The Final Round FAQ
By X-Mang
Version 1.0
First posted on: 10-15-2000
(C) All Rights Reserved.



G O   A L L   T H E   W A Y   T O . . . .
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      [  __][ ][ \ | ] /  \ [ ]
      | |_  | ||  \| || <> || |
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      | |   | || |\  || || || |_[]
      [_]   [_][_| \_][_||_][____]
    ____    ___   _   _  _   _  ____
   [  _ \  / _ \ [ | | ][ \ | ][  _ \
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   | __ / | | | || | | || \ \ || | | |
   | |\ \ | |_| || |_| || |\  || |_| |
   [_| \_] \___/  \___/ [_| \_][____/ TM

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Table of Contents

I.-    Introduction
II.-   Gameplay
III.-  Get to know the ropes (stages)
IV.-   Movement and punch types
V.-    The Fighters (stats and quirks)
VI.-   Strategy
VII.-  Endings
VIII.- Secrets and crazy stuff
IX.-   M.A.M.E. Cheat codes
X.-    Acknowledgements



================
I.- INTRODUCTION
================

Well, this is actually my first FAQ, and I'm willing to do it well, 
especially since it's about one of my all-time arcade favorites. I know most 
people out there recognize the title "The Final Round" as a Playstation golf 
game released by Konami in the late 90's. For those of us who go a lil' way 
back, will remember a killer 2-player boxing arcade game which featured 
sharp graphics for its time, neat speech and sound effects and furious, 
button mashing gameplay. And speaking of...



=============
II.- GAMEPLAY
=============

It's simple as this: You take on the role of one of two up-and-coming boxing 
superstars (depending on whether you pressed start button 1 or 2), fight 
your way against assorted fighters from around the world, and climb the KBA 
(Konami Boxing Association) rankings until reaching the No. 1 contending 
position to earn a title fight with the reigning champ.

Before beginning, you go to the weight room and adjust your fighter's stats 
divided in three different departments: power, speed and stamina (much like 
WWF's Attitude). You also get a chance to earn additional points in training 
sessions, necessary to face tougher, meaner opponents. You train every two 
wins (punch the volleyballs that a device throws at you to increase power, 
hit sliding dummies in 8 directions to increase speed, or jump a spinning 
bar to increase stamina). You only make one particular exercise per session, 
and you can even skip the training sessions completely. (definitely not 
recommended)

A high power level increases the amount of damage you inflict, a high speed 
level makes you faster and more capable of stringing combos and catching 
your foe off guard, and a high stamina level will help you to tire slower 
and recover faster when knocked down.

You fight 3-minute, 3 round matches. Time elapses about three times faster 
than real time, and you can win either by KO, TKO (knock your foe three 
times in a round) or decision (after the final round). Your points are 
measured in prize money, faster wins will earn you more money, especially 
fast KO's. If you win the title (aka beat the game), you'll be awarded a 
healthy $10,000,000. (plus your previous earnings)

If you lose, a timer will tick down, prompting you to insert another coin 
and continue. The game is over when you lose and quit or when you defeat all 
8 CPU opponents. Also, if you continue, all money previously earned will be 
lost.

The buy-in feature allows a second player to join in and challenge you. When 
this happens, he'll allocate his fighter's points before the fight begins. 
The other player cannot edit his attributes at this point. As always, the 
winner stays, the loser pays. Also note, the left port always controls 
Jabbin' Jim, and the right one always controls Gentleman Joe.



====================================
III.- GET TO KNOW THE ROPES (STAGES)
====================================

OK, this is where you'll know the locations you'll be moving around when 
playing the game. There is no particular order and they are fully explained, 
so let's proceed.


THE WEIGHT ROOM: This place is crucial to win the game. You are given a 
total 100 points to allocate as you wish. Use the joystick to adjust the 
slider as you please. The blue portion of the bar represents your speed, the 
red portion your power, and the green portion your stamina. If you set your 
stats at, let's say, 40-30-30, you'll have a well balanced fighter, with a 
slight edge in speed. However, if you get something like 30-60-10, then 
you'll have a guy whose punches rock big time (high in power), but tires 
fast and assimilates punishment less efficiently (low stamina). Different 
combinations can give different results, depending also on your style and 
skill.


