Zangief is a Street Fighter character first introduced in Street Fighter II. He is a Russian professional wrestler whose fighting style is renowned for being powerful and close ranged.

Zangief appeared as a playable character in X-Men vs. Street Fighter and then returned for Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom and Marvel vs. Capcom 2.

He was also the first fighting game character to introduce the Grappling fighting technique, as most fighters had the standard fireball and uppercut.

Story Edit

As the greatest professional wrestler in the Soviet Union, Zangief was contacted by a man referred to as Erai Hito (Great Man, who also clearly resembles former Soviet leader and President, Mikhail Gorbachev) to represent his country in the second World Warrior tournament.

Zangief agreed and began training in the extreme climates of Siberia. He built his strength by wrestling polar bears, gaining many fearsome scars in the process, concocting his trademark Spinning Piledriver after being picked up by a cyclone while performing a piledriver on a bear. With the assistance of his government, Zangief emerged from his training as "The Red Cyclone", determined to demonstrate Russia's magnificent power to all of the world.

A patriot through and through, Zangief opposed the activities of Shadaloo. During the course of his battles, Zangief would come to meet one of his biggest fans, the Japanese pro wrestler Rainbow Mika, co-operate with the Sumo wrestler Edmond Honda to destroy M. Bison's Psycho Drive, co-operate with X-Man Colossus against Omega Red, and dance with his Gorbachev - like benefactor after winning the World Warrior tournament; in later editions in the Street Fighter II series, Zangief calls him "Mr. Ex-President", yet Zangief is listed as being from the USSR, making it unclear as to whether these events take place before or after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Most of the above events are considered non-canon, as they contradict the versions of events pertaining to central characters such as Ryu and Charlie Nash Cruis.

Gameplay Edit

Zangief is a close range character as he is a wrestling type. Many of his 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. Zangief is one of the slowest of all characters in the Street Fighter games, and presents a large target, yet is widely considered top-tier as he can control large amounts of space whilst negating the ability of other characters to do so with their projectile moves, with evasive techniques such as Spinning Lariat and Banishing Flat and the ability of his Spinning Piledriver to grab opponents out of most ground-based moves.

Special AttacksEdit

  • Double Lariat: Zangief spins around with his arms extended out. Movement can be controlled. Punch button version is at normal speed. While the Kick button version is a faster spin.(Can also be done in the air)
  • Spinning Piledriver: Zangief grabs the opponent and jumps in the air while spinning. A grab attack that must be done at close range but compensates by being unblockable.
  • Running Powerbomb / Atomic Suplex: Zangief will grab the opponent and slam them into the ground. If he is at a much closer distance he will use his Atomic Suplex.
  • Banishing Flat: Zangief's hand will glow green. He spins and attacks with his hand. A close range attack. It will also nullify projectiles. This can be chained to the Spinning Piledriver if the opponent blocks this move.
  • Aerial Russian Slam: Zangief will jump. If the opponent is in the air he will grab them and throw them down to the ground. This move is also an alternative to the normal dash as it can go faster making it more effective.
  • Vodka Fire: Zangief uses a flamethrower move that he creates from his mouth. (Available only in Iron Body mode)

Assist AttacksEdit

Type Assist Counter Cross-Over
α Ground Double Lariat Flying Powerbomb (L) Super Spinning Lariat
β Throw Double Lariat Flying Powerbomb (H) Super

'Spinning 'Lariat

γ Anti-Air Aerial Russian Slam Aerial Russian Slam Super

'Spinning 'Lariat

Hyper CombosEdit

  • Final Atomic Buster: Zangief runs to his opponents with his arms out. If he successfully grabs the opponent he will start doing a series of suplexes finally ending with a high jump slamming the opponent to the ground.
  • Double Final Atomic Buster: Zangief's team hyper combo has him run forward if he grabs the opponent he and his teammate will both piledriver him/her. This only works when Zangief is the current player and performs this move when performing the Crossover Combination. It was later discarded in Marvel vs. Capcom 2.
  • Ultra Final Atomic Buster: A slightly upgraded version of Final Atomic Buster. Requires three hyper gauges. Similar to his regular version but more powerful.
  • Iron Body: Zangief enters a state of super armor and is called Mech Zangief . Zangief turns grey and will proceed with the fight. In this form, Zangief will not stagger from most attacks but at a cost. As long as Zangief is in Iron Body mode he cannot defend. He will stay in this form until he gets K.O'ed or by inputting the same command that activated Iron Body, he will revert back to his form.
  • Siberian Blizzard: Mech Zangief will do a super double lariat that goes straight up. This must be done right when the opponent is in mid-air or in close range.
  • Super Spinning Lariat: This move can only work if Zangief tags in when performing the Crossover Combination.

Tag PartnerEdit

X-Men Vs. Street Fighter

  • Juggernaut

Marvel Superheroes Vs. Street Fighter

  • Hulk
  • Dan Hibiki
  • Suhma-Gorath
  • Omega Red

Theme Songs Of ZangiefEdit

X-Men vs Street Fighter Music - ZANGIEF

X-Men vs Street Fighter Music - ZANGIEF

Marvel Super Heroes Vs Street Fighter-Theme of Zangief

Marvel Super Heroes Vs Street Fighter-Theme of Zangief

Marvel vs Capcom OST 20 - Zangief's Theme

Marvel vs Capcom OST 20 - Zangief's Theme

True Opening

Zangief's theme from Street Fighter 2 in Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes.


Sprites and Animations Edit


  • Zangief was originally going to be named Vodka Popalski.
  • He is based on the real-life Russian Wrestler Victor Zangiev.
  • Zangief, along with Mega Man and War Machine are the only characters to appear in Marvel vs. Capcom 1 and 2, but dropped in 3.
  • It is believed that Mike Haggar replaced Zangief in Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
  • He is also the first Russian video game character, and most famous Russian character too.

Also SeeEdit

Zangief's moves in Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes

Zangief's moves in Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes