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Karin by JCulbert

Version: 1.0 |

Sony Playstation (Import)
version 1.0

by John Culbert <tigeraid@fighters.net>
June 1999

This Guide and all others are available at:




FINALLY got SFZ3 for my PSX a little while ago, and needless to say, I'm
impressed. While I can understand the community's bitching about the
problems with the game, I still find it's far more balanced and enjoyable
to play than the Vs. games, or even the other more recent games like Rival
Schools or Pocket Fighter. I never got the chance to play this game in the
arcade (yes, believe it :P ) so I certainly have a lot of catching up to do
with you guys, and I am learning fast.

Karin seems to be a pretty popular character, as she already has a few guides 
written for her... however this one's a little more up to date ;). Karin is 
similar in many respects to a virtua fighter character, with gameplay centering 
over setting up for juggles, and the use of her reversals. This guide will focus 
heavily on A-ism Karin, since it is arguably her strongest version, and the one 
that you can really have fun with.


IMO, the only ism that Karin really excels in is A-ism, due to her Supers and 
the air blocking ability. The Kanzuki-ryuu Shinpikaibyaku is a high-damage SC 
that can connect fairly easily as an air counter or in juggles. More 
importantly, the Kanzuki-ryuu Hou Ou Ken is also available in this ism as well 
as X-ism, but it is a very high damage SC, that has excellent priority, and good 
recovery if blocked (PLUS the L2 can set up for juggles, *phew*). A huge way to 
do damage with Karin other than juggles is with the Kanzuki-ryuu Hou Ou Ken--it 
can take some practice, and it definetely takes some balls, but you can use it 
up close to snuff pretty much ANYTHING.




MONOSPACE, DAMMIT! :) If the dots above line up with the numbers above them,
then you can read this document with ease. If they aren't lined up, the
margins will be all screwy and generally make this a bitch to read. It was
created using EditPad, and as such it is best viewed by this.



I'm getting sick of the bullshit going around with others stealing FAQ
writer's hard work without permission or credit. A certain unmentionable
gaming mag stole A2 stuff from me a while ago (*ahem*EGM*cough*hack), and
on-line people who don't want to put effort into doing this stuff also
copied from me (this means you, Davis!!) So here it is:

All work and information contained within this document Copyright 1998
John Culbert <tigeraid@fighters.net> unless otherwise stated.

 This FAQ is for private and personal use only.  It can only be
 reproduced electronically, and if placed on a web page or site, may be
 altered as long as this disclaimer and the above copyright notice
 appears in full. Any information used from this document, quoted or no,
 should have this author's name somewhere clearly as acknowledgement. Feel
 free to distribute between others, but this FAQ is not to be used for
 profitable/promotional purposes; this includes being used by publishers of
 magazines, guides, books, etc. or being incorporated into magazines, etc.
 in ANY way. This document was created by John Culbert
 <tigeraid@fighters.net>. Give credit where it is due.

Street Fighter Zero 3, Street Fighter Alpha 3, and all other 0characters and 
game information copyright 1998/1999 Capcom Entertainment. 



PP = any two punches simultaniously
KK = any two kicks simultaniously
PPP= any three punches simultaniously
KKK= any three kicks simultaniously
J. = Jumping
S. = Standing
C. = Crouching
XX = Cancel/buffer into Special Move or Super Combo
QCT= Quarter Circle Toward (roll the joystick from D to F)
QCB= Quarter Circle Back (roll the joystick from D to B)
HCT= Half Circle Toward (roll the joystick from B to D to F)
HCB= Half Circle Back (roll the joystick from F to D to B)
 + = enter commands simultainiously
FB = Fireball or similar motion (QCT)
DP = Dragon Punch or similar motion (F,D,D/F)
SPD= Spinning Piledriver or similar motion (roll 270)
SC = Super Combo
VC = Variable Combo




The game is divided into three main modes, V-ism, X-ism and Z-ism. V-ism is
a mode where only Variable Combos can be used, with no Super Combos
available (see below).
Z-ism is basically identical to Zero/Alpha play, like SFA2; Each character
has multiple SCs with 3 levels on the meter, and they can air block, Zero
Counter, Taunt, and tech hit Throws.
X-ism is similar to ST (Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo) in that you cannot
air block, taunt, Zero Counter, or tech hit Throws , and your character can
only perform one SC (with one large Super meter). In addition however,
characters in X-ism do more damage with each hit than Z-ism and V-ism.


