Real Bout Special: Dominated Mind


STORY South Town, the spirited crime city in America. Once there was a man who owned and dictated the city. The man's name was Geese Howard. To defeat him, countless martial artists have met in South Town. Among them was a young man named Terry Bogard who defeated Geese. The death match that took place to defeat Geese was written into legend by the town's people. The wolves starved for battle, the legend of the hungry wolves.

Time passes... a new shadow slips into town after Geese's death. White and his mysterious armed servant scheme to make a profit from South Town. White has Geese's former right hand man, Billy Kane, in his ranks. Hereafter, any other strong warrior that opposes him will be put under his mind control. What will become of South Town's fate? The new legend to save the town must be made by you!


Alfred appears as a default character for the first time.

REVIEWA Japan exclusive release, the PlayStation port of Real Bout Special released in 1998 as Real Bout Special: Dominated Mind. The PS1 port introduces 2 additional characters (Alfred & White), along with a new anime intro. The new protagonist Alfred actually appeared first in Real Bout Fatal Fury 2 (which released in arcades before this game), but he was a secret boss and only playable by using a code. The game's new boss, White, is brand new however and is based off of the main character (Alexander DeLarge) from the novel and movie, Clockwork Orange.


Dominated Mind has a slick anime intro.


Presentation-wise, Dominated Mind is a significant improvement over past arcade installments. For starters, the game features several anime-esk cut scenes, including an all new introduction movie to bring you into the Fatal Fury universe. Upon completing Arcade Mode with a character, you're also treated to some pretty cool anime style character artworks, unique to this game (all of which can be found here). The package also includes Survival Mode and a Character Information Database with artwork and history for all of the characters. There's definitely some cool content here for any kind of Fatal Fury fan.

In addition to the game disc, there's a second fan disc included in the package for this Playstation exclusive. The fan disc is narrated by none other than Mai (and unless you can read Japanese you won't know what the hell she's saying). This fan disc features some interesting content such as artwork, character cosplays, and an odd "Interview Mode" where you can ask the Fatal Fury characters about their likes, dislikes, etc. Using a screen full of random items, you can have a short conversation with a character of your choice. A bit weird... but kinda innovative I guess?


White from A Clockwork Orange is a pretty cool SNK boss.


Unlike some other PS1 ports of fighting games, the translation from the arcade version of Real Bout Special to PS1 went exceptionally smooth. In terms of gameplay, Dominated Mind uses the same core as Real Bout Special but there are some notable changes. Firstly, plane switching and environmental interaction at the ends of stages have been removed. Several character moves have also been tweaked, and "EX" versions of characters were also removed. However, the EX character special moves have transferred over to the default versions of characters and, strangely, additional special moves can be unlocked by completing the game. Lastly, two new gameplay elements are introduced, including: Final Impacts, allowing players to cancel special moves into supers, and Advance Guard, is sort of a parry system.


Page Updated: February 2nd, 2021
Developer(s): SNK
Publisher(s): SNK
Platform(s): PlayStation 
Release Date(s): 1998
Characters Alfred Airhawk, Terry Bogard, Andy Bogard, Joe Higashi, Franco Bash, Mai Shiranui, Cheng Sinzan, Bob Wilson, Geese Howard, Billy Kane, Hon Fu, Ryuji Yamazaki, Sokaku Mochizuki, Blue Mary, Kim Kap Hwan, Jin Chonshu, Jin Chonrei, Duck King, Laurence Blood, Wolfgang Krauser, Tung Fu Rue, White

Featured Video:

Related Games: Real Bout, Real Bout Special, Real Bout 2, Fatal Fury, Fatal Fury 2, Fatal Fury 3, Fatal Fury Special, Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition, Fatal Fury: 1st Contact, Garou: Mark of The Wolves, The Last Blade 2, Samurai Shodown 4, King of Fighters '98, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Street Fighter Alpha 3, Marvel VS Capcom, TEKKEN 3

Gameplay Engine  7.0 / 10
Story / Theme  6.5 / 10
Overall Graphics  7.0 / 10
Animation  7.0 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  7.5 / 10
Innovation  7.0 / 10
Art Direction  7.5 / 10
Customization  6.0 / 10
Options / Extras  8.0 / 10
Intro / Presentation  8.5 / 10
Replayability / Fun  6.5 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  6.0 / 10
Characters  7.0 / 10

 7.6 / 10

 Review based on PS1 (Japan version)   


Final Words: Real Bout Special: Dominated Mind was a cool evolution of the arcade version of Real Bout Special, and was a respectably solid PS1 fighting game package at the time. I'm pretty sure most hardcore SNK fans would tell you Dominated Mind was the best installment of the Fatal Fury series to date, if not a close second to Real Bout 2 at the arcades.

Even so, considering this game was released '98... there were definitely some other blockbuster fighting games out there that made this game look "last gen" (both at arcades and console). The old school 2D gameplay mechanics might've charmed some nostalgic fans at the time, but personally I wasn't "wowed" by the Real Bout series in general. However, I can definitely respect the evolution of Real Bout... as it did introduce some interesting new ideas and some of the best-looking SNK sprites to date.

Also worth mentioning, the Real Bout series paved the way for the blockbuster SNK hit and 2D masterpiece released just a few years later... Garou: Mark of the Wolves.
~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen

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