Lost In Translation/King of Fighters '96, The

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The King of Fighters '96
Neo-Geo marquee.
No screen shot.
The King of Fighters '96 control panel.
Manufacturer SNK
Released 1996
8-way Joystick
4 Button(s)
Main CPU Neo-Geo
68000 (@ 12.000 MHz)
Z80 (@ 4.000 MHz)
Sound CPU Stereo
YM2610 (@ 8.000 MHz)
Raster (Horizontal)
320 x 224 pixels
59.19 Hz
4,096 Palette colours
Screens 1
ROM Info 26 ROMs
48,824,320 bytes (46.56 MiB)
MAME ID kof96 · kof96h

About The Game

The King of Fighters '96 is a one-on-one fighting arcade video game.

The 3rd chapter in this groundbreaking series brings 27 classic SNK characters together against Goenitz, the final boss.

Additional Technical Information

Players : 2

Control : 8-way joystick

Buttons : 4

=> [A] Weak punch, [B] Weak kick, [C] Strong punch, [D] Strong kick


Released in July 1996.

This is the first game to include special phrases and poses when two characters in particular fight. In this game, it happens only with Kyo Vs. Iori, Terry Vs. Geese and Ralf Jones vs Clark Steel.

Ryo Sakazaki's fighting stance changed from the regular 'dukes up' to try and distance him from being thought of as a Ryu ripoff. His basic moves, however, remained unchanged.

Yuri's Yuri Chou Mawashi Geri is a knock-off of Ryu's Tatsumaki Senpuu Kyaku.

If you look at the game code for this game, you would have seen more moves that were originally planned for this game, but never made the cut (for some characters, these moves debuted in later games).

Among those moves that were cut were Kyo's Saishuu Kessen Ougi 'Mu Shiki', Daimon's Arashi no Yama, Robert's Muei Senpuu Juudan Kyaku, Ralf's Umanori Vulcan Punch, Clark's Running Three, Geese's Deadly Rave and Choi's Hou'ou Kyaku.

Geese's music (Geese ni Katakori) is a remixed version of his Fatal Fury 1 theme music (Geese ni Kiss).

A remixed version of Big Shot! (originally Terry's theme music in "Fatal Fury 3 - Road to the Final Victory") was used as the Fatal Fury Team's music.

Noteable Characters


Along with the extensive overhaul to the team lineup of KOF '96, Leona entered the series as a replacement for Heidern, leader of the Ikari Team. Introducing the plot element of Heidern's adopted daughter had been dreamed up by the game designers before the production of KOF '96, and the details surrounding her origins gradually came to include a crucial role as a descendant of the Orochi tribe. Designed with the ardent love of her designers, Leona's special moves are markedly unique compared to the other characters, and reveal the particular tastes of her designers.


She used to be Rugal's secretary. For the chief game planner at the time, it seems that both she and Vice were given the image of the 'ruthless woman' and the 'cruel woman' respectively, but when they became actual characters things got a little hectic, and someone came up with, 'Rugal had a secretary, didn't he. Make it two and run with that'. So these two characters came into being (Talk about slacking off). Consequently, they received additional characteristics : they were actually spies sent to observe Rugal and the descendants of the Orochi 8ketsu Clan.


If Mature was the 'ruthless woman', Vice was to be the 'cruel woman'. The official illustrations for Vice and Mature remain extremely popular, and we're glad we could supply our fans with these images that cannot be reduced to pixels. The period of development for KOF '96 dragged on right up to the time of its scheduled release. At the location test for this title, Mature and Vice were still not included in the game. It's not that they were hidden, but there wasn't enough time to insert them into this initial version (we can talk about this calmly now, but at the time...forget about it!).


In spite of the fact of Goenitz's sole official appearance in '96, he continues to have a considerable following of fans to this day, making him one of KOF's most popular characters. With strength that surpasses Rugal, the boss character of [['94 and '95, the episode of the young Goenitz taking out the eye of Rugal was added to the game's story. Rugal, in turn, relieved Heidern of one of his eyes, which makes us think that SNK sure seems to have a lot of one-eyed characters, witness Gilbert, Jubei Yagyu, and Ramon. If you look carefully at the Goenitz the designer drew at the time (with a little help), you'll notice the shiver-inducing moment in which Goenitz appears to have six fingers.

Geese Howard

The dream event for SNK's most recognizable characters! ...and what dream event would be complete without the appearance of Geese? Naturally, he's the character who people hope appears in the game each year, and there were plans to have him appear in KOF '95 long before. Various considerations at the time, however, led developers to abandon this plan. Then, with the time being ripe, Geese reappeared in KOF '96. Even throughout the game, this boss team received special treatment : things like leitmotif music were prepared for each member and at the time of this title's release, enthusiasm for this game reached a feverish pitch. Numerous special moves were prepared for Geese, but in view of the memory capacity and time required for adjustments, a good number of Super Special Moves had to be left out. A waste, really...

Wolfgang Krauser

In KOF '96 the Boss Team was formed! And with that, Krauser entered the tournament, teaming up with his half brother Geese... but at the time, in terms of memory limitations and the KOF system of that time, it was a tough environment to faithfully depict the Krauser of Fatal Fury. Developers still cringe remembering the numerous criticisms, big and small, regarding the Fatal Fury Team's treatment. KOF '96 saw the debut of Krauser as a player character, but in the ending sequence he did make a cameo in KOF '94.