Available in PSX version only, Saikyou, Mazi and Classical. Saikyou, named
after Dan Hibiki's fighting style, means "Strongest"--in this mode, you do
less damage per hit, your guard meter (see below) is DRASTICALLY shortened, you 
dizzy twice as easily, and you cannot cancel ground attacks into special moves. 
Obviously, it's a sweeter victory if you beat your opponent while using this 
Mazi means "Serious"--your opponent needs only to beat you ONE round to
win, while you have to beat them two rounds to win (as normal). In addition
the damage you take is increased, however the damage that YOU inflict is
GREATLY increased.
For Classical, it essentially means that your character is reverted to
their Classic version; in addition to doing the slightly increased damage
you do in X-ism mode and having all your character's X-ism "quirks" (eg.
Chun Li's in her old costume), you also lose the ability to flip out at all
in the air, you cannot reduce guard damage at all, you have NO Super meter,
but also no Guard meter (which can be a plus.)

VARIABLE COMBO (V-ism only) 

Similar to Custom Combos from SFA2, but some differences. You can now move
about freely, including jumping, instead of walking forward only. You
engage a VC by pressing a Punch + Kick of same strength. The strength
of buttons you use determines how far APART your shadows are, and thus how
far apart they hit. Jab+Short has the shadows closest together,
Fierce+Roundhouse has them the furthest apart. Once activated, you have
until the meter runs out to string together a combo, all Special Moves lose
their recovery time, allowing you to cancel one into another constantly, as
with CCs from SFA2--if done right, you can do a HUGE combo that the
opponent cannot flip out of... or, you can demolish their Guard Meter as
well :P.


To block attacks, hold B or D/B. You can also block in the air (Z-ism or 
V-ism only).


SFZ3 now features a small meter below your health bar, which varies in size
depending on the ism. As you block hits, this meter decreases (it also
slowly recharges itself). If this meter is completely depleted by your
opponent, a Guard Break will occur and your character will flash with
stunned animation, allowing the opponent to get in some free attacks. This
was put into the game presumably to deter turtlers, but V-ism players can
take HUGE advantage of this, since a decent-sized V-ism combo can DESTROY a
full Guard Meter, opening you up for a combo anyways... sorta like, take
the  VC, or block it all, then eat a combo after :(.


Throws and Grabs are no longer done with a single motion and button. All
Throws are now performed with F+PP or B+PP; most characters also have a
F+KK or B+KK Throw as well. Every character can also perform a Throw in
the air.


To flip out of a Throw and reduce the damage done to you, perform a Throw
motion just as you are being grabbed.

GROUND RECOVERY (Z-ism, V-ism only) 

To recover from a knockdown, press KK. You can hold F to prolong the roll as 


To flip when you're knocked up or through the air, press PP, D+PP or B+PP. It is 
crucial that you make this an automatic REFLEX in most cases, though
sometimes the juggle you try to avoid will hit you anyways...


You can reduce the amount of damage when you block by tapping B or D/B JUST
as their attack is reaching you, as opposed to just holding it before they


Borrowed from the Virtua Fighter and Tekken series, you can now perform
Counter Hits by hitting the opponent during the initial frames of their
attack. When this occurs, you will do increased damage and in some cases,
launch them for a juggle.

ZERO COUNTER (Z-ism, V-ism only) 

Known as Alpha Counters in North America. These are now performed
differently as well--as you block an attack, tap F and press any
Punch + any Kick of the same strength. These take one level of your Super
meter, but altogether are just plain bad in SFZ3; most are very low
priority and rarely hit, and when they do, they do pitiful damage...
Certainly not worth a level off the Super meter.



-Guren Ken:		QCT+P,P...
		-->		Hou Shou: F+P
		-->		Moujin Kyaku: K
		-->		Ressen Chou: D/F+P,P
		-->		Ressen Ha: U+K
		-->		High Yasha Gaeshi: B+P
		-->		Low Yasha Gaeshi: B+K
		-->		Daisokubarai: D+K
-Hou Shou: 		F,D,D/F+P
-Mujin Kyaku:		F,D,D/F+K
-Ressen Chou:		B,D,D/B+P,P
-Ressen Ha:	      	D,D/F,F,U/F+K
-Yasha Gaeshi (High): 	QCB+P
-Yasha Gaeshi (Low): 	QCB+K
-Arakuma Inashi:	roll 270+K
-Elegant Kick:		F+Forward
-Elbow Drop:		F+PP or B+PP (close)
-Knee Smash:		F+KK or B+KK (close)
-Air Elbow Drop:	F+PP or B+PP (close in mid-air)
-Zero Counter (Z-ism); S.Fierce: F+P+K after blocking
-Zero Counter (V-ism); C.Roundhouse: F+P+K after blocking
-Super Combo 1; Kanzuki-ryuu Hou Ou Ken: QCT,QCT+P
-Super Combo 2; Kanzuki-ryuu Shinpikaibyaku: QCT,QCT+K




