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Beginner's Guide by r4r3truffle

Version: 0.50 | Updated: 08/09/2004

 \\ The Newcomer's Guide to Soul Calibur II...........................

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  ..............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

     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

                    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

    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

       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.
            [6]    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.

    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

    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.

    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

  // 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

    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.

    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.

    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

   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.

    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.

    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
    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.

    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

    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'

    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.

    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
         Fall Stun (FS): Character falls immediately to the ground.
      Toe Hop Stun (TH): Character holds toe and hops around, then 
                         falls to the ground.

    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.

     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

       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.

       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.


       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.


       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 

  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

   Many characters in SC2 have special stances, from which you can
   execute moves which are not normally accessable from their normal

   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

   To indicate a stance, usually abbreviations are used. More stance
   names/abbreviations can be found in the Character Specific section
   of Notation and Definitions.

   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-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

    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

    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

      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

   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.




   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

     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

     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

   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
   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: 

  Frame data study:

< 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.

             Age: recently resurrected (7 years since initial
   Date of Birth: September 3
          Origin: Heretical order Fygul Cestemus, the Grand Shrine of
          Weapon: giant axe
     Weapon Name: Kultues
  Fighting Style: Gyulkus



  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


    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



  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.

             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."

             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

             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

             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

             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
             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,

             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


< 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


                    ( )      Optional
                    [ ]      Hold input  
                     ,       Followed by 
                     ~       Immediately after (roll between inputs)
                     +       Simultaneously 
                     _       Or 
                     *       Delay

                     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
                     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
                     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 [2] 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
                  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
                      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
                     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
                     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
               GC or GB      Guard Crush/Break. Move produces same
                             effect as a GI when blocked.
                   SCUB      Soul Charge UnBlockable. UB during
                     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
                     JG      Juggle starter.
                     CH      Requires a counter hit.
                     AT      Attack throw.
                    FrC      Forced crouch on block.
                   FrCh      Forced crouch on hit.


                     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.


                      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
                    TRI      Tribute Stance. Does the splits and
                             holds rod over head. AutoGIs vertical

        Maxi         RO      Right Outer Stance. Nunchaku over right
                     BL      Behind Lower Stance. Nunchaku behind
                     RC      Right Cross Stance. Nunchaku
                             transferring from hand to hand across
                             Maxi's front.
                     LO      Left Outer Stance. Nunchaku over left
                     LI      Left Inner Stance. Nunchaku inside left
            PSL 1_2_3_4      Pure Soul Loop 1, 2, 3, or 4.
                             Transitions between stances
                  tPSL3      True Pure Soul Loop 3.
                  iPSL4      Instant Pure Soul Loop 4.

   Mitsurugi         MS      Mist Stance. Sword held next to right
                     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
                    NSS      Night Side Stance. Sword to side in one
                   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

      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.


        (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
                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)
                          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

    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 //

             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.


             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.


             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:


             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.

                                          (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  


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