0. Index

1. Introduction
1.1 What's happening on the screen
1.2 How to control your character
1.3 How to win the game
1.4 Abbreviations

2. Basic concepts
2.1 Rock, paper, scissors
2.2 Execution Speed & Recovery
2.3 Frames
2.4 Guard, Hit, Whiff
2.5 CounterHit & recovery CH

3. Movement
3.1 Walking
3.2 Dash & Crouchdash
3.3 Running
3.4 Evade

4.Throws
4.1 High Throws, Low Throws & Throw Escapes
4.2 12f & 0f throws
4.3 Throw clashing (and how to avoid it)
4.4 Catch throws
4.5 Ground Throws

5. Attacks
5.1 Strikes, strings & followups
5.2 Hit-Throws
5.3 High, mid & low attacks
5.4 Crouching & Jumping Attacks
5.5 Special high, mid & low attacks
5.6 Attack classes & Sabaki
5.7 Circular & semicircular attacks
5.8 Charge Attacks
5.9 Unblockable Attacks

6. Hit Effects
6.1 Frame advantage/disadvantage
6.2 Knockdown & Floats
6.3 Slam & (re)bounce combos
6.4 Crumple
6.5 Stagger
6.6 Wall Splat
6.7 Sideturn & Backturn

7. Defense
7.1 Guard (and how to beat it)
7.2 Fuzzy Guard, CD-fuzzy (and how to beat it)
7.3 TEG (and how to beat it)
7.4 Evade (and how to beat it)
7.5 ETEG (and how to beat it)
7.6 Reversals & Inashi (and how to beat them)
7.7 RTE

8. Advaned Techniques
8.1 Stepping
8.2 Offensive Move
8.3 Recovering from falls
8.4 Hit-checking

9. Character Specific Strategies
9.1 Beating Low Attacks from Medium Disadvantage
9.2 Backwalk (and how to beat it)
9.3 Fast un-sabakiable attacks

10. About this FAQ

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1. Introduction

Virtua Fighter is a 3D fighting game made by SEGA, frequently
abbreviated to VF5. The latest version available for console is VF5 ver.
C for the Xbox 360. The objective of the game is to beat up your
opponent. It is presumed that, since you are reading this FAQ you are
interested in this type of games; thus the moral repercussions of
beating up your fellow man/woman are not discussed here. Speaking of
which, this FAQ sometimes uses the pronoun "he" for convenience's sake,
no discrimination intended.

1.1 What's happening on the screen

The screen is roughly divided in 2 parts:

In the center we can see the 2 players beating each other up. SOMETIMES
there's a small green or red thingy (an "arcade stick") twirling around
but we'll explain what that means later on.

The upper part of the screen contains some information presented
according to the typical conventions of fighting games:

* 2 big horizontal green bars, called health bars, which consequently
empty whenever one player beats the other player up.
* a clock counting down to zero
* the names of the 2 characters beating each other up
* the names of the 2 players beating each other up (only if player data
is being used)
* how many rounds must be won in order to win a game & how many rounds
each player has won (grey & red circles, respectively)
* how many games a player has won in a row (not displayed the first time
2 players face each other)

1.2 How to control your character

The game is played by using 3 command buttons plus directional inputs.

* The directional inputs can come form an arcade stick, a d-pad or even
an analog joypad (XBOX 360 only) and serve to move a character around.
* The command buttons are the punch button, the kick button and the
guard button.
* Pressing the above buttons in the same time alters their properties:
pressing the punch and guard button together results in your character
stretching his arms and grabbing the opponent; pressing punch and kick
together usually results in a stronger kind of punch; pressing kick and
guard together usually results in stronger kicks.
* Additionally, giving a directional input and pressing a command button
also alters the type of move your characters is going to perform. For
example, pressing forward and punch at the same time usually results in
a character performing a fast elbow attack, while hitting down and kick
usually results in a low kick.

1.3 How to win the game

A game of VF is won by the first player to win 3 (default setting)
rounds. Like in previous Virtua Fighter games a player can win rounds
by:

* Knock Out
* Ring Out
* Time Out

Although rare, rounds can end in a draw by way of:

* Knock Out – both players hit and KO each other at the same time
* Ring Out – both players are rung out at the same time
* Time Out – both players have equal health remaining at the end of the
round

A draw will award both players with a win for that round. If one player
was one round away from winning the match, then the draw will result in
match victory. If both players were one round away from winning the
match, then the game will enter Sudden Death.

