Badmash X's STREET FIGHTER ALPHA 3 Ace Guide featuring SAKURA!!! A-ism ONLY version [FAQ ver 0.02] THE ABSOLUTE FINAL RELEASE OF THE ABSOLUTE SAKURA FAQ! FAQ Author: Badmash X FAQ History: February - September 1999 Buzz me any time of the day, any day of the week at email@example.com DEDICATION: I'm really bad at this dedicating-thing. So I'll think about it.. THE -updated- LEGAL SCHMEAGLE This FAQ and all my other humble FAQs can be accessed from any darn page you find 'em on. That's okay, you don't need to ask my permission or anything if you wanna put my humble lil FAQs up on your web-pages, only as long as you're distributing my FAQ material FREE OF ANY KINDA COST WHATSOEVER in addition to NOT ALTERING AS MUCH AS A PIXEL IN 'EM, ya understand!!! Please promote STREET FIGHTER like it should be promoted, coz we Street Fighters have a world to conquer, yeeaahh!!!! Just do me a favor and lemme know where you're putting my work up so that I can come over & drop a visit to your pages :) Please refrain from plagiarising my hard work. This FAQ is self- copyrighted by me, yers truly, Badmash X, BUT if you link this FAQ or wish to host it at your webpage or anything like that, feel free to do so, so long as you remember to give credit where credit is due. If you wish to exchange it for moolah (such as maybe after printing it, if u know what I mean, and I'm sure u do), kindly remember that YOU CANNOT and YOU MUST NOT do so, I beseech thee!! Whenever mentioning this FAQ, please mention that it is available at www.gamefaqs.com, coz no FAQ- site can get any better than GameFaqs! Thank yeeeww!!!! Thank yeeewwww!! No autographs, please.. Get ready fighters.. Badmash X's STREET FIGHTER ALPHA 3 ACE GUIDE # 1 - Sakura INGREDIENTS...er, I mean CONTENTS: 1 --> ...And now!!!! (An Introduction) 2 --> Credits list 3 --> Who or what the heck is a 'Badmash X'? 4 --> Who or what the heck is a 'Shotokan'? 5 --> Who or what the..er, Who's SAKURA? 6 --> All the right moves - basic moves & comments - special moves & details 7 --> The bombastic combo machine - beginner combos - competition-level combos - illustrious combos - wacky combos 8 --> Technique or not technique? - basic strengths & weaknesses . know thyself . know thy fighter - super strategies 9 --> Get ready fighters... - the 10 rules of street fighting 10--> FAQ History (& other interesting stuff) 1 --> ...AND NOW!!!! (AN INTRODUCTION) Welcome one & all to this grand blazing handy-dandy guide! The purpose of this guide/FAQ is.. well, actually I felt I should share my knowledge with the rest of the world, 'coz I'm in a really generous mood nowadays. But seriously, having finally gotten a break from studies I had this urge to do something inventive that'd help me pass the time, so here's this FAQ, & I hope it helps out all you SF-maniacs (or newbies) to win with SF's gal-of-the-moment, SAKURA!!! Well, maybe 'win' is a harsh term... I've always played games from the SF-series just to feel good, because they're some of the very few games out there that succeed in making one feel good, & I've learnt that winning isn't everything. Nosirree! HUMILIATING your opponent is what it's all about!!! But, woefully, that's NOT what this FAQ's about, either! If you plan to play to win & feel good about THAT, then I'm afraid this FAQ won't help you very much, but if you need to get to know SAKURA better & want to have a great time playing this great game, then you're reading the right FAQ! Now let's get moving & have some fun!! NOTE: This guide/FAQ is supposed to be for those people who already have a fair background of the SF-series and SFA3. Beginners are advised to please refer to some other excellent FAQs available at www.gamefaqs.com & please note that this is NOT an overall SFA3 FAQ but a SAKURA-specific FAQ! So I won't be telling you the A-B-Cs of SFA3, but what I'll do is show you SAKURA's unorthodox methods & techniques as thunk & implemented by yers truly! Let's proceed, then!! 2 --> CREDITS LIST I've got to thank these guys because without their help... well, I am eternally grateful to them for their help, encouragement, impatience, impudence, pestilence, BO, etc, etc. Uzair Z - AKA B.L.A. Saint Man. Thanks, good buddy. I've no idea where Or how the five you are these days, and I miss the good times a lot. Razor & 5* - A duo that's been constantly trying to put up with me, for reasons they know better! DON'T contact 'em at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Faisal & Suleman- Wow, aren't you glad I mentioned you?? Heh heh! These guys are great, even though all their help related to SF has always been absolutely 0! firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com Umar F - Good friends are hard to find. It's a good thing I didn't have to look too hard! Available at firstname.lastname@example.org.. IF you can find him.. Mansoor R – The self-proclaimed Mr.The-Best-Thing-Since-The-Fire is really much MUCH more than just that! ..yeah he's lazy and an utter retard.. hahhahaha anyway he's my best buddy, so attack him if you dare.. (you know the rest!) email@example.com is da man! The COREMINATOR – A fine chap whom I met the other nite on yahoo-chat, who's got absolutely nothing to do with this FAQ, but I thought I'd just mention him! So there ya go, Corey, now you're famous!! Mess with him & you'll be COREMINATED via firstname.lastname@example.org 3 --> WHO OR WHAT THE HECK IS A 'Badmash X'? Hi. My name isn't really secret or encrypted or anything, but the most commonly known pseudonym I go around with is your fiendish neighborhood good ol' reliable Badmash X. Other really interesting, exciting, thrilling (yawn!) stuff about me is that I am the big bad bruddah of that infamous FAQ-guy "NT", who's otherwise busy making mp3.com popular at www.mp3.com/jagga, and I'm admittedly an SF-freak, SF-maniac, SF- addict, call me what you may. Sticks & stones may break my bones, but attack me if you dare, I will crush you. I just turned 21 earlier this month & have hence been playing SF for as long as..umm, lemme see..a little near to 5 years. The fun part is that I haven't played anything else, so please don't expect praise of other fighting games or comparisons, etc, 'coz I dedicated my attention to SF in order to become the best at the best. Of course, I am still a beginner 'coz I am tragically a very slow-&-stubborn learner. Among the lesser interesting things, I am a Spidey-maniac, a Punisher- freak, a Manga/Anime-fan, a Wolverine/X-Men-hater (but the movie was good), & I know for sure John Romita Jr. is the Kirby of today & tomorrow, and most of all, my most odd habit is to ask surprise questions from outta nowhere, like right now: what is this, a FAQ or a biography?! ONWARDS!!! (yes, you can wake up now) 4 --> WHO OR WHAT THE HECK IS A 'SHOTOKAN'? Shotokan karate is actually a martial arts style (though I'm quite sure they don't teach you how to throw fireballs, or spin around like a helicopter, or even how to yell SHORYUKEN! for that matter) that is followed by the lead characters of the SF-series. In the SFA-series, these characters include Ryu, Ken and Gouki/Akuma. Other characters from the supporting cast following this style (or more or less an extension/alteration of this style) include SAKURA, Dan, that evil-Ryu fella, and Shin Gouki/Super Akuma. For the sake of simplicity, I'll be referring to Gouki/Akuma as 'Gouki' 'coz that's what he's called in the Japanese-version of SFA3. 