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King Of Fighters general:

 651 X 2 X, Fri, 29th Jun '12 8:02:00 PM from the Darkness Beyond Time Relationship Status: Sinking with my ship
[insert quip here]
I WEESH I COULD TEAR HIM APA!

Well, guess it's my turn. Jeez, my posts are always so long-winded.

In the interim between '95 and '96, Kyo is visited by a mysterious man who challenges him to a fight, wishing to test the might of KOF's 1995 champion. An overconfident Kyo accepts... and loses... badly. He's sent to the hospital. Humbled by his defeat, an angry and now even more determined Kyo spends his time training, adding destructive new moves to his arsenal. Canonically, this is the reason Kyo swaps out his Yami Barai fireball and Oboro Guruma for his Aragami/Dokugami rekkas and R.E.D. Kick starting in '96.

Meanwhile, Iori is visited by two mysterious women: Mature and Vice, who previously served as Rugal's secretaries (Mature was seen in 94, Vice in 95; Vice, particularly, was the one who brainwashed Saisyu and now holds a grudge against him for the ordeal). They coax Iori into teaming up with them for the upcoming tournament.

The other teams do some shuffling as well. Takuma "retires" from the Kyokugenryu Team, forcing Yuri to come on-board, which in turn leads to King and Mai bringing in Kasumi Todoh (another one of the Kyokugen dojo's rivals) to be their third member for the Women Fighters Team. Commander Heidern steps down from field work and gives the reins to his adoptive daughter Leona (more on her later). The most shocking addition to the roster in the Boss Team, the unforeseen team up of Geese Howard, Wolfgaung Krauser, and Mr. Big. Geese is interested in Orochi's power (but not too interested, it would seem) and additionally entered that particular tournament to a) entertain himself, b) minimize the power of various rival crime lords, and c) settle the score with Terry (GEESE!).

Violent fighting to come again! In other words, blah blah blah tournament.

In the end, the Japan Team once again makes it to the finals, where the tournament sponsor, Chizuru Kagura, awaits. The enigmatic woman tests Kyo's power in an impromptu battle, subsequently revealing her identity as the protector of Orochi's seal and then warning Kyo of an impending danger: the man who took Rugal's right eye and gave him a portion of Orochi's power.

Cue Goenitz entering the scene.

Here to deal with the heirs of the three clans that sealed away his master long ago, Goenitz (who Kyo recognizes as the man who knocked him silly before the tournament) challenges Kyo once again, although he is eventually defeated with the help of Iori and Chizuru. Goenitz suffers a Villainous Breakdown, committing suicide in the process. He also tells Leona that she is of the Orochi lineage, something that deeply disturbs the young girl.

Chizuru tries to warn Kyo and Iori of the trio's shared destiny with Orochi, but the two are like "Yadda yadda yadda Screw Destiny blegh" and depart. As Iori heads out, he succumbs to the Riot of the Blood, a berserker fury induced by his Orochi-tainted blood. Mature and Vice (who were sent by Goenitz to keep an eye on Iori) are caught in the crossfire and killed.
A poem by Kenshiro: Roses are red / Violets are blue / Omae wa mo / Shindeiru.
 652 Dragon Geyser, Fri, 29th Jun '12 10:10:06 PM from a computer, DUH.
The Chew Toy of Gaming
It's important to note that Goenitz is referred to as one of the Four Heavenly Kings of Orochi, because the other three show up the next year.
Lampshade Hanging: It's a lifestyle.
 653 Moe Dantes, Sun, 1st Jul '12 1:32:16 PM from the Land of Classics
cuter, cuddlier Edmond
Okay... so... whose turn is it to tackle '97?
 654 kkhohoho, Sun, 1st Jul '12 2:22:52 PM from The Insanity Pole Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
Deranged X-Mas Figure
[up]Oh! Me!Me!Me!grin

Uh, anyway...

So, as revealed in Ko F 96, Orochi is fast set on being revived, and to that end, it's Herald's have been sent out into the world. Geonitz made his appearance as the boss of the last game, only to be defeated by our heroes. Mature and Vice, first showing up as Rugal's secretaries in 94, were revealed to be Heralds of Orochi in '96 — only to be brutally maimed by Iori, who had sunk into his incredibly dangerous and uncontrollable 'Riot of Blood' state'. Oh, and Leona had Orochi blood as well, being a daughter of one of the herald's, (who's dead now...) though not a herald herself. And so, the stage is set for our hero Kyo&friends to take on the threat of Orochi, in Ko F 97...

