An agent of a mysterious origin who's tasked with infiltrating Ultratech's tournament and shutting down their operations. She is the canonical winner of the tournament but her defeat of Eyedol caused a rip in the timestream and thrust Ultratech back in time by 2000 years.
Calling Your Attacks: The biggest offender in KI 2013, it seems. She shouts "Buster!" when using her Buster Knee (both normal and Shadow), calls out "Ichi Ni San" on every hit of the move, her Instinct Mode has her sometimes call out "Firecat!" and she calls out "Finish!" whenever she activates her Ultra Combo.
Mythology Gag: Before doing an Ultra in Killer Instinct (2013), she does her Killer Instinct 1 victory pose, complete with Jiggle Physics.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: After she destroyed UltraTech, the surviving characters from the first game are thrown into a time vortex in the second.
Oh, and she also got rid of Gargos's competition by killing Eyedol.
Not as You Know Them: The first two games portrayed her as a sexy, flirtatious secret agent with 90's rock as her theme. The 2013 game turns her into some king of GRRL power killer bounty hunter, with the lyrics emphasizing this. "Touch me and I'll break your face!" Turns out her plot for the third game's story mode is that her former agency has cut ties and disavowed her for unknown reasons. Even though Ultra Tech was allegedly destroyed (2013 takes place years after KI2), Orchid still feels like they're operating, and thus forms a rebel group to take down whatever's left of them, leaving her paranoid and vengeful, thus justifying her taking a level in...assness.
The Smurfette Principle: The only female fighter in the first game. Averted in 2, which added more female characters, and in 2013, as she's the second female fighter to be revealed as playable, the first being newcomer Sadira.
Super Mode: Her Instinct Mode summons her Firecat familiar, which can be summoned with the Instinct Mode command to help deal damage in combos.
During the previous Killer Instinct tournament, Chief Thunder's brother, Eagle, was one of the combatants. When Eagle did not return, Thunder entered the next tournament hoping to either return or avenge Eagle.
The third game continues this thread by having ARIA promise to help the Chief find Eagle's remains and give them a proper burial.
Animal Motif: His 2013 redesign places a heavy influence on Creepy Crows, to the point that his Instinct Mode surrounds him in a flock of crows.
Super Mode: In the 2013 game, when he triggers Instinct Mode, his dash becomes invulnerable and he can dash much further, allowing him to rush in without fear of retaliation as well as quickly cross-up his opponents when they're caught unawares.
Take It To The Bridge: His stage in the original game was a long wooden bridge (though oddly it didn't include a stage finisher in spite of it). His stage in the 2013 game is likewise inspired by that setting (now taking place in a northwest corner of the US on a natural stone walkway).
Tribal Facepaint: Both versions of Thunder include this. His DLC costume, though, does not.
Use Your Head: In the first game, he had his mohawk light up for one special, Sammamish. In the 2013 release, the mohawk's gone, but he's still got the move.
Wrench Whack: One of the accessory sets for his DLC Costume replaces his tomahawks with wrenches.
Ultratech promised they would release Cinder from prison early if he would allow them to experiment on him. When their chemical weapons experiment failed, it mutated him into living flame. If he wants to become normal once more, he must defeat Glacius.
A prototype cybernetic soldier created by Ultratech. He was put into the Killer Instinct to test his abilities. If he proves effective, mass production will begin. He was killed by Jago in the tournament, but robots don't die that easily.
After the original's death, Ultratech builds a new, deadlier Fulgore. When Ultratech HQ is sent into the past, he is released with one order: kill Jago.
He is made again in the third game, but this time, Fulgore begins developing a mind, an awareness that begins making it feel almost human...
The Dragon: In the first two games, he is always the second-to-last opponent. The third game promotes him to end-boss.
Expy: Pretty much a robot version of the Predator, right down to how the blades are shaped. Less so in the 2013 game (although he still arrives using optic camo, something Predator was fond of).
