The King of Fighters '98 UMFE/Rugal Bernstein

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Rugal is a mix of zoning, poking and corner pressure. For his zoning he has a ground travelling projectile, a big super projectile that he can use to destroy other fireballs with and a fireball reflector move he can use to counter zone as well. He also has a nice selection of big normals like st.D, cr.D, st.A/B to poke and control space with. His D genocide cutter works both as a reversal and anti air. Rugal is unique in that his main combo special will corner carry the opponent, so he gets to spend a lot more time with the opponent in the corner than other characters. Up close he has access to some nice low blockstrings, an untechable hold throw and some good jumpins. Rugals main weaknesses are that he doesn't have great buttons to stop hops and no great air to airs either.

Changes from previous versions

98 to 98UM


  • far B can now be canceled
  • far C 5 frames less startup and 5 frames less recovery. it can now be canceled. damage increase
  • far D 11 frames less recovery. damage increase
  • Cr.D 5f less startup
  • f+B damage increase on second hit
  • j.C 4 frames less startup
  • GCCD animation is now his cl.C


  • qcf+P less recovery
  • qcf+K less recovery
  • f,hcf+P damage increase
  • f,hcf+A less startup
  • dp+D invincibility increased to the first active frame
  • hcb+C damage increase


  • qcf,hcb+P damage increase
  • qcfx2+K less startup

98UM to 98UMFE


  • far B startup faster by 1 frame
  • close D startup faster by 3 frames, recovery reduced by 5 frames

Normal Moves


  • cl. A: a two part normal. The first hit is lower and will hit crouchers. The second hit hits higher up and will whiff on most crouchers. his fastest normal so use it when you need speed. Cancelable.
  • cl. B: a lower hitting knee strike. no real use for this since he has st.B that is a lot better. Cancelable.
  • cl. C: Rugal best heavy combo normal. Has two hits and both are cancelable.
  • cl. D: a two hitting close normal. the two hits have a large gap so the opponent can actually reversal or dodge/roll out in between the hits. The first hit is cancelable but not the second one.


  • st. A: a fairly low hitting st.A making it hard to stop hops with it. Good close to mid range check button.
  • st. B: a low with good range that's cancelable. a staple of Rugals blockstrings and combos.
  • st. C: a two part normal. The first part has less range than the second one but both have good priority. Has very long recovery so don't whiff it. Cancelable.
  • st. D: a two part normal. The first part hits higher up and can anti air. The second part hits lower to the ground. Has long startup so be careful when you use it.


  • cr. A: a very standard cr.A. Good for combos and blockstrings. Chainable. Cancelable.
  • cr. B: a long ranged low cr.B. Good for combos and blockstrings. Chainable.
  • cr. C: two part normal. The first part is a low to the ground poke and the second part is a slightly higher anti air. Cancelable on contact or whiff.
  • cr. D: very long range cancelable sweep. Great for poking with. Cancelable on contact or whiff.


  • j. A: a jumpin normal and his fastest air to air normal.
  • neutral j.A: an air to ground normal
  • j. B: good crossup jumpin.
  • netral j.B: an air to ground normal.
  • j. C: good jumpin normal. Has more priority than j.D.
  • neutral j.C: okay air to air normal.
  • j. D: good jumpin for crossups.
  • neutral j.D: air normal with two parts. First part is good for air to airs and the second good for air to ground.


  • st. CD: good anti airing hitbox. The long startup on it mostly makes it good as a preemptive anti air. Low active frames. Cancelable on contact or whiff.
  • j. CD: good jumpin button to for blockstun pressure.


Scorpion Deathlock: b/f+C

  • hold throw, not techable. Opponent can get out of the throw before full damage is dealt, so you'll have to mash buttons to get standard damage. causes soft knockdown

Scorpion Blow: b/f+D

  • Regular throw, techable. Rugal throws the opponent full screen away behind him. Reverse soft knockdown

Command Normals

Double Tomahawk: f+B

  • Can be comboed into from lights.
  • Cancelable on first hit only.
  • Second hit is an overhead.

