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Kusanagi (officially rendered as KUSANAGI with no kanji), originally called Clone Kyo (クローンきょう), is a character from The King of Fighters series of fighting games developed by SNK. He was first introduced in The King of Fighters 2002 as a hidden character and potential mid-boss, while canonically re-introduced in The King of Fighters 2003 as a mandatory mid-boss.


Due to Kyo's design constantly changing, some of the developers desired the return of his old look. As a result, Kusanagi was added to the cast as a last minute decision.[1]


Kusanagi lives only to fight and wants to find a strong fighter for him to test his skills. He enjoys battling pyrokinetic hand to hand combatants (including a weapon user, Mai), especially battling the original Kyo.

Similar to Kyo-1, he's serious at most times. He has special quotes against characters like Kyo, Iori, K', and K9999 in KOF 2002.


  • Pyrokinesis - Kusanagi has control over fire, but not immune to other types of fire he didn't create.
    • Create Fire - Kusanagi can create fire from thin air.
    • Fire Attacks - Kusanagi can deliver attacks of fire.
    • Fire Projectiles - Kusanagi can fire a projectile of fire through the ground.
    • Pillar of Fire - Kusanagi can create a powerful pillar made of fire.
    • Fire Body - Kusanagi can put his own body on fire without burning himself.

Fighting Style

Kusanagi fights using a modified version of Kyo's original fighting style from KOF '95. Oddly though, he has an altered version of Kyo's Mu Shiki known as instead the Saishuu Kessen Ougi: Zero Shiki (Final Play-Off Secret Skill: Zero Method). Unlike the other two Kyo clones, the style/method theme naming of the three clans is consistent in Kusanagi's attacks, and his shared moves with the original Kyo tend to be the exact same with minor alterations in damage. Kusanagi was also given some of Kyo's techniques from KOF '97 and onward that were never seen in the classic moveset, such as the 910 Shiki: Nue Tsumi (Method 910: Nue Plucker) and its counter-based moves.

His preferred method of fighting is more focused on offense as seen in The King of Fighters 2003, where he aggressively keeps the player at bay with a number of attacks and will often use his Yami Barai projectile, thus making the player rely heavily on defense such as blocking, evasions, and parry based techniques. While his aggressive A.I in KOF 2003 makes him a worthy challenge as a mid-boss, it should be noted that he can be defeated if defense is used to the player's advantage. Defeating Kusanagi with a DM can access the route to fighting the actual final bosses of KOF 2003, Chizuru & Maki then Mukai. If the player simply defeats him without using a DM the final boss will end up being Adelheid Bernstein who also fights aggressively like Kusanagi except slightly overpowered.


  • Esaka? - The King of Fighters 2002
  • Esaka? 03 - The King of Fighters 2003
  • Niritsuhaihan (Antinomy) ~Mutually Exclusive Dichotomy~ - The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match, KOF Sky Stage, Neo Geo Heroes: Ultimate Shooting, The King of Fighters All Star

Voice Actors

  • Mitsuo Iwata - The King of Fighters 2002, The King of Fighters 2003, The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match
  • Masahiro Nonaka - KOF Sky Stage, Neo Geo Heroes: Ultimate Shooting
  • Tomoaki Maeno - The King of Fighters All Star





Similar Characters


  • Kusanagi was believed by many fans to have been originally created as a NESTS experiment due to a special intro he has with K9999. This introduction is, in fact, a homage to Akira, as K9999 and Kusanagi have the same voice actors as Tetsuo and Kaneda, respectively.
    • In KOF 2002, he has a special intro against characters that use weapons in battle such as Chang Koehan, Choi Bounge, Billy Kane and Whip (save for Mai Shiranui and Malin, whom he is unaware that they use hidden weapons): "Temee! Sude de shoubu shiyagare!" (You (bastard)! Fight me with your bare hands!), which is also taken even further in Unlimited Match when fighting against almost anyone who wields weapons; this is also another Akira reference.
  • Kusanagi's voice actor, Mitsuo Iwata, also voiced the striker character Syo Kirishima. His new voice actor, Masahiro Nonaka, originally voiced Kyo Kusanagi from The King of Fighters series up until The King of Fighters XIII.
    • It is possible that since he does not have the same voice as Kyo (until KOF Sky Stage, where he was voiced by Kyo's voice actor), they gave him the voice of Mitsuo Iwata to make him significantly different from his fellow clones as a unique doppelganger to Kyo.
  • His new Desperation Move in The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match, named "1999 Shiki: Kiri Homura" (Method 1999: Mist Blaze), is based on Syo Kirishima's Striker attack.
    • Kusanagi's quote while using 1999 Shiki: Kiri Homura parodies Domon Kasshu's line from G-Gundam.
    • The method number also is a nod to KOF '99, the start of the NESTS saga, and was also Syo's debut as a striker (in this case KOF '99: Evolution; Syo and Kusanagi also have been both voiced by Mitsuo Iwata to drive the allusion home further).


Kimi Wa Hero


The King of Fighters 2002: Challenge to Ultimate Battle


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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
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KOF 2002 Logo Sprite.gif Kusanagi
KOF 2002UM Logo.png Nameless
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