The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match/Benimaru Nikaido

From SuperCombo Wiki
B Button Color Palette


Do you understand?

Final Edition Change List


  • Benimaru
  • Far B damage changed from 4 -> 7
  • C version Raikouken has become a 1 hit attack and can be followed up by putting opponent in float state, does less stun
  • Raikou Katategoma's startup made 3 frames faster
  • MAX Raikouken's recovery decreased by 9 frames

Move List

At a glance:

  • Pardon the terrible, inaccurate, yet officially localized names in parentheses (cowabunga).
Normal Throws
Catch and Shoot (throw) f./b. + C
Front Suplex (throw) f./b. + D
Spinning Knee Drop (air throw) f./d./b./df./db. + C
Command Normals
Jackknife Kick f. + B
Flying Drill (air) d./df./db. + D
Special Moves
Raijinken (Limber Lightning Strike) qcf + P (air OK)
Shinkuu Katategoma qcb + P
Super Inazuma Kick (Super Lightning Kick) dp + K
Iaigeri (Iaido Kick) qcf + K
Handou Sandangeri (Triple Resist Kick) hcb + K
Benimaru Collider (Benimaru Coleda Crunch) (throw) hcb f + P
Desperation Moves
Raikouken (Heaven Blast Flash) qcf qcf + P
Raikou Katategoma (Lightning Flash Fist) qcb qcb + K
Electrigger (Elek-Trigger) (throw) hcb hcb + P

Normal Moves

  • Close A
cl.A – Quick jab with the elbow. It's one way of establishing pressure from close up without much committal. It only makes contact upon medium height crouching opponents such as Kyo and taller. Characters such as Iori shrink underneath this move, thus limiting the overall effectiveness of this attack since there are other moves that do the same job but better.

  • Close B
cl.B – Fast kick high kick. Unlike Close A, this attack hits shorter crouching characters with the exception of the smallest height class such as Choi and Chin. Generally this move is used as filler in hit-confirms and combos than as for an attack with an actual application.

  • Close C
cl.C – Downwards elbow strike. It is like any other typically fast Close C attack. It may seem faster than Close D, but it isn't. The advantage to use this attack rather than Close D is by the off chance the opponent tries to jump out for whatever reason, and the higher vertical hit box may tag the opponent where Close D would not.

  • Close D
cl.D – Fast knee strike. This is one of Benimaru's main pressure and confirmation tools. This is what the player would want to use when making a big punish. The push back and frame advantage/disadvantage on block is decent enough for Benimaru to trap afterwards with something like a Far B, Far D, or sweep. A great normal move overall. It can link from a cr.A.

Far Standing Normals

  • Far A
Straight Jab. It's a decent anti-hop tool but is overshadowed by all of the other great anti-air tools that Benimaru has. Far B is very comparable with better range and similar recovery so this anti-air doesn't get to see much usage outside of very specific and weird angular situations.

  • Far B
Quick side kick. This is one of Benimaru's main poking tools and anti-hop check assets. This attack generally whiffs over most crouching characters, but larger characters such as Daimon are force to take this move even during crouch. It's a fast snappy move with very little risky and most characters can't run underneath it and it's hard to play footsies against it. This is a good tool to force opponents to get uncomfortable and try to find other ways to get around it such as full jumping, which could be reacted to and anti-air'd easily, or reposition themselves on the ground allowing for Benimaru to gain more initiative. Once again, this is a very powerful asset.

  • Far C
Straight punch. Think of it as a heavier hitting, slightly slower recovering Far B. What's great about this attack is that against medium-height crouching characters, Far C connects against them unlike characters of small crouching hit boxes. Within that context, not only is the damage chunky but there is very little the opponent could do against Far C especially if it's well placed. Sweeps generally can shrink underneath and punish Benimaru but it's hard for characters with shorter ranged sweeps. Also opponents would be more wary off tossing out sweeps since Benimaru's Far D crushes most low attacks, thus making it a wonderful complement to Far C.

  • Far D
Spinning sobat kick. Benimaru's furthest grounded poke that also goes over most low attacks. This is one of the biggest tools in Benimaru's arsenal that helps establish ground dominance. Since the recovery is somewhat larger than his other attacks, Far D is more prone to jumps and floatier hop approaches during the recovery. A good player should be a bit more patient and perceptive of when to toss out this attack and when to be ready to anti-air with a Far B, Super Inazuma Kick, air-to-air, or air throw when appropriate. With all of Benimaru's grounded normals, he can effectively be a huge defensive wall that is hard to approach.

Standing Blowback

st.CD – Roundhouse kick. It's like a slower version of Benimaru's Far B that has the tendency to go over some low attacks. Some players use the max range of this attack against an opponent's wake up to stuff any antsy reversal super jumps or reversals with terrible hit boxes that would get stuffed. Like other moves in its category, it can cancel into other specials and desperation moves on whiff, block, or hit.

Crouching Normals

  • Crouch(ing) A
cr.A – Small, crouching jab. It's a standard, crouching light punch that one could find in most fighting games. Low committal, doesn't hit low but is a pressure tool to a certain degree. It can be chained into from other light attacks but can't chain out. The biggest plus to use this move over Crouch B is that some characters can reversal super jump or hop out from certain ranges when Crouch B is used, but Crouch A in those cases would stop those characters. For Benimaru, if this move hits meaty it can link into Close D and further combo into something else. At point blank and on block, this move can trap into sweep against players that try to jump out after Crouch A or try to walk away/alternate guard against an excepted command throw. Though limited in application as a pressure tool since Crouch B pressure is better, it still has its uses.

  • Crouch(ing) B
cr.B – Crouching kick. This attack has great speed, in regards to start up and recovery, for the range it reaches. It can abuse other characters by attack outside the range of their light attacks and the speed stuffs out most sweeps and slower grounded attacks. Crouch B for Benimaru is great for confirming into knockdown combos and for breaking alternate guard. Once opponents start respecting the pressure and also hesitate to alternate guard, it gives Benimaru the chance to go for a tick throw using Benimaru Collider.

  • Crouch(ing) C
cr.C – Janky-looking uppercut. Benimaru's second furthest ranged, crouching attack. What makes this attack neat over sweep is that it doesn't knockdown giving Benimaru opportunity to low profile under certain attacks and can be confirmed into special moves and Desperation Moves. It's not really used as an anti-air but as long as it can low profile under jump-in attacks, it could hit jumping opponents as they land into the decent amount of active frames Crouch C has. Like Crouch A, Crouch C has limited applications but still has particular purposes.

  • Crouch(ing) D
cr.D – Sweep. It's a standard sweep and is pretty fast for the range it covers in comparison to the rest of the cast. Like other sweeps it's cancelable on whiff, block, or hit. This is another great poke in conjunction with Far B and Far D during the ground game.

Jumping Normals

  • Jump(ing) A
j.A – Jumping elbow. It's an infrequently used air-to-air attack. Benimaru's other jumping attacks cover around the same range but for better damage, safety, and utility. Almost never seen at all in real, competitive play. The only plus side seems to be that it covers around the same space as Jump C but comes out slightly faster. Generally by the time Benimaru is close enough to use this move as an air-to-air, Jump C would be preferred anyways thanks to the air throw option select built in that is inherently faster than Jump A anyways.

  • Jump(ing) B
j.B – Downward knee attack. Another standard jumping knee attack. It has a pretty good cross-up hit box towards the front side of Benimaru and is a nice way of mixing up Benimaru's cross-up approach. Also it has a decent downward hit box making it an effective jump-in but still has the tendency to lose to good anti-air attacks since Benimaru is very floaty. It can cancel into Flying Drill (j.d+D) upon contact of the opponent. The biggest advantage of using this is to do this technique at the highest point an opponent would Guard Cancel CD against a jump-in, and the Flying Drill puts Benimaru outside of the GCCD range and punishes the recovery with the rest of the drill kick. For some reason, full neutral jump(ing) B can't cancel into Flying Drill.

