Killer Instinct

aka: Brute Force, KI
Moby ID: 4287
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In the distant future, a monopolistic and technological corporation called Ultratech organizes a fighting tournament known as "Killer Instinct". Many fighters answer the challenge to participate, including several of Ultratech's experimental warriors. To increase the tournament's challenge, Ultratech utilizes a technology that can create bridges between alternate dimensions, releasing a creature known as Eyedol. Eyedol is a two-headed ancient warrior that was imprisoned along with his bitter rival, Gargos. Some warriors enter the tournament to seek glory or escape. Other fighters are attempting to bring an end to Ultratech's corruption.

Killer Instinct is a 2D versus fighting game that features 3D rendered sprite based graphics. Players choose from ten characters: Orchid, Cinder, Jago, Glacius, Fulgore, Riptor, Sabrewulf, Spinal, T.J. Combo, and Thunder. The game is known for its heavy combo-based fighting system, allowing players to pull off moves that land a high number of hits on their opponent, the highest being the "Ultra Combo". The game also features combo breakers, finishing moves and stage fatalities, double energy bars, and a dance-music inspired techno soundtrack.

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Credits (Arcade version)

64 People (53 developers, 11 thanks) · View all

Head Programmer
Gameplay Programmer
Technical Programmer
3D Programming
Additional Programming
Character Design
Character Models
Background Design
Background Models
Additional Graphics
Hardware Design
Character Voices
[ full credits ]



Average score: 87% (based on 25 ratings)


Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 125 ratings with 6 reviews)

A wonderful fighting game.

The Good
This was the first game for Gameboy I ever had. I'm sure glad I have it. This is a wonderful fighting game on any standards. I've always been a fan of Mortal Combat but this game is better. Wonderful sound and tons of levels and enemies. This game is an excellent gem game. It has many attacks and maneuvers with challenging gameplay. An excellent storyline and a crazy hard boss.

The Bad
This is a wonderful game and there's really not much I didn't like. Really, all I didn't like is that you couldn't save your progress.

The Bottom Line
Killer Instinct is an amazing fighting game that every fighting/martial arts fan should have. If you liked Mortal Combat, you'll love Killer Instinct. This game has amazing sound and levels with tons of enemies. An advanced gameplay and AI, this is a game that you'll cherish forever.

Game Boy · by Dark Lord (31) · 2005

Good and Bad

The Good
For a handheld game, KI isn't all that bad at all. I'm actually surprised at how much rare were able to include in this. Sure, it's far from the originals looks, but it really is impressive to watch when compared to other Game Boy fighters.

Getting into the game isn't all that hard. Choose your player and mash the buttons. Thankfully there are plenty of moves each character can perform, and they are easy enough to pull off (most of them anyway).

What stands KI out from the crowd is the graphics. On a system which has very little power, Rare have found some extra power to not only present the characters in a form similar to the Arcade versions, but also keep them moving around the screen fairly smoothly. All that and a fairly decent MIDI soundtrack that never got annoying to me like past Game Boy music scores.

The Bad
Here's where the achivements come to a halt. Thankfully, the Game Boy Pocket, Color and Advance made it easier to see the characters on screen, as the original Game Boy had a hard time keeping up. Graphics were at times blurry, unless you had an uptodate system.

So much work has been put into the graphics that Rare forgot to add some decent play modes to back up the single player game. You can complete the game fairly quickly once you get used to a characters style, and other then pushing up the difficulty level, nothing else will keep you occupied here.

The Bottom Line
Rare had something going with this. It's the best presentation on an original Game Boy screen, yet still the complete package is below par. Hopefully a full conversion of KI will find its way to the Game Boy Advance, as it made plenty of fans while out and about during the 90's. It deserves to be brought back into the world, I just hope that Nintendo realise that.

Game Boy · by Kartanym (12418) · 2006

This Game Should Be Buried In The Middle Of Nowhere And Never Be Spoken Of Again

The Good
Released in 1995, Killer Instinct was a fighting game from Rare and Nintendo. It is nothing more than a lame rip-off of Mortal Kombat, and just about every other 2D fighter from that era. Thankfully it is mostly forgotten today. The few that remember it seem to like it. Yet I suspect that many of them only like the game because it is forgotten, because this game is lousy.

