Street Fighter Alpha 3/Walkthrough
Note: Much of the info provided here is taken from Kao Megura's SFA3 FAQ.
Each battle consists of best-of-three round match between you and your opponent. At the start of each round, both player's life or health bars are full. The first player to drive the other player's health bar to zero wins the round. The first player to win two total rounds wins the match and moves on to the next opponent. If a single player loses to the computer, the game is over and the player must continue to rematch the recent opponent.
To win a round, the player must use his or her character's attack moves to damage the opponent, and block or dodge the opponent's attacks. Each player may attack from a standing or crouching position, or they may jump in to the air and attack. To attack from a standing position, press any single attack button. To attack from a crouching position, pull the joystick in a downward direction (including both diagonals) and press any single attack button. To attack from the air, direct your character to jump straight up, or jump in a diagonal position, and press any single attack button in mid-air.
Air blocking is not available in X-ISM. Hold to block most standing attacks, jumping attacks, and overheads. Hold to block most standing and low attacks. Note that you won't block unless the attack your opponent is using is relatively close to you. You can also block in air by performing the block command while jumping or after an air recovery. When you block, you take no damage from normal moves, and reduced damage from special moves and Super Combos.
 Special Attacks
In addition to normal attacks there are attacks known as command moves and special moves. Command moves are special combinations of a joystick direction and a particular attack button that produces a different attack than when the button is pressed alone. A special move is a move that requires a more complicated joystick motion and an attack button to perform. For example, Ken and Ryu's fireball attack, called Hadouken, is performed by sliding the joystick in a circular sweeping motion from down to forward, and finished off with any punch button. In this example, the strength of the punch button used happens to dictate the speed at which Ken and Ryu's fireball attack travels across the screen. Special attacks can be blocked like any other attack, but they do what's known as "tick damage." That is, even when blocked, they removed a single hit point from your health bar. Most special moves have a pause associated with them that leave you vulnerable to attack if you miss the opponent, or "whiff".
 Ground Recovery
Not available in X-ISM mode. This is the new implementation of the Rolling Rule from SFA and SFA2. When you're knocked down, or if you've just air-blocked an attack, press as you're falling. To do the roll behind Ground Recovery, do + instead. Then keep holding forward and you'll roll all the way behind your opponent, even if they're in the corner. By using the ground recovery, you can pass through your opponent or simply move closer towards them. It's useful for escaping from corners and so that your foe can't attack you as you get up.
 Air Recovery
When you're knocked up into the air, press to flip upright and land a short distance away. Pressing + makes you move further back upon flipping, while + makes you stay in your same trajectory when you flip. Normally, you can be juggled by another of your enemy's attacks when you're knocked into the air. However, once you've flipped, you can air block (in certain modes), or perform an attack to prevent this from happening. It's also a useful way to land on your feet rather than your back.
Press or + (some characters can also use ). This can also be done in air. Some characters have 'holding' ground throws, in which you can rap on the buttons to increase the number of times your enemy is squeezed / choked / bitten / etc. You'll know if tapping the buttons is paying off as your character will shine white when an extra hit has been added. If you're not close enough to your opponent, you'll go into a "missed throw" animation that leaves you vulnerable to attacks. Your opponent can reduce the damage he or she takes from a throw by doing a Tech. Hit (+ or when thrown), which also makes them land on their feet. If you miss a throw, you'll still earn SC power, or if you're using V-ISM, you'll earn quite a bit of OC power.
 Reversal Only moves
Use the following chart to determine when a character can use a particular reversal move.
|Situation||Buffalo Head||X-ISM Tenshou Kyaku||Bad Spray||Yoga Escape||Tengu Walking*|
|When knocked down||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|After hit stun||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|After block stun||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Knocked back in the air||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|After an air block||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Not available in X-ISM mode. The Taunt button is the Start button on the arcade machine, assignable on the Dreamcast, and the select button on most consoles. You can press Taunt while standing or crouching. Birdie, Cody, Charlie, Ken, Ryu, and Evil Ryu all have a second taunt which is done by pressing + Taunt. Birdie has a third taunt which is done by pressing + Taunt. Rose has a random, alternate saying for her taunt, and the following characters have damaging taunts: Akuma, Shin Akuma, Birdie, Chun-Li, Dan (only in X-ISM), Rolento, Sakura, and Sodom. These cause minor damage, but they can kill someone. Dan and Dhalsim have an air taunt which can be done by pressing Taunt while in the air. Dan can also taunt when he's crouching. You can taunt once per round (Dan can taunt infinitely in each round). You can also cancel a normal move into your taunt animation, if that move is normally cancelable. Dan earns small amounts of SC energy from his crouching and standing taunts, as well.
