Chun-Li (Chinese: 春麗, literally “spring beauty” or “beauty of spring”) first made her appearance in fighting games with Street Fighter II: World Warrior. She quickly became known as one of the first (if not the first) female character in a fighting game, in a time when other female characters in video games were typically portrayed as damsels in distress, in need of saving. She has since risen to prominence in the videogaming world and is even sometimes referred to as the First Lady of Fighting Games, or the Queen of Fighting Games.
Story-wise, Chun-Li is an Interpol investigator hoping to track down M. Bison and his crime syndicate, Shadaloo. Chun-Li also seeks vengeance from Bison for personal reasons; she believes Bison killed her father, or is at least responsible for his disappearance. At the end of Street Fighter II, Bison is ultimately defeated by Akuma, and Chun-Li retires from Interpol to try and live the life of a normal girl.
In Street Fighter IV, Guile brings to Chun-Li’s attention that Bison is still alive and that Shadaloo is still functioning, as well as telling her about the emergence of S.I.N., a research division of Shadaloo. Finding herself dissatisfied with living a “normal life,” and feeling a calling to return to the fight, Chun-Li returns to Interpol to track down Shadaloo and Bison once more.[/details]
In Street Fighter IV, Chun-Li’s playstyle revolves around her ability to poke and zone. She has fantastic normal moves and a large variety of anti-air attacks that can help shut down her opponent’s options. She is also one of the fastest characters in the game, with great walk speed as well as forward and back dashes.
At full screen, Chun has limited options. She can throw fireballs and follow behind them to close distance, to hopefully get around mid-screen range.
Chun excels just outside of midscreen range from her opponent, where the long reach on her pokes will allow her to punish opponents for sticking out moves, and where she can utilize her Hazanshu, or Hosenka Ultra combo to punish opponents for using projectiles. Her best pokes are, in no particular order, st.MP, st.HP, st.HK, cr.HK, and cr.MP.
Chun-Li is unique in that she practically has an army of different anti-air normals. All of her anti-airs are situation-specific, with each one tailored for a certain angle or a certain character. They are, in no particular order, df+LK, st.MK, st.MP, st.HP, st.HK, cr.MP, cr.HK, cr.HP, cr.MK, and even sometimes cr.LP. With enough time, Chun also has the option to air throw, or air-to-air with j.MK, j.HK, or j.HP.
Up close, Chun’s mixup options allow her to apply a decent amount of pressure, with high-low mixups as well as crossup options, but her low health makes this risky against characters who can potentially Reversal into Ultra.
When under pressure, Chun’s best options are generally to block, backdash, or EX Spinning Bird Kick. EX SBK has great invincibility but can lose to a jump-in attack that hits at a steep enough angle. The invincibility, speed, and distance of her backdash make it an especially useful tool to escape difficult situations, but the drawback is that you are forced to lose ground, and can still be hit out of it by a deep-hitting attack.[/details]
Although Chun doesn’t have the best jabs in the game (that honor probably goes to Balrog), they’re still useful. Stand jab hits crouching opponents, so this can help in confusing opponents during Chun’s mix-up tactics. Crouch jab chains into C.MK. You will probably have no use for jumping jabs.
Standing strong is one of her best pokes. It has good range and decent priority - it can stuff fireballs before they come out. While it doesn’t combo, it can cancel into Kikouken or Hasan Shu, which is good for letting Chun keep the pressure on. Crouch strong has even better range, and ducks under most everything, including fireballs. It can also be used to a small degree against jump-ins - it will lower her hitbox, making the jump-in potentially whiff. Close standing strong (the double-slap) can combo into Kikouken, but this normal doesn’t get much use in regular play. Jump strong is also not particularly useful.
Chun’s fierces are incredibly useful. Far standing Fierce works well as a strong mid-range poke, and is especially great for keeping Balrog at bay. Standing close strong (the palm strike) has a rather large hitbox which works very well against many jump-ins, including many of Balrog’s. Crouch Fierce is two hit - the first hit can be cancelled into LK/MK SBK/EX SBK, Kikoken, Super, etc. Being a two-hit move, C.FP spoils any Focus Attack attempts, and also gives Chun frame advantage on counter hit. Another nice property of C.FP is that it actually moves Chun forward just a little bit - which sometimes is enough to make cross-up attempts whiff (although she may still be vulnerable to grounded attacks once the opponent lands!). The angle of the first hit of C.FP, plus Chun lowering her body, also makes it viable in certain situations as anti-air.
