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Fatal Fury (universe)

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Fatal Fury (universe)
Fatal Fury logo.png
Developer(s) SNK
Publisher(s) SNK
Designer(s) Takashi Nishiyama
Genre(s) Fighting
Console/platform of origin Neo Geo MVS
First installment Fatal Fury: King of Fighters (1991)
Latest installment Garou: Mark of the Wolves (1999)
Article on Wikipedia Fatal Fury (universe)

The Fatal Fury universe (餓狼伝説, Legend of the Hungry Wolf), stylized in-game as FATAL FURY, refers to the Super Smash Bros. series' collection of characters, stages, and properties hailing from the series of fighting games developed for the Neo Geo. One of SNK's premiere fighting games, the series' success laid the groundwork for other SNK fighting game franchises, most notably its prequel series Art of Fighting and the long-running crossover-based standalone universe series The King of Fighters.

While the Art of Fighting storyline is confirmed to share the same timeline depicted in the Fatal Fury storyline, the video games series The Last Blade (幕末浪漫, Bakumatsu Romance), and Fūun (風雲) (the latter consisting of its two released video games, Savage Reign and Kizuna Encounter) are in question, due to their possible connection within this timeline.[1]

Franchise description[edit]

After creating and directing the original Street Fighter, Takashi Nishiyama left Capcom and ended up working for SNK. The company was developing the Neo-Geo family of arcade and home console hardware at the time, and wanted a tentpole fighting game to compete with Capcom. This initiative eventually resulted in 1991 with the release of Fatal Fury, designed as a spiritual successor to Nishiyama's previous work and developed around the same time as Street Fighter II. To help differentiate this new game from the competition, the developers implemented several fundamental changes. The six button control scheme Capcom created and adopted was condensed into four buttons: light punch (A), light kick (B), heavy punch (C), and heavy kick (D). The game also introduced a two-plane fighting system, letting players dodge attacks by moving between the foreground and background. The game also has a greater emphasis on story. After selecting from a roster of only three playable characters—Terry Bogard, his brother Andy, and their friend Joe Higashi—the player is tasked with going through the titular King of Fighters tournament taking place in the city of South Town against various foes to avenge the murder of Terry's adoptive father, Jeff, by the tournament's criminal organizer, Geese Howard. Short cutscenes play between each match, and the game also supports two-player co-op.

In 1992, SNK released the first entry in its prequel series, Art of Fighting, as well a sequel, Fatal Fury 2, featuring the three playable characters from the first game in addition to five new characters. Fatal Fury 2 continues the story from the original, with a new antagonist, Wolfgang Krauser von Stroheim, who internationalizes the tournament to bring in the world's strongest fighters. An updated version of the second game, Fatal Fury Special, was released in 1993, containing several gameplay changes such as an expanded character roster, a new combo system, and a new hidden boss character: Ryo Sakazaki from Art of Fighting.

In 1994, all of these fighting game franchises, as well as other SNK legacy characters and some original fighters came together in the first entry in The King of Fighters series, named after the tournament held within the Fatal Fury series. Players pick three different characters to comprise a team to go up against another team. The game ends when all the fighters on a team are defeated. This series in particular became incredibly popular in terms of reviews and sales, with new entries being made to this day.

Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory was later released in 1995, featuring a further expanded character roster, a new three-plane fighting system known as "Oversway", and a new story focusing on the search for three sacred scrolls, the Scrolls of Jin, which were said to grant immortality to whoever came into their possession. A follow-up game in a new subseries, Real Bout Fatal Fury, was released in the same year, retaining the "Oversway" system while adding ring-outs (akin to Virtua Fighter), a simplified control scheme, and a Power Gauge feature; similar to the "special moves" featured in contemporary games, the gauge will fill up over time and can be unleashed for unique, powerful attacks. Real Bout also notably concluded the storyline introduced by Fatal Fury, with Geese Howard's canonical death occurring at the end of the game's campaign.

This was followed up by Real Bout Fatal Fury Special in 1997, which returned to the standard two planes and replaced ring-outs with breakable walls, and Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers in 1998, which removed breakable walls and simplified the system into a "main" line and a "sway" line used only for dodging. A 3D spinoff retelling the story of the first game, Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition, released in early 1999 for SNK's Hyper Neo Geo 64, their only 3D arcade board. The game uses a similar gameplay system to Real Bout Fatal Fury 2, albeit with the ability to move on a second plane using a feature called the Axis Shift.

The latest game in the Fatal Fury series, Garou: Mark of the Wolves, was released in late 1999 and serves as a ten year time-skip from the events of Real Bout, greatly revamping the gameplay and removing the two-plane system in favor of expanded defensive options. Terry is the only returning character in this installment, with the rest of the cast being newcomers (although some of them have some relationship to veteran characters); the game focuses on Geese's son, Rock Howard, whom Terry adopted at the end of Real Bout. The main antagonist is Rock's uncle, Kain R. Heinlein, who hosts a new King of Fighters tournament in South Town's neighboring city of Second South Town in an effort to locate Rock and lure him into his control. While this game marked the end of the Fatal Fury series for 22 years, the characters still make regular appearances in other SNK games, including The King of Fighters and other guest appearances. However, it was announced at EVO 2022 that a new entry had been green-lit, later revealed at the following EVO to be called Fatal Fury: City of the Wolves.

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

All of the content for this franchise was released on November 6th, 2019 as part of the version 6.0.0 update.


  • 74.
    Terry (DLC): The Legendary Hungry Wolf from South Town joins the battle as the fourth downloadable newcomer from the Fighters Pass Vol. 1. In battle, he brings over his moveset from his appearances in both the Fatal Fury and The King of Fighters franchises, such as Power Wave, Burning Knuckle, Crack Shoot, Rising Tackle, and Power Dunk. He is a technical brawler who can cancel some normal attacks into his special moves, much like Ryu and Ken before him. Finally, he has access to his two super special moves, Power Geyser and Buster Wolf, after sustaining enough damage. His Final Smash combines Triple Geyser, Power Dunk, and Buster Wolf into a flashy combo attack, Triple Wolf. He was released on November 6th, 2019 alongside King of Fighters Stadium, its 50 music tracks, and the SNK series Spirits as part of Challenger Pack 4.

Background Characters[edit]

Twenty SNK characters cameo on King of Fighters Stadium. Nine are directly from the Fatal Fury series, while the remaining eleven all hail from different series (though it should be noted that all twenty characters make appearances in the King of Fighters series).

Fatal Fury series[edit]

  • Andy Bogard: Terry Bogard's younger brother and recurring teammate in The King of Fighters tournament. Instead of training under his adoptive father like Terry, Andy trained himself under ninja master Hanzo Shiranui, the Grandfather of Mai Shiranui.
  • Joe Higashi: A Japanese Muay Thai champion and friend of both Terry and Andy Bogard. First appearing in the first Fatal Fury game, Joe often joins the Bogard brothers in The King of Fighters as a recurring teammate of the Fatal Fury team.
  • Geese Howard: Terry's archenemy, Geese Howard is a powerful fighter and a crime boss operating in South Town. He killed Terry and Andy's adoptive father, Jeff Bogard. Geese is canonically dead in the Fatal Fury shared universe series, while he remains alive and active in The King of Fighters series.
  • Billy Kane: Geese Howard's British right-hand man and self-proclaimed rival of Terry Bogard, who eventually also formed a rivalry with Joe Higashi, due to the latter having a crush on the former’s sister, Lily Kane.
  • Rock Howard: Geese Howard's son, whom Terry took in as his protégé after his father's demise. He first appears in Garou: Mark of the Wolves.
  • Tung Fu Rue: An elderly and wise Chinese master of Hakkyokuseiken who trained both Geese Howard and Jeff Bogard. His students in The King of Fighters series are the fourth arc’s main characters Shun’ei and Meitenkun.
  • Kim Kaphwan: A Taekwondo master with a strong sense of justice, who befriended Terry after they met and fought during the events of Fatal Fury 2. One of the veteran fighters of The King of Fighters series, where he leads his own team based in Korea (with the exception of The King of Fighters XI, where he is Terry’s teammate; and The King of Fighters XV is the first game where he is absent from the tournament, although he is featured as downloadable content for the latter).
  • Blue Mary: A private detective and secret agent who befriends Terry after her first appearance in Fatal Fury 3. The two are implied to be in a relationship, as evident in The King of Fighters series.
  • Ryuji Yamazaki: A sadistic criminal boss who went insane after the torture and murder of his mentor, Sorimachi. He first appears in Fatal Fury 3. Yamazaki wields a knife in his dominant hand, but rarely removes it from his pocket unless he intends to inflict serious damage to his opponent. He is tied into the story of The King of Fighters by being one of the eight heralds of Orochi, although he has no interest in Orochi's revival.

