Offensive Ryu Guide Version 1.2
(SFA & SFA2)
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Author: Cyrus Bulsara
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New to this version 1.2:

   * Added some stuff as mailed by kssuh@acs.ucalgary.ca

New to version 1.1:

   * Added more on normal moves, and best uses for them.
   * Added Ryu vs. Characters guides

Normal Moves:

You should know them all. 6 buttons, standing, ducking and jumping.This
isn't a novice faq, so I'll assume you know what each button does.

  1. short kick:
     The short kick can and should be used fairly often.If you're facing an
     offensive player who likes to fly in with hurrican kicks (using
     Ken,Ryu or Akuma of course) jamming on the low shorts will usually hit
     when they land near you. Of course, you'll have to push them away with
     something more substantial unless you want to be counter attacked once
     they're out of short range. Shorts are also very useful in combos.
     They've got a somewhat larger range than ducking jabs, and it's better
     to combo with them. Buffering in a super move is harder to do with a
     jab than it is with a short kick(super fireball, anyways). Short
     hurricane kicks are useful for charging up your super meter, and
     they'll get you over fireballs easily.
     It's also been mentioned to me that a standing short from up close is
     a good way to psyche your opponent into attacking. Toss in a dragon
     punch after the shortest of seconds and you'll probably hit.
  2. Forward:
     towards+forward kick produces a 'hop' attack. Good for keeping up in
     somebody's face, but hard to combo into/out of. Take care when using
     it, and don't use it often.
     This move is also good after a whole slew of shorts. Inevitably, the
     opponent willl want to sweep you after the shorts, so you can get
     better positioning with the hop, and get a free hit. As well, an
     uppercut/Super HK/Super FB after the hop is usually a good tactic.
     neutral+forward produces a 2-hit axe kick. It's good for defensive
     purposes, but for offense it's hard to use effectively(unless you
     decide to end a combo with it). The flying forward is probably the
     best move to attack with for jump in's (aside from the fierce) as it
     leaves you very close to your opponent. It's also fairly easy to
     cross-up with this move. Low forward->fireball is a useful 2 hit
     combo,and it succeeds in pushing away an opponent when you feel he/she
     is too close. Be careful though, since it's very predictable;
     Everybody uses it!
  3. Roundhouse:
     Roundhouse is useful for air defense, and of course, for knockdowns to
     set up your meaties. Other than that, I mainly use it for air/grounf
     HK's.
  4. Jab:
     The jab button is very very useful. Jab dragon punches should be the
     only ones you ever use for defensive purposes; they're harder to stuff
     and, even if you whiff, they're hard to counter-attack. They're also
     useful to toss into combos. Jab fireball is a good choice, as you can
     air HK in after throwing one and you'll usually catch your opponent
     blocking, so you'll pretty much be able to get right up in thier face.
     Again, this is what you want to do as an offensive player! Get them to
     panick when you're up close.
  5. Strong:
     towards+strong = overhead. 2 hitter, you should know this already.

     air+toward/away: Ryu does a two-hit air punch, which will hit twice in
     the air(juggles) or twice on a ground-borne character. People try this
     attack far too late to get 'meaties'.

     In reality, you can start this attack anywhere near the ground
     opponent, as it will hit from pretty high up. The only thing is, it
     will not hit a ducked opponent. This means that if your opponent knows
     you'll do one, he/she can simply jam on the low shorts and hit you
     when you land.

     It's hard to wake-up reversal this attack since it will hit as soon as
     the enemy becomes vulnerable to an attack. Very useful IMO.
  6. Fierce:
     Pretty useful, especially for air defense, if somewhat overpowerful.
     It can also be thrown into select combos, and two-in-one'd with
     fireball/DP. C.short->C.Fierce is a 2 hit combo. When Ken misses a
     DP(which happens often) one of my favorite counters is S.Fierce->jab
     DP. Sometimes, if you try fierce DP, you'll whiff the dp, and Ken gets
     a free 4-hit DP(or more, depending) Use rarely. Fierce fireballs are
     just stupid to use anywhere but in a combo.(Or a corner trap, but I
     hate that)

Specials:

Fireball: the offensive players tool, not his entire game. You should
already know how to perform one.

Timing for a fireball is very important. A wise opponent watches for a
pattern in your fireball throwing, and takes advantage of it. For this
reason alone you either have to be extremely precise in throwing your
fireballs when they least expect it, or you'll have to reserve them for
characters who are far away from you. This however, isn't offensive, and
this is an offensive faq, so I'll leave that particular strategy till the
end.

