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Position in the series
Saga/Story Arc
Chapter
Is it canonical?
13th
Tales of Ash
3rd
Yes

"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 XIIIサーティーン) is the thirteenth installment in The King of Fighters series and the final chapter of the "Tales of Ash" story arc, started in The King of Fighters 2003.

The theme for this title is "KOF-ism" or getting 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. The mobile versions of the game were released on July 7, 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 XIIIサーティーン クライマックス).

Eisuke Ogura returns to do the character illustrations.

Contents

Development

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). 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.

In choosing characters, 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 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 ones. 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 flamewielding persona was developed to generate a contrast between him and the regular Iori.

Story

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"!

Gameplay

Gameplay of Athena vs. Raiden

  • 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.

Gameplay of Mai vs. Yuri

  • 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.
    • "Hyper Drive 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 Desperation", a revival of the Max 2 Desperations 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 Desperation, 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).

Order Select of Team Japan vs. Ryo, Robert and Iori in the arcade version

  • 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, 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.

Characters

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 people. 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. 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.

Both Mukai and Botan return. Rose Bernstein returns and is also the sponsor of this year's tournament. 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:


Raiden-kofXIII.jpg
Raiden, from the Fatal Fury series, appears again from The King of Fighters XII and makes his canonical debut in the series. He is a pro wrestler and former criminal who joins Kim Kaphwan in his Rehabilitation Project.
Hwajai-kofXIII.jpg
Hwa Jai, also from the Fatal Fury series, makes his debut in the KOF series. He is another criminal and once a Muay Thai champion, who joins Kim's Rehabilitation Project.
Saiki-hengemae-kofXIII.png
Saiki-awakenedxiii.jpg
Saiki, the sub-boss of the game, is the leader of Those from the Past group and Ash's ancestral. He is a being that has been described as the Western emissary of Gaia, he desires to gather life energy throughout the tournament to reawake Gaia's will and use the entity for his own means. He appears in two forms: his Human Version (only in Domestic Platforms and Climax Versions) and Awakened Version, which appears as the sub-boss.
Evil-ashxiii.jpg
Evil Ash, the final boss of the game, is a version of Ash after killing and absorbing both Saiki and Mukai's powers.
Mrkarate-ex-kof13.png
Mr. Karate, from the first Art of Fighting, debuts as a new character. However, he has no relevance in the plot of the game. He enters in the tournament alone.
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

Elisabeth Team (A.K.A. Rivals Team or Deuteragonist Team)

Elisabethkofxii.gif

Elisabeth Blanctorche

Duolonkofxii.gif

Duo Lon

Shenwookofxii.gif

Shen Woo

Japan Team

Kyokofxii.gif

Kyo Kusanagi

Benimarukofxii.gif

Benimaru Nikaido

Gorodaimonkofxii.gif

Goro Daimon

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

Terrykofxii.gif

Terry Bogard

Andy stand.gif

Andy Bogard

Joekofxii.gif

Joe Higashi

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

Ryokofxii.gif

Ryo Sakazaki

Robertkofxii.gif

Robert Garcia

Takumakofxiii.gif

Takuma Sakazaki

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

Leonakofxii.gif

Leona Heidern

Ralfkofxii.gif

Ralf Jones

Clarkkofxii.gif

Clark Still

Psycho Soldier Team

Athenakofxiii.gif

Athena Asamiya

Kensoukofxii.gif

Sie Kensou

Chinkofxiii.gif

Chin Gentsai

Women Fighters Team

Kingkofxiii.gif

King

Maikofxiii.gif

Mai Shiranui

Yurikofxiii.gif

Yuri Sakazaki

Kim Team

Kimkaphwankofxii.gif

Kim Kaphwan

Raidenkofxii.gif

Raiden

Hwajaikofxiii.gif

Hwa Jai

Yagami Team

Iorikofxii.gif

Iori Yagami

Maturekofxiii.gif

Mature

Vicekofxiii.gif

Vice

K' Team

Kdashkofxiii.gif

K'

Kulakofxiii.gif

Kula Diamond

Maximakofxiii.gif

Maxima

Mid-Bosses

Note: Ash appears as mid-boss before the last team in Arcade Mode, while Billy and Saiki appear after the third battle. All mid-bosses appear under specific conditions.

