Sakura FAQ
        
                           Street Fighter Alpha 2
                            ashapiro@penpen.com
                          ashapiro@spoonybard.com
                                   v1.1

Revision history:

1.1 Corrected some errors
    Removed redundant combos
    Re-evaluated some previously moronic statements

==========================
------------------
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
------------------

I.    INTRODUCTION
II.   DEFINITIONS
        a. Definitions
        b. Combo Definitions
III.  CONSOLE
        a. Console
        b. Defined
IV.   CHARACTER INFO
        a. Character Info
        b. Win Quotes
        c. Ending
        d. Mid-Boss
        e. Boss
        f. Chouhatsu
V.   SPECIAL MOVES
        a. Hadouken
        b. Shououken
        c. Shunpuu Kyaku
        d. Sakura Otoshi
        e. Flower Kick
VI.  SUPER MOVES
        a. Shinkuu-Hadouken
        b. Midare Zakura
        c. Haru Ichiban
VII. CROSS-UPS
VIII.THROWS
        a. Throws
        b. Tech-Bonus
IX.  ALPHA-COUNTERS
X.   COMBOS
        a. Bread and Butter Combo
        b. Other Combos
        c. Valle Custom
        d. Custom Combos
XI.  CONCLUSION 
        a. Conclusion
        b. Special thanks
        c. Disclaimer
=========================
I.
-------------
INTRODUCTION:
-------------

Sakura is a good character.


==========================

------------
DEFINITIONS:
------------

P :   Punch
PP:   Two Punches Pressed at the Same Time (or in rapid succession)
PPP:  Three Punches Pressed at the Same Time (or in rapid succession)
K:    Kick
KK:   Two Kicks Pressed at the Same Time
KKK:  Three Kicks Pressed at the Same Time
F:    Hold forward (the direction)
B:    Hold back (the direction)
DP:   Dragon Punch (a rising punch) Forward, down, down-forward + P
FB:   Fireball (an energy wave)  Down, down-forward, forward + P
ARK:  Akuma, Ryu, Ken
QCF:  Quarter circle forward (down, down-forward, forward)
QCB:  Quarter circle back (down, down-back, back)
HCF:  Half circle forward (back, down-back, down, down-forward, forward)
HCB:  Half circle back (forward, down-forward, down, down-back, back)
AC:   Alpha Counter
CC:   Custom Combo

Shotokan:  Fighting style of Akuma, Ryu, and Ken
Cross-Up:  Act of jumping over your opponent and attacking, forcing them to            
switch their block-stance
Valle Custom:   Custom combo beginning with low roundhouse
Alpha-Counter:  A universal counter-attack which costs 1 super bar (Alpha 2
                Gold requires 2 bars)
Custom Combo:   Increased speed, all moves are chainable for a short                        
period of time (costs 1-3 super bars)
Super       :   High-damaging attack (costs 1-3 super bars, dependent on
                how many buttons used to initiate)
Chouhatsu   :   Taunt done by pressing start.  Sakura's taunt does 1 pixel
                of damage to the opponent


------------------
COMBO DEFINITIONS:
------------------

c. = crouching
s. = standing
j. = jumping
<cu> = cross-up
lp = light punch
mp = medium punch
hp = hard punch
lk = light kick
mk = medium kick
hk = hard kick

==========================

--------
CONSOLE:
--------

     -JOYSTICK-                 -BUTTONS-
 
       -----               jab  medium fierce
 back  \   /  forward      (lp)  (mp)  (hp) 
        \ /                (lk)  (mk)  (hk)
       -----             short  forward roundhouse

--------
DEFINED:
--------

Jab        = lp (light punch)
Medium     = mp (medium punch)
Fierce     = hp (hard punch)
Short      = lk (light kick)
Forward    = mk (medium kick)
Roundhouse = hk (hard kick)


==========================
---------------
CHARACTER INFO:
---------------

Sakura Kasugano is a 17-year old Japanese high-school student with an affinity 
for street fighting.  She fights for fun, and has adapted her style to be 
similar to Ryu's (after seeing him fight).  She admires Ryu's fighting ability, 
and hopes to see him again.  Her name translates to "cherry blossom tree".  Many 
of her attack names are variants on the cherry blossom theme.

