This page includes English translations for the team stories found on The King of Fighters XIV Official Website.
The young man passed through the gates of his family's home, interrupting his journey of training as a warrior to respond to a call from his father, Saisyu Kusanagi. In the parlor, he found two old friends he had not seen for some time: Benimaru Nikaido and Goro Daimon. Normally, these three would never gather at the Kusanagi home at all once, but this time, their presence was requested by Saisyu.
- "You're home... I'm sorry to have to call you out here. Look."
In Saisyu's hand was a familiar envelope.
- "This... It's a KOF invitation. Why...?"
- "And so, I have a request for all of you."
- "This had better not be another huge pain in my side, old man."
- "What? It's just like what you'd use for training a beginner... You've probably heard of Master Tung. He's bringing new students to the tournament this time, but I hear they're really bad at holding back. We just want you to help show them the way, is all. It would be dangerous for normal martial artists, but you guys should be fine."
Saisyu had originally intended to meet each of them personally and check to see if their strength declined before making this request. However, at a glance, he was convinced that he had worried for nothing.
- "Yup, I knew this would be a huge pain. Anyway, you're probably getting ahead of yourself. We don't even know if they'll win their way up the brackets."
- "I'm sure they will, since the master is with them. I though you'd be happy to go a few rounds, Kyo."
Benimaru had been enjoying watching the father and son argue, but took his turn to speak after Kyo sucked his teeth at Saisyu, who had begun drinking tea.
- "Actually, the only thing that really matters is whether or not one of these beginners is a beautiful young lady."
- "Mm-hmm. It's important to show the way for young ones with a long road ahead of them."
Daimon was clearly in a mood to agree and attracted to the idea of 'educating.' However, before he could encounter any backlash for that sentiment, a familiar voice rang out from the doorway.
- "Mr. Kusanagi! Everybody!! I haven't seen you all in ages. I'd heard that you had all come home, so I hurried right over!"
Shingo Yabuki hurried noisily down the hall then peeked into the room, still looking flushed.
- "Haven't seen you in a while, Shingo. The same as ever, huh?"
- "Heheh. I'm not the same guy you knew before. Here, check out the new special move I came up with after training non-stop for the last six months. With this, winning KOF isn't a dream anymore!"
Daimon responded before Kyo, moved by the words of a friendly junior martial artist making a surprise visit.
- "Well, your confidence is impressive. I'll fight a round with you."
Narrowing his eyes even further with happiness, he slid into his geta sandals and walked out onto the lawn. "Here I come, Daimon!" Everyone turned to watch as Daimon and Shingo gave their battle cries and took their stances. Then Kyo heard Saisyu's voice, uncharacteristically serious, coming from behind him.
- "Listen, Kyo. I have something to tell you."
- "What is it, old man?"
- "When I spoke with Master Tung... I had a premonition. I have a feeling that something bad is going to happen at this KOF. I'm not sure what, but I just feel like something's not right... Be ready."
- "What the...? You're being really vague. Well, whatever happens, I'll find a way to handle it."
At that moment, Shingo let out an impassioned roar, as if to drown out their conversation.
- "YAAAAAAaaa...ah? H-Huh? There's no flame... Hold on a second, Daimon. A-Aaaagh!"
While he had carried out the technique enthusiastically, it was apparently incomplete. As Shingo panicked because the flames had failed to appear, and he also took a hit from Daimon's counter, which left him sprawled on the ground.
- "This is what I get for talking big..."
- "Indeed, you need more training. At this level, winning the KOF is more of a dream within a dream."
On hearing Daimon's words, Benimaru turned to Kyo suddenly, like he'd just been reminded of something.
- "Hey, Kyo... Speaking of winning, apparently a new 'first generation' KOF champion appeared while we were away."
- "Huh? A champion... And a first-generation one... What does that mean?"
- "So you hadn't heard after all. I don't know the details, but apparently he's incredibly rich. He also happens to be the organizer this time... So what will you do about it, Kyo?"
- "You know what I'll do. This self-titled champion and newbie training. I'll take care of all of it at once!"
It didn't matter how big or small, bad things usually happened at KOF tournaments. Kyo had experienced these troubles time and again, making his confidence unshakable as the sun blazed brilliantly behind him.
Complete silence. The full moon was a pronounced reddish hue, bathing the row of gravestones in the color of fresh blood. A cigarette lay slanted and burnt to ashes atop a small grave in an quiet area of the public cemetery. A man with crimson hair stood staring at the remains of the cigarette, lost in thought.
- "Hmph... Was that supposed to be incense?"
He muttered to himself, before turning his gaze to the trees nearby. As he turned away, a murder of crows resting among the trees took flight in unison. Something was watching him from the shadows the trees cast in the moonlight. How long had they been there?
- "It's been a while, Iori Yagami. Did you have pleasant nightmares?"
A woman's voice said in strangely seductive tones. He could definitely sense their presence, but no forms were visible.
- "What business brings half-dead things like you back from hell?"
- "Oh, that attitude doesn't suit you. You missed me, so I came to see you. Aren't you happy?"
Spoke another woman's voice, different from the one moments before.
- "Ridiculous... Get lost."
Violet flames wreathed Iori's right hand as he spoke and the air around it began to waver. He moved his arm in a slashing motion, as though swatting an insect, and the flames raced toward the presences. When they reached the source of the presence, his flames suddenly scattered then vanished.
- "Tehehe... What a rough welcome. The real reason we're here... Well, that's something you're already dimly aware of."
Vice tossed an envelope to him. A familiar envelope he didn't even need to check the contents of... A KOF invitation.
- "Hehehe... This KOF is just the beginning of the nightmare. Drawn by the scent of life, the dead are gathering. And I can hear their voices perfectly, Yagami! ...You could have awakened from your nightmares if you had just given up your power and chosen to live as a human back then!"