Other SNK series[edit]

In addition to their roles as background characters, Ryo Sakazaki and Iori Yagami appear as Mii Costumes. Although she does not cameo on King of Fighters Stadium, Nakoruru also appears as a Mii costume.

Art of Fighting series[edit]
  • Ryo Sakazaki: The main protagonist of the Fatal Fury prequel series, Art of Fighting. He is the Dragon of the fictional Kyokugen Karate, a heir to the mantle of Mr. Karate, and the leader of the Art of Fighting team within The King of Fighters. He appeared as a bonus boss character in Fatal Fury Special and Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition.
  • Yuri Sakazaki: Ryo Sakazaki's younger sister, who is kidnapped by Mr. Big in the first Art of Fighting game. After being rescued, she learned her family's Kyokugen Karate as a form of self-defense, and made her playable debut in Art of Fighting 2.
  • King: A French, androgynous bouncer and bar owner who formerly worked for Mr. Big. She switches her allegiance and assists Ryo after being defeated by him in the first Art of Fighting game, in return to aid her cure her sick little brother; they become close friends and begin dating afterwards.
King of Fighters series[edit]
  • Kyo Kusanagi: The heir of the traditional Kusanagi Clan, Kyo is the main protagonist of The King of Fighters series. He holds one of the Three Sacred Treasures, the Kusanagi Sword, capable of sealing off the mystical Orochi power.
  • Iori Yagami: Kyo Kusanagi's rival, first making his debut in The King of Fighters '95. Iori is the heir of the Yagami Clan, who rivals the Kusanagi Clan to a point that Iori is obsessed with ending Kyo's life, and also holds one of the Three Sacred Treasures, the Magatama of Yasakani. Iori controls purple flames that stun opponents, thanks to his clan's links to the Orochi blood, which also make him vulnerable to the so-called Riot of the Blood, which makes him uncontrollably wild.
  • Goro Daimon: A judo champion and recurring companion of Kyo Kusanagi as a member of the Japan Team, Orochi Saga’s Hero/Protagonist Team. Despite his intimidating appearance, Daimon is a kind and gentle person. His first appearance was in The King of Fighters '94, alongside Kyo.
  • Chang Koehan and Choi Bounge: Two Korean criminals who were forced to join Kim Kaphwan's "rehabilitation program". Chang is a large felon who wields an iron ball and has a history of prison breaks, while Choi is a short slasher who was captured by Kim when he tried to attack him. They both first appeared in The King of Fighters '94.
Psycho Soldier series[edit]
  • Athena Asamiya: A Japanese pop idol and descendant of Princess Athena from Athena, who wields psychic powers to fight evil. She made her first appearance in the game Psycho Soldier, before becoming a staple character of The King of Fighters franchise. Athena wears a different outfit in every King of Fighters game, with her appearance in Ultimate modeled after the outfit she wore in The King of Fighters '95.
Ikari Warriors series[edit]
  • Ralf Jones and Clark Still: Members of the Ikari Warriors mercenary organization, Ralf and Clark work under Commander Heidern and are regulars in The King of Fighters series, as well as Metal Slug series. Their first appearance was in the game Ikari Warriors.


  • KingofFightersStadiumIconSSBU.png
    King of Fighters Stadium (DLC): A stadium based on the "King of Fighters" tournament. The tournament originated from Fatal Fury, but the stage resembles its appearance in The King of Fighters series. It appears closest to the Stadium Stage found in The King of Fighters XII. Notably, the "KOF" logo in center stage uses the Smash logo instead of an "O". This arena takes the form of a flat stage with no ledges and features invisible walls on the right and left blast zones, which with enough force can be broken through and cause an instant KO. The stage was released on November 6th, 2019 as part of Challenger Pack 4.


Original Tracks[edit]

Source Tracks[edit]

Victory Theme[edit]

  • Victory! Terry (DLC): A hard rock remix of "Results Are Everything", the theme that plays at the end of a battle in Fatal Fury: King of Fighters.


Media with elements appearing in the Super Smash Bros. series[edit]

The Fatal Fury universe has media represented throughout the Super Smash Bros. series with a total of 9 games and media. The latest media represented in this universe is Garou: Mark of the Wolves, released on November 26, 1999.

