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The King of Fighters '99: Millennium Battle
New Hero Team
K' - Unknown
"Now, the finish. Get up, fool!"
Voiced by: Yuuki Matsuda ('99 to XIII), Yoshihisa Kawahara (XIV), Andrew Scott (Maximum Impact series, English)
The protagonist of the NESTS Saga, and NESTS first success in using the Kusanagi DNA in another human. He was abducted from his home when he was young for use as a test subject, and was used as an agent for NESTS after his success. After his defeat of his own clone Krizalid in the '99 tournament, he was branded a traitor by NESTS and he and Maxima went on the run. He eventually helped bring the whole cartel down, and was reunited with his older sister Seirah (a.k.a. Whip). He now works with the Ikaris investigating Mukai's group, along with Kula and Maxima.
- Aloof Big Brother: To his "sisters," Whip and Kula.
- Ambiguously Brown: It's never specified if K' is meant to be East Indian, African American or anything of the sort. See But Not Too Black below.
- Animal Motifs: Birds, apparently. A few of his attacks are bird-themed and the back of his jacket reads "A Beast Of Prey" (the words are more legible in character art and in the Maximum Impact series).
- Anti-Hero Substitute: A rare instance of Darker and Edgier done well.
- Badass Back: His walking animation.
- Badass Boast: "doitsumo koitsumo" his post battle quotenote in a nutshell, is K' saying that he can take on everyone by himself. Eight times out of ten, he can back up this claim.
"Just me alone, is more than enough."
- His intro.
- Big Brother Instinct: Towards Kula and Whip.
- Big Damn Heroes: Pulls one of these in 2001 when he saves Kula and a wounded Foxy from K9999 and Angel.
- Bishōnen: Although he is manlier than average.
- The Bus Came Back: His return in XIII.
- Cloning Blues: Not a clone in the traditional sense; Kyo's DNA was used on him to see if the pyrokinetic abilities could be transferred.
- However, he tries to affirm his existence as something more than a mere "clone" of Kyo. He believes that he'll perpetually be stuck in Kyo's shadow, a feeling that is only reinforced when he fights Mukai in 2003.
- Cool Shades: Is almost never seen without his sunglasses, unless he's in the middle of battle.
- The Glasses Come Off: As said above, K' always takes off his shades before battle and tucks them away. He even throws them at his foe to initiate his Chain Drive DM.
- Creepy Cool Crosses: He wears a cross pendant around his neck. Concept art for '99 also shows a cross emblem on the back of his jacket, although this design wasn't implemented. If he does have a particular religious belief, it doesn't show.
- Darker and Edgier: Not just as a protagonist, but his inclusion into the story marks a stark departure from the Orochi Saga.
- Dark is Not Evil: Dresses in all black and has moves with names like "Crow Bite" but is still a pretty straightforward hero.
- Dark-Skinned Blond
- But Not Too Black: Zigzagged all the time. Art depictions usually show him with very dark skin. His early sprites give him the same complexion as Heavy D! but later depictions play the trope dead straight. Averted in The King of Fighters 2 pachinko game, though.
- Defrosting Ice King: After the conclusion of the NESTS Chronicles. Sadly, the results are akin to trying to melt an iceberg with a match...
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: In regards to his origin as a "Kyo clone."
- Emo: Believed to be this by the fandom, but isn't. Probably because some of his design was used for Rock Howard, who's commonly misconstrued as emo.
- Fingerless Glove: That's right, one. The other glove is his Power Limiter.
- Finger Poke of Doom: The "One Inch".
- Flash Step
- Glasses Pull: His revamped Chain Drive in XIII has him seemingly stopping time mid-combo just to put them back on. Next thing you know...
- Good Is Not Nice: Although he's the main hero of his story, he's one cold-hearted SOB.
- The dialogue he shares with the other fighters in XIII seems to suggest everyone is aware of his status as a heroic and well-intentioned character but he never has a kind word to say back to anyone. Most of his statements to his opponents are cold, stoic, and harsh.
- Hair Color Dissonance: More recent sprites (2003 and XI) prior to XIII gave K' a bit of a pink/purple hue.
- Hell-Bent for Leather
- Hidden Depths: The characterization of K' changes a lot in the multiple printed adaptations. While the most popular portrayal is the one of a cold person, a manga depicts as an insecure teenager.
- Irony: K' loathes KOF, yet seems to be dragged into a new tournament each year. As a result, he seems to be very disaffected while fighting. His previous Idle Animation had K' repeatedly dozing off before falling asleep for good in the middle of a battle. His XIII sprite has him cracking his neck multiple times.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's brash and very crass, but he does legitimately care about those who are close to him. Maxima notes that K' has a tendency to mask his relatively amiable actions with harsh words.
- Locked into Strangeness: A prevalent fandom theory is that, thanks to the appearance of Another K' in 2000, NESTS inserting Kyo's DNA into K' caused his hair to permanently turn white. This seems to be supported by Kula (whose hair goes from chestnut brown to ice blue when she powers up), K9999 (whose hair turns white and becomes spikier when he allows his Tetsuo copycat status to reach critical mass), and Nameless (who possesses the DNA of both Kyo and K' and sports half-brown, half-white hair).
- Loss of Identity: It wouldn't be unbelievable if K' was a completely different person prior to his abduction by NESTS. Although he hardly muses about it openly, his Character Development is grounded not only in establishing his existence as something more than another "Kyo clone", but in trying to piece together his lost past.
- Meaningful Name: Although the ' symbol in his name is rarely (if never) pronounced as "prime" (as in derivatives), K' was the first of several cloning processes used to see how Kyo's DNA could be implemented into ordinary humans. In some way or another, he was the precursor to Krizalid, Kula, Nameless, and Isolde.
- Mr. Fanservice: Owns a large and dedicated female following.
- '90s Anti-Hero: Given life at the end of the decade but still fits in with the trope. Abrupt and harsh name ("Kay-Dash"), cold-hearted SOB who only cooperates when it suits his end (his victory pose has him saying he's good enough to fight your whole team), and has a laser-like focus on his objective (stamping out the NESTS organization and anyone associated with it). However, as said before, he does move away from this a bit as time goes on.
- No Pronunciation Guide: As seen above, it's pronounced "Kay Dash."
- Only Known By Their Code Name: Justified, as the memories of his former life (and thus, his name) were suppressed when Kyo's DNA was grafted into his body. K' still has no recollection of his past life, minus a few flashes following the downfall of NESTS.
- One-Letter Name
- Perpetual Frowner: And he knows it. As he tells Yuri, it's simply who he is.
- Playing with Fire: He has to wear a special gauntlet to control them, though.
- Power Incontinence: His body can't properly handle the Kusanagi flames (and can even flare out of control and harm K'), thus the reason behind his Power Limiter.
- His teams ending in 2000 shows his hand to be rather... burnt.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red to Maxima's Blue.
- Red Right Hand: Again, his Power Limiter. He's not evil, but was designed to be the "dark hero" of the series.
- Required Secondary Powers: An interesting case in that K' doesn't appear to (completely) have these when it comes to his flames, hence the Power Limiter. This extends to Nameless and might also be the case for fellow "clones" Kula and K9999, who wear identical but differently-colored versions of K''s glove.
- Rule of Cool: K' is probably the patron saint of this trope in the KOF world. He exerts minimal effort in battle (notice how he nonchalantly flings his wisps of flame at you, or how bored he is at the prospect of fighting). He tosses his snazzy sunglasses at you and then proceeds to warp next to you and beat your face in with a flurry of punches and kicks. He can blow you to Hell and back with a simple thumbs down. To put the cherries on top, there's this display of sheer badassery in XIII. Words fail us.
- The Snark Knight: To a degree.
- The Stoic: Given his past, he's not fond of others, bar certain individuals. This still doesn't stop him from having outrageously Hot-Blooded Kiais (at first, anyway).Shydyaaaa!!
- Theme Naming: His themes (with the exception of 2001's "Big Pain"; 2001 was an oddball when it came to just about everything) are designated by the moniker of "KD" (as in his name, K Dash).
- Said themes gained an extra "D" in XI ("KDD-0075") and XIII ("KDD-0063"), likely to account for the other "KD" (Kula Diamond) joining his team. XIV is an exception with his team theme being called "KD-SR", even though Kula is present.
- Expect to see the word "Drive" cap his list of DMs (i.e. Chain Drive, Heat Drive, Heaven Drive, etc.). Possibly lampshaded in Days of Memories, where his theme is called "Cool Drive."
- Too Many Belts: Look closely at his design. Out of the seven belts found on his person, only one of them is worn properly.
- Unskilled, but Strong: To be expected of a guy whose discipline is listed as "pure violence", K''s brand of pyrotechnics is unrefined and rarely more creative than blunt, direct attacks meant to be one-shot finishers. While he's suggested to be in the upper ranks of the cast in terms of raw power, his fellow flame wielders are able to match him either by using a more versatile skillset or having comparable strength and the training to go with it.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Implied, but not outright said. You can see traces of this every once in a while.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Not so much "black" as "a very dark gray"; earlier on in his run, K' was only concerned about making NESTS pay. He lightens up progressively over the course of the NESTS Chronciles and beyond, although he remains stoic and unfriendly to most.
- Younger Than They Look: Looks like he's in his 20s but is stated to appear between 16 and 18.
Maxima - Canada
"I read your moves like the funny papers!"
Voiced by: Katsuyuki Konishi, Mike Jarnus (Maximum Impact series, English)
K's lifelong friend and partner. He was an ex-policeman whose partner Rocky was killed by NESTS. Maxima decided to go undercover, and with the help of a man named Dr. Makishima, was given a new, cybernetic body armed with several features. His abilities caught the eyes of NESTS, and they recruited him as he had planned. He met K' while in the organization's services, but in '99 he and K' ran away from NESTS. They spent the next 2 years destroying any and all NESTS bases around the world. Upon reaching Igniz in 2001, Maxima was shocked to find that his partner Rocky had been turned into a full cyborg. Igniz, however, killed Rocky once again to display his godlike power. Before he died, Rocky activated the full abilities of Maxima's enhancements, allowing him to fire a large laser out of his chest. After the downfall of NESTS, he acts as an uncle for Kula while both of them, including K' and Whip, rebuild their lives.
- Arm Cannon: He can turn his arm into one.
- Bilingual Bonus: Frequently refers to K' as "aibou," the Japanese word for "partner" ("partner" is used in the English localizations), as a testament to their fire-forged friendship.
- Bishie Sparkle: Believe it or not, he has a quick one during his taunt in XIII.
- Bruiser with a Soft Center
- Canada, Eh?: Averted. If it wasn't All There in the Manual, you'd probably never guess his nationality.
- Chest Blaster: Ever since 2001 he'll have a DM where he shoots beams from his chest. His Maxima Laser Neo MAX and, later, his DM and Climax DM in XIV takes it up to Wave Motion Gun levels.
- Covert Pervert: According to XIII Climax. Are you sure these Athena pictures in your data are solely for info, hmmmmm?
- Death from Above / Rocket Jump: One of his DMs (Bunker Buster) is to fire his vapor canon at the ground, launching himself off the screen to come crashing down on his opponent.
- Enemy Scan: He can analyze his opponents. This ability doesn't work on K' and Krizalid, which slightly confuses Maxima.
