Robert Garcia (ロバート・ガルシア, Robāto Garushia) debuted as the deuteragonist in the Art of Fighting series, forming the second half of the Japanese's series namesake as "The Raging Tiger" or "The Mightiest Tiger" (最強の虎, Saikyo no Tora). He is the first known foreign practitioner of Kyokugenryu Karate.
According to Neo Geo Freak, he is visually modeled on Andy García and Steven Seagal. His older appearance in Neo Geo Battle Coliseum was not originally intended to be tied with any continuity. It was made to match the older Mr. Karate II as an original form of Robert.
In Gamest's 1997 Heroes Collection, Robert was voted as the staff's forty-sixth favorite character. He shared the spot with seven other characters, including Samurai Shodown character, Hattori Hanzo, and King of Fighters character, Goenitz.
Robert is the only son of Alberto Garcia, a wealthy Italian businessman and best friend of Takuma Sakazaki. During his early childhood, Robert lived a life free of responsibility and caring, being doted on by his loving parents for his every whim. Yet he would yearn for more in his life and would regularly sneak away from his home to go to the Kyokugenryu Dojo. He spied on Takuma and Ryo Sakazaki's training sessions and aspired to become like them.
Alberto wanted Robert to focus on his corporate teachings and someday inherit the Garcia Foundation from him. After his father pushed him too far, a young Robert rebelled and embraced his own ambitions to find success by himself. Running away from home, Robert rushed to Takuma's dojo and demanded to be taught Kyokugenryu Karate. Impressed by the boy's spirit, Takuma agreed and Robert became Ryo's sparring partner. The two boys soon became best friends.
Unlike Ryo, Robert is a natural ace in martial arts. Because Robert excelled so well in his studies, Takuma became harder on his son's training to keep up. As Robert completed his training first, however, this would happen immediately before Ryo's 10th birthday, and on the day of Ronnet's deadly car accident. With the death of Ryo's mother, his master mysteriously disappearing, and leaving Ryo to take care of Yuri, Robert was left with no choice but to reluctantly return home to Italy. Knowing that Ryo must overcome his own trials and mature into the man his father sought, he promised him that he would return, and for Ryo to protect Yuri and to keep her happy. In his home country, Robert rigorously continued his martial arts studies and matured into a respected martial artist. He was given his moniker overseas.
Robert eventually developed romantic feelings for his friend's sister, Yuri. He has held an infatuation with Yuri ever since he first met her and would likely wed her if not for Takuma and Ryo, who are overprotective of Yuri.
Art of Fighting
Several years later, Robert returns to America to pay the Sakazaki family a visit. While Ryo is away at a street fight, Robert arrives to the dojo too late to save Yuri from her kidnapping. He barges into the street fight and tells Ryo that Yuri has been taken to Southtown. He gladly assists the search, the duo eventually learning that Mr. Big allegedly masterminded the kidnapping. Thanks to King, they were able to find Yuri and save her from Mr. Big. In gratitude, he and Ryo later fund for Jan's operation.
After the conclusion of the first King of Fighters tournament, Robert visited Mexico to help Freia Lawrence, a childhood friend, save her friend Wyler. He acts as her bodyguard during their journey through Glasshill. Once he sees his friends reconcile, he follows his father's wishes to head back home and help run the family company. Before he boards the plane out of the city, Yuri surprises him by having her own ticket. They return to Italy together.
Robert's whereabouts after the series conclusion remains unclear. Ryo's backstory from Buriki One and the King of Fighters series seems to imply that Robert eventually takes over his father's company. Despite popular belief, he is still single years after Art of Fighting's conclusion.
The King of Fighters
As one of the successful examples of the Kyokugen style, Robert often partners himself with Takuma and Ryo. Like Ryo, he is often ordered around by their master to proudly represent the Kyokugen dojo. He is overjoyed when Yuri also joins their team and often tries to voice his opinion in her favor. When he learns that King was to be her replacement in The King of Fighters 2000, he is indignant about not having prior knowledge of Yuri's absence and thinks that this is a underhanded scheme for Ryo to get closer to King. He challenges her to prove her worth to the team and they engage in a fearsome kicking contest. Since their match ends in a stalemate, he agrees to let her in the team. The following year Robert and his family are faced with grievous financial problems so his friends and master agree to help him out by winning the tournament.