Available in All Versions

Ashkofxii.gif

Ash Crimson

Available Only in Domestic Platforms & Arcade Climax Versions

Saikinormkofxiii.gif

Saiki (Human Form) - Doesn't appear in mobile versions

Billykanekofxiii.gif

Billy Kane

Sub-Boss

Saikikofxiiialt.gif

Saiki (Awakened Form) - Doesn't appear in mobile versions

Final Boss

Darkashkofxiii.gif

Evil Ash - Doesn't appear in mobile versions

DLC/EX Characters

Kyokofxiii.gif

NESTS Style Kyo Kusanagi (Based on his KOF '98 moveset)

Iorikofxiii.gif

Classic Iori Yagami (Based on his KOF '95-XI moveset)

Mrkaratehonkikofxiii.gif

Mr. Karate (in his Serious Form) - Doesn't appear in the mobile versions

NPC Characters

  • Botan - appears in cutscenes
  • Shroom & Rimelo - appears in cutscenes
  • Adelheid Bernstein - appears in cutscenes and background cameo in Sky Noah Stage
  • Rose Bernstein - appears in cutscenes and background cameo in Sky Noah Stage
  • Foxy - appears in Kula's NeoMax and in one of her win poses
  • Diana - appears in Kula's NeoMax and in one of her win poses

Special Edit Teams

Note: By playing with these teams, some special illustrations are unlocked.

KOF Heroes Team

Kyokofxii.gif

Kyo Kusanagi

Kdashkofxiii.gif

K'

Ashkofxii.gif

Ash Crimson

Teenage Girls Team

Athenakofxiii.gif

Athena Asamiya

Kulakofxiii.gif

Kula Diamond

Yurikofxiii.gif

Yuri Sakazaki

Drink Team (A.K.A. Drunken Team)

Kingkofxiii.gif

King

Chinkofxiii.gif

Chin Gentsai

Hwajaikofxiii.gif

Hwa Jai

Sidekick Team

Benimarukofxii.gif

Benimaru Nikaido

Andy stand.gif

Andy Bogard

Robertkofxii.gif

Robert Garcia

Glamorous Team

Elisabethkofxii.gif

Elisabeth Blanctorche

Maikofxiii.gif

Mai Shiranui

Kingkofxiii.gif

King

Giants Team

Gorodaimonkofxii.gif

Goro Daimon

Maximakofxiii.gif

Maxima

Raidenkofxii.gif

Raiden

KOF 2003 Heroes Team

Ashkofxii.gif

Ash Crimson

Duolonkofxii.gif

Duo Lon

Shenwookofxii.gif

Shen Woo

Wrestlers Team

Gorodaimonkofxii.gif

Goro Daimon

Clarkkofxii.gif

Clark Still

Raidenkofxii.gif

Raiden

Mature Team

Maturekofxiii.gif

Mature

Vicekofxiii.gif

Vice

Leonakofxii.gif

Leona Heidern

Secondary Hero Team

Benimarukofxii.gif

Benimaru Nikaido

Kimkaphwankofxii.gif

Kim Kaphwan

Joekofxii.gif

Joe Higashi

Mushroom Hair Team

Kyokofxii.gif

Kyo Kusanagi

Kimkaphwankofxii.gif

Kim Kapahwan

Kensoukofxii.gif

Sie Kensou

SNK Heroes Team

Kyokofxii.gif

Kyo Kusanagi

Terrykofxii.gif

Terry Bogard

Ryokofxii.gif

Ryo Sakazaki

Navel Team

Iorikofxii.gif

Iori Yagami

Benimarukofxii.gif

Benimaru Nikaido

Leonakofxii.gif

Leona Heidern

Sweet Team

Ashkofxii.gif

Ash Crimson

Kulakofxiii.gif

Kula Diamond

Yurikofxiii.gif

Yuri Sakazaki

White Hair Team

Kdashkofxiii.gif

K'

Ashkofxii.gif

Ash Crimson

Chinkofxiii.gif

Chin Gentsai

Ancient Martial Arts Team

Kyokofxiii.gif

Kyo Kusanagi

Iorikofxii.gif

Iori Yagami

Takumakofxiii.gif

Takuma Sakazaki

South Town Outlaw Team

Billykanekofxiii.gif

Billy Kane

Raidenkofxii.gif

Raiden

Hwajaikofxiii.gif

Hwa Jai

Billy Team

Note: To earn the special illustration, the player must defeat the final boss with Billy.
Billykanekofxiii.gif

