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“I wirr stain mah hands....with yoo braaad”
“SHAAADDAP! Make me a Sandwich...OKAAAAY!!!”
“Whee Ah say hander the Pole...I didn't mean that kind of pole!”
Rock Howard is the unwanted son of Geese Howard and the maid/slave/sandwich bitch of Terry Bogard. He was abandoned by his father, much like the Street Fighter character Remy. Unlike Remy however, Rock was taken in by Terry "The Drunken Wolf" Bogard. At first Terry was going to kill Rock in revenge for Geese killing his own father, Jeff Bogard, but Terry realized that he didn't want to do anything but eat, drink, sleep, and fight and then decided to make Rock into his personal servant. (Read "Student.")
edit The Howard heir and Orphan
Rock was born to the sister of Kain R. Heinlein, Marie, and after having the child who Geese himself deemed to be a pansy was killed by a Raging Storm. Rock grew up learning to follow in Geese's footsteps and was taught a number of his own personal attacks from Reppuken to Raging Storm, Rock was assured to be the next great SNK Boss Syndrome boss in the Fatal Fury universe had Terry Bogard not come and knocked Geese off of his own corporate building.
After this, Terry screamed out "OKAY!" and threw his trademark hat off the building. Seeing the young Howard nearby, he threw him off the building in an effort to retrieve his hat. It was a life threatening experience for Rock, but something that he would grow to be used to as Terry would be an abusive father-figure to the boy. Rock would have died from the fall, but Superman swooped down and saved him, hurling him through a window and flying off to save someone that mattered...or play fetch with Krypto.
Rock was alone now and as he would do so many more times in the future, he cried. After setting his hat on his head and humming his theme song to himself, Terry discovered the boy. He told him to come with him, and that he would be his protection from now on.
edit The Early Years with Terry
Growing up with Terry wasn't easy for Rock, as he had to work three jobs to support the two. Terry had pulled strings at a nearby Bar, Subway, and Hotel to get Rock jobs that he felt would teach the boy important skills. While he mentioned that the would be important training, he neglected to mention that by training he meant teaching him to pour a drink, make a sandwich, and clean.
For the first few years Rock was completely content with this training, but after a while he started craving the need for battle. So while Terry trained in secret, he would be spied on by the young house-maid. Eventually Rock developed fighting techniques which both helped him defend himself and helped with day to day activities, such as opening Terry's beer before he tells Rock twice.
When Terry left on another spiritual journey (Read: Beer Run) he happened upon Kim Kap Hwan from Korea and battled against him. During this fight, Wolfgang Krauser saw that little fight he had. He was good, but could improve. His technique was sloppy (Probably from being drunk) and had he used his legs he would have been more effective. Krauser left Terry a beaten man and as a result of this, when Terry went home, he left Rock a beaten boy.
Rock enjoyed his "ME Time" and it was during that time which he learned to sew and stitched his own jacket up. While originally he embroidered a giant picture of his face on the back of a purple jacket with the words "Hot Stuff" written above it, he was soon forced to change it as Terry caught him wearing it at the local singles bar, beat him and threatened to put him in a sweat shop if he didn't make it look more like Terry's own traditional jacket.
edit Learning about his father
During one of Terry's drunken benders, Rock was told about his father. The following is Terry's exact words to Rock.
“ Hey okay, risten Rock. Geese was bad man. He kirr mah daddy. Mah daddy wuz gitten some beer fo me an him....and maybe Andy too..Okaaaaay. Geese jump out his big rimo and attack mah daddy cuz he wanted some beer. When mah daddy offered to share, Geese rooked at the cans and raughed and said "Coors rite is for fags, I only drink regular." Then he snap mah daddy's neck and stoe mah beer. You see Rock, he bad man. Not onry did he kirr mah daddy but he stopped me from getting my first taste of beer when I was ritter. I oughta kirr him, oh wait I did....now shut up and make me a crub sandwich. Okaaaaaaay”
Apparently Rock had gotten the notion that Geese was a terrible man, a druglord, and murderer from that story. Which of course was true, but with how Terry told it in his drunken stupor, you'd never know. After that, Rock grew up hating himself and his father hoping that he could one day end the Howard bloodline by killing himself. Had Terry not been completely drunk off his ass while telling that story, there is a chance that Rock wouldn't have become suicidal and might have actually become a better fighter than he was.
