- "I am...the Red Cyclone! (アイアム！レッドサイクロン！ Ai amu! Reddo Saikuron!?)"
- —Zangief (Street Fighter IV series)
- "My iron body is invincible! So beware! (我が鋼の肉体に、死角無し！ Waga hagane no nikutai ni, shikaku-nashi!?)"
- —Zangief (Street Fighter V)
Zangief (ザンギエフ Zangiefu?, Russian: Зангиев, Zangiyev), also known as the "Red Cyclone" (赤きサイクロン Akaki Saikuron?, Russian: Красный циклон, Krasnyy tsiklon), is a video game character from the Street Fighter series, first appearing in Street Fighter II. He is a national Russian hero who is always seen fighting for the glory of his country.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Character Relationships
- 3 Story
- 4 Other appearances
- 5 Crossover appearances
- 6 Animations and Movies
- 7 Comics
- 8 Gameplay
- 9 Subpages
- 10 Trivia
- 11 Videos
- 12 Stage Theme
- 13 Audio files
- 14 See also
- 15 References
Zangief is a massive fighter, weighing 400 lbs and standing slightly over 7 feet tall, placing him as one of the tallest characters in the entire Street Fighter roster. Since his debut in Street Fighter II: The World Warrior in 1991, Zangief has been portrayed with a beard and a mohawk, along with a uniquely-shaped formation of chest hair on his torso and on his shins. His massive frame is almost entirely covered in scars from his bouts with brown bears in the barren and remote area of Siberia.
Zangief's wardrobe consists of simple red wrestling trunks with a gold belt, along with red and gold wristbands and his red wrestling boots with gold trim. In one of Zangief's concept artworks, he wore a tank top and had a sailor anchor tattoo on his left arm. He would retain the tank top in all his Street Fighter II portraits (except Turbo Revival and HD Remix), in order to indicate what color the player chose for him.
Starting with Street Fighter Alpha 2, Zangief was adorned with a red cloak that he would remove before starting his matches. The cloak became an accepted fixture of his image and he was shown with it in the 1994 Street Fighter II animated movie. Although modern 3D interpretations of Zangief have so far not shown him with his cloak, he is still depicted as wearing it before matches in his ending movie on Super Street Fighter IV.
He has multiple alternate costumes in Street Fighter V. The first one is a red wrestling suit with a single long sleeve; another is a red tank top with a golden lightning emblem at the center along with the sign of "METAL", yellow tights in a rainbow camouflage motif with black kneepads and yellow boots with a red lightning motif. He also wears black studded armbands and a yellow bandana on his head with a matching rainbow camouflage motif.
Born and raised in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), Zangief is an incredibly patriotic character who has been motivated in some way to fight for his Russian motherland in every single game he has ever been in. While his personality has varied from one media source to another, Zangief is mostly been portrayed as a very fearless and tactical fighter who is prone to quick temperaments and is always very competitive. In addition to being overwhelmingly patriotic, he is immensely proud of his massive physique and is obsessed with muscle building. In battles, he constantly belittles his opponent's smaller muscular build and blaming their losses on their lack of muscular power. His win quotes often consists of critiques towards his specific opponents about their lack of power or him telling his opponents to build more muscle.
Despite his short temper, Zangief has shown himself to be rather gentle-natured with a good sense of humor, once entering a tournament partly to win the admiration of a group of school children. According to the instruction manual of Street Fighter II: Special Championship Edition for the Sega Genesis/Mega-Drive, Zangief is described as being "good natured, with a great sense of humor and totally fearless".
While not fighting, Zangief enjoys hopak (Cossack dancing) and eating borscht. Some of the things which he does not like includes young women (because he views them as a distraction), bears that do not know how to wrestle properly and (according to the manual for Super Street Fighter II Turbo for the 3DO) projectiles such as Hadokens, Yoga Fires and Tiger Shots.
When wearing a mask, he goes under his heel persona of "The Gief", maintaining much of his pride but also demonstrating a much more aggressive and taunting tone. He often insists that certain fighters lean into the heel gimmick more, and makes references to his colleagues from Saturday Night Slam Masters.
