November 6, 2019 8:39 AM   Subscribe

As part of today's presentation on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's newest fighter, Terry Bogard, series director Masahiro Sakurai spoke briefly about the younger generations' lack of knowledge surrounding the character, Fatal Fury, and developer SNK.
“"Since we have the opportunity, I want to talk about Terry using a lot of SNK lingo... meaning, in this discussion, the younger generations may feel a little out of the loop. But there's nothing to worry about. "When we released the original Nintendo 64 version of Super Smash Bros., I was often asked, 'Who is Samus?!'"Whether or not the character is fun to play as is more important than whether the character is new or old, or whether the character is recognisable to everyone."”
[via: Nintendo Life]

• 25 years ago, SNK crowned themselves the King of Fighters [Retronauts]
“Enter SNK. The company was a real-life rival of Capcom's, as both corporations had their headquarters in the city of Osaka, Japan. While both had years of experience in the arcade business, by the 1990s Capcom was the bigger name in games. Mere months after Street Fighter II debuted, SNK released Fatal Fury for their arcade/console platform, the Neo Geo (the first 2D fighter on the system). Fatal Fury bore more of a resemblance to the first Street Fighter than its sequel, and with good reason: the director was Takashi Nishiyama, the director of the original Street Fighter who had since quit and joined SNK. Fatal Fury only allowed players to choose from three different characters - a far cry from the eight World Warriors in Street Fighter II - but it used cutscenes in-between brawls to tell a story of revenge. There were fewer characters but they had clear motivations and goals (and last names). When Fatal Fury got its own sequel one year later, it was more in line with the Street Fighter II model: eight fighters to choose from, a world map showing where all the battles took place, and a quartet of unplayable bosses who only appeared after clearing the initial foes.”
• How SNK Poached ‘Street Fighter’ Creators and Started the Fighting Game Wars [Geek]
“It’s not an exaggeration to say that the arcade market was completely upended by Capcom’s introduction of Street Fighter II in 1991. Its two-player competitive mode revitalized the industry, with the winning player staying on while the loser slunk away in defeat. Profits were up and the company’s competitors rushed to cash in. Our friends at SNK were already two steps ahead, though, with their prescient hiring of Hiroshi Matsumoto and Takashi Nishiyama. Also known as “Finish” Hiroshi, Matsumoto had been a planner at Capcom in the late 1980s. One of the titles he worked on was the original Street Fighter. Nishiyama was the original SF‘s director. Although that game wasn’t a robust success — its bizarre pressure pad buttons and slow, awkward gameplay were both drastically improved in the sequel — the two men learned a lot from it, and during their last years at Capcom were present for the early development of the sequel. SNK actively headhunted both men and other members of the development team because they knew they were onto something.”
• Just Who The Heck Is Terry Bogard, Smash Bros. Ultimate's New DLC Fighter? [Nintendo Life]
“Terry Bogard's first appearance was in 1991's Fatal Fury (known in Japan as "Garou Densetsu", or "Legend of the Hungry Wolf"), alongside (even less famous) sibling, Andy. Fatal Fury was SNK's attempt to muscle in on the popularity of Street Fighter II, and was actually brainstormed by none other than Takashi Nishiyama, who created the original Street Fighter in 1987 when working at Capcom. It is Nishiyama who came up with the "Hadouken" fireball – a projectile special move which has arguably become a mainstay of the fighting game genre. [...] In Fatal Fury, Terry enters the King of Fighters tournament to avenge the death of his father at the hands of the hilariously-named Geese Howard. His striking look – red cap, jeans, red jacket and sneakers – was laid down here, although in Fatal Fury 2 he would adopt what has become his true trademark style, with the arms of his jacket torn off. Back in the early '90s, Terry was unquestionably one of the coolest-looking fighting game characters around, and this became a massive part of the Fatal Fury series' appeal.”
• Kapow! The history of fighting games [The Guardian]
“With 1991 came the arrival of the most important fighting game ever made: Capcom’s Street Fighter II. Its 1987 coin-operated predecessor had been a minor release, most famous for the pressure-sensitive rubber pads that players actually had to punch to pull off moves (the lead designer of that game Takashi Nishiyama later joined SNK to create the Fatal Fury series of fighting games, beginning a company rivalry that would last two decades). But Street Fighter II brought together an international roster of fighters – from Japanese karate master Ryu to mystic yogi Dhalsim – and gave them all their own unique fighting styles and special moves, accessed through patterns of button presses and joystick rotations. Converted for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System a year later, the game sold more than 6m copies, ensuring Ryu’s battle cry of “Hadouken” would resound throughout playgrounds around the world – usually before an ill-advised attempt to do a flying hurricane kick.”
• Why King Of Fighters Dominates Latin America's Fighting Game Scene [Kotaku]
“It’s well understood in the fighting game community that King of Fighters is a particular passion for many players from Mexico and other Latin American countries. Posts on larger fighting game forums like Shoryuken over the years have told many anecdotal accounts of the scene, and speculation as to why the franchise has proliferated in the region. According to the players, tournament organizers, and media personalities who spoke to Kotaku for this story, King Of Fighters has a curious ubiquity that has become part of the cultural identity for Latin American gamers. Fighting game tournaments for KOF around the United States frequently have Latin American representation. The greater the size of the tournament, the higher likelihood of spotting players who traveled from Mexico, Chile, or Brazil. Fire up online emulation matchmaking software like Fightcade, and the location flags next to the majority of players are from these regions, too. But why? [...] Largely, it boils down to the one thing it always does: money.”
posted by Fizz (32 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Fatal Fury and Samurai Showdown were basically where all of my quarters went to die in my youth.
posted by Fizz at 8:44 AM on November 6 [2 favorites]

