Garou: Mark of the Wolves
Garou: Mark of the Wolves is the most recent game in SNK's Fatal Fury series. Considered by many to be SNK's answer to Capcom's Street Fighter 3 series. Ports of Garou are available for the Sega Dreamcast, Playstation 2, as well as the Neo-geo AES home console and MVS arcade hardware.
The overall feel of Garou is far more in line with Capcom's fighters than any of SNK's other fighting game line-up. If you've had difficulty adjusting to the King of Fighters series, Garou may be much more to your liking.
Tactical Offense Position: When selecting your character, you can designate a 1/3rd portion of your life bar for T.O.P. When your character's health is within this portion, you gain the following benefits:
- Enhanced damage to all of your attacks
- Faster meter build up
- Slow regeneration of health.
- Special T.O.P. attack by pressing C+D
T.O.P. sizes other than 1/3rd of a life bar are available in home console version of Garou, and are usually ignored in competitive play.
Feints are commands activated by either f+AB or d+AB. They show the first few frames of animation and sound of a special or super attack, but do not follow through with the actual attack. While they can be used for mindgames, they truly show their power in combos. Any ground move that can be canceled can be cancelled into a feint. Since the feints are very short, this will often allow you to recover from a move faster, and even give opportunites for linking more normals than would otherwise be possible.
Every character a special move that can be 'braked'. At the appropriate point in the special move, inputting the brake command (A+B) will allow the character to recover faster, making the move far safer if blocked, and allowing juggle follow-ups if hit. Brake moves are some of the easiest methods of hit-confirming a combo to super in the game.
Just Defend (JD)
By defending an attack just before it connects, you can 'just defend' it. The just defend windows is normally 7 frames wide, and gives you the following benefits:
- Air Defense: There is no air blocking in Garou, but you can JD in the air.
- Gain Life: Regain a small amount of health for a successful JD, even against moves that would do chip damage when blocked.
- Shorter blockstun: If an attack is JD'ed, the block stun is reduced by 2 frames, allowing you to recover faster.
- Guard Cancel: Completing a special move (including T.O.P. attacks) during a JD will cause a Guard Cancel, immediately ending the block stun and going into the attack's animation. The motions of the command can be buffered before the JD occurs, or done entirely during the JD if you are fast enough.
- No guard meter loss: JD'ing a move will not bring you closer to a guard crush like blocking will.
Tapping and releasing up, up/towards, or up backwards, will allow a short jump. Short jumps are fast and great for putting pressure on an opponent, but it is not possible to JD in a short jump.
All characters have a low evasion move by pressing A+B, which will hit as an overhead and have lower body invincibility, and a high evasion move by pressing d+AB, which will have lower body invincibility. Both of these moves are cancellable. All attacks and special moves have the same hitstun and blockstun; if a move would leave you at +4 frame advantage if blocked, then it will also leave you at +4 frame advantage if it hits. Evasion moves are an exception to this rule. In almost all cases, the attacker will be at a better frame advantage if the evasion attack is blocked instead of hit.
All modern fighting games make counter hits (being hit while trying to execute a move) slightly more dangerous than normal hits. Garou makes them much, much more dangerous than normal hits. A counter hit on the ground normally causes a spinning stun where the opponent is reeling for a very long time, in the area of 20 frames (1/3 of a second). A counter hit in the air can cause a pop up stun, where the opponent is susceptible to juggle follow ups. Some counter hits on the ground from certain specials will also cause this pop up stun, allowing for easy juggles to super.
Blocking, but not JD'ing, a move reduces a hidden guard meter for your character. When the guard meter is close to empty, your character will flash red, more strongly the closer you are to being guard crushed. When this meter empties, you are 'guard crushed', and your character reels back, completely vulnerable for a short time. Your guard meter instantly refills to full when this happen.
Ground Recovery (Rolling)
When knocked down, you can press a button before hitting the ground to allow your character to roll in a direction and stand faster.
- A: short roll towards opponent
- B: long roll towards opponent
- C: short roll away
- D: long roll away