The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match/Sie Kensou

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In return for safer combos, his projectile ability has been reduced.

The fact that his gameplan revolves around Chō Kyūdan has not changed, but for hand-to-hand, his combos and such have been strengthened.

Move list

Normal throws
Hakkei (throw) f/b + C
Tomoe Nage (throw) f/b + D
Command moves
Kobokushu f + A
Kōsentai f + B
Special moves
Chō Kyūdan qcb + P
Ryūgakusai rdp + K
Ryūrenga: Chiryū hcf + A
Ryūrenga: Tenryū hcf + C
Ryūsōgeki (air) qcb + P
Ryūrenda (throw) dp + P (repeatedly)
Super special moves
Shinryū Seiō Rekkyaku qcf hcb + B
Shinryū Tenbukyaku qcf hcb + D
Senki Hakkei (throw) qcf qcf + P
Nikuman Kuu qcb qcb + P

Normal moves

Kensou’s ground normals all have slow-ish startup, so it is difficult to make them combo from jump attacks.

  • st.C – two-step move; the second is cancelable. Not only is the startup slow, the movement is pretty slow, so if it is avoided, you’re in real trouble.
  • cr.D – sweep with short height, long reach, and high efficacy. It is relied on since it is cancelable.
  • st.B and st.D – both helpful as jump checkers.
  • j.C – has a crossup hitbox; the hitbox has reasonably good priority, so you can use it for both jumping in and in air-to-air.
  • j.CD – also has a crossup hitbox; it is powerful to aim for if you use it when they least expect it.
  • taunt – now has a hitbox (!) where he puts his hand out (SNK Ōsaka-style humor strikes again!). The hitbox is there as long as his hand is outstretched. It is cancelable, but not for whiff canceling. The startup isn’t slow, so there’s no reason you couldn’t use it for psychic anti-airs versus hyper hops.... But when it whiffs, the recovery is extremely long, so there isn’t really any practical use.

Command moves

  • Kobokushu
  • f + A
  • Overhead with extremely long reach. It combos from strong attacks through canceling, from which it can be cancelled, but nothing combos from there. The startup has been sped up somewhat.

  • Kōsentai
  • f + B
  • Kensou hops forward lightly, and kicks diagonally upward. You can use it as a psychic anti-air, but it leaves you pretty open in general.

Special moves

  • Chō Kyūdan
  • qcb + P
  • Kensou steps back a little and launches a low-height projectile. Even if it gets jumped over, you can rest assured; during startup, there is a hitbox from behind, so it can also smash forward rolls. However, the recovery time has been increased, so you can’t use it as recklessly as you could in OG.

  • Ryūgakusai
  • rdp + K
  • Kensou bicycle-kicks obliquely upward. The invincibility of the strong version has been elongated, making this move now a safer anti-air. Futhermore, the first hit will launch the opponent, so the danger from a skirting ground hit is now gone.

  • Ryūrenga: Chiryū
  • hcf + A
  • A three-step rushing move. The startup is now faster, and it now combos from weak moves. There is also noticeably less recovery time, and except when the opponent is in the corner, if the three steps are blocked, it is now harder for the opponent to seriously counter you. For these reasons, you can use it as a counter, but that in itself makes you somewhat open, and the second and third hits won’t even touch many crouching opponents, so you must not misuse it.
  • Ryūrenga: Tenryū
  • hcf + C
  • Similarly to Chiryū, a three-step diagonally upward rush. Although there is a little shoulder-level autoblock during startup, it has practically no anti-air ability, and unless it is a successful hit, you will most probably be countered. Use it strictly for juggling after Ryūrenda.

  • Ryūsōgeki
  • qcb + P in midair
  • Multi-hit move that swoops diagonally downward from midair. Although the recovery has been shortened such that there is no opening if it hits, it is still not that easy to use.
  • Special attention needs to be paid to the execution of Chō Kyūdan – it is easy to make an accidental Ryūsōgeki during things like rear jumps and backsteps.

  • Ryūrenda
  • dp + P (repeatedly) at throwing distance
  • Proximity unblockable. Pressing the button multiple times will increase the number of hits. After the hits, the opponent is launched, so you can use various moves to juggle off it.

Super special moves

  • Shinryū Seiō Rekkyaku
  • qcf hcb + B
  • Non-locking forward-rushing Ranbu super. It has startup invincibility, so you can use it for interrupting; what’s more, the startup is now faster, and you can now use it in a combo from weak moves.
  • Shinryū Tenbukyaku
  • qcf hcb + D
  • Like Seiō Rekkyaku, but diagonally upward. Compared even to the former, the vulnerability is (somewhat) greater, and it won’t touch crouching opponents at all. That being said, it will combo even with a midair hit, so it’s high-risk, high-return.
  • The MAX version has long invincibility time, and is now a pretty safe anti-air.

  • Senki Hakkei
  • qcf qcf + P at throwing distance
  • Proximity unblockable, though since there is a super flash, it is a reasonable possibility for the opponent to roll out of it. The startup is now invincible, so you can now use it as part of your meaty routine or as a ground-to-ground interruption. Unfortunately, the amount of damage has been drastically reduced.
  • For the MAX version, Kensou gets blown away, too, but the knockdown is unrollable.

  • Nikuman Kuu
  • qcb qcb + P
  • Kensou eats a nikuman, which restores a little life. It doesn’t have anything resembling invincibility time, and for the MAX version, Kensou eats a pizaman so quickly that he chokes (or perhaps finds the heat and pepperoni spices a bit much for one bite), meaning you actually don’t gain any appreciable amount of life. Even a successful use doesn’t heal you very much, and leaves you very very open. The move is, more or less, completely pointless to use for anything but the giggles (hey, it’s supposed to be a joke), though if you flub the execution on Chō Kyūdan, it’s easy to misfire as this.
  • It still makes Chō Kyūdan unblockable, which is a nice plus – you get some life back and you don’t have to worry about getting hit in the meantime.
  • You can use it right before a round ends to get some extra life back (maybe even rob the opponent of victory in a close round). The automatic “derived MAX super” (ow) of the MAX version won’t be a penalty after the timer expires....


  • cr.B >> cr.A >> Ryūrenga: Chiryū or Shinryū Seiō Rekkyaku
  • Safe combo from low hits. In UM, this is the main combo.
  • cl.C >> Ryūrenda > Ryūrenga: Tenryū
  • You could also use a normal move for the juggle to keep the offense going.
  • j.C >> cl.C >> Ryūrenga: Chiryū or Strong Ryūgakusai
  • Best meterless combo

The Basics

At far range, close the distance using Chō Kyūdan as a shield. Supposing an opponent jumps it, intercept them with Ryūgakusai; if they roll through it, press them with the two options of cr.A and Ryūrenda.

At mid- to close-range, harden them up with things like cr.A, st.B, and cr.D. Other stuff like trying for crossup with j.C and j.CD, and slowly getting out Kobokushu is also effective.

Closing space with a jump or a dash, aiming for the two options of Ryūrenda and cr.A is effective. When either one hits, it will reliably begin a combo, and should plant the fear of being close. By doing so, a cancelled Chō Kyūdan from zoners will become effective.

When you’ve got the opponent turtling, flashing the occasional st.B will suppress jumps ahead of time, which is essential. When you can read jumps, switch over to st.D. Also, if you can skillfully touch them with the high-risk Kōsentai, you will probably do enough mental damage so that the opponent will almost never jump. If you can’t read the jumps, stick with the safer st.B.

After Ryūrenda, using a high-damage juggler is good, but if you juggle with j.C, continuing on to get them turtling is also good. Since you will come to land at about the same time as the opponent, going for crossup with j.CD or making them turtle with cr.A from there, or even piling on Kobokushu should bother the opponent.

For wakeup attacks, you want to aim for Senki Hakkei against opponents who try to get you with round attacks. By doing this, they will try moving on to far-distance zoning or jump attacks for meaties, but even as a glancing hit or an anti-air, you can now use the strengthened strong Ryūgakusai for this purpose.

Advanced Strategy