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Sephiroth Guide by MAllen

Version: 1.2 | Updated: 05/15/1999

SEPHIROTH FAQ
VERSION 1.2
5/15/99

Unpublished Work Copyright 1999 Mike Allen


FORWARD
-------

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

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


=======================================================================


TABLE OF CONTENTS
-----------------

I. STRATEGIES

II. COMPLETE MOVES LIST

III. V.S. SEPHIROTH

IV. REVISION HISTORY


=======================================================================


KEY:
====  

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)


Terminology:
------------

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


=======================================================================


SEPHIROTH => He's a slower Cloud with a better sword. 
==========       

Sephiroth was one of three Final Fantasy characters added to the 
Playstation version. But unlike Vincent and Yuffie, who are 99% copies 
of Godhand and Sasuke, Sephiroth is "only" a 90% copy of Cloud. I don't 
hate him as much as the other two.


Close-Range Fighting
====================

Sephiroth's basics may resemble Cloud's moves, but they are not nearly 
as effective.

1. The HHHH and HL are no longer combos.  
2. You cannot air combo after the basic M. 
3. There is no jHH extension after the HHL to mix-up your attacks.
4. All of the basic moves come out slower. 


The H+S is your best close-range attack. It comes out a bit slow, but 
even on a normal hit your opponent will be stunned, and you can follow 
with LL or LjH for a combo. Even if the H+S is blocked, you'll be 
perfectly safe. 

Use the H+S as your basic mid. For a faster mid you can substitute the 
J+H.

The HLL and HLjH mix-up is your best 2-choice. Alternatively, you can 
mix the LL and LjH. The jH won't come out if the L is blocked. You can 
delay the second low. 

The running G+H is a quick mid with good range.

The M+S, HH is a combo, but the range is short so make sure you're 
right next to your opponent. If your opponent doesn't ground recover, 
you can extend to M+S, HHjH.

The HH will combo on a counter.

Stay away from the basic M. 


The Rising H
============

Sephiroth's Rising H is arguably the best lifter in the game. Against 
top-level opponents who can grab the sword, this move is the key to 
victory.

To win with Sephiroth you'll need to duck. When your duck a high attack 
or block a low attack, pop the rising H. The Rising H has enough range 
to allow you to duck from medium-range and pop opponents who try 
anything.

Mix the LL (delayed) and the L, Rising H.

Air combos after the Rising H are easy to input and do sweet damage. 
Always start with the G+H, H. Follow with HHHH (slightly delay the last 
H) for a 6-hit. 


Medium-Range Fighting
=====================

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. 


The Jumping S
=============

Input a HIGH jump (hold J) to clear basic attacks, and just after the 
peak of the jump press S to come down hard with an unblockable air 
attack that cannot be sword-grabbed OR interrupted. 

If you press the S button late, you'll do the attack while your feet 
are on the floor, and this CAN be grabbed and interrupted. 

Try jumping straight-up after blocking an attack. After holding J for a 
quarter-second, quickly input the S button to dish out the jumping S at 
minimum height. 


Wake-Up Games
=============

The H+S should definitely be included in your wake-up games. 

If your sword is drawn, pop the LLL.


Countering Opponent's Mistakes
==============================

The rising H is your best counter after blocking low attacks. After 
launching your opponent try G+H, HH for an easy combo. If this leaves 
you with enough space, draw the sword. 

If you block a high attack, H+S followed by LL is your best counter. 
 
The basic M tends to miss the opponent when used as a counter after 
blocking a low attack.

The M+S, HH is another easy, quick counter after blocking attacks. 


A Quick Look at the Sword
=========================

While Sephiroth's sword attacks are quicker, have more range, and are 
all together better than Cloud's sword moves, they are still too easy 
to grab for top-level players. This is sad and depressing for Cloud and 
Sephiroth players alike. 

Unfortunately, Sephiroth fans will find themselves not only without the 
sword, but also without Cloud's incredible close-range fighting skills. 
Sephiroth is definitely towards the bottom of the ranking chart for 
advanced players. However, against beginners who don't know the sword-
grab, you can really kick some ass.

The strategies I list below will teach you how to properly wield the 
sword, but again, these cannot be used in top-level competitive play. 
Sword freaks will need to stick with the jumping S. 

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


"Draw-Position" Strategies:
===========================

The best time to draw the sword is when your opponent is on the floor 
and far away. 

If by some miracle you find yourself next to an opponent while in the 
draw-position and he hasn't kicked your ass yet, pop the HjH. Even if 
your opponent blocks the H, the jH will knock him down.

