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    Zangief by JLee

    Version: 1.2 | Updated: 04/26/99 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

                           Street Fighter Alpha 3
                          COMPREHENSIVE Zangief FAQ
                           Version 1.2 1999/04/26
                                by Jason Lee
                         email: pikachu_jl@hotmail.com
        1.  Introduction
                Copyright Info
                Disclaimer & Other Legal Stuff
                Version Update
                How to Contact Me
                What's New In SFA3?
        2.  General Zangief Info
                Fighting Style
                Zangief's "isms" & Alpha-counter(s)
                Normal Moves
                Special Moves
        3.  Strategy
                VS.  Character Tips
        4.  Miscellaneous Comments/Observations
                Win Sequences
                Other Stuff Not Worthy of Their Own Section
        The SFA3 COMPREHENSIVE Zangief FAQ v1.0 is Copyright 1998 by Jason
    Lee.   Copyright information:
        1.   Please DO NOT use this FAQ for commercial purposes.
        2.   Please DO give credits where they're due.
        This FAQ may be redistributed as long is is distributed in its
    original form.
        This FAQ is for private and personal use only.  It can only be
    reproduced electronically, and if placed on a web page or site, may be
    altered as long as this disclaimer and the above copyright notice
    appears in full.  This FAQ is not to be used for profitable  or 
    promotional purposes; this includes being used by publishers of 
    magazines, guides, books, etc. or being incorporated into magazines, 
    etc. in ANY way.  This FAQ was created and is owned by me, Jason 
    Lee.  I can be reached at <pikachu_jl@hotmail.com>.  All copyrights 
    and trademarks are acknowledged that are not specifically mentioned 
    in this FAQ.  Please give credit where it is due.  Kudos to K. Megura 
    for the great disclaimer!
        I would like to acknowledge the following people/groups:
    Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM)and Expert Gamer (formerly EGM2) and
    <http://www.videogames.com> for their info on SFA3.
    Sabre (H. C. Yu) <goutan@yahoo.com? for all the tips in his Zangief
    NT <shatty99@yahoo.com> for info from his Zangief FAQ.
    Kao Megura <kmegura@hotmail.com> or members.xoom.com/megura for the
    BEST Street Fighter Alpha 3 FAQ on the net.
    Street Fighter ONLINE <members.tripod.com/~SFonline>
    John Culbert & Fighter's Compendium (Sorry, I forgot the website!)
    who inspired me with their SFA2 FAQ.
    Gamefaqs <http://www.gamefaqs.com> who have the best FAQ collections
    on the net.  
    My buddy Reagan <http://www.angelfire.com/hi/capcombos/index.html> for
    kicking my sorry little butt.
    And all the people who have ever contributed to my understanding of
    the game.
    And special Hello to all of you who pick Zangief over Shotokans! :)
        This is v1.2 of my Zangief FAQ released on (1999/04/26).
    I have fixed up some problems, such as messed-up lines and tab spaces.
    I have also updated some sections/moves.  In addition, I have added a
    section regarding Zangief's Win animations.
        I can be reached by email at <pikachu_jl@hotmail.com>.  I check
    my email about every 2-3 days, so feel free to send me any comments,
    suggestions, ideas, corrections, constructive criticism, or
    complaints. They would be greatly appreciated.  I will normally answer
    any reasonable email sent to me, unless of course I get swamped / 
    spammed, in which case I might ignore you.  I am still lacking some 
    info regarding VS. CHARACTER STRATEGIES.  I would appreciate any 
    information that you may have.
        This is the 3rd (and rumored to be the last) Street Fighter Alpha
    game.  The game includes at least 28 characters in the arcade version,
    and at least 31 in the home version.  The game has the standard Alpha
    elements: supers, alpha counters, and rolling.  Some of the new
    features are: juggles, air recoveries, guard meter, major counters, as
    well as selectable fighting modes.
        In this FAQ, I'll try to give a complete breakdown of Zangief,
    including moves, strategies, and techniques.  I have developped my
    techniques mainly on the Japanese PSX (Sony Playstation) version of
    Street Fighter Zero 3, but I'm sure that these strategies can be
    applied to either the arcade or forthcoming versions on DC (Sega
    Dreamcast) as well as the American PSX version.
