Ryu Guide - Guide for Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition

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             .........................        .....   The answer lies
            .........................        .....    in the heart of battle.
           ..........................       ......  
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          .......................................      ,' _/ /7 _   __  __ /7
          .....................................       _\ `. /_7//7,'o/,'o//_7
           ..................................        /___,'// //  |_( |_(//
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          .....................................     / __/() _   /7  /7  __ _
          .....................................    / _/ /7,'o| / \ /_7,'o///7
          ....................................... /_/  // |_,'/n_///  |_(//
          ....................... .................        _//
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           .......................         ........         / //// /
          ........................         ........        / /| V /
          ........................         ........       /_/ |_,'
         ........................          .......
        .........................          ......        360/PS3/3DS
       ........................             ......
        ......................               ..
     .........................                     --------------------------
      .........................                    Ryu Guide
    ............................                   by Paltheos (Brian Lundin)
    ..............................                 [email protected]
   .................................               Version 1.0 4/20/11
  ....................................             © 2011
  .................. ..................
 .......................................           Credit to Ion3vman for his
.........................................          block model which served
.........................................          as basis for the Ryu ASCII
..........................................         --------------------------
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                              Table of Contents

Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (ryu1)

Moves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (ryu2)

Playing Ryu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (ryu3)

Combos  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (ryu4)

Glossary  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (ryu5)

Version History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (ryu6)

Legal Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (ryu7)

Closing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (ryu8)


                                Introduction                            (ryu1)

This guide

This guide covers basic and intermediate level use of Ryu. It covers his
moves, their properties, combos (and the such), tactics and strategy. I also
explain allot about fighting in Street Fighter IV in general. For top level
Ryu advice, I suggest you check out the blog of a player named Air, a
professional who's one of the world's best Ryu players. You can find it as
easily as googling "Air's blog". He has plenty of detailed general and matchup

Seasoned Ryu players may still find something of value here though. I've
logged in many, *many* hours in Street Fighter IV and, at this point in time,
I've played well over 4000 online matches with Street Fighter's main
character. This guide is decidedly colored by my own experiences as a player
who largely taught himself. You may find something you haven't seen before.

Important note to all readers before I begin: Throughout the guide I use
generally accepted terminology freely without stopping media res to define
them. Press Ctrl+F, copy and paste a word or abbreviation you don't understand
into the search bar, and press enter to go to a glossary that tells you what
it means.

Also, 3DS players, for all the strategies I suggest in this guide, I assume
you are *not* playing on Lite mode, as it significantly changes the dynamics
of the game.

The character

Ryu is an all-around solid character with tools for dealing with almost any
situation. His greatest strength lies in his zoning game, controlling the
space on the field with his normal and special moves and manipulating his
adversaries' movements. Strong Ryus gain a read on their opponents by
observing their reactions and looking for a pattern while using his normals
and simple combos to accumulate minor damage and slowly build up pressure.
Once they find an opportunity, they go in for big damage, from his heavier
combos to 'his easy to set up' Ultra 1. If opponents foolishly decide to
jump, Ryu can counter with some of the game's best anti-airs.

Ryu's easy to pick up. He doesn't have many hard links or demanding combos,
and many of them can be cut down for an easier time and still deal a fair
amount of damage. His moves are easy to execute, and his game plan isn't
complicated. If you want to master him though, be ready for a long haul.
Perfecting his zoning game and maximizing the return on his attacks take a
long time.


                                   Moves                                (ryu2)

Attack data is copied almost wholly from eventhubs and the shoryuken wiki.
Thank you, whoever retrieved it all. I've included in the data other unlisted
special properties. Below that are my descriptions along with basic overviews
of the moves. More detailed applications and combos are found further on.

A couple notes that aren't explicitly explained anywhere else: The number
following meter gain represents a percentage of the total super bar, and stun
duration is expressed in frames. 'F/B' is short for 'Forward/Back'.

Normal Attacks

Close LP

Damage: 30 Stun: 50 Meter Gain: 2
Frame Data - Startup: 3 Active: 3 Recovery: 6
Frame Advantage - On Block: +2 On Hit: +5
Stun Duration - On Block: 10 On Hit: 13
Canceling Ability: Chain, Special, Super

It's fast and gives frame advantage, but Ryu's other jabs are better. The
hitbox on this move is high - The move works well on very close aerial
opponents but unfortunately often whiffs crouching targets.

Close MP

Damage: 70 Stun: 100 Meter Gain: 4
Frame Data - Startup: 3 Active: 3 Recovery: 21
Frame Advantage - On Block: -3 On Hit: +3
Stun Duration - On Block: 20 On Hit: 26
Canceling Ability: Special, Super

Unremarkable except for cancelling. Its midsection hitbox leaves it no other
options. In this regard though, close MK is better because it has more active

Close HP

Damage: 100(80)* Stun: 200(150)* Meter Gain: 6
Frame Data - Startup: 5 Active: 7 Recovery: 26
Frame Advantage - On Block: -15 On Hit: -10
Stun Duration - On Block: 17 On Hit: 22
Canceling Ability: Special, Super
Special Properties: Forces stand on hit

* - Numbers in parentheses come from air hits. Those outside come from
ground hits.

Force stand gives this move some life. It also has decent range, for a 'close'
move. Crouching HP however also forces stand and has a quicker startup at the
expense of only a few points of damage. This move is better for easy combos
that begin with it, but for combos that link into an HP move, crouching HP is

Close LK

Damage: 30 Stun: 50 Meter Gain: 2
Frame Data - Startup: 5 Active: 5 Recovery: 7
Frame Advantage - On Block: -1 On Hit: +2
Stun Duration - On Block: 10 On Hit: 13
Canceling Ability: None

Useless. Low and close hitbox, big startup, low damage, and unlinkable.
There's no point to using this move.

Close MK

Damage: 70 Stun: 100 Meter Gain: 4
Frame Data - Startup: 3 Active: 5 Recovery: 16
Frame Advantage - On Block: -7 On Hit: -2
Stun Duration - On Block: 13 On Hit: 18
Canceling Ability: Special, Super

Not very useful, except perhaps in simple finishing combos for its quick
startup and cancelling ability. Most of Ryu's other combos are bigger and

Close HK

Damage: 40+70 Stun: 125+75 Meter Gain: 6+2
Frame Data - Startup: 8 Active: 8(2)4 Recovery: 17
Frame Advantage - On Block: -3 On Hit: +2
Stun Duration - On Block: 17 On Hit: 21+22
Canceling Ability: Super (1st hit only)

Like most of Ryu's 'close' moves, not very good. This one has a specific use
though. It can function as an anti-air for opponents directly overhead who
are out of range of Ryu's other AAs. I don't believe however it hits targets
that are at the apex of their jumps.

Far LP

Damage: 30 Stun: 50 Meter Gain: 2
Frame Data - Startup: 4 Active: 3 Recovery: 6
Frame Advantage - On Block: +2 On Hit: +5
Stun Duration - On Block: 10 On Hit: 13
Canceling Ability: Chain, Special, Super

A standard, run of the mill jab. This move's not a zoning tool. It has a
specific use in combos. The reach of this move is slightly greater than the
crouching LP's, so it can be inserted into long strings against opponents who
would otherwise be out of range of another jab before finishing with a more
potent attack.

Far MP

Damage: 80 Stun: 100 Meter Gain: 4
Frame Data - Startup: 5 Active: 4 Recovery: 14
Frame Advantage - On Block: -4 On Hit: -1
Stun Duration - On Block: 13 On Hit: 16
Canceling Ability: Super

For its long startup and few active frames, this move's generally not very
useful. As an anti-air though, this move has some window of utlity. Against
opponents too close for far HK but too far away for crouching HP, far MP is
effective and can beat some jump-ins cold. This area though is where incoming
opponents will enter the ideal Shoryuken range, so far MP should be used only
when minor damage is all that's required (near KO) or for ease of execution in
a high tension situation.

It does have some utility as a poke versus grounded opponents, in some
situations. Far MP does not extend the bottom half of Ryu's hitbox as much
as Far HP, the generally superior poke at that position. Accordingly, it can
be used to counter hit some low pokes and sweeps. The timing however is

Far HP

Damage: 120 Stun: 200 Meter Gain: 6
Frame Data - Startup: 8 Active: 3 Recovery: 15
Frame Advantage - On Block: 0 On Hit: +4
Stun Duration - On Block: 17 On Hit: 21
Canceling Ability: None

Sometimes useful to swipe at opponents from a distance. The reach of this
move must be seen to be appreciated; its actual range extends past the tip of
Ryu's knuckles. As a poke, this move usually fails to Ryu's heavier crouching
kicks, which (usually) outrange it and come out faster. The advantage to
Far HP is that no time or effort needs to be used to crouch.

Far LK

Damage: 40 Stun: 50 Meter Gain: 2
Frame Data - Startup: 5 Active: 6 Recovery: 6
Frame Advantage - On Block: -1 On Hit: +2
Stun Duration - On Block: 10 On Hit: 13
Canceling Ability: None

An excellent defensive move. In addition to beating allot of jump-ins
outright, it also stops several threatening close-in moves, such as Fei Long's
Rekka punches and Honda's (EX) headbutt. As an anti-air, its range is fairly
flexible. Its area for use is the same as the far HK's, but this one's used
when HK would not come out quickly enough to stop the opponent, when the
opponent's already too far into his jump. It also moves Ryu's hitbox back,
letting some carefully placed low attacks by the opponent miss.

Far MK

Damage: 80 Stun: 100 Meter Gain: 4
Frame Data - Startup: 8 Active: 2 Recovery: 17
Frame Advantage - On Block: -5 On Hit: -2
Stun Duration - On Block: 13 On Hit: 16
Canceling Ability: None

Useless. Outranged by moves that cover a similar or wider area and startup
more quickly.

Far HK

Damage: 110 Stun: 200 Meter Gain: 6
Frame Data - Startup: 9 Active: 4 Recovery: 20
Frame Advantage - On Block: -6 On Hit: -2
Stun Duration - On Block: 17 On Hit: 21
Canceling Ability: None
Special Properites: Misses crouching opponents*

* - Unless opponent is using an attack which raises his hitbox into range.

A heavy and effective anti-air with an impressively long reach. This move's
the reason why smart opponents faraway don't jump in nonchalantly on Ryu.
Offsetting its impressive ability is a huge startup. Landing it is difficult
without anticipating jump-ins or reacting quickly. The move's reach also makes
it technically viable as a ground attack, but the risk of punish from a sudden
crouch usually sidelines it as an option.

Crouching LP

Damage: 30 Stun: 50 Meter Gain: 2
Frame Data - Startup: 3 Active: 2 Recovery: 7
Frame Advantage - On Block: +2 On Hit: +5
Stun Duration - On Block: 10 On Hit: 13
Canceling Ability: Chain, Special, Super

Ryu's best jab and an excellent poke. It's one of the few moves in the game
to have a three frame startup, and the advantage it gives on hit, together
with the speediness of Ryu's other pokes, allows a variety of links. The quick
startup also makes it a useful tool for stopping fast charging attacks used at
midrange such as the Blanka ball.

