|The King of Fighters '94||Team Stories||Gallery||Credits|
Experience the action of the Team Battle System!
The Brand New-Shock! Challenge the Battle Dream!
The King of Fighters '94 (ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ
This game featured characters from earlier SNK games, such as Fatal Fury, Art of Fighting, Ikari Warriors and Psycho Soldier. It also included new characters such as the Japan Team (or Hero Team) and the USA Team.
The major innovation in KOF 94, comparing to the fighting games at that time, was the 3-on-3 team battle system, where each player uses 3-characters team instead of the 1-on-1 from the other fighting games. So the game roster was divided in teams of 3, each team representing one country.
In 2004, SNK Playmore released a remake of KOF '94, called The King of Fighters '94 Re-Bout on the PlayStation 2, but the game wasn't released outside of Japan. In 2008, The game was included as part of SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1. The game was released for the modern consoles as part of the line "ACA Neo Geo" developed by Hamster Corporation.
- 1 Story
- 2 Development
- 3 Gameplay
- 4 Characters
- 4.1 Official Team Roster
- 4.1.1 Japan Team (A.K.A. Hero Team or Protagonist Team)
- 4.1.2 Italy Team (A.K.A. Fatal Fury Team or Garou Desentsu Team)
- 4.1.3 Mexico Team (A.K.A. Art of Fighting Team or Kyokugenryu Team)
- 4.1.4 Brazil Team (A.K.A. Ikari Warriors Team or Ikari Team)
- 4.1.5 China Team (A.K.A. Psycho Soldier Team)
- 4.1.6 England Team (A.K.A. Women Fighters Team)
- 4.1.7 Korea Team (A.K.A. Korea Justice Team/Kim Team)
- 4.1.8 USA Team (A.K.A. American Sports Team)
- 4.1 Official Team Roster
- 5 Boss
- 6 Stages
- 7 Reception
- 8 Trivia
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
The official story given by SNK is as follows:
"The year, 1994. Once again the invitations to the King of Fighters find their ways to the world's most wicked warriors. But the patron of this little party remains unknown. It cannot be Geese, nor can it be Krauser. So who could they be from...? Among all the hopes and doubts, the legendary superstars of the fighting world begin to form their mighty teams. What type of battle with these magnificent fighters sure to go down in history show us? The voltage of the fan's excitement reaches a fevered pitch as the tournament finally approaches its beginning."
Rugal Bernstein, an influential black market weapons and drugs dealer bored of the lack of competition, sent out 24 invitations to certain individuals around the world. Eight teams had entered, each representing a different country.
At the tournament's conclusion, Mature, Rugal's personal secretary, invited the Japan team to fight their final match within Black Noah. It is there when Rugal revealed the true purpose of his tournament: defeat the winning team and add them to his grisly collection of previous challengers. Kyo sees his defeated father there and decides to avenge him. As Rugal is finally beaten, he triggers the self-destruct mechanism on his ship. The team escapes and reflects on their victory.
In an interview with veteran developers of the series -which included C.A.C Yamasaki and Mitsuo Kodama- they claim that their prototype version for KOF was going to be a side-scrolling beat 'em up titled Survivor. In this version, it would only use core characters from the Art of Fighting and Fatal Fury series, specifically allowing players to play characters like Robert Garcia and Terry Bogard for location testing. However, the idea was eventually abandoned. Since they were attached to the idea of the two series cross-over, they eventually agreed to make their idea into a fighting game. Characters from Ikari Warriors and Psycho Soldier games were also added in spirit of other gaming genres considered for their final product. The concept of a three-man team was one of the ideas kept from the side-scrolling version.
Flagship director, Toyohisa Tanabe, asserts that the Art of Fighting and Fatal Fury fighters were added specifically for adults. The newer KOF characters were aimed to appeal to younger and newer audiences. He adds that every original character for the series is added based on the developers' strong desire to make one. For example, he agreed to include characters such as Benimaru and Chang to add an off-beat variety to the cast, which he previously deemed to be too serious before.
Although Kyo was developed to be the main protagonist of the franchise, the game's primary focus was to create a dream match between Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting (respectively basing KOF '94 on Fatal Fury Special and Art of Fighting 2). These contradictory ideals eventually lead to the concept that the player decided who the "true" protagonist was for this year. Kyo's role in the series was emphasized in the following year.
Since this game is some kind of crossover, the gameplay shares some similarities with SNK's fighting games. Instead of one-on-one fights, the system includes battles between teams of three people in a tag-team fashion. If one of the members is defeated by one of the other team's members, the next member will come in to fight the winner, and will go on until all three members of one team is defeated.
The gameplay utilizes elements from Fatal Fury such as the infinite special moves and Desperate Moves (DM) when your lifebar is in the low, and the dash. From Art of Fighting it borrows the abilities to charge your special meter, and unleash a DM when your special meter is full. KOF 94 also features a sidestep system. By pressing A+B the player will dodge. When your lifebar is flashing red, and your special meter is at max, the player can unleash a super move.
