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Area by NekkiBasara
Version: 1.1 | Updated: 08/23/2001
Street Fighter EX 3 Area In-Depth Character FAQ - Version 1.1 August 23, 2001 By NekkiBasara - Eugene Huang firstname.lastname@example.org STANDARD DISCLAIMER: This FAQ is the sole property of Eugene Huang and can not be reprinted without his consent unless you ask real nice. In the event that you do not ask real nice, or if this FAQ is taken without my permission, strict legal action will be taken. You have been warned. If this FAQ is viewed elsewhere besides on GameFAQS.com, we recommend viewing it under Microsoft Word. Usage of other text viewing programs may cause headaches and irritation (due to poor text alignment). Writer does not assume any responsibility for any injuries that are sustained while viewing this FAQ with any other text viewer. You have been warned once again. Thanks for understanding. ii. FOREWORD ================================== Ah, Area. Who knows what goes on in her ditzy and scatter-brained head? Yet, despite her obvious character flaws (which there are several), she is still quite a formidable fighter if you make the best of tapping into her dangerous arsenal. Below is a compilation of the many tactics that I have adapted into my arsenal over the many months that I've spent playing some of the very best that my local competition has to offer. i. UPDATES ================================== Version 1.0 - Part of this complete breakfast. Version 1.1 - Added a little note, correcting a GRIEVOUS error regarding Area’s Final Cancer. Look for it in the In-Depth Technique Analysis section. CONTENTS ================================== I. OVERALL CHARACTER ANALYSIS II. BASIC MOVELIST III. IN-DEPTH TECHNIQUE ANALYSIS IV. SPECIFIC OPPONENT ANALYSIS V. SHOUT OUTS AND SPECIAL THANKS I. OVERALL CHARACTER ANALYSIS ================================== Area is a consummate poker, specializing mostly in tick damage and pressure techniques. If you play as an eternally vigilant Area, then you will assuredly have the upper hand, since you only need to sit back and wait until your opponent makes a fatal mistake. And believe me, Area can force A LOT of mistakes. Area's disadvantage comes from a limited number of particularly useful special moves, and the debilitation of owning only two Supers (as useful as they are). In addition, many of her move animations are particularly slow, meaning that only her Humming Rush is her only special technique that has combo potential. And lastly, Area has one of the most useless Meteor Combos in the game - the usage of which causes her to lose her greatest asset. Of course, more of this will be discussed in much more detail later. II. BASIC MOVELIST ================================== A. LEGEND --------- D, U, B, F = Down, Up, Back, Forward LP, LK = Light Punch, Light Kick MP, MK = Medium Punch, Medium Kick HP, HK = Hard Punch, Hard Kick QCF = Quarter Circle Forward (D, D/F, F) QCB = Quarter Circle Back (D, D/B, B) HCF = Half Circle Forward (B, D/B, D, D/F, F) HCB = Half Circle Back (F, D/F, D, D/B, B) DP = Dragon Punch Motion (F, D, D/F) BDP = Backwards Dragon Punch Motion (B, D, D/B) PPP = LP+MP+HP KKK = LK+MK+HK * = Undocumented Techniques B. THROWS --------- Transmission LP+LK (Bye-bye!!!) OCR B+LP+LK (Gomen ne!) Alternative Catch HCB+K (Yo~shi!) Alternative Catch Part 2 (after Alternative Catch) F+K or B+K (determines the direction of the kick) C. SURPRISE BLOW ---------------- Hard Crash MP+MK D. ALTERNATE MOVES ------------------ Job Step F+MK Pull Down Leg F+HK (overhead) Head Crush (mid-air) D+HP Shift Club Straight F+HP Shift Stamp Punch D/F+MP Shift Club Upper D/F+HP E. SPECIAL MOVES ---------------- Emulator BDP+P (will also absorb all standard projectiles) After a projectile is successfully absorbed: Reverse Gear QCB+P (shoots emulated projectiles back at opponents) Humming Rush QCF+P (three varying strengths) After Humming Rush: Cancer Shell PPP (must be executed at the last hit of the Humming Rush) Jackson Kick QCF+K After Jackson Kick: Pop-up Knee F+LK (juggles) Partition Break F+MK Pull Down Heel F+HK (overhead) Upload (mid-air) PPP (holding the button keeps the arm afloat) Download PPP (arm will continue forward until button is released) Taunt 1* (Cancer Crash) LP, LP, F, LK, HP Taunt 2* (Ho-Hum...) LP, LP, F, LK, HK F. MOMENTARY COMBOS ------------------- Humming Rush P (after special) Alternative Kick K (after special) G. SUPER COMBOS --------------- Great Cancer QCFx2+P (holding the button increases the strength of the attack) Great Cancer (mid-air) (mid-air) QCFx2+P (can not be charged) Five Star Raid QCFx2+K H. METEOR COMBOS ---------------- Final Cancer QCBx2+PPP I. CRITICAL PARADE ------------------ Great Cancer QCF+HP+HK (holding the buttons increases the strength of the attack III. IN-DEPTH TECHNIQUE ANALYSIS ================================== A. TECHNIQUE USAGE ------------------ ALTERNATIVE CATCH (HCB+K, F+K_B+K): There are two options with this technique. The first is to perform a normal Alternative