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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.


Killer Instinct Game Boy Upper cut
Killer Instinct SNES Animality?? Orchid takes a bite out of Sabrewulf
Killer Instinct Game Boy Combo vs orchid
Killer Instinct Game Boy quick round change

Promo Images

Killer Instinct Screenshot
Killer Instinct Screenshot
Killer Instinct Screenshot
Killer Instinct Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "KI" -- Official abbreviation
  • "Brute Force" -- Working title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

The Gameboy manages to inject some life into this dead horse Game Boy Zovni (10627)
Good and Bad Game Boy Kartanym (12706)
Combo Instinct is more like it! SNES PCGamer77 (3225)
A must have, never mind the age SNES ThE oNe (184)
This Game Should Be Buried In The Middle Of Nowhere And Never Be Spoken Of Again SNES MasterMegid (902)
A wonderful fighting game. Game Boy Dark Lord (46)

Critic Reviews

Entertainment Weekly SNES Jan 20, 1995 A+ 100 / SNES Jan 05, 2005 93 out of 100 93
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Game Boy Jan, 1996 91 out of 100 91
Power Unlimited SNES Oct, 1995 9 out of 10 90
Video Games SNES Sep, 1995 85 out of 100 85
The Video Game Critic SNES Oct 17, 2003 B+ 83
Retro Archives SNES Sep 05, 2021 16.5 out of 20 82
Retro Archives Arcade Sep 05, 2021 15.5 out of 20 78
Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) SNES Nov, 1995 31 out of 40 78
Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) Game Boy Jan, 1996 10 out of 40 25


Topic # Posts Last Post
New Platform 4 Foxhack (31792)
Dec 10, 2009
Odds Of Killer Instinct Appearing On The Wii VC? 3 Guy Chapman (1997)
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, and Kohler 86

Related Web Sites

Contributed to by Kartanym (12706), Zovni (10627) and The cranky hermit (2947)
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