A nice way to draw the sword is pushing S right before you land from a 
jump. You'll go immediately into the draw-position, and can pop the G+H 
before your opponent knows what hit him. If your opponent runs away 
from the jumping sword and gives you plenty of room, hit S again to do 
the full-draw. Mixed with the jumping S, this strategy works well.

If the above strategies don't work out for you, resort to pulling the 
sword at random or after knocking your opponent down. The distance 
between you and your opponent is a major factor. If you are too close, 
you'll get hit with a quick jab or wake-up attack. If you are too far, 
you'll be nailed with the J+L, a slide, or a projectile.
 
The best "draw-position" attack is the G+H. 

If your opponent rushes you when you enter the "draw-position," you can 
use the H for a quick pop. If it hits as a counter they'll fall over in 
pain. You can land the L after this, but we recommend drawing the sword 
and taking a step back or popping the LLL.

It is critical to spend time in the Practice Mode inputting S to enter 
the draw position and unleashing the G+H as fast as possible. 

Some people try to pull the sword out all the way after a rising H. You 
simply don't have enough time, and they'll pop you with a wake-up 
attack. 


"Fully-drawn" Strategies:
=========================

Unfortunately, Sephiroth's sword attacks are not fast enough to avoid 
being grabbed by top-level opposition. Against opponents who can 
consistently grab the sword, you'll need to leave it out of your 
arsenal.

Unlike Cloud, Sephiroth can stay in this stance for a long time safely 
and effectively. The main difference between the two is Sephiroth's 
ability to move with the sword drawn. And you WILL be moving if you 
want to keep the sword out.

You are vulnerable to slide since they track so well. Most jumping 
attacks and projectiles are easy to sidestep. The J+L can also be 
avoided with the sidestep.

Most opponents will sit and wait for you to attack, and counter with 
the sword grab. This sucks, but there is a way to get around this with 
the LLL 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 won't be able to recover and counter 
the second slice. Since the second hit connects, there is nothing he 
can do to stop the third.   

If your opponent likes to wait on the ground while you're in the fully-
drawn position, pop the LLL. Even if they hit G to get up through the 
first hit, the remaining slices usually connect.

If your opponent jumps at you to try and knock you out of the stance, 
take a step back or to the side. When they land, do the LLL for 35% 
damage. 

The LLL is great because if the first slice hits, they ALL hit. 
Unfortunately, you need to be relatively close to your opponent, and 
it's weak against jumps. 

You can step back after using a sword LLL if you're too close. Your 
opponent can nail you with a wake-up kick. If they miss the wake-up 
attack, step forward and do the LLL again. 

The LLL can cancel the forward-step or sidestep motion at any time.

The Running G+H has incredible range, but your opponent will recover 
quickly and counter every time. However, this technique makes a GREAT 
finishing move. 


SEPHIROTH'S COMPLETE MOVES LIST
===============================

HHL
HHHHH
HLLH
HLjH
90-degree (either direction), H
H+S, jH
LLH
LjH
L+S
MjH
M+S, HHjH
Running H
Running M
Running L
Running G+H
Projectile-Evasion, H
G+H, HjH
G+L
Rising H
Step LHjHHH
J+H
J+L

Throws
------

front
front, hold (H or L)
left
right
back
360-degree

Specials
--------

S (normal -> "draw-position"; "draw-position" -> fully-drawn position)
Directional key up or down while in "draw-position" -> fully-drawn pos.
Running M while in fully-drawn position -> "draw-position"
S (hold)
J, S
S (white meter empty)

"Draw-Position" Attacks
-----------------------

HjH
G+H
L

Fully-Drawn Attacks
-------------------

G+H
Running G+H
(while side-stepping left or right), G+H
HHHjH
LLL
SHH


V.S. SEPHIROTH
==============

Against the "Draw Position"
---------------------------

"Shoot me please!"

For projectile-impaired characters, J+L and the slide are your best 
counters. 

Don't run away if Sephiroth enters the "draw-position." This will give 
him time to enter a "fully-drawn" position and ruin your day.


Against the "Fully-Drawn" Position
----------------------------------

The best strategy is to just sit and wait. Sword-grab anything that 
comes at you. If he charges the S to "lure you in," pop the J+L or 
slide.

Jump straight-up over the LLL and counter. 

You can slide under the S. Only a quick LLL can stop the slide.

Remember that you cannot interrupt the LLL.


=======================================================================


IV. REVISION HISTORY
--------------------

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 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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