OverviewThe King of Fighters '99 is a 2D 3-on-3 fighting game developed and published by SNK for the Neo Geo. It is the sixth installment of the King of Fighters series, featuring new characters, a new story arc, and a new "Striker" system. The story takes place two years after the events of The King of Fighters '97, where main characters Kyo Kusanagi and Iori Yagami are nowhere to be seen after defeating Orochi. A new, more secretive, King of Fighters tournament is created by a mysterious syndicate known as NESTS.
The main protagonist of the "NESTS arc" is K', a young man who is captured by NESTS, stripped of his memory, and injected by the DNA of Kyo Kusanagi (which gives him his fire abilities). K', along with his friend, Maxima, sets out to destroy the syndicate. Kyo and Iori are only playable as secret characters, though two clones of Kyo (based on previous installments) are playable from the start. Goro Daimon, Chizuru Kagura, the New Face Team, Ryuji Yamazaki, and Billy Kane are absent in this installment. Takuma Sakazaki returns to the Art of Fighting team while Kasumi Todoh returns to the Women Fighters team. Other than K' and Maxima, new characters debuting in the series include Whip, Jhun Hoon, Bao, and Li Xiangfei (from Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers).
Gamplay FeaturesKOF 99 introduced the gameplay feature of "strikers". When the player picks the three characters for their team, they must also choose a fourth character as a striker. With a command, the striker will appear on screen to deliver a single special attack and then immediately leave. If the opponent can hit the striker it will force them to leave without attacking. This is very similar to the assist attacks in the Marvel Vs Capcom series. The striker system was also used in KOF 2000 and 2001 before being dropped.
The player has the typical power gauge that is used to perform super attacks. Introduced in this game is the ability to perform two other moves as well.
"Armour Mode" will use three stocks from the power gauge. Being in Armour Mode makes the character glow yellow and boosts the power of their attacks for a limited time.
"Counter Mode" also uses three stocks from the power gauge. This allows the player to perform as many special moves as he or she wants before the gauge drains.