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Lion Guide by CKeppler
Version: 1.0 | Updated: 04/15/2002
/////////// ////////\ /////////// /// ///// //\// ////////// ///// ///// ///// // ///// //// /// // // ///// //// // //_// // //_// // //_ //// /// // // ///// //// /// // // //// // // // // //// /// ///// //\// ///////// // // // // // ///// ////// //// //// \\\ ////////////// //// \\\ |||||||||||||/ //// \\\ Lion Rafale FAQ - VERSION 1.0 - Chris Keppler - email@example.com This document is the property of Chris Keppler. The only autorized places of distribution for this document are gamefaqs.com and virtuafighter.com. Other than the aforementioned web sites, no one can distribute this FAQ, in whole or in part, without my authorization whether it be for purpose of making a profit or for free. Should anyone be found in breach of the rules set out in this statement let the author of this document know as soon as possible at: firstname.lastname@example.org 123456789 /If these numbers and dots don't line up then you are not using ......... \the right program to view this FAQ. Try one like WordPad. >>>>>>>>>>>>> What's Inside >>>>>>>>>>>>> #1.0 VF4 - What Is It? - An Overview of the Game #2.0 Lion Rafale - Who Is He? - Some Not So Personal Info #3.0 Lion Rafale - What Can He Do? - Moves and What They Do #3.1 Strikes #3.2 Turning Attacks #3.3 Back Turned Attacks #3.4 Jumping Attacks #3.5 Pin Attacks #3.6 Off The Wall Attacks #3.7 Throws #4.0 Picking up the Pieces - Strategy Talk #4.1 Moving Around #4.2 Defense #4.3 Standing Offense #4.4 Crouching Offense #4.5 Offensive Transitioning #4.6 Offensive Strings #4.7 Defending Against Ring-Outs #4.8 Forcing Ring-Outs #5.0 A 1 and a 2 and a... - Basic Combos #6.0 He's Dead Jim - Anti AI Strategy #6.1 Akira Yuki #6.2 Aoi Umenokouji #6.3 Jacky Bryant #6.4 Jeffry McWild #6.5 Lau Chan #6.6 Lei Fei #6.7 Lion Rafale #6.8 Kage Maru #6.9 Pai Chan #6.10 Sarah Bryant #6.11 Shun Di #6.12 Vanessa Lewis #6.13 Wolf Hawkfield #7.0 What's He Wearing? - Item Collecting #8.0 Me - Who Am I and Who Am I Thanking? >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> #1.0 VF 4 - What Is It? >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> You probably already know what Virtua Fighter 4 is all about but, just incase you don't, here's the basic run-down: VF4 is a one-on-one fighting game, period. There are no weapons. There are no impossible boundless arenas. There are no fireballs. There are no cross-up, tag-in, 98 hit combos that drain a whole lifebar. There are no 10 foot high jumps, well there are but you don't see them too often. VF4 is about you and your opponent going one-on-one with nothing but your skills and reflexes to save your butt from a major beating. The fighters here use real martial arts and aren't afraid to use them. All of this combines with a very technical fighting engine to create one of the deepest and most challenging fighters ever created, if you want to put the time and effort into it. Put simply, you probably won't really understand VF4 until you have given it some honest dedication. VF4 comes with the usual assortment of modes; arcade, 2P VS, and training... you know the deal. VF4 also includes 2 new modes that have established a new level of quality that future arcade-to-console ports will be hard pressed to equal. The first of these modes is an AI training mode where you train a computer controlled character to fight. This means teaching it everything from basic defense to your own personal, super- damaging, combos by using saved replays of previous fights or by just sparring with it for a while. Who knows, it just might end up giving you a run for your money. The second new mode is a spin-off of the now common Survival Mode called Kumite. In this mode you take a saved character through an endless chain of opponents, gaining items to customize the appearance of your character, and gaining ranks, making you fight better and better opponents just to keep yourself from being demoted. Enjoy! >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> #2.0 Lion Rafale - Who Is He? >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> According to ye olde instruction book, these are Lion's personal stats followed by a paraphrased version of his backing story: Country of Origin: France Birthday: December 24, 1979 Profession: College Student Hobbies: Skateboarding and Collecting Knives Height: 5 feet, 7 inches Weight: 139 pounds Martial Art: Tourou-Ken AKA Preying Mantis Lion's first experience in the World Fighting Tournament came in the second tournament; Lion fought well only to fall short of victory. Undaunted, Lion tried his luck in the third tournament but was once again defeated by arts of a more skilled warrior. Lion returned to France devastated; the abilities that had failed him when he needed them most left him unsure of his future as a fighter . One man, Lion's father, still supported the young warrior and, praising his son's victories, Lion's father encouraged him to train even harder for the next test. With his constantly growing skills, Lion regained his confidence; he would be the best. Several months later Lion received an invitation to the fourth tournament. The next test had revealed itself and he went forth with more confidence than ever, he would prove to the world that he was the best. Now on to my personal remarks: Lion is an odd fighter to say the least. Contrary to what most people say, I don't find Lion to be a very good character for those just starting to play the game. To play Lion well you have to work hard and play smart. Lion does not have any very powerful strikes or throws like Wolf or Jeffry and he is no match for the attacking speed of Pai or Sarah. He also does not have a massive amount of moves but, when used properly, he can be played both defensively and offensively. Also on the plus side, Lion is relatively fast and has some tricky movement patterns that can create openings in the tightest defense. Throws are a also a very strong point for Lion because of the variety he has, as well as the unique reversals required to escape some of them, even if they don't do Wolf-sized damage. A final key strengh of Lion is his ring-out game; whether he has his back to the edge, has his opponent on the edge, or even has his opponent a few steps from the edge, he is very dangerous. In general, Lion can be very effective as a fighter if don't mind working for your wins and enjoy playing with a deceptive and in your face style. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> #3.0 Lion Rafale - What Can He Do? >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> These are Lion's moves along with my personal rating (out of 10) and some usage notes. Keep in mind that these are my thoughts and you may disagree with the ratings and/or may have completely different uses for certain moves. I am assuming that you know how to play the game on at least a basic level. If you are new to the game I suggest going to virtuafighter.com/VF4 and reading the general FAQ there, as well as going through the in-game training modes. Typical fighting game notation applies: u - Up d - Down b - Back (away from your opponent) f - forward (towards your opponent) uf, df, db, ub - the diagonals between the above directions qcb - quarter circle backwards, or going in a smooth motion from d to b hcb - half circle backwards, or going in a smooth motion from f to d to b P - Punch K - Kick G - Guard H - Move hits high, or between the upper chest and head of an opponent M - Move hits mid, or between the knees and lower chest of an opponent L - Move hits low, or below the knees of an opponent D - Move hits a grounded (laying) opponent only * - Move does not hit, see move description for details Open and Closed Stances (where 1 and 2 are P1 and P2's feet): Open Stance: 1 2 Closed Stance: 1 2 1 2 1 2 NOTE 1: A , denotes pressng the buttons/directions in sequence. For example, P,P means you press Punch and then Punch again quickly after the first time. This is a short 2 punch string for Lion in VF4. NOTE 2: A + denotes pressing the buttons/directions before and after the plus sign at the same time. For example, P+G means you press Punch and Guard at the same time. This is a standard throw in VF4. NOTE 3: A _ denotes the a choice between the buttons/directions before and after the underscore. For example, P,P,P_d+P means you press Punch, then Punch, then you can either press P again for another high punch or press down and punch for a low punch to mix things up. This is the standard 3 punch mix-up for Lion in VF4. NOTE 4: Any of the directions written in capital means that you hold that direction down until the next command. In other words D,f+P means that you hold down until you are in a full crouch, then press forward and Punch at the same time. This is Lion's rising upper cut in VF4. Now on to the moves... The list can be read as follows: Command Move Name Hit Height(s) Rating(s) - Move Description and Comments >>>>>>>>>>>> #3.1 Strikes >>>>>>>>>>>> In the list below you will find that I did not make listings for each individual step in a string unless there is a specific reason to do so; a good example of this is the P,P,P string. I did not make a listing for P, one for P,P and one for P,P,P even though the in-game move list gives these as 3 different moves with 3 different names. I cover the standard P, which has it's own set of uses, and the entire P,P,P string, which also has certain uses. P,P would generally be used if you have trained your opponent to expect a P,P,P and you stop the string early and mix in a throw or low attack, and I make separate notes for these occasions in some move comment sections. One extremely important thing to note is that VF4 places all commands that you enter into a buffer (that is how it recognizes one chain from another) and this buffer can be cleared at any time with the G button. By using the G button to cancel a chain you can mix-up any moves you want without unwanted results. For example if you want to do a standing P followed by the K,K string you might want to enter P,K,K. This input, however, will give you the P,K string and the final K probably won't come out at all. To get the results that you want you should clear the buffer after the P by entering the moves as P,G,K,K. This method should be used every time you want to end a string early, unless the next move you want does not include a button that continues the string. Here we go... P Tousui H 5/10 - A standing punch that moves Lion forward a step. This is the basic punch. There is nothing overly special about it, and I find that I rarely use it. If you want to interupt an opponent's move with a standing attack then the P+K+G punch is better. If you want to mix it up you are better off at least doing the second punch in the P,P,P string before trying something new or, better yet, use one of Lion's fast mid hitting moves. There is one aspect to this move that is better than the P+K+G, though, and that is the fact that it moves Lion forward a step, making it a better choice for pressure tactics. P+K+G Fast Punch H 7/10 - Unlisted, a faster version of his regular P. It can't be directly followed with another move like his regular P can and it doesn't have the step forward that accompanies his regular P. It's main use is simply to interupt an opponents attack. I find that in a battle I never remember to use this because of the odd command but, if you work it in, it could be a useful tool against aggressive characters like Lau. P,P,P Renkan Senshou HHH 7/10 - A very fast 3 punch string. Useful for pressuring your opponent or for countering a move when you don't think you'll have time for something bigger. Stopping after either of the first 2 punches and trying something else works reasonably well (it's best to press G to end the string if you do so you don't get the last punch anyway). All of the punches hit high so they can be ducked easily if you are not careful. Another note is that you can delay the second and third punches slightly to give your opponent a slightly different look at the string. P,P,d+P Rensui Sousho HHL 6/10 - Same as P,P,P execpt it ends with a low spinning punch. This is not a bad string but do not abuse it. The spin leading into the low punch makes it blockable on sight if your opponent is used to it, and it recovers poor enough to have you receiving a wide variety of punishments. If you only use it once or twice a match in varying situations it can be a good addition to your arsenal. P,P,b+P 1, 2, Spin Punch HHH 4/10 - Unlisted, a 3 punch string. It has the first 2 punches from his P,P,P but Lion ends with a spinning punch. The upside is that the last punch knocks down and bounces your opponent if it hits, making further combos possible. The downside is that the last punch is relatively slow and it hits high, so it will be ducked most of the time. If you can work it into your game it could be good, but getting that last punch to hit might be more trouble than it's worth. P,K Rensuitai HH 