Known in Japan as Garou Densetsu (Legend of the Hungry Wolves), this is a Fighting Game series by SNK that was released for the Neo Geo arcade and home video game systems.The story of the series is set in the fictional city of Southtown, USA, and starts many years before the events of the first game, when martial artist Jeff Bogard adopts two orphans, whom he names Terry and Andy. Later, crime lord Geese Howard killed Jeff Bogard, an event that young Terry witnesses. Swearing revenge, both brothers start to train, to fight Geese in his "King of Fighters" tournament. Andy leaves to train in Japan and Terry stays in Southtown. Ten years later, in 1991, the brothers and Andy's friend Joe Higashi enter the King of Fighters to avenge their father.The first game only had three playable characters, and an interesting mechanic in which a second player joining in the middle of a fight would join the first player in double-teaming their present opponent before facing each other. The sequel dropped this mechanic and adopted the World Tournament format used in Street Fighter II, introducing five new playable characters, and new bosses. More characters and villains were introduced in subsequent sequels, and the original Big Bad Geese Howard also returned in most of them.The distinctive characteristic of the series was the ability of the characters to fight in two different planes in most stages, giving them the capability to avoid attacks by moving between planes. This system suffered some changes after the third installment and was dropped altogether for the last game.Games in the series:
While the last installment of the series appeared in late 1999, many of its characters are still widely popular today and continue to appear in a number of Spin-Off series, most notably The King of Fighters series. More recently, pachi-slot machines with the Fatal Fury theme have been released and there is a crossover game with Fighter's History Dynamite available for mobile phones in Japan.Two animated TV specials (often mislabeled as OVAs, even though they aired on Japanese TV before getting home video releases) and one animated film were based on the games, all including character designs by Masami Oobari. The TV specials were based on the plots of the first two games, while the feature film had an original plot and villains. While both the specials and the film were released in the States in the late '90s by Viz Video (and re-released on DVD years later), those releases fell out of print years ago — so Discotek Media snagged the licenses for allthree with plans for a DVD re-release (including a possible anamorphic transfer for the film!) in 2014.
Adaptation Dye-Job: Despite being clearly blond in all games, Andy inexplicably appears with sky-blue hair in the first anime special.
Alternate Continuity: While the series initially shared a continuity with the The King of Fighters, Geese's death in Real Bout Fatal Fury and his continued survival in the KoF series pretty much confirmed that they are separate.
Anti-Villain: Arguably Wolfgang Krauser; while he seems highly evil natured in battle, he has a very gentle side outside of it. Kim Kaphwan's ending in Fatal Fury 2 even shows Krauser being reformed by Kim. Additionally, when he wins he still respects you enough to say "you were good, you fought well" (even if you didn't), which is the opposite of most villains in any media.
Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Gato is the best example out there. The look, the moves, the win quotes... all of it. Laurence Blood and Rick Strowd, too.
Blond Guys Are Evil: Subverted; Geese is blond, but so are Andy and Terry. Of course, Kain is blond, too, and Rock's blond hair isn't the only thing that's In the Blood...
Blood Brothers: Grant and Kain, who swore an oath of eternal allegiance to each other as children.
Blood Knight: Krauser, who hosted the world edition of the tournament. Grant, too.
Bonus Boss: Ryo Sakazaki from Art of Fighting in Fatal Fury Special. Geese returned as a bonus boss in Real Bout Special, and Real Bout 2 had Alfred. Interestingly enough, it was Ryo's guest appearance in Fatal Fury Special that inspired SNK to create The King of Fighters series.
Broad Strokes: Wild Ambition served as a rough retelling events of the first game that included most of the original core players (Terry, Andy, Joe, Geese, Billy, and Raiden; Duck King was added to the PS1 port) as well as a few fan-faves from later installments (Mai, Kim, Yamazaki, Xiangfei), newcomers Tsugumi Sendo and Touji Sakata, and even an older Ryo as Mr. Karate II.
Canon Foreigner: Lily McGwire, Tony, Elsa, Sulia, Laocorn, Panni, Hauer and Jamin all from the anime version.
