The King of Fighters '94
The first game in The King of Fighters series. Original release date: August 25, 1994
The King of Fighters '94 was the first game in the King of Fighters series and was originally billed as something of a dream match between the cast of Fatal Fury and the cast of Art of Fighting, though it also included cameo appearances from characters appearing in other classic SNK games, such as Sie Kensou (who originally appeared in the SNK side-scroller Psycho Soldier), Athena (who appeared in both Psycho Soldier and the side-scrolling platformer Athena), and Ralf and Clark (who appeared in SNK's top-down Ikari Warriors shooters).
KOF '94 was the first fighting game to introduce the concept of playable teams of characters that could all be selected for play with a single credit. The game offered pre-set teams of three different characters apiece. These teams could NOT be edited; players had to select an entire team and use all characters on that team.
KOF '94 also featured game mechanics from previous SNK games, including the POW meter charge-up from the Art of Fighting series, taunting from the Art of Fighting series, knockdown attacks (performed by pressing the C and D buttons together) from the Fatal Fury series, and defensive attacks (performed by pressing forward + A out of block stun). It also introduced an entirely new game mechanic, dodging, which was performed by pressing the A and B buttons together. While dodging, characters were immune to being hit with any kind of striking attack or projectile, though they could be thrown or grappled out of a dodge. KOF '94 also had a hidden super-jump feature that could be performed by briefly tapping your joystick away from the direction you were jumping before you actually performed a jump.
KOF '94, like Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting before it, featured spectacular desperation moves that could be performed either when your POW meter was charged to full, or if your lifebar was flashing red (in which case, they could be performed repeatedly).
KOF '94 also saw the debut of Rugal Bernstein, who was to become a regular boss character and central to KOF's storyline. Rugal appears as a mysterious fighter who has statues of other fighters in his lair, including a statue that resembled Guile from the Street Fighter series. Rugal's moveset included moves from Fatal Fury boss characters Geese Howard (Reppuken) and Wolfgang Krauser (Kaiser Wave).
- Arcade (MVS)
- Neo-Geo Home Console
- Neo-Geo CD
- Playstation 2 ("The King of Fighters '94 Re-bout")
- Wii Virtual Console