Killer Instinct Gold

a game by Rare, Ltd.

Platform: Nintendo 64Nintendo 64

Genre: Action

It's going to be Killer Instinct Gold, Everyone knew that Nintendo was going to have Killer Instinct on the Nintendo 64 platform. After all, when the original Kl debuted in the arcade, it claimed that it was using Ultra 64 (what the N64 used to be called) hardware, which it wasn't. Later KI2 was released, which led people to wonder whether the original or the sequel would make it to the N64. Rumors even spread that the N64 Kl would be a deluxe version, combining both Kl and KI2 in a fashion similar to [Mortal Kombat Trilogy](Mortal Kombat Trilogy).

Well, the N64 Killer Instinct is Killer Instinct Gold and is, in actuality, an improved Killer Instinct 2.

What does this mean? On the down side, we won't be seeing Chief Thunder, Cinder, Riptor and Eyewool in Kl Gold, at least not as normal characters. We will also miss the computer screaming out "Kiiiiiinnnggg Combo!" Come of the voices didn't make it into the game for memory purposes). On the other hand, we will see an almost arcade-perfect translation of KI2, with noticeable additions that make the package a must-have for any fan of the second installment.

Killer Instinct Gold looks fantastic. The fighters are as large as they need to be, making the game a great playing experience. The backgrounds actually look better than the original. They are crisp and anti-aliased, but just like in KI2, some of the them are too noisy and cluttered, making some of the action a bit difficult to follow.

The moves were easy to pull off. In fact, the N64 controller was the only source of discontent. Some of us EGM guys feet the Attack buttons are too close together. Many of us were also used to holding the analogue stick for Mario 64 and forgot to use the D-pad for movement (that, however, is our problem and not the fault of Nintendo's).

Kl Gold has a myriad of options. Throwing, missiles, blocking and more can all be turned on or off at your will. You can also allow early Ultimate Combos and easy Combo Breakers (a move used to interrupt a combo performed on you). All of these can be accessed from an Options Menu, so you won't need to memorize any cheats or codes.

New to Killer Instinct-but not fighting games-are the different modes of play, like Arcade, Team Elimination, Practice and Tournament. A Training Mode is also included (see Gamer's Edge). This intuitive section teaches you all the intricacies of Kl Gold's combo, auto double and breaker system. There's more than meets the eye. however, with this Training Mode (see (Behind the Screens).

You'll certainly have to practice a lot in order to compete properly in Kl Gold. The game has much more depth to it than the original Kl. In addition to new moves, each character also has a power meter, which allows him or her extra powers that cost some or all of that meter. If you are not able to make full use of all of these fighting features, you may just find yourself at a distinct disadvantage.

Killer Instinct managed to become one of the more prominent titles in the fighting market despite criticisms about the crazy 10*-hit combos you can achieve in the game. Regardless, along with MK Trilogy, Kl Gold will be lucky enough to be recognized as one of the first Nintendo 64 fighters to come out. That, by itself, will help the game sell.


The Training Mode is key to mastering Kl Gold. At the top. you'll see what controller commands your sensei will want you to do. Along the bottom, you'll see what you are actually doing. If you can match his motions and perform the desired move, then your teacher will clap and show you something a bit more complicated.

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Killer Instinct Gold Downloads

Nintendo 64 Killer Instinct Gold download

People say:


Wow I've been waiting to play a fighter that really comes close to the arcade version. Sure, Street Fighter and MK have been on the other systems, but the graphics in Killer Instinct are rendered (even though it's a 2-D fighter, so to speak). I've never been a big fan of the Killer series, and tills version hasn't converted me, but Kl Cold is Impressive. The sound Is flawless and, as said, the graphics are near-flawless. For a guy like me who enjoys getting raw on a fighter (instead of the memorization-type moves), the Training Mode in this one gives me a chance to practice and learn the special combos.


The first Killer Instinct was fun. It was a fresh, good-looking game, but that novelty wore off when KI2 (which Is What Kl Gold Basically Is) debuted. Now, I will admit that I like Kl Gold's graphics (the backgrounds are sharply) and Its unique use of the power meter, but I just can't get into this game. It doesn't take genuine skill to play (like SF games), and you spend too much time blocking in order to set up attacks. It also didn't help that Chief Thunder was left out (he's my favorite Kl character). Kl Gold is a commendable effort, but it's a style of game that could turn you off just as easily as it turns you on.


If you're a fan of KI2, you'll be real excited about this ultra-deluxe N64 version. The hi-res graphics-partly-early the 3-D backgrounds-are Incredibly sharp and much Improved over KI2's visuals. Combat itself is also true to the arcade game, with all the massive combos Intact. Trouble Is, I'm not a huge fan of KI2.1 just don't think the game is as fun-or demands as much skill--as SFA2 or even the MK games. It just has you memorizing pattern after pattern, and you can do pretty well If you go crazy on the buttons. Still, Kl Gold does pack a comprehensive Training Mode for Kl neophytes. It controls Just fine with Die N64 pad, too.

reggie posted a review

Nintendo gave a special demonstration at the CES of two of their new Ultra 64 (formerly Project Reality) games. The first one, being developed by Rare, is a very detailed-rendered street fighting-type game.

Called Killer Instinct, this game features 10 characters each having specific traits and abilities. They are: Meltdown, a molten lava man; Chief Thunder, an Indian with tomahawks; Jago, a martial arts man whose weapon is a fireball; War Wolf, a half man half wolf; Fulgore, a robot;

Spinal, a skeleton; TJ Combo, a boxer; and three more yet unnamed characters: a woman, an iceman, and a dog-type creature.

