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  • Big Name Fan: Maximilian Dood got to play with the developers, has a Sabrewulf skin based on his dog Benny, made a vocal cameo in Glacius' theme, and ending up working on the story mode and promotional trailers in Season 2 and 3.
  • Creator Backlash: Chris Seavor, one of the original designers of the previous games, isn't fond of the KI game for the Xbox One.
  • Creator Cameo: Several of the people who worked on KI1 slipped their names into different places in the game. For example, programmer Martin Hollis gets a nod in Sabrewulf's stage in the form of a stone with "M. Hollis was 'ere" scrawled into it. Similarly, Chris Seavor gets a bar named after him on the streets below Orchid's skyscraper stage.
    • All the characters in KI1 and KI2, along with around half the cast of KI2013, are voiced by the game's developers. Designer/supervisor Ken Lobb, for example, has been the voice of Thunder in every appearance.
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    • Gargos's two minion summons, Izzik and Dretch, are named after Iron Galaxy developer Issac "Delriatch" Torres.
  • Christmas Rushed: Double Helix admitted that Microsoft wanted KI 2013 to be a launch title for the X Box One, and they had to release it after barely a year of development with only six characters and no story mode. Fortunately, unlike most examples of this trope, KI 2013 still ended up very playable and polished, with a minimum of bugs. Double Helix and later Iron Galaxy have been supporting the game with DLC, including more characters, multiplayer lobbies and Arcade Mode.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • "Hype Beam" for Fulgore's laser super in the 2013 game, courtesy of Maximilian Dood. When Fulgore's Ultimate was revealed, the developers themselves christened it "Ultimate Hype Beam".
    • Before their names were officially revealed, Kan-Ra was called "#NotAMummy" due to his mummy-like silhouette, Aganos was called "Broccoli" due to the shape of his silhouette, and Hisako was called "Ghost Girl" for obvious reasons.
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    • Shadow Jago is often contracted to "Shago" by many players, and even by members of the dev team. One of his profile taunts even says "Don't call me Shago."
    • Rash's Big Bad Boot special has been affectionately named "Das Boot".
    • Cinder in the new game is often called "Cinderpool".
    • Tusk in the 2013 game is often called "Maximilian", because of the uncanny similarities between the two.
      • In the same vein, Sabrewulf is called "Benny" after Maximilian's dog, in part due to the skin mentioned above in Big Name Fan.
      • Tusk is also occasionally referred to as "Tush" due to how the font makes the "K' in his name look like a "H".
    • With the revelation of Kilgore, fans immediately started calling it "Bastion" because it has machine gun turrets for arms and a vertical slit for an eye, exactly like Bastion.
  • God Does Not Own This World: The 2013 game was developed by Double Helix Games rather than original developer Rare. Further development of the game is being handled by Iron Galaxy Studios after Double Helix's purchase by Amazon. However, some of the old KI team, including Ken Lobb, Robin Beanland, Kevin Bayliss, and Chris Sutherland, have contributed to the new game. Rare also acts as executive producers for the game with each new build being shown to them for feedback and approval.
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  • Lying Creator: For about a year, Iron Galaxy repeatedly said they weren't going to bring Eyedol into KI2013, because they didn't like his design, they had no good ideas for him, et cetera. After Eyedol was revealed as the last character in season 3, they revealed they were lying the whole time.
  • Mythology Gag: The first trailer for KI 2013 had the announcer shouting "Coming to your home in 2013, only on Xbox One!", a nod to the attract mode in the original game. And they STILL lied, since it got Windows 10 and Steam ports in following years...
    • The Pinnacle's Stage Ultra in KI 2013 has the hapless victim knocked off of the edge of the penthouse into an exploding Ultratech skylight similar to the rooftop-based Ring Out animations in the first game, and to add to it, the announcer bellows out "KNOCKOFF!", the same phrase he'd bellow for KI 2's Ring Out animations.
  • The Other Darrin: Ray Chase fills in for Keith David as the Arbiter.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The idea of representing the Arbiter as a Legacy Character rather than using the Arbiter from Halo 2 and Halo 3 came about because Keith David either wasn't available to voice him or was out of budget, thus justifying Ray Chase taking over.
  • Role Reprisal: Chris Sutherland, the voice of the announcer in the first two KI games, returns as an optional announcer in KI2013 nearly 20 years later.
    • Thunder is the only member of the roster to have the same voice actor in the reboot as in the originals, with Ken Lobb providing his voice in both KI1 and KI2013.
  • Sequel Gap: The last KI game to be released before the 2013 installment was in 1996, a seventeen-year gap between the two games.
