The King Of Fighters: The Rugal Saga: 1 | 2 | 3
The King Of Fighters: The Orochi Saga: KOF '95 (Iori Yagami) | KOF '96 | KOF '97
The King Of Fighters: The NESTS Chronicles: KOF '99
The King Of Fighters: The Tales Of Ash
The King of Fighters XIV
The King Of Fighters EX | Maximum Impact
Athena | Psycho Soldier | Fatal Fury | Art of Fighting | Samurai Shodown | Metal Slug | Fu'un Series | Buriki One
Hero Team: Japan
Voiced by: Masahiro Nonaka (94-XIII), Tomoaki Maeno (XIV-current), Andrew Roth (Maximum Impact series, English), Peter von Gomm (XII, English), Ryotaro Okiayu ('94 Dengeki Bunko drama CD), Tomokazu Sugita (Japanese dub of the live-action movie)
- Portrayed by: Sean Faris (live-action movie)
- MODE OF COMBAT: Kusanagi style of ancient martial arts + personal style of Chinese boxing (Kenpo)
- BIRTHDAY: December 12
- HEIGHT: 181cm
- WEIGHT: 75kg
- BLOOD TYPE: Type B (RH-)
- BIRTHPLACE: Japan
- HOBBY: Writing poems
- PERSONAL TREASURES: His motorcycle. His girlfriend (Yuki).
- FAVORITE FOOD: Broiled fish
- DISLIKES: Effort
- FORTE IN SPORTS: Ice hockey
Kyo begins as an Ordinary High-School Student who enters the first tournament both to prove his strength to the world (having already won the All-Japan Martial Arts Tournament) and to find his missing father Saisyu. After defeating Rugal for the first time, he encounters Iori Yagami who proclaims himself as Kyo's eternal enemy. Kyo makes it to the finals again and fights his Brainwashed father, and then Rugal once again. He learns of his destiny to seal away Orochi from Chizuru Kagura, and in '96, defeats Goenitz along with Iori. In '97 he, along with Iori and Chizuru, battle the last remaining forces of Orochi and reseal him, but he disappears afterward, and he is found by NESTS and cloned.
After having been missing for a year, he re-emerges and decides to invesitage NESTS, joining K' in combating the organization.
In the Tales of Ash saga, he joins with Iori and Chizuru once again to stop a group of people trying to resurrect Orochi, but Iori and Chizuru have their powers stolen by Ash Crimson, leaving Kyo as the final target. Due to Ash fully managing to unfurl his plan, however, Kyo never has his powers stolen.
In XIV, Kyo learns that a friend of Saisyu, Tung Fu Rue, is participating in the tournament with some new students. Kyo is asked to participate in order to 'show the ropes' to these newcomers.
- Adaptational Nice Guy: In the games and every other media he's featured in, he's always cocky, fight-happy, rebellious and really full of himself. In Destiny though, despite these afformentioned traits still being present, he's more noble, shows great respect to Master Chin, and is less of a jerk towards the others (he was never respectful to him or anyone higher than him), putting him near Terry levels of Nice Guy by comparison.
- Amplifier Artifact: Wields the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi, which is implied to reside inside of his body.
- Animal Motifs: Most heavily associated with cats, including literally becoming one in SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Just because he's The Hero and really cares for his friends, it doesn't stop him from being a cocky bastard when it comes to fighting. He'll boast non-stop in his interactions with other fighters and can leave some scalding remarks upon winning."You're pathetic... How did I end up against someone with no fighting skills?!"
- Badass Adorable: The KOF: KYO manga shows us Kyo when he was no older than 8. He was this through and through, especially considering that he loved to train very roughly with his father and that he saved other kids from being bullied by high schoolers.
- Badass Biker: His motorcycle is listed as one of his likes, implying this trope.
- Badass Boast: He has a lot of these, especially early on where he's even more Hot-Blooded."That was my fist! It's hotter than napalm!"
"My fist has a 1800 years of history! I can easily break you!"
"You were lucky! A bit longer and I would have turned you into cinder!"
- Because Destiny Says So: Pretty much the underlying reason for why stuff happens to him, being the next successor of the Kusanagi clan. Several figures like Goenitz and Ash have targeted him because of his gifts, and that's to say nothing of when he was abducted and used to create pyrokinetic super soldiers. Kyo vehemently refuses to believe that fate plays an integral role in his life, but will fight people like the Orochi and Those of the Past so they'll leave him and his loved ones alone.
- Berserk Button: Ash Crimson and Iori Yagami piss him off endlessly for their repeated attempts to defeat him and use him in schemes respectively. On a less serious note, being too nosy about the fact that he never graduated from high school is a sure-fire way to get smoked. (Kim is particularly good about rising his hackles in regards to this. Hilarity Ensues every time they meet.)
- Big Fancy House: In the KOF:KYO media, we see that Kyo and his parents live in a traditional Japanese complex located atop of a small hill from the outskirts of Osaka.
- Bishōnen: His appearance in XIV is much, much slimmer and more effeminate than he used to be. His new hairstyle only adds to it.
- Blood Knight: Nothing gets Kyo more amped up than the promise of a good fight. He takes in every moment before a fight to roast his oppoenent and express excitement for the coming battle. Even when he's knocked down in-game, he'll sound like he's having a blast.(Getting knocked down in XIII): "That was a good one!"
- Bonus Boss: Along with Iori in KOF '99. You can fight him if your end points are over 280. Win, and he becomes playable.
- Bootstrapped Theme: "Esaka?" from '96 is so popular a song that it's probably the song of the series. It has seen multiple renditions over the years, whether it's being used for the original Japan Team, Kyo's clones, or even as a bridge in a completely different theme for Kyo.
- Borrowed Catchphrase: When performing his 524 Shiki Kamukura HSDM, Kyo utters one of Iori's signature catchphrases."Asobi wa owari da!" (Play time's over!).
- Bring It: Quite prevalent in many of his selection and pre-battle quotes, and one of his favorite ways to goad his opponent."Dokkara demo kina!" (Come at me however you want!)
- Brought Down to Normal: A huge plot point in the KOF: KYO manga. Kyo has had some hidden insecurities about why he's fighting for for a short while, and while fighting Billy Kane his flames suddenly die out. He spends the following days in an Heroic BSoD-induced apathy, where not even Iori really wants to fight him since he's completely Not Himself, and from then on it went From Bad to Worse.
- Bully Hunter: According to the KOF: KYO manga, this is how he started fighting.
- The Cameo: He appears in the background of KOF Stadium in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and has a spirit battle based on him; the fight in question includes two fighters based on his teammates, Benimaru and Daimon.
- Catchphrase: "Heh heh, moetaro?" note and "Ore no... kachi da!" note
- Chick Magnet:
- A somewhat muted example but he's in a relationship with Yuki, Athena (who is herself a Dude Magnet) is in love with him, and he gets a good amount of ship tease with others.
- He's apparently an out-of-universe example as well as creators note he's popular with female fans. They even designed a playable Audience Surrogate for them named Cosplay Kyoko.
- Cloning Blues: This gets done to him a lot. There are at least half a dozen characters directly meant as duplicates as him, most of whom are clones from the NESTS saga (Kyo-1, Kyo-2, K', K9999, Nameless), but there's also Yata Mirror's duplicate (Kusanagi). (There's also Syo Kirishima, who was originally an unused prototype of Kyo until the KOF game designers decided to use him as a striker).
- Close-Range Combatant: His '96 overhaul turns him into this, with his chain flaming punch specials that guarantees Kyo to try to get close to the opponent as much as possible.
- Clothes Make the Legend: Kyo is very recognizable as the schoolboy from the Orochi Saga. Most of his appearances outside of KOF have Kyo in his uniform as well. In fact, the creation of Kyo's clones were fueled by a desire among some of the developers to include Kyo's older and more iconic look. XIII also adds the outfit as one of regular Kyo's possible palette swaps, and XIV adds it as a pre-order bonus/DLC.
- Confusion Fu: His Aragami chain punches have multiple different follow-ups that could hit either mid, low or overhead, making blocking the attempt tricky.
- Costume Evolution: He gets new garbs at the start of each saga. In the beginning, he has his trademark brown school uniform with a headband. At the start of NESTS saga, he changes it to a pair of jeans, white jacket and black inner shirt, as well as losing his headband. Come Tales of Ash, he changes his jacket to a black one with a white T-shirt. And XIV gives him a new jacket that's similar to the NESTS era one but with more pockets.
- Creepy Cool Crosses: His outfit during the NESTS saga had a black shirt with two pairs of perpendicular white lines forming a cross on his chest.
- Depending on the Writer: In XIII Climax, NESTS!Kyo is portrayed to be slightly Older and Wiser than normal!Kyo. For example, Kyo bluntly tells Leona to get out of the battlefield since "this is no place for those who can't control themselves", whereas NESTS!Kyo asks her if she's up for controlling her Orochi blood instead. Then again, some of NESTS!Kyo's lines come across as more conceited than regular Kyo's, and thus reminiscent of his Orochi Saga self.
- Did You Just Punch Out Orochi?: With the help of Iori and Chizuru, he takes out Orochi in The Three Sacred Treasures' ending in '97.
- Divergent Character Evolution:
- Although he's one of many examples (see Ryo/Robert, Ralf/Clark, Mature/Vice, etc.), his is perhaps the most notable. In '95, Kyo and Iori possessed similar movesets (this is justified in-story; their ancestors worked together to perfect their respective fighting styles together before the Kusanagi/Yasakani schism), giving them a Moveset Clone relationship. In the following game, Kyo traded in his Yami Barai projectile for his now-trademark flame-lanced chain of punches (this is presumably due to the Curb-Stomp Battle he experienced at the hands of Goenitz in the interim between games). Currently (read: "up until XII"), he and Iori share only one move.
- When Iori has lost his flames in XIII (and possesses a more physical moveset not unlike post-'95 Kyo), Kyo's back to his original moveset.
- Downloadable Content: In XIII, the "NESTS-style" Kyo, which is him with his more iconic Rekka-style combos. In XIV, it's his classic high school garb.
- Elemental Punch: His very first one is his Oni Yaki special, a fiery uppercut move. Starting from 96, he gains more and more of these, the signature being "114 Shiki Aragami" (Roughly translates to "114th form: Wild Bite"), an attack with several follow-ups that defines his Close-Range Combatant style.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Just watch his intro with Vega in the Capcom vs. SNK games. Kyo is not honored in the slightest.Vega: "Hmm. Rather attractive. However you can't hold a candle to me."Kyo: "Shut yo' mouth! You silly narcissistic little fancy pants! I'm going to torch you to your bones!"Vega: "Heh, heh. Relax. You should take a break before I tear you to shreds, huh?"Kyo: "I've got stuff to do. I can't waste my time with freaks like you."
