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    Athena by MHall

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                  I begin to sing of Pallas Athena,
                  the dread Protectress of the city,
                  who with Area looks after matters of war,
                  the plundering of cities,
                  the battle-cry and the fray.
                  It is She who protects the people,
                  wherever they might come or go.
                  Hail, Goddess, and give us good spirits and blessed favor!
                                                      - Homeric Humn 11 To Athena
                                 The King of Fighters '98
                                   Athena Asamiya Guide
    Table of Contents
    1.     Introduction
    2.     Character Info
           2.1     Profile
           2.2     Background Story
           2.3     Others
    3.     Moves and Comboes
           3.1     Normal Moves
           3.2     Command Moves
           3.3     Special Moves
           3.4     Desperation Moves
           3.5     Comboes
    4.     Game Play
           4.1     General Strategy
           4.2     Mind Games
           4.3     Characters Match-ups (vs CPU & vs Human)
           4.4     About the 'bug' combo
    5.     Misc. Info.
           5.1     More about Athena
           5.2     Version History
           5.3     Credits
    Chapter 1:     Introduction
       This guide is to give you some background information and gameplay
    suggestion of Athena Asamiya, the cute, beautiful, ....... (too much :))
    psycho girl in the King of Fighters.
       In 98 Athena is a character that is quite hard to use. If you want to play
    well with her you need to know well about her moves, and also you should have
    some skills. :) So if you're just looking for a character that can win
    easily, you'd better not to use Athena.
       This guide is mainly write for Advanced Mode players, because I only play
    Advanced Mode. But I think some tactics in this guide can work in Extra Mode
    as well.
       In this guide I use some notations and terms that is defined in the KoF'97
    Beginner's Reference written by Andrew S. Park. You can find this reference
    in http://www.gamefaqs.com/. (Yes, that reference had been written in 97, but
    it can still be applied to 98).
    Chapter 2:     Character Info
    2.1 Profile
       Name:                  Athena Asamiya
       Fighting Style:        Psycho Power with Chinese Fighting Style
       Birthday:              14th March
       Age:                   18 (for 5 years...)
       Birth Place:           Japan
       Blood Type:            B
       Height:                163cm
       Weight:                50kg ('94-'95)
                              49kg ('96-'97)
       Hobbie:                Divine
       Food she like most:    Strawberry favoured Japanese Cake
       Best sport:            Lacross
       Thing she like most:   Tea set of Rabbit Peter
       Thing she hate most:   Panda (?)
    2.2 Background Story
       Well... Athena's background story is very long. If you're really
       interested, you can try to refer to the "The Story of The King of Fighters
       Tournament" faq by Kailu Lantis, which could be found at GameFaqs
       (http://www.gamefaqs.com/). Anyway here I'll write a bit about her.
       Athena is a girl with sort of special psycho power. This power enables her
       to practise divine, and also let her to fight in a special way.
       Athena was born in Japan, but she's spent most of her time in China. In
       China, she met Kensou and Chin, and they joint together to become a party.
       Since Athena and Kensou can manage Psycho Power, they're know as the Psycho
       Soldiers. They spent a lot of their time on dealing with crimes and evils,
       and soon became very famous.
       At that time the KoF tournament was held, and the Psycho Soldiers had also
       received an invitation from the tournament. Chin wanted to test the ability
       of Athena and Kensou, and so decided to join the tournament.
       Athena (and the Psycho Soldiers) became very famous during the tournament.
       And they've got a lot of fans. They even received up to thousands of
       letters each week from the fans! They even have a life tour in 96, held in
       But at the same time, after joining a lot of tournaments, and dealing with
       a lot of evils, they decided not to join the 97 tournament at first. But
       after reading a fan letter from a girl "Kaori", Athena changed her mind
       because she found that her fight can help a lot of people. So the Psycho
       Soldiers were back to the 97 tournament again.
       And now in 98.... Athena is ready for the new challenge again!
    2.3 Others
       ~ Color Select ~
          A button: The original red color, as usual.
          B button: Blue. A bit lighter then the one in previous series.
          C button: Yellow (or should be gold?). Yuck~
          D button: Nurse-like white color. My favourite. :)
       ~ Intros ~
          Round 1:
             Athena changes her costume, from 94 to 98, and says "Asamiya Athena
             ikima~~~~~su!" (Here comes Athena Asamiya!)
          Other rounds:
             Athena raises one of her hands and says "Ganbarimasu!" (Let's try
             our best!)
          vs Kensou:
             Kensou throws a heart to Athena and says "Hmmm.... Athena!"
             Athena seems upset and replies something.
          vs Chin:
             Athena says "Yoroshiku onegaishimasu."
       ~ Taunt ~
          Athena steps backwards, covers half of her face with her hands and says
          "Kushun! Go.. Gomenasai!" (Oops.... So..Sorry!)
       ~ Winning Posts ~
          A button: Athena spins for 360 degrees, steps horizontally and says
                    "Yaatta~! Gu~!" (Yeah~! I did it!)
          B button: Athena stands and does a V post with her hand, and says
                    "Ie~~i! Kenpekii~!" (Yea~h! Perfect~!)
          C button: Athena does a Sailor Moon like post and says "Watashi tachi
                    wa makenai wa!" (We will not lose!)
          D button: Athena make a salute to the players and says "Arigato
                    Gozaimashita!" (Thank you very much!)
       ~ Winning Quote ~
          "Sorry about that. Are you hurt?
           I guess I got a bit carried away."
    Chapter 3:     Moves and Comboes
    3.1 Normal Moves
       ~ far standing A ~
          A long, fast jab. Appearently the jab will miss on low characters, but
          in fact it won't. (Tested it on Chin and Choi) The standing A only
          does tiny damage, but since it is fast and long, you can always use
          this for poking the enemy. And since it has high hit frame, you can
          use it for mid-range anti-air too.
          Useful Rating: ***--
       ~ far standing B ~
          A kick that hits high. It is fast, and has good anti-air priority. But
          its range is very short, and it may whiff on some crouch characters.
          It is not useful in most cases. It can be anti-air, but Athena has a
          lot more better anti-airs. And for ground combat you also has a lot of
          better choice. The only use of this is to cancel to Super Psychic
          Throw, but low A or low B can also be used in this purpose.
          Useful Rating: **---
       ~ far standing C ~
          Not cancellable.
          This is Athena's longest normal. It comes out very fast, and has very
          high priority. Moreover it has not end-lag. But it is not cancellable.
          Use it for poking your enemy. It is especially useful when you use it
          together with Psycho Ball. Throw a Psycho Ball to your enemy, and then
          run to him, and do far C. The only thing your enemy can block is roll.
          You don't need to worry that your enemy will roll to you, because the
          lag is very short, and you have enough time to recover when he's trying
          to roll to you.
          Besides poking, the punch is also good for mid-range anti-air. You need
          a bit positioning to do this effectively. The best way of using this
          as anti-air is just to use the tip of her punch to hit the enemy. In
          this range you will always be safe.
          Useful Rating: *****
       ~ far standing D ~
          Not cancellable.
          Another good choice of poke. Far standing D comes out slow, but has
          good range. Also since Athena jumps when doing this kick, it can be
          used to avoid sweeps.
          It don't have much end-lag, but since it has long start up, it cannot
          be used to oftenly. The best way to use it is for semi-links after a
          light attacks. Especially effective after low B.
          Useful Rating: ***--
       ~ close standing A ~
          A strange looking "punch". It comes out fast, but nothing other than
          this. The damage is crap, range is extremely short, plus it will whiff
          against some crouching characters, or even some short standing
          Useful Rating: *----
       ~ close standing B ~
          This is exactly the same as the far standing B.
