Zangief by BChen

Version: 0.2 | Updated: 10/22/98 | Printable Version

				   Street Fighter Alpha 3
				  ---Zangief FAQ v0.2---
			   Benjamin Chen ( 

	       This FAQ is for personal use only.  It may not be changed 
	       in any way shape or form.  It can be used and distributed 
	       freely, but please give credit where credit is due.
     Version 0.1 -  First attempt at an FAQ.

     Version 0.2 -  Fixed typos and grammatical errors.  Added info on st. 
     jab, and versus strategies.

1.  General Overview
	I'm assuming if youíre reading a Zangief faq, you should be familiar 
with the Street Fighter basic game mechanics.  If youíre not familiar with 
them, I suggest you learn the basic gameplay mechanics with a less advanced 
character.  Try the shotokans first and when you get the basic gameplay down, 
then comeback to this faq.  (I can't believe I'm pushing players towards the 
shotos.  =P)  Well anyways,  Zangief is a great character to use.  He has 
amazing comeback power, and has a huge advantage against people that have 
never played a competent Zangief before.  So letís get on with it.  

2.  Legend
     These are the following terms I use.

		d = down
		u = up
		df = down forward.  As in crouching but stick is towards the 
		db = down back
		uf = up forward
		ub = up back
		jab = light punch
		strong = medium punch
		fierce = heavy punch
		short = light kick
		forward = medium kick
		roundhouse = heavy kick.  Sometimes these are abbreviated.
		cr. <button> = crouching and the button
		st. <button> = standing while pressing that button.

3.  Basic Attacks

	Standing attacks:

		Jab :  A quick overhead chop.  Very effective anti-air if you 
nothing else is working for you.  Especially deadly if you have a super 
charged up.  You can just do a st. jab, and then the level 3 aerial russian 
slam to catch em and take off a fat chunk.  Credit to CDDude228 and EvilMadCow 
for yelling at me for underrating this move.  Of course I went out and tried 
it and it works very, very well.

	     Strong :  A high horizontal chop.  A decent move to juggle if you 
have nothing else.  If someone jumps at you and you cr. strong them as 
anti-air, you can st. strong them if they flip out in the corner.  Of course 
you can do other things to juggle them too.  I haven't really incorporated 
this move into my game too much.  If anyone has any suggestions to its use, 
feel free to mail me.

	  Fierce :  A high horizontal straight out power punch!  Slow, but 
effective.  I use it to tack on an extra hit if my opponent decides to PP flip 
out without sticking something out.  Pretty useful.  It also works as anti-air 
if you anticipate their jump and they're jumping from afar.  Takes off a fat 
chunk of damage.

	  Short :  A little kick where Zangief sticks out his foot.  Pretty 
useful in hitting ground attacks.  Stick these out randomly sometimes if your 
opponent is walking back and forth playing annoying ground game.

	Forward :  A straight out waist high kick.  A very, very, very useful 
kick.  I cannot emphasize how much I love this thing.  It is quick.  It is 
excellent for ground game. If someone sticks something out or tries to jump 
with this thing in their face they'll get stuffed.  Stick these out randomly 

    Roundhouse :  An arcing double kick.  Think of this as a breakdancing 
kick.  It can hit twice.  I use this as anti-air sometimes.  This does have 
one use that I really, really love.  I use this move alot in my corner spd 
trap guessing games.  More on this in the how to land your spd section :).

	Crouching Attacks:

	 Jab :  A quick mid-level stab.  I love this thing.  It is quick and 
has good priority.  Repeated cr. jabs combo also.  Very good if you think your 
opponent is going to cheap you.  Good at pressuring in the corner and 
confusing.  Decent in setting up guard crush opportunities also.
    Strong :  A punch arcing upwards.  I use this move a lot for anti-air if 
they jump from afar.  The problem is some attacks such as, shotos air 
tatsumakiís, Blanka's jump in roundhouse, seem to beat this.  Blanka just 
beats you, while the air tatsumaki's sometimes pass over it.  After some 
experience youíll be able to tell when to use it though.
   Fierce :  A straight punch at mid-level.  This move has very long reach. It 
does good guard crush damage, and good damage.  It can stuff shoto fireballs 
if timed well.  It does leave you a bit open though.  Watch out for shoryukens 
and shinku hadokens which will trade hits.  It has more range then shoto cr. 
roundhouses so its useful if they are playing close range fireball, cr. 
roundhouse, top-down games.

