Real Bout Fatal Fury Tiers + Discussion

Real Bout Fatal Fury was the first entry to SNK’s “Real Bout” series, and is an awesome game that deserves recognition. It’s a great game in that with one or two exceptions, every character has so much abusable BS that it all kind of evens out, creating a surprisingly balanced game. The balance comes at no sacrifice of fun, though: this game is fast and furious. The Ring Out system means that you have to be on your toes the whole match, and is executed surprisingly well. To spark some discussion and get the ball rolling for newcomers, I made a brief tier list:

Disclaimer: The terms middle/low/high etc. are very relative. You could take any of the middle tiers in this game and put them in another game and they’d rocket to top tier in a heartbeat.


Top tier

Sokaku: He?s a MONSTER. THREE fireballs, two of which have full-screen range and hit low, and one of which covers the entire vertical area of the screen. A teleport move that hits overhead, can cross up, and is pretty safe. His shadow moves do tons of chip and give you a free mix-up. His demon punch has huge range, quick startup, and awesome recovery. His pursuit attack can hit from anywhere, and he has a command throw, just for kicks. No matter where you are on the screen, Sokaku can hit you without a lick of risk.

Mary: Zero recovery, insane throwing range, and has a counter for every situation. She?s probably one of the most technical characters in the game.

Terry: Power Geyser is great: quick, huge, high damage, nice chip damage, and completely safe. His Crack Shoot is at its best, and both Burn Knuckles are safe on block from just about any distance. His Power Dunk is surprisingly safe and has fantastic invincibility.

High tier

Kim: Crouch :snka: has great range, almost no pushback, and chains into his combos. High damage with or without meter, great supers, and his Hien Zan is the best it?s ever been: safe, huge range vertically and horizontally, tons of invincibility, and sends the opponent floating really slowly, almost like they?re underwater, leading to a Hien Zan x N semi-infinite.

Hon-Fu: Sky of Fire is safe, damaging, and high-priority. Good pokes, and an even better p-power: almost no startup, covers a lot of ground, and huuuge damage.

Franco: Second only to Sokaku in ring-out ability. Meteo Tackle is instant, covers huge range, and has silly frame advantage, meaning you can combo after it. Power Bicycle is a great anti-air, and his one-two is one of the fastest overheads in the game. Huge limbs means long range on his pokes.

Chonrei: Longest-range crouch :snka: in the game, Crouch :snka: x 5 into combos is too good. In combos ending with a line shift, you can cancel it into a roll and get a wicked mix-up. Solid move list, small hitbox, decent supers, and bitchin? theme music.

Middle Tier

Billy: huge-ass range with that pole, fantastic supers: flame wheel chips and has high priority, and jumping flame wheel is an anti-air with great range, and is just one big hit, meaning that the opponent can?t fall out in the middle of it.

Geese: Nice pokes, gdlk Reppuken (though it whiffs at close range), his raisin storm is pretty quick, and his Deadly Rave is really easy to do. Great defensive character.

Joe: tornado has incredible recovery and range, he can combo a far/dash :snkc: after a tornado hit from just about anywhere. Tiger Kick is the best anti-air in the game, it even beats out the Sky of Fire (TK is hella unsafe, though.) Slush kick is good for countering pokes, and his :qcb: + :snkb: is good for closing distance.

Chonshu: Chonrei?s crouching :snka: , solid movelist, and teleports. His supers are SHIT, though.

Duck King: Great anti-air, good high-low mixup, and with an s-power he can add throws to his mixup. Hard to use effectively.

Mai: Standing :snka: is an overhead 0.0 . Flame elbow does lots and lots of chip, clone flame super has good priority and a long active time, and she has good priority all around. Doesn?t do as much damage as the rest of the cast on average, though.

Andy: Chou Reppa Dan x N infinite. Lots of moves cover tons of ground and are safe (Kuu Ha Dan, Zanei Ken), two great anti-airs, and an air-to-ground grab. Basically RBS Andy and RBS EX Andy put together.

Low Tier

Yamazaki: Snake Tamer is slow and only has one arc, Daggers are hard to combo into, and his guillotine can?t be comboed into. Lots of his pokes can be crouched, and he?s one of the biggest characters in the game. Now for the good: His rising attack is godly: awesome range and priority, and stops crossups cold. His guillotine has 2/3 screen range and makes a great whiff punisher. It can also ring out from almost anywhere on the screen. Plus, he?s still got his good ol? counter and p-power throw.