       ~ close standing C ~
          This is the best choice for close combat. It comes out very fast, and
          has very good priority (you can use it for anti-air sometimes). Plus
          you can cancel it easily. So when your enemy is close to you, you
          should use this. If they got hit, you can cancel to Psycho Sword, and
          if they block cancel to Psycho Ball to push them away.
          Since it has high priority and comes out fast, you can also use it for
          dash-in attack. It is very effective since the close C has good
          priority, and can counter a lot of attacks (which means that your
          enemy may be countered if they try to hit you when you're doing this)
          if you timed well.
          The range of the standing C is short, but anyway it is a bit longer
          than what you see in the screen. But even if you're not close enough
          when you press the C button, you still don't need to worry because her
          far C is also very fast. Therefore you can use this oftenly.
          Useful Rating: *****
       ~ close standing D ~
          Another good choice for close combat. The close D has high priority
          (about the same as close C), but it comes out a bit slow, and cannot
          be used for anti-air coz its hitting frame is low.
          The close D itself is not bad, but since the close C is more better,
          in close combat usually close C is used instead of close D. Of course
          if you like you can replace close C by D, their use is the same.
          Useful Rating: ***--
       ~ crouching A ~
          This is the crouch version of the far standing A. It comes out faster,
          but the range is much shorter, and the damage is crap. You can use this
          to punish rolls, when your enemy is rolling to you, mash on this
          button. You may also use this for comboes, but not effective at all.
          Useful Rating: **---
       ~ crouching B ~
          The sweep has good range, plus it is very fast. Also you can cancel it
          to Super Psychic Throw or, in the corner, fwd+B combo. So it is very
          useful for low high mind games. You can sometimes use it for anti-air
          also. But never use this against rolls.
          Useful Rating: ***--
       ~ crouching C ~
          This is one of the most useful move of Athena. It has a bit start up
          and end-lag, but its priority and range is too great that make the move
          very useful.
          The main use of the crouching C is for anti-air. Since Athena stay in
          a very low position when doing the move, a lot of jump-in attacks
          cannot hit her out when she's doing the move. But your punch can hit
          them when they land. Use this against those jump attacks that hits a
          bit high, and when the punch hits, cancel to Psycho Ball.
          Also you can use the Psycho Ball pressure trick with this move (low C,
          Psycho Ball, dash-in low C, ...) as well.
          Useful Rating: ****-
       ~ crouching D ~
          It seems that Athena's crouching D has crap range, but in fact its
          range is quite good, because the hit frame is larger than what you see
          on the screen. If you can master its range, you can hit your enemy
          oftenly with this because your enemy may not expect that the range of
          the kick is that long.
          Also since it comes out fast, and has good priority, you can also use
          that in close combat. Dash-in low D is also a good idea. And whenever
          you hit the enemy with this, cancel to Psycho Ball to put pressure on
          You can use this kick as anti-air too. It is not as good as low C for
          anti-air, but is much better than low B.
          Useful Rating: ****-
       ~ horizontal jump A ~
          Crap attack. Crap damage. Crap Range. Crap priority. The only good
          of this move is that it is cancellable. But anyway, you'll never want
          to use this move coz it is really tooooo crap.
          Useful Rating: *----
       ~ horizontal jump B ~
          Not cancellable.
          This kick does tiny damage, but it has good range, and good air-to-air
          priority. Plus it comes out fast. So it is very useful for Athena's
          air-to-air combat.
          Also you may crossup with this move. It is not easy to do that (you
          really need good positioning, and you've to hit really low in order to
          get a combo), and you don't get much advantage from it (she don't have
          good crossup comboes), but this is still good for surprising the
          Useful Rating: ***--
       ~ horizontal jump C ~
          This punch has quite good air-to-ground priority, but its air-to-air
          priority is much more higher. Normally, for air-to-ground you should
          use jump D, but for air-to-air this is the best choice.
          Also, if you hit your enemy (who is standing on the ground) with jump
          C, cancel to Phoenix Fang Arrow. It comboes, and takes quite a lot.
          Useful Rating: ***--
       ~ horizontal jump D ~
          Not cancellable.
          The kick has some start up lag, but is very short which is not a big
          deal. And it has very high air-to-ground priority. If positioned well,
          you can counter almost all anti-airs with this kick.
          This kick is, of course, best for jump in. It can hit very low, so you
          may even use this to counter Iori's Maiden Masher (which is a good
          anti-air). Or you can use it to counter DP type moves, it always trade
          hits, but the trade is good for you. In this case use hyper jump will
          be better.
          Useful Rating:  ****-
    3.2 Command Moves
       ~ Phoenix Bomb ~
          | + B
          O      (in air)
          Athena uses her butt to hit the enemy.
          This move is decent air-to-air / air-to-ground priority. Also it comes
          out very fast, and the best thing is that it is cancellable. So if your
          enemy block this move / being hit by this move, you can always cancel
          to B Phoenix Arrow. If you don't cancel it, Athena will bomb away after
          hitting the enemy (good for escaping from guard cancel attacks, or CD
          Use this when your jumping. It can beat a lot of air normals, and also
          can trade with most DPs (it is especially effective against Iori's
          DP and Daimon's dn-fwd + C!!). So don't hesitate to use it.
          Useful Rating: ****-
       ~ Renkantai~
          -O + B
          Athena jumps a bit and kicks her enemy.
          This move has very good priority, and has not end-lag at all. But it
          has long start up, and the range is very short.
          Renkantai is very good for comboes, because it can increase a lot the
          damage level. So in the mid of the screen, do fwd+B, Psycho Sword is
          much more damaging than just C, Psycho Sword (mind the start-up
          though). And in the corner, C, fwd+B, Phoenix Arrow is a nasty combo.
          And also since it don't have end-lag, you can do further attack if this
          is blocked. The C, fwd+B, low C, Psycho Ball link is very useful, since
          your enemy cannot do anything but block. ^^ In the corner you may try
          C, fwd+B, then wait for a while and Super Psychic Throw.
          Useful Rating: ***--
    3.3 Special Moves
       ~ Psycho Ball ~
          |  / O- + A or C
          O O
          Athena throws a large ball from her hands and yells "Psycho Ball~~~".
          This is one of her best moves. It has high priority, and the hitting
          frame is very large. Also it has only a bit end-lag, which is really
          very short that your enemy will not be able to punish you easily after
          that. But the start-up is quite long, and therefore can not be used on
          comboes except in the corner, with a counter.
          This is a mind-less move that you can use as much as possible in your
          gameplay. Use it either in long range, or in close combat. In long
          range this is useful because your enemy cannot easily get close to you
          when you're throwing the ball, and even they can get close to you they
          cannot punish you easily (because the move don't have much end-lag).
          In close combat, this move is useful for pushing the enemy away.
          Psycho Ball is very effective on those slow or large characters, e.g.
          Chang, Brian, Yashiro, Chin, etc. Due to its high priority and large
          hitting frame, this move is also good for anti-air.
          But keep in mind that since the ball travels in air, your enemy can
          slide through it (if he has a slide). Or if your enemy is fast, he can
          simply jump through it and punish you. So you should try to reduce the
          use of Psycho Ball against characters who are fast / have a slide.
          The A version and the C version are basically the same, but the C
          version travels faster while the A version travels in a slow speed.
          Useful Rating: *****
       ~ Psycho Sword ~
          -O | \  + A or C
             O  O              (can also be done in air)
          Standard DP type move.
          This is Athena's most reliable anti-air move besides the Shining
          Crystal Bit. It has long invincible frame on start up, and has good
          priority against most of jump-in attacks. But it only does tiny damage,
          and has short horizontal range.
