SF4 Biweekly TACV 02: El Fuerte / Zangief
The second episode of my tool-assisted combo video series features SF4’s dedicated grappler duo: Zangief and El Fuerte. While neither is particularly gifted in the combo versatility department, both have a few surprising tricks up their sleeves.
0:11 Since only the fifth hit of Dhalsim’s ultra knocks down, trading hits with it is a good way to keep combos going. All of El Fuerte’s Focus Attacks were charged up to lvl2 so they all caused crumple stun. Since there isn’t enough time to connect any of El Fuerte’s knockdown attacks after that last lvl2 Focus Attack, the only thing he can do is juggle with a normal move or use his super move. It’s easier to time the super so i went with s.MP – the slowest normal move that would juggle.
0:22 Due to the quickness of both his forward dash and Focus Attack startup, El Fuerte is one of the few characters who can dash-cancel his lvl3 Focus Attack then connect a lvl2 Focus Attack before the opponent falls over. After the ultra, El Fuerte’s counterhit j.HP causes his F+MK to pass through Rufus and connect from the other side. Then he links into c.LK, c.MK xx run-stop, c.MK xx LK Flying Dynamite super, which misses one hit at the beginning. The LK version is the only one that’ll combo because it has the shortest startup period.
0:44 Zangief’s vertical j.U+HP deals 600 stun normally and 750 on counterhit. He needs to take a step forward in order to follow up c.LP with a close normal. One of the weird things about Street Fighter 4 is that characters have enormous hitboxes while walking and dashing. It’s possible to get much closer to opponents using a jump attack. Hitting the top of Gouken’s head with j.HK is how Gief manages to link together so many attacks on the ground.
0:53 This looks deceptively easy, but finding the correct spacing for vertical j.U+MP to hit Seth’s crumple stun took a lot of work. The MP version of Gief’s air headbutt has terrible range, but using the HP version would have dizzied Seth too soon. The other cool thing about this combo is canceling c.LK into Quick Double Lariat at a distance where it connects as late as possible, allowing Gief enough time to juggle with EX Banishing Flat without FADC. There’s not much he can do with that extra meter so i got rid of it – partly because it was funny and partly to trick people into ignoring his fully charged super meter in the next clip.
1:12 Interrupting a hard attack with most projectiles in the game yields around 4 frames of advantage after the projectile’s hitstun ends. Unfortunately in this scenario, the stun counter math makes it impossible to show a better combo. Rose’s 1000 point limit isn’t enough to do anything fancy and her next tier of 1200 is unreachable. Turns out that if you kill a grounded opponent with a light attack and cancel into a grab, it’ll magically connect. However, for whatever reason, if you do more than one attack before they die, Zangief’s FAB super will whiff every time. Apparently the only exception is using a Focus Attack before the light attack. It’s a bizarre restriction to say the least, but it’s there.
This is a tool-assisted combo video recorded with two ASCII PAD V Pro programmable controllers. Absolutely no cheats, hacks, or game-altering devices were used in the making of.