The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match/Kyo Kusanagi

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I'm not top tier anymore


"Stop moping around and butch up, you weenie!" - Kyo Kusanagi circa '96

Final Edition Change List


  • Kyo (all)
  • Close A recovery decreased by 2 frames
  • cr.A recovery decreased by 1 frames
  • Kyo (N. Kyo/Omote Kyo)
  • 114-Shiki: Aragami (Wicked Chew) damage 10 -> 13, guard point increased by 2 frames
  • B version R.E.D. Kick as soon as he starts his descent, his hit box has been improved lower (no changes to when he's dropping)
  • 910-Shiki: Nuetsumi (Phantom Mauler) can counter more attacks

Move list

At a glance:

  • Pardon the terrible, inaccurate, yet officially localized names in parentheses (cowabunga).
Normal Throws
Hatsugane (Anvil Slam) (throw) f./b. + C
Issetsu Seoi Nage (Swift Shoulder Throw) (throw) f./b. + D
Command Normals
Geshiki: Goufu You (Thundering Axe Burst) f. + B
Geshiki: Naraku Otoshi (Drop to Naraku) (air) d. + C
88-Shiki (Style 818) df. + D
Special Moves
100-Shiki: Oniyaki (Fire Ball) dp + P
717-Shiki: Koma Hofuri (R.E.D. Kick) rdp + K
212-Shiki: Kototsuki You (Crescent Slash) hcb + K
75-Shiki: Kai (New Wave Smash) qcf + K, K
910-Shiki: Nuetsumi (Phantom Mauler) qcb + P
114-Shiki: Aragami (Wicked Chew) qcf + A
┣ 128-Shiki: Ko no Kizu (Masticate) (during Aragami) qcf + P
┃┣ 127-Shiki: Ya no Sabi (Oxidation) (during Aragami > Ko no Kizu) P
┃┗ 125-Shiki: Nanase (Rapids of Rage) (during Aragami > Ko no Kizu) K
┗ 127-Shiki: Ya no Sabi (Oxidation) (during Aragami) hcb + P
 ┣ Geshiki: Migiri Ugachi (Intensetaneous Smash) (during Aragami > Ya no Sabi) P
 ┗ 125-Shiki: Nanase (Rapids of Rage) (during Aragami > Ya no Sabi) K
115-Shiki: Dokugami (Poison Gnawfest) qcf + C
┗ 401-Shiki: Tsumi Yomi (Recitation of Sins) (during Dokugami) hcb + P
 ┗ 402-Shiki: Batsu Yomi (Verdict) (during Tsumi Yomi) f + P
Desperation Moves
Ura 108-Shiki: Orochinagi (Serpent Wave) qcb hcf + P (can be held)
Saishuu Kessen Ougi Mushiki (Final Showdown) qcf x2 + P

Normal Moves

Close Standing Normals

  • Close A
cl.A – Quick jab with the elbow. It's one way of establishing pressure from close up without much committal. Close A could hit many characters upon their crouch but has a tendency to whiff upon smaller crouching characters such as Kim and Iori. Close A is also cancelable.

  • Close B
cl.B – Fast kick to the shins. This attack hits low and is an alternative to using Crouching B. Close B can chain into other light normals and vice versa. A classic attack string is starting with Close B > Crouching B > Close C. Close B is also cancelable.

  • Close C
cl.C – Lightning fast uppercut. This is one of Kyo's strongest tools in his move set. It functions as a great anti-air and as a pressure tool. Opponents that get antsy and try to hop out from a throw situation would be caught by the Close C instead. It's common to see Kyo players running forward with confidence and pressing Close C to continue momentum or anti-air upon reaction against a misplaced hop or jump. Of course this move is cancelable. What's an issue for it in the KOF98UM series is that it was nerfed in activation range compared to KOF98og. It's more difficult to confirm cr.B cl.C links since cr.B on block puts Kyo too far away to continue pressure for a Close C.