          Use this move for anti-air. (This is very obvious, right?) But you have
          to know well about the range of this move, else you'll whiff it since
          it has only short range. You can also use this move as a weak up move,
          since it has invincibility on start-up.
          Also note that this move don't work against crossup, and if you whiff
          this move, you'll be punished.
          The A version is useless. When you do this move, use the C version will
          be better.
          Useful Rating: ****-
       ~ Psycho Reflector ~
          |  / O- + B
          O O
          Athena pulls out a "mirror" with her hands.
          This move reflects fire balls. It comes out fast, and has no end-lag
          if blocked. But if whiffed you'll surely be punished heavily. Also,
          although the mirror seems very large, the hitting area of the move is
          very small (both horizontal range and vertical range are short), and
          also the priority is very very low.
          In the actual gamplay this move is only good for reflecting fireball.
          You can reflect normal fireballs, and even DM fireballs (e.g. Ryo's
          DM fireball or Crystal Shoot), but not SDM ones. And although it comes
          out fast, you still need to anticipate when you want to reflect a fire
          ball or you'll eat it (anyway, it will still be reflected unless you're
          really too slow).
          Useful Rating: ***--
       ~ v Psycho Reflector ~
          |  / O- + D
          O O
          Athena stores psycho power in her hands, and then produce a large
          energy ball in front of her.
          This is the newer version of the reflector (first appeared in KoF96).
          This move has very high priority, and also can reflect fireballs. But
          it comes out very slow, and has very long end lag.
          You can use this move for anti-air, with a lot of anticipation. Also
          this is a good choice for follow up after Super Psychic Throw. Besides,
          this move is useless. This is in fact move which is used only for
          (PS. if you use this as anti-air, and your enemey got hit, you can
          point to him and laugh 'ha~ha~ha!'. ^_^)
          Useful Rating: *----
       ~ Psychic Teleport ~
          | \  -O + B or D
          O  O
          Athena says "Teleport~" and then.... teleports.
          This move itself does not take any damage, but this does not means that
          it is useless. In fact it is one of the most useful moves of Athena,
          because it is very good for mind games / surprising the enemy.
          When doing this move, Athena will travels for a distance within a short
          period. She produces a lot of images when doing the move, but only
          the image in front will be hit. The others are fake, and cannot be hit.
          But your enemy can grab you when you're teleporting.
          This move, if use only by itself, is only good for escaping. When
          you're trapped in the corner, you can use this to escape. But in fact
          the main use of this move is for mind games. Since it is fast, and can
          sometimes switch to the enemy's back, it is very useful for surprising
          the enemy. For the use of this move in mind games, you can refer to the
          mind game section. (I don't want to repeat that for two times. :P )
          The B version travels about 1/4 screen, and the D version can travel
          up to 3/4 of the screen.
          Useful Rating: ****-
       ~ Super Psychoc Throw ~
          O-  / | \  -O + A or C
             O  O  O
          Athena uses her psycho power to grab the enemy, and then throw him to
          the air.
          This throw is a non-instant command grab. The grab itself does little
          damage, when the enemy lands. The range is crap, you've to really stand
          next to your enemy in order to grab him, else the grab will whiff
          (Recall that all command grabs in 98 will have whiff animation). And
          also the start up lag is a bit long, so your enemy can easily jump away
          from it if you are too predictable with this move. Moreover, it can
          only be comboed with light attacks, but not heavy ones.
          So it seems that the grab is useless, right? No. In fact this is still
          her best move. It has start up, but during the start up lag Athena is
          totally invincible (even to command grabs), so you can use it to when
          your enemy is trying to hit you with ground-based attacks when you're
          close. You'll find that your enemy's attack will whiff, and then he'll
          be grabbed. Especially good for wake up move, against those who like
          poking in the whole round with heavy normals, or those who like
          repeating rush moves on you. And your enemy cannot recovery roll this
          Also it is still "recycle-able", you can follow up with any moves after
          it. Usually after the Super Psychic Throw, you can do three different
          1. Special moves, for damage. Better choices are v Psycho Reflector
             (also for style ^^), D Phoenix Arrow (you need a bit timing to make
             all the four hits connect), Shining Crystal Bit, or comboes if in
             the corner.
          2. Jump normals (jump C is the best choice, jump D may not hit the
             enemy in air). After the jump normal Athena will land first, and you
             can do further attacks, or mind games. Read the mind game section
             in chapter 4 for more information about this.
          3. Do nothing but taunt. And then laugh at your enemy. :)
          The A version comes out a bit (really a bit, not noticable in real
          combat) than the C version. Others are the same.
          Useful Rating: *****
       ~ Phoenix Arrow ~
          |  / O- + B or D
          O O                (in air only)
          Athena rolls to her enemy with her hole body covered with orange flame
          and says "Phoenix Arro~!".
          This move is an unique move of Athena. This move has good priority on
          both air-to-air and air-to-ground, and it takes quite a lot (This is
          in fact one of the most powerful move of Athena). It has a bit start
          up lag in start up, but since the lag is short, it is not a big
          problem. Instead, if you can make use of the lag, you can use that move
          more effectively (because you can use the lag to prevent yourself from
          being hit, and then counter the enemy's move immediately). Also, you
          may crossup with this move (a bit difficult, though).
          When doing the B version Athena will just roll to the enemy, and stop
          as soon as she lands. But for the D version, Athena will do a kick
          when she lands. The use of these two version is quite different.
          The D version does good damage, but has a lot of end-lag with that
          1/3 screen kick. Don't think of doing this for tick damage, since your
          enemy can dash in and punish you after blocking the move. In fact the
          main use of this move is to counter normal anti-airs. When your enemy
          is trying to do a normal anti-air to you (e.g. low C, or sweep), roll
          to him. You can get more explaination in later sections.
          The B version does tiny damage, but has no end-lag at all. So you can
          use it for tick damage (up to 4 hits if blocked). Also, after doing
          this move you'll be close to your enemy (if they block this), so this
          is a good way to get close to the enemy. Athena can move immediately
          after she lands, but she's vulnerable to command throws.
          Crossup with the D version is a bit difficult, but cross up with the
          B version is very easy since it almost go straight downwards. You can
          simply jump to your enemy's back, and do qcb+B (you've to know which
          direction to do, of course) when you're just above him will do.
          Useful Rating: ****-
    3.4 Desperation Moves
       ~ Shining Crystal Bit ~
          -O \  |  / O- -O \  |  / O- + A or C
              O O O         O O O
          This is the sign of Athena's psychic power. ^^ Athena casts her psycho
          power and makes two crystal balls flying around her body. You can press
          ABCD at the same time to cancel this move.
          This is an all-purpose DM. It comes out very fast, plus it has
          long invincible frame at start up. Also, it has good priority against
          almost any attacks. Moreover, it does good damage, especially when you
          get a counter and 2 hits with it. (If this happens, your enemy will
          lose half of his total life!) But the hitting frame only appears on the
          two crystal balls, but Athena herself is vulnerable to attacks. And
          also the move has some end lag, even if you press ABCD to cancel it.
          Use this move for everything. Use it for anti-air or weak up move is
          a good idea, especially when you're facing an enemy who likes jump-in
          attacks. Using it for air-to-air / air-to-ground is also a good idea
          (this is very useful, since no one would except a DM in the air). For
          short.... use this DM when your enemy is close to you. ^^
          When doing the SDM version, Athena will flash herself, and the two
          crystal balls still come out. It looks great, but in fact the hitting
          frame is still on the balls only, which means that the priority does
          not increase (but the priority of the DM version is already very high),
          and Athena is still vulnerable to attacks. (But it is hard to go
          through the balls and attack.) And also in the SDM version you could
          get a counter, but you can never get a 2 hits with it. You can only
          get counter+2 hits wil the DM version.
