What do you need help on? Cancel X
Next  
Close X Galford
by DCaskey

Table of Contents

BOOKMARK
Jump to:
Would you recommend this Guide? Yes No Hide
Send Skip Hide

Galford by DCaskey

Version: 1.0 | Updated: 03/07/15

Galford D. Weller

FAQ by Damon V. Caskey

dc@caskeys.com

2015-02-24

He's a fighter who wants to be a lover, and he's out to spread peace and justice at the tip of a sword. He's Galford D. Weller, American ninja! If you enjoy versatility, speed and mobility without being a featherweight pixie, Galford is for you.

Control Key

7 8 9
4 5 6
1 2 3

A: Light slash/punch
B: Medium slash/punch
AB: Heavy slash/punch
C: Light kick
D: Medium kick
CD: Heavy kick

Sub System

Samurai Shodown II has the most extensive subsystem this side of Guilty Gear, and every character has a ton of options at their disposal. This also happens to be one of Galford's main strengths, as nearly all of his versions are quick and useful.

Walk

4 or 6

Galford's advance and retreat are both excellent. I haven't measured specifically but they're clearly among the fastest in the cast.

Run

6, 6 then hold 6 to keep running

Release 6 to slide to a stop, or 4 to stop quickly. Slide stops automatically when next to opponent.

If this isn't the fastest run in the game, it sure can't be far off. Galford can close in to his opponent's location from half-screen in less than a second. Yeah, he's THAT fast. This creates tons of strategy opportunities on its own, and Galford has some tailor made moves to take advantage as well.

Backstep

4, 4

Galford does a lightning quick back hand spring covering a little than half the screen. Combined with your run and Tringle Jump you can dodge, feint and juke most characters out of their shorts.

Lie Down

2, 2 then hold 2 to stay down for up to around two seconds.

Dodges standard projectiles and higher level attacks, but I don't find myself using this too much. Like any SNK game, about half of SSII's projectiles travel along the ground anyway and there are usually better ways to deal with incoming attacks. Handy to have in your repertoire just in case though.

Hop

B+C (Back) or 6 B+C (Vertical)

Opposite of laying down, this one dodges ground projectiles and low aimed attacks. More useful for other characters than Galford, as you should probably be too busy moving about and keeping pressure on. Just don't forget about it completely.

Roll

3, 3 (forward) or 1, 1 (back)

Almost a liability because it's easy to do this by mistake when you're going for a running Strike Heads. It covers nice distance in either direction, but is pretty laggy to recover and you can't cancel out of it. Still useful to throw in now and again, and a great tool against Ukyo players, but nothing you should base your whole game plan around.

Parry

Block PRECISCLY as an armed attack connects.

Functionally similar to the parry mechanic in Steet Fighter II, but with a few fundamental differences. Whereas in SFIII a parry put you into a 16 frame cancelable animation and added the same 16 frames to your opponents recovery, SSII sends you AND your opponent into a set generic set length animation regardless of what was parried. You assume a parry stance, they go into their “blocked strike” animation.

Neither of you can cancel out, but your parry animation will recover first. You don't have forever to act, but there's enough time to cleanly hit with a standing B or gain better positioning. Does not work on punches or kicks and the frame window is VERY strict. I do this more on accident than anything else, but if you can master the timing it will give you a HUGE advantage.

Weapon Catch

4 1 2 3 6 unarmed or automatically in place of sword clash.

Only available if your opponent is armed. If performed correctly, you'll grab your opponent's weapon mid-strike and then perform an AB throw on them. Difficult to time, but not nearly as strict as the parry. Because this replaces a sword clash, you can do it easily goading them to run at you. Just run right back at them and you'll get a free throw.

Taunt 1

Hold A + C

Galford smiles and gives his opponent a smarmy “tsk tsk tsk” while Poppy yawns.

Taunt 2

Hold B + D

Galford shrugs in mock surprise. If done unarmed, you get taunt 1 instead.

Basic Attacks

Galford's basic attacks are an interesting mix of the best and worst. It's important to master these, since SSII puts a heavier reliance on basic moves than most 2D fighters of its era.

Standing

A – Galford uses his lead hand to swipe at the opponent with a backhand motion. Quick and decent damage, but the range is poor.

B – Galford swings overhead with one arm in a C shaped arc, stepping forward on his front leg. Overall this is your best poke. It comes out fast and has decent range. Damage isn't great but it does the job. Use this to wear down your opponent in footsie games, but don't stand around trading with Haohmaru, Charlote or Ukyo. You won't like the results.

AB – Galford somersaults forward and performs a nasty looking overhead strike. Looks cool, but it's very situational. Takes forever to execute and even longer to recover. Damage output is divided over three hits, each slightly more than a standing B. In theory that would be nasty, but normally only one can connect. End result is that damage and stun are absolutely pathetic for a standing AB. Worse, even a clean hit leaves you virtually no frame advantage, and you can't cancel out. It's Galford's only standing slash that doesn't recoil stun when blocked, but the atrocious recovery makes that a moot point. In short the only thing this move does well on its own is get Galford killed quickly.

All that said it is the prime ingredient for a couple of seriously nasty combos involving Poppy that can often take out your opponent in one go, so don't discount it entirely. See strategies and combos for more info.

