck. Then, of course, you have dodging punch-sidekick combo.


Spinning Heel Kick (hold down,b+K)
------------------------------------
Single spinning heel kick lets you turn away and it's the base for 
Sarah's infamous instant turnaround (more on shunpuri section.)
Hitting K twice (hold down, b+K,K) lets you do the second heel kick
that lets you turn back. The combined damage is 30+20=50 points.
Which is not bad. But since it hits high, punch kick pounce can be
better UNLESS if you can catch your opponent with this as a major
counter. In that case, this kick will float and open the room for
floating combos. A combo that's used quite often is:
  single spinning heel kick, turnaround sweep.

On major counter, sweep can connect rather easily as they fall down.
If it doesn't hit as a counter or gets blocked, well, your opponent
can block sweep. But then sweep is safe when blocked. And this is one
of few high-low sequences Sarah has (i.e Jacky-style hi-low rush.) 
Use it when needs arise. Against the light opponents, you may tag up 
other float combos.


Turnaway backfist (b,b+P)
------------------------------------------------------
This recovers fairly fast and can stagger your opponent. A good
way to turn away.


Turning back hop kick (b,b+K) 
----------------------------------------------------------
This kick will let you turn around. Doing the second kick (b,b+K,K)
will let you do another hop kick to turn back. Both kicks hit high.
It can float and I have connected both kick in b,b+K,K against light 
characters. 

Other than that, not much good thing to say for now.

Quoting Yupasawa:
Very dangerous to use, IMO. Because it is a hopping attack, if you get
interrupted while doing it, the resulting float is one of the highest 
in the game. Very bad if your opponent is on his toes... My friend Tim's 
Pai has connected PPP,PPPSweep on me after interrupting this attack 
with a sidekick.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Special Topic: Shun puri and folowups
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shun puri is Sarah's instant turn around move that's done as:

DOWN, b+K,G

You begin one turn away spinning heel kick, and cancel this
kick with G. Other methods of doing this, without crouching first, are:

b/d,b/d,b+K,G
f/d,f/d,b+K,G
b,d,b/d,b+K,G
b/d,d,b/d,b+K,G

It's primary purpose is to set up for Sarah's turn around sweep.
Sarah's turn around sweep is possibly the best low level special move
in the game. It's fast, recovers fast, does good damage, and floats
opponent on major counter! 

Remember that there are two kinds of turnaround sweeps. down+K and DOWN+K.
Stick with down+K. Let's say you set up a trap for Akira by doing
turnaround sweep (blocked), kickflip. If you do DOWN+K and Akira
goes for dashing palm after blocking your sweep, he will win. But if 
you do down+K, and Akira blocks it, your kickflip will be faster. In 
fact, if he tries anything beside just blocking, he will eat kickflip.

But all good things come with a price. Price for this move is that you 
must have your back toward your opponent. Shun puri is an execellent 
device for this task.

Shunpuri follow ups beside the sweep:

Turn toward backfist (P, or holdown+P)
-------------------------------------------
Both of these moves always cause knock down when they connect. It can
create an impressive floating combo on major counter, but unfortunately
both of them recover VERY slow. I suggest you to always use PP. That way
you eliminate recovery time after backfist, and the second punch is safe
if blocked. In fact, the time commited to PP is shorter than the time 
commited to a single backfist!

Turntoward backfist and sidekick (P,d+K)
---------------------------------------------
Unfortunately Sarah does not have any turn toward moves that hit mid
level. Knowing this, many people would choose to crouch to block your 
sweep and duck under your high moves. 
  Against these types, do her turn around punch-sidekick combo 
(stagger) and follow up. It can wreck havoc against your opponent. Just 
beware of sidekick's limited range. (more about this in combo section.)

Turnining low punch (d+P)
------------------------------
This is a fairly innocuous looking way of turning around. Unfortunately,
it can be reversed low by Akira.

High kick (K)
------------------------------
After you turn around with shun puri, many players try hopping attack 
trying to knock you out of sweep. In this case, just hit K button for 
a high kick. 

Turning around, and just doing sweep and high kick when your opponent
close in can be quite annoying to your opponent!


Single Leg Mule Kick (d/b+K)
-------------------------------
This doesn't really offer much advantage over K since this is also a 
high kick. However, more players will try to block it instead of 
trying to duck under it since it looks like a middle level move. It 
seems it's not reversable by Akira. 


Dashing back toward your opponent
--------------------------------------------------
This is done by:
Hold Guard,b,b,neutral,Release Guard

You can also crouch dash backward by substituting b,b with:

  d,b/d,d,b/d,D

Don't be too predictable on what you do after dashing back toward your
opponent, since most good players will either anticipate a sweep and
block, or try a hopping attack.


Comboing away from your opponent
---------------------------------
I first discovered this in MoaT, and thanks to Yupa for clarifying this
for me. 

After you turn around, you can punch AWAY from your opponent by hitting
G+P. If you do G+P,K, you will punch kick combo away from your opponent.
Likewise, shunpuri, G+P,P,P,K will let you do pppk combo away from your
opponent. Also, it works with d+G+P (low punching away from your 
opponent) and d+G+K (shin slicer away from your opponent.) 

So what's the use for this? I have no idea. May be you can use this to
confuse your opponent. (i.e SHUNpuri sorry for bad attempt at humor.)

d+G+P, however, according to Yupa, can be used to avoid Akira's infamous
SE-Crouch dash-single palm. More on this later.


===========================================================================
PART II

TACTICS AND COMBOS


---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sarah's DEFENSIVE STRATEGIES
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Turtling
------------------------
Some people say that turtling is not an option in VF2. This is not
completely true. What's true is that it's a lot harder to turtle in VF2
than in most other games. What you should do is: crouch and defend, and
when you see mid-level moves coming, stand and block. It takes ten frames
for you to crouch. But you can stand up from crouching position almost
instantly. It's not that difficult to block sidekicks and knees this way
and retaliate. What's difficult is blocking elbow, but it can be done
as well.

This tactic, of course, breaks down if you are against good Jeffry or Wolf
players, as they can simply throw you when you are crouching.


Machi play
--------------------------
Machi, or "Waiting" play, means that you will never intiate an attack.
You will wait for your opponent to initiate an attack and will attack
when your opponent is vulnerable. 

Turtling is definitely one variant of this. I will add two more categories
of machi play. They are stationary and mobile machi. Stationary machi
will put you in a stationary position, and wait for the opponent to get
closer. You either kick him out of his approach, or anticipating an attack 
and making him miss by moving back. Three prime kick moves I use for
stationary machi are :kickflip, snapkick, and axekick.

When you play mobile machi, you will move back and forth, luring the 
opponent to attack you and whiff his move. It's fairly easy to shift
between mobile machi and offensive mode, and can throw your opponent
off his track.

You know the infamous throw cheese against CPU characters? You move back,
and when the CPU opponent closes in, you dash forward and throw. This
technique surprisingly well against some human players, too, albeit a 
lot less reliably. (Your clothesline's built in forward dash and its 
simple joystick command helps here.)



Getting up
------------------------
  There are many ways of going down and getting up. But without doubt the
most common way you can go down is feet-forward-your-opponent-on-your-back.
In this case, handspring (tap up) and rolling away (tap back) should be 
two most prepared method of getting up. These two methods of getting up 
offers you the greatest possibility of avoiding pounce. One obvious problem 
with kip up method of getting up is that you cannot perform a rising attack. 
So you are forfeiting (for most cases) your chance of punishing your 
opponent for missed pounce. Rolling back often put you close to the edge of
the ring.

  Rolling is preferred, however, when you are pushed toward the edge of
the ring. Rolling allows your to realign axis so you can avoid ring out.

   About rising attack: When in doubt, don't. If you want to use a rising
attack against an opponent who is not going for pounce, stick with those
that are safe. His handspring rising kick (executed by hitting K after
going down head toward the opponent, on back) is a quite dangerous move
to use. You can get easily thrown or retaliated if this move is
blocked. Also, if you are lying perpendicular to your opponent, your
rising attack won't hit, so don't use a rising attack. Another rising
attack that's worth mentioning would be her sliding tackle (do d+K
when you go face down, head away from your opponent.) This has longer 
reach than her other rising sweeps, but it's recovery is not so good.
   You should go for rolling then rising attacks, however, when your
opponent is going for pounce. Some pounces like Jeff's bodysplash allows
you time to nail him after getting up normally. But against most other
pounces, rising attack is the only reliable way of punishing missed
pounce. Also most ground attacks have bad recovery time, thus are
often vulnerable to rising attacks if they miss.
   If you connect a rising attack, go for pounce.

Quoting Yupasawa:
The head up and away from opponent rising sweep (in place), along with 
all the twist away (tapping G) rising sweeps are uncounterable. They can 
be used to set up a kickflip trap--the kickflip will always interrupt a 
counter sidekick, but loses to counter punches. Akira's will usually SgPm 
after blocking a rising sweep. The SgPm will interrupt a kickflip, but if 
Sarah blocks, she can counter it with a PK-pounce.


Crouch dashing
--------------------------------

Crouch dashing became a popular subject after #4 Akira from Taiwan 
demonstrated how effective it can be. The orthodox way of performing
crouch dash is:

 f/d,F/D(hold at F/D)
 b/d,B/D (hold at B/D)

Variants:
 f/d,d,F/D
 d/b,d,D/B
 d,f/d,d,f/d,D
 d,d/b,d,d/b,D

The amount of crouch dash can be controlled with G-button. It can be
a dangerous tactic to use if you are not careful, since you can get
easily staggered during crouch dash. So for Non-Akiras, crouch dash
is primary a defensive manuever as it would allow you to duck under
high moves and open throw opportunities as you retreat.

