xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxx Zangief FAQ, Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix, Xbox 360 xxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ???????????????????NZODDDDDDDDDDDDD$???????????????????????? ????????????????$ZZDZZDDNDDDDDDDDDDDDD8$???????????????????? ???????????????7ZZZZZ$OD~,,,,,,~ODDDDDDDDM?????????????????? ??????????????DZZZ$$,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,DNNDN???????????????? ????????????????D,,,,,,,?+,,,,,,,,~,,,,,,,8DDI?????????????? ??????????????Z,,,,,,$?=$,DO,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,8D8????????????? ?????????????O:,,,,,,,,,~,:D?,,~???????????,,?M????????????? ?????????????,,,,,:,,,,,,????I????????????????I????????????? ????????????D,,?:,,,,,,,,,I????????????????????D???????????? ????????????,??I,,,,,,.N?????I???????7ZZ???????O???????????? ???????????,,,,:,,,,,8NNZ?~,,,??????,,D,~????7ZZ???????????? ??????????7:,7+?7ZODM87M77,,,,IDI?$?~7ZD,,+????ID??????????? ??????????NN?,,$?$ZII$7,,,,,,:DDD?DD??8?O?I?????:D?????????? ????????????O,,,??????,,,,,,?ZDDD7DDD??ZZ????????,D????????? ????????????I,,,+,,,:,,,+,,?OD$???NDDDD8,?Z???????,D???????? ????????????+,,,,$ZZ7~,,,,,?I???IN8ZDDD,,?I???????,,DDI????? ?????????????~,ZZ??8ZZZ$$=$~Z?NZZNDDDD8ZID?????????,,O,,,DI? ??????????????Z8DDDDDDZZZZZZZZDNDDDDDDNDDDZ????????,~?,,,,,8 ?????????????D,?$?IODDINZD8DD8ZDDDDDDDDDNZI??I???????I+,,,,, ????????????DN?Z.:8~,,,?8NDDDDDDDDDNDDDDNNZ???Z??III???,,,,, ?????????O,,,,N,,,,,,???:IINDDDDNDDDDDDDDDDZ??O??III??$,,,,, ???????7,,,,,,,+,IZZZZ??ZDDZNNDDDDDDDDDDDDDDNZ$Z7????ZO?,,,, ????O,,,,,,,,,DDNDZ8Z$ON???NDNNNDDDDDDDDDDDNZZZDD,,,,,,D???? ??D,,,,,,,,,,+NZ88IZ?Z7ZDDNDNDDDDDDDDDDD,,,,,D8,,,,,,7$,,??? 8,,,,,,,,,,,~$OZZO$ZZZZZZZDDODDNDDDDDDD,,,,?,,,,,,,,,????D?? ,,,~,,,,,,,:ZZZZ8D8ZZZZZZZDDDDDDDDNDD,,,,~,:I,,,,:+??IZ8,,+D ,,,,,,,:,,,,8DDZZZZZZZZDDDDDDDDDDDD,,:,7==,+,,,,??I7ZZ,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,DDDNZZZZDNDDNNNNNNNNND,=:,=?????,,???ZZDO,,,,,,? ,,,,,,,,,,,+?I?ONZNNNNNNNNNNNNN8Z,~=,??????????ODZZ8,,,,,,?I ,,,,,,,,,,???IZDONNNNNOZZZONNNND,?7?????O8778DZZZD,,,,,:??I? ,,,,,,,,:???ZZ8NNNNNNNNNZ??ZNNNNZ???I??OZZZZDO?Z,,~=,,,?I?Z8 ,,,I++?????ZDNNNNNNNNNNNNNZ?I$ZDNNNNZZZZZZZZDZ,,,,~,,+???OZZ ,,,,,,~ZZZZONNNNNNNNNNNNNND$ZZZZZONNNNNNZZZZDZ+?$I?+=?I?ZZZZ ,,,,,,,,,,~ODNND:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,?I?DNNDDDNZ:I?I?I?OZZZZZ ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,$,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,??????????$ZDZDI??ZDDZZZZ=, ~,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,?,,,,,,,,,,,,??I????????????IZD:I?I??ZZZZ,,, =?,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I~??????II$?????????????????,,?????ZZZZ,,,, ?==+,,,,,,,,,,,,,,II????????I?????I????NI???,,?????$ZZZ,~,,, 7===?,,,,,,,,,,,,,?7???????????DDD?,,=ODDD8,,,~???ZZZD$7$:?? ,7==$?????~,,,,,,,???????????????7,,,,,,,,,,?,???ZZZZ?,=,=?I ?77??====$????,,:??I?????????????,?~,,,,,,,,???7ZZZZZI??+:ID 7778I7D8777ZI??????ZZI???????????D??I???=???ZZZZZZZZZZZ8DDZZ 7Z??????O777??????ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZD?????ZZZZZDDDDZZZZZZZZZDZ At you can make your own ascii art by simply selecting a picture and clicking a button. To make things perfectly clear, that is not my art, it was simply generated by a program. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~ ~ ~ Table of Contents ~ ~ ~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1.0) Who am I/Who Are You? 2.0) Introduction & Biography 3.0) The Basics ____3.1) Controls ____3.2) Pros/Cons 4.0) Moves and Specials ____4.1) Standard Attacks ____4.2) Throws ____4.3) Specials 5.0) How to execute specials 6.0) General Strategies ____6.1) Avoiding Fireballs ____6.2) Torpedo Attacks ____6.3) Throwing 7.0) Character-Specific Strategies ____7.10) **** Matchups ____7.11) Akuma ____7.12) Dhalsim ____7.13) E. Honda ____7.14) Guile ____7.20) *** Matchups ____7.21) Blanka ____7.22) Chun Li ____7.23) T. Hawk ____7.24) Vega (Claw) ____7.30) ** Matchups ____7.31) Balrog (Boxer) ____7.32) Cammy ____7.33) DeeJay ____7.34) Fei Long ____7.35) Ken ____7.36) M. Bison (Dictator) ____7.37) Ryu ____7.38) Sagat ____7.39) Zangief 8.0) Contact and Legal 9.0) Updates and Thanks ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1.0) Who am I/Who Are You? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I am the man whose FAQ you are reading. There's really not much more to it than that. I can--and will--tell you why I am a credible guide-writer, but it's really much easier for you to skip this introduction and simply begin reading my guide and judge for yourself. Considering you're still reading, I'm assuming you're genuinely interested in learning about me. Good for you. I'm quite flattered. As I write this, I am actually a soon-to-be graduating journalism major looking for a job. While I look at my options, I figure I'll keep my writing muscles pumping so I don't lose them. My Street Fighter experience, which is probably more important than my writing, dates back to the Super Nintendo. Actually--believe me or not--it dates all the way back to the original Street Fighter, when it took a full 360 joystick spin to pull off a hurricane kick! Most will agree, however, that Street Fighter 2 birthed the series as we know it today. Admittedly, I sucked at the game back then. I could barely pull off a fireball and it was a rare day indeed when I could dragon punch successfully. After the original Street Fighter 2, I sort of lost track of the series for a while. Since then I played numerous fighting games ranging from Darkstalkers to Dead or Alive, and even some fighting games that actually had Street Fighter characters in them. A few years ago, I subscribed to Gametap and my interest in the Street Fighter series was revitalized. At first, I played as Ken and Ryu as I did on the Super Nintendo. But honestly, I started to tire of the "fireball, fireball, uppercut" style of play. I by no means suggest there's nothing more to those characters, I just wanted to play as someone different. I chose Zangief because I had always wanted to try him out, but was intimidated by the 360 spin requirements. I looked around online for strategies and I practiced by myself as well. Since then, Zangief has become my main fighter. I find him to be simultanously the most fun and humorous. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2.0) Introduction & Biography ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Zangief is a muscle-bound Russian pro-wrestler who entered the Street Fighter tournament to prove the might of the Soviet Union. His mission was given to him by Mikhail Gorbachev, who was the real-life Russian President when Street Fighter 2 came out. In reality, Zangief is a horrible stereotype. While it can be argued that most SF characters are stereotypes, Zangief stands out amongst them as the worst of all. He's a massive, hairy, hulking beast of a man, and is often portrayed as comically idiotic. Besides just that, Zangief is considered by many to be one of the worst characters. He's slow and clunky, and mostly relies on one very powerful attack to win, but it must be executed at a close distance, so Zangief is always fighting an uphill battle to get close enough for even a chance to win. Thinking (perhaps too much) about Zangief's design unveals an anti-Russian sentiment. To defeat Zangief (and the Soviets?) all we need is to outwit our stupid enemy to keep that mighty power at bay. Ironically, to win as Zangief requires thought, patience, and strategy. So while Zangief as a character is an impatient meatbag of muscle that wrestles bears in the wilderness, to actually use him effectively requires patience, determination, prediction, and strategy. While it is still largely true that Zangief is a one-trick pony with his Spinning Piledriver, it's also true that the move is far from being "cheap" as it requires getting close to his enemy, good timing, and predicting an opponent's attacks to pull it off. No other character is quite like Zangief, which is why he holds a certain level of admiration amongst Street Fighter fans. Even better, he's considered one of the hardest characters to learn how to play (which I would argue against, personally), so Zangief players impress when they gain the skills to win without luck. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3.0) The Basics ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ____3.1) Controls *Note, these controls are for Player 1 (the left side) The following are directional presses on either the control stick or d-pad -> Walk forward V + -> (diagonal) Crouch without block V Crouch without no block V + <- Crouch AND block <- Walk backwards or block <- + ^ Jump backwards ^ Jump straight up ^ + -> Jump forwards P Punch, punches vary from light (weak but quick) to heavy (slow but strong) K Kick, same as punches, they have a Light, Medium, and Heavy variation Controls can be edited to suit an individual player's needs, and sometimes, an individual character's needs. If you're using an XBox 360 controller, this is my opinion for the optimal setup for Zangief: A = Lk B = Hk X = Lp Y = Hp LB = Mk RB = Mp My reasoning behind this setup is that, in Remixed mode, Zangief has two moves that require pressing two buttons together (Fast Lariat = Lk + Lp, Slow Lariat Hk + Hp). In addition, Heavies are used frequently, particularly for throws and jumping attacks. And, medium punches and kicks are fairly useless overall for Zangief, so it shouldn't matter much if they're difficult to access. It's possible to change the controls however you wish, so if my setup isn't working for you, feel free to try something else. ____3.2) Pros/Cons So what now? Well, if you're interested in giving Zangief a shot, then it's important to know some general pros/cons of his fighting style. ~~Pros~~ + Different style of play than any other fighter + Can deal big damage without memorizing complicated combos + Good at keeping pressure on his opponent + Zangief's body splash is one of the best air attacks in the game + Has more throws than any other street fighter ~~Cons~ - No ranged attacks - Moving speed as slow as a turtle - Many of his attacks lack priority - Has some unfortunate (to say the least) matchups, quite possibly some of the worst in the game As a Zangief-player, you'll find that the two most difficult aspects of play is approaching your enemy, and E. Honda. Ha, seriously, Street Fighter is perhaps the most well-balanced fighting game out there--especially considering the vastly different play styles of all the characters. However, Zangief has some pretty bad matchups (See: Akuma). But don't worry about that just yet. To imagine what it's like to play as Zangief, imagine a giant blob of muscle slowing cornering an opponent and crushing them to death. As a slow-moving, hulking beast, it will take patience and determination to get close enough to unleash devastation, but when that devastation is unleashed, man is it satisfying. Zangief is unlike any other Street Fighter character out there. While I admit, it can be incredibly frustrating to get pinned down by fireballs and torpedo attacks, the frustration is lifted when you drill your opponent's head into the ground repeatedly with spinning piledrivers. You'll have a lot of fun with Zangief. Trust me. Just don't be surprised when frustration compels you to slam your head through your new Panasonic TH-50PZ800U plasma HDTV. You've been warned. ~~~~~~~~~~ 4.0) Moves ~~~~~~~~~~ Every character in the game has different "moves" to help gain the upper hand in battle. "Standard Attacks" will only require a button press and perhaps a directional press as well. They range from sweeps to jumping body splashes. Aside from the standard affair, every character also has Specials. Specials are unique attacks that require a certain bit of finesse to execute. This may require pressing two or three buttons together at once, or it may require a complicated string of directional presses before pressing a button to execute. Specials are what make a character truly stand out. In addition to all that, every character also has a "Super" which can only be used when the super meter is filled from attacking your opponent. A fighter's super is the most damaging move, and while they can certainly change the outcome of a fight, they are rarely used more than once per round (oftentimes not even once). ~~~ Key ~~~ Lp, Mp, Hp = Light Punch, Medium Punch, High Punch Lk, Mk, Hk = Light Kick, Medium Kick, High Kick * = Quality of move, * being least quality, **** being greatest quality ____4.1) Standard attacks ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Standing Lp ** ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Description: Zangief throws a quick, 1-frame, short-ranged punch at most characters' head- level. When close, the attack is instead a 4-frame chop that seems to have the same speed and combo potential, but the hitbox is more of an arc starting above Zangief's head. ~~Usage: A standing jab is fairly ineffective, since it leaves Zangief open to sweeps and other low attacks. However, the chop comes in handy sometimes when deflecting opponents' jumpkicks. Unfortunately though, the minimal damage makes it a somewhat ineffective counter. Still, it comes in handy once in a while. Neither the punch nor the chop will ever hit a crouching opponent, even though the chop appears like it should, it's important to note that it does not since only the first two frames of the animation hit. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Standing Mp * ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Description: This attack looks like those body slaps that pro-wrestlers do all the time. It's a quick backhand of sorts aimed at the chest. ~~Usage: I honestly do not think I've ever intentionally used this move in any real fight. For anti-air, Standing Lp is better. And for attacking a standing opponent, Standing Lp is still better because you'll likely get a two-hit combo in for more damage than this move. You'll soon forget you even have a standing medium punch. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Standing Hp * ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Description: Standing Hp is a huge haymaker of a swing directed at head-level. Zangief opens his mouth wide while swinging. It's quite intimidating (in a humorous way of course) ~~Usage: Occasionally, Zangief's standing Hp is useful against jumping attacks, but "occassionally" is not a reliable word by any means. More often than not, there's a better attack to use against a jumping opponent and a better move to use in a more general sense. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Forward Hp **** Leaping Headbutt ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Description: When pressing forward, instead of throwing a haymaker, Zangief takes a short leap and hurls his head forward. The range of the attack itself is quite short, but the leap beforehand covers enough distance to make it one of Zangief's longest-range attacks. ~~Usage: Due to its multiple uses, Zangief's leaping headbutt is one of his best attacks. The quick leap covers a good distance with very little risk, making it an occasionally diserable alternative to jumping in. Deliberately missing the headbutt to get in close for a throw is a great tactic. Aside from just movement, the leaping headbutt can be used as an anti-air attack, or an evasive manuever to actually get underneath air attacks. Lastly, and easily the most tricky, this attack can actually be used as a way to leap over a fallen opponent. Dubbed a "corpse hop," this tricky manuever allows Zangief to get on the other side of an fallen opponent without jumping. It's an interesting tactic that can mess with an enemy's mind, but when used too frequently, is easy to predict. It's also possible to hop sweeps, but I find trouble making this reliable enough to use frequently. However, I did once headbutt leap over a Guile's sweep into Zangief's Super from his backside. It was quite satisfying I must admit. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Standing Lk ** (from far: Shin Kick, when close: knee) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Description: Standing light kick is a quick, but severely short-ranged, standing attack that hits low. It's important to note that the range of the attack is actually a bit shorter than the tip of his feet. When at a very short range, the quick shin kick turns into a slower knee to the torso. ~~Usage: It's good to switch it up now and then, and a quick standing kick that hits low does that well. Since it's low damaging and difficult to combo with, it's best used as an occasional tap or a distraction followed by a throw. It comes in handy but don't overuse it. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Standing Mk ** ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Description: Zangief throws a turning sidekick to the torso. The attack extends quite far and is Zangief's longest range mid attack. When up close, 'kief instead extends his leg forward to the torso with a little less range and slower speed. ~~Usage: Since this attack is his longest standing attack, Standing Mk comes in handy as a poke. The only problem with poking is it's usually a defensive move used to keep an opponent AWAY, and Zangief always wants to get in close to deal huge damage with his throws. But, when a poke is needed (to switch it up or if the opponent is dangerously low on health) then this is your best bet. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Standing HK ** (close: Roundhouse Tumble) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Description: From a distance, Zangief leans backwards and kicks his leg diagonally, aiming for the head. Despite being a high kick, the attack is fairly fast, but the horizontal range is pretty short. When used at a face-to-face distance, Zangief does a spinning-dropkick of sorts, which hits once at torso height and then again at head height. ~~Usage: The longer range kick is good as an anti-air attack sometimes. It's not wholly reliable and depends mostly on the type of jumping attack. The two-hit up-close version is great for causing dizzies, just two of these bad boys in a row will rack up huge damage and cause a dizzy, but it's easy to get knocked out of and if the enemy is ducking only the first part will hit. Overall, Standing Hk is a good fierce attack, just don't use either version wrecklessly otherwise you'll leave yourself open. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Crouching Lp ** ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Description: With his hand in a cup shape, Zangief quickly jabs at knee-level with his fingertips. ~~Usage: Zangief's low jab can be used as a semi-reliable counter to "torpedo" attacks (Honda's headbutt, Blanka's ball-roll, etc.). However, its reliability in that regard is directly related to how fast the button is pressed. The attack can also be used as a quick combo, or as a quick tap to set up a throw. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Crouching Mp * ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Description: This attack looks similar to Zangief's standing Hp haymaker, except without the followthrough and it's performed while crouching. The attack hits at torso level. ~~Usage: Just like Zangief's standing Mp, I forgot this move existed. It's simply an in- between attack that rarely has a specific use. In every situation I can think of, it's either better to sweep or use his crouching Hp or Lp. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Crouching Hp ** ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Description: His crouching high punch looks exactly like his standing high punch, except without his body twisting in followthrough. It still seems to have the same slow speed however. ~~Usage: The range isn't quite as long as his sweep, so for hitting low the Croucing Hp isn't the best way to go. Instead, this move can, oddly enough, be used as a means to counter jumps. Specifically, lead designer of the game Sirlin said it was deliberately created to counter Vega's jumps. So there you go. As strange as it may seem, Zangief's Crouching Hp is best used as a counter to certain jumping attacks, in particular, quick jumpers like Vega and Blanka. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Crouching Lk * ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Description: Crouching Lk, Mk, and Hk all look EXACTLY the same, except they have different ranges and sound effects. Zangief basically just sticks his leg out. Lk in particular has a very short range. ~~Usage: This attack is deceiving, because you actually have to hit with Zangief's KNEE. Yeah, it's that short. And the lack of speed means it can't be comboed like his Crouching Lp. Honestly, the only use I can see for this move is to fake like you're going to sweep. Since Zangief's sweep is slow, most people will try to counter it, which can leave them open for a throw. I don't know. I'm just throwing that out there. Other than that I don't see much a point in his crouching Lk. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Crouching Mk ** ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Description: Zangief kicks his leg out in a strikely similar fashion to Lk, except it has a hint more range and is a bit slower and more damaging. ~~Usage: Similar to Crouching Lk, I see little point in this move. It isn't long enough to poke. The only point is to set up a throw. The best use of this move is right after a jump kick, and following the crouching Mk, pull off a running throw. That way, you're hitting high, then low, then throwing. But as a stand- alone, this move is virtually useless. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Crouching Hk *** ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Description: Once again, Zangief extends his leg out, and once again, this one is a slower yet longer range version than the one that preceeded it. ~~Usage: In reality, Zangief's sweep is kinda slow and has less range than a lot of characters, but I gave it *** simply because tripping an opponent gives Zangief time to get in close, which is always his gameplan. It's best not to rely on this move too much, since characters like Ken, Ryu, Blanka, and many more have better sweeps, but a well placed sweep is the best means to get in close. So use it when you see an opening. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Jumping Lp ** ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Description: Similar to his standing Lp, Zangief jumps in the air and performs a chop. The move extends slightly below his torso. ~~Usage: I haven't used this move extensively in practice, but it's a theoretically good move for countering air attacks. It doesn't have great range, however, and it's rather challenging to time right when hitting a grounded opponent. So I wouldn't rely on it too much. If no other anti-air move is working, give this one a shot. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Jumping Mp * ~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Description: Exactly like the preceeding attack, only instead Zangief's hand extends a little further. ~~Usage: It's not as fast so it doesn't have the same priority as Lp, meaning it wouldn't be as good of a anti-air move. And it's not as good as Hp for approaching grounded opponents. So it's another forgettable medium punch in Zangief's library of attacks. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Jumping Hp *** ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Description: Zangief extends his body horizontally and then throws a hook straight forwards, giving the move a good horizontal reach but very little vertical. When jumping straight into the air, Zangief instead chops similarly to the Mp and Lp attacks. ~~Usage: While not his best air attack, Jumping Hp is a good in-between move. This is a nice change of pace, considering Zangief's in-betweeners are usually pointless. But this move works decently as both an approach to grounded fighters and as an anti-air attack. It's not a bad move to try out when you're not sure what your opponent will do next. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Jumping (only straight up) + Up + Hp or Mp ** (Kuuchuu Headbutt) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Description: The animation to this move is virtually imperceptible. Zangief leaps straight into the air and moves his head slightly for 1 frame. The duration of the move is literally a split second, so it's very difficult to notice. ~~Usage: The only conceivable use for this incredibly odd move that I never knew existed until I looked up a move FAQ is as an anti-air attack. The move must be timed perfectly, but it does work well for stuffing air attacks, but the opponent must be right above Zangief for the move to be effective at all. This makes it a decent counter to opponents attempting a cross-up. I only say "decent" because it doesn't always work and requires quite a bit of foresight to use. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Jumping + Down Hp **** (Body Splash) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Description: When holding down when Hp is pressed, instead of doing the last move I mentioned, Zangief will instead throw his hands outward and splash down on his opponent with his entire body. Zangief's whole body becomes the range of the attack, instead of just his fists or feet like most jumping attacks. ~~Usage: I've heard some say this is the best jumping attack in the game. While I wouldn't quite go that far, it is definitely one of Zangief's best. The move can crossup, which in case you don't what that means, is basically a jump that goes over the opponent and hits on the other side (meaning it has to be blocked the opposite direction). Other than the crossup, the sheer size of this attack is massive, and it's priority is very high, so if it's timed just right it can either beat or at least trade damage with most moves in the game. Even certain characters uppercuts can be either stuffed or tied with the body splash. The only downside is, compared to Zangief's normal jumping Hp and his jumping kicks, the body splash doesn't have as much horizontal range. But when close enough, %80 of the time this is the best jumping attack to use. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Jumping Lk ** Jumping + Down + Lk (Knee Drop) ** ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Description: Zangief extends his feet horizontally similar to a dropkick in pro wrestling shows. This particular version is quick but very short ranged. When hitting down at the same time, Zangief instead drops his knees down for very little horizontal range traded for vertical range. ~~Usage: Both Jumping Lks are semi-useful. The dropkick is decent to counter air attacks, while the knee is ok (but not as useful as the Mk version) at approaching a grounded opponent. Overall, Jumping Lk is mostly outclassed by other jumping attacks. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Jumping Mk ** Jumping + Down + Mk (Knee Drop) *** ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Description: Like before, the two versions are a dropkick, this time with a little more range and slightly less speed, and a knee, which this time is much easier to combo with but has slightly less speed. ~~Usage: The dropkick is not as useful as the knee, but the knee must be used very close and is outclassed by the bodysplash a lot of the time. However, the knee is quicker (the hitbox is lower so it will approach the opponent faster). The knee can also be used to counter certain attacks like torpedos. Overall, a decent, reliable move that takes some getting used to, but becomes a good move in Zangief's arsenal, if nothing else but to switch it up every now and again. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Jumping Hk **** ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Description: Zangief performs a dropkick, this version has the longest range and damage. There is no Hk version of the knee drop, however. ~~Usage: When the Body Splash is not the optimal choice (either because the enemy is too far away or is jumping), Zangief's Jumping Hk fills in the gaps the majority of the time. It's my favorite of the dropkicks because it does the most damage and has very little difference in speed. However, it takes some getting used to because, unlike the other dropkicks, the move quickly attacks and vanishes. It means you have to have perfect timing to execute it properly. But when you get the hang of it, it's an excellent attack to counter airborn opponents and grounded alike. And, perhaps best of all, it's easy to use this move just a little too soon to deliberately miss and go right into a powerful throw. ____4.2) Throws *Note: these throws are Zangief's basic throws, for his special throws, skip to the Specials section. Also, every throw requires about a face-to-face distance to execute ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Forward or Backward + Mp ~Piledriver~ ** ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Description: Zangief grabs his opponent, hops into the air, and drives his opponent head- first into the ground. ~~Usage: Even though Zangief has many more damaging throws in his arsenal, if caught off guard, a piledriver will do the trick. It has an added bonus of keeping Zangief pretty close to his enemy. Sometimes, it's a good idea to use a normal Piledriver instead of Zangief's Spinning Piledriver, just so you don't have to worry about closing the distance again. But in most situations, there is better option out there. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Forward or Backward + Mk ~Suplex~ * ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Description: Zangief hoists his opponent high into the air, and falls backward to slam into the ground. ~~Usage: Not much, honestly. This throw is like the piledriver only it pushes the opponent even farther back. So unless you just get bored, don't bother. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Forward or Backward + Hp ~Iron Claw~ *** ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Description: Zangief grabs his opponent on the face and squeezes several times. ~~Usage: The amount of times Zangief hits the opponent depends on how fast you can tap directions and buttons compared to your opponent. This can rack up a surprising amount of damage, even rivaling the damage output of his Special throws. But then again, it can also do very little damage. So it's kind of risky. Usually you will get more damage in than the Piledriver or Suplex, however, so it's worth a try, especially when it's unexpected, because you'll likely get in a few hits before your opponent realizes what's happening. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Down-Back or Down or Down-Forward + Mp or Hp ~Stomch Claw~ **** ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Description: While crouching, Zangief grabs his opponent in the... err, uhhh, "stomach," and squeezes several times, while his opponent looks susupiciously as if his/her crotch is being crushed. Just saying. ~~Usage The "Stomach Claw" is one of Zangief's best grabs, because he's the only charcter privilaged enough to have a crouching grab. It's a somewhat situational move, as you have to be extremely close and crouching to pull it off, and it's a bit risky because it's another that requires fast directional taps and button presses, but this situational, risky grab is a one-of-a-kind, so use to your advantage. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Forward or Backward + Mk or Hk ~Brain Buster~ *** ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Description: Zangief grabs his opponent and noms on their brains. In all seriousness, Z literally does grab ahold of his opponent and bites in the face. ~~Usage: Just like the Iron Claw and Stomach Claw, the Brain Buster is a multi-hitter depending on button pressing and directional tapping. From my experience, this one in particular seems to hit less than the others, but it could just be bad luck. You might want to use this one instead, if nothing else but because biting an opponent's face is both intimidating and hilarious. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Jumping + Mp or Hp ~Kuuchuu Deadly Dive~ ** ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Description: While airborn, Zangief grabs his opponent out of the air and whips them to the ground. ~~Usage: Aerial throws are theoretically useful, but in practice it's much more difficult. Getting close enough to an opponent to throw means risking a swift boot to the face. Still, it's nice to have, even if its execution is oftentimes accidental or the result of luck. To increase the chance of luck shining on you, get in the habbit of tapping down when you jump into the air. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Jumping + Mk or Hk ~Kuuchuu Leg Throw~ ** ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Description: After grabbing in midair, Zangief hurls his opponent over his head. ~~Usage: Not much has changed since the Deadly Dive. I find aerial throws to be very risky when deliberately attempted, meaning it's usually just dumb luck once in a while when I pull it off. Still, the dumb luck comes in handy once in a while. ____4.3) Specials ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Green Hand *** ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Classic: Forward, downforward, down + any punch Remixed: Down, downforward, forward + any punch Description: Zangief takes a step forward while spinning around and throwing out a giant green backhand which can stuff fireballs. Usage: Yes, it can stop fireballs, but unfortunately, even the quicker Lp version will leave Zangief open to counter attack. And on top of that, it takes quite a bit of precision to consistently stuff a fireball with it (you basically have to "catch" the fireball with the green hand). Overall, the move is not as useful as it probably should be, as an attack anyway. So, it's much more useful and safer to use the Green Hand as a means to quickly move closer to your opponent. It's important to note that all three punches seem to have the same damage and range, so you should ALWAYS use the Lp version because it has the quickest recovery time. And finally, Green Hand actually does work fairly well as a "Finishing move" when the enemy is low on health. It's fast and stuffs a lot of attacks, making it more likely to land. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Fast Lariat *** ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Classic: All three Kicks at the same time Remixed: Lp + Lk Description: While holding out his arm, Zangief spins in a circle to avoid projectiles and to knock his opponent on the ground. This version is not necessarily faster, but it does end sooner. It's only two revolutions total, and during the first Z is immune to low attacks. Usage: Fast Lariat is usually just enough time to pass by fast fireballs, but the fewer spins means he's more vulnerable against slow fireballs. Both Lariats are not only useful against fireballs, they're both great moves for stuffing people. The move, particularly when it's first initiated, is great and countering all sorts of attacks, but the timing must be perfect, and since the spin hits forward-backward-forward, etc, it's sometimes random and unreliable. But overall, it's both a great desperation move and to use as a counter. The Fast Lariat is the better choice for countering since it has a better recovery. The Fast Lariat is also immune to sweeps for the first spin. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Slow Lariat *** ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Classic: All three Punches at the same time Remixed: Mk + Mp OR Hk + Hp Description: Same as the Fast Lariat, only instead of just two revolutions, Zangief spins three times. Usage: The Slow Lariat is the better pick for fireballs, since it will give you more time to pass through. Be careful though, because fireballers love to just throw one at you and then immediately sweep or uppercut, so sometimes it's better to pass through casually instead of barreling forward in the hope that you'll nail them with the spin. Overall, each Lariat has a specific use but it's best to mix them up once in a while. If the enemy is expecting three spins and you only give them two, it can allow enough time to throw in another attack. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Spinning Piledriver **** ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Classic: 360 spin (It's actually about 270, but close enough) + any punch Remixed: Half circle from forward to back + forward + any punch, OR, Half circle from back to forward + back + any punch Description: From a distance, Zangief looks like he hugs himself. If you see this, you've missed. 'Kief must be within about Standing Hp distance to nail the attack, and when he does, he jumps high into the air while spinning and driving his opponent's head straight into the ground for devastating damage. Usage: A whole section can, and will, be dedicated to how and when to use Zangief's SPD. But, to wrap it up as concisely as possible, it's best to use the SPD when it's least expected. Throw a quick Lp and then SPD. Jump in without a kick and when you land, SPD. When you successfully block an attack and your opponent is close enough, reversal with an SPD. This attack, aside from Zangief's super, is his most powerful. So use it whenever you see an opening. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Running Grab and Double Suplex **** ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Classic: 360 spin (270, in actuality) + any kick Remixed: Half circle back to forward + any kick, or, Half circle forward to back + any kick Description: From afar, Zangief will throw his hands up in the air and charge forward. If he runs into his enemy, he will grab and drive his opponent into the ground. If he misses, he'll look like he hugs himself (he must feel bad about himself...). However, if you're already face-to-face to your opponent, Zangief will instead automatically grab the character, perform a back suplex, jump into the air, and slam the opponent down for another back suplex. Usage: This attack is easier to pull off than the SPD, seems to do more damage, and has the bonus that if the short version misses, then 'Kief will charge forward and attempt the less damaging running throw. What's the deal? Why not just screw the SPD and go Double Suplex all the way? Well, to perform the DS, Zangief must be close enough to perform normal throws. This means you're close enough that your opponent could throw you. With the SPD, you could be about a punch-length's away and still hit your opponent. So, all in all, SPD is the better move, but it's directional input is more difficult. As for the Running Grab, well, its minimal damage output and fireball vulnerability can make it difficult to use properly, but, when used unexpectedly, can add up damage suprisingly fast. ~~~~~~~~ Super ** ~~~~~~~~ Classic: Two 360 spins + any punch Remixed: Two half circles, back to forward, + back + any punch OR Two half circles, forward to back, + forward + any punch Description: Usage: This move is broken. It doesn't work the right way. Lead designer Sirlin deliberately made it so you had to be within a hair's distance, which is fine, but I've only had success pulling it off by doing THREE full circles and only in the clockwise direction. It should work spinning either way, but it doesn't seem to. So, because of this, it's virtually impossible to pull off. It doesn't matter much, though, because it's rather rare that you'll need it. Usually by the time the Super meter is full, a normal SPD is sufficient to finish your opponent off. But in those rare moments that you'd need it, you simply cannot rely on it. It's kinda a bummer because it's one of the flashiest and most impressive supers in the game. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 5.0) How to execute specials ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Having trouble pulling off a Spinning Piledriver? You've come to the right place. This section is a more detailed means of executing special attacks, with an emphasis on Zangief's throws. *Note: It is assumed that you are playing in "Remixed" mode. All of Zangief's specials are easier to execute in Remixed, so if you're having a hard time using his moves, don't even look at "Classic." Green Hand: One of Zangief's easiest specials. If you can't pull this one off yet, it's best to master it before moving on to another. To execute, start off by pressing down with either the d-pad, control stick, arcade stick, or whatever you happen to have. Then, "roll" the stick from down to forward and press any punch right when you get to forward. If you do it right, you should quickly go from down, to down-forward, to forward + punch, and Zangief will whip out a giant green hand to smite his enemies. If you accidentally do a crouching punch, you likely hit the punch button too soon. If you jumped forward, you likely moved the control stick too far upwards. Remember to stop when you hit forward. Fast Lariat: Press Lp + Lk at the same time. That's it. It's deceptively simple, since it can be surprisingly difficult to press two buttons together at the same time (especially on a controller) when in a pinch. So practice for a couple minutes until it becomes just about as easy as simply pressing one button. If executed correctly, Zangief should throw his hands out and spin in a circle for two spins. Slow Lariat: Press Hp + Hk at the same time, or press Mp + Mk at the same time. If you can't get this down, either you're pressing the wrong two buttons together (consult your control settings) or you're just not destined for fighting games. If you do it correctly, Zangief should stick his hands out and spin three times. Running Grab: Start off holding back, and then roll to the "down" position and (without stopping), roll to forward and hit any K. If you do it successfully, you should cover back, back-down, down, down-forward, forward + K, and Zangief holds his hands upward and runs forward. If Zangief jumps instead, you went too far on the "roll" (make sure to stop at forward). If Zangief crouches and kicks, either you didn't go far enough with the roll, or you pressed K too soon. The Running Grab is a bit more advanced than the Green Hand. So make sure you get the Green Hand motion down first before attempting to master the Running Grab. *Note: You can also do the Running Grab by starting forward and rolling the stick to back + K. If you're having trouble, switch between the two to see which you're more comfortable with. Double Suplex: If you've mastered the Running Grab, all it takes is being a hair's distance away to perform the Double Suplex. Instead of opening his hands and running forward, Zangief will instead grab his opponent and unleash a devastating wrestling smash. Spinning Piledriver: Always Zangief's most advanced attack, it is thankfully much easier to pull off now in Remixed, meaning Zangief is a much more approachable character. To execute a Spinning Piledriver, you must be close to your opponent. Start off by holding forward, then rolling until you reach back, then quickly tap forward (without rolling) and punch. The directions you press should be: forward, foward-down, down, down-back, back, forward + punch. If you jump or crouch, you're likely not doing the last part successfully. To practice, simply tap the controller back, forward, back, forward, back, forward. Do this until you can reliably move foward/back over and over without crouching or jumping. Then try the Spinning Piledriver again. A successful execution will result in Zangief grabbing his opponent, leaping far into the air while spinning, and slamming his opponent's head straight into the ground. If Zangief merely looks like he's hugging himself, you properly executed the move, Z just wasn't close enough to actually grab his opponent with it. Spinning Piledriver (Classic): The Spinning Piledriver used to be a full 360 degree spin + any punch. It's still possible to execute the SPD in this fashion, even if you select remix mode, and sometimes it's easier and actually more desirable to use this command. Yeah I know, sounds crazy right. But here's the best example. If you jump at your opponent without attacking, and land close enough, while you're in the air you can spin the control stick around in a full circle, so that when you land you simply press punch to execute the SPD. This sounds mighty complex, but when you break it down into managable pieces it's not as hard as you'd think. Start off by simply jumping in the air and attempting to spin a full directional rotation before hitting the ground. If you do it right, Zangief will jump into the air and land, seemingly without any other directional input. When you feel comfortable completing a full rotation in that short amount of time, simply try to press the punch button right when Zangief lands. Learning how to do the SPD by 360 degree rotation (note, the game is leniant and will accept 270) will allow many more doors to open up with Zangief, and since every other game the SPD is a 360, learning how to use the move in this way will allow you to actually use Zangief in other Street Fighters as well. Multi-hit Grab throws: Grabs like Zangief's Stomach Claw and Brain Buster will hit multiple times while the opponent is held helpless. To increase the amount of hits, tap in multiple directions and press attack buttons quickly. To get the most directions possible, tap between the corners. For example, tapping between up- back and down-forward will cover up, back, down, and forward all in two taps. Also, don't spin the control stick around in circles. Not only is this less effective than quick corner taps, it's far more difficult (just like rubbing your belly while tapping your head) to spin the control stick and push buttons at the same time. This technique should make the most of those grabs, but it also depends on how well your opponent can tap directions and push buttons to escape. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 6.0) General Strategies ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The most important strategy for Zangief is learning how to unleash his devastating throws. Most beginning players use throws completely by accident, but learning how to throw is the most important aspect of Zangief's game. As such, my general strategies will focus on how to get those powerful throws in, but I'll also give some advice on other aspects of Zangief's game. ____6.1) Avoiding Fireballs Perhaps the most important strategy to Zangief is learning how to avoid fireballs. The simplest method is simply to block, but that deals slight damage over time and is not going to get you anywhere. The next strategy is to jump, but that leaves you open for attack, since most fireball characters have a good means of hitting airborn opponents. The only other choice besides block and jump are Zangief's specials: Fast and Slow Lariats, and Green Hand, AND throws (yes, believe it or not). Slow Lariat is the easiest way to get past fireballs--even easier than jumping since Zangief's jump is kind of slow. So if you need a surefire thing, Slow Lariat is the way to go. Unfortunately, Slow Lariat is indeed quite slow, and you're left open for sweeps during the attack. Fast Lariat and Green Hand are quicker means of avoiding fireballs. Remember, with Green Hand you have to "catch" the fireball with the green hand, so the timing is much different than the "pass through" style of the Lariats. Once you get down the timing, you'll find approaching your fireballing opponent to take much less time. Lastly, throws. Zangief's special throws, if timed exactly when the opponent throws a fireball, will actually connect and ignore the fireball entirely. It's quite rare to Spinning Piledriver an opponent through a fireball (since it requires being so close), but it is possible, and yes quite hilarious and rewarding when it works. More likely than the SPD is the Running Grab. It's risky I admit, but from about 1/3 a screen's distance away, it's possible to Running Grab and actually grab your opponent right when he throws a fireball, causing your enemy to be slammed into the ground while the fireball harmlessly passes by. Ah, the Glory Days of Zangief are so sweet, but oh so rare. Anyway. The best strategy to avoiding fireballs is to mix it up. Start off with a Slow Lariat. When the next fireball comes, Fast Lariat. If you're close enough that a sweep might be coming up, attempt to leaping headbutt over it and slam that Ken down with a devestating SPD. Next time, catch a fireball with a Green Hand, then jump over the next one and connect with