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Characters / The King Of Fighters: The Tales Of Ash

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Characters in The King of Fighters introduced during the Tales of Ash (KOF 2003 to XIII) will be listed here. This includes the PS2-exclusive characters in KOF XI.

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The King of Fighters 2003

Ash Team

    Ash Crimson - Unknown (raised in France)
Mocking Firelight
"Don't play your trump card until the end... The very end!"

Voiced by: Sōnosuke Nagashiro, Peter von Gomm (XII, English)

The main protagonist of the Tales of Ash saga. His past and motives are currently a mystery, save his connection to Elisabeth (whom he affectionately nicknames "Betty," much to her annoyance). Like Kyo and Iori, he wields flames, although his are green and it's unknown how he obtained them. He entered the tournament in order to steal the Sacred Treasures (and powers) of Kyo, Iori, and Chizuru.

After committing a Heroic Sacrifice at the end of XIII, Ash returns alive and well as a playable fighter in KOF XV.

  • Agent Peacock: May even outdo Benimaru in this regard! He implements graceful moves in his fighting style and is extremely concerned with his appearance. Doesn't stop him from being a clever manipulator and dangerous enemy, though.
  • All Your Powers Combined: After stealing Iori and Chizuru's powers, he actually reworked his fighting style to implement them. His Germinal LDM in XI briefly seals away his opponent's powers while his Fructidor Neo MAX in XIII is a direct lift of Iori's LDM from 2003 and XI. And after stealing Saiki's power and being taken over, he turns into an SNK Boss from Hell that would make even Rugal want to piss his pants.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: For Remy of Street Fighter III. His moves are also almost identical to Guile's, although so are Remy's. Both are French also, though Ash was only raised there.
  • Ambiguously Evil: In XIII, he starts to look less villainous than what he's been presented as so far. By the end of the game, he's actually a hero, losing the "evil" part.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Very camp, and some of his comments to male opponents can carry a flirty vibe. But while he doesn't show any particular attraction to women, any specific interest in men isn't made overt either, and his sexuality has never been confirmed definitively.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: An adoptive one, to Elisabeth.
  • Anti-Hero: XIII reveals him as this. His intentions are ultimately good, wanting to destroy Saiki and Those from the Past. But he manipulates his teammates and acts overall like a jerk to everyone, which prevents him from being a full-blown hero.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • His actions have made him one to both Kyo and Iori. So much that they drop their rivalry and team up in XI just to take care of this guy. In XIII Kyo is still as determined as ever to make him pay for stealing Chizuru's powers.
    • He is also one to his ancestor Saiki. It has been Ash’s personal mission to get the Sacred Treasures to become powerful enough to kill Saiki and prevent him from changing the past and stealing the powers of Orochi.
  • The Atoner: Magaki notes in his winning quote against Ash that he seems to be trying to repent for something. It is very well possible that this is linked to that of Saiki's ambitions in XIII.
  • Back from the Dead: The Stinger of the Official Invitation Team's ending in XIV reveals that Ash's existence has been reaffirmed, but he's in a coma. His revival is Kukri's real objective, having been hired by Elisabeth. As of XV, this is all but confirmed.
  • Badass Longcoat: KOF XV gives him a very stylish one that's true to his character. That, and his home stage is set in a Slippy-Slidey Ice World, so it seems appropriate.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: What results from the above, between Ash and Saiki. The latter is initially (and firmly) in control of Evil Ash's body, but Ash regains control after they lose, which leads into...
  • Batman Gambit: Possibly what he planned during the final events of XIII.
  • Bishōnen: Many mistook him for a girl initially. His sissy behavior, concern with his personal appearance, and poses in official artworks don't help. It's probably genetic.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: This is best seen in XIII where his fighting stance has him with a hand on hips, playing with his hair. Despite this, he is a rather competent fighter on his own right and is at his most powerful in this game. Still the case as of XV, where he maintains this stance.
  • The Bus Came Back: After a 12-year hiatus (as KOF XIII was initially released in 2010) and a cameo in XIV, he returns as a playable character in XV.
  • Campy Combat: He strikes flamboyant poses and his behavior towards other male characters is heavily implied to be flirting. His fighting style is very showy and acrobatic, combining it with his fire powers all in a very graceful fighting style similar to French martial art Savate.
  • Char Clone: Maybe. Think about it. He's blond, skilled, wears red, and is a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
  • Charge-Input Special: To date, he's the only KOF protagonist (and for that matter, one of the more prominent chargers in the series alongside Leona and Heidern) that works this way. In his KOF 2003 debut, he was a very straightforward clone of Remy (who, in turn, is 3rd Strike's equivalent of Guile with some elements from Sagat). His Ventose and Nivose specials are his Sonic Boom and Flash Kick equivalents, respectively, and he gains a new special in XIII that has him charge at the opponent while propelled by his flames. Ironically, however, he's more aggressive than his archetype suggests, especially in '03 where most of his normals were plus on block, making him a very oppressive character up close.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character:
    • To Kyo. Both of them are fire users and both are the archenemies of ancient evils. The differences between them are that Kyo was born with his flames due to him being a member of the Kusanagi clan, while Ash’s green flames and how he got them are a mystery. While Kyo acts more like The Hero of his story arc. Ash is a Hero Antagonist and a Villain Protagonist of his.
    • To K’. Both of their respective pasts are mostly shrouded in mystery and both have connections to Kyo, the former being The Rival to Kyo, while the latter became his Arch-Enemy. While K’ gained his flames via being infused with Kyo’s DNA, it’s unknown how Ash even got his flames.
  • Cosmic Retcon: Because Ash decided to absorb his ancestor and then erase himself from history, the whole "Tales of Ash" saga never happened. Saiki wasn't there to form "Those From the Past," Ash didn't steal the Three Sacred Treasures (Kyo, Iori and Chizuru's powers), nothing. Let's just say that the KOF tournaments still happened (as proved by the Japan Team's ending), but nothing super special went on behind the scenes...
  • Dark Is Evil: As Evil Ash.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Is arguably the most smart-assed protagonist in the series (and quite possibly one of the snarkiest characters in all of KOF), especially if some of his win quotes in XIII are any indicator.
    (VS EX Iori in KOF XIII) "You're pathetic. You know that? Kusanagi this and Kusanagi that... what are you? His crazy ex?"
    (VS King) "Don’t go running to the liquor bottle just because you lost to me, okay?"
    (VS Yuri) "Your power and speed are sub-par, but at least you'll pass Clown College!"
  • Declaration of Protection: For Elisabeth.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: All too much. Which is not helped by his sissy demeanor, Sounosuke Nagashiro's voice work, and his Hartman Hips in XV that are somehow as big as Shermie's.
  • Enigmatic Minion: Before the climax of 2003. According to XIII, he plays this role in regards to Those from the Past. Saiki is distrusting of him, and for good reason.
  • Evil Laugh: During his Fructidor Neo MAX in XIII, he goes into a manic, if not somewhat feminine bout of laughter.
  • Fake Defector: In XI, Elisabeth warns him about their mission to stop Those From The Past, and he seems to be aiding them, though XIII reveals he was indeed fighting them the whole time.
  • The Fighting Narcissist: His fighting style employs some graceful and showy moves, and he is very concerned with his appearance, with some of his win quotes berating his opponent for making him break a nail.
  • Final-Exam Boss: With a twist. You had better get Ash's strengths and weaknesses down to a science because you're essentially facing him twice at the endgame of XIII.
  • Fingerless Gloves: Part of his outfit.
  • Flash Step: His Germinal LDM. It also leaves a trail of green flames. He gains a different one without the trail in XV.
  • French Jerk: Starts that way, though not born in France. He's prone to polite insults and evil giggles and is fond of Gratuitous French. Ends in subversion in XIII, where he sacrifices himself to destroy the villains.
  • The Gadfly: It's hard to tell when he's being maliciously truthful or intentionally trying to get a rise out of the other fighters for kicks.
  • Good All Along: XIII reveals his true intentions, which make him a hero. Although his actions and demeanor teeter on the edge of necessarily evil.
  • Go Out with a Smile: He smiles sadly at his "big sister" Elisabeth as he's written away from history. He gets better, though.
  • Gratuitous French: In XIII all of a sudden, both in his pre-battle banter and as random quotes during and after a match. All of his moves are named after months in the French Republican Calendar as well.
    • In XII, he'd drop an "Au revoir!" as his win quote in the English version.
  • Guile Hero: XIII ultimately reveals him as this. Compared to the previous heroes Kyo and K', he didn't win any KOF tournaments yet saved the day by sheer manipulation and cleverness.
