Wolfgang Krauser von Stroheim (ヴォルフガング・クラウザー・フォン・シュトロハイム, Worufugangu Kurauzā Fon Shutorohaimu), originally introduced as Wolfgang Krauser, is a boss character in SNK's Fatal Fury series and The King of Fighters series. The namesakes for his full name are Mozart and one of the ring names from former pro-wrestler Karl Istaz.
Pathway of the Earl of Stroheim
About forty years before Fatal Fury takes place, Michael, the present head of the Stroheim family, lost his son and wife in an aerial accident. His granddaughter, Elza, was the only living descendant and no male heirs were available to them. Sometime later, Elza fell in love with a man named Rudolph, who won a martial arts tournament. As she was expecting a child, Elza asked her grandfather to approve of her marriage with Rudolph. Left with no say in the matter, Michael begrudgingly agreed.
Since he became a part of the Stroheim family, Rudolph was forced to leave his wife and child in America, Maria and Geese. When Krauser was nine years old, a boy tried to assassinate his father. This boy was Geese who blamed Rudolph for leaving his mother to die from sickness. Surprisingly, Krauser defeated the would-be assassin and would have killed him if he wasn't restrained by Rudolph. Since then, Geese has always feared his younger half-brother.
When Krauser was older, his great-grandfather died and Rudolph became head of the family. Elza also passed away around the same time. Learning that her husband still loved his old wife over her, Elza had drunk her sorrows away with liquor and died with a frail body. On his sixteenth birthday, Wolfgang challenged his father to a duel a day after Elza's funeral. Although observers were in favor of Rudolph's victory, Krauser killed him in one blow. Thus, Krauser became the undisputed and strongest Earl of Stroheim in the family's history, ruling Stroheim Castle.
Sometime after this event, he fought with Jeff Bogard and Hanzo Shiranui, Mai's grandfather. The two fighters were able to strike Krauser's forehead, which left a cross scar that refused to completely heal. He returned to his country and continued to attend to his family's legacy.
As a famous and reputed crimelord of darkness, Krauser decided to amuse himself. Once he hears of South Town's reputation, he sends a letter to Geese. Though it was written in a polite manner, it was really a threat for his older half-brother to engage in a contest with him. However, he never received a written reply since he heard Geese died soon after. He was beaten by a man named Terry Bogard in the King of Fighters tournament. Intrigued by the man's name, Krauser sent an imposter to defame Geese's company and came in person to South Town (retconned in Fatal Fury Special).
Staging his own King of Fighters tournament, he injures several veteran fighters from the previous event (retconned in Fatal Fury Special). He also hires three fighters to serve him who are Billy Kane, Axel Hawk, and Laurence Blood. Eventually, he fights Terry himself. After a fierce battle, Krauser is defeated and remains missing from the fighting scene. According to the short movie, Memories of Stray Wolves, Krauser supposedly took his own life soon after.
The King of Fighters
Nothing was heard of from Krauser until The King of Fighters '96 tournament, when Krauser joined forces with Geese and Mr. Big to create the Boss Team. Although Geese used both him and Mr. Big as pawns in his attempt to nab an ancient power called Orochi, Krauser only cared about self-improvement. After learning of his faults at the hands of Terry, Krauser vowed only to fight stronger opponents in order to restore the strength and prestige he once possessed. For now, Krauser wants only to improve himself first.
Krauser debuted as the "emperor of darkness": a paramount example of power and villainy. He prided himself as the ultimate pillar of strength who could surpass any challenger fair-and-square, holding the King of Fighters tournament with the motivation of global acknowledgment and stealing Geese's fortune for himself. He is uncaring to any who fall before him.
His Fatal Fury Special and Real Bout Special revisions borrow traits introduced by his animated counterpart, and this portrayal is the one that survives in current lore. Krauser may be seen as cruel and corrupt, but he is also a refined nobleman who proudly represents his family's ancient foundations in Europe. He thinks himself to be an enigmatic genius like Mozart and views his fights as prized masterpieces. Therefore, he seeks to only fight strong opponents. Krauser considers trickery and opponents weaker than him a waste of his time and talents. This nobleman trait also finds its way to his KOF96 appearance, where he simply fights for self-improvement and pride.
