VF2 Hopkick FAQ

There is a personal challenge I give myself with every game
I enjoy - learn to enjoy and use every aspect of the game
to its fullest.  VF2 is my current obsession, and as I go
back through the arsenal of moves at my disposal I found
myself rediscovering the hop-kick.

Even now, VF2 remains a fighting game solidly linked to the
earth.  Players who jump about in wild abandon usually find
themselves landing on someone's outstretched foot.  But I'm
taking it upon myself to learn how and when to use the hop
kicks.

First off, in case you're not used to it, the hop kick is
done by press up/for,then K.  Press them at the same time,
you'll probably get a special move such as Lau's spiral
kick or Wolf's scissor kick.  Press the K too late, and
you'll get a hopping sweep or hopping side kick. All of
these moves have these uses, but I'll stick to the hopping
frontal kick.

The hop kick has two major weaknesses.  First, it is
moderately slow compared to other moves that do the same
damage.  Thus, you can get knocked out of the hop before
the kick part even comes out.  Second, and just as
important, you are in the air.  Being in the air means that
any hit, even a punch, will knock to the ground and will
probably float you.  Floating is extremely bad, as it means
a skilled opponent can start juggling you with a combo or
special move for even more damage.

The hop kick has some strengths, however, that help offset
these disadvantages.  First, it hits at medium level, which
is a good level to attack at in general.  Second, it has a
quick recovery should you get blocked.  Third, because you
are hopping, low attacks will miss you completely.
Fourth, you can't be thrown during a hop kick. And last,
but certainly not least, the hop kick usually floats the
opponent.

It's the floating and quick recovery that I'm looking at as
a major combination of assets in the hop kick.  These two
features make the hop kick a terrific start to a punishing
floating combo.

Lau is, of course, a perfect example of the power of the
set up from the hop-kick. Take my favorite hop kick combo
of all time:

up/for,K,P,P,P,P,K
(Hop kick,Rising Palm, Punches and Crescent Kick)

A couple of simpler examples with Kage:

up/for,K,down+K+D,for,for+K (Hop kick, Heel kick, sweep)
up/for,K,up/back+K+D (Hop kick, Flipkick)

With Pai:
up/for,K,for+K,UP+P (Hop kick,snap kick,pounce)

or Pai can do a variation on Lau's combo using a sweep:
up/for,K,P,P,P,down+K

Other moves offer the chance for floating combos as well,
of course.  The knee is a powerful floating move for the
characters that use it.  A knee combo for Wolf, Jeffry,
Jacky and Sarah that I like to use is:

for+K,UP/FOR+K (Knee, Jumping Distance Kick)

But whereas only some characters have a knee, everyone has
a hopping kick.  Even Akira:

up/for,K,for,for+K,K  (Hop kick, Double kick)


I think these examples demonstrate just how powerful the
hop kick can be - IF you can hit with it.  That's an
important qualification: you have to connect to float the
opponent, and so you have to time the hop kick so that the
opponent won't be likely to knock you out of it.

When should you use the hop kick?

- After your opponent does a slow power move that misses
  is an excellent time to try it.

- Against opponents who use low attacks  or squat too
  frequently.  Throw masters do this, and so do many people
  who like to come off the ground with a rising sweep. The
  hop kick works wonders against rising sweeps. :)

- After an opponent misses a jump attack.

- After a stumbling throw, such as Akira's, Pai's and Lau's
  trip throws.

- After a quick attack that leaves you standing, if you
  anticipate a follow-up sweep, low punch, low kick or
  throw by the opponent.

- As an occasional surprise move to keep the opponent on
  toes.  Try running at the opponent, then at the last
  minute hop up and kick.  If the opponent decided to
crouch or try to throw you, you've got him.  Just be
  careful not to overdo it!

When shouldn't you do a hop-kick?

- If you think you're opponent is more likely to stand and
  block it.

- Don't use it to interrupt your opponent's attack.  Almost
  any high or mid-level attack will interrupt the hop-kick.

- If playing conservatively is more in keeping with the
  situation. With two seconds on the clock, and your
  character ahead in the life bar, why take the risk you'll
  get hit into a floating combo and knocked out of the
  ring.

- If your back is to the edge of the ring.  You're asking
  for a Ring Out.


That's it for now.  This won't make you a "Mad Hop-kick
Genius", but you may find it helpful.

If you have any interesting tid-bits on how you
successfully used the hop-kick to the surprise of your
opponent, go ahead and post them. I'd love to see if other
people have tried the same thing.

Good luck, and good VFing. :)

-dug@lugaru.com
-TheDugman@aol.com