5 --> WHO OR WHAT THE...er, WHO'S SAKURA? SAKURA's the SFA-queen-supreme!! & what's more, SHE'S MINE! THAT'S who she is! I remember reading a review (SFA2) in EGM, where they really put down SAKURA, saying that she's just eye-candy! HA!! That's a laugh! HAAAAH!! I've never bought another EGM since then. The point is that SF-games are absolutely perfect, meaning that every single character can stand his/her ground & obliterate all obstructions, IF YOU KNOW HOW! SAKURA is an excellent fighter in all respects & she's currently my #1 game-gal of all! Suffice to say if there's one fighter who's real fun to play, it's SAKURA! & I hope this FAQ helps you discover this too!! Her problem (or advantage) is that she is NOT like the other Shotokan fighters, as you may find for yourself. Her walking speed & jump timing are unlike the other Shotokan fighters', her punches and kicks are very distinctive (nowhere near Shotokan-style attacks) and hence even her fireball is completely different than the others', her Dragon Punch (or Cherry Blossom Fist or whatever!) is unique, and her cyclone/hurricane kick is the weirdest of 'em all! & that's what makes her so much more fun to ..er.. play with.. Oh! You mean you wanted to know her STORY & BACKGROUND?!? Ohhh!! Why didn't you say so! Well, I'll tell you what! Why don't you refer to some excellent FAQ related to this topic, that you can find easily at www.gamefaqs.com, or some other SAKURA-specific FAQ for that? All I want to do is to play SF & have a ball! Oh, a few victories here & a few victories there don't hurt either... all the time... (evil chuckle: heh heh heh...) 6 --> ALL THE RIGHT MOVES If you referred to another FAQ like I politely asked, or if you're a dedicated SF-freak, then I shouldn't go on with this drivel, 'coz these moves-descriptions & stuff is the most boring thing I find in a FAQ! I mean, what's in a punch?! Just press the button & see for yourself, for crying out loud! Anyhow, I guess this is necessary nonetheless...but I'll keep this short & sweet...grumble grumble... I would still advise absolute beginners to refer to the excellent aforementioned FAQs for instructions on combos & other technical stuff (like the laws of the Super Combo Meter, Alpha Counters, Super Combos, Rolls & Recoveries & Tech Hits, etc). I will, however, attempt to provide you with a thorough, personal, step-by-step, move-by-move analysis. SF-games are all about technique, not mindless punches & kicks & fireball wars. It's about technique, about anticipation, about ingenuity, & most of all, about fun. The one thing I personally believe that makes SF-games so much fun is not winning, but out-thinking your opponent, but this is not possible if what you want to do doesn't happen the very instant you want it to happen. The best part about SF- games is that the moves respond to your reactions just when you want 'em to, unlike other games that I can mention (but I won't 'coz I don't wanna ruin this FAQ!) that make you 'learn' the moves' timings by heart. Timing is of essence, & all moves must complement each other, & Capcom is the king when it comes down to this! Remember that the controller is your best friend, so if something's not working, smashing it won't help. Atleast not every time. You HAVE TO KEEP IN MIND what your gameplan is & that you know what you're doing. The idea of it all is to make your opponent do what YOU want him to do. Keeping this in mind, go to the player-selection screen & choose SAKURA! Now we're ready to rock & roll! LP , MP , HP = Light Punch , Medium Punch , Hard Punch LK , MK , HK = Light Kick , Medium Kick , Hard Kick That's your basic button-layout. Now comes its description: [Far Standing] LP = A quick, repeatable jab that is comboable/bufferable. MP = A quick, straight out comboable fist with decent range. HP = A straight uncomboable fist that smacks your opponent in da kisser! LK = Excellent, quick comboable jab kick in the shin! MK = Hmm, nice! Quick uncomboable mid-kick that hits from quite far. HK = The SFA2 HK is here! Whew!! Hits from a mile away, but slow. SAKURA's distance game is excellent in any & all respects! It's not perfect, nothing's perfect, but it is EXCELLENT! She can keep opponents at bay with her MP, which can immediately be buffered/ comboed/2-in- 1'ed into any special move! This move has fair range, & can always be substituted by the occasional, uncomboable HP (which takes A LITTLE time to come out). The good thing about the MP is that if your opponent is constantly prancing around, a connected (or blocked) MP can be comboed into a special move. SAKURA's LK is also an excellent move, far better than the MP or HP since it's faster than either of 'em & is also comboable! Of course, the damage it inflicts is next to nothing, but 2 to 3 successive LKs from time to time often tend to make opponents furious, enraged & foaming at the mouths (well, I'm not sure about the furious & enraged bit) & they start making blunders of colossal prominence. Try it. The occasional MK is also responsible for this enigmatic behavior, & it even serves as an EXTREMELY effective anti-air (provided you time it to perfection). However, I would refrain from dishing out any repeating move my opponent is taking continuously as he'd wisen up to my next attack in no time. After successfully connecting some continuous, irritating hits, I just sit right there & wait for my opponents to do something stupid. Which they do. And then, just to keep them from anticipating my next flurry of (almost the same) attacks, I start doing something ridiculous myself (like jump away spinning, & just start testing your buttons or something which results 99% in a Shotokan opponent throwing a fireball) so that they