Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 Android 18 FAQ and Guide Introduction Before I begin, there are a few things I want to make clear. First of all, this is not one of those character FAQs where I list all the capsules and how much damage deathmoves do. In my opinion, that is the most shallow way of discussing a character and doesn't even begin to cover all the depth a character has. It doesn't tell you anything about the character or how to play the character well, so I won't be doing that. I'll list a few useful capsules, and damage dealt in combos, but if you're looking for a list of capsules or something, you won't find it here. Also, I'm not trying to tell everyone how to play, or get you playing a certain way. I'm trying to get you THINKING a certain way. There is a lot of depth and strategy in this game, like any other fighting game, and until you're thinking a certain way, you won't be able to progress. I will present concepts and techniques used at high level play that you should learn, but you really just have to kinda develop your own style, and just go with it, you know? The object of any strategic game is to control as much of the game as possible. You want to deplete all of your opponent's life bars, and they want to do the same to you. There is no one way that works best, or step by step method for how to do it, but there is a certain fluidity to a strategic style of play, and that is the essence of any fighting game. Everything you practice should flow smoothly, if it isn't, you're doing something wrong, or you've come across a situation you were unprepared for, and you won't be able to react quickly and efficiently to it again until you confront it. Lastly, I just want everyone to know that I am by no means "the master" at this game. I have been playing it for awhile, and I know a lot more than a beginner, obviously, which is why I am able to help. I am especially good with Android 18, and defensive play in general, but don't think that I am unbeatable, or that anyone can become unbeatable. Anyone can be beaten, and any strategy, no matter how well thought out, will have holes in it. Bio Android 18 is a tough girl with an attitude. She was once human, but Dr. Gero gave her special enhancements to turn her into an android. She is very stubborn and tempermental, unlike her brother, Android 17, and takes things much more seriously. Shortly after being activated, her and 17 killed Gero and activated Android 16. They then went out to find Goku so that 16 could kill him. But on the way they ran into Vegeta, who challenged 18. She beat him with little effort and flew off to continue searching for Goku. Eventually the androids run into Cell and he absorbs 17. 18 and 16 hide, but Cell catches up and finds them. Right as he's about to absorb 18 Krillin pops in and tries to stop him, but he was too weak. Cell disposes of Krillin and absorbs her anyway. Afterwards, he beats up Vegeta and proposes the Cell Games in 10 days. During the Cell Games, Gohan punches Cell really hard in the stomach and he spits out 18, so Krillin goes up and moves her away from the battle. After Gohan finishes Cell peace is restored to the galaxy for seven years, in which time 18 marries Krillin and they have a daughter named Marron. Pros and Cons In Budokai 3, Android 18 is every bit as tough as she was in the series. She isn't the strongest character by any stretch of the imagination, but she can hold her own to just about anyone, and her pros far outweigh her cons. She has one of the best combo platforms in the game. It's a defensive platform, and she has a wicked <P<P juggle nullifier string, in addition to the generic <KK- cancel nullifier string. She also has a lightning fast PPPPK juggle string in addition to the generic K<K- nuetral/defensive cancel string. She also has a long-range >K+G juggle and a very damaging >KKKKK juggle string. On top of all that, her <P<P is an infinite, so this girl can juggle like mad. This gives her great ki-building, and with her baseline ki of four ki guages, she is seldom at a disadvantage, ki-wise. She is not reliant on a transformation, so transformation reliant characters can take a trip against her. She is one of the most damaging characters in the game, but thanks to her infinite juggle string, her damage is also very flexible to her opponents' ki recovery, so you won't have to worry about your combos getting TC'd. She has two great deathmoves, both projectile, and to top everything off, she has three sexy outfits, all of which she looks great in. The only downside to playing as Android 18 is that she has to adjust her combos a little to work against really small characters. This doesn't affect her too badly, and most of the cast has this same problem, but I felt it was worth mentioning. It only affects her on certain combos using her level two deathmove, and it doesn't matter in the air, so this weakness is easily overcome. Combo Platform Cancels: <KK- K<K- Stuns: >K (from behind) <K+G Juggles: PPPPK >PKP <P<P <P<K KK<K >KKKKK <K<K <KP >K+G She has several other strings that don't combo, but are very useful. An example would be <P,>P. Both hits in this string nullify, and it closes distance very fast. She has a devastating PPKKK string that