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The King of Fighters is a series of fighting games developed by SNK Playmore. Originally, the series was developed for SNK's Neo Geo MVS arcade systems. This would continue to be the main platform for King of Fighters games until 2004, when SNK Playmore adopted the Atomiswave arcade system as its primary. SNK-Playmore has since stated that it will release its latest arcade titles for the Taito Type X2 arcade system.

The first game in the series, The King of Fighters '94 was released by SNK in August 25, 1994. The game was originally designed to be a dream match of characters from the company's various arcade titles, particularly Fatal Fury, Art of Fighting, Ikari Warriors, and Psycho Soldier. Sequels from the series have been released each year until The King of Fighters 2003. By 2004, SNK abandoned yearly releases of the series and numbered future games in a more traditional manner.[1] The King of Fighters XII, the latest game is expected to be released in April 2009. KOF XII will use newly-drawn 2D sprites on detailed 2D backgrounds. Producers informed that the game is one hundred percent hand drawn.[2] In 2004, SNK produced the first 3D installment of the series, KOF: Maximum Impact. The game and its two sequels revises much of the backstory for characters and settings from previous games. Several characters from the series appear also in cross-over video games such as the Capcom VS SNK series. In addition to the remakes of individual games such as Re-bout, Ultimate Match, and Unlimited Match, SNK Playmore has released compilations of their KOF games.

Contents

Main series


Original release dates:[3]
Japan 1994-08-25[3]
System release:
1994—Arcade[3]
1994—Neo Geo[3]
2004—PlayStation 2[4]
2008—Wii[5]
Notes:
  • The game was remade and released in 2004 for the PlayStation 2 as The King of Fighters '94 Re-Bout in Japan. This version has several new features like hi-res graphics, online play, team edit, a playable Rugal Bernstein, and the addition of Saisyu Kusanagi.

Original release dates:[6]
Japan 1995-07-25[6]
North America 1996-08-31
System release:
1995—Arcade[6]
1995—Neo Geo[6]
1996—Sega Saturn[6]
1995—Neo Geo CD[6]
1996—PlayStation[6]
Notes:
  • Introduces the team edit feature which allows players to create their own 3-character team.

Original release dates:[7]
Japan 1996-07-30[7]
System release:
1996—Arcade[7]
1996—Neo Geo[7]
1996—Sega Saturn[7]
1996—Neo Geo CD[7]
1997—PlayStation[7]
Notes:
  • Ported to the PlayStation and Sega Saturn in Japan. The Saturn port requires a memory expansion cartridge to run. It contains the ability to play as Chizuru and Goenitz using a code. The Saturn version is arcade perfect thanks to the cartridge.

Original release dates:[8]
Japan 1997-07-28[8]
System release:
1997—Arcade
1997—Neo Geo[8]
1998—Sega Saturn[8]
1997—Neo Geo CD[8]
1998—PlayStation[8]
Notes:
  • Ported to the PlayStation and Sega Saturn in Japan. The Saturn port requires a memory expansion cartridge to run. It contains a special art gallery feature as well as the ability to play as Orochi using a code. This game was never released in the US.

Original release dates:[9]
Japan 1998-07-23[9]
North America 1998
System release:
1998—Arcade[9]
1998—Neo Geo[9]
1998—Neo Geo CD[9]
1999—PlayStation[9]
1999—Dreamcast[9]
2008—PlayStation 2[10]
Notes:
  • Ported to the PlayStation and Dreamcast. SNK refitted the Dreamcast version (renamed The King of Fighters: Dream Match 1999) with an extended hand-animated introduction, link-up capability with KOF R-2 for the Neo Geo Pocket Color, and 3D backgrounds
  • Separate from the KOF story line, this dream match contains fighters from all previous King of Fighters games except for Eiji Kisaragi, Kasumi Todoh, Goenitz and the Boss Team (Geese Howard, Wolfgang Krauser, and Mr. Big) from KOF '96. Saisyu Kusanagi also makes his first appearance as a non-secret playable character.
  • Like KOF '94, this game was also remade and released in 2008 for the PlayStation 2 as The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match in Japan. Like its '94 counterpart, the update features redesigned backgrounds, online play, and new characters (Eiji Kisaragi, Kasumi Todoh and the boss team from KOF '96 among others).

Original release dates:[11]
Japan 1999-07-22[11]
North America 2001-04-22[12]
System release:
1999—Arcade[11]
1999—Neo Geo[11]
1999—Neo Geo CD[11]
2000—Dreamcast[11]
2000—PlayStation[11]
Notes:
  • Introduces the striker system, which allows the player to call on a teammate to aid the current fighter.
  • Ported to the Dreamcast and the PlayStation in the US. The Dreamcast version was titled The King of Fighters: Evolution, while the PlayStation retained the '99 namesake. In the Dreamcast version (regarded as the better port of the two, due to its massive visual updating), Seth and Vanessa are hidden strikers, and Krizalid is a selectable character (only in his second form).