C – Galford throws an insanely quick head level roundhouse kick. It's his fastest standing attack; that rear leg practically teleports into your opponent's face and retracts just as quickly. Not bad range either. Unfortunately it does about three pixels of damage on a good day and misses crouching opponents completely. If you have the reflexes this move's main use is to stuff incoming attacks.

D – Same animation as C, trading speed for damage. It's still faster than most D kicks and now does enough damage to be worth sticking in now and again as a poke. Just be careful, because you'll take a lot more in return if countered.

CD – Galford throws a spiffy jumping back spin kick right to the side of his opponent's head. Very fast and for a kick it does excellent damage. Still not very useful as it gives up too much range compared to C and D. For some opponents, you need to be almost close enough to trigger the horrendous close CD, and just like C and D it passes right over low targets. It does have one interesting property though; Galford is airborne on the very first frame, meaning he can dodge low attacks like a hop. I don't have the reflexes to make anything of this, but it might have some situational uses.

Standing, Close

A – Galford strikes vertically downward with his far arm, crossing his own body. Does average damage for a close A, comes out almost instantly and recovers quickly even if blocked. Use this to back off an aggressive poker or to keep the pressure on.

B – Same animation as A and comes out just about as fast, but does more damage at the cost of slower recovery. I see this used by other players, but I'd rather do something else more worth the recovery time risk.

AB – Now here's what I'm talking about! Galford rears away with both arms and comes back with everything he's got in a huge overhead slash. This move looks like it would hurt, and it does. Considerably stronger than Hanzo's counterpart, it's one of the most damaging close AB's in the game and by extension one of the most damaging attacks period. Loses to Jubei's, Seiger's, and Genjero's. Trades dead even with Earthquake's. Beats everyone else. Two of these and your opponent is dizzy. Four and he's dead. Best of all the damage comes in one big chunk, so no worries about grazing hits. Land it whenever possible, but don't just swing randomly because the startup and block recoil both leave Galford open like a 7-11. Look for ways to punish, surprise and combo instead. More on that later.

C – Galford drives a quick knee into his opponent's gut. Works essentially the same as his standing C, but no longer misses crouching opponents.

D – Same as close C, but adds an extra frame where Galford turns his knee inward a bit to absorb the recoil. Like close C vs. standing C, this move works just like its standing D counterpart but won't miss crouching opponents.

CD – Galford shows off his flexibility training by throwing a nearly vertical side kick. Pretty fast and it does damage on par with weapon strikes; if disarmed this is your single strongest basic attack. Good luck ever getting it to hit though. Has ZERO range and whiffs right over half the cast! It also lost the excellent ground to air priority from SSI, so don't even think about trying it for air defense. The only real use is giving Sieger or Earthquake a solid boot to the face now and then, but in those situations you almost always have better options.

Standing Unarmed

A/B/AB – All three versions use the same animation - a lunging straight punch to the breadbasket. Despite appearances there are subtle differences in speed between each. All come out fast with solid range and top tier damage output compared to other punches.

A/B/AB – All three versions use the same animation - a lunging straight punch to the breadbasket. Despite appearances there are subtle differences in speed between each. All come out fast with solid range and top tier damage output compared to other punches.

Standing Unarmed, Close

A - Very fast backhand. Damage is what you'd expect, but speed and priority make up for it.

B - Harder, slower backhand. Otherwise same as A.

AB - Three hit auto combo consisting of an elbow, backhand and finally the normal standing punch. Doesn't do nearly as much damage as appearances would suggest - close CD is considerably stronger. However the first hit comes out almost instantly, plus it or the second hit can be canceled for a true combo. As icing on the cake the whole move is nearly impossible to punish when blocked.

Crouching

A – Galford lunges slightly and swings vertically with his rear arm. Short range but very quick. Unfortunately it doesn't hit low. There are usually better things to do, but if you are cornered this can back them off for a little breathing room.

B – Same animation and basic properties as A, but trades speed for some more damage. Good for chopping down low kicks, but very situational.

AB – Yet another excellent AB attack; I guess SNK was making up for the horrendous standing AB. Anyway, Galford grabs his weapon with his near arm and swipes low with a backhand motion, almost like his standing A. This move would be good enough on its own to make Galford dangerous. It comes out fast, hits low, knocks down and like all ABs does a lot of damage. Strangely, the hitbox reaches slightly above Galford's head, making this a very surprising and damaging anti air if timed correctly. Range isn't the best but it's enough to do the job. The only downside is a long recovery, but that can be nullified by canceling. Part of the infamous 50/50 trap (more on that later too).

C – Galford pokes at the opponent with his near foot. Even faster than standing C, this move is 6 frames in its entirety. Spams fast as you can push the button, which in this game is a rare property. As you might guess, it removes barley a pixel from your opponent's life bar, but it hits low and stuffs a lot of other moves. Use it now and then to harass and annoy them into making mistakes, or as a surprise punish against moves that are normally safe from retaliation.

D – Galford whips his rear leg forward. The animation style makes it look slow, but it's actually the same speed as his standing D. Hits low and sweeps your opponent off his feet. Use this when you want to sweep up close to avoid triggering the terrible crouching close CD.

CD – Very similar to his standing CD, Galford throws a full spinning back kick, but aimed low. An all-round excellent move; it comes out fast, hits low, sweeps, has good range, recovers quickly and even does fair damage. Compliments crouch AB perfectly. One other interesting use is item collection. If some food is out of reach, and you don't want to risk running up to grab it, just stick this out instead and Galford will snatch the morsel right out from under his opponent's nose!

