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Athena by MHall

              I begin to sing of Pallas Athena,
              the dread Protectress of the city,
              who with Area looks after matters of war,
              the plundering of cities,
              the battle-cry and the fray.
              It is She who protects the people,
              wherever they might come or go.
              Hail, Goddess, and give us good spirits and blessed favor!

                                                  - Homeric Humn 11 To Athena

                             The King of Fighters '98
                               Athena Asamiya Guide

Table of Contents

1.     Introduction

2.     Character Info
       2.1     Profile
       2.2     Background Story
       2.3     Others

3.     Moves and Comboes
       3.1     Normal Moves
       3.2     Command Moves
       3.3     Special Moves
       3.4     Desperation Moves
       3.5     Comboes

4.     Game Play
       4.1     General Strategy
       4.2     Mind Games
       4.3     Characters Match-ups (vs CPU & vs Human)
       4.4     About the 'bug' combo

5.     Misc. Info.
       5.1     More about Athena
       5.2     Version History
       5.3     Credits

Chapter 1:     Introduction

   This guide is to give you some background information and gameplay
suggestion of Athena Asamiya, the cute, beautiful, ....... (too much :))
psycho girl in the King of Fighters.

   In 98 Athena is a character that is quite hard to use. If you want to play
well with her you need to know well about her moves, and also you should have
some skills. :) So if you're just looking for a character that can win
easily, you'd better not to use Athena.

   This guide is mainly write for Advanced Mode players, because I only play
Advanced Mode. But I think some tactics in this guide can work in Extra Mode
as well.

   In this guide I use some notations and terms that is defined in the KoF'97
Beginner's Reference written by Andrew S. Park. You can find this reference
in http://www.gamefaqs.com/. (Yes, that reference had been written in 97, but
it can still be applied to 98).

Chapter 2:     Character Info

2.1 Profile

   Name:                  Athena Asamiya
   Fighting Style:        Psycho Power with Chinese Fighting Style
   Birthday:              14th March
   Age:                   18 (for 5 years...)
   Birth Place:           Japan
   Blood Type:            B
   Height:                163cm
   Weight:                50kg ('94-'95)
                          49kg ('96-'97)
   Hobbie:                Divine
   Food she like most:    Strawberry favoured Japanese Cake
   Best sport:            Lacross
   Thing she like most:   Tea set of Rabbit Peter
   Thing she hate most:   Panda (?)

2.2 Background Story

   Well... Athena's background story is very long. If you're really
   interested, you can try to refer to the "The Story of The King of Fighters
   Tournament" faq by Kailu Lantis, which could be found at GameFaqs
   (http://www.gamefaqs.com/). Anyway here I'll write a bit about her.

   Athena is a girl with sort of special psycho power. This power enables her
   to practise divine, and also let her to fight in a special way.

   Athena was born in Japan, but she's spent most of her time in China. In
   China, she met Kensou and Chin, and they joint together to become a party.
   Since Athena and Kensou can manage Psycho Power, they're know as the Psycho
   Soldiers. They spent a lot of their time on dealing with crimes and evils,
   and soon became very famous.

   At that time the KoF tournament was held, and the Psycho Soldiers had also
   received an invitation from the tournament. Chin wanted to test the ability
   of Athena and Kensou, and so decided to join the tournament.

   Athena (and the Psycho Soldiers) became very famous during the tournament.
   And they've got a lot of fans. They even received up to thousands of
   letters each week from the fans! They even have a life tour in 96, held in

   But at the same time, after joining a lot of tournaments, and dealing with
   a lot of evils, they decided not to join the 97 tournament at first. But
   after reading a fan letter from a girl "Kaori", Athena changed her mind
   because she found that her fight can help a lot of people. So the Psycho
   Soldiers were back to the 97 tournament again.

   And now in 98.... Athena is ready for the new challenge again!

2.3 Others

   ~ Color Select ~

      A button: The original red color, as usual.
      B button: Blue. A bit lighter then the one in previous series.
      C button: Yellow (or should be gold?). Yuck~
      D button: Nurse-like white color. My favourite. :)

   ~ Intros ~

      Round 1:
         Athena changes her costume, from 94 to 98, and says "Asamiya Athena
         ikima~~~~~su!" (Here comes Athena Asamiya!)
      Other rounds:
         Athena raises one of her hands and says "Ganbarimasu!" (Let's try
         our best!)
      vs Kensou:
         Kensou throws a heart to Athena and says "Hmmm.... Athena!"
         Athena seems upset and replies something.
      vs Chin:
         Athena says "Yoroshiku onegaishimasu."

   ~ Taunt ~

      Athena steps backwards, covers half of her face with her hands and says
      "Kushun! Go.. Gomenasai!" (Oops.... So..Sorry!)

   ~ Winning Posts ~

      A button: Athena spins for 360 degrees, steps horizontally and says
                "Yaatta~! Gu~!" (Yeah~! I did it!)
      B button: Athena stands and does a V post with her hand, and says
                "Ie~~i! Kenpekii~!" (Yea~h! Perfect~!)
      C button: Athena does a Sailor Moon like post and says "Watashi tachi
                wa makenai wa!" (We will not lose!)
      D button: Athena make a salute to the players and says "Arigato
                Gozaimashita!" (Thank you very much!)

   ~ Winning Quote ~

      "Sorry about that. Are you hurt?
       I guess I got a bit carried away."

Chapter 3:     Moves and Comboes

3.1 Normal Moves

   ~ far standing A ~


      A long, fast jab. Appearently the jab will miss on low characters, but
      in fact it won't. (Tested it on Chin and Choi) The standing A only
      does tiny damage, but since it is fast and long, you can always use
      this for poking the enemy. And since it has high hit frame, you can
      use it for mid-range anti-air too.

      Useful Rating: ***--

   ~ far standing B ~


      A kick that hits high. It is fast, and has good anti-air priority. But
      its range is very short, and it may whiff on some crouch characters.

      It is not useful in most cases. It can be anti-air, but Athena has a
      lot more better anti-airs. And for ground combat you also has a lot of
      better choice. The only use of this is to cancel to Super Psychic
      Throw, but low A or low B can also be used in this purpose.

      Useful Rating: **---

   ~ far standing C ~

      Not cancellable.

      This is Athena's longest normal. It comes out very fast, and has very
      high priority. Moreover it has not end-lag. But it is not cancellable.

      Use it for poking your enemy. It is especially useful when you use it
      together with Psycho Ball. Throw a Psycho Ball to your enemy, and then
      run to him, and do far C. The only thing your enemy can block is roll.
      You don't need to worry that your enemy will roll to you, because the
      lag is very short, and you have enough time to recover when he's trying
      to roll to you.

      Besides poking, the punch is also good for mid-range anti-air. You need
      a bit positioning to do this effectively. The best way of using this
      as anti-air is just to use the tip of her punch to hit the enemy. In
      this range you will always be safe.

      Useful Rating: *****

   ~ far standing D ~

      Not cancellable.

      Another good choice of poke. Far standing D comes out slow, but has
      good range. Also since Athena jumps when doing this kick, it can be
      used to avoid sweeps.

      It don't have much end-lag, but since it has long start up, it cannot
      be used to oftenly. The best way to use it is for semi-links after a
      light attacks. Especially effective after low B.

      Useful Rating: ***--

   ~ close standing A ~


      A strange looking "punch". It comes out fast, but nothing other than
      this. The damage is crap, range is extremely short, plus it will whiff
      against some crouching characters, or even some short standing

      Useful Rating: *----

   ~ close standing B ~

      This is exactly the same as the far standing B.