Just to clarify, there's a Lily in the video games, but she's an unrelated character named Lilly Kane, Billy's sister who, like her bro, is a playable character in KOF 2006/Maximum Impact 2. Lily McGwire did make a cameo in the Mexican Pao Pao Cafe stage in KOF '94.
The girl who appears to be going out with Terry in his ending Fatal Fury 2 is named Medea and she was originally his love interest in Gamest's manga adaptation of the first Garou Densetsu. However, she is replaced a generic character in Special.
Calling Your Attacks: Most characters do it. Avoided by Terry in Garou: Mark of the Wolves, where most of the time, instead of shouting the names of his attacks, he yells things like "Rock you!" and "Kick Bath!", all of which were ported to his KOF appearances from 2002 on.
One exception: Terry has one special attack where he punches you, saying "Are you okay?" and then punches you with his other fist yelling "Buster Wolf!" (the name of the attack).
Canon Immigrant: Many details about Krauser's backstory (such as him killing his father or being related to Geese) became canon after the movie. There was an attempt to have him commit suicide as well, but that was abandoned. Likewise, in later games, Krauser gained the Gigatech Cyclone move, which was identical to the tornado spin attack he and Terry used in the anime - but neither had used in the game.
Presumably, if the movies had continued, the inclusion of Blue Mary probably would have averted this, considering that she's too much of an Action Girl to get into a dilemma. Plus, all of the Ship Tease (probably) wouldn't allow for it.
City of Adventure: Southtown is where the action of all the games takes place, with the exception of 2 and Special, which were about a worldwide tournament. Garou isn't in quite the same place as the previous games, but a neighbouring city close enough to be considered an extension of it (it's even called Second Southtown). Both locales also double as a Vice City, albeit gradually moving away from this direction.
Everyone from the first game (except for the three heroes, Billy, and Raiden, who undergoes a literal Heel-Face Turn to become Big Bear) in Fatal Fury 2, although Tung Fu Rue and Duck King would return as playable characters in Fatal Fury Special (along with Geese, who was presumed dead in 2). This also happened to Jubei Yamada, Big Bear and Axel Hawk after Special.
Hwa Jai and Billy Kane were cut out as opponents in the Genesis port of the first game, but they still make background cameos in Duck King's and Richard Meyer's stages respectively.
Detect Evil: Kim Kaphwan and, apparently, his son Jae Hoon.
In Garou: Memories of Stray Wolves, it's revealed that other characters missing from MotW have also done the same. Blue Mary has her hair worn much longer, and Duck King no longer has a mohawk or Multicolored Hair.
Expy: Geese has a striking resemblance to King, the final boss of The Super Spy (see comparison here◊). The intro to Fatal Fury 3 may be a reference to it.
He also draws comparisons with Aussie from the Jean Claude Van Damme movie, Bloodsport.
Rock pulls a Face-Heel Turn... in a matter of speaking... it's revealed that not only did he win the tournament in Mark of the Wolves, but tournament host Kain tells him he has information about his mother supposedly being alive. Terry later finds Rock, who tells him he's going with Kain and nothing's gonna change his mind. Instead of being upset, Terry is pleased that Rock is about to forge his own destiny.
Fake Difficulty: In Garou: Mark of the Wolves, CPU controlled characters tend to do more damage than the player with the same attacks.
Or Jiggle Physics if you like; Mai was the first video game character to do it. Blue Mary fit into this trope for a couple of Fatal Fury games.
Game-Breaking Injury: Terry injures his ankle right before being asked to fight Kim and was unable to use any sort of kicking attacks. He managed to come out on top. However, his fight against Krauser did not go as well and his injured legs played a major factor in this loss.
Guest Fighter: Ryo (of Art of Fighting fame) as a hidden final boss in Fatal Fury Special. Alfred the Pilot was technically created to be the main character of Dominated Mind (a remixed PlayStation port of Real Bout Special), but most fans outside Japan know him for his appearance as a secret final boss in Real Bout 2.
Hard Work Hardly Works: Kim Dong Hwan never practices, and basically made up all his moves himself, but is on par with his dedicated, disciplined brother Jae Hoon in skill and power.
