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Street Fighter series series
Super Zangief
Zangief in Super Street Fighter II. Drawn by Bengus
First appearance Street Fighter II
Created by Akira Yasuda
Voiced by
William Johnson (Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie)
Michael Sorich (Street Fighter II V, Animaze dub)
Anthony Landor (Street Fighter IV)
Motion capture Andrew Bryniarski (Street Fighter)
Voiced by
Wataru Takagi (Street Fighter Alpha series)
Tesshō Genda (Capcom vs. SNK series, Capcom Fighting Evolution)
Kenta Miyake (Street Fighter IV)
Tetsuo Kanao (Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie)
Hidenari Ugaki (Street Fighter Zero: The Animation)
Ryūzaburō Ōtomo (Japanese television dub of the Street Fighter film)
Katsuhisa Hōki (Japanese video and DVD dub of the Street Fighter film)
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Fictional profile
Birthplace Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Nationality Russian
Fighting style Pro Wrestling + Sambo

|- |} Zangief (ザンギエフ Zangiefu?, from professional wrestler Victor Zangiev, Виктор Зангиев) is a fictional character in the Street Fighter series of video games. Created by Akira Yasuda for Capcom, Zangief first appeared in Street Fighter II, later appearing in other games, media, and promotions related to the Street Fighter franchise. Zangief is considered to be the first fighting game character whose moveset is centered around grappling.

Conception and creation

Designed by Akira Yasuda, Zangief was initially conceived for Street Fighter II as a character named "Vodka Gobalsky", planned to be a very strong but extremely slow character to play as.[1] Early designs of the character closely resembled the character's finalized appearance, but with the addition of a black tanktop and anchor tattoo on his upper arms. His name was later changed to "Zangief", though the development team would not learn until twenty years after the game's release that the name was not possible within the Russian language.[2][3] In an interview with Game On!, Capcom Research and Development head Noritaka Funamizu stated that of the series' characters, Zangief was one of the most popular characters with American audiences, alongside Ryu and Guile.[4]


Various actors have voiced the character in his video game appearances: he is voiced by Wataru Takagi in the Street Fighter Alpha series, Tesshō Genda in the Capcom vs. SNK series and Capcom Fighting Evolution, and Kenta Miyake in Japanese and Anthony Landor in English for Street Fighter IV. In anime, he is voiced in Japanese by Tetsuo Kanao and in English by William Johnson. In the live-action Street Fighter film, the character was portrayed by Andrew Bryniarski, who was dubbed over by Ryūzaburō Ōtomo in the Japanese television dub and by Katsuhisa Hōki in the video and DVD dub.

Appearances in other media

Zangief appeared in Masaomi Kanzaki's Street Fighter manga, which was released in the early 1990s. In his depiction in the comic, Zangief was depicted very much like his video game self. One of his main motivations was to defeat Guile, who as an American, represented the rival country of Zangief's homeland. In more recent adaptations, Zangief is shown to have a rivalry with Ryu, and Street Fighter IV implies that it was Ryu who knocked Zangief out of the second tournament.

Zangief appears in Masahiko Nakahira's Sakura Ganbaru! manga, in which he is introduced fighting in his exact same stage from Street Fighter Alpha 2. He first defeats Blanka, and then is engaged by Sakura and Cammy, whom he easily overpowered. He was later defeated by the duo and his friendly and good natured personality soon surfaced.

He is a playable character in Street Fighter X Tekken.

Film and anime


Zangief in Wreck-It Ralph

Zangief appears in almost every Street Fighter movie adaptation to date except for Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li.

In Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, Zangief appears very briefly during a brutal battle against Blanka to entertain an audience of crime bosses. He is last seen being electrocuted by him in a somewhat comical fashion due to his reaction of the process.

In Street Fighter II V, he is a henchman for Shadaloo, and sent by M. Bison to capture Ryu, whom he had seen displaying talents of Hadou on a beach earlier. Ryu resists, and they fight for a while until Zangief manages to knock him out (although he had kindly asked Ryu to come quietly). As they are leaving, Zangief spots Guile watching them from afar, and later on, while Guile and Nash are infiltrating Bison's base, Zangief corners Guile with the intention of killing him (under Bison's orders). Guile and Zangief fight a long, violent battle which takes its toll on both fighters, until Guile manages to knock Zangief out with a severe blow to the head. He is not seen again after this, but it is likely he escaped the explosion of Bison's base.

