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Position in the series
Saga/Story Arc
Chapter
Is it canonical?
6th
NESTS Chronicles
1st
Yes

A new saga unfolds with another wielder of the flame! The tournament plunges the millennium into mystery and mayhem!

-Tagline

The King of Fighters '99: Millennium Battle (ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ '99ナインティナイン) is the sixth game in The King of Fighters series. Introducting new elements like the Striker Match and Counter Mode, and increasing the number of characters per team from three to four. The game is the first chapter of a new story arc called "NESTS Chronicles", which involves a shadowy organization plotting the world domination. This part introducing the concept of the Kyo Kusanagi clones and K', the main character in this arc. An enhanced version of the game was released for the Dreamcast under the title The King of Fighters '99: Evolution.

Story

"You are cordially invited to this year's King of Fighters."

The invitation is sent to fighters all over the world. The King of Fighters will take place again this year!

But the circumstances this time around are different. There is not a hint of the hoopla surrounding the entrants like that of the previous tournament which thrilled the whole world. For the skeptical fighters, even the new tournament rules for battles bode ill...

"The method of combat will be 3-on-3 battles. The adoption of Striker Matches, however, has been decided for this tournament...."

"Striker Matches?!" The fighters cannot hide their surprise at this unfamiliar mode of battle.

Meanwhile, Heidern, who sees through the suspicious tournament, dispatches Ralf and Clark to investigate the truth behind this tournament.

Benimaru Nikaido, as well, receives an invitation to KOF and to join the Special Team consisting of other carefully selected fighters.

Among the pre-selected teammates listed appear two names: K' (K-Dash) and Maxima. Benimaru is confused-he's never seen these names listed at any other fighting events; regardless...

Benimaru heads toward the tournament venue, clearly unsettled by the circumstances, and the other entrants are soon to follow.

WHAT IS THE STRIKER MATCH?

What is behind this year's tournament?

With its myriad of mysteries, the King of Fighters gets ready to begin!

Gameplay

Power Gauge & DOA Drubbings

As the fighter performs special moves, the POW Gauge builds up. Being hit by an opponent's attacks may also give you power at a minimal rate. Once the gauge is filled up, you gain a stock of power. For the cost of a stock, you can either use DOA Drubbings, Guard Counters and Guard Cancels any time during the battle. Furthermore, the gauge is able to store up to 3 stocks at a time. Once you reach maximum power, your character is able to gather strength with full gauges by activating one of 2 power-ups as described in the next section. These power-up modes only last for a brief period of time, and the Power Gauge will be deactivated for a short while after each mode ends, so use them wisely!

In addition, keep an eye out on your characters' Life Gauges. When a fighter's life is flashing red and has at least one stock of power stored, all DOA Drubbings are upgraded into MAX DOA Drubbings, which could inflict up to twice the damage of a normal DOA Drubbing. These are critical moments between a decisive victory and a narrow defeat, so watch out!

Counter Mode

This power-up costs 3 stocks of the Power Gauge in order to be used. At MAX power, press ABC at a time to wage to activate Counter Mode. The red timer gauge lasts for about 15 seconds. While Counter Mode is active:

  • The damage output of command and special moves increases.
  • Can execute the fighter's DOA Drubbings indefinitely.
  • Can perform Guard Cancels and Guard Escapes infinitely.
  • Move names in red are cancellable into DOA Drubbings.
  • If life is flashing red, MAX DOA Drubbings are unavailable.

The Power Gauge is unusable shortly after Counter Mode ends.

Armor Mode

This power-up costs 3 stocks of the Power Gauge in order to be used. At MAX power, press BCD at a time to wage to activate Armor Mode. The yellow timer gauge lasts for about 10 seconds. While Armor Mode is active:

  • The damage the player takes from enemy attacks decreases.
  • When struck by the opponent once in the middle of an attack, the player's attack resumes as normal.
  • DOA Drubbings and MAX DOA Drubbings are unavailable.
  • Guard Cancels and Guard Escapes are unavailable.

The Power Gauge is unusable shortly after Armor Mode ends.

Striker System

A new rule in this game is the Striker System. All teams are required to have 3 fighting members and 1 supporting member known as the Striker. As you select the order of fighters during each match, the first 3 serve as your fighting members while the 4th one is deployed as your team's striker for that match. This member can be called into battle for a limited number of times.