  • Close D:
cl.D – Weird, stanky looking kick. In terms of application, this kick is like a slower Close C with less vertical range. How this makes this move useful is as a frame trapping tool due to the slower start up speed. It combos into the same Special Moves as Close C but keep in mind that there is a tad more push back upon hit with Close D and could push the opponent out too far for a knockdown hit. Close D is cancelable. Close D can link from Crouch(ing) B if Crouch(ing) B was done meaty on opponent's wake up.

Far Standing Normals

  • Far A
Straight Jab. It's a great anti-hop check tool. Has decent range for a standing light attack to stop opponents from hopping at Kyo. It whiffs upon most crouching characters but actually touches larger characters such as Daimon and Chang upon crouch. Within that context, it could also function as a great pressure tool within those match ups. Otherwise, Kyo could do a small attack string, run half the distance between the opponent and himself, and check the hop space with Far A to catch any hop outs. Also a good low committal follow up after spacing with an aerial normal to check opponents' hops. Far A is also cancelable.

  • Far B
Quick side kick. Effectively a longer ranged Far A that hits most crouching characters (exceptions are characters such as Chin or Choi.) So It's a nice way of checking an opponent's options and making sure the opponent is either blocking or grounded after Kyo attacks with light attacks from a close range. The frame advantage/disadvantage upon block isn't too hot that is why it doesn't see as much action as Far A as an anti-air check, but it is a good way to occasionally check opponents and set yourself up for watching the opponent's choices after Kyo's Far B.

  • Far C
Snappy back fist. It's pretty much a heavy hitting, slower Far A. Most players don't use this move as a stand alone attack and usually comes out when players mess up or fudge an attempted Close C. Within this Kyo's move set, it serves very little purpose other than balancing out the effectiveness of Close C. It's cancelable and can combo into C version of Orochinagi and Kototsuki You (Crescent Slash.)

  • Far D
Spinning sobat kick. It's a quick and snappy kick that goes over most low hitting attacks. It helps Kyo maintain momentum within attack strings by frame trapping from other attacks and after Far D itself. Far D is just a wonderful move for crushing low attacks in general. It's a bit similar to Guile's spinning sobat kick in the Street Fighter series in this respect.

Standing Blowback

st.CD – Shoulder ram. Kyo retracts for a bit then rams forward with his body. This attack is not use too often due to the lengthy start up of the attack for the range it covers but it can win in certain situations thanks to the retraction making moves whiff and the following attack. It is pretty much a standard Blowback attack.

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. It can be chained into from other light attacks but can't chain out. It's cancelable and combos into 88 Shiki, Oniyaki, and Saishuu Kessen Ougi Mushiki. 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.

  • 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 is Kyo's main low attack for mix-ups and helps Kyo open up opponents. It chains into other light attacks and could link into Close C and Close D (from meaty.)

  • Crouch(ing) C
cr.C – Uppercut while crouching. An anti-air mainly used upon reaction against jumps, but it can be used to anti-air hops depending on the range and the player's ability to react. It's a really strong anti-air but it isn't as fast as Close C by just a tad. The hit box is a bit strange and has the tendency to whiff at point blank against grounded, tiny crouching characters such as Choi. Use with care, but it is a strong tool. Crouch C can cancel into other moves but not from using the hit box in the tip of the punch.

  • Crouch(ing) D
cr.D – Sweep. It's a standard sweep but isn't as fast as other sweeps in the game. Still, it is very usable and can cancel into other attacks upon whiff to cover for its vulnerability to varying degrees of effectiveness. One good instance to use it is after cl.C on block from point blank, or to be used after being pushed out of Crouch B range. It helps Kyo low profile against certain airborne projectiles.

Jumping Normals

  • Jump(ing) A
j.A – Jumping elbow. It's an infrequently used air-to-air attack that is a bit underrated. The most notable range to use this move upon approaching an opponent is hopping or hyper hopping forward from the range where a Jump B would whiff; so, upon the way down it'll hit crouching opponents where Jump B would lack the horizontal range to do so while also checking the hop space, catching those that also try to move forward as Kyo hops with Jump A. It's recommended to not over-zealously use Jump A nor accidentally whiff it and get punished severely.

