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The King of Fighters XIV

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The King of Fighters XIV
Key artwork, showing Iori, Shun'ei, Nakoruru, Mai & Kyo. Illustration by Ogura
Publisher(s)SNK (Japan & Asia), Atlus (USA & America), Deep Silver (Europe), Taito (Arcade)
Release datePlayStation 4
JP August 25, 2016
NA August 23, 2016
EU August 26, 2016
JP February, 2017
GenreFighting game
Game modesSingle-player, multiplayer
RatingsPlayStation 4
Teen (ESRB)
12 (PEGI)
Platform(s)PlayStation 4, Arcade

"Burn to Fight"
—Official tagline

The King of Fighters XIV is the latest installment of The King of Fighters series. It was first announced during the SCEJA Press Conference 2015. This game begins another canonical saga for the series. Garou: Mark of the Wolves battle designer, Yasuyuki Oda, is the director.

Oda said in an interview with 4Gamer that the main goal for this title is to make it "the easiest to play" of the series. According to him, the two major reasons for making the transition to 3D is to adapt to high-end machines and give 3D experience to SNK so they can compete in the console market again. He thinks it's difficult to properly convey the KOF cast's charm in 3D but expects the models to continue improving from its initial revealing. Oda hopes to cater to fans of KOF '98, KOF 2002 and KOF XIII with this game's mechanics. He aspires to improve the online matchmaking for this entry.

On January 31, 2017 SNK announced a manga which covers the game's main story. The first chapter was released on February 1, 2017.[1]

Development Edit

After considering the current market and the future, the staff agreed that things would be best if they challenged 3D right now and started building up experience, knowledge and libraries in their company.[2]

  • The game engine was internally developed by SNK. They were considering using the Unreal Engine but decided not to because SNK didn't feel confident after overviewing the potential risks and budget.
  • They decided against cell-shaded graphics due to wanting to emulate the look of '94. Originally the game used a more realistic style, but it was eventually tweaked so it would not clash with certain characters's designs.
  • Hitboxes are added manually in 2D.
  • Ogura has no remorse in leaving behind pixel art since it was a method to bring out the best in low-resolution graphics. Now that times have changed, even if doing 2D he'd rather take a different approach than pixel art.
  • Making the game run in full 60fps proved to be difficult and as a result, the flashier looking graphics and effects were cut. There was the option of having a variable framerate, but the team decided to keep it consistent partially due to concerns about the quality of the online multiplayer.
  • They only had 3-4 designers but Oda decided to have 50 characters in the game. To save production time and budget, he allowed for three characters to obscure their faces so they would not require facial animations.

SNK has a lot of development teams especially in the mobile/smartphone side of things, but they only have two studios. One of them is making the KOF series, and they barely had enough staff to make XIV.[3] On December 22, 2016, SNK announced a graphical patch (Ver 1.10) to boost the game's visuals, which was released on January 11, 2017.

On April 5, 2017, 4 additional DLC characters and 2 free classic stages were released.

Story Edit

KOF has become a major business, generating huge profits and numerous spin-off tournaments worldwide. However, this led to a lowering of the overall quality, and voices began to rise across the globe demanding the formation of one unique, worldwide KOF competition.

A billionaire self-proclaimed “first champion” bought out all the rights for the KOF Tournament. The announcement of a new KOF Tournament created unprecedented enthusiasm around the world. This excitement reached many of the classic participants of the legendary tournament directly in the form of an official invitation...

Gameplay Edit

Kof xiv

Kyo vs. Iori

Unlike previous main entries, which employed hand-drawn sprite animation,The King of Fighters XIV uses 3D models more akin to the KOF: Maximum Impact series. However the fighting area remains on a strictly two-dimensional plane and keeps the same basic mechanics as its predecessors.

  • A new Max mode systems are:
    • Allows players to access the EX special moves; activating this state requires one bar of the power gauge.
    • Able to use EX super move command input with just one attack button, instead of two attack buttons.
  • Using three bars of the power gauge can allow players to unleash Climax Desperation Moves, the current "Strongest Level DM" in this game that follows somewhat in the prior Neo Max's footsteps.
    • Some characters gain new moves as a Climax DM, while others instead have their prior Neo Max reprised as a Climax DM.
  • Super Cancels are now based on 2003 along with XI's Dream Cancel, except it is now available to all members and has new traits available, such canceling a normal DM to an EX or Climax DM, or EX DM into a Climax DM.
  • Repeatedly hit the light punch button to perform an automatic combo attack called Rush mode; this will do lower damage compared to normal combo attacks. However, there some conditions involving Level gauge:
    • If the Level gauge is 0, the fourth Rush mode combo goes to a certain special move.
    • If one Level gauge is filled, the fourth Rush mode combo goes to a certain Super Art.
    • While entering Max Mode, the fourth Rush mode combo goes to an EX version of a certain special/super moves.
    • This auto-combo is very akin to recent fighting games having the same type of mechanic for beginners to use.
  • CD/Blowback attacks now cause opponents to hit the wall with a unique form of wall-slam, which causes them for a period of time to remain vulnerable to follow-up attacks.

