Duke (デューク, Diūku) is a fictional character from the SNK Playmore's fighting game series KOF: Maximum Impact, part of The King of Fighters series. He is the main boss in the first game, but enters as a playable character in KOF: Maximum Impact 2.
Duke was conceptualized to be the very definition of a gang boss who wore "gorgeous clothing" and "has been through a lot". Falcoon originally designed a younger man in his twenties with a Japanese sword, similar in appearance to Last Blade's Shinnosuke Kagami or Garou: Mark of the Wolves Kain R. Heinlein. Like other characters of the game, he underwent a number of retakes until the development team firmly requested for a "strong bodied and serious man in his thirties". During KOF: Maximum Impact, he had had a "D" on the back of his shirt; this was changed to a more tribal design afterwards. He was specifically made to seem as though he's suppressing himself from his true potential. Concerning his involvement with the Meira brothers and their mentor Fate, the brothers only saw a figure of Duke's stature during the time of the incident and initially mistaken Seth for Fate's murder. This concept, however, was rewritten upon the sequel's release. His official nickname is The Man Hell Coughed Up.
Duke was the King of Southtown and the leader of the Mephistopheles gang, a sub-syndicate of the underworld organization Addes. Fearing that a man named Fate who was seen as the leader of the Southtown following Geese Howard's demise was the only person capable of rivaling his power over Southtown, Duke had murdered Fate. His two adopted sons, Alba Meira and Soiree Meira entered the first Maximum Impact tournament, which was held by Duke himself to get revenge for this murder. Duke eventually was defeated in the finals by Alba. Before running Mephistoples Duke had originally answered to Jivatma leader of Kusiel, who he used to work for before he became Mephistopheles' leader. In regards to the scar across his neck Duke had undergone a surgical modification early on after his parents vanished ( He has a scar across his neck from this, which he rubs frequently). He underwent the surgery so that Addes would cure his sister, who died for an unknown reason. Because of their surgical enhancements (performed by Jalange), Jivatma refers to him as Type "D" (although he hates this name) and his underling, Nagase, as Type "N" in KOF Maximum Impact 2 they are referred to as 'Reinforced Humans'.
Duke enters the second tournament to "redeem" himself after being defeated by Alba, thereby losing his position as the King of Southtown. Currently, Duke is seen as a traitor to Addes and considers this to be a blessing rather than a curse , although he is a member of 'The Children of Kovakiel' ( The group of Addes top authorities). He is connected to Lien Neville in that he is responsible for her parents' death but spared her life (In Lien's MI2 story mode it is stated that Duke spared Lien and raised her because he lost his sister). Duke is also responsible for the death of Fate, Alba and Soiree's mentor, as he was defended by Lien. Duke was last seen placing flowers over the grave of Marian Burkoff (his sister) in the credits of KOF: Maximum Impact 2.
Like many bosses, the ambitious Duke hates to be commanded. He sees his traitor status as a blessing, since he doesn't have to be bossed around anymore. Asides from that Duke is a proud man who relies on his strength more than anything else. He is best described in various mediums as a gang leader who had been through a lot.
- Superhuman strength - While the exact limit to Duke's immense strength is not known, he has been seen generating seismic activity from punching and/or kicking the ground.
- Durability - Due to surgical enhancements from Addes, Duke's body possess an uncanny degree of resistance to injury.
- Energy Attacks - Duke can amplify the power of his punches and kicks by channeling bio-energy.
- Fire Burst - Duke can create a medium-sized fire and a small explosion.
- Firestorm - Duke can create a small firestorm that moves foward and near the ground.
- Dark Energy Explosion - Duke can create a explosion of dark energy with the palm of his hand as an epicenter.
Duke's fighting methods are insanely brutal, yet effective, as he often uses his brute strength and sheer power to his aid as much as possible. Duke's fighting style consists of western boxing, karate, power wrestling, tae kwon do and various brawling techniques.
- Duke to Go! - KOF: Maximum Impact
- Vanishing Duke - KOF: Maximum Impact
- Rhythmic Hallucination - KOF: Maximum Impact 2, on the Neo Geo Land stage
- KOF: Maximum Impact - Final boss
- KOF: Maximum Impact 2
- KOF Maximum Impact Regulation A
- Maximum Impact - boss character
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