================================================= FIRE PRO WRESTLING RETURNS: BEGINNER'S GUIDE v1.8 ================================================= for Sony PlayStation 2 (U.S.) by Bill Wood (billwood661@ca.rr.com) Last modified: 12/12/07 Fire ProWrestling Returns (c) 2005 Spike (c) 2007 Agetec NOTE: This guide views and prints best with a monospace typeface. ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA ===================== ==TABLE OF CONTENTS== ===================== SECTION 1: VERSION HISTORY SECTION 2: INTRODUCTION SECTION 3: FIRE PRO WRESTLING RETURNS BASIC QUESTIONS * Where can I find FPR? * Did Agetec remove anything from the Japanese version of FPR? * Can Japanese-based edits be converted for use with the North American version of FPR? * Will you be contributing full character guides for this game like you did with FPD and FPZ? * I thought Fire Pro Z was the last ever Fire Pro game! Why are we getting another one? * There were no WWE wrestlers in FPZ. Are they back in FPR? * What has been improved over FPZ? * Has anything been removed from previous versions of the game? * I've seen pictures of this game and it looks like a Super Nintendo game to me. Are you sure it's good? * Is there an official guide for this game? * Can I create my own organization in FPR? * Do the wrestlers bleed in FPR? * Is the infamous "Ganso Bomb" in the game? * How does FPR's Edit Mode stack up? * How do I properly adjust my created wrestler's CPU logic? * How many outfits can my edit have? * How do I choose my edit's specialty moves and/or finisher? * Where can I exchange my wrestler and logo creations with other Fire Pro players? And where can I find other fan creations? * Can I exchange ring and ref edits as well? * Do I need a special device to download edits?. * How much can I alter the default wrestlers? * How can I update the moves of the default wrestlers? * How do I unlock the hidden wrestlers/edit points/costumes? * Are there any Gameshark codes or hacks that will create different match types? SECTION 4: FIRE PRO WRESTLING RETURNS GAMEPLAY QUESTIONS * How steep is the overall learning curve? * I'm just getting started and can't do anything! Help! * I'm trying to learn the grapple system and I lose every single time! What gives? * My grapple timing is now impeccable. Problem is, every move I attempt gets reversed! * I'm used to the timing of the GameBoy Fire Pro games, but I can't win a single grapple in FPR! * I can't seem to hit my opponent. My moves whiff every time! * How do I do my wrestler's finisher? * What is a Test of Strength? How do I win one? * How do I escape a pin attempt? * How do I escape a submission or stretch hold? * How do I do top rope moves? * How do I do MMA/shootfighting in this game? * My wrestler is walking around with his shoulders slumped, gasping for air! What should I do? * How often should I breathe? * How do I grab the back of my opponent's head and ram it into the turnbuckle? * How do I execute a grapple or ground reversal? * How do I execute the new "corner-to-center" attack? * How do I pick up weapons? My wrestler just starts running! * Do moves onto weapons do increased damage? * How do I get up off the mat quicker? * How do I throw my opponent to the apron so I can do apron moves? * How do I throw my opponent over the top rope? * How do I tag my partner in a tag match? * How do I get my partner to come in for the save during a tag match? * What is "CRITICAL!"? * Why can't I ever get a "CRITICAL!" on my opponent when I want to? SECTION 5: FIRE PRO WRESTLING RETURNS ADVANCED STRATEGY SECTION 6: FIRE PRO WRESTLING RETURNS FANSITES SECTION 7: CLOSING ============================== ==SECTION 1: VERSION HISTORY== ============================== 1.8 - Minor additions and corrections. 1.7 - Minor additions and corrections. 1.6 - FINALLY! This guide has been updated to be fully compatible with the North American release. 1.5 - Even more FAQ additions, plus all FAQs now listed in the ToC. 1.4 - Minor additions and corrections. 1.3 - Changed the info about kicking out of pins, thanks to Jason Blackhart. More minor additions and corrections. 1.2 - General cleanup, additions and corrections. 1.1 - General cleanup, additions and corrections. 1.0 - Initial release of the guide. =========================== ==SECTION 2: INTRODUCTION== =========================== Welcome to the Fire Pro Wrestling Returns Beginner's Guide v1.8! This guide is here to help out those of you who are new to Fire Pro Wrestling Returns (Fire Pro R, FPR) for PlayStation 2. In FPR you can choose from hundreds of wrestlers from different promotions across the world, creating the possibility of endless dream matches. Combine this with an extremely challenging and rewarding gameplay system and you have what is quite possibly the wrestling simulation in existence. With FPR, Spike decided to pull out all of the stops and give the fans what they want... an expansive wrestling game experience with a nearly limitless number of possibilities. Finally, long desired options such as face/head layering, cage matches and ring editing are available in a Fire Pro game... and that's only the tip of the iceberg! Read on to see exactly how Spike has improved this long running and influential series, and why after trying it for yourself, you may never want to go back to another wrestling game. FPR is a great game, no doubt, but there's a rather steep learning curve that comes along with it, as the gameplay and menu systems aren't exactly novice-friendly. That's where this guide