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Cloud Guide by MAllen

Version: 1.2 | Updated: 05/15/1999


Unpublished Work Copyright 1999 Mike Allen


This is as an "easy reference" guide for Cloud players. The strategies 
are from my Expert FAQ Version 1.38.

For the most dedicated Cloud player on the face of the earth, check out 
Dan GC's "Cloud FAQ" for Cloud background info, story info, and just 
about everything else about Cloud you never thought you'd have a desire 
to know. More Cloud stuff than you can shake a stick at! You can also 
read about our match together.

Send any tips/questions/comments to:  Mallen1@csulb.edu 









H: high
M: middle (input H+L)
L: low
G: guard
J: jump
S: special button
Basic: standard attack (not moving or using the directional pad)
Step: Step move (tap the directional pad while holding G)
Ducking: a fully-ducked position (hold G)
Rising: "while rising" position (after certain low attacks or ducking)
Walking: direction pad while holding G
Running: direction pad without holding G
j(attack): just-frame attack (exp. "jH" is a just-frame attack with H)


jab = Basic H
combo = if the first hit lands, the rest will connect
mid = an attack that hits middle
low = an attack that hits low
counter = counter-hit
delay = pushing the buttons at a slower speed to alter the timing 
lifter = move that sets up an air combo 
wake-up attack = a move while on the ground after being knocked down
down attack = a move used to hit opponents lying on the ground
sleeper = an opponent who sits on the ground after being knocked down
turtle = an opponent who plays defensively


CLOUD => This lighting-quick character will POUND your carcass    
======    into the ground if you don't keep him away from you.     

Cloud is the most one-dimensional fighter in the game. He is the 
epitome of close-range fighting. Cloud's specials are worthless and he 
has no dominant moves at medium-range. Stay close or die. 

Boxing-fans will inevitably make Cloud their character of choice. 
Cloud's jab combos and variations are the quickest and deadliest in the 

Close-range Fighting

Follow the Basic HH with:

1. H (to Basic HHH links)
2. L (can be heavily delayed; can extend to HHLjHH)
3. M+S (to M+S links)
4. Basic M (against counters)
5. Basic L (to Basic L links)
6. Basic HH (restart Basic HH links)
7. G+L (can extend to G+L, jHH)
8. H+S (to H+S links)
9. Throw


The HHHH is a combo, but if you try it every time you'll be 
interrupted. Most opponents aren't fast enough to interrupt the HH 
unless they're looking for it. 

If opponents don't interrupt until the last hit in HHHH, go ahead an 
extend the HH to HHH and follow with the HHH links listed below.

If your opponent has no white meter left, dish out the full HHHH every 

If the low in HHL or G+L hits as a counter, the extension jHH will 
combo. Delay the low in HHL to facilitate a counter-hit.

Cloud's best counter at close-range is the Basic M, which unfortunately 
hits high. The basic M can be followed with HHHH or HHL or HLL for an 
air combo. 

Follow the Basic HHH with:

1. H
2. H (delayed; against interrupts)
3. M+S (to M+S links)
4. Basic L (to Basic L links)
5. Basic HH (to Basic HH links)
6. G+L (can extend to G+L, jHH)
7. H+S (to H+S links)
8. Throw


The HHHH is a combo. Most opponents will interrupt the last hit on a 
successful HHHH to stop the damage, so either cut it off at HHH or 
delay the last hit.  

Follow the Basic HL or Basic L with:

1. jH 
2. L 
3. L (delayed) 
4. Basic M (against counters)
5. Rising H (essentially a "delayed" jH)
6. M+S (to M+S links)
7. Running G+H
8. Throw/Tackle


The HL is a combo. 
Starting with the Basic L works best against opponents who consistently 
walk at close-range.

You can extend the HLL or LL to HLLH and LLH. This addition hits high, 
but offers priority over most counters and can be delayed. If opponents 
block the low, they can also duck the H. It is crucial that you mix in 
the delayed H to lure your opponent to counter.

If opponents block the Basic L you cannot do the jH, but you can get 
around this by intentionally missing with the first low to set up the 
LL and LjH mix-up.

Follow the M+S with:

1. H
2. H (delayed)
3. Basic HH (to Basic HH links)
4. Basic HL (to Basic HL links)
5. Basic L (to Basic L links)
6. Basic M+S (restart the M+S links)
7. Basic M (against counters)
8. H+S (to H+S links)
9. Running G+H
10. Throw


The M+S, H is exactly the same as the third and fourth hits in HHHH.

Cloud's other close-range mid is the Running G+H. This move is exactly 
that same as the last hit in HHHH. It comes out quickly with great 
range, and it knocks your opponent down. 

Follow the H+S with:

1. H (to H+S, H links)
2. H (delayed; to H+S, H links)
3. Throw
4. Basic HH (to Basic HH links)
5. Basic HL (to Basic HL links)
6. Basic L (to Basic L links)
7. M+S (to M+S links)
8. Basic M (against counters)


You can heavily delay the second hit in H+S, H. 

The problem with the H+S, H is that the second hit is easy to interrupt 
if opponents are looking for it. It is imperative that you mix up the 
delayed version of the second hit with other moves. Once your opponent 
expects the delayed version, go ahead and input the full-speed H+S, H.

Follow the H+S, H with:

1. H
2. H (delayed)
3. L (can extend with jHH)
4. L (delayed; can extend with jHH)
5. Throw
6. Basic HH (to Basic HH links)
7. Basic HL (to Basic HL links)
8. Basic L (to Basic L links)
9. M+S (to M+S links)
10. Basic M (against counters)


You can heavily delay the third hit in H+S, HH and H+S, HL. 

