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The Hakkesshu (八傑集はっけっしゅう, Hat-Ket-Shū, lit. Eight Excellent Masses) is the name of the followers of the evil entity Orochi in The King of Fighters series. They are also sometimes called "Yamata no Orochi" (ヤマタノオロチ).

They are well known for their animosity towards mankind, citing man's callousness towards nature and selfish evil deeds. Due to their actions, they are the main antagonistic force in the story arc of same name.

Story

In the ancient times, there was a divine being calling itself "Gaia's Will": Orochi. Gathering worthy servants to its cause, Orochi's clan continued to protect earth for centuries. The clan's eight strongest followers were called the Hakkesshu, and the four wielding exceptional powers were known as Heavenly Kings. As civilizations grew, nature began to suffer and the natural balance in the world began to collapse due to humanity's hand.

1800 years ago, Orochi could no longer tolerate the destruction and wanted to completely wipe humanity from existence. The Orochi clan and the human race waged war until the Kusanagi, Yata and the Yasakani defeated him with three mystical treasures. The Hakkeshu and Orochi were defeated and sealed.

660 years later, their master's seal began to weaken. The three clans decided to move its vessel into another location. The Hakkesshu, who were sealed separately, used this chance to free themselves. While the three clans were creating a new seal, one of the Hakkesshu sowed discord between them by killing the Yasakani leader's wife. Under a disguise, the murderer then approached the Yasakani head and reported that the Kusanagi clan was responsible, saying that it was "atonement" for letting the seal weaken. To add more fuel to the fire, the corpse of his wife was found in the Kusanagi homeland. Angered by the revelation, the Yasakani made a blood pact with Orochi to gain the necessary means for revenge. Gaining the forbidden technique, Forbidden Method 1211: Eight Maidens, the Yasakani renamed themselves as the Yagami clan.

Since Orochi continues to feel hatred for mankind years later, with constant intent to punish and destroy humans in spite of being from divine origins, the Hakkesshu is generally considered to be a force of antagonism. Their mission to someday resurrect their lord continues in The King of Fighters series.

Due to the interference of a time displaced Shingo Yabuki in The King of Fighters Side Story: The Origin of Flame - Shingo Travels Through Time! Let's Go!, Hakkeshu’s plan on turning Yasakani into Yagami change, causing them to reveal their true intention to the current Yasakani heir before implement him and by extend his blood family with Orochi’s curse against his will.

The Hakkesshu has a western counterpart in the embodiment of Those from the Past group (main antagonist group in the Tales of Ash Saga, having identical interest in Orochi's revival, but with the intention of destroying them.

Members

The Eight Heads of Orochi

The Eight Heads of Orochi are the eight strongest warriors with exceptionally strong spiritual powers. They are repeatedly reincarnated throughout the ages in different parts of the world, always in search of Orochi's seal.

Image
Character
Skills
Status
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Goenitz
Goenitz can control the currents of the wind, and can use wind akin to blades.
Killed after his defeat by Kyo, Iori and Chizuru (the Three Sacred Treasures) in KOF '96. Revived after Verse's defeat.
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Yashiro Nanakase
In this current form, Yashiro does not use any of the Orochi power, focusing on raw strength. However, his psyche has subconscious influences of Orochi even in this regular form.
Committed suicide to revive Orochi. Revived after Verse's defeat and an active participant of the current tournament.
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Shermie
In this current form, Shermie does not use any of the Orochi power, focusing on grappling and suplex moves. However, her psyche has subconscious influences of Orochi even in this regular form. Some non-canon appearances has her use her Orochi powers sparingly.
Killed by Yashiro's hand to revive Orochi. Revived after Verse's defeat and an active participant of the current tournament.
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Chris
In this current form, Chris does not use any of the Orochi power, focusing on speedy moves. However, his psyche has subconcious influences of Orochi even in this regular form.
Presumably killed after Orochi (who reincarnated within him) was defeated by Kyo and Iori and sealed by Chizuru. Revived after Verse's defeat and an active participant of the current tournament.
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Mature
Mature has heightened raw instinct. She is not affected by the Riot of the Blood.
Killed by Iori Yagami while in the Riot of the Blood state. Currently a phantom shadow and may not have potentially been revived from Verse's defeat.
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Vice
Vice has unmatched physical strength. She is not affected by the Riot of the Blood.
Killed by Iori Yagami while in the Riot of the Blood state. Currently a phantom shadow and may not have potentially been revived from Verse's defeat.
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Ryuji Yamazaki
Yamazaki has increased feral brutality with unknown results. Has natural insanity triggered by life events, allowing his mind to completely resist Orochi's influences. However, his Orochi heritage is likely responsible for his unusual strength.
Alive; current whereabouts unknown.
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Gaidel
Gaidel's powers have not been shown within the KOF series.
Killed by his daughter Leona while in the Riot of the Blood state after refusing to join with Goenitz. Confirmed to have been revived following Verse's defeat, and current whereabouts unknown.

It should also be noted that Nothingness/Matter is a power granted by Orochi. Although it is assigned to no one among the Hakkeshu ranks, Orochi itself can use this power to appear in the physical realm. Rugal Bernstein attempted to claim this power for his own, but couldn't contain it and his body was destroyed as a result.

The Four Heavenly Kings of Orochi

KOFANB Heavenly Kings

Benimaru remembering the Four Heavenly Kings in the manga The King of Fighters: A New Beginning.

The Four Heavenly Kings of Orochi (オロチてんのう, Orochi Shi-Ten-Nō) are the four strongest warriors in the Hakkesshu among The Eight Heads. They control elements of nature, possess some of Orochi's original abilities, and can activate the Riot of the Blood in people who are susceptible to it, and/or use the state for themselves. Orochi can probably incarnate in them, as he did with Chris. All of their moves are all written using the Cyrillic alphabet.

Image
Character
Power
Skills
Status
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Goenitz of the Wildly-Blowing Wind
Wind
Goenitz can control the currents of the wind, and can use wind akin to blades.
Killed after his defeat by Kyo, Iori and Chizuru. Revived after Verse's defeat.
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Yashiro Nanakase of the Parched Earth
Earth
In his awakened form, Yashiro can channel the power of the Earth, and can create earthquakes.
Committed suicide to revive Orochi. Revived after Verse's defeat as a distinct entity.
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Shermie of the Insanely Violent Lightning
Lightning
In her awakened form, Shermie can use electric currents and summon purple lightning from the sky.
Killed by Yashiro's hand. Revived after Verse's defeat as a distinct entity.
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Chris of the Flames of Destiny
Fire
In his awakened form, Chris can summon and control blue tainted flames, similarly to Iori Yagami.
Presumably killed after Orochi (who reincarnated within him) was defeated by Kyo and Iori and sealed by Chizuru. Revived after Verse's defeat as a distinct entity.

Trivia

  • While deceased members of the Hakkesshu were confirmed to have been revived during the events of KOF XIV, Vice and Mature are still shadow phantoms whose human existence were not reinstated (and this is explained in Team Sacred Treasures's Story in KOF XV), unlike with Yashiro, Shermie, Chris, Gaidel and Goenitz.
  • The Awakened versions of the Orochi Team have different fighting styles from their normal versions.
  • Except for certain characters, the movesets of all Orochi-awakened versions of the Hakkesshu (and even Orochi itself) are almost always written in Cyrillic, which is a Russian/Slavic writing script. There are currently no explanations as to why this is used, whether in-universe or from SNK. The Cyrillic writing on their movesets were removed in The King of Fighters XV.
    • The Cyrillic alphabet can be seen in the song themes related to the team, with three versions of Rhymthic Hallucination.

Gallery

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