Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Street Fighter Alpha

Go To

"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 sequel — or rather, an interquel — to Street Fighter II, Street Fighter Alpha (also known as Street Fighter Zero in Japan, Asia, and South America). With a distinctive anime look based on Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, the Alpha trilogy, serving as the collective third installment of the series, took place between the first two Street Fighter games and expanded the Backstory of some of the major characters, notably: Charlie Nash being deployed on a doomed mission to fight M. Bison, Ryu's flirtation with The Dark Side and his run-ins with a Blood Knight named Akuma, Cammy's past as a Bodyguard Babe for Bison, and Bison's true nature as an evil entity who keeps jumping between bodies to survive.

  • The first game, subtitled Warriors' Dreams, brought back the Super Combos from Super Street Fighter II Turbo that activate a string of powerful attacks after filling up your Super Meter. The strength, or "Level" of your Super is dependent on how full your meter is: L, M, and H deplete 1, 2, or 3 bars, respectively. Next is the Alpha Counter: a quick motion done while blocking (quarter-circle motion in 1 and 2, hold down two buttons of equal strength in 3) which, when timed correctly, will deflect an opponent's special moves with one of your own. You also get a Guard Meter which whittles down whenever you block someone's attacks, and will stun you (Guard Crush) if it runs out.

    It stars returning characters from the original Street Fighter who were merely A.I. opponents (Sagat's Bastard Understudy Adon and British hoodlum Birdie), as well as characters from Capcom's Beat 'em Up Final Fight (Metro City savior Guy and the samurai wannabe Sodom). It also introduced a few new characters: Dan Hibiki (the quintessential Joke Character and Take That! to Street Fighter copycat Art of Fighting), Guile's soon-to-be-dead comrade Charlie (who was called Nash in Japan and goes by that name in all regions starting with Street Fighter V), and Bison's Good Counterpart Rose. They are joined by the returning SFII characters Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Sagat, M. Bison, and Akuma.

  • Street Fighter Alpha 2 was released less than a year later in '96 and expanded upon the previous game, with the addition of a "Custom Combo" system: activating it will cause a chain of shadows to mimic your attacks. You have a window of a few seconds to launch any series of attacks in quicker succession, and the length depends on how high the Super Combo Gauge is filled. In addition, any special attacks will be performed much faster and without any recoil or charge time (if needed). Lastly, it eliminates Mercy Invincibility, so if your opponent gets knocked into the air, you can juggle them with impunity. It's best used to block strings, relieve pressure or avoid getting Guard Crushed; skilled players can create lengthy combos out of thin air that cannot be escaped from. However, the Custom Combo does have drawbacks: If your character is struck, it ends immediately and the Super Combo Gauge will be drained (completely emptied in 2, cut in half in 3).

    Among the five new characters are Sakura (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 the Superboss Shin Akuma (i.e. a full-power Akuma without his usual drawbacks, signified by a purple gi) and "Classic" Chun-Li (whose default sprite doesn't wear her trademark qipao). Alpha 2 was revisited in Japanese arcades under the title of Street Fighter Zero 2 Alpha, which included all the extra characters from the American release, new versions of the Street Fighter II characters including Classic Chun-Li, and new moves for some returning characters, along with minor changes to the fighting system; particularly in the Custom Combos, which are easier to perform but consume a larger amount of the Super Combo gauge. Zero 2 Alpha was ported to home consoles as Alpha 2 Gold, which added Cammy to the roster — though 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 offered an exclusive new (albeit non-canon) ending for her as well.

  • Street Fighter Alpha 3 capped off the sub-series in '98. It introduced selectable fighting styles called "isms" that confusingly change your movelist, so you won't be able to access moves that the other modes have. A-ism and X-ism are the easiest to get used to: In X-ismnote , you get one Super level, can only use the characters' first Super Combo, and you can't air block or Alpha Counter. On the plus side, you get a longer Guard Meter, can perform CPS1 Chains, and you deal more damage in general, especially with your Super. A-ismnote  is pretty versatile with average damage and defense. You still have 3 Super levels, can use all your Super Combos, and can Alpha Counter at the cost of 1 bar. V-ismnote  is very tricky to use, but allows you to break the game with Custom Combos. Activate it with at least 50% of the meter to make the Combo short, medium or long. Because this mode is geared towards Custom Combos, Super Combos cannot be used.

    In addition to Cammy, the Alpha 2 roster were joined by the now wildly-popular Karin Kanzuki (Distaff Counterpart to Ken and a Canon Immigrant from the manga Sakura Ganbaru!), Rainbow Mika (a colorful female wrestler) and Juni & Juli (two more of Bison's minions), 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, and Bison's underlings (Balrog and Vega). The console versions (and a later Upper revision released only in Japanese arcades, now on the Sega Naomi hardware) brought back Guile and the rest of the "New Challengers" from Super Street Fighter II (Fei Long, T. Hawk and Dee Jay), assembling the entire Super Street Fighter II Turbo roster — in addition to Evil Ryu and Shin Akuma, who missed out on the original arcade version. A Game Boy Advance port, developed by Crawfish Interactive and released in 2002, added Eagle (yet another returning fighter from the original Street Fighter), Maki (a fellow ninja and rival of Guy's from Final Fight 2), Yun and his brother Yang (from Street Fighter III, with their depictions here meant to be younger versions of the pair due to the chronology), all fresh from their appearances in Capcom vs. SNK 2. Lastly, in 2006, Ingrid from Capcom Fighting Evolution was added to the PlayStation Portable version, along with the GBA bonus characters.

The series also had a manga adaptation.

Tropes distinct to, or introduced in, this subseries:

  • Achey Scars: The scar on Sagat's chest glows whenever he is confronted by Ryu. In Alpha 2 Gold and Alpha 3, he gains a Super Combo (Angry Charge) 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.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • Cammy was added to the roster in Alpha 2 Gold (the console version of the Asia-only Zero 2 Alpha) after her appearance in X-Men vs. Street Fighter, although she did not have a proper in-game storyline until the game was re-released for the PlayStation 2 as part of the 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 featured three characters not in the prior arcade and console versions: Maki, Eagle and 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.
  • Animesque: Unlike previous SF games which had a relatively realistic aesthetic, the Alpha series took a page from out of Darkstalkers' book for a more vibrant art style.
  • Announcer Chatter: The aforementioned Alpha 3 announcer. Most fighting games fans know his lines by heart:
    "Nobody blink, triumph or die!"
  • Arrange Mode: The PlayStation, Saturn, Dreamcast, and PSP ports of Alpha 3 adds the "World Tour" mode, where you pick a character and their "Ism", and go around the world to fight around the world in locations consisting of 1-3 matches each. After each match, you are given a score, which is translated to experience points for both your character and their "Isms", which can be used to level up both. As you gain levels, you get "Power Balance Levels", which allow you to increase either your attack or defense at the cost of the other stat, and "Ism Pluses", which give you abilities ranging from immunity to dizziness, automatic blocking to high attacks, and the ability to cancel normal moves into special moves or special moves into Super Combos. This mode is the only way to unlock Guile, Evil Ryu, and Shin Akuma in the PlayStation version by way of secret locations, which can only be achieved by reaching certain levels for your selected character.
  • Art Shift: This marked the Street Fighter series' transition from the more generic attempts at realism seen in the first two games to a sleek, anime-influenced style. This essentially became the standard art style for Capcom's 2D fighting games until they switched to 3D models in Street Fighter IV.
  • Ascended Glitch:
    • Cody's Final Destruction Super, specifically the full animation in the Level 3 variant, is a reference to his Difficult, but Awesome infinite combo in Final Fight — Cody jabs twice, then turns his back to his opponent and throws a third punch, "whiffing" it before facing his foe and starting over from Step #1.
    • X-ISM in Alpha 3 has the ability to perform CPS1 Chains, a glitch from earlier versions of Street Fighter II.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The Alpha Counter is this in Alpha 3. It deals as much damage as a light punch, costs one portion of the guard bar, and has no personalized finisher icon.
    • In Alpha 3, Shin Shoryuken and Shin Ryuu Yassai are the stronger versions of Ryu and Fei Long's respective Level 3 Super Combos, Metsu Shoryuken and Ryuu Yassai. To perform these, however, you need to hit the opponent with the very last active frame of the attack that triggers the rest of the move, something that's nearly impossible to use in practice since that requires doing this from as far away as possible, although Fei Long can combo into his with very precise timing.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • The "SonSon" convenience store in the first game (in the stage that Ryu and Guy share) is not only a Shout-Out to the old Capcom arcade game of the same name,note  but also a knockoff of real life store chain Lawson, albeit with a green sign.
    • In Charlie's Alpha 2 stage, there are billboards for Hoke (Coca-Cola) and Nacys (Macy's).
  • Bodyguard Babes: While pretty much any member of the Bison Elite Guard, a.k.a. the Dolls, may qualify, Juni and Juli both serve this function in-game in the arcade mode of Alpha 3.
  • Begin with a Finisher:
    • Dramatic Battle Mode in Alpha 2 (and Alpha 2 Gold) not only grants the player a full bar of meter right off the bat; it gives them (and their partner) infinite meter. Considering the final opponent in this mode is none other than Shin Akuma and fighters share a lifebar, this was probably the developers being merciful.
    • Alpha 3 is the first game in the series where the fighters begin 1-on-1 a match with the Super Combo Gauge full (translating to 3 bars of super meter), which allows players to whip out a Level 3 Super as their first move. This includes Akuma's Shun Goku Satsu.
  • Bonus Feature Failure: The instruction manual entry for "Akuma Mode",note  added to Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold port as part of the Street Fighter Collection for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn, states that it takes you on "...a whirlwind tour of all the battlegrounds in Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold. If you defeat Akuma, you face him again in the next setting." However, in-game if you beat Akuma, the mode just ends after the first fight (which always takes place in the Australia background).
  • Broad Strokes: 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 (although Street Fighter V treats Charlie's Alpha 2 ending as canon).