The H+S, HH can be followed up with G+H, HjH for an air combo. 

If the low attack in the H+S, HL hits as a counter (try delaying it to 
entice your opponent to attack), the extension jHH will combo.

Medium-Range Fighting

Cloud is a one-dimensional, close-range powerhouse. Stay close.

The Step LH can be used to close the distance between you and your 
opponent. It has incredible range, and leaves you safe if blocked.

While walking at medium-range let off the directional pad for a half-
second to duck. Release G and immediately come up with the Rising H. 
This process can be done very fast if you practice, and the Rising H 
offers great speed, superior range, and it knocks your opponent down.

Countering Opponent's Mistakes

You'll generally counter with the basic M or HHHH.

The basic M has a tendency to miss after you block low attack that 
lowers your opponent's body (exp. = sliding attacks). To counter "low" 
opponents, try the M+S, H. If you're feeling lucky, you can pull out 
the sword LLL.

Sword Techniques

Cloud only has two "usable" sword moves: the Jumping S and LLL.

If you find that you're not using the sword much, don't let your white 
meter go to waste! Interrupt, interrupt, INTERRUPT!

The Jumping S:

The jumping S has great range, is hard to jump around, takes off almost 
no white meter, and is unblockable. However, it CAN be grabbed and 
interrupted, and is vulnerable to uppercuts. 

Jump up and watch your opponent's reaction. If your opponent is in the 
middle of an attack, they CANNOT interrupt or sword-grab, giving you an 
opportunity to input the S without fear of retribution.  

The LLL:

Opponents can grab any of the three slices in LLL. However, once one of 
the slices hits, the rest will combo and there's NOTHING your opponent 
can do about it. I have seen a computer-controlled Matsuda do the 90-
degree H to get out of it, but most players won't be able to handle the 
timing. Since the sword hits low, interrupts won't work. 

Unless you're a masochist, don't even think about drawing the sword at 

Pull out the sword maybe 4 or 5 times a round at medium-range. Slice 
without question if they MOVE. An opponent in mid-attack or recovering 
from an attack cannot sword-grab. Look for an opportunity to land the 
first hit of the LLL after an opponent's miss and watch his life bar go 
If your opponent is sitting and waiting to pull the sword-grab, sheath 
the sword. Opponents quickly tire of watching you pull out the sword 
and put it away. They eventually decide to counter the next time you 
pull it out. At this point, pull the sword and immediately pop the LLL. 
This is a guessing game, of course, and something I'm not in love with. 

Opponents at medium-range might sit back and wait for you to attack so 
they can counter with the sword-grab. This sucks, but there is a way to 
get around this if you have the dedication to practice and learn the 
LLL's range. Basically, you want to pop the LLL so that the first hit 
is just out of range. Your opponent will input the sword grab, but 
since the sword misses he'll be grabbing nothing but air. The half-
second rule is in effect here, and your opponent probably won't recover 
fast enough to counter the second slice. If the second hit connects, 
there is nothing he can do to stop the third.

My advice: F**k the sword. Stick with the jab and kick some ass.  

Other Sword Information:
If your opponent is stunned, pull out your sword and wait for him to 
turn his back. He can't interrupt or sword-grab from this position, so 
use the MHHjH to take off a big chunk of health.

Be careful pulling out the sword from long-range. Opponents will nail 
you with a J+L or jumping attack. If you are VERY far away from your 
opponent (i.e. if they can't hit you with a J+L and can't shoot), go 
ahead and charge the S.

If you're charging the S, most opponents with guns will shoot you down. 
However, opponents who can't shoot might run at you and slide. If your 
opponent tries this, hit G at the last second, block the slide, and 


90-degree (either direction), H
M+S, H
Running H
Running M
Running L
Running G+H
Projectile-Evasion, H
G+H, HjH
G+L, jHH
Rising H
Step LH


front, hold (H or L)


S (draw sword)
S (hold)
S (white meter empty)

Sword-Drawn Techniques

M, G+H
Running (enter direction key) G+H, H
Running G+H, jL


The Sword LLL

First and foremost is the LLL sword slice when you're on the ground. 
Push G to get up invincibly through the first hit, and jab, throw, or 
perform the sword-grab. You must wake-up early through the first slice 
so that you'll be recovered from the invincibility in time to counter 
the second hit. If you wake-up too late, you'll pass through the first 
hit, but will recover while Cloud's second blow is IN your body, and 
you'll get nailed.

You can avoid the down-attack sword LLL all together by doing the quick 

If Cloud misses with the first LLL slice while you're standing, do the 
J+L, or jump up and counter. 

You CAN grab every slice in his LLL sword attack, but if one slice 
lands the rest hit clean.  

Remember that you cannot interrupt the LLL.

Other Sword Techniques

If Cloud jumps up to do the S, nail him with a J+H or uppercut before 
he comes down. You can grab this attack but it isn't easy. Use the 
Practice Mode and get the timing right. 

J+L is an effective counter against a sword-drawn Cloud every time.

If he's charging the S, pull out the J+L for a perfect counter (he 
can't do ANYTHING). 

Counter G+L

Cloud players are always looking for a counter on the G+L to land the 
jHH. If they pull out the jHH on a non-counter and you block the 
attack, COUNTER HEAVILY or they'll keep doing it.



1.0- used Expert FAQ Version 1.3 
1.1- used Expert FAQ Version 1.33
1.2- used Expert FAQ Version 1.38

I won't update this FAQ again. New Cloud strategies will appear in my 
Expert FAQ first.

Send any tips/questions/comments to:  Mallen1@csulb.edu

Unpublished Work Copyright 1999 Mike Allen

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