Robert Garcia (Art of Fighting)
|Art of Fighting and The King of Fighters character|
Robert Garcia in The King of Fighters 2000
|First game||Art of Fighting (1992)|
|Voiced by (English)||James W. Hove (AOF)
Nick Sullivan (anime)
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Eiji Yano (AOF)
Kay Inage (AOF2, KOF'94-'95, KOFXI, NeoGeo Battle Coliseum, KOFXII-XIII)
Mantarou Kouichi (AOF3, KOF'96-2003)
Masanori Ikeda (AOF anime)
Hideo Ishikawa (Dengeki Bunko drama CD)
|Fighting style||Kyokugen-ryū style of karate|
Robert Garcia (ロバート・ガルシア Robāto Garushia?) is a video game character created by SNK Playmore, formerly known as SNK. Robert stars in the fighting video game Art of Fighting as the lead character along his best friend Ryo Sakazaki. The game has both of them as practitioners of the Kyokugenryu Karate fighting who search for Ryo's younger sister, Yuri Sakazaki, who was kidnapped by a criminal named Mr. Big. He is additionally featured in most of The King of Fighters crossover games, in which starts into the King of Fighters tournament in teams composed of three members. Thus far, he has been a playable character in every edition of KOF except The King of Fighters XI; however, he has recently been added back in for the PlayStation 2 version of the game.
Robert has additionally appeared in the film adaptation of Art of Fighting, and the manhua from The King of Fighters. He received mixed critics from video games publication, which praised his design, but some also noted him similar to the Street Fighter main characters. He has also been well received by gamers, appearing in several popularity polls developed by journals and websites.
In the first Art of Fighting Robert sports a black t-shirt with short sleeves, a brown vest and a gold medallion around the neck. He also wears white pants, white and black shoes and black gloves. He has the same outfit in the following Art of Fighting but without sleeves in his t-shirt. This costume is also featured in the first two King of Fighters as well as The King of Fighters XII and XIII. In the third Art of Fighting game, Robert has a light blue jacket with his top uncovered and does not wear his medallion. He also sports white gloves and brown shoes, but keeps having his white pants. He has the same appearance from The King of Fighters '96 to The King of Fighters '98. From The King of Fighters '99 to The King of Fighters 2002, Robert wears a similar outfit to the one from the first two Art of Fighting games but with long sleeves and white gloves and shoes. His The King of Fighters 2003 outfit is similar to his Art of Fighting 3 clothes but with white sleeves. In NeoGeo Battle Coliseum and the PlayStation 2 version from The King of Fighters XI, Robert appears as an older version from himself wearing a similar outfit from Art of Fighting 3. The jacket is purple, his gloves are black and his shoes are brown.
There is also an Alternate Striker version of Robert in KOF 2000 called "Another Robert". This Robert wears a white male Kyokugen Karate gi with a blue shirt underneath. His clothing now parodies Ryo Sakazaki while his looks and playstyle parody Street Fighter Alpha's Dan Hibiki, right down to his Chouhatsu no Ken that parodies the Chouhatsu Densetsu.
Robert is the son of Alberto Garcia, a wealthy Italian businessman and best friend of Takuma Sakazaki, the master of Kyokugenryu Karate. Alberto persuaded Takuma to teach Robert discipline through Kyokugen-ryū. While living with his new sensei, Robert quickly befriended Takuma's children, Ryo and Yuri. Ryo became his best friend, and Robert eventually developed romantic feelings for Yuri. He has held a special relationship with Yuri ever since he first met her, and would likely wed her if not for Takuma and Ryo, who either overprotect Yuri out of habit or suspect that Robert might take her for granted. However, Yuri then also comes to like Robert, which Ryo notices and tells Yuri to follow him.
Robert uses the Kyokugen-Ryu fighting style to fight but focusing more on kicks attacks unlike Ryo and Takuma who focus on punches. Robert is the only character to ever possess three different super levels containing the same move. In King of Fighters 2002, he possessed DM, SDM, and HDM versions of the Ryūko Ranbu (Dragon-Tiger Crazy Dance), each with increasing hits per damage, the final one being unblockable as well. Along with Chizuru Kagura, he is one of the characters whose move input changes most constantly between games, though he occasionally reverts to his original moveset. For example, in The King of Fighters 99 and 2000, he was a "charge-motion" type character, like Leona or Ash Crimson (though the first ever "charge-motion" character was Street Fighter's Guile).