Really the only downside to this move is that you might accidently trigger the less useful crouching close CD instead.

Crouching, Close

CD – A nifty looking but not particularly functional attack. Galford somersaults in place and throws a rolling two hit axe kick. Does pretty good damage, but doesn't hit low and leaves your opponent standing. Decent recovery, but the big problem is the horrendous start up. It practically begs to get counter hit. Avoid this move unless you're going for style points.

Crouching Unarmed

A – A quick backhand. Doesn't hit low, but it's nearly as quick as crouching C and does a bit more damage.

B – Same as A, with a nearly imperceptible trade off of speed for damage.Â

AB - Crouching version of the standing lunge punch. Nice priority and damage for a punch, but since it doesn't hit low your kicks are usually a better option.

Jump

A – Galford swings downward with one arm; basically an air version of his close A. Covers in front and slightly below with excellent priority. Beats just about anything air to air if you're close enough, but range and damage are not worth it unless you have no other options.

B – An air version of his standing A. It has a very high hit box and nice priority, so if you are quick this is actually a pretty good ground to air defense option. Won't rock any worlds but still does decent damage.

AB – Galford throws a hard vertical chop with both hands; looks very similar to Haohmaru's and is right on par with it in quality. Excellent reach and coverage in front and below Galford. Jumping in is generally a bad idea in this game, but if you must this one of the best. Will win a few air to air battles too, and like most ABs it hurts plenty when connected.

C – A weird looking back kick. Stays out quite a while and has excellent horizontal range. Your longest reaching jump attack.

D – Same as C. A little more damage, but doesn't stay out as long.

CD – A spinning back kick similar to standing CD, but completely horizontal. Takes a while to execute, doesn't reach as far as it looks. Hits hard if it connects, but otherwise not really useful.

Jump, Horizontal

CD – Galford throws a hard side kick at a slight downward angle. Quick, powerful, aims perfectly for a jump in and it has high priority over most ground attacks. Can cross up if timed correctly. Only stays out for a second though, so plan accordingly.

Jump Unarmed

A/B/AB - Again the straight punch. Functionally it takes the place of your armed jumping B.

Throws

Note: All of Galford's throws cause the same amount of damage but vary wildly in their positioning effects, so chose the one that suits your strategy best. There does appear to be a throw priority in place, and if so Galford must be high on it. I find playing as Galford or Hanzo I can consistently throw my opponents in situations most other characters can't. Feel free to toss most of the cast about at your leisure.

B/AB – Galford somersaults backward with his opponent, similar to the classic Frankensteiner, but instead pins them flat to the ground with his hands and bounces away. The bounce carries Galford quite a distance, about the same as his normal jump. Note Galford bounces to the opposite side he releases opponent, so if you throw them to the right, Galford bounces away to the left.

D/CD – Galford grabs his opponent in a scissor lock, then cartwheels head over heels, taking them to the ground and following up with a slash to the throat (!!). Opponent bounces away a short distance in direction of the throw while Galford remains in place.

D/CD (Unarmed) – Same startup as the armed version but instead of a slash follow-up Galford flings them away midair. Probably his most effective basic throw. Galford's recovery is unchanged but due to being thrown so far the opponent is neutralized much longer. This gives you plenty of time to retrieve your weapon and/or set up some wake up games, including the 50/50 trap.

A/AB (Jump) – Galford performs his A/AB throw midair except he only bounces a short distance after impact. Stops all jumping momentum and drops both participants straight to the ground. For whatever reason there is a dramatic flash effect as he first grabs the opponent. Cannot be used on Earthquake, but if timed correctly has incredible priority over everyone else's jumping and special attacks. It's possible to throw Haohmaru and Genjuro's uppercuts, Wan-Fu's jumping CD, Sieger's Blitz Jaeger, etc.

Any ground throw (vs. Earthquake or Kuroko) – Galford uses his crouch D to destabilize footing and then floors them with a standing C.

Special Moves

Wall Jump

9 near screen edge when in air.

Not something you want to do a lot in this game, but it's fast enough to catch some extra air and pull a jump in when they least expect it.

Triangle Jump

9 near screen edge immediately after jumping.

If you are next to the screen edge, jump and immediately wall jump, Galford will rebound with a slightly different animation and much lower trajectory. Hard to do, but results in a jump in that is very difficult for your opponent to defend against.

Plasma Blade

2 3 6 + A/B/AB

Galford charges a pair of Kunai with electricity and throws them forward. On hit stuns your opponent for quite a while – just enough to chase the A version down and combo a close AB or jump in. Nowhere near as quick or devastating as it would become in later SS installments, but still one of the better projectiles in this version. Main use is to cancel into from basic attacks for add on damage or to chip.

Rear Replica Attack

4 6 3 2 1 4 + BCD

On hit or block 4 or 6 to control direction of recovery.

Galford disappears instantly and then reappears over his opponent falling down with a spinning sword strike. If whiffed Galford recovers more or less instantly. Otherwise he bounces away in the direction of your choice. Tracks your opponent's location, must be blocked high and does a nice chunk of damage. It also has excellent priority and sports an active hitbox the very second Galford reappears. Unfortunately there is a small delay before Galford actually does reappear, so trying this at random gives your opponent all the time in the world to react. As you might have guessed this is really bad for Galford. Another minus is the lack of any chip damage. The move isn't nearly as useless as many players will tell you though. Learn to perform this on reaction and it will single handily shut down a lot of game plans, especially those involving projectiles and big AB slashes. Another use is against characters you can hit when held by Poppy (see Machine Gun Dog).

