|Release||Neo Geo MVS - 11/25/1991|
Neo Geo Home - 12/20/1991
Neo Geo CD - 9/9/1994
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.
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
In 1981, Terry and his younger brother Andy were orphans who raised themselves on the streets. They were soon adopted by Jeff Bogard and eventually lived in Southtown. When Terry was 10, they both witnessed the brutal murder of their adoptive father at the hands of Geese Howard. Knowing that they needed more training to confront Geese, the brothers made an oath to spend a decade to fine tune their martial arts before trying to avenge their father. Andy decided to perfect his own martial art over at Japan to differentiate himself from his older brother by being taught the Shiranui-ryū Ninjutsu (Shiranui Style Ninja Technique) and a form of empty-handed combat called Koppōken. Terry faithfully chose to wander in his home country, combining the Hakkyokuseiken fighting skills learned from his father, his father's mentor Tung Fu Rue who is the shih-fu of both the art of Hakkyokuseiken and the art of Bajiquan, and Terry also studied other martial arts abilities gained from the street fighters of South Town.
A decade later into the present, the crime lord Geese Howard organized a tournament, dubbed "The King of Fighters". Andy returns to South Town to reunite with Terry. After the Bogard brothers pay respects to Jeff's grave, they encounter and befriend the Japanese Muai Thai champion Joe Higashi from Thailand and learn about the K.O.F. tournament hosted by Geese. Andy enters with the two in an attempt to avenge their father, but lost the tournament to Geese's right-hand man Billy Kane before he could reach Geese, Joe Higashi also lost to Geese's muscle-bound henchman Raiden after getting passed by his bitter rival Hwa Jai. Terry then defeated all 7 fighters including his former mentor, Tung Fu Rue and celebrated his victory, when suddenly Terry gets captured by two henchmen and sent to Geese's Tower by force, to have a one-on-one showdown with the crime boss himself. Geese was a formidable opponent for Terry, but he gained the upper-hand by defeating him with a jump kick out of his tower, causing Geese to plummet to his death. As Terry left the tournament victorious, Andy felt a mixed sense of closure and returned to Japan to continue his training.
- 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.
- Super Famicom/SNES
- JPN November 27, 1992
- NA April 1993
- EU 1993
- Mega Drive/Genesis
- JPN April 23, 1993
- US 1993
- BR September, 1994
- Sharp X68000
- JPN July 23, 1993
- 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.
- 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