Benimaru Nikaido (KoF '02 UM)

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Introduction

Jean Pierre Polnareff is one of the major characters in Part III: Stardust Crusaders, and makes a further appearance later on in Part V: Vento Aureo. He went with Kyo and Daimon to get revenge for his sister, who was raped and murdered by J. Geil. He is the only non-Joestar to have survived the third adventure.

Move list

At a glance:

Normal Throws
Catch and Shoot (throw) f./b. + C
Front Suplex (throw) f./b. + D
Spinning Knee Drop (air throw) any direction except u/uf/ub + C
Command Moves
Jackknife Kick f. + B
Flying Drill (air) d + D
Special Moves
Iaigeri qcf + K
┗ Handou Sandangeri (during Iaigeri) qcf + P
Benimaru Collider hcb,f + P
┗ Benimaru Shoot (during Benimar Collider) qcf + K
Raijinken (air OK) qcf + P
Super Inazuma Kick dp + K
Shinkuu Katategoma qcb + P
Desperation Moves
Raikouken qcb qcf + P
Genei Hurricane qcb qcb + K
Max Desperation Moves
Raikouken qcf qcf + PP
Max 2
Raijinten f. db. df. b. f. + A or B or C or D

Normal Moves

Close Standing Normals

  • Close A
cl.A – Quick jab with the elbow. It's one way of establishing pressure from close up without much committal. It only makes contact upon medium height crouching opponents such as Kyo and taller. Characters such as K' shrink underneath this move, thus limiting the overall effectiveness of this attack since there are other moves that do the same job but better.


  • Close B
cl.B – Fast kick high kick. Unlike Close A, this attack hits shorter crouching characters with the exception of the smallest height class such as Choi and Bao. Even then, characters such as Choi and Bao will be hit by Close B if they're already in hit stun. Generally this move is used as filler in hit-confirms and combos than as for an attack with an actual application.


  • Close C
cl.C – Downwards elbow strike. It is like any other typically fast Close C attack. It may seem faster than Close D, but it isn't. The advantage to use this attack rather than Close D is by the off chance the opponent tries to jump out for whatever reason, and the higher vertical hit box may tag the opponent where Close D would not.


  • Close D:
cl.D – Fast knee strike. This is one of Benimaru's main pressure and confirmation tools. This is what the player would want to use when making a big punish. The push back and frame advantage/disadvantage on block is decent enough for Benimaru to trap afterwards with something like a Far B, Far D, or sweep. A great normal move overall.

Far Standing Normals

  • Far A
Straight Jab. It's a decent anti-hop tool but is overshadowed by all of the other great anti-air tools that Benimaru has. Far B is very comparable with better range and similar recovery so this anti-air doesn't get to see much usage outside of very specific and weird angular situations.


  • Far B
Quick side kick. This is one of Benimaru's main poking tools and anti-hop check assets. This attack generally whiffs over most crouching characters, but larger characters such as Daimon are force to take this move even during crouch. It's a fast snappy move with very little risky and most characters can't run underneath it and it's hard to play footsies against it. This is a good tool to force opponents to get uncomfortable and try to find other ways to get around it such as full jumping, which could be reacted to and anti-air'd easily, or reposition themselves on the ground allowing for Benimaru to gain more initiative. Once again, this is a very powerful asset.


  • Far C
Straight punch. Think of it as a heavier hitting, slightly slower recovering Far B. What's great about this attack is that against medium-height crouching characters, Far C connects against them unlike characters of small crouching hit boxes. Within that context, not only is the damage chunky but there is very little the opponent could do against Far C especially if it's well placed. Sweeps generally can shrink underneath and punish Benimaru but it's hard for characters with shorter ranged sweeps. Also opponents would be more wary off tossing out sweeps since Benimaru's Far D crushes most low attacks, thus making it a wonderful complement to Far C.
  • Far D
Spinning sobat kick. Benimaru's furthest grounded poke that also goes over most low attacks. This is one of the biggest tools in Benimaru's arsenal that helps establish ground dominance. Since the recovery is somewhat larger than his other attacks, Far D is more prone to jumps and floatier hop approaches during the recovery. A good player should be a bit more patient and perceptive of when to toss out this attack and when to be ready to anti-air with a Far B, Super Inazuma Kick, air-to-air, or air throw when appropriate. With all of Benimaru's grounded normals, he can effectively be a huge defensive wall that is hard to approach.


