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Shout Out / The King of Fighters

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There are multiple Shout-Outs to various Anime, Manga, and Toku present within the series. Here's the place for every Continuity Nod, Mythology Gag, No Celebrities Were Harmed, Captain Ersatz, Expy, and Shout-Out in The King of Fighters.

Characters and stuff introduced in The Rugal Saga ('94)

  • The creation of the Japan Team, their elemental powers, and their personalities are based off of the heroes from Getter Robo. This, in turn is a homage to a Japanese phrase of giving birth to fire (roughly translated as "lightning strikes the earth which sparks the flame").
  • Kyo's design is lifted straight from Ricky Jones, the main character of the early Neo Geo Beat 'em Up Mutation Nation. See here.
    • His Striker (and prototype design), Syo Kirishima, was meant to resemble common fighting games martial artists (in terms of clothes) at the time.
    • The creators have mentioned that Kyo's major character inspirations were Akira Fudo and Joe Yabuki.
    • Cosplayer Kyoko (Shingo's striker from 2000) is an in-universe nod to fangirls who love to cosplay as Kyo at conventions.
    • In Maximum Impact 2, he has an alternate costume that makes him resemble Yuki, the Original Generation male protagonist of NeoGeo Battle Coliseum.
    • Starting in Maximum Impact 2, there exists a separate version of Kyo known as Kyo Kusanagi Classic, who is garbed in Kyo's attire from The Orochi Saga (Normal)/The NESTS Chronicles (Another). He uses all of Kyo's moves from '94 to '98, as well as his Style 108 from '99 onward. Additionally, as a nod to the earlier KOF titles, his roll is his replaced by a sidestepping dodge (a la '94 and '95) and holding down the taunt button allows Kyo to charge up his meter (a la '94-'96, complete with the same charging pose).
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    • One of his alternate color schemes in XIII is none other than Rock Howard. The activation of his Neo MAX is similar to his intro with Ryu in Capcom vs. SNK 2.
    • He has another color based on Rouga Zanma from Big Bang Age.
  • Benimaru Nikaido was modeled after Jean-Pierre Polnareff, in terms of appearance and Noriaki Kakyouin in terms of personality. He is even jokingly called Polnareff by the dev team.
    • Shinkuu Katategoma, Handou Sandangeri, and Genei Hurricane moves are inspired by Hurricane Polymar. (Funnily enough, Kunihiko Yasui, the voice actor of The Rival to Benimaru's best bud [i.e. Iori Yagami], is Polymar in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom.)
    • Other attacks have their namesakes in various anime and manga, including the Benimaru Collider/Corridor (Gunbuster), Elec-Trigger (Super Robot Red Baron), Flying Drill and Raijinken (Neo Human Casshern), and Iai Geri (Kako Teito: Ore wa Shubei!). (Daisuke Ono, the voice actor of Nameless, voices Casshern in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom. See a trend here?)
  • Heidern is an Expy of Rolento and the God's Army Colonel.
    • He shares some physical characteristics with Brocken Jr. from Kinnikuman and his Moon Slasher resembles Brocken's "Red Rain of Berlin" hand-blade chopping move.
    • His character is based off of (if not an alternate version of) the commander of the Ikari Warriors from Ikari III: The Rescue.
    • His namesake is a character from Space Battleship Yamato.
    • In the XI backstory, Adel gives Heidern the nickname "Heidi", the eponymous protagonist of a German novel.
    • Stormbringer. That is all.
  • Ralf's Ikari Warriors appearance (used in XII with some alterations, which was originally meant to be used in '94) was stated to be based off of the titular hero of Rambo.