Basically, a lot of people will use the F.fierce, fierce-> fireball combo.
This should never be used on an opponent in the corner!! If he/she blocks
it, it means they get free hits on you! Instead, for opponents in the
corner, F.fierce, fierce->jab dp works good.It's very rare that they have
enough time to recover and hit you.(unless they've got a super. Be wary)
The problem with attacking with the fireball is that it's easily reversed
and/or it is seen coming a mile away.

Dragon punch: Reserve the dragon punch for defensive purposes, and then
only use the jab dp. I see too many people use the fierce and whiff,
opening themselves up for a rather large combo.

Hurricane Kick: Your best friend.

Ryu's hk will knock down with one hit. Some don't think this is very
useful, but they're just not positional players. For example, when you hit
with one, you can move to almost anywhere on the screen you'd like, to be
at whatever distance you'd like. Want to know why the HK is so effective
nowadays? People don't expect it! You'll catch a lot of players off guard
with it. It goes over fireballs, and sometimes, in the corner, you can land
behind a character who ducks it.Yes, it's a crossover tactic, and it works
damn good.

Another good time to use a HK is when your opponent blocks a fireball from
just out of sweep range. Chances are they'll throw a fireball at you, which
you'll soar right over and smack them in the head.

Air HK: your second best-friend
This move rules. In SFA1, it was nearly half my attacks, it was just so
damn effective. When you use it fly in on somebody, you can do it 3 ways.

  1. Land in front of them and block thier attack, this will set you up for
     option number 3 in the future. Best way to land in front is to use a
     short air hk.
  2. Hit them with it. This works best against non-dp characters. From this
     move you can do a number of things. This can be used to 'tick' if
     you're into that stuff. If not, follow it up with a low roundhouse or
     something. This move is hard to AC and connect with for ground
     ac-ers.(the air hk, that is)
  3. Fly over them. The conservative ryu/ken/akuma/sagat players will try a
     jab dp, and they'll usually whiff it. You land behind them, free hits.
     Also, if timed right, you can actually catch somebody in the back of
     the head with it. One of the easiest cross-overs ever. These crossover
     air-hk's are extremely difficult to ac, and to block.

I use it to retreat when things are too tight sometimes, and then I usually
fly right back in, which catches your opponent off guard half the time.
It's a gamble, but it has lots of priority. It's also useful to jump
straight up and hurricane kick at the top of your leap. You'll carry over
most fireballs and move forwards that extra bit to hit a cornering
opponent.

Note:In SFA2 Ryu's gained more hang time to this move, which makes the
timing more like that in ST, but it's still easy to adapt.

Super Combos:

Okay, your 2 ultimate best friends, and when to use them effectively.

Super fireball:
This is one damn overpowerful move in SFA1, and SFA2 isn't much different.
When to use it:

  1. Any fireball war.
  2. When an opponent is jumping towards you. Great air defence, and it
     never fails to make your opponent yell out "Aiyaa!!"
  3. Air hk backwards, land and toss one out. chances are(if you're
     fighting anybody with half a fireball recovery) they'll throw a
     regular fireball towards you as you land.Free hits.
  4. Anytime you're far away(execept against birdie!!)block damage is fair,
     especially when you follow it up with an air-hk. They either block it,
     or jump straight up. If they jump backwards(and aren't in the corner)
     your advancing character makes the screen move backwards and they'll
     land on it. If they choose to block it(and not ac it) you're in thier
     face again. It's best to short-air hk in this situation.
  5. Right after you've just thrown one. It hits half the time.
  6. After a standing strong.
  7. After a towards+forward kick.
  8. If you don't jump at a knocked down opponent(who has a fireball)
     they'll most likely get up and throw one towards you right away. Good
     opportunity to punish them with a super.

Super HK:
Some good times to use this move:

  1. dizzy opponents(duh)
  2. Right after you miss somebody with one. They always try to low attack
     you as you land. If you time it right, they'll stick thier leg out,
     and get sucked in to your attack. Works like a charm
  3. After a failed overhead attack. Same reason as #2
  4. Air defence
  5. Against Guy: whenever he rushes in! Looks especially good when he uses
     his rush sc, and you counter with a level 3 super HK! Once again,
     never fails to produce an "Aiyaa!" from your opponent(or the crowd
     watching) It's best to chuckle after doing this(or taunt, if you're
     really cocky) ;)
  6. Right after forcing your opponent to air-block a normal HK in the
     corner. You'll land first, they'll be vulnerable for a spilt second to
     any attack you use now, but this one just looks the best. Take care
     not to use it too often, as I've been called cheap for doing it.
  7. Whenever a ryu or akuma tosses a super fireball your direction. Kind
     of a waste, but it looks nice, and freaks out the person you're
     playing against.
  8. After a missed overhead or towards+forward kick.

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Combos:
SFA1:

   * F(anything),c.jab,c.short,c.short,(insert special or super of your
     choice here)
   * Same combo, but as a crossup works very nicely too, and looks nicer,
     IMHO.

