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Video Game / Fighter's History

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Fighter's History was a short-lived Fighting Game series by Data East. The first game was released in March 1993 on arcades. It also featured the protagonist of their 1987 platformer, Karnov, as a Final Boss.

Nevertheless, it is mainly remembered for being THE Street Fighter II ripoff Note . Capcom filed a lawsuit against them, but they lost, and the game was successful enough to get a port to Super Famicom and SNES the following year. 1994 also saw a sequel titled Fighter's History Dynamite (a.k.a. Karnov's Revenge, after the final boss) and a spin-off Super Famicom game titled Fighter's History: Mizoguchi Kiki Ippatsu!! Translation  No new entry to the series has been made since Data East filed for bankruptcy in 2003 aside from a Japan-only crossover with Fatal Fury for cellphones made by SNK. The original game came to the Nintendo Switch's SNES app in 2022.

Has a character sheet in the works.

This game provides examples of:

  • Alliterative Name: The tournament in both games is called the Great Grapple.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: This game uses an unusual stun system. Rather than doing a certain amount of damage as quickly as possible, attacking a certain part of the body will cause an article of clothing to be knocked off, such as Ryoko's headband, the lightning bolt on Ray's shirt or Feilin's breastplate (don't worry, she is wearing something under it). At this point, the character becomes dizzy for that round. That area also becomes an actual weak point, causing the character to take more damage at that point when it's exposed.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished:
    • The worst the female competitors get are tattered clothing, a few hairs out of place, and bandages. The guys... aren't so lucky.
    • Heck, the "hairs out of place thing" is all that Feilin gets!
  • Breakout Character: Mizoguchi.
  • Calling Your Attacks
  • Camp Gay: Clown's endings in the Japanese versions actually involves him trying to pick up younger men. The endings were altered in the English versions to downplay Clown's homosexuality, yet the manual for Karnov's Revenge still makes references to his sexual preference by stating that he likes "young boys" and is seeking an "attractive male fighter."
  • Canon Immigrant:
    • Mizoguchi was included as a bonus character in the home port of The King of Fighters Maximum Impact: Regulation A. In the backstory, his father is said to be the one who taught Lucky Glauber (of the American Sports Team) karate.
    • Chelnov, from Data East's old arcade game of the same name, appears as the final boss in Mizoguchi Kiki Ippatsu!!, making him the other character in the series from an old DECO game besides Karnov.
  • Cast of Expies:
    • Mizoguchi is based on some of the main characters from Sakigake!! Otokojuku, namely the appearance of the lead character Momotaro Tsurugi (even sharing a tiger-shaped projectile) and the goofiness of early leads Togashi and Toramaru.
    • Ryoko Kano shares traits with manga judoka Yawara Inokuma and real-life judoka Ryoko Tani. Both of them were highly popular during roughly the same period.
    • Lee Diendou is identical to Kenji's Li Shuwen.
    • Marstorius is based on Bruiser Brody, although he has some moves like the Enzugiri which were popularized by Antonio Inoki.
    • While Karnov's fire-breathing abilities and keffiyeh in Fighter's History might be inspired by The Sheik, his redesign in the sequel is very obviously based on Abdullah the Butcher, even striking with his characteristic nukite stabs and having an aerial elbow attack.
    • Zazie Muhaba is very obviously based on "Bear Killer" Willie Williams, the same source of inspiration to Virtua Fighter's Jeffry or Khushnood Butt / Marco Rodriguez from Garou: Mark of the Wolves.
  • Child Prodigy: Ryoko is one, having studied Judo since the age of three.
  • Clothing Damage: A minor form that is an actual mechanic; see Attack Its Weak Point above.
  • Continuity Nod: Karnov still has the power of God, which he inherited in the end of the Famicom version of his self-titled game.
  • Cross Counter: The characters in the title screen.
  • Demoted to Extra: Ray, Marstorious, Jean, Samchay, and Matlok in the Super Famicom spin-off. They're not playable fighters, but they still appear in the game's Story Mode.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Ryoko and Mizoguchi.
  • Extremity Extremist: Liu Yungmie, the token teen Taekwondo trainee, uses kicking attacks exclusively (and is one of relatively few fighting game characters to launch her projectiles with her feet).
  • Expy: Most of which are based on Street Fighter, naturally.
    • Ray is Ken Masters as an attorney/detective.
    • Mizoguchi seems to be partially based on Momotaro Tsurugi from Sakigake!! Otokojuku, while also taking the opportunity to parody Ryu.
    • Matlok and Jean are European cousins of Guile (with a few dashes of Vega in the latter case).
    • Marstorius is an Italian Zangief.
    • Yungmie is more or less a Korean Chun-Li, although how explicitly varies from appearance to appearance. Feilin is another Chun-Li wannabe, albeit less so.
    • Zazie is a Kenyan, more serious Dee Jay. He also vaguely resembles Jeffry McWild. Furthermore, his stage features a woman in the background (his wife? a female relative? a friend/colleague/acquaintance?) cheering him on, much like Sari would do for her husband Dhalsim in Street Fighter Alpha 2, Alpha 3, SSFIV, and SFV.
  • Flash of Pain: Character-specific weakpoints flash white when about to fly off.
  • Guest Fighter: Aside of Mizoguchi's stint in KOF MI:RA, he and Dynamite newcomer Yungmie additionally popped up in another Data East fighter, Suiko Enbu: Fuunsaiki (the Japan-only sequel to Outlaws of the Lost Dynasty/Dark Legend). Mizoguchi also made a cameo as a hidden boss in Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble.
  • Large Ham: Karnov ("BALLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON!"), Marstorius ("DOUBLE German!"), Zazie ("Hell FIRE!"), whatever the hell Mizoguchi is shouting...
  • Mundane Made Awesome/Rule of Cool:
    • Fighting Marstorius in front of the Fontana di Trevi? Oh yeah.
    • How 'bout fighting Ray at the gates of the friggin' United States Congress?
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Like her World Heroes 2 and Rumble Roses counterparts, Ryoko Kano was based on real world Judo champion Ryoko Tani.
  • Razor Wind: Matlok's Spinning Wave.
  • Rubber-Band A.I.: Once the computer recovers from being dizzied after their weak spot is exposed and knocked off, there's a good chance you've already lost the round regardless of how well things were going beforehand.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Ray is the main character of the series, but Mizoguchi became more popular and even starred in the Super Famicom-exclusive final game in the series.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Title: Fighter's History Dynamite was released as Karnov's Revenge overseas due to the cult popularity of Karnov.
  • Surprisingly Good Everything: Every character except Marstorius, Zazie, Karnov, and Yungmie speaks in their native dialect. This is something Street Fighter and the other big-name franchises still haven't done even halfway well. Tekken, currently the only other series to have done so, only reached this status nearly two decades after this game came out note .
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Feilin is a narcissistic, opera-loving girly girl, while Ryoko is a Bifauxnen tomboy who hates shoes.