I will never forget the first time I and my buddies encountered the Final Fight arcade machine in our local convenience store, we became hooked instantly. This 1989 Capcom side-scrolling fighting game was so addicting back in the day and was one of the most creative games of its time. Never before had we seen such cool characters who were all distinctively different from the next.
There are six levels or stages in Final Fight each taking place in a different part of Metro City. At the end of each stage, your character will take on a “Big Boss” who is unique to that stage. There are 3 main Hero characters, 6 Ringleaders, and 19 Underlings who make up the Mad Gear Street gang.
Guy is one of the main playable characters in Final Fight and has a Ninjitsu fighting style. Guy wears a traditional orange karate gi with a black belt. He has lightning-quick speed and his special attack is an “Off The Wall” jump. Guy is very similar to Ryu of the Street Fighter series.
Cody is an American street fighter who survived the mean streets of Metro City. His girlfriend Jessica is the one who has been kidnapped by the street thugs and it’s the main hero’s job to try and rescue her back. His specialty move is a jumping spinning leg kick.
Haggar is the big brute of the 3 main playable characters and that’s what makes him so fun to use. Mike Haggar is billed at 6’7 and 266 lbs of pure muscle. He is the slowest of the 3 but packs the biggest punch. He is the father of Jessica who gets kidnapped in the game by the street thugs. His specialty move is a spinning 360 double punch and a jumping pile driver which is oh-so-satisfying to nail.
Mad Gear Gang
(In Order of Appearance)
Bred is just your everyday “jobber” of a thug. He is not hard to defeat, more annoying than anything. He has dirty, blonde hair and wears a gray jumpsuit with gold boots. A fun fact about Bred is the car you get to destroy after Stage 1 is his.
Dug is another easy foe in Final Fight. He wears a red outfit, gold boots, and dark sunglasses. He is bald and has huge biceps so watch out for his punch.
Jake has a popular jock-type look with brown hair and a beard. He wears a blue vest and pants.
I found J to be one of the more annoying characters in Final Fight. He just always seems to come out of nowhere and something about his stance throws me off. He has spikey blonde locks and a rather alternative vibe to him that was popular in the ’90s. His jacket is one of the coolest in the game with a biohazard symbol on the back of it.
Axl is one of the best badass-looking characters in the arcade version of Final Fight. His look clearly looks inspired by the lead singer of Guns N Roses also with the name of Axel. He has an orange bandana and long dirty blonde hair. He is one of the first massive characters you will encounter in the Mad Gear Gang.
Holly wood is a weird, slimy-looking thug. Don’t be fooled by his skinny frame though as he can be one of the most dangerous characters to fight. When you first encounter him he is stacked with throwing knives which he will throw in rapid succession at you. On the plus side if you manage to strike him he will drop one of his knives which you can then in turn use against him.
As the game progresses he will also appear in an all-red outfit and throw Cocktail Molotov’s instead of knives.
G. Oriber is the first of the fat, bald-charging thugs you will see in the game. He sports a rather funky beard and has a blue outfit and shoes. His main attack of choice is a charging headbutt which if he catches you with, will send you flying backward.
Next up for the fat guy crew is big Bill Bull. This guy certainly reminds you of a bull with his full dark beard and thick frame. If you get too close to him he will nail you with a powerful mule kick or a standing headbutt.
Two P is essentially J’s sidekick and both have a similar punk look and will appear at the same time usually. His outfit in my opinion is one the best in the arcade game with baggy green pants and a bright orange cutoff jacket.
Continuing with the Guns N Roses named characters we meet Slash in Stage 2. Unlike Axl, he doesn’t resemble the real life Slash at all. He has a more John Travolta-inspired look with slicked-back black hair and a leather jacket and pants.
Roxy is the first female character besides Jessica to appear in Final Fight. Overall there are two female characters in the Mad Gear Gang both with similar appearances. Roxy has fiery red and orange hair with a crop top and booty shorts. She has handcuffs tied around her waist and will attack you with spinning cartwheels.
Poison is the 2nd female thug and closely resembles Roxy. The glaring difference is Poison’s bright pink hair. She also has the same attack moves by cartwheeling and throwing kicks on the way down. When both she and Roxy appear at the same time they can be a handful to manage as they are constantly jumping over and around you.
Andore is the first of the Andore family to appear in Final Fight. It’s not hard to tell that they are all modeled after the famous wrestler Andre The Giant. Andore is massive like his brothers and if he catches you in his grips then it’s pile-drive city for you.
Simons is a weaselly-looking character as he has a boxer’s stance and a hunched-over gait. He is dressed in all gold with brown short hair. He is not a problem to beat, just punch or kick away and he will be gone quickly.
El Gado is modeled the same as Holly Wood who we meet earlier in the game. He is also a knife expert and one of Mad Gear’s elite fighters. He is quick, agile, and can attack with his knives in various ways. Be careful to avoid is knife gut jabs as that can drain your energy bar rather quickly.
Andore is the big brother to Andore Jr. and has one of the flashiest outfits in the game. His bright pink pants and leopard-spotted tank top make him hard to miss. Once again try and keep your distance from him and watch out for his charging attack.
Wong Who is the last of the bald, fat guy thugs. He is my favorite of the 3 and has a really sweet braided top knot on his head. He has a green outfit with suspenders.
G. Andore & F. Andore
In stage 3, Andore will capture you and transfer you to a wrestling ring where you get to take on the last two brothers of the Andore family. Meet G. Andore and F. Andore who wear blue and yellow outfits respectively. The key is to get them on one side of the ring because of they manage to be on either side of you it can be a nightmare to deal with. These will be the last “new” characters you will encounter in Final Fight.
I thought the cute stray dog along the Bay shores deserved a shoutout. I like to think of him as your own little cheerleader as he sits and yaps away while you have to take on the big, fat charging trio of G.Orbitor, Bill Bull, and Wong Who.
Big Boss Characters
Damnd is first seen in the opening segment of the game and is intimidating, to say the least. He is holding Jessica and laughing away before disappearing to let his thugs do his dirty work. He is the first Big Boss you will encounter in the game at the end of Stage One.
Sodom is the Ringleader of Stage 2. He is decked out in some impressive Samurai gear and carries two giant Katana blades on him. You need to watch out for his running attack but he is not particularly difficult to defeat, especially if you can corner him against the turnbuckles.
Edi E is the main boss in the Westside Slums at the end of Stage 3. He is a big grizzly bear of a man dressed in a police uniform. He sometimes flashes a billy club but his main weapon of choice is his pistol in his left holster. Dodge his bullets and you should be able to get by him with no problem.
Rolento is the stage 4 boss of the Industrial area. You must defeat him at the top of a construction site. As the catwalk makes its way up the construction site Rolento will be tossing grenades at you before he greets you at the very top. He is dressed in military fatigue and has orange grenades attached to his chest. He has a matrix-style jumping kick and will fly across the screen to hit you. Defeat him and he will be set ablaze by his own grenades.
In stage 4 you will take on Abigail, the ringleader boss of the Bay Shores. He has quite a unique look with wrestling face paint and a cow-printed tank top. He has a mean left punch that he loads up and charges at you with. Lookout when he starts to turn red, that’s your warning sign.
The final boss in Final Fight has one of the weirdest entrances in big boss video game history. He enters the scene in a two-seat wheelchair with his kidnapped prey Jessica beside him. In order to knock Belgar out of his wheelchair poor Jessica must take some of the collateral damage. Belgar has a crossbow which he fires in rapid succession. If you can defeat him and his gang helpers you have saved the day and the game is over.