The King of Fighters '97 Yashiro Nanakase guide v1.1
by Greg A. Kasavin

0.0: Preface
============
The purpose of the following pages is to tell you everything you'd ever 
want to know about how to play as Yashiro Nanakase, the tall, white-
haired, high-style guitarist boxer dancer falconer of The King of 
Fighters '97. Yashiro is a unique, new character who is relatively easy 
to learn but considerably difficult to master because of the subtle 
properties on many of his attacks. He relies on his powerful pressure 
moves and a vicious mind game to win his matches. He is more than a 
match for any other character in the game, and is widely considered to 
be ranked in the top third of cast of characters.

Please note this guide does not address the mid-boss Orochi Yashiro 
whose special move set, and therefore a great deal of his strategy, is 
entirely different. This guide does, however, tell you how to fight 
against him (see chapter 3.6).


[0.1: Contents]

0.0 Preface
  0.1 Contents
1.0 Introduction
  1.1 About the Author
  1.2 How to Use this Guide
  1.3 Where to Get More Information
  1.4 Character Background and General Information
  1.5 Basic Information
2.0 The Moves
  2.1 Special Moves
  2.2 Desperation Moves
  2.3 Normal Moves
  2.4 Command Moves
  2.5 Throws
  2.6 Combinations
  2.7 Rolls
3.0 General Strategy
  3.1 Overview and Example
  3.2 Ranges and Zoning
  3.3 Mind Games
  3.4 Watching Your Meters
  3.5 Punishing Mistakes
  3.6 Specific Match-Ups
4.0 Closing Acknowledgments
  4.1 Credits
  4.2 Version History
  4.3 Copyright Information


1.0: Introduction
=================
Opening remarks about this guide and its subject.


[1.1: About the Author]
They say you shouldn't believe everything you read. With that in mind, 
this section presents evidence that the author of this guide is 
credible.

The author of this guide has been playing The King of Fighters '97 
seriously since shortly after its release. He has played fighting games 
competitively since they existed and participated in several tournaments 
over the years, a few of which he won. Otherwise, he's been writing 
about games, professionally and otherwise, for the last five years.


[1.2: How to Use this Guide]
While this guide is most useful when read from beginning to end, it may 
otherwise be consulted as a resource in any order. Note, however, that 
chapter 3 (strategy) assumes the reader's familiarity with Yashiro's 
normal / special / desperation moves. To this end, you are recommended 
to read chapter 2 beforehand, as it introduces certain features and 
properties about Yashiro's moves which come into play later in the 
guide.


[1.3: Where to Get More Information]
This guide is designed for serious King of Fighters '97 players; in 
other words, if you're reading this, then this guide is probably for 
you. If, however, any of the terminology in this guide is confusing to 
you, please refer to Andrew Seyoon Park's comprehensive King of Fighters 
'97 Beginner's Reference v.0.10 which may be found at:

http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Alley/4810/

Therein you will an extensive glossary of terms in addition to all the 
basic rules of the game.


[1.4: Character Background]
Yashiro Nanakase, Macho Guardian of the Earth

FIGHTING STYLE:	No Particular Style, Mainly Power-based Attacks
NATIONALITY:	Japanese
BIRTHDATE:		December 31, 1973
AGE:			23
HEIGHT:		190cm
WEIGHT:		99kg
BLOODTYPE:		O & Orochi

HOBBIES:		Band, Traveling
FAVORITE FOOD:	Menma (pickled vegetable)
FAVORITE SPORT:	Swimming
MOST VALUABLE POSSESIONS:	Amber
THINGS HE HATES THE MOST:	Eggplants, Narrow Places

Yashiro, the confident, self-taunt leader of the New Face Team, fights 
alongside his band mates Shermie and Chris. He enters the King of 
Fighters tournament in order to settle a score with Iori Yagami, a rival 
musician whose popularity resulted in Yashiro's concert being canceled.

A darker power awakens within Yashiro as the tournament proceeds. 
Yashiro turns out to be one of the Four Elemental Kings of the Orochi: 
the Guardian of the Earth. Soon enough, Yashiro's self-serving vendetta 
against Iori becomes a quest to awaken the ancient Orochi through the 
tournament. His faith to this cause is such that he is prepared to 
sacrifice even his own life in order to succeed.


[1.5: Basic Information]
The following contains miscellaneous information and gameplay issues at 
a glance.

[Special Moves]
-Missile Might Bash (hcb + P)
-Upper Duel (f, d, df + P)
-Sledgehammer (qcb + P)
-Jet Counter (hcf + P)

[Command Attacks]
-Step Side Kick (fwd + B)

[Desperation Moves]
-Million Bash Stream (qcb, hcf + P)
-Final Impact (qcf, qcf + P)
        Note: hold the button to increase power.

[Palette Swaps]
Advanced: A-button: Crimson jacket and eyes
          D-button: Blue jacket and eyes
Extra:    A-button: Dark red jacket and eyes
          D-button: Navy blue jacket and eyes

[Normal Round Introduction]
Yashiro rolls his shoulders one at a time then hops in place lightly 
three times.

[Special Round Introductions]
(Yashiro has no special introductions.)

[Taunt]
Yashiro stands tall, one hand in his pocket, smirks, cocks his head at 
the opponent, and beckons him to approach. Says, "Muki ni naruna, yo" 
which means "Don't be so serious."

Try it when:
-The opponent is being overly defensive.
-You connect with any of Yashiro's specials.
-You defend against an opponent's desperation move.
-You take a good hit (but reveal that you're far from defeated).

[Win Poses]
You can choose your win pose when you win a round by pressing and 
holding either button A, B, or C when you knock the opponent out.

A-button: Yashiro stands tall, unclenches his fist as he passes his hand 
in front of his face, and grins coldly. Says, "Kenka ga tsuyoi ue ni, 
otoko mae" which means "A powerful fighter, and a good-looking guy on 
top of that." (Referring to himself.)

Try it when:
-You beat a female character and wish to affirm your masculinity.
-You beat an effeminate male character and wish to affirm your 
 masculinity.
-You beat a physically unattractive character and seek to characterize 
 the ways in which you are superior.

B-button: Yashiro uses thumb and forefinger to whistle. At his call, a 
huge American bald eagle swoops down. The eagle perches on Yashiro's 
outstretched arm as he smiles contentedly.

Try it when:
-You had a clean fight and won fair and square.
-You feel the A or C-button win poses are inappropriate.
-You beat Terry Bogard, the other whistler in KoF'97.

C-button: Yashiro leans back on his heels, smiles and points one hand 
pistol-style toward the screen, rests his other hand in his pocket. 
Says, "Tanoshinderu?" which means, "Wasn't that fun?"

Try it when:
-You devastate your opponent.
-You barely won and you want to be a jerk about it.
-You actually had a fun match.

[Loss to Time-Out]
Yashiro folds his arms and sneers.

[Preferred Mode: ADVANCED]
While Yashiro is powerful on the defense, he can win his matches quickly 
and consistently with his deadly offensive game. He packs a number of 
outstanding jumping attacks that are much more useful in conjunction 
with Advanced mode hop jumps. Furthermore, his Advanced full run is much 
more effective at closing distance with the opponent than the Extra mode 
quick forward hop. Yashiro's desperation moves aren't the sort you want 
to use over and over, so Extra mode's infinite DM feature isn't terribly 
useful for him.

To be sure, Yashiro has several advantages in Extra mode over Advanced. 
First, most characters do not transfer DM stock to him in Advanced mode. 
Second, since all his special moves knock down, Yashiro tends to have 
plenty of time in each round to charge his MAX gauge. Ultimately, 
Advanced mode far favors the aggressive Yashiro player while Extra mode 
favors a more defensive style.



2.0: The Moves
==============
(Note: The following assume Yashiro is facing right. Mirror the motion 
if facing left.)