   ~ close standing C ~


      This is the best choice for close combat. It comes out very fast, and
      has very good priority (you can use it for anti-air sometimes). Plus
      you can cancel it easily. So when your enemy is close to you, you
      should use this. If they got hit, you can cancel to Psycho Sword, and
      if they block cancel to Psycho Ball to push them away.

      Since it has high priority and comes out fast, you can also use it for
      dash-in attack. It is very effective since the close C has good
      priority, and can counter a lot of attacks (which means that your
      enemy may be countered if they try to hit you when you're doing this)
      if you timed well.

      The range of the standing C is short, but anyway it is a bit longer
      than what you see in the screen. But even if you're not close enough
      when you press the C button, you still don't need to worry because her
      far C is also very fast. Therefore you can use this oftenly.

      Useful Rating: *****

   ~ close standing D ~


      Another good choice for close combat. The close D has high priority
      (about the same as close C), but it comes out a bit slow, and cannot
      be used for anti-air coz its hitting frame is low.

      The close D itself is not bad, but since the close C is more better,
      in close combat usually close C is used instead of close D. Of course
      if you like you can replace close C by D, their use is the same.

      Useful Rating: ***--

   ~ crouching A ~


      This is the crouch version of the far standing A. It comes out faster,
      but the range is much shorter, and the damage is crap. You can use this
      to punish rolls, when your enemy is rolling to you, mash on this
      button. You may also use this for comboes, but not effective at all.

      Useful Rating: **---

   ~ crouching B ~


      The sweep has good range, plus it is very fast. Also you can cancel it
      to Super Psychic Throw or, in the corner, fwd+B combo. So it is very
      useful for low high mind games. You can sometimes use it for anti-air
      also. But never use this against rolls.

      Useful Rating: ***--

   ~ crouching C ~


      This is one of the most useful move of Athena. It has a bit start up
      and end-lag, but its priority and range is too great that make the move
      very useful.

      The main use of the crouching C is for anti-air. Since Athena stay in
      a very low position when doing the move, a lot of jump-in attacks
      cannot hit her out when she's doing the move. But your punch can hit
      them when they land. Use this against those jump attacks that hits a
      bit high, and when the punch hits, cancel to Psycho Ball.

      Also you can use the Psycho Ball pressure trick with this move (low C,
      Psycho Ball, dash-in low C, ...) as well.

      Useful Rating: ****-

   ~ crouching D ~


      It seems that Athena's crouching D has crap range, but in fact its
      range is quite good, because the hit frame is larger than what you see
      on the screen. If you can master its range, you can hit your enemy
      oftenly with this because your enemy may not expect that the range of
      the kick is that long.

      Also since it comes out fast, and has good priority, you can also use
      that in close combat. Dash-in low D is also a good idea. And whenever
      you hit the enemy with this, cancel to Psycho Ball to put pressure on

      You can use this kick as anti-air too. It is not as good as low C for
      anti-air, but is much better than low B.

      Useful Rating: ****-

   ~ horizontal jump A ~


      Crap attack. Crap damage. Crap Range. Crap priority. The only good
      of this move is that it is cancellable. But anyway, you'll never want
      to use this move coz it is really tooooo crap.

      Useful Rating: *----

   ~ horizontal jump B ~

      Not cancellable.

      This kick does tiny damage, but it has good range, and good air-to-air
      priority. Plus it comes out fast. So it is very useful for Athena's
      air-to-air combat.

      Also you may crossup with this move. It is not easy to do that (you
      really need good positioning, and you've to hit really low in order to
      get a combo), and you don't get much advantage from it (she don't have
      good crossup comboes), but this is still good for surprising the

      Useful Rating: ***--

   ~ horizontal jump C ~


      This punch has quite good air-to-ground priority, but its air-to-air
      priority is much more higher. Normally, for air-to-ground you should
      use jump D, but for air-to-air this is the best choice.

      Also, if you hit your enemy (who is standing on the ground) with jump
      C, cancel to Phoenix Fang Arrow. It comboes, and takes quite a lot.

      Useful Rating: ***--

   ~ horizontal jump D ~

      Not cancellable.

      The kick has some start up lag, but is very short which is not a big
      deal. And it has very high air-to-ground priority. If positioned well,
      you can counter almost all anti-airs with this kick.

      This kick is, of course, best for jump in. It can hit very low, so you
      may even use this to counter Iori's Maiden Masher (which is a good
      anti-air). Or you can use it to counter DP type moves, it always trade
      hits, but the trade is good for you. In this case use hyper jump will
      be better.

      Useful Rating:  ****-

3.2 Command Moves

   ~ Phoenix Bomb ~

      | + B
      O      (in air)


      Athena uses her butt to hit the enemy.

      This move is decent air-to-air / air-to-ground priority. Also it comes
      out very fast, and the best thing is that it is cancellable. So if your
      enemy block this move / being hit by this move, you can always cancel
      to B Phoenix Arrow. If you don't cancel it, Athena will bomb away after
      hitting the enemy (good for escaping from guard cancel attacks, or CD

      Use this when your jumping. It can beat a lot of air normals, and also
      can trade with most DPs (it is especially effective against Iori's
      DP and Daimon's dn-fwd + C!!). So don't hesitate to use it.

      Useful Rating: ****-

   ~ Renkantai~

      -O + B


      Athena jumps a bit and kicks her enemy.

      This move has very good priority, and has not end-lag at all. But it
      has long start up, and the range is very short.

      Renkantai is very good for comboes, because it can increase a lot the
      damage level. So in the mid of the screen, do fwd+B, Psycho Sword is
      much more damaging than just C, Psycho Sword (mind the start-up
      though). And in the corner, C, fwd+B, Phoenix Arrow is a nasty combo.

      And also since it don't have end-lag, you can do further attack if this
      is blocked. The C, fwd+B, low C, Psycho Ball link is very useful, since
      your enemy cannot do anything but block. ^^ In the corner you may try
      C, fwd+B, then wait for a while and Super Psychic Throw.

      Useful Rating: ***--

3.3 Special Moves

   ~ Psycho Ball ~

      |  / O- + A or C
      O O

      Athena throws a large ball from her hands and yells "Psycho Ball~~~".

      This is one of her best moves. It has high priority, and the hitting
      frame is very large. Also it has only a bit end-lag, which is really
      very short that your enemy will not be able to punish you easily after
      that. But the start-up is quite long, and therefore can not be used on
      comboes except in the corner, with a counter.

      This is a mind-less move that you can use as much as possible in your
      gameplay. Use it either in long range, or in close combat. In long
      range this is useful because your enemy cannot easily get close to you
      when you're throwing the ball, and even they can get close to you they
      cannot punish you easily (because the move don't have much end-lag).
      In close combat, this move is useful for pushing the enemy away.

      Psycho Ball is very effective on those slow or large characters, e.g.
      Chang, Brian, Yashiro, Chin, etc. Due to its high priority and large
      hitting frame, this move is also good for anti-air.

      But keep in mind that since the ball travels in air, your enemy can
      slide through it (if he has a slide). Or if your enemy is fast, he can
      simply jump through it and punish you. So you should try to reduce the
      use of Psycho Ball against characters who are fast / have a slide.

      The A version and the C version are basically the same, but the C
      version travels faster while the A version travels in a slow speed.

      Useful Rating: *****

   ~ Psycho Sword ~

      -O | \  + A or C
         O  O              (can also be done in air)

      Standard DP type move.

      This is Athena's most reliable anti-air move besides the Shining
      Crystal Bit. It has long invincible frame on start up, and has good
      priority against most of jump-in attacks. But it only does tiny damage,
      and has short horizontal range.

      Use this move for anti-air. (This is very obvious, right?) But you have
      to know well about the range of this move, else you'll whiff it since
      it has only short range. You can also use this move as a weak up move,
      since it has invincibility on start-up.