6/10 - A punch followed by a quick high kick. Not a bad combo filler, but there are better ones. Decent as a part of your offensive pressure game. Overall it's not a move you should rely on but it could be worse. d+P Katosui L 9/10 - A fast crouching punch. Great attack for interupting anything an opponent can do and it's a good way to get into a crouch to execute moves that require a D. It doesn't chain into anything, but it is an invaluable part of both offense and defensive play with Lion. It can be sidestepped if you are too predictable with it, but it's a very safe move overall. Hold D if you want to end up in full crouch following the punch. qcb+P,P Ryusei Koushu Rengeki MM 8/10 - A wind-up punch followed by a second mid punch. If the first punch hits it will crumple your opponent, leaving them wide open for a combo. If the first punch is blocked there is always the threat of you interupting their counter with the second punch, so it is relatively safe. The first punch takes a little while to come out and it has poor range so you have to pick and choose when to use this move. I find that it doesn't fit naturally into my playing style with Lion, but the reward is too good to ignore using it. A key point for this move is that it is a Sabaki; meaning that, for this move, it will cut through any move that is not a low punch, mid punch, or low kick if it's correctly timed. f+P,P Banchu Rekanshu MM 9/10, 5/10 - An elbow strike followed by a dashing punch. This move gets 2 ratings because the elbow itself is very useful, while both the elbow and punch are much less so. The elbow is a great addition to your offensive game and it mixes in very well with P and d+P as well as a variety of throws. The only caveat with the elbow is that it can't be executed from a crouch so you will have to cancel your crouch (best done with G as you let go of D) before you can use it. Adding the punch is very risky because of the lag between the 2 moves. Both attacks together will push an opponent quite far if blocked making them an okay ring-out pressure move. One final note is that many combos with Lion can include the elbow so you might be seeing it a lot. D,f+P Shippo Shousenshu M 8/10 - A rising uppercut. This is an excellent move that should be a staple in your Lion arsenal. If it hits on counter it will launch for a nice juggle. If it gets blocked there is not a ton of recovery time so you are rather safe. The only thing stopping it from getting a higher rating is that if it hits without a counter it is rather useless, and you could have done more damage with several other moves. f,f+P Senshippo M 5/10 - A dashing mid hitting punch. This move has very good range and it can be used for ring-out pressure is your opponent is close to the edge and you are far away. The first problem with this move is the huge execution time, it will be either blocked or sidestepped most of the time. The second problem is that it has a lof of trouble hitting when you are in a closed stance, meaning the move can whiff even if you are close to your opponent. It will crumple an opponent if you manage to hit with it, so it's not completely forgettable. b+P,P,K Tenshin Tourou Renkyaku MMM 7/10 - 2 spinning hooks to mid followed by a spinning kick. This string moves you forward quickly so it works well when you are playing offensively. By leaving either the second or second and third hits out you can effectively move into a throw or a low attack (be sure to cancel the string with G). One caveat is that there is a small lag between each hit meaning a chance at being pecked out of the string. Overall it's a great string if you don't overuse it and you mix it up well. b,df+P Shinpo Tourou Soushu L 7/10 - A dashing hit to the legs. Not a bad move if you find the places to use it. Lion dashes very low to the ground so it can go under some high strings and still connect. Upon contact it will crumple so further comboing can ensue. It suffers from the same problems as the f,f+P though so watch out for sidesteps and blocks. If used carefully, and the low nature of the move is taken advantage of, you can find a lot of places to stick this one in. df+P,P Rakugekishou MM 8/10 - An uppercut with one hand, then an overhead with the other. A very nice move to stick in your mix-ups. If both hits connect you can use a pin attack for extra damage. It recovers fairly fast if it's blocked, and by using both hits a lot you can mix in a throw or low hit after the first P is blocked (cancel with G first). D,df+P,P Rensou Koushu LL 6/10 - Two knee height pecks. Once you are crouched these can be a better option than going for a d+P, but they have a little more start-up time and a lot more recovery time. These can also be used in combos to get a couple more hits before the opponent hits the ground. Overall they are not bad, but not really that much better than just using a d+P unless you only need a tad more than a d+P worth to finish an opponent off. db+P,P Tougeki Rensui LL 7/10 - A low sway backwards followed by two knee height pecks. These pecks can be extremely useful against those who rush in with high attacks because of the low backwards sway. If timed properly you can use this move to go right under the opponents attack and end up in a full crouch, which is always a great place for Lion to be. Despite the opening sway, these pecks are just as usable as those in the D,df+P,P in combos depending on the starter. As long as you don't use them too often outside of countering situations these pecks can be very useful. K,K Rensentai HH 7/10 - A high kick followed by a jumping kick. At first these kicks seem to be bait for any type of high attack as they are not the fastest moves and they both hit high. In actual usage, however, they work very well. The first kick will cut through a lot of competing high attacks thus guaranteeing the second kick. If someone tries to low hit you out of the second kick, the jump involved will often take you over their attack (you won't hit them either, but at least you won't be countered). A pin attack works very well after both kicks connect or you can use this string in a launch combo for quick and easy damage. The major warning; don't use these a lot outside of combo situations because they can be ducked and/or reversed very easily. d+K,K Zensoutai LL 8/10 - Two consecutive low kicks. Unlike K,K these kicks at first these kicks seem to be the greatest moves ever. They hit low, are easy to execute, do more damage than Lion's other ducking moves, and they can knock the opponent down. The problem is the fact that they are quite a bit slower than most of Lion's other crouching moves. Also, only the second attack knocks down and it is unlikely to land due to it's speed, not to mention the fact that even the first kick connecting won't guarantee you a hit with second. Why does it get such a high rating then? These kicks are useful if used as part of your mix-up game, especially if you change it up after the first kick (cancel with G). The other major plus for these kicks is that they work extremely well as combo ending hits almost anywhere you can use D,df+P,P for more damage as long as your opponent doesn't tech-roll. d+K,K+G Tousentai LH 1/10 - A low kick followed by a high spinning kick. One of Lion's worst strings, period. The low kick doesn't recover very fast and the second kick takes quite a while to come out. Assuming your opponent blocks the low kick they are going to be ducking and thus the high kick follow-up will go right over their head. The only way this move will work is if your opponent tries to sidestep a second low-kick (expecting a d+K,K) or if they try and move in for a throw after the d+K. Don't use this string if you enjoy winning. f+K Koushu Teishitsu M 4/10 - A very short ranged strike with Lion's knee. This move would be great, if Lion didn't have such a good elbow strike (f+P). The elbow has more range, it has a decent canned follow-up move, and it works better in combos. Overall, there is very little reason to use this move instead of the elbow unless you are trying to interupt an opponent seeing as how this knee seems to have slightly better priority. f,f+K,K Fujin Rentankyaku MM 9/10 - A leap forward containing two aerial kicks. First the bad points; this move is very slow to execute thus making it easy to block or sidestep. There, that's it. This move has excellent combo potential as either a starter or as a filler. It hits mid while moving forward so it's decent as a distance closer. It also pushes back well if your opponent is near the edge of the ring. One of Lions best moves, as long as you keep the start-up time in mind. u+K,K Katoutai MH 7/10 - A spinning kick while jumping straight up followed by a spinning kick on the ground. This move has deceptively long range and, if some anticipation is used, it can hop right over low attacks while still connecting (especially low get-up attacks). Problems? You have to get aerial first, so it's not the fastest move and the second kick doesn't always connect even if the first does. If you have good timing it can work very well against opponents who are closing in but are still out of close attack range. df+K Dantai M 7/10 - A long ranged mid kick. Every VF character has a mid hitting kick like this and for good reason. This kick is the standard mid hitting attack designed to stagger opponents who are blocking low instead of standing up. Lion has better mid hitting moves to use when up close, like his f+P elbow or his f+K knee, but this move fits the bill perfectly if the opponent is a little farther away. Just be sure to follow up quickly because VF4 staggers don't last very long. db+K Senkyutai M 6/10 - A handplant while kicking with both legs. Some people love this move, but I'm not so sure about it. I always seem to have it blocked and, as this move does not recover overly quick, I get hit while recovering. The best aspect of this move is that it knocks down and almost guarantees a pin attack. Try it for yourself and see if you can work it into your style of play as it does have those few good points. uf+K Senten Kukyaku M 2/10 - A flipping kick that looks identical to the u+P pin attack. This attack does not cover much distance and is not very fast. Combine that with the fact that, whether it hits or not, Lion has to roll backwards into a standing position after the move. This recovery roll makes Lion a sitting duck if it doesn't connect and means no combo oppurtunities if it does hit. The only positive to this move is that is has slightly longer range than your opponent might think due to one of Lion's legs being straightened. P+K Souji Senpu M 7/10 - A two armed vertical strike. A very good move that causes a bounce on a hit that allows for a follow-up combo. Use this move once you have trained your opponent to expect low attacks and you will have as many bounce combos as you want. One thing to note is that, while it recovers fast, this move does not come out very quickly. If you don't have your opponent trained to duck you will get pecked/sidestepped every time. Use it intelligently and it can be one of your best friends. d+P+K Touho Soushu L 6/10 - A step-in one low swipe with one arm. Although this move starts out a little slow it recovers reasonably well. Note that this move ends with Lion in a full crouch meaning that you can go straight into D,f+P by just pressing f+P, or the D,df+P,P by just pressing df+P,P. A decent way to get into a full crouch while moving forward and keeping the pressure on. f+P+K Tenshin Touho Soushu M (turns) 6/10 - A lunging mid strike that leaves you facing backwards. Not a bad move but it doesn't really stand out. Lion has both better and worse moves to end up facing away from his opponent. It works well if you mix it in but, because it's a lunging move, don't let your opponent see it coming or it will be sidestepped easily. f+P+K,b Tenshin Touho Soushu M 4/10 - A lunging mid strike. This is exactly the same move as the f+P+K except Lion brings his leg back to it's starting point after the strike. Because of this extra step Lion does not end up facing backwards. This extra step, however, is not very fast and you will probably get hit while doing it unless your opponent is really expecting you to stay turned around. f+P+K,K Tenshin Touho Soushukyaku MM 7/10 - A lunging mid hitting strike followed by a mid kick. Once again, this is the same move as the f+P+K except it is followed by a fast mid kick. Mix this up with the regular f+P+K and you can get into back turned stance almost at will. As with the f+P+K, don't be predictable or the lunge will be sidestepped and you won't even make it to the kick. b,f+P+K,P,P Rensansui Banchu HMM 7/10 - Three quick strikes while moving forward. A very good string to use if you want to be on the offensive. The first hit is high, but the second hit is fast enough to cover Lion against most opposition. This string does not recover very fast so you should have a good plan for a follow-up, or just cancel it part way through with G and do something