11 min read


Context

Mr. Howard is a master villain who showed up in seemingly every SNK series of beat-em-up video games – Art of Fighting, Fatal Fury and King of Fighters.

He’s been at it since 1992.

This persistence, along with his strength and charisma, have given him something of a mystique among fans. He can reasonably be listed among the great villains of older console gaming.

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Background

  • Real Name: Geese Howard.
  • Known Relatives: Rudolph Von Zanac (father, deceased), Maria Howard (mother, deceased), Wolfgang Krauser (half-brother), Marie Heinlen (wife, deceased), Rock Howard (son), Kain R. Heinlen (brother-in-law).
  • Group Affiliation: Geese’s Criminal Empire (no name was ever officially given for his organization), Boss Team.
  • Base Of Operations: Southtown, USA.
  • Height: 6’ (1.82m). Weight: 180 lbs. (82 Kg.).
  • Eyes: Blue. Hair: Blond.

Powers and Abilities

Geese is a master of aikido, kobojutsu and certain hakkyokuseiken techniques.

He can also channel and use elemental life energies.

These specific styles focus on:

Howard benefits from the towering status of being the big bad boss at the end of the game. Both in the games and the storylines the only real way to beat him is massive force and a ton of Hero pointsDC Heroes RPG concept expressing narrative importance/immunity.

He’s also a major crime boss who runs a criminal empire. But through dirty tricks and subterfuge, he presents himself as a wealthy philanthropist and otherwise pillar of the community. He’s an equivalent of Marvel’s Kingpin (Wilson Fisk).

Geese Howard (Fatal Fury video games)

History

Geese grew up poor. Though is father was a world class martial artist/prize fighter, he abandoned his wife and young son and married into von Stroheim nobility.

Mr. Howard’s origin has been retconnedMaking changes to a character or story after the fact several times.

  • Earlier sources stated that he was American.
  • Later sources state that he was Austrian nobility who became a terrorist.

It’s not like it really matters in the grand scheme of things, so take your pick

Parricide

What is certain is that his mother died due to poor health. Since daddy was never really in the picture, and never helped, Geese hunted him down.

He tried to assassinate his father. But Geese was soundly thrashed by his younger half-brother, Krauser. His father, feeling a bit guilty, stopped Krauser from killing Geese, and merely sent him on his way.

That sad day two monsters were born.

  • Krauser got his first taste for blood.
  • Howard, full of rage and hatred, was sent to America. There, he scraped by doing odd jobs, both legal and illegal.

Eventually, he was able to amass a sizeable amount of wealth and power. Howard became a power player in the South Town underworld.

Geese Howard (Fatal Fury video games) bare-chested

Goes into dangerous South Town

He also studied martial arts under the guidance of Tung Fu Ru. Geese was a star student whose only real competition was Jeff Bogard.

The aged Tung later prepared to retire and pass the dojo on to a successor. Although their skills were basically equal, Jeff was the clear choice.  He was far more altruistic than the power hungry Geese.

As is often the custom in martial arts genres, the new head of the dojo would inherit the sacred scrolls. These detailed the master’s secret, ultimate techniques.

Death duel

In a jealous rage Geese stole the scrolls. After studying them and learning the techniques he challenged Jeff to a death duel for the control of the dojo.

The noble Jeff had nothing to gain since he was already the chosen successor. He declined. But Geese forced his hand. He threatened a crowd of passerbies that included Bogard’s adopted sons Terry and Andy.

Using the secret techniques, Geese killed Jeff in front of his two sons. Both kids would swear vengeance.

At some point Howard also got married and fathered a son, Rock Howard, with his wife Marie Heinlein.

(Their existence was retconned in at much later date, so a lot of the details are unclear. But we can assume that he kept his family out of picture so his enemies couldn’t use them against him.)

Resistible rise

Mr. Howard wasn’t quite the undisputed ruler of South Town just yet. He was a major mover and shaker and well on his way to power. But do gooders kept getting in his way.

