Two, three! It all began in '94, kept on rollin' in '95. Fell in place in '96, it came to an end in '97. And now it comes, say here we go, KOF is here again, nothing's gonna stop... It's 1998!

-Intro

The all-star dream match never ends.

-Tagline

The King of Fighters '98: Dream Match Never Ends (The Slugfest in the rest of the world) is the fifth game in The King of Fighters series. The game was released for the Neo Geo and later ported to the Sony PlayStation. The Dreamcast port of the game was titled The King of Fighters: Dream Match 1999. A remake titled The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match was released in Japanese arcades on March 18, 2008 and later on the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 4 and PC (through Steam). The original game was then released on the iOS on July 25, 2014.

The game does not have a storyline. Instead, it was developed as a "dream match" game featuring characters from all previous King of Fighters games, including killed-off characters. The series' canon storyline continues in The King of Fighters '99.

Gameplay

This game has two systems: ADVANCED and EXTRA.

ADVANCED MODE

This mode employs aggressive tactics and the gameplay from The King of Fighters '96 and '97. 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.

EXTRA MODE

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%.

Social Relations

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.

Icon Relation Effect
Smiley1.png Happy The two characters have friendly terms. One stock is awarded once the next character comes into play. If undefeated, they will always help in a Back-Up Attack.
Smiley2.png Neutral The two characters are cold to each other. The number of stocks remain unchanged between battles. If undefeated, they may or may not help in a Back-Up Attack.
Smiley3.png Angry The two characters despise each other. One stock is taken off once the next character comes into play. Even if undefeated, they will never help in a Back-Up Attack.

Characters

Hero Team

Fatal Fury Team

Art of Fighting Team

Ikari Warriors Team

Psycho Soldier Team

Women Fighters Team

Korea Justice Team

New Faces Team (A.K.A. Orochi Team)

'97 Special Team

Awakened Orochi Team=

Alternate Character Versions

Original Character Version

Fatal Fury Versions

Fatal Fury Team
Misc.

Art of Fighting Team

Sacred Treasures Team

  • Kyo Kusanagi
  • Iori Yagami
  • Chizuru Kagura

Shingo Team

  • Shingo Yabuki
  • Kyo Kusanagi
  • Iori Yagami

Rugal Team

  • Rugal Bernstein
  • Mature
  • Vice

SNK Heroes Team

  • Kyo Kusanagi
  • Terry Bogard
  • Ryo Sakazaki

No. 2 Team

  • Benimaru Nikaido
  • Andy Bogard
  • Robert Garcia

No. 3 Team

  • Goro Daimon
  • Joe Higashi
  • Yuri Sakazaki

Baseball Team

  • Ralf Jones
  • Blue Mary
  • Lucky Glauber

Father Team

  • Saisyu Kusanagi
  • Takuma Sakazaki
  • Kim Kaphwan

Rapid-Punch Team

  • Billy Kane
  • Chang Koehan
  • Joe Higashi

Severely Burned Team

  • Kyo Kusanagi
  • Saisyu Kusanagi
  • Orochi Chris

Sakazaki Family Team

  • Takuma Sakazaki
  • Ryo Sakazaki
  • Yuri Sakazaki

Teen Team

  • Shingo Yabuki
  • Sie Kensou
  • Chris

Orochi Ladies Team

  • Shermie
  • Mature
  • Vice

Orochi Men Team

  • Yashiro Nanakase
  • Chris
  • Ryuji Yamazaki

Kusanagi Style Team

  • Kyo Kusanagi
  • Saisyu Kusanagi
  • Shingo Yabuki

Comedy Team

  • Robert Garcia
  • Sie Kensou
  • Choi Bounge

"Cute" Team

  • Choi Bounge
  • Chin Gentsai
  • Chang Koehan

Cap Team

  • Terry Bogard
  • Lucky Glauber
  • Clark Still

Other Hero Team

  • Shingo Yabuki
  • Benimaru Nikaido
  • Goro Daimon

Other Ikari Team

  • Leona
  • Ralf Jones
  • Heidern

Other Heroine Team

  • Athena Asamiya
  • Mai Shiranui
  • Yuri Sakazaki

Destructors Team

  • Ralf Jones
  • Brian Battler
  • Chang Koehan

April 8th Birthday Team

  • King
  • Mature
  • Shingo Yabuki

Stages

Note 1: This game is the last of the series in which the characters are waiting to fight in the background. It's also the first game of the franchise with Practice mode. In the remake of the game ('98 UM), in the 3D backgrounds (only available in PS2 and PS4 versions), the natural sounds of the stages doesn't appears. In addition, the changes of the stages are different in both versions.
Note 2: This game is the first of the series in which all stages are selectable (only in Versus Mode). Acessing the game settings, the Versus Mode can have stages chosen randomly. In Team and Single Play Modes, the stages are automaticly chosen randomly.
Note 3: In this game, only the Sub-Bosses and the Final Boss have associated stages.
Warning: The sight of some stages can cause epilepsy.