However, things are even more complicated then they seem. To start with, Geese and his posse are no longer in this tournament, but despite that, Geese isn't quite finished with the Orochi just yet. He sends in Billy, now back after his leave of absence in '96, though of course, Billy still needs a team. To that end, he recruits Blue Mary, a freelance secret agent, and Terry's boyfriend, joining Billy undercover to see what dirt she can uncover on Geese and his latest venture in Ko F, as well as their last teammate; Ryuji Yamazaki. A deadly Psycho for Hire with a laugh that can rival even The Joker , he makes out the last entry of this new team — yet there's far more to him then meets the eye...

Meanwhile, King and Mai are looking for a new teammate for the 'Women's Fighter's' team, as Kasumi hasn't been seen for ages. Thankfully, they find it via Chizuru, joining the team to gain entry into the new tournament. (They don't really make it clear who funded the '97 tournament; probably a random wealthy businessman.)

As for everyone else, Iori's on his own, and there's also Kyo's would-be-pupil, Shingo, a fanboy who learned how to fight by watching Kyo's moves once. And no, he cannot generate fire. Shingo's also a solo entry.

But the team to watch is the New Face Team, made up of; Yashiro, a young man (or bulky teenager, ) who has quite the fashion sense and the attitude to match, and is also Team Leader; Shermie, playful and somewhat sexy, with bangs that cover her eyes; and Chris, a young boy with a nearly constant smile, one that hardly fades even whilst delivering a hard beatdown, and is somewhat unnerving. These three also have their own band, and initially joined the tournament to get vengeance on Iori for upstaging them, (as Iori is also a musician, believe it or not, ) and so by entering the tournament, they plan to give Iori the beating of his life. However, there's something more to these three then there at first appears to be...

And so, the tournament commences, with all sorts of thrilling fights ensuing, with the winning team making it's way to the Finals, and after one last fight, they win the Tournament. However, from out of nowhere steps Iori, (or Leona, if you're using Iori, ) and regardless of who it is, your new opponent finds themselves being shifted into 'Riot of Blood' against their will! Our heroes beat Iori, (or Leona, ) but with that finally comes answers. Standing in front of the victors are the Newface team, albeit now with their clothes changed to just red&white, with a malevolent presence around them. As it turns out, the New Face Team were three of the four remaining heralds of Orochi; the fourth was there at the tournament as well, namely Yamazaki. As it turns out, by fighting in the tournament, their true natures were unleashed. And also by fighting in the tournament, in this case everyone else, all of the fighter's 'Fighting Energy' was absorbed into the New Face Team. With this energy, they plan to revive Orochi. And seeing as they need just a bit more energy, they fight you to get it.

It's a tough fight, with Yashiro having powers of Earth, Shermie having powers of Lightning, and Chris having powers of Fire, though you manage to win it regardless. After the fight, while you did win it, the New Face Team got the energy they needed, and so using Chris's body as a host, Orochi is revived. However, instead of an enormous 8-headed snake-beast, he's a handsome man in his prime. Since Orochi used a human host, Orochi himself is human, which gives our heroes more of a chance, yet he's still quite powerful, and in the end, it comes down to Kyo, Iori, and Chizuru, the three Sacred Treasurers. In the end, Orochi tries to control Iori via the Riot-of-Blood, but Iori is able to gain just enough control that he leaps at Orochi, grabbing him by the neck and enveloping him in a giant column of purple flame. While that's going on, the spirit's of Iori's ancestor's speak to Kyo, telling him to work together with Iori and put an end to the pointless feud between their clans. And so, Kyo charges forward at Orochi with one last fiery attack, with Chizuru preparing a seal at the same time. And once the smoke clears, Orochi is finally vanquished... except that there's now one major problem. As it was revealed in '99, Kyo is nowhere to be found...

edited 6th Jul '12 3:02:09 PM by kkhohoho

 655 Dragon Geyser, Sun, 1st Jul '12 4:56:52 PM from a computer, DUH.
The Chew Toy of Gaming
Speaking of '99...

It's been two years since the end of the last tournament, and nobody's seen Kyo or Iori since its conclusion. This year, however, an unknown organization sponsors a KOF tournament with a style similar to that of Geese's original tournaments. However, instead of three or even one fighter per team, there are now 4: 3 to actually fight, and one to act as a "Striker", a character who can be summoned to throw out a quick attack, then retreat to the sidelines.