Put The Untitled Goose In Smash 2k19
posted by poffin boffin at 9:03 AM on November 6 [17 favorites]

I mean, Ryu doesn't have shit on Untitled Goose, Untitled Goose doesn't even give a honk!
posted by Fizz at 9:04 AM on November 6

Heard from an undergrad in my lab: "Did Samus have her own game before Smash?"
posted by biogeo at 9:18 AM on November 6 [1 favorite]

Heard from an undergrad in my lab: "Did Samus have her own game before Smash?"

I mean, I get it, I don't want to shit on people for not being aware of all games from the history of their creation.

That being said, reading that made my heart sad a little bit.
posted by Fizz at 9:30 AM on November 6 [15 favorites]

The slow intersection of the Smash community and the wider FGC has been weird and fraught.

That said, if you don't know who Terry Bogard is, "Hey C'mon C'mon!"

I'll see myself out.
posted by selfnoise at 9:45 AM on November 6 [3 favorites]

Are you okay, though?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:50 AM on November 6

Heard from an undergrad in my lab: "Did Samus have her own game before Smash?"

No. She just sat around listening to Paul McCartney's first band, Wings.
posted by The Bellman at 10:04 AM on November 6 [5 favorites]

I have no clue who Terry Bogard is. And it isn't because I'm too young. I cut my gaming teeth on an Atari. Come at me, bro.
posted by caution live frogs at 10:22 AM on November 6

I have no clue who Terry Bogard is. And it isn't because I'm too young.

This is a good point in that, I imagine it's not so much age that is determining most people's lack of familiarity with Terry Bogard, it's probably interest/popularity. I know plenty of young people who are really into Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter II.

I think the Fatal Fury series just didn't make as huge an impact here in the west as it did in other parts of the world. I do appreciate Sakurai taking the line of: what really matters is whether or not it's fun to play.

I mean, there are a fair number of characters in the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster that I'd be hard pressed to provide an answer as to what franchise they're from.
posted by Fizz at 10:38 AM on November 6 [1 favorite]

Wow, I’ve never even heard of fatal fury. Great post.
posted by lazaruslong at 10:45 AM on November 6

Man I was so obsessed with King of Fighters in the late 90s. I wasn't any good at playing any of them, but there was something about the character design I really liked. I also really dug the collection of characters from the different franchises (Athena, Ikari Warriors, Fatal Fury, Samurai Showdown, etc) that you now see in other games, Smash Brothers being among them.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 11:43 AM on November 6 [1 favorite]

Back in the day I was pretty sure Terry Brogard was Cody Travers with a hat on as a Clever Disguise.