If Galford is unarmed, he will instead drop straight down with a punch. Doesn't seem to lose much priority and still does decent damage, but the recoil bounce follows a slightly different trajectory.

Replica Attack

BCD when hit.

On hit or block 4 or 6 to control direction of recovery.

Galford performs his Rear Replica Attack out of hit stun, leaving a log behind. Has all of the same attacking properties. You can't use this to escape a true combo, but oddly you CAN escape a dizzy and some knockdowns (time BCD just as Galford lands). Great to turn the damage trade back in your favor when Poppy attacks assist style. Also good when your opponent has you pinned down and gets greedy with trapping. Otherwise you want to be careful. It's tempting to show that you can take it and keep on coming, but more often than not you'll be giving them another hit for free.

Strike Heads

6 2 3 + C/D/CD

“I wanna take you for a ride…. I wanna take you for a ride…” Galford grabs his opponent, leaps for the sky and inverts himself to bring his foe spiraling to the deck head first. Upon impact he summons a lightning bolt to fry them for even more pain. Button used controls height carried and reach. C takes them about half the screen height and does negligible damage, but it has the most range. CD version requires closer quarters, but carries them well beyond visual range of the camera for a massive impact and damage comparable to an AB slash.

Even for C version the range is rather short - you aren't going to “Zangief” limbs from three character lengths away. That said, this move does enjoy supreme priority over pretty much anything else in the game. If you are close enough and fast enough there really isn't anything they can do except jump away. Sometimes not even that. Knowing this, about half of your opponent's game plan is to avoid getting caught in Galford's clutches (notice the VS. Hanzo/Galford sections of other FAQs - dealing with this move will be the first item on most of them). This gives you a huge overall strategy advantage, and ironically enough often makes them fall right into your hands for a grab.

Another interesting property is that you can cancel into this. You can't grab an opponent during a hit or block stun, but since there is no whiff animation certain other moves with a long recovery can be cut short. So far no infinities have been found, but you can leverage this to put on insane pressure.

Running Strike Heads

6 2 3 + C/D/CD (Running)

Galford performs his Strike Heads throw instantly from a run, this time carrying his unfortunate victim in an arc before the inevitable crash landing. Shares all the properties of its stationary brother with just a couple of exceptions. First, that arc is a perfect positioning tool for cornering. CD travels over ¾ of the entire stage! Second, despite appearances this version actually does slightly LESS damage. Range and timing are also a bit stricter to avoid rolling instead. Just like the normal version though, this move enjoys ludicrous priority. Remember above where I said you can't grab from long range? This is the solution! With Galford's insanely fast run, it's possible to dash in on reaction from a few character lengths away and grab them out of just about anything. Practice until you can do it at will.

Shadow Copy

6 3 1 2 3 6 + A/B

A = Real Galford on left.

B = Real Galford on right.

Galford takes a Kuji stance, smokes out and reappears as two copies at left and right of the screen area. Galford is vulnerable except during the actual smoke out, but it has a fast startup time and can be canceled into anything (including itself) immediately after reappearing. Should your opponent strike the fake image with weapon attacks, a small electric bomb will be released that knocks down for minor damage. The move ends when you take action or after ~5 seconds.

The most obvious strategy is to teleport to your opponent's location and grab them with Strike Heads. Against the CPU opponents (even and especially Mizuki) this is pretty much an “I Win” button if you can do it consistently. Just rinse and repeat until they're dead.

Humans will be fully aware of the teleport and grab tactic, but you can actually use this against them. Teleport away from them and cancel into Rush Dog (I catch humans with this all the time). Repeat Shadow Copy a few times and when they start swinging in frustration, that's when you can grab them – really turns up the frustration factor. Do the same thing but this time drop on them with a Rear Replica Attack (risky but rewarding). The possible combinations are limitless. Most human players who are aware of these tricks will tend to stay in the middle so as to properly react to whatever action you take. If you're fast on the controls, come out from either side with a dashing Strike Heads and grab them anyway. Heh heh heh…

Dog Commands

2 1 4 + Button (see below)

"Go Poppy!" Galford points to his opponent and gives his loyal canine sidekick Poppy the command to attack, whereupon she'll perform one of three actions based on your button press. Galford stays in his command pose long enough to get nailed pretty easy, but the upside is that once Poppy begins to act interrupting Gaflord won't stop her. This means that often as not they'll hit Galford only to get mangled by Poppy for the trouble. Damage wise this rarely works in Gaflord's favor, but strategically it's a huge advantage. It's often worth it to intentionally sacrifice a hit from your opponent just to ensure Poppy can get to them.

Rush Dog

A/B/AB

Poppy races forward washed in a red glow and rams herself head on into whatever comes first. Button press determines distance Poppy will run before stopping (and thus return time if she misses). Fastest startup of any projectile in the game, but Poppy takes a while to recover. Can be used to stop other projectiles, but poor Poppy will be left writhing in pain for a moment after. Does solid damage and can't be ducked under, but it's easily hopped. Also be warned that many physical rushing attacks like Nakoruru's Annu Mutsube will plow right over Poppy and usually Galford too in the process.