else. You can also use this move in combos as a decent filler. Because of it's forward movement and linear strikes you have to watch out for sidesteppers but the positives of this move far outweigh the negatives if you like being in your opponents face. b+P+K (charge) Taizan Soukoushu H (M if charged) 8/10 - A low crouch followed by a double arm strike to the upper body. There are two attack heights to the move because Lion alters it slightly if you hold b+P+K until Lion exits the crouch and attacks. The charged version does more damage and has the better hit height but it takes awhile to execute. The very low crouch Lion gets into can easily go under high strings and the move has very good range no matter how long you charge up. Either length of charge causes your opponent to crumple allowing for a decent combo. The big problem I find with this move is that you can't hold the charge until it's the best time to attack; once Lion is ready he strikes no matter what your opponent is doing and this can be a big problem against those with long strings like Pai or Jacky. u+P+K Juchou Senshou M 8/10 - A leaping uppercut. Lion takes a small step forward before launching this uppercut so it has tremendous range that can easily catch an opponent flatfooted. Like the f,f+k,K this move can be used to start combos or it can be used as a filler in them. One of the best uses for this move is to stick it in during a crouch dash to give it the ability to pass under high attacks. Just be sure that this move is not blocked because, just like the Street Fighter move it emulates, your opponent has ample time to plot your destruction as you fall helplessly to the ground. df+P+K Sokuho Haisoushu L 6/10 - A step-in low one armed sweep. Unlike the d+P+K move with a similar appearance this move has the ability to knock down your opponent. You can even stick a couple of very low hits in afterwards for a short combo. This move also has more range than the d+P+K but it's quite a bit slower. Upon completing this move Lion ends up in a full crouch, just as with the d+P+K swipe. If you want a longer range sweep this move will fit the bill, but if you are just looking to get into a full crouch with a forward moving attack d+P+K is better because of the much quicker execution and recovery times. db+P+K Shaho Shasousui L 3/10 - A very short ranged two armed swipe during a low sidestep. I would guess that this move is intended as a way to interupt predictable strings coming from father away. I'm not sure why you would not just sidestep regularly or use d+P+K or d+K+G instead though. On the bright side, this move does recover quickly. I can see the good intention in this move but, as far as I can tell, there are others that can used in the same places with better results. d+K+G Kousoutai L 8/10 - A very low sweep kick. This is my bread and butter move to counter high strings if I don't want to risk trying to counter hit with the D,f+P uppercut. Instead of risking the d+K,K and hoping that the second kick hits and knocks down I use this to guarantee a knock down. It is not the fastest move, and it recovers slowly, but you shouldn't use it unless you are pretty sure it's going to connect anyway. There is very little combo potential after this move, unlike the second hit of d+K,K, but Lion has a pretty good game versus grounded opponents so it's not that bad of a trade-off. One more quick point is that you can execute this move from either a standing or crouching position, so you don't have to worry about changing your position before using it. f+K+G Tenshin Ryou'inkyaku M 5/10 - A mid hitting lunging spinning kick. This move packs a decent punch but it is extremely easy to see coming and therefore to block or peck. Not a bad move to use for ring-out pressure but I find the start up time to outweigh the benefits. One good thing is that because the move contains a spinning attack it is not easy to sidestep, making it safer than other lunging moves like, say, the f,f+P. b,f+K+G Senpu Rakukyaku M (turns) 6/10 - A flipping one leg kick that leaves your back towards the opponent. This move does not recover fast and it executes even slower, but it's not a bad move overall. It covers a reasonable bit of distance without being too easy to sidestep and has decent canned follow-ups. b,f+K+G,d+P Senpu Haisoushu MM 6/10 - A flipping one leg kick followed by a double arm punch then a turn. This is the only canned follow-up to b,f+K+G that ends with you facing your opponent. The punch comes out fast but does not recover very quickly so you have to mix up well to avoid severe punishment while Lion gets himself back facing the right direction. b,f+K+G,db+P Senpu Haisoushu MM (turns) 7/10 - A flipping one leg kick followed by a double punch. This move is the same as the b,f+K+G,d+P except Lion does not turn back around after the punch is completed. Because of the lack of a turn this move recovers much faster and leaves you turned around where you can use any back turned move to counter the likely offensive move by your opponent. b,f+K+G,d+K Senpu Shoukyaku ML (turns) 8/10 - A flipping one leg kick followed by a low kick. Once again, this move is a further variation off the b,f+K+G. To finish off this variant Lion uses a low kick that causes a crumple knock down. The kick doesn't come out as fast as the double punch but because of the crumple it can be followed up with a quick combo of your choosing. It's very useful to mix this kick up with the other variations, or just a G cancelled b,f+K+G followed by another move, to keep your opponent guessing. One more note, to execute opponent facing moves in a combo off of this move you will have to first turn around by pressing f or G. df+K+G Shicchi Soutai L 4/10 - A lunging low sweep kick. This is essentially the same move as the d+K+G except Lion lunges forward before the sweep instead of doing it in place. Why does this move lose points? Because of the starting lunge. The sweep does not recover very fast and you are bait for low throws/mid attacks if it's blocked, and it's likely to be blocked a lot because of the poor speed of execution. If you can see a string coming from far away enough to connect with this move there are probably better options. All told, this move can be used whenever you would use a b,df+P except you won't get the chance for a combo afterwards. db+K+G Zensou Tenshinskyaku L (turns) 5/10 - A low sweeping kick that leaves you facing backwards. This move is similar to the f+P+K except its a low hitting attack with less options to follow it up. Because of the spinning kick it's harder to sidestep but the lack of direct follow-ups and slow speed bring it down a notch. u_d,P+K+G Mabanshu H 7/10 - A high spinning punch. This is the exact same punch that ends Lion's P,P,b+P so all of the positives of that move also apply here. The bounce this punch causes allows for some combo possibilities and, because you are doing this during a sidestep, it's quite likely to connect (that is, if you are actually sidestepping a move). If it hit at mid height it would get a higher rating, but the combo follow-ups are not bad at all. uf_df+P+K+G Shazenho * 3/10 - A ducking slide to the side that slightly alters your position. This move does not hit an opponent and is simply used to move around in a stylish way. I would rather just use a sidestep; sure it doesn't look as cool but I find it works better. b+P+K+G Shakouho * 8/10 - A ducking slide that alters your position by 90 degrees. As with the uf_df+P+K+G this move does not hit an opponent, it's just a stylish way to get around. This move is much better than uf_df+P+K+G because it's a much larger shift in placement and the crouch involved does go under high attacks. It's still not as good as a sidestep for evading attacks but it can be a life-saver if you are in danger of being ringed-out (or if it places you in a better line to ring-out your opponent). >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> #3.2 Turning Attacks (End With Your Back To The Opponent) >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> While Lion lays claim to a few moves that leave him with his back to the opponent, only the following 3 moves are official turning moves. What makes these moves official is that they can all be followed up with the Haishin Senshou (P+K pressed right after executing the turning attack) while the other back turning attacks can't. Please see section #3.3 for more information on the Haishin Senshou. b,b+P Senshou Haiten H 6/10 - A step-in turning punch that leaves Lion facing away from his opponent. This move is the fastest way to get Lion to face away from his opponent as it has both the fastest execution and recovery time of any turning move. That, however, is the only use I have for this move. Lion has some decent back turned moves and this speed can trick your opponent into letting you use them. b,b+K Koushutai H 9/10 - Lion raises one leg in a kick while turning around. This is the slowest of Lion's official turning moves, though not by much, but it's far and away the best. This move launches on any hit and is the opening for a good number of combos, especially in conjunction with a Haishin Senshou (buffered P+K). Even though this move hits high it will connect with aerial opponents at a much lower height due to the rising motion of the kicking leg and this makes it a decent combo filler as well. Another important feature of this move is it's rather long range. Learning how to land this move, and follow it up with a juggle, more than once per round can almost guarantee wins. b,b+K+G Kasentai Haiten H 4/10 - A jumping spin kick that leaves Lion's back to his opponent. Not a bad move but there is very little reason to choose it over b,b+P. It looks nice and has a big edge in damage but the b,b+P has better execution and recovery time. Using it gets you style points and it can be useful against opponents who reverse high punches, but I find the other turning attacks much better. The following are the other moves for Lion that leave his back turned. For more information on these moves please see section #3.1. f+P+K Tenshin Touho Soushu M 6/10 b,f+K+G Senpu Rakukyaku M 6/10 b,f+K+G,db+P Senpu Haisoushu MM 7/10 b,f+K+G,d+K Senpu Shoukyaku ML 8/10 db+K+G Zensou Tenshinskyaku L 5/10 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> #3.3 Back Turned Attacks (Executed With Your Back To The Opponent) >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> As the name implies, these moves are only available if you are facing away from your opponent. All of these moves will leave Lion facing his opponent again upon completion so there is no way to stay with your back turned for the entire match. Note that Lion does not have any mid hitting attacks from back turned postion, meaning that an opponent can block while crouching to avoid any of these moves. One way to remedy this is to turn around by pressing G or f and then throwing or using a quick hitting mid move like f+P or f+K. Another solution to this problem is to use one of these moves as soon as you turn around so your opponent doesn't have time to get into a crouching block. P+K (buffered) Haishin Senshou H 9/10 - A short ranged punch where Lion moves both arms in an upward motion. This is Lion's best combo filler, period. The only drawback to this move is that because it must be executed very quickly after the turning move (or buffered as the game puts it) you have to decide that you are going to use it much earlier than the other back turned moves. Outside of combos this move has deceptively long reach and very fast execution and recovery speeds. Inside of combos this move has a vacuum effect, meaning it pulls targets closer to Lion while raising them slightly. This vacuum effect allows you to juggle with some moves that would otherwise be very difficult to use in a juggle. Combine this move with the lifting power of the b,b+K move and you have an incredible combination. P Hairen Senshou H 5/10 - A short range 2 punch combination. This move consists of 2 high hitting punches that combo even though you only press P once. These punches come out relatively fast but the fact that you are forced to wait through 2 high punches to recover makes it very easy for an opponent to counter you if they go into a crouching block when they see you turn your back. d+P Haiho Soushu L 7/10 - A low turning swipe with one arm. This move executes and recovers fast, plus it causes a slight stagger without knocking down, making it a great tool if you want to keep up pressure without resorting to guessing games when your opponent gets up from the floor. Beware if your opponent blocks low though because it doesn't recover quite fast enough to be completely safe. K Kousenkyaku H 6/10 - A high kick. This is a pretty standard high kick that knocks down but doesn't allow much in the way of combo oppurtunities (a pounce is almost guaranteed though). It doesn't execute as fast as the 2 punches (backturned P) but it does have better range and a slightly faster recovery time. If you are going to use a high attack out of back turned stance use this one as the damage with a pounce tacked on is much better than anything the 2 punches can do. d+K Kaikakyaku L 8/10 - A slight hop followed by a kick to the leg from a standing position. This is a very deceptive move beucause it hits low even though Lion is standing while he does it. The kick makes your opponent bounce slightly upon being hit and so there are several good combo follow-ups. Recovery time is decent, although the hop that starts the move both raises execution time and can give away what move you are doing. Use this move by mixing it up with turned around knees and elbows (G or f before executing the move) and it becomes even more useful. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> #3.4 Jumping Attacks (Executed In Mid-Air) >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Jumping is ackward and not overly useful in VF4. You can jump by holding either P or K while you press and hold U, UF, or UB. Because of the lack of speed in jumping, and in the execution of, jumping moves you will often get pecked out of the air before you get to do anything. One positive to jumping attacks is that they recover quickly. A second positive to jumping attacks is that they are not used often and can surprise an opponent. P Rakuho Tousui M 4/10 - A poking punch executed just as Lion lands. This move is a decent jumping attack but nothing more. If you are going to use a jumping attack there are better options. At least it can be done moving forwards so that it can be used as part of a pressure game. It bounces your opponent if it connects, but you will need them to hit a wall if you want to combo because they fly to far away to hit otherwise. P (while rising) Touku Haigekishou M 2/10 - A downward arcing punch executed while Lion jumps straight up. There are so many better mid hitting moves in Lion's arsenal that there is no real use for this move at all. I suppose that the extremely slow speed of this move might appeal to those who still can't get enough of that whole super slo-mo bullet time thing. As with the standard jumping punch, it bounces your opponent if it connects but you'll need to be near a wall to take real advantage of this. uf+P Touku Gekishou M 8/10 - An overhead arcing punch that is executed throughout Lion's entire jump. Finally, a good jumping attack. For a jumping attack this move comes out relatively fast, and the nature of the arcing punch makes it a little less easy to peck than Lion's other jumping moves. This move also contains a lot of forward movement, making it a reasonable choice for approaching an opponent while putting on some offensive pressure. On a hit it bounces your opponent very high and the inherent forward movement allows for some major combos. K Touku Shoukyaku M 2/10 - A weak looking jumping kick. The same problems that exist with the jumping punch are present here, so use it at your own risk. It doesn't bounce on a hit though, and that means that follow-up combos are very limited. K (before landing)Chisou Shoukyaku L 4/10 - A crouching kick executed as soon as Lion lands. This move is great if you want to mix-up your jumping attack game should you be crazy enough to want to do that. The kick comes out extremely fast but you have to wait until Lion goes through his entire jump before he does it. If you can bait your opponent into expecting a jumping attack then this move is almost a sure thing. Combo follow-ups are non-existant because of the horrendous recovery time this move has. ub+K Touku Shoukyaku M 2/10 - A backward jump containing a weak looking kick. This move looks the same as the jumping kick, except Lion jumps backwards instead of forwards. I find no real use for this move as it is much easier to just back dash or back crouch dash if you want to create some space between you and your opponent. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> #3.5 Pin Attacks (Executed On A Fallen Opponent) >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Pin attacks are moves that can only be executed when your opponent is either laying on the ground or is falling and about to be laying on the ground. These moves can be the perfect follow-ups for either moves that knock down but don't allow a combo afterwards or for finishing combos with that little bit of extra damage. Each pin attack does not do a huge amount of damage but it adds up if you can hit them consistently. Your win percentage will go up dramatically once you start to use these every time it's safe to do so. df+P Rakusenshu D 6/10 - A one armed swipe that hits laying opponents. This move is a lot faster and a lot safer than the standard pin attack, but it has a lot less range and does horrible damage. One peculiar aspect to this move is that, depending on the angle at which you are standing next to your downed opponent, it doesn't always connect even if you are very close to the target. This aspect brings the move down a few notches because, to me, pin attacks are about guaranteed extra damage and this move can't guarantee anything. Another important note is that if you try to juggle an opponent with the df+P,P string this move will come out instead because of the shared command and the "falling" position that the target is in. u+P Hiten Rakutai D 9/10 - A full body flipping kick with one leg outstretched. This is Lion's standard pin attack, and it is one of the best in the game. Unlike some other pin attacks this one is quite fast and it covers a lot of space because of Lion's stretched out leg, meaning you can even catch those who try and roll away if they don't do it fast enough. Overall a very good move that should be brought out every time you know that your opponent can't or won't be getting up right away.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> #3.6 Off The Wall Attacks (Executed When Close To And Facing A Wall) >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Lion is a very agile young man and, as such, he can use the walls to assist him in attacking or defending. The biggest trouble with these moves is that not only do you have to be against a wall but you also have to be facing it. As the b,b+P is Lion's fastest way to get turned around, it is the best way to get facing the wall once you have been backed up to one should you want to use these moves. For the most part, use of these moves will give you bigtime style points, but you may not even remember you have them considering how rarely the situation will be just right. b+P+K+G Suishou Koukyaku M 4/10 - A jump off the wall followed by an aerial single leg back kick. It would be nice if this move was at least faster considering how rarely you will be in the position to use it, but this move is very slow. However, seeing as how your opponent may have never seen this move before it may still be able to catch them off-guard. It doesn't even look that cool. A decent set-up for this move could be the b,f+P+G throw as it leaves you facing away from your opponent and far away enough that they might try charging in only to be kicked in the chest. ub+P+K+G Hekikai Honkyaku * 6/10 - A step up the wall followed by a tucked flip backwards. This move is much faster than the b+P+K+G and it could actually be quite useful if used intelligently. Note that this move does not actually hit your opponent, it is simply a cool looking way to get away from a wall. If you do decide to try this move be sure that your opponent is close enough for you to jump over with the flip otherwise it's Lion hunting season and they will have forever and a day to hit you while you fall. Just as with the b+P+K+G, a decent set-up for this move could be the b,f+P+G throw as they might try charging in after the throw only to be flipped over. >>>>>>>>>>> #3.7 Throws >>>>>>>>>>> Lion has a diverse variety of throws that are great for any situation. There is a definite lack of damage in Lion's throws compared to some others, but a few of them have strange directional inputs that make them hard to escape. Lion also has 2 throws that look very similar so an opponent might be sure they are using the correct escape for the throw they keep seeing, never realizing that it's not the one they think it is. By mixing these throws into Lion's incredible high, mid, low game you can keep your opponent from ever correctly guessing what will come next. If only Lion had a low throw for use against crouching opponents things would be perfect... P+G Hatoushu Shutai 6/10 - A grab followed by a single leg trip that pushes your opponent to the side. This is Lion's basic throw and there is nothing overly special about it. Perhaps in the right position it could throw your opponent out of bounds due to the push to the side that finishes the move. Typical of the basic throws in VF4, it's not very damaging but mixed with attacks and other throws, especially the b+P+G, it can be useful. b+P+G Shichisei Tenbunchu 8/10 - A grab followed by a single leg trip. This move is very useful for one reason; it looks almost exactly the same as the P+G throw. This throw does more damage than P+G and it has a more difficult escape, which is made even harder because of the very similar appearance that forces your opponent to discern which is which and why their P+G escape isn't working for what looks like Lion's P+G throw. df+P+G Haika Senten 9/10 - A grab followed by a slide between the legs that leaves Lion facing his opponents back. This throw does not do any damage but it is a great way to play with your opponents mind. Lion already has a very strong mix-up game and it becomes even deadlier when he is facing the opponents exposed back. Good follow-ups are df+P,P and f,f+K,K mixed in with throws, or one of Lion's dashing low strikes like b,df+P and df+K+G. Because of the odd command to execute the throw it is unlikely that you'll see this throw escaped as long as you don't use it predictably. uf+P+G Shichisei Chouhi Hozen 7/10 - Lion jumps on his opponents chest and drives them to the floor with the momentum. The good points of this throw are the strange input, making it hard to escape, and the decent damage. The bad point is that there are no good follow-ups because Lion ends up on the ground with the opponent and they get up as he rolls back to his feet. This move does have some ring-out potential but your opponent has to be very close to the edge for it to work. Strangely, Lion never ends up outside the ring with the opponent when this throw is used for a ring-out. Lion ends up sitting on thin air as his opponent falls to the ground, and then Lion gets up and stumbles out as well... wierd. uf+P+G (with opps back to wall) Shichisei Chouhi Hozen 7/10 - Lion jumps on his opponents chest, propels himself off the wall, and drives them to the floor with the momentum. This is virtually the same move as the uf+P+G with your opponent not against a wall and it has the same lack of follow-ups. This version does look quite a bit cooler though, and the damage is kicked up significantly. For some reason this version does not come out as often as it should if you are near a corner. D,f+P+G Tozan Honshakyaku 10/10 - A grab followed by a somersault off the opponents knee and a kick to the face. This throw is integral to Lion's mix-up game because it is executed from a full crouch, meaning it can come out of the same flow as the D,f+P uppercut and the d+P or D,df+P,P low pecks. The damage is quite low but you end up quite close to your opponent, who bounces as they flip and hit the ground, so following it with a combo is very easy. Learn to mix this throw in with your attacks and you will come to love it as well. f,f+P+G Saishu Houkou 7/10 - Lion grabs the opponents head and flings them away and to his right. Pretty good damage is only one of this throws good points. To start, the f,f motion gives it more reach than Lion's other throws. Usage of this throw can quickly destroy breakable walls and the fact that your opponent is thrown rather far away makes this move a definite ring-out threat. If you can use this move in the right situations it can do wonderful things. Just be wary of the rather common escape command as using this one too often can make using your other throws with the same escape problematic. b,f+P+G Hiten Soukukyaku 7/10 - Lion jumps over his opponent then launches himself off of their back, propelling them in the direction they were facing. This throw does pretty good damage but I find that it's best use is a very specific one. This throw has tremendous ring-out potential if you have your back anywhere near the edge of the ring. Because this throw propels your opponent forward from where they are it can be used to change a dire situation to a win for Lion if you are being pressured near the edge. Outside of this scenario I find the command to be overly ackward and I find myself not using it. hcb+P+G Tenshin Soukoushu 9/10 - Lion jumps on his opponents chest and snaps their neck before jumping off. This is Lion's most powerful throw and the motion to pull it off comes out a lot easier