In the following chapter, a five-point scale will be used to rate the 
effectiveness of each of Yashiro's moves:
[O----] ... nearly useless; a better alternative almost always exists
[OO---] ... risky and not particularly rewarding; avoid frequent use
[OOO--] ... reliable when used occasionally and circumspectly
[OOOO-] ... useful and effective
[OOOOO] ... useful, very effective, and quite safe

[2.1: Special Moves]
What fighting games are all about. A joystick motion and the 
corresponding push of a button yields any number of different special 
moves for each character. If blocked, special moves nonetheless inflict 
a small amount of damage to the opponent. This can add up over the 
course of a round.


1. Missile Might Bash

-O  \  |  /  O-	+ A/C
     O O O

Effectiveness: [OO---]

Description:
A four-punch flurry. Yashiro swings forward with a hook, steps in with a 
backfist, swings another hook, then finishes with a huge stepping body 
blow. The last hit is slow to recover. Four hits; fourth hit knocks 
down; around 20% damage in total.

Purpose:
Only practical when canceled from a connected close standing C, close 
standing D, or crouching C. This is a powerful move but it leaves 
Yashiro open to punishment if the opponent successfully defends.

The secondary use of the Missile Might Bash is to finish off an opponent 
who is nearly defeated through its four hits' worth of guard damage.

The C-button version is slower but hits deeper than the A-button 
version, making it more reliable in combos. The A-button version is 
considerably quicker and if Yashiro uses it from maximum effective range 
he will escape relatively unharmed if the move is blocked.

Notes:
Resist using this move frequently. Yashiro's Jet Counter, while not 
quite as powerful, is safer and serves an equivalent purpose (i.e., as a 
combo finisher). It's not worth risking the 20% damage this move 
inflicts because Yashiro leaves himself open enough to suffer much worse 
if this attack is blocked or otherwise avoided. While this move inflicts 
four times the block damage and boosts the maximum gauge much faster 
than the Jet Counter, Yashiro need not rely on block damage to win his 
matches because of his wickedly powerful high / low game (see General 
Strategy).


2. Upper Duel

-O  |  \	+ A/C
    O   O

Effectiveness: [OOOO-]

Description:
An anti-air double uppercut with mid / high-level autoguard on startup. 
Yashiro blocks high with his forearm, then swings the opposite arm in a 
powerful upward arc. If this hit touches the opponent, Yashiro follows 
up with a massive leaping uppercut. One or two hits; first hit floats, 
second hit juggles; 15% damage (A-button) or 20% damage (C-button).

Purpose:
Superb anti-air priority with proper timing and an effective if risky 
mid-level counter against standing attacks. Not practical or reliable in 
combos because it hits high and whiffs versus crouching opponents. 
Nevertheless, the damage and the priority make it well worthwhile.

The A-button Upper Duel is fast to recover so use it repeatedly when far 
away from the opponent as an effective means of boosting the MAX gauge 
for Advanced Mode players. While the primary use of this move is anti-
air defense, the C-button version in particular is useful against 
standing attacks because of its lengthy autoguard. Beware, though, if 
the opponent blocks the first hit of the Duel, the second hit will pop 
out and leave Yashiro vulnerable.

The properties of the C-button Upper Duel versus the A-button Upper Duel 
are considerably different. The A-button is much safer because of its 
fast startup and recovery, but it has much less horizontal range. Its 
autoguard is instantaneous, so you should use it at the last possible 
instant before the opponent connects with a jump-in. The A-button Upper 
Duel also makes a superb wake-up move because of this instant autoguard. 
The second hit does not arc very far forward, so unless you connect 
point-blank with the first hit then the second will miss. The A-button 
Upper Duel combos after a close standing hit of any kind, though the 
second hit will not connect except after a close A or B - unless you 
combo it on a cornered opponent. Also try following up a blocked A-
button Sledgehammer (see below) with the A-button Upper Duel. If the 
opponent tries to counter the blocked Sledgehammer, chances are the 
autoguard on the Duel will stuff him.

The C-button Upper Duel is arguably Yashiro's most interesting and most 
versatile special move. The autoguard is not instantaneous; you need to 
perform the move just before the opponent's attack in order for the 
autoguard to work. It is a very effective defense against hop-jump 
attacks on anticipation. Unlike the A-button version, if the first hit 
of the C-button Upper Duel connects then the second hit is virtually 
guaranteed because of its wide arc. To compensate for the fact that the 
Upper Duel is not a practical move in combos, it does huge damage on its 
own. Don't get too caught up with it, however, for this move will whiff 
against crouching opponents and generally leaves Yashiro very vulnerable 
when misused.

Notes:
Commonly mis-translated as "Upper Dual" instead of the proper spelling 
used in this guide - a reasonable error considering the phonetic 
Japanese spelling. Otherwise, this is a very unique anti-air move that 
is very powerful if you learn its unorthodox timing.


3. Sledgehammer

|  /  O-	+ A/C
O O

Effectiveness: [OOO--]

Description:
A fast leaping high hit. Yashiro lunges forward with a roar and delivers 
a walloping forearm smash to the opponent's head. Very little recovery 
time. One hit; must be blocked high; flattens the opponent upon contact; 
about 15% damage.

Purpose:
This is an outstanding pressure move, as it quickly moves Yashiro 
forward (and Yashiro always wants his opponent in the corner) and has 
very little recovery time if blocked. Unfortunately it is too slow to be 
comboable and has lousy priority except at the end of the move. It is 
very effective when buffered from Yashiro's low D, far standing A, or 
standing CD. Always keep in mind that the Sledgehammer hits high; if 
your opponent is blocking low all too often, this is the perfect move to 
wake him up.

The A-button version leaps across about 2/5 of the screen and recovers 
faster than the C-button version which reaches 3/4 the screen.

Notes:
Alas, for the poor move detection in King of Fighters '97 means that the 
dangerously slow Missile Might Bash will pop out instead of the 
Sledgehammer all too easily. Practice hard in perfecting the distinction 
between the half-circle and quarter-circle motions so that you can 
perform the Sledgehammer when you need to without fear of the Missile 
Might Bash coming out instead.

Also, try canceling an A-button Sledgehammer from a standing CD 
counterhit for an excellent two-hit juggle.


4. Jet Counter

O-  /  |  \  -O	+ A/C
   O   O   O

Effectiveness: [OOOO-]

Description:
A rushing punch. Yashiro blurs forward with a cloud of dust in his wake 
to deliver a massive body blow. If blocked, Yashiro will almost always 
recover from this move before the opponent can counterattack. One hit; 
knocks down on contact; about 15% damage.

Purpose:
A fine all-around attack; reasonably powerful, respectably quick, good 
priority over most attacks, and little recovery time adds up to the only 
special move which Yashiro can afford to use often. Conveniently, the 
Jet Counter knocks the opponent down when it hits, allowing Yashiro to 
force the opponent into the corner or begin his sadistic high / low mind 
game. The Jet Counter is also Yashiro's safest, most reliable combo 
finisher.

The Jet Counter is a valuable pressure move. Try canceling it from 
Yashiro's far standing A to keep the opponent on the defense. Also, make 
an effort to learn the Jet Counter's range precisely; its speed and 
priority make it an outstanding move for zoning the opponent. The Jet 
Counter also hits high enough to tag the opponent as he begins a jump.

The A-button version travels about 1/4 the screen length and recovers 
slightly faster than the C-button version which spans 1/3 the screen 
length.

Notes:
As good as it is, beware not to use the Jet Counter recklessly. While it 
cannot be punished if blocked in most instances, Yashiro is left 
vulnerable if he misses the move altogether or if he uses it too close 
to the opponent.



[2.2: Desperation Moves]
These tend to decide who wins the match. Desperation Moves (DMs) do a 
lot of damage and are usually comboable. When the character is powered 
up, the desperation move becomes an even more powerful super desperation 
move (SDM) which is typically twice as strong and has superior priority 
to boot. It is always in your best interest to use an SDM instead of a 
DM, except in the case where a DM is sufficient to finish the opponent.


1. Million Bash Stream

|  /  O-  /  |  \  -O	+ A/C
O O      O   O   O

Effectiveness: [OOOO-]

Description:
A powered-up, faster version of the Missile Might Bash, culminating in a 
massive uppercut which sends the opponent spiraling upward. Inflicts 
grievous block damage, but is very slow to recover. 14 hits, 35% damage; 
or 26 hits, 60% damage when powered up.

Purpose:
Not unlike the Missile Might Bash, only with higher priority on startup 
and much more powerful if it connects. The Million Bash Stream is 
readily comboable from any of Yashiro's cancelable hits. It is also more 
damaging than most rushing desperation moves. It may not be the 
fanciest-looking move in the game, but its effects are undeniably 
deadly.

The last hit of the Million Bash Stream is tricky; Yashiro adds an extra 
uppercut at the end, which fools beginners into attacking him before 
he's through. This sometimes lets Yashiro escape unharmed if the move is 
blocked. Don't put yourself into such a risky situation in the first 
place by using the Million Bash Stream only when you're certain it will 
connect, i.e.: in combos.

The A-button version starts up faster than the C-button version that 
starts up deeper. Use the A-button version to combo from weak hits 
(crouch A, standing A) and the C-button to combo from strong hits (close 
C, close D). Be respectful of its reach, though; some of Yashiro's 
cancelable normals have more reach than the Million Bash Stream, so if 
you cancel it from too far away you'll miss the mark.

When powered up, the Million Bash Stream is a very effective wake-up 
move because of its lightning-quick initiation time and high priority. 
If the opponent knocks you down and hovers over you with intent to hit 
you when you get up, a wake-up Million Bash Stream will teach him a real 
lesson.

Notes:
Very, very nasty follow-up to Yashiro's high-hitting close standing D. 
Much more so than any other character in the game, Yashiro can severely 
punish an opponent who crouch blocks at the wrong time. More on that in 
chapter 3.

Yashiro yells, "Icchimai, na!" as he performs this attack.


2. Final Impact

|  \  -O  |  \  -O	+ A/C
O   O     O   O

Effectiveness: [O----]

Description:
Yashiro clenches his fists and channels his powers, then lurches forward 
with a stupendous punch to the abdomen. Can be powered up by holding the 
appropriate button. Unblockable after 3 seconds at DM / 2 seconds at 
SDM. One hit; 30% damage / 40% damage when unblockable at DM; 50% damage 
/ 60% damage when unblockable at SDM.

Purpose:
The Final Impact is too slow to be practical in most cases. It is 
arguably effective in only two circumstances:

Yashiro is invulnerable for a split-second when you unleash the move 
(that is, lift your finger from the button). If the opponent tries to 
counter your Final Impact charge-up with a projectile, with precise 
timing you can pass right through the projectile and strike the opponent 
for big damage.

The A-button version hits faster than the C-button button which has more 
range. The charge time for the unblockable property is identical in 
either case.

The unblockable version is an effective follow-up to a connected Upper 
Duel. Buffer the command for the Final Impact just as Yashiro is landing 
from the Duel so you can begin charging the attack before the opponent 
hits the ground. If you time it properly, Yashiro will unleash the 
unblockable Final Impact just as the opponent recovers from the Upper 
Duel - and unless he times a roll or dodge perfectly, he's in for a 
terrible surprise.

Otherwise, you can try and be tricky about using this move by charging 
it for a moment and then releasing, but you'll find its speed to be 
disappointing. It can be easily leaped over, and if blocked, it leaves 
Yashiro vulnerable. To make matters worse, the move isn't particularly 
strong considering how difficult it is to connect.

Notes:
Yashiro yells "Otonashiku, neterou!" which means "Be still and sleep!" 
as he performs Final Impact. This is a nice-looking move but it's the 
least reliable attack in Yashiro's arsenal.



[2.3: Normal Moves]
Merely press A, B, C, or D from any position to accomplish a normal 
punch or kick. The effective use of normal moves is absolutely crucial 
to the Yashiro player's success.

[Normals at a Glance]
Key: X  ...  Cancelable
     -  ...  Not cancelable

Button:         Standing Far       Standing Close      Crouch     Jump
        
  A                   X                  X                X         -

  B                   -                  X                -         -

  C                   -                  X                X         -

  D                   -                  X                X(1)      -

  CD                  X                  N/A              N/A       X

Note:
-Only the first hit of Yashiro's 2-hit crouching D is cancelable.

[Normals In-Depth]
Far Standing A (weak punch)
Cancelable.
Linkable.
Effectiveness: [OOOOO]

Yashiro leans forward and delivers a fast jab to the midsection. 
Excellent range for a standing weak hit, as well as excellent speed and 
high priority. Best of all, you can cancel the far standing A into any 
special move or Yashiro's Step Side Kick command attack, though only the 
Million Bash Stream DM is fast enough to combo from it.

Use the far standing A to keep the opponent a healthy distance from 
Yashiro where he can capitalize on the long reach of his other normal 
and special moves. This is an extremely safe poke and defensive players 
in particular must use it frequently.


Close Standing A (weak punch)
Cancelable.
Linkable.
Effectiveness: [O----]

Yashiro launches a quick elbow jab to the opponent's head. It's quick 
and it's cancelable, but Yashiro's height is such that most any opponent 
can crouch under this move outright. This unreliable attack is designed 
to make Yashiro players think twice about hammering the A button the 
whole match; the far standing A is extremely good, but if the opponent 
gets in too close, this move will come out instead. In close quarters, 
rely on Yashiro's standing B or crouching A rather than this.


Crouching A (weak punch)
Cancelable.
Linkable.
Effectiveness: [OOOO-]

Yashiro delivers a fast front jab from a crouching position. First-rate 
speed and good reach make this an effective move. It lacks the extreme 
range of the far standing A, but it is slightly quicker and more 
reliable in close quarters. Yashiro can combo his Million Bash Stream DM 
from a crouching A, making it that much more dangerous. This is 
Yashiro's fastest normal move, and he can link up to three of them 
together.


Jumping A (weak punch)
Not cancelable.
Effectiveness: [O----]

A leaping elbow strike. Short reach and a small hit frame. Not practical 
in light of Yashiro's other jumping attacks, but you may want to use 
this occasionally if only to change up your game.


Far Standing B (weak kick)
Not cancelable.
Effectiveness: [OOO--]

A spinning roundhouse kick to the midsection. Startling range, superior 
even to the far standing A. However, the slower speed and the inability 
to cancel this kick make it less effective overall. Nonetheless, this 
move is a good long-reach poke that is useful for keeping the opponent 
at bay and whittling his life meter down.


Close Standing B (weak kick)
Cancelable.
Linkable.
Effectiveness: [OO---]

Knee strike to the midsection. Fast and cancelable, without the 
irritating too-high hit frame of the close standing A. You can combo the 
A-button Upper Duel or Million Bash Stream from this kick. While it's 
not as effective as some of Yashiro's other close-in normals, it's 
reliable and worth using occasionally.


Crouching B (weak kick)
Not cancelable.
Must be blocked low.
Linkable.
Effectiveness: [OOOO-]

Yashiro leans forward and kicks at the opponent's ankle. While its 
recovery time is a little slow for a crouching B, its exceptional reach 
makes this kick useful nonetheless. Try changing up between the standing 
A and this move to put a lot of pressure on the opponent. You can link a 
low A after the low B, then cancel that into the Million Bash Stream. 
You must be very close to the opponent for this to work and the timing 
is more difficult than other low B into low A links, but the reward for 
mastering this technique is worth it.


Jumping B (weak kick)
Not cancelable.
Effectiveness: [OOO--]

A leaping front rising kick. A huge vertical hit frame, good speed, and 
notable priority makes up for this move's lacking horizontal reach. It's 
an effective kick as either air-to-air or air-to-ground. Use this when 
you want to get in close.


Far Standing C (strong punch)
Not cancelable.
Effectiveness: [OOO--]

Yashiro leans forward with a hook punch to the chest. Very slow to 
recover and thus dangerous to use frequently. Nonetheless, the power, 
reach and fast startup speed of this move makes it a surprisingly good 
poke when used sparingly. It will hit crouching opponents unlike 
Yashiro's far standing D, but it is completely useless as an anti-air 
attack. Learn its range and use it occasionally but by no means often.


