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Hokutomaru by Mathonwy

Version: 1.03 | Updated: 04/20/00

Garou - Mark of the wolves
Character Faq:  Hokutomaru
by Mathonwy (mathonwy@crosswinds.net)

Last update:  4/12/00

Update history:

v1.03 4/20/00
   *  Minor corrections.
   *  Added to Kim Dong Hwan tactics.
   *  Added to Grant Tactics

v1.01 4/12/00
   *  Added a few more things to character speficic tactics, mainly to
      strategies against Kain and Gato
   *  Fixed several small errors throughout the faq.

v1.00 4/02/00
   *  Added all of the character specific tactics in.
   *  EEK!  I accidently used some material from the general Garou faq
      by James Kuroki (orochi@ix.netcom.com), without his permission!
      Oops.  I have since gotten his permission to include portions of
      his faq here.  Portions included are the character background and
      the "quick" move list.

v0.95 3/21/00
   *  Added some more stuff to "general strategies", and added some more

v0.90 3/20/00 Initial release!

Unpublished work copyright March 2000 Chris Cornell

This is a document intended for free use.  It may be reproduced, so long 
that this disclaimer or the above copyright is not removed, or modified 
in any way.  This must also be free, and cannot be used to make a profit.  
This FAQ may not be used for promotional purposes, which include (but 
not limited to) prizes at tournaments, or magazine articles.  Please do
not plagurize.  It's dumb.

If you want to use this FAQ anywhere, please contact me first,
Chris Cornell (mathonwy@crosswinds.net)

Garou, Hokutomaru, and all the other charcters are copyrights of SNK of 
Japan and America.

The latest version of this FAQ can be found at GameFaqs:

If you havn't already figured it out from the top of this document, this
is a faq for the most excellent game "Garou - Mark of the wolves" from
the most excellent company "SNK", maker of much fighting gaming goodness.

In particular, this faq concentrates on the virtues and strategies of that
most adorable kid ninja, Hokutomaru.  So if you are looking for a general
faq, then you missed.  If not, however, read on!

---Move Notations--------------------------------------------------------

   f      :  move joystick foward (towards opponent)
   b      :  move joystick back.  (away from opponent)
   u      :  move joystick up.
   dn     :  move joystick down.
   db     :  move joystick diagonally down and back.
   ub     :  move joystick diagonally up and back.
   df     :  move joystick diagonally down and forwards.
   uf     :  move joystick diagonally up and forwards.

   qcf    :  Roll the joystick from d to f  (d,df,f)
   qcb    :  Roll the joystick from d to b  (d,db,b)
   hcf    :  Roll the joystick from b to d to f  (b,db,d,df,f)
   hcb    :  Roll the joystick from f to d to b  (f,df,d,db,b)

   (air)  :  move is possible in air
   (BR)   :  move is a Brake Move, and is cancellable with AB
   A      :  A button (go figure)
   B      :  B button (surprise)
   C      :  C button (Fa!)
   D      :  D button (Fa!  Fa!)

---A note on my [nonexistant] japaneese skills---------------------------
I do not speak japanese.  Therefore, the "true" names of the moves sound
like gibber to my uneducated ears.  They still sound cool, but they mean
little to me.  Therefore, to prevent myself from having to keep looking
back to see which move is which, (and to prevent you, the reader from
having to do the same) I have refered to most of the moves by far more
descriptive (I hope) names.  So instead of seeing me talking about some
move called Rakka-Zan - Jitsu, I'll talk about "that teleport-fall-slash
with-stick thingie".  And instead of Kuu Ha Dan, I'll call it "leaping-
arc-kick-ala-andy-bogard-thingie".  So there.  If for some reason, you
cannot stand the thought of calling the moves by anything other than
their original names (or you're one of those rare and inexplicable
people who doesn't think "leaping-arc-kick-ala-andy-bogard-thingie"
sounds very cool, then just go get another faq.  Or learn to cope.
So there.

Also, when I talk about moves that can be done at any time, I call them
"moves" or "special moves".  When I talk about moves that can only be
done by using up one or more power bars, I call them "super moves" or
"supers".  Just so you know which I mean.

---Assumptions made------------------------------------------------------
To save time, I am assuming that you know several things in this faq.
I am assuming that you know what the game Garou is.  I'm assuming that you
have some means of playing it.  And I'm assuming that you are bright enough
to go to said means, get the coin in by yourself, and select Hokutomaru,
whom this faq is written for.  If any of the above are false, you might want
to do more research before reading this faq.  Just so you know.

I'm also assuming that you know gameplay basics, such as blocking, "just 
defense", T. O. P. gauge, etc.  If you don't understand these yet, then go
read the execellent general faq for the game that was written by
James Kuroki (orochi@ix.netcom.com).

As far as I know, a copy of his faq can be found at the following locations:

Gamefaqs                                                 www.gamefaqs.com
About.com Guide to Video Game Strategies           vgstrategies.about.com
Under the Neo Geo Moon                      welcome.to/undertheneogeomoon
King Of Fighters Millennium                      welcome.to/kofmillennium

And finally, it would be nice if you've played Hokutomaru at least a little
bit, so you can understand just what in blazes I am refering to when I want
to discuss Hokutomaru's "leaping flaming tornado super".

All of that said...
on to the fun stuff!

HOKUTOMARU Background:

from the Garou faq/movelist by James Kuroki (orochi@ix.netcom.com)
Used with permission.

Age:              14 years old
Height:           154 cm
Weight:           40 kg
Birthday:         October 7
Blood Type:       O
Nationality:      Japan
Fighting Style:   Koppou and Shiranui-ryuu Ninjustu (Shiranui-style
Hobbies:          Going to the hot springs in the mountains with 
Specialty:        He can climb the tallest tree in the mountains
                  in 16.3 seconds (now attempting to break the record)
Most Important:   His master and all the Shiranui-ryuu people
Most Unpleasant:  Shiranui "Oneechan" (big sister)
Likes:            Hot springs
Dislikes:         Hairy caterpillars
Favorite Food:    
Favorite Music:   Japanese Kotone (Shiranui Oneechan plays it for him)
Best Sport:       Athletics

Reasons to play Hokutomaru:

* Your playing strategy favors annoyance over direct damage.
* Zantetsu and Hanzo were too "grim", you want a "happier" ninja.
* How can anyone resist someone with a move that can be described as
"the monkey munch"?!?