prepare to come forth & attack. SAKURA's HK isn't really the #1 distant attack but it's a decent distant anti-air, provided your timing is right. If your opponent is jumping from upclose, HK is THE anti-air as it transforms into (the SFA2 MK) the #1 most stylish anti-air of 'em all!! So in a gist, SAKURA's distance game is based on a random flurry of MP, HP, LK and MK, of course, combined with crouching/low attacks (ahead). Please note that this does not mean that if you choose SAKURA, this is all you have to do. Keep reading! [Close Standing] LP = Same as the Far Standing one. MP = Quick comboable elbow to the chest. Your opponent's chest, that is. HP = Excellent! The SFA2 HP wasn't nixed after all! Whew!! LK = Same as the Far Standing one. MK = Same as the Far Standing one. HK = Classic SFA2 MK is back!! THE most stylish kick of the game!! The close standing attacks are basically there to help you complete your combo of choice, so we can forget about the close standing MK and HK for the time being, 'em being uncomboable. SAKURA's (close standing) comboable moves include LP, LK, MP, and HP. If you want to inflict more damage real quick, the HP is the #1 choice to include in a combo (details ahead), whereas the LP and LK just help to make your combo look insane & fresh & add more hits (& inflict comparatively less damage). If you hit HP when your opponent is a bit close, SAKURA will throw her upclose HP (instead of the far standing one), which is a lightning fast double axe-handle & comboable with ease, whereas her MP is comboable from both far & close. What is of importance here is the timing of these moves: if you are following-up on a jump-in attack (like jump-in MK) you will have to time your close-standing attack properly so that a 2 hit combo is registered. Eg- jump & hit MK, & wait for just, JUST a micro-second & THEN hit HP for a 2 hit combo. If you act too fast, nothing will happen, & if you're slow, a combo will not be registered, meaning that your second hit can be blocked (or countered). Even when you are following-up on a close standing attack, the timing of the special move that is buffered to complete your combo is different for each move. Eg- you have to do the SHO-OH-KEN JUST THE MOMENT you hit LK to register a combo, but you can enter the SHO-OH-KEN motion EVEN AFTER A LITTLE BIT if you're following up with the close standing HP... B E C A U S E jab attacks (LP & LK) can be recovered from almost immediately, but a hard attack (HP & HK) takes some time for your opponent to recover from, & THAT IS A RULE! Summing up, I normally use the good ol' HP for a guaranteed combo because the timing for the next (buffered) move is just perfect. Other than that, I normally use the LK to hit my opponent from a distance, but I use it upclose (chained with LP) only when I've a certain plan in mind. As for the MP, I think the crouching one is better, but the standing one is AWESOME nonetheless (more ahead). [Crouching] -hold DOWN & press a punch/kick button- LP = Quick comboable punches. MP = Excellent hammer punch, very irritating, very comboable! HP = SFA2 uppercut, still the same, but with less range. LK = Ultra-quick comboable jab kicks. MK = Fairly quick, long-distance, uncomboable leg-stretch. HK = The good ol' trip, still uncomboable. SAKURA's crouching attacks, though excellent, are quite predictable, the major disadvantage (I guess) being her uncomboable crouching MK. Not that it's a bad move: au contraire, it's one of the most excellent long-range crouching attacks in the game! But if it were just comboable... If there's one thing you should learn by now, it's that TIMING is everything!! Meaning that if you time your attack JUST RIGHT, you'll succeed in delivering. Otherwise... heh heh, anyhow, the point I'm trying to make here is that you have to KNOW (in the back of your mind) just WHEN your attack is going to CONNECT your opponent. If you have that timing right, SAKURA's crouching MP will demolish your opponent, because (1)it IS comboable, and (2)it hits LOW! This means that your opponent will have to crouch-block your attack, 'coz if he doesn't, your combo will connect to the end! Eg- jump and hit MK, follow with crouching MP, follow with SHO-OH-KEN. Now, if your opponent blocks your jump-in attack (MK) & continues to block like that, your crouching MP will break his defense BECAUSE IT HITS LOW (like any crouching kick) & the following SHO-OH-KEN will also cream him. The timing of SAKURA's crouching MP is a bit awkward because it seems to 'come out' immediately but even then it 'connects' AFTER a little while, giving ample time to your opponent to block low. SAKURA's crouching MP and MK are also infamous for hitting your opponent out of their attacks, provided your timing is precise. Precision is everything. EVERYTHING! Practice will make things perfect! Timed right, SAKURA's crouching LK will also hit an opponent out of an attack. Eg- While you (SAKURA) are blocking low, Ryu, next to you, decides to push you further away with crouching HK. Hit either MP or LK or MK at the PRECISE moment to hit Ryu's 'leg' before it hits you! I'm stressing timing because when it comes down to the fight itself, it's this timing that'll help you out BIG TIME (explained in the technique-bit ahead) & not some flashy combo video you downloaded from the net! Remember that the timing of each of SAKURA's (or anybody's) attacks vary vastly. You HAVE to know when your punch/kick will actually connect, & you HAVE to know when a punch/kick will hit YOU! SAKURA's crouching HK seems to hit from a lesser distance than it extends (or so it seems to me). It's not comboable either, so use it only when you're SURE it WILL connect, & that you really do want to trip your opponent. Please ensure that it really, really, REALLY does connect, because there's quite some lag time that follows...(boy, I sure do wish no anti-SAKURA SF-fan is reading this!) SAKURA's crouching HP is the same as the good ol' SFA2 version, the classic uppercut, but for some reason I think its 'timing' has been changed a bit. It hits from quite close, it's not the best anti-air attack (but it's a good one, provided your timing is impeccable), but it IS comboable & SAKURA looks like she's really giving it everything she got! Her crouching LP...well, I prefer the LK over the LP anytime of the day, because it's so QUICK & hits from quite a distance for a jab. [Straight-up Jump] -hold UP & press a punch/kick button- LP = A very stylish jab. That's its only use. MP = Outstretched, hi-priority anti-air punch. HP = The ol' SFA2 jump-in double-axehandle, but with lesser range. LK = Not a very useful move, but jumping LKs rarely are! MK = The ol' reliable outstretched kick, one of the BEST kicks of SFA3 HK = The ol' %@!