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The King of Fighters is the most prominent series of fighting games by SNK. Its claim to fame is the large cast of characters and the innovative "team" system, with both original designs and characters from other SNK games.

The games' story focuses on the title tournament where fighters from multiple SNK games take part. SNK also created original characters to serve as protagonists from each of their story arcs while still interacting with the characters from Art of Fighting and Fatal Fury, among others.

Game List

Gameplay

The basic gameplay system of KOF is similar to SNK's previous games like the Fatal Fury series, Art of Fighting and Samurai Showdown. The game uses a four attack button configuration like Fatal Fury 2 and Fatal Fury Special, that consists of light punch, light kick, strong punch and strong kick. Like Fatal Fury 2, specialized techniques are performed by pressing buttons in combination, allowing the player to dodge an opponent's attack or to launch a character's powerful knockdown attack. As with most other fighting games, each character has a set of basic, unique, and special moves the player can perform using a specific series of joystick and button inputs. Each new installment provides new ways to create stronger attacks such as The King of Fighters '97. Instead of charging the Power Gauge it is now filled when the player strikes the opponent or by performing Special Moves. The player can stock up to three Power Gauges. The player can use one stock of the Power Gauge to perform a Super Special Move or enter a "MAX" mode, in which the player's defensive and offensive strength are increased. Performing a Super Special Move while in MAX mode allows the player to perform a more powerful Super Special Move.

The franchise is known for innovating the fighting genre by replacing a traditional round-based format used in preceding fighting games with a format consisting of 3-on-3 team-based matches dubbed the Team Battle System. Instead of choosing a single character, the player selects from one of eight available teams, each consisting of three members. Before each match, the players choose the order in which their team members enter the battle. When the match begins, the members chosen to go first on their respective teams will fight. When one character is defeated, the next member of the same team will take his or her place, while the character on the other team will have a small portion of their life restored (if energy was lost during the previous round). If a character is losing a match against the opponent, then the player can call one of the remaining teammates standing on the sidelines to jump in and perform a support attack. The match ends when all three members of either team lose.

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