The Future Is Now—Company Motto, 1986-2001
SNK, an acronym for Shin Nihon Kikaku (新日本企画, Japanese for "New Japan Project"), is one of the better known video game companies. Besides developing arcade games dating back to 1978, SNK is also responsible for the Neo Geo home console, as well as the short-lived Hyper Neo Geo 64 and portable Neo Geo Pocket. The company's legal and trading name became SNK in 1986. It also possesses a unique story of collapse and rebirth: After things started to look bad in the beginning of 2000, SNK was forced to declare bankruptcy and sold many of its rights to various companies... but eventually, with hard work and effort, its CEO, Eikichi Kawasaki, eventually gathered up many of its former rights and rebuilt SNK, now named SNK Playmore.
SNK is mostly known for its fighting games and was once the biggest rival of Capcom in that field; this rivalry was embodied in the SNK vs. Capcom crossover series. Their fighting game bosses have a reputation for being extremely harder than their rival companies' counterparts, thus making them the Trope Namers for SNK Boss. To casual observers, SNK's 2D fighters were mere imitators of the Street Fighter series, but this is not the case. The combat systems are totally different, with SNK's Art of Fighting series introducing the whole concept of the super special move that would go onto to become a fighting game staple. Also, although both employed luxuriously rich, detailed 2D visuals, SNK's backgrounds were more expressive, and often filled with comic touches. It's also worth pointing out that staff have switched between the Capcom and SNK camps over the years, with original Street Fighter creators Takashi Nishiyama and Hiroshi Matsumoto going onto to work at SNK, notably creating the KOF and Fatal Fury series, while famed illustrator Shinkiro as well as lesser known Senri Kita started at SNK but now work for Capcom. Daisuke Ishiwatari, known best for his work on Guilty Gear and Blaz Blue, was also employed under SNK as part of the team developing The Last Blade. If you look at his work (and sometimes squint), you can see more than a few Shout Outs to SNK's properties.
- Street Smart (1989)
- Fatal Fury series (1991–1999)
- Art of Fighting series (1992–1996)
- Samurai Shodown series (1993–1998, 2003-present)
- The King of Fighters series (1994–present)
- Fuun Series (1995–1996)
- The Last Blade series (1997–1998)
- Buriki One (1999)
- SNK Gals Fighters (2000)
- SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos (2003)
- Neo Geo Battle Coliseum (2005)
- Baseball Stars
- Guerrilla War
- Ikari Warriors
- The King of Fighters: Sky Stage
- King of the Monsters series
- Metal Slug series
- Prehistoric Isle series
- Psycho Soldier
- Sengoku series
- Super Sidekicks series
Tropes present in many SNK games:
- American Kirby Is Hardcore - Compare the American box art and flyers of some earlier releases to their Japanese counterparts. Check out the artwork for Athena and Psycho Soldier, for example.
- Author Appeal - SNK Bosses and Dream Match Games. This company seems to love making them, especially the former.
- Awesome Music - Hear here.
- Doing It for the Art - Their philosophy, their flaw, and their downfall, which eventually led their resurrected form to a near-complete 180. Notably, a couple of their games  saw them spend too much time on the art at the expense on the actual game beneath it.
- Fan Nickname - SNK Delaymore is a Detractor Nickname from fans who believe that it takes SNKP forever to release a new game (the worst example being the amount of time it took for the dev team to redraw their sizable pool of characters for The King of Fighters XII). SNK Crymore is a counter nickname to the above, used by fans irked by the complaints of the first group. It'd be best to leave it at that.
- Fan Service - From full to none and everything in between. Also a pioneer of fighting game manservice.
- They've got the non-sexual fanservice covered just as well, if not even better.
- Follow the Leader - A lot of SNK's pre and early Neo Geo games were clones of what was popular at the time. Compare Final Fight and Burning Fight, Xevious and Alpha Mission, Hang-On and Riding Hero, Twin Hawk (or depending which way you look at it, the 19XX series) and Ghost Pilots... etc.
- Dueling Games - As noted above, SNK was the big-name rival of Capcom back in the 90s. This rivalry was plasmed in the most predictable way possible.