Online multiplayer mode will feature a Party Battle mode which will allow three players to form a single team together to challenge another three player team. Players will be allowed to choose the same character if they wish while forming teams. The lobby is designed to support up to twelve players so spectators can join to watch the match up with an integrated voice and text chat. A "Crowd SE" option is additionally available for spectators will allow them to root, applaud, and boo their favored competing teams.

Players will be allowed to set their online profiles to be private. An online training mode is available as well.


XIV also marks a huge change for the series in that the large majority of the returning cast now sport new voice actors, including those who have been voiced by the same actors since their debut or for several years. The exceptions include Benimaru, Athena, King, Kula, Maxima, Geese, Chang, Choi, King of Dinosaurs and Whip. Characters with recent changes, such as Kim, Nakoruru, Mai, and Ralf, retain their new voices.

Names in bold denote new fighters.

Japan TeamEdit

Fatal Fury TeamEdit

Art of Fighting TeamEdit

Psycho Soldier TeamEdit

Ikari Warriors TeamEdit

Women Fighters TeamEdit

China TeamEdit

Kim TeamEdit

Yagami TeamEdit

K' TeamEdit

South Town TeamEdit

Villains TeamEdit

Mexico TeamEdit

Official Invitation TeamEdit

Another World TeamEdit

South America TeamEdit


Final BossEdit

DLC CharactersEdit

Special Edit TeamsEdit

Tung's Disciples TeamEdit

  • Terry Bogard
  • Geese Howard
  • Shun'ei

NESTS Girls TeamEdit

  • Kula Diamond
  • Angel
  • Sylvie Paula Paula

"Lucky Sevens" TeamEdit

  • Alice
  • Mui Mui
  • Love Heart

Ninja TeamEdit

  • Andy Bogard
  • Mai Shiranui
  • Bandeiras Hattori

Masters TeamEdit

  • Chin Gentsai
  • Tung Fu Rue
  • Gang-il

Dragon TeamEdit

  • Ryo Sakazaki
  • Mui Mui
  • Sie Kensou

Tiger TeamEdit

  • Ramon
  • Robert Garcia
  • Joe Higashi

The Mysterious NewcomersEdit

  • Luong
  • Hein
  • Kukri

Birds(?) TeamEdit

  • Nakoruru
  • Zarina
  • King of Dinosaurs

Beautiful Longhair TeamEdit

  • Athena Asamiya
  • Kula Diamond
  • Nakoruru


  • Neo Esaka - Set on a raised platform overlooking the Esaka Station area of Osaka, Japan. Numerous sponsorship boards line the arena along with low fences to keep the fight contained to the platform. In the background, a billboard with portraits of the active fighters can be seen. Associated with the Japan Team.
  • Maple Garden - A patio-like area with a small Japanese temple on the right side, a small waterfall at the left side and two wooden braziers in the centre. There is a view over a calm bay in the background, and the stage takes place at night, with the sky filled with black clouds and a small full moon in the distant background. Associated with the Art of Fighting Team.
  • Navajoland - Similar to the Fatal Fury team and Art of Fighting team shared stage in The King of Fighters '96. Takes place amidst the gas station pumps of a truck stop diner in the middle of the desert (the diner visible on the right side of the stage). Spectators are casually gathered around to witness the battle and semi-trucks can be seen parked on the left side of the stage. Associated with the Fatal Fury Team.
  • Heidern Fleet - A large aircraft carrier with bunting depicting national flags strung in the air. Jet fighters are positioned in the foreground, whilst the carrier's control tower is in the background. Associated with the Ikari Warriors Team and Whip.
  • Industrial Area - Industrial rooftop covered with pipes with a large refinery in the background. The stage takes place at night, with dark clouds and a crescent moon visible in the sky. Associated with the Yagami Team.
  • Derelict Church - An abandoned church where one wall has crumbled away. The pews can be seen up the center while statues and stained glass windows adorn the side opposite the crumbled wall. Associated with the K' Team.
  • Geese Tower - Geese Howard's inner sanctum at the top of his skyscraper, overlooking the city of Southtown. An elaborate centerpiece of Buddhist statues adorns the middle of the room and thick, red, Asian-inspired columns flank it to the left and right. A pair of vases and a large ceremonial drum are placed in the area in front of the centerpiece. The floor is composed of finely polished wood and rainfall can be seen outside. An American flag banner is hanging from the awning, alluding to Geese's affinity for blending American and Asian culture. Associated with the South Town Team.
  • Old Castle - The gardens of a large castle, with the castle itself taking up most of the background. The stage takes place at sunset, and there are two small fountains, one on each edges of the stage, with the fountain on the left being in the foreground and the fountain on the right being further away. Associated with the Women Fighters Team.
