* AlasPoorScrappy: In ''XIII'', [[spoiler:Ash gives one last smile before he disappears from existence ''[[RetGone entirely]]''. Suffice to say, Elizabeth wasn't the only one heartbroken that day.]]
* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation:
** One that extends to the entire [[NotSoHarmlessVillain New]] {{Face|OfAnAngelMindOfADemon}}s Team: were they generally nice and decent, unassuming citizens whose personalities were [[SplitPersonalityTakeover permanently overridden]] by [[SuperpoweredEvilSide their true selves]], or were they [[EvilAllAlong always that evil]], their [[BitchInSheepsClothing current persona being a ruse]] with the trio letting pieces of their malicious nature slip through the cracks every now and then [[note]](for example, [[NightmareFuelStationAttendant the songs CYS composed dealt heavily with blood and death]])[[/note]] until there was [[BrokenMasquerade no longer a need to keep up the charade]]? [[TakeAThirdOption Or, to take another route]], when their status as Heavenly Kings was revealed, did they go along with the plan to resurrect Orochi, not because of [[UndyingLoyalty their loyalty]] or [[EvilFeelsGood the pleasure that evildoing brought]], but because [[IgnoredEpiphany they couldn't]] [[DespairEventHorizon turn back]] and [[BecauseDestinySaysSo go against their fate]]? [[WildMassGuessing Or maybe]] did they ''start'' [[TheEveryman as nice and decent people]] [[note]](only with [[NightmareFetishist unusual tastes]] as mentioned above)[[/note]], but once they set in their places as Heavenly Kings, they decided [[EvilFeelsGood it was more fun/convenient to side with Orochi]] and [[FaceHeelTurn willingly threw themselves in their roles]]?
** In ''XIII'', [[spoiler:Mature and Vice warn Iori that if he takes back the Yasakani-no-Magatama, he'll be subjected to his clan's curse once more. Seeing as they're agents of Orochi, it's possible that they were hoping that if Yagami didn't take the Yasakani-no-Magatama, the Three Sacred Treasures would no longer be complete and Orochi would finally be freed from its seal once the time came. However, it could also qualify as a PetTheDog moment; maybe they ''did'' care about Iori enough to place his well being over their mission to resurrect Orochi.]]
** Athena's crush on Kyo and its treatment in current canon. Did her feelings for him ''really'' exist outside ''KOF: KYO'' [[note]]where she moves to Osaka specifically to keep an eye on him and then remains in his circle of friends even after learning he's with Yuki[[/note]], the ''[='98=]'' CD drama [[note]]where she and Shingo are worried over Kyo's crisis and struggles[[/note]] and the ''2000'' CD drama [[note]]where her concern over Kyo's well being is PlayedForLaughs until they share a quite more serious conversation at the end[[/note]]? Or did they just slowly idle out as she became more focused in her IdolSinger[=/=]ActionGirl careers, thus cooling off and shifting to friendship without any LoveHurts process? Keep in mind that in ''XIII'' their pre-fight talks come off as quite non-romantic (and if she speaks to NESTS!Kyo, she pretty much tells him "[[LovedINotHonorMore Yuki supports your quests]] alongside everyone else"), and both normal!Kyo and NESTS!Kyo's talks with Kensou do '''not''' make any allusions to Athena's feelings for Kyo - noticeable since [[BerserkButton Kensou gets PISSED]] if it even seems someone might take Athena's romantic interest away from him.
** Mai Shiranui's PleasePutSomeClothesOn treatment from a lot of the guys in XIII, an amusing subversion to her HelloNurse reputation or are the guys being a bunch of SlutShaming jerks?
* [[AmericansHateTingle Americans Hate Ash Crimson]]: Along with Choi, Chang, etc.
* AntiClimaxBoss: Orochi. Not of his game (''KOF '97'' was rather easy anyway), but of the Orochi Saga as a whole. He remains one of the easiest end bosses to beat. Possibly justified in that Orochi is the last of a ''group'' of {{Sequential Boss}}es (unless you defeat him with Kyo, [[BonusBoss prompting a final battle with Iori]]) including Orochi Iori/Orochi Leona ''and'' the Orochi Team.
** [[TheStarscream Clone Zero]]. Despite the fact that he's got a fast-loading super meter and abuses his supers on a regular basis, he's surprisingly easy to defeat, much easier than Krizalid. He's pretty much the easiest FinalBoss in the entire NESTS saga.
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMoments: Any time Ralf's [[MegatonPunch Galactica Phantom]] succeeds in hitting the opponent. Even more so against human opponents, since they are ten times less likely to fall for it than the AI. (For those needing further clarification, the Galactica Phantom is absurdly powerful [to the point that it had to be toned down from its [[OneHitKill OHKO]] status in ''[='98=]''], but also has an ungodly [[ChargedAttack charge time]]; a fully-powered one requires seven or eight seconds. It is, essentially, a DeathOrGloryAttack cranked UpToEleven.)
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic: [[AwesomeMusic/{{SNK}} Many]].
* CompleteMonster: Rugal Bernstein does evil [[ForTheEvulz for the sake of being evil]]. He owns one of the world's biggest weapons manufacturers, has a BIG influence on global politics, is capable of causing World War III, and killed many martial artists just to bathe their bodies in liquid bronze and make them into decorative statues for his yacht. In Heidern's backstory, where we find out that Rugal slaughtered all 50 soldiers in the guy's squad before killing [[ItsPersonal his wife and daughter]], who he had previously kidnapped, just for the fun of it, and topping it off with [[EyeScream gouging out Heidern's left eye]] and leaving him to live in despair.
* CrackPairing: Iori and Kasumi. It is perhaps [[FanPreferredCouple the most popular]] non-HoYay pairing despite the fact that they've probably never even ''met''.
** Shingo/Kasumi. Less cracky by nature, but the fact remains that it's a fan pairing [[ShipsThatPassInTheNight between two characters with minimal (if any) interaction in canon]] stemming solely from the fact that she criticizes Shingo for relying too heavily on his notebook (thus holding up their fight) in their ''[=2002UM=]'' intro pose.
** Kyo/Yuri. It has a surprising fan following that's quite impressive for two characters who are on decent terms, but barely know each other. Two official ''KOF'' pictures of them being together only adds more fuel to the fire.
** Iori/Leona is another example. Likely routed in their common ailment (the Riot of the Blood), but the pair hardly seems to think much about each other, let alone anything remotely positive. The most you'll get is Iori expressing some curiosity in ''XIII'' that Leona is showing signs of being able to control her powers.
* CrazyAwesome: Duck King. The dude is [[FunPersonified almost always cheerful]], overly eccentric, and can pull off some of the craziest stunts... using [[DanceBattler breakdancing moves]] ''[[RuleOfCool that are humanly impossible]]'' (in RealLife, employing breakdancing as a martial art would leave you with several broken bones ''at best''). Oh, and did we mention [[HeadPet the family of ducks living inside his hair]] that copy his every move? This was before [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII Sazh]], mind you.
* CreatorsPet: Not many people like Ash, yet SNK let him get away with pretty controversial stuff, such as stealing Iori's powers. [[spoiler:For very good reasons, in the end. And he gets an AlasPoorScrappy send-off that made him gain some people's partial forgiveness.]]
** In a reversal of the above Ash example, K' serves as this to the Japanese fandom; he's ''substantially'' better-received outside of Japan, though.
