Killer Instinct Gold

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a game by Rare, Ltd.
Genre: Action
Platform: Nintendo 64Nintendo 64
Editor Rating: 8/10, based on 8 reviews, 11 reviews are shown
User Rating: 8.3/10 - 6 votes
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See also: Download Fighting Games, Arcade Games
Killer Instinct Gold
Killer Instinct Gold
Killer Instinct Gold
Killer Instinct Gold

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 KI 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 KI would be a deluxe version, combining both KI and KI2 in a fashion similar to 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 KI 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 our 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).

KI 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 KI 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 KI 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, KI 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 KI 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.

Download Killer Instinct Gold

Nintendo 64

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

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 KI Gold 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 KI Gold Basically Is) debuted. Now, I will admit that I like KI 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 KI character). KI 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, KI Gold does pack a comprehensive Training Mode for KI neophytes. It controls Just fine with Die N64 pad, too.


All KI2 fans will flock to the stores for this title, but someone can have my reserved copy. I won't be picking It up. I absolutely loved the Practice Mode, and how It walks you through the various fighting engine techniques, but the game itself is sub-standard. You spend all your time blocking your opponent's wild attacks. To make matters worse, the techniques are not intuitive. Tile graphics are good for some characters, but laughable for others. The KI Gold music is not even comparable to the Kill's music. Unfortunately, this IS an excellent translation of the KI2 arcade game. Still, any KI regular should check this title out.

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!

First, Killer Instinct was introduced in the arcade. Then KI 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 KI 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 KI does during the actual game.

  • MANUFACTURER - Nintendo
  • THEME - Fighting
  • NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1 or 2

Beat-'em-up action for caffeine addicts and speed freaks; KI Gold is fast and frantic (often ludicrously so), but relies too much on mad button hammering in place of skill, whatever the KI combo bores may tell you. The use of 2-D characters on 3-D backgrounds now looks a little dated, especially when compared to games like Mace or Art Of Fighting Twin.

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

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.

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.

Just as MK Trilogy does with the Mortal Kombat legacy, KI Gold meshes the first Killer with KI2, and throws In an advanced training mode, new backgrounds, and blistering multihit combos. Killer Instinct Gold shines!

The Gold Standard

Although the first Killer rocked the arcades with its fast-paced gameplay and multiple-hit madness, KI2 was more of a strategic outing, trading speed for more intricate combos and defensive maneuvers. Cone were the days of waiting for your opponent to strike--now even defending players could be knocked around. That tradition of challenging the player continues with KI Gold.

Natural Born Killer

Taking its cues from KI2, KI Gold adds new backgrounds (like an abandoned train yard) and includes the character lineup from KI2. This means that some of the characters are gone--like Cinder, Riptor, and Chief Thunder. There are hidden characters, but Nintendo is reticent about naming them.

The game has arcade-quality graphics, and you'll be amazed by the sound and music--it's almost like having the arcade unit at home.

Sold on Gold

For KI2 players waiting for a home conversion, and for old KI players who want a deeper challenge, this game is worth its wait in Gold!

Yes, Sensei

Included is a training mode, which is great for beginning players. It goes through each move and combo for you, then asks you to repeat them. Not as intuitive as Tekken 22's training mode, but helpful.

Killer Control

You can control characters using either the analog or digital control pad. The six-button controller is a blessing in this case, with the quick, medium, and fierce punches and kicks in an arcade layout.

Killer Instinct fans have lived for this moment. The best version of KI to date is slugging its way onto the N64, and it's the envy of fighting fans everywhere.

The Gold Standard

Combining elements of the original Killer Instinct (such as multi-hit combos, ultra combos, and finishing moves) and KI2 (including new characters Maya, Tusk, and Kim Wu, for a grand total of 10 fighters), KI Gold also features retooled BD-like backgrounds.

Characters move around in a 2D stance. The stages, however, skew slightly as you move, so you get an interesting, semi-BD effect--imagine Toshinden without the wildly veering camera angles.

The good news is that it really doesn't matter in the long run, because the game is fun. It's easy for a novice to pick up, but retains the depth and complexity to satisfy the brawling urge of experienced fighting fans.

All That Glitters

The graphics are clean and flashy--from Fulgore's explosive Eye Laser to Orchid's cheeky Flik Flak. Some backgrounds are gorgeous and detailed, while others are mildly annoying, such as the train stage where the fights are sometimes obscured by a brick wall.

The sound still rocks with a techno-driven beat, and the players have their own decisive, but unintelligible, yells. Small sound effects like death groans and screeches, however, could be improved.

The control is flawless, aided by a superb training mode, which walks you through special moves and some combos. It also helps that the buttons are lined in a three-by-three format, unlike the awkward Super NES controller setup.

Killer's Thriller

KI Gold's the best fighting game on the N64 (sorry, Mortal Kombat Trilogy). Although purists may argue the original Killer Instinct is a better fighting game, this version is Gold when it comes to the Fun Factor. Instinct tells us this one's a winner.


  • Killer Instinct Gold is a game of waiting. If you're blocking combos, start your standing combo just before the end of your opponent's combo to counter.
  • Use an overhead attack to knock your opponent out of their crouching defensive stance.
  • In the training mode, learn the combos and susbti-tute End Specials at will. Some of the combos in the training can be expanded with better End Specials.


lively character definition and spectacular super moves highlight the graphics, but quirky background flaws diminish the overall look.


Good steady music (not as annoying as the Super NES version) and solid sound effects enhance the game, but death screeches and explosions could have been better.


A helpful training engine makes KI Gold easy to learn, and tight, responsive controls make it a breeze to play.

Fun Factor

You'll find yourself playing over and over again-whether you're a newcomer or a master. KI Gold is a fantastic addition to the burgeoning Nintendo 64 library.

If you thought that the Killer Instinct fever which seemed to grip the youth of this country was dying out, well, you were never so wrong.This spring, at an arcade near you, Killer Instinct 2 machines will be popping up, ready to take your quarters. With better graphics, new characters and a bunch of other cool stuff, KI2 will undoubtedly top its predecessor as the new craze in fighting games.

I didn't like Killer Instinct that much, but this game looks way cool! Three new characters have been added to the bunch:Tusk, Maya and Kim Wu. On top of that, seven of the original eight have returned.The only fighter that's not coming back is Cinder, but I'm sure he's in the game somewhere, even though he isn't a playable character at first.The three newcomers have a plethora of tasty moves and, to keep things spiced up, the original characters have been given a bunch more new moves for you to master, Also, you'll find powered-up ultra combos and millions (yes, millions) of normal combos to work.The developers have also made it possible to interact with the backgrounds which I'm sure means that there'll be some cool stage fatalities. Other additions are the abilities to grab while in mid-air and use grabs as part of larger combos.To top it off, a Power-Up Bar has been implemented to award aggressive players with special moves.

Several other upgrades have been made to improve on the overall quality of the game. KI2 will have much more gaming depth and more intelligent opponents in one-player competitions. Combos have also been made more difficult to find, challenging the most seasoned of vets to discover them. Technical upgrades can be found in the form of an improved sound system, larger hard drive and improved mounting of the hard drive. It shouldn't matter to you what all that means, but rest assured, it will make KI2 more butt-kicking than the first one.

You should all be very excited about this sweetest of fighting sequels. Just imagine when this baby hits the Ultra 64; there may very well be rioting in the streets.

Snapshots and Media

Nintendo 64/N64 Screenshots

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