- List of characters in The King of Fighters series
The King of Fighters" series, produced by SNK Playmore, contains many characters, some of which are taken from other SNK games. The story takes place in a fictional universein which an annual series of 3-on-3 or 4-on-4 fighting tournaments are held.
The first game in the series introduces the initial main character of the series,
Kyo Kusanagi, a young Japanese fighter who is the heir to a powerful group of martial artists who have pyrokinetic abilities. Kyo fights against the Kusanagi's enemies, his rival Iori Yagami, and the demon Orochi and his human followers, among others. The first four games in the series revolve about these fights, while " The King of Fighters '99" introduces a new story arc, revolving around K', a clone of Kyo who wants to destroy the mysterious Nests organization. In " The King of Fighters 2003", a new character named Ash Crimson enters the tournament to steal the powers of the clans who sealed Orochi in the past. A new group of antagonists also appear in the series, known as Those From the Past, who want to obtain Orochi's power.
The main idea from the plot and the characters came from the "
Yamata no Orochi" legend, while there are also several characters in the games that make are parodies or homages to several popular anime, mangaand films. Merchandise based on the characters have also been released including action figure and key-chains. The characters have garnered praise from several video game publications for the quality of their designs and movesets. Comments focused on the lack of improvements in some the characters but added that the rooster is greatly diversed.
Cast creation and influences
The developers of the series claim that their prototype version for KOF was going to be a side-scrolling
beat 'em uptitled, "Survivor". In this version, it would only use core characters from the " Art of Fighting" and " Fatal Fury" series, specifically allowing players to play Robert Garciaand Terry Bogardfor location testing. However, the idea was quickly abandoned after the debut of Capcom's game with similar gameplay, " Final Fight". Since they were attached to the idea of the two series cross-over, they eventually agreed to make their idea into a fighting game. Characters from " Ikari Warriors" and " Psycho Soldier" games were also added in spirit of other gaming genres considered for their final product. The concept of a three-man team was one of the ideas kept from the side-scrolling version.] though developers decided to change his gender to startle and appeal to fans with his androgynous appearance.Cite book | year=2007 | editor=Arcadia Extra | title=enterbrain mook ARCADIA EXTRA ~ The King of Fighters XI Conqueror's Guide; volume 28 | pages=234 | language=Japanese | publisher=enterbrain ] Shion is an enigmatic character who's past in unknown. He works as an underling for the demon Magaki and seems knowledgeable about the workings of Orochi. After being defeated at the ruins of the tournament finals, he is dragged through an extradimensional gate and seemingly killed. However, after Magaki is defeated at the end of the tournament, Shion's spear is hurled through a gate Magaki created and goes through his chest, killing him instantly. He is voiced by Jidai Ogawa.cite web|url=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0765823/fullcredits#cast|title=Full cast and crew for The King of Fighters XI |publisher= Internet Movie Database|accessdate=2008-09-08]
nihongo|Magaki|禍忌 is the new boss of KOF XI. Nothing is known about the fighter Magaki, save that he hosts "The King of Fighters" tournament. Like his partner, Mukai, Magaki wants to awake Orochi and give Orochi's powers to his own master. He also shows even less respect for humans in general, believing them to have little-to-no potential, and being weak overall. He also seems to have very little tolerance for not getting what he wants from others. Like Mukai before him, after he was defeated he stood up, apparently unscathed, and after commenting that perhaps it was more than spirit that was needed to awaken Orochi, made his exit into another realm. However as he finally realizes the error in his plan, he is killed by Shion's spear, hurled from the dimensional rift he was escaping from. He is voiced by Spicy Yagi.
The Benimaru Team is created by nihongo|Benimaru Nikaido|二階堂 紅丸|Nikaidō Benimaru after two years of leaving the Japan Team. Benimaru has the ability to create electricity and causes him to leave his straight hair during fights stays up. nihongo|Goro Daimon|大門 五郞|Daimon Gorō, a former gold medalist of Judo and a mentor to his own
dojo. After the climax of "The King of Fighters '97", Goro retires from being a fighter and returns to the Judo circuit representing Japan. He returns as a fighter in his later appearances due to either Kyo or Benimaru's requests. During Hero Team ending, Narrative Goro Daimon [.] Quitting the fighter's league, Goro made his Judo comeback. As the leader for Japan's team, he received world renown! cite video game|title=The King of Fighters '97 |developer=SNK Playmore |publisher=SNK Playmore |date=1997-07-28 |platform=Neo Geo ] nihongo|Shingo Yabuki|矢吹 真吾|Yabuki Shingo first appeared in the series as an edit entry but in 99 he joins Benimaru. He dreams of being able to wield flames like his mentor Kyo, which is stressed to the point of comic reliefthroughout the series.
Fatal Fury Team
The Fatal Fury Team is composed by characters from the video game with the same name. The is initially composed by
Terry Bogard: an American fighter who sought to defeat an evil crime lord named Geese Howardin order to avenge the death of his father. Andy Bogard: the younger brother of Terry who uses Shiranui Ninjutsuto fight, and Joe Higashi: a Muay Thaifighter and friend to both Terry and Andy. During the 1999, 2000 and 2001 tournaments, Mai Shiranui, a Shiranui kunoichi, and Blue Mary, a female agent, also enter the team due to the need of having an fourth member during the time. In the 2003 tournament, Andy leaves them to take care of a Shiranui disciple named Hokutomaru, who fell sick and Tizoc, a famous Mexicanpro wrestler enters the team to replace him. In The King of Fighters XI, Tizoc and Joe leave the team for their own reasons, enabling Duck King and Kim Kaphwanto replace them in order to help Terry out.
The Garou Team appears only in "KOF XI" and shows characters that appear in the video game "". The team is composed by Tizoc, a famous pro wrestler, Gato, a powerful martial artist and a female pirate named B. Jenet. Though the members become good friends, Gato decides to leave them after the end of the tournament.
Art of Fighting Team
The Art of Fighting Team is formed of characters from the video game with the same name and most of its member are practitioners of the Kyokugen Karate style. The is initially composed by the teacher
Takuma Sakazakihis son Ryo, the heir of the dojo and his student Robert Garcia. Takuma's daughter, Yuri only appears in some tournaments since she wants train in the Women Fighters Team, which is exclusively composed of women and sometimes ends asking King to replace her in the team. Takuma, however, like this idea and decided to also ask King keep in the team, wanting her to force the consummation of Ryo and King's still tentative relationship.
Women Fighters Team
The Women Fighters Team, initially known as England Team, is a team composed exclusively by women. The team is originally composed by the ninja
Mai Shiranui, the Muay Thaifighter King and a teenager named Yuri Sakazaki. In the games there are several changes in the member of the team, as Yuri is replaced by the heir of the ancient Yata clan Chizuru Kagura and Kasumi Todoh. In later games, new characters appears due to the new rule of using four members; Li Xiangfei, nihongo|Hinako Shijou|四条 雛子|Shijō Hinako and Blue Maryin 2003. In XI, the team is dissolved since the members go to other teams or they have other things to do.
Psycho Soldier Team
The Psycho Soldier Team is a team that specializes in using
psychicpowers -dubbed by SNK as "Psycho Powers". The powers and some members of the team originally belong to a SNK video game " Psycho Soldier".cite web |title=Sie Kensou Official Bio |url=http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/english/character/index.php?num=kensou |publisher=King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website| accessdate=2008-03-24] The team is composed by Chin Gentsai (鎮元斎), an elderly mentor of Psycho Power but leaves the competition in 2003 to observe the matter thoroughly, asking K'and Maxima to investigate the tournament in his place for activity.cite web|title=K' Team Official Story in KOF 2003 |url=http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/english/history/kof2003_story/index.php?num=kdush |publisher=King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website | accessdate=2008-03-24] The others members of the team are his students Athena Asamiya, a famous singer,a teenager named nihongo|Sie Kensou|椎 拳崇|Shii Kensū and a little boy named Bao ( _zh. 包; Pinyin: "Bāo"; Japanese: 包 "Pao"). As Bao trains with them, Kensou gradually loses his powers until they become obsolete.cite web|title=Psycho Soldier Team Official Story in KOF '99 |url=http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/english/history/kof99_story/index.php?num=psycho |publisher=King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website| accessdate=2008-03-24] Ron and Misty seem to take an interest in it, revealing a probable importance of the Dragon Spirit. A young girl who trained by Kensou and Athena, nihongo|Momoko|桃子, also debuts in the team in " The King of Fighters XI" She was added into the cast to fit the image of the younger Psycho Soldier team, though developers have expressed discomfort with adding a character as young as her amongst a large group of adults.