Jump fierce is arguably one of the best jump-in attacks in the game. Its two hit, which means that Focus Attacks will not work against it. You can choose not to do the second hit by not pressing FP a second time - this leads to a great mix-up jump-in game, where Chun jumps in with one FP and has the following options available to her -
- Do the second FP
- Land, throw
- Land, C.LK
- Land, Hasan Shu
Alternating between these choices can leave your opponent guessing and give you opporunities to do damage.
Also J.FP, when hit on an airborne opponent, counts as a knockdown hit and also puts them in a juggleable state. After landing J.FP you can follow up with EX SBK (anywhere on screen), Head Stomp, or if the opponent is close enough to the corner, Ultra Juggle.
While the animation for jump straight FP is different from back/forward, the attack is still two-hit, although the second hit will come out automatically.
Chun’s low shorts have incredible range, and are a key part of her offense. You can combo EX Lightning Legs off C.LK, even from its maximum hitting distance. This is the primary way Chun does damage on the ground. It can also be comboed into from a Hasan Shu in certain situations. Stand shorts also have good range, but so far not many uses have been found for them. Jump short serves as Chun’s jumping crossup attack. With her floaty jump arc, she can sail over many anti-air attempts, such as Blanka Vertical Ball, Guile’s Flash Kick and Honda Headbutt, but note that she will still be vulnerable to shoryukens.
Chun’s crouch forward was infamous in SFIII:3S, but in SFIV its back to just being a regular normal. While you can combo many things off it, including EX Legs, EX SBK, Kikouken, and Super, its not hit confirm as it was in 3S. Crouch forward will primarily be used in combos and block strings. Standing B+MK is an attack that leads to a launcher series. Standing F+ MK moves Chun forward a bit. This move recovers fairly quickly, and is somewhat underrated in Chun’s mid-distance game.
J.MK has deceptively long range, and can be used to tag grounded opponents who don’t think you are in range to hit them. It also is good for hitting airborne opponents as you jump backwards. There are not many uses for jump straight MK, if any at all.
Chun’s sweep is usually pretty beefy, and SFIV is no exception. However, in IV, Chun’s sweep is major Focus Attack bait. Therefore, its best to use it cautiously. Throwing out too many random sweeps is a good way to get killed quickly. Stand roundhouse is a great long-range poke that is especially effective for keeping Zangief at bay, and also works as an “air sniper” move - if you think the opponent is going to jump, do S.RH and Chun will tag them just as they start to think about leaving the ground.
Chun’s jump forward/backward roundhouse is a fairly buff jump-in, but is very vulnerable to FA and all the usual anti-air tactics. However, note that in close, if Chun jumps backwards and immediately does a RH, it will count as a jumping attack and the hitbox will usually extend to the opponent - making this a unique runaway, instant overhead. Be warned though that some characters can punish her as she flies away though (most notably Sagat) and this is usually a bad idea to do in the corner anyway.
Chun’s jump straight roundhouse is her “spread eagle” kick from 3S\CvS2. Its great for controlling the space around her, including airspace. It also serves as an anti-air, as it will defeat people trying to jump in on her if done early enough. Against grounded opponents, its still vulnerable to the usual AA tactics. You should be especially careful against Balrog, as his headbutt covers quite a bit of horizontal range and can tag Chun from quite a ways away.
Kaku Kyaku Raku (Rear Flip Kick) - DF+LK
Chun does a backflip, hitting her opponent with her knee as she goes up. Has some anti-air properties, and also knocks down on counter hit. Can also be used an anti-poke to some degree.
Kouhou Kaiten Kyaku - DF+HK
Chun flips forward and comes down with a kick pointed in the opposite direction. If you do this move in or around sweep range, Chun jumps over the opponent and comes down with a cross-up kick that must be blocked high. If done against a knocked-down opponent, timing is key; DP’s and Flash Kicks will actually miss it if timed right. If outside sweep range, Chun will land in front of the opponent. After you land Chun can actually go for a throw, but she is also vulnerable to being thrown. It can be used as a method for closing distance, although it is risky.
