There's just something about antagonists and evil characters in video games that makes them extremely memorable and, in a paradoxical way likeable despite being despicable people and nightmarish opponents.
Such is the case of Geese Howard the super charismatic villain of the Fatal Fury / King of Fighters series. Geese is considered as the original reason of the SNK boss syndrome thanks to his introduction in the first Fatal Fury as one of the cheapest and unfair bosses ever created.
Continuing to be thorn in the player's side, he single-handedly caused the confusing separate continuities in KOF and Fatal Fury series when he died in one franchise but decided that his time hasn't come yet in the other. Let's hope he doesn't mess with the Tekken's story too.
To be honest, this article is more of Fatal Fury lore than a KOF one since Geese's backstory is much more detailed in the former series. That being said, even if his appearance in KOF games is relatively scarce, his presence can be felt almost all the time as he is constantly plotting and scheming behind the scenes.
The story of Geese begins with an Austrian man named Rudolf. He was a famous Martial Artist who, during his visit to the States, met a woman named Maria Howard. Shortly after making her acquaintance, they got married and had a son, Geese.
But their happy family life didn't last for long. Rudolf met another woman, the heiress of the Von Stroheim family, Elza. Being the opportunist that he was, Rudolf decided to abandon his family and marry Elza so he could be part of the prestigious Von Stroheim family. And from his new wife, he had his second son, Wolfgang Krauser.
Left on their own, Maria and Geese's miserable life began. Even though he was still a child, Geese had to accept dangerous and questionable jobs to survive with his mother. It didn't help that Maria was also very ill and had to be taken care of all the time. Geese did his best to survive in the unforgiving city of South town but despite his efforts, his mother died eventually due to her poor health.
That filled Geese's heart with an unspeakable sadness and anger anger toward his selfish father who abandoned them without a second thought. he blamed him for his mother's death, and decided to avenge her.
Geese trucked Rudolf down all the way to Austria with the intention of assassinating him. But at the last moment, he was easily stopped and beaten by his younger half brother. Adding insult to injury, literary Krauser refused to kill Geese as he considered him to be too insignificant to soil his hands with his blood.
Defeated and humiliated, Geese was chased from the castle. It was at that moment when he realized that power was the most important thing in life and he was going to obtain it in all its forms no matter what.
He became the disciple of the famous Hakkyokuseiken master, Tung Fu Rue. and under his tutelage, he met his soon to become brother in arms and best friend, Jeff Bogard. The time he spent training with Jeff was the best and most peaceful time for Geese.
With him and a third disciple of Tung named Cheng Sinzan, they became what would be known as the Three Brothers of Godly Battle. However, Geese's hunger for power kept getting stronger with each passing day.
He secretly started having connections with the local mafia and establishing his own influence in the underground world. And it was during that time when he met his two future bodyguards and most trustworthy men, Ripper and Hopper.
His master Tung sensed the evil within Geese's heart and judged him unworthy of inheriting the secret techniques of the Hakkyokuseiken school. Obviously, that decision did not please Geese at all. He tried to take the secret scroll by force but was stopped and beaten by Jeff. An action that ended their friendship for good, and added a new name to his list of most hated people.
After quitting the Hakkyokuseiken school, Geese continued his pursuit of power. He wanted to strengthen his status and influence. Thanks to his relations with the mafia, he managed to overthrow Mr. Big, the Kingpin of South town. And in a smart move, he recruited him to work as his right hand believing that keeping his enemies close and under watch was the wisest course of action.
He started to get a lot of fame and with it, he attracted the unwanted attention of authorities. That pushed him to create the Howard connection an enterprise that aims to help the people of South town. But it was just a front of course. Under its well-meaning image hid a complicated network of illegal operations and criminal activities. With that, he became the undisputed emperor of Southtown and built to himself a tower that acted as his HQ.
Full-on villain, Geese began recruiting strong fighters to empower his criminal empire, by all means necessary. them was Takuma Sakazaki, a well-known master of the Kyukogenryu Karate whom Geese forced to be his hitman for years. But Takuma eventually grew tired of Being Geese's lackey and started rebelling.
As a retaliation, Geese ordered Mr. big to kidnap Yuri in order to force's Takuma's hand. But his plan failed when it was actually Takuma's son, Ryo who freed Yuri and his father from Geese's grasp.
At the age of 26, Geese had the idea of organizing a fighting tournament in order to find new worthy recruits for his organization. And so, the first King of Fighters tournament was held in Southtown.
There was also another reason behind the organizing though it was to pay Ryo back for meddling with his plans, so he sent him an invite as well. Ryo made it to the finals and was invited to Geese's tower, where the crime boss challenged him. He lost a fight for the first time since he became the boss of Southtown not only that he was almost killed by Ryo if his men didn't interrupt and secured his escape.
But Geese didn't dwell too much on his defeat as he was more concerned about his next plan. He was finally ready to get his revenge against Jeff Bogard. After learning where Jeff was living, he went to his house at full speed with the company of his bodyguards.
