Ceracryst's FAQ for Elena, Street Fighter III: Third Strike. Foreword: Use it all you like. I don't care if you take it and claim it as your own, since even if you do, I probably can't/am too lazy to stop you and complain. Besides, I doubt people make money off of SF3 guides in this day, and the more places this gets published, the more people will be exposed to much-needed information about Elena. I'm writing this for anyone who might be interested in trying out Elena. There's a pretty fair absence of Elena players out there- but I think she's fun to play if you like being tricky. -begin- Index. -You can use your search function with the string contained in  to navigate. Alternatively, you can use the string, "section.break" to browse through. [GM] General Mechanics. Crouch Damage Combo Buffer Stun Gauge Low Attacks Overheads Cross-over Reset Dash Quick Jump Blocking/Parry Quick Stand Throw Universal Overhead Personal Action [GE] General Info about Elena [NA] Normal Attacks [CA] Command Attacks [TC] Target Combos [ST] Special Techniques [SA] Super Arts ------------------------------------section.break--------------------- [GM] General Mechanics. This section deals with how the game works. Chances are, you know your buttons. Just in case, I'll recap quickly. Up, down, left, right- the joystick. I'll call these, "up, down, toward, back". You've six buttons for your attacks. The top rows, punches, bottom row, kicks. LP MP HP (low punch: "jab", medium punch: "strong", high punch: "fierce") LK MK HK (low kick: "short", medium kick: "forward", high kick: "roundhouse") First, I'll start off with some "basics" to Street Fighter III. I don't want to call them "basics", because some of them are difficult to pull off, and aren't really required to get into the game. However, these things exist, and you should at least be aware of them. Note about frames: Third Strike is very "smooth". It has a lot of frames. While the frames show the sprite-processing power of the CPS-3 system, they also greatly affect the way this game is played. The speed of an attack matters much more- minute differences in the amount of frames in an attack can determine how much of an opening it grants your opponent. The frames also increase the amount of timing required to hit your opponent. Third Strike is just about the last game you'll want to button mash in. Crouch Damage: -------------- You will take extra damage if you're hit while crouching. This especially hurts if you get hit by a super art in a crouch. Combo Buffer: ------------- After the first hit of a combo, every successive hit deals less damage. Thus, cancelling attacks into a super art will noticably affect the amount of damage it does. Sometimes, it's just not worth it to hit-cancel into a super art. (i.e. Ryu's Shin Shouryuuken deals massive amounts of damage, but if you cancel into it- the amount of damage it does is *greatly* reduced, making the overall damage much weaker than it would have been if performed alone). Stun Gauge: ----------- Underneath your health bar is a small, empty bar. As you take hits, it'll fill up with red. It goes back down by itself, but if it fills up, your character gets stunned. You'll be knocked down, and when you wake up, you won't be able to do anything for a short amount of time. Some attacks stun more than others- strong attacks don't necessarily always stun the most. Low Attacks: ------------ This is a given. Some attacks aim for the legs, and can only be "blocked low", or guarded against while crouching. If you want to parry these attacks, you'll have to tap "down", instead of "toward". Overhead: --------- These are the opposite of low attacks. These cannot be guarded against while crouching- but instead must be guarded against while standing. All jumping attacks are considered overheads. Cross-over: ----------- These aren't exactly a "function" of the game, but they play an important part in a match. The idea is- because you must hold "back" to guard, or "toward" to parry, the required direction of these actions change depending on the direction the opponent is in. A "cross-over" is an attack that switches sides with the enemy, therefore switching the direction that the opponent must guard, or parry in. The result is confusion, and a higher chance of landing your next attack. Reset: ------ This is a type of maneuver that places you in a position where the opponent is highly unlikely to defend against your next attack. It works off the same reasoning as a cross-over. ============== Dash Execution: Tap "toward" or "back" twice in a row. ============== You can move quickly towards or away from your opponent by double-tapping in that direction. The dashes for different characters vary in speed and distance. Some characters can also dash repeatedly, while others have a short recovery time after their dash. Note that you can't parry or attack while dashing. ============== Quick Jump Execution: Tap "down", then a jump direction immediately