Close Standing C (strong punch)
Cancelable.
Effectiveness: [OOO--]

Yashiro steps in with a mighty uppercut. Your run-of-the-mill 
cancelable, comboable close strong hit. Missile Might Bash, Jet Counter, 
Million Bash Stream, and the Step Side Kick all combo flawlessly from 
this hit. Always cancel this move with something; if it's blocked, 
cancel into the Jet Counter or the Step Side Kick, both of which let 
Yashiro recover safely. Otherwise, the close standing C sports a hideous 
recovery time.


Crouching C (strong punch)
Cancelable.
Effectiveness: [OOOO-]

Yashiro jets his forearm upward with a vertical punch. Great reach, 
quick startup speed, and a huge hit frame from the ground all the way up 
make this useful punch indeed. It is even effective as an anti-air 
defense if used early. Recovery time is not so good, so make certain to 
cancel this attack into a Jet Counter or a Step Side Kick when you use 
it. The crouching C has the greatest reach of Yashiro's cancelable, 
comboable hits.


Jumping C (strong punch)
Not cancelable.
Effectiveness: [OOOO-]

A mid-air spinning backfist angled sharply downward. Yashiro's height 
lends this move exceptional reach and priority versus standing or 
crouching opponents. However, the downward angle of the backfist makes 
it less than reliable as an air-to-air strike. Use this move a little 
early because it stays out for a long time and takes a moment to start 
up. Yashiro's best air-to-ground attack.


Far Standing D (strong kick)
Not cancelable.
Effectiveness: [OOOO-]

A 360 degree spinning hook kick to the head. Monstrous reach and a fast 
startup speed compensate for this kick's treacherously slow recovery 
time. Its high hit frame means this move is only effective versus 
jumping or standing opponents. The kick will completely miss a crouching 
opponent, leaving Yashiro extremely vulnerable to a counterattack. Learn 
its reach and use this kick from its maximum range for excellent 
results. Its reach also makes this kick a great counterhit against 
blocked special moves.


Close Standing D (strong kick)
Cancelable.
Must be blocked high.
Effectiveness: [OOOOO]

A fierce swing kick to the shins. Yashiro's close standing D is the 
single best normal move in the entire game. Not only is this move fast, 
strong and cancelable, but it must be blocked from a standing position. 
In other words, a crouching block is useless against this attack. Use 
the close standing D to parlay the opponent's defensive crouch into a 
powerful combo. This kick's recovery time is somewhat slow, but that is 
of no importance since you should always cancel this move into either a 
Jet Counter or a Step Side Kick if it's blocked. Use the close standing 
D in conjunction with Yashiro's low-hitting crouch B and D kicks for 
devastating results. More on this mind game in chapter 3.


Crouching D (strong kick)
Cancelable (first hit of two).
Must be blocked low.
Effectiveness: [OOOO-]

A huge saddlehorse breakdance double sweep kick. Dreadfully slow to 
recover, but its enormous reach makes this an excellent sweep 
nonetheless. Like all of Yashiro's strong hits, cancel it into either 
the Jet Counter or the Step Side Kick in order to alleviate the recovery 
time. The crouching D is also exceptionally useful when canceled into 
the fast, high-hitting A-button Sledgehammer. Also try intentionally 
whiffing and canceling it into a C-button Upper Duel in anticipation of 
a jump-in. This move has the single greatest reach of all of Yashiro's 
normals. It out-prioritizes or trades hits with most every other sweep 
and starts up very fast, so it can be used from its maximum effective 
range to good effect.


Jumping D (strong kick)
Not cancelable.
Effectiveness: [OOOO-]

A leaping hook kick. A huge horizontal hit frame makes up for this 
move's lack of vertical priority. Indeed, a crouching opponent may 
sometimes avoid this kick altogether. While Yashiro's jump C is his best 
air-to-ground attack, the jump D and its excellent reach make it a very 
potent air-to-air kick and equally effective versus larger standing or 
crouching opponents. Like the jump C, the jump D must be used a little 
early.


Standing CD (knockdown blow)
Cancelable.
Effectiveness: [OOOOO]

Yashiro lunges forward with a powerful shoulder rush. This is the single 
best standing CD in the entire game. It is uncharacteristically fast to 
start up and has good reach and high priority from the ground up. It 
even recovers quickly, though you'll want to cancel it into a Jet 
Counter or a Sledgehammer whenever you use it. This is a remarkably 
versatile move from any distance. You can use it frequently to good 
effect. Note you cannot cancel Yashiro's standing CD into the Step Side 
Kick command attack.


Jumping CD (knockdown blow)
Not cancelable.
Effectiveness: [OO---]

An upward-angled jumping side kick. Its high hit frame makes this move 
useless versus standing (let alone crouching) opponents, but its quick 
startup time and high angle make it a flawlessly effective air-to-air 
hit versus a high-jumping opponent. If Yashiro is below and adjacent to 
the opponent in mid-air, this move will beat out virtually anything he's 
got.



[2.4: Command Moves]
Command moves act like normal moves but are accomplished in tandem with 
a simple controller motion. They can be canceled into from any 
cancelable normals and are often cancelable themselves, allowing for 
extended combos. This isn't the case with Yashiro, though his command 
move is certainly useful in its own right.


Step Side Kick
-O + B
Not cancelable.
Effectiveness: [OOOO-]

An advancing side kick to the chest. Seemingly useless at first because 
it cannot be canceled and is only moderately quick to start up and 
recover, the Step Side Kick is in fact a crucial addition to Yashiro's 
arsenal. It serves the invaluable purpose of canceling the recovery time 
on Yashiro's slow-recovering cancelable hits. It is virtually as 
powerful as a Jet Counter, which makes it a viable and safe third hit 
from a jump-in combo. It is also Yashiro's only combo finisher that 
doesn't knock the opponent down, and strategically significant for this 
reason. Note you cannot cancel Yashiro's standing CD into the Step Side 
Kick command attack.



[2.5: Throws]
Throws are not "cheap." (I put quotation marks around the word because 
it holds little meaning any longer with respect to fighting games.) A 
throw inflicts about 20% damage and can be accomplished only when 
directly adjacent to the opponent. You can escape throws unscathed in 
Advanced mode merely by pressing A, B, C, or D as the opponent initiates 
the grab. Extra mode does not have this advantage.


Liver Blow
-O + C

Effectiveness: [OOO--]

A powerful body blow (looks like the Jet Counter). This has the effect 
of a typical King of Fighters '97 throw. It knocks the opponent backward 
at which point he can use a recovery roll.


Hatchet Throw
-O + D

Effectiveness: [OOOO-]

Yashiro hoists his opponent over his head with one arm and slams him 
down. More interesting than the Lever Blow on two accounts: First, the 
opponent cannot use a recovery roll to quickly recover from the Hatchet 
Throw. And second, Yashiro slams the opponent behind him with this move. 
Use it when cornered to give the opponent a taste of his own medicine, 
as they say.



[2.6: Combinations]
Yashiro relies more on mind games, high/low traps, and powerful single 
strikes than a great variety of combos. Nonetheless, his standard combos 
are reliable and safe. Yashiro also has enough special-case and corner 
combos to give expert players something to work toward. What follows is 
a mostly comprehensive list of what he can do. Note moves that appear in 
brackets represent optional openings.