      Also note that this move don't work against crossup, and if you whiff
      this move, you'll be punished.

      The A version is useless. When you do this move, use the C version will
      be better.

      Useful Rating: ****-

   ~ Psycho Reflector ~

      |  / O- + B
      O O

      Athena pulls out a "mirror" with her hands.

      This move reflects fire balls. It comes out fast, and has no end-lag
      if blocked. But if whiffed you'll surely be punished heavily. Also,
      although the mirror seems very large, the hitting area of the move is
      very small (both horizontal range and vertical range are short), and
      also the priority is very very low.

      In the actual gamplay this move is only good for reflecting fireball.
      You can reflect normal fireballs, and even DM fireballs (e.g. Ryo's
      DM fireball or Crystal Shoot), but not SDM ones. And although it comes
      out fast, you still need to anticipate when you want to reflect a fire
      ball or you'll eat it (anyway, it will still be reflected unless you're
      really too slow).

      Useful Rating: ***--

   ~ v Psycho Reflector ~

      |  / O- + D
      O O

      Athena stores psycho power in her hands, and then produce a large
      energy ball in front of her.

      This is the newer version of the reflector (first appeared in KoF96).
      This move has very high priority, and also can reflect fireballs. But
      it comes out very slow, and has very long end lag.

      You can use this move for anti-air, with a lot of anticipation. Also
      this is a good choice for follow up after Super Psychic Throw. Besides,
      this move is useless. This is in fact move which is used only for

      (PS. if you use this as anti-air, and your enemey got hit, you can
      point to him and laugh 'ha~ha~ha!'. ^_^)

      Useful Rating: *----

   ~ Psychic Teleport ~

      | \  -O + B or D
      O  O

      Athena says "Teleport~" and then.... teleports.

      This move itself does not take any damage, but this does not means that
      it is useless. In fact it is one of the most useful moves of Athena,
      because it is very good for mind games / surprising the enemy.

      When doing this move, Athena will travels for a distance within a short
      period. She produces a lot of images when doing the move, but only
      the image in front will be hit. The others are fake, and cannot be hit.
      But your enemy can grab you when you're teleporting.

      This move, if use only by itself, is only good for escaping. When
      you're trapped in the corner, you can use this to escape. But in fact
      the main use of this move is for mind games. Since it is fast, and can
      sometimes switch to the enemy's back, it is very useful for surprising
      the enemy. For the use of this move in mind games, you can refer to the
      mind game section. (I don't want to repeat that for two times. :P )

      The B version travels about 1/4 screen, and the D version can travel
      up to 3/4 of the screen.

      Useful Rating: ****-

   ~ Super Psychoc Throw ~

      O-  / | \  -O + A or C
         O  O  O

      Athena uses her psycho power to grab the enemy, and then throw him to
      the air.

      This throw is a non-instant command grab. The grab itself does little
      damage, when the enemy lands. The range is crap, you've to really stand
      next to your enemy in order to grab him, else the grab will whiff
      (Recall that all command grabs in 98 will have whiff animation). And
      also the start up lag is a bit long, so your enemy can easily jump away
      from it if you are too predictable with this move. Moreover, it can
      only be comboed with light attacks, but not heavy ones.

      So it seems that the grab is useless, right? No. In fact this is still
      her best move. It has start up, but during the start up lag Athena is
      totally invincible (even to command grabs), so you can use it to when
      your enemy is trying to hit you with ground-based attacks when you're
      close. You'll find that your enemy's attack will whiff, and then he'll
      be grabbed. Especially good for wake up move, against those who like
      poking in the whole round with heavy normals, or those who like
      repeating rush moves on you. And your enemy cannot recovery roll this

      Also it is still "recycle-able", you can follow up with any moves after
      it. Usually after the Super Psychic Throw, you can do three different

      1. Special moves, for damage. Better choices are v Psycho Reflector
         (also for style ^^), D Phoenix Arrow (you need a bit timing to make
         all the four hits connect), Shining Crystal Bit, or comboes if in
         the corner.

      2. Jump normals (jump C is the best choice, jump D may not hit the
         enemy in air). After the jump normal Athena will land first, and you
         can do further attacks, or mind games. Read the mind game section
         in chapter 4 for more information about this.

      3. Do nothing but taunt. And then laugh at your enemy. :)

      The A version comes out a bit (really a bit, not noticable in real
      combat) than the C version. Others are the same.

      Useful Rating: *****

   ~ Phoenix Arrow ~

      |  / O- + B or D
      O O                (in air only)

      Athena rolls to her enemy with her hole body covered with orange flame
      and says "Phoenix Arro~!".

      This move is an unique move of Athena. This move has good priority on
      both air-to-air and air-to-ground, and it takes quite a lot (This is
      in fact one of the most powerful move of Athena). It has a bit start
      up lag in start up, but since the lag is short, it is not a big
      problem. Instead, if you can make use of the lag, you can use that move
      more effectively (because you can use the lag to prevent yourself from
      being hit, and then counter the enemy's move immediately). Also, you
      may crossup with this move (a bit difficult, though).

      When doing the B version Athena will just roll to the enemy, and stop
      as soon as she lands. But for the D version, Athena will do a kick
      when she lands. The use of these two version is quite different.

      The D version does good damage, but has a lot of end-lag with that
      1/3 screen kick. Don't think of doing this for tick damage, since your
      enemy can dash in and punish you after blocking the move. In fact the
      main use of this move is to counter normal anti-airs. When your enemy
      is trying to do a normal anti-air to you (e.g. low C, or sweep), roll
      to him. You can get more explaination in later sections.

      The B version does tiny damage, but has no end-lag at all. So you can
      use it for tick damage (up to 4 hits if blocked). Also, after doing
      this move you'll be close to your enemy (if they block this), so this
      is a good way to get close to the enemy. Athena can move immediately
      after she lands, but she's vulnerable to command throws.

      Crossup with the D version is a bit difficult, but cross up with the
      B version is very easy since it almost go straight downwards. You can
      simply jump to your enemy's back, and do qcb+B (you've to know which
      direction to do, of course) when you're just above him will do.

      Useful Rating: ****-

3.4 Desperation Moves

   ~ Shining Crystal Bit ~

      -O \  |  / O- -O \  |  / O- + A or C
          O O O         O O O

      This is the sign of Athena's psychic power. ^^ Athena casts her psycho
      power and makes two crystal balls flying around her body. You can press
      ABCD at the same time to cancel this move.

      This is an all-purpose DM. It comes out very fast, plus it has
      long invincible frame at start up. Also, it has good priority against
      almost any attacks. Moreover, it does good damage, especially when you
      get a counter and 2 hits with it. (If this happens, your enemy will
      lose half of his total life!) But the hitting frame only appears on the
      two crystal balls, but Athena herself is vulnerable to attacks. And
      also the move has some end lag, even if you press ABCD to cancel it.

      Use this move for everything. Use it for anti-air or weak up move is
      a good idea, especially when you're facing an enemy who likes jump-in
      attacks. Using it for air-to-air / air-to-ground is also a good idea
      (this is very useful, since no one would except a DM in the air). For
      short.... use this DM when your enemy is close to you. ^^

      When doing the SDM version, Athena will flash herself, and the two
      crystal balls still come out. It looks great, but in fact the hitting
      frame is still on the balls only, which means that the priority does
      not increase (but the priority of the DM version is already very high),
      and Athena is still vulnerable to attacks. (But it is hard to go
      through the balls and attack.) And also in the SDM version you could
      get a counter, but you can never get a 2 hits with it. You can only
      get counter+2 hits wil the DM version.

