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            MASTER'S GUIDE TO SAKURA FAQ v1.0
                         by Al Lo
                      alo@wincom.net


TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.      WHY I WROTE THIS FAQ
2.      STORY
3.      ENDING
4.      COLORS
5.      NORMAL ATTACKS
6.      OVERHEAD ATTACKS
7.      THROWS
8.      SURE-KILLING TECHNIQUES (Special Moves)
9.      ALPHA COUNTERS
10.     SUPER COMBOS
11.     TAUNTS
12.     WIN POSES
13.     COMBOS
14.     GENERAL STRATEGY
15.     WIN QUOTES
16.     CREDITS

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.                          WHY I WROTE THIS FAQ
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well, SFA2 is pretty old by now but in my arcade it is still the most played
game.  Yep, even though we have SF3 projected onto a 10' by 10' screen.  Even
though SF3 looks about a million times better....Well, I feel I have finally
"mastered" Sakura.  I can beat pretty much everybody every fight.  I guess
that isn't much of a feat since my arcade is Ryu/Ken/Akuma FB/DP land.
Anyways, Sakura is the best character Capcom ever put in a fighting game and
with a little skill behind her she can compete with the Chun-Lis, Ryus and
Kens.  This in no means is the set in stone method of playing Sakura.  It is
what I do and I am very successful when I use these strategies.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
2.                                 STORY
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sakura Kusagano is a schoolgirl in Japan who enjoys Street Fighting.  This
started when she and her friend had a run in with a couple of thugs.  She
wasted them with ease and now wants Ryu to be her teacher so that she can
increase her skills.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
3.                                 ENDING
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Before the fight)
Sakura  "I've been looking for you Ryu."
Ryu     "What do you want with me, little girl?"
Sakura  "Is that any way to talk?  I'm your number one fan.  That's Ms.
         Little Girl to you!"
(After the fight, Ryu is walking away)
Sakura  "Wait!  Where are you going?  I want to be stronger.  I want to learn
         more.  Please!  Please teach me!  Be my master!!!!"
Ryu     "I'm still learning myself.  I don't have time for school girl games!
         You're on your own.  I've got to go.
Sakura  "At least give me something to remember you by!"
(Sakura takes a picture of Ryu)
(Sakura is walking to school)
Sakura  (He took it easy on me.  I just know it!  What did he mean--"He is
         still learning?"  I though street fighting was for fun.  Maybe he
         knows the true meaning of "fight."  I have to see him again and ask
         him.
Friend  "Good morning Sakura.  Who's that?"
Sakura  "My master, maybe?"
Friend  "What?!  What do you mean?"
Sakura  "Forget it.  We don'ts have time.  We'll be late for school"
Friend  "Hey!  Wait for me!"
Sakura  "I'm going to need a crash course."


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
4.                                 COLORS
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

PK1-Jab + Short         PK2-Fierce + Roundhouse
P       blue skirt, yellow tie, white shirt, red gloves
K       light green skirt, pink tie, white shirt, orange gloves
PP      dark red skirt, yelow tie, light pink shirt, blue gloves
KK      green skirt, pink tie, white shirt, orange gloves
PK1     purple skirt, yellow tie, white shirt, purple gloves
PK2     black skirt, orange tie, white shirt, blue gloves


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
5.                              NORMAL ATTACKS
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

JAB
"Jab"
Standing        A quick straight punch that can be used to 2 in 1 with.  This
                punch is primarily used for poking.  If they block a standing
                jab you can go for the throw and if they don't you can 2 in 1
                into a fierce Sho-Oh-Ken.
"Shagami Jab"
Ducking         Like the standing jab it can be used to 2 in 1 with and is
                used mainly for poking and tick attempts.  If one connects
                immediately go into the fierce Sho-Oh-Ken.
"Jumping Shotei"
Jumping         Almost useless as a jump in attack.  May be used as an air to
                air counter but a jumping forward is much better.