-Regular Combos
[Jump C/D,] low C, A/C Jet Counter
[Jump C/D,] low C, C Missile Might Bash
[Jump C/D,] low C, Step Side Kick
[Jump C/D,] close stand C/D, A/C Jet Counter
[Jump C/D,] close stand C/D, C Missile Might Bash
[Jump C/D,] close stand C/D, Step Side Kick

-DM Combos
[Jump C/D,] far stand A, A Million Bash Stream
[Jump C/D,] close stand A/B, A Million Bash Stream
[Jump C/D,] low A/B, low A, A Million Bash Stream
[Jump C/D,] low C, C Million Bash Stream
[Jump C/D,] close stand C/D, C Million Bash Stream

-Variety Combos
Close stand C/D, C Upper Duel (point-blank range)
Low C, C Upper Duel (point-blank range)
Close stand A/B, A Upper Duel (in corner for all three hits)
Low A, A Upper Duel (in corner for all three hits)
CD Knockdown Blow, A Sledgehammer (CD must counterhit)
C Upper Duel, Final Impact (first strike of Upper Duel must trade hits)



[2.7: Rolls & Dodges]
Rolls are available in Advanced mode while dodges are available in Extra 
mode. Either is accomplished by pushing buttons A and B simultaneously. 
Advanced mode yields a forward roll by default, though a backward roll 
can be performed by pressing AB while holding backward on the joystick. 
Dodges are stationary and invincible to anything but grabs. Rolls move 
forward or backward a short distance (past the opponent when both 
characters are adjacent) and are initially only vulnerable to grabs, 
with the added stipulation of momentary vulnerability at the end. 

Forward Roll:
Yashiro hand-stand somersaults forward. Very conspicuous, but misleading 
in that he looks more vulnerable than he actually is. Use this against a 
passive opponent to get in close or cross up. Also useful, like any 
other roll, for passing through projectile attacks and special moves. 
Beware of using it for any other purpose versus a more competent 
opponent, for he will most likely throw you before you can recover. 
Yashiro's fast Sledgehammer or his high-priority jumping attacks are his 
best and safest means of closing distance with the opponent.

Backward Roll:
Yashiro hand-stand somersaults backward. Useful for giving Yashiro a 
little more breathing room. Defensive players will want to back roll 
whenever the opponent gets uncomfortably close since Yashiro can fight 
effectively from a distance while most characters cannot. Be careful, of 
course, because Yashiro will be vulnerable for a moment as he completes 
the roll.

Dodge:
Yashiro leans into the background. A run-of-the-mill dodge; nothing 
tricky about it. Use it to avoid projectiles and advancing special 
moves, but beware of using it too close to the opponent lest you find 
yourself on the receiving end of a throw.



3.0: General Strategy
=====================
The general strategies that follow will be presented through fairly 
specific examples for the sake of clarity. The following is a suggestion 
on how to think about a match as a Yashiro player; it contains the 
ingredients for success and places them in a useful order. But I stress 
that being unpredictable is the key to consistent victory not just with 
Yashiro but with any character.

[3.1: Overview and Example]
Yashiro is at his most effective when played aggressively. Granted, a 
defensive Yashiro is by no means a pushover thanks to his fast, long-
range pokes and the Upper Duel. But when Yashiro is on the offense, he 
can implement his infernally effective high/low mind game, his extreme 
range, and his knockdown special moves to pound the opponent into the 
corner and in general to completely overwhelm any character in the game.

To this end, keep moving. Yashiro is a fast runner and a good jumper. 
Begin a round with a back roll (for example), then immediately charge 
the opponent or hop toward him with a jumping C or D. Once in range, 
pressure the opponent with standing A canceled into Step Side Kick, as 
well as low D into Sledgehammer, Jet Counter, or Step Side Kick. The 
range of the standing A and low D is similarly great. Ease off once in a 
while with a backdash, a back roll, or a backward hop jump D.

If you pressured your opponent effectively, he'll have no choice but to 
pursue when you back up in hopes that he can take the offensive. Because 
of Yashiro's huge ground reach, the opponent will presumably hop toward 
you. He will hop toward you momentarily after you ease off; learn to 
create these openings for him and otherwise to anticipate hop jumps. 
Perform the C-button Upper Duel just as the opponent leaves the ground 
from the hop. The autoguard will kick in at precisely the right time, 
earning you two powerful hits and him a trip to the pavement.

At this point you will want to edge closer. Once the opponent falls 
(i.e., after any of Yashiro's special moves), Yashiro is at a huge 
advantage. Hover two or three character widths' from the opponent's 
prone body; don't get too close, especially versus grapplers. Remain 
standing, and then perform a sweep into a Sledgehammer just as he 
stands. An inexperienced opponent will probably block the sweep (but 
perhaps not the high-hitting Sledgehammer). An experienced opponent will 
sooner be hit by the low kick.

This apparent paradox, that an experienced player is less likely to 
block the sweep than a beginner, has a rational explanation. An 
experienced player knows all too well that Yashiro can severely punish a 
crouching opponent with little difficulty. At any point, Yashiro can hop 
in or rush in and attempt a close standing D (which hits high instantly, 
unlike any other close standing hit in the game) and cancel that into 
any of his comboable special moves, or better yet his Million Bash 
Stream DM. On the other hand, Yashiro only has two moves which must be 
blocked low: his crouching B and his crouching D, neither of which can 
be canceled directly into a special move and neither of which is 
particularly powerful. Thus the experienced player knows that he must 
always err on the side of the standing block versus Yashiro. At worst he 
eats the sweep. Meanwhile, a moment of hesitation in a crouch-block can 
cost the opponent 70% of his health (standing D into Million Bash Stream 
SDM).

There's more to this situation than meets the eye. As a matter of fact, 
it is possible to link a close crouching B into a crouching A which can 
then be canceled into a Million Bash Stream; however, the low B into low 
A link is more difficult to perform than most such links in the game. On 
top of that, you need to venture into throw range in order for this to 
work. But if you manage to perfect this timing then the opponent will be 
in serious trouble as soon as you earn a DM stock since you can then 
convert either the low B or the close standing D into a DM combo.

Otherwise, Yashiro's extremely potent close standing D makes crushing 
passively defensive opponents a snap. It's just that powerful, and an 
experienced King of Fighters '97 player knows and fears it for that 
reason.

Throw your challenger for a spin. Don't use the close standing D; not 
often, anyway. Only when you know it's going to hit. Since the opponent 
knows it's suicide to low block versus Yashiro, pick away at him with 
low Bs and low Ds first. You can throw him for a real spin if you pull 
off the low B, low A, Million Bash Stream combo. This is even more 
effective after a jump-in that sets you up for the proper close range. 
Soon enough the opponent will be forced into low blocking, now 
completely uncertain how to react. Anticipate this and rush forward with 
the close standing D. Mix this up with a standing CD into Sledgehammer - 
by now the opponent will try to counter with everything he's got, but 
chances are that the CD will beat him out and the Sledgehammer will 
score a counterhit.

Inevitably the high / low trap, much like the pressure game, will again 
force your opponent into going airborne. Stop the high / low trap 
immediately; it will only get you into trouble at this point. If you 
whiff a low D now, the opponent may very well punish you with a powerful 
jump-in combination. Instead, you'll want to adopt an aggressive air-to-
air or ground-to-air attack. Yashiro is top-notch versus aerial 
opponents both while airborne (jump CD, jump B, jump D) and while on the 
ground (Upper Duel, standing D, low C). One good Upper Duel will 
probably convince your opponent to stick to the floor for a while, at 
which point you can begin the pressure or mind game anew.


[3.2: Ranges and Zoning]
His reach is one of Yashiro's greatest assets. Virtually every single 
one of his far standing or crouching normal moves has massive reach, 
good startup speed, and good priority. However, the strong hits (i.e., C 
and D hits) tend to be very slow to recover. To this end, make certain 
to always cancel all cancelable strong hits into the Jet Counter, the A-
button Upper Duel (it's fast), the A-button Sledgehammer, or especially 
the Step Side Kick. Of course, Yashiro's far standing strong hits aren't 
cancelable, but by no means should this stop you from using them. While 
the standing C and standing D are slow to recover, if you use them from 
maximum range the opponent will rarely be able to counterattack if he 
defends. These moves are quick enough and their range is alarming enough 
to make them valuable tools for forcing the opponent into backing away 
and defending.

