Combo System FAQ by Nefdar

Updated: 01/01/70 | Printable Version

Street Fighter Alpha 3 Combo System and General FAQ
Copyright 1999 Colin Caldwell

Hi, and welcome to my Alpha 3 FAQ!  Okay, let me state up front what this
document will contain.  This will not have any moves for any of the
characters, or any specifics about any character except as used for
examples.  What this will have is a complete breakdown of the combo system,
and any other general information about the game(how to release secret
characters/modes, all the universal moves).  I wrote this especially
focusing on the combo system, since many people don't fully understand how
the loose juggling system works in Alpha 3 and I hope to help out.
The rest of the information in here is kind of old news, but I figured for
the sake of completeness I'd add it.
Okay, so here's the table of contents, hope this is useful!  Check out my
other Street Fighter FAQ's on, I have one for Adon up now and
have an Akuma one in the works.
This FAQ applies to the American release PSX version, but other than the
obvious(extra characters, etc.) it is applicable to the arcade version as

I.   The Controller
II.  The Combo System
     a. Normal Combos
     b. Juggle Combos
     c. Anti-Air Combos
III. General moves
     a. Blocking
     b. Ground Recovery Roll
     c. Air Recovery
     d. Throwing/Tech Hits/Holds
     e. Taunting
     f. Damage Reduction/Dizzy Recovery
     g. Guard Protection
     h. Counter Hits
     i. Alpha Counters
     j. Reversals
     k. Super Combos
     l. Variable Combos
     m. Special moves in mid-air
IV.  The Isms
     a. X-ism
     b. A-ism
     c. V-ism
V.   Special Modes
     a. Unlocking the special modes
     b. Classic
     c. Saikyou
     d. Mazi
VI.  Secret Characters
     a. Balrog
     b. Juli
     c. Juni
     d. Guile
     e. Evil Ryu
     f. Shin Akuma
VII. Character Charts
     a. Damage chart
     b. Guard meter length chart
VIII. Thanks

I. The Controller
   This section is basically going to end up being a shameless plug for
   the InterAct ProgramPad that I often use to play Street Fighter with,
   so I'm going to go ahead and get that out of the way.  The pad is
   actually capable of performing the moves with great accuracy, unlike
   the default PSX controller.  Maybe since I've never used it much I'm
   just not used to it, but it takes me ten minutes of practicing to do
   a combo into a super move using the normal PSX controller, it really
   sucks at controller motion moves(although the charge moves seem to be
   fine).  On top of the excellent pad, you also have six buttons on the
   front of the controller so you can set it up in a normal Street Fighter
   setup(3 punches on top, 3 kicks on bottom) and still have the R1 and R2
   buttons for 3P and 3K for flipping out, rolling, and throws.  An
   excellent controller for the game.
   Another one I use is the joystick put out by Asciiware for the PSX, you
   can recognize it as the one with the Street Fighter layout of buttons
   except that there are four on top and bottom to accommodate all of the
   shoulder buttons.  It's not as good as it looks, the joystick just
   doesn't feel the same as an arcade stick, but it is still useful.
   Just make sure you don't become a computer-fighting couch potato just
   because there's a home game out, go out to the arcade and enjoy
   yourself every now and then, for most people that's the only place for
   real competition.
   Here's a legend for the button names and directions that I will use
   for this and all of my FAQ's...
   For a character facing right:
   UB  U  UF
   B   N  F
   DB  D  DF

   Punches: Jab     Strong     Fierce
   Kicks:   Short   Forward    Roundhouse
   3P:  All three punches
   3K:  All three kicks

II. The Combo System
    Combos in Street Fighter Alpha 3 follow drastically different rules
    than in any other Street Fighter, or any other game for that matter.
    The system is loose enough to allow creativity, yet tight enough to
    require skill.  As far as combos go, this game is by far my favorite
    Street Fighter(I like SFIII a lot, but that's mainly for the parrying,
    the combo system in that game is way too loose and easy to use,
    allowing people to spazz and cancel their fireballs into supers and
    such).  Variable combos won't be discussed here, look in the VC section
    below for that.

    a. Normal Combos
    A normal combo in SFA3 is just like in any other Street Fighter game,
    it follows the basic sequence:

    Jumpin attack, grounded normal move(s) CANCEL INTO special move or
         super combo

    Naturally, you can skip the jumpin at the front, or the special at the
    end, but this is a full combo sequence.
    On a jumpin, if you want to follow with a ground attack, then you need to
    hit very deep, meaning that you attack just as you are about to land
    on the ground.  Then you can hit them with a ground attack or two(most
    characters can repeat jabs and shorts, while a few can do other chains
    of normal moves), then during the animation of those attacks you
    perform the command for a special move, canceling the normal move and
    going into the special or super.
    Most people understand this part, so I'm not going to go into it too
    much, but I will mention a few points:

    When canceling moves, make shortcuts when possible.  For example,
    say that you wanted to cancel a low short into a dragon punch.  You could
    crouch, press short, F, D, DF, punch.
    but that will often fail, because it is hard to move from the crouching
    down position to forward, then finish the move, all before a short kick
    retracts.  Better to:
    F, D, press short, DF, punch.
    That way, you press short during the crouching part of the special
    move's motion.  This results in the short instantly canceling into the
    special move.  With a little practice, doing things this way is much
    easier.  This makes canceling into super moves easier too.  For
    example, say that I wanted to cancel a low forward into a Shoryureppa
    with Ken.  I could:
    D, DF, press forward, F, D, DF, F, punch.
    D, DF, F, D, press forward, DF, F, punch.
    placing the forward kick within the super move's motion.  This makes
    those difficult cancels a lot easier.  This works even better for
    charge moves, in my opinion.  Say I want to do a jab, short chain
    canceled into a Sonic Break with Charlie.  I can try to charge away, then
    press jab, short, then press F, B, F then punch, but the short comes
    out so fast that it is unnecessarily difficult.  Instead, try:
    charge B, jab, F, short, B, F, punch.
    Or if I wanted to cancel a low jab/short chain into the Somersault
    Justice, I could:
    Charge DB, jab, DF, short, DB, U, kick.
    Using this technique, it is also possible to cancel a standing attack
    into a charge D, then U special move or super.  It seems impossible, but
    you can do it.  I want to cancel a standing strong punch into a Vertical
    Roll with Blanka.  I would press:
    Charge D, go to neutral, press strong, U, press kick.
    If you stop the controller at neutral and use your normal attack, you'll
    be standing.  Then if you quickly press up and the special move
    button, you will still retain your charge and go into the special.  You
    can do this with charge D, U supers as well:
    Charge DB, DF, DB, neutral, press fierce, U, press kick
    would cause you to cancel a standing fierce punch into a Somersault
    Justice with Charlie.
    If you are not used to doing this, then it will be hard at first, but
    after a while you'll wonder how you ever did combos any other way.

    Another thing to watch out for is SF's button press/release rule.  In
    any SF game since SFII, if you hold down a button, do a special move
    motion, and release it, then the move will be performed just as if
    you had pressed the button.  This does a lot more harm than good for me,
    because it causes moves to often accidentally come out(especially in
    VC's).  Here's an example:
    I want to cancel a low forward kick into a Rolling Attack with Blanka.
    So I press:
    charge DB, press forward, F, punch.
    But instead of doing a Rolling Attack, I get that stupid Backstep
    Rolling move, and miss.  This happens because I pressed forward kick
    to do the first move, and was releasing it as I moved to the F position
    on the stick to do the second move.  Since a release of a button counts
    as a press when doing special moves, the machine interprets this as
    CB, F, FK and does the forward Backstep Rolling.  There are two
    ways to avoid this:
    1.  Make sure and release the button first before continuing motions
    on the stick, by tapping the button lightly, or
    2.  Hold the first button down until the second move has come out to
    safeguard against an accidental button release causing the wrong move.

