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Matsuda Guide by MAllen

Version: 1.2 | Updated: 05/15/1999


Unpublished Work Copyright 1999 Mike Allen


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

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


MATSUDA => He's the best. Try not to humiliate the opposition. 

Matsuda f**king RULES! He isn't as fun to play as Godhand and Tifa 
because he relies on fewer techniques and less strategy, but he can 
kick some SERIOUS ass once you get him going. 

The Basic S offers a high damage counter whenever your opponent hits 
air. His basic attacks, while not overly powerful, are more than enough 
to get the job done. Matsuda's wake-up games are the best part. After 
you nail a down throw, most opponents are scared shitless and will 
ground recover right into your throws and basic S. It really is a LOT 
of fun.

Close-Range Fighting 


Input H+S for the attack reversal. It works against all "interruptible" 
high and middle attacks. 

Follow a successful Attack-Reversal with HHH or HHL, in which the first 
two hits will combo before your opponent recovers, and the last is a 2-

You can also input the Attack-Reversal with L+S, but the H+S is easier 
to input when using the Playstation-pad.

Attack-Tackle Links

The Attack-Tackle can be done with:

1. LH
2. G+H, L

The attack-tackle links cannot be ducked. The time between the low kick 
and the tackle is short enough that almost no counter by your opponent 
can stop the tackle. Opponents can only break the tackle by inputting G 
just after you make contact with their character. 

For opponents who consistently hold G at close-range (i.e. most 
players), the tackle cannot be stopped unless they release G 
immediately after the low kick. 

Most opponents can look for the low kick but still do not give 
themselves enough time to break the tackle. This makes the attack-
tackle links one of the game's cheapest moves.

Follow the HH or G+H with: 

1. L (to Basic L links)
2. Basic M (to Basic M links)
3. Basic S
4. Throw
1. G+L
2. Basic HH (restart Basic HH link)
7. Attack-Reversal
3. Running H
4. Running M
5. Running G+L
10. Ducking H

Follow the Basic M with:

1. jH 
2. Basic HH (to Basic HH links)
3. Basic M (restart Basic M link)
4. Basic L (to Basic L links)
5. Throw
6. G+L
2. Running H
3. Running M
4. Running G+L
10. Ducking H
11. Attack-Reversal 
12. Duck-and-Counter (if opponents try to get around the Attack- 
                      Reversal and jH with a quick low)

Follow the Basic L with:

1. H (attack-tackle)
3. Basic HH (to Basic HH links)
3. Basic M (to Basic M link)
4. Basic L (restart Basic L links)
5. Throw
6. G+L
7. Running H
8. Running M
9. Running G+L
10. Ducking H
11. Attack-Reversal 
12. Duck-and-Counter (if opponents try to get around the Attack- 
                      Reversal with a quick low)


The HH is a combo.

The Ducking H is quick with good range. You don't need to be fully-
ducked to use this technique.

If the Running H connects, you have a chance to go for a quick down-

2-choice the running M with the running G+L. The Running M goes over 
low attacks. The Running G+L goes under high attacks. 

The G+L has incredible range for a low attack, and is perfect for 
knocking down opponents who adore walking around at medium distances.

Medium-Range Fighting

Matsuda fights better at close-range.

Medium-Range Attacks:

1. Running H
2. Running M
3. Running G+L
4. Basic S (when opponent misses an attack)
5. Walking H
6. Walking L
7. Ducking H
8. G+L

The Special from HELL

Opponents can't break out of the punches, and the arm lock (hold H) has 
a VERY short break point.

Use the Basic S:

1. When your opponent hits air with almost any move
    - missed basics
    - missed wake-up attacks
    - missed jumping attacks
2. When you block a big attack
    - blocked slides and nose-dives
    - blocked 

3. While on the ground
    - missed down attacks
    - your opponent jumps up

4. After a Ground Recovery
    - pass through opponents' ground attacks and hit S

5. After a Roll
    - if your opponent is exposed
    - if your opponent is unaware
    - if your opponent jumps

Charge the S

Try holding S just outside your opponent's attack range. When they see 
you crouch, they'll expect an IMMEDIATE tackle attempt, so they'll time 
their attack to hit you quickly. However, by holding the button down 
for an extra second, they'll hit nothing but air and you'll have a 
guaranteed 25% damage with a chance for more. 

If the "fake-rush while you hold the S button down" trick fails and 
your opponent is waiting to pop you, hit G to cancel and avoid getting 

The Jumping S

The Jumping S is "nice," but save your white meter for the basic S. 

Countering Opponent's Mistakes

You'll generally counter with the Basic S.

The G+L is a quick counter that puts opponents on their butt and sets 
up wake-up games. 

