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Kuma by abrar
Version: 1.1 | Updated: 10/08/99
Friday, October 08, 1999 Kuma: Call of the Wild - a Strategy guide for Tekken Tag Tournament Version 1.1 By abrar (e-mail- email@example.com) INSIDE TEKKEN - http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Bridge/2700 ...................................................................... -Contents- 1) Legal Matters 2) Author's note 3) Conventions 4) Essence of Kuma 5) Movelist 6) Move Analysis 7) Combos and Juggles 8) General Strategies - Offense - Defense - Spacing - Recovery - Tagging (Character switch) 9) Advanced Strategies - Poking - Custom strings - Keep-out gameplay - Dominating the game - Vs Character Strategy - Okizeme 10)Tricks of the Bear 11)Ideal tag-team partner? 12)Summary 13)Tekken resources 14)Credits ................................................................................ ================= 1) LEGAL MATTERS ================= This strategy guide is meant to be a free for all the Tekken players worldwide and you may freely distribute this document without any changes so long as it is for personal use. Basically this whole text document is (C) 1999, 2000 abrar. And please, if you are going to use any information in this guide (in any form) for making a FAQ of your own, please credit me appropriately. Plagiarism is a serious issue when it comes to online game faqs (take note Fighters.Net), not to mention ethically wrong. If I ever get to know of any wrong doing concerning my guide, I will take legal action accordingly (Yeah Right !!!!). Well, atleast I'll make sure that the culprits and all their publications will be boycotted by INSIDE TEKKEN and all other associated websites. The facts expressed in this guide belong to everybody, the opinions belong to me, the distinction is yours to draw..... ................................................................................ ================= 2) AUTHOR'S NOTE ================= Finally I have set out on my quest, to illuminate Tekken players worldwide on the character that is KUMA. If you were around during the Tekken 3 days, you might remember that my Tekken 3 FAQ on Kuma (Honey to da bear) was the only legitimate FAQ on this ultimate beast of the Tekken series. Granted that it was small (just 9K), but still it gave you all the tools to be a good player of kuma. And over the months after its release, I received countless (OK, OK just hundreds) of e-mails requesting me to further deepen my FAQ. But as the release of Tekken Tag Tournament (TTT) was nearing, I was not interested in doing any updates for my Tekken 3 FAQ and frankly, I was not expecting Kuma/Panda to be in TTT at all (after seeing Panda in a cage in Ling's stage). But lo and behold NAMCO did it again and Kuma/Panda got to be in TTT after all. In the online Tekken community, players will know me as the webmaster of INSIDE TEKKEN, a site that started slow and has now gained a pretty good status online as a good source of TTT info and ofcourse the Forum which simply exploded with visitors as soon as it opened. I'm thankful to all the members who frequent my site and also contribute articles and strategy columns on TTT, I could not have made my site without you all. My site, INSIDE TEKKEN will always host this guide among other exclusive Tekken FAQS, so the latest version can always be found at my site. Lastly, all the info provided in this guide applies to Panda as well. ............................................................................... =============== 3) CONVENTIONS =============== These are the conventions used throughout this FAQ and these are recognised as the general commands used in discussions regarding TTT between online Tekken players. I think this convention was first formulated by Tragic, webmaster of Tekken.net and I have also added a couple of my own commands that I use. -commands- f - tap forward F - hold forward b - tap back B - hold back u - tap up U - hold up d - tap down D - hold down d/f - tap down+forward D/F - hold down+forward d/b - tap down+back D/B - hold down+back u/f - tap up+forward U/F - hold up+forward u/b - tap up+back U/B - hold up+back 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) Button Layout--> (1) (2) (5) (3) (4) 1 = left punch 2 = right punch 3 = left kick 4 = right kick 5 = tag button Con: * -Hold the movement shown before the asterisk till the end of the string. Con: 315deg - f,d/f,d,d/b,b,u/b,u,u/f Con: ~ -commands after this sign is done immediately before/after each other. Con: n -Neutral position. There should be no joystick motion for about 1/2 second. Con: + -When commands on either side have to pressed together. -Abbreviations- GS - Guard Stun Tag- Can tag if last hit connects TTT- Tekken tag tournament FC - Full crouch SS - Sidestep SSL- Sidestep left SSR- Sidestep right WS - While standing (rising from crouch) var- variable BT - Kuma has his back to opponent CH - Counter hit -Hit ranges- L - Low hit m - Mid hit h - High hit SM- Special mid hit ! - unblockable G - ground hit ............................................................................... =================== 4) ESSENCE OF KUMA =================== kuma is a beast (obviously) and should be played like one. From that I mean, being aggressive no matter who you are playing and which character you are facing. Aggressiveness can be done both ways- on offense and defense. This is very important to playing as Kuma because if you simply constantly block, opponents will take advantage of their superior speed to make your Kuma a punching bag in no time at all. NAMCO has now made Kuma more unique and beast- like by the addition of the Hunting Bear stance which will be discussed later. Let us not forget the main element that most of us play this game for which is FUN. If you are looking for fun and at the same time a challenge, then playing Kuma is definitely for you. Basically, if you use Kuma and win against good competition, the message you are sending across is that "You suck", albeit unintentionally. Another aspect to this fun element of Kuma is his winning stances and the massive variety of his tag team opening sequences. The opening sequences are VERY funny and get any match off to a good relaxed start with you as the competitor in the best frame of mind. Kuma is the least chosen player in any arcade and thats a fact. "Why??" you ask me. Well firstly because quite a lot of his moves resembled those of Gun-Jack and so people tended to lean more in favour of choosing someone from the Jack family. Secondly, beginner players chose Kuma and do all the common moves like 1,1 or 1,2 which are different in characteristics to Kuma. Like for example, with Jin, his 1,1 is a fast two-jab straight string but in Kuma, the 1,1 is actually a slow wide-arc swipe. And due to this discrepancy in moves, people who may have felt like playing Kuma instead revert back to their old characters like law and Paul, who in my opinion are not that hard to master. I personally believe that Kuma can be played at very high level to perfection, by using Kuma in a way that I will try to outline in this guide. No matter where you are on the Tekken player hierarchy - whether it be advanced or beginner- i'm sure by applying the techniques and advice here, you will certainly enjoy your kuma playing experience. ....................................................................... ============= 5) MOVELIST ============= Here is the complete official movelist for Kuma/Panda with commands, damage and hit levels in TTT, adapted from TTT online. If something is incorrect or if I have missed out something, please e-mail me about it. Move name Command Level Damage Note Bear Hammer 1,1,1 hhm 18,15,18 #1 G-Clef cannon f+1,1,1~5 hmm 10,8,14 tag Rushing uppercut low d/f+1,2,1,2 mmmm 10,15,10,15 Hammer rush 1 high FC+1,1,1,2,F+1 LLmmh 12,8,12,12,12 Hammer rush 1 mid FC+1,1,1,2,D/F+1 LLmmm 12,8,12,12,15 Hammer rush 1 low FC+1,1,1,2,D+1 LLmmL 12,8,12,12,8 Hammer rush 2 high FC,D/F+1,2,F+1 mmh 15,12,12 Hammer rush 2 low FC,D/F+1,2,D+1 mmL 15,12,8 Hammer rush 3 high FC,D/F+2,F+1 mh 15,12 Hammer rush 3 mid FC,D/F+2,F+2 mm 15,15 Hammer rush 3 low FC,D/F+2,D+1 mL 15,8 Triple uppercut FC,D/F*+1,2,1 mmm 15,12,15 Windmill punches FC,D/F+1,2,1,2 mmmh 12,15,15,30 Uppercut,Grizzly claw WS+1,2 mm 12,27 #2 Jab elbow smash 2,1,2 hmm 12,21,20 #3 Demon uppercut f,f+2~5 m 22 tag Rushing uppercut R D/F*+2,1,2,1 mmmm 10,15,12,15 Grizzly Claw b,d/b,d,D/F+2 m 40 Double hammer 1+2,1+2 mm 21,17 Overhead smash hunting 1+2,F m 21,stance #4 Double Claw ff or F+1+2 m 25 Bear Headbutt d/f+1+2 m 20 GS Big bear attack u/f+1+2 m 28 Deadly Claw B+1+2 ! 