Benimaru Nikaido (KoF '98 UM)
Do you understand?
Final Edition Change List
- Far B damage changed from 4 -> 7
- C version Raikouken has become a 1 hit attack and can be followed up by putting opponent in float state, does less stun
- Raikou Katategoma's startup made 3F faster
- MAX Raikouken's recovery decreased by 9F
At a glance
- Pardon the terrible, inaccurate, yet officially localized names in parentheses (cowabunga).
|Catch and Shoot||(throw) f/b + C|
|Front Suplex||(throw) f/b + D|
|Spinning Knee Drop||(air throw) f/d/b + C/D|
|Jackknife Kick||f + B|
|Flying Drill||(air) d + D|
|Raijinken (Limber Lightning Strike)||qcf + P (possible in midair)|
|Shinkuu Katategoma||qcb + P|
|Super Inazuma Kick (Super Lightning Kick)||dp + K|
|Iaigeri (Iaido Kick)||qcf + K|
|Handou Sandangeri (Triple Resist Kick)||hcb + K|
|Benimaru Collider (Benimaru Coleda Crunch)||(throw) hcb f + P|
|Super special moves|
|Raikouken (Heaven Blast Flash)||qcf qcf + P|
|Raikou Katategoma (Lightning Flash Fist)||qcb qcb + K|
|Electrigger (Elek-Trigger)||(throw) hcb hcb + P|
- 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 Iori 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 Chin. 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. It can link from a cr.A.
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.
- 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.
- 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 special moves and 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.
- 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. It can cancel into Flying Drill (j.d+D) upon contact of the opponent. The biggest advantage of using this is to do this technique at the highest point an opponent would Guard Cancel CD against a jump-in, and the Flying Drill puts Benimaru outside of the GCCD range and punishes the recovery with the rest of the drill kick. For some reason, full neutral jump(ing) B can't cancel into Flying Drill.
- 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. Like jump(ing) B, jump(ing) C can also Flying Drill and could also cancel into the drill from a full neutral jump. This technique can't really bait out GCCDs well, but it serves as a good air-to-air blockstring that builds up enough guard damage against an air guard that the next attack on block usually guard breaks.
- 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. If saucy, this can be used to get a counter hit on an opponent, then cancel jump(ing) CD into Aerial Raijinken (j.qcf+P) to get a juggle state, then combo into another attack after Benimaru lands if he has enough time to do so. Quick Maxing the Aerial Raijinken would help.
- Jackknife Kick
- f + B
- Invincible to low blows during startup. Cancellable even without cancelling into it. However, it does not combo from strong attacks, and other than blockstrings there aren’t many ways to use it.
- Flying Drill
- d + D in midair
- A sort of kick that travels obliquely downward. Does multiple hits, even with an air hit. Depending on how it hits, you may even be able to juggle off of it (!).
- qcf + P (possible in midair)
- Sticks out a fist surrounded a ball of electricity (which has a projectile hitbox). The weak version puts it straight forward, the strong version puts it diagonally upward. The strong version has somewhat quick startup and, though it does not have invincibility frames per se, it is usable as a quick anti-air. The weak version can be used for blockstrings and zoning.
- The midair version keeps Benimaru momentarily suspended while he sticks it diagonally downward. You can be easily counterattacked if it whiffs, so it’s hard to use properly.
- Shinkū Katategoma
- qcb + P
- An attack where Benimaru plants a hand and spins around on it like a top. The weak version does three hits, and the strong does six, after which the opponent gets blown away. Combos from strong attacks. If the strong version is blocked, it can be countered by a move with quick startup. The weak version doesn’t leave you
so open, but you can still get owned by a GC.
- Super Inazuma Kick
- dp + K
- Benimaru does a backflip, leaving a column of lighting in front of where he stood. The weak version sends him backwards, and the strong version sends him basically straight up. The weak version does not do knockdown. It combos from weak moves, but since the reach is short, it’s not really suited for combos. The strong version now has some invincibility, but the weak version is even more open than before, and both versions have less priority now. For these reasons, you’ll likely trade hits if you use this aside from punishing flubbed anti-airs.
