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The King of Fighters '98 UMFE/Joe Higashi

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The King of Fighters '98 UMFE



Joe is primarily a mid-range zoner, with a good projectile and nice buttons to control space with. Up close, he has some nice pressure strings to annoy the opponent with, and a few mixup options as well, such as an untechable throw and an instant overhead. In Advanced mode, Joe gets some nice confirms into his DMs, and in Extra mode he gets really damaging Quick MAX combos near the corner. As a result, Joe wants to use his space control and pressure strings to push the opponent towards the corner, where his pressure is even stronger and his combo damage is higher. Joe's weaknesses are his floaty hop and his fairly slow movement speed.

Changes from Previous Versions

98 to 98UM


  • 5D's startup has been increased by 2 frames, recovery reduced by 4 frames


  • Increased recovery on 41236A
  • 623B now only does one hit and always knocks down on hit
  • 236C followup to his mash P move is now a more stable combo ender

98UM to 98UMFE


  • 3B now has reduced recovery

Normal Moves


  • cl.A: A quick close jab. Chainable and cancelable.
  • cl.B: Same as 5B.
  • cl.C: Excellent normal that's active on the third frame, making it Joe's quickest button. Staple tool in his combos and blockstrings.
  • cl.D: Same as 5D.


stand A
25 40 16 Mid C 5 2 8 +2 0 -

Standard jab. Can be used to stop hops, but good timing is required, as it only has 2 active frames. Whiffs on low crouchers.

  • Cancelable on hit/whiff.
  • Chains into every lights but cl.A/B.
  • 5B: A kick with good reach that is useful for poking.
  • 5C: A decent mid-range poke that hits a similar space to his 5B but a bit higher up, making it better against hops.
  • 5D: Has a nice hitbox that is excellent against hops and grounded opponents, though it does have a lot of recovery.


  • 2A : A standard crouching jab. Chainable and cancelable.
  • 2B : Has good reach for a 2B, and is your only option for a low combo starter. Chainable.
  • 2C : Fairly fast and good to use in combos and frame traps. Cancelable.
  • 2D: Has nice reach, but is on the slower side for sweeps. Cancelable on hit, block, and whiff.


  • j.A: His fastest jumping normal, with has a good hitbox for air-to-airs. Use it when you don't think other buttons will come out fast enough.
  • j.B: Long range and a nice hitbox for air-to-airs. It has a lot of active frames.
  • j.C: A good jump-in button that also has a lot of active frames.
  • j.D: Another good jump-in button. Can be used for instant overheads and crossups.

CD Normals

  • 5CD: This move has a lot of startup, a lot of recovery, and only 2 active frames. However, it has low invulnerability right before the active frames through most of the recovery frames. Cancelable on hit, block, and whiff.
  • j.CD: Joe does a slower version of his j.B. Good for air-to-airs, and can hit low crouchers with the correct spacing and timing. Good jump-in choice for pressure.


Knees of Hell: 4/6C (close)

  • Hold throw, not techable.
  • At most Joe does 4 knee strikes, but the opponent can mash to get out sooner, though the Joe player can countermash to counteract this.
  • It's the preferred throw option, since the opponent cannot tech it to escape.
  • Causes soft knockdown.

Leg Throw: 4/6D (close)

  • Regular techable throw.
  • Joe does a backflip and slams the opponent down behind him, sending them away almost fullscreen.
  • Causes soft knockdown.

Command Moves

Low Kick: 6B

  • Joe does a forward kick that does not hit low, despite the name.
  • Staple tool in both combos and pressure, since you can cancel into it from most of your normals and you can special- and super-cancel out of it.
  • It's also Joes furthest-ranged poke, and it goes over low moves nicely.
  • Unsafe on block if you don't cancel into something.
  • The move is the same both raw and when cancelled into.

Sliding: 3B

  • A low-hitting slide that will go under every airborne projectile in the game.
  • Completely neutral on block both raw and when cancelled into, making it a great tool to close the gap at closer ranges and when you've pushed yourself out with a blockstring.
  • Leaves the opponent standing on hit.

Special Moves

TNT Punch: press A/C repeatedly

  • Joe does a series of 10 punches while walking forwards.
  • One of Joe's main combo tools, as it will combo from both lights and heavies.
  • You can input either of the followups on hit, block, and whiff.
  • Unsafe on block unless you cancel into his 236A followup.
  • Try to avoid doing this move on block, as the opponent can punish it by guard cancelling or simply waiting for the followup and dealing with it.
TNT Punch Finisher: 236A/C (during mash P)
  • A version is a safe-on-block overhead followup.
  • A version is not a true blockstring on block, meaning your opponent can reversal through it.
  • C version is a mid-hitting knockdown attack that is unsafe on block.

Hurricane Upper: 41236A/C

  • Joe sends out a tornado. A version sends one projectile that goes about halfscreen, C version sends out two projectiles instead of just one.
  • The projectiles are very tall and hard to jump over.
  • A version is good to end blockstrings with, and when used as a midscreen poke.
  • C is good to mix up with the A version, as the second projectile can hit people trying to avoid only the first one.
  • C version can be punished easily by rolling through the second projectile.

Tiger Kick: 623B/D

  • Joe's DP, sending him flying into the air with a knee strike.
  • B version is faster and has invincibility on startup that ends before the first active frame. D version is slower but has invincibility on startup as well as the 3 first active frames of the move, making it a good reversal.
  • Both are good to use as anti-airs when you're sure they're going to hit.
  • Both moves are very unsafe on block or whiff.
  • Causes soft knockdown.

Ougon no Kakato: 214B/D

  • An arching airborne kick. B version goes about halfscreen and D version goes 3/4 of the screen.
  • Has a lot of startup, but has a good hitbox that can hit people in the air and on the ground.
  • A fairly safe way to approach the enemy, as it's hard to punish on block.
  • You can juggle after it on an aerial hit.

Slash Kick: 41236B/D

  • A horizontally flying kick.
  • This is your main combo ender for damage.
  • Can be good to throw out to whiff punish things or catch forward movement.
  • It is very unsafe on block or whiff, making it risky to just throw out.
  • Causes soft knockdown.
  • A version travels about halfscreen, while D version travels about 3/4 of the screen.

Desperation Moves

Explosive Hurricane Tiger Heel: 2363214A/C

  • Joe does a series of punches, ending in a flying knee and a hit that slams the opponent to the ground.
  • This DM does good damage and has good corner carry, making it excellent to combo into.
  • It's unsafe on block and whiff, so be sure to confirm into it.
  • It has very fast startup, so it can also be used as a punish.
  • MAX version does more hits and more damage.
  • Causes hard knockdown.

Screw Upper: 236236A/C

  • Joe creates a giant tornado in front of him. This move has a multitude of uses.
  • It can be used to combo from lights.
  • It's got good anti-airing potential.
  • It's one of his better moves for dealing chip damage.
  • A version moves a bit faster and has slightly longer reach, while the C version moves slower with less horizontal travel.
  • Fairly safe on block.
  • Causes a soft knockdown.


General Notes

  • In any metered combo, you can replace 2363214A with 2363214AC for more damage if you have the resources.



2Bx1~2 > 2A > 623D
2B > 2A > mash P(4) > 236C
  • Try to time the 236C follow-up after 4 hits of mash P.


(j.X) > cl.C > 6B > 41236B
2A > cl.C > 6B > 41236B
  • cl.C can be linked after 2A with good timing. You can use this as a frame trap after 2A, if it was blocked cancel to 41236A instead of 41236B.


214B > 41236B/623D
  • Requires 214B to hit the opponent out of the air.
  • At or near the corner, 623D will connect.

With Meter


2B > 2A/5A > 2363214P
  • You can do this as 2B > 236A > 63214P for an easier cancel.


(j.X) > cl.C > 6B, 2363214P
  • You can do this as cl.C > 236B > 63214P for an easier cancel.

With Quick MAX


2B > 2B > ABC > 2C > 2363214P
  • Easy and reliable quick max low combo.
2B > 2B > ABC > microwalk cl.C > 6B > 2363214P
  • More damaging low combo, but requires Step for the extra walk speed. If you use Run, use the previous combo instead


(j.X) > 2A > ABC > cl.C > 6B > 2363214P
  • Hold and walk forward a little bit after the quick max to ensure you're in range for the cl.C
cr.C > 3B > ABC > 2C > 41236B
3B > ABC > 5A > 2363214P
  • Quick MAX conversion from slide.
  • You can do this as a frame trap after a couple crouch As and simply stop at the 5A if they blocked it and continue your block pressure.
  • You can do 5A > 2363214P as 236A > 63214P for an easier cancel.


2B > 5A/2A > mash P(1~2) > 236C > ABC > mash P(7) > 236C > 623D
  • Highly damaging corner combo.
  • Can also be done from a jump-in, just replace the 2B with a jump attack
  • Here are some video examples to help you get the timing: Video Example 1 Video Example 2

Strategy & Tips

  • Due to it's slower start-up, Jump CD's hitbox won't come out if you do it during the lower part of your jump arc, but Joe will still stick out his leg and make the same sound as when he does Jump D. You can do a late j.CD to feint a jump attack to get your opponent to freeze up, then go for an empty jump 2B or empty jump C throw instead.
  • Note: if you want to go for C throw after whiffing j.CD, delay it a little bit so the opponent leaves their blocking animation, then you will be able to throw them


{{#ev:youtube|TVqW7o6sExI|||King of Fighters 98 UM FE: Joe Guide by Mash It Out|frame}}


The King of Fighters '98 UMFE


The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match Final Edition

FAQSystemControlsGuidesChangelistMatch VideosAdvanced StrategyFrame Data & Hitboxes


Andy BogardAthena AsamiyaBenimaru NikaidoBilly KaneBlue MaryBrian BattlerChang KoehanChin GentsaiChizuru KaguraChoi BoungeChrisClark StillEiji KisaragiGeese HowardGoro DaimonHeavy D!HeidernIori YagamiJoe HigashiKasumi TodohKim KaphwanKingKyo KusanagiLeona HeidernLucky GlauberMai ShiranuiMatureMr. BigRalf JonesRobert GarciaRugal BernsteinRyo SakazakiRyuji YamazakiSaisyu KusanagiShermieShingo YabukiSie KensouTakuma SakazakiTerry BogardViceWolfgang KrauserYashiro NanakaseYuri Sakazaki

EX Characters

EX AndyEX BillyEX Blue MaryEX GeeseEX JoeEX KingEX KyoEX MaiEX RobertEX RyoEX TerryEX YamazakiEX YuriOrochi ChrisOrochi ShermieOrochi Yashiro