Billy Kane

Ashkofxii.gif
Elisabethkofxii.gifDuolonkofxii.gifShenwookofxii.gif
Kyokofxii.gifBenimarukofxii.gifGorodaimonkofxii.gif
Terrykofxii.gifAndy stand.gifJoekofxii.gif
Ryokofxii.gifRobertkofxii.gifTakumakofxiii.gif
Leonakofxii.gifRalfkofxii.gifClarkkofxii.gif
Athenakofxiii.gifKensoukofxii.gifChinkofxiii.gif
Kingkofxiii.gifMaikofxiii.gifYurikofxiii.gif
Kimkaphwankofxii.gifRaidenkofxii.gifHwajaikofxiii.gif
Iorikofxii.gifMaturekofxiii.gifVicekofxiii.gif
Kdashkofxiii.gifKulakofxiii.gifMaximakofxiii.gif
Kyokofxiii.gifIorikofxiii.gifSaikinormkofxiii.gifMrkaratehonkikofxiii.gif

Any Character

Saiki Team

Note: To earn the special illustration, the player must defeat the final boss with Saiki.
Saikinormkofxiii.gif

Saiki (Human Form)

Ashkofxii.gif
Elisabethkofxii.gifDuolonkofxii.gifShenwookofxii.gif
Kyokofxii.gifBenimarukofxii.gifGorodaimonkofxii.gif
Terrykofxii.gifAndy stand.gifJoekofxii.gif
Ryokofxii.gifRobertkofxii.gifTakumakofxiii.gif
Leonakofxii.gifRalfkofxii.gifClarkkofxii.gif
Athenakofxiii.gifKensoukofxii.gifChinkofxiii.gif
Kingkofxiii.gifMaikofxiii.gifYurikofxiii.gif
Kimkaphwankofxii.gifRaidenkofxii.gifHwajaikofxiii.gif
Iorikofxii.gifMaturekofxiii.gifVicekofxiii.gif
Kdashkofxiii.gifKulakofxiii.gifMaximakofxiii.gif
Kyokofxiii.gifIorikofxiii.gifBillykanekofxiii.gifMrkaratehonkikofxiii.gif

Any Character

Stage Cameos

The King of Fighters series

Fatal Fury/MOTW series

Art of Fighting series

Samurai Shodown series

Metal Slug series

The Last Blade series

Savage Reign/Kizuna Encounter series

Other Games

  • Rocky (Robo Army) - in Abandoned Factory Stage

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.

Normal Colors

Character
Cosplay Character (s)
Normal Color Number
Ash Crimson
The Joker from DC Comics' Batman series
Color #10
Elisabeth Blanctorche
Herself (KOF XI)
Color #10
Duo Lon
Xiao Lon from KOF Maximum Impact series, TATARI/The Night of Wallachia from Type-Moon's Tsukihime/Melty Blood series, Himself (negative colors)
Color #3, Color #5, Color #10
Kyo Kusanagi
Himself (during NESTS saga)
Color #10
Benimaru Nikaido
Roronoa Zoro from Toei's One Piece series, Duke Edwards from Burning Fight
Color #3
Terry Bogard
Robert Garcia
Color #10
Andy Bogard
Son Goku from the Dragon Ball series, Eiji Kisaragi from Art of Fighting series
Color #9, Color #8
Ryo Sakazaki
Shin Akuma and Ryu from Capcom's Street Fighter series, Mr. Karate II from Buriki One
Color #8, Color #6, Color #5
Robert Garcia
Terry Bogard
Color #10
Takuma Sakazaki
Shin Akuma from Capcom's Street Fighter series
Color #10
Leona Heidern
Gamora from Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy series, Nightcrawler from Marvel's X-Men series
Colr #8, Color #10
Ralf Jones
Himself (KOF 2000~XI)
Color #10
Clark Still
Himself (KOF '99~XI)
Color #10
Athena Asamiya
Herself (KOF XII), Sasara Kusugawa from To Heart 2, Ninon Beart from Maximum Impact series
Color #10, Color #7, Color #5
Sie Kensou
Duo Lon
Color #10
King
Kula Diamond
Color #10
Yuri Sakazaki
Mina Majikina and Iroha from Samurai Shodown series, Yamanaka Ino and Sakura Haruno from Naruto series
Color #5, Color #6, Color #7, Color #8
Kim Kaphwan
Son Goku from the Dragon Ball series
Color #10
Raiden
Venom from Marvel's Spider-Man series, Himself (from Fatal Fury series), Tiger Mask (Japanese wrestler)
Color #10, Color #2, Color #9
Hwa Jai
The Hulk from Marvel's Hulk series, Adon from Capcom's Street Fighter series, Joe Higashi
Color #7, Color #2, Color #4
Iori Yagami
Himself (KOF '95~XI), Kula Diamond, Terry Bogard (MOTW version)
Color #10, Color #7, Color #4
Mature
Iori Yagami, Herself (ghost)
Color #4, Color #10
Vice
Iori Yagami, Herself (ghost)
Color #4, Color #10
K'
Dante from Capcom's Devil May Cry series, Two-Face from the DC Comics Batman series, Homage to Mattel's card game Uno
Color #4, Color #8, Color #10
Kula Diamond
Iori Yagami (KOF '95~XI), Whip, C.C. from Sunrise's Code Geass, Herself (ice doll)
Color #4, Color #3, Color #9, Color #10
Maxima
Iron Man from the Marvel's Iron Man series, EVA-01 from GAINAX's Neon Genesis Evangelion
Color #4, Color #8
Billy Kane
A minstrel from "The Minstrel Show"
Color #10
Saiki (Human Form)
Elisabeth Blanctorche, Ash Crimson, Himself (Awakened Form), Remy from Capcom's Street Fighter series
Color #2, Color #4, Color #10
Evil Ash
Himself (Normal Version)
Color #4

