The King of Fighters '98/Kim

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Kim was the strongest Tae Kwon Do master in the world. But then he got old, and even lost to this scrub called Freeman (who is literally quite a free man) so his sons started fighting in his name. However, Chang and Choi keep convincing him to join KOF tournaments so he keeps on truckin'.

Gameplay Overview

Kim is an in-your-face character who wants to keep hitting the opponent with moves until they make a mistake. Most of his specials are safe on block, and he can annoy with long pokes and divekicks. Adding to this is his good jump arc which allows him to crossup standing opponents with just a hop. While he has tools to deal with anti-air, his reversal options are not entirely threatening, and he can be forced into mixups on oki. With some meter, Kim is able to up his bnb damage to make him more threatening, so playing him second or last is a good option.

However, if Kim is put in the first position so that he has no meter, or rather played in EX Mode, he can utilize the stomp cancel glitch without worry of having a DM come out. His offensive prowess sharply increases, and the opponent will not have time to have built meter for a GC Roll, CD counter, or DM reversal which lets Kim really go for a guardbreak.


  • cr.C/cl.C (1) xx qcb + A x3.

Meterless combo, which scores a hard knockdown, sets up an easy crossup situation, and is safe on block.

  • cr.B, cr.B, cr.B, cr.A xx d,u + C.

Kim's low hitconfirm. Omit excess cr.Bs as needed based on spacing.

  • cr.C/cl.C (1) xx f.A xx qcb,db,f + K.

Deals about 50% and sets up a mixup afterward (see DM section).

  • cr.C/cl.C (1) xx dd + K xx qcb,db,f + K.

A fancier version of the above combo that takes off slightly more damage, and involves the stomp cancel glitch timing (more on that later).

  • cr.B, cl.B/cr.A xx qcb,db,f + K.

Requires close proximity.

  • [cl.C (1) d,d + B xx (hcb,db,f + K)] xn

Kim's stomp cancel loop. Can be finshed with a stomp canceled into a DM if you built enough meter doing the loop, or finished with cl.C xx qcb + A x3.

In-depth Analysis

Kim has a lot of ways to break down defenses. The first is simply by keeping an opponent trapped and unable to act long enough that they take a risky action, which you capitalize on. All of his good specials (aka all but the charge moves) are safe on block, or can be spaced to decrease the likelihood of being punished. Divekicks are deceptively good for throwing people off, especially considering you can do one off a backwards jump. f.A's range, combined with its startup will fool opponents into trying to take an initiative, only to be hit by kim's foot. Even if you don't cancel Kim's stomp, you have a bit of frame advantage in which you could sweep, toss out a far A, hop, or reach to the opponent.

His solid set of normals lets him do a good part of the typical high/low mixup. cr.B pressure can be used to soften the opponent up for a hop-in, keep them blocking, allow you to go for a frametrap, or you can use the initiative for a crossup j.A. Crossup setups include:

  • After landing qcb + A x3, jump forward j.A
  • After cr.D, run forward into hyperhop j.A or crossup "B" version divekick.
  • cr.B, hyper/short hop j.A can crossup

If they crouch, a short jump is the better option. The setup can even cross up standing opponents, but sometimes a hyperhop is needed depending on their standing hitbox/spacing. A hop is usually safe though since if you don't cross up you can continue your pressure, and you can be ambiguous on whether or not you do cross them up.

  • C Throw, run forward, Hyper Hop j.A. Can utilize the Player 1 crossup glitch in the corner by doing a normal jump which will have to be blocked as a crossup.
  • D Throw, run forward, Hyper Hop j.A

On defense, he can combat offenses by sticking out the correct normals, or by relying on aerial tricks to frustrate/confuse the opponent. cr.C, along with j.CD, j.B, st.B and st.D will shut down jump attempts if you utilize the correct move for the correct jump, which is a matter of knowing hitboxes and spacing. Far A works here as a defensive tool to stop opponents from running in on you, as well as forming the start of your offense.

Finally, on stomp cancels: EX Mode makes for easier consistency and increases Kim's walk speed so you have to worry less about running forward each time or accidentally triggering his ranbu. However, this forces your entire team to play EX mode, and it's possible to do the loop in Advanced mode if you can grind the execution of running forward and canceling close C on the first hit. Either method will take practice to perform the loop.