deals more damage than a level one deathmove, which is useful in various special circumstances I'll go into later. In order to be a good Android 18 player, you'll have to play around with her combo platform, and get used to it. This is really true of any character, but moreso of 18. She can juggle like mad, but most of her juggles don't give her all day to follow through with something else. They require timing, and precision, which will require practice to get a hold on. Finding a character that has a combo platform you like is the foundation of a good B3 player. You can't just learn a few combos and try to just repeat them in a match. You're playing as a character, not as a combo. If you play around with 18, and you decide you want to learn how to play her like a pro, the first thing you should do is head over to practice mode and go to the hyperbolic time chamber. Choose anyone as your opponent, preferrably someone of similar size (I always choose Goku) and turn breakfall on. Now just get a feel for the combo platform. Spend a few minutes testing various strings. When you're ready, start learning some combos. Combos Here's how this works...I tested all these combos with her deathmoves double stacked, instead of with breakthrough, which will make it easier to calculate damages with stat increases. You'll see two numbers for damage, one is low and one is high. High damage is when she is at full ki when she starts the combo, and low is when she is at one ki guage. There isn't a huge difference, but you won't always be at full ki or on empty, so usually you'll get a number in between, and you'll have a much better idea of how much damage my combos will actually do in a real match. I'll also tell you how much ki your opponent gains for each combo after the damage, so you don't get tc'd. One thing to keep in mind is that you do not have to use these exact combos. These are just basic combos, and while they're proven effective, they're just the ones I use. If you want or need to, come up with your own variations. Even I don't use these exact combos most of the time. The first combo I'll list is an example to show what the numbers mean. K<K-s, KK>K>KPE 930/959 damage dealt to opponent, 0.5 ki guages recovered toward baseline by opponent <KK-s, K<K, >KKKKK^, KK>K>KPE 1303/1356 1.0 <KK-s, K<K, >KKKKK^, PPPPE 986/1035 0.9 <KK-s, K<K, >KKKKK^, <P<P^x3, KK>K>KPE 1541/1605 1.6 <KK-s, K<K, >KKKKK^, <P<P^x3, PPPPE 1258/1323 1.5 <KK-s, K<K, >KKKKK^, <P<P^x5, KK>K>KPE 1650/1726 2.0 <KK-s, K<K, >KKKKK^, <P<P^x5, PPPPE 1393/1466 1.9 <KK-s, K<K, >KKKKK^, <P<P^x7, KK>K>KPE 1723/1797 2.5 <KK-s, K<K, >KKKKK^, <P<P^x7, PPPPE 1497/1569 2.4 <P<P^x1, KK>K>KPE 893/918 0.5 <P<P^x1, PPPPE 568/588 0.4 <P<P^x3, KK>K>KPE 1081/1117 0.9 <P<P^x3, PPPPE 775/809 0.8 <P<P^x6, KK>K>KPE 1308/1357 1.5 <P<P^x6, PPPPE 1035/1082 1.4 <P<P^x9, KK>K>KPE 1474/1527 2.0 <P<P^x9, PPPPE 1226/1278 1.9 K<K-, <KK-s, >KKKKK, KK>K>KPE 1281/1332 1.1 K<K-, <KK-s, >KKKKK, PPPPE 964/1010 1.0 K<K-s, >KKKKK, <P<P^ x6, KK>K>KPE 1677/1748 2.0 K<K-s, >KKKKK, <P<P^ x6, PPPPE 1420/1494 1.9 K<K-s, KK>K>KPE 930/959 0.5 PPPPK^, <P<P^ x4, KK>K>KPE 1259/1305 1.4 PPPPK^, <P<P^ x4, PPPPE 989/1032 1.3 PPPPK^, <P<P^ x7, KK>K>KPE 1413/1457 1.9 PPPPK^, <P<P^ x7, PPPPE 1172/1216 1.8 PPPPK^, KK>K>KPE 955/984 0.7 Tips on using combos in general First of all, don't just learn the combo that deals the most damage and use only it. There is more to being good at this game than just being able to deal heavy damage in combos. One reason you don't do that is simply because you'll get TC'd a lot, since your opponent can recover ki guages towards his baseline. If you equip turtle shell, maybe not so much, but if your opponent equips concentration, it will counteract with turtle shell. The other reason for this is because your opponent will be trying to do the same thing to you. They won't just let you walk up to them and land some massive combo on them. You have to have a strategy to land the first hit, and then choose the rest of the combo by how much ki they have. If they have enough ki to TC before you can launch a deathmove, just keep juggling them with your infinite until they TC. If your damage starts scaling down drastically, just launch them with PPKKK, or a level one deathmove if you still want to try to get them to TC. You can still do a decent amount of damage without using a deathmove, but the thing you have to keep in mind as you play is that you have to get them to drain their ki first in order to get them low enough to land a more damaging combo on them. Otherwise, you'll never do more than around 1300 damage in a combo. Now, I'm not saying you can't play without using deathmoves. In fact, sometimes I prefer it, because with the right stat increases, it's easier to do. Deathmoves just make you more efficient, and they up your damage without making your combos any longer. So if you're using deathmoves, and not using turtle shell, the first step you'll take is draining your enemy's ki. There are several ways to do this. 1. By attacking. If they dodge all your attacks, they'll lose ki. However, they'll most likely block, and if they block, they'll gain ki. You'll still gain more ki than them, but this may or may not be your best option. 