  • Jump(ing) C
j.C – Jumping uppercut. A great air-to-air especially against opponents that approach from above while Benimaru is simply hopping forward. Try to do this attack while holding any directional input other than up, up-forward, or up-back. With this, the player may have a chance to air throw option select while approach or retreating. If the opponent is too close, the air throw will catch. If the opponent stays on the ground, Benimaru may come down from the hop and still have enough active frames to for the opponent to take the hit or block the Jump C. If the opponent is too far out, the Jump C has a strange hit box that makes it generally with in air exchanges. The main fault of this attack is the lack of downward hit boxes, and if used improperly, Jump C may be susceptible to trip anti-air attacks into big combos. Like jump(ing) B, jump(ing) C can also Flying Drill and could also cancel into the drill from a full neutral jump. This technique can't really bait out GCCDs well, but it serves as a good air-to-air blockstring that builds up enough guard damage against an air guard that the next attack on block usually guard breaks.

  • Jump(ing) D
j.D – Jumping Kick. One of Benimaru's main tools and functions well as a swiss army knife. It works well as a cross-up, as a jump-in, and as an air-to-air. Spacing for the cross-up is a bit more difficult than other KOF games but is still do-able. Even as good as this move is, it's still pretty easy to anti-air with good vertical normals or "dragon punch" types of moves due to Benimaru's floaty and react-able hop and jump arcs.

  • Neutral, Full Jump(ing) A
nj.B – Straight up vertical punch. Very little use for this normal as there are very opportunities for Benimaru to use this attack. May be used in some weird ST-like anti-air situation but largely not needed and impractical due to all of the assortment of anti-airs Benimaru has.

  • Neutral, Full Jump(ing) D
nj.D – Weird looking kick. It's similar to Jump D but seems to curved up-wards and has less horizontal range. Generally it's less useful than normal Jump D and seems to serve the purpose of making sure Benimaru doesn't have a good Jump D during his full neutral jump.

  • Jump(ing) Blowback
j.CD – Crossed legs kick. This is Benimaru's most vertically downward attack that serves as his best air-to-ground attack. Although it may not hit overhead because it's a Blowback attack, it serves the purpose of allowing Benimaru to approach and pressure as it's hardest move to react to and anti-air from a grounded perspective. Since it's angled more downward, it's also more susceptible to air-to-airs from the side and such so be careful when using this attack. If saucy, this can be used to get a counter hit on an opponent, then cancel jump(ing) CD into Aerial Raijinken (j.qcf+P) to get a juggle state, then combo into another attack after Benimaru lands if he has enough time to do so. Quick Maxing the Aerial Raijinken would help.

Normal Throws

  • Catch and Shoot - (throw) f./b. + C
A standard forward throw that the opponent can recovery roll from. The main reason to go for this throw just in case the opponent tries jumping/hopping in expectation of a command throw and one wants to keep the opponent in the corner.

  • Front Suplex - (throw) f./b. + D
A good backwards throw that causes hard knockdown and causes back turn on the opponent's wake up. If Benimaru throws the opponent into the corner with this, Benimaru has access to devastating, strange cross-up set ups thanks to the back turn and hard knockdown. Otherwise from mid screen it still sets up for normal cross ups and simple safe jumps.

Command Normals

  • Jackknife Kick – f. + B
A slow step-kick. It kind of goes over low attacks but doesn't serve that purpose very well since Far D does it more safely and better. Jackknife Kick doesn't even combo from heavy attacks, making the purpose of this attack very limited. The main use of this attack is to serve as a frame trap since it can be canceled into from other normal attacks. Most players use this as an occasional block string tool that can be canceled into command throw safely due to the long block stun induced by the attack and the quick recovery of Benimaru's command throw.