STRONG
"Straight"
Standing        Another standing straight punch.  You can 2 in 1 with it so
                it can be used in combos but it is too slow to tick with.
"Genkotsu Stamp"
Ducking         A great counter to ducking kicks.  It will cleanly counter
                almost every kick with a few exceptions like Chun-Li's
                ducking forward.  When playing foot games use this or the
                ducking forward to counter or strike first.  If this connects
                2 in 1 into a forward Shunpuu Kyaku.
"Jumping Straight"
Jumping         A jumping strong can be used as an air to air counter but is
                pretty much useless as a jump in attack because it must be
                very deep to connect in combos.

FIERCE
"Furiko Upper"
Standing        A two handed uppercut.  This is effective as an air counter
                and is also used to 2 in 1 into a fierce Sho-Oh-Ken.  This
                is your main weapon against missed attacks since it fills
                your super bar up very quickly.  If your opponent is walking
                towards you do a standing fierce into a Hadoken to push them
                back or connect for a combo.
"Guts Upper"
Ducking         A ducking uppercut.  Your primary air counter against most
                jumping attacks.  It has a very high priority and a well
                timed ducking fierce will take out almost anything except air
                custom combos.  You can also 2 in 1 into a fierce Sho-Oh-Ken
                with a ducking fierce.
"Batobi Punch"
Jumping         This is Sakura's second best jumping attack.  It does more
                damage than a jumping forward but has less priority.  Use this
                if your opponent is dizzy or has missed an attack.

SHORT
"Low Kick"
Standing        Like Sakura's jab this is used for ticking.  Constant poking
                with her weak attacks will frustrate your opponent and cause
                them to turtle.  If one connects you can 2 in 1 into a fierce
                Sho-Oh-Ken or a super combo.
"Yosumi Kick"
Ducking         Basically use this and ducking jabs to tick.
"Tobi Geri"
Jumping         Very weak as a jump in attack and not so great as an air to
                air counter.  Don't use this too often.

FORWARD
"Agohane Geri"
Standing        The forward kick should be your primary attack button.  A
                standing forward is almost as good as a ducking fierce as
                an air counter.  You can't 2 in 1 off this attack.
"Guts Kick"
Ducking         Probably the second best in terms of ground priority to
                Chun-Li's ducking forward.  Is faster than almost all of the
                ground attacks in SFA2 and will counter almost anything.
High-School Kick"
Jumping         Possibly the best jumping attack in SFA2.  Use this to cross-
                up your opponent whenever possible.  They are hard to block
                for some people and lead to massive combos.  Sakura's main
                strength is her cross-up ability so use it as often as
                possible.

ROUNDHOUSE
"Ichimonji Geri"
Standing        This kick is relatively fast compared to other roundhouse
                attacks.  You can use it to stop advancing opponents.  Also,
                after you throw a fireball at your opponent in the corner
                form close range do a standing roundhouse to counter their
                next attack.
"Kaiten Ashibarai"
Ducking         A lot of people use ducking roundhouses as the majority of
                their ground attacks.  It is slower and has less priority
                than a ducking forward so use the ducking forward.  Use this
                only with Valle custom combos.
"Sakura Kick"
Jumping         Like the jumping fierce it has very little range and should
                only be used in combos when your opponent is dizzy or has
                missed a ground attack or has missed with a projectile attack.


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6.                            OVERHEAD ATTACKS
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Flower Kick             F + Forward
This overhead attack is pretty slow in comparison to others.  Use it on
fallen opponents as they get up followed by a ducking forward or roundhouse.
It is also effective against turtles as a start up for custom combos.


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7.                                THROWS
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sailor Strangle         B/F + Strong/Fierce
Sailor Shoot            B/F + Forward/Roundhouse
The direction you choose will cause you opponent to land on that side after
the throw or hold.  The Sailor Stangle is easy to tech hit off but is the
throw you should use.  It puts your opponent right beside you setting up a
cross-up attempt.  The Sailor Shoot takes off less damage and pushes your
opponent away from you.  Use the Sakura Strangle whenever possible.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
8.                SURE-KILLING TECHNIQUES (Special Moves)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hadoken                 D,DF,F + P/PP/PPP
P               1 hit/9% damage
PP              1 hit/10% damage
PPP             1 hit/12% damage
This is a slow projectile which dissipates as it travels across the screen.
Pressing one punch will launch a small fireball across most of the screen.
Pressing two punches will increase the size but decrease the distance and the
same occurs when three punches are pressed.  The main flaw that a lot of
Sakura players have is that they are fireball crazy and just because she is
a Shotokan fighter they assume she is a female Ryu.  Playing like this will
get you killed.  Only use Hadokens when you know they will cancel out another
projectile or will hit your opponent.  From a full screen away use it to
counter projectiles and charge up the super bar.  When you knock down an
opponent you can use a fireball to make them block as they get up but going
for cross-ups is much smarter.