Crouching MP

Damage: 60 Stun: 100 Meter Gain: 4
Frame Data - Startup: 4 Active: 4 Recovery: 8
Frame Advantage - On Block: +2 On Hit: +5
Stun Duration - On Block: 13 On Hit: 16
Canceling Ability: Special, Super

Another fast poke that's effective in combos. Knockback is significantly
greater than crouching LP's, but more time is available to input another
motion on hit confirm and naturally damage scaling does not have as strong an
effect as in a crouching LP/LK chain. More active frames than crouching LP also
make it a strong tool in fighting off dive kicks (e.g. Rufus' Falcon Kick or
Cammy's Cannon Strike).

Crouching HP

Damage: 90 Stun: 200 Meter Gain: 6
Frame Data - Startup: 4 Active: 8 Recovery: 28
Frame Advantage - On Block: -18 On Hit: -13
Stun Duration - On Block: 17 On Hit: 22
Canceling Ability: Special, Super (cannot cancel to Super until 7th frame)
Special Properties: Forces stand on hit

A strong move both for its anti-air and comboing abilities. As an anti-air,
it's best used on targets directly overhead but can also be used on targets a
little forward (normal shoryuken range) and counter hits many jump-in attacks.
As a combo move, it can be linked to off Solar Plexus or any of Ryu's faster
pokes (any jab move or crouching MP) into any special move of choice. Faster
startup and less particular range make it a superior choice than close HP in
combos. Its horizontal range however is slightly less than crouching MP (about
crouching LP's), so prudence should be exercised when choosing combos.

Crouching LK

Damage: 20 Stun: 50 Meter Gain: 2
Frame Data - Startup: 4 Active: 3 Recovery: 9
Frame Advantage - On Block: -1 On Hit: +2
Stun Duration - On Block: 10 On Hit: 13
Canceling Ability: Chain, Special, Super

Compared to other crouching LKs, not so good. Its range is poor and it can't
link into other normals. Crouching MP is also better for crouch teching. This
move chains into crouching LP but does no more than that.

Crouching MK

Damage: 60 Stun: 100 Meter Gain: 4
Frame Data - Startup: 5 Active: 5 Recovery: 12
Frame Advantage - On Block: -3 On Hit: 0
Stun Duration - On Block: 13 On Hit: 16
Canceling Ability: Special, Super

Possibly Ryu's best normal move and certainly his best zoning tool. It's the
basis around which his entire game is built. Crouching MK has exceptional
range for its speed and recovery. Using it and then cancelling into a special
move (usually Hadoken) keeps pressure on the opponent, builds meter, and
accumulates minor damage. The move hits very low to the ground though and
will not hit opponents in the air whatsoever. The animation however
significantly lowers Ryu's hitbox, letting some high-aiming attacks, notably
Balrog's (Boxer's) headbutt, miss completely.

Crouching HK

Damage: 90 Stun: 100 Meter Gain: 6
Frame Data - Startup: 5 Active: 4 Recovery: 28
Frame Advantage - On Block: -14 On Hit: None
Stun Duration - On Block: 17 On Hit: None
Canceling Ability: None
Special Properties: Untechable knockdown on hit

A regular sweep, albeit one with quite a bit of recovery. Useful for ending
links and following with mix-ups. As it outranges crouching MK, it's also
strong in mind games with opponents anticipating a crouching MK and spacing
themselves accordingly. The long recovery is a point of issue, and care must
be taken in spacing when using this move. When used too closely, many
characters can punish easily on block, and even from greater distances some
characters, such as Bison (Dictator) and Fei Long, can still punish anyway.

Neutral Jump LP

Damage: 50 Stun: 50 Meter Gain: 2
Frame Data - Startup: 10 Active: 7
Stun Duration - On Block: 8 On Hit: 11
Special Properties: Startup leg projectile invincibility

Not remarkable. Big startup and poor hitbox render this move worthless.

Neutral Jump MP

Damage: 80 Stun: 100 Meter Gain: 4
Frame Data - Startup: 5 Active: 5
Stun Duration - On Block: 10 On Hit: 13
Special Properties: Leg projectile invincibility

Effective as an air-to-air move. Its hitbox covers a wide area.

Neutral Jump HP

Damage: 100 Stun: 200 Meter Gain: 6
Frame Data - Startup: 6 Active: 5
Stun Duration - On Block: 17 On Hit: 20
Special Properties: Startup leg projectile invincibility

Another air-to-air move. Generally not very useful, but it does distinguish
itself by having a higher hitbox than the alternatives, making it useful
for hitting opponents above.

Neutral Jump LK

Damage: 40 Stun: 50 Meter Gain: 2
Frame Data - Startup: 5 Active: 9
Stun Duration - On Block: 8 On Hit: 11
Special Properties: Startup leg projectile invincibility

Not remarkable.

Neutral Jump MK

Damage: 80 Stun: 100 Meter Gain: 4
Frame Data - Startup: 6 Active: 10
Stun Duration - On Block: 11 On Hit: 15
Special Properties: Startup leg projectile invincibility

Dependable air-to-air in tight situations for its long active state and solid
range. Probably the most reliable as air-to-air of Ryu's neutral jump moves.
It's also effective as a combo starter on grounded opponents.

Neutral Jump HK

Damage: 100 Stun: 200 Meter Gain: 6
Frame Data - Startup: 4 Active: 4
Stun Duration - On Block: 15 On Hit: 18
Special Properties: Startup leg projectile invincibility

Similar to the neutral jump MK as an air-to-air but demands more precision due
to a briefer active period.

F/B Jump LP

Damage: 50 Stun: 50 Meter Gain: 2
Frame Data - Startup: 4 Active: 7
Stun Duration - On Block: 8 On Hit: 11
Special Properties: Startup leg projectile invincibility

Useful exclusively as a surprise air-to-air move. Its quick startup can catch
opponents expecting a meatier attack offguard. It's particularly helpful in
shutting down an opponent's momentum and resetting the situation.

F/B Jump MP

Damage: 50+30 Stun: 50+50 Meter Gain: 4+2
Frame Data - Startup: 7 Active: 3+4
Stun Duration - On Block: 11 On Hit: 15
Launch Count: +1 to counter on second hit, does not hit past (N/A)
Special Properties: Startup leg projectile invincibility, one hit launches
opponents in the air (fully hittable launch), two hits launch opponents in
the air (partially hittable launch), 1 launch hit net

Ryu's air-to-air juggling move. On full connect, it leaves the opponent in a
juggled state, allowing a variety of follow-ups after landing, ranging from
Shoryuken (second hit only), EX Hadoken, Super, or either Ultra (alternate
animation only on U2). On partial connect (one hit only), in addition to the
above options, full connect on Shoryuken and U2 is possible although the
spacing for full connect on those two is delicate.

Because of its long startup and poor range, this move's effective only when
anticipating enemy jump-ins or when reacting to unexpected simultaneous jumps
("who attacks first?"). As it's a potent setup move, failure on the first
attempt usually alerts the opponent to be cautious jumping.

Since this move's multi-hit, it has an ancillary use in punishing reckless
focuses. The timing for landing both hits on grounded opponents is somewhat
tight though.

F/B Jump HP

Damage: 100 Stun: 200 Meter Gain: 6
Frame Data - Startup: 6 Active: 5
Stun Duration - On Block: 15 On Hit: 18
Special Properties: Startup leg projectile invincibility

Strong primarily as a jump-in attack. It does not have the most range of Ryu's
jump-in options, but it does hit the lowest, making it a strong choice for
fighting off enemy anti-airs or going for a trade hit. Best used when jumping
in from midrange. Long stun allows heavy follow-up combos on hit or block. An
unusual property also allows it to fake cross up some opponents yet still land
on the other side although the spacing for this is rather specific.

F/B Jump LK

Damage: 40 Stun: 50 Meter Gain: 2
Frame Data - Startup: 4 Active: 8
Stun Duration - On Block: 8 On Hit: 11
Special Properties: Startup leg projectile invincibility

A low-hitting move that can cross up. Low stun however prevents combos, except
on crouching characters and only with precise placement and timing into
crouching LP. Somewhat useful for ambiguous cross-ups. Its startup and hitbox
also make it usable as a stuffing move for some anti-airs.

F/B Jump MK

Damage: 70 Stun: 100 Meter Gain: 4
Frame Data - Startup: 6 Active: 6
Stun Duration - On Block: 11 On Hit: 15
Special Properties: Startup leg projectile invincibility

Ryu's primary cross-up move. The stun time is long enough to permit most big
combos against a majority of the cast on cross-up (with exceptions such as
crouching MP after a blocked crossup against a standing Sagat now mashing out
Tiger Uppercut). The cross-up itself leaves a wide margin for error.

As a regular attacking move, it has adequate range and power but still loses
on both fronts to F/B HP and F/B HK. The former is better suited to low-aim
strikes, and the latter is longer. F/B MK also seems to fight Bison's
(Dictator's) headstomp particularly well.

F/B Jump HK

Damage: 100 Stun: 200 Meter Gain: 6
Frame Data - Startup: 7 Active: 7
Stun Duration - On Block: 15 On Hit: 18
Special Properties: Startup leg projectile invincibility

Ryu's other primary jump-in attack. This move has very long range in addition
to a wide hitbox, and long stun allows virtually any combo on hit or block.
Follow-up options vary though based off how 'deep' the hit is, as this effects
Ryu's landing position relative to the opponent.

Unique Attacks

Solar Plexus

Input: Forward + HP
Damage: 40+80 Stun: 50+50 Meter Gain: 6+2
Frame Data - Startup: 17 Active: 2+2 Recovery: 18
Frame Advantage - On Block: 0 On Hit: +4
Stun Duration - On Block: 19 On Hit: 25+23
Canceling Ability: Special, Super (final frames)

An approaching move that can be linked from or cancelled for big damage. It
covers a moderate distance for a move of its type and is particularly useful
in breaking focuses as it hits twice. Use from maximum range allows only one
hit to connect. Big startup is a drawback, but the threat of huge damage on
counterhit leads many opponents to block once they see the animation.
Conveniently, on block, the frame advantage is even for both sides. Used
sparingly, Solar Plexus is a potent threat. On freshly crumpled opponents,
it's the best move for starting a big combo.

Collarbone Breaker

Input: Forward + MP
Damage: 30+50 Stun: 50+50 Meter Gain: 4+2
Frame Data - Startup: 17 Active: 1(1)2* Recovery: 14
Frame Advantage - On Block: -2 On Hit: +3(+1)**
Stun Duration - On Block:  On Hit: 20+18 (16)***
Canceling Ability: None
Special Properties: Overhead attack

* - Number in parentheses indicates an empty frame between the two hits
** - Number in parentheses indicates advantage if opponent is crouching;
number outside if opponent is standing.
*** - Number in parentheses indicates stun on crouching opponent

Ryu's overhead attack. Average, as overheads come. It does not put Ryu in the
air, but it is multi-hitting, so it can break focuses, although like the Solar
Plexus, use at maximum range guarantees only one hit. The move covers a
small distance and has a long startup, as is par for overheads, but discreet
use is effective in disorienting an opponent and cracking nervous turtling.

Focus Attacks

Ryu has a strong Focus Attack. It moves him a bit back on the charge and has
solid forward extension on release.

