Zangief by Sabre

Version: 1.0 | Updated: 12/02/98 | Printable Version

                        | Street Fighters Alph 3: |
                        |      Zangief FAQ        |
                        |           By            |
                        |          Sabre          |
                               Version 1.0

Revision History:
Version 1.0 (12/2/98)  --  Start writing this gig.  There'll be more 

Copyright 1998 by H. C. Yu
Copyright information:      Please…
              (1)  DO NOT use this FAQ for your commercial use.
              (2)  DO give credits where they're due.
Table of Contents:
   Normal Moves
   Ways of landing special throws
     In the third installment of the Street Fighter Alpha series, this
game boasts the most characters of any SF games put forth so far, with a
few mysterious secret characters waiting to be unveiled.  The game
follows the tradition of super meters, alpha counters, and rolling.  In
addition, Capcom put in juggles, juggle recoveries, guard meter, and
many selectable modes of fighting.
     IMO, I find that the game deviates from the meaning of SFA.  First
of all, alpha counters are no more!  It does barely any damage, and the
priorities kind of suck.  Also, the fighting style has turned heavily
onto poking techniques.  With the addition of guard meter, poking has
become one's primary weapon.  3~4 heavy punches or kicks will usually
crush the meter, making opponents vulnerable to supers or free combos. 
I've always been a strategic and combo player, and I ain't too fond of
this new style.
     Why Zangief (A-ism)?  Well, I don't like poking too much, so I like
to use combos to do damages.  Zangief can "combo" his special throws
easily, thus he solved my problems in two folds: combo for damage and no
poking.  Zangief is much improved in this game.  His special throws have
added reach, and he gained many improved combos.  However, he also lost
the damage in throws and some easy throw combos.  For example, jump in
knee into throws no longer works if the knee is blocked.
     In this FAQ, I'll try to put some insights into how to kick ass
with this new and improved Zangief.  Since I'm still a new-be in this
game, any help is deeply appreciated.
Normal Moves:
Jab = this has become the most important attack of the game.  Without
them, you cannot POSSIBLY survive!  Zangief's standing jabs are a quick
chop that serve as an air defense.  However, the priority on it isn't
too high.  If you manage to major counter the attacks, immediately do a
Siberian Super Air Grab for serious damage!  The crouching jabs are much
better and are keys to Zangief's success.  He can connect up to 3 jabs
for some guard meter munching, but cannot combo afterwards.  BTW,
Zangief can chain jab into short in a combo.  The jumping jabs are just
jumping air stabs.  If you major counter attacks in air with jumping
jabs, Zangief can throw in a Siberian Super Air Grab when he lands to
tag opponents.
Short = this is less useful than jabs, but is nevertheless important. 
Standing short is really useless, it's just an ankle kick.  Crouching
shorts are much better and can chain into special throws easily. 
Jumping shorts is another horizontal kick useful for tagging opponents
in the air.  Again, if you major counter the attacks, Zangief can land
into a Siberian Super Air Grab.  Another variation of jumping short is
the Knee Dive.  Knee Dive with short is very quick and can counter many
annoying poking tricks (Dhalsim's long reach).  The frame on this move
is very short so time it well.
Strong = this is not so much an button.  Standing strongs are horizontal
chops that are quite useless.  Crouching strongs are fairly useful as
air defense.  The uppercut hits a few steps in front of Zangief, so you
must position Zangief correctly or he'll just miss.  In corner, Zangief
can juggle with a Green Hand afterwards!  Jumping strongs are jumping
downward chop that's pretty much useless.  A variation of jumping strong
is Head Butt.  This will stop most air-to-air attacks and dizzy
opponents very quickly.  However, they're hard to land.
Forward = this button is very much overlooked!  Standing forwards have
great range and can use in poking.  Crouching forwards also have long
reach to keep opponents at bay.  Jumping forward is kind of like jumping
short, except with stronger damage.  Knee Dive is a jumping forward
variation.  The priority of the knee is still high, but cannot be used
to counter quick pokes.  Also, the damage is better and the frame lasts
Fierce = this is the most important button for Zangief.  This is where
Zangief hurts others badly!  Standing fierce has great range and hits
hard.  Crouching fierce is basically a staning fierce in crouching
position.  Jumping fierce is a "superman" punch that's quite useful in
air-to-air combats.  Body Splash, a jumping fierce variant, is
excellent!  It has superb priority and great coverage.  It beats off
lots of normal attacks and some specials!  If you manage to major
counter with Body Splash, land and pull off the Siberian Super Air Grab!
Roundhouse = this isn't too useful.  Standing roundhouse is a
short-range double kick that'll never connect!  Crouching roundhouse is
better in that it trips opponents.  Jumping roundhouse has great range
and useful in air-to-air face-offs.
Spinning Pile Driver = this is the mother of all throws!  Although the
