Tuesday, March 19, 2013

King of Fighters Retrospective: Sidetracking: Mark of the Wolves

I'm sure you're all looking forward to my retrospective on King of Fighters 2003.  Unfortunately, life is getting in the way and making that next to impossible, seeing as how I need to write a 3-page essay (single-spaced) within a week.  In the meantime, I can spare the time to touch on something that tangentially relates to King of Fighters.

Mark of the Wolves is a sequel to the original Fatal Fury games.  In it, a new fighting tournament is held (surprised?), and several new characters join the fray.  In fact, it's almost entirely composed of new characters.  The only returning Fatal Fury character taking part in Mark of the Wolves is Terry, who sports a new brown jacket instead of his usual vest and hat.

Everyone who isn't Terry is either all-new or a relative to a Fatal Fury character, with the most prominent being Rock Howard.

That's right.  Howard.  Rock is Geese's son, but he didn't inherit his father's villainy.  In  fact, Rock Greatly resents his father, and is instead something of a little brother figure to Terry.  Both Terry and Geese's influences can be seen in the way he fights.

He doesn't appear in the King of Fighters games I'm covering, but it's worth noting that he has appeared in the King of Fighters: Maximum Impact spin-off games and the spectacularly excellent Capcom vs. SNK 2.

If you want me to cover this one, tell me in the comments.
More relevant to King of Fighters, hailing from Mexico is Tizoc, sometimes known as Griffon.

Like most Mexican fighting game characters, Tizoc is a luchador; a masked wrestler.  He was very popular among children until he was defeated by a mysterious man, whom he tenaciously searched for before deciding to regain his glory by entering the new tournament.  That may make him sound like a glory hog, but Tizoc is actually just a spirited competitor with a strong sense of justice.
Combat-wise, he's not as fast as Ramon, but not as slow as Street Fighter's Zangief.  As you might expect from a professional wrestler, he uses a lot of grabs and body slams.... Except he does it for real.  Just like...

This guy: Gato.  Gato is that stock anime character that is always serious, thinks he's the best, and is absolutely ruthless in his effort to keep his pride, much like Seto Kaiba and Vegeta.  He's a hitman for hire, and much like Ryuji and Billy, is too cool for guns or practicality.  Unlike the other two hired psychos, this guy had no need for weapons.  Gato assassinates with his acrobatic kung-fu, as shown(-off) with a move in which he jumps on his opponent and snaps their neck.  Believe it or not, he actually has a sister:

Hotaru Futaba is nothing like her brother.  She's kind, outgoing, and even has her own pet, a Japanese animal called a Marten.  Even her fighting style is nothing like Gato's, utilizing ki for projectiles & reflectors, and a stance system.  Much like Kasumi Todoh with her father, Hotaru is searching for her brother (who she seems to keep missing).

But there's one more important female character to cover.

Move aside, Hotaru!
Those are the Lillien Knights, a band of pirates led by their rich and beautiful captain Bonne Jenet.

Bonne Jenet organized the Lillien Knights out of boredom.  Her parents are extremely wealthy, so she had the money to spare for her hobby.  What Jenet does she seems to do for fun and excitement, which makes her somewhat relateable to gamers who play games for the same reason.

Her running animation.
Although she's a pirate, nothing has shown her to be evil.  In fact, despite being very harsh on them, the Lillien Knights really like her and are very loyal to Bonne.

She gets along with Tizoc too.  How bad can she be?
And she has a good theme too.

As for how all this will relate to King of Fighters, you'll just have to wait and find out.  At least I've gotten their introductions out of the way.


  1. Hey man, I've been reading your blogs on KOF and rather enjoy them :) Would you do a CVS2 review? I shared this on my 2d fighter appreciators facebook page btw, we dont have many likes yet though

    1. I probably can.... Eventually. It's definitely worth discussing and I play it about as much as any King of Fighters game.

    2. Are you mainly a king of fighters fan or are you into other 2d fighters? I'm really into melty blood myself :)

    3. I'm a fan of action games in general, like Persona 4 Arena and Blazblue.