|The King of Fighters '98||Gallery||Credits|
The all-star dream match never ends.
The King of Fighters '98: Dream Match Never Ends (ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ
The game does not have a storyline. Instead, it was developed as a "dream match" game featuring characters from all previous King of Fighters canonical games, including killed-off characters in the story. The series' canon storyline continues in The King of Fighters '99.
- 1 Development
- 2 Gameplay
- 3 Characters
- 3.1 Official Team Roster
- 3.1.1 Hero Team (A.K.A. Japan Team or Protagonist Team)
- 3.1.2 Fatal Fury Team (A.K.A. Garou Densetsu Team)
- 3.1.3 Art of Fighting Team (A.K.A. Kyokugenryu Team)
- 3.1.4 Ikari Warriors Team
- 3.1.5 Psycho Soldier Team
- 3.1.6 Women Fighters Team
- 3.1.7 Korea Justice Team
- 3.1.8 New Faces Team (A.K.A. Orochi Team)
- 3.1.9 '97 Special Team
- 3.1 Official Team Roster
- 4 Sub-Boss Teams
- 5 Single Entry
- 6 Mid-Boss
- 7 Boss
- 8 Alternate Characters
- 9 Special Edit Teams
- 9.1 Sacred Treasures Team
- 9.2 Shingo Team
- 9.3 Rugal Team
- 9.4 SNK Heroes Team
- 9.5 No. 2 Team
- 9.6 No. 3 Team
- 9.7 Baseball Team
- 9.8 Father Team
- 9.9 Rapid-Punch Team
- 9.10 Severely Burned Team
- 9.11 Sakazaki Family Team
- 9.12 Teen Team
- 9.13 Orochi Ladies Team
- 9.14 Orochi Men Team
- 9.15 Kusanagi Style Team
- 9.16 Comedy Team
- 9.17 "Cute" Team
- 9.18 Cap Team
- 9.19 Other Hero Team
- 9.20 Other Ikari Team
- 9.21 Other Heroines Team
- 9.22 Destructors Team
- 9.23 April 8th Birthday Team
- 10 Stages
- 11 Critical Reception
- 12 Trivia
- 13 See also
- 14 Gallery
- 15 Trailer
- 16 External links
In The King of Fighters '96, several moves from Kyo Kusanagi were changed in order to adapt him to the new game system. However, the original moveset was still popular among gamers and as such, an alternative version of Kyo was added to The King of Fighters '97. The introduction of this version was noted to be "a hit" within gamers, the staff kept adding new alternative versions of other characters in KOF '98. Since this game did not have a storyline, the SNK staff decided to return Rugal Bernstein as the boss character noting that "he's the only character who truly represents the ultimate KOF boss." Additionally, some of his special moves were redesigned, which the staff found to have made him the strongest version of Rugal as well as one of their favorites
This mode employs aggressive tactics and the gameplay from The King of Fighters '96 & '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.
This mode employs defensive tactics and the gameplay from The King of Fighters '94 & The King of Fighters '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%.
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.
Official Team Roster
Hero Team (A.K.A. Japan Team or Protagonist Team)
Awakened Orochi Team
Alternate Character Versions
Special Edit Teams
SNK Heroes Team
No. 2 Team
No. 3 Team
Severely Burned Team
Sakazaki Family Team
Orochi Ladies Team
Orochi Men Team
Kusanagi Style Team
Other Ikari Team
April 8th Birthday Team
- 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 the 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.
- Middle East: An ancient Arabic 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.
- 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.
Sub-Boss & Boss Stages
- 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 round. Associated with Omega Rugal.
- Note 1: In the Dreamcast version, the stage is called Sunken Ship.
- Note 2: In the PS2 UM version, the lightning doesn't change.
n Japan, Game Machine listed The King of Fighters '98 on their September 1, 1998 issue as being the most-successful arcade game of the month. According to Famitsu, the AES version sold over 22,651 copies in its first week on the market.
