KOF: Sky Stage is an arcade vertical danmaku shooting game with characters from The King of Fighters series. In order to rescue fighters trapped in Orochi's dimensional prison, these heroes have been given the ability to fly through the skies by Chizuru Kagura and use their abilities to shoot down various demons and wraiths. It was released in arcades January 22, 2010 and is also available for Xbox 360. The game has spawned a spiritual sequel titled Neo Geo Heroes: Ultimate Shooting.
The main illustrations are done by Hiroaki.
There are three buttons each one assigned for a separate ability: shoot (A), ultimate technique (B) and bomb (C). Shooting allows the player to rapidly fire in a continuous vertical line in front of them with each button press. The ultimate technique is a powerful attack that requires at least one full bar of energy in the ultimate technique gauge to use it. The bar is located at the bottom left corner of the screen. The player is allowed a maximum of three full bars and can charge the gauge by holding down the B button. The number of full bars will alter the effects and spread of the ultimate technique. The bomb can be used to clear a wide arc across the screen. Their use is limited based on how many the player has acquired during the stage.
Whenever an enemy is destroyed, it releases a medal (multiple medals when larger demons are destroyed) that can be collected for bonus points. There are three kinds of medal--copper (actually verdigris), silver, and gold, in increasing order of value. What kind of medal is released depends on how close the character is to the enemy when it is destroyed; gold medals require the character to be practically adjacent to the enemy.
Stages are interspersed with story dialogue in the beginning, before encountering a boss and at the end.
The second loop of the game (i.e. stages 2-1 to 2-6) can only be accessed if the player collects one invitation card from each stage of the first loop and furthermore clears the game using only one credit. The invitation cards are generated by shooting a character in the background in each stage several times (Ryo Sakazaki, Geese Howard, Ralf Jones and Clark Still, Chang Koehan, Richard Meyer) until they disappear; the invitation card will slowly drop from the top of the screen a few seconds later.
- KOF Sky Stage is currently the final SNK game to have full English voice acting for its characters.