The King of Fighters 2000 is the seventh game in the The King of Fighters series and the second chapter of the "NESTS CHRONICLES" story arc. This King of Fighters has the introduction of Active Striker characters that add an extra dimension of strategy to game play. It also features Another Strikers and/or Maniac Strikers that are characters from other franchises in the SNK World. This would be the last King of Fighters game produced by the original incarnation of SNK before the company's bankruptcy and later revival as SNK Playmore and re-renaming back as SNK. It was also the only game in the original trilogy ('94-'03) not to receive a physical AES port in the US despite being primed in the ROM image. The reason for this is unknown.
The official story given by SNK is as follows:
"It has been a while since the existence of the mysterious secret syndicate NESTS was brought to light. Since then, however, their presence still remains a mystery and they've kept their activities well under wraps.
Meanwhile, in contrast to NESTS seeming lack of action, an increase in terrorist activities throughout the world has been taking place. Heidern and his band of mercenaries have determined that these events are the work of K' and Maxima.
Heidern and his band quickly begin pursuit of these two, but just as they begin their efforts, the invitations for the latest KOF tournament are sent....!
The fighters ready themselves for the tournament to begin in various venues throughout the world.
Most remarkable among the invited teams is one in which K' and Maxima are listed as members!
Moreover, NESTS whip into the second phase of their project, as if summoned into action by the two "terrorists."
Is the beginning of NESTS's activities a mere coincidence? Or, could it be...?
Once again a feeling of impending conflict stifles the air, and the curtain on the latest King of Fighters is about to rise...!!!"
After the KOF 1999 tournament, the commander of the Ikari Warriors, Heidern, is determined to figure out the objective of the NESTS cartel so that he can stop them from achieving their ruthless ambition. A fellow commander and long-time friend of Heidern, named Ling, tells the veteran fighter that K' and Maxima may hold the key to locating the whereabouts of the mysterious organization. Using this information, Heidern decides to focus his efforts on finding the duo so that they can be captured and interrogated for information. Meanwhile, the NESTS cartel sends Kula Diamond to investigate the tournament.
At the finals of the tournament, the Hero Team are taken to an underground mansion via a hidden elevator and are greeted by a mysterious but sinister-looking man. At the same time, Ling and a couple of his associates suddenly betray Heidern. In the underground mansion, the man known as Zero reveal he had the real Ling killed and replaced with a clone in disguise. Also, Zero tells the fighters that he was a former member of NESTS with plans to eliminate the cartel by using a powerful space-based weapon known as the Zero Cannon. To demonstrate his power, Zero fires a warm-up shot of the cannon towards Earth and wipes a city off the map.
The fighters battle against Zero not realizing that their energy powers the Zero Cannon. Zero is defeated and tries to fire the cannon again but it explodes. When K' and Maxima explore the ruined city above them, Whip appears and joins their cause to defeat NESTS.
Note 1: The Factory and Wharf stages have frozen versions, both associated with Kula, and can be seen only in Team Play.
Note 2: The Boss Stage is also available in KOF 2002: Unlimited Match, with some changes.
Warning: The sight of some stages can cause epilepsy.
Aquarium: A big aquarium. Can be seen people watching, workers cheering children and guards seeing over the aquarium, besides a plaid floor. In the aquarium, can be spotted algae and marine vegetation, a diver and manatees.
Dump: A dump next to an abandoned residential complex. Can be seen debris, a car and old tires, crates, stones, a brass barrel, a wall and a fence, two dead trees and abandoned houses, in the background. From the second round, a tractor appears and knocks down virtually the entire wall.
Egypt: The city of Giza. Can be seen the pyramids, in the center, and ancient buildings. A sandstorm occurs in the 1st round, ceasing in the 2nd round and returning from the 3rd round.
Korea: A commercial center in a street with puddles of water, in the night. The battle takes place near a fruit shop, a clothing store and a pottery shop. Can be seen plaques with Hangul, people, clay pots and air conditioning units.
Note: The puddles start to swing when a character passes them. Also can be noticed a woman watching the fight, and that starts moving her body when a fighter moves in his field of vision.
Wharf: A pier next to various ships and the ocean. The fight takes next to the one of them. Can be seen chains, propellers, ship debris, a boat, small buoys and a crane in the background.
Factory: The fight occurs in a balcony of a factory. Can be seen pipes, a propeller, chains, hooks, a control panel, cardboard boxes and sparks, probably coming out of a boiler. Also can be seen a giant fan, with sun rays coming from him, in the background.
Underground 00: The stage has two versions. In the first, the stage is green can be seen a chandelier, statues of skeletons dressed as secret society members, skulls, torches and a blue glass window in boom format. In the 2nd round, the chandelier falls. From the 3rd round, the stage is in purple, the window changes color to green and flames come from the statues.Associated with Clone Zero.
Note: In KOF 2002: UM, the stage is the same as the first version, but wider. Can be spotted the statues holding something, more windows and skull and bones torches all over the stage.
Japan PlayStation 2
USA PlayStation 2
Cover of AES version showing the Hero Team: K', Maxima, Ramon & Vanessa. Illustration by Shinkiro
Promotional art of K' and Kula. Illustration by TONKO
Unlike the prior KOF games, this game and KOF99's single player mode do not play the character's proper story dialogs and endings even if the team (two in single player mode) comprises of at least two of the official team members. The exception to this is in KOF99 in Kyo and Iori's team. This obvious programming oversight was fixed in KOF2001, but is again broken in KOF2003.
Whip's gun move is omitted in non-Japanese versions, as well as the cut scene where she shoots the Clone Zero in the Ikari Warriors Team ending. This was replaced with him and Whip having a mere dialog and Zero's revelation being his last words before succumbing.