          The A version comes out a bit faster, while the C version has a bit
          longer invincible time. But in fact they're about the same.
          Useful Rating: ********** (too useful ^^)
       ~ Phoenix Fang Arrow ~
          | \  -O | \  -O + B or D
          O  O    O  O               (in air)
          Athena says "Faaaaaaaaang.... Arrow!" and produce a lot of image (which
          looks like the B version of Phoenix Arrow) to hit the enemey.
          This is the enhanced version of Phoenix Arrow, and so the use is
          basically the same. But in fact, doing Phoenix Arrow will be better,
          because the Fang Arrow will whiff much more easily. Also don't try to
          use this for air-to-air, because this only take tiny damage if used as
          air-to-air, and will leave Athena open to any attack afterwards.
          So what is the main use of this move? Since it is a multi-hit move
          (with up to 30+ hits in the SDM version), you can use this for tick
          damage. This is very good when there is just a bit time leaving. In the
          SDM version, it can take up to 1/4 of total life even if blocked.
          This move has quite long end-lag, and thus you may be punished if you
          whiff this move, or if your enemy blocks it. But you may try to do
          Shining Crystal Bit after this move, and if your enemy is not fast
          enough to punish you he'll eat the DM. This is not likely to happen
          oftenly, but is worth to try.
          The B version almost comes out vertically, while the D version has a
          bit more range than the B version. And the difference between the DM
          and the SDM version is the total number of hits (DM version will have
          around 13 hits, SDM will have 30+) and, of course, the damage.
          Useful Rating: **---
    3.5 Comboes
       ~ Basic Comboes ~
          Close C, fwd+B
          Close C, Psycho Sword
          Close B, Super Psychic Throw, then
             1. jump C/CD
             2. v Psycho Reflector
             3. D Phoenix Arrow
             4. Shining Crystal Bit (DM/SDM)
          - for the above comboes, you can add any jump attack before them -
          jump C, Phoenix Fang Arrow (DM/SDM)
          fwd+B, Psycho Sword
          Phoenix Bomb (counter), follow with
             1. B Phoenix Arrow
             2. Psycho Sword
             3. Shining Crystal Bit
         *crossup B, low B, fwd+B, Psycho Sword
         *: Not confirmed
       ~ Corner Comboes ~
          Close C, fwd+B, Phoenix Arrow / Psycho Sword
          Close C, fwd+B, Shining Crystal Bit
          - for the above comboes, you can add any jump attack before them -
          Close C, fwd+B, Phoenix Fang Arrow (SDM only)
          Super Psychic Throw, B Phoenix Arrow, Shining Crystal Bit
          Phoenix Bomb (counter), B Phoenix Arrow, Shining Crystal Bit
       ~ Bug Comboes ~
          Note: For more info on the bug comboes, please refer to the section
                "More about Bug Combo". Anyway I don't encourage the use of the
          Psycho Ball, Psycho Teleport, then
             1. Psycho Sword
             2. Shining Crystal Bit
             3. Close C, fwd+B, Phoenix Arrow/Shining Crystal Bit (DM/SDM, corner)
             4. Close C, fwd+B, Phoenix Fang Arrow (SDM, corner)
            *5. Close A, Super Psychic Throw, Psycho Ball, ....
          *: Not confirmed, but it works theoretically.
       ~ Infinite Comboes ~
          Note: This combo is posted by "mOOnrun OnE" <mOOnrun@yahoo.com> in the
                KoF Mailing List.
          in EXTRA mode.
          opponent in corner.
          first hit should be in "COUNTER".
          fwd fwd, Phoenix Bomb (counter), B Phoenix Arrow, opponent launched,
          Athena land, do QCB, upbk+B, Viola! float.
    Chapter 4:     Game Play
    4.1 General Strategy
       ~ Ranging ~
          Ranging is the basic of every fighting game. You should learn to keep
          in a range that you can use most of your moves effectively, and also
          keep yourself out of your enemy's attacking range. .....Of course this
          is not possible in the actual fight, but at least you should keep in
          the range that can give you some advantages.
          Athena should keep herself in either one of the following ranges: very
          long range, or very close range. In the other words, don't keep
          yourself in mid-range when using Athena.
          In long range, Athena can throw Psycho Balls to the enemy. This is a
          very effective tactic, since her Psycho Ball has good priority, and
          also don't have much end-lag. So she will not be punished easily when
          throw the ball, unless the enemy is very fast. Also, in this range you
          can still get close to the enemy easily by jumping (Athena's jump is
          very far).
          As for close combat, you should keep yourself in a very close range.
          This is because Athena has some good specials (e.g. Super Psychic Throw
          and Shining Crystal Bit), but all of them are very short ranged. And
          all her best normals are close ranged too.
       ~ Air-to-air/ground combat ~
          When using Athena, you should jump hella lot. This is because her jump
          is fast and high, and also she has got a lot of useful air-moves, that
          if you don't jump at all you'll waste those useful moves. But before
          you jump, you have to first know about how to deal with air-to-air
          combat and air-to-ground combat.
          Let's consider the air-to-ground combat first. If you're enemy is a
          DP like player, you can refer to the "Counter the anti-airs!" in the
          "Mind Game" section to see how to deal with the anti-airs. In case you
          enemy are not doing the anti-air, you can use jump D or Phoenix Bomb
          for air-to-ground. Both has very high air-to-ground combat, so is a
          very good option for jump-in. But remember that you've to kick a bit
          low, or you'll be thrown when you land. If you use Phoenix Bomb, you
          don't have to care about this, because you'll be "bombed" away after
          the Phoenix Bomb.
          And for air-to-air combat, you can use Phoenix Bomb, jump C or Shining
          Crystal Bit. For most characters your Phoenix Bomb and jump C should
          be good enough to beat them in the air combat, but there're some
          characters that is even better than Athena in an air combat. (e.g.
          King, Clark, Chris) In this case, you should use the Shining Crystal
       ~ Using semi-links started with light attacks ~
          This technique can, in fact, be use by almost all characters. When you
          are close to your enemy, do a light attack to make your enemy block.
          Then you can follow up with a strong attack as a semi-link. If you
          enemy tries to move after blocking the light attack, he'll be hit by
          the strong attack if you timed well. Even if he blocks it, the
          situation is still good for you.
          All the strong attacks of Athena have good priority, and don't have
          much lag, so all of them will be useful for the semi-link. Of course,
          some of them are more useful then others. These include: low C (coz you
          can cancel it to a special move), far standing C (long reach and high
          priority) and far standing D (can escape from low attacks). In the
          corner, stand CD will also be useful.
       ~ Psycho Ba~ll! ~
          Psycho Ball is very useful coz it has large hitting frame, and its
          travelling speed is quite slow that some characters will find difficult
          jumping through it. Also, it don't have any end lag. So you can use
          this very oftenly when fighting your enemy. And in fact, the Psycho
          Ball is one of the most useful move of Athena.
          As most of the fireballs, it is useful in a long ranged combat.
          Especially when you're playing against slow or large characters, the
          Psycho Ball is especially useful to them. In the long ranged combat,
          Psycho Ball is a good way to keep the distance. The A Psycho Ball is
          better for this purpose, since the C Psycho Ball travels too fast.
          In the other hand, instead of keeping the distance, you can get close
          to your opponent by using the Psycho Ball effectively. Remember that
          the Psycho Ball is almost zero end-lag? So after doing the Psycho Ball,
          run to your enemy. You can get close to your enemy by this way.
