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    Sakura by ALo

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                MASTER'S GUIDE TO SAKURA FAQ v1.0
                             by Al Lo
    1.      WHY I WROTE THIS FAQ
    2.      STORY
    3.      ENDING
    4.      COLORS
    5.      NORMAL ATTACKS
    7.      THROWS
    8.      SURE-KILLING TECHNIQUES (Special Moves)
    9.      ALPHA COUNTERS
    10.     SUPER COMBOS
    11.     TAUNTS
    12.     WIN POSES
    13.     COMBOS
    15.     WIN QUOTES
    16.     CREDITS
    1.                          WHY I WROTE THIS FAQ
    Well, SFA2 is pretty old by now but in my arcade it is still the most played
    game.  Yep, even though we have SF3 projected onto a 10' by 10' screen.  Even
    though SF3 looks about a million times better....Well, I feel I have finally
    "mastered" Sakura.  I can beat pretty much everybody every fight.  I guess
    that isn't much of a feat since my arcade is Ryu/Ken/Akuma FB/DP land.
    Anyways, Sakura is the best character Capcom ever put in a fighting game and
    with a little skill behind her she can compete with the Chun-Lis, Ryus and
    Kens.  This in no means is the set in stone method of playing Sakura.  It is
    what I do and I am very successful when I use these strategies.
    2.                                 STORY
    Sakura Kusagano is a schoolgirl in Japan who enjoys Street Fighting.  This
    started when she and her friend had a run in with a couple of thugs.  She
    wasted them with ease and now wants Ryu to be her teacher so that she can
    increase her skills.
    3.                                 ENDING
    (Before the fight)
    Sakura  "I've been looking for you Ryu."
    Ryu     "What do you want with me, little girl?"
    Sakura  "Is that any way to talk?  I'm your number one fan.  That's Ms.
             Little Girl to you!"
    (After the fight, Ryu is walking away)
    Sakura  "Wait!  Where are you going?  I want to be stronger.  I want to learn
             more.  Please!  Please teach me!  Be my master!!!!"
    Ryu     "I'm still learning myself.  I don't have time for school girl games!
             You're on your own.  I've got to go.
    Sakura  "At least give me something to remember you by!"
    (Sakura takes a picture of Ryu)
    (Sakura is walking to school)
    Sakura  (He took it easy on me.  I just know it!  What did he mean--"He is
             still learning?"  I though street fighting was for fun.  Maybe he
             knows the true meaning of "fight."  I have to see him again and ask
    Friend  "Good morning Sakura.  Who's that?"
    Sakura  "My master, maybe?"
    Friend  "What?!  What do you mean?"
    Sakura  "Forget it.  We don'ts have time.  We'll be late for school"
    Friend  "Hey!  Wait for me!"
    Sakura  "I'm going to need a crash course."
    4.                                 COLORS
    PK1-Jab + Short         PK2-Fierce + Roundhouse
    P       blue skirt, yellow tie, white shirt, red gloves
    K       light green skirt, pink tie, white shirt, orange gloves
    PP      dark red skirt, yelow tie, light pink shirt, blue gloves
    KK      green skirt, pink tie, white shirt, orange gloves
    PK1     purple skirt, yellow tie, white shirt, purple gloves
    PK2     black skirt, orange tie, white shirt, blue gloves
    5.                              NORMAL ATTACKS
    Standing        A quick straight punch that can be used to 2 in 1 with.  This
                    punch is primarily used for poking.  If they block a standing
                    jab you can go for the throw and if they don't you can 2 in 1
                    into a fierce Sho-Oh-Ken.
    "Shagami Jab"
    Ducking         Like the standing jab it can be used to 2 in 1 with and is
                    used mainly for poking and tick attempts.  If one connects
                    immediately go into the fierce Sho-Oh-Ken.
    "Jumping Shotei"
    Jumping         Almost useless as a jump in attack.  May be used as an air to
                    air counter but a jumping forward is much better.
    Standing        Another standing straight punch.  You can 2 in 1 with it so
                    it can be used in combos but it is too slow to tick with.
    "Genkotsu Stamp"
    Ducking         A great counter to ducking kicks.  It will cleanly counter
                    almost every kick with a few exceptions like Chun-Li's
                    ducking forward.  When playing foot games use this or the
                    ducking forward to counter or strike first.  If this connects
                    2 in 1 into a forward Shunpuu Kyaku.