  • Hair Flip: During one of his taunts.
  • Hartman Hips: A rare male example. Particularly in XV where he somehow gives Shermie of all people a run for her money.
  • The Hero: Of the Tales of Ash Saga.
  • Hero Antagonist: A clever inversion in that Ash is deliberately set up as an Obviously Evil Villain Protagonist, which would make the likes of Kyo, Iori, and Chizuru his Hero Antagonists until XIII turns this on its head and fleshes out Ash's backstory and motivations, essentially meaning that Ash was on the same side as the heroes from the beginning.
  • Hidden Agenda Hero: Doesn't give a reason for his competition, making him seem Ambiguously Evil. He's actually trying to stop his ancestor Saki, the Big Bad.
  • The Hero Dies: In a series where only the villains die, you weren't expecting them to actually KILL him off, right? Right?. However, the Official Invitation Team's ending in XIV has Elisabeth working to revive him.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In XIII, where he erases himself from history after destroying Saiki and Those From The Past. However, XIV shows he in the process of being revived, with Elisabeth's efforts. If XV is any indication, they worked.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: XIII reveals his entire trollish and obnoxious personality has been a front for his true intentions to end the bloodline of Those From The Past.
  • A House Divided/Divide and Conquer: The Hero Team's ending in XI has Ash turn Shen and Oswald against one another (after they've both served their purpose, natch) by presenting them both with a chance opportunity: Shen gets a strong opponent to face and Oswald comes one step closer to obtaining the Dragon Pills he needs for his illness by defeating the provider's enemy—Shen himself. Meanwhile, Ash makes his getaway, allowing him to go after Iori. Thanks to Ash's impeccable timing, Iori himself has been worn down immensely from his Riot of the Blood-induced battle with Kyo and Shingo, making his treasure ripe for the taking.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Had this with Elisabeth. His age is 16, whereas Elisabeth is 27 years old.
  • Identical Grandson: Saiki is his ancestor.
  • Kill It with Fire: Green fire.
  • Kiss of Death: Taking a page from Orochi Shermie, Ash gains an attack in XII called Genie where he blows a fiery kiss. He also has it as one of his intros in XV.
  • The Law of Diminishing Defensive Effort: Although in his case, it's more like The Law of Diminishing Anything Effort. His new stance in XII seems to support this (in 2003 and XI he had a more purposeful fighting stance but by XII his stance had become a nonchalant "hands-on-hips-and-looking-amused" pose, complete with distracted hair-twirling; this comes at a time when he not only has the Yata Mirror but the Yasakani no Magatama from Iori, meaning he's more powerful than ever).
  • Long-Range Fighter: Zig-zagged. He can be played like one in theory, but he has much more utility in his toolkit that also allows him to go on the offensive. It's completely in character to play him this way, but if you can learn to get the hang of his execution barrier, he offers much more than just simple zoning.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He tends to pick his teammates knowing how to manipulate them to his own ends. In his team ending in XI, he sets up both Oswald and Shen to fight each other while he tries to take Iori's power. In XIII, turns out he's stringing Those From The Past along for his own ends as well.
  • Mechanically Unusual Fighter: Particularly concerning his Sans-culotte SDMnote . Besides serving as an effective anti-air, it also removes the charge time on Ash's special moves, granting him loads of utility and combo potential for a short amount of time. How long this usually lasts depends on the game, as well as which version of Sans-culotte he uses in Regulation A in particular.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: So, you finally managed to thwart the plans of your still-living ancestor and managed to save the world by erasing yourself, eh, Ash? Congratulations! You just broke the space-time continuum and unleashed a powerful demon in the new world you created!
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Took down Orochi Iori and stole his power; all apparently without much effort. Though not without Kyo and Shingo taking the brunt of it, at least.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: The right side of his face is usually obscured by his hair. However, the 2003 intro and some of his special moves generate wind the blows the bangs out of the way and reveal his full face.
  • Playing Both Sides: Arguably pulls this between Those from the Past and everyone else in XIII. While undermining Saiki's plot, he spends his time with an intentional "Kick Me!" sign on his back, drawing Those from the Past's eye to the heroes. By the time Saiki realizes Ash's meddling...
  • Playing with Fire: His own flames at first, but as of XIII, he also utilizes Iori's flames. Went back to using his own flames in XV, though.
  • Queer as Tropes: Pretty much most of the gay tropes qualify for Ash, even though his sexual orientation has never been confirmed by SNK.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: He wears a red outfit with black flame designs (and a winter coat with the same design in XV) and was indeed a bad guy through the first two games, given his actions. With XIII revealing he was a hero all along, the trope gets subverted.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: In the intro of 2003, Ash's eyes turn red before he punches the screen. That should have been a very big visual cue... His eyes also briefly flash red in gameplay when he's charging up some of his more powerful moves, but it's hard to notice.
  • Red/Green Contrast: Both of his outfits are dominantly red (with him having light blond hair and blue eyes), but his fire is green. Goes hand in hand with his personality traits and his motives.
  • Ret-Gone: Does this with himself in XIII. But then it gets undone in XIV where Elisabeth is working to revive him.
  • Sailor Earth: Long before he was introduced, fans liked to make fanfics about a new KOF character that would have an alternate flame color, sometimes green.
  • Smug Snake: Very fond of acting like this for his own purposes.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: An entirely one-sided instance in XIII against Terry. He doesn't take it well.
    Ash: Look, you can't beat me... Just save us both the time and energy and call it a day. What? What's so funny?
    Terry: It's just funny hearing a runt like you acting all cocky. I was just thinking about what happened to kids like that in South Town. Maybe I'm just getting old.
    Ash: Well I'm not laughing, idiot! I'm sick of you and your stupid face!
    Terry: Awww, getting upset over something petty like that... Don't worry, bro, you're still pretty cute for your age!
  • Stepford Smiler: Could easily be seen like this in light of XIII. Despite his confident smirk and trollish attitude.
  • Superpowered Evil Side/Split-Personality Takeover/Villain Override: After fully absorbing Saiki's power, Ash undergoes some sort of transformation where his eyes are permanently red, and his body is covered in black flames. Fittingly known as Evil Ash.
  • Taking You with Me: With Saiki currently stuck in Ash's body, he prevents him from going back to the past before the door closes, essentially killing Saiki by time paradox. But since Ash is a descendant of Saiki, he goes away too. It really gets intense when you realize that Ash must have known this would happen and was willing to erase himself from existence rather than give Saiki another chance.
  • Teen Genius: He does all of this... while being only in his mid-to-late teens.
  • Theme Naming: Many of his moves are named after months of the French Republican Calendar. One notable exception is his Sans-culottes LDM, which may be referring to the Sansculottides (the last days of the year in that particular calendar). Most, if not all, of the moves, including Sans-culottes, refer to the French Revolution.
    • His theme in XI is titled "JOKER", whereas his theme in XIII is "The Second Joker" (likely referring to the "big" and "little" Joker cards in decks).
  • True Final Boss: As Evil Ash, he's the real final fight in XIII
  • Troll: Pretty much the entirety of his saga can be summed up as Ash trying to annoy the cast into helping him kill Saiki. He's at his most trollish in XIII, where he tries to push everyone's buttons in his pre-fight intros (Aside from Terry, who manages to out-troll him).
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Really.
  • Villain Protagonist: Ash's debut in 2003 had him with ominous red eyes in the intro alone, and canonically stole Chizuru's powers and earned Kyo's hatred in the process, which showed he wasn't a good guy. Even his team theme in the game was called "Splendid Evil" and Kim does his "Aku wa yurusan" intro when fighting him. XIII subverts it, showing us he was a hero all along.
  • Voice of the Legion: Evil Ash.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: XIII has him as a hero, defeating Those From the Past at the cost of his own life, though he had no qualms about manipulating and backstabbing to reach this goal.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: As Evil Ash. Ash can be excused in that it's the ugliness of Saiki's personality shining through and not his own.
  • Youthful Freckles: Seen in a close-up of his face in the 2003 intro and through cutscenes in XIII. Fitting for a character stated to be between 16 and 18 years old.
  • Zipperiffic: It's a bit hard to notice, but he has zippers places in several odd places in addition to his shirt and collar, including the tip of his sleeves. At least he only wears one belt, or you might have mistaken him for one of Tetsuya Nomura's characters.

