Killer Instinct

Killer Instinct

Retro Coin Op Synopsis

Nintendo and Rare set the gaming world on fire with their Super Nintendo hit Donkey Kong Country in 1994, largely due to the game’s pseudo-3-D modeled graphics. The two companies combined forces again that same year to create Killer Instinct, bringing that same dynamic look to arcade fighters.

Careful attention to detail went into each of the game’s ten playable fighters—skeleton Spinal, werewolf Sabrewulf, burly Native American Chief Thunder, fire creature Cinder, deadly beauty Orchid, dinosaur Riptor, sword-wielding Jago, boxer T.J. Combo, the frozen Glacius and the metal-suited Fulgore—and the effort paid off with one of the best-looking fighters of its time. The same standards were applied to the game’s multiple backgrounds, customized to fit each fighter’s history and personality.

By this time, everyone knew the drill: one joystick, six attack buttons, two rounds of combat to the death. Killer Instinct even borrowed the Mortal Kombat fatality idea, allowing players to perform animated “finishers” with names like “Frog Squash” and “Neck Breaker.” Special and combo moves abounded in the game, involving everything from claw slashes to flaming bats.

After battling through the regular opponents, one-player contestants took on the ultimate monster: Eyedol, a two-headed ogre. But even after felling this mighty foe, the battle was not yet won. That may have been the end of Killer Instinct, but in the world of arcade fighters, sequels are inevitable. Killer Instinct 2 arrived one year later, bringing in new playable characters and a new boss, Gargos. And once more, fighting gamers were forced to limber up their button-pressing fingers and sharpen their killer instincts.

Arcade Machine Release History

1994 - Killer Instinct
1995 - Killer Instinct 2

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