|“||Too bad. If you're a genius, so am I. And I try harder! So how could I lose?||„|
|~ Robert Garcia|
Robert Garcia is the recurring protagonist of The King of Fighters video game series. A practitioner of Kyokugenryu Karate, he first appeared as the deuteragonist in Art of Fighting and currently appears in The King of Fighters video game series. Thus far, he has been a playable character in every edition of KOF except The King of Fighters XI (though he was added back in for the Playstation 2 version of the game as a hidden bonus character). He is the first known foreign practitioner of Kyokugenryu Karate, earning the title "The Raging Tiger" or "The Mightiest Tiger".
In the first Art of Fighting, Robert sports a black t-shirt with short sleeves, a sleeveless brown jacket and a gold medallion around the neck. He also wears white pants, white and black shoes and black gloves. He has the same outfit in the following Art of Fighting but without sleeves in his t-shirt. This costume is also featured in the first two The King of Fighters as well as The King of Fighters XII. In the third Art of Fighting game, Robert has a light blue jacket with his top uncovered and does not wear his medallion. He also sports white gloves and brown shoes, but keeps having his white pants.
Robert is the son of Alberto Garcia, a wealthy Italian businessman and best friend of Takuma Sakazaki, the master of Kyokugenryu Karate. When he was younger, Robert was fascinated with the fighting style as he saw it as a way to escape from his father's shadow in the stifling high class society. Against his father's wishes, Robert trained under Takuma Sakazaki and often sparred with Ryo. As time passed, Ryo became his best friend.
Robert eventually developed romantic feelings for his friend's sister, Yuri. He has held an infatuation with Yuri ever since he first met her, and would likely wed her if not for Takuma and Ryo, who either overprotect Yuri out of habit or suspect that Robert might take her for granted.
Art of Fighting
In 1978 (by the Art of Fighting timeline), Geese Howard secretly blackmailed Takuma into working for him, which eventually lead to Yuri's kidnapping. Meanwhile, Ryo and Robert began searching Southtown's dojos, dives, and nightclubs for clues about Yuri's disappearance. In the process, they fought Southtown's toughest criminals, bouncers, and martial artists. They eventually learned that Mr. Big allegedly masterminded the kidnapping. Thanks to King, they were able to find Yuri and save her from Mr. Big. In gratitude, he and Ryo later fund for Jan's operation.
After the conclusion of the first King of Fighters tournament, Robert visited Mexico to help Freia Lawrence, a childhood friend, save her friend Wyler. He acts as her bodyguard during their journey through Glasshill. Once he sees his friends reconcile, he follows his father's wishes to head back home and help run the family company. Before he boards the plane out of the city, Yuri surprises him by having her own ticket. They return to Italy together.
Robert's whereabouts after the series conclusion remains unclear. Ryo's backstory from Buriki One and the King of Fighters series seems to imply that Robert eventually takes over his father's company. Despite popular belief, he is still single years after Art of Fighting's conclusion.
The King of Fighters
As one of the successful examples of the Kyokugen style, Robert often partners himself with Takuma and Ryo. Like Ryo, he is often ordered around by their master to proudly represent the Kyokugen dojo. He is overjoyed when Yuri also joins their team and often tries to voice his opinion in her favor. When he learns that King was to be her replacement in The King of Fighters 2000, he is indignant about not having prior knowledge of Yuri's absence and thinks that this is a underhanded scheme for Ryo to get closer to King. He challenges her to prove her worth to the team and they engage in a fearsome kicking contest. Since their match ends in a stalemate, he agrees to let her in the team. The following year Robert and his family are faced with grievous financial problems so his friends and master agree to help him out by winning the tournament.
By the time of The King of Fighters 2003, he is somehow joyfully wealthy again and is confident enough to enter without the demands of his master. The reason for his absence in The King of Fighters XI was due to a simultaneous disaster in his father's company that needed to be solved with Robert's presence. He has enough free time from his family business to participate in the KOF XIII tournament. In the ending, Robert shows a wedding ring to Takuma that Robert want to propose marrage to Yuri, but Takuma disagrees. Both of them end up hitting each other without Ryo, Yuri or King noticing them.
Robert is the stereotype of the rich partying playboy. He doesn't take life so seriously and always has a smile on his face. He often acts as the reluctant mediator for the Sakazaki siblings though he often sides with Yuri if he can. He is considered to be a natural genius by friend and foe alike.
Robert benefits from his father's wealth. He always wears fancy clothes and drives expensive cars. Despite Ryo and Takuma's constant scrutiny, he sometimes gives luxurious gifts to Yuri. Robert also has an air of cockiness due to his constant wealth, which is seen by his friend Ryo as a sign of rudeness since Ryo's family lives in borderline poverty due to having their finances run the Kyokugenryu dojo.
However, this doesn't mean Robert is a bad person; far from it. He sticks by the Sakazakis' side when they really need it, and is overall a good friend judging from his relationship with the Sakazakis (especially with Ryo, who tends to be his foil). He's also not one to throw down a challenge either, and he works hard for his own karate prowess.
In KOF XIII, Robert is mentioned in Yuri's intro against Benimaru, hinting that despite his nature being similar to Benimaru's, Robert can often show genuine worry over Yuri and can show a bit of jealousy to others who try to get with her. And despite his clashes shown with Takuma in XIII over Robert's proposal to Yuri, even he due to being one of Takuma's students, acts as silly as the Sakazakis at times, as evidenced in the Kyokugen team's ending in XI along with Yuri and Takuma himself.
- One of his win poses is him tossing and catching a coin. The coin is a gift from his father before he left the Garcia mansion, serving as a reminder of his roots and to one day return. It wasn't brought to focus again until Art of Fighting 3. The coin was included as a very rare extra along with stickers in the limited edition Neo Geo CD release of the game.
- His older appearance in Neo Geo Battle Coliseum is not intended to be tied with any continuity. It was made to match the older Mr. Karate II and is considered to be an original form of Robert.
- One of his cards from the SNK vs. Capcom card games involves him using the Hyouchuu Wari (Ice Pillar Splitter), a popular command normal that's been used by Ryo. It is likely this is a nod to the ice breaking bonus stage of Art of Fighting.
Fatal Fury/Garou Densetsu
Art of Fighting