The King of Fighters '98/Yamazaki
Real Name: Yamabullshit
After many years of eating horse meat, he became crazy. Otherwise, he's a pretty nice guy. His favorite movie is Shark Skin Man and Peach Hip Girl.
Yamazaki generally has two modes of play: Using his far reaching normal and specials to keep opponents out with his strong neutral game, and using his strong high/low/command throw mix-ups to relentlessly open up an opponent's defense. To be played optimally, he requires a good sense of zoning and spacing as well as having keen reaction times to punish certain approaches and attacks that one sets up with Yamazaki. Many players seem to exhibit a general game around Yamazaki's far Standing A as it's hard to get around as its reach is pretty long. Characters with short sweeps have a hard time getting around this move because once it whiffs and the opponent commits to a jump/hop or pushing a button outside of Yamazaki's close range, the opponent is susceptible to being hit by Hebi Tsukai (Joudan & Chuudan) (qcb+A/B respectively), a very far reaching sweep, Crouching C which is made safe by whiff canceling into a Hebi Tsukai move then feint canceled, another Standing A, an anti-air super called Guillotine (qcf x2+P), or far reaching air-to-air attacks such as Jumping B, Jumping C, and Jumping CD. If an opponent recklessly tries to roll into Yamazaki's inner-space, the opponent will become susceptible to not only throws, command throws, and command throw supers that can't be Recovery Rolled but by full blown combos as well. An example would be a character such as Ryo trying to get on Yamazaki from mid-range. Yamazaki's far Standing A would typically hit Ryo out of most of his grounded attempts to approach Yamazaki and the only normals having a cancel of trying to control the area Ryo has are far Standing B and Standing CD. Ryo could try to attack outside of far Standing A range but Yamazaki will make sure that Ryo will remain in range of Hebi Tsukai (Chuudan) (qcb+B) so that Ryo will be forced to block or have something punished by it due to the speed, range, and quick recovery of the move. If Ryo tries to roll around it, Yamazaki is able to either just hold the move and release the Hebi Tsukai when Ryo is finished rolling so that Ryo would be hit or Yamazaki could just feint cancel the Hebi Tsukai by holding the move and pressing D, then go on and punish Ryo as he would like. Ryo could try jumping or hopping but there is a huge risk that he'll be hit by a far Standing A, Crouching C that is canceled, Guillotine, or Hebi Tsukai (Joudan & Chuudan). Now that jumping isn't much of an option nor rolling, Ryo could try to time his attacks such as Kou'ou Ken (qcf+P), Kohou (dp+P), far Standing B, or Standing CD to use their high priority hitboxes to catch one of Yamazaki's limbs during Hebi Tsukai or far Standing A; but Yamazaki's far Standing A is still fast and recovers quickly that it's hard to hit and Yamazaki could wait out for such attempt and use his long sweep to punish Ryo's attacks. It doesn't help either that Ryo's sweep only has moderate range and has difficulty trying to reach Yamazaki. Couple this example and Yamazaki's great jump-in attack, Jumping D, that functions as an instant overhead with huge hit & block stun, damaging, low-hitting, hitconfirm combos, and good command throws and throws that can't be Recovery Rolled, Yamazaki's mid-range and close game are extremely deadly. Higher tiered characters, though, could circumvent his game and counter-pressure on the ground and rival Yamazaki in the air with better air-to-air attacks and air-to-ground attacks. Once characters such as Kyo gain the momentum and pressure Yamazaki, it's hard for Yamazaki to get out. Although Guillotine is pretty good for a KOF super in terms of being a reversal, it still trades way too many times against meaty jump-in attacks that aren't even safe jump attempts and Yamazaki's command throw and command throw super have limited range let alone still lose to safe jumps/hops. To play Yamazaki well, one requires to have good reaction and execution to set the pace for the beginning of the round and then work the opponent pragmatically into the corner then apply his great close game.
- j.A/B/D, cl.B x2, cr.A xx Hebi Tsukai (Chuudan) (qcb+B) *Note that cl.B could be substituted with cr.B since cl.B's activation range is limited and doing two might not be feasible on certain characters. Could cut down the bnb to a single cl.B or cr.B if needed. cl.B is preferred at times due to the fact it comes out faster than cr.B and is easier to combo from j.A and j.B. j.A has to hit in really deep to combo into a light attack compared to j.B. Final note: Hebi Tsukai (Chuudan) may whiff on certain crouching characters even during a combo and Hebi Tsukai (Gedan) (qcb+C) is too slow to combo from light attacks. A substitute combo is j.A/B/D, cl.B xx Bakudan Pachiki (hcb,f+P).
