SNK Wiki
Advertisement
Position in the series
Saga/Story Arc
Chapter
Is it canonical?
14th
Shun'ei Saga
1st
Yes

"Burn To Fight."

- Tagline

The King of Fighters XIV (ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ XIVフォーティーン) is the fourteenth installment of The King of Fighters series. It was first announced during the SCEJA Press Conference 2015.[1] The game was developed for the PlayStation 4 and released in August 2016, it was later ported to the Microsoft Windows platforms (Steam and GOG) and Japanese arcade cabinets (NESiCAxLive) in 2017 (the GOG version was released in 2020). This game is the first chapter of the fourth canonical saga for the series. It is also the first game in the series to not be developed first for the arcades, and the first game after SNK renaming to his original name. Garou: Mark of the Wolves battle designer, Yasuyuki Oda, is the director and producer.

Oda said in an interview with the website 4Gamer that the main goal for this title is to make it "the easiest to play" of the series. According to him, the two major reasons for making the transition to 3D is to adapt to high-end machines and give 3D experience to SNK so they can compete in the console market again. He thinks it's difficult to properly convey the KOF cast's charm in 3D but expects the models to continue improving from its initial revealing. Oda hopes to cater to fans of KOF '98, KOF 2002 and KOF XIII with this game's mechanics and improve the online matchmaking for this entry.[2]

A graphical patch (Ver 1.10) to boost the game's visuals is released on January 11, 2017. On April 5, 2017, the 2.00 update is released along with 4 additional DLC characters and 2 free classic stages. On April 12, 2018, the 3.00 update is released along with another 4 additional DLC characters and 1 new stage. Besides, the Ultimate Edition, with all DLC characters and costumes and 10 new PS4 themes is released in Digital format on January 7, 2021, for Europe, and January 20, 2021, and the Physical format was released in March 11, 2021.

Development

After considering the current market and the future, the staff agreed that things would be best if they challenged 3D right now and started building up experience, knowledge and libraries in their company.[3]

  • The game engine was internally developed by SNK. They were considering using the Unreal Engine but decided not to because SNK didn't feel confident after overviewing the potential risks and budget at that time. Four years later, SNK finally decided to use Unreal Engine, starting from developing Samurai Shodown (2019), and continuing with The King of Fighters XV;
  • They decided against cell-shaded graphics due to wanting to emulate the look of '94. Originally the game used a more realistic style, but it was eventually tweaked so it would not clash with certain characters' designs. The cel-shaded graphic is then utilized in Samurai Shodown (2019) via Unreal Engine three years later;
  • Hitboxes are added manually in 2D;
  • Ogura has no remorse in leaving behind pixel art since it was a method to bring out the best in low-resolution graphics. Now that times have changed, even if doing 2D he'd rather take a different approach than pixel art;
  • Making the game run in full 60 FPS proved to be difficult and as a result, the flashier looking graphics and effects were cut. There was the option of having a variable framerate, but the team decided to keep it consistent partially due to concerns about the quality of the online multiplayer;
  • They only had 3-4 designers but Oda decided to have 50 characters in the game. To save production time and budget, he allowed for three characters to obscure their faces so they would not require facial animations.

SNK has a lot of development teams especially in the mobile/smartphone side of things, but they only have two studios. One of them is making the KOF series, and they barely had enough staff to make XIV.[4]

Story

The King of Fighters has become a major business, generating huge profits and numerous spin-off tournaments worldwide. However, this led to a lowering of the overall quality, and voices began to rise across the globe demanding the formation of one unique, worldwide KOF competition.

A billionaire self-proclaimed “first champion” bought out all the rights for the KOF Tournament. The announcement of a new KOF Tournament created unprecedented enthusiasm around the world. This excitement reached many of the classic participants of the legendary tournament directly in the form of an official invitation...

Gameplay

Gameplay of Kyo vs. Iori in 1.10 version (Graphical Update)

Unlike previous main entries, which employed hand-drawn sprite animation, The King of Fighters XIV uses 3D models more akin to the KOF: Maximum Impact series. However the fighting area remains on a strictly two-dimensional plane and keeps the same basic mechanics as its predecessors.

New Max mode systems allows players to access the EX special moves; activating this state requires one bar of the power gauge. EX super move can also be executed with just one attack button, instead of two.

Using three bars of the power gauge can allow players to unleash Climax Desperation Moves, the current "Strongest Level DM" in this game that follows somewhat in the prior Neo Max's footsteps. Some characters gain new moves as a Climax DM, while others instead have their prior Neo Max reprised as a Climax DM.

Super Cancels are now based on 2003 along with XI's Dream Cancel, except it is now available to all members and has new traits available, such canceling a normal DM to an EX or Climax DM, or EX DM into a Climax DM.

Yuri, right after applying her Climax move in Leona.

Repeatedly hit the light punch button to perform an automatic combo attack called Rush mode; this will do lower damage compared to normal combo attacks. However, there some conditions involving Level gauge:

  • If the Level gauge is 0, the fourth Rush mode combo goes to a certain special move.
  • If one Level gauge is filled, the fourth Rush mode combo goes to a certain Super Art.
  • While entering Max Mode, the fourth Rush mode combo goes to an EX version of a certain special/super moves.

CD/Blowback attacks now cause opponents to hit the wall with a unique form of wall-slam, which causes them for a period of time to remain vulnerable to follow-up attacks.