** Something of a subversion: SNK flat-out admits they love Rugal. They designed him from the ground up to be the most badass boss character there ever was (and that's not paraphrasing by much), and that they make him the final boss in Dream Match games because he's their favorite. This would be annoying, if Rugal didn't viciously beat his way into players' hearts the world over, cementing himself as an icon to the fanbase as much as he is to the folks at SNK. The SNK fandom likely idolizes him more than Capcom fans have idolized the likes of [[Franchise/StreetFighter Akuma or M. Bison]].
* DesignatedHero: Compare the actions of [[VillainProtagonist Ash]] and his "Hero Team" to that of previous heroes Kyo and K'. [[spoiler:This subverted in ''XIII'', where it's revealed that he indeed had an agenda (a good one to boot!), but [[WellIntentionedExtremist had to go out of his way to make it work.]]]]
* DieForOurShip: Kyo's girlfriend, Yuki, is ''loathed'' by Kyo x (insert: Iori, Shingo, Athena, etc.) shippers.
** Athena is also hated by rabid Kensou fans of both genders who accuse her of being an ungrateful slut who plays with his feelings since she refuses or ignores her advances, and sometimes she's twisted into a self-centered skank who plays with both Kensou and Kyo's feelings solely for her own pleasure. Never mind that the worst she has done is either ignoring or turning Kensou's affections down, while also caring for him when he needs it.
** Andy, as well. People can't believe that he doesn't throw himself at the feet of an attractive and popular character like Mai who chases after him, so they bash him to death since "OMG THE HOTTEST WOMAN EVER LIKES YOU, YOU MUST BE AN IDIOT OR GAY TO NOT F*CK HER!"
* EnsembleDarkHorse: Barring some exceptions (like K9999), any character has some kind of fan following.
** Shermie. A one-shot villain who never officially appears in future non-dream match installments, but remains very popular and ends up being included in both ''VideoGame/SNKGalsFighters'' and ''VideoGame/NeoGeoBattleColiseum''. It helps that she's got a killer rack and [[ShesGotLegs nice legs]].
** Eiji Kisaragi, the no-nonsense {{ninja}} from ''VideoGame/ArtOfFighting 2''. ''Very'' popular among the fandom. Discounting his appearance in the ''KOF: KYO'' manga, SNK finally brought him back in ''XI'' to please the crowd after an '''eight''' game absence. (Note: his last in-game appearance was in ''[='95=]'', ''the second game in the series''.)
** Shermie's teammates, Yashiro Nanakase and Chris.
** There are many others, ranging to {{badass}} [[NonPlayerCharacter NPCs]] like Ron, to Geese Howard himself, to Duck King, to May Lee (who oddly enough was also a ReplacementScrappy for some time). Hell, even the [[ButtMonkey American Sports Team]] has a surprisingly large following.
** Oswald made only a single playable appearance, with ''XI'' as his only game. The combination of being one of the best characters in the game and just having a pretty damn cool character design made him one of the most popular characters on the roster. That's pretty impressive for who is essentially a one-off character.
** Since this series seems to [[DemotedToExtra relegate characters to the background]] in favor of [[OriginalGeneration emphasizing the newer faces]], many of the fan-favorites from other games carry this status as well. Point in case, the cast of ''Fatal Fury'': Terry (despite being Creator/{{SNK}}'s {{mascot}} and TheHero of his series), Duck, Billy, Geese, Mai, Kim, Blue Mary, Yamazaki, Rock Howard, Bonne Jenet, Tizoc, Gato, and Hotaru ''all'' have this vibe. In fact, Mai's exclusion from the arcade version of ''XI'' and ''XII'' entirely is the reason behind the [[MadnessMantra chant of]] "'''[[MemeticMutation NO MAI = NO BUY!]]'''"
** Kasumi Todoh was the ''only'' new addition from ''Art of Fighting 3'' to make it to this series. Her popularity alone also granted her a spot in ''[[VideoGame/SNKVsCapcomSVCChaos SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos]]'' despite being at best a bit character in either series.
** Gai Tendo of ''Buriki One'' has a fanbase so devoted, that he was propelled into the land of {{memetic badass}}ery upon appearing in ''XI''.
** Makoto Mizoguchi from ''[[VideoGame/FightersHistory Fighter's History Dynamite]]''. His status as an EnsembleDarkHorse is what allowed him to jump over to ''Maximum Impact: Regulation A''. That, and the fact that he's a favorite of series' producer and director Falcoon.
** Ralf, Heidern, Leona, Shingo, Kula, Vanessa, and Shen Woo all seem to be approaching this status as well (that's if they're not already there).
** Iori is something of an {{invoked|Trope}} meta example, being so different from other fighting game characters at the time that [[BreakoutCharacter he became an insta-hit with fans]].
** Rugal. Both the dev team and most of the fandom love him so much that [[StatusQuoIsGod he's always the final opponent in a]] DreamMatchGame as well as in ''[[VideoGame/CapcomVsSNK2MarkOfTheMillennium Capcom vs. SNK 2]]'' (where he shares the spotlight, appropriately enough, with [[Franchise/StreetFighter Akuma]]).
** Maxima is very popular with the Japanese {{bara|Genre}} community.
* EpilepticTrees: While many fans hope that this ''doesn't'' come to pass (or at least not in the terms described), a prevalent theory is that, should SNKP ever go bankrupt again (as in, for good), their last action will be to create one final "{{dream match|Game}}" title, but UpToEleven: a ''The King of Fighters Universal Match'' which would bring back every character that was ''ever'' in a ''KOF'' game back for the last hurrah.
* EvilIsCool: Most of the villains, natch. Even if they are {{Complete Monster}}s.
** DracoInLeatherPants: The natural extension of the above, although it's a wide spectrum for who qualifies and who doesn't.
* EvilIsSexy: About 80% of the villains. No, ''really''. See that trope's main page for more details.
* {{Fanon}}: Orochi Leona's habit of popping up at the wrong time, as well as her pleasured-sounding screams. [[AllPeriodsArePMS Three]] [[NoPeriodsPeriod guesses]] [[InterplayOfSexAndViolence what.]]
* FauxSymbolism: This is the entire theme of Goenitz as a character. To get the ball rolling, he's pretty much the head priest of a ReligionOfEvil which heralds the advent of [[{{Orochi}} a quasi-deity]] comparable to [[UsefulNotes/{{Gnosticism}} the Demiurge]].
** See RuleOfSymbolism under [[Characters/TheKingOfFightersTheOrochiSaga Iori's entry]].
** [[spoiler:Evil Ash has a DM where the screen is filled with '''black''' flames, in direct contrast to Elizabeth's Neo MAX, which bathes the screen in '''white''' light.]]
** The ''Maximum Impact'' series is just rife with this. The series' cast features aliens with bizarre powers (even by ''KOF'' standards) among their ranks; [[BigBad main antagonist]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiva Jivatma]] is one of said aliens and controls one of the sub-syndicates of Addes, an organization whose seal is that of the GrimReaper, uses [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metatron Metatron]] as its public name, and whose known branches take their names from various corners of angelology and demonology (they're respectively named Children of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kokabiel Kokaviel,]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kushiel Kusiel,]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mephistopheles Mephistopheles,]] and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belphegor Belphegor]]).