      The A version comes out a bit faster, while the C version has a bit
      longer invincible time. But in fact they're about the same.

      Useful Rating: ********** (too useful ^^)

   ~ Phoenix Fang Arrow ~

      | \  -O | \  -O + B or D
      O  O    O  O               (in air)

      Athena says "Faaaaaaaaang.... Arrow!" and produce a lot of image (which
      looks like the B version of Phoenix Arrow) to hit the enemey.

      This is the enhanced version of Phoenix Arrow, and so the use is
      basically the same. But in fact, doing Phoenix Arrow will be better,
      because the Fang Arrow will whiff much more easily. Also don't try to
      use this for air-to-air, because this only take tiny damage if used as
      air-to-air, and will leave Athena open to any attack afterwards.

      So what is the main use of this move? Since it is a multi-hit move
      (with up to 30+ hits in the SDM version), you can use this for tick
      damage. This is very good when there is just a bit time leaving. In the
      SDM version, it can take up to 1/4 of total life even if blocked.

      This move has quite long end-lag, and thus you may be punished if you
      whiff this move, or if your enemy blocks it. But you may try to do
      Shining Crystal Bit after this move, and if your enemy is not fast
      enough to punish you he'll eat the DM. This is not likely to happen
      oftenly, but is worth to try.

      The B version almost comes out vertically, while the D version has a
      bit more range than the B version. And the difference between the DM
      and the SDM version is the total number of hits (DM version will have
      around 13 hits, SDM will have 30+) and, of course, the damage.

      Useful Rating: **---

3.5 Comboes

   ~ Basic Comboes ~

      Close C, fwd+B
      Close C, Psycho Sword
      Close B, Super Psychic Throw, then
         1. jump C/CD
         2. v Psycho Reflector
         3. D Phoenix Arrow
         4. Shining Crystal Bit (DM/SDM)

      - for the above comboes, you can add any jump attack before them -

      jump C, Phoenix Fang Arrow (DM/SDM)
      fwd+B, Psycho Sword
      Phoenix Bomb (counter), follow with
         1. B Phoenix Arrow
         2. Psycho Sword
         3. Shining Crystal Bit
     *crossup B, low B, fwd+B, Psycho Sword

     *: Not confirmed

   ~ Corner Comboes ~

      Close C, fwd+B, Phoenix Arrow / Psycho Sword
      Close C, fwd+B, Shining Crystal Bit

      - for the above comboes, you can add any jump attack before them -

      Close C, fwd+B, Phoenix Fang Arrow (SDM only)
      Super Psychic Throw, B Phoenix Arrow, Shining Crystal Bit
      Phoenix Bomb (counter), B Phoenix Arrow, Shining Crystal Bit

   ~ Bug Comboes ~

      Note: For more info on the bug comboes, please refer to the section
            "More about Bug Combo". Anyway I don't encourage the use of the
      Psycho Ball, Psycho Teleport, then
         1. Psycho Sword
         2. Shining Crystal Bit
         3. Close C, fwd+B, Phoenix Arrow/Shining Crystal Bit (DM/SDM, corner)
         4. Close C, fwd+B, Phoenix Fang Arrow (SDM, corner)
        *5. Close A, Super Psychic Throw, Psycho Ball, ....

      *: Not confirmed, but it works theoretically.

   ~ Infinite Comboes ~

      Note: This combo is posted by "mOOnrun OnE" <mOOnrun@yahoo.com> in the
            KoF Mailing List.

      in EXTRA mode.
      opponent in corner.
      first hit should be in "COUNTER".

      fwd fwd, Phoenix Bomb (counter), B Phoenix Arrow, opponent launched,
      Athena land, do QCB, upbk+B, Viola! float.

Chapter 4:     Game Play

4.1 General Strategy

   ~ Ranging ~

      Ranging is the basic of every fighting game. You should learn to keep
      in a range that you can use most of your moves effectively, and also
      keep yourself out of your enemy's attacking range. .....Of course this
      is not possible in the actual fight, but at least you should keep in
      the range that can give you some advantages.

      Athena should keep herself in either one of the following ranges: very
      long range, or very close range. In the other words, don't keep
      yourself in mid-range when using Athena.

      In long range, Athena can throw Psycho Balls to the enemy. This is a
      very effective tactic, since her Psycho Ball has good priority, and
      also don't have much end-lag. So she will not be punished easily when
      throw the ball, unless the enemy is very fast. Also, in this range you
      can still get close to the enemy easily by jumping (Athena's jump is
      very far).

      As for close combat, you should keep yourself in a very close range.
      This is because Athena has some good specials (e.g. Super Psychic Throw
      and Shining Crystal Bit), but all of them are very short ranged. And
      all her best normals are close ranged too.

   ~ Air-to-air/ground combat ~

      When using Athena, you should jump hella lot. This is because her jump
      is fast and high, and also she has got a lot of useful air-moves, that
      if you don't jump at all you'll waste those useful moves. But before
      you jump, you have to first know about how to deal with air-to-air
      combat and air-to-ground combat.

      Let's consider the air-to-ground combat first. If you're enemy is a
      DP like player, you can refer to the "Counter the anti-airs!" in the
      "Mind Game" section to see how to deal with the anti-airs. In case you
      enemy are not doing the anti-air, you can use jump D or Phoenix Bomb
      for air-to-ground. Both has very high air-to-ground combat, so is a
      very good option for jump-in. But remember that you've to kick a bit
      low, or you'll be thrown when you land. If you use Phoenix Bomb, you
      don't have to care about this, because you'll be "bombed" away after
      the Phoenix Bomb.

      And for air-to-air combat, you can use Phoenix Bomb, jump C or Shining
      Crystal Bit. For most characters your Phoenix Bomb and jump C should
      be good enough to beat them in the air combat, but there're some
      characters that is even better than Athena in an air combat. (e.g.
      King, Clark, Chris) In this case, you should use the Shining Crystal

   ~ Using semi-links started with light attacks ~

      This technique can, in fact, be use by almost all characters. When you
      are close to your enemy, do a light attack to make your enemy block.
      Then you can follow up with a strong attack as a semi-link. If you
      enemy tries to move after blocking the light attack, he'll be hit by
      the strong attack if you timed well. Even if he blocks it, the
      situation is still good for you.

      All the strong attacks of Athena have good priority, and don't have
      much lag, so all of them will be useful for the semi-link. Of course,
      some of them are more useful then others. These include: low C (coz you
      can cancel it to a special move), far standing C (long reach and high
      priority) and far standing D (can escape from low attacks). In the
      corner, stand CD will also be useful.

   ~ Psycho Ba~ll! ~

      Psycho Ball is very useful coz it has large hitting frame, and its
      travelling speed is quite slow that some characters will find difficult
      jumping through it. Also, it don't have any end lag. So you can use
      this very oftenly when fighting your enemy. And in fact, the Psycho
      Ball is one of the most useful move of Athena.

      As most of the fireballs, it is useful in a long ranged combat.
      Especially when you're playing against slow or large characters, the
      Psycho Ball is especially useful to them. In the long ranged combat,
      Psycho Ball is a good way to keep the distance. The A Psycho Ball is
      better for this purpose, since the C Psycho Ball travels too fast.

      In the other hand, instead of keeping the distance, you can get close
      to your opponent by using the Psycho Ball effectively. Remember that
      the Psycho Ball is almost zero end-lag? So after doing the Psycho Ball,
      run to your enemy. You can get close to your enemy by this way.
      Moreover, this is also a good way to give pressure to your enemy. Throw
      a Psycho Ball, run to him and do standing C / low C, and throw a Psycho
      Ball again is a effective pattern for this purpose. You don't need to
      afraid that your enemy can roll through the Psycho Ball and attack you,
      since the end-lag of Psycho Ball is very short. Instead, if they try
      to roll through the Psycho Ball, you should have enough time to throw
      them (in this case, use the normal throw will be better). But you still
      have to be careful that some characters have attack which can go
      through your Psycho Ball, e.g. Chris's slide, Iori's Maiden Masher, or
      even Leona's dash forward.