Zangief's name is possibly derived from real-life pro wrestler Victor Zangiev, a former Soviet amateur who trained as a professional in NJPW, and who also competed in WCW and UWF International. Zangief's prototypical name was Vodka Gobalsky. Zangief's biography apparently plays upon the association between Stalinist regimes and state-funded athletics programs utilizing bodybuilding drugs following the domination of the 1954 World Weightlifting Championships by the Soviet Union. His appearance was possibly influenced by several professional wrestlers who performed with the New Japan Pro Wrestling Circuit during the time period of Street Fighter II's development in the late 1980s and early 1990's. Specifically, his physique is similar to that of Soviet wrestler Salman Hashimikov, while his facial appearance, including his beard, seems to be a slight nod to American wrestler Steve "Dr. Death" Williams, who was a staple in Japanese Pro Wrestling throughout the 80's and 90's.
Zangief is similar to the original 1987 version of Birdie, as both characters are depicted as very large men with mohawk haircuts. Zangief is also similar in terms of build and fighting style to Mike Haggar from Capcom's Final Fight series, whose spinning clothesline move he emulates, not to mention that Zangief's alternate costume in Street Fighter IV is a nod to Haggar's costume. There is a theory supported by Saturday Night Slam Masters on the Super Nintendo that Mike Haggar and Zangief know each other as former wrestling partners before Mike became the mayor of Metro City.
Zangief and Abel have a decent relationship, although not really covered in the story. Zangief first meets Abel in Street Fighter IV, which is his rival, believing he is worried and says they should fight, which initially confuses Abel about who he is and what's going on, but after the fight, he recognizes Zangief and is honored to meet him. In A Shadow Falls, Zangief knows Abel's name while Abel is overtaken by Psycho Power as a result of Operation C.H.A.I.N.S. and weakened Abel by making him fight, giving the chance to take him back to Kanzuki Estate and get rid of the Psycho Power.
Rainbow Mika is inspired by Zangief and is considered her idol and Zangief considers her a good friend. In Street Fighter V, they became wrestling partners and would've fought together in an exhibition match after Alex won the wrestling championship, but the Black Moon over the city they were at detonated and blacked out the entire city.
Laura and Zangief are wrestling rivals. They first met in Russia, where they fought. After the fight, Zangief gave her a ticket to a wrestler scouting camp, starting her wrestling career and being able to spread Matsuda jiu-jitsu worldwide. Later, Laura fought with Zangief and R. Mika with Alex during an exhibition match, which was blacked out due to the Black Moon.
Zangief and Ed seem to share a certain respect towards each other. With Zangief wanting to train Ed at his gym and Ed admitting to be impressed when he heard Zangief wrestles bears.
As wrestlers, Zangief and El Fuerte are rivals to a degree.
Zangief has respect for Dudley, stating it was an honor to fight him. Dudley stated that Zangief changed his view on modern wrestling.
Zangief is a national Russian hero nicknamed the "Red Cyclone". The leader of the Soviet Union, regarded as "the President," promised Zangief the country's full support in exchange for traveling around the world and showing off the might of the Soviet Union (and to improve his image abroad, an objective which Zangief wasn't made aware of).
During his travels to prove his Russian might, Zangief encounters Birdie and the two trade barbs about their appearance. Later, Zangief meets Ken Masters, who calls him a 'mama's boy', angering him and starting a fight. After Ken is defeated, the President appears, congratulating Zangief, who is then sent to train in remote Siberia (albeit with a limited budget).
Of note is that in almost all his appearances, the President bears more than a passing resemblance to the real-life former Soviet President, Mikhail Gorbachev. However, he is never explicitly mentioned by name.
Under orders from the Soviet President, Zangief is sent to combat the forces of Shadaloo, which is beginning to spread its corruption into Russia. Zangief encounters many fighters along the way, befriending some such as E. Honda and R. Mika. It is believed that he lost to Blanka before he could accomplish his final objective of destroying the Psycho Drive; however in his ending, he and Honda team up to destroy it (the canonicity of this ending is dubious). In R. Mika´s ending, she followed Zangief as he destroyed the Psycho Drive, and Zangief protected her from the falling apart base. It appears his story is a mix of the two. Nevertheless, the Psycho Drive gets destroyed by someone, at least and Zangief returns to Russia satisfied.
He then participates in the second World Warrior Tournament, hosted by Shadaloo, at the behest of the president, but loses. After the tournament, Zangief, dissatisfied with the outcome, returns to training in the Russian wilderness, wrestling bears. Eventually, he is approached by the largest wrestling organization in the world with an eye to signing the "Red Cyclone" to their promotion.
Zangief at first refuses, saying that he is less interested in money than he is in bringing honor to Russia by demonstrating Russian strength. He is promised a stage to better showcase his skills, with his matches watched by millions. Due to the obvious help this will bring to his will to show Russian strength, Zangief gladly accepts.