    • While Ralf's Galactica Phantom is named after a special attack in Ring ni Kakero, it's visually patterned after Kaoru Hanayama's Hakai-ryoku / Destructive Force punch in Baki the Grappler. Other references include his aerial "Kyokuka Bakudan Punch" (named after the "Bakudan Punch" from Choujin Barom 1, but loosely based on the "Rider Punch" from Kamen Rider BLACK), the "Ralf Kick" (based on the "RX Kick" corkscrew dropkick variation of Kamen Rider BLACK RX), the "Unblock" / "Rocket Punch" uppercut from 2003-XI (Based on Kaoru Hanayama's finishing uppercut against Tommy Carbine in Baki the Grappler), Maximum Impact's "Ralph Buffalo" (Based on Buffaloman's "Hurricane Mixer" in Kinnikuman) and Ralf's Jet Vulcan Punch Neo MAX in XIII (identical to Luffy's Gomu Gomu no Jet Gatling in Gear Second, complete with Ralf turning red and emitting steam during the punching barrage). His 95-96 throw is based on Akira Taue's "Ore ga Taue" chokeslam, and one of his post-95 throws is the "Northern Lights Bomb" used by Akira Hokuto and Kensuke Sasaki.
    • From KOF '96 to '98, his intro with Clark ("CROSS CHANGER!") mimics Choujin Sentai Jetman.
    • One of his outfits in Maximum Impact 2 is based off of Marco Rossi's from Metal Slug, complete with the wavy forelock of light brown hair.
  • Many of Clark's moves are borrowed from Kinnikuman: '96-XI's Napalm Stretch (Kinniku Ataru), '96-'02's Clark Spark (Muscle Spark, Kinnikuman), '03-XI's Clark Special (Robin Special, Robin Mask) and XIV's Climax move (Big Ben Edge, Kevin Mask). More obscurely, his Ultra Argentine Backbreaker is a nod towards the Triple Benkei Breaker from the wrestling manga "The Momotaroh." Also, his Flashing Elbow was popularized by real-life professional wrestler Keiji Mutoh (aka The Great Muta) and his Clark Lift (a follow-up to his Mount Tackle) is a direct lift from Russian wrestler-turned-politician Aleksandr Karelin's "Karelin Lift."
    • One of his alternate costumes in Maximum Impact 2 was modeled in the image of Tarma Roving from Metal Slug.
  • Ryo Sakazaki and Robert Garcia have win quotes in KOF 2002 against each other that reference Little Shop of Horrors.
    Ryo: "Seymour, you've been fed! Been dying to say that!"
    Robert: "I hope you're not the strongest! Feed me, Seymour!"
  • Robert Garcia is SNK's Alternate Company Equivalent to Ken Masters. Both are rich-out-their-ass playboys who are friendly rivals to their respective best friends, although Robert dresses like he's rich. Also, both of their styles emphasize stylish kicking. Of note is that Robert was introduced that way whereas Ken had developed this after Art of Fighting came out.
    • He was also visually modeled after Steven Seagal and Andy Garcia.
    • In 2000, his alternate striker is himself, but dressed like Capcom's Alternate Company Equivalent, Dan "The Man" Hibiki, who was conceived as a Take That! to SNK. Note that their hair is already similar to begin with.
    • During the NESTS saga, two of his moves changed to look more and more like Guile's Sonic Boom and Flash Kick, to the point of being charge attacks as well.
    • Robert's 2003 stance is based on Shinogi Kosho's cord-cutting stance from Baki the Grappler. His new Ryugekiken is similar to how Shinobu Sensui from Yu Yu Hakusho kicks his fireballs when performing his "Resshū Kō Kyū Ha" move.
    • His intro poses with Kensou in KOF '97 and '98 are a common Kansai shtick.
    Kensou: "Donnai de ka?" ("How's it going?")
    Robert: "Bochi bochi, denna." ("So-so, y'know?"/"Alright, I guess.")
  • Ryo is SNK's Alternate Company Equivalent to Ryu and Ken, at least at first.
    Ryo: "Kyokugenryu-ougi! ORAORAORAORAORA!!! Moratta!"