The Ikari Team is a group of militaries that enter in each tournament from the series in order to find famous criminals and capture them. Some of his members and clothes originate from the SNK video game "
Ikari Warriors". nihongo|Heidern|ハイデルン|Haiderun, established his team in order find the criminal Rugal to get his revenge for killing his family. The other two recurring member of the team are the soldiers Clark Stilland Ralf Jones. nihongo|Leona Heidern|レオナ・ハイデルン|Reona Haiderun, the adopted daughter of Heidern is introduced in "The King of Fighters '96" to replace him and tends to be very quiet. Leona was conceived to be an Orochi descendant by the time of her debut and her designers took special care to let their interests at the time reflect in her actions.cite web| url=http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/english/character/index.php?num=leona| title=Leona Heidern Official Profile | work=King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website | accessmonthday= January 15 | accessyear=2008] While she is experiencing the Riot of The Blood in KOF97 her hair turns pink and her eyes are white. nihongo|Whip|ウィップ|Wippu appears in "The King of Fighters '99" as the new member to the Ikari team. She is a clone of K''s sister During Hero Team ending, Whip: An innocent from a petrie dish, ignorant of existence's joys. cite video game|title=The King of Fighters 2001 |developer=BrezzaSoft |publisher=Eolith & Sun Amusement |date=2001-11-15 |platform=Neo Geo ] and once worked for NESTS as an assassin. She is eventually assigned to Heidern's mercenary unit for the King of Fighters tournament to investigate NESTS.cite web |title=Ikari Team Official Story in KOF '99 |url=http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/english/history/kof99_story/index.php?num=ikari |work=King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website | accessmonthday= February 27 | accessyear=2008] Once she realizes who he is, she reveals their relation to K joins him in his objective to destroy the NESTS cartel. One of her moves depicts her shooting her opponents with a Desert Eagle-like handgun. The firearm is edited from the American release of the games in arcades, but is uncensored in the home release versions.Cite book | year=2000 | editor=Studio BentStuff | title=A.A. Game History Series Vol. 2 All About SNK Head-To-Head Fighting Game 1991-2000 | pages=288 | language=Japanese | publisher=Studio BentStuff | id=ISBN 4-88554-677-X]
The Korea team is composed by
Tae Kwon Dousers. The group is leaded by Kim Kaphwan, a national hero from his country who forced two criminals to enter his team as pretending to be a "Rehabilitation project". The criminals are Chang Koehan (Korean: _ko. 장거한, Japanese: _ja. チャン・コーハン "Chan Kōhan"), a giant man who uses an iron ball and Choi Bounge (Korean: _ko. 최번개, Japanese: _ja. チョイ・ボンゲ "Choi Bonge"), a little person who uses claws to fight based on the famous fictional character Freddy Krueger.cite web|title=Choi Bounge's KOF 10th anniversary profile |url=http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/english/character/index.php?num=choi |work=King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website | accessmonthday= March 2 | accessyear=2008] During this time, they befriend themselves and scheme for ways of escape but they eventually mellow out and enjoy their companions' company.cite web |title=Korea Team Official Story in KOF '94 |url=http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/english/history/kof94_story/index.php?num=kim |work=King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website| accessmonthday= February 26 | accessyear=2008] In the 99 tournament, a new member called Jhun Hoon (Korean: _ko. 전훈, Japanese: _ja. ジョン・フーン "Jon Fūn") enters the team. He has known Kim since childhood since they trained at the same dojo. After seeing Kim's ethics and methods of training, Jhun Hoon decided that he would show him a more "efficient" way of management.cite web |author=SNK Playmore |title=Korean Team Official Story in KOF '99 |url=http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/english/history/kof99_story/index.php?num=korea |work=King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website | accessmonthday= February 19 | accessyear=2008] In 2001, he breaks his arm chasing an image of his idol Athena Asamiya and is replaced by a young girl called May Lee who admires them.cite web|title=Korean Team Story for KOF 2001 |url=http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/english/history/kof2001_story/index.php?num=korea |work=King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website | accessmonthday= February 19 | accessyear=2008] May Lee's character design stems from sponsor Eolith's desire for a "Korean Athena" that was an "idol-like visual fighter."cite web |url=http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/english/character/index.php?num=maylee |title=May Lee's "KOF" 10th anniversary profile |publisher=SNK Playmore |accessdate=2007-02-14] In The King of Fighters XI, the team takes a break due to Kim entering the tournament as a member of the Fatal Fury Team.
The Boss Team is a group that only appears in the King of Fighters 96. The team is composed by
Wolfgang Krauser, Mr. Big and the leader Geese Howard, who uses them as pawns in the tournament to get the power from the Orochi being, while the others only want to prove their strength. Although they fail, in the 97 and 2003 tournaments Geese sponsors a new team for the same purpose. The team is made of Billy Kane, Blue Maryand Ryuji Yamazaki, though Blue Mary is replaced by Gato in 2003.
nihongo|Chizuru Kagura|神楽 ちづる|Kagura Chizuru is a member of the Yata clan that holds one of the three sacred artifacts that originally sealed the serpent monster Orochi 1,800 years ago. As the heiress of the Yata, she is raised as a priestess and maintains the duty of keeping the diligent seal on Orochi intact. One night, a Orochi servant, Goenitz visited their home to and destroys the seal after killing Chizuru's sister, Maki. Ten years afterwards, Chizuru is a very successful and prestigious business woman. She secretly hosts the tournament in 1996 in hopes of entreating Kyo and Iori to help her replace the broken seal. The three of them succeed in their task at the climax of "The King of Fighters '97".cite video game|quote=Kyo: Finish it Kagura! Can you do it? /Chizuru: As a mirror keeper... I must do it! /Orochi: Fools! A waste of time! If I release my remaining power.../Iori: Waahh!/Chizuru: His power... too strong! Kusanagi! Quickly... /Kyo: Heeaahhh! Woooohh!|title=The King of Fighters '97 |developer=SNK |publisher=SNK |date=1997-07-28 |platform=Neo Geo ] She hosts another King of Fighters tournament in 2003 with intentions similar to her previous attempt. During the tournament, she is under mind-control by a member from Those From the Past. She creates an illusion of her sister Maki as one of the game's sub-bosses and also creates a clone from Kyo named Kusanagi to test the strength for the tournament's contestants.Chizuru: This is one of the mirror's powers. Kusanagi, who I pitted against you previously... is also one whose power comes from the mirror... cite video game|title=The King of Fighters 2003 |developer=SNK Neogeo |publisher=SNK Playmore |date=2003-12-12 |platform=Neo Geo ] Eventually, she breaks free from control and tries to restore the seal of Orochi, but Ash steals her powers.cite video game|quote=Ash: Where... is... it... now?/Chizuru: Ah.. ah.../Ash: Oh, oh, oh, here we are. With this my objective has come to fruition.|title=The King of Fighters 2003 |developer=SNK Playmore |publisher=SNK Playmore |date=2003-12-12 |platform=Playstation 2 ] She survives the attack but can no longer participate in fights, asking Kyo's disciple Shingo Yabuki to fill her spot in "The King of Fighters XI".cite web|title=Kyo & Iori Team Official Story in KOF XI |url=http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/history/kofxi_story/index.php?num=kyo_iori |work= King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website | accessmonthday= March 3 | accessyear=2008| language=Japanese] She is initially voiced by Akiko Saitou, but in 2003 she is replaced by Yukiko Sugawa.
