The King of Fighters '98/Ralf

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drinkin beer givin no fucks


Ralf is an alcoholic who is drunk all the time and that's why he should only be played by drunk ppl because then you are double-drunk and therefore very powerful.


Snka.gif Snkb.gif Snkc.gif Snkd.gif
Ralf98 colorA.png Ralf98 colorB.png Ralf98 colorC.png Ralf98 colorD.png

Gameplay Overview

Ralf is a very powerful character who is just under the top tier. He is a tank/counter-hit/poke/fundamental mixup type character. He's some of the most infamous 'pokes' (I say pokes but some of them are more like sledgehammers) in KOF, and an instant command throw to boot. For that reason, he should almost always be in MAX mode to accentuate his huge per-hit damage. He is a fantastic choice for a beginner, as he requires the least amount of execution skill of any character in KOF98.

In-depth Analysis


Frames Advantage Cancel Block Hitbox Notes
Standing Close
Snka.gif 3/4/5 +3/+1 - HL
Ralf98 stA.png
Snkb.gif 4/4/5 +3/+1 C HL
Ralf98 clB.png
Nice as a meaty, since you can link stuff of of it. Good as a combo filler after a crossup, too.
Snkc.gif 3/3/22 -5/-7 C HL
Ralf98 clC.png
Most damaging fast move to combo into backbreaker. Some characters can crouch under it, though.
Snkd.gif 11/4/17 -1/-3 - HL
Ralf98 clD.png
Looks stupid, but hops over lows/throws, so be aware of that.
Standing Far
Snka.gif 3/4/5 +3/+1 - HL
Ralf98 stA.png
Short range, but weirdly high priority. I've seen it beat quite a lot of shit because it stays out for longer than most standing As. Anti-air vs short hop.
Snkb.gif 4/4/6 +2/0 - HL
Ralf98 stB.png
Not bad, fast, hits most characters crouching, unlike standing A.
Snkc.gif 8/5/17 -2/-4 HL
Ralf98 stC.png
Bam. Use this 100000x a match. Some characters can crouch under it, so use crouching C instead.
Snkd.gif 9/7/21 -8/-10 - HL
Ralf98 stD.png
Can't be crouched under, so it's got that going for it. Slower and shorter-ranged than standing C, so don't use this if you can use that.
Snkc.gif+Snkd.gif 19/4/21 KD/-3 S HL
Ralf98 stCD.png
Nice range. Cancel into backbreaker for free on block in most situations. Some characters can crouch under it. Also note that as a CD counter, it will make him go far forward, which makes it miss against jump-ins a lot, but is very good against fireballs because of the forward range.
Snka.gif 3/4/5 +3/+1 C HL
Ralf98 crA.png
Cancelable, combo filler of choice along with cr.C for characters that can crouch under his close C.
Snkb.gif 4/5/6 +1/-1 - L
Ralf98 crB.png
It's low. Can link into backbreaker too.
Snkc.gif 4/8/9 +3/+1 C HL
Ralf98 crC.png
Awesome high-priority move, much like standing C but lower to the ground. Cancelable, and Ralf's most meaty attack. It's super meaty (ie stays out for a long time).
Snkd.gif 7/9/16 -5/-7 - L
Ralf98 crD.png
A sweep. Not bad at all, but there's probably something better to use. It's useful vs Chin/Choi, though, along with cr.C.
Snka.gif 3/7/- -/- C H
Ralf98 jA.png
Snkb.gif 6/6/- -/- - H
Ralf98 jB.png
Good, fast air-to-air or air-to-ground at range.
Snkc.gif 6/9/- -/- C H
Ralf98 jC.png
Crosses up, good downward reach, cancelable.
Snkd.gif 8/5/- -/- - H
Ralf98 jD.png
Best jump-in combo starter along with jumping C.
Snkc.gif+Snkd.gif 14/4/- KD/- S HL
Ralf98 jCD.png
One of the better jumping CD attacks in the game. A little slow, but great huge priority and blockstun.
Neutral Jump
Snka.gif 8/-/- -/- - H
Ralf98 njA.png
The unbeatable wall of drunk elbow. Relatively fast, stays out for the entire jump. Beats basically everything, you have to run under/past Ralf to really beat it. Abuse, abuse, abuse along with your other pokes to turtle and keep your opponent out when you have the life advantage.
Snkb.gif 4/6/- -/- - H
Ralf98 njB.png
Snkc.gif 6/13/- -/- - H
Ralf98 njC.png
Notable as his most damaging jump attack. Use for dizzy combos. MAX mode straight jump C, close C > hcf + K does over 50%.
Snkd.gif 12/3/- -/- - H
Ralf98 njD.png
Special Moves
hcf + Kick.gif 0/1/30 Grab
Ralf98 hcfK.png
Super Argentine Backbreaker (hcf + K)
  • FINALLY A GOOD MOVE! You don't have to use any special other than this one, really. instant command grab that does a nice chunk, what more could you want? Good to use off a f,f dash buffer or empty short hop or as a reversal vs sloppy players that for some reason are right next to you on the ground when you get up.
Snka.gif rapidly 9/{3(6)3(6)3(6)3(6)3(6)}x1~2,3(6)3(6)3(6)3(6)3/22 KD/-34 HL
Ralf02 mashP1.png
Ralf02 mashP2.png
Ralf02 mashP3.png
Vulcan Punch - P rapidly
  • Ralf rapidly punches at a diagonal angle in front of him.
  • Buttons can be mashed further to make him continue punching.
  • Has a deceptively large hitbox in front of him making it hard to jump/sweep punish it, but can be easily punished by rolling
  • Can hold forward to make him move.
  • Two hits on counter hit.
Snkc.gif rapidly 8/{2(4)2(4)2(4)2(4)2(4)}x1~2, 2(4)2(4)2(4)2(4)2/23 KD/-25 HL
Ralf02 mashP4.png
Ralf02 mashP5.png
(b) f + Snka.gif 5/4(7+4)5(8)3/40 KD/-22 HL
Ralf02 bfA1.png
Ralf02 bfA2.png
Ralf02 bfA3.png
Gatling Attack - (b) f + P
  • Ralf will walk forward with a few punches, the last one being an uppercut.
  • C version travels further than A version, and does an extra hit on the uppercut at the end.
  • Comes out fast but not fast enough to be useful as a reversal on wakeup.
  • Useful for punishing whiffed CD counters and in combos off crouch A.
  • Lower-body Invincibility: Startup first active period, and 7 frames following.
  • Whiffs against some crouching characters like Mature, Vice, Joe, Athena, Kensou, Benimaru, Mai, Yuri, Chris, Leona, Choi.
  • Doesn't whiff against crouching Yamazaki, Mary, Ryo, Robert, Takuma, Terry, Andy, Chin, Kyo, Daimon, Yashiro, Shermie, Ralf, Clark, Kim, Chang.
(b) f + Snkc.gif 7/4(7+4)4(8)3*10/33 KD/-25 HL
Ralf02 bfA1.png
Ralf02 bfA2.png
Ralf02 bfA3.png
Ralf02 bfC4.png