Alternate Colors

Character
Cosplay Character (s)
Alternate Color Number
Elisabeth Blanctorche
Herself (KOF XI)
Color #1
Kyo Kusanagi
Himself (during Orochi saga), Iori Yagami (KOF '95~XI)
Color #1, Color #10
Takuma Sakazaki
Mr. Karate, Ryo Sakazaki
Color #1, Color #10
Yuri Sakazaki
Herself (with braid), Cammy White from Capcom's Street Fighter series, Mignon Beart from Maximum Impact series
Color #1, Color #10, Color #7
Raiden
Big Bear (his babyface persona from Fatal Fury 2), Zangief from Capcom's Street Fighter series, Hulk Hogan (retired American wrestler), Winnie the Pooh from Disney's The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh series
Color #1, Color #4, Color #9, Color #10
Hwa Jai
Oro from Capcom's Street Fighter series
Color #9
K'
Kula Diamond, Kamen Rider Double, Samus Aran from Nintendo's MetroidGill from Capcom's Street Fighter series (or Kikaider from Kikaider series)
Color #3, Color #4, Color #1

Custom Colors

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:

Character
Cosplay Character (s)
Custom Color Number
Ash Crimson
Awakened Saiki, Ronald McDonald (McDonald's fast-food restaurant chain mascot), Green Lantern from DC Comics' series, Elisabeth Blanctorche, Matt Miller from Vollion's Saints Row series
Color #1, Color #2, Color #3, Color #4, Color #5
Elisabeth Blanctorche
Raven from DC Comics' Titans series, Kain R. Heinlein from Garou: Mark of the Wolves, Demitri Maximoff from Capcom's Darkstalkers series, Miles Edgeworth from Capcom's Ace Attorney, The Joker from DC Comics' Batman series
Color #1, Color #2, Color #3, Color #4, Color #5
Duo Lon
Lee Pai Long from Art of Fighting series, Hsien-Ko from Capcom's Darkstalkers series, Ron, Tessa from Capcom's Red Earth series, Foxy
Color #1, Color #2, Color #3, Color #4, Color #5
Shen Woo
Yashiro Nanakase, Rody Birts from Art of Fighting 3, Reiji Oogami from The King of Fighters EX2: Howling Blood, Victor von Gerdenheim from Capcom's Darkstalkers series, Soiree Meira from Maximum Impact series
Color #1, Color #2, Color #3, Color #4, Color #5
Kyo Kusanagi
Kusanagi, Trunks Briefs from Dragon Ball series, Rock Howard from Garou: Mark of the Wolves, Dio Brando from Capcom's JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series, Dante from Capcom's Devil May Cry series
Color #1, Color #2, Color #3, Color #4, Color #5
Benimaru Nikaido
Vegeta from Dragon Ball series, Jean Pierre Polnareff from Capcom's JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series, Magaki (Awakened Form), Basara from Samurai Shodown series, Adelheid Bernstein
Color #1, Color #2, Color #3, Color #4, Color #5
Goro Daimon
The Hulk from Marvel's Hulk series, Hakan from Capcom's Street Fighter series, Mukai, Himself (KOF 2002/UM D color), Grant from Garou: Mark of the Wolves
Color #1, Color #2, Color #3, Color #4, Color #5
Terry Bogard
Ash Ketchum from Pokémon series, Waluigi and Mario from Nintendo's Super Mario series, Marco Rossi from Metal Slug series, Jotaro Kujo from Capcom's JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series
Color #1, Color #2, Color #3, Color #4, Color #5
Andy Bogard
Himself (KOF 2001/2002 [UM]), his EX/Shadow Version from Real Bout Fatal Fury Special, Bardock from Dragon Ball series, Naruto Uzumaki from Naruto series, Sub-Zero from Warner's Mortal Kombat series
Color #1, Color #2, Color #3, Color #4, Color #5
Joe Higashi
Himself (Real Bout Fatal Fury Special), Adon from Capcom's Street Fighter series, Viewtiful Joe from Capcom's Viewtiful Joe series
Color #1, Color #2, Color #5
Ryo Sakazaki
Gene from Clover Studio's God Hand series, Son Goku and Son Gohan from Dragon Ball series, Oni Akuma from Capcom's Street Fighter series, Jon Talbain from Capcom Darkstalkers series
Color #1, Color #2, Color #3, Color #4, Color #5
Robert Garcia
Himself (during the NESTS saga), Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist, Young Geese from Art of Fighting 2, Charlie Nash from Capcom's Street Fighter series
Color #1, Color #3, Color #4, Color #5
Takuma Sakazaki
Homer Simpson from The Simpsons series, Geese Howard from Fatal Fury series, Ichigo Kurosaki from Bleach manga series, Ryu from Capcom's Street Fighter series, Piccolo from Dragon Ball series
Color #1, Color #2, Color #3, Color #4, Color #5
Leona Heidern
Orochi Leona, Blue Mary from Fatal Fury series, Sonya Blade from Warner's Mortal Kombat series, She-Hulk from Marvel's She-Hulk series
Color #2, Color #3, Color #4, Color #5
Ralf Jones
Monkey D. Luffy from Toei's One Piece series, Guile and Balrog from Capcom's Street Fighter series, Roman Reigns (American wrestler), Axel Stone from SEGA's Streets of Rage series
Color #1, Color #2, Color #5, Color #3, Color #4
Clark Still
Bret Hart (former Canadian-American wrestling fighter), Barry Duffman from The Simpsons series, Wario from Nintendo's Super Mario series, John Crawley from Art of Fighting series, Dandy-J from Waku Waku 7