Duo Lon ( _zh. 堕瓏;
Pinyin: "Duòlóng"; Japanese: デュオロン "Dyuoron") makes his first appearance in "The King of Fighters 2003" as a member of the year's Hero Team. His overall look was based on anime title character, " Vampire Hunter D".cite web|title=Duo Lon's KOF 10th anniversary profile |url=http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/english/character/index.php?num=duolon |work=King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website | accessmonthday= March 2 | accessyear=2008] He is a member of the assassin group, the Flying Brigands, -or nihongo|"Hizoku"|飛賊|Hizoku- and the half-brother to . He is an acquaintance of Ash Crimson and Shen Woo. Hoping to hunt down the clan's traitor, Ron, he agrees to enter the tournament with them. However, after discovering Ash's true objectives, he teams up with Elisabeth Blanctorche and Benimaru Nikaido. Information on Duo Lon's design graphy revealed he is one of the nine children of Ron, an assassin who chased after his own father.cite web | url=http://game.snkplaymore.co.jp/official/kof-mi-ra/falcoonroom/03/page7.html| title=Falcoon's Room ~ Episode 3| work= KOF Maximum Impact - Regulation A Official Website | accessmonthday= March 13 | accessyear=2008 | language=Japanese] He is voiced by Tsunehito Maruo.
nihongo|Elisabeth Blanctorche|エリザベート・ブラントルシュ|Erizabēto Burantorushu is one of three original characters debuting in "
The King of Fighters XI". Her initial character concept was to be the rival to Ash though developers decided to change her importance into a "leading lady" character. Developers also describe her fighting style as "orthodox with subtle tricks [to it] " despite her minimal moveset.cite web |title=Elisabeth Blanctorche's Official Character Bio |url=http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/character/index.php?num=elisabeth |work= King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website | accessmonthday= March 3 | accessyear=2008| language=Japanese] She initially invites Benimaru Nikaido and Duo Lon to France to form the Rival Team. She eventually reveals her acquaintance with Ash Crimson, whom she scolds for seeming to forsake their mission. She is voiced by Kayoko Ooshima.
nihongo|Kula Diamond|クーラ・ダイアモンド|Kūra Daiamondo first appeares as the sub-boss in "
The King of Fighters 2000"; she enters as a normal participant in her other appearances. Her original hair color is chestnut brown, but it changes to a light blue when she activates her ice powers. She was designed to be the antagonistic foil to K', in an attempt to better develop characteristics of the NESTS cartel. She was specially made with attempts to depict a "14-year-old girl" with "appropriately girlish" gestures with help from newly hired female staff.cite web|title=Kula Diamond's KOF 10th anniversary profile |url=http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/english/character/index.php?num=kula |work=King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website | accessmonthday= February 26 | accessyear=2008] She is a being created by NESTS During Hero Team ending, Whip: An innocent from a petrie dish, ignorant of existence's joys. cite video game|title=The King of Fighters 2001 |developer=BrezzaSoft |publisher=Eolith & Sun Amusement |date=2001-11-15 |platform=Neo Geo ] to exterminate the cartel's traitor, K'. Despite the fact that their subject was a mindless puppet with no sign of emotions, the NESTS cartel created an android called Candy Diamond, to monitor Kula's behavior and assure she would accomplish her missions. When Kula destroys the main Zero Cannon, Candy shields her descent from space, sacrificing her body as it is badly burned from Earth's atmosphere. Diana, a former top executive of NESTS acts as the girl's guardian in the series. Kula is often ordered to exterminate other traitors to NESTS but has been known to disobey her orders for the sake of others. After NESTS' destruction, she allies on friendly terms with her target, K' and his companions. Her seiyu is Yumi Kakazu, and her voice actress in English-language adaptations is Kat Cassteneda.
nihongo|Iori Yagami|八神 庵|Yagami Iori is the heir of the Yagami clan, one of the three clans who sealed the Orochi. However, his clan is cursed by Orochi giving him powers that cause all the clan to die when being young and create blue flames. Iori has a big hate against the Kusanagi clan but he later becomes obsessed to kill their heir Kyo, disregarding their clans's past and seeing him as the person he has to kill. Due to that, he sometimes ends helping him in order to have the opportunity to have a final fight against him. He is voiced by
Kunihiko Yasui, while in some English adaptations he is voiced by Eric Summerer.