Machine Gun Dog

C

"Get it off! Get it off!" Poppy backflips and rushes forward looking to put the bite on your opponent. On a successful hit she latches on, mauls the unfortunate victim for a few seconds, knocks them down and leaps back to Galford's side. Has much better priority than Rush Dog; Poppy will grab extended limbs and weapons without missing a beat. Projectiles and certain specific special moves can still stop her, but the list is pretty short. Galford is free to act during the mauling and is able to attack certain members of the cast himself for even more carnage!

The latter works on Genjuro, Gen-an, Kyoshiro, Wan Fu, Earthquake, and Kuroko (Galford's attacks will pass through everyone else). Give them a taste of your devastating close AB and laugh as they cry foul. Even better, nail them with all three hits of your standing AB. Takes very strict positioning and timing but if successful they'll kiss more than half a lifebar goodbye (unraged!) and be left knocked down. It's possible to get a grazing hit on everyone else if you time it to Poppy's release, but you're better off just getting set for the 50/50 trap or another wake up game of your choice. Either way, they'll still cry foul! >:)

Because of that little backflip and associated startup lag throwing this move out randomly won't do much for you, but it's fast enough to act as the perfect riposte against certain opponent actions. This takes some characters completely out of their game. Moreover, the startup lag and knockdown effect makes this a deadly counter move. It's more than worth it to trade this for whatever they want to hit you with and easy to time once you get the feel. You'll almost certainly take more damage, but they'll be set up for your potentially fatal 50/50.

Replica Dog

D

Poppy does her version of Galford's Rear Replica Attack. She teleports directly over your opponent's head and drops on them spinning Sonic Style. Must be blocked high. Least damaging of Poppy's attacks, doing much less than Galford's Rear Replica. Still not bad though and unlike Galford, Poppy does chip damage. If you are quick enough this makes an effective air defense, as Poppy tracks the opponent's current position when she teleports and will nail them midair. Time this just as the opponent gets up from a knockdown for free chip damage – Outside of a 100% perfectly timed back dash there's not a thing they can do about it.

Hidden Moves

Doll Transformation

6 3 2 1 4 6 4 + C

Galford and Poppy both transform into cute doll versions of themselves. Maybe not the best idea if your opponent is looking for revenge from all those pile drivers…

Stealth

6 4 6 4 6 4 2 + BCD

Galford assumes his Kuji stance, smokes out and becomes invisible for around ten seconds or until hit. Also reappears briefly while attacking. Computer opponents completely ignore invisibility and will attack you normally.

On its own this move isn't that great. Between a perfectly visible dog following you about, sound effects, and screen scrolling your position is still pretty obvious. But when combined with the 50/50 trap, plus all the Poppy and teleporting shenanigans Galford is capable of, it's almost unfair.

They'll have rough idea where you are, but no clue when you're going to attack or from which angle.

Power Special

Mega Attack

6 3 2 1 4 6 + D

"Mega Attack, GO! GO!" Essentially a souped up Machine Gun Dog, and shares all of its properties (including add on hits against certain cast members and Poppy's assist style hit trading). This time Poppy kicks and beats the opponent, then tears at them from all directions before taking to the skies for a crash landing with her own version of your Strike Heads throw. Like all power specials it does big damage and breaks weapons.

Use all the same strategies you would with the Machine Gun Dog. Poppy takes her sweet time laying the smack down, while Galford is free to act and stays in rage until she's finished. Yep, that means you can hit certain members of the cast with raged slashes in the midst of them getting torn apart by a power special! One mistake and your opponent can go from 100% life to just a sliver remaining and with no weapon in hand.

General Strategy

With top tier movement speed, teleports and a triangle jump Galford is arguably the most mobile character in the game. You should be controlling the distance and pace of the fight at all times. You also have more options at your disposal than anyone else and can play multiple styles. One minute you can get in their faces looking to land the big AB slash or a Strike Heads, in the next instant you can switch to long range play throwing electricity and sending Poppy from every direction. Keep them guessing. Look for any opportunity to knock your opponent down, even if it costs you some life. Galford's wake up game can win him the match on its own.

One mistake you don't want to make is getting into a hacking match at footsie distance. Galford's pokes are serviceable, but don't have the best range in the world and are fairly weak damage wise. Again, use your mobility to set opponents up for that nasty AB slash or Strike Heads. Once you have them afraid of those, bring on Poppy! When playing as Galford you never have to pigeon hole yourself to any one playing style.

50/50 Trap

This nasty trap more or less boils down to a wake up game. It's a big part of SSII, and just about any character in the game can do it. What sets Galford (and Hanzo) apart is they do it far and away better than anyone else. Here's how it works:

  • Knock your opponent down. Doesn't really matter how.
  • Time crouching AB or Strike Heads to hit just as your opponent gets up.
  • If they guess Strike Heads and try to escape, the crouching AB hits for heavy damage, dizzy chance and a knockdown. Back to step 2. If they anticipate the AB with a block and you use Strike Heads, they go for a ride. Back to step 2.
  • If they guess right and block the AB, cancel into Rush Dog or Plasma Blade for safe chip damage. Optionally rush in immediately after for Strike Heads and then its right back to step 2.

Once started, the best your opponent can do is escape to a neutral position. If they guess wrong, a big portion of their lifebar is gone and the cycle continues. Go for it every chance you get. It's this trap that makes trading a hit to land Machine Gun Dog well worth the sacrifice. Once she has your opponent down, start this trap and make them pay dearly.

