Strategy Guide - Guide for Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo
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SUPER PUZZLE FIGHTER 2 TURBO FAQ v2.7 Last Updated 8/28/96 INTRODUCTION REVISION HISTORY TERMINOLOGY GAMEPLAY RANKINGS THE CHARACTERS WINNING THE GAME INTERMISSIONS HIDDEN CHARACTERS CLOSING AND THANK YOUS INTRODUCTION Capcom pulls out another little gem with this game. By uniting your favorites from both Street Fighter and Darkstalkers and placing them in a Tetris/Puyo Puyo/Columns/Dr. Mario setting, they've created a humorous and challenging game called "Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo" (or "Super Puzzle Fighter 2 X" in Japan). Blending cute, familiar animation with a bright soundtrack, this game is sure to please both the die hard SF/DS fan as well as the "Puzzle Maniac". The game features (as normally playable characters) Ryu, Chun Li, Sakura, and Ken from SFA2, as well as Morrigan, Hsien Ko, Donovan, and Felicia from DS2. Also playable are the "World's Greatest", DAN (as the "Saikyo Ryu Pazzle Fighter Trainer" and comic relief), the "Raging Demon" AKUMA, and the mysterious DEVILOT, ready to crush all newcomers. Each character is drawn in the "Super Deformed" Anime style (short and fat, but really cute. They resemble the way the characters from Virtua Fighter 2 look in Virtua Fighter Kids.) During the attract screen, Dan explains (a bit comically IMHO) how to play the game. It's going on about two months now since I've first seen Puzzle Fighter in the states, and it's still strong in many of the arcades I play. The familiarity with the characters, the cameos, plus challenging gameplay should keep this around for quite awhile. REVISION HISTORY Yes... you can fight CPU Devilot... and she's tougher than anybody else. Version 2.7 - How to fight against CPU Devilot added. More quotes. Version 2.6 - Added the quotes section for the characters. Revised strategy section. Minor changes added as well. Version 2.5 - Devilot code confirmed! Boards, symbols, Counter Gem Pattern added for all hidden characters. More ranking revisions. Thanks section added. Version 2.0 - Dan Revealed! Akuma Revealed! Update on the hidden characters. Playing field updated. Strategies modified. Rankings altered. Version 1.0 - Rewrote the whole FAQ. Added Intermission screens. Added more strategies. More "scientific" rankings. More character and screen info. Version 0.5 - Minor overhaul. Added some of the cameos. Added a bit more on strategy. Had initial rankings. Version 0.1 - Quick and simple how to play the game. Was initially done just to get the basis of the game down and out. TERMINOLOGY Because I'm limited to Courier Text for everything, this section will help explain both the terms in the game, and the terms and notations I use here in the FAQ. 1. GEM - Also known as regular gem. 1 of 4 colored objects that the player works with. Usually a solid color block. 2. CRASH GEM - Also 1 of 4 colors. This is a swirling circle used to destroy Gems and other Crash Gems. 3. POWER GEM - A group of same colored regular gems in at least a 2x2 pattern that form an even larger looking gem. 4. DIAMOND GEM - It's a diamond and is used for clearing all of one color from the screen. 5. COUNTER GEM - A gem with a number in the middle. When the counter reaches 0, it becomes a regular gem. These are dropped when your opponent attacks you. 6. COUNTER GEM PATTERN - Sometimes I'll abbreviate it as CGP. Each character has a CGP. When you attack your opponent, this is the way the gems will drop on his/her side. Also, to represent the gems, I use the following characters: r - To represent a regular RED gem. g - To represent a regular GREEN gem. b - To represent a regular BLUE gem. y - To represent a regular YELLOW gem. R - To represent a RED crash gem. G - To represent a GREEN crash gem. B - To represent a BLUE crash gem. Y - To represent a YELLOW crash gem. * - To represent the DIAMOND gem. @ - To represent a RED counter gem (any number). # - To represent a GREEN counter gem (any number). % - To represent a BLUE counter gem (any number). & - To represent a YELLOW counter gem (any number). Furthermore, I tend to use Small, Mid, and Large to describe the attacks. These refer to the number of gems that are sent over to your opponent. Small attacks usually refer to about 1-15 gems, Mid 16-30, and Large 30+. These are approximations at the moment so I may be a little off. GAMEPLAY Overview: Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo is a head to head game. In a 1P game, you compete against the CPU. 2P games have the players compete against each other. Each side has a 13 Row x 6 Column playing board. All gems fall from Column 4 (for both players) 2 at a time (1 pair). These gems can be any combination of regular, crash, or diamond gems. The object of the game is to block your opponent's Column 4 from being able to drop any more gems. It does not matter if there is space open in any other column. Conversely, if your opponent has Columns 1-3,5-6 all full and Column 4 empty, he is still well alive, and probably about to pull a major comeback. Joystick controls the direction of the gems as they fall. 2 buttons allow you to rotate the gem