- Every Year They Fizzle Out: Although he and the original Team Japan won throughout the entire Orochi Saga ('94-'97), with Kyo usually getting the credit for single-handedly beating Orochi, Kyo doesn't seem to have quite the same luck in either the NESTS or Tales of Ash sagas (especially the latter), despite being one of the most powerful fighters in The 'Verse.
- Fingerless Gloves: Always a part of his outfits.
- Finger Wag: His taunt. Originally, he'd only dental click while doing it ("Tsk tsk tsk"), although Kyo later says "Mou, oyasumi ka?" ("Oh, is it bedtime already?")
- Fire Is Red: Supposedly. The flames of the Kusanagi clan are usually referred to as "crimson", but appear in-game as orange, similar to how the cursed blue flames of Orochi (see: Iori, Orochi Chris) are depicted as purple.
- Fun with Acronyms: His 707 Shiki: Komahofuri is alternatively known as the R.E.D (Rainbow Energy Dynamite) Kick.
- Ground Wave: His Yami Barai special (when he has it) is a flame projectile that travels along the ground.
- Guest Fighter: For Lost Saga, Brave Frontier, and more.
- Hellbent For Leather: Many of his costumes incorporate some kind of leather garment to emphasize his scrappy, Blood Knight attitude. His XII-XV designs all give him leather jackets for example.
- The Hero: Of the Orochi Saga and the entire King of Fighters franchise.
- High-School Sweethearts: A Belligerent Sexual Tension-filled example with Yuki. Despite Yuki largely disappearing from the supporting cast in later installments, she and Kyo are going steady to this day.
- Image Song: Several. The main ones fans request for Masahiro Nonaka to sing are "Burning Devotion!" and "Pieces." God forbid that you get him and Kunihiko Yasui (Iori) in the same room or less the fans will clamor that they sing their dual image song, "The Sun & The Moon."
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Daimon, who is roughly 8-9 years older than he is.
- Intergenerational Rivalry: With several older fighters like Terry and Ryo. He especially loves to goad Terry to get the most out of their fights.Terry: "Hey, what's happenin', man? Hope your precious flames haven't started gutterin' out yet!"
Kyo: "You want to know how my flames are doing? Why don't I shove them down your throat, then?"
Terry: "Wow! Someone got out of the wrong side of bed today! This is gonna be a really heated battle!"
- It's Personal:
- He suffers a painful defeat by Goenitz, prompting Kyo to spend time training himself and developing new techniques to eventually defeat Goenitz.
- In XIII, he's determined to get back at Ash for the latter almost killing Chizuru and triggering Iori's Blood Riot which almost kills Shingo.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Kyo is cocky, fight-happy, rebellious and really full of himself, but his heart is very much in the right place and he does love his family and friends in his own way. (And in KOF:KYO he seems to have some hidden insecurities as well, which leave him open to almost losing himself to the dark side.) Lampshaded in said manga:Yuki: "He's just a guy who gets flaming mad at times."Sanae: "That's why everyone's afraid of him. They're just too scared to speak to him!"
- Last-Name Basis: He and Iori almost never call each other by their given names, instead using to surnames to refer to each other.
- Lightning/Fire Juxtaposition: he's the fire to Benimaru's lightning.
- Living MacGuffin: He becomes this post Orochi saga. He is used by the NESTS cartel to make clones (one of them being K'), which starts the '99-2001 arc. The Tales of Ash saga revolves around Ash seeking to steal the three Sacred Treasures, one of them being within Kyo.
- Martial Arts Headband:
- Wore one until the start of the NESTS saga (not counting his Another Kyo striker in KOF '99). He burns his headband in a few KOF '99 opening poses in order to distinguish himself from his clones. He finally puts it back on for KOF XV.
- He kept on wearing it (along with his "classic" school uniform) in several spin-off games until Neo Geo Battle Coliseum, in which he appears with his NESTS Saga outfit, thereby ditching it for good (also because the outfit went to his alternate version, Kusanagi).
- Meaningful Name: The Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi is a sword that the sea and storm god Susano'o found inside of the Yamata no Orochi's body after slaying the great beast. Guess what Kyo Kusanagi does to Orochi at the climax of '97.
- His Neo MAX in XIII is named the Ura 121 Shiki Ame-no-Murakumo, the "Ame no Murakumo" being the former name of the Kusanagi sword.
- The NESTS incarnation of him in the same game has a different Neo MAX named "Saishuu Kessen Hiougi: Totsuka", which is the sword Susano'o used to slay Orochi.
- His Climax Super in XIV is named Ura 1127 Shiki Yaegaki. Yaegaki Shrine is the place where Kushinada hid from the Yamata-no-Orochi.
- Megaton Punch: Gains one from '99 onwards in the form of his 182 Shiki. This is presumably a Continuity Nod to the killing blow Kyo landed on Orochi.
- You could also argue that the end of his Mu Shiki DM (not the SDM version, though) ends with one also. At the very least, they're sent flying.