        However, I will not be going through the newbie basics (Alpha
    counters in general, how to roll/recover/throw/tech-hit, guard meter
    details, etc.).  This is a dedicated Zangief FAQ.  With all due
    respect, if you want the information outlined above, go and get a
    newbie or novice FAQ.
        I will use many abbreviations throughout this FAQ.  Where these
    are used for the first time, the will be explained.  For moves, I will
    be using a self-explanatory system.
        Zangief's fighting style is offensive all-the-way! A defensive 
    Zangief will surely DIE! The best way to play Zangief is probably to 
    keep your opponent under constant pressure.  As soon as he makes a 
    mistake, you can punish him.  HOWEVER, as I have noticed, you can't 
    get too cocky & make stupid mistakes; otherwise, your opponnent will 
    kick your sorry little ass.
        Like all other characters, Zangief has three (and a half - I'll
    explain) "isms" available to him.  Here is they are broken down
    (courtesy of EGM/XG):
    Z-ism or A-ism
        This is the standard mode that you know & love (or hate) of SFA.
    All supers are available at three different levels of power.
    Air-blocking is available, along with juggles.  Zangief's Alpha 
    counter (performed by pressing towards along with punch & kick (P&K) 
    of the same strength) is a standing forward kick with decent range 
    and priority, similar to his standing forward kick, but I dont thik 
    it hits crouching opponents (which is what you would want to use it 
    for).  It requires one level of super.
        In this mode, Zangief only has one super, the Final Atomic Buster
    (FAB) or Super Spinning Piledriver, at level 3.  Air-blocking and 
    Alpha counters are NOT available, but your guard meter is slightly 
    longer.  The motion for his glowing hand is different.  Juggles are 
        This mode allows Zangief to perform custom combos (CC) by pressing
    P&K of the same strength together.  No super combos are available.  
    The longer your super meter when you activate the custom, the longer 
    your CC.  You must have at least 50% of your meter to activate CC.  
    Zangief's Alpha counter is available and requires 50% of the super 
    meter.  Zangief has a different Alpha-counter than his Z-ism one.  
    Insteasd of being a standing forward, it's a standing fierce.  Air-
    blocking and juggling is enabled in V-ism.  Your guard meter is 
    slightly shorter.  Oh yeah, all attacks are sped up during a Custom 
    Combo (CC), special or not.
    "Old-ism" (Not really an "ism")
        To choose this mode, hold fierce & roundhouse when you press 
    start. Supers and Alpha-counters are removed.  Air-blocking is gone, 
    and so are juggles.  Juggling disabled means that you cannot juggle 
    your opponent, but he cannot juggle you either.  You have no guard 
    meter, and hence, unlimited blocking.  This mode is time-unlocked in 
    the PSX version, and is accesed through a code at the arcade (Insert 
    coin(s), hold Fierce & Roundhouse, press Start).
        Overall, Zangief's Z-ism is the only one worth playing; his super
    air throw maneuver is only available in Z-ism.  Moreover, the FAB on
    Z-ism level 3 does the same amount of damage as the X-ism one.  V-ism
    Zangief is OK.  I have not seen a custom combo that does more than
    20-25% (usually by mashing all 3 punches for the Spinning Lariat), but
    a V-combo usually gives you a free piledriver.
        Standing jab is a quick knife-attack that has good speed and
    recovery. However, its range is pathetic, but its priority as an air
    counter pretty good.  Sometimes it can be used to set up a 
    piledriver, but I don't recommend it (I'll explain in the piledriver
    section).  Jumping jab is a mid-air knife strike with amazing 
    priority.  Use it to stuff your opponent's high priority air-to-air 
    attacks.  The ducking jabis the complete opposite.  Without it, you 
    CANNOT SURVIVE! (acknowledgement to Sabre) You can do up to 3 ducking 
    jabs as a combo/for guard meter draining, but you can't really combo 
    afterwards (N.B.  In SF2, you could do a fierce piledriver after 
    them!).  Use the low jab to snuff mid-level attacks at close range, 
    as well as body-projectiles (E.Honda, Blanka).