- Facepalm Of Doom: One of his command throws is a forward dash where he grabs the opponent by the face and smashes their head into the far wall.
- Genius Bruiser
- Guns Akimbo: XIII gives him a DM where he uses both of his vapor cannons.
- Hair Color Dissonance: His model for XIII has him as a dirty blonde, which is completely contrary to his artwork in the very same game.
- SNK seems to have caught on, as his in-game sprite in the console version has his hair correctly colored brown. The image in question here is the sprite preview provided on the official XIII site.
- Hard Head: One of his DMs ends this way. But no worries, he's a cyborg.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With K'.
- Ho Yay, if you get one of the random ending slides in KOF 2002.
- Honorary Uncle: To Kula. He doesn't seem too fond of the moniker, though.
- I Love Nuclear Power: He's powered by a miniature nuclear reactor called the Maxima Heart. Since only 20% of his body is still organic (hard to tell at times with his clothing), it's unknown if this reactor has replaced his real heart and acts as its artificial analogue.
- Neck Lift: His Bulldog Press, which is quickly followed up by a chokeslam.
- Never Gets Drunk: As he tells King in XIII.
- Penny Shaving: After the NESTS organization fell down and its heroic members formed a Secret Project Refugee Family, he is mentioned to regularly hack into multiple bank accounts to take few money from a lot of people at once to support the family.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to K's Red.
- Smoking Is Cool: Albeit sparingly.
- Sweet Tooth: Revealed in his pre-fight chats in XIII (Mai's and King's more exactly). Confirmed in the K' Team's ending where he's handed a huge parfait... and it's gone in few seconds. Fridge Brilliance hits when you consider that sweet food contains glucose, which is the "fuel" for the brains; Maxima not only is a cyborg but also a technopath who must handle LOTS of data constantly and thus needs these sweets.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome
- Technopath: Maxima appears to possess some form of cyberpathy as he can interface with a satellite connection, as seen in 2003 and MI2. He also uses this connection to steal money to support himself and K', although of late, their funds have been dwindling (Maxima predicts that they'll only last another month or two).
- Use Your Head: One of his Desperation attacks has him tossing his opponent into the air then using his head to bounce them back up, like a soccer ball.
- Wrestler in All of Us: A few of his moves, including a German suplex, a chokeslam, and a dropkick.
- Younger Than They Look: Only 29, but speaks with a solemness that evokes a more aged man, coupled with his appearance as being someone in their mid or late 30s. This causes some confusion with other characters. Word of God says this is intentional as they wanted an older-looking main character to balance the prevalence of younger characters in the series.
Ikari Warriors Team
Whip - Unknown
"All show. No substance!"
Voiced by: Shiho Kikuchi (99-XI), ??? (XIV)
Whip is a mercenary who joined Heidern's squadron under the alias "Muchiko" to investigate NESTS, believing it to have some significance to her past. She was a former NESTS agent but she betrayed the organization and ran away. She confronts Krizalid and reveals that he's a clone of K'. Afterward, she confronts Clone Zero and after he reveals that she is a clone of K's sister Seirah, she shoots and kills him. Afterwards, she confronts Igniz along with K' and after Igniz's defeat, she settles down with K' and Kula.
Whip is set to return as the first DLC character in XIV.
- Action Girl: Again, highly trained mercenary.
- Affectionate Nickname: Ralf tends to call her by the nickname "Muchiko."
- Berserk Button: Ralf being generally unable to act his age or like the superior officer he is seems to be hers.
- Bowdlerization: Some versions of KOF censor her gun specials, turning her ground gunfire into what appears to be a microscopic explosive, and her HSDM's revolver is repainted gold and given a flanged head. Ironically, a golden revolver seems more awesome.
- Combat Pragmatist: With her HSDM, where she shoots you with a long-barreled revolver.
- Combat Stilettos
- Cool Big Sis: To K' and Kula.
- Cute but Cacophonic: Not so bad in the later games, but in her earlier appearances, oh man. Be sure to turn the volume down a nudge.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: One of her special moves shows her dragging her opponent toward her while curbstomping them and laughing out loud.
- Not to mention one of her victory poses, where she gets a bit... enthusiastic with her whip.
- Hair Color Dissonance: In Shinkiro's artwork from '99 and 2000, Whip had brown hair. Her sprite has more of a lavender tint, and subsequent artwork is split between the two.
- Hand Cannon: Her Desert Eagle, which was censored in the international releases. The result is that she seems to be firing bullets with her gloved hands in a rapid wrist movement.
- Her HSDM/MAX 2 has her blast you with a fearsome-looking revolver.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: In her ending in 2000, this causes her to kill Clone Zero.
- I Call It "Vera": Her transmorphic whip, Voodoo.
- I Have Many Names: Her affinity for whips earned her the Code Name of Whip, which is sometimes changed to Muchiko/Whippy thanks to Ralf. She also responds to the names Sally and Sarah, the latter of which is a misromanization of her real name, Seirah.
- Long Lost Sibling: K', Whip is your long-lost little(?) sister. A clone, more precisely.
- Noblewoman's Laugh
- Revolvers Are Just Better: Her HSDM has her shooting you with a long-barreled revolver/gold plated flanged head revolver in the censored versions.
- Shoot Them While They Are Down: Whip originally had a move where she'd fire at a downed opponent to hit OTG. It was censored and replaced by a less effective version of Mature, Vice, and Yamazaki's snake arm abilities.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Her real name can be translated as Seirah or Sarah. The series tends to stick with the former.
- Statuesque Stunner
- Trademark Favorite Food: Honey. As the developers' diary for 2000 reveals that her name is an anagram of Winnie-the-Pooh, this is by no means coincidental.
- Whip It Good: Her name is Whip, Muchiko means whip girl, Whippy comes from Whip, she has a Whip that she uses for attacks. She is this trope personified.
- Younger Than They Look: In '99's story, she's only 16 years old. She looks much older than that. There is, however, some ambiguity has to whether or not that's her real age.
Psycho Soldiers Team
Bao - China
"Oh yes! I am victorious! And happy as an oyster!"
Voiced by: Kanako Nakano
A young boy who joined the Psycho Soldiers for the '99 tournament after demonstrating his abilities to Chin. Chin sensed a connection between him and Kensou, and was proven right when Kensou suddenly lost his powers around the time Bao joined the team. Eventually, Chin figured out that Bao and Kensou "shared" their power; when Bao had them, Kensou lost his, and vice versa. He has not been playable since the NESTS saga ended, but has cameoed in cutscenes and in the Psycho Soldiers' endings semi-regularly.
- Attack Reflector
- Be the Ball: One of his numerous Psycho Ball attacks involves curling up and launching himself at the enemy.
- Creepy Child: In the 2001 ending he gives very strong vibes of the trope, though to be fair it looks like Ron is behind it.
- Demoted to Extra: After the NESTS saga ended.
- Happily Adopted: By Chin.
- Hard Head: A few of his attacks involve headbutting his opponent, and one has him falling headfirst to the ground.
- Kid-Appeal Character: The youngest playable character in KOF, with a simple but effective moveset.
- Kid Hero
- Lethal Joke Character: Despite his silly mannerisms and strange movest, Bao is consistently upper mid-tier in all his playable apperances.
- Nice Hat: Which became larger in 2001.
- Psychic Powers
- She's a Man in Japan: The Latin American translations mistook him for a girl.
- Sleepy Head: In an easter egg, holding down with him for an extended period of time will eventually have him nod off.
- Spell My Name with an "S": The character that makes up his name is read as "Pao" in Japanese. Many arcade flyers have this spelling, despite his name being officially Bao.
- Sphere of Destruction: His Psycho Ball Attack, SP DM is an attack that Akira and Tetsuo would be proud of.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer: All of Bao's special attacks and Desperation Moves are variants of the basic Psycho Ball used by his teammates Athena and Kensou, but with enough innovation and creativity on his part to have an entirely diverse, if somewhat quirky, moveset.
Women Fighters Team
Li Xiangfei - USA
"Since I win, you buy dinner. First, some Dim Sum, then...."
Voiced by: Mami Kingetsu
A Chinese-American resident of Southtown who trained in the martial arts from a young age. Living with her uncle, she works as a waitress and doubles as the bodyguard for his restaurant. Her brief scuffle with Kasumi after a misunderstanding gives King and Blue Mary the idea to scout them in the '99 tournament. Xiangfei later returns to the Women Fighters Team in 2001, bringing Hinako in tow.
- Anime Chinese Girl
- But Not Too Foreign: Has Chinese parents, but was born and raised in Southtown, effectively making Xiangfei Chinese-American.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Her winquote against the Psycho Soldiers in 2001 is "Chinese psychic combat? Have you been eating poppies?"
- Big Eater: Perhaps the only person who can beat Kensou in this department, taking it as far as her 2001 character select portrait.◊ Leads to Balloon Belly in her team's ending for that game.
- At the China stage in 2002, she's seen in the background, having an eating contest against the much larger Cheng Sinzan. She wins.
- Bring It: One of the few characters whose taunts rival Yuri's in terms of childishness.
- Cute Bruiser
- Dual Wielding: Has two sai in certain pieces of artwork, but never uses 'em in battle.
- And the two swords that somehow appear in one of her winposes. Again a case of GASS.
- Genki Girl
- Ki Attacks
- Put on a Bus: Hasn't shown up in a canonical KOF since 2001, but she and bus-riding kin Hinako and May Lee returned in 2002: Unlimited Match to form the Pretty Girl Team.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin
- Spam Attack: One of her supers deals 100 hits. The SDM version ups the hit count by two.
Jhun Hoon - South Korea
"You are really weak. Throw in the towel!"
Voiced by: Kazuya Ichijo
A friendly rival of Kim's who also practices Taekwando, although his style is far more focused on kicks. He's a huge fan of Athena, which got him into trouble at one point as he was hit by a truck after crossing the street to see her. To add insult to injury, the Athena he saw was only a cardboard standee. He recovered by the time of the 2003 tournament, but disappeared again the next year.
- Bilingual Bonus: Jhun apparently hates his family name. Why? The Chinese character Jhun is two strokes less than the character Kim, Kim being the name of his greatest Taekwondo rival.
- Butt Monkey: Come ON, read the blurb above.
- Extremity Extremist: The most notable example. Not only does he only fight with his feet, but he also keeps one hand behind his back whenever he fights.
- Justice Will Prevail: To the point that he and Kim became rivals in regards to rehabilitating Chang and Choi.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy
- Not So Stoic: Usually quiet and reserved... until he talks about or meets his favourite pop stars.
- Put on a Bus: The aforementioned truck accident.
- The Bus Came Back: In 2003.
- Stance System: Has three different movesets, and they're all kick-based.
- Technician vs. Performer: With Kim. He's the performer, by virtue of his flashier, more dynamic moves, as opposed to Kim's (technician) more low-key and traditional techniques.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: To a degree, with Kim.
Krizalid - Ireland
"Useless. It's so hard to find good help now."
Voiced by: Yoshiyuki Iwamoto ('99), Eiji Yano (2001)
A clone of K', and the second-in-command to the cloned Zero. He was given orders to gather battle data from the victors of the '99 tournament for use in the awakening of an army of Kyo clones, but after his defeat the project was abruptly canceled and Krizalid was killed by his superior. He was later resurrected by the real Zero for his skills, but his whereabouts after the fall of NESTS are unknown.
