Ryo Sakazaki (KoF '94) (KoF '98 UM)
Compared to normal Ryo, in return for strengthened defense, his Koōken actually flies, so he doesn’t have a safe combo, which is a pain.
You have to cover the weakened offense with the strengthened defense.
At a glance
|Tani Otoshi||(throw) f/b + C|
|Tomoe Nage||(throw) f/b + D|
|Hyōchū Wari||f + A|
|Koōken||qcf + P (possible in midair)|
|Kohō||dp + P|
|Hien Shippūkyaku||hcb + K|
|Zanretsuken||f b f + P|
|Super special moves|
|Haō Shōkōken||f hcf + P|
|Ryūko Ranbu||qcf hcb + P|
- cr.C and cl.C - both have quick startup; they cannot be linked into from cr.B. The properties are the same other than that, so afterwards, you can combo into something or just use it properly.
- st.B – an irregularly powerful ground zoner. It has long reach, and is generally quick, even when whiffed.
- j.C – has some crossup ability. The hitbox is good, so it’s powerful used in hops.
- Hyōchū Wari
- f + A
- An overhead with long reach. The cancelled-into version can be crouch-blocked, but cannot be cancelled itself.
- qcf + P (can be done in midair)
- A projectile with so-so efficacy. It is launched high.
- When using the midair version, Ryo drops straight down afterwards regardless of the jump trajectory. The weak midair Koōken travels further horizontally than the strong one. It is possible to use a midair Koōken during a front/backstep. In UM, you can now use it as an OTG.
- dp + P
- An extremely powerful anti-air. The hitbox, which faces forward for the weak version and upward for the strong version, has extremely high priority; against zoning moves and such, it can’t be beat at stuffing (weak) and anti-air (strong).
- f b f + P
- Sets up a hitbox wall in front of Ryo. If the opponent gets hit, they will be locked as Ryo performs multiple hits upon them. It is defenseless to low attacks, so whiffing this is asking for a counterattack. It does unrollable knockdown.
- Hien Shippūkyaku
- hcb + K
- Changed from OG in that now EX Ryo uses a more old-school execution of this move (think KOF ’95). To compare it to normal Ryo’s version, the weak and strong versions are both reduced to one flying kick, and the strong version adds a second kick to it. The weak version’s startup has been slowed down somewhat. The weak version will combo from weak moves, and the strong version will combo from strong attacks. It does considerable damage, but it leaves you very open if blocked (even if only the very tip touches).
Super special moves
- Ryūko Ranbu
- qcf hcb + P
- Ranbu-type super (duh) that continues even if blocked. Does great damage, but only combos from strong attacks. It has invincibility frames during startup.
- Haō Shōkōken
- f hcf + P
- A big projectile. Using the weak or strong button will launch the blast with very different speeds. The weak (slow) version is tough for the opponent to evade with a forward roll.
- It smashes through and obliterates normal projectiles, so the strong version can be used as an effective counterattack against projectiles.
- The weak, non-MAX version combos from strong attacks.
First, you’ll want to react right away to the opponent’s hops and hyper-hops; deal with them with Kohō. Even zoning with strong attacks and special moves can be reacted to by reading ahead, and you’ll be set. Due to this, the opponent will be unable to just safely attack you, so the flow of the bout is mostly going to be up to you. When the opponent isn’t so foolish as to jump and zone carelessly, zoning with st.B and cr.B shines. While always being prepared to perform Kohō, threaten to poke you opponent with them. Also, if you have the margin for it, you’ll want to try interrupting with Zanretsuken. It’s a high-risk thing to do, but if it hits them, it’ll be very annoying and interrupt their rhythm. For example, you could use Koōken a lot and watch for a forward roll, then use Zanretsuken to smack ’em silly.
If you can manage to completely silence the opponent, you can go on the offensive. Jump in using j.D for a normal or super jump or j.C for a hop or hyper hop. If this is blocked, then after landing, press them with the options of cr.B and Hyōchū Wari (and sometimes the C throw). Whether or not Hyōchū Wari hits is roughly 50–50, which makes this a critical moment. If blocked, there will be enough pushback such that you probably won’t have to even think about throws, but there are many opponents who will either block or try zoning with normal moves. Deal with the latter with a weak Kohō, and the former by pestering them with cr.D and st.B. After a Hyōchū Wari hit, you have the advantage, so all the same, there are many things you can do somehow with st.B.
When jumping in with a normal/super jump, if it seems the opponent will come to hit you with an anti-air, put out a midair Koōken just at the top of your jump. This will smack their anti-air and make jumping in a whole lot easier. Another way to use the midair Koōken is to pretend you’re going to super jump but then using it right away. This can cause your opponent to mistakenly use an anti-air, for you to intercept as you choose. For some chuckles, you could make a meaningless vertical jump and possibly sucker the opponent into coming close (expecting to dodge and/or punish a midair Koōken), in which case you punish that. For jumpers, use strong Kohō; for rollers, use the right move for the situation.
For wakeup meaties, you can give them two options between cr.D and Hyōchū Wari, or a combo from a hopping j.C and landing cr.B. If the opponent has a decent anti-air, you could also make them think there’s going to be a landing cr.B so that they brace low; then you can jump more safely.
Conversely, two okay wakeup attacks are weak Kohō and the C throw. Kohō lifts off the ground immediately, so that even invincible throws can’t catch you. Also, nearly all opponents know not to jump in on Ryo’s wakeup by now, but if they haven’t learned that yet, it’s time for you to teach them....