Street Fighter Alpha 2, known as Street Fighter Zero 2 (ストリートファイターZERO 2 Sutorito Faita Zero 2?) in Japan, Asia, South America, and Spain, is a 1996 fighting game originally released for the CPS II arcade hardware by Capcom. The game is a sequel to Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors' Dreams, which is itself a prequel to the Street Fighter II series in terms of plot and setting.
The game featured a number of improvements over the original, such as new endings, stages, moves and gameplay systems. Some character's endings were retconned from the original, overwriting their prior story (i.e. Akuma's), or tweaked.
Street Fighter Alpha 2 retains most of the new features introduced in the original Street Fighter Alpha, such as the three-level Super Combo gauge, Alpha Counters, Air-Blocking and Fall Breaking. The game has a thinner and longer health bar as well. Every character has two Alpha Counters; one for the kick and one for the punch button. Previously, characters only had one, and it was with either the punch or kick button.
The main new feature in the game is the Custom Combo system (Original Combo in Japanese versions), which replaces the Chain combos from the first Alpha. However, it is not available in regular attack as chain combos; if the Super Combo Gauge is on Lv. 1 or above, the player can initiate a Custom Combo pressing two punch buttons and a kick simultaneously, or vice versa. The player can then perform any series of basic and special moves to create a Custom Combo until the Timer Gauge at the bottom of the screen runs out. The only characters that can still perform Chain Combos in the game are Guy and Gen, but only to a limited extent. As such, the game has less combos and gameplay is generally slower, which balanced out most characters.
The single-player mode, much like the original Street Fighter Alpha, consist of eight matches with computer-controlled opponents, including a fixed final opponent whose identity depends on the player's selected character. Each character also has a secret rival whom they can face during the course of the single-player mode after meeting certain requirements, in which then the rival will interrupt one of the player's regularly scheduled matches and exchange dialogue with the player's character. With Akuma now a regular character, a more powerful version of the character dubbed Shin Akuma replaces him as a secret opponent. Unlike Super Turbo and the original Alpha, Shin Akuma challenges the player before the player's final opponent, rather than as an alternate final boss.
All thirteen characters from the original Alpha return, with previously secret characters M. Bison, Akuma, and Dan now part of the immediate roster. There isn't a "Random Fighter" option, though. The graphics for all of the returning characters' home stages, cutscenes and endings have been completely changed to new ones. In addition, returning character's voice recordings have been made higher or deeper pitched, or removed and replaced completely. Sounds and background music in general have been noticeably changed in pitch. Damage inflicted by normal and special moves has been reduced as well.
Five additional characters are featured, extending the selectable roster to 18. The new characters include Zangief and Dhalsim from Street Fighter II; Gen from the original Street Fighter; Rolento from Final Fight; and Sakura, a new character who is a schoolgirl that idolizes Ryu and emulates his fighting techniques.
Street Fighter Alpha 2 also features an alternate version of Chun-Li in her Street Fighter II outfit as a hidden character, as well as Shin Akuma, a more powerful version of Akuma who appears as a secret computer-controlled opponent in the single player mode. The North American version of the arcade game also features three additional hidden characters who were not in the Japanese version: Evil Ryu, an alternate version of Ryu who uses the same power as Akuma; as well as extra versions of Zangief and Dhalsim who play like their counterparts from Street Fighter II: Champion Edition, including the omission of gameplay features such as super moves and air blocking.
|Adon|| Bank of the Chao Phraya River,|
|Adon is back after his defeat in the original Street Fighter. His story revolves around him setting out to challenge his old master, Sagat, for the title of God of Muay Thai after Ryu's triumph over him in Street Fighter.|
|Akuma searches the world for worthy opponents. In his travels, he is confronted by Gen. In a fierce battle, Akuma uses his Raging Demon on Gen, but it fails to kill him as he empties his soul in time. However, during the battle, Akuma notices that Gen was ill with leukemia and storms off, looking for a fair fight. Ryu eventually finds Akuma's island and challenges him. Akuma tests Ryu's strength and later on destroys the island, telling Ryu to train further for their next encounter.|
|Birdie|| London Underground,|
|A street thug from England who is interested in joining Shadaloo, he sets out to prove his strength to Bison and gain membership, which he successfully does.|
|Charlie Nash|| Detroit Highway,|