It is also a good device to set up for shun puri.
For Sarah, crouch dash backward, shun-puri, sweep can be a good
defensively-offensive manuever. One offensive use of crouch dash is 
crouch dash forward, G+P throw (Remember that you can execute G+P throw
from crouched position?)



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Oki Zeme
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Oki Zeme is the art of attacking downed opponents as they rise up.

Two primary Oki Zeme moves are Sarah's hopping roundhouse and clothes 
line. The former attacks people rising with a sweep. The latter attacks
everyone else, although it's a lot tougher to attack people who do not 
get up with a rising attack. Other two moves that I have used with success 
are lowsidekick and axekick. The latter works against a sweeping opponent 
if you position yourself perfectly. (Remember that axekick can dodge
a low level move?) 

Just remember that many rising attacks are safe if blocked. So make them
miss or interrupt their attacks. Jacky's rising sweep, kickflip is
a well known trap.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
COMBOS. . . COMBOS. . .
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Combo is a crucial part of Sarah's strategies, and great equalizer against
other heavy hitters. Did Akira just SPoD you to take 70% of energy in 
blink of an eye? Big deal, you can do the same thing, but you need to combo. 
The easiest and the most used combo, without doubt, is a-move-that-knocks-
down+pounce. A low pounce connects so often that it's not even funny, and 
many people complain that Sarah/Jacky is cheap because their pounces. So 
is it cheap? Well, it's cheap if you take the classical definition of 
cheapness: something that's easy to do and difficult to counter. Against 
low level competitions, or in a very friendly match, sometimes I forfeit 
pounces. But I don't think it's cheap in the sense that it's unbalancing. 
(i.e Ukyo in SS2) Even characters like Lion has moves that guarrantees 
high pounce afterward. And Sarah lacks versatility and sheer power found 
in some other characters.

Here, I would like to distinguish between "combo" and "sequence." Many
"combos" can be broken by one way or another. However, assuming the first
move connects, you cannot break combos by blocking. For example, you can
break Akira's reverse bodycheck-sidekick-dashing elbow combo by doing 
backsweep after sidekick. But you cannot break this combo blocking. 
In contrast, things like Sarah's lowkick-spinning heel kick-sweep are
"sequences." Even if the low kick hits, you can block the succeeding kick
and sweep.

Basically, beside pounce "combo" there are three types of combos in VF2.
They are built-in combo, stagger combo, and float (juggle) combo.

There is another type of combo that I would like to call setup combo.
Some examples are Akira's break stance combos and Pai's stumble throw
of doom. (stumble throw, P (miss) P (miss) PK (punch and crescent)) But 
I can't think of any Sarah combo that falls into this last category.

Of course, many of the combos are hybrid combos that mix stagger, float, 
and built in combos. I am classifying Sarah's combos with the moves that 
initiate each combo.

Built In Combos: (AKA hardwired combos)
-----------------------------------------
These combos are chains of moves that are programmed into the game. When
you do ppp, each punch has execution time, but no recovery time (except for 
the last punch). Since each punch creates longer hit stun than the 
succeeding punch's execution time, all the three punches in ppp will hit 
if the first punch hits. (Assuming that your opponent is not airborne.) 
Not all the built in sequences are unbrekable like this, however. 

The built-in sequences that are unbreakable:
  p,k
  p,d+k (punch, sidekick combo)
  pp
  ppp
  ppp,b/u+k (Three punches and kickflip)
  d+K,K (snapkick-sidekick)
  d,b+K,K (two spinning heel kicks)
  F+p,k (elbow knee combo)

  punch-kick and elbow-knee combo almost always guarrantees a low pounce.

Stagger Combos:
-------------------
There are certain moves that causes stagger, creating opening that you
can exploit by following up other moves. The moves that can stagger are:

  Move         Condition                Stagger amount(If struggle)
  ---------------------------------------------------------------------
  elbow        Opponent is crouching,            41(35)
               not a counter

  sidekick     ditto                             ditto

  punch-side   ditto                             ditto
  kick combo

  turn away    Opponent is standing,             29
  backfist     not a counter

  downward     ditto                             ditto
  swipe



Note: Remember that sidekick recovers very slow (38 frames) It's difficult
to follow up anything after sidekick. Punch sidekick combo, on the other
hand, is a different story.

  Note that turning backfist staggers. So b,b+P,d+K works nicely as a 
stagger combo if b,b+P staggers. Also, since turning toward backfist causes
knockdown, b,b+P,P,P,K works as stagger-float combo.


So let's summarize most often used stagger combos:
  elbow, knee, float combo
  elbow, G-cancel, lunging knee, pounce
  elbow, G-cancel, triple kick, pounce (not recommended against lights)
  elbow, G-cancel, kickflip
  elbow, elbow-knee
  elbow, d+KK
  elbow, PK
  elbow, PPPKickflip
  punch-sidekick, kickflip
  punch-sidekick, snap-sidekick,pounce
  turnaway BF, turntoward BF,down+K(sidekick stagger),
    snap-sidekick, pounce 

The first combo is very, very important, as knee after elbow can float 
extra high, enabling you many float combos that normally doesn't work.
(Such as connecting knee,snapkick-sidekick against Akira. You can even
float combo Wolf this way!)

The last combo deserves some elbaroation. This combo does wonders against
good players who expect a turn around sweep coming, and does great damage.
(Thanks to CHIA Jin Ngee for his pointer.)
You can of course use other means to turn around then use turning BF+
sidekick combo. But I find the first BF kinda telegraphs, tricking the 
opponent to crouch, and the second BF's animation blends with the first BF
so it doesn't look so obvious. Mixing it up with turnaway BF, sweep, can
really throw off your opponent, and both punch-sidekick and sweep are safe 
if blocked.

I shall call this combo Don't Hate Me Because I am Beautiful Combo ;)
The greatest pitfall, though, is that it seems the opponent can struggle 
out if the sidekick connects in the first frame of its coverage phase.
If you can connect kickflip after punch-sidekick stagger, go for it. 
Kickflip is impossible to escape if your opponent is in range.

Float Combos:
------------------
In many occasions, you can follow more strikes after knocking down your
opponent while he is still airborne.
Moves with float potential (for most cases, these moves must interrupt.)
  a single kick
  axekick
  hopping roundhouse
  spinning heel kick
  turn around sweep
  turn around hop kick
  turn toward backfist

And, a move that can float almost anytime anywhere if it hits:
  knee (or elbow-knee combo)

Knee may not float much if it hits a croucher. elbow knee partially
fixes this problem.

  Against non heavies, you should almost always go for a float combo 
after knee or elbow knee connects. The difficulty is in deciding which move
to execute. It depends on stance, your opponent's weight, and other 
circumstance.
  Let's examine the issue of stance. When you knock down an opponent 
with knee, examine them as they go down. They stick up their front leg 
high and rear leg low as they go down. So you have better chance of
scoring float combo if you aim at their front leg instead of the rear leg.
  Stance doesn't matter much if you float your opponent really 
high. But otherwise it becomes important. You need to hit that front
leg which your opponent graciously sticks up high for you!
  In open stance, your front leg is aligned with your opponent's
front leg. So use a move that uses a front leg. In closed stance, your
rear leg is aligned with your opponent's front leg. So use a move that 
uses a rear leg if you are in closed stance.
  Remember that kickflip uses your front leg. And snap kick uses your rear
leg. Since knee switches your stance, go for knee(or elbow-knee) kickflip 
combo if you are in closed stance, and go for knee(or elbow-knee) snapkick 
pounce combo if you are in open stance. If you are against light characters 
and, and you are initially in open stance (remember, knee changes your 
stance to closed stance), go for knee(or elbow-knee) snap-sidekick and 
pounce. Stance is also critical when you want to connect pppk after knee.

Combos like elbow-knee and elbow-knee is possible against Sarah and Pai.
major counter knee, knee is also possible against non heavies. If it was
a perfect world for Sarahs, we would be able to combo again after second
knee. But VF2 programmers were smarter than that, and programmed it so
the second knee send the opponent in a lot more shallow angle, so it's
difficult to connect anything beside pounce after second knee. Against
Pai or Sarah, Pakorn Pongpaet reported it's possible to follow up kickflip 
or other moves after knee, knee, at least on Saturn. But we are yet to 
confirm these combos on arcade machine.

Note, it IS possible to float-combo heavies, but you need to connect knee 
as a major counter. Or at least connect knee after stagger. If you do, 
don't hesistate to float combo. I can attest that I have connected many 
elbow-knee kickflip or elbow-knee snapkick combos against Wolf.

Against other moves that float, well, again you need to consider your 
stance and decide which move to use. 