Just a quick little jab, in both cases, can be linked twice. Good all around 
poking attack up close but next to no range.


S.Strong is a quick body blow, and C.Strong is a quick punch to the legs with 
her arms spread. Both have excellent up-close priority and can cancel well into 
her Special Moves... use a lot up close to snuff low attacks. J.Strong is a 
horizontal punch which has good air-to-air priority.


Karin spreads her arms wide and strikes downard with a chop for S.Fierce--
EXCELLENT priority for some reason, also semi-reliable as an air counter. 
C.Fierce is an uppercut which is also a good air counter, though not quite as 
fast as S.Fierce. J.Fierce is a downward chop with a very slight delay on it, so 
other jump-ins are generally better.


VERY fast shin kick for both Short kicks, they can be linked multiple times and 
are quite fast. Use a lot up close.


S.Forward is a great standing front kick, with good priority. Excellent attack 
for poking and snuffing slower regular attacks. If it connects it can be 
buffered--up close, she hits with the knee first making it connect even faster. 
Excellent all around attack. C.Forward is fairly quick as well, but lacks a good 
bit of range and cannot be cancelled. J.Forward is a good jump-in kick.


S.Roundhouse is a rather slow spinning low kick, not very good at all. 
C.Roundhouse is a basic two-foot sweep, knocks the opponent down but not 
particularily fast. I don't know if it beats the Shoto's C.Roundhouse, anyone?



Guren Ken

Any of these follow-ups listed can be done after either the 1st or 2nd Punch of 
the Guren Ken, with the acception of the Hou Shou, which can be done with 
QCT+P,P,P or QCT+P,F+P. These punches do NOT come out instantly, since Karin 
steps forward first before striking--the motions must be buffered. These should 
not be used exclusively as combos, since only one of the rushes will connect 
altogether--these are used more to mix up the finishers and confuse the 
opponent, knocking them down or setting up for a mean juggle.

Hou Shou: comes out quite fast and knocks the opponent away, with slightly 
better recovery than the stand-alone version.

Mujin Kyaku: This will set up for juggles, and usually is safed if blocked. It 
does NOT come out instantly however.

Ressen Chou: these are difficult to combo, they must be done VERY fast to 
connect. However they do decent damage, and due to their priority, they can be 
delayed to snuff attempted counters.

Ressen Ha: excellent against opponents who tend to crouch when blocking this 
rush, as this becomes an overhead--do not throw it in too often, as it has a 
reasonable start-up lag.

High Yasha Gaeshi: Should be mixed in heavily, to counter an opponent's 
counterattack, if you find they like to counter with a high attack, or you screw 
up the rush--overuse of this move will get you in trouble, they can perform a 
low attack or a Throw.

Low Yasha Gaeshi: as with above, use in moderation, or if you screw up the rush.

Daisokubarai: a low slide, excellent against opponents who block the rushes 
high, with good recovery--use in moderation.

Hou Shou

A powerful single palm strike. This is a simple combo finisher, but more 
importantly it has GREAT priority, and can snuff or trade with just about any 
move, however it is a high risk situation due to its horrible recovery. Great 
damage, next to no range. 

Mujin Kyaku

Karin steps forward and performs a high snap kick, hitting upward with the knee 
and then her foot, knocking the opponent into the air. This move sets up for 
Karin's major juggles, and comes out and recovers quite fast to boot. Strength 
of the kick determines range, but the lighter the kick, the faster it recovers 
as well. The opponent can of course flip out, however it should still be used as 
often as possible singularily and combos to set up for juggles.

Ressen Chou

Karin rushes forward and throws a forearm into the opponent's torso, then 
follows with an elbow to the face. The second hit can be delayed to mix it up, 
catching the opponent during an attempted counter. Karin recovers decently from 
this move, faster than most of her rushes.