Against Airborne Opponents

Use the J+H to counter jumping opponents.

This is risky, but using the Basic S against jumping opponents can pay 
off--BIG TIME. Watch as Matsuda performs the "miracle" circle around 
your opponent's jumping attacks. You need to time the special so 
Matsuda approaches your opponent just before they land. 

While on the Ground

Matsuda's H attack while on the ground was meant to be an advantage, 
but it's hard to use and I personally don't use this technique. The 
move limits your mobility and is hard to get out of safely. You'll 
normally get up with G, L, or a ground recovery roll.

Stunned Opponents

After stunning the opponent you can always do the special. If it's 
early on in the match and you want to conserve your white meter, wait 
until their back is turned and pop the MjH.

Wake-Up Games

Input H when close to a downed opponent for a sweet ground attack. This 
should be mixed with your down throws.

The down throws do a lot of damage and are a MAJOR part of your wake-up 
games. You can perform down throws by inputting S while your opponent 
is on the ground, but it comes out slowly and wastes your white meter. 
Stick with the 360-degree command. The 360-degree is a pain--I KNOW--
but it's worth it.

By effectively mixing in the down-attack H and down-throws, you'll 
scare opponents to get up early. Your opponent will begin using the 
quick roll, wake-up attacks, and invincible recovery.

1. The Basic S can snatch them after a quick roll. 
2. If they miss a wake-up attack, do the Basic S. 
3. If they pull the invincible wake-up, 2-choice, input the Basic S, or 
Throw after they recover.


90-degree (either direction), H
Running H
Running M
Running L
Running G+L
Projectile-Evasion, H

(after a tackle)=> HHG or HH, hold L, or H, hold L, or hold L
(after a back-tackle) => wait or H, G 
G+H, H
Ducking H
Rising LL
H+S or L+S (either one does the same attack reversal vs. high and 
            middle attacks that can be interrupted)
H (when opponent is down and close)

front, hold H
front, hold L
back, hold H

S, jG (as fourth punch hits)
S (hold) (jG after sixth hit for variation)
J, S

Down Throws
360-degree (2 variations depending on position of opponent)
360-degree, G
S (while opponent is down)
360-degree or S (when opponent is face-down)
360-degree or S (when opponent is face-down) => G, H, or L

While Down
H -> Guard Position

Guard Position
G+H (2 different attacks -> depends on distance from opponent)


Against the Basic S

If you're on the ground and you see the S coming, don't sit there or 
you'll be down-thrown. Push G to get up and immediately do a quick M or 
L to counter (he can't grab you while you're invincible). If you try a 
regular wake-up attack and miss, you're dead. 

If you want to use a wake-up attack, stick with the L. He can go under 
the H, and the M headspring misses easily. 

Don't jump up against the Basic S, because when you come down and try 
to kick him there's a chance he'll pull the "miracle" circle by zooming 
around your character, and BAM--he's got you. 

I generally stay the hell away after I knock him down. 

1. If you're too close his wake-up special is quick enough to snatch 
you (it's VERY quick). 
2. Missing a down attack is also certain death. If he rolls to the side 
or inputs G to avoid your attack and hits S, it's all over. 
3. Unless you have a LOT of confidence in your wake-up game, walk away 
to about a half-screen's distance until he gets up. 

If he does the basic S from far away and you're ready to dish out a 
counter, make sure you keep your feet on the ground. When playing Cloud 
I have a bad tendency to counter with a basic M to set up an air combo. 
Unfortunately, once your feet leave the ground, even at close-range, 
Matsuda will perform the "miracle circle," running around your 
character until he's got you. I recommend you stick with quick low 
attacks. A Basic L counters the special EVERY time.

The jumping special has minimal range, but is another unblockable so be 

Against the MjH

The second hit in the MjH is unblockable, so always use your FASTEST 
move to counter. If he likes the Attack-Reversal, make sure your 
counter hits LOW. 

Against the Attack-Tackle Links

The attack-tackle links are more powerful than ordinary tackles because 
they cannot be ducked. Listen for the sound the tackle makes when it 
hits you, and input G quickly to push Matsuda onto the floor. 

Basic Advice

Don't use big, risky moves like slides and nose-dives. If you miss he's 
got you. 

When you weigh the risks of missing with your wake-up attacks, it's 
normally better to get up with G. 

If you miss a down-attack, he'll get up with S. 

Missed jumping attacks will kill you every time. 

Above all, DON'T HIT AIR! (Are you Jo players listening?)



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 Matsuda strategies will appear in my 
Expert FAQ first.

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

Unpublished Work Copyright 1999 Mike Allen

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