Standing Blowback

st.CD – Roundhouse kick. It's like a slower version of Benimaru's Far B that has the tendency to go over some low attacks. Some players use the max range of this attack against an opponent's wake up to stuff any antsy reversal super jumps or reversals with terrible hit boxes that would get stuffed. Like other moves in its category, it can cancel into other specials and desperation moves on whiff, block, or hit.


Crouching Normals

  • Crouch(ing) A
cr.A – Small, crouching jab. It's a standard, crouching light punch that one could find in most fighting games. Low committal, doesn't hit low but is a pressure tool to a certain degree. It can be chained into from other light attacks but can't chain out. The biggest plus to use this move over Crouch B is that some characters can reversal super jump or hop out from certain ranges when Crouch B is used, but Crouch A in those cases would stop those characters. For Benimaru, if this move hits meaty it can link into Close D and further combo into something else. At point blank and on block, this move can trap into sweep against players that try to jump out after Crouch A or try to walk away/alternate guard against an excepted command throw. Though limited in application as a pressure tool since Crouch B pressure is better, it still has its uses.


  • Crouch(ing) B
cr.B – Crouching kick. This attack has great speed, in regards to start up and recovery, for the range it reaches. It can abuse other characters by attack outside the range of their light attacks and the speed stuffs out most sweeps and slower grounded attacks. Crouch B for Benimaru is great for confirming into knockdown combos and for breaking alternate guard. Once opponents start respecting the pressure and also hesitate to alternate guard, it gives Benimaru the chance to go for a tick throw using Benimaru Collider.


  • Crouch(ing) C
cr.C – Janky-looking uppercut. Benimaru's second furthest ranged, crouching attack. What makes this attack neat over sweep is that it doesn't knockdown giving Benimaru opportunity to low profile under certain attacks and can be confirmed into either desperation moves. It's not really used as an anti-air but as long as it can low profile under jump-in attacks, it could hit jumping opponents as they land into the decent amount of active frames Crouch C has. Like Crouch A, Crouch C has limited applications but still has particular purposes.


  • Crouch(ing) D
cr.D – Sweep. It's a standard sweep and is pretty fast for the range it covers in comparison to the rest of the cast. Like other sweeps it's cancelable on whiff, block, or hit. This is another great poke in conjunction with Far B and Far D during the ground game.


Jumping Normals

  • Jump(ing) A
j.A – Jumping elbow. It's an infrequently used air-to-air attack. Benimaru's other jumping attacks cover around the same range but for better damage, safety, and utility. Almost never seen at all in real, competitive play. The only plus side seems to be that it covers around the same space as Jump C but comes out slightly faster. Generally by the time Benimaru is close enough to use this move as an air-to-air, Jump C would be preferred anyways thanks to the air throw option select built in that is inherently faster than Jump A anyways.
  • Jump(ing) B
j.B – Downward knee attack. Another standard jumping knee attack. It has a pretty good cross-up hit box towards the front side of Benimaru and is a nice way of mixing up Benimaru's cross-up approach. Also it has a decent downward hit box making it an effective jump-in but still has the tendency to lose to good anti-air attacks since Benimaru is very floaty.


  • Jump(ing) C
j.C – Jumping uppercut. A great air-to-air especially against opponents that approach from above while Benimaru is simply hopping forward. Try to do this attack while holding any directional input other than up, up-forward, or up-back. With this, the player may have a chance to air throw option select while approach or retreating. If the opponent is too close, the air throw will catch. If the opponent stays on the ground, Benimaru may come down from the hop and still have enough active frames to for the opponent to take the hit or block the Jump C. If the opponent is too far out, the Jump C has a strange hit box that makes it generally with in air exchanges. The main fault of this attack is the lack of downward hit boxes, and if used improperly, Jump C may be susceptible to trip anti-air attacks into big combos.


  • Jump(ing) D
j.D – Jumping Kick. One of Benimaru's main tools and functions well as a swiss army knife. It works well as a cross-up, as a jump-in, and as an air-to-air. Spacing for the cross-up is a bit more difficult than other KOF games but is still do-able. Even as good as this move is, it's still pretty easy to anti-air with good vertical normals or "dragon punch" types of moves due to Benimaru's floaty and react-able hop and jump arcs.


  • Neutral, Full Jump(ing) A
nj.B – Straight up vertical punch. Very little use for this normal as there are very opportunities for Benimaru to use this attack. May be used in some weird ST-like anti-air situation but largely not needed and impractical due to all of the assortment of anti-airs Benimaru has.


  • Neutral, Full Jump(ing) D
nj.D – Weird looking kick. It's similar to Jump D but seems to curved up-wards and has less horizontal range. Generally it's less useful than normal Jump D and seems to serve the purpose of making sure Benimaru doesn't have a good Jump D during his full neutral jump.


  • Jump(ing) Blowback
j.CD – Crossed legs kick. This is Benimaru's most vertically downward attack that serves as his best air-to-ground attack. Although it may not hit overhead because it's a Blowback attack, it serves the purpose of allowing Benimaru to approach and pressure as it's hardest move to react to and anti-air from a grounded perspective. Since it's angled more downward, it's also more susceptible to air-to-airs from the side and such so be careful when using this attack.

Command Normals

  • Geshiki: Goufu You – f. + B
A slow overhead. When cancel into, the attack speeds up and becomes a double hitting move although with the loss of overhead properties. Although slow, it is one way of opening up the opponent and confirming into a Max Mode combo. When canceled into, it functions well as a frame trap from Crouch A


  • Geshiki: Naraku Otoshi – d. + C in midair
Untechable knockdown upon air-to-air and exhibits great hit stun upon air-to-ground. It's great for crossing up standing characters and larger crouching characters. Kyo could cancel his back dash into Naraku Otoshi to increase the speed and range of his back dash while decreasing the recovery period. This move is an essential function to Kyo's offensive options and defensive movement.


  • 88-Shiki – df. + D
Two-part low-hitting move. It recovers slowly so it's best to use this move from further ranges that tips with each kick. Whiffing the second part could mean a big punish for the opponent.

Special Moves

  • 100-Shiki: Oni Yaki
  • dp + P
  • Has shoulder-level guard point, and the strong version has some invincibility frames. As a reversal, this attack has the tendency to miss and be beaten out by low attacks from crouching characters. Unless the player knows that the opponent is airborne or standing, the player is better off just blocking or using other defensive options.

  • R.E.D. Kick
  • rdp + K
  • Arcs through the air and kicks from above. It's a pretty annoying move to deal with from the receiver's end, but a good player would be able to check Kyo by appropriately doing quick anti-air and air-to-airs safely while approaching. In a Kyo mirror match, a common tactic at the start of the round is for Kyo to walk forward a little bit and pressing Far A just to check a start of the round, light R.E.D. Kick. Although the recovery on a whiffed R.E.D. Kick is decent, a good player should still be able to punish it. Depending on the match up, R.E.D. Kick could be even punished on block by quick command throws. This move is pretty abusable especially with inexperienced players.

  • 427-Shiki: Hikigane
  • hcb + B or D
  • The B Version has lower body invulnerability while the D Version had upper body invulnerability. The B Version is unsafe on block while the D Version is safe. Each version is super cancelable. Mainly, the player would want to use the B Version as a juggle after the D Version of 75-Shiki: Kai and further combo after the Hikigane juggle. The D Version of Hikigane could beat out certain attacks such as invulnerable "dragon punch" type attacks depending on how one times the Hikigane. The D Version of Hikigane could juggle as well but generally ends the combo unless one super cancels from it. Each version has its place and purpose but aren't use that quite often as stand alone moves.

