|The King of Fighters '94|
Cover artwork of the Neo Geo CD version.
|Series||The King of Fighters|
|Platform(s)||Arcade, Neo Geo, Neo-Geo CD, PlayStation 2, Wii|
JP August 25, 1994
JP October 1, 1994
JP November 2, 1994
JP November 6, 2007
EU November 23, 2007
NA January 7, 2008
|Mode(s)||Team Battle; Up to 2 players simultaneously|
|Input methods||8-way Joystick, 5 Buttons|
The King of Fighters '94 (officially abbreviated KOF '94) is a 1994 fighting game released by SNK for the Neo Geo arcade and home console. It is the inaugural game in The King of Fighters series by the same company. The game was originally ported to the Neo Geo AES and Neo Geo CD following its original arcade release. In 2004, to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the series, SNK released a remake titled The King of Fighters '94 Rebout, which featured the original game and a new version with high definition graphics.
The game is a fictional crossover featuring characters from SNK's previous fighting game properties Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting, as well as revised versions of characters from their pre-Neo Geo games Ikari Warriors and Psycho Soldier, and original characters created specifically for the game. The plot features the creation of a new King of Fighters tournament created by the criminal Rugal Bernstein, but this time with teams composed of three members unlike the ones from Fatal Fury, which had no teams.
SNK developed KOF '94 with the initial idea of using several games from the company in order to attract gamers who played these games. However, they later added original characters not seen in other games to develop a story arc. Video game publications have commented on KOF '94, praising its characters designs as well as the gameplay of using teams of three members. The success of this game allowed SNK to produce a large number of sequels.
The basic gameplay of KOF '94 is similar to SNK's previous games such as the Fatal Fury series, Art of Fighting, and Samurai Shodown. The game uses a four attack button configuration similar to Fatal Fury 2 and Fatal Fury Special consisting of Light Punch, Light Kick, Strong Punch, and Strong Kick. Like in Fatal Fury 2, certain specialized techniques can be performed by pressing certain buttons in combination. Pressing Light Punch and Light Kick simultaneously allows the player to dodge an opponent's attack, while pressing Hard Punch and Hard Kick will perform a character's "Bop Attack". As with other fighting games, each characters has set of basic, unique, and special moves that can be perform by the player with a specific series of joystick and button inputs.
Each player also has a power gauge at the bottom of the screen which can be filled up by pressing and holding three buttons (LP+LK+SP) at the same time, leaving the character vulnerable to an attack while charging. Once the power gauge is filled, the player's basic attacks become stronger for a short period. When the player is in this state, they can also perform their character's "Super Special Move", which will immediately consume the entire Power Gauge. The player can also perform their character's Super move when their life gauge is 75% empty and flashing red like in Fatal Fury 2.
Instead of the traditional round-based format used in preceding fighting games, KOF '94 features a format consisting of 3-on-3 team based matches officially dubbed the Team Battle System. Instead of choosing a single character, the player selects from one of eight available teams, each representing a different nation (U.S.A., Brazil, Mexico, England, Italy, China, Korea, and Japan), each consisting of three members. Before each the match, the player and the opponent will then choose the order in which each member will enter battle. When the match begins, the members chosen to go first on each team will fight. When one character is defeated, the following member of the same team will take his place, while the character on the other team will have a small portion of their life restored (if energy was lost during the previous round). If a character is losing a match against the opponent, then the player can call one of their remaining teammates standing on the sidelines to jump in and attack the opponent. The match will end when all three members of either team loses.
