|The King of Fighters XIII||Team Stories||Gallery||Credits||Trivia|
"Dear Sir or Madam, it's 2010, and with much pride and pleasure, we would like to announce our annual King of Fighters Tournament. Former participants and persons who have received this invitation may join teams, and will face off in heated 3-on-3 combat to decide this year's champion team. We look forward for your participation! Sincerely, R."
-Arcade Movie Intro
The King of Fighters XIII (ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ
The mobile versions of the game were released on July 7th, 2011, and a downloadable application for social networks was released on October 17, 2011. Additionally, an iOS version of the game, titled The King of Fighters-i-, featuring a reduced character roster, was released on July 7, 2011; an update of this version that includes six more characters was released on September 8, 2011. This same version was later ported to the Android platform on March 22, 2012, as The King of Fighters Android. An updated version featuring 12 new characters and other modes was released on iOS-based devices on May 3, 2012, called The King of Fighters-i 2012. This same version was released on Android on September 3, 2013 as The King of Fighters-A 2012.
A new version of the game, including the characters introduced on the console ports as well as new revisions, was released in Japanese arcades on April 26, 2012, under the name The King of Fighters XIII Climax (ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ
Eisuke Ogura returns to do the character illustrations.
SNK Playmore announced The King of Fighters XIII in February 2010. There was a preview of the game that was held on March 25, 2010 in Akihabara. The game design director, Kei Yamamoto, stated that he wanted the game to be played by the fans of the series who would be able to use their experience from prior titles. Additionally, however, he did not want the game to be too similar to its predecessors, though he and his staff's aim for the game is to capture the charm from prior titles such as readdition of gameplay rules from older titles. The gameplay was also modified to have faster battles to be enjoyed by gamers. Yamamoto labelled the theme of the game as "KOF-ism" (KOFイズム), refering to returning back to the heart of the series. The main objective of the game's new features is to appeal to the audience that prefers quick combos. SNK Playmore president Ryo Mizufune expressed excitement for the game's release, commenting that they wanted to release a game that would surpass fans' expectations and could become as popular as The King of Fighters '98. They listened to fans' suggestions during development of the game to incorporate them.
The staff in charge wanted to pay attention to the number of details given to the game's graphics. Regarding the story, they paid attention to its flow, mentioning the final version was not significantly different from the first one. Because the prior game, The King of Fighters XII, suffered from various technical issues, developers also worked in fixing them to improve the gameplay. However, the initial arcade version from the game suffered from four notable bugs which led to special rules forbidding players to use them in at Japan's Tougeki – Super Battle Opera fighting game tournament. An updated version 1.1 was later released for arcades, fixing all the bugs and issues from the original game.
When it came to choosing characters for this title, developers wanted to include ones that would give a notable contrast and balance between teams rather than popularity within fans, expanding the "KOF-ism" theme. Characters like Kyo Kusanagi were made to fight at short distances rather than his original forms from the series' first two games where he relied in attacks performed from distance to emphasize the balance within the cast. The first Neo Max technique made by the staff was Kyo's. As a result, following Neo Max attacks were made to be consistent with Kyo's Neo Max in their style and damage. While Kyo often wears different outfits for story arc, he was given a more masculine appearance for The King of Fighters XIII. Artist Eisuke Ogura expressed pressure in drawing this incarnation of Kyo as it had to live up to a long reputation he has had ever since his introduction.
Returning characters such as the K' Team were adjusted so that they would play in a similar fashion to prior titles, which resulted in several revisions of mechanics. King and Mai Shiranui were made based on their Art of Fighting and Fatal Fury incarnations, respectively, rather than their The King of Fighters incarnations. Ogura stated that designing Ash's final form was conceived shortly after he saw early designs of Saiki. Following this, Ogura tried drawing Ash's possessed form from The King of Fighters XIII where he was careful in showing that while the enemy's body is Ash's, the one fighting is Saiki as represented by his black flames. Despite early pressure about that, once seeing Saiki's similarities with Ash, Ogura managed to draw the Evil Ash easily. The idea behind this character was giving an vibe of a repulsive person.