Strikers require one Strike Bomb in order to be called. Press BC at a time to wage to summon your Striker.

  • You can only summon a Striker when standing still.
  • Use a Strike Bomb to make a Striker show up and support you.
  • Strikers vary in performance depending on the character chosen.
  • The default number of Strike Bombs is 3, and the maximum number is 5.
  • A Strike Bomb is awarded when a team loses a round.

Move Legend

  • Offensive attacks directly inflict damage on the opponent.
  • Life-Up heals a bit of life on the player's gauge.
  • Power-Up builds a bit of power on the player's gauge.
  • Power-Down depletes a certain amount on the opponent's gauge.
  • Immobilization holds the opponent in place and open to attack.

Striker Attacks & Effects

Note: Krizalid isn't used as a striker.
Striker
Attack
Effect
K'
Narrow Spike
Offensive Attack
Maxima
Maxima Gallows
Immobilizes the opponent for a brief
Benimaru Nikaido
Electrigger
Immobilizes the opponent for a brief
Shingo Yabuki
Leg Grab
Immobilizes the opponent for a brief
Terry Bogard
Dunk Geyser
Offensive Attack
Andy Bogard
Wind Slicing Shadow Fist
Offensive Attack
Joe Higashi
Here! Here! Megaton Punch
Offensive Attack
Mai Shiranui
Blossom Storm
Offensive Attack/Increase of Power
Ryo Sakazaki
Aerial Dragon Flame Punch
Offensive Attack
Robert Garcia
Tiger Rapid Rave
Offensive Attack
Yuri Sakazaki
Scalding Steam Blast
Offensive Attack/Increase of Power
Takuma Sakazaki
Deadly Demon Conqueror's Blast
Offensive Attack
Leona Heidern
Killer Touch
Offensive Attack
Ralf Jones
Regal Body Blow
Offensive Attack
Clark Still
Flashing Launcher
Offensive Throw
Whip
Valkyrie Killer
Offensive Attack
Athena Asamiya
Psychic Heal
Increase of Life
Sie Kensou
Meat Bun 4 U
Increase of Life and Power
Chin Gentsai
Willow Wallop
Offensive Attack
Bao
Paycho Ball MAX Striker Mix
Offensive Attack
King
Trap Rush
Offensive Attack
Blue Mary
Rapid Spider
Offensive Throw
Kasumi Todoh
Victory
Offensive Throw/Decrease of opponent's power
Li Xiangfei
Great Fierce Peach Tree
Decrease of opponent's power
Kim Kaphwan
Flying Kick
Offensive Attack
Chang Koehan
Iron Ball Great Plumment
Offensive Attack
Choi Bounge
Triple Dancing Dis
Offensive Attack/Decrease of opponent's power
Jhun Hoon
Charging Tiger Raid
Offensive Attack
Kyo-1 & Kyo-2
Overhauled Bouncer
Offensive Attack
Kyo Kusanagi
Serpent Shear
Offensive Attack
Iori Yagami
Vessels of 8 Elixirs
Immobilizes the opponent for a brief

Characters

Due to the new system of the game, all teams went through several modifications. The new characters added to the roster (between originals and of other franchises) are:

K-99.jpg
K', the new protagonist of the series and leader of the team who bears his name (and also NESTS Chronicles' Hero Team), is a young man who, in the past, is captured by the NESTS, who suppressed his memories and implanted Kyo Kusanagi's DNA in him, making him control fire through a red glove. He is now a fugitive from the cartel, and seeks revenge on him, alongside his partner Maxima.
Maxima-99.jpg
Maxima, K's partner and a member of the K' Team, in the past, was a Canadian soldier who saw his other partner being killed at the hands of NESTS, and sacrificed his old life to take revenge on the cartel, and turns into a cyborg under the hands of Dr. Makishima.
Whip-99.jpg
Whip, the new Ikari Warriors soldier and team's member, is a clone of Seirah, K's dead elder sister. She enters to the KOF tournament in search of her "brother" and, for that, infiltrates in NESTS.
Bao-99.jpg
Bao, the new member of the Psycho Soldier Team, was an abandoned orphan left by his parents in the care of a mountain temple in China and, later, adopted by Chin Gentsai, after the old master discovering a strange power in the boy.
LiXiangfei KOF99.jpg
Li Xiangfei, from Fatal Fury series, is a waitress and new member of the Women Fighters Team, enters to the KOF tournament, after fighting with Kasumi Todoh.
Jhun-99.gif
Jhun Hoon, the new member of Korea Justice Team, is Kim Kaphwan's childhood friend and decides to help him with his Rehabilitation Project, focused on Chang and Choi.
Kyo-1.jpg
Kyo-2.jpg
Kyo-1 and Kyo-2, two clones of Kyo Kusanagi created by Dr. Makishima and reactivated by Krizalid. They hate the original Kyo, and wish to kill him.
Krizalid1-99.jpg
Krizalid2-99.jpg
Krizalid, the mid and final boss of the game, was made to be the ultimate Kyo Kusanagi's clone, outfitted with a special suit to feed data of fighters into his body during battle. This was achieved by cloning K' (rather than Kyo directly). As a side effect, he gained some of K's memories and believed Whip to be his sister. He was ordered to activate the thousands of Kyo clones around the world by using his suit. In order to gather the battle data necessary for the activation period, he fights the winning team of the KOF tournament.
Note: The new formations of the teams are the following:
  • Benimaru Nikaido and Shingo Yabuki joins with K' and Maxima to search for Kyo. With this, the Japan Team is undone, and Goro Daimon, Kyo and Benimaru's friend, returns to his Judo carrer;
  • Mai Shiranui joins with the Fatal Fury Team, fulfilling her desire to be close to her loved Andy, and Blue Mary takes her place on the Women Fighters Team, to investigate the NESTS;
  • King takes over the leadership of the Women Fighters Team, and Kasumi returns to fight for the team after one tournament off, after an invitation of the bartender and Mary;
  • Kyo Kusanagi and Iori Yagami enters to this tournament alone (Iori for the second time solo). Both wish to know the intentions of the cartel.

Official Team Roster

Hero Team (A.K.A. K' Team or Protagonist Team)

K-sprite1.gif

K'

Maxima99.gif

Maxima

Beni-kof98.gif

Benimaru Nikaido

Shingo98.gif

Shingo Yabuki

Fatal Fury Team (A.K.A. Garou Densetsu Team)

Terry-sprite1.gif

Terry Bogard

Andy98.gif

Andy Bogard

Joe99.gif

Joe Higashi

Mai96.gif

Mai Shiranui

Art of Fighting Team (A.K.A. Kyokugenryu Team)

Ryo-stance98.gif

Ryo Sakazaki

Robert99.gif

Robert Garcia

Yuri99.gif

Yuri Sakazaki

Takuma98.gif

Takuma Sakazaki

Ikari Warriors Team

Leona99.gif

Leona Heidern

Ralf99.gif

Ralf Jones

Clark99.gif

Clark Still

Whip99.gif

Whip

Psycho Soldier Team

Athena99.gif

Athena Asamiya

Kensou98.gif

Sie Kensou

Chin99.gif

Chin Gentsai

Bao99.gif

Bao

Women Fighters Team

King98.gif

King

Bluemary98.gif

Blue Mary

Kasumi99.gif

Kasumi Todoh

Lixiangfei99.gif

Li Xiangfei

Korea Justice Team

Kimkaphwan99.gif

Kim Kaphwan

Chang96.gif

Chang Koehan

Choi96.gif

Choi Bounge

Jhun99.gif

Jhun Hoon

Boss

Krizalid in the first round. Krizalid in the second round onwards.

Krizalid

Single Entry Characters

Kyo199.gif

Kyo-1

Kyo299.gif

Kyo-2

Secret & Hidden Characters

Note: These characters are not playable by normal means in the original Arcade and MVS versions of The King of Fighters '99, and must be unlocked with an input code. See the section Trivia for more info.

Kyo99.gif

Kyo Kusanagi

Iori99.gif

Iori Yagami

Special Edit Teams

These ending illustrations can only be seen on the Neo Geo CD and PlayStation ports.

