Strategy Guide - Guide for International Superstar Soccer Pro '98

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AUTHOR : Anannya Sen (Gan)
E-MAIL: [email protected]
DATE : 18/03/99

Unpublished work Copyright 1999 Anannya Sen

This guide is for private and personal use only. Please do not use 
this guide for any commercial purposes. All registered trademarks 
contained within this document are the property of their respective 


First thing you should do before anything else is pause during the 
game and change the speed of the game up to full because anything 
below that and you'll be playing like a fool! I'm not going to go 
into any options or settings, as these are pretty obvious in the 
game. This guide just deals with tactics and strategies.

1. Formation
2. Strategy
3. Buffering
4. Going around the computer
5. Player statistics
6. Crosses or Centering
7. A cheap way of scoring
8. Gauging the power of crosses and lobs
9. Tips on shooting
10. Radar
11. Fancy moves
12. Loose balls
13. Special passes
14. Tricks
15. Throw-ins
16. Free kicks 
17. Corners
18. Aerial balls
19. Curling or aftertouch
20. Running
21. Tackling
22. The pass back
23. Switching between players
24. Sliding
25. Defending
26. Passing from aerial balls and goal kicks
27. Defending near the goal line
28. Extra stuff
29. Extra Team
30. Credits

The main thing is finding a formation that you're comfortable with. 
This is so when you play you don't need to think about where your 
players are or how to attack, you know where they should be. I prefer 
a 4-3-3 B and attacking on the wings.

Strategy and Attack level are HUGELY important. I used to wonder why 
every time I crossed the ball or tried to clear it in the box, my 
players weren't doing didley. It's because they need that extra bit 
of motivation to get a header or volley. When you're on the attack, 
put your team on an offensive attack level (by pressing SELECT until 
the block under the players name is towards the way you're attacking) 
and also implement a strategy (by pressing either the L2 or R2 
buttons depending on what strategy you want - you'll have to remember 
what does what because it doesn't tell you in the game) if you want 
to or can be bothered to. You'll notice a huge difference. Personally 
I can't be bothered to always switch so I always start a match on an 
offensive attack level and a centre attack strategy. You can change 
the strategy and attack level earlier as well, before any kick off 
(i.e. after any goal), by pressing the appropriate button. It won't 
show up until you actually kick off but it saves you the hassle of 
trying to change it when you're actually playing. So I always press 
Select twice (to get to an offensive attack level) and R2 for a 
centre attack BEFORE kick off. If I go in front, I switch to a 
defensive attack level (usually by pressing Select once) and zone 
press strategy (by pressing L2) again BEFORE kick off. So when I want 
to score I put on the first set of options and when I want to defend 
I put on the second set of options. I always have my L2 and R2 
buttons as the same things so I don't have to remember what I just 
chose. For me L2 is always zone press and R2 is always centre attack. 
Experiment to see what strategies you like best. I also always use a 
sweeper system (changed with the Square button on the Formation 
screen) so that I always have a last line of defence, just in case.

ISS has a buffering system like most football games. What this means 
is that you can input commands for players to follow before they've 
actually received the ball. Therefore if you wanted to string 
together three quick passes then with the first person on the ball 
press X three times. The ball will be passed to a succession of 
players depending on which directions you press as the player 
receives the pass. This system applies to any command. If you want to 
shoot straight away then hold down the Square button before your 
player receives the ball and he will shoot. The same applies to 
headers, tackles etc. If you want to volley, however, you need to 
wait and press the button as the ball comes down to waist level, 
otherwise you'll header. 

To go around the computer players quickly and easily, as you approach 
them put on a burst of speed (by pressing R1) and go past them 
diagonally. Works every time.

When you're on the formation screen and your players are ill (unfit), 
then you can substitute them with any player. It doesn't make that 
much of a difference if you swap a defender for a forward or vice 
versa. However you can only swap a goalie for a goalie. You should 
try to have all your players at least normal. Unfit players really 
are quite bollocks but if you've got no choice then you've got no 
choice. When playing an exhibition it's random as to your player 
fitness levels, but if you think they're too bad then go back to the 
game options screen (by pressing Triangle a few times - the one 
showing weather, match length, level, stadium etc.) and then go 
forward again as this again randomises their fitness. You shouldn't 
have much of a problem as they're usually fit by the second or third 
time you do this. Or you could just play with the crap team for a 
laugh or to see how good you are (useful as a handicap if you're 
playing as a good team). 