   ~ Use of Telepor---to! ~

      Teleport is a useful tool in your gameplay. Since its speed is very
      fast, and it doesn't have much start up and end lag, you can even use
      it to replace the dash-forward (which is very useful for those who use
      Extra Mode).

      Instead of replacing the dash forward, Teleport is also useful in
      several ways. The first way is to -- escape! ^^ Since it is very fast,
      you enemy cannot catch you easily when you're teleporting. So if you're
      trapped in the corner, you can use the teleport to get out of it.

      Also it is also useful for surprising your enemy. You can sometimes
      teleport to his back and attack. Very useful against slow characters.
      More about the use of the teleport will be mentioned in the mind game

   ~ Manage your stocks ~

     When you place Athena as the first character, you don't really need to
     think about how to use the stocks, because you won't have many. But when
     you place Athena at the second, or the third, you need to plan how to
     use your stocks.

     Your stocks can be used in three ways (in case you don't know): MAX up,
     CD counter / roll, or use for DM.

     MAX up can increase your power, but is not really useful for Athena,
     mainly because Athena's power does not increase much after MAXed up.
     The only move that the power would increase significantly after MAXed
     up is Phoenix Fang Arrow, but I don't see how you can use the Fang
     Arrow except for comboes (but the Fang Arrow comboes is very hard to
     pull out, and would miss easily). Moreover, after MAXed up, the Shining
     Crystal Bit will never have two hits even you got a counter at the
     corner. So generally I don't recommand MAXing up with her, unless you
     have tooooo much stocks.

     CD counter / roll is very useful, especially when your enemy is very
     offensive, and you don't have any method to stop him. Use CD counters
     after a blocked normal, and CD roll after blocked special to get close
     to your enemy (this is especially useful when you're blocking a move
     which does not have much end-lag).

     As for DM.... well you know that Shing Crystal Bit is a decent DM that
     is useful in *any* situation, as for anti-air, weak up move, or even in

     So, Athena can use the stocks mainly in two ways: either as for CD
     counters / rolls, or for DM. Both options are good for her, so just use
     it as you like. One more advise: when you've stock, just use it
     immediately if you can. You don't need to save it for others, coz
     Athena can build up stocks quite quickly.

   ~ Anti-airs ~

      Athena's anti-air ability has improve much froim 97.
      Here is the list of her useful anti-air moves:

      1. Psycho Sword
         This is her second best choice of anti-air. High priority, and
         invincibility at start up make it a decent anti-air. But the
         horizontal range is very short, and you'll eat great combo if you
         whiff this move.

      2. v Psycho Reflector
         This move has more priority than Psycho Sword, but has hella start
         up lag, so you need to anticipate when using this as anti-air.
         Usually this is use for style only. ^^

      3. Psycho Ball
         A very good choice for mid-range anti-air, especially when you're
         facing some large characters. The A version would be better, since
         the C version travels too fast.

      4. far standing C
         Another useful mid-range anti-air. Won't be punished even if
         whiffed, so you may abuse it. ^_^

      5. low C
         Athena will keep herself in a very low position when doing this,
         and therefore can escape from a lot of jump attacks which cannot
         hit that low. Moreover, you can combo to Psycho Ball after it.

      6. Shining Crystal Bit
         Need explaination? ^^

   ~ Weak up moves ~

      Weak up move is the move that you do when you weak up. ;) (Rubbish
      sentence ;) ). If your enemy attempts to attack you when you're just
      getting up, you can use your weak up moves to punish him. This is quite

      And so, which move should be use in this situation? Just use a move
      with invincibility. So Psycho Sword, Super Psychic Throw and Shining
      Crystal Bit are all useful for weak up moves. Use them depends on
      different situation. Of course when you've stock, use SCB. ^^

4.2 Mind Games

   ~ Tick throw ~

      This is a skill that is often used by grapplers. Jump to your enemy,
      do nothing in the air (or whiff an attack in the air), and do the
      command grab just when you land.

      Athena's grab is a bit slow, and therefore tick throw is not as useful
      as others who have instant grab. But it is still a good trap if you can
      mix with a jump attack. Also, jump-in normal throw is also useful too.
      Use this tick more when you're dealing with turtles.

   ~ Dash-in grab ~

      This is what you need to know when you're playing the KoF series, since
      this is very important for a grappler's gameplay. Athena is not a
      grappler, but her throw is very important for her, so you also need to
      know this.

      When you perform the dash-in, your character will run for a short
      distance. In this short distance you cannot stop your character with
      any kind of joystick motion, but in the other words, you can buffer
      any move in this period. So if you do the hcf motion when you're
      running, and press the punch key when you're close to your enemy, you
      will grab him without any pause within. Of course, you should mind the
      distance; you can't run to far. Generally Athena can run for about
      1/3 of the screen before doing the dash-in grab.

      The dash-in grab itself is not very useful, since it would be a bit
      obvious if you run to an enemy. So just use it for a surprise. In fact
      the best time of doing a dash-in grab is after a blocked normal, since
      most player will keep blocking. So you may try this: after a jump D or
      low B, run to your enemy and perform the dash-in grab. You may find out
      that the trick is quite useful in this case.

   ~ Low-high mind game ~

      Another basic level mind game, but is always useful if you can use it
      well. ^_^ The purpose of the low-high mind game is to force your enemy
      to guess whether block high or low. If he guess wrong, he will be
      Since Athena don't have an overhead, her low-high mind game is only
      useful when you're jumping to your enemy. At this moment, you can do a
      jump D combo, or do nothing in the air, and do a low B immediately when
      Athena lands.

      This trick is especially useful when your enemy is in to corner, since
      Athena has some damaging corner comboes.

   ~ low C, teleport, Super Psychic Throw ~

      A useful trick that about 90%+ players would fall on it (if they didn't
      see the trick before). ^^ When your enemy blocks the low C, he may
      think that you'll follow up with some sort of hit based move (Psycho
      Ball for example). So he'll keep blocking. At this moment, if you do
      the teleport, you'll get next to him (use B teleport, D teleport will
      be too far away). Then, before he does anything, grab him with Super
      Psychic Throw.

      Psychic Teleport can go through your enemy, so when you do this trick
      you should know which side you're going to, else the Psycho Ball will
      come out instead of the Super Psychic Throw. But anyway, this is not
      a big deal since the Psycho Ball is a safe move.

      After doing this trick one or two times, your enemy may be able to
      figure out the way to escape from it. He may jump away, or even do a
      vertical hop, let you whiff the Super Psychic Throw, then punish you.
      In this case you should try not to do Super Psychic Throw. Instead, you
      may try Shining Crystal Bit. Very useful on those who attempt to hop
      and punish you if you whiff the throw. Or, if he just jumps away, then
      you may throw a Psycho Ball to him.

      This trick is not as useful on those who has good reflex action. Also,
      since it is only a "trick", you should only use it one or two times in
      one round. If you repeat this trick for hundreds of time in the same
      round, I'm quite sure that you'll die very soon unless your enemy is
      brainless. ;)

   ~ B Phoenix Arrow, Super Psychic Throw ~

      This is basically the same as the low C, teleport, throw tick above.
      Do B Phoenix Arrow, if block, wait for a while and do Super Psychic
      Throw. If your enemy thinks that you're doing the D Phoenix Arrow,
      and thus keeps blocking, he'll fall into this trap. But remember that
      you need to wait for a while and walk in a bit before doing the Super
      Psychic Throw, or it will miss.

