A wealthy arms dealer, Rugal ran afoul of Goenitz and lost an eye during a battle with him. Impressed by Rugal's ruthlessness, Goenitz shared a fraction of the Orochi power with him, greatly amplifying his strength. Rugal replaced his right eye with a cybernetic orb, which restored his sight to some degree. He hosted the 1994 King of Fighters tournament, serving as the game's final opponent. The battle with Rugal takes place on his private aircraft carrier, the Black Noah.
Conception and creationEdit
The concept for making Rugal in The King of Fighters '94 was to make the mightiest (most violent) and most evil boss character ever. Despite the difficulties in defeating him, Rugal has become the boss character with the biggest number of appearances in The King of Fighters series as he has been liked by players and developers. Due to the several numbers of times Rugal "dies" in the series, developers have joked with him, adding to his official profile that his hobby is resurrection. Flagship director, Toyohisa Tanabe, states that his fighting style was created to emphasize Rugal's strength as the series' first boss character. He also comments "going a bit overboard" with his Genocide Cutters technique damage ratio in The King of Fighters '94. His Deadly Creamer special moves was originally a techinque in which Rugal breaks the neck of his opponent and crushes it. However, it was seen as lacking drama so it evolved into a move in which he busts his victim's neck, crushes the victim, and then further spins the victim around to do more damage. Finally, this move was finished off with a striking pose after, he broke his victim's neck, pummeled him, and spun him around. In The King of Fighters '95 Rugal appears as an enhanced version named Omega Rugal; developers liked him so much that they added him be the boss character from dream matches (video games without storyline) from The King of Fighters as developers comment "He's the only character who truly represents the ultimate KOF boss". His The King of Fighters '98 moveset was noted to be strongest from all the versions Rugal ever had, becoming the favourite boss character from the developers.
In video gamesEdit
Rugal makes his first appearance as the boss character from The King of Fighters '94. The plot from the game introduces Rugal as an incredibly rich arms and drugs trafficker who organizes a King of Fighters tournament to reunite the strongest fighters from all the world. Once the player meets Rugal, he will reveal that he wants to turn his victims into stone statues to add them to his collection of fighters. Once defeated by the Japan Team (composed of Kyo Kusanagi, Benimaru Nikaido and Goro Daimon), Rugal self-destructs his ship to kill his opponents, but fails.. In The King of Fighters '95, Rugal organizes a new King of Fighters tournament to take revenge to the Japan Team. To fulfill his revenge, Rugal brainwashes Kyo's father, Saisyu Kusanagi, to kill him. After Saisyu is knocked, Rugal procceds to fight as the boss character in his enhanced form Omega Rugal. However, as Rugal is defeated, he is unable to control his new powers from the Orochi demon and his body is vaporized.
In video games from the series without storylines, The King of Fighters '98 and The King of Fighters 2002, Omega Rugal once again appears as a boss character and destroys his ship after he is defeated. During The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match, a remake from The King of Fighters 2002, Rugal appears as a bonus boss character; he can be faced once the players defeat one of the four regular bosses from the game (Krizalid, Zero, Original Zero and Igniz), but it is not necessary to defeat him to end the game. Omega Rugal also appears in the console versions of The King of Fighters: Neowave as a an alternative boss character along Geese Howard and Kyo's clone, Kusanagi. Although he is not playable in The King of Fighters 2000, Rugal appears as an assistant character (dubbed as "striker") to Kula Diamond. In the crossover video game series Capcom vs. SNK, Rugal appears as a playable character in his normal form, while in Capcom vs. SNK 2 EO, he is also featued as a new boss named God Rugal (Ultimate Rugal in U.S. versions). This character only appears if during the game Rugal defeats Akuma in a cutscene and then, absorbs his powers.
In other mediaEdit
Aside from the main series, Rugal has also appeared in other media from The King of Fighters series. Rugal appears in the first chapter from the spin-off manga The King of Fighters: Kyo, showing his fight against Kyo Kusanagi from The King of Fighters '95. The manwhua The King of Fighters: Zillion, shows a story based on The King of Fighters 2002 in which Rugal confronts the new lead character from the series K'.In the upcoming The King of Fighters movie Rugal will be played by Ray Park. Voice actor Banjō Ginga plays Rugal in the Dengeki Bunko CDs drama which retell the story from the video games.
In January 30, 1995 issue of Gamest magazine in Japan, Rugal ranked at the No. 48 spot along with Chang Koehan. Video games publications have commented on Rugal's character, adding praise and criticism. Chuck Allen from Zentendo.com noted Rugal to be the strongest boss from The King of Fighters series as even in the easiest mode of difficulty he can defeat the player with a few attacks. His Omega Rugal persona from KOF '95 was commented to be even harder to defeat as Allen could not defeat him by the time he made the review. 1UP.com praised the introduction of Omega Rugal in KOF '95, noting him to be "one of the most stylish boss designs in fighting history", although players could hate him due to how difficult is to defeat him. However, they mentioned that one of the good points from KOF '96 was the absence of Rugal. Eurogamer reviewer Matt Edwards also commented that Rugal was very hard to defeat and that he started "a trend in the KOF series of notoriously overpowered bosses who are hard to take down".
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