Killer Instinct 2 is 20 Years-Old, share your memories!

Yup! Amazing huh? Time flies so fast.

However, it came as a ‘surprise’ for me (just didn’t remember that it originally came out a year following the original).

I was reading some articles about the game, and one of them had its release date mentioned. It simply said “1996”, no specific month though; although I suspect that it might have been mid 1996, during the summer maybe. Then I checked KI2’s wiki page, but that one too only says “1996” as well. Does anyone know which actual month it was released in? I do mean the Arcade version here (and the North American release too, I suppose). But anyway, the gist is that KI2 is 20 years-old this year! I genuinely didn’t remember that small detail!

What were YOUR first reaction when you first saw KI2 at the arcades? What are your memories concerning KI2? Where did you see it first? Were you alone? Etc. Well, If you do remember any details that is!

I do remember that I was completely floored by the fact that they (the devs) actually made a sequel at all! As far as I can remember, it was a ‘normal’ day like any others, going at a local arcades place with my cousin. When we entered that place there were a few select games that stood out from the others because they were louder then the rest. Obviously, one of them was the first KI, which you could literally hear from the far back of the room to the entrance when the announcer yelled Ultraaa Cooombooo!!! And so we entered and, as usual, we would just walk around trying to decide which games to play, sometimes we were stopping by as someone played ‘x’ and ‘y’ games (I loved to watch others playing racing games especially, such as Daytona USA, San Francisco Rush or Hydro Thunder, among others). So we walked down one specific aisle, one that I knew had Killer Instinct at the very end of it. I also knew that facing the KI cabinet (in the same aisle) was a House of the Dead game (can’t recall which one it was though). The thing is, there were people in that aisle, some playing games, some just walking back and forth between cabinets, etc.

So sometimes we had our view slightly blocked and couldn’t see some games well even from a short distance (that’s why we didn’t see it immediately as we walked down that aisle, because I think we’d have seen it otherwise). We eventually stopped by KI1 to play it, one guy was playing and I decided to challenge him, so I did. My cousin watched for a short moment until (as he often recalls himself when we reminisce the moment) he just turned around to look for other games when - soon enough - his heart skipped a beat when he saw the cabinet that was basically just behind us all that time. He tells me that he let me get destroyed by my opponent three times before he decided to tap on my shoulder to let me know that I had to turn around. And… well, when I turned around and saw it… to be completely honest I just couldn’t believe it. First, I didn’t know that a heartbeat could accelerate that fast in just half a second, but also I just couldn’t comprehend that a sequel to the original was already there. I mean I just didn’t expect a “new” KI game anytime soon. In fact I often thought at the time that KI1 was “so perfect” that they’d never dare trying to do better because it would automatically fail.

Anyways, I’m skipping more details, but my first impressions when I first played it (after the initial utter shock of seeing the cabinet for the first time) was that it felt “weird”, really. I mean I didn’t hate the game, don’t get me wrong. In fact I never really entirely ‘fully disliked’ KI2 (nor KI Gold). I really liked some parts (such as the new Fulgore and Glacius (re)designs)), while I thought that it generally didn’t “play as well as the first”, nor that it looked as good either, to put it fairly. It was “okay”, overall (better than MK4 anyway, which I always disliked, especially back then when it was new; but that’s another story on its own I guess). So yeah, I thought that it played… let’s say differently (that’s a way to stay politically correct). I also didn’t like Gargos as a final boss (always preferred Eyedol), and I was sort of pissed that they “removed” Cinder and Riptor, nor could I really get used to the new characters (well maybe with the exception of Tusk which I thought was ‘alright’, and I loved his theme which helped me a lot to like him).

Now, with this said, there’s a bit of an ironic side to this. Because that was my impressions of the Arcade version, which if I recall correctly I didn’t end up playing that much (far, far less than KI1 by comparison). It all changed when it got released on the N64… oh boy, and for the best. For some reason that to this day I can’t really clearly remember, I LOVED KI Gold and had an absolute blast playing it with my cousin and friends. I can’t go by memory alone on that, but I think one of the reasons as to why I loved it on the N64 (compared to its arcade version) was mostly because 1) it played faster (I think), and 2) I could train and finally understand characters properly and, basically, not suck at it (“training” at the time of arcade games consisted of basically spending as much money as you can with the purpose of losing until you got better… that was about it; and I wasn’t rich).