* FoeYay: Iori Yagami, who spends roughly ninety-eight percent of his time thinking about what Kyo is doing, following Kyo around, and fantasizing about ways to kill him. (Meanwhile, Kyo just wants to live his life as a fighter at the fullest and be left the heck alone, and not to mention he barely cares about the whole Orochi deal unless either he and/or his friends are directly involved.) This is actually [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] in the DatingSim SpinOff series, ''Days of Memories''--which sometimes has the two play the role of romantic rivals--and in ''XIII''.
-->'''Maxima''' [''to NESTS!Kyo, after he asks if he's still "babysitting" K' and Kula'']: "Well, at least I don't have a psychotic stalker!"
-->'''Ash Crimson''' [''to Flames!Iori'']: "You're pathetic. You know what? Kusanagi this and Kusanagi that... What are you? His crazy ex?"
* GameBreaker:
** Armor Ralf in ''Maximum Impact 2''. As the name implies, it's Ralf decked out in armor. This version of Ralf is a contender for the most broken non-boss fighting game character of all time. He has super armor, cannot be thrown normally, has infinite priority, does '''EVEN MORE DAMAGE THAN NORMAL RALF''', and cannot be knocked down. He was so broken that he was actually removed from the ''Regulation A'' upgrade to the game, though his data and model are still on the disc. His only real disadvantage is a universal one: Sabaki reversals can't be used against projectiles.
** Angel in ''2002''. She is meant to be played by players with experience in string-system combos; however, since this system would be considered hard to use properly, the game rewards Angel with long invincibility periods while doing her moves. This translates in the opponent having to guess what Angel will do and attack in the hopes that her next move won't have invincibility. Also, one of her moves in the string is a uppercut that can hit the opponent while he is recovering in the air. Should Angel spam this on the corner, we have an infinite combo that requires absolutely no power stocks.
** Billy Kane fights with a stick that gives him a unfair advantage at zoning. He also has a incredibly fast 2-hit attack that can be abused and can combo with other way stronger moves, should it hit near the corner.\\
\\
His ''[=MI2=]'' incarnation is far worse. The ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}''-esque dial-a combos only bolster his rushdown game, his specials come out ''far'' quicker with less recovery time, and he gains devastating new attacks revolving around his bo. In other words, he can do all sorts of wicked shit. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeEGd18auCk This match]] from ''[=MI2=]'' and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxfhT3fNbiU this match]] from ''[[UpdatedRerelease Regulation A]]'' are good examples of what you're up against.
** Alba Meira, [[WordOfGod supposedly being a]] "[[AuthorAvatar cooler Falcoon]]," receives godly tools like an anti-air command throw and a ''triple'' projectile.
** In ''Maximum Impact: Regulation A'', Alba is outclassed by the series' proverbial CreatorsPet, Ash Crimson. And now you know what the "A" in ''Regulation A'' stands for.
** Athena has a fireball with almost instant recovery, as well as a teleport and a bug that makes her retreat at absurd speed when doing a backdash. Should you be at a lower health when the match time is about to finish, unless you're a very fast character yourself there's pretty much nothing you can do other than try and follow her while avoiding her fireballs and watching out for a DM that jolts you if you touch her.
** Choi is a dwarf; his {{hitbox|Dissonance}} is about half the vertical size of a regular character. Most attacks, including specials and a good number of super moves pass right above his head; essentially cutting in half the viable options, strategies and combos of practically every other character in the game. Because of this, he's been top-to-god tier in almost every single installment of the series, and a staple TierInducedScrappy.
** Iori Yagami in ''[='98=]'' is beatable, yes, but he is also a god-tier character. Pretty much all of his moves, normal or not, have a longer range than they look, are extremely fast, and goes on a anything-combos-from-anything pattern. His air attacks hit extremely low, so much that his air C can easily hit a ''crouching'' [[HitboxDissonance Choi Bounge]]. He has a invincible grab that makes the opponent open to anything, and anything he does can combo into his Deadly Flower, a 3-hit move that deals high damage and quickly stuns the opponent. And, he has a fast fireball of his own. AND, his Maiden Masher DM rushes toward the opponent with high priority, low enough to go under any midair fireball and, for some reason, jumping opponents will stop in the air to be hit by the move. Go ahead, try to find a pro-level match where Iori isn't present.
** Wolfgang Krauser in ''[='98UM=]''. Normal moves have good reach and damage, simple but damaging Bread and Butter combos and an auto-combo DM that can serve many functions like Iori's Maiden Masher DM.
** Rugal's [[ThatOneAttack Genocide Cutter]] in ''KOF '94''. At maximum power, it can be a OneHitKill. Coupled with his SNKBoss status... WordOfGod apologizes for "going a bit overboard" with the damage ratio. The move was toned down in later installments, but is still quite devastating.
** Daimon in ''[='98=]'', thanks to a glitch. Averted in ''Ultimate Match'', which removed said glitch.
** Heidern's Moon Slasher and Stormbringer in ''KOF '94''. Due to [[GoodBadBugs bugs]], these two moves had [[ForMassiveDamage abusive damage ratios]] to the point that a maximum power Stormbringer could ''[[OneHitKill one-shot]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmhGMVPY2Yw a character who was at full health.]]'' Luckily, these bugs were addressed by the time ''[='95=]'' rolled in.
** Ralf's Galatica Phantom in ''[=EX2=]: Howling Blood''. This version has a much, much shorter charge time and is a regular move instead of a (S)DM. As a trade-off, it loses some of its power, but still eats about 50% off of an opponent's lifebar. Go buck wild with it, and watch the body count skyrocket.
** A highly technical combo involves Ralf cancelling out of his Blazing Vulcan Punch on the last hit and performing the Galatica Phantom. In other words, the moment the opponent recovers, they're greeted by Ralf's (unblockable) fist.
** Eiji in ''[='95=]''. He held of the distinction of being able to chain almost anything together. Seriously, [[ButtonMashing you could flail your hands across the controller like a frantic monkey]] and still catch your opponent off-guard about 75% of the time.
** Orochi Iori was playable via a rather simple code in the ''KOF '97'' arcade, as was Orochi Leona and the Orochi New Faces Team. And they were ''not'' brought down.
** Gato and Kula received one too many buffs in ''XI'', thrusting them into top-tier.
** Krizalid. Yes, he might be a SNKBoss, but the Typhoon Rage gives Rugal's Genocide Cutter a run for its money with its omni-priority, high damage output, juggling ability, and the ability to fill his super meter at ''the speed of sound''. In ''2002: Ultimate Match'', this fact alone makes Krizalid more broken than Clone Zero, Original Zero, ''"lovable" Igniz'', and ''Omega Rugal himself''. Only [[PurposelyOverpowered Nightmare Geese]] can outdo him. And none of this is counting ''the rest of'' Krizalid's devastating moveset, chief amongst them Lethal Impact, an attack throw which triples as an AA, an overhead, ''and'' a counter. The supervising designer of Krizalid even noted, [[{{Understatement}} "I think I overdid it a little."]]
** Foxy is so broken of a character that to this date, she is the only playable character '''completely banned''' from any official ''KOF'' contests - unblockable low kicks, lightning fast moves with high priority and supers that can be easily chained with her moves to deal huge damage combos. Oh, and did we mention that one of her supers is a [[TakingYouWithMe suicide-bombing move?]] Luckily, ''[[UpdatedRerelease 2002UM]]'' toned her down by reducing her attack speeds and move priorities.
** Chin in the early games, particularly due to his DM. It was easily spammable, had virtually no startup time, and the chip damage was ridiculous. Any time a Chin player saw themselves with a low lifebar, it was time to RUN AWAY. (Hence why it was made into his NEOMAX instead in newer titles.)