- Never Live It Down - Unfortunately, this often slips into downright denial that SNK ever actually came up with something on their own. This is made even worse by the fact that while SNK and Capcom did crib off of each other time and time again, several fighting game mechanics could be instead attributed to SNK.
- Gratuitous English - Especially in the Samurai Shodown games.
- Hey, It's That Voice! - SNK has its own group of in-house seiyuu (technically speaking ), and as such, you'll probably see the same names pop up in credits. Most of the more regular members such as Satoshi Hashimoto and Harumi Ikoma have been working with SNK since the early 90s (see The Other Darrin below) and a good portion of them voice multiple characters . In addition, several big name seiyuu in the business have been called in to provide voice acting for characters (a more notable case being Norio Wakamoto himself on more than one occasion ), some of them before they truly hit their stride in the industry (examples including Eiji Takemoto and Katsuyuki Konishi respectively as Rock Howard and Maxima).
- Magnum Opus - Garou: Mark of the Wolves is widely considered to be the last great SNK game. Even fans of the genre who otherwise loathe SNK love MotW for its polish and complexity.
- The Last Blade games also get this kind of aplomb. Not quite at Garou's level, but still considered to be the cream of the crop.
- Memetic Mutation - It is possible that the line "You fail it! Your skill is not enough, see you next time, bye-bye!" from Horizontal Scrolling Shooter Shoot'Em Up Blazing Star (the semi-official sequel to Pulstar, a clone of R-Type) was the originator of the meme "FAIL."
- Notable Original Music - Overlaps with Awesome Music to enough of an extent that it has its own page.
- Nintendo Hard - These guys are probably outdone only by Nintendo themselves and Atlus (and if you're willing to stretch the lines, maybe Capcom).
- The Other Darrin - SNK is actually notable for trying very hard to avert this; some of their characters have had the same voice actor for almost two decades now. It's notable because their older characters were from a time when voice acting in video games was generally a novelty, and was delivered by whoever was around.
- Rouge Angles of Satin - The game Mutation Nation has the Big Bad saying "How dare you beat me! Hear is your graveyard."
- Rule of Symbolism - SNK's first notable fighting game, Fatal Fury, introduces the city of Southtown. The bulk of the Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting series take place in Southtown, detailing and developing it, pretty damn believably at that. The final game of the original SNK, The King of Fighters 2000, ends with Southtown being blown up.
- And in 2003, Southtown was shown to have recovered from the Zero Cannon's attack, symbolic of SNK's resurrection as SNK Playmore.
- With the exception of KOF '99, Kyo (with or without the rest of the Japan Team) always had a theme with the word "Esaka" in it during KOF's pre-bankruptcy run. Esaka was a train station in Osaka near the site of SNK headquarters resided, and when SNK went bankrupt, they moved out of the building. Thus, Esaka was interchangeable with SNK to their fans. In 2000, the swan song of the old SNK, Kyo receives a heartful, emotional ballad known as "Goodbye Esaka." They might as well just called it "Goodbye SNK" for all it's worth.
- The Wiki Rule - Yo.
- SNK Boss - Known amongst fighting games fans as "SNK Boss Syndrome". And for a good reason.
- ↑ Samurai Shodown III and Art of Fighting 3 for starters
- ↑ For being an Obvious Beta that lacks bosses but includes Deranged Animation (for starters, TONS of fat human pigs in the Paris background), the audience's reaction varies between Franchise Killer and Ruined FOREVER. Thankfully, XIII, despite its lack of new characters sans Saiki, vets that missed out on XII, and (unexpectedly) Hwa Jai from the original Fatal Fury, restored the reputation of the series.
- ↑ This one was forced to be a cash cow mainly due to the fact that the newly-revived SNK had to finish the contract with Capcom at all costs. No one would've even guessed that the game would (arguably) look far worse and be far more unbalanced than Eolith's KOF installments, 2001 and 2002, however...
- ↑ the various seiyuu are affiliated with their own agencies, but are frequently used in SNK titles
- ↑ with certain seiyuu such as Eiji Yano amd Monster Maezuka qualifying for Man of a Thousand Voices status
- ↑ Igniz in KOF 2001, Rugal in KOF 2002 (although he was darrin'd by Rugal's original VA, Toshimitsu Arai, come its Updated Rerelease, 2002: Unlimited Match), and Golboa in Samurai Shodown Sen