ZANGIEF Ultimate Character Guide
For-
*Street Fighter II: the World Warrior (SNES/Arcade)
*Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting (SNES)
*Super Street Fighter II: the New Challengers (SNES/Arcade)
*Super Street Fighter II Turbo (Arcade/3DO)
*Street Fighter Alpha II (Arcade/Playstation)

----------------------*
version 2.4           |
By John "CUL" Culbert |
tigeraid@geocities.com|
----------------------*

(Note: I have chosen to leave two SF versions starring Zangief out of this
 guide-- SF2: CE (Champion edition) and SF: the Movie. I left out CE because
 I've never played it and it only came out for Genesis and arcade (nor did I
 play "normal" mode (which is actually CE) of SF2 Turbo very often either), 
 and I don't write about the Movie game simply because it sucks!)


VERSION UPDATES:

        I've added strategy sections for ALL characters that I didn't before, 
fixed typos and corrected some things about SFA2. I don't wanna list 'em all, 
so just read it. ;) 
In addition, my new URL for my homepage and new e-mail!


INTRODUCTION:

        When I started out playing video games, I pleaded for my parents to 
get me a Nintendo; they finally conceded, and I spent many a day playing 
Super Mario Bros. and all it's 8-bit sequels to their fullest. I soon became 
a regular at the local arcade as well, and when this interesting new game 
called Mortal Kombat came in, I was invited to try; I soon took a liking to 
it, and played that for a while. Then, my friends introduced me to Street 
Fighter II, which had already been released before MK (I had just not played 
it). I also played a little of that, but soon grew tired. Then my parents 
bought be a Super NES and I spent MANY hours playing Mario World. We then got 
in a new game at the arcade; Mortal Kombat II. I began to play this and all 
but forgot my SNES, until I got MKII and then SF2T for the home system. Ever 
since then I've been hooked on fighting games.
        
        When I started out, I of course went for the easily playable 
characters (i.e. M. Bison), and heck, I couldn't even do a Dragon Punch! But 
now I consider my friends and myself seasoned veterans, and eventually I 
began to write FAQs for the World Wide Web to hopefully give someone else a 
bit of my technique and knowledge.
        Since then, I have been using all the flashiest characters, with 
spectacular moves and BIG combos (eg. Ken!), and I LOVE to show off :). I 
also like to try and master every character in each game, so that I can pull 
out the right one for different opponents, or depending on what mood I'm in. 
(eg. if I'm playing for fun I'll use Ken or Cammy, andwhen I'm pissed off and
want to kick some arse, I pull out Sagat!) I thought I had mastered all the 
characters in SF II, as each new version of the game was produced, but I was 
wrong...

        Since playing SF II: the World Warrior we had considered Zangief to 
be a really bad player; sure, we could play him alright, but not in such a 
deadly fashion as I could Ken and Sagat, or as my friend J.D. was with Ryu, 
or as my other buddy Jay was with Blanka and Dhalsim; we played the Russian 
basically for laughs, because all his moves looked funny or painful, and his 
laughing was great :).
        But now, after playing the game through all its versions, I have come 
to take a true liking to Zangief, and after reading various FAQs on him by 
other faithful SF players, I decided to try and learn how to play Zangief 
seriously; true, he's not what you might call my kind of character--he has no
REALLY cool looking combos, but his Throws look great. He's a tad slow, but
the damage he can do more than makes up for that.

        So this guide hopefully will help you along to learn the true power 
of Zangief, through all his various incarnations...


*******
LEGEND:          BUTTONS
*******
                .-------------Jab
   D-PAD        | .-----------Strong
                | | .---------Fierce
   U/B U U/F    | | |
      \|/       | | |
    B--o--F     | | |
      /|\       O O O
   D/B D D/F    O O O
                | | |
                | | |
                | | |
                | | ----------Roundhouse
                | ------------Forward
                 -------------Short

QCT= Quarter Circle Toward (roll the joystick from D to F)
QCB= Quarter Circle Back (roll the joystick from D to B)
HCT= Half Circle Toward (roll the joystick from B to D to F)
HCB= Half Circle Back (roll the joystick from F to D to B)
 + = enter commands simultainiously
 N  = Neutral (return D-Pad to center)

(Note: the graphical legend applies to default arcade settings; the SNES or
 other platform systems can be set up in many different ways)


Some Short Forms Used in This FAQ:
----------------------------------

SF2= Street Fighter II: the World Warrior (may also refer to it as Classic)

SF2CE= Street Fighter II: Champion Edition (may just be CE)

SF2T= Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting

SSF2= Super Street Fighter II: the New Challengers

SSF2T= Super Street Fighter II Turbo (may refer to it as Super Turbo)

SFA= Street Fighter Alpha: Warrior's Dreams

SFA2= Street Fighter Alpha II

DP= Dragon Punch- can be referring to Ryu's, Ken's, Akuma's, or Dan's Special
                  move, or to the similiar joystick/D-Pad motion (F, D, D/F)

HK= Hurricane Kick- can be referring to Ryu's, Ken's or Akuma's Special Move,
                    or to the similiar motion (QCB+any kick)

FB= Fireball- can be referring to Special Move possessed by many characters,
              or to the similiar motion (QCT+any punch)

SC= Super Combo- pertaining to Super Combos from SSF2T or SFA2

CC= Custom Combo- pertaining to Custom Combos from SFA2

FK= Flash Kick- Guile's and Charlie's move, or similiar motion (charge D, 
                U+any kick)

SB= Sonic Boom- Guile's and Charlie's move, or similiar motion (charge B, 
                F+any punch)

HHS= Hundred Hands Slap- pertaining to E. Honda's Special Move (tap any punch
                         repeatedly)

YF= Yoga Flame- pertaining to Dhalsim's Special Move or similiar motion 
                (HCT+any punch)

SBK= Spinning Bird Kick- pertaining to Chun Li's pattened move (charge D, 
                         U+any kick)

TAP= Turn-Around Punch- pertaining to Balrog's pattened move (charge all 3
                        punches or kicks, release)

TU= Tiger Uppercut- pertaining to Sagat's pattened move (F, D, D/F+any punch)

TK= Tiger Knee- pertaining to Sagat Pattened move (QCT, U/F+any kick or 
                F, D, D/F+any kick in SFA2)

SPD= Spinning Pileriver- Zangief's pattened move, or similiar motion (roll
                         360 degrees)


A WORD ABOUT...


THROWS AND GRABS:

        One of Zangief's primary forms of attack, a Throw or Grab (including 
SPD or other Special Move Throws) must be done right up close, and are 
unblockable; they can only be avoided. For grabs, repeatedly tap the button 
used and shake the joystick or D-Pad to make the repeated hits last longer. 
Do the same thing if you are caught in a grab to escape early. Throwing and 
Grabbing can be used in any version of SF. 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

COMBOS:

        A combo is a series of attacks that, once the first hit connects, are 
totally unblockable until the opponent is knocked down or the attacker is 
pushed too far away to continue. As the versions of SF progressed, combos 
became more frequent and easier to do; Zangief does not have a whole lot of 
combos, but he has a few doozies. To perform combos, the general algorithm 
that started in SF2 was a jumping attack, followed by a standing regular 
attack (or in some cases more than one) buffered (see below) into a Special 
Move to finish. 
        As the combo systems became more complicated, you were then able to 
perform chain combos (this was in SFA, and Zangief was not in that version), 
which were then forgotten in SFA2 in favour of the Custom Combo (see Custom 
Combos) that chains many Special Moves together. Throughout each version 
Zangief has had a few good combos, which I will list and explain.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

BUFFERING:

        This is a technique used in 90% of all fighting games out today. To 
buffer means to do the motions of one move while the animations of another 
move are still being performed. Buffering is used in some of Z's combos. 
Here's an example:

-Jumping cross-up D+Fierce (Body Splash), crouching Forward buffered into 
 Spinning Clothesline

        In order to perform this combo fast enough for the Clothesline to be 
totally unblockable, you must BUFFER the Forward into the Clothesline. After 
the jump in attack, hold down and hit Forward; now, hit two punches BEFORE 
the Forward recovers (i.e. before he brings his foot back)--the opponent will 
still be "stunned" by the kick and cannot recover in time to block the 
Clothesline. Buffering can be used in every version of SF.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

ALPHA COUNTERS (SFA2):

        Immediately after blocking an opponent's attack, you can emmediately
retaliate with an Alpha Counter. To do this, perform the motion B, D/B, D,
and any punch or kick; a kick will perform a counter for ground attacks, and    
punch will counter air attacks (in most cases; see moves analysis). Note: you 
need at LEAST a level 1 Super meter to do one. Alpha Counters are only in 
SFA2.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

SUPER METER (SSF2T):

        At the bottom of the screen is a meter which will fill up when you 
perform Special Moves or when you hit the enemy. Once filled, Zangief can 
perform his Super Combo, the Final Atomic Buster.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

SUPER METER (SFA2):

        At the bottom of the screen there is a meter called the SUPER meter. 
This fills up when a) you are hit by the opponent with any attack, or you hit
them with any attack, b) using any Special move or c) hitting any fierce or
Roundhouse. When the meter begins to flash it's outline, your character is 
abable of a level 1 Super Combo. If you continue to build your meter to level 
2, you are cabable of a level 2 Super Combo. The level 2 Super of your 
character must be done with TWO buttons (for example, Zangief's Final Atomic 
Buster is done roll 720 degrees+any punch; to perform a level two, do the 
same motion with TWO punches). When the meter fills to level 3, the character 
is cabable of their most powerful Super Combo. These must be done with all
THREE buttons.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

BLOCKING:

        To block an oncoming attack, hold in the opposite direction. To block 
a low attack (i.e. the enemy hits low), hold D/B to crouch and block. 
Blocking and Low Blocking work in all versions of SF.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

AIR BLOCKING (SFA2):

        In addition to blocking on the ground, it is possible in Alpha 2 to 
block attacks in the air. Attacks that cannot be blocked include most DPs, 
Super Combos, and ground-based uppercut attacks (eg. Ken's standing Strong).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

THROW SOFTENING (SSF2T):

        To "soften" a Throw (i.e. land safely after being thrown and take 
about half the damage), hold B or F and hit Strong or Fierce just as the 
opponent grabs you with a Throw. In SSF2T Zangief can only soften tosses, 
i.e. Throws that cause him to be airborne (including Air Throws like Cammy's 
and I think Guile's Fierce Air Throw). As far as I know, softening doesn't 
work on press Throws (i.e. Vega's Backdrop) or Special Move Throws (eg. 
T. Hawk's Mexican Tornado). I'm also pretty sure you cannot soften grabs (eg. 
Balrog's Grab `n' Headbutt)...

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

TECH HITS (SFA2):

        In SFA2 the Throw soften was renamed the "tech hit", and it was given 
a little more freedom. To perform a tech hit, hold B or F and hit Strong or 
Fierce just as the opponent grabs you; in SFA2, Z can now escape ALL regular 
Throws, including presses and grabs! It is still impossible to tech hit 
Special Move Throws.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

TICKS:

        A tick is defined as an attack that, if blocked, will leave you 
relatively safe and allow you to follow up with an attack. Now, through the 
versions this definition has been refined, and what it basically means is 
this; a tick is an attack that if you connect with it you can go into a combo 
of your choice, and if blocked, you will recover in time to throw another 
attack before your opponent can; but, note that they also recover from their 
blocking frames at relatively the same time, so they will also be able to
block the follow-up. But, since Throws are unblockable, you can nail them 
with a Throw! 
        This tactic has been refined by many players, and in SF2: the World 
Warrior, Guile had the ability to Throw a Jab, and if blocked he could Throw 
emmediately (this was remedied in the later version--still possible, though, 
I believe) This tactic was used to win a popular SF2 tournament in 
Albuquerque, New Mexico, and ticks were to forever be considered extremely 
cheesy by anyone who loses (in some arcades they have gone so far as to BAN
ticks!). If, however, the people you play against are okay with ticks, GO
WILD. 
        Ticking is one of Zangief's greatest assets IMO, because he can tick 
and go into his SPD! For example, a good tick to start out with would be a 
crouching Jab into the SPD; if the Jab is blocked, you'll still grab 'em with 
the Driver! More ticking will be explained later on .

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

REVERSALS:

        When a fighter is knocked down, there is a small window of 
opportunity for them to get up faster and attack at the same time (about 1/60 
of a second). If a move is performed during this time, it becomes almost 
totally invulnerable unless the opponent is able to connect with a meaty 
attack first (see below.) As far as I know, a reversal is not a large part of 
Z's tactics, but if the enemy comes up close to attempt a meaty attack (eg. a 
crouching punch) but does it too early, perform a Spinning Piledriver as your 
reversal!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

MEATY ATTACKS:

        A meaty attack allows you to hit an opponent who is recovering from a 
knockdown (i.e. getting up) without them connecting with a reversal move (see
above); for example, normally it is possible for Ken and Ryu to do a DP JUST 
as they begin to rise, and it can surprise many enemies. But, using a A VERY
WELL-TIMED meaty attack will prevent them from doing that. I'm not sure about 
the exact timing of a meaty attack, but I do know it has to be what I refer 
to as a "constant" attack, in other words an attack that is thrown without 
stopping and withdrawn without stopping; fireballs will not work as meaty 
attacks because they flicker in and out as they fly, and the opponent will be 
able to block them as they rise (or DP through them as the case may be). The 
same goes for a lot of repeated Short kicks or Jabs, as they move in and out 
too fast (Zangief's Jabs do, however, work as as meaty attacks with perfect
timing). If you connect with a meaty attack you can perform combos you cannot 
normally perform, because the stun put on the opponent when hit is longer 
than normal. For example, it is possible for Zangief to get in more Jabs  
after a Body Splash than possible before continuing with into a Clothesline 
or SPD.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

SAFETY ROLL (SFA2):

        To avoid a lot of meaty attacks, Capcom added a roll to every 
fighter's repitiore. By rolling from B to D in one motion and hitting punch
just as you land from a knockdown, will cause Z to roll forward along the 
ground to a standing position. You will not lessen any damage taken, but you
can avoid meaty attacks in this fashion. Bear in mind that because of this
added technique, meaty attacks are more difficult to cheese with in Alpha 2;
if you are close enough to an opponent when you knock them down, wait a split 
second to see if they'll roll, then start your meaty tactic.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

SAC-THROWING:

        "Sac-Throwing" (short for sacrifice Throwing) put in loose terms is 
countering with Throws. The easiest sac-throw is if the enemy misses a 
jumping attack (i.e. they threw it too early, so the attack is finished while 
they're still in the air), calmly walk forward and Throw them JUST as they 
land. As you master this, you can begin to sac-throw blocked attacks, eg. if 
Ryu jumps U/F with an early Roundhouse up close, block the attack and then 
Throw him as he lands. But of course, the reason it's called a sac-throw is 
because you can get hit, sacrificing a little energy, but then Throw! To do 
this the enemy must attack again with an early attack, that way it takes them 
longer to recover from it than it takes you to recover from the hit.
        With Zangief this will of course work for the SPD and its spin-offs! 
Sac-throwing is the easiest way to avoid ticks (eg. if a Ken/Ryu player 
screws up a jumping Short into Throw tick by hitting Short in the air too 
early, you can foil them with a counter-throw.)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
SUPER COMBOS (SFA2 and SSF2T):

        Zangief's Super Combos only appear in SSF2T and SFA2; his SC from 
SSF2T is the Final Atomic Buster. In SFA2, he has the Final Atomic Buster 
that can be powered up to three different levels, and a Rising Air Throw with 
three different levels. You will know a character has executed a Super Combo 
because the screen will grow dark for a moment as they gather "chi" (spirit).
If you finish your opponent with an SC, the screen will flash brightly.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

CUSTOM COMBOS (SFA2):

        Replacing Chain Combos from SFA, Custom combos allow you to chain ALL 
normal moves and even SPECIAL MOVES together into combos (it speeds the move 
up so their recovery is faster and you can throw another one emmediately). To 
perform a CC, you must first fill the CC meter at the bottom of the screen, 
then activate it with any two punches+any kick. Zangief will get blue shadows 
behind him. A time meter will appear right above the Super Meter; depending 
on how much Super Meter energy you have when you initiate the CC, the timer 
will count down for a period of time. CCs will be explained further on.


CHARACTER PROFILE:
******************


Name: Zangief (don't know a last name)
Date of Birth: 6-1-56
Height: 7'
Weight: 256 lbs.
Blood Type: A
Nationality: Russian
Fighting Style: Sambo wrestling
Likes: Bear Wrestling, cossack dancing
Dislikes: Fireballs

        Zangief is a professional wrestler born in the fearsome cold of 
Siberia. His steel muscles have made his Spinning Pile Driver and Double 
Lariat attacks deadly. In his spare time, he likes to wrestle bears.

