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The King of Fighters: All Star is a free to play, mobile RPG game released for iOS and Android, developed by South Korean gaming company Netmarble and licensed by SNK. The game brings together all the characters of the KOF series up to The King of Fighters XIV. While including KOF series fighters, the game also includes limited crossover events with other franchises and companies. Most notable crossovers have been Gin Tama, Samurai Shodown and Tekken. In addition to crossovers, the game also holds special events that introduce fighters with holiday themes and gender-bent characters.
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The game initially released in Japan on July 26, 2018. After high demand from South Korea, the game was released there on May 9, 2019, having gone through tests at events since the end of 2018 and holding special venues for promotion. The global launch was on October 22, 2019.

Story

The player wakes up in the world of The King of Fighters without any memories. With the help of an energetic girl named Noah, the player must participate in the tournaments from The King of Fighters '94 and onwards, and win, hoping to remember who they are and how they ended up there. The player, however, is constantly accosted of various punks that somehow wanted to see them dead or steal their invitation letter to the point it's like something is planned. Meanwhile, however, a sinister group calling themselves 'Tuners' continues to watch over the player's movement, with a plan in motion that they want to put a stop on the player's journey.

Examples

  • Action Girl: Every female fighter, naturally.
  • Advertised Extra: Ash Crimson prominently features on promotional material and was part of the original title screen despite not being available in global at release.
  • All Just a Dream: How the Tekken side of the collaboration event ends thanks to Ein and her Robot Buddy Stein
  • Amazon Brigade: Having a team comprised entirely by female characters grants you a team bonus.
  • Anime Hair: There's a lot of it, but it's worth noting that this game is where two characters whose hairstyle are based on Jean Pierre Polnareff, Benimaru and Paul, can be together. In fact, during the Tekken event, Iori almost mistook Paul as Benimaru due to their hairs (only to retract that Paul is a lot more Idiot Hero than Benimaru).
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  • Anti Poop-Socking: Like most F2P games of its type, the game can only be played so much before an energy meter runs out, requiring the player to pay for refills or wait for it to refill naturally. Or they can watch an advertisement first.
  • Artificial Limbs: Omega Rugal's mechanical hand.
  • Assist Character: Come in two variations:
    • Strikers are characters from your own roster paired with one of your main fighters who can be summoned multiple times (with a cooldown period) and have a range of different skills, ranging from status buffs, health recovery or attacking the opponent. If there's a lore connection between the striker and the main fighter, you get an additional boost.
    • Support is the main fighter from another player that you can pick from a list before each mission, they can only be used once per stage and they will attack all enemies on-screen when summoned.
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  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Time Attack includes a giant, multi-limbed fire demon as one of its bosses. This boss does in fact cameo in the game's Opening. They also are raid bosses appearing in the Epic Quests, thanks to a post-Face–Heel Turn Noah.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Heidern, Takuma, and Chin earned their place as their respective teams' leaders through sheer skill.
  • Badass Baritone: Taiten Kusunoki gives Original Zero a noticeably deep voice.
  • Badass Crew: Teams like Fatal Fury or Kyoukugenryou are comprised of family members and close friends. There are even team bonuses by having related characters together on your teams.
  • Badass Normal: Per the series's tradition, you can have very skilled martial artists going toe to toe against Physical Gods, Chosen ones, Artificial Humans, and more just with their skills.
  • Bar Brawl: One of the settings used on the minor stages.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: The player character grows attached to Noah as they continue to spend time together. Unfortunately for them, Noah was just using them to further her own, nefarious goals.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Kyo, Iori, and Chizuru appear from nowhere to save the player character and seal Orochi in the final stage of the '97 chapter.
  • Big Eater: Noah has an impressive appetite, and she spends most of the time between fights stuffing herself full at restaurants.
  • Bitch Alert: Shortly after defeating Rugal the first time (in 94), Ryugo confronts Noah and she starts displaying a nastier personality while going back to being the supportive guide in front of you. You're pretty much railroaded to continue accepting her support until she dumps you, there is no other choice.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The game is much better compared to the games is retelling on its story mode but there are still some pretty glaring mistakes, the most notorious being Ein referred with male pronouns despite having long silver hair and having Saori Hayami as her voice actress. Thankfully this was quickly patched in one of the game's first updates.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Thanks to post-Face–Heel Turn Noah, several characters get brainwashed into a more savage version of themselves themed after some aspects of the Seven Deadly Sins and eventually capable of summoning huge deadly fighting spirits that act more like SNK Boss. Blue Mary gets Envy, Chizuru Kagura gets Wrath. Averted with Rugal Bernstein, who got Greed: He's evil enough that he doesn't need brainwashing for that.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Like most F2P games, getting the highest level characters and equipment will either take a long, long time and a lot of grinding, or can be fast-tracked with money.
