SNK announces THE KING OF FIGHTERS: The Ultimate History Book


Twinkle Star Sprite
Nov 3, 2009
I don't know about the sprites, I focused on the interviews. I was able to notice the presence of concept arts that I had already seen in Japanese mooks devoted to KOF, but of better quality.

Concerning Samurai Spirits:

BB: Was Genan from Samurai Shodown an option?
TT: We actually had Samurai Shodown characters
as secret bonus cameos in the backgrounds
of KOF ’94, but they got taken out before the
end. We had Samurai Shodown stages and
Haohmaru was one of the characters in the
game. Unfortunately, those assets most certainly
have disappeared, much like the early Ryu and
Ken inclusion in the test build of KOF ’94 that I
mentioned before.
BB: That idea of bringing in all the fighting game
characters every four years in an Olympics-style
format is great. It’s too bad no-one’s done it yet.
TT: Right after we released KOF ’98 we had
extra time, so I drew up Ryu and Ken from Street
Fighter and inserted them into an internal build
version of KOF ’98, and this would have been two
years before SNK vs. Capcom released.


Bewbs! Z'OMG, Teh BEWBS!,
20 Year Member
Apr 21, 2001
Yup, plenty of concept art, especially for 94, along with some "what it might have looked like" recreated images. No actual alpha/beta sprites or images though.

My understanding is SNK lost a ton of their digital assets after Aruze bought them and they first shut down in 01. Source code, sprites data, developmental/pre-release ROMs, etc. Nothing like Nintendo where decades of even the most minute of data is archived.

Anything of that nature will likely be randomly found on old legacy media, like SSV:5 Perfect being in a developer's drawer and the MOTW 2 data discs that were just discovered.


Camel Slug
Noob of the Year
Apr 10, 2019
Did these companies not do tape backups? That was a big thing even in the 90s, and especially by the end of the decade. You'd think companies that are primarily based around creating digital products on computers would have an even greater incentive to have used that stuff. Acclaim used tape backups for their development work, so why not a large player at the time like snk?

I think the same thing when I hear stuff like sega, a giant company and market leader at the time, allegedly losing the source code to many of their high profile Genesis and Saturn games, such as the original Sonic the hedgehog and panzer dragoon games. Did they have no backup infrastructure in place in the 90s?

Heck, I heard that they were not able to find much original content. Code or graphics, from the ps1 crash bandicoot games when they were doing the upgraded release in the last few years, and they really did have to start from scratch. That really shocks me that the development resources have not survived for what was such a popular franchise.


Bewbs! Z'OMG, Teh BEWBS!,
20 Year Member
Apr 21, 2001
Never underestimate a company's ability to be negligent in their backups. Doesn't matter the size or industry.

They very well could have (and should have) been backing up to tape, but my understanding is physical assets were also lost.

Whatever exactly happened when SNK shut down is unknown, but my theory is that Aruze either disposed of or destroyed assets they deemed as unnecessary to retain. They had the IPs to farm out their shit and make money on pachinko, and critical resources like current sprite data and source code to recently released games retained for use in future Neo (or other) titles.


NEST Puppet
May 6, 2021
I don't have the KOF book but EuroGamer published a snipet of it. ( Some of you might know it already for those who have it, but i was flabergasted when i learned that the director of KOF '94 revealed the full name of Akio (of Metal Slug) in a casual manner. I was like "WTF!? People tried to learn his full name for nearly 30 years and he spew it just like that XD?" Oddly enough, Akio's full name does coincide with the one shown in one of the R-Type titles (might've been Final?)


Crazed MVS Addict
15 Year Member
Oct 7, 2005
It's a good book. But all these books are a bit 'light'/superficial in content versus some more investigative/detailed insights/interview collections that people might want. On the flip side they're very well made books, with good production. Excellent celebrations/coffee table books to flip through, but no deep dives.

I like the books, but even as just curiousities, as vincewy kind of noted, there is somewhat of a falloff following the first book... I could see that first book intriguing someone who didn't know about neo geo... but by the time they could be digging through the slug/kof books they should probably just be giving the games a play :)