Street Fighter IV series
Zangief enters the World Tournament held by S.I.N. to prove to his young fans (some of whom are beginning to claim that martial artists are better) that he's still got it. After the tournament, Zangief frantically realizes that he hasn't gotten a souvenir, and says "I didn't even understand what the last guy was saying before I beat him." He then has an idea and takes a photograph holding the beaten Seth (main boss and host of the tournament) in a headlock, which is then viewed by the admiring young fans who recognize Seth as the "bad guy from the TV."
Prologue: A Red Omen
Zangief is shown beating an opponent with a Spinning Piledriver to win a wrestling match in the New York Fighting Tournament. After the match, he reads the latest edition of a wrestling magazine "Muscle Soul Fighters", sent by Rashid's servant, Azam. Zangief then flies to London, where he reunites with R. Mika who refers to him as "Master Zangief". Zangief wants to test her in-ring strength in a fight and Mika happily complies.
After she is defeated by him, Mika comments on how she wants to follow in Zangief's footsteps to become a "great professional wrestler", and Zangief replies by telling her that the only way to properly follow in his footsteps is to have what he calls "Muscle Spirit". He proposes that the two embark on a training journey, fighting around the world to build muscle and obtain the strongest Muscle Spirit they can muster. Mika gladly accepts the offer, and the two fly to their first destination, China.
Once in China, Zangief meets with an old friend Azam as well as Rashid. Mika is surprised that Azam and Zangief are acquainted; Zangief tells Mika that Azam is the adviser of the "Muscle Soul Fighters Club" as he introduces him to her. Rashid, too, is surprised that Azam and Zangief know each other, as Rashid is a fan of Zangief's, having watched his wrestling victories on the internet and remarking that his muscles are amazing in person. Zangief comically challenges Rashid to a wrestling match on the spot, offering to (literally) throw Rashid "as [a] greeting", much to Rashid's surprise and terror.
After Zangief demonstrates his moves on Rashid, the latter remarks that he was tremendously powerful; Zangief states that this strength comes from a "great power and dedication of muscle". Mika also challenges Rashid, again much to Rashid's shock and terror. Zangief laughs, saying that Mika and Rashid should have a great match together. While the two go at it, Azam informs Zangief about Laura's message that he received, reading only "The usual place". Azam also reminisces when both are guided by their masters a lifetime ago. Zangief soon notices that Mika has beaten Rashid for not the first time, as she excitedly challenges Rashid to have "one more match" to keep working on her muscle spirit as Rashid tries to make an excuse for why they shouldn't fight again. Zangief and Azam laugh, the former remarking to Rashid that fiery spirits help everyone, not just pro wrestlers and Azam tells him that the spirit that he inherits from his ancestors will fuel his power as a fighter and turn into muscle. Azam's statement confuses both Mika and Rashid, giving Azam and Zangief a hearty laugh.
Back in New York, Zangief now teams up with Mika, both in different costumes, in a tag team match. Mika gets extremely nervous, due to this being her first match fighting alongside her hero. Zangief encourages her not to get so antsy, as her muscle spirit is ready for anything as is as well-trained as his own. Mika thanks him and the two enter the ring.
Street Fighter III series
Street Fighter EX series
Zangief is a playable character in the Street Fighter EX games.
Zangief enters any and all Street Fighting tournaments purely to prove his worth as the greatest wrestler in the world and to maintain his reputation as the Red Cyclone. He is extremely proud of his motherland, the Soviet Union, and he is determined to represent it as the champion of each tournament.
Throughout the EX tournaments, he encounters an Indian wrestler who comes as close to Zangief's might as anyone he has ever faced. Duly impressed with Darun's prowess, he is excited to meet another wrestler of such caliber and to have someone worthy of practicing with.
When the third tournament is announced, they are eager to become each other partners and treat the events like tag team competitions, much to many of the spectators' (as well as some fighters') amusement.
"Comrade Zangief! I'm pleased to learned you won your fight as usual! It was splendid, very splendid! Now, for the love of our country, you will show that strength of yours to the rest of the world."
From an admirer
"I am the Red Cyclone! I can roll and crush everything!" Zangief, the genius wrestler from Russian. When he flexes his muscles of steel, the strenght of his motherland shines even brighter. Today, he went flying high in the air. "Hmph! FINAL! ATOMIC! Woooooo! BUSTER!"