For a variety of reasons, the Krauser of KOF got a bad rap, but BIG received favorable reviews from the fans. BIG is an austere villain brimming over with adult appeal-that's the character of Mr. BIG. The behavior of the women who hang with him also is based on a certain video the designers of the time often watched. The woman mutters, "He's bad", but just what does that actually mean? The truth remains a deep mystery. During the development stage, a positive slide for his Super Special Moves included one labeled "Spinning Stick Thrust, Kind of Like an Anti-Air Assault". We'd like to think that the move wasn't scrapped because of the vagueness of its name, but it's too bad the general public never got to see it. It rocks!

Leona, Ralph and Clark are playable characters in the Foma 90x Series Mobile Phones game 'Metal Slug Survivors'.

Pony Canyon / Scitron released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (The King of Fighters '96 - PCCB-00223) on 21/08/1996.

Tips and tricks

Alternate Costume Colors

Press D when selecting a fighter on the character selection screen.

Select Victory Pose

Press a Punch or Kick button immediately after winning a match.

Special Endings

Finish the game using one of these combinations to see the special endings :

  1. Chizuru, Kyo, Iori
  2. Goenitz, and 2 more characters except Chizuru


  1. The King of Fighters '94 (1994)
  2. The King of Fighters '95 (1995)
  3. The King of Fighters '96 (1996)
  4. The King of Fighters '97 (1997)
  5. The King of Fighters '98 - The Slugfest (1998)
  6. The King of Fighters '99 - Millennium Battle (1999)
  7. The King of Fighters 2000 (2000)
  8. The King of Fighters 2001 (2001)
  9. The King of Fighters 2002 - Challenge to Ultimate Battle (2002)
  10. The King of Fighters 2003 (2003)
  11. The King of Fighters NeoWave (2004)
  12. The King of Fighters Maximum Impact (2004, Sony PlayStation 2)
  13. The King of Fighters XI (2005)
  14. The King of Fighters Maximum Impact 2 / The King of Fighters 2006 (2006, Sony PlayStation 2)
  15. The King of Fighters Maximum Impact - Regulation A (2007)
  16. The King of Fighters '98 - Ultimate Match (2008)
  17. The King of Fighters XII (2009)


Takashi Nishiyama
Chief Director
System Director
Sub Director
Haruo Tomita
T. Hosokawa
System Editor
Khozoh Nagashima (as K. -Mac- Nagashima)
Front Designers
Tatsuru Murakemi (as Tatsuru-Man)
C.A.C. Yamasaki
Goro Hamada
Akihiko Nasu
Yuichirow Hiraki
Hagihara Shagiko
Miki Asakura
Joe-Terry Sato
Kazuhiro Toba (as 'Toba')
Miho Uematsu
Akiko Yukawa
Shinsuke Yamamoto
Kalkin Mizuno (as Kal Mizuno)
Mitsuru Kawasaki
Nishida Mika
Aska Tahara
Back Designers
Sahori Etoh (as 'Etosan')
Tsugumi A.
Eri Kohjitani
Kaori Kusunoki (as '214 Kusu')
Souzi Takamori
M. Yokoyama
Muneki Raishi
Shinchan (as 'Shinchan-R32')
S. Fujinuki
Cyber Kondo
Masahiko Hataya (Papaya)
Toshio Shimizm (as 'Shimizm')
Tate Norio
Brother Hige

Voice Actors

Kyo Kusanagi
Masahiro Nonaka
Benimaru Nikaido, Ralf Jones & Choi Bounce
Monster Maetsuka
Goro Daimon & Ryo Sakazaki
Masaki Usui
Mai Shiranui
Akoya Sogi
Harumi Ikoma
Kasumi Todoh, Vice & Leona
Masae Yumi
Iori Yagami
Kunihiko Yasui
Hiroko Tsuji
Terry Bogard & Kim Kaphwan
Satoshi Hashimoto
Andy Bogard
Keiichi Nanba
Joe Higashi
Nobuyuki Hiyama
Robert Garcia
Mantaro Koichi
Yuri Sakazaki
Kaori Horie
Athena Asamiya
Tamao Satou
Sie Kensou
Eiji Yano
Chin Gentsai
Toshikazu Nishimura
Clark Steel & Goenitz
Yoshinori Shima
Chang Koehan
Hiroyuki Arita
Geese Howard
Kong Kuwata
Mr. Big
Masaru Naka
Wolfgang Krauser
B. J. Love
Chizuru Kagura
Akiko Saitou

Cabinet and Artwork


SNK Neo-Geo CD (1996)
Sega Saturn (1996)
Nintendo Game Boy (1997, "The King of Fighters - Heat of Battle")
Sony PlayStation (1997)
Sony PlayStation 2 (2006, "NeoGeo Online Collection Vol.3 : The King of Fighters Orochi Hen")

Soundtrack Releases

Album Name Catalogue No. Released Publisher Comments
The King of Fighters '96 Arrange Sound Trax PCCB-00225[1] 1996-09-20 Pony Canyon CD version.
The King of Fighters '96 PCCB-00223[2] 1996-08-21 Pony Canyon CD version.
The King of Fighters '96 Drama CD PCCB-00230[3] 1996-11-07 Pony Canyon/Scitron CD version.
SNK Character Sounds Collection Volume 1 ~ Kyo Kusanagi PCCB-00268[4] 1997-07-18 Pony Canyon/Scitron CD version.
KOF 15th Anniversary Special Soundtrack N/A[5] 2009-07-30 SNK Playmore CD version.


The contents of this page are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
The sources used include MAME (version 0.113u2) and history.dat (revision 1.28 - 2008-10-18).
Please see http://www.arcade-history.com for credits.