SNK Playmore worked in order to make him balanced as they aimed for a neither superior Kyo or an inferior Kyo within the cast, giving the players their decision when choosing which version of the character would they prefer. Iori's flame wielding persona was developed to generate a contrast between him and the regular Iori.
Magaki was slain by Shion's spear, and Shion vanished into the dimensional rift. Then other members of the group Heidern was tracking suddenly appeared and vanished, as if to mock Heidern and his team. Who are "Those From the Distant Land," and why are they so persistent in their pursuit of the power of Orochi?
Meanwhile, Ash Crimson, having obtained Kagura's power, chose to ignore Elisabeth's cautions and took on Iori Yagami's power.
Yata was defeated, and Yasakani has fallen. Only one of the Three Sacred Treasures remains: the Sword of Kusanagi. However, Kyo Kusanagi suffered a major injury at the hands of Yagami, who had been overtaken by the power of the revitalized Orochi.
Time has passed...
With these recent incidents, it was feared that the next King of Fighters tournament would never happen. However, thanks to an unheard-of amount of promotion by a mysterious party, the KoF will be held on an unprecedented scale. The new mixed martial arts tournament is on the world stage, and the mass media has been giving it coverage like never before.
Fighters all across the world begin to receive invitations... all sent from "R"!
- Special moves now have "EX Special Moves"; versions of Special Moves that require a stock of super meter, functioning similarly to Darkstalkers or Street Fighter III. You can also EX supers for two stocks, reviving the Max Desperations of older KOFs. EX attacks can perform tasks such as adding invincibility, boosting attack speed, adding more hits, and other factors.
- Some EX moves can play nod to other attacks a character has previously had; for example, K's EX Crow Bites resembles his Heaven's Drive DM from 2003-XI and Neo Geo Battle Coliseum, and EX Iori's EX Oniyaki resembles his Orochi version's Oni Honoo in the vs. Capcom series.
- A feature called the "Drive Cancel" allows players to unlimitedly cancel their character's moves to their whim. The ability to do so relies on the "Hyper Drive Gauge" that's above the power gauge, gradually draining it as the players cancel their moves.
- "Hyperdrive Mode" (abbv. as "HD Mode") is a tricky feature that can only be done once the Hyper Drive Gauge is at maximum. It's possible for players to perform an unlimited amount of Drive Cancels at the precise moment the gauge is filled. Although the effect is short and temporary, the feature allows otherwise unlinkable techniques to be used in one combo. Drive Cancels and Hyper Drive Mode are both callbacks to the systems introduced in The King of Fighters 2002, such as the Free Cancel and the MAX Activation, respectively. The Drive Cancel done outside HD Mode is similar to the Free Cancel done in KOF Neowave (a rebalanced version of 2002 pre-dating Unlimited Match), via the Super Cancel mode (where MAX Activation does not exist).
- When a player is in Hyper Drive Mode and has two power stocks available, or in normal state and with three power stocks, they can perform a powerful technique called a "Neo Max Super Special Move", a revival of the Max 2 of 2002, Neowave, and 2002 Unlimited Match. Players can also link/cancel into a Neo Max technique during a combo off of a special or even both a normal and EX Super Special Move, which is dubbed a "Max Cancel". Unlike Max 2s, they can be done at any health level.
- Not only does everyone gain a Neo Max, but almost all characters now gain new or regain old attacks left out in KOF XII.
- Throw attacks are now back to being back or forward + Hard Punch or Hard Kick like in past games, but more like KOF 2003 and XI (in that all characters only have one throw, and button used determines if they switch sides or not).