That’s about it, so arcade version was sort of slightly “okay”, and mostly “meh”. But KI Gold - at least according to my nostalgic memories - was significantly better.

How about you folks?


It was KI Gold that introduced me to the series in the first place so this certainly had a special place in my heart. I never played the first game until the re-release on Xbox One (same with the arcade version of KI2).

When I was young and living in the country for a while, I stumbled across an old N64 cartridge on the counter. And that game happened to be KI Gold. At first from looking at the cover (which was a picture of Gargos), I thought it was some gory horror game. That is until a good friend of mine who was visiting actually brought his own N64 (the game turned out to be his). He sat me down, passed me a controller, put the game in the cartridge slot, and turned on the system. That’s when I realized that this “gory, horror game” was actually a fighting game.

Note I was very amateurish with fighting games at the time (I couldn’t do a motion input if it killed me) and I could not grasp it’s combo system even with the dojo. But you know what, I didn’t care!! I had a blast playing this game. The music, characters, etc there were so many things to love about this game. My favorites were always Kim Wu and Jago because those were the characters I actually felt I was good with despite button mashing. Me and my friend loved to play elimination mode to see who can pull off the most ultimates (me and my sis always laughed like hell whenever someone uses Maya’s elephant squash ultimate). Yeah he’d always beat me, but again I didn’t care. I was having too much fun.

Then came the arcade mode. Because I didn’t know the combo system, I just button mashed my way to the top (which was NOT an easy climb). Then came Gargos. F*****G. GARGOS!! This jerk gave me absolute HELL!! I never won a single match against him so I always just hand the controller over to my friend to finish him off. But despite that, it didn’t taint my overall enjoyment of the game and whenever he came back for another visit, we almost always pop in a good time with KI Gold.

Unfortunately soon I had to return to the cities so I was KI-less for many long years until that magnificent reveal trailer at E3 2013…Killer Instinct was finally back!

BONUS: From getting the ultra edition of season 2 of the new KI, I was finally able to play KI Gold once again (yeah it’s the arcade version of KI2 but still). Thanks to my experience in the new KI, I was able to play MUCH better than previously (the AI was still a plan though). And you would not believe how happy I was finally beat Gargos on my own after all these years. So satisfying. Also I did play the original KI on Xbox One as well and while it’s a good game too, honestly it just couldn’t compare to Gold/2 to me. Especially on how unbalanced it was, cheap as hell AI, and the Gargos fight was much more fair than Eyedol (f**k that guy). Still hard but fair.

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My first time playing Killer Instinct was like 18 years ago, it was the first game actually, the SNES version.
I saw the Boys & Girls club staff playing it one day. (Yes I went there for the summer breaks)
After playing the game, I fell in love with it. it was different type of fighting game, was more fun and entertaining than Street Fighter / Mortal Kombat. Killer Instinct had a unique combo system, interesting finishing moves and so on.
I managed to get KI Gold for N64 as a birthday gift. I began learning and using Orchid, She was my main choice.
I still play KI Gold and KI1 from time to time. I am very happy that this game is back.
I am sure some of you had the same reaction as Max did when the XBOX One version was first announced. I had the exact same reaction.


I was happy when I saw it the first time but the game felt so changed from the original style that I automatically thought “they made it more street fighterish”.
Most players from that arcade prefered the original KI and critized this new colorful game. But new players appeared. As usual I stuck to my main and had a lot of fun playing with him. I also mained Fulgore (his intro video was soooo cool!!) But I wasn’t interesed in the other characters. However KI 2 was pretty cool for versus matches. After that I waited for the next KI for…20 years!!! TT___TT and it’s finally here

As a teenager, i would spend so much time drinking Busch beer and playing ki2 on my buddies n64. The moves were all the same lol.

I was very involved in the arrival of KI1 to my country. And also with the arrival of ki2.

KI2 Suffers a lot because of the changes were too big and the game was dramatically changed , mustly for good , but players back them did not like the new focus of the game. Missing Riptor, and Cinder who was a very popular character on ki1 also hurt Ki2 a lot.

I played ki1 a lot , I MEAN , A LOT . And I played ki2 more than ki1. KI2 is Way better as a figtning game than ki1. I really liked the mechanicks of the reppel , super linkers , leveling up the combos for getting long ultras etc.

Ki2 have no voices on combos , no rotating stages, and this was an important part of the game appeal . The combo system was incredible better than ki1 but too diffeent , you could speed up autos and enders also slow down enders , the breakers were easier and you can level up them, the manuals were easier to do but breakeble, in ki1 there were some unbreakable manuals combos that hit really hard. Many people din not like this changes.In some special conditions you could even break the ultracombo. And each character has spesific moves or normals to stop any special move from the opponent this was a good thing of ki2, but also under used or must people because it requieres a lot of anticipation , knowing your opponent or rigth guessing.

My times playing ki2/gold were really satisfactory , maya is very cheap and almust completly broken , but the real broken one in this game is … Glacius. He have some mayor glitches that make him almost imposible to beat. Spinal , fulgore and Orchid also have their own powerfull glitches.

I really like ki2. And is ironic , that must people did not like the game , and now this game, that is more close to ki2 than ki 1 is taked as a great / fun and competitive fighting game. Shadow counters is like the reppel, combo level up for more damage , super /shadow linkers . A lot of special moves are safe on block, manual are breakeable … Also this new KI, has a situation that KI gold faced. Good Game , but in a not so popular console ( marketing numbers/sales) and no sf game in the console. But this ki IMO has done a lot better than ki2 as a fighting game/brand.

Some ultimates in ki2 were really amazing. Tusk meteors or snake bite , just perfect. Fulgore sky beam or machin gun Amazing.Spinal big skull , glacius freezing you till you break in pieces , tj machine gun and maya red beam were my favorites .

I hope that Ki keeps Growing and more people get the unique focus of interaction of this game. Also that IG fix all the things that must to be fixed.

I saw it at a ruckers(basicaly a chucky cheeze) once when I was like 10ish was surprised because the normally don’t have real arcade machines, but got upset because I realized Fulgore and Wulf’s special move inputs were different and quit after 3 tries. I was to distracted by how bad I thought Maya(who I fought all 3 times) looked to notice how much better the arcade version looked than on my SNES.

We all do dumb things when were kids :laughing: but I had a sour impression of KI2 as a result.

I never tried KI2 again until I found a KI gold cartridge for $10 at a convention and played it with my friend who still had an N64 (I actually planned all of this to get my friend who wouldn’t play KI1 with me to try KI). We both enjoyed KI gold more than we each expected; and that just happened to be the very day the KI reboot was announced at E3, I literally fell out of my chair when I found out, I couldn’t have been more excited for it than that exact evening.

I had the original on SNES, had Nintendo Power & it got me really hyped for KI1, but KI2…not so much. There weren’t many arcades around where I lived, and what was there my parents were kinda tight when it came to giving us quarters (probably didn’t help that you could spend $2 back then and rent a console game for a week, or spend $2 for maybe 15 min on an arcade game…maybe), so I didn’t really play KI2 until Gold came out. And I didn’t buy KI Gold, I only rented it. I only had enough time with it to observe that it wad radically reworked from KI 1, which was vastly different from what SF & MK did at the time, so my main at the time, Fulgore, I didn’t really get how he worked in KI2, so I didn’t really use him. Also the removal of No Mercies in favor of Ultimates was disappointing, at the time anyway. All in all my impression of it was meh.

Seeing OG Kim mutherfucking Wu kicking the ■■■■ out all comers at our local arcade. My lifetime usage rate playing that game with her is probably 80%

(PS, forum filters need some work, haha)