Street Fighter III - New Generation (ストリートファイターⅢ Sutorīto Faitā Surī?) is a 1997 fighting game released for the arcade. Produced for the CD-ROM-based CPS III hardware, which allowed for more elaborate 2D graphics than the CPS II-based Street Fighter Alpha games, while revamping many of the recurring gameplay features. The game, which was designed as a direct sequel to the Street Fighter II series, discarded all the original characters, with the exception of Ryu and Ken, with an all-new character roster led by Alex (hence the "New Generation" subtitle). Likewise, a new antagonist named Gill took over M. Bison's role from the previous games as the new boss character.
Street Fighter III was followed by an updated version released during the same year titled Street Fighter III 2nd Impact - Giant Attack (ストリートファイターⅢ セカンドインパクト?), which introduced a few new features and characters. A third version, titled Street Fighter III 3rd Strike - Fight for the Future (ストリートファイターⅢ サードストライク?), was released for the arcades in 1999.
Released on February 1997, the original Street Fighter III features ten unique selectable characters (not counting Yun and Yang separately) and a non-selectable computer-controlled character as the game's final opponent. In the single-player mode, the player will face seven computer-controlled opponents, including Gill.
The gameplay of the original Street Fighter III is based on Super Street Fighter II Turbo, but with several new abilities and features introduced. Players can now dash or retreat like in the Darkstalkers series, perform high jumps and do a quick standing after falling from an attack. The game also introduced "leap attacks", which are small jumping attacks used against crouching opponents. However, the player cannot block in the air like in the Street Fighter Alpha series.
The main new feature introduced in Street Fighter III is the inclusion of Super Arts. A Super Art in Street Fighter III is a powerful special move similar to a Super Combo in Super Turbo and the Alpha games. After selecting a character, the player will be prompted to select from one of three character-specific Super Arts to use in battle. Like the Super Combo gauge in the previous game, the player has a Super Art gauge which will fill out as the player performs regular and special moves against an opponent. The player can only perform a Super Art once the gauge is filled. Depending on the Super Art chosen by the player, the length of the Super Art gauge will vary, as well as the amount of filled Super Art gauges the player can stock up.
The other new feature is the ability to "parry" an opponent's attack. Parrying, or "blocking" which is the term used in the Japanese version, is the ability to evade an incoming attack without receiving damage. At the exact moment an opponent's attack is about to hit their character, the player can move the lever forward or down to step aside without receiving damage, leaving the opponent vulnerable for a counterattack. Additionally, this also allows the player to defend against special moves and even Super Arts without sustaining damage or filling up the stun gauge, which is what happens when a player blocks a special move with the regular defensive stance. However, parrying an attack requires precise timing.
With the exceptions of Ryu and Ken, the playable characters in New Generation are all new.
- Alex, a wrestler whose parents died early and was raised by his mentor Tom, who taught him how to fight.
- Dudley, a gentleman boxer.
- Elena, a Kenyan princess, hoping to make new friends around the world.
- Gill, a fantastical man who can control fire and ice and is president of the secret society, Illuminati.
- Ibuki, a schoolgirl ninja who wants to have a normal life.
- Necro, a man who was experimented on by the Illuminati.
- Oro, an old hermit and a master of Senjutsu.
- Sean, a young man from Brazil who loves basketball and wants to become Ken's pupil.
- Yang, the twin brother of Yun, in this game he is selectable only as a "palette swap".
- Yun, a young Chinese kung-fu martial artist and the twin brother of Yang.
|Alex||The lead character of the Street Fighter III games. He fights with close-range wrestling and quick rushing attacks. His goal is to avenge the defeat of his friend Tom at the hands of Gill. Voiced by Michael Sommers in New Generation and 2nd Impact, and Patrick Gallagan in 3rd Strike.|
|Dudley||A dandy British boxer who is trying to retrieve an antique car that Gill has stolen. Voiced by Bruce Robertson in New Generation and 2nd Impact, and by Francis Diakowsky in 3rd Strike.|
|Elena||An African princess who uses the fighting style of capoeira. She seeks to make new friends. Voiced by Kaoru Fujino in New Generation and 2nd Impact, and Mie Midori in 3rd Strike.|
|Gill||The leader of the secret organization known as the Illuminati, he wants to restore balance to the world. He can manipulate fire and ice. He is the final opponent for all the characters in New Generation and 3rd Strike, and for most of the characters in 2nd Impact. He is a playable character only in the console versions of the games. Voiced by Bruce Robertson in New Generation and 2nd Impact, and Lawrence Bayne in 3rd Strike.|
|Ibuki||An aspiring ninja whose fight in the tournament is part of her final exam. She is very quick and agile. Voiced by Yuri Amano in all three games.|
|Ken Masters||Knowing that Ryu has entered the tournament, Ken enters to test his strength against his old friend. Voiced by Koji Tobe in New Generation and 2nd Impact, and Yuji Kishi in 3rd Strike.|
|Necro||A Russian man who was kidnapped and experimented on in the Illuminati's "G-Project". In 2nd Impact, he finds a companion named Effie who follows him and mimics his actions. Voiced by Michael X. Sommers in New Generation and 2nd Impact, and by Lawrence Bayne in 3rd Strike.|
|Oro||A hermit who seeks a fighter worthy to inherit his fighting style. He binds one arm while fighting, to keep from accidentally killing his opponent, except when performing specific special arts. Voiced by Kan Tokumaru in New Generation and 2nd Impact, and by Takashi Matsuyama in 3rd Strike.|
|Ryu||As usual, Ryu enters the tournament to better his skills and find worthy opponents. Voiced by Wataru Takagi in New Generation and 2nd Impact, and by Toru Okawa in 3rd Strike.|
|Sean Matsuda||A young Brazilian fighter who is being trained by Ken, Sean wants to improve his skills and prove his ability. Voice by Isshin Chiba in New Generation and 2nd Impact, and Mitsuo Iwata in 3rd Strike.|
|Yang Lee||Yang is a Kung Fu expert from Hong Kong, and the twin brother of Yun. In New Generation, Yang is selectable only as a "palette swap" of his brother Yun. In 2nd Impact and 3rd Strike, Yang is a separate character, with his own unique set of Special Moves and Super Arts. Voiced by Wataru Takagi in New Generation and 2nd Impact, and by Kentaro Ito in 3rd Strike.|
|Yun Lee||A cocky fighter who, along with Yang, protects his hometown in Hong Kong. He's a happy-go-lucky person who likes to do things his own way. Voiced by Koji Tobe in New Generation and 2nd Impact, and by Masakazu Suzuki in 3rd Strike.|
- To view all official character artwork, see: Official Art.
- Producer and director Tomoshi Sadamoto began talking about Street Fighter III in 1994, but the development was pushed to 1995 due to most of the staff working on Darkstalkers.
- Originally Street Fighter III: New Generation was not going to be Street Fighter game, it became one once Akiman joined the development team. The reason behind this decision is due to Capcom's fighting games outside of Street Fighter not selling well at the time.
- The only returning character was going to be Ryu, but since they didn’t have enough characters they added Ken.
- Due to Hugo's size, it took twice the time to finish him, which lead to Hugo being swapped out in favor of Sean.
- While 2nd Impact was the first game that supported widescreen, this game has a mostly complete beta widescreen mode that only has glitches in the "VS" screen in the game accessible by cheating devices, technically making this the first Street Fighter game to support such a feature.