- The Story Mode returns with a scoring system. When fighting against a CPU opponent, players are challenged to complete a random objective during stages, called Target Actions. Completing these can award bonus points at the scoring screen. Meeting certain actions can also reward players the next round by filling up their power gauge or Hyper Drive Guage. Objectives include goals such as completing a certain amount of hits within one combo, successfully hitting the CPU with a desperation technique (including EX and Neo Max Desperation Moves or specials), or being asked to perform a certain attack within 10 seconds.
- A complete story consists of eight stages, six being spent against teams and two being saved for the final matches.
- During a fight against a CPU opponent, players can be awarded a big boost of extra points if they end a match with a Regular, EX or Neo Max Desperation Move. It also triggers a special splash screen for their victory blow.
- The "zoom" effect seen in The King of Fighters XII has been removed, and general gameplay speed has been improved greatly.
- Pre-fight exchanges similar to those in SNK vs Capcom: SVC Chaos are also present in the game. These unique conversations also exist in mirror matches (when two players play with the same character) and they only appear in Single Player mode.
- Aside from the regular team music from the game, players can also listen to the characters' themes from previous KOF games, such as "Queen" from KOF XI for Elisabeth and "KDD-0075" from KOF XI for K'.
- King and Yuri can have their tops ripped off (as in Art of Fighting 1, Art of Fighting 2, The King of Fighters '94 and The King of Fighters '95) when K.O.'d by special, EX and Desperation Moves. This continues to occurs in the following mainline titles in the series (all in 3D graphics).
The entire roster from The King of Fighters XII (including the two console exclusive characters) return in The King of Fighters XIII, arranged in the usual teams of three members. With exception of Robert, Ralf, Chin, Mai, Kim and Raiden, who receive new voice actors, all the voice cast remains the same of the first games and/or past story arcs. This game is the last with this old voice staff. Hwa Jai and Saiki (both versions) shares the same voice actor with Ash Crimson and Billy remains with the same voice actor since The King of Fighters 2003. Of this, only Ash, Athena, Benimaru, King and Kula remain with their voice actors in future games (Athena with the same voice actress since KOF '98/UM).
It is noted that an earlier build of KOF XIII had feature English voice acting, retaining the same voice cast from KOF XII, with a few new cast that voiced for only a few of the characters who were not in the previous game, such as Mai for example. However, in the final build of KOF XIII, the English voice option is completely omitted and only the Japanese voice remains.
Both Mukai and Botan return. Rose Bernstein returns and is also the sponsor of this year's tournament, along with her brother Adelheid Bernstein. All the remaining members from Those from the Past group have their faces revealed and are being led by Saiki.
When the game designer was asked about his personal thoughts for this new cast in an interview, he remarked that he isn't always looking forward to adding popular characters from other series. As before with KOF XII, the overall goal for the cast is to create contrasts and variations between each character for an interesting balance between teams. Whenever possible, he believes the characters in The King of Fighters should be reenacting a classic fist-to-fist battle rather than one that relies too much on additional weaponry. Lately, the desire to stay true to this theme in an interesting manner has decided who gets to appear in KOF.
The characters added to the roster (between originals and of other franchises) are:
- Note 1: As for the teams and characters, most classic teams return to their lineup from the first games in the series. This includes the return of Goro Daimon, Andy Bogard, Joe Higashi, Robert Garcia, Takuma Sakazaki, Leona Heidern, Chin Gentsai, Mai Shiranui and the duo Mature and Vice (two ladies killed by Iori in The King of Fighters '96 and who appears as ghosts capable of physically materializing). In addition, the only substantial change is the new Rivals Team, formed by Elisabeth Blanctorche, Duo Lon and Shen Woo, who enters with the purpose of stopping Ash Crimson, who this time appears in the tournament alone.
- Note 2: The K' Team remain with the same formation as The King of Fighters XI.
- Note 3: Billy Kane from the Fatal Fury series, returns after 7 years after his last appearance. However, he has no relevance in the plot of the game. Like Mr. Karate, he enters in the tournament alone.