* Sudden Death

If the final round ends in a draw then, in order to determine a winner
the game creates an extra round, with a very short time limit, where the
player who scores the first hit wins. If the game times out, the first
player wins. If both players hit each other simultaneously the game
really ends in a draw.

1.4 Abbreviations

In order to avoid repeating "punch" and "kick" and "guard" each time we
want to talk about VF it is customary to use abbreviations. Here are the
button abbreviations:

* P - the punch button
* K - the kick button
* G - the guard button
* P+K - pressing P and K at the same time

And here are the abbreviations for the directional inputs. Please note
that these change from website to website and country to country. These
are the "standard" (as opposed to "numeric") ones:

* f - press the stick/pad/joystick forward
* b - press the stick back
* d - press the stick downwards
* df - down and forward
* db - down and back
* u - up
* uf – up and forward
* ub - up and back

Abbreviations to describe combinations of the above buttons and
directional inputs are as follows:

* + - as you might have guessed "+" represents pressing two buttons
together eg. "f+k" means "move the stick towards the opponent and press
kick at the same time" (usually results in a knee)
* , - indicates a command that must be inputted directly after another
eg. "f,f+k" means "press forward, then press forward again and press
kick at the same time" (usually results in a far reaching kick attack)
* F,B,D,U - using capital letters denotes that a directional input must
be pressed and held eg. "F+k" means "press the kick button while your
character is walking forwards" or "D,f+p+k" means "press forward and
punch and kick while your character is crouched"
* Stance Name - indicates that an move is only available if a character
is in a particular stance eg. "koko k" means "press kick while Lei Fei
is in his KokoShiki stance" (as you can see stance names are often
themselves abbreviated)

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2. Basic concepts

2.1 Rock, paper, scissors

Usually at a given moment you and your opponent are given 3 choices:

* Throws beat defense but lose to attacks
* Attacks beat throws but lose to defense
* Defense beats attacks but loses to throws

2.2 Execution Speed & Recovery

Just by watching the characters on the screen one can realize it takes
them a fraction of a second to perform an attack. Not all moves are
performed at the same speed. The time that passes between our press of
button and our character’s actual attack is called "execution speed",
"execution", or simply "exe". Obviously, the shorter the execution speed
of a move the better. Your opponent will have less time to defend
himself, to duck, to avoid the move altogether, etc.

Respectively, after each attack, there's a small period of "recovery".
This is an inconvenient position to find one's self because, while your
character is in recovery, they are vulnerable to attacks and/or throws.

2.3 Frames

A frame is the unit by which time in VF is measured. For example throws
have an execution speed of "12 frames", sometimes abbreviated to "12f".

Frames are important: A 14f attack is faster than a 16f attack. If both
characters attack simultaneously, the one performing the 14f will hit.
If one performing the 16f attack had, let's say, a 5-frame "advantage",
he'd hit instead. Frames for each attack can be found at VFDC's "command
list" section.

Things get a bit complicated when moves require multiple inputs to be
performed. Let's just say that moves that require f,f and b,b motions
sometimes come out 1 (or more) frames slower than what's indicated in
VFDC command list.

2.4 Guard, Hit, Whiff

Once again, the purpose of the game is to beat your opponent. Of course
your opponent is very unlikely to just sit there doing nothing. If he
sees you attacking he'll probably want to "defend". In VF this is done
by pressing G (the "guard" button). Don't be surprised if you encounter
the term "block" though.

If you're really fast (and here is where "execution speed" comes to
play) your opponent might not have time to properly defend, resulting in
your attacking scoring a "hit".

However, if you fail to calculate the distance between the two
characters your attack might "whiff". This unfortunately results in your
character's prolonged "recovery". In order to understand this concept
imagine that you're playing soccer, getting ready to kick the ball,
going at it and completely missing it. You'll struggle to regain your
footing, you might even tumble down. Or imagine you're playing tennis
and you miss the ball, your arm will continue its forward momentum,
whether you hit the ball or not. The same thing applies when getting
ready to hit an opponent and "whiffing" your attack, your character
might require a moment to "recover" so make sure your attacks "connect".

