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The King of Fighters '96
Kof96
Neo Geo CD cover. Illustration by Shinkiro
Developer(s)SNK, Gabrain (Game Boy), M2 (PS Network), D4 Enterprise (Wii Virtual Console), Hamster Corporation (PS4, Xbox One)
Publisher(s)SNK, Takara (Game Boy), D4 Enterprise, Hamster Corporation
Release dateArcade
JP July 30, 1996
Neo Geo
INT September 27, 1996
Neo-Geo CD
INT October 25, 1996
PlayStation
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
PlayStation 4
WW August 10, 2017
EU August 11, 2017
Xbox One
WW August 10, 2017
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, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

The King of Fighters '96 is the third game in The King of Fighters series by SNK. This game is the second chapter of "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 Women Fighters 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.


StoryEdit

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...."

CharactersEdit

Hero TeamEdit

Fatal Fury TeamEdit

New 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

BossesEdit

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.

StagesEdit

Note 1: The Yagami Team and Goenitz's stages don't have intros.

Note 2: The featured stages also appears in KOF '98: Ultimate Match, with some changes.

  • Osaka at Night: A walkway in Osaka, next to the famous train station and in a school. The fight occurs in a cloudy day. Can be seen students sitting, leaning over the terrace of the catwalk and others cheering on the balcony of the school. Most wear suit and tie (men) and more formal uniforms. Also can be seen a viaduct, a plaque with the train stations, two screens with the active fighters, followed by the lettering "FIGHTING NOW" and the game's special logo for this game, veichles passing and, in the background, the SNK's headquarters. This stage also is present in KOF XIII. Associated with the Hero Team. Intro: the special logo of the game with the writing "1996 IN JAPAN".
Screenshot-kof96-playreplay-5

Gameplay of Terry vs. Kasumi

  • Southtown Railroad at Noon: An abandoned railroad next to a railway. The fight occurs in a sunny day. Can be seen people watching the fight, light poles, tires, somes plaques, a weather vane, a house and a truck. Associated with the Fatal Fury Team. Intro: flags with the game's special logo.
  • Southtown Railroad at Night: The same stage of the Fatal Fury Team. The changes are: the weather, a sunset that turns into cloudy sky in the fourth round; an attendant sitting in the right; a red luxury car instead of the truck; and a water tank that wasn't visible in the other version of the stage. Associated with the New Art of Fighting Team. Intro: the name of the team's source game.
  • Ikari Warboat: An aquatic plataform. Can be seen a flag with the game's name and special logo, metal structures partially destroyed and, in the background, people cheering, two bridges, buildings and a balcony with stairs. Associated with the New Ikari Warriors Team. Intro: a helicopter flying over the stage.
  • Osaka at Noon: The same stage of the Hero Team. The changes are: it's sunny day; the crowd is different, wearing costumes of Psycho Soldier Team; and can be seen some photos of Athena, from screens to posters with the writing "ATHENA ASAMIYA: LIVE TOUR '96". Associated with the Psycho Soldier Team. Intro: the writing "IN OSAKA".
  • Skyscraper Restaurant: A restaurant on the top floor of a building. Can be seen clients sitting in the tables, an aquarium in the right, a big chandelier, light projectores, a flag with the name and logo of the game, a small artificial waterfall in the middle of the stage and the waitresses of King, Sally and Elizabeth, besides Ryuhaku Todoh, Kasumi's father. In the background, the city can be seen. Associated with the Women Fighters Team. Intro: a small close up on the floor of the building.
  • Gyeongbokgung Palace Waterway: A famous palace in Seoul. The fight takes in front to the Gwanghwamun Gate. Can be seen people cheering, bands with Korean Kanjis and the game's name and special logo. Associated with the Korea Justice Team.
  • The Shipyard: An aquatic ring with the game's special logo, next to a pier and a ship. Can be seen people cheering, light posts, lifebuoys, a red car, buildings (one with the sign ALPHA) and a bridge and flashing lights in the background. Also can be seen bats flying over the stage. Associated with the Yagami Team.
  • The Finals at Kagura Staduim: A glamorous stadium where the finals of the tournament take place. Can be seen an euphoric audience, photographers, videographers, bands with the sponsors, the game's logo, women with bikini and people dressed like some characters. In the arena, can be seen the game's logo and name, pillars, stone lions and a screen, when appears the name's game and the words LAST STAGE and THE FINAL BATTLE, besides Kyo, Iori, Andy, Robert and Clark fighting. Associated with Chizuru. Intro: the game's name and special logo.
    • The Stroheim Tunnel: A luxury boat of Krauser's family. Can be seen a balcony with a high-class public and other swinging flags with the game's special logo, a small gondola with a gondolier and a film crew and a small ladder. When the boat sails through the tunnel, the gondola follows the route and, in the background, can be seen the Stroheim Castle and a lightning. Associated with the Bosses Team. Intro: the gate of the tunnel. Note: in this game, the boat moves in the second and fourth rounds. In KOF '98: UM, the boat starts to move from the 2nd round, back to the place of origin in the 4th round and moves back in the final round.
    • The Ruins of Kagura Stadium: The Kagura Staduim destroyed by a hurricane. Can be seen the collapsed pillars, the broken floor and the scorched arena. The bands are scattered and flying all over the stage and the screen is knocked over. Only one band remained, with the name Masato, a former SNK's illustrator. In one round, can be seen a person (who was dressed like Athena) trying to hold a ruined pillar, but is overcomed by the wind. Associated with Goenitz.

External LinksEdit


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