YMMV / Killer Instinct

  • Awesome Ego: While he was already pretty cocky to begin with, Cinder's ego came to a head in 2013, where he's pretty much acting like he's the hottest thing since sliced bread, and most people seem to love it.
  • Broken Base: While many fans were elated to see Killer Instinct get a long overdue reboot, the fact that it's an Xbox ONE-exclusive titlenote  has many more split on whether it's worth the trade-off.
    • The game is adopting a free-to-play model and will release with only Jago as the selectable character at launch. This is itself a bag of controversy among players, especially considering each character will be $5.
      • This break has largely gone away with release; as it turns out, the pricing model doesn't try to pull any tricks to scam more money from the consumer after all and the free character rotates. About the only negative thing one can say is that the emulated, offline version of the first game isn't much of a bonus for the deluxe edition's extra price. It's largely been forgotten amid the microtransaction insanity of Forza 5 and Ryse.
    • The fact that Double Helix is making it, and they haven't had a very good track record...
      • Though Double Helix's work on Season 1 won back the crowd with its high quality of gameplay and graphics, to the point that several claimed Iron Galaxy couldn't live up to Double Helix's standards when the game switched developers.
    • Some people are disappointed by the fact that No Mercies and Ultimate Combos are not available at launch, since they consider them an important part of the game. Double Helix has stated that they would be added in the future, but that does not stop the disappointment. Most egregiously, Shadow Jago as final boss had an Ultimate finisher while no one else had any as of the end of Season 1. Season 2 is beginning to turn that around after adding stage finishers to roughly half the new stages.
    • Omen, the January 2015 character, has caused a lot of controversy among the fans. Some consider him to be a cheap, unoriginal clone fighter who uses other characters' moves and looks very bland, created by Iron Galaxy as a filler, while the others think that he is a very interesting character with an cool design and interesting backstory. It doesn't help that Shadow Jago, who is beloved by most fans, wasn't given his own moveset and theme at the time, and still isn't available except to those to those who participated in very limited offers.
      • Oddly enough, he IS essentially pitched as a bonus character. Hell, it even says so in his trailer! Some, however, argue that Iron Galaxy still should've put more effort into him, and if they couldn't, then they shouldn't have made him at all.
    • The E3 2015 announcement that the game would be coming to PC with cross-play compatibility drew a lot of ire from some Xbox One owners, with some lamenting the loss of an exclusive game on that console (and that's all that we'll say about that), while others were concerned that devoting resources to a port two seasons in would negatively impact the possibility and quality of a third season of content. On the other hand, others were thrilled at the possibility of KI staying in the spotlight during the release of Street Fighter V, which had joint PS4/PC exclusivity, as well as a possible huge boost to the userbase. The latter fear has also been relieved by the announcement of Season 3 for March 2016, which also happens to be around the same timeframe for the PC port of the game.
    • Rash. There's just as many people who are excited as there are people who think he doesn't fit the tone of KI at all, as well as claiming his inclusion will lead to KI getting flooded with guests and turn it into Microsoft's equivalent of Super Smash Bros..
      • Arbiter is even worse in this regard. Some think it's awesome he's a character and are hopeful that having a character from a massively popular franchise will bring more attention to the game, while others think he fits even less than Rash, who is at least a character from another Rare franchise.
    • The news of Mick Gordon not returning to compose the Season 3 soundtrack was met with unanimous sadness, but the outlook on the future has been mixed. Many are hopeful due to Atlas Plug and Celldweller's past work and the preview of Rash's theme that was put out the same day as the announcement, but others argue that switching composers midway through will create obvious inconsistency, claiming that no one could hope to live up to Mick's work. Then again, some people said the same thing about Robin Beanland before Season One was released...
      • As Season 3 progressed, a small but vocal part of the fanbase began lambasting Atlas Plug and Celldweller's contributions to the game as "refusing to leave their comfort zone", due to a large focus on rock and metal tracks (Mira's theme being an exception). Others feel that this opinion is widely overblown, and borderline hypocritical, as many of Mick Gordon's compositions were also rooted in various forms of rock and metal, particularly his Season 2 works.