We musn't forget that there is a strong nation called Russia. There lives a legendary Pro Wrestler who swung his mighty arm.
To make an effort within the international exchange, Zangief secluded himself to the mountains afterward to resume his training, seeking to gain even more power with the help of a "dear friend".
This national symbol energizes himself everyday with Cossack dancing and his friend "vodka".
To my comrade Zangief.
Please tell me about your activities.
It's amazing! It's truly amazing!
The finest borscht will be prepared.
Always affectionately yours.
"Isn't there anyone strong enough to be a match for me?!" Zangief yelled this as he read a strange and pitiful letter from his friend.
YOU SEEM TO HAVE ATTAINED ULTIMATE STREMGTH. YOU ARE THE BEST FIGHTER IN THE WORLD... OR SHOULD I SAY... YOU ARE THE BEST FIGHTER IN THE UNIVERSE!! I'VE ARRANGED A SPACE ROCKET JUST FOR YOUR VACATION.
Street Fighter EX3 (in team with Darun Mister)
The stadium echoes with the loud voice of Zangief, "Darun and me!! We're the best tag team in the world!! Nobody can beat us, you fools!! We are the greatest professional wrestlers!!" The spectators keep chanting, both Cyclone and Darun names for hours...
Capcom vs. SNK series
Marvel vs. Capcom series
He also appeared in Capcom Fighting Evolution as one of the playable characters. In his ending, during his training with bears, he miserably visualizes himself going on vacation in a tropical place.
Zangief appears in Street Fighter X Tekken with Rufus as his tag partner.
Zangief appears as a Spirits item in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. In the Adventure Mode, World of Light, Zangief can be found in the World Tour sub-area as the player traverses the map, with his spirit inhabiting Incineroar. Once Zangief's spirit is freed, he will open a dojo where the player can send spirits to train in his Wrestling style. Any spirit trained in this style will enhance the range and power of their master's grabs.
Masahiro Sakurai, the creator of the Super Smash Bros. series, references Zangief (via his nickname, "Red Cyclone") when explaining Incineroar's neutral special attack Darkest Lariat in the November 2018 Direct presentation on Ultimate. Additionally, all of Ryu's opponents in Classic Mode reference a Street Fighter II character with their costume choice, stage, and music, with Incineroar acting as Zangief.
Animations and Movies
Zangief appears briefly during a brutal battle against Blanka to entertain an audience of crime bosses, and ends up comically electrocuted by him.
Zangief also appears in Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation; in this portrayal, he never utters a word and merely growls like a beast instead, showing little to no humanity.
Zangief was played by Andrew Bryniarski in the Street Fighter movie. Here, he was a lackey of Bison's and served as comic relief in the movie, uttering silly lines at inappropriate times; for example, after seeing televised feed of a truck loaded with explosives about to crash into the villains' camp, he yells out "Quick! Change the channel!". Zangief was also loyal to Bison, at least until Dee Jay explained that Bison was the "bad guy", and had not promised that he would be paid. He also had a long fight with E. Honda and one "hero moment" near the end of the movie.
Zangief's role in the anime is similar to the live-action film; he is a Russian bear wrestler who frequently works as one of Shadaloo's strong-men. He does not seem to have any particular desire or inclination to injure or kill anyone, but he's not above using his full should his orders require him to. Zangief often wears a loincloth-like shirt in the series.
Zangief is first sent by M. Bison to capture Ryu, whom he had seen displaying talents of Hadou on a beach earlier. Ryu resists, and they fight for a while until Zangief manages to knock him out. As they are leaving, Zangief spots Guile watching them from afar. Later on, while Guile and Nash are infiltrating Bison's base, Zangief corners Guile with the intention of killing him under Bison's orders, and the two fight until Guile manages to knock Zangief out with a severe blow to the head. He is not seen again for the rest of the anime.
Zangief is depicted as one of Bison's recurring lackeys in the cartoon, similar to the live-action film.
Zangief makes a major cameo appearance in the 2012 Disney film, Wreck-It Ralph as part of a villains support group, even though he is not a villain within the main Street Fighter storyline. According to the screenwriter, Phil Johnston, Zangief was a source of frustration for him when playing Street Fighter in his childhood. Also of note is that Zangief has played the role of villain in more than a few spin-off appearances, including the movies mentioned above.