By the time of The King of Fighters 2003, he is somehow joyfully wealthy again and is confident enough to enter without the demands of his master. The reason for his absence in The King of Fighters XI was due to a simultaneous disaster in his father's company that needed to be solved with Robert's presence. He has enough free time from his family business to participate in the KOF XIII tournament. In the ending, Robert shows a wedding ring to Takuma that Robert want to propose marriage to Yuri, but Takuma disagrees. Both of them end up hitting each other without Ryo, Yuri or King noticing them.
Art of Fighting Robert is first portrayed as the fiery smartmouth to contrast the level-headed, serious Ryo. After the first game, his character softens to be a stylish, charismatic and extraverted showman who seemingly overcomes any obstacle flawlessly. Though he may act cocky and self-assured, Robert is a passionate and righteous man at heart. If there is a serious threat to his loved ones, he won't hesitate to provide his aid. In every incarnation, he is fiercely devoted to the Sakazaki family, his family, and his friends. This series hints that his attraction to Yuri is mutual and accepted by her family.
The King of Fighters series plays the melodrama of the Art of Fighting series for laughs, which often shoves Robert into a comedic role as a result. One example is that despite his family's wealthiness, Robert doesn't use it to help his poorer Sakazaki friends. In the Art of Fighting series, this is because the Sakazakis are strong believers in self-reliance and would have been gravely insulted by the financial assistance; the King of Fighters series jokes that it's really because the Sakazakis are finally realizing and complaining about the realities of poverty or that the Garcias are too greedy to help. He is often bumbling about at Takuma or Yuri's eccentric whims. In fights, his flashiness and showmanship are emphasized. Robert's infatuations with Yuri also aren't as strongly recuperated as they are in Art of Fighting.
- Gather chi: Robert can gather ki from Gaia, the mother-earth.
- Energy Projectile: Robert can fire the Ryugekiken and Haoh Shou Kouken blast normally.
- Multiple Attacks: Robert can channel his ki energy into his legs to deliver multiple kicks at a very fast ratio.
To counter Ryo, Robert was taught to be the "dragon" of Kyokugenryu Karate, ironic since his nickname calls him a "tiger", especially with his frequently-reworked Ryuugeki Ken (Dragon Attack Fist) technique as staple of the motif. Robert's style focuses upon lethal kicks, his signature move being the Gen'ei Kyaku (Phantom Leg), along with his Mahha Geri (Mach Kick) from Neo Geo Battle Coliseum and KOF XI being a possible feint attack. He of course, also tends to sport some of the same techniques as Ryo, like the Haou Shoukou Ken.
His fighting style has been reworked through the history of his game appearances, having his first drastic change in KOF '96 with a stationary Ryuugeki Ken and a completely different Hien Shippuu Kyaku (Flying Swallow Hurricane Leg; later reworked into the Hien Senpuu Kyaku lit. Flying Swallow Whirlwind Leg which puts more emphasis on multiple rapid-spinning kicks). In KOF '99 and KOF 2000, all his movesets where changed into charging motions (holding back or down then release into the opposite direction along an attack button), losing several of his traditional moves like his Gen'ei Kyaku or his Ryuuga (this "charge" version of himself would return in KOF 2002UM as EX Robert. Because of these constant reworks on his style, Robert, unlike most fighters, has several different fighting stances differing from game to game.
His aforementioned Ryuugeki Ken has also been one of his most reworked moves, ranging from a simple wave launched from a hand movement (via several different animations for the attack) to being a wave launched from a kick (Ryuugeki Sen lit. Dragon Attack Flash).
In KOF XII and XIII, he along with Yuri in KOF XI has now a backwards kick command normal called Ushiro Geri (Behind Kick), which functions just like Iori's Yuri Ori. Like Iori in the series, Robert was also one of the few characters to be able to pull of an aerial attack during his backdash.
