Omega Rugal (オメガ・ルガール, Omega Rugāru) is an alternate form of Rugal Bernstein in The King of Fighters series. He was first introduced in The King of Fighters '95 as the boss, and is used in dream matches as the boss as well. On their KoF tenth anniversary website, SNK admitted his reappearance as a boss character in every dream match game is due to him being the developers' favorite boss character.
When Rugal Bernstein was trying to channel Orochi's power, Goenitz came to him and attacked him, removing his eye permanently. Rugal survived the attack and Goenitz gave him some extent of power and warned him not to use his full power. Goenitz left Mature and Vice to watch him. In '94, Rugal sponsored the King of Fighters tournament but lost to Kyo Kusanagi. He returned the following year and decided to use 80% of his full power, causing his hair to turn white with his skin gaining a darkened-pale complexion.
Even with that power and his cybernetic enhancements, Rugal lost to Kyo, Benimaru Nikaido and Goro Daimon. With hatred in his heart, he activated his full power, but it was too much for his body to withstand and he exploded from inside.
- Gather Energy - Rugal can channel energy from Gaia and from other sources.
- Sense - Rugal can sense the chi energy of people nearby.
- Energy Projectile - Rugal can fire Geese Howard's Reppuuken and Wolfgang Krauser's Kaiser Wave.
- Energy Reflector - Rugal can create a shield of energy that reflects projectiles.
- Slashing Hands - Rugal can make his hands become like knives.
- Slashing Aura - Rugal can create an aura of cutting energy around his legs.
- Orochi Power - Rugal can slam a foe whilst using his Orochi energy, producing a pillar of dim light with a large skull inside, this attribute sometimes manifests itself in a burst of deep crimson as well.
The King of Fighters '98
These powers are not considered canon, as they are only used in The King of Fighters '98, a Dream Match.
- Electric and/or Gravity Projectile/Shield - Channeling gravitational power, Rugal can create a ball of electricity around his body and then fire it.
- Super Speed - Rugal can run and strike at incredible speeds.
- Orochi Venom - By piercing his enemy with his Slashing Hands power, he can let loose his Orochi power within them, poisoning them from the inside.
In KOF '95, Omega Rugal retains almost the same moveset from his original version in '94, however, most of his normal and special moves gained a lot more priority and damage. His Dark Barrier, not unlike several reflectors of its nature, now obtains a hitbox besides its usual projectile bounce property and incredibly fast recovery, becoming one of his cheapest methods to win. In spite of being a final boss character, he's playable by a code, however, and his boss properties never got toned down for competitive gameplay. His infamous Genocide Cutter's damage ratio has barely changed as well. Also in this form, he eventually gains his very first legitimate Desperation Move, the Gigantic Pressure, a stronger version of his God Press that causes the iconic Orochi skull pillar to emerge as Rugal slams his opponent to the corner, and resembles Mature's Heaven's Gate. Said DM also eventually becomes Rugal's initial DM for all of his incarnations.
In KOF '98, his moveset was changed via most of his special moves, and he lacks his normal version's Dead End Screamer DM, but gains two new ones: the Rugal Execution and the Destruction Omega. The former is where he injects his hand into opponent to overload them with green fire, and the latter is a pummeling combo after a grab ending in his Genocide Cutter (which ironically may miss if he's too close to his opponent). He only retained his Dark Barrier and his God Press moves from the original version of Rugal. His Genocide Cutter (now dubbed Dark Genocide) gains a second launching kick (with his alternate leg) with its priority and damage increased. He lacks his Reppuuken, Kaiser Wave and God Press special moves, and instead gained a new projectile: a chargeable projectile called the Gravity Smash (which can also be done in midair and bears strong resemblance to the Kaiser Wave), and a rushing multi-hitting attack named Vanishing Rush (which despite its appearance does not render him completely invincible). He's only playable in the console versions of KOF '98, and most of his moves have increased properties in '98 UM. Also, all of his DM's are oddly grab attacks that can be blocked in this version.
In KOF 2002, he returns to his classic moveset, but with even more power and speed (as well as more cybernetic outfitting in much of his artwork for that specific version). His standard Kaiser Wave travels extremely fast with notably quick start-up, and by holding the punch button during the motion, he can charge up the move for two versions of the projectile, the Divine Arrow (used by Igniz and even in this incarnation, shares the same voice actor as him) and his classic Gravity Smash, the last one becoming an unblockable projectile. His Genocide Cutter retains his '98 values using the B button, but his D button performs a third downward overhead kick. Gained a new move dubbed Beads Destruction which is a barrage of kicks that juggles opponents in the third hit, while the D version performs a downward chop as a fourth attack. His Hidden Desperation Move/MAX2 DM is the Kaiser Phoenix, which is a barrage of randomly generated versions of Kaiser Waves, Divine Arrows and Gravity Smashes. He also retains his Gigantic Pressure and Destruction Omega DM's, and is only playable in console versions.
The home version of KOF Neowave features him as a playable character, but he's drastically toned down in comparison with his 2002 version. However, his 2002 UM incarnation brings him back up to boss status with several more properties on his moves, and the ability for his Kaiser Phoenix to hit OTG at the cost of its original damage output.
The 2002, Neowave and 2002 UM versions are also infamous for the Kaiser Wave's ability to possess a hitbox behind Rugal while he is charging the attack, allowing people who roll past him to be punished. Timing this trick right can allow Rugal, via a bug, to detach the fully-charged projectile behind himself, catching his opponent with it and instantly draining their HP to zero in one go.
- Guitar, Omega and Rugal - The King of Fighters '95, Sky Stage
- X X X (arrangement of Ketchaku R&D (Conclusion R&D)) - The King of Fighters '98, '98 Ultimate Match, R-2
- Last Dance - The King of Fighters 2002
- Unlimited R - The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match
- Toshimitsu Arai - The King of Fighters '95~'98, The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match
- Norio Wakamoto - The King of Fighters 2002, The King of Fighters Neowave
- Tsuguo Mogami - The King of Fighters: All Star~present
- The King of Fighters '95 - Final Boss
- The King of Fighters '98 - Final Boss
- The King of Fighters R-2 - Final Boss
- The King of Fighters 2002 - Final Boss
- The King of Fighters Neowave - Console version Only
- KOF Sky Stage - Extra Boss
- The King of Fighters (pachinko) - Boss
- The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match - Possible Final Boss
- The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match - Special Boss
- Neo Geo Heroes: Ultimate Shooting
- CR The King of Fighters
- The King of Fighters Mobile R-2
- The King of Fighters Volleyball
- The King of Millionaire
- Moeyo! KOF Daiundokai
- Valkyrie Connect (Connect Boss during KOF collab event, possible to recruit)
- Brave Frontier (Special Dungeon during KoF collab event, possible to recruit)
- The King of Fighters Destiny (Game)
- The King of Fighters: World - unplayable
- The King of Fighters All Star
- Shinsetsu Samurai Spirits: Bushidou Retsuden (Neo-Geo CD version only)
- Guitar, Omega and Rugal was the first among video games to sample "Understand the concept of Love" from the infamous speech on Zionism delivered by Stokely Carmichael in UC Berkeley April 18, 1968. The video can be found here.