THE MATCH-UP SCREEN: You get it after allocating your basic points, after 
winning a match and after a training session. Mug shots of you and your 
opponent fly horizontally across the screen twice and then stop, displaying 
your names below them. Like a Tale of the Tape screen, but without the 
stats. Still, you get to see the rank you'll earn if you win that particular 
fight (at the top of the screen).


THE VICTORY SCREEN: When you win, your fighter will stand in the middle of 
the ring, flanked by a couple of buxom, scantily clad blondes (I think 
they're twins) who'll then reward you with a double kiss. You parade a 
little, and then the stats screen appears, showing your time for that 
particular match (and previous matches), the name of the opponent you 
defeated, and how did you win (KO, JUDGE). This same screen will appear if 
you lose, only this time your opponent will get the girls, and he will even 
taunt you. If you choose to continue, you'll return to the match-up screen 
for the rematch. If you choose not to continue,  your final stats will 
appear.


THE SPEED TRAINING SESSION SCREEN: You are standing on an octagonal platform 
with eight slots in each side, your sparring team and manager watching 
closely. Green padded dummies pop up from the slots, and your job is to hit 
as many as you can. After hitting 20 or so, they speed up, appearing in 
groups of 2 and even 3. Think fast! Hit the dummies by pushing the joystick 
in the direction you want to punch, no buttons are required. The highest 
possible score is to hit all 50 dummies for a speed increase of 20%. Also, 
Konami later used this same 8-way system for the bonus rounds in the game 
Sunset Riders.


THE POWER TRAINING SESSION SCREEN: You are standing on an octagonal platform 
with two devices on each side. These devices will hurl small blue 
volleyballs you need to punch. They come high and low and from both left and 
right, so use the joystick to switch directions and the head punch and body 
punch buttons to hit them, depending on how they come. After hitting 20 or 
so, they speed up, giving you little time of reaction. Again, think fast or 
you'll get hit by them in the gut or face. The highest possible score is to 
hit all 50 balls for a power increase of 20%. (See the Secrets and crazy 
stuff section for a slight variation of this increment)


THE STAMINA TRAINING SESSION SCREEN: You are standing on an octagonal 
platform next to a huge structure that looks like a boiler. A bar sticks out 
from a side, beginning to spin. Use any button to jump over the bar as it 
approaches your feet. After 20 jumps or so it will speed up, but can change 
its pace suddenly. Don't get hit or it will slow down and you'll lose time! 
The highest possible score is to make 50 successful jumps within the 
allotted time for a stamina increase of 20%.


THE RING: This is where the main action takes place. It has white, red and 
blue ropes, the corner pads read KONAMI, and the KBA shield is printed on 
the blue canvas. Among the crowd, a fan holds a big sign that reads: "HI, 
MUM!" At the bottom, the stamina gauges for each fighter (in the form of a 
muscular silouette flexing his biceps), the round number, and the remaining 
time are displayed. As the fighters lose stamina, the silouettes will 
"drain" and drop their arms and head down. The round is over when the timer 
reaches zero.


THE HIGH SCORE TABLE: If you score high, you can get this screen where you 
input your initials. They are shown along with your rank and total fight 
earnings. Also, if you beat the game, a small belt will cover your ranking 
glove icon, next to your score.



=============================
IV.- MOVEMENT AND PUNCH TYPES
=============================

Well, this is boxing, and unless you want to end up seeing the ceiling lamp 
in the arena you better know what moves are at your disposal to use in the 
fray. The game's Contra-style front end has two joysticks and two sets of 
four buttons (player 1-2 start button, a head punch button (HP), a body 
punch button (BP), and a block punch button (BL).