comes into play, to help newcomers get over the curve and get the most from the game. Hopefully it serves its purpose. ++ NOTE: This document was originally authored for the Japanese version ++ of the game, therefore you may see some inconsistencies when it comes ++ to dealing with answers as they pertain to the North American version. ++ I've made every effort to append these answers, but please keep this ++ in mind when reading. ++ NOTE: For traditional Fire Pro game conventions, commands, etc., I ++ seriously recommend giving my FPR Complete FAQ and Translation Guide a ++ thorough reading first. This guide is meant as a sort of companion ++ guide for beginners, not a complete gameplay guide. ========================================================= ==SECTION 3: FIRE PRO WRESTLING RETURNS BASIC QUESTIONS== ========================================================= Q: Where can I find Fire Pro Wrestling Returns? A: When I originally authored this FAQ in 2005, there was no announcement of a North American release for Fire Pro Wrestling Returns. In fact, an announcement would not come until nearly two years after the game's original release in its native country of Japan. Now that the game has been released domestically, I hope that you can find it easily at your local gaming store, usually in the budget title price range. Q: Did Agetec remove anything from the Japanese version of FPR? A: Some of the Japanese voices, as well as the Japanese characters from the various naming options. In other words, nothing that the majority of English-speaking fans will miss. Q: Can Japanese-based edits be converted for use with the North American version of FPR? A: Fortunately the answer is yes, they can. This was one of the biggest concerns of owners of the Japanese version of FPR. There are detailed instructions on how to convert the region encoding of various PS2 save file formats on the various Fire Pro fansites, many of which are listed in Section 6 of this guide. Q: Will you be contributing full character guides for this game like you did with FPD and FPZ? A: Yes. I've already contributed several, with more to come. Note that all character guides authored after November 2007 will correspond to the North American release, using those naming conventions as opposed to the traditional fan translations. Q: I thought Fire Pro Z was the last ever Fire Pro game! Why are we getting another one? A: FPZ was supposed to be the end of the series, but that game's lukewarm criticism apparently prompted Spike to release another Fire Pro title, one that aimed to be everything FPZ wasn't. Either that, or Spike needed a new Fire Pro game to pay the utility bills! I guess we'll never know... Q: There were no WWE wrestlers in FPZ. Are they back in FPR? A: No, but you can pretty much make them all in Edit Mode. The WWE heads are there (a good deal of them anyway), but you'll have to build them from scratch; appearance, moveset, logic, etc. - it all needs to be done. But with all of the fuss and bother over no WWE wrestlers in Fire Pro, I have come to the conclusion that this is actually a GOOD thing. Why? Because, with a mind-blowing 500 edit slots to fill, you can create your own perfect versions of each and every WWE superstar from just about every era of the company, just the way you want them. (And let's face it, some of the American guys in FPD needed some major retooling anyway.) On a somewhat related note, there ARE quite a few North American wrestlers in FPR, including (but not limited to) Bret Hart, Vader, Sting, Sabu, A.J. Styles, Jeff Jarrett, Petey Williams, the Road Warriors, and of course, Andre the Giant. ++ NOTE: I've written FPD and FPZ character guides for many American ++ wrestlers. Those guides can be used as a reference for movesets when ++ recreating WWE/WCW/ECW wrestlers. Q: What has been improved over FPZ? A: A lot. Whereas FPZ was a debatably marginal improvement over FPD, FPR is a full-blown upgrade, with tons of features that longtime fans have long wished for in a Fire Pro game. Listed below are just a few of the key new features in Fire Pro Returns: * 500 EDIT SLOTS: Yeah, you read that right. Five. Zero. Zero. Think about it, you're lucky if you get 32 slots in a THQ game, yet Spike has saw fit to more than double the number of available edit slots in FPR (216 was the previous amount for FPD and FPZ). Truly awesome. * MASSIVELY UPDATED ROSTER: Yes, this was to be expected somewhat, but Spike really went all out with the roster this time around. Smaller Japanese indy promotions such as Osaka Pro and DDT are represented in full form, in previous Fire Pro games you'd be lucky to get three or four wrestlers from these promotions. All in all, FPR features a whopping 327 (!) wrestlers from various promotions (mostly Japanese). When you factor in the 500 that you can create in Edit Mode, that gives you a total of 827 wrestlers available in a single video game, a number that is unlikely to be equalled by any wrestling game other than a future Fire Pro title. * TONS OF NEW MOVES: Again, to be expected, but these new moves look terrific nonetheless. Everything from the John Woo to the controversial Canadian Destroyer are in FPR, also added are fully reanimated versions of classic moves such as the Emerald Flowsion and Burning Hammer. * FACTIONS WITHIN PROMOTIONS: Finally, you can create heel/face factions within the promotions themselves, perfect for recreating popular stables such as the Four Horsemen, nWo or Team Black. * FACE/HEAD LAYERING: Fire Pro fans have wished for this for years. Face and head editing has long been the missing link in Fire Pro's godly wrestler creation mode. Now it's here! Add masks, facial hair and other features as you see fit. * TRADITIONAL STEEL CAGE MATCH: Another long-wished-for feature makes its way into the series! Okay, so other games have featured cage matches dating back to the last millennium and the A.I. is decidedly broken when it comes to scaling the cage, but still... Fire Pro!!! YEAH!!! * PRESET MATCH OPTIONS: You can now save a total of 4 preset match options for most game modes, which is handy if you frequently use the same match settings over and over. * GIANT-SIZED WRESTLERS: Does it upset you that in FPD/FPZ, Andre the Giant is the same size as The Rock? Well, bum out no more, because "G-Size" makes its triumphant return to Fire Pro in FPR! Giant Gonzales fans, get those controllers ready! * ALL-NEW "CORNER-TO-CENTER" ATTACK POSITION: Of all the things Spike would be expected to add to a new Fire Pro game, a new attack position isn't exactly one of them. Yet here it is, an all-new attack position that manages to inject yet another layer of strategy to this terrific game. * RING EDIT: Adjust the mat, turnbuckle and apron colors to your liking. Another long desired dream come true in FPR. * ALL-NEW DEATHMATCH TYPES: Can you say "Landmine Deathmatch"? The new deathmatch options are truly stupendous, and the new option to toss your opponent over the top rope into explosives on the floor only adds to the excitement of these matches! * MANAGERS/SECONDS AT RINGSIDE: You can now make Bobby "the Brain" Heenan or Jim Cornette and have them accompany your wrestler(s) to the ring, if you so desire! * POST-MATCH BEATDOWNS: They were inexplicably absent from FPZ, but now they're back. So go ahead and heel it up! * IMPROVED SOUND: Yes, it is a MAJOR improvement over FPZ, which featured what was quite possibly the worst audio in a modern video game. The new crowd sounds are decent for the most part (there's still some annoying looping here and there), and they even chant along with certain wrestler taunts and poses! * LARGER CHARACTER SPRITES: Another major complaint about FPZ was that the character sprites seemed "shrunken" or "compressed" in comparison to FPD. This has been fixed, the new sprites are large, sharp, and quite detailed. * EXPANDED CPU LOGIC OPTIONS: More than ever, FPR gives you precise control over how you want the CPU to handle your created wrestler. You can choose what weapon your wrestler prefers to wield, how he sells his opponent's moves, and even specific move sequences to end a match! So there you have it, a brief look at look at how Spike has improved the Fire Pro series this time around. In all honesty, if you're curious enough about Fire Pro to have found this guide on the net in some shape or form, I suggest you consider doing yourself a favor and check out what FPR has to offer. And thanks to the folks at Agetec, you no longer have to concern yourself with importing. Q: Has anything been removed from previous versions of the game? A: Yes. The "Player Records" option seems to be missing (bummer, I actually used this), and the newer deathmatch types basically replace the old ones, which means you'll be searching for your copy of FPD/Z if you want that old-school Electrified Steel Cage Match. Does any of this detract from the FPR experience? Not in my humble opinion. Make no mistake, FPR is THE definitive version of Fire Pro Wrestling. Q: I've seen pictures of this game and it looks like a Super Nintendo game to me. Are you sure it's good? A: Two words; old school. Fire Pro WAS a Super Famicom game (actually there are several Super Famicom versions) and it was great even back then. The gameplay is unique, very much skill-based, and has only improved with every iteration. It's nothing like other wrestling games out there (except perhaps the one mentioned below), but once you get the hang of it, it's a blast, and extremely challenging at higher levels! But if for some odd reason you can't imagine yourself playing an old- school 2D game in this day and age, I would recommend you check out Spike's King of Colosseum II (currently available as an import only), which is as close to Fire Pro in a 3D environment as you're going to get. Just like the Fire Pro games, I've written an introductory/beginner's guide for KoC II, which can be found on GameFAQs in that game's "FAQs and Guides" section. Q: Is there an official guide for this FPR? A: Yes there is, but only in Japan only. The ISBN is 4797331747. As a substitute for English-speaking players, I've authored a free PDF guide, which pertains to the Japanese version but also works well for the North American version. Just keep in mind that many conventions -- particularly the menu buttons -- have been switched around quite a bit: http://home.roadrunner.com/~billwood661/fpr_complete_guide.pdf Q: Can I create my own organization in FPR? A: Yes, you can. You can even customize your own logo to go with your new organization. Not only that, you can now create "groups" within these organizations! For example, you can create your very own WWE organization in FPR, complete with RAW and SmackDown factions. Q: Do the wrestlers bleed in FPR? A: Yes. Not a lot, but they do bleed (and yes, the women bleed as well). Q: Can you reorder the wrestlers in their promotions? For example, I want to put Satoshi Kojima above Keiji Mutoh in All Japan. A: Yes! At last you can do this in a Fire Pro game! (On a personal note, this is a feature I've