Brutal: Paws of Fury
Brutal: Paws of Fury is a fighting game containing anthropomorphic characters. It was published by GameTek in 1994. Brutal: Paws of Fury was published for the Sega CD, Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo, PC, Amiga, and Amiga CD32. An enhanced version, Brutal Unleashed: Above the Claw, was made for MS-DOS and the Sega 32X in 1995; in 2002, a fan remake, Brutal Remix, was released.
The storyline in Brutal: Paws of Fury was typical for a fighting game of its time: Under the watchful eyes of the malicious Dali Llama, fighters come to Brutal Island to battle for fame, prize money, and recognition.
Dali Llama: He is evil, a llama, and his martial art is "divine"; that is about all that is known about Dali Llama.
Foxy Roxy: The only female fighter in the series, Foxy Roxy is a master of Penjak Silat. She was also notable in that only her backstory indicated her 'real world' name (Idhra Prashmet). Additionally, her story indicated that she had human parents. She wants to use the prize money from the tournament to help children in her home state of India.
Ivan the Bear: Performing the roles of both the strong guy and little guy, this bear is nothing more than a brawler and a soldier -- a very strong brawler and soldier.
Karate Croc: Although he knows karate and is a crocodile, we know even less about Karate Croc than we know about Dali Llama, and he's the final boss. Unavailable in the SNES version of Brutal: Paws of Fury.
Kendo Coyote: Student of Tai Cheetah, already well-versed in kenjutsu, Kendo Coyote was a playboy until Tai came into his life. While Kendo is still a bon vivant, and less serious about his studies than Tai would like, Tai believes Kendo will be the one to pass on his legacy.
Kung-Fu Bunny: After spending over half his life in a Shaolin temple, Kung-Fu Bunny became a master of his martial art. It is unknown why he is in the tournament; he has no connection to the others. His martial art is relaxed paw kung-fu.
Prince Leon of Kenya: An African lion, Prince Leon entered the tournament to avenge an insult upon him by Kendo and Tai. One of Leon's signature moves, and one of the game's few ranged attacks, involves him playing a guitar; by summoning speakers to him, he assails opponents with a wall of sound.
Psycho Kitty: Psycho Kitty is a cat who fights mostly because he loves to fight. Unique to Brutal Unleashed: Above the Claw.
Rhei Rat: Rhei Rat is the most self-centered of the fighters to be involved in the tournament, being a master of Thai kickboxing who wants a cross-discipline challenge. His sole goal is to live well off of the tournament's prize money.
Tai Cheetah: Although a hermit for most of his life, Tai Cheetah finally struck out to find someone worthy enough to pass his knowledge onto. Instead, he found Kendo Coyote. His martial art is tai chi. Tai also has one of the few ranged moves in the game -- a roar.
The gameplay is generally inspired by Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, but with a twist: Players begin with only 'basic' moves (movement, three attack types, grapple), and characters have to 'learn' new moves during the single player mode. Every two opponents the player defeats, he or she will go to an intermission arena to learn a new technique (the first is a taunt that recovers their character's health, followed by a special move in subsequent revisits). By the time the player has fought all the way to the final boss (Dali Llama in Brutal: Paws of Fury, Karate Croc in Brutal Unleashed: Above the Claw), he or she will have the character's full repertoire of moves.
Gameplay varied between the various versions. In the SNES version, characters did not need to 'learn' special moves to use them in one player mode (though the player is instructed on how to perform them). The Sega CD version featured superior sound and animated cutscenes, as well as an 'outtakes' section featuring deleted characters and early animation tests. The PC version did away with the 'belt' system entirely. The Sega 32X version upped the speed, but also tightened the controls.
Brutal Unleashed: Above the Claw
Brutal Unleashed: Above the Claw (often shortened to Brutal Unleashed) was an expansion of the original Brutal: Paws of Fury for MS-DOS and the Sega 32X. As well as improvements in timing and notable improvements in sound, two new characters (Psycho Kitty and Chung Poe) were added to the roster, four new arenas were introduced (The Point, The Ridge, The Swamp, and The Volcano), and the boss character of the previous game (Dali Llama) was playable by default.
A version of Brutal Unleashed was in production for the Atari Jaguar, but that version was cancelled when the system was discontinued.
In 2002, a version of Brutal for the MUGEN game development system was created. Several features (many taken from Marvel Vs. Capcom) were added, including team battles, special moves, custom counters, enhanced attack graphics, and in general, raising its quality to that of a Dreamcast game.
Although these versions of the characters can no longer be found, copies of the original Brutal: Paws of Fury characters are available from various sites.
((EDIT:)) The characters CAN BE FOUND here: http://brutal.harmlesslion.com/
- Brutal: Paws of Fury at Wikipedia