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K', pronounced as "Kay Dash" (K'ケイ・ダッシュ), is an original character from The King of Fighters series. He debut as the leader of the Hero Team in The King of Fighters '99, and stars as the reluctant hero in the NESTS saga (KOF '99~2001).

His official nickname is "He who surpasses K" or "Better than K" in The King of Fighters XV (Kケイえるもの).[2][3]


The inspiration for the appearance of K′ and Maxima can be found in the Psikyo arcade game The Fallen Angels (堕落だらく天使てんし in Japan). This obscure 1998 release stars an emaciated goth in tight leather pants named Cool, along with a brawny, cybernetically enhanced US Marine named Harry Ness. The man responsible for the design of both characters, Shin'ichi Morioka, migrated to SNK shortly after The Fallen Angels was released, and elements of Cool and Harry Ness' design were used in the creation of K′ and Maxima. The end result is that K′s oufit looks nearly identical to Cool.[4][5] The idea of K' wearing shades was taken by another Fallen Angel character named Haiji Mibu.[6] His namesake was taken from a clone character in the light novel Blue Knight Berserga Monogatari (あお騎士きしベルゼルガ物語ものがたり), which is set in the same universe as the anime series Armored Trooper Votoms. During the early phases of development of The King of Fighters '99, K′'s introduction to the series was meant to remove popular characters Kyo Kusanagi and Iori Yagami from the roster, though this idea was later scrapped.[7] C.A.C Yamasaki predicted that K' would be popular on his release, however this prediction never came true, in an interview he comments that K' was "a little too plain." [8]

K' would later receive a slight redesign on his hair due to the protagonist of Garou: Mark of the Wolves looking just like K'. This caused the supervising designer to panic after realizing this.[9] For The King of Fighters XIII, the producer Masaaki Kukineo mentions that the team were pursuing a more "cooler" version of K' where he now keeps his sunglasses on during the fight. He wanted fans to pay close attention to his new animations.[10]


K' has a very serious and arrogant personality but is very easy to enrage due to his more high-strung side, though he is starting to treat Whip as a big sister and Kula as a little sister. He often calls Maxima names - like "stupid", "idiot", etc. - but he actually trusts his partner's reliability. He is hardly polite and is always gruff, even to those close to him. Because K' usually expresses his concerns in a "tough guy" manner, Maxima jokingly calls him dishonest or stiff. Because of this, K' would often let Maxima handle any social necessities in his stead.

K' is always tied to Kyo.

If there is something K' hates above everything else it is to be compared with Kyo which often results of him being labeled the inferior Kusanagi, and because of that K' started to have some sort of rivalry with Kyo. Believing that he is more than just a mere imitation of Kyo, K' is always looking for a way to escape his fate as the "second Kusanagi flame". [11]

In KOF XIII, several fighters often point out K's rather immature personality ("whiny", lazy, anti-social and constantly rude to others) in their pre-fight dialogues against him. It is also pointed out he feels trapped in his life and is also rather very lazy and hates involving himself in most things he finds trivial, making him not unlike Iori Yagami in terms of nihilistic mindset (and the two ironically very much hate each other and are prone to nasty dialogue between one another for little reason).

He, of course, despite his disinterest to partake in the KOF tournaments, at times often boasts about his abilities to take on anyone anytime, anywhere, which is something not quite far off from his capabilities as he also finds engaging in tasks with expected results to be yet another chore. Much of his dislike of trivial things is likely due to the trauma of often serving as one of NESTS's agents in regards to various shady assignments, as seen in his pre-battle dialogue against Daimon in XIII where he states "I have enough blood on my hands already".


  • Pyrokinesis - Due to Kyo Kusanagi's DNA he was infused with, K' can create and manipulate fire out of thin air but only from his right hand. K' can create fireballs, infuse his kicks and punches with fire and create pillars of fire with his body as seen with his "Hyper Chain Drive" super. However, he is not immune to other types of fire nor able to control fires he didn't create. In fact, due to him not being a descendant of the Kusanagi clan, he doesn't have total control of his own flames either, which is why he is forced to wear a special glove to protect himself from his own fire and to help him suppress and control it.
  • Translocation - K' can translocate himself.

Fighting Style

K' has a unique fighting style that is said to be "Pure Violence", but it has several similarities with Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do. He even uses some of his famous moves, such as the One inch punch and Flying Kicks. As a nod to hinting of said "violence", K's moves tend to show very brutal mannerisms due to his high-strung nature. This ranges from violent elbow strikes, enraged battle cries, and even resorting to throwing his sunglasses at his foe and following up with a beatdown, no holds barred.

Most of his mannerisms are either somewhat lazy (due to his disinterest in fighting), even to dozing off in battle via his idle stance when a certain amount of time passes in games before KOF XIII; his flames tend to come only from his right hand due to his limitations, but K' can work around this handicap in combat regardless, and is regarded as one of the best fighters in the KOF universe (as well as a high/top tier character in terms of gameplay in later installments of the series).

Despite his laziness, K' is shown to be rather flexible (evidenced by his pre-KOF XI blowback attack, Second Shell, Minutes Spike, and Crow Bites Plus/classic jumping strong kick).


  • KD-0079 - The King of Fighters '99, 2002
  • KD-0084 - The King of Fighters 2000
  • Big Pain - The King of Fighters 2001
  • KD - The King of Fighters 2003
  • KDD-0075 - The King of Fighters XI, XIII (when the music is set to "Type B", console version only)
  • KD-0079+ - The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match
  • KDD-0063 - The King of Fighters XIII
  • KD-SR - The King of Fighters XIV
  • KD-0079 ~KOF XIV ver.~ - The King of Fighters XIV (as Ralf's opponent)
  • KD-009q - The King of Fighters XV
  • Cool Drive - Days of Memories

Voice Actors







Similar Characters


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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