The King of Fighters EX: Neo Blood is a video game based on The King of Fighters '99 Evolution systems. It was released for the Game Boy Advance in 2002.
The EX series created a alternate timeline. According to the team prologues of the game, in this continuity, Kyo Kusanagi was found by Moe Habana rather than NESTS at the end of KOF '97. As a result, the events of the NESTS Saga did not occurred. Also noted that the appearances of the Striker-only characters in this game are non-canon, as they are either never mentioned in prologues or have other things going on (such as Joe defending his title and Yuri contracting the mumps), and that this game takes place instead of KOF '99 in the EX continuity.
Two years have now passed since the last edition of "King of Fighters" Tournament, accomplished in 1997: after Orochi was sealed by the joint forces of Kyo Kusanagi, Chizuru Kagura and Iori Yagami, all the fighters returned to their normal lives. But suddenly, a mysterious host decided to reopen the tournament and have been sent serial invitations to the most powerful fighters. But there are many secrets surrounding this happy-hour fighting clash, as the apparent disappearance of Iori Yagami and a remote distrust behind this unknown sponsor: that he would be using the championship to accomplish secret operations involving (maybe) the Orochi power...
This title marks the first installment of King of Fighters Series on Nintendo's 32-bit handheld. It brings a lot of gameplay characteristics based in both KOF Evolution (most of the graphic stuff and principally both "Striker" System and backgrounds, now represented by a static 2D frame instead of the original 3D ones) and KOF 2000 (the musical repertoire). Besides the traditional game modes (Team Play, Team Battle, Single Play, Single Battle, Endless Survival and Survival Time Attack), this game marks too the debut of a new-exclusive female character named Moe Habana.
The new character added to the roster is:
- Moe Habana, a normal high school student who resides in America. One day, she finds the wounded Kyo Kusanagi, who had just defeated Orochi, and nurses him back to health. Worried for his safety, she decides to tag along with him in the King of Fighters tournament. She is a compassionate girl who makes friends quickly and deeply cares for them. She thinks of Kyo as her "big brother".
- Despite this game's systems primarily being based on KOF '99: Evolution, most if not almost all the character leitmotifs are instead compressed versions of their KOF 2000 leitmotifs.