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Intro & Characters
Fatal Fury

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Fatal Fury 2
Fatal Fury Special

Page 3:
Fatal Fury 3
Real Bout Fatal Fury

Page 4:
Real Bout Special
Dominated Mind

Page 5:
Real Bout Fatal Fury 2
First Contact

Page 6:
Wild Ambition
Garou: Mark of the Wolves

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Anime
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Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory / Garou Densetsu 3: Harukanaru Tatakai (餓狼伝説3: 遥かなる闘い) - Neo Geo, Neo Geo CD, Saturn, Windows, PlayStation 2, Wii (March 1995)

Japanese Neo Geo Cover

Japanese Saturn Cover

Five of the more popular characters (Terry, Andy, Joe, Mai and Geese) have been brought back, with five new original characters (Hon Fu, Bob Wilson, Sokaku Mochizuki, Franco Bash, and fan favorite Blue Mary) added to the cast, for a total of ten playable characters. This is the lone canonical Fatal Fury game that does not involve the King of Fighters tournament. Instead, its plot concerns two brothers, Jin Chonshu and Jin Chonrei, along with a man named Ryuji Yamazaki, and their attempt to regain possession of some kind of magic object that will grant immortality. Geese Howard is revealed to have survived the events of Fatal Fury, and he intends to find these for himself. As would be expected, Terry and his pals aren't down with that idea, and they set out to stop Geese. Several other characters with their own motivations get involved in all this craziness along the way. Ryuji Yamazaki makes his first appearance here, initially showing up as a mid boss. (When fighting him, the map screen screams "ACCIDENT!" for some reason.) In his first fight, he'll go down after a single round, but he returns for real later near the end of the game. After him, both Jin brothers need to be taken down, one after another. None of the boss characters are playable in the arcade version.

Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory (subtitled "Harukanaru Tatakai" in Japan, meaning "The Distant Battle"), is a drastically different game from its predecessors. The entire game engine has been completely rebuilt from scratch, leading to a game with a different feel than the rest of the series. For starters, it's much faster and tighter, feeling a bit closer in speed to Capcom's fighters. All of the combatants have been completely redrawn, too. Almost every technique from Fatal Fury Special is available again, along with several others. Characters can dash by quickly tapping the joystick forward twice, cancel a dash by tapping the joystick back while still in the dash animation, perform a short jump by very quickly tapping the joystick up, perform a longer jump by executing a jump from a dash, and air block by holding the joystick back while airborne.

The standard desperation moves are still there, complemented by new "Hidden Desperation" moves. As their name implies, they're hidden and not normally available during play. To make these available, the player has to push Start and all four buttons as soon as "GO!" appears on screen at the beginning of a round. After the life bar begins to flash, a character specific set up has to be performed that causes the name to flash as well. Only at this point, the Hidden Desperation move can be performed, and only once each round. There are also three kinds of non-fatal finishing moves called "Finishes" that are performed by finishing the opponent with a specific move while they are on the ground. Background finishes can only be executed in the stages for Joe, Terry, Andy, Hon-Fu, and Mai. Knockout finishes can only be performed in the stages for Geese, Bash, Sokaku, Bob, Yamazaki, and Chonshu/Chonrei. Lastly, in Blue Mary's background (Pioneer Plaza), defeating someone with a move that knocks them far into the air will cause the chandeliers to come crashing down.

The plane system has been changed a bit, too. Rather than jumping from plane to plane, the characters quickly shift between them and stay there for a second before moving back. The movement is much quicker, and there are three planes rather than two. It's fully become a system to dodge attacks. From the middle plane, the back plane is reached by pushing the B and C buttons at once, and then move back to the middle plane by holding the joystick in the down position. The front-most plane is reached by pushing the A and B buttons at once, and then move back to the middle plane by holding the joystick in the up position. While the three planes allow for more evasion options, every character has context based moves that will "pull" an opponent back into the middle plane or knock them into another, allowing for a greater variety of moves. This is also the first Fatal Fury that grades players on their combat skills. The rank at the end determines which of several final bosses is faced - Yamazaki, or either of the Jins.

Even though the core of the game has changed quite a bit, the presentation is actually closer to the original game. At the beginning stands a choice between the first four opponents, and in between matches a little super deformed version of the player's character zooms between different destinations on the map of Southtown. The characters taunt each other before and after combat, and the translation actually shows a bit of competent writing. There are still plenty of goofy puns and ridiculous nicknames, but it's a step up from the average SNK fighting game.