Vice's words rang out, disturbing the stillness of the evening.
- "Though your dearest wish might be granted in the not-so-distant future. That is... If you don't die before then, Yagami."
Iori snorted with apparent disinterest at Mature's prophetic words.
- "Hmph... There's no way I'll die before I beat him."
- "Well then, this should be fun... We'll be observing your restored powers. Don't disappoint us."
- "Oh, really... If you're that interested, I can show you right now. The cost will be your souls, though."
Iori's eyes hardened, and a sinister energy began to fill the air around him.
- "Tehehe... I'll pass. It's still too early for me to go back to hell."
- "Hahaha... Bye, Yagami... See you again at the gateway to your nightmares!"
Saying this, the two women vanished into the darkness again. Iori turned on his heel and began walking, letting the moonlight wash over his back. Light from a glaring red moon that seemed to be calling for blood.
- "...There's no way to awaken from these nightmares than by killing him with my own hands."
All he sought was to fight the man known as "Kyo Kusanagi." That was the only way for him to prove that he was still alive.
Fatal Fury Team
In the Pao Pao Café, where South Town's martial artists rest and recuperate, one passionate man was locked in combat with a massive amount of food.
- "Food, foooood!! Add on another 10 orders of fried alligator, Richard!"
- "Listen, Terry. I just got a declaration of war from Mai over the phone."
- "That's normal. Hey, whatever you guys fight about, that's all on you."
- "Mai was saying she'd take Joe down, though. And there was a declaration of war for you, too."
- "For me? Well, that's different. Who could it be from? Surely it's not Mary or Yuri?"
- "Looks like things didn't work out between Mary, Yuri, and Kasumi, so they weren't able to form a team together."
- "Wow. So that means it's a declaration from a new member."
- "Seems that way. They said the new member is Alice, the girl that's always copying you."
- "That Alice, huh... This sounds like fun! But why Alice? Does she even know them?"
- "Well, about that..."
Andy told Terry the story Mai had just made him listen to on the phone, of how the team was formed.
- "Hmm. Still, if Mai and King are joining too, we might actually have to fight them. But even then, there's another opponent we need to be more concerned about. Geese Howard... He's participating in the tournament this time."
Geese Howard, a man they all knew well. He was a ruthless, evil man who would do anything to achieve his goals. Their adoptive father had been a fellow student of martial arts with Geese, until the latter killed him.
- "Do you think Geese Howard could be the one pulling the strings behind the tournament, Terry?"
- "No, Mary says he has no ties to the main organizer. Seems he's really just an invitational fighter this time, but..."
- "Still, it's hard to believe he'd join a martial arts tournament for no reason. It'd just be safer to assume he's after something."
- "Yeah. Anyway, we'd better watch out. Though, if possible, I'd like to beat him back to Tuesday in a match."
- "I know, Terry... We'll be sure to take him out for good this time."
Since they'd begun talking about Geese Howard, the two had began radiating a tense, charged aura around themselves. But Joe paid it no mind as he energetically finished a beer and let out a mighty shout.
- "WOO! It doesn't matter who we face. We're going to win this KOF no matter what!! I'm going to show the world the new chapters of my personal legend!"
- "...Speaking of, does he seem more fired up than usual? What's with him?"
- "He asked a girl out and got rejected. As for why... It seems she thought he was going out with that drag queen fan." "Oh... Yeah, that's rough."
- "Ahhh, I'm getting a really warped reputation! The Internet really is a scary place!!!"
The two brothers looked on with pity at the passionate man who had been crushed by the savage monster of Internet culture, but their gazes were warm even as thought to themselves... (We'll let him to deal with that.)
Art of Fighting Team
It's been one month since they received the KOF tournament invite. The master of the Kyokugenryu pulled his followers away from the distractions of South Town to train in the mountains and polish their individual abilities.
- "Well, this was a really satisfying session, training in seclusion! I can look forward to KOF knowing I'm in peak condition."
- "Ugh, I'm tired... I know it's been a while and you're fired up about KOF and all, but going out into the mountains is a bit much."
- "Well, that's the reason we've all gotten better. And the reason why we've basically won this tournament already! Speaking of, master didn't show up this time. What gives?"
- "Well, he said that he was busy managing the Kyokugen BBQ restaurant since its reopening. That's why he couldn't make it."
- "Wow, the master is as active as ever! Even though he just closed the soba noodle shop."
- "Sure seems that way. I've got to work hard on managing the dojo just to keep up with my old man."
Although he'd stopped using his absurd training methods on students the way he used to, their numbers were still declining, and showed no signs of increasing. A major factor was the rapid increase in self-proclaimed new styles and dojos, spurred by an increase in the number of tournaments. At present, students were steadily flowing toward these newer competitors.
- "True, the number of students has gone down, and recently, I've even heard that there’s a fake Kyokugenryu out there."
- "Exactly. And that's why I need to show the world just how amazing Kyokugenryu is at this tournament."
- "Let's show them how amazing Kyokugen BBQ is too, while we're at it! That way it's two birds with one stone."
Just as the three began to get excited about their discussion of the future of Kyokugenryu, they heard two sets of footsteps as Takuma and Khushnood entered the dojo.
- "Good to see you back from a tough training session! I've reserved the whole restaurant for you guys, today."
- "Whoa, really!? Yay! I'm starved from all that training! I'm gonna eat everything!"
- "Alright! This'll be the leverage that really puts our training to use in the tournament!"
- "Indeed. Show the world that Kyokugenryu is here."
- "Leave it to me, Dad. I'm ready! I've got my sights set on winning this tournament!"
