01. Forward.............................................................. .....02. Special Moves...................................................... .......03. Throws........................................................... .........04. Regular Moves.................................................. ...........05. Other Stuff.................................................. .............06. Version Differences........................................ ...............07. Ken Kombos............................................... .................08. Some More Tactics...................................... ...................09. Fighting Human World Warriors........................ .....................10. Fighting Computer World Warriors................... .......................11. Afterword........................................ ......................................... ...01. Forward.............................................................. .................... Ken, when used properly, and with a great degree of skill, is definitely one of the most powerful characters in the game of Street Fighter 2. With the transition from Classic to Champion Edition and then to Hyper Fighting, Ken has become more and more popular among the world SF2 players. A good combination of ground and air tactics, mixed with decent speed, a better than average throw, killer combos, and perhaps the _single_ most powerful move in the game, makes Ken a force to be reckoned with. In the original World Warrior game, Classic, we found that Ken and his pal Ryu were *identical* in their moves and tactics. However, with the advent of the Champion Edition, Ken and Ryu became less alike. Ken had increased the range of his Strong and Fierce Dragon Punch by about 150%. While losing a bit of power on the way, he more than made up for in the number of combos gained with the new range. His Hurricane Kick has now become a fast flurry of spinning kicks, that if placed right, can easily dizzy the opponent. The strength of these kicks is considerably less than Ryu's. Now, in this day we are blessed with HF, the powers of Ken seem more useful than before. His speed is increased even more, the Dragon Punch has lost a bit of the delay after landing, his fireball delay has also been shortened. He and friend Ryu have added a new dimension, the ability HK in the air. Now is the time to document strategies for him. ........................................ .....02. Special Moves...................................................... .................... Assuming that you are facing to the right, Ken's special moves and attacks are done and can be described as below. If you are facing left, just do the mirror image of the move shown, i.e. left->right and right->left. Dragon Punch (DP) --O | \ and then any punch button. ----------------- O O The dragon punch is invulnerable all the way up to the apex, but after that, you must wait until you hit the ground. The Fierce DP will hit twice if Ken is close enough to the opponent. If the second hit of the Fierce DP hits, the opponent will fall down. If the opponent is in the air, and is hit by any DP, s/he will fall to the ground. If Ken hits with a Jab or Strong DP, the opponent will always fall after the first hit, and there is no way of hitting twice with either of them (unless blocked), unlike in Classic. Fireball (FB) | \ --O and then any punch button. ------------- O O The fireball is a ranged projectile, with which the speeds can vary. The delay after Ken throws a fireball is short, but not short enough to not get hit by every incoming aerial attack. This weapon is used to tick energy off the opponent one by one as they block. It can be used to trap the opponent in the corner. It cancels other projectiles. Beware if you play Ryu, the delay for Ken is just long enough so that the number of hits that you take from the mistiming could cost you the round. :( Hurricane Kick (HK) | / O-- and then any kick button. ------------------- O O To do the hurricane kick in the air, do the Hurricane Kick motion while you are airborne. If you do it while jumping forward or straight up, you will then go to the right, if done while jumping backwards, you will go left. He does not have invulnerability at any point of the HK like Ryu. Ken can do the HK over the Yoga Fireballs and the Sonic Boom. His HK can be used from the air to strike taller opponents, and possibly dizzy them. The HK can hit the opponent many times, getting them in an "eggbeater" type trap. From a large distance, the Short HK can be used to go over projectiles in order to avoid blocking the projectile. The most I have seen the Roundhouse HK hit is around 7 to 8 times, which usually resulted in a dizzy, it was not very damaging, unfortunately. Strategies for the special moves can be very irritating. Perhaps the most annoying "trap" in the game is the Fireball-Dragon Punch trap. It is most effective while holding the opponent in a corner. Once the opponent is in the corner, throw fireballs of various speeds, fake occasionally, and Dragon Punch the opponent if they make an effort to escape or attack you to get out. It must be executed without pattern, and it may kill the opponent when executed flawlessly, but there are *few* people who can do this. There was an article posted a long while back on how the FB trap might be executed to incinerate Guile. Worth reading. ........................................ .......03. Throws........................................................... .................... To throw the opponent, stand close to them, then press towards or away from them, and hit Strong or Fierce to do a shoulder throw, or hit Forward or Roundhouse to do a back roll throw. Each type of throw does the same amount of damage, but it *seems* easier to get off the Strong and Forward throws. His range on HF has been _vastly_ increased. If you charge up the "extended throw range", you can grab the opponent from about 2 to 3 inches away. To get a better feel for throw range, try to use throws instead of a combo when the opponent misses a special move. Try to throw them from larg- er distances until you've found the maximum range for his throws. I also suggest that you read the "Art Of Throwing" and "Counter-Throwing" guides by Eu-Ming Lee to get an in depth look at throwing in general. I have noticed a difference, in case you didn't, here it is. The kick throws will put you farther away from the fallen opponent than the punch throws will. If you plan on KO'ing them with throws by any means necessary, then the punch throws are the way to go. You will be within a range that is easily reachable after the guy hits the turf. The kick throws propel the enemy farther away from you, a bit more than 2/3 screen distance. Choose your throw wisely, as it can set up your next attack. Make note of the effect of throwing the opponent into the corner while you are in the corner with the kick throws; you will be near them afterwards unlike an open screen throw. As *I* became more and more skilled with Ken, I found that his throw was probably his second most useful weapon, only behind the DP. Once I learned the ranges, and of course the timing for the throws, I became a better play- er overall. This holds for any character, but unlike some other characters, Ken's throw really isn't *needed*, but since he does have it, it should be exploited to it's full potential. At his peak, a "cheap" Ken style is per- haps the most devastating of the "cheap" played characters. But, be careful of where and to who you do this to! ........................................ .........04. Regular Moves.................................................. .................... Standing -------- Jab: Can knock opponents out of some special moves. Strong: As the Jab, more difficult to time. Fierce: Looks as Strong, decent range for opponents outside throwing range. Short: A kick towards the head, stays out for a while. Forward: Looks as Short, more hang time. Roundhouse: A crescent kick, can be used for air-counters; cool combos. ============================================================================ Standing Close -------------- Jab: Useful to begin ticking your opponent. Strong: An elbow in the face of most characters. Fierce: A standing pseudo-uppercut(?), semi-air counter. Short: A low-hitting knee. Forward: A knee in the groin of most characters. Style! Roundhouse: A double hitting axe kick. ============================================================================ Crouching --------- Jab: Ticking, and counters some special moves. Strong: Straight punch. Fierce: An uppercut, useful as an air counter. Short: Useful to begin ticking the opponent. Forward: A foot sweep that doesn't knock down opponent. Roundhouse: A foot sweep that knocks the opponent down. ============================================================================ Jump Up ------- Jab: Punch down. Counter Blanka Ball and Sumo Torpedo. Strong: Punch down, useful to get a quick air counter. Fierce: Like Strong, more damage, less priority. Short: Gimpy kick, looks strange. Forward: Like Short kick, good priority, range. Roundhouse: Gull-type kick, good damage, decent priority. ============================================================================ Jumping Towards/Away -------------------- Jab: Like straight jump up. Strong: Like straight jump up. Fierce: Good to begin combos with, similar to jump up. Short: Flying knee attack, good to begin "cheap" attack or combo. Forward: Low damage, better priority vs. body attacks, use as Short. Roundhouse: Good damage, combo starter. ........................................ ...........05. Other Stuff.................................................. .................... Ken's uniform colors are as follows: Any attack button --> Blue/Purple (Indigo) Player start button --> Original Red (Classic) Battle Quote: "Attack me if you dare, I will crush you!" For those of you who don't already know, Ken's ending is all mushy and what- ever. His girlfriend Eliza comes over from the States and meets Ken after he puts Bison six feet under. Then he asks her what she is doing there, and then there is some obligatory stuff, then they get married. Big deal. Then, he takes his place on the winner's podium, at number 1! ........................................ .............06. Version Differences........................................ .................... Here is a (hopefully) near complete list of the differences for Ken (and in general for the other 11 characters) in the versions of SF2. >From Classic->Champion Edition ------------------------------ New uniform color is added: jet black (Classic red is still present). Less damage for all moves (about 65-75% of Classic). New Hurricane Kick is faster, hits more often. New Dragon Punch knocks down upon strikes with Jab and Strong. DP also knocks down with the second hit. DP has much better range than before. Speed increase allows smoother combinations. DP range increase introduces TOD combo. HK combos work to an extent. >From Champion Edition->Hyper Fighting ------------------------------------- New uniform color is added: indigo (jet black is gone) It is easier to get the DP and do DP combos. Can now do the HK in the air. Damage has been INCREASED for the DP, relative to CE. Other moves do less damage in relation to CE. Dizziness is easier to induce upon opponents. HK combos do not work now, except air HK combo. Overall range of effectiveness for DP is increased. Ken has foot speed and DP speed increase. Blocking delay is decreased. FB combos are more likely to be blocked. TOD combos involving the Jab and Strong DP are more likely to connect. For example, flying Roundhouse, Standing Fierce, Strong DP. ........................................ ...............07. Ken Kombos............................................... .................... Ken is the *most* versatile of the street fighters in the number of combos that he is capable of performing. You may want to see the FAQ for a defini- tion of a combo. It is imperative that you can buffer as well to pull off the most dangerous of the combos. If you have problems with these, remedy it by reading the "Buffering and Combos Workbook" by Tom Cannon for a good look at how these can be done. One of Ken's combos is covered in this guide as well. Practically all of the Ken Kombos follow this pattern: jumping towards air attack that hits late, most any attack from the crouching or standing close position (not a special move), buffered into any of the three special moves. The best of the combos uses the DP, the easier of the three involves the FB, and the most difficult and best looking are the HK combos. Unfortunately, most of the time, the HK combos do not work, and are not as useful with Ken as they are with Ryu, for obvious reasons. Any of the regular attacks may be used for the air attack, as long as it strikes the opponent late. The second strike of the combo will be close in, and can be any of the buttons except a Roundhouse. Which of the standing or crouching attacks you do depends on the special move, and how fast you can do the move itself and the move between the buttons. The last hit is the most important, since it pushes your opponent far away, or will knock them down. You must know how to buffer attacks for these to work. These are the most impressive and difficult combos to learn, but once they are learned, you will be a more dangerous Ken player. Here are common combos: "Touch Of Death": Flying Roundhouse (Neck Kick works best for 4 hits) Standing or Crouching Fierce Fierce DP. "Triple DP": Standing Close/Crouching Strong/Fierce Fierce DP (any other DP knocks down after the first hit). "Air Hurricane": Jumping Towards Attack that hits high Immediately followed by an aerial HK. "Sweep Fireball": Jumping Towards Strong/Fierce/Forward/Roundhouse Crouching Forward Strong/Fierce FB. "Ground Hurricane": Jumping Towards Strong/Fierce/Forward/Roundhouse Standing Close Fierce Forward/Roundhouse HK. "Jab Dragon": Jumping Towards Fierce/Roundhouse Jab DP. There are many variations of Ken combos, and it is not set in stone about which buttons you need to use. Most of the