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[[caption-width-right:234:[[{{Tagline}} The legend lives on...]]]]

->''"You can't give it up! GO FOR IT, MAN!"''\\
''"Let's PARTY! Go for broke!"''\\
''"Beat 'em up, guys! TRIUMPH OR DIE!"''
-->-- '''Announcer''', ''Alpha 3''

In 1995, Capcom released a long-awaited real sequel -- or rather, a ''[[{{Prequel}} prequel]]'' to ''VideoGame/StreetFighterII'', ''Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors' Dreams'' (''Street Fighter Zero'' in Japan, Asia, and South America). With a distinctive anime-styled look based on ''Anime/StreetFighterIITheAnimatedMovie'', ''Alpha'' takes place between the first two ''Street Fighter'' games, and expands the {{backstory}} of many of the major characters. The game also features returning characters from the original ''VideoGame/{{Street Fighter|I}}'' (who were merely computer-controlled opponents, namely Thai-kickboxer Adon and British punk Birdie), as well as characters from Capcom's beat 'em up ''VideoGame/FinalFight'' (ninja loner hero Guy and criminal samurai wannabe Sodom) and also introduced a few new characters: Dan Hibiki (the quintessential JokeCharacter and TakeThat to ''Street Fighter'' copycat ''VideoGame/ArtOfFighting''); American soldier Charlie (who was introduced as Guile's missing friend, and was called Nash in Japan); and Italian fortune teller Rose. All of them joined Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Sagat, M. Bison and Akuma.

''Street Fighter Alpha 2'' was released less than a year later in 1996, which expanded upon the previous game, with the addition of a custom combo system, new stages and endings, and five additional characters. Among these new characters were Sakura Kasugano (a Japanese schoolgirl who idolizes Ryu), Rolento from ''Final Fight'', and Gen from the original ''Street Fighter'', as well as returning World Warriors Zangief and Dhalsim. The American arcade version added Evil Ryu to the roster, along with extra versions of Zangief and Dhalsim (in addition to Shin Akuma and Classic Chun-Li). ''Alpha 2'' was re-released in Japanese arcades under the title of ''Street Fighter Zero 2 Alpha'', which included all the added characters from the American release, extra versions of all the ''Street Fighter II'' characters (including Classic Chun-Li), as well as new moves for some of the returning characters and minor changes to the fighting system (particularly in the Custom Combo system, which were easier to perform, but now consumed a larger portion of the Super Combo gauge). ''Zero 2 Alpha'' was ported to home consoles as ''Alpha 2 Gold'', which added Cammy to the roster as well (although she was only playable in the Versus and Training modes at first; ''Alpha Anthology''[='s=] version of ''Alpha 2 Gold'' added her to Arcade Mode and included a new ending for her as well).

''Street Fighter Alpha 3'' finished off the prequel sub-series in 1998, introducing selectable fighting styles called "isms." In addition to Cammy, the ''Alpha 2'' roster were joined by newcomers Karin Kanzuki (Sakura's rival from the manga ''Sakura Ganbaru!''), R. Mika (a Japanese female wrestler) and Juni & Juli (M. Bison's female bodyguards), along with Cody from ''Final Fight'' and most of the ''Street Fighter II'' warriors who were absent in previous ''Alpha'' titles (namely Blanka, E. Honda, Balrog and Vega). The console versions (and a later ''Upper'' revision released only in Japanese arcades) brought back Guile and the rest of the "New Challengers" from ''Super Street Fighter II'' (Fei Long, T. Hawk and Dee Jay), gathering the entire ''Super Street Fighter II Turbo'' roster, in addition to Evil Ryu and Shin Akuma, who missed on the original arcade version. A UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance port was released in 2002, adding Eagle, Maki and Yun (with [[AssistCharacter his brother]] Yang) fresh from their appearance in ''[[VideoGame/CapcomVsSNK2MarkOfTheMillennium Capcom vs. SNK 2]]''. Finally, in 2006, Ingrid from ''VideoGame/CapcomFightingEvolution'' was added in the UsefulNotes/{{PlayStation Portable}} version along with the GBA bonus characters.

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!!Tropes Distinct To, Or Introduced In, This Game:
* AcheyScars: The scar on Sagat's chest glows whenever he is confronted by Ryu. In ''Alpha 2 Gold'' and ''Alpha 3'', he gains a super which allows him to draw upon the feelings of anger and hatred invoked by his scar and buff the damage output of his next Tiger Blow.
* AdaptationExpansion:
** Cammy was added to the roster in ''Alpha 2 Gold'' (the console version of the Asia-only ''Zero 2 Alpha'') after her appearance in ''VideoGame/XMenVsStreetFighter'', although she did not have a proper in-game storyline until the game was re-released for the UsefulNotes/{{PlayStation 2}} as part of the ''[[CompilationRerelease Street Fighter Alpha Anthology]]''.
** When ''Alpha 3'' was ported to home consoles, not only did the home versions feature six extra characters (Fei Long, T. Hawk, Dee Jay, Guile, Evil Ryu and Shin Akuma), but the sub-bosses (Balrog, Juni and Juli) were given proper storylines and endings that they didn't get in the original arcade release.
** The GBA version of ''Alpha 3'' feature three characters not in the prior arcade and console versions: [[VideoGame/FinalFight Maki]], [[VideoGame/StreetFighterI Eagle]] and [[VideoGame/StreetFighterIII Yun]], all based on their ''Capcom vs. SNK 2'' incarnations. Unfortunately, the GBA version is simplified and watered-down in other areas, including the lack of storyline. When the game was ported to the PSP later, the same extra characters were added, along with Ingrid from ''Capcom Fighting Evolution'', and all four were given storylines and endings.
* AnnouncerChatter: The aforementioned ''Alpha 3'' announcer. Most fighting games fans [[MemeticMutation know his lines by heart]].
--> "Nobody blink, go for broke!"
* AscendedGlitch: Cody's Final Destruction super is a reference to a DifficultButAwesome GoodBadBug in ''Final Fight''.
* AwesomeButImpractical: The Alpha Counter is this in ''Alpha 3''. It deals as much damage as a light punch, it cost one guard bar chunk, [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and it has no personalized finisher icon]].
* BlandNameProduct: The "[=SonSon=]" convenience store in the first game is not only a shout-out to the old Capcom arcade of the same name, but also a knockoff of real-life store chain Lawson (albeit with a green sign).
* BodyguardBabes: While pretty much any member of the Bison Elite Guard ([[AmazonBrigade the]] [[{{Brainwashed}} Dolls]]) may qualify, Juni and Juli both serve this function in-game in the arcade mode of ''Alpha 3''.
* BroadStrokes: Contrary to popular belief, ''Alpha 2'' isn't really so much of a retelling of the original ''Alpha'' as it is both a continuation and a retelling. Some of the character endings in ''Alpha 2'' (like Sodom, Ken, Rose, and Sagat's) are rough continuations of their original endings from the first ''Alpha'', while others (like Dan and Adon's) are hard to reconcile with their originals. Charlie's endings in the first two ''Alpha'' games don't completely sync in with the fact that he is still alive in ''Alpha 3''.
* TheCameo: [[http://capcomdatabase.wikia.com/wiki/File:StreetFighterAlpha2-USA(Ken).png Ken's stage]] in ''Alpha 2'' [[http://streetfightermiscellany.com/sfm/sfm4.html features appearances from]] Pure the Mage (''Capcom World 2''), [[VideoGame/{{Darkstalkers}} Morrigan, Felicia, Hsien-Ko, Mei-Ling, and Lord Raptor]], [[VideoGame/SaturdayNightSlamMasters Biff Slamkovich and Jumbo Flapjack]], [[VideoGame/ForgottenWorlds Unknown Soldiers 1P & 2P]], [[VideoGame/AlienVsPredatorCapcom Linn Kurosawa]], [[VideoGame/CaptainCommando Captain Commando and Ginzu]], [[VideoGame/{{Strider}} Strider Hiryu]], [[VideoGame/LegendaryWings Michelle Heart]] and Capcom CEO Kenzo Tsujimoto as a butler. They are most likely just some very convincing {{cosplay}}ers.