There is nothing good about this game. It is not fun. The characters are lame. It sucks. Oh wait, I thought of a good thing this game offers, it shows how much better other fighting games are. And also shows that Rare is an overrated developer. Now on to the bad aspects of the game.

The Bad
The claptrap plot of Killer Instinct involves a fighting tournament called originally enough Killer Instinct. And the tournament plot is none to original either. This dubious contest is put on by an evil corporation, more originality from Rare. Some of the fighters want to win, others are out to stop the corporation. By helping it and fighting in it…..right.

Speaking of the fighters you have got to get a load of these lame asses. There is the Raptor, ripped from Jurassic Park and named properly enough Riptor. Glacius, the ice using fighter, that is a knock of Subzero, hell some of his attacks are identical. There is the Indian fighter, a lame knock off T. Hawk from Street Fighter. The even ripped off Eternal Champions, a little known fighter from the Genesis, with the female ninja that knocked of Shadow from EC.

Where Street Fighter, had some characters with normal names like Ryu and Ken. Every single combatant in this tripe has a comic book name, and no that is not a good thing. With names like, Fulgore, Jago, and Spinal.(What no tap?) It’s just lame. Even over the top Mortal Kombat has some normal named fighters Liu Kang, etc. Furthermore the fighters make no sense. It seems like the game makers just sat down and came up with fighters that they think would be cool in a game. But anyone with half a brain,(I.e. not those who enjoy this game.) will think a werewolf vs. a cyborg vs. a ninja vs. a dinosaur? WTF?

The entire game is based around combos. Which is simply moronic. As many are impossible to pull off with the shitty SNES pad. Yet the A.I. has no trouble doing 50 hit combos, right, that’s called Bullshit. The A.I. also likes to stand in a corner and constantly execute the same moves. Fun. The fatalities, yes, they ripped off the name from MK, don’t even look cool they are quite lame to be honest. The one thing they did not rip off MK is one of the few things that would have made the game better that being an “M” rating. Yes this game is only “T”.

Even the sound and graphics were ripped off. The “realistic” fighters are Mortal Kombat. As are the cheesy voice overs. Danger! Killer Instinct! Shit Sandwich! Okay, I made up that last one. The “techno” sound track is not really techno at all. And if it were it would be the worst the genre had to offer.

The Bottom Line
It really is a shame that this game is remembered at all. As it deserves to be forgotten. Nowadays people are so quick to say that some thing is a rip off or clone of something else. For example I have seen morons say that Hulk: Ultimate Destruction is a rip off GTA. Yet those same morons do not realise the Killer Instinct is a clone of Mortal Kombat, and just about every other better fighter out there. Unless you want to punish yourself stay away from this game.

SNES · by MasterMegid (723) · 2008

[ View all 6 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
New Platform Zaibatsu (20100) Dec 10, 2009
Odds Of Killer Instinct Appearing On The Wii VC? Guy Chapman (1748) May 26, 2007


1001 Video Games

Killer Instinct appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


Killer Instinct was originally developed for arcades as a prototype to the Ultra 64, later renamed the Nintendo 64. When the 64 project was delayed, Nintendo went ahead and released the SNES port instead.

Gameboy version

Missing from the Gameboy version are, of course, every animated cutscene, plus two characters: Cinder and Riptor. Also, the Game Boy version included in the box a metallic pendant with the Killer Instinct logo engraved on it.

SNES version

For the transition to the SNES, the only major item missing is the 3D animated cut-scenes. They are replaced here by stills of the animations for the VS. and winner screens. The SNES version also comes packed with a soundtrack CD, titled Killer Cuts, which features remixed music based on the background and main themes found in the game. Another unique feature of the SNES version of Killer Instinct is that the game itself is a black colored cartridge. Most SNES games were a plain, gray color.

Information also contributed by Guy Chapman, [Kartanym](,2666/), and [Kohler 86](,34837/)


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Zovni.

SNES added by Kartanym. Arcade added by The cranky hermit.

Additional contributors: Guy Chapman, Ben K, Zaibatsu, FatherJack.

Game added June 13, 2001. Last modified March 5, 2024.