So let's summarize float combos: This list by itself won't be TOO helpful
if you don't know conditions, and some combos are clearly more effective
than others. Anyway it should aid you in your quest to discover Sarah's 
full potential. I strongly suggest you to check out Pek's Sarah Floating 
Combo FAQ for more extensive research into this subject.

knee, kickflip
knee, snap-sidekick, pounce
knee, elbow-knee,kickflip
knee, elbow-knee,pounce
knee, lunging-knee, pounce
knee, pppk
knee, low-punch, pounce
knee, low-punch, rising-knee, pounce
knee, low-punch,shunpuri, sweep
knee, triple kick, pounce
hopping roundhouse,kickflip
hopping roundhouse, snap-sidekick
turning around sweep,kickflip
turning around sweep,snap-sidekick, pounce
turning around sweep, elbow-knee, pounce
kick-punch,snapkick,sidekick,pounce
Kick-punch,elbow-knee,pounce
kick-punch,kickflip
axekick,kickflip
axekick,snap-sidekick, pounce

For the combos which I didn't elbarate in detail, just keep the stances in
mind.
 One combo that needs elaboration is Knee, triplekick combo.
 Try this combo in closed stance (since triplekick has better range in
open stance.) If you just do f+K,f/d+KKK, you will get a ground kick or
even double knee.
To avoid this, after f+K, move joystick to f/d and HOLD it there for a 
while, and as you recover from knee, hit K button.


G-cancel (Guard Cancel)
-------------------------------------------------
You can use guard button to cancel a sequence that's in progress. For
example, if you push P, P, K, you will get, of course, a PPK sequence.
But let's say you want to two punches and knee. If you just do 
P,P, f+K, fast, you may get PPK combo instead. Pushing 
G button after two punches, i.e P, P, G, f+K lets you do two punches
and a knee without a problem.

So G-cancel is technique of using G-cancel to stop built in combos so
you can vary your moves more.

Another good example of G-cancel is elbow stagger, G-cancel, kickflip
combo. If you just do elbow,kickflip, you are likely to get some
unnecessary delays because of lingering knee combo pontential.
G-cancel simply stops elbow(knee) combo and leaves you free to follow
elbow with whatver kick moves.

There is another valid definition of G-cancel, however. You can use
Guard button to stop a kick or dashes. (Refer to senbon punch
and shun puri section.) You can cancel most of kicks that leave one leg 
on the ground and do not involve spinning motion. Stopping dashes in 
middle of them using G button allows you more precise distance control.


Combos to use after blocking a move (retaliation combos)
-----------------------------------------------------------

Remember, attacking your opponent after blocking "unsafe" move is
a crucial part of Sarah's strategy. Here it's assumed that you block
your opponent moves. Some moves, such as Lau and Pai's crescent kicks
are safe when blocked, but leaves them wide open when missed.

Level 0 recovery moves: (Safe moves)
 Either make them whiff, interrupt, or try to guess your opponent's next
 move.

Level 1 Recovery moves:
 Quick recovery moves
 punch-kick, pounce (13+30+30 or 13+30+23)
 3 punches and kickflip (13+10+10+30)

Level 2 Recovery moves:
 kickflip and pounce (63+30(23))   *High pounce may connect
 triplekick and pounce (24+30(23))  recommended against heavies
 elbow-knee and combo               against non-heavies

Level 3 recovery moves:
(Very slow recovery moves)
 Any of the above
 Knee




----------------------------------------------------------------------------
TRAPS (AMBUSH)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Also known as "sucker move". This is a fine art of psychological play to
break your opponent's defense and create a major counter.

Your opponent will try their darnest to find an opening in your lightening
fast wave of attacks.

Sarah's speed allows you to feint an opening by doing some moves that seems
to leave you vulnerable. Your opponent will let their defense button go, to
try to attack thinking they have an opening, but only to walk into your
ambush. Good moves to set up ambushes are the ones that are slow in 
execution but fast in recovery. Complete ambush with quick, powerful 
moves.

Some common moves to set up an ambush:

  Hopping roundhouse
  Tornado kick (risky)
  3 punches
  single high kick
  Turning attacks (b,b+k or b,b+p)
  elbow
  low kick
  single or double spinning heel kick (DOWN, back+k)
  Just run into the throw range and linger there for a fraction of second.
  Safe rising sweeps
  punch-sidekick combo 

Some common moves to complete ambush:
  Kickflip
  delayed knee combo after elbow
  snapkick+sidekick combo
  punch kick combo
  3 punches and kickflip combo


FAKING OUT:
-------------------------

The most common move is PKG. Unlike senbon punch, you let your opponent
see the kick coming, then RETRACT it with guard. Many will inevitably
either stand and try to block, or try to duck under your kick. Good
follow up is a clothesline, which will throw a stander and will stagger
croucher.

Quoting Yupasawa:
I oscillate between punch-sidekick (P-SK) and PKG-throw. If I'm confident
that my opponent will be a standing defender if he blocks a punch, I use 
the suplex. It does more damage than the clothesline. If I'm fighting 
someone who has conditioned himself to crouch defend or low punch (d+P+G) 
when he sees a punch, I use the P-SK more. Note that no4, Lan Bui and 
maybe a couple of Lion players are the only opponents that I've fought 
who've ever done this consistently. If I'm less confident of what my 
opponent's state will be after they see a punch, I use PKG,[f],f,f+P, and 
I'm back to the basic elbow/clothesline pattern as before, but now I'm 
much more confident that I won't whiff the elbow, because the senbon 
moves you closer by itself.

===========================================================================
PART III.

FIGHTING SPECIFIC CHARACTERS

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOW DO I FIGHT THIS DUDE/DUDETTE?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Akira
--------------
"Akira, your waiter."          --The Simpsons

Level 0 Moves:
  Sidekick
  Dashing elbow
  Power uppercut (Yoho)
Level 1 Moves:
  Single palm (Safe in close range)
  Knee
Level 2 Moves:
  Double Palm
  Single kick
  Turn around sweep (elbow combo or kickflip)
Level 3 Moves:
  Bodycheck
  Double Kick

Sarah's Moves which Akira can reverse:
  High
   High punch
   High kick
   Snap Kick
   Axe Kick
   Turn toward backfist
   Turn toward kick
  Middle
   Elbow 
   Sidekick
  Low
   Low kick
   Low punch
   Low turning punch
   Low sidekick (shin slicer)

Tactical analysys against Akira's moves:
  Okay, there are lots of guessing games going on when you fight a good
  Akira.

  If you get caught by Akira's f+G+P: You should be able to block
  anything Akira follows up with by just holding block. But some Akiras
  will try another throw after this.

  If you get caught by surprise exchange: Running will let you avoid
  double kick, bodycheck, knee, and uppercut Akira throws at you after 
  surprise exchange. There is no escape from Akira's double palm and 
  super dashing elbow if he buffers the motion. If he didn't buffer 
  the motion, turning punch has a potential to interrupt his double palm
  and super dashing elbow. It works well sometimes since many
  Akira grow lazy with their double palm, thinking they are invulnerable
  doing double palm. But then you are gambling with a high risk here.
    Some Akiras, when they expect you to run, RUNS after you, ready to
  hit you as soon as you stop running. There is no clear cut way to 
  escape Akira in this case but I will try a turning punch. 

  If you get caught by reverse bodycheck or 2/3 SPoD, you basically
  have to play a guessing game. 
  Akira tries: Ticketed and towed combo (reverse bodycheck, 
  sidekick, dashing elbow)
  You: sweep. You will interrupt his elbow and he is dead.
  Akira tries: bodycheck
  You: dash forward and when his bodycheck whiffs, sweep.
  Akira: waits after sidekick to make your sweep miss
  You: run away
  Akira: tries hopping kick after sidekick
  You: turnaround high kick, combo and he is dead.


Against Akiras who dashing-elbow all day:
  These are in fact easy meat. After blocking one elbow, punch kick and
  pounce. elbow-knee and combo, or kickflip and pounce.

Against Akiras who are always on your face and mixes up reversals:
  One of the most annoying thing is those Akiras who elbow-low reverse-
  elbow-low reverse. . . You can't elbow-knee out these people. Your chance
  lies in knee and sidekicks. But then he may try something else. Your best
  counter against these types is to play distance game so you can clothes-
  line them away after missed elbows.

Against Akiras who try to play a distance game with you:
  One word: Clothesline
  For some examples of this type of play against Akira, check out Juri's
  movie from Helsinki tourney at Lars Sorensen's VF home page. If he 
  knows what he is doing, he wants to get onto your face and bog you down 
  at punch range. He has a vast advantage at a very close range where his 
  missed low and midlevel reversal can hit you as a low punch. Don't make
  him do this, keep him away!

Against Akiras who plays "machi" or mobile "machi".
  Mobile machi Akiras move back and forth and lure you to make your
  move. When they see you trying to get close to throw, they will launch
  dashing elbow. If they are not good at what they are doing, it will
  be missed elbow-clothesline fest. If they really know what they are
  doing, your throw attempts will result in major counter dashing elbow
  float+combo. Be patient when you fight these types. Against these types,
  playing machi yourself can be a solution.  

Playing stationary Machi against good Akiras:
  One of the problems against playing machi against a real good Akira is
  that he can reverse high most of your useful attacks. I had a fair 
  amount of success against AKiras by snapkicking and axekicking them
  whenever they entered kicking range. But then eventually they began to
  reverse. Knee is not a good move to use for this purpose, and missing
  your lunging knee and kickflip can be devastating against a good Akira.
  If you can outplay guessing game (i.e. kick when he is actually 
  trying to attack. kickflip when he is trying to reverse, etc.) go for
  it, but if it doesn't work out, go back to distance play.

Against Akiras who crouch dashes to control distance and really knows what
he is doing:
  Okay, currently #4 Taiwanese Akira and Lan Bui falls into this category.
  This can be a tough fight if he really has good reflexes, and #4's 
  ability to take 80-90% of life bar with one throw definitely doesn't
  help. It's tough, no doubt, but is not impossible, as err is human and 
  everyone makes mistakes. I actually beat #4 once 3-2 during warm up day. 
  (After God knows how many losses. . . One round ended as ring out when 
  he missed his pounce and I kicked him out of the ring with d+K,K) He
  was clearly better than me and there is no way I can reproduce this
  accomplishment on any regular basis. But the principle stands: study
  your opponent, and when your opponent makes a mistake, make him pay.
  AND constantly vary your tactics!

