In the mid-90s, 2 companies were trying to get the coins of Fighting Game enthusiasts at the Arcade, Capcom with Street Fighter and SNK with The King of Fighters series.

SFII was a global phenomenon and it definitely dominated North America in popularity, but in regions such as, Mexico, South America, and Asia, classic Neo-Geo King Of Fighters games reigned supreme and are still played to this day.

Both companies continued the series with lots of sequels, spin-offs, and even collaborated in a few crossovers (Capcom vs SNK); while also lending their characters to games of other companies. Heck, we got to see Ryu and Terry battling it out against Mario and Pikachu in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Right now, the roster for the latest entry in the King Of Fighter franchise is still being updated, and both companies have expressed their desire to make a Capcom vs SNK 3, is a good time to remember the core characters from the first game of the series, which was actually a crossover of SNK franchises of its own. This is

All Fighters in The King of Fighters ’94

Italy: Fatal Fury Team

Terry Bogard “The Hungry Wolf”

Terry Bogard
  • Height: 182 cm (6’0”)
  • Weight: 77 kg (170 lbs)
  • Country: Italy
  • Date of Birth: March 15, 23 years old
  • Fighting Style: Mix of various Martial Arts and Street Fighting
  • Signature Move: Power Wave

The protagonist of the Fatal Fury series and winner of the past two KOF tournaments. His adoptive father, a Kung Fu master, was murdered by the 1st organizer of KOF (Geese Howard).

He spent 10 years traveling the country fighting on the streets to improve his skills, in order to enter KOF, reach Geese, and defeat him to avenge his father (Terry ended up kicking off the top floor of a tall building).

The next year he defeated the 2nd organizer of KOF, the younger half-brother of Geese.

This year, a new rule says KOF is now a 3 vs 3 Team Battle. So he joins his younger brother (an American Ninja) and his Thai boxing friend, to enter this KOF, and see if Geese Howard or Wolfgang Krauser are behind this.

Trivia: He was created by Hiroshi Matsumoto, who worked on the original Street Fighter, and wanted to give his own game to the blonde guy that punches the wall in the opening of the arcade.

Andy Bogard “The Human Weapon”

Andy Bogard
  • Height: 171 cm (5’7½”)
  • Weight: 67 kg (147 lbs.)
  • Country: Italy
  • Date of Birth: August 16, 22 years old
  • Fighting Style: Shiranui-ryuu Ninjutsu and Koppoken
  • Signature Move: Dashing Elbow Thrust

After his father was killed, he decided to go to Japan to learn martial arts and developed a fighting style quite different from Terry. When his brother defeated Geese, he returned to Japan to keep training.

In this new tournament, he enters believing that Geese might still be alive and be behind it.

Trivia: He’s probably based on the American Ninja series of films, which were popular in the late 80s and early 90s.

Joe Higashi “The Young Champ of Muay Thai”

Joe Higashi
  • Height: 180 cm (5’11”)
  • Weight: 72 kg (159 lbs)
  • Country: Italy
  • Date of Birth: March 29, 22 years old
  • Fighting Style: Muay Thai
  • Signature Move: Hurricane Upper

Joe’s father was a former Muay Thai champion, and he followed in his footsteps to become one himself at a young age. Looking for new challenges, he enters the KOF tournament in South Town where he befriends Terry and Andy.

Now he enters KOF ’94 with them to continue to fight and show that “his legend has just begun”.

Trivia: He was designed as a comedy relief character for the series, taking away from the more serious plots of the Bogard brothers.

Mexico: Art of Fighting Team

Ryo Sakazaki “The Invincible Dragon”

Ryo Sakazaki
  • Height: 179 cm (5’10”)
  • Weight: 68 kg (150 lbs)
  • Country: Mexico
  • Date of Birth: August 2, 23 years old
  • Fighting Style: Kyokugen Karate
  • Signature Move: Zanretsuken (13 punches in 2 seconds)

The protagonist in the Art of Fighting series, he was trained by his father in his own style of karate, becoming a formidable fighter. He’s now a master at the Kyokugen Dojo and enters KOF to show his Martial Arts to the world, promote his dojo and get new students.