Strengths of Hokutomaru:

* Fast and quick
* Versitile
* Ability to punish mistakes from nearly anywhere
* He rules the skies.
* He wins almost all projectile wars.
* His throw makes [arguably] the coolist noise in the game.

Weaknesses of Hokutomaru:

* Very few single large sources of damage.
* [Almost] all of his most damaging moves have lag if you biff.
* His projectiles are kickable.
* He was trained by Andy Bogard.  (What the @#$@#$?  When did ANDY learn ninja

"Quickie" Move list:
(Borrowed with permission from the excellent
faq by James Kuroki (orochi@ix.netcom.com))
--------------------------[ Throws and Holds ]---------------------------

Hikkaki                             when close, f or b + C
(a.k.a.  "the monkey munch")
Non-men Tsukuri                     in air close, anything but u + C

----------------------------[ Command Moves ]----------------------------

Sliding                             df + B
Kuuten Keri                         df + D
Ni-dan Jump                         in air, jump again

----------------------------[ Special Moves ]----------------------------

Karakusa-Giri (weak)                qcb + A (hold A to abort)
Karakusa-Giri (strong)              qcb + C (hold C to abort)
Rakka-Zan - Kyou                    qcb + B (air)
Rakka-Zan - Jitsu                   qcb + D (air)
Kuu Ha Dan (weak) (BR)              qcf + B
Kuu Ha Dan (strong) (BR)            qcf + D
Shuriken (weak)                     qcf + A
Shuriken (strong)                   qcf + C
Kuuchuu Shuriken (weak)             in air, qcf + A
Kuuchuu Shuriken (strong)           in air, qcf + C

-----------------------------[ Super Moves ]-----------------------------

Chou Hissatsu Shuriken              qcf, qcf + A (AB to finish early)
Ougi - Chou Hissatsu Tatsumaki      qcf, qcf + B

--------------------------[ Potential  Powers ]--------------------------

Chou Baku-en Kunai                     qcf, qcf + C (AB to finish early)
Kyuukyoku Ougi - Chou Bakuen Tatsumaki qcf, qcf + D

---------------------------[ T. O. P. Attack ]---------------------------

                           NIN-POU BAKUEN JUMP

-----------------------------[ Feint Moves ]-----------------------------

                      f + AC            Chou Hissatsu Shuriken (?)
                      d + AC            Ougi - Chou Hissatsu Tastumaki

--------------------------------[ Taunts ]-------------------------------

Normal taunt:  (start button)

Hokutomaru dances back and forth, sticking out his tongue, and making
weird, chittering "monkey noises".  Thats the best way I can describe it.
Note that unlike many other people's taunts, you cannot cancel out of it
by simply moving the joystick.  So only use when you are SURE you are not
going to get hit for it.  (End of the round is safe)

Special taunt #1:  (fd + start button, at end of round)

Hokutomaru sneezes, and seems to make a sort of weird face, with his
tongue stuck out.  Kind of cute.

Special taunt #2:  (bk + start button, at end of round)

Hokutomaru vanishes, just like he's doing a teleport.  Then, as soon as
the opponent hits the ground, he appears standing over them, and pulls
out his wooden sword/stick thing.  Brandishing it high overhead, he puts
one foot on his now vanquished foe, and shouts something triumphant in
Japanese.  Unfortunatly, since I don't understand Japanese, I have no
idea what he's saying.  It sure sounds triumphant, though!  According to
the faq by James Kuroki, he is saying "Kattari", which translates into
"I won!"

------------------------------[ Entrances ]------------------------------
All translations were taken from James Kuroki's excellent Garou faq, with


Appears in a puff of smoke, all black and covered with soot.  He coughs once,
and makes a confused sounding noise, then shakes the soot off.

Cut scene for Hokutomaru's stage:

A scene of Hokutomaru perched upon a streetlight, looking for a place to jump
down.  Finally he seems to find one, and jumps.  There is a sudden sound of
traffic crashing, and horns blaring, and quite a bit of stuff gets flung up
into the air.  (including cats, tires, and people)

Entrance when on Hokutomaru's stage:

He points accusingly at the enemy and yells "Ko-natta no mo ome-- no sei da
zo!" ("It's your fault that this happened!" according to the faq by James
Kuroki), and then a tire lands on his head, sending him into a hurt silence.

VS. Kain, Bonne Jenet, and possibly others:

Hokutomaru stands there, looking angry, and swings his fists around for a
minute, yelling "Ikkuzo!"  ("Here we go!")

------------------------------[ Win Poses ]-------------------------------
All translations were taken from James Kuroki's excellent Garou faq, with

Won a round, but not the match:

Hokutomaru does a flip, ending a kneeling pose, and starts to say "Kore zo!
Shiranui Nipo..."  ("This is Shiranui Ar...") and then his scarf falls over
his head, obscuring his vision.  He quickly shakes it off, looking sort of
relieved, and laughs, embarassed.

Won a match #1:

Pulls out a handful of apples, and starts tossing them into his mouth one by
one.  The last one is actually a firecracker, and (of course) it detonates
immedietly after contact with his mouth, leaving him smoking, and very
surprised looking.  While doing this, he says "Kore ga... oira... no...
hitsuryoku da!  Are?!?".  ("This is... my... skills!  Huh?!?")

Won a match #2:

Goes through a series of poses for the camera, while saying something in
japanese that I can't understand, perhaps because I do not speak japanese.

In Depth Move list/evaluation:
--------------------------[ Throws and Holds ]---------------------------

Hikkaki                             when close, f or b + C
(a.k.a.  "the monkey munch")

Hokutomaru climbs up onto the opponents chest, and begins scratching and
clawing away, while making noises that before this game, I would have sworn
no human being could make.  (But I must believe now, since all of these guys
in the game are real people, right?  Right?)