-----------
WIN QUOTES:
-----------

"Wow, that was cool, do it again!"
"Victory is mine.  Get up loser, so I can smack you again!"
"Now you know, justice always prevails!"
"Do you have time for another beating before my next class?"
	
	
-------
ENDING:  
-------

Picture:  Ryu walking away from Sakura, Sakura talking behind him

Sakura:   Wait!  Where are you going?
Sakura:   I want to be stronger, I want to learn more.
Sakura:   Please!  Please teach me!  Be my master!!!!
Ryu:      I'm still learning myself.  I don't have time for school girl                
games!
Ryu:      You're on your own.

Picture:  Split-screen, Sakura holding a camera, Ryu looking over his           
shoulder

Ryu:      I've got go.
Sakura:   At least give me something to remember you by!
          (takes a picture)

Picture:  Sakura holding a photograph of Ryu

Picture:  Sakura walking, wearing a backpack and looking at Ryu's picture

Sakura:   (He took it easy on me, I just know it!)
Sakura:   (What did he mean - "he is still learning"?)
Sakura:   (I thought Street Fighting was just for fun.)
Sakura:   (Maybe he knows the true meaning of "fight".)
Sakura:   (I have to see him again to ask him.)

- Sakura's friend Kei walks up beside her - 

Kei:      Good morning, Sakura.  Who's that?
Sakura:   My master, maybe?
Kei:      What?!
Kei:      What do you mean?

Picture:  Sakura begins to run, her friend is lagging behind her
          (Sakura's theme begins to play)

Sakura:   Forget it.  We don't have time.  We'll be late for school!
Kei:      Hey!  Wait for me!
Sakura:   I'm going to need a crash course.


---------
MID-BOSS:
---------

Sagat:   Those moves?!  You know Ryu.  Where is he?
Sakura:  Say please!
Sagat:   Out of my way, you insignificant gnat!
Sakura:  You need a lesson in etiquette.


-----
BOSS:
-----

Sakura:  I've been looking for you, Ryu.
Ryu:     What do you want with me, little girl?
Sakura:  Is that anyway [sic] to talk?  I'm your number one fan.
Sakura:  That's Ms. Little Girl to you!     


------------------
CHOUHATSU (Taunt):
------------------

In Sakura's taunt, she points at the opponent and giggles.  Her extended finger 
can hit the other player, and it will do one pixel of damage if it does.  This 
move CAN be used as anti-air, and it's quite funny when you hit with it.  The 
taunt is unblockable.


========================
--------------
SPECIAL MOVES:
--------------

 --------------------------------------------------------
NAME       |TRANSLATION       |    MOTION     |   DAMAGE
-----------|------------------|---------------|---------
Hadou-ken   Motion Wave Fist   QCF + P/PP/PPP   P:   4%
                                                PP:  5%
                                                PPP: 6%

Commentary:
This move is good to just generally annoy your opponent.  Throw some fireballs 
out when it's safe to do so.  Fireballs are good to tick away with from long
distance, and they're useful as a battery to charge up Sakura's super bar.
Sakura's FB is unlike the Shotokan's fireball in that it has 3 different, 
distinct variations.  By tapping the punch button one time, a small fireball 
travels almost all the way across the screen, but dissipates before it 
reaches the other side.  By tapping punch twice, you get a bigger
fireball which travels about half-way across the screen.  Finally, by
hitting punch three times quickly, a large fireball will appear, which travels 
roughly 1/5 of the screen.  This one can be used as anti-air.  
The more punches you use for the fireball, the longer it takes to 
come out.  Charging a triple-fireball at close distance will almost always put 
you on the receiving end of a CC or a super.  The one-tap fireball is her best.


-------------------------------------------------------------
NAME       |TRANSLATION            |    MOTION     |   DAMAGE
-----------|-----------------------|---------------|---------
Shououken   Rising Cherry Tree Fist   F, D, DF + P   lp:  13%
                                                     mp:  14%
                                                     hp:  16%

Commentary:
Sakura runs a short distance and does a dragon punch.  The distance of the run 
depends on the punch used (jab version has her only taking 1-2 steps, while the 
fierce version has her running across about 40% of the screen).  This move 
CANNOT be used like the Shotokan DP as anti-air.  You may be able to use the jab 
version to hit jumpers, but a standing fierce is often the better option.  The 
problem with the Shououken is that you are in great danger if you miss, or if it 
is blocked.  Sakura's recovery time is not good, so expect to be punished for 
using it irresponsibly. Therefore, your best bet is to use it in combo.  It should
only be combo'd with c. fierce/s. fierce/or crouching or standing shorts.
The fierce version hits 6 times, and is your best choice.  Sakura's Shououken does 
more damage than Ryu's standard Dragon Punch.