    • With the announcement that there would only be three new stages in Season 3, opinion is divided; there are people who are disappointed but still excited, those who are waiting for more information on just what it was the remaining budget got spent on (aside from the new lighting) and a small but vocal camp who insist that the entire third season- as well as the rest of the game along with it- has been ruined forever.
    • Quite a few people were upset that Shadow Jago, easily one of the most popular new characters, was only available for sale from December 14th, 2015 to January 15th, 2016. This was only compounded by Iron Galaxy being tight lipped on if he'd be coming back to the marketplace or if he was lost forever for everyone who didn't get him. It was alleviated when he was permanently put up for sale upon Season 3's release.
    • Smaller compared to some of the other contentious points above, but the animations of characters from season 2 onwards have slightly split the fanbase: their animation work is noticeably choppier as well as less fluid and detailed compared to season 1's, especially when it comes to facial animations. Some like the new characters enough and don't mind, some think it looks atrocious when put side-to-side, while a smaller third party actually prefers the choppier animations, as they remind them of old-timey fighting games and the first KI in particular.
    • Eyedol's updated design. Some people love it, saying that it fixed many of his original design quirks, while also saying that the split-head is genius, while others think that the new design doesn't fit at all, and that they preferred the old 2-headed demon over the new ogre-like design.
    • The reveals of Kilgore and Shin Hisako inevitably caused this. Some people complained about Iron Galaxy wasting possible character slots by releasing a pair of characters that were based on pre-existing charcters (Shadow Jago was exempt to this, as he was originally a reskin that eventually gained a moveset similar to Jago). Others welcomed the new characters for bringing more love to two of the game's most beloved characters, and felt that the various changes (Kilgore being a Long-Range Fighter while Fulgore was more melee-focused, Shin Hisako being more of a traditional fighter than the specialized, counter-heavy Hisako) kept them separate enough from their source material to justify their addition. A third camp eventually developed, feeling that Kilgore and Shin Hisako were okay from a design standpoint, but that they would have preferred variants of different characters instead (with Orchid or Sabrewulf being particularly popular choices).
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: You will see Jago often in ranked matches. Very often. Ditto with Orchid and, to a lesser extent, Hisako.
  • Creepy Awesome: Spinal, Kan-Ra and Hisako in spades.
  • Demonic Spiders: Enemies with the Armoured Trait in Shadow Lords, which gives them the ability to become Immune to Flinching. The cooldown feels very short, especially on higher difficulties, and often turns would-be punishes into VERY painful opportunities for the enemy to tear into you.
  • Dueling Games: Killer Instinct 2013 is billed as one against Guilty Gear Xrd, by virtue of being on rival platforms (Xrd and the PS3/4 vs. KI and the XBO) and being the resurrection of two old 2D fighting game franchises. There's also a bit of an America vs. Japan thing going on.
    • There's a bit of this as of late with Street Fighter V as well, given many of the same reasons as listed above for Xrd, combined with SFV launching at roughly the same time as KI's third season and PC port, alongside SFV's DLC coming out on a monthly schedule lining up with KI's extra season 3 characters.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Riptor and Cinder from the first game for their unique designs and gameplay. Demands were heavy for their return in the new game and they got their wish in Season 2, with Cinder in particular benefiting from an awesome remix of his old tune and his new hammy personality.
    • Thunder was another popular character from the original who is generally regarded as the best of the three Magical Native American characters introduced at the same time in Super Street FIghter II and Mortal Kombat 3. This went to the extent fans were upset over him not being included in the second, to the point many game news articles on his return in the third game commented on him being a fan-favorite.
    • Fulgore was saved as the last returning character for Season 1, and for good reason. His Predator-like design made him a fan favourite back in the day, and his unorthodox gameplay style and even more imposing design in the 2013 game ensured he stayed that way.
    • Hisako has been received very warmly by the fanbase due to her interesting and awesomely creepy design, as well as Aganos, who has a very fleshed out rivalry with Kan-Ra, an interesting design and an awesome stage theme.