Ressen Ha

Karin spins forward in an arc, and comes down striking with both arms. Strength 
of kick determines range and arc of travel. The most notable feature of this 
move is that the second hit is an overhead, and cannot be blocked low. If 
blocked she recovers quite fast, however she can be hit out of this move in the 
air. This move can also be used to hop over projectiles and counter, however it 
must be anticipated quickly--this cannot clear Sagat's High Tiger Wave.

Yasha Gaeshi (high)

Karin raises her arms into a defensive posture--if the opponent connects, she 
will counterattack and knock the opponent back. If this doesn't counter an 
attack, it recovers fairly slowly. This can counter any strike (including Dragon 
Punches and Somersault Kicks), however you will be hit if you attempt to counter 
the first move of a multi-hit attack (eg. Ken's DP, or Charlies' Roundhouse 
Somersault Kick)--you also have to make sure that the opponent is within range 
when this counters or it will miss. NOTE: this counterattack knocks the opponent 
into the air, so you can snag them with a quick juggle! 

Yasha Gaeshi (low)

Karin crouches into a low defensive posture. If the opponent strikes, she 
counterattacks to knock the opponent away. This is more useful since the 
majority of foot games up close use low kicks (Eg. Chun Li's C.Forward, 
Charlie's C.Foward, Cody's C.Short...) As with the High counter, you will be hit 
by the follow-up moves of a multi-hit attack.

Arakuma Inashi

Your basic 360 Throw, Karin grabs the opponent, knees them twice then drops them 
to the ground. This has an identical whiff animation to a regular Throw. This 
will do slightly more damage than her regular Throws, and has slightly increased 
range as well--excellent wake-up move if the opponent is close.

Elegant Kick

Similar to Yun/Yang's overhead kick from SFIII, however this has reduced range. 
This can be snuffed by some quicker low attacks as she doesn't actually leave 
the ground--fairly quick however. 

Elbow Drop

Good all-around Throw that keeps the opponent close.

Knee Smash

Capable of more damage than Elbow Drop w/mashing... knocks away further as well.

Zero Counter (Z-ism); S.Fierce

Lacks really good range, but can be half-decent against deep jump-ins. However 
proper use of Karin's Reversals remove the use of this at all ;).

Zero Counter (V-ism); C.Roundhouse

Ditto here, it has more range certainly but cannot counter jump-ins because of 
how low it hits.

Super Combo 1; Kanzuki-ryuu Hou Ou Ken

(Karin rushes forward performing multiple palm strikes)

Basic rush super, this has EXTREMELY high priority on start-up, allowing you to 
snuff just about anything, and at L3 it can pass through projectiles . The thing 
to note is, L1 and L3 have pretty bad recovery, but L2 finishes with the Mujin 
Kyaku, which not only has decent recovery, but can launch as well ;). Range is 
just about inside sweep distance--excellent get-up move. 

Super Combo 2; Kanzuki-ryuu Shinpikaibyaku

(Karin performs an extra high version of her Ressen Ha)

This will NOT hit a grounded opponent, ONLY airborne opponents. However pretty 
much all hits will always connect on an airborne opponent (the deeper they jump 
in, the better), and its priority is quite high. In addition, you can perform 
this after a Mujin Kyaku or Mujin Kyaku finisher for easy and major damage. 


COMBOS (difficulty in no particular order)

1.  J.Forward, S.Strong, Guren Ken x2 -> Hou Shou

2.  J.Forward, S.Strong, Guren Ken x2 -> Ressen Chou

3.  J.Forward, S.Strong, Guren Ken x2 -> Mujin Kyaku, S.Strong, Roundhouse       
Mujin Kyaku

4.  J.Forward, C.Jab, C.Short, Hou ShouX A V N Elbow ComboJ.Roundhouse,          
S.Strong, Ressen Chou (fast!)

5.  S.Short, Roundhouse Mujin Kyaku, Kanzuki-ryuu Shinpikaibyaku

6.  (approx. half screen from corner) J.Forward, C.Jab -> C.Short,               
Roundhouse Moujin Kyaku, C.Fierce, Kanzuki-ryuu Shinpikaibyaku, Air        Throw

