This post has not been edited by the GamesBeat staff. Opinions by GamesBeat community writers do not necessarily reflect those of the staff.
Welcome to South Town, USA!
You may have heard of our fair city from the depictions you’ve seen of it in the Fatal Fury, Art of Fighting, and The King of Fighters series of games. Those titles depict our home as a place where men and women beat each other silly as soon as they find an open spot to duel for five minutes.
And we couldn’t be prouder.
After failing to stop the violence caused by decades of gang warfare and clashes over ancient scrolls that hold the secret to unlimited power, we decided to turn our town into a “Petri dish” experiment. While we still have an active police force, we also encourage our residents to enforce their own justice using their fists. Since implementing this policy in the 1970s, South Town has become the martial artist capital of the world.
Demographics: South Town is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world thanks to the numerous immigrants who come here to take part in battles. Aikido and Tae Kwon Do uniforms are as ubiquitous on the streets as suits and ties. And speaking of suits, wealthy citizens like Robert Garcia are just as ready to brawl anyone else.
For a town made for fighting, it’s natural for the gender ratio to be skewed in favor of the XY chromosome. Some of our men seem to be searching for both a good fight and Ms. Right, so it’s common for them to compete while wearing designer clothes and elaborate hairstyles. Sensing their desperation, some of the female fighters intentionally wear accentuating outfits to gain a psychological edge on these lonely wolves.
Industry: Our living legends attract spectators and newcomers who hope to make a name for themselves. To accommodate these gladiators, we’ve designed our back alleys and recreational areas to be twice the usual width so that these rivalries can be settled without clogging traffic.
Our docks and railroads are also the envy of the region. Nestled next to beautiful Sound Beach, we reinforced our wooden docks to withstand both hurricane-force winds and fireball blasts. Meanwhile, the surrounding railroad system offers a beautiful view of the city, and if you’re lucky, you’ll see our favorite son Terry Bogard training with someone on an empty cart. In these instances, we ask train operators to slow down and construct a wind-proof barrier so that neither Terry’s trademark hat nor his opponent falls off.
Points of Interest: The Pao Pao Café is the favorite watering hole of the city’s greats and the place to be for aspiring competitors. The bar’s owner, Richard Meyer, is a former capoeria fighter who made an exhibition floor that doubles as a makeshift arena. Just be sure you don’t mind his traditional taste in music.
Perhaps spurred by the success of the Pao Pao Café, other restaurants have arranged their seating floors to accommodate before-dinner sparring. If you come in some of them at the right time, you can even test your might against King of Fighters competitors like the break-dancing Duck King or the stylish bouncer King while they tend to their day jobs.
For conventional training, we used to suggest the Kyokugenryu Karate dojo, one of the great examples of the Japanese influence in our city. The Sakazaki clan who runs the dojo, however, seems to be constantly away at international team tournaments and is never around long enough to teach anyone. Critics mock Kyokugenryu as an imitation of other, better karate disciplines, and it only survives thanks to an angel investment by the Garcia Family and rumors of an ultimate user of the style called “Mr. Karate.”
Finally, kids and teenagers alike will find their new favorite hang-out at Neo Geo Land! This arcade and entertainment complex is operated by SNK, which creates the wonderful games about our city.
Crime: Sadly, South Town continues to have one of the highest crime rates in the country and attracts the kinds of evildoers who have dozens of people seeking revenge on them. We prefer not to discuss such manners, but we have an unspoken agreement with the local crime bosses. Their top henchmen must compete in the local tournaments, and the boss must have a private match with the winner atop at their hideout, mansion, or skyscraper.
Some have complained that the arrangement is a token gesture because these criminals are so obnoxiously powerful that they haunt people’s nightmares long after their defeat. Others have said that events like The King of Fighters are ruses to further these evildoers' plans for world conquest. These conspiracies are laughable, however, and this method rids us of at least one notorious syndicate a year. If you have a better idea, we’d love to hear it.
These stage maps and more can be found at VGMaps.com.