    • Rash has managed to please many fans straight out of the gate, thanks to being from another Rare franchise and his overall funny character and moves, along with being a much more fundamental and straightforward character than most of the Season 2 cast.
    • The Arbiter has already managed to be this, considering the reaction from his tease made a lot of people interested in Killer Instinct just for his appearance. It helps he was this in his home series too, not to mention that it's been a long time since Halo was involved in a crossover with a popular fighting game franchise.
    • Gargos' KI 2013 appearance became this rapidly after his arrival, in stark contrast to his Replacement Scrappy position in KI2. A wildly varied moveset, Difficult, but Awesome status, and variety of crowd-pleasing combo finishers had him become a fan-favourite virtually overnight.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Shadow Jago somehow manages to appear even more ripped than regular Jago.
    • On the same note, Sadira has quite her share of fans.
    • Cinder's voice does this for some fans, but the rest of him...not so much.
    • After her reveal, Mira has gained quite a following. Vampires Are Sex Gods, indeed.
  • Fandom Rivalry: With Street Fighter V due to both games having a similar DLC model. This only increased when Season 3 was confirmed to be released within a month of Street Fighter V.
  • First Installment Wins: While KI2 was a legitimately better game with a more robust and balanced combo engine, many players were, and still are, turned off of it by the radically different presentation that came with the higher-fidelity graphics compared to KI1. Aside from the look, many smaller changes also didn't sit well with some players, like the announcer lacking the combo names and missing three favorite characters.
  • Fridge Brilliance: If you pay attention to the Hisako's Leitmotif "Village of Whispers", you will notice that the lyrics repeat the same word twice (i.e. "Fukushu, fukushu", "Kemuri, kemuri"). There's a reason why the Japanese greeting phrase "moshi moshi" is said the way it is: Youkai (Japanese monsters) cannot speak proper human language, beast youkai because they do not have the right mouths and tongues to properly imitate our sounds, and youkai who were formerly humans have abandoned their humanity and so devolve and begin to lose the ability to speak like humans. Especially repeating words is impossible for youkai to do, so "moshi moshi" became a kind of trust phrase with the implication "I can repeat this word, so now you know that I am human" and if someone only says "moshi" it becomes a dead giveaway that they're not human. When viewed from Hisako's perspective, it can be seen as that even though she's an onryō, she ultimately hasn't abandoned her humanity. This is reflected in her goals and motivations, where she's only targeting Ultratech and the individuals associated with them because they disturbed the graves and shrine of the village she watched over, as opposed to being an indiscriminating killer who curses everyone who gets in her way with her grudge like a typical onryō would.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • The Odorous Wolf Heart in Shadow Lords was this for the first two months that the mode was out. Using the item granted players unlimited Shadow Meter and made every attack unblockable for 15 seconds. While merely ridiculously potent in the hands of most characters, it was downright LUDICROUS in the hands of Fulgore, Omen, and Spinal, giving them, respectively, a spammable, unblockable, ridiculously powerful, screen clearing Devastation Beam, a spammable, if somewhat impractical, opportunity for a command grab that allowed players to possibly wipe out an entire lifebar in a followup combo, and the ability to fire a spammable, unblockable, large projectile that could juggle infinitely while making it effectively impossible for the victim to gain Instinct Meter for the remainder of the match, which was especially notable in that it could shut down one of the main gimmicks of the Final Boss of that mode. Which is to say nothing of players using it at the end of the match for fifteen seconds of unending Shadow Moves to extend Ultra Combos to the point of utter insanity, which became a major problem for the online versus portion. It was finally heavily nerfed two months after the mode launched, providing rapidly regenerating Shadow Meter instead of effectively unlimited Meter.