Eye Beams: A special move of his as well as a No Mercy. In KI2, his Ultra Combo consists of jumping into the air and unleashing a barrage of Beam Spam. The Eye Laser spam makes a return as a Shadow Move for his 2013 redesign.
Final Boss: In the current build of the 2013 game (as of March 2014), you fight Fulgore at the end of the game instead of one stage before (as in previous KIs). However if you perform the necessary steps to get to Shadow Jago, Fulgore's battle will be skipped entirely.
Frickin' Laser Beams: Besides his eye lasers, his 2013 design also gives him a chest-mounted one. And he gets to use it as an actual attack.
Genre Motif: His stage theme is industrial metal, which is combined with his KI2 theme. For the record, the only other character who even references the second game's soundtrack so far is Glacius.
Invisibility: Starting in the second game. The 2013 version combines this with his teleport.
Mechanically Unusual Fighter: In the 2013 release, Fulgore does not get a Shadow Meter. Instead, he gets a charge meter that determines how much energy he can spend on attack cancels and shadow moves. The charge meter can be charged via a special move or unique auto-doubles and also makes him faster. However, when he has full meter in Instinct Mode, he can spend the entire meter to fire his chest laser of doom.
Power Glows: An aura of red energy glows around him when he activates Instinct Mode.
Voiced by: Jean-Edouard "Jedsound" Miclot (KI 2013)
An alien from who-knows-where captured by Ultratech and forced to fight in Killer Instinct, supposedly to prove aliens' inferiority. He eventually defeated Cinder and escaped to his homeworld.
But 2000 years in the past, the remaining combatants have been thrust back in time, and Glacius' ancestors are all trapped on Earth. One of them, also named Glacius, seeks to free them and return home.
Mighty Glacier: Well, he is made of ice, after all, but ultimately this is subverted-he's actually one of the faster characters in either game, absorbs a decent amount of damage before depleting his bars, and can pummel opponents to a pulp in a heartbeat.
Compared to the later versions (especially the 2013 version), the first Glacius could also be a Lightning Bruiser, depending on how he was played.
Likewise, Glacius in KI 2013 actually fits the trope as the roster's first zone/keepaway character, with a floaty jump, slow walking speed, and long range attacks not unlike Dhalsim.
Power Armor: In KI 2013, Glacius is wearing a transparent form of this. Circuitry patterns can occasionally be seen flashing on it.
Back from the Dead: KI2 gave Jago a specific method: If he wins a round, he must use a specific command before his enemy gets back up. It will drain him of about 1/8 of his health, but if he is out of health bars (and isn't finished with an Ultra or Ultimate), his spirit will leave his body and regain that sliver of health so he can fight again.
The Dark Side: His story in the third game centers around him trying to manage the corruption within him from serving Gargos under the guise of the Tiger Spirit, as well as dealing with the guilt of being used in the first place.
McNinja: He's really a warrior monk from Tibet but has a very ninja-esque design.
Mr. Fanservice: His skintight and tastefully ripped outfit, showing off his lean muscles with about 1% body fat, were a blatant attempt at reaching for this. He's still fairly fanservice-y in KI 2013, but he looks far more rugged now. His Classic DLC Outfit then ratchets the fansercvice back up to the same level, if not a little more.
Superpowered Evil Side: Shadow Jago in the 2013 game (available as a preorder bonus), although for now it's mostly a Palette Swap and Evil Sounds Deep with the possibility of more significant differentiation down the line. The boss version (see below) has more variety than his playable incarnation. Either way, this is what's gonna happen to Jago if he doesn't get rid of what's left of Gargos.
Super Mode: 2013's Instinct Mode temporarily gives him a healing factor as well as faster recovery on all his moves.
Finishing Move: Boss Shadow Jago is the first character in KI 2013 to be given a No Mercy/Ultimate Combo. He cuts through you twice before sending you skyward. Then he jumps and cuts through you again before landing. This is the only known Ultimate Combo in KI 2013.