Official Team Roster
Single Entry Fighter
- Note 1: All mid-bosses appear under specific conditions.
- Note 2: Unlocking both Billy and Saiki has two options: Defeating either of them for the first time, or via purchasing the DLC.
- Note: These variant are all included in the PC Editions (Steam/GOG).
Special Edit Teams
- Note: By completing Arcade Mode with these teams, some special illustrations are unlocked.
KOF Heroes Team
Teenage Girls Team
Drink Team (A.K.A. Drunken Team)
Secondary Hero Team
Mushroom Hair Team
SNK Heroes Team
White Hair Team
Ancient Martial Arts Team
South Town Outlaw Team
- Note: To earn the special illustration, the player must defeat the final boss with Billy.
- Note: To earn the special illustration, the player must defeat the final boss with Saiki.
The King of Fighters series
- Rugal Bernstein (KOF '94) - in Sky Noah Stage
- Heidern (KOF '94) - in Sky Noah Stage, during the 3rd round
- Rodem (KOF '94) - in Sky Noah Stage
- Malin (KOF 2003) - in the Dojo Stage
- Bao (KOF '99) - in Pao Pao Cafe Stage
- Heavy-D!, Lucky Glauber & Brian Battler (KOF '94) - in the Abandoned Factory Stage
- Candy Diamond (KOF '97) - in Abandoned Factory Stage
- Vanessa, Seth & Ramón (KOF 2000) - in France Stage
- Shermie (KOF '97) - in France Stage
- Lin (KOF 2000) - in China Stage
- Baitang (KOF 2000) - in China Stage
- Chris (KOF '97) - in England Stage
- Shingo Yabuki (KOF '97) - in Japan and Esaka Stages
- Hinako Shijou (KOF 2000) - in Japan Stage
- Chang Koehan (KOF '94) - in India Stage
- Cosplayer Kyoko (KOF '94) - in Esaka Stage
Fatal Fury/MOTW series
- Marco Rodriguez (Garou: MOTW) - in the Dojo and Brazil Stages
- Richard Meyer (Fatal Fury: King of Fighters) - in Pao Pao Cafe Stage
- Kain R. Heinlein (Garou: MOTW) - in Burnt Remains Stage
- Wolfgang Krauser (Fatal Fury 2) - in Clock Tower Stage
- Laurence Blood (Fatal Fury 2) - in Clock Tower Stage
- Axel Hawk (Fatal Fury 2) - in Clock Tower Stage
- Lilly Kane (Fatal Fury: King of Fighters) - in Clock Tower Stage
- Duck King (Fatal Fury: King of Fighters) - on a helicopter in USA Stage
- P-chan (Fatal Fury: King of Fighters) - in the USA Stage
- Tung Fu Rue (Fatal Fury: King of Fighters) - in China Stage
- Li Xiangfei (RBFF 2) - in China Stage
- B. Jenet (Garou: MOTW) - in England Stage
- Ryuji Yamazaki (Fatal Fury 3) - in England Stage, on a poster
- Cheng Sinzan (Fatal Fury 2) - in India Stage
- Tizoc (Garou: MOTW) - in Brazil Stage
Art of Fighting series
- Wang Koh-San (AOF 3) - in Desert Stage
- Eiji Kisaragi (AOF 2) - in the Dojo Stage
- Kasumi Todoh (AOF 3) - in the Dojo Stage
- Mr. Big (AOF 1) - in South Town and USA Stages
- Karman Cole (AOF 3) - in South Town Stage
- Jack Turner (AOF 1) - in South Town Stage, on a poster
- Ryuhaku Todoh (AOF 1) - in Japan Stage
Samurai Shodown series
- Haohmaru (SamSho I) - in Esaka Stage
- Nakoruru (SamSho I) - in Japan Stage
- Hanzo Hattori (SamSho I) - in Coliseum Rooftop Stage
- Charlotte Christine de Colde (SamSho I) - in Burnt Remains Stage
- Shiki (SamSho 64) - in Temple Stage
- Galford D. Weller (SamSho I) - in USA Stage
- Cham Cham (SamSho II) - in Brazil Stage
Metal Slug series
- Marco Rossi (MS 1) - in Egypt Stage
- Mars People (MS 2) - in Egypt Stage
- Fiolina Germi (MS 2) - in Egypt Stage
The Last Blade series
Savage Reign/Kizuna Encounter series
- Sho Hayate (Savage Reign) - in Dojo Stage
- Rocky (Robo Army) - in Abandoned Factory Stage
- Blue Mary
- Chang Koehan
- Choi Bounge
- Shingo Yabuki
- B. Jenet
- Tizoc (The Griffon)
- Li Xiangfei
- Hotaru Futaba
- Hinako Shijou
- Duck King
- Kasumi Todoh
- Richard Meyer
- Chizuru Kagura
- Kim Dong Hwan
- Kim Jae Hoon
- Adelheid Bernstein
- Rose Bernstein
Cosplay & Alternate Colors
Several alternate colors for the cast are homages to characters in other games or media. The list below charts costume outcomes from the alternate color options.
