Last Update: 7/08/98



King Of Fighters 98
The Madman's Beta Test Report #1 + #2
Ok, so It's Gone Gorgeous! - Almost thus far The KOF Series all United!!
Sure is  -The All-Star Dream Battle!!!-
Report from Day 2:  

I have been asked some questions about the new command throwing system, so I did some investigation on it.  
Result goes as follows-  

1- Evidently all the commands throws have about 1-3 frames of animation before the grab actually gets executed. The frames go very quickly, a bit faster than a weak attack or so.  

2- However, the recovery time of a command throw when it misses is not as forgiving, especially when it comes to DM throws. For instance Yamazaki would have his hand in the air for approximately a whole second if he misses (the drill throw pose, yes). Shermie was spotted standing in the air upside down with her hand when she had missed her DM throw- a very humorous but suicidal occasion. And Mary hops into the air if she misses her Typhoon throw -another example of what can happen if the throw misses.  

3- Although I am not sure about normal command throws, DM command throws can definitely be done away from the opponent. The character can be at the edge of the screen from where the opponent is, and it can still be executed, missing out of course.  

4- In the case of DM throws, the "shine" seems to happen after the first grab frames- if this is true, it means that the opponent in a throwable situation at that time cannot jump out of it.


Other Infos-  


SNK is advertising KOF98' as the "Special Edition" and "Super Service" game of KOF history.  

One important factor of the game which I missed on mentioning about KOF98 is that, while the game is exciting, the basic character tactics have not dramatically changed with most characters since they are basically the same from 97'. Of course the play is not identical due to the timing of some moves and many minor changes in moves. 

Revived characters from the past have extremely smooth animation. In example, a very comparable number of frames have been used for Heidern's "blood off the hand" victory pose" in 98 as opposed to 95'. 

In 97' there were 3 victory poses which could be chosen by the A, B and C buttons. Now characters have a fourth pose which can be chosen by the D button as well. 

The DMs seem to change in damage depending on how much life the opponent has- the less life, the less damage. 

His new teleport looks similar to the dash attacks and may be an effective move to confuse the opponent. 

He has a new victory pose where he lies down looking sickly sexy on the ground like Mai's pose from RBS. 

His "Go to Hell" Final Bringer DM can be guarded crouching. 

Has a new jump punch. Also, he seems to have a punch on the ground which looks just like the "sledgehammer" frame. 

The Dynamite Swing no longer has its invincibility at the beginning. 

Has a new move where she throws a shining object ( Grenade?) which explodes upon contact. The move comes out rather slowly be she seems to be able to move right after she throws it. 

Laughs before fighting Heidern. Seems to have a long dialogue with him, but the arcade was too loud to tell. 
Unfortunately he does not seem to have an alternate version.  

His Galactica Phantom is an autoguard while facing backwards. A Kyo jumped in with a fierce kick and connected it into a 3 hit combo, but Ralf didn't even budge. The next instant, Kyo had met his match. 

Heavy D! 
Interestingly there were a lot more players using members of the USA94' team when compared to the first day of beta testing -and someone was even getting a winning streak with the pure 94'USA team members. 
HeavyD!'s RSD seems to miss ducking opponents. His Soul Flower is a good anti-air but very weak from the sides. 

Lucky Glauber 
Finally figured out how to write his name correctly. 
Lucky's moves generally seem to be slow from the in but fast on the out- his specials seem to be hard to counter once they come out. 
Lucky has a fighting stance which is apparently a "De-fence" in basketball style, but it also looks like a hip dance going left and right. 

His Screw Body Press seems to be an effective weapon- its damages are fierce and it hits multiple times. Brian's rocket attack is shoulder uppercut. 

AOF team members 
The Haoh-shokokens seem to need POW. It may be that the normal versions need a pow, but Alternate versions do not. This may also effect the damage it does... 
An alternate RB2 version of her is available. She has her fan slash from RB2, but probably has lost her fan dance.  

An alternate RB2 version of him is available as well. For some reason he did not seem to have his dragon buster, but he has lost his counters.  
RB2 Billy has the sparrow killer and the Salamander Stream DM from RB2.  
Still has his reliable fast fierce punches. His old sand sweep can be done by an uppercut motion + D while an uppercut motion with B does his RB2 crunch kick. The crunch kick seems to be a very effective move- it hits twice, the second hit needs to be guarded standing, it is hard to counter unless done at the edge, and it can also work as an early anti-air. 