        The standing strong is a mid level slash with the back of
    Zangief's hand.  It has decent range but so-so priority, but is good
    for juggling.  The jumping strong is similar to the jab and is not
    very practical (credit to Fighter's Compendium) but it can be used
    to counter an opponents fierce/roundhouse when you are both in the
    air; but personally, I prefer the forward or roundhouse for this. The
    crouching strong is by far the most important application of the
    button. An uppercut, it's a great anti-air, but you have to be
    positioned properly: you want your opponent to be above and slightly
    in front of you for it to work best. On a major counter with the
    ducking strong, you can go to almost any juggle (I'll cover these
        This is probably the most important button for Zangief.  Standing
    fierce hits long and hard.  It's a standing haymaker which has about
    half a screen's range, which makes it amazing as a surprise poke.  Be
    warne,d though, if you whiff (miss completely) with it, and since it
    won't hit crouching, you're open for BIG damage.  The ducking fierce
    is just a low version of the standing fierce.  The jumping fierce is
    a LONGGGGGG range "Superman" punch that has pretty good priority in
    air-to-air fights.  If you press fierce after you jump straight up
    and hold up, (in X-ism, do towards + strong) you will get a headbutt
    that can dizzy your opponent in just a few (2-3) hits; it's not easy
    to get, however.  The best application of Zangief's fierce is the
    fierce splash, performed by pulling down and pressing fierce while
    airborne.  He does a belly-flop type attack which has unbelievable
    priority against most normal moves and some special moves.  It's
    also Zangief's best/only cross-up attack.  Don't use it recklessly,
    Zangief's jump is a LOT slower when you do the splash, leaving you
    open to a Dragon Punch (DP).
        The standing short is probably one the most overlooked of 
    Zangief's normal moves.  It has a little range and pretty good 
    priority, but does very little damage.  This shortcoming is overcome 
    by the fact that you can throw a short and then immediately go into a 
    piledriver (or super), ticking your opponent.  Jumping short is a 
    short range drop kick.  Use it like a jab. If you pull down and press 
    short in the air, you'll get a jumping knee which is moderately 
    useful as a tick.  The knee has bee changed so that a grapple 
    performed upon landing from it will miss if the knee is blocked (tick 
    with the fierce splash instead, more on ticking later). Besides that, 
    the knee has good priority vs. other attacks and is useful for 
    fooling opponents who wait for you to jump in.  The frame on this is 
    short to time it carefully (from Sabre).  The ducking short is a 
    decent move.  You can use it to counter an opponents low, slow 
    attack, such as a roundhouse sweep.  I personally like to use it to 
    keep my opponent on his toes by throwing a low short, followed by a 
    close low roundhouse.  The two look deceptively similar and you can 
    catch a sleeping adversary off guard.  The low short is pretty useful 
    as a tick; it forces the opponent to block low, but the tick is 
    slightly harder to pull off.
        Standing forward is probably Zangief's best poke.  It hasn't 
    changed much since the old SF2 days.  It's a straight kick at about 
    waist level, reaching about one character width away.  Decent range 
    and priority, you can use it to poke, or use it to nail someone 
    jumping in deep/directly in front of you.  The jumping forward is 
    similar to the short, but with less speed & more power.  It has good 
    air-to-air priority.  Pulling down and pressing forward gives you a 
    knee similar to the short knee, but with slightly less priority and 
    more power; it's still good to use when jumping in on an opponent.  
    Ducking forward is a long-range, low poke.  Use it to keep an 
    opponent under pressure.  The only down side is that it has a pretty 
    slow recovery, allowing your opponent to jump in on you should he see 
    it coming.  If you pull down-back  speed and more power.  I find it 
    to be nearly useless.
        Zangief's standing roundhouse is probably his worst move.  It's a
    double leg wrestling-type kick that is VERY slow! You can use it on
    someone jumping in, but only if you see them jump very early.  His
    jumping roundhouse is a two legged mid-air kick.  It's not that good
    for jumping in, but has unbelievable priority if you do it early in
    your jump (on your way up). It will beat almost any normal air
    attack.  Ducking roundhouse (sweep) is a LONGGGGGG range sweep that
    reaches almost half a screen.  However, it is so slow that an opponent
    can sometimes see it coming and jump on you before you even connect.
    Use it sparingly.  If you pull down-back and press roundhouse, Zangief
    does a very slow version of his low short, that sweeps opponents.  