During its release week, the Dreamcast port of the game sold 58,354 copies in Japan. As of 2004, the sales increased to 104,049. Famitsu magazine scored the Dreamcast port of KOF '98 a 30 out of 40, and GameRankings gave it a 71% based on a total of 18 reviews.
Various reviewers from video game publications have commented on KOF '98. While reviewing the compilation The King of Fighters: The Orochi Saga, Matt Edwards from Eurogamer noted KOF '98 to be the most enjoyable game from the collection as well as the most famous game from the series "that really made people stand up and take an interest in the series. We'd disagree in favor of some of the later games, but for its time KOF '98 was reasonably well balanced for a 2D fighter. And there's no denying it was a blast." The game also received praise by 1UP.com writer Richard Li who found it to be the most balanced game from the KOF series due to the fact it improved the game mechanics from the previous titles. Jeremy Dunham from IGN gave the game an 8.4, praising, apart from the gameplay and characters, the graphics, the music as well as the background designs added for the Dreamcast version. However, he was disappointed with the lack of story in the game, noting the ones from previous games to be very entertaining. GameSpot's Jeff Gerstmann found it to be one of the best 2D fighting games, noting that although new players may find it hard to play due to the difficulty in executing various special moves and how difficult the opponent AI is. Although Andy Chien from Gaming Age found that the Dreamcast port of the game was well done since it does not have the disadvantages that it had in other consoles, he noted it "could have been a lot better." He also found that the game had a bug when he tried to perform a special move from Mai Shiranui, which unlike the other ports, is very inconsistent.
Tom Russo reviewed the Dreamcast version of the game for Next Generation, rating it two stars out of five, and stated that "Not bad, but with so many other high-quality fighters available, this one only makes sense for players nostalgic for old NeoGeo fighting games."
GameRankings gave Ultimate Match a 77% based on 14 reviews for the PlayStation 2 version and 74% based on 5 reviews for the Xbox 360 version. Metacritic gave it a 73 out of 100 for both the PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360 versions based on 11 reviews and 4 reviews respectively. Various publications for video games and other media have commented on Ultimate Match with IGN writer Ryan Clements giving it a 7.8, saying that probably this game should only be recommended to fans of The King of Fighters due to how old its graphics are as well as the little balance it has with 60 characters being playable. James Mielke from 1UP.com complained on how the game is very similar to KOF '98, but found the controls to be comfortable and intuitive for any fans of 2D fighting games. However, Heath Hooker from GameZone found that the gameplay and sound from the game make up for the graphics even though there is not much difference between KOF '98 and KOF '98: Ultimate Match. In 2013, KOF '98 Ultimate Match was ranked as the 15th best arcade game of the 1990s by Complex, who also called it "possibly the greatest SNK fighting game of them all," and included it on their list of 25 best 2D fighting games of all time in 2013.
In 2017, the Chinese mobile game King of Fighters '98UM OL grossed ¥9.8 billion ($89.9 million) in Japan
- This game is the first of the series with the functionality "Random Character".
- However, the "Random Character" choose only aleatory characters.
- The Mid-Bosses of this game appears in Team Play as a Single Entry. However, this don't occurs with the teams before the Boss.
- This game (and its updated version), along with The King of Fighters 2003, The King of Fighters XI, The King of Fighters XII, The King of Fighters XIII and The King of Fighters XV, are the only games of the series in which the character BGM plays after the round announce.
- This game, The King of Fighters XIV and The King of Fighters XV are the only games of the series which the character defeated's name appears dimmed on the fight screen.
- This game (and its remake), the two versions of The King of Fighters '94, The King of Fighters '95, The King of Fighters '96, The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match , The King of Fighters XIV and The King of Fighters XV are the only games of the series with stages associated to one or more teams.
- In this game (and its remake), this occurs only with the mid-boss teams.
- Gallery of The King of Fighters '98 Endings
- The King of Fighters R-2 (portable remake of the game for the Neo Geo Pocket Color)
- The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match, an upgraded version of the game
- The King of Fighters '98/Credits
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