*# downward kick, which I STILL can't get the hang of! I must admit I rarely use any of these attacks. In fact, the only time I'm jumping straight up is when I hit 'up' accidentally! The only other time I jump straight up is either to set up my opponent, or to (very rarely) knock him back from whence he came. The only straight-up jump attacks that I find commendable are SAKURA's MP, HP and MK. SAKURA's MP is made for her straight-up jump, period! It's a high priority straight-out fist that ALWAYS seems to hit your opponent before he can jump in and hit you! My good friend -the CPU- taught me this! Her HP and MK serve the same purpose, but the MP takes the cake! Is it really invincible? I need to know more about this! [Jump-in Attack] -hold UP/FORWARD & press a punch/kick button- LP = A very stylish jab. That's its only use. MP = Same as Straight-up Jump one. Not the ideal choice of jump attack HP = The classic SFA2 double-axehandle, but with lesser range. LK = Not a very useful move, but jumping LKs rarely are! MK = CLASSIC! The ultimate jump-in attack!! Requires a bit timing. HK = Not my choice of the jump-in attack. It's really weird! SAKURA's jump-in attacks demand a lot of practice, but once you've got the timing right, you'll feel right at home. Her jump-in LP is quite useless (that's only how I feel) because of its short-range and weird diagonal angle, and LK hits the furthest, but both are quickly recoverable from. Her jump-in MP is the same as the straight-up jumping MP, which is quite a bother 'coz SAKURA punches straight out in front of her face, making it quite difficult to connect to a standing opponent. Her jumping HP, however, is THE jump-in punch, the classic high- priority double axe-handle. It's mostly infamous for hitting opponents out of their anti-air attacks if timed right (depends on the situation, as explained further in the technique-section). I can't really be the judge of this, but I guess her jumping MK takes the cake as her BEST jump-in attack. It's fast, has tremendous range, & most of all, it has this insane ability to almost ALWAYS connect as a cross-up (explained in the technique-department)! But the HP is almost unstoppable, so... Finally, SAKURA's jump-in HK...yeesh, I've always had difficulty in understanding this 'kick'! And I STILL can't see what its use is! It's a really weird-looking kick which hits from quite close &, well, that's all I know! It's only problem is that it seems to hit almost STRAIGHT DOWN, not AHEAD like most fighters' jump-in HKs, but the jump-in MK takes care of that! And now the special moves!!...yuck, that sounded really corny... HADOKEN : Down-to-Forward + Punch SHO-OH-KEN : Forward-to-Down-to-Down/forward + Punch SHUNPUUKYAKU : Down-to-Back + Kick (also while jumping) SAKURA KICK : Forward + MK THE 1-2-3 WONDER : Forward-to-Down-to-Down/forward + Kick *SHINKUU-HADOKEN : Down-to-Forward, Down-to-forward + Punch *SHORYU-SAKURA : Down-to-forward, Down-to-forward + Kick *SUPER SPIN-O-MATIC : Down-to-Back, Down-to-Back + Kick NOTE: Please see that the motion described in each move listed above indicates a 'smooth roll of the thumb' & not tapping the keys, unless indicated. Eg: down-to-forward does not mean tapping the down-key and then the forward-key, but a smooth rolling motion from down to forward. Some gibberish about these extremely beautiful & original moves... - The Shotokan's arsenal is always spearheaded by the ever-useful HADOKEN. Screaming (well, not really SCREAMING!) the words 'HADOKEN' your everyday Shotokan fighter will, in smooth frames, draw his/her palms back to summon & collect their 'chi' (or fighting spirit, I believe), then extend their arms as the energy/chi is released in the form of a visible 'energy wave' or fireball, which will hit their opponent for a decent amount of damage whether blocked or not. Oh, and if anyone wants to know the history behind this, be sure to check out the STREET FIGHTER 2 V-series by Manga Video. As with every Shotokan fighter, SAKURA's fireball moves forward at decent speed, but its only drawback is that it dissipates at the end of the screen! BUT to counter that, SAKURA has the unique ability to 'hold' the fireball in her palms for nearly a full second (& that's a LOT of time), & then release a BIG fireball...which also happens to dissipate, right then & there. The way to do this is to do the fireball/HADOKEN motion (as described above) & to TAP the punch button. The longer you tap, the longer SAKURA 'holds' the fireball, which automatically releases after just over a second. The normal Shotokan fighter may occasionally start the proceedings with the HADOKEN, & may continue this insanity until he is knocked out. This is the kinda guy my good friend Sagat once beckoned to in the immortal words "You aren't a warrior, you're a beginner!" In other words, the HADOKEN, though being THE most original move in any fighting game, is not a very favorite move of mine to just throw around, atleast not with SAKURA. SAKURA's HADOKEN has been improved over the previous version (SFA2). It now seems to travel further & at breakneck speed (if you're playing at atleast Turbo-2). The recovery/lag time is suicide, though, so if you miss a fireball...well, let's just hope you win next time! - The second most popular, most ripped-off original move of the Shotokan fighter is the internationally acclaimed Dragon Punch. The distinctive feature of this attack is that it is supposed to be invincible in its initial frames, & is the best riposte to the occasional jump-in attack. SAKURA's SHO-OH-KEN is no different. No, wait. It is completely different! It is invincible in its key-frames (only the LP one) & it hits up to over 5 hits (HP version), which is the highest number of Dragon Punch hits by a Shotokan fighter yet! I remember when Ken first got his 3 hit Flaming Dragon Punch in SSF2, it left a stunning sensation in my mind. '3 hits!' I used to think, '3 hits!! WOW!!' Well, this multiple-hit Dragon Punch knocked me out when I first saw it in SFA2, but it has its drawbacks. MAJOR drawbacks. SAKURA yells 'SHO-OH-KEN' & rushes into her opponent, hitting them on contact & punching them all the way as she leaps into the traditional, trademark Dragon Punch pose. This is the best & quickest combo finisher if you don't wanna use a Super Combo, as it inflicts quite a satisfactory amount of damage unto your hapless opponent, & as a plus, your Super Meter charges up quickly too! However, the SHO-OH-KEN is the last thing you'll want to do to counter a jump-in attack. Unless, of course, you have a death wish or something. - The third trademark Shotokan fighter's move is the unique kick-based attack that is triggered by moving the stick down-to-back & then pressing kick. Ryu, Ken and Gouki perform their cyclone/hurricane kick (also known as tornado, helicopter, rotating spin-kick, and -for some weird reason- the pepsi kick), while Dan does his 'Raah-raah-haiyaah!' 