The King of Fighters 2002 UM/Offense
In KOF, a counter hit happens when you are hit during the startup or active frames of a special move or (hyper) hop normal. In 02UM it extends to the recovery frames of most DPs. This situation can be recognized on the screen by the appearance of the word "Counter", and a very brief white flash. In a counter hit, the damage of the attack is increased. An attack that knocks down on counter hit allows a second hit during the whole knockdown. When a jump CD is a counter hit, the opponent can be hit again in the air. Some characters have certain moves or command stances that put them in a vulnerable counter hit state (Jhun's stances for example), so be careful.
Normal/Regular Throws are available to every character and performed by standing very close to the opponent and pressing forward/backward + C or D. Their range is so short that it's fairly hard to press back then C or D without walking yourself out of throw range, forward+C/D is generally preferred. If the opponent is out of throw range, the character will instead perform a standing C or D depending on the button pressed. In general, the C throw projects the opponent forward, and the D one projects the opponent back (with some exceptions such as Blue Mary chopper with both projecting backward).
To break an incoming throw or tech a throw, you can press the correct throw button the opponent used or option select it by pressing C and D together or pianoing through them. The timing to tech throws is quite short; a way to practice them is to set the training mode dummy to the AI/CPU and to only block their incoming attacks and try to only tech their incoming throws. The randomness factor from the CPU will help your build up your throw breaking/teching reflect. The only cases when you can't break a grounded throw are when caught during a roll or caught by a mash throw (Like Joe and Bao's C throws.)
Some characters (like Yuri and Clark for example) can throw an opponent in mid air. It can be performed by pressing any direction (except up) + C/D during a jump or super jump, take note Air throws unlike regular throws can not be broken.
Some characters have special moves or desperation moves that have the properties of a throw. Unlike normal throws, command throws have a special whiff animation if executed outside of their reach. There are different types of command throws:
- Frame One: This is the most common type of command throw. The single frame makes the throw execute almost instantly, which makes them very powerful and formidable both offensively and defensively. They can be used on wake up and will pass through the start up frames of most meaty attacks. Desperation command throws usually have invincible start up frames.
- Delayed: This is another special type of throw and is pretty common amongst the cast. The startup is usually quite slow, but during the startup animation, the character is invincible (the amount varies) and cannot be thrown. They are mainly used as good mixup options or as a reversal because of their invincibility.
- Other: Some characters command throws may either combine both of the properties of a one frame or delayed throw or may either have faster start up or more or zero invincibility frames.
After waking up from a knockdown, you get a brief wake-up throw invincibility meaning if the opponent attempts any throw or proximity unblockable it will fail, aside from Ex Robert's d~u+P proximity unblockable because it's bugged. They'd then just get a normal or worse, whiff a command throw. Taking the knockdown to remove the danger of part of the opponent's arsenal is definitely an option worth considering if you're having trouble dealing with a strong command grab or proximity unblockable.
This is only on wake-up after the knockdown, if you prevent it with a recovery roll, you don't get any throw invincibility for the perk of recovering faster to allow your opponent less advantage and possibly avoid one of the OTG moves mentioned below.
While in XIII and XIV this same wake-up throw invincibility entails that the player waking up can't use a normal throw themselves but only command throws, it's not the case in prior KoFs such as 02UM. In 02UM you can use a normal throw right as you wake up from a knockdown or recover from a recovery roll, which may sound very strong against meaties but it is actually very limited. Both by the fact there's no buffer for it so you have to match a 1f timing to throw a meaty inside throw range and by said throw range being so small that it is very easy to meaty out of it and still get a conversion for many characters.
On The Ground (OTG)
There are moves that have the ability to hit an opponent that is knocked on the ground. Some of these attacks have the potential to hit standing opponent (it's usually a low attack), but also strike a fallen opponent. The OTG is only guaranteed when placed behind a move that leads to a hard knockdown as a soft knockdown can be teched with a recovery roll to deny the OTG.
- Nameless - Kaiten Katatokkan Ougi Rasen (d/f/df+ABCD)
- Andy - Kunai Bullet (d,d+A/C)
- Vanessa - Gaia Gear (f, hcf+AC)
- Hinako - Shiko Toumi (d,d+B/D)
- Kyo-1 - 108 Shiki Yami Barai (qcf+A/C)
Instant Overheads and Cancels to Standing Overheads
Jump attacks which have very fast startup frames and low hit boxes can be used as instant overheads. An example is Leona's jump D, Kyo jump B or King's jump D. The downward angle of these attacks can hit an crouching opponent if they are done immediately after a neutral jump (or neutral hop).
Standing overheads canceled from any cancel-able normal attack will lose their overhead property. For example, Kim's f+B alone is an overhead attack to a crouching opponent, but a close + C to f+B to a crouching blocking opponent will defend just as two mid attacks.
An overhead cancel can be delayed, if one cancels into the overhead after the hitstop, it will regain its overhead property, but also lose its cancellable properties that these moves usually gain when cancelled into.
Counter Wire Attacks (aka CW)
There are some moves that have the property to send the opponent flying to bounce against the edge of the screen. It is possible to juggle the opponent with any move while they are falling from hitting the wall (or edge of the screen). There are however some moves that earn this property only during a counter hit and are marked with the CW acronym in the command list.
Some attacks can knockdown an opponent that is standing anywhere on the screen away from the opponent. An example is Daimon's (dp+A) ground pound attack, or Hinako's (down, down + K) sumo stomp. To avoid getting hit, you must either crouch, or jump. A roll is considered standing, which will make you vulnerable to them too. Keep in mind that an earthquake can be used OTG, ONLY if the character was standing at the time of knockdown. Avoid it by quick recovering (recovery roll) after you've been knocked down.
These are not like CvS2. You can cancel any move (or non-cancelable) by a roll (pressing A + B) at the time of the hit. This action can be used to potentially dodge a guard cancel CD early, and can also be used in certain situations combo. Roll canceling uses one super meter stock.
"Running Charge" is a simple but useful technique that allows special attacks that require a vertical charge to come out whilst executing a run, the trick is to start running (press f,f) then move the stick/directional pad so that it's pointing in the down-forward direction but continue to hold, then quickly slide it to the up (ub/u/uf) position then press the designated face button then the move will come out, the trick is to hold down-forward so that you'll run and buffer the charge time at the same time, if you want to super cancel the charge move it would require you to buffer the input during the charge move when at times can get really difficult.
- Terry - d[df]~u+P (1), [Buffer SC] qcb hcf+P
- Ralf - d[df]~u+P
- Kim - d[df]~u+K
- Jhun Hoon - d[df]~u+P
- Heidern - d[df]~u+P
Some specials and DMs are unblockable, not just proximity unblockables but full on unblockable hits like Ralf's qcfx2+P. They usually aren't very threatening because of the existence of rolls, and you can note that despite being unblockable they can still be countered and autoguarded. Added to that, most of the moves with that property are DMs you need to charge for a few seconds, which makes them no threat for decent players overall.
Some special moves and desperation moves in KOF have an unblockable property to them. These moves are activated only in close range (the distance depends on their activation range), and have no whiff animation when executed out of its reach. The second feature is that the first hit (or all hits in certain exceptions) is completely unblockable. It is possible to roll to avoid the first hit. If performed within range and dodged immediately, the unblockable move will perform it's attack activation animation and they will be fully punishable. Note that some moves have unblockable invincible startup and / or cannot be thrown.