      In order to do this trap more successfully, you can try to replace
      the Super Psychic Throw with some other fast but blockable move first,
      or you may just simply use D Phoenix Arrow instead at the first time.
      For example, at the first time, do B Phoenix Arrow, then follow by
      close standing C, Psycho Ball. Then when you do the B Phoenix Arrow
      again, your enemy might think that you're going to do the C, Psycho
      Ball stuff again and thus keeps blocking. And so you're success! ^^

      Of course the case above is an ideal case, but that's the idea of doing
      this trap successfully. ^^

   ~ Mind games after Super Psychic Throw ~

      Super Psychic Throw is a very special command throw in the game. The
      throw itself does not take a lot, but you can follow up with a lot of
      different moves. Since it has this special characteristic, it can be an
      excellent mind-game starter.

      The mind game after the Super Psychic Throw is mainly a block left or
      right mind game. After the Super Psychic Throw, you can juggle with
      jump C. Then you can:

      1. Simply land in front of your enemy and attack.
      2. Run to your enemy's back immediately when you land, then attack from
         his back. You have to do in this way:
         Super Psychic Throw, hyper hop C, when you land (your enemy is still
         in the air), run forward, then when your enemy lands, attack
         immediately. If you do this successfully, you should now at your
         enemy's back.
      3. Do nothing (either in front or at his back), then when he land, do
         Super Psychic Throw again.

      Usually, the second option above is the most useful one. 3rd one is
      also very tricky, and 1st one is used to mix with the second one. And
      what attack you should use after it? That's another story. You can
      do anything you like, even the mind game mentioned above.... ^^

   ~ Counter the anti-airs! ~

      In KoF98, anti-air is one of the very important part of the gameplay.
      Almost all characters in the game has a least one good anti-air moves,
      and some of them even have anti-airs that is very very reliable. So
      most players will do an anti-air move against their enemy everytime
      when they see their enemy jumping to them.

      In fact this tactic (wait for an anti-air move) is very useful against
      a lot of characters in the game -- but surely, Athena is one of the
      exceptions. Why? This is because Athena has a lot of air specials,
      which can counter any kind of anti-airs effectively.

      So how can you counter the enemy's anti-air? This depends on what kind
      of anti-air your enemy is using. Basically the anti-airs in KoF can be
      classified into two types:

      1. Defensive-style anti-air.

         When doing this kind of anti-air, the character will usually stay on
         the ground. This type of anti-air is usually fast, and quite safe
         even if whiffed, but has no invincible frame, and the horizontal
         range is short. An example of this kind of anti-air is Shermie's
         low C.

         When you're facing an enemy who likes using this kind of anti-air
         all day, you can use Phoenix Arrow (D version will be better) to
         counter him. The Phoenix Arrow has some delay on start-up, and thus
         should escape from your enemy's attack perfectly. And since this
         kind of anti-air is quite short ranged, you don't need to worry that
         you will be hit at the start-up of the Phoenix Arrow. Of course you
         need a bit positioning here -- in fact the safest way is to roll to
         your enemy's back.

      2. Offensive-style anti-air.

         You can call this type of anti-air "air offense", because it is
         quite offensive in nature. Your enemy will jump up and attack you
         in the mid-air when doing this kind of anti-air. This type of anti-
         air is usually a special move; has high priority and invincible
         frame at start-up, also the horizontal range is quite long (some of
         them can even reach the top of the screen!), but will leave the
         player unsafe if whiffed.

         Phoenix Arrow will not be effective against this type of anti-air,
         since this kind of air offense has hella horzontal range (and can
         hit you when you're trying to do the Phoenix Arrow!). In this case
         you do Shining Crystal Bit instead. Shining Crystal Bit has long
         invincible frame (much longer than most anti-airs), and so can
         counter this kind of anti-airs effectively. Of course you need to
         anticipate in this case.

         If you can do the SCB close enough to your enemy when he's trying to
         DP you..... wow! COUNTER! 2HITS! Your enemy will lose half of his
         total life... ^_^ And I'm sure he'll not do the DP again easily. ^_^

      Anyway, beside the Phoenix Arrow and the Shining Crystal Bit, the
      Phoenix Bomb also works well against most anti-airs due to its high

      So now, you know how to counter the anti-airs. But the main-point is:
      how to make the enemy doing their anti-air move? This is quite easy in
      fact, just jump to them obviously and your enemy will usually do that
      (coz the anti-airs are tooooo reliable in KoF98). Especially when you
      don't have much energy left, your enemy will do the anti-air more
      easily if they think that they can finish the game soon. And of course,
      in this case you should use the SCB to tell them that they're wrong. ^^

   ~ Corner Trap ~

      Corner Trap is very important for Athena, mainly because Athena has a
      lot more options than the enemy in the corner, and also because Athena
      would become very powerful at the corner (she's got a lot of damaging
      corner comboes). If you can do the trap well, your enemy cannot get out
      from the corner once he got trapped.

      So what should you do when your enemy is in the corner? In fact all the
      mind games mentioned above works very well in the corner. So just mix
      them well, and do what you want well be fine. Here I'll draw a flow
      chart to show you some possible corner trap patterns.

                           V                                              |
     +---------+   +-----------+   +-------+   +----------+   +--------+  |
     | Phoenix |-->| B Phoenix |-->| low A |-->| standing |-->| Psycho |  |
     |  Bomb   |   |   Arrow   |   |       |   |    CD    |   |  Ball  |  |
     +---------+   +-----------+   +-------+   +----------+   +--------+  |
                         |             ^                                  |
          +--------------+             +---------------------+            |
          |                                                  |     +------+
          |       +-----------------------------+            |     |
          V       V                             |            |     |
     +---------------+   +-----------+   +-------------+     |     |
     | Super Psychic |-->| B Phoenix |-->|   Shining   |     |     |
   +>|    Throw      |   |   Arrow   |   | Crystal Bit |     |     |
   | +---------------+   +-----------+   +-------------+     |     |
   |       ^     |                                           |     |
   |       |     |         +------------------------+--------+     |
   |       |     V         |                        |              |
   |       |  +-----+   +-------+   +-----------+   |              |
   |       +--| hop |-->| low B |-->| Renkantai |---+              |
   |   +------|  C  |   |  (*1) |   |           |------------------+
   |   |      +-----+   +-------+   +-----------+
   |   |         |                     ^   |   +------------V
   |   |         V                     |   |           +-----------+
   |   |  +------------------+         |   |           | D Phoenix |
   |   |  | air Shining      |         |   +--------+  |   Arrow   |
   |   |  | Crystal Bit (*2) |         |            |  +-----------+
   |   |  +------------------+         +--------+   |       |
   |   |                                        |   |       |
   |   |                                        |   |       |
   |   |    +--------+         +------------+   |   +-------+
   |   +--->| jump D |-------->| standing C |---+   |
   |        |  (*1)  |         |            |       |
   |        +--------+         +------------+       |
   |                                  |             |
   |                                  V             |
   |                             +----------+       |
   |                             | Psychic  |       |
   |                             | Teleport |       |
   |                             +----------+       |
   |                                  |             |
   +----------------------------------+------------ +

      (*1): Do this when your enemy land. This two together is the low/high
            mind game.
      (*2): Do this after your enemy land. If he tries to DP you, then...


      It seems very complicated, huh? But in fact this is just a mixed
      (corner) version the mind games mentioned above. There're some more
      variation, but the most useful ones are listed here. Just use this as
      a reference, and figure out your own corner trap pattern.

      Since the chart is just a summary, you can find the explainations from
      the above. (Anyway I hope you can read the chart. It is really to
      complicated... ^^) Just a few notes here.

