Fatal Fury: King of Fighters
Fatal Fury: King of Fighters
Neo-Geo cover art
Developer(s) SNK (Neo Geo)
Takara (SNES, Mega Drive/Genesis)
Publisher(s) SNK
Magical Company (Sharp X68000)
Director(s) Takashi Nishiyama
Designer(s) Takashi Tsukamoto
Seigo Ito
Platform(s) Arcade, Neo Geo CD, Mega Drive, Sharp X68000, SNES, PlayStation 2, Virtual Console
Release date(s) MVS:
  • JPN November 25, 1991

Neo Geo
  • JPN December 20, 1991

Super NES
  • JPN November 27, 1992

Mega Drive/Genesis

Neo-Geo CD
  • JPN September 9, 1994

Virtual Console (Neo Geo version):
  • JPN September 21, 2007

  • PAL October 5, 2007

  • NA October 8, 2007
Genre(s) Fighting
Mode(s) Single Play, Tag Team, Versus
Cabinet Upright
Arcade system Neo Geo

Fatal Fury: King of Fighters (餓狼伝説 ~宿命の闘い~ Garō Densetsu Shukumei no Tatakai?, "Legend of the Hungry Wolf: The Battle of Destiny") is a 1991 head-to-head fighting game released by SNK for the Neo Geo arcade and home platforms. Fatal Fury was SNK's first fighting game for the Neo Geo system and served as the inaugural game in their Fatal Fury series, as well as the first game to depict the fictional "King of Fighters" tournament (which became the basis for the later The King of Fighters games). Many of SNK's mainstay characters, including the Bogard brothers Terry and Andy, and their arch-nemesis Geese Howard, made their debut in this game.


The game was designed by Takashi Nishiyama, the creator of the original Street Fighter (1987). Fatal Fury, which Nishiyama envisioned as a spiritual successor to Street Fighter, was developed around the same time as Street Fighter II (1991). While Street Fighter II placed more emphasis on combos, Fatal Fury placed more emphasis on the timing of special moves as well as storytelling.[1]


The gameplay follows the typical formula of most fighting games: the player competes against their opponent in best two-out-of-three matches. The play controls consists of an eight directional joystick and three attack buttons: punch, kick and throw. Each of the playable character has special techniques that are performed by inputting specific commands and combination with the joystick and buttons. The input methods for special moves are shown to the player during the course of the game (after every bonus round), as opposed to being given in an instruction card in the game's cabinet.

The most novel aspect of Fatal Fury were the addition of two-line battles. Many stages featured two lines, a background line and a foreground line. However, only the CPU-controlled character can change between lines freely. The player can only change lines after the computer has done so, in this case they can simply roll to the adjacent line or jump towards the opponent with a line attack.

When a second player joins during the middle of a one player fight, instead of postponing the current battle for a match between the two players, the game will make both players team-up against the current CPU opponent in a two-on-one match before their battle takes place.

After every second match in the single player tournament, the player will participate in a bonus round mini-game involving an arm wrestling match against a machine. The player must tap the A button rapidly to win these mini-games.


The plot of Fatal Fury centers around a martial arts tournament known as the "King of Fighters" tournament, held in the fictional American city of South Town and sponsored by local crime boss Geese Howard. Ten years prior to the events of the game, Geese murdered a rival martial artist named Jeff Bogard who was on his trail. Now, Jeff's sons, Terry and Andy, along with their friend Joe Higashi, enter the tournament to get their revenge on Geese.


At the beginning of the game, the player is asked to select between Terry, Andy and Joe. The player is then asked to select from one of four fighters as their first opponent, which are Duck King, Richard Meyer, Michael Max, and Tung Fu Rue. After defeating their first opponent, the player faces the other three opponents in a specific order. The order of the opponents is: Richard, Michael, Duck, Tung, with the cycle beginning at whichever opponent the player has selected. The last three opponents before Geese are fought in the following order: Hwa Jai, Raiden and Billy Kane.

  • CPU-controlled characters
    • Duck King - A street dancing talent who uses a "rhythmical" martial arts style.
    • Richard Meyer - A capoeira master with numerous kick techniques.
    • Michael Max - An African American boxer who has a projectile attack called the Tornado Upper (similar to Joe's Hurricane Upper).
    • Tung Fu Rue - A Bājíquán expert. At first he appears as a meek elderly master, but after taking damage he turns into a musclebound beast with a spinning clothesline and a fireball shooting kick.
    • Hwa Jai - A Muay Thai master from Thailand who gains his strength from drinking an unknown liquor. His special technique is a flying knee kick called Dragon Kick, similar to Joe's Tiger Kick.
    • Raiden - A heel wrestler who has a poisonous vapor breath technique.
    • Billy Kane - A Bōjutsu master who serves as the tournament's undefeated champion.
    • Geese Howard - The final boss. An underworld crime boss and sponsor of the King of Fighters tournament. After defeating Billy, the player's character is kidnapped by Geese's men and taken to his building, Geese Tower, for the game's final battle. His fighting style is aikido and has a projectile attack similar to Terry's Power Wave called the Reppuken or Violent Wave Fist. He can also throw his opponent after blocking a close range attack (this technique is called Ateminage or Knockdown Blow). When the player loses to Geese, instead of the standard continue screen, they witness their character falling off from Geese Tower. However, if the player wins, their character will knock off Geese from his building, seemingly killing him.

Console versionsEdit

  • The Super NES version of Fatal Fury, published and developed by Takara, was published in Japan in 1992 and in North America during the following year. This version discards the two-lane system in favor of a more conventional one lane plane. The two-on-one battles are gone and the arm wrestling bonus rounds are replaced by new bonus rounds involving the main character punching flying tires. In the game's Versus Mode, all of the CPU-controlled characters are playable, albeit only on the second player's side. Players could also pick the same main character (in an alternate color).
  • The Mega Drive/Genesis version was released in 1993, published by Sega in Japan and by Takara in North America. This version removes the characters of Hwa Jai and Billy Kane from the roster, relegating them to background cameos. Instead, the player faces against the other two main characters during the course of the single-player mode. This version allows both players to play as the CPU-controlled characters in the game's Versus Mode (with Geese Howard available via a cheat code).
  • An X68000 version produced by Mahou Kabushikigaisha (Magical Company) was released in Japan only on May 21, 1993.
  • An emulation of the original Neo Geo game is included along with its sequels Fatal Fury 2, Fatal Fury Special and Fatal Fury 3, in the compilation Fatal Fury: Battle Archives Vol. 1 for the PlayStation 2. This version includes an option for the original arcade soundtrack or an arranged soundtrack composed specifically for the compilation.
  • The Neo Geo version of Fatal Fury has been released by D4 Enterprise as part of the Virtual Console downloadable lineup for the Wii.
  • The original Fatal Fury is also included in SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1, released for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, and Wii.
  • The Neo Geo version is available on PlayStation Network as part of SNK's Neo Geo Station lineup.


  1. Script error

External linksEdit

ja:餓狼伝説#餓狼伝説 (初代)