King of the Monsters

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King of the Monsters
Genres Fighting/wrestling
Developers SNK
Publishers SNK
Platforms Neo Geo, Super NES, and Sega Genesis
Platform of origin Neo Geo
Year of inception 1991
Spin-offs King of the Monsters 2, Neo Geo Battle Coliseum, SNK vs Capcom: Card Fighters DS

King of the Monsters is a series of video games created by SNK Corporation (the predecessor of the current SNK Playmore) for the Neo-Geo, featuring giant monsters reminiscent of kaiju and tokusatsu.

King of the Monsters[edit]

King of the Monsters is a fighting/wrestling game. It was released by SNK on July 1, 1991 in Japan (later released on the Virtual Console), with later ports for the Super NES and Sega Genesis by Takara. King of the Monsters was included as part of SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1 which was released for the Wii, PlayStation 2 and PSP in 2008.


Players get to choose any one of six monsters (four in the 16-bit ports) for battle, and two players can join forces to fight the monsters together. Battles end when one of the monsters is pinned for a three count or if time expires (in which case the player loses).

The game consists of 12 total levels (8 in the 16-bit ports): the player first must defeat all six monsters, with the last monster being oneself, but in a different palette. Then the player must defeat the six monsters again, in the same order, but this time in different cities.

Mega criticised the game, awarding it a score of 10%, with Andy Dyer making the comment "unforgivably bad. There should be laws to protect us from crud like this".[1]

King of the Monsters 2[edit]

On May 25, 1992, SNK and Takara released a sequel for the Neo-Geo. Takara also ported it to the Super NES in 1993. This sequel takes the original in a new direction by using three of the monsters from the original game as heroes in a side-scrolling beat 'em up. Geon, Astro Guy, and Woo are all upgraded to defend Earth against an alien threat led by a creature called Famardy. The game also features a 2-player competition mode.

Mega Drive/Genesis version[edit]

A Genesis version of King of the Monsters 2 was developed by Betop and also released by Takara, but is somewhat different from the other two versions. Rather than being a beat 'em up, the Genesis version plays like a fighting game, similar to its predecessor. All characters (excluding Famardy) are playable and have all been given special attacks executed using standard fighting game motions. Players must destroy all other monsters, one after the other, without any of the scrolling stages in the Neo-Geo version and then defeat a clone of the player's monster.

Other appearances[edit]

The King of the Monsters series was mostly forgotten following the second game. However, it briefly received some recognition in 2005, when SNK Playmore released Neo Geo Battle Coliseum, a fighting game featuring many of the company's popular characters. Cyber Woo is featured as one of the playable characters, although in a much smaller form and controlled by a human. Also, Yuki and Ai, two other characters in the game, have a combined attack where they can change into Atomic Guy for a brief period of time. The game also features 2 King of the Monsters stages (one day, one night) where you can see the skeleton of super Geon and a rusted old Cyber Woo locked in combat.

Atomic Guy, Super Geon, and Cyber Woo appear as character cards in the DS game SNK vs Capcom: Card Fighters DS. Both Atomic Guy and Super Geon have their names transliterated directly from Japanese, so their names are spelled as, respectively, "Atomic Gai" and "Super Zion".

In addition, King of the Monsters inclusion on SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1 led to many rare pieces of King of the Monsters production art being featured on the disc.

On television[edit]

King of the Monsters was a regular on the popular Nickelodeon game show Nick Arcade. It was almost always picked, leaving other games like ActRaiser, Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts, and El Viento out, this was the same on earlier broadcasts of Sky1 show Games World.


  1. ^ Mega review, Future Publishing, issue 10, page 61, July 1993

External links[edit]