Level 1

Input: Hold MP+MK
Damage: 60 Stun: 100 Meter Gain: 2
Frame Data - Startup: (10-17)+11* Active: 2 Recovery: 35
Frame Advantage - On Block: -21 On Hit: -21
Frame Advantage on Block after Perfectly Timed Forward FADC: -4
Stun Duration - On Block: 15 On Hit: 15
Canceling Ability: F/B Dash
Launch Counter: +0 to counter, does not hit past N/A
Special Properties: Armor during charge, crumples grounded opponents on
counter hit, launches opponents that are in the air (partially hittable
launch), dash cancellable

Level 2

Input: Hold MP+MK
Damage: 80 Stun: 150 Meter Gain: 4
Frame Data - Startup: (18-50)+11* Active: 2 Recovery: 35
Frame Advantage - On Block: -15 On Hit: Foe crumpled
Frame Advantage on Block after Perfectly Timed Forward FADC: +2
Stun Duration - On Block: 21 On Hit: Foe crumpled
Canceling Ability: F/B Dash
Launch Counter: +0 to counter, does not hit past N/A
Special Properties: Armor during charge, crumples grounded opponents, launches
opponents that are in the air (fully hittable launch), dash cancellable

Level 3

Input: Hold MP+MK
Damage: 140 Stun: 200 Meter Gain: 6
Frame Data - Startup: 51+14* Active: 2 Recovery: 35
Frame Advantage - On Block: Cannot be blocked On Hit: Foe crumpled
Canceling Ability: F/B Dash
Launch Counter: +0 to counter, does not hit past N/A
Special Properties: Armor up to active frames, armor break, crumples grounded
opponents, launches opponents that are in the air (fully hittable launch),
dash cancellable

* - First number(s) indicates charging time, second number indicates time
between charge release and active frames (the release of the attack)


Ryu can kara cancel into his throws with standing HK, which slightly increases
his maximum throw range.

Shoulder Throw

Input: LP+LK, Forward + LP+LK
Damage: 130 Stun: 140 Meter Gain: 4
Frame Data - Startup: 3 Active: 2 Recovery: 20
Special Properties: Untechable knockdown

A simple forward throw. Outside of a corner, the opponent lands at midrange
from Ryu allowing a choice of mixups or crossups on wakeup.

Somersault Throw

Input: Back + LP+LK
Damage: 130 Stun: 120 Meter Gain: 4
Frame Data - Startup: 3 Active: 2 Recovery: 20
Special Properties: Untechable knockdown

An ordinary back throw. The opponent lands at mid to long range relative to
Ryu. This move's useful for repositioning an opponent - Usually placing them
in a corner.

Special Moves

A few notes. Slashes differentiate light, medium, and hard versions,
respectively for non-EX special moves. Under meter gain, the first number
signals meter gain for use, the second past the comma indicates additional
meter gain on hit.


Input: Down, Down-Forward, Forward + Punch
Damage: 60 Stun: 100 Meter Gain: 1,2
Frame Data - Startup: 12+1 Active: None - projectile Recovery: 45 (total move)
Frame Advantage - On Block: -6 On Hit: -2
Stun Duration - On Block: 8+18 On Hit: 8+22
Canceling Ability: Super
Launcher Counter: +1 to counter, does not hit past 0 count
Special Properties: Launch opponents that are in the air, 15-16th frames

Ryu's trademark attack. The projectile thrown travels horizontally across the
speed at increasingly greater speeds that correspond to the power of the punch
button pressed. Ryu's projectile in particular is one of the best in the game:
It comes out and recovers quickly and covers a wide area of the screen.

It's a tremendously useful move for zoning the opponent, analyzing his
behavior, finishing simple combos (or continuing, should ample meter be
available), and even poking.

The choice of punch buttons is a delicate decision that becomes easier with
experience. HP is best for canceling to from normals, but picking for zoning
or holding pressure is a question of which speed projectile will best tie up
the opponent at that point in time. As the fastest, HP is generally strongest
for holding pressure. LP on the other hand as the slowest is good for making
an opponent trying to reverse the situation pause for a moment and think twice
about their plan, allowing you to retain the initiative. MP is a deceptive
median which sometimes fools flustered opponents to jump into it.

EX Hadoken

Input: Down, Down-Forward, Forward + 2+ Punches
Damage: 50+50 Stun: 50+50 Meter Gain: -25,0
Frame Data - Startup: 11+1 Active: None - projectile Recovery: 40 (total move)
Frame Advantage - On Block: +1 On Hit: None - launch
Stun Duration - On Block: 8+13 (29) On Hit: None - launch
Canceling Ability: Super (not possible in-game)
Launch Counter: +2 to counter (+1 per hit), does not hit past 2 count
Special Properties: Launch opponents, fully hits both types of launch, 14-15th
frames cancellable, 2 launch hits net

A faster, stronger version of the Hadoken that hits twice and also launches
grounded opponents on hit. Its actual travel speed is equal to the HP Hadoken,
but its quicker release makes it technically and effectively faster. The
release speed also allows combos not ordinarily possible with a regular
Hadoken. Extending the combo on the juggle is also possible if the enemy is in
the corner. When blocked, it pushes the opponent farther back than a regular
Hadoken would.

Utility varies per battle. EX Hadoken is for good reason Ryu's most commonly
used EX move (on all levels of play), but sometimes eschewing its use to
retain meter is a stronger long-term decision. Firing them in order to slow
down or derail an opponent or to put him on guard against carelessly focusing
or using armored attacks is usually a wise use of the move. Using them to
finish combos is sometimes not, as the threats a full Super or a Shoryuken FADC
pose may be greater. It is however sometimes wise to use at the end of long
block strings, where a regular Hadoken ordinarily would not hit the opponent
before he's freed - EX fireballs sometimes catch them trying to act where
they're expecting a regular fireball. It can also combo into U1 relatively
easily in the corner.


Input: Forward, Down, Down-Forward, Forward + Punch
Damage: 100(70)*/80+50/100+50 Stun: 200(100)*/150+50/150+50
Meter Gain: 3,4/2,2+2/2,2+2
Frame Data - Startup: 3 Active: 2+12 Recovery: 14+10/25+18/30+18**
Frame Advantage - On Block: -17/-34/-37 On Hit: None - launch
Stun Duration - On Block: 20 On Hit: None - launch
Canceling Ability: Super
Launch Counter: +2 to counter (+1 per hit), does not hit past 0/1 count
(first/second hits respectively)
Special Properties: 1-2nd frames invincible, 3-4th frames unthrowable, 3-16th
frames lower body invincibility, 3-30th frames airborne, launch (partially
hittable launch), 3-4th frames hit cancellable/
1-4th frames invincible, 5-16th frames lower body invincibility, 5-41st
frames airborne, launches (partially hittable launch), 1st hit cancellable,
2nd hit connects with partially hittable launches/
1-2nd frames invincible, 3-4th frames unthrowable, 3-16th frames lower body
invincibility, 3-44th frames airborne, launches (partially hittable launch),
1st hit cancellable, 2nd hit connects with partially hittable launches

* - Numbers in parentheses come from air hits. Numbers outside come from
grounded hits.
** - The first number refers to recovery on the way down, the second to
recovery after touching down.

A rising dragon punch. It has strong priority against normal moves. Its
hitbox, for some reason, extends far down Ryu's arm. The height of the jump,
number of hits, and amount of recovery varies increasingly with the strength
of the punch button used (although the number of maximum hits does not
increase further to 3 on HP). Also, the MP version has the most frames of
invinicbility, 4, twice as many as the others.

The Shoryuken functions as an anti-air, reversal, and setup move, sometimes
all together. With 4 invincibility frames, MP Shoryuken is the best for
anti-air and Ryu's best overall anti-air move. With the shortest recovery, LP
is safest for attempting to reversal holes in block strings should not enough
meter be available to FADC and for launching overhead opponents into big
damage when they drop. As the strongest, HP is best for finishing combos.

EX Shoryuken

Input: Forward, Down, Down-Forward, Forward + 2+ Punches
Damage: 80+60 Stun: 100+100 Meter Gain: -25,0
Frame Data - Startup: 3 Active: 2+1+11 Recovery: 30+18*
Frame Advantage - On Block: -39 On Hit: None - launch
Stun Duration - On Block: 20 On Hit: None - launch
Canceling Ability: Super (not possible in-game)
Launch Counter: +2 to counter (+1 per hit), does not hit past 0/1 count
(first/second hits respectively)
Special Properties: 1-16th frames invincible, 6-46 frames airborne, 1st-2nd
hit cancellable until airborne, launch (partially hittable launch), 2nd hit
connects with partially hittable launches

* - The first number refers to recovery on the way down, the second to
recovery after touching down.

2 hits. Weaker than HP Shoryuken but invincible from startup to the peak of
the jump. The horizontal distance covered is significantly greater than
regular Shoryuken's - Most of this movement occurs early during the active
frames. Unlike Ryu's other Shoryukens, EX Shoryuken can be cancelled on the
second (or aerial) hit, in the first few frames - For as long as his feet
still make contact with the ground.

Useful in specific situations. On wakeup, it allows escape against many chip
kills. Conversely, it guarantees chip kills on many downed opponents as few
characters have an invincible wakeup that competes with Ryu's EX Shoryu. EX DP
to FADC Ultra in situations where an ordinary Shoryuken would not beat the
jump-in, vs. attacking close to midrange opponents to break in, or as an
option select to punish your opponent's own punish attempt (such as a Rufus'
EX Messiah kick to stop a jump-in) are other options but rarely emerge as the
best choices in regular battles.

Tatsumaki Senpukyaku

Input: Down, Down-Back, Back + Kick
Damage: 100/110/120 Stun: 200 Meter Gain: 3,3
Frame Data - Startup: 11/12/12
Active: 2(6)2/2(6)2(6)2(6)2(6)2/2(6)2(6)2(6)2(6)2* Recovery: 12+5/18+3/18+3**
Frame Advantage - On Block: -6/-2/-2 On Hit: None - launch
Stun Duration - On Block: 20 On Hit: None - launch
Canceling Ability: None
Launch Counter: +1 to counter, does not hit past 0 count
Special Properties: 7-20th frame lower body projectile invincibility, 7-32th
frame airborne, launches (partially hittable launch), armor break, misses
crouching opponents, 2nd hit aimed backwards/
7-45th frame lower body projectile invincibility, 7-63rd frame airborne,
launches (partially hittable launch), armor break, misses crouching
opponents, 2nd and 4th hits aimed backwards/
7-45th frame lower body projectile invincibility, 7-63rd frame airborne,
launches (partially hittable launch), armor break, misses crouching
opponents, 2nd and 4th hits aimed backwards

* - Numbers in parentheses indicate frames between strikes, numbers outside
the attacks themselves
** - The first number refers to recovery on the way down, the second to
recovery after touching down.

A flying spin kick (or series of) that quickly charges horizontally across the
screen. The distance traveled and number of kicks increase in accord with the
power of the kick button pressed. Both MK and HK however have the same number
of kicks. Each kick possesses the full attack power of the move; unlike the
Tatsus of other characters, Ryu's can hit only once each use. MK and HK Tatsus
that are blocked with more kicks remaining can still connect though. On hit,
the opponent is carried along in the air with Ryu until the move ends. For MK
and HK Tatsus that hit and continue into the corner, Ryu lands on the other
side of the opponent. Unfortuantely, Tatsumaki misses crouching opponents, but
it can hit crossed over opponents, break armor, and launch.