a Hk, followed by a Running Grab. Listen, you get the point. Mix it up. Stay unpredictable. Master that Green Hand. I really want to drive the Green Hand home because fireballers rely on their spacial judgment to tell when and what kind of fireball to throw, but the Green Hand is fast and disorients their judgment, while Lariats (perhaps easier to do) are very easy to keep track of distance-wise. Other than all this, there's nothing more I can tell you but practice practice practice! ____6.2) Torpedo Attacks Torpedo Attacks are far more deadly to Zangief than fireballs. Just so there is no confusion, Torpedo attacks are special moves some characters have that propel them forward. Honda's Torpedo Headbutt, Blanka's roll, M. Bison (Dictator)'s spinning fireball of death thing. Balrog (Boxer)'s charge attacks are slightly different than torpedos and typically less threatening, so I'll focus on the others in this section. The reason why these attacks are so deadly to Zangief is that they are some of the strongest defensive attacks in the game. This might seem odd as a fat man hurling himself forward at you headfirst seems quite offensive, but the deal is, when blocked the moves keep the torpedo'er' far enough away to typically avoid any reversals, and, even more irritating, they are great at preventing you from approaching. Take E. Honda's headbutt. The move gets him in close enough to use his other specials (Hundred Handslap, Buttbomb, etc), but NOT close enough to throw. Grr. But, when you try and walk forward or jump, the headbutt will stuff your attack 9 times out of 10. Quite frustrating. There are a few tactics that work... sometimes, with varying degrees of success quite related to your skills. The first tactic, which is available to all fighters, is to crouch and hit Lp as quickly as possible. Jabs, when timed perfectly, will ALWAYS stop a torpedo attack. The only problem is that split-second (almost impossible) timing, which is why it's easier and more likely to work by simply smashing the button as quickly as possible. The only problem is that some people don't have turbo- fingers (or turbo controllers). Another tactic is a well-timed Lariat, because even if you miss, there IS a chance the Lariat will hit anyway. Unfortunately, the chance seems about 1/4 in your favor, but it's better than nothing right? Bah. This tactic mostly requires timing so exact it's nearly impossible to make it reliable enough to use as a consistent counter. The last tactic I have is to jump backwards, or straight in the air. Jumping backwards works best when you're backed up in a corner. The idea behind this tactic is not to disrupt the torpedo, but to avoid it entirely and then counter attack when the torpedo stops. If timed right, Zangief can leap over a torpedo attack, land, and (assuming the opponent is close enough) punish with a Spinning Piledriver. None of these techniques are 100% reliable, and you're simply out of luck if you don't have the timing or rapid fingers to execute them. But thems the breaks. I'd love a more reliable means of dealing with torpedos, but there simply isn't, particularly Honda's headbutt and Blanka's roll. ____6.3) Throwing Zangief's Spinning Piledriver and Double Suplex are some of the most powerful Specials in the game. Getting off two SPDs will most likely mean the round is yours. They are so powerful, in fact, they are the sole reason for choosing Zangief... unless you really love a gargantuan, muscle-bag, hairy Russian wearing almost nothing at all. If that's your reason, that's cool I guess, but for the rest of us, it's of dire importantance to learn these deadly throws. The following are a list of the various ways to SPD your way to victory. Walking SPD) The most direct means of piledriving your opponent into oblivion is to simply walk close enough (about Standing Hp distance) and executing the throw. The problem, of course, is that most opponents will defend themselves. However, sometimes an opponent will just sit and block. In which case, it's leaving them wide open for a walking SPD. Jumping SPD) When at about a 1/2 screen's distance away, jump. While in midair do the motion for an SPD (I find doing a 360 rotation in this case easier), and when you land complete the attack with a punch button. It's even possible to throw out a phony Hk while in midair, deliberately missing with it, so when you land the blocking opponent is wide open for a SPD. Leaping Headbutt into a SPD) By deliberately missing with a leaping headbutt (forward + Hp), it's possible to close the distance and SPD right away. It takes a bit of practice to pull off the motion fast enough, but once you do, it's possible to leap over sweeps and SPD, or to simply leap to close the distance and SPD. The whole technique is so quick it can take an opponent off guard for a free chuck of damage. Standing SPD) If an opponent is standing over your fallen body, as you stand you can pull off the motion and hit P at just the right time to SPD. Once you get this down, it really is a free (approximately) 1/3 of the opponent's health bar knocked off for foolishly getting close to Zangief. Reversal SPD) Reversals are specials executed right after blocking. If your opponent is too close and attacks Zangief, it's possible to pull off a split-second 360 spin + P to reversal into an SPD, and if your opponent is close enough, they are going for a very painful ride. One of the best attacks to reversal is a jumpkick that hits too soon. If the opponent hits you too soon, the attack cannot be comboed, which means a Reversal SPD is an almost 100% certainty. Practice the Reversal SPD over and over again, it can be your best tool for massive damage. "Ticking") Ticking is a technical term amongst the SF community that basically means to execute an attack that is meant to be blocked, and then perform a throw afterwards. The attack must be very quick, so Lks and Lps are preferred. Here's how you do it. Light punch your opponent. When the Lp is blocked, do the motion for an SPD, but wait until the block animation is complete before pressing P and finishing the attack. Trying to SPD too quickly will result in a whiff, while too slow will give your opponent an opportunity to attack or move out of the way. Keep in mind that "Ticking" can ALWAYS be reversaled, but reversaling a quick hit like an Lp or Lk is rather difficult, so ticking works frequently, but clever opponents will learn how to avoid this tactic or reversal you so you can't pull off the SPD. Poke into a Running Grab) While not as powerful as a SPD, the Running Grab does decent damage, and decent damage is better than none right? This technique makes it much easier to pull off a Running Grab rather than just attempting it out of the blue. Simply attack with a long-range standard move like Standing Mk, and right after it hits or is blocked, attempt a Running Grab. Since the initial attack pushes both of you away, most opponents won't expect a throw to followup. The distance gives the player enough time to react and avoid the Running Grab, but it takes good reflexes. Jumping Hk, Crouching Mk, Running Grab) This combo is so useful I figured I'd give it it's own section. This combo essentially hits high, low, and then runs in for a grab. Between all three of those attacks, it's likely at least one will be successful. The only problem is getting close enough to pull it off. Double Suplex) Even though the Double Suplex is easier to pull off and deals greater damage, as I explained in the moves section, the SPD is much more reliable and should be used most of the time. The Double Suplex range is the biggest detractor. You have to be within normal throw range (face-to-face) to pull it off, otherwise Zangief will perform the Running Grab instead. Because of this, it's generally better to use the SPD. But switch it up once in a while, the extra damage can come in handy. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 7.0) Character-Specific Strategies ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Having trouble fighting a specific character? Well, look no further. I've arranged this section into three catagories all based on the level of difficulty a particular character will give Zangief. I'll start with 4-star difficulty and work my way down from there. Since I don't believe Zangief is specifically in the advantage against any one character, there is no 1-star difficulty section. **** Zangief's hardest matchups Akuma Dhalsim E. Honda Guile *** Zangief's challenging matchups Blanka Chun Li T. Hawk Vega (Claw) ** Zangief's even matchups Balrog (Boxer) Cammy DeeJay Fei Long Ken M. Bison (Dictator) Ryu Sagat Zangief ____7.10) **** Matchups ____7.11) Akuma Strengths: Air fireball, red fireball, Raging Demon super, Hurricane Kick, Dragon Punch Weaknesses: Receives *slightly* more damage than other characters Description: This character is broken. There, I said it. And I'll say it again. This character is broken, particularly so in this matchup. The air fireball can be used for traps, combos, crossups, and for running away in a corner jumping up and down, and the worst part is, there's very little risk involved, especially since Lariats cannot seem to pass through aerial fireballs. Sure, there's the Green Hand, but even if you hit Akuma with it, it's pretty likely you'll be vulnerable afterwards. His "Raging Demon" super can only really be avoided by jumping (you can't even hit him out of it). If that's not BS enough, his teleports, Dragon Punches, and Hurricane Kicks means he pretty much owns the entire match and tells it where to go. Just about Zangief's only hope is to poke him to death with Jumping Hk, Lariating through ground fireballs (which will just set you up for his Super unfortunately), and lucky Running Grabs and SPDs. Since Akuma eats up more damage