than some might think, then again that could just be my SF2 experience talking. This move has a b+P+G escape, so it should not be escaped very often, and it looks very cool. Use it and enjoy, but let it be known that this move is another one-off move for Lion as there are no follow-up combo or pin attack opportunites afterwards. f,db+P+G,u_d,P+G (catch throw) Rakushu Soushu/Rakushu Dantai 9/10 - Lion forces his opponent to duck, slides to the left or right, and does either a leg drop to the back of their head or a neck breaker. This rather complex move is a catch throw, which means that it can't be escaped like a normal throw. This also means that it is more susceptible to being pecked before it can even get underway. For a catch throw, however, this one is relatively fast and is easy to mix-up with Lion's standard guessing game of attacks and throws. Note that the 3 steps must be performed in a smooth way with fast timing. Also note that the second step is a built in sidestep that does not recover as fast as a regular one does. You can stop the throw at any step and do something else, you can even keep repeating f,db+P+G over and over again if you want. Keep in mind, though, that the throw does not do any damage until the the leg-drop or the neck breaker (both finishing throws do the same damage and the one you end up with seems to depend on how fast you do the final P+G). A final thing to keep in mind is that the f,db+P+G will not connect unless you are face to face with your opponent, in other words you can't repeat f,db+P+G,u_d, f,db+P+G,u_d... because the grab won't hit after the sidestep. P+G (from opps side) Honshin Teishitsu 6/10 - A grab followed by Lion jumping into the air and driving his knee into the back of his opponent. This is a typical side throw in VF4. It can be escaped but it does pretty good damage. For the most part, there are better things that can be done from an opponents side, like df+P,P, that offer the same damage for a little more work and they can't be escaped. That said, this is a cool looking throw and it can be useful as long as you don't throw every single time you sidestep an attack. P+G (from opps back) Touku Haigekishou 7/10 - Lion jumps on his opponents back and snaps their neck to each side before jumping off. As with all backthrows in VF4, this throw can't be escaped. Seeing as there are very few moves that allow one to get all the way around an opponent in VF4 you are not likely to see this move a lot. If you do end up behind an opponent, you probably have enough time to do anything you want to get more damage than what this throw will give you. However, I find that in the heat of battle I just go for this throw on the rare chances I have at it because I enjoy the unescapable damage and I love the way it looks. You can also follow this throw with a u+P pin attack although it is not guaranteed. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> #4.0 Picking up the Pieces - Strategy Talk >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Now that you know everything there is to know about Lion's moves (you did remember all of section #3, right?) this chapter will tell you a little about how to put it all together into some semblance of order. To start with, I'll let you know again that all of this works for me, and I believe it will work for others as well. If it doesn't work for you that's great, because then you can e-mail me what works for you and it might end up here in this FAQ. Now on to the strategy... >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> #4.1 Movement and Range >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Lion is probably the most mobile character in VF4, and you should use this to your advantage. Sidestepping is, of course, as important for Lion as it is for every other character in the game but you shouldn't stop there. Confuse your opponent by using quick side-steps and the b+P+K+G slide-step. Mix things up further with the less useful uf_df+P+K+G slide-steps and the off-the-wall moves to keep your opponent guessing. Tack on a few uf+P jumping punches and they won't know what to expect next without you even throwing out very many actual attacks. Smart movement does a lot more for Lion than just get you around the ring and play with your opponents head. Mixing up high/mid/low attacks and throws is the only way that a relatively weak character like Lion can do enough damage to win matches, and that mix-up game must include the changing of attacking distances. Use forward dashes to get in for close attacks like the f+1, d+P, d+K+G, and throws. Use back dashes to get in range for the df+K sidekick and moves like b,b+K, b+P+K, b+P, and b,f+P+K. Move even further back to use df+K+G, b,df+P, and f,f+P. Another key feature for Lion is using the forward crouch dash (df,df) as a fast way to get in to a full crouch; a way that's less dangerous than using d+P and db+P,P all the time. As the game considers a crouch dash as being in full crouch (in other words holding D) you can execute moves like the D,f+P uppercut and the D,f+P+G throw without having to press D first by just crouch dashing before pressing f+P or f+P+G. >>>>>>>>>>>> #4.2 Defense >>>>>>>>>>>> Not much can be said as far as defense goes because it is totally based on what your opponent does. It is important to note that, due to his movement and his very strong mix-up game, Lion's best defense is really a good offense. Lion does not have any reversals or parries, although he does have a decent Sabaki in the qcb+P,P, so there is no incentive for prolonged blocking in an attempt to find a reversible move. It's generally in Lion's favor to buffer a side-step into a block then attack while the opponent is still attacking. The only real reasons for extended blocking would be to find a slow executing or recovering move and either block then attack or use an attack like the D,f+P for a counter hit as it comes towards you. Lion also lacks a low throw so blocking a slow recovering low attack is best followed by a fast mid like the df+K or standing df+P,P. Be sure to keep his good interupting attacks (like d+K+G, D,f+P, df+P,P, f+K, and f+P) in mind and remember that Lion is very mobile and you will not need to worry as much about defense as some characters. Of course it's always good to learn your opponents commonly used moves and throws with a bit of practice, and time spent in training mode. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> #4.3 Standing Offense >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> As with most characters in VF4, Lion should stay away from using a large amount of high attacks. In terms of attack speed, Lion can't compete with characters like Pai and Sarah but he can walk all over fighters like Jeffry and Wolf. This means that while you might be able to get away with some P,P,P strings against Jeffry, you'll almost always lose out to a decent Pai player. Lion also doesn't have the power in his moves to go one-on-one with Akira or Vanessa. To be successful with Lion you have to mix-up up his offense and create openings to can exploit. Lion does not have the best set of canned strings in the game so it's best to limit your use of them in full and get used to using single attacks and G cancelled strings (see section #4.5). The following are some moves to keep in mind for various uses, either by themselves or in offensive strings. P+K+G, P, d+P, f+P, and f+K are all attacks that come out fast and can counter many moves that your opponent may stick out. They can also make great moves to stick in the middle of an offensive string as they execute and recover fast. Note that the pay-off for these moves is more in terms of momentum than big damage or combo opportunites. b+P, df+K, f+P,P, uf+P (in a jump), df+K+G, and b,df+P are good moves to use in the mid range. These work outside of the most effective range of certain characters like Vanessa and Lau. Generally the damage is decent with these moves and the range makes them somewhat safe if blocked. Note that b+P, uf+P (in a jump), df+K+G and b,df+P will bring you into close range, with uf+P allowing for some nice combos if it connects. db+K, b,b+K, and b+P+K are only three of Lion's moves that have deceptively long range. The fact that the b,b+K can be followed by the vacuum powered P+K and you have a great long range combo opener. Also, the b+P+K combines great combo potential with a extremely evasive nature. Overall, Lion's best standing offense comes from: - b,b+K for it's long range, comboability, and the P+K follow-up - df+P,P for it's general use, easy mix-ups by leaving out the second punch, and a guaranteed pin attack after the second P connects - b,f+P+K,P,P for it's speed and offensive pressure - P+K for it's combo potential and quick recovery - b+P+K for it's start-up crouch, varying hit level depending on charge, and comboability - d+K+G and d+P for their fast speed and low hit levels. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> #4.4 Crouching Offense >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Being in a crouch is very important for Lion because two of his best moves, the D,f+P uppercut and the D,f+P+G throw, must be executed from a full crouch, unless you are going to use them in a crouch dash (as described in section #4.1). That said, being in crouch is also very dangerous. Low throws have extremely long range and you can be caught by one after executing just a single poor d+P. You can also be staggered by a large variety of mid attacks for simply being in a crouch. While in a crouch you should mix-up the standard d+P with the D,df+P,P. The second P in the D,df+P,P can even be left out if you want to mix things up a little more. Another good attack to use while crouched is the d+K+G. Due to it's spinning action it's not as easy to sidestep as the d+P while executing rather quickly, though it recovers quite slowly. If you are seen in a crouch for any amount of time it's likely that your opponent will try and stagger you, as I noted above, and this can lead to a loss of momentum at best and receiving a nasty combo at worst. The key thing to do when this is about to happen is to make use of the D,f+P uppercut. This attack is rather fast and low enough to evade many mid hitting attacks letting it connect as a counter hit. Because of it's special status, the D,f+P launches on counter so you can pull whatever combo you like once this happens. After a few hits your opponent may get wise and start blocking the uppercut, which could be worse given the uppercut's fast recovery time, but this gives you the opening to use the D,f+P+G throw. Landing this throw also guarantees a combo. Overall, Lion's best crouching offense comes from: - d+P for it's speed and it's ability to peck and interupt - d+K+G for it's speed, range, spinning action, and the fact that it knocks down on a hit - D,f+P for it's height, execution speed, recovery time, and ability to launch on counter - D,f+P+G for it's mix-up potential and comboability >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> #4.5 Offensive Transitioning >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> So now you know how to attack while standing and attack while crouching... but how do you get from one to the other? Aside from the moves in section #3.1 that end with you in full crouch like d+P+K and df+P+K there are few hard and fast rules in moving from one state to another. Certain moves work well in getting from one to the other but note that these moves will all have negative properties. One thing that you might forget to consider is the simplest way of trasitioning, and that is to just crouch or stand up. Crouching is pretty simple, all you have to do is either press D or use a crouch dash to access full crouch moves. Standing, on the other hand, can be a little trickier if you are going from one move to another when certain commands are shared. A common situation that Lion runs into involving this is going from D to f+P (his standing elbow). As you should know by this point, D,f+P would give you the uppercut. You can cancel a crouch with b+G or f+B to avoid this confusion. Obviously, because you are blocking, it's a safer way to stand in general even if you are not transitioning while attacking. If you choose to attack while going from standing to crouching the best moves are (remember to hold D, otherwise you'll just stand back up in some cases): - d+P for it's speed and it's ability to peck and interupt - d+K+G for it's speed, range, spinning action, and the fact that it knocks down on a hit - df+K+G for it's range, knockdown, and spinning action - b,df+P for it's low movement and crumple on hit - db+P,P for it's back sway and mix-ups by leaving out the second P If you choose to attack while going from crouching to standing the best moves are (remember to cancel the crouch with G in some cases to avoid move confusion): - D,f+P for it's height, execution speed, recovery time, and ability to launch on counter - D,f+P+G for it's mix-up potential and comboability - f+P for it's speed, hit height, and decent P follow-up - f+K for it's speed and hit height >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> #4.6 Offensive Strings >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> By putting sections #4.3, #4.4, and #4.5 together you come to the idea of combining them together into relatively seamless strings of moves and attacks. As I have mentioned many times in this FAQ, Lion shines in this area and it's his best way to cause damage seeing as how his individual attacks do so little. By combining a solid string of attacks Lion can peck away at his opponent's life bar, never letting them know what comes next or when to block or attack. These strings also open the opponent up for Lion's many combo starter moves that cause bounces, crumples, and launches. Some examples using the P,P,P string are as follows (use of brackets indicate an optional input, e.g. P,(P), means the second P may be left out entirely): P,(P),(P) P,(P), G, f+P, ... P,(P), G, b,f+P+K, ... P,(P), G, P+G ... (or a different throw) P,(P), G, f+P+K ... (to end up with your back turned) P,(P), G, d+P ... (to end with a low hit) P,(P), G, D+P ... (to end up in full crouch) As you can see, something as simple as the P,P,P string can be mixed up in various ways, but it is always best to get away from continuous high attacks as soon as possible. You can replace the P,P,P string with any other fast hitting string, such as b,f+P+K, for the best results. If you choose a slower string such as b+P,P,K it is best to use the full string a couple of times to train your opponent to expect the full string and then cancel the string after the first or second hit. Some moves are almost always expected to be followed with the second part of the attack, such as df+P,P or qcb+P,P, and these can become very tricky if you choose to leave out the second hit and go for something different. What to go for after you have cancelled a string or finished a move depends on what you think your opponent will do in response: If you think your opponent is going to block high then your options are to either attack low, go for a throw, or go for a high attack that recovers fast and continue to press with further mix-ups. While all of the options are valid, they all have their own problems. A low attack will often connect, but the damage is poor and most low attacks don't recover extremely fast. A throw will connect for decent damage but your opponent can peck you or escape the throw which often puts you at a major disadvantage in position and recovery time. Note that all of Lion's throws are high, meaning that a throw will only work if the opponent does in fact stay standing. Lastly, continuing with further pressure is good, but some players can get a hit or throw in before you can continue your offensive no matter how fast you are. If you believe that your opponent is going to block low then your best best is to try a mid hitting attack as these will cause the opponent to stagger, leaving them open for a fast attack. Good choices to cause a stagger are f+P and df+K. As Lion has no low throws you can't go for that option. It would be best not to continue with low attacks as they are easily counterable when blocked. If you get the impression that your opponent will try to counter attack there are a couple of options. First off, you can attempt a counter of your own with a fast move. Good choices here are P+K+G, D,f+P, f+P, and d+P. Secondly, you could just block or evade the attack and resume your pressure. A few more example strings follow, but be sure to mix these up yourself to fit your style and that of your opponent. A solid understanding of Lion's moves helps quite a bit in concocting your own strings. Also note that some of these strings can be continued as long as you want. P,P, G, D+P, D,f+P+G db+P,P D+P, D,f+P, ... b,f+P+K,P, G, d+P, f+P, ... P+K+G, f+P,P, f+P+K,K, f+P+P, d+K, ... b,f+P+K,P, G, D+P, D,f+P, P+G P,P, G, f+P,P, b,f+K+G,db+P, d+K, P+K+G, ... >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> #4.7 Defending Against Ring-Outs >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Every VF player knows that there are few things more embarrasing than beating your opponent to less than a d+P worth of life and having them come back and knock you out of the ring by only hitting you once. Every once and a while you are likely to find yourself in the unenviable position of having your back to the edge of the ring, full life bar or not. Lion's first line of defense against ring-outs is his mobility. By using his fast movement speed and the back slide-step (b+P+K+G) can get you out of the hot seat pretty quick, just make sure you don't slide right out of the ring. Secondly, Lion has 2 throws that can be used very well near the edge of the ring. The first throw that fits this description is the b,f+P+G. This throw not only places the opponent where Lion was but it pushes them forward, often turning a near ring-out into a victory. The second throw is the df+P+G which switches positions leaving Lion facing the opponents back. One good f+P,P can knock the opponent out if they don't block in time, and if you think they will you can just try a f,f+P+G throw. Lion's next line of defense is his f,db+P+G catch throw which has a built in side-step to get you out of danger. The final option would be to use one of Lion's space making moves like the f+K+G or the f+P,P to clear the opponent back even if they block and give yourself some breathing room. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> #4.8 Forcing Ring-Outs >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> All of the offensive pressure has your opponent on their heels at the edge of the ring and you want to end it by knocking them out of the ring, what do you do? Thankfully Lion has some very good options when his opponent is hanging on the edge but doesn't want to take the big fall. There are a few moves and a couple of throws in Lion's arsenal that are tailor made for these situations. Lion's f+K+G, f+P,P, b+P,P,K, and f,f+K are just a few moves that can push the opponent back several steps even if they block. The first throw that works very well to cause ring-outs is f,f+P+G which throws the opponent back quite a ways. Note that this throw also sends the opponent a little to Lion's right so it may not work if you are not lined up perpendicular to the ring's edge. The second throw that works well for ring-outs is uf+P+G. This throw has surprising ring-out distance and if your opponent doesn't fall you will both get back up and your opponent will be right next to the ring's edge. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> #5.0 A 1 and a 2 and a... - Basic Combos >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Unlike some other VF4 characters Lion does not have a huge arsenal of different looking combos. Lion does, however, have a lot of moves that can lead into combos with bounces, crumples, and launches. Lion does not hit very hard compared to some of the others, so these frequent combo oppurtunites are a great way to rack up the damage, even if the combos aren't as varied or fancy as those done by Lau or Sarah. Play around with the different combo starters listed below in training mode as many of these starters have quite a few more possible follow-ups than are listed here. Combo Starter: b,b+K Sample Combos: P+K, f+P, u+P P+K, f+K, u+P P+K, b,f+P+K,P, u+P Combo Starter: uf+P (in a jump) Sample Combos: b,b+K, P+K, f+P, u+P f,f+K,K, u+P Combo Starter: f,f+P or qcb+P Sample Combos: f,f+K,K, u+P b,f+P+K,P,P, u+P Combo Starter: P+K Sample Combos: b,f+P+K,P,P, u+P f,f+K,K, u+P Combo Starter: b+P+K Sample Combos: b,f+P+K,P,P, u+P f,f+K,K, u+P Combo Starter: df+P,P Sample Combos: D+P, D,df+P,P d+P, u+P Combo Starter: b,df+P Sample Combo: b,f+K+G,d+K Combo Starter: P,P,b+P or u_d,P+K+G Sample Combos: b,f+P+K,P,P, u+P f+P, u+P Combo Starter: D,f+P (on counter hit) Sample Combos: P,K, u+P P, K,K b,f+P+K,P,P, u+P P, u+P+K, u+P P, b,f+P+K,P,P, u+P Combo Starter: D,f+P+G Sample Combos: f,f+K,K u+P db+P,P >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> #6.0 He's Dead Jim - Anti AI Strategy >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Sure, fighting games are made for human vs. human competition, but VF4 is one fighter where you are likely to be spending a good deal of time in various 1 Player modes. Whether you are practicing, gaining ranks, collecting items, or just having fun kicking butt, you are going to be going head to head with AI fighters. The AI in VF4 ranges from near brain dead to near impossible, but there are patterns to learn and weaknesses to exploit that can give you a chance in even the toughest of matches. Sections #6.1 to #6.12 cover each characters common moves, common weaknesses, and things to generally watch for. These notes are, of course, tailored to Lion but some aspects may be common for any character. Against almost every opponent in the game there are a few things Lion can do to even up the odds a little that the AI has trouble dealing with. Right at the start of each round you can do a move and it is almost guaranteed to connect. The two best choices for this occasion are the u+K,K string or a combo starting with b,b+K. Every once and a while the AI will peck you out of these moves but the success rate, and damage dealt to start the round, make it worth an attempt almost every round. Another key is that the slower characters like Jeffry and Wolf and ones who choose mainly slower attacks, like Lion, can be steamrolled by just using d+P and P,P,P throughout the entire match. A final note about the AI is that they are not that concious of the edge of the ring. You can press them into ring-outs by just using Lion's strong sring-out arsenal like f+P,P, b+P,P, and the f,f+P+G throw. They also won't press you if you are about to fall out, meaning you can get back into a safe position without that much trouble. >>>>>>>>>> #6.1 Akira >>>>>>>>>> Ah, the much hated and feared Akira Yuki. Some people cringe as soon as they see that their next Kumite opponent is Akira, and they get a gut feeling telling them that a loss is on the way. All told, Akira is tough but not unbeatable. When playing against Akira look out for his: - major attack power. Getting hit by Akira is like getting run over by a Mack truck. A few good combos and you are dead. - low punch that looks almost exactly like one of his shoulder thrusts. Akira loves to throw this in if you spend a lot of time standing. Learn to look for this punch and block/evade accordiningly as it's better to be standing and blocking the mid hits than crouching and waiting for it. - reversals of predictable attacks. Akira doesn't seem as psyhic as Aoi, Vanessa, or Pai but he will reverse your attacks if you use too many slow ones or you don't mix-up well enough. - evade attack that has huge range. Akira will throw this out even if he isn't evading an attack just because of the monstrous range of this thing. - charge attack used to counter tech-rolls. Akira loves to power his charge attack up when he knows you are going to tech roll, then release it to hit you just as you reach the point of the roll where you are defenseless. To beat Akira you are going to have to mix things up both offensively and defensively. Unlike other opponents, it is not always the best idea to get in Akira's face because of his reversals and his thrusting attacks that can cut through anything you try. Learn to watch for his many attacks that leave him wide open if blocked and counter accordingly. Another key point is that Akira relies on a lot of linear attacks, making him a good character to put all that side-step training to use against. Akira is much more powerful than Lion is so it will take a lot of mixed up offense, and even more intelligent defense, to win this match. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> #6.2 Aoi Umenokouji >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Aoi is the queen of reversing and redirecting your attacks, but the AI doesn't take as much advantage of this as it could. Aoi is not a competitor you should fear when controlled by the AI as long as you mind her few quick attacks and occasional reversals. When playing against Aoi look out for her: - low punch that is executed while standing. Cetain Aoi AIs love to mix this move in with high and mid attacks to screw you up. Note that it doesn't hurt that much anyway, so don't worry unless you are getting hit by it a lot. - speedy attacks. Aoi does have some speedy strings that can interupt you if you choose to use slower attacks. - ability to escape throws. Aoi seems to be the best AI at escaping your throw attempts. She doesn't always capitalize on the openings but it can fluster you to have every attempt cancelled. - love of reversing high kicks and get up mid kicks. Like most AIs with reversals, Aoi can reverse your high and mid kicks no matter how unpredictable you are with them. Because of their lack of reversing skill, AI Aois are rather weak in the mid range, where Lion is strong due to his mix-ups and fast mid range attacks. Just as with Akira, AI Aoi uses a lot of linear strings so she can be side-stepped. If you use Lion's mobilty to get in and out while not using too many slow/predictable attacks that Aoi will reverse or peck this should be a relatively easy match. Keep in mind that both Lion and Aoi are not very powerful, so this match might last a while even if it is in your favor. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> #6.3 Jacky Bryant >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Jacky Bryant is one of the hardest characters for anyone in VF4 to fight against. He has an auto punch parry and several deceptive, and extremely long, strings on his side. Keeping your cool and learning his strings are necessary if you hope to win. When playing against Jacky look out for his: - auto punch parry. Jacky has the ability to automatically parry every mid or high punch as long as he is standing still. The AI is able to pull these off almost any time it's not executing, or recovering from, an attack. Thankfully the AI does not follow up on these very often, but they still throw a wrench into the plans of Lion's punch heavy strategies. - long and deceptive strings. Jacky does not have as much strings as the other fighters, but his are very deceptive. The AI loves to mix-up hit heights and throw out long strings that never seem to end. Learning these strings is the only thing that will help you here. - fast attacks. Jacky lays claim to some fast attacks that will cut through almost anything you can try. - offensive pressure. Some AI Jackys love to lay everything on the line and they constantly attack you and pressure you right from the word go. The only thing you can do is weather the storm and find openings where you can. Because of Lion's punch heavy strategies this can be a very unbalanced match in Jacky's favor. Upon gaining more experience playing against Jacky, however, you will learn how to neutralize a lot of what he can do. Jacky loves to use advancing high hitting strings and these can be stopped with a fast low move like d+K+G or countered with the D,f+P uppercut. Another thing to note is that Jacky does not handle pressure well. If you can turn the tables with smart side-stepping and well places attacks you can start to pressure him and he will have trouble responding. Once you get on the offensive you can start mixing in throws, which Jacky seems to have trouble escaping, and attacks which leaves Jacky will be unable to use all of those fancy kicking strings that are so troublesome to deal with. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> #6.4 Jeffry McWild >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> For a very strong character with some very powerful throws AI Jeffry doesn't throw you very often. Most of the throws that Jeffry will hit you with are low throws to respond to overuse of low attacks like the D+P, d+K+G, and D,df+P,P. Unless something goes terribly wrong this is an easy match for the quick and mobile Lion. When playing against Jeffry look out for his: - attack power. Jeffry isn't a combo machine, but he doesn't have to be. A few good shots will put you out of commission fast. - low throws. AI Jeffry loves to counter blocked low attacks with low throws. These throws can be escaped easily with a buffered low throw escape if they are giving you trouble. - delayed attack strings. When played by the AI, Jeffry loves to use a lot of standard strings with slightly delayed timing to catch you if you decide to attack him in the middle of one. Should you choose to do so, Lion can steamroll Jeffry by using nothing but P,P,P strings. Side-stepping and blocking intelligently will get you past the strings that Jeffry seems very fond of. Fight smart, and watch how much damage you do take, and this match should be over without very much stress on your part. >>>>>>>>>>>>> #6.5 Lau Chan >>>>>>>>>>>>> Lau Chan may not be as intimidating in appearance as Akira can be but, if you are not careful, he can easily wipe the floor with you. AI Lau loves launch and juggle combos and these can have devastating results. On one hand the juggles can do huge damage, and on the another hand the juggles cover a huge amount of real-estate making them a definite ring-out danger. Lau, however, chooses to save his fastest moves for these juggles and uses slower speed ones in standard situations. When playing against Lau look out for his: - launching moves. Lau spends a lot of time trying to get you into the air so he perform one of his patented long and powerful juggles. - low sweep string finisher. If Lau does a string he will often end it with a low sweep that can catch you off guard as he doesn't use very many low attacks. - throw mix-ups. On higher levels Lau starts mixing throws in with his mid hitting launchers. This can really make defense a guessing game. Even though Lau only uses a couple of different throws, he uses them intelligently and they can cause a lot of trouble. - jumping punch. Lau, unlike most other characters, makes use of a jumping punch to close the distance if he is in mid to long range. Be careful if you don't peck him out of the jump because the punch hits mid and recovers so fast he will have the advantage even if you block it. Fighting against Lau can be very overwhelming if you let him dictate the pace of the match. Learn how to block/evade his strings and launchers and you will be half way to winning. Lau does most of his damage with long strings and juggles so taking these out of his arsenal handicaps him to a great degree. Blocking and evading leaves Lau the option of mixing in throws. Lion's speed and mix-up game are the key to putting Lau out of order for good. By staying in Lau's face you can keep him from going into his own mix-ups, thus stopping him from throwing as well. Combine offensive pressure with smart defense and you can send Lau packing, but you will probably lose to him a few times before you can stop his overwhelming offense. >>>>>>>>>>>> #6.6 Lei Fei >>>>>>>>>>>> Lei Fei is one of the new characters in VF4, and he is also one of the most annoying. Lei uses varying stances and continuous movement to foil your attempts at offense. Lei also uses very few moves that leave him wide open, making it hard to hit him with anything other than quick single hits. When playing against Lei Fei look out for his: - auto reversals. Lei has a stance where he stands on one leg, and in this stance he automatically counters everything outside of low attacks like d+K+G. - different stances. Not only do Lei's stances let him use different moves, but they also give him an advantages over your offensive options. For example, Lei has a stance where he has both feet on the ground and is leaning backwards. This stance takes Lei out of the range of many of Lion's high moves and it makes throwing him impossible. - fast, high priority, attacks. Lei has a large number of fast moves that easily cut through any counter attempts you make. This propensity for fast constant attacks also makes throwing him very difficult. - sabaki. At first it seems that a great time to attack Lei would be during his rather slow windmill like punch. Try it and you will likely be taken down because this is Lei's sabaki and it will auto counter a good portion of your arsenal. Wait until it's over and then try to attack. Lei Fei can be either easy or difficult, it all depends on how the AI decides to play. Certain Lei AIs opt for distinct moves that have more recovery time, allowing you to block and/or sidestep then counter as you see fit. Other Lei AIs go all out and are in near constant motion, their attacks stuffing every attack you try while they stay away from moves that leave them open for big counter attacks. In either case, smart blocking and knowing when you can side-step is the way to win. It's unlikely that you will get very many openings against Lei Fei so you have to use fast moves like P,P,P, d+P, D,f+P, and d+K+G whenever you get an opening. Don't even bother trying to throw Lei because you will almost always get pecked out of the attempt. If you can manage to get on the offensive, stick to a solid and precise mix-up game that makes use of Lion's speed to try and keep Lei from attacking. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> #6.7 Lion Rafale >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> The dreaded mirror match, only there is very little reason to fear this match up. AI Lion is decent at mixing up attacks but he doesn't go for very many throws and he chooses slower attacks, often at the low hit level, instead of faster mid hits. When playing against Lion look out for his: - mix-ups. AI Lion enjoys mixing up almost every type of move in your shared arsenal, from high to low to turning to back-turned. Keep your guard up and use fast attacks to interupt him when you can. - low attacks. When playing against Lion you are going to be seeing a lot of low attacks, especially the d+K,K. - offensive pacing. If you let AI Lion control the pace of the match, attacking and mixing up at will, you may be in trouble. As noted before Lion has a strong mix up game and this will get to you eventually if you let it carry on long enough. AI Lion relies more on mixing attacks up than on using a smaller set of quality moves. This means that AI Lion uses a lot of slower attacks and low attacks that can be easily defended against or interupted if you keep your head; remember that you should know these moves because you yourself are playing as Lion. Get in his face and go heavy on the fast attacks and throws and you will beat your alter ego quite easily. Should you want to be a little bit cheezy you can often steamroll Lion by doing nothing but d+P and P,P,P for the entire match. >>>>>>>>>>>>>> #6.8 Kage Maru >>>>>>>>>>>>>> For a ninja Kage Maru is not very stealthy, or even very fast for that matter. Lion may not have all of Kage's flips and rolls but he can run circles around this opponent. When playing against Kage look out for his: - fast elbow. Kage has an extremely fast high hitting elbow strike, and he isn't afraid to use it. This attack can and will stuff anything you try so be sure to get down and block low if Kage starts throwing these around. - mixed attacks with throws. AI Kage mixes up attack heights reasonably well and once you have figured out where to block he will start using his throws, especially his leg toss. - low kick string. Every once in a while Kage uses a low kick string that you should learn to block or you'll be feeling the pain. - stagger forcing kick. AI Kage loves to use a jumping kick that forces you into a stagger even if you block it. There is a step in and slow jump prior to the kick itself so you can see it coming, but you might not remember to get out of the way in the heat of battle. Beating Kage should be a gimme for Lion. Lion can easily stuff almost everything that Kage can do outside of his elbow thrust. Lion can also use his own mobility if Kage starts jumping and rolling around. The only way that Kage poses a problem is when you let him go full speed ahead on offense as his decent, albeit slow, mixed attacks and his love of throws can cause you some trouble. Block or evade and counter intelligently, or just stay in his face on offense, and the win will be yours. >>>>>>>>>>>>> #6.9 Pai Chan >>>>>>>>>>>>> Fighting a weak little movie star sounds like a positive change of pace, right? Wrong. AI Pai will tear right through you if you aren't careful. Pai is a speed freak and can stuff you left and right, and she'll reverse you every time if she feels like it. When playing against Pai look out for her: - speed. Pai is faster than you by a long shot. Even if you stick to Lion's fastest moves she can still peck you out of anything you try. - reversals. AI Pai is psychic at times. She can and will reverse your mid and high kicks, including get up attacks, if she feels like it. It doesn't matter how unpredictable you are so it's best to keep these moves to a minimum. - throws. As overwhelming as AI Pai can be she gets even worse when she starts mixing in throws. To beat AI Pai you have to attack every chance that you get. Don't rely on spending the match in offensive mode because Pai's speed can cut right through it and put her back in the driver's seat, just get in your licks when you can and be content spending time blocking. Luckily AI Pai does not use a large variety of strings and they can be learned for blocking, evading, and countering fairly quickly. Pai does not hit very hard so as long as you get some good attacks in when you can, and you manage to spend some time on offense, you will usually win.