As Kyo has gone missing and Daimon went back to the professional Judo circuits, Benimaru and Shingo are forced to team up with the mysterious K' and his cyborg partner Maxima to create a new Hero Team. Other teams reappear as well, with changes in the roster due to the Striker system: Mai finally joins the Fatal Fury/Hungry Wolves team, Takuma returns to the King of Fighters tournament as the fourth member of the Kyokugen/Art of Fighting Team, a young boy named Bao joins the Psycho Soldiers, Whip, an operative with a connection to K', joins the Ikari Warriors, and Kim's rival Jhun Hoon joins the Korea Team. However, Kensou loses his psychic abilities and is forced to rely on his martial arts for a reason currently unknown. A new Women Fighters Team is also created by King, Kasumi, Blue Mary, and Li Xiangfei from Real Bout Fatal Fury 2.

The tournament also reveals the existence of 2 Kyo clones who fight based on the original's previous movesets, Kyo-1 fighting like Kyo from before Goenitz first fought him, and Kyo-2 fighting like Kyo from the '96 and '97 tournaments. These clones were created by NESTS as part of a test to see if their clones could handle the Kusanagis' fire abilities.

The Hero Team wins the tournament and is taken to see its organizer, Krizalid. Krizalid commends K' and Maxima's roles as agents of NESTS, before revealing that he plans to use an army of Kyo clones to take over the world and that K' is merely a clone of him. This enrages K', who immediately starts a fight with Krizalid. Meanwhile, the Ikari Warriors break into Krizalid's base and disable his clone army.

Krizalid is defeated by the Hero Team. He tries to activate his clone army, but fails due to the Ikari Warriors' efforts. A booming voice (supposedly Krizalid's superior within NESTS) then tells Krizalid that he has failed and that he is no longer necessary. The base then begins to self-destruct, heralded by a large chunk of rock falling directly on Krizalid. As they escape the base, however, they find Iori and Kyo, the latter of whom wearing a new outfit. Kyo and Iori end up fighting as the base collapses, but both they and the Hero Team get out of the base before it collapses.

As everybody escapes the base, Whip stays behind to find a dying Krizalid. He asks her why she left NESTS, referring to her as his sister. Whip denies this, claiming that his memory of her being his sister was actually that of another person. With some prodding from Whip, he soon puts the pieces together and realizes that he is the clone of K', and not the other way around. Whip then leaves Krizalid to die a lonely, painful death.

As the Psycho Soldiers make their escape, Athena is injured by falling rocks, and Kensou stays behind to help her. However, they fail to make it out before the base completely collapses. Chin and Bao do make it out safely thanks to one of Athena's friends. However, as they are about to leave, Kensou suddenly appears from the wreckage, with an energy barrier shielding him and an unconscious Athena in his arms. However, he passes out after reaching Chin and Bao. Bao also notes that his psychic powers are fading, confusing Chin.

Nothing story-important happens with the other teams. It is presumed that Kyo-1 and Kyo-2 die in the base's collapse, as they only appear again in 2002 UM.
Lampshade Hanging: It's a lifestyle.
 656 Schitzo, Mon, 2nd Jul '12 7:27:09 AM from Akumajou Dracula Relationship Status: LA Woman, you're my woman
TvT
To X 2 X about a month later: You're welcome dude. Sorry for responding so late, I've been gone for quite some time. I love rewatching these things XD. I love procrastinating on life in general just watching this... this Korean son of Homo-Genius/ Super Queering Aids II Turbo

edited 2nd Jul '12 7:53:57 AM by Schitzo

ALL CREATURE WILL DIE AND ALL THE THINGS WILL BE BROKEN. THAT'S THE LAW OF SAMURAI.
 657 Moe Dantes, Tue, 3rd Jul '12 11:40:24 PM from the Land of Classics
cuter, cuddlier Edmond
And now we've gotten past all the games I've actually played, and are into territory I'm going to find all new.