And thus, with their sights set on furthering the development of the Kyokugenryu, the group's fighting spirits sprang to life, all eyes set on victory.
In a silent dojo, the pride of the Tae Kwon Do world contemplated his 'training' of Chang and Choi. Both trained wholeheartedly, and he gave them a break as a reward. However, the two had not returned after a week, and he had begun to wonder if perhaps he had made a mistake by giving them a break. Perhaps he should close the dojo immediately and go looking for them. As he pondered, he heard two sets of footsteps approaching the dojo and dashed to the entrance.
- "You're finally back! Since you can't keep your promises, it seems like neither one of you is truly reformed. So, starting tomorrow we'll begin harder train...huh!? M-Master!?"
What he thought was Chang and Choi actually turned out to be his master on the other side of the door. Gang-Il had left to travel the world and spread Tae Kwon Do, but now, alongside his master, he found an unknown woman with a seductive air about her.
- "Hah! You think you can train me, Kim??" "So this little fellow is your protégé? He seems very masculine and energetic; taking such an aggressive tone with his master."
Even though the two had been apart for a long time, Kim still had bitter memories of his master. Given a choice, he would have preferred not to be reunited. Unable to hide his shock at his master's return, Kim froze with his mouth hanging open.
- "He's so happy he's speechless! I'm the luckiest master there is. Oh, right, I still haven't introduced you. This is my lover Luong. We met while I was traveling."
- "Pleasure to meet you, Kim. I've heard so much about you. I do hope we get along, with us both being allies of justice and all!"
- "Oh, and speaking of friends of justice, I heard rumors that you're rehabilitating some villains. I'd love to meet those rascals, too. Where are they, Kim?"
- "W-Well... I gave them a week break, but they haven't come back yet..."
- "Oh my, it seems they've just run away. That's too bad, Kim. Do you need me to comfort you? Tehehe."
- "N-No, I'm fine. I will find and rehabilitate Chang Koehan and Choi Bounge no matter what!"
- "Chang Koehan and Choi Bounge... I've seen those names somewhere. Darling, weren't those the names on the leaflets they were handing out in town?"
- "Oh really? Let me check just to be sure."
The leaflet Gang-Il retrieved from his bag showed a headline reading 'Heinous Evildoer Xanadu Participating in KOF!?' Chang and Choi's names were listed as members of his team.
- "They must have been led astray by this Xanadu guy. I will participate in the KOF tournament in order to lead them back onto the path of righteousness."
- "Wow, KOF! I've heard that it draws a lot of great fighters. How interesting... Shall we join in too, Luong?"
Already surprised by his master's presence, Kim was speechless as he declared his intentions to participate.
- "Huh?" "Oh, what a great idea, darling! I'll work up a nice sweat for Kim's sake, too!"
- "N-No, really, I'm fine. You're both busy people, so I really shouldn't bother you with this. I'll find some other comrades with similar ideals and then join KOF."
- "No need to be so polite, Kim. For my adorable little student, we'll cancel all ours plans and stick with you throughout the tournament."
- "Oh, and darling, what about teaching Kim the vast mysteries of true 'training' while we're at it?"
- "Why, that's a great idea!! We'll get started on it tomorrow, then!"
Gang-Il and Luong's commitment to participating in KOF solidified, and they went about making calls to cancel their plans. Then worked on plans to stay at Kim's dojo...
- "This has turned into a real mess... I've got to get Chang and Choi back as soon as possible."
If he were to accept his master, would his 'training' improve even more? Or was his master just making fun of him? The fruits of his long years of 'training' were about to be tested.
A certain prison facility was conducting registration procedures for new inmates.
- "Ah, just when we think we're free of Kim, we get caught by the law."
- "Seriously, Choi, it's your fault for getting wild at that bar while you were drunk."
- "You shouldn't talk, Chang. You're the one who got worked up and broke their tables and walls, buddy boy."
When a guard brought them to their cell block on the bottom floor, they were surrounded by an unnatural aura. The prisoners there were abnormally energetic, and all seemed to be engaged in creating some sort of banner for an unclear purpose.
- "They're strangely lively. It's kind of creepy..." "AHAHAHA."
A laugh loud enough to echo through the cell block came from behind them, and the two turned to find the source of the sudden noise. There, they saw a man was approaching them, his blue beard that reached to his waist swinging like a pendulum.
- "So you have found me at last... A captive of the curvature of space-time, a potato in a tailspin."
He stared at them with deep-set, unblinking eyes open so wide as to be unsettling. And judging by his unique face-paint, Choi quickly realized just who this man was.
- "I-I know this guy! He's Xanadu, the most evil of villains! His list of criminal deeds is long and he's known internationally for pulling off serious felonies in every country he visits!"
- "Wow, that's crazy evil! I'm a little intimidated. What do you say, Choi? Should we bring the hammer of justice down on him?"
- "...You've become quite the justice fighter, buddy boy."
Xanadu moved his face closer to the pair and stared each one in the eyes, still unblinking, before breaking into a smirk.
- "It trembles, it trembles!"
- "Cast aside concepts! Return to nothingness and create!"
Xanadu took out an invitation to a fighting tournament that Chang and Choi were well-acquainted with. Anyone is allowed to participate in the KOF tournament. Vicious criminals are no exception.
- "The path is already open. The coupling of time and space! Namely, freedom! Only in acceptance does hope exist. Now, separate your concepts!"
- "Our hopes... F-Freedom! Absolute power! And wealth! Happiness in old age! Mr. Xanadu, please, lead us..."
- "You're the only one who can change us after being converted to justice, Mr. Xanadu!"
- "You must scatter. Split everything and then merge! Wahahahahaha!"
Xanadu's laughter echoed through the cell block. All of the prisoners let out a roar together, as if inspired by the sound.