From a gameplay point of view, this throw is pretty much like everyone
else's...  It is an unblockable attack which can only be done at close
range, and does about 11% damage.  However, from a psychological point
of view, it is much MORE....  Use it, and watch your opponents quiver
with rage at the indignities that their character is enduring, while
they incredulously exclaim "What in the WORLD is that NOISE he is making?!?"
A real winner.

Use this throw as much as you can get away with.  Actually, that is not a
bad idea from a gameplay point of view either, since several of
Hokutomaru's moves end up with him right next to them, and if they're not
expecting it, you can often get off a throw before they can hit you.  And
besides...  It... looks...  soooo...  COOL!

Non-men Tsukuri                     in air close, anything but u + C

A standard air throw, just like everyone has... It isn't as easy to hit with
as the ground throw, of course, (since people are almost always attacking
while in the air) but still it is good to keep it in mind, since it does
fairly decent damage, and can come as a fun surprise if your opponent is
not expecting it.

----------------------------[ Command Moves ]----------------------------

Sliding                             df + B

Our hero slids forward, one foot extended, sort of like Vega used to.  It
goes a fair distance, and is low enough that you can dodge quite a few
projectiles with it.  (Anything from Marco, Kain, Hotaru, or Hokutomaru)
Be warned, however, that the "hit area" is not as wide as it looks; they
don't actually get hit until somewhere around his ankle.  In other words,
don't play it too close with the range, it doesn't go _quite_ as far as it

Kuuten Keri                         df + D

A nice, two part kick into the air.  Can be something of a surprise to people,
and it is cancelable into all SORTS of amusing things.  It's resonably safe,
too, since if they block you can still surprise them by whipping a shuriken
into their eye if they're not watching.  Fun for the whole family!

Ni-dan Jump                         in air, jump again

One word:  AWSOME.  Even though it's not a direct attack, this is arguably
Hokutomaru's best ability.  More on it's uses later.

----------------------------[ Special Moves ]----------------------------

Karakusa-Giri (weak)                qcb + A (hold A to abort)
Karakusa-Giri (strong)              qcb + C (hold C to abort)

Hokutomaru leaps forward (further with the C version), and slashes with his
wooden stick sword.  He slashes once with the A version, and twice with the
C version.  The 2 attacks from the C version are fast enough that they combo
with each other.  I have heard rumors that you can combo into the A version
of this move, but I have not yet been able to do this myself, so I cannot
verify this.  This move is good for several reasons, but it should not be
overused.  It is good because it is a good way to close to your opponent,
and because it does very good damage if it connects.  (or even if it doesn't.
It has very good block damage, especially in the C version)  It also is high
enough to go over almost all sweep moves, so if you know your opponent is
going to sweep you, go nuts with it.  A word of caution though, if they block
it (or worse, "just defend" it) you're going to get smacked.  Which is why
you might want to...


Yes, if you hold down the button you used to initiate the move, then upon
reaching the end of his jump, Hokutomaru will not slash his sword.  He will
in fact, do nothing at all.  This makes this a wonderful mind game move.
Since if they sit and block, waiting for the slash that never comes, then
you can waltz right up and throw them, and laugh as they writhe in agony as
their character endures... the dreaded "monkey munch".  (see above).  So hah.

Rakka-Zan - Kyou                    qcb + B (air)
Rakka-Zan - Jitsu                   qcb + D (air)

Another excellent move for Hokutomaru.  He vanishes, and appears at the
top of the screen in a puff of smoke, and falls gracefully to the earth.
In the D version, he also delivers a nasty whap with his stick/sword on
the way down, too.  If it gets blocked, he is fairly vulnerable.  But if
they get hit by it, they feel it.  If you use the D version, you appear
directly over where they were when you initiated the move. (all the better
to hit you with, my dear!)  The B version, on the other hand, makes you
appear above where YOU were, and can do no damage directly.  It is
mainly useful as a fake out, if they start getting too good at anticipating
your teleports.

And finally, the thing that makes this move so awsome... You can do it


Standing, jumping, falling, whatever.  You can do this.  Which means that if
your opponent EVER does anything even REMOTLY compromising...


This includes foolish actions such as:
* Throwing projectiles
* Taunting
* Missing with a move
* Attacking with any manuver that has recovery lag
* Anything else which will prevent them from blocking for the next couple of

A word of caution, however.  You can NOT use this as punishment for jumping.
Hokutomaru only swings his sword at head height for a person standing on the
ground.  Which means that if the opponent is jumping, you will miss.  And if
the opponent is jumping and attacking, you will get smacked.  Be warned.

Kuu Ha Dan (weak) (BR)              qcf + B
Kuu Ha Dan (strong) (BR)            qcf + D

A nice attack, that is basically the same as Andy Bogard's trademark leaping
kick thingie.  Hokutomaru sort of rolls, and launches himself into a feet
first kick, in a big arc.  Can hit multiple times.

Use this for several reasons:  For one thing, it is good damage, and easily
comboed into.  For another, it has fairly little recovery time, even if they
block it, so you can still often get away unscathed even if they anticipate
it.  And finally, it is good because it is...

(yes I know, it looks like it should be spelled "breakable", but that's how
all the other FAQs spell it, and far be it from me to go against peer pressure)

If you push AB durring the first two hits of the move, then rather than
continue with the whole move, Hokutomaru will do a nifty looking little "ninja
shadowy blinky thing", and cancel, with virtually NO RECOVERY TIME.  So if you
are fast and prepared with the AB buttons, you can do this move with almost

Darned nifty.

And even more fun, you can do it, hit with the first hit or so, then cancel out
of it, while they are knocked up into the air, and then smack them around with
some amusing juggles.

Shuriken (weak)                     qcf + A
Shuriken (strong)                   qcf + C
Kuuchuu Shuriken (weak)             in air, qcf + A
Kuuchuu Shuriken (strong)           in air, qcf + C

Ahh, what fighting game ninja would be complete without the trademark ninja
projectile?  On the ground, the A version just whips out a single shuriken
at the opponent.  The C version takes a moment longer to start, but our
hero whips out THREE shurikens, all of which will usually hit if the first
one does.  They'll also do fairly respectable damage, too.  Especially for a
projectile.  And yes, they do count as seperate projectiles, meaning that if
you get into projectile wars, the first will cancel the opponent's projectile,
while the other two bury themselves in his/her forhead.  Yay!  Ninjas are cool!

The air versions are basically the same thing, except for two main differences.

#1:  It is done in the air.  (duh)
#2:  Only one shuriken is flung, no matter which punch you use.  Also, the
speed seems to be constant, no matter which punch you use.  (contrary to what
several other faqs I have read said)

So NOW how much would you pay for these wonderful shurikens?  Well, just as
every rose has it's thorn, this projectile isn't QUITE perfect...  There is
one major faw in this otherwise wonderful sharp piece of metal:  It can be
knocked out of the air... by PUNCHES.  And other normal attacks.  So if
you throw a throwing star at someone who is jumpkicking you, the jump kick
will WIN, and they will not even get counter-hit.  Bummer.  And I've seen
Rock Howard go through a whole line of three to punch me with that rush-punch
thingie of his.  I guess this is compensation for the Shuriken's other
benifits (such as the ability to throw them anywhere, and up to 3 at once!)
So use with some caution.  But even so, don't let that stop you from flinging
them as often as you can get away with.  (Although watch out for people who
are too good at "just defense".  The best solution for these people that I've
found is to throw them in groups of three. That way, even if they "just
defend" the first, they still take tick damage from the next two, so it pretty
much evens out in terms of total damage.  And as far as we have been able to
tell, it seems to be virtually IMPOSSIBLE to "just defend" all 3 of them.  The
best you can do is get the first one.)

-----------------------------[ Super Moves ]-----------------------------

Chou Hissatsu Shuriken              qcf, qcf + A (AB to finish early)

Hokutomaru goes psycho, and starts flinging throwing stars like MAD, ending
with one BIG one.  Although it doesn't do as much tick damage as it looks
like it should, this move still has it's uses.  For one thing, it is fast
enough to combo into. :) :)

For another thing, you can use it to punish people across the screen who
don't realize how fast it is to come out.  (or who do foolish things like
throw projectiles at you)

It does suffer from the classic bane of "combo specials" (i.e. specials that
rely on multiple small hits to do damage).  If your opponent is in the air
when it connects, they will likely not take full damage, but will instead
be juggled along the top of the stream, and take fairly little damage.  Foo.

Note that you can end the move at any time by hitting AB.  As soon as you
do so, Hokutomaru will throw the big "finishing star" and end the move.
A good thing to do if they have dodged the stream and are flying towards
your head with a jump kick.  It's also useful in a few other situations, but
more on that below.

Ougi - Chou Hissatsu Tatsumaki      qcf, qcf + B

Hokutomaru stuffs a scroll into his mouth, and jumps up, twirling, and
surrounded by a mini-ninja-tornado.  People who get too close will be
caught and juggled for up to 9 hits, and around 37% damage.

This move is a lot better than it looks at first glance.  At first glance,
it seems to be nearly impossible to hit with all 9 hits.  The first dozen
matches I used it in, I'd get maybe 5 hits on average, and maybe 2 when I was
really unlucky.  I finally figured out that you have to wait until they are
practically touching you before you initiate it.  Luckily, this move comes out
FAST.  I mean MEGA-FAST.  So you can do this with impunity.  Just make sure
that you hit, since if you don't, you slowly float back down, practically
inviting your opponent to kick in your head.  And it does really lousy tick

This move is most useful as an anti-air, but it has other uses as well.  You
can also use it to catch people on the ground who arn't expecting it.  For
example, even though it doesn't look like it, you can do Hokutomaru's leaping
Andy Bogard-esque kick, and then as SOON as you land, do this super... you
will be close enough to hit, and if they are trying to hit you back after
blocking your super, they will get hit for full damage.  (And a counter, if
you're really lucky!)

--------------------------[ Potential  Powers ]--------------------------

Chou Baku-en Kunai                     qcf, qcf + C (AB to finish early)

This is just like the shuriken super above, except that it takes up 2 super
bars to do, does more damage, and instead of shurikens, he whips out lots
of flaming ninja-knife thingies.  It also looks a bit cooler too, since they
end up flaming at the end of it.

Kyuukyoku Ougi - Chou Bakuen Tatsumaki qcf, qcf + D

Just like the tornado scroll jump thing above, but it takes up 2 bars, does
up to 10 hits, and does more damage.  Oh, and he's surrounded by flame this
time.  LOTS of flame. :)

---------------------------[ T. O. P. Attack ]---------------------------

                           NIN-POU BAKUEN JUMP

For those who don't know (and didn't go read some other faq like I suggested,
T. O. P. attacks are done when your life bar is in the "flashing red" zone.
(which is wherever you put it at the start of the game.).  While your life
is in this zone, push BC to do the T. O. P. attack.  Hokutomaru's goes like
this:  He stands for a moment, with a ninja scroll in his mouth.  Then there
is an explosion on him, and he rockets upwards at about a 40 degree angle.
It has some delay, but is excellent anti-air, and anti-people-who-don't-know-
what's-comming.  It also does resonable damage.  But as usual, if you biff,
you'll get hit.  So don't overuse it.

General stuff
---------------[Combos any Hokutomaru fan should know:]------------------

First of all, use Hokutomaru's standing C as much as possible.  If you do
the "near" one, he does two hits, and this is extremely combo-able, after
either one.  A few things that you can combo after a close standing C
(which connects, obviously)
* A single (A version) shuriken
* A leaping-arc-kick-ala-Andy-Bogard-thingie (either version)
* Hokutomaru's multi-shuriken special.
* Hokutomaru's multi-flaming-ninja-knife special.

A few things that CAN'T be comboed off of a standing close C, but that look
like they should be able to:
* Hokutomaru's teleport/slash
* 3 shurikens.  (C version)
* Leap forward/sword slash (either version)
* Leaping-spinning-tornado super
* Leaping-spinning-FLAMING-tornado super

Useful combos when you have a super bar or two:

Deep jump kick, standing C, multi-throwing star super.
Deep jump kick, standing C, multi-flaming ninja knife super.

