Karnov's Revenge

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Karnov's Revenge
European arcade flyer of Karnov's Revenge.
Developer(s)Data East
Rutubo Games (Saturn)
Onan Games (Zeebo)
Data East
Producer(s)Iwao Horita
Koji Jinbo
Designer(s)Masanori Oe
Nod Suzuki
Nod Suzuki
Artist(s)Masanori Oe
Mori 2
Wataru Oguri
Yoshinari Kaiho
Chie Kitahara
Masashi Inagaki
Yuzuru Tsukahara
Hiroki Narisawa
Yasuko Kurohiji
Seiji Sato
Hideyasu Shibahara
Kōji Tomura
Composer(s)Mihoko Ando
Shogo Sakai
SeriesFighter's History
  • Arcade
    • WW: 17 March 1994
    Neo Geo AES
    • JP: 28 April 1994
    • NA: 28 April 1994
    • EU: 28 April 1994
    Neo Geo CD
    • JP: 22 December 1994
    • NA: October 1996
    • JP: 4 July 1997
    • MEX: 13 April 2010
    • BRA: 16 April 2010
Arcade systemNeo Geo MVS

Karnov's Revenge[a] is a 1994 fighting game developed by Data East, released for the Neo Geo.[1] It is the second game in the Fighter's History series. The game was later ported to the Neo Geo, Neo Geo CD and Sega Saturn home consoles.


Screenshot showcasing a match between Karnov and Lee Diendou.

While the previous game was similar to Street Fighter's 6-button setup, the gameplay system of Karnov's Revenge is akin to SNK's fighting games such as Art of Fighting and Fatal Fury. Due to change of hardware to SNK's MVS platform, the control configuration was reduced from six attack buttons to just four (only light and heavy attacks are available this time).

A new gameplay feature is introduced in the form of "one-two attacks". When the player presses a heavy attack button while performing a light attack or blocking, the interval between light attacks is reduced, making combos easier to perform. While this feature is not mentioned on the instruction card, the final page of the home Neo Geo version's manual mentions it, describing as the "one-two attack" system.

All eleven fighters from the previous game return (including the bosses Clown and Karnov, who are now playable) and are joined by two new characters: Yungmie, a female taekwondo exponent from Korea, and Zazie, a karate practitioner from Kenya, for a total of 13 characters. Karnov is the only returning character who was given entirely new sprites. Most of the returning characters were given new special techniques (with a few exceptions), including hidden techniques which are not listed on the instruction card (the manual for the home version hints at their inclusion). The Ox that appeared in the bonus rounds in Karate Champ appears in this game as a secret boss if the player completes the game on the Normal setting or above without losing a round. The Ox is an unplayable character.


The game was originally released in Japanese arcades on March 7, 1994,[2] while Neo Geo home console version arrived on April 28.[3] In addition to the ports for the Neo Geo home consoles, Karnov's Revenge was released for the Sega Saturn exclusively in Japan on July 4, 1997.[4] The Saturn version allows players to assign all four basic attacks into a single button (C and Z by default), which is required for certain characters in order to perform certain special moves. A Virtual Console reissue of the Neo Geo version was released for the Wii in Japan on June 8, 2010 and in North America on December 27. It was also added to Zeebo on April 23, 2010. In 2017, Hamster Corporation released the game on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, and Xbox One under its Arcade Archives series.


In Japan, Game Machine listed Karnov's Revenge on their April 15, 1994 issue as being the fourth most-successful table arcade unit of the month.[8] In North America, RePlay reported Karnov's Revenge to be the ninth most-popular arcade game at the time.[9]

On release, Famicom Tsūshin scored the Neo Geo version of the game a 25 out of 40.[5] GamePro rated it as a modest improvement over the first game, with faster-paced action but the same lack of likeable characters. However, they said the new characters are better than the old ones, especially Yungmie and her unique trait of using only her legs to attack.[10]

Nintendo Life gave it mixed reviews to both the Wii Virtual Console release and the Nintendo Switch re-release. The author Corbie Dillard praised the weak point system and one-two attacks, but remarked they aren't enough to make the game any more notable than the other average fighting games.[6] In the other review by Dave Frear, he said that attacks often do not flow together, sometimes making button mashing more effective than planned moves. At the end of the review, he recommended playing other fighting games like Art of Fighting, Fatal Fury, Samurai Shodown, World Heroes, Aggressors of Dark Kombat, and The King of Fighters.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Also known as Fighter's History Dynamite (Japanese: ファイターズヒストリーダイナマイト, Hepburn: Faitāzu Hisutorī Dainamaito) in Japan and in the USA arcade version.


  1. ^ "Oh! Neo Geo Vol. 18 - ファイターズヒストリーダイナマイト". Beep! Mega Drive (in Japanese). No. 53. SoftBank Creative. February 1994. p. 129.
  2. ^ "ファイターズヒストリー ダイナマイト [アーケード]". www.famitsu.com. Enterbrain. Retrieved 2018-12-09.
  3. ^ "ファイターズヒストリーダイナマイト [ネオジオ]". Famitsu. Enterbrain. Retrieved 2018-12-09.
  4. ^ "ファイターズヒストリーダイナマイト [セガサターン]". Famitsu. Enterbrain. Retrieved 2018-12-09.
  5. ^ a b NEO GEO GAMES CROSS REVIEW: ファイターズヒストリー ダイナマイト. Weekly Famicom Tsūshin. No.332. Pg.23. 28 April 1995.
  6. ^ a b Corbie Dillard (6 December 2010). "Karnov's Revenge Review (Neo Geo)". Nintendo Life. Retrieved December 6, 2010.
  7. ^ a b Dave Frear (24 November 2017). "Karnov's Revenge Review (Neo Geo)". Nintendo Life. Retrieved November 24, 2017.
  8. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 - テーブル型TVゲーム機 (Table Videos)". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 470. Amusement Press, Inc. 15 April 1994. p. 25.
  9. ^ "Player's Choice - Top Games Now in Operation, Based on Earnings-Opinion Poll of Operators: Best Video Software". RePlay. Vol. 19, no. 9. RePlay Publishing, Inc. June 1994. p. 6.
  10. ^ "ProReview: Fighter's History Dynamite". GamePro. No. 62. IDG. September 1994. p. 110.

External links[edit]