Bob Tier

Bob: lol, poor Bob. His supers are the worst they’ve ever been, and his specials are nothing to write home about.

How does Real Bout Special or RBS2 compare?

Geese has an infinite also…

Theres a thread on Real Bout 2 in Other Games discussion…

Real Bout Special tiers are:

  1. Billy
  2. Sokaku
  3. Mai
  4. Kim

Heh, the Real Bout series has kind of been a sequence of tone-downs. Real Bout one is batshit crazy, Real Bout Special is still pretty crazy, but everyone has a lot of stuff they can use. Real Bout 2 is the most toned-down, with a lot more concentration on breakshots, mixup, etc. They’re all really good, so a big part of it comes down to your personal opinion, but RB2 is generally the most popular, followed by RBS.

This is the only Fatal Fury game besides the 3D ones that I couldn’t get used to. When I first played it it was like… 'Hey this is like FF3 except FLASHING WORDS EVERYWHERE and ringouts!" I never did get to play competitvely in this game, so maybe in that side of the coin it’s a good game. Did this game have the air turnaround?

Fatal Fury 3 was a terrible, terrible game.

Fortunately, each Real Bout after that got progressively better.

Heh, fortunately this game is nowhere near as utterly broken as FF3 was, and it handles very smoothly. Competitively it’s an utter bonanza of things happening. I think you should give it another try, it’s a good game. The only thing I can think of that bugs me about it is that momentum is really hard to stop with some characters once they get it ( Mary, Sokaku, Mary, Terry, Mary, Franco, Mary, and maybe Chonrei).

Yes. Ironically, it was the one that seemed to have the highest production values, with the OMG FLY OFF THE SCREEN round enders, half the cast being new, and the voice-acting during victory screens.

That’s what bothers me about it.

They obviously spent a great deal of money on the completely new graphics and promotion (I’m sure you’ve all seen the commercial on Youtube), and the game had INCREDIBLE presentation at the time (engaging progressive story, dialogue, fan service, and good original music including Geese’s awesome new theme) and yet the gameplay sucks so much shit it’s like it was tossed in as an afterthought.

some might say they got more and more boring/watered down to

Rb 1 does have air turn around btw.

It will be interesting to see when the real bout collection arrives which one people will play the most, i suggest anybody that has not really got into any of them start with 2 and work your way back.
If you start with 1 then go up to to you’ll only be dissapointed how watered down and dull your fave characters are in 2, maybe with one or two exceptions IE bob wilson off of the top of my head.

in fact put it like this

RB2 = the centurions as humans

RBS = the centurions with all there robot shit on

RB1 = the centurions with all there robot shit on, with crack!!

that’s just my personal opinion.
I know alot of people on here like rb2 and i even like rb2 but having played all the other rb games ALOT, it just sticks in the throat sometimes what they done to everybody


@Virtua_Leon: I wouldn’t really say “watered down”, but there’s definitely a decrease of power for everyone from game to game. It sort of goes like this:

RB1: you’ve got all the tools you need to do just about anything, you need to know what to use and when, and whose tools are better than yours at what.

RBS: You’ve got one or two good-ass tools, and you need to know how and when you can use those one or two good-ass tools, and how to use your lesser tools to give you another chance to use the good-ass tools.

RB2: You’ve only got a certain number of tools, and you need to know what stuff your various tools can stop and what they can’t, and how to not let your opponent take advantage of what you can’t.

Really, all three of the games play completely differently, but they’re all balanced enough to be good tourney fodder. I do admit that certain characters get unfair shafting from one game to the next, though. Did ANYONE get better from RBS-RB2?

Maybe bob wilson, maybe not better but also not completly shafted

Try telling that to Mr. Big, Bob’s RBS sidewinder is too good. He might as well be underground when he does that move.

NO. These are the real tier because i have played this game since it came out with a large Fatal Fury group since day one, some of whom have also taken their skills to Japan to compete

In Order


Geese Howard
Franco Bash
Kim Kap
Billy Kane


Mai S
Blue Mary

Lower Mid

Hon Fu


Duck King

I respect your post but you’re posting theoreticals. Real Bout is heavily about matchups too and some characters lose to others easy (Kim beats Blue Mary quite easily, Franco beats Sokaku and most others, Billy beats Sokaku and Hon Fu very very well).