  • The Cameo: Ken's stage in Alpha 2 features appearances from Pure the Mage (Capcom World 2), Morrigan, Felicia, Hsien-Ko, Mei-Ling, and Lord Raptor, Biff Slamkovich and Jumbo Flapjack, Unknown Soldiers 1P & 2P, Linn Kurosawa, Captain Commando and Ginzu, Strider Hiryu, Michelle Heart and Capcom CEO Kenzo Tsujimoto as a butler. They are most likely just some very convincing cosplayers.
  • Canon Discontinuity: The events of Final Fight 2 are hard to fit into the backstory of the Alpha series without invoking a bit of fanwankery. 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 Canon Immigrant and being placed into the character roster of the portable versions of Alpha 3. And then there is Yun who, within the chronology of Street Fighter as a whole, should still be a child during the events of the Alpha series.
  • Canon Immigrant:
    • 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 Street Fighter IV a decade later.
    • Evil Ryu, the Superpowered Evil Side of Ryu, was originally a creation of Masahiko Nakahira's Street Fighter Alpha manga published by Gamest.
    • Zig-zagged with Cammy. In the original release of Alpha 2 Gold (for the Sega Saturn and PlayStation in Street Fighter Collection), she was a bonus character who was only playable in Vs. and Training. When Alpha 2 Gold was released as part of the Alpha Anthology, she was included as a secret character who could be played in Arcade Mode, and she was given an ending to boot. Unfortunately, it's just text overlayed over her character portrait, as opposed to the standard "text-plus-still-images" endings the other characters get. Furthermore, the canon had long been established before Cammy's scenario was created for the Alpha Anthology release.
    • Karin Kanzuki was originally Sakura's rival from a Sakura-centric spin-off manga titled Sakura Ganbaru!
  • Character Roster Global Warming: Birdie and Zangief are the only Mighty Glacier characters, though Sodom also counts to an extent.
  • Compilation Re-release:
    • Street Fighter Alpha Anthology for the PlayStation 2, featuring all three Alpha games plus Alpha 2 Gold and Alpha 3 Upper, as well as Super Gem Fighter: Mini Mix.
    • The Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, which contains the arcade versions of the whole trilogy (although it does not include Updated Re-releases Alpha 2 Gold or Alpha 3 Upper). Alpha 3 is also playable online in this collection.
  • Continuity Cameo:
    • 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.
    • A billboard advertising a wrestling match between Hugo and an unknown opponent can be seen in Cody's stage in Alpha 3.
  • Cosmetically-Advanced Prequel:
    • Apparently, all the fancy combos and Super Moves were abandoned in Street Fighter II for a more simplistic fighting style.
    • Bison utilizes Shadaloo cloning facilities and superweapons, having access to technology far more advanced than anything in Street Fighter II. The prevailing theory is that Bison's defeat and the destruction of one of Shadaloo's HQs in Alpha 3 dealt the organization a rather heavy blow, though post-A3 materials and Street Fighter IV establish Bison at least had access to his cloning technology. That IV shows Shadaloo and its offshoot S.I.N. operating with tech around the same level of sophistication as what's seen in Alpha, followed by V demonstrating Shadaloo is back on top of its game with stuff like multiple doomsday weapons, seems to support ths view.
  • Counter-Attack: The Alpha Counters. In the first game, whether or not the quarter-circle forward input required a punch or kick depended on the character in question. Starting in Alpha 2, all fighters could use both buttons, with punch and kick. respectively, corresponding to high and low. A few other characters, like Karin and Dan, have attack reversals in Alpha 3 as well.
  • Covers Always Lie: Sort of. The panel used to represent Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold in the main menu of Street Fighter Alpha Anthology is actually artwork taken from the cover of the first Street Fighter Collection. However, since that artwork was highlighting the included Street Fighter II games in that pack, it includes Fei Long, Dee Jay, and T. Hawk among the pictured characters; characters who don't appear in Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold (along with Cammy in her Delta Red attire when it's the Shadaloo version of the character that's unlockable). Still, as Alpha 2 Gold made its US debut in said collection, the chosen image still has some connection to the game itself.
  • Clear My Name: 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. 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.
  • Doomed by Canon: Charlie always dies at the end of each Alpha game. Because otherwise, what else will inspire Guile to pursue his revenge on M. Bison?
  • Dream Match Game:
    • 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 version of Alpha 3 called Street Fighter Zero 3 Upper to give parity with the console release.
    • As the Upper port predated Capcom Fighting Evolution by two years, Yun's appearance marked the first time a member of the Street Fighter III cast was able to fight veterans from the II and Alpha eras outside of Ryu, Ken, Akuma and Chun-Li, all of whom showed up in III.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • Charlie is named "Nash" in Japan. A popular theory for several years was that "Nash" is Charlie's surname, to the point UDON Comics' adaptation took this stance. Come Street Fighter IV, this became fully canon thanks to a dog tag in Guile's possession that reads "Charlie Nash". As of Street Fighter V, Charlie is now referred to as "Nash" across all regions (although obviously "Charlie Nash" is still his full name and certain characters, like Guile, address him by his first name).
