What do you need help on? Cancel X

Jump to:
Would you recommend this Guide? Yes No Hide
Send Skip Hide

Tekken Psychology 101 by Catlord

Version: B | Updated: 10/23/98

                       Tekken Psychology 101 - Rev.B
                     by Professor Jake Catlord Esq. II
               Latest Psychology 101 revision can be found at:
         Catlord's Tekken Collection: http://www.monmouth.com/~karin/

                      Revision A (c) April 22, 1997
                      Revision B (c) October 23, 1998

==========Disclaimer Mumbo-Jumbo So EGM Don't Steal My Shit Again============
|                                                                           |
| This guide is intended for free circulation through all internet related  |
| resources including web pages, newsgroups, email, IRC, FTP and any other  |
| forums that exist.  You many distribute or print this guide at your own   |
| leisure providing you do not alter the content in any way or receive      |
| monetary compensation for it.  The strategies and other non-official      |
| information regarding Tekken and/or your mama are copyright Hans Poorvin, |
| 1998.  Do not steal the information contained in this guide or attempt to |
| reword it.                                                                |
|                                                                           |
============We Now Continue to Your Regularly Scheduled Program==============

Written for Monospace format display (like Courier New)
Do the '.'s line up with the numbers below?
If they don't, then some stuff might look/print like crap. Use EDIT.COM if
you have to.

 What's New in Rev.B?

 Added III.A.7, III.A.8, III.B.1, III.B.3, III.B.4.
 Completely rewrote some subchapters.
 Revised every subchapter in some way and clarified some vagueness.
 Proofread gramatical and spelling errors.


        I'm not gonna make no lie about it, I'm a hardcore Tekken junkie.
Over the past 3 years, I've spent over $1500 playing Tekken2 and burned
somewhere around $2500 in Tekken3.  I've had the chance to play against some
of the best top-ranked national Tekken players who don't play any games when
it comes to serving up your killing.  I've felt the pains of not having any
money when good competition is in the arcade..
        Through collected hours of those wasted years, I've made many
observations and conducted many experiments into the mind of the average and
not-so-average Tekken player.  This paper will delve into two aspects of the
Tekken psyche- Actual game strategy, and a player's actions in reality.
        Was this essay created in response to clarify the mystic taboo of
unspoken Tekken strategy?  Or is it an effort to justify why we spend our
hard earned cash to watch messes of polygons beat the piss outta each other?
The answer is neither.  I just have to find something to do to pass the time
away in a boring Macroeconomics class..

                         < Table of Contents >

Ch I. General Gameplay Explained
     A. Blocking and Hitting
     B. The Neutral Guard
     C. Controller Use
Ch II. Types of Tekken Players
      A. The Masher
      B. The Street or Virtua Fighter
      C. The Average Tekken Player
      D. The Pitbull
      E. The Turtle
      F. The Nutjob
      G. The Master
      I. Sizing Up Your Opponent
Ch III. Gameplay Strategy
       A. How to Frustrate the Opponent
         1. Dodging and Weaving
         2. Mosquito Warfare
         3. Horsefly Warfare
         4. Reversing
         5. Throwing
         6. Run Away, Run Away
         7. Side Preference
       B. Opening the Guard
         1. Attack Height Psychological Mixups
         2. Offensive Stinging
         3. Counterhits
         4. Stuns
       C. Who is Good Against Who?
Ch IV. Strategy Outside of Gameplay
      A. Trash Talkin' (written by Ben Cureton)
        1. Good-Natured
        2. Cold-Hearted
        3. Scenarios
        4. Ben's Picks
      B. Body Language
        1. Casual Picking
        2. One Hand Playing
        3. Button Mashing
        4. Humming
      C. Communication
      D. Disclaimer
Ch V. How to Get People to Play You Again
Ch VI. Conclusion
Ch VI. Credits
Ch VIII. About the Author

Chapter I. General Gameplay Explained

        To successfully play Tekken, I would say the first thing that should
be learned is how to block.  If you can't block, you can't fight, and if you
can't fight, what use is this paper?  Therefore, for the beginner Tekken
player, this section I feel is necessary to include.  If you play Tekken
just in order to fulfill personal masochistic fantasies, then by all means
disregard this section.

     A.Blocking and Hitting
        There are 7 different types of attacks in Tekken- High, Mid,
Special Medium, Low, Ground, Throws, and Unblockables.  Each will be
explained thoroughly.

        High- Most risky type of attack.  Opponents can duck them, block them
standing, or even reverse them.  The only way to get hit by a high attack is
to walk right into it, get Counterhit by it, get hit by one in a juggle
combo, or after a Stun or in a Counterhit combo. (More on Stunning and
Counterhitting in Chapter III-B)

        Mid- In my opinion, the most useful attacks. If an opponent is
ducking, a Mid attack will hit them.  Since most juggle starter attacks
hit Mid, and juggles are where the most potential damage in the game lays,
it would be sensible to include a lot of Mid attacks in your arsenal.
Mid attacks can be blocked standing up.