2. By taunting. If you knock them on the ground, taunt them. 18 has countless launchers and chargeable attacks that will incapacitate your opponent long enough for you to taunt them, so do some experimenting and find some you like. K<K and <P,>P are both good examples, because they are both chargeable, they both nullify attacks, and they are both quick attacks that won't allow your opponent to build much ki from blocking. Don't forget dash attacks either. 3. By letting them TC during a combo. Wham, there go three ki guages. This is generally your best bet. Now you'll also have to work on landing combos. One thing to keep in mind is that you won't have long to start a combo on them before they've built their ki back up, so you'll have to act fast. If they don't do anything but block, you have options. You'll have to take the initiative and do one of several things. 1. Guardbreak. This one is iffy, because you'll have to use a dash attack. >>K works nicely, but careful not to get sidestepped. If you do, don't sweat too much, because you'll just hit the ground if you are sidestepped and attacked, but it can still put you in a bad position, especially against someone with a very good infinite juggle, like Android 18 has. Not many are that good though. I've also found it's best not to do dash attacks from a very long distance away from your opponent. 2. Charge attack. Anything you can charge and combo with. For example, you could charge the second hit in the <P<P string. This one is dangerous, because you're open to attack while you're doing this. If they start to attack, you can still catch them in a counterattack by releasing the button you're charging. 3. Fake them out. If all you could do with a charge attack is charge it, you'd be screwed. But you can also cancel them. When you cancel, you immediately return to a blocking position, safe from attack. From there you can do anything. A quick cancel followed immediately by a throw is a classic abuseable way to inflict damage. Eventually, your opponent will get tired of being thrown though, so you will have to mix it up. Cancel and do anything you want. Quick P and K starters are good. <P is also good because it tracks movement and nullifies attacks. Just keep it mixed up, and don't abuse your throw too much. 4. Teleport. If they attack, and you have substantially more ki than them, like four guages, or if they don't have enough to TC, just teleport and attack. This is where being comfortable with 18's combo platform becomes important. You will be using all of it in order to deceive your opponent and inflict damage. Now, you see why nobody just learns the max damage combo and sticks with it throughout a whole match? They suck if they do. Now, there are some parts of the combo platform that are more useable than others. These are her defensive starters, and nuetral starters. A defensive starter is a comboable string that has a first hit nullifier. You can use it at the same time as someone else is attacking you and not be hurt, while landing a hit on them. The nuetral starter is just a very fast starter. If you aren't letting your opponent attack so you can use a defensive starter, you generally don't want them attacking at all, so this is why you have defensive starters. Tips on landing defensive starters First of all, there is no such thing as a short range defensive starter, and they should not be landed very close. A generic <K, which is 18's primary defensive starter, has about 2 reach points, which isn't very much. Someone like Omega Shenron, on the other hand, has almost four for his offensive starter. However, when Omega throws his offensive starter, you can land a <K from up to six reach points away if you land your attack right before he reaches you. So technically, a defensive character can outreach any offensive starter. The whole <KK- has about 3.5 reach points, so one problem you'll have with that is you'll still have to be close enough to land the whole string. The <K itself is a stun, so when you hit the opponent's attacking limb, it leaves them stunned. There are two characters who have a chargeable P after their <K stun, (cooler and omega) so they can stun and come in with an offensive starter, and a couple defensive characters with a <KKK- which has much more range, but it seems that everyone else is hosed. It would seem that this would include 18, but it doesn't, since her <P also works. You'll have to be able to judge distance quickly in order to know which starter to use, but after awhile, it becomes a reflex. As a general rule, you'll wanna land mostly <K, and <P will be like a plan B. The problem is, who is going to throw an offensive starter, especially against a defensive character, who is safely out of range? they probably won't. So you have a number of options. 1. Your first option is to just block, and some characters have strings with a slow chargeable attack which gives you time to land a <K, so you just wait for an opening. 