        Born to be a bruiser, Zangief trained for the Street Fighter 
competition by grappling with grizzly bears in the snow-covered Siberian 
mountains. Now battle scarred but wiser, he's respected as the world's 
foremost authority on face-planting pile drivers. Zangief strives to prove 
the superiority of his Russian physique by crushing all challengers in the 
World Warrior tournament. He's supported by a high-ranking Russian politician 
in his efforts to dethrone M. Bison and capture the championship title.

        Many believe that Zangief entered the tournament out of his fierce 
respect for his country, but they are only partially correct. Zangief loves 
his country, but he loves to stomp on his opponents even more. What else 
would you expect from a man who wrestles bears for fun?

        Good natured, with a great sense of humor, Zangief loves to fight. He 
left the Russian Wrestling Federation because of the lack of competition and 
now seeks suitable opponents wherever he can find them. Totally fearless, 
Zangief is more than willing to walk into a punch as long as he can grab his 
opponent and drive them into pavement with his Spinning Pile Driver.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Battle Quotes:
**************

"Next time we meet, I'm gonna break your arms!"
"My strength is much greater than yours!"
"Don't make me angry or I'll beat the crap out of you!"
"Your body I will twist into a pretzel. Your mind I will leave for the 
 vultures."
"Stop blocking my fists with your face."
"No one can escape my Spinning Death Move!" 

*Home Stage*

Russia: Industrial Factory (Comrades on lunch break cheer him on from the 
        sidelines.)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


FIGHTING STYLE: 
***************

(Thanks to Dave Walbridge For his detailed explanation)

SAMBO is an acronym of Russian words "SAMozaschita Bez Orujiya" - 
"Self-Defence Without Weapon". 

Origin: Russia 

History 

        SAMBO was created in the 1930's. Official recognition of new art was 
in 1938. At first it was named "free-style wrestling", then "free wrestling," 
and in 1946 was renamed "SAMBO." This system is compilation of techniques 
from a number of martial arts including Japanese and Chinese martial arts; 
national martial arts of USSR area natives (Georgians, Armenians, Mongols, 
Russians etc.); French wrestling and other arts. At the time of the 2nd world 
war the system was widely "tested" by the Soviet army. "Special" techniques 
were added at the time, for example fighting in cells, quick-and-quiet sentry 
killing, and so on. Because of the number of criminals in the Soviet army at 
that time (during WWII each prisoner was "invited" to the front with each 
year at the front worth two or so years of their sentence) SAMBO experts 
acquired many lessons on criminal street fighting, and a number of these 
techniques were included in SAMBO. SAMBO continues to accept new techniques 
and modify old ones. 

Description 

        Today, SAMBO is built from 3 parts: the sportive part (Olympic sport), 
the self-defense part, and the special or combat part. 
        
        The sportive part is similar to Judo but with some differences in 
allowed techniques. SAMBO allows leg locks were Judo does not, but Judo 
allows choking but SAMBO does not. There are somewhat more techniques in 
SAMBO than in Judo. 

        The self-defense part of SAMBO is similar in form to Aikijujutsu 
because it is intended to be entirely defensive. The founder of SAMBO said 
this about the self-defense part: 

"We give defensive weapons to citizens. Some people say that this kind of 
martial art may be learned by criminals or hooligans and used against 
citizens. Don't worry! This art does not include even one attacking 
technique! If a hooligan will learn, he will be able to apply it only against 
another hooligan who will attack him, but never against a citizen." 

        There are many specific techniques for defending specific attacks, 
including escaping from grips and chokes, defenses against punches and kicks, 
defenses against weapons (knife, stick etc.), and floor-fighting. The 
self-defense part of SAMBO is based on body movements and locks with a few 
punches and kicks. The object is to allow defense but not to injure the 
opponent more than necessary because this part was created for citizens. In 
the former Soviet Union the law was that if you injure your opponent more 
than needed in a self-defense situation you could receive a 5 year prison 
term. Some of the self-defense techniques are based on sportive SAMBO. 

        The third part - combat SAMBO - was created for the army and police. 
It is a very severe, and dangerous system. If the idea of sportive SAMBO is 
"Take points and win," and the idea of the self-defence part is "Don't allow 
to attacker injure you," the idea of combat SAMBO is "Survive, and if someone 
hinders you - injure or kill him." Combat SAMBO includes sportive and 
self-defence techniques, but uses them in different ways. For example, 
sportive SAMBO uses the traditional shoulder throw of Judo and Jujutsu. In 
combative SAMBO the throw is done with the opponents arm rotated up and 
locked at the elbow, and can be done to throw the opponent on his head. If 
the opponent attempts to counter by lowering his center of gravity and 
pulling backwards (as is taught in sportive SAMBO) the arm will be broken. 
Combative SAMBO teaches shoulder throw counters that might be able to deal 
with a locked arm like kicking out the opponents knee and pulling back by the 
hair or eye sockets. 

        In addition to modified sportive and self-defence techniques, combat 
SAMBO includes kicks, punches, "dangerous throwing" (throws that can't be 
include into sportive part because they cause injury), locks on the spine, 
things that are prohibited in sportive wrestling (biting, for example), many 
"sadistic dirty things," working against weapons (with or without a weapon of 
your own), tricks like putting your coat on your opponents head (works 
nicely), floor fighting (very strong), fighting in closed space (small room, 
pit, stairs), quick-and-quiet sentry killing, and so forth. Students also 
learn strategy and tactics of fighting alone or in groups against single or 
multiple opponents. SAMBO is less popular today in Russia because the influx 
of oriental martial arts in recent years. But, the development of SAMBO has 
continued and elements of it are incorporated into other modern combat 
systems.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Appearance:
***********

        Zangief is HUGE and buff, towering over all fighters save Sagat,and 
about equal to T. Hawk (his size is accentuated even more so in SFA2!). He 
has scars all over his body, presumably from a bear; he is bald except for a 
thick, short mohawk, and has a bushy beard. On his chest is a large pattern 
of hair, and he wears nothing but wrestling shorts, wrist cuffs and wrestling 
boots.


GAME OVERVIEW:
##############

        Before examining 'Gief's moves in detail, we must first know how he 
progressed in each version of the game (Each move will be explained for each
version later on; this is just a general description):

SF2: The World Warrior-

        The game that started it all; the gameplay was pretty slow, but 
action-packed nonetheless. Throws were very powerful attacks, and each 
character didn't have many Special Moves. There's also a weird sort of 
counterattack system that I and my friends have found only in the 
original--if you connect with an attack as the opponent is recovering from 
their attack, your's will do MUCH more damage. For example, what would you do 
if you block Ryu's Dragon Puch with Ken? You could wait for him to land and 
Throw him, but a well timed DP or even jumping Roundhouse can do around 40% 
damage!
        Zangief was REALLY slow in this version and it was difficult to play 
him offensively. The Spinning Clothesline packed a whallop, but was much too 
slow and easy to be hit out of. Combos in SF2 were difficult to perform 
compared to other versions, but the Clothesline could be put into a few good 
ones. 
        You had to play it simple with the Russian, waiting for your chance 
to Throw 'em, and defending yourself with his regular moves. Thankfully, 
though, his regular Throws were quite powerful, and the SPD did MASSIVE 
amounts of damage, as well as leaving Zangief right beside the enemy when it 
finished, allowing him to harrass them with possibly a meaty attack as they 
rose.

SF2 Turbo: Hyper Fighting-

        Probably the best-loved SF2 incarnation, and it is also the one I 
owned, so you'll get the best Zangief tactics for this version. Turbo lived 
up to its name--it had selectable game speeds, and a special code for true
turbo speed. Throws were balanced out a little, but some of the right ones 
still did great damage. Chun Li got her Fireball, Ken finally got better than 
Ryu ;) and you could now play as the bosses. The weird countering system that
existed in Classic now seems to be gone; if you hit Ryu with Ken's jumping
Roundhouse after he misses a DP, the kick does normal damage.
        
        Zangief got a lot of improvement; he was sped up a little, including 
his moves. He received a new Turbo Clothesline, which came out faster and 
allowed him to avoid getting hit low--he also gained the ability to move 
forward or back when performing either Clothesline, allowing him to edge 
toward cheesy projectile throwers. His SPD was weakened a tad, and now 
bounces him away after the slam so he cannot cheese the opponent as they rise, 
but it's still great to waste the enemy, and ticks work even better in this 
version! 

Super Street Fighter 2: the New Challengers-

        The SPD is weakened slightly again, but Zangief gains two Air Throws 
(they look basically the same as his crouching Throws of the previous 
versions) as well as a new 360 move, the Double German Suplex. If you perform 
the 360 motion and hit kick when Zangief is out of range, he will walk 
forward slightly and can then grab them with that for a new Atomic Drop. He 
also gains some funny-looking missed SPD animation, where he grabs at thin 
air with a dumb look on his face (he is also left open to attack at this 
time). 
        His Turbo Clothesline is now vulnerable to low attacks as well... 
One major downer is that as a whole the SPD can no longer be put into 
combos, unless the previous hits are blocked! For example, if you jump in 
with a Body Splash, follow with a crouching Forward into an SPD and the 
enemy blocks, a FIERCE SPD will connect. But, if the opponent doesn't block
the crouching Forward, Z will do his miss animations RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEIR
FACE. I will require more research into this, as I only recently discovered
it (I never used to put the SPD in combos, just the Clothesline) on the 
Genesis version (I normally don't play ANYTHING on a Genesis, but it was the
only SF I had available for some research). Note however that a jumping 
attack into the SPD still works...
        Despite this annoyance, ticking still works well here, but because of 
the new SPD ranges (i.e. Fierce has AMAZING range, and Jab you must PRESS 
against them for it to connect), you can no longer go crazy with blocked Jabs 
and spin the D-Pad/Joystick to get the SPD out of the chops, because they 
will knock Z too far away for the Jab version of the SPD to connect--you will 
get Zangief's miss animation and be left wide open to anything! (So from here 
on you must actually MASTER buffering to get any real combos...)
        As well Zangief's Throws were screwed with, (IMO for the worse) and 
his cool-looking Forward Throw was replaced with a stupid-lookin' one. His 
Fierce and Roundhouse Throws were replaced with grabs too...

Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo-

        New advances are of course Super Combos, as well as the ability to 
soften Throws. Zangief's Final Atomic Buster was QUITE potent, but difficult 
to perform every time. He also gained a great move to deal with projectiles; 
the Banishing Punch. It cancels fireballs and recovers faster than the 
Clothesline, but it's also GREAT tick--if the enemy blocked this up close you 
could emmediately nail 'em with the Super Combo or either 360 slam. He also 
gained the ability to perform his U+Fierce Headbutt during a hop, which 
avoids low sweeps...

Street Fighter Alpha 2-

        SFA made most of the major changes to the Street Fighter series, but 
in SFA2 Chain Combos were dropped for Custom Combos, three secret characters 
were now fully playable, and even more characters were added. 
        Although not present in SFA :( , Zangief made a MAJOR comeback in 
Alpha 2, and looks as imposing as Sagat now (well, almost!) He gains a new 
rising SC Throw, and the motion for his Banishing Punch changed. Some regular 
moves were screwed with, but all in all he's gotten even better. 
        However, just to make guys like us mad, they decreased Throw ranges 
all together, so it is quite difficult to grab 'em from anywhere but right up
close, unless they just miss a move in front of your face. As well, a lot of
ticks, especially my favorite C.Forward into SPD, no longer work, and the SPD
can rarely be put in combos! So, a lot of my meaty/tick/combo ideas don't
neccesarily work in SFA2.


MOVES LIST:
###########


-Spinning Clothesline: any two punches simultainously (all versions)
-Turbo Clothesline: any two kicks (from SF2T on)
-Spinning Piledriver: roll 360 degrees+any punch (all versions)
-Double German Suplex: roll 360 degrees+any kick (from SSF2 on)
-Atomic Drop: roll 360 degrees+any kick from a distance (from SSF2 on)
-Banishing Punch: F, D/F, D+any punch (SSF2T)
-Banishing Punch: F, D, D/F+any punch (SFA2)
-Hopping Headbutt: F or B+Strong or Fierce (SSF2T)
-Body Splash: D+Fierce in mid-air (all versions)
-Knee Drop: D+Short or Forward in mid-air (from SF2T on)
-Long Low Kick: hold D/F+Forward (SFA2)
-Long Toe Sweep: hold D/F+Roundhouse (SFA2)
-Headbutt: U+Fierce or Strong during straight jump (all versions)
-Alpha Counter; Grabbing Punch: B, D/B, D+any punch after blocking attack 
                                (SFA2)
-Alpha Counter; Side Kick: B, D/B, D+any kick after blocking attack (SFA2)
-Taunt: <START>
-Super Combo; Final Atomic Buster: roll 720 degrees+any punch (from SSF2T on)
-Super Combo; Rising Air Throw: QCT, QCT+any kick (SFA2)


REGULAR MOVES:
##############


standing:

Jab- quick roundhouse punch (from Classic to SSF2T), overhead chop (SFA2)
Strong- strong roundhouse punch (from Classic to SSF2T), cross-chop (SFA2)
Fierce- wide roundhouse punch (from Classic to SSF2T), lunging side punch 
        (SFA2)
Short- shin Kick
Forward- BOOT (Classic), side kick (from SF2T on)
Roundhouse- high kick (from Classic to SSF2T), Double Fallback Kick (SFA2)

standing close:

Jab- quick overhead chop
Strong- strong roundhouse punch (from Classic to SSF2T), cross-chop (SFA2)
Fierce- wide roundhouse punch (from Classic to SSF2T), lunging side punch 
        (SFA2)
Short- knee thrust
Forward- BOOT
Roundhouse- Double fallback kick

crouching:

Jab- low chop
Strong- low gut punch (from Classic to SSF2T), uppercut (SFA2) 
Fierce- big gut punch
Short- quick toe kick
Forward- long toe kick
Roundhouse- Toe Sweep

straight jump:

Jab- jumping chop
Strong- strong jumping chop
Fierce- fierce jumping chop
Short- quick drop kick
Forward- long drop kick
Roundhouse- big drop kick

diagonal jump:

Jab- jumping chop
Strong- Forward chop
Fierce- lunging punch
Short- Knee Drop (Classic), quick drop kick (from SF2T to SSF2T), jumping
       side kick (SFA2) 
Forward- long drop kick (from Classic to SSF2T), jumping BOOT (SFA2)
Roundhouse- big drop kick


Now, my favorite...


THROWS:
#######

SF2 Classic:
------------

-Suplex: F or B+Fierce (up close)
-Piledriver: F or B+Strong (up close)
-Power Bomb: F or B+Forward or Roundhouse (up close)
-Grab `n' Bite: F or B+Fierce (one step away)
-Face Crunch: F or B+Strong (one step away)
-Stomach Pump: crouching Fierce or Strong (one step away)
-Overhead Toss: crouching Fierce (close)
-Downward Toss: crouching Strong (close)

SF2T:
-----

-Suplex: F or B+Fierce (up close)
-Piledriver: F or B+Strong (up close)
-Power Bomb: F or B+Roundhouse (up close)
-Reverse Backdrop: F or B+Forward (up close)
-Grab `n' Bite: F or B+Fierce (one step away)
-Face Crunch: F or B+Strong (one step away)
-Stomach Pump: crouching Fierce or Strong (one step away)
-Overhead Toss: crouching Fierce (close)
-Downward Toss: crouching Strong (close)

SSF2/SSF2T:
-----------

-Grab `n' Bite: F or B+Fierce (up close)
-Piledriver: F or B+Strong (up close)
-Face Crunch: F or B+Roundhouse (up close)
-"Floating" Suplex: F or B+Forward (up close)
-Stomach Pump: crouching Fierce or Strong (close)
-Air Overhead Toss: F or B+Fierce in mid-air (close)
-Air Downward Toss: F or B+Roundhouse in mid-air (close)

SFA2:
-----

-Grab `n' Bite: F or B+Roundhouse or Forward (up close)
-Suplex: F or B+Fierce or Strong (close)
-Stomach Pump: D+Fierce or Strong (close)


REGULAR MOVES ANALYSIS:
#######################


-Quick Roundhouse Punch/Overhead Chop-

(Zangief throws a quick hook punch)

        No big deal, as far as I can tell; if you ever connect with Jab, it 
should be up close. In SFA2, this is just the same as his standing close Jab
(see below).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Strong Roundhouse Punch-

(Zangief throws a hook punch)

        Again, not a big deal, but it has better range than the Jab, and does 
slightly more damage. If the enemy jumps in NOT deep, this is an OK counter.
(It cannot be used on jumpers from afar because, especially with Ryu/Ken, 
they can kick Z's hand)

-Cross-Chop-

(Zangief throws a strong straight chop)

        For SFA2 only, this attack will hit low attacks for some reason; 
very good for countering enemies who are trying to pester you with 
crouching moves. For example, you can foil an attempted tick by another 
Zangief if he tries for a crouching Short into SPD; just quickly counter the 
Short with your Strong.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Wide Roundhouse Punch-

(Zangief throws his whole body into a powerful hook)

        If you manage to hit the opponent with this, it does MASSIVE damage 
for a normal attack. Its main advantage is range, so if you manage to hit the
opponent with it from a distance, it is practically impossible to counter.
Its main disadvantages is that it can be ducked, and boy, is it SLOW. If the
enemy sees it coming they can counter with a quick punch or simply duck and
retaliate; the latter can be a really bad thing for Z, so all in all don't
use this too much.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Lunging Side Punch-

(Zangief shifts sideways and throws out his fist)

Basically the same properties as the original S.Fierce, only even slower. For
some reason, this is even a decent air counter to deep jumps (despite its
appearance).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Shin Kick-

(Zangief kicks the opponent in the shin area)

        Fairly decent range despite its appearance, it comes out lightning 
fast and has good priority over low kicks. Pester the enemy up close with 
these so they can't trip 'Gief up.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-BOOT-

(Zangief plants his boot firmly in the enemy's gut)

        A great looking kick that makes you wanna scream "lick my boot, 
scum!", it only appears at a distance in Classic (in all other versions it 
only comes out up close). It has decent range and decent recovery. No real 
reason to use this except to admire Zangief's big-ass boot. It can sometimes 
work as a tick up close if you're careful, and if it connects the SPD usually
always will.

-Side Kick-

(Zangief shifts his body and throws his foot forward)

        A kick that IMO looks like it belongs to M.Bison, this is one of 
Zangief's best attacks, and should be used as your primary move on the 
ground. Its range is formidable, so if you hit the opponent from a distance 
with this there's little chance of retaliation. It also has priority over a 
lot of low hitting moves, so if the enemy tries to throw a sweep, boot 'em in 
the head.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-High Kick-

(Using what looks like all is strength and leverage, Zangief manages to bring
 his foot up to about eye level with a kick)

        In every version except Alpha 2, this should be IMO your primary air 
counter. I try never to use it the enemy is on the ground, because the speed 
is horrid and it can be ducked. Even as an air counter it must be timed 
properly because of its speed. Good if it connects, but be careful.

-Double Fallback Kick-

(Zangief leans backward and kicks up twice)

        A really weird looking kick, it used to be his up close Roundhouse, 
but now in SFA2 it is his Roundhouse everywhere. It can still work well as an 
air counter, but not as well as his Alpha 2 crouching Strong. It is slow and
recovery is BAD, and as well the range is even worse. Try not to use this too
often.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Quick Overhead Chop-

(Zangief performs a quick chop over the opponent's head)

        Despite its weak power and limited appearance, this is not only one 
of Zangief's best ticks, but is also an excellent air counter; if the enemy
jumps in at you, start tapping Jab and 90% of the time you'll catch them. Use
these frequently, they're quite safe.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Strong Roundhouse Punch-

(Zangief throws a hook punch)

        Same as the standing far version--Again, not a big deal, but it has 
better range than the Jab, and does slightly more damage.

-Strong Chop-

(Zangief throws a strong straight chop)

        Same as standing far version--For SFA2 only, this attack will hit 
ducking attakcs; very good for countering enemies who are trying to pester 
you with crouching moves. For example, you can foil an attempted tick by 
another Zangief if he tries for a crouching Forward into SPD; just quickly 
counter the Forward with your Strong.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Wide Roundhouse Punch-

(Zangief throws his whole body into a powerful hook)

        The same as he far standing version, this should be used rarely up 
close; this is because its best asset is range, which is not applicable when 
up close. Its speed is horrible, so Z'll be in even more trouble if he tries 
to hit with this up close; most opponents will be able to get in an attack 
first, and up close moves are generally more powerful (eg. Dhalsim's 
Headbutt).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Lunging Side Punch-

(Zangief shifts sideways and throws out his fist)

Basically the same properties as the original S.Fierce, only even slower. For
some reason, this is even a decent air counter to deep jumps (despite its
appearance).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Knee Thrust-

(Zangief brings both his knees up into the enemy's midsection)

        Comes out fast, and acts IMO just as well as standing close Jab for a 
tick; buffer the motions of the SPD while he's kneeing them; wether they 
block or not they'll get nailed with the Piledriver!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-BOOT-

(Zangief plants his boot firmly in the enemy's gut)

        This is the same as his far standing Forward from Classic; this is 
one of his better kicks, if not just for the animation, but because its 
recovery is great and it bounces the opponent far enough away if blocked that 
they cannot easily counter. It is possible to tick with this if you're fast.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Double Fallback Kick-

(Zangief leans backward and kicks up twice)

        In SFA2 it is his normal Roundhouse everywhere; in earlier versions 
it is his up-close Roundhouse. This is great for air counters, and WILL come 
out if the enemy is close enough in the air above you (i.e. trying to cross 
you up); if you have yet to master the SPD, this is an excellent move to use 
if you block a DP up close--hit them just as they land and you'll connect 
with both hits for great damage (mind you, it's useless once you've mastered 
the SPD and its spin-offs). Again, it is still wise not to use this too 
often, because if blocked Zangief's recovery is so slow he enemy has an 
eternity to think up a juicy counter. BTW, if this is ducked only the first 
hit will connect, and Z will be left open as he continues to bring up his
foot.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Low Chop-

(Z throws his open hand out, palm up, in a chop)

        Despite its appearance it is a great tick, and it is also EXTREMELY 
effective for stopping a lot of torpedo moves, especially Blanka's 
Cannonball; timing is the key! 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Low Gut Punch-

(Zangief throws a low punch to the gut)

No big deal--range is decent, priority OK, more powerful than crouching Jab.

-Uppercut-

(Zangief throws an upward punch from a crouch)

        IMO his best anti-air move, this only appears in SFA2. If you use it 
as an air counter, make sure the enemy is fairly close to the ground for it 
to connect.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Big Gut Punch-

(Zangief throws a powerful punch to the midsection)

        Really of no use actually. It does MASSIVE damage and has decent 
range (though not as much as the standing Fierce), but it is much too slow 
and easy to avoid. Although one thing great about it is that Z sort of surges 
upward as he throws the punch to it'll gain a little bit of height so it can 
be used fairly well as an air counter, or as a simple retaliation if you duck 
Ken/Akuma/Ryu's HK (all versions), or Chun Li's Spinning Bird kick (previous 
to SSF2T).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Jumping Chop-

(Zangief jumps straight up and throws a downward chop)

No big deal.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Strong Jumping Chop-

(Zangief jumps straight up and throws a downward chop)

Again, no big deal; more damage though.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Fierce Jumping Chop-

(Zangief jumps straight up and throws a downward chop)

        Also not an important attack; can be used if the enemy jumps in 
high--just jump up and counter.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Knee Drop-

(Zangief drops down on the enemy with both knees)

        This only exists in Classic as a regular jumping move; it is best 
used as tick, because you recover quite fast and Z can go right into an SPD.

-Quick Drop Kick-

(Zangief throws both feet forward in a drop kick)

No big deal.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Long Drop Kick-

(Zangief throws both feet forward in a drop kick)

Ditto.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Big Drop Kick-

(Zangief throws both feet forward in a drop kick)

        This is one of Zangief's best airborne attacks; it has GREAT range, 
and does major damage. It can be used as a tick if you connect deep with it, 
but that isn't IMO its best asset. One of the great things to do with it is 
to actually use it as an air counter, or a counter to some rising move by 
hitting Roundhouse early in your jump.


THROWS ANALYSIS:
################


SF2: the World Warrior
**********************


-Suplex-

(Zangief grabs the opponent and hoists them up, falling backwards to the
 ground)

        Does great damage and looks cool too. This is the main Throw to 
utilize from a standing position if you wanna get away from the enemy, as it 
puts them around 3/4 of the screen away.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Piledriver-

(Zangief picks the opponent up, turns them upside down, puts their head 
 facing down between his legs, then hops up and drives their skull into the
 ground)

        Basically a weaker SPD without the spins or height; this leaves you 
relatively close to the enemy after their slammed, allowing to set up a meaty
attack. Because of this, it should be IMO your primary Throw next to the SPD;
see the meaty attack section for more info. The Piledriver does basically the 
same damage as the Suplex.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Power Bomb-

(Zangief picks the enemy up, turns them upside down and drives their 
 head/shoulders into the ground)

        IMO the most brutal Throw in Zangief's arsenal, it has basically the 
same properties as the Piledriver, doing the same damage--although it is 
possible to follow up relatively easy with a meaty attack, the enemy is 
bounced a few steps away when slammed, so I recommend sticking with the 
Piledriver if you're trying to set them up.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Grab `n' Bite-

(Zangief grabs his opponent around the shoulders and begins to bite them in
 the neck area)

        This along with the other three grabbing moves have the potential to 
do well over more damage than the SPD! This of course means you have to get 
all the bites in, by repeatedly tapping left and right and hitting the button
rapidly, but most of the time the opponent can shake free before major damage
is done; the first bite does decent damage, but I personally stick with his
presses instead of grabs because of the damage potential. The big thing about
his grabs in Classic are that they can be done a step away, effectively 
surprising the enemy. BTW, in Classic the CPU frequently escaped the Grab `n' 
Bite before ANY damage was done!
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Face Crunch-

(Zangief wraps his hand around the enemy's face and begins to squeeze the 
 life out of it)

        Just see the Bite section above; this move is basically the same, it 
 just looks different.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Stomach Pump-

(Zangief grabs the enemy's gut with one hand and begins to squeeze)

        Like the other grabs this can do great damage with all "pumps", if 
you repeatedly tap the button and shake left and right, and also depending on 
how much the enemy is attempting to escape. I suppose this is an OK move to 
use if you manage to duck a slow high attack from one step (eg. Dhalsim's 
standing Roundhouse), but I think it would be better to try and connect with
a crouching Forward buffered into Spinning Clothesline combo, personally.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Overhead Toss-

(Zangief heaves his opponent over his head and through the air)

        The main reason to use this is because it puts you about the same 
distance away from the enemy as the Suplex. The problem is that unlike Z's 
other Throws, this one does little damage (compared to the other regular 
Throws)--if you duck a high attack right up close I suppose you could go for 
this, but I would either go for a crouching Forward buffered into 
Clothesline/SPD, or crouching Jab into SPD, or just an SPD. The real great 
thing about it is that Z has no recovery from it, so you have plenty of time 
to walk across the screen and set up a meaty attack. If you feel like it go 
for it.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Downward Toss-

('Gief tosses the enemy over his shoulder with one hand into the ground)

        If I had to choose between his two crouch Throws, this would be the 
one to use--like the Fierce, it does little damage in comparison to other 
Throws, but the big thing about this is that, like the Piledriver, it leaves 
Z pretty close to the enemy when he lands, and since he recovers almost 
instantly from this Throw, you can follow them and try a meaty attack. Again, 
I would rather go for an SPD or SPD combo, but if you have yet to master the 
SPD (and if you haven't you're in trouble with Zangief) this is your likely 
alternative.


SF2 Turbo:
**********


-Reverse Backdrop-

(Zangief grabs the opponent around the waist, hoists them up, twists around
 and slams them into the ground)

        BTW, sorry about the description, I'm not quite sure what he does 
with this Throw, actually... This is the only Throw changed with Z from 
Classic, so it's the only one I'm putting down. Anywho, the only reason to 
use this Throw is for show, and boy is it worth showing off! Otherwise, I 
still think the Strong Throw is better.


SSF2/SSF2T:
***********

-Grab `n' Bite-

(Zangief grabs his opponent around the shoulders and begins to bite them in
 the neck area)

        Once Super rolled around they replaced Z's Fierce and Roundhouse 
Throws with grabs; I think it sucks personally, but hey, if you're that 
dedicated to 'Gief, you have to make do. The Bite works in the same fashion 
as the previous version; shake left and right and hit the button repeatedly 
for more bites, and the enemy can shake free early depending on how much they 
wail on the controls. If you get max bites in, it does more damage than his 
SPD...

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Piledriver-

(Zangief picks the opponent up, turns them upside down, puts their head 
 facing down between his legs, then hops up and drives their skull into the
 ground)

        Glad to see they didn't do anything to this at least; use it the same 
fashion as before, following as much as possible with meaty attacks.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Face Crunch: F or B+Roundhouse (up close)

(Zangief wraps his hand around the enemy's face and begins to squeeze the 
 life out of it)

Same as the new Grab `n' Bite, just looks different. See above.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-"Floating" Suplex- 

(Zangief picks the enemy up and begins to fall back to the ground; he then
 goes totally horizontal and drops straight down)

        Why this is here, I don't know; the Reverse Backdrop looked really 
cool, and this looks REALLY stupid. Do it if you feel like it, but I stick 
with the Piledriver still. It puts you around the ame sdistance away as his
old Fierce Suplex.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Stomach Pump-

(Zangief grabs the enemy's gut with one hand and begins to squeeze)

        Again, tap left and right and hit the button repeatedly for more 
pumps; same as the other Stomach Pump, I believe, although if you do have an 
opening for a combo or SPD intead, you should try for it.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Air Overhead Toss: F or B+Fierce in mid-air (close)

(Zangief grabs the enemy in mid-air and heaves them over his head through the
 air)

-Air Downward Toss: F or B+Roundhouse in mid-air (close)

('Gief toss the enemy to the ground over his shoulder with one hand)

        Both of these are identicle to his crouching Throws from before, just 
done in the air. A word of advice: ZANGIEF'S AIR THROW PRIORITY BITES! They 
may do fairly good damage and can put the enemy where you want them, but you 
and the opponent must be pressing RIGHT up against each other without them 
attacking for these to connect. If you get one in, consider it a gift and
worry about more important things.


SFA2:
*****

ARGGGH! They got rid of everything, even the good 'ol Strong PD! His Throw 
with punch is a suplex that looks pretty cool and has NO meaty potential. His
kick Throws are the bite, and its only advantage is that it now knocks down
when he's done, so there's a little meaty potential here. His only other 
Throw is the crouching Stomach Pump, fairly good if you've ducked a high move
really close, although SPD is more favorable. Aparently, he had some of his
old Throws in the original versions of the arcade SFA2, but the PS version 
has only these! Damn!

#############################################################################


SPECIAL MOVES ANALYSIS:
-----------------------


-Spinning Clothesline (all versions)-

(Zangief spins around with his arms extended)

Classic:

        The original Clothesline packed a big punch but you had to be really 
careful where to use it; Zangief is vulnerable to low attacks and the 
Clothesline can be ducked, so it is recommended never to use this up close. 
It's best done from across the screen to nullify projectile attempts, and it 
also acts as a great air counter--but, make ABSOLUTELY sure the opponent 
isn't jumping high or trying to cross up, because the top of Zangief's head 
is still vulnerable to attack. On Chun Li and Vega especially, you'll find 
yourself getting a boot to the skull frequently. So, make sure the enemy has 
jumped deep (not too deep or it'll miss) or at least normal level. The third 
place to use it is in combos, cancelled best out of a crouching Forward or a 
Jab. Also, this is an EXCELLENT counter to Honda's Headbutt, Bison's Torpedo, 
and I believe Blanka's Cannonball as well. BTW, if you do get hit in the head 
by a jumping attack, you MAY be able to sac-Throw in recovery...

Turbo:

        Zangief gains the ability to move as he spins, so if the enemy throws 
a fireball from under half a screen away, you can advance through it, 
possibly for a hit. It is still effective as an air counter, but again the 
top of his head is vulnerable. He is also still vulnerable to low attacks, so 
make sure to use it in the right places. It appears to do even more damage, 
but it DOES NOT effectively hit Honda out of his Torpedo now; it still works 
well on Bison's, I believe. BTW, it is now possible to execute a Spinning 
Clothesline from a crouch (Z will pop up to standing and do the move); helps 
out on some combos a lot, and allows you to counter high moves after ducking 
them.

Super:

Basically the same as Turbo; still no good at handling Honda's Torpedo.

Super Turbo:

Yes, it works on the Torpedo again!

Alpha 2:

        A very effective move, it works the same as always, but it also has 
two new advantages. First of all, it is IMO his best Super Meter charger 
along with the Turbo Clothesline. As well, it is involved in an AWESOME 
Custom Combo...

