Hotaru Guide for Neogeo Battle Coliseum
by Robo-Mike

Latest update:

(11-20-2005)
v1.0  Just when KOF XI is getting popular... release.

(10-21-2005)
v0.1  Initial beta test (unreleased)



======================================================================
Section -1: Disclaimers (DISC)
==============================

This document is (c) 2005 Robo-Mike. All rights reserved.

You may download and print this file for your personal use but you
may not profit in any way.

Because I am lazy, only gamefaqs.com and pinoyfighters forums are
allowed to "host" this guide... for now. No, I don't hate your gaming
site, I'm just lazy.

***

This document is best viewed with a monospace font (e.g. Courier).
Your standard web browser will do, but just in case your browser's
settings are weird, here's a line of 70 numbers followed by a line of
70 hyphens.

1234567890123456789012345678901234567890123456789012345678901234567890
----------------------------------------------------------------------

If they're not aligned, then you better change some settings. Now.




======================================================================
Section 0: TABLE OF CONTENTS
============================

s#  code   title
-- ------ ---------------------
-1 (DISC) Disclaimers
 0 (    ) Table of Contents
 1 (INTR) Introduction
 2 (CONV) Conventions
 3 (INFO) Bio
 4 (MOVE) Moves List
     * Normal Moves
     * Command Moves
     * Stance Moves
     * Desperation Moves
 5 (COMB) Combos
 6 (TECH) Hotaru Strategy and Mixups
     * ???
 7 (TAPE) Matchups
 8 (FAQ-) Question and Answer Portion (not available yet)
 9 (ABOU) About the Author
10 (MAIL) Contact Info
11 (ENDC) Contributors / Special Thanks
12 (HIST) Revision History
   (    ) Final Words




======================================================================
Section 1: Introduction (INTR)
==============================

Thank you for reading my Hotaru Guide for NGBC.

All of the information contained in this document is true to the best
of my knowledge. If you see something wrong about it, don't flame,
send a correction (preferably with proof if you have it). But the
first reaction will always be "I'm not wrong", since I have tested
everything I've typed.

And of course, the mixups don't work the same way for or against
different people, so don't go emailing me saying "That doesn't work!"

But the techniques in general worked for me, so I've typed them as
a guideline to 
help out the reader (you). You don't have to follow a
strict plan; versus games can be unpredictable, so go figure out what
to do to win a match as you go.




======================================================================
Section 2: Conventions (CONV)
=============================

BUTTONS
A - light punch
B - light kick
C - hard punch
D - hard kick
E - tag button
Start - just what it says
P - any punch button
K - any kick button

BASIC DIRECTIONS
f - forward
b - back
d - down
u - up
N - neutral
df - diagonal down-forward

CONTROLLER MOVEMENT
qcf - quarter-circle forward (d,df,f)
qcb - quarter-circle back (d,db,b)
hcf - half-circle forward (b,db,d,df,f)
hcb - half-circle back (f,df,d,db,b)
dp - dragon punch motion (f,d,df)
rdp - reverse dragon punch motion (b,d,db)
charge b,f - hold back for some time before pressing forward

SYMBOLS
AB - press both buttons at the same time
f+BCD - press the direction and all listed buttons at the same time
A,B - moves must be inputted in sequence (e.g. A then B)
xx - supercancel
 *note: It is generally acceptable to use commas "," to show canceling
        either normal moves into command moves or normal/command
        moves into supers, OR for linking normal moves into each other

ACRONYMS AND TERMS
NGBC or NBC - Neogeo Battle Coliseum.

jump - while standing on the ground press any of u, uf, or ub
high jump / super jump - while standing on the ground press d then
        either u, uf, or ub

level - 1/3 of the super meter.
DM - Desperation Move. SNK terminology for Capcom's "super".
SDM - Super Desperation Move. Usually reserved for level 2 or higher,
      but in this game, every super can be considered a DM.

Emergency evasion - Press AB when standing still. Costs 1/2 level.
      Similar to Capcom vs SNK roll than the King of Fighters roll:
      totally invincible except against grabs.
Recovery roll, Techroll - press AB when hitting the ground after you
      get knocked down.