- XIII gives him (to be exact, NESTS!Kyo) another one as his Neo MAX named Totsuka, a punch so powerful it causes a screen-filling fiery explosion.
- Moveset Clone: With Iori, but only in '95. Justified as the Kusanagi and Yasakani clans built their fighting styles together. In the games after that, Kyo starts to differentiate by using his trademark chain punches.
- Mundane Wish: According to one of the endings of XIII his great Tragic Dream is to... graduate from high school.
- Neck Lift: Kyo's Crescent Moon Flash/Crescent Slash (212 Shiki Kototsuki Yo) has him charging the opponent with a running elbow to the stomach, followed by Kyo hoisting them up by the neck and, finally, lighting them up like a Christmas tree.Kyo: "MOERO!" note
- Non-Indicative Name: Halfway there. NESTS-Style Kyo may wear the threads from his '99-2002 days, but his playstyle is primarily based on that of '98!Kyo.
- "Not So Different" Remark:
- Although semi-canon at best, other media adaptations (most notably the '98 drama CD, KOF: Kyo, and the Hong Kong manhua) insinuate that should the Kusanagi lose themselves to their darker side, they'll end up just like the followers of Orochi.
- He and Joe quip with each other about how similar their desire to fight is.
Joe: "And you'd be undefeated if you just sat around protecting your ancient rituals. You're here for the same reason as I am. We both need to test ourselves against the best of the best!"
Kyo: "I hate to admit it, but you're probably right!"
- Oh, Crap!: A big one dawns on him at the end of his Maximum Impact story. Why? He forgot to call Yuki.
- Old Shame: In-Universe. He doesn't like being reminded of never having graduated high school. Some supplementary art pokes fun at the fact by having him daydreaming of finally graduating.Chin: "I'm just saying, you shouldn't worry about repeating a school year five or ten times. You'll get it eventually. Everything in its own time."
Kyo: "Why you! I hate when you act like you're going to say something wise, but it's really just a wisecrack! Bring it on, gramps!"
- The Only One Allowed To Kill You: XIII in a nutshell. Kyo is very fervent about making sure that he's the one who'll give Ash his just desserts, leading to him butting heads with several other competitors, including Athena (who calls him out on trying to shoulder all of the burden when he has friends who are willing to help), Kensou (who both wants to use his new powers and thinks similarly to Athena), and Elisabeth (who has the same mindset when it comes to dealing with Ash).
- Pillar of Light: More like Pillar of Fire, but still, his Mu Shiki DM has him start doing this before doing multiple punches. His Neo MAX in XIII, Ama-no-Murakumo, has him create multiple flame pillars.
- Playing with Fire: Comes from his Heroic Lineage. He incorporates his flames in various martial arts moves like his flame "rekka", Oniyaki, and Crescent Moon Flash. He can also simply fire a massive blast of flame as a super move.
- Power Echoes: Most versions of his Mu Shiki DM have an echo effect. Canonically, the Mu Shiki is believed to be Kyo's strongest skill (Clone Zero even used its data for the Zero Cannon).
- Pretty Boy: Naturally, with his looks. Several characters taunt him in-game using this as an insult.
- Pungeon Master: Quite fond of making all sorts of quips pertaining to his natural element.
- School Uniforms Are the New Black: He's entered several tournaments while in uniform. When Kyo stopped wearing his school clothes in '99, his clones picked up the slack.
- Screw Destiny: While Kyo does go on to defeat Orochi just as his ancestor did, Kyo himself refuses to believe that his feud with Iori is influenced by the ancient war between the Kusanagi and Yasakani. Basically, he wants to just live his life as a fighter, but if others seek him out and/or harm someone who's at least mildly close to him (like Saisyu in '95, Yuki in '97 or Chizuru in 2003), he just will fight back so they'll leave him and his loved ones alone.
- Send in the Clones: Used as Self-Deprecation in regards to the NESTS Chronicles. XI has Kyo making a jab at the ludicrous number of clones he's picked up over the years, almost to a Once Done, Never Forgotten degree.Kyo: "Another clone? There's enough of me to start a baseball team!"
- Shoryuken: His Oniyaki special, a spinning fist attack that sets his opponent ablaze.
- Shotoclone: Somewhat, during his first appearances (and by proxy, in XII and XIII). With Yami Barai as the projectile move, Oni Yaki as the uppercut move, and Oboroguruma as a (sort of) flying kick move.
- Signature Move: His Oni Yaki, 75 Shiki Kai and Orochinagi are the only moves of his that he retains in all games.
- The Slacker: Never graduated from high school. "Effort" is even listed as his dislike in his bio. Lampshaded more than once in the games. He gets pissed off every time this is brought up.
- SNK Boss: Along with Iori in KOF '99, Kyo is more difficult than Krizalid and Iori himself because the artificial intelligence is improved, compared to the other editions, responding better to each advance of the player and using his SDM when he has the best opportunitynote .
- Solar and Lunar: Represents the sun, in contrast to Iori's moon-related imagery.
- Spell My Name with an "S": His first name is written as "Kyo", "Kyō" or "Kyou".
- Teen Genius: He's said to have properly dominated his pyrokinetic powers and surpassed his father's own skills when he was 15 years old (which is also the time when Souji almost lost himself to his darker side and thus asked Kyo to replace him as the family leader). He became the winner of the All-Japan Martial Arts Tournament at age 18, and the Team Japan leader at age 19. The rest is history. About his school life, though...
