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K'

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This article is about the fictional character. For the similarly written consonantal sound, see Velar ejective.
K′
The King of Fighters character
K' KOFXI.png
First game The King of Fighters '99 (1999)
Voiced by (English) Andrew Scott (Maximum Impact series)[1]
Voiced by (Japanese) Yuuki Matsuda[2]
Fictional profile
Fighting style Pure violence

K' or K Dash (ケイ・ダッシュ Kei Dasshu?, also known as K Prime in certain English language materials), is a video game character from The King of Fighters fighting game series developed by SNK Playmore (formerly known as SNK). He debuted as the leader of the Hero Team in The King of Fighters '99, released in 1999. He stars as the reluctant hero in the NESTS syndicate story arc of the series. He was created to be a "dark hero" in contrast to the series' previous protagonist Kyo Kusanagi.

K' is a young man who lost all his memories when the NESTS syndicate captured him and injected the DNA of the powerful fighter Kyo into him to copy Kusanagi's pyrokinetic abilities. Angered by what NESTS did to him, K' betrays NESTS and decides to destroy them for using his body and deleting all his memories. Although he hates tournaments, K' uses the King of Fighters tournaments to find NESTS members and defeat them. In his search, he meets allies who have the same goal and joins forces with them. Aside from the main series, K' also appears in several other media series, such as spin-offs and crossover video games, as well as printed adaptations of the series.

Since his introduction in the series, K' has received both praise and criticism by video game publications. The character's gameplay has been praised for its style and differences from previous known fighting styles. His absence in The King of Fighters XII was controversial and his return in the following game was due mainly to his popularity as a character.

Conception and creation[edit]

To contrast the previous protagonist of the series, Kyo Kusanagi, K' was made to be the "dark hero".[3] During the early phases of the development of The King of Fighters '99, the introduction of K' to the series was meant to remove popular characters Kyo Kusanagi and Iori Yagami from the roster—though this idea was scrapped before the game's release.[4] Eiji, one of the game's designers, commented that he thought K' would be more popular than he turned out to be, noting that K' was too plain.[5] Nevertheless, character designer Tatsuhiko Kanaoka, better known as "Falcoon", said K' was one of his favorite original King of Fighters characters.[6] Music composer Sha-V suggested that K' should yell "Dora!" or "Ora!" to mirror Kyo and Iori's shouts, "Doushita!" and "Kurei!" respectively. Konny, another music composer, jokingly wondered if K' is trying to say the word "dry", since the first word of his yell was "Dorei!"[7]

It has been noted by several of the series' designers that K' is one of the most difficult characters to illustrate, since his look is very different when he is drawn by different illustrators.[8] In the early development of the game, K' had a slicked back hairstyle, but as it was nixed by his powers, the character's hair was changed. They also jokingly mentioned that the reason for his hair being bushier than it needed to be may be a reflection of the conditions around him. The King of Fighters '99 was developed at the same time as Garou: Mark of the Wolves; developers noted several similarities between K' and Mark of the Wolves' main character, Rock Howard, which caused K''s designer to become very nervous.[9] The producer of The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match, Neogeo Hakase, advised advanced players to use K' stating that once the player had learned how to control him, the character would become very strong during fights.[10]

For The King of Fighters XIII, K''s design was crafted so that he had a "cool" appearance. Developers liked the result as his moves, such as putting on his sunglasses, were carefully detailed.[11] His gameplay mechanics were developed so that gamers who had used him before would not find his new gameplay mechanics strange. In contrast to Kyo's flames, K''s were designed with intention of making them look more violent. As a result of various The King of Fighters endings showing K' removing his red glove, a special move was required to show him doing the same thing. After thinking of several methods that would show this, the staff was inspired by The King of Fighters HK Comics printed adaptations in which the character's glove once broke after defeating his opponent, leading to his winpose that happens only after he has used his strongest technique. Following various revisions of K''s "Chain Drive" (チェーンドライブ?) technique, in order to better follow the material that inspired the move, the staff decided to make K' fight while wearing his sunglasses.[12]

Attributes[edit]

K' is a former subject of an experiment made by the NESTS organization. He stands 183cm (6'0") tall and weighs 65kg (143 lbs). In their attempt to create powerful soldiers, NESTS kidnapped K′ and injected him with DNA from the fighter Kyo Kusanagi, giving him his pyrokinetic skills. Unlike Kyo, K' is only able to create fire from his right hand, which he is sometimes unable to control. He wears a glove to protect his body from being burned accidentally. During the program, NESTS repressed K′'s memories, and he was made to believe that he was Krizalid's clone. While in NESTS, K′ became enraged with how the organization played with human lives, and escaped to recover his memories. As he could not even remember his name, K' decided to destroy NESTS in order to stop their experiments.[13] K''s fighting style is simply called Pure Violence which involves him using the fire from his right hand along with martial arts moves.[9]

