Building on their 1993 game Virtua Fighter, Virtua Fighter 2 features numerous visual improvements (including a higher screen resolution, better texture mapping for characters, and improved backgrounds) and gameplay enhancements (including new attacks for all characters and special counter-attacks). It also adds two new characters to the game’s roster: Shun-Di (an elder master of the “Drunken Fist” kung fu) and Lion Rafale (a young practitioner of the “Praying Mantis Fist” kung fu).
Along with numerous ports and updates, the game received its own super-deformed spin-off in 1996, known as Virtua Fighter Kids. It also spawned a line of karaoke discs for the Saturn (known as the “Virtua Fighter CG Portrait Series”) and an anime adaptation in 1995 (known simply as “Virtua Fighter”, which also received its own handheld game). It was also a base for the crossover game Fighters Megamix (along with Fighting Vipers).
Ports & Updates
An enhanced version of the game, titled Virtua Fighter 2.1, was released exclusively in Japan on July 1995. Along with new and updated character outfits, this version features numerous minor gameplay changes and fixes. It was also ported to the Sega Saturn (on December 1995) and PCs running Windows 95 (on September 1997), adding new game modes, optional arranged music, online multiplayer (PC version only), and the option to switch between the original (2.0) and its update (2.1). It later received a near-perfect port to the PlayStation 2 (as part of the SEGA AGES 2500 series) exclusively in Japan on October 14, 2004. This version was later used for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 ports (both released digitally on November 28, 2012), which also feature online multiplayer.
It was also remade for the Sega Genesis in Europe (on January 1997) and North America (on March 4, 1997) as a 2D fighter with the characters as alterations of pre-rendered 3D models. Also known in-game as Virtua Fighter 2 Genesis, this version was later digitally re-released for the Wii (as a Virtual Console title) in Japan (on March 20, 2007) and North America (on April 16, 2007), for the PC (as a SEGA Classics title) on October 26, 2010, and for iOS devices in 2011 (which was later de-listed on May 2015). This version was also included in the Sega Genesis Collection, Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection, and Sega Genesis Classics compilations.
The game includes 10 playable characters (2 of whom are new additions) and one bonus boss. Both new characters are not available in the Genesis version of the game.
- Shun-Di (Herbal doctor from China, fights with “Drunken Fist” kung fu)
- Lion Rafale (High school student from France, fights with “Praying Mantis Fist” kung fu)
- Akira Yuki (Martial arts teacher from Japan, fights with “Eight Extremities Fist” kung fu)
- Kage-Maru (Ninja from Japan, fights with jujutsu)
- Jacky Bryant (Indy car driver from the United States, fights with Jeet Kune Do)
- Sarah Bryant (College student from the United States, fights with Jeet Kune Do)
- Pai Chan (Movie star from Hong Kong, fights with “Lost Track Fist” kung fu)
- Lau Chan (Cook from China, fights with “Tiger-Swallow Fist” kung fu)
- Wolf Hawkfield (Professional wrestler from Canada, fights with professional wrestling)
- Jeffry McWild (Fisherman from Australia, fights with pancratium)
- Dural (Mysterious gynoid and the game’s bonus boss using techniques from all other fighters, only playable with cheat codes)
CG Portrait Series
The game also received its own line of bonus karaoke discs for the Saturn, dubbed the “Virtua Fighter CG Portrait Series”, from October 1995 to March 1996. Each of the eleven discs focuses on a particular character from the game, and consists of a slideshow of high-resolution images featuring that character (set to their own Japanese pop song, which can be played in a “karaoke mode”).
- Oct. 13, 1995 – Vol. 1: Sarah Bryant – “Dancing Shadow”
- Oct. 13, 1995 – Vol. 2: Jacky Bryant – “Believe in Love”
- Nov. 17, 1995 – Vol. 3: Akira Yuki – “Natsu no Arashi”
- Nov. 17, 1995 – Vol. 4: Pai Chan – “Oh, My Shinin’ Star”
- Dec 8, 1995 – Vol. 5: Wolf Hawkfield – “Chain Reaction”
- Dec 8, 1995 – Vol. 6: Lau Chan – “Kin-iro no Ame”
- Jan 26, 1996 – Vol. 7: Shun-Di – “Konron no Yume”
- Jan 26, 1996 – Vol. 8: Lion Rafale – “Winner or Loser”
- Mar 1, 1996 – Vol. 9: Kage-Maru – “Dare Mo Shiranai”
- Mar 1, 1996 – Vol. 10: Jeffry McWild – “Ano Nami Wo Koete”
By mailing the spinecards of all ten discs to Sega during 1996, players received an additional disc by mail. Known as “The Final: Dural”, it uses the music “Todokanai Kokoro Daite”.