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> #6.10 Sarah Bryant >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> It seems that the annoying gene must run in the Bryant bloodline because she and Jacky are both likely to make your blood boil. Sarah Bryant has some very fast moves, tricky movement, and annoying throws that can make even the most hardened Lion player cry. When playing against Sarah look out for her: - speed. Sarah is not the fastest attacker overall, but she has some of the fastest punches in the game. Because of this punch speed she is not always open to attack even if she appears to be. - flamingo stance. Once Sarah has entered flamingo she has some very tricky movements and throws, but she can't block so get on her before she has the chance for any funny business. - powerful combos. Sarah has a good variety of combos that are not only fancy looking but also powerful. Get caught in too many of these and the round is as good as over. Sarah can be very tricky to fight against but she is a tad easier than her brother because she does not have that annoying punch parry. Without having to worry about the punch parry you are a lot more able to use Lion's great mix-up game, just watch out for her super fast punches. If you see Sarah enter flamingo you have to watch out because she has a variety of tricky and damaging moves. On the positive side, Sarah is very vulnerable to attacks while in flamingo. b,df+P and d+K+G are a couple of good choices to get her out of flamingo, but don't waste your time throwing because of those fast punches and her better than average mobility. By staying up close you have to deal with the fast punching but you don't have to worry as much about getting mixed up and comboed. By staying in mid range you are away from the punches but you will be forced to deal with Sarah's decent mix-up game. It's your choice as to which is more comfortable. Matches against Sarah are not always pretty but you should be able to beat her more often than not once you get a feel for the way she fights. >>>>>>>>>>>>> #6.11 Shun Di >>>>>>>>>>>>> Shun Di is old. Shun Di is drunk, or at least he acts like he is. If you think this sounds like it should be an easy match then you are right. Lion can wipe the floor with AI Shun without a lot of effort. When playing against Shun look out for his: - drinking. Shun drinks to power himself up and gain access to a larger variety of moves. Keep an eye an the drink counter below his life bar and make sure it doesn't get very high because then you might have trouble. Certain moves end with Shun drinking and Shun can drink outside of attack strings so get in there and interupt the drinking if you can. - mix-ups. Shun has access to a couple of decent mid/low mix-ups right off the bat. There isn't a large variety of them but they can get confusing. Shun needs time and space to get a high drink count and some confusing strings going and the AI just doesn't have what it takes to get this done. Lion has a great in your face game and you can use this to stay on top of Shun and keep him from doing anything. When Shun lies down you can use Lion's very potent u+P pin attack to hit him. When Shun reclines on his side or sits down you can use moves like the df+K+G, d+K+G, and df+P+K to hit him before he gets back up or attacks. This match is an easy one for Lion. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> #6.12 Vanessa Lewis >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Vanessa Lewis is a new face in the roster for VF4, and she can kick even more butt than fellow newcomer Lei Fei. In Vanessa there is a combination of brute strength, technical skill, and powerful throws that creates an impressive fighting monster. When playing against Vanessa look out for her: - auto punch reversal. While in her standard stance Vanessa has instant access to an auto punch reversal not unlike Jacky's as long as she isn't moving. One she catches a punch she will grab your hand and be able to continue that with a throw if you don't escape fast enough. - high priority attacks. Vanessa doesn't have the quickest attacks but they are able to cut right through most of the moves that you have. - low throws. If she blocks a low attack, Vanessa will be more than willing to catch you in a low throw. - reversals. Just like Aoi and Pai, Vanessa can be a psychic regarding high and mid kick attacks. Predictable or not, she can grab them. - diving spear. Vanessa's catch throw consists of a very long range diving spear attack followed by a mounted hold. This can't be blocked but it can be pecked if you have decent timing. Vanessa's auto punch reversal, just like Jacky's, forces you to switch your playing style drastically because of Lion's punch based nature. Add in her occasionally uncanny kick reversing ability and you can be in deep trouble. Try to get in close and use a combination of fast kicking attacks like the f+K, d+K+G, low punching attacks like d+P, and db+P,P, and throws if you are feeling offensive. Otherwise, playing a tight defensive game can be very useful as Vanessa doesn't use a large variety of moves and some of them don't recover very fast. If she switches to her Muay Thai stance you can breathe a sigh of relief because, even though she gains attack power, she loses her reversals and you can finally bring Lion's full offensive game to bear. This is a tough match-up that will always be difficult, even though it does get easier with experience. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> #6.13 Wolf Hawkfield >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Wolf is the resident throw master in VF4. Any time he grabs you and you don't escape you will be in a world of hurt. Outside of throwing, Wolf has a decent mix-up game and some strong combos. Thankfully the AI does not use Wolf to his full potential and this becomes an easy match for a well played Lion. When playing against Wolf look out for his: - giant swing. This is one of Wolf's favorite throws and it can be seriously painful if you get caught in it. If you do happen to get grabbed by it you can make the damage manageable as long as you tech-roll on impact with the floor. - low dropkick. This kick is Wolf's most used move to mix-up attack heights. Watch for it and block or sidestep as desired, otherwise you will be suffering a good deal of unnecessary damage. Wolf is yet another character that Lion can beat with nothing other than P,P,P strings and d+P. With Wolf the AI likes to use a lot of high attack strings so these are perfect targets for the D,f+P. The only real threat with Wolf, as long as you nullify the low dropkick, is his throwing game and that can be easily neutralized by keeping on the pressure as only Lion can. This should be an easy win. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> #7.0 What's He Wearing? - Item Collecting >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> These items are used to customize Lion for use in any mode in the game. They don't do anything other than change Lion's appearance though so don't think the helmets will give you better defense against high attacks. Note that you do not have to be in Kumite mode to collect these items as all items with set victory conditions can be won in VS mode against a non- controlled fighter. Even the 100 Consecutive Win item can be won this way. Two terms used in this section may not make sense at first, so here is the explanation of certain terms taken directly from neoarchaic's VF4 item FAQ, which is also the source of this list in general: BA Item: BA Item stands for Battle Arena Item. It means that this item is only available in Kumite mode and is gained by defeating an opponent who possesses it. Vision Sphere Item: These items are gained by collecting seven different colored spheres from High King rank opponents. When you collect all seven you will gain your Vision Sphere Item. A few characters have multiple Vision Sphere Items. When there is more than one Vision Sphere Items, the ones which you are able to gain after the first are referred to as "Secondary Vision Sphere Item." Items that have methods which are confirmed to work are are followed by the <C> tag. If an item doesn't have the <C> tag the method given either isn't correct or it just hasn't been tested. Head Items Backwards Cap: BA Item Cowboy Hat (Black): In one round, knock the opponent down four times or more. Red Cap: Win Once. <C> Reverse Red Cap: Achieve two consecutive ring out victories. <C> Blue Cap: With the 100 win item equipped, using only ub+K, achieve excellent victories in all the rounds. Green Cap : With the Red Cap equipped achieve one victory. Reverse Green Cap: Frequently use evade attacks. <C> Black and Orange Cap: Achieve ring out victories for all of the rounds. <C> Reverse B&O Cap: After receiving a large amount of damage, achieve a comeback victory. <C> Brown Cap: Wear the Black Cap then... Reverse Brown Cap: Achieve victory using a counter. <C> Black Cap: With the 100 straight win item equipped use primarily throws to achieve victory. Reverse Black Cap: With Reverse Brown Cap equipped use a many counters. <C> Blue Helmet: Win each round within ten seconds. <C> Yellow Helmet: With the Blue Helmet equipped achieve victory in all the rounds as quickly as possible. <C> Red Helmet: With the white helmet equipped use guard a lot for all of the rounds. <C> Helmet (White): Use a lot of guards. <C> Pink Helmet: With the Red Helmet equipped use guard a lot. <C> Suede Cap: In all the rounds receive mainly throws or win 5 consecutive matches. <C> Knit Cap: Use primarily side throws. <C> Red Cowboy Hat: With the Cowboy Hat(Black) equipped achieve 6 or more down attacks in one round. Cyan Cowboy Hat: With the Red Cowboy Hat equipped achieve 4 or more down attacks within one round. Prism Cowboy Hat: 100 straight win item. <C> Hair Colors Silver Hair: Won by collecting all the vision spheres. Blonde, Red and Blue Hair: Gained by collecting Vision Spheres multiple times. Ear Items Silver Earring: BA Item. Dragonclaw Earring: Use a lot of evade attacks. <C> Skull Earring: 10 successive wins with no earring equipped. <C> Nose Ring: With the 100 straight win item equipped win 5 or 10 successive matches while throwing. Neck Items Leather Choker: BA Item. Windheart Necklace: Achieve excellent victories for all of the rounds. Skull Necklace: 15 consecutive wins or 5 consecutive wins with the Skull Earring equipped. <C> 5 Skull Necklace: With the Skull Necklace equipped achieve 15 consecutive victories. <C> Flare Pendant: With the 100 straight win item equipped achieve 5 victories winning every round using strikes. Other Items Pink Goggle Sunglasses: BA Item. Yellow Sunglassed: Use a lot of crumple attacks (f,f+P and/or b,df+P). <C> Sleeve (Red): For all of the rounds achieve ringout wins using strikes. <C> Sleeve (Green): For all of the rounds use a lot of air combos. Sleeve (Blue): With the Sleeve Color (Red) equipped use a lot of throws. Silver Knuckles: Against Sarah have her use a "Gattling" Kick and then win. Dunce Items Eiffel Helmet: Lose 10 matches in a row. You can get rid of it by winning 2 matches in a row. After removing it, it will be usable just like other head items. Mantis Head: Get hit by d+P a lot. You can get rid of it by winning a match without getting hit by d+P. After removing it, it will be a usable item in your inventory. King Tut's Mask: Lose 3 rounds without hitting your opponent. You can remove it by winning 1 round without getting hit. This item can't be kept after it's removed. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> #8.0 Me - Who Am I and Who Am I Thanking? >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Chris Keppler, that's me. I have been playing games since the NES (though I have played various Atari systems, Pong systems, and the Intellivision) and dabble in almost every genre. I am known to frequent a large variety of the message boards at the best videogame site on the web, gamefaqs.com, so you can find me there if you like. Please drop me an e-mail, or find me at the VF4 PS2 board on GameFAQs, if you have anything to add to this FAQ, if anything is incorrect in the FAQ, or if you just have a comment about the FAQ. Be gentle, it's my first posted FAQ... but don't be afraid to correct me if something is really wrong. My e-mail address is: email@example.com Kudos go out to the following people: CJayC - His constant work on GameFAQs is to be admired, and his site is one of the reasons I made this FAQ. Kao Megura - Fighting game FAQs would not be the same without his fine work. ice-9 - The writer of the the Lion Rafale dojo at virtuafighter.com, check it out for some good info., it was an obvious inspiration for a chunk of the info in this FAQ, especially the strategy section. neoarchaic - An upstanding member of the VF4 message board community; his item list translation work helped a lot of people, me included. The item list in this FAQ is from the Lion section of his VF4 item FAQ available at gamefaqs.com. Be sure to check it out. SpEkKiO - His VF4 Lion FAQ is a good read and some of the item names and methods I used came from his item list. The people in the GameFAQs message boards - You guys and gals make hitting the web both fun and thought provoking. Shannon - My partner in crime; thanks for putting up with me. >>>>>>> THE END >>>>>>>