The first game, titled Sango Fighter, was released in 1993. The game's Story Mode followed the Shu Kingdom as it sends out its "Five Tigers"—Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, Zhao Yun, Huang Zhong and Ma Chao—against other warlords of the time as well as the Kingdom of Wei in a bid to restore the Han Dynasty. The game also included a Vs mode as well as (local) PvP.
A sequel to Sango Fighter, titled Sango Fighter 2, was released in 1995. While the game retains the same game modes as its predecessor, its Story Mode is greatly overhauled. In addition, the number of playable characters was expanded to include other famous characters from the Three Kingdoms period, such as Sun Ce.
Although the series was incredibly popular in Taiwan, a lawsuit brought against Panda Entertainment by C&E, creators of Super Fighter, effectively throttled the success of the series and, beyond an unofficial release of the first game in the United States, never achieved the same level of success as Street Fighter, which it draws heavy inspiration from. The fate of the series was apparently doomed to oblivion when Panda Entertainment closed down in the late 90s.
In 2009, a California-based company, Super Fighter Team, approached Art 9 Entertainment, the company that had acquired all of Panda Entertainment's intellectual properties, including the rights to Sango Fighter. Through a string of successful negotiations, Super Fighter Team acquired the rights to the Sango Fighter series, and on 18 June 2009, they released an Updated Re-release of the first game for worldwide distribution through their website. Super Fighter Team followed this release with the Updated Re-release of Sango Fighter 2 on 6 November 2013.
Has no relation to a character of the same name from InuYasha.
Sango Fighter provides examples of the following tropes:
- A.I. Breaker: In the first game, when used correctly, alternating between Zhang Fei's down-kick and his Chain Kick special will effectively lock down any CPU-controlled opponent on any difficulty.
- Blade on a Stick: Guan Yu in both games.
- Breakout Mook Character: The Updated Re-release of Sango Fighter adds the Soldier as a secret character. Although he lacks special moves, he has a special damage table that makes him take more damage from some characters' moves and less damage from others.
- Continuity Nod: The music in Sango Fighter 2 sounds very similar to the music in the first game.
- Game-Breaking Bug: Guan Yu suffered very badly from this in the original game, having incredibly long skill animations and lengthy pauses after using his Shooting Star and Dragon Tail specials.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Some characters have a grab move that they can only use when they are standing right in front of the enemy. The grab move is quite strong, but if it is used when the character's Super Bar is filled completely, it becomes a flurry of punches and kicks in rapid succession that does massive damage.
- Perfect-Play A.I.: The AI in Sango Fighter 2 is dangerously close to this, often attacking the player when they use a special and guarding almost the rest of the time. The only thing the difficulty setting really controls is how often they break out from their defensive stance to attack you.
- Updated Re-release: As of November 2013, both games have been updated to work on all modern operating systems via DOSBox.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The playable characters are real people from ancient Chinese history who are popularised by Romance of the Three Kingdoms. In addition, many of the battle scenes are taken directly from the book itself. However, there is no factual evidence to support the characters being able to do feats such as shooting dragons from a Blade on a Stick.
- Violation of Common Sense: Because of the Soldier's unique damage table in the first game, which makes him take no damage from some characters' attacks, he can essentially No-Sell these attacks just by letting them hit him instead of blocking them with his shield (which causes 1 HP damage regardless of how much damage it would have done unblocked).