Special Topic: Some more tidbits about #4:
  It is reported that Akira's surprise exchange and crouch dash+palm
  can be avoided if you just down+G+P. Also it's speculated that
  be able to trip him if she dash forward (no need to crouch dash) and 
  sweep. I haven't
    tried neither since I was unaware of them. But then you are still in
  trouble if he decides to try deep bodycheck instead. You should be able
  to run away from this, however. But if you try to run away and he does
  crouch dash+palm, you receive mega damage and he can connect dashing
  elbow after palm. So again, it becomes a guessing game.
    There was also a discussion about making bodycheck miss with stance.
  I did confirm myself that bodycheck from behind, at close range, does 
  not connect at all if Akira and his opponent is in open stance. So 
  theoretically, Akira's surprise exchange and deep bodycheck will miss 
  if you can quickly change your stance. This does not concern Sarah much
  since she can run away, unless, of course, you are cornered and have no 
  where to run.

Traps to watch out for:
    Dashing elbow, bodycheck

  This trap needs some elaboration. Not many Akiras use this combo, except 
  in my school where this combo kills good players on regular basis. I don't 
  know the detail but Joji's Akira FAQ states bodycheck comes out faster if
  it's buffered during elbow. Basically, it kills anyone who tries to elbow
  or kickflip after blocking dashing elbow. Punch kick and magic throw bug
  (throwing when bodycheck is in execution) should stop this, right? In
  fact, no one in CMU, as far as I know, was able to interrupt the buffered
  bodycheck with throw. Strange but true. 


Jacky
---------------------------------------
Level 0 Moves:
    All the backfists
    Axekick (b+K)
Level 1 Moves:
    Knee
    Bitch slap (P+K)
    Elbow-heel kick combo (f+P,K)
    Punt Kick (f,f+K)
Level 2 Moves:
    Punch-sweep combo, backfist-sweep combo
Level 3 Moves:
    Low sidekick (shin slicer.)
    Spinning midlevel kick (b,f+K+G)
    Crescent kick-sweep combo

*Some* of the traps to watch out for:
        low backfist, kickflip
        low backfist, whatever
        kick, delayed heel kick
        elbow, delayed heel kick
        high backfist, delayed low backfist
        high backfist, spinning mid kick
        rising sweep, kickflip


Case Study: Jacky's newbie elbow combo rush
  It's distrubing to see a Jacky newbie winning a match by just doing
  punch-punch-elbow until ring out. Just block an elbow and punch kick.

For every one else:
When I block (or get hit by) Jacky's low sidekick, I usually go for
snap-sidekick since triple kick rarely ever connects.
Beware that his turnaround sweep is safe when blocked. All other 
sweeps (beside rising sweeps) leave him vulnerable when blocked.

After beating an Akira in Toronto tourney, I was beaten to pulp by
Sitson Lee's Jacky. What can I say? Jacky is master of traps and ambushes.
My strategy centers around punishing whiffped attacks with clothesline.
It works well against even the best Akiras. But when I tried this against
Sitson's Jacky, his delayed combos and traps got me again and again.
This completely frustrated me and put me into brainlock, and made me 
goof up a few blatantly obvious retaliation opportunities.
    Mason told me this. "I never had fought really good Jackys before. 
So when I was fighting a Jacky, I kept thinking, 'There is my chance. 
. . no, it may be a trap! There is my chance. . . no, it may be a trap!"
I couldn't agree with him more. 
    So the best advice I can give you is: be patient. Look out when he 
goes for low backfist and elbow. Those two are very common Jacky traps. 
All Jacky needs to tilt the tide of round is one major counter kickflip 
and pounce. But, well, his kickflip and pounce can be devastating, but 
so are yours! Make him pay when he whiffs moves that are not traps! 
(Such as his sweeps combos.) His high backfist and spinning mid kick 
is another of his many traps. But if you block his spinning mid kick, 
he is a toast!

CHIA Jin Ngee wrote:
   Stay the hell away from Jacky. Play extremely machi. Not blocking but
   staying away from him.  You need tons of ring space to fight Jacky. Make
   him miss everything he bring up. Tempt him come close and catch him in 
   the midst of his moves. He is not really the distance fighter he is and 
   is second to Lau in closing in.

Quoting Yupasawa:
   Most Jacky's rely heavily on mixing up low backfists and elbows--try to 
   stay just out of range of both and punish whiffed attacks. Remember that 
   his elbow *is* counterable with a PK. Capitalize on elbow stagger combos 
   after blocking a combo that ends in a sweep. i.e. elbow (stagger)-punt 
   kick-side kick or elbow(stagger)-PPPKickflip are good. *Always* low 
   punch after blocking a low backfist--it interrupts any followup that 
   Jacky could attempt, including sweeps and kickflips. Pay very close 
   attention to his PPP vs. his PPE combos. The PPP recovers incredibly 
   fast, opening you up for a kickflip interrupt if you block it and try 
   to counter with a slower attack. The PPE can be followed by a delayed 
   heel kick combo that is also very nasty. Be wary of attacking twisting 
   rising sweeps (tapping G to get up) Their recovery is very quick, 
   just like Sarah's, so a kickflip trap is very easy to fall into. 
      If you're fighting an aggressive Jacky that likes to use that
   tactic, stand and block the kickflip, and punish him with a punt-side 
   kick. Remember that you can counter the elbow with a PK. 



Sarah
---------------------------------------
Level 0 Moves:
        turn around sweep
        axekick
        hopping round house
        punch-sidekick combo
Level 1 Moves:
        elbow
        snapkick
        elbow-knee
        knee
Level 2 Moves:
        Snapkick+sidekick combo
Level 3 Moves:
        Sidekick


Traps to watch out for:
        Turn toward backfist, sidekick stagger combo
        elbow, delayed knee
        delayed triple kick
        turnaround sweep, kickflip

Going against another good Sarah can be an INTENSE experience, as
differences in one or two frames can decide who gets clotheslined or
comboed.
  Her sheer moving speed, range of clothesline, and devastating combo
potential spells a tough match for both "machi" and offensive players.
  If at all possible, make her whiff her moves or at least get blocked.
When I say blocked, just standing there and defending obviously is not
the way. You should try to out-play her distance game. I in fact have
greatest trouble against the players who are skilled enough to make me
pay when I whiff my moves. This problem can be partly solved by using
"machi" type play. 

Against Sarah who always punch in G+P after elbow-knee combo, I 
sometimes kickflip after blocking elbow-knee when I feel extra 
adventurous. Don't push your luck by repeatedly kickflipping after 
blocking  elbow-knee, though. 

Quoting Yupasawa:
PK-pounce is the preferred counter after blocking an elbow-knee, IMHO. 
Sarah can't counter a blocked EK with another EK. I cringe everytime I
see an exchange of 2 blocked EK combos like that, even though I'm 
guilty of doing it myself... I think this is important enough to make 
mention of it in the FAQ, because blocked EK comboes are one of the few 
openings good Sarah players will give you. You must capitalize on them.


Lion
------------------------------------------
Level 0 Moves:
  Sidekick
  elbow
  lunging fist
  singe low kick (d+K)
  single hop kick (u+K) and double jop kick (u+K,K)
  various poking attacks
  All turn away moves
  Turn toward sweep
Level 1 Moves:
  Knee
Levle 2 Moves:
  Swing arm (u+P)
  spin forward mid kick (f,f+G+K)
Level 3 Moves:
  sweep (d+G+K)
  spin forward sweep (f/d+G+K)
  double low kicks(d+K,K) (Don't retaliate with knee or elbow knee!)
  hand stand double kick (d,d+K)

Traps to watch out for:
        single low kick, delayed spin kick
        single low kick, delayed low kick
        u+K (missed) delayed combo
        

Against Scrub Lions:
    If you don't know how to beat a Lion who does d+K,K like mad, then
  I suggest you to check out beginner's FAQ first before reading this. 

If you get thrown by his frontal piggyback throw, kip up kip up kip up!
Watch out when he knocks you down perpendicular to him and runs you
over using his lunging fist. Don't use a rising attack in this case as 
it won't hit. He will have his back toward you, ready to sweep you. 
Just rise and block low.

  Against crouching and non-defending Lion, your elbow will whiff in
either closed or open stance. Against crouching and defending Lion,
Your elbow will connect only in OPEN stance. But seriously, against
a good Lion you will rarely have chance to just walk up to him and
elbow.
  The best Lion I ever run into was BigCat whom I met in the Toronto
tourney. Utilizing Lion's speed, he outplayed my distance game and I
just could not figure out the way to catch him. I feel sorry that his
Lion ended up fighting tough competititors at the beginning and was
knocked out early. He was clearly a much better player than I was.


Quoting Yupasawa:
Good Lion's can be absolutely annoying. If they're
playing a hit and run game, try to lure a missed side kick or peck by
usingG-canceled backward dashes. Most importantly, forget about trying 
to use Sarah's elbow. It very hard to connect, and Lion will just look 
up as Sarah does her elbow-knee combo over his head while he's crouching. 
Instead, concentrate on using hook kicks and the punt kick. 
  It's not that bad an idea to turn Sarah's back to Lion at *long* 
range. Lion's will be tempted to use a lunging attack to get at Sarah
--all of which can be interrupted with Sarah's turn toward backfist 
combos, or you can dash away, just out of range from the lunging attack, 
and then punish him with a sweep and float combo. 
  Against a hit and run Lion, you should pressure him. This type of Lion 
will usally sidekick and then dash back a lot. Counter the sidekick by 
dashing forward yourself. Cut off the ring by moving forward as he tries 
to run away. Force him to use his dodges to regain his mobility.