-----------------------------------------------------------
NAME          |TRANSLATION       |    MOTION     |   DAMAGE
--------------|------------------|---------------|---------
Shunpuu Kyaku  Spring Wind Kick      QCB + K        lk:  10%
                                                    mk:  11%
                                                    hk:  13%

Commentary:
This is Sakura's version of the hurricane kick.  Instead of moving in a 
straight, horizontal line (like ARK's hurricane kick), Sakura's kick arcs up 
and comes down.  Due to the shortness of her hop during the kick, the short and 
forward kick versions do not travel over crouching opponents.  The recovery time 
is also a little longer than the Shotos, so it's a little bit riskier than the 
standard hurricane kick.  The short version is quick, with a small hop.  You can 
use this one to close the distance between you and your opponent for a throw, if 
you like.  It's also one of Sakura's better "bait" moves, as the recovery time 
off the short is almost non-existent.  

From about sweep distance, execute the short Shunpuu Kyaku (don't expect to 
hit).  As you land, your opponent will probably try to counter-attack Since there 
is so little recovery time, execute a CC or a super, which will have priority over 
their move (unless they use a super - in this instance, just block).  Other than that, 
Shunpuu Kyaku can be used in combo (off of a c. strong or a fierce), but the Shououken 
does more damage.  Mainly use this move to confuse your opponent or to hop over sweeps.  
Unfortunately, Sakura cannot use her hurricane kick in the air.

-------------------------------------------------------------
NAME          |TRANSLATION    |    MOTION     |   DAMAGE
--------------|---------------|---------------|--------------
Sakura Otoshi   Sakura Drop       DP + K, P        6%                  
					           

Commentary:

Introduced  in the update to SFA2, Street Fighter Zero 2' (Dash)/Street Fighter 
Alpha 2 Gold in the US, this move does not appear in the original version of A2.  
As such, most people will not get a chance to use it.  This is fine, however, as 
it is almost worthless.  Sakura jumps high in the air (the height of her jump, 
and the distance traveled varies dependent on what kick you use) with her arms 
set to smash, and she brings her arms down and hits your opponent when you press 
punch.  The move knocks the other player down, and has absolutely no combo 
potential outside of a CC.  Basically, this move is a v e r y slow (but highly-
stylized) jumping punch.  While it can't be blocked in the air, its slow start-
up makes it far too predictable. Its slowness in coming out also means that it 
has very little use as an anti-air device.  

The one use I found for the Sakura Otoshi is as Sakura's other bait move.
Execute the short version at mid-screen distance, but do not hit punch in the 
air.  As you land, stuff your opponent's counter-attack with a CC or a super.  Other 
than this, the move is almost worthless.

-------------------------------------
NAME       |    MOTION     |   DAMAGE
-----------|---------------|---------
Flower Kick     F + MK          9%

This is Sakura's overhead.  It must be blocked high, or it will hit.  
Unfortunately, the Flower Kick is slower than Ryu's overhead (F + MP), and only 
hits 1 time.  It is possible to combo this with Sakura's Shinkuu-Hadouken super
if you get a late hit off of a rising opponent.


=============================
-------
SUPERS:
-------

In SFA2, the strength of the super (and the number of bars it takes off of your 
super meter at the bottom of the screen) is dependent on how many buttons you 
use to select it.  For instance, if you press two punches at the same time to 
initiate the super, it will be level 2, and take off two bars.
1 punch is level 1, and three punches is level 3.