1-2-3 combination. SAKURA's SHUNPUUKYAKU seems to me to be a combination of both these moves: She's got a leg extended to hit with, like Ryu, Ken and Gouki, but she's going all over the place like Dan. All in all, it is one of SAKURA's extremely deadly, most irritating & highly damaging attacks, & is my #2 choice for a combo-finisher. - The SAKURA KICK is an overhead attack. It's not a special move in the sense that you cannot have any other move preceed it & make a combo out of it, as far as I know! It hits a low-blocking opponent on the head, so the only way to block it is the standing-block, and you have to be a bit close (not necessarily too close) to your opponent for the kick to connect. I must admit, I keep as far away from this move as possible, 'coz it often seems to come out from nowhere at the wrong time! I know it must be useful, but I'm afraid it isn't icluded in my arsenal since I happen to stay as far away from my opponent as possible & demolish him/her from a distance. I saw this fan-art by someone in a Japanese GAMEST magazine last year about the SAKURA KICK. It was really funny!! It was a 3 panel comic- strip (in Japanese, so I've no idea what was written, but the art was self-explanatory), beginning with SAKURA in the initial frame of the SAKURA KICK, then her leg coming down from above to her opponent's head, but turns out she just sat on a bicycle & pedaled off!! Heh heh!! That's why I often call this SAKURA's BIKE KICK! - The 1-2-3 WONDER (as dubbed by yers truly) is a weird, awkward looking 3 hit attack, triggered by the motion described earlier. In this, SAKURA leaps into the air & lands right there, conveniently open for the thrashing of a lifetime. However, if you press any punch while she's in the air, she'll smash your opponent with her jumping HP (double axe-handle), & can do this upto three times for 3 hits! Reminiscent of ChunLi's 3 hit knee combo, only this is tougher, & if you miss, you may not like what a wary opponent can do... If you happen to connect this while your opponent is jumping as well, the 3 hits are guaranteed. It is much more difficult (though possible) to land all 3 hits on a standing opponent. This move can be air- blocked, contrary to the belief otherwise. - *Super Combo #1 SHINKUU HADOKEN - Say hello to the SHINKUU-HADOKEN! This is just like any other super fireball, & damages your opponent quite a bit. It also hits a jumping opponent cleanly & completely, & is my chioce of follow-thru to a close 2 hit LP SHO-OH-KEN. It is also the #1 Super Combo to connect your opponent with after a perfectly disguised setup (explained in the TECHNIQUE OR NOT TECHNIQUE section ahead). - *Super Combo #2 SHORYU-SAKURA – SAKURA's most damaging Super Combo, also known as MIDARE ZAKURA (whatever!), is the #1 super to punish your opponent with if they're acting too pokey or feeling very cheeky, as long as you're sure you're not playing into their hands. It's SAKURA's version of Ken's SHORYUREPPA, only faster & too damaging for words!! But I suppose that's a good thing. Use this super to break through almost anything at all (exceptions including some Dragon Punches & some Super Combos, like Zangief's FINAL ATOMIC BUSTER), but you gotta make sure it DOES connect!! - *Super Combo #3 SUPER SPIN-O-MATIC - er, no, that's not what she says when she does this Super Combo. This is my most favorite super of all 3 of SAKURA's Super Combos. It is easily comboable (preferably with a close standing or crouching HP) & has great range and hits low AND hits opponents out of their attacks almost all the time, AND AS A PLUS it's quite damaging (on lev.3)! And if THAT isn't enough, the recovery time from it is next to nothing, meaning that once it's over, SAKURA can recover from it & execute her next attack almost immediately! 7 --> THE BOMBASTIC COMBO MACHINE Alright ladies & gentle-fighters, here are some of SAKURA's combos, including beginner-level combos, competition-level combos, illustrious combos, and wacky combos. Each of these will be followed by 'stars' which indicate each combo's usefulness in my opinion. The more the stars, the badder & nastier the combo. All combos are rated on a scale of 1-5. NOTE: For the sake of simplicity, I've typed down Super-moves in CAPS for those of you looking for Super-related-combos. All combos followed by (c) shows that they have to be done in the end of the screen (corner) only. All (1) or (2) or (3)'s following Super-related-combos indicate the Super-level required. [Beginner-level Combos] (1) crouching LK (repeated) [4 hits] (2) jump MK, crouching HK [2 hits]* (3) close standing HP + Hadoken [2 hits] (4) standing LK + Sho-Oh-Ken [7 hits]***** (5) crouch MP + Hadoken [2 hits]***** [Competition-level Combos] (1) standing HP + Sho-Oh-Ken [7 hits]*** (2) crouching HP + ShunPuuKyaku (c) [4 hits]*** (3) jump MK, crouching HP + SUPER SPIN-O-MATIC(3) [9 hits]***** (4) crouch LK (twice), stand LK + Sho-Oh-Ken [9 hits] (5) crouch LK (twice), stand LK + SHINKUU HADOKEN(3) [8 hits]** (6) jump HP, stand HP + ShunPuuKyaku(LK) [3 hits]*** (7) jump HP, stand HP + SHINKUU HADOKEN(3) [7 hits]*** [Illustrious Combos] (1) cross-up MK, crouching HP + Sho-Oh-Ken [8 hits]**** (2) jump HP, crouching HP + SHORYU-SAKURA(3) [9 hits]*** (3) jump LK (from almost end of screen!), stand HP [2 hits]***** (4) cross-up MK, stand LP, crouch LK, stand LK + SHINKUU-HADOKEN(3) (Follow up combo#3 with any of your favorite moves! Your opponent must be in one corner for this combo & you should be one LP-Sho-Oh-Ken away from the other. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the LK connect!) [Wacky Combos] These insane combos are possible only if your opponent doesn't recover! (1) jump HP, stand HP + Sho-Oh-Ken(LP) + SHINKUU HADOKEN (you can't 2-in-1 the Sho-Oh-Ken into the Super. You have to hit your 'falling' opponent with the Super, after decking him with the Sho-Oh- Ken, BEFORE he hits the ground!) (2) launch opponent with LP Sho-Oh-Ken (as just described), then keep juggling with MP Sho-Oh-Kens for as long as possible! Oh me oh my! (3) jump HP, crouch HP + ShunPuuKyaku(HK), stand HP + ShunPuuKyaku (c) (My favorite trademark corner-combo! I just LOVE it!) (4) jump HP, crouch HP + ShunPuuKyaku(HK), stand HP + 1-2-3 Wonder (c) (My NEW trademark corner combo, which is tougher to pull off unless yer timing is really sweet! I can't believe I never thought of it before! It was actually shown to me by my li'l brother, that FAQ-guy known only as NT) Of course, there are more combos than just these, but some are those that aren't worth mentioning, either because they're too simple (like 2 jab punches, or something) or too complex. In any case, I would really appreciate it if anyone lets me know of some important combos that I left out, & also if anyone thinks I'm doing something right around here!! 8 --> TECHNIQUE OR NOT TECHNIQUE? BASIC STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES In the end it all comes down to who's the winner..& who's the loser.. So who IS the better fighter? Well, what I like to think is not who won or lost in the end, but who managed to OUTPLAY his opponent. This again does not mean that the winner outplayed the loser. For all you know, all it took to turn the tide was a jab-kick before the time ran out! What I'm trying to get at here is that this FAQ is NOT gonna tell you how to WIN, but how to manage to outthink, outsmart & outplay your opponent, because this is where SAKURA excels! I mean, if I were writing a Gouki FAQ, I would've written things like 'top-10 moves to finish your opponent with within 10 seconds' or 'top-10 taunts' or 'top-10 reasons why you just cannot lose' if you get my drift. However, this is a SAKURA FAQ, so you must understand & accept the fact that SAKURA is no Gouki. She's no Ryu or Ken, or (thankfully) even Dan, and hence you have to accept her as she is, realize her weaknesses & capitalize on her strengths. But even before you do that, you have to realize YOUR OWN weaknesses! This is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! [know thyself] - So what counts as a weakness? First of all, some real expert players can often clearly read your gameplan if you keep foot-sweeping them 5-10 times in a row. In other words, you have to keep mixing-up your attacks & revising your strategy from time to time and should never follow a certain fixed pattern. - Do not fall into traps. You should realize that your opponent is as human as you are (sometimes) & will adopt tactics that will tilt the match to his favor, just like you plan to do! Eg: RYU throws a fireball & you jump over it, but get hit by a Dragon Punch. Again. And again. And again. See a pattern? Your falling into it is not a good sign. - Anticipation is the key to victory. If you PREDICT your opponent's next move successfully, you'll find yourself countering it almost automatically, like a natural reaction. However, if your opponent anticipates your attack beforehand, you're gonna be in a world of hurt, & don't I know it! Anticipation is a major factor in a 2-player fight, and it will feel natural after (a LOT of) practice. - Finally, the set-ups (not sit-ups)! Over the years I've learnt quite a lot about these 1-on-1 games, mostly by watching others play..or being beat up by them..and the most important lesson I've learnt is that you don't stand a chance if you can't set up your opponent into making mistakes. You have to make sure that YOU aren't being suckered into a trap, because the purpose of a setup is to inflict maximum damage unto the..uh..sucker. - Keeping in mind the last two points, remember that anticipation & setups go hand in hand, but these are again NOT THE ONLY METHODS that will lead you to victory. Keep moving around & keep ATTACKING from time to time, using SAKURA's excellent pokes, & try to counter almost anything with her crouching MP (when UPCLOSE to opponent, including Mr.Ryu's *aHEM!* Shinkuu Hadoken!) and MK (when a bit distant). - Keep both eyes (or as many as you have) open ALL THE TIME during a bout. Remember, you CANNOT afford to laze around or slacken at ANY point in this game, 'coz the tide can turn pretty unexpectedly otherwise. I know this 'coz it's happened to yers truly & I've paid for my mistakes dearly. Lazing around & trying to give your opponent a chance is not an option, unless you're some sorta expert (in which case you don't need to read this FAQ). Either that, or your opponent is a dog. - You must have a solid purpose behind pressing each button or executing any move that you do. This may seem to sound stupid, but it isn't. - Remember that as a general SFA2 and A3 rule, whenever you're jumping into your opponent, the moment you press up/forward, move your thumb to the down/back position to assume the air-block, so that if your opponent decides to counter-attack you before you know it, his attack may be blocked (if possible – like timed Dragon Punches can't be blocked). - I'm a bit unaware on this, but I think air-recovery is better than the ground-roll, 'coz it helps you to recover & counter-attack while you're falling, instead of taking more and more hits (no, it is NOT possible to be juggled infinitely, unlike some bogus games). So air- recover as much as possible, and soon it will feel only natural. Hit all 3 punches while you're falling to the ground, then prepare to counter-attack on the way! So now you know where you're making mistakes. Accept the fact that once you know yer mistake & you still repeat it, you're wrong in the head. He he he, just kidding! It'll all come with practice, & lots of it. [know thy fighter] - Down on the ground, SAKURA's basic attacks very rarely face stiff competition, if at all. This is true if you're doing the right thing at the right time. Try to use her hi-priority counters as much as possible. These include her crouching MP against those pesky pokers, her crouching and standing MK against those loathsome turtles and obdurate grabbers (ZANGIEF) from far away, and her rapid crouching LK against those 'normal' grabbers (like VEGA or BLANKA). It all depends on the situation. Long story. - SAKURA's basic air-defense on the overall includes every single basic attack in her arsenal, even her LK, provided you do the right move at the right time. This is very very very very deep since this varies from situation to situation. So what are these situations? Well, it's a really long list, but let's see what I can come up with. I'll list as many "basic" situations as possible, & will attempt to give the most effective counters to them as well. Don't memorize this, please, it's just a guide, & besides, situations tend to vary with each passing second. SO IT ALL REALLY DEPENDS ON YOUR GRASP ON TIMING, THE DEGREE OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN YOUR MIND, YOUR FINGERS AND YOUR GAMEPLAN, & THE ACCURACY OF YOUR ANTICIPATION. <--These really are golden words, so try to keep 'em in mind almost all the time. (this is gonna be the layout) x. situation - your response - alternate response - alternate response, and so on. 1. Opponent jumps AND ATTACKS - timed HK - Crouch HP - Block (shucks!) 