Zangief makes another cameo in the 2018 sequel, Ralph Breaks the Internet, talking to Chun-Li in Game Central Station as Ralph and Vanellope wonder how he only has hair on his chest and shins. Zangief makes another appearance near the end hosting a book club with Ralph and Sonic the Hedgehog.
Zangief has made several appearances in UDON's Street Fighter comics. He first appears during a match in the USA Fighting Championship, overpowering a depressed Ken (who had broken up with Eliza moments before). He ends up defeated when Ken regains his fighting spirit once Eliza attends his match.
He later travels the world to perfect his fighting style, one of his stops being Japan. He enters one of Rainbow Mika's wrestling matches and challenges her, ignoring the fact that her match is scripted and his appearance alone ruined everything. Nevertheless, Mika defeats him by pin, all the while unaware that the script had been changed and thinking Zangief was a surprise special guest.
Zangief later appears in the Japanese qualifiers for the next Street Fighter tournament. He and R. Mika are put in a tag team against Sodom and E. Honda. Zangief takes the ring after Sodom throws Mika out with a Daikyo Burning and easily defeats him, causing Honda to tag in. A disgusted Vega, who is hosting the match, sends waves of Geki ninjas to kill them, but Zangief and Honda make short work of the opponents, causing Vega to reluctantly allow them to participate in the tournament.
Zangief doesn't make it past the first round of the Street Fighter tournament, as he is once again defeated by Ken. He then returns to Russia to resume his training against bears in Siberia.
Zangief's signature fighting style is close-range wrestling (specifically, a mix of Russian and American pro wrestling) with devastating throws and powerful base moves. This makes him tough up close, though he often has trouble with foes with projectiles.
Many of Zangief's moves are more complicated to pull off, due to the 360 motions input required to perform the moves, making him a character for advanced players. This, along with the fact that several of his moves incorporate spins, is likely the basis for his wrestling moniker "Red Cyclone".
In addition, Zangief naturally lacks range, and many of his moves have a fairly long startup; this renders him fairly vulnerable to projectiles and makes him an ideal target for many faster characters. Zangief is one of the slowest of all characters in the Street Fighter games, and presents a large target, yet he is widely considered high-tier. As of recent appearances, he has several means to bypass projectile attacks, such as Double Lariat and Banishing Flat, the ability to walk unphased into a hit during his EX Flying Power Bomb, and the ability to grab opponents out of most ground-based moves via Spinning Piledriver. In most incarnations, Zangief is extremely dangerous against floored opponents, as he is able to force them to block regular attacks so that he can pin them in place to deliver a powerful throw or hold.
The Spinning Piledriver was the single most damaging special move in the original Street Fighter II series until the introduction of T. Hawk, and is capable of "sucking in" opponents from a surprising distance. Zangief's Flying Stomach attack was also the only standard move capable of dizzying a character in one hit in the Street Fighter II series.
In Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, a "Mecha Zangief" is introduced. This is an even slower version of Zangief who can't block; however, he takes reduced damage from everything, excluding beam-style attacks. He also can't be stopped, taking only a slight slowdown when hit by almost anything, and picks up a Yoga Blast-like attack, the Siberian Breath. Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes brought Zangief back and gave him the ability to transform into Mecha Zangief, making him more viable against speed characters; he retains this ability in Marvel vs. Capcom 2.
In Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix, Zangief retains most of his moves as he gains a new special attack which he does cossack dancing to his opponent in two kicks. He has five disguises serve as his special attacks (Eg: a gorilla costume with a red mohawk, a long haired caveman wielding a club, a construction worker wielding various construction tools, a family man, a jungle man and a red vest with a gray ushanka hat within his main outfit). One of his Mighty Combos has him doing cossack dancing to his opponent in a multiple damage.
Zangief has a unique team Hyper Combo exclusive to the first two crossover games: the Double Final Atomic Buster. He runs towards his enemy similarly to his Flying Powerbomb. Should he reach, his partner shows up from the other side, and both leap up past the top of the arena, coming crashing down a few seconds later with an explosive non-spinning piledriver.
In Street Fighter IV series, he has a powerful ultra combo called Ultimate Atomic Buster which is a powerful version of Final Atomic Buster which serves as his super combo. His second Ultra was Siberian Blizzard.
In Street Fighter V, he has a Critical Art called Bolshoi Russian Suplex, which he grabs his opponent and performs a German Suplex. After slamming his opponent to the ground, he then exerts so much force and power that his opponents literally break through the floor and create a crater. Should the player achieve a victory using this move, the opponent's legs will remain sticking up comically through the crater.
