The King of Fighters '96
Neo Geo CD cover
Developer(s)SNK, Gabrain (Game Boy), M2 (PS Network), D4 Enterprise (Wii Virtual Console)
Publisher(s)SNK, Takara (Game Boy), D4 Enterprise
Release dateArcade
JP July 30, 1996
Neo Geo
INT September 27, 1996
Neo-Geo CD
INT October 25, 1996
JP July 4, 1997
Game Boy
JP August 8, 1997
EU 1998
Sega Saturn
JP September 27, 1996
PlayStation Network
JP May 31, 2007
Wii Virtual Console
JP February 15, 2011
NA July 12, 2012
PAL November 22, 2012
GenreFighting game
Game modesSingle-player, versus
RatingsSega Saturn
Suitable for All Ages (Sega)
Wii Virtual Console
Teen (ESRB)
Platform(s)Arcade, Neo Geo, Neo Geo CD, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, Game Boy, PlayStation Network, Wii Virtual Console

The King of Fighters '96 is the third game in The King of Fighters series by SNK. It continues the three-part storyline arc known as the "Orochi Saga", which began in The King of Fighters '95.

New characters introduced in this episode include Kasumi Todoh, daughter of Ryuhaku Todoh, who became a member of the Ladies' team and acts as a rival to the Art of Fighting Team (in particular Ryo Sakazaki); Leona Heidern, who joins the Ikari Warriors Team in place of her mentor and adoptive father, Heidern, to investigate Geese Howard; Mature and Vice, two of Rugal's assistants who join Iori Yagami and aid him; and the Bosses Team, composed of Geese Howard, Wolfgang Krauser, and Geese's right-hand-man, Mr. Big.

KOF '96 was ported to the PlayStation and Sega Saturn in Japan; the Saturn port requires a memory expansion cartridge to run. Like with '95, '96 would receive a Game Boy product based on it, Nettō The King of Fighters '96; it was also released in Europe, as The King of Fighters: Heat of Battle.


The official story given by SNK is as follows:

"Unlike the mystery surrounding previous KOF competitions, KOF '96 has become a major international event sponsored by a number of huge corporations.

Preliminary contests have been held in various areas throughout the world, and among the top nine teams are, naturally, the usual KOF contestants who have been looking forward to test their abilities in an official competition.

This time, however, there is a team among them who cannot fail to raise eyebrows, composed of Geese Howard, Wolfgang Krauser, and Mr. Big. The three who once attempted to conquer the world are now but mere contestants in this tournament.

Is their object, perhaps, to do away with the Bogard brothers or the disciples of Kyokugen karate?

If that weren't enough to surprise...Iori Yagami appears once again, teamed up with a pair of mysterious women.

How will the rivalry between Iori and Kyo Kusanagi that has cursed their two families since ancient time play out this time around?

This is KOF '96, held as an official recognized sporting event, over which dark clouds have already started to gather...."


Hero TeamEdit

Fatal Fury TeamEdit

Art of Fighting TeamEdit

New Ikari Warriors TeamEdit

Psycho Soldier TeamEdit

New Women Fighters TeamEdit

Korea Justice TeamEdit

Yagami TeamEdit

Bosses Team (Doubles as the in-game 'Mid-Boss' team)Edit


Special Edit TeamsEdit

  • Three Sacred Treasures Team
    • Kyo Kusanagi
    • Iori Yagami
    • Chizuru Kagura
  • Goenitz Team - Goenitz with two other characters (not including Chizuru Kagura).

Gameboy ExclusivesEdit

Related MediaEdit

An extensive database for game, titled The King of Fighters '96 Neo Geo Collection, was released on February 14, 1997 to promote the year's title. It was available only for the Neo Geo CD. The database included the game's into, an interactive reenactment of the game's backstory, character profiles spoken by their voice actors, outtakes, an exclusive gallery section from the creators, a complete command list and a sound selection. A similar version of this game, The King of Fighters '96 Perfect File, was also released for Windows and Macintosh computers. This version was released on June 18, 1997 and included most of the features found in its predecessor.

In 1998, the game was pirated to the NES by a company called Hummer Team. This version only includes 7 characters: Leona, Iori, Chizuru, Goenitz, Yuri, Goro and King. Originally, there were going to be 20 characters, but 13 of them were cut out. They are: Kyo (as "Kyu") Kusanagi, Benimaru (as "Benimary") Nikaido, Terry Bogard, Andy Bogard, Joe Higashi, Ryo Sakazaki, Kim Kaphwan, Ralf Jones, Athena Asamiya, Kasumi Todoh, Mai Shiranui, Geese Howard, and Wolfgang Krauser.


External LinksEdit

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