43 -hunting ,3+4 _ _ -Rolling bear 315deg+hold U/F m 40 Rising double hammer WS+1+2,1+2 mm 21,17 #5 Pan-cake press u/f+3+4 m 26 #6 Salmon hunter b,f+2+3 L 60 Dance with me d+4 GG 20,60 #7 You're Welcome 1+3+4 _ _ taunt Sit (Stance) d+3+4 _ _ Demon back-hand b+2 m ? #8 Super-charger 1+2+3+4 _ _ #9 Hunting bear(Stance) 3+4 _ _ Bear fart b,b+2+3+4 ! ? Standing right-kick 4 h ? #10 #1 = 2nd hit staggers when blocked. #2 = The grizzly claw after the uppercut is delayable. #3 = 2nd hit staggers when blocked and Kuma can tag after 3rd hit connects. #4 = Holding forward after the smash will end Kuma in Hunting stance. #5 = You can hold forward to end in Hunting stance after the 2nd hit. #6 = Ends in the Sit stance. #7 = Can only be done when the opponent is downed (grounded). #8 = This move can only be done with Heihachi on Kuma's team. #9 = Makes the first subsequent attack a counterhit and Kuma is unable to guard during charge up. #10= This kick juggles on counter-hit. -Throws- Throw name Command Throw-type Damage Escape Bear's bite 1+3 front 40 1 Bear hug 2+4 front 35 2 Choke slam 1+3 or 2+4 left 50 1 Bear slam 1+3 or 2+4 right 40 2 Reverse throw 1+3 or 2+4 BT var var Swing swung 1+3 or 2+4 back 70 none Rock 'n' roll circus HCB,F+1+2 front 60 1+2 Head butt f,F+1+4 front 60 1+2 NOTE: - The reverse throw is done when Kuma has his back to the opponent and he turns around after throw attempt. The damage and escape depends on the type of throw i.e. on the part with which you catch the opponent. - The Rock 'n' roll circus throw enables you to tag after its execution. -Hunting Bear Stance moves- Kuma can go into hunting stance by 3+4 (in standing, while crouching or lying on face). Move name Command Level Damage Note Bear Claw left 1 L 10 #11 Double bear claw 1,2 LL 10,10 Bear Claw right 2 L 16 Bear Fling 1+2 m 24 #12,tag Mauling bear throw f+1+2 _ 40 #13 Bear tackle 3+4 SM 21 Hunting lunge F or B _ _ movement #11 = Kuma remains in hunting after a Left bear claw. #12 = Can tag after bear fling and the damage increases to 28 pts. #13 = In order for this throw to connect, it must be a very close hit. -Sit Stance moves- Kuma enters Sit stance by d+3+4 or by a pancake press (u/f+3+4). Kuma can roll forward and backward from Sit stance. There are only two move strings from here: - 1,2,1,2 - 2,1,2,1 All the above hits are low and each hit does 10pts damage. ....................................................................... ================= 6) MOVE ANALYSIS ================= In this section, I will analyse only those moves that I deem worthy and effective and ofcourse all his new moves that he has acquired in TTT. Hence, not all the moves from the movelist above will be analysed. Some unconventional moves like CH 4 will also be discussed. I think it's best to use a visual analogue scale(VAS) to rate the moves on the basis of their usefulness and strength. The rating used in a VAS is from 1 to 10, where 1 is least useful and 10 is most useful (or main attack) in the arsenal. VAS = 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 ----------------------------------------------------------------------- G-Clef cannon (f+1,1,1) VAS rating = 8 This is arguably a very good move in Kuma's arsenal. The main reason for that is the high speed of its first part- the f+1 and good recovery of the whole string. This move has become more significant in TTT due to the tag feature as after the last hit connects, Kuma can tag. This allows for Kuma's tag partner to come in and finish the combo. This depletes your opponent's red bar which is a great advantage in TTT. This string juggles even on normal hit although its best to use it on counter-hit (CH). For getting the best use out of this string, watch for what your opponent does generally when fighting. Does he/she attack as soon as the round starts??? OR do they attack after your poke is blocked ? If the answer is "Yes" to both the questions, then f+1,1,1 is the string for you. If the opponent has a habit of attacking you as soon as the announcer yells "Fight", then you should stick in a f+1,1,1 which will guarantee a CH juggle everytime. It is also advisable sometimes to stop the string after f+1 if you are facing a character with reversal or punch parry. Stopping at f+1 also yields other benifits such as guaranteed hits. In close, f+1 on CH guarantees a f+2 or a d+1 for two hit combos. A single f+1 is also the best hit to prolong a juggle for Kuma. The best analogy that I can give is- think of Kuma's f+1 as a standard left punch done differently. Lastly, this f+1,1,1 string is one of the easiest ones to do when Kuma tags in after his partner launches an opponent. So overall, I think this move deserves it's 8/10 VAS rating. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Uppercut to Grizzly Claw (WS+1,2) VAS rating = 7 In Tekken 3, I would have given this move a VAS score of 10 as back then, the two hits still comboed when you delayed the grizzly claw and you could wait to see if the opponent was launched and only then input the 2. But now in TTT, it has been toned down. The WS+1,2 only combos when you do it without the delay after WS+1. This is a big set-back for Kuma, as now you have to take the risk of executing the whole move for big damage OR just do the WS+1 and continue with other weaker juggle options. But it is still a good launcher due to it's explosive speed. When setting up this string, remember that on some occasions even when Kuma is VERY close to the opponent, your WS+1 may miss entirely. Setting up this string will be discussed in more detail in the Strategy section. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Double Claw (ff or F+1+2) VAS rating = 10 Yes, I know I gave it the highest rating and I'll explain why in a moment. Firstly a new change to this move. It now hits high instead of mid. But that really does not change it's usefulness at all. Because this move is used generally only when the opponent is not expecting it and so it hits anyway- high or mid doesn't matter. Even though the Double claw WAS a mid hit in Tekken 3, it still whiffed on ocassion especially during the final frames of an opponents recovering 3 kick. So a change to a high hit won't alter anything in your gameplay, as long as it's used wisely. In most cases, when your opponent whiffs a move (whether fast or slow recovery), Kuma's best strike option is his double claw. An added advantage of this move is that it can also be done after a short dash and hence it's very hard for opponents to guess its range. It acts like a forward dash buffer and gives you a little more versatility which is essential to any character in the game and something which Kuma definitely deserves to have. One of the best uses of a Double claw is as a juggle ender. It increases the damage of a juggle significantly and is the best option after a f+1 in juggles. The Double claw also gives Kuma a psychological edge over the opponent and it's the ultimate intimidatory move in Tekken in my opinion. It also gives some guaranteed hits when it connects even on a normal hit which will be discussed in the "Tricks of the Bear" section. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Jab Elbow Smash (2,1,2) VAS rating = 9 This is a good string which you will come to rely on very much when playing TTT at high level. The first hit is high but incredibly fast, and in fact faster than the same left jab which most characters have. This is, what I call an "alternate" poke string. Because most characters have 1,2 jab strings BUT both hits are high even though fast. BUT with Kuma, his 2,1 part of the above move is just as fast with the added advantage of the second punch being a mid hit. So the opponent is forced to block the whole string or take damage at some point. In otherwords, the whole string cannot be ducked at all. Another thing to keep in mind is that the first 2 jab can also be done by f+2, which increases the damage by atleast 6pts and moves Kuma forward making it a good forward momentum poke. And Oh yeah, did you read the little note beside this move in the movelist above??? It says that the second hit staggers when blocked and you can tag juggle on the 3rd hit. That's true and in my opinion one of the biggest advantages that Kuma has. Block stagger puts the opponent under pressure and is a great offensive tactic against any player - be it masher or expert. At this point, the game is fairly new and I have not uncovered any guaranteed follow ups to this block stagger yet. But it definitely gives your Kuma the upper-hand for a short while and you can make the opponent guess as to which move you will pull next. Alternating between a throw and a mid hit is a good option. Also to not forget the opportunity the stagger may give you to into Kuma's animal stance uncontested. At any rate, this move is fairly safe when done right and very useful, so it thoroughly deserves its VAS rating of 9 out of 10. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Demon Uppercut (f,f+2) VAS rating = 9 Most people will agree with me when I say that this move is Kuma's trademark move. It is a very high launcher which makes it perfect for big damage tag juggles. It seems that this move has gained some form of priority in TTT. It still whiffs for no reason like it did in Tekken 3. BUT I guess the slight improvement in the overall gameplay speed of TTT makes this move more worthwhile to use. Many people especially beginner Kuma players will ask , "How do I set this move up so it'll hit everytime??" Well there is no definite answer to that question but some tactics regarding set-ups for this move will be discussed in detail in the Advanced Strategy section below. One other factor about this move is that it can be done from a crouching position as well and it comes out just as fast. So as soon as you enter crouch you can quickly tap forward twice to pull out the Demon uppercut. This comes in handy quite a lot and makes the move connect more often and more unexpectedly for the opponent (well I guess I just answered the question from the last paragraph). The Demon uppercut is also guaranteed after particular moves like Kuma's F+1+2 Double Claw (SEE "Tricks of the Bear" section). ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Overhead Smash (1+2) VAS rating = 7 Overhead smash has various extensions as you would have seen from the movelist. The most recent addition is the ability to go into kuma's Hunting Bear stance by holding forward after its execution. It also makes a very good okizeme tool as it also hits grounded opponents. The Overhead Smash is guaranteed after a Double Claw (F+1+2) connects. But this move still gets a VAS rating of 7 from me, mainly because apart from the situations mentioned above, there is hardly much use of it. Also it can be seen coming and reversed by characters like Jin or punch parried by Law or Bryan. So you cannot simply pull it out randomly, it has to have a purpose and should be assured to hit. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Grizzly Claw (b,d/b,d,D/F+2) VAS rating = 8 I like this move quite a bit mainly because of the ease of it's execution on the arcade stick. It's one of the few power hits that Kuma has and does big damage at 40pts. This move comes out fast and one of it's best uses so far is to hit your opponent's character that tags in. And as in Tekken 3, it still hits a forward-backward and tech rolling opponent. It's a great move to use when you have lured the opponent to attack you and as they rush towards you, it'll slam the opponent bad. Kuma ducks downward and back a little when performing this move, an added bonus to hopefully evade some attacks. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Hammer Rush 1 - first two hits (FC+1,1) VAS rating = 8 As any experienced tekken player will tell you, mixing up your attacks between high, mid and low is very important to the over-all effectiveness of all your strategies. And this move, the first two hits of Hammer Rush 1 hit low and give you this alternative. They are of high priority once Kuma assumes the Full- Crouch position. I like to use them anywhere I can in poke patterns and it also helps to set up while standing attacks. They account for the little tick damage which really adds up by the end of the match. A good feature of this move is that it renders the opponent incapable of attacking you for a short time when it hits kinda like a stun. A safe way to do this string is by entering full-crouch via the universal d+1 poke. It's great to use when at close to medium range from the opponent. DO NOT under any circumstances continue beyond the two low hits, because additional hits are mid-hitting and slow, making them susceptible to reversal or punch parry. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Bear Headbutt (d/f+1+2) VAS rating = 9 This is one of several new moves for Kuma in TTT. When it connects, it knocks down the opponent to their knees kinda like Jin's f+2. Otherwise when blocked by opponent, it causes guard stun and gives you the advantage for the next move. Many opponents, mainly beginner players will not know how to block it - because it looks like it hits low when it's actually a mid-hitting move. The speed and ease of execution and its relative safety when blocked gets a VAS rating of 9 from me. This headbutt is also handy as Okizeme and Juggle ender. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Big Bear Attack (u/f+1+2) VAS rating = 6 Another stand alone new move for Kuma. The animation looks kinda but not quite like a belly flop, but let's stick with the official names, shall we. This in my opinion is the most useless addition to kuma's arsenal. The reason being it's slow recovery time which leaves you totally helpless if your opponents block it. So far, the proven use for it, is in juggles, which start off by his Demon uppercut (f,f+2) OR Bear fling from Hunting Stance. So if you want to risk it, it's best used after immaculate multi-level set-ups invloving his f+1 and d+1. This move is definitely not one to be pulled out at random. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Demon Back-hand (b+2)- only with Heihachi VAS rating = 7 This is a team specific move for Kuma, only done with Heihachi as tag team partner. The animation is similar to Heihachi's b+2 back-hand but this Kuma version is faster and knocks the opponent far away. When using Heihachi as you partner, this is what you should be setting up the opponent for. It can be easily chickened, something to keep in mind when facing a reversal happy player. The exact damage for the back-hand is unknown at this stage but judging by what you see on the screen, it's big enough to be classed as a power move. Beauty of this move is that you can set it up with Kuma's f+1 and I believe the back-hand may be guaranteed after a f+1 on counter-hit BUT I cannot be 100% sure at this early stage of the game. Look for future updates to this guide for more info regarding this move. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Salmon Hunter (b,f+2+3) VAS rating = 7 The Salmon hunter is another of Kuma's power moves. If you perform it immediately after a succesful Demon uppercut launch, it is guaranteed to hit but it's not a true combo (I dunno why). Although some may claim that it can be blocked by tech-rolling into crouch, but that's not true. There is a possibility of the opponent escaping by tagging out but if you time it to the exact frame when they touch the ground, it will surely hit. This move also hits grounded opponents and so very effective as okizeme. At 60pts damage, it's worth pulling it out whenever you get the chance but beware of the NEW universal low parry. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Pancake Press (u/f+3+4) VAS rating = 7 This move is the safest move to enter the Sit stance (when it misses). Also it's a ground hit which it has to be if a 210Kg bear smashing his butt on top of you (hehe). I hardly ever use this move when playing against good players as they can counter Kuma in mid air and do small juggles. Again it's best use is in Okizeme, if it connects Kuma's rolls out of safety otherwise I suggest you immediately go into his sitting punches (1,2,1,2 or 2,1,2,1). ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Bear Fart (b,b+2+3+4) VAS rating = 8 For a die hard fan of Kuma like me, this move is worshipped more than anything. It causes instant death if the opponent tries to attack you once it's initiated. Also what can be more humiliating than getting beaten by a fart. I suggest that you never try this against good players though, as they will simply wait you out and then continue as if nothing happened. If you have a round or two to spare, then it's your moral obligation to perform this bear ritual, heh. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- You're Welcome (1+3+4) VAS rating = 9 This is the ultimate taunt in Tekken. It's very funny from your point of view and VERY annoying from your opponent's point of view. Kuma dances on tip toes backwards away from the opponent. Hence, it keeps you safe from any retaliation from the opponent. You can do this after almost any juggle. During the whole time of it's animation, Kuma has the ability to perform any move instantly if need be. So good players will never rush you when Kuma is in this taunt animation. But if you get rushed, pull out the Double Claw (F+1+2) which breaks the taunt animation instantly and it will hit, because the opponent is unablle to guard during a forward dash. You should do this taunt atleast once a match to obtain some psychological advantage. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Supercharger (1+2+3+4) VAS rating = 8 This a common move for all characters. When charged, the first hit that your opponent fails to block will be treated as a counter hit (CH) and the charge will wear off instantly. When Kuma is charged, if your opponent manages to guard your attack, opponent will incur guard damage. BUT Kuma is unable to guard during charge up and also if the opponent hits Kuma, the first hit is treated as a CH. Best way to safely supercharge is immediately after a juggle that leaves the opponent far away. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Standing right kick (4 or f+4) VAS rating = 10 This is the standard move that most characters have but only a few have the advantage of getting juggles of a CH 4 like Law, King and Kuma. Kuma's CH 4 lets you do small juggles, the simplest one being CH 4,F+1+2. This small juggle is all you need to do to get decent damage off a CH 4 with Kuma. The range of Kuma's standing right kick is the smallest among all the characters and hence it's not any good to stick in a standing 4 kick after pushing the opponent away with moves like f+1 and d+1 as it will miss entirely. It's best used when you anticipate an attack from the opponent, in which case you will be assured of a CH. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Right uppercut (d/f+2) VAS rating = 9 This is an unconventional move in Kuma's arsenal. The right uppercut is a good move to use when you need to juggle the opponent in a hurry and when in close. It comes out fast and actually allows decent damage juggles. It serves it's purpose well when used in a sound poking pattern with a good custom string. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Hopkick (u/f+4) VAS rating = 8 Many players ignore Kuma's hopkick, I don't know why. It has the same priority as all good hopkicks in TTT like with Law and King. The only area in which it lacks something is range. But when used unexpectedly, it works the same as any hopkick. It can also be done instantly out of full-crouch. Also I feel that in TTT, this move somehow has more priority and range and seems to hit more often now. It is especially good to do when your opponent tech-rolls crouching. Mixing it up with a throw ocassionally yields good results. Check the juggles section for some juggles off Kuma's hopkick. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Hunting Bear stance moves (done after 3+4) (a) Bear Claw left ( 1 ) VAS rating = 9 This move is the fastest one out of the Hunting Bear Stance and it leaves Kuma in the stance afterwards as well. So this is the one to use if you want to do quick damage and stay in Hunting Stance. (b) Bear Claw right ( 2 ) VAS rating = 6 This right version of the Bear claw does more damage but is significantly slower than the Left Bear Claw. Also it takes you out of the Hunting Bear stance once you execute the move. Don't use it when you have better options like the ones below. (c) Double Bear Claw (1,2) VAS rating = 8 This move is simply both the above moves combined into one, which makes it handy if you want a quick 20 pts damage while in the stance. Kuma comes out of the stance after this move as well. (d) Bear Fling (1+2) VAS rating = 10 This one is a juggle starter from the Hunting Bear Stance. It leads to big damage tag juggles and the damage actually increases by 4pts if you tag with Fling. So it is advisable to tag with it any chance you get esppecially of you are in a tough match. Sometimes doing an extra 4pts of damage can mean the difference between winning and loosing. (e) Mauling Bear throw (f+1+2) VAS rating = 7 In order for this throw to connect, the hit must be very deep or in other words your Kuma and your opponent's character needs to be very close together. The damage is very decent (40pts) indeed for a front throw, so it's worth the risk once in a while. (f) Bear Tackle (3+4) VAS rating = 7 A big disadvantage of this move is that it hits special-mid which makes it easy for the opponent to block either standing or crouching. Hence it's very hard to set up in poke patterns. It's best used in some juggles after the f,f+2 or after the B+1+2 unblockable for some guaranteed damage. It also is very useful as okizeme after you knock down the opponent. Stay clear of this tackle other than that, as it leaves Kuma vulnerable if blocked. (g) Hunting lunge (F or B) VAS rating = 8 This is simply a special movement done from the Hunting Bear stance. It is very good to get in and out of attacking range of your opponent as it is practically a lunge and NOT a crawl like some other movelists describe it. This is what makes Kuma more versatile when in the stance. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Bear Hug (2+4) and Bear's bite (1+3) Throws VAS rating = 9 These are Kuma's standard front throws. Alternating both these throws when playing will make it hard for the opponent to escape it on reaction. I prefer the Bear Hug throw as it leaves your opponent close after the throw and is helful if you want to go for enhanced Okizeme options. Kuma's throw range is bigger than what most characters have and that is something to think about when playing. Usually when opponents are in the d+1 jab range, they are ready to counter or escape throws at any time BUT Kuma's bigger throw range will make it harder to guess what range is "safe" for them. For style points, go for the Rock'n'Roll Circus throw (HCB,F+1+2), it looks cool and also has the advantage of a two button escape i.e. harder for the opponent to escape. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- So far from experience, I can say that the moves analysed above are the only ones that are worthy to use against high-level competition. All other moves are either too slow or too risky in terms of reversal and parrys. That does not mean that you cannot use the other moves in the movelist. I'll just leave that to you and you will understand soon what I mean. ............................................................................. ====================== 7) COMBOS AND JUGGLES ====================== Here I shall try my best to list as many combos as possible for the popular juggle starters. It's best to practise and stick with one basic high damaging juggle from each juggle-starter. I have every intention to keep adding to this section as soon as I get some more imformation. If you have a combo or juggle that you would like to share, please e-mail it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and i'll include it in future revisions of this guide. Demon uppercut Juggles - f,f+2,U/F,n,4,f+1,F+1+2 - f,f+2,U/F,n,4,f+1,1+2 - f,f+2,u/f+1+2,f+1,1,1 - f,f+2,b,d/b,d,D/F+2 - f,f+2,f,f+2,f+1,1,1 - f,f+2,f,f+2,f+1,f,f+2 - f,f+2,2,1,2 - f,f+2,f+1,1,1 - f,f+2,f+2,f+2,F+1+2 - b,F+2+3 (not a true combo) WS+1 uppercut Juggles - WS+1,2 - WS+1,f+1,f+2 - WS+1,f+1,F+1+2 - WS+1,f+2,F+1+2 Hopkick Juggles - u/f+4,f+1,f+1,F+1+2 - u/f+4,4,f+1,F+1+2 - u/f+4,f+1,1,1 - (BT)u/f+4,f+1,f+1,f,f+2 Right uppercut Juggles - d/f+2,f+2,f+2 - d/f+2,f+1,F+1+2 WS Hammer Juggles - WS+1+2,f+1,F+1+2 - WS+1+2,f+1,f+1,F+1+2 WS+2(CH) Juggles - WS+2(CH),f+1,F+1+2 CH 4 Juggles - CH 4,F+1+2 - CH 4,f+1,F+1+2(hard) Bear Fling Juggles (done from Hunting Bear Stance)- none are known at this moment. ............................................................................ ====================== 8) GENERAL STRATEGIES ====================== ::::::::::: : OFFENSE : ::::::::::: In this section, i'll try to outline the basics of offense with Kuma to lay the groundwork for the Advanced Strategy section. Kuma in my opinion should be played as an offensive character. That is not to say that you can't play defensively with him. If you can duck a large amount of your opponent's high attacks, escape all throws on reaction and be able to block multi-level attacks, then there is no reason why you should not play defensive. But from experience I can tell you that it's harder for Kuma to do all that I described just before, mainly due to his big size and limited arsenal of close range moves. Also Kuma does not have a reversal, only the universal low parry. Good players using other characters like Law and King will force Kuma to block in close-range combat and will then easily go on to throw you or perform a high damage juggle. To avoid this go on the offense early in the match and NEVER let the opponent inside throw range. Use Kuma's unconventional stand-alone moves to attack the opponent repeatedly. Everything in your offense should revolve around Kuma's f+1, f+2 and d+1 moves especially when doing all out offense. These are the key to set up Kuma's high power moves like his Demon uppercut launcher and Double Claw (F+1+2). Another important element of offense is throwing. Some players consider throwing as a cheap tactic, but it's not cheap at all as almost all of them can be escaped or even countered in some way. Kuma has an added advantage of superior throw range as I had described earlier. In some instances if your opponent attacks at the beginning of a round, Kuma doesn't even have to move forward to throw them, all you do is tap either 1+3 or 2+4 to throw as soon as the round starts. But this only works when the opponent tries to attack as a round starts. Kuma's Bear Hug throw has another rare opportunity to deal some okizeme (hitting a grounded opponent) to the opponent. Offense is also done by Poking and the use of Custom Strings which will be discussed in the Advanced Strategy section. ::::::::::: : DEFENSE : ::::::::::: When it comes to defense, your gameplay must be multi-faceted. That means employ everything and anything you can, to defend yourself. And also be methodical. Never block something that you can counter, interrupt or Low parry. Other ways to defend are by sidestepping, chicken buffers and good spacing between you and the opponent. Let us now examine each of the mentioned defensive methods in relation to Kuma in TTT. |Interrupting (Countering)| In the earlier games of the Tekken series like Tekken 2, the most common way of countering something used to a reversal. But since Kuma has never had a reversal in Tekken, he will have to rely on more simple but effective methods to counter something. Which leads us to Interrupting. Almost every character has a few moves that serve as good interrupters which basically put an end to the opponent's offense at the moment that they are performed. Interrupts are based on the concept of "fighting fire with fire" or in other words, "the best form of defense is offense". Luckily Kuma has all the basic interrupts or anti-pokes in his arsenal like d+1, d+4, d/f+4 and f+1. Below i'll try to set a few common scenarios of what is best to do for specific attacks. At mid to long range, opponents using characters like Jin or Law may run up and do poke mix-ups like 1,2,throw or 1,2,juggle starter. Now there are several options with Kuma to interrupt them. Before they come within 1,2 range, you can d+4 them. Otherwise hopkick (u/f+4) them if you see a significant opening in their attack. When the opponent comes within that 1,2 range best option is to f+1 them or do the Standing right kick which will catch them on counter-hit if they start to 1,2 you. As it may happen, the opponent may hit you with his 1,2s or you may have to block them, in that case f+1 them right back or try a d+1 which is the safest option after blocking anything as it'll duck subsequent high attacks and stop mid attacks from the opponent. There are other things that opponents do sometimes like run-up and 4s in the hope of catching Kuma with a CH 4. Characters that lure Kuma with this trick are mainly Law and King, who can perform small juggles off CH 4s. Kuma's most lucrative counter for them is to try to pull off his WS+1,2. You can do this either by tapping d/f, then 1,2 OR by D,WS+1,2. Timing for this is precise and they are risky. Another defensive manoever for Kuma is to back dash a bit to make the opponent's 4 miss and then throw them immediately. Another tactic that opponents using Jin and Bryan do, is to get in close range for a d+1 attempt to get off some of their powerful WS launchers for big damage juggles. This is the most dangerous form of attack for your Kuma to deal with. The most important counter that you can do is to not let them into close range by using kuma's d/f+4 ,4 or f+1. But by chance if they manage to get close enough to d+1 your Kuma, try to block the d+1 and d+1 them right back if you block it standing OR WS+4 them if you block their d+1 ducking. Lastly there is the scenario of an opponent playing Keep-away by using moves like d/f+4 (with Yoshi) or d/f+1 (with Jin). You would think that this would be more of an easy situation for Kuma, and that you can just stay back and wait for the opponent to make a mistake. But it doesn't work that way, as your Kuma cannot attack and will be kept in a specific range by your opponent's small moves. This is where, you have to somehow counter those keep-out moves. You can fake a movement by dasing forward and stopping early to make their move whiff and then throw. Take advantage of the recovery time between moves by dashing close to opponent to attack inbetween two keep-out pokes. Countering this form of fighting style is based mostly on which character your Kuma is facing and what moves are being used to keep Kuma out. I would like to give one last piece of advice regarding Interrupting. When tempted to "fight fire with fire", remember that the Fire Department usually uses water. By that I mean, do NOT go overboard with interrupting as a mistimed interrupt does more damage to you than to the