When you're attacking down the wing, it's best to get your cross in 
late so that way your players will be in the box ready to score. Also 
when you cross, hold the direction opposite the one you want to cross 
to, after you've pressed the button, as this seems to get more height 
on the ball. When the player is in the box receiving, just hold the 
Square button to go for goal. This will automatically shoot, header 
volley etc. towards goal. Experienced players should add a direction 
after they've pressed the square button as this gains more control 
over the goal attempt (if you leave the shot without a direction the 
computer sometimes puts it wide with the most open goals). Unless you 
have a clear attempt don't try to low cross the ball (by pressing the 
Circle button twice) or ground cross it (press it 3 times) as the 
defender will block it. When you become really experienced, you can 
experiment with the crosses and score volleys, flying headers and 
A NOTE ON CROSSING: If you imagine that the line at the top of the 
box extends across the whole pitch, you'll have the line after which 
you can cross the ball (i.e. when the circle button no longer lobs 
the ball). It is sometimes useful to cross early but best to cross 
late. Also, it is sometimes quite useful to bring the ball down to 
the end of the pitch, then back up towards the top of the box and 
cross from there. This confuses the AI's defence and gets your 
players free. You can cross from just before the top of the box as 
well as anywhere in it (useful for getting the ball to free players)

Apart from the crosses there is one near definite method of scoring 
that I have found. If you get one on one with the keeper nearer the 
wing, slow up your run so that he comes out and then use the diagonal 
dash method described before, to go past him. After that put some 
medium power on the ball and it should go in - defenders can't really 
do a lot about it. If the keeper does come out you can try chipping 
it over his head but this is much harder. If you see him running 
towards you press the square button for just a split second and then 
press and hold the L1 button. This should enable a low power chip 
(the power bar builds up pretty rapidly and anything over 1/3 will 
make it go over). If you do manage to get it over the keeper there is 
always a chance that a defender will clear it from the line. This is 
not usually the case and you can sit back and watch the defenders 
flail about in their vain attempts at clearing the ball (they often 
cause it to go in).

When you are shooting the ball or lobbing it, until you actually kick 
the ball, you can still increase the power of the kick. This is very 
useful if you don't know how hard to hit it - just tap Square a few 
times so you can get the desired power level.

When approaching the goal try to shoot from the top of the box or 
slightly nearer with a fair amount of power as the keeper runs out 
and slides you. Top teams like Argentina, Brazil and yes, even 
England, should have their amazing strikers score most of the time 
like this. Try playing level 5 Brazil and watch Ronaldo (Ronarid) 
score every time he gets the ball in the box. When you are shooting, 
or even passing for that matter, always do it a little earlier than 
you want to, as otherwise the computer WILL tackle you.

10.  RADAR
One important point to note is that when you're playing it's worth 
looking at the radar when you get into a bit of space and so you can 
tell where your players are and if anyone is bearing down on you. 

In order to do any backheels or funky passes, just push the direction 
and pass, and it will pass in that direction. So to do a backheel 
while you're running, just press X to pass and then the opposite 
direction you're running in straight afterwards.

It's worth noting that when the ball is loose your players will 
automatically run onto it so you don't have to hold down the run 

One-two passes are pretty useless but the through balls are amazing. 
These are best used when a midfielder is running with the ball 
towards the opponent's defence and he has teammates in front of him. 
You can split defences wide open with this one. A very important 
point to note is that strikers get a lot more power out of their 
shots if they hit a ball first time while running onto it. So, play a 
through ball and as your player runs onto it but before he's reached 
it, press that shot button (Square button) for about 75% power and 
give a direction towards goal. Your player should run onto the ball 
and shoot first time with a blinding shot which the keeper usually 
has trouble saving. Run in and get the rebound if need be, for an 
easy goal.

There are two `trick' features in the game, which are not really 
controllable. The first is the players' ability to jump over tackles. 
You may see some players do it from time to time but you have no 
control over it. It depends on your players jump statistic, the speed 
and angle he's running at and the speed and angle of the tackle. When 
you do see it, it looks superb. The second feature is the motion the 
players make while running to control an aerial ball down in front of 
them onto their foot. This is sort of controllable but tough to do. 
If you play a lob to an attacking player and they are running and the 
ball is going to land in front of them, they will stick their foot 
out, control the ball down and keep running. While they are doing 
this, defenders cannot tackle them. This means you can play a lob 
from anywhere and as long as your attacker is running onto the ball 
at the right speed and distance, he'll control it onto his foot. This 
is quite hard to pull off but the results are devastating. Usually 
when your attacker receives such a pass, he'll control it so as to be 
free on goal and getting a goal afterwards using any of the methods 
described above is just the icing on the cake. You can play the lob 
from anywhere - near the front, the midfield or from the defence as 
long as you have a player that can run onto it. A little chip over 
the head of a defender to set an attacker free or a long ball from 
the back to split the defence wide open, the possibilities are 
endless and the result well worth it. This is without a doubt my 
favourite method of scoring.

