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The King of Fighters '94
ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ'94

25 Aug 1994

 
 
KOF'94 brings together a cast of 24 SNK characters arranged into 8 teams, all re-drawn in a svelte, gothic comic-book style.
This '3 vs 3' setup injected a massive breath of fresh air into the tried-and-tested fighting game formula. At the end of each round the winning player gains a little extra energy, while the other team's next combatant jumps in.
In terms of gameplay, the architecture remains pretty much the same as Garou Densetsu Special (1993) - but thankfully the irritating 'Background Line' has been done away with: A+B now makes your character 'Dodge' and lean out of harm’s way for a second. Most major attacks and projectiles can be avoided with this manoeuvre, but you can still be thrown.
While the 'Dodge' is the most distinctive addition to the the gameplay, KOF'94 is choke-full of other pioneering features (see below) - all of which add a tremendous amount of depth.
Everything comes together superbly, marking the beginning of a versus fighting golden age for SNK. The crystal-clear gameplay, meticulous game design and dramatic impact are master class. The game is a landmark event for the genre as a whole.
This is where fighting games finally grew up. It's easily the most playable and visually accomplished 2D fighting game to hit following the all-conquering Street Fighter II and its sequels. Its stylish design remains impressive to this very day, and in the gameplay stakes it effortlessly holds its own, providing just as many razor-sharp matches as its innumerable sequels.
And that's saying something.

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DODGE
The single most important and original implementation of the KOF engine is the 'dodge', or 'sway'.
Executed by pressing A+B together, this is a damn useful manoeuvre for avoiding projectile attacks - but don't rely on it during close combat: you are still vulnerable to throws.
 
STRONG ATTACK
Press C+D to release a powerful blow that can knock down the opponent. Some characters (like Goro, above) have a truly vicious strike.
This works exactly the same way as Garou Densetsu 2 (1992) - if guarded, you can cancel the move into a special attack.
 
POWER GAUGE
Hold A+B+C to charge the ‘MAXIMUM’ bar. When full, attack power increases by almost 50%, and you can pull one ‘Super Move'. Goes away by time, or by doing a Super. Note that 'MAX' lasts a lot longer if you charge it up manually rather than blocking or taking attacks.
TAUNT
Pressing C from a distance makes your character 'taunt'. In a similar to way to the Ryuko no Ken games, it serves a distinct purpose besides being cheeky: it reduces the opponent's power gauge, slows them down when they are charging their bar, and stops them reaching 'MAX'.
 
SUPER MOVE
Each character's 'Super Move' can be executed as many times as you wish when your energy bar is low (and flashing red), or once when your gauge is flashing 'MAXIMUM'.
It takes the least damage on MAX, and the most damage when both 'in the red' and on MAXIMUM.
 
SUPPORT ATTACK
This is a great feature: when your player is either 1) dizzy, or 2) being grabbed by a throw move that scores multiple hits, tap A+B+C and a teammate will jump in to help. This only works when your teammates are on the screen, and you have less energy than the opponent.
DODGE ATTACK
This is exactly the same as in Garou Densetsu Special (1993): when blocking, input Forwards + A or B when the opponent is being offensive.
Makes the upper half of the body completely invincible, but does NO damage. It is often safer to dodge, and is only used by experts who want high scores.
 
COMBO THROWS
A curious little historical footnote: KOF'94 was the first game in which you can actually combo throws.
For example, in Street Fighter II, Zangief's numerous Pile Driver combinations aren't 'combos' per se: they are enhanced 'tap-throws'. Here, standard 2-hit moves actually cancel into throw commands.
 
GUARD CANCEL
Finally a really discreet tactic, not to be underestimated: if you block at least five times in succession; input a special command and it will cancel the guard. Essentially it's almost exactly like the 'MAX Counter' system from KOF'95, except that you don't have to be on MAX - just block 5 hits, and away you go.
 




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The King of Fighters '94
ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ'94

NEO GEO
DETAILS
Format Neo Geo
Released 1 Oct 1994
Publisher SNK
Product ID NGH-055
Size (cm) 22 x 17 x 4
Weight (kg) 0.70
PRICE
STATUS
The home Neo Geo ROM release of KOF'94 in all its glory!
A fantastic game, and a real turning point for SNK and the Neo Geo.
Becoming quite hard to find in good condition!

Standard Neo Geo case, 196Mbit cartridge, 32p monochrome booklet.