    A note on chain combos:
    Almost all characters can do simple chains in SFA3, and I'm not talking
    about repeated jabs.  Most people can chain from their quick attacks(jab,
    short) to their power attacks(fierce, roundhouse).  The trick is, you
    have to get a counterhit on the short or jab opening move.  A counterhit
    causes a longer hit stun, allowing you to follow up with another attack
    as long as it comes out quickly.  Take Adon as an example.  He can
    chain a low short into a standing roundhouse for 3 hits, as long as the
    short hits on a counterhit.  You must have good timing, but once you
    get used to it it is easy.  And getting counterhits on jabs and shorts
    is not too difficult either, you'll find that most of your hits with
    these buttons are probably counters since they often come out fast with
    high priority.

    b.  Juggle Combos
    Now here's the complicated part.  Your opportunities to juggle in
    SFA3 are numerous and often.  Many moves and throws set up juggles,
    as well as counterhits.  But there is a difference between a juggle and
    a juggle combo:  a juggle combo is guaranteed, because they can't
    flip out.  How do you do this?
    Well, if you continuously cancel one move into another without returning
    to your normal standing position, then your opponent cannot flip out.
    Here's an example.
    I met my opponent in midair with a fierce punch and got a counterhit.
    I land under him, and he is falling headfirst.  At this point, he can
    use his air recovery to flip out, since I am no longer hitting him with
    a continuous stream of attacks.  I can still juggle him if he
    does not flip out, but that is unlikely against anyone with any skill.
    But say that I got a close fierce counterhit, which knocks your
    opponent into the air, then cancelled that fierce punch into a Axle
    Spin Knuckle with Cammy(the F, DF, D, DB, B, punch move).  The opponent
    has all day to flip out while Cammy winds up the move, but he can't
    because you cancelled the moves together in a combo without any pauses.
    You will get the extra juggle hits, guaranteed.
    The concept of a "continuous string" is important here, that is what
    defines an actual combo instead of something which may or may not be
    flipped out of and countered.
    There are also a few more instances where your opponent cannot flip out,
    even when there is no continuous string, but these are rare.  One is
    if your opponent is juggled very close to the ground.  Your opponent
    cannot flip when they are only about waist level from the ground, but
    they can still be hit.  Akuma has a combo that utilizes this:
    jumpin fierce, low forward, SK hurricane kick, standing fierce, fierce
    The SK hurricane kick, if distanced perfectly, will hit your opponent
    into the air.  They cannot flip out until the hurricane kick is over,
    because your constant stream of attacks is not over until then.  By
    the time the kick ends, they are too close to the ground to flip, and
    the rest of the combo juggles them(this is a very painful combo, by
    the way).  Of course, your distance and timing must be tight in order
    to pull this off.
    The last instance when your opponent cannot flip is caused by what I
    call the "corner rule".  This refers to how many times an opponent
    can be juggled.  I goes like:
    If your opponent is not in the corner, then you can juggle them as
    many times as you want until you reach the corner.  Once you reach the
    corner, then you can juggle them with one more continuous stream of
    attacks, then you cannot hit them anymore until they touch the ground
    and regain control.  However, after that last juggle, they can flip
    out if they choose and try to attack.  If you hit them after they
    flip out in the corner, then you cannot juggle them anymore and they
    cannot flip out anymore, they must hit the floor afterwards.
    This rule exists because if not many characters would have several
    infinite corner juggles.  You can only juggle once in the corner, then
    your combo ends.  You are only allowed to flip out once in the corner,
    and if you are hit out of it, then you must hit the floor.
    Use this to your advantage:  if you are juggled in the corner, then
    don't flip out!  They can't hit you anymore after that first juggle,
    so just fall and roll behind them to put them in the corner!
    Also, remember the "continuous stream of attacks".  If you knock someone
    up into the air in the corner, you can do a normal attack cancelled into
    a super combo, or do a VC of continuous moves, as long as you don't
    stop canceling one move into another smoothly then your juggle can
    Finally, the final exception to the rule is air throws.
    An air throw can be used to juggle an opponent anytime that a normal
    move could hit them.  However, as long as you do nothing else, you can
    continuously airthrow an opponent in the corner over and over.  Sagat
    and Sodom can both do this.  It is easy to flip out of, but still

    c.  Anti-Air combos
    This final section refers to combos that I often use, but don't see many
    other people use all that much.  They are based upon juggles of your
    opponent after counterhitting them out of the air.  If your character
    has a quick high jab, or a good anti-air move that is cancelable, then
    these can be a gold mine for you.  You see, if you counterhit someone
    on the ground, then they are only launched into the air if you used
    fierce or roundhouse, but if you counterhit someone jumping in, then
    any button will set up a juggle.  Also, since as long as there is a
    continuous stream of attacks they cannot flip out, if you cancel the
    anti-air into a special or super then you get a decent combo as
    retaliation against a jumpin attack.  Here are a few good examples that
    will help explain:

    opponent jumps in, standing strong counterhit CANCEL INTO Jaguar Kick RK.
    The Jaguar Kick will juggle them cleanly every time.