      Of course you may start from anyone you like. Usually I'll start from
      Phoenix Bomb, Super Psychic Throw or close standing C.

      You should go through different routine in different situation. For
      example, if Renkantai is blocked, go to B Phoenix Arrow. Else go to
      D Phoenix Arrow for more damage.

      Also, you may see that after D Phoenix Arrow / Shining Crystal Bit,
      there is a link pointed to Super Psychic Throw, right? This is done
      when you knock down your enemy by the Phoenix Arrow / Shining Crystal
      Bit, and he do a recovery roll. In this case you can do the command
      throw immediately to grab your enemy again. Trust me, it really works.
      ^_^ But you've to be faster. Especially after Shining Crsytal Bit,
      you need to cancel it immediately, and do the throw immediately in
      order to grab your enemy (which is doing the recovery roll).

4.3 Character Match-ups (vs CPU & vs Human)

   ~ vs Kyo Kusanagi ~

      vs CPU:
         CPU Kyo has no particular form, but in fact beating him is not
         difficult. Remember not to jump to him with jump D, or you'll be
         blocked by his autoguard DP.
      vs Human:
         The basic strategy works well against him. Still you've to be
         careful about his autoguard moves.

   ~ vs Benimaru Nikaido ~

      vs CPU:
         Keep in long range, and throw a Psycho Ball to him. He'll jump and
         do the drill move. At this time, do Psycho Sword. You can repeat
         this trick throughout the whole round (but it might be boring..)
      vs Human:
         Benimaru's gameplay is mainly based on the crossup, and the
         anti-air moves. You've to be careful of these two things.
         You should be offensive against him. But don't use too much Psycho
         Ball, because he can easily jump through it and punish you
         afterwards. Also the low C -> Psycho Ball (repeat) trick is not good
         against him. All other strategies mentioned should be useful

   ~ vs Goro Daimon ~

      vs CPU:
         The general formula is Psycho Ball, then D Phoenix Arrow. Repeat and
         you should be able to beat him (but winning with a perfect is not
      vs Human:
         Daimon is a very strong character in the game. But this doesn't mean
         that playing against him is a big deal -- in fact Athena is one of
         the characters that can beat Daimon easily. (Here I'm just talking
         the average case, for an expert this is meaning less ;) ).
         Most Daimons will play based on anti-air moves, because Daimons
         anti-air are very effective, and also very powerful. And this is
         what you can make use with -- Daimons anti-airs are great, but
         Athena's anti anti-air moves are even better! :) So the basic
         strategy against a anti-air based Daimon is jump hella lot, wait
         until he does an anti-air, and use your anti anti-air move to beat
         him. Phoenix Arrow is good against his standing D and dn-fwd+C (a
         bit positioning is required for this). Phoenix Bomb will always
         trade with is dn-fwd+C (but the trade is good for you). Shining
         Crystal Bit is very useful against anything.
         And when you're facing a Daimon who doesn't use anti-air moves...
         well I think this is impossible. I've never seen a Daimon who does
         not use anti-airs at all. But anyway, in case you're facing this
         kind of Daimon, make use of Psycho Ball and run-in low C / low D.
         Also the low C -> teleport -> Super Psychic Throw trick will be
         useful since Daimon is slow.

   ~ vs Terry Bogard ~

   ~ vs Andy Bogard ~

   ~ vs Joe Higashi ~

   ~ vs Ryo Sakazaki ~

   ~ vs Robert Garcia ~

   ~ vs Yuri Sakazaki ~

      vs CPU:
         Keep blocking. She'll do a sequence of move, and the last one is
         the DP. After blocking her DP you can punish her easily.
      vs Human:
         Hmm.... Nothing special for her. Just watch out her low D and qcb+A.
         Both are very annoying.

   ~ vs Leona ~

      vs CPU:
         Phoenix Arrow!

   ~ vs Ralf Jones ~

      vs CPU:
         Jump to him and do the Shining Crystal Bit. He'll also do the
         dn, up+C move and eat a 2-hit counter.
      vs Human:
         Try to avoid playing against Ralf with Athena if you can. Coz Ralf
         can just use his low C to counter all your tricks. :(
         In case you really have to play against him... keep in long range
         and be a bit defensive. Wait until he jumps to you, then use your
         anti-air move to beat him away. Don't get close to him, and don't
         let him get close to you. Using the Psycho Ball together with far
         standing C to annoy him is a good idea.
         And, don't try to do the B Phoenix Arrow -> Super Psychic Throw
         trick against him. You'll end up eat a low C combo...

   ~ vs Clark Steel ~

      vs CPU:
         Same with Ralf.
      vs Human:
         Also same with Ralf, except that you should not play air-to-air
         combat with him (this is one of the characters that you can jump
         against him when you're using Athena) coz his jump D can beat almost
         anything in the air except Shining Crystal Bit.

   ~ vs Athena Asamiya ~

      vs CPU:
         CPU Athena has two basic forms:
         1. Psycho Ball, v Psycho Reflector, repeat.
         2. Psycho Ball, Psycho Sword.
         Knowing this, you should be able to beat her easily.
      vs Human:
         Most Athena players are only bug combo players, which should not be
         a big deal against you.

   ~ vs Sie Kensou ~

      vs CPU:
         Phoenix Arrow works well against him.
      vs Human:
         In fact his moves are quite similar to Athena's although he doesn't
         have the teleport. Anyway he's a standard fireball-DP type player,
         which you should not have much problem against.Use the reflector to
         reflector his fireball, or SCB his DP moves.

   ~ vs Chin Genzai ~

      vs CPU:
         Throw a fireball in long range, then run-in and do standing C.
      vs Human:
         Chin is slow, and his jump arc is low. Thus Psycho Ball is very good
         against him. All you've to be careful of is his jump C (which is two
         hits, and can be an instant overhead) and his qcf, qcf+P DM (decent
         anti-air, comes out fast). Anyway, beating him should not be
         very difficult... but who will use Chin? :)

   ~ vs Chizuru Kagura ~

      vs CPU:
         Hyper jump CD. She'll do the vertical jump CD, but will be beaten by
         your jump CD. And when she's down, do the D Phoenix Arrow. She'll
         eat that when she get up.
      vs Human:
         This woman has a lot of good normals, and she has a slide which is
         very annoying for Athena. So don't play close range game with her
         (her normal can bring you to the hell in close range), and don't
         throw too much Psycho Ball to her (you'll be slided).
         You can jump a lot to her, coz her anti-airs are not effective
         against Athena.

   ~ vs Mai Shiranui ~

      vs CPU:
         Run to her, and then roll to her back. When you're rolling, she'll
         do some sort of moves which will miss. Then you can do what you like
         at her back.

   ~ vs King ~

      vs CPU:
         D Phoenix Arrow. She'll always eat that....
      vs Human:
         King is a character that can always beat you in air-to-air combat.
         Her jump B, jump CD and jump D are very great in air combat, and
         can out-prioritize most of your air moves. You only advantage is
         that you can jump higher then her, and you've an air DM. So
         generally you'd better not to play air-to-air game with her.
         Also watch out her jump D, which can be an instant overhead. And one
         more note... she has a slide which can slide through Psycho Ball.

   ~ vs Kim Kaphwan ~

   ~ vs Chang Koehan ~

   ~ vs Choi Bounge ~

   ~ vs Yashiro Nanakase ~

      vs CPU:
         Phoenix Arrow.

   ~ vs Shermie ~

      vs CPU:
         Phoenix Arrow.

