Aside from the seven input keys, pressing certain keys in certain situations leads to some non-trivial actions common to all characters. In addition, there are quirks to doing the actions that demand that two or three keys be pressed in a row (running and special moves), some of which are annoying and some of which are useful.
Running is engaged by pressing either Left or Right twice quickly. Normally one does not press anything else between the two presses, but it turns out there are certain actions that can be interjected between the two direction presses without giving up the chance to run. These include special moves (as long as the special move keys are pressed simultaneously), grabbing, grab punching, and throwing a grabbed person the same direction as the original direction key. In fact, the only requirement on interjecting special moves is that defense mode is never entered, so special moves after the first interjected special move can be executed by simply pressing keys in sequence while the previous special move is still in play. The ability to do a special move then instantly start running is sometimes called direct running, and is crucial in combos.
Rolling is done by pressing Defend while running, or when landing just after having jumped. Pressing Up/Down along with Defend will result in moving a bit in the direction pressed. If a special move that is executable during rolling and launches its user into the air, such as a leap attack, is executed during the short period of rolling not-horizontally, the leap attack itself will keep going in the non-horizontal direction. In the case where the second key of the special move is the direction that one wants to roll in, one must keep holding that key the entire time, instead of letting it go to perform the special move.
When unconscious in the air (except after getting knocked out by a Flute), one can flip back upright by pressing Jump. Someone who has just flipped but not yet landed cannot be hit, but they are vulnerable for three frames upon landing. After those three frames, they may dash in any direction, or roll in the direction they are facing.
There is a hierarchy of increasingly complicated methods for throwing different items; any of the more complicated methods will work for any of the simpler items. A baseball or heavy object can be thrown simply by pressing Attack. A boomerang or knife can be thrown by holding down a direction and pressing Attack. A bottle can be thrown by pressing Attack while jumping or dashing, or holding a direction and pressing Attack while running. Finally, throwing a weapon is similar to throwing a bottle, but a direction must be held also when one is jumping or dashing, and most characters cannot throw while dashing.
To grab someone, they must be walked into while they are in DoP. Once grabbed, they may be lightly punched (at least five times, depending on the character doing the grabbing) with Attack, or thrown with Up/Down/Left/Right Attack. All four direction keys result in the opponent being thrown backwards, but if the forwards direction is held while one is getting ready to throw, one will turn around and throw forwards instead.
LF2 remembers the previous two keys pressed by each player, and when the last three keys pressed correspond to a special move, that special move is scheduled to be carried out as soon as the player is in standing position. Pressing anything while a special move is scheduled cancels that special move. The exception is Louis' Transform, which, once scheduled, can only be forgotten by doing certain things, like running.
Pressing Defend twice as part of a special makes the special move not work. Presumably the first Defend swallows up the second Defend, making LF2 think that the player is trying to execute a special move that starts with DD (even though there is no such special move). This means that to do a special move while defending or rolling, one must only press the latter two keys of the special move key sequence, not the Defend. Pressing Defend three times in a row, however, does free up the third Defend to be used for a special move.
Special moves can also be executed by pressing the requisite keys simultaneously, which is much quicker and the only way to do a special move while running. However, doing this does not actually "schedule" a special move: it only works when one is already in standing position.
Unlike running, LF2 remembers the previous two keys that were pressed forever. Like running, some things can be interjected without invalidating the keys pressed thus far. This is not as useful a technique as direct running, as even without it special moves can be started instantly.
When LF2 is slowed down (or sped up), as in a network game, it counts keypresses proportionally slower (or faster). This means that the slower LF2 is running, the longer one must hold ones keys for them to be registered, which takes some getting used to. Oddly, this does apply to the menu controls, but not to the secret codes, which can be typed at any speed. It also does not apply to simultaneous pressing keys to execute a special move, since there the pressing of the keys need only coincide with the start of one frame. As a demonstration of how to deal with lag, observe the following difficult combo, which was done at 5 frames per second:
While direct running would have made the dash attack much easier, direct running was not used.
Multiple players on one computerEdit
Controlling multiple players with only one keyboard is likely to result in keystrokes being missed when everyone is busy doing special moves at the same time. The remedy for this is to give each player their own keyboard.