Best known as the first fighting game in which characters are rendered from 3D polygons (with skeletal-based 3D animation), Virtua Fighter features real-world fighting techniques and a simplistic three-button control scheme (Punch, Kick, and Guard, each of which can be combined for additional techniques).
Similar to Street Fighter II being credited as the progenitor of the traditional 2D fighting game genre, Virtua Fighter is often credited as the same for 3D fighting games. The game's success is also often credited for popularizing the use of 3D polygonal graphics in the gaming industry (including some of the Sony staff citing it as an inspiration to make the Sony PlayStation support 3D graphics). The game later received numerous sequels and spinoffs, with each main sequel being considered an industry standard for 3D graphics at their times.
Ports & Updates
The game was later ported to the Sega Saturn as one of the system's launch titles, and was a pack-in title with the platform in North America. It was also ported worldwide to the Sega 32X on October 1995.
An enhanced version of the game was ported to the Saturn-based ST-V arcade hardware on April 28, 1995 as Virtua Fighter Remix, which was later ported back to the Saturn in Japan on July 14, 1995 and worldwide on October 1995. Owners of the Saturn in North America could have registered at the time to receive the enhanced version by mail for free. Weeks after the Japanese Saturn release of Remix, that region received an alternate version supporting the system's XBAND peripheral (the only Saturn fighting game to do so).
The Remix version was also ported to PC's running Windows 95 on August 31, 1996 as Virtua Fighter PC, adding online multiplayer and a new team-based mode. A special version of the PC release was distributed in later Diamond Edge 3D multimedia cards, supporting the cards' Nvidia NV1 chipset (which also powered the Saturn).
The game includes eight playable characters and one boss character (who is used in the one-time "bonus match").
- Akira Yuki (Martial arts teacher from Japan, fights with "Eight Extremities Fist" kung fu)
- Kage-Maru (Ninja from Japan, fights with jujutsu)
- Jacky Bryant (Indy car driver from the United States, fights with Jeet Kune Do)
- Sarah Bryant (College student from the United States, fights with Jeet Kune Do)
- Pai Chan (Movie star from Hong Kong, fights with "Lost Track Fist" kung fu)
- Lau Chan (Cook from China, fights with "Tiger-Swallow Fist" kung fu)
- Wolf Hawkfield (Professional wrestler from Canada, fights with professional wrestling)
- Jeffry McWild (Fisherman from Australia, fights with pancratium)
- Dural (Mysterious gynoid and the game's bonus boss using techniques from all other fighters, only playable with cheat codes)
In addition, three characters were later found unused in the arcade game's files, including Majido Ab Dul (a bouncer from Saudi Arabia, also known in-game as Shiiba), Jeffery Buckman (a soldier from the United States, also known in-game as Willie), and Akira Ryuzaki (an earlier version of Akira, also known in-game as Takeru). Majido did erroneously appear in some arcade cabinet artwork, and later made an appearance as "Siba" in the 1997 game Fighters Megamix.