Fatal Fury

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Fatal Fury: King of Fighters, released in Japan as Garou Densetsu: Shukumei no Tatakai (餓狼伝説 宿命の戦い, 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, friend Joe Higashi, and their nemesis Geese Howard, made their debut in this game.

Fatal Fury US Flyer.png
Developer SNK
Meg Count 55
NGH # 033
Release Neo Geo MVS - 11/25/1991

Neo Geo Home - 12/20/1991 Neo Geo CD - 9/9/1994

Director(s) [[ Takashi Nishiyama|Takashi Nishiyama]]
Producer(s) [[ Eikichi Kawasaki|Eikichi Kawasaki]]
Designer(s) Seigo ItoTakashi Tsukamoto
Composer(s) Hiroshi MatsumotoKazuhiro NishidaToshikazu Tanaka
Genre(s) Fighting


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 characters has special techniques that are performed by inputting specific commands in 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-lane battles. Many stages featured two rows, a background row and a foreground row. Players can change between rows at any time other than in the Single Player Mode, where they have to wait for the CPU opponent to change rows before they can in almost every stage. The player is not required, however, to do so. 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 adopted sons, Terry and Andy, along with their friend Joe Higashi, enter the tournament to get their revenge on Geese.


Playable characters
  • Terry Bogard - an American martial arts expert seeking to avenge his father's death.
  • Andy Bogard - Terry's younger brother, who learned Koppōjutsu in Japan.
  • Joe Higashi - a Japanese Muay Thai master and a friend to the Bogard brothers.
CPU-controlled characters
  • Duck King - a street dancing talent who uses a "rhythmical" fighting style.
  • Richard Meyer - a capoeira master with numerous kick techniques.
  • Michael Max - a boxer who has a projectile attack called the Tornado Upper (similar to Joe's Hurricane Upper).
  • Tung Fu Rue - a Bajiquan master. Although elderly and meek, taking enough damage results in him focusing his inner energy in order to transform into a musclebound version of himself, complete with a discus clothesline and a projectile-emitting 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 the Dragon Kick, similar to Joe's Tiger Kick.
  • Raiden - a heel wrestler who has a special technique called Vapor Breath.
  • Billy Kane - a Bōjutsu master who serves as the tournament's undefeated champion.
  • Geese Howard - the final boss of the game. An underworld crime boss and the 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.

Cartridge/CD Shots




Fatal Fury Review by Bobak!


  • According to Youchiro Soeda (Character Designer) in a interview on SNK's Twitch Channel "KAISERWAVE", during early development of the game, Fatal Fury's early title was "Real Bout". In fact, some remains of this early title being used can be found in the final game through different billboards and signs in the backgrounds.
  • Terry's trailer in The King of Fighters XV features a shot with him, Andy, and Joe as a homage to the arcade flyer of the game.
  • Early concept art for the original game reveals radically different designs for some of the characters, as well as two entirely discarded characters; Elie Jones, a wild-haired, scruffy punk resembling the wrestler Missing Link, and Tau To, a one-eyed kickboxer with a smiley face on his gi.


Fatal Fury / Last Resort OST

Fatal Fury Image Album

Game Connections

  • Followed by Fatal Fury 2
  • Followed by Fatal Fury Special
  • Followed by Fatal Fury 3
  • Followed by Real Bout Fatal Fury
  • Followed by Real Bout Fatal Fury Special
  • Followed by Real Bout Fatal Fury 2
  • Followed by Real Bout Garou Densetsu Special: Dominated Mind
  • Followed by Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition
  • Followed by Fatal Fury: 1st Contact
  • Followed by Garou: Mark of the Wolves