Color #1, Color #2, Color #3, Color #4, Color #5
Athena Asamiya
Kisarah Westfield from Aggressors of Dark Kombat, Ingrid from Capcom's Street Fighter series, Kagome Higurashi from InuYasha manga series, Super-Girl from DC Comics' Super-Girl series, Lilith Aesland from Capcom's Darkstalkers series
Color #1, Color #2, Color #3, Color #4, Color #5
Sie Kensou
Beasty Boy from DC Comics' Teen Titans series, Majin Buu and Trunks Briefs from Dragon Ball series, Spider-Man from Marvel's Spider-Man series, Bruce Lee (late actor and martial artist)
Color #1, Color #2, Color #3, Color #4, Color #5
Chin Gentsai
Himself (during the Orochi Saga), Aladdin from Disney's Alladin series, Gen from Capcom's Street Fighter series, Chiaotzu from Dragon Ball series, Papa Smurf from The Smurfs film series
Color #1, Color #2, Color #3, Color #4, Color #5
King
Rugal Bernstein, Dudley from Capcom's Street Fighter series, Himself (KOF '98 [UM]/'99), Robert Garcia (KOF XI), Vanessa
Color #1, Color #2, Color #3, Color #4, Color #5
Mai Shiranui
Starfire from DC Comics' Titans, Mina Majikina and Genan Shiranui from Samurai Shodown series, Kasumi from Koei Tecmo's Dead or Alive series
Color #1, Color #2, Color #5, Color #3, Color #4
Yuri Sakazaki
Tifa Lockhart from Square Enix's Final Fantasy VII, Power Girl from DC Comics' Super Girl series, Black Orchid from Killer Instinct series, Sakura Haruno from Naruto series, Angel
Color #1, Color #2, Color #3, Color #4, Color #5
Kim Kaphwan
Kim Jae Hoon and Kim Dong Hwan from Garou: Mark of the Wolves, May Lee Jinju, Himself (Real Bout Fatal Fury Special), Broly from Dragon Ball series
Color #1, Color #2, Color #3, Color #4, Color #5
Raiden
Killbane from Voillon's Saints Row series, The Flash from DC Comics' Flash Comics, Patrick Star from Spongebob Squarepants series, Kang Jae-Mo from Rage of the Dragons, Carnage from Marvel's Spider-Man series
Color #1, Color #2, Color #3, Color #4, Color #5
Hwa Jai
Sagat from Capcom's Street Fighter series, Kratos from God of War series, Yellow Bastard from Sin City series, Viewtiful Joe from Capcom's Viewtiful Joe series
Color #2, Color #3, Color #4, Color #5
Iori Yagami
Robert Garcia (Art of Fighting 3 and KOF '96~'98/UM), The Joker from DC Comics' Batman series, Noriaki Kakyoin from Capcom's JoJo's Bizarre Adventure series, Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop
Color #1, Color #2, Color #3, Color #5
Mature
Omega Rugal (KOF '98/UM), Ramón, Lance Vance from Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto series, The Joker from DC Comics' Batman series, Rose from Capcom's Street Fighter series
Color #1, Color #2, Color #3, Color #4, Color #5
Vice
Poison Ivy and Joker from DC Comics' Batman series, Pierce Washington from Vollion's Saints Row series, Sonny Forelli from from Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto series, Ryo Sakazaki (Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition)
Color #1, Color #3, Color #2, Color #4, Color #5
K'
Yashiro Nanakase, K9999, Johnny Gat from Voillon's Saints Row series, Gill from Capcom's Street Fighter series, Alba Meira from Maximum Impact series
Color #1, Color #2, Color #3, Color #4, Color #5
Kula Diamond
K', Morrigan Aensland from Capcom's Darkstalkers series, Storm and Mystique from Marvel's X-Men series, Samus Aran from Nintendo's Metroid series
Color #1, Color #2, Color #3, Color #5, Color #4
Maxima
Iron Man from the Marvel's Iron Man series, Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star manga series, Rocky from Robo Army, Thanos from Marvel's Avengers series, Hellboy from Hellboy series
Color #1, Color #2, Color #3, Color #4, Color #5
Billy Kane
Donatello from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, Himself (KOF 2003), Ralf Jones (KOF '99), Lord Raptor from Capcom's Darkstalkers series, Rolento from Capcom's Street Fighter series
Color #1, Color #2, Color #3, Color #4, Color #5
Saiki (Human Form)
Remy and M. Bison from Capcom's Street Fighter series, Shin from Fist of the North Star, Valmont from the Jackie Chan Adventures, Shion
Color #1, Color #3, Color #2, Color #4, Color #5
NESTS Kyo
Himself (KOF 2000 C+D Color), KOF XIV Beta Outfit, Shingo Yabuki, Slayer from Arc System Works' Guilty Gear series, Ben Tennyson from Cartoon Network's Ben 10 series
Color #1, Color #2, Color #3, Color #4, Color #5
Flames Iori
Orochi Iori, Another Iori (KOF 2000 Iori's Striker), Slash from Waku Waku 7, Jedah Dohma from Capcom's Darkstalkers series, Vergil from Capcom's Devil May Cry series
Color #1, Color #2, Color #3, Color #4, Color #5
Mr. Karate
Akuma from Capcom's Street Fighter series, Bishamon from Capcom's Darkstalkers series, The Green Goblin from Marvel's Spider-Man series, Tam Tam from Samurai Shodown series, Doctor Doom from Marvel's The Fantastic Four series
Color #1, Color #2, Color #3, Color #4, Color #5