Lau
------------------------------------------
Level 0 Moves:
  Knifehand (d/F+P)
  Upward Knifehand (D,d/f+P)
  Snapkick (f+K)
  Hopping Cartwheel kick (f/u+K)
  Hopping sidekick (f/u+K+G)
  2 punches and Kick (PPK)
  Crescent Kick (K+G)
Level 1 Moves:
  Sliding tackle (f,d+K)
  Back kick (D,neutral+K)
Level 2 Moves:
  Sweep (d+K+G)
Level 3 Moves:
  Punch Kick combo (P,K)
  3 Punches and Crescent (PPPK)
  3 Punches and Sweep(PPP,d+K)
Traps to watch out for:
        p, delayed kick
        pp, delayed kick
        m-UpKnP, delayed m-UpKn

If you get thrown by Lau's G+P, the best way to escape his double pounce
altogether is to roll forward by tapping away from Lau. But most good
Laus stomp instead, which is nearly impossible to escape.
Learn to block Lau's sliding tackle. It's one of the critical skills you
should acquire when dealing with a good Lau. Don't try hopping round
house as a reversal, it won't work. So what should you do after blocking
his tackle? Elbow. If it staggers, combo.
   When you block his sweep, kickflip.
   If you get knocked down by sliding tackle, kip up kip up kip up!

Case Study: Newbie Punch rush.
   The easist way to nail those newbies who rush in with punches, punches, 
   and punches is to use low sidekick to land them on their face. Shun
   puri and sweep also works very well if you can get their punch whiffed.
   If you are outside their punching range and they close in from there
   with punches, snapkick+sidekick combo works well.

Special Topic: Lau's Infamouse m-UpKn rush. 
   Welcome to Hell. Sarah is in significant disadvantage here. She is light.
   She can't reverse. She cannot dodge to avoid ring out. She doesn't have 
   fast safe long range moves that she can use to keep Lau at bay.
   And one mistake is enough for Lau to float you all the way to the Moon
   using KI style MOOOONSTER COOOOMBOOOOO!!.
    For those who haven't seen m-UpKn rush, it goes like this: UpwardKnife-
   punch-UpwardKnife-punch... If you crouch, you get hit by UpwardKnife. 
   If you stand up and defend, you keep getting pushed back.
     You try to attack and you can get easily interrupted by UpwardKnife. 
   And it's gameover for you. So why can't you time a countermove? You can,
   but easily said than done, as block stuns take away most of the openings. 
     But it must be done. Don't ever try to charge in for throw unless you
   clearly see an opportunity like whiffped elbows. (That's exactly how I
   kept getting killed.)
     Smarter Laus mix up elbow, sidekick, and sliding tackle with rush. 
   All of them can, given right circumstance, can float you and kill you
   anyway. If at all possible, block one of the three moves listed above,
   and go for f,f+P. Even smarter Laus know how to mix up throw and this
   can be a complete nightmere as you can't even defend. And watch out
   for Lau's rushing knife (f/d,f/d+P) Some rushing Laus use this to cover
   distance so he can keep rushing. It's possible to interrupt this
   rushing knife.

Let me quote some other people on this subject:

 Mike Tsui, a Jacky player, wrote:
   One lesson I learn when playing against rushing Laus is not to use big 
   moves. I played against Prof's Lau and lost. I was Mike Tsui (Jacky) 
   vs Prof (Lau) in the middle of the loser bracket. I saw the breaks in 
   the mUpKn in the rush but I kept using knee and sidekicks. Bad 
   mistakes. Eventually, I used the two punches plus elbow (P,P,f+P). I 
   managed to make the later rounds much closer. Sarah players should try 
   to find the break or the recovery part of the mUpKn of a rushing Lau 
   and attack with three punches plus kickfilp (P,P,P,b+K) or two 
   punches plus kick (P,P,K). Then pounce Lau. 

 TAN Wu Meng, a Kage player, wrote:
   Try dashing back and unleashing a fast attack when you see the first 
   UpKnP about to start. For Kage, a fast attack would be d+K+G or 
   b,b+K+G. I try that against good Lau players and I often score major 
   counter with it. For Sarah, maybe you could try a shunpuri and 
   turnaround sweep. However you must get the range right, otherwise you 
   get interrupted and floated all over the ring.
   Alternatively, start the round with PKG (i.e. SP). It takes away even 
   Lau's initiative. So far only Colin and one or two other people in 
   Singapore can maintain 50-50 initiative against a player who opens 
   with SP at start of round.

 Yupasawa wrote:
   Lau also wants to get up close and in your face to keep the pressure
   on. You have two choices here. You can stay at long range and try to 
   peck at Lau, coaxing him to miss attacks, or you can get in close 
   yourself, and beat Lau to the punch with Sarah's quicker attacks. 
   Always look to control the larger part of the ring, so that you have 
   mobility and room for error if you get caught by the UpKn rush or 
   floated. The clothesline takedown is the best way to reverse the ring 
   when you get in trouble. At long range, rely on the hook kick and punt 
   kick to punish premature UpKnP or LgKnP. Don't be afraid to turn your 
   back at long range. The sweep and TT backfist are both very capable of 
   interrupting a LgKn--Lau's most popular reply. Furthermore, floats 
   aren't as severe when you get hit in the back. If you're caught 
   blocking aseries of m-UpKnPs, don't panic. Look for an opening while 
   you crouch and defend. As soon as a punch whiffs over your head, hit 
   P+G (while still holding down) then PK. You will most likely throw Lau 
   with the d+P+G. Do NOT low punch if you just blocked an UpKnP--it's 
   one of the worst things you can do, as it gives Lau an easy interrupt 
   and high float with his next UpKn or DnKn. If you are capable of crouch 
   dashing, attempt to back away and then interrupt Lau with a punt-side 
   kick. Do not use the hook kick in this situation it's slower than the 
   UpKn, giving Lau a better chance to interrupt you. Buffer the crouch 
   dash while holding down defense, (hold G and d, d/b, d, d/b, hold d, 
   release G and continue to hold down on the stick) you'll get the full 
   length crouch dash that way, making it easier to interrupt Lau with a 
   punt. The key is to make him whiff and then interrupt him with a 
   stronger attack or PK.
     You don't get "hit" by the UpKn if you're crouch defending. It only 
   makes you stand up with *no* damage and forces you to block the 
   punch. You don't take damage from repeated m-UpKnP's when you are 
   crouch defending, you just get pushed back. Keep this in mind, it 
   may alleviate some of the pressure you are feeling when you are faced 
   with Lau's rush...
     You supposedly have 1 or 2 frames to sneak in a PK counter after 
   blocking an UpKnP before the next m-UpKn comes out. Very tough timing, 
   and I think Sarah loses anyway if Lau does a DnKnP instead... I've 
   had more success by looking closely for whiffed UpKnP's--you have 
   about 10 frames to react in that case ;)  Sarah actually has time to 
   punt-side kick Lau in this case. 
     I try to always counter Lau's whiffed elbows with a clothesline so 
   that I can control the largest part of the ring as much as possible.


Pai
-------------------------------------------
Level 0 Moves:
   Sidekick
   Crane peck (f/d+P)
   Side snapkick (f+K)
   Crescent Kick (G+K)
   Single scissor kick (f/u+K)
Level 1 Moves:
   Kick (K)
   Sweep (d+K+G)
Level 2 Moves:
Level 3 Moves:
   Punch Kick combo (P,K)
   3 Punches and Crescent (PPPK)
   3 Punches and Sweep(PPP,d+K)
   Double scissor kick (f/u+K,K)

Traps to watch out for:
       p, delayed kick
       pp, delayed kick
       single scissor kick, kick
       ppp, delayed sweep

Every Pai's dream is to connect sidekick float,pppk combo, and Sarah
is light enough that this combo often works. So watch out for it. Use
snap+sidekick when Pai's backward kickflip misses.

Heard of Psycho Pais? The biggest problem with Pai is that her moves 
recover so fast, and her small body size makes her moves difficult to
see. So an agreessive Pai can be a trouble.

So what to do against a Psycho Pai? Keep her at outside punching range, 
and right outside the range of your kickflip. When she closes, kickflip 
daylight out of her. Even if you end up exchanging hits, your major counet 
kickflip and pounce can win over her pecking attacks. When she misses her 
sidekick, clothesline. If Pai grows aware of your kickflip and turn 
defensive, clothesline. If Pai uses low kicks, block one and retaliate.
If you block sidekick, your low punch will stop almost any follow ups.
(Also, rememer, d+G+P can throw her if she decides to block high.)

Pai is so light that some unreal combos like knee, knee, lunging knee
and pounce works against her. But I find it difficult to knee a good Pai
since at that kind of range her fast moves often can interrupt your knee.
But if you do, combo, combo!! Oh yeah, remember you can use other moves
beside knee to float her. (Refer to the combo section.)

If she cartwheels over you, she gains 8 frames of advantage over you.
This is not long enough to guarrantee her anything. You should be able 
to run away from about any cartwheel followup she throws at you.

Beware that Pai's sweep recoves a lot faster than Lau's.

