The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match/Rugal Bernstein

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A god among men, Rugal Bernstein is in the tournament to show these kids his true power.


  • Good Damage
  • Fun to play as
  • A version Kaiser Wave is decent from afar
  • His projectile reflecting can be useful at times
  • Strong when his opponent is cornered
  • Strong Punisher
  • Scare factor for projectile throwing opponents when have access to Dead End Screamer
  • Can create situations where he can control hop and hyper hop height.


  • Slow startup and mediocre recovery on a fair share of his attacks
  • Limited combo ability
  • Heavily relies on meter for the scare factor
  • Can have trouble closing the distance with some characters
  • Not a character for beginners
  • Needs higher than usual reaction speed to play at fullest. Command record practice in training mode much needed.
  • Quite easy for opponents to jump and hyper jump followups without proper setup

Moves List

Throw Moves

Scorpion Deathlock: close, b or f + HP

Scorpion Blow: close, b or f + HK

Command Moves

Double Tomahawk: f + LK

Special Moves

Reppuken: d, df, f + P

God Press: f, df, d, db, b + P

Dark Barrier: d, df, f + K

Genocide Cutter: f, d, df + K

Kaiser Wave: f, b, db, d, df, f + P (chargeable)

Super Special Moves

Gigantic Pressure (qcf,hcb+P) - Rugal does a souped up version of his God Press special move with the exact same properties as the special. His main source of combo damage although buffering it from f+b can be tricky. MAX version does more damage and goes from corner to corner. It has a pretty great hitbox for catching hoppers with, and the MAX version's startup invincibility helps with this.

Dead End Screamer (qcf,qcf+K - The Rugal Spin! Rugal jumps at the opponent with a kick and if it hits he knocks them down on the floor and spins on them laughing and looking very silly. Unlike God Press and Gigantic Pressure this move is actually a grab in that it's unblockable, but it doesn't hit people in the air. This super is meant for jumping over fireballs and punishing them for it.

Takes some time to build up reaction speed and muscle memory for this. It does, however, do a little bit more damage than Gigantic Pressure on it's own, but you can't combo into it. B version goes a shorter distance than D version.

MAX version does more damage, and has startup invincibility along with 8 frames of invincibility when his feet are off the ground. The Max version makes it easier to go over super fireballs. The regular versions have no iframes.

The Basics

Reppuken Mixups

With Rugal after you get an unteched/hard knockdown always make sure to try for these following options with a Meaty Slow Reppuken

  • Fast Reppuken (Hits people trying to normal jump the Fast Reppuken in corner and stopping opponents attempts to move/attack afterwards)
  • B version Dark Barrier (Catches people trying to roll after the slow Reppuken)
  • Far B (low poke check)
  • A version Kaiser Wave (Hits people trying to hyper hop/jump after the Slow Reppuken at far/mid range)
  • D version Genocide Cutter (For people trying to regular jump after Slow Reppuken)

(Timed only for teched knockdowns)

Blockstring of Meaty Close B, Close C(1 hit) and cancel into qcf A Reppuken quickly as possible

If qcf A reppuken connects to a hop attempt.

Follow up with C Reppuken as soon as possible

With an expected teched knockdown. They'll be staying right in place if attempt to jump.

Getting a feel for what the opponent might do after they block/roll the slow Reppuken after an unteched/hard knockdown is important for keeping the opponent locked in place for a bit.

Kaiser Wave Setups

(Timed only for instant super jumps)

Blockstring of Meaty Close B, Close C(1 hit) and cancel into qcf A Reppuken quickly as possible

If qcf A reppuken connects to a hop attempt.

Time A version Kaiser Wave to them near landing.

With an expected teched knockdown. They'll super jump right into it


  • JD>cr.A > cr.A > f+B (1hit)>hcb+A
  • cr.B > cr.B >cl.B> f+B (1hit)>hcb+A
  • cr.B>cr.A> f+B (1hit)>hcb+A
  • JD>cl.D>f+B(1hit)>hcb+A

  • JD>cr.A > cr.A > f+B (1hit)>qcf,hcb+P
  • cr.B×2>cl. B> f+B (1hit)>qcf,hcb+P
  • qcf+A (far) > qcf,hcb+P
  • JD>cl.D>f+B(1hit)>qcf,hcb+P

Advanced Strategy