Robert Garcia “The Mightiest Tiger”

Robert Garcia
  • Height: 180 cm (5’11”)
  • Weight: 85 kg (187 lbs)
  • Country: Mexico
  • Date of Birth: December 25; 23 years old
  • Fighting Style: Kyokugen Karate
  • Signature Move: Gen’ei Kyaku (a barrage of kicks)

A student of the Karate style with Ryo’s father from a young age. He became his friend and rival and developed feelings for Yuri, Ryo’s younger sister.

In the past, Yuri was kidnapped by criminals working for Geese Howard, in order to force Ryo to work with them. Ryo and Robert defeated the guys responsible for that and rescued Yuri, and they’re feared and respected as fighters in South Town since then.

Trivia: He’s based on Actor Andy Garcia and Action Movie Star Steven Seagal.

Takuma Sakazaki “Mr. Karate”

Takuma Sakazaki
  • Height: 180 cm (5’11”)
  • Weight: 88 kg (194 lbs)
  • Country: Mexico
  • Date of Birth: February 4, 49 years old
  • Fighting Style: Kyokugen Karate
  • Signature Move: Hao Shoko Ken (giant energy blast)

The creator and GrandMaster of Kyokugen-ryu Karate. He was a great Martial Artist in his youth, fighting great rivals and developing his own style. He moved to America and opened a Dojo to teach his art.

When Ryo was 10 years old, Takuma’s wife died in a car accident, and he decided to investigate sensing that there was something more to it, eventually meeting the person responsible for the crime in the city, Geese Howard, who threatened to hurt his kids if he didn’t work for him. So Takuma put on a Tengu mask and became a hitman known as “Mr. Karate” in South Town’s underworld.

When Geese was out to Europe on a Business Trip, he put his right-hand man, Mr. Big, in charge, who, not knowing the real identity of Mr. Karate, left the kidnapped girl in his care in case Ryo came looking for her.

After a fierce battle that Takuma lost (and he intended to die because of the shame he felt working for the crime lord) Yuri reveals his identity before the final blow.

Now the family is reunited and Takuma resumes his place as the Kyokugen-ryu dojo master.

Trivia: Fans believe “Karate Man” from SNK’s pre-NeoGeo fighting arcade game from the 90s “Street Smart” is a younger version of Takuma, but SNK hasn’t confirmed this (they haven’t exactly denied it either)

England Team (Women Fighters Team)

King “The Beautiful Kick’s Illusion”

  • Height: 175 cm (5’9″)
  • Weight: 58 kg (128 lbs)
  • Country: England
  • Date of Birth: April 8; 22 years old
  • Fighting Style: Muay Thai
  • Signature Move: Trap Shot (a dozen kicks in a row)

King is a powerful fighter that uses a personal style of muay thai. She used to disguise herself as a man and worked as a bouncer in a bar owned by the criminal Mr. Big, to pay for her younger brother’s medical bills.

When Ryo and Robert are searching for Yuri, she is the one to tell them where she is being held. After that, they paid for her brother’s operation and King left her dark past behind.

Now she makes an honest living and owns a bar in England called “Illusion”, and enters the tournament for the prize money along with her friends.

Trivia: She is based on the Butch Henchwoman of the movie “China White” (1989) portrayed by Dutch Muay Thai Champion and Actress Saskia Van Rijswijk.

Yuri Sakazaki “The Wild Flying Swallow”

Yuri Sakazaki
  • Height: 168 cm (5’6″)
  • Weight: 50 kg (110 lbs)
  • Country: England
  • Date of Birth: December 7, 19 years old
  • Fighting Style: Kyokugen Karate (basic)
  • Signature Move: One Hundred Face Slaps

Yuri wasn’t trained by Takuma in the Kyokugen style when she was young, but after being kidnapped and rescued in the events of Art of Fighting, she starts training and learns the basics of Karate, becoming able to control energy blasts fast.

