Fatal Fury (series)
The logo originally used in Fatal Fury: King of Fighters, which is the most commonly used logo in the series
|Platforms||Arcade, Neo Geo CD, Mega Drive, SNES, Neo Geo, PC Engine, Game Boy, X68000, Sega CD, Game Gear, FM Towns, Saturn, Windows, PlayStation, Neo Geo Pocket Color, Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, Virtual Console, Xbox Live Arcade|
|First release||Fatal Fury: King of Fighters
November 25, 1991
- Fatal Fury – The first game of the Fatal Fury series allowed players to select one of three characters, Terry Bogard, Andy Bogard, and Joe Higashi, as they fight against a gauntlet of computer-controlled opponents ending with Billy Kane and Geese Howard. When two players joins in, they have the option of either playing cooperatively against the CPU or competitively against each other. Ported to SNES and Sega Genesis by Takara. The Neo-Geo version was released onto the Wii's Virtual Console. It was also released as part of SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1 for PS2, PSP and Wii.
- Fatal Fury 2 – The immediate sequel to the original Fatal Fury revamped the controls from the original game, adding punch and kick buttons of different strength levels and allowing the player to switch between fighting lanes at will. Terry, Andy, and Joe return from the original Fatal Fury, along with five new playable characters (including Kim Kaphwan and Mai Shiranui). This time, the player faces off against the other main characters (as well as a clone of their own) before fighting against four computer-only opponents, culminating with new antagonist Wolfgang Krauser. The game was ported once again to the SNES and Genesis by Takara. A PC Engine Super CD-ROM² was also released by Hudson Soft in Japan, which utilized the Arcade Card.
- Fatal Fury Special – An updated version of Fatal Fury 2 which refines many aspects of the previous game, including faster game speed. The character roster from Fatal Fury 2 returned, with the four CPU characters now playable, along with three returning characters from the original Fatal Fury (Duck King, Tung Fu Rue, and Geese Howard). Ryo Sakazaki from Art of Fighting appears also as a secret final opponent. The game was once again ported to the SNES by Takara, with a Sega CD version by JVC and a PC Engine version by Hudson Soft (once again utilizing the Arcade Card). The game was also released for the Xbox Live Arcade service.
- Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory – Fatal Fury 3 revamps the lane changing system from the previous games and introduces a new type of combo techniques known as "Combination Arts". Terry, Andy, Joe, Mai, and Geese return from Fatal Fury Special, along with five new playable characters (including Blue Mary), along with three boss characters (Ryuji Yamazaki, Jin Chonshu, and Jin Chonrei). Ported by SNK to the Sega Saturn. A Windows 95 version also released by Cyberfront.
- Real Bout Fatal Fury – Real Bout Fatal Fury simplifies the controls from the previous game and introduces a "Power Gauge" allowing the player to perform super-powered special moves. The Fatal Fury 3 character roster returned (with the boss characters now regular characters), along with Kim Kaphwan, Duck King, and Billy Kane from Fatal Fury Special, with Geese Howard reclaiming his status from the first game as final boss. Also released for the PlayStation (in Japan and Europe) and the Saturn (in Japan only).
- Real Bout Fatal Fury Special – Like Fatal Fury Special before it, Real Bout Special reintroduced many of the characters from the classic Fatal Fury games, most notably Wolfgang Krauser. All of the characters from the previous game returned, with Geese Howard now a secret final boss and hidden playable character. Also released to the Sega Saturn in Japan only.
- Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers – The final game in the Real Bout sub-series, Real Bout 2 retains the Real Bout Special cast and introduces two new characters, Li Xiangfei and Rick Strowd. The game also featured a new secret challenger named Alfred.
- Real Bout Garou Densetsu Special: Dominated Mind – A PlayStation game based on Real Bout Special, which features an all new story mode starring Alfred (from Real Bout 2), and includes an all new antagonist named White, based upon Alexander de Large character from the movie A Clockwork Orange. Dominated Mind discards the multi-lane system from the previous Fatal Fury games and introduces new moves such as hidden unlockable super moves and super cancel moves (known in the game as "Final Impacts").
- Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition – A 3D fighting game that retells the story of Fatal Fury, but with many of the original characters replaced with characters from the later sequels such as Kim, Mai, and Yamazaki, as well as two new characters (Tsugumi Sendo and Toji Sakata). A PlayStation port of Wild Ambition featured Duck King and an older Ryo Sakazaki as the new Mr. Karate (from Buriki One).
- Fatal Fury: 1st Contact – A portable fighting game loosely based on Real Bout 2. Featured exclusive character Lao, playable only in the 2-player versus mode.
- Garou: Mark of the Wolves – The last Fatal Fury game released for the Neo Geo. Set a decade after Real Bout Special, Terry Bogard returns along with a new cast of characters, including new protagonist Rock Howard, Geese's son and Terry's protégé, for a total of twelve playable characters. The lane-change system was discarded from the series and introduced several new techniques such as "Just Defend" techniques. Ported to the Dreamcast (released under the title Fatal Fury: Mark of the Wolves) and PlayStation 2 (in Japan only). During the fan event 2005 KOF-party, illustrator Falcoon mentioned that game's sequel was around 70% percent complete by the SNK team.
Two compilations have also been released:
- Fatal Fury Battle Archives Volume 1 (PlayStation 2, SNK Playmore, 2006). The compilation contains these original versions: Fatal Fury, Fatal Fury 2, Fatal Fury Special, and Fatal Fury 3. It has a language option for each game between Japanese and English. It was released in the United States in August 2007.
- Fatal Fury Battle Archives Volume 2 (PlayStation 2, SNK Playmore, 2007). This compilation contains Real Bout Fatal Fury, Real Bout Fatal Fury Special, Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers and also features a language option for each game between Japanese, English, Spanish, and Portuguese. It was released in the United States in April 2008.
The main fighting game feature that the original Fatal Fury was known for was the two-plane system. Characters would fight from two different planes, and by stepping between the planes, attacks could be dodged with ease. Later games dropped the two-plane system, replacing it with a complex system of dodging including everything from simple half second dodges into the background to a three plane system. Characters often had moves that could attack across the two planes, attack both planes at once, or otherwise attack characters attempting to dodge.
Later Fatal Fury games experimented with various mechanic changes: "Ring-outs", where a character loses the round if the character is thrown into the edges of the fighting backdrop; single-plane backdrops, where the element of dodging is eliminated altogether causing moves that sent opponents to the opposite plane to do collateral damage. The most successful of these gimmicks were the Deadly Rave and Just Defend. The Deadly Rave was a super combo used by several characters, where after execution, a player had to press a preset series of buttons with exact timing for the entire combo to execute. The Just Defend was a type of protected block in which players regain lost life, did not wear down the player's guard crush meter and removed all block stuns making combo interruptions smoother.
Fatal Fury and its sister series, Art of Fighting, are set in the same fictional universe, with the Art of Fighting series taking place at least ten years prior to the events of the first Fatal Fury. This is established in Art of Fighting 2, which features a younger long-haired Geese Howard as the game's secret final boss and the true mastermind behind the events of the first Art of Fighting. The two series are also set primarily in the same fictional city of "South Town."
Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition likewise features the cast from both series that are featured in The King of Fighters (KOF) series, with many of the more popular characters from Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting games transferred to The King of Fighters as they were introduced. It should be noted that the KOF series ignores the continuity established in the Fatal Fury/Art of Fighting games. This was done so that the characters from both series could be featured in the KOF games without having to age them.
As with most fighting game series, the Fatal Fury series has an extensive cast of characters that has increased with each installment. The three main heroes from the original game, Terry Bogard, Andy Bogard and Joe Higashi, have remained constant in each installment, along with female ninja Mai Shiranui. Also, some characters have made appearances outside the series, particularly in The King of Fighters series and in Art of Fighting 2 (where a young Geese Howard appears as a hidden opponent). Likewise, characters from outside the series have appeared in the Fatal Fury games. Ryo Sakazaki from the Art of Fighting series makes an appearance in a hidden "dream match" in Fatal Fury Special, while his older self from Buriki One appears in Fatal Fury: Wild Ambitions. Garou: Mark of the Wolves is the only Fatal Fury game not to feature any returning character with the exception of Terry Bogard himself, who was completely redesigned for the game.
|Character||Fatal Fury||Fatal Fury 2||Fatal Fury Special||Fatal Fury 3||Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition||Real Bout Fatal Fury||Real Bout Special||Real Bout Dominated Mind||Real Bout 2||Fatal Fury 1st Contact||Garou: Mark of the Wolves||Total number of appearances|
|Kain R. Heinlein||1|
|Kim Dong Hwan||1|
|Kim Jae Hoon||1|
|Tung Fu Rue||5|
- Secret boss. Playable in Fatal Fury Battle Archives version only.
- As Raiden.
- As Big Bear.
The Fatal Fury series chronicles the rise of the "Lone Wolf" Terry Bogard (hence the Japanese title, which translates to Legend of the Hungry Wolf), and the simultaneous fall of the criminal empire of Geese Howard. Like many other SNK titles of the time, the first installment takes place in a fictitious American city called South Town. Brimming with violence and corruption, South Town forms the ideal backdrop for the annual The King of Fighters fighting tournament, organized by the notorious crime lord Geese Howard. No fighter has ever managed to beat his right-hand man and appointed champion, Billy Kane, until Terry arrives on the scene.
The second installment of the series features Geese's half-brother, Wolfgang Krauser, who internationalizes the formerly South Town-only tournament in a bid to take on the world's strongest combatants. The King of Fighters tournament is no longer a part of the storyline by the third game, having been spun off into its own series. Instead, the third installment centers around Terry Bogard's attempts to stop Geese from obtaining an ancient scroll that would give him the powers of a lost and dangerous martial art form.
After the third game, the series is renamed to Real Bout Fatal Fury. In the first installment of this "new" series we see the final and decisive battle between Terry and Geese. Note that the King of Fighters tournament is also held in this game. The second installment, which is named Real Bout Fatal Fury Special, features the return of Wolfgang.
Finally, Garou: Mark of the Wolves takes place a generation later. It focuses on Rock Howard, Terry's protégé and son of Geese, who makes a shocking discovery about his past when he enters the tournament.
The producers of the series, Takashi Nishiyama (since the original title) and Hiroshi Matsumoto (since Fatal Fury 3), were the planners of the original Street Fighter (where they were credited as Piston Takashi and Finish Hiroshi). Matsumoto is also the creator of the Art of Fighting series.
The Fatal Fury series inspired a trilogy of animated movies produced by NAS with SNK, featuring character designs by Masami Ōbari. The first is a television special which aired in 1992 on Fuji TV titled Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Wolf (Battle Fighters Garou Densetsu), which adapts the plot of the first game. It was followed by a second TV special in 1993 titled Fatal Fury 2: The New Battle (Battle Fighters Garou Densetsu 2) based on the second game, which also aired on Fuji TV. The two TV specials were followed by a theatrically released film in 1994 titled Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture (Garou Densetsu: The Motion Picture), which features an original plot and new characters. The first two TV specials were released on a single laserdisc and later on DVD.
VIZ Communications picked up the license for the trilogy and produced English dubbed versions of each movie, releasing them straight to VHS, and later on DVD. The movies were later released subtitled, with the first two Fatal Fury movies released in one video titled Fatal Fury One-Two Punch. The subbed version of Fatal Fury 2 features a scene involving a rematch between Joe Higashi and Big Bear (Raiden) that was cut from the dubbed version. The English DVD release of the TV specials, Fatal Fury: Double Impact, features this same scene as a DVD extra.
- ALL ABOUT SNK対戦格闘ゲーム 1991–2000 (ISBN 4-88554-677-X)
- "2005 KOF-party". SNK Playmore. Retrieved January 24, 2009.
- Leone, Matt. "The Man Who Created Street Fighter". 1UP.com. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
- "piston takashi list of games at arcade-history". Arcade-history.com. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
- "takashi nishiyama list of games at arcade-history". Arcade-history.com. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
- "Takashi Nishiyama". MobyGames. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
- Fatal Fury official website
- Garou Densetsu Battle Archive 1 at SNK Playmore
- Garou Densetsu Battle Archive 2 at SNK Playmore
- Garou Densetsu series at NBC Museum of SNK Playmore