King of the Monsters

King of the Monsters

Retro Coin Op Synopsis

SNK’s King of the Monsters was like an Ultraman episode brought to life. Blending the best elements of WWF Superstars and Rampage, the game featured six titanic monsters, each battling to claim the title, “King of the Monsters.” And if several city blocks had to be destroyed in the process, then so be it.

According to the game’s story, in the year 1996, a weakened ozone layer allowed cosmic radiation to pass through the Earth’s atmosphere, leading to the creation of several gigantic city-smashers (we haven’t seen any yet personally, but keep your eyes open). Six of these bad boys were playable—giant mutant humanoid Astro Guy, big bug Beetle Mania, fire-breathing lizard Geon, mud creature Poison Ghost, Egyptian stone giant Rocky and great Chinese ape Woo. Rather than work together to protect and defend our planet, the monsters decided they’d rather hold a wrestling match to see which one was the toughest. Monsters… when will they ever learn?

The bestial battle covered twelve stages in six different major cities, but the story was always the same. Using the punch, kick and jump buttons, players tried to beat the other monsters into submission before pinning them down for a three count. When two monsters went in close for a grappling contest, the stronger beast threw his wimpier rival across the screen for major damage. As the bout went on, players’ “Power Ball” meters on the side of the screen began to build up. Once they were filled, that monster could pull off a special trick, causing even greater damage.

Throughout the match, defenseless towers, factories, stadiums, bridges and more were crushed beneath the awesome weight of these multi-ton behemoths. As cruel as that may have been, the buildings did make handy projectile weapons, as did the many tanks and jet planes sent in to stop the monster wars.

Two players could enter the fray at once, but that also doubled the number of computer opponents, leading to a four-monster free-for-all. And when four monsters fight in mid-town Tokyo, really, no one wins.

One year after the original monster battle (three years later in game time), three of the original beasts returned for King of the Monsters 2. This time, however, the monsters had a nobler mission. In 1999, an armada of aliens swarmed in to conquer the Earth (again, we may have missed this, so let us know). Facing this new threat, Atomic Guy, Geon and Woo decided to put aside their differences and fight for a common cause. Despite their honorable intentions, however, they still wound up leveling more than their share of local buildings.

The sequel expanded things beyond the simple Wrestlemania format, turning King of the Monsters 2 into a Final Fight-type fighter. The monsters lumbered through several side-scrolling stages—city, underwater, volcano and more—smashing any alien ships that got in their way. Once the monsters ran into a giant boss, however, the instincts kicked back in and the wrestling rumble began anew. What can you do? Monsters will be monsters…

Arcade Machine Release History

1991 - King of the Monsters
1992 - King of the Monsters 2

Arcade Game Sub Categories


Machine Manufacturer


Other Arcade Game Links