Street Fighter Alpha 2 is Released in the Japanese Arcade

Street Fighter Alpha 2, known as Street Fighter Zero 2 (ストリートファイターZERO 2, Sutorīto Faitā Zero 2) in Japan, Asia, South America and Spain, is a 1996 fighting game originally released for the CPS II arcade hardware by Capcom.

The game is a sequel to the previous year's Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors' Dreams, which is itself a prequel to the Street Fighter II sub-series in terms of plot and setting. The game featured a number of improvements over the original, such as new endings, stages, moves and gameplay systems.

Street Fighter Alpha 2 retains most of the new features introduced in the original Street Fighter Alpha, such as the three-level Super Combo gauge, Alpha Counters, Air-Blocking and Fall Breaking. The main new feature in the game is the inclusion of the "Custom Combo" system ("Original Combo" in Japan), which replaces the "Chain Combos" from the first Alpha. If the Super Combo gauge is on Lv. 1 or above, the player can initiate a Custom Combo pressing two punch buttons and a kick simultaneously (or vice versa). The player can then perform any series of basic and special moves to create a Custom Combo until the Timer Gauge at the bottom of the screen runs out. The only characters that can still perform Chain Combos in the game are Guy and Gen, but only to a limited extent. Additionally, each character now has two Alpha Counters instead of just one: one that can be performed with a kick button and another with a punch button.

The single-player mode, much like the original Street Fighter Alpha, consist of eight matches with computer-controlled opponents, including a fixed final opponent whose identity depends on the player's selected character. Each character also has a secret "rival" whom they can face during the course of the single-player mode after meeting certain requirements, in which then the rival will interrupt one of the player's regularly scheduled matches and exchange dialogue with the player's character. With Akuma now a regular character, a more powerful version of the character dubbed "Shin Akuma" replaces him as a secret opponent. Unlike Super Turbo and the original Alpha, Shin Akuma challenges the player before the player's final opponent, rather than as an alternate final boss.

In Japan, the Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors' Dreams games are called Street Fighter Zero and the Alpha Counters are called Zero Counters. An upgraded version of Street Fighter Alpha 2, called Street Fighter Zero 2 Alpha, was released in Japan and a few places in Asia. The game has extra moves that were only available in the US "Alpha 2" version, certain characters from Street Fighter II' - Champion Edition along with a special version of Sakura. This version also has a Survival Mode and a Dramatic Battle Mode that pits two players against a computer controlled opponent.