The same applies to the Bogards; Andy trained his butt off to learn Ninjutsu and Koppoken, while Terry was an ordinary street brawler who made up his own moves and hardly trains. Guess which one is the better fighter.
Hello, Nurse!: Mai is this. Signs are easily evident in comments made by the male characters, and it's more evident in the anime series. In contrast, Blue Mary, who's also considered attractive, attracts more attention because of her job.
Her Boyfriend's Jacket: Blue Mary. The boyfriend in question is deceased, though how was not elaborated on by much.
Highly-Visible Ninja: Mai battles in a bright red and white outfit; Andy's worse, since his outfit is mostly white, and he doesn't even tie his long blond hair back or anything. Hokutomaru's... okay. He's more a highly audible ninja, given how loud and obnoxious he is.
Hot-Blooded: Kim is a prime example. His son Kim Jae Hoon has tried to follow his example as much as possible... oh, and he's also got the literal fire powers, as well.
Hot Dad: Kim, again. Specially in the movie. Also, his Fatal Fury Special intros/win poses and ending have young Jae Hoon and Dong Hwan hanging out with their dad. Aaaawwwww.
Hot Mom: Kim's wife Myeng Swuk; lampshaded in the movie, when Joe tries to flirt with her until Mai reminds him that she's married.
Iconic Outfit: The famous red hat, red jacket, white undershirt, and blue jeans. Terry changes wardrobe largely in Mark of the Wolves, wherein he gives the hat to Rock and swaps out the sleeveless red coat for a brown, sleeved one.
Image Song: While not quite to the extent of The King of Fighters, quite a few characters get their own songs, such as Kong Kuwata (the seiyuu of Geese) fittingly singing"Devotion: The Sunset Sky", the song that plays during the credits of Real Bout Fatal Fury. Perhaps the zaniest and best example would be "Dance de Peace!", which involves Duck King leading Terry, Blue Mary, Mai, and Xiangfei in rap while Yamazaki randomly intrudes and screams at them for not including him in the festivities. Each respective character part even incorporates parts of their past themes.
Immortality: The entire premise of Fatal Fury 3. Geese is rumored to have this after those events since he got the Jin scrolls.
Intimate Healing: Sulia gives this to an injured Terry in The Motion Picture, stripping to her bra and panties to ensure full body contact and then turning on her healing powers.
Kaizo Trap: White from the PlayStation port of Real Bout Fatal Fury Special (known as Dominated Mind). Beat him, and be ready to dodge his cane laser.
Love Makes You Evil: Two examples from the movie: Panni follows Laocorn because she is in love with him; Hauer is obsessed with stealing Mai from Andy. In Garou, Kain's love for his sister Marie and his despair over her apparent death is basically what turned him... and Rock, apparently.
Mirror Match: For all the sequels. In some games, the characters even have special phrases for their alter egos, and in Geese's case, his double appears in Billy's Real Bout ending as an impostor.
Misblamed: Mark of the Wolves is commonly called a Street Fighter III ripoff for its smooth animation and replacing the entire cast with the exception of the main character, but few know that Art of Fighting 3 had done the same thing before either of them.
Ms. Fanservice: Mai has always been like this, but never as much in the Fatal Fury games as in the anime or the Spin-Off games, where Flanderization did its job. Blue Mary and Bonne Jenet are also fanservicey, but not reaching this extreme.
B. Jenet probably does count, however, given Mai's absence in Mark of the Wolves.
Ninja: Mai, and later Hokutomaru, also part of the Shiranui clan. Oh, and Andy.
No Koreans In Japan: Averted; Kim's school of taekwondo has been represented in every game in the series except the original, as well as nearly every game that borrows characters from the series. Then again, most of these series doesn't take place in Japan, averting something else, too... most of the time.
Parental Abandonment: Gato and Hotaru's father, who briefly returns in Gato's Garou ending just to knock him senseless and call him worthless.
And blind him.
Rock was also subjected to this by Geese, but Rock hates him for other reasons as well.
In the second anime special, Geese himself was revealed to have been abandoned together with his mother by his father, Rudolph Krauser, and went to get revenge. His half-brother Wolfgang kicked the crap out of him.