Original release dates:[13]
Japan 2000-07-26[13]
System release:
2000—Arcade[13]
2002—Dreamcast[13]
2002—PlayStation 2[13]
2000—Neo Geo[13]
Notes:
  • This game was ported to the Dreamcast and the PlayStation 2. The US/North American and European PS2 was bundled together with King of Fighters 2001.
  • Allows the player to select alternates as strikers instead of just playable characters.

Original release dates:[14]
Japan 2001-11-15[14]
North America 2002-03-14[15]
System release:
2001—Arcade[14]
2002—Dreamcast[14]
2003—PlayStation 2[14]
2002—Neo Geo[14]
Notes:
  • In this version, the player decides on how many out of 4 fighters will participate in a match. Those left unselected become strikers.

Original release dates:[16]
Japan 2002-10-10[16]
Europe 2005-10-07[17]
System release:
2002—Arcade[16]
2003—Dreamcast[16]
2004—PlayStation 2[16]
2002—Neo Geo[16]
2005—Xbox[18]
Notes:
  • This game was ported to the Dreamcast and the PlayStation 2. The US/North American and European PS2 release is bundled together with King of Fighters 2000.
  • This game was ported to the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox. The US/North American PS2 and Xbox release is bundled together with King of Fighters 2003.
  • An update/remake was released in 2009 in Japan on the PlayStation 2 under the title The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match. Among the major changes include a replacement character for K9999 named "Nameless". Numerous additional characters from elsewhere in the series were added to the original roster with a complete roster size of 66, the largest roster in the history of the series.

Original release dates:
Japan 2003-12-12[19]
Europe April 2006[20]
System release:
2003—Arcade[19]
2004—PlayStation 2[21]
2004—Neo Geo[19]
Notes:
  • Unlike previous games, KOF 2003 employs a tag team battle system.
  • It is the final annual update to the series; the next game was not released until two years later.

Original release dates:
Japan 2005-10-26[22]
System release:
2005—Arcade[22]
2006—PlayStation 2[22]
Notes:
  • The game was released in Japan for the PlayStation 2 on June 22, 2006. This version updates the current game with additional music and stages, as well as an updated character roster with the reinclusion of Mai Shiranui, Geese Howard, EX Kyo, Robert Garcia, Mr. Big and new arrivals to the KOF arena, Hotaru Futaba and Tung Fu Rue.
  • The game was released in Europe in July 2007 and in the U.S. in October 2007

Original release dates:
Worldwide 2009-07-28
System release:
2009—Arcade[22]
2009—PlayStation 3, Xbox 360[22]
Notes:
  • The game will be the first in the series since 96 to use completely new graphics
  • Unlike previous entries in the series, The King of Fighters XII forgoes the team structure of previous games and all characters appear as solo entrants. The roster is set at 20 characters, the smallest roster in the history of the series.
  • The producer has revealed that the character count will be boosted for the home console releases.


Spin-offs


Original release dates:
Japan 2004-07-30[23]
Europe 2006-10-13[24]
System release:
2004—Arcade[23]
2006—PlayStation 2[24]
2006—Xbox[25]
Notes:
  • King of Fighters: Neowave has notable improvements in background graphics and music quality. KOF: Neowave returns to the classic 3-on-3 battle system and features many teams from previous KOF games.
The King of Fighters EX: Neo Blood

Original release dates:[26]
Japan 2002-01-01
Europe 2002-08-23
North America 2002
System release:
2002—Game Boy Advance[26]
Notes:
  • An adaptation of The King Of Fighters '99 for the Game Boy Advance, with a new character named Moe Habana. Geese Howard is the final boss with Iori being a sub boss
The King of Fighters EX2: Howling Blood

Original release dates:
System release:
2003—Game Boy Advance[27]
Notes:
  • An adaptation of The King Of Fighters 2000 for the Game Boy Advance, with Moe Habana returning with a few new characters, Reiji Okami, Jun Kagami, Miu Kurosaki and Sinobu as the final boss, and a new background.
The King of Fighters: Maximum Impact

Original release dates:
Japan 2004-08-12[28]
North America 2004-08-12[28]
Europe 2005-07-01[28]
Australia 2005[28]
System release:
2004—PlayStation 2[29]
2005—Xbox[30]
Notes:
  • It was ported to the Xbox as "KOF: Maximum Impact - Maniax" with additional content, dual-language audio tracks, and online play via Xbox Live.[31]
The King of Fighters 2006