Mana Drain: Boss Shadow Jago's Instinct Mode allows him to sap up your Shadow Meter if he scores a successful attack.
Shown Their Work: Shadow Jago in KI 2013 may seem like a Palette Swap with a new voicepack, but the developers snuck in a little reference in a few split second things you'd only notice if you were looking for them (or purchased the art book). Shadow Jago's symbol when he is selected in the character select screen is tough to make out, but it seems to be a reinterpretation of Gargos. The same goes for his Instinct Mode, whereas Regular Jago gets a glowing golden tiger behind him when he activates it, Shadow Jago gets a very demonic symbol that resembles the big gargoyle baddie himself, most likely hinting at Shadow Jago's allegiance, or perhaps simply showing what Jago would've been like if he had continued worshiping the so-called "Tiger Spirit". As a Boss, he gets more moves, a unique intro and victory animation, a new Instinct Mode, and a unique Finishing Move.
Super Mode: As the boss, Shadow Jago will drain Shadow Meter insanely quick.
True Final Boss: You must first have seen every ending the character you're sending to do battle with Shadow Jago then complete the game without losing on at least Medium and and finishing the fifth and sixth opponents with an Ultra. Complete these steps and the stage 7 battle with Fulgore at the end of Arcade Mode will be ignored and instead you'll be jumped ahead to an invisible 8th stage to take on Shadow Jago. Good luck...note Defeat him and you will see an extra ending hinting at a possible future character.
One of Ultratech's little "projects", crossing human and reptile DNA to create a creature with the viciousness of a raptor and the mind of a person. A dangerous creature due to its unstable and indecisive mind, trapped between the predatory tendencies of its reptile half and its humanity, Ultratech is eager to see how vicious it performs in the tournament.
A poor soul cursed with the disease "Lycanthropy", causing him to unwillingly transform into a hideous creature of the night. Rejected by society and forced to live in solitude, his sanity is deteriorating but prays someday for a release from his burden. As unlikely as it sounds, Ultratech has extended their hand in aid should he be victorious in their tournament and thus he finds himself unable to refuse the opportunity.
Alchemy Is Magic: Sabrewulf's new arms in KI 2013 were made through alchemical processes. His stage is even called "Alchemical Lab."
Beast Man: Being a werewolf, this automatically applies. However, the third game plays with his mentality, as he tries to reclaim his human mind.
Body Horror: Not only is he forced to transform into a werewolf due to Lycanthropy, he lost both arms to another champion (possibly Orchid), in his first tournament. After that, Ultratech figured he could be a powerful pawn for them and built him a new pair of robotic arms and some internal machinery. Once he embraced his inner beast, however, he forcibly rips out his arms and artificial organs with his teeth, and is forced to use agonizing alchemical surgery to regrow them, becoming addicted to his supernatural painkillers in the process.
Butt Monkey: He got the crap beaten out of him in the tournament and was then experimented upon for his failure. He even gets possessed by Gargos, as he tries to kill Orchid.
Looks like he's finally lashing out: in KI 2013, he's become more monster than man, and got rid of his mechanical arms through some alchemical processes.
Button Mashing: A unique mechanic Saberwulf has in the 2013 game is Rabid Doubles, which allows the player to mash the same button repeatedly as an autodouble as a means to extend his combo.
The Cameo: He's loosely based on a character of the same name, invented by Rare for a puzzle-platformer they had released for computers (and remade for the Game Boy Advance) known as Sabre Wulf.
Cyborg: Similar to Pre-retcon Jax, Sabrewulf got cybernetic arms in the second game, thanks to unwilling implantation by Ultratech. The new game does away with them aside from an accessory set for his DLC costume.
Another ghastly product of Ultratech's science, this time in the field of cell regeneration. A warrior from over two millenia ago, Spinal finds it difficult to exist in the modern world but strives to prove his worth to his "creators" regardless.