opponent. The trick in TTT is to know when to utilise the other basic defensive options like standard blocking, parrying and sidestepping. And that only comes from experience. |Sidestepping| Sidestepping was introduced in a big way in Tekken 3 with all characters being able to sidestep(SS). Sidestepping is all the more important in TTT as the stages are smaller and the action is focussed much more closely. From personal experience, I can say that almost every move in the game can be sidestepped depending on when you start the sidestepping animation. Sidestepping is a way of completely avoiding the opponent's attacks which gives you temporary advantage for the next move. Sidestep is performed by tapping up or down on the joystick to move into the background or foreground respectively. The main attack to strive for after a successful sidestep is the sidethrow. The sidethrows are more damaging generally than standard front throws in most characters especially Kuma. Sidestepping can be of two kinds - random and purposeful. Random sidestepping is just what the name suggests. You sidestep anytime you want in any direction, the main aim being to confuse your opponent. The opponent will be a little hesitant to attack as there is a high probability of their attack missing entirely. On the other hand, purposeful sidestepping uses the concept of perfectly timed sidesteps to avoid the opponent's attack and go for a specific move like kuma's F+1+2 Double Claw. This is largely based on anticipation that your opponent will attack at that given time. Sidestepping is an art that most kuma players should master as it comes in handy from time to time. There are some other different methods to perform a sidestep other than the ones mentioned above. One very effective way is by tapping up or down, then tap backwards and tap up or down again. This way Kuma avoids all incoming attacks (doing an almost 180 degree movement) and also has the option of stopping at the second joystick motion to maybe attack if you wish. Another useful sidestepping tactic is by going into kuma's WS+1,2 after a sidestep. It avoids any mid or low incoming attacks by the sidestep and then ducks high attacks by the WS+1,2. This is effective as many characters use their standard 1,1 or 1,2 high jabs to stop you from sidestepping BUT they will all miss in this case. |Chicken Buffering| I hope you are familiar with the concept of buffering a chicken. No, i'm not talking about leaving some room for the roast chicken someone is making you. Buffering a chicken means inputting a command after a specific move so that if it gets reversed, the chicken will counter that reversal and leave you safe. So it's kinda like a reversal for a reversal. Players are always ready to play a reversal game against Kuma when using characters like Jin and Paul. They know that kuma is all arms in all his main attacks and they know what to expect. So buffering a chicken after some of Kuma's main moves will leave you safe, not to mention the peace of mind it gives. To buffer a chicken, you do a f+1+3 after a left limb attack OR a f+2+4 after a right limb attack. Below are some of Kuma's main moves that can be chickened effectively - f+1 d/f+2 f+2 F+1+2 (chicken with f+2+4) 1+2 (chicken with f+1+3) d/f+4 WS+1 WS+1+2 (chicken with f+2+4) f,f+2 WS+4 There is no need to chicken-buffer when facing characters that have no reversals. Basically use the chicken buffer when you feel that your attack might be reversed somehow. ::::::::::: : Spacing : ::::::::::: Spacing or zoning is another concept which was touched slightly when I was talking about Interrupting and Sidestepping in previous sections. The basic meaning is positioning. There are three main spacing zones when talking about Kuma - close, medium and long range zones. Close range is the range which is most threatening to Kuma and you should never be in this range unless you are on full-blown offense. It is in this range that your opponent is able to get d+1 attempts and throws. Use all your interrupts and sidestep tactics to stay at the border of this range most of the time. Medium range is the zone where Kuma is the most effective whether it be offense or defense. Many of his moves like F+1+2 or f,f+2 require a bit of room to initiate properly and staying at medium range is good for that purpose. Think of medium range as a forward dash (f,f) away from the opponent. Many of Kuma's attacks like f+1, f+2 and d+1 can be used to keep opponent at medium range. It is also at this range that Kuma's FC+1,1 arre effective as low attacks. Long range is self-explanatory. It is simply that range where the normal pokes would not connect and running is made possible by f,f,f. At this range Kuma is safe from most attacks but it also gives rise to the problem of what to do if the opponent decides to attack suddenly. At this range Kuma has the option to attack with a running slash kick (f,f,f+3) which does guard-stun when blocked and brings your Kuma into the Medium range. Spacing is all about finding your own "comfort zone" when fighting. It utilises sidesteps as well depending on what your scenario and strategy is. As for example, if your opponent is Paul and he likes to do a lot of linear attacks, then your most preferable comfort zone as Kuma would be Medium range with sidestepping. That will always leave you at an angle in relation to Paul and most of his linear moves will inevitably miss leaving you to do some damage after the miss. Experiment a lot with spacing when fighting, and find out what works best for you in different situations. :::::::::::: : Recovery : :::::::::::: Recovery is one of the most fundamental aspects of any fighting game. There are different methods to recover from different situations like off the ground or from a stun or parry animation. Recovery is important to Kuma due to his large size which makes him susceptible to big juggles and attacks when knocked down or stunned. Let us go through all the common situations that Kuma may have to recover out of. ||Knock Down Position|| This is where you have been knocked down with your back on the ground and feet towards the opponent. Your recovery options are as follows : - 5 = Tag out. This is a risky option as many players have come to expect this tag option especially if your Kuma is already low on energy. They will wait for Kuma's partner to come in and juggle or throw him. - U = Stand up. This is one of the quickest ways to recover and you can then quickly crouch to avoid low attacks as well. Beware of throws though. - d+1~D = Roll sideways into face down position. This is very effective when the opponent is hell bent on punishing you while on the ground (Okizeme) as it'll roll you clear of all attacks. An added bonus is that a rising 3 kick from face-down position acts as a juggle-starter. - 3 = Rising low kick. This one is quick and stops some general attacks knocking the opponent off their feet when close. - 4 = Rising mid kick. It comes in very handy to stop opponents that like to do their WS attacks like Jin's WS+2. Mix this one up with the Rising low kick for optimum results. - f = Roll forward. You can do the above mentioned rising kicks after a forward roll as well as a f+1+2 Head dive that guard-stuns when blocked. You can also recover crouching by holding down after the roll but I would not recommend it for Kuma. - b = Roll backward. Apart from the rising kicks, crouch recover and Head dive, Kuma can also do a Feet first lunge by b,b+3+4. This is a very good option for Kuma when knocked away from the opponent. When it connects it'll stop any further attacks from the opponent. But if blocked it leaves Kuma open for attacks, so be careful. ||Face down position|| There are many juggles which cause Kuma to flip-over and land on the ground face down feet towards opponent. One of the best options for Kuma is to press 3 for a face down sweep, which juggles the opponent. I usually go straight into FC+1,1 or Hunting Stance attacks. There are other options too from Face-down, like rolling sideways, backwards or forwards followed by the moves discussed above. Try to get a feel for your opponent's spacing and attack patterns and use each option when best suitable. There is also the option of tech-rolling by a hop-up which is done by inputting f as soon as you touch the ground. ||Tech-Roll|| Tech-roll was also a new innovation started in Tekken 3. It's a form of quick- rise by inputting commands the moment you touch the ground. Inputting 1 or 2 tech-rolls you into the background and 3 or 4 tech-rolls you into the foreground. There are also now more tech-recovery options in TTT. For instance you can now tag out as soon as you hit the ground by pressing 5 (tag button) and Kuma will roll off the screen replaced by his partner. Also there is the option of the Back-spring from Knock-down position by tapping forward as you touch the ground. If this back-spring is blocked by the opponent, they will experience guard-stun. ::::::::::: : TAGGING : ::::::::::: The Tag feature is the latest addition to Tekken. As you read ealier, there are a few different ways to tag during match in TTT. So far you know that you can tag out when lying on the ground or as soon as you touch the ground after a knock down. There are some other interesting aspects of the tag feature that have special relevance to Kuma which will be discussed next. Other ways to tag for Kuma are: - Basic Tag throw (2+5). This throw is available to all characters and Kuma's animation is the u/f+3+4 pancakke press, when he comes in to finish the throw. But the basic starting animation of the throw is the same Over the Shoulder Toss. - Double Over or Fall Over stun Tag (5). This is very useful as you can tag out of certain damage stuns like kazuya's WS+2(CH). But sometimes the opponent simply waits for you to tag and then juggles your incoming partner, so use it with caution. - Tag launcher (juggle-starter~5). Here you can launch the opponent with a move like f,f+2 