The Ladies of Gals Fighters

Recently I reviewed Gals Fighters, one of the best games on the NEO GEO Pocket Color.  I loved that little handheld, and I’m glad they ported this game to the Switch!  It took a more silly, lighthearted tone.  Female fighters from other SNK series compete in the Q.O.F. (Queen of Fighters) tournament to win a talisman that grants any wish.   But the stories they gave to each of the characters and their wishes are pretty silly, and since I like talking about silly fighting game characters, I thought I’d make a separate blog about them!

A couple of notes before we get started, though. I actually reviewed this game way back when I was writing for The Dallas Morning News.  I can’t believe that was almost 20 years ago!  Sadly, I let a friend borrow my cartridge of it, and he lost it, which is a shame since it’s such a rare title now.  But that’s why I don’t let people borrow my games anymore!  Also, a couple of years ago, SNK made another female only fighter called SNK Heroines.  I have that game, too, but I didn’t make a blog about the characters in it because that game seemed to focus more on fanservice than silliness.  But now let’s take a look at Gals Fighters’ characters!

Mai Shiranui

I’m never been a huge fan of Mai.  It’s cool she’s a ninja lady and I like how she gives her boyfriend Andy Bogard a hard time.  But she’s a bit too fanservice-y.  With that said, I do have a poster of Mai I got at E3 that was signed by one of the SNK character designers “Falcoon.”  No it’s not hung up or anything like that.  Anyway, in this game, Mai’s wish is to marry Andy, but then Andy says that he’s actually a woman.  But then Mai wakes up and it’s all a dream.

Leona Heidern

She’s one of my favorite SNK characters because she has blue hair and wears army clothes and she’s strong.  Plus she’s on the Ikari Warriors team, and you know I like references to classic games!  Some of her silly attacks here include throwing giant hand grenades.  In her story, she enters the Q.O.F. tournament because she’s been grumpier than usual because of a toothache that she hasn’t told anyone about.  When she wins, the others on her team point out she can just go to a dentist, but she refuses to go to that extreme!

Athena Asamiya

I’m not a big fan of Athena but I like the history behind her.  Originally she had her own game called Psycho Soldier, but she’s also the descendant of a character in an older game titled Athena.  She’s in a lot of the King of Fighters games, and is on a team with other characters in the Psycho Soldiers game!  It’s a tradition for her to change her outfit in every KOF, and at the time of Gals Fighters release, she had short hair.  So her wish is to get long hair back!  But in the ending, her agent calls (she’s a pop star, too), and tells her to cut her hair again!


She’s one of my favorites as well, but I’m not really sure why.  I like her name and that her hair covers her eyes so it looks like she can’t see anything.  In the main KOF games, she is on a team who is trying to revive an ancient Japanese demon, but in this game she uses her wish to get a new cage for her pet hamsters.  The other members of her team even point out she could’ve used her wish to revive Orochi.  I just like the silly juxtaposition.  In the scanned instruction booklet, they call her “Shelmy” even though her name is correct in the game!

Yuri Sakazaki

She is the sister of one of the main characters in Art of Fighting.  I think she was made in response to Capcom’s Sakura, as both companies had a bit of a rivalry back then.  Her wish in this game is to be as good as her brother, but her ending makes no sense.  She wishes for a gym of her own and her brother comes in and asks where the talisman is and there’s a bunch of FWOOSH sound effects and it’s all in text with no pictures.  Then she says, “Oh no, it happened again.”  What happened?  Did the talisman get flushed down the toilet?  I dunno.  Only other notable thing about Yuri is that I used her a lot in the King of Fighters ALLSTAR mobile game because I unlocked a rare version of her in a baseball uniform, which was both cool and adorable.


She’s one of the main characters in Samurai Shodown.  She fights with a bird, but I didn’t see it in Gals Fighters.  Her wish is to just go back home, as she is from the past.  When she gets her wish, she crashes into her sister Rimaruru!


She’s a cool ninja lady with two swords.  I could’ve sworn she was from Last Blade, but Mr. Internet says she’s from Samurai Shodown.  Her wish is to see her child again.  Aw, she’s a ninja and a mommy!  That’s even cooler!  In her ending she is holding her baby.  Nothing silly about that.  But I guess not everything has to be silly in life.

Akari Ichijou

Now this character is from Last Blade.  She’s a typical Japanese priestess girl (think Pocky from Pocky and Rocky).  She uses Japanese spirits to fight and warps around the room a lot, but also uses a frying pan to hit others.  In her ending, she can’t decide what she wants to wish for!


Like Leona, she’s also on the Ikari Warriors team.  I bet you can guess what weapons she uses a lot!  In her ending she asks to remove her curse, but the talisman says it’ll take a few years.  Well I didn’t even know she had a curse.  Whip is a secret character you get by playing all the other characters.


This is an interesting one.  Yuki is the girlfriend of one of the main KOF characters.  She’s never been playable in any other game, just a background character or a plot device.  Gals Fighters is her only playable appearance.  You unlock her by completing the game once.  I think she’s meant to be a joke character.  She’s a typical Japanese schoolgirl, and since she’s not a fighter her attacks show as much.  She hits with her purse, hides her head behind it and does the ‘nerd slap fight’ thing, and even yells out the word “NO!” as an attack!  In her ending, she threatens to reveal who Miss X really is.  Which brings us to…

Miss X

The mysterious Miss X is the final boss in the game.  But you know what?  She’s actually Iori dressed in drag.  Iori is one of the main KOF characters and is a dude with red hair that covers part of his face, and he’s kind of scary.  Most of the girls figure out who he is in this game, though.

And those are all the fighters.  In the comments section, let me know who your favorite SNK characters are!  –Cary

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