     8-way joystick       P1     P2     8-way joystick
                         start  start
         \ | /               O  O       \ | /

       --  O  --                      --  O  --
                  HP    BL                       HP    BL
         / | \    O  BP O               / | \    O  BP O
                     O                              O



Movement and Regular Punches- You use the joystick for movement in the ring, 
to move the sliding bar up and down when selecting attributes at the 
beginning of the game, and to control your character during some of the 
training sessions held every time you win a couple of fights. Your arsenal 
consists of long jabs (HP) and lunging body blows (BP) (when fighting from a 
distance) or short crosses and short body blows (when fighting in close 
quarters). The block button is self explanatory, tap it to toggle between 
high (cover your face) or low defense (cover your body).


Special Punches- Two of them, and both executed when fighting in close. 
Catch your rival with his guard down and hit 'body punch' to unleash the 
UPPERCUT.
Or quickly connect a two hit combo to the face tapping 'head punch' to link 
into the HOOK (which sends your opponent spinning across the ring 
dramatically).


Signature Punches- Three of them; two executed from a distance, and one in 
close quarters. I have experimented extensively to find an exact way to use 
them, but the only thing I know for sure is that they all require a high 
level in a particular attribute. They could be in fact be performed in an 
entirely random way. I'll keep trying, though.
Also, all of these names are made up by me, according to their mechanics and 
nature.  =)


BLACK-OUT BLAST: A solid hit to the face or body, so damaging it blurs your 
surroundings for a couple of seconds either in white, black or red hues. (in 
close)

STAB JAB: A powerful jab that sends your opponent crashing against the 
ropes. (from a distance, but only horizontally)

DOUBLE HAMMER: Punishing, slow-mo double haymaker that sends your opponent 
backwards. (from a distance)

When you are knocked down, you can mash the joystick and buttons to get up. 
(Except when you are TKO'ed -go down a third time in the same round-.)

(Note: There is no clinching in this game.)



================
V.- THE FIGHTERS
================

Definitely not as big or deep as the Knockout Kings 2000 roster, but rather 
satisfactory for a 1988 game. There is a total of 10 sluggers in The Final 
Round, 2 selectable and the other 8 computer-controlled. Some of them are 
modeled after popular boxers (either real or fictional) and others are 
spin-offs from previous Konami games. So here's the lineup:



**JABBIN' JIM (player 1)**

Ranking: 8th
From: U.S.A.?
Age: Looks like he's in his middle twenties
Height: ?
Weight: ?
W/L/D Record: N/A
Power: Your choice
Speed: Your choice
Stamina: Your choice
Specialty Punches: According to selected attributes

Also known as ROCKY SMITH in the japanese version (Hard Puncher). Has long 
brown hair, green eyes and a nice tan. He wears blue trunks with white trim 
and blue boots. This guy is a clone of Scorpion from Konami's Contra game.



**GENTLEMAN JOE (player 2)**

Ranking: 8th
From: U.S.A.?
Age: Looks like he's in his middle twenties
Height: ?
Weight: ?
W/L/D Record: N/A
Power: Your choice
Speed: Your choice
Stamina: Your choice
Specialty Punches: According to selected attributes

Also known as JOE VULCAN in the japanese version (Hard Puncher). Has 
flat-top cut brown hair, a wide nose, and clear skin (reminds me of Kurt 
Angle in some way). He wears red trunks with white trim and red boots. Just 
like Jabbin' Jim, Joe is a carbon copy of Mad Dog from Konami's Contra game, 
only his hair is brown instead of blond.



**KNOCKOUT NICK**

Ranking: 7th
From: U.S.A.
Age: 21
Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 186 2/4 lbs.
W/L/D Record: 9-11-2, 4 KO
Power: Low
Speed: Medium
Stamina: Low
Specialty Punches: None

Also known as MR. MOHICAN in the japanese version (Hard Puncher). African 
american. He wears white trunks with red trim and white boots. He looks just 
like Mr. T with his mohawk hair and goatee, but is actually the Glass Joe of 
this game. His poor defense allows you to finish him quickly.