been clamoring for ever since I saw it in King of Colosseum, and it's great to finally have it in Fire Pro.) Q: Is the infamous "Ganso Bomb" in the game? A: There IS a move called the ganso bomb in the game, but it's not the move Toshiaki Kawada used against Mitsuharu Misawa. (In case you didn't know, the incident occured when Kawada reversed a Misawa huracanrana and dropped Misawa on his head. It's considered one of the more brutal spots in pro wrestling history.) Q: Every wrestling game nowadays has a Create-A-Wrestler (CAW) Mode. How does FPR's Edit Mode stack up? A: Quite nicely. With all of the moves and body parts available, it's possible to create a 90% likeness/moveset for just about anybody you can think of, including all of the missing WWE guys. Plus you can create a total of 500 wrestler edits! But the best feature of Fire Pro's Edit Mode - and one that has not been included in any American wrestling game to date - is the ability to fully customize CPU logic. If you want to control how reckless your wrestler is when controlled by the CPU, you can do that here. If you want to control how often he attempts a certain move at a certain point in the match, you can do that as well. Most Fire Pro fans will agree this feature is one of the main selling points of this game, especially when it comes to "simming" matches for e-feds. American wrestling game fans, imagine having the ability to create a wrestler that not only looks like his real-life counterpart and uses his real-life moves, but also BEHAVES like that wrestler would in the ring. For instance, which specific move he uses at what point in the match, how dedicated he is to actually winning the match (as opposed to entertaining the fans or simply hurting his opponent), how he chooses to interact with tag partners, how he reacts to blood loss, the list goes on. All of this is actually possible in a Fire Pro game. Q: How do I properly adjust my created wrestler's CPU logic? A: There is no simple answer to this. Seriously, there is a lot that goes into properly tweaking CPU logic, and if you don't know what you're doing, you might get lost quickly. However, you shouldn't let this discourage you. After all, you have the patience to read through this Beginner's Guide, right? If you're dedicated enough to do some groundwork, you're going to be in for quite a treat when it comes to making your very own Fire Pro edits. I would first recommend that you study the FPR General FAQ and Translation Guide, which lists all the available CPU logic options. This will give you an idea of just how expansive this portion of the game is. If you have a created wrestler you'd like to experiment with, you may want to start by adjusting his main personality traits (Entertainment, Serious Time and Flexibility) to see how this affects his in-ring behavior. It may not be immediately noticeable in every instance, but these settings do make a huge difference in how your wrestler performs during a match. From there, you can get into some of the "fine-tuning" aspects of CPU logic, such as how often your wrestler will attempt his more damaging moves, based on his opponent's current health status. But most importantly, have fun with CPU logic, that's what it's there for! Once you get immersed, you can take pride in the fact that your Fire Pro creation is much more personalized than anything any other wrestling game has to offer. Throw your wrestler in a simmed match with a default wrestler of similar status, observe what he does, then make adjustments as necessary to ensure he can stay competitive in that match. Remember, it's not always a matter of winning or losing, but rather if your creation is doing what he should be doing at all times within the squared circle. Q: How many outfits can my edit have? A: Only one outfit per edit. Q: How do I choose my edit's specialty moves and/or finisher? A: When choosing your wrestler's moves, pay attention to the two columns at the bottom of the movelist window, just to the left of the move name. The first column is where you select your wrestler's voice to accompany a move. If a voice is selected, it will say "V1" or "V2" in that 1st column. The 2nd column is where you can designate the selected move as a finisher. A blue "S" in that column means the move is a specialty move, and a red "C" means the move is a finisher. You can have a total of 4 specialty moves and 1 finisher per wrestler. In order to select a new move as a finisher, you first must deselect any move previously chosen as a finisher. So, to recap, from the move selection menu: V1 or V2, 1st column = voice assignment Blue "S", 2nd column = Special Move assignment (4 max) Red "C", 2nd column = Finisher assignment (1 max) Q: Where can I exchange my wrestler and logo creations with other Fire Pro players? And where can I find other fan creations? A: You may want to start by checking some of the threads over at the Fire Pro Club (www.fireproclub.com). Registered members are allowed access to player-created saves featuring renamed wrestlers and promotions, and customized wrestlers and ring logos! Q: Can I exchange ring and ref edits as well? A: Unfortunately no, unless you exchange the entire game save. Q: Do I need a special device to download edits? A: Usually, yes. Some people upload their saves in the form of SharkPort (.sps), Max Drive (.max) or XPort (.xps) files, and the appropriate save device is needed for those formats. Q: How much can I alter the default wrestlers? A: You can change their name and one of their four appearances, that's it. Q: How can I update the moves of the default wrestlers? A: You cannot do this directly. However, there IS a workaround: You need to make a copy of the wrestler in Edit Mode. Once you do this, you may reassign his moves however you wish. Note that you'll also have to reassign all of his skill points (special skills, "CRITICAL" style, body endurance, etc.), as they will all reset to zero by default. Although this information cannot be accessed directly within the game, Jason Blackhart has graciously transcribed each wrestler's stats and skills for us, and a full listing can be found at his website (http://www31.brinkster.com/jblackhart/). Once you have your creation tweaked to perfection, you can hide the old "default" version of him by sending him to "hide" (a.k.a. "retire") from the Wrestler Promotion Edit menu. You have now successfully updated your wrestler. Note that when you create an edit copy of an existing wrestler, that edit is treated like any other edit, and therefore will not have his original four outfits to choose from. Q: How do I unlock the hidden wrestlers/edit points/costumes? A: There are none, everything is unlocked from the outset. Q: Are there any Gameshark codes or hacks that will create different match types (ala No Mercy and SmackDown)? A: No. In Fire Pro, we're talking sprites (2D) vs. polygons (3D), a lot of those hacks just aren't possible with this type of game. ============================================================ ==SECTION 4: FIRE PRO WRESTLING RETURNS GAMEPLAY QUESTIONS== ============================================================ Q: How steep is the overall learning curve? A: Pretty steep, although honestly, it been so many years since I first began playing Fire Pro, it's difficult to remember! I DO remember getting discouraged very early on, and not really understanding why everyone thought this game was so great. But then something "clicked", and ever since that time I've sworn by Fire Pro Wrestling. In any case, I would estimate that it would take the average player a minimum of one to two hours just to get the basics down; grapple timing, match pacing, etc. This is in stark contrast to most American wrestling games, where the learning curve is usually around a half an hour or less. Q: I'm just getting started and can't do anything! Help! A: Start off with learning the grappling system. This is perhaps the toughest learning curve for beginners. Regular kicks and punches aren't going to do a whole lot of damage, and they can be even more difficult to time than grapples. Besides, working with Fire Pro's grapple system is one of videogamedom's true treasures. Q: OK, I'm trying to learn the grapple system and I lose every single time! What gives? A: It's time to learn the "Golden Rule of Fire Pro" - thou shalt not button mash! Unlike other games where you can do this with a moderate degree of success, in FPR you will be punished for hammering on buttons trying to pull off a move. The timing is like this: when the wrestlers are close enough together, they will automatically go into a "lock-up" where their arms lock up for a grapple. As soon as their arms meet, enter the desired command (Up + [], Down + O, etc.). Again, enter it once and ONLY once, otherwise you will lose the grapple. If you entered your command before the opponent entered his, you'll see your wrestler execute the desired move. If you're still having troubles, you can do one of two things: a) Set the difficulty to 1. You should have no trouble at this level. b) Practice against a "dead" opponent. Set the other wrestler to 2P and leave the 2P controller alone. And remember, patience is a virtue! If your grapples are successful, but your moves are constantly being reversed, see the next question. Q: My grapple timing is now impeccable. Problem is, every move I attempt gets reversed! A: You may be attempting your stronger moves too early in the match. You must first wear the opponent down with weak ([] button) grapples, then work your way up to the stronger X, O and [] + O moves. Attempting your stronger moves early in a match almost always results in a reversal. Q: I'm used to the timing of the GameBoy Fire Pro games, but I can't win a single grapple in FPR! A: Many people have had similar issues, most of them recommend bumping the game speed up to 125%. Try that and see if it helps. Q: I can't seem to hit my opponent. My moves whiff every time! A: In FPR, strikes are all about timing and distance. Sometimes you have to be lined up on a horizontal plane with your opponent to connect, although this is not an absolute rule. You can always use the "dead opponent" tactic to practice your timing and distance, but I much prefer practicing against a live opponent, simply because it's harder to connect when the opponent is constantly moving around. I've also authored a completely separate guide dealing exclusively with the mechanics of grappling and striking, which can be found here: http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/ps2/file/927675/50475 Q: How do I do my wrestler's finisher? A: It depends on the wrestler's real life finisher. For example, Keiji Mutoh's Shining Wizard is done from a front grapple, and Dragon Kid's Dragonrana is done from the top turnbuckle. If you're really stuck on this and know your way around Edit Mode, you could always load up a copy of the wrestler, then look for the move in his moveset with the red kanji icon next to it. Q: What is a Test of Strength? How do I win one? A: A "Test of Strength" is when two wrestlers enter a grapple command at the same time. You'll see them lock hands in an attempt to overpower each other. The player who enters the most D-Pad commands wins. This can be done by wiggling the D-Pad back and forth or by rotating the D-Pad in a circular motion. ++ NOTE: Tests of Strength are the absolute worst part of any Fire Pro ++ game. Not only does it wear down the controller (and your thumb), but ++ the CPU becomes RIDICULOUSLY difficult after Level 5. My advice here ++ is to give up on Tests of Strength and focus on improving your ++ grapple timing. (Your thumb will thank you for it!) Q: How do I escape a pin attempt? A: Tap the X button rapidly. Although you can simply hold the X button down to escape a pin (I've been all the way through Victory Road AND Story Mode in FPD/FPZ using this method), it has been brought to light by Mr. Jason Blackhart that tapping the X button repeatedly may make a difference in close situations, plus it helps your wrestler recuperate spirit energy. Q: How do I escape a submission or stretch hold? A: Move the D-Pad around. I prefer wiggling it back and forth, but you can rotate it as well. Button mashing may actually help here, I'm not sure. Q: How do I do top rope moves? I always miss with my flying attacks! A: Just like regular strikes, high-flying moves require your opponent to be in a certain location in order to be successful. For example, a frog splash may whiff if the opponent is in the center of the ring, yet a flying headbutt may go the distance. Also note that your wrestler's offensive style dictates how effective he will be with flying attacks. Obviously a luchador will have more effectiveness using high-flying moves than, say, a pure grappler. Here's another tip for all you would-be luchadors: when the opponent begins to tire, use an X grapple move to knock him down, then climb the turnbuckle. Your can now perform your "top rope - opponent down" attack. If you use a O grapple move and climb the turnbuckle, the opponent will stand up dazed. You can now pull off "top rope - opponent standing" attacks (i.e. Dragonrana). This may vary depending on the actual moves in your wrestler's moveset, but it is a fairly common setup for most of the default wrestlers. Q: How do I do MMA/shootfighting in this game? A: MMA-style shootfighting involves real-life fighting techniques such as takedowns and mount grapples. It can be very challenging to learn at first. If you're completely new to Fire Pro, I would seriously suggest sticking to the pro wrestling basics until you have that aspect of the game mastered, then move on to shootfighting. Once you feel you're up to the task, please review my Fire Pro R: Quinton "Rampage" Jackson Character Guide, which contains a section devoted to the basic principles and timing of Fire Pro shootfighting. Q: My wrestler is walking around with his shoulders slumped, gasping for air! What should I do? A: Breathe, man, breathe! [see next question] Q: How often should I breathe? A: Breathing is done by holding down the L1 trigger, and there is no definitive answer as to how often you should do it. It depends on several factors (your wrestler's attributes, attacks used, etc.). As a rule, I try to breathe at least every 2 minutes of FPR time. Q: How do I grab the back of my opponent's head and ram it into the turnbuckle? I see the CPU do it all the time and it looks cool! A: The move you're referring to is a corner setup move. Here's how it's done: When in a grapple, press d-pad in the direction of the corner you're closest to + /\. For example, let's say you're both on the left side of the ring. Grapple, then left + /\ to do the move. The only time this doesn't work is when you're close to the center of the ring or near the top or bottom turnbuckle. If you press the D-Pad in the opposite direction, you'll Irish whip the opponent into the opposite corner. For example, using the last scenario, press Right + /\ instead of Left + /\. Either move will set you up for a corner move (i.e. top rope Frankensteiner) if the opponent is worn down enough and manages to stay there dazed. Also note that you can only use the east and west posts for corner moves, not the north and south posts. You can climb and jump from all four turnbuckles, but you can only corner grapple from the east and west. Q: How do I execute a grapple or ground reversal? A: You don't have to press a button to pull off a reversal (ala No Mercy and SmackDown). Grapple/ground reversals happen automatically depending on certain factors (stamina, weight imbalance, etc.). For example, if you're Gran Naniwa and you try to suplex Andre the Giant, you will more than likely get your move reversed. And as far as I know, ground counters are completely random. Q: How do I execute the new "corner-to-center" attack? A: Easy. Just make sure your opponent is downed near the center of the ring, then walk over to the east or west turnbuckle. Then press O + D-Pad toward the turnbuckle (away from the opponent) to execute the move. Note that you obviously have to have this type of move in your arsenal to perform it (not all wrestlers do). Q: How do I pick up weapons? My wrestler just starts running! A: Picking up weapons can be tricky because you have to press Down + /\ (Run button) to pick them up (bad idea, Spike). A little practice will get you there though, just stick with it. Q: Do moves onto weapons (i.e. piledriver onto a chair, powerbomb onto table piece) do increased damage? A: No, they just look really cool. ^_^ Q: How do I get up off the mat quicker? A: I usually wiggle the d-pad when I'm down, but I don't think this really helps (more of a nervous habit). However, you CAN stay down on the mat longer by simply holding down X. Also, when lying on the mat, you can roll up and rise by holding Up on the d-pad, or roll down by holding Down on the d-pad. This is great when you're getting clobbered and are close enough to the ropes to roll out of the ring and grab a breather. Q: How do I throw my opponent to the apron so I can do apron moves? A: With your back to the ropes, grapple the opponent and press Down + R1 if you're against the southernmost ropes, or press Up + R1 if you're against the northernmost ropes. You will throw the opponent to the apron. From there, grapple, then [], X or O to do your apron grapple move. Q: How do I throw my opponent over the top rope? A: The all-new "over-the-rope" toss is performed by pressing R1 + /\ (you may also have to press the D-Pad toward the ropes) during a grapple. Your opponent has to be sufficiently worn down to do this, otherwise they'll counter or slip back into the ring under the bottom rope. Q: How do I tag my partner in a tag match? A: Simply press L1 + D-Pad towards your partner in your corner. Which reminds me... why do "run" and "pick up weapon" share the same button command (/\), and "breathe" and "tag" share the same button command (L1), while the L2 and R2 buttons are not used at all during gameplay? Q: How do I get my partner to come in for the save during a tag match? A: You partner will automatically enter the ring to break up a pin or submission hold when he thinks you might be in trouble (provided that "Cut Play' is turned On on the Match Config screen). In other words, don't expect your partner to break up a pin early in the match because you can probably kick out anyway. Inversely, your partner will likely enter the ring to protect you if you're trying to pin your opponent and he's sufficiently worn down. Q: What is "CRITICAL!"? A: "CRITICAL!" is what happens when a wrestler is critically injured by an opponent's move and is unable to continue. It usually happens with finishers, but can also happen with regular strikes and holds, depending on the wrestler's attributes. Pretty much the equivalent of a KO, which doesn't really happen in professional wrestling, but it's cool to see nonetheless. You can force a "CRITICAL!"ed opponent to continue a match by picking him up from the mat before the ref notices the "CRITICAL!". By doing this, it is actually possible to score multiple "CRITICAL!"s on a single opponent. Q: Why can't I ever get a "CRITICAL!" on my opponent when I want to? A: Oh no, a question I can't answer! Seriously, I could write another complete guide focusing solely on the frequency of "CRITICAL!"s, it's that complex. (In fact, I believe JB's already done something like this.) I will tell you there is absolutely no way to guarantee a "CRITICAL!". Even if you create a wrestler with colossal "CRITICAL!" potential, it's still becomes a matter of percentages. =========================================================== ==SECTION 5: FIRE PRO WRESTLING RETURNS ADVANCED STRATEGY== =========================================================== If you're just learning the Fire Pro ropes, you've probably already discovered that Level 9 and 10 opponents can be extremely tough for beginners. Your grappling skills need to be near perfect, and even then it's tough. However, there are a few "tricks" you can use to help you along the way: KNOW YOUR OPPONENT - Study their strengths and weaknesses, and use this knowledge to your advantage. If a character guide is available for your opponent, read it to find out where his Achilles' heel is! For example, Dynamite Kid is one of the toughest juniors in the game, and a very solid ring technician all-around. Yet by examining his character guide, we can see that he has low neck endurance. That's your cue to focus on that area to try and get a submission victory! Granted, not every opponent you face will have his or her own guide to study, but this is where common sense comes into play. For example, as a general rule, bruising heavyweights such as Vader are usually ill-equipped to deal with high-flying attacks. Inversely, athletic and nimble juniors such as KENTA usually don't hold up well against lariats and power-based attacks. Of course, the effectiveness of your wrestler's arsenal will come into play here as well. USE STRIKES - Believe it or not, against tougher opponents is where weak and medium strikes come in handy. The main reason for this is that while the CPU's grapple timing improves considerably at higher skill levels, it's still a chump when it comes to walking into strikes. Therefore, if you can use them regularly during the match, you will eventually wear the opponent down. The reason I say to use weak and medium strikes is that the strong strikes are usually the most difficult to connect with. For example, dropkicks are notoriously hard to pull off (not mention they leave you lying flat on the ground), and strong strikes such as Misawa's Rolling Elbow take an absurd amount of time to initiate. Not all wrestlers have this problem with their strong striking moves, but many do. Also note that strikes, if used consistently, will slow your opponent's walking and (as far as I can tell) grappling speed. This can give you a needed advantage. My own rule of thumb is this: the higher the difficulty, the higher the percentage of strikes used (as opposed to grapples). USE WEAPONS - Sometimes weak strikes won't get the job done. In this case you need to break out the heavy artillery! Use [] or O to exit the ring, then against the ring + /\ to pick up a weapon from under the apron. Reenter the ring and wreak some havoc! And remember, you can have more than one weapon at a time in the ring, so feel free to litter! When the opponent begins to fall to the mat from the blows, switch to using submission holds and stretches for a quick finish. Note that with the new (and more realistic) DQ settings, this old-school tactic isn't nearly as effective as it once was. If DQ Count is On, the ref will disqualify you if you don't drop the weapon by the count of 5! RING OUT (cheap!) - If you're REALLY frustrated, you can always go for the ring out (if Outside Count is On). Just get the opponent outside the ring and try to keep him there for the 20 count. This usually means pulling off a grapple move somewhere around the 16 count, then rolling back inside the ring. Like I said, CHEAP! DON'T FORGET TO BREATHE! - Not really a trick, but helpful nonetheless. Even if you're not getting hit, simply using your offense consumes energy. Every now and then, throw your opponent to the mat and hold the L1 trigger to catch your breath. If you're REALLY getting the tar beat out of you, simply exit the ring. Depending on your opponent's logic setttings, he may choose to wait for you to return while the ref counts (if Outside Count is On). This is a perfect opportunity to breathe! Just remember, your opponent can catch his breath as well! Also, you may lose spirit energy by exiting the ring (it is a cowardly act after all!). COMBO WHENEVER POSSIBLE - Sure, a basic scoop slam will do damage, but it's always more devastating when followed with a few stomps to the groin and a sleeper hold! Always remember to take advantage of your opponent being incapacitated to mount an offense. LEARN TO FOCUS - "Focusing" is my term for concentrating all of your attacks on a certain body part (arm, leg, neck). Joint holds are good for this. Keep applying joint holds to one area of the body and the opponent will eventually have to forfeit the match. KEEP IT SIMPLE! - Don't try fancy corner moves or Irish whip moves, higher level opponents tend to reverse these moves often. Also, top rope moves such as the superplex require TWO successful grapple inputs, which can effectively cut your success rate in half. One simple strategy is to constantly use weak grapple moves to knock down your opponent, then use basic strikes and holds from there. NEVER (EEEVEER) GRAPPLE VS. GIANT STYLE! - OK, maybe you can a little, but keep it to a minimum! Andre the Giant and Giant Baba (see the word 'giant' in their names?) are two good examples. They can reverse even your weakest grapples, frustrating to say the least. Their weakness? Man, these guys are slower than molasses! That means you can run circles around them, poking with weak and medium strikes all day long. Some veteran players have also noted that repeated Irish whips can wear down the bigger wrestlers, which makes sense as they tire easily from having to do so much running around the ring. Try whipping the Giant-style guys around until you see them gasping for air with their shoulders slumped. They're sitting ducks at this point! ================================================== ==SECTION 6: FIRE PRO WRESTLING RETURNS FANSITES== ================================================== http://www.fireproclub.com The Fire Pro Club, est. 1993. Throughout its long history, the FPC has seen its share of changes, yet it is more popular now than ever before, with over 5,000 registered members as of this writing. http://www.fireprozomg.com/forum/index.php Come hang out with some of the veterans of Fire Pro fandom. Chock full of Fire Pro information that cannot be found anywhere else! http://www31.brinkster.com/jblackhart/ Jason Blackhart = Fire Pro guru extraordinare. Simple as that. http://www.purogamer.com MDK's site is here for all you n00bs who want to install a flip-top but are afraid to wield a screwdriver. What are you waiting for? (Note that you no longer need to mod your system to play Fire Pro unless you're planning on playing the import version.) http://og-fpd.freeservers.com The website of none other than Orochi Geese, one of the friendlier and more dedicated Fire Pro players out there. http://home.roadrunner.com/~billwood661/firepro.html My personal website, with direct links to every Fire Pro guide I've ever written, which totalled somewhere around 60 last time I checked. Do you have a Fire Pro Returns website you'd like to share? E-mail me at billwood661@ca.rr.com and it will be added to this section in future revisions! ====================== ==SECTION 7: CLOSING== ====================== I sincerely hope you found this guide useful. In closing, I would like to thank the following: * Lord Vermin, Jason Blackhart and Dave Fairbairn for their wealth of Fire Pro knowledge. * Frank James Chan for writing the original FPD Guide, which without most of us would still be clueless. Also, special thanks to the Icemaster and The Mysterious Kagura for their previous contributions, and Jim "Hoss" Freeman for getting this whole shindig started. * All the Fire Pro fans on the GameFAQs, FPC and ZOMG boards. If I tried to list each and every single one of you, I'd inevitably leave someone out, so if you're asking yourself if I'm referring to you, I probably am, and let's just leave it at that. -_^ Fire Pro Wrestling R Beginner's Guide v1.8 (c) 2007 Bill Wood