Arcade Video game published 30 years ago by Data East Corp.

Listed in MAME

Fighter's History screenshot

Fighter's History © 1993 Data East Corporation.

Fighter's History is the first attempt of Data East to enter in competition with Capcom and its omnipresent Street Fighter II. Because the many similarities shared by the game with the Capcom masterpiece (like the character select screen, the vs and winner/loser screens, the controls and the design and moves of some characters), Fighter's History was at least simply stamped by most of the players like another SFII clone, and in this way remained ignored and obscured to the mass audience.

Although time after, the many beat'em up fans learnt to appreciate this maybe too underestimated fighting game, especially for its combo system, quite simple to execute even for those players not so able with timing and button pressing, and for its fast gameplay: at this purpose most of the contribution was made by the updated version released in 1994, Fighter's History Dynamite (known as Karnov's Revenge in USA and Europe) that made the gameplay more polished. Despite this at least Fighter's History never reached that great success that maybe Data East still tried to achieve.

Players choose one of 9 international fighters and battle to be the best in the world. Every character has his ending sequence and his own stage. There are also two not-selectable bosses to challenge for reach the end, and the last one of them is real surprising!

Goodies for Fighter's History
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Runs on the Data East ARM6 (32-Bit) System Hardware.

Game ID : MBF

Main CPU : ARM (@ 7 Mhz), HuC6280 (@ 4.0275 Mhz)
Sound Chips : Yamaha YM2151 (@ 3.58 Mhz), OKI6295 (@ 7.627 Khz), OKI6295 (@ 15.255 Khz)

Screen Orientation : Horizontal
Video Resolution : 320 x 240 Pixels.
Screen Refresh : 60.00 Hz
Palette Colors : 2048

Players : 2
Control : 8-Way Joystick
Buttons : 6
=> Light Punch, Medium Punch, Strong Punch, Light Kick, Medium Kick, Strong Kick


Fighter's History was released in March 1993.

At the time of Fighter's History's release, Capcom U.S.A. sued Data East Corp. over Fighter's History due to what Capcom U.S.A. felt were infrigements on their Street Fighter II property. Capcom U.S.A. lost the case on grounds that the copied elements were scenes a faire and thus excluded from copyright. Data East Corp.'s largest objection in court was that their 1984 arcade game Karate Champ was the true originator of the competitive fighting game genre, which predated the original Street Fighter by three years.

This is one of the rare Japanese-made fighting games where the characters yell out the names of their moves in their native language. Most Japanese-made fighting games, including "Street Fighter II - The World Warrior", have the Asian characters (usually comprised of East Asians) speak Japanese while all the other characters speak English or Japanese, regardless of their nationality.

Also, every character has several winning quotes displayed in the win/lose screen : these changes depending the defeated opponent.

Another particular feature of the Fighter's History saga is the presence of characters of other Data East games in the cast of the game: in fact, the final boss of Fighter's History and Fighter's History Dynamite is actually Karnov, the hero of the homonimous platform game of Data East released in 1987. While in Fighter's History - Mizoguchi Kiki Ippatsu!! (released only for Super Famicom in Japan) the final boss is even Chelnov, the hero of Chelnov - Atomic Runner (1988) still released by Data East.

About Ryoko : This character seems somehow inspired by Ryoko Tamura, famous female judo champion that started her judo career at the age of 16 (the same age of Ryoko on the game) on the Barcelona Olympics on 1992, and winner of several medals and prizes in every judo contests all over the world. Other inspiration for Ryoko could be from the heroine of the manga "Yawara", based on the story of a young female judoka. There is also another curious thing to know about Ryoko: in the same year (1993), ADK released World Heroes 2, sequel of the previous World Heroes released in 1992, and inside his innovative character rooster appeared a new female fighter named Ryoko, that is very similar to the one of Fighter's History, especially in the physical appearance (the only difference is the colour of her Kimono: white for Ryoko of Fighter's History, light blue for Ryoko of World Heroes 2; also, Ryoko of Fighter's History has a red headband, while Ryoko of World Heroes 2 does not), but however the moves of the two characters are totally different, even if the fighting style is judo for both of them. At least the two "Ryokos" are admittedly inspired by the real Ryoko Tamura as well.

Both Ryoko and Jean's endings mention the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Different to Street Fighter II, some stages of Fighter's History show locations actually existing in the world :
* The stage of Ray (USA) takes place in front the gates of the White House, that is clearly visible in the middle of the screen.
* The stage of Marstorius (Italy) takes place in front the 'Fontana di Trevi' of Rome, one of the most famous fountains of the world. The fountain is not only celebrated for its excellent water but for the legend that whoever drinks it or throws a coin in the fountain, will assure his return to Rome.

Mizoguchi makes a cameo in Joe & Mac Returns (1994) as an enemy character. He was a secret character in the Sega Saturn and Playstation versions of Outlaws of the Lost Dynasty, and was joined by Yungmie for the Saturn exclusive update to that game, Fuunsaiki. Also Mizoguchi later appeared as a selectable character in the Sony PlayStation 2 game "KOF - Maximum Impact Regulation A" to promote the Japanese-exclusive cell phone game Garou Densetsu vs. Fighter's History Dynamite, and as a hidden character in Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble.

Pony Canyon / Scitron released a limited-edition soundtrack album for this game (Fighter's History - G.S.M. 1500 Series - PCCB 00123) on June 18, 1993.

A bootleg of this game, titled 'The History of Martial Arts' (199?) was made by an unknown producer.

A Fighter's History unit appears in the 1998 movie 'The Replacement Killers'.

Goodies for Fighter's History
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The US version has the 'Winners Don't Use Drugs' screen.


Weak Points : one of the features of the Fighter's History gameplay is the introduction of the weak points for all the characters of the game : these weak points consists basically in a single part of the suit of every character, that begin to flash while taking some strong hits : after the last strong hit making fly away the weak point, the character will get dizzy. In this way every character can get dizzy once time for round, and pop off the weak point of the opponent will become an essential strategy during the fight. In the next round, weak points are restored for both players.

These are the weak points for every character of the game :
Ray : lightning bolt (on the shirt)
Feilin : breastplate
Ryoko : headband
Matlok : headgear
Samchay : armband
Lee : knees (some parts of the pants near the knees)
Mizoguchi : headband
Jean : leg band
Marstorius : leg warmers
Clown : mask
Karnov : hat


japan Nintendo Super Famicom (may.27, 1994) "Fighter's History [Model SHVC-YH]"
usa Nintendo SNES (aug.1994) "Fighter's History [Model SNS-YH]"


Game's manual.
Game's picture.
Game's ROMs.
Game's screenshots.
See goodies section.
Official website; http://www.dataeast-corp.co.jp/dev/history/history2.htm