  • Broad Strokes: The game's story mode approach to the events of each canonical game in the King of Fighters series.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Team America once again is the punching bag of the series, with their appearances during the '94 chapter being reduced to get eliminated offscreen, New Face Team openly talking about taking their invitation in the '97 chapter and finally, being the player first opponent in chapter '98.
    • Paul Phoenix during the Tekken event. He faced Athena and both gave their best. Paul won the match, but then faced the wrath of Athena fans who didn't take their idol's defeat well.
  • Canon Foreigner: Netmarble has created a bunch of new characters specifically for the game: the Tuners group (Ryugo, Kaya and Ein), your guide Noah, Serina the reporter, Akane, Eru and Liar who are clerks for the different exchange shops.
    • Demoted to Extra: Global launched with a different layout for the shops compared to the Japanese version so the last three got hit with this, Akane and Eru only have minor appearances during story mode and Liar is nowhere to be seen.
  • Cap: Characters levels initially cap at 30, but they can be upgraded multiple times until reaching a level cap of 90.
  • Character Class System: Three Classes: Offense (High ATK, low DEF), Defense (High HP and DEF, low ATK), and Balanced (All the stats are evenly spread).
    • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: Characters are further classified with elemental affinities. There are five elements: Red, Green, Yellow, Purple, and Blue; they're arranged in a Pentagon grid, with Red at the top and the rest of the elements filling clockwise each of the pentagon vertexes. Each element is stronger against the following element in the Pentagon and weak to the preceding one.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: AI fighters have a tendency to escape grabs during the grab animation and counterattack while the player is stuck in a now useless animation.
  • Crossover: The Japanese version has crossed over with Samurai Shodown, Gintama and at the end of 2019, Tekken 7, the last one likely as a response of SNK lending Geese Howard to appear as Guest Fighter in said game. As of now, only the Tekken crossover has reached international players, likely due to the game still being region locked to Asia for the prior two.
  • Demoted to Extra: Kyo gets hit with this in Story mode since the player character is the one who goes on to win every tournament, defeating every major villain in the process. This is explained because your character was meant to be an anomaly/bug that would derail the story off its proper course, with the Tuners trying to stop you, and Noah using you for her own ends.
    • However, it gets subverted with Orochi, since the Player can't beat it without the help of the Three Sacred Treasures.
  • Disc-One Nuke: Shermie '97 has great stats, is a grappler and her Leader skill gives a 50% ATK boost to the entire team as long they have 70% of health or higher regardless their type or elemental affinity and can be obtained for free at the start of the game.
    • The Tekken collaboration will gift players one of two 5-star ranked characters from the start: '98 Iori and Jin using his Tekken 3 design. Whoever is not initially chosen can quickly be unlocked via events.
  • Enemy Mine: Most of the series' more notorious villains are playable and true to their reputation, nearly all of them are high tier.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The game launched with the entire roster available from the Orochi saga ('94-'98) and has been adding new characters in roughy, the same chronological order that the games themselves were released. However, as part of the Limited Events, themed versions of certain characters -like Angel or Kula- were added before their regular versions.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Noah. Or rather, she has been evil from the start and using you to her own ends. To cap this off, during the Epic Quests, she changed her costume into a more black-themed dress, and Serina takes over in several places of announcing something whenever Noah would announce (eg: announcing powerful enemies during Core Quests)
    • Heel–Face Turn: On the other hand, one of the Tuners, Kaya, ends up having to help you out after Noah dumps her, sent Ein MIA and also had Ryugo join her nefarious plans.
  • Fake Shemp: Unshou Ishizuka is still credited as the voice actor of Heihachi Mishima, therefore his voices are from existing voice clips from his last Tekken game (7).
  • Fanservice: Besides offering the chance to create teams using characters from every entry on the franchise, limited units tend to up the sex appeal from their regular versions.
  • Featureless Protagonist: As opposed to other gacha games where some of the protagonists had their features described or even appearing in the picture, the protagonist's true face is completely unseen and undescribed.