Air Throw: In Air LP+LK
Yep, Chun’s got her air throw, and in SFIV it can be very useful. If you know/anticipate your opponent’s jump, you can air throw them. So long as you’re not jumping right into an air attack, or you don’t get beat to the punch by another character with an air throw (Guile or Claw Vega), you’ll score the throw.
Forward Kick: F + MK
Chun takes a step forward and kicks mid. She recovers pretty quick from this, so you can follow it up with a move of your choice to surprise your opponent.
Backward Kick: B + MK
Chun throws out a mid kick, and sort of leans back as she does so. By itself, its not that impressive/useful, but…
Ten Kyuu Kyaku: During Backwards Kick, MK
This is a launcher move, and is ONLY available after the backwards kick. This move will come out regardless of whether the Backwards Kick connects or not…but it also has a TON of recovery, so you should only use it in hit-guaranteed situations.
Although this move can be Focus Attack cancelled, there isn’t much that Chun can do afterwards that would make it worth the 2 bars of super meter.
Ten Sho Kyaku: During Ten Kyuu Kyaku, D, U + MK
You all know this move from the Alpha/Zero series as Chun’s rising kicks. Its ONLY available at the end of the Ten Kyuu Kyaku. If whiffed, Chun is left VERY vulnerable. This launcher/combo series usually requires a fairly big opening to land successfully (a jump-in or FA crumple). While it does decent damage, her EX Legs B&B or even a MK SBK combo does more damage. If you have an opening, you can use this combo if you want to conserve super meter or you don’t want to put yourself in the risky position Chun ends up in at the end of the MK SBK combo. In the corner, you can juggle combo EX SBK/Ultra off this, but the window to do so is fairly small.
Head Stomp: In Air, D+MK
A classic Chun move. Can be repeated up to 3 times. You can use it after a successful J.FP on an airborne opponent to follow up with juggle damage (if you want to conserve meter by not doing EX SBK juggle). It can also be used as a cross-up/mix up move, as Chun can follow up a Head Stomp with whatever she wants…if she has forward motion, you can use J.LK for a cross-up, or if you did it straight up, she can come down with J.FP.
This can also be used as an instant overhead, by jumping and immediately pressing D+MK. To get forward motion (Chun will start moving behind the opponent), do JF, D+MK. Its a nice tool but much like everything Chun has, extremely vulnerable, so use with care/caution.
Kikkoken: Charge B, F+P
Chun’s fireballs are back to charge motions, and as usual, not full screen. They do get decent range though, which gives Chun zoning options. Since Chun is good in the air, putting a fireball on screen can be handy…but also very dangerous against certain characters (ie Balrog or Blanka sitting on charge). Be careful not to throw Kikoukens too recklessly in close range, as they are VERY easy to jump over and Chun has quite a bit of recovery.
EX Version: 2 hits, faster, and it goes farther if not full-screen. Good for surprising people in close who like to abuse FA stances.
Hyakuretsu Kyaku: K repeatedly
Good ol Lightning Legs. The regular version you will not have much use for, but…
EX Version: You will be relying on EX Legs quite a bit, as its part of her B&B combo. EX Legs combos off a lot of things…C.LK, C.MK, SC.RH, C.FP (1st hit cancel)… Being her B&B, it lets Chun be able to move around and yet do damage. Following a successful EX Legs, you can combo another EX Legs juggle off it from anywhere on the screen, or if you are in the corner, EX SBK or Ultra. Outside of combo usage, EX Legs is good for breaking up FA stances, especially Dash EX Legs. To do Dash EX Legs, dash forward and as Chun is moving, piano method across the kick buttons.
Spinning Bird Kick: Charge D, U+K
Another Chun staple. Actually incredibly not useful, as it puts Chun in a lot of danger regardless of whether it hits, misses, or is blocked. MK version can be comboed into off C.FP (1st hit cancel) or a close C.MK. This is one of her most damaging combos without using meter. However when SBK ends, Chun will be directly next to the opponent with no real frame advantage, so from here it will be a guessing game as to what to do next.
