Shun'ei (シュンエイ; in Hànzi: 瞬影; Pinyin: Shùnyǐng) is the main protagonist of the new story arc which was started in The King of Fighters XIV. He is the fourth protagonist of the series, succeeding Kyo Kusanagi, K', and Ash Crimson. He is voiced by Takashi Ōhara.
Shun'ei was designed to be a new hero who brings new impressions to players without adhering to the existing KOF series. In order to achieve this goal, they had a younger designer come up with the design instead of Ogura. Originally Shun'ei was going to have a stereotypical Chinese design, but the developers dropped the idea in favour of making something cool instead. 
Nobuyuki Kuroki comments that it's a design that's meant to be more appealing to the female audience and it would be nice if this character was the reason they'd play the game. He also notes that the people who were involved in Rock Howard's design were also involved in Shun'ei's creation so players may see similarities between the two. When discussing about the roster, Oda mentions that Shun'ei and Meitenkun are closer to being Fatal Fury characters than KOF characters due to being Tung Fu Rue's students. 
In an interview before the games release, Yasuyuki Oda felt that people are all bored with the headband wearing aggressive type of characters. And that those characters are so common now, so the team wanted to include a shy character who doesn't really show his emotions to add some variety.
Shun'ei is a manipulator of illusions. Due to his mysterious powers, he was abandoned at a young age by his parents and was raised as a disciple of Tung Fu Rue. Through his training, Shun'ei learned how to control his powers. As Tung's last disciple, he sets out to challenge other fighters from all over the world with his close friend Meitenkun.
It is revealed that Shun'ei contains a fragment Verse's power, which causes him to be a target of the entity. After Verse's defeat, Shun'ei is advised by the veteran fighter Kyo to continue his training to keep his powers under control. Shun'ei agrees and vows to train harder.
Shun'ei is a nice and reasonable person due to Tung Fu Rue's kindly teachings. He fondly calls his master "Grandpa". He admits his cursed powers may endanger anyone near him and is worried about it. Due to his benevolent nature, he intends to continue his training to use his powers for good.
Shun'ei's power has a symbiotic relationship with Verse.
- Hydrokinesis - Shun'ei can control water usually in a form of a claw on his right side. The fragment of his right-half's power from unknown blue creature's power.
- Pyrokinesis - Shun'ei can control fire usually in a form of a fist on his left side. The fragment of his left-half's power from Verse's power.
Shun'ei makes use of a personal fighting style that involves telekinetic control of his energy fists, mixed in with control via Hakkyouseiken via Tung Fu Rue's teachings. Most of his attacks are somewhat reminiscent to a personal form of Chinese boxing.
Shun'ei is the only known character to have two air dashes, which act as airborne special moves.
- Inheritance - The King of Fighters XIV
- Full Burst - The King of Fighters XIV (as Kukri's opponent)
- The King of Fighters XIV (also in Kung-Fu Suit DLC Costume)
- SNK Heroines Tag Team Frenzy - in the Customization Mode (his headphones are one of the items)