Note:  All of Sakura's supers can combo off of a fierce punch.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
NAME            |TRANSLATION               |    MOTION     |   DAMAGE
----------------|--------------------------|---------------|---------
Shinkuu-Hadouken  Vacuum Motion Wave Fist    QCF, QCF + P    lv1: 14%
                                                             lv2: 22%
                                                             lv3: 32%

Commentary:
This is Sakura's fireball super.  It is her least damaging super, and its range 
is not full-screen.  Sakura charges up and throws a big fireball (very similar 
to her standard PPP version) which travels about half-way across the screen.  
Its benefit is that it is her safest super, being that it pushes the opponent 
back far enough that counter-attack is almost impossible.  As a projectile 
special, it's decent, but not nearly as useful as her others.  I don't use it often.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
NAME         |TRANSLATION                     |    MOTION     |   DAMAGE
-------------|--------------------------------|---------------|---------
Midare Zakura  War of the Cherry Blossom Trees   QCF, QCF + K   lv1: 20%
                                                                lv2: 28%
                                                                lv3: 38%

Commentary:
This IS a Shoryu-Reppa (sans flames, of course).  Sakura executes multiple 
dragon punches for good damage.  This super can be used as anti-air, but it 
won't do as much damage.  Be careful not to miss with this, or Sakura will be 
left hanging in the air, open to any combos your opponent is ready to give.  Its 
her riskiest super, and sadly, not her most damaging.  Since all of Sakura's 
supers basically have the same combo ability, I'd stick with the Haru Ichiban 
over this one.

----------------------------------------------------------
NAME         |TRANSLATION       |    MOTION     |   DAMAGE
-------------|------------------|---------------|---------
Haru Ichiban   First of Spring    QCB, QCB + K     lv1: 23%
                                                   lv2: 30%
                                                   lv3: 40%

Commentary:
This is one of the best supers in Street Fighter Alpha 2.  Not only does this 
super have to be blocked low, it's also fast, has very little recovery time, and 
does more damage than her others.  Sakura extends her left leg and begins to 
spin repeatedly, very much like a grounded hurricane kick.  For her last hit, 
she springs to her feet and does a straight, horizontal kick which sends the 
opponent flying to the other side of the screen.

There are a lot of good times to use this super.  Obviously you can utilize it 
in combo or after your opponent misses a move.  Another good strategy is to use 
this after Sakura's overhead (F + MK).  It won't combo, but they have to block 
the overhead high.  Executing this super immediately afterwards forces them to 
switch block-stance very quickly, which many people will not do.  Yet another 
fun trick is to use a level 1 Haru Ichiban, then immediately follow up with a 
level 2.  Most players will try to attack between the two supers, but Sakura has 
such little recovery time that they'll get caught.  Once your opponent has 
figured this out and remembers to block after the super is over, simply throw 
them instead of supering again. And finally, if you're going for chipping 
damage, use the level 1 version of this super 3 times in a row.

The Haru Ichiban isn't an invincible move, however.  The priority on this is
pretty horrible.  An opponents c. forward or c. short is probably going to stuff you 
every time.  Don't use this move to attempt to cancel out a move.  It's probably
not going to end in your favor.


=============================
----------
CROSS-UPS:
----------

It is very easy to cross-up with Sakura.  "Crossing-up" is the act of jumping 
over your adversary (barely) and hitting kick right as you are above their head.  
This is a confusion technique, as it forces the other player to switch the 
direction that they are blocking (as you have just switched sides with them).

The probability of hitting with a cross-up over a regular jump kick is very 
high, as most casual players will not switch their block-stance.  This is good for 
Sakura, as she has one of the best cross-ups in the game.  This is her forward 
kick, a jump kick where Sakura extends her leg almost completely horizontally 
(also called "The High School Kick").

Cross-ups are best used when you opponent has little chance for retaliation.
Try to begin your jump as your opponent is lying on the floor (after a sweep, 
for instance).  You should hit your opponent right as they are getting up.  It 
will look like your attack will miss, but it won't.  In this instance, your 
opponent has very little time to think/change block-stances/
counter-attack.  Being aggressive with your cross-ups is fun.

============================
-------
THROWS:
-------

Throws are done by pressing F + P or K.  They must be done at close range, and 
are unblockable.

Sailor Shoot:     Sakura jumps on the opponent's chest and kicks off of them                   
                  with both feet, sending them hurtling to the ground.
                  The direction they fall is dependent on what direction you
                  initiate the throw with.
damage: 11%

Sailor Strangle:  Sakura grabs the opponent in a neckhold and strangles them
                  for a bit.  Jam on the buttons for more hits.                                
                  Coincidentally, as Sakura sends her victim to the ground,
                  they land at perfect cross-up distance.  Abuse this 
                  opportunity.
damage: 9%

(cross-up/Sailor Strangle note courtesy of ALo's Sakura FAQ)

-----------
TECH BONUS:
-----------

All throws are escapable in SFA2 through the use of tech bonus.  This is done by 
pressing F + P (or F + K) right as you are about to be thrown.