Yashiro players more inclined to a defensive game will want to center 
around fighting from his maximum range, also known as zoning. Here all 
of Yashiro's far standing hits and his low D will be tools of the trade 
in conjunction with the Step Side Kick and Upper Duel. And never forget 
to use his standing CD when the opponent gets close; it has less reach 
than his other normals, but it's fast and has immense priority. Practice 
and master the ranges of Yashiro's special moves as well, as they reach 
even farther than his normals. If you use them from the proper (long) 
range, the Jet Counter and the Sledgehammer make great zoning moves. 
They're also very useful for dealing with opponents who like to back 
roll frequently. If the opponent tries to out-poke you, remember the 
autoguard on the Upper Duel. With proper timing, you can use it as an 
effective mid-level reversal versus standing normals.

In the off chance that the opponent takes the upper hand and pushes you 
into the corner or gets in too close for your liking, recall that any of 
Yashiro's special moves will get you out of the tough spot. But of 
course, his most effective knockdown tool at close range is his standing 
CD. It recovers quite fast, but you should nonetheless cancel it into a 
Sledgehammer or a Jet Counter every now and then to mix things up. And 
of course, the Sledgehammer juggles after a knockdown blow counterhit. 
You cannot cancel the Step Side Kick from the standing CD.

The last note about Yashiro's ranges is centered toward the aggressive 
player who will want to learn precisely at which point relative to the 
opponent the far standing D becomes the close standing D. A dashing 
Yashiro can unleash the close standing D upon an opponent from within 
one character width; any more than that and the whopping, sluggish 
standing D comes out instead. The difference between a good Yashiro 
player and an expert Yashiro player is just how familiar he is with the 
range of the close standing D.


[3.3: Mind Games]
See Overview and Example above. As you know, the mind game is integral 
to Yashiro's success. Threaten the opponent with low Bs and low Ds, then 
go for the high-hitting Sledgehammer or close standing D. Yashiro's mind 
game also involves tricking the opponent into jumping toward him; do so 
either with a back hop jump after a heavy pressure offense or with an 
intentionally whiffed A-button Upper Duel. Either of these will let you 
recover with time to counter the jumper with the mighty C-button Upper 
Duel.

Try being tricky with the Final Impact DM if you're in the lead.


[3.4: Watching Your Meters]
An Extra Mode player should take the time to charge up whenever he 
connects with one of Yashiro's many knockdown moves. The maximum charge 
is best used for its 50% damage boost. Of course, don't hesitate to 
combo the Million Bash Stream if you know it's going to hit.

An aggressive Advanced Mode player can quickly boost his meter with a 
good pressure game of standing normals and close normals canceled into 
fast specials. In most cases, you should keep charging the meter until 
you have two stocks at which point you should use one stock to power up. 
Go double-time on the offense; if you work fast, Yashiro will be able to 
earn another stock at around the time his maximum gauge runs out. Thus 
he is able to retain the advantages of the maximum gauge (125% damage 
and SDM power) throughout the remainder of the match. At the same time, 
the reserve stock should be kept for the deadly SDM Million Bash Stream 
which is useful either in combos or as a wake-up move.


[3.5: Punishing Mistakes]
As far as Yashiro's concerned, any opponent who hesitates has made a 
grave error. Just one knockdown is all the setup you need to begin 
Yashiro's high / low mind game. Likewise, a passive and overly defensive 
opponent is prime target for the close standing D, while an opponent 
fixated on avoiding the close standing D is all set to eat a sweep or 
the low B, low A link.

Otherwise, when the opponent botches a special move and leaves himself 
open, try and connect a low C canceled into a Missile Might Bash to 
maximize the opportunity.

The lesson in all this is, more so than any other character, an 
aggressive Yashiro can convert even the slightest hesitation on the 
opponent's behalf into an opportunity.


[3.6: Specific Match-Ups]
The following are guidelines as to how, in general, to approach a match 
versus each character in the game. Specific advice is impossible because 
each character can be played differently and opponents vary in skill and 
strategy. Some repetition is in order in this chapter if only because 
certain techniques in Yashiro's arsenal are effective against most other 
characters.


[Kyo Kusanagi]
A pressure offense may get you into trouble against Kyo, many of whose 
special moves have autoguards. Likewise, Yashiro's C and D-button pokes 
won't work against the Kyo player who knows how to use his reversal. As 
such, you'll want to rely on Yashiro's low hits and his special moves in 
order to deal with this pest. Build pressure using the far standing A 
into Step Side Kick and try and trick Kyo into jumping toward you.

[Benimaru Nikaido]
An all-around powerful opponent who must never be underestimated. 
Benimaru is powerful at any distance, but he is most effective at 
keeping his opponent at bay. Charge at him. Rush in with the close 
standing D, pressure him with the hopping jump D. Try a standing CD into 
A-button Sledgehammer or Jet Counter. Benimaru players tend to rely on 
his virtually lag-free special moves, but Yashiro's specials are fast 
enough to counter these, with good timing. Use the Jet Counter to punish 
Benimaru's mistakes and zone him with your superior range. Don't jump at 
him often, as Benimaru has at least three highly effective, powerful 
anti-air attacks.

[Goro Daimon]
Yashiro's high / low mind game won't work well against Goro, the most 
punishing grappler in the game. If you get too close, the skilled Goro 
player will catch you in a devastating super grab. Goro is very 
susceptible to Yashiro's low hits and his great reach, but beware of 
poking excessively lest the big man catch you in his reversal. Yashiro's 
hopping jump attacks work well against Goro who won't be able to counter 
these effectively even with his powerful Cloud Tosser. Watch out for 
counter-pokes by means of Goro's far standing C and D.

[Terry Bogard]
Terry is perhaps the most fearsome opponent in the game, what with his 
ability to convert just about any hit into an extremely powerful 
combination. Be careful not to make mistakes fighting Terry and know 
that his range, particularly on his far standing B, rivals even 
Yashiro's. Since Terry must land a clean hit in order to do his damage, 
you might want to play defensively against him and use the Upper Duel to 
counter his advances. Likewise, you can take advantage of his lack of an 
effective throwing technique by using Yashiro's high / low game to full 
effect.

[Andy Bogard]
Short reach and low power make Andy a rather easy target with Yashiro. 
Overwhelm the Andy player with Yashiro's normals and his pressure combos 
and don't let him approach close enough to use his powerful Dam Breaker 
Punch. Stay on the offense and pressure him into making mistakes. Andy's 
Shoryudan uppercut is often not effective enough to beat out Yashiro's 
jumping C. Learn from which angle to approach with your jump attacks to 
yield maximum priority.

[Joe Higashi]
A dangerous opponent even for Yashiro. His A-button Hurricane Uppers can 
cause quite a problem when used repeatedly. Don't always roll through; 
you'll set yourself up for a throw. Convince yourself not to hop against 
Joe either, as those hurricanes are tall enough to knock you out of the 
air. High jump over the projectile and use Yashiro's aerial C punch to 
punish Joe. Use the high / low mind game to the best of your ability, as 
the Joe player has nothing in his arsenal to counter it directly.

[Ryo Sakazaki]
Ryo may prove to be a cunning opponent with a pressure offense even 
superior to Yashiro's, but the skilled Yashiro player won't let him in 
close enough. Ryo relies on his jump-in combinations and his Mouko 
Raijingo sliding uppercut that can be readily countered with the Upper 
Duel and Yashiro's leg sweep respectively. Use Yashiro's superior reach 
to keep Ryo from moving in too close, lest he use his unblockable Punch 
Dance.

[Robert Garcia]
Robert has similar reach to Yashiro and a devastating, albeit limited, 
offense. Count on him to rely heavily on his Hien Sempu Kyaku four-hit 
kick as part of his pressure game, and anticipate his jump-in combos and 
counter with the Upper Duel. Take the offense and try and overwhelm 
Robert completely; his Hien Sempu Kyaku has momentary startup lag, and 
if you stay on him he won't be able to use it effectively.