          Moreover, this is also a good way to give pressure to your enemy. Throw
          a Psycho Ball, run to him and do standing C / low C, and throw a Psycho
          Ball again is a effective pattern for this purpose. You don't need to
          afraid that your enemy can roll through the Psycho Ball and attack you,
          since the end-lag of Psycho Ball is very short. Instead, if they try
          to roll through the Psycho Ball, you should have enough time to throw
          them (in this case, use the normal throw will be better). But you still
          have to be careful that some characters have attack which can go
          through your Psycho Ball, e.g. Chris's slide, Iori's Maiden Masher, or
          even Leona's dash forward.
       ~ Use of Telepor---to! ~
          Teleport is a useful tool in your gameplay. Since its speed is very
          fast, and it doesn't have much start up and end lag, you can even use
          it to replace the dash-forward (which is very useful for those who use
          Extra Mode).
          Instead of replacing the dash forward, Teleport is also useful in
          several ways. The first way is to -- escape! ^^ Since it is very fast,
          you enemy cannot catch you easily when you're teleporting. So if you're
          trapped in the corner, you can use the teleport to get out of it.
          Also it is also useful for surprising your enemy. You can sometimes
          teleport to his back and attack. Very useful against slow characters.
          More about the use of the teleport will be mentioned in the mind game
       ~ Manage your stocks ~
         When you place Athena as the first character, you don't really need to
         think about how to use the stocks, because you won't have many. But when
         you place Athena at the second, or the third, you need to plan how to
         use your stocks.
         Your stocks can be used in three ways (in case you don't know): MAX up,
         CD counter / roll, or use for DM.
         MAX up can increase your power, but is not really useful for Athena,
         mainly because Athena's power does not increase much after MAXed up.
         The only move that the power would increase significantly after MAXed
         up is Phoenix Fang Arrow, but I don't see how you can use the Fang
         Arrow except for comboes (but the Fang Arrow comboes is very hard to
         pull out, and would miss easily). Moreover, after MAXed up, the Shining
         Crystal Bit will never have two hits even you got a counter at the
         corner. So generally I don't recommand MAXing up with her, unless you
         have tooooo much stocks.
         CD counter / roll is very useful, especially when your enemy is very
         offensive, and you don't have any method to stop him. Use CD counters
         after a blocked normal, and CD roll after blocked special to get close
         to your enemy (this is especially useful when you're blocking a move
         which does not have much end-lag).
         As for DM.... well you know that Shing Crystal Bit is a decent DM that
         is useful in *any* situation, as for anti-air, weak up move, or even in
         So, Athena can use the stocks mainly in two ways: either as for CD
         counters / rolls, or for DM. Both options are good for her, so just use
         it as you like. One more advise: when you've stock, just use it
         immediately if you can. You don't need to save it for others, coz
         Athena can build up stocks quite quickly.
       ~ Anti-airs ~
          Athena's anti-air ability has improve much froim 97.
          Here is the list of her useful anti-air moves:
          1. Psycho Sword
             This is her second best choice of anti-air. High priority, and
             invincibility at start up make it a decent anti-air. But the
             horizontal range is very short, and you'll eat great combo if you
             whiff this move.
          2. v Psycho Reflector
             This move has more priority than Psycho Sword, but has hella start
             up lag, so you need to anticipate when using this as anti-air.
             Usually this is use for style only. ^^
          3. Psycho Ball
             A very good choice for mid-range anti-air, especially when you're
             facing some large characters. The A version would be better, since
             the C version travels too fast.
          4. far standing C
             Another useful mid-range anti-air. Won't be punished even if
             whiffed, so you may abuse it. ^_^
          5. low C
             Athena will keep herself in a very low position when doing this,
             and therefore can escape from a lot of jump attacks which cannot
             hit that low. Moreover, you can combo to Psycho Ball after it.
          6. Shining Crystal Bit
             Need explaination? ^^
       ~ Weak up moves ~
          Weak up move is the move that you do when you weak up. ;) (Rubbish
          sentence ;) ). If your enemy attempts to attack you when you're just
          getting up, you can use your weak up moves to punish him. This is quite
          And so, which move should be use in this situation? Just use a move
          with invincibility. So Psycho Sword, Super Psychic Throw and Shining
          Crystal Bit are all useful for weak up moves. Use them depends on
          different situation. Of course when you've stock, use SCB. ^^
    4.2 Mind Games
       ~ Tick throw ~
          This is a skill that is often used by grapplers. Jump to your enemy,
          do nothing in the air (or whiff an attack in the air), and do the
          command grab just when you land.
          Athena's grab is a bit slow, and therefore tick throw is not as useful
          as others who have instant grab. But it is still a good trap if you can
          mix with a jump attack. Also, jump-in normal throw is also useful too.
          Use this tick more when you're dealing with turtles.
       ~ Dash-in grab ~
          This is what you need to know when you're playing the KoF series, since
          this is very important for a grappler's gameplay. Athena is not a
          grappler, but her throw is very important for her, so you also need to
          know this.
          When you perform the dash-in, your character will run for a short
          distance. In this short distance you cannot stop your character with
          any kind of joystick motion, but in the other words, you can buffer
          any move in this period. So if you do the hcf motion when you're
          running, and press the punch key when you're close to your enemy, you
          will grab him without any pause within. Of course, you should mind the
          distance; you can't run to far. Generally Athena can run for about
          1/3 of the screen before doing the dash-in grab.
          The dash-in grab itself is not very useful, since it would be a bit
          obvious if you run to an enemy. So just use it for a surprise. In fact
          the best time of doing a dash-in grab is after a blocked normal, since
          most player will keep blocking. So you may try this: after a jump D or
          low B, run to your enemy and perform the dash-in grab. You may find out
          that the trick is quite useful in this case.
       ~ Low-high mind game ~
          Another basic level mind game, but is always useful if you can use it
          well. ^_^ The purpose of the low-high mind game is to force your enemy
          to guess whether block high or low. If he guess wrong, he will be
          Since Athena don't have an overhead, her low-high mind game is only
          useful when you're jumping to your enemy. At this moment, you can do a
          jump D combo, or do nothing in the air, and do a low B immediately when
          Athena lands.
          This trick is especially useful when your enemy is in to corner, since
          Athena has some damaging corner comboes.
       ~ low C, teleport, Super Psychic Throw ~
          A useful trick that about 90%+ players would fall on it (if they didn't
          see the trick before). ^^ When your enemy blocks the low C, he may
          think that you'll follow up with some sort of hit based move (Psycho
          Ball for example). So he'll keep blocking. At this moment, if you do
          the teleport, you'll get next to him (use B teleport, D teleport will
          be too far away). Then, before he does anything, grab him with Super
          Psychic Throw.
          Psychic Teleport can go through your enemy, so when you do this trick
          you should know which side you're going to, else the Psycho Ball will
          come out instead of the Super Psychic Throw. But anyway, this is not
          a big deal since the Psycho Ball is a safe move.
          After doing this trick one or two times, your enemy may be able to
          figure out the way to escape from it. He may jump away, or even do a
          vertical hop, let you whiff the Super Psychic Throw, then punish you.
          In this case you should try not to do Super Psychic Throw. Instead, you
          may try Shining Crystal Bit. Very useful on those who attempt to hop
          and punish you if you whiff the throw. Or, if he just jumps away, then
          you may throw a Psycho Ball to him.
          This trick is not as useful on those who has good reflex action. Also,
          since it is only a "trick", you should only use it one or two times in
          one round. If you repeat this trick for hundreds of time in the same
          round, I'm quite sure that you'll die very soon unless your enemy is
          brainless. ;)
       ~ B Phoenix Arrow, Super Psychic Throw ~
          This is basically the same as the low C, teleport, throw tick above.
          Do B Phoenix Arrow, if block, wait for a while and do Super Psychic
          Throw. If your enemy thinks that you're doing the D Phoenix Arrow,
          and thus keeps blocking, he'll fall into this trap. But remember that
          you need to wait for a while and walk in a bit before doing the Super
          Psychic Throw, or it will miss.