  Short :  A ground kick where Ďgief slides his foot across.  Doesn't have 
good reach, but works well in SPD ticks (More on that later).  It's quick and 
thats about it. 
Forward :  Looks just like the cr. short.  This has a bit more reach and is 
slower in coming out.  Does more damage too.  I donít really use this much.  
Except as a mix up sometimes in spd traps in the corner.  Again more on that 

Roundhouse :  Looks like the short and forward.  Again, more reach, more 
damage.  It knocks down too.  Use this in ground game.  Knock em down and then 
go for a crossup etc.  Typical cr. rndhse use.

       Jumping Attacks:

Jab :  I'm combining both jump up and jump forward attacks in one section.  
Both jump jabs look the same.  They are quick punch stabs with decent 
priority.  The damage doesnít make them worth it though.  Use it when nothing 
else is working for you.  The strong will usually have high enough priority 

Strong :  Both strongs look the same also.  Use this when all your other 
attacks are beaten in an air to air situation.  This has good priority and 
does better damage then the jab.

Fierce :  The jump straight up one is a punch with a trajectory going 
downwards.  The jump towards is a straight out punch that has amazingly good 
reach.  I use this to hit fireball chuckers from afar.  This has very good air 
to ground priority.

Short :  Both versions look the same.  Its a straight out kick.  Think of an 
upside-down L.  Decent air to air but damage doesnít make it worth it.

Forward :  Looks like the short.  Again its decent  and damage isn't that bad.  
There are just so many more better things to use though.

Roundhouse :  A full body kick.  Think of a spear with Zangief's feet as the 
point.  Very good air to air kick with good priority.  Doesn't have as much 
hitting surface area though.

       Special Basic Attacks:

		Here's where Zangief really shows his stuff.

Body Splash :  An aerial splash.  Do this by jumping back or forwards and 
pressing d + fierce.  I love this attack.  This has amazing air to ground 
priority and has insane hit surface area.  Beats a lot of characters' cr. 
fierce air counters.  Use this often!!!

Double Knee Press :  Another insanely useful move.  Do this by jumping back or 
forwards and pressing down and either short or forward.  I use the forward 
version a lot.  This has insane priority.  I press the button at the start of 
the jump.  This move'll beat Dhalsimís limbs and this is important cuz this is 
one of the only ways you can get in on Dhalsim.  Use this to beat Sodom's 
anti-air scrapes too.  It'll at least trade if timed correctly.

Headbutt :  Jump straight up and press up + fierce.  This move dizzies if you 
hit them twice in a short amount of time.  Yes, twice!!!!  Amazing.  Use this 
as an anti jump in air to air counter.  Again this has insane priority and 
does amazing damage.  

Trading hits with it is the best cuz sometimes the other guy won't know what 
you used.  

Then they'll jump again and you can just use the headbutt again.  Then watch 
their face as their character is dizzied.  

Russian Kick :  df + forward.  A very good long range kick with good recovery 
time.  I use this to poke from far away cuz it can snuff fireballs well.  
Learn to incorporate it in your ground game mixups.

4.  Sure Killing Techniques

	Here is where the fun begins!!!  This is where Zangief's power arsenal 
begins.  Here is the ammunition to strike fear into your opponents hearts 
(unless hes using dhalsim, then you pray!).  

    Spinning Pile Driver :  360 + any punch

THIS IS YOUR BREAD AND BUTTER MOVE!!!  This is what distinguishes Zangief 
from the rest of the crowd.  The actual motion isnít really a 360 degree 
movement.  The way I do it is f, df, d, db, b, ub, u + punch.  So its 
really only a 270.   Learn this from both directions.  I will discuss how to 
use this move in the strategy section.