- "Wow! It's amazing, I really want to go on a wild rampage! I've never seen charisma like this! If we stick with him, we'll be on the fast track to villainy!"
- "Looks like it's finally our lucky day, buddy boy."
- "All logic springs from a tremble. You two, heighten your entropy!"
No one knew whether Chang and Choi were departing on a spectacular trail of evil, or on a road that would lead them directly to the hammer of justice.
Official Invitation Team
It was a free-for-all battle between fighters who, for one reason or another, could not appear in official bouts, and held at one of the world's premier underground arenas. The audience's gaze was fixed on two women: one in a unique outfit featuring large eyeballs, and another that soared through the air while changing masks faster than the eyes could see.
- "They're pretty strong, eh?"
Antonov murmured, smiling with satisfaction as he watched the fights through a one-way mirror.
- "That's Sylvie, formerly of NESTS, who controls electromagnetic forces, and Mian, a master of Sichuan Bushinryu. Both have a win rate of over 90% in this underground tournament. And they're quite popular."
Antonov's assistant, associate director Yakov, swiftly pulled up information on the fighters on a tablet.
- "Ahhh, I see, I see. Alright Yakov, I'm going to scout them as select members of the official invitational team!"
- "Yes, sir— Wait, what!? So what will you do with the fighters that were recommended by our sponsors?"
- "Naturally, I'll be turning them down. Fighters known only for their looks aren't nearly strong enough to show off the power of Antonov, the first-generation KOF champion."
- "Ahh... Yes sir, if you say so. Well then, I'll go call them over."
Told that they had a business proposition from a very wealthy patron, Sylvie and Mian came to Antonov's room. Yakov then explained the nature of the contract.
- "KOF, huh... I don't like being on TV. But I'll think about it, depending on the size of the check."
- "Paula's totally, completely, without-a-doubt okay with this! You're fine with Paula, right?"
- "Excellent. Yakov, give them the contracts."
- "Yes, boss. These are the contracts. Please, look them over."
- "Wow, that's an impressive amount. Even my eyeballs are overwhelmed! ...Are there any penalties?"
- "No, no, there's no need to worry. It's simply honest pay for a fight."
- "With this much money... And there's a bonus for getting the venue worked up. It's a deal. Look forward to working with you, President Antonov."
- "That's great. Ehehe, Paula's glad to work with you too, boss."
Having added them to his select, invitational team, Antonov lectured Yakov in a satisfied voice as he watched the next fight.
- "Those two are tough! There's no doubt they'll spice up the tournament. And now that we've got members for the Official Team that can show off my strength, we can use anybody for the final member. Go get me some guy off the street."
- "Well, for the final member, we could try assigning one of the fighters recommended by our sponsors as a base..."
- "That won't be necessary. If you're looking for your final member to invite onto the team, I'm here. So hire me already, you sorry sack of shit."
When the two men turned to find the source of the unexpected voice, they saw a hooded man standing in the corner of the room.
- "Hey, kid, language! Anyway, when did you get here? I didn't notice you at all."
- "Just tell me whether you'll hire me or not. You know speed is everything in business negotiations, right?"
- "B-Boss... What do you think?"
- "Hmm. I like your abrasive style! Yakov, give him a contract too."
- "Huh? Are you sure, boss?"
- "Yeah. It's not just anyone who can hide his presence from me. He's bound to be tough. What's your name?"
- "Kukri. So, we have a deal. No need to explain the contract or negotiate; that's a waste of time. If there's a problem, contact me here."
Saying this, Kukri took the contract and vanished before their eyes, leaving behind traces of sand and a note with contact information written on it.
- "It's me. I've got all of the KOF participants. Standby for a report."
South America Team
A spin-off competition to the KOF tournament was underway in Rio de Janeiro. Although it was an unofficial tournament, the final rounds were so intense that even people passing by found themselves entranced. The fierce combat finally came to a close, and the two breathless fighters paid each other their respects and shook hands.
- "*Pant*... *Pant*... Well, your undetectable footwork at close-range was quite impressive. It was like the Japanese 'SURI-ASHI' movement technique. Are you a 'SAMURAI' then?"
- "No... And there's no way I look like one, either. I'm Nelson. I'm a boxer. You look pretty shady too, but your quick movements were first-class."
- "Oh, yes. It's all thanks to my daily training. For anyone heading to official KOF, that level is quite elementary."
- "Oh, so you're participating? I'm planning to as well, but I need one more member. You're weird, but you're tough. If you don't have teammates in mind yet, why not team up with me?"
- "I was having trouble getting members to team up with, too. My name is Bandeiras. It's good to meet you, Nelson."
The awards ceremony ended without incident, and the audience dispersed as their passion for the final bout faded. Nelson led Bandeiras to a café near the arena, and they waited for the final team member to arrive so Nelson could introduce her.
- "Sorry to keep you waiting!"
The cheerful voice came from a woman with a toucan on her shoulder who was approaching their table.
- "Ah! There you are. This is our other team member, Zarina."
- "Nice to meet you. I'm Zarina. I rushed over here when I heard that our new teammate was a really tough ninja."
- "It's my pleasure. My name is Bandeiras."
- "Crazy outfit, huh? But he's the real deal in a fight."
- "No, no, this is formal attire. I'm the master of the Brazilian Ninjutsu Dojo."
- "But you don't have any students, do you?"
- "Well, err... But I've heard that they'll beat my door down to sign up if I do well in KOF."
- "Are you sure about that? Where did you even hear that from?"
- "Tehehe, you two really get along well!"
- "I-I wouldn't worry about me. Anyway, Nelson just wants to show off that arm he's so proud of. What is your reason for signing up, Zarina?"
- "My reason for signing up..."