    This is the sweep I usually use.  You can use it to hack off the 
    other guy's guard meter, and if you hit with it, you can usually jump 
    in as your opponent gets up, setting them up for a grapple.
    Spinning Lariat: 3 punches or 3 kicks simultaneously
        Zangief spins tornado-style, with his arms outstreched.  The kick
    version spins faster than the punch version but for a shorter time.
    The punch version goes through normal projectiles, while the kick
    version goes through low projectiles.  However, air projectiles still
    nail Zangief during a lariat.  You can still move forwards/backwards
    with it, but you most likely won't be able to go through a fireball 
    and hit your opponent since
    you move very slowly.  You are vulnerable to low attacks such as 
    sweeps. The lariat can usually be crouched under, with the exception 
    of a close kick lariat, which can nail ducking opponents.  You can 
    get up to 3 hits with this move; use it almost exclusively on 
    jumpers.  A word of caution, your joystick must be in NEUTRAL when 
    you press the punches/kicks or you will accidentally go into a throw 
    animation, leaving you open (credit to Sabre).
    Glowing Backfist: towards, down, down-towards + punch (DP motion) in
    Z/V-ism towards, down-towards, down + punch in X-ism
        Zangief spins backwards and swats in front of him with a glowing
    fist. The strenght of the punch pressed controls the distance Zangief
    moves. This move can be used to advance safely from far away.  The 
    fist can nullify projectiles with ease and at close/medium range, you 
    can actually cancel a projectile and hit your opponent at the same 
    time. You can suck in an opponent with a piledriver or super after 
    you land this move, whether they block it or not.  As far as I know, 
    the move is not combo-able in any way.  You can use it to nail 
    airborne opponents, but it is tricky at best.
    Spinning Piledriver (SPD/piledriver): 360 (full-circle) motion + punch
        This is the infamous piledriver, Zangief's trademark move! You can
    suck your opponent in from about three steps away (your hand just
    barely touching them).  The move has awsome priority, you can grab 
    anyone out of anything, as long as their feet are still on the floor 
    i.e.  you can't grab airborne opponents.  In case you didn't notice, 
    the move cannot be blocked.  The damage is also excellent taking off 
    about 1/7 to 1/5 of the opponent's energy.  It has more power when 
    done with a stronger punch, but less range. If you are out of range 
    when you pull this move, you will get a "missed grab" animation, 
    leaving you open for about two seconds.  The piledriver is most 
    successful in a tick (more later).  Note that technically, you only 
    have to touch six consecutive directions to pull this move off, but 
    usually a full circle is necessary.
    Siberian Suplex (SS): 360 motion + kick when up close
        Zangief grabs his opponent and suplexes them, then powerbombs them
    for two hits.  This move seems to do slightly more damage than a SPD
    but has almost no range, requiring you to be right next to your 
    opponent to pull it off.  Like the SPD, it cannot be blocked.  Unlike 
    the SPD, Zangief will switch sides after landing the move.  Useful 
    for turning the tables on an opponent when you are cornered.
    Siberian Bear Crusher (SBC/Powerbomb): 360 motion + kick when far away
        Zangief runs towards his opponent, grabs him, picks him up, and
    slams him on his head.  The kick used determines the distance 
    traveled, with roundhouse being the furthest.  The move has very good 
    range but questionable priority.  It is easy to see the move coming, 
    and a good player can usually counter or escape it.  The damage done 
    is roughly that of a throw.  If you miss, you will get a "missed 
    grab" which leaves you open for heavy damage.
    Final Atomic Buster (FAB/Super Piledriver): 720 (2 full circles) + 
        Like most other supers, jab is level 1, strong is level 2, and
    fierce is level 3.  This move is the most devastating move in 
    Zangief's arsenal. It can hack off up to 45-50%, if not more, on 
    level 3.  It's basically a REALLY hyped-up version of the normal 
    SPD.  It has a couple of frames at the beginning where Zangief is 
    invincible.  I've personally grabbed someone out of a Shinryuken as 
    it started.  It has limited (but surprising) range, and phenomenal 
    damage.  I personnally use only nthe level 3 version, as the others 
    do much less damage (about 25% and 35% at levels 1 and 2 
    respectively).  I would only use the lower levels when I don't have a 
    full super bar.  A badly losing Zangief can come back to win the 
    match should he land this ultra-devastating super.  If you set up 
    this move properly (see Ticks section) and consistently Zangief will 
    become almost unstoppable. Pretty Cool!