But he challenged his old friend to fair one-on-one combat. Geese believed in himself and was confident that he grew much stronger compared to their last fight. Indeed, the crime boss had no trouble defeating Jeff this time giving him the decisive blow that ended his life.
All that happened in front of Terry, the adoptive son of Jeff. Geese thought nothing of it at the time, but he would surely regret it in the future. His thirst for vengeance was quenched, and he could peacefully resume his wicked life.
One day, Geese crossed the path of Marie Heinlein, a beautiful young woman who used to live in the slums with her brother Kain. Not too long later, he married her. But due to the nature of his line of work, he forced her to live secluded in a secret house.
He knew that if his enemies knew about her, they will try to use her to get him. And he had many enemies. Mary eventually had a son which she named Rock. As time went on, Geese's visits to Mary became more and more scarce. And when she fell ill, Rock tried to contact his father to come to visit her but Geese was too busy and neglected his son's request. Ultimately, she died from her illness, and Geese wasn't there during her last moments.
Ironically, he ended up repeating the same mistakes that his own father made before including gaining the grudge and hatred of his own son, Rock.
During his trip to London, Geese met a young orphan named Billy Kane. He was impressed by the young man's amazing skills in fighting with a Bo staff and decided to recruit him as a bodyguard. Since then, Billy followed Geese like his shadow not only becoming his right-hand man, but also his champion during the KOF tournaments that Geese organized frequently.
And during all these years Billy was the undisputed champion of KOF. 10 years after the death of Jeff 40 years old Geese Howard organized his usual fighting tournament. little did he know, this edition would be completely different from the previous ones.
Terry and Andy, the adoptive sons of his old rival Jeff participated as well with the intention of beating Geese and avenge the death of their adoptive father. Terry succeeded in reaching the finals and beat the undefeated Billy becoming the new champion of KOF.
Geese didn't like this outcome at all and wanted to teach this insolent fighter a lesson. He sent his men to bring Terry to his office, at the top of his tower, and the combat started. Geese wasn't the kind of arrogant fighters who underestimate their opponents, but even with his careful and methodical approach, he couldn't prevent the humiliating defeat.
Terry won with a well-placed kick that sent Geese through the window to his presumed death. In actuality, Geese survived the fall thanks to a mysterious artefact he had possessed the scroll of immortality. However, he was severely wounded and had to hide for a while for his recovery.
While convalescing, he learned that his much-hated half brother, Krauser organized his own version of KOF in attempt to soil Geese's reputation even further by defeating Terry himself. Not only that, but he also hired a fighter who pretended to be Geese and made him participate. After learning that, the real Geese sent Billy to Krauser with a mission. He was tasked to look for the imposter and eliminate him while pretending to work for Krauser as a bodyguard.
Billy did not fail in completing his mission before returning to his real boss. When his health was completely restored, Geese started the search for the remaining scrolls of immortality. He had one as said before, and knew that his former master Tung also had one of the mystical artefacts, which he managed to stole somehow.
For the last one, he had the idea to spread rumours about the scrolls being in Southtown to lure its possessor from their hideout. And his plan worked wonderfully. While everyone was searching for the coveted scroll, he learned that the Jin brothers possessed it, and secretly sent Billy to get it. When Billy came back to Geese with the awaited prize, they were interrupted by Terry who managed to reach the crime boss. The hungry wolf was too shocked when he found that Geese was still alive to notice that he also had the 3rd scroll.
A second fight between the two occurred and Geese lost against the hungry wolf again. but this time, he didn't really care that much, he already obtained what he wanted. The crime lord set the arena where they fought on fire and escaped leaving Terry to deal with raging flames. In possession of all the scrolls, at last, Geese let everyone know that he had them.
That installed fear in the hearts of all his rivals attracted those who he had scores to settle with to him. But unbeknownst to them all, he ordered Billy to dispose of the scrolls so that they won't fall in the hands of his enemies. Geese organized his ultimate tournament, the one that was going to be his last, and challenged all his enemies to participate.
Unsurprisingly, it was Terry who made it to the finals once again and the combat between the two rivals began. Both men fought with all their strength but at the end, the fight finished exactly the same way as their first encounter. As Geese was falling from the tower, he was saved by Terry this time who grabbed his hand.
Proud as he was, Geese refused to accept mercy from anyone, especially from Terry. He tossed the lone wolf's hand aside and chose to die in his own terms. Without the scrolls of immortality in his possession, this time his death was permanent.
In this timeline at least. The King Of Fighters continuity picks up sometime before the events of Real Bout Fatal Fury. Meaning the last tournament where Geese Howard dies never happened.
Oh, and he still has the Jin's scrolls. After learning about Rugal's own version of KOF in 94, he wanted to have his own team in the future competition so he can stay informed about all the details happening during these tourneys and additionally paying back Terry and his teammates for undermining his plans in the past.