  • Freudian Trio: The Tuners form one, with Kaya as the Id, Ryugo as the Ego and Ein as the Super Ego.
  • Gender Bender: Female versions of Billy Kane (no, not his little sister Lilly Kane, who played similarly to him in Maximum Impact 2), Chang Koehan and Yashiro Nanakase were added to the game as part of the game's 1st anniversary. Chang probably possesses the most egregious one out of all of them, transforming into a petite Short Tank who still wields the same giant ball s/he normally uses.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Noah. If she just loses the 'h' in her name, it would be a slightly exotic girl name (Noa). As of now, she has the same name as the male Ark builder from The Bible.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: During the '97 chapter Serina asks Leona if she's into older men given she's always surrounded by them (Ralf and Clark).
  • Glass Cannon: FES Units like Goenitz, O. Iori and O. Leona have very high ATK but low DEF and HP.
  • Guest Fighter: Global only has available the Tekken one while the Japanese version had access to all of them:
    • Samurai Shodown: Haohmaru, Genjuro Kibagami, Ukyo Tachibana, Charlotte Christine Colde, Rimururu Amakusa Shiro Tokisada (Nakoruru doesn't count since she officially became part of the KOF roster in XIV).
    • Gintama: Gintoki Sakata, Kagura, Shinsuke Takasugi, Toshiro Hijikata, Sougo Okita, Isao Kondo.
    • Tekken 7: Jin Kazama, Kazuya Mishima, Heihachi Mishima, Ling Xiaoyu, Paul Phoenix, and Armor King II. Both Jin and Xiaoyu possess alternate variants; Jin dons his classic Tekken 3 design while Xiaoyu wears her schoolgirl uniform from Tekken: Blood Vengeance.
  • Halloween Episode: The game has two so far, one for the 2018 (2019 in global) holiday season that adds Halloween themed variants of Angel, Shermie, Mature, Yashiro and Kula. And one for the 2019 Holiday season that added variants of Blue Mary, Heidern and Xiangfei
  • Info Dump: Happens the first time the player unlocks a new feature. Also how the notices for new events are delivered.
  • Inside a Computer System: This version of the series is a computer simulation, of which the Tuners are in charge of. They see the player character as a bug that is derailing the natural flow of events, compromising the entire system's stability.
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Mecha!: Amongst the affected heroes in the Epic Quests thanks to Noah is Goenitz... who's now Mecha-Goenitz.
  • Item Farming: The Power Up dungeons are designed to allow the players to easily farm Cores, Gold, Souls, Evolution Elements and EXP capsules, all of which are needed to fully upgrade the playable characters.
  • It's All My Fault: Ein feels responsible for Noah's actions.
  • Licensed Game: Of the The King of Fighters series.
  • Manipulative Bastard: It seemed that the Tuners are manipulating the outcome of KOF, thereby allowing your character to win the KOF tournaments that were supposed to be Kyo's job. However... Noah is the actual Manipulative Bitch, manipulating your efforts in order to obtain something that could be dangerous while keeping up the supportive plucky heroine mask. The Tuners are actually closer to Hero Antagonist, trying to stop Noah. By the end of it, Noah has completely dropped her 'supportive' mask and went full-on smug evil, roping Ryugo into her plans while Kaya ends up being your assistant and Ein went MIA.
  • Mecha-Mook: Animated training dummies are the enemies in a few Power Up Dungeons.
  • Micro Transactions: A given since is a mobage.
  • Money Sink: Fully upgrading each of your characters and their skill cards will quickly add up.
  • Mythology Gag: Sentai Rangers Ralf & Clark basically harkens back to their special faceoff pose in KOF 98 when they struck a Sentai pose and called out "Cross Changer!" They even still had the quote.
    • Keeping it with his origin game, the version of Rugal with his full suit from '94 is the weakest version available of the infamous SNK Boss.
    • When playing as any of the Tekken representatives, the announcer and graphics shift to that of Tekken 7, and their hit effects are taken straight from that game as well. They also retain their Rage mechanic, indicated by a red aura above their models when low on health.
    • Paul's victory pose is his infamous botched somersault.
    • The special bonus of the Tekken characters have names alluding to Tekken lore, like Xiaoyu's Unrequited Love for Jin or the issues between the Mishima clan members.
    • The image for Episode 1 of the Epic Quest depicts Yashiro in an outfit similar to Goenitz's. Yashiro, along with Chris and Shermie, were actually depicted in similar garments in their team ending illustration in KOF '98.