* CanonDiscontinuity: The events of ''Final Fight 2'' are hard to fit into the backstory of the ''Alpha'' series without invoking a bit of {{fanwank}}ery. Mainly the fact that Guy has two different masters (Genryusai in ''Final Fight 2'', Zeku in the ''Alpha'' series) and Rolento's allegiance (he was still employed by Mad Gear in ''Final Fight 2''; in ''Alpha 2'', he has left the gang to form his own organization). That still didn't prevent Maki from becoming a CanonImmigrant and being placed into the character roster of the portable versions of ''Alpha 3''.
* CanonImmigrant: While Gouken was technically mentioned in Akuma's original backstory published during the release of ''Super Street Fighter II Turbo'', his appearance in Akuma's ending in the original ''Alpha'' was his (and Goutetsu's) first and only appearance in the series until ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIV'' a decade later. Karin Kanzuki was originally Sakura's rival from a Sakura-centric spin-off manga titled ''Sakura Ganbaru!'', and Evil Ryu, the SuperpoweredEvilSide of Ryu, was originally a creation of Masahiko Nakahira's ''Street Fighter Alpha'' manga published by Gamest.
* CharacterRosterGlobalWarming: Birdie and Zangief are the only MightyGlacier characters. Sodom is one to an extent.
* CompilationRerelease: ''Street Fighter Alpha Anthology'' for the UsefulNotes/PlayStation2, featuring all three ''Alpha'' games plus ''Alpha 2 Gold'' and ''Alpha 3 Upper'', as well as ''VideoGame/SuperGemFighter: Mini Mix''.
* ContinuityCameo:
** The Mad Gear gang from ''Final Fight'' can be seen in Sodom's ending in the first game, as well as spectators in Guy's stage in ''Alpha 2'' and ''3''.
** Ken's stage in ''Alpha 2'' is a set on a cruise ship filled with other Capcom characters (or at least very convincing cosplayers) attending Eliza's birthday party. See TheCameo above for the full list.
** A billboard advertising a wrestling match between [[VideoGame/StreetFighterIII Hugo]] and an unknown opponent can be seen in Cody's stage in ''Alpha 3''.
* CounterAttack: The Alpha Counters. A few other characters, like Karin and Dan, have attack reversals in ''Alpha 3'' as well.
* ClearMyName: In ''Alpha 3'', Fei Long is mistakenly accused of being involved in Shadaloo's drug trades, and he goes to see what's going on. Yun's story mode has him actually believing the accusations and setting off with Yang to capture Fei Long himself. [[spoiler: After the Yun vs. Fei Long mid-boss fight, Fei Long explains what happened to Yun, so they decide to team up and protect Hong Kong from the real culprit: Bison. Then, Bison himself shows up: Fei Long stays behind to fight him and Yun goes against Juni and Juli, then after Bison when Fei Long loses.]]
* {{Crossover}}: The series can be seen as a crossover in a technical sense, since it was the first time in the franchise the ''Street Fighter II'' roster was pitted against characters from the original ''Street Fighter'' and ''Final Fight''. ''Alpha 3 MAX'' adds in ''Street Fighter III'' with Yun and ''Capcom Fighting Evolution'' with Ingrid.
* DoomedByCanon: Charlie always dies at the end of each ''Alpha'' game. Because otherwise, what else will inspire Guile to pursue his revenge on M. Bison? This was almost averted in ''Alpha 3'', where Charlie actually survived his ending, but the console version "fixed" this by adding Guile to the roster and having Charlie die in his ending instead. However, come ''VideoGame/StreetFighterV'' and it is revealed that Charlie's ''Alpha 2'' ending is actually canon, rendering Guile's ''Alpha 3'' ending non-canon.
* DreamMatchGame: Of the rare canonical variety. When ''Alpha 3'' was ported to consoles, they added five characters not seen in the arcade version (Guile, Evil Ryu, Dee Jay, Fei Long, and T. Hawk) as well as making Balrog, Juli, and Juni (hidden characters in the arcade release) readily available. With the addition of Fei Long, T. Hawk, Dee Jay, and Guile, the entire cast of ''Super Street Fighter II Turbo'' was brought into the ''Alpha'' series for the first time, allowing a big brawl between the two eras of ''Street Fighter'' characters. All of these characters were then back-ported to arcades via a Naomi-based (as opposed to [=CPS2-based=] in the case of the original release) version of ''Alpha 3'' called ''Street Fighter Zero 3 Upper'' to give parity with the console release.
* EarlyBirdCameo: A few of the characters made background and ending cameos before becoming proper playable characters in the series:
** Balrog and Vega can be seen in both of Sagat's endings in the first two ''Alpha'' games.
** Fei Long appears as a spectator in Dan's stage in ''Alpha 2''.
** Rolento can be seen among the former Mad Gear Gang members gathered by Sodom in his ending in the first ''Alpha'' game.
** E. Honda appears in Sodom's ending in ''Alpha 2''.
** Cody (and his girlfriend Jessica) appears in Guy's stage in ''Alpha 2''. When a female fighter (Chun-Li, Sakura, Rose or Cammy) is in the stage, Cody will shift his attention away from Jessica and into the fighter, causing Jessica to get jealous. She will then slap him in order to regain his attention.
** "Killer Bee" Cammy was added to ''Alpha 2 Gold'' in ''Street Fighter Collection'' for the [=PlayStation=] and Saturn as a nod to her appearance in ''VideoGame/XMenVsStreetFighter''. She did not have a story at the time, being a hidden character.[[note]]You had to beat the game as Bison first and enter your name as "CAM", which would add Cammy as a playable character to Practice and Versus, accessible by pressing Start twice on Bison.[[/note]] This was a prelude to her official debut appearance in ''Alpha 3''. The later [=PS2=] version of ''Alpha 2 Gold'', released as part of ''Alpha Anthology'', updated Cammy's presence to full-fledged character that could be used in Arcade complete with rival battles and an ending.
* EpisodeZeroTheBeginning: Due to its title in Japan, although the original ''Street Fighter'' still comes first in canon (as does ''Final Fight''). These games are more clearly a beginning of the plot threads set up in ''SFII''.
* {{Expy}}: A couple of examples:
** Rose is one of [[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure Lisa-Lisa]].
** Dan is a parody of [[VideoGame/ArtOfFighting Ryo Sakazaki and Robert Garcia]].
* HitStop: Scoring counter hits with heavy attacks in ''Alpha 3'' will cause fighters to freeze up from the extra hitstun, allowing their opponent to combo them in ways that would be otherwise impossible normally.
* HumongousMecha: The Buddha statue in ''Alpha 3''.
* LaterInstallmentWeirdness: To say that ''Alpha 3'' is different from much of the ''Street Fighter'' series, both before and after, is a major understatement. The strength of V-ism made Super Combos a rarity, the game featured numerous touch of death infinite combos (both in and out of V-ism), and the tier list for the game is atypical, to say the least.[[note]]''Alpha 3'' is one of very few games in which Bison is considered a bad character, while Dhalsim is considered beyond excellent.[[/note]]
* {{Leitmotif}}: Kinda recursive for ''Alpha 3''. Since the returning characters already had their own themes (and got entirely different tunes in ''Alpha 3''), the signature tracks for this game [[VindicatedByHistory have turned out to be]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huA5sKl7K-U "Simple Rating"]] ([[EnsembleDarkhorse Karin]]'s theme) and [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5JFGrysqm8 "Brave or Grave"]] (Shin Bison's theme).
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: The original ''Alpha'' started with a modest roster (even for its time) of 13 fighters (only one fighter more than ''Street Fighter II′: Champion Edition''), 10 of which were immediately playable. This increased to 18 in ''Alpha 2'' (one more than ''Super Street Fighter II Turbo'', not counting the alternate versions of certain characters), which was touted on the game's flyer as being "the most ever in a Capcom game" to date, and then to a whopping 28 in the original arcade release of ''Alpha 3'' (counting Balrog, Juni and Juli). By the time ''Alpha 3'' hit home consoles, the cast included the entire ''Super Turbo'' roster, seven carryover characters from the first ''Street Fighter'' and ''Final Fight'', eight original characters, plus Shin Akuma and Evil Ryu. The two portable versions for GBA and PSP later snuck in Eagle, Maki and Yun from ''Capcom vs. SNK 2'', with Ingrid from ''Capcom Fighting Evolution'' being exclusive to the PSP, for a big total of 38 fighters. This was the biggest roster in a ''Street Fighter'' game until the release of ''[[VideoGame/StreetFighterIV Ultra Street Fighter IV]]'' in 2014, with its 44 fighter roster.
* NintendoHard: This series is particularly unforgiving.