GCFS - Guard Cancel Front Step, press f,f when blocking to cancel your
      guard and move forward. Your character will glow during this
      time but is not invincible. Uses 1/2 level.
GCD - Guard Cancel Dash. It's different in SNK vs Capcom but in this
      game it's the same, so everyone uses the terms GCFS and GCD
      interchangeably.
JDFS - Just Defend Front Step. Press f,f after blocking at the exact
      moment an opponent's move will hit. Uses less meter, but
      otherwise only the same as GCFS.

DA - Double Assault. qcf+E. This will drain the opponent's "red life".
Special DA - Special Double Assault. Usually reserved for special
     pairings and require specific conditions to perform. Shermie's
     Special DA (and associated partner) has not been discovered yet.

Green Life - Your character's actual health. If Green Life drops to
     zero, the character is knocked out. History. Kaput. (This isn't
     an official term, I just made it up but it's simpler this way.)
Red Life - Recoverable life. If you've played Tekken Tag or any of
     the Marvel vs Games, you know what I mean. Inactive characters
     regenerate over time (as in convert red life to green life
     slowly). (This isn't an official term, I just made it up.)

AB cancel - Press AB during a normal move (costs 1 level) to make an
     invincible dash forward, canceling your normal move. I forgot
     the official term for it, so I'll just call it "AB cancel".




======================================================================
Section 3: Bio (INFO)
=====================

(coming soon)



======================================================================
Section 4: Move List (MOVE)
===========================

Quick Summary of Command and Special Moves

Ten Rankutou (ground throw)
   b or f + CD when close
Hantentou
   b or f + CD when close in midair

Sengeki Shuu
   f + B
Sengeki Shu
   df + C
Koushuu Da
   d + B in midair

Hakki Shou
   qcf + P
Tenshin Shou
   dp + P
Kobi Kyaku
   qcb + K
Soushou Shin
   qcb + P
Shajou Tai
   hcf + K
Braking
   AB

En Un Juurokushu no Kamae
   d + AC
--Tanshou Shin (A)
--En Un Kasou (B)
--Engan Soushou Da (C, A)
--Ryuu Ensen Kyaku (D)
--Zensou Enbu (d+D, f+B)
--Senkai En (u+K)
--(b+BD)
--Cancel (b,b)

Ri En no Kamae
   b + BD during En Un Juurokushu no Kamae
--Enryuu Banda (A)
--Enjin Kyaku (B)
--Haigeki Shu (C)
--Enbi Kyaku (D)
--Haishin Ten Raku Tou (CD when up close)
--Ri En Ryuubu (f,f+BD)
--En Un Juurokushu no Kamae (d+AC)
--Cancel (b,b)

Tenshou Ranki (level 1)
   qcf,qcf + K
Soushou Tenrenge (level 2)
   qcf,qcf + P


----------------------------------------------------------------------
A. Normal Moves
---------------

stand A
   A forward palm thrust.
   Cancels into weak normal moves, command moves, special moves, DMs

stand B
   A kick to the shin. NOT a low attack.
   Cancels into command moves, special moves, DMs

stand C
   A double palm chop to the gut. I guess you can poke your opponent with
   this.
   Cancels into command moves, special moves, DMs only when close.

close stand D
   An upward kick to the face. Cancels into nothing.

stand D
   A forward thrust kick. A decent mid-range poke. Cancels into nothing.

crouch A
   A low palm thrust. Useful in combos.
   Cancels into weak normal moves, command moves, special moves, DMs.

crouch B
   A low kick. Hotaru's low combo starter and close-range poke of
   choice. Cancels into weak normal moves, command moves, special moves,
   DMs.

crouch C
   An upward slap. I guess you can use this as a combo starter but why?
   Crouch B or close stand C is better. Useful as a decent anti-air
   though. Cancels into command moves, special moves, DMs.

crouch D
   A sweep. Obviously use this to knock down the opponent and set up
   Hotaru's crossup. Cancels into nothing.

jump A
   A downward-pointing palm thrust. I guess you can use this during
   jump-ins, but stick with jump D.

jump B
   A kick to Hotaru's front. You can use this as a jump-in combo
   starter and in air-to-air situations. But see jump D.

jump C
   A high palm thrust. Decent for air-to-air combat.

