"User submission heavily supported Killer Instinct 2 (commonly abbreviated KI2) is a 1996 arcade-only fighting game developed by Rare Ltd., licensed by Nintendo, and manufactured by Midway. KI2 is the sequel to Killer Instinct (1994), an arcade game which was also ported to the SNES. Like its predecessor, the game features two 8-way joysticks with six buttons each for attacks (three punch and three kick), allowing for both a single player mode or a two player versus mode. A modified version of KI2 appeared on the Nintendo 64 as Killer Instinct Gold in 1996.
As with most fighting games and indeed its predecessor, two characters square off with the goal of depleting the opponent's life bar. As with the original Killer Instinct, when a player's original life bar is fully depleted, he or she will fall to the ground, and immediately begin on his or her second lifebar.
As with the first game, Killer Instinct 2 relies on an automatic combo subsystem in its matches. The matches, as with Killer Instinct, revolve around a three strength system (Quick, Medium, and Fierce.) However, normal moves have lost a lot of their priority and range, as well as gaining extra recovery time. Throws have been added into the game to deal with blocking characters (as opposed to the top attack in Killer Instinct.) Additionally, characters can be knocked down much easier with normal moves than in the first game, ending the possibility of opening with a 'glitch' combo and also weakening the effectiveness of normal moves. Normal special moves no longer are judged on priority, but instead follow a three tiered 'rock, paper, scissors' system, in which a certain special move will always break another certain special move (similar to the three tiered system in Soul Calibur.) The system has been seen as flawed due to little differences between the special moves themselves.
Additionally, a Super bar has been added to the game (similar to Street Fighter Alpha or King of Fighters). This super bar fills as players take damage. After the bar reaches a certain point, the player can use a multi-hit super special move (normally referred to as Super Move,) which is usually an extended version of a normal special move.
The combo system has its roots in the original Killer Instinct. By pressing a certain strength button after an opener move, a player will launch an auto-double and initiate the combo system of the game. However, unlike the first game, players can now open up combos with new and much less risky moves than before (most notable a close Fierce punch or close Fierce kick.) Additionally, Super Moves can be placed into combos, greatly increasing their damage and potency as well as being unbreakable. Additionally combos can be extended using throws, super linkers, manual-doubles, and super end specials.
As a result of the weakened normal moves and other changes to the system, combos have now become more devastating in Killer Instinct 2. In an apparent effort to help ease this dominance, combo breakers are now easier to perform. Unlike combo breakers in the first game, which also required a three tiered 'rock, paper, scissors' system based on strength to break, combos are now broken depending on the type of attack. Punches break kick doubles, and kicks will break punch doubles.
As popular as its predecessor was this next installment, in addition to praise, was reportedly criticized for its more liberal combo engine which changed the dynamics of the game considerably.
Parry, an advanced new addition, allows an open counter-attack after a successful parry block. A player can assume a standing defensive position and cause the attacker to temporarily freeze if the parry is successful.
The finishing moves have also been reworked. Now each character can only execute these attacks when the opponent's second life bar flashes red (unlike the first Killer Instinct the opponents falls when he or she loses all of his or her energy bars). Each characters has two Ultimate combo moves (one of them can be executed without executing a combo), the Humiliation sequences were dropped, and the Ultra combo feature is still intact.
Killer Instinct Gold
Killer Instinct Gold is the Nintendo 64 version of Killer Instinct 2. It was released shortly after the launch of the console. The game suffered some graphical downgrades and the endings for each character do not change (as they would in the Arcade version) due to the memory limitations of the Nintendo 64 cartridge. Other than that, Killer Instinct Gold remains faithful to the original Killer Instinct 2.
These differences include:
Team Battles, in which one can fight with up to 11 characters.
Team Elimination Battles, in which one has to finish his or her opponents off with Fatals (finishing moves similar to Mortal Kombat's Fatalities, which can be executed immediately) instead of simply depleting their life bar with normal moves, or they will simply return later on in the match (however as the computer player will sometimes use Gargos as the last opponent, victims can be removed from play anyway as he lacks a finishing move).
Training and Advanced Training, in which the player can learn the moves of the character they have chosen as well as the correct execution of combos, doubles, auto-doubles link moves, etc.
Options menu, which allows the player to modify certain data, such as the speed of the game, the color of the blood, button configuration, sound and manage Controller Pak data.
Unlockable content, such as alternate colors for characters and scenarios, and faster degrees of speed for the game.
KI Gold is compatible with the Nintendo 64's Controller Pak to save options and high scores, though the cartridge also includes battery save.
Unlike the arcade version, however, this home port had most of its FMV scenes and several frames of character animation removed, due to the memory limitations of the Nintendo 64 cartridge. Since this system was cartridge-based, and full-screen FMVs can take up hundreds of megabytes of space, the FMVs had to be replaced with a simple animation consisting of a zoom of the character the player was using. To compensate for the loss of animation, the stages in the game were fully rendered in 3D, as opposed to the scaling and distorting FMVs used for the stage backgrounds in the arcade version, allowing more dynamic camera takes at the beginning of the battle, while using less memory consumption. However, the quality of the animation of the sprites was notably decreased in comparison to KI2.
Source: Wikipedia, "Killer_Instinct_2," available under the CC-BY-SA License.