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The King of Fighters '98 UMFE/Ralf Jones

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Introduction

Ralf is a poking character that has access to some of the best normals in the game. Ralf has a number of excellent midrange pokes that allow him to control space in front of him very well, as well as some excellent jumping normals to control airspace with as well. Ralf's goal is to make the opponent to hesitate to move forward due to his pokes so he can go in and use his command grab. Ralf's combo game is fairly limited, but combo-ing into his command grab is good, as it gives him time to move in and apply pressure. Ralf's weaknesses include a lack of a meterless reversal, relatively limited mixups, and a lack of tools to fight at long range.

Changes from Previous Versions

98 to 98UM

Normals:

  • cl.C now hits all crouchers
  • j.A's active frames have been reduced from 7 frames to 5 frames
  • nj.A's active frames have been reduced, no longer stays out for the entire duration of the jump
  • j.D's downwards priority has been increased, can now instant overhead regular crouchers with a hyperhop back
  • st.C's priority has been decreased
  • st.CD's hitbox has been increased in size, it now hits all crouchers

Specials:

  • Mash P can now be cancelled with ABCD to stop it
  • j.qcf+P can now OTG
  • The charge time for b~f+K and b~f+P has been increased, so that it's standardized with other charge moves
  • b~f+P's hitboxes have been increased in size, it can now hit all crouchers

Specials:

  • qcfx2+P's damage has been increased for both the regular and MAX versions

98UM to 98UMFE

Normals:

  • cr.A can now be chained into itself for a combo
  • st.D's hurtbox has been shrunk towards his back
  • nj.A now has faster startup

Specials:

  • b~f+P now has a shorter charge time, standardized with other charge moves
  • d~u+P now causes a hard knockdown

Supers:

  • MAX qcb,hcf+K is now completely invincible until just after the hitbox comes out

Normal Moves

Close

  • cl.A: Same as st.A.
  • cl.B: Ralf does a knee strike. Cancelable.
  • cl.C: Comes out fast and is is his highest-damaging normal to combo with. Cancelable.
  • cl.D: Ralf does a funky-looking kick where he swings his legs up in the air. It has a nice amount of low invulnerability.

Standing

  • st.A: Fast standing jab. Good priority and decent reach makes it an excellent tool to stop hops. Whiffs on all crouchers.
  • st.B: Fast kick with slight upwards angle. Fairly good fast midrange poke. Whiffs on all but the large crouchers.
  • st.C: Ralf swings his arm outwards. Great midrange poke with good reach and priority. Can be used as an anti-air against jumps from further ranges. Whiffs on low crouchers.
  • st.D: Ralf does a long kick straight out. Decent midrange poke; hits lower than st.C and is slower, but it hits all crouchers. st.C is usually the better button to hit unless they're crouching under it a lot.

Crouching

  • cr.A: A crouching jab. Fairly standard cr.A with some nice priority. Since it's his only chainable light normal, it can be good for some close-up pressure. Chainable and cancelable.
  • cr.B: A crouching low kick. Hits low, and you can link hcf+K afterwards for a combo.
  • cr.C: A double-fisted thrusting strike. It's fast, has great priority, and you can cancel out of it for combos. Good to use as a meaty. Cancelable on hit, block, and whiff.
  • cr.D: Ralf does a crouching sweep. Hits low, has a nice amount of active frames.

