SNK Wiki
Advertisement
Position in the series
Is it canonical?
3rd
Yes

"The Invincible Dragon and the Raging Tiger... are back to fight again!"

-Intro

Art of Fighting 3: The Path of the Warrior, originally released in Japan as Ryuuko no Ken Gaiden (龍虎りゅうこけん 外伝がいでん), is the third and final entry in the Art of Fighting series. The game cast is almost all composed of new characters, excepting 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.

Story

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 Kyokugenryu 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.

Gameplay

SPIRIT SYSTEM, PROVOCATION AND ULTIMATE K.O.

Gameplay of Ryo vs. Lenny.

Much from its prequels had incorporated the Spirit System wherein spirit decreases due to special techniques but can be recovered by keeping your distance from your enemy. You can also tempt opponents to come to your area by provoking them, significantly depleting their spirit. Strategy combined with fighting creates a new chapter in head-to-head matches. Besides normal punches, kicks, and throws, each character has several death blows in their arsenal. These techniques deplete a portion of the player's spirit gauge. If ever the spirit level drops below green, these techniques dwindle in power and range considerably. Spirit can be recover slowly or by standing in place to charge it. Beware, you are very open to attack while charging!

In AOF 3, each character has unique arrays of special moves and Super Death Blows! These moves are strictly particular to the required remaining strength and level of the Rage Gauge in order to be usable, but marvel at their devastating results once you pull them off against your unsuspecting opponent!

Gameplay of Robert vs. Rody

You can also insult opponents to break away their spirit gauge. However, you are also open to attack while doing so. Strategic timing of taunts will enable you to gain control over the match once you had crippled you opponent from using his special techniques!

A new rule imposed in this game is the Ultimate K.O., wherein a fight can be terminated at once! If your opponent has less than 10% strength left, finish him off with a Super Death Blow. Knocking him out in that manner wins you the whole match, regardless of how many wins the opponent had or the number of rounds you need to win the match. Violent battles can never be this tense!

Characters

The new characters added to the roster are:

Art kasumi.jpg
Kasumi Todoh, the daughter and sole heiress of Ryuhaku Todoh, grew up learning her father's style. Upon hearing that her father was defeated by Ryo Sakazaki, son of a rival school, the Kyokugenryu Karate, and that he has been missing since then, she seeks to seek him out and avenge him for his defeat.
Karman.jpg
Karman Cole, a long-time employee of Garcia family in a personal assistant-like role who has known Robert since he was a child. He is sent by Robert's parents to find their son after he disappeared to look for his old childhood friend Freia Lawrence, which has led him to Glasshill.
Lenny-aof3.jpg
Lenny Creston, a freelancer journalist, who is constantly looking for the "next big thing" to boost her career. She learned through her sources that Freia was searched by Wyler. Seeing this as the scoop she needed, she decides to personally track down Freia and get the information she needs for her article.
Rody-aof3.jpg
Rody Birts, a bounty hunter and partner of Lenny, who has been hired by her to find Freia.
Fuha-aof3.jpg
Jin Fu-Ha, a former disciple of Eiji Kisaragi, seeks revenge after his master betray him and left a scar in his chest and, for it, wants to defeat Ryo, the sworn enemy of Eiji to test his strength.
Wang-aof3.jpg
Wang Koh-San, a Chinese artist entering a competition, coming to Glasshill for inspiration. Once he arrives there, he learns of Wyler's elixir and thinks that it will interest his friend, Lee Pai Long. He has the company of a pelican called Hoeh-Hoeh, who can appear in certain moves.
Freia Lawrence.png
Freia Lawrence, a young woman, daughter of a renowned scientist and childhood friend of Robert and Wyler. Her father and Wyler's father were creating a powerful elixir. Her father, realizing the dangers of the potion, breaks off contact from his partner. Before he dies, he entrusts the missing components of the elixir to her.
Sinclair-aof3.jpg
Sinclair, the sub boss of the game, is Wyler's bodyguard. She is pretending to encourage him in his experiments, but secretly wants him to stop them.
Wyler.jpg
Wyler, the final boss of the game, who is working on perfecting a powerful Elixir that was originally developed by his and Freia's fathers. But the essential data needed for completing it was taken by Freia's father when the two's partnership broke up. Wyler believes this action is the cause of his father becoming destitute and even the cause of his death. He now searches Freia, with the help of Rody and Lenny.

Official Roster

Returning Characters

Ryoaof3.gif
Ryo Sakazaki
Robertaof3.gif
Robert Garcia

New Characters

Kasumiaof3.gif
Kasumi Todoh
Karman-sprite1.gif
Karman Cole
Lenny-sprite1.gif
Lenny Creston
Rody-sprite1.gif
Rody Birts
Jin-sprite1.gif
Jin Fu-Ha
Wang-koh-san.gif
Wang Koh-San

Bosses

Sub-Boss

Sinclair-sprite1.gif
Sinclair

Final Boss

Wyler-sprite1.gif
Wyler

NPC Characters

Stages

Normal Stages

Note 1: In Ryo's Story Mode, Sinclair fights in the Bar Santana stage.
Note 2: When Wyler is chosen in Story Mode, Robert takes on Boss' role (by obvious reasons).
Stage
Stage Name
Description
Bar Santana Stage
Bar Santana
A bar where people gamble on amateur fighting within a steel cage. Features neon signs with the bar's name, plants, barrels, brick pillars, smokers, a plaque, a small door, two people sitting in a table and Mesoamerican statues.
Cactus Gas Station Stage 1Cactus Gas Station Stage 2
Cactus Gas Station
A gas station near the Mexican-American border. Features several plaques with the sayings "HERE IT IS, STOP MOTION" and other showing the mileage for neighboring cities, a hut, trucks, shrubs, steel drums, barrels, a red pickup, an outdoor, giant trucks, a wooden fence and the road, besides a man showing up from time to time to watch the fight. Has two versions: sunset and night (in this version, the streetlights, light trucks and hut lights go on, and a full moon can be seen).
Cinco de Mayo Stage
Cinco de Mayo
The most famous street of Glasshill, at the night. The fight takes next to the empty Tirapo and Martini bars. Features barrels, a trash can, lamps, the full moon, windows, tables (one of them occupied by a man with his head bowed) and cats, besides the crowd in a party, a neon sign with the expression NEO SNK and fireworks.
Note: The name of the stage is a reference to an annual celebration in Mexico, when the Mexican Army gets a victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla.
Quixotec Temple Stage 1Quixotec Temple Stage 2
Quixotec Temple
An Olmec temple with fountains all over it. Features a Mayan statue in the middle of the main fountain, sludges and plants, besides a forest and a Mayan pyramid, in the background.
Note 1: After defeating the Boss in Story Mode, a special fight occurs in this stage, with the following characters:
Kasumi & Fu-Ha: fights with Ryo.
Karman: fights with Robert.
Note 2: The Olmecs is known as the earliest major Mesoamerican civilization, and occupied the tropical lowlands of the modern-day Mexican states of Veracruz and Tabasco.
Sieste Cafe Stage
Sieste Cafe
A café with mariachis playing live. The fight takes on the garden. Features fruit stands, a giant tree, fabric tents, table, local women, a plaque with the menu, baskets, a dog and drink sellers, besides an ivy and some plants.
Train Yard Stage 1Train Yard Stage 2
Train Yard
A desactivated train station. Features a yellow train, red wagons, a fabric, gardening equipment, a light post, wooden floor and pillars, a folding ladder, composting and a plaque with the number 24, besides a white water tank and a wooden plaque. Has two version: day and night (in this version, the train disappears and a truck and a mist can be seen).

Boss Stages

Stage
Stage Name
Description
Wyler Mansion Stage
Wyler Mansion
The library of the mansion, in a windy night of full moon. Features books, plant vases, portraits, a Mesoamerican statue and a wooden ladder, besides three windows and trees shaking. Associated with Sinclair (except in Ryo's Story).
Cemetery Stage
Cemetery
A small island to the south of Cinco de Mayo, in a cloudy day. Features graves, leafless trees, crows, mountains, a broken fence, shrubs and a chapel in the background. Associated with Wyler.

Reception

The four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the Neo Geo AES version a 5 out of 10. They lambasted the game for its poor balance, with their biggest complaint being the new Ultra-Cool Attacks, since they are easy to execute, cannot be blocked, and deal a massive amount of damage. They further criticized that the game lacks originality and innovation, failing to distinguish itself from the deluge of 2D fighting games coming out at the time.

A reviewer for Next Generation saw no problem with the game's balance but concurred that it is "too similar to every other 2D fighting game on the market". He gave the Neo Geo AES version three out of five stars. According to Famitsu, the Neo Geo CD version sold over 20,877 copies in its first week on the market.

Gallery

External links

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Advertisement