        Special Medium- A very strange species of attacks. Most of them are
moves like the d+1 low jab, but other characters have Special Medium attacks.
(Like Ling's FC,d/f+2,1) They are moves that can be blocked either standing
up or crouching down.  Why would such an attack be useful?  The main reason
is because Special Mediums are usually fast poking strikes that rely on the
opponent walking into them or getting Counterhit by them.

        Low- Another useful attack.  Can be blocked only when ducking.  If
you are standing, a Low attack will hit you.  Low attacks are useful as well
since many Low attacks duck you down, allowing a High attack to go over your
head as you hit your opponent for a Major Counterhit.

        Ground- Attacks for hurting your opponent when they are fallen.
Examples of such are Heihachi or Nina's foot stomp, Paul's ground punch or
groundflip, or mostly anyone's d+3 sweep or u+2 jumppunch. Many Low attacks
will also serve the dual-purpose of Ground attacks.

        Throw- A throw will connect with anyone who is standing up- blocking
or not blocking (Note: King has throws that will catch a ducking or fallen
opponent).  Throws can be broken the moment they connect by certain button(s)
presses.  Multipart throws can be broken between throw segments with the push
of certain button(s).

        Unblockable- Special moves that take a long time to wind or charge
up that are both unblockable as well as severely damaging.  The downfall of
these moves are the windup time. Since a good Tekken player can detect an
Unblockable windup, they will either a) Run up and attack you before the
Unblockable is thrown or b) Back out of the range of the Unblockable.

| Here is a quick summary chart of the above mentioned: \
|                                                        \
| X - All attacks hit                                     \__________________
| B - Connects, but can be blocked                                          |
| - - Attacks whiff (miss)                                                  |
| P - Possible Hit                                                          |
|                                                                           |
|           High         Mid          Special Medium    Low                 |
|           -----        ----         ---------------   ----                |
|           (B) Stand    (B) Stand    (B) Stand         (X) Stand           |
|           (-) Crouch   (X) Crouch   (B) Crouch        (B) Crouch          |
|           (-) Fallen   (P) Fallen   (-) Fallen        (P) Fallen          |
|                                                                           |
|                Ground       Throw       Unblockable                       |
|                -------      ------      ------------                      |
|                (-) Stand    (X) Stand   (X) Stand                         |
|                (P) Crouch   (-) Crouch  (X) Crouch                        |
|                (X) Fallen   (-) Fallen  (P) Fallen                        |
|                                                                           |

     B.The Neutral Guard
        Thankfully, most Tekken machines are set with the Neutral Blocking
option enabled.  What this means is that if you are standing still with
the joystick in the neutral position (that means you don't touch the damn
stick), you will block the attack.  This works the same for crouching. If you
simply hold down (not D/F or D/B), then you will be able to block Low
        The neutral guard's downfall is that it is not all that trustworthy.
Some characters have guard melting strings that once the first hit is blocked
by the neutral guard, the rest will connect unless the person holds back (or
D/B for low attacks) on the controller. A good example of this is
Baek/Hworarang's Hunting Hawk kicks (u/f+3,4,3).  If a person decides to
neutral block the u/f+3 and continue to keep the stick neutral, the following
4,3 kicks will hit them.
        What happens if perchance you run into a Tekken machine that has
Neutral Blocking turned off?  You will have to block all High/Mid attacks by
holding the stick back, Low attacks by holding the stick D/B.  If the
controllers have shitty diagonal response, you're gonna be hating Low

     C.Controller Use
        Tekken is a game of timing.  Combos and strings must be timed else
they won't work.  Therefore, it is imperative that you learn to resist the
temptation to mash buttons even if you get excited.  Pick your moves and
know exactly what you are throwing at your opponent.  In Tekken, knowledge
is your greatest power.  Here is a quick list of conventions I will be using
from time to time in this paper-


                            1 - Left Punch
                            2 - Right Punch
                            3 - Left Kick
                            4 - Right Kick

      u   - Tap up                         U -   Push up
      d   - Tap down                       D -   Push down
      f   - Tap forward                    F -   Push forward
      b   - Tap back                       B -   Push back
      d/b - Tap diagonally down/back       D/B - Push diagonally down/back
      d/f - Tap diagonally down/forward    D/F - Push diagonally down/forward
      u/f - Tap diagonally up/forward      U/F - Push diagonally up/forward
      u/b - Tap diagonally up/back         U/B - Push diagonally up/back

FC- Full Crouch: You character must be in full crouching position
WS- While Standing: Your character must hit the move as he/she returns the
                    stick to neutral from crouching.

Again, it is important to realize the difference between TAPPING the
controller and PUSHING it. A tap is just that- a quick tap of the controller
in the given direction then letting go of it.  A push is when you move the
stick fully in the said direction, then release it.   Many people I've seen
cannot fathom the difference between the two.