buttons will work for the combos but it may be more difficult to get a certain set of attacks to work. There is also a defensive "combo", if you will. It follows the above pattern, but it is not really a combo. It is designed to push the opponent a good dist- ance away from you. If you are playing in the "Krazy Ken" style, this is not what you want, but it is useful at times. It is the following: "Defensive Combo": Jumping Towards Fierce/Roundhouse (late strike) Crouching Roundhouse Any FB. Any of the air attacks may be used, but you will want to stiffen the penalty for not blocking... Using Roundhouse will knock the opponent down if not blocked, but if blocked, the FB pushes them further away. Mix up the speed of the FB's to throw off your opponent, and you may get a lucky FB strike in once in a while. Be careful, there are some players who may try to jump over the FB as it comes towards them and get a deadly combo on you. Most better players, though, are able to switch their intended combo before the first ground strike, so that a crouching Roundhouse will not be used if the air strike hits, leading to a much more damaging combination of strikes. In the above mentioned combo, there is one character that can counter it with reliability. That person happens to be Ken. After the crouching Roundhouse sweep, it is possible to launch a DP into the opposing Ken's face if he goes for the FB. Not an easy tactic to see coming, but is worth mentioning for both sides, offensive and defensive. ......................................... .................08. Some More Tactics...................................... .................... Here are some common tactics, attack series, and other things that you may want to try out in the course of your fighting. These aren't necessarily combos, and some of them are mentioned in the Fighting Human World Warriors section coming up. These are by no means guaranteed for everyone, and in general, it helps if you are speedy on the buttons and with the joystick. Two crouching Short kicks, followed right away by either a Forward or Round- house sweep, and then a Jab FB, and on some characters, it is safe to follow up with a Fierce FB. In the case that it is not safe, use a Fierce instead of Jab FB. Better be fast on the buttons, some players can throw you or get an attack in before you are finished. Ken is one of them. This is a combo, but it is a little combo... Use it when the opponent is getting up. Don't do this all the time; you CAN be thrown out of the Short kick! Try doing a crouching Short, then a buffered Jab DP. You will fall out of the range of most characters afterwards, in addition to doing no less than two ticks of damage. A bonus occurs if they don't block low. You may use the Forward sweep if you want, it is easier to get thrown out of though. This is an unusual tactic/tick. It freaks out some players because of your stance at first, and it really shouldn't be hard to counter, but people have problems with it sometimes. Walk near the opponent when they are getting up and do a standing Jab. That is the freaky part. Throw 'em. The evil part! Another evil tactic, but it can be countered by those not scared of the 1st hit in this series. Neck kick, Short sweep, throw. Hahahaha! Like the one above with 2 Short kicks, the sweep/FB attack, this works vs. Blanka moderately well, and is a pain for some others. Jabs, crouching Strong, Strong FB. This is a tactic that works sometimes well and other times not-so-well... Short air HK then when you land, hit with a DP of some sort. Use the air HK to avoid big damage from the DP in some cases, and also to escape some trap- ping and other previously (in Classic and CE) unavoidable damage. There are countless others. Just watch Ken players. They come up with a lot of the different ones, like doing many buffered attacks in a row invol- ving the FB and DP. Not all attacks hit, but it sure as hell looks cool. ........................................ ...................09. Fighting Human World Warriors........................ .................... The following is a set of strategies and hints for defeating human contr- olled World Warriors. Most of the strategies are what I use to defeat the specified player, and others are ones I have seen work for other players. Hints are given to help you play better versus the named character. Not all of these strategies will work in every given situation, or against every different style of play. They should, however, work against a good portion of the players out there, especially those who know what they are doing, but don't quite know everything to win consistently. I try to cover many of the play aspects for each of the characters, by mentioning special moves or cer- tain situations that may arise during play. To save a great deal of space, some things have been left out, such as doing air counters, and DPing the opponent if he is close. You are expected to already know the rather ob- vious points of play. If you do not yet know these, find the local Ken or Ryu (suitable for general purposes) masters and watch them to pick up these "obvious" points. I hope that these are somewhat complete, and clearly des- cribe a way in which you might be able to defeat your opponent. Good Luck! ============================================================================ Ryu: Ryu's main advantage over Ken is the faster Fireball and the faster ---- recovery after the Fireball. The Hurricane Kick can be used with some effectiveness, but smart play will not let you get hit by it. Avoiding the very powerful Dragon Punch of Ryu will be a key in securing a victory. How- ever, Ken is not at a loss in all aspects, he does have some major differ- ences that will aid you in your quest for a win. Number one is the range of Ken's Dragon Punch, and the relative ease (compared to Ryu) of getting the high knockdown hit when further away. In addition, Ken has better range and speed overall on the Dragon Punch, so you can go slightly faster, and have a better chance of hitting from further away than Ryu. The last and second of the major differences in favor of Ken is foot speed and move speed. Ken is flat out faster than Ryu in every aspect, except the Fireball. You can out- run Ryu on the ground, your moves execute faster, and you jump up and come down faster than Ryu, so it is necessary to have very fast reflexes when you play Ken, especially if you are a Ryu-to-Ken convert. Ken also appears to have an easier time with ticks and countering than Ryu does, partly due to his DP speed, and partly due to speed in general. Most Ryu players are generally what I (and many, many others) call "Boring Ryu" style. Well, that is how Ryu is played almost everywhere , and since Ryu's moves and speed lend more to this type of play, you will see many of these players in a place where other characters are not powerful, and where Ken players are rather dominant. So Boring Ryu will come in, and, more than likely, either defeat the Ken player, or give an outstanding battle that annoys the Ken player. But, not all Ryu's are played that way, and I especially dislike that method of play for Ryu. I can do quite well playing Ken-style Ryu. And you will occasionally see this type of play. Since you play Ken, it is easy to recognize this type of play, he will more than likely be going for ticks and playing around with ranges, throwing an occ- asional FB, not relying on corner trapping to defeat you. So then, it is most like fighting a slower and slightly more powerful Ken (see Ken section below). The main changes in the style lie in timing your jump ins after badly placed FB's. You must be able to anticipate the FB and be willing to take that risk. Ryu has no TOD combo, so he must resort to a flying attack, Strong, Strong DP combo, or the more popular flying attack, Forward sweep, FB combo. You are not as likely to come out dizzy after one of these att- acks, so watch out for a surprise short kick or throw soon after the combo strike. For Boring Ryu, the most annoying (and lame) tactic that he has, but is so useful due to his FB speed and recovery time, is the corner FB trap. This is made up of the FB attack forcing you to block, then is you make a foolish attempt at escape, you are likely to be put back in there, probably by a very painful DP. Ryu will probably mix up the speed of the FB enough as to get a hit now and then if you make an attempt to jump straight up over the incoming attack, but it can yield results if Ryu is in FB trance and tosses another before you lose your chance to try something like a Short air HK to gain a close in spot, and perhaps a quick DP on him. Not likely to work many times, but it is worthwhile to keep in mind. Among the other options that are available are regular attack, the FB and DP. The HK will be use- less since you can not use it to escape this projectile attack from the ground. The regular move option will only be useful if the opponent is in close enough to get hit by a foot sweep, either a Forward or Roundhouse. The Forward has a bit more range, but not that much. The Roundhouse will put him to the ground, but any well executed FB trap will not place Ryu at such a close distance. But is case Ryu is in this close, you can also hit him with a Strong or Fierce DP, to put him to the ground, but be careful of the range at which you do this from, as there is a critical distance at which you will miss, and be suspect to a combo. If Ryu is out a bit further than normal, it might be possible to interrupt to flow of things by using the to escape an inevitable FB strike, or cancel one his FBs with one of your own. But if Ryu happens to have the distance correct, which practic- ally all of the veteran Ryu players will have down pat, it is difficult for you to escape taking a sizeable amount of damage before getting out. You want to increase the chance that you can escape this nearly impossible sit- uation. So look to well timed and placed Jab DPs, straight jump ups, and possible fake outs to lure Ryu into a situation that will allow you to knock him to the ground, letting you free. Not much more can be said about this, as getting out of it is a task that must be learned and dealt with as the situation and other player allow. You might want to take a risk and do any- thing that might confuse the other player, creating an opening for you. Perhaps one of the best ways to learn of ways how to get out might be having a friend apply different situations to you so that you can determine what might be the better choices at that time. Also, try FB trapping the higher level computer opponents, and see what they do to get out, but be aware that there are certain things that the computer can do in order to compensate for not having artificial intelligence. And the computer will only be able to provide a good solution if you able to provide a difficult problem (i.e. if you are able to execute the FB trap correctly). Your FB attack is limited in its uses vs. Ryu, and that is evident when you are in close proximity to him. Try to avoid throwing a FB from a range at which you will not be able to recover in time to DP or block the HK. You will pay heavily in damage, or sometimes, the Ryu player will risk jumping in on you to get a possible dizzying combo. The safe distance is something like 1/3 of the screen or more. Any closer, and you run the risk of getting hit by a HK. Please note that this HK knocks you down on the first hit, and it might be used as a lead in for a FB trap or tick. Some of the combos that you use involving the FB can be escaped with a perfectly timed HK, or mistimed combos can be easily escaped, and you not like the results after a HK to the head. If and when Ryu ever uses the air HK, you simply need to place yourself correctly, get the timing, and let it rip with a simple DP combo. If you happen to dizzy Ryu, the best choice will be to get as much damage as possible while placing yourself at the lowest risk. This would be a FB combo, or the TOD combo with the Jab or Strong DP. Ryu does too much damage to risk an Fierce and expect to be able to make a solid comeback everytime. Once you get Ryu to the ground, the safest attack is obviously the FB from the safe range. And that is just about it, you can't have a 100% confidence that jumping in will not result in a DP counter, and attempting a neck kick is worthwhile, but the DP counter is still present, plus it is not that difficult for the Ryu player to counter-throw you as you land, or for that matter just block and accept the FB for the pixel or so of damage. Ticking is a good option, but the risk of a DP, or a throw into a corner is usually enough of a threat to prevent me from trying it many times. I try it once, if it works, I try again a few times later, but once it fails, I will not try it again, or will wait two or three times longer than I normally would have. If you are a fan of the Short sweep/Jab DP combo as the opponent is getting up, Ryu can use his DP to get you while you are doing the Short sweep, and if you happen to time it so that you are doing the DP at the same time, Ryu has a good chance at hitting you as you lose the invulnerability. Determine what the most likely response from this player will be when you jump in, then adjust your attack accordingly so that you will be able to max out the damage that you will be able to get as he is getting up. You might want to try playing versus Ryu in the Boring Ken style, which has a chance at succeeding, but the main flaw in this type of attack plan is the speed and recovery time of your FB. It is simply too slow to allow you to get an effective FB trap for very long. Your damage is also a bit lower as well, and you do lack the invulnerability of the HK at the beginning and end that can be so useful to Ryu at times. You must be a truly good and experienced player to defeat the best of the Ryu players. Ken is at a loss in this fight, so you must exploit your advantages, however meager to have a decent shot at consistently winning this tedious battle. ============================================================================ E. Honda: Honda at least commands some real respect in