* NonStandardGameOver: You only get one shot at Final Bison in ''Alpha 3''. Lose once, and the credits roll while his ending plays. Ditto if you play ''as'' Bison, except against Ryu.
* OffModel: Ingrid's sprite in ''Alpha 3 MAX'' looks ''very'' different compared to the other sprites. Eagle, Maki and Yun also count to a lesser extent.
* OutOfFocus: When this series came around, this happened to nearly every character from ''Street Fighter II''. Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Sagat and M. Bison had been around since ''The World Warrior'', but Dhalsim and Zangief didn't appear until ''Alpha 2'', Cammy returned in ''Alpha 2 Gold'' as a Vs./Training mode-only character before making a proper appearance in ''Alpha 3'' along with E. Honda, Blanka, Vega and Balrog (who all had ending cameos in previous ''Alpha'' games), and eventually Fei Long, Dee Jay and T. Hawk returned in the console versions of ''Alpha 3''. Surprisingly, it took Guile, who was often seen by American fans as a lead character in ''II'', until the console version of ''Alpha 3'' to return. Even then, he was a secret character.
* PlotHole: In ''Alpha 3''. Julia is a missing girl from T. Hawk's Thunderfoot tribe in Mexico. Juli is one-half of an explicitly German pair of brainwashed minions named after the two months in the middle of the year. According to T. Hawk's ending, they're the same person. It took the ComicBookAdaptation to clear this one up.
* ProductPlacement: Rolento's ''Alpha 2'' stage has a giant mural and billboard for Fujitsu computers.
* RecursiveCanon: A Japanese poster for ''Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie'' can be seen in Ryu and Guy's stage in the original ''Alpha''.
* RemixedLevel: Every character in the first game shared a stage.
* RetCanon: The ''Alpha'' series feature a great deal of visual nods to ''Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie''. This includes:
** The more muscular design of M. Bison compared to his original lean look in the early ''II'' games (although, he did have muscular design in the character art for ''Super Street Fighter II'').
** The design of Bison's VTOL aircraft, which is even used as the setting of his stage in ''Alpha 2''.
** The two-on-one hidden game mode in the first ''Alpha'' where two players as Ryu and Ken must fight a computer-controlled M. Bison. The Japanese version even plays [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkH9Ybg3SCc a Q-Sound rendition]] of "Itoshisa to Setsunasa to Kokorozuyosa to," the battle theme from the original Japanese version of the movie.
** The stormy battle scene from Ryu and Sagat's opening battle from the film is used as the stage for Sagat's final boss battle with Ryu in ''Alpha 2''.
* {{Retcon}}:
** ''Far'' too many to count, but the most significant one might be changing Sagat from the loser to the ''victor'' of [[VideoGame/StreetFighterI the first World Warrior Tournament]] and subsequently shoehorning in [[SoreLoser Evil]] [[SuperpoweredEvilSide Ryu]].
** ''Alpha 3'', for all intents and purposes, set in stone the story that the games still follow.
* {{Sampling}}: Chun-Li's theme in ''Alpha 3'' samples "Hardening Drops" from ''VideoGame/TetrisTheGrandMaster'' at the beginning.
* SeanConneryIsAboutToShootYou: Ryu and Ken throw their Hadōkens simultaneously towards the screen in the opening sequence of ''Alpha 2''.
* TheSmurfettePrinciple: The first ''Alpha'' only had two female fighters (Chun-Li and Rose) among the game's roster of thirteen. This gradually increased with the addition of Sakura among the five new fighters in ''Alpha 2'', followed by the return of Cammy in ''Alpha 2 Gold'' and then by the addition of Karin, R. Mika, Juni and Juli among the nine new fighters (thirteen in the console ports) in ''Alpha 3'', a total of 8 women among 32 fighters (literally 25% of the roster). That's not even including the addition of ''Final Fight 2''[='s=] Maki and ''Capcom Fighting Evolution''[='s=] Ingrid in the portable versions.
* SlippedTheRopes: Cody in ''Alpha 3'' is a prisoner who makes a habit of breaking out of jail. He's handcuffed. In his taunt, he slips out of the cuffs just to show he can and then puts them back on.
* TagTeam: A 2-on-1 tag-team system known as "Variable Battle" was introduced in the PSP version.
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