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Ash Crimson (アッシュ・クリムゾン) is the protagonist of the Tales of Ash, the third story arc of The King of Fighters series, with his first appearance being in The King of Fighters 2003 as the leader of the Hero Team of the saga (in quotes because of his intentions in the tournament). His official nickname is "Sneering Firelight" (嘲笑あざわら火影ほかげ) [1][2] or "The Sneering Blaze"[3] and, in KOF XV, is "Mocking Firelight" (ひかりをあざける).


Ash was designed with the intent of creating an "attractive evil character" with little changes done to him since conception. During the initial planning stage for Ash, developers wanted to create a protagonist that has never been done for the franchise. Following this idea, they decided to create a feminine-looking and unheroic character to contrast the impact from the previous protagonists.[4]

Falcoon adds that the main goal for Ash was to make him an ambiguous hero that purposely makes players "feel bad" for cheering for him. Ash's character design was not made by Falcoon — some of the development sketches for Ash's final design look closer to Nona's style. However, Falcoon did add extra details to Ash while illustrating him to better fit his character. KOF: Maximum Impact Regulation "A" earned its title for three reasons: arcade, arrange, and Ash. In a later interview, Falcoon relates that he asked permission from the 2D team to borrow Ash for the game.


Ash is a cunning, self righteous and flamboyant individual. Confident in his own powers, he doesn't take things too seriously and considers things that are of no interest bothersome. Even when faced with serious situations, he is calm and somewhat blasé. He isn't one who considers working with others, but instead uses others to achieve his goals. He tends to flaunt the superiority of his halfhearted effort and speaks in a playful and condescending manner, which often irritates the characters he is speaking to.

He views Elisabeth as his older sister figure, and notes that she is "too serious". He feels that Duo Lon and Shen Woo are his good friends, although he appeared to them with mysterious intentions. He also has a habit of calling people pet names such as "Betty" for Elisabeth, and "Ozzy" for Oswald.

His personality seems to slightly change when actively using the power of the Yasakani jewel. Usually calm and composed, when using his Fructidor move, Ash will laugh maniacally while making his opponent burn with the purple flames of the Yasakani. This behaviour is similar to Iori, and it may be interpreted as Orochi's taint affecting his mind.


  • Pyrokinesis - Ash can create and control special green flames that look like melted wax. The origin of this flame is still unknown.
    • Create Fire - Ash can create fire from thin air.
    • Fire Projectile - Ash can create projectiles made of fire.
    • Fire Attacks - Ash can increase damage of his punches and kicks with fire.
    • Fire Aura - Ash can create fire around his body.
  • Power Absorption - Ash can steal powers from anybody he chooses. He decided to target the Three Sacred Treasures. He managed to steal two of three treasures leaving Kyo as the next power to acquire. He could possibly kill people during this process, but he left Chizuru and Iori alive. This was demonstrated when he absorbed Saiki's powers, in turn destroying Saiki's original body.
  • Yata Mirror (formerly) - The following are powers shown by Ash when he acquired Chizuru Kagura's Yata Mirror:
    • Seal Powers (formerly) - Ash can keep enemies from using their powers for a while.
    • Teletransport (formerly) - Ash can disappear and reappear somewhere.
  • Yasakani Jewel (formerly) - The following are powers shown by Ash when he acquired from Iori Yagami's Yasakani Jewel, which was later regained by Iori after Ash's disappearance:
    • Create Fire (formerly) - Ash can create red/purple fire. It is unknown if possessing the Jewel also allows its possessor to become subject to the Riot of the Blood, but it could be assumed that Ash is immune to the Riot of the Blood due to not having Orochi blood.

Fighting style

Ash fights using an acrobatic style combined with fire abilities to give a graceful fighting style. His fighting style in general is similar to the French martial art of Savate.

Despite his physique, he is extremely powerful. He is a good character for people who like to zone and poke their opponents, but he also has many other tools at the player's disposal that can be used to rush down efficiently, all while keeping the pressure on them. In KOF XIII, he also employs Iori's and Chizuru's powers into his moveset.


  • Splendid Evil - The King of Fighters 2003
  • Joker - The King of Fighters XI, XIII (when the music is set to "Type B", console version only)
  • The Second Joker - The King of Fighters XIII
  • Slushy Road - The King of Fighters XV
  • Fructidor - Days of Memories