HF. His damage is --------- is very good compared to the other opponents, and he has a nice array of double hitting attacks, as well as a pair of slightly invulnerable moves, a couple of grab attacks, and the Hundred Hand Slap to boot. In my opinion, the best way to beat Honda is to be random. You can't just sit in close on him for the whole round since he will eventually hit you some how or grab you, but you can't stay away forever either because he can avoid the attacks you use from the range also. So, try to fight Honda a bit like you would fight vs. Blanka. About an average distance of 1/2 to 2/3 the screen away should be effective in the long run. At this distance, most of Honda's attacks are neutralized, and you can control Honda from there. He shouldn't be able to get too close to you, but he will be able to move back so far until he has to stop. The main danger at the range at which you play will be the Sumo Butt Dive (the new attack for HF). The range on this move isn't quite what the computer uses, but it still is decent enough to reach you at about 2/3 screen distance away. Fortunately, this move requires a large amount of charging, and you should be able to anticipate the coming of this move well in advance. If you can't meet the move in the air before the 1st hit, then you should block it if necessary , or wait until he begins coming back to the ground. When he does this, the solution is simple: DP. You, however will not always be close enough to make the DP worthwhile, so if you can't get the big damage part of the DP to connect, go for the Roundhouse foot sweep to take him down. What to do when Honda is knocked down is, of course, dependent on the habits of the Honda player. The vicious Honda players will always Torpedo you if you try to jump in. A pretty good idea, and some of those players have the timing that will allow them to be able to get you with two hits of the Torpedo if you mistime or misplace your jump. Not a worthwhile gamble for Ken since Honda can dizzy the opponent easily with one or two more hits soon after the Torpedo. The other Honda is not willing to take the risk, either not realizing the ease of Torpedoing the opponent as he jumps in, or simply not smart enough to try it. In this case, the only other options for Honda to counter your jumping in attack is a standing Fierce, which is quite painful as veterans of fighting the computer can attest, or the new attack, the Sumo Butt Dive. I wouldn't count on the new attack as being effective, but there is bound to be someone out there who is capable of getting this move off regularly. The Fierce is much like Zangief and Dhalsim's standing Jabs as you come in. It starts near their head, and makes a sweep over the head and down towards their body, capable of taking down airborne opponents. To avoid this, jump in a bit sooner, but make sure that you connect and finish promptly with another attack. Honda can easily grab you from between these attacks if you put any delay there. So, what is the best option? I'd have to say that you should take the time that he is down to get yourself better ground position, or throw a FB at him that he must block. Make sure that it will connect with his body; some Hondas will be attentive and try to get either the new attack or the Torpedo off. When Honda grabs a hold of you, chances are that he will chase you down with a HHS mow attack. If you are up to it, a DP placed right can put Honda in his place, or you can opt to throw him if the distance is appropriate. If you are willing to block the hits that are coming to you, be certain that you block low, not high. Even when you block high, there are attacks in the HHS that hit low enough so that you need to block low also. Honda grabs a hold of you in two ways usually, one way is when you mess up a move when you are close to him, the other way is a tick. Hondas tend to do this with a double knee then throw. Do not try to sac-throw this tactic. Chances are pretty good that the knee will dizzy you, then Honda can do it again and go for the throw if he wants. The throw won't be used all the time, since the grab leaves you close enough once you get out of it to be mowed down by the HHS. Once you are out of the block forced by the HHS, if Honda insists on trying to hit you, you only need to use crouching Jab to stop the Hands. The air game is not a great choice vs. Honda, so stick to the ground if at all possible. Honda does too much damage in the air where you have no chance to block. The sumo wrestler also has good priority over your attacks while you are airborne. Use the never fail counter to airborne opponents if he is close enough while in the air. To gain ground backwards easily, the air HK away from the opponent should let you obtain better positioning. But don't do the HK from the ground, or from the air at a range that will put you very close to Honda, it is too easy for Honda to use the Torpedo, the grab, or any of his attacks to make you pay for your mistake, and you will pay in a big way. The last mistake to not make vs. Honda is trying to get a triple-DP combo to hit all three times on Honda. It simply won't hit Honda three times no matter how close you are. It is hard enough to get the DP to hit twice, let alone twice after being pushed back a small distance from the attack in the triple. If you must go for a TOD combo, switch over to Strong or Jab DP, otherwise you will make an easy target for the mighty E. Honda. ============================================================================ Blanka: Here is one of the toughest fights for Ken and Ryu, especially Ken. ------- Ken is faster than Ryu, but Blanka is even faster than Ken. Ken's slow FB's don't help any, but at least he has a fast DP. The key here is ranges. You don't want Blanka to stay back in the corner far from you, but you don't want him to be able to jump in and hit you either. The compromise is about 2/3 the screen away; throw a FB when he is at this range. Not-so- patient Blanka will jump over the FB and can be easily taken down with a crouching Roundhouse. If he gets in close to you, you will want to try to back away from him, but you want to avoid getting trapped in the corner. It is hard to keep him away, since his jump and speed work well vs. the FB traps. Once Blanka is in close to you, he usually likes to try and hit you with a crouched attack, usually a Fierce or Roundhouse; they have very good range... If you want to be risky, try to DP his arm or leg. If you must play defensive, wait till he is close, then after he attacks, or when is walking towards you, throw a Fierce FB from close range. The Blanka might take the hit without blocking it; this is an unusual tactic, and that is why it is not blocked. Remember ranges. Know when you can hit him with a DP. Ryu isn't as dependent on the DP as Ken, since he has his HK to get him out of hairy (heh) situations. This might not work well, since Blanka can adapt easily, but if the Blanka you play against isn't too smart, he will die quickly and very painfully. To counter a ball attack from the air, try jumping back and using an attack other than fierce or roundhouse. Using those you usually don't get a trade or a clean hit for that matter, but with Forward and Strong you should be able to trade damage. It is not a great trade, but it will be good if you can dizzy him or KO him if you have the life left to take the hit. You do not want to strike him with the thigh part of the leg. When you use Forward or if you insist on using Roundhouse, the ankle part of the leg is the best place to hit him if you jump in (know your ranges!), especially if he is getting up from a knockdown. The same goes for the Fierce and Strong punches. Try to find the range where you can usually hit him without risk of getting ball attacked. This is just far enough so that you will land clearly in front of him, while just striking him as he gets up. Follow the rest of the move up with a FB combo that will push him a ways back, and maybe even connect if he gets careless. The neck kick on Blanka in CE was a beautiful weapon. It still is, but Blanka now has that annoying vertical ball attack. If you can manage to get him down, and you are close enough, you might want to go for this. Hit him with a neck kick, if he blocks, proceed with a Short kick, then a throw. He usually can't counter this if he didn't get you with the ball, so go for it. If you manage to connect, go for the gusto, and wallop him with a big combo. Chances are he'll be dizzy, so then go for the kill after that. Even if you manage to hit Blanka, and don't want to go for the combo, still go for the Short kick/throw tactic. It is very possible that he will come up dizzy after this quick assault. The neck kick seems to dizzy easier, so either way, he could be dizzy if you hit him. Pretty much forget about the HK for Ken. Not much he can do with it vs. Blanka. Perhaps you may use it as an escape tactic of sorts, but you should have only limited success with it. Doing the Air HK towards Blanka is a no- no. He can take you down with a standing Fierce or a vertical ball. If you are tricky, it is possible that you can figure out a way to consistently hit Blanka while in the air with this move, but I would doubt it, and the damage is weak compared to how much you are likely to take from Blanka anyhow. Do not use the HK as a means to escape the horizontal ball. If you are in the air already, and unless you are going to get hit, don't use it. You might just land right smack on top of him when he finishes, and then you can kill him with a deadly combo, much the same as Honda. Defensive Blanka will present the most problems for nearly any Ken players anywhere. Blanka need only sit back and wait for the chance to damage you. In this case, work your way towards him, using FB's and doing some standing Jabs every now and then to prepare for the ball attack. Eventually, you may get him backed to the corner. Don't get too close. About 1/2 to 2/3 screen distance will be good from here. The disadvantage with the corner is that you are close to it as well, so don't get trapped back there for too long. Be bold once in a while as well. You can't just cower behind your FB's for the match. You might win, but have fun for once! Try just walking forward without pulling any attacks. See what the Blanka does. If he balls you, then next time you do it, watch the guy's hands or watch the screen very closely to anticipate the ball coming, then DP him. If he seems to do no- thing, see how far upon him you can get. Move in and out, and figure out what this player will do when you threaten from close range. Many Blankas rely on the crouching Fierce, Roundhouse sweep or ball to counter your move- ments on the ground. Watch it if you are hit with a crouching Fierce, it is very possible that you will get dizzy in one or two more hits, the same can be said for both the horizontal and vertical ball attacks. The DP is the best weapon vs. these attacks, but on occasion it may be necessary to use the crouching Fierce to counter the vertical ball as it comes down. If you do, make sure that you know where Blanka will come down so that you can hit him. In any event, the DP at this stage will likely be the best option. If you don't already know, learn the intricacies of the vertical ball so that you know what it will do in certain situations. Knowing what to do in all situations for Blanka is very important, more-so than other characters since he does more damage, and there tends to be a "hate" towards Blanka from Ken players. I hate Blanka myself, and I like this fight because it is challenging for me. I learned a lot about this fight recently, and the thing that helped me most is the fact that you sim- ply can't attack him all the time like you can vs. Chun Li. Learn to play vs. many situations, not patterns. Patterns will be covered by most players and they will not be much problem. The players that mix it up a lot are the tough ones to beat. I still ain't great at this battle, though... ============================================================================ Guile: You are man enough to fight with this guy. If you can win this fight ------ using Ryu, then you are in for a major battle plan change. The HK is practically useless vs. Guile. Easy for Guile to come up with a Flash Kick (FK) or crouching Fierce punch (ouch!). If he decides to do neither of those, it is a safe bet that he will be going for the throw, and this is the opportunity to get him if he messes up. A DP or a throw are the most common attacks used in this situation. Don't count on Guile screwing this up, do not use the HK as an offensive weapon except to show off when you kill him when he has to block it or whatever. At long ranges, it is safe to use the Short HK to go over the Sonic Booms (SB) that are annoying. You might want to experiment with the other two HK's to get better positioning on Guile. Know the ranges of this special move. Ken's greatest assets versus Guile are his speed and DP. The FB isn't too great vs. Guile (not like Ryu's), and the HK is limited in use. Ken moves faster than Guile on the ground, but Guile is not a snail. Many Guiles can still get the slow SB/throw sometimes. It shouldn't happen vs. Ken, unless he tricks you with a fake or something else. If Guile does this, then it is up to you. You can go for the Jab DP for the easy knockdown, or mess around with the timing for the throws. The throw is foolproof. Either you get the throw, or you get thrown yourself. The DP is different. If you manage to hit him, he will be on the ground and at your mercy, but there is not a law that states that he must proceed to meet your fist. He might stop, wait for you to miss, then go for the throw. What fun. This is where it gets tricky for Ken. You have many options, but only a handful will provide you with something that might be useful afterwards. You might want to get some Short kicks in there. Trying to stop Guile's forward progress is not a bad choice at all. A well timed Fierce or Strong will put an end to this situation. I realize that not every one has immaculate timing, but if you have no sem- blance of good timing, this is one of the ways to learn it. Even a simple Roundhouse or Forward sweep may put an end to your worries, but you must know when you have the time to do these moves. If you wait until Guile is breathing down your throat, then the only real options are throwing and the Dragon Punch. If you have a window to get him, then a regular attack should tie Guile up for a moment. Most Guile players cannot $afford$ to play an offensive style vs. Ken. It just won't work, since Guile will get hit at every opportunity, usually by a painful DP. So, Guile likes to play defensively, and annoy you with low kicks and backfists. The backfist problem can be corrected. It usually is used after you throw a FB in close quarters. Well, don't throw a FB from within his backfist range, unless you anticipate it and counter with a DP. The backfist is used primarily after you do a FB, but keep a sharp eye for it when you are in the corner. One of the forward sweeps might be replaced by one of these punches. In any case, blocking is a safe bet, but if you have the eye for it, nothing beats a DP. On occasion, Guile will come knocking on your door, probably with a surprise up his sleeve, usually a Forward sweep, throw, or Fierce punch. Anticipate these moves (esp. the sweep) and give Guile the boot (heh), er..., fist. Knocking Guile out of the FK isn't what it used to be in Classic, so don't be hoping for this to happen anytime soon. The fail-safe methods to counter attacking the FK is a FB or DP. Or, if you happen to be lucky enough to be on the weak side (how, I don't know), then you can smash him in the air if you like, but it is much more fun to break his jaw when he lands after any missed FK. If close enough, give him reason to go home, and smack him with a furious triple-DP combo. He should be dizzy if you got all three hits, then it is a moot point after that. Otherwise, it is not a bad trade. I have yet to see a Guile player do anything devastating after a missed DP to a Ken/Ryu/Sagat. The worst is usually a throw or punch/FK combo. Guile is not quite the (unbalanced) monster he was in Classic with absolute zero delay time. He stands there for about 1/2 second with his eyes glazed. So don't think you can't reach him, your throw range is awesome, and if you are remotely close, you should be able to inflict more damage than a measly FB. Once you have Guile to the ground, you might want to go throw him around a bit, or try playing tricks on him. Walk up near him like you are going to tick him, then step back, and counter his move. You can also do the small Short kick/Jab DP combo above, but be sure to mix it up with plain Jab DP's and ticking. If you do the same thing over and over, Guile is sure to FK or throw you. Feeling risky? Go for a neck kick. Only the best of the Guile players will be able to change the direction of the upcoming FK. However, many of them will be able to throw you as you are coming down. If this is the case, try jumping in earlier or later on different occasions to keep the other guy wondering. Jumping in on Guile from the front is generally a risk that doesn't amount to much. The most you should come away with is one FB that was blocked. If you got lucky and scored more than that, the other guy made a mistake. A FB combo when you jump in is the safest bet. Stay on the ground when you are near a grounded Guile. He can move fast, and has the range to hit you from long ranges. Guile's feet are extremely suspect to being hit by the DP. Keep your eyes open for these opportunities while he is on the ground and in the air. You should be able to get more damage if you get him with the strong part of the DP as he comes down with his foot extended near your head in the air. Diz- ziness has become a part of Guile's life it seems. He apparently falls into dizzies more easily than he used to, so it is worth the extra effort to get three quick hits on Guile. If he is still standing after three Fierce or Roundhouse attacks, then that Guile probably should be considered lucky... ============================================================================ Ken: An MK mirror match! Ken vs. Ken is one of the most exciting battles to ---- watch and play in. The fact that Ken is able to pull off such damaging combos, and jump back in the game is the big draw to him. This match can easily sway on one mistake, made by either of the players. This situation is both good and bad, depending on what happens to you. In any event, you are almost always assured an exciting battle that will raise your heartrate. It is likely that you will see one of two major types of Ken players. One is influenced by Ryu slightly; the other is much more free and more likely to make the big moves that can give him or cost him the match. If you are up against a "boring" Ken, then you should fight in a way that is similar to the style of fighting against Ryu. For brevity, I'll just go over some lighter points, and focus on the Krazy Kens out there. The boring Ken relies more or less on basic FB-DP strategy to keep you at bay. If he can't DP you, he will count on a foot sweep to hit you when you land as a deterrent. You can avoid this sweep, if you can get the air HK off in time. When you come upon one of these pattern type players, you must attempt to break the pattern. Play in close to them and be krazy. Jumping over a misplaced FB to capitalize on the excessive delay time will provide an easy victory with the right combos. If you jump into the DP of this Ken, or Ryu for that matter, try to lessen the amount of damage that you will eventually sustain. Do an air HK before you get low enough to take the brunt of the damage. This will keep you off the _very_ painful part of the DP. This Ken style is not really reliant on much more than hurting you a bit at a time, since his tactics don't really allow for much attacking. Prance and dance around outside the Roundhouse sweep range, perhaps a bit further. The other Ken might panic in this situation and go into a blocking frenzy, freezing up mostly, and not offering much resistance in the way of countering, just blocking and reactionary playing. Go up and throw them. That will wake them up, and possibly shake them for the remainder of the round or match, which is to your advantage. This type of Ken sometimes uses the extra range of the Fierce DP to just nick you for a bit of damage. He usually just hits your foot, fool them by doing an early Roundhouse kick, or doing nothing at all, then whoosh!, up he goes and you have a free combo on him. Probably is dizzy afterwards, so go kill 'em. Boring Ken is just a nuisance, really. The real match up comes when the other guy is just as krazy about Ken as you are. Air HK's now become an effective tool for getting out of tight spots. The DP is a factor in the match, but it can kill you if you are careless with it. The same can be said for the FB. The DP is primarily a defensive attack, except when used in deadly combos. In the case of dizziness, Krazy Ken will try to kill you with the big combos, too. So, play it safe with the TOD, and go with a Jab or Strong DP when they will not be KO'ed by it. This will leave you with the opportunity to gain ground or lengthen your lead. Follow some of the tactics listed in the following section for some added results. Krazy Ken as an opponent is a great fight. Fast and furious action to the max, plus the possibility of huge combos, and quick fights. However, you will want to ensure that you don't wind up on the short end of too many of these fights, as they can be short. So, to make it go a bit more in your favor, try some of the following tactics. If they fail once, then it would not be wise to attempt it more than once more. Also, on success, unless the Ken is an utter idiot, it probably won't work more than twice either, so it is time to try something new once in a while, and improvise. Here are some tactics that may lead to success with varying degrees, depending on how well you are able to mix and match with your moves. Many of the Kens have seen this before: the Forward sweep used as a common offensive weapon. The kick has less retraction time than the Roundhouse sweep, and is therefore less likely to counter with regularity. Try to get a fireball out with each of these kick to maximize the effectiveness, but watch out if you miss, you may be fodder for an easy combo if you do the FB at the wrong time. Another tactic that worked well for a while, then everyone figured out how to throw out of it, but you might still be able to catch some people with it if you can time it right. This would be the neck kick. Quite effective, and if you are fast enough on the buttons, you can make this as safe as the other guy allows, depending on if he gets hit or not. If he is hit, only one real choice for me here: TOD! Otherwise, if he blocked, try one or two Short kicks then a throw. This neck kick/short/throw will often dizzy if the neck kick connects, so it might be to your advantage at certain times to go for the throw instead. Mix it up a little by throwing more Short kicks then doing a Roundhouse or Forward sweep/FB series on him. Watch out for the Ken players who seem to get a hit in before the Roundhouse sweep, but after the Short kicks. Once you see this, stop this attack tactic at once, you will be paying in the future if you insist on continuing with the attack. If you are upon this situation where you will be on the receiving end, the most obvious counter will come to mind, the DP. Good choice, but you need to be good enough to get it everytime without doubt, otherwise an incorrect choice could lead to your early demise. As you know, Ken's HK is mostly a joke in most situations, but be on the look out for the clever players who range it right to come down at get you with a surprise DP or throw. In the air HK case, I usually play it safe for once, and just hit the up in the sky, or just as they are coming down before they hit the ground so that they will not have a chance to throw me. The key to defeating another Krazy Ken is no patterns, and better no pat- terning than the other guy. You must mix it up a lot, and know what the options are in every situation. For a boring Ken, just see the Ryu section, but will have a bit more freedom since Ken is not really meant to be played like Ryu. ============================================================================ Chun Li: Ken should be able to cleanly defeat most Chun Li's, but there are -------- the occasional few that are a real pain to defeat. The best way to defeat her is to get ahead on her, and then she will usually try to get in close to you to do lots of damage in a short amount of time. The pesky Chun Li players will use the Spinning Bird Kick a lot. They will use it as an air defense, as an escape, or as an offensive weapon. This move is a real trip, it will almost always dizzy you after two hits, plus it does a ton of damage. The main reason why people get hit by it so much is lack of knowledge of how to get out of it. If she does it close in, wait until she is already spinning and kicking in the air, then just hit her with a crouch- ing punch. If you are hit cleanly by the first hit, don't try to hit her before the second hit comes, just block instead. You are in danger of be- coming dizzy soon after the first hit. Chun Li's also like the SBK as a way of escape in the air. She will get the heel stomp on you somehow, then will flee at the peak of her rebound with a SBK. In this situation, you are left with two options. You can turn around, and immediately DP her for a small amount of damage (this is not risky usually), or if you are feeling con- fident, chase her down, then as she is falling, try to catch with the strong part of the DP (the hit next to Ken's body on the ground). You will do good damage, plus you leave yourself in a better attack position afterwards. In this case, for the most setup after the DP, use a Strong or Jab instead of a Fierce, since you will come down faster. Once you get Chun Li to the ground, after a sweep, DP, or whatever, it is a good idea to press the attack on her. Of all the options you have, this is the silliest if Chun Li likes to use the SBK a lot: jumping in, and try- ing to do a kick. She will just use the SBK when she stands, you will not hit her since she is invulnerable at that moment, and you will usually fall into the flurry of her feet, sometimes leading to an easy dizzy. So what should you do? You can jump in with a punch, which won't hit her, then you will fall under her as she is beginning the SBK. At this time, you can use a crouching Fierce to nail her, or go for a DP. The DP is a bit more risky but worth it if you can get it every time you do this jump in. Those are good if you are nearby her, what if you are across the screen, or not within safe jumping range. Well, the FB trapping is a good idea, but it is hard to keep her in one place with Ken, so don't rely on this for very long at all, as a matter of face, count on her escape, but have a plan to do a move that will keep her there. I don't know what you will do, but a DP usually does the trick. If you are feeling risky, or the Chun Li isn't so hot at throws, walk up and do a crouching Short-Jab DP to tick off some life. Or you can do the "defensive combo" described above to push her back. Watch for her jumping over the FB after the Roundhouse though. Some Chun Li's are the trickiest little things when it comes to throwing. To find out what type of thrower she is by doing a Roundhouse sweep that misses. If she comes in to try and throw you before the sweep retracts, then you need to be extra care- ful about missing foot sweeps for the rest of the match. This type of thing can cost you 1/3 of the life bar easily. Don't underestimate Chun Li's FB! The best of the Chunners can fire them just as fast as you can, plus, they tend to not fall into the "I gotta FB" mentality. Her delay is about as long as Ken's is, but not nearly as short as Ryu's, thank God! Since your HK is the weenie version, you can't do the HK over it like Ryu would be able to do. So, you will either have to match FB's or come up with something of your own. Her FB is