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Art of Fighting (SEGA GENESIS) Fighting 1994

Art of Fighting (Japanese: Hepburn: Ryko no Ken, lit. "Fist of Dragon and Tiger") is a fighting video game trilogy published in the early 1990s on the Neo Geo platform. It was SNK's second fighting game franchise, following the Fatal Fury series, and is set in the same fictitious universe as a Fatal Fury prequel.

The first Art of Fighting game was launched in 1992, followed by two sequels: Art of Fighting 2 (Ryko no Ken 2) in 1994 and Art of Fighting 3: The Path of the Warrior (ART OF FIGHTING, Ryko no Ken Gaiden) in 1996.


The Art of Fighting series adheres to period standards in that the player fights a variety of opponents in best two-of-three battles. Each character in the game has their own fighting style and arsenal of special moves. The player has two basic attacks: punch and kick, as well as a utility button that allows them to swap between punches, kicks, and throws. A fourth button is used for mockery. The introduction of a "spirit gauge" beneath the character's life bar was Art of Fighting's contribution to the genre. Characters' spirit gauges are emptied as they use special techniques, and their special attacks grow weaker. By teasing their opponent, players can drain their opponent's spirit gauge.

The Art of Fighting series was also the first to allow players to launch a "mega assault." The player's character in the original Art of Fighting may learn a super attack (called the super death strike) after finishing one of the game's bonus rounds (this technique is available by default in the 3rd game). All three games also have "Desperation Attacks," which may be used only when the player's health is low and the life meter is flashing.

The series also pioneered graphics scaling in the fighting game genre, with the camera zooming in to optimize the degree of detail as the fighters approached each other. Character sprites in Art of Fighting get increasingly bruised and cut as the conflict proceeds, as damage is taken.


The games depict the trials of two Kyokugen Karate Dojo pupils, Ryo Sakazaki and Robert Garcia, in 1978. Takuma Sakazaki, the inventor of the Kyokugen Karate discipline, is Ryo's father, while Robert is the errant son of an Italian rich family. The first two games are set in South Town, a typical setting in SNK games that also serves as the backdrop for the Fatal Fury series, while the third appears to be set in a hypothetical part of Mexico.

Fatal Fury is mentioned in the storyline of Art of Fighting. For example, Art of Fighting 2 chronicles the birth of "The King of Fighters" tournaments as well as the ascension of Geese Howard, a character in Fatal Fury, from corrupt police commissioner to criminal lord of Southtown. Takuma is supposed to be a contemporary of Jeff Bogard, the adoptive father of Fatal Fury's main characters, Terry and Andy Bogard; Jeff Bogard's murder by Geese Howard sets off the Fatal Fury series.

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