|The King of Fighters '97||Team Stories||Gallery||Credits|
They're back to the heat for an answer they've long been searching. Is it their fate or just a bloody coincidence? It shall be cleared as three powers will beat as one. And now, the fourth phase is about to begin.
The King of Fighters '97, the story moves toward violent destiny.
The King of Fighters '97 (ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ
This game was released on Arcade, Neo Geo, PlayStation, Sega Saturn and Neo Geo CD. This game was also released on iOS and Android in November 14, 2013. Fans were asked to vote for their favorite characters to add into the series through three game magazines: Famitsu, Gamest and Neo Geo Freak. The three winners form the '97 Special Team. The magazines also created their own special edit teams to include in the game.
A new version, called Global Match, was released for PlayStation Network (PS4/Vita) and for PC (Steam) in April 3, 2018.
- 1 Story
- 2 Development
- 3 Gameplay
- 4 Characters
- 4.1 Overview
- 4.2 Official Team Roster
- 4.2.1 Hero Team (A.K.A. Japan Team or Protagonist Team)
- 4.2.2 Fatal Fury Team (A.K.A. Garou Densetsu Team)
- 4.2.3 Art of Fighting Team (A.K.A. Kyokugenryu Team)
- 4.2.4 Ikari Warriors Team
- 4.2.5 Psycho Soldier Team
- 4.2.6 Women Fighters Team
- 4.2.7 Korea Justice Team
- 4.2.8 New Faces Team (A.K.A. Orochi Team)
- 4.2.9 Special Team
- 5 Single Entries
- 6 Alternate Character
- 7 Mid-Bosses
- 8 Sub-Bosses
- 9 Boss
- 10 Special Edit Teams
- 11 Japanese Version Teams
- 12 Stages
- 13 Reception
- 14 Trivia
- 15 See also
- 16 Gallery
- 17 Trailers
- 18 External links
The official story given by SNK is as follows:
"KOF '96 tournament drew to a close with an incident that occurred right after the tournament's end."
The incident itself and the subsequent accident it caused were officially reported as the result of terrorist activity by an unknown group, but the details concerning the identity, motives, and subsequent whereabouts of the terrorists remained a mystery.
In spite of this incident, however, the KOF '96 tournament was an overwhelming commercial success. A few months after, the event triggered a fighting craze and various large corporations, expressing interest in the fad, offered to sponsor subsequent tournaments, leading to a demand for an eagerly awaited KOF '97. The fad reached all over the globe and in no time KOF '97 came into being.
With the decision to hold the tournament, fighters began to gather at various venues for the preliminary matches and approached the tournament with various motives, some came to test their abilities while others entered for wealth and fame. Word of the tournament came through all forms of the media, and fans from far and wide gathered to witness the white-hot preliminary battles. Concomitant to the preliminary matches, came the construction of various KOF stadiums throughout the world. Naturally the anticipation for the KOF '97 tournament exceeded historical precedent and it soon became obvious to everyone that the current tournament, as with the previous one, would reach a remarkable climax.
What team will win the tournament that the eyes of the whole world will look on and wear the KOF crown of victory? And does an incident similar to the unexpected accident of last year's tournament threaten to mar the festivities? All of the world's attention is focused on this year's tournament. KOF '97 is here!"
In order to decide who would become the members of the '97 Special Team, three polls were conducted by the video game journals Weekly Famitsu, Gamest and Neo Geo Freak, in which readers voted who was the character they wanted to see in the team. The Neo Geo Freak's winner was Billy Kane and Famitsu's winner was Ryuji Yamazaki. Blue Mary was first in the Gamest poll, barely beating Duck King from the Fatal Fury series who was second in the poll via a few mere votes. Additionally, the three journals created a team, which players can view an image of them after beating the game in the Japanese version. The special team created by the Neo Geo Freak's staff was a team of fire wielders: Billy, Kyo Kusanagi, and Mai Shiranui. The Gamest's team created was composed of Terry Bogard, Blue Mary and Joe Higashi, while Famitsu created a team composed of Chang Koehan, Choi Bounge and Ryuji Yamazaki. Although Blue Mary already had two designs in the Fatal Fury series at this point (her original Fatal Fury 3 design and her Real Bout Special design), her designer wanted to use her Fatal Fury 3 design as he liked it more. In order to have all of the eight servants from Orochi confirmed by this game, Yamazaki was chosen to be the new member as the staff noted him to be a good villain and liked that he was similar to a snake (as the ancient Orochi was a giant snake). In order to adapt him to KOF, the game planner had to provide new moves to Yamazaki. The new moves were initially noted to be failures, but designers later thought of them as successful.