Stages

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.

New Stages

Arcade/Story/Versus/Practice Stages

Stages used in all game's modes.

Stage
Stage's Name
Description
Kofxiiijapanbg.jpg
Matsumoto, Japan
The fight occurs in a ring, with sumo wrestlers in front, the Miyajima Shrine, the Matsumoto Castle and the Mount Fuji in the background, besides allegoric cars in the left and in the right.
Kofxiiiindiabg.jpg
Agra, India
The city of Agra, taking place during a sunset. It's a yellow colored stage, beautifully animated 3D elephants in the immediate background and the Taj Mahal in the distance.
Kofxiiibritainbg.jpg
London, England
A 1994's stlyed Britain stage, in the street, with the Big Ben in the background. The weather starts off foggy, but sun shines by the fourth round. Also can be seen people, guards and the famous Britain Double Decker bus.
Kofxiiibrazilbg.jpg
Amazon Forest, Brazil
The Amazon Forest. This is a lush-green colored jungle stage that was intended to be in The King of Fighters XII. Hard falls cause objects such as fruits or snakes to fall from the trees.
Kofxiiiusabg.jpg
New York City, USA
An area above the city of New York, with speakers, monitors, and caution tape scattered around; a red, white, and blue sign reading "THE KING OF FIGHTERS" sits above the fighting area. A cage drops in the background in some rounds, and various floats can be seen in the sky. Also can be seen the Empire State Building. Similar to Muscle Power's stage in the first World Heroes.
Note: in the 3rd round, a helicopter with a reporter at the door appears for a few seconds before disappearing overhead.