**RED FALCO**

Ranking: 6th
From: England
Age: 34
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 176 3/4 lbs.
W/L/D Record: 32-18-8, 17 KO
Power: Low
Speed: Medium
Stamina: Medium
Specialty Punches: Quick jab combo, Uppercut

This veteran has long red hair, a big nose and a mean stare. He wears blue 
trunks with gray trim and blue boots. Even more dangerous if the match 
advances, so try to put him out fast. His name is based on Contra's alien 
arch-nemesis, Red Falcon.



**MAD MONGOL**

Ranking: 5th
From: Mongolia
Age: 28
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 220 lbs.
W/L/D Record: 36-11-4, 24 KO
Power: Medium
Speed: Medium
Stamina: Medium
Specialty Punches: Hook, Stab Jab

Mongolian. Has Knockout Nick's face but with a fat body, think of him as a 
mix between Mr. T and the bad guy from the movie "The Quest" (with Jean 
Claude Van Damme). He wears big purple trunks with white trim and purple 
boots. Attack him low and repeatedly when he stops moving.



**IRON DRAGO**

Ranking: 4th
From: (Formerly) U.S.S.R.
Age: 20
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 184 1/4 lbs.
W/L/D Record: 21-1-0, 21 KO
Power: High
Speed: Medium
Stamina: Medium
Specialty Punches: Black-Out Blast

Needless to say, this hardened russkie is modeled after Ivan Drago, the 
soviet fighter from the movie "Rocky IV". He has blond hair, blue eyes, and 
pink-toned skin. He wears olive green trunks with white trim and olive green 
boots. Always fight him from a distance and pepper him with quick jab 
combos.



**STEEL FIST FRITZ**

Ranking: 3rd
From: Italy
Age: 30
Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 238 2/4 lbs.
W/L/D Record: 49-16-10, 27 KO
Power: Very High
Speed: Very Low
Stamina: Medium
Specialty Punches: Double Hammer

Also known as MARK RENTZ in the japanese version (Hard Puncher). Has short 
blond hair and mustache, blue eyes and a fat body (like Mad Mongol). He 
wears big blue trunks with white trim and blue boots. Incredibly slow at 
first but gains momentum as the match advances. Just get close and uppercut 
him as fast as you can until his fat ass is on the canvas.



**BRONX BRUISER**

Ranking: 2nd
From: Brazil (???)
Age: 24
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 178 lbs.
W/L/D Record: 55-8-4, 43 KO
Power: Medium
Speed: High
Stamina: Medium
Specialty Punches: Uppercut

Also known as AVEGE HIDEV in the japanese version (Hard Puncher). He is 
practically an african american version of Red Falco. He wears red trunks 
with gold trim and red boots. Has the toughest defense in the game so attack 
him only when he is waving his gloves, and absolutely NO close fighting! 
(See the Strategy section for exceptions) He'll uppercut you every single 
darn time.



**HARLEM HIT MAN**

Ranking: 1st
From: ?
Age: ?
Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 187 2/4 lbs.
W/L/D Record: 60-5-0, 60 KO
Power: High
Speed: High
Stamina: Very Low
Specialty Punches: Black-Out Blast, Double Hammer

Also known as MARVIN COBRA in the japanese version (Hard Puncher). Caucasic, 
bald, has "monster" eyes. He wears yellow trunks with white trim and yellow 
boots. A mix between Butterbean (by the way, a very lean one) and the blade 
wielding, Freddy Krueger-like boss from Konami's beat'em up, Crime Fighters. 
A true thorn in your side as he constantly taunts you.



**BLACK STALLION**

Ranking: KBA Champion
From: U.S.A.
Age: 22
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 176 1/4 lbs.
W/L/D Record: 48-0-0, 44 KO
Power: Medium
Speed: High
Stamina: Very High
Specialty Punches: Quick jab combo, quick body blow combo

Young, powerful, undefeated... you got it, the champ is based on the -then- 
undefeated Mike Tyson. African american. Short black hair. He wears black 
trunks with white trim and black boots. Look for an opening and string quick 
combos to his body, but switch to the head ocassionally or he'll pummel you. 
If you're close enough uppercut him, he never counters.



