The King of Fighters '98/Ralf

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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.

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.


Yes, Ralf has combos.

  • cr.A/cr.C/cl.B/cl.C xx Super Argentine Backbreaker (hcf+K)
  • cr.C xx Ground 'n' Pound (qcb,hcf+K) (sets up for a Galactica Phantom (qcf,qcf+P))
  • cl.B/cr.A/cr.B, Super Argentine Backbreaker (hcf+K)
  • meaty cl.B, cr.A/cr.C/cl.C xx Super Argentine Backbreaker (hcf+K)

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 are attacks that link into backbreaker. The cr.B is best, since that's your only way to combo off a low (ie off of empty short hop, etc.) to beat alternate guard.

In-depth Analysis

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.

Normal Moves

Standing A - 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.

Standing B - Not bad, fast, hits most characters crouching, unlike standing A.

Standing C - Bam. Use this 100000x a match. Some characters can crouch under it, so use crouching C instead.

Standing D - 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.

Standing CD - 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.

Close B - Nice as a meaty, since you can link stuff of of it. Good as a combo filler after a crossup, too.

Close C - Most damaging fast move to combo into backbreaker. Some characters can crouch under it, though.

Close D - Looks stupid, but hops over lows/throws, so be aware of that.

Crouching A - Cancelable, combo filler of choice along with cr.C for characters that can crouch under his close C.

Crouching B - It's low. Can link into backbreaker too.

Crouching C - 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).

Crouching D - 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.

Jumping A (straight, normal jump) - 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.

Jumping B (all except straight, normal jump) - Good, fast air-to-air or air-to-ground at range.

Jumping C (all except straight, normal jump) - Crosses up, good downward reach, cancelable.

Jumping C (straight, normal jump) - Noteable as his most damaging jump attack. Use for dizzy combos. MAX mode straight jump C, close C xx hcf+K does over 50%.

Jumping D - Best jump-in combo starter along with jumping C.

Jumping CD - One of the better jumping CD attacks in the game. A little slow, but great huge priority and blockstun.

Command Normals


Special Moves

Vulcan Punch (tap P rapidly, f to move forward) - Can beat some stuff, especially anti-air, but gets best 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 (charge 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 (charge 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 (charge d,u+P) - Not invincible. Really punishable. You can still use it as a very average normal anti-air.

Air Rocket Punch (qcf+P in air) - 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.

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.

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.)