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Adelheid Bernstein (アーデルハイド・バーンシュタイン), often shortened as Adel (アーデル), is an original character in The King of Fighters series. He debuted as a boss character in The King of Fighters 2003 and returned in The King of Fighters XI as a mid-boss character. He, along with his younger sister, Rose Bernstein, are the only known children of Rugal Bernstein.

He is voiced by Tetsuya Tanaka.


Adelheid and Rose were added to widen the worldview of KOF with a separate but connected story to Ash saga.[2] Creators have stated that he is the "other protagonist" of the Ash saga.


Unlike his father, Rugal Bernstein, Adel is an honorable fighter, who exhibits good sportsmanship, as demonstrated when he is defeated in The King of Fighters 2003. While he does not like his father, he also loves his sister, even though sometimes he has his own doubts about her sincerity. Even so, upon realizing something is wrong with her in XIII, he cooperated with one of his father's victims, Heidern, to get to the bottom of the plans of Those From the Past, and at the then-strange behavior of his sister. He rarely has the evil ways of his father and has helped those Rugal has wronged on many occasions, particularly and most notably with Heidern.


  • Gather energy - Adelheid can channel energy from Gaia.
  • Sense - Adelheid can sense chi energy of those nearby.
  • Energy Projectile - Adelheid can fire projectiles of energy from his hands and feet. The Reppuuken is an example.
  • Energy Reflector - Adelheid can create a barrier that reflects projectiles.
  • Slashing hands - Adelheid's hands can pierce an enemy.
  • Slashing aura - Adelheid can create a cutting aura around his legs. The Genocide Cutter is an example.
  • Negative Energy - Adelheid can create a powerful pillar of energy to crush enemies, like the Gigantic Pressure. Though it looks like his father's, imbued with borrowed Orochi Power, Adelheid's is not powered by such.

  • Management - Together with his sister, they manage and operate the Sky Noah. They have both hosted three KOF tournaments together, but he became suspicious of his sister's actions during XIII, with the details mostly organized by Rose alone, not realizing Botan was controlling his sister that time.
  • Public Relations - Adelheid can negotiate in a level of authority, much like how his father could. Of course, Adelheid does not use it for evil ends like his father did.

Fighting style

His style is very similar to his father's. Unlike his father however, his moves are faster and is also easier to chain together for combos. On the other hand, his moves are significantly weaker in priority. It seems the mastery of his father skills is still a long way to go, considering his Desperation Moves (Genocide Cutter, Kaiser Wave) are his father's common special moves.


  • Revolutionary Etude - The King of Fighters 2003 (first half of theme)
  • R2 - The King of Fighters 2003 (second half of theme)
  • King - The King of Fighters XI






  • Adelheid's nationality and heritage is currently unconfirmed, but he is strongly hinted to be of German descent, like his father and sister.
  • Adelheid is a modern Dutch and German form of the Old High German female given name Adalheidis, meaning "nobility" or "noble-ness".
  • The Bernstein family is the only of the series which all of its members are KOF tournament hosts.
  • According to concept art in KOF 2003, Adelheid has albinism (a genetic disorder that is characterized by the total or partial absence of melanin.).
  • Based on the concept art in KOF XIII, Adelheid was supposed to be a playable character, but this idea was scrapped early on.
  • According to the art gallery found in KOF '99, there were early concepts of characters who resemble Adelheid and Rose since, including Adel's outfit and their panther mascot.
  • Adelheid's theme in KOF 2003 begins with a rendition of Chopin's "Étude Op. 10, No. 12 in C minor", also known as the "Revolutionary Étude".
    • According to the developers, including this rendition onto the Neo Geo system required a huge amount of memory, which ended up overwhelming the voice data of other characters.[2]
    • His theme was remixed in KOF All Star, adding more elements from Revolutionary Étude to the song.
  • Unlike his father's moves, all of Adel's moves are written directly in German (examples being "G. Wand" and "G. Kreis"). His various specials and super moves all have a "G" initial beforehand; this is short for "grosse", an alternate form of "groß", the German word for "great" or "grand". His Command Normals have the "A" initial, probably from his own name. His throw lacks an initial.
  • Adelheid seems to be similar to Rock Howard. Both are the sons of cruel, villainous individuals, Rugal Bernstein and Geese Howard respectively, but chosen different paths instead of following in their footsteps. Both Adel and Rock also happen to have blonde hair and red eyes, although in the case of Adel, it could be due to his albinism, whereas Rock’s red eyes are a hereditary trait that he got from his mother.
  • When Adelheid was born, Rugal was expecting a daughter, and already picked a feminine name. Despite this, Adelheid stuck to his given name despite it causing some social misunderstandings.



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