=============
VI.- STRATEGY
=============

Here are some general tips that will surely come in handy to play (and win!) 
the game:


-Distribute your attibute points wisely. Keep in mind that if you give your 
character, let's say, a lot of stamina he will be very durable, but his 
punches will be too weak and slow. I don't recommend to keep a stat at less 
than 25%.

-Know your opponents. Study their bios (above), learn their weaknesses and 
use them to your advantage to take a lead.

-Fight from a distance when facing foes with moves like the Black-Out Blast. 
Wait for an opening and get closer, but don't let your guard down.

-If you knock your opponent down and he gets up, check your remaining 
stamina. If it is too low, you may want to "jog" around the ring avoiding 
his attacks for a minute so he wears down a little bit more. Getting downed 
almost immediately after he gets up will balance the fight, so use this 
advice and you'll have a little edge. This strategy doesn't work in the 
japanese version of the game (Hard Puncher).

-THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! Try to keep a cool head! This means that if your 
ugly opponent hits you bad or taunts you, don't get mad! Running towards him 
blinded by anger will only make you being uppercuted or Black-Out Blasted 2 
or 3 times in a row. Stand back for a while and then re-focus... this could 
be the difference between winning or losing!

-If you are too weak and time is about to expire, "jog" around the ring to 
exhaust the final seconds and go on to the next round (except of course if 
you are in the third and final round) to get a little rest and regain some 
stamina. This is much more effective if you build a high stamina level.

-If you have been knocked down once or none, your opponent has been knocked 
twice, and time is running out, you can take a chance and "berserk" on your 
opponent in hopes of scoring a third knockdown and a TKO. Remember that 
earlier victories get you more money.



================================================
VII.- ENDINGS (Warning: Possible spoilers here!)
================================================

There isn't really a storyline, but when you defeat Black Stallion and 
become the new KBA Champion the game is over and you get to see one of three 
different endings. This is proof that Konami pioneered the use of multiple 
endings in video games, just as in the Castlevania series, Metal Gear Solid, 
Suikoden and Silent Hill, just to mention a few.

When you win the championship fight, you'll see a cool picture of your 
fighter standing in the now media-infested ring, his arms raised up and the 
KBA championship belt firmly wrapped around his waist. After a few seconds, 
the background fades to black, leaving only your fighter on screen. The BG 
now fades into what seems to be a public park filled with people, and your 
fighter's colors fade to shades of grey... now your champion is a statue! 
(damn, not really him, it's actually a statue of your now immortalized 
fighter. *LOL*) It is flanked by two more statues, apparently from former 
champions. Boy, this game has some "Rocky" influence, dontcha think? Here is 
how to get the different endings:


NORMAL ENDING: You get all of above, and then a bunch of tiny green balls 
start floating in front of your fighter's statue, forming the word 
"CHAMPION". The sky is blue. You get this ending if your total fight time 
exceeds 10:00.


GOOD ENDING: You get all of above, then the green balls start floating in 
front of your fighter's statue, forming the word "VICTORY". The sky is now 
red (my favorite). You get this ending if your total fight time is 
8:00-9:59.


BEST ENDING: You get all of above, then the green balls start floating in 
front of your fighter's statue, forming the word "STRONG!". The sky is now 
purple. Also, your statue is now made of gold. You get this ending if your 
total fight time is 7:59 or less.



==============================
VIII.- SECRETS AND CRAZY STUFF
==============================


UNLOCK A SECRET WORLD

In the japanese version of the game (Hard Puncher), begin a normal game. 
Then, at the opening blue screen, tap LEFT, RIGHT, UP, RIGHT, DOWN, RIGHT, 
LEFT, LEFT. If done correctly, a bell will sound. Now your rivals will be 
much harder and even connect specialty punches they didn't originally have. 
Also, you'll be able to string 20-hit combos on some opponents. Beat this 
game mode and you'll be awarded $20,000,000 instead of 10.
(Note: This code appears briefly on screen after beating the game in Regular 
mode.)


