Street Fighter III: Third Strike

Street Fighter III: Third Strike (3S) is a 2D fighter famous for its parry mechanic. A fight is never over as long as a player can parry. Parry has no startup and no recovery and influences footsies, rushdown, mixups, the air game, and okizeme. To love Third Strike is to love parrying. Live and die by the parry.

Helpful Resources

The Third Strike wiki.
3rd Strike Junkies Facebook group.
NicaKO's channel has videos for combos for all the characters, explanation of advanced techniques like charge partioning, and how to setup training mode in the arcade version.
Feetwork 101's videos analyze high level Third Strike play.
3rd Strike Resources master spreadsheet.

Notation

Attack Notation

LP Light Punch Jab
MP Medium Punch Strong
HP Heavy Punch Fierce
LK Light Kick Short
MK Medium Kick Forward
HK Heavy Kick Roundhouse

Directional Notation

up-back up up-forward
back neutral forward
down-back down down-forward
ub u uf
b n f
db d df

High attacks are overhead attacks that must be stand blocked. Mid attacks are attacks that can be blocked with both stand block and crouch block.

Street Fighter III: Third Strike uses Legacy frame data notation. If an attack has 7 frames of startup it hits on the 8th frame.

Third Strike uses a priority system instead of hitboxes and hurtboxes to decide which attack wins when they are active on the same frame. Medium attacks beat light attacks. Heavy attacks beat medium and light attacks. Special attacks beat normal attacks.

Taunt with HP+HK. Every taunt has a beneficial effect for the character. A couple of these benefits include stun recovery, damage boost, and turning invisible.

Whiffing normal attacks builds meter. This is called metering and is an important part of footsies.

Fireballs are very weak in this game. Shooting fireballs does not build meter for the attacker, while parrying fireballs builds meter for the defender.

Dashes are very fast so make sure to buffer attacks to punish dashes. Dash into throw is very common because it's difficult to react to and because throws beat parrying.

At the character select screen, select one of three Super Arts. Super Arts have varying lengths and multiple stocks can be stored in reserve. Super Arts are very fast which means attacks that are normally safe in other games are unsafe in this game. -2 is considered unsafe because many characters have super attacks with 1 frame of startup.

There are very few fully invincible DPs without meter. Games with a universal parry mechanic generally don't have free DPs.

Parry

Press forward to high parry and press down to low parry. Attacks are flagged to be parried high, low, or both. Even if an attack looks like it should be parried a certain way it may not be. Crouching punches are parried both high and low, even if the animation looks like they shouldn't be. An attack that can only be parried high is not necessarily an overhead.

Parrying influences footsies. My character's best poke can be both high parried and low parried. It forces me to use other pokes to stay unpredictable. I make sure to mix in pokes that can only be high parried or can only be low parried.

The window for successfully parrying an attack differs depending on the input. There are two parry inputs: a clean input and a sloppy input. A clean parry input is pressing the direction and immediately returning the direction to neutral. A sloppy parry input is holding the direction.

On the ground, a regular parry with a clean input has a 10 frame window to catch attacks. Press the direction within 10 frames of the attack connecting to parry it. A sloppy parry input has a 6 frame window. The cooldown before attempting the same parry again after it fails is 23 frames. The cooldown happens any time the direction pressed and there is no parry.

The window for parrying air attacks is 5 frames. The cooldown is 18 frames.

In the air, the window for parrying is 7 frames with a clean input and 6 frames with a sloppy input. The cooldown is 20 frames. Air parrying is only possible with the forward input.

The parry window can change in the middle of attacks. For example, Ken's HP Shoryuken is 3 hits with the last hit being airborne. It's a regular parry for the first 2 hits (10 frame window) then an anti-air parry (5 frame window) for the final hit.

A parry during blockstun is a red parry. The window for red parry is 3 frames for normal attacks and 2 frames for special attacks and super attacks. It's a very strict window but the feeling of a successful red parry is very satisfying. Because of red parrying, there is no absolute guard.

Both characters are frozen for 16 frames during a parry. The parrier can cancel the freeze into blocking or another parry. Or they can wait to unfreeze then attack.

The character who got parried still has to go through all their recovery frames. They are frozen for the 16 frames plus additional frames depending on the strength of their attack. Light attacks leave them frozen for 4 additional frames, medium attacks 3 frames, heavy attacks 2 frames, and special/super attacks 0 frames.

