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Oswald (オズワルド) is a character from The King of Fighters series. He was introduced in The King of Fighters XI as a retired assassin suffering from a mysterious illness, and joined up with Ash Crimson and Shen Woo as a part of that year's "Hero Team" to find a cure.

He is voiced by Toshihiro Shigetsuka.


He was created to be "an older gentleman" and is an enigma to even the creators. Developers consider his moves to be comical compared to the seriousness of his image, especially the move Joker when it is blocked or misses.[1] Developers considered Oswald a unique character who's filled with aspects that invite wild speculation such as his treasuring "trust" and loathing "the past.".[1] They chose to leave the result of his fight with Shen ambiguous, implying that fans would have been disappointed with the outcome. He was originally intended to be the "good-looking glasses" character for the series.


Oswald is a quiet and very serious man who is willing to do anything in order to achieve his goals, even going as far as to kill. He acts like a professional and is not easily touched by concepts such as morality.

Though in KOF XIV, upon it being revealed that he no longer seeks the Dragon Pills, he expresses signs of relief in that he feels as he is quite the lucky person, which may have been a notable turning point in his life. It is revealed he is extremely observant and perceptive, rarely ever cold and is willing to talk when appropriate; he starts to develop/reveal more standards out of being a good sport for the sake of the gamble and the fight, though he sometimes may state his pragmatism from time to time without trying to make things too personal.

For unrevealed reasons, he knows veterans like Heidern and Takuma particularly well, even Blue Mary's grandfather (and also by proxy is associated with their respective successors). However, he seems to have a personal vendetta against Xanadu and outright states that he must die. Regardless, Oswald is someone who doesn't enjoy much of his own shady past while being a reasonable person.


  • Umbrakinesis - Oswald has some ability and control connected to darkness and shadows.
    • Blending with shadows - Oswald is able to blend with shadows. His clothes are not affected by this power.
  • Kártakinesis - Oswald has the ability to control the cards he uses in unnatural ways even though they are regular playing cards, such as controlling the direction they fall once they are in mid-air and making them sharp enough to cut flesh and pierce bone.


  • Contract Assassination - Oswald's main occupation before retiring.
  • Golf - Oswald is a golf player.
  • Card games - In connection with his fighting ability, Oswald knows card games very well, as heard from his quotes.

Fighting Style

Oswald fights with his red-back-colored playing cards akin to slashing and throwing them like knives, using a unique fighting style named after Karnöffel; his suit moves (Spade, Diamond, Club and Heart) can all be uniquely chained-together as a focal point of his gameplay.


  • Joker - The King of Fighters XI
  • Joker ~KOF XIV ver.~ - The King of Fighters XIV






  • All of Oswald's moves are officially rendered with playing card symbols (e.g. ♠ = Spade, Q = Queen, ♠♥♦♣ = Four Suits, 10・J・Q・K・A = Royal Flush and so forth).
    • Also, Oswald's Four Suits DM via the C version inflicts a total of 21 hits (a possible reference to the card game, Blackjack), and his attire possesses both black and red in tandem with the two colors of the playing card suits.
  • Many fans have noted that some of Oswald's card-based fighting moves is remarkably similar to X-Men's Gambit's from Capcom's X-Men vs. Street Figher and Marvel vs. Capcom.
    • This comparison is most obvious between Oswald's JOKER LDM and Gambit's Royal Flush Hyper Combo. While Gambit's is much faster by virtue of being a mutant with kinetic superpowers, Oswald's version, while slower and concealed by supernatural darkness, also deals comparable damage as well.
      • Oswald even has his own super named Royal Flush, but is done differently from Gambit's version.
    • Unlike Gambit, Oswald's style revolves more around bladed-striking in close quarters akin to daggers and less around projectile usage. Both however has some influence and control of their card's trajectory when thrown.
  • His strongest DM (either as an LDM or Climax DM), JOKER, does a total of 52-54 hits in KOF XI (via omitting the first hit from the grab, accounts for a 52 card deck), though the revised version in XIV instead does a total of 56 hits and when you remove the inital 2 hits (done by the initial dashing grab and the wall-slam), accounts for the two 2 Jokers as well (despite only a single thrown Joker card being shown at the end).


Card Fighters Clash DS SVC Card Shen Oswald.png Kimi Wa Hero





  1. 1.0 1.1 KOF SUCCESIVE CHARACTERS: Oswald from KOF anniversary website.
  2. Akihiko Ureshino [@a_ureshino] (February 20, 2019). "Akihiko Ureshino" (Tweet).
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