    • Ryo and Robert's taunts in XIII have them perform their charging poses from Art of Fighting and the pre-'99 KOF games, although this does nothing to their super meter. Robert also uses this animation before the final blow of his Ryuuko Ranbu EX DM.
  • Expect Takuma to throw in the occasional battle cry of "CHESTO!"
    • Starting from 2002, he's increasingly based on Doppo Orochi from Baki the Grappler. His 2002 "Mouko" chop (similar to Akuma's Capcom vs. SNK-exclusive "Misogi", and upgraded with an uppercut to "Built Upper" in XII) is similar to Doppo's trademark tiger-killing chop. Likewise, his Serious Mr. Karate incarnation in SVC Chaos shares his neutral pose with Doppo's Bodhisattva Fist stance. Finally, his XIII stance is also taken from Doppo.
    • Like Ryo, he too gets a Shin Akuma-themed outfit in XIII.
    • Kyoukugenryu Karate in general is heavily based on Masutatsu Oyama's Kyokushin Karate.
  • Yuri's taunt in KOF '96 is "Anta baka?" (Asuka's Catchphrase) and one of her winposes had her saying "Service, service" (like Misato).
    • One of her alternate color schemes in XIII that restores her braid also gives her a hue resembling Cammy.
      • She also pinches various moves from the Shotoclones: in '96, she gains the Tatsumaki Senpukyaku; in '97, Sakura's Midare Zakura (multiple uppercut Super); in '98, the Shin Shouryuken (EX Yuri only); in 2001, the Shun Goku Satsu (with a 1/8 chance to inflict extra damage and copy Akuma's back-turning pose); in 2002: Unlimited Match, Ryu's Jodan Sokuto Geri ("Donkey Kick"); in 2003, the Denjin Hadoken (Ryu's chargeable electric fireball); and in XIII, Akuma's Demon Flip. From 2002-XI, she also borrows Chun-Li's vertical split kick; however, she gained her normal rushing uppercut (Yuri Chou Upper) as early as '95, one year before Sakura made it famous. She also runs off with Dan Hibiki's first Ultra from Street Fighter IV, complete with thumbs-up pose after the final Shoryuken.
      • Her intro in 2001 also resembles Felicia's.
  • Word of God has likened Sie Kensou's powers to that of Koichi's in Babel II.
    • His XII/XIII outfit is the same one he wore back in Psycho Soldier.
    • The Psycho Soldier team's ending in XIII is a parody of Gatchaman, right down to the silly costumes worn by Kensou (Red), Athena (Blue), Bao (Yellow), and Momoko (Pink). The team even goes by the name of the Psycho Rangers (no, not them), complete with fans giving them a Super Sentai-esque naming scheme for the characters (i.e. Kensou = Psycho Red).
    • In XIII, his pre-fight conversation with Maxima references the Over 9000 meme from Dragon Ball Z.
  • Athena Asamiya was inspired by Saori aka Athena from Saint Seiya. She even has the same hair color and similar hairdo.
    • One of Athena's throws has her raise a finger into the air as her psychic powers toss the enemy skywards, this move is almost identical to Tackle's Electro-Wave Throw.
    • One of her edit team endings in KOF '97 had her wearing the bikini from the original Athena game.
    • From KOF '98 onward, the MAX version of her Shining Crystal Bit DM has her randomly appearing in the bikini as well.
    • One of her win poses also consists of a very Sailor Moon-ish pose: a V-for-victory sign and a wink.
    • The blue schoolgirl uniform she wears in XII and XIII (complete with pink hair) dates back to her origin game, Psycho Soldier.
    • There have been plenty of jokes of comparing Athena's powers to M. Bison's powers.
  • XIII also adds a meter that keeps track of how many drinks Chin Gentsai has stomached, much like Shun Di.
  • XIII gives Andy a color scheme resembling Son Goku.
  • Terry's Rising Force HSDM in 2002 was taken from Rock Howard.
