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Position in the series
Saga/Story Arc
Chapter
Is it canonical?
8th
NESTS Chronicles
3rd
Yes


A NESTS Activity Base of 2001... At long last, the epic of NESTS draws to its exciting climax. Four new faces along with returning competitors join the cavalcade of warriors in legendary four-against-four battles of the new century. Team battles will never be the same again.

-Intro

Fight it out!"

-Arcade Tagline

The King of Fighters 2001 (ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ 2001ツーサウザンドワン) 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 third and final chapter of the "NESTS CHRONICLES" story arc, started in The King of Fighters '99.

KOF 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.

Story

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, perhaps even 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.

Development

In 2000, SNK went bankrupt, but Eolith contracted a license agreement in the same year to keep with the production of the series KOF. Eolith took interest into developing The King of Fighters due to the franchise's popularity in Korea and wanted to please the fans of the series worldwide. Brezza Soft helped Eolith in the making of the video game. Fearing disappointment from returning fans, Eolith decided to maintain the most of the common parts from The King of Fighters while adding new elements to it. One of the biggest changes is the optional use of Strikers where players can use between one and three characters assisting the playable one. The team aimed for a refinement of the original gameplay system from previous KOF games. While performing a popularity poll based on the characters, Eolith still aimed to make the least popular teams featured in the game. The high popularity of Kyo Kusanagi and Iori Yagami led to their immediate inclusion in the game. Despite being created by Eolith, the Mexican company Evoga had a major influence in the game due to the franchise's popularity within Latin America. This to creating setting with Mexican traits and most notably Angel, a NESTS agent from the country. References to works from Evoga can be seen in the scenarios from the game. While working on it, the team played The King of Fighters '98 alongside the developers to see if they could include a character within the game. A member from Evoga won, resulting in the team requesting to add Angel in the game.

In creating new characters, Eolith wanted an Athena-like Korean fighter. This led to the inclusion of May Lee who was created by SNK. In preparing the boss characters, the original team was dissatisfied with Zero's portrayal in The King of Fighters 2000 which led to the inclusion of the real Zero retconning the former boss as a clone. Glaugan was originally going to be used in the prequel but was instead used as an assist character. SNK faced struggles with making Zero as they wanted to create a boss that surpassed Krizalid from The King of Fighters '99. The final boss, Igniz, was conceptualized as a sexually appealing character in order to generate a contrast with other members from the cast. Nevertheless, the development team stated they felt Igniz fit well in the game.

Gameplay

TACTICAL ORDER SELECT SYSTEM

In this game, the Striker System has been given another huge overhaul. After assembling your team of four, you can segregate your team which will be the Fighter characters and which will be the Strikers characters for every match. The number of assigned Strikers has a great impact on your Fighter characters' battle strategies, from offense and defense capabilities and the amount of Power Gauge stocks that can be stored at one time. Instead of Strike Bombs, Power Gauge stocks are used to summon Strikers.

Your team can consist of 4 Fighters and no Strikers, 3 Fighters and 1 Striker, 2 Fighters and 2 Strikers, or 1 Fighter and 3 Strikers. The number of Fighters on your team is inversely proportional to the maximum amount of stocks you can have at hand. No Strikers can only have 1 stock, while 3 Strikers can store as much as 4 stocks. Furthermore, a 1-Fighter team has higher attack/defense power and recovers more life between matches than a 4-Fighter team. Don't worry, you can reset the order of your team between matches. It's all in strategy!

A Striker can be called by pressing both the BC buttons at the same time at the cost of a stock. If you have assigned more than 1 Striker, you can call on the others using the same buttons and a joystick movement relative to the Striker's order of assignment (see above figure for details). You can also cancel special and Slayer Moves into Striker summons, but not DOA Drubbings and throws. Furthermore, you can even call your Strikers in quick succession as long as you hit your opponent when a Striker is still on-screen and watch the mayhem unfold!

WIRE WHIP SYSTEM

The newest fighting strategy in The King of Fighters 2001 is the Wire Whip System. Certain characters have Slayer Moves that inflict either of 2 Wire Whip effects: the Critical Wire and the Counter Wire. Upon landing a hit at certain circumstances, such attacks have the main feature of sending the victim flying against the side of the screen and boomerang towards the mercy of his attacker, enabling him to finish the catastrophic combo with another Slayer Move or DOA Drubbing.

Slayer Moves that are labeled in italics bear the Critical Wire property. On successful contact, these moves "naturally" rebound your opponent against the wall. Critical Wires also guard crush an opponent who manages to block them, on the specific hit which has the Critical Wire property. Slayer Moves with a star beside it bear the Counter Wire property. As the name implies, these moves will rebound your opponent against the wall only if the specified attack lands on a counter hit.