In the process of destroying NESTS, he becomes allied with Maxima, a cyborg whose best friend was killed by NESTS agents and is seeking to avenge the death. While Maxima sees K' as a friend and his partner, K' is stoic and cynical.[14] He also meets Whip, who it is revealed is a clone of his sister, Seirah. Even though Whip reveals her identity to K', he ignores this, saying he will do what he pleases.[15] Although he hates The King of Fighters tournaments, he commonly enters them, being asked by someone, or to find NESTS.[16] The participants often criticize him for being antisocial.[17][18] After destroying NESTS, K' starts recovering his memories, but he suspects he could forget all the people he has met. He also becomes determined to prove he is better than Kyo, instead of being only a clone.[19]

Appearances[edit]

In video games[edit]

In The King of Fighters '99, K' and Maxima hear of a King of Fighters tournament being held by NESTS and decide to participate in it and face NESTS head-on. They form a "Hero Team" along with Benimaru Nikaido and Shingo Yabuki.[14] The Hero Team is taken to a NESTS base, where they meet NESTS' agent Krizalid, who claims that K' was cloned from him; both are ignorant of the fact that K′ was the original.[20] After Krizalid asks K' to join him, the two end up fighting.[13] Following Krizalid's defeat, K' and Maxima become targets of NESTS.[21] In The King of Fighters 2000, K' and Maxima enter a new tournament, along with mercenaries Vanessa and Ramon. K′ and Maxima enter the tournament to discover NESTS' scheme, but Vanessa and Ramon are using them to find NESTS.[22] K′ and his team make it to the finals and face NESTS' agent Zero. After Zero's defeat, K' has a dream involving his sister. He wakes up with Maxima as well as Whip, the clone of his sister.[15]

In The King of Fighters 2001, K', Maxima, and Whip are joined by Lin, a Hizoku assassin who has a grudge against Ron, who betrayed the Hizoku to join NESTS.[23] During the tournament, K' and his team face the original Zero, the one they met during the events of The King of Fighters 2000 having been a clone, and the new NESTS leader, Igniz,who has the secrets to unlock K''s memories.[24] After Igniz commits suicide, K′ forms an alliance with Kula Diamond, a clone designed to be the Anti-K', and her guardian Diana to continue their lives.[25][26] In The King of Fighters 2002, a game without a storyline, K′ is a playable character, along with Maxima and Whip.[27] In The King of Fighters 2003, K' and Maxima are allowed to enter to that year's tournament by Chin Gentsai to investigate a dark wave around the King of Fighters.[16] In the finals, K' faces Mukai, a demon who belongs to the group "Those from the Past". Although K' defeats Mukai, he is bothered by Mukai's taunts about reaching his true potential.[28] In The King of Fighters XI, K' enters the tournament with Maxima and Kula, in order to surpass his limits.[19] The King of Fighters XIII retains the same team from The King of Fighters XI, with K′ teaming with Kula and Maxima.[29]

Aside from the main series, K' has also appeared in other media from The King of Fighters series. K' appears in the spin-off video game series The King of Fighters: Maximum Impact and Neowave. In Neowave, K' is playable, as are Maxima and Whip; while in Maximum Impact, he fights alone (as do all characters in the game).[30][31] In the Maximum Impact series, he enters into the King of Fighters tournaments searching for the host who sponsored it. In the crossover video game Neo Geo Battle Coliseum, K' is featured as a playable character.[32]

In other media[edit]

In the anime The King of Fighters: Another Day, K' is featured prominently in the third chapter.[33] K' also appears in the manhua adaptation of The King of Fighters: Zillion that was created by Andy Seto. He stars in other manhua for the games, starting with The King of Fighters 2001 through 2003, as well as the Maximum Impact series.[34] He also appears in the CD dramas KOF 2000, in which he confronts Kula, Diamond, and in KOF: Mid Summer Struggle, in which he appears in a fake King of Fighters tournament.[35] Outside The King of Fighters, the character has appeared in a dating sim part of the Days of Memories series.[36]

Reception[edit]

"Like '96, though, '99 certainly planted the seeds for better things to come, and featured the series' most inspired new character designs since Iori in '95. K' (you pronounce that "K-Dash") formed the centerpiece of some beautiful promotional images, and offered a very entertaining tidbit for trivia collectors. His listed fighting style isn't "Kyokugenryu," or "Shiranui ninjutsu," or "Kusanagi ancient martial arts." It's just "Violence.""