than any other character, your only real hope is to poke, slap, and lucky-throw your way to victory. ____7.12) Dhalsim Strengths: Limbs have incredible range, fireball and flame can keep you at a distance, teleports and spinning aerials can help him run away Weaknesses: Once you get close enough, it's difficult for Dhalsim to slip away Digression: This is what I would call a fair bad matchup. What do I mean? Well, while Akuma can simply hose you hardcore, Dhalsim is a logically bad matchup for Zangief, since he's the strongest range-fighter in the game, while Zangief has to get close to deal damage. Also, unlike against Akuma, once you get close YOU have the advantage, so with enough practice it's possible to find ways to get in on Dhalsim and turn the tides. With Akuma, that's not really the case. But anyway, back to the program folks. Description: Remember when Luke Skywalker had to destroy the deathstar by implausibly shooting those photon-whatevers into that tiny little hole to blow the whole thing up? That's the kind of situation you'll be dealing with against Dhalsim. I'm not saying you'll need The Force, but there is a certain kind of something you have to tap into to stand a chance. Dhalsim's "normal" attacks can stretch across between half-2/3rds of the entire screen, and his fireball reaches all the way across. In addition, he has a flame attack that can counter your jump- ins. The key to defeating Dhalsim is patience and prediction. If you know what is coming next, you'll know to either block, jump, or try and counter with a quick jab or a Lariat (perfectly timed Lariats can counter a stretchy-limb). When you see an opening--take it. Try and get as close as possible. If you're close enough, it's possible to leap D-Sim's flame and wollup him with a body splash. Follow that up with an SPD, and he'll be in a world of hurt. Once you SPD, don't let up, try and get back to face-to-face position as quickly as possible. Be patient, learn to predict, and don't let up. This is a very challenging, but fair, matchup for Zangief. With enough practice, you might be able to knock a star off the difficulty rating. ____7.13) E. Honda Strengths: Various torpedo headbutts can counter almost anything you have, hundred hand slaps can cause big damage and is difficult to avoid Weaknesses: As a bigger character, Zangief doesn't fly as far away from E. Honda as most characters after an SPD, giving you more time to close the distance Description: Along with Akuma, Fighting E. Honda as Zangief is just plain unfair. E. Honda can constantly charge with his butting head, and there's little you can do about it. If you practice your rapid button presses, you can Lp him out of it, but that does so little damage it's hardly a way to scare off Hondas from abusing the move. Your Lariats can sometimes stuff his headbutts, but more often than not, that sometimes is not in your favor. Made even worse is the fact his Lp headbutt can counter any jumping attack you throw at him. This move is so devasting against Zangief, in fact, that I will now list the only known moves you can use to deflect it. From my experiences, NONE of these moves are totally reliable, in fact, all of them vary in effectiveness ranging from 25%- 65%, meaning that it's usually AGAINST your favor whether the move will work or not. Torpedo counters: Standing/Crouching Lp, Lariats, Body Splash (Jumping + Down + Hp), Knee Drop (Jumping + Down + Lk or Mk) If it wasn't for the Honda's torpedo, which has to be the best in the game, this wouldn't be such a bad matchup for Zangief. The HHH is a pain, but if you predict it you can jump over it, and I think it's also possible to reversal after the first hit is blocked. And remember, if you pull of a SPD, you can close the distance much faster than other characters. ____7.13) Guile Strengths: Rock-solid defense with flash-kicks, sonic-booms, and pokes Weaknesses: Predictable... it's just unfortunate there's not much you can do about it Description: Just like E. Honda, Guile is a frustrating fight because it takes next to no effort to win. Simply turtling while throwing sonic booms from afar, sweeping Zangief's Lariats, and flash-kicking his jump-ins will result in a win most of the time. And none of this requires much skill. Thankfully, Zangief has a FEW tricks up his sleeve (or... hidden in his chest hair?), but he's still vastly at a distadvantage in this matchup. Zangief's hop (forward + Hp) can jump over sweeps, but requires perfect timing and perfect distance, otherwise you'll probably end up eating a throw. If you successfully bait a Guile into throwing out his flash kick prematurely, he's left wide open for attack--SPD if you're skilled, Lariat if you want to play it safe. The Green Hand can cover greater distance at less sweep/flashkick risk, but again, it requires excellent timing and even better spacing, because if you get too close with a green hand you're risking getting thrown or counter attacked some other way. Defeating Guile is by no means impossible, but even against novice players it will never be a cakewalk. ____7.20) *** Matchups ____7.21) Blanka Strengths: Torpedo ball roll attacks, very fast jump, strong normal attacks, long-range throw (bite), good at countering jump-ins Weaknesses: Ballroll slightly easier to defeat than Honda's headbutt, electricty has little range (unlike Honda's HHH), Super also isn't as deadly Description: Blanka is a very difficult fight, but I hesitated to give him a **** rating because he feels very much like a Honda fight only not *quite* as bad. His ball roll is slightly easier to counter with jabs and Lariats. His electricity isn't as devastating because the short range means it's only really trouble in the corner. His sweeps are definitely a pain though, as are his quick jumps and his anti-jumpin attacks. Perhaps worst of all, though, is Blanka's bite, which is a throw that has about the same range as your SPD. This unfortunately negates one of your few advantages (long throwing range). So a Blanka player that truly knows how to fight Zangief will definitely have his fair share of advantages. But well-timed Lariats and Green Hands can help you get in close. And, even though Blanka has that long-range bite, it seems few use it to its fullest advantage. ____7.22) Chun Li Strengths: Awkward fireball, Lightning Legs, annoying jumpkicks Weaknesses: Easy to punish when close with SPD and throws Description: For starters, Chun Li has an odd fireball unlike any other. The slowest one also has the longest range, while the quickest has the shortest range. The speed and range is difficult to gauge if you're not accustomed to it. Also, watch out when Lariating the fireballs, since Chun Li has a very long-ranged sweep. Lightning kicks are a royal pain, but thankfully, the move doesn't jump forward like Honda's HHH, so it's not as abusable. Perhaps most annoying though, some Chun Li players love to just jump in the air and kick over and over again. This can be difficult for Zangief to deal with. The best way I found is to get in close with a Green Hand or the Headbutt Hop, and then Lariat the jump kick from underneath her. After you knock her down, try to put the pressure on with throws. ____7.23) T. Hawk Strengths: Easily abusable dive, "uppercut" covers big distance, also has a devastating throw Weaknesses: Very slow, less range with throws, slow sweep Description: The Hawk Dive is a royal pain for Zangief to deal with, and the only reason why T. Hawk has a *** difficulty rating. His throw has less range, and his jumping headbutt uppercut attack is annoying, but leaves him open to counterattack when blocked. One way of avoiding the hawk dive is to jump backwards and body splash. Another is to jump forward with Hk to try and hit him before he dives, since the move has a slight lag before the attack. I'm not sure if Lariats or quick Lpunching works or not, but it's worth a try if you're starved for options. If you can learn how to avoid the hawk dive, T. Hawk isn't too much of a challenge. ____7.24) Vega (Claw) Strengths: Long range sweep, powerful roll attack, quick jump, off-the-wall slash/throw move, long-range pokes Weaknesses: Claw can be broken off, difficult to deal with unrelenting offense, glitch causing game to shut down means less Vega players Description: Some mysterious glitch that causes games to shut down with Vega players means there aren't too many Vega fighters out there. That's good, because Vega can wreak some havoc on Zangief. If you allow him to control the match, he can poke you from afar, jump in and attack with incredible quickness, perform a comboing roll attack, flipkick away your jumpins, and even jump off the wall for a free slash or throw. So, your basic strategy is to not let him do that. Vega is the only character who I would recommend ruthlessly charging forwards even at the risk of your own skin. Usually I recommend patience and prediction with Zangief, but when fighting against Vega, it's advisable to get in close as quickly as possible, and constantly be on the offensive while simultanously remaining unpredictable. Yeah, sounds reaaal easy right? Well, I won't deny the difficulty of this matchup, all I'll say is that once you lose control of the match, it's very difficult to get it back, so just keep pushing on as hard as possible and switch it up to keep Vega guessing. All-out offensive is good to use against jump-happy offensive Vegas, but Vegas who stand still and wait for you, well, it might be a good idea to play defense as well. When he goes for jumping-off-the-wall attacks, time a Lariat to smack him good. Long range claw pokes should be blocked, but occasionally it's possible (and surprising) to stuff the attack with a crouching Hp. Speaking of which, Crouching Hp is actually Z's best defense against Vega's