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Beginner's Guide by r4r3truffle
Version: 0.50 | Updated: 08/09/2004
------------------------------------------------------------------- \\ The Newcomer's Guide to Soul Calibur II........................... -------------------------------------------------------------------- 8MMMWZZ87. 7B0@MMMMMMMaS. MMM, .: .rSWMMMW@@BZZ7, :XXaZ2. X i r. XMM . i. i ., ar S@0XSr .i7Sr.@MM@; Mi ,M,@0 :MM ;M MS M;XMMMMM;M:;:W 8iZ@i. 2aZW 8;M .M Ma MM .M@M Mi M ,MXMM M i.W aW8 ;MM Sr.:.M7ZS M Mr MB .M2 MM M M iM @.8;:.W 2irSX: SM8,;S8WMMW SMMMM MMMMM@. MM ,MiMMMMMrM,XMMMMM;7MMMM,WXi;02X XMi .. . ir BM ,. Mr, i. .XXaX ,ZXi iZM : :MM: .MaBM r: X XaX r8Z iMMSi Z .2 XZi rZ2 ;8; .MMMB8X;M7XZZ0 .aX X, aWMB2WiX2 7 . 8 ,a .BSX0, ------------------------------------------------------------------- ..............presented by r4r3truffle (mekino[at]hotmail[dot]com) // -------------------------------------------------------------------- VERSION 0.50 ------------------- < Table of Contents > ------------------- S00 - Read This First (How to Use the Guide) S01 - The Part No One Reads ...01-A Disclaimer ...01-B Version History ...01-C Introduction S02 - The Basics ...02-A Controls ...02-B Notation and Definitions ...02-C Getting Started ...02-D Attacks and Moves ...02-E Basic Techniques S03 - Application ...03-A Throws ...03-B GIs ...03-C Movement S04 - General Strat ...04-A Mix-ups ...04-D Wake Ups ...04-E Anti Strat S05 - Intermediate Stuff ...05-A Advanced Techniques ...05-B Understanding Frames S06 - Characters ...06-A Choosing a Character ...06-B Profiles ...06-C Character Specific Resources S07 - Reference ...07-A Notation and Definitions ...07-B Technical Data S08 - Final Notes ...08-A Contact Info ...08-B Credits ...08-C Other Resources ...08-D Final Words ...08-E About the Author < S00 - Read This First (How to Use the Guide) > If you're brand new to Soul Calibur 2... ---------------------------------------- Before you start, you should figure out who you might want to play. It doesn't have to be set in stone, but finding a character you like is a good first step to getting into the game. Mess around in Practice Mode with charas who look interesting, and if you want more info, go down into the Characters section. You may not understand everything that's said in the character descriptions, but you'll get a general idea of how they're played (speedy, defensively, aggressively, etc). With your intended character's 'fighting style' in mind, go on to the Basics section to get started. If not... --------- You've probably already chosen a character and are familiar with the game, so skim over the next few sections until you find something you don't know or would like to learn more about. Use the FAQ as reference and resource that can guide you to more information on the web. And if you're one of those expert players... -------------------------------------------- WTF are you doing reading this? XD Actually, it'd be great if you could give your input on the guide. Suggestions, and maybe even contributions (glances at the gaping emptiness in the Strat and Characters sections) would be greatly appreciated. Explanation of some of the random stuff... ------------------------------------------ "Notes to Self" (NTS) are just random comments I make to myself that help me with organizing the FAQ. They also point out places where I'd like a bit more info.., Use the CTRL+F function to quickly jump to specific sections by searching for the number-letter combinations in the Table of Contents (ie 02-E for Basic Techniques). < S01 - The Part No One Reads > // 01-A. Disclaimer // All of this FAQ was written by me, r4r3truffle. It is basically a collection of common knowledge from around the internet, but I have taken the time to put it all together and make it easily understood. So, feel free to distribute/print it, but do not forget to credit me and do not alter the FAQ in any way. // 01-B. Version History // Version 0.01 - 09.04.03: Outlined sections and added some basic content. Version 0.02 - 09.12.03: Notations and Definitions (incomplete) added. Version 0.03 - 09.15.03: Overhauled the layout and added content to Controls, Getting Started, and Attacks and Moves a bit. Version 0.04 - 09.16.03: Finished the Basics Section. Version 0.05 - 09.18.03: Additions to Basic Techniques and Final Notes. Started the Characters section. Version 0.06 - 09.20.03: Finished Kilik's Profile in the Characters' section. Version 0.07 - 10.12.03: Additions to Character sections, rehauled the layout (again) and cleaned up a couple sections. Version 0.08 - 11.01.03: Updates to the General Strat and Characters sections. Version 0.09 - 11.03.03: Additions to Advanced Tech, moved some stuff around. Version 0.10 - 11.04.03: Lots of stuff edited, like NCs, strings, CHs, etc. Version 0.20 - 11.04.03: Additions to Gen Strat and creation of new sections. Version 0.21 - 02.12.04: Addition of Technical Data section and revisions in Basics. Version 0.30 - 04.02.04: Frames section fleshed out, lots of formatting, and a Raph confessional added. Version 0.40 - 04.04.04: Nifty new ASCII art logo, stuff on 2G and RCC in the Advanced Techniques section. Version 0.50 - 07.09.04: Huge update after a long hiatus. Got Talim and Raph confessionals, and wrote up overviews on Talim, Xianghua, Maxi, and Yoshimitsu. // 01-C. Introduction // So, you want to learn how to actually play SC2? This guide can help you get started by teaching you how the system works and how to understand the lingo SC players use, allowing you to read up on strategies online. What this guide does not provide, however, is advanced strategies for high-level play. This guide will serve as a tool for helping you become a more knowledgable player. Only competition, practice, and experience can carry you beyond that. After reading this (and understanding what it says!), I strongly suggest you go to the following sites for in-depth, advanced strategy: SC.com http://www.soulcalibur.com/ GI.com http://www.guardimpact.com/ Also, throughout the guide, I will refer you to links to sites with more detailed information that isn't covered in this FAQ. Well, with that said, on to the real content! < S02 - The Basics > // 02-A. Controls // Okay, here's a simple rundown. This guide applies to all versions of SC2, regardless of what console/arcade machine you're playing on. I will use universal terms that can be translated to all platforms. The Buttons ----------- On an SC2 arcade machine, the 4 buttons are arranged like so: A B K G Right hand on buttons (thumb on G) and left hand on joystick. G: This is the guard button. Hold it down, and your character immediately moves into and stays in a defensive position. A: Horizontal attack. Your character executes a horizontally oriented attack with their weapon. B: Vertical attack. Your character executes a vertically (duh) oriented attack. K: Kick. Your player uses their feet/legs or another part of their body that is not their main weapon to attack. The Stick ----------- Situated to the left of the buttons, this is how you move your character around. ------------------------------------------------------------------ Console Translation (default button configuration A) ------------------------------------------------------------------ Arcade / Gamecube / Xbox / Playstation 2 ------------------------------------------------------------------ G B A X A A X Square B Y Y Triangle K X B O ------------------------------------------------------------------ For all consoles, either the d-pad or analog stick can be used to control movement. All buttons from here on after will be referred to by their Arcade designations, which is standard for most SC sites and movelists. // 02-B. Notation and Definitions // Okay. This is where you're going to learn how to read SC2's 'language.' Even if it seems a bit foreign at first, you'll quickly see what an efficient and effective system this is for expressing specific inputs. Directions and Buttons ---------------------- Instead of referring to directions as 'up (u),' 'down (d),' 'back (b),' 'up-forward (u/f),' etc, SC2 uses the number notation. Try looking at the number keypad on the right hand side of your keyboard... 789 u/b u u/f up-back up up-forward 456 = b n f = back neutral forward 123 d/b d d/f down-back down down-forward Notice that there are 9 numbers, 8 to represent directions and the middle (5) to represent the joystick's neutral position (it isn't being pushed in any direction). * in SC2 terms means delay, NOT joystick neutral. All moves in movelists are given as if your character is facing right. So, 6 means forward, 4 is back, 2 is down, 8 is up, etc. As stated earlier, there are 4 buttons, referred to as G, A, B, and K. Move Notation ------------- 6 Tap joystick forward.  Push and hold joystick forward. A Press A button. [A] Press and hold the A button. 