Luong is a “femme fatale” type woman fighter with mysterious motivations. She met Gang-Il during his world tour, and fell in love with him.
A seductive woman of elegance, Luong likes to “play” with her opponents and feels excited in the heat of battle. Outside of battle, she shows less of her cold side and rather shows affection towards Gang-il and his star student Kim, much to the latter’s dismay given that he’s already married with children.
Stretch Limbs – Luong is able to stretch and snap her legs swiftly and at extreme range like a whip, similar to Duo Lon, Jhun Hoon and Ryuji Yamazaki.
Luong fights with an as-yet unidentified fighting style, although it is one that greatly emphasizes her kicks, agility, flexibility and acrobatics. Showing shades of Jhun Hoon, she can take a ready stance and be able to throw snapping kicks with extreme range and quickness, much like Ryuji Yamazaki with his arms. She is also shown breaking necks, whether from an accurate kick or as part of a standing headscissors grab.
Prior to the events of Samurai Shodown, Amakusa is resurrected by the dark god Ambrosia; he uses the body of Shinzo Hattori (one of Hanzo’s sons). His main plot involves him stealing the Palenke stone, which he intended to use to bring Ambrosia to the mortal world. Haohmaru prevents this from happening by defeating him. In Galford’s ending in the same game, it is shown that Amakusa isn’t truly evil, thanking Galford for freeing him from Ambrosia’s clutches. Upon his resurrection in Samurai Shodown IV, his spirit splits into two halves: one good and one evil. Amakusa seeks to reunite with his more powerful and malevolently evil other half, who was bent on dominating Shimabara and eventually the whole world, but was unsuccessful as his evil counterpart was slain by Kazuki. His continued existence after his evil half is destroyed is mostly because of his host body Shinzo.
During the events in Samurai Shodown II, he saves certain characters from Mizuki’s wrath but because of the demise of his evil half, he isn’t as powerful as he once was and is defeated, leaving only Shinzo’s body for Hanzo to claim.
He’s a mad and vengeful spirit, resurrected by Ambrosia as a being of destruction to put up a new world order. Once he is relieved of the dark god’s possession, he reverts to his living persona as a kind and merciful soul of righteous constitution. He is a narcissist by nature, which is what originally lured him to Ambrosia’s temptations.
True to the historical Christian Amakusa, he speaks of sin, mercy and salvation, especially in later appearances.
Ralf is a hot-blooded guy that only cares for action, being the counterpart of Clark in many ways. Although he doesn’t always show it, he experienced his share of losses from war and will drown his sorrows away with a drink. He is especially protective of any new recruits that come under his command, and will try his best to care for them, especially Leona, whom he seems to show feelings for. This can be particularly seen in the ending of KoF ’97 where Ralf gives his bandanna to her, as well as in KOF: Maximum Impact 2 and KoF XII, referring to her as ‘princess’ when winning against her and in his profile. He also cares for Whip, seeing her as like a kid sister to him.
Ralf, and his fellow agent (and good friend), Clark Still, started out as palette swap characters in Ikari Warriors. In KoF ’94, Ralf and Clark were very similar in looks and move repertoire, but by 1995, Clark got a newer stance and win pose, while Ralf retained his old ones. In every new instalment of the KoF series, Clark seems to be further and further differing from Ralf; while Clark is a powerful grappler, Ralf is more of a power player, making use of some very efficient long-range attacks. Both characters were redesigned in KoF ’99. He is also a playable character in Metal Slug 6, where he has the ability to use his punch to knock out vehicles and can survive up to two shots.
Clark Still, also mistakenly known as Clark Steel in some translations, is a character from the Ikari Warriors, Metal Slug and The King of Fighters video game series. In Gamest’s 1997 Heroes Collection, Clark was voted as the staff’s twenty-seventh favorite character. He shared the spot with Kizuna Encounter character, Kim Sue Il.
In contrast to the rowdy and outgoing Ralf, Clark is taciturn and rarely displays much emotion. However, a melancholic streak is hinted at, and his loyalty towards his comrades is never questioned. He is known to sometimes make fun of Ralf’s stubbornness and serious nature.
