The King of Fighters '98 UMFE/Takuma Sakazaki
Takuma is a versatile character that can both zone and rush down pretty well. For zoning, he has a good backdash for gaining distance and a fast, high-flying projectile to control space. He also has access to a good anti-air button in st.B and a great anti-air DM. Takuma also has good anti-zoning tools with a projectile reflector and a fast projectile DM. When going in, Takuma also has strong options like an overhead, a running command grab, a good crossup, good low confirms, and a proximity unblockable DM. No matter what strategy he uses, Takuma also gets reliably high damage. His main weakness is that he's very meter-reliant for both his best damage and his most consistent anti-air; he also lacks a meterless reversal option.
Changes from Previous Versions
98 to 98UM
- st.D now has 2 frames less startup
- st.D's priority has been reduced
- f+A's active frames have been increased by 5
- cr.A now does less damage
- cr.B now does less damage
- cr.D now has 1 frame more recovery
- qcb+P can now reflect projectiles
- f,hcf+P is now a DM, it comes out faster but you can no longer charge it
- qcfx2+P now comes out on the second frame; the super flash locks the opponent's inputs, so they can't reaction roll out
98UM to 98UMFE
- st.B now has more active frames
- cl.C no longer whiffs against short characters
- qcb+P now has less recovery
- qcf,hcb+A is now invincible until just after the hitbox appears
- cl.A: Starts up slightly faster than his st.B, but serves the same purpose of anti-air against hops. Chainable and cancelable.
- cl.B: A light combo filler. Chainable and cancelable.
- cl.C: The main fast heavy combo normal. Cancelable.
- cl.D: Long upwards reach. Good for stopping jumps at closer ranges. Whiffs on short crouchers.
- st.A: Decent anti-hop button. Whiffs on regular crouchers. Chainable.
- st.B: A great anti-air that can stop both hops and full jumps. Has a lot of upwards priority. Whiffs on regular crouchers.
- st.C: Mid-range poke with good priority. Whiffs on regular crouchers.
- st.D: Long startup and recovery. Has okay priority.
- cr.A: A standard low poke. cr.B is mostly the better choice, but this one can be good if the opponent uses moves with lower-body invincibility a lot. Chainable and cancelable.
- cr.B: A fast low. You can connect 3 of these in a row with good timing. Chainable and cancelable.
- cr.C: Good anti-air button and combo tool. Cancelable.
- cr.D: Sweep with good range. Cancelable.
- j.A: Fast startup and a lot of active frames. His is his best air-to air normal.
- j.B: Good crossup jump-in with a lot of active frames. Comes out fast, so it can also be good as a speedy air-to-air.
- nj.B: Longer-range air-to-air.
- j.C: Good jump-in button.
- j.D: Great crossup jump-in. Has more startup than j.B, but its backwards hitbox is bigger, so it's easier to crossup with it.
- st.CD: Fairly fast startup for a st.CD and a good forwards hitbox, making it good as a close-range poke.
- j.CD: Has very good priority. Great air-to-air. Whiffs on tiny crouchers.
- Regular throw, techable.
- Regular throw, techable. Switches sides.
- Knocks down when used on its own. When canceled into, it leaves the opponent standing and functions as valuable combo filler.
- If it's canceled late, however, it retains its raw properties while still combo-ing, giving you a great knockdown right next to you. Combos from all cancelable normals.
- An overhead when used on its own, a cancelable mid when canceled into (unless canceled late, in which case it acts like the raw version).
- Can be combo-ed into from light attacks, but has more pushback than f+A, so generally this is ignored as combo filler.
- Takuma's generic but powerful airborne projectile.
- A version is slower and does less damage than the C version.
- This is a very good move to keep the pressure on your opponent from further ranges.
- It can be combo-ed into from both command normals, and juggled into from db~f+D.
- If your opponent is in the corner and you hit them with this from fullscreen, you can connect db~f+D or qcf,hcb+P afterward, though this is fairly impractical.
- Since it's an airborne projectile, a lot of moves can low-profile it, and Leona and Chris/O.Chris can low-profile it by running. It completely whiffs on tiny crouchers.
- Trademark Kyokugen gigantic and unbelievably active hitbox.
- Both versions of the move do the same amount of damage; the C version stays out a bit longer and has slightly more startup.
- Can be connected after a db~f+D juggle, and is the damage-optimal meterless ender in that case.
- Very punishable on block or whiff, though it has a vacuum effect that can suck in opponent's normals if they mistime a punish or attempt to punish it with a move with low priority.
Moh Koh Burai Gan:
- Takuma performs a parry and then delivers a powerful strike.
- Does two hits if it connects at point-blank range, but only one if slightly further out.
- This move has autoguard on startup, making it useful as a quasi-counter.
- A version has faster startup than the C version.
- This move can also reflect projectiles, making it excellent in zoning wars.
- A version can combo off of lights but not heavies (due to pushback), and both versions can be juggled into after db~f+D.
- Good to use to blow up predictable attacks with the autoguard.
- Can be hard to anti-air with, because if you're late the opponent can land and block before the strike comes out.
Hien Shippuu Kyaku:
- Forward-traveling airborne move. B version causes a soft knockdown, while the D version puts the opponent into a very generous juggle state and thus is a vital combo tool.
- This move can be combo-ed after a cr.C, and is easiest to land after a jump-in.
- Takuma does a running command grab.
- Good to use when you expect the opponent to roll to avoid a fireball.
- Also good to use as a sneaky mixup tool after something like a j.B, though this should only be done occasionally.
- Can be used to make his projectiles unblockable thanks to the unblockable projectiles bug.
Shin Kishin Geki:
- Command grab DM. Hits on the second frame.
- The DM doesn't really have much range to it, and if you whiff it the opponent will have more than enough time to punish you.
- Can be combo-ed from f+A.
- Helps his mixup game a lot, since it's faster than hcb+K.
- Both versions are identical. The MAX version does significantly more damage than the regular versions.
Haoh Shikou Ken:
- Standard Art of Fighting projectile DM.
- Can be combo-ed into a variety of ways, making it very handy for metered conversions.
- C version is good for winning projectile wars or using as a long-range punish. Also just good for controlling neutral generally.
- A version is slower than the C version. MAX version does more hits and damage.
- The classic Kyokugen ranbu DM.
- Takuma is invincible during the startup, and has very good priority.
- Makes for a great invincible anti-air.
- C version has slower start-up and is harder to combo into than the A version. MAX version does more hits and damage.
- In any metered combo with f,hcf+P/qcf,hcb+P, it can be replaced with f,hcf+AC/qcf,hcb+AC for more damage if you have the resources.
- f,hcf+P is less damaging in any given situation than qcf,hcb+P, but may be easier to input or more reliable to connect. It also works in juggles from db~f+D where qcf,hcb+P does not.
cr.Bx1-2, cr.A, f+A, qcf+C
- Standard low confirm.
cr.Bx1-2, cr.A, f+A
- Alternative low combo, has a delayed cancel into f+A as opposed to an immediate one. Does less damage than the previous one but grants hard knockdown with great oki.
cr.Bx1-2, f+A, f,b,f+P
- Low confirm into f.b.f+A. Spacing/execution requirements are much tighter.
(j.X), cl.C, (f+A), qcf+C
- Easy and safe combo from jump-in, no need to hit-confirm. f+A should be omitted if the pushback is too much.
(j.X), cl.C, f+A
- More damaging jump-in combo that also grants hard knockdown with great oki. f+A must be a delayed cancel.
(j.X), cl.C, f+A, f,b,f+P
- A less damaging crossup combo than a confirm into db~f+D. However, it does not require a charge. You can substitute cl.C for cr.Bx1-2.
(j.X), cr.C, db~f+D, f,b,f+P
- Most damaging meterless combo, you need to charge down-back during your jump to get enough charge for db,f+D.
cr.Bx1-2, cr.A, f+A, qcf,hcb+A/f,hcf+C
(j.X), cl.C, f+A, qcf,hcb+A/f,hcf+C
(j.X), cr.C, db~f+D, f,hcf+C
With Quick MAX
cr.B, cl.A, ABC, cl.C, f+A, qcf,hcb+A
- Requires a microwalk before the cl.C.
cr.B, ABC, cr.C, db,f+D, f,hcf+C
- A: White/Black
- AB: Red/Blue
- B: Crimson Red
- BC: Green/Black
- C: Yellow
- CD: Beige/Brown
- D: Black (Mr. Karate AOF Color}
- AD: Paint White/Brown (Marco/Butt MOTW Color)
Strategy & Tips
- Takuma can perform the unblockable projectile glitch with qcf+P and hcb+K.
- Tutorial video on how to combo into Takuma's db~f+K or 6K from his f+A command normal. English subtitles are available with closed captions.