The King of Fighters '97 is the fourth game in The King of Fighters series. It's also the final chapter of the story arc "OROCHI SAGA". This King of Fighters has the introduction of two special modes: Advance Mode with a stock-based power meter along with running and rolling (based on KOF '96) and Extra Mode with the classic charge-based meter in tandem with sidestepping and quick-step-dashing (based on KOF '94 & '95).

This game was released on Arcade, Neo Geo, PlayStation, Sega Saturn and Neo Geo CD. This game was also released on iOS and Android in November 14, 2013. Fans were asked to vote for their favorite characters to add into the series through three game magazines: Famitsu, Gamest and Neo Geo Freak. The three winners form the '97 Special Team. The magazines also created their own special edit teams to include in the game.

A new version, called Global Match, was released for PlayStation Network (PS4/Vita) and for PC (Steam) in April 3, 2018.


The official story given by SNK is as follows:

"KOF '96 tournament drew to a close with an incident that occurred right after the tournament's end."

The incident itself and the subsequent accident it caused were officially reported as the result of terrorist activity by an unknown group, but the details concerning the identity, motives, and subsequent whereabouts of the terrorists remained a mystery.

In spite of this incident, however, the KOF '96 tournament was an overwhelming commercial success. A few months after, the event triggered a fighting craze and various large corporations, expressing interest in the fad, offered to sponsor subsequent tournaments, leading to a demand for an eagerly awaited KOF '97. The fad reached all over the globe and in no time KOF '97 came into being.

With the decision to hold the tournament, fighters began to gather at various venues for the preliminary matches and approached the tournament with various motives, some came to test their abilities while others entered for wealth and fame. Word of the tournament came through all forms of the media, and fans from far and wide gathered to witness the white-hot preliminary battles. Concomitant to the preliminary matches, came the construction of various KOF stadiums throughout the world. Naturally the anticipation for the KOF '97 tournament exceeded historical precedent and it soon became obvious to everyone that the current tournament, as with the previous one, would reach a remarkable climax.

What team will win the tournament that the eyes of the whole world will look on and wear the KOF crown of victory? And does an incident similar to the unexpected accident of last year's tournament threaten to mar the festivities? All of the world's attention is focused on this year's tournament. KOF '97 is here!"


The new characters added to the roster (between originals and of other franchises) are:

  • Yashiro Nanakase, a Japanese young man, leader of the New Faces Team and musician of CYS, a music band formed by him and his comrades, Shermie and Chris, has a rivalry with Iori Yagami. He is also one of the Four Heavenly Kings, the loyal Orochi's servants;
  • Shermie, a young French girl and member of New Faces Team, is a fashion designer and keyboardist of CYS. She is also one of the Four Heavenly Kings, the loyal Orochi's servants;
  • Chris, a young Swiss child and member of the New Faces Team, has a mysterious past. He is also one of the Four Heavenly Kings, the loyal Orochi's servants;
  • Ryuji Yamazaki, from Fatal Fury series, enters to the KOF tournament at Billy Kane's invitation, and leads the Special Team. He also is a servant of Orochi, but, unlike the other servants, he isn't interested in the resurrection of his master;
  • Blue Mary, from Fatal Fury series, is a member of the Special Team. She enters to the KOF Tournament under orders of a mysterious benefactor;
  • Shingo Yabuki, a huge fan of Kyo Kusanagi, enters to the KOF tournament alone to closely follow his idol, after watching him in the past tournament
  • Orochi Iori, an aggressive version of Iori Yagami, due to his Orochi blood, inherited from a pact between his clan and the evil entity;
  • Orochi Leona, an agressive version of Leona Heidern, due to his Orochi blood, inherited from her biological father, Gaidel, killed by her when she was only a child, under Goenitz's influence;
  • Orochi, the boss of the game, a divine being who calls itself "Gaia's Will", was supposedly born from the earth itself, manifested through floating emotions and substances of nature. It also was inspired by the legend Yamata no Orochi, the Japanese eight-headed snake.
Note 1: In his awakened form, the New Faces Team becomes Orochi Team, the sub bosses of the game.
Note 2: The new formations of some teams are the following:
  • Chizuru Kagura replaces Kasumi Todoh, and becomes the new leader of the Women Fighters Team;
  • Billy Kane returns to the game (after two tournaments off) and joins with Yamazaki and Mary in the Special Team;
  • Furthermore, Iori Yagami, like Shingo, enters the tournament alone, after killing his two teammates in the previous tournament.

