Fighters Destiny, known in Japan as Fighting Cup (ファイティングカップ Faitingu Kappu) is a 1998 video game developed by Genki and published by Imagineer for the Nintendo 64. It closely models the 3D fighting game standard set by Sega's Virtua Fighter, but integrates a unique point scoring system. The game's generic characters and unoriginal presentation have been panned by critics, but reviewers praise its point system and consider it to be one of the best fighting games on the Nintendo 64. It was followed by a 2000 sequel Fighter Destiny 2.
In Fighters Destiny, the player controls a polygon-based character in a three dimensional battle arena. The game features typical hand to hand combat fighting: using a variety of punches, kicks, locks, and throws, players attempt to pummel their opponents into submission. Each character also has a large list of special commands (called "moves") that can be accessed during battle. These different moves range from simply pressing the "B" button to inputting button combinations.
In most versus fighting games, the objective is to deplete the opponent's health gauge. Fighters Destiny follows the same concept but also relies on a customizable point scoring system to determine the winner. These points, which are displayed as yellow stars under the character's health gauge, can be earned in a variety of ways. By default, knocking the character off the fighting platform (a "Ring Out") is worth one point, taking down an opponent with a throw nets the player two points, while a typical K.O. is worth three points, as well as taking the opponent down with a counterattack, and executing a "special" is worth four points. Finally, if the adjustable time counter runs out, then the winner is awarded one point by virtue of judge's decision. By default setting, the first fighter to score seven points wins the match.
K.O.'s can be achieved with instant-K.O. hits (referred to as "1-shot") or counterattack moves, or can be executed with a finishing blow when the player's opponent is in "Piyori condition," a brief spell of dizziness in which opponent's life bar has been drained completely and the fighter is allowed only limited control. "Specials" can only be executed when the opponent is in Piyori condition. If players are able to survive until Piyori condition passes, their health gauge refills completely. The health bar also refills continuously (albeit slowly) throughout the fight.
Fighters Destiny offers five different gameplay modes. By playing the traditional versus computer mode, players can earn a new character (Boro) and learn new skills for their character. They can also select to fight against a second player, challenge their skills and gain new characters in "Record Attack," play through the "Master Challenge" to expand their character's command list, and train against a robot character. When players learn new skills playing the computer or the Master Challenge, they can save their character's expanded command list to the Controller Pak; afterwards, the new command list can be accessed in any mode to aid the player.
There are nine regular characters in Fighters Destiny: Ryuji, a Japanese karate exponent; Abdul, a well-balanced fighter from Mongolia obsessed with Arabic culture; Tomahawk, a professional wrestler from the United States; Meiling, a Chinese martial artist; a Japanese ninja with a massive catalog of special moves; Pierre, a French clown with a deceptive fighting style; Leon, an all-rounder from Spain; Bob, a powerful Brazilian fighter; and the tough aerial combat specialist Valerie from Germany.
In addition to the standard nine characters, there are five secret characters that can be "unlocked" by completing various challenge modes. To acquire the Russian Joker, for example, players must win "Survival Mode" by defeating one hundred consecutive enemies. The other secret characters include the final boss of the one-player game, Boro, a quick and powerful Swiss fighter; Rob, a training robot from Germany, which is unlocked by beating Record Attack in less than one minute; Master, an old Japanese karate expert unlocked by beating all challengers in Master Challenge without losing to Joker; and Ushi, a fighting cow from Hokkaido, unlocked by staying in the ring longer than one minute in Rodeo.
Fighters Destiny received positive reviews. Despite the game's critical acclaim, it missed its initial Christmas release date and was subsequently greeted with lukewarm sales figures, selling only 18,000 copies in the first two months after its North American release. As a result, Infogrames Entertainment (the parent company of Fighters Destiny international distributor Ocean Software) decided to shave US$20 off the price tag, dropping the game's price to US$29.99. "Fighters Destiny has been praised as the best fighting game for the N64 by the vast majority of video game media," said Mike Markey, vice president of sales and marketing, Infogrames Entertainment. "The aim of the new price point is to make the game more accessible to all consumers."
In 2000, a sequel to Fighters Destiny, titled Fighter Destiny 2, was released. Publisher SouthPeak Games dropped the s in the title due to copyright issues. Fighter Destiny 2 made improvements upon its predecessor, boosting the FPS to 60, and adding graphic and audio enhancements. Some of the characters make a second appearance in the sequel, but the majority of the cast is all new. Although the game mechanics remain unchanged, a new "Fighter's Arena" mode has been added, a giant board game that allows players to build up their characters' attributes in addition to having them learn new fighting skills. The character Ryuji, from the first game, seems to have been renamed Saeki for unknown reasons.
There are eleven default characters in Fighter Destiny 2. Ryuji makes a return as "Saeki", while Abdul, Meiling and Ninja make another appearance with their original names. Pierre makes another appearance as well, but is now more flamboyant than previously. They are joined by newcomers Adriana, a Samba dancer from Brazil; Federico, a scientist from Italy; American street warrior D-Dog, who very much resembles Dennis Rodman; Fashion Model Kate from Great Britain; German professional wrestler Ziege; and British punk rocker Dixon.
Like in the first series, there are secret characters and in order to unlock these characters, you must beat four different game modes, along with picking a certain character: finish VS mode to play as Fabien, a nobleman from France; play as Adriana and beat Rodeo to unlock Mou (Ushi from the first game, but billed from Hong Kong); play as Ninja and beat Time Attack to unlock Samurai (Robert from the first game); and play as Saeki and beat Fighter Arena mode to unlock the Master, who once again makes an appearance.
Joker, an infamous player from the first game, does not make an appearance. However, a completely different character named Cherry, a crossdressing man from the United States, replaces him. In order to unlock Cherry, you must play as Pierre and beat Survival Mode. In the North American release, Cherry's voice actor is changed to female for appropriateness; however, nothing on his body is changed such as his muscles, his tattoos, and his face, which all resemble a male.
On release, Famitsu magazine scored Fighter Destiny 2 a 30 out of 40.