Later games give him a more arcane origin, stating his resurrection being because of a certain mystical artifact that controls his destiny. He is searching for this item so that he may destroy it and finally live free.
Attack Backfire: He has a move where if his shield gets hit by a projectile, he'll get a skull from it. His 2013 form ups this so he can gain a skull from using this move against normal specials too.
Anvil On Head: The second game gives him a finisher that drops a giant skull on someone...and THAT skull laughs at you, too.
His 2013 redesign gives him the ability to summon ghost hands a la Shinnok.
Difficult but Awesome: Easily the most complex character in KI 2013 to date, requiring good spacing as well as resource management due to his skulls. A decent Spinal is a manageable nuisance. A good Spinal can invariably be a Stone Wall that can drain both Shadow and Instinct meter from his opponents while countering any tactic they might use to break his defense.
Downloadable Content: Spinal has been announced as the first DLC character for Killer Instinct 2013, releasing Jaunary 31, 2014.
Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods: Not only does his 2013 stage display a monstrous Kraken crushing a ship, but also his 2013 design straps on an octopus to his shield. It's mostly a cosmetic design though, as it can get replaced with accessories alongside his sword.
Mana Drain: His Skull Fireballs in KI 2013 can leech off his enemy's Shadow and Instinct gauges when powered by a skull. Normal Skull Fireballs drain Shadow meter, Shadow Skull Fireballs drain Instinct meter. The rate of drainage can be stacked up with subsequent uses of the fireballs in combos, but the effect stops the moment Spinal is hit.
Mechanically Unusual Fighter: His floating skull mechanic requires replenishment in order to gain certain perks for his special moves. These skulls are only gained via his Power Drain special, throws, and Flaming Skull combo enders.
Sub Boss: He is always third-to-last on the ladder in the first game.
Super Mode: His Instinct Mode gives him infinite skulls. Not only does activating it instantly summon every skull he can, but he can actually regenerate skulls over time as well. Considering that he can drain an opponent's Instinct Meter, this can lead to him staying with infinite skulls for, at most, ten seconds longer.
Teleport Spam: His Skeleport. Downplayed in the second game, where the move is much slower and less practical for spamming. The third then ups it a bunch, with an invulnerable shadow teleport and letting skulls make his heavy teleport (which puts him behind his enemy) special-cancelable.
Win Your Freedom: His story in the second and third games involve him breaking out of servitude. The main pull is that he is being resurrected and controlled by a mystic artifact, the Mask of the Ancients, and that by breaking it, he may finally be free.
T.J. "Combo" Garret
"I took the easy route, once. It got me fame, fortune and glory. But it was all hollow. When I fell, I fell hard. I lost everything. But I'm back now, and this time, I'm doing it right. And don't think for a moment that I'll let anything get in my way. 'Cause if you give me that moment...I win!"
A championship boxer who was eventually banned from the sport after it was discovered he used cybernetic implants to improve his punching power. Now without fame or wealth, he turns to Ultratech's tournament and their promise to restore his honor and title if he can best the competition.
The Atoner: That's what his new story seems to be.
Back from the Dead: If he loses both health bars while having full Instinct in 2013, he will get back on his feet, using up his Instinct Meter to restore a tiny bit of health (almost like Jago's Spirit ability in 2), and uses a Ground Pound to emit a powerful shockwave.
Bare-Fisted Monk: Even though Jago is an actual monk, TJ fits this particular trope better as a heavyweight boxer and the only fighter without an obvious weapon or superpower. His arms contain cybernetic enhancements, but he's often overlooked in favor of the flashier characters despite his strengths.
Character Development: He went from a cheater who used augmentations to better his boxing (who then fought for Ultra Tech to regain his former glory) to an atoner who desires to go straight in KI 2013.
Combat Pragmatist: His backstory shows that he uses cybernetic implants and was banned from boxing because of it. He is also known for fighting dirty: one of his finishers in the first game involve breaking the opponent's neck; in the second game, his No Mercy was shooting the opponent with a machine gun. His 2013 redesign plays up this pragmatism more with more noticeable grabbing. Then again, he is shifting his fighting style from Boxing to MMA.
Downloadable Content: He is the first Downloadable Character to be announced for Season 2 of Killer Instinct 2013, slated for release some time in the Fall of 2014.
Expy: Of Balrog, Jerkass and everything. His movesets are also an expy of Guile taken Up to Eleven, as EVERY move requires the player Charge back or forward (except the Super moves).
His redesign for the Xbox One reboot strays from his boxing roots and turns him into a mixed martial artist instead. This is most noticeable with his gloves, which are the thinner kind used by MMA fighters as opposed to the traditional boxing globes.
Extremity Extremist: He's a boxer, after all. However, he does have a flying knee move. His redesign is looking to stray from this route.
Fallen Hero: He fights in the first and third tournaments to get his heavyweight title back.
Eyepatch of Power: His second appearance does have him sport an eyepatch for dubious reasons. It's off for the third game, making one wonder what it actually was needed for.
Mechanically Unusual Fighter: What makes Combo different from the rest of the 2013 cast is his "Recapture" mechanic, which forces his opponent to stand up after getting knocked down. Time will tell if this remains unique to Combo, or if it gets changed to a system-wide mechanic.
Mr. Fanservice: Like Jago, he too is quite ripped in both muscle and clothing.
Neck Snap: One of his finishers in the first game.
Painting the Medium: He has a finisher in the first game which smacks his opponents into the screen.
Power Glows: His Instinct Mode starts making blue light glow from inside his veins. No doubt this is because of his illegal implants.
Recursive Reality: Score an any sort of finisher with him in 2 and the cinematic that plays after the match shows him tossing a Killer Instinct 2 machine.
Sociopathic Hero: In the comic book, he's not above quite brutally maiming foes, threatening non-fighters to get what he wants and cheating in tournaments. He also reacts with confusion when he sees Jago choosing not to kill an opponent. He's one of the protagonists.
Super Mode: His Instinct Mode for 2013 grants Combo a generous speed boost, cutting the recovery of all his moves. Additionally, he gets a Heroic Second Wind if he gets K Od while his Instinct is active.
Time Passage Beard: In contrast to his clean-shaven earlier designs, his new design gives him a short beard. Some have been saying that this makes him look like former NBA star Patrick Ewing.
Wearing A Flag On Your Shorts: His boxing shorts in the first and third games are patterned after the American Flag. The second game makes his tank top flag-patterned, while his pants become camo.
Ultratech's champion, a warlord that was freed from his dimensional confinement to challenge the winner of the tournament. A two-headed monstrosity who carries a gigantic club, Eyedol is a fearsome foe who Ultratech banks everything on.
The Dragon: Ultratech likely sees him this way, since they freed him to fight in their tournament.
Shout-Out: In the first part of his ending, a woman in purple approaches him claiming that he's her long lost son Billy, lost in a car incident. This is almost the same scene which mirrors the ending of Blanka. (Also note that Blanka's real name is Jimmy... Billy? Jimmy? Anyone?)
Descendant of the heroes who once banished Eyedol and Gargos, Kim is elected as the guardian of her people. With the return of Gargos, she must fulfill her duty to her homeland and destroy him forever.
Guide Dang It: The only way to defeat him is to trigger the Stage Fatality. Otherwise, he'll just keep fighting at zero health and will even win if the timer runs out. Good luck figuring this out on your own.
The leader of a secret clan of female assassins called the Red Eyes of Rylai. She enters into the Killer Instinct tournament for bloodsport and begins hunting down the other competitors by the orders of a certain employer.
All Webbed Up: Considering her spider motif, it would be more shocking if she didn't have this.
Her Instinct Mode ability is to set sticky traps across the arena whenever she performs a double-jump or the Instinct Mode command, allowing her to web up her foes to halt their advance or hold them in place to deal damage.