Chapter II. Types of Tekken Players

        There are many types of Tekken players.  Some don't agree with the
labeling of player stereotypes, but I think it's pretty damn accurate.
All Tekken players want to win, some want to toy with you, some want to
crush you relentlessly, but they all strive to win.  It may be important to
note that the volunteering test subjects who were playing Tekken drunk
were often found to forget this important goal until their realization that
the 3rd round is already over.
     Remember that the type of player you are doesn't just depend on your
Tekken experience and knowledge, but also on your mental status,
coordination, and reflexes.

Tekken Hierarchy
             | Master |
            /    |     \
  __________     |      ___________
  | Turtle |---Nutjob---| Pitbull |
  ----------            -----------
            \          /
         | Average Player |
     | Street or Virtua Fighter |
             | Masher |

     A.The Masher
        The Masher can be clearly identified by his lightning reflexes and
skill in beating the hell out of any button close to him (he might start
mashing even your buttons..watch out) as well as his prowess in yanking the
controller stick in a fashion as to break it so diagonals so they will never
work for you again.  Mashers really have no skill but their randomness and
their Eddy Gordoness could prove rather frustrating for even the adept Tekken
player. (Discussed further in Chapter III-A).

     B.The Street or Virtua Fighter
        These are people who are familiar with fighting games but lack the
knowledge in Tekken moves or physics.  They usually will mash on occasion,
but they have fighting strategy.  They will stick and move, block and attack.
Alas, without Tekken knowledge, they should not be hard to defeat.

     C.The Average Tekken Player
        The Average Tekken player is one who is relatively familiar with
standard Tekken physics, knows a few tenstrings, knows how to block
character's popular combos, knows Law's kick,flipkick, kick,flipkick
combo, and probably reads EGM or some equivalent.. My personal favorite
Tekken type to play against.

     D.The Pitbull
        An Average to Master player who is on you like white on rice as soon
as the computer voice finishes yelling, "Fight!".  He or she (Yes world,
females do play Tekken too.) will keep assaulting you with quick jabs or
tenstrings, not giving you any room to breathe.  If you are unfamiliar with
blocking points and interrupts, they will eat you in no time flat. Through
experience, I have found that pitbulling with quick poking attacks to keep
the offensive (called custom stringing) is one of the most deadly forms of
Tekken art.

     E.The Turtle
        The exact opposite of the Pitbull.  They will play a very defensive
game and usually crouch down to avoid throws and High attacks, then pop up
to counterhit and juggle you.  Blocking and interrupting your attacks is
their strongpoint, so be very wary against using tenstrings and attacks that
will leave you wide open.  Always keep a few good Mid attacks in memory
when fighting them.

     F.The Nutjob
        They're not a class on their own, but you probably know a few of
these.  They feel a compulsion to learn every Tekken move there is, every
crushing juggle, and memorize every character FAQ word for word.   They do
odd things like spend their entire college fund on Tekken, create their own
Tekken windows wallpaper, write long essays on pointless Tekken information,
then goto bed dreaming up Tekken combos snugging their King plushie doll in
their... uhm.. Maybe I should stop there...

     G.The Master
        Ironic that the Masher and the Master are only one letter of
difference apart.  This isn't the case in gameplay tho, for the Master is a
blend of the Pitbull, the Turtle, and a Nutjob all mixed into one.  They
know better than to use a full tenstring, they strike when they see you
glimpse an opening, they will play you into their poking offensives, and they
will block everything you get the chance to throw at them.  Pretty
unbeatable unless your mad skillz are at par with theirs.  Matches between
master players usually end up in poking wars and attack height psychological
        Masters should be treated with respect, so don't talk trash to them
in attempt to throw their mind off the game.  Instead, see Chapter IV-B about
a more polite method to throw off a Master.

     I.Sizing Up Your Opponent
        Lets just say you're playing Tekken3, when all of a sudden some
rather mysterious, possibly suspicious, probably dorky person comes up and
plops two quarters into the game and plays you.  Let us look at the different
factors to prejudge (prejudice sucks, but hey, this is Tekken) their skills.
        If they move directly to Eddy as soon as the character select screen
comes up, you are 95% sure you are going up against a Masher. If they
immediately select Ogre or Paul, they you're probably up against a cheezy
Average Player.  One who immediately selects Lei can also show signs
of retarded lay-down Masherness (ie. All they do is d+3+4,3+4,d+3+4,3+4...)
        If you're an Average Player, then you usually want to let the other
person select their character first (See Chapter III-C).  If they wait for
you to select the character, then chances are they are an average player as
well who has strategies vs. certain characters.  Masters will pick anyone at
random- they know well they are gonna school your ass with Kuma, regardless
of what character you pick.
        Tekken3 characters to be wary of- Law, Nina, Yoshimitsu, Lei, Paul,
and Xiaoyu.  I've found that these are the choice picks of good players in
the arcades around where I live.  Some select Jin and Hwoarang players can be
extremely vicious, though rare.
        Okay, now you've selected your characters.  Now look at the other
person's hands.  Do they grip the stick tight and hold it by the top?  Then
they're probably not so hot..  If they ground the side of their stick palm
against the controller panel, expect a good game.  Now look over to their
button hand.  Are they warming up? Did they just select King and are now
going through the button sequences for the Rolling Death Cradle?  Expect
trouble.  I've played a Master in Tekken2 named AcidEater who would look at
my hands maybe a 1/5 of the match rather than look at the screen.  Ya know
what? He destroyed me because he saw my hands were giving away my next
attacks.  That's a whole other story though..
        Now the match has started. "Fight!" What is the first thing that
your opponent does?  If they back up it usually means they could be a Turtle
trying to feel you out.  If they immediately attack, they are either Masher,
a Pitbull, or a Master.  If they just stand there, it's probably an Average
Tekken player.  A hard call indeed.