Catch (without the F+K_B+K) in order to set up a Humming Rush combo. However, you need to have ultimately refined timing in order to insure that your combo follows the alternative catch. The second option is to use it in conjunction with the Download. To do this, you must first plant the Download so that it moves slowly past the opponent. If your opponent is standing, then immediately do an Alternative Catch, followed by B+K right before letting go of PPP. If done correctly, you should be able to catapult your opponent directly into the path of the sparking arm. Unfortunately, a crouching opponent makes this move completely useless, meaning that this technique definitely has its limitations. The core problem is trying to get your opponent to stand up, which is a HUGE task, considering that most Street Fighter players instinctively block low. At first, try to establish an initial mix-up game by throwing out Downloads followed by an overhead like the Pull Down Leg (F+HK). Doing this will cause your opponent to instinctively block high after each Download. Once your opponent gets into habit of blocking high, throw out an Alternative Catch every once in a while in certain key situations. Ultimately, this move should really be forfeited in serious match play, and should only be used in friendly situations. ALTERNATE MOVES: Generally, Area has a fairly large arsenal of alternate moves (moves that are extensions of normal attacks). Generally, most of them are good for poking or for closing ground on your opponent. The drawback is that they're more difficult to combo in with Special Moves, but they're still useful in match play regardless of their limitations. The Pull Down Leg is a nifty addition (since ALL overheads are useful), but it's a little slow in comparison to some other overheads. If you want to play mind games, though, your best bet is to use the Jackson Kick mix-ups (more on this later). Use the Head Crush (D+HP) to occasionally mix-up and confuse jump-in combos. So instead of leading with a normal HP or MK, start off with a Head Crush to throw off your opponent's rhythm. And lastly, all of Area's "Shift" moves, (F+HP, D/F+MP, D/F+HP) can be used to cover ground between you and your opponent, since Area scoots forward just a bit during the attack. In addition, they're great techniques to poke with, since they leave you with a considerably decent frame advantage. In addition, the Shift Club Upper is decent anti-air, although there are better techniques for this at Area's disposal (more on this later). EMULATOR (BDP+P) AND REVERSE GEAR (QCB+P): The Emulator is a great technique that has a lot of uses, and does a fair amount of damage. In addition, if it is blocked, it can leave you in a fair distance away from immediate retaliation. The first obvious usage for this technique is the absorption of projectiles. All standard projectile attacks (Hadoukens, Yoga Fires, Sonic Booms, etc...) can be sucked up through Area's incredibly versatile arm and thrown back at your opponent at any time. (This differs slightly from the Emulator technique in SF EX 2+, where projectiles would automatically rebound off her arm.) Unfortunately, the animation for Reverse Gear is rather slow, meaning that it's impossible to find any combo potential for this particular technique. The second usage is as a simple counter technique. Unlike other characters with standard counters (like V. Rosso and Hokuto), Area is not debilitated at all by the Emulator since she can stop any and all attacks, including standard one-hit projectiles and most supers (beware of the low sweep, though). You can feel free to throw out an Emulator just as long as you know that your opponent is going to be aggressive. The third usage is standard anti-air. If your opponent is pressuring you with constant deep jump-in combos, throw out an Emulator - once your opponent makes contact with Area's arm, he/she will get forced back, allowing you to retaliate. It is completely possible that one single Emulator can turn the tide of the battle since it can be the key that allows you to be the aggressor. Unfortunately, there is one drawback to this technique, and that is (once again) the slow move animation. Only throw out an Emulator during your opponent's pressure tactics if you have complete confidence in the speed with which you execute the technique. If not, then you may have to eat a huge combo from your opponent. The fourth and final usage is to confuse your opponent after a deep jump-in. Execute the Emulator by buffering the BDP motion immediately before landing from deep jump-in without an attack (much like the way you would set up a 360 or 720 degree throw). If you've jumped in deep enough, Area's arm should make contact with your opponent, garnering your opponent a bit of frame disadvantage and a brief moment of confusion. Even if it does not connect, your opponent may instinctively retaliate, giving you an automatic counter attack without lifting another finger. HUMMING RUSH (QCF+P) AND CANCER SHELL (PPP): This technique