6A Tap joystick forward and press A at the same time. A+B Press A and B at the same time. A_B Press A or B. "_" means "or." AAA Press A, then A, then A. AA(A) ()'s signify optional inputs. Press A, A, then you can omit the Last A. A~B or aB Quickly press B right after A (often called a 'button roll') * Delay // 02-C. Getting Started // Time for the crash course on SC basics. I suggest you boot up SC2's practice mode to try this stuff out so you can see what I'm talking about. Movement -------- In SC2, you can move in all directions. There are 2 general kinds of movement, sidestepping (often referred to as step or SSing) and Eight Way Run (8wr). In order to execute a quick step, tap the joystick quickly in any direction and let it return to the neutral position (so tap the stick quickly and let go of it). Your character will move quickly in whatever direction you input. Steps are faster than 8wr in general and can evade more attacks. Generally, you should step to your character's side (2 or 8) for maximum evasion. There are 2 ways to execute 8wr. The first is to hold the joystick in any direction. At first, your character will walk in the indicated direction then transition into an 8wr animation. This is a very short transition, but it still makes a difference. The faster way to execute 8wr is to double tap and hold any direction. Immediately after the second tap, your character will already be in their 8wr animation. 8wr commands can be listed in 2 different ways: 8wr2_8A 22_88A Both mean the exact same thing: While running in either the 2 or 8 direction, press A. Jumping and Crouching --------------------- There are 2 ways to jump (without attacking): - Press any of the up directions while holding G - Push G and an up direction at the same time There are also 2 ways to crouch/duck: - Press any of the down directions while holding G - Push G and a down direction at the same time After your character is fully crouched (FC), you can release G and hold the down directions and they'll stay crouching. While FC, you can slowly inch your way forward or back by pushing the stick in the 1_3 directions. Jump 7_8_9+G or [G]7_8_9 Crouch 1_2_3+G or [G]1_2_3 then release G and hold 1_2_3 A more practical way to be FC is to execute a move that recovers crouching (it ends in your character being FC). Then, you can just hold a down direction to remain crouching. You don't have to push G during any time. Guarding -------- To guard high, press and hold the G button. Nothing too strenuous, right? Okay, now try pressing G and a down direction and holding both. Now you are guarding low. Guarding high blocks high and mid attacks but not low attacks. Guarding low blocks low attacks, ducks under high ones, but cannot block mid attacks. What does this mean to you? Use attacks that can break through your enemy's guard and try and adjust your guard whenever you see a low, mid, or high attack coming. For example, if you have an opponent who blocks low all the time, hit them with a Mid attack. If you see your opponent winding up for a Low attack, Guard Low. Also, guarding can be used straight out of 8wr. While you're running in any direction, if you see the enemy about to attack, you can immediately push G, and your character will stop running and block immediately. Yipee, you can move around and guard now. Let's move on to attacks... // 02-D. Attacks and Moves // Standing Attacks ---------------- Press an attack button (A_B_K) while standing still. Example: Mitsurugi's A Basic Attacks ------------- These are executed by pressing a direction and a button at the same time. Example: Mitsurugi's 4A Complex Commands ---------------- A complex command consists of more than one direction and button press. Examples: Mitsurugi's A+B Mitsurugi's 2kB Mitsurugi's 236B Note: When doing a joystick roll (214, 236, etc.), press the button at the same time as the last directional input. For Mitsu's 236B, roll the joystick from 2 to 3 to 6, and push B at the same time you input 6. Strings ------- A string is a sequence of moves that are not guaranteed. Strings, unlike combos, can be interrupted. For example, even if the first move of a string hits, the next one can be GIed or blocked, or possibly interrupted by an attack. Example: Maxi's 4A bA A Natural Combos -------------- If you land the first hit of a natural combo (NC), then the rest of the hits cannot be interrupted, no matter what your opponent tries to do. This means they cannot attack or dodge out of the combo, but they can still block the subsequent hits. Example: Mitsu's AA(A) 8wr Moves --------- While running, your character executes different attacks than if they were simply standing still. Example: Mitsurugi's 8wr2_8B or 22_88B Most 8wr moves can be executed in more than one direction of 8wr. Mitsu's 8wr2_8B can be executed in both the 2 and 8 directions, but it's the same move. Juggles ------- Moves that launch your opponent into the air are referred to as Juggles or Launchers. Example: Mitsurugi's 3B Jumping Moves ------------- Remember how to jump? Well, an individual jump can be divided into 2 parts, and each part has different moves you can execute from them. The first part is while your character is moving upward. This state is referred to as "while jumping" (WJ). If you want to execute a WJ move, it's best to press 7_8_9 and an attack button at the same time; pressing G at any time is not required. The second part is while your character is landing, aptly named "while landing" (WL). To execute WL moves, you must jump using either 7_8_9G or [G]7_8_9 then press an attack button during the latter part of the jump. Examples: Mitsurugi's WJA. Executed by pressing 7_8_9A Mitsurugi's WLA. Executed by pressing 7_8_9G*A or [G]7_8_9*A Fully Crouched Attacks ---------------------- Remember how to crouch? While FC, you can execute your character's crouching attacks. Simply hold the direction indicated by the move's command while you crouch, then push the necessary inputs. Example: Maxi's FC3A(AA) Execute this either by doing a move that recovers crouching or simply crouching. Try doing Maxi's 2A, holding 3, then pushing A. Or, simply hold G and 3, then push A. While Standing Attacks ---------------------- While standing (WS) refers to the state when your character is standing up after crouching, the transition between the two, if you will. Attacks executed WS are different from your normal standing moves. You can either be standing up from a normal crouch (let go of 1_2_3 after [G]1_2_3) or from a move that recovers crouching. If a move recovers crouching, it means that after the move is executed, your character will be FC. Example: From fully crouched, try standing up and executing Kilik's WS A during the transition. Now try doing his 2A, a move that recovers crouching, then immediately press A without pressing or holding any other directions. You'll execute WS A. Just Frames ----------- Just frames (JFs) are moves that require precise timing. You must time the input almost perfectly, within a few frames of animation. SC2 runs at 60 fps (frames per second), so one frame is 1/60th of a second. Example: Kilik's 6AA:B+K (can also be listed as 6AAJFB+K) ":" signifies precise timing, or a JF. This means that B+K must be pressed at a precise moment during 6AA's animation. Note: Don't worry if you can't execute JFs very well (or even at all!) in fights. You can begin to learn their timing and application when you've become more experienced. And unlike other fighting games, you're not missing out on any game-breaking moves if you can't consistently pull off JFs. Combos ------ Example: Mitsurugi's 3B, BB When SC players discuss combos, it _always_ goes without saying that they are only talking about Guaranteed Combos. There's really no use in talking about ones that might or might not hit. So, in SC terms, a combo means that all moves are guaranteed to hit after the first one hits. A guaranteed combo is when all moves of the combo will hit the opponent, even if the other character tries to maneuver out of the attacks' range in the middle of the sequence. A juggle combo is one started by a launching move. Throws ------ All characters have several basic throws, executed by pressing A+G or B+G. When either of these is inputted, the character reaches out, grabs the opponent, then goes into an automatic attack sequence which does a nice bit of damage. Throws cannot be blocked, so they're especially useful for punishing guard heavy opponents. However, the character being grabbed can escape or break the throw. As soon as one's been grabbed, there is a small time frame to press a specific button to do so. A+G throws are broken with A and B+G throws are broken with B. Therefore, throwing is one of the basic 50/50 choices that you can force on your opponent. If they guess wrong, they get damaged. This is one of the most basic tactics in any fighting game: forcing guessing games upon your opponent, and punishing them if they guess wrong. Example: Mitsurugi's A+G NOTE: You can't mash A and/or B to break throws all the time. The game will only consider your first input in the throw break time frame. If you press A+B, it will treat it like you only pushed A. Command Throws -------------- Some characters also have command throws, which are executed with inputs aside from basic throws. Command Throws have a specific button to break them, which is listed besides them in most movelists. Example: Yoshimitsu's 214A+B Chain Throws ------------ Also, a few have multi-throws or chain throws, which are executed with multiple inputs in succession. Chain throws can be broken during any one of the multiple throws. Example: Kilik's 236G+A, 46A, 41236B The first part of Kilik's throw can be broken with A, the second with A, and the third with B. Attack Throws ------------- And finally, there are some attacks that transition into throws under certain conditions (they are called Attack Throws). Most cannot be broken (inescapable) but they can be blocked. Example: Mitsurgi's A+K (inescapable AT) Mitsu's A+K is normally a simple poke with