Versus/Practice Stages

Stages used only in Versus and Practice Modes.

Stage
Stage's Name
Description
KOF-XIII-Sky-Noah-Stage.jpg
Sky Noah (KOF 2003)
An airship floating high above ground, featuring the Bernstein family lounging and doing their business. Multiple terminals and high-tech consoles are strewn across the stage. Stage reminiscent of The King of Fighters 2003.
KOF-XIII-Desert-Stage.jpg
Hegra, Saudi Arabia (Ancient Ruins)
The ancient city of Hegra, in the Arabian Desert, next to the Masmak Fort and the city of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Features ancient ruins, rocks and dust, beside a dry and broken dirt floor. Similiar to the Desert Stage in The King of Fighters 2000. Note: Like in KOF 2000, this stage has a sandstorm. But unlike the seventh KOF entry, she dissipates as the rounds go by.
KOF-XIII-Dojo-Stage.jpg
Kyokugenru Dojo, South Town (Art of Fighting 2)
A dojo set in the main room of the dojo, several Japanese paraphernalia can be seen hanging on the walls. There are posters of the Art of Fighting teams, and students in gis are watching the team battle each other. The characters seen in the background are Marco Rodriguez, the unnamed student seen in his Garou: Mark of the Wolves ending and in The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match (Art of Fighting Team Stage), and Sho Hayate from Savage Reign.
KOF-XIII-Pao-Pao-Cafe-Fatal-Fury-Stage.jpg
Pao Pao Cafe, South Town (Fatal Fury: King of Fighters)
A colorful stage with exotic plants and decorations with musicians in the center, with patrons watching over the battle on the left and right behind windows.
KOF-XIII-Southtown-Stage.jpg
Alley, South Town
A dingy back alley in the depths of South Town, where the graffiti is plastered across the brick walls, a random hoodlum is sitting by the opening of one of them, along with a broken car with damaged windows. Similar to Mickey Rogers' stage in the first Art of Fighting.
KOF-XIII-Burnt-Remains-Stage.jpg
Burnt Remains
A lush meadow with trees in the background, also containing the ruins of a European castle with moss and vine decorated on its walls.
KOF-XIII-Temple-Stage-Mr-Karate-.jpg
Mr. Karate Temple (Art of Fighting)
An eastern temple in Japan, dimly lit by torches planted alongside the structure. It has a memorial site to the left, with unmarked stones.
Kofxiiijapanbg.jpg
Abandoned Factory Stage (The King of Fighters '95)
An abandoned factory reminiscent of the Rival Team's's Stage in The King of Fighters '95. The sun setting provides light for the background as a smoldering power plant is seen from behind, along with a trash pile and a KOF-labelled truck.
KOF-XIII-Esaka-Day-Stage.jpg
Esaka Passageway, Osaka, Japan (The King of Fighters '96)
A scaffolding connecting to a series of apartment buildings and a train station in Esaka, along with the SNK headquarters in the background. Numerous high school students are cheering on the fight, with a digital billboard promoting the KOF tournament with different fighters.

Mid-Boss & Boss Stages

Note: All stages can be unlocked in Story Mode, after beating the character associated with him.
Stage
Stage's Name
Team/Character
Description
KOF-XIII-Coliseum-Rooftop-Stage.jpg
Coliseum Rooftop
Ash Crimson
The fighters are on the roofs of the Rose Stadium, where light is illuminating the center from behind, where fireworks are being shot in the distance.
KOF-XIII-Clock-Tower-Stage.jpg
Clock Tower, London, England
Billy
An English stage taking place in the inside of a clock tower instead of the city streets. The clock gears, a workshop with tools and pipes can be seen in the background, along with London skyline which is visible out of the windows, highlighting the Big Ben in the background.
KOF-XIII-Vessel-Room-Stage.jpg
Vessel Room Stage
Human Saiki
A room of an evil palace. Can be seen small craters all over the scene, emanating an evil lava, besides two stairs, an energy ball in the center of a hole and a terrace. Similar to Magaki's stage in The King of Fighters XI.
KOF-XIII-Rose-Bernstein-Stadium-Stage-2-The-Gate.jpg
Rose Stadium Ashed — The Gate
Awakened Saiki
The coliseum and castles have been warped into a destroyed version, and the ground is covered in what seems to be cooled magma. Occupying the back of the stadium where the screen once was is the Gate. Above the stadium, lighting and swirling clouds rage in a reddish sky due to a stoppage in time.
KOF-XIII-Diabolosis-Stage.jpg
Rose Stadium Misted — Diabolosis
Evil Ash
The entire stage is almost completely white, with vague shadows of the foundation of the Rose Stadium visible as the Gate opens wider.