is, by far, the undisputed core of Area's offense. First of all, it is the only move in Area's arsenal that acts as an unbreakable link between her normal attacks and Super Combos. (Her other staple move, the Jackson Kick, is far too slow to be linked to normal attacks.) Secondly, its multi-hit nature gives you a brief second to confirm your offensive plan, and the duration of the attack also gives you many chances to cancel the move into a Super Combo. And thirdly, the poking and pressure created from this move makes her a rival of the undisputed kings of tick damage, Garuda and Shadowgeist. First of all, it is important to recognize and differentiate the three different strengths of the Humming Rush: QCF+LP - A relatively quick attack with only three hits that make it difficult to time the Cancer Shell at the end. It does the least damage out of all three variations, but it has the distinction of having the most frame advantage. It's very hard for your opponent to retaliate an LP Humming Rush, making it safe for you to throw it out on a whim. Unfortunately, it's equally as tough for you to combo a super at the end of one as well. QCF+MP - IMO, the best of the three. It has four hits and does more damage than the LP, but less damage than the HP. The attack has two parts to it: the dash-in and the "Jackhammer." The dash-in allows you to close in on your opponent, giving you the proper range for a follow-through, and the "Jackhammer" gives you ample time to execute the follow-through. Almost all of my main Humming Rush combos are done from the QCF+MP. QCF+HP - This is basically an upgrade of the "Jackhammer" portion of the MP Humming Rush. IMO, this is the worst variation of the three due to the lack of forward pressure it creates. It does the most damage, but the fact that Area remains completely stationary throughout the move animation makes it a risky maneuver to throw out. If Area whiffs this move, expect a huge amount of payback. Secondly, it is very important that each Area player learns the "Cancer Shell" technique. Much like the EWGF in Tekken, the Cancer Shell is a technique that has been undocumented by most of the "official" American Street Fighter EX 2 and 3 movelists (including the game itself!). While it may be a widely known technique in Japan, nobody that I knew of here in America had ever heard of this added-on maneuver. I myself had stumbled upon the technique by accident while toying with Area, and only until recently did I see that it was documented in Kao Megura's Street Fighter EX 2 Plus FAQ. (Most of his FAQS are general compendiums of fighting game knowledge and should be researched before attempting to "master any game"). Due to its limited notoriety, I will now use this space to further illustrate both the basic execution of the Cancer Shell as well as some of its finer points. The Cancer Shell must be inputted at the last hit of the Humming Rush attack, no matter what strength it is. What it does is it creates a momentary spark that adds a little bit of damage to a standard Humming Rush combo. Keep in mind that supers that are cancelled after an unblocked Cancer Shell WILL NOT CONNECT, but will instead pass harmlessly through your sparking opponent. The most important aspect of this move, however, is that if it is blocked, it adds a little bit of ground between Area and her opponent to prevent any immediate retaliation. Without the added spark, Area players had to waste a bar of energy for a Five Star Raid in order to space themselves from their opponents and regain frame advantage. Now, with the Cancer Shell, that waste is no longer necessary. Keep in mind, it is still possible to be countered even after a successful Cancer Shell attack. This usually happens if you time the Cancer Shell too early, or if your opponent exhibits critically precise timing. If either is the case, there is a definite way around that. Immediately after finishing a blocked Humming Rush -> Cancer Shell, buffer the QCFx2 for a quick Great Cancer - that way, if your opponent tries to counter your attack with a crouching kick or a super combo, he/she will have to eat the damage of YOUR super combo instead. The usage of the Cancer Shell gives Area such a much more complete offensive game. Using these techniques will cause your opponent to constantly guess your next move - if they try to retaliate too quickly, they will potentially get hit by a damaging super combo. If they choose not retaliate, then Area's endless poking game is allowed to continue with yet another Humming Rush -> Cancer Shell. The only drawback to this endless cycle is the rapid depletion of your super energy. Super energy is VERY important for Area, so conserve it the best you can, using it only if damage is GUARANTEED. JACKSON KICK (QCF+K): The Jackson Kick is rather limited in usage due to the fact that its slow nature prevents it from being easily connected with normal punches and kicks. So, chances are that if you throw out a Jackson Kick, it will most likely be blocked. This limits your