Terry would leave Rock behind many times in the future so that he could compete in the King of Fighters tournament. Rock would always tag along in Terry's liquor bag, which could house a growing child and three circus midgets. When Terry won a fight, he would take a chug of his favorite malt liquor and after enough fights he was drunk enough not to notice when Rock ran out to pose in his classic "Stand Ahp" win-pose.
Growing up in such an unstable environment wasn't really easy, and a lot of the time when Terry didn't want Rock around, he would ditch the responsibility on other people. For example, when Terry wanted to drink he would give him to his brother Andy. Sometimes he would put out threats on Rock's life just so he could give the boy to someone else as a body guard, which he did with Mary one day when Rock was younger.
edit The King of Fighters
King of Fighters: Maximum Mayhem was the first time that Rock got out into the world of fighters to compete. Terry allowed him to enter this tournament as a way to keep him from eating all the food while he was gone for a month competing. He went up against fighters like Kushnood Butt, a Brazilian fighter with a smell matching his namesake, Gato, a man who was obsessed with battling, Kevin Rian, a pedophile disguised as a police man, and Hotaru Futaba, a girl looking for her brother with a ferret and a fetish for public orgasms.
He fought both the sons of Kim Kap Hwan and a psychopathic Goth rebelling against conformity named Freeman, B. Jenet, A pirate girl with a desire for the flesh that only young ninja boys could satisfy, A young ninja boy named Hokutomaru, as well as the Ex Mascot for KFC named Tizoc.
While he succeeded against these unknown fighters it was quite unfortunate for the young Howard who his final opponent was to be. It was none other than Terry Bogard himself. At the end of their bout, Terry and Rock took on Grant and Kain, who was Rock's uncle on his mother's side. After that, Terry was so sick of being around Rock that he sent him to live with his uncle but played to be the one being abandoned for the cameras filming the tournament.
edit Maximum Impact
Before the Maximum Mayhem tournament, Rock was aged and entered into the KOF Maximum Impact tourmanent where he and the rest of the characters were dubbed over by a film company interested in making a KOF film. While naturally a speaker of Japanese, Rock was given a slightly deeper voice that had an interest in space travel. Before every fight, he would utter the words, "I'm gonna send you into space." The movie ended prematurely when one of the actors, Alba Meira, assaulted another actor named Duke. Rock was used as an extra in this film, but unfortunately it wasn't given high ratings and ended up being only slightly above Capcom's poorly rated Street Fighter movie.
Due to a few errors in production, Rock's voice-over screamed out Ice Cream punch as opposed to Reppuken, which was not a mistake that was easy to make. This, coupled with low production funds and over-all bad camera shots added into the low ratings that the film garnished at box office.
edit Another Day
During a reprieve before another KOF tournament, specifically being Maximum Impact 2, Rock was still living with Terry. The Lone Wolf would laze around the house, drinking OJ and Whiskey while giving Rock specific orders to wake him up when breakfast, lunch, and or dinner was prepared. Things were normal until Ash Crimson, boyfriend of Remy from Street Fighter caught South Town on fire while looking for Kyo Kusanagi so he could attract him for after tournament sex.
