One player may compete against the computer, or two players may simultaneously compete against each other. Each player has an 8-way joystick and 4 buttons.
The buttons on the arcade are typically laid out in the following fashion:
Though they might as well be laid out like this:
The joystick works intuitively in that pressing left will generally move your character left, and pressing right will generally move your character right. But it is more important to think in terms of relative direction.
- If your character is facing to the right, then pressing left on the joystick means backward, and pressing right on the joystick means forward.
- If your character is facing to the left, then pressing left on the joystick means forward, and pressing right on the joystick means backward.
For this reason, all movelists assume that your character in standing on the left side, facing right. If you are standing on the opposite side, reverse directions.
How to Play
Each battle consists of 3 rounds between you and your opponent. At the start of each round, both player's life or health bars are full. The first player to drive the other player's health bar to zero wins the round. The first player to win 2 rounds wins the match and moves on to the next opponent. If a single player loses to the computer, the game is over and the player must continue to rematch the recent opponent.
To win a round, the player must use his or her character's attack moves to damage the opponent, and block or dodge the opponent's attacks. Each player may attack from a standing or crouching position, or they may jump in to the air and attack. To attack from a standing position, press any single attack button. To attack from a crouching position, pull the joystick in a downward direction (including both diagonals) and press any single attack button. To attack from the air, direct your character to jump straight up, or jump in a diagonal position, and press any single attack button in mid-air.
To block an attack, a player must push backwards on the joystick when the opponent attacks (otherwise, pressing back on the joystick moves the player away from the opponent.) Blocking can be done standing which blocks middle and high attacks, as well as attacks in the air, but does not block attacks which are low to the ground. Blocking can also be down crouching by pressing the joystick diagonally down and back. A Crouching block will successfully block low and middle attacks. High attacks will usually go over your character's head if they are crouching, but a crouching block does not defend against air attacks.
In addition to normal attacks there are attacks known as command moves and special moves. Command moves are special combinations of a joystick direction and a particular attack button that produces a different attack than when the button is pressed alone. A special move is a move that requires a more complicated joystick motion and an attack button to perform. Special attacks can be blocked like any other attack, but they do what's known as "tick damage." That is, even when blocked, they removed a single hit point from your health bar. Most special moves have a pause associated with them that leave you vulnerable to attack if you miss the opponent, or "whiff".
The last form of attack available in this game is a throw. Throws are executed by standing immediately in fort or behind your opponent, pressing the joystick either towards or away, and pressing the button. If performed correctly, your character will grab the opponent and toss them to the ground in a manner specific to your character's fighting style. Different characters might have a different array of throws with more complicated commands associated with them. Throws are unblockable.
By pressing the A and B button together, you can taunt your enemy. Taunting opponents can charge your Heat Gauge but leaves you vulnerable for enemy attacks, so it should be used with caution.
By pressing the joystick in the backward direction twice make a fast retreat (to get out of a dangerous situation). The joystick must be pressed pretty fast for the escape to work. You can also press the joystick in the forward direction twice to dash toward the opponent and make a surprise attack.
Pressing repeatedly while knocked down will have a character recover quickly from a normal attack. This will also work in the air, but not after getting hit with a Super Power, Overdrive, Throw, and certain special move attacks.
The Heat Gauge is a power bar that starts off at the 50% mark. Attacking or your opponent, and taunting increases your Heat Gauge but taking damage from the opponent decreases it. You can use a Heat Blow attack and an Overdrive Power attacks at 100% when it's labeled at "MAX OK". When the Heat Gauge is really low it will read "DANGER", when it reaches 0% the character will become dizzy for a couple seconds.
Using a full Heat Gauge the Heat Blow is an totally unblockable attack that can be chained into a combo or air juggle if hit. The Heat Blow will drain at 80% of the Heat Gauge.
Super Power is when the power meter is full and half of you life bar is gone and flashing red. When activated, you can use a Super Power move continuously until you die or until the next round.
Overdrive Power is when the Heat Gauge is full. When activated, you can only use an Overdrive Power move once, and the Heat Gauge will fully deplete.