Neo Geo CD
Neo Geo Pocket Color
Sega Game Gear
Xbox Live Arcade
|First release||Fatal Fury: King of Fighters|
November 25, 1991
|Latest release||Garou: Mark of the Wolves|
November 26, 1999
Fatal Fury, known as Garō Densetsu (餓狼伝説, Legend of the Hungry Wolf) in Japan, is a fighting game series developed by SNK for the Neo Geo system.
|English title||Original platform||Release date||Ports|
|Fatal Fury: King of Fighters||Neo Geo||1991-11-25||Neo Geo (MVS, AES) Neo Geo CD, Sega Genesis, Sharp X68000, SNES, PlayStation 2, Virtual Console, PSN, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One|
|Fatal Fury 2||Neo Geo||1992-12-10||Neo Geo (MVS, AES) Neo Geo CD, PC Engine, Sega Genesis, SNES, Game Boy, Sharp X68000, PlayStation 2, Virtual Console, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One|
|Fatal Fury Special||Neo Geo||1993-09-16||Neo Geo (MVS, AES), FM Towns, Game Gear, Neo Geo, Neo Geo CD, Sega CD, SNES, TurboGrafx-CD, PlayStation 2, Virtual Console, Sharp X68000, Xbox Live Arcade, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One|
|Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory||Neo Geo||1995-03-27||Neo Geo (MVS, AES), Neo Geo CD, Sega Saturn, Windows 95, PlayStation 2, Virtual Console, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One|
|Real Bout Fatal Fury||Neo Geo||1995-12-20||Neo Geo (MVS, AES), Neo-Geo CD, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PSN, Virtual Console, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One|
|Real Bout Fatal Fury Special||Neo Geo||1997-01-21||Neo Geo (MVS, AES), Neo-Geo CD, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, Game Boy, PlayStation 2, PSN, Virtual Console, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One|
|Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers||Neo Geo||1998-03-20||Neo Geo (MVS, AES), Neo-Geo CD, Neo Geo Pocket Color, PlayStation 2, Virtual Console, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One|
|Real Bout Garou Densetsu Special: Dominated Mind||PlayStation||1998-06-25||PlayStation, PSN|
|Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition||Hyper Neo Geo 64||1999-01-28||Hyper Neo Geo 64, PlayStation, PSN|
|Fatal Fury: 1st Contact||Neo Geo Pocket Color||1999-04-30||Neo Geo Pocket Color, Nintendo Switch|
|Garou: Mark of the Wolves||Neo Geo||1999-11-26||Neo Geo (MVS, AES), Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, Xbox Live Arcade, iOS, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One|
Two compilations have been released:
The original Fatal Fury is known for the two-plane system. Characters fight from two different planes. By stepping between the planes, attacks can be dodged with ease. Later games have dropped the two-plane system, replacing it with a complex system of dodging, including simple half second dodges into the background and a three plane system. Characters have moves that can attack across the two planes, attack both planes at once, or otherwise attack dodge characters.
Later Fatal Fury games have experimented with various mechanical changes. "Ring-outs" allow a character to lose the round if the character is thrown into the edges of the fighting backdrop; single-plane backdrops, where dodging is eliminated altogether, causing moves that send opponents to the opposite plane to do collateral damage. The "Deadly Rave" is a super combo used by several characters, where after execution, a player had to press a preset series of buttons with exact timing for the entire combo to execute. The "Just Defend" is a type of protected block in which players regained lost life, did not wear down the player's guard crush meter and removed all block stuns making combo interruptions smoother.
Fatal Fury and its sister series, Art of Fighting, are set in the same fictional universe. Art of Fighting took place several years prior to the first Fatal Fury (this is established in Art of Fighting 2, which features a younger long-haired Geese Howard as the game's secret final boss and the true mastermind behind the events of the first Art of Fighting). The two series are set primarily in the same fictional city of "South Town".
Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition likewise features the cast from the series that are featured in The King of Fighters (KOF) series, with many of the more popular characters from Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting games transferred to The King of Fighters as they were introduced. The KOF series ignores the continuity established in the Fatal Fury/Art of Fighting games. This was done so that the characters from both series could be featured in the KOF games without having to age them.
