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Wait, did you say Taito? wtf is this game, dude
For a history lesson on the development and legacy of Kaiser Knuckle/DKG, check out this superb article courtesy of Gaming Hell
So what kind of game is Dan-Ku-Ga?
The easiest comparison is to other SF2-inspired games of the time like Karnov's Revenge and Fatal Fury Special, though it has a plethora of unique mechanics that make such a comparison shallow. Air mobility and air buttons are generally better than in those titles, while anti-airs and ground buttons in general are still strong enough to maintain a solid ground game. You also can't air block, emphasizing air-to-airs and preventing certain clownfiestas you'd see in games like Double Dragon and Kizuna Encounter. Wall breaks make most stages functionally massive, often giving the player another chance before they're truly cornered. The strong throw protection, lack of grounded overheads and no chip on normals means you'll need clever jumpins (complicated by the rejump and universal divekick mechanics) and footsies to open opponents up. However, each character still has their own gimmicks and grime to keep things interesting. Some more than others. See the mechanics page for more details.
Any VODs to look at?
Here's a playlist of our community tournaments. Japanese footage of Dan-Ku-Ga specifically is very limited, though there are myriad videos of Kaiser Knuckle from Mikado Arcade you can look at if you like. Many are The General Challenge, which we recommend watching anyway if you haven't, they're hilarious.
カイザーナックル is the Japanese name to search for Kaiser Knuckle, 断仇牙 for Dan-Ku-Ga.
Does unreleased mean unfinished? Any major issues from playing what's basically a beta?
Technically the game is unfinished, but the leaked version we play was used for location testing and thus is entirely playable, just not 100% polished for release. Gonzales and Azteca are missing their select screen portraits and the game only functions properly in Japan mode despite its predecessor being fully localized and released worldwide. There would likely have been further balance changes in a full release, but what we have is what we have. So far we haven't run into any significant bugs* let alone softlocks or freezes which is more than can be said for many higher-profile games that saw full release (much love to Samurai Shodown 3).
*guard cancelling may or may not be a bug, but if it is it's a cool one
So this game has an actual training mode in the arcade, an idea that wouldn't resurface until over 10 years later, the last option on the main menu after hitting Start. The first "round" gives you until timeout to whale on a motionless grey dummy whose only action is to block for one frame on wakeup, and in the second it'll move around and act as an infinite health CPU whose difficulty can be adjusted on the fly with the Start button (in the first round, Start resets to neutral positions). This is a massively forward thinking inclusion and is quite nice to have, but to test anything that requires P2 input (blocking, jumping, etc) as well as damage you'll still need to launch vs mode with savestates.
In both scenarios, mountainmanjed's training script is indispensable, affording infinite time, full hitboxes and hurtboxes, and meters displaying stun, throw protection, and distance. It also allows you to flood the background for screenshot purposes, though this only works properly in mame-rr.
How to play online?
Fightcade 2. Make sure to play on a wired connection!
The default button mappings include T mapped to Tilt, which is a button this game has, for some reason. Make sure to clear the mapping when setting your controls.
The game doesn't work on FC2 (unplayable stutter, low FPS, black screen, etc.)
First, make sure runahead is off, it seems to be completely incompatible. If it's still not working with runahead off, then ask around in the discord. Some computers just refuse to run the game properly online, and we're looking into solutions.
Can you play as The General?
No, sadly. Even when played via cheats you can't use any of his special moves, not that you even need them anyway.
What's up with the doctor?
He runs up and gives a diagnosis, displayed under the points tally and emphasized with either a winning smile and thumbs-up or dejected shrug, presumably depending on your chances of survival. This doesn't do anything. Here's the english translations of them.