Final Fight (Japanese: ファイナルファイト, Hepburn: Fainaru Faito) is a side-scrolling beat-’em-up video game produced by Capcom. Originally released as an arcade game in 1989, it was the seventh title released for the CP System hardware. Set in the non-fictional United States of the fictional Metro City, the player controls one of three street fighters: former pro wrestler and city mayor Mike Haggar, his daughter’s boyfriend Cody, as well as his daughter’s best friend and Cody’s worthy rival Guy, as they set out to clash with the Mad Gear Gang and rescue Haggar’s young daughter Jessica, who the gang has kidnapped.
The game began development as a sequel to the original Street Fighter released in 1987, but the genre was switched from a fighting game to a beat ’em up and the title was changed following the success of Double Dragon. Final Fight was ported to various home consoles such as the Super NES and was followed by a few sequels. Its development team later worked on the original Street Fighter II and some of the characters from Final Fight later appeared as playable fighters in other entries of the franchise such as the Street Fighter Alpha sub-series.
Final Fight can be played by up to two players simultaneously. Before the game begins, the player chooses between the three main characters: Haggar, Cody, and Guy. Each has his own fighting style and attributes. Health gauges are displayed for both player and enemy characters.
The controls for Final Fight consist of an eight-way joystick and two buttons for attacking and jumping respectively. Pressing the attack button repeatedly when attacking an enemy or multiple enemies will cause the player character to perform a combo. The final blow of the combo can be changed to a throw if the player moves the joystick in the opposite direction just before landing it. The player can also perform jump attacks. Pressing the attack and jump buttons simultaneously allows the player to perform a special attack that strikes all surrounding enemies, but will drain a small portion of the player’s health.
Enemies can be grabbed simply by walking into one of them. When an enemy is grabbed, the player can perform a grab attack by pressing the attack button or perform a throw by tilting the joystick left or right. A thrown enemy can be tossed at another for additional damage. Items such as weapons, health recovery items, and items awarding extra points can be picked up by standing over one and pressing the attack button. Weapons have limited uses and will disappear if the player is disarmed by an enemy too much or when the player moves to a new area.
Final Fight consists of six stages or “rounds”, as well as two bonus rounds. Each round takes place in a different section of Metro City such as the Slums and the Subway, with most rounds featuring more than one level. At the end of each round the player will face a boss character unique to that round.
The game is set in a fictional city on the Atlantic coast in the United States named Metro City. According to the game’s intro, in the 1990s (or 1989 in the Japanese version), the city’s crime rate reached alarming levels. But since the election of pro wrestler turned politician Mike Haggar as the new Mayor, Metro City was changed and cleaned up drastically. Under his run, Haggar managed to suppress the crime rate of the city to its lowest points. While the citizens of Metro City were thankful for Haggar’s hard work in curbing crime, one gang, the Mad Gears, would not go down so easily. Under the leadership of the crooked businessman, Belger, the group attempted to bribe Haggar with a large payoff to keep him from going after them, which Haggar refused. The Mad Gear responded by abducting his daughter, Jessica, and creating further unrest among the citizens of the city. When Haggar found out about his daughter’s abduction, he becomes furious, and decides to take his fight against Mad Gear to a personal level. Seeking additional manpower, Haggar recruits Cody Travers, an expert fighter and Jessica’s boyfriend, as well as Guy, a ninja in training and Cody’s good friend. Together, the three dedicate themselves to the complete eradication of the Mad Gear gang, as well as the safe rescue of Jessica from their clutches.
The game gained notoriety for its morbid continue screen, where whatever character the player was using is shown tied to a chair with a bundle of dynamite on the table in front of him. In the 10 seconds the player has to insert another quarter, both Cody and Guy struggle to escape their bonds, while Haggar is feverishly blowing in a futile attempt to extinguish the lit fuse. If the player activates the continue option, a knife falls from the ceiling, disconnecting the fuse from the bomb.