Krauser's animated counterpart entertains his opponents' challenges simply because he is so confident that he will overpower them. While he retains the original's ruthlessness, he does voice his respects to the foes who impress him. He occasionally bores of his comfortable world of luxury and seeks new ways of amusing himself. His initial reason for fighting Terry is for the thrill of one-upping Geese. He is an accomplished organ player; he plays the organ at least once per year to honor his father, the only time he confesses to being sentimental.
- Superhuman strength level: Krauser possesses incredible strength capable of throwing anyone high in the air using only one arm. He can also defeat skillful enemies using his brute strength only.
- Fire Projectile: Krauser can launch fire balls from his hands. He named this move Blitz Ball.
- Energy Projectile: Krauser can launch a wave of chi energy as his super. He named this move Kaiser Wave.
- Hurricane Fist: Krauser can spin his body in great speeds creating a hurricane around him. This is named Senpuuken or Hadou Senpuukyaku; originally belonging to and was copied from Terry Bogard during a fight between the two fighters. In Real Bout Special, he calls this technique Gigaton Cyclone.
- Armored Fighting: As shown in the OVA, Krauser can fight very well while wearing his heavy golden armor. He takes it off for speed and agility.
- Musical Instrument: He can play the piano/organ very well which he plays at least once a year on the anniversary of his father's death.
- Horse Riding: Krauser can ride horses very well as he has been riding since young age playing sports like polo.
- Agility: For a big muscular man Krauser is a very fast and agile fighter even with his full armor on him
- Gambling: Krauser is said to be an adept and shrewd gambler, though due to his stinginess, will choose his games carefully.
Krauser's fighting style is the Stroheim Fighting System which is a synthesized martial arts style based on the German martial art named Kampfringen and the ancient Greek fighting style of Pankration. Krauser also uses wrestling moves such as drop kicks, suplexes and others. These moves were inspired by the anime character Tiger Mask. Most of them have a Kaiser theme naming motif, which is the German word for an emperor or ruler.
- Dies Irae - Fatal Fury 2, Fatal Fury Special, The King of Fighters '96, for a recreation of his stage in SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium
- Lacrimosa - Real Bout: Fatal Fury Special and Real Bout: Fatal Fury 2
- Krauser - Fatal Fury 2: The New Battle
- Teiou I - Yabou (The Emperor I - Ambition) - Fatal Fury 2: The New Battle
- Teiou II - Kako (The Emperor II - Past) - Fatal Fury 2: The New Battle
- Teiou III - Requiem (The Emperor III - Requiem) - Fatal Fury 2: The New Battle
- Michael Beard - Fatal Fury 2, Fatal Fury Special, The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match (stock audio, intro against Fatal Fury characters)
- B.J. Love - The King of Fighters '96~'98 Ultimate Match
- Duncan Hamilton - SNK Fan Collection Fatal Fury CD
- Hirotaka Suzuoki - Fatal Fury 2: The New Battle, Dengeki Bunko drama CDs
- Paul Dobson - Fatal Fury 2: The New Battle (English voice)
- Takuya Iwabata - The King of Fighters Destiny
- Yutaka Aoyama - The King of Fighters All Star
- Fatal Fury 2 - boss
- Fatal Fury Special - boss and playable
- The King of Fighters '96
- Real Bout Fatal Fury Special - boss and playable
- Fatal Fury: First Contact
- Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers - boss and playable
- Real Bout Fatal Fury Special: Dominated Mind - boss and playable
- The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match
- The King of Fighters 2000 - As a PS2 Maniac Striker for Mai
- Garou Densetsu Special - boss
- Garou Densetsu Sougeki - boss
- Garou Densetsu Premium
- Quiz King of Fighters - non-playable
- The King of Fighters '94 - during the Fatal Fury Team ending
- The King of Fighters 2002 - in the Italy stage
- The King of Fighters '94: Rebout - background cameo
- The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match - background cameo in the Greece stage
- KOF: Maximum Impact 2 - bonus stage cameo
- The King of Fighters (pachinko)
- The King of Fighters XIII - in Billy's stage
- The King of Fighters XIV - mentioned by King of Dinosaurs as "a real wrestler"
- Fatal Fury 2: The New Battle
- Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture - passing mention
- The King of Fighters: Destiny - in Episode 5
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