pair clockwise and counter- clockwise. In the upper right hand side of the playing field is a counter. This indicates the number of gems that will be dropped on you before you get to play your next pair of gems. To the left of this counter is a message usually indicating the strength of the attack. (I believe it is Caution for small attacks, Warning for mid-sized attacks and Danger for the heavy hitters.) Both players play the exact same pair of gems so who wins is dependent on how they play the gems and react to their opponents counter gems. If the characters are still playing after about 3.5 minutes, the game speeds up and drops the gems faster. Level/Character Select: The opening screen allows you to choose the difficulty of the game. "EASY" is a quick, 3 match game. "NORMAL" is 9 matches against all characters plus 1 other. "HARD" is the same, except the CPU plays quicker and smarter. After you choose your level, you can pick your character from 1 of the 6 Street Fighters (including Dan and Akuma), 1 of the 4 Darkstalkers, or the sole character from Cyberbots (anyone else besides myself remember this one?) Devilot. How to attack: There are 2 ways to attack. The easiest way is to drop a crash gem on another like colored gem or crash gem. This will destroy the gems and send some over to your opponent. (See below for exactly how many). Note: Dropping a crash gem on top of a like colored counter gem will not destroy it. However it makes for good delayed attacks, for when the counter gems become regular gems, the attack is made. Counter gems can be destroyed while still counting only if an adjacent gem (of any color) is destroyed as well. The other way to attack is to use the diamond. When you drop the diamond on a color, all of that color (gems, crash gems, and counter gems) are removed. When gems are destroyed, those that are left fall as far as possible to the bottom of the screen. Note: Large power gems can block portions of the screen as well, so be careful where you set them up as well. How to defend: When you see your opponent attack, there is a way to "defend" yourself, and reduce the number of gems that will be dropped on you. If possible just "attack" as well and destroy some gems. This will soften or negate the number of gems dropped on you, or possibly even cause your opponent to have some dropped on him/her. Also, delayed "attacks" (say from a crash gem sitting on a counter gem who just hit 0) will count as part of defense as well. This is very useful for setting up delayed counters as well to help clear your side of the screen. Your defense power is half the equivalent attack power. See below for more on defending Taunts: Yes! They are in the game! To taunt your opponent, just press start. Your character will do a taunt (it's the same animation as a small attack). Characters can normally taunt once per round. Strategies: There are several things about the game that make it richer than a standard "drop as many as possible as fast as possible". The first is that each gem has a certain value depending on how and where they are destroyed. Destroying the exact same gem pattern at the bottom of the screen will yield less than destroying them at the top (less risk involved). This list represents approximately how many gems you will drop on your opponent when the gems are at the bottom of the screen. In most cases it does make a good approximation at the top of the screen as well. When hit with a like colored Crash Gem: Gem - 1 Crash Gem - 1 Counter Gems - 0.5 Power Gem (2x?) - 2x # of gems (so a 2x2 Power gem will add 8, 2x3 will add 12) Power Gem (3x?) - 3x # of gems (3x3 will yield about 27, 3x4 36). (I don't know for sure about larger power gems, but would assume it follows a similar pattern.) Note: Those products are only approximations. A power gem 2x12 yields a return of about 70, or closer to 3x the number of gems because you are destroying something huge at the top of the screen. This is why long runs that can go down 1 column, across a few rows, and back up another column are so devastating (ugh... how many Ryu players are groaning at this one). When destroyed by the Diamond: This has been a hard one to figure out. In general, the Counter Gems are still worth < 1 (about 0.5), but all other gems are worth only 1, regardless if they are regular, crash or power gems. So if you have a 3x4 Power Gem, save it for the Crash Gem since it will give you a base of 36 instead of a mere 12 if it's destroyed because of the Diamond Gem. However, the bonus for destroying gems high still appears to be true so if you have much of 1 color sitting high up, you should get a good return (as well as some breathing space.) Counter Gems: Counter Gems usually start at 5 or 3, and count down to 0 when they become regular gems. Although 5 is more common, if you defended against an attack that negated 1/2 or more of the attack they usually come down as 3. The only way to reduce the counter is to drop your pair of gems. 5 drops and all "5" counter gems will be regular gems. There is no other way to speed things up. Offense vs. Defense: "Well, if my opponent and I play the same gems, can't I just watch what he does, and then when he drops them on me, I counter with the exact same thing?" Well... yes you can, but you will lose fast. In order to prevent such a thing from happening, Puzzle Fighter will take the total value of your attack, and if you are "defending" at the moment, will halve it. And that value is subtracted from your opponents attack. So if he does a 16 gem attack, you will need 32 to cancel the whole thing. However, from I have gathered, say he attacks 5 and you defend with 20. 