    Duo Lon - China
"Those who live in darkness are not ruled by it. Those drawn by the shadow do not live by it."

Voiced by: Tsunehito Maruo, Josh Keller (XII, English)

Duo Lon is also a member of the Hizoku clan, and one of Ron's sons. He is also searching for his father for his betrayal of the clan. He teams up with Ash Crimson for a time, but later joins Elisabeth Blanctorche's team, along with Benimaru Nikaido, after noticing that Ash was manipulating his teammates. Later he and Elisabeth team up with his and Ash's ex teammate Shen Woo, and they get ready to confront Ash again.

    Shen Woo - Unknown (raised in China)
"Who's truly tough? Now you know, huh?"

Voiced by: Kōji Suidzu, Jeff Manning (XII, English)

A brawler from Shanghai who joins Ash Crimson solely to fight strong opponents. After Duo Lon leaves the team in 2003, Shen sticks around for XI, teaming with Oswald. However, Ash pits the two men against each other, tricking Oswald into believing Shen was someone standing in his way. After this, he grows sick of being jerked around by Ash, joining up with Elisabeth and Duo Lon for the XIII tournament.

  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: He's one heck of a street brawler, and he's pretty proud of that.
  • Badass Normal: A majority of his moves are just "Punch REALLY REALLY HARD". Still kicks so much ass.
  • The Berserker
  • Blood Knight: So, so much.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Not quite as dark as some of the other examples, but yeah.
  • Easily Forgiven: Similar to Duo Lon, he doesn't really stop thinking of Ash as a friend, even after the incident with Oswald rubs him the wrong way. His XIII winquote against Ash has him offering to go get something to eat with Ash after he settles the issue with him in their fight.
  • Glass Cannon: He can dish it out marvelously, he's not someone who's kin on being able to fight defensively despite his HP amount.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: He doesn't concern himself with anything too fancy, just preferring to smash in the face of whatever's in his way with his fists.
  • Hot-Blooded: Which contrasts Duo Lon's cool-headed demeanor.
  • It's a Small World After All/Noodle Incident: XIII all but states that he and Chin met each other in the past. Shen never refers to Chin by name and gets pissed off whenever he shows up, and Chin tries to troll him when this happens. And it's really funny.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He may be wild and reckless, but deep down inside, he values friendship and loyalty more than anyone else.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: The main reason he gets sick of Ash in XIII is because he was set up to fight Oswald in XI.
  • Megaton Punch: His signature move, Gekiken (Raging Fist) (can also be charged up), and his primary DM version of it, Zetsu! Gekiken (Suppress! Raging Fist).
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Shen Woo is the name he picked up while brawling in Shanghai. It means "Divine Martial"; how fitting.
  • Pet the Dog: In his team's ending from XIII, neither he nor Duo Lon stop checking on Elisabeth as she mourns over Ash's death. They stay in close proximity for what appears to be an entire day.
  • Pretty Boy: Dark-Skinned Blond? Check. Walking Shirtless Scene? Check. Handsome features? Check. Plenty of bad boy attitude? Check.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Not to the extent of Yashiro, although Shen's jacket is actually pink. He doesn't even have to make up for it, either.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Syen? Though in pinyin, his name is actually meant to be "Shen Wu".
  • Stay in the Kitchen: It only really shows up in XIII, but he somewhat sees women as inferior in combat and will usually express disgust or boredom if he has to fight one.
    Shen Woo (to Athena): "This is not a place for little girls! Go home and sleep before you get hurt!"
    Shen Woo (to Elisabeth): "I'm a nice guy, so let me give you some advice. Women should stay the heck away!"
    Shen Woo (to Leona): "Women never put up enough of a fight. But I'll admit, you weren't bad."
    • That said, his dialogues with Mature and Vice seem to suggest he really enjoys women who will come at him with the intent to kill or put a lot of force into their attacks like he does. His dialogues with King also have him admit he doesn't believe women inherently can't fight, praising her for giving him a fun battle if he wins.
  • Stock Foreign Name: Subverted, Shen Woo was only raised in Shanghai. His real name is also unknown, suggesting that Shen actually isn't Chinese.
  • Tattooed Crook: Well, more so "extremely violent brawler" than outright crook, but still.
    • Tattoo as Character Type: The main one, depicting (among other things) what appears to be twin seahorses and a pair of bat wings, is on his back, fitting his status as an unruly brawler. The armband-like markings on his forearms seem more like badges of honor as opposed to having any deeper, more personal reasons.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: He's 6'2" and brash as hell.
    Shen Woo: "You really are one tiring opponent. You are one big gestalt of boredom!"
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Shanghai Crabs. One story image in XIII shows him scarfing his mouth full of them.
  • Turns Red/Unstoppable Rage: His original LDM-turned-normal DM, Bakushin (Bursting Truth); an explosion of fury that powers him up for a while.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Unlike the other characters, Shen's modus operandi is pretty much punching the shit out of everything with little finesse behind his moves. You'll notice that this does not deter him in the slightest.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Despite him and Duo Lon having suspicions about Ash's true agenda, Shen sticks around, eager to face new opponents, an experience that could be attained if he stayed with Ash. There's a subversion here, as Shen Woo might not have even played a role in the depowering of Chizuru and Iori. On top of this, Shen Woo is quite popular with fans, to the point that developers have commented that he would appear to be the protagonist of this arc due to his looks and personality.
    • In XIII, Shen finally breaks away from Ash and decides to team up with Elisabeth and Duo Lon, not too pleased by the fact that he's being used by a person he really doesn't know.
  • Use Your Head: Depending on the game, he does this three times in succession for his throws.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Prides himself on it.
    (to Mature) "You wanna know one of my strong points? I have no problem hitting women!"

Fatal Fury Team

    Tizoc/The Griffon Mask - Mexico
"Tizoc, this wall of muscle, is invincible to the fists of evil!"

Voiced by: Hikaru Hanada

A professional luchador wrestler who fights for charity. After a while, however, he starts thinking about retirement. He recovers, and enters the KOF 2003 tournament with Terry and Joe to promote his entrance into the American wrestling circuit. In XI he joins Jenet and Gato's team.

In XIV, somehow he got defeated by a boxer named Nelson. Personally humiliated by this defeat and realizing that his Face status will limit him from what he can use in a possible grudge match for his honor, he turned Heel, becoming the King of Dinosaurs. See the XIV page for more details about him in the Dinosaur persona.

See Garou: Mark of the Wolves for tropes on him

Outlaw Team

    Gato - Unknown (implied to be Japan)
"Crushed your spine, and your silly pride I hope!"

Voiced by: Kouji Ishii

A practitioner of an assassination fighting style. Gato is searching for a mysterious man who is connected to his past. In Mark of the Wolves he enters the tournament believing that Kain knows about the man he's after, and sure enough, that man appears and saves Kain from the collapsing mansion. The man is revealed to be Gato's father, who drove his mother to death and vanished without a trace, but not before brutally maiming Gato and leaving him for dead. He encounters Hotaru Futaba, who believes him to be her older brother, but Gato continually denies this for some reason. In 2003 he is hired by Geese Howard to investigate the events going on in the tournament, and in XI forms a new Garou team along with B. Jenet and Tizoc.

See Garou: Mark of the Wolves for tropes on him


High School Girls Team

    Malin - Japan
"And the winner is... the mighty babe, Malin!"

Voiced by: Kazuyo Inosako

An adversary to the Kyokugen school of Karate (specifically Yuri). Aside from that, no one knows much about her. She may not be what she seems...

  • Aborted Arc: Her bio in the 03 game seemed to indicate she was going to be involved in the larger scheme of the plot. Turns out that wasn't case and she's quickly relegated to comedy relief in the 11th game.
  • Airplane Arms: While running.
  • Flash Step: This is how she impressed Athena and Hinako enough to convince them to let her join the High School Girls Team, stealing their KOF invitations and hair decorations before either girl could even blink.
  • Hammerspace: Literally. She hides a very large hammer to use as a weapon. She also has knives, swords, deadly yo-yos, concealed claws and blades, electric batons, throwing darts...
  • Hidden Weapons: The basis of her style.
  • Idiot Hair
  • Killer Yoyo
  • Name's the Same: An ambiguous, in-universe example. The name Malin was previously used in the series, belonging to a female member of Athena's fan club who was on good terms with the White Tiger (aka Jhun Hoon). It's unknown if these two women are one in the same, but it does possibly explain why Malin teamed up with Athena in 2003.
  • Nice Bandana
  • Panty Shot: During her Kagerou DM.
  • The Rival: To Yuri, who called her style "cowardly."
  • Spell My Name with an "S": According to Word of God, her name is supposed to be spelled "Malin." Since the Japanese language lacks an "L" sound, the "Marin" spelling tends to pop up often in media.
  • Terrible Trio: The Anti-Kyokugen Team in XI - consisting of herself (as the leader), Eiji, and Kasumi - is presented as this to the Kyokugen Dojo, although their main shtick seems to be comic relief.
  • Theme Naming: Many of her specials reference bugs, which doubles as Irony since one of Malin's dislikes from within her official profile is bugs themselves. Included in her repertoire are Hornet, Yellowjacket, Mayfly, Scorpion, Spider, and Queen Bee. Curiously, these moves all involve Malin's blades in some way, possibly evoking the stingers and movements of these insects.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Respectively Malin and Yuri.
    • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Her profile notes that Malin's forte in sports is swimming and badminton and that she prizes her made-to-order hammer. It also mentions her dislike of bugs and frogs, her love of J-pop (perhaps lending further credence to the possibility that Malin belongs to the same Athena fan club Jhun Hoon is part of), and her musical expertise when it comes to the clarinet and koto.

Boss characters

    Adelheid Bernstein - Unknown (implied to be Germany)
"So it's defeat for you, is it? Some day I must meet a similar fate."

Voiced by: Tetsuya Tanaka

As his last name suggests, he is Rugal Bernstein's son, and has inherited his father's wealth and fighting style. Unlike his evil father, he is a good person who exhibits sportsmanship and honor. At the behest of his little sister Rose, he challenged the champions of the 2003 tournament in the SkyNoah, he and his younger sister's flying fortress. He entered the next tournament as a single entry, and was under investigation by Heidern until he assured him he was a different person from his father. In XIII he becomes a key player in regards to investigating Those from the Past, who have brainwashed Rose into assisting them.

  • Aloof Older Brother: Subverted, as the console version of XIII proves this is an act. When Adelheid discovers his sister Rose acting out of character and fails to confront her, he becomes emotionally distraught over not understanding the cause. See Big Brother Instinct for his reaction when Rose is released from Botan's control.
  • Attack Reflector: One of the attacks he inherits from his father.
  • Audible Sharpness: His Groß Kreis (Great Circle) DM, which is a slide leading into a toned-down version of the Genocide Cutter.
  • Anti-Villain: Subverted because he's not a villain at all.
  • Berserk Button: Endangering his sister.
  • Better by a Different Name: "Adel" was the nameplate used for his lifebar in 2003. Fans preferred to use that in general instead of his full name, due to Adelheid being a feminine name in German.
  • Bishōnen: A very strapping young man with a handsome face, and a well-built, but still somewhat slender, physique.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Never harm Rose. He's vows to her and himself, that nothing is off limits when it comes to protecting her. This quote from XIII's Story Mode exemplifies it perfectly, especially since it's paired with a CG of Rose collapsing into a distressed Adel's arms as she's released from Botan's control and Ash rewrites time to eliminate Saiki and himself.
    "To protect Rose as her brother — that is his role. It would never change, come hell and high water... In the end his memory was completely gone, but a strong sense of fulfillment remained. Adelheid succeeded in protecting Rose."
  • Bring It: His taunt.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Subverted: After being touted as the other protagonist of the saga, Adelheid is inexplicably absent from the arcade version of XIII. However, depending on how you play the console version's Story mode (which fills in gaps left in the core story), it is eventually revealed that he plays a key part behind the scenes. He's still not playable, though.
  • Cool Airship: The SkyNoah.
  • Declaration of Protection: Ties in with the aforementioned Big Brother Instinct.
  • Fingerless Gloves
  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Much like his father.
  • Gender-Blender Name: "Adelheid" is a feminine name in German so the shortened form from 2003, "Adel", is commonly used instead.
  • Generation Xerox: Subverted. As seen, he's way more noble than his old man.
  • Gratuitous German: Not spoken, though. All of his attacks are written in German, although it's clear what they're supposed to be.
  • Identical Son: He's a younger, slightly shorter Rugal who's missing a Badass Mustache.
    • Adel has a smaller frame, paler skin, and more feminine face than his father.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: The G. Kronprinz from XI, which is his take on his father's (which is cribbed from Krauser) Kaiser Wave.
  • Morality Chain: Rose is almost completely devoted to Adel, and he keeps her from being too much like their father.
  • Noble Demon: Well, he would be, if he was actually evil.
  • Out of Focus: Despite the fact his sister is being brainwashed into hosting the XIII tournament, Adelheid is oddly missing from action.
    • The story mode for the console version of XIII has scenes with Adelheid talking with his sister and playing a veyr important role backstage. He's not a playable chara, but according to Word of God he was planned to be.
    • A trading card from The King of Fighters-i (an iOS port of XIII) shows what appears to be an XIII-styled Adel sprite standing in the XIII SkyNoah stage. Character art concepts also exist for his XIII profile and winquote screen.
  • The Protagonist: Said to be one by the creators.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: In 2003, you fight him while listening to Chopin's "Revolutionary Etude No. 12" (better known as Kakumei ["Revolution"] to DanceDanceRevolution and beatmania players), but then about a minute in it turns into an unintelligible techno song called "R2."
  • Redeeming Replacement: Rugal is one hell of a fucked up evil man, but his son is instead a Noble Demon. That's an improvement.
  • Rule of Cool: He fires Reppukens with his feet.
  • Slide Attack: G. Kreis, but only if performed with D (HK); inputting the command with B (LK) will have Adel perform the original version of Rugal's Genocide Cutter from a stationary position. The standing version is straightforward but has more power behind it, while the sliding version is better suited for combo purposes.
  • SNK Boss: In 2003. Toned down somewhat in XI, where he was just a mid-boss. Still really good, though.
  • Spirited Competitor: Just loves a good challenge. Also takes defeat well and respects those who can beat him. Definitely not the same man as his father.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Adel always seems to give Rose the cold shoulder or bored indifference to her dialog. However XIII shows a lot of moments, direct and subtle, that Adel is very emotional about Rose.
  • Take That!: "To fight over and over until victory is meaningless."
  • The Stoic: He doesn't really get worked up very much. It's rather notable with Rose, but don't take that to mean he doesn't care.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Subverted. At first it seems he's like his father, taking on opponents in the SkyNoah, until he reveals his true nature.
    • It is implied that Adel follows in his dad's footsteps because of the fact that he and Rose are Rugal's only living legacy. However, his XI backstory may be playing this trope straight, as Adel briefly muses about how dear ol' dad didn't do anything with him.

