System

Introduction

Virtua Fighter is a 3D fighting game made by SEGA, frequently
abbreviated to VF. The latest version available for console is VF5 Final Showdown, abbreviated as VF5FS. The objective of the game is to beat up your
opponent. It is presumed that, since you are reading this FAQ, you are
interested in this type of game; thus the moral repercussions of
beating up your fellow man/woman are not discussed here. Speaking of
which, this FAQ sometimes uses the pronoun "he" for convenience's sake,
no discrimination intended.

What's happening on the screen

The screen is roughly divided in 2 parts:

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

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

  • 2 big horizontal green bars, called health bars, which consequently

empty whenever one player beats the other player up.

  • a clock counting down to zero
  • the names of the 2 characters beating each other up
  • the names of the 2 players beating each other up (only if player data

is being used)

  • how many rounds must be won in order to win a game & how many rounds

each player has won (grey & red circles, respectively)

  • how many games a player has won in a row (not displayed the first time

2 players face each other)

How to control your character

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

  • The directional inputs can come form an arcade stick, a d-pad or even

an analog joypad and serve to move a character around.

  • The command buttons are the punch button, the kick button and the

guard button.

  • Pressing the above buttons an the same time alters their properties:

pressing the punch and guard button together results in your character
stretching his arms and grabbing the opponent aka. a "throw"; pressing punch and kick
together usually results in a stronger kind of punch; pressing kick and
guard together usually results in stronger kicks.

  • Additionally, giving a directional input and pressing a command button at the same time

may alter the type of move your characters is going to perform. For
example, pressing forward and punch at the same time usually results in
a character performing a fast elbow strike, while hitting down and kick
usually results in a low kick.

How to win the game

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

  • Knock Out
  • Ring Out
  • Time Out

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

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

round

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

  • Sudden Death

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

Abbreviations

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

  • p - the punch button
  • k - the kick button
  • g - the guard button
  • + - pressing two buttons together eg. p+k - pressing P and K at the same time
  • Stance Name - indicates that an move is only available if a character

is in a particular stance eg. "koko k" means "press kick while Lei Fei
is in his KokoShiki stance" (as you can see stance names are often
themselves abbreviated)

There are two sets of abbreviations for the directional inputs. Please note
that these change from website to website and country to country.

The "standard" (as opposed to the "numeric") one:

  • f - press the stick/pad/joystick forward, towards the opponant
  • b - press the stick back, away from the opponent
  • d - press the stick downwards
  • df - down and forward
  • db - down and back
  • u - up
  • uf – up and forward
  • ub - up and back
  • F,DF,D,DB,B,UB,U,UF - using capital letters denotes that a directional input must

be pressed and held eg. "F+k" means "press the kick button while your
character is walking forwards" or "D,f+p+k" means "press forward and
punch and kick while your character is crouched"

  • , - indicates a command that must be inputted directly after another

eg. "f,f+k" means "press forward, then press forward again and press
kick at the same time" (usually results in a far reaching kick)

  • ! - (optional) indicates a command that has a strict timing eg. Jacky's df+p+k!p+g hit throw must be executed exactly when his fist connects with the opponent's stomach

The "numeric" notation (prevalent in the VF community):

  • 6 - forward
  • 3 - down forward
  • 2 - down
  • 1 - down back
  • 4 - back
  • 7 - up back
  • 8 - up
  • 9 - up forward
  • 6K - press forward and kick at the same time (note that there's no "+" between the directional input and the button)
  • 66P+K - press forward then forward and punch and kick at the same time

Basic concepts

Rock, paper, scissors

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

  • Throws beat guard but lose to strikes
  • Strikes beat throws but lose to guard
  • Guard beats strikes but loses to throws

Execution Speed & Recovery

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

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

Frames

A frame is the unit by which time in VF is measured. For example throws
have an execution speed of "10 frames", sometimes abbreviated to "10f".

Frames are important: A 14f attack is faster than a 16f attack. If both
characters attack simultaneously, the one performing the 14f will hit first, cancelling the other character's attack.
If the character performing the 16f attack had, let's say, a 5-frame "advantage",
he'd hit instead (16-5=11 which is faster than 14). Frames for each attack can be found at VFDC's "command
list" section.