2.5 Counter Hit & recovery CH

In the event you hit your opponent while he's also trying to attack you
then your attack counts as a "Counter Hit", sometimes abbreviated to
"CH". CH do more damage and sometimes even have different properties
than their "normal" hit version, possibly knocking the opponent off his
feet.

In case you CH your opponent after he has performed an attack but before
his character has finished the animation for his attack, then you'll
score a "recovery CH". In game terms, your opponent must "whiff" an
attack and you must "hit" him while he's in "recovery"! A "recovery CH"
does more damage than a normal hit, less damage than a typical CH and
sometimes shares a move's CH properties.

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3. Movement

3.1 Walking

Moving around in VF is done with directional inputs. Holding the stick
towards one direction results in your character walking in said
direction. Official terminology for walking in VF is called ARM (All
Range Movement). The name stems from the fact that once you start
walking, you can freely change direction during the walk by moving the
stick in the desired direction.

3.2 Dash & Crouch Dash

Pressing ("tappping") the stick twice in rapid succession either towards
or away from your opponent will result in your character performing a
quick step in either direction, called a "dash". This covers more space
than just walking around and is used for moving swiftly in space.

Double tapping diagonally forward (df,df) or diagonally backwards
(db,db) will results in a "crouch dash". This is a very important
maneuver since it retains the speed of a dash while putting the
character in a crouched state, offering extra evasion (e.g. ducking
under high attacks or high throws).

3.3 Running

By inputting f,F (ie. dash then hold the directional input) your
character will start running towards your opponent.

3.4 Evade

By tapping u or d, then returning to neutral, your character will
perform a lateral step away towards the background or the foreground,
respectively. This is called a "defensive move", "DM" or simply "evade".
A DM can sometimes avoid an opponent's linear attack. We'll discuss
evades in more detail in the "defensive techniques" chapter.

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4.Throws

4.1 High Throws, Low Throws & Throw Escapes

High throws, usually referred to as "throws" for simplicity's sake, are
moves that occurs by pressing P+G and some combination of directional
input(s). By pressing P+G your character wills extend his arms and, if
he manages to get a hold of the opponent, wrings the opponent's neck,
pokes his eye out, does something painful in general. All characters
have high throws.

Low throws are executed by pressing P+K+G and some combination of
directional input(s). Contrary to "regular" throws, not every character
has low throws. In VF5, the following characters have low throws: Aoi,
El Blaze, Goh, Jeffry, Pai, Vanessa, Wolf.

If you find yourself on the receiving end of a throw don't despair:
there's a way out! You just have to press the same buttons, and last
directional input, as your opponent. For example, if your opponent threw
you with b,f+P+G you have to press f+P+G. If your opponent used a low
throw that had a "db,db+P+K+G" input you can escape by pressing
db+P+K+G. This might sound easy but considering that a) we don't know
which throw our opponent used b) there's a small window for us to input
throw escapes, escaping throws requires practice.

4.2 12f & 0f throws

Speaking of time windows; it takes 12f frames for a character to execute
a throw. This is universal: throw animations might differ from character
to character but they are all 12f.

We've mentioned earlier that attacks beat throws. Combined with the fact
that throws have 12f exe, in order to land a throw one of the following
things must happen:

* your opponent mentally "freezes" for at least 12f. Happens rather
infrequently ;-)
* your opponent's character has performed a move which leaves him
"recovering" for 12f or more. This is why attacks that leave a character
recovering for more than 12f on block are called "throw punishable" - if
an opponent "guards" the attack then his throw is "guaranteed". Of
course advanced players might attempt to "throw escape" after such
"unsafe" attacks ;-)
* your opponent is pressing the guard button. This is a feature that was
introduced to the VF series with the advent of VF5. Whenever a player
presses G his character can be thrown. In VF terms, the throw executes
instantly, skipping the 12f arm-stretching animation, becoming instead a
"0f" throw. When this happens it's virtually impossible to perform a
throw escape since the (already small) throw escape window is diminished
by the 12 missing frames.