   Running Bear Grab :  360 + any kick

A good move to use.  From far away, Zangief runs towards his opponent and then 
grabs him.  Always use the roundhouse version if you are gonna use this move 
from far.  The short close one has some spd setup uses too.  From up close he 
does a double body slam.  Again Iíll explain itís uses in the strategy 

   Banishing Flat:  f, d, df, f + any punch

Zangief does a glowing backhand.  This move is useful also.  Again I'll 
discuss it in the strategy section for landing spds and fabs ( spinning pile 
drivers and final atomic busters).  But use it to kill projectiles and to 
work your way in against fireballers.  
This move has more priority then you think.  It works very well against Sagat.

   Lariat:  3 punch or 3 kick

This move is great for anti-air if the opponent jumps at you as you're getting 
up.  It also is invulnerable to fireballs.  The kick version is quick and 
doesn't leave you open to sweeps.  The punch version is more forgiving on the 
passing through fireball timing since it lasts longer.  Certain well placed 
air attacks will beat this however.  Be careful of using this if you're in a 
tight situation.

5.  Supers

	Zangief only has 2 supers but both are useful and deadly.  Learn how 
to use them both and when to use them both!

  Final Atomic Buster :  720 + any punch

Not a true 720 motion.  I usually do my normal pseudo 360 motion and add in a 
full 360 and then press punch.  Since this move incorporates the up position 
without the pressing of a button, you can only do this super off a jump in, 
buffer it in while you're in block stun, hit stun, or in a moves mid 
animation.  Basically anything that prevents you from jumping (yes even 
including the taunt!!!).  This move beats a lotta things.  Pretty much all 
basic attacks, some non-invincible sure-killings, and a small amount of 
supers.  Plus it has amazing range.  Iíll go into the details of landing this 
super and how to use it in your game in the strategy section.

Aerial Russian Slam :  d, df, f, d, df, f + any kick.

Zangief flies in the air and snatches him outta the air and proceeds to slam 
him to the ground.  This super is hard to land because it won't work in 
certain situations.  

Sometimes it just magically passes through ur opponent.  As mentioned before 
you can do the level 3 version of this super after you hit them with an 
anti-air st. jab.

6.  Strategies

Zangief's strategy is very simple.  Do more damage to your opponent then he 
does to you.  At every opportunity, you want to land your most powerful 
option.  First thing you gotta do is feel your opponent out.  See what kind of 
style they use to fight your Zangief.  Usually, there are 3 different styles 
that I see when people fight my Zangief.  

Those are run scared, offensive, and defensive counters.  The run scared is 
what most of the inexperienced players do after you land that first spd.  The 
offensive style is what a lot of non-shoto players use (occasionally you'll 
come upon an offensive shoto), and the defensive counter style is what a lot 
of the experienced players use.  

	A.  How to land your Spd.

The first method to learn would be how to use your spd offensively, which is 
basically to jump in.  On the jump-in, you got three options: 1. Jump in and 
do nothing and spd.  2.  Jump in with an attack and then spd.  3.  Jump in 
with an attack, do a ground attack and then spd.  Basically, the only way to 
escape this is to either counter the jump-in, do a well timed attack right 
before the spd comes out, or to jump away.  You can obviously see the problems 
that they would have.  If you get them with a surprise jump in, and they don't 
try to counter, they can either expect and block, or expect a jump in spd and 
jump away.  If they block and you jump in and spd they get caught.  If they 
jump away and you attacked with something like a normal jump fierce which has 
insane range, they get hit.  If they do guess correctly and you go for 
something like a splash, and they block you have another option.  If your 
splash was deep enough, they don't know whether to block or jump.  If they 
block you might spd.  If they jump they wonít be blocking and they'll get 
nailed by an attack.  So heres your basic options.  Your best jump in is 
either your forward knee press or your splash.  Use the splash to cross-up.  
Use this jump in to counter non-shoto air counters.  Then just spd or cr. 
short or cr. jab and spd.  Then mix it up everyone once in a while with just a 
plain ol' jump in spd.  

