The upcoming SNK fighting game The King of Fighters XV may be bringing back some fighters from the dead. At least if we’re basing this on the endings of KOF XIV.
New Blood Team head Yashiro (or Orochi Yashiro), Ash, and Nameless (K9999) will be some of the new characters returning to KOF XV according to a recent playtest session of the game featuring a few SNK influencers in Osaka (via Reddit).
The early build of the game featured the following fighters: Kyo, Iori, Nameless, Nelson, Yashiro, Shun’ei, Ash, Daimon, and Kim. The characters were picked to help test charge motions, physics, and complex combos for the latest internal build.
Here’s a full breakdown on what to expect:
- There will be 60 characters to pick from in the game, according to the blank spaces on the character select screen.
- Speaking of characters, Yashiro’s moveset is a combination of both his normal and Orochi forms.
- Ash, Shun’ei, and Yashiro will sport new outfits, while the other 6 have their old KOF XIV garbs. Shun’ei’s attire and headset-sporting look wasn’t well-received by fans, so he went through a wardrobe change.
- The gameplay will be a mix between KOF XIV and KOF 2002 Unlimited Match. EX moves can now be used outside of Max Mode at the cost of half of a meter stock. Cancels are back, either by spending a full meter stock outside of Max Mode, or a fraction of the Max meter during Max Mode.
- Combos also feel a bit more like KOF XIII in the sense that juggle-based combo possibilities will be frequent.
- While SNK will not reveal the rest of the roster, the 9 characters will determine what teams will be in KOF XV. So there’s a good chance some characters like Shen Woo, Duo Lon, Shermie, and Chris might make their official 3D KOF debut.
Treat this Reddit rumour with a grain of salt, but this is definitely good news for folks who want to see the possible return of the New Blood/Orochi team. Or the 2003 Hero team if that’s your jam; we’re not judging. For those who aren’t up to date with their KOF lore, the New Blood Team canonically died summoning Orochi in KOF ’97, making guest appearances in all-star non-canon titles like KOF ’98 and KOF 2002. Ash sacrificed himself at the end of KOF XIII.
Basically, KOF XIV’s retcon ending is just the team doubling back and creating an avenue to bring back dead characters. While it’s a bit of a cop-out, it’ll be nice to see some of them make their return after a hiatus.