4.3 Throw clashing (and how to avoid it)

Not all throws are executed from "guaranteed" situations. An opponent
with "frame advantage" (usually incurred after having successfully
blocked an attack) might try to throw you. If you try to attack,
ignoring the risk of being CH, then your attack will "clash" with the
opponent's throw. In layman's terms the attack and throw both cancel
each other out, leaving both you and your opponent in a "(frame)
neutral" situation.

Be warned though, some moves don't throw clash. This means that these
attacks will always "beat" the throw attempt, resulting in a CH:

* crouching moves
* jumping moves
* moves that leave the character with his back turned to the opponent

This feature was also introduced to VF with VF5 (up to VF4 ALL attacks
beat throws).

4.4 Catch throws

This is a special type of high throw. They have the following
properties:

* a longer reach
* more active frames
* cannot be throw escaped
* beat attacks that would normally clash against a regular throw
* lose to regular throws

Not all characters have catch throws in VF. In VF5 the following
characters have catch throws: Akira, El Blaze, Eileen, Goh, Jeffry,
Kage, Lei Fei, Lion, Sarah, Shun, Vanessa, Wolf.

4.5 Ground Throws

These are throws that can only be performed if the opponent is lying on
the floor. They are executed by pressing df+P+G or d+P+G. Not all
character have ground throws in VF. In VF5 the following characters have
ground throws: Aoi, Goh, Jeffry, Wolf.

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5. Attacks

5.1 Strikes, strings & followups

When we were discussing about "recovery" we mentioned that the defending
player has the opportunity to counterattack after blocking his
opponent's attack, while the attacker is "recovering". This of course
only applies for individual strikes. If the first attack has a
"followup" things get a bit more compicated (for the player defending):
the attacker can choose to continue with the "(canned) followup" or halt
and pursue a different type of action. This makes it very hard for the
defending player to judge when it's time to counterattack. In other
words, the more "strings" (attacks that have possible followups) a
character has, the more a player can apply pressure to his opponent.

5.2 Hit-Throws

These are throws that can only be executed when an attack hits the
opponent. Think of it as something between strings and strikes. Most
hit-throws require an input within a small frame-window (although some
of them can happen automatically). Sometimes the hit-throw requires a
CH.

Variations include:

* Followup(s) on Hit - the followp attack(s) only works if the attack
hits the opponent (eg. Brad's SB kicks)
* Followup on Hit-or-Block - the followup works if the attack connects
with the opponent, on hit or block (eg. Akira's SP > SDE)
* Hit-Throw on Hit-or-Block - the throw works if an attack connects with
the opponent, on hit or block (eg. Jeffry's Hellclaw)

5.3 High, mid & low attacks

Even if we already discussed some attack classes already (while
discussing throw clashing & hit-throws) this classification is
considered to be the most important one in VF (and 3D fighting games in
general). There are 3 major types of attacks: high attacks aim the
opponent's head, mid attacks go for the torso, and low attacks his legs.

* high attacks can be defended with high OR low guard
* mid attacks have to be defended with high guard ONLY
* low attacks have to be defended with low guard

5.4 Crouching & Jumping Attacks

* Crouching attacks recover in a low position thus beating high attacks
(including high throws).
* Tech-crouching attacks recover high but can sometimes beat high
attacks (including high throws).
* Jumping High attacks jump over lows (and beat throws).
* Jumping Mid attacks beat lows (and throws).

5.5 Special high, mid & low attacks

There's of course some exceptions (otherwise it wouldn't be funny now,
would it?):

* Special mid attacks can be defended with high or low guard.
* Special low attacks can be defended with high or low guard.
* Special high attacks beat special low attacks (and some
low/tech-crouching attacks, if you're lucky)

5.6 Attack classes & Sabaki

VF doesn't treat all attacks the same way; it differentiates between
punches and kicks, it differentiates between elbows and knees, it
differentiates between a headbutt and a shoulder ram. While this usually
is not of particular consequence...

...it does come into play when there are "sabaki" attacks involved.
Sabaki are (somewhat) slow attacks that are capable of beating certain
types of attacks during specific frame “windows” of their execution.
They are powerful if you can outguess your opponent. Not all characters
have sabaki attacks and those that do greatly very between them eg.
Akira's df+P+K+G "sabakis" high and low punches; Vanessa's b,f+K sabakis
high and mid punches, high and mid elbows and high kicks.