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: It's not exactly easy to fight alongside a guy who unreasonably hates your guts, but if the Orochi is involved, it's time to throw the feud aside and help Chizuru out.
- Theme Naming:
- More often than not, his theme song will have the word "Esaka" in it. This is also symbolic to fans of the series, as Esaka refers to the locale of the old SNK headquarters.
- Also, his special moves more often than not starts with "(number) Shiki".
- Three-Strike Combo: His "flame punch rekka" specials are typically 3 strikes, except for the Dokugami chain which has 4 strikes. His HK version of Oboroguruma also has him do 3 kicks instead of 1 (the LK version).
- Trademark Favorite Food: Broiled fish. Lampshaded in XIII when he taunts K's via theorizing that he's always grumpy because he eats too much red meat and telling him to eat fish instead; K' is obviously not amused.
- Unusual Euphemism: 2002 has Kyo prattling on about "the pepper" in his win quote. The Japanese equivalent is more along the lines of his trademark "Moetaro" ("You [got] burned") line.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Benimaru. The two clearly care for each other, but also love to goad one another with fihgting words.Benimaru: "Are you sure you're okay, Kyo?"
Kyo: "Hm? What are you talking about?"
Benimaru: "Your wounds. You escaped from the hospital before they treated you, am I right?"
Kyo: "What, you don't trust me? I'm telling you not to worry. I'll be fine."
Benimaru: "Well, I'm not exactly worried, per se... I just don't want you making excuses if you cause us to lose. It makes us all look bad."
Kyo: "Oh, so you're a comedian, are you? Well, why don't you take me on, huh!?"
Benimaru: "Don't mind if I do! Show me perfection, Kyo!"
-Team Japan's intro in XIII
- Vocal Evolution: Kyo sounds more laid-back and relaxed in later games (as compared to his almost Hot-Blooded characterization at the beginning of the Orochi Saga) and his voice has grown somewhat deeper to match this, perhaps to show his maturity over the years. Nonaka has said he feels slightly detached and disappointed by this, as he saw his younger days in Kyo's more cocksure personality.
- Warrior Poet: Literally. Poetry is a hobby of Kyo's. Though he's not too good at it, and it may explain his moveset naming since '96 via his own tastes.
- Wolverine Publicity: As the face of KOF, SNK has pushed him to the forefront of many of their biggest products. Not only is he in every mainlines KOF title, but also most crossovers and promotional tie-ins. This is even Lampshaded in his battle with Terry in XIII.Kyo: "Man, you are here every single time, aren't you? Are you going for a perfect attendance record or something?"
Terry: "Not really. It's just that when I hear lots of strong people are getting together, I really have to join!"
Kyo: "You're a sick individual, Terry... And I don't think there's a cure."
Terry: "Don't act like you're any different! I keep running into you here every time too!"
- Wreathed in Flames: His SDM version of Orochinagi (except in XIII and XIV) has him being covered in his own fire; the opponent who tries to attack him while he charges the move may get damaged by his burning body before he unleashes it. Also done in his Mu Shiki DM.
- You Don't Look Like You: His design in XIV is so different from usual that some assumed he was a brand new character at first, what with ditching his trademark '90s Hair for something described as akin to a K-pop idol's, going from muscular to slender and feminine-looking, and for a time even changing his hair color completely. Oddly enough, the concept art for him still has him resembling his usual self even with the hair change.
Voiced by: Atsushi "Monster" Maezuka (since debut), Eric Kelso (XII, English), Hikaru Midorikawa ('94 Dengeki Bunko drama CD), Genki Okawa (King of Fighters for Girls)
- MODE OF COMBAT: Shooting (shoot boxing)
- BIRTHDAY: June 6
- HEIGHT: 180 cm
- WEIGHT: 68 kg
- BLOOD TYPE: Type O
- BIRTHPLACE: Japan
- HOBBY: Sky cruising. Cooking
- PERSONAL TREASURES: Himself. Pierce earrings
- FAVORITE FOOD: Sashimi. Pasta. Coffee
- DISLIKES: Nerds. Regrets
- FORTE IN SPORTS: Clay pigeon shooting. High diving
- Agent Peacock: Flamboyant, somewhat vain, and cares a lot about his looks, but there's a reason he's got the most KOF championships out of the whole cast.
- Always Someone Better: In some non-official KOF media, it's speculated that while Benimaru does care for Kyo as a friend, at the same time he also resents being The Lancer and feels overshadowed by him. The aforementioned Alternate Universe KOF: G goes by this interpretation and it culminates with him falling in More Than Mind Control and severely injuring Kyo while in this state. It's also brought up in more than one fanfiction that has Benimaru as a main character.
- Anime Hair: Lifted directly from Jean-Pierre Polnareff in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, as the creators confirm. He styles it with his powers in one intro. And when his hair isn't defying gravity, he's a Long-Haired Pretty Boy.
- Bare Your Midriff: For most of the time, his outfit sports this. XIV marks the few times he doesn't have this, though it was predated by his debut in '94 until it ends in '97.
- Big Brother Mentor: In XV where he's now taking care of Shun'ei and Meitenkun in the new Hero Team.
- Bishōnen: One of the bishiest. He even models in his spare time.