Zarina's expression darkened slightly, and she began to speak in serious tones while petting the toucan on her shoulder. Her pet toucan Coco was dear to her, almost a member of her family. His species' nesting ground had been purchased by a major company, placing them in danger of extinction due to land development. She had decided to participate in the KOF tournament in order to make her case in the court of public opinion. In doing so, she hoped to change the situation and put a stop to the land development.
- "Amazing! I had no idea you had such a motive."
- "And for the record, I'll vouch for her strength. It was all before my accident, but we've had several fights."
- "Wow, so you two have fought each other before. It is quite reassuring to know that you can fight evenly with a top-ranked boxer."
Although she was blushed after hearing her abilities praised, Zarina still worried. There was still a darkness hidden in her smile.
- "By the way, our goals are all over the place, but we all want to win, right? That means we're all comrades working toward a common goal, starting today. So naturally, we'd go to help our comrade's family too."
- "Naturally. I will give everything I have, for my comrades and for Zarina's family. I feel like I just embarked on a voyage."
- "Both of you, thank you so much! I'll give it all I have, too!!"
And thus, one woman broke into a grin on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and Team South America was formed.
A woman in a provocative outfit stopped her bike in front of a certain bar in Mexico. As she entered, everyone in the bar had their eyes fixed on a specially-built ring in the bar's centre... Excluding the man with an eye patch.
- "Perfect timing."
Angel ordered a tequila from the bartender, then spoke to the man with the eye patch.
- "Wow, I never thought you'd take me up on it."
- "Well, I'm thoroughly sick of living in the shadows for being ex-NESTS, and the tournament is perfect for filling time."
Although she had been a member of the secret criminal organization NESTS, she had betrayed the group and now lived her days on the run from its allies. Ramon was a pro wrestler who had participated in KOF in order to make money. He had approached her in the past about joining to represent Mexico, and the two were set to work together.
- "So, what will you do about the other member?"
- "Ah, that's already decided. He's a bit weird, but he's definitely good."
- "Really, now? Well, so long as he doesn't get in my way it's fine. Is he coming today, too?"
- "He's coming, or rather, he's already here. See, over there..."
Ramon motioned toward the ring with his eyes. There, the crowd was cheering on a massive man in a dinosaur costume who held his opponent in his mouth.
- "What!? That?" "Yep, that."
As Angel stared at the ring in shock, the massive man tossed his challenger aside as though he noticed her gaze. He then made his way to the bar with loud, thumping footsteps.
- "You two were really watching me closely, huh! That's right, I'm your new teammate. I am the mighty King of Dinosaurs! GRRRRR!"
- "He's like that, but he's more fired up for the tournament than anybody! No, more than any dinosaur!"
- "Well, I intend to get revenge on that guy in the KOF tournament! Until I get my revenge on that boxer... I won't lose! I will not lose!! GRRRRRRRR!"
- "But you've lost to the boxer once before, right? Can you beat him if you come up against him in the tournament?"
- "GRRRRR! No one can defeat me, reborn as a dinosaur! As one of God's creatures transformed into an avatar of destruction! If you doubt me, why not test my new strength?"
- "Okay, I'll remind you of how a heel can never defeat a pure face."
- "I will show you that a mere tiger is powerless before the mightiest, most powerful creature!"
Ramon and the King of Dinosaurs both began posturing as they climbed into the ring. Watching the patrons go wild for a new challenger out of the corner of her eye, Angel stared at the ice in her drink and muttered to herself.
- "Wow, the tiger and the dinosaur are both howling for blood. That's no good. Still, when it comes to people with reasons to participate in the KOF tournament, I'm in the same boat."
The hot winds of Mexico gave their blessing to this newborn team of tiger, cat, and dinosaur.
South Town's ruler, a figure that radiated overwhelming evil and majesty, looked down on the city from the top floor of a skyscraper with his faithful shadow by his side.
- "KOF... It has been a very long time. Do you yourself plan to participate, Mr. Geese?"
- "Hmm. I'm sure I'll see something interesting if I do. Billy, you come too."
- "Yes sir, I will. Will you take one more person for the team?"
- "Well... You'll know soon."
As Geese took a seat and reclined, a knock was hear at the door.
The door swung open slowly after Geese gave his permission, and a man in a butler's uniform with a cold, intellectual air about him entered the room.
- "Pardon the intrusion. I exterminated the rats, but missed one that looked a little different from the others. Shall I find its nest and exterminate it, as well?"
- "No need. Forget about it."
- "Yes, sir. Then I will move to preparations for the tournament."
- "You can't be serious, Mr. Geese? You're going to take the new guy?"
- "Yes. Does that bother you?"
- "No... Not if you say so, Mr. Geese."
Billy locked his eyes on Hein, sizing him up.
- "Hmm... Don't worry. I've already confirmed his abilities. Isn't that right, Hein?"
- "Yes, Mr. Geese. While I hate to have bothered you with it, I do believe you have received confirmation."
- "Well, new guy, don't get in my way. You might not get a chance to do anything anyway, though."
- "Yes. Although I am still a beginner, I will do my best. Please, teach me as much as you can as Mr. Geese's right hand man, Mr. Billy."
- "Hmph... You talk a good game. I'll look forward to it for now. Don't let me down."
With Hein joining Geese's ranks, the darkness over South Down deepened even further. What does the newly-empowered ruler of darkness want? The day of the KOF tournament drew closer, but mysteries still remained.
A mountain range of precipitous ridges was cloaked in deep mists today as well, with only the peaks protruding into the open air. The charred remnants of a dojo towered atop one of the peaks, blending into the natural grandeur around it. From within, the passionate battle cries and sounds of immense destruction produced by a boy echoed outwards.
- "Whew... I've finally gotten used to this power."