10 is used to negate his attack, and then the remaining 10 is sent over as your counter attack, so the game only halves what it needs to defeat your opponents attack. Another thing about attacking is try to use "Chain Combos" whenever possible. In fact, Chain Combos have proven to be the heavy hitter of Puzzle Fighter. Chain combos occur when after you clear out a series of gems, a crash gem touches another gem and a 2nd chain of gems are destroyed. I haven't figured out the exact bonus when you start chaining 2-3 attacks together, however it does help add to the attack significantly. While not as noticeable at low levels, if you can set up 4 chains or more, you'll find that bonus added is huge. (Personal best: 6 hit chain destroying 2-4 gems per chain giving me 70.) Also since chained attacks are usually staggered, they can mess your opponent up more than if they all fell in one shot. Lastly, clearing your side of all gems adds I believe 12 extra gems to the attack. (Definitely not sure about the number here). So, where do the gems fall: The last thing with the gameplay is knowing where gems tend to fall, and why. Whenever gems are dropped, the CPU uses the following algorithm to determine where counter gems will be placed. 1. Take the number of counter gems and divide by 6 (round up to the next integer.) This is the number of groups the CPU must deal with. 2. Any place in columns 1-3,5-6 that is open and did not have a gem dropped yet for that group of 6 will receive 1 gem. 3. If all 5 columns have had a gem dropped, or if they are full (stacked 14 high), the CPU will drop 1 gem in Column 4. 4. Lastly, if for that group conditions 2&3 have been met, all remaining gems are discarded. What does this mean? Well, say you attack with 5, then from condition 2, all columns except for Column 4 will have 1 counter gem added. If I attacked with 7, all columns will have 1 counter gem added, with 1 additional gem added to either Column 1, 2, 3, 5, or 6. Now, to continue this... say I attacked with 5 again, but also that column 1 was full (for my opponent). Columns 2-6 would all receive 1 gem. However, say I attacked with 5 and my opponent had columns 1 and 2 full. The first 3 gems are dropped in columns 3, 5, & 6. The 4th gem is dropped in column 4. The 5th one is discarded because only columns 1 and 2 remain and they are both full. Then there's my personal favorite (cause this happened to me). Column 1 was 12 high. Column 2, 3, 5, 6 were all 14 high (I was fighting Ryu.) However Column 4 was only 1 high. I look at the attack number he just dropped: 60. 2 went into Col. 1 while 10 were dropped into Col. 4. The remaining 48 were just discarded (technically they are dropped on the full columns, but all gems above the top of the screen are discarded). The next gem for me started 2 huge chains that returned 75 back and let's say his Column 4 wasn't quite as empty. Because of this, the computer drops more on the left side than right. Most characters "weak" spots are the colors of Column 1 & 2. A good tactic is to try to build a "Tower of Power" (Column 1 and 2 all of the same color). Especially if your opponent drops the 1 and 2 gem attacks, if you can build Column 2 up high with the same color your opponent attacks with in Column 1, you'll have a huge gem that can pretty much seal it up. If you're fortunate enough to have 2 "Towers" and can break them on 1 turn, (or by chaining them,) that will defeat almost everybody. Some characters are easier to set this up against than others (Ryu, Sakura, Felicia easier, Hsien Ko, harder) but that's part of the fun figuring out how to outwit your opponent. (Especially since most of the people I've told how to play and what certain strategies are now win more than I do. :( ) "Well what if my opponent and I do the same thing at the same time (never pull down on the joystick) so the gems land at the same rate?" Tried it. The machine favors player 1. If gems break, player 1 is the attack, player 2 is the defense. If both players go out at *exactly* the same time, Player 1 is credited with the win. RANKINGS Like any great "fighting" game, here are the rankings for the characters. Now, this is far from being exact, but again having the chance to play more, the ratings are perhaps a bit more accurate. This list also assumes that you have 2 masters playing against each other that can either compensate (or take advantage) against the luck factor of the game. Since it's the Counter Gem patterns that determine the strength of the character, it is mostly a linear list, with a few exceptions. Lastly, I arranged it based on the Gamest Ranking format (wins out of 10). The totals are out of a maximum 100. The more the game is played, the more it's appearing that the characters are either good, and can hold