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The King of Fighters 2002

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The King of Fighters 2002
Developer(s)SNK Neo Geo
Release dateArcade
JP October 10, 2002
Neo Geo
JP December 18, 2002
JP June 19, 2003
PlayStation 2
JP March 25, 2004
EU October 7, 2005
JP March 24, 2005
Game modesTeam Battle, One-On-One; Up to 2 players simultaneously
Platform(s)Arcade, Neo Geo, Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, Xbox

The King of Fighters 2002: Challenge to Ultimate Battle is the ninth game in the King of Fighters series, and is the second and last King of Fighters game produced by Eolith. Much like The King of Fighters '98, this game is more of a "dream match" for characters from all previous King of Fighters games, including killed-off characters. The series's canon storyline would resume in The King of Fighters 2003 - adapting, however, a character introduced in this game, Kusanagi.

It was later released for the Dreamcast, this time adding two characters absent from the original version, King and Shingo Yabuki. The PlayStation 2 version included Wild Iori, Goenitz and Geese Howard.

An alternate rebalanced version of this title, The King of Fighters Neowave, was released first in Japan on July 30, 2004 on arcades. An actual remake known as The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match, was eventually released in Japan on February 26, 2009.


The game brings back the team play composed by three characters each that was a tradition in previous games. The game has also several important changes in the gameplay, like the "Free Cancel System" or "Max Mode System", the "Quick Emergency Evasion" and "Quick MAX Mode Activation", aside from the countless changes in each character's special moves and their properties.

Max Mode compared to the previous games, while it enables Free Cancels (which use up a set duration of the mode), now halves the damage done at a cost for its duration. Normal DM's now no longer use up an extra gauge stock when performed, and now only instantly end Max Mode. SDM's instead use one extra stock while also ending Max Mode as well.

One of the most notable changes is the inclusion of MAX2 Desperation Moves (also known as Hidden Super Desperation Moves), which are DM's that can be used only with 3 stocks and at a certain threshold of low HP.

Another notable changes are the allocations of both normal DM's and SDM's, as not all normal DM's have SDM versions and some SDM inputs may be completely different attacks depending on the character(s).

Playable CharactersEdit

Japan TeamEdit

Fatal Fury TeamEdit

Art of Fighting TeamEdit

Ikari Warriors TeamEdit

Psycho Soldiers TeamEdit

Women Fighters TeamEdit

Korea TeamEdit

KOF '96 TeamEdit

KOF '97 TeamEdit

KOF '98 TeamEdit

KOF '99 TeamEdit

KOF 2000 TeamEdit

KOF 2001 TeamEdit


Hidden CharactersEdit

Orochi TeamEdit


Console ExclusivesEdit

Trivia Edit

  • In the PS2 and Xbox versions, Goenitz, Geese, Shingo and King's CD/Blowback attacks do not inflict any damage.
    • Technically however, Geese's CD attack through its SvC Chaos incarnation (6C) is able to do so.


External LinksEdit

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