    opponent jumps in, standing jab counterhit CANCEL INTO Turn Punch.
    You can pretty easily knock someone down with Balrog's standing jab,
    since it is so quick.  Then the Turn Punch comes out and smashes them.
    (By the way, if the punch is charged all the way to final, then this
    combo can do about 80 percent damage for 2 hits, and all they have to
    do to open themselves up for it is try to dropkick you once)

    opponent jumps in, standing fierce counterhit CANCEL INTO Bad Stone FP.

    opponent jumps in, standing jab counterhit CANCEL INTO
         Killer Bee Assault.
    You can combo her level 3 super this way.  Just charge DB, and if you
    see them jump towards you, then go DF, DB, then neutral and press jab.
    If you time it well and can predict when they'll attack, then you can
    counterhit them, then press U and kick to do the super.  This must
    all be done pretty fast of course, but you will get major props for
    pulling it off.

    And so on.
    Just don't always rely on your low fierce and dragon punch to knock
    down jumpers, get imaginative and deal some real damage to them with
    a juggle combo.  Be careful though, watch for the counterhit flash on
    the screen, and if you don't get a counterhit, then don't do the rest of
    the combo or you may be left open.

III. General Moves
    Everything outlined here can be performed by any character, and in any
    -ism unless stated otherwise in the description.

    a.  Blocking
    Just like all Street Fighters before and hopefully all after, you block
    high by holding B and low by holding DB.  If you block high, you are
    safe from jumpins, high and midrange attacks, and overheads.  However,
    low attacks will hit you.  If you block low, then you block or avoid
    high, midrange, and low attacks, but a jumpin or overhead will hit you.
    Blocking a special move takes off a small amount of energy, heretofore
    referred to as "cheese damage".  You can also block in the air.  You
    can air block any normal projectile, or any attack that your opponent
    does in the air, but you cannot air block a super combo(with the
    exception of Charlie's Sonic Break) or an attack that your opponent
    performs from the ground.
    For example, if I jump in and Ryu meets me in midair with a jumping
    roundhouse, I can air block that because he is in the air.  I could
    also airblock if he threw a fireball.  But if he does a low fierce,
    since he's standing on the ground, I cannot airblock.  I also could
    not airblock if he did a super fireball.  If he does a dragon punch, then
    I could airblock it if he does it early enough so that his feet have
    already left the ground when it reaches me(thusly, he is in the air so
    I can airblock normally).  But if the punch hits me while his feet are
    still on the ground, I am hit.
    New to SFA3 is the guard meter.  That's the little bar under your
    lifebar.  Each time you block, a chunk is knocked out of it, and once
    it wears out, then you are stunned(much like being dizzied).  During
    this time, you are vulnerable to anything.  Also, after having your
    guard crushed, you lose one block from the guard meter for the remainder
    of the round.
    Airblocking is not available in X-ism or Classic mode.
    There is no guard meter in Classic mode.

    b.  Ground Recovery Roll
    Unlike the rolling command in SFA2, in order to roll in SFA3 you must
    press 3 kick buttons as you are about to hit the ground.  You can only
    use this in situations where you could have used an air recovery, which
    means that you can't roll after sweeps and most throws.  Furthermore,
    if you hold F while rolling, then you will roll further and end up
    behind your opponent where you can try a surprise attack.
    This is not available in X-ism or Classic mode.

    c.  Air Recovery
    New to SFA3 is Air Recoveries, or flipping out.  There are three
    different ways to flip out.  Whenever you are knocked into the air,
    F+3 punches to flip toward your opponent
    N+3 punches to flip straight down to the ground quickly
    B+3 punches to flip away from your opponent
    Most players use the B+3P version almost exclusively, but this keeps them
    in the air longer and thusly allows them to be juggled more by
    someone who saw it coming.  My favorite is the neutral recovery, since
    that lands me safely on my feet quicker.  However, try to flip out
    differently every now and then, if your opponent can read how you
    will flip then you will be juggled quite a bit.
    After flipping out, you can airblock or perform an air attack, just
    like a normal jump.  This allows you to dodge or block your opponent's
    juggle attempts.  You have a small moment of invincibility just as you
    flip out, to pass through attacks.
    Note that you cannot flip out if your opponent is performing a
    constant string of attacks, even if there is a pause between the hits.
    You also cannot flip out in Classic mode, or if you have already flipped
    out once in the corner without touching the ground.

    d.  Throws, Tech hits, and Holds
    Throwing in SFA3 is different from previous SF games.  You must press
    F or B and 2 punches to throw.  You can also throw in midair, by
    jumping and performing the same command.  Most characters have extra
    throws done by pressing F or B and 2 kicks.
    The throw commands are a welcome addition, and were added to keep
    people from accidentally throwing, as well as to make throwing a little
    less effective to prevent it from being overused.  If you are not
    close enough to throw and do the command, your character will hug the
    air in front of them in a "missed throw" animation, and be vulnerable.
    If you input the throw command right as your opponent is throwing you,
    then you can Tech Hit the throw, allowing you to land on your feet, as
    well as halving the throw's damage.  Tech hitting also allows you to
    avoid juggles that are performed after throws.
    Finally, some throws allow you to hit your opponent many times, like
    Blanka's PP throw and Ken's KK throw.  During these holds if you
    rotate the stick and rapidly press buttons you can get more hits and
    damage, but if your opponent does the same then he can reduce the hits
    and damage.  If you Tech Hit a hold, then you can avoid damage
    Throws and Tech Hits are available in any mode or -ism.

    e.  Taunting
    Press Start on an arcade machine, or Select on your PSX controller,
    and your character will taunt.  These serve no real practical purpose
    except to provoke your opponent, but are very useful to that degree.
    Also, if you taunt and get away with it, then many opponents will feel
    the need to taunt you back, so that creates an opening for you.  At
    the very least they will try to quickly approach and hit you, possibly
    giving you an opening.  Don't do this unless you know what you're doing,
    or else you are just going to get beaten up and piss people off!
    Many characters have multiple taunts that can be done by holding F, D, or
    B while pressing the button.  You can only taunt once per round, except
    during a VC where you can taunt infinitely, or in the case of Dan who
    can taunt as much as he likes.  Taunting is not available in X-ism or
    Classic mode.
    Some characters have taunts that can hit.  All taunts do 1 damage, and
    thusly are not your attack of choice, but if you knock someone out with
    one it is very embarrassing for them!  The following characters can hit
    with their taunt:
    Akuma, Birdie, Chun-Li, X-ism Dan, Rolento, Sakura, Shin Akuma, and
    Dan and Dhalsim can also taunt in midair.
    You can also cancel any normally cancelable regular attack into a taunt,
    just like it was a special move.
    Finally, the king of taunting Dan can gain a little super or VC power
    from taunting(but not the jumping one).  He also has special and super

    f. Damage Reduction / Dizzy Recovery
    If you are dizzied, then rapidly wiggle the joystick and press buttons
    and you may be able to recover before your opponent hits you(though it
    is unlikely...)
    This also works to recover quickly after being guard crushed.
    Likewise, if you are blocking or being hit by a multihit combo, special
    move, or super, then you can wiggle the joystick and press buttons to
    reduce damage.  You'll know if you are doing it right because your
    character will flash red.
    I don't like this much and normally forget to use it, but it's in there
    if you want.  I suppose every little bit of saved energy helps, but I
    personally would rather take the damage than sit there wiggling the
    stick and spazzing out.  This doesn't reduce the damage all that much
    in any case.

    g. Guard Protection
    If you press B or DB to block an attack just as it is about to hit you,
    instead of holding it ahead of time, then your character will flash blue.
    If this happens, then the damage to your guard meter done by the
    attack is halved.  Try to do this as often as possible, especially if you
    have a small guard meter, but don't take too many risks to get it, your
    guard meter should not be much of a problem unless you are playing
    way too defensively.