#############################################################################


-Turbo Clothesline (from SF2T on)-

(Same as Spinning Clothesline, but spins faster)

Turbo:

        This new move helps Z a LOT; it is the only way to go through Sagat's 
Low Tiger, and you can also move during this. It is also a good air counter, 
if not better than the other Clothesline, because it comes out and recovers 
faster. All in all, you should be using this primarily in Hyper Fighting as
opposed to the Spinning Clothesline.

Super:

        Still has the same speed, but 'Gief can now be hit out of it with a 
low attack like the other Clothesline (still goes through Sagat's Low Tiger,
though). Still IMO a little easier to use because of its speed. One sort of
technique for getting in an attack is to Turbo Clothesline through a fireball
fairly close; you don't have to stop right beside the opponent, but since you
recover faster, you can usually get in a hit as they recover from their
projectile. If you stopped up close, SPD of course. If you stopped a few 
steps away or so, you can try for the Atomic Drop or just a standing Fierce.

Super Turbo:

Nothing new.

Alpha 2:

Nothing new. It's IMO his best move to charge the Super Meter quickly.

#############################################################################

-Spinning Piledriver (all versions)-

(Zangief grabs the opponent, flips them upside and plants their head between
 his legs, jumps high into the air spinning, then drives their head back 
 down into the ground)

Classic:

        The SPD was THE most powerful move in the game, and was Zangief's 
main weapon. Not only did it do horrid damage, but it also has surprising 
range (around the same as his Throws done from one step away, eg. Grab `n' 
Bite), and you could tick like mad with it. And, of course, its biggest asset 
in this version was that it left Z standing quite close to the opponent, 
where he could go into a meaty attack and possibly another SPD.
        In Classic you should be TOTALLY merciless with it; if they miss a 
move, SPD. If you tick them, SPD. If you combo them, put an SPD in there. If 
you hit them with a meaty attack, SPD. If you block an attack up close, SPD. 
If you duck a move, SPD. If the opponent misses ANY move and you're 
relatively close (eg. if E. Honda misses a standing Fierce from just out of
its range), go for the SPD. 

Turbo:

        The SPD was weakened slightly, but was still the most powerful single 
move in SF2. Nothing new as far as how to use it--be TOTALLY merciless. From 
here on the SPD will bounce Zangief away from the enemy to prevent easy meaty 
attack attempts.

Super/Super Turbo/Alpha 2:

        If missed Zangief will grab at the air and be left open for a 
momentary attack. On any version from Super to Alpha 2, you can practice the 
SPD motion from a distance... Again, I believe it was weakened slightly, but 
it still is powerful (sadly, T. Hawk's Mexican Typhoon does slightly more 
damage, so 'Gief has been dethroned for the most single-move damage in the 
game :( ). 
        As well, from Super to SFA2 the strength of the punch now determines 
damage, range, height and lag time for the SPD; Fierce does the most damage, 
Jab the least (not a large difference, however). Fierce has the longest 
range, almost three times Z's width on the screen (about 2.5 steps), and you 
must be right up close for Jab, to grab. Fierce also causes Zangief to jump 
the highest during the SPD, and the Jab is a short jump. 
        Most importantly, however, is that if you miss the SPD, the strength 
of the punch determines how long Z will stand there with his arms out. So, if 
you're right up close and trying just for an SPD, I recommend using Jab or 
maybe Strong, that way if you miss you may have a slight chance of saving 
your arse. But, if you're buffering out of a crouching Forward the Fierce is 
usually the only one that'll grab; because of its range, you should be able 
to kick them at the crouching Forward's max range and still connect with the 
SPD! Same goes if you're trying for a Jab into SPD tick/combo; if you use a 
Jab SPD Zangief will do his missed animations, even though it appears to be 
right in front of the opponent's face. 
        BTW, because Jab doesn't bounce 'Gief very far away from them after 
the SPD, it is sometimes possible to get in your meaty attack, definetely in 
the corner.
        In Super Turbo and Alpha 2 I believe the SPD is basically the same, 
however in the latter the range appears to have been decreased to that of 
Turbo's SPD, and it was weakened even more :(.

NOTE ON ALL SPD VERSIONS: 

        If the enemy misses an attack and you SPD, the range of the 
Piledriver is increased even moreso, as you will technically be grabbing the
enemy's foot or fist. For example, if Cammy misses her Spinning Punch and her
fist comes up anywhere near Zangief you can grab it, even from about 4 or 5
steps away! You will know this has been done when the opponent appears to
suddenly appear in Z's grasp!

#############################################################################

-Double German Suplex (from SSF2 on)

(Zangief grabs the enemy and suplexes them, put continues to hold them down
 on the ground as he rolls over them, lifts them back up and slams again)

        Looks REALLY cool, and does only slightly less damage than the SPD. 
In Alpha 2, it does slightly more. Again, strength determines damage and 
height (range and recovery don't apply); if using Short it does less damage 
than the Roundhouse (again, not a large difference), and makes Zangief's 
jumps during the slam shorter. As a result, using Short will leave you fairly 
close to the enemy and you can usually follow up with a meaty attack.
        Except to show off, there is no real reason to use this; because it 
has the same motion as the Atomic Drop, you MUST do the Double German Suplex 
pressing right up close to the opponent. For the same reason, you cannot do 
any crouching Forward or Jab into German Suplex combos, because the Atomic 
Drop will come out (this usually still combos, however, but the Atomic Drop 
is weak, and the SPD should be used in its place).

#############################################################################

-Atomic Drop (from SSF2 on)-

(Zangief walks toward the opponent with arms raised; if he connects, he grabs
 them and flies forward slamming the enemy into the ground)

        If using Short Z will walk a couple of steps, Forward about half 
screen, and Roundhouse brings you just over 3/4 of screen.
        This does pitiful damage and anybody can see it coming a mile away. 
If you can get another Throw in, do so. One advantage is that after he is
done walking he leaves his arms outstretched for a FEW brief frames; if you
missed and the enemy attempts a standing attack that reaches the distance 
between you, Z can still grab their foot. Still, use it sparingly, as he can
be hit as he runs, or after he misses (once he reaches his max range without
grabbing he will do the missed SPD animations). Again, the button used 
determines how long 'Gief stays there grabbing at nothing.
        Now, if you are insisting on using it, it is VERY easy to connect in
combos; and, since the Double German Suplex doesn't have great range, you can
instead tick with this (this is the ONLY Throw that will connect out of the 
crouching Forward tick in SFA2 :( ). If the enemy blocks your crouching Jab 
or Forward, buffer the motions and you will dash in and grab. Mind you, this 
is ONLY if you really want to use it; if you're trying to win and do some 
actual damage use the SPD instead. BTW, in SSF2, because the SPD will not 
combo (see game overview), use this in its place--at least it'll connect...

#############################################################################


-Banishing Punch (from SSF2T to SFA2)-

(Zangief spins and performs a lunging, glowing, backhand)

Super Turbo:

        A pretty good anti-projectile move, I find it's better to use up 
close when they throw a fireball. Wether it connects or not, you combo/tick 
with an SPD for GREAT damage. It is not recommended to try this as an air 
counter, and its recovery isn't amazing. Again, strength determines range and 
recovery; if you're right up close and they attempt a projectile, go ALL the 
way through it with Fierce. From mid-distance use Jab or Strong so you can 
recover in time to counter any follow ups (eg. Ryu's Fireball/Jump-in attack 
pattern).

Alpha 2:

        A new DP motion is added and it now covers Zangief's entire front, 
making for a pretty good defensive weapon. Again, strength determines range 
and recovery; use Fierce up close on projectile throwers to nail 'em, and a 
weaker version from a distance. If it is blocked, follow with an SPD for a 
tick/combo.

#############################################################################

-Hopping Headbutt (SSF2T)-

(Zangief hops forward while sucking in his gut, hitting with his head)

        IMHO a really useless attack, it has been known to take out torpedo 
moves. It can however, with GREAT timing, hop over sweeps to connect...

#############################################################################

-Body Splash (all versions)-

(Zangief jumps down at the opponent with his arms spread, hitting with his
 whole body)

        Zangief's BEST air attack, it should be used constantly against 
airborne and grounded opponents, as its priority is the best (it can nullify 
a LOT of attacks, especially torpedoes like Bison's). It has less range than 
his jumping Roundhouse or Fierce, so make sure you're close enough to hit 
them with it, i.e. you shouldn't be trying to jump over a fireball and 
connect with this, because even though you may sometimes, Zangief is left 
open to an easy counter.
        This is also his best cross-up attack, because his whole body is a
contact area and therefore Z's feet will catch the enemy as he falls. 
        If deep enough, it can be used as a tick quite easily, and a simply
Body Splash into SPD is a formidable combo/tick. It is the best to start 
combos with because 'Gief lands quite fast if the Splash is deep.
        Be watchful, though, and make sure you make the Body Splash DEEP; 
this is because if it is done on the way up from a jump or anytime too early,
the opponent can easily sac-throw.

#############################################################################

-Knee Drop (from SF2T on)-

(Zangief drops down on the opponent with both knees)

        In Classic it was just his jumping Short; now it is a Special Move. 
Basically, the advantage to this is that it ticks real well because Z's
recovery as he lands is quite good; buffer the motions for your SPD as he 
hits with his knees. BTW, in SFA2 the Knee Drop has a much higher priority
on standing attacks than the good 'ol Body Splash.

#############################################################################

-Long Low Kick (SFA2)-

(Same as his crouching Forward, but longer range)

-Long Toe Sweep (SFA2)-

(Same as his crouching Roundhouse, but longer range)

Both have got great range and the Forward has decent recovery. Use it as a
counter to high moves from a distance, and mix these up with all his other
crouching and standing kicks to keep the ground game going.

#############################################################################

-Headbutt (all versions)-

(Zangief tucks his tummy in and hits the enemy with the front of his head; 
 he also hits with the rest of his body as well)
 
Not horribly effective, this usually dizzied with two hits in Classic and 
Turbo. This was remedied later on. The only real reason to use this is if you
think the opponent is going for an Air Throw, because up close in the air 
with proper timing this has priority over most attacks. If they block it on
the ground, try just for the hell of it for an SPD just as you land; they may
fall for it...

#############################################################################


-Alpha Counter; Grabbing Punch (SFA2)-

(Zangief blocks the enemy's attack, and retaliates by grabbing them and 
 punching them)

-Alpha Counter; Side Kick (SFA2)-

(Zangief block the enemy's attack, and retaliates with his standing Forward)

        Alpha Countering should not be a large part of Z's repetiore, because 
not only do ACs do little damage, but both of his are particularly 
ineffective. The Grabbing Punch has a VERY short range, and the Side Kick is 
sort of in between high and low hitting--it usually misses crouching enemies, 
and foes in the air as well. If you must, use the kick AC against blocked 
fireballs from up close (not too close, otherwise it'd be better to go for an 
SPD), or against DEEP jumping attacks. Just forget about the punch AC all 
together.
        You may find yourself sometimes getting the punch AC after blocking
an attack and you go for the SPD (roll from B to B). This can be help or 
hindrance depending on wether or not the opponent's attack left them close
enough for the Grabbing Punch to connect, but either way there's less damage.
Just try and hit the punch as late as possible in the SPD and you can usually
avoid ACing by mistake.

#############################################################################

-Taunt-

('Gief hunches his arms over a little like the classic muscle-flexing 
 wrestler, Hulk Hogan pose)

        Ah, taunts. If used right Z's taunt is a LOT of fun to do, and can 
make your opponent feel like crap. You can only taunt once per round, so make 
it good. The two best places I find to taunt is either a) after knocking them 
down or across the screen with a big combo, SC, or SPD, or b) when they're 
dizzy, walk calmy up to them and taunt in their face!!!! Remember, once the 
taunt has started, you cannot interrupt it and Zangief is left wide open to 
ANY attack, so choose where to use it well.

#############################################################################

-Super Combo; Final Atomic Buster (from SSF2T on)-

(-Super Turbo version/SFA2 level 1: with shadows behind Z, a Double German
 Suplex followed by a Strong SPD!
 -SFA2 level 2: with shadows behind Z, TWO Double German Suplexes followed by
 a Strong SPD!!
 -SFA2 level 3: with shadows behind Z, TWO Double German Suplexes followed by
 a Strong SPD into ANOTHER, FIERCE SPD!!!!!)

        If you can actually manage to get one of these off, you'll feel like 
a million bucks as your opponent stares dumbfounded at his health plummeting!
The 720 is REALLY hard to pull off, and I have yet to do it from standing; 
instead, start rolling for it in the middle of a jump, try for a ticking 
jump-in (since you're spinning the joystick, a Body Splash would not be 
appropriate, nor a Knee Drop, so just jump in with a Jab or Forward) and as 
you land hit the punches. You can use ANY tick that works with the SPD as 
well, so go nuts. One disadvantage to this in SFA2, is that unlike in Super
Turbo, if you pull this off and Z doesn't grab, he'll do a missed grab
animation and drain the whole meter. In addition, as I've said before, this
has weakened range just like the SPD, and it doesn't work in ticks AS well.

#############################################################################

-Super Combo; Rising Air Throw (SFA2)-

(Zangief rises into the air followed by shadows, grabs the enemy, and tosses
 them to the ground)

        No difference between levels except strength. Despite it being a 
Super Combo its priority is not high, definetely less than Rose's Soul Catch 
and Super Soul Catch. If you're going to try to grab them as they jump, do it 
with a level 3, which has the okay priority and you may get get lucky (I 
actually find myself using this Super a lot more than the FAB!). Other than 
that, it is quite nice for countering missed or blocked DPs or SC DP moves as 
they hit the peak of their ascent--it's also really humiliating if you grab 
Rose or Dhalsim out of their Air Throw SCs... :)

#############################################################################

***********************
TECHNIQUES AND TACTICS:
***********************


THE SPINNING PILEDRIVER
=======================

1) Pulling it off:

        A lot of people have trouble pulling off the complex 360 degree 
motion; I know I did, until recently. So, practice, practice, practice! 
The best way to practice the motion is on Super, Super Turbo or SFA2 (the 
first two are easier because they have home version that don't cost 
quarters :-) ), because they have Z's missed SPD animations. Get across the
screen so you don't grab them. Now, the basic thing you have to remember when
whipping the SPD out of nowhere is that you have to spin fast enough that Z
WON'T JUMP. So if you wanna practice getting it off on the double, start in 
the F or B position and QUICKLY, QUICKLY, QUICKLY roll through the low 
positions (don't go up) to the opposite direction and then upward and back to 
the original direction--press punch. You will of course know that you've done 
it right if 'Gief doesn't jump and you get the missed SPD animations. The 
entire full circle should be complete in under one second; this may sound 
unbelievable, but most Special Move motions are actually performed in around 
1/2 a second (eg. DP). 
        Now, the first thing you should practice is starting the SPD from a 
defensive position; I find B easier to start with, but you must also be 
equally adept at countering from a low blocking position, so you can SPD all 
those annoying crouching kicks and such. After this, try it from F and 
offensive crouch. Keep practicing...

2) Pulling it off in combos:

        Surpisingly, I found the SPD REALLY easy to do in combos, especially 
with the crouching Forward. The reason for this is because Zangief is 
performing a move and you are buffering in the 360, Z cannot jump or crouch 
if you do the SPD too slow. Now, keep in mind you still have to pull out the 
SPD before the attack's recovery animations are over, so the motions still 
have to be fast, just not AS fast. 
        The best 2 hit combo for Zangief, and IMO the easiest, is a crouching 
Forward buffered into the SPD. Now, you can of course try and do a crouching 
Forward then the motions for the SPD, but that would mean going from crouch 
to crouch with the 360. This can be difficult, but there is an easier way.
begin to roll 360 from F or B, either will work; the second you get to any of
the down positions, hit Forward. This way, you have already completed about a
quarter of the 360 motion and the upward positions should be finished JUST as
the Forward begins to retract; hit the opposite direction from which you 
started and instantly hit punch. BOOM! Instant 2 hit! BTW, you may think that
you're too far away when you connect with the crouching Forward for the SPD
to connect, but you're wrong--even if you're at the maximum distance of the
kick, Zangief will grab out and the opponent will seem to be suddenly in his
arms, ready for a ride!
NOTE: read the SSF2 Game Overview to learn why SPDs cannot be used so easily
      in combos in that version...  

3) Where to use it:

        Just a little reminder: KNOW THE RANGE. I can't tell you exactly the
range of the SPD, which has changed from version to version, so you must 
first get a feel for it yourself.