The Tatsumaki is strong in combos, building more damage than the Hadoken and
pushing the opponent toward the corner although. As mentioned above, it misses
crouching opponents, and it can be punished big. Hit confirms on jump-ins or
long combos give you time to determine whether or not a Tatsu is a possible
option to finish (or continue) your combo. Crouching HP's 'force stand'
attribute removes that element from the occasion completely and is perfectly
viable. Outside of combos, the Tatsumaki can punish careless fireballs - It
goes over every fireball in the game, excluding Gouken's and Seth's (and
Sagat's High Tiger Shot, obviously). Sporadic use just to keep the opponent on
his toes can be dangerous but is not out of the question. A Tatsu after a
knockdown that pushes the opponent far away (usually LK Tatsu) helps build
meter while bringing Ryu closer to the opponent. The property of the stronger
Tatsus to carry the opponent along with the user is also useful in pushing
the opponent closer to the corner.

EX Tatsumaki Senpukyaku

Input: Down, Down-Back, Back + 2+ Kicks
Damage: 30*4+40 Stun: 50*5 Meter Gain: -25,0
Frame Data - Startup: 11 Active: 1(3)1(3)1(3)1(3)1* Recovery: 18+3**
Frame Advantage - On Block: -1 On Hit: None - launch
Stun Duration - On Block: 20 On Hit: None - launch
Canceling Ability: None
Launch Counter: +1 to counter on fifth kick, does not hit past 5 count
Special Properties: 6-27th frame lower body projectile invincibility, 6-45th
frame airborne, first 4 hits force stand and launch opponents in the air
(partially hittable launch), 5th hit launches (also partial), armor break,
hits partially launched opponents, 2nd and 4th hits aimed backwards, 1 launch
hit net

* - Numbers in parentheses indicate frames between strikes, numbers outside
the attacks themselves
** - The first number refers to recovery on the way down, the second to
recovery after touching down.

A very different move from the standard version - This one's a stationary
hurricane kick that sucks in the opponent after the first hit and can hit
up to 5 times, knocking the target back and forth around Ryu, and then
launching him ahead. It also inflicts more damage than a regular Tatsu and
does *not* miss crouching enemies. The suction property is particular in its
spacing. First hits that aren't deep enough cause the second to whiff although
the remaining three usually do hit. It's also possible to cause a reset in the
middle of the EX Tatsu, but the spacing is more particular for that.

This move's strongest in the corner. Its big launch allows a high damage U1
followup and it's feasible (if difficult) to start the combo clean from EX
Tatsu by fooling the opponent to crouch tech. Using EX Tatsu to finish
combos in the middle of the field does give a little more damage but really
isn't worth the cost. It shoves the opponent far away, giving up some control,
and is generally not the best use of Ryu's meter.

Airborne Tatsumaki Senpukyaku

Input: (in air) Down, Down-Forward, Back + Kick
Damage: 70/80/90 Stun: 100 Meter Gain: 1,4
Frame Data - Startup: 9 Active: 2(6)2(6)2 Recovery: until ground +10
Frame Advantage - On Block: None - ground cancel On Hit: None - launch
Stun Duration - On Block: 20 On Hit: None - launch
Canceling Ability: None
Launch Counter: +1 to counter, does not hit past (N/A)
Special Properties: Launches (partially hittable launch), 2nd hit aimed

Three flying spin kicks (front, back, front), initiated in the air, that shoot
Ryu in an arc. This arc is an exacerbation of his normal jumping arc; the
degree to which it's stretched is directly related to the strength of the kick
button used. Like the normal Tatsumaki, this move can hit only once.

This move has three regular uses. It's good for escaping from the corner, and
it's Ryu's only reliable means of getting out. An HK Airborne Tatsumaki
started early in the jump shoots him completely across the screen and can
rarely be punished once it's started. Airborne Tatsu's also strong for mixing
up jump-ins, going for crossups. For this, an LK Tatsu (as the steepest of the
bunch) started past the peak of the jump is best. The Tatsu's third use is
building meter while neutral jumping in fireball wars or in general when the
opponent is on the opposite end and can't punish.

EX Airborne Tatsumaki Senpukyaku

Input: (in air) Down, Down-Forward, Back + 2+ Kicks
Damage: 40*5 Stun: 50*5 Meter Gain: -25,0
Frame Data - Startup: 7 Active: 1(3)1(3)1(3)1(3)1 Recovery: until ground +4
Frame Advantage - On Block: None On Hit: None - launch
Stun Duration - On Block: 20 On Hit: None - launch
Canceling Ability: None
Launch Counter +5 to counter (+1 per hit), does not hit past (N/A)
Special Properties: Each hit launches (partially hittable launch), hits
partially launched opponents, 5 launch hits net

Works much like the grounded EX Tatsumaki. In principle, at least. It's very
picky on the first hit - If it doesn't hit at just the right height, the
opponent's slung away rather than caught in the remaining hits. Also, all the
hits launch, which works against comboing possibilities. The only thing
working in its favor is that it does allot of damage (200 on full), but given
Ryu's other air-to-air and meter options, there's very little reason to use
this move other than to avoid chip damage from some ground attack like
Blanka's Shout of Earth.

Super Combos

Shinku Hadoken

Input: Down, Down-Forward, Forward *2 + Punch
Damage: 50*4+100 Stun: 0 Meter Gain: -100/0
Frame Data - Startup: 1+1+1 Active: None - projectile
Recovery: 52 (post-freeze duration)
Frame Advantage - On Block: +11 On Hit: None - launch
Stun Duration - On Block: 8+20 (60) On Hit: None - launch
Canceling Ability: None
Launch Counter: +5 to counter (+1 per hit), does not hit past 5 count
Special Properties: 1st frame invincible, first 4 hits launch opponents in
the air, 5th hit launches (partially hittable launch), long untechable

A much stronger version of the Hadoken that hits 5 times and comes out much,
much faster. Like the basic Hadoken, the speed of the Super is controlled by
the punch button used, but the speeds are more extreme than the regular
version's. HP Shinku Hadoken in particular is much faster than HP Hadoken.
This Super can also hit juggled opponents for full damage.

Shinku Hadoken is an excellent Super. Its 3 frame startup and incredible speed
make it easy to combo and punish with. Combos are discussed more in-depth
below. Punish opportunities include careless projectiles to charge-in moves
with long recovery to even simple jump-ins. Its only drawback is its
relatively low damage (for a Super).

HP is the best version, and bar some very select circumstances - Like, say,
cancelling from a Shoryuken on Dhalsim's stretched fists from across the
screen - There's nothing the others can do that HP can't. LP is easier to
work with on high air juggles and jump-in punishes, but that's about it.

Ultra Combos

Metsu Hadoken

Input: Down, Down-Forward, Forward *2 + Triple Punch
Damage: 42*7+75 (at maximum) Stun: 0 Meter Gain: 0,0
Frame Data - Startup: 1+10 Active: None - projectile
Recovery: 120 (post-freeze duration)
Frame Advantage - On Block: -25 On Hit: None - launch
Stun Duration - On Block: 8+20 (84) On Hit: None - launch
Canceling Ability: None
Launch Counter: +8 to counter (+1 per hit), does not hit past 8 count
Special Properties: 1-11th frames invincible, 1-7th hits launch opponents in
the air, 8th hit launches, long untechable knockdown

Another fireball special move (8 hits at most). This one's not quite as good
as the Super - It has a much bigger startup, it's slower, it's not *as* easy
to land, and it often is less damaging too - But it's still a good move that's
not hard to connect and, like the Super, can hit juggled opponents for full

It has a bit of invincibility at the start, but this doesn't come into play
often - Really only when punishing a fireball. This Ultra has allot of
recovery, enough for an opponent to calmly set up a huge combo after jumping
over it, so it should not be thrown out carelessly.

Metsu Shoryuken

Input: Down, Down-Forward, Forward *2 + Triple Kick
Damage: 270+45+188 (full) 38*4+50*3 (partial) Stun: 0 Meter Gain: 0,0
Frame Data - Startup: 1+7 Active: 2+3*7 Recovery: 43+41*
Frame Advantage - On Block: -84 On Hit: None - launch
Stun Duration - On Block: 20 On Hit: None - launch
Canceling Ability: None
Launch Counter: +7 to counter (+1 per hit), does not hit past 6 count - stats
for partial version only
Special Properties: 1-8th frames invincible, 9-30th frames lower body
invincibility, 10-73rd frames airborne, 1st hit armor break, 1st hit triggers
full animation, alternate animation launches opponents in the air, alternate
animation hits partially hittable launched opponents, long untechable

* - The first number refers to recovery on the way down, the second to
recovery after touching down.

Ryu's alternative, high-damage Ultra. Some of its properties don't work to
its benefit, and for those reasons, U1 is the generally preferred Ultra. For
instance, its hitbox stretches particularly far forward where a tighter and
higher hitbox would be more useful - Smart opponents already aren't jumping
into the areas it covers now as they're already covered by Ryu's other
anti-airs. On miss against opponents jumping in close, Metsu Shoryuken shoots
right past them, leaving Ryu exposed to punish. It's also tougher to combo
and scales damage poorly. A clean hit is ideal, and it isn't easy.

It does have some advantages. It starts up faster, armor breaks, and has
better invincibility (on hit). It can punish some moves with big recovery on
block, like Dudley's EX Machinegun Blow, and can stave off some characters
like Balrog (Boxer) who don't care about Ryu's anti-air normals, in addition
to fending off many charge attacks. It's a decidedly situational move though.
U1 is usually a better choice.


                                Playing Ryu                             (ryu3)

"Zone the opponent and keep them out with anti-airs." That's Ryu in a
nutshell. As a Ryu player, you want to take the lead, somehow, and hold onto
it. Patience is key, at least against smart opponents. Not all scenarios
allow you to neatly conform to a single mode of play: Some matchups force
you to play aggressively; others demand you play very passively. For now,
let's start with the basics. I'll break down the core of his play style
and look at them one piece at a time.

Zoning and the Ground Game

Zoning effectively, with Ryu at least, calls for you to slowly push the
opponent into the corner using your pokes. It doesn't call for intense defense
or offensive, but Ryu is flexible enough so that he can switch to either if
the situation demands it.

I'll start with the most basic of Ryu's zoning tools, cr. MK. It has
excellent range and a quick startup and is special cancellable. It's the
foundation of his game. Playing Ryu well requires you to learn how to use it
well. Learn its range, what it can cancel into based off how deep the hit is,
and what your opponent can do about it. I've made a simple diagram to help you
out. I'll explain it piece by piece.

                Super | EX Hadoken | Hadoken | Tatsu | Shoryu

This diagram represents the range of Ryu's cr. MK. (It's not to scale
unfortunately.) To understand it, assume Ryu is to the left of the diagram
walking right into cr. MK range. How deep the hit will be is measured on the
diagram by how far to the right it is (deep hits would have Ryu's foot
extend past the right end of the diagram), and the possible followups are the
one below that point and all the moves to the left of it.

