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The King of Fighters '98 - The Slugfest [Model NGM-242]

SNK Neo-Geo MVS cart. published 26 years ago by SNK Corp.

Listed in MAME

The King of Fighters '98 - The Slugfest [Model NGM-242] screenshot

The King of Fighters '98 - The Slugfest © 1998 SNK.

The King of Fighters '98: The Slugfest is a one-on-one fighting game for one or two players, featuring 38 selectable characters. As with previous games in the series, players can choose between two different playing styles: Advance and Extra.

* Extra is similar to "King of Fighters '94" and is more suited to defensive play, as the fighters only have one power gauge and cannot run. They can instead sidestep to avoid incoming attacks and can also perform unlimited super moves when their energy is low.

* Advanced mode gives the fighters the evasive roll introduced in "King of Fighters '96" and lets them store up to three full power gauges at once. This means they can choose to expend a gauge to get a damage boost, rather than letting it happen automatically. It also allows fighters to use more than one gauge to inflict more powerful versions of their super moves (instead of having to wait until their health is low). Fighters can also expend a gauge to quick roll out of an attack after successfully blocking it.

Both the 'Extra' and 'Advanced' modes have been tweaked since the previous game. Unlike KOF '97, fighters will return to normal if they perform a Super Special Move in MAX state. Also, when a fighter loses a round, they are given a handicap in their favour. In Extra mode, the time it takes to charge their power gauge to its maximum level is shortened. In Advance mode, the fighter's stock capacity of Power Gauges is increased by one.


Runs on the SNK "Neo-Geo MVS" hardware.
Game ID : NGM-242

[SNK MVS Neo-Geo Controls]
2 players - 4 buttons per player.
[JOYSTICK] 8-way, [A] Weak punch, [B] Weak kick, [C] Strong punch, [D] Strong kick


Released in July 1998.

This game is known in Japan as "The King of Fighters '98 - Dream Match Never Ends".

It is said that this game is a 'dream match' for more reasons than one - this KOF is said to exist only in Shingo's dream - each character in this dream match was Shingo's impression of these characters, based on either personal experience or his notes in his notebook.

Yuri has a long record of taking movements from other characters, especially Capcom (see previous KOF entries). In this new opus : Yuri's new special attack 'Shin! Chou Upper' is a knock off of Ryu's Shin Shoryuu Ken. She also has a movement similar to Terry's burn knuckle. Finally, her Forward+A is a parody of Sakura's Flower Kick.

KOF98 contains pieces of music from older KOFs.
For example, the character select music when a second player joins in is straight from KOF 96 (it's called Roulette).
Here's a complete list of themes, the teams (or individuals) they belong to and the games they were taken from :
Esaka? (Japan Team) : KOF 96 (Japan Team's theme music).
Esaka (95-style Kyo Kusanagi) : KOF 94 (Japan Team's theme music).
Kurikinton (Fatal Fury Team) : Fatal Fury 2 (Terry Bogard's theme music).
Art of Fight (Art of Fighting Team) : Art of Fighting (Ryo Sakazaki's and Ryuhaku Todo's theme music).
Rumbling in the City (Ikari Team) : KOF 96 (Ikari Team's theme music).
Shin! Senritsu no Dora (Psycho Soldier Team) : KOF95 (Psycho Soldier Team's theme music).
Fairy (Gals Fighters Team) : KOF 96 (Chizuru Kagura's theme music).
Seoul Town (Korea Team) : Real Bout Fatal Fury (Kim Kaphwan's theme music).
Bloody (New Face Team) : KOF 97 (New Face Team's theme music).
Rhythmic Hallucination (Orochi Yashiro) : KOF 97 (Orochi New Face Team's theme music).
C62 (Ryuji Yamazaki) : Real Bout Fatal Fury Special (Ryuji Yamazaki's theme music).
Blue Mary's Blues (Blue Mary) : Real Bout Fatal Fury Special (Blue Mary's theme music).
London March (Billy Kane) : Real Bout Fatal Fury Special (Billy Kane's theme music).
Arashi no Saxophone (Iori Yagami) : KOF 95 (Revenge Team's theme music).
Arashi no Saxophone 2 (Mature, Vice) : KOF 96 (Iori Team's theme music).
Slum No. 5 (USA Sports Team) : KOF 94 (USA Sports Team's theme music).
Still Green (Shingo Yabuki) : KOF 97 (Shingo Yabuki's theme music).
Ketchaku R&D (Omega Rugal) : first half from KOF 94 (Rugal Bernstein's theme music), second half from KOF 95 (Omega Rugal's theme music).
Ne! ('94 Gals Fighters Team) : KOF 94 (Gals Fighters Team's theme music).