their own pretty much against anyone, or are weak, and get slaughtered by everyone. All characters are included. (See the CHARACTERS section for more detail on their strengths and weaknesses. |Ken|Don|HKo|Mor|Sak|Dev|Fel|Aku|Ryu|CLi|Dan|Tot| +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+ Ken | - | 5 | 6 | 5 | 6 | 6 | 7 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 8 | 64| Don | 5 | - | 5 | 5 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 8 | 62| HKo | 4 | 5 | - | 5 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 8 | 61| Mor | 5 | 5 | 5 | - | 5 | 6 | 6 | 6 | 7 | 7 | 7 | 59| Sak | 4 | 5 | 5 | 5 | - | 5 | 6 | 6 | 7 | 7 | 7 | 57| Dev | 4 | 4 | 4 | 4 | 5 | - | 6 | 6 | 6 | 6 | 6 | 51| Fel | 3 | 3 | 3 | 4 | 4 | 4 | - | 5 | 6 | 6 | 6 | 44| Aku | 4 | 4 | 4 | 4 | 4 | 4 | 5 | - | 5 | 5 | 5 | 44| Ryu | 3 | 3 | 3 | 3 | 3 | 4 | 4 | 5 | - | 6 | 6 | 40| CLi | 2 | 2 | 2 | 3 | 3 | 4 | 4 | 5 | 4 | - | 6 | 35| Dan | 2 | 2 | 2 | 3 | 3 | 4 | 4 | 5 | 4 | 4 | - | 33| +---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+ THE CHARACTERS The notation used for each section is like this:
- Who they are, and what they say below them. Counter Gem: What their gem pattern is. Stage: A description of the stage, plus anything notable on it. Stage Border Pattern: What's on the border around the stage. Winning Super: What the character does if he wins (usually). Strengths: Good points about the character. Weaknesses: Bad points about the character. Weak colors: The color(s) that the character tends to drop more of than the rest, and that can be used against them. Notes: Personal observations about the character. RYU "All too easy... You just don't know the bliss of the bombs." "Don't tell me, you only know how to play fighting games?" "You need more training to stand a chance." Counter Gem: rgbyrg rgbyrg rgbyrg rgbyrg Stage: Downtown Japanese street at night. (Ryu's stage from SFA1) There's a large statue of Huitzil in the far background. On the left side there's a frog (representing Rikuo?) and a snowman (representing Sasquatch? Or the snowman from Bishamon's stage? Or perhaps Bad Mr. Frosty?) In the middle, there's a ball of flame with evil looking eyes (Pyron?) with a large dog with big teeth below. Stage Border Pattern: A fist. Winning Super: What Ryu does best... Shinkuu HADOKEN! (Heh... what else?) Strengths: Column patterns make it easier for him to block portions of opponent's screen. Weaknesses: Easy to set up *very* long runs against. Easy to chain *very* long runs against. Easy to set up *very* large towers against. Weak Colors: Red, Green Notes: The more I play him, the lower he sinks. The strength of his columns is his biggest weakness. While he can quickly block off certain sections, most people set up for this and return with 3-4 chain hits clearing out 4 columns at a pop (usually resulting in a quick end). Would be lower except that both Dan and Chun Li can be setup for larger attacks, and they are more fun to play. For a challenge, or, if you're of the "If it's a Capcom game, then I have to play Ryu," mentality, then he is your man. Otherwise, pass CHUN LI "I'm the strongest puzzle fighter in the world!" "I'm too smart to fall for your stupid patterns." "Sorry! But I don't know how to pull punches." Counter Gem: yyrrgg yyrrgg rrggbb rrggbb Stage: Great Wall of China (Chun Li's stage from SFA1) At the end of the match, part of the statue crumbles revealing what appears to be either Zangief or Mike Haggar (from Final Fight). Also, who's the fox riding around on the yellow cloud. I know I've seen it before somewhere but... According to Donny Chan it could be Son Go Kuu, the Monkey King sitting on his cloud (from a really old Capcom game, neither of us really remember). Stage Border Pattern: Spiked Bracelet Strengths: Um, she's wearing her outfit from SF2, instead of the jumpsuit. Weaknesses: Counter gems yield power gems for opponent. Lots of them. Also very easy to set up multiple "Towers of Power" and chain them all together. Weak Colors: Red, Green Notes: People like the underdog. Well, in this game, she is it. Practically giving away big attacks, winning with her will be a true challenge. Even Dan has a respectable chance against her. At least she's fun to play though. SAKURA "Only my second game and I'm already the best!" "Whew, you were good! I've got to train harder!" "Yes... all part of the plan." "You're smart, fast, and cheap! No wait, that's me! Ha ha ha." Counter Gem: gbbbby grrrry gbbbby grrrry Stage: Downtown Japanese Street during the daytime. (Ryu's stage from SFA1) Stage Border Pattern: Heh, a cherry blossom. (What else?) :) Winning Super: Sakura launches a Shinkuu-Hadoken (Hadooooooo-KEN!) at her opponent. Strengths: Good at defeating most setups. A solid center player. Requires work to get long runs off of her. Vertical and horizontal combination help offset weaknesses. Weaknesses: Two color rows (as opposed to Ken's 4) make it easier to setup against. Corners can be setup against for some fairly long runs. Weak Colors: Red, Blue Notes: A solid, tough character. Most effective when playing a game similar to Ken's. A little bit easier to exploit, but most games tip into her favor. Plus, she looks much cuter than