- Ambiguously Brown
- Anti-Villain (The Noble and Woobie variants): His desire to protect Whip and his care for the well-being of his subordinates firmly establishes Krizalid as this.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Was a high-ranking executive of NESTS.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: The cyber-suit he wears under his Badass Longcoat can read battle data from opponents he engages. The suit then augments his movements to use this data in fights.
- Back from the Dead: In 2001. Subverted because it's a clone. Although as of XIV, he may be back for real. It's implied that he's one of the souls inside Verse due to its winquote to K', but it's unclear as to whether this is Krizalid or Original Zero speaking to him.
- Badass Longcoat: The overcoat he wears when you fight him in the 1st round. It's HUGE, and it gets even BIGGER in 2001, where he appears as a striker for Original Zero. He's got a new overcoat on top of the original overcoat! How he's able to fight in those things, we may never know.
- Big Brother Instinct: Arguably towards Whip, when he was under the impression that she actually was his sister.
- Blow You Away
- Bondage Is Bad: In contrast to K', Krizalid takes belt fashion and makes it into a gimp suit (with its own leather jockstrap, natch). It's not very flattering, either: although his outer coat comes off as a Rummage Sale Reject, his cyber-suit left fashion statements a while ago (which may be justified, if the suit secretes chemicals all over his body to move his muscles). In addition, his theme seems to be inspired by Industrial Metal, and his uneven fighting stance nearly puts him in Unsexy Sadist territory. It's almost like he gets off on your tears!
- Cloning Blues: At first believes that K' is a clone of him, but it turns out that it's the other way around. It didn't help that he believed Whip was his sister, thanks to K's memories.
- Tomato in the Mirror: He's K's clone.
- It got worse in 2001, where it's revealed that the Krizalid who aids Zero in his fight is a clone... of a clone... of a CLONE. (Although to be fair, K' really isn't a clone per se, just a guy carrying the DNA of another guy.)
- The Coats Are Off: After the first, anticlimactic fight. Get ready for a beatdown, for once the kiddie gloves come off, they stay off.
- Dark-Skinned Blond
- Degraded Boss: While serving as Zero's striker in 2001.
- Dies Wide Open: How Heidern and his men find his body in the remains of his base.
- Diving Kick: Exclusive to his first form.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: How about a giant rock?
- Facial Markings: That resemble eye scars.
- Fallen Angel: In motif only (the pauldrons on his overcoat are made up of black feathers). His second theme song (the one that usually signifies a Curb-Stomp Battle) is even named "Dear Fallen Angel."
- Genetic Memory: Assuming his memories weren't tampered with/implanted, Krizalid recognized Whip as his sister and treated her as such (whereas K' wouldn't learn of this connection until the Hero Team's ending in 2000). This kindness was reciprocated by Whip, who gives her "brother" a touching send-off upon discovering his corpse in the epilogue.
- I Am Not Left-Handed: Similar to Rugal. Takes it easy in the first bout (doesn't use any of his aerokinetic attacks, though he will throw fireballs) but when you beat him, he reveals his data-collecting suit and unleashes the full range of his power.
- Load-Bearing Boss
- Playing with Fire: Burns away his overcoat in his intro, and can create a pillar of flame.
- Razor Wind: Typhoon Rage."TORNADIS!" note
- Rubber Man: One of DMs invokes this trope.
- Shoulders of Doom: His first form; made of black feathers.
- SNK Boss: Word of God says that he's their most unforgiving creation to date. They actually apologized for making him so difficult to defeat.
- Villainous Breakdown: After he's beaten in '99.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Looks and sometimes acts the part, but really isn't.
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: His name is pronounced as chrysalid. You know, like that shell that caterpillars gain during the pupae stage to get wings, or that fur coat he wears that hides his cyber-suit.
- You Bastard: His last words before he's crushed by the ceiling are "You sick psychopaths!"
- In some endings, he still tries to say his name when Heidern asks him before he succumbs to his wounds.
Kyo- 1 & Kyo- 2 - Japan
"Victory is mine... was there any doubt?"
Voiced by: Masahiro Nonaka
After Orochi's defeat in '97, the famed Kyo Kusanagi went missing. The cartel known as NESTS had captured his unconscious body and dragged him away, analyzing his fighting style and extracting his DNA for future use. Kyo-1 (the one in navy) and Kyo-2 (the one in crimson) were but two of numerous clones of the Japanese schoolboy.
- Ambiguously Brown: Oddly enough.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Kyo-2.
- Cloning Blues
- Divergent Character Evolution: Originally, they were carbon copies of Kyo's previous movesets (Kyo-1 was the '94-'95 Kyo, while Kyo-2 was the '96-'97 Kyo). 2002: Unlimited Match gives them new and individual techniques that take cues from other characters or sources.
- Era-Specific Personality: Kyo-1 and Kyo-2 embody their original's characterization throughout the Orochi Saga, Kyo-1 being more levelheaded like post-'95 Kyo and Kyo-2 displaying the cocky bravado Kyo had in the first two games. The irony here is that their movesets are flipped around.
- Expendable Clones/What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Although never outright stated, it's alluded to. In 2002: Unlimited Match, the Clone Team gets a dark and sinister (but undoubtedly awesome) theme called "Antimony ~ Mutually Exclusive Dichotomy." While it's a bit Engrishy (antimony and dichotomy are essentially synonyms, which would make the title redundant), the song refers to a conflict between two opposing forces who, by the necessity of their very identities, cannot reconcile nor co-exist. It relates to the clones since their very existence conflicts with the identity of Kyo himself (as there can only be one Kyo). It could also reference how the clones seek to establish their own identities, which is impossible since they are merely copies of Kyo.
- Leitmotif: Being associated with the old Kyo, they will always have some sort of "Esaka?" (the Japan Team's theme from '96) to accompany their fight. Always. The only exception was 2002: Unlimited Match.
- Martial Arts Headband: Natch.
- Playing with Fire: Well, duh.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Kyo-1 is the calmer Blue who prefers not to underestimate opponents, while Kyo-2 is the cockier Red who is the other way around (He tends to underestimate opponents). For bonus points, they're even color-coded (Kyo-1 wears blue, while Kyo-2 wears brown).
- School Uniforms Are the New Black: As a result of the desire to bring back Kyo's old look.
- Send in the Clones
- You Are Number 6
The King of Fighters 2000
Kula Diamond - Unknown
"I won. Now... Where's my prize?"
Voiced by: Yumi Kakazu, Kat Cassteneda (Maximum Impact 2, English)
The end product of NESTS' Anti-K' Project, of which Nameless' lover Isolde was a subject of. Her powers over ice were used as a counter to K' own flames, and she, along with her caretakers Foxy and Diana, were assigned to eliminate K' and investigate the cloned Zero's activities. After the fall of NESTS, she settles down with Diana and Foxy and becomes a little sister of sorts to K', joining him on occasion in KOF.
- An Ice Person
- An Ice Suit: One of the few female cyromancers who doesn't have a Stripperiffic outfit, though as of XIV they seem to be taking baby steps to get her there.
- Attack Reflector: Her Counter Shell.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Her personality becomes The Stoic during her "Freeze Execution" SDM, where she fills the entire air around her with ice, signified by the entire background becoming light blue. It's also a full screen attack that in certain games triggers if the first hit connects.
- Bonus Boss: In 2000, for breaching various point totals dependent on your team throughout Arcade mode. Notably, she freezes over the entire stage she's fought on and will trigger an extra scene in the ending if she's beaten.
- Breath Weapon: Her icy Diamond Breath.
- Calling Your Attacks: Ever since losing her stoic attitude and becoming more cheerful, she's learned to do this to some of her more mundane attacks. "WAN IN-CHI~!!! SULAIDA SYUTO~!!!"
- Children Are Innocent: Deep down, she's a innocent, naive girl with little knowledge of the outside world.
- Creepy Child: Unfortunately, her upbringing as an assassin hasn't completely been wiped clean. Luckily, this doesn't rear its head often.
- Code Name: The Anti-K'.
- Dance Battler: To an extent. A few of her attacks resemble graceful movements that you'd see coming from a ballerina, and several moves (and in XI and Maximum Impact 2 onward, her running animation) are pulled straight from a figure-skating routine.
- Distaff Counterpart: Introduced in 2000 to complement K'.
- Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: She sports these in 2001, after plummeting into the sea during the Hero Team ending... and right before K' rescues her.
- Elegant Gothic Lolita: Her alternate outfit in Days of Memories involves this.
- Elemental Hair: Her hair turns light blue when she activates her cryokinetic powers. Some of her attacks suggest that this trope may be literal, as her hair seems to actually become ice, or at least take on some of its properties.
- Emotionless Girl: At first, but then...
- Break the Cutie: After Foxy was stabbed by K9999, she realized the true nature of the organization she served. Also happened a year earlier with the "death" of her robot companion Candy. Since breaking off from NESTS, she became more of a Cheerful Child, as her appearance in Maximum Impact 2 indicates.
- Everything's Better with Sparkles: Her neutral stance is accompanied by sparkling gusts of chilled air that swirl around her.
- Eyelid Pull Taunt: The pre-fight exchanges in XIII heavily feature Kula performing these.
- Also done in a close-up of her face before her Climax super in XIV.
- Face Doodling: It's implied that she does this to Nagase in her MI2 ending.
- Her profile also states that she enjoyed doing this to Candy.
- Finger Poke of Doom
- Genki Girl
- Hair Decorations: Can occasionally be seen with a small ribbon tied to a lock of her hair, almost exclusive to her neutral state, where her hair is its normal color (her select screen art in 2000 and 2002UM, as well as her introductory cutscene in 2000 being the primary examples).
- Has Two Mommies: More or less; Foxy and Diana did raise her, y'know. However, it should be noted that Kula considers Maxima to be her uncle figure in the Secret Project Refugee Family that the NESTS traitors have created.
- Hell-Bent for Leather
- Hero Secret Service: Coming to her aid during Freeze Execution are none other than the other members of her personal Amazon Brigade: Foxy, Diana, and (depending on the iteration) Candy.
- Irony: Hates fire, yet one of her usual companions is K'... a man with pyrokinetic abilities. Naturally, Kyo feels the need to point out this glaring contradiction to her in XIII.
- Leitmotif: Ice Place in 2000. It returns in XIV's story mode when she faces off against Angel.
- Little Miss Badass: She's only 14 years old.
- Long Hair Is Feminine
- Rapunzel Hair: Waist-length, extending to her rear.
- Not Blood Siblings: She and her "sister," Candy Diamond.
- Opposite-Sex Clone: Possibly. SNK was never clear on what a clone was in KOF and if Kula was a "built-from-the-ground-up" clone in the vein of K9999 or a normal human injected with DNA.
- If her Maximum Impact 2 profile is to be taken into account, it's surgical implantation, much like K'.
- Personality Powers: Her stint as an Emotionless Girl matched up well with her ice powers.
- Power Limiter: Maybe. She wears yellow gloves similar to the ones K' and K9999 possess, which were made specifically to prevent Kyo's DNA from going out of control.
- Prehensile Hair: It's unknown if her hair actually turns into ice when powered up or if it simply takes on the properties of ice, but her crouching C attack suggests that she can at least use her hair as a weapon.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Doesn't reflect upon her disposition, though. They're blue in some of the promotional illustrations created for 2000.
