A wind-swept battlefield of the distant past, littered with the debris of war. Above the moans and cries of the defeated can still be heard the clashing sounds of a single titanic confrontation. Two great warlords, leaders of their now smashed armies, are locked in battle, with the world itself as the prize. But this epic battle is not to have a conclusion. Suddenly, the warlords were engulfed in a nimbus of light, and vanished from the face of the earth, banished to the realm of Limbo. The battle-weary heroes whose spell had trapped the warlords heaved a sigh of relief. Armageddon had been averted, for now. The world has seen much progress in the centuries since the warlords were banished, not all for good. Pollution has weakened the environment. Governments have fallen. Chaos rules, with a huge mega-corporations battling and destroying each other for shares of the world's wealth.In this bleak world, a single corporation, Sakai Corp., rises above the others. Rather than joining in direct battles with their competitors, Sakai Corp. has profited from their suffering by selling them the very weapons they use against each other. Sales of weaponry are not the only source of profit for Sakai Corp., however. Their entertainment division produces the top rated television broadcast of the future, the Killer Instinct tournament, which also serves as a testing ground for Sakai Corp.'s weapons. The winners of the tournament are promised whatever they desire. The losers suffer a significantly poorer fate.