Fighting

The King of Fighters ’99 [Arcade – Beta / Concept]

As we can read from Wikipedia, The King of Fighters ’99: Millennium Battle is a 1999 head-to-head fighting game by SNK released for the Neo Geo arcade and home platform. The King of Fighters ’99 initially meant to remove Kyo Kusanagi and Iori Yagami from the series due to the introduction of the new lead character, K’. However, due to negative fan response in location tests, they decided to readd them.

The SNK staff wanted to create a Robo Army Team. However, this idea was abandoned but they later made it a tribute in The King of Fighters 2000 by introducing Rocky, a character from Robo Army as a striker for Maxima. The character from Whip was originally meant to star in The King of Fighters ’96, but due Leona’s introduction in that game, the staff decided to wait until K0F ’99.

Developers also found troubles with the large number of young characters appearing in the game; as such the staff also designed older character such as Maxima and Vannesa to balance the game. In contrast to this Bao was added to the game in order to reduce the average age from the Psycho Soldiers Teams. Bao had many different design before its final one, as you can see in the gallery below.

Here’s the final Bao sprite to compare it with its early designs:

Thanks to Saga Darvulia for the contribution!

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Savage Heroes [GEN MD – Cancelled]

Savage Heroes was a fighting game, produced by Electronic Arts, planned for the Genesis / Mega Drive, that was originally conceived as a hybrid between brawler Streets of Rage and 1-on-1 fighting game Street Fighter II. The game would have handled this fusion by utilising two similar, but different, control schemes: for the multiple-enemy-based combat, the controls would have mimicked Street Fighter II’s control scheme, but been more efficient and general to allow for quick disposal of multiple opponents.

During boss fights, however, the controls tightened up so as to increase precision, and the view changed to a smaller arena, resembling a typical 1-on-1 fighter game. The game included two-player support, and also would have contained an exclusively 1-on-1 mode to provide a more traditional experience if players required it.

The game’s original designer, Scott Berfield, outlined, in an interview with Sega-16, some of the reasons he believes the game was eventually canned. As well as the project being too ambitious and advanced for the Genesis (and better-suited to a more powerful console), the developer responsible for creating the prototype game was not of a high quality and, as a result, enthusiasm and, therefore, sales forecasts, decreased. EA finally pulled the plug, sending the Savage Heroes finances over to a different game (Shaq-Fu).

This game is interesting not only because of its unique style, but also because of its setting. Savage Heroes would have been set on another world, populated entirely by intelligent, humanoid animals. A crime-fighting team of four heroes would match wits with the crime lord Teeg, a Bengal Tiger. Of the four protagonists, different ones would be controlled by the player at different places in the game. The four members of the team were:

  • Bruno, a bear and kung-fu master, the group’s leader
  • Lucy, a wolf and kick-boxer
  • Reno, a rhinoceros and brawler
  • Leon, a lion and karate expert, who was very street-smart.

In order to make the game properly, the Savage Heroes team planned to use stop-motion animation in order to get the characters to look as lifelike as possible, and about a dozen 12-16” figures are, according to Berfield, probably still sitting in storage at EA. These figures were made by a Texas special effects business exclusively for the game.

Berfield also notes that the levels in the game were planned to be entirely seamless: each one led directly into the next one, separated by a level result screen superimposed over the transition sequence. Berfield says that he is very interested in eventually getting Savage Heroes finished, because he still has a personal connection to the created characters. You can find pictures of the characters, and other production material at Sega16.

Article By Franklint

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Tekken (Rave War) [Arcade – Beta]

Tekken is the first of a series of fighting games with the same name, but originally in the beta it was going to be titled “Rave War” as seen in a scan from EGM issue 65. The game was developed by Namco and released at arcades in late 1994 and on the PlayStation in 1995. In another scan with concept arts taken from the Tekken Chronicle book, you can see very old / different versions of several Tekken characters. LeeChaolan was originally a silver haired brute, Nina looks like an Elf, and Kazuya looked a lot beefier than he does now.

Thanks to Celine for the EGM scan!

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Primal Rage 2 [Arcade – Cancelled]

Primal Rage 2 is a cancelled fighting game that was in development in 1995 / 1996 by Atari for the Arcades. As we can read on Wikipedia, the game was to feature new characters that took on the form of humans and were called the Avatars, instead of the beasts / dinosaurs of the first title. During the development something went wrong and in the end Primal Rage 2 was never released. It’s currently unknown how much of the game was finished before the cancellation.

As it should be well known, this game has been leaked online. Although, it is currently unplayable.

Thanks to kieranmay for the contribution!

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Street Fighter 2 [Arcade – Concept]

Developed by Capcom, Street Fighter II was released in 1991 as a sequel to the original 1987 Street Fighter and it’s credited for starting the fighting game boom during the 1990s. Its success led to the production of a series of updated versions, each offering additional features and characters over previous versions, as well as several home versions. The roster initially included Ryu and Ken plus six new characters from different nationalities. [Info from Wikipedia]

In EGM issue #33 there was an interesting article with some early character designs, that show different versions of Vega (Balrog), Chun Li and Blanka.

Thanks to Celine for the scan!

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