Japanese mags bigass Ryu combo:
In corner: F.strong(deep hit) C.jab, C.short,C.short,C.forward, lvl3 super
HK, and while opponent is in air after you land, jump towards them and hit
strong punch(it juggles). The picture I saw showed 19 hits.
Note: With the chains in SFA1, it's too easy to make up your own combo, so
I'll leave it to you to find your own big-hit combo. My personal favorite
goes like this: F.strong, S.jab,C.short,C.short,C.forward,Super
fireball(lvl3)
I also like deep F.forward cross-up combos.Same combo, but it's a cross-up,
with forward instead of strong.

SFA2:
With the loss of chain combos, I've seen too many people using mere 3 hit
combos with Ryu. If you're like this, I have one thing to say to you- Baka!

Try these out:
F.Strong, C.jab,C.short,fireball
Toss in a super instead of the fireball for good effect. A roundhouse HK
works fine as well.
Best non-chain chain combo:
F.(anything),C.strong, C.Forward->fireball.
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What not to do:

   * Don't use your overhead until the 3rd round(assuming you go 3 rounds)
   * Don't fireball cheese. Its too boring, and besides, it's damn easy to
     get past if you're good.
   * Don't attack a turtler! 2 things to do are as follows:
       1. Turtle his/her ass right back. Don't ever press the attack on
          these people. If they throw a fireball, throw one back and negate
          thiers. Don't ever throw one out unless they've already got one
          on the way!!!
       2. Ignore them. I'm serious! This works! If they're throwing
          fireballs incessantly, just yawn and sort of glance away from the
          machine, showing your obvious boredom at the tactic. Not only
          will this make him/her turn red in the face, but it never fails
          to get the crowd chuckling ;) If you're really daring, talk to
          one of your friends or even a total stranger about something
          completely unrelated.(If you mention how bored you are, it
          instead shows how riled you really are.) Good topics are:
            1. weather
            2. exams
            3. The cost of cafeteria food
            4. Why you hate the fruitopia ads before movies
            5. Did you ever have a Teddy Bear when you were a child?
            6. Innie or outie?
            7. Do you ever get rashes?

          Once again, try not to use the tired old "I smell something
          cheesy" topic, cuz that just incites the 'cheeser' to greater
          amounts of cheese.

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Strategies against other characters:

   * Ryu:
     Probably the hardest matchup you'll face, since most Ryu players out
     there are turtles. In this case, you shouldn't have to worry about
     being out manouvered offensively; it's rare to find offensive Ryu's
     like us. Instead, concentrate on breaking thier defense, or making
     them come to you. Basically, a defeinsive character is good when
     they're on the defensive. What you do is force them to attack you,
     then you push them back on the defensive again, but this time, it's on
     your terms.
   * Ken:
     Offensively, Ken is one of the better fighters out there. Be careful
     everytime you jump in! Air HK's are great against most Kens, since
     they'll whiff a lot of DP's trying to hit you. Whenever Ken is nearby
     it doesn't hurt to throw out a jab DP or two now and again, on the off
     chance you'll connect. Again, unless he's got a super, he'll have a
     hard time counter-attacking it. In SFA2 his DP knocks down even less,
     so even if he attempts to fierce DP you from afar, you get a free
     combo.
   * Akuma:
     Akuma is a bastard, and it really often depends on what type of Akuma
     you're fighting. Turtle Akuma is easy to defeat, Offensive isn't quite
     so easy.
       1. Turtle:
          Turtle Akuma's tend to jump backwards and air fb a lot. Air HK is
          the way in. If you don't want to get too close, just charge your
          supers and throw them out often.Then follow them up and you're in
          close, a defensive turtlers nightmare.
       2. Offensive:
          There isn't much you can do against an offensive Akuma, since his
          offence is far more potent than Ryu's. Be on the lookout for
          HK's, as they're a favorite move of most offensive Akuma's. The
          dive kick is useful for him as well. Be prepared to use reversals
          a lot when you're rising, since he's got that cheese air-throw.
   * Dan:
     Jump kick early in your jump, so that you'll stuff any DP attempt. Be
     careful of that gale kick! It's still useful in SFA2. Watch out for
     his Super Desperation! Oh, and don't laugh when he taunts you, cuz
     that's one of his best attacks! While you're choking on laughter,
     he'll walk up and super combo you! Be wary of his super fb, it'll hit
     you out of a HK, and it'll catch lazy people a lot. Don't
     underestimate a Dan player.
   * Chun Li:
     Jab dragon punch is the hardest to stuff, so use it lots. Be careful
     of turtling Chun's, as they're more dangerous than scrubby offensive
     Chun's. That spin kick is hard to reverse, it's best to block and then
     push her away with a C.forward->fireball. Don't air HK often, as
     you'll pay for it against Chun Li. Try staying on the ground against
     her, but press the attack when you've got the chance, since it's far
     more fun than being a turtle ;)
   * Guy:
     Guy is damn fast! Watch out for his speed, he's dangerous. Try not to
     let him get you on your heels, the best way to defeat a Guy is to go
     all out offensive on him! Don't be afraid to throw fireballs from far
     away, or jab dragon punch from afar, either. It makes him wary of your
     timing to pull one off if he tries jumping in. Those low forward pokes
     work against him pretty well,and cross-up's are a good attack.Often if
     he tries to reverse a meatie by spin kicking, he'll whiff if you're
     trying a cross-up meatie...then it's free hit time.
   * Charlie:
     As a turtle, Charlie is hard to fight. You'll have to turtle the
     turtler to beat him effectively. While extremely boring, it's the
     easiest way to beat a turtling Charlie, if only because Charlie is so
     overpowerful! An offensive Charlie is rare to find, and when you find
     one, it's best to play offensively as well. That flying forwad comes
     in handy. The only air HK worth trying is the roundhouse, and on the
     way up so you'll soar far.
   * Sodom:
     A good Sodom is hard to beat with Ryu.Low roundhouse's come in handy,
     as do super HK's. Your best DP to use against him is the strong, as
     the jab often leaves you open for a throw. The F. Strong attack is
     useful against unwary opponents, since it hits from very high up, but
     be wary since he's got great air defense.
   * Birdie:
     Corner the bastard! Keep the pressure on Birdie and don't throw
     mistimed fireballs!
   * Zangief:
     An offensive Ryu has a hard time with a pressing Zangief. You'll have
     to work on your psyche-out moves a lot in order to make Zan make a
     mistake that's punishable.
   * Bison:
     Use that air HK to it's full potential. You see him teleport, ground
     HK.Fireball? Jump straight up and HK over it.Jab DP whenever he gets
     too close, and press with the flying roundhouse lots. It's one of the
     harder moves for Bison to cut through.
   * Sagat:
     No brainer here. Knock him down. When he's getting up, Flying strong
     attack, then follow up with whatever combo you'd like. Low roundhouses
     will work wonders against a Sagat who's just out of sweep range.Be
     wary of using a sc up close on him.
   * Rose:
     Rose is aptly named the Ryu killer. Air hk's are useless against a
     good Rose player, your best use for HK's are ground based ones.
     Fireballs are useful, but don't go following up on them all n the off
     chance she'll reflect them. This is a hard matchup
   * Sakura:
     Good Sakura's tend to be offensively minded, and that air HK works
     wonders on them. Jab DP anytime she gets too close! I haven't really
     fought any Sakura's yet, so I'll fill this in later.
   * Rolento:
     Agh! Why do I get the feeling they created this guy just to kill Ryu?
     Still, not enough experience against a good Rolento to put anything
     down here just yet.
   * Gen:
     Never played a human Gen!
   * Dhalsim:
     It's hard to get up close on a good Dhalsim plaer, but once you're
     there, don't leave!!! Half of Dhalsim's game is to keep you away from
     him, so once you're in he's limited. Watch out for throws, as he has
     good throw range. Those jab DP's come in handy here.
   * Adon:
     Adon is one tricky bastard to fight. He can poke you to death easily,
     due to all his damn speed! Try jab DP's from outside sweep range, but
     don't neglect fireballs! Once you toss a couple fireballs his way
     he'll assume you're another fb/dp ryu and he'll try to predict your
     next fireball. Don't throw another fb for a long long time, and he'll
     keep thinking you're going to throw one. F. Fierce is a good attack.

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For further clarifications about this faq, contact me, Cyrus
Many thanks to:

   * Liam Briggs (lbriggs@chat.carleton.ca): with whom I've had many an
     intrigueing conversation about the many aspects of SFA (and SF in
     general)
   * Tim Lim(no email address):A good friend who also uses Ryu, and plays a
     hell of a lot like I do, for some reason.(Plays a mean Guile in ST
     too)
   * That guy in the arcade we like to beat up on(no known email address):
     Yah, he used to be good, but then one day I beat his ass good and he
     said the forever immortalized words"I can't believe I lost!!" which of
     course inspired us to never ever lose to him again.Cocky SOB.
   * James Terris(as848@freenet,carleton.ca): The man who always tells me
     that puzzle games are better than Street Fighter. Just thought I'd
     mention his name.
   * Capcom: they keep putting out this damn game, I guess I should thank
     them for single-handedly making all my marks drop.
   * (kssuh@acs.ucalgary.ca): For offering more advice! Thanks for the
     suggestions!