  • Flying Drill – d./df./db. + D in midair
A drill, dive dick. It's a decent tool for Benimaru to use to change his aerial momentum to trip up the opponent's expectations. After hit and on block, Benimaru is pushed out to a distance where he has the advantage to push a button. Against most grounded options that opponents choose after a blocked drill, Benimaru should use Far D to stuff out the opponent cleanly. Against opponents that try to jump afterwards, Benimaru could quickly check the opponent with a Far B after the drill. If the opponent chooses to do nothing and wait or block, Benimaru could start up pressure again or also be patient. It has moderate recovery on whiff so it's still susceptible to chunky punishes so don't try to use this move over-zealously. As mentioned above, this move can be canceled into from jump(ing) B and jump(ing) C for their specific purposes. Mainly to guard break air guarding and baiting out and punishing Guard Cancel CDs.

Special Moves

  • Raijinken (Limber Lightning Strike)
  • qcf + P (air OK)
  • Benimaru's signature lightning ball attack invented by Nikola Tesla. The A Version has Benimaru throw a straight punch directly in front while the C Version attacks upwards at a 45 degree angle.
  • Overall the preferred version for spacing is the A Version since it still catches most jump attempts while cleanly stuffing any hop attempts as long as Raijinken comes out first. Also, the A Version hits all crouching characters, making it a difficult pokes to deal with since it induces large enough chip damage to make an opponent antsy.
  • Against cornered opponents, there is a sweet spot near the tip of the attack to use as a meaty on their wake up. If they try to roll forward to avoid chip, they'll recover towards the other end of the Raijinken and take the hits. So other than being a good pressure, chip tool, Raijinken serves as a good checkmate tool.
  • The C Version gets an improvement in Final Edition by becoming a launching move that goes into combos. It whiffs against all crouching characters, but it hits all standing characters except for Chin and Choi. It can combo from crouch(ing) B hit confirms; this becomes an incentive for Benimaru players to go into empty hop into low hit confirm option for more damage than simply comboing into Super Inazuma Kick or empty hop into command throw or normal throw. As an anti-air, it's not as fast or as reliable as Super Inazuma Kick on reaction, and the C Version is used as an preemptive anti-air when the player is really feeling one's self.
  • There is an air version of Raijinken, but on block it leaves Benimaru at a considerable disadvantage but not enough to necessarily make him unsafe in most situations. Benimaru can use Raijinken at almost any height from the peak and descent of his full and super jumps. From hops and hyper hops, Benimaru could only use Raijinken from the apex. Benimaru could also cancel Jump CD into air Raijinken, but still under the same limitations it activates from hops and jumps. Most players also use this as a round ender to finish off opponents since losing momentum due to the frame disadvantage isn't usually worth it during the course of the match. On hit, it leaves the opponent in a float/juggle state that allows for another attack afterwards to end the combo.

  • Shinkuu Katategoma
  • qcb + P
  • An attack where Benimaru plants a hand and spins around on it like a top. The weak version does three hits, and the strong does six, after which the opponent gets soft knockdown. Combos from strong attacks. If the C Version is blocked, it can be countered by a move with quick start up. The A version is mostly safe on block barring a few really good and fast attacks such as Robert's Far D. The A Version is preferred overall other than safety is the fact that it crushes Guard Cancel CDs. To do this, use a cancelable normal when one thinks the opponent will Guard Cancel, and then cancel that normal into A Version Shinkuu Katategoma. The move will pass through the GCCD and punish the opponent.

  • Super Inazuma Kick (Super Lightning Kick)
  • dp + K
  • A standard "dragon punch" type of attack that takes its name from the Gainax classic, Gunbuster. Both versions of this move seem to have similar amounts of invincibility. The difference is that the B Version doesn't cause knockdown against standing opponent, but moves Benimaru backwards a bit and recovers faster than the D Version. The D Version does cause knockdown on crouching characters, but is more risky to miss with than the B Version. Both versions are unsafe on whiff and block, but the B Version can be a bit more pesky to consistently punish. Be careful when using this move as a reversal as some characters can low profile underneath the hit box of this attack. Mix up reversals between this and command throws, but it's better to have good fundamentals and just block. The D Version can be used as a GCCD crush just like how A Version Shinkuu Katategoma can, but is much more risky for only a tiny bit more damage. Just sayin'.

