King of the Monsters

From Sega Retro


KotM Title.png
King of the Monsters
System(s): Sega Mega Drive
Sega, Takara (US)
Original system(s): NeoGeo
Publisher(s) of original games: SNK
Developer(s) of original games: SNK
Sound driver: SMPS Z80
Genre: Action

Number of players: 1-2
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
¥6,800 G-4104
Sega Mega Drive
$? T-103026
Sega Mega Drive
€? 1086-50
Sega Mega Drive
£39.99[2] 1086-50
Sega Mega Drive
?F 1086-50
Sega Mega Drive
DM ? 1086-50
Sega Mega Drive
?Ptas 1086-50
Sega Mega Drive
? ?
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
? ?
Sega Mega Drive
₩? GM93024JT

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King of the Monsters (キング・オブ・ザ・モンスターズ) is a fighting game developed by SNK for their Neo Geo MVS arcade and AES home console platforms. It was subsequently ported to rival systems including the Sega Mega Drive in 1993. The game has the player battle with giant monsters across various cities.

Bizarrely it also includes another version of the TradeMark Security System screen built into the game.

The game's sequel King of the Monsters 2 also made it to the Sega Mega Drive in 1994.


The game does not work with six button control pads, forcing the user to use the older three button pad.

A is for punches, B is for kicks, C or double tapping a direction is for running. Holding down A+B charges a projectile attack. Holding A close to the enemy initiates a grappling maneuver, following this with A performs a simple throw, A + Up/ Down or A+B leads to stronger throws and player reveices a P-item. Collecting enough of these increase the strength of the projectile attack.

Pushing A or B while running performs a character specific move, all of them resulting in a knock down. A downed opponent can be further attacked or pinned. Getting a threecount on a downed opponent wins the match. Player controlled characters will always lose after the third pin.

CPU controlled characters are constantly reading inputs and later fights require the player to avoid grappling manouvers whenever possible as there is no reliable way to avoid being thrown by the CPU.

There is no name entry screen after beating the game and the score counter is reset. However, losing a match lets the player enter his initials (this is likely a design oversight). The ending can only be seen when beating the game on the highest difficulty level.

Playable characters

  • Geon (resembling Godzilla)
  • Astro Guy (resembling Ultraman)
  • Rocky (Stone Monster)
  • Beetle Mania (Giant Bettle)

Powered up, recolored versions appear later in single player mode. Each Monster has to be defeated twice to clear the game.


  • Like all Neo Geo to Mega Drive ports, the Mega Drive version of King of the Monsters takes a huge hit in the graphic and sound departments. Two characters were removed for the Mega Drive version: Poison Ghost and Woo. Much bigger ROMs were released in 1993, so reasons for the removal remain unclear.
  • The Japanese version features more options, like an easy difficulty level and the ability to increase continues.
  • Compared to other Takara releases, gameplay remained mainly intact.

Magazine articles

Main article: King of the Monsters/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

EGM US 043.pdf

Print advert in Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #43: "February 1993" (199x-xx-xx)

BeepMD JP 1993-11.pdfBeepMD JP 1993-11.pdf

Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1993-11: "November 1993" (1993-10-08)

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
60 №1993-12, p23[3]
58 №, p85[4]
89 №21, p132/133
53 №139, p74/75[2]
48 №7, p81
40 №1993-11, p42
68 №10, p68/69
10 №10, p61
40 №2, p25
40 №17, p50/51
55 №8, p60-62[5]
80 №33, p64/65
44 №45, p46/47
57 №20, p63
45 №9, p62/63
65 №19, p62/63[6]
67 №12, p28
Sega Mega Drive
Based on
17 reviews

Mega Drive, US
KotM MD US Box.jpg
Kotm md us cart.jpg
Mega Drive, EU
KotM MD EU Box.jpg
KotM MD EU Cart.jpg
Mega Drive, EU (Mega Drive)
KotM MD EU Box Classic.jpg
KotM MD EU Cart.jpg
Mega Drive, JP
KotM MD JP Box.jpg
KingoftheMonsters MD JP CartTop.jpg
KingoftheMonsters MD JP Cart.jpg
Mega Drive, AU

Mega Drive, KR
KingoftheMonsters MD KR cover.jpg
KingoftheMonsters MD KR carttop.jpg
KingoftheMonsters MD KR cartback.jpgKingoftheMonsters MD KR cart.jpg
Mega Drive, Asia
KotM MD AS Box.jpg
KotM MD AS Cart.jpg

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 f390d406
MD5 f3bc95d05f6290a3dceea499b3bba094
SHA-1 b88555b50b12f7d9470e5a9870882ca38100342c
1MB 1993-03 Cartridge (US)
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 7a94fd49
MD5 11e05717321fa42f7c66d20613c1d51d
SHA-1 46dc75f1e4d79fd159fcb4a256881375b63d9a2b
1MB 1993-03 Cartridge (EU)
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 3af7e74e
MD5 69f1b273f695032f0b542421928e8e9a
SHA-1 119557b565e1246ce68c2e6bc18074ae9b69874d
1MB 1993-07 Cartridge (JP)