Fatal Fury

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Fatal Fury
Missing image
Terry Bogard (left) fighting Michael Max in the original Fatal Fury

Developer: SNK
Publisher: SNK
Designer: ???
Release date: December 20, 1991
Genre: Fighting game
Game modes: Up to 2 players simultaneously
ESRB rating: not rated
Platform: Neo-Geo
Media: 55 MB Neo-Geo cartridge

Fatal Fury (餓狼伝説: Garou Densetsu, meaning Legend of the Hungry Wolf, in Japan) is a fighting game series developed by SNK for the Neo-Geo system. It is SNK's oldest fighting game, and was once a rival to Capcom's Street Fighter series.



The main fighting game feature that the original Fatal Fury was known for was the two-plane system. Characters would fight from two different planes, and by stepping between the planes, attacks could be dodged with ease. Later games drop the two-plane system, replacing it with a complex system of dodging. Characters often had moves that could attack across the two planes, attack both planes at once, or otherwise attack characters attempting to dodge.

Later Fatal Fury games experimented with various other gimmicks, such as "ring-outs", where a character loses the round if the character is thrown into the edges of the fighting backdrop, and single-plane backdrops, where the element of dodging is eliminated altogether, and moves that sent opponents to the opposite plane instead did collateral damage. The most successful of these gimmicks were the Deadly Rave, a super combo used by several characters that, after execution, a player must press a preset series of buttons with exact timing for the entire combo to execute, and the Just Defend, a type of protected block in which players regain lost life.


The series, like many of SNK's other series at the time, revolves around a fictitious American city called South Town. It is a place full of crime and corruption, and the man behind most of it was Geese Howard. Each year he'd create a fighting tournament known as "The King of Fighters", but no one could beat his right-hand man and appointed champion, Billy Kane. The series would focus on the simultaneous rise of the "Hungry Wolf" Terry Bogard (for which the series is named after) and the fall of Geese's criminal empire. The second installment of the series featured Geese's half-brother, Wolfgang Krauser, who internationalized the previous SouthTown-only King Of Fighters tournament and wanted to fight the strongest combatants from all-around the world. The King Of Fighters tournament would no longer be a part of the storyline by the third game, having been spun off into its own series. The third game in the Fatal Fury series would center around Terry Bogard's battles with Geese Howard in an attempt to stop him from finding an ancient scroll that would give him the powers of a lost martial art.

After the third installment, the series was renamed to Real Bout Fatal Fury and in the first installment of this new series we would see the final and decisive battle between Terry Bogard and Geese Howard. The second installment, which was named Real Bout Fatal Fury Special, featured the return of Krauser after his previous defeat at the hands of Terry.

In Garou: Mark Of The Wolves, it's a generation later, and Rock Howard, Terry's protege and son of Geese Howard, discovers something shocking about his past when he enters the Maximum Mayhem tournament.

The Interconnecting Plots

Fatal Fury and its two sister series, Art of Fighting and The King of Fighters often influenced each other in different ways. The storylines between each series share many similarities, but have many differences (one of the main differences between the storylines of Fatal Fury and KOF is whether Geese Howard remained alive). For some time, it was believed that, as new games in KOF was being created each year, and games in the other two appearing with less frequency (or, in the case of Art of Fighting, not at all), that KOF was a continuation or a retcon of previously established storylines. However, it is currently believed that Fatal Fury, along with Art of Fighting and The Last Blade, is part of a universe separated from the KOF storyline. However this is only speculation at this point.


Canonical games

These are the games that are considered part of the Fatal Fury story:

  • Fatal Fury: King of Fighters (1991) - The first game of the Fatal Fury series allowed players to select one of three characters, Terry Bogard, Andy Bogard, and Joe Higashi, as they battled a gauntlet of computer-controlled opponents ending with Billy Kane and Geese Howard. When two players were playing, players had the option of either playing cooperatively against a computer opponent or competitively against each other.
  • Fatal Fury 2 (1992) - Capitalizing on the popularity of Street Fighter II, this game had the characters fight each other in locales around the world. Like Street Fighter II, there were eight selectable characters and four computer-controlled bosses, each of which had similarities with a corresponding Street Fighter II character.
  • Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory (1995) - With the King of Fighters tournament spun off into its own series, this game focuses on the main characters as they try to stop the mysterious Ryuji Yamazaki and the Jin Twins: Jin Chonshu and Jin Chonrei.
  • Real Bout Fatal Fury (1995) - Continuing the story of Fatal Fury 3, the main characters try to stop Geese Howard from claiming the mysterious Jin scrolls for himself and resulted in the ultimate demise of Geese.
  • Real Bout Fatal Fury Special (1996) - Like Fatal Fury Special before it, Real Bout Special reintroduced many of the characters from previous games.
  • Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers (1998) - Real Bout 2 did not add anything to the storylines, but introduced two new characters, Li Xiangfei and Rick Strowd, the former of which would later be a character in KOF.
  • Garou: Mark Of The Wolves (1999) - In what was considered to be the Fatal Fury equivalent to Street Fighter III, this game takes place a full generation later, and like SF3, discards many of the recurring characters in favor of new ones. Like SF3, the game was known for its graphical brilliance, being able to push the capabilities of the Neo-Geo to its limits, as well as for its highly technical gameplay. Some had considered Mark of the Wolves to be the "last great SNK game" as the production quality of SNK's later games began to take a nosedive as the company's financial woes increased.