In video games
In Art of Fighting, Yuri is kidnapped by the criminal Mr. Big. As such, both Ryo Sakazaki and Robert go to Southtown to interrogate fighters untile finding Mr. Big. After defeating Mr. Big, Ryo and Robert face an assassin named Mr. Karate purportedly held Yuri. Ryo nearly finishes him off, but Yuri sneaks in and tells Ryo not to kill him since Mr. Karate is their father, Takuma. The second Art of Fighting game features Robert, Ryo, Takuma and a now fighter Yuri entering into the first King of Fighters tournament held by Geese Howard, the main responsible for the kidnap. In Art of Fighting 3 Robert visits Central America to help Freya Lawrence, a childhood friend, save her brother Wyler, whose demonic power made him go berserk.
In The King of Fighters series, Takuma, Ryo, and Robert are part of the Art of Fighting Team. After The King of Fighters '95, Yuri replaces Takuma who is feeling too old to fight. With the arrival of The King of Fighters '99 and its teams of four, Takuma returns to the Art of Fighting team. In The King of Fighters 2000 Yuri defects to Mai Shiranui's team, leaving King to replace her. As The King of Fighters 2001 approached, the Garcia Foundation went bankrupt due to the NESTS cartel's intrigues. In order to help Robert recover the money and cheer him up Yuri returns to the Art of Fighting team. With the coming The King of Fighters 2003 adjusting teams back to three members, Takuma once again retired from competition to let Ryo, Robert, and Yuri form a team.
Though the Garcia Foundation no longer faced liquidation as it did in The King of Fighters 2001, it needed significant help to rebuild its prior fortunes, causing Robert to be absent in The King of Fighters XI. He is playable in The King of Fighters XII, but like each character, he does not have an official team. With the move back towards official three-character teams, Robert rejoins Ryo as well as Takuma (who has seemingly returned from retirement) to participate in The King of Fighters XIII. He also appears in the spin-off The King of Fighters Kyo, in which he helps the main character Kyo Kusanagi into finding his girlfriend Yuki. Alongside an aged Ryo Sakazaki from Buriki One, an aged Robert appears in NeoGeo Battle Coliseum with moves largely from The King of Fighters 2000 and The King of Fighters 2003. He also appears in this form as a hidden character in the PlayStation 2 version of The King of Fighters XI. In The King of Fighters game without storylines The King of Fighters 2002 and The King of Fighters Neowave the Art of Fighting Team remains as in '94, while in The King of Fighters '98 and The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match, it appears with Yuri taking Takuma's place. Both of these latest games also feature an "EX" version of Robert with his moves from the Art of Fighting series as a playable character.
In other media
Besides the games from SNK, Robert also appears in the Art of Fighting anime film from 1993. The plot from film is loosely based on the first Art of Fighting game, with Robert and Ryo searching for Yuri, who has been kidnapped by Mr. Big. However, in the film Mr. Big wants to obtain a diamond held by Ryo and Robert He is voiced by Masanori Ikeda in the Japanese version of film, and by Nick Sullivan in the English adaptation. Robert is also featured in the manhua adaptations from The King of Fighters series, which tell how he participates in the fighting tournaments.
Robert has been well received by gamers and has appeared in popularity polls from journals and websites. In Gamest's 1997 Heroes Collection, Robert was voted as the staff's 46th favorite character. He shared the spot with seven other characters, including Samurai Shodown character, Hattori Hanzo, and Darkstalkers character, Demitri Maximoff. In the January 30, 1995 issue of Gamest magazine in Japan, Robert ranked at No. 36 (tied with Iceman from X-Men: Children of the Atom) in list of Top 50 Characters of 1994.
Videogame publications have commented on Robert's character, adding praise and criticism. David Simpson fro AceGamez noted Robert to be very similar to the Street Fighter main characters due to his practice in karate and his relation with Ryo Sakazaki as both are best friends and rivals. Videogamer.com writer Wesley Yin-Poole labeled Robert and Ryo as "two double-hard bastards" and commented they had the best designs from the Art of Fighting series in comparison to the other characters who had "wicked" appearances. Spanner Spencer from Eurogamer also added that Robert had the best appearance from all the characters of the Art of Fighting series but labelled him as a "greasy yuppie". In a review from The King of Fighters XI, Eurogamer writer Luke Albiger noted Robert's addition to the game as hidden character is a good way to compensate the several recurring who were absent. However, Kurt Kalata from Armchairempire.com criticized that unlocking Robert in that game was "a pain" due to the difficult challenges the players has to do to unlock him. Greg Kasavin from GameSpot listed his "Haohshokohken" move from Art of Fighting as one of the most influential fireball moves in fighting games' history.
The character of Dan Hibiki from the Street Fighter Alpha series is deemed as a parody of Ryo due to his similarities with Ryu and Ken. However, his design is more similar to Robert's to the point that in SVC Chaos, characters often confuse Dan with Robert.
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