    • From the same mode, the Snake Guardian. Ending a combo with it equipped provides a damage over time effect that can be cashed out with another successful combo ender for heavy damage. However, the power of this effect is independent on the length or power of the rest of the combo, and, especially with higher rarities, builds EXTREMELY fast and takes several seconds (as many as ten, with a Killer Rarity Guardian) to begin to decay, meaning even a short combo against highly defensive opponents can cut through them like hot butter.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Surprisingly, while not to the extent of Skullgirls, KI 2013 has managed to develop a loyal fanbase in Japan, to the point that even the American community was surprised when Ken “Bass” Armas, one of the game's top players, was beaten by Tomosama and Osomatsu, who, respectively, used Riptor and Omen, both of which are considered as low-tier in the American community, in their matches against him. This article explains it well.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • KI 2013 has a rare and amusing bug, where when a character is knocked out of their first lifebar, they will stay down and never get up. Since the timer doesn't run, there's no way to continue the fight, forcing either player to quit in an online battle, or to exit to the main menu in an offline versus battle.
    • Many of the exploits in the original Killer Instinct are so instilled in gamers' memories, such as Cinder's infinite combo, that the digital re-release actually allows players to choose between playing the revised arcade build that fixed them or the original build with all the glitches intact.
    • A bug early on with the PC version for Season 3 caused the game to run extremely fast if your monitor wasn't locked to 60hz, since it's designed to run at a consistent 60 FPS and no more. Distressing if you wanted to actually play the game, since performing combos and breakers became all but impossible, but watching the characters scramble around at hyperspeed was admittedly hilarious.
    • Kilgore originally had a bug with his Ultra Combo that caused the combo to "blow out" at various points, sending his opponent flying away early if the Knockdown Meter was filled too high before the Ultra was triggered. The Ultra Combo would, however, continue as though the opponent was still there, which lead to hilarious sights such as Kilgore unleashing a Macross Missile Massacre and uppercutting thin air. Sadly, this was patched out a few weeks later.
    • Shadow Lords allows players to attack for a short period after the fight is over to let players open the mode's treasure chests. This, however, comes to an abrupt end and plays the character's victory animation as soon as all of the loot is collected, allowing certain attacks to remain on screen for a few seconds, allowing for moments that weren't originally intended, especially if the victory pose requires the character model to be moved to a different part of the map. For instance, Cinder's Pyrobombs can cause a screen-filling explosion, Kilgore can be caught in a salvo of his own missiles, and Omen's Shadow Rashakuken can cause his various fireballs to fly past him as he poses.
  • Hell Is That Noise: In contrast to the older games, 2013 Fulgore has some rather unnerving vocals.
  • It Was His Sled:
    • The truth about Jago and Orchid being siblings is now common knowledge.
      • To be fair, the fact that Orchid and Jago were related was actually spoiled when you go into Killer Instinct 1's Attract Mode. It's random, but if it happens to land on Orchid, it gives an extended story that outright says "she won't find out for some time yet that Jago is actually her brother". And this is accurate; it wasn't actually announced in-game or in-story up until Killer Instinct 2, in Jago and Orchid's arcade mode ending cinematics.
    • The Tiger Spirit Jago worshiped being a phony.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Admit it, finally getting a Halo vs. Gears of War fight with Arbiter and General RAAM is amazing.
  • Killer App: The SNES port of the original Killer Instinct helped push a lot of units thanks to the success the game found in the arcades. The Xbox One reboot also counts, being a very popular, exclusive launch title for that system.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: Thunder is fairly popular among Native Americans in spite of his stereotypical nature and is more fondly regarded than T. Hawk or Nightwolf, who tend to get Ethnic Scrappy reactions.
    • Thankfully, his rebooted appearance is much more politically correct, rather than the "red-skinned Indian" stereotype from before. Apparently some of the Double Helix devs even approached some of the people of the Nez Perce tribe to help them make it as accurate as possible, so it has the approval of at least one actual Native tribe.
    • Additionally, the Double Helix devs refused to make Thunder's retro outfit fully resemble his original appearance. They gave him a jacket and got rid of his war paint and mohawk headdress, so he looks more like a regular tough Native dude than just a walking stereotype.