15.  THROW - INS
Throw-ins are very useful for getting down the wings and if you are 
already down the wing they are really good at getting you enough 
space to cross the ball. When you take a throw in don't really use 
the long throw as this usually goes to the opposition. If you're 
using the short throw, there should be a defender marking your 
player. You have quite a few options here. I usually move the man I'm 
going to throw to as far towards their goal as possible as this sets 
up a play and gets the man into a bit more space with the defender 
(who'll usually tackle you straight away if you do a normal throw-
in). A throw and a quick pass back is the standard option enabling 
you to set up more passes. If you're not past the line of their box 
then you can do a short throw, pass it back to the thrower then 
through ball it down the line as this sets your winger off and 
running. He usually has loads of space as well and so can cross 
pretty nicely. If you're past the line of the box then depending on 
how far down you are (if your thrower is going to be offside when you 
pass back) you can perform the play listed above. Or you could pass 
back to the thrower and have him cross (or run in and cross) straight 
away. Or if you're quite far down the line you could move your man 
diagonally back up the pitch so he's as close to your goal as you can 
get and then throw to him and pass back to the thrower, setting him 
free for a cross on the wing. Be careful your thrower isn't caught 
offside though. 

Free kicks are the hardest thing to score from except if you're the 
computer. Lobbing from one always results in a defender getting the 
ball and shooting from one is pot luck really. It's best to play a 
short pass and either cross or pass again to build your attack from 
there. If you do get a free kick near the goal, just direct the shot 
towards the post and try and get about 75% power on the shot. It 
might go in or it might not. As you play more, you'll realise in what 
situations it's best to try to shoot from free kicks rather that 
pass. If you do try a lob the as soon as you lob, move your player 
towards the ball. It doesn't matter if he's a fair bit in front of 
the point where the ball will land, as this will give him priority. 
Oh, before I forget, watch Roberto Carlos take the free kicks for 
Brazil as they've included some special animation just for him. If 
you want someone specific to take a free kick, then on the free kick, 
pause the game (Start) and then choose formation. You should see a 
ball in the box where the player's number is. This denotes that he's 
taking the free kick. Use the substitution method (highlight him, 
press X, move to who you want to change him to and press X again) to 
change the player taking the free kick.

Corners are quite a mixed bunch. My preferred method is a short pass 
to a man next to you and have him run towards the box and cross it. 
You can use the centering from the corner spot (press Circle once for 
a high cross, twice for a mid and 3 times for a ground cross) but 
it's quite tricky and hard to pull off. You really have to be able to 
find your man. Shooting is a slightly better method but when you 
shoot you really cross the ball. As you're shooting the computer 
defence doesn't anticipate to really get the ball and so sometimes 
leaves it alone. Another useful method for corners is a high 
centering lob to the middle of the box. This will usually go to your 
player who can head the ball in. One very hard thing you can do is 
shoot from a corner with about 75% power and curl the ball (by 
pressing X) into the goal. Very tough but do it right and the 
computer cannot save it. Looks good too. When defending on a corner 
then just hold the Square button for a clearing header. If you can, 
try to get your man in front of the attacker or defender (depending 
what you're doing) so he'll get to the ball first. Actually this 
brings me to my next point.

When the ball is in the air (off anything - cross, lob, goal kick 
etc.) then usually your player moves to underneath the ball so they 
can receive it. However, on harder difficulty levels, the computer 
will invariably get its player in front of yours. You can avoid this 
by doing the following. The first thing you must realise is that when 
the ball is in the air and you see a yellow X on the pitch as to 
where it's going to land, you don't have to be directly under the X 
to get it. You can be a little bit in front of the X to still get the 
ball (you'll have to practice yourself to get the exact distances) 
and sometimes this helps with the shot. Now, when you're playing and 
the ball is in the air, the tendency is to press a button (usually X 
for a `pass' header) and a direction afterwards. This works most of 
the time but for those occasions when you know or see the computer 
player in front of you, you won't get the ball. In these instances, 
and believe me you'll start to recognise them after a bit of 
practice, you shouldn't press the button first. If you know where 
your player is going to be then move him in front of the opponent and 
then press the button to do whatever you want to do. Or you could 
wait until you see the ball and then move your player and press the 
button. If you press the button first then you won't be able to get 
the ball on these tough situations because of the buffering system. 
This also applies when you're in the box receiving a cross. Sometimes 
the defender will be close to you so that even though you do get the 
header etc. he'll put you off by being close (why many headers go 
over or wide). In these instances move a bit towards the yellow X 
where the ball is going to land (i.e. towards the ball and away from 
the defender) and then do your header. There is less chance of it 
going in but more chance than if you tried it with a defender up your 
arse. Having said that, if you have a good strategy and/or attack 
level, your attackers usually get the headers in the box by soaring 
above the other players. This technique is best used only when you 
are really advanced in the game. 