They've taken Cody's design in different directions since then. Sometimes he's a banker. Sometime's he's in jail I guess? But it only makes me more certain he's up to something.

You can't fool me that easily, handsome karate man. I'm onto you.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 12:04 PM on November 6 [2 favorites]

Watching that first video made me aware that there is a video game you can fight Bayonetta vs. Pac Man.
posted by straight at 12:14 PM on November 6 [2 favorites]

I think the Fatal Fury series just didn't make as huge an impact here in the west as it did in other parts of the world.
It's not even a Japan vs. "the west" thing. KoF enjoys plenty of popularity in Latin America as well. The US seems like the odd one out when it comes to the general appeal of KoF. Maybe because we had our homegrown challenger to SF2 in MK.
posted by brett at 12:22 PM on November 6 [3 favorites]

wasn't any good at playing any of them, but there was something about the character design I really liked.

I mean you have basically described my entire experience with fighting games like Fatal Fury, Samurai Showdown, Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Super Smash Bros, etc. I'm never good at these games, but I'm ALWAYS having a ton of fun when I play them.

I love the universe with which these characters live inside of. Their stories, their struggles, how they evolve. These are the things that I am most attuned to.
posted by Fizz at 1:13 PM on November 6 [3 favorites]

SNK's fighting games always guaranteed that you would have some new wrinkles to learn.

Fatal Fury had the two-plane system (mutating into three planes in some later games), two-human-vs-one-CPU fights, and enemies with unique quirks as they took damage. (Tung Fu Rue was a tiny, aged man, but once you beat on him a bit he would transform into a hulking giant for a while. Hwa Jai would grab a bottle of "power drunk" tossed to him by a spectator and get several buffs.)

Art of Fighting introduced zoom-in/zoom-out scaling, energy gauges to be charged, taunts to drain those, characters whose sprites showed bruising and injury as they took damage, the concept of desperation supermoves and a need to actually EARN those moves and other buffs via minigames.

Samurai Shodown games polished all of that with a distinct visual style and added in weapons, parries, and distinct selectable versions of characters with different styles and moves.

King of Fighters threw in everything and the kitchen sink in terms of innovations (3-on-3 gameplay, selectable units from lots of other games, new characters and teams in every edition, every game mechanic imaginable) and probably has at least one code you can enter to let you fight as a kitchen sink by now.
posted by delfin at 1:35 PM on November 6 [6 favorites]

I love that Sakurai geeked out over SNK games for 48 minutes, it's balm for my soul.

Some details it's easy to miss, the update has several of the best tracks from Metal Slug(!) in the soundtrack, including the FINAL BOSS SONG, not even remixed but straight from the Neo Geo, as well as a remix of the music from the first level of surprisingly popular arcade game Athena (which got an infamous NES port), and the music from the first game to feature full vocals in its sountrack, Psycho Soldier. (Which, I admit, makes me cringe.)
posted by JHarris at 2:35 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]

Watching that first video made me aware that there is a video game you can fight Bayonetta vs. Pac Man.

Matchups like that are just part of the joy of Smash, a game that now contains Mario, Peach, Bowser, Kirby, Pikachu, Link, Zelda, a Vilager from Animal Crossing, the Ice Climbers, Banjo & Kazooie, Ryu from Street Fighter, both Cloud and the Hero (various models included) from Dragon Quest, King Dedede, an assortment of Fire Emblem swordspeople, the trainer from Wii Fit, Sonic the Hedgehog, the freaking dog from Duck Hunt, and even a Pokemon Trainer, who interacts with the game solely through their Pokemon, and many many more, all competing on equal footing.
posted by JHarris at 2:44 PM on November 6 [2 favorites]

Oooh! NES Athena was a port! When ArgentCorvid said characters from Athena ended up in King of Fighters, I was like wah?!? That was the most disappointing game I ever bought (until Superman 64).
posted by team lowkey at 2:47 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]

I recently wrote a short book on ostensibly bad NES games I kind of like, and Athena was the first one. It's hugely buggy and hard to play, but I kind of like it? It was ported by Micronics, secret villains of early Famicom history, which explains many of its flaws. I mean, even the arcade game is a bit weird (the flyer art really plays up the bikini girl protagonist), but you could think of it as being the logical conclusion to the block-bashing gameplay of Super Mario Bros., with blocks all over the dang place and dozens of powerups.
posted by JHarris at 3:13 PM on November 6

I know Terry through CVS2: "Bustaaahhh Woolf!" He's a neat character, but he's got nothing on Vice. Unless we're talking Actual Tiers rather than Awesome Characters Who Are Fun In Casual Play.

