Fighter’s History

Fighter's History
Nintendo Super Famicom

Fighter’s History

ファイターズヒストリー || Data East 1994
Original Post Date: October 16, 2019

Fighter’s History is a one-on-one fighting game from the company that birthed the genre to begin with: Data East. As such, it is notable for its usage of their beloved mascot character, Karnov, who returns to his villainous role, serving here as the final boss in single-player mode.

It’s also well known for triggering Capcom to file a lawsuit against Data East for copyright infringement, which was rightfully thrown out.

Originating on Data East’s own arcade hardware, Fighter’s History uses a six button control scheme identical to that found in Street Fighter, with the buttons corresponding to punches and kicks of light, medium, and heavy variations.

The character roster is medium-sized for its time, featuring nine regularly playable characters as well as two boss characters. Karnov is joined by a maniacal clown (fittingly named, what else, Clown), who serves as the penultimate opponent in the single-player mode.

The most unique feature in Fighter’s History is its stun system – in the majority of fighting games, a stun is achieved on an opponent simply via landing consecutive attacks.

In Fighter’s History, however, the gimmick is that each character has their own specific weak point, indicated by an article of clothing. Some examples include the lightning bolt on Ray’s shirt, Mizoguchi’s headband, or Feilin’s chest-plate.

If one’s weak point is struck consecutively, it will begin to flash, at which point it’ll crumble on the next hit. Here, the opponent will be stunned in typical fighting game fashion.

A fighter’s weak point location can greatly sway the outcome of their matchups – for example, Samchay’s throw is an elbow bash to the head, which basically equates to an immediate stun for any character with a weak point on their head.

It goes without saying that Fighter’s History is hardly the most groundbreaking fighting game in the world – outside of its stun system, it largely adheres to the conventions of those which came before it.

That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however, and while it checks just about every box on the list of cheesy early 90s fighting game tropes, it does so quite well.

Rating: 8/10

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