- Rollerblade Good: While running, Kula creates skates out of ice underneath her shoes (so they're like rollerblade Heelys?), which ties into why some of her moves resemble ballet/ice dancing. They also double as effective weapons.
- Snow Means Death: Not intentionally, but the fact that she can drop a friggin' snowman on your head and crush you with it says something.
- Sweet Tooth: Ironically, her favorite food is candy, particularly lollipops, which she can be seen licking in some of her intros and promotional artwork.
- Theme Pairing: Expect to see her paired up with K' (fellow NESTS refugees, Kyo "clones," fire and ice)... a lot. There hasn't been much evidence in-universe, but Kula is one of the few people that K' is actually friendly towards (per se).
- Her intro dialog with K' in XIII suggests that he does care for her and is concerned about her well being. Of course, he tries to sound mean when he's expressing his concern.
- Third-Person Person: At times, she'll start a sentence with her name instead of "I," most likely due to a combination of the experiments and her mental immaturity.
- To elaborate, she only started doing this around Maximum Impact 2. The first signs of it in the main series were in XI and XIII. She dabbles in it a bit in the English dub of XIII, as well as a scant amount of dialogue in the English localization.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Implied in her backstory; Kula was genetically engineered to be one of NESTS' assassins, after all. If you subscribe to the theory that Kula really is K''s Opposite-Sex Clone, then it's likely that, outside of sweets, Diana and Foxy's maternal doting, and her friendship with Candy, killing literally is all she knew.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Her hair is normally a chestnut brown color, but changes to light blue when powered up.
Lin - China
"My venom has no antidote... Death is the only cure."
Voiced by: Takaya Kuroda
Lin is a member of the Hizoku clan, a mysterious band of assassins. After his superior Ron massacres much of the clan and leaves without a trace, Lin sets out to find him. He encounters Ron in 2001, alongside the members of NESTS, and is seen with him in XI, indicating that he may have joined forces with his former enemy.
- Bald of Awesome: Minus the braid.
- Bare Your Midriff
- Bloody Murder: His blood is poisonous and he can somehow exude it from his hands to enhance his attacks. In his MAX 2 in 2002 Unlimited Match, the poison can drain the opponent's health down to 1% and lasts the whole round, but Lin has to perform the last hit.
- Breath Weapon
- Creepy Good
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette
- Flash Step
- Mentor: To Xiao Lon. One of the few members of Hizoku besides Duo Lon to treat her amiably.
- Ninja: A Chinese ninja...
- Ninja Run
- Poisonous Person
- Technicolor Toxin: Green.
- Prehensile Hair
- Professional Killer
- The Quiet One
- Red Right Hand: Subverted; while he literally has it, he's not evil (at least not like Ron). It is instead a visible indicator of his corrosive, poisonous blood, although this only comes into play when he's injecting foes with his toxic fluids. Which hand it is varies wildly, likely pointing at ambidexterity.
- Revenge: Against Ron, who betrayed and murdered his fellow clansmen.
- Enemy Mine: Possibly in XI, where he's suddenly standing beside Ron.
- Rubber Man: In 2001 he acquired attacks that require his arms to stretch significantly and a SDM that makes them look literally like rubber bands.
- Slashed Throat: One of his DMs, where Lin slowly approaches his opponent while disappearing from sight and reappearing frequently right before grabbing them. He's probably using a very thin garrote, but the sprites make it look like he's doing so with just his thumb.
- The Southpaw: Seemingly. It's not very common for a character to fight with their back to the screen in a 2D fighting game.
Ramon - Mexico
"Your expression was classic! Lots better than my lucha!"
Voiced by: Eiji Takemoto (2000 to XI), Kiyoshi Katsunuma (XIV)
A famous Luchador in Mexico, Ramon was born as one of the less fortunate children in the country, extremely poor and carrying the hardships that comes with it, however the guy never took upon himself to become a sour guy whose life has been most unkind, Ramon was always upbeat and hoped for a better future.
Ramon grew up to become a luchador, a quite beloved one and strong at that, so good that he was scouted to become an Agent and participate in the 2000 edition of the King of Fighters tournament; Ramon was scouted by Vanessa to become part of the Hero Team for that year, in order to investigate and trace NESTS actions around that tournament.
He became a Freelance Agent after that, continuing his career as a luchador but always being in waiting whenever his services are to be requested; while Ramon has a strong sense of justice, his willingness to remain as an agent may have to do with Vanessa, he became quite smitten by her, falling in Love at First Sight, the two trade flirts and teasing however Vanessa keeps a certain distance, while Ramon may be in love with her, Vanessa might not feel the same, sometimes not feeling like playing the flirt game with him, refusing his advances, meaning she isnít ready to move on from her late husband just yet.
After skipping XII and XIII, Ramon returns in XIV, as member of Team Mexico, accompanied by King of Dinosaurs and Angel. His goal is to at least represent Mexico, and he didn't seem to mind that Angel was an ex-NESTS member.
- All Love Is Unrequited: He tries to woo her, but Ramon doesn't seem to have any luck. Lampshaded in XI with the Unrequited Love Team (him, Robert, and Kensou).
- Amazon Chaser: Undoubtedly smitten with the quite talented (and ever-lovely) boxer known as Vanessa.
- By XIV this has extended to any woman fighter older than him.
- Animal Motifs: The Tiger, his Luchador Name, his attacks, and as of XIV it extended to Ramon's clothing.
- Badass Adorable: Very capable when he needs to be, also very funny, friendly and his only two noted likes is Vanessa and Children, having a soft spot for them, possibly due his rough past.
- Contagious Heroism: He seems to have this effect on Angel during XIV
- Dogged Nice Guy: To Vanessa.
- Eyepatch of Power: Shun'ei thinks the eyepatch is a Power Limiter of sorts for Ramon.
- Flanderization: In 2000, his relation with Vanessa was little more than playful flirting, fitting his personality. Fast-forward to XI; his sole purpose in any scene is to loudly and comically swoon over Vanessa, including during fights.
- Alternate Character Interpretation: Is he really that crazy for Vanessa, or is he playing the Manic Pixie Dream Guy, acting silly to cheer her up from her husband's death? Could it be a mixture of both attitudes — maybe he started playing the Manic Pixie role to cheer her up, but then it got stuck or he found out he did like to play the role? Or hell, is it a part of his stage gimmick that he takes a bit too far?
- Friend to All Children: Playing with children is listed as his hobby; due his clear Tiger Mask inspiration Ramon likely wants to be a role model for them.
- Fun Personified
- Gratuitous Spanish/Patriotic Fervor"VIVA MEXICO!"
- Handsome Lech: He falls somewhere in-between this and Chivalrous Pervert. During XIV Ramon can't help to flirt with many of his female opponents. Between the targets of his attentions you can find: Luong, Zarina, Mai and even his own teammate Angel. Interestingly, despite finding Mature attractive he's not interested on her.
- Hot-Blooded: Even when he's running away (doing his Tiger Road Wall Jump), his yelling is ferocious.
- I Shall Taunt You/Trash Talk: Is fond of this. In XI his taunt is the exact same provocation Tiger Mask did in some of his fights against Dynamite Kid.
- Likes Older Women: He's 25 and Vanessa's five years his senior. The best he gets in return is teasing.
- Masked Luchador: In the backstory, anyway.
- XIV reveals him to be quite the fan of masks. He compliments Mian for her mastery in the art of Bian Lian and is interested on challenging his buddy King of Dinosaurs for his T. Rex's mask.
- Red Baron: "The Mightiest Tiger" and "El Diablo Amarillo" (that's "The Yellow Devil" for those of you not fluent in Spanish) are his ring names.
- Romancing the Widow: Tried on Vanessa. The key word here is "tried."
- Scars Are Forever: His character model in XIV shows a huge scar fully covering his right eye socket under his eyepatch.
- The Slacker: It seems Ramon can vent off if someone isnít keeping track of him, in XIIIís Story Mode, when Heidern is asking for updates from his Agents scattered around the vicinity, Ramon is seen drinking and having a good time in a bar (with Chang and Choi behind him), he reports to Heidern as if he was conducting some proper and serious investigation.
- Spirited Competitor: Greater reasons may be involved, but Ramonís basic reason for being in the 14th tournament is described as simply love for showing his lucha and helping his buddy King of Dinosaurs.
- Turns out he's helping King of Dinosaurs to find Nelson so he can have a grudge match against the boxer.
- Street Urchin —> Self-Made Man: His backstory.
- Theme Naming: Quite a few of his moves have the word "Tiger" in them. Due his Tiger Mask inspired moveset.
- Token Good Teammate: Sort of, in XIV. He's the only overtly "good" member of Team Mexico, though none are truly evil. Angel is no longer a NESTS operative, but she's still condescending and rude to everyone but her teammates, and King of Dinosaurs is a brutal heel, in theory, anyway. He's really the noble and good spirited Tizoc, who hasn't quite taken to the heel part of his new persona.
- Twinkle Smile: Sports one in the funny intro he has with Vanessa in XI; Vanessa teases him with the promise of a date if he puts up a good fight, Ramon responds with a text book twinkle smile.
Seth - USA
"For victory, bring wine and chinchilla. It's all I desire."
Voiced by: Hidetoshi Nakamura, Glenn Haig (Maximum Impact series, English)
Seth is an agent working alongside Heidern's faction to expose NESTS. He has not been seen since 2001, but in the Maximum Impact series he is investigating Addes all by himself.
- Ambiguously Bi: Hits on most of the guys he fights against in his win quotes.
- The Atoner: MI series only; he feels guilty for the death of Fate since he was the one who leaked the information about Duke and Addes to him in order to infiltrate the syndicate.
- Badass Beard
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Especially his "Another" design in the Maximum Impact games, although his normal attire isn't too shabby either.
- Badass Normal: Like Vanessa, he's really just very, very good at what he does.
- Boring, but Practical: From visual design to fighting style, Seth is ALL about this.
- But Not Too Black: Just compare his regular depiction◊ with his 3-D alter ego that provides his reference picture. It really speaks for itself...
- Combat Pragmatist: Presumably.
- Counter Attack: Has many counter moves, including one DM.
- Dark-Skinned Blond
- Flash Step: In one of his specials and one DM.
- Genre Savvy:
- Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: His Level 3 from Maximum Impact 2 (Temporal Rain, Chaotic Chrysanthemum).
- Interface Screw: Caused by one of his DMs. Of course, it does nothing to computer-controlled opponents.
- Jump Physics: Can suddenly change direction entirely during a jump.
- Mundane Made Awesome: He can hurt you with dust. Also, his DMs respectively involve lying down and stomping on the opponent from below, and ground pounding them.
- Punches That Suck: His Sho-Yoh special is a really fast uppercut that creates an upwards vacuum.
- Scary Black Man: Bonus points for still looking serious and intimidating with a blonde mohawk!
- Unexpected Character: Absolutely no one saw him coming in Maximum Impact.
- You Gotta Have White Hair
Hinako Shijou - Japan
"I reacted without thinking. You okay?... Didn't think so."
Voiced by: Ayako Kawasumi
A rich girl who formed part of the female team in 2000 and 2001. Her goal was to show that a sweet little girl like her could fight in par with males...by practicing sumo.
- But Not Too Foreign: Is part Russian.
- Charles Atlas Superpower
- Cute Bruiser
- Everything's Better with Spinning: One of her desperation attacks, and quite a lot.