- Mike Haggar (whose fighting style was the basis for Zangief's as explained above) also wrestles deadly animals, in his case, Bull Sharks.
- Being 7'.025" (214 cm) tall, Zangief is the sixth-tallest character in the whole Street Fighter franchise, behind (in this precise order) Birdie, Sagat, T. Hawk, Hugo, and Abigail.
- Street Fighter II: The World Warrior depicted Zangief being from from the USSR when the game was released in February, 1991. The Soviet Union would cease to exist the following December. However, due to the heavy use of Soviet iconography in and around Zangief's character, including his home stage (an iron plant complete with a giant hammer and sickle logo imprinted on the floor), and also because of his appearances in the Street Fighter Alpha takes place before the events of Street Fighter II, Zangief was depicted as being from the USSR in the main Street Fighter series as late as 1998 when Street Fighter Alpha 3 was released. Street Fighter IV was the first time Zangief was depicted as being from the Russian Federation in 2008. Street Fighter II's newest iteration, Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers, would see all former Soviet symbols such as the hammer and sickle logo on the Russian stage removed.
- Zangief, alongside Sagat, would've been playable characters if a fourth instalment of the Street Fighter III happened.
- Zangief's Ultra Combo, Siberian Blizzard, ends with a move that is incredibly similar to the Kinniku Driver from the popular Japanese manga/anime series Kinnikuman.
- His name was mentioned in the wrestling game Saturday Night Slam Masters by Biff Slamkovich's losing quote "Comrade Zangief was right! You all play cheap!", implying that he is friends with Zangief.
- Several images of Zangief exist that depict him with blood spewing out of a vein in his head, such as his portrait from Street Fighter Alpha 3. This is shown in the Japanese arcade releases, but censored in the American versions.
- To date, Pocket Fighter and The Match of the Millennium are the only games in which Zangief uses a Cossack dance-based Super Combo.
- In the Street Fighter EX games, he has a foot stomp Super Combo that functions similarly with the above attack.
- In Street Fighter IV, Zangief was a powerhouse with the largest stamina and stun rating in the game. Many considered him too powerful and he was toned down for Super Street Fighter IV. However, even with the changes, Zangief still has the highest damage output in the game, including his first Ultra Combo being the most damaging move in the game.
- Although Zangief was originally conceived as a rival for Guile, given that they are from the USSR and the USA, respectively, his behavior toward Guile likewise refers to his appreciation for their shared patriotism and hairstyles. It is rather through the late 1980's and early 1990's American fandom by the tensions of the real life Cold War that still promoted this rather uncanon depiction; not only did the 1994 live-action film portray him as a Shadaloo villain, but background notes and creator interviews of Wreck It Ralph showed that audience influence held sway on Zangief being a villain through national tensions.
- Rather, some adaptations have depicted Zangief as somewhat of a rival towards Ryu, demonstrated in Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation (in which Ryu defends Shun from Zangief by fighting him brutally), Street Fighter II V (where Zangief, working for Shadaloo, is ordered to capture Ryu, leading to a skirmish between the two), and the 1994 live-action film (where Zangief, again working for Bison, presents Ryu with his familiar white gi and later aids him and Ken in helping Bison's hostages escape the collapsing base). His win quote towards Ryu in Street Fighter IV implies that the two fought in Street Fighter II and Ryu won.
- Zangief has Vega's picture on his mirror in his Turbo ending. It is common for fighters (especially boxers) to have a picture of their rival placed in the frame of their mirror (on the picture it is written something like "idiot" in Japanese, maybe because they have different views on beauty).
- Since grizzly bears are not indigenous to Siberia and Russia, it is speculated that Zangief possibly wrestles Ussuri Brown Bears, which are similar to grizzlies, but are indigenous to the North East of Russia, and twice as large, making this feat even more impressive.
- Other sources usually state he wrestles Kodiak Bears, but Kodiaks are native to the Kodiak Archipelago, (which is located to the south of Alaska), again it's more possible that Zangief wrestles Kamchatka Brown Bears which are native to the Kamchatka Peninsula (which is located in the Russian Far East, near the Bering Sea), These bears are considered to be the ancestors of the Kodiak Bear and are almost as big as the Kodiak as well. He also sometimes wrestles Polar Bears, which can be found in northern Russia above the Arctic Circle.