7.  Roundhouse, S.Strong, Guren Ken x2 -> Mujin Kyaku, C.Fierce, Kanzuki-        
ryuu Shinpikaibyaku, Ressen Chou

8.  High Reversal, S.Strong, Kanzuki-ryuu Shinpikaibyaku

9.  (corner) Ressen Ha, C.Jab, Kanzuki-ryuu Shinpikaibyaku

10. counterhit C.Fierce, Kanzuki-ryuu Shinpikaibyaku

11. J.Roundhouse, C.Short, C.Short, C.Short XX Short Mujin Kyaku, S.Short XX     
Ressen Ha



Karin really must stress her rushes to be truly effective at a high level of 
play. The object of your game should be to hit the Mujin Kyaku to set up for her 
major juggles. With the opponent knowing this, it can be to your advantage to 
mix in other techniques, most notably her Throws (esp. the 270) and her 
reversals. Mixing up the finishers of her rushes is essential to victory. If the 
Guren Ken connects, continue into the Mujin Kyaku for a juggle, or if you're 
fast enough, the full Ressen Chou finisher--if the opponent blocks, then it 
becomes the guessing game. You can follow into the Mujin Kyaku either way, as it 
recovers quite fast. If the opponent tends to block high more often, mix in the 
Daisokubarai to knock them off their feet. Alternately, if they tend to block 
low often, finish with the Ressen Ha. Alternately, you can stop the rush short 
and buffer in a 270 or one of her regular Throws--Karin has excellent walking 
speed and thus, even if you're a little bit further away you can walk in and 
Throw with a fair margin of safety. Overall, the best no-brainer rush is to 
finish with the Mujin Kyaku, as it sets up for the juggle, and it's safe if 

For another mix-up, if the opponent likes to counter and snuff attacks often, 
you can mix in the reversals--for example, a Ryu player may enjoy trying to 
interrupt your rushes with a Jab DP; if you time it right, you can run into a 
high reversal to snag him out of it, and even set up a small juggle. Similarily, 
people who like to counter with low attacks can be tricked into a reversal as 
well (eg. Cody counters w/C.Short since it allows him an easy juggle). 
Alternately, you can also use the Ressen Chou and delay the second elbow--after 
conditioning them into thinking this is coming, delay it to snuff their 
attempted counter. 

Throwing Tactics

As BBH pointed out, a lot of people can be caught off guard by any sort of 
Throwing from Karin--she is not commonly considered a grappler, but her Arakuma 
Inashi has good range, and does slightly more damage than her regular Throws. 
Tossing this in after a rush or blocked Shorts/Jabs can catch the opponent by 
surprise--this is no SPD or Storm Hammer, but it can certainly be effective when 
used in moderation. In particular, a J.Short is an excellent set-up due to it's 
angle of decent, and you can start it early in her jump and still land the tick, 
preventing a deep air counter. 

Defensive Strategies

Against jumping opponents, Karin has a variety of options that can keep the 
opponent guessing about their timing. In particular, the C.Fierce is a good all-
purpose air counter, however its horizontal range is not so hot, so make sure 
the opponent is jumping from fairly close. S.Fierce also works in this fashion, 
with excellent overall priority. The Kanzuki-ryuu Shinpikaibyaku is also an 
excellent counter, even moreso because it can't be air blocked--however it must 
be started early due to its initial start-up time. Another handy counter is her 
high reversal, which can also set up for a nice juggle; however, it won't work 
against cross-ups... 



Again, some character specific strats may be added, or anything provided by you, 
the readers. If anyone can find some seriously good strats, combos, etc... for 
X-ism or V-ism, I'll be happy to include them.



--thanks to BBH aka Sei Kensou for his excellent Karin FAQ from way back   when 
this first premiered in the arcades.

--My friendly rival Kao Megura for his excellent (as usual) SFZ3 PSX FAQ.

--Fellow FN staff members Gouken8, Raging_Demon (raging_de@fighters.net) and   
Three-11 (three-11@fighters.net) for combo and strategy discussions.

--cka aka Jason Jamieson (cka@fighters.net), skee aka Ryan Jackson
  (Zapdos3@hotmail.com) and viper600 aka Tyler Stewart
  (viper_600@geocities.com) for A-Blanka, A-Sodom and X-Ken competition

--the guys (and gals) from EFNet #capcom for various A3 discussions (and       
bitching of course ;).


You can access this FAQ and many others at:


You can e-mail me at: tigeraid@fighters.net

"I said it before and I'll say it again--democracy simply doesn't work!"

                                          -Kent Brockman, the Simpsons


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