          In order to do this trap more successfully, you can try to replace
          the Super Psychic Throw with some other fast but blockable move first,
          or you may just simply use D Phoenix Arrow instead at the first time.
          For example, at the first time, do B Phoenix Arrow, then follow by
          close standing C, Psycho Ball. Then when you do the B Phoenix Arrow
          again, your enemy might think that you're going to do the C, Psycho
          Ball stuff again and thus keeps blocking. And so you're success! ^^
          Of course the case above is an ideal case, but that's the idea of doing
          this trap successfully. ^^
       ~ Mind games after Super Psychic Throw ~
          Super Psychic Throw is a very special command throw in the game. The
          throw itself does not take a lot, but you can follow up with a lot of
          different moves. Since it has this special characteristic, it can be an
          excellent mind-game starter.
          The mind game after the Super Psychic Throw is mainly a block left or
          right mind game. After the Super Psychic Throw, you can juggle with
          jump C. Then you can:
          1. Simply land in front of your enemy and attack.
          2. Run to your enemy's back immediately when you land, then attack from
             his back. You have to do in this way:
             Super Psychic Throw, hyper hop C, when you land (your enemy is still
             in the air), run forward, then when your enemy lands, attack
             immediately. If you do this successfully, you should now at your
             enemy's back.
          3. Do nothing (either in front or at his back), then when he land, do
             Super Psychic Throw again.
          Usually, the second option above is the most useful one. 3rd one is
          also very tricky, and 1st one is used to mix with the second one. And
          what attack you should use after it? That's another story. You can
          do anything you like, even the mind game mentioned above.... ^^
       ~ Counter the anti-airs! ~
          In KoF98, anti-air is one of the very important part of the gameplay.
          Almost all characters in the game has a least one good anti-air moves,
          and some of them even have anti-airs that is very very reliable. So
          most players will do an anti-air move against their enemy everytime
          when they see their enemy jumping to them.
          In fact this tactic (wait for an anti-air move) is very useful against
          a lot of characters in the game -- but surely, Athena is one of the
          exceptions. Why? This is because Athena has a lot of air specials,
          which can counter any kind of anti-airs effectively.
          So how can you counter the enemy's anti-air? This depends on what kind
          of anti-air your enemy is using. Basically the anti-airs in KoF can be
          classified into two types:
          1. Defensive-style anti-air.
             When doing this kind of anti-air, the character will usually stay on
             the ground. This type of anti-air is usually fast, and quite safe
             even if whiffed, but has no invincible frame, and the horizontal
             range is short. An example of this kind of anti-air is Shermie's
             low C.
             When you're facing an enemy who likes using this kind of anti-air
             all day, you can use Phoenix Arrow (D version will be better) to
             counter him. The Phoenix Arrow has some delay on start-up, and thus
             should escape from your enemy's attack perfectly. And since this
             kind of anti-air is quite short ranged, you don't need to worry that
             you will be hit at the start-up of the Phoenix Arrow. Of course you
             need a bit positioning here -- in fact the safest way is to roll to
             your enemy's back.
          2. Offensive-style anti-air.
             You can call this type of anti-air "air offense", because it is
             quite offensive in nature. Your enemy will jump up and attack you
             in the mid-air when doing this kind of anti-air. This type of anti-
             air is usually a special move; has high priority and invincible
             frame at start-up, also the horizontal range is quite long (some of
             them can even reach the top of the screen!), but will leave the
             player unsafe if whiffed.
             Phoenix Arrow will not be effective against this type of anti-air,
             since this kind of air offense has hella horzontal range (and can
             hit you when you're trying to do the Phoenix Arrow!). In this case
             you do Shining Crystal Bit instead. Shining Crystal Bit has long
             invincible frame (much longer than most anti-airs), and so can
             counter this kind of anti-airs effectively. Of course you need to
             anticipate in this case.
             If you can do the SCB close enough to your enemy when he's trying to
             DP you..... wow! COUNTER! 2HITS! Your enemy will lose half of his
             total life... ^_^ And I'm sure he'll not do the DP again easily. ^_^
          Anyway, beside the Phoenix Arrow and the Shining Crystal Bit, the
          Phoenix Bomb also works well against most anti-airs due to its high
          So now, you know how to counter the anti-airs. But the main-point is:
          how to make the enemy doing their anti-air move? This is quite easy in
          fact, just jump to them obviously and your enemy will usually do that
          (coz the anti-airs are tooooo reliable in KoF98). Especially when you
          don't have much energy left, your enemy will do the anti-air more
          easily if they think that they can finish the game soon. And of course,
          in this case you should use the SCB to tell them that they're wrong. ^^
       ~ Corner Trap ~
          Corner Trap is very important for Athena, mainly because Athena has a
          lot more options than the enemy in the corner, and also because Athena
          would become very powerful at the corner (she's got a lot of damaging
          corner comboes). If you can do the trap well, your enemy cannot get out
          from the corner once he got trapped.
          So what should you do when your enemy is in the corner? In fact all the
          mind games mentioned above works very well in the corner. So just mix
          them well, and do what you want well be fine. Here I'll draw a flow
          chart to show you some possible corner trap patterns.
                               V                                              |
         +---------+   +-----------+   +-------+   +----------+   +--------+  |
         | Phoenix |-->| B Phoenix |-->| low A |-->| standing |-->| Psycho |  |
         |  Bomb   |   |   Arrow   |   |       |   |    CD    |   |  Ball  |  |
         +---------+   +-----------+   +-------+   +----------+   +--------+  |
                             |             ^                                  |
              +--------------+             +---------------------+            |
              |                                                  |     +------+
              |       +-----------------------------+            |     |
              V       V                             |            |     |
         +---------------+   +-----------+   +-------------+     |     |
         | Super Psychic |-->| B Phoenix |-->|   Shining   |     |     |
       +>|    Throw      |   |   Arrow   |   | Crystal Bit |     |     |
       | +---------------+   +-----------+   +-------------+     |     |
       |       ^     |                                           |     |
       |       |     |         +------------------------+--------+     |
       |       |     V         |                        |              |
       |       |  +-----+   +-------+   +-----------+   |              |
       |       +--| hop |-->| low B |-->| Renkantai |---+              |
       |   +------|  C  |   |  (*1) |   |           |------------------+
       |   |      +-----+   +-------+   +-----------+
       |   |         |                     ^   |   +------------V
       |   |         V                     |   |           +-----------+
       |   |  +------------------+         |   |           | D Phoenix |
       |   |  | air Shining      |         |   +--------+  |   Arrow   |
       |   |  | Crystal Bit (*2) |         |            |  +-----------+
       |   |  +------------------+         +--------+   |       |
       |   |                                        |   |       |
       |   |                                        |   |       |
       |   |    +--------+         +------------+   |   +-------+
       |   +--->| jump D |-------->| standing C |---+   |
       |        |  (*1)  |         |            |       |
       |        +--------+         +------------+       |
       |                                  |             |
       |                                  V             |
       |                             +----------+       |
       |                             | Psychic  |       |
       |                             | Teleport |       |
       |                             +----------+       |
       |                                  |             |
       +----------------------------------+------------ +
          (*1): Do this when your enemy land. This two together is the low/high
                mind game.
          (*2): Do this after your enemy land. If he tries to DP you, then...
          It seems very complicated, huh? But in fact this is just a mixed
          (corner) version the mind games mentioned above. There're some more
          variation, but the most useful ones are listed here. Just use this as
          a reference, and figure out your own corner trap pattern.
          Since the chart is just a summary, you can find the explainations from
          the above. (Anyway I hope you can read the chart. It is really to
          complicated... ^^) Just a few notes here.