    Maki Kagura - Japan
"This is the power of... the Watcher!"

Voiced by: Kazuyo Inosako

The late elder twin sister of Chizuru, and one of the two heiresses of the Yata Clan alongside her sister. Of the two, Maki is actually the more skilled combatant. Years before the KOF tournaments, Maki was killed by Goenitz, the leader of the Orochi Hakkesshu, to weaken the seal of Orochi. The Maki who appears in 2003 is nothing more than an illusionary product of Chizuru's memories created while Chizuru was under the influence of Botan. While serious about their duty to protect the seal, she and Chizuru only serve to do just the opposite.

    Mukai - Unknown
"How does it feel, becoming a living statue?"

Voiced by: Toshihiro Shigetsuka

An earth elemental, and one of the members of Those From The Distant Land. Mukai, unlike Magaki, is more cautious when fighting humans. After his defeat, he vanishes. He reappears in XIII, only to be ultimately double-crossed and killed by his own leader Saiki.

The King of Fighters XI

Ash Team

    Oswald - Ireland
"Karnoffel would be satisfied with me. Your hand, sir?"

Voiced by: Toshihiro Shigetsuka

Ash's newest partner in XI. Oswald is a suave Irish assassin who uses razor-sharp cards to attack his opponents through his fighting style known as "Karnöffel", a form of poker. Coincidentally, it's how he joined Ash's team: by a game of poker. He is searching for a rare drug known as the "Dragon Pills", suggesting that Oswald may have a terminal disease.

He returned as DLC character for XIV, seemingly cured of his disease.

  • Badass in a Nice Suit: He wears just a regular old suit, but he makes it look real classy. In XIV, his suit gains pinstripes, which also look very classy on him.
  • The Bus Came Back: He has been announced as a DLC character for XIV, making it his second playable appearance in the entire series, 13 years after his debut.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Literally.
    • Improbable Weapon User: His cards.
    • Death Dealer: His fighting style, Karnöffel, revolves around this. Not to mention his JOKER LDM/Climax DM even inflicts fifty-two hits. Unlike most examples though, only 2-to-3 of his attacks in total (including JOKER) actually involves card-throwing; Oswald's style involves more bladed-close-combat with the cards as knives.
  • Cool Old Guy: Though he is described as a "middle-aged gentleman". He is still an agile fighter who oozes class with his moves and outfit.
  • Cool Shades: With a red tint. Was designed to be the "good-looking glasses" character in the series.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Allegedly. His past is listed as one of his dislikes, while he values trust.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: This applies more so to his sprites, which gives him a pretty noticeable tan. He's lighter-skinned in artwork and endings.
  • Everybody Has Standards: While he was originally someone who wasn't tied down by morality (possibly because of his aforementioned disease and/or his shady past), he seems to reveal/develop more of this ever since the said disease seemingly disappeared due to Ash's Cosmic Retcon (despite still being a bit of Combat Pragmatist with nothing personal against anyone). As a result, he even decides to give other specific characters advice in his win quotes against them and expresses awkward disbelief towards Blue Mary's usage of a stun gun.
    Oswald (to Blue Mary about Shen Woo): From Shanghai? I have no further business with him. Besides that, an old man shouldn't take away a youngster's future.
    Oswald (A bit annoyed): Your skills bear some resemblance, but that stun gun... If your grandfather saw that, what would he say?
    • There's also his unique intro against Xanadu of all people, despite his win quote against him stating that Oswald has decided to spare him:
    Oswald: Truly, this is good fortune. You don't know who I am, but... I'll have to ask you to die.
  • The Gambler: Why did it take so long for this trope to be added? Not to mention, he even outright says "All-In" (a gambling term) whenever he activates Max Mode standalone in KOF XIV.
  • Handicapped Badass: Is believed to be suffering from some sort of terminal disease, hence his search for the aforementioned Dragon Pills.
    • Her pre-match dialogue against Blue Mary on XIV implies he got cured of his disease between XI and XIV.
    Blue Mary: But those... Dragon Pills? You don't need them?
    Oswald: You're well informed. But they're no longer necessary. I'm very lucky. It makes an old man want to believe in fate.
  • Hidden Depths: Shown more in detail in his characterization in XIV, where he's shown to be an observant individual who is willing to converse quite reasonably while being a good sport, which could also be due to the turning point in his life of him no longer needing the Dragon Pills. Despite this, he'll at least state his pragmatism in some of his dialogue without trying to make it too personal to his opponent. Also in regards to this, he outright says to Xanadu for unknown reasons, that he must die.
  • It's a Small World After All: Ralf and Clark appear to recognize him. This may become an Aborted Arc. Silber also is somehow acquainted with Oswald, which results in one of the few times Silber will say more than one word in his win quote.
    • This gets expanded in XIV however, where he's shown to actually be associated with Ralf and Clark through Heidern beforehand, along with knowing about Takuma and Blue Mary's grandfather in the past. Thus, to those said fellow veterans, Oswald also associates himself with their respective successors. He also seems knowledgable about Tung Fu Rue, Chin and Gang Il going by his victory quotes against them.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: In his team's ending in XI, Oswald is set up to fight Shen Woo by Ash, as the organization supplying the Dragon Pills has a bounty on Shen's head. During Oswald's apparition in XIV is implied he threw the fight, unwilling to bring any permanent harm on Shen Woo
  • Nice Hat: Which he throws off and cuts with one of his cards in his intro, thus subverting the trope...until it ends up as a double subversion when he magically produces another hat and puts it on in one of his win poses.
  • Playing Card Motifs: His attacks have playing card themes. Spade, Club, Diamond, and Heart can be canceled into each other up to 3 times, while Ace is an attack that can either deal minor or massive damage, similar to the value of the card. King and Queen are Counter-Attack and projectile moves respectively. His super move Four Suits, via its C version, does 21 hits (Blackjack) while JOKER has him unload his 52 (53 in XIV) cards at his victim. Furthermore, his color scheme is one of the playing cards: Black suit, red shirt and glasses, white hair, and yellow tie for the details in the figure cards.
    • Shaped Like Itself: On the note of his official movesets, his move names use actual playing card icons (e.g.: ♠♥♦♣ = Four Suits, 10・J・Q・K・A = Royal Flush, etc).
  • Professional Killer: He's said to be a professional hitman.
  • Retired Badass: In his team story, Ash states that he is a retired Karnöffel master. In fact, his goal was to bring Oswald out of retirement.
  • Silver Fox: In a nice suit!
  • Slasher Smile: Has one plastered on his face while running. It is freaking creepy, especially since his running animation is so odd, to begin with.
  • Shoryuken: While it makes him rise into the air with a rapid-hitting serial spin, his Ace counts as this somewhat despite only being able to be followed-up from his Heart special move. If it connects on the opponent at a certain sweet spot, Oswald at the peak of the Ace move will perform a version of his j.C that will slash down the foe for quite a notable amount of raw damage.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Chocolate.
  • You Remind Me of X: B. Jenet says that he reminds her of her father. Only Jennie and her mother truly know what Mr. Behrn is like.