Each of the characters will have his/her own background and there will be a 'special effect' that can be implemented for each background. For example, Chief Thunder's screen is a rope bridge over the Grand Canyon. The player can zoom in and out for a different perspective. TJ Combo's screen will be a gym, and if the correct special move is executed by the player, you will be able to knock your opponent through the wall and into the street. Other backgrounds will include a 360 degree circular fountain area, a pirate's room (Spinal) and city back streets (Jago?).

While far from complete, Killer Instinct will not live up to its name as there is very little blood and there will be no Mortal Kombat gore. Rather, the game will be a strategy/technique-type game, on the order of SF2. Combos will be the main goal to accomplish and the project manager promised that the maximum attack, for the largest number of points, would be a 13-hit combo!

Nintendo expects this game to be available when the system is launched in the fall of 1995. An earlier arcade debut is possible but Nintendo wouldn't confirm a date. More next month!

reggie posted a review

First, Killer Instinct was introduced in the arcade. Then Kl went to the home systems. Now that it's a number-one hit with thousands of gamers around the nation, Killer Instinct makes its way to the N64. Using the incredible technology that the N64 will become known for, this version is bound to deliver the combos, breakers and linkers Kl fans know and love. Ultra-smooth 60 frames-per-second animations will show in brilliant realism what carnage is all about.

Based on the version we played at the show, the game is simply incredible. No downgrades of quality here. Only the highest resolution graphics will come through the N64 on this title. The screens so far have been animated. They aren't just still frames that show off what Killer Instinct for the N64 could do-they show what Kl does during the actual game.

  • MANUFACTURER - Nintendo
  • THEME - Fighting
  • NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2
reggie posted a review

A fighting game where speed and demented combos are the key. Button-bashing, rather than actual skill, is what counts for most.

reggie posted a review

Great in its time but a bit out-dated now. For most people, enthusiasm for this type of beat-'em-up is at a low ebb.

reggie posted a review

The original coin-op was engineered with two purposes in mind. Firstly, to hype the N64. Secondly, to rip the heart out of Sega's claim that Nintendo only wrote kiddie a games. Killer Instinct answers Nintendo's critics with a ferocity unimaginable in any Miyamoto game. From the game's razor-edged logo to Glacius'S T2-like hand-to-blade morph to 70+ combo moves, Killer Instinct fully delivers on the ultra-violent, hyper-aggressive appeal central to all good beat-'em-ups. The blood may be scant compared to MK3, the finishing moves less cheeslly gory, but in-game Killer Instinct has all the lip-curling, fang-baring rage of a starving Sabre Wulf.

The graphic rendition of this rage is both impressive and, at the same time, dated. The original coin-op was developed without N64 hardware, using pre-rendered SGI sprites rather than true polygon characters. At its best, Killer Instinct combines a superb, pseudo-3-D look with the kind of outrageous special moves usually only seen in SFII. The Predator-like Fulgore provides a particularly spectacular opponent, his eyes shooting out laser beams, his body armour gleaming with crackling electricity. He even boasts a shimmering invisibility move just like his Hollywood inspiration.

An intelligent camera works hard to show off the N64's chipset, angling and zooming to provide the best perspective and further the 3-D illusion. Each bout usually begins with the camera pulling out of the superb, true 3-D backgrounds and dramatic finishing moves have it following the defeated as they fall off an arena. The 3D backgrounds also provide interactive elements, ranging from passing trains to gunship copters, as well as falling barrels and walls which shatter on contact.

Nevertheless, the SGI trickery can't disguise the lack of the kinetic realism true 3-D games offer. There's also none of those flamboyant fly-by end sequences, moreover cartridge limitations have removed the FMV reward sequences. Completing the game brings up little more than a picture and text relating to an obscure story-line neither game nor instruction manual explain. What the manual does offer is an insight into an incredibly sophisticated combat system, wherein varied link moves offer each character insanely long combo options.

Over a million moves' may seem daunting to novices, but in fact random button-pushing can usually trigger a spectacular move or two, quickly drawing beginners into its high-speed gameplay. In the arcades, the challenge of memorising lengthy combo moves, and the hazard of easy fluke moves for beginners, limited its appeal. The game's depth makes more sense for home users, with reams of options enabling users to massively reconfigure the game to their own tastes.

Ultimately, this is an excellent conversion of a decent coin-op. It has neither the Instinctive playability of SFII nor the kinetic realism of 3-D graphics. It Is, however, a very well presented, often spectacular game with one of the N64's best soundtracks to date. Its lightning speed and impressive basic moves make it easy to get Into, even if advanced moves can resemble advanced calculus. A shoddy Mortal Kombat Trilogy conversion and the lack of any imminent, feMen-trashing beat-'em-ups makes Killer Instinct a very useful stop-gap.... That Is, If you ignore the fact N64 cart prices don't really support anything less than essential.

reggie posted a review

Beat-'em-up action for caffeine addicts and speed freaks; Kl Gold is fast and frantic (often ludicrously so), but relies too much on mad button hammering in place of skill, whatever the Kl combo bores may tell you. The use of 2-D characters on з-D backgrounds now looks a little dated, especially when compared to games like Mace or Art Of Fighting Twin.

reggie posted a review
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