- But Not Too Foreign: Half American, half Japanese.
- Butt-Monkey: He's usually the butt of jokes in the King of Fighters: Destiny animated series.
- Camp Straight: A very flamboyant fighter, but also a lover of the ladies. So camp in fact that in the KOF 10th anniversary webpage the staff felt the need to say "It's not what you think, Not That There's Anything Wrong with That."
- Chivalrous Pervert: Loves to flirt with female opponents, but is not a lech, since he will leave the girl alone if she tells him to cut it, even if he whines about it a bit. The best examples of this comes from Benimaru scolding Kyo on his (understandably neglectful) relationship with Yuki, and later all of his pre-fight talks towards female fighters in XIII.
- Close-Range Combatant: To an extent in older games, but he's almost fully this in XIII where, with the exception of EX Benimaru Lancer (which tracks the opponent anywhere) and his Neo MAX (he shoots a thunderbolt directly forward), all of his moves have quite a short range.
- Costume Evolution: At the beginning, his outfit is pretty much the same as Polnareff. In '96, he changes his top to a black full body sleeveless shirt while retaining his wrist bands. In '98 and the NESTS saga, the A-shirt turns into a T-shirt with a Cleavage Window while baring his midriff, and now wears fingerless gloves. In 2003 and XI, along with changing his jeans to a black one, the A-shirt is back... and it's now in leopard print. XII changes his outfit to an A-shirt that bares his midriff. In XIV, he (finally!) wears a yellow shirt. In Capcom vs. SNK, his '98 T-shirt becomes an A-shirt with long gloves baring his shoulders. In XV he switches to a Chinese-inspired top, fitting his new position as part of the hero team with Shun'ei and Meitenkun.
- Death from Above: His Benimaru Lancer special in XIII is him doing a Badass Fingersnap to summon a lightning strike from above near his location (or directly on opponent's position as its EX version).
- Diving Kick: His Flying Drill command normal, a diagonally-angled kick meant to emulate the rotation of a drill, similar in appearance and functionality to Dhalsim's Drill Kick/Head Drill, or as usual, a nod to another kind of drill kick seen on the series' Shout-Out section.
- Elemental Punch: His Raijinken is pretty much a basic example, among other electric punches and kicks he has.
- Fingerless Gloves: Not unlike Kyo. He sports them beginning from the NESTS Saga.
- Fragile Speedster: In gameplay, Benimaru's one of the most notable examples of the quick-moving guys of the cast, despite the position often given to female characters. He has the one of the highest jumping heights and he doesn't look very bulky compared to others, but boy can he do a lot of stuff with his lightning, and his moves are a bit quick.
- Grapple Move: In some games he has the Benimaru Collider, where he he grabs an opponent and electrocutes them.
- Guest Fighter: In Xuan Dou Zhi Wang alongside Terry.
- Hurricane Kick: His Shinkuu Katategoma special in some games, where he handstands and spins in place while kicking with both legs.
- Iaijutsu Practitioner: A borderline example in his Iai Geri special, where he does a very quick knee-kick and then pulls his leg back just as quickly.
- Image Song: "Show Time!"
- The Jailbait Wait: For Kula, judging by his dialogue with her in XIII's story mode and his win quote for her. Immediately subverted in the former when he calls himself a horrible person for bringing it up and then tells Kula to forget what he said when she has no understanding of what he meant by waiting five years for her.
- More Than Mind Control: Briefly happens to him in Ryo Takamisaki's The King Of Fighters G. Goenitz starts using his powers to drain people of Life Energy while he and Kyo are fighting in the finals; this affects Benimaru by proxy and he goes Blood Knight at Kyo, injuring his eyes. When Kyo wins the fight anyway, Benimaru comes back to his senses and apologizes. It qualifies as this trope instead of Brainwashed and Crazy because of a subplot where Benimaru was very angry at Kyo after a massive fight, which led him to team up with Iori and Mature (while Kyo teamed with Athena and Vice); Goenitz's appearance and powers simply amped up the bad feelings that already were there Up to Eleven.
- Lightning/Fire Juxtaposition: He's the lightning to Kyo's fire.
- Shock and Awe: His fighting style consists of lightning empowered martial arts. He can also fire bolts of lightning from his hands. His exaggerated case of electrostatics is the reason his hair rivals Paul Phoenix and Guile.
- Shoryuken: A kick version with his Super Inazuma Kick, where he leaps up with lightning left in his trail.
- Signature Move: His Raijinken, a short-range surge of electricty. Also its DM version, Raikouken.
- Small Name, Big Ego: In King of Fighters: Destiny. He's offended when he realizes that the American fighter Ryo Sakazaki has heard of Kyo and Goro, but not him.
- Something About a Rose: His poster at the school stage◊ in 2002UM depicts Beni with a rose in his teeth.
- Spell My Name with an "S": His surname can be written as "Nikaido", "Nikaidō" or "Nikaidou".
- Sphere of Destruction:
- His Raikouken DM was originally this. Whether or not it's this or a cluster of Energy Balls depends on the game.
- His new Rolling Thunder DM is definitely this, where he surrounds himself in a circular field of electricity..
- Super Speed: Via electricity. He can even move fast enough to produce after-images, as seen with his Gen'ei Hurricane DM.
