Art of Fighting 3: The Path of the Warrior, originally released in Japan as Ryuuko no Ken Gaiden (龍虎の拳 外伝), is the 1996 third entry in the Art of Fighting series. The game cast is composed of new characters, save for Robert Garcia and Ryo Sakazaki; Yuri Sakazaki also appears in the game, but as a non-playable character.
One of the game's biggest selling points was the game's motion capturing system, allowing 2D sprites with fluid and believable animations. It is one of the few games that also doesn't have an arcade perfect transition for the Neo Geo CD, as it has slightly shrunken sprites and different shades of the color palette. However, it also featured voiced win quotes for each character and endings for Sinclair and Wyler.
This game is also the only one in the series to have a short CD drama.
A translation of the official story given by SNK is as follows:
Half a year has passed since the events of the "King of Fighters" tournament. Robert Garcia worked on improving his will power and trained in the Kyokugenryo dojo everyday. On his way to his date with Ryo's sister, Yuri, Robert roars up his beloved AC Cobra and takes an easy cruise along the coastline with opposing traffic. Just at that time, a man throws himself on the road in front of him.
Robert whirled his steering wheel to stop the cutting car and shields the pedestrian from the impact. What flew from the man was a woman's traveling bag. A girl, who ran up to Robert short of breath, came to retrieve it. "(Gasp, gasp) My bag... you saved it, didn't you? Thank you so much."
"Oh, so this is your bag then? So that guy then must've been a pickpocket. It's good that you got it back in one piece."
"Yes. I really don't know how to thank... Oh? That pendant..."
The girl, who spotted Robert's old pendant, wore a matching one around her neck.
"The same one as mine. Why do you..."
"When I was a child, I received it from a wealthy friend of mine. Before he left for America, he gave it to me so that we would never forget one another."
"Huh, that must mean that you're..."
"Yes, it's me, Robert. Freia Lawrence. Have you forgotten me?"
"Of course I haven't. It's just that you're different, Freia. You used to bully me around a lot. Your father doing well?"
"My father... he's dead."
"Sorry... didn't mean to upset you..."
"No, it's all right. I'm actually heading to Glasshill Valley. Wyler, one of Father's friends, is waiting there for me."
"Hmm, and why is that?"
She explained to him the reason why she needed to go to Glasshill Valley. Her father was an archeologist who seemed to have made a rare discovery in South America. In order to properly examine it, he teamed up with Victoria, a biologist and Wyler's father. They soon became best friends during their time together. However, as the research delved farther into its experiments, Freia's father wanted to discontinue their studies. The reason was simple: it was too dangerous. Since his views conflicted with Victoria's insistence to proceed, he left the laboratory with the project data. At the same time, he felt that he betrayed Victoria and regretted it for the rest of his life.
"As it's my father's final wish, I am going to return this research data to Wyler."
"Looks like you've got quite a load on your hands. Yeah, I should go and see Wyler too. Thinking about it now, it might not be too bad to say hello for old time's sake. Even if Glasshill Valley is nowhere near as dangerous Southtown, there still might be trouble. I think this calls for a bodyguard and I'll gladly fill the spot for you!"
Thus, Robert and Freia head to Wyler's mansion in Glasshill Valley.
"Ah, crap. I should've phoned Yuri first..."
The story switched focus from the Sakazakis to Robert Garcia. Garcia disappears to search for an old childhood friend, Freia Lawrence, and he tracks her to Glasshill, Mexico. Freia is wanted by the game's boss character, Wyler, to complete a powerful elixir that was created by his and Freia's fathers. The drug affects users in a similar manner as the potion in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
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