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Video Game / Street Fighter III

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You know what they say, 3rd Strike's the charm.

Make your first move. So what's it gonna be?
You're trapped in the new world of Street Fighter III!
Fight for the Future, so what's it gonna be?
The 3rd Strike, y'all, it's Street Fighter III!
Make your first move. So what's it gonna be?
You're trapped in the new world of Street Fighter III!
Fight for the Future, so what's it gonna be?
The 3rd Strike, y'all, it's Street Fighter III! III! III!"
— Main Theme of Street Fighter III 3rd Strike

In 1997, Capcom finally released the long-awaited true sequel to Street Fighter II, Street Fighter III: New Generation. It cut the roster of familiar characters to Ryu and Ken, and added a whole slew of brand-new fighters, plus the new Big Bad, Gill.

The game was awaited with incredible hype, given its lineage. However, unlike previous games, III was met with rather lukewarm public perception. It's hard to pinpoint exactly why the game failed. Most likely it was a strong case of unrealistic expectations. Some say years of Updated Re-release of Street Fighter II and Alpha had left audiences apathetic, and the unfamiliar cast turned off casual fans. Also, the learning curve of the game had increased exponentially, in part because veterans of the games had become so good. The lack of a console port at the time of its release also meant a lot less availability compared to all the prior II and Alpha entries, which were ported to the popular 16-bit and 32-bit consoles. This kept away many new gamers, driving Street Fighter III into the margins.


Capcom would also release the inevitable update eight months later, with Street Fighter III 2nd Impact: Giant Attack, which also added Hugo (a member of the Andore clan from Final Fight) and Urien (Gill's brother) plus the return of Akuma.

In a final attempt, a second update, Street Fighter III 3rd Strike: Fight for the Future, was released, and has since become a fan favorite. The game returned Chun-Li to the lineup, added four new characters,note  rebalanced the system, and is often praised for having the best graphics of any 2D fighter up to that point.

While remaining quite obscure, giving its high level gameplay, the game was (and still is) immensely popular for Tournament Play. This popularity eventually gave the game the recognition it didn't receive at the time of its release. Due to how popular it eventually became, and fervent fan requests, Capcom re-released this game on Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network in 2011 as Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition; it features online play, enhanced visual settings, and other bonus content.


The game's playable roster includes:

Tropers ready. Engage!

  • Alternate Company Equivalent: Remy is Capcom's take of a typical SNK design that you might see in The King of Fighters or its ilk.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Amazingly averted for a 2D game. Gill's half-red half-blue body does not switch colors when he turns around. He was deliberately designed this way so that Capcom could show off the power of their CPS-3 board. Although, Oro doesn't have that kind of luck, as his bound arm and which shoulder his clothing hangs from switches sides.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: If you continue a set number of times in 3rd Strike, the CPU's difficulty level will be bumped down a level.
  • Ascended Meme: 3rd Strike Online Edition has a trial where you have to replicate Daigo's famous parry and finish.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Reappears in New Generation and 2nd Impact.
  • The Cameo: Infinite, who recorded the vocal songs for 3rd Strike, is also the game's announcer.
  • Character Roster Global Warming: About 20 characters and two (possibly three) big guys (Alex, Hugo and possibly Q).
  • Colon Cancer: The 2nd Impact and 3rd Strike portion of the second and third title, respectively, are sometimes treated as separate titles instead of being part of the main title.
  • Die, Chair! Die!: Certain stages allow for this ranging from causing furniture in the background to bounce after a powerful attack to causing a character to be knocked into a different part of the level for another one of the rounds.
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • Mastering the parrying mechanic can make a huge difference. That goes double for red parrying, which involves blocking and then parrying parts of multi-hit attacks.
    • Necro's seemingly slow, awkward moves make him potentially nigh unstoppable when his opponent is in the corner. The high-level strategies must be seen to be believed.
    • If timed well, Oro's juggling combos can completely shut down a match.
    • With good charge partitioning and buffering, Urien's tackles and Aegis Reflectors can completely overwhelm a cornered opponent.
    • The same can be said for Hugo. Mastery of the parrying system and devastating throws and anti-airs go a long way, indeed.
    • Twelve's X.C.O.P.Y. Super Art demands that you have knowledge of the other characters' movesets, but given that you can still make use of their taunt-granted buffs while mimicked, he can become a force to be reckoned with. His air dashing, move canceling properties, and clever spacing can be lethal if your opponent is unaccustomed to fighting him.
    • Q's moveset lacks variety, but makes great use of the parrying system and defensive strategies. Some of his attacks, if timed well, combo in very unexpected ways. Check it out.
  • EX Special Attack: Introduced in this game. By pressing two buttons of the same type while performing special attacks and spending half of a meter, you can perform a stronger special attack. Note that "half of a meter" means the exact cost varies depending on your chosen Super Art, since different ones have differently sized meters.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The arcade version of 3rd Strike with revision 990512 (dated May 12, 1999) had a bug that causes the game to restart if Ken defeats Makoto using his neutral throw. This was fixed on revision 990608 (dated June 8, 1999).
  • The Illuminati: Is actually Gill's organization.
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: A few of the themes on the soundtracks have some pretty weird genre mashups. Elena's theme, for example, mixes up African drums with house music with some saxophone thrown in, and Q's theme can only be described as funky X-Files music.
  • Oktoberfest: Hugo's 2nd Impact stage is set during this.
  • Pop-Star Composer: Canadian rapper and former Ghetto Concept member Infinite, who was fresh off his critically acclaimed 1998 EP release 360 Degrees, recorded three hip hop themes for 3rd Strike: "Let's Get It On", "Movin' On" and "Third Strike". Unfortunately, the full versions of the songs were never officially available until the release of 3rd Strike Online Edition.
  • Practical Taunt: Taunting provides Status Buffs, which is still a rarity in fighting games. This is especially the case for Q, who turns into a brick wall if you can taunt three times in a round.
  • Punch Parry: A new Parry mechanic that was added to the game, enabling with the proper timing a player to cancel out attacks by pushing either forward or down as an attack lands.
  • Shout-Out:
  • The Smurfette Principle: Elena and Ibuki in the first two games. 3rd Strike added Chun-Li and Makoto.
  • Snow Means Love: Effie and Necro barely dodge Snow Means Death when Necro saves Effie from falling to her death in a snowy frontier place. The trope goes full-blast when Effie embraces Necro as they get away safely, and he expresses happiness regarding the heavily modified body that allowed him to reach for her.
  • The Stinger: In the 2nd Impact credits roll, Gill's KO'ed body is lying in the background. When the credits finish, he revives using his Resurrection Super Art, and a To Be Continued message appears.
  • Take It to the Bridge: Elena's stage in New Generation/2nd Impact takes place on a bridge over a cliff; at the end of Round 1, the bridge breaks and plummets to the bottom of the cliff, with the characters following afterwards.
  • Updated Re-release: Played straight with 2nd Impact. This is subverted with 3rd Strike which is actually a sequel storywise.


Example of: