Are you adequately prepared to Rock (Howard)?
To this day, SNK’s 1999 release Garou: Mark of the Wolves stands as one of the greatest fighting games ever made, period. Launched amidst a run of fairly interchangeable King of Fighters releases, the ninth – and to date final – episode in the Fatal Fury saga remains etched in the annals of video game history.
So it’s no wonder that since its genre-shaking release, fight fans have been calling for a sequel, or even just a remaster, which will allow new generations of players to feast upon the luscious visuals, beautiful animation, cool sounds, and deep, satisfying gameplay that sees Terry Bogard, B. Jenet, Tizoc and Hotaru throwing fists in the climax of South Town’s battle for dominance.
Lizardcube, the retro-lovin’ studio responsible for throwbacks such as Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap and last year’s amazing Streets of Rage 4 clearly hold Garou in similarly high regard, releasing this stunning mockup, which hypothetically imagines what could be should its talented team of artists and designers be let loose on the Fatal Fury universe. The image features Garou‘s baggy-jacketed protagonist Rock Howard, preparing to throw down with “Boss Fur” against a typically detailed SNK-style backdrop.
The image is splashed in the luscious hand-drawn art style and vivid colors that typify Lizardcube’s games – the same aesthetic that helped make Streets of Rage 4 such a smash among fighting game fans. In addition, Lizardcube released a time-lapse video of the artwork’s patient creation at the hands of its own Ben Fiquet. This condensed clip is a testament to the painstaking effort and talent that goes into creating a single image, let alone an entire game.
As for “Garou 2″… Well, it’s been over two decades now, and although some of the legendary fighters’ characters have popped up in latter-day SNK releases, it seems that any hopes of an actual sequel remain filed alongside Capcom vs. SNK 3, Darkstalkers 4 and many other titles that – for the foreseeable future at least – remain little more than dreams of what might be.