Aftertouch or curling is more trouble than it's worth. I have only 
scored about 10 goals with this and for someone who beats Level 5 3 
to 10 nil, that's very few goals. If you do want to score with 
Aftertouch then try to get a one on one shot with the keeper and 
press the shot button and curl button (Square and X buttons) and try 
to push your direction in the opposite direction you want it to curl. 
I must admit I have scored some nice goals with it, goals that would 
ordinarily be saved by the keeper or have gone wide but curled in at 
the last possible instant. It's best to get the hang of this in 
training mode before you use it in the game. 

Always be running. Unless you want to specifically take it around 
someone, always be running and have your players run onto the ball. 
If the ball is loose, the nearest player should try to run onto it 
automatically. When you receive a ball and there is another player 
behind you, don't turn on your heel but turn in a circular motion 
around the player to get past him. If you are running with the ball 
next to a player, turning on your heel may sometimes shake him off. 
If a player is chasing you and you have the ball and are running, 
whenever he gets near, change your direction slightly (incrementally) 
diagonally away from him, keeping your body between him and the ball 
and he shouldn't be able to tackle you (basic footie really innit?). 
You can run the ball all the way down the wing like this, unless you 
run off the pitch.

When tackling always barge them off the ball (unless you're having a 
laugh or are in a sadistic mood). Just run up to them and keep 
tapping the X button. If you aren't near the ball but are running 
towards them, holding the X button down sometimes works better as 
your player will automatically run up to them and try and barge them 
off the ball. When sliding make sure you're going to get the ball or 
you'll miss or foul. After a while you should be able to slide into 
an opponent, gaining the ball and trapping it on your feet. If you 
play the game enough (it sort of looks like I've played it too much 
by now doesn't it) you will start to learn how the computer runs 
after receiving the ball, enabling you to slide tackle them better. 
Also, when you learn how the computer passes the ball, you can 
intercept it much better or slide your player to intercept it (looks 
quite cool). There is a method of dispossession, which doesn't 
involve pressing any buttons. It's quite hard to learn but once you 
master it it's invaluable. When the computer has the ball and is 
running, run parallel to him so that you're almost touching him. Then 
keep slightly (incrementally again) pushing diagonally towards him so 
that each time you're almost touching him. He should be moving 
slightly away from you each time. After two or three of these, your 
diagonal movement should take the ball straight off his feet without 
any hassle or button pressing. It takes a while to learn but is a 
definite method of dispossession and once you master it, you can take 
the ball off them almost straightaway (no two or three movement 
changes). Also it makes the computer look stooopid!  

A neat trick if you're ever in trouble in the box or just need to get 
the ball upfield pretty quickly is to pass back to the keeper as he 
punts it up the pitch. This is useful if an attacker is bearing down 
on you or you want to try to get the ball to the midfield a.s.a.p. 

When you're not on the ball, always use L1 to switch between players 
(it usually goes to the player closest to the ball) as the player you 
control might not be the best one to chase the ball or make a tackle.

Pressing O while you're not on the ball slides your player towards 
it. If the ball is loose and you're defending then you'll slide 
towards it and try and pass it onto someone. If the ball is going 
off, then sliding towards it will try to keep it on the pitch. 
Lastly, if you're attacking and the ball is loose, sliding towards it 
will attempt to toe poke it into the goal (looks very nice when you 
pull it off)

When defending there is only one rule: get your players in front of 
the ball. They should try to block as many shots and crosses as they 
can as sliding or barging in the box usually results in a penalty, or 
free kick if just outside. Just get as many players back as you can 
and try to cut off the crosses and shots by blocking them. If the 
ball is in the air press Square to clear it with a header or volley 
etc. Don't try to pass it out of the box as this will usually result 
in your getting tackled and them scoring. This method causes quite a 
few goalmouth scrambles but it's the best method for defence and it's 
quite a laugh. When you do get the ball off of an attack, clear it as 
quickly as you can - usually best achieved by pressing the Square 
button for a clearing punt upfield (Circle also works quite well). 