========================
---------------
ALPHA COUNTERS:
---------------

From a block:  Back, down/back, down + P or K

Alpha counters are a quick counter move which take up 1 super bar (2 in Alpha 2 
Gold).  They are best used towards the end of the round, to finish off an 
opponent or whittle them down.  Alpha counters don't do much damage, but the 
chances of you hitting with one are very high.  This is a way to punish predictable
opponents.

With K:  Sakura does a standing roundhouse (or a ducking roundhouse, dependent 
on positioning).  

damage:  6%

With P:  Sakura does a shououken which hits one time, but travels as high as
her fierce version.  

damage:  8%

========================
-------
COMBOS:
-------
----------------------
BREAD AND BUTTER COMBO
----------------------

The "Bread and Butter" combo is a combo that is easy and useful enough that you 
should be landing it a lot (more than any other combo).

Sakura's Bread and Butter combo is:

c. lk, c. lk, s. lk, fierce shououken


Commentary:
This does a good deal of damage, and is incredibly simple.  You can replace
the shououken with a super if you have one charged up.  Obviously, if your 
c. shorts are being blocked, don't tag on the dragon punch at the end.  Push
them back with s. fierce, then cancel into a fireball for a measly pixel of block
damage. 

------------
OTHER COMBOS
------------

1) j. hp, s. hp, shououken

Commentary:
A simple combo that does decent damage.  Of course, you don't
have to jump in.  You can just cancel fierce into a shououken if
you'd prefer.  Basically, if you're throwing standing fierces around
up close, immediately go into a shououken if you see one hit. 

2)  j. hk, s. lp, s. lp, c. lk (open-ended)

Commentary:
Ok.  Sakura has lots of stupid combos involving alternating jabs and shorts,
and it would be stupid to list all of them.  Just know that you can throw
around a few jabs and shorts to combo, then end with a special move or super.
That's all.

4)  j. mp, d. mp, roundhouse hurricane kick


Commentary:
This combo does incredible stun damage (about 60%), so you 
should land it when coming off of a previous combo for an easy dizzy.
Also, if you're throwing around crouching strongs with Sakura, go into
the roundhouse hurricane kick if one hits. 

--------------
   
Note:  There are lots of other basic combos, such as s. mp -> fierce shououken 
and such, but most of Sakura's combos revolve around the concepts listed above.  
Experiment.

-------------
Valle Custom:
-------------

Named after Alex Valle (top-ranked US player, located in California), this is 
basically the best way to use CCs in the game.  If you're standing at about 
sweep-distance from your opponent, and they are standing, execute a CC with 
ducking roundhouse.  The stun caused by the CC will not allow them to block the 
low roundhouse fast enough (they can't switch their block from high to low while 
stunned).  Basically, start all your CCs with a c. Roundhouse and you'll be ok.

--------------
CUSTOM COMBOS:
--------------

1)  Level 1 CC:  c. hk, medium hurricane kick, fierce shououken

Commentary:
This is the only CC I use with Sakura.  It does more damage than any of her 
level 1 supers, and is quite easy to land.  As far as level 2 or 3 custom 
combos, they don't seem to be of much use for her.  I'd stick with this custom 
combo anytime you're at level 1, but use supers for level 2 or above.

damage:  30%

2)  Level 3 CC:  Fierce shououken x2, Strong Shououken, Fierce Shououken

Commentary:  
This does more damage than her level 3 supers, but it's harder to combo (as far 
as I know, you cannot apply the Valle custom here, because there isn't enough CC 
time to add any other moves in).  Unfortunately, you cannot get 4 fierce 
shououkens in the limited CC time, so you must substitute a strong shououken for 
one of them.  Not a bad CC if you can land it.

damage:  45%


========================
-----------
CONCLUSION:
-----------

That's all I have to say about Sakura.  She's a fun character.

---------------
Special thanks:
---------------

Thanks to Logan Sharp and Tony Huynh for helping me with the translations of 
Sakura's special moves and supers.  Swell fellows.

-----------
Disclaimer:
-----------

I don't consider this a work of art.  Please feel free to steal from it.

--

Aaron Shapiro
ashapiro@spoonybard.com
http://www.spoonybard.com