To speak about Pai, let's examine issue of reversal. It's often stated
that you can't see opponent's move and reverse with exception of a few
moves like Lion's dashing punch. You have to predict your opponent's
move's coming. 
  In fact, this is not entirely true. If you concentrate, it's possible
to "see" many moves coming and reverse. What you can't do is that you
can't decide attack level as your opponent attacks you.*
I have tried playing stationary Pai. I stood still, waited the opponent 
to "twitch" and reversed, three times in a row. I also have been nailed 
by other Pais and Akiras who saw me "making a move" and reversed me out 
of my attack. But still, you need to know what move is coming, or at 
least level of the move. For example, Sarah's low kick looks similar to 
her sidekick in its first a few frames, and vice versa. So when I tried 
using Akira to reverse CPU Sarah relying on my reflex, I kept missing 
levels, but I also had successes.
  But in short this approach is not very practical since good opponents
will mix up, and at least in my case, when I am in "waiting for reversal"
mode, I can't think about trying anything else. So I can't reverse like
this when I am busy attacking and defending.
  More common approach for reversal, especially for Akira, is to block-
reverse routine. You will be surprised how many players become predictable
after blocking. Let's say Pai does a sidekick and the opponent blocks. 
The opponent doesn't have zillion moves to return because he knows 
nothing is guarranted after blocking Pai's sidekick. So he is most likely 
rely on a safe midlevel moves. I had a fair amount of success with Pai and 
Akira using crane poke (f/d+P) and dashing elbow (blocked) and midlevel 
reversal.

So the moral is: Don't become predictable after blocking a safe move. It's 
the easist reversal to nail. Don't become predictable when you attack
a Pai or Akira who seems to be ready to reverse. Fake him out if you
have to.

* Note: Actually, I heard from an Akira player in Korea that the best 
Akiras in Korea can reverse based on reflexes. I am not entirely sure if 
he meant that they can determine attack level on reflexes, though. I heard, 
however, that #1 Akira in Taiwan (Possibly the best Akira in the known 
universe) can determine attack levels on reflex. I can see how an Akira 
can determine another Akira's attack level easier than he can do with 
Sarah. His low kick uses rear leg so it should be a lot easier to 
distinguish Akira's low kick from his sidekick.




Kage
-------------------------------------------
"Only a ninja can kill a ninja."  --Ninja 3 
"Yeah, right, just give me a 12 shell shotgun." --My roomie

Level 0 Moves:
    Leaping forward spin kick (b+K+G)
    Slap (d+P+K)
Level 1 Moves:
    Back kick (d+G+K)
    Double slap (d+P+K, P+K)
Levle 2 Moves:
    3 Punches and kick (PPPK)
    Turn toward sweep.
    Rising knee
    Sliding sweep (f,f+K)
Level 3 Moves:
    Roll forward and sweep.
    Catapult kick (f,f+ALL)
    Corkscrew kick (f,f+G+K)
    Sliding tackle (b,b/d,d+K)

Traps to watch out for:
        Slap, rising knee
        b+G+K, kickflip

Good Kage can be Sarah's nemesis. He moves as fast as Sarah, and has
no clear deficiency in his arsenal. NEVER whiff your kicks. A good kage
will make you pay with ten-foot-toss(b+P) followed by a devastating
combo. His strategy is built around ten-foot-toss (b+P) and stagger
comboes.
  If at all possible, stay in open stance. That way it's more difficult
for Kage to connect TFT, and his back kick (d+G+K) no longer hits
crouchers. This measure takes a big chunk out of Kage's power. His
kickflip will have greater range, but so will yours.
  Watch out for his b,b+G+K,d+K double sweep combo. If you block the
second turn around sweep, he is open!
  To stop Kage's long range artillery attacks (f,f+ALL and f,f+G+K)
some people suggests you to stand still, and duck when Kage begins to 
roll. Once you block them you can do practically whatever you want.

Against those insidious Kages who elbow stagger and TFT, Tan Wu Meng
suggests you to do d+G+P,d+G+P to struggle and escape throw.

The #1 Kage in Japan (possibly the #1 Kage in the world) was known to
use senbon punch to close in. TAN Wu Meng sent me these tips to use 
against SPing Kage:

Well, "T.S.", the #1 Kage in Japan closes in with Senbon punches. I 
have also picked up the tactic and it is very scary the defender 
doesn't know xwhat to do --- even good players get into deep trouble 
with the SP. As Lan pointed out the other time, the SP is fast enough to
interrupt nearly EVERYTHING.  If you crouch or do anything after that, 
a sidekick will normally knock you over due to major counter. If you 
stand, you get thrown.                                                  
                           
A good way to fight against SPer, is to crouch-dash backwards when you
expect the SP. Or if your timing is good, crouch-dash forwards and P+G.
Often the d/f,d/f+P+G will throw them, and if the SPer is not familiar 
with this trick, it will freak him/her out. *Psychological warfare* :-)      



Shun
------------------------------
Level 0 Moves:
   Low Spin kick (d/b+K)
   Backpush (d/b+P)
Level 1 Moves:
   Turning punch (b,b+P)
Level 2 Moves:
   Scorpion Kick (d+K+G)
Level 3 Moves:
   Low-High Spin kicks (d/b+K,K) 
   Sweep (DOWN+K+G)
   Sweeps after drinking (d+P+K)

Learn which of his moves hit low and which hit high. Approach with
caution when he goes lying on ground.

When he turns upside down: lunging knee. Never failed for me.

Watch out for his low-high kick (d/b+K,K) The first kick must be blocked
low.

Don't pounce after blocking his fall down kick. You can kickflip after 
blocking his cartwheel.

Watch out when he begins dodging! It's his primary device to set up
for his throw (so he can drink) A good Shun player will mix up
dodge-throw and dodge-strike.

Just don't let him drink too much. 


Jeffry
-------------------------------------
Level 0 Moves:
  Toe kick (d+K)
  HeadButte (f+P+K)
Level 1 Moves:
  Axekick (f,d+K)
  Knee
  Elbow(f+P)
Level 2 Moves:
  Sidekick
  Lunging Headbutt (d/b,f+P+K)
  Toe Kick, Hammer (d+K,P)
Level 3 Moves:
Traps to watch out for:
  missed frontal foot thrust, throw
  dashing elbow-delayed uppercut 
  dashing elbow-upper cut, buffered throw.


When you want to escape Jeff's throw, always go crazy on stick as well as
G+P. Hitting back, back, back while hitting G+P will allow you to escape
Jeff's b+G+P addition to normal G+P. As you escape Jeff's b+G+P, be 
ready to nail him from behind! If you hesistate he can nail you with a 
turn around attack. Addition to his heel slide, his down+P turning hammer 
is very fast and effective.

Kip up to avoid his butt bomb pounce. Roll to avoid his bodysplash pounce.
Make him pay when his bodysplash misses.

Also as you low punch to avoid his throws, you will inevitably end up
interrupting his backbreaker attempt, causing him to stagger with his
back facing you. The worst you can do in this case is to continue low
punching. His turning heel slide or turning hammer will easily knock you
out. Quickly do something like punch kick to knock down staggering Jeff.
Once you begin to punish staggering Jeffs from behind, he will think
twice before doing another frontal backbreaker.

His knee and uppercut are great equalizers against fast chars who try
to overwhelm Jeff with fast strikes. One interrupt and you are now
floating sky high to eat some major float combo. Just make sure to punish
him when you block his knee.

I met Mason Wood and other extremely good Jeff players in MoaT. Mason,
in particular, used a very mobile Jeff. He fully utilized Jeff's longer
throw range to beat me to throws. And when I went button spazzy he
floated me. I miss a move and he uses frontal backbreaker. It's in fact
a very effetive tactic. He backs up, sees a move missing, and forward
dashes and hits ALL, completing b,f,f+ALL motion which results in
backbreaker. I found no effective way to beat him since his throws and
floats can easily overpower peckers. (And if you don't peck around, you
get thrown.) Emergence of mobile, floating, running-throwing, Jeffs 
spells a new challenge for Sarah players, for sure.

Quoting Yupasawa:
Dominate Jeffry with Sarah's quick PPP and elbow attacks. You can
interrupt almost all of his attacks with Sarah's superior punching 
speed. Forget about float combos--go for the guaranteed high pounce after 
a knee or sweep knock down. Consider using the triple kick--just remember 
to start it at very close range. Senbon punch-triple kick is surprisingly 
effective. Against tentative Jeff's that look to throw more than combo, 
beat them to the throw. Sarah's quick dashing speed makes her throw range 
almost equivalent to the big guy's. Against agressive Jeff's, who high 
punch, low punch and low kick a lot, stay mobile and at longer ranges. 
Use Sarah's low kick for harassment and the punt kick for punishment of 
missed attacks. 
  Beware of the dashing elbow--it's a great uncounterable mid-range 
attack that can be followed with a nasty array of G-canceled combos. At 
the very least, Jeffry's will usually just attack with a delayed uppercut, 
the built in combo. At worst, he'll buffer in a XPD. 


