Orochi (オロチ) is the main antagonist and final boss of The King of Fighters '97. It and its followers are another interpretation of the mythical eight headed serpent, Yamata no Orochi. In the KOF series, Orochi was sealed 1,800 years ago by the Three Sacred Treasures of Japan. The three clan's descendants are charged with protecting the seal over it.
Orochi is a powerful being that plans to serve Gaia by all costs. It will protect her from anything, even from what she created herself. It shows no mercy to humans, citing their sins and their harmful self-destructive acts, although it grudgingly does acknowledge their potential to be able to change for the better, holding on to some hope that humanity may one day understand the pain of nature and tells them that they still has chance.
Orochi by itself is not a sinister being and only desires balance between man and nature. In the non-canon KOF Sky Stage, Orochi is fascinated by the likes of Kula Diamond, in what it describes as a creation of mankind with a pure heart and intention.
As a force of nature, Orochi has a vast and incredible set of powers. It can give powers to the Eight Heads of Orochi.
- Telepathy - Orochi can project thoughts and talk to people mentally. It can freely read minds, especially its enemies, with no hindrances.
- Telekinesis - Orochi can move objects with its mind.
- Translocation - Orochi can translocate itself.
- Possession - Orochi can possess the mind of any of its followers.
- Energy Projectile - Orochi can release a projectile of energy from its hands.
- Energy Pillar - Orochi can create a pillar of energy from the ground.
- Energy Redirection - Orochi can create a rift in front of it which absorbs and redirects energy attack back to opponent.
- Light Generation - Orochi can create a powerful light that damages the enemy.
- Regeneration - Orochi can regenerate and heal itself.
- Destroy Souls - Orochi can penetrate the enemy's soul and destroy it.
- Nothingness Manipulation - Orochi's main power. As it is a God of Nothingness, Orochi has power over nothingness or voids.
- Power Bestowal - Orochi can give any of the powers below to its followers. Alternatively, it can also grant power via a pact, often by blood.
- Pyrokinesis - Orochi can give full control over purple fire. The fire has also tapping ability.
- Electrokinesis - Orochi can give full control over electricity and thunder.
- Geokinesis - Orochi can give full control over the earth.
- Aerokinesis - Orochi can give full control over air or wind.
- Necrokinesis - Orochi can give some control over death or death energy.
- Superhuman Strength - Orochi has superhuman strength and also it can grant strength to it's followers or others via pact.
- Cutting Powers - Orochi can give cutting powers (slashing hands, cutting aura, slashing projectile).
- Snake Arms - Orochi can give the power Snake Arms to anyone.
- Incarnation - Orochi can incarnate in any of its followers, particularly with any of its Heavenly Kings.
Orochi fights mainly with its powers. A very unique thing about its moveset is that while kanji are used, they all seem to have alternate furigana readings that give off somewhat different meanings.
Coincidentally, it also shares animation for some of its kick attacks with Rugal (his Genocide Cutter & Double Tomahawk). Orochi's version of Genocide Cutter, however, is a normal standing D button, which is mostly exploited by players by continuously spamming the button while moving forward to quickly deplete opponents' health bars. Orochi is also one of the few characters who has a move that only inflicts damage upon its opponent falling to the ground from a normal knockdown.
The aforementioned tomahawk kick was inherited by Mizuchi while he retires it completely in 98UM in favor of a new set of kick moves. His Genocide Cutter (now called Ukei) imitation becomes a full-fledged land-based anti-air special attack, thus making Orochi somewhat more balanced than his '97 version.
- The Origin of Mind - The King of Fighters '97, The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match, The King of Fighters R-1, KOF: Sky Stage, The King of Fighters All Star
- Rio Ogata - The King of Fighters '97~'98 UM, 2002 UM (during Orochi Chris' HSDM), KOF Sky Stage
- Motoko Kumai - Drama CDs
- Shiki Aoki - The King of Fighters: World, The King of Fighters: All Star
- Takanori Hoshino and Rui Yamasaki - The King of Fighters XV (during Iori's Climax)
- The King of Fighters '97 - Final Boss
- The King of Fighters R-1
- The King of Fighters 2000 - As a PS2 Maniac Striker for Leona
- The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match - Potential Final Boss
- The King of Fighters: Kyo
- The King of Fighters (pachinko) - Hidden Boss
- KOF Sky Stage
- Neo Geo Heroes: Ultimate Shooting
- CR The King of Fighters
- The King of Millionaire
- SNK Dream Battle
- The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match Online
- Tian Tian Xuan Dou - Opening Cutscene.
- Tower Of Saviours
- Kimi wa Hero
- The King of Fighters Destiny (Game)
- The King of Fighters: World
- The King of Fighters All Star
- The King of Fighters: Orochi Go
- Fighting Awakening (拳魂觉醒)
- Brave Frontier
- The King of Fighters '99 - mentioned by Krizalid
- SNK Gals' Fighters - mentioned in Shermie's ending
- The King of Fighters 2003 - passing mention
- The King of Fighters 2002 & The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match - during Orochi Chris's Hidden Super Desperation Move
- The King of Fighters XI - passing mention
- The King of Fighters XII - passing mention
- The King of Fighters XIII - passing mention; also mentioned in some winquotes
- The King of Fighters XIV - In the Yagami Team ending; also in Verse's winquote against Kyo, in Zarina's winquote against Vice, in and in Yamazaki and Leona's winquotes against Mature
- The King of Fighters XV - mentioned in Sacred Treasures and Orochi Teams' Stories; also appears in Iori's voice during his Climax Super Special Move, and by Leona in the Ikari Warriors Team ending
- The King of Fighters '94 Rebout - background cameo in the Japan Team stage
- The King of Fighters Neowave - during Orochi Chris's Hidden Super Desperation Move
- SVC Chaos: SNK vs. Capcom - in Iori's ending; in-text cameo in pre-fight dialogues
- Days of Memories (first, fourth, and fifth) - mentioned in various ways in all titles
- SNK Heroines Tag Team Frenzy - in Shermie's ending; also mentioned in Nakoruru's winquote vs. Shermie and by Leona in Story Mode
- Orochi is well known for its glowing effect (rendered by hardware) since introduction in KOF'97. This effect has been lost in KOF 98 UM, and is rendered within sprite palate as Mizuchi. This is probably due to the game being dream-matches as Orochi seemingly doesn't use Chris as host (His intro also showed him already in humanoid form instead of transforming from Chris).
- Orochi is the first supernatural antagonist in the KOF series, though later revealed to have no true malice for mankind. True to the Yamata no Orochi origins, Orochi's true form is that of a giant serpent (with 8 heads) as seen in Iori's ending in SVC Chaos.
- Orochi has no actual gender. It first used a female body as illustrated in the "battle of 1800 years ago", seen in The King of Fighters: Kyo. As of recent, due to using Chris as a host, Orochi is often identified as a male, and this design lingers even in KOF XIV'.
- Most of its seiyū are, however, female. Shiki Aoki, who is Orochi's seiyū in The King of Fighters: World & The King of Fighters: All Star, is a transgender male.