Contrast to reversals and inashi, discussed below, which also work based
on Attack Classes.

5.7 Circular & semicircular attacks

Another attribute an attack might have is whether the opponent can
"evade" it or not. "Semi-circular" attacks can only be evaded towards
one side, while "(full-) circular" attacks cannot be evaded at all. More
about evading attacks, below.

5.8 Charge Attacks

Some attacks (usually one or two per character) can be "charged" by
pressing and holding the command buttons used for their execution. This
takes time (meaning their execution becomes longer) which means your
opponent has the chance of counter hitting you while charging. Some
moves change attack classes while charged.

5.9 Unblockable Attacks

These attacks cannot be blocked. If you try to they will register as
hits instead. Thankfully they are all slow and high, giving the
defending player the chance to duck.

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6. Hit Effects

This is the real meat and potatoes. Throws and attacks do damage, that
much is obvious by looking at the health bar. There are however many
side effects that are not obvious.

6.1 Frame advantage/disadvantage

This is the simplest form of hit effect. If your opponent blocks your
attack then you're in a disadvantageous position while recovering; in
game terms this is called "negative frames on block". If your opponent
doesn't block on time then you're probably at "positive frames on hit".
Most attacks don't give that many positive frames on normal hit and some
of them are even at a minor disadvantage (say -1 or -2) on normal hit.
That said, practically all attacks give "positive frames on CH" (makes
sense, your opponent was trying to hit you and then you smash him square
on the jaw, he certainly loses moementum).

There are SOME attacks that grant "positive frames on block" although
they will always be either high (giving you the opportunity to duck
them) or quite slow (giving you the opportunity to evade them).

Some throws also grant frame advantage eg. db "replace" throws that
cause a character to switch places with their opponent also grant frame
advantage. More importantly, most throws cause frame disadvantage if
they are escaped.

6.2 Knockdown & Floats

Some moves hit the opponent so hard they manage to knock him off his
feet. This is called a "knockdown". Sometimes the opponent flies so high
up in the air (granted that's not very realistic) that you can manage to
further inflict damage on him with further attacks before he hits the
ground. Since the game displays the opponent sort of "floating" in
mid-air this is called a "float".

Once your opponent (finally) hits the ground he has various ways of
getting up (see 8.3 recovering from falls).

Throws usually deal their damage and result in a Knockdown, but a small
number instead will allow for a float combo where the player must
manually combo for the damage.

6.3 Slam & (re)bounce combos

Some moves are more realistic and just knock, or slam, the opponent to
the floor so hard that their legs usually flop upwards. In such cases
the opponent can still be hit via the use of a "(re)bounce combo". If
you don't know any such combo, often a simple u+P "pounce" will connect.

6.4 Crumple

These are provoked by attacks targeting vital areas of the opponent's
body eg. head, stomach, kidneys, @@ etc. The opponent is struck
unconscious on his feet, and proceeds to crumple down like a ragdoll.
This is a good opportunity for you to tag some extra damage. Sometimes
you can low throw the opponent after a crumple, if your character
possesses a low throw.

6.5 Stagger

These attacks, well, stagger the opponent for a small period of time.
This is represented in-game by a little arcade stick appearing on the
screen (see 1.1 what's happening on the screen). While "staggered" the
opponent can't block and any attack hits him will be considered a
counterhit. Even worse, some attacks that normally didn't have any
knockdown hit-effects might still be able to knockdown a staggered
opponent.

In order to escape this condition and regain control of his character a
player has to quickly mash directional inputs and command buttons; the
faster the better.

Staggers can occur when some attacks counter hit. However staggers can
also occur when some attacks connect and...

* the attack caused the opponent to hit the wall (wall stagger)
* the opponent was in a crouched position for any reason (crouch
stagger)
* the opponent was defending in a crouched position (crouch guard
stagger)
* the opponent was defending (guard break)

Furthermore some (slow) attacks, including charged attacks, can stagger
on block. Finally, there's a couple of throws that instead of knocking
the opponent of his feet leave him standing but in a staggered state.