Deep jump kick, tornado super.
Deep jump kick, flaming tornado super.
(these will NOT work if you throw in the extra standing C in the middle.
Even if you are in the corner, it will still push you too far away!)

df D (His 2 part pop-up kick), shuriken.  (throw shuriken while in air,
IMMEDIETLY after 2nd hit).  You can also throw the shuriken if you miss,
to keep them distracted while you land.  You can also teleport out of
this move, (hcb B/D) but it won't combo unless you're in the corner, and
even then it is extremely hard to do every time.  (At least for me).  So
I don't recommend that combo, unless you have considerably better luck
with it than I have.

df D, then either the "tons and tons of shurikens" super, or the "tons and
tons of flaming ninja knives" super.  Note that they will bounce along the
top of the stream, and take less than full damage... UNLESS... you cancel
the stream early.  If you time it right, they will bounce once off the
stream of projectiles... Then you cancel, and as they fall the second time
they get hit square on with the large "ending" projectile, that completes
the move.  (and does a large percentage of the damage)  The ninja knives/
shurikens don't do QUITE as much damage this way, but they still do a
respectable amount.  And of course, it looks cool when you pull it off. :)

If you ever hit someone who is jumping with a shuriken, they will likely
end up flung high into the sky.  If you do this, IMMEDIETLY throw out the
tripple shuriken, and if you do it right, they will catch all 3 before
hitting the ground again.  Not only does it look cool, but it does enough
damage to be significant, and make them think twice about jumping.

[in corner]
df D (2 part kick again), and then as SOON as you land, either the
leaping tornado super, or the leaping flaming tornado super.  An
excellent combo if you can keep them in the corner long enough to do it.
Also fairly safe, since you have pleanty of time to make sure you hit
with the kick part before you waste a super bar or two.  And if they
block the kick, you can always throw a shuriken or teleport to keep their
mind off of hitting you back.

[from across the screen]
single throwing star, teleport/slash.  This does not always work for me.
I am not sure exactly what the pattern is, but sometimes it works, and
sometimes it doesn't.  They might have to be in a corner, or pressed up
against the screen.  I've had >>slightly<< better luck in these conditions,
but even there it still often fails for me.  I only include it because
it it is cool when it hits.  (yay!  Ninja-ness!)

-------------------[General Hokutomaru strategies:]----------------------

*  RULE THE AIR.  Between Hokutomaru's double jump, his ability to throw
shurikens in the air or on the ground, AND his ability to teleport in the
middle of a jump, he has the potential to completely dominate the air.

With the added height you get from double jumping, you can go over almost
ALL of other player's anti-air moves.  And since (as long as you havn't
attacked yet) you can use your second jump whenever you want to,
Hokutomaru is probably one of the safest characters to do jump-ins with,
since you have that added way to escape.  (In addition to the teleport!)
If you double jump enough, and unpredictably enough, you can make it
EXTREMELY dificult for your opponent to hit you.  (And they often leave
themselves open for poking when trying, as well!)

This is quite an advantage, and cannot be understated.  Since jumping
foward is the most common way to advance in the game, if you can deprive
your opponent of that ability, then you can dictate the range of the match.
If you want to stay close, there is almost nothing they can do to keep you
out of their face.  And if you want to get away, there is nothing they can
do to keep you.  This is a marvelous ability, particularly when coupled
with the fact that Hokutomaru is one of the best distance characters in the
game.  Which brings us to point #2:

*  DOMINATE PROJECTILE WARFARE.  Hokutomaru has (arguably) the best
projectile in the game, particularly in it's tripple version.  USE IT!
Feel free to fling projectiles whenever you get bored, or are waiting for
your opponent to do something.  And if they start throwing back
projectiles of their own, then either start flinging your groups of 3, or
just teleport onto their head and give them a nasty whap for their trouble.
Either way, don't let them get away with thinking that they're allowed to
throw projectiles.  That's YOUR department.

Also, whenever you knock someone down, it's usually safe to fling a group
of three shurikens at them, as a wake up "present".  That way, if they try
anything immedietly after getting up, they get smacked.  And if they sit
and take it, then you do a bit of free block damage.  And if they use
"just defense" against it, then you'll usually tick off enough damage with
the second two to pay for the life gain, so it costs you nothing.
(Obviously don't use this against people who are good enough to "just
defense" all three of them)

*  PLAY MIND GAMES.  Hokutomaru has some wonderful mind games he can play
with people.  Use them!  One of the easiest is the old "leap foward with
stick, but cancel and throw instead".  This is discribed with more
detail above, under that move.  But you can go much deeper than that.
The teleport is the key.  Use it when jumping away after a successful
attack.  Use it after jumping in, but before attacking, so that the
blow comes about a second after they expect it.  Use it after you double
jump off the screen so that they can't see that you've vanished.  In other
words, ABUSE IT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.  (Until they start to catch on, of
course ;)

Also, use shurikens frequeltly.  A good time to use them is just before
landing.  That can throw a lot of people off.  Also, when you double-tap
away, to leap back, that counts as a jump.  So... you can use teleports
and shurikens in the middle of it.  A wonderful thing to try is every so
often double tap back to jump away, and throw a shuriken mid-jump.  Most
people are NOT expecting an attack in the middle of an evasion, and are
often caught by surprise.  More fun!

Finally, the most important part of mind game tricks:  Vary your attacks.
Don't use the same one more than once or twice in a row, or your opponent
will start to catch on, and develop counter strategies.  ("just defending"
at best, clobbering you good at worst)

*  DON'T BE AFRAID TO GET CLOSE.  Finally, even though a lot of his moves
focus on sudden attacks from distance, don't be afraid to get in close
with Hokutomaru.  Although this works worse for some people than others...
(for example, when facing Griffon Mask, it might be better to keep your
distance after all...)  When in close, you CAN hold your own just fine...
just use pleanty of standing C hits, leaping-andy-bogard things, (canceled
if blocked) and throwing stars.  (which work perfectly well at point blank
range and in combos, as long as you don't try to trade hits with them)

Character specific tactics:

VS. Rock Howard:

Rock is a fairly good all around player.  A large part of his strength lies
in the fact that all of his moves are fairly damaging, and that he can hit
hard and fast from across the screen.  The biggest things to watch out for
are his rushing punch things, which are good both by themselves, or in combos.
He does have a projectile, but it isn't nearly as good as Hokutomaru's, so
don't lose too much sleep over it.  I've already detailed what to do if your
opponent gets too overconfident with projectiles, so I won't repeat it here.
Watch out for Rock's uppercut move (Rising Tackle).  It's not a *great* move,
since it is a charge move, and can't always be done in time if they're not
paying attention, but it is still something to watch out for.  (Especially
since Hokutomaru is such an air-intensive player)  One thing you can do to
discourage Rock players from using too many Rising Tackles is to use your
double jump to fake them out.  Jump in, and then jump away before you hit the
rising tackle.  Or just jump straight up, so you are too high, and come down
on Rock with a drop kick or something.  Watch out for Rock doing jump-ins,
since he has an ok command throw.  It is often strung after a jump since it
requires a 720 motion on the joystick.  You probably don't want to stay too
close to Rock if you can avoid it.  Just play hit and run with him, and you
should be fine.

