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The King of Fighters: Heat of Battle

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Title Screen

The King of Fighters: Heat of Battle

Also known as: Nettou The King of Fighters '96 (JP)
Developer: Gaibrain
Publisher: Takara
Platforms: Game Boy, Super Game Boy
Released in JP: August 8, 1997
Released in EU: 1998


SoundtestIcon.png This game has a hidden sound test.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.


The King of Fighters: Heat of Battle is a Game Boy port of the Neo Geo fighting game.

DIP Switches

King of Fighters 96 SGB Title Sound Test DIP 70.png

This game shares mostly the same engine with King of Fighters '95, the same "DIP SW" flags are accessible here also. All coding and behaviours are mostly the same except some different effects are described in the table below. To set any of these flags, at the TAKARA logo enter a particular button combination from the table below to get a corresponding effect. Every time one of the flags are set, the corresponding sound will be heard. As against the previous game in series, this one allows to activate all cheats in any GB mode. To see what DIP switches are enabled, go to the options screen. At the bottom of the screen there will be string "DIPSW-XX", where XX is a hexadecimal sum of all enabled DIP switch bits.

  • Hold A + B, then press Select 1 time (bits 5 and 3, HEX 28) - Allows to select all the same characters in the "TEAM" game mode for one team. Also changes the POW GAUGE meter behaviour. Now it will constantly increase during the fight, no matter if you get hit or not. Also it will increase faster in some special cases.
  • Press Select 3 times (bit 6, HEX 40) - Unlocks Goenitz extra character. This code is unlockable and given to you if you beat the game on "NORMAL" mode.
  • Press Select 20 times (bit 7, HEX 80) - Unlocks Mr. Karate extra character. Also this enables a different characters selection for Iori, Leona and Chizuru. During player selection, press Start on these characters to change them to Iori', Leona' and Kugara correspondingly. This code is unlockable and given to you if you beat the game on "HARD" mode. Additionally this changes the default SGB border to a little bit different one, with a changed palette.
  • Hold A + B + Left, then press Select 30 times (bits 2 and 4, HEX 14) - If you run the game in SGB mode, the SGB Sound test is available at the options menu. For any modes this enables two special move shortcuts. During the game, press either Select + B or Select + A to perform one of two most powerful moves for a corresponding character.

Note, that because of how specific the code input and check method is, all button presses are counted at the same time, so if you enter one of the codes, you are already entering all the others. So if you just quickly press Select at least 20 times at least two codes will be enabled at once. To unlock all flags at once, first, hold A + B, press Select once, while still holding those buttons, hold additionally Left, then press Select very quickly 30 times. When you hear a final explosion sound that means all codes are activated.

Regional Differences

Title Screen

The King of Fighters: Heat of Battle Nettou The King of Fighters '96
KOF Heat of Battle Title.PNG Nettou KOF '96 Title.PNG

When Nettou King of Fighters '96 was released in Europe, its name was changed from The King of Fighters '96 to King of Fighters: Heat of Battle. As this change carried onto the title, the change is somewhat inconsistent with the year naming that KOF '95 had preceded it with. When the SGB capabilities were adapted, the SGB border got the same treatment as King of Fighters '95. It was darkened and the title changed accordingly.

Extra SGB Borders

The King of Fighters: Heat of Battle Nettou The King of Fighters '96
Purple! It looks all muddy and weird.

When the DIP Switches cheat for unlocking Mr. Karate is used the SGB border is changed for all versions of this game. While the Japanese version changes the border palette to be much more darker, the European version does the same but with a rather pinkish palette.