As seen in: Karnov (NES)
Also in: Fighter's History Dynamite (Neo-Geo)
Distinguishing feature: An impressive mustache, a pot belly, strong arms, and fire breathing.
Strengths: See above.
Weaknesses: Likely suffers indigestion and heartburn; may not be as "strong" as he claims; may sometimes be defeated with only one hit.

Profile by Justin Hoeger? | January 27, 2011

A fire-breather of somewhat mysterious origin -- accounts differ as to whether he's Russian or Asian -- Karnov burst onto the scene in the late '80s when he defeated either a powerful wizard or a three-headed dragon. Some versions of his story tell the tale one way, some another; either way, he certainly accomplished some great deed or another.

There is some dispute as to the strongman's actual physique -- the literature that promoted his adventures presented him as muscular, but footage captured during the sojourns themselves suggests he's less ripped than rotund. Whether fat or fit, Karnov is certainly heavy—when observed falling from a height, onlookers have witnessed him dropping straight down with no capability to control his descent.

The large man's fire-breathing is real enough, though whether that's an innate ability or the result of heavy vodka consumption is a matter of some debate. Karnov has never submitted to questioning, so it is difficult to say for certain.

After his great victory over the dragon (or wizard), Karnov wandered in and out of other heroes' quests. He's tussled with a couple of bad dudes on their way to rescue a particularly kidnap-prone president. He was spotted at a pickup basketball game. At some point he wanted to be, and reportedly was, "the guy." He served as final challenger for two Fighter's History tournaments. He was once seen in his profession of fire-breather (under an assumed name) at a circus visited by a psychotic rabbit and detective dog. There was also an ill-advised entry into a dancing competition—truly something awful to behold, as dancing is an activity for which Karnov's physique is ill-suited.

Sightings of Karnov have been nearly nonexistent in the years since the dissolution of the company that documented his life and travels. His current whereabouts are unknown.

GameSpite Quarterly 3 | Previous: Kage | Next: Kicker