Right. So I'll explain each of the followups starting from the right and
making my way left.

Shoryu is rarely an option. Its range is relatively closer to the opponent
than the others' than the diagram makes it appear. At that range, you're using
another move, cr. MP, which is faster and safer, and you're not cancelling
into Shoryu without hit confirm anyway because it's not safe on block. EX
Shoryu offers more range but practically is no better.

Tatsu is sometimes an option. Tatsu runs into a similar problem to Shoryu -
It's not safe on block. It can also be dodged if the opponent's crouching
when you land that cr. MK. and punished if the opponent blocks (either). It's
usually the go to attack when the opponent whiffs a reversal or counter hit
attempt that brings him a little closer. When he's done, he'll briefly be in
standing animation, so Tatsu may have a chance at hitting. If you can, by all
means use it. For its range and cost (or lack thereof), it's the most damaging
followup. Sometimes it doesn't reach, but judging the distance comes with

There are a couple other important notes on Tatsu. The first kicks of the
lighter versions have slightly less range than HK (I could unfortunately not
fit this information on the diagram; place the lighter versions farther to the
right in your minds).

Next, EX Tatsu is not a strong followup. It consumes a bar of super meter for
more damage and the ability to hit crouching opponents but leaves little time
to hit confirm and gives very little in return if the opponent blocks. He'll
take one minor chip hit, be pushed back, and be left at a more favorable frame
advantage than if another move, like Hadoken, had been picked instead. If it
hits, it might not give full damage if the opponent's by the tip of Tatsu
range as one hit will whiff in the suction, and it'll throw him across the
screen unless he's already in the corner.

That brings us to Hadoken. This is your mainstay followup. Together with cr.
MK, it pushes the opponent back, does a little chip damage, and builds a
considerable amount of meter as well. If you're smart (or fortunate), you'll
even deal some real damage too, but the first three are most important.

Don't think about which punch button to use. Always use HP when cancelling to
Hadoken's. HP is identical to the others in every way except for speed, and
there's no gain in dropping a block string for picking a slower fireball.
Learning the max spacing for a safe cancel into a Hadoken takes time but is
important to avoid a punish I discuss below.

EX Hadoken is for that range *just* outside of Hadoken's. Its speed is the
same as HP Hadoken's, but it has a faster release which allows it to be safely
cancelled into from farther away. If you can hit confirm into it, good job,
but there's also a trap you can lay here. It's not a trick I personally employ
much (I prefer saving meter as much as I can), but it's common on high levels
of play. Tough opponents not only know the range limitation on Hadoken
cancelled into from cr. MK but also try Focusing immediately after blocking
the cr. MK to punish a carelessly thrown fireball. EX Hadoken punishes these
attempts and declares that you know what he's doing and have a countermeasure
prepared. In order to do this, you don't want to continue the block string;
you want to punish their focus, so wait an extra moment before launching the
EX fireball.

And that just leaves Super. It's the biggest and fastest and hits by far from
the farthest away. Naturally, you should use it only if you hit confirm cr.
MK. Landing the Super from max range is not easy though. In addition to the
hit confirm, you have to buffer the whole motion, which is harder than it
sounds. It's very easy to use Shoryuken instead, which can get you punished at
max range, or Hadoken and cancel to Super, which will be blocked. But this is
all something more for combos, so I'll save it for later.

That concludes the followups to cr. MK. Now let's move on to the rest of Ryu's
zoning game. Because it's an excellent metric to use, here's another diagram,
similar to the last one with several alterations.

 (EX) Hadoken/ | cr. HK/ | cr. MK followups | Other Normals/ | Throw
 St. HK          Solar Plexus/                Collarbone Breaker/
                 Other Normals                Shoryuken/Focus Attack

The line of dashes still represents cr. MK's range. Now however all of the
followup moves except for Shoryuken (I'm excluding it explicitly here), have
been put together into "cr. MK followups". The equal signs on the left
represent ranges farther than cr. MK can reach. The set of attacks under each
section of the line reach only at those ranges and closer. The different
attacks listed under each section have minor differences in reach, which I'll
explain as I discuss each group.

I'll start with the closer attacks. "Other Normals" here refers to most of
Ryu's remaining crouching moves. His close standing moves, which come out at
that distance, and cr. HP aren't useful for footsies. That leaves LP, MP, and
LK along with Focus Attack, Collarbone Breaker, Shoryuken, and throws.

Focus Attack has the most reach of all the moves on the right end of the
diagram; it also moves Ryu back a little, so enemies jumping in more often
land in front of him. It's a very good move and plays a big role in Ryu's
offense in allot of matchups.

CBB is Ryu's overhead attack. It has the next most reach of all the moves on
that end of the diagram, but its big startup makes bringing it out tough. I've
found the best time to use it is when I feel a void in the opponent's
consciousness. If you don't know what that means, it's a feeling of paralysis
(for the opponent) brought about by heavy offensive pressure. It's a fear that
anything he might do will be caught and countered. It slows down reactions and
momentarily breaks down defenses. Unfortunately I can't teach it you to sense
it; you have to learn it yourself.

Shoryuken needs to be used a bit closer. The stronger versions however have
much more range than LP DP, but are that much more dangerous if blocked or
used without meter to FADC. Going farther inside, of the other normals, cr.
LK and MP have nearly the same range - Which one's closer to an opponent
depends on the target - and cr. LP is barely shorter than cr. MP.

The throws and LP DP have a much closer range than any of those attacks: They
need to be used at almost point blank range. The throws can be kara cancelled
into from standing HK to slightly increase their reach, but the gain isn't
big. The Shoryuken has a bigger reach for just the aerial or second hit (LP or
MP/HP), but for full damage and to be able to FADC, the distance at which to
use it needs to be close. Both the throw and the Shoryuken have somewhat of
an easier time than the close range attacks in that their reach can get a
pseudo-extension: The throws grab normal moves before they become active, and
Shoryuken can hit through them.

Getting closer than cr. MK range to use any of these attacks has risks, as
most characters have an answer to attacks at that distance, but is important
for putting on pressure and mixing up your game.

You can do it by jumping, but good anti-airs make that unsafe, or by walking
forward. The latter's dependent on how close you feel you can safely approach
before your opponent reacts, either consciously or out of a panic. What that
threshold is will vary based off how pressured he feels. How much time
remains? How much life do you and your opponent have left? What are your
opponent's and your own positions on the field? High stakes situations often
switch quickly between extremes - Not being able to get close at all to
walking up point blank to the opponent. Reading the flow you have to learn for
yourself. When you feel you *can* get close, mix-up your attacks.

Now I'll explain the attacks outside cr. MK's range, starting with the set
immediately to the left. Cr. HK reaches a fair distance greater than cr. MK,
comes out just as quickly, and gets that untechable knockdown allowing you to
go in yourself. On the flip side, its big recovery lets some characters punish
on block if it's used too closely or by focus attack, and a handful can punish
no matter. Solar Plexus has a little more range than cr. HK but slower
startup. The attack is good for closing the distance and punishing predicted
focuses. From the outer edge of its range though it hits only once, so bear
that in mind before you use it. The "Other Normals" at this range include
st. MP and HP. They technically have less range than cr. MK, but I've included
them in this group because they're decent pokes that aren't as punishable as
the others.

The basis for this set is expectation. Most opponents have working knowledge
of Ryu and generally expect cr. MK or some other close range poke. These
attacks prey on that expectation. They also pose a problem for a good portion
of the cast that can't function outside this range. If they jump-in (and have
no way to alter their trajectory or momentum in midair), they jump-in directly
into Ryu's DP range. Many opponents try to get around this problem by neutral
jumping and baiting you to change the situation for them, but patience wins
the day here. If they become too predictable neutral jumping, you can punish
with st. HK.

The range outside that one includes Hadoken (EX or normal) and st. HK in its
set of zoning moves. Both have exceptional range but poor recovery. The
principle behind both moves is the same as in the last set - Expectation -
So I won't repeat myself.

That covers everything I wanted to say about close range, so I'll start
discussing Ryu's ground game at midrange. Throwing a Hadoken at this range is
still dangerous, but it's still an excellent zoning tool. Any more than a
couple Hadokens at a time is risky; back off once you feel the attack's become

At here and long range is where the choice of speed for the Hadoken starts
making a difference. At bare minimum midrange, HP is generally the way to go.
Use the weaker versions only if you anticipate the opponent jumping (or
teleporting) back.

Your other options include baiting a jump-in or some other attack meant to
deal with an anticipated Hadoken with your normals and stopping any offense
your opponent tries to build up. Against (most) other shotokans and fireball
users, you can Tatsumaki over their fireballs to punish them. If you gain
momentum you can close the gap and begin your attack again, and if you feel
pressured you can back up farther to adjust your read.

At long range, there's not much you can do but throw Hadokens and build
meter. Not many characters can punish from fullscreen. As I mentioned before,
the choice of speed for Hadoken matters here. Slow is solid for making the
opponent double think his plans and reevaluate how he'll deal with it and any
threat you may pose. Medium can sometimes catch him expecting one of the other
speeds and mess up a countermeasure or jump into it by accident. Fast
continues to apply the most pressure at the fastest rate. Mixing them up is
the best way to get the most out of your Hadokens. Too much of any one, and
they quickly become easy to deal with. Too much in general and that happens
eventually anyway, which is why I suggest you don't do nothing more than sit
back throwing fireballs for too long. If your opponent has no means of
attacking you from across the screen, build meter with LP Shoryuken as he's
dealing with your fireball.

Defending with Anti-Airs

Sooner or later, your opponent is going to jump, whether you've been zoning
him well or he's jump-crazy. It makes no difference. You've got to keep him
out and punish him for attempting to get in. Ryu has several anti-air
options. Below is an image to help you better understand your options.

                                   |  5  |

                                   |  3  |        /¯¯¯\
                             /¯¯¯\  \___/  /¯¯¯\ |  2  |
                            |  4  |       |  1  | \___/
                             \___/ |¯¯¯¯¯| \___/
                                   | Ryu |
                                   |     |
This image isn't to scale (either). Learning their actual reaches and
positions isn't difficult. I'll go over them one by one.

1 - Standard Shoryuken range. With the most invincibility, MP Shoryu is best.
To guarantee both hits connect and stuff the jump-in attack, the DP should be
started while crouching and when the opponent is deep into his jump: He should
be near the ground. Successful hits cause big damage and leave the opportunity
for an FADC to Ultra combo if the revenge gauge is sufficiently filled.
An input shortcut is available to help in the endeavor of DPing while
crouching. Down-Forward -> Down-Forward or the better Down-Forward -> Down ->
Down-Forward allows Shoryukens to come out without rising.
It's worth noting however that Shoryuken doesn't beat *everything*, but it's
easily Ryu's best anti-air and exactly where you want most opponents to come
in on you.
Any of Ryu's st. punches or LK work as anti-airs at this range as well. St. MP
and HP are fast, easy, and deal a fair amount of damage. St. LP is extremely
fast but has little range and deals little damage. St. LK is a little slower
than LP and also deals little damage but has a wide hit area and many active
frames, so it's not picky on timing or placement.