   ~ vs Chris ~

      vs CPU:
         Phoenix Arrrrrrrrrow!!!
      vs Human:
         This is a very tough match up for Athena, since Chris is good in
         anything (air-to-air, air-to-ground, ground-to-air), and he's even
         faster than Athena.
         You should be offensive against Chris. But since Chris is very tough
         in ground-to-ground combat, you'd better play an air game with him.
         Staying on the ground will just bring you to death... (And of
         course, *never* do Psycho Ball against him!)
         Use more hyper jump against him. His jump CD is very great, but
         since it has a bit start up lag, it is not a big problem for
         Athena. Use your jump D, or even Shining Crystal Bit, to counter him
         before he hits you with that.
         Then the next thing is to deal with his anti-airs. His slide, Scum
         Spider (the grab-your-head-and-go-to-your-back move), DP+K, low C
         and the qcb, qcb+K DM are all very good for anti-air. But with the
         Phoenix Arrow and Shining Crystal Bit, you should be able to counter
         all his anti-air moves (Phoenix Arrow is good against the slike and
         low C, Shining Crystal Bit is good for others). Note that Phoenix
         Bomb doesn't work well against Chris.
   ~ vs Ryuji Yamazaki ~

      vs CPU:
         When he does the snake arms, roll to his back.

   ~ vs Blue Mary ~

   ~ vs Billy Kane ~

      vs CPU:
         Repeat D Phoenix Arrow. Remember to roll to his back. He'll always
         eat that also... (just like King).
         This is a good time for you to practice crossup with Phoenix Arrow.

   ~ vs Iori Yagami ~

   ~ vs Mature ~

   ~ vs Vice ~

   ~ vs Heidern ~

   ~ vs Takuma Sakazaki ~

      vs CPU:
         Mix A Psycho Ball and D Phoenix Arrow.

   ~ vs Saisyu Kusanagi ~

      vs CPU:
         He'll always do the fireball. You can do jump-in comboes when he's
         throwing the fireball.

   ~ vs Heavy D! ~

      vs CPU:
         Phoenix Arrow.

   ~ vs Lucky ~

   ~ vs Brian Battler ~

      vs CPU:
         Block all his special moves, and then beat him afterwards.

   ~ vs Rugal ~

      vs CPU (Omega Rugal):
         Throw a Psycho Ball. He'll do the Electric Ball at the same time.
         Use Psycho Reflector to reflect the Electric Ball. He'll either eat
         it, or vertical jump it. Repeat this throughout the whole round, and
         you can get a perfect. :) (But again, this is very boring...)

   ~ vs Shingo ~

      vs CPU:
         He'll repeat the Shingo Kick in the whole round. You can beat him in
         two ways: keep in long range and throw fireball, or run-in Shining
         Crystal Bit.        

4.4 About the 'bug' combo

   Well, in fact I don't like the bug combo. But since this is the Athena
   Guide, and Athena has the most annoying bug combo in the game, I've to
   mention it also.

   In KoF98, if your character has a long ranged projectile together with a
   command throw (including running grab), you can do the bug combo: throw a
   projectile, and then do the command throw. The projectile will be
   unblockable. This is usually refered as (one of) the 'bug' of KoF98.

   Athena is one of the characters who can do the 'bug' (since she has both
   a long ranged fire-ball and a command throw). But, in fact, Athena can do
   the 'bug' in another way -- after throwing the fire-ball, do the Psychic
   Teleport. The fire-ball will also be unblockable! Since after the teleport
   Athena will stand besides the opponent (if your positioning is good), you
   can follow up the fire-ball (don't forget that the fire-ball is
   unblockable now!) with any kind of combo you like (this is mentioned in
   the Comboes section)!

   This seems easy, right? Yes. It is easy to do the bug combo. But the
   problem is: when is the perfect timing of doing the bug combo? Here are
   some suggestions:

   1. After Super Psychic Throw. The most common way of doing the bug combo
      is: Super Psychic Throw, step back (bk, bk), Psycho Ball, Psycho
      Teleport, follow with anything you like. This is quite good when your
      opponent is in the corner (the fireball will almost reach your enemy
      when he gets up). But if your enemy is not in the corner, a better way
      of doing the bug combo is: Super Psychic Throw, C Psycho Ball, A Psycho
      Ball, D Teleport. The timing would be perfect, and you can easily
      follow up with standing C or Psycho Sword (or even Shining Crystal
      Bit!) after that.

   2. After a Psycho Ball which hits the enemy in the air. In this case,
      quickly do another A Psycho Ball (C Psycho Ball would be too fast), and
      then do the D teleport. Your enemy can't easily escape even if he do
      the recovery roll.

   And, it would also be good to do the bug combo after Psycho Sword or B
   Psycho Reflector, but these would be a bit more difficult then the cases
   mentioned above.

   Also notice that the bug combo can be countered. Doing the bug combo may
   be dangerous if your enemy is using a character which has a move which can
   pass through (or absorb) he Psycho Ball. These characters include: Benimaru
   (he can grab you with the DM grab which has invincible time), Daimon (his
   hcf, hcf+K DM can absort any moves), Terry (he can use Power Geyster to
   double kill with you -- but of course he has a lot of benifit in this
   trade), Leona (she can dash through fire-balls), Ralf (the qcb, hcf+P DM
   has hella long invincible time), Athena (Shining Crystal Bit can absort
   fireballs), King (she has a DM which can jump through fireballs and a lot
   of moves), Shermie (her Shermie Carnival is similar to Benimaru's grab
   DM), Iori (Maiden Masher can pass through fireball easily), and Heavy D!
   (his qcf+P move has long invincible time). When you're facing these
   characters, you've to be careful when using the bug combo.

   Anyway, I really don't recommend you to use the bug combo. This is a cheap
   tactic for a lot of players. Of course, whether cheap or not is up to you.
   If you think this is a skill, just use it.

Chapter 5:     Misc Info

5.1 More about Athena

   Here is more information about Athena. In case you don't know...

   1. Athena first appeared in a game called "Athena", published in 1986 by
      SNK. It is a four direction action game. In that game Athena wears
      sort of swimming suit (like what you may see when doing the MAXed
      Shining Crystal Bit).

   2. She then appears again in the game called "Psycho Soldier". Kensou is
      in the game also. The game is a eight direction action game. In the
      game she wears sailor shirt.

   3. Athena's third game is called "ATHENA ~Awakeningt from the ordinary
      life~". This game is an AVG, published on the Playstation by SNK (the
      game is done by team "Yumekobo"(Dream Factory)). The game is published
      recently, so if you like you may play it. It is good for Athena's fans.

5.2 Version History

10-04-1999: Created the guide. Vs section, "More about the bug combo",
            comboes section and chapter 2 added.
26-04-1999: Oops.... CIH!! Oh my god. Have to re-do again.
            Fortunately I've sent Brian a copy before... ^_^
07-05-1999: Added the intro. Chapter 2 completed.
            "Counter the anti-airs!", "Anti-airs", "Mange your stocks" and
            mOOnrun's combo added.
10-05-1999: The mind game section is almost completed! The flow chart is very
17-05-1999: The general strategy section is completed. Also add the history
            of Athena.
25-05-1999: Chapter 3 completed. First published version.

5.3 Credits

1. Brian Lui <luibr@hkstar.com>. He's the alpha tester of this guide. ^^
2. The KoF Mailing List <kof@dhp.com>. This is a good place for discussing
   anything about KoF. To subscribe it, send a mail with the subject
   "subscribe" to <kof-request@dhp.com>.

3. The KoF Combo Group <kof_combo@egroups.com>. Another good place for
   discussing KoF comboes. Go to http://www.egroups.com/list/kof_combo/ to


End of the Athena guide.
If you've any comments on this guide, please send it to me.
My e-mail is siekensou@geocities.com.


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