and press 5 for an immediate tag. You partner will come in to finish off the juggle. - Tag Team Throw (throw~5). This a team specific tag throw of which Kuma takes part only in one special throw with Ling. Ling will do her f+2~1 throw and then Kuma comes in for the Bear Hug throw to finish it off. The exact command for it is with Ling, f+2~1~5 and the escape is 1+2 during the Ling part of the throw. - Special Tag Attack. This is done with Law. Law does his f+2~1~5 which will stun the opponent and then Kuma will automatically come in with a Running Slash Kick. Kuma also has the option of a tag-slide if you hold down on the joystick durin the tag. This throw is escapable by tagging during the stun. Well, initially players of TTT got the impression that the character that's tagging in, is totally vulnerable to all attacks. While that is true to some extent, there are some options that let you manipulate the tagging-in process. Kuma can do three basic attacks during the tag run-in animation. They are the Head Dive (f,f,n+1+2), Running Slash Kick (f,f,n+3) and the Tag Slide (f,f,n++4). To manipulate the tag movement, Kuma can do a u/b,b to stop the run at the edge of the screen. You can also tag out as soon as you tag in by doing u/b,b~5. Tagging is important to any player during a match, as a tag juggle depletes the Red life-recovery bar. Thereby reducing the chance of your opponent regaining that amount of lost energy. Kuma can do significant damage in this area due to his high launchers. One very important fact that you should be aware of is that KUMA cannot tag out during the Hunting Bear Stance animation (3+4). Only after one of the moves out of the stance can he tag out OR you could wait to start rising out of the Hunting Stance and then tag. ................................................................................ ======================= 9) ADVANCED STRATEGIES ======================= Now that you have looked at Kuma's move analysis and his general strategies, you will be beginning to get some idea of his general play-style. So now in this section, I shall try to introduce some strategies that are used at Advanced level of TTT play. :::::::::: : POKING : :::::::::: Pokes are generally quick attacks with good recovery but the damage is very small. Poking is the most Advanced form of Tekken gameplay and is absolutely essential at high level of play. Nowadays even the average players easily block the standard moves/strings or duck throws. So poking is a way to penetrate such a defense. In this concept, we are actually taking advantage of the excellent recovery time of stand alone pokes to set-up other high damage moves and juggles. Fortunately Kuma has all the basic pokes which are fast to execute and recover. His main pokes are - f+1, f+2, 2,1, d+1, WS+4 and d/f+4. With these you can slowly do small damage during round, all the time looking for the opportunity to deal some big damage. These pokes can be followed up by a number of moves like F+1+2, f,f+2, f+1,1,1 or front throws. The key to a successful poke set-up is mixing things up. Make the opponent guess as to what your next move with Kuma will be. Poke follow-ups are more effective when there is a clear possibility of multi-level change-ups. Throws and f,f+2 will take care of Kuma's high-mid mix-ups BUT he does not have a clear advantage in any low move. The addition of his Hunting Bear stance however gives us some hope to play a multi-level attacking game. There are some other moves that act as unconventional pokes in Kuma's arsenal like FC+1,1 , Hunting Stance low attacks, d/f+1 and d/f+2. I call them unconventional because they do not necessarily have good recovery but are fast to come out and have good follow-ups. For example, you can hold down after the FC+1,1 to recover crouching and follow up with the WS+1,2. The Hunting Bear Stance attacks give some very good advantages like avoidance of high attacks and larger flexibility of movement by the Hunting Lunge (F or B). Poking is also done by combining pokes into a string - this concept is called Custom Stringing which I'll examine in the next section. Now you might ask "What happens if Pokes are blocked????" Well, the bad news is that if your pokes are blocked they will not always give you any advantage. The good news is that you are forcing your opponent into the most primitive defense mechanism. In other words, they are simply blocking and not interrupting you in any way. You should exploit this by starting to use throws and low attacks more often. On the other hand, if your opponent is countering you often, you might want to use sidesteps and backdashes more often when poking to avoid any retaliation attempts. When researching for this section, I referred a lot to the article "Poking? Why Poking?" by mIrAge which can be found in the articles section of INSIDE TEKKEN. It's a very thought provoking article for any tekken player and you should definitely check it out. :::::::::::::::::: : CUSTOM STRINGS : :::::::::::::::::: Custom stringing is Poking taken to a more advanced level. It's called Custom because it's your own unique attack string designed for a specific purpose for you. A good Custom String is a combination of low risk pokes that leave very little room for the opponent to interrupt you. Also a Custom string individualizes your gameplay from the other players. Custom strings should have a purpose when used. The main use of a Custom string in my opinion is the ability to force the opponent to keep blocking. And when you force someone to defend themselves, they will inevitably try to counter you at some point and that is your time to exploit them. Apart from forcing them to block, you can also set-up stuns, juggles or throws. A nice Custom string flows along smoothly just like a pre-canned string with many breaks where you can stop or continue as you wish. Below I shall familiarize you with the most useful moves that kuma has for a good custom string. f+2 = moves KUMA forward. f+1 = very fast poke, used for spacing. WS+4= standard manoever, jams incoming attacks. d+1 = best interrupt to get into the crouching position. d/f+4 = safest to do after pushing opponent away. d/f+2 = a poke that juggles. WS+2 = Staggers on normal hit. FC+1,1 = A medium range move to add low attacks to your game 3+4 = A neutral move that gets you into the Hunting Bear stance avoiding high attacks. There are obviously quite a few more moves that you can effectively use with Kuma for custom stringing, but i'll let you experiment and find out for yourselves. Now let us look at a few basic custom strings that I use a lot, so you get the idea of constructing more strings by yourself. Here is a string that I use against aggressive opponents to space out and create room for Kuma to attack: f+2,f+1,d+1,WS+4 The f+2 does more damage than a standard right punch and has the same animation. It also moves Kuma forward quite a bit. So if the opponent blocks it, they get pushed a little but the change in distance is eliminated by Kuma moving forward during the f+2. A f+1 is the fastest move after any poke and it'll keep the opponent from ducking easily. When a f+1 connects, a d+1 is guaranteed. And so the combination of a f+1,d+1 will push the opponent away, putting Kuma in his "Comfort zone" (see spacing section). The last move is logical as Kuma is already in full-crouch and WS+4 is a smooth return to standing. And in case the opponent decides to attack you while Kuma is in crouch, the WS+4 will jam their attacks. If they don't rush you after a d+1, the WS+4 will whiff but atleast Kuma will be safe and you continue with another string. Not all the moves in the string will hit. As long as it spaces you out, it will have served it's purpose. Now if you want to change into offensive mode after the spacing, here is how the new string might look: f+2,d+1,WS+4,f+1,F+1+2,d+1,WS+2,....... This time after the f+2, we go straight into a d+1 to keep Kuma close to the opponent but also to interrupt any retaliation after the f+2. Following with a WS+4 after a d+1 makes sure that the opponent does not close in too fast. After a WS+4, a f+1 is the best option simply due to it's speed. Now we come to the interesting part, as the f+1 puts the opponent at the border of your comfort zone, an immediate F+1+2 may catch the opponent on a CH. In which case, you will have to either use one of the guaranteed follow-ups or go straight into FC+1,1. If the F+1+2 (Double Claw) is blocked, you go straight back into continuing the string by a d+1. You may have noticed this time, that after the d+1 I used a WS+2. That's because a WS+2 is fast and it will either stagger or juggle the opponent depending on whhat kind of hit they take. Now this string has a little more of a break than normal at the f+1,F+1+2 point, that's to lure the opponent to attack and eat the F+1+2 in the process. One last example using the new moves in TTT, this string is a good example of multi-level mix-ups between high,mid and low levels. f+2,d+1,3+4,1,1,2,WS+2 Here the f+2 brings Kuma close to the opponent, followed immediately by the d+1 to get Kuma into full-crouch. Now from full-crouch, Kuma can immediately enter his new Hunting Bear stance by 3+4. From the stance, a single Bear Claw left will most probably connect with the opponent if they don't block low immediately. Kuma is still in Hunting Bear stance and so we use the 1,2 to poke some more to force the opponent to block low and also to let Kuma come out of the stance. While rising out of the stance you can perform his WS+2, to either stagger or juggle the opponent. Note that in the above string, Kuma had a variety of options. You could have gone for his Bear Fling (1+2) while in the stance instead of the 1,2. Also you could have done the Mauling Bear throw (f+1+2), if you are left fairly close to the opponent after the 3+4,1. Lastly instead of the WS+2 at the end, if the opponent was still standing, you could have gone for a front throw which