Also to note that the music that is played prior to facing Rugal (Kettou R&D) is also from KOF 94 (as the theme for Rugal's first form).

When Choi Bounge appears, a 7 seconds sample from a song is played. This song is 'Choi Bounge Ondo', which appeared in the KOF 97 Arrange SoundTracks. The song became quite popular in Japan.

Mr. Big from "Art of Fighting" makes a small cameo appearance in the USA Wharf background, during the first rounds.

About Kyo Version 95 : Because the introduction of different versions for this character included as "hidden features" in KOF '97 was such a hit with fans, designers thought, another version of Kyo in KOF '98 would make the game more inviting. Designers also remember that both versions for Kyo Kusanagi for game tests were equally popular. This concept for different versions of this character subsequently became the basis for the 'Kyo clones'.

In the Japan Street stage, during the second round if you look in the middle of the background where some shops are, you can see tiny moving people who look like Iori, Mai and Terry Bogard. In the third and fifth round, you can see two people doing hand signals, they look similar to Kyo Kusanagi & Shingo Yabuki. In the fourth round, you can see Mai and Terry.

A serious bug : Using a USA bios rom if you insert a coin on the 'winners don't use drugs' screen on a single slot the games will use the neo+geo bios s1 tile-set rather than the game tiles, this causes most of the graphics to be hidden and the games to be unplayable, it will also end up using the main-board z80 bios so sound will be broken, the games should fix themselves if you let them run another attact loop after game over, on a multi-slot the games will reset. This is one of the first 4 'gigapower' games, the bug was fixed after that.

Leona, Ralph and Clark are playable characters in the Foma 90x Series Mobile Phones game 'Metal Slug Survivors'.

Soundtrack releases:
[JP] Aug. 19, 1998; The King of Fighters '98 - Dream Match Never Ends [PCCB-00334] - Pony Canyon.
[JP] Sep. 18, 1998; The King of Fighters '98 - Dream Match Never Ends Arrange Sound Trax [PCCB-00337] - Pony Canyon.
(JP] Oct. 07, 1998; The King of Fighters '98 - Dream Match Never Ends Drama CD [PCCB-00339] - Pony Canyon.


At the Intro music (CIPHER) and the Staff Roll BGM (ZERO) a sample used says 'mot*er fu**er'. Apparently, this sample was removed in some non-Japanese carts.


* Orochi Team (Evil Chris, Evil Shermie, Evil Yashiro) : at the Character select screen, hold Start and press any button on the normal team (Chris, Shermie, Yashiro).

* KOF94 Art of Fighting characters (Ryo, Robert, Yuri) : at the character select screen, hold Start and press any button on the Art of Fighting characters.

* KOF95 style Kyo : at the Character select screen, hold Start on Kyo and press any button.

* Real Bout 2 characters (Mai, Terry, Andy, Billy) : at the Character select screen, hold Start on the respective characters and press any button.

* View attitudes : hold Start at the match-up screen to view the attitudes of your opponents.

* Select victory pose : immediately press A, B, C, or D after defeating your opponent.

* Fight Vs Shingo Yabuki : you must win the first three levels by 3-0.

* Finish the game using one of these combinations to see the special endings :
1) Kyo, Shingo, Saisyu
2) Kyo, Iori, Chizuru
3) Kyo, Iori, Shingo
4) Kyo, Saisyu, Chris
5) Kyo, Terry, Ryo
6) Benimaru, Andy, Robert
7) Goro, Joe, Yuri
8) Terry, Clark, Lucky
9) Ryo, Yuri, Takuma
10) Yuri, Mai, Athena
11) Heidern, Ralf, Leona
12) Yashiro, Chris, Yamazaki
13) Rugal, Vice, Mature
14) Shermie, Vice, Mature
15) Shingo, Chris, Kensou
16) Kim, Saisyu, Takuma
17) Billy, Joe, Chang
18) Chin, Chang, Choi