    h. Counterhits
    If you hit your opponent right as they are beginning an attack as well,
    then you will get a counterhit.  The screen flashes, and the hit
    sound is louder than usual.  Counterhits do extra damage, and cause a
    longer hitstun than a normal hit.  If you counter a grounded opponent
    with fierce or roundhouse, or an airborne opponent with any button, then
    they are launched into the air and ready to be juggled.  Canceling
    the counterhit into another move is an excellent way to set up
    guaranteed juggles, and you can often chain off of your jabs and shorts
    if they hit as counterhits.  There are instances where you can get a
    counterhit even after your opponent's attack has passed, such as when
    they are in a fireball toss animation.

    i. Alpha Counters
    If you press F and two buttons of the same strength(jab+short, strong+
    forward, or fierce+roundhouse) right after blocking, then you will
    perform an Alpha Counter.  These are high priority counterattacks
    meant to hit your opponent during their attack animation.  This
    consumes 1 level of super in A-ism, and half a VC gauge in V-ism.  It
    also removes 1 block from your guard power gauge for the rest of the
    Alpha counters generally do 4 damage, which is less than that of your
    average jab.  They also miss often, and have a high cost.  It is
    best not to use them except in a few select situations, like if
    someone is about to kill you from cheese damage, if they have caught
    you in a VC trap in the corner, or if you are sure the counter will
    kill them.
    Some characters, instead of hitting their opponent, will warp behind
    them or flip over them for their counter, setting them up to hit their
    opponent in the back.  These AC's are a little more useful, but still
    generally not worth it.
    Alpha Counters are not available in X-ism or Classic mode.
    j. Reversals
    Many characters have attacks that can only be performed as reversals.
    A reversal is when you attack right after regaining control of your
    character, such as when you first get up, get out of block stun, or
    get out of hit stun.
    The following characters can perform their reversal-only moves after
    getting up from a knockdown, getting out of hitstun, or getting out
    of blockstun:
    X-ism Chun-li, Balrog.
    The following characters can perform their reversal-only moves after
    an air block, or any time that they could normally flip out:
    Cody, Dhalsim.
    Sodom can perform his F, DF, D, punch and B, DB, D, kick reversals in
    any of these situations.  He can use his D, DF, F, kick reversal after
    getting up off of the floor.

    k. Super Combos
    These are powerful attacks that consume super power, and do big damage
    normally.  In X-ism, you have one super combo, and you can only perform
    it at maximum power(equal to a level 3 A-ism super).  In A-ism, you
    have 3 levels on your super bar, and you can use as many or as few as
    you want.  The more levels you use, the more powerful the combo will
    be.  The strength of the button used determines the super combo's level
    (jab or short for level 1, strong or forward for level 2, and fierce or
    roundhouse for level 3).  These can be cancelled into, just like a
    normal special move.  Many characters have attacks that can be cancelled
    into super combos, but not into specials(the 2nd hit of Birdie's low
    fierce, for example).
    Super Combos are not available in V-ism or Classic mode.

    l. Variable Combos
    These are your power attacks in V-ism.  When you activate a VC, you
    get a shadow that follows you and mimics your actions.  This shadow
    can hit the opponent, just like you.  Also, you can chain almost any
    attack into any other attack during a VC, and you can cancel the
    recovery time after a special move into another special move or
    normal attack.  This allows you to make a long continuous series of
    attacks for a massive juggle combo.  You can also attack multiple times
    in the air during a VC.
    To activate a VC, press two buttons of the same strength.  A VC
    can be activated in the air or on the ground.
    If you use jab and short, then the shadow will follow you very closely
    and attack almost right after you.  This is probably the most useful
    one, it allows you to have your shadow hitting your opponent along with
    you during your combo very easily.
    If you use strong and forward, then the shadow follows at a good
    distance, attacking about a second after you do.  This is good for
    pressure games in the corner, almost anyone can do the following VC
    in the corner:
    jump in, (strong + forward) in the air, jumpin attack, low 2 hit chain,
    jump in, repeat.
    As your shadow is following with the jumpin, you are hitting low, making
    blocking impossible or difficult.  As you jump back in, your opponent
    is getting hit by the shadow low, not only preventing most anti-air
    but also making blocking almost impossible.  Pretty much anybody but
    Dhalsim can do this combo in some form or another, and it is surprisingly
    effective, it takes a perfectly timed attack, an AC, or a counter VC to
    Using fierce and roundhouse is good for confusion tactics.  Your shadow
    attacks about 2 and a half seconds behind you.  If you sweep someone,
    then your shadow will immediately sweep them again as they get up.
    If you have a quick move to cross to your opponent's other side, then
    you can have yourself and your shadow hitting on opposite sides
    making blocking difficult.  It is also easy to pull off dirty tricks
    like you doing an overhead while your shadow does a low attack,
    guaranteeing you a hit.