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff:
** Chang, along with Choi, is one of the franchise's most popular characters in Korea. Now you know why Chang was included in the ''[=CvS2=]'' lineup ([[AssistCharacter with Choi along for the ride]]) and how Choi himself made it into ''[=SvC=]: SVC Chaos''.
** [[VideoGame/FuunSeries Sho Hayate]] is also a cult-fave in Japan, which most likely led to his inclusion in ''XI''.
** K' is much more popular in the States than he is in Japan; some American ''KOF'' fans regard him to be a better character than previous protagonist Kyo.
* GoodBadBugs: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QflofETvmPo This series of videos]] is ''all'' you need to see.
** Rugal's [[FanNickname Kaiser Drill]] bug in ''2002'', which has not been fixed for either ''Neowave'' or ''2002: Unlimited Match''. God forbid that you roll behind Omega Rugal when he's charging up a Kaiser Wave... The phenom is explained [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQ7yG9oI-FI here]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fxoulcPogc here.]]
** [[FanNickname The Amazing Flying Jhun]] glitch in ''2003''. To elaborate, one of Jhun's aerial moves involved stomping on your head. Performing a roll quickly after successfully executing this technique would leave Jhun hovering in the air. On top of that, his pushback was no longer functional, allowing him to smash ''anyone'' open with the purest of ease. For examples, see [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QpYoHprg_c here]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqmxhEfim3M here.]] However, as seen [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgRqXcOj8K4 here,]] it can also go horribly wrong and end in utter, [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments hilarious]] humiliation.
* GrowingTheBeard: General consensus is that ''KOF '96'' was the point where the series really began to take off. The [[StoryArc Orochi Saga]] was in full swing, overall gameplay felt smoother and more accessible, forward dashing was omitted in favor of running, rolling replaced the dodge mechanic, and music shined across the board as opposed to the previous two games (arguably) having only a handful of notable tunes.
* HoYay: Aside of the Kyo/Iori super hyper FoeYay? For someone who was apparently said to be CampStraight by the developing team themselves, some of Benimaru's pre-battle quotes against handsome males in ''XIII'' were rather... flirty. Especially against Shen and Duo Lon.
** Shingo's hero worship of Kyo can be ''very'' easily seen as a man-crush.
* HilariousInHindsight:
** In ''[='99=]'', Ralf's victory quote was "I can survive anything--even nukes!" Fast forward to [[TheCameo his and Clark's inclusion in]] ''VideoGame/MetalSlug 6'' where Ralf is the only member of the playable cast who ''isn't'' a OneHitPointWonder.
** With a possible side of FandomNod: In the ''VideoGame/{{MUGEN}}'' fanbase, the ''KOF''-centric Vans gave his version of Kyo an aerial version of the Orochinagi. Come ''XIII''...
** K9999's official profile on the ''KOF'' 10th Anniversary website blatantly acknowledges his resemblance to [[Manga/{{Akira}} Tetsuo]]. Shortly after ''2002: Unlimited Match'' [[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute was released]], his picture on the site was mysteriously deleted.
* IAmNotShazam: The Sega Saturn port of ''[='95=]'' refers to him as "Omega Rugal", even when recapping the events of the previous game... when he ''wasn't'' Omega Rugal. Likewise, the O in his name stands for '''O'''mega, ''not'' '''O'''rochi, a common misconception, seeing as he draws upon the Orochi power.
* IronWoobie: Heidern, Iori, K', most likely Duo Lon. And especially [[spoiler:Elisabeth]].
* JerkassWoobie:
** All things considered with the Yagami/Yasakani's [[DealWithTheDevil 1600-year blood curse]] and the hints that Iori is possibly the only one who can redeem his clan, Iori still manages to be a ''massive {{Jerkass}}'' while doing... practically anything, with few exceptions. There is also [[spoiler:Ash, an odd variation in that he starts out acting like a grade-A jerkass, but when the act drops and his backstory is fully revealed (in ''XIII''), he then earns ''major'' Woobie points.]]
** Also, [[spoiler:Yashiro, in the New Face Team's ending. He kills Chris and Shermie to power up Orochi, but then he cradles the fatally injured Shermie in his arms to comfort her as she she bleeds to death -- and when she's gone, he offs himself. And then RocksFallEveryoneDies.]]
* MagnificentBastard: Several, actually. We have Rugal, Goenitz, Geese, Igniz, Ron, and later Ash. [[spoiler:But the latter is actually a GuileHero with a massive JerkassFacade.]]
* MarySue: Ash Crimson, Mignon Beart. The latter is more questionable, as, judging by ability alone, she's somewhat inept as a witch and very clumsy, not to mention [[AlwaysSomeoneBetter handily outclassed in terms of skill by her younger sister Ninon.]]
** However, [[AuthorAvatar Alba Meira]] definitely is [[AscendedFanboy Falcoon]]'s Marty Stu. Why you ask? Despite the whole weird setup in the ''Maximum Impact'' timeline, he's even more powerful than Iori and Kyo, and ''Ash'' as far as gameplay and story reasons are concerned. Hell, Alba and Soiree can be easily be the prototype for Saiki!
*** CanonSue: He eventually goes on wrest control of Southtown from Duke and works with his brother and underlings to restore order to the city. Couple this with all of Alba's other, borderline GodModeSue traits, and...
** CopyCatSue: The Meira brothers are basically 21st century versions of Terry and Andy, respectively, having their father being killed by the leader of a powerful syndicate, but with more superpowers and aliens to the mix, and neat fashion.
** GodModeSue: Ash. In ''XI'', he's able to deal with '''[[SuperpoweredEvilSide Orochi Iori]]''' and suffer no personal injury. OP? You bet.
* MemeticBadass:
** Depending on the community, Terry, Ralf, Yamazaki, Shen Woo, and Gai Tendo.
** The boss characters, who are so badass that they collectively are a [[SNKBoss Trope]] [[TropeNamers Namer]].
* MemeticMutation:
** [[FountainOfMemes Pretty much anything Terry says.]]
** Rugal's Dead End Screamer/[[FanNickname Rugalspin]]. Driven into the ground by ''M.U.G.E.N.''
** Iori's ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_q3fip9U0I laugh.]]''
** There was a small trend of [[http://portadasface.com/thumbs/yao_ming-t2.jpg plastering Yao Ming's head]] onto Goro's artwork in ''XIII'' shortly after the game's announcement.
** ''KOF XI'' Robert: [[DanceBattler Fear the]] [[FanNickname Almighty Stance!]]
** Kim's [[BadassCreed declaration to evildoers]]: [[DetectEvil Aku]] [[GivingSomeoneThePointerFinger wa]] [[ThisIsUnforgivable yurusan!]] '''[[LetsGetDangerous HA!]]'''
*** His [[EternallyPearlyWhiteTeeth impossibly bright teeth]] seem to be on their way too, given the flood of mock-toothpaste advertisements in forums and on Website/YouTube comment boards. Colgate EX Kim! Brush your teeth with '''JUSTICE!'''
*** Hell, just '''[[JusticeWillPrevail JUSTICE!]]''' itself.
** "Koko desu ka?"
** In Japan, there's a small fad of Maxima performing his Mongolian Chop [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUk9M2b2UyU ad]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9suKw-WB8R0 naseum]], usually [[http://dic.nicovideo.jp/v/sm613955 in sync]] [[http://dic.nicovideo.jp/v/sm2465155 to music.]] This has led to NicoNicoDouga [[FanNickname calling him]] "Mongolia," which is popular enough to the point that the Japanese ''MUGEN'' fandom [[OnlyKnownByTheirNickname almost always refers to him]] [[http://www30.atwiki.jp/niconicomugen/pages/138.html by this pseudonym.]]
* MemeticSexGod: In particular, the more fanservicey characters on [[MsFanservice both]] [[MrFanservice sides]] of the gender spectrum. For starters, see Mai and Shermie. Then see Terry, Kyo, Iori, Mary...
* MisBlamed: It would seem that Nona is getting flak for the most recent entries in the series, due to their [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks new art designs]]. While he ''was'' the art director for ''XII'' (and draws for the pre-fight exchanges in ''XIII''), it's actually Eisuke Ogura, the artist for ''VideoGame/NeoGeoBattleColiseum'', who handled the artwork. For some odd reason, Nona is also being blamed from the ''story developments'', an area that he has minimal influence in at best.
** Similarly, people have whined against fellow artist Falcoon for his work in ''Maximum Impact''. While he ''is'' the artist in charge, it doesn't mean he handles '''all''' the decisions in regards to the artwork, and he didn't certainly have ALL the shots in regards to the ''character roster and story''.
* {{Moe}}: Athena (more so starting in ''XII''), Hinako, Momoko, Hotaru. Leona ''might'' count, but this overlaps with her status as TheWoobie.
* MoralEventHorizon:
** Rugal crosses it several times:\\
\\
A ''KOF '94'' [[AudioAdaptation drama CD]] has him killing his servants for making minor goofs and not being "perfect". That same action is repeated in Tatsuya Shinjyouji's ''KOF '94'' manga, where in the second volume he bloodily murders a barely teenaged maid for merely bringing him the wrong wine for dinner. As he slowly approaches the poor little girl, you see him walking and [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything looming over the poor girl as she begs him to not hurt her...]] and then [[GoryDiscretionShot "SPLAT."]]\\
\\
In the third volume of the same manga, Rugal orders one of his subordinates to [[IHaveYourWife kidnap Kyo's girlfriend Yuki]] and lock her in a room with a time bomb only to force Kyo, Benimaru and Daimon fight the Women's Team in the streets of Osaka, in a sort of DeadlyGame where instead of fighting to the death, they fought to rescue poor Yuki. [[spoiler: Thank God the bomb was fake and Yuki was rescued in the nick of time.]] Rugal didn't even really ''need'' to have them fight that way, and did just to {{troll}} Kyo and co. ForTheEvulz.\\
\\
And then, there's the wicked pleasure he took on having Saisyu Kusanagi tortured within an inch of his life and then BrainwashedAndCrazy to make him [[TheDragon his servant]] in ''[='95=]''. Double when you play with the Japan Team and he ''gloats'' about it in front of Saisyu's son Kyo, who understandably ends up screaming "ThisIsUnforgivable!"\\
\\
There's also his mauling of Heidern's family and mercenary unit (mind you, this was ''single-handed'' and that Heidern's unit was ''fifty men strong''). Apparently done for no other reason than to provoke and slight Heidern. It was also featured in Shinjyouji's manga, with an added bonus: Clara and Sandra were killed ''while trying to protect the badly injured and now eye-less Heidern''.
** Goenitz, in response to Gaidel turning down his offer to join him in the attempt to resurrect their master Orochi, awakened Leona's Orochi blood for the first time when she was still a child, causing her to destroy her whole village and kill every inhabitant, her own family included.\\
\\
Also, he has several in Ryo Takamisaki's ''KOF: G''. First, he [[spoiler:gives Mai Shiranui a cruel BreakingLecture when [[HeroicBSOD she's at a very low point]], [[MoreThanMindControl which causes her]] to go UnstoppableRage on Kyo and Athena]]. Second, he [[spoiler: wreaks havoc in the finals, and we get to ''see'' the people collapse and almost surely die when his power rises and destroys everything, with the side-effect of making Benimaru [[MoreThanMindControl snap completely on Kyo]] and sending other fighters into BrainwashedAndCrazy states]]. Third, [[spoiler: he almost beats both Kensou ''and'' Chizuru to death, and shows up bragging about it while ''lifting the badly beaten Chizuru by her head''.]] And fourth, [[spoiler:remember what he did to Leona in her past? In this version, he ''does this again'', making her go into the Riot of the Blood ''with words alone'' so she'll kill everyone for him, with only Clark and Ralf's timely intervention keeping her from doing so.]]\\
\\
His [[spoiler:murder of Maki Kagura in front of her twin sister Chizuru]] is already bad, but in the ''KOF: KYO'' manga it's even worse because, in that particular continuity, [[spoiler:''[[WouldHitAGirl Chizuru and Maki]] [[WouldHurtAChild were little girls under the age of ten]] and he was [[TeensAreMonsters barely a teenager]]''.]]
** [[spoiler:Yashiro Nanakase, Shermie, and Chris]]: [[spoiler: Revealing themselves as members of the Orochi Clan and becoming the sub-bosses.]] In the Sacred Team's pre-fight talk, add [[spoiler:revealing that they plan to use Yuki as a HumanSacrifice, and mocking her boyfriend Kyo's anger and concern.]] The last one is worse in the ''KOF: KYO'' game, as in the original ''[='97=]'' game they [[spoiler:still have not gone searching for her]], but here it's done [[spoiler: ''in front of a restrained Yuki, who has already spent at least two days as their hostage''.]]
** Igniz: Upon [[AGodAmI deeming himself a god]], and choosing to use NESTS clone for [[EvilutionaryBiologist his own goals]], all while [[ManipulativeBastard playing on]] all other NESTS members' [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans utopian]] ([[WellIntentionedExtremist or at least utilitarian]]) [[ForScience ideals]] and then having (and/or setting up) even the NESTS organization's most faithful servants ([[AntiVillain Krizalid]], [[MotherlyScientist Foxy, Diana]], [[EmotionlessGirl Kula Diamond]], [[RidiculouslyHumanRobots Candy]], [[NobleDemon Original Zero]], [[TragicVillain Name]][[StoicWoobie less]], and [[MoralityPet Isolde]]), to be killed off [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness for no longer being useful to him]], he has demonstrated that he is a sociopath who has absolutely no respect and value for human life, but only seeing human beings as [[Theatre/DeathOfASalesman being like oranges]] and that he can throw the peel away.
** Jivatma ordered the death of Lien's parents and family because her father would not join Addes.
** Ron, former leader of Hizoku, crossed this point when he [[WhereIWasBornAndRazed razed his own village and murdered a sizable number of his clansmen]] to offer his services to NESTS for reasons unknown. Ron was labelled as a traitor by the clan and nearly every survivor of that massacre who didn't jump ship with Ron is now hunting him down for answers and retribution.
** Saiki, already established as a massive {{Jerkass}} and a master of [[BadBoss horrendous underling treatment]] (despite Those from the Past's plans going off with only the most minor of slip-ups), has his when [[spoiler:he callously kills his most loyal and sympathetic servant, Mukai, right after he had offered to fight in his stead.]] Seeing him [[spoiler:take over Ash's body to transform him into Evil Ash and keep fighting the heroes]] is not much better.
* MorePopularSpinoff: Of both ''VideoGame/FatalFury'' and ''VideoGame/ArtOfFighting''. Even here at this very wiki, people mention some ''FF'' and ''AOF'' characters as being from ''The King of Fighters'' even when those characters, at best, only make cameos in the series.