options, but there are still two reasons for using the Jackson Kick, and they are: Overhead Mix-ups and Momentary Combos. Before we examine that, let's take a look at the three follow-ups to the Jackson Kick: POP-UP KNEE (F+LK) - Just about the only advantage that the Pop-up Knee creates is the added juggle bonus. Since the EX series never had a pronounced Juggle system (for which I am eternally grateful), high-damaging follow-up juggles to the Pop-up Knee are rather difficult to perform. Keep in mind that this technique also has the shortest range out of the three, so be careful when using it. PARTITION BREAK (F+MK) - This attack has improved range and damage over the Pop-up Knee, but it doesn't possess any special abilities. Use its speed to your advantage during the Overhead Mix-ups, which will be discussed later. PULL DOWN HEEL (F+HK) - This is an overhead attack very similar to the normal Pull Down Leg technique, except that it has the added bonus of being linkable to both of Area's super combos. Performing a Jackson Kick -> Pull Down Heel gives you ample time to buffer the QCFx2 necessary to complete a Great Cancer or Five Star Raid. This is my own personal belief: never execute the Pull Down Heel without at least one bar of super energy in your tank. Your opponent will only fall for the Pull Down Heel so many times before he/she starts to block high prior to the attack. The more your opponent sees that particular mix-up, the lesser the chances of you being successful with it the next time - meaning that you've missed out on a golden opportunity to land a super. Your opponent may eventually start anticipating the Pull Down Heel, and he may or may not attempt to throw a quick attack shortly after the Jackson Kick. In this situation, you may want to launch a Partition Break or Pop-up Knee instead, to interrupt your opponent's counter. Besides the mix-ups, EX 3 also gives you the option of linking the Jackson Kick with the Humming Rush via the Momentary Combo. Although it's rather difficult to time (even more difficult than the Cancer Shell), mastering the execution of the Momentary Combo will greatly enhance your game, allowing you to use the Humming Rush strategies from nearly every vantage point. UPLOAD ([mid-air] PPP): Compared to its EX 2 manifestation, the Upload has changed drastically in many respects. Instead of travelling across the screen in a straight line, the Upload now hovers as a mid-air obstacle for your opponent. I, personally, have not yet mastered all aspects of Area's arm-release techniques, so I can't think of any particular strategies involving the Upload (since my core strategy involves keeping the arm on at all times). Other than the obvious uses (keep-away tactics), I would appreciate hearing some good uses for this particular move. Please send all ideas to email@example.com. Thanks! DOWNLOAD (PPP): As mentioned previously, this is best used in conjunction with the Alternative Catch. Other than that, it's very useful as a standard poking maneuver to zone your opponent and keep him/her exactly where you want them. The only disadvantage is that you're relegated to only using the Jackson Kick and Five Star Raid due to the temporary loss of Area's main weapon. Also keep in mind that the Download can also count as a juggle launcher. TAUNTS: You're obviously not going to be able to effectively use Area's taunts in serious match play, but they are fun to throw around when playing with friends. Keep in mind that both of these taunts will make contact - the Cancer Crash will hit opponents attempting the cross-up, and Area's innocent little kick will cause minimal damage if her foot touches your opponent. What's more is that you can actually link these taunts with both of Area's super combos, so have fun and be creative. MOMENTARY COMBOS: By far, the Humming Rush Momentary Combo is much more effective than its kick- started counterpart. First of all, it's a particularly useful move to follow after a successful Emulator or Reverse Gear attack. But, more importantly, the Humming Rush Momentary is vitally important for strategies involving the Jackson Kick and other mix-ups. Although it's difficult, try practicing the HR Momentary after a Jackson Kick -> Pull Down Heel. It's really difficult to time correctly, but the results are almost too valuable to ignore. On the other hand, the Alternative Catch Momentary is relatively useless since a) it does so little damage and b) all Street Fighter players instinctively block low anyway. One option is to include it as the end result of a Jackson Kick -> Pull Down Heel. A seasoned opponent will instinctively block high as a result of the easily detected overhead attack, so if you time the Alternative Catch Momentary just right, then the throw is assured. GREAT CANCER (QCFx2+P): This is my favorite super combo out of Area's arsenal, and for good reason. First, it covers more ground than the Five Star Raid, and also does more damage (even when it's not charged). Second is the fact that it CAN be charged, meaning that