VS. Terry Bogard

Hmm.  For the trademark character of the fatal fury games, they certainly
didn't make Terry too powerful.  It could be just that I havn't yet met
someone who uses him well, but as far as I can tell, he isn't anything overly
special.  He has a fireball move, similar to Rock's, but most of his moves are
mediocre at best.  In particular, his "Power dunk", (jump up, hit you into the
air, and slam you down with yellow energy punch) is EXTREMELY hard to hit with
from the ground.  You're a lot more likely to see Terry players using his
other moves more, such as his "Burning Knuckle" (Dash across the screen with
yellow energy punch) and his "Crack Shot" (Nifty flip forward kick thing).
The Crack Shot in particular is often used as an anti-air move, since it is
very fast to come out, and has fairly little delay if it misses.  And it has
good priority to boot.  The other threat to jumping you have to watch for is
Terry's trademark "Power Geyser", where he punches the ground, and a big burst
of energy comes out.  This move is fast, and fairly damaging, so be cautious
jumping towards terry.  The biggest thing to watch out for with Terry is that
you don't let him get in too many free hits with burn knuckle from across the
screen because you weren't watching.

VS. Kim Dong Hwan

Kim Dong Hwan is NASTY.  Be careful of this one.  He is mainly an up-close
character, so you can try to play keep away with shurikens.  Unfortunatly the
"just defense" makes this less useful.  So does the fact that Kim has lots of
good moves that advance him, and protect him from shurikens.  (since he'll
just kick them out of the air)  So you'll probably end up having to fight him
at least somewhat.  Also, he doesn't have all that many moves with lots of
delay, meaning that it is hard to punish him much with your teleport.
Basically, you're most likely going to have to fight him up close at least
somewhat.  The biggest thing to watch out for when he is close is his high-low
game.  He has an electricity kick that must be blocked low.  And if you don't
block it, it can be comboed into either a special jump-foward-electricity-kick
or into a SUPER.  Mean.  But he also has a simple jump-foward-electricity-kick
that he can use instead, which must be blocked high.  And this one comes out
faster.  So basically the best thing to do is block high, unless you see him
start to look like he is going to stomp his foot.  Then block low.  The
problem however, is that both of these moves have almost no delay after them.
You might be able to get in a light punch if you're lucky, but they still can
often block.  A better thing to do is walk up and monkey-munch throw them.
Since most of the time they will expect to be hit back afterwards, they will
almost always sit and block after these moves, leaving you free to wander up
and claw their eyes out.  Yay!  Also watch out for Kim's air-super.  It does
lots of damage, and can be a very nasty surprise if you forget that he has a
super move he can do in the air.  The other thing to remember about Kim is
that he is one of the few characters in the game who is better at air to air
combat than you are.  He can jump as high as Hokutomaru, (thanks to his super
jump and corner bounce) and if you meet in mid air at equal heights, his kick
will win out, every time.  It takes some getting used to, since vs nearly
everyone else, Hokutomaru has air priority.  Be careful.

VS. Kim Jae Hoon

Ahh, the OTHER Kim kid.  Ok, one thing I just have to say about him: DAMAGE.
And lots of it.  He has some fairly nasty moves.  He's not quite as quick as
Kim Dong Hwan, but he easily makes up for this in sheer damage potential.
Be VERY careful of his supers.  Also watch out for his "hold his foot up for a
little bit, and then leap forward and kick a lot" move.  He is counted as
blocking while his foot is up, so he can use it as quite a nasty block-then-
counter move.  (Actually, it's worse than that even:  While blocking things
with his foot, he actually takes NO damage, not even the usual "tick" hits!)
He is another player that you probably want to do a lot of hit-and-run tactics
on.  Just don't let him hit you with many moves, or you WILL feel it.  Also,
you probably want to get him out of his T. O. P. mode as fast as possible.

VS. Hotaru Futaba

Hotaru is quite an oddity.  When I first saw her, I was figuring that she was
going to be sort of a Chun-Li-a-like, with a cooler looking projectile, and
less emphasis on kicking.  I figured at the very least that she'd be one of
those "very fast but not too damaging" characters.  Boy oh boy was *I* wrong.
Whatever you do, when you fight Hotaru, do NOT make the mistake of
underestimating her damage potential.  Her uppercuts (well, fine, leap into
the air spinning things) can do MASSIVE damage if you are on the ground when
she starts them.  And her dance-foward-hitting-you move that ends with a palm
strike does extremely respectable damage, and can be comboed into.  And if you
block it, she recovers at the same time you do, so you can't even hit her
back!  Hey!  And add to that that she has a resonably damaging command throw,
and you have someone fairly nasty to deal with.  Also watch out for her kick
move in the air, where she suddenly changes direction and flies at you to kick
off of you.  It can be a surprise, since she changes direction in mid air, and
so can hit you when you think she's jumping away.  Luckily, most of the
tactics that Hotaru players seem to use can be fairly easily countered by
Hokutomaru's inherrent coolness.  For one thing, many Hotaru players seem to
like getting into projectile wars.  This is a BAD idea on their part, and if
you have read the rest of this FAQ, you already know quite a few ways of
reminding them of why they shouldn't do that.  Also, many Hotaru players like
to try to play air warfare with you.  Again, you have a definate advantage,
since your double jump and teleport easily make up for Hotaru's air kick.  One
thing to watch out for is that she has a projectile reflector, but if you
throw enough throwing stars in groups of three, then you'll be mostly ok.  And
if one or two throwing stars comes back, oh well.  So don't let her projectile
reflector scare you into not throwing lots of shurikens.  You're still most
likely safer chucking shurikens from a distance than you are in staying close
and letting her use her nasty, high damage, low recovery time moves on you.
Don't be afraid to get in close and smack her some, but don't stay any longer
than necessary.  Ooh, and watch out for her anti-air super blue kick.  It can
catch by surprise, since it hits from a direction that none of her other moves
really do.  Also, Hotaru can change the direction she is facing in mid-air,
allowing for some crossovers.  Unfortunatly for her, you can almost always see
them comming, since she has to jump in so deep.  So unless you're not watching
at all, you will probably see it comming a mile away.