following. ============== You can jump faster/further if you crouch right before jumping. Generally, characters that perform a quick jump will have a shadow trailing behind them in the duration of their jump. ============== Blocking/Parry Execution: Tap "toward" the moment a high, or medium attack hits your character, or "down" the moment a low attack hits. In mid air, all attacks are parried with "toward". ============== As opposed to "guard". Almost any attack in the game can be "parried". A parry is an action that's a mix defense and offense. What happens is, when an incoming attack strikes, if you parry it, you will negate the attack completely (taking no damage), and recover much quicker than you would from a "guard" (holding backwards when an attack strikes). Parrying is an important skill to learn. A well-timed parry can create a wide opening in your opponent's offense, and change the momentum of the fight. On the contrary, an offensive parry can crush your opponent's attempt to counter your attack, allowing you to continue your offense. Notes: 1. Grappling techniques cannot be parried. 2. There are some attacks which, although can be blocked, also cannot be parried. (i.e. Ibuki's technique where she lifts the opponents arm, and strikes at the midsection with a ki burst.) 3. Parrying successive attacks takes some timing- however, certain multi-hit skills require repeated taps of "forward" with no stops in-between, to parry. i.e.: Oro's EX'ed gold ball super art, the second wave of Gouki/Akuma's D,D,D+PPP super art, Ibuki's mid-air super art, where she throws many kunai. 4. It's possible to perform a parry from a guard. The timing is difficult, but if you cancel a guard into a parry, the result is a "red parry", which has the same effects as a normal parry. Going from a guard to a parry, however, can very quickly change the momentum, or tide of a fight. =============== Quick Stand Execution: Tap "down" the moment your character hits the ground from an attack. The timing is the same as parrying. =============== If you're knocked down by your opponents attack, you can perform a quick stand- in which your character flips him/herself back up after landing. In general, this will move you a little further back, away from your opponent. You get up sooner, so the timings for "get up" attacks come earlier. Since your opponent might predict a quick stand, be careful: it isn't always a good idea to quick stand. =============== Throw Execution: Press "Jab" and "Short" together (LP + LK). =============== In Third Strike, normal throws are performed by pressing the two weak attacks together at the same time. Your character will go into a quick grabbing animation, which has a recovery time if it whiffs. This throw comes out very fast and, as a grappling technique, can't be parried. For most characters, pressing a directional and LP + LK at the same time will result in a different type of grappling technique that throws the opponent in the pressed direction. Notes: 1. If two throws connect at roughly the same time, they are both cancelled, and both the fighters will hop back slowly- no one at an advantage, and no damage dealt. This is a "throw counter". 2. There's a sort of glitch/phenomenon called 'warp throw'. In this, a normal attack is cancelled (within the first frame or two) into a LP + LK throw, which results in the character warping forward a few pixels before attempting to grapple. This is difficult to do, but it exists- and effectively increases the distance at which you can grab your opponent. ============== Universal Overhead ("leap attack") Execution: Press "Strong" and "Forward" together (MP + MK). ============== Every character has a "universal overhead" (shortened: UOH) in which they hop up a short distance and attack downwards at their opponent. This attack is rather slow, but as an overhead, it can't be guarded against while crouching. If your opponent is guarding low, a leap attack will break through if they can't react fast enough. Notes: 1. This attack is actually very slow, so it's really easy to be knocked out of, or parried if you're not careful. 2. The recovery time from a leap attack varies depending on how far away you are from your opponent when you hit them. Performing the leap attack while close causes a longer recovery time, during which you could be punished. On the other hand, if you connect a leap attack from the furthest distance, you can recover quick enough to continue to attack your opponent. This makes a super art possible from an overhead. ============== Personal Action (aka "taunt") Execution: Press "Fierce" and "Roundhouse" together (HP + HK). ============== Every character has a "personal action". Performing these will give different characters different bonuses. Most of them are also effectively taunts. ----------------------------------------------section.break-------------- [GE] General Info about Elena. Elena is a very tricky character. As far as I know, she doesn't have many hard-hitting combos, but makes up for this in the "flow" that she has from one attack to the next. Her normal attacks blend in with her command, and her special attacks. 