Art of Fighting

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Art of Fighting
Missing image
Screenshot of Art of Fighting

Developer: SNK
Publisher: SNK
Designer: ???
Release date: December 11, 1992
Genre: Fighting game
Game modes: Up to 2 players simultaneously
ESRB rating: not rated
Platform: Neo-Geo (Ports available on various consoles of the time)
Media: Neo-Geo cartridge

Art of Fighting (龍虎の拳: Ryūko no Ken, in Japan and in video game music archives), or AOF (or RnK in video game music archives) for short, is a fighting game series created by SNK. It is one of the many SNK series that ties into The King of Fighters.



Art of Fighting was the first fighting game with a super bar, and introduced the "spirit gauge" and "desperation move" (the equivalent of "super combo", often used with SNK fighting games) into the fighting game vernacular. A spirit gauge is a manually charged super combo gauge where all special moves will utilize and drain, with greater amounts of power dealing greater amounts of damage.


The central story of the original Art of Fighting is a typical damsel-in-distress story set in the fictitious city of South Town (a common setting among SNK video games), where the duo of Ryo Sakazaki and Robert Garcia try to rescue Ryo's sister and Robert's love interest, Yuri Sakazaki. It takes place before the Fatal Fury series, since Jeff Bogard, father of Terry Bogard from Fatal Fury, is alive at the time Art of Fighting took place, according to what Takuma Sakazaki said during the ending, and in the second game we can see a young Geese Howard, when he was just a corrupt police commissioner making his way through the way of the underworld, as the secret final boss.

Although the story starts this way, future games would focus more on the struggles of the Sakazaki family and their fictitious style of karate known as Kyokugen-ryuu (meaning "Extreme style"). The more recent games containing the Sakazaki family are outside the Art of Fighting series, mostly the King of Fighters series.

On its own, the Art of Fighting series seems to take place in the late 1970's or early 1980's, judging by the birthdates of its characters (Ryo's AoF birthyear is 1957). When SNK Playmore brought the characters from its many games together for the King of Fighters, they adjusted the birthdates (moving Ryo's to 1971, for example) to have the characters interact with each other without having to remake character sprites to account for age. This does create a discrepancy within Takuma Sakazaki's history, as he was originally a contemporary of Jeff Bogard, who is killed in the early to mid 1980's. The actual-aged Ryo can be seen in Buriki One.


Art of Fighting series

  • Art of Fighting
  • Art of Fighting 2
  • Art of Fighting 3 - The Path of the Warrior (Ryuuko no Ken Gaiden in Japan)


  • Fatal Fury Special
  • 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 Slugfest
  • The King of Figthers '99: The Millennium Battle
  • The King of Fighters 2000
  • The King of Fighters 2001
  • The King of Fighters 2002: Challenge to the Ultimate Battle
  • The King of Fighters 2003
  • The King of Fighters: Maximum Impact
  • The King of Fighters: Neowave
  • Capcom Vs. SNK - Millennium Fight 2000
  • Capcom Vs. SNK 2 - Mark of the Millennium 2001
  • SVC Chaos: SNK Vs. Capcom
  • Buriki One: World Grapple Tournament in Tokyo
  • Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition
  • NeoGeo Battle Coliseum
  • The King of Fighters '95 (Game Boy Color port)
  • Nettou The King of Fighters '96 (Game Boy Color port)
  • Quiz King of Fighters
  • The King of Fighters: Kyo
  • The King of Fighters R-1
  • The King of Fighters R-2


Characters From Fatal Fury

Characters appearing outside this series

These include characters that have appeared in The King of Fighters as well as the SNK VS. Series.

Takuma or Ryo may also appear in their alter-ego form of Mr. Karate.

Other Characters

  • Jack Turner
  • Jin Fuha
  • John Crawley: Inspired by Guile of Street Fighter.
  • Karman Cole
  • Lee Pai Long
  • Lenny Creston
  • Micky Rodgers
  • Rody Birts
  • Sinclair
  • Temjin
  • Wang Koh-San
  • Wyler

External links



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