Clark is part of the Ikari Warriors mercenary agency who is currently under the orders of Commander Heidern and Colonel Ralf Jones. He was formerly a spy before he entered their service. Clark is known for being a focused and loyal soldier who specializes in gathering information for their missions. He apparently wears his sunglasses to hide a scar in the middle of his forehead; it was caused by Ralf who was carelessly playing with his knives at the time.
Leona is a reticent individual who has trouble expressing herself outside of combat or a mission. Due to her past, she often keeps her emotions in check as she is afraid of losing control and hurting her friends because of her Orochi blood.
Aside from Ralf, Whip, Clark and Commander Heidern, Leona does not talk to anyone. She often feels lonely, but is comforted with the new family she has found with the Ikari mercenaries. Ever since the attempted suicide, Leona resolves to take control of her own Orochi blood, using it only when the situation calls for it, something that she tells her opponents in her own pre-fight dialogues.
She shares several moves with her adoptive father, Heidern, and she also seems to emulate Ralf’s moves. For example; her CD/Blowback attack is almost akin to Ralf’s. Also as the games progress, her moves seem to become more explosive much like Ralf’s and her style of running changing from being like Heidern’s to like Ralf’s, but at the same time still maintaining her more agile techniques taught by Heidern; unlike Heidern however, she has more apparent differences in her techniques via extra variations that focus more on speed and acrobatics.
Being the daughter of Gaidel, she utilizes some slashing claw-like moves later refined by her adoptive father’s fighting style. However, she does not possess power over water like her father does, possibly due to her prior trauma stunting her abilities for a time.
The V-shaped slashmarks that appear at the end of her V-Slasher DM and SDM are an homage to Choudenji Machine Voltes V—the titular giant robot had an attack in which it made a V-shaped slash through the enemy, leaving a glowing V for a few dramatic moments before it is destroyed.
Her Rebel Spark Desperation Move and Super Desperation Move where she plants an explosive on her opponent then moving away from the opponent while making a pose, is actually a homage to Kamen Rider Black RX—a Japanese tokusatsu show where the hero impaled his enemy with his sword, Revolcane, and proceed to do the same pose as sparks came out from his opponent’s belly and eventually exploded.
Also, her jumping CD/Blowback attack resembles Kamen Rider Black’s version of the Rider Kick, owing to the sudden, unexplained glow of reddish energy around her foot, and being performed while in the air. Another Sentai homage includes her exploding earrings (Himitsu Sentai Goranger).
The air throw she shares with Heidern (Heidern/Leona Inferno) takes its name and appearance from Kinnikuman Zebra ‘s “Muscle Inferno” attack in Kinnikuman.
Ryo is the son of Takuma Sakazaki and Ronnet Sakazaki and the older brother of Yuri Sakazaki. Born in the city of Southtown, as Ryo was deemed to be Takuma’s successor, he began his martial arts training at an early age. His father instilled him with the difficult principle of self-reliance, where a person’s own strength can form their worth in the world, but these days of his childhood training would prove difficult for the young Ryo, who was reluctant to fight due to his kindness and bashfulness. He eventually gained a sparring partner and friend when Robert Garcia was admitted into the dojo.
On Ryo’s 10th birthday, his mother died in a tragic car accident. Immediately after, his father mysteriously left their home and left Ryo to take care of Yuri. Forced to fend for himself and his sister’s sake, Ryo did this by partaking in construction work and tirelessly strived to defend his family’s dojo. Remembering his father’s lessons during his training, he also took up street fighting. At first, he did poorly but, after many years of persistence and learning the true meanings behind his father’s teachings, including “A man’s strength cannot be known only by his fist”, “Real strength must be felt through the mind and heart”, and to know what he was fighting for, he eventually established himself as a fearsome and renowned street fighter.
Ryo is very serious about fighting and loyal to his friends and family. He has been given discipline through his Karate training by his father, Takuma. He treats Robert as his rival, but they are best friends. He is a little old fashioned and blunt, which sometimes alienates him from his trendier sister and stylish rival. He’s also admits to not being very smart or talented but he believes that these are obstacles for him to overcome. Compared to Yuri and Robert’s ideology on training, Ryo believes he can attain greatness in his art through hard work and experience. Having raised both himself and Yuri during their childhood, he struggles with his own wishes to protect his sister and his own wishes to see her grow up. He accepts her growing maturity with bittersweet acquiescence.
It has been implied that there is some romantic tension between him and King. He apparently thinks her to be a good friend though she may think more of him since he contributed to her brother’s recovery in Art of Fighting 2. Their relationship is referred to various times during The King of Fighters series.
Robert is the only son of Alberto Garcia, a wealthy Italian businessman and best friend of Takuma Sakazaki. During his early childhood, Robert lived a life free of responsibility and caring, being doted on by his loving parents for his every whim. Yet he would yearn for more in his life and would regularly sneak away from his home to go to the Kyokugenryu Dojo. He spied on Takuma and Ryo Sakazaki‘s training sessions and aspired to become like them.
Alberto wanted Robert to focus on his corporate teachings and someday inherit the Garcia Foundation from him. After his father pushed him too far, a young Robert rebelled and embraced his own ambitions to find success by himself. Running away from home, Robert rushed to Takuma’s dojo and demanded to be taught Kyokugenryu Karate. Impressed by the boy’s spirit, Takuma agreed and Robert became Ryo’s sparring partner. The two boys soon became best friends.
Unlike Ryo, Robert is a natural ace in martial arts. Because Robert excelled so well in his studies, Takuma became harder on his son’s training to keep up. As Robert completed his training first, however, this would happen immediately before Ryo’s 10th birthday, and on the day of Ronnet’s deadly car accident. With the death of Ryo’s mother, his master mysteriously disappearing, and leaving Ryo to take care of Yuri, Robert was left with no choice but to reluctantly return home to Italy. Knowing that Ryo must overcome his own trials and mature into the man his father sought, he promised him that he would return, and for Ryo to protect Yuri and to keep her happy. In his home country, Robert rigorously continued his martial arts studies and matured into a respected martial artist. He was given his moniker overseas.
Robert eventually developed romantic feelings for his friend’s sister, Yuri. He has held an infatuation with Yuri ever since he first met her and would likely wed her if not for Takuma and Ryo, who are overprotective of Yuri.
Chris (クリス, Kurisu) is a character from SNK‘s The King of Fighters series of fighting games who is a member of the Orochi Team (temporarily under disguised team name, “New Faces Team” in KOF ’97). He is one of the Four Heavenly Kings of Orochi, and is the dark Orochi counterpart to Kyo in regards of his ability to wield dark flames.
His true origin is shrouded in mystery. At one point, he formed a rock band named CYS (consisting of the first letter in the name of each band member) with Yashiro Nanakase and Shermie, with him playing the drums. He, along with Yashiro and Shermie, entered the King of Fighters 1997 to form the New Face Team by individually defeating and stealing the invitations of the qualified American Sports Team (Heavy D!, Lucky Glauber, and Brian Battler), having chosen to enter after the preliminaries were over. Their initial goal for entering the tournament was due to Yashiro’s grudge and desire to get revenge on Iori Yagami, the leader of a rival band that had surpassed them in popularity. Chris, Shermie, and Yashiro themselves were originally unaware of their own Orochi heritage.
As the tournament progressed, the Orochi blood within Chris and his friends awakened and they regained their memories of being three of the “Four Heavenly Kings”. As loyal members of Orochi, they continued to gather power to resurrect Orochi. They kidnapped Yuki as a sacrifice for Orochi to regain his full potential and triggered the Riot of the Blood within Iori and Leona via their own presence. Near the end of the tournament, both Yashiro and Shermie commit suicide in order to transfer their remaining energy into Chris and because of this, Orochi is able to return to the world while using Chris’ body as the host, but Orochi itself is re-sealed again by the Three Sacred Treasures: Kyo, Iori, and Chizuru.