    • Crazy Envy Blue Mary has a similar color scheme and the schthick of 'evil Mary' with a version of Blue Mary found in Real Bout series where a non-canon version of her is depicted as a more aggressive Dark Action Girl.
  • Nerd Glasses: Ryugo's defining characteristic.
  • Non-Dubbed Grunts: The Tekken characters notably reuse voice clips and samples from Tekken 7. This means that Paul is the only character among the entire game's roster to enforce Surprisingly Good English, and much like their home series, Jin and Kazuya are reusing dialogue recorded for Tekken 4 almost 20 years ago. This proves to be the way to include Heihachi despite the deaths of his previous and current voice actors.
  • Off the Rails: The reason the Tuners are after the player: Given that they're a bug, by winning tournaments and generally displacing Kyo and important competitors, they run the risk of compromising the entire system and derailing the plot of the KOF games, leading the Tuners to constantly attempt to stop them. In particular, The '97 tournament almost ended with Orochi destroying the world and the '98 tournament has various issues, primarily the Hakkeshu being split into Female and Male Orochi teams with a different background (though that's moreso due to Noah rather than the player).
  • One Steve Limit:
    • Amusingly averted. Since the game classifies the characters according to the Tournament they appeared, it is entirely possible to have a full team comprised of the same character, with each unit coming from a different entry in the series or the variants from special events.
    • Played straight in the Tekken 7 collaboration. Despite King being the original, more well-known Masked Luchador of Tekken, Armor King was chosen as the representative Masked Luchador because SNK already have their own King, who doesn't go by any other names. In fact, during the actual event, Jin came across King and at first expected to face the jaguar-masked wrestler instead of the Bifauxnen bouncer.
  • Out of Character: Everyone starts acting unlike themselves during the '98 chapter thanks to Noah tampering with the system. Kaya, being a tuner and therefore not part of the system, is the only one to notice this.
  • Original Generation: The game introduces themed variants for a bunch of characters based on either holidays or special events.
  • Palette Swap: Characters that don't vary their outfits between tournaments (like Terry or Ryo) use this to differentiate their versions from different tournaments. They often differ in rank, auto combos, Core tree progression, and skills; the limited move sets of the game means that no one single incarnation of a character will ever have their complete list of attacks.
  • Pet the Dog: Kazuya's Striker skill heals you. Yeah, the guy who's squarely Jerkass, thinks of only himself with a Lack of Empathy to others and can turn into the Devil... heals you when his other family members has more offense-oriented Striker skills.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: While a decent amount of the OST is original to the game, many characters' Leitmotifs are taken directly from the games they appeared in for the first time.
  • Reverse Mole: Ryugo might be on evil Noah's side, but he's only doing so because it's the most pragmatic way to prevent her plans to come to fruition. He's secretly leaking data for the left-behind Kaya to help her and the player stop Noah.
  • Rewriting Reality: Noah completely derails the events of KOF 98 once she takes over the simulation.
    • Stein, Ein's Robot Buddy literally rewrites reality at will. He's the one that separates the KOF and Tekken universes at the end of the Tekken collaboration and creates the Gender Bent versions of Chang, Yashiro and Billy during the Genderbent event.
  • Sentai: One of the special dungeons has Ralf and Clark getting roped into playing the role of the Sentai Rangers (Growth Rangers in the Japanese version) Red -Ralf- and Blue -Clark-. These versions of Ralf and Clark can be obtained after fulfilling certain requirements after clearing the dungeon.
  • SNK Boss: Played with, bosses in story mode can be easily taken down with the right team, but their playable versions tend to be among the strongest units in the game.
  • A Taste of Power: Novice Time Attack gives you predefined teams of fully upgraded characters.
  • The Unintelligible: Carrying on from his origin series, Armor King continues to communicate just by roaring. Somehow, Iori is able to perfectly understand him, much to Iori's own confusion.
  • Shapeshifting: In the main campaign, the player character - due to being The Ghost - participates by actually transforming into any of their collected fighters. Amusingly, the implications of facing a character as themselves or even past and future versions of them aren't brought up at all.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Everything the player does in Story fuels into Noah's more nefarious plans and after Orochi has been sealed in '97, she dumps him while Kaya recovers him and tries to fix things.
  • Vocal Evolution: Many of the new seiyuu introduced on XIV deliver noticeably improved performances compared to their debut game.

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