Rugal Bernstein is an incredibly rich and notorious arms and drug trafficker, as well as an incredibly skilled and ruthless fighter. Having become bored with the lack of competition, Rugal decides to host a new King of Fighters tournament. Rugal has his secretary travel to eight destinations around the world and invite fighters to his new tournament. Unlike the previous KOF tournaments depicted in the Fatal Fury series, the new King of Fighters is a team tournament, with eight teams of three, each representing a different nationality, participating this time. Most characters come from other SNK games, such as Team Italy, which is composed of three heroes from the original Fatal Fury: Terry Bogard, Andy Bogard and Joe Higashi. The two heroes from Art of Fighting (Ryo Sakazaki and Robert Garcia) are featured along with their mentor and Ryo's father (Takuma Sakazaki) make up Team Mexico. Team Korea features Kim Kaphwan from Fatal Fury 2 as the leader of two convicts he's trying to reform Chang Koehan and Choi Bounge, while Team England is a mix of female fighters from Fatal Fury 2 (Mai Shiranui) and the Art of Fighting series (Yuri Sakazaki, King). The two heroes from Psycho Soldier (Athena Asamiya and Sie Kensou) form Team China along with their mentor, Chin Gentsai. Similarly, Team Brazil features the heroes from Ikari Warriors (Ralf and Clark) along with their commanding officer Heidern. Additionally, the game features two teams composed entirely of original characters: Team Japan featuring Kyo Kusanagi, Benimaru Nikaido and Goro Daimon, and Team USA composed of Heavy D!, Lucky Glauber and Brian Battler.
In an interview with veteran developers of the series they claim that their prototype version for KOF was going to be a side-scrolling beat 'em up titled, Survivor. In this version, it would only use core characters from the Art of Fighting and Fatal Fury series, specifically allowing players to play Robert Garcia and Terry Bogard for location testing. However, the idea was quickly abandoned after the debut of Capcom's game with similar gameplay, Final Fight. Since they were attached to the idea of the two series cross-over, they eventually agreed to make their idea into a fighting game. Characters from Ikari Warriors and Psycho Soldier games were also added in spirit of other gaming genres considered for their final product. The concept of a three-man team was one of the ideas kept from the side-scrolling version. The title "The King of Fighters" was original the subtitle from the first Fatal Fury game, Fatal Fury: King of Fighters; According to GameSpot, the members from SNK liked the title "The King of Fighters" and wanted to give it its own game.
Flagship director, Toyohisa Tanabe, asserts that the Art of Fighting and Fatal Fury fighters were added specifically for adults. The newer KoF characters were aimed to appeal to younger and newer audiences. He adds that every original character for the series is added based on the developers' strong desire to make one. For example, he agreed to include characters such as Benimaru and Chang to add an off-beat variety to the cast, which he previously deemed to be too serious before. SNK developer C.A.C Yamasaki commented that it seemed the lead programmer thought the game would not sell well, but he thought it would catch on. For the first location test only 10 people showed up, but they later received a large number of players attratcted with the game. The SNK staff also had troubles with making adverstisements for the game due to its low rent. As such, some of them were noted to have poor quality.
Developers wanted a new, "snazzy" lead character who would easily fight against Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting characters. He was named Kyo Kusanagi in order to relate him with the Yamata no Orochi legend, which was used as the idea to the following games. The boss character, Rugal Bernstein, was developed to be " the mightiest (most violent) and most evil boss character ever". The game was meant to have a Fugitive Team composed of Chang and Choi and an unknown criminal. However, due to certain circumstances, Kim Kaphwan was the one who had Choi and Chang as his teammates. Another team meant to appear was the English Team composed of King from Art of Fighting and Billy Kane and Big Bear from the first and second Fatal Fury, respectively. Developers had several problems with Big Bear concerning capacity and the Art of Fighting staff pressed with adding Yuri to KOF. As such, Yuri replaced Billy Kane, and later Mai Shiranui took Big Bear's place to form the England Team (also known as Women Fighters in following games).
Most of the characters from other games were meant to have some of their moves changed or removed in order to balance them with the KOF new characters. Designers from certain characters found disagreement with this, and so they focused in adjusting their imbalance without removing any move. In the end, creators from the series noted that the Art of Fighting characters were the strongest ones from the game. However, other characters such as Terry and Andy Bogard became the ones who got the designers' utmost attention and were given new moves which caused them to be stronger fighters.
The King of Fighters '94 was released in Japanese arcades on August 25, 1994. It was ported to the Neo Geo cartridge system (released on October 1994) and the Neo Geo CD (released on November 1994) following the original arcade release. On November 6, 2007, the Neo Geo version was made available for download on the Wii's Virtual Console download service, for a price of 900 Wii Points. The North American version was released on January 7, 2008, while the European version on November 23, 2007.
