Real Bout Fatal Fury (known in Japan as Real Bout Garou Densetsu, which loosely translates to "Real Bout: Legend of the Hungry Wolf") is a 2D fighting game developed and released by SNK for arcades (using the Neo Geo MVS hardware) on December 21, 1995.
The fifth installment of the Fatal Fury series, Real Bout Fatal Fury revamps on the game engine used in Fatal Fury 3 by simplifying its control scheme (including three attack buttons of different strengths and a dedicated button for the "oversway" system) and introducing a new Power Gauge (allowing players to perform special counter-attacks and super moves). The bosses from the previous game are now part of the main roster, along with three fighters from previous games (Duck King, Billy Kane, and Kim Kaphwan). It is also the only game in the series to feature ring-outs, where fighters can knock each-other into breakable walls at the edges of the stage to open it up.
Set after the events of Fatal Fury 3, the story involves crime boss Geese Howard, who organizes another "King of Fighters" tournament (after coming back "from the dead") hoping for a fateful rematch against his adversaries (brothers Terry Bogard and Andy Bogard).
The game was released for the Neo Geo AES on January 26, 1996 and was ported to the Neo Geo CD, (on February 23, 1996), Saturn (on September 20, 1996 in Japan only), and PlayStation (in 1997 for Japan and PAL regions only). The original Neo Geo version was also released in the Fatal Fury Battle Archives Volume 2 compilation for the PlayStation 2 and was digitally released on the Wii (via Wii Virtual Console) on December 13, 2012. The PlayStation version was digitally released on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable (both via PlayStation Network) on May 30, 2007 in Japan only.
Although much of the control mechanics in this game return from Fatal Fury 3, there are big differences. Each player now has three attack buttons (punch, kick, and strong attack) and one button to control the "oversway" system. Real Bout Fatal Fury also revamps the desperation move system and introduces a power gauge, which allows the player to use one of three special techniques: guard cancels (when the gauge is half full), desperation moves (when the gauge is filled), and hidden desperation moves. Players who have a full power gauge and less than half of his life gauge will trigger "P. Power" mode, where the power gauge will gradually drain and allow the player to execute as much guard cancels and desperation moves as he likes, as well as execute the hidden desperation move. Guard cancels do not use up any portion of the power gauge.
Real Bout Fatal Fury is the only game in the Fatal Fury series to feature the concept of ring-outs. When the player performs certain attacks on their opponent while the opponent is next to certain boundaries, those barriers would eventually break, causing an instant lose for the player that falls off the boundary.