Almost all games in the series have great background art, and Fatal Fury 3 is no exception. The color palette may be pretty dull compared to the other games in the series, but it still looks pretty decent, and there are many amusing details to its backgrounds. Terry is now accompanied by a monkey, who hops up down next to his boombox, and a tiny little frog will occasionally leap into the water in Andy's stage. In round four on Joe's stage that alligator in the background suddenly has a bow on its head. It's also possible to make the turtle in Joe's stage jump by executing Sokaku's Demon Staff Toss when the turtle is not raising its neck. Mai's stage is an aquarium, with different creatures swimming in each round, ranging from fish to penguins to crabs, and even a surprise appearance by Jubei Yamada. Bob's stage has cameos from SNK characters Kyo Kusanagi, Sie Kensou, and Richard Meyer, and Han-Fu's level has a cameo from Cheng Sinzan. The intro is also amazingly animated, as it shows Geese Howard sitting down in his office chair and putting his legs up on the desk like the most badass villain in existence. The music has also been all redone, and most of it's pretty good, especially Terry's jazzy rock theme.

Due to fighting games not being as popular by the time that it was released, and the fact that it's really not as good as its immediate predecessor, Fatal Fury 3 did not recreate the level of success that Fatal Fury Special had in the arcades. It did receive a few good ports though. A version was released for Neo Geo CD that plays perfectly, but has the console's problematic loading times. This version was used for the basis of the Windows release - a series first - which is pretty decent. There's also a version for Saturn, although since it doesn't utilize the RAM cart, it has some obnoxious load times and cut animation. Fatal Fury 3 was also included in the Fatal Fury Battle Archives Vol 1 for the PlayStation 2.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Publisher:

Producer:

  • Takashi Nishiyama
    Hiroshi Matsumoto

Planner:

  • Takashi Tsukamoto
    Seigo Itoh
    Takahisa Yariyama

Genre:

Themes:


Fatal Fury 3 (Neo Geo)

Fatal Fury 3 (Neo Geo)

Fatal Fury 3 (Neo Geo)

Fatal Fury 3 (Neo Geo)

Fatal Fury 3 (Neo Geo)

Fatal Fury 3 (Neo Geo)

Fatal Fury 3 (Neo Geo)

Fatal Fury 3 (Neo Geo)

Fatal Fury 3 (Neo Geo)


Additional Screenshots


Intro


Quotes


Real Bout Fatal Fury / Real Bout Garou Densetsu (リアルバウト餓狼伝説) - Neo Geo, Neo Geo CD, PlayStation, Saturn, PlayStation 2, Wii, PlayStation 3, PSP, PSVita (December, 21 1995)

Japanese Neo Geo Cover

Japanese PlayStation Cover

Fatal Fury 3 had potential, but is just didn't really rise to its full potential. Real Bout Fatal Fury is everything that its predecessor could and should have been, and more. Every character from Fatal Fury 3, bosses and all, has been brought back and made playable. Three more characters from previous installments - Kim Kaphwan, Billy Kane, and Duck King - also return for a total of sixteen playable characters. The plot again concerns the King of Fighters tournament. At the end of Fatal Fury 3, Geese was able to obtain the magical artifacts, but they were destroyed by the Jin twins. So shortly thereafter, he stages another KoF tournament. The events of the game are best remembered for ending with the death of Geese Howard after he refuses to get saved by Terry Bogard.

Instead of using four attack buttons, the D button is strictly for plane switching. A punches and B kicks, but the C button executes a nebulous "power" attack. This can either be a strong punch or kick, depending on the character and situation. It takes a bit getting used to, as it makes executing special moves somewhat confusing. For instance, with Terry, a QCB+Punch executes the Burn Knuckle, while a QBC+Kick executes a Crack Shoot. QCB+Strong is more powerful Burn Knuckle, which means there's no way to do a stronger Crack Shoot. Weird.

