Over the past few months, SNK Playmore has steadily been releasing footage of characters who will be playable in their upcoming fighting game, The King of Fighters XIV. And they’re showing no sign of slowing down, either. Yesterday, the Japanese arcade game veteran released the game’s 8th teaser trailer, which features three new additions to the roster: Vice, Kim Kaphwan, and Sylvie Paula Paula, all of whom lend credence to a supposed leaked roster list that emerged earlier this week.
The trailer featuring these characters can be viewed here:
Shocking, isn’t it? Here’s a rundown of each character:
The former two characters are returners from previous King of Fighters entries. Kim Kaphwan is one of the franchise’s flagship characters, and it was only a matter of time before he made his entry. Kim is a fervent Korean Taekwondo fighter who is obsessed with justice; he’s even attempted to reform former criminals in the past, to mild degrees of success (this includes Chang and Choi Bounge, both of whom will also be present in KoF XIV). Kim seems to have calmed his stance down a tad, though, as he now fights in the King of Fighters tournament under the humble pretense of proving Taekwondo’s strength to the world.
Vice is an assassin who, along with her working partner Mature, has operated under series antagonists Iori and Goenitz in the past. Vice’s playstyle is that of a grappler; as seen in the above trailer, her cruel nature is evident in her vicious attacks. Though both she and Mature allegedly ‘died’ in KoF XIII, Vice’s appearance in this game suggests otherwise.
Sylvie is a newcomer to the King of Fighters series. Her eccentric outfit and name seem to be a nod to Japanese fashion model and pop singer Kiriko Takemura (otherwise known by her stage name, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu), but her Harajuku-inspired getup and kawaii attitude are not to be taken at face value. According to the official PlayStation blog, Sylvie is actually a ruthless combatant who has made her name in the underground fighting scene. As per SNK’s tradition of imbuing the King of Fighters games with baffingly convoluted storylines, Sylvie is a former member of the sinister NESTS cartel whose latent powers only developed after the collapse of NESTS in KoF 2001 (NESTS is to The King of Fighters as Shadaloo is to Street Fighter; in other words, they’re bad folks).
Fighting game players who are familiar with the genre’s more obscure titles may recognize that Sylvie’s lightning-based moves bear a striking resemblance to those of Tesse the robot maid from SunSoft’s 1996 fighter, Waku Waku 7.
Two more stages were also unveiled in the trailer. One of these is called Masquerade, a gothic stadium that serves as Sylvie’s stomping ground. The other stage is called Navajoland. To the delight of many KoF fans, Navajoland is much livelier than the previous stages shown so far. For one, it’s inspired by “classic 1980’s road trip movies.” A crowd of NPCs populates the background to cheer on the fighters, which seems to suggest that SNKP is taking measures toward polishing KoF XIV’s aesthetic details for its final release. It’s also a shoutout to a similar stage from one of SNK’s classics, Fatal Fury 2, especially considering how Navajoland serves as the stage for the Fatal Fury team in this game.
Considering the above leaked list, it’s likely that we’ll receive more footage of KoF XIV characters very, very soon.
The King of Fighters XIV launches later this year for PlayStation 4.