Chapter III. Gameplay Strategy

        This could be the most important chapter in the paper.. Here is
where I will discuss eating into the other person's psychological gameplay
by way of a frustration plan not involving your mouth.

     A.How To Frustrate Your Opponent
        1.Dodging and Weaving - Dash out when they attack, then dash back in.
Repeat this for a good 10 seconds.  Keep yourself right outside their attack
range and don't attack.  You will notice either a) A more aggressive and
poorly executed attack pattern or b) They will catch onto your game and stop
moving, waiting for you to bring it to them.  After awhile, switch your
gameplan to the exact opposite, a Pitbull.  This contrast in gameplan will
confuse your opponent even more.  Repeating this will let your opponent know
you are trying to mess with their mind, angering them.  Therefore, their
concentration will be partially throw to you rather than the game at hand.

        2.Mosquito Warfare - Much like the dodging and weaving strategy, but
throwing quick jabs and low kicks when you dash in.  This will result in
extreme frustration and the opponent will try to throw practically anything
in their arsenal to try to hit you.  Wait for a messy attack and then come in
with a jugglestarter or a Major Counter.  From there take the beating to
them.  Someone who has been playing offense for the first half of a round
will have a tough time making a fast switch to a heavy defense.

        3.Horsefly Warfare - Mosquito warfare taken to a heavier level.
Dodge and weave, then strike hard with the most damaging juggle you know.
Return to dodging.  Your opponent will either a) Be intimidated and play
much more of a defensive and worried game or b) Get pissed off and do
anything they can to return the favor.

        4.Reversing and Parrying - This is the most frustrating type of
strategy but also takes the most skill to perform.  In essence, you attack
by only Reversing or Low Parrying (Tekken3) your opponents' attacks.  What
could be more frustrating to someone than getting killed by your own attacks?
After pegging about 3 Reversals or Low Parries, switch to a heavy offensive.
They will not be expecting it at all.  Oh yeah, for those who don't see how
Low Parries can be effective, try catching your opponent's low kick with it.
They will be thrown off balance and cannot block, leaving them defenseless
long enough to hit them with a jugglestarter.
On a sidenote, my buddy Peter Tsang (g0rd0la) and I have come up with the
only accurate proven mathematical equation for calculating Reversal Damage:
   Reversal Damage = (Move Damage / 2) + 25

        5.Throwing - Another frustrating technique against those who cannot
escape throws.  Gets them very riled up.  You keep defense, attacking only
with throws or tackles.  If you choose throws, make sure it's the _same_
throw.  After about three of these expect to receive trashtalk.  One more
throw will put your opponent into serious pissed off mode.  Lay on the heavy
offense right there.

        6.Run Away! Run Away!- Best done after you cause some minor damage to
your opponent and he/she has less energy left than you.  Just keep backing
off, jumping backwards, always keeping out of the range of their attacks.
If they are far enough away to run at you, then wait for the right time and
jump over their heads and repeat.  Repeat and repeat until the game ends.
Another method is to back off for the whole match but in the last second use
at attack that always tends to hit but does light damage.  Ling's D+3,2,
Nina's d+4,1 and anyone's sweeps are good for this.  Expect many calls of
"Cheap!" and a very pissed off opponent.

        7.Side Preference- Question to ya all: Do you have a favorite side of
of the screen to play on?  Most people will answer yes.. They just feel
comfortable doing joystick motions like the f,N,d,d/f from a certain side.
I don't know if this has to do with whether you are right handed or not or
it's just through conditioning, or.. Oh yeah, back to what I was talking
about.  How is this useful? When you play them, see if they favor one side,
or if they try to purposely jump over you or try to get on an opposite side
if switched around, damn it, use it to yer advantage.. ;)  Keep them on their
weak side if possible.  If you juggle them, jump over them instead to bug
them out.  They will spend more time trying to get around you than to beat
you down.