- In the UDON comics, Zangief's text is always written in yellow over red speech bubbles, much like the red flag of the USSR with its yellow hammer-and-sickle emblem, to show off his devotion to his homeland. In addition, the writing is in bold italics most of the time, indicative of how loudly he usually speaks (an exception is his flabbergasted, quiet "This is wrestling...?" after Rainbow Mika defeats him in the backup story of #13).
- In his win quote against Kuma in Street Fighter X Tekken, Zangief criticizes Kuma, telling him that "Bears in Siberia are much fiercer! You are like kitten!".
- In Super Street Fighter II Turbo Revival, in the 'Fight Akuma' Time Attack mode, if the player keeps pressing the light punch button while playing as Zangief in close proximity, it will force Shin Akuma to immediately go into a crouch, and will keep being forced to a crouch as long the player keeps pressing the light punch button while playing as Zangief. This does not work for the other characters.
- Zangief's second alternate costume in Street Fighter V bears a slight resemblance to the real life WWE superstars, The Undertaker in his appearance in Wrestlemania XX, and Hulk Hogan when he competed in a wrestling ring in the late 2000's.
- Though Zangief is covered in scars on the front of his body none appear on his back. This is because he never turns his back on an enemy and prides himself on the ability to stop attacks head-on.
- In the CPS1 installments of Street Fighter II, Zangief's scars were the same color as his speedo. This was changed starting with Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers in that his scars now match the color of his hair.
- Zangief is the second character to have a throw that targets on crouching opponents. The first is R. Mika. The most recent character to have a throw that targets crouching opponents is G.
- Despite Zangief being the original grappler of the series and having the most number of regular throws in The World Warrior, Zangief didn't get any regular Air Throws until Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers. He has had Aerial Russian Slam that is more akin to an anti air throw such as Soul Throw, and while Borscht Dynamite acts very similarly to an air throw, it is a special attack.
- With so many regular throws, this is a very likely reason why future Street Fighter installments have limited to two different regular throws for each character (for balancing reasons).
- There is a continuity error that occurs with Zangief's fight with his opponent in front of the Shadaloo base in A Shadow Falls, Zangief defeats his opponent after withstanding her sword with his "muscle power", yet in the next scene when Birdie blocks gunshots from his own opponent, Zangief is shown still fighting the opponent he managed to defeat earlier.
|Street Fighter II|
|Zangief Stage||Street Fighter II||Yoko Shimomura|
|Zangief Stage||Super Street Fighter II||IIsao Abe|
|Solid and Tough (ZANGIEF)||Street Fighter II Collector's Box|
|Red Cyclone (Zangief Stage)||Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix||OverClocked Remix|
|Zangief Stage||Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers|
|Street Fighter Alpha|
|Zangief Stage||Street Fighter Alpha 2||Setsuo Yamamoto|
|Heavy Swell||Street Fighter Alpha 3||Takayuki Iwai|
|Street Fighter EX|
|Cold Pipe||Street Fighter EX plus α|
|Street Fighter IV|
|Theme of Zangief -SFIV Arrange-||Street Fighter IV||Hideyuki Fukasawa|
|Street Fighter V|
|Theme of Zangief||Street Fighter V||Capcom Sound Team|
|Marvel vs. Capcom|
|Zangief Theme||X-Men vs. Street Fighter|
|Zangief Theme||Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter|
|Zangief Theme||Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes|
- Zangief's moves in the Street Fighter II series
- Zangief's moves in Super Street Fighter II Turbo: HD Remix
- Zangief's moves in Street Fighter: The Movie (the arcade version)
- Zangief's moves in Street Fighter: The Movie (the console version)