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

Guard, Hit, Whiff

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

If you're really fast (and here is where "execution speed" comes to
play) your opponent might not have time to properly defend, which means that your character will land a "hit".

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

Counter Hit & recovery CH

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

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


Movement

Walking

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

Dash & Crouch Dash

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

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

Running

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

Evade

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


Throws

High Throws, Low Throws & Throw Escapes

High throws, usually referred to as "throws" for simplicity's sake, are
moves that occur by pressing P+G and some combination of directional
input(s), ending either forward or backwards.

By executing a throw your character will extend their arms and, if
they manage to get a hold of their opponent, do something painful eg. wring their neck, poke their eyes out, headbutt them etc.
All characters have high throws.

Low throws are executed by pressing P+G and some combination of
directional input(s). Contrary to "regular" throws, not every character
has low throws. In VF5FS, the following characters have low throws: Aoi,
El Blaze, Goh, Jeffry, Pai, Taka, Vanessa, Wolf.

As meantioned earlier, it takes 10f frames for a hogh or low throw to execute. If a character is at +10 or greater frame advantage they are guaranteed a throw attempt.

If you find yourself on the receiving end of a throw don't despair, there's still a way out!
You just have to press the same buttons, and last
directional input, as your opponent. For example, if your opponent threw
you with b,f+P+G you have to press f+P+G. If your opponent used a low
throw that had a "db,db+P+K+G" input you can escape by pressing
db+P+K+G.

This might sound easy but a) you don't know which throw our opponent used b) there's a very small window of opportunity for you to input
a throw escape. It's basically another "rock, paper, scissors" game.

Sucessfully escaping a throw leaves you with a moderate frame advantage (usually +6)

Ground Throws

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

(AFAIK) Escaping ground throws does not result in frame advantage.

Side Throws and Back Throws.

High and low throws performed from the side result in side throws. They are escaped differently from regular high and low throws: instead of guessing, you have to input P+G plus the direction corresponding to the character's arm being grabbed.

Escaping side throws actually results in minor frame disadvantage (-2) so be careful!

Back Throws are high and low throws performed at the opponent's back. They can't be escaped.

Catch throws

Catch throws are a special type of high throw. They have the following
properties:

  • a longer reach
  • cannot be throw escaped
  • beat standing strikes during their active frames
  • lose to regular throws, fast strikes and crouching/jumping/back-turning strikes

Not all characters have catch throws in VF. In VF5FS the following
characters have catch throws: Akira, El Blaze, Eileen, Goh, Jeffry,
Kage, Lei Fei, Lion, Sarah, Shun, Taka, Vanessa, Wolf.

Catch throws are not converted into side throws when they land at an opponent's side. SOME catch throws are converted into back throws when they land on an opponant's back.


Attacks

Due to ambiguity of the word "attack" (afterall, there's an "attack class" called throws) i'll try to remember to use the word "strike" whenever possible.

Strikes, strings & followups

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

Hit-Throws

These are throws that can only be executed when an strike hits the
opponent. If the strike whiffs then the followup hit-throw will not execute,and the character will be stuck in recovery.
Think of it as something between strings and strikes. Most
hit-throws require an input within a small frame-window (although some
of them can happen automatically). Sometimes the hit-throw requires a
CH.

Variations include:

  • Followup(s) on Hit - the followup attack(s) only works if the attack

hits the opponent (eg. Brad's Sway Back kicks)

  • Followup on Hit-or-Block - the followup works if the attack connects

with the opponent, on hit or block (eg. Akira's SP > SDE)

  • Hit-Throw on Hit-or-Block - the throw works if an attack connects with

the opponent, on hit or block (eg. Jeffry's VF5 vanilla Hellclaw)

High, mid & low strikes

There are 3 major types of strikes: high aim the
opponent's head, mid go for the torso, and low for the legs.

  • high strikes can be defended with high OR low guard
  • mid strikes have to be defended with high guard ONLY
  • low strikes have to be defended with low guard

Special high, mid & low attacks

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

  • Special mid strikes can be defended with high or low guard.
  • Special low strikes can be defended with high or low guard.
  • Special high strikes beat special low strikes (and some

low/tech-crouching attacks, if you're lucky)

Crouching & Jumping attacks

  • Crouching attacks recover in a low position thus avoiding high attacks eg. every character's d+p low punch
  • Tech-crouching attacks recover standing but have crouching frames during their animation, meaning they can sometimes avoid high

attacks depending on distance and/or frames eg. eileen's shoulder ram

  • Some attacks receive additional frame advantage when they CH crouching attacks eg. elbows typically grant anything from -1 to +1 on NH; however they tend to grant +7 vs crouching opponents.