    Super Russian Slam (SRS/Super Air Throw): down, down-towards, towards,
    down, down-towards, towards + kick (double fireball motion)
        This is Zangief's only other super.  It is only available in Z-
    ism. Zangief leaps into the air and grabs an opponent, after which, 
    the opponent gets air thrown.  It can be done at levels 1, 2 or 3.  
    Level 3 will do about as much damage as a FAB, and is much easier to 
    pull off! (credits to Sabre and Fighter's Compendium) Although this 
    move is useful, it's not very practical.  You can only get your 
    opponent at the top of your jump, so it only works if you can read 
    your opponent well enough to know when he will jump. Furthermore, 
    it's very easy to get nailed out of this move, so don't expect to 
    land it too often. It's generally better to stick with the FAB.
    -3- STRATEGY
        Zangief has VERY limited combo potential, ticks notwithstanding.
    Here is what I have been able to come up with (somebody help me out!):
    1) Fierce Splash > Standing Short > Spinning Lariat
    2) Short/Forward Knee > Standing Short > Spinning Lariat
    3) Fierce Splash > 3 Ducking Jabs
    4) Short/Forward Knee > 3 Ducking Jabs
        I will cover ticks/grab combos in one of the next sections.
        Zangief has a couple of good air counters, namely the lariat,
    the low strong, and the fierce headbutt.  The lariat can land 3 heavy
    hits on an opponent jumping in.  This will take off about 20%, but be
    careful when using the lariat this way.  If your opponent manages to
    hit Zangief on his head, you will probably end up on the painful end
    of a combo.  The headbutt is OK as an air-counter, but is difficult
    to get all the time.  The best part is that you can dizzy the opponent
    quite easily.  The low strong is probably Zangief's best air-counter,
    but you have to be positioned properly: you want your opponent to be
    above and slightly in front of you for it to work best.  If you get
    a major counter with this move, you can go into several juggles.
        After getting a major counter, you can juggle your opponent in
    several ways.  To start off, you could tack on a standing/jumping
    fierce, which looks nice but doesn't really do much damage.  The
    glowing backfist is a decent follow up to a juggle, but is tricky to
    pull off. I recommend pulling off an SRS (hopefully level 3) after
    getting a major counter.  Even if your opponent is able to flip out,
    there's not much they can do to avoid it.
        Zangief's grapples (SPD/SS/SBC/FAB) are probably the hardest moves
    to do consistently in the entire game.  Here's the secret to getting
    the moves quickly and accurately.  First of all, try to pull off a
    grapple while jumping.  To do this, jump up, do a full circle motion
    while airborne and press an attack button as you land.  You should
    finish the 360 motion just as you land.  Once you are able to get a
    grapple consistently, try doing it STANDING.  I know that this sounds
    impossible, but TRUST ME.  Pulling a full circle motion cleanly and
    accurately while standing is VERY DIFFICULT but by no means 
    impossible.  All you have to do is do the 360, and press punch/kick a 
    split second before you jump.  If you do it properly, you should get 
    a piledriver from a standing start.  You won't get it the first time 
    you try it, but be patient and practice.  It took me almost 2 weeks 
    of practice (at about 4-6 hours a day) to get it right.  Just stick 
    with it and you'll succeed. Once you're able to do this, Zangief 
    becomes much more dangerous.  For instance, when someone whiffs a 
    Dragon Punch, you can stand there, wait for them to land, and punish 
    them with a grapple.
        When playing as Zangief, ticking is probably the most important 
    and most difficult aspect of the game.  For those of you who are less
    SF-savvy than others, ticking is basically putting a grapple
    (SPD/SS/SBC/FAB) into a "combo" that does massive damage, blocked or
        A tick can be accomplished in several ways.  The first, and 
    easiest way to do it is to jump in with and attack such as a fierce 
    splash, and land into an SPD.  Whether or not the splash is blocked, 
    you will grab your opponent and piledrive them for heavy damage.
        Once you've gotten that one down, you can try to do a standing
    tick. Throw a standing/low short or low jab and pull a standing
    piledriver. If your opponent gets hit by the tick move, the SPD will
    be a combo (but it will not show up on the combo meter).  If your
    opponent blocks the tick, he will ge sucked in by the SPD.  You can do
    this as part of a jump in combo (Cross-up Splash > Short > SPD), or 
    ou can do it to an opponent who is getting up.  Beware, though, a
    character with a Dragon-Punch type super (any Shotokan, Sagat, 
    Charlie, etc.) can really hurt you should they pull a super as you 
    try to tick. Other than this, you're usually only open to an Alpha-
    counter  when you tick.  Note: If you keep getting the "missed grab" 
    animation, it means that either your opponent is out of range (try 
    using a jab SPD instead) or you're doing the SPD too early.
        The ultimate tick is with the FAB.  Practice doing the FAB while
    jumping, and once you've got it (technique similar to jumping
    piledriver), you can try to tick off of a standing/crouching short.
    Tere are 2 ways to do it.  You can do ONE full circle, press short,
    and do another full circle to finish the motion; or you can throw a
    short and then do 2 full circles.  Either method works fine, but I
    personnally prefer the second method.  In any case, a Splash > Low Jab
    > Low Short > FAB level 3 looks awesome, all but kills outright,
    and is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
        One last note on ticks: you cannot 2-in-1 a tick.  If you try to
    "hide" a standing/ducking short within the 360 motion (kind of like
    trying to pull off a tick  la Ryu/Ken/Akuma style combo), you will
    always get the "missed grab".  I think Capcom put this in to
    discourage "cheapers".  You MUST do the short first, before you start
    the 360 motion, or else it will not work.
        Zangief is not a combo-driven character.  If you like combo play,
    pick someone else.
        To win, you have to get close to your opponent.  So, obviously,
    most decent players will try to play a "keep away" game against 
    Zangief (fireball trap comes to mine here).  You should always keep 
    the pressure on your opponent and never let him take the initiative."
    If you play defensively, again, pick someone else." (quote from
    Fighter's Compendium)
        Your major arsenal should be the Lariat, the Fierce Splash, and
    the SPD.  You could also use the close sweep from time to time.  For
    example, if someone whiffs a Dragon Punch, you might not want to SPD
    them right away.  You could do a close sweep to knock them down.  As
    the rise, do a long sweep from far away, which will actually get most
    people.  When they get to their feet again, jump in and go for a
    piledriver or even a super.
        Zangief's strategy is to get in close and set up your
    ultra-devastating grapples.  This is the principle upon which you
    should build your fighting style.  If your opponent is always knocking
    you away, poke at them with your low jab/fierce/forward/roundhouse.
    When they begin attacking on the ground, jump in and go for a tick.
        Here's an interesting thing that NT taught me: walk up to someone
    & piledrive them from their limbs!  Just go up to them, and SPD in
    one smooth motion on the joystick.  If you see Zangief duck, you
    messed it up.  The SPD should be coming out of nowhere.
        Sometimes, when up against an expert/pro, you might have trouble
    landing a grapple, since they can escape all but the most perfectly
    executed ticks, usually by jumping out of them before you can pull 
    them off.  Here's and easy solution.  If they escape your standing 
    ticks, you can try a simple jumping tick.  Your opponnent might 
    simply block and wait for a standing short that never comes; you can 
    then just pick them up and do whatever you want with them.  If that 
    doesn't work, you can try jumping in without throwing an attack and 
    SPD or FAB them. This usually works, even against seasoned players 
    (acknowledgement to Fighter's Compendium and Sabre).  One of my own 
    inventions is a fake tick.  Pull a tick move on your opponent, and if 
    they decide to try and escape, do a standing fierce.  This will nail 
    them as they jump up and you may even get a major counter. Sometimes 
    the mere threat of a piledriver is more dangerous than the move 
        You should always look for openings to land the level 3 FAB,
    which will cripple your opponent at the very least.  I find that the
    psychological effect of landing a FAB to be of significant value.  
    Most players that I have interviewed trash certain characters like 
    Zangief, Birdie, Sodom, Rolento, etc.  Characters like Ryu, Ken, 
    Akuma, Sagat, Charlie, Chun-Li are rated rather highly.  Quoting the 
    Fighter's Compendium SFA2 FAQ: "He [Zangief] is not a useless 
    character.  He just requires a little more patience and understanding 
    to win with."
