Fatal Fury (known in Japan as Garou Densetsu: Shukumei no Tatakai, translated Legend of the Hungry Wolf: The Battle of Destiny), also known as Fatal Fury: The King of Fighters, is a fighting game developed and published by SNK for the Neo Geo. Released only a half a year later than Street Fighter II, Fatal Fury is SNK's first fighting game and the first fighting game on the Neo Geo, debuting now famous Terry Bogard, his younger brother Andy Bogard, and Japanese Muay Thai kick boxer Joe Higashi as they enter the fictional "King of Fighters" tournament (Not to be confused with the King of Fighters franchise, which also stars these characters) in the fictional city of South Town. The game also debuts popular SNK fighters and bosses such as Billy Kane and Geese Howard.
The game was designed by Takashi Nishiyama, the creator of the original Street Fighter. Fatal Fury, which Nishiyama envisioned as a spiritual successor to Street Fighter, was developed around the same time as Street Fighter II. While Street Fighter II placed more emphasis on combos, Fatal Fury placed more emphasis on the timing of special moves as well as storytelling.
The game was ported to the SNES in November 27, 1992 and the Genesis in April 23, 1993 by Takara. SNK also released Fatal Fury for the Neo Geo CD on September 9, 1994. The original Neo Geo version was also included in the Fatal Fury: Battle Archives Volume 1 and SNK Arcade Classics Volume 1 compilations and was released on the Wii Virtual Console in September 21, 2007.
This is the first fighting game to include the concept of the stage changing between rounds, usually changing the time of day (or in the case of Tung Fu Rue's stage, the weather changes to rain).
Fatal Fury plays like a traditional fighting game. The player has three attack buttons: punch, kick, and throw. Each character have special moves whose input commands are shown during the course of the game (after every bonus round) as opposed to being given in an instruction card in the game's cabinet.
The game started a unique and novel concept to the Fatal Fury franchise that fighters fought on two different planes (or "lines") instead of just one like other 2D fighters. This allows characters to dodge attacks and projectiles completely rather than block them. In the original Fatal Fury, only CPU opponents could freely move among these different lines; the player character only followed. (Either by a quick roll or a jump kick) This was changed in Fatal Fury 2 so that both characters could move freely among these planes.
After every two matches, the player is allowed to participate in a bonus round in which you arm wrestle a machine by mashing the punch button as fast as possible.
Fatal Fury is the only fighting game where if a second player joins in the middle of a fight, the fight is not interrupted so that the two players could battle. Instead, before the battle takes place, both players fight the CPU opponent in a two-on-one fight.
Despite there being 11 fighters in this fighting game, only three are playable in the arcade version. The SNES and Genesis ports of Fatal Fury allowed the CPU opponents to be playable in versus mode. After initially choosing a character in arcade mode, the player must pick between Duck King, Richard Meyer, Michael Max, and Tung Fu Rue. After fighting all four characters, the player must then fight Hwa Jai, Raiden, Billy Kane, and Geese Howard in that order.