1UP.com[37]

The character K' has been well received by fans; in a 2005 poll by SNK Playmore USA, he was voted the fans' fourth favorite character, with a total of 338 votes.[38] His character has also been used as the mascot for The King of Fighters's 15th anniversary.[39] He has received praise and criticism from several video game publications and other media. Scott Daylor from CultureCuartel labelled him a "lame" addition to the character roster in The King of Fighters '99.[40] Andres Rojas from Nintendo World Report referred to K' as "a fighter not to be reckoned with" as well as a comical "Michael Jackson wannabe".[41] 1UP.com praised K' as among the most inspired new character designs in The King of Fighters series since Iori Yagami in The King of Fighters '95, noting his unique fighting style: merely "Violence" which contrasted with other known fighting styles. Additionally, 1UP.com noted that anything involving the character's sunglasses qualified as the best pose from the game.[37] Similarly, Josh Kramer of Thunderbolt praised K''s design alongside Iori.[42] In another review, Jeremy Dunham of IGN noted that Eolith had re-voiced K' in The King of Fighters 2001 for PlayStation 2, listing the character among those that provided "plenty of old-school enjoyment".[43] FileFactory Games commented that K' appears in a "fun to watch" CG movie in KOF: Maximum Impact 2, even though "neither of these movies actually make any sense at all".[44]

Critics have also commented on the character's role in the printed adaptations of the franchise. A. E. Sparrow, reviewing the graphic novel King of Fighters 2003: Volume 4 for IGN, commented that K' is "sufficiently heroic" with the comic allowing the exploration of his motivations.[45] His duel against Kyo's clone, Kusanagi, was referred by GenjisPress as "fan-only territory" due to the lack of context. His relationship with his partner Maxima is described as: "hard to tell friend from rival in a story like this, especially for one who is unfamiliar with the game."[46] Reviewing volume five, Mania Entertainment's Ben Leary said the K'-heavy storyline makes "one of the wildest transitions I've seen in a comic yet" with K' involved in a conflict related to Japanese mythology for no apparent reason. However, he said that the way K' receives new powers to defeat Mukai is "self-contradictory" and that "nothing really happens as a result" of this event.[47]

On the official SNK Playmore King of Fighters anniversary website, an image of K' drawn in the style of the other The King of Fighters XII participants appeared, along with a similar image of Mai Shiranui, leading to speculation that they would appear in the game.[48][49] UTV Ignition Entertainment's business development director Shane Bettenhausen refused to answer these rumors, but noted fans asked more often about Mai's absence.[50] None of them made it into the game which caused discontent within gamers.[51] In an official press releases by Atlus regarding The King of Fighters XIII, it was stated that K''s return was because of popular demand.[52][53] His return along with his two teammates, Maxima and Kula, as well as Mai, has been met with praise by video game publications.[54][55][56]

Merchandising based on K' has been released including action figures and clothing for cosplaying.[57][58]

References[edit]