Wolf
-------------------------------------
Level 0 Moves:
   Three punches
   Elbow drop (b+P+K)
Level 1 Moves:
   Knee
   Body blow (f+P)
Level 2 Moves:
   Shoulder Ram (b,f+P)
Level 3 Moves:
   Upward slap (D,f+P)
   Sliding tackle (f,d+K)

Traps to watch out for:
        low punch, upward slap
        balletkick, whatever

Okay, he can reverse sidekick. But since you should be sidekicking only
during his recovery phase, it shouldn't matter, right? It was confirmed
that Wolf can reverse Sarah's one legged long-jump dropkick.
  If you duck under his clothesline, tap on Guard button to align
yourself. If you are quick you can stop his turnaround strike attempt,
but you must align yourself first with Guard button.
  Wolf is slightly lighter than Jeff, and in fact, I have
connected knee, snap-sidekick combo a lot more frequently agaist Wolf
than I did against Jeff.
  He has many aerial moves that causes him to end up lying. Go for pounce
if his aerial moves completely miss. Wolf in fact has a rich arsenal of
long range moves including shoulder ram, clothesline, flying drop kick,
etc. None of them are that hard to stop as long as you watch out for
them. Balletkick, however, is safe when blocked and often used as a
sucker move.

Those who stand and wait for you to come is an easy meat. Those who
crouch and turtle can be a pain. Set up traps if you can. 
  His Twirl and Hurl is utterly devasting. Weakness of this throw is 
that it's not easy to use it from distance unlike Jeff's crucifix and 
backbreaker. Since f,f,b, halfCircle,f+P is such a cumbersome move and 
is prone to get interrupted by other fast throws, most Wolfs cannot use 
it as a dash in-throw technique as Jeff does with his throws, unless you 
stand still like an idiot (as I often do) or offers him a really wide 
opening. Even Bun Bun Maru seemed to rely on low-punch in close range 
to set up for T&H. So be extra careful when the fight comes down to close 
range.
  Keeping that in mind may help you to avoid giving T&H opportunity to
Wolf.
  Refrain from using low sidekick against a good Jeff or
Wolf players. They can either low throw you or sidekick+pounce even
if the kick hits.
  Remember Jeff and Wolf get hardly pushed by your kicks and kickflips, 
leaving you vulnerable to throws. We have a Wolf player in our school 
who does f/d,f/d+P+K throw whenever he blocks a kickflip.
  Also, if you see him going for many low punches, BACK OFF!! He is
trying to throw you, that's what he is doing. Same thing is true when 
you fight Jeffs.

  When timer and life goes down, don't ignore Wolf and Jeff's low kick.
They take significant damage (17 points.)


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Playing against CPU
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

CPU controlled opponents have built in patterns which you can exploit.
This makes playing against CPU pretty dull. But it also shows the game's
depth: If you get predictable, you die.

One thing you can do to make a game against CPU more interesting is to
forget patterns and pretend that you are fighting a human player. it's
easier to pretend like that in Expert Mode since they learn rather quickly
and are less predictable. But then you may be a beginner trying out, or
you might be having a bad day. So we will include anti-CPU tactics here.

Another thing you can try is to go for higher ranking by trying more styles. 
The way to get 1st grade with Sarah in ranking mode is also provided in 
this section, thanks to Peaking Duck.


Beating CPU characters
---------------------------------
(Contributed by Juri Munkki)

Lau/Sarah/Shun: (normal & expert)
             Start with a tornado kick and a pounce (short pounce more
             reliable)
           <From Yupasawa:  I've been playing with u/f+K, d+K,K and pounce 
           recently. You can even add a PG to the punt-sidekick float 
           against Sarah.>
           <Editor's note: Experiment with various turn around sweep combos.
            It's quite easy to score major counter, especially against Lau.>
Lau: (expert)
             Elbow+Knee+defend will push Lau back until RO.

Pai: (normal)
             Start with axe kick of flipkick and pounce twice.
Pai: (expert)
             Elbow+Knee+defend will push Pai back until RO.

Lion: (normal)
             Back away and throw
          <From Yupasawa: Start with a triple kick or punt-side kick.
           You can struggle out of the side kick(stagger)-u+P combo that 
           CPU Lion uses all the time by circling the stick. I elbow-knee 
           and then block low. If he side kicks I struggle out of the 
           combo. If he sweeps, EK-kickflip is a good counter.

Lion: (expert)
             Elbow, knee, low defense is pretty safe and you can use a
             retaliatory move after Lion sweeps. This might be something
             that Lion learns to counter after a while, but it's
             important to know that the normal elbow+knee+defense (or
             throw) is a bad idea, because Lion tends to return with a 
             low attack when you attack at medium level whereas the 
             other CPU characters mostly return with a medium attack.

Jeffry: (normal)
             P,P,P,... or P,P,K, repeat
            <from Yupasawa: Add that ground kick after the PPK for style 
              ;)>          

Jeffry: (expert)
             P,P,P,flipkick works pretty well.
             P,P,P,... might work, but often doesn't.

Kage: (normal & expert)
             Elbow+Knee+defend will either hit or push Kage back until
             RO.

Jacky: (normal & expert)
             Elbow+Knee+defend works, but less reliable than Kage
            <From Yupasawa:d+KK after blocking Kage's or Jacky's kickflip. 
            Jacky learns to low punch and trip and hammer throw on older 
            VF2 machines.>

Wolf: (normal & expert)
             Start with axe kick
             Elbow+Knee+defend mixed with Elbow+Knee+Suplex. Difficulty
             is in deciding right mix of defense and throws.
             P,P,P,flipkick

Akira: (normal & expert)
             Axe kick is a good fairly safe start, until Akira starts
             to do counters.
             Elbow+Knee+suplex
           <Editor's note: Try reversal jams against Akira by pulling back
           your kick with G button. Akira's missed reversal attempt will
           cause him to teleport>

Dural: (normal & expert)
             long distance jump forward with a kick, when Dural is within
             a few meters of you. Hold back and start tapping K before
             you reach the apex. Dural will jump kick and miss, because
             you roll back. Do what you wish while Dural is still in the
             air and you have landed. Throws also work, even in expert
             mode
           <From Yupasawa: this usually only works as an opening attack. 
           You can kickflip Dural out of the ring as she comes down, but 
           I prefer to dash forward underneath her and float her with a 
           TT PPPKickflip ;>



Getting 1st grade with Sarah
---------------------------------
This is for ranking mode. For more information about this, check out 
Peaking Duck's Ranking Mode FAQ.

    In order to reach 9th dan or 1st grade, all the following conditions
must be fulfilled:

1. Get 100 technical points.
2. Defeat Akira within 6 minutes and 30 seconds.
3. Defeat Dural.

To get 100 technical points:

Must connect 4 times:

Torso Supplex            (P+G)
Clothesline              (f, f+P)
Kickflip                 (u/b+K)
Two Sidekicks            (d/f+K, K)  1


3 times:

High Knee or
3 punch & High Knee      (Hold d, f+K)  or PPPK
Tornado Kick or
Crescent Kick            (u/f+K+G) or (K+G)
Hopping Roundhouse       (u+K)


2 times:                  

3 punches & Hopkick      (PPP, u+K)

1 time:

Double Knee              (f+K, d/f+K)
Back Throw               (P+G from behind)



Grade 1 Time table (Contributed by CHIA Jin Ngee)
----------------------------------------------------
.
Torso Suplex (P+G)
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Reserve this move for all characters after Shun, namely Pai, Lion, Kage 
and Jacky. Best way to do this is to back off far away from them to 
force them to run in.

Clothesline (f, f+P)
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Same as Torso Suplex.


Kickflip (b/u+K)
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Use one each for character from Lau to Pai or Lion if you fail to connect
on Pai.

Against Lau     - Dash forward and kickflip him.
Against Sarah   - Elbow-knee-kickflip. Hit from closed stance.
Against Shun    - Elbow-knee-kickflip. Hit from closed stance.
Against Lion    - Elbow-knee-kickflip. You can kickflip him while he 
                  recovers from his missed pounce.

Triple Kick (d/f+K, K, K)
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Against Lau     - Dash forward and kick him
Against Sarah   - Find any opportunity and sneak in 2 kicks only.
Against Shun    - Do all 3 kicks against Shun at the beginning of the set.
Against Pai     - Do 2 kicks when she recovers from any sweep.
Against Lion    - Just in case you missed Pai, do 3 kicks when Lion recovers
                  from a missed pounce or when you block any of his low 
                  attacks. Lion has a habit of doing 2 side kicks 
                  consecutively. Sneak in the 3 kicks before the second 
                  side kick comes out.

Rising knee (FC, f+K or PPPK)
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Against Lau     - Do a turn away punch (b, b+P) and then PPPK.
Against Sarah   - Do a jumping back roundhouse (b, b+K) to float her and 
                  PPP or knee then PPPK. Make sure the knee hit from open 
                  stance.
Against Shun    - Do a m-RKnee at the beginning of the set.

Tornado Kick (u/f+K+G) or Crescent (K+G)
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
I would recommend the K+G since it doesn't kill your opponent so easily.

Against Lau     - Just walk up to him and K+G.
Against Sarah   - Against any missed combo or blocked PPPK.
Against Pai     - After any missed crescent or blocked sweep.

Hopping roundhouse (u+K)
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Against Lau     - Walk up to him and kick.
Against Sarah   - She is vulnerable. Just kick when you feel like it. You 
                  can even elbow-knee and hopping roundhouse if you 
                  interrupt a move.
Against Pai     - Elbow-knee in the beginning of the set for a major counter
                  and hopping roundhouse her.


Combo Hurdling Kick (P, P, P, u+K or P, P, P, u/f+K or P, P, u+P, K)
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Against Jeffry  - Start this off at the beginning of the set.
Against Wolf    - Ditto.

Double knee (f+K, d/f+K)
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Against Sarah   - Try for an interrupt. The knee (f+K) must hit while stance 
                  is open so that the move will close the stance for the 
                  rising knee to connect.
Against Pai     - Ditto.