     B.Opening the Guard
        1.Attack Height Psychological Mixups - This is where the true
psychological setup and planning game kicks in.  The objective is to get the
opponent to incorrectly guess the attack heights of the moves you are
going to throw next.  You want him to block your Low attacks standing and
your Mid attacks ducking.  Your ultimate goal is to hit your opponent with
enough unguarded Low attacks so that they will start ducking to block you.
It is then that you whip out your powerful Mid hitting jugglestarter, then go
to work with your favorite blend of Juggle du Jour.
     Due to the number of attack height variants she has, I have found Nina
to be the best character to use for playing the mixup game.  Let's use a Nina
vs. King match as an experiment, carefully analyzing psychological responses
for each character.

    Nina Attacks With:  d+3,FC+4  (Low kick, Low kick)
    - King could block the first Low kick, but then has a 50%/50% chance
      of guessing if Nina will follow with another Low kick or a Mid
      uppercut.  A smart King will want to stand because the damage of a
      Low kick is minimal when compared to the juggle of the Mid uppercut.
      If King guesses wrong and was hit with the 2nd Low kick, then he
      must face more mental decisions:
      If King thinks he is facing a good Nina, King could expect Nina to
      throw a slight variation of the above: d+3,2 (Low kick, Mid uppercut)
      to try to trick King into expecting double Low kicks.  However, if King
      thinks he is facing a good Nina who knows he is a good King, then King
      might expect those double Low kicks.  This interplay of matching wits
      and psychoanalytical decisions can bounce back and forth as each
      player feels each other out.

    Sounds confusing, right?  It is!  If you don't understand it, the
    best supplemental explanation I can suggest is to rent the movie The
    Princess Bride.  Watch Vizzini's explanation of The Man in Black's
    strategy in the Battle of Wits game they play.  Let's return to the match
    and introduce my highly suggested follow up-

    Nina attacks: d/f+3,2,d+3,2 (Mid kick, Hi punch, Low kick, Mid Uppercut)
    - King will most likely not be able to block all the hits of this diverse
      mixup and will honestly not know what to expect next.  It is at this
      time that King will consider fighting back with an attack, so as to not
      continue to become a warily defensive punching bag for the whole round.
      Nina could formulate a guess by now of the skill of the King.  If she
      thinks King is good, she might expect King to jab quick with a d+1~N+2.
      An attack Reversal or a block would be Nina's response.  If Nina thinks
      the King is an amateur and will attack with something slow, Nina can
      Major Counterhit King with her own fast attack (like d+4~1 or d+1~N+4).

    I will end this long subchapter here, for I feel that continuing will
    only succeed in confusing you more than I just did to myself.

        2.Offensive Stinging - Play a very offensive game.  This strategy
consists of getting right in your opponent's face, then send a nonstop
barrage of jabs, ducking jabs, and quick Low snapkicks.  Jabs have a high
priority over other moves since they have relatively no windup time at all.
After awhile, you will notice them trying to change their game in order to
stop getting hit by your annoying little pisshits.  If you bring the pace of
the match up to a poke-war, then they have to adapt to play a poke-war back
with quick moves like d+1,WS+4 or else be beaten.
        3.Counterhits - There are two types of Counterhits in
Tekken: Major and Minor ones.  A Minor Counterhit is an attack that hits an
opponent during the split second their guard is down after one of their
attack misses or is blocked.  Minor Counterhits do 125% damage.  Major
Counterhits are attacks that interrupt your opponent's attack during
mid-animation.  Basically, you are beating them to the punch.  Major
Counterhits can also be done when you connect with any hit while you are Kiai
Tame powered up (1+2+3+4).  Major Counterhits do 150% damage and can
sometimes break an opponent's guard so that successive hits in a string
cannot be blocked.  The second good news about Major Counterhits is that they
will sometimes juggle an opponent or stun them, whereas a regular hit will

        4.Stuns - Like Counterhits, stuns come in different types.  The best
Stun is the Double-Over Stun.  This is usually the result of a specific move
hitting as a Major Counterhit.  The opponent grabs their stomach and slowly
slumps to the ground.  They area open for either an immediate throw or a
jugglestarter.  Some Double-Over Stuns are escapable by holding forward on
the controller.  Crumple Stuns make the opponent fall over instantly and some
characters can juggle off these.  Staggers (Tekken3) are Stuns that make the
opponent reel backwards and hold their nose.  If they don't hold down on the
controller to fall down, they are defenseless for followup attacks.  There
are also things called Guard Melters or Staggers.  They are moves that after
they are blocked half-Stun your opponent and break their guard down for
enough time to give you the initiative of attack.  Such attacks as these
include Lei's guard melting punches and King's stun elbow.