  1. ^ SNK Playmore. The King of Fighters 2006. PlayStation 2. SNK Playmore. Level/area: Credits. 
  2. ^ SNK. The King of Fighters '99. Neo Geo. SNK. Level/area: Credits. 
  3. ^ Akihiko Ureshino, ed. (September 20, 2005). The King of Fighters Perfect Reader (in Japanese). Nikkei Business Publications. p. 139. ISBN 4-8222-1711-6. 
  4. ^ SNK Playmore. "Kyo Kusanagi-1 Official Profile". King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website. Archived from the original on September 3, 2015. Retrieved January 19, 2008. 
  5. ^ SNK Playmore. "Interview with Eiji". King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website. Archived from the original on October 17, 2007. Retrieved November 12, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Interview with Falcoon". King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website. Archived from the original on April 18, 2008. Retrieved September 9, 2015. 
  7. ^ "KOF 2000 Diary" (in Japanese). Neo Geo official website archived by Personal Triticom. Archived from the original on April 17, 2001. Retrieved January 21, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Interview with Wing Yan and King Tung". King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website. Archived from the original on April 18, 2008. Retrieved July 29, 2008. 
  9. ^ a b "K' Official Profile". King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website. Archived from the original on September 2, 2015. Retrieved January 19, 2008. 
  10. ^ "INTERVIEW WITH NEOGEO HAKASE THE PRODUCER OF KOF 2002 UM". SNK Playmore. Facebook. November 15, 2010. Archived from the original on September 2, 2015. Retrieved April 4, 2011. 
  11. ^ "早く遊んでほしい! 『KOF XIII』開発スタッフ2人が稼働直前の気持ちを告白!" (in Japanese). ASCII Media Works. July 13, 2011. Archived from the original on September 22, 2016. Retrieved August 1, 2011. 
  12. ^ "チーム紹介 K'チーム" (in Japanese). SNK Playmore. July 18, 2011. Archived from the original on September 22, 2015. Retrieved August 9, 2011. 
  13. ^ a b SNK (July 22, 1999). The King of Fighters '99. Neo Geo. SNK. Shingo: Kyo Kusanagi! / Krizalid: Actually, he's a clone taken after the Orochi battle. The real one eluded us. And K′, there, is my clone. A product of our Vtechnology.K': Saaay what? / Krizalid: You think differently? Remember your parents' faces? Your childhood...? Can't do it, can you? / K':: Uh, n, no... Benimaru: Just what're you scheming? / Krizalid: Clones'll seize major cities and our Cartel will rule!/Benimaru: What!? / Krizalid: K', Maxima, your final mission, help create the trigger data./Maxima: Trigger data?/Krizalid: The killer instinct! You want it, huh, K'? /K': Well, uh.../Krizalid: I'll take that as a, 'yes.' Seize them, you clones!  line feed character in |quote= at position 170 (help)
  14. ^ a b "Hero Team Story 99". King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website. Retrieved January 19, 2009. 
  15. ^ a b SNK (July 26, 2000). The King of Fighters 2000. Neo Geo. SNK. Maxima: Who are you...!?/K′: .../Maxima: What'll it be? Do you believe?/K': I do as I please. You serious? There're only 3 of us here!? This ain't going to be easy! 
  16. ^ a b "K' Team Story 2003". King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website. Retrieved January 19, 2009. 
  17. ^ SNK Playmore. The King of Fighters XIII. Atlus. Yuri: You're always scowling. Does any good ever come of just scowling all the time!?" / K′: "What do YOU think!? Of course not. Don't be an idiot." Yuri: "Then why are you such a sourpuss all the time?" / K': "I'm sick of all your rambling... This is just who I am. 
  18. ^ SNK Playmore. The King of Fighters XIII. Atlus. Kensou: "What are you still being so nihilistic for? That stopped being cool ages ago! It's all about having a sense of humor now! You should memorize a couple of good jokes!" / K′:' "What are you on about? It doesn't sound so funny to me... It's more annoying than anything else... Get out of here before you get hurt!" 
  19. ^ a b "K' Team Story XI". King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website (in Japanese). Retrieved January 19, 2009. 
  20. ^ SNK (July 22, 1999). The King of Fighters '99. Neo Geo. SNK. Whip: You really are a simp. Who else can it be, but K′? / Krizalid: But, he's my clone...! Oh, no! It can't be! / Whip: You got it, gruel breath. You're one of K's clones! 
  21. ^ SNK (July 22, 1999). The King of Fighters '99. Neo Geo. SNK. ????: We are NESTS Cartel. The new world order. Out future, is now!/ Shingo: We've lost everybody./ Benimaru: Let's get going, we're not safe here./Shingo: Aaaah!/Benimaru: Shingo!/Maxima: Oh, what now!? Maybe I can get out in the confusion. K'! Are you okay?/K′: The Globe's gone crazy!/Maxima: Holy shish-kabob, K'! You're going to be toast!/K′: What, this? You can take it? Are you up to it, Maxima?/Maxima: If it's like the last time, I can handle a 100 blasts... I think./K': Whooo-ooooh! 
  22. ^ "Hero Team Story 2000". King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website. Retrieved January 19, 2009. 