  • One of Mai's color variations in Maximum Impact 2 is that of Cham Cham. In that same game, she borrows Andy's Chou Reppa Dan for her Level 3.
    • In 2002, Mai's HSDM has a few random animations; in one of them she shows the opponent her nude backside at the end of the move. This may be a reference to a scene in Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure Battle Tendency, in which Lisa Lisa takes a bath and Joseph Joestar peeps her through the door's keyhole as she undresses herself, unknowingly showing her exposed back to Joseph.
  • Brian Battler is an Expy of Johnny Maximum from World Heroes 2, who is also a heavy-hitting, aggressive power player. In fact, Brian's design was altered in order to differentiate him in terms of looks from Johnny, making this something of a Shout-Out as well.
  • Lucky Glauber's prototype design and fighting style were based on the character Hakim in the martial arts film, Game of Death. His later design might come from Street Slam, a sports game for the Neo Geo made by Data East.
    • His default color scheme is the purple and gold, the same as the Los Angeles Lakers (the team that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played for). In KOF '98 his alternate color schemes are references to the Chicago Bulls, Seattle Supersonics, and San Antonio Spurs.
  • Don't confuse Heavy D! with the late rapper of the same name.
  • The American Sports Team's stage in 94 has a cameo appearance from The Blues Brothers.
  • Chang's MAX2 in 2002 allows him to stop time for a few moments. Its name is "Tekkyu Dai Sekai" which translates to "Iron Ball Great World." Chang, of all people...
  • Choi is a Captain Ersatz of Freddy Krueger. Made funnier in a bonus illustration in KOF '98 which involves Choi having an encounter with Freddy Krueger. In KOF XIV, as well as in some concept art for KOF '94, he even wears a striped green sweater similar to Freddy's.
  • When speaking of Rugal's prized "trophies" there is one of note that is interesting. It's of a man with a familiar hairdo, a sleeveless shirt, with military fatigue pants and boots. Sadly this man is nameless, but he does have a rather eerie resemblance to a U.S. special forces officer named Guile. Apparently, the point of the resemblance was not lost since in Capcom vs. SNK the two have an intro of said "trophy" is standing between them and them destroying it.
    • There are also statues clearly meant to resemble Zangief, Akuma, and Fei Long. Clearly, Rugal really likes Street Fighter.
    • Given that SNK does enjoy having fun at Capcom's expense due to their competing fighters, this and the other tropes aboard the Blacknoah maybe part of a larger joke. Rugal is said to be attempting to become world's strongest fighter, now look at the sub-title of the first Street Fighter II...note , after all of that... Look at the collection. Now do the math.
    • Rugal's pet isn't the first black panther to be named Rodem; its predecessor originated in Babel II.
  • Joe Higashi often refers to the Legend of Joe Higashi.

Characters and stuff introduced in The Orochi Saga ('95-'98)

  • '96 and '97 contain numerous homages to the other hot property at the time, Neon Genesis Evangelion.
  • Iori's winquote against Chin in the English console localization of XIII seems to be a shout out to Botchamania of all things.
    Iori: "Everyone talks too much... at least die quietly."
    • Due to his moveset revision in XII, fans called Iori an expy of Mark of the Wolves's Freeman. Ironically, when Freeman first made his debut, he was called an expy of Iori.
    • Here's one that comes from not Iori himself, but his theme music. In the OST and AST versions of "Arashi no Saxophone" in KOF '95, its rearrangement for the home port of XI, and the AST version of "Cool Jam ~ Arashi no Saxophone 3" in '97, a female voice can be heard reciting, "221B Baker Street", the address of Sherlock Holmes. Curiously, the OST version of "Tsuchi o Hau Bass", the theme of the Women Fighters Team in '95, also features this voice clip.
    • Iori's character design was partially inspired by Yasuhiro Nightow's (then primarily a producer of doujinshi) own character designs, and, if anyone has read Trigun before, can definitely see the similarities between Iori and Legato Bluesummers.