    "Jumping Straight"
    Jumping         A jumping strong can be used as an air to air counter but is
                    pretty much useless as a jump in attack because it must be
                    very deep to connect in combos.
    "Furiko Upper"
    Standing        A two handed uppercut.  This is effective as an air counter
                    and is also used to 2 in 1 into a fierce Sho-Oh-Ken.  This
                    is your main weapon against missed attacks since it fills
                    your super bar up very quickly.  If your opponent is walking
                    towards you do a standing fierce into a Hadoken to push them
                    back or connect for a combo.
    "Guts Upper"
    Ducking         A ducking uppercut.  Your primary air counter against most
                    jumping attacks.  It has a very high priority and a well
                    timed ducking fierce will take out almost anything except air
                    custom combos.  You can also 2 in 1 into a fierce Sho-Oh-Ken
                    with a ducking fierce.
    "Batobi Punch"
    Jumping         This is Sakura's second best jumping attack.  It does more
                    damage than a jumping forward but has less priority.  Use this
                    if your opponent is dizzy or has missed an attack.
    "Low Kick"
    Standing        Like Sakura's jab this is used for ticking.  Constant poking
                    with her weak attacks will frustrate your opponent and cause
                    them to turtle.  If one connects you can 2 in 1 into a fierce
                    Sho-Oh-Ken or a super combo.
    "Yosumi Kick"
    Ducking         Basically use this and ducking jabs to tick.
    "Tobi Geri"
    Jumping         Very weak as a jump in attack and not so great as an air to
                    air counter.  Don't use this too often.
    "Agohane Geri"
    Standing        The forward kick should be your primary attack button.  A
                    standing forward is almost as good as a ducking fierce as
                    an air counter.  You can't 2 in 1 off this attack.
    "Guts Kick"
    Ducking         Probably the second best in terms of ground priority to
                    Chun-Li's ducking forward.  Is faster than almost all of the
                    ground attacks in SFA2 and will counter almost anything.
    High-School Kick"
    Jumping         Possibly the best jumping attack in SFA2.  Use this to cross-
                    up your opponent whenever possible.  They are hard to block
                    for some people and lead to massive combos.  Sakura's main
                    strength is her cross-up ability so use it as often as
    "Ichimonji Geri"
    Standing        This kick is relatively fast compared to other roundhouse
                    attacks.  You can use it to stop advancing opponents.  Also,
                    after you throw a fireball at your opponent in the corner
                    form close range do a standing roundhouse to counter their
                    next attack.
    "Kaiten Ashibarai"
    Ducking         A lot of people use ducking roundhouses as the majority of
                    their ground attacks.  It is slower and has less priority
                    than a ducking forward so use the ducking forward.  Use this
                    only with Valle custom combos.
    "Sakura Kick"
    Jumping         Like the jumping fierce it has very little range and should
                    only be used in combos when your opponent is dizzy or has
                    missed a ground attack or has missed with a projectile attack.
    6.                            OVERHEAD ATTACKS
    Flower Kick             F + Forward
    This overhead attack is pretty slow in comparison to others.  Use it on
    fallen opponents as they get up followed by a ducking forward or roundhouse.
    It is also effective against turtles as a start up for custom combos.
    7.                                THROWS
    Sailor Strangle         B/F + Strong/Fierce
    Sailor Shoot            B/F + Forward/Roundhouse
    The direction you choose will cause you opponent to land on that side after
    the throw or hold.  The Sailor Stangle is easy to tech hit off but is the
    throw you should use.  It puts your opponent right beside you setting up a
    cross-up attempt.  The Sailor Shoot takes off less damage and pushes your
    opponent away from you.  Use the Sakura Strangle whenever possible.
    8.                SURE-KILLING TECHNIQUES (Special Moves)
    Hadoken                 D,DF,F + P/PP/PPP
    P               1 hit/9% damage
    PP              1 hit/10% damage
    PPP             1 hit/12% damage
    This is a slow projectile which dissipates as it travels across the screen.
    Pressing one punch will launch a small fireball across most of the screen.