UNLOCK A POWERFUL WORLD

In the japanese version of the game (Hard Puncher), begin a normal game. 
Then, at the opening blue screen, tap RIGHT, UP, LEFT, LEFT, DOWN, UP, 
RIGHT, DOWN. If done correctly, a bell will sound. Now knockdowns will occur 
whenever a punch is landed (like sans power in Mortal Kombat). Beat this 
game mode and you'll be awarded $20,000,000 instead of 10.
(Note: This code appears briefly on screen after beating the game in Secret 
World mode.)


ALIEN BALL IN POWER TRAINING SESSION

In the japanese version of the game (Hard Puncher), go to the Power Training 
Session and hit all 50 volleyballs. Then, an alien-like ball with veins and 
teeth will be thrown at your head. If you miss, it will bite your face, but 
if you hit it, you'll receive an additional 10% increment, for a grand total 
of a 30% power increment.


BIRD X-ING

In the japanese version of the game (Hard Puncher), score a KO or TKO 
victory without being hit. When the next fight begins, a flock of birds will 
be standing in the ring and follow the referee as he leaves.


MOAI MASK

In the japanese version of the game (Hard Puncher), sometimes the referee 
will be wearing a mask of Moai, the stone head from Parodius and Cue Brick. 
I haven't confirmed what triggers this particular trick, but I think it 
could have something to do with the timer. -Maybe winning at 2:22, 1:11, or 
something like that.-


ALTERNATE CREDITS ROLL

In the japanese version of the game (Hard Puncher), beat the game in New or 
Powerful World mode. When the credits roll, the names will remain the same 
but the titles will be different. -i.e. "Making of this game" is replaced by 
"Staff of Conjax Pro"- Also, keep an eye out for a cameo by Pentarou the 
penguin from Parodius during either credits roll.


THE MOB NEVER FORGIVES

When you win the game and get the park scene, look carefully in the 
background to spot two hit men armed with UZIs and gunning down a poor guy. 
The girl next to him tries to run. Is this subliminal violence??



=========================
IX.- M.A.M.E. CHEAT CODES
=========================



These codes are for use when playing The Final Round/Hard Puncher with the 
Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator (M.A.M.E.). All these were discovered by 
myself.


fround:1:042096:20:000:Infinite Energy PL1
fround:1:042196:20:000:Infinite Energy PL2
fround:1:04013F:59:000:Infinite Time
fround:1:040138:00:000:1st Round cycles over
fround:1:040140:00:000:Disable 3-Knockdown Rule PL1
fround:1:040241:50:000:Maximum Speed PL2


hpuncher:1:042096:20:000:Infinite Energy PL1
hpuncher:1:042196:20:000:Infinite Energy PL2
hpuncher:1:04013F:59:000:Infinite Time
hpuncher:1:040138:00:000:1st Round cycles over
hpuncher:1:040140:00:000:Disable 3-Knockdown Rule PL1
hpuncher:1:040241:50:000:Maximum Speed PL2



====================
X.- ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
====================


-Thanks to God, for creating everything.

-Thanks to my honey Deyanira, for cheering me into writing this FAQ for    
everybody to read.

-Thanks to Konami, for making such kickass games like this!

-Thanks to everybody in the M.A.M.E. development team for creating the      
emulator, which I used to dig deep into the game and create this FAQ.

-And special thanks to all of you who, just like me, love classic gaming and 
  took the time to read this. =)


This document is protected under copyright laws and shall not be in any way 
copied, altered, or used for any kind of profit. If you post it anywhere 
else, please give credit to Gamefaqs and its original author (aka X-Mang), 
in other words... Know your Role!


Comments? Suggestions? Did I miss anything?
webkroozer@hotmail.com


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1988(R) The Final Round (TM) is a registered trademark of Konami Co., Ltd.
All Rights Reserved.