she does in SFA2. KEN "I have proven the difference between you and me: you just suck!" "It was a beautiful victory if I do say so myself." "Not only am I disappointed, inside I am laughing at you." "You must learn when to attack and when to defend." Counter Gem: yyyyyy bbbbbb gggggg rrrrrr Stage: A New Orleans Street (Ken's background from SFA1). Stage Border Pattern: The sole of his foot Winning Super: Ken yells "Eat This!" (j/k he really says "Ikuze! Shoryureppa!") and finished his opponent with a pair of flaming Dragon Punches. Strengths: Good counter gem pattern, difficult to get long runs against. Difficult to retaliate against mid-large size attacks. Great for messing up opponents setups. Excellent both early on and late in the game. Weaknesses: Small sized attacks leave him open to large runs and retaliations. Weak Colors: Red, Green Notes: A solid player when used properly. I've seen people use his weaknesses to their advantage as well. Ken is excellent for plugging holes, and laying down layers that prevent you from getting to the large gems you've setup. Simply put, he's a moose. Ken masters (no pun intended) easily can dominate against any and all other characters. He is the character to beat. MORRIGAN "Baby, baby, baby... I didn't even sweat!" "It's not whether I win or lose, just as long as I piss you off." "Oh damn... I split a hair." "The sun's rising. I'll rest 'til the morrow, then again." Counter Gem: ybggby ybggby byrryb byrryb Stage: Road in front of her castle (Morrigan's stage from DS2?) A statue resembling a human Lord Raptor (with Guitar) can be found on the right side of the screen. Stage Border Pattern: A Vampire bat Winning Super: Morrigan launches into her ES "Shadow Wave" (Super DP for the non DSers) burning them with a blue flame. Strengths: Fairly solid character with a decent balance. Sides are fairly well protected, and risky to take advantage of in the middle. Weaknesses: Hard to win in the late game. Weak Colors: Blue, Yellow Notes: A very well balanced character. In order to defeat her, most characters have to take risks to capitalize on her weaknesses. Creative opponents can find ways to defeat her, but it's a challenge in most cases. Great poses, great super, she's one of the fun ones to play. Plus, you have to love the laugh! HSIEN KO "And again, I won with ease." "Hey, it's not time for you to walk away. Try again." "Why do you hold back? Your overconfidence is your weakness!" Counter Gem: ggrryy bggrry bbggrr ybbggr Stage: I believe it was an empty forest (Hsien Ko's stage from DS2?) Lord Raptor leers at the players in the middle of the screen. Stage Border Pattern: Hsien Ko's angry anvil (from her super) Winning Super: Hsien Ko drops the Anvil and Spiked Balls on her opponent. Strengths: In general, diagonal pattern prevents large power gems from forming. Great at the small-mid sized drops. Weaknesses: Can give easy setups and runs to opponent (especially after Diamond Gem) Weak Colors: Blue, Green Notes: One of the more interesting characters to play. Hsien Ko masters mix up both small and mid sized attacks to prevent large attack setups. Can usually hit harder than most opponents. However, even slight mistakes can be costly. Wins most fights, but usually has to work for it. Hsien Ko definitely has one of the smallest margins between "scrub" and "master". However, at her highest level of play, Hsien Ko can dominate the machine. DONOVAN (with Amanda) "I'm the one who lives in darkness and shatters it." "No one can interfere with my plans." "I'll do anything to make this little girl happy again!" "I'll put an end to the evil curse in my blood at all cost." Counter Gem: gggbbb gggbbb ryryry ryryry Stage: An open road. (Not sure from where) There's that frog again. This time he's sitting next to a small version of Huitzil. The statue of Lord Raptor is on the right again. In the middle, Jon Talbain is howling at the moon. Stage Border Pattern: Several bats flying in front of the moon. Winning Super: Donovan drops the big spiked sarcophagus on your opponent Strengths: Good with the small attacks for interrupting runs and ruining setups. Weaknesses: Can leave many Ryu-like runs and towers. Weak Colors: Red, Yellow Notes: Donovan's pattern is one of the most annoying. In spite of easy to form power gems, it really requires work to take advantage of it. He easily can stand toe-to-toe against anyone. The more I've played him (and against him) the more I see he is the dark horse of the game. Like Hsien Ko, he does require much work to master, but when mastered, Donovan players easily pull out solid wins against all competition. A mid-sized attacked followed by a small one will often make it very hard for opponents to dig themselves out of trouble. After playing with him fairly extensively, he easily is a top notch character. FELICIA "I won by a tail's length. Now go to my litter box." "Meow! How'd you like them apples?" "You're stoned! Get it? Ha ha ha..." "You're about as sharp as a circle!" Counter Gem: gbbrry gbbrry grrbby grrbby Stage: The Las Vegas strip (Felicia's stage from DS2) M. Bison's hat makes a cameo on the right side of the screen. Stage Border Pattern: A cat standing in front of a crescent moon (Capcom's Sailor Moon reference). Winning Super: Felicia calls about 5 friends who pounce all over your opponent. Strengths: She's simply the cutest in the game. Weaknesses: Sides can provide long runs. Center yields power gems. In general, very easy to set up for big damage. Weak Colors: Red, Blue Notes: She's a hard win, but looks so adorable when she does win. A little bit more solid than initially thought, mostly thanks to the continuing tricks I've seen used to crush Ryu. AKUMA "I am Akuma! Also the master puzzler." "Evil is what I am. Death is what I bring." "You are a pathetic example of carbon based wastage!" "To beat you is not enough, I must destroy you!" Counter Gem: rybgry ybgryb bgrybg grybgr Stage: A deep underground cavern (Akuma's stage from SFA2) Stage Border Pattern: The Japanese character for "sky" ("heaven") Winning Super: Akuma glows, gathering his chi, and launches a huge Shinkuu Gaadoken, flaming his opponent. Strengths: One of the best counter gem patterns in the game, hard to set up against. Weaknesses: Attack damage is halved. Weak Colors: Green Notes: Capcom had to do something with him, and they did in a big way. All attacks Akuma does from dropping crash gems are only worth about 1/2 (to 2/3) the value it would be for anyone else (except Devilot). (Note: Diamond attacks appear to have been untouched, which is good since those attacks are already scaled down.) One thing to remember is that "defense" is also 1/2 the "attack" value, so when Akuma needs to soften things, we're looking at roughly 1/4 the actual "attack" value. Is he useless? Look at the rankings and you'll see he's been up, and down, and back up high, and back down low. The more the game is played, 2 realizations come to mind. The first is that he is just a notch below Devilot. You'll find that even though their patterns are extremely similar, because of the way his diagonal runs, it is just a little easier to setup against (especially after the diamond attack). So he and Devilot are no longer "twins". The second is that he can win with much patience. His pattern is that good. It will keep you in game and allow you do drop a few gems here and there without worrying that you are helping your opponent's setups (in fact you'll usually mess it up more). Then when your opponent does attack, you can use this to return fire. Furthermore, chain, chain, chain! Akuma does not suffer penalties to the chain bonus from multiple chain combos. With this ability, Akuma can knock up some huge numbers as well. Akuma can win matches, in spite of his handicap, with the proper setups, chains, and runs. Just be prepared to work for it though. DEVILOT (with Jigoku Taishi ["Hell Master"] & Dr. Stein) (The Death Satan Family) "Don't you recognize me? Cyberbots is Capcom's 1 game." "I know you want me, but can you handle it?" "Let the gems hold you as I plan for your death." "You've been very bad. Now off to the gas chamber." Counter Gem: yrgbyr byrgby gbyrgb rgbyrg Stage: A destroyed laboratory with the remains of many experiments (Some stage from Cyberbots? Even though I probably played it more than most, I never got that far in the game, nor do I remember much either.) (Actually, I found her in 2 Capcom jpegs as well, 1 of the females of their universe, the other of most of their characters. Not that this is related to the stage, but most people have asked "Who is that?" and this is just to say that "Yes, she is out there...") Stage Border Pattern: The devil's skull... Winning Super: One of her associates (Dr. Stein) shoots a laser, burning your opponent with a blue flame. I like this one. :) Strengths: She has the best Counter Gem Pattern in the game. Weaknesses: Like Akuma, her damage is crippled (1/2-2/3 Normal) Weak Colors: Red Notes: She plays exactly like Akuma, but perhaps a little bit better. Read that section for more on that. Personally though, I just find her more fun to play with, and will usually pick her over Akuma (I've *rofled* at both her winning and losing poses. She definitely has style.) People have said that she looks like something out of Darkstalkers, or maybe someone from Darkstalkers 3 (coming soon). She has the attitude (nastier than Akuma), the look (her companions are rather ghoulish), and the style. Maybe she will appear in DS3... wouldn't be a bad idea. I'd like to see her in a few more Capcom games as well. She's already +1 in that department (Cyberbots to Puzzle Fighter.) DAN "Amateur! Go home and practice Dragon Punches." "I'm going to make you cry like I did when my daddy died!" "I thought I taught you well! You know nothing! Dummy!" "Yeah! I'm the strongest there is! Just don't tell Sagat..." Counter Gem: rrrrrr rrrrrr rrrrrr rrrrrr Stage: Ken's stage (Ken's stage from SFA1) Stage Border Pattern: Ken's stage (Ken's stage from SFA1) Winning Super: The SUPER TAUNT! (YES!) (Dan spins around and gives the big forearm) Strengths: He's Dan! What other reason do you need? Weaknesses: He's Dan! What other reason do you need? Weak Colors: Look at the counter gem, and you tell me. Notes: Dan is my favorite character from any and all of the Capcom universe, so pardon me if this becomes a "Dan Mini FAQ". Unlike the rest of the characters, when Dan wins he