Now the way to land your spd defensively is the most fun.  When you rip an 
opponent out of their move with and spd and look at the expression you can't 
help, but laugh.  Against inexperienced players that don't know to come in 
with deep jump in attacks just block their high attack and then instantly spd.  
Grab them off a non-deep cross up.  Grab em after blocked tatsumaki's.  My 
favorite is to grab Ken after blocking his shinryuken.  Thats pretty much what 
you need to know for the spds.  Try using moves that move you forward and if 
they block donít leave you open.  Try banishing flatting them as they get up 
but have the flat be too early to hit and then grab em.  

    B.  How to land the FAB

This is what you use for your comeback power.  The level 3 FAB takes off a fat 
chunk of energy.  Never ever use the level 2 unless you're desperate for the 
win.  Use the level 1 for the extra priority.  Use the level 3 to punish and 
end the game.  Well... the best way to land it for a guaranteed grab is to use 
the fab defensively.  If youíre quick enough, do the fab off a non deep jum 
in.  Do it off a blocked tatsumaki.  And it is really really easy to do it off 
a blocked shinryuken :).  But if you are going to use it offensively the best 
way is to fool em.  Do a couple of jump splash, cr. shorts and then jump 

Then when you think they think youíll jump again, do a splash, cr. short,
You can try a double knee and then straight into an fab.  Try a missed 
banishing flat into FAB.  Do anything you can that will guarantee that you 
land this super.  Taunt and then do this if you have too!!!!

	   C.  Zangief mix up games.

     You got em trapped in the corner.  Now what do you do?  Try a splash, cr. 
sort, splash, cr. short, jump in with nothing then spd.  That pattern works 
well on people.  

If the people are wise to your fab/spd attempts and start jumping up or away, 
do a splash, cr. short, pause and wait for them to be near the height of their 
jump and grab em with a level 3 aerial russian slam.  If they are in the corner 
and you don't have a super use a st. roundhouse.  The cr. strong doesn't work 
too well for this.  Just mix it up as best you can and try to destroy them.
	D.  General Strategies

		Feel out your opponent.  From my experience, if they like to 
play defensively, your whole game should be based on surprise jump-ins.  Use 
the ground game technique.  Then when you think they will try and retaliate 
with something like a cr. roundhouse or something jump in and destroy em.  
That works best on defensive players.  

On shotos just anticipate a fireball and jump from close to 3/4 of the screen 
away with a jump fierce.  Or if youíre closer then that jump in spd/fab.  Cr. 
fierce works very well on shoto scrubs.  Lariat through fireballs.  Except for 
Sagat's where you have to banishing flat them, or do a anticipated jump-in.  
Against offensive players, that like to jump, get them to play air to air game 
with you.  The only way alot of characters can beat your air to air game is to 
jump with an early attack.  Fool them into doing this and then spd them.  

Use cr. strong and st. roundhouse off a lured jump-in.  If they knock you 
down, and go for a crossup do a lariat as a get up.  If their guard meter is 
in danger, I like to do splash, 2 cr. jabs, then splash, cr. short, spd. Or 
instead just jump again and just spd.  Remember your air headbutt dizzies in 2 
hits if done in succession.  Use this to your advantage.  Get offensive 
players to be afraid to jump in.  And then go for your standard spd/fab 
guessing games.  This should be enough for you guys to get a good solid start 
with Zangief.

7.  The different isms.

	I haven't played any of the ismís besides x, a, and v.  So I don't 
know how well the secret isms work with Zangief.  But here are some tips 
when using the other isms.  

When using X:  Try not to jump as much.  The banishing flat motion is 
changed to f, df, d.  He has an excellent air counter.  Just press f + fierce.  
Its an on the ground headbutt.  It also works very well as a tick into an fab 
or spd.   His normal moves do insane damage.  

Land a simple cr. fierce and laugh at the damage you do on them.  This faq 
is centered around my favorite ism which is a-ism so there isn't much I 
haven't already mentioned..  