VS. Gato

Gato is nasty.  He is sort of like Kim Jae Hoon; he does great damage, and
fast.  You'll be playing, exchange a few hits, and suddenly look up and find
that you're already down to half life!  Gato's best move, I think, is his
"leap forcefully into the air and do something mean".  He has four endings to
this move, (make an explosion on the ground, kick high, land and slide-kick,
and kick diagonally downwards out of the air.)  Gato players (the good ones,
at least) often tend to play lots of mind games with this move, such as
throwing a few ground explosions on you, and then when you move to jump kick
them, doing a jump kick themselves.  (The kick that comes out of that jump
has higher priority than your jump kick usually)  One of the best ways to deal
with this is to just start "just defending" the explosions, and force them to
change tactics.  Also, you can dash under him when he does the "jump up
forcefully" part, and hit him with just about anything as he lands.  (I
recommend a good 100 or so flaming ninja knives, but then, I'm bitter.)  Watch
out for Gato's extra potential power.  He dashes forwards and delivers three
BIG hits.  Even if you block, they still do about a good C hit worth of block
damage.  And they put you REEEAAAALY cloes to being guard crushed.  So if
someone does this to you, and you block, stay away for a bit, or use lots of
"just defend"s.  Also don't forget that even tho Gato doesn't have a normal
uppercut, one of his supers is effectively a straight up uppercut.  It can be
a nasty surprise if you're not watching.  So if you are playing vs. Gato, and
they start to be really cautious, and seem to be waiting for you to jump,
(and they have a power bar or two), then approach with caution.  And always
remember, if things get dicey, you can always double jump away to saftey.

VS. Bonne Jenet

It's the magical sparkly pirate girl!  She is a very good player, particularly
at close range, but nothing insurmountable.  She has unreliable anti-air,
(except for her supers) so if she doesn't have a power bar, you are probably
safe doing deep jump-ins.  Be careful jumping towards her when she DOES have
a power bar or two, though, since she has an excellent anti-air super that can
do significant damage.  Be particularly careful when fighting her up close,
since she has several quick and damaging combos, and if you're not watching,
she can do her "many torpedo kick thing", either by itself, or as a combo from
most of her close attacks.  She is probably safest to fight in the air, where
all the advantages are on your side.  She DOES have a "change-direction-in-
mid-air-kick", that can be a surprise (and she makes the COOLEST noise when
she does it) but it's not very good for air-air battles, so you should be Ok.
She also has one of the better projectiles in the game for catching jumpers
with, so watch out for it.  (or just double-jump to safety)  An interesting
thing to note:  Her projectile hits people 3 times, but it only takes one
projectile to cancel it.  And sometimes, your projectile will just go right
through hers, and keep going!  So don't be afraid to projectile fight her.

VS. Marco Rodriguez

Ahh, what game would be complete without the standard fireball-uppercut char?
Marco fills that role admirably here, since both his fireballs and uppercuts
are fast and damaging enough to make this a fairly mean game for him to play.
Luckily, Hokutomaru can double jump. :)  Marco is another character that can
often be lured into playing projectile war games with you.  Punish him.  And
try to fake him out with double jumps so that he misses on uppercuts and
leaves himself open.  Watch out if you want to fight him up close; he does
good damage, and takes very little skill to do damaging combos.  In particular
his standing close C punch can be comboed into almost ANYTHING of his.
(including his supers)  So watch out.  Also, don't get TOO free with your
teleports, since he can uppercut you out of them if he sees them comming. And
even though Hokutomaru is usually projectile king, do watch out for Marco's
super projectiles, since they go right through yours.  The moral of this story
is don't throw too many projectiles at Marco if he has a power bar.  Instead
just let him throw his fireballs, and respond with a teleport.  It's usually

VS. Hokutomaru

Well, there arn't a huge number of strategies that I can give you for fighting
someone else playing Hokutomaru, since anything you can do they can do as
well.  Remember that they can hit you if you throw projectiles too freely.
On the other hand, if THEY throw projectiles too much, feel free to hit them
in the ways outlined above.  And don't rely too heavily on the teleports,
since if you both teleport, it is whoever teleports LAST that will win.  So it
is probably better waiting for them to make the mistake.

VS. Freeman

Freeman is surprisingly damaging.  Watch out for him.  He has a nasty overhead
slash move that serves him well as anti-air.  And his dash-forward-slash moves
can go under your throwing stars, so don't throw them if he is too close.  His
counter attack super is pretty nasty, but hard to use.  If you see him do it,
and havn't attacked yet, just let him walk into you, and throw him.  The other
thing that you have to remember when fighting freeman is that his dash-foward
slashing moves often hit LOW.  So always block low just in case.  If he DOES
do his "leap forward slash" move (which must be blocked high) you'll have
pleanty of warning, since it is slooooow.

VS. Griffon Mask

Here's the obligitory throw character of the game.  Well, if nothing else, he
looks a lot cooler in his moves than Zangeif ever did.  Griffon Mask isn't
quite as good a throw character as, say, Clark from KoF, or Shigen from Last
Blade, but he can still be fairly nasty.  In general Griffon Mask has throws
that are harder to actually do (many involve 360s or 720s) but that do HUGE
damage.  As in a third or so.  And that's not even counting the super throws.
If ever there was a character to play keep away with, this is him.  Granted,
most humans won't be as good at getting his throws off as the computer is, but
still, you probably don't want to spend any more time close to him than you
have to.  Luckily, he is also an extremely easy character to keep away from,
since he is slow moving, and has almost no good advancement moves.