- "Yeah. You used to destroy the dojo every time you got serious before. Stopping you was a lot of work with just the master and me back then, Shun."
- "When are you talking about? That was back when I was a little kid."
- "Exactly, that's why I mentioned how much you've grown."
- "Oh... Yes, I've definitely grown compared to then. But it's not good enough. I've got to be able to fully control it..."
- "Hahaha... You're training well. Rushing is not an option. With how hard you're working, it will pay off in time."
- "In time is too late, Grandpa. I don't want to hurt anyone anymore. That's why I decided to face my power, and that's why I've been training so hard up until now."
A shadow passed over the two boys' expressions, as though the fog was darkening their feelings. Unable to deny what he saw, Tung rested his chin on his hand and thought for a moment before making a suggestion.
- "Well, this might be a drastic measure, but... I've got an idea."
- "Really!? Tell me, Grandpa! I'll do whatever it takes, no matter how difficult!!"
- "Mm-hmm. Well, it's... Participating in KOF."
- "Haven't you heard of it, Shun? It's a world-class martial arts tournament. The winning team receives a large cash reward and the highest honor a martial artist can achieve."
- "Even I know that much, Meiten. I just wonder what's the point in participating in a martial arts tournament."
- "True. If it were just about fighting great martial artists, the master would do it on his own."
- "Besides, if I sign up, I could seriously hurt opponents since I can't hold back."
Shun'ei understood the dangers and unpredictability of his own power. And because of this, even with the degree of control he'd learned to exercise up until now, he was hesitant and uncertain regarding the use of his power against other people. Then Tung spoke, seemingly having seen through Shun'ei's uncertainty and aiming to push him into action.
- "Don't underestimate first-class martial artists, foolish boy. You probably couldn't even hurt them at your current level."
- "Whoa. There are people that tough out there?"
- "Mm-hmm. And I've heard that my students and Kyo Kusanagi will be there, too."
- "Kyo... Kusanagi?"
- "Yes, each generation of the Kusanagi clan has the power of purification. Kyo Kusanagi is the heir to that power, and has sealed immense powers away in the past. And there are other participants whose circumstances are similar to yours. You might learn something in these fights."
- "I see... That's why you brought up participating in KOF. But I think Shun could easily wipe the floor with this Kusanagi guy."
- "No, you mustn't let your guard down, Meiten. Moreover, as this old man's students, I can't let you embarrass yourselves in front of your seniors. So it's time for training, Meiten!"
- "Huh!? I was just thinking I'd take a nap..."
- "You just woke up a few minutes ago. Come on, it's you against me!"
- "H-Hey, wait!"
Tung once again found himself lost in thought, listening to the clamour of the boys who would be his last students. Lately, he had sensed something; while faint, it reminded him of Shun'ei's energy. When the force of yang increases, the force of yin does as well. And if yang grows stronger still... For better or worse, he prayed for the sun's light to disperse the fog.
Psycho Soldier Team
'I've got this bad feeling about something...' lead by these final words from Chin after the last tournament, Chin's students were training day and night, preparing to face a new evil. All were showing results, but Kensou in particular had progressed enough to be almost unrecognizable.
- "Whew, I'm tired. Hey, Athena. I haven't seen the master around. Do you know where he went?"
- "The master left not too long go to pick up an invitation to the KOF tournament."
- "KOF, huh... It was in the news recently, but it's been quite a while, huh? Yeah, it’s been a long time since I worked together with Kensou and the other guys."
- "That's right, it was a tough one. Still, I'm going to participate this time and blow everybody away!"
- "Hey, that's not fair. I've gotten a lot better too! I want in for a change!"
When Chin returned after accepting the invitation, he heard his students growing excitement over the tournament. (Wow... They're really ready to go. I might as well hide for a bit longer and see how 'motivated' they are.)
- "But Momoko and Bao have gotten a lot stronger, too. I was amazed at how Bao mastered that new technique. Either way, it's going to end up more wins than losses for me."
- "True, but that's because you've gotten really strong, Kensou. You even scored a point off the master!" "As expected of a brilliant Psycho Soldier!"
- "Hahaha, you know it! These days, I might even be able to beat the master with my eyes closed. After all, I am a brilliant Psycho Soldier!"
(My, such pride... Seems he still needs more training. I guess I need to work out a harder training plan.)
- "Oh, Kensou, you're just overstating because the master isn't here! You'll get tripped up in KOF if you're like that."
- "I'll be fine. No one let's their guard down in KOF, so I'll be focused! And anyway, don't you think even warriors need breaks?"
Athena was suddenly confused on hearing Kensou proclaim the necessity of breaks.
- "Huh? Well, yeah, I do think breaks are necessary sometimes."
- "And on that note, I've got tickets to that new theme park. Would you like to go with me sometime?"
- "So that's what this is about. Honestly, I never been, so I was curious about it. I don't have any plans next week, so that would work."
- "Oh, I wanted to go too—"
- "Sure, Bao, but don't you have an errand that day? Hey, I've got some candy. Come over here and I'll give you some."
(Thank you, Momoko! This is my ultimate chance! I can't just leave it be; I've got to plan everything right now!)
–1 Week Later–
- "Hey, weren't you going to hang out with Kensou today?"
- "Apparently Kensou has special training with the master. It seems he's still too green for the KOF, so they're doing one-on-one training."
- "Aww, that's too bad... Well, Bao and Momoko are both free now."
- "Oh, really?? It would be a waste not use the tickets that Kensou gave me, so let's all go together!"
Bao and Momoko both threw their hands in the air and grinned with excitement at Athena's suggestion.
- "Yay! She agreed!!"
...Meanwhile, Kensou had been dragged against his will into more training with Chin.
- "Come on, can't you try harder!?"