Jumping can be performed by pressing guard and the upwards directions at the same time; uf+g jumps toward the opponent, ub+g jumps away from the opponent and u+g jumps in place. Specific moves can be performed while jumping and/or while landing by pressing p or k (depending on character). If no button is pressed the character lands and is considered crouching.

While airbrorne, a jumping character will avoid low attacks. However, getting counterhit by a high or mid attack while ariborne will result in a float, even if the move doesn't knock down normally.

Be careful though, tech-jumping moves are attacks have airborne frames during their animation but are not performed with ub/u/uf+g. Not all tech-jumping attacks are considered airborne from the same frame.

Attack classes & Sabaki

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

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

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

Circular & semicircular attacks

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

Remember that high throws behave like circular strikes, beating evade clean.

Charge Attacks

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

Unblockable Attacks

These strikes cannot be guarded. If you try to guard they will register as
a hit instead. Thankfully most of them have some kind of drawback.


Hit Effects

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

Frame advantage/disadvantage

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

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

Some throws also grant frame advantage eg. db+p+g "replace" throws that
cause a character to switch places with their opponent also grant frame
advantage. Also remember that high throws cause frame disadvantage when escaped.

Knockdown & Floats

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

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

Throws usually deal their damage and result in a Knockdown, but a small
number (eg. kage's TFT) instead will allow for a float combo where the player must
manually combo for the damage.

Slam & (re)bounce combos

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

Crumples

These are provoked by attacks targeting vital areas of the opponent's
body eg. head, stomach, kidneys, vital areas etc. The opponent is rendered
unconscious while still on his feet, and proceeds to "crumple" down like a ragdoll.
This is a good opportunity for you to tag some extra damage.

Staggers

These attacks, well, stagger the opponent for a small period of time.
This is represented in-game by a little arcade stick appearing on the
screen (see 1.1 what's happening on the screen). In order to escape this condition and regain control of his character a
player has to quickly mash directional inputs and command buttons; the
faster the better.

While "staggered" the opponent can't block and any attack hits him will be considered a
counterhit. Even worse, some attacks that normally didn't have any
knockdown hit-effects might still be able to knockdown a staggered
opponent. As you can see being staggered is a very dangerous situation and it's very important to learn to unstagger fast when you
see the wiggling arcade stick on the screen ;-)

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

  • the attack caused the opponent to hit the wall (wall stagger)
  • the opponent was in a crouched position for any reason (crouch

stagger)

  • the opponent was defending in a crouched position (crouch guard

stagger)

  • the opponent was defending (guard break)

Finally, there's a couple of throws that instead of knocking
the opponent of his feet leave him standing but in a staggered state.

Wall Splat

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

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

Sideturn, side crumple, Backturn & back crumple

Some strikes and/or throws leave the opponent turned to the side. It takes an additional 3 frames for a sideturned character to guard or evade.

Strikes receive frame advantage when executed against a sideturned character, whether they are guarded or they land. The frame advantage depends on the the move's damage:

  • 12 damage or less - +2 frames
  • 13-24 damage - +3 frames
  • 25+ damage- +6 frames

Example: jabs grant +8 on NH; a jab from the side grants 8+2=+10 frame advantage, guaranteeing a sidethrow attempt.
Example #2: low punches grant +7 on counterhit; a CH low punch from the side combos into a second low punch (7+2=9 frame advantage +3 frames to be able to block = 12f, which is the execution speed of a second low punch). Remember, there's no frame penatly for the opponent if they choose to attack, meaning that landing a CH low punch to the side does not combo into jab (since it will lose to any low attack); and obviously it can't combo into a throw (since any attack will beat it, even from -9).
Example #3: Jacky's f+k is a highly punishable (-15) attack. However, due to it's damage (25), if sideblocked it becomes safe (15-6=9).

Additionally, if the opponent is sideturned, sidekicks (and a other strikes, depending on the character) cause a "side crumple" (which usually results in highly damaging combo).