Air Defense

One of Galford's main weaknesses is that he lacks any specific way to control vertical space, and his wide stance makes him a big target for cross up attempts. SSI vets might remember the close CD, but in SSII it's been nerfed severely and no long has any ground to air priority.

That doesn't mean you have to stand there and take it though. Combine some of the following to create a solid anti air game. Just make sure you don't get caught up too much with any single tactic. Keep them guessing.

  • Replica Dog. Perform this on reaction and Poppy will meet them halfway in the air.
  • Crouching AB. As mentioned above, the unusual hitbox of this move makes it useful as a highly damaging anti air.
  • Dodge and counter. Thanks to Galford's maneuverability often the best thing to do is run right under a jump, turn around and punish them.
  • Air Throw. Galford's air throw is often forgotten since air throws in general are rare in this game. Combine that with its supreme priority and you have yourself a nasty air defense. Risky, but effective.
  • Jumping C. Galford's jumping C hits well above him and can be used to snuff many air to ground moves on reaction.
  • Air superiority. Sometimes the best defense is a good offense. Galford's own air to air and air to ground attacks are among the best. Keep your opponent pinned down, and you won't need to worry about air defense at all.

Disarmed

Galford tends to lose sword clashes and so finds himself disarmed a lot. Fortunately he's arguably the best unarmed fighter in the game. Galford is the only character in SSII who keeps his full special move set while disarmed, and his basic unarmed attacks are excellent. Still, you carry that weapon for a reason right? Let's go over some of the losses.

  • Jumping AB. It's a damage dealer, but your CD handles air to ground just as well and you have plenty of other tools for air to air.
  • The devastating close AB. This isn't a huge loss because it's more of an opportunity punisher, and you still have Strike Heads to make up for it.
  • Crouching AB. This is probably your biggest loss. Crouching D doesn't come out as fast or cause anywhere near the damage, and there's no good replacement for the quirky anti air hitbox.
  • The 50/50 game. It's still possible to do, but not nearly as effective.

Other than those loses you should be just fine. Galford's kicks and unarmed strikes are top-notch, second only to Wan-Fu. Combined together they cover all the same angles as your weapon attacks. All of your specials are available with minimal change (only the Replica Attacks are modified and it's a trivial difference). In fact you gain a couple of cancels and pressure combos not possible while armed, not to mention a CD throw perfect for cornering. If you must have that sword back, Shadow Copy is your ticket. Otherwise don't risk yourself running away or flitting about trying to recover a lost weapon. Just get in there and get busy. You can mix standing A, C and D to poke, but close quarters is really where you want to be. Use close AB cancels to keep pressure on like never before, take em' for a ride with Strike Heads at every opportunity and don't forget about Poppy!

VS Strategy

Caffeine Nicotine

Unless completely outmatched as a player, you have no business losing this match. Nicotine relies mostly on decent normal attacks and a ton of gimmicky projectiles. That would be great for him except they're all slow and easily evaded or countered. Wear him down with your own projectiles or close in and take him to pieces. If you want to give him a chance, play the poking game. It's your weakest area and you should still beat him without too much trouble. Just be aware of his size and the advantage it gives him for dodging attacks. Outside of that you're a ninja in top condition with sharp blades, armor, magic and a vicious dog. He's a chest high old man with a stick, robe, and some tarot cards. Do the math and don't embarrass yourself.

Cham Cham

This little girl is either a big pain or easy meat. First, forget Poppy and Plasma Blades. She'll chuck her boomerang right through any of them and lay you flat. Her next threat is Tobi Hikkaki (leaping scratch). It hurts quite a bit and has some serious priority. If you can do Rear Replica on reaction (you did practice that yes?) you can vanish right out from under it and catch her on the recoil for free. Otherwise don't panic – just dash forward to make her whiff, turn around and give her a standing B. If you're extra daring, you can also jump up and air throw her right out of it. Not a great risk reward ratio, but will send a clear message. The last two threats are her super quick A slashes and crouching CD (slide kick). The later has a long recovery but insane range. Good players will do this at max range where you can't counter. Both are nullified with good blocking and judicious use of your own crouching kicks. Don't worry too much about Paku Paku. His monkey shines are weak. If she dares try a normal jump in, air throw her without hesitation - she's especially susceptible to it. Once you get past her limited set of effective tricks, Cham-Cham dies horribly to Galford.

Charlotte

Here's a tough one. Charlotte can't keep up with you damage wise, but her poking game is second only to Ukyo. In other words it's a lot better than yours, and she can keep you out all day. Don't try jumping in with AB, she'll use her hopping kicks to send you packing. If you can get her to commit to a Splash Fountain and send Poppy for a bite, the fight is over. Good Charlotte players rarely fall for that though. The secret is to beat her at her own game (frustration). Start chucking Plasma Blades and Rush Dog at her from just out of jump range. She might try to respond with her triangle projectile, but it's easily nullified with Rush Dog (take one for the team Poppy!) or better yet ducked by laying down. Keep this up until she dies, the timer runs out or she gets sick of being chipped to death and comes after you.