damage is toned down, the range is much improved.  As before, fierce SPD
does the best damage while jab SPD is the weakest.  Zangief should build
his game around this move.  Knowing how to land this throw will be VERY
important.  I'll have a section on this later.
Siberian Suplex = this is another powerful throw equivalent to SPD!  The
damage seems stronger than SPD, and it's nice to see Zangief do other
throws besides SPD.  Often, Zangief players go for SPD; however, IMO
this is much better!  Siberian Suplex, like SPD, can be "comboed." 
Another advantage of this throw is that Zangief will switch sides with
opponents.  Thus, it can turn the table around, when you are against the
corner, by making the opponents be on the corner.  Then, Zangief can go
on offensive.
Running Bear Grab = this is a rather weak throw.  Although the range is
better than the previous 2 throws, RBG is relatively weak.  Also, it's
so easy to read that opponents will almost always counter it!  There's
one awkward "combo" with this move: Standing roundhouse into RBG.  This
is hard to pull off because hitting opponents with the roundhouse is
very rare.
Green Hand = can we way this is Zangief's fireball?  This move is quick
in advancing Zangief safely and can counter fireballs.  Also, you can
suck in opponents with a SPD/SS afterwards if close enough.  Combo
opportunity is rare for this move.  BTW, you can use this to knock out
air-borne opponents.  If such is the case, you can by-all-means do the
Siberian Super Air Grab for mega damage!!
Lariat = this is an excellent air defense move.  Zangief will rely
heavily on this move to defend himself!  In this game, Lariat is much
better.  Its priority seems to have increased, and it now clip up to 3
times!  One caution about this move is the command.  You must put
joystick on neutral to do this move, or Zangief will accidentally try to
throw.  BTW, it can't be air-blocked.
Final Atomic Buster = this is by-far the most feared super of the game! 
It cannot be blocked and does nearly 50% damage!  Also, the suck-in
range is much greater!  Due to increased range, this can be "comboed"
right after jump-in attacks (just like in SFA2).  More info on comboing
this move later.
Siberian Super Air Grab = IMO this is Zangief's easiest super combo
(duh!)  Capcom has vastly improved this move by giving it lots of combo
opportunities.  Now, Zangief can easily rely on this super to unleash
damage.  Level 3 will dish out nearly 50% damage, rivaling the much
harder-to-pull-off FAB!
Landing SPD/SS/FAB:
     Let's first start with SPD and SS.  They are just 360 motion on the
joystick, but you can manage with just 270.  Before we being, get into a
habit of spinning the joystick (without breaking them!).  To start,
learn to jump-in into SPD/SS.  Hold up-forward to jump-in, and while in
air whip a circle from that position and time it so you land when you
just complete the circle.  Once you master that, now stick an attack
during jump-in.  The technique is the same except that you tag in an
attack in air.  If you can do this effectively (that meanse you whiffed
the throw if opponents blocked the attack or do the throw if connects),
then you're ready for some expert maneuver!  Jump-in attack, then
crouching jab/short into SPD/SS.  Now, the timing is the tricky part. 
By now, you should be able to do 360 from anywhere with no difficulty. 
After the crouching jab/short, wait a split second, then whip up the
360.  Boom, they're screwed!  Easy, huh?  Practice!  If any questions,
e-mail me at
     Now the mother-of-all super "combo."  FAB is really hard to do
because it's 720, or 2 circles for you math drop-outs ^_^ (J/K)  First,
practice jumping into the super.  The circles must be done quickly and
finish upon landing.  After that, stick in a jump-in attack before
whipping up this super.  BTW, the super will grab, even if the attack is
blocked, due to its increased range!  Now, you're ready for the biggy! 
Jump-in attack, then crouching jab/short into FAB.  There are basically
2 ways to land this combo.  If you're a quick spinner, you can spin the
FAB right after the jab/short tags.  On the other hand, there's this
buffering technique that'll do just fine.  While jumping, spin a circle
quickly.  By the time you land, you should have completed and holding it
at crouching position.  Then hit short (if done correctly, Zangief won't
try RBG/SS).  Once you see short connect, whip another circle (as if
doing the SPD/SS combo) for FAB.  This will take some practice, but is
much easier.
     Zangief is often viewed as a punching bag due to his slowness and
big size.  He can be greatly hampered by keep-aways and quick long-range
poking characters.  The guard meter further weakens Zangief because
he'll need to block A LOT!!  My advice is to be patient and trade as
much hits as possible, because Zangief will most likely do more damage.
     The majority of his game should be built around landing
FAB/SPD/SS.  Against experts, the "ticking" will often be avoided but
can be conpensated by the following trick: jump into the throw. 
Usually, experts will expect to block before jumping up again.  You can
fake out the attack and land into the throw when they are expecting a
jump-in attack.  Believe it or not, this is very useful!  Against most
opponents, the ticking will work just fine.
(No one so far)