An emulation of the Neo Geo version is also included in SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1 and in the internationally released compilation The King of Fighters Collection: The Orochi Saga in 2008 for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable and Wii (the game was not included in the equivalent Japanese compilation The King of Fighters - Orochi Hen).
A remake was released on December 28, 2004 for the PlayStation 2 in Japan under the title The King of Fighters '94 Re-Bout, commemorating the tenth anniversary of the franchise. This version features the original 1994 game and an enhanced version featuring remade high resolution graphics, a Team Edit option feature similar to the later KoF games, the ability to play as Saisyu Kusanagi and Rugal Bernstein, arranged music, and an online versus mode. Developers from the game commented that they received negative fan feedback from these high-definition sprites. As such, they decided to create new ones for The King of Fighters XII. A North American version was meant to published by SNK Playmore for the Xbox but it was cancelled on March 23, 2006 for unknown reasons. Ben Herman, president from SNK Playmore USA, mentioned "they cancelled the game as it took a lot of time to remove all the bugs from the game. During the first quarter of 2006, they came to the conclusion that there was no place to sell the game" and they had issues for how much money would the game cost.
In January 30, 1995 issue of Gamest magazine in Japan, The King of Fighters '94 was awarded Best Game of 1994 in the Eighth Annual Grand Prize. The game also placed No. 1 in the categories of "Best Competitive Fighting Game" and "Best Direction", No. 5 in "Best Graphics" and No. 3 in "Best VGM (Video Game Music)". Several characters in the game were also featured in list of Top 50 Characters of 1994, with Athena Asamiya at No. 3, Kyo Kusanagi at No. 4, Yuri Sakazaki at No. 7, King at No. 8, Mai Shiranui at No. 10, Sie Kensou at No. 16, Heidern at No. 17, Ralf at No. 19, Ryo Sakazaki at No. 24, Goro Daimon at No. 26, Robert Garcia at No. 36 (tied with Iceman from X-Men: Children of the Atom), Clark at No. 38, Kim Kaphwan at No. 44 (sharing the spot with three other characters), and both Chang Koehan and Rugal Bernstein sharing the No. 48 spot. The King of Fighters '94 was awarded Best Fighting game and Best Neo-Geo Game of 1994 by Electronic Gaming Monthly. Additionally, Mai Shiranui was awarded Hottest Game Babe of 1994.
Videogames publications have commented on the game, adding praise and criticism. 1UP.com praised KOF '94 for the large number of characters it had considering it "a hell of cast for 1994". They also commented on the cast to be well balanced and that the new characters "revived some fun past concepts". Zentendo.com reviewer Chuck Allen noted the music to have been well done and that the characters were "extremely pixilated". However, he criticized that the special moves required "dead-on precision" in order to perform them and commented it was one of the hardest fighting games to win. Lucas M. Thomas from IGN gave it a 8.0 praising the graphics from the game commenting it has fluid animation and vibrant colors. He also complained about the fact that players cannot create their own teams and are forced to use the pre-established teams. IGN writer Jeremy Dunham commented that KOF '94 "was essentially a cross between Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting", but with faster response than both games. He praised the creation of three-on-three battles and the idea of "borrowing" characters from other games from the company, making it an advanced game during 1994. G4 commented that while The King of Fighters '94 was considered by several fans as "Street Fighter beater", it was very unique due to its option to selecting teams.
|The King of Fighters '94|
|System(s)||Arcade, Neo Geo, Neo Geo CD, GameTap, Wii Virtual Console|
|Followed by||The King of Fighters '95|
|Series||The King of Fighters|
King of Fighters' 94 introduces the series' signature 3-man team system, instead of a simple one-on-one two round fight system a player chooses a team of three characters then determines the order to play them before a fight, each fight consisting of up to 5 rounds and each round ending when one of the two fighters is knocked out, the remaining fighter stays and faces the opponent's next character, a fight is won when one of the two players loses the last of their three fighters. This system has remained constant throughout the series (and modes with a similar system have been used since in such games as Tekken and Soul series). The major difference between this and other KoF titles is that players can only choose from pre-set teams of three instead of being able to build their own team from the whole cast.