- Iai Geri
- qcf + K
- Safely combos from weak attacks; doesn’t leave you open so long as it touches the opponent (it has a lot of pushback). In fact, it leaves you less open than OG did, which wasn’t much at all. Doesn’t do knockdown, but quite useful in combos and blockstrings.
- Handō San-Dan Geri
- hcb + K
- A three-step move that combos from strong attacks. The third hit on the weak version sends him backwards, and on the strong version sends him basically straight up. The weak version leaves him less open. It does plenty of damage, but it takes hit confirmation, so it isn’t used much.
- Benimaru Collider
- hcb f + P at throwing distance
- A 1-frame throw. When successful, the opponent will be dropped right in front of you, so wakeup meaties will be easy. Does more damage than in OG.
Super special moves
- qcf qcf + P
- A stronger version of Raijinken that does five hits. The weak version puts it straight forward, the strong version puts it diagonally upward.
- The MAX version does ten hits and it is put out forward regardless of the button you use. It combos from weak moves. Not so good as an anti-air and such; as soon as the opponent sees the flash, they’ll know how exploitable you are, so just keep this one for the combos.
- hcb hcb + P at throwing distance
- Now a 1-frame throw. Extremely powerful, does a lot of damage.
- Raikō Katategoma
- qcb qcb + K
- Shinkū Katategoma with a ball of electricity as part of the spinning.
- The normal version puts a hitbox behind Benimaru as well as in front.
- The MAX version has it in front only, and finishes with a Super Inazuma Kick. If that finisher doesn’t hit, it won’t do a knockdown, it leaves you exposed, and the damage will be lowered.
- Safely combos from weak moves.
- crossup j.D > 2–3 × cr.B >> strong Iai Geri or Raikō Katategoma or MAX ver. Raikōken
- If you’re not very close, do less cr.B; the supers will safely combo even if you aren’t in MAX mode.
- crossup j.D > cl.D >> strong Shinkū Katategoma or strong Handō San-Dan Geri
- The latter does more damage. When blocked, use weak Raijinken or something as the special move, so as not to leave yourself completely exposed.
First off, defense.
At mid-range, keep it mostly to st.D and cr.D, and weak Raijinken or Iai Geri to zone. Time st.B and st.C to drop opponents who wanted to jump. When it’s a hop or hyper hop and st.B and such doesn’t cut it, though, it’s better to be ready to drop them with a strong Super Inazuma Kick, so the worst thing that could happen is a mutual strike. The idea is to give the opponent the idea that you can’t be attacked without consequences. Intercept normal and super jumps with j.C and strong Raikōken. It’s easy for the opponent to (learn not to) make this mistake, so you probably won’t have to worry about this too much.
Now for offense.
While defending, if you have the right spacing, the basic offense is to insert these inside your wall of defense. When zoning at mid-range, after st.D and st.C, if there is about 2–3 character widths of space, cross them up with normal jump j.D. This particularly works after st.C does a midair hit. After crossup, attempt a cr.B, and input a combo if it hits. At far range, if the opponent won’t come in to attack, do super jump into sj.D. Regardless of whether the crossup works, test them with cr.B and confirm it into a combo.
Electrigger is now a better throw, and does more damage now; it’s a good follow-up from a blocked cr.B. That being said, Benimaru’s jump is too high to fool anyone into high-blocking a nonexistent jump attack, so you don’t have the luxury of any mixed-up timing in that regard. You’ll have to play mind games instead.
Mind game example: start off by delaying the cr.B a little. After the cr.B, get the timing off a little and get out a strong Iai Geri. Do this a couple of times so they’ll “catch on” and they’ll be looking down the low-attack avenue when you jump like that. Good things to do after planting this image would be Benimaru Collider or Electrigger after walking up. After this, retreat a little, and aim for a normal jump j.D crossup. Even after throwing just once, st.C (or sometimes st.D for opponents with short crouching heights) is good. Opponents looking out for the throw would jump and get hit by it. After flashing them this one, most things besides cr.D will be effective; cancel into Iai Geri or weak Raijinken for damage.