jump D
   A reverse downward-aimed flying kick. USE THIS as a jump-in combo
   starter. It's also very very easy to cross the opponent up with
   this. You can't go wrong.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
B. Command Moves
----------------

b+CD or f+CD when close (special mention)
   Ground throw. Hotaru slams the opponent on the ground and flips
   over him or her. This is a good throw as it puts Hotaru in range
   to try a jump D crossup.

f+B
   Similar in looks to her stand D, but Hotaru will automatically go
   into d+AC stance upon finishing her kick. If canceled into, it no
   longer goes into the stance, but it will execute faster and is
   cancelable to special moves and DMs.

df+C
   A low palm swipe. It automatically goes into b+BD stance when
   finished. If canceled into, it will still go into the special
   stance, but it becomes cancelable to special moves and DMs (...and
   obviously won't go into the stance if you cancel it).

d+B in midair
   A stomp move. Hotaru will bounce slightly up in the air if she
   connects with the opponent on hit or block. You can still do
   jumping moves (EXCEPT d+B) after hitting with it. You can setup a
   jump D crossup with this. So mix it up.



----------------------------------------------------------------------
C. Special Moves
----------------

Hakki Shou - qcf + P
   Hotaru's projectile. I find the slow version to be more useful
   especially for covering Hotaru if she needs to run from one end of
   the screen to another (example: after connecting with a Double
   Assault, doing a weak Hakki Shou then running up to the opponent).

Tenshin Shou - dp + P
   Hotaru jumps up and spins for multiple hits. Unfortunately, not
   only is it hard to do due to strict controls of the game (for me
   the fireball comes up when I try to do this... often), it's not a
   good anti-air as well. I guess you can use it during a juggle.

Kobi Kyaku - qcb + K
   A reverse kick with blue flame effect. It reflects projectiles.
   If an opponent is hit, they will be launched into the air. You
   can brake this move with AB to cancel its recovery time and allow
   for juggles on the opponent. Timing on the brake is very lax so
   you shouldn't worry about it. Despite its looks, it is not a good
   anti-air.

Soushou Shin - qcb + P
   Hotaru hops forward, spinning both her arms like a propeller, then
   does a palm thrust upon landing, which knocks down the opponent.
   You can use the A version in combos. Generally unsafe on block, but
   you can brake it by pressing AB around the start of the move. When
   you brake it, Hotaru automatically goes into d+AC stance.

Shajou Tai - hcf + K when close
   A special grab. Hotaru ends up in the air after this move, so combo
   with air qcb+K for a knockdown. Personally I prefer Hotaru's
   regular throw because of the possible crossup from it. I heard you
   can brake its D version but as of now I have no idea what the 
   timing is.



----------------------------------------------------------------------
D. Stance Moves
---------------

NOTE: Unless stated specifically, all of the stance moves cause 
   Hotaru to return to normal stance.

En Un Juurokushu no Kamae - d+AC
   We will call it "d+AC stance" for short. It looks like Xiaoyu's
   Art of Phoenix (crouching stance) move from Tekken.
   You can press b or f to move slowly, f,f to perform a short low
   dash forward, or b,b to cancel the stance.

* Tanshou Shin - A during d+AC stance
   Similar to the qcb+P move, except Hotaru doesn't spin her arms and
   she causes less hits. I guess you can use it like qcb+P so see that
   move for uses.

* En Un Kasou - B during d+AC stance
   Hotaru does a short low kick similar to her crouch B. Must be
   blocked crouching, and Hotaru remains in d+AC stance.

* Engan Soushou Da - C,A during d+AC stance
   She performs a two-hit punch combo that knocks down. Pretty safe
   on block as it pushes the opponent away and causes long guard stun.
   (But I said safe on block, I didn't say they can't GCFS it.)

* Ryuu Ensen Kyaku - D during d+AC stance
   Hotaru jumps and performs an overhead axe kick. Of course it can be
   mixed up with low hits like En Un Kasou.

* Zensou Enbu - d+D, f+B during d+AC stance
   Hotaru does her sweep then a standing kick. Both hits usually
   combo.

* Senkai En - u+K during d+AC stance
   Hotaru does a somersault kick like her T.O.P. move from Garou.
   I think you can use this as anti-air.