Shunpuu Kyaku           D,DB,B + K
Short           1 hit/10% damage
Forward         1 hit/11% damage
Roundhouse      1 hit/12% damage
Unlike Ryu or Ken's, Sakura's Shunpuu Kyaku arcs upwards and back down.
The stronger the kick the higher and farther she will travel.  The Short
version is best for countering ground attacks because it has pretty good
priority.  The Forward version is best for combos after a ducking strong. The
Roundhouse version should only be used in custom combos because it is
difficult to hit with it any other way.

Sho-Oh-Ken              F,D,DF + P
Jab             1 hit/13% damage
Strong          4 hits/15% damage
Fierce          6 hits/18% damage
This is Sakura's version of the Shoryuken.  However, this is not a Ryu/Ken air 
counter.  The Jab version is okay as an air counter but a ducking fierce is 
much easier to do and has a higher priority.  Use the Fierce version EVERY time 
and only in combos.


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9.                            ALPHA COUNTERS
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Punch AC                Block, B, DB, D + P
Kick AC                 Block, B, DB, D + K
These in my opinion are a giant waste of super bar energy.  There are always
other ways to counter and you waste chances to use custom combos.  The only
time I ever use them is of they are about to die and try to attack.  Then
I can safely counter any of their attacks without risking losing any damage.
It is useless to alpha counter air attacks because you can use a ducking
Fierce or a standing Forward.  If they use a super combo and you block it
using an alpha counter during it will take off a little energy.  You can
always block and wait for them to finish countering with a custom combo for
a lot more damage.  Alpha countering ground attacks is also not very useful
because Sakura's ducking Forward counters almost anything.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
10.                            SUPER COMBOS
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

When the bar at the bottom of the screen reaches 1 you can perform super
combos.  When the bar is at 2 by pressing two attack buttons you can do a
level 2 super combo and a level 3 super combo is achieved by pressing three
attack buttons after the joystick motions.

Shinkuu Hadoken         D,DF,F,D,DF,F + P/PP/PPP
Level 1         3 hits/10-17% damage
Level 2         4 hits/15-25% damage
Level 3         5 hits/24-38% damage
This can be used to counter projectiles when you in at least half a screen
away form your opponent.  Any farther and they can block or your firebell
will dissipate.  It can also be used as an air counter for big damage.

Midare Zakura           D,DF,F,D,DF,F + K/KK/KKK
Level 1         4 hits/~24% damage
Level 2         6 hits/~32% damage
Level 3         7 hits/~44% damage
Missed ground attacks can be punished with this and it can be used in combos
but it is relatively weak when compared to Sakura's custom combos.  Don't
use this too much.  

Haru Ichiban            D,DB,B,D,DB,B + K/KK/KKK
Level 1         5 hits/~28% damage
Level 2         6 hits/~37% damage
Level 3         7 hits/~48% damage
This is useful because it hits low, has high damage, and very little
recovery time.  If you are to use a super combo in a combo this is the one to
use.  However, I feel that custom combos are more effective.
**********THE ULTIMA HARU ICHIBAN SPECIAL**********
Thanks to Ultima for teaching me this trick.  If you Haru Ichiban is blocked
do a ducking Forward right after.  It will push you away and will counter
any other counter by your opponent almost all of the time.  I think it doesn't
counter moves with invincible frames through like Shoryukens.


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11.                                TAUNTS
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sakura's taunt is done by pressing the 1P or 2P buttons on an arcade machine.
She look's away, points and giggles.  You can do these after big combos but
since hers can hit they are best used in custom combos for the extra bit of
flash.  You can only do these once a round but as many times as you want
during custom combos.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
12.                               WIN POSES
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

You can choose you win pose by pressing the 1P/2P buttons along with an
attack button after you win.
Jab             Sakura turns away, wipes her nose, points and giggles.
Strong          Sakura raises her fist and giggles while her skirt moves with
	          the wind.
Fierce          Like the Short win pose without the flying shoe.
Short           Sakura does a few kicks, clenches her fists and screams.
                During this process her shoe flies off and hits her on her
                head.
Forward         The best win pose in all of SFA2.  Sakura dances!


