The King of Fighters is among the most significant and longest-running fighting game series, but its history has never really been comprehensively told. That’s set to change next month, with SNK partnering with Bitmap Books to release The King of Fighters: The Ultimate History, a deep dive into the history of the series.
At 544 pages, and stemming from a deep dive into SNK’s archives, The King of Fighters: The Ultimate History promises the most detailed look at the origins and history of the series, alongside numerous pieces of artwork. As Bitmap describes it:
“With the help of SNK itself, which has granted unprecedented access to its immense archives of illustrations and artwork, as well as the key members of the original development team, who have spoken in unparalleled detail about how they created the series, this official history delivers a comprehensive visual and written history of KOF. The book celebrates iconic characters in the KOF roster such as Kyo Kusanagi and Iori Yagami, as well as hearing from the voice actors who brought them to life; it uncovers never-before-seen details about the mysterious origins of KOF; and delves into the sumptuous pixel art and rich story narratives the series is known for.”
The hardcover book, “printed to the highest possible standards”, is getting released in both a standard edition (£34.99) and the limited All-Star Edition (£54.99). The latter comes with a heavy-board slipcase with metallic gold detailing and touch panels that play sound effects when pressed, as well five art prints (inside an familiar-looking white envelope with an imitation wax seal) and a postcard featuring an exclusive illustration by Eisuke Ogura.
This isn’t the first collaboration between SNK and Bitmap Books—they’ve previously worked together on NeoGeo: A Visual History and Metal Slug: The Complete History, both of which provide similarly comprehensive looks at the games (and hardware, in NeoGeo’s case) in question.
The King of Fighters: The Ultimate History will be available from Bitmap Books from 9 May 2022.