Sokaku & Terry top? You must be kidding… there are a few characters that beat them well. The real monsters in this game are Franco Bask (JESUS CHRIST!! 2 Infinite combos, low and overhead tricks, ludicrous jump ins and cross ups, superb guard reversal that can be extended, double super that can be extended for full bar damage, great normal super, superb low jabs and pressure game ), Geese (infinite trap in corner B > reppuken that cant be escaped easy, throw into throw trick, Raging Storm corner trap buffer that is nigh impossible to escape even using background, great normal anti air, high damage character, super easy guard reversal, one of the best pressure characters in the game), Kim (ridiculous combo options, godly anti air, possibly the best sweep in the game, stupid overhead or low hit into super combo annoyance mixup), Billy (obscene overprioritised normals such as forward + A, easy high damage combos, double super is a guard reversal, WTF…my character of choice!!). Mai could be considered IMHO top tier worth her mixups, easy combo starters and very high priority jump ins but some say no given the others in that group…

If any one wants an in depth faq with fulll explanation of the tiers I’ve of posted i’ll be happy to oblige and explain exactly why the ones posted before mine are wrong…

This is why I like Real Bout Special more…its like almost everyone has a chance, they all have something good and abusable which creates more balance. RB2 is very watered down…

I dunno if anyone got better from RBSp to 2…they just play a little differently…if Krauser had his new stuff PLUS the knockdown Tomahawk then I’d say yes but not really…

RB2 plays much better IMO and feels much more like a tourny worthy fighter.

I consider RB2 the 3s of the series. Look at 2I and all the crazy links and shit you could do compared to 3s. Sure Rb2 has some stuff taken but it plays a like smoother/cleaner. I really just could not get myself to like RB1 and RBS as they felt kinda awkward.

All are great games though.

RB2 butchered too much. I like the game don’t get me wrong…but it only feels like a small portion of the cast can compete at a tournament level…RBS on the other hand not so much…I wouldnt say the entire tiers are drawn out for RBS yet because theres soo much stuff people have…

Only the top tier in RBS I feel is exact.

Only thing I feel RB2 improved upon is the Tech Roll not requiring meter thing and it added good characters/made Geese tournament playable.

I think they both appeal to different people…

If you gotta have your Rick or X etc…then of course you’ll like RB2…

If you like everyone being more powered up but not uberbroken (If you say anything about the “combovideos” its obvious you are a noob…a lot of that ain’t practical) you’ll like Real Bout Special…

overal RB2 is the best FF by far (best RB at least). it does suck in 1 aspect though. doesnt anybody else ever notice thies? its got some shitty hitboxes. sometimes jumping in on big characters using the B will whiff while you can clearly see the kick touching the opponent. some of the smaller characters like mary and andy GO THROUGH incoming attacks with some of their normals so that in the end they are the ones with the most benefit from it. its weird, jumping in with a deep C and still going through the opponent.

not to mention the watering down of most of the cast. and yeah, anyody actually did get better from RBS to RB2? i kinda hated on the game when i just got it for my cd in 98, mainly cause of the watering down and loss of a lot of combos/specials for a lot of the characters.

Says the guy who ranked Krauser above Rick before he was exposed to real players.

I agree with you, if by “small portion” you mean “half the cast”. First off, here are characters with real success in Japan:

and possibly Chonrei

There are also a couple other candidates:

Chonshu - Not much play in Japan, but objectively seems to be one of the strongest characters. He actually reminds me a bit of ST Claw - scrubby & boring in general, and a bullshit repeating crossup game. Maybe Japan just kinda shuns him like they do Claw. One of Ghostpilot’s specialties, so hopefully some of you will get to see him in action at Final Round!

Bob - Here, the reason Japan doesn’t use him is extremely obvious: They ban infinites. However, we don’t, and he’s the one character who receives a major boost from this. Think of him as a de facto grappler - his throw allows him to set up the infinite from more than halfway across the screen!

And going even FURTHER here, some of the lower-tier characters fight some of the good ones very well; for instance, Billy has a strong matchup against Franco, and possibly Hon-Fu and/or Yama as well. Even Tung & Cheng both have a great turtle game - just not much else, which is why they’re the worst, but they’re still very dangerous if they can somehow get a decent lead.

And finally, one of the main reasons I prefer RB2 is that it finally got the line shifting right. That shit used to be broken in the old Fatal Fury games, then in RB1 and Special it was worthless - 2 made it useful in certain instances, but still risky enough that it doesn’t dominate the game. In RB2, and only RB2, line shifting actually adds strategy without dumbing the game down.

OK, that’s about enough for the derail! Back on topic…

the supreme, very interesting post! I, for one, would love to see more detailed explanations from you.