New characters introduced in this episode include Kasumi 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 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 Boss 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...."
Fatal Fury TeamEdit
Art of Fighting TeamEdit
New Ikari TeamEdit
Psycho Soldier TeamEdit
New Women Fighters TeamEdit
Boss 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).
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.
- Neo Geo Collection Character Profiles and Interviews Part 1
- Neo Geo Collection Character Profiles and Interviews Part 2
- Neo Geo Collection Character Profiles and Interviews Part 3
- Neo Geo Collection Character Profiles and Interviews Part 4
- Neo Geo Collection Character Profiles and Interviews Part 5
- Neo Geo Collection Story Check
- Gameboy footage
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