VS. Kevin Ryan

Kevin Ryan, master of the "Punch you so hard you explode!" school of martial
arts.  Well, he's pretty much what you'd expect, moves are slow to come out,
but do lots of damage.  He has one punch that he can hold, and he starts
twitching ominously when he does so...  Don't let it fool you, it doesn't
become unblockable or anything, he just does more damage the longer he holds
it.  Also be careful around Kevin's "crawl foward, do something" move.  He
can either hit high or low out of it, so your best bet is to either stay away,
or just kick him before he gets to you.  You obviously can't throw projectiles
while he's doing it though, since he's too low.  Basically, your best bet
is to aviod staying too close to Kevin.  As always, hit and run.  He has no
attacks that he can ues from across the screen.  (at least, none that you
can't see comming miles away)  Watch out when you do jump-ins though, since
his "HUGE explosion, you're frozen and glowing" punch is excellent anti-air.

VS. Grant

The sinister sounding "Martyr of Might", with his equally sinister sounding
"dark karate"!  Well, they had to do SOMETHING interesting for the sub-boss.
Actually, in my opinion, Grant is a much better character than Kain is.  He
has a lot of good combos, and does pretty good damage.  (note that the damage
he does when you fight him as sub-boss is SIGNIFICANTLY higher than it is if
you play him in a vs. match against another human.)  All in all, he has a lot
of good moves.  He has a (very goofy looking but effective) uppercut, which
can finish off with a glowing purple "dark karate" kick.  This makes jump-ins
dangerous, since he can use it with impunity, and do the "dark karate kick" at
the end to make it very hard to hit him back afterwards.  Your best bet is to
try to keep away as much as possible, as when fighting the Griffon Mask.  Just
remember that Grant has a lot better moves than Griffon does.  Also don't
forget that Grant has a VERY fast "Dash across the screen and bowl you over"
move, which is not only good for advancement, but is fast enough to be a good
punishment, if you leave yourself open.  For supers, Grant has a standard
"ground combo" super, (a long combo for good damage, but it only works if you
are on the ground when it hits).  This one is probably the least of your
worries, since you're probably jumping enough that you'll just get hit by one
or two hits of it, before getting "bounced" out of the combo.  (usually
annoying the Grant player immensely)  Grant's other super, however, is rather
dangerous to you, since it's a "Mega-Dark-Karate kick", which goes up at an
angle, making it good for close ground-ground fighting, or good for anti-air.
It is roughly equivalent to Terry's "Power Geyser" in terms of where it hits.
Oh, and WATCH OUT FOR GRANT's T. O. P. attacks.  It's a series of punches
while on the ground.  It is fast to come out, hard to hit him back from, (if
you blocked it) and does guard crush like nothing!  I think it's the best
T. O. P. attack in the game, actually.  Be VERY careful, or you'll end up
getting guard crushed a lot sooner than you expect, and then you'll get bonked
HARD.  You have been warned.  Also watch out for Grant's "dashing-face-hit".
It does RIDICULOUS damage, even if you block it.  (Almost as much as a a/b
attack!)  And if you don't block it, you lose LOTS of life.  And if you're
foolish enough to try to hit him out of it, if the You'll usually trade hits,
and get popped up.  And if the Grant player is any good, they can combo you
then for almost 50% damage, without even using any supers.  All because you
were foolish enough to try to hit back.  So do NOT fight Grant ground-ground
if you can POSSIBLY avoid it.  Otherwise you WILL lose.  Use your double
jumps and throwing stars as much as you can, and STAY AWAY.

VS. Kain Heinlein

Kain.  I thought he was an incredibly powerful character when I first got to
him, playing on one player mode.  He would just rip through my lifebar.
Especially when he was in his T. O. P. mode.  I have since discovered however,
that he is given a SIGNIFICANT damage handicap by the computer for his role
as boss.  In fact, the non-boss Kain seems to be downright wimpy in contrast.
He has a medium projectile, and some anti-air and a nice "charge forward while
on fire" move, but none of these have NEARLY the damage that they do when the
computer is playing.  And since they are all charge moves, they are harder to
combo than most other players, as well!  Anyway, things to watch out for with
Kain:  He has an anti-air move.  Not a great one, but still watch for it.  It
requires a charge-down to execute, so don't jump at anyone who is just
sitting there, ducking.  He also has a medium projectile.  You can plow right
through it with your 3-shurikens, but be careful trying to punish him with
teleports, since when he launches the projectile, he jumps back, making him
slightly harder to hit with your teleport.  Also avoid fighting Kain near the
corner of the screen.  Kain has the unique ability to do some fairly damaging
combos after his throw, but they only work if he throws you into a corner.  In
particular, stay away when he has two power bars, since he can throw you, and
then hit you with his "glowing yellow ball of death and multiple hits" on the
way down.  (And then hit you again with his anti-air move as you fall from
THAT, for a grand total of around 50% damage)  So in general it seems to be
safer to just stay away from corners.  Since Hokutomaru can double jump,
getting out of corner traps isn't as bad for him as it is for some people.
Also, if Kain is sitting near the corner and refuses to budge, just wait him
out.  There's no reason you have to close with him, since you can easilly win
any projectile wars he starts.

* Thanks to James Kuroki (orochi@ix.netcom.com) who not only provided an
excellent general FAQ for Garou, (which I used quite a bit when learning the
game) but also for letting me borrow choice bits from his faq to put into
mine.  (The background, translations, and quick move list)

As far as I know, a copy of his faq can be found at the following locations:

Gamefaqs                                                 www.gamefaqs.com
About.com Guide to Video Game Strategies           vgstrategies.about.com
Under the Neo Geo Moon                      welcome.to/undertheneogeomoon
King Of Fighters Millennium                      welcome.to/kofmillennium

* Thanks to Drahktar for being someone to test strategies out against. ^_^

* Thanks to Shih Tzu and Jellisky, for providing positive reinforcement.

* Greetz to Mainframe and Syntax!!!

Unpublished work Copyright 2000 Chris Cornell

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