Striker Attacks & Effects

Note: Zero & Igniz aren't used as strikers. However, Zero use three strikers.
Striker
Attack
Effect

Characters

Overview

The new characters added to the roster (all originals) are:

Maylee.jpg
Maylee-hero.jpg
May Lee Jinju, the new member of Korea Justice Team, is Kim Kaphwan's student and a huge fan of him. She replaces Jhun Hoon after he has an accident, that left him with a broken arm.
Foxy.jpg
Foxy, a loyal agent of NESTS who was ordered with her colleague, Diana, to supervise Kula Diamond, the Anti-K' project.
K9999.jpg
K9999, an agent of NESTS, is the "perfected" 9999th clone of Kyo Kusanagi. His main purpose was to dispatch the rogue creations that had escaped from NESTS' grasp.
Angel.jpg
Ángel, other agent of NESTS, who is assigned to keep an eye on K9999, Kula and Foxy, whose purpose is to hunt down traitorous experiments that had left the cartel.
Zero-glaugan-2001.JPG
Zero, the sub-boss of the game, is an agent extremely loyal to the NESTS syndicate and was disgusted to learn of his clone's attempted coup d'état. He was resting in NESTS's main headquarters during the events of the past tournament and was unaware of his clone's actions until later. He was ordered by the leader of NESTS to resume their primary plan of world conquest.
Igniz-2001.JPG
Igniz, the final boss of the game and the host of this KOF tournament. He wants to become a new god, deciding to test his new found power against the finalists and his own father, who died at his hands.
Note 1: The new formations of the teams are the following:
  • Whip leaves the Ikari Warriors Team to help her brother K' to destroy NESTS in the Hero Team, along with Lin. The ninja continues to hunt Ron, the traitor to his clan;
  • Kyo Kusanagi and Iori Yagami, after two tournaments alone (Iori enters alone since the '97 tournament, and Kyo, since the beginning of the NESTS saga), re-join with their old teams. The first joins with his old friends, Benimaru Nikaido and Goro Daimon (this one back to KOF after two tournaments off), in addition to his huge fan Shingo Yabuki, reforming the Japan Team. The second, on the other hand, joins with the mercenaries Vanessa, Seth and Ramón, reforming the Yagami Team;
  • Yuri Sakazaki goes back to Art of Fighting Team, along with her brother Ryo, her friend Robert and her father Takuma, and King goes back to the leadership of Women Fighters Team, along with the kunoichi Mai Shiranui, the sumo student Hinako Shijou and the waitress and Kung Fu student Li Xiangfei, who returns to the tournament after a year off, and replacing Kasumi Todoh;
  • Heidern takes Whip's place on the Ikari Warriors Team, after four tournaments behind the scenes, along with his trusty soldiers Leona Heidern, Ralf Jones and Clark Still;
  • Kula Diamond teams up with Foxy, one of her mentors, and two NESTS agents hired to watch them, K9999 and Ángel, forming the NESTS Team.
  • The Fatal Fury and Psycho Soldier Teams remain with the same formations.
Note 2: This game is the only of the series which one of the bosses has strikers.

Official Team Roster

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

K-sprite1.gif

K'

Maxima99.gif

Maxima

Whip99.gif

Whip

Lin2000.gif

Lin

Japan Team (A.K.A. Kyo Team)

Kyo99.gif

Kyo Kusanagi

Benimaru2000.gif

Benimaru Nikaido

Gorodaimon96.gif

Goro Daimon

Shingo98.gif

Shingo Yabuki

Yagami Team

Iori2001.gif

Iori Yagami

Vanessa2000.gif

Vanessa

Seth2000.gif

Seth

Ramon2000.gif

Ramón

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

Terry-sprite1.gif

Terry Bogard

Andy2001.gif

Andy Bogard

Joe99.gif

Joe Higashi

Bluemary98.gif

Blue Mary

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

Ryo2002.gif

Ryo Sakazaki

Robert99.gif

Robert Garcia

Yuri2000.gif

Yuri Sakazaki

Takuma98.gif

Takuma Sakazaki

Ikari Warriors Team (A.K.A. Ikari Team)

Leona99.gif

Leona Heidern

Ralf-kof2001-stance.gif

Ralf Jones

Clark99.gif

Clark Still

Heidern2001.gif

Heidern

Psycho Soldier Team

Athena2001.gif

Athena Asamiya

Kensou98.gif

Sie Kensou

Chin99.gif

Chin Gentsai

Bao2001.gif

Bao

Women Fighters Team

Kingkof2000.gif

King

Mai96.gif

Mai Shiranui

Hinako2000.gif

Hinako Shijou

Lixiangfei99.gif

Li Xiangfei

Korea Justice Team (A.K.A. Kim Team)