He ordered Billy to form a team with the Ninja Eiji Kisaragi and sent assassins to force Iori to join as well. But the latter wasn't intimidated and only accepted to team up with them after they recognized him as their leader.
At the end, he ended up betraying them when he was affected by Orochi's presence. This triggered Geese's curiosity about this mythical being. He decided to enter the next KOF himself. He successfully managed to manipulate Krauser and Mr. Big's interests and convinced them to join him.
During the climax of KOF 96, he saw Iori going Berserk due to the Riot of the Blood curse and kill Vice and Mature. He was fascinated by the Orochi power and wanted to acquire it for himself. Suddenly, the sound of a gunshot woke him up from his power fantasies.
He was again the target of an assassination executed by one of Mr. Big's snipers. but the attempt failed thanks to his faithful bodyguard. The crime boss set his plans in motion for the next tournament. He indirectly hired Blue Mary in order to profit from her detective skills while making sure she didn't know that she was working for him.
At the same time, he charged Billy to recruit Yamazaki and observe him during the matches as he had a feeling that the Yakuza was also related to Orochi. Geese's suspicions were indeed confirmed at the end of KOF 97 but there was nothing he could do to profit from the Orochi power as the demonic being was sealed and he had to deal with Yamazaki who came knocking on his door asking gently for his payment. In 2003, Geese was pretty concerned about Gato's father a man who was involved with his brother in law, Kain.
To obtain more information about the father, he decided to monitor the son's actions suspecting that he may lead him to his father's location. He forced Gato to join his team, with Billy and Yamazaki as members and he used Gato's sister Hotaru to force his hand. However, Gato abandoned the team as soon as the tourney ended taking advantage of the fight that started between Billy and Yamazaki.
A short time before KOF 14, Geese hired a new butler named Hein. With him and Billy, he entered the tournament for the first time since KOF 96. While he enjoyed settling scores with his old enemies, Ryo and Terry Geese's true objective was to confirm a prophesy that he learned from his scrolls.
He already knew about the appearance of Verse, and the resurrection of the previously dead fighters. But most importantly, he believed that these occurrences were just an opening act for bigger and darker future events.
The main fighting discipline that Geese uses is the Aiki Jujutsu a fighting style that utilizes a lot of counter moves and throws.
However, it does have a non-negligible shortcoming, the lack of offensive options. That's why Geese had also mastered other Martial arts like Karate in order to compensate for this flaw, which he incorporated in his move set.
His interest in Karate was probably initiated after fighting the Kyokugenryu users. He even learned how to somewhat mimic their super, the Kyokugenryu Ogi. To his training under Tung Fu Rue, he knows how to channel Ki energy and uses it to create powerful projectiles, the iconic Reppukens.
Geese can even create two projectiles at once, the double Reppukens which allow him to nullify his opponent's projectile and attack them simultaneously.
Much like his nemesis, Terry Bogard, who can summon pillars of energy from the ground Geese has also a similar attack named Raging storm. But unlike Terry's Power geyser, this technique covers a larger area and is quicker to execute.
He also seems to have some control over the element of electricity, as seen with some of his attacks. But his Electrokinesis power is not on the same level as Benimaru's or Shermie's either.
With his long-ranged capabilities and defensive abilities, Geese can be extremely annoying to deal with. In the hands of a skilled player with good reflexes, he can be utterly untouchable. His stance is intentionally open and relaxed as if he taunts the opponent to attack.
It's most certainly because Geese knows that he can counter any attack. Since his first appearance in Fatal Fury, he was the most dreaded character to fight. Saying that he was Overpowered and unfair would be a huge understatement. Thankfully, Geese is much more manageable in KOF as he is presented as a sub-boss, if not a regular character most of the time.
Except in that one spin-off game, Neo Wave where the player has to deal with his younger version as the final boss again. And as you may expect, his fight is from the hair-pulling kind.
But we can all agree that his most stronger version ever is his nightmare form in 2002 UM. In that game Geese has two versions the normal one, which still OP, unfair and banned from competitions and his Nightmare one also very very hard to defeat.
Geese is a villainous character. he learned from a young age that power is everything and so he always chasing it regardless of its form, strength, money, influence, and even immortality. Although he is very strong, Geese is also pretty cunning and knows how to manipulate his friends and enemies to reach his goals.
He can be heinous and hold grudges for years, as seen with Jeff Bogard. But he is not stripped from all morals though. Geese never underestimates his opponents and takes every fight seriously.
He respects strong people and doesn't look down on them. He also respects his underlings and doesn't treat them as disposable trash, especially Billy whom Geese is very sympathetic toward. Maybe because he reminds him of his former self and past life.
It is noteworthy that Geese is responsible for the confusing timeline of the Fatal Fury and the King of Fighters series. When he was introduced to the KOF franchise in 96, the team responsible for his inclusion wasn't aware of his fate in Fatal Fury Real Bout which was also developed at the same time.
In short, he was dead in one series but was just getting started in another. To remedy this issue, they decided to create two continuities for each series. And thus Geese becomes both dead and alive!