you can play some serious mind games with your opponent to get him/her to stop blocking. Hold down the punch button and release it once you see or sense the slightest twitch, and you just might catch your opponent off guard for the split-second that he/she regretfully decided to counter attack. Even if your opponent blocks, a fully charged Great Cancer can still do a fair amount of tick damage. Linking the Five Star Raid to the Great Cancer impressive and it gives you a fair amount of guaranteed damage, but I wouldn't advise doing it the entire time - especially since Area needs every last bit of super energy that she can get. It's more cost efficient to do one super at a time, unless your opponent's stamina is next to nothing and you have sufficient energy to go for the kill. GREAT CANCER (mid-air): This attack has quite a few uses, but they're usually restricted to very specific situation. Its limited usage stems from the fact that it has virtually no range when compared to other air supers in this game. The best usage is obviously for a super cancel during the mid-air portion of the Five Star Raid. However, even then, it will only manage to add a maximum of 27 points of damage to the Five Star Raid combo of your choice. Yet another drawback is the fact that you can't cancel ANYTHING after the move, so once it's over, so is the combo. BTW, if you encounter a whiffed Five Star Raid (usually by accident), the only way to successfully recover from it without eating a nasty counter attack would be to utilize the mid-air Great Cancer at any point during the combo. More on the whiffed Five Star Raid will be mentioned below. This maneuver has uses other than as a simple super cancel, but those uses are limited as well. A standard Jumping HP -> Great Cancer combo will do 59 damage, but why settle for that when you can go straight into a Humming Rush combo instead? And lastly, like all air supers, you can use this move to effectively discourage any and all air throws, including Zangief's Aerial Russian Slam or (lord forbid) Shadowgeist's mid-air Death Dream. FIVE STAR RAID (QCFx2+K): While the Great Cancer is the overall better super, the Five Star Raid has a few better qualities, namely the speed of both the execution and the recovery animation. It takes Area less frames to both execute and recover from a blocked FSR than it does for her to execute and recover from a blocked Great Cancer. In addition, the motion from the backward flip kick carries Area far enough to escape retaliation, which means that you can throw this move wherever and whenever you feel like it with the only consequence being a loss of Super Energy. When super cancels are concerned, there are two distinct points in the Five Star Raid that you can cancel into a Great Cancer. The first is obvious - during the mid-air kick combo animation, you can easily cancel into a mid-air Great Cancer for a maximum of 27 added points of damage. The second point is when Area lands from the back flip kick, which allows Area to cancel into a normal standing Great Cancer. During the Great Cancer animation, hold the punch button down and release it just before your opponent hits the ground, which tacks on an additional 49 damage to the lone flip kick. Therefore... Mid-Air Cancel: Ground Cancel: FSR Flip Kick - 13 dmg FSR Flip Kick - 13 dmg Mid-air combo (maximum 3 hits) - 20 dmg Great Cancer - 49 dmg Mid-Air Great Cancer - 27 dmg ---------- ---------- Total - 60 dmg Total - 62 dmg Hey, you do the math too. Also, keep in mind that you can follow the grounded Great Cancer with another Five Star Raid, thus completing a Level 3 Super Cancel starting with the FSR. Keep that in mind when you have 3 or more bars of energy due to the Emotional Flow. WHIFFED FIVE STAR RAID: There is an alternate animation to the Five Star Raid, and chances are that you've probably witnessed it already by accident. In this alternate animation, Area will miss her opponent during the mid-air combo and instead kick thin air -as a result, she will fall out of the sky and land on the back of her head, clutching it in comic pain. There are generally two ways to obtain the whiff. The first is to cancel a Five Star Raid at the very end of a Humming Rush. The force of the Humming Rush will send your opponent flying backward, but not before you barely graze your opponent's toe with her back flip kick. Most likely, you'll connect with one or two kicks in the air combo, but never the last one. The second method is much easier, but is normally not done by accident - simply jump over your opponent and launch an Upload. Continue holding PPP while performing a Five Star Raid. Your opponent's body will be catapulted into Area's mechanical arm, but Area will still continue to attack dead air with her mid-air combo. (Alternatively, the same results can be obtained by using the Download as well.) I must repeat that this is NOT what you should be striving for in a serious match. The whiff is VERY DANGEROUS because it leaves you completely open for any retaliation of your