Jumping

  • j.A: Ralf does a downwards-angled punch. The fastest of his jumping buttons, but the hitbox and priority aren't great. Use it if you really need the speed for an air-to-air over everything else. Whiffs on all but the large crouchers. Cancelable.
  • nj.A: Ralf does a jumping elbow attack. Awesomely big hitbox for air-to-airs. This normal will beat most approaches coming its way, so use it a lot to stop the opponent's approach.
  • j.B: A jumping kick going straight out. Fast air-to-air option with a good amount of range.
  • nj.B: Ralf does a kick with his legs spread out. Faster and reaches out more than nj.A, but the priority is worse, so nj.A is mostly the superior choice.
  • j.C: Ralf does a downwards elbow strike. A good jump-in button with nice reach towards the ground. It can also cross up. Cancelable.
  • nj.C: Ralf does a downwards chop. Great hitbox underneath Ralf. Also Ralf's most damaging jumping normal. Cancelable.
  • j.D: Ralf does a long downwards-angled kick. Ralf's other great jump-in button alongside j.C. Has good range and a nice hitbox.
  • nj.D: Ralf does a kick similar to his j.B. Has longer startup and a worse hitbox than his other neutral jump normals, so not much point in using this one.

CD Normals

  • st.CD: Ralf does a long-ranged punch that moves him forward. Good poke because of its great range. On block you can cancel into hcf+K to recover faster. Cancelable on hit, block, and whiff.
  • j.CD: Ralf does a forwards kick with both legs. Has good range and a nice angle for both air-to-airs and jump-ins as a pressure tool. Cancelable.

Throw

Dynamite Headbutt: b/f+C (close)

  • Regular throw, techable. Ralf grabs the opponent, headbutts them, and sends them flying almost fullscreen away.

Northern Lights Bomb: b/f+D (close)

  • Regular throw, techable. Ralf picks up the opponent and slams them down behind him, they land 3/4 screen away.

Command Moves

N/A

Special Moves

Vulcan Punch: press A/C repeatedly

  • Ralf does a series of explosive upwards-angled punches.
  • There are two alternating punches, one hitting diagonally above Ralf and the other straight ahead of him. With good timing, the upwards one can function as a great anti-air, as it has a lot of priority.
  • The middle-hitting punch doesn't serve as much of a purpose, as it doesn't have a lot of horizontal range. If the first punch upwards angled punch is blocked, the opponent will be pushed out of range of the second one.
  • Can be canceled with ABCD. If you cancel the move after the first hit, the move can be made safe on block.
  • You can hold forward or back to move slightly during the punches.
  • Causes a soft knockdown.

Gatling Attack: b~f+A/C

  • Ralf does a series of punches carrying him forward and then ending with an uppercut.
  • A version travels a shorter distance, is slower, and does fewer hits than the C version.
  • A version's first hit will whiff against low crouchers. If the first hit of the A version connects, the uppercut at the end will whiff.
  • The C version doesn't whiff on any crouchers, and all hits will connect fine. For these reasons it's recommended to always use the C version.
  • Has low invulnerability on startup throughout the entire first hit and halfway to the second hit.
  • Good combo tool when used after cr.A.
  • Causes a soft knockdown.

Kyukohka Bakudan Punch: d~u+A/C

  • Ralf does an upwards punch into the air, followed by a diving punch ending in an explosion. If the upwards punch connects, the downwards strike will not.
  • A version has a few frames of invincibility on startup. C version has no invincibility.
  • Both the upwards punching part and the downwards explosion punch cause a hard knockdown.
  • Can be used as an anti-air.
  • Use the C version for extra OTG damage after qcb,hcf+B/D.
  • Very unsafe on block or whiff.

Kyukohka Bakudan Punch: qcf+A/C (in air)

  • Standalone diving punch ender from d~u+A/C in looks. Can be canceled into from cancelable air normals. Can OTG.
  • Compared to d~u+A/C ender: Only softknockdown. A/C versions deal less damage than their respective d~u+A/C ender counterparts.

Ralf Kick: b~f+B/D

  • Ralf does a flying double leg kick.
  • B version goes 60% of the screen and D version goes fullscreen.
  • Has invincibility in the latter part of the startup frames, though it ends before the active frames.
  • The move has amazing priority, making it very hard to challenge when the move is active.
  • Causes a guard crush on block, making it a bit tricky to punish even if done point-blank.
  • Causes a soft knockdown.

Super Argentine Backbreaker: hcf+B/D (close)

  • Ralf grabs the opponent, throws them in the air, catches them on his shoulders, and throws them to the ground.
  • 1-frame command grab.
  • One of Ralf's main mixup tools. Useful to catch people blocking after they start respecting his good buttons.
  • His main combo option after a low.
  • Causes a hard knockdown.
  • Switches sides.

Desperation Moves

Galactica Phantom: qcfx2+A/C

  • Ralf leans backwards and charges up a devastating punch for a long time. The punch that follows goes 60% of the screen for the A version and 80% for the C version.
  • Regular version does 60% damage. MAX version does 90% damage and has super armor. Both versions are unblockable.
  • Can be set up to hit as a unblockable meaty after his qcb,hcf+K DM, although this can be rolled or spot dodged.

Baribari Vulcan Punch: qcf,hcb+A/C

  • Ralf moves forward and deals out a series of fast punches ending in an uppercut. Ralf will do this entire sequence regardless of whether it hits, is blocked, or whiffs.
  • MAX version is the same as the regular version, but does more hits and more damage.
  • The forwards-moving part of the move will whiff against small crouchers.
  • More invulnerability on startup than qcb,hcf+B/D, enough to punish gaps in blockstrings. (e.g. the gap in Eiji's 2hit cl.D)
  • Ralf's best tool to deal chip damage, so useful if you only need some chip to kill.
  • Causes a hard knockdown.

Umanori Vulcan Punch: qcb,hcf+B/D

  • Ralf runs forward and tackles the opponent to the ground, then punches them repeatedly in the face, ending with a big punch that pushes them away.
  • Ralf's main combo DM, as it hits on everyone and enables him to set up any kind of oki he wants, including qcfx2+P setups.
  • Use d~u+C after this DM for extra OTG damage.
  • Has some invulnerability on the startup of the run and low invulnerability during the entirety of the run.
  • Causes a hard knockdown.
  • MAX version does more damage and has more invincibility.

Combos

General Notes

Meterless

Low

cr.B, hcf+K
Ralf's main low combo; cr.B is not cancelable but it is + enough on hit that you can link his 1f command grab afterwards. You can buffer the hcf+K motion and confirm if it hits or not.

Mid/Jump-In

cr.Ax2, b~f+C
Your main combo from a cr.A string.
(j.C/D), cl.C, hcf+K
Basic meterless combo ending in his command grab.
(j.C/D), cl.C, b~f+C (corner)
Better meterless combo in the corner. Slightly more damage than hcf+K if all hits connect and keeps opponent cornered.
cl.C can be replaced by cr.Ax2. Deals exactly the same damage. Slightly harder but less commitment due to more time to hitconfirm and better on block.
Last hits can completely whiff if canceled too slow, leaving you open.
st.CD(COUNTERHIT), mash+A/C
Since st.CD is generally good to use in neutral, cancelling its recovery with mash+A/C(and cancelling that with ABCD) makes it even better. Sometimes randomly comboing off a counterhit is just a bonus.
b~f+K, (situational, see below)
Ralf kick leaves the opponent in a juggle state. Depending on how low/late/far/meaty and whether cornered or midscreen it hits you can combo into any normal, mash+A/C, d~u+C or qcb,hcf+K.

With Meter

(j.C/D), cl.C, qcb,hcf+K, d~u+C
Ralf's main metered combo, gives you a lot of time to set up oki afterwards, or you can go into j.qcf+A for some extra damage. For 1 extra bar of meter you can do Ralf's Galactica Phantom setup, this will deal around 80-90% damage if successful. Due to characters having different wakeup speeds, you will need to time the Galactica Phantom slightly differently depending on who you're fighting.

Strategy & Tips

Videos

{{#ev:youtube|ARAYoQFNf7M|||King of Fighters 98 UM FE: Ralf Guide by Mash It Out|frame}}

External Links

The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match Final Edition
System

FAQSystemControlsGuidesChangelistMatch VideosAdvanced StrategyFrame Data & Hitboxes

Characters

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