  • Mondegreen: No one knows for sure what Chief Thunder says in KI 2013 after he wins. One popular interpretation goes "Cats go Yum Yum" (or Meow Meow).
    • It's most likely in Niimiipuutímt, the language of the Nez Perce tribe. Apparently he's saying "Kutse yao yao", and the captions say "Thank you for the battle.".
    • "YOGA FEVER!" for whenever he activates instinct or uses Call of the Sky.
    • "BEANS!!" for his Phoenix attack in the first.
    • "EXCUSE ME!" for Jago's Endouken attack. Other interpretations include "WHAT YOU COOKIN!" and "EAT YOUR COOKIE!".
    • "MAH SOUP!" for Kan-Ra's Spike special
    • "RASHAGOOGIE!" for Omen's Rashakuken fireball attack
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The announcer has a few. There's the classic "C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER!". The 2013 game adds "C-C-C-COUNTER BREAKER!" and "ULLLLLLLLLLTRAAAAAAAAAA!". The sheer enthusiasm the announcer has yelling them makes you feel awesome for pulling it off.
    • Fulgore's Devastation Beam, which opens with an awesome mechanical whir before making a really satisfying Godzilla-like mechanical roar. Unless you're targeted by it, in which case it's nightmarish.
    • It sounds amazing to Instinct Cancel with anyone in the game (especially Fulgore) during a combo - all the music and sound effects and explosions stop for a second while your character gets ready to lay down a beatdown, often with a punchy sound to it (ex. Fulgore entering a command into the keypad on his arm, Orchid yelling "Take em down!", Spinal cackling, etc.)
    • Thunder's brutal Call of the Earth command grab ends with Thunder curb-stomping the enemy and twisting his heel, resulting in a sickening but satisfying crunch and crackle.
      • Likewise, Gargos' Sadistic Drop command grab makes a VERY satisfying thud when his victim hits the ground. Even better is the Shadow variation, or better still, the Ultra Ender variation if he's still on his first lifebar.
    • The giant bell falling in either version of Tiger's Lair comes with an immensely satisfying peal when it hits the ground. If timed properly, it can add a very nice bit of flair to the end of the match or during the characters' win animation.
    • Pretty much all of the sound effects in the game, especially those from ethereal characters like Omen. You normally can't hear it very well over all the music and hit sounds, but they're there and they're grand. The team really outdid themselves on this one.
    • The beats and music produced when preforming an Ultra Combo. Double points if the beat works outside of that character's natural stage music.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Kan-Ra's reveal. VERY MUCH SO.
    • And now we see he's more of a psycho experimenter. Yikes.
    • Good news: Riptor's back for the fans! Bad news: we learn it really, REALLY sucks to work at UltraTech.
    • Hisako's teaser at the end of Aganos' trailer. Hope you brought your brown pants.
      • Hisako in general. She's basically Sadako crossed with Painwheel, taking the look and glitching powers of the former and the rage and horrible contortions of the later.
    • Eyedol now has a single head, but it's split in half! You can even see his brain swell.
      • To say nothing of his theme. It sounds like the ending credits of a Slasher Movie!
    • The score theme from the SNES version is very creepy. Don't believe me? Check this out!
    • Maya's Ultimate in the 2013 could best be described as barbaric. The floating dagger strikes are par for the course with her, but near the end, her twin daggers bring her foe to their knees as she jumps offscreen, then position themselves under their face. Even if its your first time seeing it, you'll just know what's about to happen when the daggers snap into position, pointy end facing the sky. With a brutal jumping curbstomp, Maya drives their face into the ground, mercifully sparing us the view of her opponent's eyes getting skewered by the waiting blades. It's a cold, wicked execution that wouldn't feel out of place in Mortal Kombat, and it comes from one of the game's more HEROIC characters to boot!
    • How about General RAAM's guest appearance in the newest KI game? What's scary isn't the fact he's there or what he says (granted, that windy rasp is always unsettling,) but just how fucking huge he is compared to everyone else. In every video you see of him he will dwarf the character he's fighting! Hell, some of the other fighters barely come up to his hips!