  • Japan Street: A viaduct next to Esaka Train Station and SNK's headquarters, in the city of Osaka. There are various vehicles, an LED panel with the game and SNK's name, a crosswalk, people cheering, a toll and a karaoke in the background.
    • Changes: in the 1st round, the stage is partially full of cars; in the 2nd round, partially empty, but some vehicles can be seen passing by; from the 3rd round, there is a congestion due to the fight, and it is possible to hear a horn. In the PS2 UM version, depending on the round, vehicles or people can be seen.
    • Note: When Choi wins the third round in more than 30 seconds, a special cameo appears, of two students on a bicycle. This only happens if the player don't defeat the opponent on the following conditions: perfect, use throwing punches, use of C + D buttons, use command punches or use the same punch in the same fight. Only Choi can win, he must be the second or third chosen by the player, defeat the second character of the opponent team and press C button immediately after victory.

Gameplay of Shermie vs. Chris

  • Middle East: A commercial village. Can be seen tents, merchants, vases, carpets, fruits and people. In all rounds, can be seen a boy asking his mother to watch the fight, and shortly after, running close to her and vibrating. In the PS2 UM version, the time of the stage changes, from dawn, to daytime, to evening. The boy appears only the second and final rounds.

Gameplay of Ryo vs. Terry

  • Korea: A pier in Seoul. Can be seen a fruit truck and a fair in the left, a shop, a bridge in the middle and, in the background, the Yeonju-dae and Yonjuam temples. Also can be seen a man watching the fight in the window, on the right, and seagulls, listening to the noise of the birds. In the PS2 UM version, the time of the stage changes, from dawn, to daytime, to evening. The man doesn't appear.
    • Note: in the PS2 UM version, in the 2D background, the seagulls don't appear next to the temple.
  • China: A boat passing in Wulingyuan, in Hunan Province. The fight takes place while the boat sails by the river. Can be seen two native men: one, sitting on the bow on the right, and the other paddling the boat, on the left.
    • Changes: in the 1st round, can be seen a temple in the beginning; in the 2nd round, the rocks and a waterfall; in the 4th round, only the rocks; and in the 3rd and the final round, a mountain covered by a fog. In the PS2 UM version, the temple appears in the second round, the mountain, only in the fourth round, and the waterfall, in the final round.
  • Spain: The Court of the Lions, in the Alhambra Palace, in the city of Granada. Can be seen a foutain, shrubs, lamps and a white cat passing through the stage. It is also possible to hear the fountain spouting.
    • Changes: in the 1st and 2nd rounds, it's day; in the 3rd round, sunset, and the fountain stopping to a gush; from the 4th round, night.

  • USA Yard (A.K.A. Train Yard) — Yagami Team: A train garage. Can be seen a gray train, a dog tossing a trash can and a plaque with the sign MOTEL.
    • Changes: From the 2nd round, can be seen a wagon, which is approaching in the 3rd round, departs in the 4th and returns to the same place as the second in the final round. Besides that, the time changes to sunset from the third round. In PS2 UM version, the changes are: in the first round, the grey train appears; in the second round, the wagon appears; in the fourth round, the wagon departs. Strangely, the wagon departs once again in the fifth round.
    • Note: The wagon appears only in the arcade version and, in the PS2 UM version, only in the 3D background.
  • Japan Temple — Masters Team: The Art of Fighting Team's stage in KOF '95. In the '98 version, the Kyokugenryu Dojo is partially destroyed, and can be seen trees, shrubs, the wrecks of the building and fireflies floating in the background. When any player makes a strong move with his character, parts of the roof begin to fall.
    • Changes: until the 2nd round, it's nighttime; in the 3rd round, it's dawn; in the 4th round, it's morning and the fireflies are gone; in the fifth round, it's daytime. In PS2 UM version, the stage is always at night but, from the third round, fireflies start floating around much closer to the fighting lane.
  • USA Wharf (A.K.A. Basketball Court) — American Sports Team: The American Sports Team's stage in KOF '94. The only difference between the old stage and the new is the people and the animals: in the '98 version, can be seen some cameos, a street dog and people wearing a suit and tie, and, occasionally Ryuhaku Todoh. The stage is partially empty and the old ring has turned into a junkyard.
    • Changes: in the 1st round, sunset; in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, night; from the 4th round, smelly fog. In the PS2 UM version, the fog appears from the third round.
  • Unknown (A.K.A. Black Noah): A submarine. The wreck of another can be seen behind the glass, along with sharks, jellyfish and flashlights. There are also a pool filled with blood, portraits of Rugal, and his black panther. The lighting progressively becomes more and more blue with each roundAssociated with Omega Rugal.
    • Note 1: In the Dreamcast version, the stage is called Sunken Ship.
    • Note 2: In the PS2 UM version, the lighting doesn't change.

See also

Gallery

Trailer

External links

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