Non-canonical games

  • Fatal Fury: First Contact - First Contact was an adaptation of Real Bout 2 for the Neo Geo Pocket.
  • Fatal Fury Special - Fatal Fury Special was a remake of Fatal Fury 2 that added various characters from Fatal Fury (as well as Ryo Sakazaki from Art of Fighting) into the mix. It was said that, as a result of the popularity that ensued from Ryo being a hidden character in this game, The King of Fighters as a series was born.
  • Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition - Wild Ambition was a game for the short-lived Hyper Neo-Geo 64 arcade system. It was a 3D fighting game that retells the story of Fatal Fury, but with many of its established characters.
  • Real Bout Garou Densetsu: Dominated Mind - Dominated Mind was a port of Real Bout Special for the PlayStation, which added Alfred (the hidden boss in Real Bout 2) as a playable character, and included an all new boss character named White, based upon Alexander de Large, a character from the 1971 Stanley Kubrick movie A Clockwork Orange. An interested thing to note is that Geese Howard sported a halo over his head in this game, a reference to his passing in Real Bout 1.

Related games

These games are not part of the Fatal Fury series, but involve characters from Fatal Fury:

  • Art of Fighting 2
  • Capcom vs. SNK: Millennium Fight 2000
  • Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium 2001
  • King of Fighters: Maximum Impact
  • Nettou Garou Densetsu 2
  • Nettou REAL BOUT Garou Densetsu Special
  • Nettou The King Of Fighters '96
  • Quiz King Of Fighters
  • SNK Gals' Fighters
  • SNK vs. Capcom - Card Fighters Clash
  • SNK vs. Capcom - Card Fighters 2: Expand Edition
  • SNK vs. Capcom - Match of the Millennium
  • SVC Chaos: SNK vs. Capcom
  • The King of Fighters '94
  • The King of Fighters '95
  • The King of Fighters '95 (Game Boy Version)
  • The King of Fighters '96
  • The King of Fighters '97
  • The King of Fighters '98 - The Slugfest
  • The King of Fighters '99 - 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: Battle De Paradise
  • The King of Fighters EX - Neo Blood
  • The King of Fighters EX2 - Howling Blood
  • The King of Fighters: Kyo
  • The King of Fighters R-1
  • The King of Fighters R-2


Fatal Fury contained many characters, some appearing in other series as well. These are the characters who appeared in a fighting capacity at some point in the series, listed in alphabetical order:

Characters from Art of Fighting

Characters with appearances outside this series

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

Other characters

  • Alfred
  • Axel Hawk
  • Bob Wilson
  • Bonne Jenet
  • Cheng Sinzan
  • Duck King
  • Franco Bash
  • Freeman
  • Grant
  • Hokutomaru: Rumored to be the son of Mai Shiranui and Andy Bogard.
  • Hon-Fu
  • Hotaru Futaba
  • Hwa Jai
  • Jin Chonshu
  • Jin Chonrei
  • Jubei Yamada
  • Kain R. Heinlein
  • Kevin Rian: Rumored to be of some relation to Blue Mary Ryan, mainly because their similar last name.
  • Khushnood Butt: Also known as Marco Rodriguez. Trained by Ryo Sakazaki.
  • Kim Jae Hoon: May have been inspired by actor Jared Leto.
  • Kim Dong Hwan: Bears an uncanny resemblance to actor Ben Affleck.
  • Laurence Blood
  • Michael Max
  • Richard Meyer
  • Rick Strowd
  • Sokaku Mochizuki
  • Touji Sakata
  • Tsugumi Sendo
  • Tung Fu Rue
  • White

Abbreviation confusion

Like Capcom's game trilogy, Final Fight, the Fatal Fury series may be confused with Square Enix's popular Final Fantasy series if abbreviated FF. To prevent abbreviation confusion in general gaming circles and in role-playing game circles, the game series title would sometimes be abbreviated FFu or GD instead, and the name of Final Fight would be abbreviated FFi. Usually, the name of Fatal Fury or its Japanese name Garou Densetsu are spelled out in the role-playing video game circles. One exception is that Fatal Fury Special is normally abbreviated FFS, and that Real Bout Fatal Fury is abbreviated RB1. Fatal Fury Special is abbreviated FFuS in the SPC audio archives. Fighting game specific Internet forums use FFa as the abbreviation for Final Fantasy.

External links

fr:Fatal Fury ja:餓狼伝説


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