The King of Fighters '98 UMFE/System

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Universal Mechanics

Regular Jump - u/ub/uf

  • this is a normal jump where your character jumps pretty high into the air. You can cancel jumps to air normals, command normals or specials, though some specials may have extra restrictions on them. All jumps have recovery after landing, making them punishable by well timed low attacks.

Super Jump - d then u/ub/uf

  • This is a version of the jump that goes higher and further than the normal jump. you can tell that a jump was a superjump by the afterimages that appears behind a character during it.

Hop - u/ub/uf briefly

  • By pressing up quickly and releasing you can do a smaller jump. This is very useful for pressure as it's faster and harder to react to than regular jumps.

Hyper Hop - d then u/ub/uf briefly

  • This version of the hop goes faster and further than the regular hop. You can tell that you've executed it correctly by the afterimage that appears behind the characters when hyper hopping.

Air Blocking

  • In '98UM, you are able to block some ground or aerial attacks from the air. This is only possible during neutral or backwards full or super jumps, so you cannot air block while jumping forwards or hopping. Air blocking will consume your guard meter more than normal ground blocking. For a more detailed explanation on what moves can or cannot be air blocked, go to this page.

Triangle Jump

  • Triangle jump is the ability to jump off of the invisible walls on the left and right of the stage diagonally. Characters able to perform this include Mai, Choi, Athena

Backdash - bb

  • by pressing backdash you can make your character take a small skip backwards. It has no invulnerability but since your character is airborne for a brief period it can go over low attacks. Backdashes can be cancelled into air command normals or special moves.

Throws - b/f + C/D

  • to execute a throw you need to be right next to the opponents character and then press b/f + C/D. A throw is an attack that will grab your opponent if they try and block. Throws can only be executed if the opponent is not taking an action that would make them immune to throws, this includes attacking, backdashing, jumping, doing certain special moves etc. Throws are instant; they have no period of startup. In most cases the C throw will throw the opponent forwards and the D throw will throw them behind you though some exceptions to this exist.
  • After blocking an attack, you are safe from throws for several frames.

Air Throws - any direction but up + C

  • some characters also have throws that can be executed in the air. The rules for these throws are the same as the grounded throws but air throws cannot be broken. Characters that have air throws are: Athena, Benimaru, Clark, Heidern, Leona, Mai, Yuri.

Throw Escapes - (when being grabbed) b/f + P/K.

  • When the opponent grabs you, you get a small window to break the throw by inputting a throw of your own. You can break a throw with any button regardless of which button was used to execute the throw. There are some throws [called hold throws] that you cannot break. Instead these throws will hit multipe times and you can mash to reduce the number of hits they do to you. You can't break throws while performing roll or fix dodge Making throws a guaranteed punish against these moves.

Blocking - b or db

  • in order to guard yourself from attacks you hold back for attacks with the high or mid properties and db for attacks with the mid or low properties. You cannot block throws or attacks that have the unblockable property.

Overhead Attacks

  • an overhead attack is one that has to be blocked standing and will hit opponents blocking while crouching. All regular air normals are overhead attacks and has to be blocked standing. Additionally some characters have grounded attacks that are also overheads.

Low Attacks

  • a low attack is an attack that has to be blocked while crouching and will hit opponents blocking while standing. Every character has a low kick with cr.B and a low sweep with cr.D and then characters may have additional lows depending on their moveset as well.

Mid Attacks

  • a mid attack is an attack that can be blocked either standing or crouching. Most attacks in the game belong in the mid category.

Blowback Attack - CD or j.CD

  • this is an extra normal that all characters get access to. As the name implies when these attacks hits the opponent the opponent will be sent flying back into a soft knockdown state. All blowback attacks are special cancelable and also whiff cancelable. If a blowback attack counterhits the opponent it causes a juggle state allowing you to connect an extra attack afterwards. Jumping blowback attacks differ from regular jumping normals in that you can block it either standing or crouching.

Guard Cancel Roll - 4/5/6+AB when guarding - costs one bar of meter

  • Lets you roll either forward or back the moment you guard an attack. 5AB will result in a forward roll. Other than a regular roll this one is not punishable in any way. Useful in specific scenarios to create a punish situation where the opponent would normally be safe. Or just to get away from pressure without risking to get your guard cancel blowback baited and punished.

Guard Cancel Blowback - CD when guarding - costs one bar of meter

  • By pressing the CD attack when you guard an attack you can perform an attack yourself from the guard. If successful your opponent will be knocked back and you will have some breathing room. In order to counter a guard cancel CD you either need to use an attack such as a low jumpin that will allow you to land and block before the guard cancel comes out or bait the guard cancel by cancelling a normal into something like an invulnerable attack that will go through the blowback or a 1f counter that will catch the blowback attack.

Counter Hits

  • a counterhit occurs when one of your attacks connects with the opponent when they are also in the middle of doing an attack. you can see that a counter hit has happened because a "COUNTER" message will pop up on the screen. A counter hit does 25% more damage than the regular hit of that attack would do and certain moves will also cause juggle states on a counterhit allowing you to follow them up with another attack.


  • a knockdown is when a character is knocked off their feet and falling to the ground. There are 2 types of knockdowns: Hard and soft knockdowns. A Hard knockdown is one where the opponent cannot do anything until their character has gotten up on their feet. A soft knockdown is one where the opponent can avoid that by doing a recovery roll. Additionally there are 2 types of knockdown direction, front facing and back turned knockdowns. during a back turned knockdown the character will get up still facing the opposite way from the opponent.

Recovery Roll - AB during a knockdown

  • When you have been knocked down you can press AB right as you hit the ground to perform a backwards roll. This is useful as it gives the opponent less time to pressure you as you're getting up from a knockdown. Recovery rolls do have a weakness though, they lose the throw invulnerability that you have during regular knockdowns. Some knockdowns can not be recovery rolled.

Character heights when knocked down

  • When you are knocked down, your height depends on whether you stood or crouched when you got knocked down. If you stood, then your knocked down body has standing height, but if you crouched, it has crouching height. This allows for low hop crossups against opponents who were knocked down crouching.

Wakeup hurtboxes

  • When waking up from a knockdown, your hurtbox will, for one frame, be as high as it is when you are standing, unless you hold down back away from the opponent. However, if you hold down or down forward, then even though you are crouching, you will have standing hurtbox for one frame on wakeup. This means that attacks that can cross up standing opponents, but whiff on crouching opponents, can still cross you up and hit you when you are waking up if they are done meaty, if you fail to switch blocking side against the crossup.

Power Modes


Using Advanced, you will have a green health bar and power stocks built up for various uses, including DMs and SDMs. On your first character, you can have up to 3 stocks, 4 on your second, and 5 on your last. Some of your abilites in this mode include being able to:

Run forward(ff, holding forward or down forward)

  • by tapping ff twice your character will start running and then stop after a small distance. If you hold forward or down forward the character will continue running until you let go. A run can be cancelled into all of your movement options except forwards full jumps which will be turned into super jumps and forwards short hops will become hyper hops. You can also cancel run into any of your normals or specials. If you don't cancel the run into something there are a few frames of recovery where you will be unable to block.

Roll forwards and backwards (AB + direction, just AB will be forward)

  • rolls are invulnerable on start up and move you either backwards or forwards depending on the direction you press. Rolls have recovery frames that can be punished. Rolls can be thrown at any point.
  • Attack cancel roll.
    • You can cancel any cancelable normal into a roll. This costs 1 power stock. Generally, attack cancel rolling from a light attack is easily punishable on block and hit. Doing it from a heavy is barely punishable on block with very fast attacks such as grabs, and doing it from a CD is neutral or slightly positive on block depending on the character Some characters like Clark, Andy, and Ex Geese can get combos using this mechanic.

Activate Max Mode using one stock (ABC)

  • In Max Mode, your character will be yellow-tinted and have stronger attack power, but will also slightly push opponents back and make some combos harder to pull off. While in Max Mode, you can pull off one SDM, and using it ends Max Mode.
  • use SDM moves outside of Max Mode by spending 3 power stocks.


Using Extra, you will have a yellow health bar and can charge your meter to maximum to perform DMs. When your health is low and flashing, you'll be able to perform DMs for free. Some abilities exclusive to Extra are:

  • front step (ff), you walk faster by 130% than advanced.

Dodges (AB)

  • dodge attack (P/K during dodge), can be canceled into specials or supers.
    • dodge is fully invulnerable and does not have punishable recovery. Dodge is only weak to throws and command grabs.
  • Attack cancel dodge
  • You can cancel into a dodge move from normals for the full extra mode bar. If you are in maxmode it costs a chunk of the max mode meter. This can be used to extend combos by cancelling into the dodge attack and canceling that into a special or super.

charge power gauge (holding ABC)

  • press ABC to activate MAX mode when you have full meter. You are only able to build meter from charge, getting hit or blocking.
  • you can use supers straight without going MAX mode with a full meter. you can also spend a full meter for guard cancel.
  • perform Quick Max (pressing ABC on the connecting hit of certain attacks when you have a full meter).

Quick maxing immediately frees you from the hit stop or block stop, but it does not free the opponent. Therefore, if you quickmax immediately on hit or block, you will often, but not always, be positive. Quick maxing does not cancel the recovery of a move; it makes you skip hit stop, and immediately moves you to the recovery part of the move, while the opponent is still stuck in hit or block stun. Quick maxing is possible in the air. It is useful for combos, safety on block, frame traps, and more.

  • Quick Max is the ability to activate Max Mode during normal, command normals and special attacks (command grabs except proximity unblockables, projectiles and supers will not work)

Performing SDMs in Extra Mode requires low red flashing health and being in maxmode.


Using Ultimate, you will have a blue health bar, and you will be able to customize your own power mode. You can choose between:

  • Advanced power stocks or Extra chargeable meter
  • front step or running
  • rolling or dodge
    • When using power stocks alongside the dodge an attack cancel dodge takes 1 power stock.

Input System and Buffer

Special move input buffer

If you hold the button down after having input a special move, then the character will continue to try to perform the move for a few frames, while the button is held down. This is why reversals can be performed consistently, and it also helps for combos. Normal moves that are performed by just pressing a button do not have this.

Normal move input delay

When pressing a button to perform a normal move, the game waits for a few frames before executing it. During this waiting period, it waits to see if you will press a direction. At the end of the waiting period, if you pressed a direction, then it will give you a move based on the button and direction that were pressed. Knowing this, you can perform running grabs by running forward, then hitting back and C (or D) at the same time.

There is no input delay for special moves.


Character crouching height list

Large: Brian, Chang, Daimon, Heavy D!, Krauser, Lucky, Mr Big, Rugal
Regular: Blue Mary, Clark, Chizuru, Eiji, Geese, Heidern, King, Kyo, Ralf, Robert, Ryo, Saisyu, Shermie, Shingo, Takuma, Terry
Small: Andy, Athena, Benimaru, Billy, Chris, Joe, Iori, Kasumi, Kensou, Kim, Leona, Mai Mature, Vice, Yamazaki, Yashiro, Yuri
Tiny: Chin, Choi

Wakeup Speed

After a knockdown, characters have variable wake up timings. The differences are listed here:

(-F) Faster wakeup
  • (-10F) - Yuri, Geese
  • (-7F) - Yamazaki
  • (-6F) - Joe, Robert
  • (-5F) - Ryo, Ralf, Clark, Athena, Mai, Kim, Mary, Mature, Rugal, Krauser
  • (-3F) - Takuma
  • (-2F) - Yashiro
  • (-1F) - Daimon, Terry, Kensou, Saisyu, Brian
  • (0F) - Kyo, Benimaru, King, Choi, Vice, Eiji, Kasumi, Shingo, Orochi, Goenitz, Mr. Big
  • (1F) - Leona
  • (+2F) - Iori
  • (+3F) - Chin, Chizuru, Chris, Heidern
  • (+4F) - Andy, Heavy D!
  • (+5F) - Chang, Shermie, Billy, Lucky
(+F) Slower wakeup

Block stun values of moves

The hit stun of moves is generally as follows:

Weak attacks: 11 frames Air hard attacks: 11 frames Ground hard attacks: 19 frames Command normals and specials: 19 frames

The block stun of moves is generally as follows:

Weak attacks: 9 frames Air hard attacks: 9 frames Ground hard attacks: 17 frames CD attacks: 21 frames Command normals and specials: 17 frames

Since this is the amount of frames that quickmaxing can speed up your recovery after a move by, it's important to know this, along with the general frame data, when calculating how positive or negative one can be after quickmaxing.

The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match Final Edition

FAQSystemControlsGuidesChangelistMatch VideosAdvanced StrategyFrame Data & Hitboxes


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