Beside that, some custom colors resemble other characters or media, depending of the player's choices (and exclusive for the five spaces after the 10th color). Below, the list:
- Note: In the Versus Mode, the stages can be selected by the player, something which was last seen in the console version of KOF 2001.
Stages used in all game's modes.
Stages used only in Versus and Practice Modes.
Mid-Boss & Boss Stages
- Note: All stages can be unlocked in Story Mode, after beating the character associated with him.
KOF XII's Reimagined Stages
Stages already present in The King of Fighters XII, which returns with new versions.
Some theme songs played in the game are past themes of some characters or teams. This themes are available only in domestic platforms, and can be accessed in the sound options of the game. Below, the list:
- Note: Awakened Saiki and Evil Ash do not have Type-B Music Themes.
Following its release, The King of Fighters XIII received positive reviews, taking an average of 77 and 79 out of 100 on Metacritic. GameSpot awarded it as Best Fighting Game of the Year and as the Most Improved Sequel. It was also nominated for 2011 Spike Video Game Awards, 2011 Golden Joystick Awards and Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences's 2012 D.I.C.E. Summit awards for the best fighting game of the year, but every time lost to Mortal Kombat.
The gameplay was given major praise with critics from GameSpot and 1UP.com comparing it with critically acclaimed fighting games like Street Fighter IV and finding the execution satisfying despite possible difficulties to newcomers to the franchise. The visual presentation was complimented to the point GamePro stated that the game "has an incredibly distinct – and incredibly beautiful – visual style to it." SNK Playmore was noted to have listened to all the fans' concerns regarding the game as the character roster was increased, with the notable return of fan favorite characters. On the other hand, the game has received criticism as a result of its story mode which is nearly inaccessible to those unfamiliar with the series as well as its use of illustration alongside large paragraphs telling the plot. Similar comments were given to the online modes as it lacked options to allow players to watch other online fights.
The PlayStation 3 version of the game sold 21,525 copies in Japan during its first week of release. At the game's (and the series') Evolution Championship Series debut in 2012, it became the second-most-watched game of the series at over 90,000 consecutive viewers, thanks to a highly competitive tournament. In 2012, Complex ranked it as the third best SNK fighting game ever made, calling it "one of this generation’s finest fighters." The magazine also ranked it as the eighth best 2D fighting game of all time in 2013, stating: "A hit at EVO both this year, and the last, we predict that XIII will be sticking around for years to come." GamesRadar listed it as the 8th best fighting from its generation.
- Official website
- Official blog
- Official English website
- The King of Fighters-i official website, Apps site
- The King of Fightters-i 2012 official website
- The King of Fighters XIII Steam Edition
- KOF XIII Special page for Steam Edition
- The King of Fighters XIII Galaxy Edition