As KoF started in 94 it began as a cross-up between Art of Fighting and Fatal Fury. Both probably some of the best fighting games in SNK catalog prior to KoF. However, as good as an example of fighting games that Art of Fighting was, the engaging story it had somehow fell short. It went from a story of two friends saving a kidnapped sister to a joke team in the KoF series later on, and even in Art of Fighting (in the endings) most of them were jokes of the story it built upon.
Art of Fighting team (or Kyokugen, whichever one you want) kept its joking storyline within KoF until KoF 2000, it was then that it was starting to get interesting, but again fell short.
Now, looking back at the evolution of Fatal Fury the original King of Fighters tournament, we have come to expect the Fatal Fury team to be a strong team, given its legendary member Terry Bogard, captain of that team in all KoFs. What we in the west side of the hemisphere saw as the Ryu of KoF, given its backstory with Terry, always felt short no thanks to the school boy and main character, Kyo Kusanagi.
It’s been a trend from SNK to change main characters from Terry, to Kyo to K’ to Ash. I always had the impression that they were always making the previous lead less powerful and less important to the story.
I always looked at the Street Fighter saga and saw that they always kept Ryu as their lead, no matter what new or interesting characters with back stories came to the game, they always kept that intact. Should we be asking for more respect to the characters that have represented the KoF franchise?
Growing up playing KoF in the arcades for some reason Robert was the most popular character with kids under 10 from 94-98.
KoF was so popular in Mexico during the 90s that Kyo could have probably been the most popular vieogame character, even over Mario.
Just like Cole is going to be an exclusive character in the Vita version for Street Fighter X Tekken, I always wondered what it would be like to have an out of the blue KoF character in Street Fighter IV (given that its programmed by Dimps – mostly Ex Fatal Fury staff) and Kim always comes to mind, a boy can dream.
No SNK presence in SBO this year worries me for the fighting game community, but I’ll save that for next week’s column.