- "Why am I the only one training!? And I can't go home until I win a real bout against you, Master!? This is insane."
- "I thought a brilliant Psycho Soldier like you could beat me with his eyes closed."
- "M-Master, you were listening?"
- "You've gotten stronger lately, and immediately let it go to your head! You're getting individual lessons until KOF begins!"
- "Noooooo! My shot at a perfect date with Athena!!"
And thus, a week's worth of careful date planning all went to waste.
1635 hours, Territorial Waters of a Certain Country A briefing was underway in the room of an aircraft carrier from Heidern's fleet.
- "...and this is our current mission."
- "These are KOF invitations, aren't they? It's been a really long time. Since it's a mission for us, that means that the current organizer must have something going on behind the scenes, right?"
- "No, we did a background check, but there's nothing particularly suspicious about him."
- "Then why do we have to participate?"
- "The organizer being 'clean' doesn't eliminate the chance that a problem will arise, Colonel."
- "Vigilance is required as all times."
After watching Ralf fold his arms for lack of a comeback to Clark and Leona's calm criticisms, Heidern began to move forward with the briefing.
- "Exactly. Now, take a look over the materials there. It's been a while since gravitational waves were observed, but distortions in spacetime have been reported in recent research results. This is quite similar to what happened before the final round of the last tournament. Though recently the connections between NESTS technologies and terrorist groups has been seen as quite the problem, their activities began increasing during exactly the same time period."
- "I see... So based on the results observed, there's a chance of some kind of problem at this tournament."
- "Yes, but since the previous tournament ended, surprisingly, without any problems, we can't actually prove that KOF and this phenomenon are related. Just infiltrate as usual."
- "Yes, sir!!!"
After the briefing was concluded, Ralf collected some of the papers and tossed them toward Whip.
- "Hey, Whippy! You're still in touch with that ice girl, right? After gathering info on those documents, make sure to report to that loner kid too. It looks like some opponents he has a history with will be there. But tell him that if he's scared, he can just hide in bed and shake until it's over!"
- "Again!? You just called me Whippy again! And why do you need to taunt him so much? He'll just end up hating you!"
- "He's actually expressing concern when he says that. Despite what he actually says, the Colonel only sees the best in people. He does have a dirty mouth, though."
- "It's not just his mouth... He looks dirty, too."
Whip's eyes lit up, as if something in Clark and Leona's conversation had given her a good idea.
- "So basically, he's the Colonel of cold-shoulders! I just got a great idea...!! I'm going to call you Colonel Cold-shoulder until you call me Whip."
- "You littles punks!!"
The ship turned toward the KOF arena, carrying Ralf as he roared in anger at his subordinates, who were still engaged in a lively conversation.
Another World Team
A girl with a hawk, a girl in traditional Chinese clothing, and a woman dressed like a pirate were sitting on a park bench. It was a scene reminiscent of a game or anime cosplay event.
- "We followed the faint presence to this city, but it doesn't seem to be here either."
- "It's been days since we came to this world, and we still don't know where it is..."
- "If only we had a clue or something."
Led by Nakoruru, Love Heart and Mui Mui left their native worlds and came to this world to vanquish the aggregate negative energy known as Wei Kamu, but found it incredibly difficult to search using spiritual energy alone in such a vast world.
- "Speaking of clues, recently every city here is in a really festive mood. Just what is going on?"
Mui Mui replied to Love Heart while stuffing her mouth with piping hot dim sum.
- "Oh, that's because they're holding some tournament called KOF. The guy at the dim sum cart told me. *munch, munch*"
- "Kay-OH-Eff... That's right, the people in that box they call the 'TEE-VEE' were just talking about it, too. Apparently, it hasn't been held in years."
- "Hmm. And what sort of thing is this KOF?"
- "They say it's a fighting tournament so big the whole world watches, and that the winners get tons of money and fame and stuff!"
To Love Heart, a veteran of vicious battles as a sky pirate, any fight is a battlefield. In that regard, a world where fighting tournaments acted as entertainment must be a pretty peaceful place.
- "Wow, the people on this world must be really carefree to have a sports tournament like that as their biggest event. Anyway, this has nothing to do with us."
- "But if we win, we could get a lot of money, and then eat all the wonderful food we wanted... Let's fight in KOF!"
- "No way. All you've done since coming to this world is eat. You haven't forgotten our objective here, have you? Nakoruru, why don't you say something."
When Love Heart sought Nakoruru's support, she thought for a moment before speaking forcefully, as though she had reached a decision.
- "You're right... Well, let's join up!"
- "See, we're not just going to—What!?"
- "Yay! She agreed!"
- "Come on, Nakoruru, do we really have time for this!? Don't we need to go after it!?"
- "Yes, but we won't find it just by searching randomly. And Wei Kamu is still a collection of intentions at this point. It will try to obtain a strong mind and body so that it can take form in this world. If you look at it that way, there's a good chance that Wei Kamu will appear at this Kay-OH-Eff."
- "I see... I guess that's more efficient that just searching randomly. And when it shows up, we just have to crush it."
- "Yep, yep. Just leave it to us!"
- "Thank you. Now, let's all do our best together in order to defeat Wei Kamu."
When Nakoruru let out a cheer, Love Heart and Mui Mui joined in, thrusting their fists in the air and shouting passionately. "YEEEEAAAAAAHH!"
Then Nakoruru put a finger to her lips, and murmured as if she had just remembering something.
- "By the way, how do we join this Kay-OH-Eff?"
And thus the inter-dimensional warriors encountered a new issue. Would they be able to safely make their way to KOF?
A glowing orb illuminated the surrounding area as the only source of light in a dark alley. A man knelt before the source of this light, breathless. His appearance suggested he was a leader of some sort.
- "Now, it is done..."
