PKG-Senbon Punch FAQ Ver 0.2 By Anthony Goh Contents ======== Introduction Terms What is PKG ? How do you do PKG ? Other PKG's How do you know if you're PKGing properly ? Non-Cheap Uses of PKG Most Stylish Uses of PKG (IMO) Can't Jacky Senbon Punch ? Acknowledgements Introduction ============ All information in this FAQ is IMHO. It may be old news for some, but I feel that there are some who will benefit and even if this FAQ helps just one person, then it is time well spent. I have a feeling many of the people out there aren't PKGing properly and are ending up with PG equivalents (Just hear me out !). If you find you can't do the TFT combos and suchlike or you're sure you're pressing more buttons than getting punches on screen then stop machine gunning the buttons and read this FAQ. Another reason for writing this FAQ is for myself. There is still much I don't know about the technique, so any useful feedback is very much appreciated. Whatever you thought of it please give some feedback, positive or negative. Send all responses to firstname.lastname@example.org. Terms ===== P,K and G refer to the punch, kick and defence buttons and mean tap and release the button referred to. KG means tap and release the kick button then tap and release the defence button. *Important* - Cancel and retract in this FAQ are non-interchangeable and very different things. Retract means *starting* a retractable move *then* pulling it back. Cancel means to reset the CPU's command entry state. This is like with Jacky elbow, g-cancel, knee. After an elbow, for a few frames the CPU is *only* looking for a K input to do a heel kick, and will ignore anything else, except G input. G input cancels this await state, so other moves involving K button can be done. What is PKG ? ============= PKG is also known as senbon punch and PK-cancel. It goes like this. You all know that KG will produce a guard retracted kick. That is, the character goes for a kick, then retracts the leg. Characters who do a straight PK combo i.e. Kage, Akira, Jeffry, Wolf, Sarah and Dural can also *retract* the K in the PK combo. Others like Lau, who do a punch, then turning roundhouse cannot retract the K in their PK combo. If you retract a Kick, it has no recovery time. Try it. So if you do PK combo and retract the kick what you end up with is a punch with no recovery time. Now, because the punch has no recovery time, you are free to do whatever you like afterwards. Because the senbon punch has no recovery, another senbon punch can connect straight after, and after that, another and so forth. It is like a never ending PPP combo so a senbon master can destroy his opponents after scoring one PKG hit. How do you do PKG (Single Senbon Punch) ? ========================================= Well, you like press P, then K, and then you like, press G :-) Actually it's not quite that simple. Try pressing PKG as quickly as you can and the chances are you won't be doing a PKG. Surprised ? Here's how it works, taking Sarah as an example. Her punch-kick combo goes like this. The time scale is in frames. There are 60 frames per second. Time in Frames ---> K must be pressed before this time. | 0---------8---10-----------------------------------22 | | | | P is | Punch stops hitting Opponents hit stun pressed. | and Kick begins. ends as Kick hits. Punch hits. Opponents hit stun begins. Hit stun is pretty self explanatory - it is the time for which a character is helpless after being punched i.e. while their head is snapped back. Notice how the punch has no recovery time and the kick begins *immediately* after the punch stops hitting. This occurs only in combos. If you do PKG as fast as you can chances are you'll hit all 3 buttons before the 10 frames mark. If this occurs, you haven't retracted the kick, you've made the kick never occur so you end up with the equivalent of a PG which *does* have a recovery. Here's the diagram for that. Time in frames ---> Kick is G is pressed. CPU aborts PK combo. Pressed. Combo never occurs so you are left Opponent's hit | with a regular punch. stun ends. | | | 0--3------6---8---10-----------------------20----22 | | | | P is | Punch stops hitting. Punch recovery pressed. | Punch recovery begins. ends. | | Punch hits. Opponent's hit stun begins. As you can see from this diagram hitting the buttons too fast is bad. So, what you want to do is press PK as fast as you like then press G exactly 11 frames after you pressed P. This will result in a P, K combo with the kick g-retracted on it's first frame. Here's a diagram. Time in frames ---> Kick is pressed. Punch stops Opponent recovers | hitting, Kick begins. from hit stun. | | | 0------6---8---10--11-------------------------22 | | | P is | G is pressed. pressed. Punch Kick is retracted. hits. Character is recovered Hit stun from punch and ready to begins. do whatever you want. This is a Senbon punch. You can see from the diagram that if done like this you have 11 frames to do what you want to your hit stunned opponent. If you wanted to Senbon your opponent to death, another senbon punch has 8 frame execution time so you have a 3 or 4 frame error margin. Thus the ideal senbon punch with Sarah is 1 punch every 11 frames, that's 60/11=about 5 punches per second, which will kill people guaranteed if one hits. As you can see, the consistency of timing required for this is almost inhuman. This is considered cheap in arcades so avoid using repeated PKG except in cases described below. Other PKG's =========== A no recovery punch (senbon) can be done wherever there is a retractable PK combo. Aside from regular PK combos there are *turn towards* PK combos in which the kick can be retracted. For all the characters who can properly PKG, pressing