Choosing one of three fighters, Cody, Guy or Mayor Mike Haggar, you make your way through the streets of Metro City battling the forces of the street gang MAD GEAR in order to rescue Cody’s girlfriend Jessica the daughter of the mayor from Belger, the evil leader of the gang.
The game is set sometime during the 1990’s in Metro City, a well known crime capital that has been ruled by violence and death for many years — a fact which the newly-elected mayor and former Street Fighter plans to change. At the center of the problem is a huge gang know as Mad Gear. Mad Gear controls all the major criminal activities in the city. When they learned of Haggar’s plan, they took immediate action to bring this new mayor under their control by kidnapping his daughter Jessica. However, when Haggar learns this, instead of sitting behind his desk and letting Mad Gear get away, he enlists the help of Jessica’s boyfriend, Cody and his friend Guy to go on a rescue mission to track down the big boss of the gang, Belger, and rescue Jessica.
You choose from one of three heroes, each with his own pros and cons. For example: Haggar is the strongest of the three, but he is also the slowest. You must battle several enemies until you reach the stage boss where you must defeat him to get to the next level.
There are three kinds of weapons: the knife better for Cody, the Katana better for Guy and a Pipe better for Haggar. Along the way you can pick up food to restore your health. Each of the three characters, Haggar, Guy and Cody have a special “death blow” move that will do great damage and knock your opponents to the ground. Do this by pushing both action buttons at the same time. This move does some damage to yourself too, but more to them.
The character Andore and all his clones Andore Jr., U.Andore, F.Andore and G.Andore were parodies of the now late WWF Champion, Andre the Giant. It was a suprise that Capcom changed Bison’s name to Balrog in the U.S. version of Street Fighter II – The World Warrior, but left Andore’s name unchanged here. Other characters such as Axl and Slash are parodies as well, being from the band Guns N Roses.
The Japanese version of Final Fight is mostly the same as its U.S. counterpart except that the Japanese version takes place in 1989 instead of 1990 and there is an additional scene in the Japanese intro after Haggar turns on the TV that shows Jessica wearing nothing but underwear! This scene was edited in all the non-Japanese versions of this game.
In one player mode, when the player loses all his lives, he will start at the beginning of the current stage after continuing. In two-player mode, however, if one player loses all his lives, he will continue at the same spot he dies assuming the other player does not lose all his lives as well.
You can skip the last battle inside the subway train. Just jump onto the barrels in front of the control console and wait for the train to grind to a halt.
A special ending is displayed if the game is completed on one credit. The special ending consists of all the programmer’s names with picture icons, after which the screen turns black and says “My name is POM”.