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Art of Fighting 3 (Neo Geo)

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Title Screen

Art of Fighting 3

Also known as: Art of Fighting 3: The Path of the Warrior (US/EU/KR), Art of Fighting: Ryuuko no Ken Gaiden (JP)
Developer: SNK
Publisher: SNK
Platforms: Neo Geo, Arcade (Neo Geo)
Released internationally: March 12, 1996 (MVS), April 26, 1996 (AES)

AreasIcon.png This game has unused areas.
DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
MusicIcon.png This game has unused music.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.

Robert goes to Mexico! Ryo and Yuri follow him! Romance! Drama! And a pelican!

Debug Dip Switches

Debug Dip Effect
1-1 Art of Fighting 3 AC Job Meter.png
Job meter. The CPU usage is measured by a gray overlay on top of the screen. The more it covers, the more CPU is being used. This effect is only visible in MAME.
1-2 Neither player can take damage and the timer is disabled.
1-3 Press A+C to drain the opposite player's lifebar and win the round. You don't need to be playing the game to activate this - it even works if you press the buttons on the CPU side (but this kills you.) Do not use this with dip 1-2 active or the game will freeze when you press the buttons.
1-6 Causes the CPU player to walk towards you and block almost every attack. Attempting a throw will cause the CPU to hit you in the legs. This is basically a practice mode of sorts.
1-8 Unlocks Sinclair and Wyler as playable characters (AES/Home mode only.)
2-1 CPU takes control over Player 1.
2-2 Player 2 can control a CPU Player 2.
2-3 Displays "W!" in the middle of the screen. Effect unknown.
2-7 "Random Mode" is displayed on-screen. Effect unknown.
2-8 "Total Rounds 0000" will be displayed on-screen. Once you select a character, the CPU will take over, and begin fighting erratically (randomly pressing buttons) in one round matches against a CPU controlled dummy. The character you chose will be changed every eight matches, and the counter will increase by one every round that passes.
(Source: Neo-Geo.com's Debug Dipswitch List, Wayder's MAME XML Cheat)

Activating any debug dip switch will also enable a frame advance mode. Press P1 or P2 Start to advance a frame while the game is paused during a match. (This works best in console mode.)

Art of Fighting 3 AC Build Date.png
Additionally, this will cause a build date to appear in the content warning screen that appears when the game is in attract mode on a US MVS system. The same date is in both the World and Korea versions of the game.

Note: Turning on Developer Mode by setting Ox10FE80 to 0x01 will also enable the same effects as Dip 1-3, activate the stage selection screen described below, and show the build date, but it will not turn on frame advance while paused.

Stage Select and Unused Stages

Art of Fighting 3 AC Stage Select.png
Turning on any of the debug dipswitches will activate a stage select screen after selecting a character in normal or versus mode. BACK-NO selects the stage the fight will take place in, while STAGE-NO chooses your starting level. Press Left or Right to change BACK-NO's value, and Up or Down to change STAGE-NO's value. Press A to begin a normal game with the background of your choice, or press B to start a one player game on the level you chose. Set STAGE-NO to 8 to begin on the final fight.

Three of the selectable backgrounds are broken and display what appears to be black screens, but if you change the background color in Kawaks, you can see that the backgrounds are built out of several tiles that have a transparent color. Background 8 is fully static, but backgrounds 10 and 11 feature rapidly changing tiles that can disorient a player if the background color is changed. Background 10 can also cause the Neo Geo to lag quite a bit since it's very graphic intensive.

Unused Graphics

Art of Fighting 3 AC Sinclair Walk Cycle.gifArt of Fighting 3 AC Wyler Walk Cycle.gif
Both Sinclair and Wyler have zoomed out walking animations which were meant to be used in the character selection screen, but since you have to move the cursor off the screen to select them, they are not visible.

That's some major shrinkage.
There's also an unused animation where Wyler reverts back to his normal form while facing down. Since he never falls on his face - no matter what you do, he always falls backwards, even when losing by time over - this is unused.

Art of Fighting 3 AC Kanji.png
Once you reach nine wins in versus mode, the game grades you depending on how many fights you've won so far. In the Japanese version, you get graded with two kanji. There are large versions of these rank graphics in the game's graphic data, but they are never used anywhere. The name input screen and the versus ranking shown in attract mode use smaller graphics stored elsewhere.

Unused Music

Playing the sound code 0x073A via a Neo Geo music player such as M1 or a modded system that uses the Universe Bios will play an alternate version of the attract theme with a different introduction.

Development Text Leftovers

There are multiple text strings in the game that suggest that a test menu may still be in the game. Presumably this would be activated via the debug switches, but it is unknown how to access this. The text begins at 0x01C21A (uninterleaved program data):


Text strings for many of these menus are scattered across the program data at various locations.

Korean Version Differences

The Korean release of the game has various changes that make it different from other Korean releases of the game.

  • Wang Koh-San has been renamed to Park.


  • The only available languages in the game are English, Spanish and Portuguese; there was no Korean localization, and Japanese cannot be accessed.
  • The game will not switch its region to Japan if played in a Japanese console; you get the normal US / European release instead. This means that all Japanese graphics are unused in this version.
  • Unusually for a Korean release, Japanese voices are not removed or edited.