The King of Fighters 2001 is the eighth game in The King of Fighters series. It is the first of two KOF games published by Korean company Eolith after Aruze put SNK into bankruptcy. This game also is the final chapter of the "NESTS CHORNICLES" story arc, started in The King of Fighters '99.
King of Fighters 2001 kept the Striker assist system from the previous two KoF games, but added a new twist to it - the ability to adjust how many Strikers a team could have. While teams in 1999 and 2000 were limited to selecting one teammate as an assist, now teams could have up to 3 assist characters, or none at all.
This game was given a remade intro for the PS2 port.
The official story given by Eolith is as follows:
"An entire city was wiped off the globe with the use of the satellite weapon, Zero Cannon, during King of Fighters 2000.
This incident was reported to be the result of an artificial satellite crashing to earth, and adorned the front pages to various newspapers of countries all over the world.
A legion of individuals called for the end to the KOF tournament which always invited some sort of accident, but ironically this fighting tournament with a bad history once again regained considerable popularity.
The interest in the tournament rivaled that of the '97 contest, nay, exceeded perhaps exceeded it.
But for this tournament carried out on the international stage, an astonishing fact came to light.
A team from NESTS has entered the tournament!
What are the true objectives of the event's sponsor? There's no guarantee that even with this tournament, tragedy will not repeat itself....
The third title in the King of Fighters: The NESTS Chronicles. At last, this tournament will end it all!"
The NESTS cartel decides to host the 2001 KOF tournament so that they can use it as a method to eliminate their enemies and enter their own team into the ranks.
In the tournament finals, the Hero Team boards a special blimp that is soon revealed to be a spaceship. There they meet Original Zero, whose clone decimated the cartels' secrecy with his scheme in the previous year. He congratulates them for reaching the finals and states that they're headed for NESTS's real headquarters. He decides to entertain his passengers with a match and is backed up by his pet black lion Glugan, Ron, and Krizalid. Despite the oppressive force of his group, he is defeated moments before the ship docks at NESTS's space satellite. He stays on board the exploding ship and urges the Hero team to proceed forward.
Once inside NESTS's satellite, they face the NESTS leader, Nests. He expresses wishes for his renegade agents to return to the organization and is soon afterward killed by Igniz, who claims ownership of the cartel. Igniz also reveals that K', Kula, Krizalid, K9999 and Whip are guinea pigs/creations made for his own personal entertainment. Kula, who was separated from the rest of her team and present at the time, also heard her origin as an artificial life form. Declaring himself a god, he assaults the team as his first act of "divine retribution" and defeats them. As soon as he's about to kill K', other fighters came to intervene and help in the fight including all team leaders, Kyo and Iori. When he's defeated, he proclaims that he is fallen god and names himself a "demon" instead. He plunges the satellite through earth's atmosphere in an attempt to demolish his competition.
Thankfully, the satellite crashes into the ocean and the fighters aboard were somehow saved from the explosion, presumably thanks to Ron. K' saves Kula from drowning; in gratitude, she and her guardian, Diana, ally themselves with K' and company. K9999 and Angel are presumably still alive though their exact whereabouts are unknown. Foxy is also stabbed by them though her apparent on screen death is later revealed to be false.
Fatal Fury Team
Art of Fighting Team
Ikari Warriors Team
Psycho Soldier Team
Women Fighters Team
Korea Justice Team
Zero Team (Sub-Boss)
Special Edit Teams
K' and Kula Team
- Any characters
Other NESTS Team
- Either 2 or 3 members of the NESTS Team
- K' and/or Maxima
- Note 1: The console versions contains, in addition to the arcade version, two 3D versions of the same stages, Original-A and Original-B, besides Igniz and Zero's stages. In Original-B, has variations of weather and time. Igniz and Zero's stages also can be seen in newer versions in KOF 2002: Unlimited Match.
- Note 2: In arcade mode versus, the stages are automatic. Already in console mode versus, can be possible choose the stage in which to fight.
- Warning: The sight of some stages can cause epilepsy.
- Brazil: The circuit of Interlagos, in the city of São Paulo. The battle takes in the race track, with a crowd, some women, Formula 1 cars and a sign with the words São Paulo '01, in the background. In console versions, the fight takes in a platform on the track and, in Original-B, takes place during the sunset.
- China: The Hanging Temple, in the city of Datong. The battle takes place in a courtyard next to the temple, with people watching and cheering with the fight, some dressed with special suits, besides the game's logo, in the left. In Original-B, the stage is empty and covered by a strong fog.
- Italy: The Rialto Bridge, in the Grand Canal of Venice. The battle takes in a street next to the canal, with people watching the fight in the bridge and in the gondolas, besides posters with the game's logo and typical buildings. In Original-B, the fight occurs in the sunset.
- Japan: A matsuri. The fight takes next to the folk presentation, with taiko and a typical dance, in the background, and people celebrating and filming, in the left and in the right, besides a plaque with the game's logo, a full moon, buildings and torches. In Original-B, the stage is empty.
- Korea: The Bulguksa Temple, in the city of Gyeongju. The battle takes place outside the temple, during the winter. The South Korean flag in the left, people cheering, some with taekwondo dobok, besides photographers and videographers can all be seen. In Original-B, the stage is empty and it's already night.
- Mexico: The Franz Mayer Museum and the Santa Veracruz Church, in Mexico City. The fight takes in the Hidalgo Avenue, in front to the church. Ppeople cheering, shrubs, a mariachi band next to the fountain, and posters with game's logo can be seen. In Original-B, the fight occurs during the sunset.
- USA: The city of Las Vegas. The fight takes in a street full of money, with people cheering in the background, besides neon signs, including one of Playboy's bunny, photographers, vehicles, palm trees, buildings and plaques with the city's name and the words GAMBLER, LOSER and WINNER. In Original-B, the stage is partially empty and with green lights.
- The Cloister of Judgment: A porch next to staircases in the palace-like interior of NESTS' spaceship. Curtains on both sides and yellow clouds in the window can be seen in the background. In Original-B, the clouds are black, like a thunderstorm. Associated with Zero.
- Note: In KOF 2002: Unlimited Match, the stage earns archer and medieval knight statues and the clouds are yellow, like a sunset.
- The Fortress: A blue palace in space. Red curtains with a carpet, statues of women, mythological statues and stone columns can all be seen. In the window, can be seen the Earth. In Original-B, the stage lights are golden. Associated with Igniz.
- Note: In KOF 2002: Unlimited Match, only the women statues can be seen, besides the moon in the window, and the fight takes place further away from the center.
- Official Site at SNK Playmore
- Korean tournament footage from the History of SNK DVD
- Puzzle game for the Dreamcast version
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