One player may compete against the computer, or two players may simultaneously compete against each other. Each player has an 8-way joystick and 5 buttons.
The buttons on the arcade are laid out in a slightly different fashion for just this game:
The A and B buttons are light attacks while the C and D buttons are hard attacks. In general, light attacks are less powerful and faster, and hard attacks are more powerful but slower. The CH button (also known as button E) stands for Change Partner, and only figures in to team attacks, not to any one fighter's individual moves.
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 instructions are given with respect to forward and backward since the left and right directions change purpose when your character switches directions.
The following directions assume that your character is facing right, the starting direction of every fight for player one, who begins on the left side:
How to Play
This section assumes you understand the basics of most fighting games. Please see other examples such as the rules for The King of Fighters.
- Single player battle
- You begin the game with 300 seconds on the timer. The timer continues to countdown to zero throughout each battle. It never resets or increases, unless you lose ad continue, or if you happen to choose the "Increase Time" bonus. During each match, only one team member needs to be knocked out for the other team to advance. Between rounds, your character will heal up to the red portion of their health bar. You also hang on to your stored super meter gauges between battle. After three battle, you are offered a selection of bonuses. You can choose between:
- Health Increase (about 25% for both members of your team)
- Full Super Meter Gauge.
- Extra time (25 seconds).
- You may not choose the same bonus twice in a row (except of course for none), so your most recent selection will be grayed out on the next bonus selection. In order to fight certain bosses, you must select bonuses. Another boss requires that you select none. Another condition that determines which boss you will face is your remaining health, which is based solely on the green bar in your health meter, not the red bar. As soon as the timer reaches 0, the current fight will end immediately, and you will advance to the boss battle.
- Boss battle
- You will begin the fight with 120 seconds on the timer. Both members of you team will have all of their health restored, but they lose any stored super meter. The battle will last until either the player's team or the boss has been defeated, or if the timer reaches 0. If the timer reaches zero, the player wins if the combined remaining health of both team members is greater than the remaining health of the boss. Bosses can not swap out since they have no team members. However, they will automatically regain health very quickly. If you lose, you may continue and start a new battle with the boss from the beginning.
|Goodman||8||at least 6 that connect||none||none||team health above 50%|
|King Leo||6||none||1||no more than 1||none|
|NEO-DIO||6||at least 4 that connect||2||none||none|
|Mizuchi||If you fail to meet any of the above requirement combinations.|
- Two player battle
- The fight will begin with 160 seconds on the timer. Unlike single player battles, both team members must be knocked out in order for the battle to conclude (unless time runs out). If time runs out, the winner is the player whose remaining combined team health is the greatest. If a player loses one member of their team, and executes a Guard Cancel Tag Attack, the remaining fighter will simply perform a knockdown attack. At the conclusion of a two player battle, the winner will proceed to a single player battle with the same amount of time that was left at start of the round which was interrupted.
Throughout each battle, only one fighter from each team may actively battle against an opponent. By pressing the CH button, your team will switch combatants, the current fighter leaves the screen and is replaced by a team member as long as he or she is not stunned from an attack. Tagging characters are invincible while their feet are off the ground.
When a fighter takes damage, the two portions of the health meter decreases separately. The green portion of the health meter indicates a fighter's current health. The red portion decreases slightly slower, and indicates the maximum amount of health the fighter may heal while outside of the fight. Once a fighter is fully off-screen, they will begin to regain a small portion of his or her health over a period of time, up to the limit set by the red portion of the bar (i.e. the green portion will never exceed the red portion). Even if that fighter returns to play, all remaining unhealed red portion of his life remains available for healing.
Guard Cancel Tag Attack
If you press the CH button while blocking, your current fighter will counterattack with a knockdown attack that does no damage, then switch out. The move requires level of super meter. Your fighter is invincible while flashing white during the attack, but your incoming partner is vulnerable to attacks. This move can be done anywhere as long as you're blocking. You do not need the "D-Assault OK" message on-screen to use the Guard Cancel Tag Attack, but keep in mind if the move hits, your opponent will get half of a super meter added to their gauge. In a 2-player match, if one character was already KOed, the Guard Cancel Tag Attack will only have your remaining fighter performing the knockdown attack, since there's no partner to tag with.