4) Projectile Evasion with SPD:

        Eventually a lot of projectile throwers become predictable (eg. Ryu) 
become predictable. Find out the timing between their fireballs, and begin to 
get close to them however you can. Once you make it to the SPD's max range 
(again, you must have feel for the range for this to work), pull it off just
as they throw their projectile; with proper timing, Z will grab THROUGH the
fireball and up they go...

5) Predictable counterattacking with SPD:

        As with projectiles, a lot of opponents can generate patterns of 
regular attacks. If this is a case, wait for them to do the pattern, then 
evade the hit and counter with the SPD. For example, if a Rose player 
consistantly jumps in with a Roundhouse then does her crouching Roundhouse, 
try and avoid the jump-in and when she throws the sweep, calmly walk up and 
SPD.

6) SPD Counterattacks:

        One of the best places to use the SPD is after blocking an attack; 
this is especially effective if someone screws up a big combo (eg. if a Ken 
player jumps in with a Roundhous to try for a jump-in/Fierce/DP combo, but
throws the Roundhouse too early and continues with the Fierce) or a button 
masher throws a Fierce or Roundhouse up close--just block and quickly do the
360 roll. Same applies to crouching attacks. Again with the Rose example, if
you manage to block her crouching Roundhouse from fairly close, roll from the
defensive crouch and do the SPD. 
        Some examples of counterable attacks the Z can SPD out of if blocked
are:
        -Dhalsim's Yoga Spear and Mummy (any version)
        -Ryu's Dashing Punch (SSF2T, SFA2)
        -Chun Li's Cartwheel Kick (SFA2)
        -Dan's Gale Kick (SFA2) 
        -Guile's Bazooka Knee--do it FAST! (SF2T to SSF2T)
        -Ryu/Ken/Akuma's HK (any version)
        -Rose's crouching Roundhouse (SFA2)
        -another Z's close standing Roundhouse (any version)


THE CLOTHESLINES:
=================

There are only four really good places to use either of the Clothesine:
1) in a combo
2) as an air counter
3) as a torpedo counter
4) as a projectile counter

        Both Clotheslines are pretty easy to execute and therefore don't take 
much practice to put in combos (except in Classic, because the Spinning 
Clothesline couldn't be done from a crouch--so after, say, a crouching 
Forward, you would have to return the D-Pad/joystick to neutral before 
hitting two punches), and can do some good damage. After Hyper Fighting I 
recommend using the Turbo Clothesline in combos, because it allows you to 
move around faster after the combo is over.

        When using the Clotheslines as air counters, once again I recommend
using the Turbo Clothesline, as it allows you to recover faster and perhaps
set up a meaty attack after knocking 'em outta the air.
        Forget using a Clothesline as an air counter against Chun Li, Vega,
Guy or the like, because they have really high jumps and can easily hit Z in
the head as he spins. If they jump in deep, by all means it is appropriate.
Against big dudes like Birdie or another 'Gief, go nuts with this as an air
counter because their jumps are so short they're bound to get caught in it 
for sure.
        NOTE: The Turbo Clothesline, although faster than the punch version,
has less priority over attacks and Z's arms can sometimes be hit if the 
timing is right.

        As a torpedo-move counter the Clothesline works sometimes and 
sometimes not; in Classic it was THE counter for Blanka's Ball, Bison's 
Psycho Crusher, Honda's Headbutt and Balrog's Dashing Punch, having god-like
priority over a LOT of moves. Then in Turbo and Super it lessened its 
priority, doing almost nothing with Honda's Headbutt (still fairly good on
Bison's though), and then in Super Turbo its priority was regained. In SFA2
it still has great priority over Torpedo moves, but timing is critical. I
recommend using the punches Clothesline as it lasts longer and all in all has 
better priority than the kicks Clothesline.

        Now, I find evading projectiles is its best asset, especially when Z
gained the ability to move. In Classic it was simply to nullify projectiles,
mixing up with jumping to edge towards the opponent. In Hyper Fighting, I
found 'Gief was a fireballer's nightmare, because he could really pin them. 
This is because Zangief could pass through fireballs and edge forward, and he
also became immune to a lot of counters with the Turbo Clothesline (although
a well-placed Fierce punch to knock him out of it), allowing him to smack 
most fireballers into the corner. In all the later versions this ability was
of course hindered because he could again be hit low, even with the Turbo
Clothesline. It still had the advantage of speed, however, and you could
slowly advance through a lot of slow fireballs and get in any good attack
provided they were slow-recovering (i.e. Sagat). The main thing that's good
about passing through projectiles with the Clotheslines is that it 
intimidates opponents into staying on the ground, because they could also be
knocked out of the air with a slow-recovering Clothesline, or Z could recover
from the Turbo Clothesline just as they jump from throwing their fireball--
SMACK! air counter...

        Above all else, do NOT use either Clothesline up close unless going
through fireballs, otherwise 'Gief is left wide open, especially if the 
Clothesline is blocked.
        BTW, an interesting thing that exists with the Spinning Clothesline
(may also be true with the Turbo Clothesline) is that with each spin, Z's
range is increased slightly. To see this for yourself, position an opponent
in the corner and do the Clothesline just out of its supposed range--on the
first spin 'Gief will miss, but on the second or third spin he will connect,
without pushing F!


ZANGIEF'S SUPER COMBOS:
=======================

        Despite looking spectacular and totally devastating the opponent, Z's
SCs are not all their cracked up to be. Despite what others say, I find the
priority of the Rising Air Throw is actually quite good at level 2 or 3; I 
use fairly often on jumping attacks. The Final Atomic Buster KICKS ASS, if 
you can get it off; if you have yet to master the SPD, forget altogether 
about this SPD! Once you manage to master it, use it at every 
opportunity--remember, wherever you could but in the SPD, you can put in the 
Final Atomic Buster. TICK LIKE CRAZY (see the ticks section).


THROWS:
=======

        THROW, THROW, THROW! Hey, this is the mighty Zangief, and unless 
you're fighting some big-arse football player or something that thinks 
Throwing is cheesy, you better damn-well Throw!!! IMO Zangief is practically
nothing without Throws.
        The idea with Zangief is to stay on the defensive, then counter with
a Throw, or look for a place to sneak in and slam 'em. Read the Ticks and
Meaty Attacks sections for more info.


MEATY ATTACKS:
==============

        If the guys you're playing with approve of meaty attacks, then Z's in
the right place. IMO meaty attacks are a mainstay of Zangief's repetiore.
WHENEVER you knock down an opponent, come up close and go crazy with Jabs
(crouching or standing) while buffering an SPD. Can you say TICK!? Note that
reversals are possible against Z's Jabs as meaty attacks, so against 
experienced opponents, time the Jab JUST as they get up, or don't try a meaty
attack at all, because they'll rise with a DP or sweep/slide (I found Dhalsim
notorious for this) and nail ya. See the meaty combos section for more.


TICKS:
======

THIS IS A DEFINITE MUST-READ SECTION!

        For any of those annoying whiners who don't like ticks, they better
stay away from Zangief, because it is his best tactic. TICK LIKE CRAZY. Good
ticking moves are his standing Short, standing and crouching Jab, Body 
Splash, Knee Drop, and CROUCHING FORWARD. The latter is capitalized because
it is IMO his best tick; read "putting the SPD in combos". This is because it
is very easy to suprise standing opponents with a far-reaching low kick and
then suddenly be going into the SPD; you can start this from either B or F
and it'll work. The Jabs are great because they allow you to hit them with
two or three then the SPD, as they don't push you too far away. The Body 
Splash and Knee Drop have to be deep or cross-up for them to tick properly,
or else the enemy can do a possible sac-throw--these have the advantage of
being less vulnerable to reversals, as you can even throw them out quite
early as you jump in on a fallen opponent so they miss, then go into a 
standing meaty attack to really screw 'em up.
        One of the best things about ticks is that if the enemy DOESN'T
block, they become whole combos, and you can alternate accordingly (See the
Combos section). Note: there  is of course and exception in Super (see game
overview)... :(


SAC-THROWING:
=============

Don't expect a lot of perfects with Zangief; you have to get hit once in a
while, 'cause: 

        "Zangief is more than willing to walk into a punch as long as he can 
grab his opponent and drive them into pavement with his Spinning Pile Driver"

Don't be afraid to walk right into a jumping opponent's boot, so long as you 
can grab 'em as they land. You can do this with the SPD, or a simple Strong
Piledriver then following with a meaty attack. 
        You will know you can do a sac-throw if the enemy has jumped TOO 
HIGH; it is useless to attempt to sac-throw if the opponent's kick looks like
it's aimed at Z's torso. If it looks like it's aiming for 'Gief's head then
you know to just hold forward and wait 'till it connects, then follow by
hitting Strong or rolling 360+punch...


CUSTOM COMBOS:
==============

        Thanks to Orlando C. Fernando (ocfernan@mailbox.syr.edu) for this 
great CC of Zangief's:

-Activate Custom Meter + Continuous Long Spinning Clotheslines
               
        This is a very easy CC to use and surprisingly effective. Use ONLY 
when the enemy is jumping at you, attacking you or not--it has GREAT anti-air
priority. You may thinking in this case that it is useless, but each 
consecutive Clothesline will JUGGLE the opponent for quite some time. One 
nice advantage is that you can move during this CC, because you can move 
during the Clothesline; use this to your advantage if the enemy jumps real
deep, or tries a cross-up. 
        As the combo ends, finish with a normal Clothesline for even more 
hits!. This CC generally hits around 12 times with level 1 or 2, and up to 17
times with level 3!

MY Personal CC:

Start out with lots of standing Shorts or Jabs, then when the time meter is
at about half, switch to Strongs and Fierces (not too many Fierces or it will
knock you away as you go for the last hit), and when it reaches about one 
quarter left, do ONE Turbo Clothesline followed by a Roundhouse Double German
Suplex! The damage is GREAT, it's just a question of wether or not you can
connect with it...

        NOTE: some things aren't really good in CCs. For example, repeatedly 
Jabbing or Short kicking for the whole thing not only has little range or not 
very good damage, but it's also boring as hell. As well, don't waste time 
putting in the SPD or Double German Suplex unless finishing with them, 
because although it does its respectable damage, it really wastes your CC 
time meter and will not allow you to continue the combo.

*******
COMBOS:
*******

And now the moment you've all been waiting for...


Legend:
-------

->  = buffer the move into the following special move
C.  = crouching
S.  = standing
J.  = jumping
CU. = cross-up
M.  = meaty attack

        NOTE 1: cross-up indicates that in order for this combo to work 
easily, you must jump OVER the opponent and hit them from behind as you land. 
For example, you will know it is done right with the Body Splash if you hit 
the opponent with Z's shin or feet as you jump over.
        
        NOTE 2: remember that you can replace any SPD in these combos with 
the Final Atomic Buster, or in some cases (i.e. if the previous attack leaves
you RIGHT UP CLOSE) even the Double German Suplex...        
        
        NOTE 3: remember also that in SSF2, you MUST replace the SPD in 
combos with the Atomic Drop, unless you're sure they'll block the last hit 
and it will become a tick (see game overview).
        
        NOTE 4: For the Tick/Meaty combos, the idea is that if they allow the
first hits to connect, the Throw at the end will grab; if they block the 
first hits, it should still grab. *Sigh* again, this not so with Super (see
game overview)
        
        NOTE 5: As far as I know, these combos should work for every version
of SF (again, with the exception of Super--see game overview). Just try them 
out to be sure, as I don't have every SF version handy to check it out.


Normal Combos:

1) J.Fierce, S.Jab, S.Jab, S.Jab, etc...

Notes: some consider this cheap as hell, but, hey, it's easy, and actually
       does OK damage. Just keep hitting Jab until they start missing. You
       can also use C.Jab repeatedly, but you'll probably get less in.

2) J.Fierce, C.Jab, C.Jab, C.Jab, etc...C.Roundhouse/Fierce

Notes: basically a different version of #1, you can finish it with either
       C.Roundhouse or C.Fierce; note that you can add as many Jabs as 
       possible, but just before they totally knock 'em away, hit the Fierce
       or Roundhouse. Note that of course, Roundhouse knocks down, as Fierce
       doesn't. 

3) CU.Body Splash, C.Jab, C.Jab, C.Jab, etc...C.Roundhouse

Notes: a different version of #2, you're bound to get more Jabs in because 
       the cross-up leaves you closer.

4) CU.Body Splash, C.Forward -> Spinning Clothesline

Notes: except in Classic of course, I recommend finishing with the Turbo
       Clothesline. Remember to BUFFER the Spinning Clothesline out of the
       C.Forward, i.e. hit two punches (or two kicks) as Z begins to retract
       his foot. Note that you can replace that C.Forward with a S.Jab or 
       C.Jab, as well as a C.Short. Also remember that in Classic you must 
       return the joystick/D-pad to neutral EMMEDIATELY after hitting Forward
       and then hit two punches. BTW, you don't have to use the CU. Splash,
       it's just a little easier. This is IMO the easiest combo in SFA2 to 
       do.

5) any jump-in attack, C.Roundhouse

Notes: easy as hell, a standard 2-hit. Pretty much any jump-in attack in this
       combo must be deep for the C.Roundhouse to connect. BTW, if they block
       the C.Roundhouse, it is possible to still buffer in an SPD afterwards,
       technically making this a tick...

6) any jump-in attack, S.Roundhouse

Notes: if you're jump-in lands you RIGHT beside the enemy, follow with the
       S.Roundhouse for the two-hit fallback kick; this combo dizzies often.

7) Body Splash, S.Strong, C.Roundhouse

Notes: must be pulled off FAST for this to work. You can jump in with other
       attacks, but the Splash is easiest. BTW, because the Strong is changed
       in Alpha 2, this may not combo in that version.
                                                      

Meaty/Tick Combos:

1) M.C.Jab, M.C.Jab, M.C.Jab, etc... -> SPD

Notes: an EXTREMELY difficult tick to counter (unless of course you're the
       CPU). I have yet to see a DP counter this, and sometimes I see a Flash
       Kick reversal do it. The easiest way to escape this tick is for the
       enemy to simply hold U/B as they rise, and they usually manage to jump
       away, sometimes with a kick (Vega is especially good at this...)

2) J.Fierce, C.Short -> SPD

Notes: also difficult to counter if you jump in deep enough with the Fierce,
       as the C.Short will not knock Z far away enough for the SPD to miss.
       IMO it is easiest to land while holding F, and as you roll the D-pad
       360 hit Short somewhere in the downward positions (best with D/F, to
       get it out faster). This is one of the few ticks I find still work in
       SFA2.

3) J.Roundhouse -> SPD

Notes: if the Roundhouse connects, do the SPD. If you jump in and land from
       too far, wether they block it or not, I find they fall for the Atomic 
       Drop sometimes. This can also work wonders in SFA2 if the Roundhouse 
       is fairly high.

4) CU.Body Splash, C.Jab, C.Jab, C.Short -> SPD

Notes: this combo dizzies well. If they block any of it, try and cut it short
       with one Jab and the SPD will always connect.

5) Body Splash, C.Forward -> SPD

Notes: IMO 'Gief's best combo, it is also my favorite. You don't necessarily
       have to cross-up with the Splash, but some may find it easier. Learn
       to buffer the SPD out of the Forward as I have learned to perform this
       combo easily (see "putting the SPD in combos"); the Body Splash must
       land Z fairly close for this to work. 
               If the enemy doesn't block the Splash, but you think you're 
       too far away for the SPD to connect, either buffer an Atomic Drop out 
       of the C.Forward instead (this connects just as well, IMO, but less 
       damage), or do a Spinning Clothesline. 
               If the enemy blocks the Splash, this will tick well with the
               SPD if you land close enough; if you landed too far, again
               buffer in an Atomic Drop, which will surely connect anyways.

        Well, those are all the combos I can find worth putting here. You're 
primary ones to learn are Normal Combos 2-5, #4 being the most important, and 
Meaty/Tick combos #1 and #5. NOTE: these are not all of Z's combos, just the
ones I have discovered or heard of. Keep experimenting and you may find even
cooler ones (if so, E-mail from my homepage--URL's in the credits :) )


***********
STRATEGIES:
***********

NOTE: any place where I say use the SPD, you can use the Final Atomic Buster
      if you've got it down-pat, or the Double German Suplex (provided you're
      close enough). As well, any place I say to use the Clothesline as an 
      air counter, you can use the CC version. And finally, I say use a combo 
      or SPD when the enemy lands after a blocked or missed DP move, but you 
      have other options, including a fast Rising Air Throw SC.


