The game takes place in the year 2017, with a tournament being held by the leader of the WAREZ corporation, who seeks to find the strongest fighter in the Neo Geo universe and defeat him/her, paving the way for him to install himself as the supreme ruler of the world. In response, the federal government dispatches two of its brightest secret agents, Yuki and Ai, to investigatenote .
NGBC utilizes a 2-on-2 tag battle system, and teammates can tag in and out at will. There are benefits to allowing your partner to rest for a while, such as Regenerating Health, a regenerating power meter, and the ability to use an attack that stops your opponents from regaining their health (and in turn, boosting your attack power for a short time). Arcade mode functions differently than most fighting games. Instead of a set number of opponents to fight, you are given five minutes to defeat as many opponents as possible. Once the time expires, you then face one of four different Final Bosses, depending on your performance.
Compare to Capcom Fighting Evolution, a game released one year earlier by Capcom that also reuses a lot of assets (several of which were from their crossover with SNK), and whose staff consisted of former SNK employees.
- Original to this game: Yuki, Ai
- The King of Fighters: Kyo Kusanaginote , Iori Yagami, K', Shermie
- Fatal Fury: Terry Bogardnote , Mai Shiranui, Kim Kaphwan, Rock Howard, Tung Fu Rue, Hotaru Futaba, Geese Howard, Jin Chonrei, Jin Chonshu
- Art of Fighting: Ryo Sakazakinote , Robert Garcianote , Lee Pai Longnote , Mr. Big
- Samurai Shodown: Haohmaru, Genjuro Kibagami, Nakoruru, Shiki, Asura
- The Last Blade: Kaedenote , Moriya Minakata, Akari Ichijo, Keiichiro Washizuka
- World Heroes: Hattori Hanzo, Kotaro Fuuma, Mudman
- Aggressors of Dark Kombat: Kisarah Westfield
- King of the Monsters: Cyber Woo
- Metal Slug: Marco Rossi, Mars People
- Athena: (Goddess) Athena
Tropes used in NeoGeo Battle Coliseum:
- Batter Up!: Ai's Batting Hero attack.
- Beam Spam: Mizuchi can throw projectiles at you from any angle, from any position.
- Breakout Character: Ai also appears outside this game as part of Days of Memories Dating Sim series.
- And her, Yuki and Goodman appears in SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters DS as Character (Ai, Yuki) and Action (Goodman) cards.
- The Cameo: Apart of the big roster full of Unexpected Characters, also, there're cameos from other games in the characters' moves:
- Atomic Guy from King of the Monsters 2 as the final transformation of Yuki (hyper move made with Ai as companion), a human-size version of him in a similar way than Cyber-Woo from the same game.
- And about Yuki, the charged version of Submarine Screw he can transforms into Duke Edwards from Burning Fight and executing his original signature move (normal version is In Name Only).
- Neo Poke-kun from Neo Geo Pocket's Ganbare Neo Poke-Kun and Mascot of this handheld console appears as Ai's mascot who accompany her in many moves and poses.
- Also Ai can summon Tetris pieces falling to the ground as one of her hyper moves.note
- Monsters in Akari's 100 Demons' Night hyper move: Gen-an Shiranui, Earthquake, Gandara, Nicotine Kafuin and Youkai Kusaregedo from Samurai Shodown series; Wild/Orochi Iori and Unknownnote from The King of Fighters series, Honki ni Natta Mr. Karate from SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos and one of Sokaku Mochizuki's spirits from Real Bout: Fatal Fury series.
- Joe Kusanagi, The Protagonist of Aggressors of Dark Kombat appears in one of Kisarah's hyper moves.
- In one of Neo Dio's hyper moves, he summons Geegus (another World Heroes' Final Boss) to attack the opponent with him, called as "Geo Geegus"note .
- And not to count the characters in backgrounds, which are many more.
- Expy: SNK deliberately expied themselves with Goodman, a blatant Take That! to Igniz from the Aruze/Eolith days.
- Handbag of Hurt: Kisarah fights by hitting people with her backpack.
- I Know Mortal Kombat: All of Yuki and Ai's moves are named after old SNK games.
- Original Generation: Yuki, Ai, and the True Final Boss Goodman.
- Route Boss: NeoGeo Battle Coliseum has four different final bosses to fight against, depending of how many special wins you made during the game or how fast you can get there. Depending of your actions, you can fight Mizuchi (Orochi's clone from KOF '97), Neo Dio, Shin Shishioh or Goodman (the Big Bad of the game).
- Secret Character: Athena (the princess from her own game; not to be confused with KOF regular Athena Asamiya) and the Mars People.
Nakoruru: "Uh, didn't the bear tell you? Only you can prevent forest fires, so watch those flames."
- The backgrounds and special move names are littered with references, not just to the series represented, but to other much more obscure SNK games such as Robo Army, Alpha Mission II or Top Hunter.
- Yuki is not boy.note
- Nakoruru's win quote against any of the fire users refers to Smokey Bear of all things.
- SNK Boss: Expected. After all, SNK is the Trope Namer. Notoriously, all four final bosses are ridiculously powerful and ridiculously cheap.
- Take That!: WAREZ is named after a term for piracy. SNK blames piracy for it's bankruptcy in the past.
- Your Size May Vary: Cyber Woo from King of the Monsters 2 was a building-sized robotic King Kong. This game's version is relatively human-sized and controlled by a human.
- Also appears Atomic Guy from the same game, in the form of Yuki's hyper transformation, in a human-like size.