Chris is quite innocent, shy, cheerful, and has a heart of gold, though somewhat anti-social. He also seems to be quite soulful. In normal situations, Chris will try to be the mature one of the group providing information for his teammates when necessary. Despite his generally prim and proper decorum, it’s been noted that Chris also possesses a murderous intent and it’s stronger than Shermie’s, which ties into him being able to “kill with an innocent smile.” Alluding to this secretly violent behavior, Chris’s dialogue can be a bit precocious and arrogant, and he tends to taunt opponents in a way to deliberately offend them, even his bandmates.
Hibiki is the daughter of Genzō Takane (高嶺 源蔵, Takane Genzō), a renowned swordsmith known throughout Japan during the Bakumatsu era. He had retired to an isolated area in the countryside with his daughter but continued his work with various swordsmen around the country. One fateful day, a silver-haired man approaches Genzō and requests that he forge a new sword. Though the man radiated an aura of pure, unfathomable evil, the master swordsmith finds himself unable to refuse the request. He spends a time of almost 3 months forging this sword, which he dubs the “Yaso Magatsu Hi no Tachi” (八十枉津日太刀, “Blade of Eighty Days Harbored Unwillingly”), detailing the amount of time he invested in the weapon. The labor renders him ill, however, and he is soon permanently bedridden.
He tells his daughter that the silver-haired man was the reason for his condition, and that she should pursue him and the sword that he had forged. With a concerned Hibiki by his side, he utters his last words: “The thing that I saw… that I felt, even you must understand.” Though she was confused by her father’s cryptic request, Hibiki gathers her belongings and leaves in search of the silver-haired man.
Several days later, a man named Hyo Amano stops by, hoping that Genzō would repair his weapon, the “Otokomae”, when he learns of the swordsmith’s death, he sets out to find his daughter.
Hibiki has two endings in the game; in one of them she visits her father’s grave and decides to improve her swordsmanship which can be gained if the player defeats every opponent they face in Arcade mode with her super moves. In the other ending should the player not use her super moves to finish all opponents, she tells her father that now she has a “companion“.
Musō Shinden-ryū is a real style and an anachronism for the game; the style was not founded until 1932. It is a branch of Iaido. Some of her basic attacks bear some resemblance to Ukyo Tachibana‘s, where it involves frequent quick-draws, dashing-based slashes, as well as some solid counterattacks that require some precision but can prove to be fatal if landed correctly.
In Capcom vs. SNK 2, her Speed Mode ‘Custom Combos’ AKA the Ranbu Ōgi from Last Blade 2 is given to her as a normal super move. In addition she has slightly different animations for her supers in Capcom vs. SNK 2, with the blood being replaced by sparks.
Hibiki is among the few characters in CvS2 who has a unique winpose, if she defeats someone with her original SDM/Senzai Ōgi, with her hair untied as a result of her attack connecting. It’s a visual cue that the landed attack will be fatal for the enemy.
Editions Pix’n Love – Pix’n Love Editions, a French site where you can buy in euros (above) those sweets and probably out of stock in 4 seconds, deluxe editions for the Neogeo Pocket Color Selection vol.1, so it will have a vol.2 too, nice!! preorders begin tomorrow morning.
And also those ones ready for spring that you can preorder too:
The true origins of the Orochi fighter known as Shermie are shrouded in mystery. She, along with Yashiro Nanakase and Chris formed a music band called “CYS” (based on the first letter of the name of each member), where Shermie played the keyboard. They enter the KOF ’97 tournament due to Yashiro’s grudge against rival musician, Iori Yagami. Though originally not qualified for the tournament due to deciding to enter after the preliminaries were already over, the trio had succeeded in still getting in by individually assaulting and defeating each member of the qualified American Sports Team (Heavy D!, Lucky Glauber, and Brian Battler) while stealing their invitations from within the process. When Shermie remembers her duties as one of the Four Heavenly Kings of Orochi, she, along with Yashiro and Chris uses the tournament in order to gather enough power from the fighters so that the trio themselves can help awaken Orochi from its long dormant sleep. Near the end of the tournament, both Yashiro and Shermie commit suicide in order to transfer their remaining energy into Chris and because of this, Orochi is able to return to the world while using Chris’ body as the host, but Orochi itself is re-sealed again by the Three Sacred Treasures: Kyo, Iori, and Chizuru.