Killer Instinct 2 (sometimes stylized as KI2) is a 2D fighting game developed by Rareware and released by Nintendo (in conjunction with Midway) for arcades on November 25, 1996.
The sequel to the 1994 game Killer Instinct, Killer Instinct 2 revamps the original game's roster of fighters (including three new combatants and new character graphics) while reworking most of the fighting game mechanics (including a super meter system, new finishing move systems, revamped normal attacks and special move priorities, and an updated combo system with easier Combo Breakers).
The game's story takes place shortly after the original, with Eyedol's death at the hands of secret agent Orchid accidentally sending the Ultratech building (along with some of the tournament's combatants) two millenia back in time and releasing the powerful demon lord Gargos. Each character has multiple endings, depending on whether they performed finishing moves on certain opponents.
The game was later ported to the Nintendo 64 (as Killer Instinct Gold) in North America (on November 25, 1996) and Europe (on July 4, 1997). Released by Nintendo, this port features fully-rendered 3D backgrounds, new game modes (including advanced Training modes, practice modes, and cutomizable team battles), customizable options, and unlockable content. This version was later included (without Nintendo branding) in the 2015 Rare Replay compilation for the Xbox One.
The original version of the game later received a downloadable port for the Xbox One as part of the late-2013 reboot of the series. Ported by Code Mystics and published by Microsoft, this version includes a new training mode and online multiplayer. It can only be obtained by purchasing the "Season 2 Ultra Edition" (later the "Definitive Edition") of the reboot.
The game engine is a lot like the original Killer Instinct and certain improvements have added some depth to the gameplay. A new power meter was added to store energy for super moves and super linkers. The auto doubles have been included again, but there is now an option for manual combos.
The game includes 10 playable characters and 1 unplayable boss. All of the characters from the previous game return with the exception of Chief Thunder, Cinder, Riptor, and Eyedol.
- Kim Wu - An ancient Asian martial artist and descendant of those who banished Gargos, chosen to save the world from the escaped Gargos.
- Maya - An ancient queen of the land of Amazonia and one of the heroes who originally banished Gargos. Due to Gargos's return, she was exiled by her tribe and must vanquish him to return.
- Tusk - An ancient and legendary barbarian who leaves his gladiatorial life to challenge Gargos.
- Gargos (final boss, only playable through cheat codes) - A demon lord and rival of Eyedol (the final boss of the previous game) who returns to the anicent world as neither his rivals nor those who banished him are no longer a threat.
- B. Orchid - An enigmatic secret agent sent to investigate the tournament, only to defeat the demon lord Eyedol and accidentally cause the time warp.
- Fulgore - The Mk. II model of the Ultratech prototype cyborg known as "Fulgore", created after the Mk. I model was destroyed by Jago. His final commands are to find Jago and kill him.
- Glacius - An ancient relative to the tournament's Glacius, this extraterrestrial scout is sent to Earth to investigate a scouting party long since lost.
- Jago - A Tibetan warrior monk who becomes caught in the time warp after defeating the original Fulgore. It is revealed that he was used by Gargos (who was disguised as the "Tiger Spirit" that aided Jago).
- Sabrewulf - A lycanthrope who, after his defeat in the tournament, was captured and repaired by Ultratech (causing him to be driven even more berserk) prior to being caught in the time warp.
- Spinal - An ancient version of the reanimated skeletal warrior from the tournament, resurrected by Gargos and forced to serve him.
- T.J. Combo - An American boxer who, after defeating Riptor in the tournament, attempts to vandalize Ultratech only to be caught in the time warp.