Voice Actors






Similar characters


  • In KOF 2003,[5] Ash quotes Robert Browning's poem "The Year's at the Spring". The same poem appears again in KOF XIII.
  • Ash's birthday, February 14, falls on Valentine's Day (in the Northern Hemisphere).
  • It’s possible that Falcoon got inspiration of Ash’s character design and fighting style from Capcom's Street Fighter characters Ken Masters and Remy, respectively. Ash shares the same color scheme as Ken; having blonde hair, wearing red clothes, and even sharing the same birthday (February 14th). Remy, who’s character design was inspired by Iori Yagami, utilizes a similar fighting style as Ash, as well as being a charge character, flamboyant and is also a French native.
  • Ash is the only protagonist of the KOF series who never won a KOF tournament, being in a team or not.
  • Most of Ash's moves refer to the French Revolution; they are named after months of the French Republican Calendar.
  • Ash had control of his own powers until the events of KOF XIII, when he began to be controlled by his ancestor after stealing their powers. With exception of this event, he and Kyo Kusanagi are the only heroes/protagonists with control of their own powers.
  • Ash is the first and only protagonist to not make a playable return in the start of the following story arc, due to Ash erasing himself and his ancestor from existence in the previous story arc.
  • Ash and K' are the only protagonists with unknown nationalities.
    • However, Ash was raised in France, and most likely has French citizenship, whereas K's nationally remains unknown.
  • Ash is one of the few KOF characters who has never changed his voice actors since debut.



  1. Official character profile from KOF Maximum Impact Regulation "A" website.
  3. Official character profile from KOF XII website.
  4. Official character page from KOF anniversary website.
  5. The King of Fighters 2003: Hero team story from KOF anniversary website.
The King of Fighters characters
KOF '94 Logo Sprite.gif Kyo KusanagiBenimaru NikaidoGoro DaimonTerry BogardAndy BogardJoe HigashiRyo SakazakiRobert GarciaTakuma SakazakiRalf JonesClark StillHeidernAthena AsamiyaSie KensouChin GentsaiKingMai ShiranuiYuri SakazakiKim KaphwanChang KoehanChoi BoungeHeavy-D!Lucky GlauberBrian BattlerRugal Bernstein
KOF '95 Logo Sprite.gif Iori YagamiBilly KaneEiji KisaragiSaisyu KusanagiOmega Rugal
KOF '96 Logo Sprite.gif Leona HeidernMatureViceKasumi TodohGeese HowardWolfgang KrauserMr. BigChizuru KaguraGoenitz
KOF '97 Logo Sprite.gif Shingo YabukiYashiro NanakaseShermieChrisBlue MaryRyuji YamazakiOrochi IoriOrochi LeonaOrochi YashiroOrochi ShermieOrochi ChrisOrochi
KOF '98UM Logo.png Nightmare Geese
KOF '99 Logo Sprite.gif K'MaximaWhipBaoLi XiangfeiJhun HoonKyo-1Kyo-2Krizalid
KOF '99 Evolution Logo.png VanessaSethSyo KirishimaAlfredFiolina GermiGai Tendo
KOF 2000 Logo Sprite.gif RamónLinHinako ShijouKula DiamondClone ZeroFoxyCandy DiamondAnother K'Another IoriAnother BenimaruAnother RobertCosplayer KyokoKang Bae DalSmart ChangCool ChoiKaoru WatabeBaitangDuck KingLilly KaneKim Jae HoonKim Dong HwanUnknownKing LionKim Sue-ilKaedeDuke EdwardsRockyAthenaNeo & GeoG-Mantle
KOF 2001 Logo Sprite.gif May Lee JinjuK9999ÁngelZeroRonGluganIgnizMistyNests
KOF 2002 Logo Sprite.gif Kusanagi
KOF 2002UM Logo.png Nameless
KOF 2003 Logo Sprite.gif Ash CrimsonDuo LonShen WooTizocGatoMalinMaki KaguraAdelheid BernsteinMukai
KOF XI Logo Sprite.gif OswaldElisabeth BlanctorcheMomokoB. JenetShionMagakiSilberSho HayateJyazuHotaru FutabaTung Fu Rue
KOF XII Logo.png Raiden
KOF XIII Logo.png Hwa JaiSaikiEvil AshMr. Karate
KOF XIV Logo.png Shun'eiMeitenkunGang-ilLuongXanaduSylvie Paula PaulaKukriMianNelsonZarinaBandeiras HattoriKing of DinosaursHeinNakoruruMamahahaMui MuiLove HeartAlice Garnet NakataAntonovVerseNajd
The King of Fighters XV Logo.png IslaDoloresKrohnen McDougallRe VerseOtoma=Raga
KOF EX Logo.png Moe Habana
KOF EX2 Logo.png Reiji OogamiJun KagamiMiu KurosakiSinobu Amou
KOF MI Logo.png Alba MeiraSoiree MeiraLien NevilleMignon BeartChae LimDukeRock Howard
KOF MI2 Logo.png Luise MeyrinkNagaseJivatmaNinon BeartHyenaHanzo HattoriKyo Kusanagi ClassicWild WolfMr. Karate IIArmor RalfRichard Meyer
KOF MIRA Logo.png Xiao LonMakoto Mizoguchi
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