Gameplay of Benimaru vs. Iori in the Arcade version.

Online multiplayer mode will feature a Party Battle mode which will allow three players to form a single team together to challenge another three player team. Players will be allowed to choose the same character if they wish while forming teams. The lobby is designed to support up to twelve players so spectators can join to watch the match up with an integrated voice and text chat. A "Crowd SE" option is additionally available for spectators will allow them to root, applaud, and boo their favored competing teams. Players will be allowed to set their online profiles to be private. An online training mode is available as well.

The Story Mode is composed of ten rounds and five cutscenes. Depending of the chosen team, the fourth cutscene can vary. The Japan, China, Official Invitation and Another World Teams earns special cutscenes. Before the two first cutscenes, the player can face a team with a character of 1, 2 or 3 DLC characters, mixed with 1 or 2 original characters.

Controls

Note: These are the default control schemes. You can change them at any time with the Options Menu or by pausing.

Battle Controls

Movement Console Terminology
PlayStation 4 PlayStation 5 Neo Geo
Light Punch PS4 Square.png PS5 Square.png Neo Geo A Button.gif
Light Kick PS4 Cross.png PS5 Cross.png Neo Geo B Button.gif
Heavy Punch PS4 Triangle.png PS5 Triangle.png Neo Geo C Button.gif
Heavy Kick PS4 Circle.png PS5 Circle.png Neo Geo D Button.gif
Emergency Evasion PS4 L1.png or PS4 Square.png + PS4 Cross.png PS5 L1.png or PS5 Square.png + PS5 Cross.png Neo Geo A Button.gif + Neo Geo B Button.gif
Blow Back PS4 Triangle.png + PS4 Circle.png PS5 Triangle.png + PS5 Circle.png Neo Geo C Button.gif + Neo Geo D Button.gif
MAX Mode Activation PS4 R1.png or PS4 Cross.png + PS4 Triangle.png PS5 R1.png or PS5 Cross.png + PS5 Triangle.png Neo Geo B Button.gif + Neo Geo C Button.gif
Both Punches PS4 L2.png or PS4 Cross.png + PS4 Triangle.png PS5 L2.png or PS5 Cross.png + PS5 Triangle.png Neo Geo A Button.gif + Neo Geo C Button.gif
Both Kicks PS4 R2.png or PS4 Cross.png + PS4 Triangle.png PS5 R2.png or PS5 Cross.png + PS5 Triangle.png Neo Geo B Button.gif + Neo Geo D Button.gif
Pause Menu PS4 Options.png PS5 Options.png ???

Menu Controls

Note: In the Japanese PlayStation 4 & PlayStation 5 version, the Buttons used for Confirm and Cancel are reversed.
Movement Console Terminology
PlayStation 4 PlayStation 5 Neo Geo
Confirm PS4 Cross.png PS5 Cross.png Neo Geo A Button.gif
Cancel PS4 Circle.png PS5 Circle.png Neo Geo B Button.gif

Characters

KOF XIV also marks a huge change for the series in that the large majority of the returning cast now sport new voice actors, including those who have been voiced by the same actors since their debut or for several years. The exceptions include Benimaru, Chang, Choi, Geese, Athena, Kula, Maxima, King, Whip and Oswald. Characters with recent changes, such as Kim, Ralf, Nakoruru and Mai still retain their new voices (some earned in KOF XII and XIII).

This game is the only in the series with a large quantity of new characters. The new additions to the roster (between originals and of the other franchises) are:

Shunei-kofxiv.png
Shun'ei, the new protagonist of the series' fourth saga and leader of the China Team (A.K.A. New Hero Team). He is a teenager whose parents abandoned him in the streets when he was a little boy, until the master Tung Fu Rue rescued him shortly, as soon as the elder felt the boy's strange power and the good in him, taking him as his student. He is Meitenkun's best friend.
Meitenkun-kofxiv.png
Meitenkun, other member of the China Team, is a heavy sleeper who is very carefree and calm. He rarely exerts himself, often preferring to nap instead. He is Shun'ei's best friend and Tung's student.
Tung-kofxiv.png
Tung Fu Rue, from Fatal Fury series, an another member of the China Team. He enters to the KOF tournament to help his new and last students, Shun'ei and Meitenkun, to enter in the KOF world. Aside being the former master of both Bogard family (Jeff and his adoptive sons Terry and Andy) and the criminal Geese Howard, he also has other connections with Saisyu Kusanagi (Kyo Kusanagi's father) and Chin Gentsai (Psycho Soldier Team's elder master) about the tournament.
Gang-il, Kim Kaphwan's master and Chairman of the World Taekwondo Federation. He is the complete opposite of his student: a man who is a farrier and womanizer. On one of his world trips, he ended up meeting Luong, his actual girlfriend.
Luong, a mysterious femme fatale woman and lover of Gang-il, who likes to "play" with her opponents and feels excited in the heat of battle. Outside of battle, she shows less of her cold side and rather shows affection towards Gang-il and his star student Kim, much to the latter's dismay given that he's already married with children.
Xanadu, a legendary criminal and leader of the new team known as Villiains, who is currently imprisoned in an underground jail. A superior intellectual, he is considered to be the "King of the Underground" by the other prisoners. He also talks about subjects and concepts that are supposedly very difficult for most people to understand, when in reality it is far more likely that he is extremely delusional and deranged.
Sylvie Paula Paula, the leader of the new team known as Official Invitation (an Antonov's invitation), is a underground fighter and was once a experiment of NESTS cartel, considered useless by the organization until she she demonstrated her electromagnetic powers.
Kukri, a mysterious man who hides his face in a hood, is one of the members of Official Invitation Team and member of an underground society. He also is a very rude, foul-mouthed, arrogant and sadistic fighter that also sports a bit of an openly perverted affection for women. He also has an unknown rivalry with Shun'ei.
Mian, the last member of the Official Invitation Team, is a Sichuan opera dancer, and uses traditional masks to fight. She is an extremely shy person, and doesn't drop her mask often, except for rare instances where she displays self-confidence.
Nelson-kofxiv.png
Nelson, the leader of other new team, known as South America, is a boxing prodigy that lost an arm after a terrible accident, but has been able to quickly return to the ring thanks to advanced robotic prosthetics. He fights to seize the world championship while hoping his fiancée will someday awaken from her coma.
Zarina-kofxiv.png
Zarina, one of the members of South America Team, is a cheerful Colombian girl raised in Brazil. She enters to the tournament to to protect the nesting place of her pet toucan companion "Coco", whose species is facing the threat of extinction.
Bandeiras-kofxiv.png
Bandeiras Hattori, the last member of the South America Team, is the founder of the “Brazilian Ninja Arts” Dojo. He enters to the tournament hoping to attract new students to his dojo, which has none yet.
Kingdino-kofxiv.png
King of Dinosaurs, member of the new Mexico Team, is the heel persona (in pro wrestling, a wrestler who acts as a villain or a bad guy) of Tizoc, from Garou: Mark of the Wolves. He adopts this identity to avoid tarnishing the honorable image of his face persona and the desgrace from being defeated.
Hein-kofxiv.png
Hein, a butler and member of Howard Connection recruited by Geese Howard to participate to KOF tournament, is a mysterious man. Although modest, mild-mannered, and never seeming to break his polite tone, he does have a sadistic side.
Nakoruru-kofxiv.png
Nakoruru, from the Samurai Shodown series, is a girl and a Ainu priestess from Feudal Japan (end of 18th century). She senses a terrible malice coming from a crack in spacetime. To prevent the disaster of its potential release and to find its source, she traveled to the modern times (21th century) and enters to the tournament.
Muimui-kofxiv.png
Mui Mui, from the Dragon Gal pachinko series, a hearty and hungry girl who is the last successor of her Dragon Clan martial arts and a master of Kung-Fu. She travels on a never-ending quest to find gems with mysterious powers. She was transported by this world by Nakoruru, along with Love Heart.
Love-kofxiv.png
Love Heart, from the Sky Love pachinko series, is the captain of the Peace Air Pirates. She was transported from her world by a dimension disturbance. She is approached by Nakoruru, who requests her help to investigate the phenomenon.
Alice-kofxiv.png
Alice Nakata, from Garou Densetsu: The Legend of Wild Wolf (a pachinko game), is the new member of the Women Fighters Team, replacing Yuri Sakazaki. She is a huge fan of Terry Bogard, and enters to the tournament to prove her newfound strength to him.
Antonov-kofxiv.png
Antonov, the sub-boss of the game, is the host and KOF tournament current rights holder. Proclaiming himself as the "first champion", he eagerly sends out invites across the world, challenging teams to take his title.
Verse.png
Verse, the final boss of the game, is an entity that was introduced in the storyline when Ash Crimson erased himself and Saiki from spacetime. It's a being created from eternal negative energy and thrives from the darkness of people's wishes. Within its being, it traps numerous fighters' souls from many ages.
RockXIV.png
Rock Howard, from Garou: Mark of the Wolves, is one of the eight DLC characters released for the game. He is the biological and illegitimate son of the crime boss Geese Howard, who grew up under the wings of Terry Bogard and friends.
Najdkofxivrender.png
Najd, one of the eight DLC characters released for the game, is a Saudi girl. Dressed in an Abaya, she uses the cover of night and becomes a vigilante to protect her fellow citizens. In contrast to her mysterious appearance, she is a college student during the day.
Note 1: Some teams remains with their classic formations. Regarding teams, the list is as follows:
  • Yuri Sakazaki returns to the Art of Fighting Team after 6 years to help her brother Ryo, who is now master of the family's dojo, and Robert Garcia, the family's friend. Takuma Sakazaki, Ryo and Yuri's father and Robert's master, retires and takes care of the family's steakhouse;
  • Desiring to bring his rebellious students back to his side, Kim Kaphwan joins, against his will, with his master Gang-il and his girlfriend Luong, forming again the team that bears his name;
  • Chang Koehan and Choi Bounge joins with Xanadu, in order to return to their former criminal life, forming the Villains Team, led by the legendary criminal. As a result, Chang returns to the series after 13 years and Choi, after 14 (15 canonically);
  • The mercenary and luchador Ramón and the former NESTS agent Ángel returns to the series (he after 11 years and she, after 15 years [7 if counting her last participation), forming, along with Dinosaur, the Mexico Team, led by the freelancer agent;
  • The crimelord Geese Howard also returns to the series (in his second canonical participation) and, along with his bodyguard Billy Kane and his newcomer butler Hein, form the South Town Team. The team is led by the criminal businessman;
  • In order to stop Verse, Nakoruru, Mui Mui and Love Heart form the Another World Team, led by the Ainu priestess.
Note 2: All DLC characters enters alone in the tournament, despite their appearances are not canonical. However, some DLC characters released in this game appears in canonical teams in the following game of the series, The King of Fighters XV. In the order of appearance, they are: Blue Mary, Vanessa, Heidern and Whip. Beside that, Rock Howard and Ryuji Yamazaki, another DLC characters released in this entry, appears in DLC teams in the 15th mainline game of the series.
Note 3: Some characters, although they have debuted canonically or officially in this game, have already appeared in other games in the series or in spin-offs. Therefore:

Initial Team Roster

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

Kyokofxivnew.jpg
Kyo Kusanagi
Benimarukofxivnew.jpg
Benimaru Nikaido
Daimonkofxivnew.jpg
Goro Daimon

Yagami Team

Iorikofxivnew.jpg
Iori Yagami
Maturekofxivnew.jpg
Mature
Vicekofxivnew.jpg
Vice

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

Terrykofxivnew.jpg
Terry Bogard
Andykofxivnew.jpg
Andy Bogard
Joekofxivnew.jpg
Joe Higashi

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

Ryokofxivnew.jpg
Ryo Sakazaki
Robertkofxivnew.jpg
Robert Garcia
Yurikofxivnew.jpg
Yuri Sakazaki

Kim Team

Kimkofxivnew.jpg
Kim Kaphwan
Gangilkofxivnew.jpg
Gang-il
Luongkofxivnew.jpg
Luong

Villains Team

Xanadukofxivnew.jpg
Xanadu
Changkofxivnew.png
Chang Koehan
Choikofxivnew.png
Choi Bounge

Official Invitation Team

Sylvie-kofxiv.jpg
Sylvie Paula Paula
Kukrikofxivnew.jpg
Kukri
Mian-kofxiv.jpg
Mian

South America Team

Nelson-kofxiv.jpg
Nelson
Zarinakofxivnew.jpg
Zarina
Bandeiraskofxivnew.jpg
Bandeiras Hattori

Mexico Team

Ramon-kofxiv.jpg
Ramón
Angel-kofxiv.jpg
Ángel
Kingdino-kofxivconcept.jpg
King of Dinosaurs

South Town Team (A.K.A. Geese Team)

Geese-kofxiv.jpg
Geese Howard
Billy-kofxiv.jpg
Billy Kane
Hein-kofxiv.jpg
Hein

China Team (A.K.A. New Hero Team or Shun'ei Team)

Kofxivshunneinew.jpg
Shun'ei
Meitenkun-kofxiv.jpg
Meitenkun
Tung-kofxiv.jpg
Tung Fu Rue

Psycho Soldier Team (A.K.A. Athena Team)

Athenakofxivnew.jpg
Athena Asamiya
Kensou-kofxiv.jpg
Sie Kensou
Chin-kofxiv.jpg
Chin Gentsai

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

Leona-kofxiv.jpg
Leona Heidern
Ralf-kofxiv.jpg
Ralf Jones
Clark-kofxiv.jpg
Clark Still

Another World Team

Nakoruru-kofxiv.jpg
Nakoruru
Muimui-kofxiv.jpg
Mui Mui
Love-kofxiv.jpg
Love Heart

K' Team

K-kofxiv.jpg
K'
Kula-kofxiv.jpg
Kula Diamond
Maxima-kofxiv.jpg
Maxima

Women Fighters Team

King-kofxiv.jpg
King
Mai-kofxiv.jpg
Mai Shiranui
Alice-kofxiv.jpg
Alice Nakata

Sub-Boss

Antonov-kofxiv.jpg
Antonov

Final Boss

Verse-kofxiv.jpg
Verse

NPC Characters

DLC Characters

Note: As in KOF XIII, the DLC characters (including Rock Howard, from Garou: Mark of the Wolves, and the newcomer Najd) have no impact on the story of the game.

Season 1

Whipkofxivnew2.jpg
Whip
Yamazakikofxivnew2.jpg
Ryuji Yamazaki
Vanessakofxivnew2.jpg
Vanessa
Rockkofxivnew2.jpg
Rock Howard

Season 2

Oswaldkofxivnew.png
Oswald
Heidernkofxivnew.png
Heidern
Najdkofxivnew.jpg
Najd
Marykofxivnew2.jpg
Blue Mary

Special Edit Teams

Note: By playing with these formations in Story Mode, the player unlocks special illustrations. All of them were made by Eisuke Ogura.

Tung's Disciples Team

Terrykofxivnew.jpg
Terry Bogard
Geese-kofxiv.jpg
Geese Howard
Kofxivshunneinew.jpg
Shun'ei

NESTS Girls Team

Sylvie-kofxiv.jpg
Sylvie Paula Paula
Kula-kofxiv.jpg
Kula Diamond
Angel-kofxiv.jpg
Ángel

"Lucky Sevens" Team

Muimui-kofxiv.jpg
Mui Mui
Love-kofxiv.jpg
Love Heart
Alice-kofxiv.jpg
Alice Nakata

Ninja Team

Andykofxivnew.jpg
Andy Bogard
Mai-kofxiv.jpg
Mai Shiranui
Bandeiraskofxivnew.jpg
Bandeiras Hattori

Masters Team

Chin-kofxiv.jpg
Chin Gentsai
Tung-kofxiv.jpg
Tung Fu Rue
Gangilkofxivnew.jpg
Gang-il