The New Faces Team was created to offset the remaining top three characters. Their members were developed to be the Hero Team's counterparts; Chris manipulates fire like Kyo, Shermie uses lightning like Benimaru Nikaido and Yashiro Nanakase is a giant man like Goro Daimon. The plot element of Chris acting as Orochi's new body was developed since initial stages of production, but the staff had already thought of using other ideas. At the inception of production, the plan was for Chris to use the "Flame of Darkness (Black Flame)," but due to difficulties of seeing the black flame in the screen it was changed to the purple ones. The final boss character, Orochi, was first meant to be "a buck-naked Chris" fighting with a shining energy ball. However, it was opted to his current design after developers made a survey in which there were only two votes in favor of the first design. His design codename was "Chief", but several people were against of giving him the name of "Orochi".
Iori Yagami in his Orochi form was originally meant to be the final boss of the game after the player beats the New Faces Team in their Orochi forms. However, it was later decided to make Orochi Iori the mid-boss with Orochi becoming the final boss and the New Faces Team as the sub-bosses. Series flagship director, Toyohisa Tanabe, states that the staff was initially reluctant to add this version of Iori to the series' roster — worried about fans' reactions — but did so to add more impact to the Orochi Saga's climax. He was particularly pleased to see surprised reactions from female fans to this form during KOF '97's location testing. After deciding Iori as the mid-boss character, developers also were focused in adding Leona as an alternative mid-boss character if players were already using Iori in the game. As such, several advertisements were added such as televisions broadcasts, sent to be given as a message to the player about a "fork in the game" to give hints about Orochi Leona.
In The King of Fighters '96, several moves from Kyo were changed in order to adapt him to the new game system. However, the original moveset was still popular between gamers and as such, an alternative version from Kyo was added to KOF '97. The introduction of this version was noted to be "a hit" with gamers. The staff kept adding new alternative versions of other characters to the sequels. This later led to the creation of the Kyo clones (Kyo-1 and Kyo-2) from The King of Fighters '99.
This game has two systems: ADVANCED and EXTRA.
This mode employs aggressive tactics and the gameplay from The King of Fighters '96. Can be used the new rolling sidesteps to quickly rout the enemy and build up your POW Gauge using your special moves. As the fighter performs special moves and takes damage, the POW Gauge builds up, depending on the special moves used. Using multi-hit attacks increases the gauge faster. Once the gauge is filled up, one power stock is stored, indicated by a green flashing orb. A player can store up to 3 stocks at a time. The player can then use Desperation Moves at the cost of one stock.
In addition, with at least one stock stored, the player can activate MAX Mode where he is granted extra damage to his attacks and suffers less damage from the opponent. A timer indicates the elapsed time while the mode remains active. If the player also has more stocks stored while in this mode, he can pull off a more powerful Super Desperation Move which deals up to twice the damage of the normal version! It's a great way to turn the tides of battle! Once the mode ends, the character's attributes revert to normal, keeping any stocks he has stored.
When Advanced Mode users lose team members, the new Advantage System awards the player by increasing the maximum amount of stocks that can be stored. The 1st member can store 3 stocks, the 2nd can store 4 stocks, while the last member can have the maximum of 5 stocks stored at a time.