comparable speaking in terms of speed, but it does little damage, usually. With Chun Li's delay you can jump over it the FB and still have plenty of time to hit her if she threw it from the wrong distance. If she was too close, you can get a dead- ly combo, and put her near death, if she isn't there already. Chun Li has good air "priority", and likes to use the air throw, since it is now much easier to do than in the CE. The FB can be used to make you jump over it, and then she will meet you in mid air usually with a Forward kick, or an air throw. If you feel that you might be thrown, go into a HK while in the air to minimize the chances that she will get you, or if you prefer, you can try a Jab or Short kick to keep her away. Ken's air game doesn't strike too much fear in hearts of Chun Li players, and therefore, you should try to limit your game to the ground when possible, only leaving the ground to get her when she is vulnerable. Look out for the Chun Li who uses the FB to draw you into the SBK as you come down. If you see this happening, your best bet will be a punch if you haven't already attacked, or go for the HK before you get too close. It is possible that you will hit her out of the SBK if you are lucky but there are no guarantees here, it all depends on the timing of the Chun Li player. There are Chun Li players who will attempt to play around outside your range, flirting with your FB's and Roundhouse sweeps. In this situation, it is wise to avoid the DP if at all possible. She will con you into it, then throw you when you land. She is fast enough to get in that close . Same thing for Roundhouse sweeps. If you miss, she can come in and grab you from the back for an easy throw. You will want to back away from her, or try to trick her and go if for a throw of your own. This is a tense situation, and you must stay alert. Moving back may work, but Chun Li will tend to follow you where you go. Here it is your chance to psyche her out, and maybe get a combo if you do it right. Tossing a FB at the right time may give you the time needed to get away from her. Be tricky and use fakes to get her either in the air or further back by forcing her to jump. This is a fun fight, but you have to have a game plan when she starts to get into that area where you must think to win. Your mileage may vary with this, but I do well enough in this match to think that this will work for most people. Another tactic that should be implemented if you are to win is to stay on the offensive. If Chun Li has you at a disadvantage, make sure that you weren't playing too defensive. Chun Li has the tendency to be able to annoy you with Forward kicks and her long reaching punches, in addition to her excellent priority air attacks. ============================================================================ Zangief: This is one of the harder fights for me, so I enlisted the help of -------- Jowfus (Justin Hogue). He gave me some tips on how Ken players he faces give him problems. I have tried some of them out when possible, and they seem to be reliable, and in line with how Ken really should fight vs. Zangief. So, special thanks to Jowfus for the help here. First of all, Zangief is slow... You can take advantage of that by not getting very close to him. He lacks the speed to seriously challenge Ken's speed or DP. The style of air attacks that are successful are either very close in, or very far away. When you have Z on the mat, you can exploit the speed of him in the following ways. You can tick him. Zangief is not that great of a counter thrower, but I'm sure that there are some that will be able to make you pay with a SPD or throw everytime, so look out for this brand of Zangief. This is one of the cases where you will be getting close in on Z. Generally, you want to make him block several Short kicks or the like, then drain a bit of energy with a FB or two. Say, Z is down, jump in with a Fierce punch that will hit him on top of the head or right in the face, follow up with Short, Short, Roundhouse/Forward, then FB or something. If you are lucky, you can get a dizzy if he tried something when you came in on him. The hit should get there right as he stands up, so all the sudden his head and the fist will connect. Too soon and you get Jabbed or hit with a Spinning Lariat. Too late, and it is very possible to get SPD'd, thrown, or swept. From afar, the goal here is to nip him as he stands. Jump in and use a Roundhouse kick. It should have the same timing as the above Fierce attack. The tip of the foot should just connect with him, preferably in the chest area or a bit lower. In this case, you might land too far to hit with another Roundhouse sweep, so land then wait. If he does nothing, try a throw or something. He is probably shocked that you didn't attack right away, so you might also be able to DP a foot that he stuck out in anticipa- tion of something else. Some Ken players have such difficulty with Zangief, for me, it is just in the head, but for others, it lies in the style. Patterns or Fireballs are most likely the problems in this situation. Getting in a pattern vs. Z is a no-no. Most Z players are probably accustomed to overcoming patterns, and will probably smash you for doing so. Everytime you jump in, don't do the same things. Try the first three hits the same when you jump in, and vary what you do after that. Like throw another FB right after the previous one. That seems to work especially well once you get Z stuck in the corner. FB's can cause problems though, and will cause death. Never throw a FB in close range if you hadn't 'block stunned' him right before. Don't keep doing this over and over. He is likely to eventually get you with something. If you are feeling scared (Ken should not be scared), you can retreat back to the other side of the screen, and make it difficult for Zangief to reach you, but that is not likely to be successful for long. Try walking up and doing a Roundhouse sweep. Your sweep is much faster than Zangief's is, plus Z is at a big disadvantage when you knock him down. Knocking the big man down provides you with a chance to hit him with the air HK combo. Don't try it. He will do something horrible when you touch down... In general, the HK vs. Zangief is limited in its use. I use it to escape from a tight situation or to improve my position, but only rarely to attack. The only time I would use the HK to attack would be if I was really, really desperate, or wanted to surprise kill him. It is too easy for Z to hit you when you pass by him, so try to stay away from the HK if at all possible. Play basketball? Then you have heard of this concept: stick 'n move. In other words, stay in one spot for a while, then move in for an attack. Move back out afterwards, then wait, then repeat. Basically, you have to annoy Zangief to death. He takes less damage from opponents, so the blocked FB still has the same effectiveness vs. Dhalsim as Zangief. Make Z block a FB if at all possible. But don't stick there too long, move! A strange move would be to Fierce DP as he gets close. If you miss, the side that of Z that you land on is likely to be the other side, and that could throw him off. Not very reliable, and I wouldn't count on the opponent making such a big mistake, but it does happen. In the air, you can overtake Zangief if you have the distance right. You need to catch him as he comes down. He will almost always get the hit if you are too early. Z's air game isn't great, but it doesn't have to be when he takes less damage and dishes out more than other characters. The air HK actually works OK vs. airborne Zangief. If you have no other option in the air while he is up there, do this, and sometimes, good things come from it. This is another one of those battles that I have problems with, and these tactics work with good success, but I am not patient enough to sit around fighting against all the Zangiefs. It is best to get a feel for what this Zangief will do in certain situations, and play around those, for example, watch for the standing Jab from the defensive players, and the Roundhouse sweep as you are getting up. The best way to counter the SPD for me is to wait until they try it, then DP. If they have some problems with it, I can get the throw out in time. I'm sure that you might try another attack in there, but the faster the move, the better your chances for getting out of the SPD situation. If jump towards him in the air, watch for the SPD as soon as you hit the ground. Some of the Z's out there are good at grabbing you from a mile away and taking you for a ride (a lot like the CPU). You need to find out how aggressive with the SPD this player intends to be. The Lariat attacks/defenses can be annoying, but you needn't worry as long you aren't foolish with the FB and the jump in timing. As long as you time your jump ins right, and the FB spacings, you should never have to deal directly with the Spinning Lariats. Be sure you can recognize the Spinning Lariat versions right when they are executed. Perhaps a little known bit of info to keep in mind, not only for Ken, but for the other characters as well. Zangief takes less damage than other opponents do from the same moves and combos. Just watch his life the next time you get him with a TOD combo in the middle of the round. It tends to do about 35-40% on Z, while about 45-50% on most other characters, most of the time. I guess it helps to be as big as Zangief is. ============================================================================ Dhalsim: Most Dhalsim players give a very tough fight for Ken , but in the -------- end, Dhalsim wins more then Ken does. There are a few Dhalsims out there who can not be beaten with Ken, and will give Ryu an exceptionally difficult time. This is perhaps one of the more annoying fights for Ken. All of Ken's moves are lightning quick, while all of Dhalsim's remain on the slow side. Doesn't help Ken any though. Dhalsim's moves are geared towards defeating Ken and Ryu. Ken seems to be the weaker of the two overall, even with the improvements he has, but Ryu's power and patience seem to be key in defeating Dhalsim. So, that is what can defeat Dhalsim, patience. Ken can not sit back and wait for Dhalsim to come charging in. Any Dhalsim trying to jump in on you and surprise you must be a newbie or trying to lose so badly that they are willing to sacrifice themselves. The main key to take out Dhalsim is hitting his limbs and knocking him down when possible, then overloading his defense with a relentless assault of ticks, fakes, and power moves. Playing back in a corner for the whole match will not get you any- where in this fight unless the Dhalsim is a moron for getting his limbs snapped off. Playing in the corner for the whole round obviously will not work, but it might be necessary to go in the corner for a while in order to knock him off his feet, or perhaps to protect a comfortable lead. If you are in the lead, you are probably safe until the timer runs out. The only problems you will encounter will be avoiding too much damage from the Yoga Fireballs and Flame attacks (if they are used at all). Make note that the HK can go over the Yoga Fireballs only when you are completely in the air, not at the beginning or end of the HK (when Ryu cannot be hit). It is useless to attempt to go over a Yoga Flame at anytime, since you will get hit. Dhalsim's projectile attacks are the only ones that will knock you down if you get hit by it, so be aware of this fact when you are playing, as to be wary of the slide/tick. When you are in the corner, the best bet for you is to jump straight up and try to hit Dhalsim's limbs with the punches. It will work with the kicks, but Dhalsim needs to a bit further back for that to work. The best Dhalsim players will not stick their limbs out in vain like this too many times, if at all, during the fight, so watch out. Jumping in on Dhalsim from the corner is usually bound to fail unless you manage to trick Dhalsim into something he shouldn't have. You want to watch out for when you hit D, if you hit him too high, and you are close to him when you land, I'd say that there is a good chance that you will be thrown or noogied. Among the other options that are available to you when you are in the corner is the air HK to attempt a high escape path. It will fail unless you somehow manage to trick Dhalsim, like usual. If you have the range right when you are on the ground, it is possible to hit the ends of Dhalsim's limbs with crouching Jab punches. If Dhalsim uses the teleport, it is likely that it was used to escape an incoming attack of yours. I would consider it foolish for D to try and use the teleport to gain an inside attack on Ken. Ken's strong game is when he has an opportunity to attack the opponent right away, when there is a window of vulnerability, and that is what the teleport provides, so if you see him coming in right next to you , a triple-DP combo should dizzy him, then you can get the TOD to hit four times from the neck kick, and sometimes four from the front if you space the jump in correctly. Dhalsim's most dizzying move is the headbutt, if he manages to get both hits of the headbutt, then it is very advisable for you to take a breather in order to avoid an almost certain dizzy on the next hit. Just blocking low for a time will usually do the trick, but sometimes there is a Dhalsim that will use an air based attack in order to catch you off guard. As a rule of thumb, it is safe to block high vs. air attacks. Unless it is obvious that it will hit you in the feet (as is the case of the best placed foot drills), then it will be necessary to block low. If Dhalsim makes a mistake, or foolishly thinks that they can use the head spear in close quarters, they are seriously mis- taken. It is easy for you to throw them right as they land, or for that matter, smash them with a triple-DP combo. Once you have Dhalsim to the ground, it will be your chance to inflict some damage. Jump in so that there is no airspace between you once he gets up, otherwise it is possible for him to teleport away, or even use a Jab to stop you. I find that it is better to come in close to his