- Swing the House - Art of Fighting 2
- Mojo - Art of Fighting 3
- Ryuuko no Ken - The King of Fighters '94
- Yureru Otokogokoro - The King of Fighters '95
- Kamikirimushi - The King of Fighters '96
- Art of Fight - The King of Fighters '98
- Ryu-Ko - The King of Fighters '99
- The Beauty and the Beast - The King of Fighters 2000, 2002, EX
- Fight to the Limit - The King of Fighters 2001
- Kyoku-gen - The King of Fighters 2003
- Kyokugen Training! ~ Mountain Seclusion - The King of Fighters XIII
- After a Long Absence - The King of Fighters XIII (when the music is set to "Type B", console version only, shared with Ryo and Takuma Sakazaki)
- Tiger & Dragon - The King of Fighters XIV
- ART OF FIGHT ~ Ryuko to Tsubame (Art of Fight ~ Dragon, Tiger, and Swallow) - The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match
- Eiji Yano - Art of Fighting (during battle)
- James W. Hove - Art of Fighting (during demo), Art of Fighting 2 (English voice)
- Kay Inage - Art of Fighting 2 (Japanese voice), The King of Fighters series ('94, '95, XI - XIII), Neo Geo Battle Coliseum
- Go Shinomiya - The King of Fighters XIV~present
- Mantarō Koichi - Art of Fighting 3, The King of Fighters series ('96 - 2003), The King of Fighters: Kyo
- Kazuhiro Okamoto - The King of Fighters for Girls
- Masanori Ikeda - Art of Fighting anime
- Nick Sullivan - Art of Fighting anime (English voice)
- Hideo Ishikawa - The King of Fighters '94 Dengeki Bunko drama CD
Live Action Actors
- Timothy Lowell - Art of Fighting 2 commercials
- Art of Fighting
- Art of Fighting 2
- The King of Fighters '94
- The King of Fighters '95
- Art of Fighting 3: The Path of the Warrior
- The King of Fighters '96
- The King of Fighters '97
- The King of Fighters: Kyo
- The King of Fighters '98
- The King of Fighters '99
- The King of Fighters 2000
- The King of Fighters 2001
- The King of Fighters EX
- The King of Fighters 2002
- The King of Fighters EX2
- The King of Fighters 2003
- The King of Fighters: Neowave
- Neo Geo Battle Coliseum
- The King of Fighters XI - PS2 port only; cameo in the Art of Fighting Team's ending otherwise
- The King of Fighters XII
- The King of Fighters XIII
- The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match
- Quiz King of Fighters
- Ryuuko no Ken (Pachislot)
- CR The King of Fighters
- The King of Fighters XIV
- Days of Memories (fourth and eighth titles) - NPC; in-text cameo in the fourth
- Athena On Stage - quiz contestant
- SNK Gals Island Senkan Battle Gekichinshichaouzo!
- The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match Online
- Metal Slug Defense (unlockable)
- Crash Fever
- The King of Fighters Destiny (Game)
- Kimi wa Hero
- The King of Fighters All Star
- The King of Fighters: Orochi Go
- The King of Fighters M: Fighting Stars Assembly
- The King of Fighters for Girls
- SNK Fighting Age
- Capcom vs. SNK 2 - in-text cameo
- SNK vs Capcom: SVC Chaos - in Ryo and Mr. Karate's ending
- KOF: Maximum Impact 2 - background cameo, Mr. Karate's Another Outfit-Variation G, Yuri Sakazaki's Normal Outfit-Variation F
- KOF Maximum Impact Regulation "A" - background cameo
- Garou: Mark of the Wolves - in Hokutomaru's stage during the third round.
- The King of Fighters: Battle de Paradise
- The King of Fighters (pachinko)
- The King of Fighters 2
- SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy - in Yuri's ending; also mentioned by her in Story Mode
- One of his winposes is him tossing and catching a coin. The coin is a gift from his father before he left the Garcia mansion, serving as a reminder of his roots and to one day return. It wasn't brought to focus again until Art of Fighting 3. The coin was included as a very rare extra along with stickers in the limited edition Neo Geo CD release of the game.
- In retaliation to Robert and Ryo's creation, Street Fighter II co-designer Akiman drew an artwork of Sagat holding a defeated opponent by the head during the release of Street Fighter II: Champion Edition. The defeated opponent wore an attire similar to Ryo's: an orange karate gi with a torn black shirt underneath and geta sandals; but had long dark hair tied to a ponytail like Robert. This defeated character would later be the concept behind the creation of Dan Hibiki, who would later ironically draw inspiration from Robert, like how Ryo and Robert drew inspiration from Ryu and Ken.
- The car he drives is largely based upon the Ferrari Testarossa, which was not only popular throughout the 1980s and 1990s auto world and owned by celebrities such as Elton John, Mike Tyson, and Michael Jordan, but was also featured on the hit 1980s cop primetime Miami Vice and was popularly associated with the yuppie subculture of the 1980s. The racing spoiler may also imply it is a Koenig Competition 1988.
- In modern times, the name Robert Garcia is not considered an Italian name, but a combination of an English first name and an Iberian last name. "Roberto Garzia" would have been more typical.
- His name should not be confused with a former American boxer, a mayor of Long Beach, CA, a representative from New York, a Puerto Rican DJ and a Filipino squash player .
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