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13.                                COMBOS
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Since the number of combos that can be done in SF due to its great 2 in 1
combo system I'll only list the effective ones.

**********SURE KILLING TECHNIQUE COMBOS*********
Cross-up Forward Combos
        Cross-up Forward, Ducking or Standing Fierce, Fierce Sho-Oh-Ken
        Cross-up Forward, Ducking or Standing Fierce, Fierce Hadoken
        Cross-up Forward, Ducking Stong, Forward Shunpuu Kyaku
If the Forward connects do the first combo or the second one if the first is
too difficult.  The second does not take off as much energy but is much easier
to do.  If the Forward is blocked do the third combo.  After the combo ends
start up a custom combo.

Air To Ground Combos
        Jumping Fierce, Ducking or Standing Fierce, Fierce Sho-Oh-Ken
        Jumping Fierce, Ducking or Standing Fierce, Fierce Hadoken
Only use these combos when you know you are going to hit your opponent.
These situations include dizzies and jumping over fireballs or missed attacks.
It is risky to use these in other situations because you will be punished
after a blocked Sho-Oh-Ken or Hadoken at such a close range.

Gound Combos
        Standing or Ducking Fierce, Fierce Sho-Oh-Ken
        Standing Fierce, Fierce Hadoken
        Ducking Jab, Ducking Jab, Standing Short, Fierce Sho-Oh-Ken
Use the first combo EVERYTIME your opponent misses a move.  This combo takes
off quite a bit of energy and fills up your super bar very quickly.  Use the
second combo if your opponent is walking towards you.  If they block they get
pushed back and if they don't they get hit.  When poking with Short and Jab
if you connect use the third combo.

**********SUPER COMBO COMBOS (sounds weird)**********
Cross-up Forward Combos
        Cross-up Forward, Ducking or Standing Fierce, Shinkuu Hadoken
        Cross-up Forward, Ducking or Standing Fierce, Haru Ichiban

Air To Ground Combos
        Jumping Fierce, Ducking or Standing Fierce, Shinkuu Hadoken
        Jumping Fierce, Ducking or Standing Fierce, Haru Ichiban

Ground Combos
        Ducking or Standing Fierce, Shinkuu Hadoken
        Ducking or Standing Fierce, Haru Ichiban
Being able to do these super combo combos is important but I rarely ever find
myself using super combos except to cheese people to death when they are
about to die.  At lower levels they do less damage and have less priority
than custom combos, the ultimate weapon of SFA2.  I sure if they are wide
open and you can bust a level three super combo on them for easy damage
instead of risking a missed custom combo.  If you can do custom combos and
know when to use them super combos seem very useless.

**********CUSTOM COMBOS**********
When To Use Them
        Use them after every missed attack (shoryuken, somersault shell etc)
        because every attack has some delay after them.  Even the slower
        normal attacks can be countered with a custom combo.  You can use
        custom combos to bust through anti air normals such as ducking fierces.

The Valle Custom Combo
        This is the most powerful weapon in SFA2.  It is named after its
        creator Alex Valle.  When your opponent is a step or two away and
        standing start a custom with a ducking Roundhouse.  The game does not
        allow your opponent to switch from high block to low block enabling
        you to successfully connect with custom combos every time this
        situation occurs.    

There are literally millions of different custom combos but some take off
way more damage than others.  An example is Ken's Ducking Roundhouse,
Roundhouse Tatsumaki Sempuu Kyaku, Fierce Shoryuken custom combo.  For some
strange reason it just takes off a hell of a lot of damage.  I'll list the
custom combos that I have found to be the most damaging for certain
situations.

