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The King of Fighters 2002 UM/Joe Higashi

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Hiza Jigoku - close, / +

Leg throw - close, / +

Command Moves

Low Kick - +

Sliding - +

Special Moves

Hurricane Upper - + /

Slash Kick - + /

Tiger Kick - + /

Golden Heel - + /

TNT Punch - mash /

TNT Punch Finisher - + /

Desperation Moves

Screw Upper - + /

Ougon no Tiger Kick - + /

Bakuretsu Hurricane Tiger Kakato - + /

Shijou Saikyou no Low Kick - + /

Super Desperation Move

Screw Upper - +

Hidden Super Desperation Move

Cross Gigantes - +

Quick Starter Combo Reference


0 Bar



cr.Bx1~2, cr.A, df+B = 13-17%

(jump-in), cl.C, f+B, hcf+B = 26%

1 Bar



cr.Bx1~2, cr.A, qcf hcb+P = 29-33%
• Note: You can do this as cr.B, qcf, cr.A, qcb+P

(jump-in), cl.C, f+B, qcf hcb+P = 37%

2 Bar


(jump-in), cl.C, dp+D(1) (SC) qcfx2+P = 42%

3 Bar


(jump-in), cl.C, qcfx2+AC = 50%

Gameplay Overview

Do you like mash moves? If the answer is "hell yes", you're gonna love Joe. If not, he's still ok, but without mash he will be kinda average. Anyway, Joe has pretty standard tools and easy BnBs, although he doesn't get much for mixups. However, his mash P move can make him much better - the problem is, you will need to mash quickly and a lot to get it.

Joe's buttons are pretty standard, but with a few highlights. cl.D is one one of the best meaties in the game that is +4 on block (!). His sweep has great priority and is cancelable. His far buttons are all fast, and he gets okay blockstrings off cr.A/st.A. Nice j.B and j.C, as well as j.D that has great angle and reaches low, and add to that a crazy fast air-to-air j.CD. Let's not forget that his C throw is a "mash throw" that you can't tech, which is useful. For specials, his hcf+A is a quick short-range projectile, useful mostly for blockstrings and anti-hop. His DP is good as reversal, but very unsafe and has weird angle for an anti-air. qcb+K is a great pre-emptive anti-air, as you can juggle after it on hit. hcf+K is a nice safe-ish kick for easy BnBs that deals hard knockdown.

Now, mash P. It gives Joe a good low/light confirm, as he can combo from cr.B, cr.A, df+B into it. The issue is, you need to input it real quick after the slide, and you can't really "cheese it" - you just have to mash fast. The reward is high though, you can even add supercancel for some good damage. Joe's max mode damage is very high, and even his easier 3 bar gets him ~68% from cr.B. But if you want an extra 10-20% for absolute crazy damage, you will need to cancel 1 hit of DP into mash P. Ouch.

All in all, Joe's best combos are masher's paradise. If you don't care about them, you can absolutely pick Joe for his simplicity and easy damage. However, don't be surprised that past certain level, he will turn out a bit basic, and you will feel an increasing pressure to mash to get more out of him.



  • st. A: A quick jab, good for stopping incoming hops, chain-able into itself, whiffs on crouching opponents
  • st. B: A quick left kick, good for close range poking, not cancel-able
  • st. C: Far right punch, slower than st.A, good to stop incoming hops in advance, and to use as a close range poke, not cancel-able
  • st. D: Far right heavy kick, good damage (90dmg), not cancel-able


  • cl. A: A cancel-able jab, can't chain into anything though
  • cl. B: Same kick as st. B
  • cl. C: Elbow thrust, cancel-able into f+B or df+B
  • cl. D: Knee thrust, safer on block than cl.C, cancel-able into f+B, or df+B


  • cr. A: A crouching Jab that is cancel-able into df+B and chain-able into itself, st.B, st.A, and cr. B
  • cr. B: Quick low kick with nice range, chain-able into itself, cr.A, and st.A
  • cr. C: A crouched elbow thrust, cancel-able
  • cr. D: A good ranged sweep that is whiff cancel-able, and cancel-able on hit and if blocked


  • j. A: Horizontal elbow thrust, good for air-to-air attacks or air-to ground may whiff on crouching opponents
  • neutral j. B: Horizontal kick, good for stopping mid to far range jumps and super jumps, may be whiff on crouching opponents
  • j.B is good for jumping in air-to-ground
  • j. C: A downward angled punch that is good for jumping to start combos
  • j. D: Kick with a slight downward angle, good for starting combos, and can be used as a instant overhead


  • st. CD: A whiff-cancel-able high aiming round kick aimed at the face. Whiffs on some crouching opponents (except Daimon, Chang, Maxima for example).
  • j.CD: A jumping forward thrust kick that is good for air-to-air approaches, whiffs on some crouching opponents, and can be low profiled anti-aired


Knees of Hell - (b/f + C) close

  • Joe knees the opponent 4 times. 4th knee is a jumping knee and knocks down
  • Can be mashed out of
  • Soft knockdown

Leg throw - (b/f + D) close

  • A head Scissors take-down, the opponent lands near the corner of the screen
  • Soft knockdown

Command Moves

Low kick - (f + B)

  • A standing sweep leg kick that doesn't hit low despite its name. Special cancel-able, and is used canceled from as a combo from either cl.C or cl.D. You can cancel this kick from his cancel-able light normals but they wont combo.
  • It is unsafe on block, but Joe is pushed back away from the opponent a fair distance, but some attacks may be able to punish him if they are fast enough and and reach him while in recovery.

Combo Advice: (optional cl.C/cl.D), f+B into which ever special or DM move is an easy confirm

Sliding - (df+B)

  • Joe knee slides into opponent's legs, not special cancel-able, but an easy way to go into Max Mode (BC)
  • Neutral on block
  • Hits low
  • Does not knock down

Combo Advice: Very easy combo or confirm you can try is cr.B, st.A, df+B

Special Moves

Hurricane Upper - hcf + A/C

  • Hurricane Upper is good for mid-range zoning and spacial control but keep in mind of its short distance the hurricanes travel. You can use these in blockstrings midscreen to create more space between you and your opponent (keep in mind for Guard Cancel Rolls) but against a cornered opponent, Joe isn't granted much push back, and you may get punished while Joe recovers.
  • Light punch version (A) creates single hurricane. Comes out faster; hurricane moves slower. Travels 1/2 screen distance, and must be jumped over. dmg 85
  • Heavy punch version (C) creates 2 hurricanes. Comes out slower but moves faster. Travels 1/3 screen distance. Must be jumped over as well. 2nd hit causes a soft knockdown. dmg 150

Slash kick - hcf + B/D

  • A flying horizontal kick. Good to use as a combo finisher and to punish whiffed special moves or Desperation Moves at a mid to far range. Try not to use this too randomly, it can be blocked and punished easily if performed too close.
  • Light kick version (B) faster but travels half screen, causes a soft knockdown
  • Heavy kick version (D) travels full screen, causes a hard knockdown, Counter Wires on counter hit

Tiger kick - dp + B/D

  • A 2 hit rising knee attack. Good for anti-airing normal jumps and full jumps but it's steep angle and lack of invincibility may cause to whiff or get beaten out.
  • Light kick version (B) travels a short distance upward, while the heavy kick version (D) travels higher and has more start-up invincibility but has less damage.
  • Super Cancel-able on first hit
  • Soft knockdown
  • dmg B 150; D 110

Golden heel - qcb + B/D

  • Hopping circular kick. B version travels half screen. D version travels three quarters. Good anti-air to use at a mid to far screen distance against normal jumps and hops.
  • Places opponent in a juggle-able state if hit in air
  • Both versions safe on block
  • Heavy kick (D) may cross over (not cross-up) on crouching opponents

Combo Advice: the light kick version (B) can only combo after cl.C/cl.D, f+B

Bakuretsu Ken [TNT Punch] - Mash A/C (4 quick button presses)

  • Joe rapid punches towards the opponent slowly causing up to 7 hits or more (or less) depending on spacing. Joe might slide away from the opponent then continue punching for a second or two longer. Joe is pretty vulnerable during this mode (he is in a counter hit state) but its good that in any point of time you can cancel it freely into his follow-ups:
TNT Punch Finisher (qcf + A)
* Hits overhead, can be super cancelled, pushes Joe far back if blocked
TNT Punch Finisher (qcf + C)
* Hits low, can not be super cancelled, very unsafe if blocked, soft knockdown
  • The two follow-ups gives Joe a good mid ranged high low mixup game, especially since you can whiff cancel the rapid punches, or if you're up close, you can cancel the punches at any time if the opponent is blocking them but be aware of their meter, they can Guard Cancel Roll behind you, or Guard Cancel Blowback you away from them.

Combo Advice: The punches can easily combo after a cl.A or cr.A but you need to be quick with the inputs to active the rapid punches or they wont combo. Try cr. B, cr. A, Ax4 quickly. In practice mode, set the dummy to 1hit guard for you can practice the timing of linking the cr. A (or st. A) into the punches.

Desperation Moves

Screw Upper - (qcf x 2 + A/C)

  • A giant hurricane attack. Light punch version (A) has fast start up but has the hurricane travel a short distance while the heavy punch version (C) starts up slow but has a longer distance. It can be used to anti-air normal and super jumping opponents. Try not to use this against grounded opponents, they can just roll through the hurricane and punish Joe easily.

Combo Advice: Super cancelling the qcf+A follow-up from TNT Punch is best but cr.B, st.A, qcfx2+A works fairly well as a low hit confirm. It won't connect off cl.C/D, f+B.

Ougon no Tiger Kick [Golden Tiger Kick] - qcf, uf + B/D

  • Joe's Tiger kick DM. Can be charged but doesn't increase damage although it's unblockable once fully charged. It starts up really fast and has a good amount of invincibility from the start-up to its active frames. Note that it has no invincibilty during manual charge. The heavy kick (D) version has way more reach than the light kick version. One of the set-backs with this move is that it can be misfired if you're trying to do a dp+K and it has just as bad recovery.
  • Soft knockdown
  • dmg 260

Combo Advice: If you hit an airborne opponent with Joe's qcb+B/D, throw this super out to hit them while they are in a juggle state. The biggest part of its damage is at the start so try to delay the super to hit them low to the ground when possible.

Bakuretsu Hurricane Tiger Kakato [Exploding Hurricane Tiger Talon] - (qcf, hcb + A/C)

  • This is pretty much a DM version of his TNT Punch. Joe releases a flurry of punches, 2 hurricanes, tiger kick and an aerial golden heel. Very easy to combo into, which it should only be used for that situation. If you use it stand alone the opponent can roll behind you while Joe is rushing toward the opponent, or use a DM of their own. On block the opponent can Guard Cancel Roll during the early hits or normal roll before the last hit.
  • dmg 220

Combo Advice: Either cr.B, cr.A/st.A, qcf~hcb + A/C works well as a low hit confirm, or cl. C/cl. D, f+B into the super works as an easy mid confirm.

Strongest Low Kick In History - (qcb x 2 + B/D)

  • DM version of Joe's low kick. Not very useful. Slow start-up which the opponent can see a mile away. If charged, the low becomes an unblock-able.
  • Soft knockdown
  • dmg 250

Super Desperation Move

Screw Upper - (qcf x 2 + AC)

  • A much more faster and stronger version of his DM Screw Upper. Can be used as an anti-air against normal and super jumps. If you try to super cancel it from his qcf+A follow-up of the TNT Punch it will not connect.
  • dmg 400

Combo Advice: Very easy from a low confirm, try cr.B, cr. A, qcfx2+AC

Hidden Super Desperation Move

Cross Giganticness - (qcf x 2 + BD)

  • 2 flaming hurricanes fly to either side of the screen.
  • Very slow start-up which makes it impossible to combo into, or to use in reaction to anything. Only use it if you have the meter, if the match is close to ending, and the opponent whiffs any move that has very bad recovery.


You can always replace cl.C by cl.D or cr.C. Because of the slightly disjointed hitbox, cl.C will whiff on crouching Choi when point blank.
If you have less than 2 bars you can always do df+B as df+BC which starts buffering a punch making easier to cancel it into [A].

If you have less than 1 bar you can do df+B as df+AB too.
Reminder that you can mash with any punch and it's the last of the 4 punches that decides the version. C,C,C,A is an [A] mash.

Note that outside the corner, qcfx2+A after any [A](X) > qcf+A will whiff on these characters and standing Robert minus the st.Kyo_Foxy-tier. Use qcf,hcb+P on those instead.

0 Stock


 ★ cl.C, f+B, hcf+K

Easy meterless bnb, use hcf+A or qcb+B on block. hcf+D has better damage and hard knockdown but can whiff, use hcf+B on crouching (K', Joe, Benimaru, Iori, Mature, Vice, Leona, Athena, Kensou, Mai, Yuri, Chris, Kula, Foxy, Angel, Chin). You can use hcf+D on crouching Choi, Bao and everyone else.
  • [cl.C or (cr.B/A, cr.A)], [A](4) > qcf+C
Good meterless conversion.

 ★ [cl.C or (cr.B/A, cr.Ax1~2)], df+B, [A](4) > qcf+C

Main meterless bnb with great utililty and damage.
  • [cl.C or (cr.B/A, cr.A)], df+B, [A](6) > qcf+C
Point blank optimized version of the previous bnb.
  • qcb+B (air hit), far D / dp+D / j.B/CD
Depending on spacing you may have to slightly walk forward before pressing far D. dp+D only in corner. j.B/CD are very height/spacing dependent. far D is preferred.

1 Stock


  • cl.C, qcfx2+P
  • cl.C, f+B, qcf,hcb+P

 ★ cr.B/A, cr.Ax1~2, qcf,hcb+P

Good 1 bar conversion. You can do it as qcf, cr.A, qcb+P.


  • qcb+B (air hit), tk+K
Try to land the tk very low for more damage

2 Stocks


  • cl.C, dp+D(1) (SC) qcfx2+P
Hardly ever useful if you can do the next ones. Shortcut the SC as f,qcf+D(1) (SC) qcf+P.
  • [cl.C or (cr.B/A, cr.A)], [A](4) > qcf+A (SC) qcfx2+A
  • [cl.C or (cr.B/A, cr.Ax1~2)], df+B, [A](4) > qcf+A (SC) qcfx2+A/qcf,hcb+P
If you do 3 lights, qcfx2+A becomes pretty tight to land outside of corner. Stick to qcf,hcb+P in that particular scenario. No issue using qcfx2+A off cl.C.
  • cr.B/A, cr.Ax2, df+B, [A](2) > qcf+A (SC) qcfx2+A
A more reliable way to land qcfx2+A midscreen after 3 lights.
  • [cl.C or (cr.B/A, cr.Ax1~2)], df+B, BC, (cl.C/cr.A,) df+B, [A](4) > qcf+A (SC) qcfx2+A
A basic and easier but bad max route. This does less damage than the previous two on top of being harder and having more limitations so it's useless.
  • [cl.C or (cr.B/A, cr.Ax1~2)], df+B, BC, (cl.C/cr.A,) df+B, [(C)[A](4), (C)dp+D(1)]x2, (C)[A](1~2) > qcf+A (SC) qcfx2+A
You have to do a near perfect run if you wanna use cl.C/cr.A after BC and still be close enough to cancel the first dp+D. On top of that you'll have to limit the last [A] to one hit to avoid running out of max time, not recommend. You can cancel dp into mash as Ax2~3, dp+D(1), Ax2~1 and even Ax1~2, dp+AD(1), Ax2~1.


  • [cl.C or (cr.B/A, cr.A)], df+B, BC, (cl.C/cr.Ax2,) df+B, [A](1~2), qcf+A, [(C)dp+D(1), (C)[A](1~2), qcf+A]×2, (SC) qcfx2+A
Works midscreen against backturned opponent or infront on Chang, Choi, crouching Xiangfei and standing Bao. If you use cl.C/cr.Ax2 after BC, stop each [A] on the first hit. The few percents gained from cl.C/cr.Ax2 aren't worth how tight the combo becomes. You can cancel dp into mash as Ax2~3, dp+D(1), Ax2~1 and even Ax1~2, dp+AD(1), Ax2~1.

3 Stocks

  • Replace the super in 1 stock by qcfx2+AC
  • Replace the super in 2 stocks max combo by qcfx2+AC


Nikolai-保力達 (Joe Best Rounds)
Nikolai-保力達 (Joe Best Rounds 2)
죠 플레이 모음(Joe Best Rounds) -Big Star(거성죠)
Joe Master Class

External Links

Check Joe Higashi's frame data

Discuss at 02UM Discord server

Discuss at Dream Cancel


The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match

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