Renowned martial artist Takuma Sakazaki was a major thorn in his side. Therefore, Geese directed his right-hand man Mr. Big to black mail him.

Big forced Sakazaki to become street muscle by threatening his family. Takuma took to wearing a tenguMythical Japanese creature with a crow’s face mask to protect his identity and preserve his honor.

This was but one example of Geese as the puppet master. He pulled the strings behind the scenes whilst pretending to be an upstanding citizen.

Art of Fighting

Takuma worked in this capacity against his will for years.

But eventually, he refused to commit any more crimes. In retortion, thugs were sent in to kidnap his daughter Yuri.

Sakazaki’s oldest son, Ryo and his best friend Robert Garcia then went on a rampage. They beat the crap out of all known associates as they tried to free Yuri.

Eventually Ryo fought his way to Mr. Big. He defeated him in combat, forcing the criminal to pull the ace up his sleeve. Ryo thus was forced to fight his masked father.

He won, but Yuri prevented her brother from beating up his opponent too badly – by revealing that he was their dad.

They all had a happy family reunion and Mr. Big was sent packing. Geese’s criminal empire suffered a major setback, and Mr. Big got the boot.

Billy Kane became Geese’s new right-hand man. The Howard crime syndicate got back on track and eventually became the major crime syndicate in (dangerous) South Town.

Geese Howard (Fatal Fury video games) about to grab

Art of Fighting 2

Geese’s constantly evolving criminal empire eventually brought him back into conflict with the Sakazakis.

After a lot of back-alley street fighting, Ryo fought his way to the top of Geese’s tower. There, he challenged and defeated the mob boss.

This had little consequence for Geese and his criminal empire. But it resulted in a tacit agreement that Geese and the Sakazaki family would stay out of each other’s way.

(Geese Howard then returned in a different games series, with a partially retconned origin.)

King of Fighters

To further cement his dominance Geese held the very first King of Fighters Tournament. Once again he stayed behind the scenes. His top man, bo staff fighter Billy Kane, was his champion.

This brought him into conflict with Terry and Andy Bogard – as well as their best friend Joe Higashi.

The story isn’t as fleshed out as it could be. But the common understanding is that Geese had to use dirty tricks to rig the tournament as things went out of control. In return, Higashi and the Bogard brothers invaded Geese Tower, fighting their way to the top floor.

It seems generally established that Andy took out Billy. As to Joe, he beat another henchman – pro wrestler Raiden. This cleared a path for Terry to fight Geese one on one.

After a heated battle, Terry managed to knock Geese out of the window. Terry tried to save him, but Geese let go of his hand. He presumably plummeted to his death.

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A death uncertain

Geese’s supposed death caused major problems with subsequent games’ continuity.

Fatal Fury canon states that he’s dead. But he’s been brought back so many times in apparently non-canon games that it’s hard to keep count.

Later games instead implied that he discovered scrolls of immortality just before his showdown with Terry. These allowed him to survive the fall.

Another retcon was that, when leaving Geese Tower, Terry was confronted by a mysterious young boy demanding to see his father. Enraged, the boy attacked Terry with one of Geese’s signature moves. Terry had to knock him out.

It became clear that the boy Rock was indeed Geese Howard’s long-lost son. But that’s another story for another writeup.

King of Fighters ’96

And this is where the Fatal Fury and King of Fighters storylines split.

In the KoF story, Geese wants to harness the power of the Orochi, a race of ancient Japanese demons. To do this he enters the ’96 tournament. His Boss Team mates are his estranged half brother Krauser and his formerly disgraced henchman Mr. Big.

The team would’ve been an absolute power house given their status as the final bosses of their respective games. But this was not to be. Mr. Big wanted revenge on Geese for kicking him out of his criminal syndicate. He shot him in the back the first chance he got.

But Howard’s right hand man Billy Kane was able to block the bullet with his bo staff. Mr. Big, knowing that he couldn’t take Geese in a fair fight, fled. With their team in disarray, they were forced to forfeit.

Geese sent Billy to later tournaments. That was both to keep tabs on his enemies and perhaps exploit the tournament for his own gain. But Billy’s team didn’t fare well. The rival Lonely Wolves Team proved time and time again that Billy and his hired goons were no match for them.

Geese Howard (Fatal Fury video games) standing with arms crossed

Quotes

“This town is nothing without the presence of yours truly.”

“Oooh, you were as strong as my pain reliever. Oh, my sinuses are killing me.”

“Don’t ever enter my town again without my express written permission !”

“Shut up and get back here, pansy ! That weasel. I’m gonna decorate my study with his hide !”

“You’ve gotten stronger, but you’re still no match for me, Andy. Hang it up !”

Geese Howard (SNK games) in white light

“So this is the level of the Mochizuki’s ? Sad, so very, very sad.”

“There’s only room for one power-mad maniac in this town, melonhead !”

“What ? Over so soon ? I’m not even warmed up. What a joke !”

“Want the power to live again ? Sorry your time had run out !”

“Hmph ! I’ll break anyone who blocks my way to world conquest !”

DC Heroes RPG

Geese Howard

Dex: 08 Str: 05 Bod: 06
Int: 09 Wil: 07 Min: 06
Inf: 07 Aur: 06 Spi: 07
Init: 028 HP: 080

Powers:

Adrenaline Surge: 04, Bomb: 06, Energy Blast: 04, Jumping: 01, Life Sense: 02, Lightning: 06

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Adrenaline Surge only works with Bomb.
  • Bomb has No Range.
  • Energy Blast is Contingent Upon Bomb and is Diminishing.
  • Life Sense has the Discerning bonus.
  • Lightning is indirect (falls from the sky) and is Minor Marginal.

Skills:

Acrobatics: 04, Martial Artist: 11

Advantages:

Attractive, Credentials (Police, high), HQ (expansive), Iron Nerves, Languages (Japanese and perhaps German), Lightning Reflexes, Omni-connection, Scholar (Business administration, Japanese religion and philosophy), Sharp Eye, Schtick (Stance assessment)

Connections:

Billy Kane (High), Raiden (High), Ryuji Yamazaki (Low), Ripper and Hopper (High), Wolfgang Krauser (Low).

Drawbacks:

Enemy (Lonely Wolves and Mr. Big).

Occupation:

CEO of Howard Connection, ruler of South Town.

Motivation:

Power Lust.

Wealth:

012


Previous Statistics

Fatal Fury: Dominated Mind as well as the also noncanon Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition had a slightly enhanced Nightmare Geese of sorts.

Add one to all his stats as well as Running: 04 and bring his HP total to 090.

This is also how he was when he was at his peak from receiving some of the power from the Immortality Scrolls.

Geese Howard (SNK, Fatal Fury, KoF) and his bodyguards

Ripper, Billy Kane, Geese Howard, Hopper.


Bodyguards

Besides Billy and Raiden, Geese also has two notable bodyguards/assassins.

Since they’re named  they’re assumed to be above regular thugs. Plus, their card in SNK versus Capcom implies that they’re good at taking out other thugs.

Ripper and Hopper

Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 04
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 03
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 03
Init: 015 HP: 015

Skills:

Martial artist: 05, Vehicles (Land): 04, Weaponry (Sword): 06

Advantages:

Schtick (Paired swords).

Connections:

Underworld (Low).

Drawbacks:

None demonstrated.

Motivation:

Mercenary.

Occupation:

Mercenary.

Wealth:

005

Equipment:

Katana (x2) [BODY 05, Enhance (EV): 02 (cap is 06), Descriptor: Slashing, piercing].

Writeups.org writer avatar Tom Eilers

By Tom Eilers.

Source of Character: Fatal Fury video games.

Helper(s): Sébastien Andrivet, SNK wiki  .