- Extremity Extremist: Slaps and grabs, befitting a rikishi.
- Fad Super: Apparently, yes.
- Girly Run
- Glacier Waif
- Hair Decorations
- Improbable Weapon User: More like improbable fighting style user; she sure doesn't look like your average rikishi.
- Waif-Fu: Hinako isn't the only example, but she is one of the more prominent.
- Long Hair Is Feminine
- Passionate Sports Girl: Hinako aspires to be a sumo wrestler and feels that gender should not impede her aims to do so.
- Proper Lady: Sort of clashes with the whole "sumo wrestler" thing, doesn't it?
- Put on a Bus: Due to a lack of popularity in onna-zumo at the time (sadly, onna-zumo may never see a professional scene as long as the Japan Sumo Association maintains its present way of thinking). She reappeared in 2003 and The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match, though.
- Spoiled Sweet: She's as sweet-tempered and gentle as she's rich.
Vanessa - Unknown
"Let's do this again. If you butch up a bit, that is!"
Voiced by: Kaori Minami (2000-XI), ??? (XIV)
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 himself. They are to follow the footsteps of the NESTS cartel, which Ling and his agency persecuted. The two agents part from one another with Vanessa recruiting prime suspects, K' and Maxima, as her teammates. She also scouts the talents of Mexican wrestler Ramon to complete their team. Her objective from then on is to observe the activities of the NESTS defectors based on Ling's orders.
Confirmed as a DLC character for KOF XIV.
- Ascended Glitch: Her Climax Super in XIV is based on her infinite combo from 2000 where you could endlessly cancel her far C with her feint special, culminating in her signature Gaia Gear MAX2 from 2002.
- Action Mom
- Always V Sexy
- Attack Reflector: Her punches have this effect.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Partially subverted. If up first, Vanessa will strip off her suit jacket, leaving only her shirt, tie, and slacks.
- Badass Normal
- Bare Your Midriff
- Boobs of Steel: She's a purely physical brawler. Just like Mai, she lets the sprites talk, instead of the numbers.
- Christmas Cake
- Depending on the Artist: Sometimes she's toned, sometimes slender, and sometimes downright waifish.
- Extremity Extremist: Being a boxer, it's logical; she still has one kick attack, though.
- Fiery Redhead: Subverted. While strong, outgoing, and in possession of a good sense of humor, she's also quite level-headed and her passion rarely dips into Hot-Blooded territory. If you do get on her bad side, you're less likely to end up with a hot-tempered verbal beatdown than a swift fist in the face.
- Flash Step
- Flung Clothing
- Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: A notable aversion of both this and Fragile Speedster, in a medium and a genre in which female characters almost invariably fit one or both of these tropes.
- Hand or Object Underwear: A promotional artwork for 2000 has Vanessa doing the "arm bra" variation alongside the other members of the Hero Team (who are all posing stylishly). Seeing as she was the only female member of the K' Team that year, the implications of this should be very clear.
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: In one intro pose with Seth, Seth wonders if all of the alcohol is going to be detrimental to her fighting performance, causing Vanessa to retort something along the lines of "I fight better when I'm drunk!"
- Heroes Want Redheads: Ramon has made this all too clear.
- Hired Guns
- Invulnerable Knuckles: Subverted, as seen by a few of her supers and win quotes.
- It's a Small World After All: The Agents Team's backstory in XI reveals that Vanessa was acquainted with Blue Mary's dead lover Butch.
- Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs
- Sleeves Are for Wimps
- Statuesque Stunner: One of the taller members of the cast at 182cm (6' for all you stateside tropers).
- The Tease: In XI her special battle intro with Ramon she teases him, saying if he puts up a good fight maybe they will go out on a date, cue to Ramon's shining smile.
- Widow Woman
- Determined Widow: Her husband's death is what pushed Vanessa to investigate NESTS in the first place.
Clone Zero - Unknown
"Zero doesn't mean I'm nothing. I'm the all that's touched by none!"
Voiced by: Kinta Futogane
As his name suggests, he is a clone of the true Zero, created to oversee the 2000 tournament and to infiltrate Heidern's organization. He killed Heidern's partner Ling and impersonated him in order to obtain the Zero Cannon, a Kill Sat that siphons the energy from fighters. He made a clone of Ling in order to hold Heidern off while he challenged K'. He lost, and tried to use the Zero Cannon, but Heidern killed the Ling clone, which held the switch to the generator, effectively crippling his plans. He was apprehended by Kula and brought before Whip, where he revealed she was a clone. Appalled by this, she shot him dead.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Another high-ranking member of NESTS.
- Badass Mustache: Maybe. It doesn't help that the creators themselves laugh and joke specifically about the 'stache.
- Beard of Evil: Actually, just a Mustache of Evil.
- Black Screen of Death: His Anryuuten Hazaki HSDM in 2002: Unlimited Match. Yes, it's almost exactly like the Shun Goku Satsu.
- Casting a Shadow: One of his special moves uses a shadow and stuns his grounded opponent. Then Zero steps forward and kicks the opponent's ass.
- Cloning Blues
- Clothing Combat: Bears repeating, his cape-longcoat fusion is bladed.
- Feet of Clay
- Gravity Sucks/Gravity Master: Summons a black hole during one of his DMs. Oddly, black hole itself doesn't suck the opponent in, instead pelting them with energy drawn in by its vacuum.
- Improbable Weapon User: Uses his own cape as a weapon. Also his Shadow Pin techniques.
- Irony/Hypocrite: In his official bio, Clone Zero's dislike is Traitors, which can be seen as both ironic and hypocritical since he himself is a traitor to NESTS.
- Kill and Replace: He kills Ling, a military commander and close friend of Heidern, and is replaced by his clone.
- Master of Disguise: After he kills Ling, he uses the Ling persona as a decoy while working under the noses of the good guys to further his ambitions.
- Meaningful Name: His "Ling" persona means "Zero" in Chinese.
- My Hero Zero: Despite his name being Zero, he is not a hero.
- Power Floats: His run and roll animations involve Zero hovering off the ground, arms crossed.
- Retcon/Retronym: Clone Zero was not intended to be a clone at first, but his character designer was unsatisfied with how Zero turned out and designed to introduce his preferred version of the character as the true Zero in the next game. Because of this, Clone Zero is simply known as Zero in KOF 2000.
- Shoulders of Doom
- SNK Boss: Gains super meter incredibly fast, and his supers inflict roughly over half of your health's worth of damage.
- Turned Against Their Masters: Via a Kill Sat. It failed.
- Villainous Breakdown: Once he loses, he tries to kill everyone via the Zero Cannon... which isn't working. He's constantly asking why it won't work, all while Button Mashing with the activation switch...which didn't end well for him as the Zero Cannon's generator ends up exploding.
The King of Fighters 2001
Angel - Mexico
- MODE OF COMBAT: "Perfunctory"♥ elements of pro wrestling
- BIRTHDAY: March 6
- HEIGHT: 168cm (5'6")
- WEIGHT: "Write it down and you die!"
- BLOOD TYPE: O
- BIRTHPLACE: Mexico
- HOBBY: Riding 50cc motorcycles, live concerts
- PERSONAL TREASURES: Vintage B-3, deck coat, and P-D series clothes
- FAVORITE FOOD: Tequila, raw cactus slices
- DISLIKES: Gambling
- FORTE IN SPORTS: Soccer
"Is it a sin to be mighty? Then call me the devil!"
An agent of NESTS who was allied with Kula, Foxy, and K9999. After K9999 wounded Foxy, she went after him and hasn't been seen since.
Due to the Retcon removing K9999, Angel's story is changed. Somewhere after 2011, she defected from NESTS and has been on the run from NESTS assassins trying to silence the traitor. Eventually, she got sick of running away and decided to enter the KOF tournament with both Ramon and King of Dinosaur to settle the score, especially after hearing that there will be a NESTS agent.
- Author Appeal: Toshiyuki Kotani (alias "Styleos") has gone on record as saying he put everything he liked into Angel's design.
- Bare Your Midriff
- Biker Babe: One of her hobbies.
- The Bully: Towards her former NESTS colleagues.
- The Bus Came Back: She went missing with K9999 at the end of the 2001 story-wise, was last playable in the 2002 game and wasn't heard from at all through the "Tales of Ash" arc. KOF 14 sees her finally returning to the roster.
- Boobs of Steel: Tied with Shermie at 92cm and one of the more dangerous characters to face in the right hands.
- Cleavage Window
- Cute Bruiser: She's in the same boat as many of the others; attractive babe with physical prowess that would put some of the men to shame.
- Cute but Cacophonic: Not so bad in 2001, but her seiyuu changed for 2002 and she fell into this.
- Dark Action Girl: You wouldn't know it from looking at her, though.
- Defector from Decadence: In the Retconned story, Angel eventually defects from NESTS and has been on the run.
- Fingerless Gloves
- Flash Step
- Foil: Could be seen as one to Shermie. Their profiles have more than a few common points: promiscuous and flirty, a tad bit ditzy, buxom (they're tied for 1st among the KOF ladies at 92cm)... and far more dangerous than one would peg them at a first glance. The only big differences are their superiors (supernatural vs. science) and their styles of wrestling (Japanese/puroresu vs. American). The two even made their debut at the climax of their respective sagas.
- Foreign Fanservice: You might not know this, but Angel hails from Mexico.
- HeelĖFace Turn: In XIV, though given the retconning of the events of 2001's NESTS team ending, it's unknown just how much of a heel she really even officially was.
- In XIV she is a pretty nice girl to her teammates King of Dinosaurs and Ramon but an utter bitch to everyone else.
- Idiot Hair: Only in her 2001 artwork, though.
- It Is Pronounced Tro-PAY: Her name uses the Spanish pronunciation, "An-hell."
- Lightning Bruiser: Her body's physiology was augmented to be far stronger and more resilient than that of a normal human (and even the other KOF competitors), and she can Flash Step on top of it. Averting Gameplay and Story Segregation, this holds up pretty well in her playable appearances.
- Marshmallow Hell: She gives her opponent a face full of her chest as part of her Climax Desperation Move in XIV.
- Ms. Fanservice: Maybe even giving Mai a run for her money.
- In retaliation, Mai is very snarky towards Angel, even going as far as to criticize her choice of clothing.
- Only Friend: To K9999. Not his Morality Pet, but probably the only one who can reason with him.
- Retcon: There's no mention of Angel's friendship with K9999 for her XIV bio, nor a recap about the last time she was canonically seen. When her Team Story was revealed, it turned out that for some reason, Angel left NESTS and ended up getting chased by assassins.
- Sexy Coat Flashing/Toplessness from the Back: Her strip tease winpose, depending on which variant it is.
- Statuesque Stunner: Although she's only 168cm, remember she is Mexican. The average height for women in Mexico is around 155cm (5'1") and that's not the only thing; she's 1cm taller than the average Mexican male.
- Stripperiffic: What Angel wears isn't particularly modest to begin with, but in a few of her win poses, she strips down even more.
- Tattooed Crook: As evidenced by her 2002 artwork.
- The Bus Came Back: Angel makes her return to the series in The King of Fighters XIV after having been absent since 2002 and its remakes.
- The Other Darrin: Went from Mina Tominaga in 2001 to Mayumi Shintani in 2002. And yet again in XIV to Miki Ogura.