[Yuri Sakazaki]
Yuri proves no match for Yashiro's superior might and reach. She will 
have to jump at you in order to get close, but the Upper Duel will plant 
her firmly back on the ground. Stay focussed and use your height 
advantage to take control of the match. If she gets too close, you risk 
being subject a combo starting with her low-hitting close standing B. 
Watch for it, and block low when she's in your face, especially since 
she doesn't have an overhead hit.

[Leona]
Another dangerous opponent, Leona has reach just short of Yashiro's. Her 
moves tend to have more startup lag but less recovery time than his, so 
take advantage of this and out-poke her if that's the way the opponent 
chooses to play. Leona doesn't have effective means of countering 
Yashiro's jumping C, so use it often and keep the pressure high. Beware 
of Leona's Ground Saber traps, and counter her missed special moves with 
fast A and B hits. Leona is a prime target for Yashiro's mind game trap.

[Clark]
Serious trouble for Yashiro. Clark's tremendous reach on his Super 
Argentine Backbreaker renders Yashiro's mind game null and void. 
Likewise, his Rolling Cradler passes through low hits, making Yashiro's 
powerful sweep far less effective than usual. Clark lacks a consistent 
anti-air defense, so you'll want to hop at him frequently to build 
pressure. Try zoning him with your normal moves, but beware, for Clark's 
far standing D is every bit as good a poke as anything in Yashiro's 
arsenal. Sucker him into jumping at you and meet him midair with a CD 
knockdown blow.

[Ralf]
Ralf cannot compete with a Yashiro player who understands his reach and 
timing. The Ralf Kick can be rather easily guarded and countered with 
the Upper Duel, and in general, Ralf's reach is far inferior to 
Yashiro's so he won't be able to approach close enough to do any 
significant damage. But watch out for his aerial Blitzkrieg Punch and be 
ever respectful of his powerful desperation moves, just to stay on the 
safe side. His Super Argentine Backbreaker has less reach than Clark's, 
making him a better target for Yashiro's mind game.

[Athena Asamiya]
A pesky opponent who, in proper hands, is quick enough to make trouble 
for Yashiro. Her aerial Phoenix Arrow can be defended against with the 
Upper Duel, but you're better off blocking it then countering with a 
rush-in combo. She's got a command grab so the mind game won't work as 
well as it might otherwise. Put pressure on her with your reach and 
force her into jumping toward you. Don't jump toward her too often, as 
her Psycho Sword is a fairly good anti air defense.

[Sie Kensou]
Truly an irritating opponent. Yashiro doesn't have a good means of 
countering the Chokyudan projectile, which has little recovery time. 
Roll through it and rush in, and attempt to dominate Kensou on the 
offense so he makes a mistake. His moves, besides his uppercut-type 
attacks, have close to no recovery time so don't try and counter him 
with strong hits except when you know they'll connect. Don't let him 
approach too close lest he tag you with his Hermit Blast desperation 
move. Likewise beware, for Kensou's sweep has huge reach and is quicker 
on the draw than Yashiro's own. Finally, recall that with impeccable 
timing, the Final Impact desperation move will pass through projectiles. 
Use it on Kensou players who become too predictable.

[Chin Gentsai]
No less aggravating than his other teammates and more so in many ways. 
What Chin lacks in reach he makes up for with priority. Don't jump at 
him often, for his autoguard is wondrously effective at countering that 
sort of offense. Keep him at bay with your C punch and low D kick, and 
never use the far standing D against him as it will pass clearly over 
his head. Chin's small stature makes hitting him with many of Yashiro's 
moves rather more difficult than usual. Chin has no means of dealing 
with Yashiro's mind game, so should you trip him up, make sure and use 
it against him.

[Chizuru Kagura]
Don't get too cocky fighting Chizuru. Though Yashiro has superior range 
and is often quicker on the draw, Chizuru's pokes have a bad habit of 
turning a fight in her favor rather quickly. A poke-happy Chizuru can be 
taught a valuable lesson by means of the fast autoguard on the A-button 
Upper Duel. Otherwise, don't jump at her too often (her uppercut isn't 
half-bad) but by all means approach directly and keep her busy trying to 
block your moves.

[King]
King can't hang with Yashiro's superior reach. Take the offense by 
rushing and leaping at her frequently so she won't even have time to 
inflict block damage with her Surprise Rose and Mirage Kick. Keep the 
pressure high with long-range pokes, but try to avoid sweeping 
frequently as that will leave you open for the Surprise Rose. You can 
even go for the mind game if you must.

[Mai Shiranui]
The queen of block damage and otherwise a real nuisance to deal with 
because of her defensive tendencies. Watch out for her fast fan dance 
that can sap your power quickly whether you block it or not. Don't let 
her use it by laying on the offense real thick. Use the mind game to 
full effect, and anticipate her Squirrel Drop and her other aerial 
attacks and counter with the Upper Duel. Mai doesn't have a consistently 
effective air defense, so a generous helping of hop jump C punches will 
do you good toward dealing with her. Don't use the far standing D often 
against her, as it has a bad habit of missing the mark against her small 
frame.

[Kim Kaphwan]
Watch out for Kim's low-hitting sweep and Comet Cruncher. You can smash 
either of these moves with a well-timed Sledgehammer. Otherwise, make 
sure and have your Upper Duel timing down, for Kim's the type who needs 
to jump toward frequently. You can jump toward him almost freely, as his 
Hienzan doesn't have enough priority in most cases to beat out your 
jumping attacks. Pressure him with your superior reach.

[Chang Koehan]
This ridiculous character is not to be taken lightly. He can inflict 
serious damage fast if you get too close. Rely on your reach to keep 
Chang at bay, then rush him with the close standing D to set up the mind 
game. Watch out, though, because the knowledgeable Chang player will use 
his command grab to set you on your hindside if you get too close. Use 
pressure combos to force Chang into submission.

[Choi Bounge]
His lightning speed and small body make Choi a rather tough nut to crack 
with Yashiro. Your far standing D is suicide against this fellow, as it 
will pass cleanly over his head every time. Use crouching hits to keep 
him at bay, and beware of his jumping attacks - he tends to approach 
from the air at an unpredictable trajectory, thus timing the Upper Duel 
to counter him will often prove more difficult than it's worth. Your 
Sledgehammer can be put to good use against Choi, as can the ubiquitous 
mind game. Beware of laying on the offense too thick, as Choi's close 
hits have a lot of priority.

[Yashiro Nanakase]
Use everything in your knowledge, not to mention everything you learned 
from this guide, to demonstrate to the opponent why he's not playing 
Yashiro as well as he can.

[Shermie]
Beware the unbelievable reach of the Shermie Spiral grab. Throw the mind 
game out the window; Shermie's throw reach is far too great for you to 
get close enough to go for the low B or close standing D. Rather, keep 
her at bay with normals and jump in against her frequently. Make sure 
and jump in with deep hits, lest Shermie counter with her grab as soon 
as she recovers from block stun. Your standing CD, standing A into Step 
Side Kick, and your low D will all come in handy, as will the A-button 
Sledgehammer.

[Chris]
Chris is a small opponent so don't use that far standing D too often or 
you'll miss and be punished. Otherwise, beware his high priority Slide 
Touch and keep him at bay with your far superior reach. Chris tends to 
jump a lot, so get set to counter with the Upper Duel. Your mind game 
will prove effective if you can catch Chris with a sweep or a Jet 
Counter in order to set it up. Otherwise, don't hesitate to jump toward 
him because he has no consistent means of countering your aerial 
punches.

[Ryuji Yamazaki]
Yamazaki can outreach even Yashiro, so a defensive Yamazaki player who's 
got the Snake Arm down to an art might make for some trouble. To make 
matters worse, Yamazaki packs a nifty command throw that will put a 
damper on your mind game should you hover too close. You'll do well to 
use a lot of hopping C and D attacks against him, as his air defense 
Snake Arm isn't well suited toward countering these. Try to stay 
relatively close to Yamazaki at all times, and anticipate and roll 
through his Snake Arms if he becomes predictable.

[Blue Mary]
A deadly opponent with a move for every situation in her arsenal. If 
Mary anticipates your poke and reverses it, she can juggle with her 
Splash Rose desperation move to put you in a world of hurt. You're best 
off putting your sweep to good use against Mary, but above all else you 
must be unpredictable to defeat her. She's even got a couple of throwing 
techniques that will punish your mind game. Alternate strategically 
between jumping at her, zoning her with normals, hanging back and 
letting her approach, and rushing her with out-and-out offense.

[Billy Kane]
Billy's reach isn't difficult to overcome. Hop toward him with an aerial 
D kick if he insists on poking his way to victory, and be prepared to 
Upper Duel him if he takes your cue. You Sledgehammer and Jet Counter 
can out-prioritize a great many of his attacks, so use them often but 
not recklessly. Yashiro's attacks are usually quicker on the draw than 
Billy's, so anticipate his moves and punish him before he gets a chance 
to strike. You shouldn't have to resort to the mind game to beat Billy, 
but he has few means of defending against it should you choose to use 
it.

[Iori Yagami]
More than an even match for Yashiro, and a dangerous enemy on all 
accounts. A knowledgeable Iori player may prove to be quite a challenge. 
Try never to jump at Iori unless you anticipate his projectile attack. 
His Maiden Masher desperation move will pull Yashiro out of the air 
every time, and deliver big damage at that. Likewise, Iori's Scum Gale 
grab sets you up for big damage, so don't hesitate when you get close to 
him. Roll through his projectile (or Final Impact through it if you're 
feeling lucky) and use Yashiro's sweep and the Sledgehammer to force 
Iori back into the corner. Anticipate Iori's deadly hopping jump kicks 
and punches with the Upper Duel. Mix up your game between defense, 
offense, and zoning to keep him guessing.

[Shingo Yabuki]
Shingo sports both a powerful offense and a respectable defense, but 
once again Yashiro's range proves to be a real advantage. Stuff his 
moves on anticipation with Yashiro's long-range pokes and be prepared to 
counter his jump kicks with the Upper Duel. Shingo is perfect fodder 
Yashiro's mind game, and he's also a sucker for sweeps. Don't let him 
stay on his feet for long periods of time by pressuring him with weak 
hits into jumping.

[Orochi Iori Yagami]
Beware. Your Upper Duel will prove surprisingly effective against Orochi 
Iori's blazing fast jump kicks, and once you get him down, make sure and 
go at him full force with the mind game - but take heed of his Scum Gale 
grab. Watch out for his close standing and crouching B kicks, both of 
which hit low and may be canceled into any number of more powerful 
attacks. You probably won't be able to dominate Orochi Iori offensively, 
so your best bet is to keep him away as best you can with long-range 
standing attacks and the Duel. Don't jump at him later in the match lest 
you taste the fury of the Maiden Masher.

[Orochi Leona]
Beware. Use the Upper Duel the moment you see Orochi Leona leave the 
ground for a jumping attack; chances are your autoguard will kick in and 
you'll counter. Try and take the offense and work her down with lots of 
hopping attacks. Go for the mind game if you see an opportunity. Watch 
out for her Victory Riser desperation move since it can counter your 
jumps, and do your best to leap over or roll through her Ground Saber 
lest you yourself become victim to a deadly trap.

[Orochi Yashiro Nanakase]
Don't try the mind game against a good Orochi Yashiro player. He'll slam 
you to the ground faster than you can wonder what went wrong. Recall 
that Orochi Yashiro is not equipped with the powerful Upper Duel, let 
alone the Sledgehammer and the Jet Counter. The former move lets you 
readily counter his jump-ins, which he'll inevitably use to try and set 
up a throw combo. The latter two moves give you the advantage in reach. 
Fear Orochi Yashiro's leaping grab, as it can even pass through the 
Upper Duel. Deal with it by meeting Orochi Yashiro in mid-air with a CD 
knockdown blow that will cause a counterhit at which point you can tag 
him with your move of your choice before he hits the turf.

[Orochi Shermie]
She can prove to be a nuisance with her lightning kisses, but without 
her counterpart's command throw, Orochi Shermie is at a disadvantage 
against the aggressive Yashiro player. Use full jumps, rather than hops, 
when dealing with her, as those will help you avoid the lightning kisses 
just as Shermie doesn't have an effective means of taking you out of the 
air. Use rolls liberally in advancing upon her, and keep the pressure 
high since most of Orochi Shermie's moves have startup lag. Be wary of 
the Ankoku Raikoken desperation move; it's every bit as fast and 
powerful as Benimaru's. You'll want to stay on the ground once Orochi 
Shermie is equipped to hit you with a DM.

[Orochi Chris]
Take Chris's dangerously small size and add powerful special moves and a 
strong air defense and you have yourself a real problem on your hands. 
If you get too close, Orochi Chris can nail you with his unblockable 
punch dance that sets you up for major damage. If you jump, Orochi Chris 
can floor you with his high-priority uppercut. If you whiff a poke, 
Chris can quickly counter with a powerful ground combo. Take the fight 
to close quarters and change up your game frequently between fast pokes 
and all-out offense in order to keep him guessing, and try and land that 
close standing D. Don't let Chris's size fool you; he has considerable 
reach.

[Orochi]
Orochi is a total sucker for Yashiro's far standing C and far standing 
D, so use these liberally. Jump at him with an aerial D from maximum 
range, but don't get too close with your leaps or he'll nail you with 
one of his counterhits. If you get in his face Orochi may well inflict 
serious pain with his unblockable desperation move, so your best bet is 
to stay back a bit and whittle him down with pressure combos and pokes. 
He shouldn't be much trouble.



4.0: Closing Acknowledgments
============================

[4.1: Credits]
This guide would not have been possible without the following:

-Andrew Seyoon Park, a.k.a. EX Andy: asp@uclink2.berkeley.edu
 Testing, confirmations, strategies, and the idea and formatting
 for this guide. Check out his KoF help page:
 http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Alley/4810/

-Tony Wedd: miku@camtech.net.au
 Assistance with editing and revising. His '97 Leona guide defined
 the framework for this volume. Look for the Wedd Leona guide here:
 http://www.adelaide.net.au/~miku/leona.txt

-Chikako "Chika" Jennifer Ishikawa: iorin@aol.com
 Back story, character profile, some speech transcription and
 translation. Check out Chika's King of Fighters Zone:
 http://members.aol.com/iorin/chika/index.html

-Nick Des Barres: nickrox@ix.netcom.com
 Fixes and corrections.

-The King of Fighters Mailing List: kof-ml@umich.edu
 The largest discussion forum for the King of Fighters
 series on the Internet.

-The Berkeley Underground and Its Regular Patrons
 The only arcade located on the UC Berkeley campus. Also one of the
 only arcades in Northern California to feature KoF'97. Thanks to
 all the regular challengers for the good competition.

-Neo Geo Freak Magazine
 Official special move names, some combos.

-SNK Corporation of Japan
 For creating the best 2D fighting game in years.


[4.2: Version History]
v0.4	October 24, 1997. Added chapter 1, chapter 2. Unreleased.
V1.0	November 12, 1997. Added chapter 3, chapter 4.
V1.01	November 13, 1997. Minor clarifications, revisions. 
V1.09 November 16, 1997. Further revisions, additions to chapter 2,
      chapter 3.
V1.1  February 17, 1997. After a hiatus, added further revisions, 
aesthetic corrections, additions and clarifications throughout,
and the versus guide.

A forthcoming release may contain addenda such as character-specific 
match-ups if demand exists.


[4.3: Copyright Information]
This guide is intended for entertainment purposes only. Reproduction in 
whole or in part in any form or in any medium without express permission 
of the author is prohibited.

Legal pretensions aside, thank you for reading and enjoy the game.

  Greg A. Kasavin
  shrike@slip.net

---------------------------------

End of Guide v1.1		Copyright 1998 Greg A. Kasavin

All rights reserved. The King of Fighters '97 and Yashiro Nanakase are 
trademarks of SNK Corporation, Copyright 1997