becomes really small and hides in the back of the screen. The strategy with Dan is simple. Build, setup, rarely attack, and when you finally do, assume you will have only 5 more attacks left to finish your opponent off and don't stop attacking. Against Akuma and Devilot, you have a little more leeway (which is perhaps the only reason why he isn't in the cellar). Because their attacks are weakened, you can afford to be a bit more offensive and setup attacks more. This should allow you to hit harder and finish them off. Bottom line he just is fun to play... and the look on everyone's faces when they see nothing but red is worth it. GLITCH: This only works with Dan vs. Anyone except Akuma/Devilot. Because you can send LARGE power gems, it is possible that if your opponent can clear out everything with multiple chains, that the damage is so large, the counter rolls over to something *really* small. I've done it 2x. We've guessed that the largest attack is about 255 (even though 99 is displayed). If the attack exceeds this, it rolls over back to 0... This is the best! (Risky though because you're opponent must have chains to add to the attack and push it over) but still the best. WINNING THE GAME On "EASY" you face 3 fighters. Upon defeating the 3rd fighter, Dan rolls out on the screen, gives you the "thumbs up" salute as the screen explodes, and displays the message "Go try NORMAL!" On both "NORMAL" and "HARD" you face all 8 characters. Upon defeating number 8, you go on to face... DAN! However, just as you are about to start, Akuma comes from the side of the screen and drops the "Raging Demon" on him, and from there, good luck. This Akuma is NOT handicapped at all, so be prepared for a real fight. "NORMAL" Akuma is manageable, but "HARD" Akuma in most cases just keeps attacking (and not just with the little stuff either), making it difficult to mount a strong attack in return. In either case (either level), should you defeat the evil one, you get the game credits. Mixed in the middle of this are a few intermission scenes which are hilarious. (See INTERMISSIONS below) There are no individual endings for the characters. The only difference between winning on "NORMAL" and "HARD" is that on "HARD" the very last screen of credits has all the characters waving at you, including Dan, Akuma, Devilot and 1 other. "NORMAL" just has the "Thanks for playing" without the characters. Should you defeat the game with the same character (we have continued, picked the same person and went on to win), the game further rewards you with the image of your character in the background while the credits are scrolling by. It's cute. INTERMISSIONS On both "NORMAL" and "HARD", you are greeted to some pretty funny animations. You see 1 after you defeat your 4th opponent, and see I believe 4 more when you finish the game. Unfortunately they are random so you can see the one from the middle of the game again at the end (although the 4 at the end are all different). As a spoiler, here they are. I believe these are all of them. (And trust me, the descriptions don't do the actual scenes justice.) 1. Ryu is preparing to fight against Ken. Ken pulls a "SHORYUKEN" followed by a "SHORYUREPPA" as a warm up, and ends up crashing through a manhole cover, falling into the sewer. Ryu goes all buggy eyes. 2. From left to right you see: a barrel, Ryu, Sakura, Dan. Ryu drops a Shinkuu Hadoken on the barrel. Sakura watching her idol does the same thing. She drops the Shinkuu Hadoken on Dan. 3. Hsien Ko is standing in the middle of the screen, upset. Dan is rolling around on the ground, gobbling like a chicken. After a few times, Hsien Ko belts him with the ground Sword and smiles. 4. Akuma is in his underground cavern being bothered by all the demons that Blackheart summons from "Marvel Super Heroes". 5. Hsien Ko is standing between Felicia and Donovan. She drops the anvil and balls on Donovan, then Felicia and smiles. She then is hit by a falling pan (kitchen sink?). Amanda just looks on like "Drips." 6. Chun Li gives her "Waving hand" taunt to Morrigan. Morrigan in response splits into 2 (as her super in DS2), morphs into Chun Li's outfit, and both do the "Waving hand" taunt, leaving Chun Li baffled at what happened. 7. My favorite. Morrigan changes into her "Sexy Pose" (DS2, press/hold all 3 punch buttons after winning), then Chun Li's pose/attire, then Sakura's pose/attire, and (while Dan rolls in from the right) finally, Dan's pose/attire, and the 2 of them together give the "Thumbs Up". HIDDEN CHARACTERS Did you think I'd forget to mention how to play as Dan, Akuma, or Devilot? :) The codes for them are really easy and I highly recommend trying them out. (Dan vs. Anyone is usually hilarious!) ALL 3: All 3 of them start out the same way. If you are player 1, start from Ryu. If you are player 2, start from Ken. There are no time requirements (that you have to wait x seconds per character.) You may do this as fast or as slow as you like. The only "time" exception is Devilot (as detailed below). 1) From the select screen, start at your appropriate character, and press (and hold) the Start button. 2) Go down 1 to Morrigan/Felicia Now from here, this is how you reach... DAN: 1) Press down 13 times. 