It's been over two decades since Garou: Mark of the Wolves took the Fatal Fury franchise into the future. The classic Neo Geo fighting game has lived on, through ports and community effort, but recently we got another look at the game's earliest concepts, and the sequel that never was, courtesy of its creators.
In a stream hosted by official SNK community manager "KrispyKaiser," two developers who worked on the original Garou—Nobuyuki Kuroki and Yasuyuki Oda—sat in to discuss some previously unseen concept art for Mark of the Wolves, as well as what could've happened in a sequel.
They've been compiled in one Imgur directory for easy viewing, but they really are something. Some fighters, had their design fairly well laid out from the beginning. Others, like Rock Howard, really veer all over the place.
Rock in particular has four different concepts, and they're all very different from one another. In one, it looks like he's wearing Terry's cap backwards. In another, Rock looks like a Darkstalkers character. It's wild to see how radically different these characters could have been. They also expanded on some neat bits of trivia, like why Rock's flames are a different color from other fighters.
The developers also discussed some of what would've come in the sequel. Garou 2 would've reportedly added new special moves characters like Rock, and also, the team showed an early concept of Gaou, Gato's father, a character that was planned for Garou 2.
The team has already talked in the past about the work already done for the sequel, but it's been shelved. Sadly, in this new stream, the creators also commented on how far they actually got into making the game.
"To kind of put the nail in the coffin, unfortunately, Garou 2 was not as far along as many people think," Kaiser says. "A lot of people are like, oh it's 70%, 80%, 90% done. Unfortunately it was about halfway done."
Ports of the original recently got an update adding modern rollback netcode, which has been well-received, and Oda himself has said in the past that he's interested in making Garou 2. With recent updates and major tournaments like Evo getting back into retro games, the time seems ripe to get from halfway to fully finished.