  • Jump(ing) B
j.B – Downward knee attack. This is Kyo's main means of jumping in on an opponent. It has a really dominant downward hit-box and has a tendency to even stuff anti-air attacks as they come out due to lengthy active frames of the attack. It has the ability to cross up although it requires a bit more precision to land compared to other cross ups in the game. The hit-stun of the attack is also pretty infamous and upon medium-height crouching characters and lower, Kyo could stick this attack out at the earliest moment that it could connect and still be able to combo into Crouching B, Close C, etc. and score a combo. Jump B is one of Kyo's quintessential parts of his move set.

  • Jump(ing) C
j.C – Jumping Punch. In overall application it could be described as Jump B that is positioned within Kyo's upper body/chest area. It doesn't have as much active frames as Jump B, and since it's positioned higher upon Kyo's body, it doesn't reach as low as Jump B and is more prone to anti-air attacks and trip anti-airs. It has an even more particular cross-up hit-box than Jump B, but adds another nuance for Kyo's jump-in choices. While it may whiff upon most crouching characters if used as an attempted cross-up, it could cross-up from ranges that Jump B would hit from the front. So, Kyo can condition the opponent to block while standing from the same jump spacing then switch it up with different option. So although not that predominantly used, Jump C adds to Kyo's cross-up ambiguity.

  • Jump(ing) D
j.D – Jumping Kick. One of Kyo's primary spacing tools. It functions as a great air-to-air attack thanks to the long range and decent speed this kick has. The tip of Kyo's kick is the sweet spot in which Kyo should make contact with opponent. It's great as an air-to-ground attack despite its lack of horizontal range as long as Kyo tips with Jump D. Since it still makes contact with the grounded opponent from a far, horizontal range, it makes it hard for the opponent to try to anti-air and counter it so most of the time the opponent is forced to either take it or block it, and this allows Kyo to keep momentum as he closes in. Some Kyo players even frame trap a Far D or Aragami after a tipped Jump D to keep momentum. Jump D upon a neutral or back hop is also a great tool to use to keep people out from running in, hopping in, and jumping in. If used appropriately, this attack is also one of Kyo's most important attacks.

  • Neutral, Full Jump(ing) B
nj.B – Another knee attack. It's similar to Jump B but with a different animation. Although the placement of the attack is comparable to Jump B upon Kyo's figure, it seems as if it's placed slightly higher although to little or no applicative change.

  • Neutral, Full Jump(ing) D
nj.D – Kyo twists his body to kick. It's similar to Jump D but seems to have a smaller upwards hit-box. So as an air-to-air attack it isn't as strong as Jump D. Still has functions as an air-to-air but most probably given to Kyo to balance out his move set.

  • Jump(ing) Blowback
j.CD – Aerial shoulder ram. A jumping attack that isn't an overhead but induces large block stun. This move shrinks Kyo's hurt box by enough to make certain attacks, particularly horizontal anti-air normals, and clip the opponent and knock the opponent down. A great pressure move that helps Kyo maintain momentum at the expense of trying to score a high/low mix-up.

Normal Throws

  • Hatsugane (Anvil Slam) - (throw) f./b. + C
A standard forward throw that the opponent can recovery roll from. It would be cool if it had an Anvil.

  • Issetsu Seoi Nage (Swift Shoulder Throw) - (throw) f./b. + D
A good backwards throw that causes hard knockdown and causes back turn on the opponent's wake up. If Kyo throws the opponent into the corner with this, Kyo 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 or safe jump set ups.

Command Normals

  • Geshiki: Goufu You (Thundering Axe Burst) – f. + B
A slow overhead. When cancel into, the attack speeds up and becomes a double hitting move although with the loss of overhead properties. Although slow, it is one way of opening up the opponent and confirming into a Max Mode combo. When canceled into, it functions well as a frame trap from Crouch A.