      • He can summon Kryll. While the ones he uses as a ranged attack just do small amounts of damage, veteran Gears fans will remember just how nightmarish these Hollow bats were, what with their ability to tear anything, even Boomers (who, for context, could take 180 bullets before dying in the original Gears of War) apart in seconds.
  • Narm:
    • Kim Wu's announce trailer got this reaction because of some not-so-stellar voice acting and clunky dialogue.
    • The mimic skins have lime green skin. During gameplay, with distortion and smoke effects, they look menacing enough. However, their stills, like during pre-fight scenes in the Shadow Lords mode, look goofier than they should be.
    • A few Ultimates in the 2013 edition are... not really the ultimate finisher. Riptor's is notorious in this regard, where she knocks the opponent into the air for an aerial bite... only to miss and fall to the ground, forcing her to burn them to death as an improvisation.
  • Narm Charm: On the other hand, Riptor's Ultimate has fans for being somewhat cute or even enjoyable because of the silliness.
  • Nightmare Retardant:
    • Fulgore's elephant-like hit noises in the first two games, which are a rather jarring contrast to the image of a killer robot he presents.
    • Some find Eyedol's name too silly to take him seriously.
    • On the flipside, most players who found Eyedol intimidating weren't impressed with Gargos, whose design is much simpler in comparison.
  • Older Than They Think: Many older players never learned that KI2's combo engine allowed 80+ hits without glitching and absent the 2013 game's ability to chain two ultra combos together.
  • Polished Port:
    • Thanks to Nintendo being in a partnership with Rare at the time, they had the programming team for the arcade version handle the Super Nintendo and Game Boy ports, instead of outsourcing it to a third-party developer. The result is that the SNES version was well-received and the GB version was surprisingly faithful, and more importantly, playable.
    • Other than certain aspects that're common to other PC games on the Windows 10 Store (like the lack of more advanced graphical options to ability to disable V-Sync, to note one of the more minor ones), the PC version of Killer Instinct 2013 is surprisingly well-optimized, to the point where at least one review noted that it could pass the performance benchmark on a tablet, making it effectively a mobile game. While it only accepts Xinput (XBOX 360 layout controllers, third party that known to support this includes Logitech though) devices natively, there are workarounds (like various X-Input emulators, and binding the buttons to keys using joy to key).
  • Rated M for Money: Fairly blatant at that. It was actually rated T, but the intent was still there.
    • Played straight and literally with the Xbox One release of Killer Instinct Classic, which has a M rating.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Killer Instinct 2's newcomers Maya, Tusk and Kim Wu aren't too popular with the fans, being replacements of fan favorites Cinder, Thunder and Riptor. It also doesn't help Thunder is given no explanation for his disappearance and the other two are simply written as being dead, making for a rather cheap way to get rid of them. Maya was retooled for Season 2 and became more popular, and the pre-release reception for Kim and Tusk has them on the road to being Rescued from the Scrappy Heap.
    • Gargos gets some heat as well from fans for being more of a stock character than Eyedol in addition to sharing his role and similar moves. However, there are some who like him for the fact that he contributed more in the story than Eyedol did. Like the other two, he's in the way from being Rescued due to his impact throughout all three seasons of Killer Instinct thus building him up for years.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Maya got more love in Season 2 thanks to getting a new design and appearing alongside Riptor, Cinder and Thunder, allowing her to become distanced from the other three and avoid getting accusations of replacing them like she did in her debut game. Kim Wu, Tusk, and Gargos also got the same treatment in Season 3 for many of the same reasons as Maya.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: With the large number of supernatural non-human characters in its roster, KI2013 is sometimes jokingly considered an unofficial reboot/sequel of Darkstalkers.
  • Squick: Orchid using her "Flash" move against Jago in the first game can become this when in the sequel it is revealed that the two are siblings. In other words, she is flashing her own brother.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: Tusk's theme music in KI2 sounds an awful lot like the Conan theme.
  • Tear Jerker: The news that Mick Gordon wouldn't be returning to compose the music for Season 3 had fans unanimously heartbroken.