* MostAnnoyingSound: The "OOOOOOOUUUUUUAAAAAAAAGH" sound Andy makes when you hit him. Not so prevalent in the ''Fatal Fury'' series but it cropped up quite a bit in early ''KOF'' titles. It got ridiculous in ''[='99=]'' onward where for no apparent reason they made it ''his KO cry.'' You will hear this especially in ''2002'' and ''Unlimited Match'', where he groans this practically ''every time you hit him''.
** "KOKO DESU KA? KOKO DESU KA? KOKO DESU KA? KOKO DESU KA? KOKO DESU KA?" This is the sound of Goenitz's Yonokaze murdering you.
** Some of [[CuteButCacophonic Malin's]] [[{{Kiai}} yells]] have her sounding like a strangled duck.
** ''Angel's voice'' (mostly her ''2002'' seiyuu; the ''2001'' one wasn't so grating on the ears).
* {{Narm}}: Now with [[Narm/TheKingOfFighters its own page.]] Though it sometimes qualified more as...
* NarmCharm:
** SNK's Dodgy Engrish usually downright HILARIOUS lines in otherwise serious circumstances. From the slightest misspellings to Rugal's almost babyish "I'LL BE BACK... YOU JERKS!" line from ''[='95=]''.
** Any time anyone insults anyone. Which happens often. "Absolute karate. That's Kyokugenryu. And don't forget it, [[BigStupidDoodooHead dweebenheimer]]!"
** And of course, the English dub of the ''Maximum Impact'' games.
** Terry's mangled English has become a vital part of his character.
* NeverLiveItDown[=/=]OldShame: Athena. It doesn't matter how many ''KOF'' or fighting games she appears in, most older NES owners are still gonna remember her awful game on that system, which was actually a [[PortingDisaster disastrous port]] of a decent arcade game.
* NightmareFuel:
** If Magaki's highly unsettling "true form" doesn't give you nightmares, [[SNKBoss the way he fights]] will.
** Duo Lon's idle pose involves him holding his leading foot in such an extreme twisted inward angle that it suggests that his ankles are broken or at very least he can easily dislocate them at will.
*** Considering how odd the Hizoku clan is to begin with, with a gamut of abilities ranging from necromancy to stretching their limbs at will to naturally producing poisonous substances from their bodies to dissipating into skeletons in order to disappear/reappear on a whim, it's safe to say they're more than a bit unsettling. Seeing as some of the other fighters are creeped out by Duo Lon (a NiceGuy and a shining example of DarkIsNotEvil), it's very possible the heroic members of Hizoku are full-blown Type 4 {{Terror Hero}}es firmly settled in CreepyGood territory.
** Literally in the case of Geese. He has an alternate form called ''Nightmare Geese'' that will '''give''' you nightmares trying to fight him. In this form he's one of the cheapest {{SNK Boss}}es in existence. Subverted in ''Maximum Impact 2'' where he's balanced, but then doubly subverted in ''2002UM'', which introduces an '''''even cheaper''''' version of Nightmare Geese that you have to fight as the last Expert challenge in Challenge Mode to unlock everything.
* OffscreenMomentOfAwesome: Oswald's fight with Shen Woo in their team's ''XI'' ending. WordOfGod says that the fight was left [[CliffHanger open-ended]] because the fans would be disappointed with the final result.
* OlderThanTheyThink: Jhun's Zankou Haki Geki HSDM in ''2002 Unlimited Match'' actually first appeared as his [=MAX2=] in the lesser known ''Neowave'', the sort of alternate ''2002'' where Jhun was playable.
* PolishedPort: The upcoming {{Steam}} release of ''The King of Fighters XIII'' will apparently have better netcode than the console releases.
* RelationshipWritingFumble: Kyo and Chizuru are acquaintances, if not good friends (with Chizuru as a CoolBigSis figure that Kyo can't deny a lot to, if ''Sky Stage'' is to be believed), and have close roles in guarding the Seal of Orochi. When Kyo became majorly pissed at Ash for stealing Chizuru's powers in ''2003'' ([[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything and pretty much violating the poor woman while doing so]]), some fans were led to believe that Kyo has beyond brother-sister-friends feelings for her. It doesn't help that Kyo's intro with Ash in ''XI'' [[{{Revenge}} has him screaming "YOU BASTARD!" at the top of his lungs]]. Apparently, these fans have forgotten that [[OfficialCouple Kyo has Yuki]]. (To be fair, it's not like [[ChuckCunninghamSyndrome poor Yuki]] has been seen around in ''years''.)
** WordOfGod also jokes on the Anniversary website that Chizuru must have envisioned Kyo eternally as a schoolboy (i.e. from the time they teamed up during the Orochi Saga) when creating [[ShadowArchetype Kusanagi]]. And then in ''Sky Stage'' Kyo claims to Terry that [[TeamMom Chizuru]] is almost babying him and the other fighters. Cue fans claiming she's in some type of a LovingAShadow relationship with Kyo.
* ReplacementScrappy:
** While K' managed to avoid this during NESTS, Ash Crimson got the full brunt of hatred from fans, especially when he started actively upstaging Kyo by beating Riot of the Blood Iori. His flamboyant appearance doesn't help, either.
** May Lee was once seen as this due to replacing Jhun in ''2001'' and then replacing longtime regular King in ''2002'' and taking her spot on the Women Fighters Team alongside fellow vets Yuri and Mai. [[AmericansHateTingle The Japanese essentially screamed]], '''[[MemeticMutation "I RAGED. HARD"]]''' over the latter to the point that not even adding King ''back'' in the home ports could undo the damage. Most of this scorn has passed over since and May Lee is seen as an EnsembleDarkHorse elsewhere.
** Momoko is sometimes considered as such. To '''Bao''' of all people. Frequently cited reasons are [[MostAnnoyingSound her voice]], ButtonMashing, and the fact that she was based off of discharged designs of Bao.
* TheScrappy:
** Bao. Added to the Psycho Soldiers team in ''[='99=]''. Too annoying to fight as, overpowered (at least his first incarnation) to fight against; stealing Kensou's powers. The strangest thing about this? '''He was conceptualized as beginner friendly.''' How they could screw that up so much is a mystery.
** SNK Playmore sees K9999 as this due to the [[CaptainErsatz blatantness of his tribute to]] [[Manga/{{Akira}} Tetsuo Shima]], which eventually led to his [[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute replacement by Nameless]].
* ShipMates: Ryo/King and Robert/Yuri shippers get along very, very well.
** Kyo/Yuki fans tend to ship Iori with Athena (see below), and sometimes Leona and Chizuru. If not, they'll likely go for Kensou/Athena.
* ShipTease: Iori and Athena, believe it or not. They both like music and Iori is seen in Athena's band in ''Days of Memories''. He appears to think she is cute because he thinks she should "be at home baking cookies" instead of fighting in one of their pre-fight dialogues. Also, their battle quotes have to do with Iori telling Athena to take care of herself, [[JerkAss in his own way]]. Finally, in the ''KOF: KYO'' manga, Iori and Athena's hearts connect when his attack accidentally hits her; he shows regret for hurting her and she takes the time to look for him. Unsurprisingly, this has been followed by the mild popularity of the Iori/Athena ship.