2. Opponent jumps AND DOES NOT ATTACK - Any attack - Jump AT THE LAST MOMENT and air-throw (hee hee!) 3. Opponent jumps AND ATTACKS VERY EARLY (mostly grabbers) - Straight-up Jump MP (must connect, or else..) - Crouch HP 4. Opponent jumps FROM A DISTANCE - Jump away yourself - Jump straight up - Wait (for opponent to ALMOST land) & Hadoken (may trade hits) - Expect long-range move (ZANGIEF's jump-HK), counter with jump MP - Jump QUICKLY into opponent & grab upon landing 5. Opponent jumps FROM UPCLOSE - Move under opponent & counter-attack from behind - Jump back & MP or MK - Timed LP Sho-Oh-Ken (tough) 6. Opponent attempts cross-up - Very early LP or MP (trade hits, really tough) - LP Sho-Oh-Ken - Block (if getting up) - SHORYU-SAKURA (if getting up) 7. Opponent keeps poking - Hit opponent's 'punch' or 'kick' with LP Sho-Oh-Ken - Never ever EVER jump into opponent ('coz most pokers want you to) - Timed LK or crouch-MP (upclose) or crouch-MK (afar) - Timed HK foot-sweep 8. Opponent sits right there - Start poking, beginning with crouch MK, then get closer with LK - Go near opponent & move back & forth & wait for him to mess up - (If you're moving back & forth) Go and grab that lousy turtle! - LK ShunPuuKyaku from near (must NOT connect), follow with Super! 9. Opponent is getting up - Jump in very early with MK & it'll connect REALLY deep - Jump in very late with HP from afar (to counter almost anything) - Wait to the very last moment, then go and grab!! (use wisely) 10. YOU jump in with MK or HP - If it connects, follow with your combo - If it connects, hold on just a bit, then grab opponent - If blocked, either start poking or follow thru with your combo 11. YOU jump in very early with MK or HP - Blocked or not, look out for grabbers & jump away immediately! - If you expect a nasty attack upon landing, follow thru with Super - Grab (use rarely 'coz they learn quickly! & expect this yerself!) - Multiple crouch LKs to get away from it all! - Just one crouch LK, then go & grab Needless to say, the situations are almost limitless, so every situation will demand something different. If anyone out there in the world agrees with me, I guess I'll be a happy man. Now I'm not gonna list down any more situations 'coz that won't be fair for YOU. Trust me! If you want to have the fun that SF is all about, then go ahead & play the game like it should be played! WITHOUT any guides or walk- throughs, etc! I mean, I never knew how to Dragon Punch until after ONE YEAR of playing SF2-Turbo on my SNES!! If you manage to keep these pointers in mind, you will ALWAYS know what you are doing & where you stand (that is, at beginner, intermediate or expert level). Then even when Ryu throws a fireball from the end of the screen, or Rolento keeps rolling in a corner, or that freak Adon taunts you with that I R R I T A T I N G thumbs-down, you will know in the back of your mind if they're doing so to make you attack, or just wasting time, or preparing to suddenly attack as you come jumping forward. At this point you will also realize how to counter-attack appropriately, as you can easily predict your opponent's next move. Well, somewhat. Don't worry, this is a tried and tested technique, & it's been doing wonders for yers truly since SFA2! SUPER STRATEGIES Now that we've dealt with the basic technique, let's concentrate on SAKURA-specific strategies. I'm gonna tell you how to score with ..uh, I'm gonna tell you some important stuff.. SAKURA is one of those fighters in the game who are made to set up their opponents, which is due to their inability to be too aggressive or too defensive. I mean, as far as I know, of course. So here are some of SAKURA's best setups that I can think of & that I use myself, and some other stuff! 1. LP Sho-Oh-Ken a bit close to opponent (preferably when opponent is getting up from the ground), make sure it DOESN'T connect, then wait for opponent to attack while SAKURA recovers & follow through with SHINKUU-HADOKEN. 2. LK ShunPuuKyaku from a distance (as opponent is getting up) such that SAKURA spins forward INTO him, & time it such that it DOESN'T connect again, & follow with SHINKUU-HADOKEN or SUPER SPIN-O-MATIC as opponent flinches or reacts to the ShunPuuKyaku! 3. This is fantastic! Go a bit near opponent and hit HP, but make sure you're juuuust out of his sweeping range, then follow with any Super as opponent tries to hit you! Actually, it seems as if SAKURA steps forward, but she's standing right there, punching in the air! Works BEST against those lousy turtles! 4. Grab opponent with punches, & after SAKURA elbow-hits him away, jump INTO him so that you fall "behind" & grab again. Then jump into him again & grab again. Repeat. Won't work for long, though. 5. SAKURA's punch-grab is one of the best setups for a cross-up. Grab opponent with punches & wait for SAKURA to elbow-smash him away. Then jump into opponent & hit MK to cross-up! If opponent crouch- blocks, your MK will not hit him, so grab again if possible, or time the MK late so that it hits anyway. 6. If you succeed to "counter-hit" a jumping opponent, move near him as he falls to the ground. If he air-recovers, wait just a bit, then jump and air-grab him (with kicks), or keep walking and hit HK, and if he recovers from THAT as well, keep walking some more and hit HK AGAIN! Either that or, even if he doesn't recover, SHINKUU-HADOKEN the sorry soul. OK I must admit, these are NOT the only setups in SAKURA's arsenal, so you can think up some of your own which are WAY more effective! Anyhow, these things matter a lot during a fight, & once you're REALLY into it, you'll be surprised at what you can do in just 99 seconds! Here's something else that counts a lot : the air-recovery counters! So if you're hit and falling... 1. and opponent jumps after you, you should recover and hit MK or HP immediately, 'coz if he jumps to attack, the HP will cancel his move out & smash him, or if he plans to air-throw you, the MK will hit him while he's "elevating". 