Kimkaphwan2002.gif

Kim Kaphwan

Chang96.gif

Chang Koehan

Choi96.gif

Choi Bounge

May Lee Jinju (Standard Mode) May Lee Jinju (Hero Mode)

May Lee Jinju

NESTS Team (A.K.A. Rivals Team or Deuteroganist Team)

Kula2000.gif

Kula Diamond

Foxy2001.gif

Foxy

K99992001.gif

K9999

Angel2001.gif

Ángel

NPC Characters

Sub-Bosses

Zero Team

Zero2001.gif

Zero (Original)

Krizalid 2001.gif

Krizalid (Striker)

Ron2001.gif

Ron (Striker)

Glaugan2001.gif

Glugan (Striker)

Boss

Igniz2001.gif

Igniz

Special Edit Teams

K' and Kula Team

  • K'
  • Kula Diamond
  • Any characters

Other NESTS Team

  • Either 2 or 3 members of the NESTS Team
  • K' and/or Maxima

Stages

Note 1: The PS2 and Xbox versions contain, in addition to the stages from the arcade version, two alternate versions of each stage, including Zero's and Igniz's stages, called Original A and Original B. In Original B, the stages look similar to Original A, except that the weather is different or they take place at a different time of the day. The Boss stages also appear in KOF 2002 Unlimited Match, with updated graphics.
Note 2: In arcade mode, the stages are randomly chosen by the game. However, in the console versions' versus mode, the stages can be selected by the player. In the PS2 and Xbox versions, it is also possible to use the original stages by accessing the game's option menu.
Warning: The sight of some stages can cause epilepsy.

Normal Stages

  • Brazil: The 1st curve of the circuit of Interlagos, in the city of São Paulo. The battle takes in the race track next to the control tower, with a crowd, some women, Formula 1 cars and a sign with the words São Paulo '01, in the background. In the PS2 and Xbox versions, the fight takes in a platform on the track and, in Original B, takes place during the sunset.

Gameplay of May Lee vs. Kensou in arcade version

  • 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.

Gameplay of Joe vs. Heidern in the PS2 version

  • 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, Nevada. 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.

Sub-Boss & Boss Stages

  • 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. Features a red carpet in the center of the stage surrounded by statues of women and mythological creatures and by stone steles. The Earth can be seen behind the windows in the background. In Original B, the stage lights are golden. Associated with Igniz.
    • Note: In KOF 2002: Unlimited Match, the background is different, being semi-circular and featuring a series of pillars, and in addition to the Earth, the moon can also be seen behind the windows. The fight also takes place further away from the center.

Critical Reception

In Japan, Game Machine listed The King of Fighters 2001 on their December 15, 2001 issue as being the second most-successful arcade game of the year. According to Famitsu, the AES version sold over 6,126 copies in its first week on the market.

The PS2 port of the game sold 39,022 units in Japan. GameSpot gave the NeoGeo port of the game an 8.7 out of 10, praising the balance with the cast and the Striker system but criticized the high difficulty of the boss Igniz.

Trivia

  • This is the only game of the series with the maximum number of 7 rounds (due to his system allows matches with 4 fighters).
  • This game and The King of Fighters XIII are the only games of the mainline series which the life bars don't increase between rounds.

External links

The King of Fighters series
Main The King of Fighters '94'95'96'97'98'992000200120022003XIXIIXIIIXIVXV
Remakes The King of Fighters: Dream Match 1999'99 Evolution'94 Re-Bout'98 Ultimate Match2002 Unlimited Match
Offshoots King of Fighters R-1R-2The King of Fighters EX: Neo BloodEX2: Howling BloodNeowave
Spin-offs Quiz King of FightersThe King of Fighters: KyoBattle de ParadiseKOF: Maximum ImpactKOF: Maximum Impact 2KOF Maximum Impact Regulation "A"KOF Sky StageOnline'98 Ultimate Match WebSNK Heroines Tag Team Frenzy
Mobile The King of Fighters -Mobile- / R-2-Volleyball-KOF Gals MahjongThe King of MillionaireThe King of ReversiMahjongKOF Kentei - Mezase Cult Quiz Ou!Moeyo! KOF DaiundokaiKOF x Garou DensetsuBattle Festa-i/AndroidEncounterThe Rhythm of Fighters'98 Ultimate Match OnlineBeast Busters featuring KOFWorldDestinyAll StarOrochi GoM: Fighting Stars AssemblyKOF: Chroniclefor Girls
Pachinko The King of FightersChapter of NESTSMaximum ImpactIIICR The King of Fighters
Compilations The King of Fighters Orochi CollectionNESTS Collection
Cancelled Online (UnoTechnology)Fighters' WorldKOF MI "A"2KOF: Maximum Impact 360Online (DragonFly/Triple A Games)
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