Ground Custom Combos
        Level 1         Ducking Roundhouse, Roundhouse Shunpuu Kyaku, Fierce
                        Sho-Oh-Ken
On the ground I have found that there is no level 2 or level 3 custom combo
that takes off a much more than 2 or 3 of this ground custom combo.  For
this reason it is no very smart to risk all of your super bar on a level 3
custom combo that can not take off as much as the low risk of three level 1
custom combos.  Unless your opponent is wide open for an attack stick to
the level 1 custom combos.  

Anti-Air Combos
        Level 1         Ducking Fierce, Roundhouse Shunpuu Kyaku, Fierce
                        Sho-Oh-Ken
Since the ducking Fierce has such high priority this is a very low risk
custom combo.

Overhead Combos
        Level 2         Flower Kick, Ducking Roundhouse, Roundhouse Shunpuu
                        Kyaku, Fierce Sho-Oh-Ken
This is used against turtles who basically stay in defensive crouch for most
of the game.  Even if they Block the Flower Kick sometimes you can still hit
them with the ducking Roundhouse if they can't change block positions fast
enough.

**********TAUNT CUSTOM COMBOS**********
Using taunts in  custom combos are the ultimate show-boating techniques.
Since Sakura can hit with her taunt, and many times I might add, they can
be placed almost anywhere inside a custom combo.  My personal favorite is
to drain my opponent until he is almost dead.  Then turtle up and wait for
him to stick out an attack.  Then start up a custom combo counter with a
Jab Sho-Oh-Ken and do her taunt.  The taunt kills and hits 2 or 3 times!  It
is the best way to finish off an opponent.
        
        
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
14.                             GENERAL STRATEGY
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

When Your Super Bar Is Not Charged Up
        Try to stay right next to your opponent as much as possible throwing
        out ducking Shorts, Jabs and Forwards.  If they block a Jab or Short
        walk up and throw them always with the Sakura Strangle.  This will
        set you up for a cross-up attempt.  If they don't block a Jab or
        Short 2 in 1 into a fierce Sho-Oh-Ken.  Cross-up whenever possible.
        After every knockdown go for a cross-up.  Don't try to let up after
        you get a lead.  Sakura does not have a lot of defensive weapons when
        her super bar is not charged up.  Just keep using the Sakura Stangle
        and cross-up attacks whenever possible.  Kill every missed attack
        with a Fierce, Fierce Sho-Oh-Ken combo for big damage.

When Your Super Bar Is Charged Up
        Every time you see your super bar reach level 1 try and attempt to
        do a level 1 custom.  Since you can not control what level custom
        combo you do when you have more than 1 level you should use it right
        away.  Try and use a Valle custom combo if you are farther away.  If
        you can cross-up do that with a Forward the do a ducking strong into
        a Forward Shunpuu Kyaku.  If they block it start up a custom right
        after for free damage almost every time.  Don't waster your super bar
        on Alpha Counters.  Sakura is not a defensive character and a whole
        level of your super bar goes for a very small amount of damage.

Against Turtles
        Sakura eats up turtles because them being on the defensive allows
        you to be offensive.  Just keep trying to throw or cross-up whenever
        you can.  If they go with the ducking Fierce all day routine.  Charge
        up and use a jumping custom combo to blow through their attack.

Against Agressive Characters
        Sakura walks very fast and has very high priority on her ducking
        kicks.  Just be patient and counter away with your ducking Forward.
        When you get your bar filled up block their combo attempt and do a
        custom combo.  When you knock them down you can pour on the pressure
        with ticks and cross-ups.  If they keep attacking you keep sticking
        out ducking Forwards until they back off.  
        

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
15.				     WIN QUOTES        
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.	Do you have time for another beating before my next class?
2.	Victory is mine.  Get up loser, so I can smack you again?
3.	Wow, that was cool, do it again!
4.	Now you know, justice always prevails!
I like the last one.  It's kind of comical.  Like something a superhero would
say after they defeat a bad guy.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
16.				     CREDITS
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thanks to the unlimited sources from the next where I got various info such
as colors and win quotes and stuff like that.  I don't know who you are but
thanks.  Thanks to Ken who got me started with SF2 when SF2:WW came out.  
Thanks to Nick and Tai who have been my opponents for countless hours for me
to try out new stuff and get good with Sakura.  Thanks to Ultima (ultima1@
concentric.net) for the Haru Ichiban trick.