- The Tease: Quite possibly the most flirtatious character in the series, which is not an easy feat by any stretch of the imagination. Whether or not she pushes into Sugary Malice territory is up to interpretation.
- Token Evil Teammate: Played with. At first, she might not look like one as she's also accompanied with the Heel wrestler King of Dinosaurs, leaving Ramon the sole 'Face' of Team Mexico. However, King of Dinosaurs is actually the good guy Tizoc who's just in Heel gimmick from business standpoint, making Angel the sole pure 'Heel' of the team.
- Ultimately subverted since Angel has genuinely turned on a new leaf and her whole motivation to enter the XIV tournament is to track down the remnants of NESTS and shut them down for good. However, she's still pretty condescending to others.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Tequila and cactus slices.
- Underwear of Power
- Verbal Tic: Apparently, Angel has a habit of ending her sentences with "nya" like a meowing cat.
- Wrestler in All of Us: In fact, several of Angel's moves are directly inspired by The Rock.
Foxy - Unknown
"If you want to sustain your bloated ego, then get some ability!"
Voiced by: Haruna Ikezawa
Kula's other caretaker. Also skilled with a rapier and is playable in 2001 and 2002 Unlimited Match. It was originally thought that she was killed by K9999 on NESTS' orders, but she was only wounded slightly. The incident, however, did traumatize poor Kula.
- Animal Motifs: The bee. Though generally implied in previous games, the motif first appeared in Kula's Neo MAX in XIII.
- Attack Reflector: Her slashes can redirect projectiles.
- Badass Longcoat
- Christmas Cake
- Combat Stilettos: It's more evident in the artwork than the sprites.
- Cool Big Sis: To Kula, although she also sometimes has the air of an Onee-sama.
- Cool Sword: It's an elegant-looking rapier that also only causes blunt trauma, not evisceration.
- Dark-Skinned Blond
- Early-Bird Cameo: Depending on your score upon reaching Zero, in the end of KOF 2000, Kula will be seen deactivating the Zero Cannon. When it happens, she and Diana will show up next to Zero, chastising him for his betrayal.
- Flash Step
- Flechette Storm: Using paralyzing darts.
- Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Under the overcoat, particularly with Hiroaki's drawings in 2002UM.
- Hair Color Dissonance: Strangely, the manhua by Andy Seto has Foxy as a blonde as opposed to the white locks she sports in-canon. None of the other white-haired characters share this artistic liberty.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Diana.
- Instant Costume Change: As a win pose, Foxy changes into more casual attire in a flash of light.
- Lady of War
- Long Hair Is Feminine: And quite long hair at that.
- Motherly Scientist
- Not Quite Dead: Supposedly killed off in her first appearance. She still hasn't appeared in other games, though. Played with endlessly with her supers Honey Bee and Schroedinger's Cat, as seen below.
- She makes a cameo with Diana during Kula's special intro vs. K' in XI.
- And again during Kula's Neo MAX in XIII. She also randomly takes Diana's place in Kula's win pose and during the regular version of Freeze Execution.
- Also, the guy who supposedly killed her may or may not been Ret Goned.
- Parental Substitute: Shares this role with Diana in regards to Kula.
- Punny Name: "Foxy" is slang for an attractive woman.
- Rapunzel Hair: In artwork it varies between artists (Falcoon—his drawing can be seen above to the right—and Hiroaki both have her hair as at least reaching slightly below her hips, but Nona's drawnings have it a bit shorter), but it definitely shows in the sprites. Still, it's nowhere close to Duo Lon.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: In 2001. Her appearance at the end of 2000 gave her brown eyes, and her eye color seems to switch between the two ever since.
- Self-Made Woman
- Statuesque Stunner
- Stripperiffic: A few of her alternate artworks feature Foxy without a shirt under her overcoat. This has yet to transition to any of her playable appearances, though, so she remains one of the Token Wholesomes among the female cast.
- Sword Beam
- Sword Plant: One of her win poses.
- Taking You with Me: Her Honey Bee super move, where she rushes towards the opponent with her rapier and it explodes, killing her instantly along with her opponent.
- Joke Character: In 2001, due to that particular move. This is (arguably) only applicable at face value, though; Foxy was widely seen as a high-tier character in her debut and remains one of the only characters in the series to actually be banned in competitive play (see the YMMV tab for more details). It's her tournament legal revisions in 2002UM that have seen Foxy move closer to the below trope, but still not entirely.
- Lethal Joke Character: In 2002 Unlimited Match, where the Honey Bee is now her MAX 2, meaning it can only be used if she has 3 power stocks and less than 3/4 of her life left.
- Joke Character: In 2001, due to that particular move. This is (arguably) only applicable at face value, though; Foxy was widely seen as a high-tier character in her debut and remains one of the only characters in the series to actually be banned in competitive play (see the YMMV tab for more details). It's her tournament legal revisions in 2002UM that have seen Foxy move closer to the below trope, but still not entirely.
- Team Mom: Towards Kula, but not quite to the same extent as Diana. Notably, she did act as Kula's caretaker in 2001 while leading the NESTS Team and keeping an eye on K9999 and Angel.
- Wearing a Flag on Your Head: She has a new super in 2002UM where she wraps the opponent in the NESTS flag and slashes them repeatedly.
- Ironically, the super is named Schrödinger's Cat.
Igniz - Unknown
"Praise me... For I am God! Look upon my new world!"
Voiced by: Norio Wakamoto
The Final Boss of 2001 and the CEO of the NESTS Cartel. Igniz spearheaded the Kyo Clone, Anti-K', and Zhe Projects, and masterminded all of the events leading up to 2001. He was the 2nd-in-command to his father, the leader of the organization, until Igniz killed him in a surprise move by disintegrating him. He explains that all of the experiments and the tournaments were just a ruse to fuel his true ambitions of becoming God. He is defeated by K's team, and in a last ditch effort, initiates a Colony Drop, saying that if he cannot become a God, then he would become the Devil instead. Unfortunately, Ron foiled his plan by landing the satellite safely into the ocean. Igniz's fate is unknown, but he most likely died.
- A God Am I: Tourrette's variant; Igniz doesn't have a lot of screen time from when he first appears to when he starts kicking your ass, but he refers to his apotheosis no less than 5 times in the space of 30 seconds.
- Achilles' Heel: Though infamous for his cheapness, his AI has a couple of holes that make defeating him rather easy with every character in 2001. Players have recorded multiple examples for your convenience.
- Asskicking Equals Authority/Authority Equals Asskicking: Was originally second-in-command of NESTS, and then killed his father to become the CEO. Regardless...
- Back from the Dead: XIV reveals that he is one of the many souls inside Verse who gets released after being defeated. He speaks to Sylvie in Verse's winquote to her.
- Badass Cape: His cloak can do wonders.
- Bishōnen: Earned him the Fan Nicknames of Alucard and Emil Castagnier.
- Clothing Combat: For instance, his coattails stab you multiple times during Brutal God Project. Another one is his Chain Blade specials, where he uses the Combat Tentacles on his wrist to slice you to bits, which is also a part of Brutal God Project.
- Deflector Shields: His suit has four of them built in.
- Dragon with an Agenda: To his boss (and father), Nests.
- Flash Step: Employs one as his dodge roll.
- Handsome Lech: Word of God states this design was intentional. It worked, seeing as how Igniz has a lot of fangirls.
- Instant Runes: His MAX2/HSDM makes them appear below his opponent.
- In the Hood
- Klingon Promotion: Apparently it is the old man with the large sword that was the original CEO of NESTS (and Igniz's father). Igniz kills him in the pre-fight scene.
- Large Ham"If these humans do not desire the advent of a new God... I shall become a demon! All shall return to nothing!"
- Light is Not Good: His intro and HSDM are accompanied by an Ethereal Choir.
- Mr. Fanservice
- Older Than They Look: He is 56 years old.
- Played for Laughs: His hobby is "UFO watching." In his team's ending in 2002UM, he spots the Mars People from Metal Slug (a female Martian, in fact) and has a hilarious reaction to the sighting.
- Power Gives You Wings
- Red Eyes, Take Warning/Eyes of Gold: Depending on the Artist.
- Rule of Cool: Has some of the most badass-looking specials and supers in SNK history. Especially his Brutal God Project and his new MAX2 in 2002UM, Disintegrational Universe.
- SNK Boss: Considered to be one of the cheapest bastards of all time. He was even the poster boy of the trope for some time.
- To put it into perspective: he's one of the best picks if you want to go up against Omega Rugal in KOF 2002UM. If you're good enough with Igniz (which isn't that hard, considering even his MAX 2 is easy to pull off), you may win handily. Remember: against Omega goddamn Rugal.
- In fact, most tier lists place him in the banned tier, only behind Krizalid and Nightmare Geese. He outstrips the other "boss-tier" characters (Zero and his clone, Geese, Goenitz, and Omega Rugal) quite easily.
- Strike Me Down with All of Your Hatred: If it's K''s team confronting him, he exhorts them to do so after revealing himself to be the one behind their creation (except for Lin, of course).
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Brutal God Project. You know that an SDM is too powerful when it includes a DM.
- The Starscream: He wanted to overthrow his leader and father while pretending to be loyal...and it worked...for only one battle.
- Turned Against Their Masters: And it works... for all of one battle.
- Unholy Matrimony: With Misty. Igniz promised his lover that they'd rule the world together and she immediately accepted his offer, but Igniz's death (and her running away with Ron) kind of put the kibosh on their romance.
- Villainous Breakdown: When you're Norio Wakamoto with a god complex, what do you expect? Well, for one thing, it led to his failed Colony Drop.
May Lee Jinju - South Korea
"As I live and breathe, evil will not prosper."
Voiced by: Tomoko Kawakami
An adoring fan and disciple of Kim Kaphwan, and a firm believer in justice. She ends up joining his team in 2001, but has not been seen since.
- Ascended Fangirl: Of Kim Kaphwan.
- Chest Insignia
- Cute Bruiser
- Expressive Mask: The expression of the frog in her T-shirt changes depending of her fighting mode, at least in the win portraits.
- Fingerless Gloves: Loses 'em in Hero Mode though, whereupon she gains full-hand gloves.
- Goggles Do Nothing
- Justice Will Prevail: Pretty much a staple of anybody (who isn't called Chang or Choi, at least) in Team Korea.
- Kick Chick
- Put on a Bus: Has not made a canonical appearance since 2001. Shows up in 2002 UM, though.
- Scarf of Asskicking: Signifies her transition to Hero Mode and inexplicable use of fire and lightning attacks.
- This Is Unforgivable!: Pretty similar to Kim, only with the inclusion of a Kamen Rider-ish pose.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair
K9999 - Unknown
"How does it feel to be defeated by the new ruler of the universe?"
Voiced by: Nozomu Sasaki
The 9,999th clone of Kyo, assigned to kill any traitors to NESTS alongside Angel. His powers are very different, more resembling that of Tetsuo Shima's from AKIRA. His role in the story was eventually replaced with another character, Nameless, as SNK felt he was too blatant a copy of Tetsuo.
- Anime Hair: That changes style and color.
- Arm Cannon: One of his desperation moves has him transform his right hand into a shotgun. The American version censored it so it looks like he is shooting from his fist.
- Badass Back: Same as K', only with less "apathy" and added "arrogance."
- Badass Biker: Presumably. His "cherished motorcycle" is listed as one of his likes, and given his source material...