KOF Generation Team

K-sprite1.gif

K'

Iori99.gif

Iori Yagami

Kyo99.gif

Kyo Kusanagi

Shingo98.gif

Shingo Yabuki

Whip and Her Servants Team

Whip99.gif

Whip

Beni-kof98.gif

Benimaru Nikaido

Kyo99.gif

Kyo Kusanagi

Iori99.gif

Iori Yagami

Inhumanly Strong Team

Maxima99.gif

Maxima

Ralf99.gif

Ralf Jones

Bao99.gif

Bao

Chang96.gif

Chang Koehan

Good Looking Team

Andy98.gif

Andy Bogard

Beni-kof98.gif

Benimaru Nikaido

Jhun99.gif

Jhun Hoon

Chang96.gif

Chang Koehan

Little Kids Team

Bao99.gif

Bao

Lixiangfei99.gif

Li Xiangfei

Shingo98.gif

Shingo Yabuki

Kensou98.gif

Sie Kensou

Masters Team

Takuma98.gif

Takuma Sakazaki

Chin99.gif

Chin Gentsai

Kimkaphwan99.gif

Kim Kaphwan

Jhun99.gif

Jhun Hoon

Hat Team

Terry-sprite1.gif

Terry Bogard

Clark99.gif

Clark Still

Choi96.gif

Choi Bounge

Bao99.gif

Bao

Short Haired Team

Bluemary98.gif

Blue Mary

Whip99.gif

Whip

King98.gif

King

Athena99.gif

Athena Asamiya

Midriffs Team

Beni-kof98.gif

Benimaru Nikaido

Leona99.gif

Leona Heidern

Athena99.gif

Athena Asamiya

Bluemary98.gif

Blue Mary

Shingo Servitude Team

Kyo99.gif

Kyo Kusanagi

Kyo199.gif

Kyo-1

Kyo299.gif

Kyo-2

Shingo98.gif

Shingo Yabuki

All Fatal Fury Team

Terry-sprite1.gifAndy98.gifJoe99.gifMai96.gifKimkaphwan99.gifBluemary98.gifLixiangfei99.gif

Any team composed only of Fatal Fury characters. (Terry, Andy, Joe, Mai, Kim, Blue Mary, Xiangfei)

All Art of Fighting Team

Ryo-stance98.gifRobert99.gifYuri99.gifTakuma98.gifKing98.gifKasumi99.gif

Any team composed only of Art of Fighting characters. (Ryo, Robert, Yuri, Takuma, King, Kasumi)

Stages

Note 1: In the arcade mode, with the exceptions of the Museum and the Boss Stage, all stages undergo changes of time and space. In the Dreamcast version (KOF '99 Evolution), the stages are in 3D and other changes and stages can be seen.
Note 2: The Boss Stage also can be seen in The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match, in both phases.
Note 3: Each stage in the Dreamcast version, with the exception of the Boss stage, has two versions, which can be freely selected in Versus Mode.
Note 4: In this game, the stage are randomly chosen by the game's system.
Warning: The sight of some stages can cause epilepsy.

Available in All Versions of The Game

Normal Stages

  • Airport: The landing station of an airport. The fight occurs during a sunset. Can be seen two airplanes, a control station, a fence and crates. Until the second round, the fight takes place next to the fence and a crate; from the third round, near the wing and turbines of one of the planes. Similar to Eiji's stage in AOF 2.
    • Note: in the Dreamcast version, depending of the angle, it is possible to fight next to the airplanes or to the crate, and can be seen a truck in one of the versions.

Gameplay of Terry vs. Athena in arcade version

  • Alley (A.K.A. Hong Kong): An alley next to a chinese restaurant. Until the 2nd round, can be seen light flags, some people and children watching the fight and eating, a dog, a bonfire, a graffiti and a wall, in the left; from the 3rd round, the restaurant is closed and the stage is empty. Only what is possible see is the figure of a man chasing a dog, stopping for a few seconds due to fatigue.
    • Note: In the Dreamcast version, this stage is available as in the first and third rounds, in separated versions, under the name Hong Kong.
  • Museum: The pre-historic museum DINOSAUR WORLD. Can be seen panels with skeletons of various dinosaurs and pre-historic creatures, lights, rocks and plants. In some rounds, a sound that simulates thunder can be heard.
    • Note: in one of the versions of this stage in the Dreamcast version, the fight occurs in a balcony next to the original stage.

