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The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match is a remake of The King of Fighters '98 which includes all characters that were present up to The King of Fighters '97 (making it the only dream match game with the most complete roster of characters based to date within the KOF series as a whole).

Additionally, new alternate versions of characters were added (such as EX Blue Mary and EX Yamazaki). Meanwhile, other alternate versions of characters (barring the Orochi New Faces team and Omega Rugal) gain brand new portraits from their original versions (both on the order select and on the character select/HP-bar mugshot).

New adjustments to stages (as well as new stages themselves) come along with adjustments to gameplay via re-balancing and new moves. Extra Mode in particular, has many new revisions which makes it more on-par with Advanced Mode:

  • It now has a manual MAX Mode of its own and having a stock at full charge, thus no longer entering a MAX Mode automatically via this method.
    • On the flipside, Quick Max Mode can be accessed on any connecting hit that does not count as a true grab/throw, cancelling the attack into a Max Mode activation which can effectively be used to extend various combos.
  • Charging the charge is now much faster, along with the recovery from the charging animation.
  • Sidesteps/dodges are also faster on recovery.
  • The advantage carry-over for later members of a player's team no longer involves the power bar's length, but instead increases the threshold for the critical HP range (from low HP to near-half HP) to use normal DMs with no cost and/or to allow for SDMs.
  • The HP bar will no longer flash for a while via a cooldown period if a free DM is used in critical HP range, preventing the player from spamming free DM's.
  • To make up for the stationary dodge's drawbacks compared to rolling in Advanced Mode, walking movement speed is slightly increased in Extra Mode.

A new and notable mode of play for this game is known as Ultimate Mode, where similar to the EX Grooves of Capcom vs. SNK 2, players are able to customize their gauge systems and the mechanics that go along with them, with it being able to select between Advanced or Extra (the gauge style, the method of dodging, and method of quick forward movement).

The game was released in Japanese arcades on March 18, 2008 and later on the PlayStation 2. Ultimate Match is also available on Xbox 360 Live Arcade. The American port was released by Ignition Entertainment March 3, 2009 and packaged with an extra DVD containing trailers and wallpapers for the game and King of Fighters XII.

The home version of the game, similar to The King of Fighters Neowave for its home version, uses full 3D-rendered versions of its backgrounds (though an option exists to convert them back into the classic-styled backgrounds in the original '98). The home version also comes with its own arranged soundtrack of the original '98 and most of the game's new soundtracks for UM, as well as a new Neo Geo mode, which allows for a demo of the original Neo Geo-port perfect version of the classic KOF '98.

A Final Edition of the game (containing various tweaks to the characters and game mechanics) has been released as well, initially for the arcades, and has been released to the PC through Steam in December 16, 2014. Also was released a version for Humble Bundle, in January 9, 2016. This version also features the arranged versions of the BGMs by default during gameplay.

An animated intro included with the Dreamcast port of the original can be accessed as an unlockable extra in Ultimate Match.

Characters

Playable Characters

Mid-Bosses

Bosses

Alternate Versions

Special Edit Teams

Sacred Treasures Team

  • Kyo Kusanagi
  • Iori Yagami
  • Chizuru Kagura

Shingo Team

  • Shingo Yabuki
  • Kyo Kusanagi
  • Iori Yagami

KOF '98 UM Bosses Team

  • Orochi
  • Rugal Bernstein
  • Goenitz

Rugal Team

  • Rugal Bernstein
  • Mature
  • Vice

Assembled 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

Button Mashing Team

  • Billy Kane
  • Chang Koehan
  • Joe Higashi

Serpent Wave 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
  • Vice
  • Mature

Orochi Men Team

  • Yashiro Nanakase
  • Chris
  • Ryuji Yamazaki

Kusanagi Style Team

  • Kyo Kusanagi
  • Saisyu Kusanagi
  • Shingo Yabuki

Comedians Team

  • Robert Garcia
  • Sie Kensou
  • Choi Bounge

"Cute" Team

  • Choi Bounge
  • Chin Gentsai
  • Chang Koehan

Cap Team

  • Terry Bogard
  • Lucky Glauber
  • Clark Still

Fake Hero Team

  • Shingo Yabuki
  • Benimaru Nikaido
  • Goro Daimon

Other Ikari Team

  • Ralf Jones
  • Leona Heidern
  • Heidern

Neo Heroines Team

  • Athena Asamiya
  • Mai Shiranui
  • Yuri Sakazaki

Destructors Team

  • Ralf Jones
  • Brian Battler
  • Chang Koehan

April 8th Birthday Team

  • King
  • Mature
  • Shingo Yabuki

Former Art of Fighting Team (KOF '94 Mexico Team)

  • Ryo Sakazaki
  • Robert Garcia
  • Takuma Sakazaki

Former Ikari Team (KOF '94 Brazil Team)

  • Heidern
  • Ralf Jones
  • Clark Still

Former Women Fighters Team (KOF '94 England Team)