    Pressing two punches will increase the size but decrease the distance and the
    same occurs when three punches are pressed.  The main flaw that a lot of
    Sakura players have is that they are fireball crazy and just because she is
    a Shotokan fighter they assume she is a female Ryu.  Playing like this will
    get you killed.  Only use Hadokens when you know they will cancel out another
    projectile or will hit your opponent.  From a full screen away use it to
    counter projectiles and charge up the super bar.  When you knock down an
    opponent you can use a fireball to make them block as they get up but going
    for cross-ups is much smarter.
    Shunpuu Kyaku           D,DB,B + K
    Short           1 hit/10% damage
    Forward         1 hit/11% damage
    Roundhouse      1 hit/12% damage
    Unlike Ryu or Ken's, Sakura's Shunpuu Kyaku arcs upwards and back down.
    The stronger the kick the higher and farther she will travel.  The Short
    version is best for countering ground attacks because it has pretty good
    priority.  The Forward version is best for combos after a ducking strong. The
    Roundhouse version should only be used in custom combos because it is
    difficult to hit with it any other way.
    Sho-Oh-Ken              F,D,DF + P
    Jab             1 hit/13% damage
    Strong          4 hits/15% damage
    Fierce          6 hits/18% damage
    This is Sakura's version of the Shoryuken.  However, this is not a Ryu/Ken air 
    counter.  The Jab version is okay as an air counter but a ducking fierce is 
    much easier to do and has a higher priority.  Use the Fierce version EVERY time 
    and only in combos.
    9.                            ALPHA COUNTERS
    Punch AC                Block, B, DB, D + P
    Kick AC                 Block, B, DB, D + K
    These in my opinion are a giant waste of super bar energy.  There are always
    other ways to counter and you waste chances to use custom combos.  The only
    time I ever use them is of they are about to die and try to attack.  Then
    I can safely counter any of their attacks without risking losing any damage.
    It is useless to alpha counter air attacks because you can use a ducking
    Fierce or a standing Forward.  If they use a super combo and you block it
    using an alpha counter during it will take off a little energy.  You can
    always block and wait for them to finish countering with a custom combo for
    a lot more damage.  Alpha countering ground attacks is also not very useful
    because Sakura's ducking Forward counters almost anything.
    10.                            SUPER COMBOS
    When the bar at the bottom of the screen reaches 1 you can perform super
    combos.  When the bar is at 2 by pressing two attack buttons you can do a
    level 2 super combo and a level 3 super combo is achieved by pressing three
    attack buttons after the joystick motions.
    Shinkuu Hadoken         D,DF,F,D,DF,F + P/PP/PPP
    Level 1         3 hits/10-17% damage
    Level 2         4 hits/15-25% damage
    Level 3         5 hits/24-38% damage
    This can be used to counter projectiles when you in at least half a screen
    away form your opponent.  Any farther and they can block or your firebell
    will dissipate.  It can also be used as an air counter for big damage.
    Midare Zakura           D,DF,F,D,DF,F + K/KK/KKK
    Level 1         4 hits/~24% damage
    Level 2         6 hits/~32% damage
    Level 3         7 hits/~44% damage
    Missed ground attacks can be punished with this and it can be used in combos
    but it is relatively weak when compared to Sakura's custom combos.  Don't
    use this too much.  
    Haru Ichiban            D,DB,B,D,DB,B + K/KK/KKK
    Level 1         5 hits/~28% damage
    Level 2         6 hits/~37% damage
    Level 3         7 hits/~48% damage
    This is useful because it hits low, has high damage, and very little
    recovery time.  If you are to use a super combo in a combo this is the one to
    use.  However, I feel that custom combos are more effective.
    **********THE ULTIMA HARU ICHIBAN SPECIAL**********
    Thanks to Ultima for teaching me this trick.  If you Haru Ichiban is blocked
    do a ducking Forward right after.  It will push you away and will counter
    any other counter by your opponent almost all of the time.  I think it doesn't
    counter moves with invincible frames through like Shoryukens.
    11.                                TAUNTS
    Sakura's taunt is done by pressing the 1P or 2P buttons on an arcade machine.
    She look's away, points and giggles.  You can do these after big combos but
    since hers can hit they are best used in custom combos for the extra bit of
    flash.  You can only do these once a round but as many times as you want
    during custom combos.