  • Hotel Marine Paradise - A submerged restaurant with large pillars. The battle takes place in a roped-off area in the center of the restaurant. In the background people can be seen sitting and observing the aquatic life swim by the large glass panes that separate them from the water outside. Marine life such as whales and sharks can be seen passing outside. Associated with the Kim Team.
  • The Bund - A waterfront street in Shanghai. This stage takes place at night with a full moon, and the city's downtown district is visible across the river in the background. The river features a multi-decked boat with a large dragon-shaped prow. Associated with the Psycho Soldier Team.
  • Underground Prison - A dungeon-like area with ruined, crumbling stone walls strewn about and prisoners observing the fight. There are two suspended cages, an empty cage on the left edge of the screen and another cage with a prisoner inside near the center. Associated with the Villains Team.
  • Dream World - Some kind of amusement park. The fighting area is surrounded by a castle like stone wall, with numerous red and gold banners hanging from the wall; the banner in the top-center reads 'THE KING OF FIGHTERS'. There are several costumed figures, including two stilt-walkers, standing in the foreground watching the fight, with the central figure wearing a large cartoonish bodysuit of a patchwork animal in a witch's hat holding a staff. There are three dioramas of fairground rides just behind the costumed figures; the one on the left is of a 'teacup' ride, the one on the right is of a rollercoaster, and the one in the center is of a carousel. The carousel has a large sign on the bottom reading 'THE KING OF FIGHTERS SPECIAL PARADE'. Associated with the Another World Team.
  • Guanajuato Dynamite Ring - A large wrestling ring situated in the town square of Guanajuato, Mexico. The ring ropes are colored red, white, and blue and the turnbuckles have print on them with phrases such as "KOF IN MEXICO" and "LUCHA LIBRE". Spectators are seen at the ground level watching the brawl. Día de los Muertos ("Day of the Dead") decorations adorn the town square and a King of Dinosaurs banner is draped over one of the buildings. Associated with the Mexico Team and Vanessa.
  • The Great Wall of China - A wide stone platform on the Great Wall, with the wall itself in the background curving across to the right. The platform has a pagoda-like gold sculpture on the right side, whilst the left side has an archway with some sort of decorative tassel hanging in the center. Associated with the China Team.
  • Iguazu Falls - Located on the Iguazu Falls, Brazil, near the Triple Frontier, the stage is set on a balcony in the midst of several rainforest plants such as palm trees. In the distant background a large waterfall can be seen cascading down the sheer cliffs. The balcony is covered in glowing blue hexagonal tiles and there are several domed structures erected on the cliff-side. The closest dome has a banner with yellow text that reads "KING OF FIGHTERS in Latin America". Associated with the South America Team.
  • Masquerade - A high-class opera house. The battle takes place on the stage and the wealthy elite mill around at ground level and in the upper balconies, all wearing face masks to keep with the masquerade theme. Banners with sponsorship logos can be seen surrounding the stage and pegasus statues are situated at opposite ends of the stage. Associated with the Official Invitation Team.
  • Antonov Super Arena - Similar to the arena where the concluding battles of The King of Fighters '96 take place. An outdoor stage area surrounded by packed grandstands and cameras both on the ground and raised above the fight via boom arms. In the background a platform can be seen, presumably where the winning team will receive their commendation. Associated with Antonov.
  • Destroyed Arena - A destroyed variant of Antonov Super Arena where the final boss battle takes place. Associated with Verse.
  • Training Stage - A sparse arena used for training. The back wall is covered in white tiles whilst the floor is covered in grey tiles. There are several thick black lines painted across the tiles, including vertically across the center, the left edge and the right edge, as well as horizontally across the floor; the combatants stand upon this horizontal line whilst fighting. The vertical line across the center features a small gold shield positioned halfway up the wall, with the letters 'KOF' engraved across it. The latest update adds a customizable digital billboard beneath the KoF shield, much like the one in the Neo Esaka stage.
  • City Circuit - Monaco stage from The King of Fighters '97. Associated with Ryuji Yamazaki. DLC Patch.
  • Transcontinental Railroad - Terry Bogard's stage from Fatal Fury 2. Associated with Rock Howard. DLC Patch.

External LinksEdit

Reference Edit

  1. The King of Fighters XIV Comic
  2. 4Gamer Interview 2016
  3. Famitsu Interview

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