The King of Fighters 2001

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Introduction

Notation

Game Mechanics

Subsystems

  • Block - Hold back. While blocking, you take no damage from normals and a single pixel-per-hit when blocking special/desperation moves. You can also block in the air while jumping up or back. Ground normals cannot be air guarded.
  • Air Block - For Advanced Mode: Neutral Jump or Back Jump and hold any backwards direction. For Extra Mode: Full Jump in any direction and hold any backwards direction. This type of defense only works against special moves, desperation moves and against any aerial attack that isn't an air throw. Any grounded normal attack will hit any airborne opponent. The only known exception is if the character is already air-blocking and the opponent lands before the character does and attacks with a grounded normal attack. In this instance, the airborne character will maintain an air block. At certain heights, a character cannot air block until the character reaches a higher altitude.
  • Short Hop - Performed by quickly pressing up-back, up-forward, or simply just up and then inputting a neutral or any non-upward motion. Performing a short hop can be difficult at first but being able to select from any jump option at a moment's notice is absolutely vital to KOF. One trick is to quickly move from an upward direction to down in order to avoid holding up for too long and causing a jump. Short hops are fast and possibly the least vulnerable of all jump types (the hopping player moves forward under 1/3 of the screen's length) which make them difficult to react to when under pressure. Using air-to-ground attacks from short hops is a quick way to keep the opponent blocking while gaining frame advantage afterward. Once used to seeing short hops, they become easier to anti-air when an opening presents itself. Short hops are great for baiting and then punishing sweeps. This forms part of the basic RPS system of KOF where hops beat low attacks, standing attacks defeat hops, and low attacks win against standing attacks.
  • Hyper Hop - performed by first pressing any downward direction, quickly pressing up-back or up-forward, and then releasing to a non-upward directional input. They can also be done by running and inputting a short hop. Note that hyper hops cannot be done neutrally upward. Hyper hops are even faster and travel further than normal "Short Hops."
  • Jump - The option that should be the most familiar with most fighting game players. Jumps in KOF are performed the same way as in any game: just hold up-back, up, or up-forward. Jumps reach a high vertical height which suits them for maneuvering over large specials or challenging the other player in the air. Jumping carries a longer aerial hang time which gives the other player more substantial time to anti-air or air-to-air. Additionally, a normal jump covers the same horizontal distance as a hyper hop. Jumps end up getting punished more often than either hop, and so much like in any fighting game the player should have a set reason or strategy in mind before jumping heedlessly.
  • Super Jump - Super jumps are done by pressing any downward direction and followed by up-back or up-forward. Players cannot super jump neutrally upward. A super jump travels a bit further than 1/2 of the screen length. Combined with the widescreen ratio this creates more safety from fullscreen against being jumped on. A super jump travels faster and further than a standard jump although tall vertical height of the jump arc makes this the easiest of all air options to anti-air.
  • Back Dash or Back Step - Tap back twice quickly. During a back dash, you can perform air command normals and air special moves. Using a command normal will cause the trajectory and recovery period of the back dash to change.
  • Guard Cancel Strike (CD counter) - Press C and D simultaneously while guarding a move. This uses one power stock.
  • Taunt - Press Start

Power Gauge

The Power Gauge is now located below your Life Gauge. It fills up in several ways: by taking damage, performing special moves, and hitting your enemy. Taking damage earns you the least energy, while performing a special which hits your enemy earns you the most. Command attacks, normal throws, (S)DMs, Striker attacks, and certain special moves will not add energy to your Power Gauge, though. Once the gauge is full, you gain one stock, and the gauge empties. You can hold three stocks total (1 - green, 2 - blue, 3 - red). Stocks can be used to perform DMs (Desperation Moves). There are also SDM attacks--these are performed just like DMs, but in addition, your Life Gauge must be extremely low (you can tell when it's low enough because it will flash red). When your Life Gauge is flashing, you cannot perform DMs, only SDMs. Just having a flashing gauge doesn't give you any special abilites, either--you must have at least one stock to make your flashing Life Gauge useful. Power Gauge energy and stocks aren't carried over rounds if you lose, only if you win.

Strikers

KOF 99 introduces several new game mechanics, most notably the Striker system. For those unfamiliar with it, now you choose 4 characters, where 3 of them fight and one of them is the Striker, similarly to assists in Marvel vs. Capcom. At the bottom of the screen, your striker name is shown, with the stocks available. At the start of the match you have three striker stocks, and whenever you lose a round one stock will be added. Pressing B+C will call your striker, he will perform his specific action (note that it's not always an attack, Kensou restores a bit of your life for example), and will cost you one stock.

Notable strikers: K', Chang, King, Mary, Choi, Ryo.

Basic Strategy

  • Use neutral hops(and jumps) attacks as means sometimes to defend yourself. In the Fatal Fury and KOF games it can look like your ground normals are terrible/not as strong. Using neutral hops and jumps this can make the difference for stopping air attacks where your ground attacks wouldn't do the job. As well as tag grounded attacks with hops. Finding the sweet spot and timing for certain air attacks will take practice.

Advanced Strategy

The Characters

Hero Team Japan Team Fatal Fury Team Art of Fighting Team Ikari Warriors Team
Psycho Soldier Team Women Fighters Team Korean Team Yagami Team NESTS Team

Links