EX Version: One of her most valuable moves. Comes out quick and has some invincibility frames on startup, so it works as her “get offa me!” move. Also works as anti-air. However, once the invincibility wears off she can be hit out of it, and the move has NO vacuum properties at all, so timing is key. If the opponent does the jump in very deep, they can potentially block an EX SBK attempt and then punish you for it. Also, anything that comes in above her kick range and hits downward has a good chance of hitting her out of it (EX SBK flat out LOSES to things like Rufus’s dive kick, Akuma’s dive kick, Fuerte’s elbow, Vega’s J.FP, etc…). Regardless, effective usage of EX SBK will be vital to your success as a Chun player.
Hazan Shu (Flip Kick) HCB+K
Same as 3S, a quick move that hits overhead. Goes through fireballs, and usually recovers quick enough so that Chun can’t be punished if blocked. On whiff however, Chun will be WIDE open for punishment. Also great as an anti-poke move for punishing anything stronger than a jab/short. However, Hasan Shu itself is EXTREMELY vulnerable - it loses to almost everything, it can be jabbed out of even. It will also not break an FA charge, so many people who play against Chun like to integrate random FA’s into their footsies - if you HS into a FA, you will pay for it dearly. Generally speaking, if the opponent knows you are going to do it, they WILL hurt you bad, so unpredictability is very crucial. Smart Flip Kick usage can separate a good Chun player from a great one.
EX Version: Comes out faster and knocks down. If you are in a block string that ends with a fireball you should be able to EX Hasan Shu through it and score the clean hit.
Super - Senretsukyaku: Charge B, F, B, F+K
Will NOT travel full-screen. Only works against grounded opponents - an airborne opponent will go flying out of the attack. Exception is an opponent stuck in the corner. Chun will be very vulnerable if blocked/missed. You can combo into it from C.MK, J.FP, J.RH, or even at the end of a MK SBK (timing is very strict - Chun has to start her super animation as the opponent is still reeling from the SBK).
Chun’s super actually comes out ridiculously fast, so it can act as a reversal against A LOT of blocked/whiffed moves. However, considering that Chun often burns meter on EX Legs/SBK, actually having a full bar can be kind of rare unless you plan for it specifically.
Ultra 1 - Hosenka: Charge B, F, B, F+KKK
Chun moves forward with a series of kicks, which leads into a launcher. She will then do a vertically-rising SBK, finishing with a double kick to send the opponent flying. If blocked/whiffed, Chun will do the first part of the ultra ending in the launcher, after which she’ll do a small backflip. As Chun does not move forward much after the initial part of the ultra, on whiff as well as block she is VERY vulnerable - your opponent will basically get to choose how they get to punish you, and have plenty of time to think about it.
Ultra 2 - Kikosho: QCFx2 + PPP
Chun coils back and brings both palms forward, releases a huge orb of energy from her palms. Kikosho has no invulnerability on startup, and leaves Chun open for a long time when blocked, so make sure you’re going to hit with it if you use it. This is a great Ultra to tack on at the end of combos for guaranteed damage anywhere on screen – it makes Chun a threat even with one meter since she can combo it off of EX Legs. It also has some interesting properties in that the projectile “ball” takes up a large part of the screen, even extending to behind Chun’s body.
Chun’s ultra travels maybe 3/4ths screen distance. Be warned that it is NOT full-screen. It has quite a bit of startup, and NO anti-air properties. It will juggle, but as the kicks send the opponent flying, mid-screen you can only expect to get 1-2 hits out of it, and the launcher will most definitely not connect. In the corner the ultra may juggle with launcher, however if your timing for the juggle is off the opponent may fall out of it, and many lighter characters tend to fall out of it anyway.
If the opponent is considered to be mid-air in any way at all, they will go flying out of the ultra. Also, if done after a FA crumple stun, for whatever reason the opponent will go flying out of it unless timed properly. You want to execute the Ultra the moment your opponent lands on their knees after a crumple.
The ultra has armor breaking properties. It also passes through fireballs, even Ultra projectiles like Ryu’s Metsu Hadoken or Sagat’s Tiger Cannon. Dhalsim’s Ultra fireball can cause problems because it moves so slowly, although it is possible to punish. Akuma’s air fireballs are also difficult to punish but it is possible.
The ultra has quite a bit of startup. So much so, that Chun can get counter-ultra’d - the opponent can start their ultra after Chun’s ultra animation finishes, and actually beat out her ultra. Also, it does very little chip damage whatsoever. These two characteristics make Chun’s ultra a very, very bad choice for attempted chip-damage finishes.[/details]