Main article: List of Fatal Fury characters
As with most fighting games, the Fatal Fury series has an extensive cast of characters that increased with each installment. The three main heroes from the original game, Terry Bogard, Andy Bogard and Joe Higashi, appeared in each installment, along with female ninja Mai Shiranui. Some characters made appearances outside the series, particularly in The King of Fighters series and in Art of Fighting 2 (where a young Geese Howard appears as a hidden opponent). Likewise, characters from outside the series have appeared in the Fatal Fury games. Ryo Sakazaki from the Art of Fighting series makes an appearance in a hidden "dream match" in Fatal Fury Special, while his older self from Buriki One appears in Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition. Garou: Mark of the Wolves is the only Fatal Fury game not to feature any returning character with the exception of Terry Bogard himself, who was completely redesigned for the game.
The Fatal Fury series chronicles the rise of "Lone Wolf" Terry Bogard (hence the Japanese title, which translates to Legend of the Hungry Wolf), and the simultaneous fall of the criminal empire of Geese Howard. Like many other SNK titles of the time, the first installment takes place in a fictitious American city called South Town. Brimming with violence and corruption, South Town forms the ideal backdrop for the annual The King of Fighters fighting tournament, organized by notorious crime lord Geese Howard. No fighter has ever managed to beat his right-hand man and appointed champion, Billy Kane, until Terry arrives.
The second installment of the series features Geese's half-brother, Wolfgang Krauser, who internationalizes the formerly local tournament in a bid to take on the world's strongest combatants. The tournament disappears from the storyline by the third game, having spun off into its own series. Instead, the third installment centers around Terry Bogard's attempts to stop Geese from obtaining an ancient scroll that would give him the powers of a lost and dangerous martial art form.
After the third game, the series was renamed to Real Bout Fatal Fury. In its first installment, the final and decisive battle is set between Terry and Geese. The King of Fighters tournament appears in this game. The second installment, which is named Real Bout Fatal Fury Special, features Wolfgang's return.
Garou: Mark of the Wolves takes place a generation later. It focuses on Rock Howard, Terry's protégé and son of Geese, who makes a shocking discovery about his past when he enters the tournament.
Series producers Takashi Nishiyama (since the original title) and Hiroshi Matsumoto (since Fatal Fury 3), were the planners of the original Street Fighter (where they were credited as Piston Takashi and Finish Hiroshi). Matsumoto is also the creator of the Art of Fighting series.
The Fatal Fury series inspired a trilogy of animated productions produced by NAS with SNK, featuring character designs by Masami Ōbari. The first is a television special that aired in 1992 on Fuji TV titled Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Wolf (Battle Fighters Garou Densetsu), which adapts the plot of the first game. It was followed in 1993 by another television special Fatal Fury 2: The New Battle (Battle Fighters Garou Densetsu 2) based on the second game, which also aired on Fuji TV. A theatrically released film followed in 1994, titled Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture (Garou Densetsu: The Motion Picture), which features an original plot and new characters. The first two TV specials were released on a single laserdisc and later on DVD.
VIZ Communications picked up the license for the trilogy and produced English dubbed versions of each of them, releasing them straight to VHS, and later on DVD. They were later released subtitled, with the first two Fatal Fury specials released in one video titled Fatal Fury One-Two Punch. The subbed version of Fatal Fury 2 features a scene involving a rematch between Joe Higashi and Big Bear (Raiden) that was cut from the dubbed version. The English DVD release of the TV specials, Fatal Fury: Double Impact, features this scene. If chosen to be viewed with the English dub, it would temporarily go onto Japanese with English subtitles during this scene.
Many soundtracks, manga comics, other books, video tapes, and drama CDs have been released in Japan for the series as a whole and for each of its individual entries.
The fan film Fatal Fury: Mark of the Wolves was released on YouTube on February 10, 2021 starring Josh Mabie as Rock Howard (also as the director and of action design) and Christian Howard as Terry Bogard (also as the producer); these two also served as the writers and for co-fight choreography.
Characters from Fatal Fury have gone on to make guest appearances in other fighting games such as Dead or Alive 5: Last Round, Tekken 7, Fighting EX Layer and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.