Back in the day, SNK was king of the arcade thanks to series like King of Fighters, Metal Slug, Fatal Fury, Samurai Shodown, and many others.
One game gave arcade players the chance to live out a dream we all share..
To be the one that gets to nail Angelina Jolie?
NO! To be King of the Monsters!!
There were two games in this series. The first game, called King of the Monsters, was hybrid fighting/wrestling game. You had a cast of six kaiju to choose from and the gameplay involved three of the four buttons on the arcade cabinet. Your goal? Beat down your fellow kaiju and pin him for the 1, 2, 3. The one player mode has 12 stages, each in Japanese cities (of course!) and the game will get harder the farther you move on… see, this was MK Walker territory before Mortal Kombat made that trope cool. In the end, you became King of the Monsters once you beat the game.
The sequel would radically change things. Known as King of the Monsters 2: The Next Thing, the hybrid style was thrown out in favor of an old school beat-em-up that brought back half of the cast. Once you chose your monster, your job is to save the world from King Famardy…
OK, which Japanese guy was stoned when that name was brought up?
*glares at the disembodied voice*
Anyway, you need to fight through his alien army to save the world from his wrath. It won’t be easy, considering that they can pretty do the same thing as you can in terms of attacks and whatnot.
A good way to remember these games is like this: The first one is basically ‘Godzilla Destroy all Monsters’ (which I would love to watch sometime… why? Because kaiju fights are fucking awesome, that’s why!) and the second game is ‘Godzilla Final Wars’ just without the crappy version of your kaiju SNK bought the rights for just to be cannon fodder for your guy.
The series died after the sequel, but it does live on in spirit. Cyber Woo, one of the characters in 2, was a playable fighter in Neo Geo Battle Coliseum, which is a nice surprise for those who remember the old days.
So, with that… I’m Seadragon and for that annoying as all hell disembodied voice that follows me, I wish you can join me next time for another edition of Flashback Friday.