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Another year, another KOF. Additions this year come in the form of slightly improved graphics and sounds, new moves and a new game mode. Gameplay is much more plot-driven, as you have middle-bosses that can change depending on what team you select. In addition, there are several special endings which are only shown when certain "Edit Team" combinations are selected.

As of The King of Fighters '97, you can play in either the Extra or Advanced game modes. Extra Mode is the typical AOF/KOF scheme, in which your power gauge fills up as you defend yourself or charge yourself up. The new Advanced Mode, on the other hand, only allows you to charge your gauge as you perform special moves and attacks, similar to the Street Fighter series. Extra allows one to sidestep attacks while Advanced allows the character to roll past and dodge attacks; Advanced also allow a character to perform a potent "Super Desperation Move" (or SDM) at any time provided the character has at least two full bars of charged energy stored. In contrast, SDMs can only be performed in Extra when a character has less than a quarter of their health left.

New characters include the New Face Team, the Fatal Fury Outlaw Team (featuring the KOF debut of "Blue" Mary Ryan and Ryuji Yamazaki, and the return of Billy Kane), and Kyo's pupil Shingo Yabuki. In total, The King of Fighters '97 sports 29 separate characters (without counting the six Orochi-related boss characters, which are all accessible via a secret code).


The King of Fighters '97 Neo Geo CD Character selection
The King of Fighters '97 Neo Geo CD Billy Kane using his jumping attack Kyoushuu Hishou Kon to avoid Yuri Sakazaki's Haou Shoukou Ken...
The King of Fighters '97 PlayStation Post-match screen.
The King of Fighters '97 Neo Geo Taking advantage of some accuracy, Ryuji Yamazaki damages Ralf Jones using his move Bakudan Pachiki.

Promo Images

The King of Fighters '97 Screenshot
The King of Fighters '97 Screenshot
The King of Fighters '97 Screenshot
The King of Fighters '97 Magazine Advertisement Back cover

Alternate Titles

  • "拳皇97" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "KOF '97" -- Informal title
  • "ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ '97" -- Japanese spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

It's amazing how a single feature can make so much of a difference PlayStation Zovni (10633)

Critic Reviews

The Video Game Critic Neo Geo Mar 15, 2009 A- 91
High Voltage Online SEGA Saturn Oct 01, 2006 90 out of 100 90
Digital Press - Classic Video Games Neo Geo Sep 14, 2005 9 out of 10 90
Nintendo Life Wii Feb 11, 2012 8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars8 Stars 80
Video Games Neo Geo CD Feb, 1998 79 out of 100 79
Video Games PlayStation Aug, 1998 3 out of 4 75
Defunct Games Neo Geo Feb 22, 2004 B 75
Defunct Games Wii Mar 09, 2012 B- 67
Mega Fun PlayStation Dec, 1998 18 out of 100 18
The Video Game Critic Neo Geo CD Mar 15, 2009 D- 16


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Before the game was released SNK held a contest in Japan to select one lucky girl who would voice Kyo's girlfriend: Yuki. The contest lasted a whole day and included talent events and stuff like that. Now, where in the hell can you find Yuki in the game talking? In the special ending you get if you play with the "Weapons of God" team (Kyo, Iori and Kagura) She appears in a b&w picture at the end and says a line....

Korean Version

The Korean version of the game has one noticeable difference: All Japanese voice samples are muted. So any phrase, special move, or victory quote that's in Japanese is just silent.

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Contributed to by Fred VT (25922), Corn Popper (69058), mars_rulez (43848), Rik Hideto (390554), yenruoj_tsegnol_eht (!!ihsoy) (2626), Sciere (716369), Zovni (10633), Foxhack (30916), Kohler 86 (7958), Kabushi (256615) and Terok Nor (30538)