Rock went out during the night of the blaze and saw an explosion at Geese Tower. Billy Kane was there at the time and when Rock arrived he was already fighting against the incredibly large breasted Lian Neville. Lian was there to kill everyone related to Geese Howard for no real reason at all. Some say that it's because Geese raped her when she was younger, others say that it's because Duke hired her to do it. The truth is that Lian's breasts cut off the blood flow to her brains and she attacked the wrong place completely. Her real mission was attacking the Grease Tower a few towns over, where Grease "Live on Broadway" was holding auditions. Duke hired her for these events because of his hatred for a certain prima-donna named John Travolta who had upstaged him when he auditioned years earlier.
edit Maximum Impact 2
After Ash Crimson lit the city of South Town on fire, there was to be another King of Fighters held. This tournament was run by a race of Aliens that somehow ran all the organized crime in South Town after the death of Geese Howard. Once again, Rock entered as Terry's patsy. This, much like the other Maximum Impact was also a movie, yet it had options to select either the fake voices or the real ones. The actor that portrayed Rock in the first film was learned to be none other than Bruce Willis' voice who was still being held in a rehab clinic where he was almost positive that the movie "Armageddon" was about to happen. Needless to say, he was still obsessed with outer space.
In a removed scene in the film, Geese appears before his son. He tells him what a disappointment that he was and how he betrayed the Howard name. Rock disagreed and the two battled while Terry witnessed it all at the top of the Geese Tower. It was said to be the finest scene in the film when used on test groups but the producers preferred to give the story to Alba and his brother Soiree who had just gotten done filming his life story called "Brokeback Mountain". They went on to make stuff up about aliens and gangwars and turned the film into a stand-alone series that didn't coincide with anything else the KOF namesake had in it's continuity. Many people protested this, but their cries fell upon deaf ears and the removed scene was never added to the movie's DVD release.
edit The Crossovers
After his appearances in these tournaments, Rock was blasted into a time vortex and was thrown into a couple fighting tournaments with other members of the SNK universe. In one occasion he was to battle members of the Capcom universe, namely the fighters of it. In all crossover occasions however, he was forced to battle either with or against his father, depending on choice of the governing force controlling the universe.
edit Capcom vs SNK 2
From 2006 with Maximum Impact 2 to a tournament held five years earlier in 2001. During this point in time, two guardian gods who controlled the two separate universes met and threatened to tear each universe apart unless a champion was crowned. The two were shocked to notice that the young Howard was among these said champions, they refused to believe that he actually had the potential to be a champion. At that moment, a passing god mentioned to them that they needed people just as filler space to make this look like a bigger tournament than it really was, and soon they agreed, going as far as pulling even more weaklings into the fights. Joining Rock as a filler-fighter was, Dan Hibiki, Raiden, Balrog, Eagle, and Kyosuke.
Rock battled fight after fight in the tournament, surviving otherwise impossible odds only to be beaten by a Shoryuken to the Jaw, courtesy of Ryu. It's said that this was not during an official round however, and that Rock was only asking where the Cappuchino machine was so that he could get a Latte. The following is the conversation that took place.
“Hey, excuse me...do you know where the Cappuchino machine is? I need my daily caramel latte.”
“I am sorry. I do not understand the context of you speaking. Would you rike some Shorykret Mirk?”
“What kind of Mirk was that again?”
“You want Shoryuken? Okay. SHOOOOOOORYUKEN!!!!!”
After that, it's said that he passed out from pain and that Ken found him hours later. When he asked him what happened, Rock explained it all to him. Ken told Rock not to hold it against Ryu and that he didn't really understand English. Also, that he had a nervous habit of having to perform an attack when he heard the name called out, unfortunately Ken had this as well and when Rock told him that it was a Shoryuken that hurt him, he was hit again with Ken's own flaming Shoryuken. Soon after, the two guardians decided that Rock wasn't suited for a battle for interdimensional stakes and was catapulted back to his own universe, or an offshoot of it at least.
edit Neo Geo Battle Colliseum
When the Capcom vs SNK 2 tournament ended, Rock ended up laying face first on the battle ground of another tournament and when taking attendance for the many fighters entering, he was counted, despite having no idea where he was, as well as having no interest in fighting this time. This was a team-battle tournament and Rock was paired up with his mentor and boss, Terry Bogard. In another possible alternative, he is paired up with his long since dead father, but officially he was with Terry.