  • 75-Shiki: Kai
  • qcf + K, K
  • A two part, hop kick attack. The main one to use is the D Version for its juggle properties and ability to combo from Close Heavy Attacks. At mid-screen, this move would only combo from a Close Heavy Attack if the Close C or D is used point blank; meaning, that the second hit of Kai would whiff if Kyo starts his combo with something such as a Jump B (but there is no issue if the Jump B is used as a cross up because Kyo would then be point blank.) Unlike mid-screen, Kyo could easily combo from a jump-in with a cornered opponent. The player could use this attack on block for pressure and is safe as long as the second kick is delayed. Characters that have invulnerable reversals or can low profile against the second kick could punish the attack in between kicks, so please be wary of using this attack depending on the match up. The B Version is faster and has slightly less range than the D Version, but it can't juggle anything afterwards other than a C Version Oniyaki. B Version could also be used to juggle after a D Version Kai.

  • 114-Shiki: Aragami
  • qcf + A
  • Combos from strong attacks; has small period of guard point at chest level. It's a great tool for frame trapping with and for controlling the hop space. Just be wary of other attacks that can attack around it such as a well timed Iori j.CD or a well placed cr.B that could stuff it out cleanly.
  • 128-Shiki: Ko no Kizu
  • qcf + P during Aragami
  • An uppercut that launches the opponent. It has significant use as a frame trap after Aragami, and at times it could be used as an anti-air after a whiffed Aragami if the spacing and timing is right. Depending on the match up, this attack is punishable on block by fast command throws or other quick attacks.
  • 127-Shiki: Ya no Sabi
  • P during Ko no Kizu
  • An overhead, elbow strike. It may seem safe on block but that largely depends on the match up as well. Many other characters could actually interrupt in between Ko no Kizu and the Ya no Sabi. So before the start up and after the recovery on block there is a lot of risk to this move as long as the opponent knows how to punish accordingly. Use sparingly outside of combos. Doesn't really combo that often outside of the corner, and it combos mid-screen from Ko no Kizu as long as the Aragami hits near point blank.
  • hcb + P during Aragami
  • Does not combo directly from Aragami if the opponent is grounded and has a very large start up. This move seems to be much more punishable than the version that comes after Ko no Kizu. It could be used as a gimmicky frame trap but one is better off using Ko no Kizu due to the speed and relative safety of the the latter.
  • 125-Shiki: Nana Se
  • K during Ko no Kizu
  • K during Ya no Sabi directly derived from Aragami
  • A spinning kick that knocks away the opponent about full screen. It's a strange move that doesn't combo often from mid-screen and is generally safe on block although it doesn't have much or any push back at all upon block. Opponents could tech roll upon knockdown after being hit by this attack so generally a different ender is preferred if one could help it to get hard knockdown. At least it kind of makes the Aragami attack strings safe at the end, somewhat.
  • Geshiki: Migiri Ugachi
  • P during Ya no Sabi directly derived from Aragami
  • A low-hitting move with an OTG hit box. This move also isn't safe on block although it frame traps well in between Ya no Sabe and itself.
  • 212-Shiki: Kototsuki You
  • hcb + K during Ya no Sabi directly derived from Aragami
  • Another unsafe attack on block that only really combos after a successful Ya no Sabi. So this move is mainly used in combos and is able to pick up opponents off the floor thanks to OTG properties. It's hard knockdown after contact so it's a good way to end juggle combos.

  • 115-Shiki: Dokugami
  • qcf + C
  • Combos from strong attacks and is the main way to knock an opponent down mid-screen after using a jump-in from the front. This move is unsafe on block unless it makes contact using the tip of the hit box towards the end of the flames. Although it's a bit sluggish in speed, it's still a good attack to use during the neutral game to catch opponents off guard of the range that Kyo could actually control beyond the range of his Aragami. Use accordingly with good judgment and try not to use it too much outside of combos although it feels good to tag someone with it at neutral. This move could juggle after D Version Kai and a C Version Oniyaki could further combo after the Dokugami.
  • 401-Shiki: Tsumi Yomi
  • hcb + P during Dokugami
  • Mainly used as a frame trap after Dokugami since Dokugami generally isn't safe on block if used at a closer range. Also unsafe on block depending on match up and range that the Tsumi Yomi connects.
  • 402-Shiki: Batsu Yomi
  • f + P during Tsumi Yomi
  • And this is used to frame trap after a Tsumi Yomi since opponents will be tempted to punish it after block. This move is extremely unsafe and every character could punish this with ease and devastation. Only do it during combos or if one is "absolutely sure" that it will hit.
  • 100-Shiki: Oniyaki
  • dp or d , df + P after Batsu Yomi
  • This is just an Oniyaki stacked on after Batsu Yomi for additional damage. Doesn't trap after Batsu Yomi as it must come out immediately and is equally as punishable. Not much to state about it other than doing it at the end of combos to finish with more damage.

