Awhile back I reviewed the classic PS2 game God Hand, and convinced a number of people to get it. Some of them probably won't ever get it, but I'm sure at least one of them will buy it soon. Since then, I've beaten the  ultimate God Hand challenge, perhaps the ultimate gaming challenge - Hard Mode Kick Me Sign Challenge. I decided to make a tome of all important God Hand knowledge and techniques I have for them to use for their benefit. More importantly, they won't have to drown me in questions.

One question I have been asked is who the guide is for, beginners or advanced players. It's simple; I shall turn you from boys into men, from men into gladiators, and from gladiators into Hawkes. 

Table of Contents:
General Tips
Different types of playthrough from easiest to hardest/the difficulty system.
Your Moveset
Guard Breakers and Stun Moves
The God Hand
The Roulette Wheel
Advanced or useful Techniques (Many are copied from the original God Hand Bible, on Gamefaqs. A great source of information.)

General Tips

1. Take any advantage the game gives you.
This will make the game much more manageable. Throughout the levels, you'll find boxes, weapons, explosive barrels, etc. Pick up and throw boxes at enemies, that way they'll come out and fight you on their own, rather than you having to fight a group. Three enemies at once is tough, two is manageable, and one will be easy once you get the basics down.

There are several kinds of weapons, but aside from the rocket launcher they all have three attacks. Light, fast attacks, and the slower, but wider ranged and much more powerful heavy attacks. Finally, a powerful throw attack. Use the light attack to stagger enemies, which will give you time to pull off a heavy attack. It works wonders on groups or single enemies. The weapons all break after being used a certain number of times, and the stronger the attack the less uses it has. A throw breaks it in one use, so it's a good idea to save that for last when you won't have many hits left anyway.

2. Save villagers.
At the end of a stage, you lose money for any villagers that were killed. Aside from that, if you save villagers they'll often give you food that restores your health. There were countless occasions were I only survived a level because of the health I got from them. A few also give you powerful Roulette Attacks.

Different types of playthrough from easiest to hardest/the difficulty system.

Without getting into handicaps that the game doesn't acknowledge, there are six types of playthroughs and the additional goal of beating all 51 arena challenges. "KMS" is short for Kick Me Sign, a playthrough done without the powerful God Hand or Roulette Wheels. Roughly in order from easiest to hardest;
Easy KMS
51 Arena Challenges
Normal KMS
Hard KMS
Handicapped Hard KMS (If you're insane)
It is unnecessary to do them 'in order', and admittedly I haven't done an Easy or Normal KMS, or played on Easy at all. Just Normal, 51 Arena Challenges, Hard, and Hard KMS.

God Hand has a unique difficulty system, where the better you do, the more a bar on the left fills. When it fills, the level goes up and the enemies get stronger. If you do poorly, then it goes down, eventually going down a level and making the enemies weaker. There are four levels, and on the top one the AI is brutally hard and ruthless. On Lv 1, they're kind of stupid. Easy locks you into Lv. 1 and Lv. 2, Hard locks you into Lv. Die, the highest level.

Your Moveset

God Hand has a custom combo system, with 114 moves and complete freedom to make your own 4-6 attack combo. There are also slots for Triangle, X, Down-Triangle, Down-X, and Down-Square moves that can be used at any time. There are also a number of free moves you'll always have (courtesy of the original God Hand Bible); 

Face Kick (dash, hit triangle)
An attack that kicks the enemy and stops Gene in front of him, but the enemy might duck and retaliate.
Tackle (while dashing, hit square)
An attack that can hit multiple enemies, but sometimes puts Gene behind them.
Slide Kick (while dashing, hit X)
Trips the enemy, but sometimes they will hop over you and retaliate. If they hop, immediately do a backflip to avoid the low kick that'll be coming soon afterwards.
Low Roundhouse Kick (up-dodge, triangle)
A simple sweep that can trip enemies.
Heel Drop (forward and triangle)
Knock an enemy into the air. This can be charged.
Launch Kick (triangle, only after Heel Drop)
A follow-up kick to get the enemy further in the air.
Launching Dragon Punch (back and triangle, only on while enemy is in the air)
Gene jumps and uppercuts the enemy, keeping him in the air.
Mid-Air Roundhouse Kick (forward and triangle, only on while enemy is in the air)
A powerful roundhouse that launches the airborne enemy and anyone else near you.

1. You should always have High Side Kick in your moveset, unless you decide otherwise. Be sure to map HSK to X, for reasons that will be explained later. HSK is available from the beginning, although you can eventually buy superior versions.

2. There are many types of attacks. There are normal ones that hit once with decent speed and damage, and others that hit quickly with two, three, or even five times, or attacks that hit once and slowly. Some break guards, evade high attacks, others juggle enemies, one does both... You get the idea. 