Ryu:

THREAT (1-10): 6

Strengths:        

-Fireball traps
-decent speed
-Dragon Punch
-air countering
-SC effectiveness

Weaknesses:

-Dragon Punch recovery
-Hurricane Kick recovery
-jump-in attacks
        
        
        This is not an overly difficult fight for Z, but some problems can 
arise. Ryu cannot effectively jump in on 'Geif, as you can fairly easily 
counter with the Clothesline, standing punch or standing Roundhouse. (This is 
a good thing, because Ryu does damn good damage with jump-in combos!)
        Whenever you are a distance away, most Ryu players will be throwing 
Fireballs; it is best to do moving Clotheslines, mixing in your timed jumps 
to edge forward. Unless really close, you should be using the Roundhouse if 
you jump over a Fireball; you can then attempt to edge forward slightly and 
whip out the SPD, even if they throw a FB (see "Projectile Evasion With SPD).
If you're a few steps away and anticipate a FB, QUICKLY do a Fierce Banishing
Punch (SSF2T and SFA2 only, of course) to nullify it and nab him with the
punch, which can possibly follow into an SPD or Final Atomic Buster (ouch!)
        Z's crouching Roundhouse far outmatches Ryu's Sweep, so this should 
be one of your primary weapons; whenever a few steps away, throw these off, 
and you can easily catch them out of a lot of attacks with it.
        If Ryu performs a Hurricane Kick, Zangief has been blessed; simply 
crouch and snag 'em with a Fierce just after he's passed over, or walk up and
time a Throw/SPD.
        And, of course, if he misses a DP or you block it, or for that matter
if it hits and you aren't dizzied in Classic (the DP didn't knock down in 
Classic), calmly wait 'till he lands and SPD!
        Once ahead in health, play extremely defensive, countering his
attempted jump-ins and Clotheslining FBs. Trying to go offensive can get you
killed, as he has rock-hard defenses, especially on jumping enemies.
        Try to stay defensive when Ryu has a Super Combo handy, because his
Shinkuu-Hadoken is deadly, and wait for him to waste it; if you can, jump 
over and nail him with a jumping Roundhouse. His HK SC, despite its damage, 
is pretty much useless out of combos. If you block it, crouch and wait for 
him to finish, then Throw or crouching Fierce.

SUMMARY:

-If Ryu's DP misses, is blocked, or doesn't dizzy (Classic only) -> SPD, 
 combo or Throw
-If Ryu HKs -> crouch, ducking Fierce 
-If Ryu does his HK SC -> crouch BLOCK, counter with Throw or crouching 
 Fierce when HK is finished.
-If Ryu throws a FB -> block, Clothesline, or jumping Roundhouse
-If Ryu throws a Shinkuu-Hadoken -> block, or try jumping Roundhouse if
 possible. Clothesline may go through it (?)
-If Ryu jumps in -> crouching Fierce or standing Roundhouse, or sac-throw if
 attack is high.
-If Ryu attempts Sweep/low move -> crouching Roundhouse FAST
-If Ryu attempts crouching Short tick -> SPD (you're Throw range is further)
-If Ryu performs a Dashing Punch (F+Strong), block and SPD

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ken:

THREAT (1-10): 7

Strengths:

-DP range (from Hyper on)
-combos
-Air counterability
-all-around speed

Weaknesses:

-HK outside of a combo
-DP recovery
-attempted FB traps

        A Ken player's biggest mistake is trying to play like Ryu. His FB 
delay is considerably longer, so jumping in for an attack is a lot easier. Of 
course, whenever he misses a DP or you block it, counter with an SPD/Combo. 
Ken's HK, like Ryu's, is a gift outside of a combo; just duck, then walk up 
and Throw/SPD, or counter with a crouching Fierce. 
        Again, the big thing in this fight is to remain on the defensive.
Jumping in on Ken when he's not throwing a Fireball is suicide, as his air
counterability is quite potent, including sucking you in with his powerful 
Shinryuken SC.
        When he jumps in, on the other hand, you can counter fairly easy with
a standing punch (any will do with timing), or sac-throw.
        One thing to note is that your crouching Roundhouse has priority over
his; so if he crouches throw out a crouching Roundhouse and most of the time
they'll be trying for a crouching Roundhouse/Forward, and they'll get nailed.

SUMMARY:

-If Ken throws a FB -> jump over+Roundhouse if close enough, otherwise 
 Clothesline
-If Ken HKs -> crouch, then walk in an Throw, or crouching Fierce
-If you block a DP/either SC or Ken misses one -> counter with combo/SPD
-If Ken tries a crouching Forward/Roundhouse -> counter with crouching
 Roundhouse.
-If Ken tries crouching Short, Tick combo -> SPD (your range is superior)
-If Ken jumps in -> standing Fierce if the jump is deep, otherwise standing
 Roundhouse or sac-throw if attack is high.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

E. Honda:

THREAT (1-10): 6.5

Strengths:        

-Air countering
-HHS
-Throws
-reach

Weaknesses:

-speed
-Torpedo
-jump-in attacks


        Again, stay on the defensive, as E. Honda's air counters and defenses 
in general are a nightmare. If he jumps in, punch him out of the air or use a
Roundhouse. Clotheslining usually works as well because of his short jump.
        IMO his greatest weakness, the Sumo Headbutt, can be easily countered
with Jabs, or a well-timed Clothesline (in certain versions; see game 
overview or Clothesline section).
        Z can defend quite easily against a jumping Honda, best with a 
sac-throw; the sac-throw works quite well on the Sumo's jumping punches, as
they hit quite high. It may not work so well on his jumping Roundhouse, 
unless it is very high.
        Against Honda's crouching Strong tick, simply buffer the SPD during
the palm, so that when he goes for his Throw, he usually gets nailed with the
SPD.
        As I said, this should be a pretty much defensive fight, because if
you jump in, Honda can ALWAYS knock you down with his standing Fierce.

SUMMARY:

-If Honda uses a Headbutt -> counter with Jabs or Clothesline (in certain 
 versions)
-If Honda uses a HHS -> BLOCK!!, or try to jump in VERY HIGH to hit the top 
 of his head.
-If Honda jumps in -> sac-throw, or punch counter
-If Honda tries tick -> buffer the SPD

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Blanka:

THREAT (1-10): 8

Strengths:

-range
-speed
-jump-in attacks

Weaknesses:

-Cannonball
-weak against sac-throwing

        This is IMO a VERY difficult fight for ol' Z. Jumpingin  on 'Gief is 
REAL easy for Blanka, and you really shouldn't try to counter his jump-in 
attack with an attack. If he jumps in high or attacks late, sac-throwing 
works nicely. Otherwise, just block.
        Both his crouching Roundhouse sweep and yours appear to me to have
around the same priority, so you will likely trade hits in that department.
        If you see Blanka begin to jump, emmediately walk backwards before he
throws his air attack (that way Z won't block in mid-walk), then the second
he lands snag him with a crouching Roundhouse.
        His only major weakness is his Cannonball, surprisingly enough; as 
with Honda's Headbutt, simply counter with a crouching Jab or a Clothesline
in most versions.
        It is OK to go a little offensive on Blanka; his standing Fierce can
negate a lot of jumping attacks, so if you jump in, make sure it's from a 
distance and hit 'em with a Roundhouse--very difficult for him to time a
counter from that distance (unless of course he's the CPU), and you can 
sometimes follow with a crouching Roundhouse. 
        Up close, use your crouching Forward -> SPD tick a lot. If you see 
him do a knee or double knee attack (his standing Short or standing Forward
up close), quickly buffer an SPD, because this is one of the beast's ticks,
and he can easily follow with the Bite unless you're on the ball.
        NOTE: It is possible to SPD out of Blanka's Electricity! Because of
the SPD's range, you can grab Blanka out of his Electricity from JUST a 
little away from him (the Electricity's max range); to make sure you don't
walk into the Electricity while spinning 360, time a jump to land just in 
front of Blanka, and do the 360 in the air; hit punch as you land.

SUMMARY:

-If Blanka Cannonball's -> crouching Jab
-If Blanka performs his Electricity -> SPD!! (see above), or well-timed 
 crouching Roundhouse from max range
-If Blanka jumps in with an attack -> block or sac-throw
-If Blanka attempts tick or Throw -> SPD QUICKLY, or normal Throw

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Guile:

THREAT (1-10): 8

Strengths:

-SB traps
-Flash Kick/Super Flash Kick/air countering
-Throws
-jump-in attacks

Weaknesses:

-Flash Kick recovery
-crouching Roundhouse recovery

        Boy, is he one pain in the arse. Getting in close to Guile is quite
difficult, so at the beginning of the round what you do can determine the 
rest of the fight.
        A lot of fighters will automatically whip off a SB at the beginning 
of the round; to counter this, EMMEDIATELY start holding F, then QUICKLY do
an SPD; Z should usually grab Guile out of the SB and take 'im for a ride!
(see "Projectile Evasion With SPD").
        Once you've slammed him, either with the above tactic (Classic only,
as the SPD bounces too far away in the later verions), or with the Strong 
Throw, you should definetely go for a meaty attack; crouching Jabs 
into SPD, of course. Try instead of going crazy with the Jabs, to actually
time them just as he gets up, or you could eat a Flash Kick reversal. One
easier way to negate the possibility of a Flash Kick reversal is to use the
Body Splash, crouching Forward tick as a meaty attack; he can rarely time a
Flash Kick through this one.
        Countering a jumping-in Guile can be difficult; his jumping 
Roundhouse has GREAT range, and even the Clothesline can rarely counter it,
without at least trading hits. One mistake a lot of Guile players make is 
jumping in with a punch, instead of the Roundhouse or Forward; in order for
their punch to connect faithfully, they must jump in fairly high; at this 
time you can counter with the Roundhouse. Either way, your best bet for 
countering a jumping-in Guile is sac-throwing.
        If Guile plays defensively with Flash Kick air countering, and 
crouching Forward ground defense, Z's crouching Roundhouse if done fast 
enough will counter the Forward without trading hits.
        If Guile throws slow SBs and then follows in for jump-ins or a Throw,
block the SB, and either sac-throw the jump-in, or crouching Roundhouse the
Throw attempt.
        Whenever he throws SBs, jump in with Roundhouse, unless you're really
close, then you may end up just blocking because Guile recovers fast enough
to counter the jump-in.

SUMMARY:
-If Guile misses a Flash Kick or Super Flash Kick, or it gets blocked -> 
 combo, or SPD
-If Guile throws a Sonic Boom -> jump and Roundhouse from a distance, or 
 block
-If Guile tries the slow SB, follow up tick -> block SB and sac-throw jump-in
 or block SB then crouching Roundhouse Throw attempt.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

-Chun Li:

THREAT (1-10): 6

Strengths:

-Air priority
-Throw
-jump-in attack
-low kicks

Weaknesses:

-Spinning Bird Kick
-Air countering (previous to SFA2)

        The big problem with Chun Li is that her jump-in priority is 
sickening, so you can pretty much forget air countering her. Sac-throwing
works fairly well on some of her deep attacks. You can also try walking under
her as she jumps, and throwing her from behind. Note that your crouching
Roundhouse DOES NOT have priority over hers, so just block and then maybe TRY
to counter with the Crouching Roundhouse. If the Chun Li palyer prefers to
stay on the ground, you can do quite well with jump in Splashes/combos and
Roundhouses, but be wary of her sac-throwing. And, heaven forbid, if Chun Li
for some stupid reason decides to use her SBK, consider it a gift; crouch and
throw a Fierce after she's passed over you head.
        From SSF2T on, her SBK is an excellent air counter, making her air
counterability much greater. Be more careful when jumping in.
        Her TBK is extremely effective if you've missed a move, but if you
block it, SPD immediately. In SFA2, her air countering becomes a little more
reliable, because her Kikosho SC is perfect in this case. If she has a level
charged, be wary of jumping in.

SUMMARY:
-If Chun Li jumps in -> BLOCK, or maybe sac-throw
-If Chun Li stays on the ground -> jumping Roundhouse or Splash from a 
 half-screen or so
-If Chun Li uses her sweeps -> block
-If Chun Li uses the SBK -> crouch, nab with Fierce when she passes.
-If Chun Li uses new SBK or SBK SC -> block, counter with SPD/combo.
-If Chun Li uses the TBK SC -> block and SPD.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Zangief:

I'm not gonna write a section on this, because you now know Z's strengths and
weaknesses from reading this FAQ. And if the other 'Gief player is as good as
you, you should both be just having fun with this fight.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Dhalsim:

THREAT (1-10): 9

Strengths:

-range
-slide priority
-YF trap

Weaknesses:

-air hang time
-speed

        This will probably be one of the toughest matches you'll ever fight.
Dhalsim is a Zangief-killer, and you have to play VERY carefully. You must 
stay on the defensive and wait for an opening; Clothesline through and jump
over his fireballs as much as possible, and if the latter try to use 
Roundhouse and you should nail him with it. You will find yourself trading 
damage with him constantly, especially when jumping in, as he will use his
standing Roundouse likely against your jumping Roundhouse. 
        When on the ground, probably Dhalsim's biggest mistake is using his
standing kicks; your crouching Fierce or Strong will handle them nicely...
His punches can, with EXTREMELY difficult timing, be countered with your
crouching Roundhouse, but you should still just stick to blocking.
        When Dhalsim does either drill move, either Fierce punch him out of 
it (usually works), or block and do the SPD--sac-throwing will also work. 
After blocking one of his slides try to counter with the crouching Roundhouse 
then jump in with a possible meaty attack. If he jumps in the air and misses 
just about any of his attacks, walk in and SPD; easy as pie.

SUMMARY:
-If Dhalsim Spears or Mummy's -> block and SPD or sac-throw, or Fierce punch
-If Dhalsim throws a Yoga Fire -> jump+Roundhouse, or Clothesline--either way
 try to advance
-If Dhalsim does a Yoga Flame -> if you're in a high jump OVER the flame,
 Body Splash into combo; otherwise, wait 'till it finishes and counter with
 a crouching Roundhouse
-If he slides -> block and crouching Roundhouse, then advance with meaty 
 attack.
-If he throws a standing kick -> crouching Fierce or Strong

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Balrog:

THREAT (1-10): 7.5

Strengths:

-air countering
-combos
-over-all damage

Weaknesses:

-Special Move recovery

        Balrog is a really tough opponent if played right. His attacks do as
much damage as Z's (i.e. punches), and his air countering is great. You must
wait for him to make a mistake; is jump-in attacks air fairly effective, so
sac-throwing is your best bet. If you see him turn around for the TAP you can
quickly do a jumping Roundhouse and it should catch him. His biggest mistake
will be using his Dashing Punch/Uppercut out of a combo, or not as a 
counterattack. Balrog can be hit out of it with a Clothesline at ANY point,
so even if you Clothesline first, then he tries to Dashing Punch you, you'll
knock him away.
        Again, 'Gief's priority over low attacks dominates. When Balrog tries
a crouching attack (old crouching punches or his new low shin punch) you can
easily counter with Z's crouching Roundhouse QUICKLY.

SUMMARY:

-If Balrog TAPs -> jumping Roundhouse fast, or block and counter with 
 crouching Roundhouse
-If Balrog Dashing Uppercuts/Punches -> Clothesline, or a crouching attack on
 Dashing Punch; or, block and crouching Forward, SPD combo.
-If Balrog jumps in -> sac-throw
-If Balrog tries a low attack -> crouching Roundhouse FAST.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Vega:

THREAT (1-10): 9

Strengths:

-Speed
-Air priority
-Throws

Weaknesses:

-weak against sac-throws
-air counterability

        An EXTREMELY difficult fight for 'Gief, I rarely beat a good Vega
user. His greatest assets are his jump-in attacks, especially the Roundhouse,
which is IMO totally invincible against Z. So, rarely attempt to counter this
and instead let it hit so you have a chance to sac-throw with SPD. One thing
that Vega players make the mistake of doing is the Rolling Claw too often; 
you can always knock him out of it with your crouching Roundhouse, or a 
jumping Fierce. Another over-used attack is the Spanish Eagle (I like THAT
name =) ), the one where he dives in and attempts an Air Suplex or the diving
claw. This is quite difficult to counter with the big guy, true, but still
possible; time it so you jump backward just as he comes up to you and smack
'im with a jumping Strong; the chop usually covers your front well enough to
counter that, provided Vega doesn't land on top of you (this is the reason
for the jump back). Otherwise, just block, but you will rarely get in a hit
afterwards because the claw dive puts him considerably far away. Another
disadvantage is that you cannot block the Air Suplex...
        Jumping in at Vega is safest with Roundhouse, but don't expect a 
combo when this connects; you may find it difficult to hit with even this in
SSF2 and SSF2T, where Vega gains new kicks for air defenses (great...) 
        Vega is very dominant with his kicks, but not so with his punches.
Your lariat can usually counter any of Vega's punches if timed correctly, 
especially his standing Fierce and Strong. In the air it is also a mistake if
Vega tries his punches, as your usual air defenses (standing Roundhouse, or a
punch) and the Clothesline can take them out fairly easy.
        His "superman" attack (the one where he dives off the wall 
horizontally) is best blocked, although a well-time Clothesline sometimes
works (blocking is safer).