his sword. But, if you manage to get a deep, clean hit, the move transitions into a throw, during which Mitsurugi drives his sword through the enemy's stomach, and kicks them off the blade. Ouch. There are a few breakable attack throws. Example: Kilik's 3A+B (breakable AT) On a clean hit, this low move will become an AT (the infamous 'ball breaker'). The opp can break it with A, however. G-Cancelling ------------ Most attacks can be cancelled by pressing G during the move's animation before it hits. This is useful to cut short attacks if you see that the enemy is going to block it or if you wish to play mind games. Example: Mitsurgi's B~G If you press G quickly enough, Mitsu will start his B attack, then quickly return to his ready position before completing the move. Unblockables ------------ All characters have various unblockable (UB) moves. These cannot be guarded against or GIed, but can be evaded. For example, you can sill duck underneath a high UB or sidestep out of the way of a mid vertical UB. Example: Kilik's 214A+B Many UBs, including Kilik's 214A+B, can be G-cancelled during their lengthy, flashy start-up animations. Some unblockables can be cancelled into another attack. Example: Yoshimitsu's 44B(B) Inputting 44B will start Yoshimitsu's long-ranged UB poke. If you push B before the move comes out, however, Yoshimitsu will not execute his UB but instead dash forward with a quick blow with the hilt of his sword. This move is useful for catching enemies who move forward to try and interrupt. Some attacks become unblockables depending on how long you 'charge' them. Example: Yoshimitsu's 4K[B] If you hold the last B long enough, Yoshimitsu's sword will erupt in flames. If you release the B then, the slash will be UB. Stuns ----- Some moves can cause your opponent to get knocked down or become temporarily stunned. Movelists will tell you if/when a move causes a stun. BN Move produces Bounce Stun. DOS Move produces Double Over Stun. CS Move produces Crumple Stun. FS Move produces Fall Stun. TH Move induces Toe Hop Stun. Bounce Stun (BN): Character bounces off the ground and into the air. Can be juggled. Double Over Stun (DOS): Character grasps at their stomach and slowly falls to their knees, then to the ground. Can be broken by holding G and moving the joystick around. Crumple Stun (CS): Character folds over then falls onto the ground. Fall Stun (FS): Character falls immediately to the ground. Toe Hop Stun (TH): Character holds toe and hops around, then falls to the ground. Levels ------ The Level of a move is where it hits an opponent. There are 3 main Levels: high (H), mid (M), and low (L). There are also other levels, but they are less common. The following chart explains which Levels hit or miss when the opponent is in various states. All moves will hit if the opponent is simply standing still, so that is omitted from the chart. ------------------------------------------------------------------- Move Levels (Y = Hit N = Miss/Blocked) ------------------------------------------------------------------- Level High Guard Low Guard Crouching Tech Crouch ------------------------------------------------------------------- High N N N N Mid N Y Y Y Low Y N Y Y Special Mid N N Y Y Special High N N N Y Thrust Mid N Y Sometimes Sometimes ------------------------------------------------------------------- (NTS: NEED CONFIRMATION!!! And should I include Super Ducks?) As can be seen by looking at the chart, highs are rather limited, mids are quite versatile, and thrust mids are rather unpredictable. Levels, among other properties, are listed in movelists alongside the attack. Orientation ----------- Moves are either oriented in a vertical or horizontal direction. In general, A attacks are horizontal, Bs are vert, and K attacks vary. Button combination attacks tend to have mixed properties, such as a diagonal orientation. Generally, Vertical attacks beat Horizontals, Horizontals beat 8wr, and 8wr beats Verticals. A bit of a rock-paper-scissors relationship to keep in the back of your mind when playing... K moves and complex commands classified as horizontals cannot be crushed by verticals. Your head is probably now spinning, thinking that you have to know all moves and their levels and orientations... it's okay, you don't have to cram all this into your brain, but you'll soon find yourself unconsciously learning this stuff because you'll see certain moves used frequently. Learning how to evade and defend against attacks largely comes from experience. // 02-E. Basic Techniques // Well, now you that you can move around, Guard, and hit things... Air Control ----------- When hit by a juggle, you can move your character around using the joystick to try to avoid attacks while you are airborne. This is called air control (AC). You can AC in any direction. NOTE: This is one of the most important features of SC2 that makes it different from other fighting game. This is what keeps SC from having million hit juggle combos because you can influence your movement in the air to avoid the hits. Tech Rolling ------------ When grounded, you can Tech Roll around on the ground to try and avoid attacks or position yourself. You can roll forward/back (4_6) once before getting up, and sideways (2_8) up to 3 times before getting up. Tech Landing ------------ After being launched into the air, if you press G right as you hit the ground, you will land standing up. This enables you to react more quickly and avoid the wake up game that you'd have to deal with if you were grounded. If you hit a direction as you tech land (4_6_2_8G right as you hit the ground), you will immediately roll as you land. Note: You cannot Tech Land crouching. Guard Impact ------------ Guard impacts (GIs) allow you to disrupt an enemy's attacks and temporarily stun them. To execute a successful GI, you must do it at the same time that the opp's attack impacts. Repel 6G - Deflects High and Mid attacks. Parry 4G - Deflects Mid and Low attacks. An unsuccessful GI attempt (a whiffed GI) will leave you temporarily vulnerable until the GI animation ends. Note: Throws can be GIed with 6G. Reverse Guard Impact -------------------- When you have just been GIed and are stunned, you cannot block, move, or attack; you are in GI stun. However, you can still GI. This means that you can GI the next attack that your opponent uses while you're stunned. This technique is called a reverse GI, or reGI. Of course, after you've reGIed your opponent, they can always reGI you back... Guard Crush ----------- Certain attacks can cause guarding opponents to stumble into a stunned state while they are blocking. These are called guard crushes (GCs) or guard breaks (GBs). Although GCs don't cause any damage if you hit a blocking opponent, they stagger backwards under the force of the attack. GCs look different from normal attacks because weapons have a blue-greenish glow during a GC's attack animation. Example: Talim's B+K A GC stun is a lot like the state induced by a GI. This means that even though the opponent can't guard, move, or attack after being GCed, they can sill reGI. Note: GCs can be GIed. Counter Hits ------------ If a move interrupts the opponent in the middle of an action, it is considered a counter hit (CH). CHs occur when you hit an opponent who is doing something other than standing still, such as attacking, 8wr, backdashing, jumping, etc. You can tell whether a move is a CH or not by the color of the hit: normal attacks are yellow, CHs are red. They have different properties than non-CH attacks. Any move on CH will do more damage than normal. Moves on backdash CH (hitting the opp while they move in the 1_4_7 directions) or attack CH (interrupting the opp's attack) will be more potent. For example, a juggle attack may knock an opponent higher, a move may cause a stun on CH, or a series of moves that aren't normally an NC will become one. For example, some moves are NCc, or Natural Combos on Counter. This means that if you land the first hit as a counter, the rest of the move is guaranteed. Example: Kilik's AAB If you'd like to see how different kinds of CHs affect attack damage, check out the CH Bonuses list in the Technical Data section (06-B). Wall Movement ------------- When knocked into a wall, you can move around to try and avoid further enemy attacks. Kind of like ACing, but on walls... Just move the joystick around when you've been hit into the wall. Also, some characters have moves that allow them to jump or run on walls. Cass: 236, 88_22 (towards wall) Talim: 88_22 B+K (towards wall) A,A,B (towards wall),K 9B (towards wall), K Taki: 214, 88_22 (towards wall) A+B (toward wall) SC 7K (back to wall) Xianghua: WS[K] (back to wall) Voldo: MC 44, 66 (towards wall) Kilik: 236 A+B, G (back to wall) Cerv: DC B (toward wall) Wall jumping isn't particularly useful, but it's something to keep in mind. < S03 - Application > Onto the section that will teach you to apply what you've learned in the previous ones. // 03-A. Throws // Breaking Throws --------------- Learning how to break throws is something that many people ask about. IMO, it's just something that comes with experience. Here are a few tips that can help. CONTEXT----------------------------------------------------------- By knowing what the opponent's throws are used for (ROing, switching position, etc.) you can anticipate which ones they'll use in certain contexts. Are you close to the edge of the ring? Is the opponent's back to a wall? By anticipating