The King of Fighters 2001
|The King of Fighters 2001|
Cover artwork for the Neo Geo version featuring K'.
|Director(s)||Lee Sen Ho|
|Producer(s)||Chil Suk Chvoi|
|Composer(s)||Papaya (Masahiko Hataya)|
|Series||The King of Fighters|
|Mode(s)||Up to 2 players simultaneously|
|Arcade system||Neo Geo|
The King of Fighters 2001 (stylized as KOF '01) is a fighting game produced by Eolith for the Neo Geo. It is the eighth game in The King of Fighters series and the first game produced following the closure of the original SNK. The game was produced by the Korean-based company Eolith and developed by BrezzaSoft and Eolith, a company formed by former SNK employees. The game was ported to the Sega Dreamcast in Japan only and PlayStation 2. The stand-alone PlayStation 2 version was released in North America and Europe in a two-in-one bundle with the preceding game in the series, The King of Fighters 2000. Both the original Neo Geo version and the Sega Dreamcast version were included in The King of Fighters NESTS Hen compilation released for the PlayStation 2 in Japan.
Like in the previous game, the battles are once again between teams of four. Instead of a strict "three fighters and one striker" format, this installment introduces the Tactical Order System, which allows the player to select which characters will they control in combat and which characters will serve as strikers. Before each match, the player can form a team configuration of four fighters and no strikers, to one fighter and three strikers. The number of strikers in one's team will affect the length and number of stocks of the player's Power Gauge. Teams with no strikers will have a longer Power Gauge to fill and can carry only one stock, while a team with only one fighter and three strikers will fill their Power Gauge quicker and carry up to four stocks. One stock can be used to summon a striker, perform a guard or super cancel, a blow-away attack, or a Super Special Move. MAX-level Super Special Moves requires two stocks to perform. Players can now cancel an attack into a Striker Summon with use of a Cancel Striker, while some characters now have Wire Whip techniques which will send an opponent flying into the air and arrive at the other side of the fighting area.
Time has passed since most of Southtown was decimated by the now-destroyed Zero Cannon. Another KOF tournament is being held and this time, it's hosted by the NESTS Organization, the group of antagonists behind the events of the previous two games.
K′ and Maxima return to put an end to NESTS once and for all. They are now joined by former Ikari Team member Whip and the assassin Lin formerly from Benimaru's Team, both of whom are seeking the destruction of NESTS as well. NESTS sends their own team to compete in the tournament, composed of NESTS agents Kula Diamond, K9999, Foxy, and Angel. Kyo Kusanagi joins his former teammates of Benimaru Nikaido and Goro Daimon, reuniting the original Japan Team along with Shingo Yabuki, while Iori Yagami joins a team composed of agents Seth, Vanessa, and Ramon. Yuri Sakazaki rejoins the Art of Fighting Team, while King and Mai Shiranui once again lead the Women Fighters Team along with the returning Li Xiangfei and Hinako Shijo. Heidern also makes his KOF return, taking Whip's place in the Ikari Team, while Kim Kaphwan's young student May Lee takes over Jhun Hoon's place in the Korean Team, who is unable to compete due to an injury.
The King of Fighters 2001 includes 10 teams of 4 fighters, a sub-boss, a final boss, and three strikers, totaling 45 combatants. New characters to the franchise are listed below in bold.
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