     C.Who is Good Against Who?
        Some characters I feel naturally stand a better chance against other
characters, just as some characters stand a worse chance against other
characters.  I ain't saying that some characters suck- any character in the
hands of a master is lethal.  Listing all the characters and their weaknesses
is pointless here since there are three Tekkens.  I'll brush up on a few from

 They Pick       You Pick       Why
 ----------      --------       --------------------------------------------
    Eddy           Nina         Low Parry Eddy's sweeps, Juggle with d/b+3+4
    Paul           Law           1. Law has Punch Reversal combos
                                 2. Block Paul's d+4,2, Juggle with 3,4
  Hwoarang         King         King has an un-chickenable kick reversal
    Kuma         Heihachi       Heihachi can f,N,d,d/f+2, d+1+4 combo
   GunJack       Heihachi       Heihachi can f,N,d,d/f+2, d+1+4 combo
   Ogre-2          Gon           1. Ogre-2's attacks go over Gon's head
                                 2. Gon is fire-resistant

     The common observation is that a character who is really fast (like
Xiaoyu) holds the advantage over a slow character (like Kuma or GunJack).

Chapter IV. Strategy Outside of Gameplay

       Alright, so we have dealt with actual gameplay psychology. Now lets
deal with what you can do outside of actually playing the game to increase
your odds of winning. We broke it down into categories for your
enjoyment... heh.  Now, a word first.. Depending on how you use the
techniques described below, you may give yourself an advantage, or end up
looking like a dork.  It's all in "the presentation" if you will.  The
effectiveness of your trash talk weighs heavily on your ability to do it
right, and that can only be learned through watching other people and
trial/error.  It's like joke telling.  If you mess up the punch line or
screw up the story, no matter how witty the joke actually was.. no one is
going to laugh.  Let us begin.

     A.Smack Talking (aka Talking Trash/Smack/Shit/Wang/Crap/Garbage)
        Now every Tekken player out there I know has talked trash before.
If you haven't, you're either a liar or Pope John Paul III..  It's just
natural in Tekken to talk trash.  What better occasion can you think of to
talk trash in? Anyway, trash talk can be either good natured, or, as most
of us prefer, cold-hearted and very demeaning (my personal favorite).

        Of course, you can have fun talking trash and not hurt anyone's
feelings.  Say you and your buddy cruise down to the local arcade to settle a
dispute about "Who has the better Yoshi?" or something like that.  It's not
uncommon to hear two buddies yelling at each other with things like "HOOOO,
you like that don't you!?" or "Come on, I'll even give you second round!".
Most of the time you can tell that the players are friends, or they know each
other by the friendly overtones and gestures. There's not too much to
good-natured Smack Talking.  I mean.. it's all in fun and it makes the game
more enjoyable.

        This is where the physical game ends, and the mental game begins
(and sometimes the hospital bills, if you don't know what you're doing).
Cold-hearted smack talking is meant to make the other guy/gal feel bad.
Plain and simple, you want to hurt your opponents feelings.  Why you ask?
Well, the more your opponent is thinking about how much of an asshole you
are, and about how bad they wanna beat you, the less they are thinking about
their game. This is an obvious advantage, as you have just taken their
thoughts off playing Tekken3, which is what you are here to play.. got it?
Usually cold-hearted smack talking comes about after some sorry-ass button
mashing newbie calls you "cheap", just because you kicked their ass by
blocking and countering, or you have lost to a very lucky son-of-a-bitch
(and you think they deserve a witty remark concerning their play style).  I
mean, most of the time, when I beat a decent TK3 player, I get a "Good job"
or a "Nice goin'".  It's usually the less experienced played that initiate
the smack talk, and the old-pros that end it (hehe... we rule huh?).

   Common Smack Talk provoking situations:

  - You win (opponent says something) -
    (This is the most common scenario.)

       You just beat the crap out of someone with Paul by just using the
       Death Fist-Stomp-Death Fist pattern (or some similar pattern with
       another character. (All I have to say is AHAHA!)

       You won with a Multi-part throw both rounds.

       You smacked the crap out of someone repeatedly as they tried to get
       up off the ground. (Again, I must laugh.. bahaha)

       You used a simple, yet-effective, block/retaliate pattern against
       someone who only knows 3 moves.. or plays Eddy.

       You threw someone. (ahaha)

       Your opponent says "That's all you can do?" (one of my favs!)

  - You win (you say something) -
    (I usually don't start smack talking after a win unless I have
     previously been in a smack-talking engagement with my opponent.
     Hey, I said "usually", hehe.)

       You feel it's your responsibility to say "good job" or "nice try"
after completely dominating someone, just because there are a lot
       of people watching/listening. (I love that!)

  - You lose (you say something) -
    (Not an uncommon occurrence)

       You just lost to a psychotic button mashing crack addicted Eddie
       player, and it's your duty to comment on their particular brand
       of playstyle.

       You are pissed cause you lost to a decent player, that just used
       1 or 2 moves. (this is your fault as much as it is theirs, but
       nonetheless, it happens.)

