The King of Fighters '98/King
King is the titular character of the King of Fighters. Much like Ryu, she has a fireball, a tornado (hurricane) kick, but no Dragon Punch. As such, she's only mid tier.
She also owns the fabulous bar "Illusion" that hosted the music video of Champagne Life.
King is a strong fundamental character, able to play the zoning game with a good projectile and a great set of normals for anti-airing and poking, but also excels in locking opponents down with her longer normals and using Venom Strike more aggressively. She has no need for meter other than fundamental CD counters and GC rolls and can be utilized on the front, but she lacks any sort of a good reversal and is forced to find a way out of rushdown.
King excels at a mid range where you can control the immediate space in front of her with pokes, bat down jumps with cr.C, and safely use venom strikes with less fear of jumps. You want to play a more passive lockdown with King, no straight rushdown, not always zoning, but using her tools to keep opponents blocking and stuck until they make a mistake. st.D, cr.C, and j.CD are enough to keep players out of the air alone, while df.D, st.CD, and st.D/C are her main grounded pokes. Her slide has a deceptive range and catches opponents walking, while also AAing jumps if timed right. Just be careful on how you follow up after your slide, since you are usually on the frame disadvantage. st.CD is great for pinning down opponents by canceling into Venom/Double Strike. Also remember cr.A, cl.B, and cl.D can also be canceled into Strikes or Mirage Kick for blockstrings.
A beginner player may try and CD counter his way out of dealing with Strike lockdown, but the major concern to look out for are GC rolls which will punish Mirage Kick, Venom Strike, and Double Strike if the opponent guesses on a cancelable normal and you followthrough. Putting King on point will eliminate this worry.
King's hop isn't the best for offensive high/low mixups, and she can't land a cr.B, cr.A > Trap Shot combo after hopping in either, so learning j.D cr.A > Trap Shot is important, and you can cancel the cr.A on block or continue your offense if you decide to not cancel. Be sure to use her instant overhead to break defenses, as every bit of damage helps.
- b or f + C - A knee to the chest followed by an uppercut away. Breakable, face-forward landing.
- b or f + D - Backwards leg toss. Breakable, face-backward landing.
- Venom Strike (qcf + K) - King's prjectile, on the weaker end of the AoF projectiles. The B version's range reaches a little over half screen, and the D version covers around 90% of the screen, being avoidable by the opponent at fullscreen. The recovery is on the heavier side, so use carefully and be ready to AA. Can be avoided by slides or low DMs (aka Maiden Masher), so watch out for that. A good move to cancel normals into to lock down opponents and zone.
- Double Strike (qcf qcf + K) - DM turned special, Double Strike shoots two venom strikes, where the second one reaches further than the first. The second projectile on the D version will travel the full screen. However, the duration and recovery are hefty, so prepare to be jumped in on for free if abused from full screen (Or prepare to eat fullscreen Maiden Masher every time). The second strike will only combo against a cornered opponent, but the move makes a great blockstring tool and the second strike works as a frametrap for catching opponents trying to jump or do anything after the first hit.
- Surprise Rose (dp + P) - Another DM turned into a special. King hits the opponent twice on her way up, and then kicks them on the way down. The second hit is what causes the launch, so against crouchers or from a distance the move fails to combo. C version travels further out once reaching the apex. Dur to it's nature to drop opponents use with caution, but it can make for an alright move to throw out unexpectedly to cause chip damage and is hard to punish on block, but it can be AA'd fairly easily.
- Trap Shot (dp + K) - King's backflip kick into a ranbu. Despite its large hitbox, it is never a good move to use as an anti-air as it loses or trades (with trades never being in your favor). Having it connect from the second hit of cl.D can vary on spacing and character hitboxes, so the main way of landing this special is from canceling a cr.A or cl.B. Pretty safe on block due to the pushback.
- Mirage Kick (hcb + P) - King runs forward and does four kicks. The harder version causes her to run forward further before kicking and logically has more startup. Generally safe on block and can be canceled into for a blockstring. If they block the kicks, be ready to gauge the opponent's response (sweep, hop, block...) and act accordingly, or just block.
- Tornado Kick (hcb + K) - This is the "new" version of King's Tornado Kick, differing from her '95 style version that covered more horizontal ground. Kick flys at about a 45 degree angle in an upward kick series. Despite it looking intimidating, it does not make for a reliable AA option, but the B version does sport a decent amount of invulnerability frames to reversal grounded opponents with, and has low invul afterwards. Primary use is her meterless bnb ender, and whiffing or canceling into this move on block will get you killed.
- Silent Flash (qcb qcb + K) - King does a backflip kick, then rockets straight upward with a second kick. No invuln on this DM, and the startup is too slow to be any good. Even if you AA a poor jump correctly with this DM, her followup kick will come out which will DROP an aerial enemy--and sometimes even a grounded opponent--and make your DM unsafe on hit. Can only fully combo from the first hit of cl.D (even after a jump in) because that hit has no push back. From the second hit of cl.D (or other hard attack) the first hit of the super may hit, but the rest will miss leave you very vunerable, and doing less damage than a combo into hcb + P/K...
- Illusion Dance (qcf hcb + K) - King hops backwards, then again forward and goes into a ranbu on hit. There is no invulnerability on this DM, and the startup isn't fast enough to catch a sweep even, and there is no way to combo into it. D version makes her fly back and forward eve further, making it even slower and less practical. On block you're lucky if you spaced it correctly so you're not punished, and there is no reason to use this DM. The SDM is equally useless.
- 0F: C throw; D throw
- 1F: -
- 2F: -
- 3F: cl.B; st.C; cr.A; cr.B
- 4F: cl.D
- 5F: cl.A; st.A; cr.C; cr.D
- 6F: -
- 7F: cl.C; st.D
- 8F: st.B
- 9F: -
- 10F: -
- Best jump-ins:
- cl.B / ( cr.B, cr.A ) >
- Tornado kick (hcb + K)
- Mirage kick (hcb + P)
- Trap Shot (dp + K)
The hcb + K can whiff if not close enough. The hcb + P require immediate canceling to combo.
- Close D (2 hits) >
- D Tornado kick (hcb + D)
- Mirage kick (hcb + P)
- Double Strike (qcf qcf + K) (Corner.)
- Corner: cl.D (1 hit) / cl.B > A Surprise Rose (dp + A), D Tornado Kick (hcb + D).
King's most damaging BnB that requires no meter. Surprise Rose generally does not lift crouchers, so keep it for stun combos or punishing mistakes. Do not need to be in the conner, just close enough to reach the conner after surprise rose.
- cl.D (1 hit) > (S)DM Silent Flash (qcb qcb + K).
Must cancel cl.D on the first hit to connect all hits (and not leave you open), which normally requires buffering before doing the cl.D. Not the most practical, but can serve as a punish and deals more damage than her corner juggle.
- Simple buffers:
- cl.D (1 hit) > (S)DM qcb qcb + K
- qcb + D > qcb + K
- cl.D (1 hit) > (S)DM qcb qcb + K
OBS: Tornado Kick (hcb + K) does a little more damage than Mirage Kick (hcb + P) but only if its close enough for the first hit connect, but Mirage Kick does not knowdown.