    • While Sodom kept his original name in almost all of the Alpha games, he was renamed back to Katana for the English SNES port of Alpha 2.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: 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, which is set in Fei Long's home country of Hong Kong, 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 fighting and stands in front of him, Cody will shift his attention away from Jessica and onto them, 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 X-Men vs. Street Fighter. She did not have a story at the time, being a hidden character. 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 the Alpha Anthology, updated Cammy's presence to full-fledged character that could be used in Arcade Mode, complete with Rival Battles and an ending.
    • One of the character sketches for Alpha 2 shows Charlie, with a backwards-facing Guile behind him. Apparently, Guile wore a flak jacket similar to Charlie's during his days as a trainee in the U.S. Air Force.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The first Alpha title was fairly barebones, mostly adding in the new Alpha Counter and guard balancing, and bringing in a brand new presentation with a rather small roster of characters both old and new. While having its own quirks and style, it plays more like a cranked-up Street Fighter II as a transitionary title, and was lacking an "oomph" of its own yet. Alpha 2 would expand the roster and mechanics enough to feel on-par with or beyond even Super Street Fighter II Turbo, feeling like a complete package that the first Alpha had intended to be, and the sheer amount of changes, overhauls and additions in Alpha 3 actually end up making it feel like Later-Installment Weirdness by comparison.
  • Episode Zero: The Beginning: Due to its Japanese title, 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:
  • Hit Stop: 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.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Buddha statue in Alpha 3.
  • Iconic Outfit: While Chun-Li is given a different outfit here, the creators evidently missed the classic blue qipao from SFII enough that they included it here as an alternate outfit for her. This would be no biggie in a 3D fighter where they could easily make a second character model, but the Alpha series is still 2D, meaning they had to redraw Chun-Li's entire sprite set to include the costume.
  • Interclass Friendship: A Friendly Rivalry variation with Sakura, who is a common schoolgirl who wants to emulate her idol Ryu, and Karin, a heiress of a rich family who practices an exclusive style of martial arts handed down to each successive generation of the Kanzuki lineage.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: This promotional art by Bengus depicting M. Bison Psycho-draining Rose looks like... And this is before you take their relationship into account, making the implications that much worse.
  • Lampshade Hanging: In the console versions of Alpha 3 you can play as Guile by using a cheat code. He has his Street Fighter II sprite, and during the story sections the characters note that he isn't supposed to be there.
  • Large Ham: "It all depends on your SKILL!", "Go for it, MAN!", "TRIUMPH or DIE!", "GO FOR BROKE!", etc.
  • Later-Installment Weirdness: 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 
  • 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 turned out to be "Simple Rating" (Karin's theme) and "Brave or Grave" (Shin Bison's theme).
  • Mirrored Confrontation Shot: The cover/promotional flyer for Alpha 2 features this, with a snarling Akuma looming over his challenger, Ryu. Additionally, Sakura's face can be seen in the background, an uncharacteristically stern look coming from the series' premier Genki Girl.
  • Nintendo Hard: This series is particularly unforgiving. Charlie in particular can be a bitch, as he can grapple you with frame-perfect precision just as he's finishing blocking your moves.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: You only get one shot at Bison in Alpha 3's Arcade Mode. Lose once, and the credits roll while his ending plays. Ditto if you play as Bison, except against Ryu. This only applied to the original arcade versions of the game, as players could easily retry upon losing with no reprecussions in the home ports.
  • Out of Focus: When this series came around, this happened to nearly every character from Street Fighter II. Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Sagat, M. Bison, and Akuma had been around since Warriors' Dreams, but Dhalsim and Zangief didn't appear until Alpha 2. Meanwhile, Cammy made her "return" 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.
  • Plot Hole: 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 Comic-Book Adaptation to clear this one up.
  • Product Placement: Rolento's Alpha 2 stage has a giant mural and billboard for Fujitsu computers.