SUMMARY:

-If Vega does the Spanish Eagle -> block (although you can be caught with the
 Air Suplex), or time a jumping backward Strong just as he gets to you in the
 air.
-If Vega does his Claw Roll -> block, then crouching Forward, SPD, or counter
 with jumping Fierce or crouching Roundhouse.
-If Vega jumps in -> sac-throw or block; if you block, do NOT do anything
 immediately, as he can nail you with another jumping Roundhouse because the
 recovery on the first kick is FAST.
-If Vega Slides -> block, then TRY to counter with crouching Roundhouse (no
 guarentees), or SPD, or Atomic Drop in later versions may work better.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Sagat:

THREAT: 8.5

Strengths:

-Tiger Wave traps/alternations
-Air Countering
-Air priority

Weaknesses:

-Tiger Wave speeds in later SF versions
-Tiger Uppercut recovery

        AAARGH! This for me is a bad match to watch, because I can't decide 
who to root for!!! (If you've ever been to my homepage, where you likely got 
this FAQ, you'd know that Zangief and Sagat are my two favorite fighters of 
all time!). But I guess if I'm Z and my enemy's Sagat I'll still try to win.
        Anywho, it isn't just my opinion of Sagat that makes this a tough
fight; the former king of the fighters when played right is a VERY hard 
opponent for 'Gief. If the Sagat you're playing isn't fooling around and 
trying things, you'll be eating a barrage of Low and High Tiger Waves. Now,
in SF2T you can pretty much forget about trying to avoid them, because the
speed of the Waves was tremendous. All you can do in Hyper Fighting is block
the Highs and hop over the Lows and hope you make it close enough to do some
damage. In the later versions (Super and on), you can fairly easily time the
jump over either Tiger Wave because they are really slow. If the Sagat you're
playing tends to go offensive, bide your time with Clothesline until he 
decides to try and move in.
        Once you've jumped over one, Sagat's arms stick out REALLY far, so
either your jumping Roundhouse or Fierce can easily tag 'im (especially in
Alpha 2).
        One thing never to do to Sagat is jump in when he's not open for 
something; it is my personal opinion that through all the SF versions Sagat
has dominated over ALL other fighters as far as Air Countering is concerned;
with the exception of SFA2, the Tiger Uppercut is THE air counter, IMO even
better than Ken/Ryu/Akuma's DP, because Sagat stoops nice and low under ANY
jump-in attack then rises right up their arse. Not only that, but good ol'
faithful, the standing Roundhouse, is enough to counter anything short of a
cross-up attack. The Tiger Knee is also a nice air counter for deep jumpers.
So basically, unless you plan on commiting suicide, I don't recommend jumping
in on Sagat unless it's over a Tiger Wave.
        If you're up close and you avoid any of his Special Moves (i.e. block 
any of his SCs, Tiger uppercut, Tiger Knee, or duck his high Higer Wave), SPD 
immediately, as it may be one of the few times you'll get it in.
        A jumping Sagat is also difficult to deal with; his jumping 
Roundhouse when you're on the ground has amazing priority, so forget 
countering it unless it's really deep, in which case use the Clothesline.
Otherwise, the jumping Roundhouse is quite easy to sac-throw unless it is 
deep. 

SUMMARY:

-If Sagat Throws a High Tiger -> block, Clothesline, or jump over and 
 Roundhouse
-If Sagat Throws a Low Tiger -> jump and try a jumping Roundhouse, or Turbo
 Clothesline
-If you block or Sagat misses a TU -> SPD or combo as he lands
-If Sagat jumps in with Roundhouse -> sac-throw
-If Sagat throws a ducking kick -> BLOCK (you do NOT have priority with your
 crouching Roundhouse in this case)
-If Sagat TKs -> counter with crouching Fierce before he gets to you, or 
 block and try a standing Fierce or walk up and Throw.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-M. Bison:

THREAT: 3

Strengths:

-countering with Psycho Crusher (not including SFA2)
-combos
-Throw
-SC damage

Weaknesses:

-air countering
-Scissor Kick recovery 
-Psycho Crusher priority sucks

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!! Hear that?! That's the sound of Zangief laughing
heartily over the bloody carcass of M. Bison, one boot shoved far into the 
dictator's gut! Zangief is a natural-born Bison Killer! That is, if you're 
careful...
        First let's look at the pre-SFA2 Bison, who is, needless to say, just
fodder beneath Zangief's boots:

        A lot of Bison users REALLY overuse the Psycho Crusher, which is a 
HUGE mistake when fighting Z. You can take out the torpedo easily with a 
Clothesline, rapid standing/crouching Jabs, or best with the Body Splash. Or,
if he pins you in the corner with it, block then SPD as he recovers! 
        Same goes for the Scissor Kick; the Body Splash takes it out with
ease, as does the Clothesline. And, if you find your opponent fairly slow to        
react, you can block then SPD here too!
        If Bison is one of those Headstomp crazy players, block or even let
it hit, then counter with a jumping backward Strong or just a simple 
Clothesline.
        One thing I find a lot of Bison users doing is jumping too much;
Bison's jump is amazing to say the least, but most players who aren't heavily
trained with the dictator will end up over-jumping or jumping in too high.
They will also use the Roundhouse in the air a lot. If they over-jump, walk
up and SPD; if they jump in too high with the Roundhouse, sac-throw.
        The only problem I can really see with Bison is his priority on the
ground--try not to just throw attacks out of nowhere, because his standing
Roundhouse or Slide will always get you. If you block the Slide, he's all
yours for an SPD...

SFA2 Bison:

        Bison in Alpha 2 is more of a problem; his Fireball is a HUGE problem
for a jumping Z, so you should generally stay on the ground in this fight.
Unless of course he does his Scissor Kick, because the same priority again
applies to your Body Splash as in previous versions, although a jumping
Fierce may work just as well. 
        If he teleports, he appears too fast for you to snag him with the 
SPD, and if you just crouch and throw out Jabs, hoping for a tick, he'll just 
Throw you. Instead, try a jumping straight up Body Splash and you'll usually 
catch him out of whatever he's gonna try. 
        His Scissor Kick Nightmare SC should be treated in much the same
fashion as the regular version. But, the Psycho Crusher SC is a different
matter. This SC is one of the main reasons to stay on the ground, because if
your jump is too short or too deep, this is a VERY potent air counter. Bison
can also buffer this into any of your attacks, and I don't believe the 
Spinning Clothesline can take this one out. You are definetely best to just
block and wait for an opening. Other than that, all the other tactics against
him for the other versions apply here.

SUMMARY:

-If Bison does a Psycho Crusher -> crouching Jab, Body Splash, Clothesline, 
 or if in corner, block and SPD
-If Bison Scissor Kicks -> same as above, except block and SPD works out of
 corner as well.
-If Bison Headstomps -> block or let it hit, then Clothesline or jumping back
 Strong
-If Bison over-jumps or jumps in too high with Roundhouse -> walk up and SPD
 or sac-throw for the latter.
-If Bison Slides -> block and SPD
-If Bison does a Psycho Crusher SC -> block, then try SPD if still close.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Cammy:

THREAT: 5.5

Strengths:

-jump-in attacks
-air priority
-air countering
-Throws

Weaknesses:

-Thrust Kick recovery
-Spinning Knuckle recovery
-Cannon Drill recovery
-ground priority

        A fun battle, this can go either way. If she jumps in a punch or
Roundhouse can do well sometimes, but it is best to just block or TRY a 
sac-throw if the attack was high. If the attack is fairly deep a Clothesline
can work as well. Clotheslines as a whole should not be used frequently in
this fight, because the regular can be easily taken out by her Cannon Drill
(I'm not sure about the Turbo Clothesline). 
        Jumping in at her can also be a problem, because her Thrust Kick is
good if you're deep or fairly deep, and her standing Roundhouse is a pain if
you try to jump in high. Remember, she can sac-throw quite well if your 
jumping Roundhouse or Fierce is too high.
        Same goes in air-to-air; if she jumps it's best to try and counter
from the ground, because not only does she have a good mix of punches and        
kicks in air-to-air combat, but she also has AMAZING Air Throw priority--and
her Air Throws hurt.
        One of her weaknesses is her ground priority. Not too many of her 
regular moves have priority over yours, so your crouching Roundhouse and 
Fierce can take care of her fairly well.

SUMMARY:        

-If Cammy does the Spinning Knuckle -> block and SPD/Atomic Drop, or try
 crouching Jabs to knock her out of it.
-If Cammy misses a Thrust Kick -> walk up and SPD (if blocked the Thrust 
 Kick bounces Cammy away SIGNIFICANTLY--if you want, try an Atomic Drop, but
 no guarentees).
-If Cammy Cannon Drills -> Body Splash, or block and crouching Roundhouse/SPD
-If Cammy jumps in -> try for Sac-Throw, or sometimes standing Roundhouse; if
 she's deep, try a Clothesline
-If Cammy tries her crouching Roundhouse or punches on ground -> crouching
 Roundhouse (great priority)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Fei Long:

THREAT: 6

Strengths:

-Damage with Rekka-Kens if connected
-Air Priority
-ground priority
-speed

Weaknesses:

-recovery on Dragon Kick
-recovery on Hopping Double Kick
-weak against sac-throws

        Fei Long can be a very difficult opponent, and I sometimes think of 
him as being a lot like Chun Li. He has priority over a lot of your attacks
in the air and even on the ground! Your crouching Roundhouse can sometimes
take care of his standing punches, but all of his kicks have priority over
your attacks. The Clothesline is a good ay to deal with a jumping Fei Long,
as his most used air attacks (Fierce and Roundhouse), hit quite high and are
made more for air-to-air combat, forcing Fei Long to jump in deep 
(Clothesline fodder!). On this token, you can also sac-throw them fairly 
easy if he jumps even a little too high. Because of his jumping attacks it is 
suicide to meet face to face in the air, so basically stay on the ground.
        If Fei Long is stupid enough to show off to Z with his Rekka-Kens 
from a distance, Body Splashing takes them out easily. If blocked, counter
the triple punches with the SPD. If you block his Dragon Kick QUICKLY SPD; 
the two-hit Roundhouse version usually pushes you too far away to grab with
the SPD, so try an Atomic Drop or at least a standing Forward.

SUMMARY:

-If Fei Long misses Rekka-Kens -> Body Splash
-If you block Rekke-Kens -> SPD
-If you block a Dragon Kick -> SPD FAST
-If he jumps in -> sac-throw or Clothesline

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Dee Jay:

THREAT: 8

Strengths:

-range
-counter-attacks
-Slide Priority!!!
-Air Countering

Weaknesses:

-jump-ins
-Double Dread Kick recovery
-Max-out recovery

        Dee Jay is VERY tough fight, because he has great priority over a
lot of your attacks. Unless jumping over a Max-out, stay on the ground, 
because he has excellent air counterability. On the ground, his Slide has
god-like priority and FAST recovery, so if you block, you likely won't get in
a Throw, SPD, or anything except MAYBE a crouching Roundhouse. When you block
his Double Dread Kick, you can counter FAST with a crouching Roundhouse or
maybe an Atomic Drop. WHENEVER you get him down, go for a meaty Body Splash,
crouching Forward SPD tick, as this may be your only chance to get him with
this. 
        When Dee Jay jumps in the Clothesline sometimes counters well, but a
sac-throw is your best bet.

SUMMARY:

-If Dee Jay throws a Max-out -> try and jump over and hit with Roundhouse,
 otherwise block, or move through it with Clothesline.
-If Dee Jay does the DD kick -> block and QUICKLY crouching Roundhouse or
 Atomic Drop.
-If Dee Jay does the Machine-Gun Punch -> block and counter with SPD, or
 crouching Forward, SPD, or crouching Roundhouse.
-If Dee Jay jumps in -> Clothesline if fairly deep, or sac-throw.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-T. Hawk:

THREAT: 8

Strengths:

-Mexican Typhoon
-damage potential
-Air Countering
-Throws

Weaknesses:

-Rising Hawk recovery
-Diving Hawk priority
-air attacks/priority

        T. Hawk is yet another difficult fight for Z, as the indian does the
same damage as you (even more; the Mexican Typhoon does more than the SPD!!!)
and has around the same priority. You will find yourself trading hits a lot
in this fight.
        Don't jump in at him too often, because his air defenses are great.
When he jumps in you can forget about sac-throws, but his jumping attacks are
so slow that the Clothesline will take them out most of the time. 
        If you block the Rising Hawk you can counter with the Clothesline, as
T. Hawk will keep rising at the same angle, making the Clothesline a sort of
air counter. Thunder Hawk using the Diving Hawk is a gift, because 'Gief's
Clothesline takes it out with EASE.
        On the ground you both have basically the same priority, although a
mistake a T. Hawk user makes is using his crouching Roundhouse too often; it
comes out extremely slow compared to Z's crouching Roundhouse, so use the 
Sweep in this case.

SUMMARY:

-If you block or he misses a Rising Hawk -> Clothesline or try the SPD as he
 lands.
-If he does a Diving Hawk -> Clothesline every time
-If he jumps in -> Clothesline or block
-If he tries a crouching attack -> crouching Roundhouse
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Sakura:

THREAT: 5

Strengths:

-Air countering
-Keep away
-damage
-Hurricane Kick

Weaknesses:

-DP recovery
-Slow FB
-FB fizzles at full screen
-Jump-ins

        A fairly easy fight, Sakura cannot jump in on Z very easily. The 
crouching Strong is your greatest asst, and a Clothesline can work well too.
Do NOT try to get close to her through the FBs with the Clothesline, because
she can vary the speeds and delays quite easily to muck you up. Either jump 
or use the Banishing Punch depending on distance. It is also fairly dangerous
to jump in on her constantly, because she can counter with QUITE a few 
things; if so, jump in with a Knee Drop for your best priority, although it's
better to just stay on the ground. If block the DP, do your magic :). If you
block the HK, do NOT try an SPD or the like, because for some reason the 
angle won't allow it--this may be one of the few places to AC... Basically,
just stay on the ground and play on her mistakes. Her Super FB should be 
treated the same as her regualr one, as with the SC DP. The Super Hurricane
you should be most watchful for, as it hits low, so be careful with just 
throwing out high attacks, especially the standing Fierce.

SUMMARY:

-If she Jumps-in -> C.Strong or SPD
-If she throws a Fireball -> NO Clothesline; jump or Banishing Punch
-If she HKs -> block, possibly AC
-If she DPs -> block, have some fun :)
-If she SC HKs -> block LOW, SPD or probably Atomic Drop

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Rolento:

THREAT: 7

Strengths:

-Range
-Air countering
-Jump-ins
-combos
-speed

Weaknesses:

-Patriot Circle recovery
-recovery on a lot of Special Moves
-Recovery of "Hook Fatality" SC ;)

        Another of my favorite characters; a lot like fighting a mix of Fei 
Long and Vega. He will peck away at you and has high priority in the air. 
When he jumps in the C.Strong is fairly safe, unless one knows the angles and 
timing of his jump-ins; you can usually sac-throw in the same case. Here's
something cool--even if it hits, you can hit Rolento out of his crouching 
Strong 3-hit with your standing Forward!  If you see him begin his jumping 
Knife Attack (forget what it's called), you can QUICKLY do your Rising Air
Throw SC... If you jump before he does it, you can also nail him with a 
jumping Fierce before he throws the knife. If you block his Patriot Circle, 
you can nail 'im with a crouching attack, S.Forward into an Atomic Drop, or
just an Atomic Drop. Same goes for his Roll Back+Flying Baton attack. Do NOT
jump in on him often, his defenses are a nightmare; this is especially deadly
if he has a Super charged, as his Grenade Super is a DEADLY air counter.

SUMMARY:

-If he jumps in -> block, possibly sac-throw or C.Strong if their timing is
                   is off
-If you block Patriot Circle or Roll back/FlyingBaton -> SPd or Atomic Drop
-If he does a C.Strong -> block or not, counter with standing Forward!
-If you see the beginning of the Jumping Knife -> Air Throw SC FAST, or 
                                                  J.Fierce early.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Gen:

THREAT: 5

Strengths:

-damage
-combos
-Dizzy SC

Weaknesses:

-defense
-speed
-Special/Super Move recovery

        Not a difficult fight, if again you stay defensive. He cannot jump at
you easily, 'Gief's standing Jab will work wonders on his jumping attacks 
(just watch for a fake-out into his mid-air "Maximum-Spider-like" SC). All of
his Crane-style attacks are SLOW-starting, so when you're up close, unless 
he's in Mantis-style of course, you can ALWAYS get in the SPD or other Throw
before he can attack. His Mantis Kick as an air counter is deadly, but again
if in his Crane style he can do nothing on a jumping Z except block (tick 
time...) If you block ANY of his moves, the Rolling Punch, Omega Dash SC,
Mantis Kick or the Wall Dive Kick, he's goin' for a ride in your SPD or FAB!