    • The character is something of a mid-'90s time capsule, at least in Japan. Hiei from Yu Yu Hakusho and Mobile Suit Gundam Wing were a hit, so he debuted with the former's self-harming black flames and Trowa Barton's hairdo from the latter. When Neon Genesis Evangelion swept the country, he got his Riot of the Blood form with the same eyes and mannerisms as the berserk Eva 01.
  • Shermie is based off of Fujiko Mine from Lupin III. Given her flirtatious tendencies and her "assets," it's not hard to see the similarities.
    • Her Diamond Bust is an obvious play on the Diamond Dust, a flipping stunner invented by Japanese wrestler Masato Tanaka.
  • Leona's Rebel Spark Desperation Move is frame-for-frame identical to Kamen Rider BLACK RX's Revolcrash, except that Leona uses her bare hand instead of a Laser Blade.
    • Her V-Slasher is based on Voltes V's V-no-Jigiri. Again, she uses her bare hand instead of a sword.
    • And her jumping CD attack is Kamen Rider BLACK's Rider Kick; she even has a red energy aura around her feet during the move.
    • Her Leona Inferno air throw is Kinnikuman Zebra's Muscle Inferno.
    • In '99, Leona gains two moves that reference JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Her Earring Bomb 2: Heart Attack works like Kira Yoshikage's Killer Queen Stand ability, with the move's name referencing his Bomb #2: Sheer Heart Attack and her quote "Makete owari." resembling "Makete shine!" (an alternate reading of his Bomb #3: Bites the Dust quote). Her Grateful Dead (S)DM drains the opponent's life force, similarly to Prosciutto's Grateful Dead Stand.
  • According to Word of God, Chizuru's design was inspired by Yoko Shiraki from Ashita no Joe. Both are long-and-dark-haired high-class young women who handle venues related to fighting: Yoko sponsors a boxing gym with her grandfather, Chizuru organized the KOF tournament more than once.
  • Kyo's girlfriend Yuki is named after Japanese actress and ex Idol Singer Yuki Uchida. She's also the same celebrity that inspired none other than Heero Yuy.
  • Geese Howard seems to resemble King, the Final Boss of The Super Spy, something made a bit more obvious with the intro to Fatal Fury 3. He also looks like the Aussie from Jean-Claude Van Damme's Bloodsport. In terms of character, Geese is SNK's equivalent of Dio Brando. Both of them started out dirt poor, hated their own fathers for abusing them, came to know someone who became their greatest rival and killed them eventually after being cast out. Both are also noted for their charisma, allowing them to gather a group of devoted followers and obtain immense power, and also causing many women to fall for them, resulting in many illegitimate children. He also shares quite a few traits with Souther/Thouzer from Fist of the North Star, both resembling him and sharing his ambitions of conquest.
  • Boyish, almost feminine looks? Super Speed? A deceptively cheerful personality? Chris is the second coming of Sojiro Seta.
  • Blue Mary was visually inspired by Android 18. She even had the Forehead of Doom in her debut; her head was shifted to more reasonable proportions by the time she entered KOF.
  • Mature appears to have been partially modeled in the likeness of Marilyn Monroe, even having a signature win pose heavily reminiscent of the Marilyn Maneuver.
  • Vice's official bio has a direct shout-out to comic book artist Dan Brereton who she's supposedly a fan of.
  • The red shirt Billy wears under his blue jacket in XIV reads "Know Your Enemy".
  • Shingo Yabuki's intro in 2000 & 2001 is "If you don't fear the shine of the sun, bring it on !"

Characters and stuff introduced in The NESTS Chronicles ('99-2002)

  • K9999 is pretty much Tetsuo with some Kusanagi DNA thrown in. He goes as far has having the same voice actor, Nozomu Sasaki. This came full circle at a point, when Tetsuo's rival was Kusanagi, voiced by Kaneda's VA, followed by them yelling at each other in their shared intro. Bear in mind where the quotes for this intro came. He indeed seems to have gone too far, as in The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match he has been replaced by a very similar character called "Nameless."
  • Western Shout-Outs also exist. For example, Angel uses the Rock Bottom and People's Elbow in 2002. One of her win quotes is "Can you taste The Angel's extraordinary skill?", a play on The Rock's "If you smell what The Rock is cooking!"
    • The names of all of her moves are song titles from left-wing Japanese band Soul Flower Union.
  • Ramon's backstory all but states that Ramon's mentor is Lucha Libre legend, Blue Demon.
    • Ramon in general is one to Eddie Guerrero, as they're both Latino wrestlers with flirtatious and cocky personalities, both have a tiger motif (Eddie went under the name Black Tiger when wrestling in Japan), and Ramon makes very liberal use of Eddie's signature move, the "Frogsplash", as well as implementing "The Three Amigos' into one of his supers.
  • Maxima is both an homage to the main character of the SNK Beat 'em Up Robo Army and an expy of Harry Ness from the obscure fighting game The Fallen Angels, whom his character designer worked on before joining SNK.
  • Vanessa's Champion Puncher DM is a flurry of high-speed punches, followed by a Dempsey Roll, and ending with a blistering uppercut.
    • Vanessa in general can be considered something of an Expy of Rick Strowd from Real Bout Fatal Fury 2. Not only are they both boxers, but in 2002 she gains a few of Rick's moves, namely his Hellion special and Gaia Gear DM. And as a bonus the name "Gaia Gear" itself is a reference to the story of the same name by Yoshiyuki Tomino.
  • May Lee is one big shout out to Japanese superheroes.
  • Clone Zero is a living shout out to Han the Rasho from the Shura saga. His infamous Zero Fart special resembles a method of how Han dispatched a mook in the series. Some of his other special moves are named after techniques used by the Shura Generals in Fist of the North Star.
  • K''s Chain Drive DM may very well be influenced by this particular scene note  from a 1998 Marc Dacascos film coincidentally named Drive.
    • Similar to his buddy Maxima above, K' resembles Cool from Daraku Tenshi: The Fallen Angels. His "Another" striker in 2000 (his prototype design, often theorized to be what K' looked like before he had Kusanagi DNA implanted into his body) makes the comparison more apparent, with the two sharing reference poses.
    • His HSDM in 2002(UM)? (The) Crimson Star Road.
    • Although not a Bruce Lee Clone, one of K''s command normals (also shared with Kula) is the iconic one-inch punch. His Minute Spike could be seen as analogous to Bruce Lee's equally-famous flying kicks, complete with a yell that was more of a higher-pitched Kiai in earlier games.
    • One of his alternate colors in KOF XIII has his outfit colored blue on one side, and red on the other, mimicking that of Kikaider. It can also be seen as a nod to Gill, who also has asymmetrical body coloring of blue and red whereby only his red half is capable of wielding flame. (Note that K' is only seen using flames from one of side of his body, specifically his hand with the red glove.)
  • The animal motifs associated with Kula's caretakers/maternal figures Diana and Foxy are respectively the butterfly and the bee.
    • Foxy herself is a tribute to Cutey Honey, possessing a similar sword, fighting style, manner of dress, and even the ability to change clothes in a flash. Her bio even notes that Foxy owns a honey factory.
  • Another possible nod to K' and Maxima's origins comes from Whip's bio in '99, which lists "Angels, the fallen" as one of her dislikes.
  • The sequence in 2000's ending where Kula flies into space and destroys the Zero Cannon references Tetsuo Shima doing the same thing with SOL. In both instances, the Kill Sat in question manages to fire once and decimate the target area before the aforementioned character dismantles it, though Kula loses her Robot Buddy, not her right arm and the damage to Southtown is far more widespread than that of Neo-Tokyo.