* b+BD during d+AC stance
   Go into the other stance...


Ri En no Kamae - b+BD during d+AC stance
   We will call it "b+BD stance" for short. Hotaru turns her back to
   the opponent. Yes, this is also similar to Xiaoyu's back turned
   "stance" in Tekken. during the stance Hotaru cannot move except
   she can hop forward using f,f. Input b,b to cancel the stance.

* Enryuu Banda - A during b+BD stance
   Similar to the qcb+P move except that it automatically brakes
   before the last hit and goes back into d+AC stance.

* Enjin Kyaku - B during b+BD stance
   Looks like her standing B attack. Not very useful since it is not
   cancelable and has poor range.

* Haigeki Shu - C during b+BD stance
   Hotaru turns towards the oppoent and does a sideways chop toward
   her opponent. She will then turn away from the opponent and remain
   in b+BD stance.

* Enbi Kyaku - D during b+BD stance
   Similar to qcb+K move except without the blue light effects. You
   can brake this with AB just like qcb+K (but the timing is stricter
   with this move). If it hits an air opponent it will blow them away
   (and they can't be juggled) but if it hits an opponent on the
   ground they will be launched like qcb+K so the same juggles apply.
   The move is fast and safe and can be used as decent anti-air.

* Haishin Ten Raku Tou - CD when close during b+BD stance
   Works exactly the same as her ground throw except you do it during
   the stance. Dashing (f,f) then throwing is a good option.

* Ri En Ryuubu - f,f+BD during b+BD stance
   Hotaru does a gymnastic spinning flip thingy in the air. She hits
   on the way down for an overhead.

* d+AC during b+BD stance
   You can return to d+AC stance this way.


----------------------------------------------------------------------
E. Desperation Moves
--------------------

Tenshou Ranki (level 1) - qcf,qcf + K
   Hotaru does a flip kick which launches the opponent. She will
   follow up with a dive to tackle the opponent and... uh, channel
   energy through them for damage. It's perfect for juggles involving
   qcb+K or similar moves.

Soushou Tenrenge (level 2) - qcf,qcf + P
   Hotaru does the first part of qcb+P twice, then a dp+P animation,
   then a downward knee dive. OK for combos especially when you need
   to play catch up to the opponent. If you're leading, however, I
   prefer juggles into qcfqcf+K instead.



======================================================================
Section 5: Combos (COMB)
========================

Additional notation:
, - moves are done one after the other (e.g. st.A,st.B means you press
    stand A then stand B)
[] - Optional moves (you can skip them)
/ - OR (e.g. cr.C/cr.A means you can do either crouch C or crouch A)
xx - cancel/supercancel (usually supercancel as normal cancels are
     denoted by the comma)
(corner) - can be done only in the corner
" " (space) - separates followups of the same special move

(You can add a jump attack such as j.D for the following combos)
(You can also replace cr.B,cr.A with:
 1. stand A x1 or x2 in all situations
 2. cr.C or stand C if opponent is really close by.)
(You can replace the canceled df+C with f+B in all situations,
however, I find df+C easier to do during crouch moves and f+B during
standing moves.)
(You can also replace the df+C xx qcb+K AB with df+C,stance D AB.)

BREAD AND BUTTER (without meter)
cr.B, cr.A, df+C xx qcb+K AB, df+C, D during b+BD stance

BREAD AND BUTTER (with meter)
cr.B, cr.A, df+C xx qcb+K AB, qcfqcf+K
cr.B, cr.A, df+C xx qcb+K AB, qcf+E

VARIATIONS
st.A x 2, f+B, qcf+A (only works with f+B)
cr.B, cr.A, df+C xx qcb+K AB, dp+C
cr.B, cr.A, df+C xx qcb+A

OTHER COMBOS
hcf+K, qcb+K in midair
cr.B, cr.A, df+C, (stance) C, D AB (stance ends), walk forward a bit,
   df+C,D (corner)
cr.B, cr.A, df+C, (stance) C, D AB (stance ends), qcfqcf+K
   (corner)

As far as I know, Hotaru has no supercancels. :(




======================================================================
Section 6: Hotaru Strategy and Mixups (TECH)
============================================

This is based on what works for me, but you don't really need to
follow this drift by the letter, go find your own waves. Hotaru works
best just outside of throw range but within crouch B up to stand D
range. From afar, Hotaru can throw a qcf+A fireball to close the
distance.