  • Shout-Out
    • Aria's retro skin turns her into Maria from the silent film Metropolis.
    • Aria also has an alternate skin which gives her the distinctive head design and chrome finish of a Hajime Sorayama drawing.
    • Certain Fulgore colors in KI2013 have a logo hidden somewhere on his body, such as the Double Helix logo, the Rareware logo, and the original Xbox logo.
    • T.J. Combo's "Kick Boxing" accessory set lets him dress up as Kick from Divekick.
    • T.J. Combo also gets an outfit, haircut, and entirely cosmetic back-weapon to turn him into Blade.
    • Cinder's line when performing the Shadow version of Inferno is "Toasty!" His crouching Heavy Punch is also an MK-esque uppercut.
    • One of Fulgore's ultimate attacks is called Blast Core.
    • There are a couple of shout-outs to Big Trouble in Little China in Kim Wu's trailer. First there's a moment where she fights Kan-Ra wearing a similar costume and mustache as the villain Lo Pan. Second, there's the big-rig truck that smashes into Kim Wu's stage when an Ultra Combo is performed, similar to the big-rig driven by Jack Burton.
    • Rash's "Rarewear" accessories give him apparel inspired by Conker and Banjo-Kazooie. His tongue lash and wrecking ball special moves are also similar to moves used by Spencer and Spider-Man.
    • Almost all of Tusk's unlockable profile taunts are references to Arnold Schwarzenegger films.
    • Mira, while wearing her "Phantom" accessories, strongly resembles the Jack of Blades.
    • Maya's "Fashionable" accessories are Freya's outfit and sunglasses from Phantom Dust.
    • Gargos in the 2013 game is a walking reference to several infamous boss characters in fighting games. His intro quote is similar to Gill's winquote. One of his special moves is M. Bison's Psycho Crusher and he also has SFV Bison's default stance, walk speed, and a few normals. The Heavy version of said move involves him teleporting up into a portal and coming down on the opponent like Goro. He has the ability to punch his opponent through portals from long distance, similar to Quan Chi's Warlock variation in X, except the punches are a combo starter and have several different variations like Nu-13's swords.
    • When you craft an item in Shadow Lords, Kan-Ra will sometimes say "It slices! It dices! ...Just kidding."
  • Talking to Himself: Any Cinder vs. Arbiter, Kan-Ra vs. Gargos, or Riptor/Aganos/Eyedol match in KI 2013. Bonus points for any time the new announcer commentates over Jago or Shadow Jago.
  • Urban Legend of Zelda: Quite a few over the years. A popular one claimed that there was a mirror in T.J. Combo's stage that would let the player see Orchid's breasts if she performed her Flasher finishing move in front of it. Of course, no such mirror exists.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • KI originally went by the name of "Brute Force" when it was first pitched.
    • The game was originally meant to have a character customization feature, with players able to set their Power, Speed, and Defense stats, change their default color, and select finishers. A barcode would then be printed, which could be scanned by the machine to retrieve a player's custom character data.
    • In the original pitch, Orchid was going to a blonde acrobat named Wanda. The roster also included a wizard named Midas and a Bonus Boss, a Thunder God named Tremor.
    • Funky's Flights' theme was originally composed for Killer Instinct, as shown on this video.
    • Many characters had their names changed during development. Cinder had the most changes, going from names like "Pyrotech", "Heat Shade" ,"Meltdown", "Magma", and "Afterburner". Sabrewulf had "Newton" and "Werewolf". Thunder was "King Thunder", Spinal was "Argo", and Riptor was "Toxin". In KI 2013, Kan-Ra's prototype name was "Gauze".
    • T.J. Combo's original name was the much more goofy "Mr. Fist" when Killer Instinct was originally being made. It's referenced in Cinder's trailer in KI 2013 and it's a fight title that you can unlock by playing Cinder enough.
    • KI2 had a vampire character planned as one of its new entrants, but they were scrapped during development. The character's theme was salvaged, however, and later used during the Count Batula sequence in Conker's Bad Fur Day. The series wouldn't get a vampire added to the roster until Mira's debut 20 years later.
    • Cinder in the 2013 reboot was originally completely alien in origin and appearance, and was meant to be a more "real" rival to Glacius in terms of backstory. While the team went with the character's original story (a convict turned into a Man on Fire by Ultratech's experiments), some of the alien pitch still remains in his new design.
    • Allegedly, a fully complete version of Killer Instinct 2 was developed for the SNES but never released.
  • The Wiki Rule: The Killer Instinct Wiki.
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