quick jumps. In the end, switching between very conservative, defensive Zangief, to an all- out rushing offensive is the best way to mess with a Vega and gain the upperhand. Just no matter what you do, DO NOT let Vega control the match, or you'll likely lose badly. ____7.30) ** Matchups ____7.31) Balrog (Boxer) Strengths: Widely considered to be one of the best characters in the game (tied with Dhalsim), has strong rush attacks, a headbutt uppercut that counters a lot of attacks, and overall has unbelievable offense Weaknesses: He's always charging right into Zangief's comfort zone: face-to-face fighting Description: All it takes is watching a few Balrog masters mop the floor at tournaments on YouTube to realize how devestating this character can be. So why not a higher difficulty rating? Well, Balrog's main schtick is offense offense offense. He's all about getting in close, which is right where Zangief shines. I have very little idea on how to fight a Balrog master, and I'm not going to pretend like I do. However, most novices and intermediates are somewhat reckless, especially against non-fireball characters like Zangief, with their rush attacks. Also, Balrog's sweep is very slow, so Lariats work pretty well in this matchup. This is a rare occurance where Zangief can play the defensive and win, since Balrog is always charging forward and putting himself in harm's way. ____7.32) Cammy Strengths: Hooligan throw can be surprising, thrust kick is a good anti-air, quick sweep Weaknesses: Specials tend to lag and are punishable, must get in close to deal damage Description: Cammy used to be one of the weakest characters in the game. She's been bumped up now, so don't underestimate her. Avoid jumping in, since her thrust kick can act as a good counter. Instead, leaping headbutts and green hands are better at closing the distance. Be wary when at about a half-screen distance away, since this is the ideal distance to whip out a hooligan throw. Cammy has to get in close to deal damage, and I noticed a lot of Cammy players try and sweep Zangief, because they're probably not entirely sure what to do. Either block and reversal with a running grab, or avoid the sweep with a leaping headbutt or a fast lariat. I hesitate to say that Zangief has the advantage here, because crafty Cammys can avoid your throws pretty well. Just try and stay unpredictable, and reversal into an SPD whenever you have a chance. ____7.33) DeeJay Strengths: Fireball (of sorts), spinning roundhouse kicks, a sliding sweep Weaknesses: Many of his moves are just bad versions of other characters' moves Description: Within all my many, many online matches, I swear I've only fought about two DeeJays the whole time. So... my advice may be a bit short. DeeJay has a solid defense because of his fireball, sliding sweep, and his anti-air attacks. The best way to get in is to get to about a half-screen away and taunt him into a sweep or other attack. Then, either jump over with a body splash or try and block and SPD. I'm not sure what else to say, other than that he's an underused character, so there's not too much to worry about since you won't be fighting him too frequently. ____7.34) Fei Long Strengths: Annoying specials, crouching Hp has long range and damage, Super is quick and damaging Weaknesses: Specials are easy to misuse, must get in close to deal damage Description: Many of Fei Long's attacks push him dangerously close to Zangief. Be warned though, his crescent 2-hit jump kick can be followed very quickly by a flame kick. It's an annoying bait. Watch for his sliding 3-hit punch, most Fei Long users don't attack fast enough and, as a result, leaves him open for a SPD. Basically, just look for an opening and punish with throwing devesatation. ____7.35) Ken Strengths: Dragon Punch uppercut with very long horizontal range, strong combo potential Weaknesses: Fireballs easy to avoid compared to other Shotokans, Dragon Punch punishable when blocked or whiffed Description: Honestly, I have a harder time with Ryu because he has a stronger fireball game. The first key to defeating Ken is to recognize and avoid the oh so bland fireball, fireball, uppercut-when-fireball-is-jumped trap. Remember, Ken's DP has amazing horizontal range--about half a screen's worth. The good side is that when the dragon punch only hits once it does teency damage. It's still a good idea to avoid. So, if you think you're fighting an amatuer, simply Lariat through a fireball but stop at about a half a screen distance away. Most Ken- scrubs will prematurely DP and whiff, allowing you to Lariat or risk waiting until he lands for an SPD. Learn how to avoid fireballs by mixing it up with Lariats and Green Hands, and you can get in close to deal big damage. Avoid jump-ins unless you're convinced Ken won't see it coming and DP. ____7.36) M. Bison (Dictator) Strengths: Torpedo attack, long-range sweep, flipkick quick and damaging Weaknesses: Weak jump-in attacks Description: Dictator's specials can be overwhelming and devestating in no time fast, but they also leave him open to counter attack most of the time, which means with a little practice, SPD reversals can unleash massive pain. Watch out for his long-range sweep-slide, it can come out of nowhere sometimes, but if blocked, will leave him open for a moment to counter. Bison is all about learning how to deal with his specials, which just takes practice. So get to it. ____7.37) Ryu Strengths: Tied with Akuma for best fireball game, has some abusable normal moves Weaknesses: Dragon Punch uppercut has little horizontal range, many Ryu players panic in up-close fights Description: With a normal fireball, a "fire" fireball, and a super fireball, and a fake fireball, Ryu is obviously well adept at long-range fighting. Getting caught with a fake when you Lariat can be a pain, because a quick sweep is likely followed. The fireball-fireball-uppercut scenerio is less threatening than Ken, if nothing else but because it's more difficult to pull off. But, to keep that trap at bay, make sure to only jump when it's not predicted. Instead, use Green Hands for quick distance, and Lariats for safer fireball evading. All in all, fighting Ryu is all about avoiding fireballs and closing the distance, which is something you'll likely get pretty good at since 70% of players online use Ken and Ryu. If you missed my advice on how to avoid fireballs, go to the "General Strategies" section. ____7.38) Sagat Strengths: High and low fireballs, damaging uppercut, quick-hitting and juggling tiger knee Weaknesses: Very long arms means easy to jumpkick, can't escape easily when cornered Description: Tiger, tiger, tiger, Tiger Knee. Tiger, tiger, tiger, Tiger uppercut! I honestly don't understand fireball players, the game must be so dull when only one move is used 75% of the time! Oh well, much to my surprise, dealing with Sagat's fireballing is much less a problem than Ken, Ryu, or (God help us all) Akuma. This is due to Sagat's ridiculously long arms. Even if Zangief is still 3/4 a screen away from Sagat, it's possible to jump over a high fireball and Hk his long arms. From about half a screen away, the same can happen at a low fireball. It's good to note that Lariats don't go through low fireballs, since they are considered low attacks, so most Sagat players will try and abuse this, but fortunately this actually makes it easier to get in. If you're not sure which fireball is coming, just jump straight in the air and try to bait an uppercut or tiger knee, hopefully leaving Sagat open for a counterattack. Similar to Ryu, fighting Sagat as Zangief is all about approach. Once you get the hang of it, Sagat isn't too tough a match. ____7.39) Zangief Strengths: You know this! Devestating throws and hard-hitting Lariats! Weaknesses: NOTHING! Curse the nonbelievers! Description: Zangief Vs. Zangief is a very tricky match, because a lot of the tricks Zangief uses to pull a SPD won't work on another Zangief, because the tactic could be reversed into an SPD. Practice some actual combos and use them on Zangief players, it could really catch them off guard. Other than that, it's all about who manages to SPD first. Try to mix it up as much as possible. If you're predictable, a good Zangief will make you pay. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~ VIII) Contact and Legal ~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Street Fighter series is owned by Capcom, while this guide is owned by me. Don't steal my work, it's not nice. The following is a list of all the sites I've allowed to host this guide. If you did not find this faq from any of these websites, it was likely stolen. Please let me know if that is the case. Sites allowed to host my Zangief FAQ: If you want to quote any part of this guide, feel free, as long as it's not the WHOLE guide without my permission. If you want to request permission, my email is at the bottom of this section, but please, for the love of all that is holy, don't waste my time. This guide took quite a long time, so I don't need wasted time shifting through spam. To prevent your email from being prematurely deleted, make sure you put "Zangief FAQ" in the subject header so I know it's not spam. Feel free to email me about guide-posting permission, or any questions, comments, concerns, suggestions, or strategies of your own (I'll give credit!) Email: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~ IX) Updates and Thanks ~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Updates 1.1) Updated Contact and Legal to include all websites this FAQ is hosted under. 1.0) Full guide is up and guiding! Thanks ~ Thanks to Goh_Billy. I used his SSF2THDR Move List guide to find some of the names of Zangief's moves. ~ Thanks to Capcom for a great Fighting series ~ Thanks to everyone who read my guide