----------------------------------------------------------------------
Stance Mixups
-------------

Hotaru's mind games revolve around the stances that change her options
to confuse the opponent.


*** d+AC stance ***
*You can get into this stance by inputting d+AC or doing f+B by itself

This stance ducks high projectiles such as... Hotaru's fireball.

You can mixup low (B or d+D f+B) or overhead (D) in this stance.

C,A poke is good if opponent is offensive.

Don't forget that you can only dash forward during this stance,
pressing back twice cancels it.

*** b+BD stance ***
*You can get into this stance by inputting b+BD during d+AC stance or
 doing df+C.

Hotaru has no low attacks in this stance, but gains a poke/throw
mixup.

ff+BD is an overhead and avoids many ground attacks.

A is a good poke since it's safe and leaves you in the d+AC stance
for more mixups. It causes decent chip damage as well.

Sample throw setups:
(normal stance) cr. B, cr. A, df+C, (now in b+BD stance), ff, grab
(normal stance) cr. B, cr. A, df+C, (now in b+BD stance),
    D AB, (normal stance), ff, grab
(b+BD stance) C, ff, grab
(b+BD stance) A, (d+AC stance) bb, (normal stance) ff, grab :)

Also try this crossup setup from stances:
(b+BD stance) A, (d+AC stance) bb, (normal stance), jump forward D

Don't forget that you can only dash forward during stances, pressing
back twice cancels them.


----------------------------------------------------------------------
Crossup Setups
--------------

Hotaru's jump D is so good as a crossup, it can be setup in many
ways. Here are some ideas.

1. After hitting with qcfqcf+K super, simply jump over the enemy and
   crossup. You may need to take half a step back to crossup smaller
   characters (or if the opponent loves to crouch to avoid this one).
2. After knocking them down with a sweep from close range and they
   use emergency recovery. Do a high jump over them and crossup.
3. After hitting with D AB during b+BD stance or qcb+K AB, wait a
   split second then jump. If they use emergency recovery, you will
   cross them up with jump D.
4. After hitting with D during b+BD stance or qcb+K. If the opponent
   fails to use emergency recovery, jump D will crossup.
5. After hitting with qcb+P (or variations of it), walk a step
   forward and jump over them to crossup.
6. After hitting with C,A during d+AB stance, opponent can't use
   ground roll...
7. After a ground throw on the opponent, jump over to crossup.

You can do a mixup in these crossup setups by:
1. not doing the crossup and hitting the enemy in front
2. landing then throwing the opponent
3. landing and doing a throw attack




======================================================================
Section 7: Matchups (TAPE)
==========================

Tale of the Tape. Hotaru:

PROS
* jump D is a very very very very very good crossup
* fast movement
* many moves' recovery time can be canceled
* qcf+A slow fireball is good to cover Hotaru
* qcb+C AB causes decent chip damage while being safe
* stances allow for mixups and mindgames
* decent damage SAFE bread and butter combo even without super
* also comboes bread and butter into double assault
* bread and butter causes chip damage... hmmm?
* good pokes in crouch B, crouch A, stand A and stand D
* did I say jump D is a godly crossup?

CONS
* lack of decent anti-air or overhead in normal stance
* still difficult to get in against projectile-happy Marco or Mudman
* er... help? I'm hard pressed to think of cons for Hotaru...


*** Mr. Big *** (hard)

Once in range, Mr. Big's crouch A of death will beat everything Hotaru
can throw at him on the ground.

So just jump over him. Big should do the spinning anti-air lariat.
Bust out the jump D crossup, it should beat Mr. Big's anti-air 50% of
the time. If you lose the exchange, you will just be knocked down with
minimal damage. If you succeed in the crossup, you will be able to
unleash a damaging combo on Big. The odds are in Hotaru's favor, eh?

Another thing to watch out for is random spinning dives. They're fast
and difficult to punish at the correct distance. Just play defensive
if you're out of Big's crouch A range and Big tries to do crouch D's
or random dives. Basically just try to GCFS a crouch D and poke Big
with crouch B,df+C hopefully you can shift the momentum. If Big dives
at the wrong distance or if he whiffs, run up to him and combo.