  • Geshiki: Naraku Otoshi (Drop to Naraku) – d. + C in midair
Untechable knockdown upon air-to-air and exhibits great hit stun upon air-to-ground. It's great for crossing up standing characters and larger crouching characters. Kyo could cancel his back dash into Naraku Otoshi to increase the speed and range of his back dash while decreasing the recovery period. This move is an essential function to Kyo's offensive options and defensive movement.

  • 88-Shiki (Style 818) – df. + D
Two-part low-hitting move. It recovers slowly so it's best to use this move from further ranges that tips with each kick. Whiffing the second part could mean a big punish for the opponent.

Special Moves

  • 100-Shiki: Oniyaki (Fire Ball)
  • dp + P
  • The strong version has some invincibility frames; and in KOF98UM and FE, the first hit actually knocks down unlike KOF98og. As a reversal, this attack has the tendency to miss and be beaten out by low attacks from crouching characters. Unless the player knows that the opponent is airborne (not safe jump set up) or standing, the player is better off just blocking or using other defensive options.

  • 717-Shiki: Koma Hofuri (R.E.D. Kick)
  • rdp + K
  • Arcs through the air and kicks from above. It's a pretty annoying move to deal with from the receiver's end, but a good player would be able to check Kyo by appropriately doing quick anti-air and air-to-airs safely while approaching. In a Kyo mirror match, a common tactic at the start of the round is for Kyo to walk forward a little bit and pressing Far A just to check a start of the round, light R.E.D. Kick. Although the recovery on a whiffed R.E.D. Kick is decent, a good player should still be able to punish it. Depending on the match up, R.E.D. Kick could be even punished on block by quick command throws. This move is pretty abuse-able especially with inexperienced players. Against characters with small crouching hit-boxes, the light version will whiff and leave Kyo open for a big punish. Some characters that can't naturally crouch underneath the light R.E.D. Kick could low profile underneath it using a cr.B or Sweep and still punish Kyo. The D version is more difficult to low profile underneath, but it's still possible; and due to the slower nature and larger arc of the D version is more easily anti-air'd by normal means such as a DP.

  • 212-Shiki: Kototsuki You (Crescent Slash)
  • hcb + K
  • A running elbow attack that causes hard knockdown on hit. It's extremely unsafe on block and is easily punishable, leaving this move almost strictly for combos. What is odd about this move is that it has no hurt box during its active frames. So as a gimmicky "meaty" attack, it can be used to stuff practically any reversal attack due to its lack of hurt box. Since it's so obvious, most good players would just block and punish it. Although it requires a bit of timing, it's the preferred ender mid-screen after Kai for the damage and hard knockdown. The B version goes about 3/4ths of the screen while the D version covers about full screen. After getting a full screen knockdown, some players like closing in the distance with the B version of Kototsuki You. If the move is done and recovers before it make close contact with the opponent, it recovers quickly. The running speed of the move itself is faster than Kyo's normal run so that's why some players close in with it as long as the opponent can't really move forward to offset the unsafe portion of the move.

  • 75-Shiki: Kai (New Wave Smash)
  • qcf + K, K
  • A two part, hop kick attack. The main one to use is the D Version for its juggle properties and ability to combo from Close Heavy Attacks. At mid-screen, this move would only combo from a Close Heavy Attack if the Close C or D is used point blank; meaning, that the second hit of Kai would whiff if Kyo starts his combo with something such as a Jump B (but there is no issue if the Jump B is used as a cross up because Kyo would then be point blank.) Unlike mid-screen, Kyo could easily combo from a jump-in with a cornered opponent. The player could use this attack on block for pressure and is safe as long as the second kick is delayed. Characters that have invulnerable reversals or can low profile against the second kick could punish the attack in between kicks, so please be wary of using this attack depending on the match up. The B Version is faster and has slightly less range than the D Version, but it can't juggle much afterwards unless the attack is fast enough to hit the opponent at the apex of the launch. B Version could also be used to juggle after a D Version Kai.