  • Mai Shiranui
  • Yuri Sakazaki
  • King

'95 Rival Team

  • Iori Yagami
  • Eiji Kisaragi
  • Billy Kane

Ninja Team

  • Andy Bogard
  • Mai Shiranui
  • Eiji Kisaragi

'96 Women Fighters Team

  • King
  • Mai Shiranui
  • Kasumi Todoh

Young Teenage Girls Team

  • Athena Asamiya
  • Kasumi Todoh
  • Leona Heidern

Skin Head Team

  • Chang Koehan
  • Choi Bounge
  • Mr. Big

Anti-Kyokugenryu Team

  • Eiji Kisaragi
  • Kasumi Todoh
  • Mr. Big

Shingo Detests Team

  • Iori Yagami
  • Yashiro Nanakase
  • Ryuji Yamazaki

Awaken Team

  • Orochi
  • Wild Iori
  • Wild Leona

Grown Arms Team

  • Ryuji Yamazaki
  • Mature
  • Vice

Orochi Heavenly Kings Team

  • Goenitz
  • Next two members can either be:
    • Orochi Yashiro
    • Orochi Shermie
    • Orochi Chris

Hard Punch Team

  • Yashiro Nanakase
  • Ryo Sakazaki
  • Heavy D!

Stages

In addition to the original stages in a repaginated version in 3D (only in PS2 and PS4 versions), SNK Playmore also added the scenarios of the finals of KOF '96 (Bosses Team and Goenitz) and KOF '97 (Orochi Team and Orochi), besides some new stages:

Kof98um

Gameplay of Mai vs. Chin in one of the stages repaginated in 3D.

  • China Wall: Part of The Great Wall of China. The fight takes in one of the pillars, where can be seen a flag with words in Chinese and ruins of the wall, in the right, besides a vegetation all over the stage.
    • Changes: in 1st round, he's empty and it's morning; in 2nd and 3rd rounds, people watching the fight in the background; and in the last rounds, can be seen a sunset.
  • Hong Kong: A commercial center in the Central District, with various vehicles.
    • Changes: in the 1st and 2nd rounds, it's morning, with few people watching the fight, inside and outside the train; in the 3rd and 4th rounds, a crowd in the background in the afternoon; and in the last round, it's already night, and people can be seen only inside the train next to the characters. The batle takes next to the train tracks. Similar to the Hong Kong Stage in Real Bout Fatal Fury Special.
  • Taiwan: The Liberty Square, in Taipei. The fight takes in the middle of the square and next to some statues. Can be seen flags and the National Theater and Concert Hall, in the background.
    • Changes: in the 1st round, people is cheering and holding a flag with words in Chinese, besides a woman sitting at a table with a sun umbrella, with a sunny climate; in the 2nd round, the stage is empty and cloudy; from the 3rd round, the stage gets full again, with the same people of the 1st round and in the light of the sunset.
Kof 98

Gameplay of Kasumi vs. Ryo in one of the new stages.

  • Saudi Arabia: The Masmak Fort, in Riyadh. Can be seen palm trees, sheikhs and burkina women.
    • Changes: in the 1st round, the weather is sunny; in the 2nd round, can be seen a sunset, and more sheikhs in the left and the right; from the 3rd round, it's already night and more sheikhs can be seen in the background, and bonfires on both sides.
  • China Village: The village of Xitang. Can be seen two bridges on both sides, and some houses in the background.
    • Changes: in the 1st round, people and pandas are cheering with the fight, holding posters with the game's name, and the weather is sunny; in 2nd round, the stage is empty and the sky is cloudy; from the 3rd round, it's already night and few people are in the stage.
  • China Temple: The Famen Temple, in Xi'an. Can be seen some leafless trees, on both sides, a stone with Chinese writings, moutains and some ancient buildings, in the background.
    • Changes: in the 1st round, can be seen some people next to the river, and the weather is sunny; in the 2nd round, can be seen a sunset; from the 3rd round, the stage is empty and it's already night; also can be seen some lights coming from the temple.
  • Bousou — Orochi Iori & Orochi Leona: The bloody version of China Village and Saudi Arabia, like in the stages of KOF '97.
Note 1: All the new stages, with exception of Mid-Bosses, Bosses Stages and Bousou Stages, don't appear in Team Play and Single Play.
Note 2: In this remake, a version of the famous cameo of the bicycle can be seen in the Japan Street stage, this time with a backpacking man in a lab coat and slippers carrying a mascot of SNK, Neo-Poke-Kun.

Trivia

  • In this game, EX Kyo has all of his sound effects and voice clips reused from the original KOF '95 (this did not apply to the original KOF '98).
  • Due to Eiji being a selectable character, he no longer has a cameo in Billy's unique intro towards Iori.
  • Orochi's battle intro no longer has Chris transforming into it, nor does it have any dialogue.
  • There was initially an issue with EX Geese's Raging Storm that caused it not to hit at all if a character continuously ran into him during the animation, likely due to a hitbox/hurtbox displacement. So far, the only characters whose hurtboxes are big enough to still be hit by it while running are Benimaru, Daimon, Yuri, Kensou, Chizuru, King, Chang, Chris, Yamazaki, Heidern, Heavy D!, Brian, Goenitz, Krauser and Mr. Big.

Gallery

Trailers

External Links

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