          Of course you may start from anyone you like. Usually I'll start from
          Phoenix Bomb, Super Psychic Throw or close standing C.
          You should go through different routine in different situation. For
          example, if Renkantai is blocked, go to B Phoenix Arrow. Else go to
          D Phoenix Arrow for more damage.
          Also, you may see that after D Phoenix Arrow / Shining Crystal Bit,
          there is a link pointed to Super Psychic Throw, right? This is done
          when you knock down your enemy by the Phoenix Arrow / Shining Crystal
          Bit, and he do a recovery roll. In this case you can do the command
          throw immediately to grab your enemy again. Trust me, it really works.
          ^_^ But you've to be faster. Especially after Shining Crsytal Bit,
          you need to cancel it immediately, and do the throw immediately in
          order to grab your enemy (which is doing the recovery roll).
    4.3 Character Match-ups (vs CPU & vs Human)
       ~ vs Kyo Kusanagi ~
          vs CPU:
             CPU Kyo has no particular form, but in fact beating him is not
             difficult. Remember not to jump to him with jump D, or you'll be
             blocked by his autoguard DP.
          vs Human:
             The basic strategy works well against him. Still you've to be
             careful about his autoguard moves.
       ~ vs Benimaru Nikaido ~
          vs CPU:
             Keep in long range, and throw a Psycho Ball to him. He'll jump and
             do the drill move. At this time, do Psycho Sword. You can repeat
             this trick throughout the whole round (but it might be boring..)
          vs Human:
             Benimaru's gameplay is mainly based on the crossup, and the
             anti-air moves. You've to be careful of these two things.
             You should be offensive against him. But don't use too much Psycho
             Ball, because he can easily jump through it and punish you
             afterwards. Also the low C -> Psycho Ball (repeat) trick is not good
             against him. All other strategies mentioned should be useful
       ~ vs Goro Daimon ~
          vs CPU:
             The general formula is Psycho Ball, then D Phoenix Arrow. Repeat and
             you should be able to beat him (but winning with a perfect is not
          vs Human:
             Daimon is a very strong character in the game. But this doesn't mean
             that playing against him is a big deal -- in fact Athena is one of
             the characters that can beat Daimon easily. (Here I'm just talking
             the average case, for an expert this is meaning less ;) ).
             Most Daimons will play based on anti-air moves, because Daimons
             anti-air are very effective, and also very powerful. And this is
             what you can make use with -- Daimons anti-airs are great, but
             Athena's anti anti-air moves are even better! :) So the basic
             strategy against a anti-air based Daimon is jump hella lot, wait
             until he does an anti-air, and use your anti anti-air move to beat
             him. Phoenix Arrow is good against his standing D and dn-fwd+C (a
             bit positioning is required for this). Phoenix Bomb will always
             trade with is dn-fwd+C (but the trade is good for you). Shining
             Crystal Bit is very useful against anything.
             And when you're facing a Daimon who doesn't use anti-air moves...
             well I think this is impossible. I've never seen a Daimon who does
             not use anti-airs at all. But anyway, in case you're facing this
             kind of Daimon, make use of Psycho Ball and run-in low C / low D.
             Also the low C -> teleport -> Super Psychic Throw trick will be
             useful since Daimon is slow.
       ~ vs Terry Bogard ~
       ~ vs Andy Bogard ~
       ~ vs Joe Higashi ~
       ~ vs Ryo Sakazaki ~
       ~ vs Robert Garcia ~
       ~ vs Yuri Sakazaki ~
          vs CPU:
             Keep blocking. She'll do a sequence of move, and the last one is
             the DP. After blocking her DP you can punish her easily.
          vs Human:
             Hmm.... Nothing special for her. Just watch out her low D and qcb+A.
             Both are very annoying.
       ~ vs Leona ~
          vs CPU:
             Phoenix Arrow!
       ~ vs Ralf Jones ~
          vs CPU:
             Jump to him and do the Shining Crystal Bit. He'll also do the
             dn, up+C move and eat a 2-hit counter.
          vs Human:
             Try to avoid playing against Ralf with Athena if you can. Coz Ralf
             can just use his low C to counter all your tricks. :(
             In case you really have to play against him... keep in long range
             and be a bit defensive. Wait until he jumps to you, then use your
             anti-air move to beat him away. Don't get close to him, and don't
             let him get close to you. Using the Psycho Ball together with far
             standing C to annoy him is a good idea.
             And, don't try to do the B Phoenix Arrow -> Super Psychic Throw
             trick against him. You'll end up eat a low C combo...
       ~ vs Clark Steel ~
          vs CPU:
             Same with Ralf.
          vs Human:
             Also same with Ralf, except that you should not play air-to-air
             combat with him (this is one of the characters that you can jump
             against him when you're using Athena) coz his jump D can beat almost
             anything in the air except Shining Crystal Bit.
       ~ vs Athena Asamiya ~
          vs CPU:
             CPU Athena has two basic forms:
             1. Psycho Ball, v Psycho Reflector, repeat.
             2. Psycho Ball, Psycho Sword.
             Knowing this, you should be able to beat her easily.
          vs Human:
             Most Athena players are only bug combo players, which should not be
             a big deal against you.
       ~ vs Sie Kensou ~
          vs CPU:
             Phoenix Arrow works well against him.
          vs Human:
             In fact his moves are quite similar to Athena's although he doesn't
             have the teleport. Anyway he's a standard fireball-DP type player,
             which you should not have much problem against.Use the reflector to
             reflector his fireball, or SCB his DP moves.
       ~ vs Chin Genzai ~
          vs CPU:
             Throw a fireball in long range, then run-in and do standing C.
          vs Human:
             Chin is slow, and his jump arc is low. Thus Psycho Ball is very good
             against him. All you've to be careful of is his jump C (which is two
             hits, and can be an instant overhead) and his qcf, qcf+P DM (decent
             anti-air, comes out fast). Anyway, beating him should not be
             very difficult... but who will use Chin? :)
       ~ vs Chizuru Kagura ~
          vs CPU:
             Hyper jump CD. She'll do the vertical jump CD, but will be beaten by
             your jump CD. And when she's down, do the D Phoenix Arrow. She'll
             eat that when she get up.
          vs Human:
             This woman has a lot of good normals, and she has a slide which is
             very annoying for Athena. So don't play close range game with her
             (her normal can bring you to the hell in close range), and don't
             throw too much Psycho Ball to her (you'll be slided).
             You can jump a lot to her, coz her anti-airs are not effective
             against Athena.
       ~ vs Mai Shiranui ~
          vs CPU:
             Run to her, and then roll to her back. When you're rolling, she'll
             do some sort of moves which will miss. Then you can do what you like
             at her back.
       ~ vs King ~
          vs CPU:
             D Phoenix Arrow. She'll always eat that....
          vs Human:
             King is a character that can always beat you in air-to-air combat.
             Her jump B, jump CD and jump D are very great in air combat, and
             can out-prioritize most of your air moves. You only advantage is
             that you can jump higher then her, and you've an air DM. So
             generally you'd better not to play air-to-air game with her.
             Also watch out her jump D, which can be an instant overhead. And one
             more note... she has a slide which can slide through Psycho Ball.
       ~ vs Kim Kaphwan ~
       ~ vs Chang Koehan ~
       ~ vs Choi Bounge ~
       ~ vs Yashiro Nanakase ~
          vs CPU:
             Phoenix Arrow.
       ~ vs Shermie ~
          vs CPU:
             Phoenix Arrow.
       ~ vs Chris ~
          vs CPU:
             Phoenix Arrrrrrrrrow!!!
          vs Human:
             This is a very tough match up for Athena, since Chris is good in
             anything (air-to-air, air-to-ground, ground-to-air), and he's even
             faster than Athena.