3. Get creative.
Don't feel restricted to 'pro' techniques, especially if you're playing on Easy or Normal . There's a lot of potential for different ways to play the game, so try them out and find out what works for you. I saw someone destroy the Mad Midget Five, a rather difficult boss, with a technique I'd never have thought of. You could end up figuring out an equally brilliant strategy.

4. Guard breakers - combo or not?
Putting a guard breaker in your main combo is possible, and when I first started playing having Spinning Backfist (the fastest guard breaker, to my knowledge) as the third-fourth move in my combo helped a lot. If you're having trouble landing Guard Breakers, don't worry about putting one in your combo.Once you get better, take off the training wheels and you'll improve.

5.Yes Man Kablaam - Use or not?
Yes Man Kablaam is a slow move that increases your God Hand meter if you land it. The God Hand is a temporary boost that is very powerful (explained in greater detail later), but using it makes your current fight easy and doesn't teach you anything about the mechanics. On your first playthrough or if you aren't serious about learning the intricacies of the combat system, go ahead and use it. After that, you should stop using it frequently for the sake of getting genuinely better. Think about a KMS.

Guard Breakers And Stun Moves

After you hit an enemy a few times, they'll block. While blocking, your attacks do no damage, and they'll eventually do a counter if you continue. That stops you for a moment (although you can dodge), and they'll immediately begin attacking afterwards.You can prevent this by doing a Guard Breaker; not only does it break their guard, but it stuns them, causes them to take extra damage, and allows them to be launched by moves that normally wouldn't launch.

If you hit an enemy enough, they'll get dizzy. If they're dizzy, you can press circle and begin a Stun Move, an attack that makes you invulnerable and guarantees that you'll do a good deal of damage. You can also attack an enemy during this period with normal moves, and if you press circle soon enough still be able to do a Stun Move. The dizzy enemy is under the same conditions as an enemy that was hit with a guard breaker (for a longer period of time, too); more vulnerable to being juggled or launched.

1. The Square, Square, Guard Breaker, sway-repeat.
The main combo is mapped to square, so what this means is to use your first two moves, do a guard breaker, and if they dodge, immediately sway and resume punching before they can. This technique requires practice to do it fast enough and is fairly advanced on top of that, but gives you a very good chance of landing a guard breaker on the high difficulty levels or against certain bosses. On lower difficulty levels, enemies are slower to block and counter, making this technique not as useful.

Maximizing Damage After Landing a Guard Breaker

2. Uncharged Charged Uppercut, Launching Dragon Punch, Mid Air Roundhouse Kick
Doing this allows you to do a great deal of damage quickly and regardless of position in the area. Useful whether there are multiple enemies or a single one.

3. High Side Kick Spamming
One of the most devastating techniques in the game, this has you use High Side Kick to launch a enemy into the wall, sway, then kick them again before they hit the ground. HSK already does good damage, and the launching into the wall increases that. If you master it, then the fight is pretty much over because you can keep this up indefinitely - so long as no other enemies interrupt you, or the enemy isn't female (HSK spamming doesn't work on them). Works wonders in one on one battle, but it takes too much time to be as practical if there are multiple enemies.

4. Yes Man Kablaam

If you decide to use YMK, then a Guard Breaker is a perfect opportunity to hit them and fill up your tension meter. It'll stagger them, and if you dodge cancel to repeat the move faster (which you should always do after using YMK) you might be able to hit them a second time.

5. Single HSK

It doesn't do much damage compared to other options, but it'll send a stunned enemy flying. If you're fighting a group, that allows you to quickly divide and conquer.

The God Hand

The God Hand allows you to become invincible, unblockable, nearly undodgeable, and punch incredibly quickly for a short period of time. You fill the bar by finding items that do that in crates or are dropped by fallen enemies, or more likely by hitting enemies, which slowly increases it. it can't be turned off until the period has run out, so you should reserve the God Hand for when you need it.

To best make use of it, you should put several fast moves in your combo so that you'll hit as many times as possible. If you have any slow moves, it'll reduce the speed of your combo greatly. If you don't want to fill your combo with fast moves, a quick launch with an uncharged charge punch followed by High Side Kick spamming works well. Fist of Justice/Fist of God spamming while using the God Hand does a lot of damage as well.

The Roulette Wheel

The Roulette Attacks are super-powerful attacks that use one, two, or three Roulette Orbs. These are picked up in the form of cards from destroyed objects or fallen enemies, and as such the only way to get them is luck based. Therefore, if you're in a tight spot and have to choose between the God Hand and the Roulette Wheel, and there aren't any Roulette cards sitting around, use the God Hand.

The effects range from doing damage to a single enemy near you, area of effect damage, hurting all enemies in a line for a distance, filling the Tension meter/God Power, and several others.