Producer : Takashi Nishiyama
Chief director : Toyohisa Tanabe
Sub director : Haruo Tomita, Honey-Bunny-Kaju, Tak.Yamashita, Hiroto Namada, T. Hosokawa, K. Hikida (Yanya), Tomonori Kamio
System editor : Khozoh Nagashima (as K. Nagashima)
Demo designers : Kalkin Mizuno, Dandy, Matuisan!, M. Yokoyama, Masato
Special effects : Nishida Mika, Aoyama
Programmers : S. Fujinuki, Cyber Kondo, Souta Ichino
Sound : SHA-V, Tate Norio, Marimo
Adjuster : Kiyoshi Asai, Hataboh de Go!, M-Panic! Plus
Bug Checker : Anne, Sanpo, H. Shimmei, R. Tsune, 8097 :K.I (Non)

* Front Designer :
Chief : Blaster-Lu
Kyo, Shingo : Akiko Yukawa
Ryo : Mitsuru Kawasaki, T. I-NO-U-E
Benimaru, Iori, Yamazaki : Miki Asakura
Robert, Lucky : Mitsuru Kawasaki
Daimon, Terry, Takuma : Shinsuke Yamamoto
Yuri, Brian : Mina Kawai
Leona, Ralf, Clark, Heidern : Dear Ichi Jerry
Andy, Athena, Chizuru, Mai, Rugal : C.A.C. Yamasaki
Joe, Billy : Hiroto Kittaka
Kim, Heavy D! : T. I-NO-U-E
Kensou, Chin, Choi : 44Oka
Chang, Mary, Saisyu : Tahara Ujyu-
Yashiro : Shio Shio Shio
Shermie, King : Miho Uematsu
Chris : Hiroto Kittaka
Mature/Vice : Shio Shio Shio, Miho Uematsu, Akiko Yukawa
Chief : Yurika

* Back Designer :
JPN-Street Stage : Manoru
USA-Yard Stage : Tohru Nakanishi
China Stage : K.W
JPN-Temple Stage : Yurika
Korea Stage : Tsugumi A.
USA-Wharf Stage : Tsugumi A.
Mid-East Stage : Muneki Raishi
Rugal Stage : Souzi Takamori
Spain Stage : M.K

* Voice Actors :
Kyo : Masahiro Nonaka
Daimon/Ryo : Masaki Usui
Benimaru/Ralf/Choi : Monster Maetsuka
Terry/Kim : Satoshi Hashimoto
Andy : Keiichi Nanba
Joe : Nobuyuki Hiyama
Robert : Mantaro Koichi
Yuri : Kaori Horie
Leona/Vice : Masae Yumi
Clark : Yoshinori Shima
Athena : Haruna Ikezawa
Kensou/Brian : Eiji Yano
Chin/Heavy D! : Toshikazu Nishimura
Chizuru : Akiko Saitou
Lucky : Kazuhiro Inage (Key Inage)
Mai : Akoya Sogi
Chang : Hiroyuki Arita
Yashiro : Makoto Awane
Shermie : Hazuki Nishikawa
Chris : Rio Ogata
Yamazaki : Koji Ishii
Billy : Atsushi Yamanishi
Rugal/Heidern : Toshimitsu Arai
Takuma : Eiji Tsuda
Saisyu : Keiichirou Sakaki
King/Mary/Announce : Harumi Ikoma
Mature : Hiroko Tsuji
Shingo : Takehito Koyasu
Iori : Kunihiko Yasui


japan SNK Neo-Geo AES (Sep. 23, 1998; "The King of Fighters '98 - Dream Match Never Ends [Model NGH-242]")
japan SNK Neo-Geo CD (Dec. 23, 1998; "The King of Fighters '98 - Dream Match Never Ends [Model NGCD-2420]")
japan SNK Neo-Geo CD (Dec. 23, 1998; "The King of Fighters '98 - Dream Match Never Ends [Limited Edition] [Model NGCD-24201]")
SNK Neo-Geo Pocket Color japan (Mar. 19, 1999; "King of Fighters R-2 [Pocket Kakutou Series] [Model NEOP00230]")
japan Sony PlayStation (Mar. 25, 1999; "The King of Fighters '98 - Dream Match Never Ends [Model SLPM-86201]")
Sega Dreamcast japan (june.24, 1999, "The King of Fighters - Dream Match 1999 [Model T-3101M]")
japan Sony PlayStation (Mar. 09, 2000; "The King of Fighters '98 - Dream Match Never Ends [SNK Best Collection] [Model SLPM-86435]")
Sega Dreamcast japan (Dec. 21, 2000, "The King of Fighters - Dream Match 1999 [Dreamcast Collection] [Model T-3105M]")
japan Sony PlayStation (Mar. 27, 2003; "The King of Fighters '98 - Dream Match Never Ends [PSone Books] [Model SLPS-91512]")


Game's ROM.
Machine's picture.