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Killer Instinct Has Killer Character Design

Killer Instinct Gold Say what you will about the Street Fighters and Mortal Kombats of the gaming world, but for some folks Nintendo/Rare's Killer Instinct series of brawlers from the Nintendo 64 era trump any honorable Japanese martial artist or four-armed Shokan prince.  The Killer cast was known for being quite unusual compared to the rosters of other fighting games, so it's only natural that would take a look back at awesome character designs from the series.

The Killer Instinct characters were very unique for their time. Especially how a lot of fighting games were borrowing heavily from the Street Fighter II model with their stereotypical ethnic based character set. Of course there were also plenty of 2D fighters with a cast full of ‘freaks’. But again these were somewhat stereotypical and never up to the quality of design as KI. The excellent digitized sprites and (in the arcade) 2.5D graphics put KI ahead in its class.

The only character design that didn't quite fit in with the rest of the cast in terms of rendered visuals is the notorious B. Orchid.  Limited rendering capabilities being what they were in the late 1990s, her chest always seemed to be comically out of proportion (particularly in early incarnations of the series).  Of course, without her infamous breasts we'd miss out on her finishing move where she unzips her costume and flashes her opponent, so I guess it all evens out in the end.