             You should be offensive against Chris. But since Chris is very tough
             in ground-to-ground combat, you'd better play an air game with him.
             Staying on the ground will just bring you to death... (And of
             course, *never* do Psycho Ball against him!)
             Use more hyper jump against him. His jump CD is very great, but
             since it has a bit start up lag, it is not a big problem for
             Athena. Use your jump D, or even Shining Crystal Bit, to counter him
             before he hits you with that.
             Then the next thing is to deal with his anti-airs. His slide, Scum
             Spider (the grab-your-head-and-go-to-your-back move), DP+K, low C
             and the qcb, qcb+K DM are all very good for anti-air. But with the
             Phoenix Arrow and Shining Crystal Bit, you should be able to counter
             all his anti-air moves (Phoenix Arrow is good against the slike and
             low C, Shining Crystal Bit is good for others). Note that Phoenix
             Bomb doesn't work well against Chris.
       ~ vs Ryuji Yamazaki ~
          vs CPU:
             When he does the snake arms, roll to his back.
       ~ vs Blue Mary ~
       ~ vs Billy Kane ~
          vs CPU:
             Repeat D Phoenix Arrow. Remember to roll to his back. He'll always
             eat that also... (just like King).
             This is a good time for you to practice crossup with Phoenix Arrow.
       ~ vs Iori Yagami ~
       ~ vs Mature ~
       ~ vs Vice ~
       ~ vs Heidern ~
       ~ vs Takuma Sakazaki ~
          vs CPU:
             Mix A Psycho Ball and D Phoenix Arrow.
       ~ vs Saisyu Kusanagi ~
          vs CPU:
             He'll always do the fireball. You can do jump-in comboes when he's
             throwing the fireball.
       ~ vs Heavy D! ~
          vs CPU:
             Phoenix Arrow.
       ~ vs Lucky ~
       ~ vs Brian Battler ~
          vs CPU:
             Block all his special moves, and then beat him afterwards.
       ~ vs Rugal ~
          vs CPU (Omega Rugal):
             Throw a Psycho Ball. He'll do the Electric Ball at the same time.
             Use Psycho Reflector to reflect the Electric Ball. He'll either eat
             it, or vertical jump it. Repeat this throughout the whole round, and
             you can get a perfect. :) (But again, this is very boring...)
       ~ vs Shingo ~
          vs CPU:
             He'll repeat the Shingo Kick in the whole round. You can beat him in
             two ways: keep in long range and throw fireball, or run-in Shining
             Crystal Bit.        
    4.4 About the 'bug' combo
       Well, in fact I don't like the bug combo. But since this is the Athena
       Guide, and Athena has the most annoying bug combo in the game, I've to
       mention it also.
       In KoF98, if your character has a long ranged projectile together with a
       command throw (including running grab), you can do the bug combo: throw a
       projectile, and then do the command throw. The projectile will be
       unblockable. This is usually refered as (one of) the 'bug' of KoF98.
       Athena is one of the characters who can do the 'bug' (since she has both
       a long ranged fire-ball and a command throw). But, in fact, Athena can do
       the 'bug' in another way -- after throwing the fire-ball, do the Psychic
       Teleport. The fire-ball will also be unblockable! Since after the teleport
       Athena will stand besides the opponent (if your positioning is good), you
       can follow up the fire-ball (don't forget that the fire-ball is
       unblockable now!) with any kind of combo you like (this is mentioned in
       the Comboes section)!
       This seems easy, right? Yes. It is easy to do the bug combo. But the
       problem is: when is the perfect timing of doing the bug combo? Here are
       some suggestions:
       1. After Super Psychic Throw. The most common way of doing the bug combo
          is: Super Psychic Throw, step back (bk, bk), Psycho Ball, Psycho
          Teleport, follow with anything you like. This is quite good when your
          opponent is in the corner (the fireball will almost reach your enemy
          when he gets up). But if your enemy is not in the corner, a better way
          of doing the bug combo is: Super Psychic Throw, C Psycho Ball, A Psycho
          Ball, D Teleport. The timing would be perfect, and you can easily
          follow up with standing C or Psycho Sword (or even Shining Crystal
          Bit!) after that.
       2. After a Psycho Ball which hits the enemy in the air. In this case,
          quickly do another A Psycho Ball (C Psycho Ball would be too fast), and
          then do the D teleport. Your enemy can't easily escape even if he do
          the recovery roll.
       And, it would also be good to do the bug combo after Psycho Sword or B
       Psycho Reflector, but these would be a bit more difficult then the cases
       mentioned above.
       Also notice that the bug combo can be countered. Doing the bug combo may
       be dangerous if your enemy is using a character which has a move which can
       pass through (or absorb) he Psycho Ball. These characters include: Benimaru
       (he can grab you with the DM grab which has invincible time), Daimon (his
       hcf, hcf+K DM can absort any moves), Terry (he can use Power Geyster to
       double kill with you -- but of course he has a lot of benifit in this
       trade), Leona (she can dash through fire-balls), Ralf (the qcb, hcf+P DM
       has hella long invincible time), Athena (Shining Crystal Bit can absort
       fireballs), King (she has a DM which can jump through fireballs and a lot
       of moves), Shermie (her Shermie Carnival is similar to Benimaru's grab
       DM), Iori (Maiden Masher can pass through fireball easily), and Heavy D!
       (his qcf+P move has long invincible time). When you're facing these
       characters, you've to be careful when using the bug combo.
       Anyway, I really don't recommend you to use the bug combo. This is a cheap
       tactic for a lot of players. Of course, whether cheap or not is up to you.
       If you think this is a skill, just use it.
    Chapter 5:     Misc Info
    5.1 More about Athena
       Here is more information about Athena. In case you don't know...
       1. Athena first appeared in a game called "Athena", published in 1986 by
          SNK. It is a four direction action game. In that game Athena wears
          sort of swimming suit (like what you may see when doing the MAXed
          Shining Crystal Bit).
       2. She then appears again in the game called "Psycho Soldier". Kensou is
          in the game also. The game is a eight direction action game. In the
          game she wears sailor shirt.
       3. Athena's third game is called "ATHENA ~Awakeningt from the ordinary
          life~". This game is an AVG, published on the Playstation by SNK (the
          game is done by team "Yumekobo"(Dream Factory)). The game is published
          recently, so if you like you may play it. It is good for Athena's fans.
    5.2 Version History
    10-04-1999: Created the guide. Vs section, "More about the bug combo",
                comboes section and chapter 2 added.
    26-04-1999: Oops.... CIH!! Oh my god. Have to re-do again.
                Fortunately I've sent Brian a copy before... ^_^
    07-05-1999: Added the intro. Chapter 2 completed.
                "Counter the anti-airs!", "Anti-airs", "Mange your stocks" and
                mOOnrun's combo added.
    10-05-1999: The mind game section is almost completed! The flow chart is very
    17-05-1999: The general strategy section is completed. Also add the history
                of Athena.
    25-05-1999: Chapter 3 completed. First published version.
    5.3 Credits
    1. Brian Lui <luibr@hkstar.com>. He's the alpha tester of this guide. ^^
    2. The KoF Mailing List <kof@dhp.com>. This is a good place for discussing
       anything about KoF. To subscribe it, send a mail with the subject
       "subscribe" to <kof-request@dhp.com>.
    3. The KoF Combo Group <kof_combo@egroups.com>. Another good place for
       discussing KoF comboes. Go to http://www.egroups.com/list/kof_combo/ to
    End of the Athena guide.
    If you've any comments on this guide, please send it to me.
    My e-mail is siekensou@geocities.com.

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