Killer Instinct 2 and a Video Store Memoir


“During the mid to late ‘90s wacky fighting games were a genre unto themselves. Killer Instinct blossomed from their existence. Descending into absurdity, the nobility of Street Fighter and shrewd violence of Mortal Kombat turned into all-out extremism. The genre underwent a cultural transformation.

Such schlock birthed Shadow: War of Succession on 3DO, where a Jane Fonda workout model battled shotgun-toting mobsters. Kasumi Ninja had a Scotsman shooting fireballs from under his kilt. In Tattoo Assassins a parody of disgraced Olympic skater Tonya Harding killed people with a zamboni.

These games found their master in Killer Instinct 2. It was brawny, bold, brash, and many other b-led adjectives—“bodacious” in ‘90s lingo. Killer Instinct’s team at UK studio Rare brought a violent, cheapo drugstore action figure line to life.”

Read my full piece on Killer Instinct 2 and video stores on Playboy

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