Finally, V-ism.  Out of these 3 isms v-ism is the best to beat dhalsim.  Blow 
through an attack when you get a chance.  The only v-combo I know is in the 
corner, jump and activate v with the 2 middle buttons, then do a splash, 2 cr. 
shorts, into a fierce banishing flat, splash, 2 cr shorts, flat, etc and 
continue.  It works only decently.  Supposedly no-ism is very good against 
dhalsim, since you can turtle all you want and not get guard crushed.  

So try and learn many different styles with Zangief.

8.  Versus Strategies
	Okay, as per request, here is the start of the versus strategies.  I 
in no way claim to be any type of masterlevel Zangief.  This just comes from 
personal playing experience.  I seem to be pretty successful locally with my 
gief.  I am always open to criticisms and suggestions, improvements, etc...  
So I'll just start off with a few matchups I'm familiar and what little I know 
about what was requested.

	1.  Ryu

	Ryu is a matchup you are bound to see many times.  So I started off 
with this one.  I can pretty much use any ism I want.  I generally use only 
two though.  As always watch how he plays.  If he likes to jump in or walk 
towards you a lot it should make your life a whole lot easier.  Poke him with 
the forward russian kicks to snuff fbs.  Watch out for dp's though.  Try and 
get surprise jump-ins.  If you anticipate a fireball, jump in and spd/fab. If 
you're out of range try a j. fierce, cr. rndhouse.  After the cr. rndhouse 
either go for a crossup splash or walk towards him and block and then counter 
what he throws out.  Generally not a tough fight unless you get into a rut.  
You can usually take off more damage then he does, so just use your power to 
your advantage.

	2.  Akuma

       Play him like Ryu.  Definitely watch out for his hell murder though. If 
he knocks you down, roll at all costs if he has a level 3 and likes to do the 
Instant Hell Murder.  Its a free 50% for him if you don't roll.  Other then 
that, cr. strong his air fireballs and play your normal style.  Akuma 
shouldn't be that tough considering he takes enormous damage.
       3.  Ken
      This fight can be one of the more annoying ones.  With Ken's excellent 
ground game, he can force you to jump too much.  If you're playing a-ism, a 
good Ken will constantly poke you with st. rndhse's and f + rndhse.  Both do 
very good guard crush damage.  If you use no-ism you donít have to worry about 
guard crush.  You should always watch how you flip out, but when Ken has you 
in the air in the corner, be extremely careful how you flip out.  You don't 
wanna eat a super on your way down.  Not too tough though, just your typical 
shoto fight if you can beat his pokes.

	4.  Dhalsim

		This is an extremely tough fight to win.  I always use no-ism 
Zangief against Dhalsim.  This is one of your toughest fights.  I always 
start off the round by jumping backwards.  Just sit there in cr. block.  
Block any and all limbs that come your way.  If he walks towards you, which 
generally doesnít happen, wait till he gets close.  Do quick double lariats to 
beat what he does.  If he short slides, block and spd/fab quick if you can.  
Watch out for short slides into fbs.  If he mummys or drill kicks you, either 
block and spd, or do the 3k lariat.  If he pokes you with limbs block the 
limbs.  If he fbs from far, jump in with the double knee which beats whatever 
he sticks out, and then either do a quick double lariat, or pause and wait.  
Then start all over again.  Still and extremely tough fight though.  Just get 
as much experience as you can, and you'll slowly refine your anti-sim 
technique.  Good Luck with this one :).  Mail me with results, success 
stories, beat downs and anything else good.

