Fatal Fury: King of Fighters
Promotional flyer/cover. Illustration by Shinkiro
Developer(s)SNK (Neo Geo), Takara, Gabrain (SNES, Mega Drive/Genesis), M2 (PS Network), Gamesload (Microsoft Windows), Hamster Corporation (PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch)
Publisher(s)SNK, Sega, Tec Toy (SNES, Mega Drive/Genesis), D4 Enterprise (Wii Virtual Console), Takara, Magical Company (Sharp X68000), Hamster Corporation
Release date

JP November 25, 1991
NA 1991
Neo Geo
WW December 20, 1991
Super Famicom/SNES
JP November 27, 1992
NA April 1993
EU 1993
Mega Drive/Genesis
JP April 23, 1993
US 1993
BR September, 1994
Sharp X68000
JP July 23, 1993
Neo-Geo CD
JP September 9, 1994
INT 1995
Wii Virtual Console
JP September 21, 2007
NA October 8, 2007
PAL October 5, 2007
PlayStation Network
WW December 21, 2010
PlayStation 4
EU December 15, 2016
AS December 15, 2016
NA January 12, 2017
Xbox One
WW March 23, 2017
Nintendo Switch
WW April 20, 2017

GenreFighting game
Game modesSingle-player, Tag-Team, Versus
RatingsWii Virtual Console, PlayStation 4 & Xbox One
Teen (ESRB)
12 (PEGI)
Platform(s)Arcade, Neo Geo, Neo Geo CD, Mega Drive/Genesis, Super Famicom/SNES, PlayStation 2, Wii Virtual Console, Sharp X68000, PlayStation Network, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Fatal Fury: King of Fighters, released in Japan as Garou Densetsu: Shukumei no Tatakai (餓狼伝説 宿命の戦い, Garō Densetsu Shukumei no Tatakai, "Legend of the Hungry Wolf: The Battle of Destiny") is a 1991 head-to-head fighting game released by SNK for the Neo Geo arcade and home platforms. Fatal Fury was SNK's first fighting game for the Neo Geo system (released a few months after the arcade release of the original Street Fighter II) and served as the inaugural game in their Fatal Fury series, as well as the first game to depict the fictional "King of Fighters" tournament (which became the basis for the later The King of Fighters games). Many of SNK's mainstay characters, including the Bogard brothers Terry and Andy, and their arch-nemesis Geese Howard, made their debut in this game.


The game was designed by Takashi Nishiyama, the creator of the original Street Fighter (1987). Fatal Fury, which Nishiyama envisioned as a spiritual successor to Street Fighter, was developed around the same time as Street Fighter II (1991). While Street Fighter II placed more emphasis on combos, Fatal Fury placed more emphasis on the timing of special moves as well as storytelling.


The plot of Fatal Fury centers around a martial arts tournament known as the "King of Fighters" tournament, held in the fictional American city of South Town and sponsored by local crime boss Geese Howard. Ten years prior to the events of the game, Geese murdered a rival martial artist named Jeff Bogard who was on his trail. Now, Jeff's adopted sons, Terry and Andy, along with their friend Joe Higashi, enter the tournament to get their revenge on Geese.


The gameplay follows the typical formula of most fighting games: the player competes against his opponent in best two-out-of-three matches. The play controls consists of an eight directional lever and three attack buttons: punch, kick and throw. As in the original Street Fighter, each of the playable character has special techniques that are performed by inputting specific commands and combinations with the joystick and buttons. The input methods for special moves are shown to the player during the course of the game (after every bonus round), as opposed to being given in an instruction card in the game's cabinet. The most novel aspect of Fatal Fury was the inclusion of a two-lane fighting system. The player can jump from one lane to another to avoid projectile attack or knock their opponent to the other plane.

When a second player joins during the middle of a fight, instead of postponing the current battle for a match between the two players, the game will make both players team-up against the current CPU opponent in a two-on-one match before their battle takes place. After every second match in the single player tournament, the player will participate in a bonus round mini-game involving an arm wrestling match against a machine. The player must tap the A button rapidly to win these mini-games.


Playable CharactersEdit

CPU-Controlled CharactersEdit

Also playable on SNES and Sega Genesis.

Stages Edit

  • Pao Pao Cafe - Richard: A landmark of entertainment in South Town. Owned by Brazilian Capoerista Richard Meyer, the restaurant features an Asian decor while the stage hosts a Capoeira roda surrounding the fighters, besides barrels.
  • Sound Beach: South Town's favorite beach, famous for their seafood restaurants and nightlife. Michael Max, who's a regular local here awaits his opponents from within the tournament.
  • Howard Arena: The patio-area of a Chinese temple/arena that's owned by Geese Howard and the location of where Tung Fu Rue will battle against his opponents in the tournament. Can be seen buildings in the background, vegetation, a tree and stones. Changes: in the 1st round, cloudy day with lightnings; from the 2nd round, rainy weather.
  • The West Subway - Duck: The battle takes place outside the subway station, where a live band can be seen in the commercial area surrounding the station. Can be seen buildings and an outdoor.
  • Happy Park: A commercial and entertainment area famous for its upbeat nightlife. Hwa Jai will be faced in this area.

Gameplay of Terry vs. Michael

  • Dream Amusement Park: South Town's legendary amusement park. The battle against Raiden takes place in an esplanade that's among the park's attractions.
  • South Town Village: The gathering point for the final round right at the end of the bridge connecting South Town with the Geese Tower. Current KOF champion Billy Kane will await the finalist here.
  • Geese Tower: Geese Howard's personal penthouse. The battle takes place on the rooftop of the building, decorated in an oriental style with Japanese statues overlooking the whole city. 


  • The Super NES version of Fatal Fury, published and developed by Takara, was published in Japan in 1992 and in North America during the following year. This version discards the two-lane system in favor of a more conventional one lane plane. The two-on-one battles are gone and the arm wrestling bonus rounds are replaced by new bonus rounds involving the main character punching flying tires. In the game's Versus Mode, all of the CPU-controlled characters are playable, albeit only on the second player's side.
  • The Mega Drive/Genesis version, published by Sega in Japan and by Takara in North America, removes the characters of Hwa Jai and Billy Kane from the roster, relegating them to background cameos. Instead, the player faces against the other two main characters during the course of the game. This version allows both players to play as the CPU-controlled characters in the game's Versus Mode (with Geese Howard available via a cheat code). The Genesis version was the subject of a mild controversy between Electronic Gaming Monthly and GameFan magazines. Martin Alessi of EGM criticized the play controls from having "slow response" and making the special moves "quite difficult" to perform. Postmeister of GameFan defended the game's play controls and responded by accusing the EGM's reviewers for being "way off".
  • The Neo Geo CD version is identical to its MVS and cartridge counterparts. Fatal Fury's Image Album, featuring its arranged soundtrack, was released only months after this version was released.
  • An emulation of the original Neo Geo game is included along with its sequels Fatal Fury 2, Fatal Fury Special and Fatal Fury 3, in the compilation Fatal Fury: Battle Archives Vol. 1 for the PlayStation 2. This version includes an option for the original MVS soundtrack or new arranged music composed specifically for the compilation.
  • The Neo Geo version of Fatal Fury has been released by D4 Enterprise as part of the Virtual Console downloadable lineup for the Wii.
  • The game also has been released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch as part of ACA Neo Geo, developed by Hamster Corporation.


See alsoEdit

External LinksEdit


Someone who could possibly be Choi Bounge appears in the cutscene before fighting Geese.

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