Original release dates:
Japan 2006-06-19[32]
North America 2006-09-19[33]
System release:
2006—PlayStation 2[32]
2007—Xbox[34]
Notes:
  • Known in Japan as The King of Fighters: Maximum Impact 2.
  • The game was also packaged with a bonus DVD of "The King of Fighters: Another Day", supposedly a prequel leading up to the Maximum Impact 2 and involved characters from the King of Fighters XI.
  • It was remade as The King of Fighters: Maximum Impact Regulation-A but with the classic 3 on 3 game play from the 2D KOF series as well as new characters.[34]
The King of Fighters '95

Original release dates:
System release:
Notes:
  • Known in Japan as Nettou The King of Fighters '95.
  • Known in North America and Europe as The King of Fighters '95.
  • An adaptation of The King of Fighters '95 for the Game Boy, which featured Nakoruru from Samurai Shodown.
The King of Fighters: Heat of Battle

Original release dates:
System release:
Notes:
  • Known in Japan as Nettou The King of Fighters '96.
  • Known in Europe as The King of Fighters: Heat of Battle.
  • An adaptation of The King of Fighters '96 for the Game Boy, which featured the Orochi awakened versions of Leona and Iori Yagami.

Original release dates:
System release:
Notes:
  • An adaptation of The King of Fighters '97 for the Neo Geo Pocket.

Original release dates:
System release:
Notes:
  • An adaptation of The King of Fighters '98 for the Neo Geo Pocket Color. Linkable with KOF '99 Dream Match for the Dreamcast.
Quiz King of Fighters

Original release dates:
System release:
Notes:
  • A KOF-themed quiz game released only in Japan for the Neo Geo. Roster includes select characters from Samurai Shodown.
The King of Fighters: Battle de Paradise

Original release dates:
System release:
Notes:
  • A KOF-themed board game released for the Neo Geo Pocket.
The King of Fighters Kyo

Original release dates:
Japan 1998-08-27[35]
System release:
1998—PlayStation[35]
Notes:
  • An RPG for the PlayStation, released only in Japan.
The King of Fighters: Extreme

Original release dates:
System release:
2005--N-Gage
Notes:
  • A port of The King of Fighters EX2: Howling Blood for the Nokia N-Gage.
KOF SKY STAGE[36]

Original release dates:
System release:
Spring 2010--XBLA
Notes:
  • The First Shooting game of the King of Fighters Series.[37]


Compilations and collections

The King of Fighters NESTS

Original release dates:[38]
Japan 2007-04-19[38]
System release:
2007—PlayStation 2[38]
Notes:
  • Contains The King of Fighters '99, '00 and '01
The King of Fighters 2000/2001

Original release dates:[16]
Japan 2003-12-09[16]
System release:
2003—PlayStation 2[16]
Notes:
  • Contains The King of Fighters 2000 and 2001
The King of Fighters 02/03

Original release dates:[39]
Japan 2004-02-11[39]
System release:
2005—PlayStation 2[40]
2004—Xbox[39]
Notes:
  • Contains The King of Fighters 2002 and 2003
KoF Collection Orochi

Original release dates:
Japan 2006-04-20[41]
North America 2008-10-21[41]
System release:
2006—PlayStation 2[42]
2008—Wii[43]
2008—PlayStation Portableref name="kofPSP">"PSP KoF Collection Orochi". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/psp/action/thekingoffighterscollectiontheorochisaga/index.html. Retrieved 2008-08-21. </ref><
Notes:
  • Includes '94, '95, '96, '97, and '98.
  • '94 and '98 are not included in the Japan release.
  • Known in Japan as The King of Fighters Orochi Collection.
  • Known in North America as The King of Fighters Collection: The Orochi Saga.


Related games


Original release dates:
System release:
SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium

Original release dates:
System release:
SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos

Original release dates:
System release:
Capcom vs. SNK

Original release dates:
System release:
Capcom vs. SNK Pro

Original release dates:
System release:

Original release dates:
System release:


References

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  2. ^ Niizumi, Hirohiko (2008-09-18). "King of Fighters XII knuckles up next year". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/news/6197909.html. Retrieved 2008-09-19. 
  3. ^ a b c d "The King of Fighters '94 Official Profile". King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website. http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/english/history/history.php?num=kof94. Retrieved 2008-08-04. 
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  5. ^ "King of Fighters '94 [Virtual Console"]. IGN. http://wii.ign.com/objects/142/14226737.html. Retrieved 2008-08-04. 
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  9. ^ a b c d e f g "The King of Fighters '98 Official Profile". King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website. http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/english/history/history.php?num=kof98. Retrieved 2008-08-04. 
  10. ^ "The King of Fighters 98 Ultimate Match official website" (in Japanese). SNK Playmore. http://game.snkplaymore.co.jp/official/kof98um/ps2/index.html. Retrieved 2008-08-04. 
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