	5.  Gen
		Gen can be tough to beat depending on the other players style 
of play. Generally if the Gen plays in the 3 punch style it can be a little 
easier.  The 3 punch style has to use the reverse waterfall as his anti-air.  
Pressure 3P style Gen, with the usual stuff. If he knocks you down and goes 
for a crossup do a quick double lariat.  If you knock him down, always go for 
the crossup.  Gen has a tough time defending and punishing against crossups.  
3K style Gen should be played a little more defensively.  Block snake drills 
and spd/fab.  If he jumps on your head or off the wall just block and spd.  
You can counter his jump-ins with cr. strong or lariats or st. jabs.  His jump 
in 3K is slow so you have plenty of time.  Just be careful of that crossup.  
Make sure you can block it well.  If youíre playing against an expert Gen, 
never ever let him cross you up if possible.  Any crossup in any style will 
either lead to ground chain super, and then a juggle of his choice, or st. 
jab, cr. short, level 3 snake bite.  This is Genís come back power.  His 
ability to knock off 50-60% of your energy off a single crossup or cr. jab.  
Just be careful.  It might be smart to play no-ism since Gen has no super that 
does multiple hits if blocked except for the death touch.  Therefore you can 
block without fear of guard crush.  

	6.  Sodom

		This fight isn't as bad as it used to be since you can duck 
under his strong scrapes now.  Still be careful since his 360 beats your spd 
and fab.  Sodomís 720 is quite annoying also.  Be very, very offensive against 
Sodom.  Your splash up close beats all so air attacks.  From far his j. rndhse 
beats you though.  Try early j. strongs, j. jabs, or j. short to beat his j. 
rndhse.  If you can predict his scrapes beat them with a jump in forward knee 
press.  Overall just try and stay on top of him.  If he starts jumping up and 
down and hitting rndhse and if youíre using x-ism just walk forward and do the 
ground headbutt (f + fierce).  This works well as a mini anti-air.
	7.  Vega

		I haven't had too much experience with this fight so if anyone 
has any strategies or wants to correct any mistakes I made please, please 
e-mail me.  You'll get your credit too :).  Iíve only played like 2 Vegas, and 
both weren't good.  All I did was try and stay on top of him.  J. fierce 
seemed to work well.  Ground headbutts in x-ism worked well too.  Mail me 
with strategies if you know this fight well.
	8.  Chun Li

		X-ism or no-ism work well for me here.  No need to have any 
finesse in this fight at all.  Watch out for her throw.  And splash from afar.  
Your splash trades with her cr. rndhse, so you wanna do as much damage in that 
trade as possible.  You can fab her out of the startup of her spinning bird 
kick.  Other then that watch out for her j. fierce cuz its hard to anti-air 
it.  Tough fight, but with a high damage character like x or no-ism gief you 
can muscle your way out.

Well, that's it for this revision.  In the next one, I'll have more specific 
stuff for the different isms, more versus, and hopefully a little more 
experience under my belt with gief too.  I do have something new to add before 
I go though.  A crossup splash, cr. jab, st. short, fierce banishing flat, 
leaves you a perfect opportunity for a fab or spd.  If they are in the corner 
a jump in splash, cr. jab, st. short, fierce flat lets you pull out a jab spd, 

Again if you have anything to add please mail me.

----------------------------------------Thanks to---------------------------

	My parents for just being them.  My brother for being my sparring 
partner.  Rob Monti for being a cool manager and annoying Sodom player.  Keith 
and Joey for being crazy funny guys.  All my close, close friends for being 
just that.  You know who you guys are ( even though I doubt you guys'll be 
reading this, poke poke Dorothy).  Thanks to Danny Lopez for showing me that 
there are other good players on Long Island.  And to Kevin Wong, and though 
you prolly don't remember me Tony "Chun" Lim, for being in my opinion the 2 
best SF players on Long Island.  Friggin like 30 game win streaks.  

Finally, (I've saved the best for last) to Vivian.  For being there for and 
with me the past few years.  We've had our arguments and everything.  I still 
love you Viv.  Oops, I forgot someone.  Thank you for reading my crappy FAQ.  
Please forgive it's quality.  This is my very very first one.  You made it to 
the end!!!  Oops!! I forgot to give an insane amount of credit to the SFA2 
Versus Strategy Guide.  If you don't have this book, get it.  It is by far, 
the best strategy guide on the planet.


If you have any suggestions or comments or just wanna yell at me for a crappy 
FAQ you, can e-mail me at  Any additions and corrections 
are welcome.

This document Copyright 1998 Ben Chen.