  23. ^ "Hero Team Story 2001". King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website. Retrieved January 19, 2009. 
  24. ^ BrezzaSoft (November 15, 2001). The King of Fighters 2001. Neo Geo. Eolith. Igniz: Welcome back, K′. You had to win, I created you. You standing here, K', means my clones have succeeded. / K': Say again, ugly? / Igniz: You were selected from the start to do my bidding. You, Maxima, Whip, no, Seirah... Exited NESTS to grow... But you, along with Kula, had to be relieved of your memories. To become the strongest, you had to fight without thinking. 
  25. ^ BrezzaSoft (November 15, 2001). The King of Fighters 2001. Neo Geo. Eolith. Igniz: If I am not worthy to become a god... I shall become a demon! All will return to nothing!"/ Whip: He's going to blow us up!/ .../ Whip: Time to return a favor, eh?/ K′: ...Yeah, I guess so. Let's go! Our real battle is about to begin. 
  26. ^ BrezzaSoft (November 15, 2001). The King of Fighters 2001. Neo Geo. Eolith. K′: Thanks to them, I am free. My long captivity is over! / Kula: Uh-huh. / K': Let's blow this place. Time to make up for a lit bad for a gaggle of women, winning the KOF... 
  27. ^ "King of Fighters 2003". King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website. Retrieved January 19, 2009. 
  28. ^ SNK Playmore (November 15, 2003). The King of Fighters 2003. Neo Geo. SNK Playmore. Mukai: I'll be looking forward to it... K′: ........!!! GOOOH-KAAAAHHH!!!! 
  29. ^ "The King of Fighters XIII Characters" (in Japanese). SNK Playmore. Retrieved April 29, 2010. 
  30. ^ "The King of Fighters Neowave official website". SNK Playmore. Retrieved August 8, 2008. 
  31. ^ "The King of Fighters: Maximum Impact 2 official website". SNK Playmore. Archived from the original on May 4, 2008. Retrieved August 8, 2008. 
  32. ^ "Neo Geo Battle Coliseum official website". SNK Playmore. Retrieved August 8, 2008. 
  33. ^ SNK Playmore. KOF Maximum Impact 2. PlayStation 2. SNK Playmore. Level/area: The King of Fighters: Another Day. 
  34. ^ "Remembrances of KOF: An Interview with Eiji". King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website. Archived from the original on April 18, 2008. Retrieved July 28, 2008. 
  35. ^ Ureshino, Akihiko (September 16, 2005). The King of Fighters Perfect Reader. SNK Playmore. ISBN 9784822217112. 
  36. ^ "僕と彼女と古都の恋" (in Japanese). SNK Playmore. Retrieved August 2, 2015. 
  37. ^ a b "History Of... The King of Fighters, SNK's classic team-based 2D fighting series". 1UP.com. UGO Entertainment. Archived from the original on August 15, 2015. Retrieved August 23, 2008. 
  38. ^ Ureshino, Akihiko. ウレユサ日記 [Ureyusa Diary 03]. Ureshino Chronicle: (in Japanese). Archived from the original on February 19, 2014. Retrieved September 16, 2008. 
  39. ^ "The King of Fighters Official Website". The King of Fighters 15th anniversary official website (in Japanese). Archived from the original on September 1, 2009. Retrieved April 11, 2009. 
  40. ^ Daylor, Scott (May 15, 2002). "King of Fighters '99 Review". CultureCuartel.com. Archived from the original on February 6, 2012. Retrieved August 23, 2008. 
  41. ^ Rojas, Andres (July 20, 2001). "King of Fighters EX: Neoblood". Nintendo World Report. Archived from the original on September 30, 2015. Retrieved September 30, 2015. 
  42. ^ Kramer, Josh (February 26, 2005). "King of Fighters 02/03". Thunderbolt. Archived from the original on September 2, 2015. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  43. ^ Dunham, Jeremy (December 11, 2003). "King of Fighters 2000/2001". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Archived from the original on September 2, 2015. Retrieved August 23, 2008. 
  44. ^ Gallo, Matt (September 24, 2006). "The King of Fighters 2006". FileFactory Games. Gameworld Industries. Archived from the original on May 27, 2008. Retrieved August 24, 2008. 
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  46. ^ "External Book Reviews: The King of Fighters 2003: The Comic, Volume 1". Genji Press. April 4, 2007. Retrieved October 8, 2015. 
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  48. ^ McWhertor, Michael (April 10, 2009). "Are These Your New King Of Fighters XII Fighters?". Kotaku. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
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  50. ^ Li, Richard. "The King of Fighters 12 Preview". 1UP.com. UGO Entertainment. Retrieved August 16, 2011. 
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  52. ^ Fletcher, JC (June 7, 2011). "The King of Fighters XIII makes a royal appearance on PS3 and Xbox, escorted by Atlus". Joystiq. Retrieved August 16, 2011. 
  53. ^ O'Connor, Alice (June 8, 2011). "King of Fighters XIII coming to North America". Shack News. Retrieved August 24, 2011. 
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  57. ^ "ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ K'". Amazon.com. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  58. ^ "女性Sサイズ★コスプレ衣装★14958★ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ THE KING OF FIGHTERS★K' ケイ・ダッシュ". Amazon.com. Retrieved October 7, 2015.