- j.A/B/D, cl.C xx f.A/Suna Kake (dp+D) xx Hebi Tsukai (Chuudan & Gedan) (qcb+B/C) *Suna Kake may be used due to the fact that it makes any crouching opponent stand up during hitstun and allows the opponent to be hit by a Hebi Tsukai (Chuudan). From a j.D though, Suna Kake may whiff on smaller crouching characters. f.A will reach any character and still combos into Hebi Tsukai (Gedan) regardless. Another side note is that Hebi Tsukai (Gedan) still combos after Suna Kake anyways.
- j.A/B/D, cl.B/C/D (1st hit) xx Bakudan Pachiki (hcb,f+P)
- cr.B/cl.B, cr.A xx Bakudan Pachiki (hcb,f+P) / Guillotine (qcf x2+P) / Hebi Tsukai (Chuudan) (qcb+B)
Shime Age - b or f+C - Can't be Roll Recovered
Bun Nage - b or f+D - Can't be Roll Recovered
Standing A - Great far Standing A anti-air. Some characters can't approach Yamazaki because of this move. The opponent has to walk forward to get near Yamazaki's close range but far Standing A stops the opponent. Sometimes the opponent's sweep can't reach under the far Standing A to punish it and the opponent's hop will be beaten by it. The opponent might try full/super jumping over it, but far Standing A recovers too quickly to actually punish it. A really annoyingly good move. It will whiff over most crouching characters, but large characters such as Goro and Chang will be forced to block it even on crouch.
Standing B - A compliment to far Standing A. Its range may not be as long as far Standing A but covers that low space to push out crouching characters back towards the tip of far Standing A's range. Hops, although, go over this move. Use well in conjunction with far Standing A.
Standing C - This move is the in between of far Standing A and B due to the fact it hits crouching characters but still covers that far Standing A range. The huge difference is that this move is largely slow and not that reliable.
Standing D - A huge, fast poke. Could be used in frame traps to catch opponents trying to jump out. This move is one of Yamazaki's better punishes from mid-screen to hi the opponent on reaction. Anti-airs jumps spaced from far distance.
Standing CD - A typical standing CD attack. It's alright as a meaty.
Close A - Hits mid. Not really that good to pressure or combo with since Yamazaki's other close normals do a better job of doing so.
Close B - Similar to Iori's Close B as it has low hitting properties and is faster than doing Crouching B. This move also has cancelable properties and could combo into another Close B, Crouching B, Crouching A, and Close A.
Close C - A good Close C attack that is used typically for bnb combos and frame traps.
Close D - 2 hits. The first hit is cancelable and the second hit usually whiffs on crouching characters. Once the opponent can't alternate guard and is scared of empty-jump > command throw mix ups, the opponent will try jumping or hopping backwards. If Yamazaki does an empty-hop > f.D during this set up, the opponent will be hit by Close D while jumping/hopping backwards. If the opponent perchance didn't jump or hop back, the opponent will be grabbed by Bun Nage (b or f+D). You could substitute this set up by doing Close C to grab an opponent in the corner to keep the opponent in the corner, but Close is also better on frame advantage after hitting a jumping/hopping back opponent. It's preference.
Crouching A - Fast cancelable normal. Doesn't have much of a point since Crouching B is about just as fast, and Crouching B has longer range while at the same time hitting low instead of mid.
Crouching B - Another one of Benimaru's great normals. Fast, cancelable, and mid ranged crouching attack that's great for pressuring and spacing Benimaru for setting up cross-up attempts. It's threatening because it's ability to break alternate guarding attempts and confirms into decent damage with a knockdown. The opponent will rather try to block this most of the time rather than try to alternate guard against tick command throw attempts. A big part of Benimaru pressure.
Crouching C - A long, low cancelable normal. It's Benimaru's longest normal that could cancel into a special without knocking down the opponent or whiffing on crouchers. Not that good as an anti-air attack. As a crouching punch attack, of course it doesn't have low hitting properties.
Crouching D - Nice cancelable sweep. Has relatively moderate range but it's fast and works well.
Jumping A - Has little to no point. Irrelevant.
Jumping B - A fast jump in with good air-to-air and cross-up properties. Think of M. Bison's (Dictator) Jumping Forward kick from Street Fighter.
Jumping C - An air-to-air normal that hits near Benimaru's head. Covers that range above Benimaru that Jumping B/D don't reach.
Jumping D - Great overall jumping attack. It works well as an air-to-ground, cross-up, air-to-air move. Although an air-to-ground, it has huge problems against both Chris' slides.
Jumping CD - Benimaru's most downward angled jump-in attack. It's mainly for locking down opponents and preemptively halting grounded anti-air attempts. Although it looks like it would, it can't touch either Chris' slides.