Rugal Bernstein is an incredibly rich and notorious arms and drugs trafficker, as well as an incredibly skilled and ruthless fighter has become bored with the lack of competition, so decides to host a new King of Fighters tournament. The King of Fighters tournament was previously held by Geese Howard in Art of Fighting 2 and the first Fatal Fury and by Wolfgang Krauser in Fatal Fury 2. The game's ending reveals that Rugal has apparently fought and bested both characters in the past.
Rugal has his secretary (later revealed to be the assassin Mature) travel to eight destinations around the world and invite them to his new tournament, unlike previous tournaments this new King of Fighters is a team tournament, eight teams enter representing England, America, Brazil, Korea, Japan, Mexico, Italy and China with the Japan Team later known as the Hero Team, made up of Kyo Kusanagi, Goro Daimon and Benimaru Nikaido, being the canonical winners (all teams win if the arcade/story mode is completed with that team).
Pao Pao cafe
The King of Fighters series
Maximum Impact Series: Maximum Impact · Maximum Impact 2 · Regulation A · Regulation A2
Handheld: Nettou '95 · Nettou '96 · R-1 · R-2 · EX · EX2
|The King of Fighters '94|
|Release date||August 25, 1994|
|Genre||Fighting, 2D fighter|
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
|Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough|
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|The King of Fighters series|
|The King of Fighters '94 | The King of Fighters '95 | The King of Fighters '96 | The King of Fighters '97 | The King of Fighters '98 | The King of Fighters '99 | The King of Fighters 2000 | The King of Fighters 2001 | The King of Fighters 2002 | The King of Fighters 2003 |The King of Fighters XI|
|Maximum Impact | Maximum Impact 2|
|Spin-Offs, Updates & Compilations|
|The King of Fighters EX: Neo Blood | The King of Fighters EX2: Howling Blood | Neowave| The King of Fighters R-1 | The King of Fighters R-2 | The King of Fighters Kyo | Compilations/Updates | The King of Fighters: Another Day|
|Adelheid Bernstein - Alba Meira - Andy Bogard - Angel - Ash Crimson - Athena Asamiya - Bao - Benimaru Nikaido - Billy Kane - Blue Mary - Bonne Jenet - Brian Battler - Chae Lim - Chang Koehan - Chin Gentsai - Chizuru Kagura - Choi Bounge - Chris - Clark Steel - Duck King - Duo Lon - Eiji Kisaragi - Elisabeth Blanctorche - Foxy - Gai Tendo - Gato - Geese Howard - Goenitz - Goro Daimon - Heavy D! - Heidern - Hinako Shijou - Hotaru Futaba - Igniz - Iori Yagami - Jhun Hoon - Joe Higashi - Jun Kagami - K' - K9999 - Kasumi Todoh - Kim Kaphwan - King - Krizalid - Kula Diamond - Kyo Kusanagi - Kyo Kusanagi 1 - Kyo Kusanagi 2 - Kusanagi (Cloned Kyo) - Leona Heidern - Lien Neville - Lin - Li Xiangfei - Lucky Glauber - Luise Meyrink - Magaki - Mai Shiranui - Maki Kagura - Malin - Mature - Maxima - May Lee - Mignon Beart - Miu Kurosaki - Moe Habana - Momoko - Mr. Big - Mukai - Nagase - Ninon Beart - Orochi - Oswald - Ralf Jones - Ramon - Reiji Oogami - Robert Garcia - Ron - Rugal Bernstein - Ryo Sakazaki - Ryuji Yamazaki - Saisyu Kusanagi - Seth - Shen Woo - Shermie - Shingo Yabuki - Shion - Sie Kensou - Sinobu Amou - Soiree Meira - Takuma Sakazaki - Terry Bogard - Tizoc - Vanessa - Vice - Whip - Wolfgang Krauser - Yashiro Nanakase - Yuki - Yuri Sakazaki - Clone Zero - Original Zero|