Gameplay of K' vs. Athena in the dreamcast version

  • Park: A park next to a neighborhood. In the first round, can be seen a balcony with some benches, an old man feeding some birds along to a dog, a female statue, and a trash can, in the right, children playing, a man watching, a light post and two street-sweepers, in the center, and a building and a picnic table, in the left, besides plants all over the stage; in the second round, the weather is cloudy, some drops of rain begin to fall and the stage is partially empty, being seen only a woman opening an umbrella with your son, a street-sweeper and the dog of the previous round; from the 3rd round, the stage is empty, accompanied by a heavy rain.
  • Note: In the Dreamcast version, this stage is available as in the first and third rounds, in separated versions.

Boss Stages

  • Sewer — Hero Team (under some conditions): A sewer used as an escape route. Can be seen pipes and tubing, one of them spouting polluted water, a power box, lamps a small ladder and scratched toothpicks, characteristic of prison cell walls, besides a light, at the background. Changes in the Team and Single Play mode: in the 2nd round, it's sunset; from the 3rd round, it's night and the ground of the fight turns into a walkway that walks through dark alleys.
    • Note 1: In the Versus modes, the stage continues in the same way as the first round.
    • Note 2: In the Dreamcast version, this stage is available as in the 1st and 2nd rounds; the walkway appears at the end of the second round, when the winner celebrates.
  • Site Vector 70599: An arena built by NESTS, with the objective of reading the data of the fighters of the tournament. Has two phases: in Phase 1, the stage shows a human hologram (presumably a cloning project), in the center, beside red lights passing all over the stage, green walls, ground and two robotic pillars. In Phase 2, the stage is completely golden, the hologram and the pillars disappear and can be seen strong lights in the background. Associated with Krizalid, Kyo, Iori, Kyo-1 & Kyo-2 (the last four in special conditions and always after defeating the boss).
    • Note: in KOF 2002 UM, the stage is called Point 70599.

Available only in the Dreamcast version (KOF '99 Evolution)

  • Amusement Park: In one of the versions, the fight occurs next to a carousel, a ferris wheel and a viking boat. In the other, near to the same caurosel, a castle and the entrance of a tunnel of terror. In both versions, can be seen a light post, people and park workers, barracks and fireworks.
  • Cuckoo Clock Tower: In one of the versions, the fight takes in the outside. Can be seen cuckoo dolls, a gargoyle and a mountain, in the background. In the other, the fight takes near to the gears of the clock.

Reception

The King of Fighters '99 was very popular after its release. According to Famitsu, both the AES and Neo Geo CD sold over 14,620 and 18,925 copies in their first week on the market respectively. In GameSpot's article "The History of SNK", KOF '99: Evolution was described as one of the best fighting games on the Dreamcast with Garou: Mark of the Wolves. Various video game publications have commented on the game. While the fighting system has been well-received, critics have expressed mixed feelings about the Striker system.

A Gaming Age writer viewed the sequel's changes as a step in the right direction despite finding assisting characters useless. He said that SNK had created proper balances such as making Kyo Kusanagi less overpowered than in previous games. The inclusion of K', the new lead, has been well-received because of his distinct fighting style. IGN's Anthony Chau commented that although "people are probably tired of 2D fighting games, saying that they all play the same", he found KOF '99: Evolution to be very distinct. He found the new gameplay very entertaining despite knowing that some "KOF purists hate the Striker system". A GameSpot reviewer described the Striker system as "clearly derived from the tag system from Capcom's Marvel fighting games". They complained there were popular characters who only appeared as Strikers, and wished they were fully playable. GamePro criticized the game because the Strikers' new gameplay "simply [does not] fit in the King of Fighters series" and "is more of a novelty than a game mode".