  • Put on a Bus: Guile's exclusion throughout the Alpha series is the result of the games serving as a prequel to II. In II, Guile's quest is a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, wanting to avenge the death of his friend and mentor, Charlie Nash, at the hands of Bison. As the Alpha series is telling the story of how Nash dies, this keeps Guile from being involved in the story. He was finally added in the console release of Alpha 3, but later games would elaborate that his arcade story was ultimately non-canon.
  • Recursive Canon: A Japanese poster for Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie can be seen in Ryu and Guy's stage in the original Alpha.
  • Remixed Level: Each stage in the first game was shared by two characters with slight variations (except for the Reclining Buddha stage in Thailand, in which Adon, Sagat and Dan fought).
  • Ret-Canon: 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 Dramatic Battle Mode in the first Alpha where two players as Ryu and Ken must fight a computer-controlled M. Bison. The Japanese version even plays a Q-Sound rendition of "Itoshisa to Setsunasa to Kokoro Tsuyosa 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 the first World Warrior Tournament and subsequently shoehorning in Evil Ryu.
    • Alpha 3, for all intents and purposes, set in stone the story that the games still follow (except for Charlie's death, which was retconned back to the events that transpired in Alpha 2).
  • Rival Final Boss:
    • The first two games of the series operate like this, as the last fighter your character faces is often a rival of theirs instead of the Big Bad. M. Bison/Dictator (said Big Bad) isn't quite up to his level of prominence in Street Fighter II (since this saga is a prequel to the events of SFII), but a few characters (Charlie, Chun-Li, Guy, and Rose) have him as their rival.
    • Alpha 3 mostly avoids this, as Bison is the Final Boss for the majority of the cast (with other character-specific battles taking place at Stages 5 and 9). The lone exception other than Bison himself (whose Final Boss is Ryu) is Evil Ryu, who faces Final Bison as the Sub Boss before moving on to fight Shin Akuma at the end of his Arcade route.
  • Sampling: "Resolution," Chun-Li's theme in Alpha 3, samples "Hardening Drops" from Tetris: The Grand Master at the beginning.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: Ryu and Ken throw their Hadōkens simultaneously towards the screen in the opening sequence of Alpha 2.
  • The Smurfette Principle: 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.
  • Slipped the Ropes: 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.
  • SNK Boss:
    • Shin Bison/Final Bison in Alpha 3 uses "S-ism" (Shadaloo-ism a.k.a. Bison's Psycho Power when raised to its fullest potential), which allows him to fill his Super Combo Gauge at speeds the player could only dream of. Say goodbye to 70% of your health bar when you get hit by his screen-filling and completely invincible Super.
    • Shin Akuma doesn't need a unique fighting style, since he builds his Super bar without you even landing hits. "SHINSHUNGOKUSATSU!" *shiiiiiiiing* "Wiiiiiinner!!"
  • Stance System: Gen can switch between Mantis and Crane style on the fly.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: This is the part of the series that firmly establishes the Satsui no Hado, or "Surge of Killing Intent", and that both Ryu and Akuma are affected by its corrupting power. This is also the series that establishes a literal Evil Ryu and Shin Akuma, both of them giving into the Satsui no Hado to become a souped-up stronger version of themselves that are also explicitly more violent.
  • Synchronization: In the first two games, characters would share a lifebar and the Super Combo Gauge during Dramatic Battle (though they had infinite meter in Alpha 2 to compensate). Alpha 3 would make the health and super meter of allied fighters separate.
  • Tag Team: A 2-on-1 tag-team system known as "Variable Battle" was introduced in the PSP version.
  • Title Scream: The original game had one by someone trying to sound like The Ahnold: "STREET FIGHTAH! OWFAH!" The sequels dropped this for a more generic English announcer, though the third game's announcer is still quite hammy.
  • Updated Re-release:
    • Alpha 2 was revised as Alpha 2 Gold (Zero 2 Alpha in Japan). Certain characters had their moves modified or new ones given and additional secret variations of characters were also included. The home version also gave players the ability to unlock Cammy as a bonus character and an exclusive "Akuma Mode". This version was never released in western territories until the arrival of Street Fighter Collection in 1997.
    • Alpha 3 Upper is the home console version of Alpha 3 back-ported to the arcade, using the Sega Dreamcast-based Naomi arcade platform. Several characters were added, including the remaining characters from Super Street Fighter II Turbo that were not present in the first version of Alpha 3.
  • Unreliable Illustrator: 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. This is justified in that their sprites were made for games released years after the Alpha series ended.
  • Worldbuilding: The Alpha games mark a major turning point in the franchise when Street Fighter goes from what was largely an Excuse Plot to a much more developed lore and setting, including Canon Welding Final Fight into the universe.

Alternative Title(s): Street Fighter Alpha 3, Street Fighter Alpha 2