A Double Assault allows both members of your team to launch an attack on your opponent. To perform a Double Assault, enter +CH. It does not switch characters, it does not require stock, and can be chained into. The move does little damage, but it reduces the amount of health your opponent can heal (indicated by the red areas at the lifebar). Upon connecting with the D-Assault, the screen background will turn blue. After the move ends, the screen resets to the center even if the move was done in the corner. The D-Assault ends with the hit character being sent flying across the opposite end of the screen. You may only use the Double Assault when the message "D-Assault OK" appears above your stock gauges. The message will reappear again after a short while if you didn't use anything involving the CH button. A Double Assault can hit jumping or juggled opponents, but it has almost no priority, and can be defeated by just about any other attack. Upon a successful D-Assault, your partner's lifebar will flash red for some time, which allows them to do more damage. Normal attacks will do block damage, and blocked attacks reduce opponent's guard meter more. This is known as Hyper Charge mode. The Hyper Charge mode lasts until your "D-Assault OK" message reappears, regardless of whether you switched characters or not. A Double Assault will miss if you tried to combo a normal attack against a jumping/mid-air opponent, even if on a Counter hit. Certain team combinations have access to special D-Assaults.
All fighters can dash toward or away from their opponent. To perform a dash, tap the joystick twice in the direction you would like to dash (forward or backward). Your character will then perform a run or hopping animation and move quickly in that direction. You may also attack while you are in the process of dashing. This will cause you to execute an attack while you continue to move. You may also jump forward while dashing forward for an extended jump. If you hold the joystick forward after dashing forward, your character will break into a run.
Fighters can perform two different kind of jumps. They can jump as fighters normally do by pressing the joystick up for straight jumps, and up and to the right or left for diagonal leaps. However, if you quickly move the joystick down and up, your character will jump higher than average.
Tactical Step and Fallbreaker
Press + to execute a Tectical Step. This will cause your character to dodge, then dash forward. During a frontstep, your character is fully invincible (even throws will miss) while flashing white, and for about half the dash animation. They become vulnerable as they stop. Tactical Step's cost one half of a single super meter gauge. Unlike KOF's recovery roll, you may cancel your frontstep into an attack, but doing so will end your invincibility. Likewise, you may cancel an attack into a Tactical Step, but doing so will cost a full super meter gauge. If you press + after being knocked down, you execute a Fallbreaker. If you do, you will get up quicker and roll away from your opponent.
Moves with autoguard can block incoming attacks during certain frames of their animation. Autoguard can block normally unblockable attacks, so long as they are physical or projectile attacks and not throws. Certain moves have autoguard in a specific area only, such as Ryo's Joudan/Gedan Uke moves (his arm) while some moves have full body autoguard (Ryo's Buryoko Ranbu). You will still take blocking damage from autoguarding special moves, but being able to hit opponent while they're vulnerable makes it worthwhile. Autoguarding does not lower your Guard Meter, but note that while you can autoguard moves that do multiple hits, the autoguard frames may end before it's finished blocking the entire attack, so you may end up taking the remaining hits.
Critical Wire and Guard Crush
Certain moves result in a property known as Critical Wite. Moves with Critical Wire property will cause an opponent to rebound off the wall and leave them open to juggles. Guard Crush happens when a character blocks too much until their Guard Meter is depleted; the character will be stunned for a moment when they block. Upon being Guard Crushed, that character's Guard Meter will be refilled.
All fighters can perform Taunts by pressing the Start button. (This is changed to on the PlayStation 2.) When taunting, a fighter performs a typically humorous animation, during which time, they are completely vulnerable. Taunting will increase your super meter gauge slightly.