  • Whether it was intentional or not, Igniz seems like an expy of Palpatine (minus his facial appearance). The similarities are especially enforced by the fact that the battle against him occurs on a space station... Oh and did we mention that NESTS has an army of clones at its disposal, a few years before it appeared as a plot element in another film?
  • Seth looks like Boman Delgado.
  • Kusanagi, the Kyo clone, references Domon Kasshu from Mobile Fighter G Gundam with his one of his super moves ("Ore no Kobushi wa Makka ni Moero!" = "This fist of mine is burning red!").

Characters and stuff introduced in The Tales of Ash (2003-XIII)

  • Compare this promotional poster for XII to that of promotional artwork for Street Fighter Alpha 3. Specifically, notice the positions of Terry/Ryo and Ryu/Cody.
  • Ash has an intro with Kyo in Maximum Impact Regulation A that directly mimics Orochi Chris' intro.
    • Moveset-wise, he takes more than a few cues from Kain R. Heinlein.
    • He also shares a lot with Remy, what with being French Bishonens with red pants and similar moves.
  • Gato from Garou: Mark of the Wolves is based on Retsu Kaioh from Baki the Grappler. His "Reiga" / "Zero Fang" is identical to Retsu's "Tenrenge" / "Spinning Lotus" neckbreaker.
  • Bonne Jenet is a pirate, there's the Bonne, and stalks a main character (Rock Howard in Mark of the Wolves and the Maximum Impact series). Yep, she seems to be SNK's matured version of Tron Bonne. Considering the time of her MotW debut (1999), she could also be a nod towards One Piece.
  • Gai Tendo and Ryo have a special intro pose in XI. This is because in Buriki One, Gai's debut game, an older Ryo appeared under the moniker of Mr. Karate II, which is also referenced in a special piece of artwork viewable upon beating the game with a team consisting of Ryo/Gai/Silber.
  • Gai himself is a mix between famed famed Japanese MMA fighter and wrestler, Kazushi Sakuraba (See here), Baki Hanma and Eikichi Onizuka.
  • When Billy Kane faces Saiki in XIII, he thinks his opponent looks like some kind of monster, and wonders what would happen if he could catch 'em all, even wondering if he'll be considered an Elite Trainer, too.
  • One of Raiden's DMs in XIII is named Crazy Train.
    • Speaking of Raiden, he's an Expy of Vader.
    • In XIII one of his unmasked outfits is a replica of Terryman's. He even has the stars on the shoulders.
    • Raiden's Neo MAX in XIII is a super powerful Axe Bomber, which was Hulk Hogan's Finishing Move in Japan.
  • Beat XIII in Arcade Mode with Elisabeth, Mai and King. You'll get an illustration with a blatant shout-out to The Rose of Versailles.
  • Should Duo Lon find himself up against Mr. Karate in XIII, the Hizoku assassin coolly tells the karateka that he's not terrified in the slightest because he doesn't fear the reaper.
  • Malin shouts "MAXIMUM MALIN!" as she performs her aerial Queen Bee DM.

Characters and stuff introduced in XIV

  • Sylvie Paula Paula is based on real life idol Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.
    • Meanwhile, her sadistic nature hidden behind her rather goofy appearance and fight conduct brings F.A.N.G to mind.
  • Luong's personality, Tae Kwan Do, color motif and stances make her an Alternate Company Equivalent to Juri Han, a character who ironically enough was joked about as being an SNK-style design.
    • One of her DMs (especially its SDM version) has her do multiple kicks, then steps onto her opponent's head and stomps their head three times. It's pretty much Vulcano Rosso's Accellerando and Tameiki no Hashi Super Combos combined.
  • Nelson's use of a cybernetic arm may be a nod towards TJ Combo. Unlike Combo, who resorted to titanium implants to keep his title and was banned from the professional boxing circuit when they were discovered, Nelson was forced to use his to be able to box at all.