       You have lost more than once in a row to someone you KNOW you can

       After losing, you know you'll have to go back to the token machine
       cause you just spent your last two. (I hate having to go to the
       token machine after losing.. it's like, you have been "beaten" or

  - You lose (opponent says something) -
    (This usually doesn't happen.)

       Your opponent has his girlfriend around and thinks he is the baddest
       mo'fo low-down round-this-town "shonuff", so he comments on your
       game play technique after you lose, and says it a bit "too loud".

       You have bad vibes between your opponent, maybe because of a previous
       smack-talking encounter.

I know for a fact I didn't get every situation, but that give you a general
idea of what I am talking about.  You have probably witnessed one or two of
these scenarios first hand, and if you play a lot of Tekken, you probably
have even taken part in one or two.  Another point I should make, is that you
don't have to actually be playing to talk smack effectively. If you wanna
psyche out your opponent before you even fight them, try talking about all
the crazy moves you are ABOUT to do.  Just make sure you know how to play
before you try this ok?  I mean, if you are sitting there saying "Watch
this Johnny.. I am gonna bust out the Rolling Death Cradle on this dude."
and you can't even do a simple 3 hit combo with Paul, then you will end up
looking like a fool (and leave yourself open to smack talk yourself).

       4.Ben's Picks:
        Here are a few of the quotes I use on a regular basis.  When playing
people I don't know... I usually only talk trash after losing.  Sometimes
though, when there is a big crowd, I have the urge to say something out loud
and inflate my ego to an even more uncontrollable size. =)

#1: "Ohh so THAT'S how we're gonna play?!"
    (makes opponents think THEY were cheap.  Sometimes this effects their

#2: "Ahh you wanna throw ehh?"
     (I think myself, more than anyone, loves to throw.. but, it sucks
      to lose to a throw.  When this happens against a shitty player, I
      bust out with this quote and come back the next round with, "Ok..
      NOW let's throw."  Players end up backing away more, and ducking a lot
      too, which leaves them open to juggles and quick attacking moves.)

#3: "You block that Low_Mid_High."
     (After beating someone with a crazy move, I tell them where they SHOULD
      have blocked. The thing is, if they KNOW where to block it, it's
      even better.)  For added insult, you can tell them in advance, "Okay..
      This combo is going to hit High, Low, then Mid to juggle you
      up, then I think I'll pop you with a couple jabs, a kick and slap,
      and if you don't quick recover I'm gonna flip on top of you.." Tell
      them during a 10-string where each hit is going to connect with a
      split second warning.  It's a good laugh to see them frantically try
      to block your junk.

#4: "Here, (handing the controls over to Slik) you practice on this guy."
     (Now that's just plain mean, but this isn't Tekken Etiquette now
      is it?  Actually, I have only used that a few times, but it's just
      so damned fucked up, I had to include it.)

#5: (after having someone say) "Damn you're pretty good!" (I say) "I am ok,
      I need to learn some more moves." (This one rocks, especially when
      I slammed their ass with every move in the book, and combos that are
      Illegal in 49 States. =) )

#6: (Not really smack talk, but a good psyche out.  After a comment on
      my skill, I say) "Ohh did you play Tekken2?  I wrote the strategy
      guide for that!" (This usually gets a lot of questions, but most of
      the time they are unnerved the next time they come up to play.  It's
      weird, because usually they aren't bad at all.  Hehe)

#7: (After beating the crap out of someone whom I previously was talking
     trash to, I take a few tokens out of my pocket and say) "Here, take
     this and go practice before you come back to this machine..." (Yeah,
     it's about as mean and cold-hearted as it gets, but I have actually done
     it on two different occasions.)

        Communication is done during the match.  It can consist of any
conversation with your opponent while you are fighting them.  Stirring up
conversation or just constantly talking about anything while fighting will
help you out or at least take your opponent's mind off the fight.  If you are
especially good at motormouthing, their subconscience will be too preoccupied
with telling you to shut your hole or waiting for you to do so.  If they are
of the friendly sort, they might even engage in conversation.. Bringing up
the subject of Tekken and asking them how to do certain moves could screw
them up (or backfire on you as they suddenly remember a move you just
reminded them to try).  If they still aren't pissed off at you, the fact that
you are trying to be friendly might make them refrain from using their dirty,
cheap, or psychological attacks. (That doesn't mean YOU can't use them now..)

     C.Body Language
        Body language is a big factor if you wanna mess with your opponents
mind and mess with their game.  These are a few examples of things that you
can do that involve body language.

          1.Casual Picking -  Acting casual while picking your character is
a good start. This leads your opponent to thinking you are not worried about
them, and they try "extra hard" to beat you... which ends up making them play
in a way that they aren't used to.

          2.One Hand Playing - Funny to do against people that suck.  Just
stand there and wait for them to come to you then beat them in the face.
Gets the message across that they're so bad, you can beat them with one hand
behind your back (or over your mouth laughing..).  A similar result can be
achieved by doing 10-strings with single button presses, raising your finger
about a foot away from the controller panel with each press.  Remember
though, doing a 10-string against those who know how to block them will only
make you look like the jackass once they interrupt or Counterhit you.