KOF XII's Reimagined Stages

Stages already present in The King of Fighters XII, which returns with new versions.

Stage
Stage's Name
Description
Kofxiiirosestadiumbg.jpg
Rose Stadium
A orange/brown colored coliseum, at night. Features a blue rose bed next to a fountain in the middle and some castles in the background. This stage appears before the Sub-Boss Fight.
KOF-XIII-Egypt-Stage-3.jpg
Giza, Egypt
The city of Giza, in a new green/yellow colored version, what appears to be an indoor palace. Green light reflects off of players when the stage's fires are lit. In the final stages, the light turns red.
KOF-XIII-China-Stage.jpg
Zhouzhang, China
The city of Zhouzhuang, at night. Features glowing amber lamps, people cheering, fruits, commercial centers and some animals. A hard fall on the side of the stage causes a dog to jump out and bark.
KOF-XIII-Paris-France-Stage.jpg
Paris, France
The city of Paris, at an autumn evening. The fight takes place in the Avenue de Champs-Élysées, the most famous street of the French capital city. Can be seen a sunset setting with the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower in the background. Also features various people sitting in tables watching the fight.

Type-B Music

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:

Music
Related Team/Character in this game
Game/Series' Source
Queen
Elisabeth Team
The King of Fighters XI (Rivals Team Theme)
ESAKA ~Acid Remix~
Japan Team
The King of Fighters XI (EX Kyo's Theme)
Street Dancer
Fatal Fury Team
The King of Fighters XI (Fatal Fury Team Theme)
After a Long Absence
Art of Fighting Team
The King of Fighters XI (Art of Fighting Team Theme)
Smell of Gunpowder
Ikari Warriors Team
The King of Fighters XI (Ikari Warriors Team Theme)
Pure ~At Good Old Days~
Psycho Soldier Team
The King of Fighters XI (Psycho Soldier Team Theme)
I'm Hot For You!
Women Fighters Team
The King of Fighters 2003 (Women Fighters Team Theme, Arranged Version)
Seoul Road
Kim Team
The King of Fighters '96 (Korea Justice Team Theme, Arranged Version)
Arashi no Saxophone (Stormy Saxophone) -KOF XI-
Yagami Team
The King of Fighters XI (Iori's Theme)
KDD-0075
K' Team
The King of Fighters XI (K' Team Theme)
Joker
Ash Crimson
The King of Fighters XI ("Hero" Team Theme)
Goodbye Esaka -NEO GEO Version-
NESTS Kyo
The King of Fighters 2000 (Kyo's Theme)
Arashi no Saxophone 2 -NEO GEO Version-
Flames Iori
The King of Fighters '96 (Yagami Team Theme)
Geese ni Katakori (A Stiff Neck for Geese)
Billy Kane
The King of Fighters '96 (Geese's Theme, Remix)
The Tengu Show -NEO GEO Version-
Mr. Karate
Art of Fighting (Mr. Karate's Theme)
Fate -Arranged-
Human Saiki
Original Theme
Note: Awakened Saiki and Evil Ash do not have Type-B Music Themes.

Critical Reception

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.

Gallery

Trailers

Trivia

  • This game is the last game in the series that was developed and published under the SNK Playmore custody.
    • This game is also the last mainline King of Fighters game to use hand-drawing sprites. Starting with The King of Fighters XIV, the mainline series uses 3D graphics, with 2.5D playthrough.
  • Originally unused sound files for the English dub were found in the 1.0 Arcade version of the game through datamining but were eventually removed in the 1.1 Arcade version and all home console versions.
  • This game is the only without intros between the characters. However, the taunts (provocations) are present.
  • This game is a polar opposite of The King of Fighters '97, with the roles between Hero and Rival are opposite, whereas Ash going solo, while Elisabeth's Rivals Team is the protagonist team instead.
  • This game and The King of Fighters 2001 are the only games of the mainline series which the life bars don't increase between rounds.
  • This game, The King of Fighters XIV and The King of Fighters XV are the only games in the series with selectable character costume colors.
    • However, the thirteenth entry of the series is the only which the player can custom some colors for the characters (in five spaces).
  • This is the first game of the series (and of the company) to use DLC content (in this case, DLC characters).
    • This is also the only game under the SNK Playmore custody with that type of content.

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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