Put The Untitled Goose In Smash 2k19
Untitled Geese, surely?
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 3:15 PM on November 6 [2 favorites]

It's a delight that the Best Smash Bros. is also the Most Smash Bros.

Ultimate appears to be the best balanced since Melee, and its roster is truly excessive.
posted by Merus at 4:20 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]

One great thing about it is that you can enjoy Smash Bros Ultimate in two modes in which you don't have to fight at all. In the online Spectate mode, you just watch matches by other people on the internet and, beforehand, pick who you think will win. You're told character, basic rules, the ratings of each player, their recent win percentages and if they've recently been losing or winning. The previous iteration had a similar feature, but in it you wagered in-game currency, now you just pick the winner, which actually makes it more accessible because there's nothing to lose.

The other mode, amiibo training, by this point I've spent more time with than the actual game.
posted by JHarris at 4:24 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]

Oh, and Ultimate is likely better balanced than Melee, because it's updated, whereas Melee's metagame has paired down to Fox and a few others.
posted by JHarris at 4:31 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]

Untitled Geese, surely?

The Geese is leese!
posted by davros42 at 5:07 PM on November 6 [2 favorites]

Yes, it's Untitled Geese Game.
posted by explosion at 6:15 PM on November 6 [5 favorites]

Seems like a real missing synergy to talk about how a Japanese fighting game is wildly popular in Latin America and not mention that that whole region is absolutely bonkers for Dragonball Z. Seems like one might have fed in to the other quite a bit.
posted by Space Coyote at 7:21 PM on November 6

Hoots mon, there's a Geese leese inside this heese!
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 8:13 PM on November 6

Fizz: "I mean, there are a fair number of characters in the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster that I'd be hard pressed to provide an answer as to what franchise they're from."

The funny thing is, a lot of the characters for which I have no back story whatsoever are still fun to play. The 5th time in a row that I walloped my kid with a Falcon PUUUUUNCH kinda sold me on Captain Falcon. I have no clue who he is, but it's fun to play as him.

(mostly I main Link, because c'mon, the Zelda series were formative to my gaming history)
posted by caution live frogs at 7:35 AM on November 8 [1 favorite]

Captain Falcon has always been a weird Smash inclusion because he's never been directly playable in a game. He's the driver in the default car in the F-ZERO ultra-high-speed racing games, the Blue Falcon. (No relation to the Blue Falcon who hangs out with Dynomutt.) The original F-ZERO had a short comic book section (Western style, not manga-like!) in the manual establishing the world of the game, and that's pretty much the origin of Capt. Falcon. In follow-up games he's been given a model, an in-game look, and even a theme song, but you've never been able to control him directly in those, "you" have always been a hovercar pretty much. Even Fox, pilot of the Arwing spaceship in the Star Fox games, has been directly playable at least once, as an unlockable in Starfox 64's multiplayer battle mode.

There are other characters who have been playable only occasionally (Peach, King Dedede) or never (most of the villains), but Captain Falcon is different in that he was in the very first game, Super Smash Bros. on N64. People have always been wondering who that superhero guy was.
posted by JHarris at 7:50 AM on November 9

For a brief time after we got F-ZERO when I was a kid, my answer to "What do you want to be when you grow up?" changed to "Bounty hunter." Reinforced I think by getting Super Metroid around the same time.

There are definitely a bunch of characters whose origins weren't immediately clear to me, but there was no question in my mind who Captain Falcon was the first time I played Smash.
posted by biogeo at 8:28 AM on November 9

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