what your opponent wants to do, you can figure out which throw break to use. COMMAND THROWS---------------------------------------------------- Opponents using characters with Command Throws will tend to use those when they want damage. Learn which buttons break popular Command Throws and break accordingly when you play against those characters. PATTERNS---------------------------------------------------------- People have a tendency to go into patterns. Some will use A+G over and over again because it 'looks cool' or simply because it's easier for their hand to hit those buttons. Or they might alternate between their A and B throws. If you recognize a pattern in your opp's throwing, break accordingly. TELEGRAPHING------------------------------------------------------ People often just go for throws without setting them up. Mostly they run in while their opponent is blocking and try to grab. Take this opportunity to duck, counter, or GI their throw and avoid the guessing game altogether. NTS: Discuss usefulness of ducking to avoid throws... Using Throws ------------ 6A+G or 6B+G = more tracking, yay! // 03-B. Using GIs // First off, master GI timing. Go into Practice Mode or play through arcade and get a feel for when to time GIs when you know an attack is coming at you. Of course, you must have an idea of when it's going to hit to successfully GI an attack. You should try blocking part of a string then GIing a hit that you know will come out: this is the GI's most common application, interrupting string-happy, offensive-minded opponents and discouraging your opponent from abusing There is a time and place for GIs. Against scrubs, mashers especially, GIs can net you an easy victory. Against players who know to reGI, GIing constantly will get you into long, useless, reGI battles unless someone plays it smart and fakes/delays/retreats. It is best to use GIs sparingly, if at all. Only use it if you cannot think of another way out of an opponent's onslaught of attacks or if you want to discourage them from abusing certain strings. Instead, try to substitute sidestepping in situations where you could GI. A successful step completely evades the attack and has guaranteed follow-ups. Even an unsuccessful step is not as punishable as a whiffed GI/reGI. // 03-C. Movement // Aheda on Step vs 8wr: A Step is a quick tap in a direction (ie 2 to step downwards) that will avoid verticals. 8wr involves making your character run in a direction. Both have their own uses and purposes. Pros of Stepping: 1. Returns you to neutral state. So, you can use your normal moves (such as launchers like 3B) after stepping. 2. Can Guard immediately (Step Guard). This is good for those multihit moves (like Ivy's 6[B]2_8) Where you step the vert and block the horizontal, giving you a more advantegous position. This is also good because you don't have to WAIT for a vertical to be thrown out; you can anticipate a vertical attack. Step it, and if the opponent throws out a horizontal you can block that instead. I'm not sure if this is what "Step Guard" is. 3. You can STILL buffer 8wr moves after stepping Cons of Stepping: 1. For some scenarios you can Step horizontals, but it's easier to do this with 8wr than with Stepping. 2. You're more likely to get an Avoid than if you used 8wr. See the Avoid section for details... Pros of 8wr 1. Easier to get away from moves. Cons of 8wr 1. Disadvantage when trying to block moves. 2. Might Avoid. 3. Have to use 8wr options after evading a move. < S04 - General Strategy > A lot of information to take in, isn't it? Don't worry, you don't have to memorize all this stuff... they're just things to keep in mind and use to your advantage. Remember, SC2 is not about who has spent the most time learning long, drawn-out, complicated moves and combos. It's all about mind games: conditioning the opponent, punishing them for mistakes, anticipating and reacting accordingly, adapting, etc. The flip side, however, is that one has to be familiar with their movelists and those of the characters one has to face. One should practice in order to become comfortable enough with their characters' moves that when the fights begin, you're thinking about strategy and adapting, rather than focusing on the execution of the moves themselves. // 04-A. Mix-ups // The most basic form of the mind game is the mix-up, where you vary the levels and/or orientations of your attacks. For example... Kilik's 6AA string can either be finished with A, B, B2, B8, :B+K, or :A+B+K. A is a third fast horizontal hit, B is a poking mid, B2 is a forward moving low, B8 is a high that puts space between Kilik and the opponent, and :B+K is a mid, multi-hitting Just Frame. So, whenever the Kilik player executes his 6AA string, he can end with either A, B, B2, B8, :B+K, or :A+B+K. The opponent will be forced to decide what to do. They will have to guess whether Kilik will use a high, mid, or low, if it will be a vertical or a horizontal, or whether he'll attack at all (he could cancel into a Soul Charge with :A+B+K) and then react accordingly. If the opponent makes the wrong decision, they will get hit and take damage. The Kilik player could even just cut short the string, ending with the second A, and follow-up with another attack or a throw. // 04-D. Wake Ups // Aheda's thoughts on Wake Ups: Wakeup to me - going out on a limb here ;) - is when you've downed a opponent - swept or launched them and they have just landed - and they are getting up. You have a 'wake up game' that is based off this. They get up - what are you going to give them to expect. You play a whole game centered around mix ups and so forth to give them a disavantage on their 'wake up' or when they get up. // 04-E. Anti Strat // In this section, I'll include some tips for beating certain kinds of players who seem to give new players some grief. One thing about SC2 that can be very frustrating is that while you're just learning the ins-and-outs of the system, you may lose quite often to scrubs and mashers who have put a lot less time in the game. Button Mashers -------------- Ah, the bane of fighting gamers' existance: the button masher. Messes up the stick and buttons, so beat them down quickly to get 'em off the machine! =P STRINGS n' THINGS------------------------------------------------- If they're mashing, they're going to execute those simple A and B strings. Most A strings are high, so duck and punish. B strings are usually steppable, so evade then punish. TURN BASED COMBAT------------------------------------------------- I know what you're saying... this isn't an RPG! However, mashers tend to think that battles are fought in turns alternating between offensive and defensive play: P1 uses a string, P2 blocks. Then it's P2's turn to execute one while P1 guards. Throw them off by canceling strings, or extending them to force the masher to turtle. < S05 - Intermediate Stuff > // 05-A. Advanced Techniques // Now that you know how to play the game and have chosen a character to stick with, it's time for more complicated stuff. Advancing Guard/Retreating Guard -------------------------------- When guarding against an attack hold the 4 or 6 directions. 4[G] (Retreating Guard or RG) increases the overall push of attacks/strings, increasing the amount of space between you and your opp. Useful if you want to keep an aggressive player out of your face. 6[G] (Advancing Guard or AG) decreases the overall push of attacks/strings, decreasing the amount of space between you and your opp. Useful if you want to get into someone's face. =D Spacing is a key element of SC2, and even though the effects of AG and RG aren't too obvious or earthshattering, they are most useful against strings because *each* hit's push if affected, resulting in a larger net change. With experimentation, you can learn how to get certain guaranteed attacks if you properly AG or RG certain strings. Stances ------- Many characters in SC2 have special stances, from which you can execute moves which are not normally accessable from their normal stance. Example: Taki's Posession stance (PO). To go into PO, execute 214, then Taki will crouch over slightly, both hands on the hilts of her weapons. While Taki maintains this stance, she can execute new attacks. PO A - While in Posession, input A You will see that this move is different from Taki's normal A attack. To indicate a stance, usually abbreviations are used. More stance names/abbreviations can be found in the Character Specific section of Notation and Definitions. Buffering --------- To minimalize execution time, you should Bbffer moves, or begin to input the command of a move while in the middle of another one's animation. As the first action's animation is almost finished, you should complete your command input, and the next move will come out almost immediately. This eliminates the delay one would normally experience when inputting non-buffered commands. Buffering is not limited to only attack inputs, however. For example, during an attack animation, you can double tap and hold any direction, and your character will immediately go into 8wr after the move is over (this is called 8wr buffering or 8wrb). Basically, while you're in the middle of an action, you should begin inputting your next command before the animation is over. Buffering allows you to link your commands together so your character 'flows' from one action to another. :p Example: To execute Maxi's WLK 44K combo, you *must* buffer the 44K