Gato (牙刀, Gatō) is a character from Garou: Mark of the Wolves. He is visually based on Retsu Kaioh from the Baki the Grappler manga series. Since Retsu is voiced by Kunihiko Yasui, who is known to SNK fans as the voice for Iori Yagami, the developers decided to hire a different voice actor who could mimic the same menacing tone for Gato. SNK then decided that Gato would be voiced by Kōji Ishii, similarly to Ryuji Yamazaki.
Gato is a martial artist who trained with his father constantly in his youth. However, when his father mysteriously killed his mother, he decided to abandon everything from his former life in order to get revenge. In his Mark of the Wolves ending, a stranger -believed to be his father- saves Kain R. Heinlein from the crumbling mansion. Gato is blinded by the stranger before he can act, and can do nothing while the stranger mocks him. He apparently loses his sight after the attack.
The King of Fighters
The King of Fighters 2003 has Geese Howard summon and coerce him to form a team with Geese's other agents for the tournament, Billy Kane and Ryuji Yamazaki. Gato does so to prevent Hotaru from being harmed. He loathes his teammates and immediately ditches them in their ending.
He enters the KOF XI tournament because B. Jenet said that she had information regarding the whereabouts of his father. He also immediately leaves them, though presumably on somewhat friendlier terms (he declines their invitation to celebrate).
Gato is ruthless and very serious; he grunts a lot. He cruelly looks down on others and rarely shows respect for them. Even so, he softens slightly before Hotaru's presence, a possible hint that she is indeed his younger sister.
- Sense - Gato can sense the presence of people nearby.
- Energy Explosion - Gato can create small explosions of energy.
- Energy Attacks - Gato can infuse his feet with energy.
- Acrobatics - Gato is very proficient in acrobatics.
- Swimming - Probably due to his training, Gato can swim and even hold his breath underwater for an extended period of time.
Gato uses an external Chinese martial art which heavily involves powerful, explosive strikes. He also knows styles like Bajiquan, Xinyiliuhequan and others. The core of his techniques involve palm-based attacks that have versatile usage, especially via his standing C, Shinga (Quake Fang), Kouga (Pit Fang), Shunga (Blink Fang; KOF only), Zero Kiba (Zero Fang) and Tenryuu Retsuga (Heavenly Dragon Violent Fang). He also has a variation on the Senshippo used by both Tung Fu Rue and Sie Kensou, known as the Totsuga (Thrust Fang).
Gameplay-wise, Gato is a type of "flying-variable" character, with his unique Fuuga (Wind Fang) sending him into the air for various types of followups, with his KOF-exclusive Ura Fuuga (Reverse Wind Fang) adding to it. In Garou, Gato was able to cancel his said Fuuga, but quickly inputting his Kouga followup as fast as possible with strict timing, allowing him to feint and build meter at the same time.
While a majority of his attacks have a "fang"-naming motif, one of his techniques is the Mouko Kohazan (Fierce Tiger Stiff Mountain-Climb), a common technique in Chinese martial arts and used in other video games with such techniques portrayed. This technique, along with his aforementioned Tenryuu Retsuga made Gato stand out due to both moves being able to decrease his opponent's guard gauge by a significant amount if blocked, allowing Gato to make use of punishing guard pressure to make up for both of these taxing moves being guarded against.
Coincidentally, he shares a technique written with the characters that literally translate to "Dragon Fang" with Robert Garcia, though both are rendered in romaji differently; Robert's version is "Ryuuga", while Gato's version is "Tatsu Kiba" and are both completely different techniques (both are even anti-air-based moves).
- Heartful: A Groan - Garou: Mark of the Wolves
- Villainous - The King of Fighters 2003
- Kiss of Poison - The King of Fighters XI
- Days of Memories (ninth title) - NPC
- KOF: Maximum Impact 2 - background cameo
- The King of Fighters '94: Rebout - background cameo in the Japan Team stage
- The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match - background cameo in the Art of Fighting Team stage, until the 3rd round
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