body by using Fierce punch as the air strike, then following up with a F B combo of some sort, or even throwing him. Watch out for Dhalsim's throw, it has good range, and is relatively easy to use in comparison to the other character's throws. Instead of coming in with a punch, you might want to try a neck kick, which is a good idea against a character that is not used often in a close combat situation. It might catch the other guy off guard, so mix it up a little when you have the chance to jump in on him because I'm sure that ther will not be very many opportunities. Any air attack that Dhalsim does has much horizontal range, so wait until you think that he will attack, then just a split second after you see the move come out, use a DP to knock him down. You will probably be far away, so you will need to use a FB to do some long distance damage. Make sure that the FB connects when he stands up. Unlike other characters, Dhalsim can slide under the FB given enough time, and he will hit you if you are too close. When Dhalsim has you at his best range (about the length of his Fierce punch extended) , it is not safe to use a FB, so don't use one, otherwise you will probably get knocked down by the Roundhouse slide. Never just sit there and let Dhalsim annoy you to death. That is what the Dhalsim player likes to do. He does so little damage compared with you though that you can afford to take a hit now and then as long as you are able to return the favor. Get close in on Dhalsim, do your damage, then annoy him to death by not letting any of his attacks do damage. ============================================================================ Balrog: This man was a wus in CE, but he is back with a vengeance. He is ------- an opponent to be taken seriously... He can induce dizziness very easily, and his blows do good amounts of damage, which could lead to a short round if you are not careful. Something that is easy to exploit about 'Rog players is to determine if they like to TAP (Turn Around Punch) through your FB's. If they don't, then just ignore that part, and things should be a bit easier for you, how lucky! Balrog has long arms, so be wary if he is about 1/4 screen distance away. Few things he can do from this range: TAP through a FB if you decide to throw a FB, try to trade damage by using a standing Fierce punch to hit you in the noggin, or he can jump. It is usually not a good idea for Balrog to be jumping in, unless he is able to anticipate very good, or is able to catch you with the very end of the glove. If he gets an air attack on you, you can try to DP him when his next punch comes, or throw him as he lands. Do not use the Fierce DP's vs. Balrog, unless he is dizzy! You can hit him all over the place with the DP, but he never seems to fall down when the big DP connects. Use the Strong if you need the range. His fists and arms make very good targets for a DP. But... there is always a down side. Be selective when you DP, Balrog's long range make it easy for him to hit you when you miss even a Jab DP. That pretty much covers basics for fighting him, now some more good stuff. The HK: a weak weapon, and a liability if you use it carelessly. He can simply charge after you with an uppercut, or duck under, then hit you with a crouching Fierce. Also, Balrog seems to snatch Ken up after a missed air HK very easily, so if you must, HK from the ground. So, the moral is, unless you are Ryu, it's not a good trade... This would be a good tactic for when he is getting up, to do the air HK combo to drain off some life, but the headbutt is very capable at grabbing you after you are finished. See the rest below, but you'd better be early if you do this, otherwise, you won't be doing any damage. The best of the Balrogs use all the punches like there is no tomorrow, and will not hesitate to use one to hit you out of the air HK. Even if you go backwards with it, he still can charge after you with an uppercut for easy damage. Same thing for just jumping backwards. I think that if you must air attack him, use a punch, as opposed to a kick for a better chance at a clean hit, or at least a trade. So, what now? You've knocked Balrog's big ass to the ground, what to do? Well, if you are going to jump in on him, you'd better be early, cuz Balrog just loves to hit you out of the air with his Strong or Fierce punch. Stay on the ground or arrive early. If you attack from the air, go for a combo with a FB in it. That should keep him back a bit. A DP combo attack is not such a good idea, too easy for Balrog to hit you after a miss, or otherwise. Tick him every so often to keep him from being able to anticipate your next move, but be careful with yourself if you are weak. Balrog can do lots of damage very fast, not good for you. If you are a good anticipator, DP his lengthy limbs (not with a Fierce!). It does good damage considering how far away you are. If you like risk, when he charges at you with a charging punch or TAP, you might try to strike his fists with one of yours. A stand- ing punch will usually do the trick. That is good to hit the foolish Balrog who TAP's from too far away. When Balrog gets you in a headbutt, beware of the things that so many of the craftier players will do afterwards. The best 'Roggers mix it up a lot, and rarely go for the same attack within a few tries of each other. These are the things that you might see. After he lets you go, a TAP is not un- common, and then it is usually followed up by another attack, sometimes by a dashing punch, other times by regular attacks. You must avoid getting hit by the TAP, or tons of damage will be yours to keep. Try just blocking or a DP. You can never tell though, he might come in for another headbutt after the TAP, so keep you eyes peeled. The other thing Balrog might do is to run behind you after he lets go, then Jab or Short punches you for some surprise hits and a possible headbutt. This is tricky the first couple of times you see it, so don't get angry, get even the next time he does it, and give him a throw for Christmas, or better yet, a well timed DP. Ah, but Balrog isn't quite the idiot... He might decide to just do the fast punches, then step back or whatever, and wait for you to go up and down (a DP you moron :) for an easy grab or punch in the back. It is usually safe to try a Forward or Roundhouse sweep to push him back, but watch your range so that the sweep connects, else you will get a fist in the head. The last part to defeat Balrog is to be smart. He can hit you at oddball times. Especially after a missed sweep or punch. He will take anything to whittle your lifebar away, and the Balrog corner is not a joke. If he gets you there, it is very possible that you will panic and die. In this case, you will need iron nerves. A relentless attack will fry you with your first mistake. Then, you are limited to a few tactics. However, lookie here for some helpful hints: do not jump straight up. Try it once, and you'll see why. Jumping towards is a good attempt, but no good there either. Seems hopeless? Well, Balrog's major weakness is his feet, obviously. But the good Balrog will try to protect them, so it's up to you to try and hit them. If he moves a tad too close, a Roundhouse sweep will make him sit down. You had better knock him down, or he'll still be able to attack you. If you do not seem to have any luck there, remember this... his hands can be hit! A standing Jab maybe your ticket out of this. Experiment a little, as Balrog is an under played character, and styles of these guys is unique from player to player because of it. Hence, you must be able to adapt well to win. ============================================================================ Vega: Begin the round by stepping back, do not jump. Waiting for Vega to ----- come to you at first is a good idea. You must be quite proficient at the DP for this tactic to be effective. You must throw fireballs occasion- ally to force the opponent to jump. If he jumps anywhere near the DP range, smack him with it. You want to knock him down a lot. When you knock him down, go after him. Jump in and use a combo, even if it is blocked. Try to make it a combo with a DP or FB. If you use the HK, confidence in your throw as you land is important. Another good tactic would be to use the "Air Hurricane" combo described above as you fly in on him. Vega is very tall, and can be hit easily while he is on the ground from the air. Mixing up speeds of both your HK's and FB's is important. Vega is much faster than Ken, so use your abilities to control where he goes. If he goes for an aerial attack from the wall, hold your ground at first, then strike quickly with a DP. If you are in the corner, a standing Fierce or Roundhouse will do. The air HK is good, but you need to be in the air early. As Vega hits the ground after being knocked out of the wall attack, he may fall right next to you. If he does, either move FAST or do a Jab DP or a Roundhouse HK to prevent the easy throw. If he's going to throw you, make him take damage first. If you make a mistake, and Vega does not throw you, but you are taking many quick hits, it is VERY difficult to get a DP in between those strikes. Just take it like a man. Vega's attacks are very weak compared to Ken's. It takes him two to four strikes to do what one of yours would. Be careful after taking a series of these though. You may get dizzied very easily. Making a mistake vs. Vega is not that bad... What if it were Ken? Probably the worst he can do is throw or do the rolling claw. Watch yourself if he slices you with many of the rolling claw strikes. If Vega rolls at you while you are on the ground, almost any attack placed right can stop him cold. If Vega rolls at you as you are getting up from a fall, place a DP in his face. Never use the HK to try to stop the rolling claw, you will almost always get hit. It won't even trade, HK wisely, as you can trap Vega in the eggbeater, resulting in an easy dizzy. Vega's Roundhouse slide can be quite obnoxious at times, but block it at the right time or place, and Vega is meat for a well placed combo, foot sweep, or throw. In the air, Vega can be a terror, but the air HK has good priority, and can take most airborne opponents out, including Vega. Using this attack from the air to hit Vega while he is on the ground is a good way to disorient your opponent. If you manage to get him dizzy, the TOD is a nice thing, but be careful if you mistime, Vega will throw you. It may be safer to walk up and do a triple. If the Vega is a sucker for the Backflip, the you only need wait until he is finished in his little romp, then bash his head in with a triple combo, or toss his skinny body into the corner. Vega is more prone in the corner, and if you fight the computer often enough, you will know this. This is the perfect opportunity to tick him, or do the air HK combo, or your favorite pestering attacks on him. You don't want to throw many FB's since he can escape easily. Go for foot sweeps, HK's and DP's to keep him there. A lame strategy if you knock his claw off: Go wait in the corner, cont- inually doing Short kicks, this will stop his attacks from the ground inclu- ding his tumbling claw and foot slide. Then if he jumps at you, or tries the wall attack, you know what to do... ============================================================================ Sagat: He is a tough one... for Ryu. Ken's speed and DP range are big ad- ------ vantages vs. Sagat. Sagat can be a problem at times, but, if you follow Eu-Ming Lee's Krazy Ken style, you should be well off. Sagat's big- gest advantages over Ken are his TU damage and FB speed. On the down side though, he is very tall and lacks many really powerful combos. Obviously, you will want to avoid being stricken with the TU if at all possible since it is a real life drain. Also, his Firebirds are quite hazardous to your health, since the FB's dizzy you quite easily. Ah, you say, avoid these and I should be okay. Wrong. His other attacks rate right up there in damage with Ken and Ryu. His limbs are quite long, making a mistimed FB a big mis- take since you should get a foot or long reaching fist to the head. OK, now that you know something about Sagat, here is the real stuff. As usual, start the round off this way: Either a Fierce FB or defense. You can also try to predict a FB before the round and jump in for the death combo. Of course, this is risky, but it is worth it if you tag him. His high Firebird attack is annoying, but bear with it. If you are close to him, and he is crazy enough to think he can hit you, let him try. Then smash his arm with a Strong/Fierce DP. If you're feeling a bit lucky, try to walk in on him for the throw. This may be successful, as Sagat's throw range is PATHETIC! He can only defensively throw you, and since his recovery time is longer than yours, take advantage of it. Or if you guessed well enough, you can jump on him for a lethal 4-hit combo. His low FB's are another story... You must block them low. However, you can use a Short HK to go over it w/o problems from the right distance. Jump up over some of them, and cancel one now and then with a FB of your own, but do not try to match him one for one, that is a losing battle. OK. Once you work your way closer to him, say about 1/3 screen distance, then you might want to take a shot at jumping in on him. Beware of the TU zone when you do this, the idea is to put as little of yourself within that range while get- ting yourself close enough to barely hit him with a flying attack. The tip of the Roundhouse works well, or if you happen to know that you are just a bit too close, use a punch instead, you might get lucky and nail Sagat if he tries a TU at this range. A trick tactic is to jump in from the, shall I say, horizon range for the TU. Jump in on him so that the Roundhouse will get nailed, BARELY, by the TU, but don't stick your foot out. As you go to the ground, Sagat will narrowly miss you and sail to the sky. Make him pay dearly with a "triple DP" combo. Playing at about 1/3 screen or closer is ideal vs. Sagat. There's a great defensive effort on Sagat's part to keep you away, and bewilder you with a maze