* SelfFanservice: [[AmazonianBeauty Muscle fetishists]] tend to fawn over a sizable portion of the female cast (namely the adult ones). They're particularly fond of Leona for some reason, but the list of likely runner-ups for fan artists includes (but certainly is not limited to) Mai, Blue Mary, Athena, Vice, Shermie, Vanessa, Angel, and even ''Kula''.
* ShippingGoggles: '''All over the place''', {{Relationship Writing Fumble}}s or not. But let's be honest: every company in charge of ''KOF'' is very, ''very'' aware that the franchise as a whole is ''[[PeripheryDemographic EXTREMELY]]'' [[PeripheryDemographic popular among female gamers of all ages]] (from teenage girls who are new to the games, to older ladies who grew up either watching others play or played alongside the boys). With the buttloads of ShipTease, it'd be weirder to NOT have a good part of the fandom all over it.
* SoBadItsGood: The movie. In the same vein, Andy Seto manhuas. While they loosely follow the canon of the story, there's some questionable designs in the art, ranging from OnlySixFaces to YouDontLookLikeYou, or passing through wrong [[OffModel colouring]], to plain standard colouring, and rarely ([[RuleOfCool for dramatic purposes only]]), full-blown [[AwesomeArt BEAUTIFUL]] digital colouring looking almost as good as or even better than official art. On the "good" part, the fight scenes are well done and the power attacks look amazing, almost like they were ripped from ''Dragon Ball Z'' (but you wouldn't mind it because they look, well... pretty badass).
* SoOkayItsAverage: The ''[='94=]'' manga by Tatsuya Shinjyouji. On one hand, the drawing style is simplistic and unremarkable and the ClicheStorm is undeniable. On the other, the storytelling flows in a relatively smooth manner despite the cliches and it offers some interesting background tidbits and possible interpretations--like Heidern's story ([[spoiler:Sandra and Clara died in an HeroicSacrifice to save him from Rugal]]), how the Women's Team met in this continuity ([[spoiler:Mai and Yuri become friends over being rejected as prospect members of the ''AOF'' and ''Fatal Fury'' team and then have to recruit King together]]), there's a background story in regards to the stages used by the Korean Team [[note]](Kyo, Daimon and Benimaru walked into Kim's capture of Chang and Choi, Kim recognized Kyo and immediately challenged him and his group to a fight right there)[[/note]] and the Japan Team [[note]](they improvised a stage in the streets of Osaka to fight the Women's Team since they were caught in a DeadlyGame with Yuki's life at the stake)[[/note]], etc.
* StoicWoobie: Heidern, adult Leona, K', Nameless, Clark (once you learn where his [[TragicKeepsake dogtags]] come from), Elisabeth.
* SurprisinglyImprovedSequel: ''XIII'' is this to ''XII''. It added a lot more characters, including those that were inexplicably missing before, more modes, closed the Tales of Ash saga, and made the fighting more fun overall.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSong: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ovCp9HXn-o "Jungle Bouncer,"]] the theme of the ''Ikari'' Team in both ''[='94=]'' and ''2002'' sounds very similar to Music/FaithNoMore's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upWUuByQLxQ "Surprise, You're Dead!"]]
** On the other hand, Igniz has two of them. His ''2001'' theme, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzFIg7zmrAs "Kare koso Saikyo" ("He Is The Strongest!"),]] [[BossRemix is a faster, rock-heavy version of]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OivRHzXUm2A Original Zero's theme.]] His new theme in ''2002UM'', [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fy16dCouwc8 "Save The Universe,"]] sounds like [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6cfOUgt0h4 "Save A Future,"]] Mildred Avalon's theme from ''VideoGame/ArcanaHeart''.
** The Korea Team's theme in ''2000'', [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Lrlut8oXZ0 "Wild Party,"]] has a few riffs indicative of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRbPWcLode0 "Crazy Train"]] by "The Prince of Darkness" himself, Music/OzzyOsbourne. In particular, compare the beginning of both songs.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYiKaT5IlB4 Apparently,]] the OST version of "Still Green," Shingo's theme in ''[='97=]'', sounds like a tune from ''VideoGame/AwesomePossum''.
** Inverted with Iori's ImageSong "Kaze no Allegory," which sounds like [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcJwz7wu8_s "Tribute"]] by Music/TenaciousD, but came before it.
* TearJerker: If you know how ''XIII'' ends, you know why this phrase (an except of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pippa_Passes a Robert Browning poem]]) stings:
-->''[[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion God's in his heaven, all's right with the world!]]''
* ThatOneAttack: Heidern's neck roller in ''2002 UM''. It's unblockable and has a deceptive hitbox.
** Rugal's Genocide Cutter ''will'' beat your ass if you don't prepare accordingly. When you couple all of this with his already impressive arsenal...
** Goenitz's Yonokaze technique. Dude will [[{{Whoring}} use it for all it's worth]]. ''Nonstop''. '''KOKO DESU KA?'''
** [[LightEmUp Marukare]] is probably the first thing to come to mind when one thinks of Orochi, although his Harue special (the projectile-esque attack that can't be nullified by ''anything'') is pretty bad too. Just be thankful that they didn't have him spam his Honosu Sori like Goenitz's Yonokaze.
** Krizalid, who could be considered NESTS' equivalent to Rugal in several aspects, has Typhoon Rage, as noted in GameBreaker above. Better get to writing your will while he's juggling you to death.
* ThatOneBoss: Rugal in every ''KOF'' except ''[='98=]''.
* TheyJustDidntCare: From ''[='96=]'' to ''2001'', King kept using the same vocals. Even in ''Capcom vs. SNK'', where every other SNK character had new vocals, King kept the same dated audio.
** The same point could be made for Robert. It wasn't until ''2003'' that Robert finally received an updated audio track.
** In the [=PS2=] port of ''XI'', all of the extra characters ported over from ''VideoGame/NeoGeoBattleColiseum'' sans EX Kyo and Geese lack their own character themes, instead receiving "Secret Circumstances," the theme of the Agent Team. [[AwesomeMusic/{{SNK}} While by no means is it a bad choice in music]], it is rather ill-fitting, especially when you consider that the console version included multiple remixes of older themes, either for characters who were first in rotation [[note]]"Big Shot!" for Terry, "Diet" for Yuri, "Bad Girl" for B. Jenet, "Arashi no Saxophone" for Iori, "Still Green" for Shingo, "Esaka [[{{Irony}} ~ Acid Mix]]" for EX Kyo", "[[{{Leitmotif}} Geese ni]] Katakori" for Geese[[/note]] or [[EasterEgg fighting at the Concert stage]] [[note]][[ImageSong "Kizudarake no Blue Moon"]] for Athena, "Duck Duck Dub" for Duck King[[/note]]. Even if they weren't given rearrangements of previous themes, you'd think that the sound team would at least quickly put together a catch-all theme like "Jack", the theme for mid-bosses Silber and Jyazu (after all, there's an "Ace" missing from the [[ThemeNaming card motif]] of ''XI''[='s=] musical tracks), or, failing that, match up the characters with themes belonging to their closest in-game buddies (ex: giving Robert "After a Long Absence", the Art of Fighting Team's BGM).
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot:
** Despite being toted as [[WordOfGod "the other protagonist"]] of "The Tales of Ash" saga, Adel Bernstein ({{noble|Demon}} son of Rugal) plays ''no'' role in the climax. Hell, he's not even ''present'' in ''XIII''. Only [[NeutralFemale his sister Rose]] appears.