It takes 6 frames to guard or evade from a Backturned (BT) situation. Attacks that cause a sidecrumple now cause a backcrumple.

Being backturned is a risky situation; however, contrary to a sideturned situation, characters that
are back turned have access to BT moves so there are more possibilities for them to explore.


Defense

This is probably the most complicated part of VF.

Guard (and how to beat it)

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

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

TEG (and how to beat it)

This is a combination of guarding and throw escaping in order to escape
a possible throw but still be able to guard a strike. It is
accomplished by holding G then pressing P (with alongside a directional input if you want to escape forard or back throws, respectively). Each time you guard an attack the throw escape buffer is cleared; if you want to TEG through a string have to hold G and press (b/f+)p multiple times.

TEG is quite useful, particularly when you manage to put your character in situations that are -6 or more.

  • High TEG loses to the throw directions you didn't input, low attacks & unblockables
  • Low TEG loses to the throw directions you didn't input & mid attacks.

Side TEG is really strong since there's no guessing game involved when it comes to the throw escaping part!

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

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

Speaking of execution frames, inputting df,df (or performing a
"crouchdash" as we've called it in the movement section) will put a
character in a crouching state 2f faster than a simple d+g motion. This
might not sound like a big deal (1f is a really small time window
afterall) but inputting df,df,g allows for fuzzy guarding throws & mids
up to -5f!

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

  • low throws (since the character is considered to be in a crouching

state at the beginning of the fuzzy guard motion)

  • delayed throws (if your opponent anticipates a fuzzy guard he might

decide to postpone his throw a tiny bit and wait for you to stand up in
order for his throw to work on you)

  • low attacks (since the opponent recovers standing)

If you have really good reflexes you can fuzzy guard then hold D (or DF if you crouchdash fuzzied) on reaction if you see the opponent going for a low attack in order to block low.

Evade (and how to beat it)

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

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

attacks to track)

E(C)DTEG (and how to beat it)

This is a combination of Evade and TEG techniques, bridged through a Dash (or crouchdash, respectively). The technique hinges on the fact that a sucessful evade can't be cancelled, whereas failed one can. Thus if you successfully avade an attack you can proceed with your frame advantage; if you failed evade (becaue the opponent didn't use a linear attack or because they delayed their attack) you can still try to cancel the failed evade into a TEG. Cancelling a failed evade takes a cpuple of frames so the end result still depends on your frame disadvantage - so be warned!

EDTEG loses to:

  • low circular attacks
  • fast low semi-circular attacks towards the "tracking side"
  • fast mid and high circular attacks
  • fast mid and high semi-circular attacks towards the "tracking side"
  • any throw direction you didn't manage to escape

Using crouchdash instead of dash to cancel a failed evade is faster and has the advantage of being able to avoid slower (semi)circulars completely:

ECDTEG loses to:

  • low circular attacks
  • fast low semi-circular attacks towards the "tracking side"
  • fast mid circular attacks
  • fast mid semi-circular attacks towards the "tracking side"
  • any throw direction you didn't manage to escape
  • delayed low throw

If you have really good reflexes you can fuzzy guard then hold D (or DF if you crouchdash fuzzied) on reaction if you see the opponent going for a low attack in order to block low.

This requires a high degree of manual dexterity and is considered the most advanced defensive technique in VF5FS.

Reversals & Inashi (and how to beat them)

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

  • standing throws and catch throws
  • any attack they are not designed to beat
  • delayed attacks of the type they were designed to beat

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

RTE

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

  • any attack they are not designed to beat
  • delayed attacks of the type they were designed to beat
  • throw directions you didn't manage to escape

Advanced Techniques

Stepping

As mentioned in the E(C)DTEG section, in VF it is possible to "cancel" a failed evade, either with a dash or
crouchdash. Repeated evade cancels maximize the chance that one's
opponent will whiff. They are collectively known as "stepping" and they
consist of one of the flashiest and more visually impressive VF
techniques.

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

There are many others - be creative!