while Maxi is in the animation of WLK. Otherwise, the 44K will be too late to hit the opponent. Soul Charging ------------- Press A+B+K (or Z for the Gamecube version), and your character will begin glowing and move into a posing animation. This is a Soul Charge (SC). After this, you will be in SC state, resulting in extra move properties, which usually lead to more damage. There are 3 different levels of SC, each with different durations and various effects on attacks. You can reach each level of SC depending on how long you let the SC animation carry on. You can end the SC animation by hitting G or executing an attack. Depending on when you do this, you will be at a certain level of Soul Charge. If you end at the beginning of the SC animation, you will be SClv1, in the middle, SClv2, and towards the end, SClv3. SC level 1 (SClv1) makes certain attacks become GCs (like Cass's 33_99B) and enables some attacks (like Taki's B2). Your character has a yellow aura during SClv1. SClv2 makes certain attacks become GCs and enables more attacks (like Mitsu's 8wr2_8B,B). Green aura. During SClv3, all attacks are treated as CHs, and certain attacks become unblockable (Soul Charge UnBlockables, or SCUBs) or GCs. Blue aura. The higher the SC level, the longer the SC state as well. But, your SC state will end if you block, get hit, or one of your attacks get blocked. In order to figure out which attacks change during SCs and how they change, check movelists. If something like "SClv2 GC" is listed next to it, the move will become a GC when you're in SC level 2. Note: SCUBs, unlike normal UB moves, can be GIed. Applying SCs is actually rather complex in actual gameplay and will be discussed in more detail later on. Auto-GI ------- Auto-GIs/autoGIs are moves or stances that automatically GI specific attacks. There are many different kinds of autoGIs, and I have given several examples and their effects. Example: Kilik's 4K~B While Kilik twirls his bo upwards and lifts his foot up (the first part of the move), he autoGIs horizontal High and Mid attacks. The second part is immediate (a quick strike with the bo's tip) and is guaranteed to hit if the first part GIs the opponent. Example: Kilik's 236 (Monument Stance, MO) Kilik places his rod on the ground in front of him, and while he holds this position, he is in MO. MO is an autoGIing stance because it GIs all Horizontal attacks if timed correctly. Since Kilik can do moves straight out of MO, he can use it to autoGI an opponent, then follow-up with an immediate attack straight out of the stance (such as MO K). Example: Xianghua's 66B+K Xianghua twirls her sword around (when doesn't she? :P) and will repel all mid and high horizontal attacks during this animation. All of these moves would simply be referred to as "autoGIs," but each one has different effects. Many movelists (specifically SC.com and GI.com's) list specifically what these moves GI, but it's best to see for yourself how specific autoGIs work and how they might be useful. Tech Crouches ------------- Guarding Attacks During GI Stun (2G) ------------------------------------ After GIs, normally, you are unable to do anything except reGI back, and after many autoGIs, you are unable to do anything except eat damage from a guaranteed followup. There is a technique based off of a glitch in SC2's system that allows one to guard attacks even after being GIed or autoGIed. However, it requires JF timing. This technique is often referred to as 2G, though there are other ways to pull it off. You can block incoming attacks after being GIed by pressing 2G at the moment the your opponent's attack hits you. You can also execute it by holding 2 then pressing G just as the attack hits, or by holding G and pushing 2 just as the move impacts. This also works on autoGI followups that normally should be guaranteed. Example: Kilik's MO K should be guaranteed and should hit if the MO autoGI is successful. However, the opponent can 2G the K follow-up if their timing is precise. Mitsurugi uses A, then Kilik Monument GIs it, immediately inputting K during the stance. Mitsu hits 2G just as MO K impacts and blocks the attack. Weapon Stripping ---------------- You can knock an opponent's weapon away, leaving them temporarily vulnerable. Simply use an attack to... blah blah blah. Stun Follow-Ups --------------- Forcing Positions ----------------- Many moves can force your opponent into different positions, some even if the attack is blocked. Descriptions of each situation: OB Forces opponent's back to face you. OS Forces opponent's side to face you. OSB Forces opponent's side to face you on block. FrC Forces opponent into crouch on block. FrCh Forces opponent into crouch on hit.
Forcing your opponent into a position can be advantageous because there is usually a small delay when they try to get back into normal position or you can predict what kinds of attacks they can use from that position. Example: Kilik uses 44K on a blocking opponent, which is FrC. This means that the opponent will have to wait until their character goes back to standing up or use a WR attack. The Kilik player can anticipate a WR attack and react, then punish accordingly, or attempt to attack the opponent during the delay. Weapon Clashes -------------- Avoid ----- Basically, if you execute 8wr or Step at the very last moment to avoid an attack, you have a chance of executing an 'Avoid.' If done successfully, you'll hear a special kind of shuffling sound effect and see smoke under your character's feet. There's also a chance that your character may bend over during the Avoid, so you'll evade better than with a normal Step or 8wr. Sounds great, right? After, you might be able to evade something that you'd normally get hit by. However, if your character is bending, the altered angle may affect your attacks in unwanted ways... like Kilik's 22_88A becoming a high instead of a mid. There are already a couple threads on the new Avoid system over at SC.com, so I'll link to them... They're authored by TooHectic and WCMaxi, the GI.com and SC.com webmasters, respectively (yes, the great SC gods). There's some stuff I haven't discussed yet, like frames, so check out the Understanding Frames section if you'd like to know more about that. http://www.soulcalibur.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3969 http://www.soulcalibur.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=3853 Break ----- Recover Crouching Cancel ------------------------ RCC is another tool in SC2 that gives you access to a wider selection of attacks for mix-ups. After moves that recover crouching, you can forgo using WS or FC attacks and go straight back to your normal stance. Simply push a direction other than 1_2_3 and your character will pop back up into their normal, standing state. The most common way to pull this off is by tapping 4 or 6 after a move that recovers crouching. Example: After Kilik's 2A, normally, you could only remain crouching, use a WS attack, or wait for a bit utnil your character stands up. With RCC, you can 2A then immediately use another standing attack. Kilik is normally limited to WS or FC attacks right after executing 2A, but with RCC as an option, he can also choose other standing attacks, like another 2A. It is in this manner that RCC can help you vary your mix-ups. Try it! 2A 4_6 2A 4_6 2A... etc. Throw Escape Recovery --------------------- Instant Fully Crouched ---------------------- // 05-B. Understanding Frames // What is a Frame? ---------------- A frame is a way of expressing time in video games. Most fighters nowadays run at 60 fps (frames per second), so 1 frame = 1/60th of a second. Attack Frame Data ----------------- Frame data usually are related to attacks in fighting games. Frames regarding attacks can tell you how risky a move may be, how it can be used, and can help you figure out possible attack series. An attack is divided up into 3 portions: execution, impact, and recovery. 1: Execution---------------------------------------------------- A move's execution time is how long it takes to reach the first impact frame after it starts. Bascially, it's how long a move takes to connect. Generally, shorter execution is better, because you can interrupt slower moves which have longer execution. 2: Impact------------------------------------------------------- The impact is the time during which a move is active. These 'active frames' are how long the move has an active hitbox and can hit the opponent. An opponent can be hit by the move any time during its active frames. 