  • Kukri's usage of bandages in addition to his hood make him a dead ringer for Ermac. His sand manipulation and silent tone are based on Gaara, while his moveset is similar to Kan-Ra. Some have even compared him to Terumi, especially for his hooded appearance and usage of vulgar language.
  • Hein is pretty much what happens when you combine Claude Faustus and Sakamoto. He has Sakamoto's appearance and constant air of coolness and mystery surrounding him, with Claude's status as a Battle Butler for an evil blond and dark powers.
  • Several of King of Dinosaurs's command throws are copies of moves used by Alex the Velociraptor and Lizardman, of the Tekken and Soul Calibur games, respectively.
  • Shun'ei, the fourth protagonist of the series, has his Climax being a Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs by another being/supernatural power accompanied with "DORARARARARARA!!!", similar to the fourth protagonist of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Josuke Higashikata. His other DM is also similar to Hell and Heaven in appearance.
    • Well, speaking of JoJo shout outs, one of Mian's 'Ranbu'-style DM had her using another character's (Bruno Buccellati) Kiai from that series: "ARIARIARIARIARIARIARIARI!!!" (Though being Chinese, she doesn't finish with "Arrivederci")
  • Verse looks like a boss straight out of Dark Souls, and also resembles Inferno from Soul Calibur. In-universe, he is a walking Shout-Out to several dead characters within the franchise, and even speaks to certain characters as if he were a dead character related to his defeated opponent. His appearance, coincidentally, bears a fashionable tailcoat reminiscent of Rugal, who is confirmed to be one of the souls within his body in his winquote to Mature and Vice.
  • The intro sound bit for Team Psycho Soldier's theme, tachi bou ke, is the original boot-up sound from the classic Psycho Soldier game.
  • Rock Howard is a Captain Ersatz of Kaede. Lampshaded in Maximum Impact, where Kaede is his alternate costume. Also, if going by Geese's comparison to Dio, this would make Rock an equivalent to Giorno Giovanna in turn, as both of them are sons of a notable villain in their respective series who have distanced themselves as far as possible from their fathers' legacy.
  • Mui Mui resembles the girl on the neon casino sign in Kim Dong Hwan's stage in Garou: Mark of the Wolves. This might explain why her origins lie in a pachislot game that came out five years after Garou.

Characters and stuff introduced in other games (Maximum Impact, Neowave, etc.)

  • Makoto Mizoguchi is an Expy of Momotaro Tsurugi, the main protagonist of Sakigake!! Otokojuku.
  • Duke is a Shout-Out to Kazuya Mishima and Jin Kazama, specifically their Devil forms. You can give him devil wings and devil horns in Maximum Impact.
  • Does anyone else get an Eddy Gordo vibe from Soiree Meira's "Another" outfit? If the colors were to be inverted, you even get the same color scheme as Eddy's default colors.
  • Fio's namesake, as well as that of her teddy bear, is taken from the anime 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother.
  • In Maximum Impact Regulation A, Hyena has a new super that originally belonged to Oswald. It's his Joker LDM where he pins you in the corner and throws 52 razor sharp cards at you.
  • Jivatma is one to Krizalid in Maximum Impact Regulation A. He has a new super move where he shoots his arms out with blades on them and repeatedly stabs the opponent in the air. It looks similar to Krizalid's Desperate Overdrive SDM.
  • Lilly Kane's "Another" costume is modeled after Billy's original outfit from Fatal Fury and KOF '95.
  • One of Nagase's desperation attacks is based on one of Hanzo Hattori's special grabs. Doubly funny since Hanzo himself is unlockable (in fact, Nagase's moveset is heavily lifted from Hanzo's).
  • Xiao Lon is a rather blatant copy of Hsien-Ko/Lei-Lei in appearance and fighting style. Even developers acknowledged that she was based on a jiang-shi.


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