comes out instantly from crouch. So now you see, what a good custom string does for you. It gives you flexibility to do what you want depending on the situation at hand. Remember if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten. Doing a same custom string everytime will either yield the same purpose (like a juggle) OR the opponent will simply wisen up and block it, leaving you with nothing. So change them up often and go for different purposes each time. Below are a few examples of my custom strings for Kuma which you can use to develop your own: f+1,f+2,d+1,FC+1,1,hold down,WS+2 f+2,d+1,WS+2,f+2,1 f+2,1,d+1,WS+4,F+1+2,d+1,... f+1,d/f+1+2,d+1,WS+1,2 f+2,d+1,f,f+2 f+2,f+4,f+1,d+1,3+4,1,2,.... etc ,etc. While researching for this section, I referred to the article "Custom Strings" by ETP which can be found at INSIDE TEKKEN. Other sources referred to were the Custom String section in Slikatel's Jin guide and an anonymous poking faq in the Tekken 3 section of Gamefaqs. ::::::::::::::::::::: : KEEP-OUT GAMEPLAY : ::::::::::::::::::::: In this advanced form of fighting, you basically try to keep the opponent away from you by small pokes and power moves like F+1+2. Basically you make them rush you, and during that time they cannot block and moves like F+1+2, f+1,1,1 and f+2,1 are good ones to throw at them. There are other moves too like d/f+4, standing 4 and f+2 that you use to keep the opponent in medium range. Kuma is very adept at keeping opponents out, and I usually play this game against very ultra aggressive poking players. Playing in this style requires very good spacing and sidestepping skills and until you learn that, I suggest that you stay away from this style. The new additions to Kuma's arsenal like the Hunting Bear stance moves are very good for this purpose too. For example, if the opponent rushes you with high attacks, you go into hunting immediately and then do his Bear Fling. That way you are avoiding the high attacks and immediately retaliating with a mid-attack of your own. Yes, that sounds risky and sometimes you have to take risks. Only dead fish go with flow. Following is a list of moves that are effective keep-out measures: d/f+4 4 f+2 f+1,1,1 F+1+2 b+2 (when teaming with Heihachi) 3+4 (Hunting Bear stance) - 1 - 1,2 2,1 u/f+4 Try to experiment a bit when playing using Kuma, to see which moves that you like to use for keeping out purposes. ::::::::::::::::::::::: : DOMINATING THE GAME : ::::::::::::::::::::::: This is easier said than done. Against some good players, no matter how much you try to dominate them, it does not work. They don't give a damn about your set-ups. They will interrupt you efficiently and they know when to back off and sidestep. So by the time you set something up like a throw, the opponent is already half a screen away. Usually when two expert players fight, the match is literally a poke-war with both players trying to get the upper-hand. But still there are certain things that you can do to prevail over your opponent. Try to look for a pattern in your opponent's gameplay. I think almost every player has a pattern and if you can spot it the first time you play them, you can exploit it to your advantage. With some players, the patterns are good and you cannot spot them until after they beat you several matches. That's because they are disguising their patterns very well. But once you know their style, it's easy to beat them. For example, if a player always tries to throw you after you whiff a f,f+2 attempt with Kuma, then may try to set them up to deliberately whiff the f,f+2 and then juggle them with a CH 4 as they come in to throw. So basically, you should take advantage any such opportunities and frustrate your opponent to the point where the opponent is afraid to attack. As in mIrAge's words,"This is where you have the victory in your hand when your opponents are too defensive to retaliate". At that point your opponent feels that they can do nothing to stop you. Another way to put pressure on your opponent is by using moves that cause guard-stun when blocked like d/f+1+2 and 2,1. Well what if your Kuma faces such a situation, where you feel everything you do is totally useless. Not to worry, mate. It's important to stay cool, but be sure to not get frostbite. By that I mean, stay calm, don't panic, and try something flashy but practical. I'll tell you of a situation I once got my Kuma into and how I got out of it. I was facing a Paul player who would basically close in and try to overwhelm me with his quick attacks. At that time, I was a beginner Kuma player and didn't know what to do with Kuma to counter that. I felt totally helpless and nervous. And when it came to the final 5 seconds of the final round, I thought to myself "what the hell. If i'm gonna be beaten by this Paul player, why not go out in style??" and I did Kuma's U/F,n,4 move. That Paul player tried the sweep elbow at that instant completely missing the sweep part and got hit by my delayed hopkick. And to cut a long story short, I won that match. That is sometimes the key to experience. I learned the good properties of Kuma's U/F,n,4 that day. Even if I had lost that match, I would have learned something about the U/F,n,4. ::::::::::::::::::::::::: : Vs CHARACTER STRATEGY : ::::::::::::::::::::::::: In this section, I will only be dealing with character specific strategy when facing a human opponent. So these strategies will not help you beat the CPU faster or anything. There are also no concrete strategies when it comes to fighting a human opponent. All the advice in this section comes from my personal playing experience and the basic facts in TTT. |LAW| The most important thing to watch out for against Law is his punch parry and general jab strings. From experience I can tell you that law players are ready to punch parry Kuma's attacks at any time. Even Law's normal high and low parries are dangerous. The best technique against them is to fake them to parry and then attack during the parry animation. Kuma will have to make the most of all keep-out moves especially his standing right kick, d/f+4 and u/f+4. Try to use a lot of f+1,1,1 on CH as all hits are guaranteed and it'll will tag juggle too. I would stay away from using Kuma's f,f+2 against a Law. It's too easily parried. Remember your hopkick is just as fast as Law's hopkick at close range, so use it to out-prioritise Law in that department. Another of law's main strengths is the ability to interrupt by moves like b+1,2 and b+2,3. Kuma's f+2 and d+1 are enough to counter that. Spacing is twice as important for Kuma when facing a Law. Read the Spacing section once more for effectively using it. Good news is that Law's 3,4 now only juggles on CH. If your Kuma plays a nice spacing and counterhitting game, then beating Law would not be all that hard. |LING| She is the most mobile character in the game with all the different ways that she can sidestep. Ling players like to use her Art of Phoenix(AoP) stance a lot. Kuma's f+1,1,1 is the best weapon to counter them. The first f+1 will miss high, but then the 2nd and 3rd hits will hit Ling and launch her for a juggle. When at medium range, Kuma can also use his 1+2 hammer or f,f+2 to hit her when in AoP stance. Generally try to play a more of a conservative game against Ling - a good mix of defense and offense. Wait her out sometimes before rushing in to attack. Ling players also like to throw a lot so be ready to break throws at any time. Ling has the fastest moves especially when in back- turned. I also suggest that you learn her 10 strings as parts of her 10 strings are used generally and there are many change-ups in them too. More Vs Character strategy will be added in future revisions. ::::::::::: : OKIZEME : ::::::::::: Okizeme is a japanese term loosely meaning "attacking the opponent even when they are knocked down". The objectiive is to either keep the opponent grounded or to deal more damage as they try to get up. Very realistic, if you ask me. When it comes to okizeme, Kuma is undoubtedly the king. He has a variety of moves that are mid-hitting but are classed as ground hits. The first part of his Bear Hammer, the 1+2 alone is the best move to use after your opponent is knocked down to a medium distance. Novice players get killed when they try to roll after being juggled and if you run up and do the 1+2, it'll keep hitting them until they are beaten. You should go for this 1+2 after both of kuma's front throws, it's not guaranteed but has a good chance of hitting them unless they stand straight up. The pancake press (u/f+3+4) is a popular move and it catches opponents that like to roll either backwards or forwards. It has the added advantage of getting you into the Sit stance if it misses, so you can continue into the sitting punches. This way of okizeme is definitely not favoured by experts. So only use it when you are sure it'll hit. The Demon Uppercut is also a ground hit and if you time it right you can launch your opponent for a juggle as they recover. It is guaranteed after some situations which will be discussed later. Go for this move whenever the opponent simply lies on the ground waiting for you to make a move. The FC+1,1 is best used when the opponent is left close to Kuma after a move like his Bear Hug throw, I believe that atleast one hit of the FC+1,1 is always guaranteed after the Bear Hug throw. The Hunting Bear stance moves like 1 or 1,2 and 3+4 tackle are the newest additions to Kuma's okizeme. I favour the single left Bear Claw (1) done in this stance, as you you can keep doing it by lunging forward after the opponent gets knocked down. The Hunting stance tackle is great to hit opponents that are rolling back to standing. ................................................................................. ======================= 10) TRICKS OF THE BEAR ======================= There is a basic rule in fighting games which states that you should take advantage of every opportunity when fighting