Rival Team

    Elisabeth Blanctorche - France
"Showing calm in the eye of the storm. That's the mark of a true fighter, no?"

Voiced by: Kayoko Ōshima, Sally Koshinaka (XII, English)

A former associate of Ash Crimson who is out to prevent whatever he's planning, and the heir to the Blanctorche family. She uses light-based attacks and fights with a riding crop. Hates to be called "Betty," a trait which Ash loves to exploit.

Fatal Fury Team

    Duck King - USA
"Yes! I am the Duck King!"

Voiced by: Kong Kuwata

A friend of Terry Bogard who's been around since the first installment of Fatal Fury but only made his playable appearance in KOF in The King of Fighters XI. He's a notable DJ in Southtown.

See Fatal Fury: King Of Fighters for tropes on him.

Mark of the Wolves Team

    Bonne Jenet - England

Origin: England
Fighting Style: LK Arts

"Beautiful victory!"

Voiced by: Rei Saitō, Gina Rose (Maximum Impact 2, English)

A Rich Bitch who was ported over from Mark of the Wolves, along with Gato and Tizoc, much to the delight of fans. B. Jenet is the captain of a group of pirates calling themselves the Lilien Knights. Although she's rich herself, Jenet doesn't like mooching off of her parents, so she pretty much founded the Knights out of boredom. She enters the KOF tournament for the prize money.

See Garou: Mark of the Wolves for tropes on her

Psycho Soldier Team

    Momoko - Japan
"Momoko's no kiddly-diddly-doo!"

Voiced by: Kazuyo Inosako

The newest addition to the Psycho Soldiers. She mixes her Capoeira with Psychic Powers

Bonus characters

    Hotaru Futaba - Japan
Origin: Japan
Fighting Style: Neijia, Taijiquan, Baguazhang

"I won't lose! I've got someone to protect too!"

Voiced by: Yuki Horie

Originally making her debut in Garou: Mark of the Wolves, Hotaru is the daughter of a family of martial artists. Unfortunately, she isn't fond of violence. When her mother dies, both her father and older brother, Gato, simultaneously disappear. Hotaru enters Kain R. Heinlen's King of Fighters: Maximum Mayhem tournament after hearing rumors that her brother might be there, fervently hoping to reconnect with her family. She appears in XI for a similar reason.

See Garou: Mark of the Wolves for tropes on her

    Sho Hayate - Japan
"The name's Sho Hayate! People call me the Funky Fu'un Kid!"

Voiced by: Hiroyuki Inoue

The Hero of Savage Reign, Hayate is an old-fashioned warrior and the sole practitioner of his self-taught combat form, Fu'un Ken. He trains non-stop, vigorously hoping to become a true master and show the world the power of his fighting style.

    Jyazu - Unknown
"Does it hurt? Hoo hoo hoo..."

Voiced by: Enma Itō

Leader of the terrorist group known as Jaguar, Jyazu is the True Final Boss of Kizuna Encounter, the sequel to Savage Reign. An enigma, not much is known about his past or motives. To date, he is one of two people to have ever bested King Leo, the tyrannical host of the Battle of the Beast God Tournament.

    Silber - Germany

Voiced by: Hiroyuki Arita

The main antagonist of Buriki One, Silber is a powerful martial artist who constantly travels in search of new challenges. He enters Buriki One tournament, intrigued by the gathering of numerous martial artists and their various disciplines.

    Gai Tendo - Japan
"The reason for victory doesn't matter. The strong win, and that's it!"

Voiced by: Nobuyuki Hiyama

The very brash and noisy protagonist of Buriki One, Gai utilizes a free-form style known as "Total Fighting". Deciding to test his skills, Gai enters the Buriki One tournament and becomes a rival to the American boxing champion and protegé of Silber, Rob Python.

    Tung Fu Rue - China
"I may be old, but I'll never lose to an inexperienced brat like you!"

Voiced by: Shigefumi Nakai (XI), Hajime Shikase (XIV)

Master of the legendary fighting art known as Hakkyokuseiken, Tung was the former sensei of Jeff Bogard and Geese Howard who made a vow not to train any more disciples after the latter killed Jeff out of jealousy. He competed in the first King of Fighters tournament held by Geese, but lost. Living his current days in retirement, Tung occasionally enters a competition to keep his body and mind in shape. In KOF XIV, he joins the King of Fighters tournament as part of the China team alongside Shun'ei and Meitenkun.

See Fatal Fury: King Of Fighters for tropes on him


    Magaki - Unknown
"You craved a strong opponent, right? You can die satisfied then."

Voiced by: Spicy Yagi

One of the members of Those From The Distant Land. Unlike Mukai, Magaki shows no caution when fighting humans, considering them to be insignificant trash. He traps Shion in another dimension for his failure, and fights the winning team. After his defeat, he tries to escape, but he ends up impaled by Shion's spear and dies. His body ends up in the jurisdiction of Heidern, but two children from the group (Rimelo and Shroom, who have their own section below) manage to take his body back.

    Shion - China
"Warfare is deception. The deceived are at fault, dolt!"

Voiced by: Tokiyo Ogawa

Magaki's servant. He challenges the winning team but gets thrown into another dimension by his master, and later kills him in revenge.

The King of Fighters XII

    Raiden/Big Bear - Australia

Voiced by: Daisuke Gōri (XII), Iain Gibb (XIII)

A professional wrestler who appeared in the first Fatal Fury game. Originally he was bribed by Geese Howard into serving him, but after Geese's defeat went straight and narrow, reverting to his kindly Big Bear persona. He doesn't make an appearance in KOF until XII (although he was originally considered to represent England in '94). His Face persona is still Big Bear, but Word of God says that Raiden was chosen over him due to a lack of villains in XII. He eventually leaves Geese's employ to return to his homeland, passing up KOF for many years due to his satisfaction with his Face and Heel personas. While there's a slight misunderstanding about his current allegiance, Raiden decides to join Kim and Hwa Jai, believing that it will help boost his reputation as a fighter.

See Fatal Fury: King Of Fighters for tropes on him

The King of Fighters XIII

Kim Team

    Hwa Jai - Thailand
"Strapped for cash? Bet all your money on me! You'll be rich in no time! Hya ha ha!"

Voiced by: Sōnosuke Nagashiro

Yet another fighter who debuted in the original Fatal Fury, Hwa Jai is an arrogant Muay Thai fighter and early rival of Joe, he becomes a more formidable fighter after getting a little tipsy. He was defeated by Joe and became his friend and sparing partner. Now he teams up with Kim Kaphwan and Raiden in KOF XIII, seeing the tournament as a chance to revitalize his career and get another shot at besting Joe.

See Fatal Fury: King Of Fighters for tropes on him


    Saiki - Unknown
"Look back at your life before you die. Was it worth it? It wasn't, right? Nothing about you is worth anything!"