SUMMARY:

-If you block any Special/Super Move (most, actually) -> SPD
-If he jumps in -> standing Jab
-If he attempts attacks up close in Crane-style -> SPD QUICK
     
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------     

-Adon:

THREAT: 6

Strengths:

-Range
-speed
-air countering
-air-to-air attacks

Weaknesses:

-SC recovery
-Jaguar Knee recovery
-ground priority

        A challenging battle, a good Adon player will stand back and chip
away at Zangief, making sure not to get too close. Jumping in on Adon is 
suicide, especially if he has a Jaguar Revolver charged. 
        You must be careful and wait for him to make a mistake. If he misses
or you manage to block a Jaguar Knee, punish him severly. If you block a
Jaguar Kick (Short version), counter with a Throw, otherwise the angle of
the kick will allow him to escape usually. The Jaguar Tooth's recovery is
usually good,but you can usually get an SPD (unless the enemy's reflexes are 
slow, they can usually jump away fast enough, or even buffer in a Jaguar 
Barrage), The big disadvantage for Adon is that his ground priority is 
inferior to Z's; if he tries any of his punches, your crouching Roundhouse 
takes him out fairly easily. The only one you've gotta watch for is his 
crouching Roundhouse.
        His Jaguar Barrage has been changed since SFA and no longer dashes,
rather just slowly edges forward, so if he makes the mistake of missing you, 
counter easy with ANY crouching attack or SPD.
        If he jumps in, with the Roundhouse especially, the Clothesline works
nicely.

SUMMARY:

-If Adon Jaguar Tooths -> block, maybe kick AC
-If Adon Jaguar Kicks -> block, maybe SPD if he's left close
-If Adon misses a Jaguar Knee or it is blocked -> punish with SPD/combo
-If Adon jumps in -> Clothesline, or sac-throw may work on punches
-If Adon tries any standing punches -> crouching Roundhouse.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Akuma:

(BTW, these tactics can generally apply for Evil Ryu as well, I believe)

THREAT: 6.5

Strengths:

-Air Fireballs
-Fireball traps
-decent speed
-air countering
-SC effectiveness

Weaknesses:

-Dragon Punch recovery
-Hurricane Kick recovery
-jump-in attacks

        Basically Ryu with an Air Fireball, fight him in much the same way as
you would Ryu. His FB traps are generally more effective because of his air
versions, but if you're careful and use a lot of Air Blocking (SFA2), you can
edge toward him. If he makes the silly mistake of throwing any Air Fireball
from close over your head, it's time to use your Rising Air Throw SC for
once.
        Like Ryu, Akuma cannot easily jump in at Z, as you can easily counter
a deep attack with a Clothesline, and a high attack with Roundhouse or 
crouching Strong (SFA2). Also counter the HK the same way you do Ryu's, as
is the DP.
        Akuma's Raging Demon level 3 SC is difficult to counter if the enemy
knows where to put it in. If you see it coming, jump backwards to avoid it,
as it is unblockable.

        BTW, if he Teleports and you anticipate him coming in close, ready an        
SPD to greet him...        

SUMMARY:

-If Akuma's DP misses, or is blocked -> SPD, combo or Throw
-If Akuma HKs -> crouch, ducking Fierce 
-If Akuma throws a FB -> block, Clothesline, or jumping Roundhouse
-If Akuma throws an Air Fireball/Air Fireball SC -> try and walk under it if 
 it's high enough or just block.
-If Akuma throws a Super FB -> block, or try jumping Roundhouse if possible.
-If Akuma jumps in -> crouching Strong (SFA2) or standing Roundhouse
-If Akuma attempts Sweep/low move -> crouching Roundhouse FAST
-If Akuma attempts crouching Short tick -> SPD (you're Throw range is usuallu
 further)
-If Akuma performs a Dashing Chop (F+Strong), block and SPD
-If you anticipate the Raging Demon -> jump back!
-If he Teleports -> jump back, or if you think he'll appear close, time an
 SPD.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Birdie:

THREAT: 5

Strengths:

-Chain Grab and Chain Grab range
-air countering
-Leaping Chain Grab SC

Weaknesses:

-Dashing Headbutt recovery
-air attacks
-sweep priority

        Pretty much an equal match IMO, Birdie plays quite a bit like Z.
He can use ticks just like 'Gief, so watch for the standing Short tick. If he
jumps in, you basically have him, because his jumping attacks have low
priority over your Clothesline; if he manages to jump high, try a crouching
Strong. On the same toekn, don't jump at him because he also has great air
counterability.
        The Leaping Chain Grab SC is what makes Birdie a nightmare to FBers,
but hey, Z has no Fireballs to go over! Still, just be careful not to throw
moves out of nowhere when he has one charged, because he can grab you before
you even think about it. If he misses the SC, it'll likely be too far away
for the SPD, so try an Atomic Drop or jumping Roundhouse.
        These two seem to have basically the same priority, except for the
crouching Roundhouse; Birdie's is much slower coming out, so you should be
using your crouching Roundhouse whenever you see Birdie crouch, as he will
likely go for it.

SUMMARY:

-If Birdie tries to tick with the standing Short -> difficult to counter, try
 jumping away
-If Birdie misses or you block a Dashing Headbutt/Dashing Headbutt SC/Turn-
 Around Headbutt -> SPD, or Atomic Drop if too far away
-If Birdie misses his Chain Grab SC -> Atomic Drop or jumping Roundhouse
-If Birdie jumps in -> Clothesline, or crouching Strong if the jump is high.
-If Birdie crouches -> crouching Roundhouse, in case he tries his.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Charlie:

THREAT: 8

Strengths:

-SB traps
-Somersault Kick/Somersault Justice/air countering
-Throws

Weaknesses:

-Somersault Kick recovery
-SB recovery
-jump-ins
        
        Fight him very much like Guile, i.e. with difficulty. Stay on the 
defensive and wait for him to make a mistake. From a distance bide your time 
by Clotheslining through Sonic Booms; once up close, use the Banishing Punch 
through them, and every time you get it do the SPD. 
        Jumping in at him is suicide, but him jumping at you is also 
dangerous; counter with the Clothesline for most of his deep attacks, or the
crouching Strong for his jump-in punches. 
        NOTE: your crouching Roundhouse does NOT have priority over his. For
more general tactics see Guile's section--these two are a lot alike.

SUMMARY:

-If he misses a Somersault Kick or Somersualt Justice, or it is blocked->
 SPD or combo
-If he's throwing Sonic Booms -> moving Clothesline from a distance, 
 Banishing Punch into SPD up close. Jumping sometimes works.
-If Charlie jumps in -> crouching Strong or Clothesline on deep attacks.
-If Charlie does a crouching kick -> block and SPD.
-If Charlie does a Crossfire Blitz SC -> block and SPD

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Dan:

THREAT: 3

Strengths:

-damage potential
-air countering

Weaknesses:

-let me count the ways...

        HAHAHAHAHA, DAN! You should know that sound by now, and that will be
the sound you usually here when you fight Dan. He was put in as a joke, and
he is a joke.
        Seriously though, you can have some fun with him, but if you're not
careful he can still do some damage. 
        Remember that his DP is TOTALLY vulnerable on the way up, so if you
aren't right up close when he does one (i.e. you jump straight up to fake it
and he tries to counter), counter with a Clothesline, Rising Air Throw SC, or
SPD when he lands.
        The Gale Kick does amazing damage if it connects, so make sure it 
doesn't. It's horribly slow, so once blocked he's open to your mercy.
        Because his FB has no range, he cannot use it anywhere but in combos,
but if he has an SC charged, especially to level 3, watch out for his SC FB,
which will travel across the screen.
        The only real thing to watch for is that his air countering is still
good. Be careful when jumping in, especially if he has a level or 2 on the
meter, because his DP SC is almost vertical except for level 3, and he can
buffer into your jumping attack if he's fast.
        And of course, if he tries any of his stupid taunts, either do an SPD
from close, or show him your boot!

SUMMARY:

-If Dan throws (or, um, flashes) his FB -> counter with Banishing Punch into
 SPD if close, or crouching D/F+Roundhouse from mid-range.
-If Dan DPs -> take it out with the Clothesline or Air Throw SC, or SPD as he 
 lands
-If Dan does a Gale Kick -> block and SPD
-If Dan jumps in -> crouching Strong or Clothesline if he's deep.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Guy:

THREAT: 8

Strengths:

-speed
-air priority
-ground priority
-slide

Weaknesses:

-Bushido Run/Jump Kick or Slide recovery
-SC recovery
-weak against sac-throws

        A VERY tough fight for Zangief, it's like fighting a mixture of Bison
and Chun Li. His speed is unmatched, and forget about going against him in 
the air. Jumping in is FAIRLY safe, with the Body Splash or Roundhouse from
afar, but watch for the Tornado Kick. On the ground, his priority is over all 
of Z's attacks, including your faithful crouching Roundhouse.
        Wait for him to make a mistake; if you block any of his attacks, 
punish him with the SPD.
        I find a lot of players have the same problem with him as they do
with Bison; over-jumping. Guy's jump is so high that it is difficult to
control, and therefore he is succeptible to a sac-throw if they jump too
high, or if they jump right over you, you can walk up and Throw.

SUMMARY:

-If Guy does any Bushido Run technique -> block and SPD, or crouching 
 Roundhouse
-If Guy does a Bushido Leap and Elbow -> block and jump up for a rare Air
 Throw, or Clothesline
-If Guy does his Dashing Elbow -> block and SPD
-If Guy jumps in -> sac-throw
-If Guy over-jumps -> walk up and SPD

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
-Rose:

THREAT: 5

Strengths:

-Air Throw SC
-Air counterability
-speed

Weaknesses:

-FB recovery and speed
-Soul Catch/Soul Catch SC recovery


        Rose is a good fight, but not impossible. Be careful, and jump only
when she throws a Soul Spark. If she does, she's prey to an easy Roundhouse
from above. If right up close, Banishing Punch into SPD, and from a distance
advance with the Clothesline.
        If she misses a Soul Catch or Soul Catch SC, she's prey to your Air
Throw SC, or wait 'till she lands and SPD.
        She's pretty solid jumping in, but a crouching Strong usually is a
        good counter.
        Her priority on the ground isn't amazing, except for her Slide. You
can counter any of her punches fairly easy with your crouching Roundhouse, 
but her her crouching Roundhouse has basically the same speed as yours. Be
watchful.

SUMMARY:

-If Rose misses a Soul Catch/Soul Catch SC -> Rising Air Throw SC, or SPD as
 she lands.
-If Rose throws a Soul Spark -> jump over and Roundhouse, Clothesline from a
 distance, or Banishing Punch into SPD up close.
-If Rose slides -> BLOCK, then try and counter
-If Rose does her Soul Shadows SC -> avoid her, mainly with jumps, or just
 block.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

-Sodom:

THREAT: 5

Strengths:

-damage potential
-air countering

Weaknesses:

-Butsumetsu Buster or Daikyo Burn recovery
-ground priority

        Not a terribly difficult fight, Sodom was one of my favs from SFA, 
but without his Chain Combos he is weakened considerably.
        Try and always stay out of range, so that he can't connect with his
Butsumetsu Buster (the fancy name for his Power Bomb), or the SC version,
which is as devastating as Z's Final Atomic Buster (well okay, almost... ;) )
        Jumping in on him is a mistake unless he's recovering from a missed
Butsumetsu Buster or Daikyo Burn (fancy name for his "carpet" burn), because
he has many good air defenses, including his Jitte Slice SC, which has the
ability to juggle you three times out of a jump for good damage.
        Basically, you have to stay defensive and wait for him to screw up. 
His jump in attacks aren't the greatest, so you should be able to deter him
whenever he's above you with good ol' crouching Strong. On the ground your
crouching Fierce and Roundhouse have excellent priority over all but perhaps
his Slide. If you block any of his slow recovering moves (see Summary), then
is the time to drive is head into the pavement.
        BTW, do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT try a meaty attack on Sodom; not only
can he do the normal Safety Roll, but he can also perform two other attacks;
I have yet to see one in action, but he has saved his first from SFA, dubbed
the "Tengu Walk" (I think that's what it's called, anyway). If performed 
Sodom will get up and jab his sias into the ground, dragging himself across
the ground quickly, hitting multiple times. This will nullify your crouching
Jab meaty tick attempts, although you can still do a Body Splash if you
anticipate this...

SUMMARY:

-If Sodom performs a Jab or Strong Jitte Slice -> block and SPD, or counter
 FAST with crouching Roundhouse or offensive crouching Roundhouse before he's
 in range.
-If Sodom performs a Fierce Jitte Slice -> block and SPD
-If Sodom attempts a Daikyo Burn -> block and SPD, or crouching Roundhouse
 FAST before he's in range.
-If Sodom jumps in -> crouching Strong
-If Sodom tries any standing punch -> crouching Fierce or Roundhouse
-If Sodom Slides -> block and SPD FAST, or try a Body Splash

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


CLOSING POINTERS:


-Use cheese whenever possible to win, including ticks and meaty attacks! Just
 hope wherever you play is kind enough to understand and accept the way you
 play Z (or you my get into a fist fight, like that one time...)

-Don't get mad when the opponent cheeses you, just get even with your own
 cheese. Remember, it's all part of the game.

-LEARN THE RANGE of the SPD; it is a neccessity to know where you can and
 can't grab your opponent. Get a feel for the range through practice so you
 can grab the enemy without a thought and take 'em for a ride. :)

-Taunt in SFA2 whenever the opportunity presents itself. :)

-Don't get too snobby, especially at the arcade. If you wanna brag, do it 
 amongst friends. Within the game, taunting and showing off is fun (I do it
 CONSTANTLY), but in real life it can really piss some people off (and get 
 into a fist fight, like that other time...)

-Have some variety--Zangief is really cool, but once you've mastered him 
 (from reading this FAQ of course!), try moving on to another fighter so it
 takes a long to time for you to lose total interest in the game. By the time
 you do, another one will come along! I recommend Sagat... :)

-Don't put down other fighters or characters--ANY character in any fighting
 game has the potential for devastation, if played right--well okay, maybe
 not Dan! ;)

-Don't get frustrated if you're losing. Remember, you will rarely get perfect
 fights with 'ol Z, and taking damage is all part of his technique. Just be
 patient and wait for the chance to take 'em out. Trust me, when you connect
 with the Final Atomic Buster at level 3, YOU WILL FEEL LIKE JUMPING UP AND 
 DOWN SCREAMING HAHAHAHAHHAHAHYESYESYES!!!

-Practice, practice, practice...

-STOMP ON 'EM with Zangief! BEAT THE HELL OUT OF 'EM with Zangief! His 
 winning stances will make you feel like a million bucks! ;-)


CREDITS:
********

        My Thanks foremost to Capcom for the best fighting game series ever
(although you may be beating yourselves out with Marvel Super Heroes!), and
to our local Happy Man arcade for owning JUST about every version of SF.
        Thanks to J.D. Baptie and Jason Jamieson for hours of SF fun and
practice, as well as all the guys at the arcade.        
        Also a BIG thanks to the following FAQ writers and dedicated 'Gief
players, who without them this guide would not have been possible:

-lhuynh@reed.edu (never got his name) for his great Classic Zangief FAQs.
-Orlando C. Fernando (ocfernan@mailbox.syr.edu), a consumate SFA2 Z player 
 and writer of a GREAT Alpha 2 'Gief FAQ.
-Justin C. Hogue (hogue@CS.Arizona.EDU) for two great Zangief FAQs.
-Dave Walbridge, maintainer of the Zangief Shrine 
 (http://members.aol.com/ulysses710/html/gief.html)

        And most importantly, I thank you for taking the time to look over 
this FAQ, and hopefully this has helped you to realize that the Russian bear
wrestler ain't all that bad, and maybe you'll even give him a shot!

This and other FAQs can be accessed at my new homepage:

http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Heights/1910

You can also e-mail me at:

tigeraid@geocities.com

"I said it before and I'll say it again--democracy simply doesn't work!"

                                           -Kent Brockman, the Simpsons

P.S. : watch out! I may write a FAQ even BETTER than this for my all time
       favorite, Sagat! :-)