Lin ( _zh. 麟;
Pinyin: "Lín"; Japanese: 麟 "Rin") is one of the new characters introduced in " The King of Fighters 2000" as a member of the Benimaru Team. He, along with the Flying Brigands subplot, was created without the entire staff's knowledge, leading to some developers being surprised by his team's ending.cite web|title=Lin's KOF 10th anniversary profile |url=http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/english/character/index.php?num=lin |work=King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website | accessmonthday= March 2 | accessyear=2008] Though he is no longer an active member in KOF, his story and character have not been abandoned.cite web|title=Ron's KOF 10th anniversary profile |url=http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/english/character/index.php?num=ron |work= King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website | accessmonthday= March 2 | accessyear=2008] He is a member of the assassination group, The Flying Brigands -or nihongo|"Hizoku"|飛賊|Hizoku Clan in Japanese- which is apparently on the brink of ruin. He is enticed by the agent Seth to enter the King of Fighters tournament in order to find their clan's missing leader, Ron.cite web |title=Benimaru's Team Story in KOF 2000 |url=http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/english/history/kof2000_story/index.php?num=benimaru |work= King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website| accessmonthday= March 2 | accessyear=2008] After learning that Ron defected to NESTS, he tracks the activities of NESTS' renegades, K'and his teammates, in hopes of finding his leader. He continues to search for Ron even after NESTS' destruction. During Hero Team ending, Lin: I can't believe he's dead. It's not over yet, Ron. cite video game|title=The King of Fighters 2001 |developer=BrezzaSoft |publisher=Eolith & Sun Amusement |date=2001-11-15 |platform=Neo Geo ] For an unexplained reason, he appears next to Ron in the Psycho Soldier Team's ending in "The King of Fighters XI".cite web| url=http://game.snkplaymore.co.jp/official/kof-mi-ra/falcoonroom/03/page7.html| title="Falcoon's Room ~ Episode 3" | work=KOF Maximum Impact - Regulation A Official Website | accessmonthday= March 16 | accessyear=2008 | language=Japanese] He is a master of the Poison Hand technique, which enables the user to turn their own blood into venom. He is voiced by Takaya Kuroda.
nihongo|Malin|まりん|Marin is a character who debuts in "
The King of Fighters 2003" as a member of the High School Girls Team (alongside Athena Asamiyaand Hinako Shijou). Her addition to the series was made due to Choi's absence in the game of her debut. The game producers state that her name should be spelled as "Malin" and not "Marin", adding that "this is the humble preference of the supervising designer and a mystery to us all".cite web|title=Malin's KOF 10th anniversary profile |url=http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/english/character/index.php?num=malin |work=King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website | accessmonthday= February 26 | accessyear=2008] She becomes a member of the Anti-Kyokugenryu Team in "The King of Fighters XI" due to her animosity towards one of the style's practitioners, Yuri Sakazaki.Malin: I can't stand her! She acts like she's barely even trying when she fights. Hmph! ... That Yuri had the nerve to say that my fighting style was cowardly! She's the weak one, right? cite video game|title=The King of Fighters XI |developer=SNK Playmore |publisher=SNK Playmore |date=2007-11-13 |platform=Playstation 2 ] She is voiced by Kazuyo Inosako.
nihongo|Maxima|マキシマ|Makishima debuts as a member of the Hero Team in "
The King of Fighters '99". He was added to the cast with the desire to add a "somber and reliable middle-aged character" to counteract the introduction of multiple teenage characters.cite web|title=Maxima's KOF 10th anniversary profile |url=http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/english/character/index.php?num=maxima |work=King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website| accessmonthday= March 3 | accessyear=2008] Maxima was a Canadian soldier who led a normal life until he found out that his comrade-in-arms Rocky was killed in an incident involving NESTS. During Hero Team ending, Maxima: I must go to report to a friend that I have taken revenge. /K': A visit to the grave, eh? I guess you can't turn back time.cite video game|title=The King of Fighters 2001 |developer=BrezzaSoft |publisher=Eolith & Sun Amusement |date=2001-11-15 |platform=Neo Geo ] To avenge Rocky he abandons his ordinary life. To infiltrate the cartel without being recognized, Maxima was transformed into a cyborg, with strength and reaction time increased to superhuman levels, built-in weapons and the ability to conduct instant data analysis. He also has some degree of cyberpathy. He infiltrates NESTS and is assigned to be the partner to K'. They both defect from the cartel after K' encounters his clone, Krizalid, and grows sickened by the organization. Since then, he has become K's steadfast companion and he is often the one who enters both of them into the following tournaments. His is voiced by Katsuyuki Konishi, while his English voice actor is Mike Jarmus.