The King of Fighters '94
ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ'94

-SCITRON 1500 SERIES- / SNK NEO SOUND ORCHESTRA
DETAILS
Format Audio CD
Released 21 Oct 1994
Publisher Pony Canyon
Product ID PCCB-00162
Size (cm) 14.2 x 12.4 x 1
Weight (kg) 0.10
PRICE
STATUS
'Original Soundtrack' release for the arcade / Neo Geo version of KOF'94, featuring the complete score spread over 20 tracks plus an 11-track 'Voice & S.E. Collection'.
View [back] for tracklisting.

CD case, 31-track audio CD, 12-page monochrome booklet, spine card, sticker sheet [view].

The King of Fighters '94
ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ'94

NEO GEO CD
DETAILS
Format Neo Geo CD
Released 2 Nov 1994
Publisher SNK
Product ID NGCD-055
Size (cm) 14.2 x 12.4 x 1
Weight (kg) 0.10
PRICE
STATUS
The Neo CD version of KOF'94 is one of the best releases on the format: the game is perfectly replicated and the machine loads all 3 team members in one shot.

'Neo Geo' stamped CD case, Neo Geo CD disc, 32-page monochrome booklet, spine card.

The King of Fighters '94 Arrange Sound Trax
ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ'94 アレンジサウンドトラックス

SNK NEO SOUND ORCHESTRA
DETAILS
Format Audio CD
Released 18 Nov 1994
Publisher Pony Canyon
Product ID PCCB-00165
Size (cm) 14.2 x 12.4 x 1
Weight (kg) 0.10
PRICE
STATUS
Bonus 'Arrange Soundtrack' release featuring 13 remixed tunes from the original OST, as featured on Neo Geo CD but uncut: here they play in their entirety.
View [back] for track listing.

CD case, 13-track audio CD, 16-page monochrome booklet, spine card, t-shirt decal card [view].

The King of Fighters '94
ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ'94

GAMEST MOOK Vol.2
DETAILS
Format Magazine / Book
Released 12 Dec 1994
Publisher Shinseisha
Product ID GMC-2
Size (cm) 25.7 x 21 x 1.1 (AB)
Weight (kg) 0.64
PRICE
STATUS
The second Gamest Mook is one of the only guide books available for KOF'94.
Features team profiles, move lists, in-depth gameplay strategies, a Q&A with the developers, tons of concept design sketches and more.

208 pages (122 in colour), Japanese.

The King of Fighters '94
ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ'94

PONY CANYON LD
DETAILS
Format Laser Disc
Released 16 Dec 1994
Publisher Pony Canyon
Product ID PCLP-00539
Size (cm) 31.3 x 31.3 x 0.3
Weight (kg) 0.34
PRICE
STATUS
Official LD release from Pony Canyon that features a selection of bouts along with a musical montage, an 'ending' compilation, and a TV commercial.

Standard LD sleeve, 60min 1-sided NTSC Laser Disc.

The King of Fighters '94 4-Koma Ketteiban
ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ'94 4コマ決定版

GAMEST COMICS 034
DETAILS
Format Manga
Released 10 Feb 1995
Publisher Shinseisha
Product ID ISBN4-88199-150-7
Size (cm) 21 x 14.8 x 1 (A5)
Weight (kg) 0.26
PRICE
STATUS
Comedy 4-Koma collection based on the KOF'94 cast from Gamest.
Features a large collection of humorous 4-panel strips. Hilarity afoot.
Part of the Gamest Comics collection.

120 pages (black & white), Japanese.

The King of Fighters '94 Gaiden (1) Ryo Takamisaki
ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ'94 外伝 (1) 鷹岬 諒

GAMEST COMICS 2
DETAILS
Format Manga
Released 10 May 1995
Publisher Shinseisha
Product ID ISBN4-88199-168-X
Size (cm) 18.2 x 12.8 x 1.1 (B6)
Weight (kg) 0.16
PRICE
STATUS
Part one of Ryo Takamisaki's brilliant KOF'94 manga adaptation. The storyline follows Yuri and her assembling of the 'Ladies Team'.
Part of the Gamest Comics collection.

132 pages (black & white), Japanese.

The King of Fighters '94 Gaiden (2) Ryo Takamisaki
ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ'94 外伝 (2) 鷹岬 諒

GAMEST COMICS 3
DETAILS
Format Manga
Released 10 Aug 1995
Publisher Shinseisha
Product ID ISBN4-88199-189-2
Size (cm) 18.2 x 12.8 x 1.2 (B6)
Weight (kg) 0.16
PRICE
STATUS
Part two of Ryo Takamisaki's KOF'94 manga - carries on exactly where part one ends, as the KOF tournament gets under way.
Part of the Gamest Comics collection.

138 pages (black & white), Japanese.