Voiced by: Sōnosuke Nagashiro

The leader of Those From The Past and the mastermind behind the events of the most recent tournaments. Looks suspiciously like Ash Crimson. He and his group's origins lie in Western Europe, Saiki himself functioning as the Western emissary of Gaia. As such, Those from the Past can be considered counterparts to the Hakkesshu clan. Whereas Orochi can distort space, Saiki possesses control over time. Saiki's alleged goal is to break Orochi's seal, resurrect the entity known as Gaia's Will, and use Orochi's power to open a monolith known as the Gate, allowing Saiki to travel back in time and rewrite history; ages ago, many members of Those from the Past were wiped out, presumably by Elisabeth's ancestors. To this end, he conspires to have Those from the Past manipulate Chizuru Kagura and Rose Bernstein, the sponsors of the most recent tournaments, to prepare the ritual necessary for reestablishing his forces and eradicating his enemies before they can become a threat to his operations.

  • A God Am I: Like you wouldn't believe. The man could even rival Igniz in terms of this trope, and unlike Igniz, he's never really been mortal before.
  • Ancient Evil: Like Orochi, Saiki is an ancient being that leads an organization called Those from the Past, whose goal is to change the past and rule over humanity.
  • And I Must Scream/Villainous Breakdown: Saiki screams for his life after Ash uses his remaining willpower to stop Saiki from controlling his body and allows himself to be erased from the timeline via Temporal Paradox.
  • Arch-Enemy: To his descendant Ash.
  • Artificial Stupidity: As much of a SNK Boss he is, his AI can't block low to save his life, even as Evil Ash, which is why Daimon's light Jiraishin can almost trivialize the fights with him, as seen here.
  • Asshole Victim: His baseless murdering of Mukai did not win him any points here.
  • Bad Boss: Mukai found out first hand that Saiki does not appreciate someone taking care of business he deems his own... And that's without mentioning how he constantly treats his underlings like dirt, even as they are making sure everything is going according to plan.
  • Big Bad: Of the Tales of Ash Saga as a whole, He’s the leader of Those from the Past, he’s a deity created by earth itself like Orochi, and he plans to use Orochi’s power to travel to the past and change the past to destroy humanity after losing a similar war against humanity.
  • Bishōnen: Basically Ash wearing white and without the hairband.
  • Break Them by Talking: Very fond of using this tactic.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Despite his supernatural powers, Saiki will still pick up rocks off the ground and throw them at you.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist:
    • To Orochi. Both are deities created by the earth itself and are leaders of their respective factions. But while Orochi was sealed at the end of his war against humanity, Saiki went into hiding and had children and descendants while he was in hiding.
    • To Igniz: Both are very powerful fighters, they are both leaders and both have huge god complexes. While Igniz gathered data from many fighters during the tournament and called himself the god of humanity, Saiki seeks to use Orochi to go back in time and change the past so that he and his followers can rule over humanity both in the past and future, also, Saiki is already a god-like being to begin with.
  • Dark Is Evil: Combined with Light Is Not Good. He's dressed in all white, but his flames are pitch black. Either way, there's no denying he's a very evil being.
  • Devour the Dragon: He does this on Mukai.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Ash. Both are powerful fighters, they both have stylish appearances but that’s where the similarities end. Ash is a Hero Antagonist that wants to stop Those from the Past from changing the past and cares about his Childhood Friend, Elizabeth, while Saiki is a sadistic deity that takes pleasure in making humanity suffer.
  • Fan Disservice: Just read below, will you...?
  • Female Gaze: Both the artwork seen above and his winning portrait in XIII seems to have quite the focus on his really nice ass.
    • Then there's the ending of XIII, where the camera is focused just around his naked rear for the majority of the sequence.
  • Foil: To Orochi. Both Orochi and Saiki have many similarities, both of them despise humans and declared war on them, they’re god-like beings, they’re both leaders of their own factions and they both lost their wars against humanity. But their are also some key differences between them; Orochi is the god of nature and Saiki is the god of time, Orochi is a calm figure who believes humanity must be eliminated for the sake of the world, while Saiki is a condescending jerk who seems to take pleasure in tormenting mankind. The final difference is that Orochi was sealed away at the end of his ancient war, while Saiki had descendants and he alongside his remaining followers went into hiding.
  • Fusion Dance/Grand Theft Me: He first pulls this on Mukai. When Ash absorbs his powers, Saiki's influence overwhelms him, transforming Ash into Evil Ash.
  • Hate Sink: More than any other final boss in the series. The cutscenes and dialogue Saiki has in XIII work to thoroughly establish just how truly nasty Saiki is as a person. Between his sense of smug superiority when it comes to just about everything in the world, constant spiteful remarks to the cast, and willingness to murder his most loyal and noble follower when he was merely offering his aid, Saiki establishes his depravity and irredeemability extremely quickly, and sets himself up so that his eventual Fate Worse than Death at the hands of Ash winds up one of the most well-deserved deaths in the series.
  • It's All About Me: Saiki might just be the most self-serving villain in KOF history. Not even Rugal was this much of an unpleasant, egotistical dickwad and he's the guy with paintings of himself who submerges his defeated conquests in liquid metal.
  • Japanese Pronouns: In the original version, he uses the very archaic and self-deprecating shousei. Like Ash, he isn't half as humble as his speech patterns suggest.
  • Jerkass: Saiki's dialogue is pretty much entirely consistent of him making spiteful comments to everyone around him, including the people who serve him.
  • Kick the Dog: Kills Mukai for disobeying his orders, even though Mukai loyally offered to fight in his place.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: One of his specials in his regular form is literally this. Repeatedly.
  • Lack of Empathy: The amount of times he says anything that isn't dripping with sheer contempt for everything around him can be counted on one hand.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: His human form has some really luscious white hair. It probably comes with being part of Ash's bloodline
  • Make Wrong What Once Went Right: The Bad Ending of story mode reveals that before traveling to the future, he engineered events to render humanity properly docile for his rule. However he unfortunately made a few oversights, resulting in the modern world. He now intends to go back and correct his mistakes. He also intends to do this after his canonical defeat. It doesn't go that well either.
  • Misanthrope Supreme: Views humanity at large as a plague that must be wiped off the face of the planet.
  • Moveset Clone: On the surface, many of his normals and specials resembles Ash's own moveset. That said, the many different functions those moves have - especially considering that Saiki's specials are performed with motion inputs to contrast Ash's charge commands - make most of those initial similarities very surface-level.
  • One-Winged Angel: After he absorbs Mukai's powers, his body turns red, gains a similar build to that of Mukai, and parts of his body start glowing black.
  • Physical God: Like Orochi, he is a deity created by the planet itself and is insanely powerful.
  • Power Echoes/Power Makes Your Voice Deep/Evil Sounds Deep: His transformed state has an eerily deep, booming voice.
  • Puny Earthlings: He's rather fond of reminding the human characters how insignificant they are before him, as well as reminding them he has the power to wipe their entire species from existence.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Unlike Ash, he always has them.
  • Ret-Gone: Along with Ash. And unlike Ash, there's no indication his soul was contained in Verse.
  • Sissy Villain: Like Ash, he has very feminine mannerisms. Most noticable when he's possessing Mukai for the penultimate fight of the game, as being a huge towering wall of muscle doesn't change his mannerisms in any way.
  • Slouch of Villainy: Often seen lounging around in a couch in cut scenes.
  • SNK Boss: As to be expected with a KOF boss, he's one infuriatingly tough opponent to face. He's a very powerful block whore (though as noted in Artificial Stupidity, you can cheese him pretty well with low attacks), has projectiles that are very good at trapping you in place so he can swoop in and command grab you, and, as is common with SNK bosses, possesses a full-screen super (which counts as a Neo MAX, despite only costing him 1 meter).
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Before his name was officially revealed to be Saiki, sites spelled his name as "Psyche."
  • Surrounded by Incompetent Fools: Mentions this in one of the story mode scenes.
  • Technicolor Fire: Black fire, which behaves more like ink. Evil Ash's black fire is actual fire, being a tainted version of Ash's.
  • Teleport Spam: His playable version in the console and Updated Re-release can do this.
  • Temporal Paradox: The cause of his ultimate demise.
  • Time Stands Still: This appears to be one of his powers or at the very least, connected to the time gate that allowed him to travel to the present day as seen in his pre-fight intro, although he seldom uses it in battle.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: He bears a striking resemblance to his direct descendant, Ash Crimson.
  • Villain Ball: Sure Saiki, one of your strongest minions who has nothing but loyalty for you offers to fight in your stead, which would really help if you needed to duck into the door to the past in a hurry... and your response is to kill him for no reason other than that he spoke up to you. Yeah, that's REALLY going to help. Specially when you follow it via taking over the body of your own descendant despite knowing clearly that he is NOT to be trusted.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Saiki outside his true form is playable in the console version of XIII and the Updated Re-release for arcade machines (XIII Climax). His Neo MAX allows him to turn into his true form to deal some damage.
  • You Have Failed Me: There are some implications that Saiki offed Mukai because of his defeat back in 2003, spurring Saiki to want to take matters into his own hands and not risk screwing up their operations so late in the game. Doesn't make it any less of a callous move or a wholly stupid one, for that matter.



