|The King of Fighters '99||Team Stories||Stories||Gallery||Credits||Trivia|
The King of Fighters '99: Millennium Battle (ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ
"You are cordially invited to this year's King of Fighters."
The invitation is sent to fighters all over the world. The King of Fighters will take place again this year!
But the circumstances this time around are different. There is not a hint of the hoopla surrounding the entrants like that of the previous tournament which thrilled the whole world. For the skeptical fighters, even the new tournament rules for battles bode ill...
"The method of combat will be 3-on-3 battles. The adoption of Striker Matches, however, has been decided for this tournament...."
"Striker Matches?!" The fighters cannot hide their surprise at this unfamiliar mode of battle.
Meanwhile, Heidern, who sees through the suspicious tournament, dispatches Ralf and Clark to investigate the truth behind this tournament.
Benimaru Nikaido, as well, receives an invitation to KOF and to join the Special Team consisting of other carefully selected fighters.
Among the pre-selected teammates listed appear two names: K' (K-Dash) and Maxima. Benimaru is confused-he's never seen these names listed at any other fighting events; regardless...
Benimaru heads toward the tournament venue, clearly unsettled by the circumstances, and the other entrants are soon to follow.
WHAT IS THE STRIKER MATCH?
What is behind this year's tournament?
With its myriad of mysteries, the King of Fighters gets ready to begin!
With the introduction of a new lead character, K', SNK had originally planned to remove main characters Kyo Kusanagi and Iori Yagami, who had previously appeared in earlier installments of the series, from The King of Fighters '99. Instead, they ended up as unlockable hidden characters after fans responded negatively to their removal at location tests. Kyo was redesigned for this game, but the developers still liked his school uniform. As a result, based on the practice of adding earlier versions of various characters to games, the staff created the Kyo clones that featured him with classic movesets: Kyo-1 uses Kyo's movesets from the first two games, while Kyo-2 uses his movesets from KOF '96 and KOF '97. To contrast with the previous series' protagonist, Kyo, K' was designed to be the "dark hero". The staff wanted to create a Robo Army Team. This idea was abandoned, but they later created a tribute to it in The King of Fighters 2000 by introducing Rocky, a character from Robo Army, as a Striker for Maxima. The character Whip was originally meant to appear in KOF '96, but due to Leona Heidern's introduction in that game, the staff decided to wait until KOF '99.
Like the earlier games the artwork was done by Shinkiro. The large number of young characters appearing in the game represented a problem for the developers; as a result, the staff introduced older characters such as Seth and Vanessa (who appeared only in the Dreamcast version as Strikers and would not officially debut until the following game) to balance the game. Bao was added to reduce the average age of the Psycho Soldiers Team from 42 to 34. The boss character, Krizalid, was designed "with a straight, stylish appearance and earnest strength"; however, the designer in charge mentioned he "overdid it". Due to the large number of unused graphics accumulated on the Neo Geo version, some of Krizalid's graphics were removed. With the release of the Dreamcast port, the staff could add Krizalid's graphics because of the console's capacity. Vanessa was meant to be a playable character, but due to time constraints, she was only a Striker in the Dreamcast port.
Power Gauge & DOA Drubbings
As the fighter performs special moves, the POW Gauge builds up. Being hit by an opponent's attacks may also give you power at a minimal rate. Once the gauge is filled up, you gain a stock of power. For the cost of a stock, you can either use DOA Drubbings, Guard Counters and Guard Cancels any time during the battle. Furthermore, the gauge is able to store up to 3 stocks at a time. Once you reach maximum power, your character is able to gather strength with full gauges by activating one of 2 power-ups as described in the next section. These power-up modes only last for a brief period of time, and the Power Gauge will be deactivated for a short while after each mode ends, so use them wisely!
In addition, keep an eye out on your characters' Life Gauges. When a fighter's life is flashing red and has at least one stock of power stored, all DOA Drubbings are upgraded into MAX DOA Drubbings, which could inflict up to twice the damage of a normal DOA Drubbing. These are critical moments between a decisive victory and a narrow defeat, so watch out!
This power-up costs 3 stocks of the Power Gauge in order to be used. At MAX power, press ABC at a time to wage to activate Counter Mode. The red timer gauge lasts for about 15 seconds. While Counter Mode is active:
- The damage output of command and special moves increases.
- Can execute the fighter's DOA Drubbings indefinitely.
- Can perform Guard Cancels and Guard Escapes infinitely.
- Move names in red are cancellable into DOA Drubbings.
- If life is flashing red, MAX DOA Drubbings are unavailable.
The Power Gauge is unusable shortly after Counter Mode ends.
This power-up costs 3 stocks of the Power Gauge in order to be used. At MAX power, press BCD at a time to wage to activate Armor Mode. The yellow timer gauge lasts for about 10 seconds. While Armor Mode is active:
- The damage the player takes from enemy attacks decreases.
- When struck by the opponent once in the middle of an attack, the player's attack resumes as normal.
- DOA Drubbings and MAX DOA Drubbings are unavailable.
- Guard Cancels and Guard Escapes are unavailable.
The Power Gauge is unusable shortly after Armor Mode ends.
A new rule in this game is the Striker System. All teams are required to have 3 fighting members and 1 supporting member known as the Striker. As you select the order of fighters during each match, the first 3 serve as your fighting members while the 4th one is deployed as your team's striker for that match. This member can be called into battle for a limited number of times.
Strikers require one Strike Bomb in order to be called. Press BC at a time to wage to summon your Striker.
- You can only summon a Striker when standing still.
- Use a Strike Bomb to make a Striker show up and support you.
- Strikers vary in performance depending on the character chosen.
- The default number of Strike Bombs is 3, and the maximum number is 5.
- A Strike Bomb is awarded when a team loses a round.
- Offensive attacks directly inflict damage on the opponent.
- Life-Up heals a bit of life on the player's gauge.
- Power-Up builds a bit of power on the player's gauge.
- Power-Down depletes a certain amount on the opponent's gauge.
- Immobilization holds the opponent in place and open to attack.
Striker Attacks & Effects
- Note: Krizalid isn't used as a striker.
Due to the new system of the game, all teams went through several modifications. The new characters added to the roster (between originals and of other franchises) are:
- Note: The new formations of the teams are the following:
Official Team Roster
Single Entry Characters
Secret & Hidden Characters
Note: These characters are not playable by normal means in the original Arcade and MVS versions of The King of Fighters '99, and must be unlocked with an input code. See the section Trivia for more info.
Special Edit Teams
These ending illustrations can only be seen on the Neo Geo CD and PlayStation ports.
KOF Generation Team
Whip and Her Servants Team
Inhumanly Strong Team
Good Looking Team
Little Kids Team
Short Haired Team
Shingo Servitude Team
All Fatal Fury Team
All Art of Fighting Team
- Note 1: In the arcade mode, with the exceptions of the Museum and the Boss Stage, all stages undergo changes of time and space. In the Dreamcast version (KOF '99 Evolution), the stages are in 3D and other changes and stages can be seen.
- Note 2: The Boss Stage also can be seen in The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match, in both phases.
- Note 3: Each stage in the Dreamcast version, with the exception of the Boss stage, has two versions, which can be freely selected in Versus Mode.
- Note 4: In this game, the stage are randomly chosen by the game's system.
- Warning: The sight of some stages can cause epilepsy.
Available in All Versions of The Game
- Airport: The landing station of an airport. The fight occurs during a sunset. Can be seen two airplanes, a control station, a fence and crates. Until the second round, the fight takes place next to the fence and a crate; from the third round, near the wing and turbines of one of the planes. Similar to Eiji's stage in AOF 2.
- Note: in the Dreamcast version, depending of the angle, it is possible to fight next to the airplanes or to the crate, and can be seen a truck in one of the versions.
- Alley (A.K.A. Hong Kong Stage): An alley next to a chinese restaurant. Until the 2nd round, can be seen light flags, some people and children watching the fight and eating, a dog, a bonfire, a graffiti and a wall, in the left; from the 3rd round, the restaurant is closed and the stage is empty. Only what is possible see is the figure of a man chasing a dog, stopping for a few seconds due to fatigue.
- Note: In the Dreamcast version, this stage is available as in the first and third rounds, in separated versions, under the name Hong Kong.
- Museum: The pre-historic museum DINOSAUR WORLD, in the American state of Florida. Can be seen panels with skeletons of various dinosaurs and pre-historic creatures, lights, rocks and plants. In some rounds, a sound that simulates thunder can be heard.
- Note: in one of the versions of this stage in the Dreamcast version, the fight occurs in a balcony next to the original stage.
- Park: A park next to a neighborhood. In the first round, can be seen a balcony with some benches, an old man feeding some birds along to a dog, a female statue, and a trash can, in the right, children playing, a man watching, a light post and two street-sweepers, in the center, and a building and a picnic table, in the left, besides plants all over the stage; in the second round, the weather is cloudy, some drops of rain begin to fall and the stage is partially empty, being seen only a woman opening an umbrella with your son, a street-sweeper and the dog of the previous round; from the 3rd round, the stage is empty, accompanied by a heavy rain.
- Note: In the Dreamcast version, this stage is available as in the first and third rounds, in separated versions.
- Sewer — Hero Team (under some conditions): A sewer used as an escape route. Can be seen pipes and tubing, one of them spouting polluted water, a power box, lamps a small ladder and scratched toothpicks, characteristic of prison cell walls, besides a light, at the background. Changes in the Team and Single Play mode: in the 2nd round, it's sunset; from the 3rd round, it's night and the ground of the fight turns into a walkway that walks through dark alleys.
- Note 1: In the Versus modes, the stage continues in the same way as the first round.
- Note 2: In the Dreamcast version, this stage is available as in the 1st and 2nd rounds; the walkway appears at the end of the second round, when the winner celebrates.
- Note 3: In Story Mode, when the Hero Team is chosen, an aleatory team fight in this stage.