2 - (Far) St. HK territory. Most opponents know better than to jump into its
territory. Its big startup is not slow enough to fail at stopping jump-ins
identified early, and it deals allot of damage. Its large hitbox also lets
it punish some much more overhead attacks, but the timing for that is more

3 - Cr. HP territory. It beats most things that are directly overhead. Its
wide horizontal range also lets it tackle more forward attacks, but it's not
as nearly as successful at dealing with those as Shoryuken is.

4 - This area's for attempted cross-ups by the opponent. Like the same area
in front, it's also Shoryuken territory. The key to stopping enemy crossups
consistently lies performing the DP motion in a certain manner. To land the
Shoryuken, switch the inputs to the other side of the pad or stick as you're
doing them at the same time as the opponent switches sides.

5 - Higher overhead territory, for (Close) St. HK. St. HK is rarely an
option as the opponent must be quite high to outreach and avoid your other
anti-airs, but it is an option nevertheless.

Going Air-to-Air

There are a few situations in which you'll find yourself going to air-to-air.

If you're waiting for the opponent to make a move or trying to stuff a
dangerous jump-in attack before your opponent gets close, neutral jumping
and stopping them in the air is often a good solution. Ryu has a few good
neutral jump attacks. HK is the best overall option, as it's fast *and*
strong, but doesn't have many active frames, so it calls for some precision.
MK is easier to use with many more active frames but comes out slower. HP
has some circumstantial use for its higher hitbox, like against Bison's

If both you and your opponent are jumping toward each other but neither of
you anticipated the other, the first to realize he should attack usually comes
out on top. The choice of attack is a matter of distance and how soon you
believe the opponent will react. HK is the best move overall, covering a huge
distance at good height and remaining active for a long period. MK is a little
weaker in every category but comes out a frame faster. HP is as strong as HK
and comes out a frame faster but hits lower. If your position in the air is
lower than your opponent's, it may miss.

If you anticipate your opponent's about to jump and are ready to meet him
but *he's* not expecting you to jump, you have a few options, depending on
how confident you are that he'll jump, your distance from each other, and
your reaction speed. The ideal choice is MP for its juggle ability - At
*worst* you deal a little over a 100 damage from a combo, which is still
better than any of your other air-to-air options by themselves. At best,
*allot* more. F/B Jump MP's comboing ability is well-known though, especially
once Ryu gets Ultra, so opponents are less likely to jump once you get it.
Your other options are HK, still strong as before, and LP, which comes out
very quickly, has allot of active frames, and hits at medium height. It's
meant to counter hit anything the opponent tries to bring out. It's a last
ditch effort, when you think anything else you try to bring out will be
counter hit.

Lastly, there's running away with the opponent in pursuit. HK is the best
choice again for its range and power. There's no competition here.

Jumping In

Your opponent's been knocked down, he's doing something with big recovery, or
you feel he just won't react quickly to what you're planning. In any event,
you want to jump in. In general, there's two types of situations to consider.
A mid-range jump-in and a close-range jump-in.

The elements to consider for mid-range jump-in are your distance from the
opponent and his anti-air capabilities. The former is a good indicator of how
high and deep the hit will be, that is, how high on the opponent the hit will
land and how deep inside the opponent's body the hit is and consequently how
far away Ryu will be when he hits the ground. This lets you consider what
followups are available. The latter may force you to make a choice. HK is,
again, the best choice overall (now for jump-ins) for its range and power, but
to fight some anti-airs, like Chun-Li's crouching HK, or to hit sooner, HP's
lower hitbox and faster startup is worth sacrificing range. To help with the
former issue, your distance from the opponent, I've made an easy cipher,
listed below for your reference.

1) If hit is low and shallow, cr. HK
2) If hit is deep or high, cr. MK to a special move
3) If hit is deep and high, custom combo

Which custom combos deal the most damage against an opponent vary per
matchup and Ryu's precise distance from the adversary. Learn the distances.

The second situation is close-range jump-ins. The idea here is to force your
opponent to guess whether or not you're going to cross-up. Knowing spacing
and adjusting before you jump, without being obvious, is critical. In this
endeavor, Ryu's primary tool is MK: It's strong, has good stun, and allows
followup strings on block or hit. LK is also an option - Generally opponents
don't know its spacing as well as MK's. Unfortunately, followup attacks after
LK are safe only against crouching opponents.

Ryu has another option for cross-ups that doesn't lock the attempt as soon as
he's off the ground. The Airborne Tatsu, which exaggerates his jump arc,
allows Ryu to cross up an opponent if he would not have otherwise if it's used
almost immediately after the peak of the jump. Too early and you shoot off
past the opponent; too late and the second kick, the backwards one which you
use for the cross-up, won't have a chance to come out and hit the opponent,
or you won't cross up at all. For these cross-ups you generally want to be
obviously in front of the opponent - that is, your opponent will assume that
your jump-in attack (HK or whatever) will hit from the front and he should
obviously block in that direction. Then you bring out the Tatsu and surprise

Any of the Tatsus will do. Some suggest LK Tatsu: It alters the jump arc least
and isn't demanding on spacing. I've had no problem using HK for as long as
I've played and rather like the few points of extra damage. Unfortunately no
matter what choice you make, Ryu's Tatsu shoves the opponent far away. Super
is the only possible followup unless the cross-up puts the opponent in the
corner, but it's a good one.

Opponent in the Corner

There's a natural advantage to pushing your opponent into the corner - The
opponent has a tougher time getting away, and attacks become easier to combo
since the opponent can't be pushed back further. Some characters become
exponentially stronger when their opponent is in the corner. Ryu is not one
of those characters. His tools only help him get to that point. He becomes
stronger but probably not much better, if at all, than a character chosen at
random. He does have one ace though.

What an opponent of Ryu that's in the corner fears the most is a setup to U1.
There's plenty of ways to do it. They're all cheap, they're all simple, and
none of them are hard. He knows that, and you should use his occupation on the
idea as much as you can to gain leverage and apply pressure. I'll start with
those setups and then move onto your options.

The most feared setup is EX Tatsu, U1. It's fast, high-damage, and beats
standard crouch techs. Quick, short-range pokes that *would* beat EX Tatsu are
a typical response. The way to beat those is to throw your opponents,
repeatedly if need be, and before their pokes enter their active frames.
Timing is critical; you have to feel it out. Tick throwing works well here
too. Your goal is to condition them to try something EX Tatsu will beat,
ideally the cr. LK of a crouch tech, or, failing that, force them to jump into
an anti-air.

Those that come to their senses will get a read on you and try mixing up their
game. Do the same. Jump-ins work well (depending on the matchup, of course),
as do your now more threatening standard pokes. You also have Cr. MK to EX
fireball to U1 or just plain EX fireball to U1 as setups. Neither are as
damaging as the EX Tatsu combo, but they can be used from much further away.
As long as you're not obvious about your movements, tagging the opponent with
an EX fireball in the corner is not difficult.

You in the Corner

If you're in the corner, you want to get out as soon as possible. Ideally,
you forward jump and immediately Air Tatsu to get out, but this tactic is
expected. You can't play the corner impatiently. Defend for as long as
possible until you can knock the opponent down to escape, by a back throw, cr.
HK, or something else, push him away with pokes or air attacks, or sense an
opportunity to Tatsu out.

Option Selects

Ryu has several practical option selects. The simplest is crouch teching,
including cr. MP as well since it has the startup as cr. LK but a higher
hitbox. The others are performed on jump-ins.

OS Tatsu is a strong measure against teleporters. OS EX DP beats some
invincible wakeup attacks such as Rufus' EX Messiah Kick. OS *Ultra* punishes
backdashes but is difficult to perform together with a followup for blocks.

Meter Management

Careful use of meter is important for Ryu. Full screen EX fireballs that force
the opponent to jump are poor uses of it. I don't believe EX Tatsus at
midscreen or EX fireballs at the end of long combos are wise either. Ryu
usually has other options that are nearly as damaging that build meter and
often end in more favorable situations like an untechable knockdown or a push
to the corner.

A conservative approach works best. Save meter, and build it quickly. Ryu
does that very well. EX fireball after a far-reaching poke, 'random' EX
fireball at close to mid-range, FADC off Shoryuken, and of course Super are
most worthwhile. EX Tatsu in the corner and escape EX Shoryu don't stand out
as much, but they're also worth saving meter.


                                   Combos                               (ryu4)

Ryu has allot of means to combo at his disposal and far more combos than are
actually practical. I'm covering only the practical ones.

A few notes: Commas indicate links, double 'x's chains and regular cancels,
and slashes alternatives. Stars are purely cosmetic - They make combos stand
out more from the comments.

As a reminder, in combos with chainable moves directly before a special
cancel, the last chainable move must be linked, not cancelled, from the
previous attack. For instance, in 'LPx3 xx HP Shoryuken', the first two LPs
may be chained, but the last one must be linked to continue the combo.

*** Cr. MK xx Hadoken

Bread and butter combo, discussed in detail under zoning. Cr. MK can be
replaced by most of Ryu's other normals and Hadoken by any of Ryu's other
specials. This specific combo can be extended several ways.

*** Cr. MK xx Hadoken xx Super

Hadoken can be cancelled only in the first few frames after its release and
only on contact with the opponent.

*** Cr. MK xx Hadoken xx FADC xx Cr. HK
*** Cr. MK xx Hadoken xx FADC xx Cr. MK xx Hadoken
*** Cr. MK xx Hadoken xx FADC xx Cr. MK xx Tatsumaki
*** Cr. MK xx Hadoken xx FADC xx Cr. HP xx Shoryuken

Distance and whether the opponent's standing or not determine which combo to
use. Cr. HK is generally best if the opponent's crouching; Cr. MK xx Tatsumaki
if the opponent's standing. Cr. MK xx Hadoken is also an option at a distance
if the opponent's crouching - It doesn't knockdown but it increases stun more
than cr. HK. Cr. HP xx Shoryuken is the best option if the FADC puts Ryu close
to the opponent.

*** LP Shoryuken/Tatsumaki, Super
*** Shoryuken xx Super

The Super can be connected cleanly after a LP Shoryuken or the last kick of
a Tatsumaki (usually LK Tatsu). Alternatively, any Shoryuken can be cancelled
into Super.

*** Cr. LPx3, Cr. HK
*** Cr. LPx2, (Far) St. LP, Cr. HK
*** Cr. LPx2, Cr. MK xx Special Move

Typical combos during close range footsies. Hit confirm one or more LPs and
followup with the rest of the combo. Far St. LP is for attacking from further
away, as it outranges cr. LP. It whiffs however against some crouching
characters. Another cr. LP can be added to the first two combos in some
matchups at point blank range range. Cr. MK and cr. HK are both one frame

*** Cr. MPx2, Cr. HK
*** Cr. MP, Cr. MK xx Special Move

Another typical footsies combo. Possible outside of point blank range. Cr. MP
is a two frame link, cr. HK a one frame link. Against some characters at point
blank range, cr. MPx3, cr. HK is possible. When plinking or, rather,
attempting to plink Cr. HK, option select the motion of whichever special move
would you'd most prefer to use in case Cr. MK comes out.