opponent's choosing. If you wish to remain safe, your best bet is waste a bar of super energy to perform a mid-air Great Cancer. If the Whiff was not done intentionally, chances are that you might harvest just a little bit of your opponent's damage as a result. FINAL CANCER (QCBx2+PPP): Despite the fact that this move does upwards of 132 damage or the fact that it causes more than its fair share of tick damage, this move is just far too risky to use. The reason for this is because after a Final Cancer, Area's mechanical arm will shatter into many, many pieces, leaving Area practically defenseless for the rest of the entire match. Plus, 3 x Level 1 Great Cancer (minimum 48 damage each) > Level 3 Final Cancer (maximum 132 damage), so I'll take my chances with the 3 individual supers any day. Personally, I prefer to use this technique only if I'm assured of victory or if I want a spiffy finisher. This is not to say that the Final Cancer is without its uses. On the contrary, the Final Cancer can be devastating in certain situations, such as the tag-in combo. Area can finish just about any tag-in combo with the Final Cancer with very devastating effects. Note: In Version 1.0, I noted that it’s possible to link a Humming Rush -> Cancer Shell -> Final Cancer. I have just recently found out that it is, in fact, impossible. The only reason why I actually got it to connect was because of the fact that I somehow set the Juggling option in the Training Menu to “On.” I’m not sure how it happened exactly, and I apologize profusely for not realizing this before. Anyway, the paragraph mentioning the possible links to the Final Cancer has been sacked, and I promise that this sort of inaccurate information will never happen again. Today, at least. In return for your patience, here’s an added bonus tip. Consider that you’re also likely to juggle a Final Cancer off of a Pop-Up Knee attack linked off a Jackson Kick. This is unconfirmed, though, since I haven’t tried it out yet (please don’t hit me). CRITICAL PARADE (QCF+HP+HK): If you're adventurous, you can try substituting all of the Great Cancer combos with Critical Parades instead. I will try to add partner-specific combos here as I get them with each update, but let me just chime in by saying that I don't particularly like using Critical Parades due to their mostly random nature. Here's another little tidbit that you can try with the Critical Parade, but you'll need 3 bars of energy (while your partner must obviously have two). First, do a Five Star Raid, then after Area lands from the Back Flip Kick, immediately input the command for the Critical Parade and hold the buttons down. That way, your attack will begin to charge, your opponent will be juggled, and your partner will have enough time to devise a plan to keep your opponent in the air in time to be hit by a fully loaded Great Cancer. Have fun and experiment with different partners for this trick. B. STANDARD BATTLE STRATEGIES ----------------------------- ANTI-AIR: Let's be frank - Area pretty much sucks in the anti-air department since she has no command of a standard uppercut maneuver. However, there a few techniques that you should learn to incorporate: First is the standard Standing HK, which discourages your opponent from jumping from far away. Unfortunately, it's not effective as, for instance, Sagat's standing HK, but it gets the job done most of the time. The only problem is the fact that her standing HK is parallel to the ground instead of being aimed upward. Also useful in this respect is the Upload, the Download, and the Shift Club Upper - all three of these can be used to keep your opponent from jumping in from across the screen. As mentioned previously, to discourage deep jump-in combos and cross-up attempts, you must be quick enough with the Emulator to incorporate it into your defensive game. Furthermore, the Emulator can be linked to a semi- charged Great Cancer, so always keep that in mind and prepare for it. STANDARD COMBOS: The most damaging combos are usually started with either a jumping HP or HK (personally, I like to use HP because it's non-threatening, although HK does just a bit more damage). However, I have been known to dabble in a jumping MK from time to time due to its speed of execution. Regardless of what you choose continue the combo with a crouching MP or MK - they both do an equal amount of damage, so it doesn't really matter, damage- wise, which one you choose. However, keep in mind that using MK might cause you to throw out a Jackson Kick if you intended to do a Humming Rush - stay with crouching MP to be on the safe side. After a successful MP or MK, cancel into a MP Humming Rush as you figure out your next tactic. If you're completely out of super energy, always finish with the Cancer Shell. Otherwise, I would normally cancel into a Great Cancer. So here's a standard combo in its entirety: Jumping HK -> Crouching MP -> MP Humming Rush -> Great Cancer After a while, the constant use of the Humming Rush might make these combos seem repetitive, but this does not in anyway diminish its effectiveness. The repetition is there only because of the fact that Area lacks even a second special technique that links normal attacks to supers. And anyway, every match can potentially be different, so it's your job to find ways to no longer be repetitive. Be daring and let me know if you find anything radical. IV. CHARACTER SPECIFIC STRATEGIES ================================== This section will expand as I gain more experience against players that have specialized with certain characters. 08/23/2001 ---------- SHADOWGEIST: I've been forced to learn Shadowgeist's defense purely because of Tekken Jester's insane pressure tactics. So, I'm pretty confident about general defense against most of Shadow's tactics. Keep in mind that many of Shadow's moves, including the Death Crusher, Death Press, and Death Sword Kick, all have priority issues and slow recovery times. If your opponent tosses out any one of these moves without the Super Energy to back it up, hit him with a quick Crouching MP -> Humming Rush Combo. With the Death Crusher, it's easy, but keep in mind that the timing required for the retaliation of the Death Sword Kick and Death Press is a lot tougher. Your real problem is with the Death Government - the move causes considerable tick damage, is invincible to any retaliation, and it gives Shadow enough time to do pretty much whatever he wants. Never cease blocking during a Death Government, and be wary of Shadow's Overhead/low sweep mix-ups. When performing the Cancer Shell, be wary of a quick Crouching MK -> Death Crusher combo. In addition, your opponent may use a Super Death Crusher to retaliate - always try to have a bar of super energy to follow up with a Great Cancer should you suspect either of these attacks. And lastly, be aware of the Mid-Air Death Dream. Whenever both you and your opponent are in the air, and when you suspect the Death dream, toss out a quick Mid-Air Great Cancer to defend yourself. DARUN: I used to be a fairly good Darun player, so I'm aware of many of Darun's many tricks and traps. The move that you will learn to fear the most is the Lariat due to its dual nature: if you don't block it, chances are that you will eat a Lariat -> Indra Bridge -> Darun Catch combo that is very damaging. On the other hand, if you do block it, then you might get trapped in a Super Brahma Bomb if you're idle. As you may already know, the Lariat has two hits - in between those two hits, it's possible to buffer a 720 motion so that, if you are blocking the Lariat when Darun is close enough... Well, you know the rest. To prevent this, you're going to have to take advantage of that little space in between those hits. Jabs usually work well, except for the fact that you can't combo off of them. If you're really confident in your timing, throw a basic crouching MP -> Humming Rush once you've blocked the first hit (I'm not sure if this is possible since I've never tried it before). OR, if you have a bar of Super Energy, try throwing out a very quick Five Star Raid by buffering the QCFx2 during the first blocked hit. Make your opponent think twice about carelessly throwing out the Lariat! Remember, you must be quick with this, because you have very little time before Darun connects with the Super Brahma Bomb. The speed with which the SBB connects is dependent upon the skill and timing of your opponent, so it's very hard to predict when it will appear. Other than that, it's just standard defense against grapplers. Use the Emulator to keep Darun away during jumping combos. After all, only deep jump-ins will grant Darun access to his devastating 360 throws. (MORE TO COME) V. SHOUT OUTS AND SPECIAL THANKS ================================== Shout outs go to the following players: Tekken Jester - I will always regret teaching you that Darun trap, dammit! Doc - Thanks for linking our two parties together - looking to play against some more of your Hokuto so I can finally update this FAQ! Sensei - Your ways of charge characters intrigues me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter. Blanka will be my next target - to defend and to play with. fdisk - Centralize, my friend. Centralize. You still have to show me how you use the Upload and Download correctly, too! jaba - You know, I never actually played AGAINST your Kairi. Wait for Round 2! Peewee - Your 'Gief is SICK, man! I promise I'll have him figured out - I swear it! Gen - I regret not playing against your Bison - that might have allowed me to save face against that guy in Willowbrook Mall. Perhaps another time... Special Thanks go to: CJayC - For providing an outlet for my FAQS (although you lost points with me for that Q-Bee fiasco) KMegura - Time and time again, you have provided us with more fighting game information than we can absorb. Why no EX3 FAQ, though? Arika - For making yet another EX game, but you lose points for a) not making EX 3 better and b) not planning an EX 4!!!!! Capcom - Slippery and slimy as you guys may be, we still love you, man...