- Badass Cape: Complete with Dramatic Wind.
- Big Bad Wannabe: Wounds Foxy, but then is driven off by K' and Kula. The rest, is history...
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: A pretty extreme case, he was erased from existence once that the franchise returned to SNK's hands. SNK has gone so far to remove him digitally from every piece of artwork included in the anniversary gallery of King of Fighters XIV
- Combat Tentacles: Made of his own flesh. Keep in mind, however, that Angel does use them for a bit of Fanservice in the credits of 2002.
- Dramatic Wind: During one of his win poses; he dons a cape for extra flair.
- Maniacal Laugh
- No Pronunciation Guide: It's pronounced "Kay Four Nine."
- Playing with Fire: At a very rudimentary level.
- Power Limiter: His blue glove, which was made with the same intentions as the red one K' wears.
- Put on a Bus to Hell: After being replaced by Nameless. SNK has displayed great disgust towards him, so it's safe to assume he Died On A Bus.
- Sphere of Destruction: His "Tsuki.../Moon..." desperation move, obviously taken from AKIRA.
- This Is a Drill: This pops up in a few of his moves, but isn't taken to the "GIGA DRILL BREAKER!!" levels of Nameless.
- Unskilled, but Strong: Backs up his overall lack of training and weak fire powers with his polymorphic arm and (as per his inspiration) rather destructive psionics.
- Unstoppable Rage: Angel is the only person considered to be his friend and is probably the only one who can calm him down.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: And white hair occasionally.
Original Zero - Unknown
"Before the fangs of the black lion, you're prey!"
Voiced by: Toshimitsu Arai
Unlike his traitorous clone, the Original Zero is completely devoted to NESTS's goals. He is a respectable and honorable fighter. In 2001 he fought K' and his comrades aboard a spaceship disguised as a blimp. To even the odds, he fought alongside Krizalid, Ron, and his own personal pet — an enormous, genetically-engineered, black mountain lion who he named Glaugan. All of them lost, and Zero beckoned the team forward to the true base of NESTS. The blimp then began to careen downward into the atmosphere, and Zero's fate has been left ambiguous since then. He would have most likely fought against his comrade Igniz if he knew of his betrayal.
- Affably Evil: More so affable than evil.
- Ambiguously Brown
- Animal Motifs: The lion. See the above quote and his choice of animal companion.
- Anti-Villain (The Noble Variety): Perhaps not the first original character to exhibit these traits, but one of the more prominent ones, especially in this arc. A Worthy Opponent, through and through. See Noble Demon below.
- Attack Reflector: Courtesy of his suit.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Three guesses. First two don't count.
- Back from the Dead: Possibly. He's implied to be one of the souls inside of Verse in XIV and during its winquote against K', but it's not clear if it's Original Zero or Krizalid talking.
- Badass Cape: Aside from the fact that the cape can kick your ass, it juts out from the back of his suit and briefly forms wings. Wings.
- But Not Too Black
- Clear My Name: A variant; let's just say that he didn't enjoy hearing about his clone's actions from the previous tournament.
- Clothing Combat: In original flavor. Strikers aside, Zero sets himself apart from his clone with an expanded repertoire of moves involving his cape/skirt.
- Dark-Skinned Blond
- Deflector Shield: Can erect a circular barrier in front of his body (essentially a larger, singular version of Igniz's).
- Face Death with Dignity: He admirably goes down with the blimp and tells you to go on.
- Gravity Sucks/Gravity Master: Same as his clone, only he's doing it via a white hole. Contrary to what you'd expect, Zero's DM pulls in matter (but not the player) toward the center of its vortex instead of expelling it at his opponent.
- Improbable Weapon User: Again, the cape.
- Kicked Across The Room: One of his specials is a kick powerful enough to bounce an opponent off of the wall for a juggle if they're close enough to the edge. His clone uses this move as well, but as an auto-combo once he's immobilized his foe and lacking in the punt distance.
- Load-Bearing Boss: His defeat causes the blimp you fight in on the way to NESTS HQ to self-destruct. Zero beseeches you to go ahead before it's too late.
- My Hero Zero
- Noble Demon: He is a high-ranking executive of a Nebulous Evil Organization that pretty much is a vast congregation of high-tech terrorists and assassins. They kidnap children, employ cloning, bionic implantation, and genetic engineering (usually against the host's will), had scores of advanced technology (including the Kill Sat that Clone Zero tried to utilize), and attempted to Take Over the World. Yet, Zero still finds time to raise children and is the most noble member of the cartel outside of its defectors (K', Maxima, Whip, Kula, Foxy, and Diana). He wants nothing more than a fair fight with whoever manages to reach him. When K' and co. defeat Zero, he honorably allows them to proceed. It's implied that Zero would have faced Igniz had he learned of his betrayal.
- No Fair Cheating: Despite that the Boss Battle is 4 to 1, like the SNK Boss he is, he uses 3 strikers: Krizalid, Ron, and his pet lion Glaugan. If you use the one fighter-three strikers configuration yourself (2001 only), he still can use his strikers freely, while you must gather power stocks for exactly the same purpose.
- Palette Swap: Justified, between him and Clone Zero.
- Power Floats: Same as his clone, Badass Arm-Fold included.
- Right-Hand Cat: Glaugan, his genetically-engineered lion.
- Shoulders of Doom: Even more so in Nona's 2001 artwork; Hiroaki's art for 2002UM makes him more in line with his in-game visual.
- SNK Boss: Has access to all of his clone's moves but is augmented with far superior AI that makes him much more effective in combat. Add to this his three Strikers (Ron, Krizalid, and Glaugan) and he's far more formidable than Clone Zero ever was.
- Vocal Evolution: In 2001, Zero had a low, menacing voice, complete with a sly Evil Laugh. In 2002: Unlimited Match, Arai gives him a far more youthful voice, perhaps to play up the sympathetic and venerable angle of Zero's character, as well as differentiate Zero from his clone and Rugal.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Bluish-white hair. It's completely white in artwork, though.
The King of Fighters 2002 / Unlimited Match
Kusanagi - Unknown
"Hallelujah, brother! You just met your maker!"
Voiced by: Mitsuo Iwata (2002-2003), Masahiro Nonaka (Sky Stage)
Kusanagi is a servant of Chizuru Kagura created using the Yata Mirror while she was under the possession of Botan. He exists to test the strength of the contestants in the 2003 tournament.
- Ambiguously Brown: Unlike Kyo-1 and Kyo-2, Kusanagi's appearance is handwaved possibly due to Chizuru's brainwashing.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy
- Blood Knight: He seems to be one. An Ax-Crazy one.
- Canon Immigrant: Kusanagi first appeared in the non-canon 2002 before being retconned into 2003 as Kyo's evil magical doppelganger.
- Cloning Blues
- Dark is Not Evil: Depends upon the material. Canonically, Kusanagi isn't fleshed out that much, so all that can be surmised from his appearance and quotes is that he's fight-happy (with an odd honor code) and possibly cocoa crazy, which likely can be traced back to Chizuru's state of mind when she created him. However, the 2003 manhua depicts Kusanagi as a force for good who tries to help advise K' through his own emotional baggage (before Mukai gets the drop on him) and KOF: Sky Stage has Kusanagi being sent by Chizuru to test the characters and make sure they're ready to face what's ahead.
- Divergent Character Evolution: Much like Kyo-1, Kusanagi was based off of the '94-'95 Kyo template. It's not until 2002: Unlimited Match that he gains a few new moves of his own.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: His K.O. quote.
- Expendable Clone/What Measure Is a Non-Human?: See the entry under Kyo-1 & Kyo-2.
- Hot-Blooded: Whatever faint traces of this Kyo shows in the games were assimilated by Kusanagi and ratcheted up to unprecedented levels. However, this applies more so to Mitsuo Iwata's vocal rendition of Kusanagi than Masahiro Nonaka's.
- Leitmotif: Again, if it's a Kyo clone, expect to hear "Esaka?"
- Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: A darker example. Kusanagi has a specific line in 2002 against characters who use weapons in battle (i.e. Choi, Chang, Billy, Whip, etc.). It also happens to be a reference to AKIRA.Kusanagi: "Temee! Sude de shoubu shiagare!" ("You [bastard]! Fight me with your bare hands!")
- Martial Arts Headband
- Playing with Fire: He's a clone of Kyo. Do the math.
- Pyromaniac: He gives off these vibes.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Although not in the sprites (or the Neowave art). They glow, too.
- M.U.G.E.N versions of him usually have the red eyes in the sprites, however.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Kusanagi is always the Red Oni, whether it's in relation to the other clones or Kyo himself.
- School Uniforms Are the New Black: Same deal as Kyo-1 and Kyo-2; the dev team wanted to include the old Kyo.
- Word of God jokes that Chizuru must have visualized Kyo as an eternal schoolboy while creating Kusanagi. When coupled with the ending of 2003 (see Relationship Writing Fumble in the YMMV section), some have come to the conclusion that Chizuru is in some sort of Loving a Shadow relationship with Kyo.
- Shadow Archetype: Kusanagi plays this role to Kyo, naturally enough.
- Slasher Smile: In artwork for 2002: Unlimited Match and Sky Stage, Kusanagi gets an especially creepy one that would put Yamazaki to shame.
- They Call Me Mister Tibbs: His Actor Allusion intro with K9999 in 2002.K9999: "KUSANAGIII!!!"Kusanagi: "That's MR. Kusanagi to you, punk!"
Nameless - Unknown
"I'm on my way... Count on it!"
Voiced by: Daisuke Ono
The real 9,999th clone of K'. Nameless is the only survivor of Project Zhe. The objective was to combine both K' and Kyo Kusanagi's flames and inject the combined DNA into various test subjects. Nameless knew only suffering as a test subject, and had to watch as his "brothers" (other test subjects just like him) were horribly killed or injured by the experiments. One day, after he suffered severe injuries, he saw a beautiful girl named Isolde near the infirmary who was a part of the Anti-K' project and was given the ability to control ice. He fell in love with her, and suddenly gained a newfound resolve to endure the experiments in order to see her again. The scientists noticed the connection, and after realizing that wielding the flames required strong willpower, they changed Nameless's training regimen to endurance tests. They allowed him to visit her to bring out both of their true potential. Unfortunately, Isolde died during a test, but rather than waste her progress, the NESTS scientists grafted her DNA into Nameless' glove, which would allow him to control the combined flames. Nameless was assigned to apprehend an escapee from the organization, and when he was cornered, he confessed to everything. Nameless decides to continue working his way up in the eyes of his superiors with the hope that he can give Isolde a new body.
- Anime Hair
- Anti-Villain (The Woobie Variant)
- The Backwards R: His Code Name (and theme) Ж' (pronounced Zhe; it's a combination of a backwards K and K').
- Badass Cape: See the intro if you have doubts.
- Canon Foreigner: For the time being, at least; his first and so far only appearance in the series was in a Dream Match Game, where he functioned as a stand-in for K9999.
- Code Name: Ж' (Zhe Prime/J Prime).
- Emotionless Boy: In his defense, Nameless only does this because he believes that total compliance to NESTS will allow him to be reunited with his beloved Isolde.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars
- How Do I Shot Web?: His backstory in a nutshell.
- Immorality Pet: Isolde. The only thing keeping him tethered to NESTS.