Special Moves

Reppuken: qcf+A/C

  • Rugal' throws a ground travelling projectile.
  • can be hopped over.
  • Disadvantage from point blank, but as soon as it travels a little before hitting the opponent (s.C, qcf+A or c.B, c.A, f+B, qcf+A etc. etc.) you will be at good advantage.

Kaiser Wave: f, hcf+A/C (hold)

  • Rugal throws a big projectile.
  • Can charge the move by holding down the punch button.
  • Cannot be used in a combo.
  • A version comes out faster, while C version travels faster.
  • Can cancel out other normal projectiles and DM projectiles. When against Krauser's or Rugal's Kaiser Wave, charge level dictates which one gets canceled out. In the event of a tie, both projectiles lose.

God Press: hcb+A/C

  • Rugal runs forwards and strikes the opponent. On hit he grabs them and runs to the corner.
  • This is a hitgrab so it is considered a normal blockable attack but the on hit effect is like a grab.
  • Can combo from lights and heavies.
  • Rugals main combo special as it gives him a free corner carry from almost any confirm.
  • Absolutely horrible on block, only confirm into this.
  • Causes hard knockdown.

Dark Barrier: qcf+B/D

  • Rugal creates an energy shield in front of him.
  • Reflects enemy projectiles.
  • Also does its own damage if used close enough to the opponent and has knockdown.
  • Can be used as an anti air, but probably shouldn't.
  • Decent disadvantage on block and despite it's appearance, setting it meaty does not improve the frame advantage.

Genocide Cutter: dp+B/C

  • B version is faster and shorter, D version is stronger and goes higher.
  • The B version hitbox is acutally nothing like the move looks like. This will not work as AA at all as both hits are very close to the ground. Only has use as a psychic DP against low/med pokes.
  • D version is an AA. Has startup invincibility and can be used as a reversal.
  • very punishable on block.
  • on trade it pops the opponent up into a juggle state and Rugal can follow up with an extra hit if he's in range.


Gigantic Pressure: qcf, hcb+A/C

  • God Press on sterioids.
  • Combos off of lights.
  • Takes opponent to corner.
  • Like God Press, awful on block. Only confirm into this.
  • Causes hard knockdown.
  • MAX version switches sides

Dead End Screamer: qcf(x2)+B/D

  • Rugal jumps into the air and comes down with a stomp. On hit he starts spinning on the opponent.
  • Unblockable.
  • B/D control trajectory of Rugal's jump.
  • Ideal for surprising the opponent by jumping over their fireballs, although this becomes predictable.
  • Won't connect during blockstun, but will combo during hitstun.
  • Can also cause fireballs to become unblockable but the timing is so specific that it's not really practical (you can try it out with fullscreen qcf+A, qcfx2+D).
  • MAX version mirrors the C versions speed and trajectory but does more damage.




cr.B, cr.B, st.B, f+B [1 hit], hcb+A/C:
  • 5-hit low God Press confirm. Double Tomahawk must be canceled on first hit.


cr.A, cr.A, st.B, f+B [1 hit], hcb+A/C:
  • Rugal's confirm from his fastest normal.
cl.C [2 hits], f+B [1 hit], hcb+A/C:
  • Rugal's God Press confirm from a standing heavy. Not much else to say.
(j.X), cl.C [2 hits], f+B [1 hit], hcb+A/C:
  • Rugal's main meterless BnB from a jumpin, mainly j.D. Free corner carry and great thing to get down.
(j.B) [crossup], cl.C [2 hits], f+B [1 hit], hcb+A/C:
  • Rugal's crossup combo into a heavy.
(j.B) [crossup], cr,A, cr.A, st.B, f+B [1 hit], hcb+A/C:
  • Rugal's crossup combo into a light link.
f+B [1 hit], hcb+A/C (punish):
  • Rugal's far-reaching punish.


qcf+K [counter hit], dp+D:
  • Rugal's meterless counterhit option near or in the corner. Pretty specific, but good to know.

With Meter

  • In any metered combo, you can replace qcf,hcb+P with qcf,hcb+AC or qcfx2+k with qcfx2+BD for more damage if you have 3 stocks in Advanced Mode.


cr.B, cr.a, qcf,hcb+A/C:
  • Rugal's easiest low confirm into Gigantic Pressure.
cr.B, cr.B, st.B, f+B [1 hit], qcf,hcb+A/C:
  • Rugal's most-damaging low confirm into Gigantic Pressure. Really hard, so don't beat yourself up if you can't get it. You can switch the second cr.B for cr.A to buttonhold for super.


st.C, qcf,hcb+A/C:
  • Rugal's far heavy confirm. Really good as poke pressure, but not if they get hit on a jump.
cl.C [2 hits], f+B [1 hit], qcf,hcb+A/C:
  • Rugal's main heavy confirm into Gigantic Pressure.
(j.X), cl.C [2 hits], f+B [1 hit], qcf,hcb+A/C:
  • Rugal's main metered combo from a jumpin.


qcf+A, qcfx2+B/D (unblockable):
  • Rugal's unblockable confirm into Dead End Screamer. Only done in the corner.


CD (tech roll), qcf+A, qcfx2+B/D (unblockable):

Rugal's tech roll chaser. If the opponent techs the CD, you can follow up with A Reppuken and make Dead End Screamer unblockable.

dp+K (trade), CD (tech roll), qcf+A, qcfx2+B/D (unblockable):
  • Rugal's SUPER specific unblockable setup. If Genocide Cutter trades near the ground, Rugal will reset for st.CD. If they tech it, you can do A Reppuken into Dead End Screamer.
qcf+K [counter hit], qcf,hcb+A/C:
  • Rugal's meterless counterhit option near or in the corner. Pretty specific, but good to know.

Quick Max

  • In any metered combo, you can replace qcf,hcb+P with qcf,hcb+AC or qcfx2+K with qcfx2+BD for more damage if you have 3 stocks in Advanced Mode.


cr.B, ABC, cl.C [2 hit], f+B [1 hit], hcb+P:
cr.B, ABC, cl.C [2 hit], f+B [1 hit], qcf,hcb+A/C:


st.C, f+B, ABC, cl.A, qcf,hcb+A/C:

Quick Dodge

(j.X), cl.C [2 hit], f+B [1 hit], AB, qcf,hcb+P:
f+B [2nd hit], AB, qcf,hcb+P:
  • Note that this requires you to be close to the opponent to work as intended.


  • Far B and far C are cancelable.
  • Cl.C is cancelable.
  • Cl.D is cancelable.
  • Cl.B and c.B are neutral on block, close s.A/c.A slight disadvantage, far s.A/far s.B fairly bad disadvantage as are the majority of his heavy attacks (except far s.D against a crouching opponent which is neutral).
  • First hit of s.D and f+B don't push back on block.
  • Far s.B hits low.
  • F+B has a gap between the two hits on block, allowing opponents to roll out or punish if they have the appropriate move
  • J.B and j.D are both good crossups. vertical j.C is good for AA, vertical j.B can be used as an instant overhead.

Buffs from OG:

  • Better recovery on qcf+A, faster far s.C and now cancellable, far s.B now cancellable, very fast startup on f,hcf+A, faster
  • movement on qcfx2+K, GCCD changed from s.CD to s.C animation (better horizontal range).

Strategy & Tips


King of Fighters 98 UM FE: Rugal Guide by Mash It Out

QQ拳皇98UMFE - 2015兩岸大師賽 - 中國UP V.S 台灣ET (Vs. Benimaru/Yuri)

External Links

The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match Final Edition

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