The King of Fighters XIII is the latest installment of The King of Fighters series published by SNK Playmore. There was an official preview of the game that was held on March 25, 2010 at Akihabara. The game is also the conclusion of Ash Crimson's story arc which started in The King of Fighters 2003. The game design director, Yamamoto, states that he wants the game to be played by the fans of the series who would be able to use their experience from previous titles. Additionally, however, he does not want the game to be too similar to its predecessors, though he and his staff's aim for the game is to capture the charm from previous titles.
The game removes some of the gameplay systems used in the previous game; the Guard attack system, the Critical Counter system, the Clash System as well as the dynamic, zooming camera. In their place however, there are new systems that have been confirmed to be added, the first of the three is the new EX Mode, which convert each characters' super moves into more powerful versions that allows one bar from the player's power gauge for EX Special Moves and two bars from the player's power gauge for EX Desperation Moves. Another new addition is Hyper Drive mode, which gives the player unlimited use of Drive Cancels for a while once the Hyper Drive Gauge has been maxed, and the last new feature confirmed for the game is the Drive Cancel system, which opens up new combo possibilities. The game also marks the return of the multi-bar power gauge that was introduced in The King of Fighters '97. In addition to standard and EX Desperation Moves, a new class of Desperation Move entitled "NEO MAX" are included in the game and require that three stocks of gauge be exchanged in order to perform one, making it similar to Hidden Desperation Moves (The King of Fighters 2002) and Leader Desperation Moves (The King of Fighters 2003). These can also be canceled from standard Desperation Moves, making them similar to the "Dream Cancels" from The King of Fighters XI.
The roster of The King of Fighters XIII will feature all the characters who appeared in The King of Fighters XII, including the two console-exclusive characters, Elisabeth Branctorche and Mature. In addition, at the Akihabara event, three new characters were announced in the form of The King of Fighters '94 Women's Team (Yuri Sakazaki, King, and Mai Shiranui). Unlike The King of Fighters XII, all of the characters will be organized into proper teams this time with the exception of Ash, who is now a single entry character.
On April 22, 2010, Famitsu reported the addition of two new characters to the game: Vice for Iori Yagami's team and Takuma Sakazaki for the Art of Fighting team. The official website was soon updated with the changes as well as adding a storyline for Iori's team, and on the April 23, 2010 location test at Hong Kong, Hwa Jai from Fatal Fury: King of Fighters has been confirmed to be in the game as the final member of Kim Kaphwan's team. The first member of the final team, K', was revealed on April 30 with his addition to the roster page. Maxima was also revealed as the second member of K's Team via addition to the roster page on May 7 and one week later, the final character for K's Team, Kula Diamond, was introduced in the same way.
During intermission screens, a mysterious man who calls himself "Saiki" is seen talking to the other members of "Those From the Past", the organization who has been pursuing the power of the Orochi. Saiki has a similar appearance to Ash Crimson, only wearing a purely white outfit and having his hair untied. Furthermore, the tournament host is revealed to be Rose Bernstien, whose mind is being controlled by Those From the Past (specifically the one named "Botan"). Saiki appears to be the manipulator behind the events of The King of Fighters XIII and the final boss battle of the game is against his true state (much like previous bosses Mukai and Magaki have human forms as well as transformed states).
The game takes place after The King of Fighters XI. The fighter Ash Crimson has absorbed the powers from two of the descendants of the clans who sealed the Orochi away 1,800 years ago, Chizuru Kagura and Iori Yagami, while Kyo Kusanagi is to be his last victim. As Elisabeth Blanctorche prepares to stop Ash, fighters receive an invitation to another King of Fighters tournament hosted by a person labelled as "R".
When the winning team enters the Rose Stadium at the end of the game, Saiki puts his work into motion. He freezes time and he and the rest of the members of Those From the Past confront the winners. Saiki tells the other members to complete their tasks but Mukai requests an opportunity to engage the winners on behalf of Saiki. Despite being a show of loyalty, Saiki is perturbed by Mukai's insubordination and coldly kills him by absorbing his powers. Then Saiki transforms into his ascended state and the fight begins with the winners. Saiki intends to use the energy expended by the winning team to enable him to cross time. However, as the fight rages, Botan notes that the gate that links them to the past is starting to close despite the battle. Before Saiki can act, he is ambushed by Ash Crimson, who steals his power. It is revealed then that, while Ash was enlisted by Saiki to obtain the Three Sacred Treasures to power the time gate, Ash had no intention of helping Saiki. Ash is suddenly overtaken by Saiki's persona, who then attempts to cross the time gate in Ash's body. The winning team pursues him into the time gate and the final battle of KOF XIII begins inside the time gate with Ash's corrupted form. Saiki is defeated in the gate but persists on crossing over to the past, believing it means nothing since he can return to the past and then cross the gate again to attempt his plan anew. However, Ash halts his attempt and allows the gate to close, leaving Saiki trapped in the present. Furthermore, Ash reveals that he is a descendant of Saiki. By locking Saiki out of the gate, he denies Saiki's existence in the past and forces his own existence to cease. As Ash vanishes from the living world, the flow of time resumes, just before making amends with Elizabeth who recognizes Ash's sacrifice and mourns, holding his head band, the only thing left of his existence.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Linford Butler (2010-05-29). The ultra-exciting list of confirmed games for E3 2010. Gamer's Guide to Life. Retrieved on 2010-05-29.
- ↑ The King of Fighters XIII Details (2010-03-25). Retrieved on 2010-03-25.
- ↑ King of Fighters XIII Akihabara event details. SNK Playmore (2010-02-25). Retrieved on 2010-02-25.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Gantayat, Anoop (2010-03-25). King of Fighters XIII Formally Announced. IGN. Retrieved on 2010-03-26.
- ↑ KOF XIII のシステム (Japanese). SNK Playmore (2010-04-21). Archived from the original on 2010-04-03 Retrieved on 2010-04-03.
- ↑ NEO MAX超必殺技 ＆ MAXキャンセル (Japanese). SNK Playmore. Retrieved on 2010-4-24.
- ↑ アッシュ編がついに完結！ 舞にユリ、キングも参戦する『KOF XIII』は夏稼働 - 電撃オンライン (Japanese). Dengeki Online (2010-03-25). Retrieved on 2010-03-25.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 The King of Fighters XIII Characters (Japanese). SNK Playmore. Retrieved on 2010-04-29.
- ↑ KOF XIII Hong Kong location test, with Hwa Jai gameplay (Chinese) (2010-04-23)..
- ↑ The King of Fighters XIII Story (Japanese). SNK Playmore. Retrieved on 2010-03-29.
- Official The King of Fighters XIII website
- Official The King of Fighters XIII blog
- Official The King of Fighters XIII website (English)
- KOF XIII at atlus.com (English)
- KOF XIII at SNK wiki (English)
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