|Charlie is a first lieutenant of the USAF, and is given an important mission by his superiors to find and arrest Bison for his past crimes. Charlie eventually tracks down M. Bison in Venezuela, leading to a swift and intense battle between the two of them, with Charlie emerging victorious against Bison. However, Charlie's victory is short-lived, for when Charlie seriously interrogates Bison about his alleged connection to a potential corruption in the U.S. Army, Charlie himself is shockingly and unexpectedly gunned down by one of his own backup helicopters, leading to not only Charlie's horrific plummet down a waterfall and presumed death, but also confirming Bison's own control over corrupt officers within the U.S. Army as well.|
|Chun-Li is an agent of Interpol and is searching for information regarding the death of her father. It turns out that M. Bison, leader of Shadaloo, is responsible. She successfully tracks down Bison, but gets overwhelmed by his Psycho Power and vows vengeance towards him as Bison immediately escapes from Chun-Li's own anger and wrath.|
|Dan Hibiki|| Temple Street,|
|Dan is the son of Go Hibiki, the man responsible for taking out one of Sagat's eyes; out of rage, Sagat killed Go. After training with Gouken for a short time, Dan develops his own fighting style, Saikyō-ryū, and sets out to avenge the death of his father.|
|Dhalsim|| Bank of the Ganges River,|
|Dhalsim gets involved in the recent events to raise money for his poor village. By doing so, he gains his fellow villagers' respect and in the end, Dhalsim himself becomes a "Great Yoga Master".|
|Gen suffers from leukemia and enters the fighting scene once again to find a worthy opponent that can finish him off. During his travels he helps Chun-Li with clues about Bison's whereabouts. Ultimately, Gen encounters Akuma, who spares him because it was not a fair fight.|
|Guy|| Metro City,|
|Guy is a modern-day ninja, the newest heir to the Bushinryu style. Before claiming the title, however, Guy is warned by his master of an emerging threat to the world, so he seeks out this new mysterious evil, who is none other than M. Bison.|
|Ken Masters|| San Francisco Bay,|
|Ken wins the U.S. Martial Arts tournament during the events of the original Street Fighter and goes to tell his master Gouken the good news. When he arrives at the dojo, he witnesses his master being killed by Akuma. Ken tries to step in but is easily knocked down and Akuma leaves. Ken vows to get stronger and avenge his master. During his travels, he encounters Ryu, who is having doubts about his power, and after a fight, helps him regain his senses.|
|M. Bison|| Atop the VTOL,|
|M. Bison is the leader of world criminal organization Shadaloo. His actions involve drug trafficking and arms dealing, among others. As a result, he and his organization have gained a lot of notoriety.|
|Rolento F. Schugerg|| New York,|
|Rolento is an ex-Mad Gear Gang member who wants to create his own utopian nation. He encounters Sodom, who tries to recruit him into the new Mad Gear, and Guy, who attempts to stop him. In the end, he leads an uprising within Metro City, intending to achieve his idealistic dream.|
|Rose|| Genova City Port,|
|Rose is a beautiful yet mysterious psychic from Genoa who senses that doomsday is slowly approaching, being caused by Bison. She goes out to find and defeat Bison. While she manages to defeat him, Bison was not truly dead.|
|Ryu|| Suzaku Castle,|
|After winning the first World Warrior Tournament, Ryu goes back home to Japan, only to discover that his master Gouken had been shockingly murdered. Ryu sets out to find Akuma, though Ryu hasn't felt like himself since his victory over Sagat. He encounters both Ken and Sakura during his travels, who help him regain his focus. Later, he manages to locate Akuma on his island, where they fight. Having tested his skill, Akuma sinks the island, telling Ryu to become stronger.|
|Sagat|| Ayutthaya Temple Ruins,|
|After Ryu won the title of World Warrior, Sagat trains to get better, developing the Tiger Blow in the process. After severely injuring his student Adon for mocking him, Sagat is approached by M. Bison and joins Shadaloo under the promise of getting his rematch against Ryu.|
|Sakura Kasugano|| Setagaya-ku Ni-chome,|
|Sakura is a Japanese schoolgirl who idolizes Ryu, whose fighting style she has imitated. Hoping for a match and an autograph with him, she cuts classes and goes on a journey around the world.|
|Sodom||Arizona Desert, USA||Sodom is looking for recruits to join his new Mad Gear Gang. After losing Rolento, who had lost sight of the gang's ideals, he sets his attention on Japan's Sumo wrestlers, leading to a humorous Sumo match between Sodom and E. Honda.|
|Zangief||Bilsk Steelworks, USSR||Zangief is a Russian wrestler who travels around the world showing the strength of "the Great Motherland". Gaining notoriety, he becomes acquainted with Gorbachev and returns to his country as a national Russian hero, nicknamed the "Red Cyclone". Zangief is then sent to train in the Siberian wastes, wrestling bears as he vows to improve himself greatly while also remaining quite very resolved and determined to show and prove Russia's own almighty power and strength to the world itself.|
Street Fighter Alpha 2 was released under the title of Street Fighter Zero 2 in Japan, Asia, South America and Spain. The American and European versions of Alpha 2 features three additional characters who were not in Japanese version: Evil Ryu and the EX versions of Zangief and Dhalsim.