    When you activate a VC, you get several frames of invincibility, allowing
    you to pass through jumpins, anti-air, and oncoming attacks with a little
    timing.  You can even pass through most oncoming supers and attack.

    Here is the big caveat:  You cannot block during a VC, so you are super
    or counter VC bait when you perform one unless you keep the pressure
    on nonstop.
    In V-ism, your super bar is replaced by a VC bar.  You can perform a VC
    anytime the bar is over 50 percent full.  The more energy you have, the
    longer the VC.  A VC bar fills up about three times faster than a
    super bar.
    VC's are only available in V-ism.

    m.  Special moves in mid-air
    Many characters can perform special moves in midair.  This is simple
    enough, what many people don't know is that these characters can easily
    perform these move quickly after jumping by incorporating the jump
    into the move's motion.
    Say I want to quickly hurricane kick into the air.  I press:
    D, DB, B, kick
    normally for a hurricane kick.  Try this:
    D, DB, B, UB, kick.
    You will hurricane kick backwards into the air.  Say you want to
    hurricane kick straight up.  Then press:
    D, DB, B, U, kick.
    or to do it forward:
    D, DB, B, UF, kick.
    This works with charge moves too.  X-ism Chun-Li can Spinning Bird Kick
    into the air by pressing:
    charge B, UF+kick.

IV. The Isms

    a.  X-ism
    In this mode, you are modeled after a character from Super
    Street Fighter 2 Turbo.  You have one, slow filling super bar and one
    super combo to choose from.  You have no air blocking, ground recovery
    roll, alpha counters, or taunting.  Your super combo in X-ism does the
    same damage as the same combo in A-ism done at level 3(except for
    characters who have a different X-ism super, of course, like Cody and
    However, on the bright side, all of your attacks do extra damage,
    both your normal moves and specials.  This makes this mode have
    the highest damage combos on the average.
    There may be other additions or penalties in X-ism, depending upon
    your character.

    b.  A-ism
    This mode is modeled after a normal Street Fighter Alpha character.
    You have a normal 3 level super bar, as well as all of your super
    combos(except for Cody and Dhalsim's X-ism supers).  You also have
    access to taunts, AC's, rolling, and air blocking.
    On the down side, all of your normal attacks and special moves do
    less damage than in X-ism.

    c.  V-ism
    This mode has all of the abilities of A-ism, except for Super Combos.
    You have access to Variable Combos in this mode, which are harder
    to perform than a Super Combo but are potentially more damaging.
    If your character has moves that are performed automatically when you
    are standing close to your opponent, then you can control when you will
    do them by holding B.  Your VC bar fills much faster than a super bar
    of X or A-ism.
    On the down side, you have no super combos and all of your attacks do
    less damage than in any other ism.

V.  Special Modes
    a.  Unlocking the special modes
    On the PSX version, all of these special modes are released after
    beating the Arcade Mode on level 4 difficulty or more.  Thereafter,
    you can select your mode just before you pick your -ism in all modes
    except Arcade mode, and use the select button to choose your -ism
    in Arcade mode.
    On an arcade machine, you have to wait for the machine to have been
    installed for a few months, until the title screen turns light blue.
    Then these modes are selectable after this point through the following:

    Classic: put in money, hold FP + RK press start, release FP + RK, then
    play normally.

    Mazi: same as Classic, except hold SP + FK.

    Saikyou: same as Classic, except hold JP + SK.

    b.  Classic mode
    Classic mode is sort of like a 4th ism.  If you use this, you do not
    get to select your ism normally.  Classic mode is just like X-ism
    in almost all respects, except that you are modeled after an even
    earlier Street Fighter character:  you have no super bar.  This is bad.
    However, you also have no guard meter.  This is good.  You cannot air
    recover, that's bad.  But, you are very hard to juggle, like in the old
    days of SF, so that's good.  I don't have much experience with this mode,
    I don't fool with the special modes much, but if I had to pick one
    this would be it.

    c.  Saikyou mode
    Saikyou mode is modeled after Dan's fighting style, Saikyou-ryuu.
    Translated, it means, "the strongest", which we all know Dan is not.
    In fact in this mode, you are considerably weakened.  Your guard
    meter is half length, your attacks do reduced damage, and, most
    crippling of all, you cannot cancel your normal moves into anything,
    making combos virtually non-existent.  Use this to handicap yourself
    if you want.  You can still choose your -ism normally after choosing
    this mode.  If you get a long win streak with Saikyou mode Dan then
    you need to move on to bigger and better opponents...

    d.  Mazi mode
    Mazi, translated, means, "serious".  In this mode, you have to be
    extremely careful, as any hits you receive do massive damage.  Also,
    you only have to lose one round to lose the entire match!  On the
    bright side, all of your attacks do massive damage as well.  Many
    characters have 100 percent damage combos in Mazi mode, due to the
    increased damage.
    After choosing Mazi mode, you can then choose your -ism normally.

VI. Secret Characters
    This section highlights how to reveal the secret characters on the
    arcade and home game.

    a.  Balrog
    PSX:  Just put your cursor on him and select him, silly!
          If you want the special version of Balrog, which I feel is
          considerably weaker, then highlight him, hold L2, and select
          him.  This will only work if you have beaten him in the
          world tour mode.
    Arcade: Move to Karin, wait for five seconds, then go to any
    random select square, hold start, and press a button.

    b.  Juli
    PSX:  See Balrog.
    Arcade: Move to Karin, wait for five seconds, then go to any
    random select square.  If it is on the left side, then hold left, if
    it is on the right side, hold right, and press a button.  In other words,
    hold away from the center of the screen horizontally.

    c.  Juni
    PSX:  See Juli.
    Arcade: Same as Juli, except hold away from the center vertically.
    For example, if the random select square is at the top, then hold
    up, if it is at the bottom, hold down.

    d.  Guile
    PSX:  Beat him in the World Tour mode.  In order to reach his stage, you
          must raise your total level to at least 27.
    Arcade: N/A

    e.  Evil Ryu
    PSX:  Beat him in the World Tour mode.  In order to reach his stage, you
          must raise your total level to at least 30.
    Arcade: N/A

    f.  Shin Akuma
    PSX:  Beat him in the world tour mode.  You must master 2 of the 3 isms
    and reach level 31 to get to his stage.  Thereafter, highlight Akuma and
    hold L2 while selecting him.
    Arcade: N/A

VII. Character Charts
     First off, I got this information from Kao Megura's FAQ, double
     checked it, and posted it, so yes I know that this is old news.  Many
     thanks to Kao for saving me the trouble of doing all of this!

     a.  Damage chart
     This shows which characters take more or less damage when they are hit.
     They are listed in order from least to most(characters on the same line
     are equal).  Thusly, Zangief takes the least damage, and Shin Akuma
     takes the most.

     Birdie Dan Gen E.Honda Ken R.Mika Ryu Sodom T.Hawk
     Everyone not mentioned elsewhere
     Vega Juli Juni
     Shin Akuma

     b.  Guard meter length chart
     This shows which characters have the longest and shortest guard meters.
     Take into account that your guard meter is a little longer in X-ism.
     V-ism Cody has a very small guard meter, too, because of his dodge move.
     They are listed from longer to shorter meters.  Characters on the same
     line are equal.

     Birdie Zangief
     Karin Sakura M.Bison
     Adon Cody E.Honda Gen R.Mika Sodom Balrog
     Everyone not mentioned elsewhere
     Vega Cammy ChunLi Charlie Juni Juli

VIII. Thanks
     Kao Megura, for the info on the damage and guard meter charts.

     Everybody over at Diamond Jim's in Peachtree Mall, Columbus, GA.  I
     don't get to drive out there much, but whenever I do there is always
     a good game waiting.

     Phoenix, for being a sweetheart always,

     and Capcom, my heroes of the digital age!

     Check out my Adon FAQ, or any of the others that I may write in the
     future, on or on my homepage, and thanks!