The original characters who was released along with the game are:
The old characters who entered the franchise (for being a crossover) are:
Official Team Roster
Japan Team (A.K.A. Hero Team or Protagonist Team)
Italy Team (A.K.A. Fatal Fury Team or Garou Desentsu Team)
China Team (A.K.A. Psycho Soldier Team)
England Team (A.K.A. Women Fighters Team)
Korea Team (A.K.A. Korea Justice Team/Kim Team)
USA Team (A.K.A. American Sports Team)
- Note: The Black Noah's stage doesn't have intros in either version.
- Warning: The sight of some stages can cause epilepsy.
In Japan, Game Machine listed The King of Fighters '94 on their October 1, 1994 issue as being the second most popular arcade game at the time. In North America, RePlay reported King of Fighters '94 to be the third most-popular arcade game at the time. Play Meter also listed the title to be the thirty-second most-popular arcade game at the time. The game was well received, with reviews generally praising the deep combat system and the matching up of fighters from different SNK franchises, though the inability to choose team lineups in Team Battle Mode was a near-universal complaint among critics.
A reviewer for Next Generation argued that King of Fighters '94 was a particularly worthwhile arcade game, since the three-character teams meant the player would effectively get three lives for each credit, providing a high value per quarter at a time when most arcade games were much more expensive than they had been in the past. Reviewing the Neo Geo home version, GamePro remarked that the character selection is massive, but very unbalanced, and that most of the new characters are "goofy looking" and underpowered compared to the other fighters. They nonetheless concluded that "The King of Fighters is the very best non-Shodown game available for the Neo Geo, and it's one of the most playable fighting games ever", citing enjoyable gameplay additions such as the dodge move and juggle combos.
In a review of the Virtual Console release, Lucas M. Thomas of IGN praised KOF '94 for its graphics, including fluid animation and vibrant colors, but concluded that buyers might be better off waiting for the improved sequels to arrive on the Virtual Console. According to IGN's Jeremy Dunham, the game "was essentially a cross between Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting," with a faster control response. He added commented that the creation of three-on-three battles was an advanced feature for a game from 1994 and the idea of 'borrowing' characters from other games from the company was also innovative. Reviewing the Virtual Console release, Dan Whitehead of Eurogamer identified the use of characters from multiple franchises and the Team Battle Mode as the most distinctive points. He concluded the game to be "a solid, technical fighting game that, like most SNK outings, skews more towards the hardcore player than the casual punching aficionado." According to Kyle Knight of Allgame, the graphics and sounds, while better than most games of the time, were subpar by SNK standards. He concluded The King of Fighters '94 is "a very good fighting game, but it lacks some refinements that would have made it great."
Electronic Gaming Monthly gave KOF '94 its Game of the Year awards in the categories "Best Fighting Game" and "Best Neo-Geo Game" of 1994; additionally, Mai Shiranui was awarded the title of "Hottest Game Babe" of the year. In Japan, the game was awarded the title of "Best Game of 1994" in the Eighth Annual Grand Prize by the arcade magazine Gamest, also placing first in the categories of "Best Competitive Fighting Game" and "Best Direction", fifth in "Best Graphics", and third in "Best VGM" (several characters from the game were also featured in their list of 1994's top 50, including Athena at #3, Kyo at #4, Yuri at #7, King at #8 and Mai at #10).
The game was acclaimed in a number of retrospective articles and top lists by several publications. G4 noted that The King of Fighters '94 was regarded by some fans as the "Street Fighter beater" and was unique due to its team system. Maximum similarly called it "the first beat-em-up to offer more than the Street Fighter series" and said that the game "helped spearhead the SNK renaissance". 1UP.com lauded the game for its large and well-balanced cast of characters, calling it "a hell of a cast in 1994". In 2010, UGO.com listed it among the Top 25 Fighting Games of All Time, while GamePlayBook ranked it as the seventh best 2D fighting game ever made. Complex writers ranked it as the eighth best fighting game of all time in 2011, as well as the eleventh all-time best SNK fighting game in 2012, commenting that "the unique team selection and elimination style matches of the series made their origin in this great '90s fighter."
Next Generation reviewed the Neo-Geo version of the game, and stated that "Every fighting fan should take a look at this one either in the arcades or in the home."
- This is the only game of the series which the characters are chosen in teams, and not randomly. This system is abolished in the following game. With that, the first chapter of the Orochi Saga and the remake of this game allows teams with random characters.
- However, KOF '94 Re-Bout and KOF '95 also allows the player to choose complete teams.
- The King of Fighters '94 Re-Bout, an upgraded version of the game.
- KOF HISTORY: THE KING OF FIGHTERS '94
- Wii Virtual Console page
- Arcade Archives official website, product page
- Neo Geo commercial A
- Neo Geo commercial B
- Neo Geo commercial C
- Neo Geo CD gameplay footage
- Overview and artwork at Jap-sai.com
- Title at Moby Games
- Title at Gamefaqs
|This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).|