Dragon Team

Ryokofxivnew.jpg
Ryo Sakazaki
Muimui-kofxiv.jpg
Mui Mui
Kensou-kofxiv.jpg
Sie Kensou

Tiger Team

Ramon-kofxiv.jpg
Rámon
Robertkofxivnew.jpg
Robert Garcia
Joekofxivnew.jpg
Joe Higashi

The Mysterious Newcomers

Hein-kofxiv.jpg
Hein
Luongkofxivnew.jpg
Luong
Kukrikofxivnew.jpg
Kukri

Birds(?) Team

Nakoruru-kofxiv.jpg
Nakoruru
Zarinakofxivnew.jpg
Zarina
Kingdino-kofxivconcept.jpg
King of Dinosaurs

Beautiful Longhair Team

Athenakofxivnew.jpg
Athena Asamiya
Kula-kofxiv.jpg
Kula Diamond
Nakoruru-kofxiv.jpg
Nakoruru

DLC Costumes

Kyo Kusanagi Classic Version
Iori Yagami Classic Version
Sylvie Paula Paula Little Red Riding Hood
Ángel Diabla
Nightmare Geese
Shun'ei Kung Fu Suit
Meitenkun Pajamas
Athena Asamiya KOF '98/UM Costume
Nakoruru Kamui Kotan School Girls' Uniform
Kula Diamond Sundress


Story Cameos

Characters who appear as cameos in Team Stories and Endings.

Stages

Note 1: In this game, the stages are again associated with the teams and the bosses, which hasn't happened in a canonical game of the series since KOF '96 (and in a mainline game of the series since KOF 2002 UM).
Note 2: When the player fights in DLC stages or in the Training Stage (exclusively available in Versus and Tranning Modes), the music of the stage is associated to the first character chosen to fight. In the Story Mode and Versus Mode against CPU, it's the first character in the right team; in Versus Mode with two players and we fight in the Training Stage, it's the first character of the left team.
Note 3: In Story Mode, the Japan and Official Invitation Teams are the only teams to be faced after the first cutscene, and the DLC characters are always faced before the second and the third cutscenes, respectively.