All of Fatal Fury 3's techniques have been retained in some form or other, with a few changes that make a world of difference to the game's quality. At the bottom of the screen is a super meter that starts to deplete gradually as soon as it is maxed out. The character can perform as many S. Power Supers as desired until it's completely depleted. Desperation moves have technically been removed, but if the health bar begins flashing with the super meter maxed out, a P. Power Super can be performed, which is generally a more powerful variation of the standard super. These completely deplete the super meter at once. After the super meter reaches its halfway point, it enables H. Power, which allows to perform "Break Shots." Break Shots are specials and supers that can be guard cancelled into. Finishes have been changed to Knockout Finishes, which are identical except they only knock the opponent toward the screen. Combatants can also recover quicker from a knockdown by pushing the D button after a fall.

In every arena other than Geese Tower, it is possible to destroy the side of the stage. All walls can be damaged when a character is knocked against them (whether or not they block), or by attacks that miss the opponent and collide with a wall. Any damage to walls is retained after each round. When a wall is destroyed, it reveals an out of bounds area. If a fighter is knocked into it, they'll lose by a ring out, similar to Virtua Fighter. Some of these ring outs are pretty funny. In the subway stage, the combatants can be knocked onto a train, which then departs, spiriting them away from the fighting ground. In the museum stage the destination is an elevator, which then carries the losers upward as they hop furiously. When Blue Mary is knocked into the water in the docks level under the right conditions, she'll surface without her top, which is one of the very few instances of actual nudity in an SNK game.

Other than introducing a multitude of techniques and upping the size of its character roster, what really makes Real Bout so much better than Fatal Fury 3, and so fantastic in general, is in the overall feel of the game. For starters, it's faster and much more combo-oriented than any previous game in the series. Fatal Fury 3 relied mostly on canned combos, but in Real Bout, the system is much more free form. In fact, it's extensive enough that there's a great deal of room for improvement for anybody determined to master it. Most importantly, its physics are more intuitive. The damage has also been rebalanced so fights now last a bit longer. Combined with its speed and impeccable-as-always controls, it all makes for an excellent game.

Most of the character sprites are identical to those from Fatal Fury 3, but everything else about the graphics has been significantly improved. SNK's sprite artists were working with much brighter palettes this time and the result is significantly more colorful than its predecessors. There are only five different stages, but their designs are immensely better than in any prior Fatal Fury game and are easily comparable to what SNK was doing with Samurai Shodown at that point. Besides just having gorgeous graphics, an amazing level of attention has been paid to detail in its animations. The moves have been made way flashier to the point that the Real Bout games are among the flashiest fighting games ever made. Musically, Real Bout retains Fatal Fury 3's compositions and has a few originals that are just as great.

Around the time of its release, Real Bout Fatal Fury was ported to Neo Geo CD, PlayStation, and Saturn. The NGCD port is flawless, but has its the expected problematic loading times. The PlayStation version was released in Japan and Europe, and was advertised for release in America, but never made it over. It's also inferior to the Saturn version, which utilizes the 1MB RAM cart this time, and is a much better port than Fatal Fury 3. There are still some load times, and the sound effects are still scratchy, but it's definitely a step up. There's a release for PlayStation 2 as part of the compilation Fatal Fury Battle Archives 2, which is basically arcade perfect. Oddly, the Japanese version has Blue Mary's wardrobe malfunction removed, while the American version is censored for blood, just like the arcade original back in 1995.

Quick Info:

Developer:

Publisher:

Producer:

  • Takashi Nishiyama
    Hiroshi Matsumoto
    Seigo Itoh

Planner:

  • Takashi Tsukamoto
    Takahisa Yariyama
    OH! Saba Meron

Genre:

Themes:


Real Bout Fatal Fury (Neo Geo)

Real Bout Fatal Fury (Neo Geo)

Real Bout Fatal Fury (Neo Geo)

Real Bout Fatal Fury (Neo Geo)

Real Bout Fatal Fury (Neo Geo)

Real Bout Fatal Fury (Neo Geo)

Real Bout Fatal Fury (Neo Geo)

Real Bout Fatal Fury (Neo Geo)

Real Bout Fatal Fury (Neo Geo)

Real Bout Fatal Fury (Neo Geo)


Ring Out


Ending


<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
Intro & Characters
Fatal Fury

Page 2:
Fatal Fury 2
Fatal Fury Special

Page 3:
Fatal Fury 3
Real Bout Fatal Fury

Page 4:
Real Bout Special
Dominated Mind

Page 5:
Real Bout Fatal Fury 2
First Contact

Page 6:
Wild Ambition
Garou: Mark of the Wolves

Page 7:
Anime
Other

Back to the Index