3: Recovery----------------------------------------------------- A move's recovery time is how long it takes to return to your normal state after the impact is over. Basically, how long after a move is active before you can do something else. Frame Advantage/Disadvantage ---------------------------- A "+" in front of frame data means advantage, and a "-" means disadvantage. Frame advantage is how many frames you recover before your opponent after they are hit by or block a move. If you use a move on your opponent and they block it, and it has a +5 BS (block stun), then you will recover 5 frames before you're opponent. That means you have 5 frames to move, attack, guard, whatever, and the opponent can't act or do a thing about it. Frame disadvantage is how many frames you recover after your opponent after a move. A large enough frame disadvantage makes the move unsafe because the opponent can retaliate before you can act. Discussing Frames ----------------- In SC2, execution and recovery frame data are the most important frame data. An 'i' is used to denote how long a move's execution is before it gets to the first impact frame. Thus, a move that is listed as 'i13' will impact in 13 frames after it has started. The smaller the number of impact frames, the faster the move comes out. +/- signs and a number are used to signify the frame advantage or disadvantage a move leaves one with after execution. +3 on hit means a 3 frame advantage if the move hits, -4 on block means that you get a 4 frame disadvantage if it's blocked, etc. There are many different ways a move can impact an opponent. They may successfully block it, be crouching, jumping, rising, etc. Very specific frame data will go into detail on this. The most commonly listed/discussed frame advantages are Block Stun (BS) and Hit Stun (HS). BS is what happens after a move is blocked, HS is after a move successfully hits. Note: Be careful. Once the move makes contact with the opponent, whatever impact frames are remaining get added to the recovery time. So, a move that is i12, has an active period of 4 frames, and has a HS of -7 can have around 7 to 10 frames of recovery. If the move hits on the first active frame, you still have the 3 remaining frames before the move winds down. There's also other frame data floating around... like how long one has to Soul Charge to reach the various levels, the duration of certain actions (like normal jumps), how long after a throw connects you can execute a throw break (throw break window) etc. Frame Resources --------------- Frames and collisions: http://www.soulcalibur.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=14376 Frame data study: http://www.soulcalibur.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=14373 < S06 - Characters > // 06-A. Choosing a Character // Okay, now that you know the basics of SC2's system and some techniques and strat, it's time to pick a character to invest your time and effort into. Keep in mind that characters have varying learning curves and require different levels of skill to learn to play. However, all characters have potential, so anyone is worth mastering because they can all compete in high-level play. // 06-B. Profiles // Profiles are organized in alphabetical order and are broken up into 4 sections: First, the character's basic info, then an overview on how the character is generally played, and finally, what I like to call "SC2 confessionals." Basically, someone who's thoroughly learned the character will talk about why they chose to play them, and why you might want to as well. Astaroth -------- Age: recently resurrected (7 years since initial creation) Date of Birth: September 3 Origin: Heretical order Fygul Cestemus, the Grand Shrine of Palgaea Weapon: giant axe Weapon Name: Kultues Fighting Style: Gyulkus Overview: Confessional: Cassandra Alexandra ------------------- Age: 21 Date of Birth: July 20 Origin: Athens, Ottoman Empire Weapon: short sword and small shield Weapon Name: Omega Sword and Nemea Shield Fighting Style: Athenian Style Overview: Confessional: "I picked Cassandra to master out of curiosity more than anything else really. I had always played well with Kilik in the past, because of his story and style (not to mention the staff is one of my favorite weapons). So I continued to play with Kilik even after SCII was out. I said, "Why play with someone else if I’m currently undefeated with Kilik (still am, w00t!! I need to participate in a tourney)? The biggest problem was that no one was around that was worth the challenge, so I couldn’t really consider myself a master of the game. Then the SCII demo came out for GC and I bought it. Since it only had Cassandra, who I had never played with in the past, and Nightmare, I picked Nightmare just because I knew he kicked major arse. I started to get a bit bored with Nighty, so I reluctantly tried Cassandra. I was really diggin’ her style, not to mention the 2P costume (which would be subordinate to her 3P costume in the console ;-) ). She is probably the perfect balance of speed and power and many people underestimate her range capability. I went to soulcalibur.com (it’s me, CryptoKnight Kilik!) to see if anyone played with Cassandra and to my dismay, she wasn’t widely used. So I decided to represent with Cassandra. 236 all the way!! I still need a challenger... :-(" -B0r3d*m Alien Cervantes de Leon ----------------- Age: 48 (stopped aging) Date of Birth: January 1 Origin: Valencia, Spanish Empire Weapon: Soul Edge (long sword type) and pistol sword Weapon Name: Soul Edge (child) and Nirvana Fighting Style: Memories of Soul Edge Overview: Confessional: Ivy (Isabella Valentine) ------------------------ Age: 32 Date of Birth: December 10 Origin: London, British Empire Weapon: snake sword Weapon Name: Valentine (formerly Ivy Blade) Fighting Style: Unrelated Link Overview: Ivy is one of the most versatile characters in SC2 and undoubtely has the longest range in the game, but to wield her sword/whip well, one has to invest a lot of time into learning her. She can damage opponents from mid and long range, yet her close range game is especially vicious because of her command throws, the two single most powerful moves in the game: Summon Suffering and Criminal/Calamity Symphony (commonly referred to as SS and CS). They cost an opponent almost half of their life bar, have exceptional range, and are extremely difficult to break. To master Ivy, one must master buffering in order to use CS or SS at will, so that your opponent to be in constant fear of them. All this, coupled with her strong sidestepping game, truly makes Ivy a force to be reckoned with. Plus, she just looks cool when played right: definitely a potential crowd-pleaser. =D Confessional: "I was in an arcade a long time ago (when SC was around). At the time, I didnt know much about Soul Edge or Calibur, and if I did play, all I could play was Siegfried. Then I saw this person at the machine playing as Ivy. I had no idea who Ivy was, or what she could do. This guy ripped people apart with such precision, just completly wiping them out. I mean, you thought you were safe, then, boom!! He got you with this suddenly much longer whip thingy. Ahem.... To make a long story short, I never forgot that day, then when I finally found out who the character was (it was so long ago, I couldn't remember the name or the person) and saw an SC2 machine, I decided that I would most definitely try to do the same things that guy did. Unfortunately, I didn't want to spend countless hours and tokens to do so, until I got the game (which eventually was going to be on GC). Ivy is one of the most popular characters on the scene, and for good reason. The lady has the most powerful throws that place fear into opponents, and can even grab you from the air. She has the best range in the game, and her style is so unique. I mean, a sword that doubles as a whip? That's not exactly common video game material. She also posseses many UnBlockables. There is a lot of fun in learning the stances and the backdoors into each, as well as seeing them work in a real situation. Ivy at her best will make people ooh and ahh. Although Ivy is very powerful, she is one of the most difficult characters to use, offensively and defensively. She also requires patience to see what develops before blindly striking. If you love to play with chars like Xianghua or Taki (especially), you may have more trouble learning her, because she requires more thinking. In addition, she is not a strong defensive character. You have a better chance of simply dodging the attack most times then guard. If you like to guard too much, you will lose a lot. Also, Ivy has many stances, and backdoors to reach them, that many noobs can get discouraged and go to more straightforward chars like Taki or Kilik. And you will lose a lot before you get the hang of it, so get ready for it. -JayBee Kilik ----- Age: 23 Date of Birth: Unknown Origin: raised in Ling-Sheng Su temple, Ming Empire Weapon: rod Weapon Name: Kali-Yuga Fighting Style: Secret Art of Ling-Sheng Su Style Rod Overview: Kilik is SC2's jack of all trades. He has many effective, safe moves to deal with just about every situation, which makes him an extremely versatile character and fairly easy to pick up. However, mastering all of these tools and making good use of them in order to compete is another story altogether and requires a *lot* of dedication. Kilik players must be especially aware of the terrain, their position, and their spacing to make use of all that he has to offer in order to win. Confessional: "Why I play Kilik... The first SC2 character that I picked up was actually Taki and I can still play a mean Taki. My second character was Kilik. It was very easy to learn Kilik's moves but I couldn't win with him at all. After giving up on him for about a month and a half, and participating in a few local tourneys, my knowledge of SC2 grew tremendously so I decided to pick up Kilik again. The second time around, I was actually winning while at the same time, having lots of fun. Thus my love for Kilik started from that point on and I haven't looked back since. Also, I train in the Chinese martial art of Wing Chun and we have this one weapon called the dragon pole, which is extractly like Kilik's metal staff. So that kind of subconsciously made me pickup Kilik in SC2. Many players, especially noobs, think that Kilik is an