PK with back facing opponent will result in a turn towards straight punch, retractable kick combo. In all of these cases you PKG in exactly the same way as if you were facing towards. With Sarah's facing away PK, she does a whipping, floating, backfist then a straight kick. This backfist has roughly the same execution as a punch, always floats high enough for an aerial combo, does 20 points of damage and if you retract the kick, it is a *senbon backfist*. As you guessed I think it's a *great* move. How do know if you're PKGing properly ? ======================================= This is an important section as it is hard to know if you are actually PKGing without some kind of standard test. The easiest and best way to check is with Sarah's turn towards backfist, straight kick, g-retract combo. Pick Sarah, and face away from your opponent. press PG as quick as you can. She should lash out with a backfist, then take a slow half step back and jitter into guard. Now face away again and try the turn towards PKG. If you are too fast with the buttons, you should get the slow half step back like with the PG. If you are too slow, you get the whole PK combo. Get it right and she goes backfist, flicker into guard straight away. The lack of half step is very noticeable. Also, try a series of really slow PKG's, where you wait for the leg to lift almost to the knee then hit G. Speed your button pushing up gradually and you find there's a point where the punching slows down. This is the point where you are annulling rather than retracting the kick, so you are pushing buttons too fast. If done at the correct speed the characters glide cheesily forwards as they punch. It's very much more of timing than speed or dexterity and I swear it's not actually very difficult, unless you want to repeatedly senbon people to death. (Check diagrams). Non Cheap Uses of PKG ===================== 1. Floats Oh yes. PKG opens up whole new possibilities for floating opponents. Most notable are Jeffry and Kage. After a good knee float Jeff can tag on stuff like 3 senbon punches elbow-upper, or 3 senbon punches 1,2,upper. I am sure this is only the tip of the iceberg, as I am not that much of a Jeff-Master. Kage, after the TFT can do amazing stuff with senbon punch. I managed to connect 5 PKG'S on Wolf after the TFT and I don't think that's the limit. There is lot's you can do with PKG and TFT and to cut a long story short, someone who has mastered PKG can definitely end a game with 1 TFT, especially with a rising knee and the increased aerial damage in VF 2.1. 2. PKG-X PKG with no recovery time is ideal to roll your own punch-whatever combos. Always wanted a punch-knee or punch-elbow ? Now you've got one. I find the best ones are PKG-mid level attack like elbow, dashing elbow, knee, uppercut or sidekick. The way it works is like this. Do a PKG. There are 3 things that can happen - you can hit, get blocked or miss. If you miss, no worries - if he tries to counter your missed PKG or interrupt your next move with a move of his own you can either interrupt him with a fast blow of your own or block/avoid his attempted counter and counter him back. This works very well against machi players who may instinctively lash out in what they think is a recovery time. If he does nothing, i.e. crouches or stands, throw or stagger him. If your PKG hits, unless you are really fast and get another attack to hit him while he is in hit stun or you throw him, it is pretty much the same situation as if he blocked your PKG. You both have the same options only he will be working on a huge time delay; your moves have a good head start on his, so you are likely to major counter him. Use fast mid-level attacks to stagger or knockdown if he decides to crouch. Of course you will have to use some anticipation but the point is you are at a big time advantage and if you use uncounterable quick moves you cannot come out worse. After all this staggering and floating with interrupts your opponent way well guard after your PKG and at this point don't be predictable and do the elbow that he thinks he's going to block, throw him ! The beauty of PKG is that it is a brilliant advantage move, like Akira's dashing elbow. Moves to do after PKG The best ones to do come out quickly, are uncounterable, do lots of damage, float real high on an interrupt and double as a reversal, throw and crouch-dash. :-) Unfortunately these are few and far between. Essentially you need something that is a happy compromise of these. Jeffry's knee, for example has good speed, floating power and damage, but is PK counterable. This may be a good risk trade-off, because if they flinch, you get to float them for so much more advantage (damage and ring) than a PK counter does. It's all up to you. Make your own combos and use some common sense and you can't really go wrong. I personally , for what it's worth, particularly like: PKG-sidekick (Akira and Kage) PKG-uppercut (Jeffry) PKG-elbow (stance dependant) PKG-funny elbow (Akira, Jeffry and Wolf) PKG-knee (risk trade-off, but a flashy float for Jeff or Akira's Knee yields maximum style points) PKG-body check (blue moon move - risky, but body check often slides under high attacks) PKG-throw (when they start getting cagey or brain-frozen after being staggered or floated) 3. PKG(hits), Throw It seems to me that when most people talk about PKG throw, they mean it like a fake-out move, like when discussed above i.e. I punched, and he blocked, so I ran in to throw. I have not yet heard of anyone doing PKG, inescapable throw, like I hoped this section would be about. Here's what I consider true PKG-throw. If your PKG hits and you immediately try to execute a throw, it will fail, i.e. come out as the move for it's motions like elbow or punch. This is because your opponent is still in hit stun. The same is true for if they block your PKG, you cannot throw anyone in hit stun or block stun. However, there is a feature in VF2 that if a move and throw are executed at the same time throw wins. So what you should do is PKG, wait for the instant they come out of hit stun and time your throw for that precise moment, so it takes priority if they try a move. If anyone had the timing for something like this the only escape would be a crouch dash as soon as you come out of hit stun. Is there anyone out there who can do this inescapable throw ? 