The King of Fighters 2002
File:The King of Fighters 2002 (cover).jpg
Developer(s) SNK Neo Geo
Publisher(s) Eolith/Playmore
Platform(s) Arcade
Neo Geo
PlayStation 2
Release date(s) Neo Geo
October 10, 2002
Genre(s) Versus Fighting
Mode(s) Team Battle, One-On-One; Up to 2 players simultaneously
Cabinet Upright
Arcade system Neo Geo

The King of Fighters 2002 (stylized as KOF '02) is a 2002 competitive fighting game produced by Eolith and Playmore for the Neo Geo. It is the ninth game in The King of Fighters series and the second one produced by Eolith and developed by SNK Neo Geo (formerly Brezzasoft). The game was ported to the Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, and the Xbox. The PS2 and Xbox versions were released in North America in a two-in-one bundle with the following game in the series, The King of Fighters 2003.

NONA returns to do character artwork, as he has since the previous installment.

SNK Playmore has produced a remake titled The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match for the PlayStation 2, which has been released on February 26, 2009 in Japan. The Xbox Live Arcade version was released on November 3, 2010.[1][2]


File:The King of Fighters 2002 - Angel vs Billy.png

KOF 2002 discards the 4-on-4 "Striker Match" format used in the previous three games in the series and returns to the 3-on-3 Battle format originally used in the series up until KOF '98.

The game also revamps the Power Gauge system into a format similar to the one used in KOF '98. Like previous games in the series, the Power Gauge is filled as the player attacks the opponent or performs Special Moves during battle. The number of Power Gauges the player can stock up increases by one with each member of the team, with the first member of the team being able to stock up to three Power Gauges, while the third member can stock up to five. A single Power Gauge stock can be used to perform a Counterattack and Evasion technique while guarding an opponent's attack, use a Super Special Move, or initiate the MAX Activation state.

During MAX Activation, the player's offensive and defensive strength is increased for a short period and can cancel any attack into another. In this state, a Super Special Move can be used without consuming a Power Gauge stock. There are also MAX Super Special Moves, which are Super moves that can only be performed during MAX Activation with one Power Gauge stock, and MAX2 moves that require two stocks.



Main article: List of The King of Fighters characters

Like KOF '98, the game has no storyline (with the NESTS story arc having concluded in the previous game in the series, KOF 2001) and is instead a "Dream Match" featuring characters from all the previous games in the series. In addition to the recurring teams from the series (including the original Japan Team), the game also features a series of teams representing each of the previous KOF games from KOF '96 to KOF 2001. Omega Rugal returns as the final boss as well. However, not all the characters from the previous games are featured, and series' regulars such as King and Shingo Yabuki were absent from the Neo Geo version for the first time since their first appearance. The Dreamcast version of the game featured King and Shingo, while the PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions included them as well as added three additional characters from SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos (Geese Howard, Goenitz, and Orochi Iori). A number of the characters have been redrawn, most notably the KOF '98 team.

KOF '97 Team

KOF '98 Team

  • Yashiro Nanakase
  • Shermie
  • Chris

KOF '99 Team

KOF 2000 Team

KOF 2001 Team


Orochi Team

  • Orochi Yashiro
  • Orochi Shermie
  • Orochi Chris


Console Exclusives

  • Shingo Yabuki (Dreamcast, PS2, Xbox versions)
  • King (Dreamcast, PS2, Xbox versions)
  • Geese Howard (PS2, Xbox versions)
  • Goenitz (PS2, Xbox versions)
  • Orochi Iori (PS2, Xbox versions)

Unlimited MatchEdit

The Unlimited Match version of the game was released on February 26, 2009 for the PlayStation 2 in Japan and on November 3, 2010 for Xbox Live Arcade. Features additional characters and changes to the team roster, with the number of default teams now increased up to 18 (including the regular and alternate versions of the Orochi Team) and new stages and artwork have been added. All of the characters featured in the series between KOF '99 and KOF 2002 are included with the exception of K9999 (a character conceived as a pastiche of Tetsuo Shima from the manga Akira). A new character called Nameless (ネームレス?) has been designed to take his place in the game and features most of K9999's special techniques with an added touch. The game has 66 characters in total making it the series' largest roster.[3] Such character are 44 from KOF 2002, 16 characters from the NESTS arc (including King and Shingo), and 6 hidden characters, including additional characters from previous console versions with the exception of Orochi Iori. The game also has the original King of Fighters 2002 port from the Neo Geo to play.[4] During its release week, the game sold 19,000 copies in Japan.[5] In the issue 114 from Arcadia, it was featured at ninth in its Top Ten Video Games list.[6] Critical reception to the game was positive due to its large number of playable characters, although mixed opinions were given to its aging graphics.[7][8] Despite lacking a plot, the large interaction between characters has been praised for adding depth to the game.[9]

Unlimited Match Exclusives

Unlimited Match Bosses

Unlimited Match Secret Characters



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External linksEdit

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