 Alpha Counter
Not available in X-ISM mode. While you're blocking an attack on the ground, press along with the same power + . You need to have at least 1 level of your SC gauge filled in A-ISM, or 50% or higher of your OC gauge filled in V-ISM, in order to do this. You also need at least one spare notch in your Guard Power Gauge. When you use an AC, the animation will pause briefly and you'll stop blocking and perform a preset attack. The attack you use changes depending on what "-ISM" you're using. ACs are handy if your opponent is aggressive or is trying to kill you via block damage and you want to get away from them. ACs do little damage but can kill someone. However, because they shorten the length of your GPG, they're best saved for do-or-die situations, as a small Guard Power gauge is not a good thing to have.
 Super Combos
Not available in V-ISM mode. The command for a SC changes depending on the character. The button used has no purpose in X-ISM; in A-ISM, it affects the level of power used ( / for Level 1, / for Level 2, / for Level 3). Some A-ISM characters have SCs that can only be used at Level 3--in that case, the button used is unimportant. If you have one level of power and use a Medium or Hard attack, you'll still do a Level 1 SC; the same applies to using HP or HK if you have only 2 levels. Super Combos share many traits: they are generally faster and have more priority than normal moves; they can juggle an opponent, and they hit multiple times and usually do lots of damage. In A-ISM, these traits improve depending on the level of SC energy expended (so a Level 3 SC costs more but does more damage, etc. than a Level 1 SC). X-ISM SCs can be considered as "Level 4" SCs; they are generally better than even a Level 3 SC but take a longer amount of time to charge up.
 Original Combos
Only available in V-ISM mode. Press the same strength + buttons together. You need to have at least 50% of your OC energy built up in order to use this. When you activate an OC, you are trailed by shadows that mimic your every action, but only the last one (it's colored differently) can actually hit an opponent. What strength punch and kick you use determines the amount of space between each shadow; use + for them to be close together, + to space them further apart, and + for a wide gap between each shadow. Basically, the closer your last shadow is to you, the sooner it attacks after you perform an attack. OCs are very different from the way they were in SFA2. You can't block during an OC, and you can taunt infinitely and use charge moves without charging (i.e. simply tap + for Birdie's Bullhead). You can still juggle an opponent easily with your attacks, and can cancel normal attacks (not special moves, although there's still no delay time after performing one so you can go into another move faster than you could normally). Unlike a SFA2 CC, you can walk wherever you want to or jump without always moving forward. Also, you can throw / air throw during a OC as well. If you're hit while your OC is activated, it ends, and you lose all remaining OC power above 50% (more if you were closer to reaching 50%). If you started with 50%, then you lose it all if you're hit.
 Guard Power Gauge
When you block or air block an attack, this gauge decreases slightly. If you keep blocking attacks, it will keep decreasing until it empties. If this happens, your character gets Guard Crushed and will become dizzy (and open to an attack) for a moment before it recharges. However, when it recharges, it's overall length is reduced by a notch, making it easier for you to be Guard Crushed. When not blocking, the GPG refills slowly, but only to the current length of the GPG and not any further if you've lost a notch or more. Another way to lose GPG notches is to use a Zero Counter. If your opponent can block in the air, you can Guard Crush them in the air, although they'll fall to the ground after getting GC'd.
 Counter Hit
Hit your opponent with an attack while they're in the midst of performing their own attack. When you perform a Counter Hit, the hit sound is much louder and the action pauses for a brief moment. A move that becomes a Counter Hit does more damage than it normally would.
 Damage Reduction
When getting hit by an attack, press in any direction plus any button. Doing this slightly reduces the amount of damage you take from an attack. You'll know if it worked because you'll flash red while in your 'damaged' pose. This can be done repeatedly against multi-hit attacks in order to conserve more life. Furthermore, if you're in the midst of an attack and are hit, you can perform the Damage Reduction and your character will continue the attack, instead of going into hitstun. Think of it like the Super Armor found in the VS. games.
 Guard Crush Protection
Try to block an attack as it comes out instead of blocking it in advance. This works against high and low attacks, and can be done in the air as well, if your character can air block. Doing this reduces the amount of Guard Power you lose from your Guard Power Gauge. Your character will flash blue if you've done this properly.