Now the real fight begins. You have the advantage once she goes offensive, but don't underestimate her. Switch to Machine Gun Dog, but don't go for the 50/50. For whatever reason Charlotte is a bit harder to catch with Strike Heads than other characters so the 50/50 loses a bit of its shine on her. Stick to the release combo instead. Cross her up if you can with a meaty jumping CD – it beats her kicks and uppercut startup. If you hit, keep up the pressure. If not, get out of poking range and start wearing her down with projectile wars again. The most patient player wins this matchup.

Earthquake

Earthquake's size nullifies your air throw and… that's about it in his favor. Otherwise he's a huge target and highly susceptible to the 50/50 trap. Earthquake players love to abuse their crouch AB, and for good reason. That thing rips a massive chunk off your life and reaches out to forever. Unfortunately for Earthquake, Poppy is less than impressed and can grab him out of it with ease. Use this to your advantage and bait him into sticking it out. Trade for Machine Gun Dog, start up the 50/50 and the round is yours. Otherwise just don't give him any breathing room and he'll go down in no time.

Galford

On paper mirror matches come down to execution, and Galford is a high execution character. Don't forget though, this is SSII - spacing and timing are just as important. Obviously watch for some of the same tricks you might pull, but don't expect the other Galford to play like you. Galford's versatility means the other player could have a completely different approach.

CPU Galford is usually a pushover, but once in a while it will turn up the heat and then you'll get a quick lesson on how vicious Galford can be. He'll happily swarm all over you with a mix of teleports, Poppy, and his normal attacks – counter perfectly with specials, and then dash in to grab you out of nowhere when you least expect it. Or even when you do. Make note and try out some of these tactics for yourself. The CPU can read controls but is otherwise limited to the same rules you are. Everything it does is viable in human play with enough practice.

Gen An

Gen An can be a problem, but he's more than beatable. Poison puffs and a well-timed Slaughterhouse Tumble will ruin your day if you aren't careful, and his normal moves are pretty good at zoning. He's also quite proficient at grabbing out of nowhere with regular throws – just like you. This is one of the few fights where the optimal place to be is mid-range. If he comes out of the gate with poison puffs, sacrifice Poppy and teleport to get where you want to be. Otherwise just walk right up and harass him with your standing B at its maximum range. Throw in an occasional poppy or Plasma Blade cancel, and there won't be much he can do. At that range you can easily stuff or block his slides, standing AB, and poison due to their start up. His own standing and crouching B are decent, but your standing B will still beat them. That leaves Slaughterhouse Tumble. He might try it to break through, but this risk is clearly in your favor. One electric toasted gremlin coming right up!

Genjuro

Genjuro players want to intimidate you with his high damage, dizzy potential and a bad attitude. Ooooh scary... NOT! That said, his moves DO hurt, especially the standing AB, and he's good at landing it, so don't give him free shots. Genjuro is also the closest thing SSII has to a Ken/Ryu clone. His card projectile, uppercut and Rekka slashes are mechanically equivalent to a Hadouken, Shoryuken and Tatsumakisenpukayaku respectively. In a game full of gimmicks and unconventional styles someone able to run a good old fashioned fireball and dragon punch strategy can wreak havoc. He also has some surprisingly effective kicks.

There really isn't a particular method to beating Genjuro. He doesn't have any specific advantages against you, but his general strategy is pretty effective and he can end the round in a heartbeat. Best thing to do is stay on the move, bait him out and go for big hits of your own. Your close AB is a good equalizer here, as it easily tops his and he has a tendency to leave himself open for it. Surprise, who's the heavy hitter now? Genjuro also happens to be one of the characters vulnerable to extra hits while in Poppy's clutches, meaning with the right setup you can end the round even faster than he can. Now who's REALLY the heavy hitter? Overall you've got more tools to work with than he does, so just run a fairly mistake free fight and Genjuro should fall.

Hanzo

 This is an interesting matchup. There are several subtle differences between the two besides their special moves. Let's look at how they stack up:

+Your close AB is much stronger than Hanzo's. Any trades will quickly win the day for Galford.

+You have Poppy and her “assist” factor.

+All of your moves are available unarmed (Hanzo loses his super).

-Hanzo's ground projectile is harder to avoid, recovers more quickly and knocks you down.

-Hanzo has an air projectile.

-As good as your Strike Heads is, Hanzo's Mozo-Otoshi is that much better. Landing just one of these can turn the whole round in his favor.

Essentially Galford is the everyman fighter whereas Hanzo is more focused on specific abilities. In game terms this means staying on the move and mixing it up. Hanzo will always be looking to nail you with the Mozo-Otoshi - better Hanzo players will use it as an intimidation tool to control space. You have plenty of mobility to stay out, but then Hanzo gains a big advantage anyway by controlling the fight.

The best counter is to fight fire with fire. Practice, practice, and practice the Strike Heads until you are able to pull it off in your sleep. You don't really need to try and land it all the time so much as to make Hanzo aware he risks going for his own ride by getting close. It's a win for you because the Mozo-Otoshi is a much bigger part of Hanzo's game. Now that you've got the upper hand all that remains is to make Hanzo proud by showing him the student has surpassed the master.