*** Kim *** (moderate)

This matchup is basically who can land a crouch B into a combo or a
crossup into crouch B into combo... so keep on the pressure.

Kim has two advantages over Hotaru:
1. stand A
2. decent anti-air

First, the stand A. It's fast and has good range. Kim players will
usually poke with one or two crouch B's then one or two stand A's,
possibly dashing in once in a while to throw. An idea is to stay out
of range and poke with Hotaru's stand D or f+B or qcb+P AB. Also if
Kim busts out the stand A, it means that he loses his charge for his
anti-air somersault kick, so feel free to jump in.

Next, Kim has two good anti-air options: the somersault kick, and the
high kick DM.

If Kim is crouching, that's a dead giveaway that he's charging his
somersault, so throw a fireball at him unless he's rushing down and
doing crouch B's and qcb+P in which case you wait for a standing
normal move before you jump in.

The B version of the high kick DM is guaranteed only if Kim starts it
up just as Hotaru starts her jump, so you usually don't need to be
afraid of it as anti-air. The D version is invincible before the kick
so watch out for it. If you see it coming in midair, you can usually
land and block. Basically just stop what you're doing, block, GCFS,
and combo.

Finally do not, I repeat, DO NOT do a GCFS on Kim's qcb+P. He can just
continue the move to whack you.


*** Marco *** (very hard)

If your partner has a teleport, tag out now. But here's some of the
ways you can try to get in on Marco as Hotaru.

Don't join the projectile war because Marco has more projectiles than
you. Play defensive, and if Marco makes a mistake such as throwing a
grenade when you're close, dash in and sweep. Or if he busts out an
iron lizard after you've blocked the grenade, jump in.

The knife strings are really horrible for Hotaru especially when
cornered. Your only hope is to jump over and hope to get a crossup...
usually there's a break after the third knife slash where you can jump
out of the trap. Watch out though, Marco might interrupt his first
slash with a roll and grab. That's a cue to jump out of the way.

As for the prisoner, you can trigger his beam by running past him. If
Marco has you on projectile or knife lockdown, however, it's not too
easy to dive out of the way. The best way to take care of the old man
is to try a pressure string on Marco, hopefully you can get close and
start a combo. Always stop your combo when the old man charges and
you should be able to block. Just be warned that the old man can
hit you from off screen if he decides to stop and shoot there.

(more matchups to come if I feel like it)



======================================================================
Section 9: About the Author (ABOU)
==================================

Location:
    Project 8, Quezon City, Philippines

Where I play:
    Quantum SM North Edsa (Quezon City) - I go here very often

About me:
    I prefer the online alias Robo-Mike. Robo comes from Robo-Ky, a
    character in the fighting game Guilty Gear XX. You can tell now
    that I'm better at 2D fighting games than 3D.

    Thank you for reading this guide.

Links:
    pencil-sketch-badger.deviantart.com



======================================================================
Section 10: Contact Info (MAIL)
===============================

e-mail: hidden for now

Post at the NGBC board at GameFAQs, if you have any questions. We need
more board activity, really.




======================================================================
Section 11: Contributors/Special Thanks (ENDC)
==============================================

Special Thanks to:

CONTRIBUTORS!!!
    Thanks for adding a few more tips and making my guide even
    bigger!

(coming soon)

GameFAQs
    For FAQ hosting, a great interface and a big collection of cool
    guides.

my job
    For taking up most of my time and giving me money for my gaming
    hobby.

s4.invisionfree.com/pinoyfighters - Pinoy Fighters Forum
    A great community of Filipino fighting game players.

NGBC arcade players
    Including Jiyuu Falcon, Keso Circle, random KOF players




======================================================================
Section 12: Revision History (HIST)
===================================

(11-20-2005)
v1.0  Just when KOF XI is getting popular... release.

(10-21-2005)
v0.1  Initial beta test (unreleased)




======================================================================
Final Words
===========

Visit my website, okay. It will prove that I am (as of 10-21-2005) the
greatest fan of Juniper Lee in the Philippines.