2. Your second option, a variation of the first, is if you dodge any attack in a string, you can backpedal safely afterwards, but you have to be quick about it. If you do it before the next attack though, you'll safely dodge the next hit as you backstep, even if it reaches far enough to hit you. Once out of range, just let them continue the string right into your <K. 3. Your third option is to simply throw out a <KK- when an opponent is within their attacking distance. If they don't attack, you can still just cancel and block, throw, sidestep, or any number of other things. If you choose this option, and you really want to land it, timing is everything. Most characters' offensive starter is a >P, so you'll wanna launch your <K the instant you see them move forward. There will almost always be a slight forward motion before a >P. Just be sure to do this from a good distance. 4. The variation of the above technique is to simply backstep. If they attack and continue the string, come in with a <K. You can also use a <P, because you'll be a good distance away when they come in. There are other things you can do, if you can't get close enough, like throw out a >P+K, or a ki blast...even a deathmove. They can't just sidestep in the middle of a string, right? They'll probably tc, so throwing out a level one deathmove is a good way to get them to drain their ki. 5. The last option you should consider is launching a <K after sidestepping. When you use the sidestep technique, start out the same as you would with backstepping. You'll usually have enough time from even a relatively short distance to see an attack coming and sidestep it. The reason this is the last option you should consider is that it is the most dangerous way. If you get caught in the middle of a sidestep you'll get hit. If the following string tracks your movement, which it often does, you'll get hit, and if you're too slow with the <K, you'll get hit. A simple nuetral starter is better in situations like these. One more thing I thought I'd add about defensive play. Back in B2, I thought I had mastered the game after I could do cancel combos. You know what my strategy was? >PKK-, KKKK-, repeat until attack lands. There really was no strategy. I now see the game in a totally different light, and while there is some degree of depth to offensive play, it's my personal opinion that defensive is more effective, and has much more depth. It is a lot harder to learn, granted, but much more fulfilling as well. Don't expect to become an expert at it right after you start trying, but keep working on it and it won't take long. Just go to practice mode, put the CPU on very hard, and keep landing <K's on them left and right. Tips on landing nuetral starters First of all, 18 has two of them, P and K. a good nuetral starter has several qualities; it can be used at close range, it's fast, has no lagtime or has a chargeable attack at the end that you can cancel, and you can combo off of it. It isn't really an offensive starter, but it's not really a defensive starter, it just depends on how you use it. A lot of people underestimate the handiness of a good nuetral starter, but whether you pick an offensive character or a defensive one, they are helpful, because either way the chances are that at some point if someone attacks, the gap between you closes. It would be stupid to just backstep after every offensive starter, whether you're on the giving or recieving end. So here are your options for landing a nuetral starter. 1. After you attack and it gets blocked, throw out a nuetral starter immediately. I tend to like P for this one most of the time, for several reasons. First of all, it is not likely that it will land, but since P is slightly faster than K you have a better chance, and less chance of counterattack. Actually, almost no chance of being counterattacked. Also, it builds more ki than K<K. One of the nice things about nuetral strings is that they keep you on the offensive, and they build ki for you while you are working on getting a better angle or distance to attack. 2. After your opponent attacks and you block. same concept as the above. I also like P better for this option, especially considering that the chances of them trying a second attack are much higher here. Using a nuetral starter after a failed attempt at an offensive one is a more offensive application of the nuetral starter, and most offensive characters can combo off of a K, so you should never leave yourself open after a missed string. Of course, the best defense is a good offense, so don't neglect this option. 3. Interrupting an attack. I like this one. Some characters are just slow, and their combos can be interrupted by a quicker attack. Again, P is usually better, but this one is more flexible, so just go with your gut. It's best to do this whenever you know what the next attack in a string is going to be, so you know for sure if you can counter it or not. This is a more defensive application of nuetral starters. 4. After sidestepping. I tend to go with a K on this one, and I sidestep a lot, so next to <K this is probably the starter I use the most. K has slightly more range than P, and you can do a more damaging combo off of it, especially if you didn't quite make it behind your opponent, since you can cancel and sidestep. 