As you can see it's very important to learn to unstagger fast when you
see the wiggling arcade stick on the screen ;-)

6.6 Wall Splat

This happens when some attacks send the opponent flying to the wall.
Instead of falling to the ground, or getting wall-staggered, the
opponent sort of pastes himself on the wall, allowing you to tag an
extra attack or two.

There's a tiny fraction of knockdown throws that can wall splat eg.
Kage’s TFT, Pai's overhead toss, Wolf's giant swing etc.

6.7 Sideturn & Backturn

Some attacks can leave the opponent turned to the side after hit. Given
that it takes 3 frames for a sideturned character to realign this
constitutes a minor frame disadvantage. However one must take into
account that some attack's properties are altered when they hit from the
side, sometimes even causing a "side crumple". Same goes for throws;
performed from the side they usually hurt more and are more difficult to
escape. Combined with whatever frame advantage the sideturning attack
grants to the attacker, one can realize that a sideturned situation is a
perilous one indeed.

Some throws also leave the opponent sideturned so learn which of your
attacks can cause a sidecrumple and try to mix up with a sidethrow.

It takes 6 frames to turn around from a Backturned (BT) situation.
Attacks that previously caused a sidecrumple now cause a backcrumple;
additionally some attacks can cause a back stagger. At the same time
back throws are even more damaging. Being backturned is a risky
situation; however, contrary to a sideturned situation, characters that
are back turned have access to BT moves so there are more possibilities
to explore.

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7. Defense

This is probably the most complicated part of VF.

7.1 Guard (and how to beat it)

By holding the guard button a character can defend against high and mid
attacks. Low attacks are defended with d+G, in other words with the
guard button while holding down on the stick.

* High guard loses to high throws, low attacks & unblockable attacks.
* Low guard loses to low throws & mid attacks.

7.2 Fuzzy Guard, CD-fuzzy (and how to beat it)

As mentioned above, pressing d+G results in our character performing a
low guard. This counts as being in a crouched position. This means that
high attacks & high throws will "whiff", fly over the character's head.
Releasing d will result in the character standing up, which, as
mentioned above, allows the character to block any mid attacks. In other
words inputting d+G will (press down and guard, then release down while
holding guard) allows your character to duck under throws and highs and
still defend against mids! However, this defensive technique only works
for attacks that leave your character at a -5f disadvantage or better
(ie. -4, -3, -2; if you're at -1 attacking might be a better option
though). This seemingly "arbitrary" -5f threshold happens due to the
fact that ducking in VF also has execution frames.

Speaking of execution frames, inputting df,df (or performing a
"crouchdash" as we've called it in the movement section) will put a
character in a crouching state 1f faster than a simple d+g motion. This
might not sound like a big deal (1f is a really small time window
afterall) but inputting df,df,g allows for fuzzy guarding throws & mids
up to -6f!

As you can see, fuzzy guard is something between a normal and a low
guard (hence the term "fuzzy"). It's a strong defensive technique that's
not that hard to pull off, particularly in its simplest (d+G) form and
should be preferred over simple guarding whenever possible. Still, fuzzy
guard can be beat by:

* low attacks (at no point is the character blocking low)
* low throws (since the character is considered to be in a crouching
state at the beginning of the fuzzy guard motion)
* delayed throws (if your opponent anticipates a fuzzy guard he might
decide to postpone his throw a tiny bit and wait for you to stand up in
order for his throw to work on you)

7.3 TEG (and how to beat it)

This is a combination of guarding and throw escaping in order to escape
a possible throw but still be able to guard a mid attack. It is
accomplished by quickly entering throw escapes and then holding G (hence
Throw Escape Guard, or TEG) during the recovery of your guarded or
whiffed attack. It requires a certain amount of manual dexterity but
it's quite useful, particularly when you manage to put your character in
situations that are -7 or more. TEG is an intermediate defensive
technique that loses to:

* low attacks
* unblockables
* any throw direction you didn't manage to escape

7.4 Evade (and how to beat it)

We saw earlier that an evade, also known as DM, is a lateral step to the
side. If timed right, it can cause an opponent's attack to whiff. Having
explained that attacks that whiff have longer "recovery" times, one can
see that evading an attack is usually more beneficial than actually
guarding it. Of course, in order to balance things out, evades have some
vulnerabilities and can be beat by:

* throws
* circular attacks
* semi-circular attacks towards the "tracking" direction
* delayed attacks (this provokes a "failed evade" which causes all
attacks to track)

7.5 ETEG (and how to beat it)

This is a combination of (E)vade with the (T)hrow (E)scape (G)uard
technique. This requires a high degree of manual dexterity and is
considered the most advanced defensive technique in VF. ETEG only loses
to:

* circular attacks
* semi-circular attacks towards the "tracking side"
* any throw direction you didn't manage to escape

7.6 Reversals & Inashi (and how to beat them)

Reversals and inashi are riskier defensive techniques because they only
beat specific "attack classes". Any other attack will count as a CH.
Furthermore, reversals and inashi (contrary to "sabaki" attacks, see
above) don't count as attacks. This means that reversals/inashi lose to:

* throws
* any attack they are not designed to beat
* delayed attacks

Please note that reversals and inashi vary greatly from character to
character, in number and in properties: Aoi has the most, with Akira and
Pai coming far second; on the other end of the spectrum Lau and Jeffry
have none.

7.7 RTE

As you can guess, this defensive technique consists of inputting (T)hrow
(E)scapes after a (R)eversal. That way your reversal will only lose to:

* any attack they are not designed to beat
* delayed attacks
* any throw direction you didn't manage to escape

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8. Advanced Techniques

8.1 Stepping

In VF it is possible to "cancel" a failed evade, either with a dash or
crouchdash. This have the advantage of reducing the "recovery" frames of
a "failed" evade. Repeated evade cancels maximise one's chances that his
opponent will whiff. They are collectively known as "stepping" and they
consist of one of the flashiest and more visually impressive VF
techniques.

The easiest pattern to perform would have to be the "boxstep", a
repeated b,b,u,f,f,d,b,b,u,f,f,d motion. Try it!

8.2 Offensive Move

Offensive Moves (OM) are performed by pressing P+K+G during an evade.
Unlike DMs which are used when you’re disadvantaged, OMs should be used
when you have an advantage since their evasive capabilities aren’t
great. OMs are a good way to pressure your opponent from the side, and
to sometimes avoid pesky little moves like P or d+P while you still have
advantage.

8.3 Recovering from falls

For all our talk of "guarding", "evading", and "stepping, it's very hard
to play a game of VF without getting hit. And when that happens, there's
a fair chance of having your character knocked off his feet. When he
lands, you'll be given the choice of recovering from the fall by
pressing P+K+G. This is often referred to as "techrolling" or simply
"teching". The timing is not very hard (compared to, say, hit throws)
once you get used to it.

* P+K+G makes your character recover (tech) in place
* d+P+K+G makes your character perform a roll towards the foreground
(hence the term techROLLING)
* u+P+K+G makes your character perform a roll towards the background
* messing up the timing, pressing anything else or just choosing not to
press anything will make your character stay on the floor

Staying on the floor is risky since your opponent can capitalise on that
in order to inflict extra damage via:

* light down attacks ("stomp")
* heavy down attacks ("pounce")
* attacks that hit the opponent while he's on the ground ("floor
hitting", "floor scraping" or just "scraping" attacks)
* ground throws (for those characters equipped)

That said techrolling is also dangerous, particularly when falling
head-first:

* when your character is falling in a "face down, head towards" the
opponent position you should recover *in place* (with pkg, NOT with
d/u+pkg)
* when your character is falling "face down, feet towards" you should
techroll (with d/u+pkg, NOT just with pkg)

Regardless of the way you recover, you should be aware that your
opponent will probably have the advantage while you are teching. So you
might want to "play dead" from time to time, just to break his habits.
Try alternating between d+P+K+G and u+P+K+G techrolls too, don't get
predictable.

Finally, when you do find yourself on the ground (make because of a slam
move, or maybe because of a throw that left you there), try to also
alternate the way you rise. Don't always get up by mashing K or d+K; the
rising kicks are nice but a clever opponent can make you pay dearly if
you whiff them. Try delaying them from time to time, or even better, try
mashing P and G together in order to rise quickly without exposing
yourself to danger.