If the attack that was parried is cancelable, the recovery frames can be skipped if canceled. To calculate when this attack will hit: add the frames the character spends frozen after the 16 frame freeze with the startup frames of the attack that is being canceled into then add 1. If my LP is parried and I cancel it into a special attack with 3 frames of startup, it will hit 8 frames later because 4 + 3 + 1 = 8.

Let's look at this in action. After Q parries Sean's attack, Q is guaranteed MK if Sean doesn't cancel his recovery frames. If Sean does his special attack, he will interrupt Q because his attack comes out earlier.

If you predict your opponent will cancel their parried attack, there are a couple of things you can do:
-Use a faster attack that won't get interrupted. It is giving up damage but a weaker punish is better than no punish.
-Punish with a throw. Throws are very fast at 2 frames of startup and are almost always guaranteed after a parry.
-Parry their follow up attack. This may result in an even better punish.

A successful parry can be canceled into another parry without entering the cooldown period. This is necessary to parry multi-hitting attacks.

Even at high levels you see players canceling parried attacks into Super Art to beat follow up attacks. It sounds gimmicky but it works more often than you think. If it fails it costs a lot meter, gives the other player a lot of meter if they parry it, and gets punished with a max damage combo. Super Arts have to be parried preemptively before the super flash.

Rushdown and okizeme in Third Strike looks strange to new players. If someone delays a meaty or leaves big gaps in their pressure, it's because they're expecting their opponent to parry. If someone gives up an advantage to stand there and do nothing, they were probably attempting a parry. Blocking is the safer option on defense because it can be held unlike parrying which means it beats immediate and delayed attacks while parrying gets hit by delayed attacks. Another thing that makes blocking safer is that it blocks all mid attacks. There are many mid attacks that can only be parried high so these attacks beat low parry but lose to both stand blocking and crouch blocking.

Anti-airing is different because both players can parry during air exchanges. The defender still has the advantage but they have to mix up how they anti-air. You can:
-Use an anti-air with less recovery so that if it's parried there's enough time to block.
-Use a multi-hitting anti-air that's difficult to parry.
-Cancel the parried attack into a special attack or super attack.

You can parry the jumper's attack and let them land. The jumper is completely vulnerable during their landing frames.

If a jumping attack is parried while ascending, the jumper is given another air option as they're descending.

The jumper should mix in early and late jump in timings to stay unpredictable. Empty jump throw is effective at beating anti-air parry attempts.

Throws are performed with LP+LK and are teched with the same input. There is a whiff animation if unsuccessful. Throws have 2 frames of startup. Throwing is very important in Third Strike because it beats all forms of blocking and parrying.

There is crouch tech in this game. LP+LK while crouching techs throws or performs down LP. Down LP is a mid that is both parried high and parried low.

There is a 10 frame cooldown after pressing a parry direction where throws cannot be teched, as shown by the blue bar above the orange bar. This cooldown can be canceled by pressing another direction before teching. If you ever had moments where you were 100% sure you teched but still got thrown, this is probably why. This situation is common after attempting to parry an air attack then getting hit by the empty jump throw.

There are 6 frames of throw-invulnerability on wakeup or after an air reset. Waking up with an attack faster than 6 frames also beats throws.

There is a technique that is a variation of a fuzzy jump. On wakeup block for 6 frames, jump on the 7th frame when you lose throw-invulnerability, then parry in the air. It can switch sides and get you out of the corner.

After a knockdown, press down to quick recover.

Universal Overhead (UOH) is performed by pressing MP+MK without holding a direction. Frame advantage depends on when the attack connects. Doing UOH farther away makes it hit on a later active frame, making it more advantageous. It can be advantageous on block.

On hit, UOH can be as high as +7. Here's a setup.

Kara canceling adds extra range to throws, special attacks, and UOH. Kara canceling is very important in Third Strike.

SGGK

Because parrying has no startup or recovery and the parry input overlaps with other inputs, Third Strike has a lot of natural option selects. Some are as simple as pressing forward or down immediately before an attack and "accidentally on purpose" getting a successful parry.

SGGK is an option select that combines the basic parry option select with a (kara) throw. For most of the cast this option select is less rewarding than simply reacting to a successful parry with an optimal punish but it isn't riskier than regular parrying and it covers multiple options. This option select is like a guess parry into a throw. You will attack if there is a parry, and you will throw if there is no parry.

First you need a normal attack to kara cancel with, I'll be using Remy's MP. I press forward for the parry input, then I press MP a few frames later to give the parry window time to catch attacks, then I immediately kara cancel MP into throw. If my opponent attacked, then Remy will parry it and hit MP. If my opponent did nothing (or blocks), then Remy will throw instead.