  • Iaigeri (Iaido Kick)
  • qcf + K
  • Almost like a special version of Far B that can't be crouched under (and has more recovery than Far B.) It's generally one of the safest specials Benimaru could cancel into but does the least amount of chip. Iaigeri causes a sliding, hard knockdown effect when used as an anti-air attack. Mainly players used this to combo into the follow up that does knockdown and one of the best meterless damage Benimaru has.

  • Handou Sandangeri (Tripe Resist Kick)
  • hcb + K
  • A three-step move that combos from strong (C/D) attacks. The third hit on the weak version sends him backwards, and on the strong version sends him basically straight up. The weak version leaves him less open. It usually is the best meterless combo ender in general against crouching and standing characters but requires commitment and quick hit confirming. It also crushes some but not all low attacks; so one could be haughty and make hard calls against low pokes with this move.

  • Benimaru Collider (Benimaru Coleda Crunch)
  • hcb f. + P at throwing distance
  • A very fast command throw with an equally as fast recovery. The limitation of this attack is the short range this command throw has in comparison to other command throws in the game with the same type of motion. This is mainly used as a tool to open up opponents that are too scared to try to mash out buttons, too scared to jump or hop, and too scared to alternate guard. It does decent damage for the type of tool it is. It causes hard knockdown so it sets up for safe jumps and cross-up set ups. One typical set up is to roll or run and roll right after finishing the command throw, then hopping or jumping to mix up front/cross-up approaches.

Desperation Moves

  • Raikouken (Heaven Blast Flash)
  • qcf qcf + P
  • A stronger version of Raijinken that does five hits. The A Version puts it straight forward, and the C Version puts it diagonally upward.
  • The MAX version does ten hits and it is put out forward regardless of the button you use. It's fast but not invincible. It's mainly used in hit confirm combos and to end juggle combos.
  • This move doesn't function well in the neutral game and is mainly used for combos.

  • Electrigger (Elek-Trigger)
  • (throw) hcb hcb + P
  • Apparently it is now a 1-frame throw that functions as a more powerful Benimaru Collider. Not as safe to whiff as Benimaru Collider, don't whiff it. It's a pretty surprising move at times.

  • Raikou Katategoma
  • qcb qcb + K
  • Shinkuu Katategoma with a ball of electricity as part of the spinning.
  • The normal version puts a hitbox behind Benimaru as well as in front.
  • The MAX version has it in front only, and finishes with a Super Inazuma Kick. If that finisher doesn’t hit, it won’t do a knockdown, it leaves you exposed, and the damage will be lowered.
  • Both versions combo from crouch(ing) B hit confirms. Not really used for much else.



  • cr.B > cr.B > cr.B >> dp + D
  • Basic combo from low hits. Universal combo from almost any situation such as jump-ins, cross-ups, low mix-ups, and etc. Bang for one's buck.
  • cl.C or cl.D >> qcb + A
  • Basic combo from a heavy attack while simultaneously being a generally safe block string. If the opponent GCCDs the cl.C/D, the qcb + A would crush the GCCD and punish it.
  • cl.C or cl.D >> hcb + K
  • Most damaging basic combo without using meter. Requires good hit confirming or doing the combo on a guaranteed punish/set-up.
  • cr.B > cr.B >> qcf qcf + AC or qcb qcb + K/BD
  • Basic combo into Desperation Moves.
  • (corner against standing opponent [excluding Choi & Chin]) cr.B > cr.B >> qcf + C > air qcf + P or air d + D > dp + D or qcf qcf + PP
  • A new combo available to Benimaru in Final Edition. Sometimes the Aerial Raijinken (air qcf + P) or Flying Drill (air d + D) needs to be Quick Maxed to have the ender connect. Pretty situational combo but really devastating nonetheless.
  • cr.A > cl.D >> hcb + K
  • Because you can. Only from point blank.

The Basics

Anti-air everything

Advanced Strategy

Play footsies