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    Senbon Punch FAQ by AGoh

    Version: 0.2 | Updated: 01/24/96 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    PKG-Senbon Punch FAQ Ver 0.2
    By Anthony Goh
    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 ?
    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 zcacsmg@ucl.ac.uk.
    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
    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.
    |         |    |                                   |
    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.
       |      |                                       |
    |             |    |                        |
    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
    Time in frames --->
         Kick is
         pressed.   Punch stops                Opponent recovers
           |        hitting, Kick begins.       from hit stun.
           |        |                              |
    |          |        |
    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
    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
    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
    - 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
    - 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

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