        Also, if your opponent is on the recieving end of a FAB,he will
    realize that he's not up against an amateur, and that can work to your
    advantage.  Your chances of winning go up considerably if your 
    opponent fears you.
        Many character strategies are missing here.  I hope to have a 
    complete breakdown in the next version of the FAQ, pending feedback 
    from all my readers.  Thanks for helping me out! :)
    RYU - Challenging match, especially against truly seasoned players.
    Don't fall into a fireball/dragon punch trap, and watch out for
    "THE TRAP" (a mix-up of Ryu's Low Short, Low Forward, Step Kick, and
    overhead hit).  This trap can drain away your guard meter unbelievably
    quickly.  Your only option is to either wait for the step kick and
    counter with a low jab, or wait for the overhead and sweep your
    AKUMA - Similar to Ryu, with the addition of a nasty air fireball.
    Your're pretty much defenceless when up against this move.  Try to
    knock your opponent down by doing an early air-to-air nd set up a 
    tick.  His DP super is an excellent counter to any tick.
    KEN - Brutal fight.  A combo character with a nasty poke (towards +
    roundhouse) makes for a real bitch.  You can't jump in as much because
    of Ken's fast DPs and Shinryuken super.  As with Akuma, the 
    Shoryureppa is a great stopper for any tick.  Wait for him to whiff a 
    DP, then punish him.
    CHARLIE - The infamous turtler.  He can usually wait for you to move
    in, then counter you with relative safety.  If you are able to
    air-block his flashkick, you can knock him down and set up a tick. But
    what I like to do is to jump in with a short knee, which will stuff
    his flashkick.
    CHUN-LI - This is a classing SF2 matchup which is pretty nasty.  Speed
    or Power? Speed is usually a HUGE advantage since Chun-Li can run away
    from you when she needs to, and move in to do huge damage when you're
    open.  Don't take too many hits from her supers 'cause they can do
    heavy damage even at level 1.  If you let her dictate the match to 
    you, you can say goodbye.
    DHALSIM - Another rough matchup.  Do we see a pattern going on here? 
    Dhalsim is probably the best character to use against Zangief for one
    reason and one reason only: RANGE.  You might try a jumping short knee
    to move in with, as it can beat many of Daddy-Long-Legs moves, such
    as his standing forward and roundhouse.
    E.  HONDA - This one should be easy.  You can counter his Sumo 
    Headbutt with ducking jabs, and his Sumo Squash is useless against 
    your lariat, provided you are MOVING when he lands on you.  You WILL 
    get nailed if he lands on your head.  Use cross-ups instead of just 
    jumping in, in order to get around his standing "Chop-Suey" fierce.
    BLANKA - Another relatively easy match.  You can nullify his
    horizontall roll attack with a low jab (standing strong also works,
    but requires inhuman timing).  Watch out for his electrical attack, as
    Zangief is much to slow to be able to sweep it cleanly at close range.
    M.BISON (US BALROG) - I have yet to fight a human Balrog with Zangief.
    I would appreciate any and all feedback concerning this matchup.
    BALROG (US VEGA) - This one's another toughie.  Vega's sheer speed and
    the priority of his regular attacks, combined with a higher than 
    normal jump make him a well-suited Zangief killer.  An early jumping 
    fierce might be able to take Vega out of the air, but don't count on 
    landing many grapples.  When he goes off the wall, jump away with a 
    jab. It'll stop his claw dive or Izuna Drop.  Just make sure he's not 
    doing the claw spear (he won't scream when he does).
    SAGAT - Average difficulty.  The tick tactics outlined in this FAQ
    work very well against Sagat, but be careful about taking too many
    hits from his Tiger Uppercut, especially the deep fierce one (7 hits,
    ouch!) But otherwise, his Tiger Uppercut has lousy priority.
    CAMMY - This fight is moderately difficult, bordering on hard.  She's
    small, she's fast, and she has a great arsenal of moves.  Most of her
    normal moves will beat those of Zangief, so you should try to corner
    her and keep her from moving around a lot.  I have a lot of trouble
    landing a cross-up fierce splash on her as she's getting up (it'll
    almost always miss).  I don't know why.
    SODOM - It all boils down to one issue: who will land the dreaded
    piledriver first? Sodom is by no means a pushover since he has speed
    on his side.  His grapples have comparable damage to yours and he has
    a high priority jumping fierce.