This mode employs defensive tactics and the gameplay from The King of Fighters '94 to '95. Can be used the classic dodge move to evade enemy attacks and Power Charge to build up your POW Gauge. As the fighter takes damage and blocks attacks, the POW Gauge builds up, depending on the intensity of the hit. Being struck by multi-hit attacks increases the gauge faster. However, you can manually store power with the Power Charger move, but leaves you very vulnerable. Once the gauge is filled up, it flashes MAXIMUM and your fighter's offensive power increases for a short while. During this maxed-out state, you can also perform your character's unique Desperation Move for devastating damage.
The gauge remains at max for a limited time only, so make good use of the extra attack power and don't be afraid to use your Desperation Move before the gauge drains away. Once your character's life gauge drops below 20%, the gauge flashes orange. In this time of peril, your character can perform Desperation Moves indefinitely without the maximum POW Gauge requirement. If your life flashes orange AND you have your POW Gauge filled-up, you can pull off a Super Desperation Move which deals up to twice the damage of the normal version.
It's a great way to turn the tides of battle! Certain situations during the fight may even allow you to perform Super Desperation Moves just by having a full POW Gauge. In addition, the POW Gauge drains much faster when it is filled up to the max by blocking attacks or taking damage. Using the Power Charger to store power grants you more time in Max Mode before it completely empties. When Extra Mode users lose team members, the new Advantage System awards the player by decreasing the length of the gauge to fill it up faster. The 1st member has the gauge at 100%, the 2nd has a 75% length, while the last member can charge up to Max Level fastest at 50%.
Following the footsteps of its predecessor for teammate social relations, can be selected the order your characters will fight.
In the Order Select Screen, hold down the START button to see the smiley icons that depict partner relationships. These icons identify how POW stocks are affected between rounds (when in Advanced Mode), and if your teammates will help you by calling off a Back-Up Attack (both Advanced and Extra Modes). The icons do not affect your Power Gauge, only your current POW stocks. The character relations specifically reflect on the order you have designated.
The new characters added to the roster (between originals and of other franchises) are:
- The new formations of some teams are the following:
Official Team Roster
Hero Team (A.K.A. Japan Team or Protagonist Team)
Special Edit Teams
SNK Heroes Team
Japanese Version Teams
Neo Geo Freak Team
- Note 1: This game is the first of the series in which all stages (except Mid-Bosses, Sub-Bosses and Boss) aren't associated with any team.
- Note 2: The featured stages also are available in KOF '98: Ultimate Match, with some changes.
- Note 3: The series logo, with the exception of the Mid-Boss Team and Boss stages, can be seen in the floor of the stages.
- Note 4: The Monaco Stage doesn't appear in Versus Mode, except when chosen in the game settings.
- Note 5: In this game, in the Mid-Boss Team and Boss stages, the characters aren't waiting to fight in the background, unlike in KOF '98 UM, when they appears.
- Warning: The sight of some stages can cause epilepsy.
Mid-Boss & Boss Stages
In Japan, Game Machine listed The King of Fighters '97 on their September 1, 1997 issue as being the second most-successful arcade game of the month. According to Famitsu, the AES version sold over 19,900 copies in its first week on the market.
- This game differs from other games in the series in that aside from the New Faces Team and the Orochi Team, no team has a theme song. Instead, only certain characters have a theme song and if the player fights a character who does not have a theme song, only the stages ambience will play during the match.
- The Special Team is the second team in the series (first one being Bosses Team in The King of Fighters '96) where each member of the team has their own theme song. All of their theme songs are taken from Real Bout Fatal Fury Special.
- This is the first game in the series to have a playable section after the final boss. If the player plays as the Hero Team, the player will fight Iori Yagami as Kyo Kusanagi after the final boss. This is also the first 1 vs. 1 fight in the regular arcade mode.
- This game, The King of Fighters '96 and The King of Fighters XIV are the only mainline games where it is possible fight against randomized teams in Story Mode.
- In KOF XIV, the mix occurs with regular and DLC characters.
- The King of Fighters R-1 (Remake for the Neo Geo Pocket)
- The King of Fighters '97/Team Stories
- The King of Fighters '97/Credits