5. Just throw them at random times, if no one is attacking and you're in range for it. I like to throw out PPPPK every once in awhile, and it's easy enough to cancel at the end. The idea is that it's a quick, simple attack, so your opponent is less likely to see it coming and react, and it doesn't cost you anything, as long as it doesn't become predictable. It's easy enough to win matches without using 18's defensive starters, and her nuetral ones are a lot easier to use, but don't rely only on them. At high level play, you're a million times better off sticking with the defensive starters, and your nuetral starters just give you a little back up so you don't get pwned at close range. So when you're playing, you should be focused mainly on defense, but if the nuetral starters become an open possibility, use them. Capsules Once you're well trained with a character, you'll want some good capsule setups to give you an edge. For when you first start, I recommend just using both deathmoves double stacked, to get a feeling for the damage you'll be able to deal. Once you move on, you'll find several capsules useful. Power Blitz - Android 18's level one deathmove. Always double stack a deathmove. Destructo Disc - Android 18's level two deathmove. Always double stack a deathmove. Power Amplification System - Just a one slot capsule that gives you a ten percent attack powerup. This will bring up combo damage a little, but may allow you to dispose of your opponent substantially quicker. A lot of short combos deal almost 1000 or almost 1500 damage, and with this capsule you'll be over those amounts, so you can kill in one less combo. I highly recommend this capsule, for just one slot. Special Coating - Also known as your one slot armor, it gives you a ten percent defense increase. Kinda the same principle as above. Most characters can barely deal over 1500 without teleport tornado. With this on, they have to deal 1666 base damage to do 1500, meaning if they can't normally do 1666 damage or more in a combo, they won't be able to kill you in two combos. Improved Special Coating - Two slot armor, it gives you a twenty percent defense increase. An 1875 damage combo now only deals 1500. Nanomachine - Three slot armor that gives you a thirty percent defense increase. A 2143 damage combo now only deals 1500 damage. Improved Nanomachine - Four slot armor. Gives a forty percent increase. Now, a massive 2500 damage combo will only deal 1500 damage, and 1666 damage combo will only deal 1000 damage. Potential - Gives you a 24 percent attack increase, in timed increments. The downside is that it doesn't work, because of a glitch, in most modes. Mode-Switching Systems - Gives you a 24 percent attack increase and 32 percent defense increase in timed increments. It doesn't work either, it has the same glitch as potential. Automatic Restoration - Reduces ki-based damage by 15 percent. Power Save System - Reduces ki consumption considerably. Takes two slots. Yakon - When equipped during a match, if either player transforms, their baseline ki will be reduced to zero ki guages. Since 18 is not transformation dependent, and a lot of other characters need transformations to use deathmoves, gain baseline ki, and increase attack, so equipping this capsule can be devastating to some of the characters in this game. Turtle Shell - Doubles amount of ki consumed when teleporting or dodging, by either player. You can use this in place of Yakon, depending on your preferences. Chicken Fried Seven Seasoned Toad - An item that decreases defense percentage by 25 percent, while increasing attack by 30 percent. Capsule Setups Beginner Setup Destructo Disc x2 Power Blitz x2 Power Amplification System Special Coating Yakon Advanced Setups Setup One Either deathmove double stacked 4-slot armor Chicken Fried Seven Seasoned Toad Setup Two Either deathmove double stacked 3-slot armor Yakon or Power Amplification System Chicken Fried Seven Seasoned Toad Setup Three Either deathmove double stacked 2-slot armor Power Save System Chicken Fried Seven Seasoned Toad Setup Four Either deathmove double stacked Power Amplification System 1-slot armor Power Save System Yakon Creating your own capsule setups Creating a decent capsule setup isn't really very hard. The main thing to take into consideration is whether or not it will fit your playing style. If you like using really long combos, you'll probably want a turtle shell. If you like short, damaging combos, you'll want a decent power increase. If you want a good all around setup, be sure to include ki capsules as well as stat increases. Once you have a setup you like, go to practice mode and do some combos to get a feel for how much damage your combos do, how much ki you consume, and whatever else your setup will affect. Outro Well, by now everyone probably has a headache from staring at the computer screen so long. I'll wrap this up by thanking heromaster111 for all the input and the 18 bio he gave me, and thanks to everyone else I've helped as well. I know it sounds wierd to thank people I've helped, but it gives me a nice feeling to know I've helped someone, so thank you for that. If anyone wants to e-mail me, send to firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to include the word GAMEFAQS or ANDROID 18 or something of that nature in the subject. I'm sure I'm nowhere near being finished with this FAQ, so any questions, ideas and suggestions are quite welcome. I'll also be on the B3 board if you want to get a hold of me there. Have fun.