Report From Day1
Alright, so the "Howlin' Mad" Henry Moriarty was  out in Kawasaki to test out what everyone's been waiting for, -the King Of Fighters 98!
Note that it is the Beta version, so there may still be some last minute changes!
NOTE: This article has been written very quickly and linearly and thus may be much more  rough than a normal article on the Madman's Cafe. But again, this is a report and not necessarily an article.
The Game System
KOF98' doesn't really introduce any new actions into the game from 97'. Yes there are the minor details such as the counter and middle jump in Extra mode, loss of abbreviation commands and et cetra, but that still isn't such a dramatic change when compared to the difference between- say, 95' and 96'.
There seems to be 13 alternate characters in all- Kyo, AOF Team, FF Team, Band Team, Billy, Mai and...
Advanced Mode
The Advanced mode starts out with 3 stocks and gains one extra per character lost. Now what seems to differ is that unfriendly characters such as Iori actually pick up from the remaining stock instead of losing them like in 97'. Although I am not sure if this works for every character, it would be meaningless to have extra stock openings if this was not so. Also, if a DM is done when the character is Maxed up, the Max will disappear.
Extra Mode
Not many players used extra mode, despite the counter and new jump. The reason probably is because Extra still can't escape out of throws like Advanced mode, and the rolling is still as effective. There were a nice number of extra mode players being cornered by Heidern and having their life sucked through once after another. The POW meter seems slower to Max up on the first character when compared to 97', but gets shorter and quicker as the characters lose.
The throws were no longer instantaneous- characters could miss throwing the opponent with special moves and wind up being opened up for extra attacks (players who remember Fatal Fury 3 should know what they are like). DM throws seem to open up the character even longer, so consideration is advised before doing specials, especially when opponents are guarding.
The Announcer's voice sounds fairly similar to Blue Mary's Voice.
The damage ratio in the game seems to be generally lower, as a DM depletes approximately 1/3 the life bar.
Although the basic game system hasn't changed much, SNK was not lazing their butt off for sure- while it is hard to tell about the game balance on a quick beta testing, it was no hard task to see additional details and the improvements in their graphics. Character images have gone bigger, about 10-20% larger than before. Backgrounds are very well detailed up to a single street lamp. Here are a few examples-
Train Stage
In the 1st round, there is a dog walking in the background,  a railroad track in the middle of the screen and a trash can at the left edge. In the second round, the dog is going through the trash (very well animated), and a train comes into the middle of the screen as well. On the third round, the train leaves, and on the left corner where the garbage can was- the dog is gone now, the can has been trashed sideways and the garbage is all over the place.
Japan Stage (Near 95's Japan stage's Neogeo Land-- say, is it 96' Japan's stage right on the top?)
In the first round, there are cars coming from the back of the screen to the front, and vice versa at the left half of the screen. Yes it's zooming in and out, but it affects the gameplay speed absolutely none. Plus there are other animations happening on the screen at the same time. In the second round, there are cars going left and right- the way that bikes are also running can remind a dedicated NeoGeo fan the Tung Fue Rues in FF2 Kim stage. On the third round, there's a traffic Jam happening on the road, and everyone waiting is watching the fight.
Even in other stages, there are details you just would not notice if you are concentrating on playing the game. For instance in the Chinese-looking stage (forgot if it was actually China), there is actually someone rowing that big boat on the edge.  In the second abandoned looking Japan stage (the pic with Rugal and Takuma) dust falls from the pieces of woods which make the ceiling when the opponent hits the ground. In the Spain stage (sorry fellas, no pics of it yet!) where there is a nice looking water fountain in the middle of the garden, there is a small cat which walk left and right, and occasionally licks itself and even its legs.
In the victory screen, the finishing victor is in the middle and the assisting characters are on the side- this is the same as usual. Like in 97' the picture of the character is different depending on the side and middle- however there is a big difference: in KOF98' the side characters look like sprite images, but the character in the middle is distinctly a well done illustration CG.