if you want to win. So in this section, i'll include some tricks that you may or may not know. These tactics should be used whenever you can, to gain maximum advantage to beat an opponent. ||Double Claw guaranteed follow-ups|| The F+1+2 guarantees two major attacks - the f,f+2 demon upercut and also the 1+2 hammer. Every time Kuma's F+1+2 connects, you should go for either of the two attacks immdiately afterwards. Which one you use depends on what else you wanna do later. For example if you want to try something from the Hunting Bear Stance, you should do the 1+2 and hold forward to go straight to Hunting. Otherwise, if your aim is to simply enda round or go for a launcher, then do the f,f+2. As mentioned earlier, when it's done at a specific moment, it launches the opponent just like it usually does with the opponent in standing. You have totime it to the exact moment the opponent tries to get up. But if you are simply after some damage, then go fo the f,f+2 without thinking as it's guaranteed and does more damage than the 1+2 hammer. ||Demon uppercut into Salmon Hunter|| This trick was widely known in Tekken 3, where after the f,f+2 a Salmon Hunter (b,f+2+3) would always connect. But in TTT, it's totally escapable by tagging but seldom does anyone utilise that fact. Hence it's still a very good idea to do a Salmon Hunter anyway to try to do atleast 80+pts damage in TTT. Another trick to use here is that if you know that your opponent is good enough to tag out as soon as they land, you should delay the initiation of your Salmon Hunter. That way it'll hit the character that tags in. ||Two Hit Combos|| Not many players know that a f+1 on CH with Kuma guarantees a d+1. In fact, I believe that this trick works with all the characters' standing left jabs. Also a f+1 on CH guarantees a f+2 as well. These should be utilised whenever possible. The damage is estimated at about 18-20pts from what I have observed in TTT so far and that's not bad for two such weak hits. These combos are better as most of the time, you wouldn't know whether or not a f+1,1,1 will all connect, so try a f+1,f+2 instead sometimes. ||Counterhit 4|| Kuma's standing right kick juggles on CH, as I had mentioned ealier. The easiest juggle that you can perform is CH 4,F+1+2. So setting up a CH 4 is important. Stick it in everytime the opponent tries to rush you or does an attack in close range. The hardest juggle that you can do here is a CH 4,f+1,F+1+2. But for damage and ease of execution, stuck with the F+1+2 follow up. ||Unblockable to Tackle|| I did not discuss Kuma's B+1+2 unblockable in the move analysis section because I did not think that it's worth doing at all. But if you like the move and maybe wanna try it someday. This trick is for you. After the unblockable hits, press 3+4 to go into Hunting Bear stance immediately and then do Kuma's tackle (3+4). It is guaranteed to hit from what I have seen so far at the arcade. Maybe a good use for this trick would be to initiate the unblockable after a juggle so the opponent has little time to interrupt you. ................................................................................. =========================== 11) IDEAL TAG TEAM PARTNER =========================== Well this is a difficult call to make. Since Kuma has very good high launchers and Okizeme, you would want a tag team partner who can take advantage of the tag juggles and also play a very good defensive game to back up Kuma's poking ability. For this purpose, I feel that Jin is a very good choice. He has the attack reversal, the high juggling potential via his Electric Wind God fist (EWGF) and also quite a few multi-level attacks like the White Heron combo plus the good old Stun punch rush and Hell-sweeps. The choice of the best tag team partner depends on your own general playstyle and ofcourse your favouritism. For instance if you like to use King or Paul, then ofcourse you should choose one of them for Kuma's back-up. Also if you like to play a total defensive and countering game, then there's no one better than Law with all his parries and pokes. ................................................................................. ============ 12) SUMMARY ============ Well, now here you are nearing the end of this guide. I hope I made the guide easy to comprehend, otherwise you are welcome to e-mail me any concerns. I tried my best to provide you with a good guide to playing Kuma, something that you can refer to again and again. If you are a beginning Kuma player, I would say the best thing to do would be to focus on each section of this guide at one time and master it before moving on to the next part. Please do not get frustrated if your Kuma gets beaten many times, treat every defeat as a learning experience. Remember defeat isn't bitter if you don't swallow it. Time is the best teacher, unfortunately it kills all it's students. Never let that happen to you. Stick with Kuma and in the end, you will enjoy the road to learning Kuma. If you are already a pro-Kuma player when you read this guide, I hope I made atleast some interesting points to ponder for you. Isn't it weird that experience is something that you don't get until just after you need it. I don't pretend to have all the answers, I don't even pretend to know all the questions........Hey, where am I? Hehehe. No doubt there is still heaps to find out about this Call of the Wild called Kuma. Rest assured that I will be adding to this guide in time. ................................................................................ ===================== 13) TEKKEN RESOURCES ===================== -INSIDE TEKKEN- http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Bridge/2700 This is my website which has eventually turned out to be pretty good. It has an Articles section, Multimedia, FAQS and the Forum. It's pretty cool place to hang out and get some good info on TTT by written by the experts. In the Forum, you can find expert players from different countries across the world like New Zealand, Australia, USA, Phillipines, England, Italy, Holland and many more. -TTT online- http://www.tekkentagtournament.com If you are after some pretty basic TTT info like the damages and hit levels of moves, then this is the place for you. There is also some pretty good info here regarding the World TTT Championships. This site also has the official Forum. -TEKKEN SALUTE- http://salute.consolenation.com This site founded by drumdude was the only site that supported us Tekken players when Tekken.Net ditched us over a silly dispute with some scrubs. Salute has the best Tekken Forum (message board) on the net and has now over 3000 posts - almost all by true tekken experts. Salute is also the place to go for info regarding any of the Tekken games like Tekken, Tekken 2, Tekken 3 and ofcourse TTT. The Salute legacy will live on forever. -TEKKEN ZAIBATSU- http://www.tekken.net/zaibatsu This is the site to go for some very cool TTT movies and News. They have the luxury of owning a TTT arcade machine themselves and so this site is best for gameplay info and movies. -TEKKEN MANIA MANILA- This is a site being made by Emannuel from the Phillipines. It will cover the Phillipines Tekken scene exclusively with a lot of cool movies to come as well. As soon as the site is open, i'll add it's URL here. -GAMEFAQS- http://www.gamefaqs.com No dispute about it, this site is the best one to go for Tekken faqs be it Tekken 2, Tekken 3 or TTT. Gamefaqs rocks. The quality and quantity of faqs is very high here and gamefaqs does not host plagiarised faqs which is great. ................................................................................. ============ 14) CREDITS ============ |mIrAge| He is a very good friend and tekken sparring partner. I owe all my growth in Tekken knowledge to him. We started playing together since the Tekken 2 days. He usually is the one that proof-reads my guides and gives me helpful tips, which I have used in this guide as well. Check out his article on Poking at my site, Inside Tekken. |Drumdude| He was the first one to accept my Tekken 3 Kuma faq when everyone else but gamefaqs, would rather not host it. He kept Salute alive at a time when there was nowhere for us to turn. His Forum rocks and it was first here that Jorkie (from Germany) discovered and shared the famous Anna multi-escape reversal in Tekken 3. |GOOD FRIENDS| Here I would like to thank all the members of my Forum and all the other players that I have had any fruitful association with, over the years. Specifically they are : The Chief, Redking, Emannuel, Renick, ETP, Kinetik, Notti, 7th Pixel, Shauno, Joshic, Claka, MC, KOFTEKKEN, Mungo, Majestic, Chojin, Gargoyle Sox, ThunderFist, IronFist, SuperT, MIC and Dufaus. If I have forgotten to mention anyone, please forgive me dearly. The Chief and Emannuel have helped me a lot with spreading the goodwill among the tekken community. We have exchanged video tapes of fights as well to enhance everyone's learning everywhere. I wish Emannuel best of luck with his site, Tekken Mania Manila. |Slikatel| What can I say. He was the pioneer of online Tekken. His Jin strategy guide set the standard for many to follow. I myself have adopted his easy to read and simple format. He was webmaster of the Tekken Web Project, I wish I was around to see it back then. But his legacy still lives on in his personal Jin page, at http://www.toxic.net/jin/ where he is hosting his Tekken 3 Jin guide as well as some Jin combo movies. .................................................................................. If you have comments, criticisms or questions please write them down on the back of a $20 bill and send them to me. On second thought, you may just wanna e-mail me at email@example.com 'Veni, Vidi, Velcro'- I came, I saw, I stuck around. .................................................................................. THE END ..................................................................................