Normal Throws

b or f + C - Kim does a spinning slam with his feet. Breakable, unrollable, back turned.

b or f + D - Kim tosses the opponent backwards with his legs.

Both throws set up for back turned crossups so use whichever offers the more favorable positioning.

Normal Moves

Standing A - A wonderful poke. Kim extends his fist a long ways which will hit crouchers. The startup is slow for an "A" move, but is speedier than most "C" or "D" pokes. Works well at the end of a blockstring as a frametrap, or for just hitting the opponent. The flaw to this move is that it does not AA hops as a traditional st.A does since Kim aims low.

Close A - This can AA hops like a traditional A move, but you risk having Kim's far A activate in this case which would go under their hop and cause you to eat their jump-in. Avoid using.

Standing B - Here's the solution to his far A's weakness. Kim's st.B is quick, covers a larger vertical range in front of Kim, and to top it off it will hit all crouching opponents.

Close B - Kim kicks at waist height. The notable feature of this move is that you can cancel it.

Standing D - While slow to start up, Kim kicks at a high angle above his head, which makes the move good as an AA, but risky to whiff or use in pressure situations. It still has its uses.

Close Standing C - Kim's party starter which hits twice, but is only cancelable on the first hit. If not canceled and the opponent used a CD counter against the first hit, the second hit will still hit the opponent. However, you almost always want to be canceling this into a command normal or special move.

Standing C - Kim kicks out in front of him. While it has a minor range advantage over his far A, it is much much slower to come out.

Standing CD - Here we go, this kick starts up faster than Kim's far C, and is also cancelable. While the range is a little shorter, it will knock down on hit, and the added ability to cancel it on hit makes it viable for meaties or keeping the pressure on.

Crouching A - Standard cr.A. You can try canceling into different specials or command normals, such as cr.A xx f.A as a frametrap, or cr.A xx d,d + K.

Crouching B - A long ranged cr.B that works well for running forward and pressuring into itself, setting up crossups, frametraps, or creating a solid blockstring.

Crouching C - Kim's "mexican upper". Use to AA taller jump arcs, or when the opponent is above and close to Kim. Can also be canceled, so can be substituted for cl.C if you worry about the spacing giving you a far C.

Crouching D - A sweep with a pretty generous length. However, you cannot cancel it so it carries more risk than other sweeps.

Jumping A - A swiss army knife of the air. Kim's best crossup tool that also works as a great jump-in, and can be used to air to air to an extent off a superjump.

Jumping B - Kim's fastest air-to-air, able to take on even Iori aerial moves due to it's speed and horizontal length.

Jumping C - A slow-starting flip kick that gives you more blockstun than j.D. Because of this, it makes for a better move to jump in with if you have enough time to get it out.

Neutral Jumping C - Notable as it gives Kim an instant overhead. You are committing to a full jump when close to the opponent so be prepared to face a big punish if the overhead does not kill.

Jumping D - A mix of j.A and j.C. Starts up faster than j.C, can cross up with stricter spacing, but hits harder than j.A. An alright move to jump in with.

Jumping CD - A power air-to-air. Good horizontal hitbox, slow startup. If there's an aerial situation, it's either j.CD or j.B that should be used (or qcf,hcb + K DM).

Command Normals

f + A Dora Yup Chagi - Kim executes a forward flying kick that covers a long range. It can go under lows after it starts up and can be canceled into his Hishou Kyaku (aerial qcf + K) to make Kim recover fast which makes the move safe on block, or can be canceled into his Hou'ou Kyaku DM (qcb, db, f + K) on hit to score large damage. Either way, the move has a lot of recovery if you do nothing, so if unsure on whether or not the move will be blocked go into the divekick for safety.

f + B Neri Chagi - Kim's signature overhead kick. Can hit twice if spaced correctly, although from max distance only one hit will register. If done too close it's possible for an opponent to not get hit by any of the overhead as there's a large gap with no hitbox in front of Kim. Use when you want to go for a grounded high-hitting option. If canceled into, it loses its overhead property, but can be canceled into a special or DM, although the f.B will not combo. What this means is that you can cancel a cl.C into f.B for pressure or a frametrap, but don't do it on hit.