Team Stages

Stage
Stage's Name
Team/Character
Description
KOF-XIV-Stage-Neo-Esaka.jpg
Neo Esaka, Osaka, Japan
Japan Team & Oswald
Set on a raised platform overlooking the Esaka Station area of Osaka, Japan. Numerous sponsorship boards line the arena along with low fences to keep the fight contained to the platform. In the background, a billboard with portraits of the active fighters can be seen.
KOF-XIV-Stage-Industrial-Area.jpg
Industrial Area
Yagami Team
An industrial rooftop covered with pipes with a large refinery in the background. The stage takes place at night, with dark clouds and a crescent moon visible in the sky. Similar to the Rivals Team stage in The King of Fighters '95.
Navajoland
Navajoland, USA
Fatal Fury Team & Blue Mary
The fight takes place amidst the gas station pumps of a truck stop diner in the middle of the desert of Arizona (the dinner visible on the right side of the stage). Spectators are casually gathered around to witness the battle and semi-trucks can be seen parked on the left side of the stage. Also features, in the background, the Monument Valley. Similar to the South Town stage in The King of Fighters '96, Terry and Rick's shared stage in Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers and to the Big Bear's stage in Fatal Fury 2 and Fatal Fury Special.
KOF-XIV-Stage-Maple-Garden.jpg
Maple Garden
Art of Fighting Team
A patio-like area next to a maple tree forest, with a small Japanese temple on the right side, a small waterfall at the left side and two wooden braziers in the center. There is a view over a calm bay in the background, and the stage takes place at night, with the sky filled with black clouds and a small full moon in the distant background. Similar to the Korea stage in The King of Fighters '94.
KOF-XIV-Stage-Hotel-Marine-Paradise.jpg
Hotel Marine Paradise
Kim Team
A submerged restaurant and a hotel reception with large pillars. The battle takes place in a roped-off area in the center of the restaurant. In the background people can be seen sitting and observing the aquatic life swim by the large glass panes that separate them from the water outside. Marine life, such as whales and sharks, can be seen passing outside. Similar to the Aquarium stage in The King of Fighters 2000.
KOF-XIV-Stage-Undeground-Prison.jpg
Underground Prison
Villains Team
A dungeon-like area with ruined, crumbling stone walls strewn about and prisoners observing the fight. There are two suspended cages, an empty cage on the left edge of the screen and another cages with a prisoners inside near the center and in the left.
KOF-XIV-Stage-Masquerade.jpg
Masquerade
Official Invitation Team
A high-class opera house. The battle takes place on the stage and the wealthy elite mill around at ground level and in the upper balconies, all wearing face masks to keep with the masquerade theme. Banners with sponsorship logos can be seen surrounding the stage and Pegasus statues are situated at opposite ends of the stage.
Iguazu Falls, Brazil
Iguazu Falls, Brazil
South America Team
The Iguazu Falls, in Brazil, near the Triple Frontier. The stage is set on a balcony in the midst of several rainforest plants such as palm trees. In the distant background a large waterfall can be seen cascading down the sheer cliffs. The balcony is covered in glowing blue hexagonal tiles and there are several domed structures erected on the cliff-side. The closest dome has a banner with yellow text that reads "KING OF FIGHTERS in Latin America".
KOF-XIV-Stage-Guanajuato-Dynamite-Ring.jpg
Guanajuato Dynamite Ring, Mexico
Mexico Team & Vanessa
A large wrestling ring situated in the town square of Guanajuato, Mexico. The ring ropes are colored red, white, and blue and the turnbuckles have print on them with phrases such as "KOF IN MEXICO" and "LUCHA LIBRE". Spectators are seen at the ground level watching the brawl. Día de los Muertos ("Day of the Dead") decorations adorn the town square and a King of Dinosaurs banner is draped over one of the buildings. In the background, can be seen the Cathedral of León.
KOF-XIV-Stage-Geese-Tower.jpg
Geese Tower, South Town
South Town Team
The Geese Howard's inner sanctum at the top of his skyscraper, overlooking the city of South Town. An elaborate centerpiece of Buddhist statues adorns the middle of the room and thick, red, Asian-inspired columns flank it to the left and right. A pair of vases and a large ceremonial drum are placed in the area in front of the centerpiece. The floor is composed of finely polished wood and rainfall can be seen outside. An American flag banner is hanging from the awning, alluding to Geese's affinity for blending American and Asian culture.
KOF-XIV-Stage-Great-Wall.jpg
The Great Wall of China
China Team
A wide stone platform on the Great Wall, with the wall itself in the background curving across to the right. The platform has a pagoda-like gold sculpture on the right side, whilst the left side has an archway with some sort of decorative tassel hanging in the center.
KOF-XIV-Stage-The-Bund.jpg
The Bund, Shanghai, China
Psycho Soldier Team
The Bingjiang Da Dao riverside, near the Huangpu River, in Shanghai, in a celebration to the Chinese New Year. This stage takes place at night with a full moon, and the city's downtown district is visible across the river in the background. The river features a multi-decked boat with a large dragon-shaped prow.
KOF-XIV-Stage-Heidern-Fleet.jpg
Heidern Fleet, Mediterranean Sea
Ikari Warriors Team, Whip & Heidern
A large aircraft carrier with bunting depicting army flags strung in the air. Jet fighters are positioned in the foreground, whilst the carrier's control tower is in the background. Similar to John Crawley's stage in the first Art of Fighting.
Another.jpg
Dream World
Another World Team
Some kind of amusement park. The fighting area is surrounded by a castle like stone wall, with numerous red and gold banners hanging from the wall; the banner in the top-center reads 'THE KING OF FIGHTERS'. There are several costumed figures, including two stilt-walkers, standing in the foreground watching the fight, with the central figure wearing a large cartoonish bodysuit of a patchwork animal in a witch's hat holding a staff. There are three dioramas of fairground rides just behind the costumed figures; the one on the left is of a 'teacup' ride, the one on the right is of a roller coaster, and the one in the center is of a carousel. The carousel has a large sign on the bottom reading 'THE KING OF FIGHTERS SPECIAL PARADE'.
KOF-XIV-Stage-Derelict-Church.jpg
Derelict Church
K' Team
An abandoned church where one wall has crumbled away. The pews can be seen up the center while statues and stained glass windows adorn the side opposite the crumbled wall.
Old Castle
Old Castle
Women Fighters Team
The gardens of a large castle, with the castle itself taking up most of the background. The stage takes place at sunset, and there are two small fountains, one on each edges of the stage, with the fountain on the left being in the foreground and the fountain on the right being further away. Similar to the Women Fighters Team's stages in The King of Fighters '94 and The King of Fighters '94 Re-Bout.

Boss Stages & Special Stage

Stage
Stage's Name
Team/Character
Description
99 BG Stage 17 MBS.png
Antonov Super Arena, Russia
Antonov
Similar to the arena where the concluding battles of The King of Fighters '96 take place. An outdoor stage area surrounded by packed grandstands and cameras both on the ground and raised above the fight via boom arms. In the background a platform can be seen, presumably where the winning team will receive their commendation.
99 BG Stage 18 LBS.png
Destroyed Arena, Russia
Verse
A destroyed variant of Antonov Super Arena where the final boss battle takes place Can be seen a cloudy sky and Clemence Bellamy's cameraman.
99 BG Stage 00 TRA.png
Training Stage
Random
A sparse arena used for training. The back wall is covered in white tiles whilst the floor is covered in grey tiles. There are several thick black lines painted across the tiles, including vertically across the center, the left edge and the right edge, as well as horizontally across the floor; the combatants stand upon this horizontal line whilst fighting. The vertical line across the center features a small gold shield positioned halfway up the wall, with the letters 'KOF' engraved across it. The update 1.10 (graphical update) adds a customizable digital billboard beneath the KOF shield, much like the one in the Neo Esaka stage. In the 19th chapter of the Manga adaption of this game, The King of Fighters: A New Beginning, it's revealed to be located in the Antonov Super Arena, provided for the fighters to train for the next matches.
Note: The concept of this stage is very likely inspired on the Capcom's Street Fighter series stage.

DLC Stages

Season 1

Stage
Stage's Name
Team/Character
Description
Transcon.jpg
Transcontinental Railroad, USA
Rock
Terry Bogard's stage from Fatal Fury 2 and Fatal Fury Special. The differences between the versions of the stage are: the logo in the wagon floor and outdoors over all the stage, besides crates, barrels and bags.
Note: When Terry fights in this stage, the song "Kuri Kinton Flavor" plays, no matter in which order and team he was chosen to fight.
City.jpg
City Circuit, Monaco
Yamazaki
The Monaco stage from The King of Fighters '97. The differences between the versions of the stage are: the crowd, the sponsors, flags, an animated panel with Antonov's photo and can be seen a yacht and two trucks passing, one with covers of SNK's first editions of games in the carriage.
Note: The truck with cover games of SNK appears only in the end of the round, and only for three winner characters: Terry (Fatal Fury), Ryo (Art of Fighting) and Nakoruru (Samurai Shodown).