easy character to learn and use. It is true that Kilik is an easy character to learn, but to master him and more importantly, to be able to compete with the top players in your region with Kilik, one will find it extremely difficult. A lot of players in the SC2 community think that Kilik is what you would call a "scrub character." All you see from Kilik players is his 22_88 AAA. Well, this can be said about any other character. It isn't a very good argument and most players can't see past this point to give Kilik the chance he deserves. Besides that, Kilik’s poking-mid-range-counter-heavy style of fighting just isn’t for everyone. He doesn’t have 10 frame ‘A’s like Xiang Hua (his ‘A’s are i18) or massive damage potential like Astaroth or Nightmare. Indeed, it takes a lot more effort to win with Kilik than with most other characters. However, once you start to see the fruits of your labour, they will be that much more sweeter." -sh8kerm8ker Maxi ---- Age: 28 Date of Birth: May 1 Origin: Ryukyu Kingdom, Shuri Weapon: nunchaku Weapon Name: Soryuju Fighting Style: Shissen Karihadi Mitsurugi Heishiro ------------------ Age: 29 Date of Birth: June 8 Origin: Bizen, Japan Weapon: katana Weapon Name: Shishi-Oh Fighting Style: Tenpu-Kosai-Ryu Kai Nightmare --------- Age: Unknown Date of Birth: Unknown Origin: Unknown Weapon: Soul Edge (zweihander type) Weapon Name: Soul Edge (male) Fighting Style: Memories of Soul Edge Raphael Sorel ------------- Age: 32 Date of Birth: November 27 Origin: Rouen, French Empire Weapon: rapier Weapon Name: Flambert Fighting Style: La Rapiere des Sorel Overview: Raphael is a character completely new to the Soul series, and it shows. He is unique compared to the others in that his strikes are very precise, though often linear, and he has the largest selection of Soul Charge cancels. Confessional: "Raphael was the first person I used, just for the sheer fact that he uses rapiers, epees, and sabers. I took five years of fencing, and so it was just kind of a no brainer. Raph is one of the more tricky fighters in my opinion. He has lots of mix up moves, and several moves that start off looking the same (i.e. all his preparation moves). He has good range and power, but not many powerful or guard crush moves. He makes up for that with the sheer speed of his gameplay however. His moves come out immediately, and he has some insane stringer combos. You need to practice with him a lot though, I've been using him for seven months now, and I STILL haven't mastered all his moves." -Billy Jones Seung Mina ---------- Age: 23 Date of Birth: November 3 Origin: Chili-san, Lee Dynasty Korea Weapon: zanbatou Weapon Name: Scarlet Thunder Fighting Style: Seung Style Longsword and Ling-Sheng Su Style Rod Sophitia Alexandra ------------------ Age: 25 Date of Birth: March 12 Origin: Athens, Ottoman Empire Weapon: short sword and small shield Weapon Name: Omega Sword and Elk Shield Fighting Style: Athenian Style Taki ---- Age: 29 Date of Birth: Unknown Origin: Fu-Ma No Sato, Japan Weapon: ninja-to x 2 Weapon Name: Rekki-Maru and Mekki-Maru Fighting Style: Battoh-Ryu Talim ----- Age: 15 Date of Birth: June 15 Origin: Village of the Wind Deity, Southeast Asia Weapon: elbow blade x 2 Weapon Name: Syi Sarika and Loka Luha Fighting Style: Wind Dance Overview: Though your first inclination when you play Talim may be to play her like Taki (rushdown, constantly keeping your opponent on their toes), then you are forgoing many of her unique evasive tools. Talim is not actually nearly as fast as Taki, and should be played differently. She has unique evasive stances, such as Wind Charmers 1 and 2, Wind Sault, and Gale. Confessional: "When I first got my GC I knew it was going to be hard to find decent games that I wanted to play, seeing as the majority of the market was already becoming monopolised by the *cursed* PS2 and also having to put up with people insisting on calling my kickass console a "toy. -_-''' I saw SCII in my local gamestore and seeing as it was only a tenner I decided to pick up a copy as I'm quite partial to fighting games with RPG elements in the graphics. When I first started playing I was first drawn to Talim - 1. because I'm a girl and I like to represent ^_^ and 2. because her character and costume seemed the best designed out of the intial characters available. The first moves I learnt with her was probably her 66B (i.e. "Strike!") and also her forward roll upper kick. Although she can be quite weak if you get caught in a barrage of blows with a stronger character (i.e. Berserker), she's really good if you lure opponents to the edge of the ring, perform an over the head jump punch (8B), then once you've positioned yourself and they've gotten up, knock 'em out with a "Strike!" Although Talim's weapons aren't the most impressive in the game (I prefer ones with a larger reach like Shuang Tui's) they can do good damage if you make sure to attack quickly at first OR conversely hold back and wait for an opening. The best thing to do is make a large distance between you and your opponent, then wait for them to start running at you so you can knock them back with a kick combo. Anyway - Talim is a good all around character. I used her to complete the majority of my first time through the Weapon Master story (along with Voldo surprisingly!). Her outfits are cute, her hair kicks ass and overall she's pretty sweet! What I can't get over is her crazy taunt at the opening scene though. Hydak? I can't remember whether that's the village where she came from or some weird wind voodoo..." -Tokyo_Peach Voldo ----- Age: 50 Date of Birth: August 25 Origin: Palermo, Kingdom of Naples (Italy) Weapon: katar x 2 Weapon Name: Manas and Ayus Fighting Style: self-taught Xianghua (Chai Xianghua) ------------------------ Age: 20 Date of Birth: April 2 Origin: Peking, Ming Empire Weapon: Chinese sword Weapon Name: No Name Fighting Style: Sword arts passed down from her mother (aka teh Twirly Sword Arts =P) Overview: Xianghua is a deadly combination of evasiveness and speed. She has many safe, effective moves, and Yoshimitsu ---------- Age: Unknown Date of Birth: Unknown Origin: Base of Mt. Fuji, Japan Weapon: katana Weapon Name: Yoshimitsu Fighting Style: Manji Clan Ninjitsu Overview: Yoshimitsu, taken from Namco's fists-only fighting game Tekken, is surprisingly one of the strongest characters in SC2 despite his unorthodox fighting style. He is extremely fierce at close-range combat because of his speed, variety of moves, and strong WR and FC ability. Yunsung (Hong Yunsung) ---------------------- Age: 18 Date of Birth: April 16 Origin: Chili-san, Lee Dynasty Korea Weapon: Chinese sword Weapon Name: White Storm Fighting Style: Seung Style Longsword and Natural Footwork // 06-C. Character Specific Resources // The internet contains a great deal of information on how to play SC2. If you'd like to take the first steps in mastering a character or want to get more in-depth, the following links will help you out. One of the greatest things about SC.com are its Soul Arenas, which are forums for specific character strategies and techniques. http://www.soulcalibur.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=7 < S07 - Reference > // 07-A. Terms and Abbreviations // SC2 has a *lot* of these. Character specific stances, states, move properties, et al, most of them are shortened down to 3 or 2 letters... You don't have to sit down and memorize these, though. Simply use this section as a reference for the rest of the FAQ (use CTRL+F feature) and you'll eventually pick up most of the lingo. Notation: ( ) Optional [ ] Hold input , Followed by ~ Immediately after (roll between inputs) + Simultaneously _ Or * Delay Directions: 1 Joystick down-backwards 2 Joystick down 3 Joystick down-forward 4 Joystick back 5 Joystick neutral (no direction) 6 Joystick forward 7 Joystick up-backwards 8 Joystick up 9 Joystick up-forwards 8wr6 or 66 Double tap forward, 8-way-running in the forward direction General Terms: Buffering The act of inputting the command for another move during another move's animation. SC Soul Charge. Produces extra move properties. A+B+K SClv1 Soul Charge Level 1. Shortest duration, moves do more damage. Yellow Aura. SClv2 Soul Charge Level 2. Medium duration, attacks are all CHs. Green aura. SClv3 Soul Charge Level 3. Longest duration, attacks are all CHs. Blue aura. SCC Soul Charge Cancel. G-Cancel Guard Cancel. Most moves can be canceled/cut short by pressing G before its animation is over. 1FS 1 frame shift. RCC Recovers Crouch Cancel. 8WRB Eight Way Run Buffering. Buffering 8wr inputs. JF Just Frame. Precise timing within 1 specific grame. Also indicated with a ":". iFC Instant Fullly Crouched. SpC Soul Charge 1FS 1 frame shift. WpS Weapon strip. RC Recover crouching. RCC Recover crouching cancel. iFC Instant full-crouch. iWS Instant while-standing. Movement/Positioning terms: Step Tap any direction without hitting G. SS Sidestep. Stepping to the side of your character to evade an opponent's attack. 8WR Eight Way Run. Double tap and hold, or simply hold a direction. WS While Standing. While standing up from a crouch or low move. FC Fully crouched. 2G to duck, then  to stay crouched. BT Back Turned. Your back facing the opponent. WJ While Jumping. As your character is jumping up. 7_8_9G + Button WL While Landing. As your character lands froma jump. 7_8_9+G, delay, Button Guard Impacts: GI Guard Impact. 