Still seems strong... and still seems as the same as 97'.
Seems to have weakened a lot, especially his Thunderball DM- it seems to have no invincibility, and it also comes out slow. There was a case where a player had executed it right when the opponent was about to jump- missed pitifully. Also, he now looks like a Rody Birts (AOF3) in Sarah (VF3)'s costume. Even has that little opening on the shirt's chest.
If there is one thing that's helping Goro from the no longer spontaneous throws, it is his DM From 97. While opponents can jump away before he can even grab them, Goro has an autoguard during it and thus if it is done when an opponent is jumping in or attacking with a fierce....

His new move is a minor version of Orochi Chrises'  "Soooreei!" ark jump attack. Iori seems a tad weakened- his scum gale seems a tad harder to do, and in his Max DM, he leans backwards like his Orochi self before he makes the dash. Although it still works as the ultimate anti-air, it may not combo.
Her new fighting stance is unique- Vice looks like she is doing Yakazaki's snake arm with both hands- she has both hands dangling in front of her like while moving her body weakly left and right (Q: Is Vice Yamazaki's long lost sister? This has been a big question to some KOF fans as much as the relationship between Goenitz and Yamazaki). Vice and Mature seem to no longer be palette swaps even in their normal moves and loss poses. He De-cide is extremely fast (almost as a Snake Arm), and could possibly be used in a combo.
Her CD attack is no longer as useful since is is quite slow now. Mature has two new moves- Sacredge, in which she twist dances into the air and hits the opponent multiple times (seems to be usable as an anti-air but also hits opponents on ground) and her huge projectile attack which can be done without power. While her metal Massacre is not quite as useful as before, her Death claws seems to be as effective as Iori's triple hit punches. Mature's normal moves have been renewed.

Although it is too early to tell, he may be weaker than 94'. His projectile comes out extremely slow (maybe as slow as a Haoh-shokoken) but does normal damage. Only 3 players used them, and they lost pitifully.
When Brian does the swing (refer to the pic) it does not emit a projectile- it is merely a swing.
Very, very slow. Only a fingerful used him (f-i-n-g-e-r), and they all lost at the corner.
Heavy D!
The strongest of the three at the moment. Heavy D! seems to have all his good ol' moves and they look quite the same as 4 years ago. They also seem to hurt the same like before as well. Unfortunately all the members of the USA94' team had big, attackable bodies in 94', and thanks to the enlargement of all the characters in 98', they've become even better combo targets. Thus not many players picked members of the USA94' team, and when they were hit with them in random select, they were cursing their luck.

Has a new fighting pose. Seems very strong. Thanks to his long arms and legs, Heidern can poke and annoy the opponent to death, and drain their life from a guard with his Storm Bringer (which by the way no longer circulates electricity on Heidern's hand, but a bloody red energy wave). His CD attack has short reach but seems to be usable as an anti-air. His Neck-rolling is present- however he does not jump back as far in 95, and executing it while the opponent is guarding can be one sadistic Kamikaze. His Final Bringer is the same- get guarded, and Heidern becomes a sandbag. It seems to miss when the opponent is crouching- however if Heidern is right next to the opponent when they are crouching, he will hit the opponent in the beginning of his jump and suck the bloody daylight out of them. And Bloody it is- when the Final Bringer is executed and the opponent's life gets sucked, a red power ball which looks like a heart forms above Heidern and goes into his body after the move is finished. While the amount of recovery is nowhere as dramatic is 95', the move itself is very visually nice and is worth to check out. Heidern's new agility also adds on to his strength as well.
His Projectile has very short recovery time and can be done fairly rapidly. His Shippu-kyaku (double kick) seems to have short recovery time as well, he has his illusion punches, his dashing knee attack and a Haoh-shikouken which needs no power. His new Dm is an unblockable 3 hit combo which has to be done close up. His old dragon Dance DM does not attack over a guard like the other AOF characters- however it has an invincibility at the beginning to be used in advantage.
While many players picked Heidern and Takuma, Saishu was rarely selected. Although this would suggest that he is considered weak, Saishu seemed to have all his moves from 95' including his fast projectile. His new DM is a mix between Kyo and Shingo's rapid punches (perhaps SNK is trying to suggest that Saishu taught Shingo somewhat).

He is as big as a member of the USA 94' team. Rugal comes out in his Omega style squat and looks very cool with his new standing pose. His moves seem to be powerful -he has his Reppu-ken, his Genocide cutter (like 95', not invincible), and his Kaiser Wave which can be executed any time without power. His God-Press comes out still as fast, but he stops right