<Editor's note: It's reported that you only need to connect the second knee.
Yupasawa suggests you time this move against Lau so the second knee hits
as he gets up.>

Torso takedown (P+G from behind)
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Against Wolf    - Do P, P+G at the beginning of the set. As Sarah flips over to
                  to escape Wolf's suplex, tap P+G.

Once you achieved the required moves per round or set. Just KO the
character as quickly as possible. When all the moves are finished up. Bash
the rest of the CPU characters as quickly as possible. RO them if you can.

Editor's note: More notes on connecting torso takedown from behind:
Against Wolf, a single kick also works to set up suplex escape.

Another opportunity is when Shun does dol-ce-doe dancing-turning-around 
kick. It's difficult if he immediately does second turning kick, but can 
be done sometimes. Another thing you can try is: start the round against 
Lion with forward hopping roundhouse. I am not certain about required 
conditions but sometimes you can land behind him and throw. This method 
is not that reliable, especially if you connect it a few times and CPU 
learns. Sometimes Lion's missed pounce presents a backthrow opportunity, 
but I am not sure about required conditions. Another crazy thing I tried 
that worked: I turned around and Jeff pulled backbreaker on me. He 
hesistated then threw bodysplash. I rolled behind him and threw him
 Possibly the easiest way to score backthrow is when Kage does his rolling
kick (f,f+ALL). Kage sometimes does that, but only in expert mode.


============================================================================
PART IV.
MISC
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sarah's Taunts
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
<From Donny Chan's Taunt FAQ>
Win,Flawless     
               (Sarah claps her hands, then puts one hand behind her
               head and the other on her hip.)
               "Yahoo!"

Win,Hold G     "Better run home to mama now!"

Win,Hold P     "Better run home to mama now!"

Win,Hold K     (Sarah brushes her thigh with one hand, then points
               with her other fist.)
               "Even good guys blow it! <Laugh>"

Loss 1         "I still want to fight."

Loss 2         "Imagine losing to this bozo!"

Timeout loss   (Sarah sits down and shakes her head while
               intermittently hitting the ground with her fist.)

Unused Taunts:
"An amateur like you could never defeat me!"
"Pretty gentle with women, huh?!!"


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Some notes about Sarah's fighting styles and backgrounds
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Character Profile
-------------------
  Name: Sarah Bryant
  Sex:Female 
  DOB: July 4th, 1973
  Blood Type: AB
  Height: 1.73m
  Weight: 55kg
  Job: College student
  Hobby: Sky diving
  Nationality: USA
  Fighting Style: Jeet Kune Do

Storyline
----------------------
According to the sources from Sega, Sarah is a college student kidnapped by
a mega corp and brainwashed to kill her brother. (QUICK! CALL GERALDO!!)
Personally, I don't care much about Sega's storyline (which gives no
justfication on why Akira is the hero (blah) of the game.) Hopefully
they will come up with something better when they release VF3.


Sarah's fighting style and real life inspirations
---------------------------------------------------

Sarah's fighting style is stated to be Jeet Kune Do, translated as the Way
of Intercepting Fist, founded by Bruce Lee himself. Bruce Lee's primary
martial art training background comes from Wing Chun, a Southern Chinese
art that's regarded as one of the most effective fighting styles existing
today. He couldn't continue his training in Wing Chun because the senior
students in his school forced him to leave after he became good enough to
beat everybody in the school. Later in the USA, he studied many other
styles and founded Jeet Kune Do concept. The core of his JKD concept was:
learn from many style, pick up what is useful. This concept deviates from
the traditional approach to learn martial art, where you were supposed to
learn all the techniques and concepts in one art to perfection. Just look
at Akira, for example. The art I study now, Tang Soo Do, has some moves
similar to what Akira uses, such as palm, double palm, etc. (Double palm
in particular is nearly identical to Akira's.) But it will take
eons of time before I can use those moves like Akira does. His arsenal is
not flexible, but he mastered his moves to perfection and use them with
deadly effectiveness.
    In contrast, JKD concept suggests you to learn from many styles and 
pick what works for you. This explains Sarah/Jacky's versatility and 
their rich arsenal. It also explains why their styles are not identical. 
(Unlike Ken and Ryu in CE) JKD as a style, as taught now by Bruce Lee's 
students, is a mix of Wing Chun/Jun Fan Kung Fu, Korean kicking styles, 
Thai boxing, Philippino Escrima fighting, and western styles like 
boxing, savate and wrestling. Strategy emphasized in modern 
Jeet Kune Do is: use quick, hard-to-stop attacks first, such as jabs 
and front leg strikes, and use power strikes after these attacks defuse 
the opponent's defense. Jab taught in JKD is different from punches 
taught in other arts. It is designed to give as little telegraphing as 
possible, with little emphasis on power.
        Sarah's style seems to be mostly a mixture of Korean kicking 
styles and Thai boxing. (Bruce Lee learned Tang Soo Do and Taekwondo 
from Chuck Norris and Jhoon Rhee, respectively.) Her arsenal of kicks 
shows Korean style influence, and her elbow/knee combos show Thai 
boxing influence. CHIA Jin Ngee commented that her elbow is Wing Chun, 
but in my opinion her elbow could have come from Tang Soo Do, Kenpo, 
Shotokan, or a number of other different styles. I personally think some 
of her moves don't look too authentic. But there is something called 
artistic license, I guess.
        CHIA Jin Ngee commented that VF1 Sarah seemed to have resemblance 
to Cynthia Rothrock, but VF2 Sarah doesn't look like her any more. Ms.
Rothrock is a former kickboxing champion who starred in several Holywood
and Hong Kong martial arts movies. I personally think Sharon Stone back 
in _Total Recall_ could have made an excellent Sarah. (She had a convincing 
martial arts performance in that movie. But she now looks older and nobody 
expects her to play a martial art role, sigh.)
        To take a look at some Jeet Kune Do/Jun Fan Kung Fu example in 
action, watch _Rapid Fire_ starring Brandon Lee. (Of course, I could 
have recommended any Bruce Lee movies. But you may get the impression
that screaming like Bruce Lee and kicking and punching like pistons
are all JKD is about. You will find Brandon Lee's style in _Rapid Fire_
to be very similar to Sarah and Jacky's style.)



----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Closing Words
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Last time I said that I will release some Sarah drawings. A few of them
are now at http://www.contrib.andrew.cmu.edu/usr/sy2b/sarah.html, as well
as this FAQ and other Sarah and VF related materials.

There was a bad rumor that Sarah supposedely gets killed by Dural, thus 
won't make it to VF3. But every information coming from Sega seems to 
confirm that every VF2 characters will make it to VF3.

At the Mother of All Tournament held at Toronto, I saw many impressive 
players. One thing I feel glad, is that my long research into anti-Akira 
strategy paid off, as my Sarah was not a push over even against some
of the best Akiras. In fact both of my wins in the tourney were against
Akiras.
   But I realized that I was not prepared for phenomenal Laus, Jackys and 
Jeffs that infested the tourney, and they humbled me greatly. From now on 
developing effective strategy against them will be my goal.

   There I also saw two episodes of the VF2 TV series Japanimations. It, 
well, could have been made better. It was good for some laughs at least, 
but the animations were not that good and the characterizations were not 
faithful to the game. They showed Sarah getting kidnapped by. . . uh. . . 
KAGE(??!)
   Overall, she is not a Red Sonja we know from the game, but has a 
feminine voice and plays a damsel in distress. What's even worse is that 
she seems to have developed a feeling for Kage, and yet she cried Akira's
name as she was locked away. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE somebody tell me that 
they are not going to have a love triangle between Sarah, Kage and Akira 
Ugh.



Remember:
--Throw until they crouch. Stagger combo until they stand up. Throw until 
  . . .
--Combo! Combo! Combo!
--Don't underestimate your opponent's reflex. If you can play machi by
 reacting to your opponent, so can he!
--Watch out for traps.
--Control distance!!!!
--Study your opponent and their pattern.
--If all fails, set up traps.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Credits 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks to:
God
Sega              for their technical innovation, I can respect them as an
                  engineer, an artist, and a student of martial art.
CHIA Jin Ngee <mcblab47@leonis.nus.sg>     
                  for his FAQ and contribution
Yupasawa <Yupasawa@aol.com>
                  for his contributions and originally coming up with
                  informations about shun puri
Jirawat Uttayaya<jirawat@phys.ufl.edu>  
                  for his Gamest translations
Juri Munkki <jmunkki@snakemail.hut.fi>      
                  for his contribution
Donny Chan        For his taunt FAQ
Pakorn Pongpaet<ppongpae@eecs.uic.edu>
                  For his Combo FAQ and contributions
Mike Tsui <stsui@frontier.canrem.com>  
                  For his contribution
TAN Wu Meng <wumeng@pacific.net.sg>
                  For his contribution
Joji Suzuki (Joji. G)
                  for his excellent Akira FAQ that helped this guide in
                  many direct and indirect ways.

Greetings go to:
Khyron, Mike, and APC For being so tough Akiras.
Other people from the CMU VF community, including Tom, Dave, Charlie and Ed, 
and CMU alumnus VF master Alan Chen
                  We are one happy family that try to spend as much 
                  time as possible breaking each other's spine.
DugMan and Doug B
Everyone I met at the MoaT
Other people of rec.games.video.arcade


No Thanks to:
Capcom            for their utter lack of technical innovation for being
                   such a big company.
CMU arcade owners for their idiocy of changing the machine from 3 out of 5 to
                   2 out of 3 and killing the competition.