When the ball is in the air off a lob or goal kick, it's best to try 
to `pass' header the ball (with the X button) unless you're right in 
front of goal in which case it's better to shoot (with the Square 
button). From a goal kick, you can either lob it upfield and `pass' 
header it down to a forward (press Circle then X) - this results in a 
sort of attacking break but you'll still have at least one defender 
to deal with - or you can pass the ball very quickly up the pitch. 
It's best to let the midfielders take the defenders on if you do this 
as then you can set up through balls and attacks. There is another 
thing to do off a goal kick which sometimes works. Do two short 
passes so that your central defender gets the ball and the have him 
quickly (by pressing the Circle button before he gets the ball or the 
Square button for a clearance) lob it with a fair amount of power. 
This sometimes causes one of those controlling the ball tricks I 
mentioned and can split open the defence and get you a quick 
spectacular goal.

If the ball has gone past your keeper and is going in either on the 
ground or on the air, and if you're running after it, stop 
IMMEDIATELY when you touch the ball or you'll run it in. I used to do 
this loads when I first started. It's also quite easy to clear balls 
off the line if your player's already there by pressing the Square 
button to clear it. 

I've played the game so much that I noticed a few things about it 
that weren't mentioned in the instructions. Firstly, if the time is 
running out or you're in injury time, the referee won't stop the game 
if an attack is in progress. If you're about halfway between the box 
and the centre spot, then the ref won't stop the game until the ball 
goes off or back to the centre of the pitch. This applies to anyone 
who's attacking - you or the computer. This means that if you're 
behind and the clock is in injury time then get a midfielder to 
attack the box or get an attacker to make a run and the clock won't 
stop until you lose possession. In this way, you can pull back last 
minute goals. If the ball goes off then the ref will blow the whistle 
after the goal kick etc. However, this also means that if you're 
ahead then whoever you're playing with can get back a last minute 
goal unless you have possession or punt it upfield. Take care in 
these situations as Level 5 usually scores about now. Also, each team 
has their own individual crowd chant - not much speech but just a 
beat and a little bit of crowd participation. Some of them are quite 
silly, esp. Iran's etc. Also there seems to be a slight morale factor 
involved. If you're team is behind then they'll play slightly worse 
unless they're on an offensive strategy. If you're behind and you do 
score then they'll play a bit better from then on. Also if you start 
to win by a silly margin like 3 or 4 nil then the computer sometimes 
gives up and you really do score lots more goals.

There is one extra team in the game and that's the classic all-stars. 
The team can only be accessed in Exhibition mode and so cannot be 
used for any cups etc. The code for the team is : On the selection 
screen (where you pick your mode - exhibition, cup, league, options 
etc) press Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, O, X and you 
should hear some applause as you go to the exhibition screen. Then 
pick what type of game you want and on the country selection, hold 
down L1 and R1 to access the classic all star team. This team is made 
up of GODS. Their stats are perfect. And when you can beat them 3-0 
with Greece you'll know there's nothing left for you to do in the 
game. Just in case you were wondering who some of the players are 
there's : Johann Cruyff, Pele, Lineker, Platini, Best, Banks, 
Cantona, Koeman, Zico, VanBasten, Beckenbaur etc.

I'd like to thank Gamesages for the code for the all stars team. This 
gave me an even greater challenge than before. Thanks must go out to 
my brother Tom and his friend Dan Saxby for whom I started writing 
this guide in the first place. Also to Cos for playing the game with 
me so much and taking so many beatings (only kidding Cos!). Lastly to 
Konami for creating the best football game bar NONE in my opinion.

I just thought I'd let you know about some of the types of goals you 
can score:
Shots, curling shots, headers, volleys, chests, over the keepers 
head, free kicks, corners curling in, toe pokes, scissor kicks, 
taking it round the keeper, passing it in, backheeling it in, off 
defenders and in, off the keeper and in, flying headers, bicycle 
kicks, off every position on the post and/or crossbar and in, sliding 
it in, walking it in, many lob then control then in, header to a 
volley and in.

Anyway, I can't be bothered to write any more and if you master the 
things I've mentioned then you should be able to mess up anyone you 
play. On a lighter note, most of the players are real but have had 
their names slightly changed. Ronaldo is Ronarid, Shearer is 
Shealler, Roberto Carlos is R.Carls, Claudio Lopez is C.Lopas etc. 
If you can be bothered to, you can use the player edit to change the 
names to their real ones - I've done it for most of the teams I play 
with and it's definitely more fun seeing Shearer score than Shealler 
score. Also, the players actually look like their counterparts right 
down to Seamans bushy moustache and Valderamas mop-top hair. 
Hope you have as much fun playing the game as I did!!


P.S. Tony Gubba's commentary is the most useless commentary ever. 
Completely. Unless John Barnes or Ron Atkinson were commentating.  

This FAQ copyright 1999 Anannya Sen.

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