Offensive Move

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

Recovering from falls

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

  • P+K+G makes your character recover (tech) in place
  • d+P+K+G makes your character perform a roll towards the foreground

(hence the term techROLLING)

  • u+P+K+G makes your character perform a roll towards the background
  • messing up the timing, pressing anything else or just choosing not to

press anything will make your character stay on the floor

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

  • light down attacks ("stomp")
  • heavy down attacks ("pounce")
  • attacks that hit the opponent while he's on the ground ("floor

hitting", "floor scraping" or just "scraping" attacks)

  • ground throws (for those characters equipped)

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

  • when your character is falling in a "face down, head towards" osition you should recover *in place* (with pkg, NOT with

d/u+pkg)

  • when your character is falling "face down, feet towards" you should

techroll (with d/u+pkg, NOT just with pkg)

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

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

Hit-checking

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


Character Specific Strategies

Beating Low Attacks from Medium Disadvantage

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

  • Akira — uf+k; shoulder ram; f,f+k,k; low punch reversal
  • Aoi — f,f+k; low punch sabaki
  • Brad — uf+p+k; uf+k
  • El Blaze — u+p+k
  • Eileen — uf+p, shoulder ram; uf+k
  • Goh — uf+p+k; shoulder ram, low punch reversal
  • Jacky — somersault; u+k+g; uf+k
  • Jean - db+p+k; low punch reversal
  • Jeffry — jumping kick; f+k (only from small disadvantage though); b,b,df+p
  • Kage — uf+k+g; u+k+g; b,b,df+p
  • Lau — u/uf+p; u/uf+k
  • Lei Fei — uf+k; uf+k+g (but then again he's never at disadvantage)
  • Lion — u+k(,k); uf+p
  • Pai — somersaults; uf+k
  • Sarah — somersaults; u+k; u+k+g
  • Shun — mulekicks, somersaults
  • Taka — jump > low throw (works because his jump is shorter than everyone else's)
  • Vanessa — DS db+p; jumping k; OS uf+p; uf+k
  • Wolf — uf+p+k; f+k+g; low punch reversal

Backdashing (and how to beat it)

Combined with moves that push the opponent back on block backdashing opponents can avoid most fast
retaliation attacks that usually suffer from poor range. The fact that
backdash can be instantly cancelled into stepping makes some slower linear moves a really poor
choice.

Usually sidekicks are a good option in these sorts of situations since they tend to have good range and also backdash stagger the opponent. But sometimes even sidekicks fail.

So here's a quick and dirty list for each character in order to handle this sort of situations:

  • Akira — SDE; f,f+p+k,p
  • Aoi — f,f+p; f,f+k
  • Brad — b,b+k; df+p+k(,p)
  • El Blaze — f+k; rocket discharge mixups maybe ??
  • Eileen — f+k; f,f+p; qcf+p ??
  • Goh — f,f+k; df,df+p
  • Jacky — f,f+k; b+p+k; f+k+g
  • Jean — f,f+p; df,df+p,k
  • Jeffry — shoulder ram; df+k; df+k+g; f,f+k
  • Kage — f+k+g; f,f+k+g
  • Lau — df+p string; uf+k
  • Lei — hai p (arrow punch) ??; db+p+k ?? (once again i'm clueless when it comes to lei fei)
  • Lion — f,f+p; f+k+g; f+pkg mixups
  • Pai — f,f+p+k; forward somersault
  • Sarah — uf+p; f,f+k; f,f+k+g; p+k
  • Shun — head dive; b,df+p(,p depending on drinks)
  • Taka — k; double handed scoops
  • Vanessa — DS f,f+k; OS uf+p
  • Wolf — f,f+p

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

Fast un-sabakiable attacks

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

  • Akira — Shoulder Ram; Double Palm
  • Aoi — b,df+p
  • Brad — uf+k
  • Eileen — shoulder ram
  • El Blaze — ub+k+g
  • Goh — Shoulder Ram
  • Jacky — somersault; b,f+k+g
  • Jean — uf+k
  • Jeffry — b,df+p; headbutt
  • Kage —
  • Lau —
  • Lei Fei — b,f+p; b,df+p+k
  • Lion — D,df+p+k
  • Pai — df+p+k; somersaults
  • Sarah — ub+k
  • Shun — u+k+g mulekick
  • Taka — belly clap
  • Vanessa — N/A
  • Wolf — Quick Shoulder; Reverse Sledge Hammer

10. About this FAQ

This document is based on the FAQ i wrote for VF5c.

It is not complete. Nor 100% accurate on the mechanics. As usual these kind of things are a work in progress.

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

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

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