2) Press a button... Morrigan/Felicia will become Dan DEVILOT: Exactly the same as Dan (13 Down, Button) except that watch the timer on the screen. When it says "10" (you have 10 sec left to pick your character), press a button. Instead of Dan, Devilot will be there. AKUMA: This one is different. 1) If you are Player 1, move the controller Left, Down, Left, Down, Left, Down, Left (and hold the controller Left) 2) Press a button. Akuma will be there. 3) If you are Player 2, move the controller Right, Down, Right, Down, Right, Down, Right (and hold the controller Right) 4) Press a button. For all characters, the pressing the left button will select their normal colors, while the right button will select the alternative colors. LIN LIN: "Who's that other girl at the end of the closing screen?" That is Lin Lin. She is Hsien Ko's (Lei Lei's) sister and is that small amulet on the ground next to her while Hsien Ko fights. Now, someone finished Darkstalkers 2 and we found out that the American version of her name is Mei-Ling. But, I'm staying with Kenichiro and that "Lin Lin just sounds cooler!" If you've played DS2, she is the person that becomes the amulet and becomes attached to Hsien Ko's hat. Also when you win with Hsien Ko, that's her "sister" she flips with the claws. (See Kenichiro's FAQ on DS2/Vampire Hunter for the story about her, and the other Darkstalker characters.) (http://www.maya.com/Local/tanaka/Video and scroll down until you see "VAMPIRE HUNTER". About as in-depth as you can get.) Is she playable though? Well, I don't know. Supposedly, Akuma, Dan, and Devilot are the only 3 hidden characters in the game, but as I've said, if you beat the game on hard, all the characters appear at the end including her. To be honest, I was surprised to learn the first 3 codes as fast as I did, and according to Dave Evans (who was/is in Japan and who first brought the codes over to the Internet) Akuma/Devilot/Dan are it. VS. DEVILOT "CODE" Yes... there is a way to fight CPU Devilot. And... in hindsight, it's actually rather obvious. Start the game by yourself, and have noone jump in to challenge you. Defeat your first 6 opponents, without continuing, all with super finishers. Devilot jumps in as the next character you face. Defeat her, and the game continues normally. Is she tough? Well, the word is that she makes CPU Akuma look like a joke. Now, I haven't done this myself (I've rarely been able to play without someone jumping in.) but I did have 2 different people tell me that this did work. So, I will be working on this one personally. More to come on this hopefully. CLOSING AND THANK YOUS Here I am back at the conclusion. Many more thank you's to add this time around. First of all, THANK YOU (and I can't stress this enough) to the people who helped with this FAQ. Dave Evans (firstname.lastname@example.org) for not only finding the codes to play Dan/Akuma/Devilot, but finding them faster than I would have expected. Also, he did a great job HTMLizing v2.5 of the FAQ (considering he was doing this from Japan in his Texas account and also that it is still under construction). You get the big DAN THUMBS UP! http://www.smu.edu/~devans/SPF/index.html for the FAQ http://www.smu.edu/~devans/index.html for his gateway to the SF shrine. Steve McNally (email@example.com) for providing much of the competition, testing the theories and rankings of all the characters, and always coming up with killer strategies on the game. 1 of the best I've seen. Also thanks for finding the vs. Devilot code. Donny Chan (firstname.lastname@example.org) for gathering most of the characters quotes for the game. Excellent job! Eric (email@example.com) and Lisa (firstname.lastname@example.org) for playing the underdog characters, providing a laugh, and allowing Steve and myself to practice the 99+ gem attacks from his strategies. :) James Chen(sor) (email@example.com) for playing the best Ken I've ever seen. Is there any game that you're *not* good at? Mark Zedaker (firstname.lastname@example.org) for the animation style, Sailor Moon references, and good discussions. Tim, the arcade guy (email@example.com) for all the free games at Puzzle Fighter, and also for finding the vs. Devilot code. Darklancer (firstname.lastname@example.org) for finding the names of Devilot's associates. Thanks much guy! Kenichiro Tanaka (email@example.com) for the excellent reference work on the Darkstalkers info and for translating a few things. All in all, this is a great game. Fun, addictive, challenging. Even without the bells and whistles it has a solid core, but with them it truly becomes memorable. (Start playing Dan and you'll see what I mean. Forget that in most cases you'll be crushed... you'll have everyone watching with amusement, and if you win, there should be some big cheers. At least, there are where I play.) Questions? Comments? Care to add anything? (Strategies, Secrets, History for any of the characters or what appears on their backgrounds), Want the FAQ? Just e-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org Capcom made a wonderful game and I'd welcome the chance to talk to anyone about it. Coin-Op Players Distribution Network Support email@example.com http://mvs.tmok.com