|The King of Fighters 2002: Challenge to Ultimate Battle||Gallery||Soundtrack||Credits||Trivia|
"The system 3-on-3 is back, expanding the battle on who will be the next competitor! Seven fearsome figures from King of Fighters '96 to '98 take part in the fights! This year, the dream fight is guaranteed to heat up! The Dream Match is happening again. BE THE FIGHTER!"
The King of Fighters 2002: Challenge to Ultimate Battle (ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ
It was later released for the Dreamcast, this time adding two characters absent from the original version, King and Shingo Yabuki. The PlayStation 2 version included Orochi Iori, Goenitz and Geese Howard.
An upgraded version of The King of Fighters 2002 known as The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match was eventually released in Japan on February 26, 2009. It later released on the Xbox 360, PlayStation Network, Steam, Humble Bundle, GOG and Prime Gaming, worldwide. The PlayStation 2 and GOG versions uses the Neo Geo mode in the remake.
The game brings back the team play composed by three characters each that was a tradition in previous games. The game has also several important changes in the gameplay, like the "Free Cancel System" or "Max Mode System", the "Quick Emergency Evasion" and "Quick MAX Mode Activation", aside from the countless changes in each character's special moves and their properties.
Max Mode compared to the previous games, while it enables Free Cancels (which use up a set duration of the mode), now halves the damage done at a cost for its duration. Normal DM's now no longer use up an extra gauge stock when performed, and now only instantly end Max Mode. SDM's instead use one extra stock while also ending Max Mode as well.
One of the most notable changes is the inclusion of MAX2 Desperation Moves (also known as Hidden Super Desperation Moves), which are DM's that can be used only with 3 stocks and at a certain threshold of low HP.
Another notable changes are the allocations of both normal DM's and SDM's, as not all normal DM's have SDM versions and some SDM inputs may be completely different attacks depending on the character(s). Nearly all SDM commands end with 2 of the respective buttons for their inputs (A+C or B+D) due to the fact that Normal DM's can be used in Max Mode.
The roster consists of many key characters who were playable throughout the NESTS Chronicles Saga. Along with, certain Teams are represented by a prior game; for example, the K' Team (K', Maxima and Whip) are called the "KOF '99 Team", with its members debuting in The King of Fighters '99 representing that game. Additionally, characters who were not present in the NESTS Chronicles Saga appear in this game, such as the '97 Special Team (representing KOF '97) and the New Faces Team (representing KOF '98).
The only new character added to the roster is:
Official Team Roster
- Note: Some parenthetical citations are sometimes Japanese team names, sometimes shortened team names.
Mid-Boss Solo Character
- Note: This character is not playable by normal means in the original Arcade and MVS versions of The King of Fighters 2002, and must be selected with an input code, but is normally selectable on the home console versions. See the section Trivia for more info.
Console Exclusive Characters
- Note: All of these characters can also appear as mid-bosses.
Characters who accompany the playable characters of the game.
- Kogoro Daimon - appears in Daimon's round start intro and in his win screen; also in Daimon's artwork
- Rock Howard (child) - appears in one of Terry's round win poses
- Candy Diamond - appears in one of Kula's round win poses and two of her Desperation Moves
- Diana - appears in one of Kula's round win poses and two of her Desperation Moves
- Foxy - appears in one of Kula's round win poses and two of her Desperation Moves
- Antonio - appears in Mary's intro and one of her win poses
- Asuka and Maria - appears in one of Athena's intros and in one of her HSDMs
- Bao (KOF '99) - in China Stage (Day)
- Lin (KOF 2000) - in China Stage (Day)
- Jhun Hoon (KOF '99) - in Korea Stage
- Kang Bae Dal (KOF 2000) - in Cambodia Stage
- Heidern (KOF '94) - in Mexico Stage (Day) and Italy Stage
- Heavy-D! (KOF '94) - in Japan Stage (Day)
- Lucky Glauber (KOF '94) - in Mexico Stage (Day)
- Brian Battler (KOF '94) - in Mexico Stage (Day)
Fatal Fury/MOTW series
- Geese Howard (Fatal Fury: King of Fighters) - in Japan Stage (Evening), only in arcade version
- Jubei Yamada (Fatal Fury 2) - in Japan Stage (Evening)
- Marco Rodriguez (Garou: MOTW) - in Japan Stage (Evening)
- Tung Fu Rue (Fatal Fury: King of Fighters)- in China Stage
- Jin Chonshu (Fatal Fury 3) - in China Stage (Day)
- Jin Chonrei (Fatal Fury 3) - in China Stage (Day)
- Li Xiangfei (RBFF 2) - in China Stage
- Hon-Fu (Fatal Fury 3) - in China Stage (Evening and Night)
- Cheng Sinzan (Fatal Fury 2) - in China Stage
- Kim Jae Hoon (Garou MOTW) - in Korea Stage
- Sokaku Mochizuki (Fatal Fury 3) - in Holland Stage (Day)
- Bob Wilson (Fatal Fury 3) - in Mexico Stage (Day)
- Duck King - (Fatal Fury: King of Fighters) in Mexico Stage (Day)
- Tizoc (Garou: MOTW) in Mexico Stage (Day)
- Ryuji Yamazaki (Fatal Fury 3) - in Mexico Stage, on a wanted poster
- Wolfgang Krauser (Fatal Fury 2) - in Italy Stage
Art of Fighting series
- Eiji Kisaragi (AOF 2) - in Japan Stage (Evening); he also appears in the special intro Billy vs. Iori, and one of Billy win poses
- Ryuhaku Todoh (AOF 1) - in Japan Stage (Day and Evening)
- Kasumi Todoh (AOF 3) - in Japan Stage (Day and Evening)
- Lee Pai Long (AOF 1) - in China Stage (Evening and Night)
- Wang Koh-San (AOF 3) - in Holland Stage (Day)
- King (AOF 1) - in Mexico Stage (Day), only in Arcade version
- Mr. Big (AOF 1) - in Italy stage
Savage Reign/Kizuna Encounter series
- Kim Sue-il (Kizuna Encounter) - in Cambodia stage
- Note 1: In the PS2 and Xbox versions, the stages have been remodeled in 3D, although it is still possible to play with the 2D versions via the option menu. In all other versions, they are only available in their 2D forms.
- Note 2: The NESTS Team/Kusanagi's and Omega Rugal's stages look very different in the PS2 and Xbox versions. The NESTS Team/Kusanagi's stage also appears immediately before the Final Boss in these versions, rather than before the last match against a regular team/character.
- Note 3: In this game, the stage are randomly chosen by the game's system.
- Warning: The sight of some stages can cause epilepsy.
Mid-Boss & Boss Stages
Some music themes of this game are versions rearranged of some old themes in SNK past games. Below, the list:
- The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match, an upgraded version of the game.
- Official Site (in Japanese)
- GOG Store page
- Data in The King of Fighters Anniversary Website
- 2002 Official SNK Hong Kong combo video - part 1
- 2002 Official SNK Hong Kong combo video - part 2