Fatal Fury: King of Fighters[edit]

  • Playable characters:
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Terry originates from this game. Most of the special moves from his moveset, namely the Power Wave, Burning Knuckle, Crack Shoot and Rising Tackle, come from this game.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate The "NEO GEO" logo on the cap of Terry's Orange costume comes from the game's official artwork. However, in the game, like in all other sprite-based games he appears in, the front of his cap is blank, like in his Brown and Green costumes.
  • Stage:
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate While the King of Fighters Stadium is a largely original stage drawing elements from its eponymous series, the fighting tournament in which Terry takes part is called "King of Fighters" in-game, and the name was one of many sources of inspiration the then-future series drew upon.
  • Stage elements:
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Five characters that debuted in this game may appear in the background of the King of Fighters Stadium: Andy Bogard, Joe Higashi, Tung Fu Rue, Billy Kane and Geese Howard.
  • Spirits:
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Andy Bogard, Joe Higashi and Geese Howard appear as spirits.
  • Music:

Fatal Fury 2[edit]

Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Wolf[edit]

  • Playable characters:
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Terry's Black alternate costume has his cap with a metal plate on the front, referencing his appearance in the anime films.

Fatal Fury Special[edit]

As an update of Fatal Fury 2, many elements of that game carried over to this one. Original elements include:

Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory[edit]

  • Playable characters:
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Terry's Power Dunk move originates from this game.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Triple Geyser, part of Terry's Final Smash originates from this game.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate The "King of the Fighters" logo present on Terry's cap in his Grey costume comes from this game's official artwork.
  • Stage elements:
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Blue Mary and Ryuji Yamazaki, who debuted in this game, may appear in the background of the King of Fighters Stadium.
  • Music:

Real Bout Fatal Fury[edit]

  • Playable characters:
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate The GO icon originates from this game.
  • Stage elements:
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate The breakable walls in the King of Fighters Stadium are inspired by this game's ring-out mechanic.

Real Bout Fatal Fury Special[edit]

  • Spirits:
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Kim and Geese's spirit artworks come from this game. Geese's design in particular is from across the Real Bout games in general.

Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition[edit]

  • Playable characters:
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Terry's down throw, Neck Breaker Drop, debuted in this game.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Terry's Black alternate costume is based on a palette swap from this game.
  • Music:

Garou: Mark of the Wolves[edit]

  • Playable characters:
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Terry's Super Special Move, Buster Wolf, debuted in this game.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Many of Terry's alternate cries for his special moves ("Rock you!", "Kick back!") originate from this game.
  • Stage elements:
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Rock Howard, who debuted in this game, may appear in the background of the King of Fighters Stadium.


  • Fatal Fury is the second fighting game universe to have a playable character, following Street Fighter and preceding ARMS and Tekken.
  • Masahiro Sakurai revealed in an interview that his all-inclusive design ethos stems from an incident when he won at The King of Fighters '95, only to learn afterwards that his opponent was a mere beginner.
  • Several mechanics in the Super Smash Bros. series appear to originate in the Fatal Fury and The King of Fighters series, such as dodges and short hops, as well as the general concept behind Squad Strike. It also introduced a two-plane system that was used in Jungle Hijinxs.
  • The Fatal Fury universe contains the most music tracks of any DLC universe, with fifty tracks.
    • It also contains the most music tracks out of any third-party universe, exceeding Tekken's thirty-nine. Furthermore, it ties with Mega Man at seventeen music remixes.
  • Fatal Fury, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Mario, Punch-Out!!, Street Fighter, and Tekken are the only playable universes that originated in arcades.
  • Fatal Fury is the second DLC universe in Ultimate to lack any corresponding Mii Fighter costumes, following Banjo-Kazooie.
    • Unlike Banjo-Kazooie, however, series related to Fatal Fury do have Mii Fighter costumes such as Art of Fighting's Ryo Sakazaki and The King of Fighters's Iori Yagami.
  • While she makes no appearance in the game itself, Mai Shiranui is mentioned by Masahiro Sakurai in Terry's presentation video, stating that she had to be excluded from the game in order to maintain Ultimate's A rating (all ages) from the Japanese ratings board CERO. In the overseas versions, this is translated more humorously as "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is for good boys and girls of many different ages".

External links[edit]


  1. ^ [1]