nihongo|Oswald|オズワルド|Ozuwarudo appears in "
The King of Fighters XI" belonging to the year's Hero Team along with Ash Crimson and Shen Woo. He was created under the image of being an older gentleman and is enigma to even the creators. Developers consider his moves to be comical compared to the seriousness of his image, especially the move "Joker" when it is blocked or misses. They chose to leave the result of his fight with Shen ambiguous, implying that fans would have been disappointed with the outcome.cite web|title= Oswald 's Official Character Bio |url=http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/character/index.php?num=oswald |work=King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website | accessmonthday= March 3 | accessyear=2008| language=Japanese] He was originally intended to be the "good-looking glasses" character for the series.Cite book | year=2007 | editor=Arcadia Extra | title=enterbrain mook ARCADIA EXTRA ~ The King of Fighters XI Conqueror's Guide; volume 28 | pages=231 | language=Japanese | publisher=enterbrain ] It is revealed at the end of the tournament that Oswald joins Ash and Shen Woo to obtain money and drugs named Dragon Pills. Ash agrees to give information regarding the drug to him, explaining that it can only be given to him if he defeats the provider's enemy, Shen Woo. During Hero Team ending, Ash: You see, the drug known as 'Dragon Pills' is only made by a pharmacist in Shanghai. They won't sell it, but they will give it to anyone who defeats their mortal enemy, Shen Woo. cite video game|title=The King of Fighters XI |developer=SNK Playmore |publisher=SNK Playmore |date=2007-11-13 |platform=Playstation 2 ] He is voiced by Toshihiro Shigetsuka.
nihongo|Ramon|ラモン makes his first appearance in "The King of Fighters 2000" as a member of the year's Hero Team. Ramon is known as the only character to speak Spanish in the game and was created to appeal to the Latin American fanbase and has a fighting style primarily surrounding around Lucha Libre.cite web |title=Ramon's KOF 10th anniversary profile |url=http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/english/character/index.php?num=ramon |work=King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website | accessmonthday= March 7 | accessyear=2008] He is a famous Lucha Libre wrestler who is loved by his fans in the wrestling circle known as the "El Diablo Armadillo" (The Armadillo Devil). He is approached by an agent named Vanessa, who requests in his cooperation with forming a team for "The King of Fighters 2000" tournament. Feeling he could expand his horizons and competitive spirit further, he accepts to cooperate. Since then, he has a one-sided infatuation with Vanessa. During Hero Team ending, Vanessa: The Zero Cannon's falling. How're you? Are you hurt?/Ramon: It's like I'm in heaven! I'm hot! I'm loose!/Vanessa: ...Give me a break. cite video game|title=The King of Fighters 2000 |developer=SNK |publisher=SNK |date=2000-04-26 |platform=Neo Geo ] After "The King of Fighters 2000", he continues to team with Vanessa upon her request, often along with Seth. He is voiced by Eiji Takemoto.cite web|url=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0382123/fullcredits#cast|title=Full cast and crew for The King of Fighters 2002: Challenge to Ultimate Battle |publisher=
Internet Movie Database|accessdate=2008-09-08]
nihongo|Saisyu Kusanagi|草薙 柴舟|Kusanagi Saishū is a character who debuted in "
The King of Fighters '94" as a victim in Rugal's gallery of defeated fighters. He appears as a mid-boss in "The King of Fighters '95" and becomes playable for the first time in " The King of Fighters '98". He was originally meant to have died in "The King of Fighters '94" but was added in at the last minute of developing stages for "The King of Fighters '95".cite web|title=Saisyu Kusanagi's KOF 10th anniversary profile |url=http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/english/character/index.php?num=saisyu |work=King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website | accessmonthday= March 3 | accessyear=2008] He is the previous head of the Kusanagi clan who left his family to face worthy opponents across the globe. After his defeat by Rugal, he is brainwashed by his secretaries to fight his son, Kyo. Upon his defeat, he regains his senses and escapes from Rugal's ship. [cite video game|quote=Kyo: I knew he wasn't dead. He'll find his way home./Benimaru: Yeah, I guess you're right./Kyo: Well, let's go back to Japan./Benimaru & Daimon: Yeah!/Saisyu: Kyo, you can't escape the Kusanagi fate. We face a greater battle, soon to begin. Strengthen yourself, Kyo. Good luck.|title=The King of Fighters '95 |developer=SNK |publisher=SNK |date=1995-07-25 |platform=Neo Geo ] In "The King of Fighters 2001", he appears before Shingo Yabuki and spends a year properly teaching him the Kusanagi fighting style. He is voiced by Keiichirou Sakaki.