1. Elena is all kicks. Because of this, many of her attacks look similar- hard to distinguish from one another. Even her *throw* looks like a kick. You can use this to your advantage to play mind-games with your opponent- especially in that her command overheads blend in with her normal kicks as well. 2. Elena steps back and forth in her stance. No matter what pose a character is in, the positioning of their *shadow* on the floor is what determines where their actual position is. Elena, in her normal stance, will take steps back and forth, which actually affect where she's standing (and thus the range required to hit her). This is a small detail, but it can't be disregarded completely. Especially because... 3. ... While standing, if you perform a LP, or a MP- when you return to your stance, Elena's first step will be forward. If you perform a LK, or a MK, her first step will be backwards. With some careful positioning, you can use this to play some more with your opponent. i.e., whiffing a MK, then standing still will make her take a slow step back- in which time your opponent could attempt to sweep, and miss. Whiffing a MP might make your opponent think you're out of range, but when Elena takes a slow step forward, you'll be within striking distance. HP and HK seem to make Elena stay still for a moment, then take a step back (which is possibly her normal stance animation). 4. Elena's quick jump (D, U) will make her jump super high. You can use this to your advantage to win an air-to-air encounter, but otherwise- this also gives your opponent a long time to react to your jump. 5. Elena's forward dash is very quick, and has a good amount of distance. The only dash that's better would be Makoto's. You can also dash fairly well repeatedly. It might not seem like too much, but Elena's dash should play a large role in your offense. You can use it to keep pressure on your opponent, or even to slide underneath (and thus cross-over) a jumping attack. Also, a good usage for Elena's dash is: after landing an air-to-air HP or HK, you land before your opponent. You can take this chance to dash underneath your opponent right as they're about to land- resulting in a last-moment switch of directions- a reset. 6. Elena's backwards dash is a backflip. It isn't fast- actually rather slow, but it gives her a good amount of distance, and it can be done non-stop. Because of its slow speed, it's better for breaking off an attack, or backing off than for quickly avoiding an attack and retaliating afterwards. ---------------------------------------section.break--------------------------- [NA] Normal Attacks. This is probably the most important section of this FAQ. Elena's strengths lie in dominating the match by tricking your opponent, making them unable to know what's coming next, and taking hits the whole time. To do that, you'll have to blend her normal, command and special attacks- but you'll be using her normal attacks the most often. "Jab" attacks, LP. ================== -- Standing: Elena performs a quick spin kick aimed at the head. Since she arcs her leg high, this kick doesn't have that great an amount of range. It is fairly fast, and could possibly be used to hit enemies out of the air. Honestly, I haven't used this attack that often. -- Crouching: Elena sends a quick straight kick with her closer leg. The range of this attack isn't too bad, and it's fairly fast with good recovery. Note that it can be blocked standing, though. Good for repeated poke.. though personally, I don't like to use the same attack over and over again. -- Jumping: Elena performs an Ong-Bak kick... that translates to: jumping knee attack. It probably comes out the quickest of all the air attacks, but since it's a knee attack, it doesn't have much range. "Strong" attacks, MP. ===================== -- Standing: Elena leans back, and throws a high spinning hook kick. Since this kick is roughly aimed at a 45 degree angle, its lateral/horizontal range isn't *great*- but it's still decent. It's fairly quick, and good for attacking jump-ins. It doesn't have that great priority, though. The main draw of this attack is that it's two quick hits, which is ideal for hitting people who like to jump-in and parry. (they'll have to parry twice). If both hits of this attack hit- it deals a very good amount of stun damage. Note: This attack is cancellable on the first hit. You'll have to do it *fast* though, because the two hits go by quick. Cancelling into Mallet Smash, or Lynx Tail gives her nice trickiness with a quick overhead or low attack. -- Crouching: It looks the same as her crouching "jab", except this attack is slower and stuns the opponent longer if it connects. It does better damage, though- and because it's slower, it's easier to cancel into a special attack. The range of this attack isn't too bad, either- but like the crouching LP, it can also be blocked standing. -- Jumping: Elena throws a kick aimed a little high. Because it's aimed high, it's ideal for hitting mid-air opponents. Note: This cancels into a mid-air HP for two hits if it connects. "Fierce" attacks, HP. ===================== -- Standing: Elena performs a slow, spinning inner circle kick. This attack has a long start up time as Elena spins in a circle. However, because this kick is aimed high, it's decently good at hitting opponents in mid-air (you'll have to time it). Although it's a slow attack, it deals good damage (as far as Elena goes), and deals *very* good stun damage. It can be a very good attack if you learn how to time it. Note: This cancels into standing HK, if you press HK the moment it connects. -- Crouching: Elena supports herself with two hands, a foot- and delivers a strong push-kick upwards. This attack is good for hitting jump-ins. It does a good amount of damage, and has decent priority, but because it's only one hit, the standing MP might be a better choice if your opponent has learned to parry. -- Jumping: Elena does a split kick in midair. Her front leg is aimed down a bit. This attack is good for jumping in, since, as a strong attack, it makes the opponent recoil for a long time if it connects. The angle of the kick and relative speed at which it comes out make it an ideal mid-air attack. "Short" attacks, LK. ==================== -- Standing: Elena sticks her foot out for a quick kick at the shins. This kick has very little range, but it's also very fast. This makes it ideal for interrupting your opponents attacks at close range. -- Crouching: Elena throws out a kick with her further leg. This attack isn't quite as fast as her crouching LP, but as a low attack, it must be guarded low. -- Jumping: Elena delivers a quick heel kick. Although it's not too great on damage, and not the best angle, this kick comes out the fastest of all her air attacks (with the exception of her jumping LP). It's quick enough to kick some standing characters on your way up from a backwards jump. "Forward" attacks, MK. ====================== -- Standing: Elena throws out a spin kick aimed towards the midsection. Since the angle of this attack is pretty shallow, its horizontal range is very good. It's not quite as fast as her weak attacks, but it's pretty quick for its range. In my opinion, this is a very good ranged poke, and you won't be punished often for throwing it out. Note: Can be cancelled into her crouching HP, which will launch the opponent far away. -- Crouching: Looks the same as her crouching LK, except slower. This attack is about the same speed as her crouching MP, except it's a low attack, so it must be guarded low. It also has a fair amount of range and speed- however, it's *not* cancellable. That makes this attack for low, ranged poking purposes only. -- Jumping: Elena performs a jump kick with her far leg tucked in. The kick is aimed low, so it's good for hitting grounded opponents. The angle is roughly the same as her stronger jumping HP, and it hurts less. However, the main draw to this attack is that her far knee can also hit the opponent, which makes this her jumping cross-over attack. "Roundhouse" attacks, HK. ========================= -- Standing: Elena hops a little, tucks in and performs a spinning axe kick. This attack comes out rather slow (though a bit faster than her standing HP), and it doesn't do as much stun damage as the HP- but the key of this kick lies in her small hop, and the way her leg comes down on the opponent. These two points make this kick a perfect counter to sweeping attacks. If you think the opponent will sweep, this kick will hop over the sweep and bring her leg down on the opponent's head. -- Also, this attack lasts a while, so it's good for stopping a rush-in. Note: Even though she's swinging her leg down, this kick is not an overhead. Also, if you do (back + HK), Elena will hop a little backwards while performing this kick, and bring her leg down at a steeper angle. This is a safer counter for sweeps- though you'll end up further from your opponent in the end. This kick can also hit jump-ins because of its wider arc. Also- this version of the kick deals very good stun damage, even more than the normal. -- Crouching: Elena lies tummy down on the ground and pushes out with both her legs. As her sweep attack, this kick has pretty good range. However, its startup time and recovery time are both pretty bad. So, to be safe, don't try this attack from close range. It's best from further away. -- Jumping: Elena flips upside down and kicks at the opponent with her arms and legs spread. This attack starts up fast, and does two hits- one from her knee, and a second when her leg is fully extended. The kick is aimed fairly straight, though- so it'll be difficult to hit grounded shorter characters- and just about impossible to hit crouching