The King of Fighters '95 is the second game in The King of Fighters series. It's also the first game in the series to be ported to other home consoles besides the Neo Geo AES and Neo Geo CD, with versions released for the PlayStation and the Sega Saturn in 1996. The PlayStation version was published in North America and the PAL region by Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., while the Saturn version (which required a ROM cartridge that came packaged with the game disc) was only released in Japan and Europe by SNK. A Game Boy game based on The King of Fighters '95 was also released. A possible bootleg Famicon release, mistakenly titled "The King of Fighters '99", was also made. This game is the first chapter of the story arc known as "OROCHI SAGA".
The gameplay of King of Fighters '95 was left largely intact from King of Fighters '94. The one major change SNK was to allow players to select any combination of characters to fight with, as opposed to the concrete teams that players were confined to in the previous game. In addition, almost all the teams from the first game returned, but were no longer affiliated with specific nationalities. The Sports Team from the previous game was replaced by a Rivals Team, composed of Iori Yagami (a new character designed to be Kyo Kusanagi's rival), and Eiji Kisaragi (Ryo Sakazaki's and Kyokungenryu Karate rival) and Billy Kane (bodyguard of Terry Bogard's rival, Geese Howard).
The official story given by SNK is as follows:
"It's the year of our Lord, 1995. Once again invitations to the King of Fighters tournament have found their ways to the world's most powerful fighters.
And their author is none other than the mysterious "R!" Could the "R" be that of Rugal, who supposedly blew himself up on his aircraft carrier a year ago?
Among the contestants for this year's tournament is the newly selected team of Billy, Yagami, and Kisaragi, who sent the American Team packing.
But what in the end is Billy's scheme? What ambitions does Kisaragi cradle? And what evil designs for his old foe Kyo Kusanagi spur Iori Yagami on?
These new challengers join all of the previous tournament's contestants-except the American Sports Team, of course-both in battle and the all-consuming intrigue that forms the core of King of Fighters '95."
The new characters added to the game roster (between originals and of other franchises) are:
- Iori Yagami, the last heir of the Yagami clan (A.K.A Yasakani clan), other clan that sealed Orochi. He is rival and enemy of Kyo Kusanagi, besides the leader of Rivals Team;
- Eiji Kisaragi, from Art of Fighting series, is the master of Kisaragi-ryu style and member of Rivals Team, and continues with the goal of defeating Ryo and his Kyokugenryu Karate. He was summoned by Billy Kane;
- Billy Kane, from Fatal Fury series, is Geese Howard's rightman and member of Rivals team. He enters to the KOF tournament to avenge his master, who had been defeated by the Bogard's siblings;
- Saisyu Kusanagi, the sub boss of the game, is Kyo's father. He was brainwashed by orders of Rugal;
- Omega Rugal, the final boss of the game, is a new version with Orochi's Blood.
Fatal Fury Team
Art of Fighting Team
Ikari Warriors Team
Psycho Soldier Team
Women Fighters Team
Korea Justice Team
Game Boy Exclusive Character
- Note: The Hero, Fatal Fury & Art of Fighting Teams and Bosses stages (Sub-Boss & Boss) don't have intros.
- Warning: The sight of some stages can cause epilepsy.
- Japan — Hero Team: The Neo Geo Land, a game house founded by SNK in Osaka. The battle takes in front of the park, and it's possible see people watching the fight and cheering. In the background, can be seen the SNK's headquarters.
- Italy — Fatal Fury Team: A pier next to the Mediterranean Sea. Can be seen some people watch the fight, boats, a tractor, typical buildings and windmills, in the background. Also can be seen a dog and Ukee, Terry's monkey.
- Note: When the first round begins, the characters jump from the pier to the water.
- Mexico — Art of Fighting Team: The Kyokugenryu Dojo. The fight takes in the main hall, in a night of a lot of wind. Can be seen lamps, stone faces, portraits of a dragon and a tiger, purple curtains and symbols of Kyokugen Karate. This stage also can be seen in KOF '98, in a new version.
- Note: When all rounds begins, the floor of the main hall, which is actually an elevator, goes up to the point of the stage.
- Brazil — Ikari Warriors Team: An aerial bridge, next to a helicopter crash. Can be seen a little smoke coming out of the helicopter, some bags and a garage with military aircraft in the background.
- Intro: the rise to the point of the stage.
- China — Psycho Soldier Team: The battle takes in a hillside, with water mirrors, a kanji with one of the stones, a statue in the left and mountains in the background.
- Intro: drops falling.
- England — Women Fighters Team: The Illusion Bar. The battle occurs in the main hall of the bar. Musicians, barrels of beer, plants, clients in the tables (some SNK's characters) and Sally & Elizabeth, twins waitresses of King, can be seen passing in the background.
- Intro: the stained glass of the bar.
- Korea — Korea Justice Team: A forest, in a rainy day. Can be seen a bonfire next to a tent, a burning tree, the root of other tree and a bucket.
- Intro: a lightining burned the tree.
- USA — Rivals Team: An oil refinery, in a sunset. Can be seen pipes, a great smoke coming off the structures with a fog in some rounds, a dump in the right, crows and a truck in the left. Also can be seen the city of New York, highlighting the Empire State and the Chrysler buildings. This stage is also available in KOF XIII.
- Intro: a square focusing the stage.
- The Missile Base: A new version of Black Noah stage. Only the Earth's hologram remains. Can be seen gears and a closed secret compartment. Associated with Saisyu.
- The Missile Base Balcony: The same stage. The changes in relation to the original stage are: the ground starts flashing and the secret compartment opens, revealing a giant missile. There is also an opening to the sky. Associated with Omega Rugal.
- As of this game in the series, Kyo's close standing heavy kick is revamped into a special move (his new iconic 75 Shiki: Kai), and his old 88 Shiki sweep kick is now a command normal. However, he loses his original diagonal-jumping light punch attack.
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