Playable Characters

Single Entries

Alternate Character

  • Kyo Kusanagi '94 Version


Special Edit Teams

3 Sacred Treasures Team

  • Kyo Kusanagi
  • Iori Yagami
  • Chizuru Kagura

Kusanagi Team

  • Kyo Kusanagi
  • Shingo Yabuki
  • Any character (except Iori or Benimaru)

SNK Heroes Team

  • Kyo Kusanagi
  • Terry Bogard
  • Ryo Sakazaki

Ego Team

  • Benimaru Nikaido
  • Joe Higashi
  • Kim Kaphwan

KOF '94~95 Women Fighters Team

  • King
  • Mai Shiranui
  • Yuri Sakazaki

Classic Heroes Team

  • Athena Asamiya
  • Ralf Jones
  • Clark Still

Japanese Version Teams

Neo Geo Freak Team

  • Kyo Kusanagi
  • Mai Shiranui
  • Billy Kane

Gamest Team

  • Terry Bogard
  • Blue Mary
  • Joe Higashi

Famitsu Team

  • Ryuji Yamazaki
  • Chang Koehan
  • Choi Bounge


Normal Stages

Bousou Stages

Note 1: This game is the first of the series in which all stages (except Mid-Bosses, Sub-Bosses and Boss) aren't associated with any team.
Note 2: The featured stages also are available in KOF '98: Ultimate Match, with some changes.
Note 3: The series logo, with the exception of the Mid-Boss Team and Boss stages, can be seen in the floor of the stages.
Note 4: The Monaco Stage doesn't appear in Versus Mode, except when chosen in the game settings.
Note 5: In this game, in the Mid-Boss Team and Boss stages, the characters aren't waiting to fight in the background, unlike in KOF '98 UM, when they appears.
Warning: The sight of some stages can cause epilepsy.
  • Bali: A ring in a garden on the village of Tuban, Indonesia. The fight takes in a sunset. Can be seen a crowd in the left, two sun umbrellas, videographers, people in typical costumes and doing a ritualistic dance, besides a vegetation, a band with the tournament sponsor's names and fire pyres near a gate, in the right.
  • China: The city of Kowloon, in Hong Kong. The battle takes in a ring in the middle of Chinese New Year celebration. Can be seen videographers, some cameos, a store with the series name, flags, several Kanjis, people dressed as dragon, a LED panel with the word INFORMATION and a poster with the brand Satella, the biggest sponsor of the tournament.

Gameplay of Ralf vs. Ryo

  • Japan: The Koshien Stadium, in the city of Nishinomiya. The fight takes in a platform of steel. Can be seen a crowd, buildings, pillars with the words KOF '97: FESTIVAL, structures with the series logo's format and a light ball.
  • Korea: The city of Seoul. The fight occurs in a ring made exclusively for the tournament. Can be seen a crowd, in the right and the center, a car and a plaque of Satella, videographers, a press room, cheerleaders, flags of South Korea and of the tournament, Korean drummers, women in typical dance costumes with fans and the game's special logo in the left, besides the Gyeongbokgung Palace in the background.

Gameplay of Terry vs. Kyo

  • USA: The amusement park Adventureland, in East Farmingdale, New York. The fight occurs in a ring full of confetti near to a river. Can be seen some park toys and attractions, some with the game's name, people dressed as pets holding a poster with the word GENZ, videographers, a little band of country, air balloons and a steamboat.
  • Monaco: The Circuit de Monaco, in the Rascasse Curve. The fight takes next to the city of Monte Carlo. Can be seen a crowd in the left and on the stairs of the curve, an animated panel, a palm tree, videographers, tires, flags, plaques with the tournament's sponsors, a Satella's veihcle, light posts and, in the background, a yatch and the buildings of the city. This stage is also available in KOF XIV, as a DLC stage.

  • Bousou — Orochi Iori & Orochi Leona: The bloody version of all stages. It's the last stage of Team Play.
  • The Altar of Orochi's Heavenly Kings — Orochi Team: A fortress with big pillars, a hole in the center and moutains in the background. The stage varies according to the active character in the fight: for Orochi Chris, it's covered by purple flames; for Orochi Shermie, lightning bolts can be seen breaking the hole and the pillars, striking at random intervals; and for Orochi Yashiro, the mountains, the hole and the remaining pillars are full of lava while an earthquake strikes the now apocalyptic area.
    • Note: in KOF '98: Ultimate Match, in Versus mode, the stage follows the order described earlier, no matter who's fighting. In Team Play, in addition to the familiar order in which characters appear (Chris/Shermie/Yashiro), the another order is: (Chris/Yashiro/Shermie).
  • The Altar of Orochi: The same fortress, but without the mountains and light beams coming out of the pillars, besides light effects. Associated with Orochi.

See also



External links

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