Mortal Kombat 1 (1992) Strategy Guide: Sub-Zero
Sub-Zero - Rank: 6
Sub-Zero is ranked officially as #6 BUT if used right he can be considered as top 3 (!). His uppercut has nice hitting area but the recovery and start up time is terrible. Forget to use it as an anti air. You can still use it as a punisher after blocked stuff but better use his freeze except for blocked jump kicks. There is a trick to use ninjas uppercut against aaJump Kicks. In revision 3.0 you simply have to do Down + Block and cancel with Uppercut to hit your opponent after JK, but in revision 5.0 the gravity was lowered. What you have to do now is block the jump kick from your standup pose, then duck and cancel it with uppercut. Its hard but once you got it and practice it enough you can use if often. You cant add hits after his uppercut or use it against jabers due his slow startup animation. Ninjas throws are dangerous against Cage and Liu Kang sometimes because you can get wakeup Shadow Kick or Flying Kick (mid-screen) after it, so be careful against those characters.
Ninjas Duck Kicks are good enough for jab escapes and anti air, however its very difficult to get aa D+LK against Kano's JK and on top JKs. Often two Duck Kicks one after another works vs jabers. Ninjas sweeps are easy punishable if blocked, but you can use them as a whiff strat against some characters. If you get Cage in about jump distance you can try to get few sweeps without touching him, usually they will try to Fireball or Shadow Kick you but they will miss, if they shoot fireball they will be sweeped if they do shadow kick you will recover exactly before the shadow kick animation ends and can punish it. However its not a 100% sure tactic just a strat example. Scorpion and Sub-Zero have the best HK and LK. HK can be used as anti air, not against Kano's JK but against everything else, the LK is very fast and useful too, you can punish Sonya's Sweep with it. Their RHs are good too. You can use it in a jab pressure strat mixed with sweep or duck block cancel, for example: Jab, Jab, Jab, Step away RH, Whiff Sweep/Block to Punish and etc. You can use it as an Anti Air against some jump kicks too. The HPs and LPs are good too. You can try to get the UMK3 aa trick against jumpers when they jump at you with JK or JP try aaHP and cancel it with block, then if aaHP hits do Slide immediately (which will push you back and you will have more time than the opponent for the next move) if not you will just block the JK and you can try to get aaD+LK because there will be not enough time for Uppercut.
There is actually a way to get aaLK after uppercut in corner with ninjas, when the uppercut hits in the latest possible frame and there is at least 1 aa hit before it. Its too much story about it and total useless in gameplay so i will not go into details about it.
The Freeze is probably the most interesting special move (for me) in MK1. It has so weird properties. First its the only special move in the game that has hit limit and it is 0. That means that you cant get freeze after any hit. Anyway because of UMK3 Combo Videos everyone should know already about the glitch canceling, so i will not go into deep details about it like Shock did in UMK3 General Gameplay Guide and will just paste the most important. You can cancel a LP and HP on the frame of contact, into a special move with a hit limit, one hit beyond that limit. In other games this technique is referred to as "Just Frames" meaning essentially you have just one frame in 60 to get this to work. That means that you can get aaHP/aaLP, Freeze - glitch canceled. I actually never got glitch cancel freeze after jp/jk in MK1 and i doubt its possible there but still i will not say that its not possible yet. The Freeze is the only special move that has real glitch cancel in MK1. Although there is the backfire in the game you cant get aaFreeze, Freeze for some reason. You can use the Freeze also in a jab pressure because some characters can be frozen while they crouch kick. For example if you jab someone and you know that they will d+lk try to freeze them at the moment where they will try to do the crouch kick. Staying from full screen distance and wait for freeze against jumpers works too, still remember that there is a time difference between jump with jk, jp and just jump and its mostly noticeable in MK1. Often if they are not far enough and JK at you, they will be aafrozen but you still will get the JK hit. This special move can be used against crossover jump too if you have enough time to react, for some reason only the CPU can get aaFreeze against Scorpion's TP, even if you know when Scorpion will teleport you will not be able to get him frozen. The Freeze is unique move for another reason - his inf which I will explain. There was a glitch in Revision 3.0 with Sub-Zero's Freeze where if you get double freeze in some scenarios the game resets (not the danger - double freeze glitch in r5.0 btw), however even in revision 3.0 it has nothing to do with the competitive stuff because it was mostly used from players that see they will loose the match and perform it to escape the shame lol.
The Slide is a very useful special move too. It can punish literally everything because of its short startup time. Its also hard for retaliation. Its easy punishable from moves like Slide, Shadow Kick, Leg Grab and Roll, but if the other player have experience you can take uppercut from Liu and Raiden, Spear from Scorpion and sometimes even Freeze if your slide is blocked. Putting slide in a jab pressure is also a not bad idea, sometimes even two slides one after another will work (for example if they try to fireball). Another neat trick is to perform slide after throw. Often the slide will not be blockabel because of the broken Throws in MK1 and ALWAYS unblockable after Freeze - Throw. If the Slide is a second aa hit you will be pushed away and will recover faster than your opponent. Because of this glitch (?) Sub had an infinite in Proto Revision but its removed later.
Sub-Zero has one pseudo infinite. Its not blockable but its escapable. What you have to do is Freeze, Throw and repeat. If the other player try to hold the block he will be frozen. Of course its not useful against everyone who knows how to escape the throws or if they duck after the first throw. If you anyway get someone frozen and managed to throw him do the slide or if its near the corner uppercut, both of them will be unblockable.
1. aaHP(x2), Slide
2. JK, Slide
3. aaFreeze, JK, RH
4. Freeze, Throw, Slide
1. Mid-Screen Freeze, JK, JK/LK (against some characters instead just Uppercut)
2. (Corner) JK, RH, Slide
3. (near corner) JK, JK, (aaLP if possible) Slide
4. aaHP, Freeze, JK, RH