Special Moves

Sanren Geki (qcb + P x 3) - Kim's rekka in '98. Always use the "A" version as the knockdown is better, hits more consistently, is safer on block, and the finisher is an overhead. Unlike other rekkas in this game, Kim does not move forward at all throughout his series, meaning you can't combo into it as easily or pressure as well with it. However, it is safe on block (only a GC roll can somewhat punish it depending on if you stop your series as they roll it) and works as a great pressure tool in that sense. Works best off a cl.C or cr.C, but the first two kicks will connect off a cr.A/cl.B.

Hangetsu Zan (qcb + K) - Kim does his signature wheeling kick, which is not an overhead and does not knock down. It can function as a psychic anti-air, but is generally a bad idea. Punishable if Kim strikes deep into the opponent, but safer if he tips them. Due to this, the "D" version should not be used. The "B" version is only going to combo off of a C move, or from a canceled into f.B. Overall it can be applied as a pressure move to cancel into when outside of Kim's rekka range.

Haki Kyaku (d, d + K) - Ooh baybee. While this kick seems average at best, it's what can turn Kim into an offensive monster. First, the kick hits low and for a gimmick it will nullify grounded projectiles. The key to this move is that it is DM cancelable, but there is a programing glitch in that if Kim has no meter for a DM and inputs his (qcb,db,f + K) motion as it hits, he will cancel the Haki Kyaku, get pushed back only slightly, and have an enormous frame advantage. The frame advantage is large enough to allow Kim to run forward and do another cl.C into this move on block or hit. In fact, he can combo or blockstring three of these loops. If the opponent blocks this lockdown, they're forced to eat huge guardcrush potential, and if Kim lands a guardbreak he can continue his rep and guarantee damage from the situation.

Hishou Kyaku (In air, qcf + K) - Kim can perform his divekick any time in the air, although doing it instantly or "TK-ing" it is pointless since Kim hits multiple times on the way down and wont land any if you do immediately. This multi-hitter is the more offensive form of his divekick, and it works as a great move to annoy and pressure with. The "B version causes Kim to descend at a sharp angle downward, and the "D" version goes further forward on its descent. This move is safe on block, and gives a frame advantage on hit (enough to combo off a crossup divekick even). You can link a far A off the weak version of the divekick on hit, or at the very least it becomes a tight frametrap. Deals strong chip damage, but be careful to not whiff the divekick as the recovery can be punished.

Ryuusei Raku (Charge b, f + K) - A really silly move that you should not be using much. Kim does a low-hitting slide, then follows it up with a downward kick which isn't an overhead nor does it connect consistantly on hit often.

Kuu Sajin (Charge d, u + P) - You should only use this move off his low hitconfirm, and always use the "C" version for more damage.

Hien Zan (Charge d, u + K) - Kim's razorkick. The "B" version is better as a reversal, but will still lose to large/deep hitboxes that reach deep into Kim on wakeup. Because of this, it's not a really solid reversal. If the enemy jumps in or does a sloppy aerial meaty, fire this bad boy off. The "D" version is easier to stuff, but you can follow it up with d + K for a hard knockdown.

Desperation Moves

Hou'ou Kyaku (qcb, db, f + K) - Kim flies the full length of a screen and goes into a ranbu when he reaches the opponent. Adds on good damage as a combo ender, but is punishable on block. Also it's worth noting that it has a short amount of startup invulnerability up until the active hitbox comes out, so it can catch fast or poorly executed meaties to an extent as a reversal.

As soon as Kim touches the ground, run forward and you can cross under the opponent if they are not cornered. If they tech roll recover you force an ambiguous crossunder alone from the setup, or if not you have more time to set up your next mixup.

Note, can be activated if you omit the db motion; qcb, f + K will register the DM.

Hou'ou Tenbu Kyaku (In air, qcf,hcb + K) - Divekick DM. Works as a good air to air if you're above the opponent, but nowhere near as good as Leona's V-slasher. However, you can buffer the motion on the ground to activate the DM faster and lower on the ground, usually to catch a poke. Hard to punish on block, so if you want to throw out a DM and try to snag the enemy pressing a button, go for this instead of his ranbu. On whiff the recovery is fierce, so watch out.