Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory! (known in Japan as Garou Densetsu 3: Harukanaru Tatakai, which loosely translates to "Legend of the Hungry Wolf 3: The Distant Battle") is a 2D fighting game developed and released by SNK for arcades (using the Neo Geo MVS hardware) on March 27, 1995.
The third numbered installment in the Fatal Fury series, Fatal Fury 3 revamps most of the game's playable roster (with the only returning characters being Terry Bogard, Andy Bogard, Joe Higashi, Mai Shiranui, and Geese Howard) while redrawing the sprite style of all characters and replacing the "two line" system with a new "oversway" system (in which players now use the foreground area or the background area to sway and dodge from the main area). Players can also now dash in both directions, perform a shorter (and faster) jump, block in mid-air, and perform pre-determined chain combos.
Set back in South Town, the game focuses on mystical artifacts (known as the "secret scrolls") which the mysterious Jin brothers (Chonshu and Chonrei) and sadistic felon Ryuji Yamazaki are trying to find in order to rule the world. Underworld crime boss Geese Howard has also returned from his apparent death in Fatal Fury to continue his rule over the city.
Unlike previous installments of the Fatal Fury franchise, all console ports were done by SNK themselves. Along with the standard Neo Geo AES release and Neo Geo CD port (both released on April 21, 1995), it was released for the Saturn (on June 28, 1996 in Japan only) and PC (on 1996 for Japan, on 1998 for North America). It also included in the Fatal Fury Battle Archives Volume 1 compilation for the PlayStation 2 and was digitally released on the Wii (via Wii Virtual Console) on October 4, 2010.
The format and controls of Fatal Fury 3 are directly from Fatal Fury Special, with some subtle differences. Players can now dash forwards, perform a short jump (by tapping Up, Up+Forward, or Up+Back on the joystick) and block in the air. Fatal Fury 3 also introduces pre-determined chain combos, where players execute a string of normal attacks (varying by character).
The two-line system from the previous Fatal Fury games have been replaced by a three-plane format known as the "Oversway" system, where the players mainly fight in the middle area, but can switch between the background (by pressing Light Kick and Heavy Punch simultaneously) and foreground (by pressing Light Kick and Light Punch simultaneously) areas temporarily to completely avoid attacks and projectiles. Players can counter sways by pressing the same button combination (pulling them back in and damaging them).
In addition to the standard "super desperation move", which can only be executed at low vitality (as shown when the life gauge flashes red), players now have a rare ability to do a very powerful "hidden desperation move" once per round. This is unlocked by pressing all buttons (including the player's Start button) simultaneously as soon as the word "GO!" flashes on the beginning of the round. If this is done right, the player's name on the life gauge will turn green. Then, when the life gauge flashes red, the player must set up the move correctly (either by moving to a set distance away from the opponent or executing a specific attack), where their name on the life gauge will flash. Only then could this powerful move be performed.
Fatal Fury 3 also features a fighting grade system which grades players' performance from E to A, then S, SS, and SSS. How far they can progress through the boss battles is determined on their average fighting grade when battling the computer players.
Fatal Fury includes 10 playable characters from the start, five from previous games. Players can fight three CPU-only bosses (made playable with a code in console versions).
Like the original Fatal Fury, players start by choosing their first opponent out of four (Joe, Mary, Bob, and Franco) and cycling through the three remaining opponents. After defeating all four opponents, players fight a one-round plot match against Yamazaki and then fight the remaining main roster in order: Mai, Andy, Hon-Fu, Sokaku, Terry, and Geese. After defeating Geese, players fight a full match against Yamazaki as the initial boss fight. Depending on how well the player has fought in previous matches, they can face up against both (or one, or neither) of the Jin brothers consecutively as the final bosses.