She enters the tournament to prove herself as a skilled fighter to her father and older brother, who disapprove of her facing such elite contenders, deeming it too dangerous for Yuri.

Trivia: Through the KOF series, she tends to copy special moves from Street Fighter Shoto characters, such as Ryu’s Denjin Hadoken, Ken’s Shouryureppa, Sakura’s Flower Kick, and Akuma’s Raging Demon.

Mai Shiranui “The Alluring Ninja Girl”

  • Height: 165 cm (5’5″)
  • Weight: 48 kg (106 lbs.)
  • Country: England
  • Date of Birth: January 1st, 20 years old
  • Fighting Style: Shiranui-ryuu Ninjutsu
  • Signature Move: Kachousen (throws a Butterfly Fan)

Mai learned Ninjitsu from her grandfather and trained with Andy Bogard in the past, falling in love with him and proclaiming to be his fiancé, but the feelings aren’t mutual.

Mai wanted to join the Fatal Fury Team for the tournament, but the Bogard Bros. picked Joe, so Mai instead joins Yuri and King to pursue Andy wherever he went.

Trivia: Her appearance is based on Japanese idols Fumie Hosokawa and Ai Iijima.

South Korea: Kim Team

Kim Kaphwan “The Crown Jewel of Taekwondo”

Kim Kaphwan
  • Height: 176 cm (5’9″)
  • Weight: 78 kg (172 lbs)
  • Country: Korea
  • Date of Birth: December 21, 29 years old
  • Fighting Style: Taekwondo
  • Signature Move: Hienzan (rising kick upwards)

The Tae Kwon Do World Champion, he entered last year’s KOF tournament looking for new opponents, and lost to Terry, forming a friendly rivalry

Before the events of KOF ’94, he watches the TV News as two criminals wreak havoc in the city, and goes to defeat them and capture them. It is then that he decides to reform them with the teachings of his martial art, and enters them in the tournament as part of their path to straighten them.

Trivia: His name comes from the president of Viccom, a South Korean company that used to import and translate SNK games and adapt them to their market.

Chang Koehan

  • Height: 227 cm (7’5″)
  • Weight: 203 kg (448 lbs)
  • Country: Korea
  • Date of Birth: October 21; 38 years old
  • Fighting Style: Power striking
  • Signature Move: Spinning his Iron Ball

Chang is a giant man that uses his immense strength and weight to commit crime.

He escaped prison and was caught by Kim, who along with Choi began training in Taekwondo to learn discipline and leave his mischievous ways.

Trivia: He was designed to contrast all other characters that mainly use punches and kicks to fight.

Choi Bounge

Choi Bounge
  • Height: 153 cm (5’0″)
  • Weight: 44 kg (97 lbs.)
  • Country: Korea
  • Date of Birth: October 25, 35 years old
  • Fighting Style: Speed brawling
  • Signature Move: Cutting with his metal claws gloves

He is a sadistic man that likes to cut flesh and previously worked as a butcher.

Kim trains him in traditional martial arts to diminish his desire to cut human flesh, which ends up working in later KOF games, where he grows soft in character.

Trivia: He is based on ‘80s horror villain Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street

Brazil: Ikari Warriors

Heidern “General of the Soldiers of Fortune”

  • Height: 192 cm (6’4″)
  • Weight: 90 kg (198 lbs.)
  • Country: Brazil
  • Date of Birth: September 1, 42 years old
  • Fighting Style: Self-taught assassination techniques
  • Signature Move: Storm Bringer (Heidern stabs his opponent and absorbs vital energy)

He is the commander of a mercenary unit, who lost many of his men, and his wife and child to the current year organizer Rugal, who also took his right eye.

Now filled with rage, he enters the tournament with his top 2 soldiers to exact revenge.

Trivia: His Storm Bringer special move comes from the Sword of the same name featured in stories by author Michael Moorcock.