nihongo|Seth|セス|Sesu is a videogame character makes his first appearance in the series as a "Striker" in "The King of Fighters '99 Evolution". He debuts as a playable character in "
The King of Fighters 2000" as a member of the Benimaru Team. He was created along with Vanessa, though Seth became the visual model for her. Developers wished to have a character with "the powerful image of a big, dark, middle-aged man with a Mohawk haircut".cite web|title=Seth's KOF 10th anniversary profile |url=http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/english/character/index.php?num=seth |work=King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website| accessmonthday= March 8 | accessyear=2008] He was ordered by his superior Ling to enter the "King of Fighters" tournament to capture the Flying Brigands leader, Ron. To do this, he arranges to work with the Benimaru Team.cite web|title=Benimaru's Team Story in KOF 2000 |url=http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/english/history/kof2000_story/index.php?num=benimaru |work=King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website| accessmonthday= March 2 | accessyear=2008] During the tournament, he learns that Ling is really Zero in disguise and that Ron had joined with NESTS. He continues to investigate Ron's activities as the series progresses. During Benimaru Team ending, Shingo: ...Hey, what's wrong? You don't look so hot. Are you hurt?.../Seth: S,So quick! Developing faster than we planned...!!! If we don't hurry, we're all done for. cite video game|title=The King of Fighters 2000 |developer=SNK |publisher=SNK |date=2000-04-26 |platform=Neo Geo ] He is also asked to attend Heidern's conference with the Agent Team in "The King of Fighters XI". He is voiced by Hidetoshi Nakamura, while in some English adaptations, his voice actor is Glenn Haig.
Shen Woo (神・武) is one of the members of the Hero Team in "The King of Fighters 2003", also composed of Ash Crimson and Duo Lon. He was first conceptualized to be a "wild and sexy man". Due to his fighting style revolving around punches, designers for his fighting style had to create enough distinction in his attacks to avoid confusion with Ralf and Yashiro.cite web |title=Shen Woo's KOF 10th anniversary profile |url=http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/english/character/index.php?num=shen |work= King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website | accessmonthday= February 27 | accessyear=2008] What is known is that he was raised in the Chinese city of
Shanghaiand given the nickname "Shen Woo" for developing his own, devastating street-fighting boxing style best described as "violent". He soon came to be very feared, and grew to enjoy the thrill of the fight. Eventually, he came to know the enigmatic fighter Ash, who entered Shen, himself, and Duo Lonas the "Hero team" into the KOF 2003 tournament.cite web|title=Hero Team Official Story in KOF 2003 |url=http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/english/history/kof2003_story/index.php |work=King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website | accessmonthday= February 27 | accessyear=2008] At the end of "The King of Fighters XI", Ash decides to pit his two teammates against each other by Setting up Shen woo Agianst Oswald who has assassination orders for shen woo. He is voiced by Kouji Suitsu.
nihongo|Vanessa|ヴァネッサ|Vanessa is a character who first debuts as a "Striker" in "The King of Fighters '99 Evolution" and becomes playable in "
The King of Fighters 2000". Like Maxima, she was created as a middle-aged female to contrast the multiple teenage characters in the roster.cite web|title=Vanessa's KOF 10th anniversary profile |url=http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/english/character/index.php?num=vanessa |work=King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website | accessmonthday= March 3 | accessyear=2008] She is a normal housewife who discreetly serves as a mercenary agent. Working under the orders of commander Ling, Vanessa and fellow agent Seth are commissioned with the job of joining the King of Fighters tournament, held by Ling, to follow the footsteps of the NESTS cartel. The two agents part from one another with Vanessa recruiting prime suspects, K', Maxima, and Ramon to complete their team. Her objective from then on is to observe the activities of the NESTS defectors based on Ling's orders.cite web|title=Hero Team Official Story in KOF 2000 |url=http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/english/history/kof2000_story/index.php?num=hero |work=King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website | accessmonthday= March 3 | accessyear=2008] In " The King of Fighters XI" together with Blue Mary and Ramon, Vanessa enters the tournament under orders to receive information concerning the broken Orochi seal and the mysterious members of Those From the Past.cite web|title=Agent Team Official Story in KOF XI |url=http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/history/kofxi_story/index.php?num=agent |work=King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website | accessmonthday= March 3 | accessyear=2008| language=Japanese] She is voiced by Kaori Minami.
The characters from "The King of Fighters" series have had praise and criticism by several video game reviewers.