- Site Vector 70599: An arena built by NESTS, with the objective of reading the data of the fighters of the tournament. Has two phases: in Phase 1, the stage shows a human hologram (presumably a cloning project), in the center, beside red lights passing all over the stage, green walls, ground and two robotic pillars. In Phase 2, the stage is completely golden, the hologram and the pillars disappear and can be seen strong lights in the background. Associated with Krizalid, Kyo, Iori, Kyo-1 & Kyo-2 (the last four in special conditions and always after defeating the boss).
- Note: in KOF 2002 UM, the stage is called Point 70599.
Available only in the Dreamcast version (KOF '99 Evolution)
- Amusement Park: In one of the versions, the fight occurs next to a carousel, a ferris wheel and a viking boat. In the other, near to the same caurosel, a castle and the entrance of a tunnel of terror. In both versions, can be seen a light post, people and park workers, barracks and fireworks.
- Cuckoo Clock Tower: In one of the versions, the fight takes in the outside. Can be seen cuckoo dolls, a gargoyle and a mountain, in the background. In the other, the fight takes near to the gears of the clock.
The King of Fighters '99 was very popular after its release. According to Famitsu, both the AES and Neo Geo CD sold over 14,620 and 18,925 copies in their first week on the market respectively. In GameSpot's article "The History of SNK", KOF '99: Evolution was described as one of the best fighting games on the Dreamcast with Garou: Mark of the Wolves. Various video game publications have commented on the game. While the fighting system has been well-received, critics have expressed mixed feelings about the Striker system.
A Gaming Age writer viewed the sequel's changes as a step in the right direction despite finding assisting characters useless. He said that SNK had created proper balances such as making Kyo Kusanagi less overpowered than in previous games. The inclusion of K', the new lead, has been well-received because of his distinct fighting style. IGN's Anthony Chau commented that although "people are probably tired of 2D fighting games, saying that they all play the same", he found KOF '99: Evolution to be very distinct. He found the new gameplay very entertaining despite knowing that some "KOF purists hate the Striker system". A GameSpot reviewer described the Striker system as "clearly derived from the tag system from Capcom's Marvel fighting games". They complained there were popular characters who only appeared as Strikers, and wished they were fully playable. GamePro criticized the game because the Strikers' new gameplay "simply [does not] fit in the King of Fighters series" and "is more of a novelty than a game mode".
There were mixed responses to the ported versions. German magazine Video Games praised the Neo Geo port, giving it a score of 80%. There have also been multiple comparisons between the Dreamcast port and the PlayStation port, with the Dreamcast version being regarded as better. The use of 3D backgrounds in all versions has been praised. A GamePro writer felt that the Neo Geo's quality was not handled well by the PlayStation, resulting in issues with the graphics and long loading times. Nevertheless, he found the additional material to be pleasing for series' fans. Andrew Seyoon Park of GameSpot found the PlayStation port very good considering the console's limitations. Despite this, he complained about the animation and the voices, and found the reduced number of characters from KOF '98 disappointing. He felt that the boss Krizalid is very hard to beat. HardcoreGaming noted that while the Dreamcast port of the game was superior based on its graphics and loading times, the PlayStation version was still worth playing. Both Uvejuegos stated that while the game did not have a major update of its characters, except Kyo Kusanagi's redesign, it still managed to maintain its quality due to its fighting system. The new lead, K', and the final boss, Krizalid, were described as entertaining. Gaming Age felt the graphic update was more noticeable than the Uvejuegos did but was critical of Krizalid. Gaming Age found him so difficult to defeat they characterized the previous bosses— Rugal Bernstein and Orochi—as easy by comparison. GameSpot agreed, feeling that the boss fight removed the entertainment value from the game due to its difficult challenge.
Greg Orlando reviewed the Dreamcast version of the game for Next Generation, rating it two stars out of five, and stated that "This King of Fighters should consider abdicating the throne."
The game's Nintendo Switch port received positive responses with critics saying its gameplay and graphics were ahead of their time. Nintendo Life praised the varied cast and the new gameplay mechanics but did not find it as appealing as its predecessor. GameSpew felt the port's mechanics, and multiple options prevented the game from being dated. The combat was described as fast enough to appeal to gamers. Bonus Stage found the graphics appealing and praised SNK's focus on giving the game a storyline, despite it being an arcade fighting game. In retrospect, 1UP.com said that while players were bothered by Kyo and Iori's exclusion from teams, and by the Striker system, K's inclusion was one of SNK's best decisions due to his fighting style.
The series' writer, Akihiko Ureshino, wrote a novelization of the game titled Beyond the "K". It was released in November 1999 by ASCII. SNK also released a sequel titled The King of Fighters 2000 a year after KOF '99's release for multiple consoles. In the spin-off game The Rhythm of Fighters, Kyo's character theme, "Tears", was used for the game to work as a rhythm game.
- The King of Fighters '99: Evolution, an update for Dreamcast
- The King of Fighters '99/Soundtrack
- The King of Fighters EX, a remake for Game Boy Advance