of FB's. Coming in this close usually forces him to stop throwing them since you could jump in at any time. So, he will have to change his posi- tioning. You must stay with him. If he happens to stick out a lengthy arm or leg for you, strike it with a DP, or if you are closer, knock him to the ground with a Roundhouse. When Sagat is on the ground, try something other than the usual FB. Go up to him and sock him with a Jab DP. Sagat usually tries a TU if you come in close to him, either that or tries a really crappy throw. Vary it slightly by coming in with a modified triple DP combo. Do a crouched Forward followed by a Jab DP. If Sagat was absent minded, and forgot to block low, bam, you've got two more hits. If he did block, you will still take two ticks of life from him. This little Forward-DP thingy is quite useful, and is somewhat difficult to counter with a throw, so use it occasionally against Sagat, as well as vs. the other 11. Watch for the Tiger Knee as you are close in to Sagat, 1/5 screen distance or closer. He may try to surprise you by hopping over a misplaced FB. Be aware, and look for the easy throw when this happens. If all else fails, go really "cheap" on Sagat. He is a terrible counter thrower for most players, and you can take him out this "easy way" if you prefer. Be sneaky on how far you stand when you begin Short kicks, and do them sporadically to trick Sagat into hitting air with a TU. Hopefully, you meet with some cheap success. Last thing. The HK is not a good weapon vs. Sagat. Not a good trade when he racks your balls with a full TU. Really only useful for long distance escape of low FB's. If you're feeling really lucky, do the "air hurricane" attack on him once in a while. You might dizzy him that way, but why mess with it? In the air, Sagat is OK vs. Ken. But if he ventures into the air too often, give him some DP medicine, and he should stick to the ground. If the Sagat player is for some reason, "air happy", let him be. Sagat seems to be most effective from the ground, and should not pose too many problems for Ken. If you must meet him in the air, go for a Fierce punch rather than a kick. Sagat's long leg will hit your leg, and you will go down. In regards to what is said in the first paragraph, this fight is _not_ easy for either of the fighters, you want to be a headache for Sagat when you fight him, keep him guessing, and don't let him get you too close to the corner. ============================================================================ M. Bison: As dangerous as he may seem, Bison should pose no real problems --------- for Ken. Ken has all the advantages over Bison, including long range projectiles, and a move that can stop any of Bison's dead in it's tracks. The beginning of each round will begin with you either fireballing or him doing his body attack (flame torpedo or scissor knee). If you feel confident that Bison isn't foolish enough to mess with the DP at first, go ahead and throw a fireball, if not, just block or jump back right away. Jumping back or straight up gets you out of the way of his moves, and it is possible to strike him as you are coming down. If you are going to get hit by him as you come down, try an aerial HK to avoid serious damage or the throw. Bison is somewhat easy to keep away if the Bison player is not very creative. If he is a torp-throw, torp-throw type, try throwing a steady barrage of slow fireballs to keep him off your back. While doing this, mix a few Strong and Fierce FB's to keep 'em clean. Beware if he's ahead though, he may just sit back in the corner jumping over the FB's as they come by. When this thing happens, continue the above, but inch forward each time you throw a FB. Eventually, he will be backed into the corner, and then you can command his actions from there. Bison's hang time in the air is a big drawback vs. Ken. Use this little quirk about Bison to your advan- tage, and learn the distance at which he can safely escape. Keep your eyes open for the Head Stomp as well. While not very damaging, it has a surpris- ing amount of dizzying "power". Bison's foot slide can be a pain if you are not paying attention. I know I am able to catch many people off guard when I play Bison using the Roundhouse Slide. Wide open eyes and quick reflexes will prevent the slide from hitting you. Block it, then throw him, or if you are fast enough, give him a "triple DP" combo. Should dizzy him. If Bison somehow manages to play in close to you, it is not likely that he will do a flame torpedo, it's too obvious and easy to counter, so look for the standing Forward and Roundhouse kicks: they have good range and damage along with good speed for such a strong attack. If you can anticipate one of these coming, give him the 'ole DP in the foot. Close in, you can rip Bison to shreds, but avoid doing a risky Jab DP if he can block it, a flame torpedo will be coming your way if you do this. Instead, try being "cheap" on him. Throw often vs. Bison, as he has the capability to come back very quickly with that throw and torpedo. When you jump in on Bison, use the "defensive combo" described far above to move him away. Don't use any one jumping in combo all the time; try to smack him with an "air hurricane" combo as he is getting up, or strike late and do a walk in throw. You are capable of many different styles of play, and Bison cannot counter many of them very well. If you want to play defensively vs. Bison, do this: When the torpedo starts flying, DP if you can, otherwise take the hits, and throw him out in to the center of the battle arena. Bison likes his opponents out in the open, so put him there instead, don't let yourself stay out in the open of the fighting area, because that gives Bison a greater chance to hit you with more of his moves, besides, you will force him to jockey for posi- tion, while you have one spot all to yourself. When you are waiting in the corner, and he does a torpedo, jump back into the wall and do a Roundhouse, it usually knocks him out of it. Also, the distance away from you after the torpedo is different when you are in the corner. Take it from there, play wisely, and you should defeat him. On the offensive end of the battle, throw him into the corner when you get the chance. The trick is to keep him there. For defense you put yourself in the corner, well this time, put him there and go after him. Once he is fallen in the corner, throw a fireball at him, then jump in. Hit him so that you do not fall right next to him. At this point, you should be just outside of his throwing range. It is up to you to decide what you want to do to him, but you can throw, try combos on him, FB trap him to the corner or whatever, but you want to prevent him from making any attacks at all. Continuously attack him, striking with FB's, and DP's if he goes to the air. Use the markings given on the stages to gauge the correct distance to stand from him. Jump from there, and attack from there as well. This should pro- vide all you need to beat him. Bison has no really effective air counter, and his special moves are slow to start, so you should be able to stop them as they start off. Of course, don't do a Jab DP if he will block it, that will allow him to escape. This will lead to an eventual win as you will effectively annoy him to death with FB's and DP's. Once you get started on this, Bison should find it very difficult to escape, provided that you re- main unpredictable. One more thing, when you dizzy Bison, go in for the "Touch Of Death" combo. It should always hit him four times if you use the neck kick, and sometimes it gets four hits from the frontal attack. If you must attack him from the front, try a HK or FB combo instead, as it is much safer to do, or if you are a stud, switch the DP button to Strong or Jab. If you were good at fighting Bison in CE, look out for his faster speed out of the head stomp and the torpedo. Those are the changes in his favor that will be somewhat troublesome. His scissor kick has massive delays at the start and finish of the move. Also, Bison who head stomps can go for a throw if he crafts the movements right in the air, so be careful of when you try to hit him, or you'll pay for it with a hip toss. ........................................ .....................10. Fighting Computer World Warriors................... .................... Now, this part is not going to be as long as the previous section, since the computer tends to stick to 2 or 3 different patterns for the most part, and will stray from it once in a great while. If you know the patterns for all the characters, then fighting them simply allows you to practice your stuff to keep them from getting dull. This strategy is how I have defeated a better than average computer with great consistency. Not too much variety in it, but I can stay sharp on what I feel is important to my game in this way. Each one will be considerably shorter than the human ones for rather obvious reasons. Fighting the computer can only get you so far, and if you wish to become better at fighting in the game of Street Fighter 2, you will have to fight humans. On that note, I have never seen a person who fights only the computer win at SF2:HF's computer opponents. It seems that the fighting styles of the opponents is meant to match those of the players who are better than the average lot with that player. The basic strategy that won't be mentioned all the time is learn the patterns! ============================================================================ <=-Ryu-=> He is a punk now. One of the toughest fights if you get him as the last of the computer opponents. Keep these things in mind: rarely does the HK, never does the air HK, loves FBs, usually throws two FBs then waits, will always use the DP if you jump in when he is down, and it is almost im- possible to beat him in the air. Remember and learn his FB patterns since those are the times at which you can easily kill him with combos. Don't try to meet him in the air with any attack except a DP or jumping straight up attack. Jumping towards him won't get you anywhere, and the computer does more and takes less damage than you, in general. When Ryu is on the ground, it is best to throw FB's at him from a safe distance. If it is not safe for him to jump over, he will do something that benefits you somehow. If it is safe to jump over, he probably will take to the air with a Roundhouse kick, and then will proceed with FBs. Ryu likes the air Roundhouse/foot sweep combo a lot, and it is really annoying since you can never block it. Watch for the times that he will jump in early when you are getting up making you think to block high, and then foot sweeps you. Every now and then he will walk towards you. Try to wait until he is next to you, then throw or combo him. Don't challenge in the air. Take advantage of his small, but consistently vulnerable FB delay. No jump ins after he has fallen. He never does the air HK, and the ground one only rarely. The computer is not afraid to throw you, and ground ticks almost never work. Don't miss Roundhouse foot sweeps. ============================================================================ <=-E. Honda-=> Only one way to do this fight. Most boring, but it is how I win this battle. Depending on when I fight, I throw a FB. If it is before the first bonus stage, I do, otherwise, I just back up. The rest of the round comprises of FBs and DPs when he comes in with an attack. Mixing up the speed of the FBs will sometimes fool Honda into jumping on one of them, which in turn will force him to block another as he is getting up. To beat Honda with some consistency, and in general, without getting smashed to by his new move all the time, follow this. Keep a lot of space between you and him; you'll need it. Throw various speeds of FBs at him. The big idea is to make Honda do his 'Sumo Butt Dive' attack. This move has better range than any human player does, so watch out for the surprise hit from a seem- ingly safe spot. Every now and then you will get hit cleanly as he is going up, and the other times you will be able to block, he will miss, or you will be able to get an attack off. In any of the cases where you are able to hit him when he is coming down is your chance. Crunch him with the big damage part of the DP as he falls to the ground. Repeat the FB thing over and over pretty much until he his dead, or you screw up. If the Butt Dive attack hits you twice, you are probably guaranteed a dizzy, so don't throw a FB if you are too close to him. Never jump in on Honda when he is getting up from a fall, you will get Sumo Torpedoed. He does a lot of damage. Watch for his Bear Hug, he will take lots of damage if he wants to. Don't jump in if he is fallen. Your DP is faster than any of his attacks, so make use of the fact you can knock him down very easily. Mix FB speeds up. ============================================================================ <=-Blanka-=> Toss a FB at the beginning of the round. Then wait until he walks toward you, then throw another one. Repeat pretty much until he goes dizzy, then combo him. You can beat him in the air from the right distance. Beware of his silly vertical ball, horizontal ball "combo". He will do two vertical balls of Strong or Jab speed at distance that will get him closer to you, so hit him then. If he goes into electricity, just throw a FB at him since is more likely to ball you than get hit out of it with a DP . If you can get the range right, just throw him out of it. If he does some jump around stuff away from you, then you must move closer, or try to make him jump right into a FB. When Blanka is getting up, throw a Strong FB so that it will get to him a split second AFTER he gets up. He is stupid enough to try a ball attack into the FB. Repeat until dizzy, then kill. Never jump in, you will get ball attacked. He does lots of damage, and can do impossible combos. Will do a walking forward ball attack on occasion. Watch out for his bite attack. ============================================================================ <=-Guile-=> About the stupidest of the computer guys. If he is on a low level of attack (like one of