8.4 Hit-checking

Hit-checking is a fancy word that means "be attentive and visually check
the result of your attack’s hit before your next move". This aspect of
VF is frequently under-estimated but it becomes very important when the
followup attack is "unsafe". A player with good hit-checking skills will
recognize when their Punch has scored a Counter Hit, and then
immediately follow up with a slow launcher that will beat any attack
from the opponent. Contrast this with a player with poor hit-checking
skills who will likely always follow their Punch with a launcher,
regardless of how it hit, and be susceptible to a Counter Hit.


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9. Character Specific Strategies

9.1 Beating Low Attacks from Medium Disadvantage

When at disadvantage it is usually safer to guard high and eventually
guard any low attacks on reaction. However if you anticipate a low
attack you can use an attack designed to beat the low. The move to use
depends on your character though; here's an idea of move you might want
to use in such cases:

* Akira -- shoulder ram; f,f+k,k
* Aoi -- f,f+k
* Brad -- jumping kick (uf+k)
* El Blaze -- u+p+k
* Eileen -- shoulder ram; uf+k+g
* Goh -- shoulder ram
* Jacky -- somersault; u+k+g
* Jeffry -- jumping kick; f+k (only from small disadvantage though)
* Kage -- uf+k+g; uf+k; u+k+g
* Lau -- u/uf+p; u/uf+k
* Lei Fei -- u+k+g?? (but then again he's never at disadvantage)
* Lion -- u+k; b,f+k+ge
* Pai -- somersaults; uf+k
* Sarah -- somersault; u+k
* Shun -- mulekick; u+k
* Vanessa -- DS db+p
* Wolf -- uf+p+k

9.2 Backwalk (and how to beat it)

Some characters (eileen, jacky, kage, vanessa) have a fast walking
speed. Combined with moves that push the opponent back on block (eg.
Vanessa's DS df+k) they can thus "backwalk" away from most fast
retaliation attacks that usually suffer from poor range. The fact that
backwalk can be instantly G cancelled makes any slow move a really poor
choice. So here's a quick and dirty list for each character in order to
beat this sort of play:

* Akira -- SDE; f,f+p+k,p
* Aoi -- f,f+p; f,f+k
* Brad -- ?? (df,df,B+k maybe ??)
* El Blaze -- f,f+k; rocket discharge mixups maybe ??
* Eileen -- f+k ?? qcf+p ??
* Goh -- f,f+k
* Jacky -- f,f+k; walk forward!
* Jeffry -- df+k; f,f+k
* Kage -- f+k+g; f,f+k+g
* Lau -- df+p string; uf+k
* Lei -- hai p ?? (once again i'm clueless when it comes to lei fei)
* Lion -- f+k+g; db+k+g; f+pkg mixups
* Pai -- f,f+p+k
* Sarah -- f,f+k; f,f+k+g; p+k
* Shun -- head dive
* Vanessa -- f,f+k
* Wolf -- f,f+p+k

Note: It would be best to find two far reaching moves per character,
preferably moves that have different attack classes, just in case the
backwalking player anticipates the counterattack and decides to mix it
up with a sabaki/reversal.

9.3 Fast un-sabakiable attacks

Speaking of sabaki attacks, here's a list of fast (18 frames or less)
mid moves that beat them:

* Akira: Shoulder Ram; Double Palm; f,f+p+k
* Aoi: b,df+p
* Brad: --
* Eileen: shoulder ram, uf+k+g
* El Blaze: ub+k+g
* Goh: Shoulder Ram
* Jacky: somersault; b,f+k+g
* Jeffry: b,df+p
* Kage: uf+k
* Lau: ub+k+g
* Lei Fei: b,f+p; b,df+p+k
* Lion: D,df+p+k
* Pai: somersaults
* Sarah: Somersault
* Shun: u+k+g mulekick
* Vanessa: --
* Wolf: Reverse Sledge Hammer; Quick Shoulder

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10. About this FAQ

This document is based on a FAQ i wrote for fellow greek VF players.

It was proof-read by Myke, veteran VF player and owner of VFDC, for
major blunders.

It is not complete. Nor 100% accurate on the mechanics. I'm working on
it.

Nevertheless i believe it has reached critical mass and deserved a 1.0
publication.

For more VF info and news head over to VFDC http://virtuafighter.com/