    • On the Season 2 soundtrack, there's a secret track at the end of "Herald of Gargos" that features Mick playing a very slow, acoustic version of the main theme on guitar. After finding out days after the album was released that he'd be leaving, the track feels much more somber, seemingly acting as one last quiet send-off after two years of continuous hard work on the series.
  • That One Boss: Shadow Jago, by a long shot. Not only does he knock up the difficulty to the legendarily hard Kyle Difficulty, but he also has a lot of improved frame data, a few new moves Jago normally has no access to, and a much more infuriating Instinct Mode. To the uninitiated, Kyle difficulty fights involve input reading CPU opponents that can break any combo they want, resist any traps for Counter Breakers, and will always finish their combo.
    • SNK Boss: May not have been since much of his difficulty stems from being played smartly by the CPU but his moves have unique properties to them that make him stand above the rest of the cast.
    • Gargos and Eyedol weren't fair fights either, considering they're capable of regenerating health while the player is down.
    • Shadow Lords' Omens and Gargos have elements of both, with both a max-difficulty AI as well as superpowered mechanics of Shadow Lords (Each Omen has a ridiculous power boost, while Gargos not only is the strongest boss in the game, but he has any powers you didn't seal away by beating an Omen with that power). Simply put, even considering fighting Gargos with all his powers is considered suicidal and even without his powers, he's a chore to fight. It got so bad that Iron Galaxy had to release a patch to tone the difficulty down.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks: One of the criticisms towards the game was that it was a Mortal Kombat clone. Some even mistake it for an MK game due its similar premise and aesthetics.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Spinal and Hisako both get the majority of their hate for being insanely powerful and easy to use respectively.
    • Kan-Ra gets hit with this often, due to the fact that once one knows how to play him well, he can cover so much of the screen and shut down several options of every character in the roster. It's not helped by his surprisingly high damage for a zoning character and being able to start up a combo from almost every area of the screen.
    • Despite being a big fan favorite and fun to watch, Aganos is generally considered to be one of the worst characters in the game due to its odd, hard-to-master playstyle and lackluster match-ups against a majority of the cast.
    • Rash became a high-tier scrappy over the course of Season 3, with his mobility and offensive options making him very difficult to pin down.
  • Ugly Cute: Much like Mileena, Hisako was designed to be disturbing, but somehow got some fans who find her attractive. It's a bit more understandable in this case, since Hisako has more relatable motives.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • While the original game seems to hold up well enough, the character models for Killer Instinct 2 are very...off, especially by today's standards. Everybody (especially the women) looks like big-eyed mannequins with Frozen Face syndrome.
    • In the SNES port of KI1, all of the announcer's callouts play at slightly higher than normal speed (presumably saving some precious space on the cartridge by making the sound files smaller) and the combo callouts are done with Mad Libs Dialogue. The difference was hard to notice back in the days before MAME and KI2013 made it easy for a player to compare the two, but if you go into the SNES port with a fresh memory of what the arcade version's announcer sounded like, it sounds really off, way more so than the rest of the SNES version's sounds, which are just lower in fidelity.
    • Done intentionally in the 2013 game with Kan-Ra's Nightmare Face.
    • Another intentional example is Hisako, with her blank eyes, neutral expression and just visible anglerfish-like teeth. The glitching doesn't help, and it gets even worse when she moves or uses her Nightmare Face.
  • Vindicated by History: The new game's callbacks to Killer Instinct 2 have been received better than KI2 itself was at its release.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The 2013 game really loves particle effects. Hitting someone with Jago's Endokuken or Orchid's Firecat causes them to shatter into a bunch of energy particles. Most of Glacius' special moves leave the map covered in lovingly detailed ice shards. Cinder not only has fire constantly swirling around, but he also is a light source, which is why a Cinder Mirror Match is used for the Windows 10 Edition's Hardware test. Also General RAAM's Instinct Mode literally covers the screen with moving objects while still maintaining the 60fps gameplay, it's quite a sight.


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