Eurogamercommented that the series has a well varied cast of selectable characters since there are characters from other games that the fans will like to play with as well as they praised them to have unpredictable appearances. [cite web|url=http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=79794|title=King Of Fighters XI Review|publisher= Eurogamer|author=Albiges, Lucke M.|date=2007-07-14|accessdate=2008-08-15] IGNagreed with this and commented that every charcter has their unique moves and praised their visuals even though they mentioned they have old 2D designs. However they criticized the difficulty to learn to use their special moves. [cite web|url=http://ps2.ign.com/articles/842/842395p1.html|title=King of Fighters XI Review|publisher= IGN|author=Clements, Ryan|date=2007-12-18|accessdate=2008-09-01] In reviews for the first game, IGN has praised the main character Kyo Kusanagito be one of the most enjoyable characters to play with remarking his dynamism and movesets. [cite web|url=http://wii.ign.com/articles/852/852523p1.html|title=King of Fighters '94 Review|publisher= IGN|author=Sparrow, A. E.|date=2006-04-13|accessdate=2008-08-04] GameSpotalso praised the characters designs to shine through, resulting in a cast of characters that's diverse and not plentiful. [cite web|url=http://www.gamespot.com/ps2/action/kingoffighters20022003/review.html|title=The King of Fighters 02/03 Review|publisher= GameSpot|author=Kasavin, Greg|date=2005-02-11|accessdate=2008-09-01] In other reviews, they complained about the lack of improvements in their movesets in some games and also mentioned that some techniques were simply removed. They also that while new characters introduced in some games are interesting, they do not have the same impact as other ones.cite web|url=http://www.gamespot.com/ps/action/kingoffighters99/review.html?page=2|title=The King of Fighters '99 Review|publisher= GameSpot|author=Park, Andrew Seyoon|date=2000-12-13|accessdate=2008-09-01] 1UP.comlabelled the characters from the series as one of the best creations of SNK, claiming that their appearances and quotes are all "cool" although they commented some of the storylines are "nonsense". [cite web|url=http://www.1up.com/do/feature?cId=3112498|title=History Of... The King of Fighters, SNK's classic team-based 2D fighting series|publisher= 1UP.com|accessdate=2008-08-13] GameSpyhas criticized the abilities of the bosses character "as stupid-hard", commenting that it could take a lot to a player to defeat them. [cite web|url=http://archive.gamespy.com/reviews/december03/kof2000-2001ps2/|title=The King of Fighters 2000/2001 (PS2) Review|publisher= GameSpy|author=Turner, Benjamin|date=2003-12-30|accessdate=2008-09-01] GameSpot also complained about the boss character Krizalid in " The King of Fighters '99" to have one of the most ugly designs and to be overpowerful.cite web|url=http://www.gamespot.com/ps/action/kingoffighters99/review.html?page=2|title=The King of Fighters '99 Review|publisher= GameSpot|author=Park, Andrew Seyoon|date=2000-12-13|accessdate=2008-09-01]
The characters designs in the "Maximum Impact" have been highly praised by IGN, for giving them good detailed faces, interactions with backgrounds where the characters and that someones make good
fanservice. However, they complained about the lack of bloody scenes of some characters that are normally violent and how irregular are the English voice actors in the game. [cite web|url=http://ps2.ign.com/articles/554/554861p1.html|title=King of Fighters: Maximum Impact Review|publisher= IGN|author=Dunham, Jeremy|date=2004-10-14|accessdate=2008-08-08] Gamezone added that some characters still remain their unique fighting style but complained about the lack of individualized endings and commented that some of their attacks have less style in 3D. [cite web|url=http://xbox.gamezone.com/gzreviews/r23756.htm|title=King Of Fighters: Maximum Impact Review|publisher=Gamezone|accessdate=2008-08-08] GameSpot also added that the English voices lacked originality but commented that their faces and new outfits were well done. [cite web|url=http://www.gamespot.com/xbox/action/kofmaximumimpact/review.html?page=2|title=The King of Fighters: Maximum Impact - Maniax Review|publisher= GameSpot|author=Kasavin, Greg|date=2005-07-07|accessdate=2008-09-02]
Several types of merchandise have been produced based on the likeness of the characters in the "The King of Fighters" series. Merchandise includes action figures, puzzles, key-chains and pins. [cite web|url=http://www.amazon.com/Full-Action-Figure-Fighters-Articulate/dp/B000CRFK92/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=toys-and-games&qid=1217435483&sr=1-2|title=Full Action Figure - King of Fighters (Articulate Figure)|publisher=
Amazon.com|accessdate=2008-07-29] [cite web|url=http://www.amazon.com/Capcom-Snk-Fighters-Action-Figure/dp/B000V96ULS/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&s=toys-and-games&qid=1220375725&sr=1-13|title=Capcom vs Snk : King of Fighters Terry 3D 2"-3" Action Figure Key Chain|publisher= Amazon.com|accessdate=2008-07-29] [cite web|url=http://www.amazon.com/King-Fighters-Kyo-Kusanagi-Puzzle/dp/B000MC5N2G/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&s=toys-and-games&qid=1217435483&sr=1-10|title=King of Fighters Kyo Kusanagi Puzzle|publisher= Amazon.com|accessdate=2008-07-29] [cite web|url=http://www.amazon.com/King-of-Fighters-Pin-Set/dp/B0019HUPPS/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&s=toys-and-games&qid=1220375725&sr=1-15|title=King of Fighters Pin Set|publisher= Amazon.com|accessdate=2008-07-29] Many characters are also featured on posters, wallpapers, and trading cards. [cite web|url=http://www.amazon.com/Universal-Fighting-Samurai-Showdown-Fighters/dp/B000QU6LU2/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=toys-and-games&qid=1220375201&sr=1-5|title=Universal Fighting System (UFS) Card Game Samurai Showdown & King of Fighters Booster Pack|publisher= Amazon.com|accessdate=2008-09-02] [cite web|url=http://www.amazon.com/UFS-SNK-Cutting-Edge-Booster/dp/B0014HU0TE/ref=sr_1_37?ie=UTF8&s=toys-and-games&qid=1220375989&sr=1-37|title=UFS SNK Cutting Edge Booster|publisher= Amazon.com|accessdate=2008-09-02]
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