The King of Fighters '94 Comic Anthology
ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ'94 コミックアンソロジー

GAMEST COMICS 062
DETAILS
Format Manga
Released 10 Sep 1995
Publisher Shinseisha
Product ID ISBN4-88199-196-5
Size (cm) 21 x 14.8 x 1.5 (A5)
Weight (kg) 0.44
PRICE
STATUS
Giant 'Anthology' compilation featuring a selection of illustrations and short comic strips by various established artists.
Part of the Gamest Comics collection.

194 pages (black & white), Japanese.

The King of Fighters '94 Gaiden (3) Ryo Takamisaki
ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ'94 外伝 (3) 鷹岬 諒

GAMEST COMICS 4
DETAILS
Format Manga
Released 10 Dec 1995
Publisher Shinseisha
Product ID ISBN4-88199-211-2
Size (cm) 18.2 x 12.8 x 1.2 (B6)
Weight (kg) 0.16
PRICE
STATUS
Gamest Comics' excellent KOF'94 comic book continues, and sees Yuri's team face off against Korea and the USA.
Part of the Gamest Comics collection.

138 pages (black & white), Japanese.

The King of Fighters '94 Gaiden (4) Ryo Takamisaki
ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ'94 外伝 (4) 鷹岬 諒

GAMEST COMICS 7
DETAILS
Format Manga
Released 10 July 1996
Publisher Shinseisha
Product ID ISBN4-88199-251-1
Size (cm) 18.2 x 12.8 x 1.3 (B6)
Weight (kg) 0.16
PRICE
STATUS
Part 4 of the KOF'94 'Side Story' - Heidern's past is revealed, and his Brazilian team face Yuri, King and Mai in the quarter finals. Who will go all the way?
Part of the Gamest Comics collection.

146 pages (black & white), Japanese.

The King of Fighters '94 Gaiden (5) Ryo Takamisaki
ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ'94 外伝 (5) 鷹岬 諒

GAMEST COMICS 9
DETAILS
Format Manga
Released 10 Dec 1996
Publisher Shinseisha
Product ID ISBN4-88199-300-3
Size (cm) 18.2 x 12.8 x 1.2 (B6)
Weight (kg) 0.16
PRICE
STATUS
The KOF'94 storyline boils up to a climax in what might well be the most action-packed chapter of the series: Italy vs Mexico and Japan vs China.
Part of the Gamest Comics collection.

138 pages (black & white), Japanese.

The King of Fighters '94 Gaiden (6) Ryo Takamisaki
ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ'94 外伝 (6) 鷹岬 諒

GAMEST COMICS 10
DETAILS
Format Manga
Released 10 Jan 1997
Publisher Shinseisha
Product ID ISBN4-88199-317-8
Size (cm) 18.2 x 12.8 x 1.2 (B6)
Weight (kg) 0.14
PRICE
STATUS
6th and final KOF'94 Gaiden release, and all is revealed!
A great comic, highly recommended!
Part of the Gamest Comics collection.

130 pages (black & white), Japanese.

The King of Fighters '94 Re-Bout [Special Gentei Ban]
ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ'94 RE-BOUT [スペシャル限定版]

PLAYSTATION 2
DETAILS
Format PlayStation 2
Released 28 Dec 2004
Publisher SNK Playmore
Product ID SLPS-25448
Size (cm) 19 x 13.5 x 7
Weight (kg) 0.45
PRICE
STATUS
10th Anniversary reworking of KOF'94 for PS2 featuring hi-resolution visuals, reworked 3D backgrounds, 'Team Edit', 'Color Edit' and 'Online' modes.
The game comes presented in a cardboard slipcase, presented alongside a 'Gamest Mook Vol.197' guide book (cover).

Included as a bonus with this 'Special Limited Edition' is a replica Neo Geo CD controller for PlayStation (image) (box).

The King of Fighters '94 Re-Bout
ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ'94 RE-BOUT

PLAYSTATION 2
DETAILS
Format PlayStation 2
Released 28 Dec 2004
Publisher SNK Playmore
Product ID SLPS-25449
Size (cm) 19 x 13.5 x 3
Weight (kg) 0.25
PRICE
STATUS
Stand-alone edition of the PS2 KOF'94 remake.
Includes the exact same contents as the 'Limited Edition' above, without the Neo Geo CD style controller.

Cardboard sleeve includes game in PS2 case (PS2 DVD-ROM & colour booklet) and 'Gamest Mook Vol.197' guide book (cover).

 



'King of Fighters', 'Neo Geo' and 'SNK' are registered trademarks of SNK Playmore
'PlayStation' and 'Sony' are registered trademarks of Sony Corporation
The King of Fighters '94 TM & © 1994 SNK All Rights Reserved
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