Garou: Mark of the Wolves

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Garou: Mark of the Wolves
  • Agetec (DC)
    SNK Playmore (Mobile/PC/PS2/PS4/VITA)
Producer(s)Hiroshi Matsumoto
Seigo Ito
T. Tsukamoto
Designer(s)I. Higemura
Yasuyuki Oda
Artist(s)D. Takagi
M. Hirano
N. Kuroki
Composer(s)Akihiro Uchida
Masato Horiuchi
Yasuhiro Naka
SeriesFatal Fury
  • Arcade
    • WW: 26 November 1999
    Neo Geo AES Dreamcast
    PlayStation 2 Xbox 360 Mobile PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
    • WW: 8 January 2016
Arcade systemNeo Geo MVS

Garou: Mark of the Wolves[a] is a 1999 fighting game produced by SNK, originally for the Neo Geo system and then as Fatal Fury: Mark of the Wolves for the Dreamcast. It is the eighth (or ninth if one counts Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition) installment of the Fatal Fury series.


Gameplay screenshot showcasing a match between B. Jenet and Rock Howard.

Gameplay in Mark of the Wolves is set on a single two-dimensional movement plane, removing the "lane" system from prior Fatal Fury games that allowed characters to move between the foreground and background. The game introduces a new mechanic called the "Tactical Offense Position" (T.O.P.), indicated by a highlighted area on the characters' life gauges. When the gauge reaches this area, the character enters the T.O.P. mode, granting the player's character the ability to use a T.O.P. attack, gradual life recovery, and increased attack damage; players can set which portion of their life bar activates the T.O.P. mode before the match begins. The game also introduces the "Just Defend" system, which rewards the player who successfully blocks an attack at the last moment with a small amount of health recovery and the ability to immediately counterattack out of block stun. Just Defend was later added as a feature of the K-Groove in Capcom's Capcom vs. SNK 2.

Similar to previous titles, the player is given a fighting rank after every round. If the player manages to win all rounds from the Arcade Mode with at least an "AAA" rank, they will face the boss Kain R. Heinlein, which unlocks an ending after he is defeated. If the requirements are not met, then Grant will be the final boss and there will be no special endings. Additionally, through Arcade Mode, before facing Grant, the player will face a mid-boss which can be any character from the cast depending on the character they use.

In addition to the standard Story mode, the console versions of the game include a second single-player mode, "Survival", in which the player must defeat as many opponents as possible while only regaining a limited amount of health after each battle. By completing each mode with different characters, the player will unlock new content in an in-game gallery such as character portraits and promotional artwork.

Playable characters[edit]

Mark of the Wolves features 14 playable characters. Terry Bogard is the only returning character from the previous Fatal Fury games, though many of the new cast are relatives or disciples of other characters from past entries.

  1. ^ a b Boss character


Ten years after crime lord Geese Howard's death, the city of Southtown has become more peaceful, leading it to be known as the Second Southtown in reference to having formerly been corrupted by Geese. A new fighting tournament called "King of Fighters: Maximum Mayhem" starts in the area, and several characters related with the fighters from the previous King of Fighters tournaments participate in it.


Multiple changes to Garou were made to show a bigger difference from previous games due to most characters being new. The character of Rock Howard was created by Nobuyuki Kuroki in 1998. Both he and Yasuyuki Oda wondered what type of hero would succeed Terry Bogard in Fatal Fury's latest game, Garou: Mark of the Wolves. While they were not confident with Rock, they still decided to make him as the new protagonist.[1] Rock was designed to contrast previous 'masculine' Fatal Fury characters by giving him a more bishonen appearance, something Nobuyuki Kuroki felt the sequel needed to balance the cast and an issue he felt Real Bout suffered. Similarly, Hotaru was given a moe inspired look to balance the playable characters.[2] Terry was also redesigned, labeled as "cool" by the SNK staff was because they thought Terry's previous look had become outdated.[3] Kengo Asai, who previously worked in Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer, Money Puzzle Exchanger and The Last Blade series, is also involved in development of the game.


Garou: Mark of the Wolves was originally released for Japanese arcades on November 26, 1999.[4][5] It was first ported to the Neo Geo on February 25, 2000, and to the Dreamcast on September 21, 2001.[6] The Dreamcast port was re-released on May 23, 2002, under the label of "SNK Best". The original Dreamcast version was the only port released in North America on November 23, 2001, being one of the last games for the system in that region. In such version, it was renamed Fatal Fury: Mark of the Wolves.[7] A PlayStation 2 port of the game was released in Japan on June 30, 2005, but was not released in North America. This port was re-released in the title of "NeoGeo Online Collection" and a "Limited Edition" of the same title on June 30. On June 21, 2007, it was once again released as "SNK Best Collection".[8] The title also came to Xbox Live Arcade[9] on June 24, 2009.[10] The PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita ports were later released, the latter for PlayStation Network in December 2016.[11] A Nintendo Switch port would be released by Hamster Corporation on May 11, 2017, digitally under the ACA Neo Geo label marking the first time the game is available for Nintendo players. The Xbox One wouldn't receive its own port of Garou until August 16, 2018, under the ACA Neo Geo banner. This version - a straight, barebones port of the original arcade game - was also released for the PlayStation 4 on the same day, separate from the online-capable version that had already been released for the console more than two years prior.[12] In 2020, GOG, Steam, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita versions of Garou featured rollback netcode from an update by Code Mystics, who also added their port of the game which replaced DotEmu’s port that was released on Steam.


In Japan, Game Machine listed Garou: Mark of the Wolves on their January 1, 2000 issue as being the most-successful arcade game of the month.[22] GameSpot named Mark of the Wolves the best fighting game of 2001. It was nominated for the publication's annual "Best Game No One Played" and "Best Dreamcast Game" prizes among console games, but lost these respectively to Victorious Boxers: Ippo's Road to Glory and Phantasy Star Online.[23] It was also nominated for "Outstanding Fighting Game Sequel" by the National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers, but lost to Dead or Alive 3.[24]


During the KOF Year-End Party 2005 fan event, illustrator Falcoon mentioned that a sequel to Mark of the Wolves for the Neo Geo was around 70% complete, though this never materialized.[25] In June 2016, SNK revealed production artwork and sprites of the cancelled sequel's characters.[26]

In 2022, a new Fatal Fury game was officially announced. Titled Fatal Fury: City of the Wolves, the sequel will be 2.5D, similar to other contemporary SNK fighting games, and will continue the story of Mark of the Wolves while also bringing back characters from earlier Fatal Fury games.[27][28] City of the Wolves is currently planned for a 2025 release.[29]


  1. ^ Japanese: 餓狼マークオブザウルブズ, Hepburn: Garō: Māku obu za Urubuzu, lit. "Hungry Wolf: Mark of the Wolves"


  1. ^ "Nobuyuki Kuroki". Facebook. January 17, 2016. Archived from the original on 2022-02-26. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  2. ^ "『餓狼MOW』には幻の『2』があった!? SNKスタッフが『KOF』や『メタルスラッグ』などNEOGEO mini収録タイトルの思い出を語る". Famitsu. 24 August 2018. Retrieved November 11, 2019.
  3. ^ "SNK Developers Talk About How Some Of The Classic Arcade Games Were Made". Siliconera. Archived from the original on July 31, 2018. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  4. ^ "GAROU-MARK OF THE WOLVES-". SNK. Archived from the original on 2001-08-16. Retrieved 2017-01-10.
  5. ^ "餓狼 MARK OF THE WOLVES" (in Japanese). SNK Playmore. Retrieved 2009-04-21.
  6. ^ "Garou Mark of the Wolves (NG)". GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-04-21.
  7. ^ "Fatal Fury: Mark of the Wolves (DC)". GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-04-21.
  8. ^ "Garou: Mark of the Wolves (PS2)". GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-04-21.
  9. ^ "Microsoft Japan Media Conference Liveblog Report". 20 April 2009. Archived from the original on 18 July 2012. Retrieved 2009-04-21.
  10. ^ 報道関係者各位 (in Japanese). SNK Playmore. 2009-06-19. Archived from the original on 2009-06-23. Retrieved 2009-04-21.
  11. ^ "Garou: Mark of the Wolves Is Headed to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita". Siliconera. July 17, 2016. Retrieved July 18, 2016.
  12. ^ "Garou: Mark of the Wolves, One of the Greatest Games of All-Time, Hits PS4 and Xbox One Today". Destructoid. August 16, 2018. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
  13. ^ "Fatal Fury: Mark of the Wolves for Dreamcast". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2018-11-06.
  14. ^ "Garou: Mark of the Wolves for Xbox 360". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2011-08-07.
  15. ^ "Fatal Fury: Mark of the Wolves for Dreamcast Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2018-11-06.
  16. ^ "Garou: Mark of the Wolves for Xbox 360 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2018-11-06.
  17. ^ Mielke, James (January 2002). "Fatal Fury: Mark of the Wolves". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 150. Ziff Davis. p. 232.
  18. ^ Fatal Fury: Mark of the Wolves for Dreamcast Review - Dreamcast Fatal Fury: Mark of the Wolves Review
  19. ^ IGN: Fatal Fury: Mark of The Wolves Review Archived 2008-10-07 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ Dotson, Carter (2015-02-23). "'Garou: Mark of the Wolves' Review – When Butt Fights Dong, We All Win". TouchArcade. Retrieved 2018-11-06.
  21. ^ GameSpot:Video Games PC Xbox 360 PS3 Wii PSP DS PS2 PlayStation 2 GameCube GBA PlayStation 3 Archived February 5, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 - TVゲーム機ーソフトウェア (Video Game Software)". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 602. Amusement Press, Inc. 1 January 2000. p. 25.
  23. ^ GameSpot VG Staff (February 23, 2002). "GameSpot's Best and Worst Video Games of 2001". GameSpot. Archived from the original on August 3, 2002.
  24. ^ "2001 Awards NAVGTR". NAVGTR National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  25. ^ "2005 KOF-party". SNK Playmore. Retrieved 2009-01-24.
  26. ^ "新生SNKのモノ作りはここから始まる。「餓狼MOW2」の話題も飛び出した,「THE KING OF FIGHTERS XIV」開発陣インタビュー" (in Japanese). 4Gamer. June 13, 2016. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  27. ^ Bankhurst, Adam (August 5, 2023). "Fatal Fury: City of the Wolves Announced at EVO 2023". IGN. Retrieved August 6, 2023.
  28. ^ Romano, Sal (April 1, 2023). "New Fatal Fury / Garou game adds Terry Bogard, Andy Bogard, and Joe Higashi". Gematsu. Retrieved May 30, 2023.
  29. ^ Romano, Sal (March 17, 2024). "Fatal Fury: City of the Wolves launches in early 2025". Gematsu. Retrieved March 17, 2024.

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