Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors' Dreams, known as Street Fighter Zero (ストリートファイター ゼロ Sutorīto Faitā Zero?) in Japan, Asia, South America, and Spain, is a 1995 fighting game developed and published by Capcom. It was originally released for the arcade for the CPS II hardware. It was the first all new Street Fighter game produced by Capcom since the release of Street Fighter II in 1991.
The game introduces several new features, expanding on the Super Combo system previously featured in Super Street Fighter II Turbo, with graphics drawn in the same animated style Capcom employed in Darkstalkers and X-Men: Children of the Atom. The plot of Street Fighter Alpha is set before the events of Street Fighter II and thus the game features younger versions of established characters, as well as characters from the original Street Fighter and Final Fight, and a few who are new to the series.
GameplayStreet Fighter Alpha revamps the Super Combo system introduced in Super Street Fighter II Turbo by adding a three-level Super Combo gauge. Like in Super Turbo, the Super Combo gauge fills in as the player performs regular and special moves. When the gauge reaches Level 1 or higher, the player can perform one of their character's Super Combo techniques. The number of punch or kick buttons pressed simultaneously when performing a Super Combo determines the amount that will be used. In addition to Super Combos, the player can also perform a special counter attacking technique called an Alpha Counter, or Zero Counter in the Japanese version, after blocking an opponent's attack, which consumes a level of the Super Combo gauge.
There are two playing styles that can be selected after choosing a character: Normal and Auto. Auto differs from Normal in which the character will automatically guard against a limited number of attacks from their opponent, provided the character is not in the middle of performing an attack. Auto also allows the player to perform an instant Super Combo by pressing a punch and kick of the same strength simultaneously, but at expense of reducing the maximum level of the Super Combo gauge to one.
There are also new basic techniques such as Air Blocking, the ability to guard during mid-air; and Chain combos, also known as Alpha Combos, or Zero Combos in Japan, which are combos that are performed by interrupting the animation of one basic move by performing another with that of equal or greater strength. In addition to recovering from an opponent's throw, the player also has the ability to roll on the ground when they fall to the ground after an attack.
The single player mode consist of seven random computer-controlled opponents and a final opponent whose identity differs depending on the player's character. There are also three hidden characters in the game: Akuma, who returns from Super Turbo as an alternate final boss only after certain requirements are met, M. Bison who is seen at the end of certain player's ending, and can be selected by stopping the "random fighter" option at the right time or via cheat, and a new hidden character named Dan, challenging the player during the course of the game.
The game also features a secret two-on-one Dramatic Battle mode in which two players as Ryu and Ken fight against a computer-controlled M. Bison, a mode inspired by the final fight between the characters in Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie. The Japanese arcade version of the game plays an instrumental rendition of the movie's battle theme, "Itoshisato Setsunasato Kokorozuyosato", which was replaced by Bison's regular theme in the overseas releases).
The immediate character roster includes Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, and Sagat from the Street Fighter II series, along with Birdie and Adon from the original Street Fighter, who make their first appearances as playable characters in this game. Guy, one of the main playable characters from Final Fight also appears along with Sodom, a boss character from the same game. New to the series are Charlie (Nash in the Japanese version), Guile's combat buddy who uses the same special moves, and Rose, a female fortune teller who uses an energy known as Soul Power.
In addition to the ten regular characters, there are also three boss characters in the game. Street Fighter II antagonist M. Bison appears as a final opponent for many of the characters in the single-player mode, while Akuma once again appears as a secret final opponent. Another secret character, Dan, makes his first appearance in this game. All three characters can be selected by the player by inputting a specific code for each.
|Adon||Thailand (day)||Adon trains to claim the title of "Muay Thai master", which he eventually gains by defeating his master, Sagat.|
|Akuma||China (day)||Akuma, after finishing off Ryu and Ken's master, travels the world searching for powerful opponents. In the end Akuma triumphs over all.|
|Birdie||Italy (night)||A street thug from England who is interested in joining Shadaloo, and sets out to prove his strength to Bison and gain membership.|
|Charlie/Nash||East USA (night)||Charlie, a member of the US Air Force and detective, is ordered to find and kill M. Bison for his crimes. Charlie succeeds in the end.|
|Chun-Li||China (night)||Chun-Li is an investigator in the Interpol and is looking into the death of her father. It turns out M. Bison of Shadaloo is responsible. She tracks down Bison, winning and is seen praying at her father's grave.|
|Dan||Thailand (sunset)||Dan sets out to get revenge for the death of his father Gou at the hands of Sagat.|
|Guy||Japan (evening)||Guy is a ninja and the newest heir to the Bushinryu art. He sets out to defeat evil, this evil being M. Bison. Guy wins and continues training his Bushin style.|
|Ken||East USA (evening)||Ken wins the US Martial Arts tournament and meets Eliza during the events of SFA.|
|M. Bison||West USA (day)||M. Bison is the leader of criminal organization Shadaloo. His actions involve drug trafficking, brainwashing, and violence. As a result he and his organization have gained a lot of notoriety.|
|Rose||Italy (day)||Rose senses an evil uprising and tracks it down, the evil being M. Bison, and defeat him.|
|Ryu||Japan (day)||Ryu, after winning the first World Warrior Tournament, goes home only to discover his master Gouken had been murdered. Ryu sets out to find Akuma.|
|Sagat||Thailand (night)||Sagat goes after Ryu to settle the score after Ryu scarred his chest.|
|Sodom||West USA (night)||Sodom is looking for recruits to join his Mad Gear gang after losing Rolento, who had lost sight of the gang's ideals.|
- Ports of Street Fighter Alpha were initially released for the PlayStation and the Sega Saturn. Both versions feature an arranged soundtrack, with both versions featuring a choice between the Arranged ("Remixed" on PS1) and Original versions. In addition to a dedicated two-player Versus Mode, these ports were also the first console Street Fighter ports to feature a Training Mode, allowing players to practice their techniques and combos on a non-hostile character. The PlayStation version of Street Fighter Alpha was re-released for the PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 3 via the PlayStation Network on August 14, 2008 in North America.
- A port for Capcom's CPS Changer was also released as a mail order release in 1996 in Japan. This version is identical to the arcade version, but features a different soundtrack due to hardware differences.
- A Windows PC version was released in 1998, based on the PlayStation version.
- A Game Boy Color version (ported by Crawfish Interactive) was released in 2000, featuring severely downscaled graphics and controls. The Game Boy Color version has no link cable support and is single-player only.
- The original Street Fighter Alpha and its sequels are featured Street Fighter Alpha Anthology for the PlayStation 2. The version of Alpha in this compilation features an Arcade, Versus and Training modes like the previous PlayStation and Saturn ports, as well as a Survival and Dramatic Battle mode. The Dramatic Battle on the main menu differs from the one in the original arcade game, in which player can select any pair of characters and face against a series of four computer-controlled opponents (Adon, Sagat, M. Bison and Akuma), not just Ryu and Ken against Bison. Furthermore, the player can turn on an option to allow Super Cancels; canceling a special move into a Super Combo.
Street Fighter Alpha was followed by two sequels: Street Fighter Alpha 2 in 1996 and Street Fighter Alpha 3 in 1998. Like Alpha, the two games were originally released for the arcades, followed by a few updated editions and home versions. All three games in the series and their variations were included in the PlayStation 2 compilation Street Fighter Alpha Anthology, released in 2006.
A manga adaptation based on the original Alpha and Alpha 2 by Masahiko Nakahira was published in Gamest from 1995 to 1996 and was later adapted into English by UDON in 2007. It was followed by two different animated adaptations: Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation in 2000 and Street Fighter Alpha: Generations in 2005.
- Computer-controlled foes in the arcade mode will sometimes repeatedly use their special attack three times in a row, first the weak version, then medium, then strong, randomly in battle. This is most noticeable, in particular, with Ken CPUs.
- Immediately after defeating a foe, within the time the announcer says "KO", there is a small window to do an attack or jump, unlike in other games where characters cannot move.
- On Ryu and Guy's stage, there is a poster advertising Street Fighter II in the far right corner.
- The home console versions have the option to choose between the original arcade version as well as a remixed/arranged version of the character's stage themes, unseen in virtually every other game, including it's sequel.
- Oddly, the game keeps track of the # hit combos and reversals of the CPU foe as well as the player. Bonuses can clearly be seen given, and "Great!", "First attack!" and the like can be seen given for the computer's combos, though the points are hidden.