The man was struck by a final blow and fell as Maxima appeared behind him, dragging one of the man's comrades.
- "Looks like you've finished up over there, too."
As NESTS survivors, Maxima and his companions were subject to a manhunts, but the majority of their wanted posters had now been taken down in exchange for their strategic aid to Heidern and his forces. While this ended their status as suspected terrorist fugitives, it did not put an end to the shadowy organizations pursuing them for the top-of-the-line NESTS cyber technology incorporated into their bodies.
K', noticing that his sunglasses had been knocked askew in the previous fight, swore as he adjusted them.
- "That was one irritating bastard."
- "Absolutely. Anyway, these guys were using weaponry I've never seen before."
Maxima frowned on noting the advanced level of technology used in their attackers' weaponry.
- "It doesn't matter. We'll just burn everything and put an end to this."
- "Come on now, don't be like that. It's worth investigating. After all, I don't have any records of this technology in my database."
His database held information on all sorts of organizations. The only technologies it did not hold records on were those kept under incredibly tight security, or unverified new technologies that remained undisclosed to the public.
A ringing cell phone broke the moment of silence.
- "Hey old man, we got a big problem!!"
Kula's voice echoed from the phone's speakers and through the area with a hint of panic in it.
- "What's wrong!? Did something happen?"
Thoughts of the previous attackers wormed through the back of Maxima's mind on after hearing the tone of her voice.
- "Yeah, there's no more ice cream in the freezer. Could you get some when you come back? Like, a lot of it!!"
K', who had been just as worried as Maxima, replied harshly once he realized it was for nothing.
- "Our little princess says to bring ice cream."
- "I hear her! Whatever, this is ridiculous."
- "Oh, and Seirah was saying to watch out for people with weird machines and weapons. Maybe she was talking about you old guys, huh?"
K' twisted his lips, and a hint of a smile drifted over his face.
- "O-Old guys, huh... And she called my brand new suit a weird machine..."
- "Oh, and there was a message for K' from the old bandanna man on Seirah's team! He said that former members of NESTS will be appearing in this KOF tournament. But he also said you could just stay home and rest if that scared you."
K' sucked his teeth in irritation.
- "Tsch, just when I thought the drunkard wasn't gonna to bother me, that meathead geezer bugs me instead... I just can't catch a break."
- "What will you do, partner?"
- "Let's sign up! They said they'd give me ice cream, too. I'll look out for you if you're scared, okay?"
- "What a brat... I can handle this by myself."
Ignoring Kula's excited voice as it echoed from the phone, K' vanished into the darkness of the alley.
Women Fighters Team
One early afternoon in South Town, the voice of a woman in a bewitching outfit echoed loudly through a branch of the Illusion bar, an establishment run by King.
- "Hey, listen to this! So Andy went and teamed up with Terry and that guy in the short-shorts without telling me again. Leaving Terry aside, what's so good about short-shorts guy?"
- "Well, he's pretty good, isn't he? Not as good as me, of course."
- "If that's the case, I'm just going to have to win and show them! I'm a way better teammate than Joe!"
- "Though you do this every time, you do pretty well."
Although Mai had been angry in the past over her inability to team up with Andy, there was no one else around that day to calm her down today, so King took up the task alone.
- "Of course I do! That's why I've decided to participate in KOF! Where's Yuri?"
- "Supposedly, she'll be on the Kyokugenryu team this time. I heard she's off in the mountains for special training now. Sounds tough."
- "Then who will be our final member? Oh, what about Mary and Hinako and the others!?"
- "Mary and Vanessa have to work. And you refused Hinako and Kasumi and the rest because you were supposed to be teaming up with Andy, remember?"
- "No way... We don't have much time until we need to register! I wonder if I could get them to join up right now."
- "I doubt it. Hinako and the others were just saying they had something to take care of, now. What about just watching this time?"
- "No! I absolutely have to beat him! I could find someone that wants to join anywhere. I'm going to go look for them!"
Mai downed a full glass and jumped to her feet. Just then, a woman seated at the table closest to the bar spoke up, as though she had been waiting for an opening.
- "Hi! I'll join your team!"
- "They really are anywhere... Anyway, who are you?"
- "I'm Alice. My name's starting to get around South Town."
- "Alice... Oh, I've heard of you. There have been rumors lately of a girl who uses Terry's and they guys' moves in her own personal style."
- "That sounds kind of like Yuri. Well, whatever. Apparently, you can fight decently, so you're on the team if you can land a hit on me."
- "OK! I'm going to go all-out."
Alice seized the initiative when King gave the starting signal, and suddenly launched a massive attack. But Mai dodged as though dancing around it, and her expression showed just a hint of disappointment.
"You're green. There's no way a big technique like that will connect. *Sigh*... We're finished here."
Mai launched a Ryuuenbu while Alice was still off balance, but Alice dodged the halfhearted attack at the last moment.
- (Whoa! I can't believe she dodged from that stance...)
- "Hyaaa! Diving Tackle!"
Alice's technique connected beautifully, taking advantage of Mai's momentary confusion.
- "Wow, regardless of how much Mai let her guard down, you're as good as the rumors said."
- "Oww... You have great instincts. I'm looking forward to working with you! We're going to beat Terry and the short-shorts guy together, and really prove who's strongest!"
- "Of course! We'll show Terry our true strength, no matter what! Just wait and see!"
- "Great, Alice! That's the spirit! Now, let's drink and celebrate the birth of our new team!"
- "Wow, she's unusually energetic. Still, for all my talk, there are opponents I don't want to lose to, either. I understand how she feels."
- "King, drink with us! Celebrate the birth of our new team!"
And thus, with the addition of one newbie, a team of Women Fighters was born with a passion for defeating Terry, Joe, and Ryo (?).