There were mixed responses to the ported versions. German magazine Video Games praised the Neo Geo port, giving it a score of 80%. There have also been multiple comparisons between the Dreamcast port and the PlayStation port, with the Dreamcast version being regarded as better. The use of 3D backgrounds in all versions has been praised. A GamePro writer felt that the Neo Geo's quality was not handled well by the PlayStation, resulting in issues with the graphics and long loading times. Nevertheless, he found the additional material to be pleasing for series' fans. Andrew Seyoon Park of GameSpot found the PlayStation port very good considering the console's limitations. Despite this, he complained about the animation and the voices, and found the reduced number of characters from KOF '98 disappointing. He felt that the boss Krizalid is very hard to beat. HardcoreGaming noted that while the Dreamcast port of the game was superior based on its graphics and loading times, the PlayStation version was still worth playing. Both Uvejuegos stated that while the game did not have a major update of its characters, except Kyo Kusanagi's redesign, it still managed to maintain its quality due to its fighting system. The new lead, K', and the final boss, Krizalid, were described as entertaining. Gaming Age felt the graphic update was more noticeable than the Uvejuegos did but was critical of Krizalid. Gaming Age found him so difficult to defeat they characterized the previous bosses— Rugal Bernstein and Orochi—as easy by comparison. GameSpot agreed, feeling that the boss fight removed the entertainment value from the game due to its difficult challenge.

Greg Orlando reviewed the Dreamcast version of the game for Next Generation, rating it two stars out of five, and stated that "This King of Fighters should consider abdicating the throne."

The game's Nintendo Switch port received positive responses with critics saying its gameplay and graphics were ahead of their time. Nintendo Life praised the varied cast and the new gameplay mechanics but did not find it as appealing as its predecessor. GameSpew felt the port's mechanics, and multiple options prevented the game from being dated. The combat was described as fast enough to appeal to gamers. Bonus Stage found the graphics appealing and praised SNK's focus on giving the game a storyline, despite it being an arcade fighting game. In retrospect, 1UP.com said that while players were bothered by Kyo and Iori's exclusion from teams, and by the Striker system, K's inclusion was one of SNK's best decisions due to his fighting style.

The series' writer, Akihiko Ureshino, wrote a novelization of the game titled Beyond the "K". It was released in November 1999 by ASCII. SNK also released a sequel titled The King of Fighters 2000 a year after KOF '99's release for multiple consoles. In the spin-off game The Rhythm of Fighters, Kyo's character theme, "Tears", was used for the game to work as a rhythm game.

Trivia

  • Kyo and Iori were initially planned to not appear in this game, as the developers wanted them removed in favor of K'[1]. However, there are multiple ways to make them appear in him:
    • After the fight with Krizalid, the player can have a chance to fight Kyo or Iori depending on their Battle Points. To fight Kyo, you must score a minimum of 280 points to fight him. To fight Iori, you must score a minimum of 200 points to fight him. This is possible only if you're playing with an Official Team, and they do not appear if you use an Edit Team or Special Team.
    • To unlock Kyo Kusanagi: Start a game (Arcade or VS. mode), and let the Roulette do the character selection for you. If you end up with at least three of the following characters (Benimaru, K', Kyo-1, Kyo-2, Maxima, Shingo, Whip), win that match (VS. mode), or beat the game (Arcade mode). Either way, it will unlock a portion of the Kyo code. Once the Kyo code has been fully revealed, it will be indicated by the appearance of a "K" initial on the title screen. When this happens, go to the Character Select screen, highlight the Roulette box, then press and hold the Start button. While holding the Start button, quickly do the following combination with the control stick:Back Input.png, Forward Input.png, Up Input.png, Back Input.png, Down Input.png, Forward Input.png. A picture of Kyo will appear in place of the Kusanagi Sun symbol to the left of the Roulette box, and he will be selectable.
    • To unlock Iori Yagami: Start a game (Arcade or VS. mode), and let the Roulette do the character selection for you. If you end up with at least three of the following characters (Athena, Bao, Jhun, Kasumi, Kim, Leona, Xiangfei), win that match (VS. mode), or beat the game (Arcade mode). Either way, it will unlock a portion of the Iori code. Once the Iori code has been fully revealed, it will be indicated by the appearance of a "I" initial on the title screen. When this happens, go to the Character Select screen, highlight the Roulette box, then press and hold the Start button. While holding the Start button, do the following combination with the control stick: Forward Input.png, Back Input.png, Up Input.png, Forward Input.png, Down Input.png, Back Input.png. A picture of Iori will appear in place of the Yagami Moon symbol to the right of the Roulette box, and he will be selectable.

See also

External links

References

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