Capcom released an updated version of Zero 2 titled Street Fighter Zero 2 Alpha, which features all the additional characters from Alpha 2, as well as other changes to the game. In addition to Zangief and Dhalsim, Zero 2 Alpha also features EX versions of Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Sagat and M. Bison, all whom were characters from the original Street Fighter II': Champion Edition. Custom Combos are now executed by pressing a punch and kick button of the same strength simultaneously and now require half (1½ level) of the Super Combo gauge filled to perform them. Some of the characters have gained new moves such as Ryu's Shakunetsu Hadoken and Dhalsim's Yoga Tempest. Zero 2 Alpha also features a Survival Mode, as well as a 2-on-1 Dramatic Battle Mode similar to the hidden "Ryu and Ken vs. Bison mode" in the original Alpha. In the Japanese version of Zero 2 Alpha, Evil Ryu has different dialogue exchanges and a different ending from his regular counterpart. The game also features an arranged version of the Alpha 2 soundtrack.
The original Alpha 2 was ported to the PlayStation and the Sega Saturn in late 1996. The PlayStation port features an arranged soundtrack, in the form of XA-Audio, while the Saturn version uses an arranged soundtrack in a streaming ADPCM format (which looped properly like in the arcade version). Both versions feature Shin Akuma as a selectable character via a secret code (which differs between the two versions: the PlayStation port requires the players to move the cursor in a Z pattern (from Street Fighter Zero), while the Saturn version requires an X pattern (from Super Street Fighter II X — Grand Master Challenge, Akuma's debut game), in addition to the classic-style Chun-Li. The Saturn port is the only one of the two versions to feature the characters of Evil Ryu, EX Zangief, and EX Dhalsim from the American arcade version. Additionally, the Saturn version also features an exclusive Survival Mode, as well as an Art Gallery.
A SNES port was also released in 1996. This version makes use of the S-DD1 chip for graphic decompression. Due to the graphics decompression that needs to be performed, the game has several loading delays when entering matches. Unlike the PlayStation and Saturn versions, the only hidden character available to the player is the classic-style Chun-Li. While not selectable, Shin Akuma still appears in the game as a secret computer-controlled opponent, though; he can be selected as playable character via a cheating device, and this version has Shin Akuma inflicting double the usual damage to possibly compensate for his unavailability as a playable character. The game features a few dialogue edits, one of them correcting a grammar error when facing off against Shin Akuma. In the North American and European versions of the game, Sodom's name was censored, changed to Katana just like before from within the SNES North American and European versions of Final Fight. The beginning portion of Rose's ending where she is taking a bath was removed. Charlie's ending is also changed; while he will fight M. Bison in an unique stage near a waterfall on other versions, they will fight in Bison's default stage on the SNES version, since the waterfall stage isn't featured at all. An odd change exclusive to this version only is the ability to use the Custom Combo activation at any time with at least one level of the Super Combo meter available.
A Windows PC port was also released in 1997, based on the PlayStation version, but using the arcade soundtrack in 22kHz WAV format. This version was sold as a bundle with the original Alpha in Japan.
A home version of Street Fighter Zero 2 Alpha was released under the title of Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold in North America, Street Fighter Alpha 2′ (Prime) in Europe and Street Fighter Zero 2 Dash in Japan (promoted as Street Fighter Zero 2′). The game was released as a component of Street Fighter Collection, a compilation that also includes Super Street Fighter II and Super Street Fighter II Turbo. Alpha 2 Gold features most of the same changes, features and game modes as the arcade version of Zero 2 Alpha, omitting only the 2-on-1 Dramatic Battle mode from the arcade game. In addition to all the characters featured in previous versions of Alpha 2, Gold features a version of Cammy based on her rendition from X-Men vs. Street Fighter, who appears as a hidden character selectable only in the game's Versus and Training Modes. Alpha 2 Gold also features an "Akuma Mode", where the player can fight against Shin Akuma immediately.
The 2006 PlayStation 2 compilation Street Fighter Alpha Anthology features a version of the original Alpha 2 based on the arcade game, as well as a revised version of Alpha 2 Gold which features Cammy as a selectable character in the game's Arcade Mode (with her own storyline and ending). Both games feature Survival and Dramatic Battle modes in addition to Arcade, Versus and Training. The Japanese version of the compilation, Street Fighter Zero: Fighters' Generation, features the arcade versions of Street Fighter Zero 2 and Zero 2 Alpha as regular games, with the US version of Alpha 2 and the revised version of Zero 2 Dash as hidden games.
Promotional Art and PackagingEdit
|Street Fighter Alpha Characters|
|Alpha|| Adon · Akuma · Birdie · Charlie · Chun-Li · Dan · Guy|
Ken · M. Bison · Rose · Ryu · Sagat · Sodom
|Alpha 2||Original||Dhalsim · Evil Ryu · Gen · Rolento · Sakura · Zangief|
|Alpha 3||Original||Balrog · Blanka · Cody · E. Honda · Juli · Juni · Karin · R. Mika · Vega|
|Console||Dee Jay · Fei Long · Guile · T. Hawk|
|Upper||Eagle · Maki · Yun|