    12.                               WIN POSES
    You can choose you win pose by pressing the 1P/2P buttons along with an
    attack button after you win.
    Jab             Sakura turns away, wipes her nose, points and giggles.
    Strong          Sakura raises her fist and giggles while her skirt moves with
    	          the wind.
    Fierce          Like the Short win pose without the flying shoe.
    Short           Sakura does a few kicks, clenches her fists and screams.
                    During this process her shoe flies off and hits her on her
    Forward         The best win pose in all of SFA2.  Sakura dances!
    13.                                COMBOS
    Since the number of combos that can be done in SF due to its great 2 in 1
    combo system I'll only list the effective ones.
    **********SURE KILLING TECHNIQUE COMBOS*********
    Cross-up Forward Combos
            Cross-up Forward, Ducking or Standing Fierce, Fierce Sho-Oh-Ken
            Cross-up Forward, Ducking or Standing Fierce, Fierce Hadoken
            Cross-up Forward, Ducking Stong, Forward Shunpuu Kyaku
    If the Forward connects do the first combo or the second one if the first is
    too difficult.  The second does not take off as much energy but is much easier
    to do.  If the Forward is blocked do the third combo.  After the combo ends
    start up a custom combo.
    Air To Ground Combos
            Jumping Fierce, Ducking or Standing Fierce, Fierce Sho-Oh-Ken
            Jumping Fierce, Ducking or Standing Fierce, Fierce Hadoken
    Only use these combos when you know you are going to hit your opponent.
    These situations include dizzies and jumping over fireballs or missed attacks.
    It is risky to use these in other situations because you will be punished
    after a blocked Sho-Oh-Ken or Hadoken at such a close range.
    Gound Combos
            Standing or Ducking Fierce, Fierce Sho-Oh-Ken
            Standing Fierce, Fierce Hadoken
            Ducking Jab, Ducking Jab, Standing Short, Fierce Sho-Oh-Ken
    Use the first combo EVERYTIME your opponent misses a move.  This combo takes
    off quite a bit of energy and fills up your super bar very quickly.  Use the
    second combo if your opponent is walking towards you.  If they block they get
    pushed back and if they don't they get hit.  When poking with Short and Jab
    if you connect use the third combo.
    **********SUPER COMBO COMBOS (sounds weird)**********
    Cross-up Forward Combos
            Cross-up Forward, Ducking or Standing Fierce, Shinkuu Hadoken
            Cross-up Forward, Ducking or Standing Fierce, Haru Ichiban
    Air To Ground Combos
            Jumping Fierce, Ducking or Standing Fierce, Shinkuu Hadoken
            Jumping Fierce, Ducking or Standing Fierce, Haru Ichiban
    Ground Combos
            Ducking or Standing Fierce, Shinkuu Hadoken
            Ducking or Standing Fierce, Haru Ichiban
    Being able to do these super combo combos is important but I rarely ever find
    myself using super combos except to cheese people to death when they are
    about to die.  At lower levels they do less damage and have less priority
    than custom combos, the ultimate weapon of SFA2.  I sure if they are wide
    open and you can bust a level three super combo on them for easy damage
    instead of risking a missed custom combo.  If you can do custom combos and
    know when to use them super combos seem very useless.
    **********CUSTOM COMBOS**********
    When To Use Them
            Use them after every missed attack (shoryuken, somersault shell etc)
            because every attack has some delay after them.  Even the slower
            normal attacks can be countered with a custom combo.  You can use
            custom combos to bust through anti air normals such as ducking fierces.
    The Valle Custom Combo
            This is the most powerful weapon in SFA2.  It is named after its
            creator Alex Valle.  When your opponent is a step or two away and
            standing start a custom with a ducking Roundhouse.  The game does not
            allow your opponent to switch from high block to low block enabling
            you to successfully connect with custom combos every time this
            situation occurs.    
    There are literally millions of different custom combos but some take off
    way more damage than others.  An example is Ken's Ducking Roundhouse,
    Roundhouse Tatsumaki Sempuu Kyaku, Fierce Shoryuken custom combo.  For some
    strange reason it just takes off a hell of a lot of damage.  I'll list the
    custom combos that I have found to be the most damaging for certain
    Ground Custom Combos
            Level 1         Ducking Roundhouse, Roundhouse Shunpuu Kyaku, Fierce
    On the ground I have found that there is no level 2 or level 3 custom combo
    that takes off a much more than 2 or 3 of this ground custom combo.  For
    this reason it is no very smart to risk all of your super bar on a level 3
    custom combo that can not take off as much as the low risk of three level 1
    custom combos.  Unless your opponent is wide open for an attack stick to
    the level 1 custom combos.  
    Anti-Air Combos
            Level 1         Ducking Fierce, Roundhouse Shunpuu Kyaku, Fierce
    Since the ducking Fierce has such high priority this is a very low risk
    custom combo.
    Overhead Combos
            Level 2         Flower Kick, Ducking Roundhouse, Roundhouse Shunpuu
                            Kyaku, Fierce Sho-Oh-Ken
    This is used against turtles who basically stay in defensive crouch for most
    of the game.  Even if they Block the Flower Kick sometimes you can still hit
    them with the ducking Roundhouse if they can't change block positions fast
    **********TAUNT CUSTOM COMBOS**********
    Using taunts in  custom combos are the ultimate show-boating techniques.
    Since Sakura can hit with her taunt, and many times I might add, they can
    be placed almost anywhere inside a custom combo.  My personal favorite is
    to drain my opponent until he is almost dead.  Then turtle up and wait for
    him to stick out an attack.  Then start up a custom combo counter with a
    Jab Sho-Oh-Ken and do her taunt.  The taunt kills and hits 2 or 3 times!  It
    is the best way to finish off an opponent.
    14.                             GENERAL STRATEGY
    When Your Super Bar Is Not Charged Up
            Try to stay right next to your opponent as much as possible throwing
            out ducking Shorts, Jabs and Forwards.  If they block a Jab or Short
            walk up and throw them always with the Sakura Strangle.  This will
            set you up for a cross-up attempt.  If they don't block a Jab or
            Short 2 in 1 into a fierce Sho-Oh-Ken.  Cross-up whenever possible.
            After every knockdown go for a cross-up.  Don't try to let up after
            you get a lead.  Sakura does not have a lot of defensive weapons when
            her super bar is not charged up.  Just keep using the Sakura Stangle
            and cross-up attacks whenever possible.  Kill every missed attack
            with a Fierce, Fierce Sho-Oh-Ken combo for big damage.
    When Your Super Bar Is Charged Up
            Every time you see your super bar reach level 1 try and attempt to
            do a level 1 custom.  Since you can not control what level custom
            combo you do when you have more than 1 level you should use it right
            away.  Try and use a Valle custom combo if you are farther away.  If
            you can cross-up do that with a Forward the do a ducking strong into
            a Forward Shunpuu Kyaku.  If they block it start up a custom right
            after for free damage almost every time.  Don't waster your super bar
            on Alpha Counters.  Sakura is not a defensive character and a whole
            level of your super bar goes for a very small amount of damage.
    Against Turtles
            Sakura eats up turtles because them being on the defensive allows
            you to be offensive.  Just keep trying to throw or cross-up whenever
            you can.  If they go with the ducking Fierce all day routine.  Charge
            up and use a jumping custom combo to blow through their attack.
    Against Agressive Characters
            Sakura walks very fast and has very high priority on her ducking
            kicks.  Just be patient and counter away with your ducking Forward.
            When you get your bar filled up block their combo attempt and do a
            custom combo.  When you knock them down you can pour on the pressure
            with ticks and cross-ups.  If they keep attacking you keep sticking
            out ducking Forwards until they back off.  
    15.				     WIN QUOTES        
    1.	Do you have time for another beating before my next class?
    2.	Victory is mine.  Get up loser, so I can smack you again?
    3.	Wow, that was cool, do it again!
    4.	Now you know, justice always prevails!
    I like the last one.  It's kind of comical.  Like something a superhero would
    say after they defeat a bad guy.
    16.				     CREDITS
    Thanks to the unlimited sources from the next where I got various info such
    as colors and win quotes and stuff like that.  I don't know who you are but
    thanks.  Thanks to Ken who got me started with SF2 when SF2:WW came out.  
    Thanks to Nick and Tai who have been my opponents for countless hours for me
    to try out new stuff and get good with Sakura.  Thanks to Ultima (ultima1@
    concentric.net) for the Haru Ichiban trick.

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