          3.Mashing Buttons - Possibly childish, but smacking the hell outta
the buttons while making raspberry noises is the universal Tekken sign for
"You're a clueless button mashing scrub who deserves no respect whatsoever."
If they don't get it, so what.  Least they will be alil weirded out by the
strange customs of that arcade.

          4.Humming - Humm a little tune as you play.  Make it clear to your
competition that they are nothing but a brisk walk in the park.  Make it an
annoying song you're humming a favorite Hanson or Spice Girls song for
extra flavor.

        The author and contributors of this essay are in no means responsible
for any broken noses, decapitation, castration, foreign objects shoved where
the sun don't shine, or any other types of bodily damage resulting in the
misuse and overuse of the Trash Talking section of this essay.  Proceed with
caution and do not try without adult supervision (or one of your boyz who
got yer back..)

Chapter V. How To Get People To Play You Again

     Lets face it, nobody wants to play against the CPU.  Therefore, it is in
your best interest to figure out a way to get human opponents to plop in
their quarters and try to beat your ass.  The way to do this is simple..
Feel your opponent out and play down to his level if you can.  Now I know
some people's prides may say differently, but if you think you aren't playing
a threat, make sure to THROW THE SECOND ROUND.  Nobody wants to lose a round
to someone of lesser skill but if you desire to play them again, it's a must.
If you kill them in 10 seconds flat, I am sure they have better things to
spend their money on other than your Master ass.  As long as the opponent has
quarters and seriously thinks to themself, "Hey, I have a chance here..",
they are going to play you again.  Making comments about how good they are or
how close the game was (wink wink) adds grease to the wheels.

Chapter VI. Conclusion

      As many topics as have been addressed, I am sure there are others that
have slipped my mind or I haven't thought of.. In Tekken, you learn something
new everyday, whether it's a new move, new combo, or new technique.  By
harnessing the psychological aspects of Tekken, you will find both a better
mental stability in the game- You know the tricks and you know not to fall
for them.  You will also find a new weapon or two to use against an opponent
when physical and reflexive skill will take you only so far.  Mortal Kombat
was the game that first used the quote "Knowledge is Power", but in looking
back, I realize this should have been the Tekken's quote.  Know yourself,
know your abilities, and know your enemy.

Chapter VII. Credits

      Catlord would like to thank the following without whom, this essay
would never have been written.

Ben Cureton - For contributing his master knowledge and wisdom, as well as
              writing the entire Trash Talk subchapter (damn this guy loves
              to insult..)  He was also nice enough to give me a taste of
              what has made him the national Tekken2 and Tekken3 tournament

Prizim - Everyday we'd go play Tekken together and discuss strategies over a
         finely rolled blunt.

AcidEater - For getting me interested in playing Tekken seriously when he
            came down to Jersey back in `96.

Slikatel - He's the one who showed me all the ill-nana combos hidden away
           in Tekken.  Have you ever seen the crazy juggles he can do in
           Tekken2 off a single Heihachi hell sweep?

All the crew on EFNet's #TKN - For all sorts of help, for people to
                               talk to and discuss Tekken with, and to
                               show me that I'm not the only nutjob
                               out dere. Ya know who ya are. ;)

Phillies - For making the blunts that makes Tekken appear a more interesting
           and more insightful game than it probably is.

Mississippi Mud - The stuff you swill that's necessary for the Eight Drunk
                  Gods technique of Tekken fighting.

Tragic........Contributing Chapter IV-A to the essay
Richard Lux...Contributing Chapter III-A-7 to the essay
Mort..........Contributing Chapter III-A-8 to the essay

If you feel you have something important to contribute to this essay, email
me at kittylord@hotmail.com with your submissions and if it's a really
cool and novel idea, I'll make sure to revise it in. Thanks!

Chapter VIII. About the Author

      Catlord is a native New Jerseyite who got kicked out of Rutgers
University in 1997, leaving him with an unfulfilled major in Sleeping with a
minor in Procrastination.  Since then, he's gotten his diploma in Network
Engineering and Data Communications.  He is currently the drummer of
Permanent Waves, a progressive rock/Rush cover band that plays the central
Jersey area.
      Identifying Catlord shouldn't be hard.. Just go to any central New
Jersey arcade with good Tekken controllers (Monmouth, Freehold, etc.).  If
you see some foolish 22 year old playing Tekken with Mokujin who wears a
silver ring and bracelet on his left hand, then leave.  If you come back an
hour later and he didn't move, it's gotta be him.

Catlord's Tekken Collection website- http://www.monmouth.com/~karin/

Other internet Tekken texts by Catlord:
        Catlord's Tekken3 Movelist
        Catlord's Tekken3 Combo Compendium
        Tekken3 to Tobal2 Skin Palette Conversion


View in: