Brain, Heart, Body Characters in KI?

Hey KI buddies,

I’ve been thinking a lot about SF player Laugh’s theory about fighting game skills. His idea is that the “Brain” helps us understand matchups and plan for fights. The “Heart” helps us feel a fight and adjust our approach as new information comes in. The “Body” helps us press advantage by executing complex moves on command.

He uses the typology to describe fighting game players. But, it seems to make sense that certain characters may appeal to certain parts of our fighting psyche more than others, right? Which category do you think each KI character fits into, best? I’m sure many KI characters fit into multiple categories, technically, but I also think that one category describes the optimal approach to them more than the others do. I’ll give this a shot to get us started:

Body: They benefit remarkably from executional prowess and mastery of complex inputs. Aggressive characters who set the pace of the fight?

  1. Cinder
  2. Maya
  3. Sadira

Heart: They benefit from the ability to plan your approach on the fly. Feel the fight, rather than plan the fight. Reactive characters whose game plan depends upon what the opponent is doing?

  1. Eyedol
  2. General RAAM

Mind: These characters benefit remarkably from knowledge of frame data, counter windows, reversal timings, and being able to quantify what makes a matchup easy or difficult. Defensive characters who need a solid plan of action to make sure they don’t get stomped?

  1. Aganos
  2. TJ Combo
  3. Glacius

Unfortunately, there’s only 1 character I know well enough to say for sure.

Riptor is definitely played from the heart. You can have a plan going in, but if you don’t adjust that plan, you’re likely to lose hard. And sometimes you gotta believe in those Yolo Tail Flips.


I would put my main Kim Wu into the heart category. I try to observe my opponents habits and apply her tools to use that knowledge against them.

On a side note, I think you can say ARIA belongs to the mind group, although I believe she also has some executional shenanigans going on.

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Mind: Hisako, Kan-ra.

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Heart: Jago, Fulgore. Fitting for balanced-style characters since they have decent answers for almost any situation. When to use them depends on the match-up.

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I use one frome each.
Heart: Riptro
His aproaching is something that you have to change deppending of your opponent.
Body: Cinder
Mostly because of his air combos
Mind: Gargos
I need a plan mostly to keep my enemies away and if they reach me a plan to stop his pressure using the frame data.

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Interesting topic. I think all characters can benefit from a mix of the three, though KI is less execution/body based than other games, and manual requirements are relatively standard across the cast. But here are some characters and archetypes who popped out to me.


Basically, the juggle characters require a touch more execution to get some of their best options for piling on damage. With respect to Aria, her vortex in booster body can very much be a flow-charty, muscle memory kind of thing, where you knock the guy down, and then just use small variations on a trained sequence to kill him. Spinal as another heavy vortex character. Shoot some skulls, proceed to random mixup in repetoire, restock on skulls within combo, and repeat.


Characters who have to just “go for it” sometimes. Hisako is (I think) the most read-based of all KI’s grapplers, and possibly the most read-based character in the game period. Even at very high level, Hisako is still just trying to condition you into doing what she wants at any given moment, and her gameplan largely falls apart if she can’t get it right. Riptor is a character who has good pressure options, but most of those options bank on you doing or not doing a very particular thing, and if you do the opposite she’s hosed. And sometimes, you’ve just gotta believe in a tail flip or two to get the win :slight_smile: Raam, as the most “grapplery” of the grapplers, is also very much a read-based character. “Will you jump or not” is a simple read, but one that Raam has to make again and again every fight.

Kim Wu

Two balanced characters with great frames on their moves, who benefit greatly from knowing how to use those frames for mixups and frame traps. I tend to think that good Jago and Fulgore play is often quite technical, in that it’s very defined by “it’s not your turn yet” kinds of pressure. Kim Wu is a character who you have to think to win with. You need to know your spacings, buttons, and punishes to perfection in order to do well with her. Glacius makes the list as a zoner/space control character. Defensive play with him is still pretty strong, but to use that style you’ll need to be observant and really think your way through the match. He’s helped in this quest by having absolutely stupid damage once he locks you out though. Kan-Ra should probably be on this list as well in S3 - to win with him you need to have a plan.


That’s some really insightful stuff. You’ve inspired me to move Glacius from my heart list to my mind list. Spacing, in particular, is knowledge that makes him incredibly powerful.


I really do enjoy Core’s FGC content. It gives a really big breathe of fresh air to this genre.

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How do some of you guys not have Kan-Ra in the Mind category?

I just couldn’t be bothered to scroll back up through my post to officially add him to the list. Typed a bunch of long posts on my phone and finally just hit a point where I said “eff it” :joy:

I would think that this whole heart, mind and body stuff applies more to the players than it does the characters - with that said, I find it an interesting set of categories simply because your heart and mind are both a part of your body. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: