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Position in the series
Is it canonical?
3rd
No

Everything you wanted in FATAL FURY is here!

-Tagline

Fatal Fury Special (餓狼がろう伝説でんせつスペシャル, lit. "Legend of the Hungry Wolf Special") is an update of Fatal Fury 2 released in 1993 by SNK that adds three characters from the first Fatal Fury game, a hidden character, and turns the four CPU-only bosses from Fatal Fury 2 into playable characters themselves.

This game was one of the most popular games in Japan in 1993. It has been said that, as a result of the popularity that ensued from Ryo Sakazaki being a hidden character in this game, The King of Fighters as a series was born.

This game was later ported to the Game Gear and SNES by Takara, to the Sega CD by Victor Interactive Studios/JVC Digital Studios, and to PC Engine CD by Hudson Soft. SNK Playmore released a Xbox 360 port on September 5, 2007 on Xbox Live Arcade and a Microsoft Windows port on January 9, 2016, as part of Humble NeoGeo 25th Anniversary.

A Japan-only pachinko version was also released using the game's Japanese name.

Story

Geese Howard: a man feared by the world as the dark ruler of South Town. He shocked the land with his violent techniques and was confident that no one could ever top him. To rid himself of the man, Geese took the life of the street champ, Jeff Bogard. However, several years later, three men arose to stop Geese's ambition. They were the sons of dead Jeff, Terry and Andy Bogard, and Muai Thai champ, Joe Higashi.

After Geese was defeated by them, he was believed to be dead. However, as time passed, a disturbing rumor began to float around the world.

Geese is alive.

His younger half-brother, Wolfgang Krauser, took the reigns of the underworld after his elder brother's passing. However, the resurrected Geese deprives Krauser of his seat of glory and the Bogard brothers burn with the flames of revenge. Terry and Andy hear where Geese is located.

"We're coming for you, Geese!"

A new legend is about to begin.

Gameplay

Plane Shifting and Desperation Attacks

Each character's battle arena has 2 planes: the foreground and the background. Throughout the battle, the fighters can shift between planes for strategic fighting and avoiding attacks. Each fighter can even execute jumping attacks toward an opponent on the opposite plane or quickly roll between planes. Remember that changing planes can be used to your advantage! Take note that certain boss arenas only have a single plane. Knocking a character to the background inflicts extra damage due to certain obstacles!

In addition, every character in Fatal Fury Special has a unique set of 2-4 fatal blows. However, once his health drops below 33% and the gauge flashes red, he can execute a complex Desperation Move. This secret technique is so powerful it can inflict as much as half a gauge's worth of damage in a single blow! These Desperation Moves have complex joystick and button combinations, yet you can do this infinitely as long as your character remains alive to do so. Use them to turn the tide of battle to your favor!

Differences from Fatal Fury 2

  • The intro sequence was changed in Fatal Fury Special.
  • In the How to Play tutorial, the opponent that showcased how the players control the fighter while also fighting against their enemy now uses Geese Howard as the training dummy instead of Andy Bogard in Fatal Fury Special.
  • Player select character portraits replace the eight still sprites from Fatal Fury 2 for the player select screen.
  • The four CPU-only bosses in Fatal Fury 2 are now playable in Fatal Fury Special.
  • The no points icons for rounds from Fatal Fury 2 were removed.
  • The character still sprites were replaced with the in-game sprites and the animation of the globe from Fatal Fury 2 was removed and replaced with a frame of the location during the versus screen in Fatal Fury Special.
  • Most of the fighters had received new and unique dialogue in Fatal Fury Special and some previous win quotes were changed, such as Terry Bogard now saying "Wubba, Wubba. I'm in the Pink today, boy!" instead of saying "You were good." and "Kuu... I've won again without trying".
  • Some of the stages from Fatal Fury 2 were given some new changes for Special, such as Big Bear's stage having the truck showing and displaying "Special" and "Team Garou" on it instead of using "Big Bear" and "SNK" and Jubei Yagyu's stage having new portrait paintings of Japanese women instead of tigers.
  • Bonus Stages were cut in Fatal Fury Special.
  • The cutscene where the costumers and Richard Meyer at the Pao Pao Cafe watching the fights on the TV was removed in Fatal Fury Special.
  • The cutscenes of Wolfgang Krauser attacking and injuring Michael Max, Hwa Jai, Duck King, Tung Fu Rue, and Richard Meyer were cut due to Duck King and Tung Fu Rue being added to the roster as playable characters. Michael Max is now shown in Axel Hawk's ending while Hwa Jai and Richard Meyer still appear in the respective endings of Joe Higashi and Terry Bogard.

Characters

All of the characters from Fatal Fury 2 returns, as well as all of the mid-bosses being playable for the first time.

There is one new character added to the roster:

Ryo-aof.jpg
Ryo Sakazaki, from the Art of Fighting series, who appears as a secret boss and a secret playable character in the game.