In Street Fighter Alpha: The Movie, he appears as a competitor in a fighting tournament. He does battle with Shun, Ryu's supposed little brother, and begins to ruthlessly beat the boy to within an inch of his life until Ryu intervenes and battles Zangief. Zangief appears to have the upper hand, and Ryu, enraged, almost gives in to the Dark Hadō and fires a lethal dark Hadōken which narrowly misses Zangief but causes the building to collapse. Zangief, stunned by Ryu's power, subsequently falls through the crumbling floor.

In the live-action Street Fighter movie, he is once again a (very dim-witted) lackey of Bison's, only this time he truly has a good heart and believes that the A.N., and not Bison, are the enemies of world peace and freedom. It is Zangief who gives Ryu and Ken their signature white and red martial arts clothes (as in this continuity, they are uniforms for Bison's men). During the climactic battle, Zangief battles E. Honda, who appears to have the upper hand. After the battle ends, he is told by Dee Jay that Bison was in fact the enemy and had been fooling Zangief the whole time (to the point that Bison had been paying Dee Jay a fortune while nothing to Zangief). To redeem himself, he helps Ryu and Ken hold the emergency exit door open for the hostages to escape. He is last seen complementing Guile's bravery, and gives him the Bison salute which Guile turns into the thumbs-up when he survives the explosion.

Zangief makes an appearance in the 2012 Walt Disney film Wreck-It Ralph voiced by the film's director Rich Moore. He alongside M. Bison are among the game characters at Ralph's group therapy session called Bad-Anon.

Promotion and reception

A Zangief-inspired costume for players to use in Sony's LittleBigPlanet was released on December 12, 2008 as downloadable content for the title.[5]

IGN ranked Zangief at number thirteen in their "Top 25 Street Fighter Characters" article, stating "he's a bit of a stereotype, a hulking lug from Mother Russia, but he plays the type so well, though. Between the Mohawk, the muttonchops, and the all-over bear-wrestling scars, it is hard to imagine a more perfect embodiment of the muscle-bound grappling goon."[6] GameDaily listed Zangief at number three in their "Top 20 Street Fighter Characters of All Time" article, describing his appearance as "menacing" as well as praising the strength of his fighting style.[7] They also featured him in several other lists. They called him one of Russia's greatest patriots in video games, stating that he is "by far the most successful" Russian character.[8] His hairy chest and scars resulted in him being included in lists of the hairiest chests in gaming and characters with scars.[9][10] They listed him as the buffest video game character, stating that readers "cannot deny his awesome."[11] In discussing the evolution of the Street Fighter series, GameDaily commented that Zangief has stayed mostly the same throughout the series.[12] In the January 30, 1997 issue of Gamest magazine in Japan, Zangief ranked at No. 18 on the Top 50 Characters of 1996 poll.[13] UGO Networks placed Zangief at #5 on their list of Top 50 Street Fighter Characters", stating "Zangief can be an intimidating character to play because he is far slower than other competitors, however he makes up for that in his ability to close range quickly and bypass and counter projectiles from his opponents.".[14]


  1. Capcom Sound Team Alph Lyla (1992-11-15). "Making of Street Fighter II" (CD/booklet). Capcom-004: Street Fighter II Complete File. Capcom. p. 3. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  2. Capcom Sound Team Alph Lyla (1992-11-15). "Making of Street Fighter II" (CD/booklet). Capcom-004: Street Fighter II Complete File. Capcom. p. 4. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  3. Elston, Brett. "Supser Street Fighter IV 3DS - interview with Yoshi Ono". GamesRadar. Future Publishing, Inc.. p. 2. Retrieved 2011-03-23. 
  4. Staff (1996). "A Fighter Speaks". Game On! (Horibuchi, Seiji) 1 (1): 6. 
  5. Acevedo, Jay (12 December 2008). Weekly Playstation Store Update - December 12. Game Focus. Retrieved on 18 December 2008
  6. Top 25 Street Fighter Characters - Day III. IGN. Retrieved on 15 August 2008
  7. Top 20 Street Fighter Characters of All Time. GameDaily. Retrieved on 13 November 2008
  13. Ishii, Zenji (December 1996). "第10回ゲーメスト大賞". Gamest Magazine 188: pg. 46. Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  14. Furfari, Paul (2010-08-25). "Top 50 Street Fighter Characters". Retrieved 2011-09-29. 

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