- Multicolored Hair: Half-white, half-brown (or half-purple, according to the sprites and a few pieces of artwork).
- Ninja: According to Ureshino, who partakes in the story development for the series and writes novelizations meant to fill in the gaps between games, two key concepts for Nameless were "ninja" and "immediate reaction."
- The Nameless: Do not need to spell this one out.
- Playing with Fire: Blood-red, half-Kyo-half-K' fire.
- Power Incontinence: He has it even worse than K'. He actually killed a person by simply tapping them on the back of their shoulders. And if you think that's bad, most of his "brothers" burned to death because they couldn't properly wield their flames.
- Power Limiter: Much like K' and K9999, he wears a special glove to prevent his genetically implanted flames from growing out of control. Bonus points in that the glove was made from Isolde's DNA.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: A positive version of this trope. Fans actually received him better than K9999.
- And SNK just acknowledged this by deleting K9999's picture from their KOF 10th Anniversary site.
- This Is a Drill: Like K9999, his glove can turn into this, but the most famous one is the BIG drill seen in his SDM.
- Tragic Hero: Technically a Tragic Villain due to his association with NESTS. He has very, very good reasons, though.
Diana - Unknown
- Voiced by: Kaori Minami (2000 only), Haruna Ikezawa
Kula's caretaker and head of the Anti-K' project. Skilled with a rapier, although she's never been playable.
- Animal Motifs: The butterfly. See her Flash Step and the shape of her rapier's hilt for a good example.
- Artwork also depicts Diana with butterfly imprints on her clothes and a tattoo on both her exposed midriff and one of her legs. However, her hobby is collecting butterflies, which could explain why she's so fascinated with them in the first place.
- Bare Your Midriff
- Black Bra and Panties: You can see the straps of the top half on display.
- Christmas Cake: She's implied to be close in age to Foxy (her colleague and friend who is 28 and in a similar predicament). However, this might be of her own volition.
- Cool Big Sis: To Kula.
- Cool Sword: Sadly, you only get a glimpse of it during Kula's Freeze Execution DM.
- Flash Step
- Flat-Earth Atheist: Allegedly. According to Kula during her pre-fight dialogue with Saiki, Diana always told her that "there were no gods in this world." The events of the Orochi Saga, let alone the dealings with Those from the Past in that particular tournament arc, are inclined to disagree.
- This may have to do with how Igniz's delusions of godhood led to the demise of NESTS, though.
- Funny Afro: Although no one seems to make note of it.
- Goggles Do Nothing
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Foxy. The two even get a Lovely Angels moment in 2000 when they confront Clone Zero.
- Mama Bear: Has a habit of jumping into the fray to assist Kula in battle, as seen with Kula's Behind Slash throw (where Diana teleports in before stabbing the enemy hard enough to send them flying to the other side of the screen) and the opening slash from Freeze Execution.
- Motherly Scientist
- Parental Substitute: Shares this role with Foxy in regards to Kula.
- Self-Made Woman
- She's Got Legs
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin
- Sexy Backless Outfit: Not normally, but one of her alternate outfits includes this and detached sleeves.
- Statuesque Stunner: She stands as the tallest female in-universe at the impressive height of 188cm (6'2").
- Team Mom: Has seemingly taken the role after she and Kula left NESTS.
Misty - Unknown
Igniz's girlfriend/lover. She can be seen in his winpose after Igniz defeats anyone related to NESTS. She apparently has the ability to translocate herself. Last seen at Ron's side in the Psycho Soldier team's XI ending.
- Boyish Short Hair: Although, from what little we've seen of her, Misty seems classy and elegant, in direct opposition to this trope.
- Combat Stilettos: Subverted in that we've yet to see Misty fight, assuming she has any combat ability to begin with.
- Dark Mistress
- Facial Markings: Wears a bindi on her forehead.
- Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Her dress is rather midriff-hugging.
- Her Heart Will Go On: Apparently.
- Mysterious Waif
- Pretty in Mink: She could fall in the more sinister version of this trope, but we really don't know much about her other than the above.
- Sexy Secretary: To Nests.
- Unholy Matrimony: With Igniz.
- Woman in White
Nests - Unknown
The eponymous leader of the NESTS syndicate, he is a no-nonsense type of man. Less than pleased with Krizalid's failure and the betrayal of Clone Zero, he personally oversees the 2001 tournament. Unfortunately, he's done in by the machinations of Igniz, his son, and Misty, his secretary, the former of whom kills him unceremoniously right before the finals.
- Badass Cape
- Beard of Evil
- Big Bad
- Family-Unfriendly Death: Nothing quite like a close-up of a man's head disintegrating into dust, is it?
- The Unfought
- We Hardly Knew Ye: He's killed by Igniz no more than 15 seconds after his introduction.
Ron - China
- Voiced by: Takaya Kuroda
Former leader of the Hizoku clan. Ron is an ambitious man with a thirst for power. In order to fulfill said ambitions, he betrayed the Hizoku clan by killing several of their members, and then disappearing without a trace. He joined NESTS at some point in time, and assisted the Original Zero in fighting K's team. Ron escaped from the collapsing blimp and guided the falling satellite into the ocean. He then heads into hiding once again, yearning to obtain the mysterious "Dragon Power", held by Kensou and Bao. Surprisingly, Lin seems to have joined him for some reason. He has several children, including Duo Lon and Xiao Lon, the latter of which he considers a bastard daughter.
- Ambition Is Evil: When most of the known Hizoku members (such as Duo Lon, Xiao Lon, and Luan) were children, Ron was said to be a kind but strict man who was well liked by his clan. As time progressed, he slowly became more and more obsessed with gaining power, eventually culminating in his betrayal of Hizoku to join NESTS as well as Ron setting fire to his village and personally killing some of his former followers.
- Asskicking Equals Authority/Authority Equals Asskicking: Was the leader of the Hizoku and betrayed them to become a high-ranking official in NESTS. Is teamed up with a SNK Boss and can break your guard.
- Badass Long Robe
- Braids of Action
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: He kills off his fellow clan members to rise to a position of power in NESTS, and it's implied that he'd betray NESTS, too! Ultimately, Ron goes off on his own (alongside Misty, Lin, and some other Hizoku defectors).
- Dem Bones: Forms out of thin air before making his grand entrance and then dissipates back into a skeleton as he leaves.
- Eat the Dog: Let's just say that there is no comedic value in this when it comes to Ron.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette
- Evil Laugh: So evil, in fact, that you don't hear it until after he's left.
- Fallen Hero: The former leader of Hizoku and one of its four Devas, he was once a noble soul who let his ambition and thirst for power corrupt him, leading to Ron ultimately torching the Hizoku village and slaying many of his kin to then join up with NESTS. His reasons for doing so are unknown to this day, but nearly every remaining member of the Hizoku clan who didn't side with him are looking for Ron so that they can get answers... and kill him.
- I Need You Stronger: Is lurking in the shadows, showing a great deal of interest in Kensou's training to master the power of the Dragon Spirit.
- Karma Houdini: So far. He could as well be the next Big Bad of KOF, now that the Tales of Ash saga has ended.
- In XIII, it's hinted in the pre-fight dialogue between Kensou and Saiki that he has some connection with Saiki and warned him about Kensou's power.
- Megaton Punch: He uses this to break your guard, and in 2002UM uses a more powerful variant that's powerful enough to force your soul directly out of your body.
- Professional Killer: The former leader of Hizoku, a clan of assassins.
- Rapunzel Hair
- Spell My Name with an "S": His name should technically be Long, given the character used to write it, but SNKP seems to be sticking with Ron nevertheless. The same applies to the "Lon" portions of his children's names.
- Villain Exit Stage Left: According to the backstory, Ron disappeared during the fight against Original Zero, with Lin hot on his trail.
- Villainous Rescue: Is implied to be the one who saved the player upon reentering the atmosphere after Igniz's failed Colony Drop.
Luan, Chat and Sai - China
Three top Hizoku assassins, who alongside Lin are known as the Four Devas of Hizoku. They were first introduced in KOF 2001 in one of Lin's win poses: Luan is the lone female, Chat is the young boy, and Sai is the big dude with an oddly-shaped head. As of recently, Sai and Chat have been missing; since Lin hasn't been around either, they might have joined Ron as well.
- Action Girl <- -> Dark Action Girl: Luan.
- Absolute Cleavage and Sideboob: Luan wears an open blouse and no bra underneath. Probably it's her ninja skills that prevent her nipples from showing.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: Nona's artwork in 2001 has Sai slightly purple in skin tone and Chat as chalky. Sai's in-game sprite, on the other hand, is bright red.
- Badass Beard: Sai.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: The "Assassin Night" promotional comic that ties in to 2003 shows the three at a formal party, watching Duo Lon make a hit on an unspecified VIP. Both Duo Lon and Sai are suited-up, while Luan wears a dress.
- Bald of Awesome: Sai, though his looks come more across as "disturbing" than "awesome." Falcoon's distinctly more grotesque and deformed drawing of Sai's head does not help his case.
- Bare Your Midriff: Luan.
- Beauty Mark: Luan has one to the left of her lips.
- Braids of Action: Chat and Sai.
- Childhood Friends: Luan and Duo Lon, who grew apart due to their personal differences as well as Ron's FaceĖHeel Turn and destruction of their hometown — Luan's mother and grandmother were among his victims. Though she's respectful of their history, Luan now considers Duo Lon her rival when it comes to killing Ron.
- Creepy Child: Chat is a very creepy looking boy, and is said to be "sadistic and cruel." Perturbedly, he's also described as "the heart of the Four Devas."
- Creepy Good: They're Hizoku assassins. It's par the course, especially where Sai and Chat are concerned.
- Deadpan Snarker: In contrast to Sai, a man of few words, Luan and Chat are said to have sarcastic personalities.
- Facial Markings: Sai sports a taijitu on his (oversized) forehead.
- Female Misogynist: Luan might be this, as it's said she dislikes "weak women" like Duo Lon's half-sister Xiao Lon.
- Four is Death: Alongside Lin.
- The Gambler: Sai.
- Good Is Not Nice: All three to varying degrees.
- Levitating Lotus Position: Sai, in the artwork to the right.
- Playing with Fire: Luan is noted to have "kicks of flame." It's unknown if this is the extent of her powers.
- Professional Killers
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Luan.
- Revenge: They all want to kill Ron for betraying their clan.
- Shapeshifting: Luan can "shift shapes", although whether this means herself, others, or both has not been clarified.
- The Smurfette Principle: Luan is the sole female Deva. Word of God places her as the strongest of the four although she's yet to be seen in action.
- Sour Outside, Sad Inside: Luan might be this, as she says Duo Lon is her worst enemy but also is nostalgic in regards to their shared past.
- Spell My Name with an "S": The characters used to spell their names suggest Luan's name should be Ran and Chat is Shǎng (or the Vietnamese Thất).
- Stripperiffic: Luan. Her choice of formal wear, as seen in Duo Lon's 2003 prologue short story "Assassin Night", is only marginally better.◊
- Super Strength: Sai, who combines this with Use Your Head.
- Teleporters and Transporters: The three have this ability, as seen in their first apparition.◊
- The Unfettered: Luan, possibly. She's apparently willing to disregard the clan's honor code if it means she can get a shot at avenging her family.
- Whip It Good: Luan favors a long cord weapon, presumably of this weapon family.