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Rugal Bernstein

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Rugal Bernstein
Rugal from The King of Fighters '94.
Full nameRugal Bernstein
BirthdateFebruary 10
BirthplaceUnknown (probably Germany)
Height197cm (6'5")
Weight103kg (231lbs, KoF '94), 145kg (320lbs, KoF '95-2002)
Family/RelativesYounger brother (estranged), Adelheid Bernstein (son), Rose Bernstein (daughter), Rodem (black panther pet)
Job/OccupationDrug dealer, cartel leader
LikesHaving an evil heart
DislikesJustice, immediate problems
Favorite foodHas no likes or dislikes regarding food
Forte in sportsNone in particular, he's good at everything
Special skillCopying moves
Most unpleasantPeople who stop his plans
Favorite musicClassic Music
Fighting styleA composite fighting style mastering all fighting styles.

Rugal Bernstein (ルガール・バーンシュタイン, Rugāru Bānshutain) is a recurring boss in SNK Playmore's The King of Fighters fighting game series, and is often considered one of the most difficult bosses in the entire series. On their anniversary website, SNK has stated that Rugal was originally based on the concept of the "mightiest and most evil boss character ever". Toyohisa Tanabe states that his fighting style was created to emphasize Rugal's strength as the series's first boss character. He also comments "going a bit overboard" with Genocide Cutter's damage ratio in The King of Fighters '94.


Feared throughout the political and fighting world, Rugal was an influential arms dealer who operated aboard his aircraft carrier Black Noah. To those who would oppose him, he would defeat them and later preserve their bodies in liquid metal to add to his grisly trophy room. He used to work with his younger brother, but they separated over conflicting interests. When Rugal was about 25 years old, an 18 year old Goenitz took out his eye with one strike and gave him a small portion of Orochi's power for surviving the attack. Since then, he has a bionic eye to replace the one he lost.

Sometime in 1986, Rugal wanted to demonstrate his power in a base at Brazil and murdered everyone he found inside. The sole survivor of the fifty man massacre was Heidern, who lost his right eye during the attack. At the time, he was too displeased with his victim to add him to his "collection" so he deprived the man his wife and child as compensation. It's speculated that he later regrets this act, but it is never clearly stated.

Before 1994, he recruited two secretaries: Mature and Vice. With their help, Rugal organized a King of Fighters tournament, in order to find worthy opponents. During the invitation phase, Saisyu Kusanagi came to the Black Noah and challenged Rugal. Although Rugal won the battle, he did not subject him to his metal bath. When Saisyu's son, Kyo Kusanagi, arrived with his teammates, he defeated Rugal. Unwilling to accept defeat, Rugal blew up his ship.

Rugal was believed dead, but he used the Orochi power to survive. Replacing his destroyed right forearm with cybernetics, Rugal revived Saisyu, brainwashed him, and sent out invitations the following year for another King of Fighters tournament. Rugal used an abandoned missile silo as his base in 1995, and abducted the winning team (again, Kyo's team) to fight Saisyu, and then himself. Despite using the Orochi power and becoming 'Omega Rugal', Kyo's team defeated him. Again beaten, Rugal tried to use more of the Orochi power, but it consumed him. As his body disintegrated, he saw Iori Yagami, who told him that only those "of the bloodline" could control Orochi's power.


Rugal is a cruel and powerful man who will kill anyone who stands in his way. He sees absolutely no value in human life, to the point where he proudly displays the metal-encased corpses of worthy opponents he has killed in battle as trophies. He will even go so far as to kill people simply to spite others (such as when he slaughtered Heidern's family simply because he found Heidern to be a disappointment). Unlike most other KoF villains, Rugal has a sadistic sense of humor about what he does. Many of his winquotes are snarky insults toward his opponents, and he often sees the act of taking human life to be more of a pastime. Much like Igniz, he believes himself to be a human god. Unlike Igniz, however, he hardly takes his "godhood" seriously. It could be said that Rugal posseses the greatest proverbial swagger of all the King of Fighters boss characters.

There is no information regarding his outlook towards his immediate family, but it can be safely assumed he is somewhat distant from it. Rose inherits some of Rugal's nasty attitude, while Adelheid presumably inherits his combat prowess.


  • Gather energy - Rugal can channel energy from Gaia and other sources, including Orochi's power.
  • Sense - Rugal can sense chi energy of those nearby.
  • Energy Projectile - Rugal can fire projectiles of energy from his hands.
  • Energy Reflector - Rugal can create a barrier that reflects projectiles.
  • Slashing hands - Rugal's hands can cut and pierce an enemy.
  • Slashing aura - Rugal can create a cutting aura around his legs.
  • Negative Energy - Rugal can slam a foe out of pure hatred, producing a pillar of dim light with a large skull inside, this attribute sometimes manifests itself in a burst of deep crimson as well.


  • Mimicry - Rugal is able to mimic and learn moves of other fighters just by observing them.
  • Management and Manipulation - His occupation is that of an international arms dealer who secretly holds dangerously powerful influence over global politics.

Fighting StyleEdit

His fighting style is an amalgam of various arts, including Hakkyokuseiken and House of Strolheim, the styles used by Geese Howard and Wolfgang Krauser. He has adapted several moves from each character, such as Geese's Reppuken and Krauser's Kaiser Wave, though he also uses his own techniques, like the Genocide Cutter. Rugal was originally supposed to have access to every special move in the game during The King of Fighters '94, however the idea was scrapped because it put a terrible strain on the programming, and thus he appeared as a combination of the two Fatal Fury bosses instead. He also has a projectile reflector very similar to Athena Asamiya's, this move being a possible remainder of the original idea.

In Capcom Vs. SNK 2, the word "Genocide" was censored out of his movelist, so his trademark Genocide Cutter became the "Destroyer Cutter", and a super version of it appearing in this Vs. series, Genocide Heaven, was renamed "Total Annihilation". In Japanese version, the word "Genocide" didn't actually censored out so when Genocide Cutter is used, he'll say Genocide Cutter in a traditional way.


  • Ketchaku - The King of Fighters '94 (first round)
  • Kettou R&D - The King of Fighters '94 (second round)
  • The RR - The King of Fighters '98
  • Ketchaku R&D - The King of Fighters R-2
  • Last Dance - The King of Fighters 2002
  • Unlimited R - The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match
  • Rugal Battle - The King of Fighters (pachinko)
  • Rugal - Athena On Stage
  • The Lord GOD (The Lord ULTIMATE) - Capcom vs. SNK 2

Voice ActorsEdit

Live Action ActorsEdit

Game AppearancesEdit

Mobile AppearancesEdit

Cameo AppearancesEdit

Similar CharactersEdit

See alsoEdit


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