- Theme Naming: As elaborated on the shout-out page, all of Benimaru's moves are actually themed/named-after anime heroes' special attacks, especially from Tatsunoko Production. The massive irony is that Benimaru in his profile specifically hates nerds/otaku who are into that sort of thing.
- Three-Strike Combo: His Iai Geri special can be continued to Hando Sandan Geri, which adds 2 more strikes to the attack.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Kyo, at first. As the two came to respect each other over time, the snarky banter died down a lot.
Voiced by: Masaki Usui ('94-XIII), Takahiro Fujiwara (XIV-current) Ryuzaburo Otomo ('94 Dengeki Bunko drama CD)
- MODE OF COMBAT: Judo + Personal combat style
- BIRTHDAY: May 5
- HEIGHT: 204 cm
- WEIGHT: 138 kg
- BLOOD TYPE: Type A
- BIRTHPLACE: Japan
- HOBBY: Appreciating nature. Touring around Japanese gardens.
- PERSONAL TREASURES: His family. Geta (Japanese clogs).
- FAVORITE FOOD: Soba served on a bamboo sieve
- DISLIKES: Precision machines
- FORTE IN SPORTS: Judo
- Absentee Actor: He's completely absent in KOF XI.
- Badass Normal: Kyo has fire, Benimaru has electricity. He's got nothing but his size, his strength, and a handful of experience. Technically, his element would be earth, but unlike his companions, he doesn't really have a supernatural bent to his powers; he's just that strong.
- Big Brother Mentor: For Kyo, in story.
- The Big Guy: The resident heavyweight for Team Japan. He's a more stoic version of this trope than most examples, though.
- The Cameo: He appears in the background of KOF Stadium in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and has a spirit battle that references him; the fight in question is a spirit battle based on Kyo that includes two fighters based on his Benimaru and Daimon.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: Years of hard work and training in judo have honed Daimon to the point where he's able to cause earthquakes just by slamming his hands on the ground.
- Counter-Attack: In 2002 he gets one counter special (Nekko Gaeshi) that counters with a throw, and in 2003 he loses that, but gains a new DM (Toumi) that acts like this.
- Dishing Out Dirt: He possesses enough strength to move the earth.
- Eyes Always Shut: Always....kind of. 98% of the time you see Goro his eyes fit this perfectly. However, early artwork from 94 and 95 shows his eyes and in XIV, the animation for Kyouten Douchi shows his eyes opening before he demolishes the ground with a double palm strike.
- Family Man: Goro usually declines invitations for KOF tournaments to focus on his family, especially noticed when he was to get his first child after 97.
- Flung Clothing: In some of his intro poses, he may throw the top part of his gi away.
- Gentle Giant: This big guy is peaceful by nature, usually fighting only to help out Kyo, Benimaru, and Shingo if they require his aid. He also finds time to immerse himself in nature and teach younglings the secrets of Judo. His warm heart was probably why Jokyojo fell in love with him.
- Good Is Old-Fashioned: Pointed out by Benimaru in the dramas, when he makes fun of how he likes Yamato Nadeshiko girls. In XIII, he yells at Mai for being Stripperiffic, bonds with Ryo over their shared hobby of training in the mountains, and chats with Kim about wanting to give good examples to their children.
- Grapple Move: He has a number of this; a given for a judoka.
- The Grappler: He is a judo practicioner and serves as the big guy of Team Japan.
- Ground Pound: His Jirai Shin (Mine Quake) special which causes a small quake which damages the standing enemy (but not crouching ones: unless it's the EX version) no matter the range. His Neo MAX, Kyouten Douchi (Amazing Heaven Moving Earth), is also this (as well as being a Counter-Attack). Past games that had one's team in the background would always have Daimon's opposing team get tripped by it while his own team understands the cue to dodge with a jump.
- Happily Married: To Jokyojo. Then even have a son named Kogoro who appears to be passionately following his dad's footsteps. See Daimon's intro pose in 2001 for a good example.
- Heroic Mime: Kind of. While he talks during his win quotes, he has no dialogue while fighting (at least not until later games gave him a few quotes).
- Hunk: Strong, handsome, and an all-around Nice Guy as well.
- Kiai: Instead of Calling Your Attacks, he does this for his moves.
- Kick Them While They Are Down: In a variant, one of his specials is him grabbing his downed opponent, then lifts him up and then slams him back down. His new DM in XIV Konten Otoshi also works like this.
- Massive Numbered Siblings: Fifth of seven brothers and sisters. note
- Martial Arts Headband: White with a red circle in the middle, like the Japan flag.
- Martial Arts Uniform: He's shown to have one, but he tends to wear his top like a Coat Cape: and then he discards it before the fight.
- Metronomic Man Mashing: His Jigoku Gokuraku Otoshi (Hell Paradise Drop) DM.
- Mighty Glacier: His movement tend to be slower than other's, but boy those throws are strong.
- The Quiet One: He doesn't really talk as much as his teammates do, especially in 98, where his winquotes are especially terse. It gets Played for Laughs in XIII, where he and Leona share a moment of Visible Silence together in their pre-fight intro.
- Signature Move: his Tenchi Gaeshi and Jiraishin specials, as well as Jigoku Gokuraku Otoshi DM.
- Spell My Name with an "S": His first name can be written as "Goro", "Gorō" or "Gorou".
