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Overview

Fatal Fury (known in Japan as Garou Densetsu) is one of SNK's most successful fighting game franchises from 1991-1999. The story usually revolves around the "lone wolf" Terry Bogard, the fall of the criminal empire of Geese Howard, and the fictional "King of Fighters" tournament (not to be confused with the King of Fighters franchise) set in the fictional city of South Town. The fighting game series is known for its two-plane and "oversway" system, where players can move between the background and the foreground to completely dodge attacks. The series also spawned three animated features: Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Wolf, Fatal Fury 2: The New Battle, and Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture.
 
Popular characters from the Fatal Fury series also appeared in other SNK (and sometimes Capcom, in the Capcom Vs. SNK series) series, primarily the King of Fighters franchise. The original feature of that franchise was to pit the main characters of the Fatal Fury series against the main characters of SNK's Art of Fighting series.

Fatal Fury

After Capcom's success with Street Fighter II, SNK decided to produce 2D fighting games for its new arcade and home platforms known as Neo Geo. Its first venture into fighting games is Fatal Fury, which featured only three playable characters (in a game with 11 characters). The game's story puts the three protagonists ( Terry Bogard, Andy Bogard, and Joe Higashi) in a tournament called "King of Fighters" run by crime lord Geese Howard, where it is revealed to the player that Geese killed the father of the Bogard brothers. After defeating the "undefeated" appointed champion, Billy Kane, the protagonists fight Geese to the death on a high level of Geese Tower. After the battle, Geese is knocked off the tower, where it was widely believed that he died.
 
A year later, SNK released the sequel, Fatal Fury 2. Taking a page from early Street Fighter games, only the three playable characters returned and were joined by five new playable characters. There were four boss characters (including Billy Kane), where the final boss is the main antagonist, Wolfgang Krauser, who internationalizes the tournament to take on the world's strongest combatants. A year later, SNK borrowed another page from Capcom's book and updated Fatal Fury 2, calling it Fatal Fury Special. It made the bosses playable, included various characters from the original Fatal Fury, added a new combo system, and included a secret boss character, Ryo Sakazaki from the Art of Fighting series.
 
Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory! was released in 1995 with a new multi-plane system known as the "oversway" system and new characters (with the exceptions of Terry Bogard, Andy Bogard, Joe Higashi, Mai Shiranui, and Geese Howard). The story focuses on the Scrolls of Immortality being sought after by brawler Ryuji Yamazaki and the Jin brothers ( Chonshu and Chonrei).
 
These four games would eventually get released as a compilation for the PlayStation 2 named Fatal Fury Battle Archives Volume 1. All four of these games were also released on the Wii Virtual Console.
 

Real Bout Fatal Fury

Less than a year after the release of Fatal Fury 3, SNK releases Real Bout Fatal Fury, which retains the roster of Fatal Fury 3. This roster would be included in the other Real Bout Fatal Fury games with some additions. Real Bout Fatal Fury once again makes Geese Howard the main antagonist, organizing another "King of Fighters" tournament. The game marks the canonical death of Geese, as he falls from Geese Tower after refusing help from Terry Bogard. The game itself includes new gameplay elements which remained throughout the Real Bout Fatal Fury games, including a power gauge and ring-outs.
 
Over a year after the release of Real Bout Fatal Fury, SNK releases Real Bout Fatal Fury Special, which brings back the two-plane system used in Fatal Fury Special. The game also brings back characters from Fatal Fury Special, including the new boss, Wolfgang Krauser. Geese Howard returns as an overpowered secret boss (known as "Nightmare Geese"). A year later, SNK releases Real Bout Fatal Fury 2, which returns the multi-plane system back to the one used in Real Bout Fatal Fury and adds two new characters. (Along with Geese)
 
These three games would eventually get released as a compilation for the PlayStation 2 named Fatal Fury Battle Archives Volume 2.
 

Garou

In 1999, SNK released a wild departure from the Fatal Fury series called Garou: Mark of the Wolves. Set 10 years after the death of Geese Howard, the game follows Terry Bogard (who traded his hat and red jacket for long hair and a leather jacket) and his protege, Rock Howard. The game is known for its smooth animation, balanced character roster, and highly technical gameplay mechanics.
 
Garou: Mark of the Wolves is currently the last installment of the Fatal Fury franchise. A sequel to it has been rumored for ten years, but no information about it is available.

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