Haohmaru

This guy gets all kinds of attention for his standing AB, but that's not his real weapon. Damage wise your close AB beats all of his AB slashes. The real threat is his standing A and standing B. Compared to yours the latter reaches twice as far and does nearly double the damage. With the big H you'll want to stay right in his face or far out of range. Don't worry about his Senpuzan or Kogetsuzan. Both are too slow for him to play a Ryu/Ken style game and if he tries you've just found a rookie player who shouldn't be hard to beat. DO watch out for his slides from max distance and the general effectiveness of his midrange game. Experienced Haohmaru players are good at keeping you in that middle zone where his range and power simply overwhelm you. It's possible to win a poking war with him, but one misstep and you're well behind. If you want in, counter with Poppy or rush him on a whiffed attack. If you prefer to stay out, dance around and pepper him with Poppy and Plasma Blades. He can reflect your blades, but the timing is strict for him and at range it's no big deal anyway.

Kyoshiro Senryo

You probably won't see much of Kyoshiro, but that's probably more to do with his look than anything else. He's surprisingly evasive and comes equipped with IMO the best set of armed normal attacks in the game. They're fast, long reaching and all do solid damage. His specials aren't that inspiring, but they cover all his needs.

Bait and trade to get a bite from poppy is probably your best bet. Rush in for the 50/50 trap and you can finish him quickly. Otherwise rely on standing B, crouching AB, and your superior mobility.

Nakoruru

This match is almost unfair. Nak has her animal companion and speed. You have both those plus teleports, better moves, more reach and twice the damage output. Nak relies on you making mistakes and then capitalizing with quick expansion attacks. Problem is she has no way to create openings on her own and lacks the reach or damage to play any reasonable poking game. All you have to do is make her come to you, avoid silly mistakes and this fight is yours. One thing to note is that she can quite easily run down all of Poppy's attacks (and you) with her Mutsube rush specials. Might not win her the fight, but it's pretty embarrassing to see both Galford and Poppy laid out in one stroke, so don't get TOO careless.

Neinhalt Seiger

Seiger is kind of like a bigger Cham Cham, and you can fight him much the same way. His Blitz Jaeger covers a bigger space than Cham Cham's Tobi Hikkaki and it's even better at crossing you up, but it's also just as vulnerable to the same counter strategies. In particular, it's quite easy to air throw him out of it once you learn the spacing. His normal jump also game enjoys high priority and cross up potential, but your air throw can shut it down just as hard.

Once you've made it clear who owns the air, his options are severely limited. Seiger's ground game is nothing outstanding, although he's one of the very few with a more damaging close AB than you. Don't worry too much about his Tigerkopf (command grab) – the CPU seems to land a lot of them but it's rarely a factor in human matches. The Vulcan Cannon is a bit more threatening, but so long as you aren't careless it's no big deal. Most of his moves have a fair bit of recovery lag, so a simplistic but effective tactic is to wait for him to stick something out, block it and rush him with Strike heads.

Ukyo

Ukyo sits at the top of every tier list, so you're going to be seeing a lot of him. He's boring, methodical and obviously tough to beat, but you have the tools to take him down. It's not going to be easy though. Ukyo doesn't have great mobility or damage output, but he doesn't need either. His game mostly revolves around wearing you down with Swallow Swipes which he can launch from any angle with almost no recovery. Outside of that he likes to harass you with his best in the cast poking game and top tier mix ups. But that's just the start. Make even the slightest mistake and you eat a shadow slide attack. This last move is what really glues everything together and makes him the pain that he is. It's ultra-fast to come out, hits hard and recovers quickly. Moreover only the last image is vulnerable to attack. Stick anything out in hopes of stopping him and you get nailed by the first image while the “real” Ukyo stays safe and sound. Now you've lost a chunk of life and have to fight your way back in range all over again. His basic moves cover every angle regardless of range, and as if all that wasn't enough, Ukyo's rage lasts longer than anyone else in the game.

So how to beat him? You're going to have to take risks. Watch advanced matches against Ukyo. The players who stick to “safe” poking patterns are inevitably worn down and killed – the players who go right after Ukyo are the ones who come out on top. Make use of jumping in and Shadow Copy to feel him out. Dash about the screen a`nd use your speed so he won't know which angle of Swallow Swipe to throw. Practice Rear Replica Attack until you can do it in your sleep – if you can perform it instantly on reaction to a Swallow Swipe, you'll take away a huge part of his game. Ukyo Swallow Swipes, you drop on his head, and keep it up until he learns his lesson. If you can't do that, try rolling in. With good timing you can close distance by rolling right under most of his Swallow Swipes. Not quite as hot as the Rear Replica, but it doesn't require you to be a ninja on the controls.

Get Poppy involved. Walk right up to his optimal middle range and trade for the Machine Gun Dog if you must. Do whatever it takes to get a single knockdown. At that point, it's HIS turn to feel the frustration. Start up the 50/50 and don't let up for a second. Ukyo is SSII's best poker, one of the best projectile war fighters, and a great reaction character, but his best shenanigans require a bit of space. Even up close he's no pushover, but you'll have the advantage with your greater damage output and maneuverability. Make the most of it and stick to him like glue. If he escapes or pushes you out the pendulum swings right back in his direction.

As a last resort you can also play a little footsie with him. This is normally the worst thing you can do, but there is a range just about two steps back where your 6 frame crouching C can hit and stuff nearly anything he sticks out. Ukyo's only retort is his own crouching C, but yours reaches just a touch father, thus the not quite mid not quite close range you'll need to stay at. Too far and you're in caught in Ukyo's unbeatable poking range. Too close and it devolves into a button mashing contest. Ukyo players are not used to getting poked at and you might be able to throw him off. Just be careful – the optimal range is a hair's width and he might still manage to sneak in a Shadow Slide.