BootlegGames Wiki

The King of Fighters '96 is a bootleg port of the fighting game of the same name developed by Hummer Team and released in 1998 by Ka Sheng.



The King of Fighters 96's gameplay.

This is a fighting game based off The King of Fighters '96 by SNK, and includes 7 different characters. It appears to be based off Street Fighter Zero 2 '97, having several of the same issues that it has such as garbled sprites on the top of the screen during fights, two repeats of each character (this is the same case in SFZ2'97) as well as having numerous sound effects reused from it. Both games also use the same VS screen music. Unlike that game though, this has a difficulty setting, and retains the team mode that the actual The King of Fighters games have. There are only 7 characters in this game, much fewer than the original game's roster. There's no POW bar in this game, unlike the original, making it play more like Street Fighter II. The ending is a cutscene of Goenitz being defeated, however it is in English, with one of the lines ("FIGHTER KING OF FIGHTERS 98 I'M BACK TO TRAINING EVERY DAY AND I'M KICKING BUTT") randomly taken from the Fatal Fury Team's ending from the original game.

The graphics and music are mostly from the original game, but much of the music bears little resemblance to that of the original's, with one of the tracks being an edited version of the cover of "These Dreams" by Jim Croce from Sanguo Chunqiu: Sichuan Sheng. Three other songs by Jim Croce, "New York's Not My Home" plays on the Art of Fighting team's stage, "It Doesn't Have To Be That Way" or possibly "Alabama Rain" plays on Goenitz's stage, and the Japan stage uses a cover of "Country Girl". The rest of the music was mostly taken from the then-new The King of Fighters '98, including the Art of Fighting team's theme (Iori team stage) as well as unused covers of the Father Team's stage and "Ne!" from KoF '94 (which plays when facing that game's Women Team in '98). An unused cover of "Esaka" Kyo's theme from the original game can also be found in the ROM.

The intro is copied accurately from the original game, aside from a couple of typos at the start. In the Japan stage, the SNK logo in the background was altered to read "STC" which presumably doesn't stand for anything to do with Hummer Team or J.Y. Company (however, there are some unused tiles for the stage that do read "SNK").




The J.Y. Company logo as it appears in this game.

  • One of the songs in the NSF file of this game is the ending theme from Street Fighter II: The World Warrior but with different percussion. This is unused though, as the ending to this game uses the intro music. Given how this game came after Street Fighter Zero 2 '97 which actually uses this track, it's likely this game was built off of it. Both games also use the same VS screen theme.
  • Like in Street Fighter Zero 2 '97 and several other Hummer Team games, the stages cycle in a preset order.
  • Despite being in the background of the Japan level, Athena isn't a playable character in this version but her name does appear in the ROM (see below).
  • The ending includes the text "King of Fighters 98," suggesting that the game was created in 1998.
  • The ending is also randomly taken from the Fatal Fury team's ending from the original game. The full quote was "Well, it's been over a month since the King of Fighters '96. I'm back to training every day and I'm kicking butt..."
  • Iori from this game appears on the front page of this Wiki.
  • Due to a glitch, in some of Goenitz's frames his clothes will turn into the same color as his hair.
  • A glitched version of the J.Y. Company logo is hidden in this game. J.Y. was supposed to publish it but canceled the release for unknown reason. Presumably it would have been too expensive to manufacture PCBs specifically for it due to the game actual size. According to Hummer Cheng, J.Y. could not afford to publish it due to already publishing another Hummer Team game the same year. It can be accessed on the title screen by pressing:
    • Down, Down, Left, Up, Right, Left, Up, Down
  • The game was supposed to have cutscenes but only two remain functional (not counting graphics) through hacking. The text for some of the removed cutscenes can still be found in the ROM. To access the two cutscenes, at address 0040, set the value to 0C (cutscene before fighting Chizuru) or 0E. (cutscene before fighting Goenitz).
  • In the ROM, there seems to be a total of 20 characters in the game but 13 of them were cut out. The characters that were cut out still have their code in the game and do function correctly but the graphics are glitched. It's a possibility that there the original version out there with these characters but it's unknown if it was ever on cartridge form. They were probably cut to make room for the cartridge the game was going to be put on. (If these characters did have graphics, the game would probably be around 1.25 MB, larger than Metal Slader Glory, the largest known official NES ROM; the retailed version that can be found is just 768 KB.) Despite their graphics being cut, their icons for the HUD still remain. They can be accessed under address 00B9 with these values:
    • 00 - Kyu (Kyo)
    • 01 - Benimary (Benimaru)
    • 03 - Terry
    • 04 - Andy
    • 05 - Joe
    • 06 - Ryo
    • 07 - Kim
    • 0A - Ralf
    • 0B - Athena
    • 0C - Kasumi
    • 0E - Mai
    • 0F - Geese
    • 10 - Wolfgang
  • The VS screen features the character stancing in front of their name, suggesting the game is a port of the 32-bit versions. KoF '96 was rereleased in Japan for Playstation on July 23, 1998, around the game's release and on the same day as KoF '98, suggesting Hummer Team took the inspiration to port the game from there.