the 1st 3 computer opponents) just toss FBs and then use DPs and jump ins until he is dead. If he is on a high level of attack, go about 1/3 the screen away, and do a Jab DP. He will Flash Kick that should not hit you, or will be blocked. When he comes down, lay a huge triple-DP combo on his for a dizzy, then finish him off with a TOD. If it comes down to the nitty gritty battle, the plan is to use the FB trap on him and then smash his body with a DP as he comes down. This battle should be easy if you have the Jab DP range down where he won't hit you. Guile likes to throw. Jumping in on a fallen Guile is not a good idea, but it can work. Watch out for his infamous standing Flash Kicks and walking forward SBs. Take advantage of his foolish double Roundhouse kick, easy DP target. He doesn't use the backhand too much, so canceling his SB is a safe bet. ============================================================================ <=-Ken-=> Until Ken goes nuts, he is tough, but after that, just block and then kill him with big combos when he does the patented Fierce DP flurry. Ken won't block a lot of FBs, he will jump over or cancel it with his own. Use this fact to force him into a jumping in situation, and then hit him with a DP. When he is getting up, toss a Strong FB at him, and he usually will take the hit, and then be more suspect to a dizzy. He tends to miss his attacks after you do a Fierce DP, so you can feel somewhat safe after you use it in a TOD of combo, but don't make a habit out of it. When he goes Krazy, just block until you have any easy shot at him. His DP is like- ly to dizzy you since he has the fortune of almost always getting the 2nd hit of the Fierce. Also, watch out for his insane attack series of DPs and HKs which can drain a lot of life even when you block, so place your attack in there carefully. Like Ryu, don't challenge him in the air, or jump in when he is fallen. He will use the HK and DP offensively, but recklessly. Can be beaten with FBs from across the screen, but he can do his jump back- and-forth routine to annoy you. This Ken is easy to dizzy. Watch out for his neck kick attack. Likes to throw you if you aren't paying attention. ============================================================================ <=-Chun Li-=> She is not quite the opponent she used to be, but she can be difficult at times, especially since she fights like Ryu in a way. Once you get Chun Li knocked down, it should be safe to jump in with a FB combo. She will sometimes take the hit from the FB. Since Chun Li likes to attack from the air, use the DP to take her out whenever possible since she will then fall to the ground. Chun Li will use her FB attack in a style like Ryu, she will throw two and then wait or jump back. You can take advantage of her FB delay and use a big damage combo on her, or you can coax her into jumping by walking towards her. The easiest way to beat her it to get her in the cor- ner and making her jump around a lot so you can have your way with her. Difficult to beat in the air. Throws two FB's in a row. Safe to jump in on, usually. Doesn't use the SBK much, at least not offensively. Likes to use the wall spring and heel stomp. ============================================================================ <=-Zangief-=> He cheats a lot. You will get tough breaks every once in a while in this fight, so bear (heh) with it. The cheese strategy is just to use straight up and down Roundhouse kicks, or if you are in the corner, jump back and use Roundhouse, then sweep/FB or DP when you land. Most people are scared of Z though, and you should be able to get a lot of damage on him by taking the offensive. As long as you don't mess up your combos and stay next to him for too long, you should be safe from the SPD. When you knock Z down, jump in so that you can hit the top of his head with a punch, or so you can knick him with a kick. Then proceed with combos from there. Never stay in one spot for too long, since he will come for you eventually. You can wait till he gets close enough to you, then throwing a nearly point blank FB at him when he has no chance for jumping over it. It works in some cases, and can be a good way to dizzy him. If he knocks you down, and he is right next to you, you can easily throw him. And in many other instances, it will be OK to walk into him and throw him if he is somewhat nearby. Z takes less damage from your attacks. Can SPD from a long ways away, so watch out. Uses the Spinning Lariats a lot, hit his face with a punch, or use a DP to make him stop. Block if he knocks you down and tries to foot sweep you. Use throws when you get desperate. Don't be foolish, Z does a lot of damage, it can be hard to come back. ============================================================================ <=-Dhalsim-=> The easiest way to defeat him is throwing him to death. Pick a point at about one edge of the rug on the screen, then throw FBs from that spot. Dhalsim will is likely to jump over, take the hit, or teleport behind you for an easy combo or throw. If you decide to throw him, toss him back to the place he came from, and then repeat with FBs. Jumping in on Dhalsim when you have him can work, but be alert when he does the teleport from under you as you come in. There will be a time in the match when Dhalsim starts to do the body torpedo (head first). Once he does this, you can be assured the match. Block the attack, and right when he lands, nail him with a triple-DP combo. He should be dizzy, jump in as close to him as you can without doing the neck kick, and do the TOD, it should get him four times. If you don't have the right ranges for throwing a FB, try using foot work to make Dhalsim do something. If you don't have the space, try a ground or air HK to get better positioning on him. Remember to be careful if he hits you with the headbutt. HK over his FBs, or cancel them. If he does a Yoga Flame, then air HK nearer to him and attack from there. Triple-DP combos hit three times more often vs. Dhalsim. Mix up the FB speeds often. ============================================================================ <=-Balrog-=> He is still one of the weaker computer opponents, even though he can do tons of stuff that no one else can. Simple FB trapping might be enough to put an end to this match, but there is an easier way if you can get him down. Once you have him knocked down, it is pretty safe to go ahead and jump in on him as he gets up. You want to get there so that your attack arrives at him as he stands. It should connect, then finish with a combo. If he gets dizzy, and TOD is likely to hit four times, and then the match will be about done. If Balrog starts hitting you with standing Fierces and other types of hits, then take a short breather by blocking, and then wait for an opening where you can foot sweep him for a knockdown. If you want to meet Balrog in the air, you need to far enough away so that you get in the air and have your foot or fist higher than his when you contact, otherwise you will get hit, not him. Balrog can kill you quickly, be careful if you are close to dizziness. Be careful of how far you are when you throw a FB at him. He can jump over. Combos when is getting up can win you the match, so take advantage of his lack of blocking. The HK isn't greatly useful, but it can be used when is getting up. Throw if he tries a TAP from close range. ============================================================================ <=-Vega-=> First step back, wait for him to go off the back wall, then hit him with a DP as he descends. Then do what you would have in Classic, jump towards him until he is in the corner, and throw or crush him with a combo. You really need not throw any FBs in this fight, since he will jump over them all anyway. You can make Vega jump by walking towards and away from him. Moving the screen around Vega will make him want to jump. When goes for the wall climb, back up so that the DP will hit, and let it fly when Vega does. You might want to go back into a corner and try a Fierce punch when he comes in for the attack, but this is risky. It does pay off though if you connect, since Vega doesn't block right afterwards, and you can get him with a triple-DP combo. Any attack that Vega does can be DPed, so do it if Vega lets you. Vega does little damage, but he can dizzy you quickly. The screaming eagle tends to do more damage than his other attacks. If you miss a Jab DP, Vega will throw you when you are close enough. You can attack him with just about anything when he does the rolling claw. His Roundhouse slide can be annoying, so remember to block low until you are ready to make a move. ============================================================================ <=-Sagat-=> Of the boss characters, Sagat is probably the toughest for Ken. This seems to carry over from the good fight that he can give if played by a human, but with the right strategy, Sagat can be defeated. Since Sagat has a habit of throwing many high FBs , you can hit his hands with a jumping in kick or punch quite easily, and then finish with a combo, or you can stay on the ground and try to do something sneaky from there. As such , you might try to DP his arm when it is extended, or duck under it then do something like a throw from there. Don't attempt to get in a FB war with Sagat, since the computer throws without fail and in pattern, plus his FB is faster. You try to jump in and do damage when he throws FBs, but there are sometimes you will want to trick Sagat into missing a Tiger Uppercut. When you make Sagat do this, hit him with a triple-DP combo as he comes down. The beginning of the round can set the tone for the rest of that round, so you will want to make sure that you start off correctly. Sagat usually jumps in with his knee (Short kick) attack, and then will jump kick a few more times. Just DP him here, then do some sort of ground series of attacks on him, like Short, Short, Roundhouse, FB. Be careful of how many times you do this, since the computer has the timing able to put a TU after the Short kick. I have never seen the computer Sagat throw, so you don't have to worry about that, rather watch out for his standing punches and kicks in their place. A DP will take any of his moves out, so keep a sharp eye for opportunities. Sagat is very tall, so you should be able to hit three- and four-hit combos without too much problem. His TU does a lot (about 1/3 life bar at max) of damage. Try not to get hit by it. He is not invulnerable either. Sagat is suspect to low attacks when he does high FBs. He is easily attacked from the air when he throws low FBs. Don't jump in on Sagat as he is getting up, you will get TUed. ============================================================================ <=-M. Bison-=> Still one of the hardest fights, IMO. I only win this about 50% of the time. Bison is weaker than he used to be, but the speed increase from CE is murder, literally. Bison can now do the Flame Torpedo without any delay from the beginning, but thank God that he can't throw everytime when he could. I usually start off the round by jumping straight up, but Bison doesn't always come in with a head stomp, so I try backing up right away sometimes, and I find that it is a better start off, since you have to put more space between the two of you at first , then you can close in once you knock him down. Once Bison is knocked down, you can go in with just about any FB combo in the book, and as long as you do it cleanly, he will always have to at least block it, and maybe he will even take the FB hit. When you jump in on him, you need to get there as he gets up , much like you have to for Zangief and Balrog. Otherwise, he can get a kick or Torpedo off in time to scorch you. Bison comes out of dizziness fast , much like the tougher regular opponents and high level computer opponents, so unless you are close enough to get a guaranteed combo, jumping will probably get you flamed, but if you do connect, a big combo works well, in fact, just about any combo with a FB always hits Bison. Never just sit back in the corner doing nothing; Bison doesn't hesitate to walk up and throw you. And never stand next to him when he is getting up, he will throw you. Bison loves the throw whenever he can get it, so watch out for it. The scissor knee should not provide much problem since you can always DP it , and the head stomp is used to fool you, but if you can block it, you will be safe. Bison is an air attacker (for some reason), stay on the ground. He will throw you if are close to him. Bison rarely uses crouching kicks, so he will be using punches instead. Keep in mind the reach of his standing kicks. Block the flame torpedo if you can't DP it; too much damage. Jumping in with punches is generally safer if you are close enough. ........................................ .......................11. Afterword........................................ .................... This thing took forever to write, mainly due to waiting until I felt more comfortable fighting all of the opponents, namely Guile, Blanka, and Ryu. This is in no way supposed to be completeness for fighting with Ken. I use a lot of _Improv_ play when I do battle. I stick to a very, very basic strat- egy: win. I do what I must to win. No patterns over the long haul. A round of pattern play is OK, but patterns will not win you matches over and over against the better human foes. I mix it up in the many ways that Ken allows. Before sometime in late May '93, I had been thinking about one of the strategies that I point out up in the combos section. This has to deal with that "defensive combo" and Ken's ability to escape it. Obviously it is not a real combo versus the wily Ken players. I found this out by trying it when I had nothing to lose (I had a round, and was ahead in the 2nd). The best way to play Ken is picking up your own style. Reading all this babble might give some pointers, but play in a way that will allow you to win, not like I think that Ken should be played. I play in one of the many ways that Ken can be played. -- Internet: [email protected]
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