2. and opponent keeps walking towards you, you can recover and hit HK to hit directly under you & (hopefully) keep your opponent at bay! 3. and opponent does some special move (Dragon Punch, Somersault Kick, Tiger Uppercut, etc), you must recover and block it. If it's badly timed, you can block it, otherwise.. oUCH! Or you may risk a timed HP which can counter-hit some special moves, but your timing counts. SAKURA's HP will cleanly smash Sagat's Tiger Uppercut if timed right. Heck, I know this is a shameless plug, but check out my upcoming Cammy FAQ! I even hit Ken and Gouki out of their Shoryuken and Messatsu Go Shoryu (Gouki's Shoryureppa) with Cammy's recover- counter MP!! 4. and opponent does a Super Combo, you may recover and attempt to block it, or just take it like a man.. er, girl.. (some Supers are blockable so I'd advise you try and block as many as possible. I would also advise you not to fall in these type of situations too often..) Well, there you have it, folks! That's one way of fighting the SAKURA- way! I sincerely hope you enjoyed this FAQ & found it informative & resourceful. IF I receive enough response & encouragement, who knows! maybe I might just be able to muster enough strength & courage (not to mention lotsa time) to prepare FAQs for my other favorite SFA3 guys, like Vega & Blanka & Honda & Guile & Chun Li & Cammy & etc, etc. Of course, only AFTER I'm done with THIS FAQ! Please direct your e-mails (if any) to email@example.com 9 --> GET READY FIGHTERS... Finally, at last, and NOW! Now that you're ready for the real fight, don't EVER forget these top-10 EXTREMELY IMPORTANT RULES: 10. DO NOT base the fight on connecting Super Combos only 9. Keep the time-factor in mind from, er, time to time 8. Don't LOOK at your life; have an idea of how much is left! 7. Don't LOOK at your Super-meter; have an idea of it 6. PLEEEASE keep moving around, don't just sit there like a turtle!! 5. Puh-LEEEAASE keep mixing up your attacks! 4. Don't WAIT for your opponent to attack; ANTICIPATE his next move 3. Set up your opponent CONSTANTLY & make your own openings!! 2. Keep your eyes ON YOUR OPPONENT, not on your own fighter! 1. Do not take time-out during a fight to refer to this FAQ... [HISTORY BIT!] February 11, 1999 --- begun work February 12, 1999 --- wrote FAQ quite a bit February 22, 1999 --- updated & corrected incomplete FAQ March 29, 1999 --- proofread FAQ & added more info March 30, 1999 --- attempted to finalize FAQ April 1, 1999 --- discovered hidden PlayStation-exclusive SF4 video April 3, 1999 --- incorporated further corrections April 10, 1999 --- finalized DEMO of FAQ April 25, 1999 --- completed FAQ Apr 25-27 1999 --- attempted to upload FAQ but got creamed by CIH April 27, 1999 --- cried & cried & cried & cried & cried & cried &... April 30, 1999 --- downloaded demo FAQ & resumed updating from scratch May 2, 1999 --- finally fixed my PC & attempted to complete FAQ May 7, 1999 --- attempted to complete FAQ...again (began Cammy FAQ) May 13, 1999 --- well whaddaya know, finished! No,not the Cammy FAQ! May 14, 1999 --- ok, definitely finished it today! September 5, 1999 --- Sure took my sweet time to REALLY complete this.. ..I wonder if anyone bothered going thru this again.. [BONUS BIT!] TOP-5 *LAMEST* EXCUSES FOR LOSING A FIGHT 5. There's something wrong with this button.. (then SMASH the button) 4. I can't play from this side.. (then SMASH the stick) 3. Ohhh darn, chose the wrong color again! 2. Hey, who's the wise-guy who pressed start on my quarter! 1. (to winner) Hey you're slacking.. I almost beat you.. 0. Nah, I'm just warming up.. TOP-5 TAUNTS (winners only!) 5. Oh well, back to the drawing board! 4. (Hum the music, finger-drum the beat & rock your head to it) 3. How did you DO that move? 2. If your SonicBoom woulda connected, you JUST MIGHT have won! 1. (look around, then ask opponent) Do you know where SFA3 is? [P.S. BIT!] P.S: Hey MANSOOR, I STILL believe SAKURA can kick KARIN's tail ANYTIME! P.S 2: ...and I WILL beat the crap outta your CAMMY with MY CAMMY!!! [BAD JOKE BIT!] What do you call a cow with no legs? Ground beef! [THE UNMENTIONABLES BIT!] Thanks with gratitude to – Capcom of Japan Nintendo (the company, and all its machines) Jaggas Productions Un-Inc. Un-Ltd. Umer Riaz (not to be confused with Cameron Diaz) Behram "Dr.B" Khan Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh Ripley, Newt and Bishop Hicks, Hudson, Vasquez, Frost & the Marines Dr.Venkman, Dr.Stantz, Egon and Mr.Zeddemore, and Louis "Hollywood" Hogan and the nWo (when wrestling was fun) Thanks with contempt to – Memons Probability All my economics teachers "Nature calls" Ric Failure All material in this work is self-copyrighted by Badmash X. If you wish to use this FAQ on a webpage or put it up on FTP or anywhere accessible via internet and.. OHH you know what I mean!! ..then feel free to do so! The world can always use more of anything-SF and SF-anything!!! BUT if you plan to sell this FAQ, like publishing it in a printed format (like magazines) or any such thing and so on, making profit/money on it without letting me have 200% commission first, PLEASE REFRAIN FROM DOING SO! ..on second thought, forget the "PLEASE" coz I'll kick your butt if I find out someone paid money to YOU just to read my FAQ! SAKURA and STREET FIGHTER ZERO 3 / ALPHA 3 are copyright trademarks of Capcom Co Ltd. Badmash X's heart is owned by SAKURA, CAMMY and CHUN LI. This FAQ is available at www.gamefaqs.com Simply search for Street Fighter Alpha 3! Other Badmash X works-of-art at www.gamefaqs.com -> Badmash X's Street Fighter Alpha 3 Ace Guide – Cammy Badmash X's Street Fighter Alpha 3 Ace Guide – Chun Li 8:46 AM – September 5, 1999 firstname.lastname@example.org [PROMOTION SECTION] - Castlevania mania? Don't miss out! Visit www.mp3.com/jagga TODAY! - THE CORRS are here to rule the world! Get that wallet of yours out and buy their records TODAY! It's the least you can do if you want to lead a meaningful life :D Come visit www.corrsonline.com !!! - Looking for the BEST FAQ that'll solve all your problems, unlock all the secret locks, get you all the hidden 1-Ups, help you beat the toughest bosses, teach you how to pull of special moves and techniques and get time to do your homework too? "Are you FAQing nuts, who can do all that?!" The best FAQ-writers .. The best FAQs .. www.gamefaqs.com .. Be There FINAL UPDATE I probably won't update this FAQ again, so this is the final update, finally, finished on September 25, 2000 at exactly 1:41pm. I used Courier New 10 font-size. Hope I didn't bore you to death or something. Hell if you think I'm boring, then you obviously haven't heard Bill Gates speak.