Advanced/Useful Techniques

Want to know what tricks the pros use? Then look no further. Here are some tricks that will help you in a variety of situations. I also put in a few tricks that I personally use. Assume that any time a “+” is used that you should use a dodge for canceling, though it isn’t always necessary for every one of these combos.

Chain Yanker + Yes Man Kablaam + Yes Man Kablaam + Reaction
This is a godly combo to say the least. Watch your tension skyrocket with this. If you’re fast enough, you can also get in a couple normal hits before you do the reaction command.

High Side Kick Spamming
Get an enemy against a wall (or a corner if possible) and spam the move. The enemy will sometimes try to jump out of it, but keep your timing and the enemy can sometimes get back into the spamming. You can also use side-dodging to help control which direction in which he will try to escape from. This works against male enemies better because female enemies fall to the ground very fast. Also, you can stop the spamming after doing it for a few seconds and then hit the enemy with a normal attack to dizzy them. 

Right Roundhouse Spamming (side-dodge only)
An easy way to keep hitting an enemy after knocking him to the ground is with this move. It’s also pretty decent at crowd control if you’re careful with which direction you sidestep. It’s not the best combo, but it has its uses.

Quick-Launch + Face Kick (requires a wall)
Not quite close enough to a wall to do some HSK spamming? Position the enemy so that the wall is behind the enemy and do a quick-launch so that he hits the wall. After doing the launch, quickly go into a dash and face kick him. Hitting the wall the first time will give extra damage to the enemy and keep him up long enough for you to hit him a second time.

Low Roundhouse Kick and Right Roundhouse Spamming
Alone, these aren’t necessarily the best moves to spam. Alternate between them and you will find that the combo can be deadly. Throw in some side-dodging and you’ve got yourself an interesting crowd controller. Don’t rely on it too much because enemies can still counter it when you first start the combo.

Break Canceling
If you do a guard break when an enemy isn’t guarding, then they will counter with a move. If do a simple dodge (ducking or sidestepping) just after a failed guard break, then you can go right back into your normal combo before his retaliation move happens. This is extremely useful for many enemies, but keep in mind that some enemies have retaliations that are too fast for you to continue your attack.

Double Pummel
The reaction move Pummel is capable of hitting more than one enemy. One way is to hit the stunned enemy so that he touches another enemy, then initiate the reaction move before they separate again. Another way is to let the enemy that isn’t stunned do an attack while you are touching against the stunned enemy, and then do the reaction just before the enemy hits you.

Weak Attack and Strong Attack Spamming (with weapon)
Using your strong attack (triangle) with a weapon is the best way to get the most out of it, but it isn’t always easy. Start with a weak attack (square) to distract them, and then give them a strong attack. After that, run up to them and do another strong attack while they are on the ground, then do a side-dodge and repeat your strong attack. If your attack missed, then they will roll away and stand up right into your next strong attack. 

Drunken Twist Spamming
Though considered by most to be the cheapest move in the game, this technique is only useful for a few situations. DT spamming is done similar to Right Roundhouse spamming. However, it is slow in killing enemies, it doesn’t assure your safety against multiple enemies, and it isn’t even offered until much later in the game. It’s good for taking down difficult single enemies, but there are much better methods. Still, if you’re new to the game and having trouble, then this might be your answer.

Charged Uppercut (uncharged) + Quick-Launch
Instead of trying for a fully charged uppercut with this move, just do a quick and simple uppercut to get the enemy a little off the ground. Follow it up with a quick-launch. This is an excellent way to do crowd control once you master it.

Fist of Justice Spamming
Use your tension power and begin doing fully charged Fist of Justice attacks, preferably when the enemy is against a wall. Not only does this do insane damage, but the tension meter pauses while you do it. This concept can be done with a few other charge attacks, but Fist of Justice is the most common.

Stomping Fist, (uncharged) charged uppercut, Mid Air Roundhouse Kick (Use on an enemy on the ground, because that's the only time Stomping Fisr juggles enemies)

Stomping Fist, High Side Kick

If an enemy is on the ground, then this will allow you to quickly hit them into the air and launch them. Useful for starting HSK spamming or dividing enemies.

God Hand, Granny Smacker, Yes Man Kablaam

Granny Smacker is a slow move that causes enemies to become dizzy. In the last moments of your God Hand being in effect, use it. When it ends, the enemy should be dizzy, then you can get off two Yes Man Kablaams and a Stun Move, greatly filling your Tension meter and getting you close to being able to repeat the whole thing.

Thanks to Da Dood and Raeng on Gamefaqs for helping me with this. Da Dood gave me some tips that lead to the guide being more noob-friendly, and Raeng corrected poor information. He's someone who should be listened to, he's even better than me at God Hand.

*This guide has not been edited to address the dodging mechanics