Desperation Moves

  • Ura 108-Shiki: Orochi Nagi
  • qcb hcf + P (can be held)
  • Sends out a gigantic hitbox. During the charge-up you have some invincibility (upper-body for the strong version, lower-body for the weak version). You can hold the button to delay release and the Orochinagi comes out much faster than normal. Just by slightly holding the button during the super flash, the attack comes out around the same time as the normal one would but with the faster start up property of a charged version. This desperation move is unsafe on block and should be mainly used in combos anyways.

  • 182-Shiki
  • qcf qcf + P (can be held)
  • This is the '99 Version of 182 Shiki that is a two hit desperation move. Of course this move is unsafe on block, but it is unblockable after being fully charged. This move combos from light attacks and is used in a similar way that Mushiki was used in '98, a chunky finisher from a low-hitting hit confirm. Other than from light attacks, this move could connect after super cancels from either version of Hikigane and used as a finisher for mid-screen Max Mode combos.

Max Desperation Moves

  • Ura 108-Shiki: Orochinagi
  • qcb hcf + PP (can be held)
  • The MAX version or Orochinagi gives you full-body invincibility, and Kyos entire body is clad in flame (which happens to have a projectile hitbox). Does a maximum of three hits, but with only two hits you can juggle. If the player times it properly after a D Version Kai, two hits could juggle while the third one whiffs. From there, Kyo could juggle a C Version Oniyaki afterwards for better damage to finish. Kinda safer on block since the three flames puts the opponent in large amounts of block stun. Many smarter players could guard roll the first flame and punish Kyo anyways so it's still not a smart idea just to let it rip, Tyson.

Max 2

  • 524-Shiki: Kamichiri
  • hcb hcb + PP
  • A command throw where play time is over. As a Max 2 attack, this move could only be done from Red Health and consumes 3 bars of Stock or just 1 during Max Mode. It could combo from light attacks but the main way this attack lands is as a fast command throw that most players tend to forget that exists, thus serving as a surprise way to end a round. Don't be too contrived and predictable and this move could be a great ace in the hole.

Combos

Essentials

  • cr.B > cr.A xx df.D/dp+A/qcfqcf+P
  • Basic combo from low hits.
  • cr.B or j.B > cl.C xx qcf+C > hcb+P > f+P > dp+P
  • Basic mid-screen combo that also works anywhere.
  • cl.C xx qcf+D,D > rdp+B/qcbhcf+P/j.d+C/j.CD/j.D
  • Basic juggle combo. Possible in the middle of the screen from point blank.
  • (Corner) j.B > cl.C xx qcf+D,D > hcb+B > qcf+A > hcb+P > hcb+K
  • Chunky, meterless corner combo.
  • cl.C > BC > run up cl.C xx dp+C (1-hit) xx hcb+D xx qcf+C xx qcf+A xx qcf+C xx qcfqcf+P
  • Basic Max Mode Combo that could be confirmed from any part of the screen.
  • (Corner or Near Corner) cl.C > BC > run up cl.C xx dp+C (1-hit) xx qcf+C xx qcf+A xx qcf+C xx qcf+D,D > qcbhcf+PP (2-hits if timed properly) > dp+C
  • Corner Max Mode Combo that spends one more stock than the Basic Max Combo and has a neat finisher.
  • cl.C > BC > Far D xx qcf+C xx qcf+A xx qcf+C xx qcf+A xx qcf+C xx qcfqcf+P
  • An even easier Max Mode combo to confirm but at the expense of some damage. It's preferred to learn the other Basic Max Mode Combo.

The Basics

Fuck 'em up.

Advanced Strategy

Match-Ups