(d) u + Snka.gif

8/12[17]3*3/41 KD/-57 (second hit: -26) HL
Ralf02 duP1.png
Ralf02 duP2.png
Kyuukouka Bakudan Punch (Chijou) - (d) u + P
  • Second part doesn't connect if the pary connects
  • Invincibilty: A: 1-3f.
(d) u + Snkc.gif 10/16[20]5*3/41 KD/-67 (second hit: -26) HL

air qcf + Snka.gif

17/until land*3/41 KD/- HL
Ralf02 duP2.png
Kyuukouka Bakudan Punch (Kuuchuu) - air qcf + P
air qcf + Snkc.gif 20/until land*3/41 KD/- HL
(b) f + Kick.gif 3+9/2(2)3(6)3(9)3(10)2/13+23 KD/-20 HL Ralf Kick - b f + K
  • Ralf jumps into the air, doing a horizontal spiraling kick.
  • His feet have a huge hitbox, making it unwise for the opponent to counter it (the trade will be in Ralf's favor most of the time).
  • If done from too close, the move can be punished on block.
  • B version goes less further than the D version
  • Has some upper-body invincibility during the startup frames.
  • if it connects, opponent is knocked away into a juggleable state.
  • Invincibility: 10-21.

qcb hcf + Snkb.gif

7/16/14 (Attack: 2/5/57) KD/-29 HL
Ralf02 qcbhcfK.png
Umanori Vulcan Punch - qcb hcf + K
  • Ralf runs forward and tackles the opponent. If it hits, he will do a series of punches ending in a hard knockdown.
  • If it's blocked, he will not perform any of the punches and will take a long time to recover.
  • The hard knockdown gives Ralf a very long time to position himself however he likes before the opponent gets up.
  • D version makes him run about full screen length, while B version makes him run about 60% screen length.
  • Invincibility: Complete startup of run. Lower budy invincible during complete active period of run.
qcb hcf + Snkd.gif 7/24/18 (Attack: 2/5/61) KD/-33 HL
qcf hcb + Snka.gif 12/4(6)4(4+1)[2(4)]x11,2(16)4/36 KD/-22 HL
Ralf02 qcfhcbP1.png
Ralf02 qcfhcbP2.png
Ralf02 qcfhcbP3.png
Baribari Vulcan Punch - qcf hcb + P
  • Ralf runs forward with a series of many punches, ending with a big uppercut.
  • Ralf will do the entire move regardless of whether it hits, is blocked or whiffs entirely.
  • Has some problems with the first hit connecting against crouching opponents or opponents that aren't very close, making it difficult to combo into.
  • Hard knockdown on the last hit.
  • Invincibility: Complete Startup. Lower body invincibility: First 18 frames of active period.
qcf hcb + Snkc.gif 12/4(6)4(4+1)[2(4)]x11,2(16)4/42 KD/-28 HL
Ralf02 qcfhcbP4.png
Ralf02 qcfhcbP5.png
Ralf02 qcfhcbP6.png

qcf qcf + Punch.gif

KD U Galactica Phantom - qcf qcf + P
  • Ralf winds up slowly, then unleashes a punch that travels full screen length, doing a huge amount of damage.
  • unblockable
  • hard knockdown
  • SDM has super armor.
  • SDM will kill on a counter hit. DM will do more damage on counter hit.

Normal Throws

  • b or f + C - Breakable, forward knockdown, face forward, rollable.

  • b or f + D - Breakable, reverse knockdown, back turned, un-rollable.

C throw preferred, since D has no wakeups at all. But come on, just use the command throw.

Special Moves

  • hcf + K

See description on Movelist section.

  • Vulcan Punch (P rapidly, f to move forward) - Can beat some stuff, especially anti-air, but gets beat by so much stuff on reaction because he can't cancel it once he starts. Hits twice on a counter-hit, like all moves of this type.

  • Gatling Attack ((b) f + P) - I guess you can use it to punish some things? Why? Just hit C. It's punishable.

  • Ralf Kick aka Radio Kick ((b) f + K) - Light version is safe. Does a good chunk of damage and can cross up and do other annoying stuff. Seems like such a shitty move, but it's not bad either. Throw it out if you are dying to know what'll happen.

  • Rocket Punch ((d) u + P) - Not invincible. Really punishable. You can still use it as a very average normal anti-air.

  • Air Rocket Punch (air qcf + P) - You can cancel into this from jumping C and it'll hit every once in awhile. Slow to execute so it's hard to use on reaction to punish things by jumping back. Punishable.

Desperation Moves

  • Super Vulcan Punch (qcf hcb + P) - This actually has invincibility at startup (you can use to cancel though CD counters), but it won't hit fully and probably get you killed if it hits your opponent in the air. Still, good to know. MAX version does more damage.

  • Ground 'n' Pound (qcb hcf + K) - Sets up for Galactica Phantom. Perform the Galatica Phantom on the same frame where the opponent's legs fall to the ground. If it catches someone in the air, it will hit fully. MAX version does more damage.

  • Galatica Phantom (qcf qcf + P) - Slow unblockable punch. MAX version has super armor and does more damage. See above for setups! (Setup. There's one setup.)

Fastest Attacks

  • 0F: C throw; D throw; hcf + K
  • 1F: -
  • 2F: -
  • 3F: cl.A; cl.C; st.A; cr.A
  • 4F: cl.B; st.B; cr.B; cr.C
  • 5F: (b) f + A
  • 6F: -
  • 7F: cr.D; (b) f + C; (S)DM hcb qcf + K
  • 8F: st.C; C rapidly; (d) u + A
  • 9F: st.D; A rapidly
  • 10F: (d) u + C


Yes, Ralf has combos.

  • Best jump-ins:
    • j.D
    • j.C (Can crossup.)

  • cr.A / cl.B >
    • (S)DM Ground 'n' Pound (qcb hcf + K) (Point blank. Because of the extra push back of cl.B, DM D version and SDM may not combo after cl.B against some thin characters like Yuri.)
    • Super Argentine Backbreaker (hcf + K)
    • (b) f + C (Standing.)
    • P rapidly

  • cr.C / cl.C >
    • (S)DM Ground 'n' Pound (qcb hcf + K)
    • (S)DM qcf hcb + P
    • Super Argentine Backbreaker (hcf + K)
    • (b) f + C (Standing.)
    • P rapidly

  • cr.B / cl.A / st.B / st.A, Super Argentine Backbreaker (hcf + K)

Link combo. Normally you will not be in range to link from far attacks, but its is possible if opponent enter in close range after the move started - example if they are rolling next to you.

  • Meaty: cl.B, cr.A / cr.C / cl.C
    • (S)DM Ground 'n' Pound (qcb hcf + K) (From cr.A only on point blank.)
    • Super Argentine Backbreaker (hcf + K)
    • (b) f + C (Standing.)

  • Standing: cr.A, cr.A > (b) f + C

  • (b) f + K (Hitting close to the ground),
    • (S)DM Ground 'n' Pound (qcb hcf + K) (Corner.)
    • (d) u + C (Corner.)
    • P rapidly (Corner.)
    • (b) f + C (Corner. Will do only two hits.)
    • cr.C

  • Simple buffers:
    • cl.B / cl.C > (S)DM qcb hcf + K
      • qcb + B/C > hcf + K
    • cl.C > (S)DM qcf hcb + P
      • qcf + C > hcb + P

The hcf + K does more damage, but (b) f + C has more range. The ((b) f + A will almost always miss last hit so don't use it.

About the Ground'n' Pound (qcb hcf + K): Sets up for a Galactica Phantom (qcf qcf + P). If you use the SDM version this can lead to OHKO if done right.

Yeah, pretty much anything into backbreaker. The meaty one is good for hit-checking and then continuing pressure if it's blocked. The 3rd combo is a link into backbreaker, that's your only way to combo off a low (ie off of empty short hop, etc.) to beat alternate guard.

Strategy Corner

  • MAX: cl.C > hcf + K

deals ??? than

  • cl.C > qcb hcf + K

Keep this in mind, when you need to decide whether to trigger MAX or keep meter for a DM.


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