I like to headcanon that there was an in-universe KOF in 1998, just it was one of the few where nothing evil happened. And they didn't actually fight Rugal at the end.
 658 Dragon Geyser, Tue, 3rd Jul '12 11:51:21 PM from a computer, DUH.
The Chew Toy of Gaming
Anybody else want to do the (actual) Millennium Battle?
Lampshade Hanging: It's a lifestyle.
 659 X 2 X, Fri, 6th Jul '12 2:41:27 PM from the Darkness Beyond Time Relationship Status: Sinking with my ship
[insert quip here]
I'd offer to do it, but I'll be out of town for about a week.
A poem by Kenshiro: Roses are red / Violets are blue / Omae wa mo / Shindeiru.
 660 kkhohoho, Fri, 6th Jul '12 3:00:56 PM from The Insanity Pole Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
Deranged X-Mas Figure
I'd do it, but I'm not as familiar with it as I am with the Orochi Saga.tongue

edited 6th Jul '12 3:01:07 PM by kkhohoho

 661 Dragon Geyser, Fri, 6th Jul '12 8:22:48 PM from a computer, DUH.
The Chew Toy of Gaming
...Okay, then. Onto 2000, I guess.

Heidern has caught on to the actions of NESTS since the last tournament, and is actively working to bring them down. However, Heidern is the least of the cartel's worries; there is a rogue agent within NESTS using their assets to pursue a different way to take over the world, and they haven't forgotten about K' and Maxima's betrayal either.

The Hero Team from the last tournament has now become two separate teams: a K' Team consisting of K', Maxima, and two secret agents working for Heidern, Vanessa and Ramon; and a Benimaru Team consisting of Benimaru, Shingo, an assassin named Lin and a third secret agent, Seth. Mai and Yuri rejoin the Women F Ighters Team, asking Blue Mary and King to take their places, respectively. Li Xiangfei also left, but was replaced by a new character, the sumo Hinako Shijo. The Ikari, Psycho Soldier, and Korea Teams also reappear with the same rosers as last year. Kyo and Iori return as single entries, along with the "Anti-K', " Kula Diamond.

The K' Team wins the tournament and is flown to a secret base to see the organizer, Zero. He reveals himself to be the rogue NESTS agent and that he has an orbital laser, the Zero Cannon, pointed at Southtown. Kyo and Iori soon show up, and team up with the K' team to defeat him. However, Zero tries to fire the Zero Cannon afterwards. He is stopped from completely powering up the Zero Cannon by either Kula or Heidern, the Cannon still manages to fire, temporarily wiping Southtown off the map. K' ends up getting a flashback of his pre-NESTS life, revealing that Whip is his sister... or so she seems.

The Ikari Team soon shows up to apprehend Zero, but when he reveals that Whip is merely a clone of K''s sister created by NESTS, she ends up shooting and killing him.

The Benimaru Team ends up in the wreckage of Southtown, where they find Ron, the former leader of Lin's assasssin clan and the reason why Lin joined the tournament. Ron reveals that he's allied with NESTS in order to further his plans, whatever they are. The team tries to attack Ron, but he disappears into the shadows.

Kula destroys the falling Zero Cannon, but she ends up falling from its wreckage towards Southtown. One of her handlers, Robot Girl Candy Diamond, sacrifices herself so that Kula can live through the crash. She ends up traumatized from this event.

Nothing story-important happens with the other teams, though an alternate ending shows Takuma displaying his true power, deflecting the Zero Cannon with a maximum power Haoh Shikohken in order to save King's life. Another alternate ending shows Bao absorbing the energy of the Zero Cannon's blast, somehow empowering Kensou further. This becomes the first true hint of the Dragon Spirit, but that only becomes prominent in later years.

Thus ends the old SNK's last KOF game.
Lampshade Hanging: It's a lifestyle.
 662 Pulse, Fri, 6th Jul '12 8:27:09 PM from Yaddayaddaville Relationship Status: Maxing my social links
eep
Hoo, boy... Here it comes- The debacle that is KoF 2001! I'll handle it, guys.
Stop staring
 663 Moe Dantes, Sat, 14th Jul '12 10:07:40 AM from the Land of Classics
cuter, cuddlier Edmond
Sorry I lost track of this thread, guys. I've been sick.