- Unnecessary Combat Roll: His Super Ukemi special subverts this, as Daimon can use it to avoid projectiles and other attacks, placing him in the ideal position to unleash one of his deadly judo throws. It can also be freely canceled to other specials.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: He never wears anything for his top in all games. All the better to show his well-toned body.
Fatal Fury Team: Italy
Voiced by: Satoshi Hashimoto ('94-XIII), Takashi Kondo (XIV-current, Fighting EX Layer, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate), Tony Carrol (Maximum Impact series, English), Takeshi Kusao ('94 Dengeki Bunko drama CD), Chiaki Takahashi (SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy)
- Portrayed by: David Leitch (live-action movie)
- MODE OF COMBAT: "Martial arts" (from his father's and Tung's, later self-taught)
- BIRTHDAY: March 15
- HEIGHT: 182cm
- WEIGHT: 83kg
- BLOOD TYPE: Type O
- BIRTHPLACE: U.S.A
- HOBBY: Video games
- PERSONAL TREASURES: His father's keepsake. Vintage jeans.
- FAVORITE FOOD: Clubhouse sandwiches
- DISLIKES: Slugs
- FORTE IN SPORTS: Basketball
- See Fatal Fury - Terry Bogard for tropes on him.
Voiced by: Jun Hashimoto (94), Keiichi Nanba (95-XIII), Hiroshi Okamoto (XIV-current), Jeff Manning (XII, English), Ryo Horikawa ('94 Dengeki Bunko drama CD), Toshinari Fukamachi (King of Fighters for Girls)
- MODE OF COMBAT: Koppo, ninjutsu (Shiranui-style)
- BIRTHDAY: August 16
- HEIGHT: 172cm
- WEIGHT: 67kg
- BLOOD TYPE: Type A
- BIRTHPLACE: U.S.A
- HOBBY: Training
- PERSONAL TREASURES: Pictures from his times in training
- FAVORITE FOOD: Fermented Soybean (Natto) Spaghetti
- DISLIKES: Dogs
- FORTE IN SPORTS: Short-Track Cycling
- See Fatal Fury: King of Fighters for tropes on him
Voiced by: Katsuhisa Namase (94), Nobuyuki Hiyama (95-XIII), Kozo Mito (XIV-current) Greg Irwin (XII, English), Kazuki Yao ('94 Dengeki Bunko drama CD), Chiharu Sawashiro (King of Fighters for Girls)
- MODE OF COMBAT: Muay Thai Kickboxing
- BIRTHDAY: March 29
- HEIGHT: 180cm
- WEIGHT: 71kg
- BLOOD TYPE: Type AB
- BIRTHPLACE: Japan
- HOBBY: Fighting
- PERSONAL TREASURES: Headband
- FAVORITE FOOD: Fried alligator bits
- DISLIKES: Dressing up
- FORTE IN SPORTS: All forms of combative sports
- See Fatal Fury: King of Fighters for tropes on him
Art of Fighting Team: Mexico
Voiced by: Masaki Usui ('94-XI, XIII), Masayoshi Kozaki (XII), Daiki Takakura (XIV, XV, King of Fighters All-Star), Curt Gebhart (Maximum Impact series, English), Akira Kamiya ('94 Dengeki Bunko drama CD), Subaru Kimura (King of Fighters for Girls)
- MODE OF COMBAT: Kyokugen-style Karate
- BIRTHDAY: August 2
- HEIGHT: 179cm
- WEIGHT: 75kg
- BLOOD TYPE: Type O
- BIRTHPLACE: Japan
- HOBBY: Japanese-style carpentry
- PERSONAL TREASURES: Motorcycle that he fixed up on his own. The horse he received.
- FAVORITE FOOD: Rice cakes. Fermented soybeans
- DISLIKES: Bugs with a lot of legs
- FORTE IN SPORTS: Sumo
Voiced by: Kay Inage (94-'95, XI onward), Mantarō Koichi ('96-2003), Go Shinomiya (XIV, XV, King of Fighters All-Star), Greg Irwin (XII, English), Hideo Ishikawa ('94 Dengeki Bunko drama CD), Kazuhiro Okamoto (King of Fighters for Girls)
- MODE OF COMBAT: Kyokugen-style Karate
- BIRTHDAY: December 25
- HEIGHT: 180cm
- WEIGHT: 85kg
- BLOOD TYPE: Type AB
- BIRTHPLACE: Italy
- HOBBY: Producing futuristic concept cars
- PERSONAL TREASURES: His car collection
- FAVORITE FOOD: Sushi. Chow mein.
- DISLIKES: Pickled scallions
- FORTE IN SPORTS: Motor sports
Voiced by: Eiji Tsuda(94,'95, '98-'02, XIII), Hōchū Ōtsuka ('94 Dengeki Bunko drama CD), Takeshi Maruyama (King of Fighters: All-Star)
- MODE OF COMBAT: Kyokugen-style Karate
- BIRTHDAY: February 4
- HEIGHT: 180cm
- WEIGHT: 88kg
- BLOOD TYPE: Type O
- BIRTHPLACE: Japan
- HOBBY: Making soba nodles
- PERSONAL TREASURES: His 2 children, his disciples, Kyokugen Karate
- FAVORITE FOOD: White rice, miso soup, kale pellets, vinegar-cured soybeans
- DISLIKES: Snakes
- FORTE IN SPORTS: All types of fighting