*** Subverted by the console version, which shows Adel working behind the scenes [[spoiler:to help the Ikari Warriors in their investigation of Those from the Past]]. He's still not playable, despite concept art indicating that he was considered for the roster.
** This is a general consensus about the revelation that Kyo-1 and Kyo-2 were two of thousands of Kyo clones created by NESTS when it was LeftHanging immediately afterwards.
** The OutOfFocus status of the ''Fatal Fury'' and ''Art of Fighting'' cast (and to a lesser extent some of the characters from the earlier ''KOF'' games); they are either DemotedToExtra, become TheArtifact, or are a case of ChuckCunninghamSyndrome. SNK seems to be downplaying the fact that the ''KOF'' series is supposedly a big crossover of various SNK series and is focusing more on the characters that are more made for this series instead. However, SNK Playmore is showing some signs in trying to rectify this with ''XIII'' as they are starting to flesh out the older characters more.
*** That being said, more [[UnexpectedCharacter unorthodox]] decisions for who gets to [[TheBusCameBack ride the bus back to]] ''KOF'' [[BrokenBase can cause a schism]] [[UnpleasableFanbase in the fanbase]]. Hwa Jai is perhaps most notorious for this; older fans were glad to see him after some two decades, whereas many others felt he was undeserving of returning to the ring, which was not helped by him playing [[MovesetClone in a similar fashion to Joe]] (even if it was mainly from an aesthetic standpoint) and suddenly coming across as somewhat AxCrazy, as if he were channeling the more popular Yamazaki. A similar case could be made for Hwa's teammate Raiden, as opposed to, say, Tizoc.
*** ... Except it's all but spelled that, in-story, Hwa is faking a good part of his supposed "Ax Crazy". [[FridgeBrilliance After all, he and Raiden are led by a Hot Blooded Love Freak who takes many things at face value...]]
* TierInducedScrappy:
** Choi Bounge. He wasn't the most popular character ([[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff outside of Korea, of course]]) to begin with, but after his appearance in ''2002'', he became flat out despised.
** There is also a respectable number of people who have come to despise Kula after ''KOF XI''.
** Igniz is a SNKBoss-Induced Scrappy; while having the voice of NorioWakamoto is always a blessing, fans ''do not'' enjoy the idea of having to face him. There's a ''reason'' he was once the poster boy for SNKBoss.
** K' is seen as such in ''XIII'', right next to Raiden. The best teams have both as staple members with a rotating third.
*** While revisions for the console version have knocked down Raiden a peg or two (mainly due to lengthening the charge time for his dropkick, a staple part of Raiden's lockdown and pressure game), fans are divided on whether the changes to K' have really made him less of a threat, as some have actually served to ''improve'' his ability to string together hits in a combo.
* UncannyValley: Sprites before ''XIII'' had Kula resembling a human-sized doll with [[CartoonyEyes bug eyes]].
* UnfortunateImplications:
** Heavy D! is the head of a team full of walking American NationalStereotypes. Their RunningGag involves them being on the receiving end of a CurbStompBattle and having their invites stolen. Their stage is set in the ghetto (presumably in [[BigApplesauce NYC]]); the original ''[='94=]'' version included multiple stray cats, blinged-out onlookers, a wacky, [[FunnyAfro afro-sporting]] midget named Cool Guy, and a woman in a skimpy outfit who appears to be a hooker. The American Sports Team's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03xftbph53g theme]] is even [[SpellMyNameWithAnS sometimes spelled as]] "Slum No. 5." Really, Japan?
** The word "bimbo" is used in some of the earlier games in place of "airhead," apparently ignoring that the former can also be interpreted as "slut."
** Vice holds a grudge against Saisyu for [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything "putting up a struggle" and "resisting" the brainwashing process]]. Stop for a moment and think about how she does her brainwashing, and how Saisyu went along with it.
** Goenitz's insulting remark in ''[='96=]'' about how Mature and Vice couldn't keep their virginity once led to the belief that the two had sex with Iori. It should be mentioned that he says '''nothing of the sort''' in the Japanese version.
** Angel, a native of Mexico. She's a character who seems to exist solely for the purpose of {{Fanservice}} (nice rack, [[{{Stripperiffic}} a good eyeful of skin]], [[TheTease flirtatious personality]], etc.). She also is very touchy about her weight and is a bit of a hotheaded loudmouth. Her favorite foods are tequila and raw cactus slices, and her forte in sports is Mexico's national pastime: football (that's soccer for all of you Americans). [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__KzwZEpJ9Q Her theme]] in ''2002'' is named "[[TrademarkFavoriteFood Tacos]] Dance." Oh, and she's evil. Or at least a jerk.
* ViewerGenderConfusion:
** Sometimes players refer to Chris as a girl. It doesn't help that he has a GenderBlenderName. It was revealed that Chris is actually an AdorablyPrecociousChild (outside of [[SlasherSmile Orochi mode]], at least).
** [[AdorablyPrecociousChild Bao.]] A Japanese magazine had to place the male symbol character along with his name when introducing him; and probably also to explain his special intro with sexy female characters. It didn't help that one of his Spanish quotes for ''KOF '99'' was [[BlindIdiotTranslation worded as if he were a girl]].
** [[DudeLooksLikeALady Ash Crimson, Shion, the list goes on...]]
* VillainDecay: Duke in ''Maximum Impact 2''.
* WhatAnIdiot: It's already strongly implied that Eiji was on the receiving end of a Yagami beatdown at the end of ''[='95=]'', but his ''XI'' backstory states that he also challenged the ''entire'' [[BadassFamily Kyokugen]] [[BadassCrew Team]] after the tournament. If the latter happened immediately after the former, we all may need to reconsider Eiji's status as a threat. ''Maybe''.
** [[spoiler:Saiki]] gets this in ''XIII'', due to a big case of a VillainBall. Sure, [[spoiler:one of your strongest minions who has nothing but loyalty for you offers to fight in your stead, which would really help if you needed to duck into the door to the past in a hurry]]... and your response is [[spoiler:to kill him for no reason other than that he spoke up to you.]] Yeah, that's REALLY going to help. Especially when you follow it with [[spoiler:taking over the body of your own descendant '''despite knowing clearly that he is NOT to be trusted'''.]]
* WhatMeasureIsANonBadass: The ''other'' reason Yuki was hated. Since she was a mix of BarrierMaiden and OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent who didn't fight, fans of other female characters thought she was stupid, useless, weak, and [[DieForOurShip stole Kyo from "more deserving" strong females]] (and/or [[HoYay other males]]). [[UnfortunateImplications Because a woman's fighting skills and physical strength are what determine if she "deserves" a love interest or not, and if she's a strong female character her success in life won't be complete unless she gets the boyfriend that the fangirls want for her.]]
* WheelchairWoobie: [[IllGirl Kaoru]] started out as such, but her interactions with the Psycho Soldier Team managed to improve both her health and disposition.
* WinBackTheCrowd: ''XIII'' is this by virtue of completing the ObviousBeta that was ''XII'' (although the Russia stage from ''XII'' is mysteriously absent). Mai and K' are back as well as a true SNKBoss. You'll find every known character that was planned for inclusion in ''XII'' in ''XIII'' as well.
* TheWoobie: Chizuru, young Leona, Kula (''especially'' with [[spoiler:Candy's heartbreaking "death"]]), Hotaru, Krizalid, Nameless, Xiao Lon. Arguably Iori, K', and [[spoiler:Ash]].
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