4. To Advance and Pressure If you PKG properly, each punch makes you glide forward. If you use repeated PKG to move to your opponent it is very hard for him to fend you off. You can use elbows and stuff to stagger if he is crouching and throw him if he is standing. Use your PKG-X combos to pressurise him. He cannot counter your PKG. If he backs off to sweep or sidekick don't blindly PKG, PKG into an interrupt, just be wary and follow into him and keep pressuring him. Your PKG's will interrupt a lot of his attacks, frustrating him and he will make a mistake sometime, where you can throw or stagger him. Most notable openings would be elbow staggering his low punch attempt, or punishing a missed low punch. Because you have the advantage, you have time to think and anticipate him, whereas he is under a lot of pressure. This becomes especially good if your opponent is against the ring edge, unless they can reverse (Pai, Kage, Akira). Even if they can, use of the PKG-X combos to vary attack level makes it hard for them, because if they guess wrong, they're probably going to get ROed. 5. PKG makes a great round opening move as it will interrupt almost anything and then you can sort of flow into your follow-ups. Hold forward to gain extra range. If you do get major counter then I would go for trying to hit them in their hit stun as the extra damage from major counter gives you a few more vital frames of hit stun to play around with. Obviously watch yourself against someone who has a reversal. 6. NB - Do not view these techniques as separate issues. Incorporate them all as one into your fighting style. They are all pretty much extensions of the same thing and there are grey areas between them. 7. Other Uses I am sure there are lots of other great uses but none spring to mind right now. Again lots of feedback please - This is only Ver 0.2. Most *Stylish* Uses of PKG (IMO) ================================ Self explanatory section here. I am interested to know what else people are doing. If there is anything stylish not already printed somewhere in this FAQ I would like to know to include it here. -Senbon backfist, Kickflip or puntkick or d+K+G (Sarah) Even if the Senbon backfist doesn't counter it still floats high enough for the whatever. But using an m-shun-puri then this to hit a floated opponent is best. -Senbon backfist (major counter), PKG(s), PPPKnee (Sarah) -PKG(hits), kickflip (hits in hit stun) (Sarah and Kage) This is *much* easier if the PKG hits as a major counter. -TFT, as many PKG's as possible (Kage) I can get 5 to connect on Wolf, more must be possible. What's the limit ? Please post. -PKG, m-dbl palm (Akira) If done fast, the palm comes out of *nowhere* Can't Jacky Senbon Punch ? ========================== All this is IMHO. Jacky can only *retract* the K in his hold forwards P, straight kick combo. This only comes out at longer ranges but up close even if you hold forward and press PK, you cannot get him to consistently P, straight K. You can annul the sidekick or crescent by hitting G before the punch is finished, but as discussed earlier this is no better than P,G - you still have to wait for the punch to recover. However, it is quite possible to hit with a senbon punch, in which case the regular tactics apply, but it is really hard IMO to get him to close range PKG reliably. Jacky can also do his straight PK combo by pressing P then G. Don't ask me why. So you can senbon, taking his range limitations into account with hold forward PGG. Can't really see a use for this PGG as opposed to just using hold forward PKG. To demonstrate Jacky's senbon range dependency if you go to the other end of the screen and start senbon punching, as you get closer to your opponent Jacky starts dodge punching. This occurs simultaneously with the point where it is hard to get the P, straight Kick. This means that the G at the end of a real Jacky PKG does not make the P of the next PKG dodging. This is because, technically speaking PKG is a predefined combo like KG or PPPK because the CPU is in 'await state' for only a guard input while the kick is in it's retractable stage. What it boils down to then, IMO, is that Jacky can't really senbon very well. If anyone believes they can connect senbon punches repeatedly and consistently with Jacky at close range, I would suggest that they are not senbon punching properly, as discussed above (try the senbon backfist). Again, feedback is appreciated. Acknowledgements ================ - My Saturn - All the people who post on the Net - this FAQ is more a compilation of their teachings than anything else. I suppose I should list everyone, but I'm bound to miss someone out which wouldn't be fair. - Akira Yuki, for being punched in the head *so* many times during the research of this FAQ - Sega for such a great game - Sega Virtua Stick for great buttons. Try not to talk about the stick. - Anyone who has contributed to this FAQ. - A big happy 'you're welcome' to all those who sent thanks. This version is bigger and better than the last so I hope you enjoy it more.