So... are we at the Cell Saga yet? ;)

And slightly off-topic, I'm wondering: Do people tend to believe the franchise went downhill when it left the Neo-Geo, or do most people not even think about that?
 664 Pulse, Sat, 14th Jul '12 10:24:41 AM from Yaddayaddaville Relationship Status: Maxing my social links
eep
More like it went downhill after SNK's bankruptcy and subsequent purchase by Eolith. 2001 and 2002 were a big drop inquality- Everything looked muddy, the artwork was terrible, the music all sounded the same...

But then Playmore- Which was mostly ex-SNK employees- Bought SNK back, and things have been mostly looking up, XII's stupidity aside. '03 was a little shakey, but certainly better than before, and XI, '98 UM, and '02 UM were all fantastic, and, while I haven't played it yet, XIII looks and sounds a lot more polished than XII.
Stop staring
 665 Dragon Geyser, Sat, 14th Jul '12 2:17:05 PM from a computer, DUH.
The Chew Toy of Gaming
I'd say so; it has bosses, for one thing, and downloadable characters, for another.
Lampshade Hanging: It's a lifestyle.
 666 Schitzo, Sun, 15th Jul '12 12:03:53 PM from Akumajou Dracula Relationship Status: LA Woman, you're my woman
TvT
There's one thing that don't understand. Small detail:

Why does Leona salute Chang in the pre-fight intros?

PS. I'll never forgive XII and XIII for removing the pre-fight intros. That added a lot of personality and charm to the games.
ALL CREATURE WILL DIE AND ALL THE THINGS WILL BE BROKEN. THAT'S THE LAW OF SAMURAI.
 667 Pulse, Sun, 15th Jul '12 12:13:21 PM from Yaddayaddaville Relationship Status: Maxing my social links
eep
Glitch in '98.

It was kept as a joke, supposedly justified by her "respecting power" or somesuch.
Stop staring
....
[up][up]Whats the big deal with the pre-fight intros anyway???
 669 Dragon Geyser, Sun, 15th Jul '12 6:19:45 PM from a computer, DUH.
The Chew Toy of Gaming
As noted earlier, they add a bit of personality to the characters, in addition to the potential for lulz. Remember Brian and Shermie's pre-fight intro in '98?
Lampshade Hanging: It's a lifestyle.
 670 Schitzo, Sun, 15th Jul '12 10:08:23 PM from Akumajou Dracula Relationship Status: LA Woman, you're my woman
TvT
Considering that the New Face team stole their entry forms from the Sports Team, it's even funnier XD

Also why I love Shermie even more.
ALL CREATURE WILL DIE AND ALL THE THINGS WILL BE BROKEN. THAT'S THE LAW OF SAMURAI.
Bitter person in the shadows....
Is there any other examples of the USA Sports Team losing their slot in other KOF games? Iori beat them up and stole their tickets in 95, and as mentioned above, the New Faces team stole them in 97.
"Pancakes. Oh, I blew it." - Joel Hodgson

Nobody better lay a Butterfinger on my 3DS!
 672 Dragon Geyser, Mon, 16th Jul '12 11:50:53 AM from a computer, DUH.
The Chew Toy of Gaming
Lucky got owned by Makoto Mizoguchi in MI: Regulation A and Shermie in Neo Geo Battle Colliseum, and the Agent team pwned them in 2000.
Lampshade Hanging: It's a lifestyle.
 673 Moe Dantes, Tue, 17th Jul '12 9:30:51 AM from the Land of Classics
cuter, cuddlier Edmond
So why weren't the sports guys in 96 then? Who stole their tickets that time?
 674 Dragon Geyser, Tue, 17th Jul '12 9:38:28 AM from a computer, DUH.
The Chew Toy of Gaming
They probably weren't invited. Simple as that.
Lampshade Hanging: It's a lifestyle.
 675 X 2 X, Tue, 24th Jul '12 4:17:11 PM from the Darkness Beyond Time Relationship Status: Sinking with my ship
[insert quip here]
Yeah, the Boss Team probably just bought out the last spot for that particular tournament. After all, who'd turn down a bid from Geese, Krauser, and Mr. Big?
A poem by Kenshiro: Roses are red / Violets are blue / Omae wa mo / Shindeiru.
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