Botan - Unknown
The fourth member of Those From the Distant Land, she has the ability to control the actions of anyone she chooses through invisible puppet strings. Botan established herself as quite the Magnificent Bitch as early as 2003, when it turns out she was controlling Chizuru the entire time. After Mukai's failure, she sets her sights on Rugal Bernstein's daughter Rose and controls her from XI to XIII.

Rose Bernstein - Unknown (implied to be Germany)
Voiced by: Kazuyo Inosako

Adel's little sister and a Rich Bitch to the hilt. While Adel got Rugal's fighting skill, Rose got his sense of unfair play. She's a noncombatant (although skilled at fencing, according to supplementary materials), but very fond of her brother.

  • Annoying Younger Sibling: All she does is yap, yap, yap all day long.
    • Subverted in-story: Adel may be annoyed with her, but he does care and worry for her sake. And with very good reasons.
  • Arms Dealer: Though never directly stated, it's strongly implied the Bernstein family continues to maintain their source of income. The only reason Botan mind controlled Rose was because she possessed the influence, power, and wealth to host the KOF tournament on such short notice: up to and including the quiet construction of a lavish colosseum with secret magic relics underneath.
  • Big Brother Worship: Gets too extreme at times, and sometimes Adel himself has to put his foot down. Her devotion for Adel (as well as her Berserk Button when he is defeated in 2003) seems to border on Big Brother Attraction.
  • Brainwashed: How she spends the entirety of XIII. She is freed in the end.
  • Cute, but Cacophonic
  • Duality Motif: Her usual dress (seen to the right) is half-red, half-black. Possibly symbolic, as these are the two dominant colors of her father's tuxedo attire.
  • Japanese Sibling Terminology: Calls Adel "onii-sama." It's translated as "Dearest Brother" in English.
  • Left the Background Music On: Subverted/inverted when facing Adel in 2003. At first, Rose appears to be playing "Revolutionary Etude" (the brief opening segment of Adel's theme), but once the music diverts into incomprehensible techno and never looks back for its "R2" portion, it becomes clear she's not performing on the piano for her brother's fights.
  • Narcissist: Loves herself, absolutely loathes ugly and weak people.
  • Neutral Female: Despite her haughty nature and being a fencer, Rose doesn't do much other than sit on the sidelines and play the piano. XI even pokes fun at this with one of Adel's moves: Rose is summoned, but only so that she can taunt Adel.
    • One of the stages of XIII Climax takes place in the Skynoah, and she's seen hanging around in the background like it's just another day: playing the piano, having tea with her panther at her feet, checking on the controls with Adel...
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Around her brother, Adel. On occasion, some of her clutching could be considered inappropriate or too intimate for siblings.
  • Not Herself and/or Out-of-Character Alert: When Rose begins doing things without telling her brother and ignores whatever he tells her, Adel instantly knows something is wrong since she always does what he says and always tells him what's on her mind.
    • To reiterate, upon discovering her plans for the ritual grounds built underneath Rose Stadium, he's put at unease, partially due to what they're being used for, but mainly because she would've have told him before even deciding to act.
  • Ojou: Type 2. Oh yes.
  • Ojou Ringlets
  • Pimped-Out Dress: To up the ante, Rose is seen sporting even more extravagant clothing in XIII. Special notice goes to the one described in True Blue Femininity.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: She's not "evil" per se, but she's definitely more of a selfish brat than Adel, that's for sure.
  • Requisite Royal Regalia: For some strange reason, she wears a tiara despite not being of noble blood.
    • The Atlus translation for XIII called her bloodline the Bernstein Family. However the original Japanese text could also be translated as House of Bernstein. Given their influence and wealth, it's possible the Bernstein are fictional German nobility.
  • Rich Bitch: Hoo boy.
  • Right-Hand Cat: Is seen playing with a baby panther, which is apparently Rodem's offspring.
  • Royal Brat
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!
  • Sore Loser: Like father, like daughter. Even though it's her brother that does all of the fighting.
  • Symbol Motif Clothing: Nearly all her outfits have roses or feature decorative rose flower patterns.
  • Tagalong Kid: To a degree (see Annoying Younger Sibling above).
  • True Blue Femininity: She wears a very Pimped-Out Dress in a light blue tone during the Final Stage of KOF XIII.
  • The Tragic Rose: While tragedy doesn't exactly hit her, she is a vital part in Those from the Past's plans... which end with Ash Ret-goning himself in what becomes a massive Tear Jerker. The dress she's wearing in that moment even has rose motifs all over it.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Thank you very much, Botan.
  • Yandere: Adel's ending in XI reveals that Botan is trying to use this side of her against Adel. She succeeds and Rose spends all of XIII in a brainwashed state thanks to her, and only is released at the end.

Shroom and Rimelo - Unknown
Rimelo (left) and Shroom (right)
Two characters who previously appeared as unnamed members of Those from the Past in 2003's ending. Shroom is the girly-looking blond man while Rimello is the brunette weird girl. They first appeared in the Ikari Team's Ending in XI to reclaim Magaki's lifeless body, taking Heidern's Eyepatch of Power with them in the process. They return in the XII manhua and later are included in several scenes of XIII's Story Mode, including the OP video where they give Kyo his invitation to the KOF tournament.

  • Ascended Extra
  • Cute Mute: Rimelo never ever says a word.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Shroom, so much that...
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: Rimelo's black/white dress and really cute pump shoes evoke the style.
  • Enfante Terrible: Rimelo can't be older than 15 (at least in looks), yet she's a full blooded membress of Those from the Past.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Shroom sometimes wears an eyepatch in XIII. Rimelo is often seen playing with it, too. It belonged to Heidern, actually, and if you have Ralf face Saiki he'll furiously demand to have the eyepatch back in their pre-fight talk.
  • Karma Houdini: While they're not half as villainous as Saiki, they also get away with their activities as members of Those from the Past. May be subverted in the Story Mode, if them being there when Shion returns is any indication.
  • Odd Friendship: Shroom is quite the cold Jerkass, but he seems to treat Rimelo better than he does to others.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Having made some research and realized that he and the others were few more than peons, Shroom and Rimelo decided to get ready and bail out ASAP. They don't really get the chance, as far as we know.
  • The Smart Guy: Shroom is seen doing research about the Gate.
  • Unfortunate Names: Come on, Shroom?!
  • The Unfought: Despite the fact that they prominently appear in XIII's intro and Story Mode (even managing to rough up Kyo a little before handing him his invitation to the tournament), you never get to fight either of them.

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