Season 2

Stage
Stage's Name
Team/Character
Description
Riyahd Masmak Stage.jpg
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Najd
The terrace of the Masmak Fort, overlooking the skyscrapers of Riyadh, the Saudi capital city. The Kingdom and the Al Faisaliyah Centers, along with the Al Majdoul Tower can be seen in the background. The AMBC's cameraman can also be seen, along with a zeppelin broadcasting images of the fight, some spectators from the City Circuit and Navajoland stages. There are also flags with the championship logo and the sponsors.

Music

Main Theme

Ending Theme

VS. Themes (Fateful Battle)

In this game, there are special songs that play during specific matchups. This themes can be either original or from past games.

Music Theme
Character Matchup
Game/Series' Source
Full Burst
Shun'ei vs. Kukri
Original Theme
New Order -KOF XIV ver.-
Kyo vs. Iori
The King of Fighters XI (Kusanagi-Yagami [Kyo & Iori] Team Theme)
Soy Sauce for Geese -KOF XIV ver.-
Terry vs. Geese
Fatal Fury Special (Geese's Theme)
Pasta -KOF XIV ver.-
Andy vs. Tung
Fatal Fury 2/Special (Andy's Theme)
A Kiss for Geese, Cyber Edit -KOF XIV ver.
Ryo vs. Geese
Art of Fighting 2 (Young Geese's Theme)
Micha Iya! (Don't Look!) -KOF XIV ver.-
Ryo vs. King
Art of Fighting (King's Theme)
Seoul Road -KOF XIV ver.-
Kim vs. Chang & Choi
The King of Fighters '96 (Korea Justice Team Theme)
London March -KOF XIV ver.-
Billy vs. Hein
Fatal Fury 2/Special (Billy's Theme)
tachi bou ke (Sung Version)
Athena vs. Kensou
Original Theme
Ikari -KOF XIV ver.-
Ralf vs. Clark
Ikari Warriors (Main Theme)
KD-0079 -KOF XIV ver.-
K' vs. Ralf
The King of Fighters '99 (Hero Team Theme)
Ice Place -KOF XIV ver.-
Kula vs. Ángel
The King of Fighters 2000 (Kula's Theme)

DLC Characters Themes

With exception of Rock and Najd, the DLC characters themes are extracted from past games (the most played in the first appearance in the series). Below, the list:

Music Theme
DLC Character
Game/Series' Source
W.W.III -KOF XIV ver.-
Whip
The King of Fighters '99 (Ikari Warriors Team Theme)
C62 -KOF XIV ver.-
Ryuji Yamazaki
Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory (Yamazaki's Theme)
Secret Circumstances -KOF XIV ver.-
Vanessa
The King of Fighters XI (Agents Team Theme)
Emergence
Rock Howard
Original Theme
Joker -KOF XIV ver.-
Oswald
The King of Fighters XI ("Hero" Team Theme)
Desert Requiem -KOF XIV ver.-
Heidern
The King of Fighters '95 (Ikari Warriors Team Theme)
Successor
Najd
Original Theme
Kiss Me -KOF XV ver.-
Blue Mary
Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory (Mary's Theme)

Comic & Manga Versions

On January 31, 2017, SNK announced a manhua which would cover the game's main story. The first chapter is released on February 1, 2017.[5] The series ended with only 8 chapters released.

A new manga series titled A New Beginning illustrated by Kyoutarou Azuma is released on January 1, 2018. The series is published bi-weekly on Pocket Shonen Magazine online and is collected monthly on the Shonen Sirius magazine. The manga had its last chapter published on August 24th, 2021.

Critical Reception

The King of Fighters XIV received generally positive reviews in video game media:

  • On Metacritic it holds an average score of 79 out of 100;
  • Gaming Age's Chris Dunlap gave it a perfect score, saying it is the best of The King of Fighters games. He recommended it to fans of the fighting game genre because of its appealing features such as the Rush System which makes fights easier for newcomers and the possibilities for rematches against the artificial intelligence.

Many reviewers commented on the fighting system;

  • GameSpot praised its appeal to newcomers, while EGM praised the game's core mechanics and the use of the Rush System to appeal to a wider audience.
  • Despite the difficulties of mastering characters' moves without the Rush system, Game Informer felt the game's online mode was well executed despite some slowdowns during the game's launch;
  • While also enjoying the multiple mechanics, Hobby Consolas considered the online gaming modes among the most fun in the genre;
  • Metro liked it for appealing to skilled fighting game fans while still being a good starting point for players unhappy with Street Fighter V;
  • GameRevolution said the gameplay remains true to earlier KOF games, most notably The King of Fighters XIII, and was pleased that it retained the challenge needed to execute special moves. IGN praised the large number of modes, characters and unlockable material, GamesRadar and Destructoid appreciated the multiple game mechanics which made the game unique within the franchise.