Rank Inflation: The system introduced by Fatal Fury 3 and kept until the end of the series.
Red Eyes, Take Warning: Subversion: the red-eyed Rock may be Geese's son, but he rolls with Terry and his crew, and is one of the main characters in Mark of the Wolves.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Terry and Andy are the main Red and Blue (respectively). The Kim brothers from Garou also fit (Jae Hoon is the collected and disciplined Blue while Dong Hwan is the over-confident and arrogant Red).
Secret Character: Real Bout Special had the EX characters: alternate versions of some characters that had different special moves and personality, almost as an Evil Twin (inverted with Billy, who instead has a Good Twin). Bonus Boss characters were playable in the home versions. Additionally, bosses Grant and Kain are playable with a code in Garou.
Sequel Hook: The Motion Picture pulls one. Geese, the Big Bad of the first special, and a villain in hiding in the second, is seen training diligently in a secluded forest in order to enact his revenge on Terry. Billy interrupts his training session just as Geese pulls off a Raging Storm.
Ship Tease: While Mai and Andy's situation is pretty much perpetual unrequited love ever since Fatal Fury 3, Terry and Blue Mary has actually had a fairly good amount of it. Not so much in KOF, but still.
Shock and Awe: Kim Dong Hwan, who can shoot lightning out of his feet.
Shotoclone: Jin Chonrei, Jin Chonsu, Khushnood Butt, Hotaru.
SNK Boss: Geese, who started it all, Krauser (Geese's half-brother), and Kain, Geese's bitter brother-in-law. It seems to run in the family... including Geese's in-laws.
Actually averted with Kain, who lacks any moves with absurd power or priority, has actually pretty long cooldown periods for some of his moves and is quite balanced as a player character, however he has the ability to overpower the player as a boss easily, thanks to him being able to use charge-style attacks while walking towards his opponnent and his T.O.P. area expanding to his entire lifebar if you manage to win your first round against him.
Franco's "OH MY GAWWWD!" as he loses a match has to be heard to be believed.
Take My Hand: Terry to Geese at the end of Real Bout; averted when Geese rejects the offer and allows himself to die.
Tornado Move: Joe's moves set includes multiple attacks of this nature. Beginning with his "Hurricane Upper" and "Twin Hurricane", which are two of his basic attacks. Followed by his DMs "Screw Upper", and "Exploding Screw Upper". He first gained "Double Cyclone/Cross Gigantes", which unleashes two Screw Uppers at once, in Capcom vs. SNK 2. And last, but certainly not least, there's his NEO MAX, "Screw Straight"! They call him "The Human Storm" for a reason.
WolfgangKrauser's Gigantic Cyclone first made its appearance in the anime adaptation of Fatal Fury 2 in the form of the Senpu-Ken move, where both he and TerryBogardcould use it (00:45-01:09). (though Terry used it in the previous anime as well and he also used a kick variant to beat Geese). It became a case of Throw It In, when SNK added it to Krauser's moves set, as his P-Power move, in Real Bout Fatal Fury Special, where it was renamed "Gigantic Cyclone".
Updated Re-release: Played straight with Fatal Fury Special, which was a heavily revised version of Fatal Fury 2 with more characters, but mostly averted afterward. Real Bout Special was a very different game from the original Real Bout despite its title.
Victory Pose: A few of them rather famous like Terry's and Mai's. In most games, characters also had specific animations when losing, but Krauser, Geese, Jin Chonrei, White from Real Bout Special and Kain, also had special defeat poses, of which White's is actually lethal to the player if ignored.
Wakeup Call Boss: Hwa Jai in the original Fatal Fury. Technically, all the fighters were "bosses" since you couldn't play as them, but the first four were easy, and then Hwa was almost unstoppable.
"Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Garou: Memories of Stray Wolves (part 1 and part 2), a bonus featurette for the 15th Anniversary of Fatal Fury, features appearances from characters missing from Mark of the Wolves, notably Richard Meyer, Duck King, and Blue Mary. The movie reveals that Krauser killed himself after losing to Terry in 2. It also deals with the events leading up to and after MotW, including Terry's feelings on his life's journey and Rock's decision to join Kain after the tourney.