  • 910-Shiki: Nuetsumi (Phantom Mauler)
  • qcb + P
  • A strange counter move that works like a weird grounded uppercut on whiff that is mostly safe on block. The first section of this attack, before Kyo strikes upwards, counters low hitting attacks and most crouching attacks. With this counter it causes hard knockdown upon hit. After Kusanagi raises his hand, it counters most standing normal attacks that comes into contact with Kusanagi's arm. For this counter, it only causes soft knockdown. Since Oniyaki is usually beaten out by meaty, low attacks, more daring players use Nuetsumi as a reversal to catch players meatying with low attacks. So, the player usually chooses between Nuetsumi and Oniyaki as reversal attacks, other than blocking like a sane human being. This move is extremely punishable on whiff so be sure not to toss this out thinking it's a much safer option than Oniyaki that occasionally catches people with the physical hit box of this move. This move has a bit of start up as well so certain players also bait it out and throw it on start up.

  • 114-Shiki: Aragami (Wicked Chew)
  • qcf + A
  • Combos from strong attacks; has small period of guard point at chest level. It's a great tool for frame trapping with and for controlling the hop space. Just be wary of other attacks that can attack around it such as a well timed Iori j.CD or a well placed cr.B that could stuff it out cleanly.
  • 128-Shiki: Ko no Kizu (Masticate)
  • qcf + P during Aragami
  • An uppercut that launches the opponent. It has significant use as a frame trap after Aragami, and at times it could be used as an anti-air after a whiffed Aragami if the spacing and timing is right. Depending on the match up, this attack is punishable on block by fast command throws or other quick attacks.
  • 127-Shiki: Ya no Sabi (Oxidation)
  • P during Ko no Kizu
  • An overhead, elbow strike. It may seem safe on block but that largely depends on the match up as well. Many other characters could actually interrupt in between Ko no Kizu and the Ya no Sabi. So before the start up and after the recovery on block there is a lot of risk to this move as long as the opponent knows how to punish accordingly. Use sparingly outside of combos. Doesn't really combo that often outside of the corner, and it combos mid-screen from Ko no Kizu as long as the Aragami hits near point blank.
  • hcb + P during Aragami
  • Does not combo directly from Aragami if the opponent is grounded and has a very large start up. This move seems to be much more punishable than the version that comes after Ko no Kizu. It could be used as a gimmicky frame trap but one is better off using Ko no Kizu due to the speed and relative safety of the the latter.
  • 125-Shiki: Nanase (Rapids of Rage)
  • K during Ko no Kizu
  • K during Ya no Sabi directly derived from Aragami
  • A lunging kick that is typically used to end qcf+A > qcf+P combos. It only causes soft knockdown compared to the Ya no Sabi ender that does hard knockdown. The Kyo player has to be aware the ranges that the P ender of qcf+A > qcf+P actually reaches, and otherwise use the K ender for everything else out of range. This move is super unsafe on block and puts Kyo at a close range to be punished by an opponent's best combo so try to not use this like how a Fei Long player uses (avoids to use) the last punch of his Rekka-ken.
  • Geshiki: Migiri Ugachi (Intensetaneous Smash)
  • P during Ya no Sabi directly derived from Aragami
  • An OTG punch. This move also isn't safe on block although it frame traps well in between Ya no Sabe and itself.

  • 115-Shiki: Dokugami (Poison Gnawfest)
  • qcf + C
  • Combos from strong attacks and is the main way to knock an opponent down mid-screen after using a jump-in from the front. This move is unsafe on block unless it makes contact using the tip of the hit box towards the end of the flames. It could be made safer through Quick MAX. Although it's a bit sluggish in speed, it's still a good attack to use during the neutral game to catch opponents off guard of the range that Kyo could actually control beyond the range of his Aragami. Use accordingly with good judgment and try not to use it too much outside of combos although it feels good to tag someone with it at neutral.
  • 401-Shiki: Tsumi Yomi (Recitation of Sins)
  • hcb + P during Dokugami
  • Mainly used as a frame trap after Dokugami since Dokugami generally isn't safe on block if used at a closer range. Also unsafe on block depending on match up and range that the Tsumi Yomi connects.
  • 402-Shiki: Batsu Yomi (Verdict)
  • f + P during Tsumi Yomi
  • And this is used to frame trap after a Tsumi Yomi since opponents will be tempted to punish it after block. This move is extremely unsafe and every character could punish this with ease and devastation. Only do it during combos or if one is "absolutely sure" that it will hit.

