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"Violent fighting to come again!"

SNK's flagship series returns for another year. Many of the changes in this year's KOF release come in the form of improved graphics, sound effects, music and totally redone character sprites. The gameplay of the system has been altered with the addition of "Rush" multi-hit combos and new moves for practically every character. The storyline of the series receives heavy focus in this release with the Orochi Saga swinging into high-gear.

The King of Fighters '96 has 27 regular characters plus 2 boss characters (who can be unlocked with the use of a code). Newcomers to the tournament include Mr. Big from the Art of Fighting series, the bosses from Fatal Fury (Wolfgang Krauser and Geese Howard), and completely original characters like Leona Heidern, Mature and Vice. Other features carried over from the previous year include the ability to choose between the default "Team Fighting" mode or the traditional "Single Fighter" style of gameplay, plus the "Versus" and "Survival" gameplay modes.


The King of Fighters '96 Neo Geo Vice uses her move Ravenous (Outrage's air version) against Ryo Sakazaki: he's about to be struck...
The King of Fighters '96 Neo Geo Chang Koehan executes his head-grabbing move Hagan Geki, causing some more damage in Goro Daimon...
The King of Fighters '96 Neo Geo Terry Bogard tries to hit Leona Heidern, but he's stopped by the 5 hits of her Baltic Launcher move!
The King of Fighters '96 Neo Geo Victory screen.

Promo Images

The King of Fighters '96 Screenshot
The King of Fighters '96 Screenshot
The King of Fighters '96 Screenshot
The King of Fighters '96 Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "拳皇96" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "KOF '96" -- Informal title
  • "ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ'96" -- Japanese spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

There are no reviews for the Neo Geo release of this game. You can use the links below to write your own review or read reviews for the other platforms of this game.

Critic Reviews

The Video Game Critic Mar 14, 2009 A 100
Digital Press - Classic Video Games Sep 14, 2005 9 out of 10 90 Mar, 2004 9 out of 10 90
Daddelkingz Jan 11, 2002 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
All Game Guide 1998 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70
Defunct Games Feb 21, 2004 B- 67


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Version differences

  • As a bonus for every home port (PSX, NeoGeo CD, etc.) not only you can choose via codes to play as the bosses, but you also get a special ending if you choose your team to include Kyo, Iori and the first boss: Kagura. The sequence actually makes sense when you consider the future KOF plotlines, and is not available on the original arcade version.
  • The now classic music theme for the Psycho Soldier team did not include lyrics on its original arcade incarnation.
  • The Game Boy version adds Mr. Karate from the Art of Fighting series as an unlock-able character.

Related Web Sites

Terok Nor (26761) added The King of Fighters '96 (Neo Geo) on Mar 03, 2005
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