The King of Fighters '99


STORY:  "You are cordially invited to this year's King of Fighters." The invitation is sent to fighters all over the world. The King of Fighters will take place again this year! But the circumstances this time around are different. There is not a hint of the hoopla surrounding the entrants like that of the previous tournament which thrilled the whole world. For the skeptical fighters, even the new tournament rules for battles bode ill...

"The method of combat will be 3-on-3 battles. The adoption of Striker Matches, however, has been decided for this tournament...." "Striker Matches?!" The fighters cannot hide their surprise at this unfamiliar mode of battle. Meanwhile, Heidern, who sees through the suspicious tournament, dispatches Ralf and Clark to investigate the truth behind this tournament.

Benimaru Nikaido, as well, receives an invitation to KOF and to join the Special Team consisting of other carefully selected fighters. Among the pre-selected teammates listed appear two names: K' (K-Dash) and Maxima. Benimaru is confused-he's never seen these names listed at any other fighting events; regardless.... Benimaru heads toward the tournament venue, clearly unsettled by the circumstances, and the other entrants are soon to follow. WHAT IS THE STRIKER MATCH? What is behind this year's tournament? With its myriad of mysteries, the King of Fighters gets ready to begin!

K' is KOF's new cover boy.

REVIEWThe sixth installment of the KOF series introduces a new anti-hero known as K' (pronounced K-dash). Joining him are a handful of newcomers, such as: Maxima, Whip, Bao, and Xiangfei. The classic 3-on-3 battles are back once again, but a fourth "assist" character (AKA the striker) is now selectable. Strikers can jump into battle for an assist attack to help extend combos or pressure the opponent.

Some of the most detailed backgrounds to date.

After many years of traditional battles, KOF '99's striker/assist system is a welcomed change of pace to the classic 2D gameplay, and something the series needed if you ask me... (although I'm sure some "hardcore" KOF players might beg to differ, since a handful of bugs and balance issues came with the new striker system). I say to them: those flaws are only seen in high level play, and assist attacks are fun, dammit! Besides, considering all of the other 2D fighting games out in 1999 that featured fast-paced tag-team gameplay and/or assists, KOF '99 was at least keeping up with the times.

Other new additions to the gameplay include the Counter Mode & Armor Mode systems. Counter Mode increases the player's offensive strength and allows the player to use their character's Super Special Move infinitely, as well as combo a Special Moves into a Super Special Moves by using a "Super Cancellation Attack" or a "Moving Attack". The other powered up mode is Armor Mode, which increases the character's defensive strength, allowing the character to take more damage from the opponent. However the player cannot use Super Special Moves during Armor Mode.

Joe loves his uppaaahs.

KOF '99's new gameplay mechanics breathe new life into the series, but at its core, of course it still feels like classic KOF. Graphically, the game has also advanced a bit. There are a ton of new hand-drawn backgrounds that look excellent, and even a few character sprites were redefined. The new characters also look particularly awesome in 2D form (and in the artwork). Also enhancing the overall presentation, is an all new soundtrack, in addition to brand new hit sparks and super move effects. 

An enhanced edition of KOF '99, titled King of Fighters '99: Evolution, was released for Dreamcast in the year 2000. The Dreamcast port included new striker characters and a few new stages. The new strikers, include: Athena Asamiya (in her school uniform), Fio Germi, Gai Tendo, Vanessa, Syo Kirishima, Alfred Airhawk, Kyo, Goro Daimon, Billy Kane, Yamazaki, Seth & Chizuru Kagura. KOF '99: Evolution can also be connected with the Neo Geo Pocket Color title, King of Fighters: Battle de Paradise. If you actually owned both games, you could transfer your points from Battle de Paradise to KOF '99: Evolution which would speed up the leveling process for Extra Strikers. 







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Page Updated: November 5th, 2015
Developer(s): SNK
Publisher(s): SNK
Artwork by: Shinkiro, Hiroaki
Platform(s): Neo Geo, Neo Geo CD, PC, Dreamcast, PS1, PS2, PSN
Release Date(s): July 22nd, 1999         ( Arcade)
Sept. 23rd, 1999       (/ Neo Geo)
Dec. 2nd, 1999          ( Neo Geo CD)
Mar. 23rd, 2000        ( PS1)
Dec. 12th, 2000
       ( Dreamcast - as KOF '99: Evolution)
Apr. 22nd, 2001        ( PS1)
Apr. 19th, 2007         ( PS2 - in KOF: NESTS Coll. as KOF '99: Evo)
Characters Kyo, Benimaru, Andy, Terry, Joe, K', Maxima, Whip, Bao, Kasumi, Xiangfei, Jhun, Ryo, Robert, Mai, King, Yuri, Ralf, Leona, Clark, Athena, Kensou, Chin, Iori, Chang, Kim, Choi, Blue Mary, Takuma, Shingo, Krizalid

Featured Video:

Related Games: KOF '94, KOF'94: Re-bout, KOF '95, KOF '96, KOF '97, KOF '98, KOF '98: Ultimate Match, KOF 2000, KOF 2001, KOF 2002, KOF 2002: Unlimited Match, KOF 2003, KOF XI, KOF XII, KOF XIII, KOF: Maximum Impact, KOF: Maximum Impact MANIAX, KOF: Maximum Impact 2, KOF: Maximum Impact Regulation A, KOF: Neowave, KOF EX Neo Blood, KOF EX2 Howling Blood, KOF R1, KOF R2, KOF Collection: Orochi Saga

Gameplay Engine

 8.0 / 10

Story / Theme

 8.0 / 10

Overall Graphics

 7.5 / 10


 7.5 / 10

Music / Sound Effects

 8.5 / 10


 7.5 / 10

Art Direction

 9.5 / 10


 7.5 / 10

Options / Extras

 7.5 / 10

Intro / Presentation

 8.5 / 10

Replayability / Fun

 6.5 / 10

"Ouch" Factor

 8.0 / 10


 8.5 / 10


 8.3 / 10

 Review based on Arcade version


Final Words:

KOF '99 introduced some cool new characters to the franchise, and presented enough "new content" to be a quality sequel to KOF '98 (and those are indeed big shoes to fill).  While it's not perfect, I found KOF '99 to be the best looking and most stylish KOF presentation to date when I first tried it out.

In high level gameplay, there are indeed a few bugs and nasty death combos that rear their ugly heads... but that doesn't hurt the game for the casual player. KOF '99 is definitely a classic and unique KOF installment that shouldn't be missed!
~TFG Webmaster  

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