Desperation Moves

  • Ura 108-Shiki: Orochinagi
  • qcb hcf + P (can be held)
  • Sends out a gigantic hit box. During the charge-up you have some invincibility (upper-body for the C version, lower-body for the A version). Even with the specific invincibility, the actual start up of the move is usually too slow to punish the recovery of the move that is whiffed. Using this move for that purpose is really match-up and situation specific if the opponent over commits on a mid-length/high-length recovery attack or poke. This desperation move is unsafe on block and should be mainly used in combos anyways.
  • The SDM version of Orochinagi puts Kyo's entire body in flame (which happens to have a projectile hit box). Does the immolation does 3 hits in the corner and 1 hit mid-screen. The actual waves of flame that is released hits 3 times and could juggle from the immolation launcher, D version of 75-Shiki: Kai, or counter hit j.CD as examples. Somewhat safer on block since the three flames puts the opponent in large amounts of block stun. Many smarter players could guard roll the first flame and punish Kyo anyways so it's still not a smart idea just to let it rip, Tyson.

  • Saishuu Kessen Ougi Mushiki
  • qcf x2 + P
  • Kyo's signature desperation move. This move is the main damage dealer from cr.B, cr.A hit-confirms. The damage has been nerfed from KOF98og to the 98UM series, even still doesn't do as much damage in Final Edition. With a cr.B, cr.A hit-confirm, it does about 30% damage toward the opponent's overall health gauge and about 50% with the SDM version. In KOF98og, it did about 45% for the normal version. It's unsafe on block like most other moves of its kind so it shouldn't really be used outside of combos. On its own, it does about 3% chip (about 8% chip with SDM version) of the opponent's total health bar so it can be used a chip finisher,; although, a better player would guard roll on first contact to avoid the rest of the chip. So if one wants to chip with it to kill, make sure the opponent doesn't have any meter. The flame pillar that comes out at the start of the move does anti-air jumping/airborne opponents. So for a round closer, it could cover multiple areas of space to anti-air, chip, punish opponents as long as the opponent doesn't have legitimate escape or counter options such as stock for guard cancel rolls.



  • cr.B > cr.A >> df + D or dp + A or qcf qcf + P
  • Basic combo from low hits.
  • cr.B or j.B > cl.C >> qcf + C >> hcb + P >> f + P
  • Basic mid-screen combo that also works anywhere. Be careful with cr.B on block as cl.C will turn into Far C unless that is the intent.
  • cl.C >> qcf + D, D > rdp + B or qcb hcf + P or hcb + K or air d + C or j.CD or j.D
  • Basic juggle combo. Possible in the middle of the screen from point blank.
  • (Corner) j.B > cl.C >> qcf + D, D > qcf + A >> hcb + P >> P
  • Chunky, meterless corner combo.
  • cl.C >> qcf + C >> Quick MAX cl.C >> qcb hcf + C or (qcf + C >> hcb + P >> f + P)
  • Kyo's Quick MAX combos for anywhere on screen. The buffer for the Orochinagi is: Quick MAX > qcb > f.C (hits as cl.C) xx qcf + C (cancel into Orochinagi.) C Version of Orochinagi is preferred because it actually combos from cl.C, A Version doesn't because ir is slow.
  • cl.C >> qcf + D, D >> Quick Max > SDM Orochinagi (qcb hcf + P)
  • Alternative Quick MAX damage dealer during Red Health state.

The Basics

cr.B cr.A xx Final Showdown doesn't do as much damage anymore.

Advanced Strategy

"You just ain't got it. So stop whining and get lost."


Nothing super specific for now.