6G or 4G reGI Reverse GI. When in GIed state, one can GI to deflect the opponent's next attack. Repel 6G (works against high and mid attacks) Parry 4G (works against mid and low attacks) Hit Levels: H Move hits high. Can be blocked high or ducked. M Move hits Mid. Can only be blocked high. Can't duck, block low, or jump over. L Move hits Low. Can be blocked low or hopped. SM Move hits Special Mid. Can be blocked high or low. SH Move hits Special high. Can be ducked, but not TCed. TM Move hits Thrust Mid. Can be ducked or TCed sometimes. ! or UB UnBlockable (i.e. M! or UB M means UnBlockable Mid) Move Properties: autoGI Move Automatically Guard Impacts. TC Tech Crouch. Move ducks under H and some M moves. SD Super Duck. Move ducks under H and M moves. TH Tech Hop. Move jumps over L moves. RO Move Rings Out. CH On Counter Hit. Moves can have different properties depending on whether CH or not. GC or GB Guard Crush/Break. Move produces same effect as a GI when blocked. SCUB Soul Charge UnBlockable. UB during SClv3. OB Forces opponent's back to face you. OS Forces opponent's side to face you. OSB Forces opponent's side to face you when blocked. JG Juggle starter. CH Requires a counter hit. AT Attack throw. FrC Forced crouch on block. FrCh Forced crouch on hit. Stuns: BN Move produces Bounce Stun. DOS Move produces Double Over Stun. CS Move produces Crumple Stun. FS Move produces Fall Stun. TH Move induces Toe Hop Stun. Frames: i Impact frames HS Hit Stun BS Block Stun Character Specific: Astaroth PT Poseidon Tide. Cassandra AS Angel Step. AT Angelic Twirl. Cervantes DC Dread Charge. GDR Geo-Da-Ray Ivy WP Whip Stance/State. Sword is in Whip State, held at Ivy's side. SW Sword stance. SL Spriral Lust Stance. SE Serpent's Embrace Stance. Sword wrapped around Ivy in Whip State. ST Spiral Tribute Stance. SR Spiral Serenade Stance. SS Summon Suffering Throw. (376231A+B) CS Criminal/Calamity Symphony Throw. (WP, 376231A+K) Kilik MO Monument Stance. Places rod on ground using one hand. AutoGIs Horizontal attacks. TRI Tribute Stance. Does the splits and holds rod over head. AutoGIs vertical attacks. Maxi RO Right Outer Stance. Nunchaku over right arm. BL Behind Lower Stance. Nunchaku behind back. RC Right Cross Stance. Nunchaku transferring from hand to hand across Maxi's front. LO Left Outer Stance. Nunchaku over left arm. LI Left Inner Stance. Nunchaku inside left arm. PSL 1_2_3_4 Pure Soul Loop 1, 2, 3, or 4. Transitions between stances automatically. tPSL3 True Pure Soul Loop 3. iPSL4 Instant Pure Soul Loop 4. Mitsurugi MS Mist Stance. Sword held next to right ear. RL Relic Stance. Sword sheathed. HMD Half Moon Death. FMD Full Moon Death. Nightmare NBS Night Behind Stance. Sword behind back. NBSR Night Behind Stance, Running. NLS Night Lower Stance. Sword on ground in front. NSS Night Side Stance. Sword to side in one hand. NSSL Night Side Stance, Left. NSSR Night Side Stance, Right. Raphael Prep1 Preparatory Stance I. Prep2 Preparatory Stance II. Prep3 Preparatory Stance III. Prep4 Preparatory Stance IV. AS Advance Step. RS Retreat Step. SN Spiral Envelopment. CN Circular Envelopment. AE Auto Evade. Taki PO Possession Stance. Both swords sheathed. PORC Possession Rush Cancel. WR Wind Roll. A roll on the ground. WRS Wind Roll to the side. STK During Stalker. A high flip over the opponent. Talim WDC1 Wind Charmer 1. A spinning side step. WDC2 Wind Charmer 2. A half turn side step, ends BT. WDS Wind Sault. A forward somersault. WDL Wind Leap. GL Gale Stance. Twirling one tonfa around. Can buffer into auto-evades. Voldo BS Blind Stance. BT. CR Caliostro Rush. RC Rat Chaser. Leaning forward, hands on the ground. MC Mantis Crawl. Crawling on all 4 limbs. LF Land Fish. (During MC or LF): HT Head Towards. FT Feet Towards. Xianghua HL Hou Lee. A+K_[A+K] Yoshimitsu PG Pogo Stance. IS Indian Sit. ST Sit stance. Same as IS. Yunsung CR Crane Stance. LW Land Walk Stance. Miscellaneous: (Button) Masher A player who pushes buttons randomly in the vain hope that they'll win. Roach A player that uses a few effective moves to win. Scrub A player who wants to win but doesn't care about improving at the game and/or learning from mistakes. Turtle A player with a defensive, reactionary style of play. Tends to Guard and backdash a lot. Requires a lot of patience. Bulldog A player with an offensive style. Tends to use rushdown tactics. r4r3truffle The ultimate SC2 scrub. XD // 07-B. Technical Data // It's not necessary for you to know this kind of stuff, but can be useful. Understanding why certain things happen and how the system works may help give you an edge in matches or direct your experimentation with moves and combos. CH Bonuses ------------------------------------------------------ Attack Counter: 120% Vertical Countering Horizontal: 115% 8WAY Run Counter: 115% Step Counter: 118% Back Dash Counter (including 8wr1_4_7): 140% Guard Hit (opponent is guarding): 90% Ducking Hit (opp ducking but not blocking): 107% Air Hit (opponent in air): 70% (Hit 1) 60% (Hit 2) 50% (Hit 3) 45% (Hit 4) etc. Down Hit (face up): 70% Down hit (face down): 75% Side Hit (left or right side): 105% Back Hit: 110% --------------------------------------------------- / CH Bonuses < S08 - Final Notes > // 08-A. Contact Info // If there are any errors/additions that should be made to the FAQ, e-mail me at mekino[at]hotmail[dot]com. All due credit will be given. Please, anyone with knowledge on specific characters, feel free to write up an intro or confessional on them and send it to me. I'll add it in here and give due credit, plus I'll be eternally grateful. // 08-B. Credits // Huge props go out to B0r3d*m Alien for system info, suggestions, help, and for allowing me to make the occasional snide comment about Xianghua. XD Kudos to Yavarice for help in making sure that this guide does what it set out to do: helping newcomers become more knowledgable players. Hope the FAQ helped you out too. :) Thanks to sh8kerm8ker for representing Kilik and writing up K's blurb for the Character Profiles. We all know that the best SC players use Kilik. =D Thanks to dejavu3k for pointing out the error in the PS2 buttons. JayBee, many thanks for writing up a confessional and that awesome mini-strat guide for Ivy. I'm sure many upcoming Ivy players will make good use of it. *bow* Job Van Dam = teh r0X0rs. Seriously. XD Thanks for helping me out with stuff on NCs, strings, CHs, and a whole lotta other stuff. Aheda, thanks for correcting my horrendous mistakes on SCs. Musta been drunk (is that legal?) when I was writing up that part. Also kudos for stuff on wakeups, 8wr vs Step, etc. And my 1_3A+B works perfectly fine, thank you very much. XP Thanks to Sliced_Bread_No. 2 for clearing up the details on * and 5. Props to Billy Jones for the Raph confessional. Huge thanks to Tokyo_Peach for typing up a Talim confessional and reminding me to work on this thing. =P And all the other people who contributed from the SC.com forums. You're the experts; thanks for helping out this here scrub. =P // 08-C. Other Resources // http://www.soulcalibur.com/ It just doesn't get better than this. SC.com's forums are frequented by SC players of all levels, including many of the best players from the US and around the world. Definitely the place to check out when you want to read up on the latest SC discoveries and strats, or just have an all-around good time. http://www.guardimpact.com/ The 'other' SC site, run completely by fans. Compliments SC.com perfectly, and has resources that the official site lacks. Home to the SC1 Skill Projects, which are still great resources for SC2. http://sc.relaxism.com/ Vids won't make you a better player, but they're sure dang cool to watch.:) I highly recommend the Tao Paul vids; they're the definition of top-tier. They can be found here too: http://homepage3.nifty.com/taopaul/calibur2.html http://www.smashboards.com/ Okay, so SWF's not exactly a SC resource... But, it's where this FAQ was conceived. Plenty of SSBM players are picking up SC2 as well, so I've participated in many Soul related discussions over there. I'll be over there likening ACing to Melee's DIs. :p // 08-D. Final Words // This guide actually turned out to be fairly hard work... Basically, I tried to write for someone completely foreign to fighters so that the guide could be used for players of all levels and experience. How do you explain things that you just *know* to someone who's never even touched a fighting game before? That's what I had in mind when making this... In the end, I hope I've succeeded, at least somewhat, in creating something helpful to upcoming SC2 players. The guide's not a be-all-end-all guide to winning or anything; just a stepping stone to greater things, I hope. -r4r3truffle (The Ultimate SC2 Scrub XD) // 08-E. About the Author // r4r3truffle (also known as ExMachina) is a wannabe-dirty, scrubby Kilik player who's been playing Soul since first encountering a Soul Edge machine many years ago. Hangs out way too much at SC.com and SWF. Is notorious for introducing 1_3A+B to the local arcade and embarassing grown men in front of their girlfriends. Credentials? Has been playing scrubtastically since Street Fighter 2 Turbo and continues to do so with a number of recent fighting game titles. Soul Calibur 2 - *Kilik, *Maxi, Xianghua, Talim, *Yoshi Guilty Gear XX - *Eddie, *Chipp, Axl-Low Street Fighter 3 - Charlie, *Yun, Ken Tekken Tag Tournament - Jin, Jun Virtua Fighter 4: EVO - Jacky, Lion *********************************************************************