opponents. Because of the two hits, though, it's ideal for hitting opponents who attempt a mid-air parry. Notice, the first hit deals a small amount of stun, but the second has good stun. Together, they deal a significant amount of stun damage. ----------------------------------section.break------------------------------- [CA] Command Attacks. Elena's command attacks combined with her normal normal attacks together help her to achieve versatility. These attacks are also important, as they fill out her offensive potential. F+MP: ----- Elena hops up on her hands and delivers an upside down kick to her opponent. This is an overhead attack with a good amount of range. Unlike the universal overhead, this move doesn't cause a "break" in Elena's flow. As she's constantly moving around, this overhead is difficult to see. This attack does have a noticeable startup time, but its recovery is good- and she ends up the same distance as where she started the attack. F+MK: ----- Elena performs the same action as her F+MP command attack, but uses her other leg. The difference lies in the startup and recovery. This kick comes out faster than her F+MP attack, making for a quick, smooth overhead- however, after the recovery, she ends up closer to the opponent than she was before. So, this attack is more offensive, and risky compared to her F+MP. B+HK: ----- Similar to her standing "roundhouse" (HK), except she hops back when she performs this kick, and brings her leg down at a steeper angle. The wider arc that results can be used to hit jump-ins. Very good stun damage- comparable to her standing HP. DF+HK: ------ Elena slides along the ground. This is a low attack that knocks the opponent down- it also has a good amount of range, because of Elena's slide. It does have a bit of a startup, though- and its recovery is very horridly punishable, so be careful when you use it. If you don't use it too often, it's good for a surprise knock-down. -----------------------------------------section.break------------------------- [TC] Target Combos. These increase Elena's damage potentials a bit- they have their uses. Standing MK -> Crouching HP: The crouching HP will knock the opponent far, and away. This puts a good amount of distance between you and your opponent- and creates a long enough break in the fight to recollect yourself. Standing HP -> Standing HK: The HK is difficult to connect, because its rather short range- but this increases the damage and stun done by Elena's standing HP. Also, the HK is less punishable than the HP, so this target combo also serves to push the opponent further away, if your HP is blocked. Jumping MP -> Mid-air HP: Like the jumping HK, is a mid-air two hit attack. This deals good damage for an air attack, and could be relied on if your jumping MP is parried. Note: None of her target combos can be cancelled into a super art. ----------------------------------------------section.break-------------------- [ST] Special Techniques Here's the "movelist". Neat thing about Elena's techniques is that they mix very well with her normal attacks. In general, they're fairly quick- but aren't the best for priority. Most of these attacks fulfill only one or two roles- but they do them well. ============= Rhino Horn Execution: HCF + K ============= Elena winds up, then performs a far jumping kick. This technique has a very long startup, so it's not the best idea to do it from a distance you can be punished. Note that it also misses most crouching opponents altogether. Those are its weaknesses. After the initial wind up, Rhino Horn travels forward fairly fast- and delivers a strong knock-back attack to the opponent. It can be used as a sort of "catching" attack for opponents trying to jump away- but that's hard to time. Note, though, that at the start of her jump kick, Elena arcs both her legs above her head. You can hit a mid-air opponent with this, which knocks the opponent even higher. The blunt force of the Rhino Horn will miss, but you'll land in a position where the opponent is falling towards you, and can now be juggled. Overall, it's slow- and rather limited in use... but it does do well in certain situations. EX: Elena performs her Rhino Horn faster- and the forward attack does more hits- though the overall damage isn't much better. ============== Mallet Smash Execution: HCB + P ============== Elena jumps up, swinging both her legs in an arc, which she brings down over the opponent's head for two hits. Using different strengths of P will make her jump closer to further. This attack isn't *fast*, but it's decently quick. Because she jumps, she'll easily avoid low, and sweep attacks with this technique. What's most important is that this attack is an overhead. The recovery time of this move is also pretty good- which means if your opponent is even a little slow in punishing, you'll be able to block- or even Scratch Wheel your way out. Note that the HP version can hop over most opponents if you try it from point blank. It'll miss- and it crosses over, but the recovery time doesn't seem to be any better, and you're better off hitting the opponent anyway. EX: Elena does it faster, at the HP distance. =============== Lynx Tail Execution: Reverse DP + K (B,D,DB+K) =============== Elena performs a windmill, swinging her legs at the opponent's ankles. Contrasting to Mallet Smash, this is a low attack- and must be guarded low. It has a bit of a start up time, so you can't just use it as your sweeping attack- but it does come out decently quick, and because of Elena's long legs, has a good amount of range. The LK version will only hit the opponent once. The MK version lasts a bit longer, hitting the opponent twice, and the HK version will make Elena perform two windmills, for a total of 4 hits. Using the weaker versions is less punishable, while the HK version deals more damage- but leaves her open for about three seconds if it whiffs. EX: Elena performs the HK version quickly, and at the end performs a hand stand, which kicks the opponent far away. =============== Spin Scythe Execution: QCB + K (x2) =============== Elena performs two spinning kicks, aimed at around shoulder level. She slides forward a little bit during these two attacks- further if a stronger K was used. After these two kicks, you can (optionally) enter the command again and she'll perform a third spin kick, this time using both her legs (for a total of 4 hits). The last attack of this technique can be performed instantly after the second hit, in which case it'll successfully link as a combo. The last attack can also be delayed- there's a long recovery time after the second attack, during which you can perform the third attack at any time. This is a good timing trick to use if the first two attacks are guarded. When the opponent thinks he/she sees an opening and lashes out to attack, you can execute the final spin scythe. EX: Elena performs three spin scythes in rapid succession, then kicks the enemy high up into the air, after which they can be juggled. Optionally, if you enter the command again during the third attack, she'll finish with a fourth, two-legged spin scythe. =============== Scratch Wheel Execution: DP + P =============== Elena's anti-air attack. Unlike the shotokan shouryuuken, Elena has no invincibility. However, she does have *very* fast execution. This technique comes out just about instantly, so it's perfect for punishing slow attacks, and fairly decent for anti-air. It doesn't have much priority, though- so it's not uncommon to see her get knocked out of it from an opponent jumping in. The medium and strong versions are super-cancellable on the first hit, but they won't knock down in that case. EX: Elena performs a HK Scratch Wheel that hits 4 times (and probably has better priority- I'm not certain). -------------------------------section.break-------------------------------- [SA] Super Arts. I. Spinning Beat ================ Elena performs three scratch wheels, the third of which carries her backwards a little bit. This super comes out quick, but the starting range of it is fairly limited (the same as a normal scratch wheel's). The damage of this super isn't too great, but you get three, short stocks- so you'll be able to perform it often along with EXs. It's important to note that Elena has no invincibility frames, so she won't be able to use this to pass projectiles. II. Brave Dance =============== Elena makes a fast hop forward which, if it connects, makes her go into a series of kicks ending in a high kick. Because of the range of the quick hop forward, and its good priority, this super art is very good for punishing attacks. The damage is better than her Spinning Beat as well- but it comes in two moderately sized stocks, rather than three small ones. It's a good, hard-hitting punisher with a good amount of range. Like the Spinning Beat, Brave Dance doesn't have invincibility frames either- so you won't be able to pass or punish projectiles. III. Healing ============ Elena crouches on the ground, and starts to shine. During this short period, she'll regenerate up to 1/4 of her health- unless interrupted. While this isn't quite exactly the most innovative super ever, it is able to turn the tides of a fight. It comes in one long bar, so you won't be able to do it often- and performing an EX will cancel your ability to perform this super art. Because of the nature of this technique, you'll want to keep the opponent as far away from you as possible when you do it. There are several techniques you can use- your throw serves decently, as well as the Scratch Wheel. Also, Standing MK -> Crouching HP target combo works very nicely. ---------------------------------------section.break--------------------------- There, it's done. I hope this gives you an idea, or maybe a new perpective on how Elena can be played. -6.28.05 Questions, Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their respective trademark and copyright holders.