Reviewers also commented on the narrative and its cast:

  • GamesRadar thought the story mode too simple;
  • Destructoid felt it not reach the appeal of its predecessor due to its lack of narrative;
  • Despite issues with the graphics, Gaming Age found the characters interesting, noting each has a unique fighting style and theme songs that are played when facing rivals.
  • Like Gaming Age, PCMRace found the arcade mode fitting for the series due to how rivals interact before their matches and enjoyed the art behind endings unlocked through a main team;
  • IGN saw the story as appealing but not noteworthy until the clash between rivals which the reviewer felt were few.

The game's 3D characters received negative comments for their poor designs compared to other games of the same generation:

  • Hobby Consolas judged the designs in general to be up to the series' high standards, but described Andy Bogard's model as overly stylized and lacking in grace.
  • Destructoid lamented that the 3D models did not do justice to the excellent character designs, which suffered from bland coloring and lack of detail.
  • Juan Garcia of IGN's Spanish site praised the redesigns of Robert Garcia and Kyo Kusanagi, which he found visually striking in contrast with the other characters, something which Destructoid agreed favoring the redesign of veteran character Maxima and newcomer Kukri. 'Juan also said the game looks poor despite running at 60 fps, but enjoyed the large number of characters and the detailed backgrounds.
  • EGMNOW shared similar comments about the graphics and the surprisingly large number of characters, stating that despite problems with the visuals, there is a large amount of content to entertain players. GameRevolution enjoyed the interactions between the characters when engaging in a rival fight, citing Kyo and Iori Yagami's interactions, but was disappointed there was not as much of it as in previous titles, like Joe Higashi competing with King.

The Steam version of The King of Fighters XIV received mixed reviews:

  • GameSpew appreciated that SNK had updated the dated graphics of the PlayStation 4 version, making it more competent in comparison with other fighting-game franchises such as Street Fighter and Tekken;
  • Despite giving it a positive review, PCMrace said the port could have benefited from a cross-platform play with PlayStation 4 players and that the cast still needed to be more balanced in terms of move sets.

Gallery

Trailers

Teaser Trailers

Promotional teasers of the game, showing some characters.

Game Trailers

Promitional trailers of the game.

Team Gameplay Trailers

Showcase of the game's teams.

DLC Characters Trailers

Showcase of game's DLC characters.

Season 1

Season 2

DLC Characters Fighting Demonstration Trailers

This videos appears only during the DLC Season 1.

DLC Season Trailers

Promotional teaser of DLC seasons' characters of the game.

DLC Contents Trailers

Promotional trailers of DLC content for the game.

Promotional Trailer

Content Trailers

DLC Costumes Trailers

KOF STATION CHANNEL

Main promotion program of the game. Yasuyuki Oda, Nobuyuki Kuroki, Tomoaki Maeno (Kyo's voice) and Ai Kakuma (Yuri's voice) are some of the guests.

KOF XIV DREAM MATCH Videos

External links

References

The King of Fighters series
Mainline '94'95'96'97'98'992000200120022003XIXIIXIIIXIVXV
Remakes Dream Match 1999'99 Evolution'94 Re-Bout'98 Ultimate Match2002 Unlimited Match
Offshoots R-1R-2EX: 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 Orochi CollectionThe Orochi SagaNESTS Collection
Cancelled Online (UnoTechnology)Fighters' WorldKOF MI "A2"KOF: Maximum Impact 360Online (DragonFly/Triple A Games)
view · edit · talk
The King of Fighters games
Prologue The King of Fighters '94
Orochi Saga The King of Fighters '95The King of Fighters '96The King of Fighters '97
NESTS Chronicles The King of Fighters '99The King of Fighters 2000The King of Fighters 2001
Tales of Ash The King of Fighters 2003The King of Fighters XIThe King of Fighters XIII
Shun'ei Saga The King of Fighters XIVThe King of Fighters XV
Dream Matches The King of Fighters '98The King of Fighters 2002The King of Fighters XII
Remakes The King of Fighters: Dream Match 1999The King of Fighters '99 EvolutionThe King of Fighters '94 Re-BoutThe King of Fighters '98 Ultimate MatchThe King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match
Maximum Impact series KOF: Maximum ImpactKOF: Maximum Impact 2KOF Maximum Impact Regulation "A"
Offshoots King of Fighters R-1King of Fighters R-2The King of Fighters EX: Neo BloodThe King of Fighters EX2: Howling BloodThe King of Fighters Neowave
Spin-offs Quiz King of FightersThe King of Fighters: KyoThe King of Fighters: Battle de ParadiseKOF Sky StageThe King of Fighters Online (DragonFly)The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match WebSNK Heroines Tag Team Frenzy
Mobile The King of Fighters -Mobile- / R-2The King of Fighters -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 FightersThe King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match OnlineBeast Busters featuring KOFThe King of Fighters: WorldThe King of Fighters Destiny (Game)The King of Fighters All StarOrochi GoThe King of Fighters M: Fighting Stars AssemblyKOF: ChronicleThe King of Fighters for Girls
Pachinko The King of FightersChapter of NESTSMaximum ImpactIIICR The King of Fighters
Compilations The King of Fighters Orochi CollectionThe King of Fighters Collection: The Orochi SagaThe King of Fighters NESTS Collection
Cancelled The King of Fighters Online (UnoTechnology)The King of Fighters' WorldKOF Maximum Impact Regulation "A2"KOF: Maximum Impact 360The King of Fighters Online (Cancelled)
Advertisement