    BIRDIE - Almost the same as Sodom, with the exception of Birdie's
    super chain grab.  He's almost as slow as Zangief, but his super
    chain grab is lethal.  He can land it from a full screen away with
    relative ease.  You should try to tick Birdie, since his regular
    chain grabs' range and priority pale in comparison to your SPD/SS.
    ROLENTO - Rolento is somewhat similar to Vega, as he moves around
    a lot.  But it's not too difficult to beat him if you know how.
    Rolento is a hit-and-run character, which makes it suicidal to
    try and follow him around.  Use your low strong to discourage him from
    jumping, but DON'T GO AFTER HIM! Let him come to you, and when he 
    makes a mistake (such as when he misses a wall leap & lands right in 
    front of you) give him a FAB and watch him pay!
    GEN - Gen is an old fart who's also a pain in the ass.  He's fast, and
    a tiny jab can turn into a 70 or 80 percent combo.  Don't jump in on
    him, let him come to you.
    SAKURA - Easy.  You can attack her in relative safety, and when she
    tries to DP you, just fall back and let her do it.  Sakura
    is WIDE OPEN after her DP, giving you a perfect opportunity to
    piledrive.  Two things to note, however, Sakura's jumping ANHYTHING
    will hit you right out of your lariat whether you are moving with it
    or not.  The low strong doesn't work well either.  Just block and be
    ready to counter her with a grapple.  Oh yeah, don't go into the air
    with her with anything but an early short knee.
    GUY - Guy is of medium difficulty.  He's faster than Vega, but he
    doesn't have that much priority.  Like Rolento, don't try to follow 
    him around.  Let him make the mistakes.
    ROSE - Again, I haven't faced a Rose player, please send info!
    DAN - "Doushita Doushita?" - "Is this a joke?" Honest to goodness, 
    this fight is EASY! Dan's air-counters (DP or low fierce) are next to 
    useless against Zangief's fierce splash.  If you like, you can even 
    wait for Dan to do his funky hurricane kick and piledrive him as he 
    lands from it.
    ADON - Another rough match.  Adon is fast and moves around.  You can 
    try to piledrive him, but you probably won't meet with much 
    successs.  The Jaguar Kick is a really annoying, but you can block it 
    and pull off a jab SPD.
    KARIN - My buddy Reagan kicks major ass with her.  NEVER jump in, 
    DON'T let her wait for you to come to her, and THINK before you pull 
    anything fancy.  She's a very well-rounded character who doesn't need 
    a fireball. Your best bet is to wait for her to try and poke you, and 
    grab her from her limbs.
    R. MIKA, CODY - Please send me info regarding Zangief vs. these guys!
    WIN SEQUENCES (courtesy of Kao Megura)
    (Just hold a button after you win a round.)
    Jab          Zangief throws up his arms and grunts.
    Strong       Same as Jab, but with quote.
    Fierce       Zangief flexes his chest muscle, then poses and grins 
                 saying "Bolishoi Pavieda" (Big Victory?) :)
    Short        Same as Fierce, but laughs instead.
    Forward      Zangief takes a flask of vodka from his belt, drinks it,
                 and breathes out a blast of fire.  While he's breathing,
                 Blanka drops down and holds out a fish so that Zangief
                 ends up cooking it.  Blanka goes off-screen with a grin,
                 and Zngief looks back at the screen, grinning, his face
                 covered in ash.
    Roundhouse   Same as Forward, but Blaka stays hanging from the ceiling
                 along with the fish, both of them charred.
        I find that against most players, esp.  Shotokans, they take it 
    easy on me when I play Zangief at the arcade.  I guess they think I 
    don't know how to play -- almost any Shotokan player will admit that 
    they think Zangief sucks.
        Now, don't go thinking that I hate all Shotokans.  I just get 
    annoyed with the "amateurs" who think they know what they're doing 
    but play with ABSOLLUTELY NO FINESSE! (Jumping Roundhouse/Fierce, 
    Sweep, Fireball, and Dragon Punch) I'll show no mercy against these 
    guys, especially "Cheap Akumas".
        In any case, I won't have much time to play now, since the end of
    the semester is rolling around. C-y'all. ^_^
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