Official Roster

Returning Characters

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Terry Bogard

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Andy Bogard

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Joe Higashi

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Mai Shiranui

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Big Bear

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Kim Kaphwan

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Cheng Sinzan

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Tung Fu Rue

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Jubei Yamada

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Billy Kane

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Axel Hawk

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Laurence Blood

Bosses

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Geese Howard

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Wolfgang Krauser

Hidden Boss

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Ryo Sakazaki (Hidden Boss & Character; only fightable if the player beats Arcade Mode without losing a single match)

Stages

Old Stages

New Stages

All the stages from Fatal Fury 2 return, along with new characters' stages:

  • Bay Area, USA — Duck: A ring surrounded by a cheering crowd. The background features flashing lights, duck statues, dancers and a wall of screens showing images of Duck.
  • Hebei, China — Tung: A large canyon. The fight takes place partly on a wooden bridge, and features mountains, trees, traditional Chinese buildings and thick fog in the background. The sky changes from daytime to sunset to cloudy after each round.
    • Intro: a shot of the sky, which then pans down to the fighting lane.

  • South Town, USA: The Geese Tower, which features elements from Asian cultures, such as bamboos and dragon statues. Plants, stairs and American flags can also be seen on both sides of the stage. It takes places at sunset and the sky slightly changes colors after each round. Associated with Geese.
    • Intro: Three wooden panels open in quick succession, after which there is a shot of a dragon drawn on the floor, which then pans up to the fighting lane.
  • Kōchi, Shikoku Island, Japan — Ryo: A ring next to the Katsurahama beach. Features trees, wooden panels with typical Japanese drawings and people playing traditional Japanese instruments. In each round, the sky changes: in in the first, daytime; in the second, nighttime; from the third round, cloudy.

Reception

In Japan, Game Machine listed Fatal Fury Special on their October 15, 1993 issue as being the most-successful table arcade unit of the month. It went on to be Japan's third highest-grossing arcade game of 1994, just below Super Street Fighter II X and Virtua Fighter. In North America, RePlay reported that Fatal Fury Special was the seventh most-popular arcade game in December 1993. Play Meter also listed Fatal Fury Special to be the thirty-eighth most-popular arcade game at the time.

The Neo Geo version received positive reviews from critics. GamePro praised the variety of characters, the addition of new moves for the older characters, the combos, the detailed graphics, and the humorous touches to the backgrounds, though they felt the ability to jump between the foreground and background tended to be an annoyance. All four reviewers for Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) referred to it as "one of the best tournament fighting games out there" (with insignificant changes in wording between each reviewer). They praised the new characters, the improved backgrounds and animations, and the music, and gave it a score of 34 out of 40 (average 8.5 out of 10).

GamePro gave the Game Gear version a rave review, stating that though it has fewer characters and vastly inferior graphics and sounds compared to the Neo Geo version, it "is arguably the best handheld fighting game ever released" due to the responsive action and the inclusion of "extra elements you never thought you'd see in a handheld fighter". The magazine particularly applauded the presence of a combo system and the numerous special moves.

On release, Famicom Tsūshin scored the Mega-CD version of the game a 21 out of 40. GamePro declared it "yet another Neo Geo arcade game that's been poorly converted for a home system". Although they complimented the inclusion of all the characters, moves, and music of the arcade version, they felt that the removal of key animation frames and distinctive background elements would make the conversion a major disappointment to anyone used to the arcade game. The four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly instead judged it to be an overall solid conversion, remarking that the sound effects are weak and garbled, but the music, play controls, and graphics all replicate the original with reasonable accuracy. They scored it 29.5 out of 40 (an average of 7.375 out of 10).

All four reviewers of EGM complained of the severe echo effect in the audio of the SNES version, and two of them said that some of the moves are hard to pull off. However, they commented that the graphics, while a step down from the Neo Geo version, are still relatively sharp, and judged it an overall good conversion. They scored it 29.5 out of 40 (an average of 7.375 out of 10). GamePro was less pleased with the conversion, and remarked that the graphics and controls are vastly inferior to those of the Neo Geo version. They also criticized the special moves which are activated when a character is near death as a "cheesy way of evening things out between players of varying skill levels". A reviewer for Next Generation also gave it a negative review, though almost solely for its perceived lack of originality, commenting that "sprite-based 2D fighting games are a dime a dozen, and in spite of the impressive Dolby Surround, all this one really has going it is sheer size: 15 characters ... and five special moves apiece, some of which are slick, but none of which you haven't pulled off it some other game of its ilk".

Jeff Gerstmann of GameSpot gave the Xbox Live Arcade release a 6.5 out of 10. He remarked that the game is emulated well, and approved of the fact that it emulates the Neo Geo home version rather than the arcade version. He stated that the game itself is good compared to other Neo Geo fighters of its time, but would probably not appeal to modern players who are not already familiar with the Fatal Fury franchise. In a 1996 retrospective review, Maximum commented that Fatal Fury Special "tweaked the gameplay of Fatal Fury 2 overly very superficially, and the main selling point lay with the number of combatants". However, they praised the more hectic pace of the game, and gave it 3 out of 5 stars

Trivia

  • Ryo's presence in Fatal Fury Special was perhaps an inspiration for the The King of Fighters series, the first episode of which was released in the year following the release of this game.
    • Ryo as a secret challenger mirrors Capcom Street Fighter's character Sheng Long hoax at the time of the game's release, and is one of the earliest implementations of secret elements in the game, including but not limited to secret stage behaviors, cameos and even easter eggs.

External links

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