- Zangief's moves in Street Fighter Alpha 3
- Zangief's moves in Capcom vs. SNK 2
- Zangief's moves in Street Fighter EX plus α
- Zangief's moves in Street Fighter EX2 Plus
- Zangief's moves in Street Fighter EX3
- Zangief's moves in Street Fighter IV
- Zangief's moves in Super Street Fighter IV
- Zangief's moves in Ultra Street Fighter IV
- Zangief's moves in Street Fighter Online: Mouse Generation
- Zangief's moves in Street Fighter X Tekken
- Zangief's moves in Street Fighter V
- Ultra Street Fighter IV Profile Archived from The original
- Street Fighter: World Warrior Encyclopedia Hardcover
- Street Fighter II SNES manual, p.28
- Street Fighter V Stat Card
- Zangief’s Heart of Hearts: Phil Johnston on Wreck-It Ralph
- The Making of Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike
|Street Fighter II Characters|
|The World Warrior||Blanka · Chun-Li · Dhalsim · E. Honda · Guile · Ken · Ryu · Zangief|
|Champion Edition||Balrog · M. Bison · Sagat · Vega|
|Super||Cammy · Dee Jay · Fei Long · T. Hawk|
|Ultra||Evil Ryu · Shin Akuma · Violent Ken|
|Street Fighter: The Movie Characters|
|Core Roster||Akuma · Balrog · Cammy · Chun-Li · E. Honda · Guile · Ken|
M. Bison · Ryu · Sagat · Sawada · Vega · Zangief
|Arcade Only||Arkane · Blade · F7 · Khyber|
|Console Only||Blanka · Dee Jay|
|CPU Only||Super Bison|
|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|
|Street Fighter EX Characters|
|EX||Original||Akuma · Allen · Blair · Chun-Li · C. Jack · Darun · D. Dark · Guile|
Hokuto · Kairi · Ken · Pullum · Ryu · Skullomania · Zangief
|Plus||Bloody Hokuto · Cycloid-β · Cycloid-γ · Evil Ryu · Garuda · M. Bison|
|Plus α||Dhalsim · Sakura|
|EX2||Original||Blanka · Hayate · Nanase · Shadowgeist · Sharon · Vega|
|Plus||Area · Sagat · V. Rosso|
|EX3||Ace · Bison II|
|CPU Only||Shin-Bison · Cycloids · Zako|
|Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix Characters|
|Akuma · Chun-Li · Dan · Ibuki · Ken · Ryu · Sakura · Zangief|
|SNK vs. Capcom Characters|
|The Match of the Millennium||Akuma · Chun-Li · Dan · Evil Ryu · Guile|
Ken · M. Bison · Ryu · Sakura · Zangief
|Millennium Fight 2000||Balrog · Blanka · Cammy · Dhalsim · E. Honda · Sagat · Vega|
|Mark of the Millennium 2001||Eagle · Kyosuke · Maki · Rolento · Shin Akuma · Yun|
|SVC Chaos||Hugo · Violent Ken|
|Capcom Fighting Evolution Characters|
|Street Fighter II||Guile · M. Bison · Ryu · Zangief|
|Street Fighter Alpha||Guy · Karin · Rose · Sakura|
|Street Fighter III||Alex · Chun-Li · Urien · Yun|
|Bosses||Ingrid · Shin Akuma|
|Street Fighter Online: Mouse Generation Characters|
|Akira · Batsu · Chun-Li · Guile · Ken · Ryu · Shin · Zangief|
|Street Fighter IV Characters|
|Original||Abel · Akuma · Balrog · Blanka · Chun-Li · C. Viper · Dhalsim · E. Honda|
El Fuerte · Guile · Ken · M. Bison · Rufus · Ryu · Sagat · Vega · Zangief
|Console||Cammy · Dan · Fei Long · Gen · Gouken · Rose · Seth · Sakura|
|Super||Adon · Cody · Dee Jay · Dudley · Guy · Hakan · Ibuki · Juri · Makoto · T. Hawk|
|Arcade Edition||Evil Ryu · Oni · Yang · Yun|
|Ultra||Decapre · Elena · Hugo · Poison · Rolento|
|Street Fighter X Tekken Characters|
|Core Roster||Abel · Akuma · Balrog · Cammy · Chun-Li · Dhalsim · Guile · Hugo · Ibuki · Juri|
Ken · M. Bison · Poison · Rufus · Rolento · Ryu · Sagat · Vega · Zangief
|Downloadable||Blanka · Cody · Dudley · Elena · Guy · Sakura|
|Street Fighter V Characters|
|Original||Birdie · Cammy · Chun-Li · Dhalsim · F.A.N.G · Karin · Ken · Laura|
M. Bison · Nash · Necalli · R. Mika · Rashid · Ryu · Vega · Zangief
|Season 1||Alex · Balrog · Guile · Ibuki · Juri · Urien|
|Season 2||Abigail · Akuma · Ed · Kolin · Menat · Zeku|
|Season 3||Blanka · Cody · Falke · G · Sagat · Sakura|
|Season 4||E. Honda · Gill · Kage · Lucia · Poison · Seth|
|Season 5||Akira · Dan · Eleven · Oro · Rose|
|CPU Only||AS · Aprile · Decapre · Enero · Février · Juli · März · Peter|
Phantom Bison · Santamu · Satsuki · Shadow · Shadow Lady · Two P