*** Cr. LK xx Cr. LP, Cr. MP, Cr. HK
*** Cr. LK xx Cr. LP, Cr. HP xx Tatsumaki
*** Cr. MP, Cr. HP xx Tatsumaki

Often performed from crouch techs. The limited hitbox of cr. HP requires these
to do be done close to the opponent, to varying degrees depending on the
matchup. The latter two push the opponent toward the corner.

*** Solar Plexus, Cr. HP xx HK Tatsumaki

High damage combo that pushes the opponent toward the corner. Incidentally,
it's also less risky than the combo listed directly below if the the (p)link

*** Solar Plexus, Cr. HP xx HP Shoryuken
*** Solar Plexus xx HP Shoryuken
*** F/B Jumping HP, St. HP (close) xx HP Shoryuken (for stunned opponent)

Very high damage combos. The first is the most damaging combo Ryu can perform
without the use of meter. The second is slightly less damaging but much easier
to execute. The third combo is for use on stunned opponents. It's slightly
less damaging than the first but far easier to execute. Don't use EX Shoryu in
any of these; it deals less damage than HP. Cr. MP also works in the first
combo if the plink is input incorrectly.

*** Airborne Tatsumaki (crossup), Super

High damage crossup combo, Airborne Tatsu's only one. The Super needs to be
released as soon as Ryu lands to connect.

*** LP Shoryuken (vs. airborne opponent), MP Shoryuken/EX Hadoken/Super/Ultra

Allows a number of followups. The best choice varies per the amount of meter
you have (Super or Ultra) and the matchup. Full animation is not possible on
U2 from this juggle.

*** F/B Jump MP (vs. airborne opponent), MP Shoryuken/EX Hadoken/Super/Ultra

Like LP Shoryuken, a number of followups are possible against an opponent
juggled in the air, and the best choice varies depending the amount of meter
available and the matchup. Full animation is possible on U2 if only one hit
of F/B Jump MP connects but is very difficult and not really practical.

*** Shoryuken xx FADC xx Ultra

Standard Ultra setup for Ryu. The input timing on the Ultra is lenient. So
long as it's not put in extremely quickly or a little too slowly, U1 will
fully connect. Use MP Shoryuken to stop normals and HP Shoryuken for power.
Possible to connect from a jump-in. Against some potent jump-ins, EX Shoryuken
xx FADC is an option, if you're able and willing to burn that much meter.

*** Cr. MK xx EX Hadoken xx FADC xx U1

A more expensive Ultra setup. It's usually performed with the assistance of
a hit confirm, like the cr. MK listed.

*** EX Tatsumaki, U1 (corner only)

High damage corner setup discussed in detail in the last section. It's an
expected combo, so it's usually executed through a frame trap or by comboing
into EX Tatsu from a normal.

*** EX Hadouken, U1 (corner only)

Less expected but lower damage corner setup. The EX Hadouken can be performed
as far as three-quarters of the screen away and still let the Ultra hit. 
Start the Ultra the instant the second hit connects. The window of opportunity
for connecting the combo is narrow at close and long range.

*** Hadoken, U1 (corner only, airborne opponent only)

Combos only in the corner and against an airborne, usually jumping, opponent.
Not a very likely situation but one worth looking out for.

*** EX Tatsumaki, EX Tatsu (corner only)
*** EX Tatsumaki, EX Hadoken (corner only)
*** LK/EX Tatsumaki, MP Shoryuken (corner only)

Available corner combos off EX Tatsu when Ultra is not available. Another
EX Tatsu is the most damaging followup but is character specific for full
damage and keeping the opponent in the corner. EX Hadoken is next most
damaging. If holding meter is important, MP Shoryu deals some damage. Don't
use HP or EX Shoryu; they don't deal more damage.

*** HK Tatsumaki, MP Shoryuken (last kick only)

Teleport punish. Shoryuken is possible after the last hit for a little extra

*** F/B Jumping HP/HK, Ultra

Possible though not very likely jump-in combo. The placement of the hit and
the timing for U1 is very demanding. The conditions for U2 are much more
lenient as it has a faster startup.

*** U1 (Ryu is hit), HK Tatsumaki

If Ryu is hit after releasing the Ultra, it is sometimes possible to followup
with a Tatsumaki to add a hit as only the last hit of the Ultra launches.


                                  Glossary                              (ryu5)

Terms are arranged alphabetically.

Air-to-Air - Confrontation of both players in the air at the same time.
Commonly used to refer to the types of attacks used in the situation.

Anti-Air - A grounded player's defense against an opponent's jump-ins.
Commonly used to refer to the types of attacks used in the situation.

Armor Break - Move property that allows an attack to break hyperarmor,
ignoring its ability to absorb a hit. Aside from level 3 focus attacks, every
character has at least one other move with armor break (Tatsumaki Senpukyaku
for Ryu). Some special moves, such as Ryu's Shoryuken, gain armor break on

Block String - A series of normal and/or special moves put together whose sum
stun period leaves the defending player unable to act until the combination's

Boxer/Claw/Dictator - Fan-given names to Balrog, Vega, and Bison (all US) as
their names were changed in localization from Japanese. The terms clear up
any ambiguity over whom character someone's talking about in discussion.

Buffer - Short window in which special moves can be input early during
reversals and some combo situations. Usally 4 to 5 frames in length. Also
refers to the act of buffering.

Cancel - Ending the execution of a normal or special move prematurely. Some
normals may cancel into special or super moves. Some specials may cancel into
super moves. Normal and special cancels (with scant, particular exceptions)
are possible only on block or hit, when making physical contact with the
opponent. Canceling into another move creates a frame advantage for the user
not possible if the prior move had been allowed to finish naturally.

Chain - Move property that allows moves with the chain property to cancel
into other moves with the chain property. Such moves are confined to LP and
LK. Not all LP and LK moves have chain. The terms also refers to the act of
using using several chain moves together at once.

Counter Hit - A hit which lands during the startup of an attack by the other
player. Counter hits stop the other attack, deal 25% more damage, and inflict
a longer stun period, sometimes permitting combos not normally possible.
Some counter hits that launch also allow combos not normally possible. The
increase in stun period is +1 for light normals, and +3 for other hits.

Crouch Tech - Pressing throw button(s), possibly in tandem with other buttons,
while crouching. The effect is an option select. Either the highest priority
normal move comes out, crouching LK if no other button than the throw buttons
are pressed, if the opponent is not attempting to throw, or if he is, the
throw attempt is technicaled and the opponent is pushed away.
Crouch teching is not a foolproof defense versus grounded opponents. A foe who
anticipates a crouch tech may instead use an attack with quicker startup to
counter hit and possibly start a combo.

Cross-Up - The act of attacking or an attack which hits the other player on
the back side, usually via a jump-in. The other player must therefore block in
the other direction, 'forward', so to speak, in order to block the attack. The
ambiguity behind whether or not the attack will cross-up is the source of the
difficulty in blocking most precisely placed cross-ups.

Crumple - Character state inflicted by a high level or counter hit focus
attack in which one of the fighters is vulnerable to attack as he slowly drops
to the ground. There are three crumple states before knockdown.
'Full-standing' allows any combo followup normally permissible. It lasts a
brief period and requires dashing forward out of the focus hit to capitalize
on. 'Falling' lowers the opponent's hitbox and allows only a single hit
follow-up. Normals pop the opponent into the air with no juggle. 'On the
ground' is nearly the same as falling, albeit with a lower hitbox, but attacks
which launch the opponent in this state behave different, as if counter hit.

Damage Scaling - Reduction of damage on an attack, either as a result of a
combo or the attacked player's health dropping below a certain threshold (or
both). Damage scaling from normals, specials, and supers begins after the
first two unique attacks in the combo, dropping the damage to 80% per hit.
From the fourth unique attack on, the damage is dropped by 10% of the total
100% each separate move. Damage scaling on focus attacks and ultra moves
skips a step in scaling each time they're used in a combo.

DP - Short for 'Dragon Punch'. Refers to any upward special move used as
an anti-air. Also sometimes called an uppercut. Ryu's DP is Shoryuken.

Empty Jump - A jump-in in which the approaching player inputs no attack
commands during the jump-in. The lack of block stun (or hit stun) is
intended to surprise the opponent and disorient him long enough for a
followup on the ground, usually a throw.

EX (Special Move) - An enhanced version of a special move that consumes one
the four stocks of super meter (except Seth's Tanden Engine, which consumes
two), achieved by pressing two or more of the respective attack buttons for
that special move at the end of any motion rather than one. The enhancements
differ per move. Some of them include: Increased damage, more hits, faster
startup, (bigger) launch, armor break, hyperarmor, and invincibility.

FADC - Short for "Focus Attack Dash Cancel", ending a focus attack before
release by dashing out of it. In discussion, it's almost universally used
to refer to dash cancelling out of a focus cancel (an EX FADC). EX FADCs
allow for much bigger combos by interrupting special moves' recovery and
allowing the attacker to continue pushing immediately without needing to
wait. They're also useful defensive tools, allowing an aggressor to cancel
and back away from a blocked attack that would have otherwise been punished.

Fireball - Catch-all term for any energy projectile. Also sometimes called
plasma. Ryu's fireball is the Hadoken.

Focus Cancel - Ending a normal or special move by interrupting with a focus
attack but at a cost of two stocks of super meter. The frames during which
you can cancel differ per move.

Footsies - The use of pokes to control spacing and push or gain the tempo of
a match. Strong footsies is part technical knowledge of spacing and startup
and more importantly part mind games.

Frame - A unit of time. 1 second contains 60 frames.

Frame Advantage - Description of the relationship for availability of action
between attacker and defender after a blocked or landed hit. This description
is expressed in terms of frames.
For example, Ryu's crouching MP is +5 on hit. This advantage leaves him with
5 frames to act before the opponent recovers. An attack timed to start at the
very end of crouching MP's recovery and has 5 or fewer frames of startup (and
reaches) will continue the combo. Anything exceeding that can be blocked or
be punished by attacks with sufficient invincibility at startup.

Frame Data - Frame statistics on attacks. Covers the three phases of an
attack: The startup period, the time needed for an attack to come out, the
active period, the time in which the attack is out, and the recovery period,
the time needed for the character to return to neutral state after the active
phase ends.

Frame Trap - A trap that baits a defender to attack during a perceived
opening in an aggressor's assault.
For example, look at Ryu's crouching MP again. It has a startup of 4 frames
and a +2 frame advantage on block. Suppose the defender has a 3 frame jab.
If he tries to break through a crouching MP as soon as he's out of block stun,
he may, depending on the attacker's choice. If the attacker anticipates a jab
though and uses another crouching MP immediately after the first one, it will
counter hit the defender's jab, still on its 2nd frame of startup, and allow
a big combo.
Frame traps are not without risk. Attacks with invincibility to cover
startup (i.e. most DPs) will punish them.

Hitbox - 1) A character's hittable area. 2) The area an attack covers that can
make contact.

Hit Confirm - Its name. Confirmation that an attack has hit. Useful in combos
where the followup attack is not safe on block or dropped link/combo.

Hurricane Kick - Another term for a Tatsumaki.

Hyperarmor - Property of some moves that allows them to take a hit (or two in
the case of El Fuerte's EX Habanero Dash) without stopping the move. Focus
attacks, for example, have armor.
A character with armor still takes damage and more than normal. The revenge
gauge also increases. The damage however is of a different type. It's
recoverable and begins to restore itself a few seconds. It's represented as a
gray-colored extension of the health bar. Blocking hits momentarily halts
recovery, chip damage reduces the total recoverable amount, and any direct hit
drops the recoverable health in addition to whatever damage it would normally
If a character with armor is hit and does not have enough real (orange) health
to cover the damage from the hit, the remaining amount is taken from
recoverable health. If the character does not have enough recoverable health
to cover the requirement, he's KOed.

Juggle - Largely interchangable term for launch.

Kara Cancel - Cancelling or the act of cancelling one move in its early
startup frames into another move with the intent of providing farther reach or
range. Ken and Sagat can kara cancel out of their step kicks into a throw and
Tiger Uppercut, respectively, for example, gaining a significant amount of
distance in the process. Ryu can kara cancel his standing roundhouse into
a throw. Kara cancelling into a throw is called kara throwing.

Launch - Describes a character state "launched" or the act of "launching" a
character in or into the air with an attack. Followup attacks are possible
against characters that have been launched.
Launches differ in a few ways. Some add a floaty element, in which the
character stays in the air for longer than on a normal launch. Some launches
allow full animation of Ultras, full damage from special moves, and normal
move followups. Others don't, letting only the alternate animation and some
hits from special moves to connect. The former is a fully hittable launch; the
latter a partially hittable launch.
All launching moves are governed by an invisible launch counter. Some of them
increase it, some of them don't, and *every* attack (including non-launching
ones) has a check that allows it to hit only if the counter's value is at or
below a related value set for that attack.
For instance, Ryu's EX Hadoken increases this counter once for each hit, and
the value set for the attack is 2. Hitting an opponent with an EX Hadoken
raises the counter from 0 to 1 to 2. Attempts at another EX Hadoken will
allow only one hit as the limiting value for EX Hadoken is 2 and the first
hit of the attack raises the launch counter to 3.
Once an opponent hits the ground, the launch counter is reset to 0.

Link - Connecting or the act of connecting two normal, non-chainable attacks
in a combo. Performing links depends on the frame advantage of the current hit
and the startup of the (planned) next one. The frame advantage must be equal
or greater than the startup of the next move to link the two together.
Suppose Ryu wants to followup a crouching LP with a crouching MP. Crouching
LP gives a +5 frame advantage on hit, and crouching MP's startup is 4 frames.
The two attacks can be linked together, and the Ryu player has 2 frames to
do so.
Many links are '1 frame links' and are substantially more difficult as they
demand much more precise timing. Following up that crouching LP with a
crouching HK is one such link, as crouching HK's startup is 5 frames.
Mastering links is critical to advanced play for many characters.

LK, MK, HK - Short for light kick, medium kick, and heavy kick. Commonly
referred to as 'short', 'forward', and 'roundhouse' respectively.

LP, MP, HP - Short for light punch, medium punch, and heavy punch. Commonly
referred to as 'jab', 'strong', and 'fierce' respectively.

Meaty - Descriptive of an attack that connects after its first active frame,
allowing greater frame advantage for the user than normal. Meaty attacks are
often used against opponents waking up by attacking early while they're still
rising, enabling the attacks to connect only once the opponents are touchable

Meter - Short for super meter. Less commonly refers to ultra meter.

Option Select (OS) - Inputting or the act of inputting commands for two
separate moves at the same or nearly the same time. The result covers at least
two possible reactions by the opponent. If one move fails, the other might
succeed, although an option select is not foolproof.
One example is crouch teching, discussed above. Here's another example.
Suppose Ryu is jumping in to attack a Bison (Dictator) waking up and the Ryu
player is confident the Bison will either block or back teleport. It seems the
Ryu is confined to guess on one of them - Try for a block string or Tatsumaki
to punish the teleport - But both at once are possible. If the Ryu player
assumes his character won't be slowed down by block stun on the way down
(because of a teleport) and times his Tatsumaki to start the instant Ryu 
*would hit* the ground, he covers two possibilities - Bison teleports back
and gets hit by a Tatsumaki, or Bison blocks and no Tatsumaki comes out
because slowdown from block would have prevented Ryu from hitting the ground
yet to perform it. To cover the possibility that Bison blocks, the Ryu player
inputs some normals immediately after the Tatsumaki - They obviously won't
have any adverse effect on the outcome if Ryu is Tatsumakiing.
The timing for option selects is often strict, both for approach and input,
and sometimes they don't completely lock down the opponent. In this situation,
Bison has a third option - EX Psycho Crusher, which beats both the normals and
the Tatsumaki.

Pianoing - Tapping all the punch or kicks buttons in quick succession to
more quickly perform or cancel into special moves that require the buttons
pressed multiple times, such as Blanka's electricity, while (trying to) avoid
accidentally using an EX version instead. Similar to, but more reliable for
avoiding accidentally triggering an EX move, is the sliding method. As its
name implies, the sliding method involves quickly sliding the hand across
all the punch/kick buttons.

Plink - A means of inputting a command such that the game believes the same
button has been pressed in two consecutive frames even though it's been
pressed only once. Common practice to make links, particularly 1 frame links
substantially easier. Performed by pressing a weaker button *immediately*
after the first. The game registers the stronger move in the first frame and
both in the second one, although the stronger move, with priority over the
weaker one will always be the one to come out.
For example, take Ryu's crouching LP to crouching HK link - a common 1 frame
link. Pressing MK immediately after HK around the time of the link makes
connecting the moves easier.
To check whether or not you're plinking, check your inputs. The first line
should have the stronger move and the second one both. If only the weaker
move appears on the second line, you haven't plinked. This error does
sometimes have the benefit of letting the weaker move come out instead

Poke - A normal or special move used in footsies as single hits although
some pokes can lead to combos.

Quick Rise/Quick Stand - Fast recovery to standing position after a techable
knockdown, performed by pressing two or more buttons or by pressing down
immediately after the knockdown.

Reset - Purposefully ending or the act of purposefully ending a combo
prematurely in order to reset the damage scale and shoot for bigger damage.
The rationale for doing this is that an opponent may be offguard during a
combo and caught unprepared should it suddenly stop and another motion takes
its place. Attempting a reset doesn't guarantee that damage, but it does
put more pressure on the opponent, hit or miss. The keys to good resets are
surprise and speed. A bad sense of timing and random attempts or no sudden
movement changes and slow execution surrender damage unnecessarily.

Reversal - A counter attack launched during the very first frame of wakeup or
the first frame after being freed from a block string or (dropped) combo.
Some moves, such as Ryu's Shoryuken or Zangief's Lariat, gain a property
they don't normally have, armor break, when used as a reversal.

Safe Jump - A means of jump-in attacking a downed opponent such that an
attempt to reversal the attack will fail - That is, it will be blocked, will
miss, or lose to the jump-in - While, on the other hand, should the opponent
opt to block, that same jump-in attack will hit the block. Safe jumping
successfully is a matter of timing a jump correctly. Accordingly, it is
usually used against opponents who have just suffered an *untechable*
knockdown. Not all safe jumps, incidentally, *are* safe, as some reversals,
such as Abel's EX Tornado Throw, have invincibility on wakeup and punish the

Shortcut - An input that triggers a special move shorter than the standard
input. For example, Shoryuken's standard input is Forward, Down, Down-Forward,
Forward + Punch, but its input can be cut to Down-Forward, Down, Down-Forward
+ Punch.

Shotokan - Descriptive term or name for any character with a fireball,
hurricane kick, and dragon punch.

Stun - 1) The period of time after a player has blocked or taken a hit in
which he can't act. Expressed in frames. 2) A standing character state in
which the player cannot move or act in any way and is completely open to
attack. Damage scaling from attacks leading up to stun carries over. 3) An
invisible amount that puts a character into the stun described in #2 when it
reaches a pre-set, character unique maximum. Typically increases by taking
damage from connected hits. Remains constant while blocking hits. Decreases
rapidly when standing and not blocking or taking a hit after a few seconds.
Like raw damage, stun scales, though not as much.

Techable knockdown - A knockdown that permits quick rises. Caused by any
normal or special move that launches.

Technical - 1) Preventing a throw attempt and pushing away an opponent by
pressing the throw button(s) within a few frames of his attempt. 2) Another
term for quick rising.

Tick Throw - Throw made immediately after the block stun on a target has
ended. A tick throw is attempted after intentionally ending a block string
prematurely. The intent behind it is limiting the opponent's options and
applying pressure. Sometimes it catches him by surprise.

Turtle - Play ('turtle') or strategy ('turtling') that is defensive in nature
and both characterized and named for the tendency of its user to crouch,
often for extended periods. Diametrically opposed to rush down, turtling
relies on strong pokes and anti-airs to keep out the opponent.

U1, U2 - Short for Ultra 1 and Ultra 2, respectively. In Ryu's case, Metsu
Hadoken and Metsu Shoryuken.

Untechable Knockdown - A knockdown that does not permit quick rises. Caused by
sweeps, throws, super combos, and ultra combos. Supers and ultras induce
substantially longer knockdown periods.

Vortex - An offensive tactic employed on downed opponents that often ends
in another knockdown, if successful, and whose success is reliant on the
opponent incorrectly reacting to the attack. The vortex's strength lies in
the ambiguity of the attack. "What's coming next? Is it a straight up
front attack? Is it a cross-up? Is it a throw, a low attack, an empty jump?"
Vortexes are differentiated from regular mix-ups by the speed at which they
come out. Reacting to a good vortex is hard, if not impossible, and strong
use of it from good vortex users like Akuma, El Fuerte, and Ibuki can kill
from 100% life. The best way to deal with a vortex is to never get knocked
down to begin with; if you do, try your best reading the opponent to predict
the next mix-up.

Zone - Play ('zone') or strategy ('zoning') characterized by manipulating and
limiting the movement of the opponent, through the use of pokes and special
moves (often by playing footsies) in order to control the positions of the
opponent and the user.


                              Version History                           (ryu6)

Version 0.7 (4/15/11)

First release. Basic structure. Intro, moves, play style, and glossary
sections completed. Combos and matchups to come. 96KB

Version 1.0 (4/20/11)

Added combos and other minor changes. I've decided against talking about
matchups since Air's doing that already and I don't believe I can do a better
job. If there is something I think I can do and I'm up to it, I'll update
then. Until then, that's a wrap. Please contact with me corrections or
suggestions and I'll get to them ASAP. Thanks And enjoy. 103KB


                             Legal Information                          (ryu7)

This section is just some legal information.

This may not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal,
private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed
publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other
web site or as part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a
violation of copyright.

All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their
respective trademark and copyright holders. No section of this guide can be
used without my permission. This includes, but is not limited to posting on
your website, making links to my guide, including parts of my guide in your
own, or making reference to any material contained within.

All the sites mentioned below have permission to do the above. Please email me
at [email protected] to enquire about gaining permission to use this

This document may be exhibited only on the following websites:



                                  Closing                               (ryu8)

Thanks to eventhubs and shoryuken for providing attack data.

Thanks to all the host sites for hosting this guide.

Finally, if anyone has any questions, contributions, or comments about this
guide, please e-mail me at [email protected]

Copyright 2011 Brian Lundin

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