Ralf Jones “The One-Man Army”

Ralf Jones
  • Height: 188 cm (6’2″)
  • Weight: 110 kg (243 lbs)
  • Country: Brazil
  • Date of Birth: August 25, 38 years old
  • Fighting Style: Mercenary Combat and Heidern techniques
  • Signature Move: MachineGun Punches

The main character in the Ikari Warriors Top-View Shooter games, he is a mercenary for hire under Commander Heidern and holds the rank of Colonel, having proven himself on the battlefield for his courage and strength.

Trivia: He is based on John Rambo portrayed by Sylvester Stallone

Clark Still “Tough & Cool”

  • Height: 187 cm (6’2″)
  • Weight: 89 kg (196 lbs.)
  • Country: Brazil
  • Date of Birth: May 7, 33 years old
  • Fighting Style: Mercenary Combat and wrestling
  • Signature Move: Argentina BackBreaker

A Lieutenant in the Ikari Warriors team and best friend of Ralf. He is an expert in the use of knives and guns, and gathering information on the field. He joins his superiors in making a team to enter KOF.

He has a scar on his forehead that he hides with a cap and glasses (caused by Ralf when playing with knives)

Trivia: Many of his moves were inspired by the Kinnikuman manga series (Ultimate Muscle in America)

China: Psycho Soldiers

Athena Asamiya “The Psychic Powered Idol”

Athena Asamiya
  • Height: 163 cm (5’4″)
  • Weight: 49 kg (108 lbs.)
  • Country: China
  • Date of Birth: March 14, 17 years old
  • Fighting Style: Psychic powers + Wing Chun
  • Signature Move: Psycho Ball

She a SNK heroine from the pre-NeoGeo arcade game “Psycho Soldier”, a Japanese high school student and pop idol that uses her powers to save the world.

She can use telekinesis to move objects with her mind, is able to teleport, float, and can feel the thoughts of other people.

She is taught Kung Fu by her master Chin, who decides to enter the tournament to test her skills.

Trivia: She is the only character in the KOF series to change her outfit every year

Sie Kensou “The Young Rising Dragon”

Sie Kensou
  • Height: 172 cm (5’8″)
  • Weight: 61 kg (134 lbs)
  • Country: China
  • Date of Birth: September 23, 18 years old
  • Fighting Style: Wing Chun + Chinese Kung Fu
  • Signature Move: Ryuurenga: Tenryuu (elbow strike followed by 2 kicks in the air)

He was born with Psychic Powers and is one of the Heroes of Light along with Athena in the game Psycho Soldier.

Supposedly, Athena is the reincarnation of the Goddess Athena, and Kensou is the reincarnation of her Guardian Knight.

He uses an acrobatic style of Kung Fu (based on Northern Shaolin) and doesn’t rely much on his Psychic Powers, unlike Athena.

Trivia: His favorite food is meat dumplings, which he eats before a fight, and even as a super special move, boosting his life meter.

Chin Gentsai “The Drunken Fist Master”

Chin Gentsai
  • Height: 164 cm (5’4″)
  • Weight: 53 kg (117 lbs.)
  • Country: China
  • Date of Birth: April 27, 88 years old
  • Fighting Style: All types of Chinese Kung Fu (mainly Drunken Fist)
  • Signature Move: Tenchisui Hassengeki (throwing his Sake bottle)

He is an elder master of all Chinese martial arts and teaches his pupils Kung Fu and trains them to control their psychic powers in case a big evil threatens the world. He receives an invitation to the KOF tournament and enters as a form of training for his students.

Trivia: He is based on the character Beggar So from Jackie Chan’s movie Drunken Master

USA: American Sports Team


  • Height: 208 cm (6’10”)
  • Weight: 113 kg (249 lbs.)
  • Country: USA
  • Date of Birth: March 25, 28 years old
  • Fighting Style: Boxing
  • Signature Move: Blast Upper

Once a powerful Pro Boxer that was expelled from the sport for almost killing an opponent in the ring. He receives an invitation and makes a team to represent the USA in the world fighting tournament and be able to fight in competition once more.

Trivia: His name comes from the Hip-Hop band Heavy D & the Boyz

Lucky Glauber

Lucky Glauber
  • Height: 222 cm (7’3″)
  • Weight: 105 kg (231 lbs)
  • Country: USA
  • Date of Birth: December 2nd; 27 years old
  • Fighting Style: Karate mixed with Basketball moves
  • Signature Move: throwing basketballs

A former basketball player and Karate champion, who decides to enter KOF with his friends to test his skill against powerful opponents of different styles.

Trivia: He is based on the character Hakim, from Bruce Lee’s movie Game of Death, portrayed by Los Angeles Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Brian Battler

Brian Battler
  • Height: 219 cm (7’2″)
  • Weight: 152 kg (335 lbs.)
  • Country: USA
  • Date of Birth: April 15, 27 years old
  • Fighting Style: Brawling + Power Attacks
  • Signature Move: Hyper Tackle

A professional football player with a tendency to violence. He agrees to enter the tournament when Heavy-D! asks him. He enjoys tackling his opponents a little too much.

Trivia: He was designed to pay tribute to Football Frenzy, a NeoGeo football game.

Japan: Hero Team

Kyo Kusanagi “Scion of the Flame”

Kyo Kusanagi
  • Height: 180 cm (5’11”)
  • Weight: 75 kg (165 lbs.)
  • Country: Japan
  • Date of Birth: December 12, 19 years old
  • Fighting Style: Kusanagi style of ancient martial arts
  • Signature Move: Orochinagi (charges fire on his hand and releases a huge flame)

A high school student and heir to the Kusanagi clan, legendary warriors that once sealed a mythological 8-headed snake and have the power to invoke fire with their hands.

He enters a tournament held in Japan to determine which 3 fighters will represent the country in KOF and wins it beating Goro and Benimaru on the way.

Trivia: He dislikes training and behaves like a shonen manga delinquent student to appeal to young gamers and contrast other serious video game characters that take training seriously, such as Street Fighter Ryu.

Benimaru Nikaido “The Shooting Star”

Benimaru Nikaido
  • Height: 181 cm (5’11)
  • Weight: 70 kg (152 lbs)
  • Country: Japan
  • Date of Birth: June 6; 20 years old
  • Fighting Style: Shoot boxing + Electric Attacks
  • Signature Move: Raijinken (punch with an electric bolt)

A model and professional shoot boxer, who can harness the power of electricity. He enters the tournament to determine who will represent Japan and loses to Kyo in the final.

Trivia: He is based on Jean-Pierre Polnareff from the manga series JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

Goro Daimon “Over-Towering Mountain Storm”

Goro Daimon
  • Height: 204 cm (6’8″)
  • Weight: 103 kg (227 lbs)
  • Country: Japan
  • Date of Birth: May 5; 28 years old
  • Fighting Style: Judo
  • Signature Move: Tenchi Gaeshi (slam to the ground followed by shoulder throw high in the air)

An Olympic gold medalist in Judo, he entered the tournament to represent Japan in KOF, losing to Kyo in the semifinals. He is very serious and almost doesn’t talk, but loves to teach Judo.

Trivia: His character idea is based on Musashi Tomoe from the manga series Getter Robo

KOF ’94 organizer: Rugal Bernstein “The Modern Pirate”

  • Height: 197 cm (6’6″)
  • Weight: 103 kg (227 lbs.)
  • Date of Birth: February 10; 48 years old
  • Fighting Style: He has mastered all martial arts
  • Signature Move: God Press (slams an opponent to the wall)

A trafficker of drugs and weapons, Rugal is an evil man that despises human life and looks for powerful fighters to add to his “collection”.

When he defeats worthy opponents, he creates statues out of them by immersing them in liquid metal.

Looking for powerful fighters, the final boss hosts The King of Fighters in order to fight the victors.

Trivia: His battle suit is based on Dio from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, and in his collection of fallen opponents, some statues look like Guile, Ryu, and Akuma from Street Fighter.