The King of Fighters/Characters/The Tales of Ash

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Characters in The King of Fighters introduced during the Tales of Ash (King of Fighters 2003-the present, i.e. King of Fighters XIII) will be listed here. This includes the PS2-exclusive characters in King of Fighters XI.

Characters are listed in alphabetical order of last names. It should be noted that all the Chinese and Korean character names are rendered in the Western style (given name-surname rather than surname-given name).

References, such as Mythology Gags, Continuity Nods, No Celebrities Were Harmed, Expy, Shout-Out, Captain Ersatz and the like, should go in this page.

The King of Fighters 2003

Adelheid Bernstein

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"So it's defeat for you, is it? Some day I must meet a similar fate."

Voiced by: Tetsuya Tanaka

As his last name suggests, he is Rugal Bernstein's son, and has inherited his father's wealth and fighting style. Unlike his evil father, he is a good person who exhibits sportsmanship and honor. At the behest of his sister Rose, he challenged the champions of the 2003 tournament in the SkyNoah, he and his younger sister's flying fortress. He entered the next tournament as a single entry, and was under investigation by Heidern until he assured him he was a different person from his father.

  • Aloof Older Brother: The console version of XIII proves this is an act. When Adelheid discovers his sister acting out of character, he becomes emotionally distraught over not understanding the cause.
  • Anti-Villain: Type IV.
  • Attack Reflector
  • Audible Sharpness: His Groß Kreis (Great Circle) DM, which is a slide leading into a toned-down version of the Genocide Cutter.
  • Berserk Button: Endangering his sister.
  • Better by a Different Name: Fans tend to call him Adel instead of his full name, due to Adelheid being a feminine name in German.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Never harm Rose. He's vows to her and himself, that nothing is off limits when it comes to protecting her.
  • Bishonen
  • Bring It: His taunt.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Subverted: after being touted as the other protagonist of the saga, Adelheid is inexplicably absent from the arcade version of XIII. However, depending on how you play the console version's Story mode (which fills in gaps left in the core story), it is eventually revealed that he plays a key part behind the scenes. He's still not playable though.
  • Cool Airship: The SkyNoah.
  • Fingerless Gloves
  • Generation Xerox: Subverted. As seen, he's way more noble than his old man.
  • Gratuitous German: Not spoken though. All of his attacks are written in German, although it's clear what they're supposed to be.
  • Hair of Gold: Maybe. He's certainly closer to this than Blond Guys Are Evil.
  • Heroic Albino: Possibly. He has the look (pale skin, red eyes) and is the "other protagonist" of the "Tales of Ash" saga, yet he's done nothing noteworthy that would land him in this trope. Oh, and there's the whole "I'm Rugal's son" thing. Only time will tell...
    • Well, he does tip off Heidern and the Ikari Warriors about the plans of Those From the Past. Perhaps there's more evidence in support of this than we thought.
  • Identical Son: He's a younger, slightly shorter Rugal who's missing a Badass Mustache.
    • Adel has a smaller frame, paler skin, and more feminine face than his father.
  • Morality Chain: Rose is devoted to Adel, and he keeps her from being too much like their father.
  • Noble Demon
  • Out of Focus: Despite the fact his sister is being brainwashed into hosting the XIII tournament, Adelheid is oddly missing from action.
    • The story mode for the console version of XIII has scenes with Adelheid talking with his sister, so he's been brought back into the story, though as a playable character remains to be seen.
  • The Protagonist: Said to be one by the creators.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: In 2003, you fight him while listening to Chopin's "Revolutionary Etude No. 12" (better known as Kakumei Revolution to Dance Dance Revolution and Beatmania players), but then about a minute in it turns into an unintelligible techno song called "R2".
  • Rule of Cool: He fires Reppukens with his feet.
  • SNK Boss: In 2003. Toned down somewhat in XI, where he was just a midboss. Still really good though.
  • Spirited Competitor: Just loves a good challenge. Also takes defeat well and respects those who can beat him. Definitely not the same man as his father.
  • The Stoic
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: Adel always seemed to give Rose the cold shoulder or bored indifference to her dialog. However, XIII shows a lot of moments, direct and subtle, that Adel is very emotional about Rose.
  • Take That: "To fight over and over until victory is meaningless."
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Subverted. At first, it seems he's like his father, taking on opponents in the SkyNoah, until he reveals his true nature.
    • It is implied that Adel follows in his dad's footsteps because of the fact that he and Rose are Rugal's only living legacy. However, his XI backstory may be playing this trope straight, as Adel briefly muses about how dear ol' dad didn't do anything with him.

Ash Crimson

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"Don't play your trump card until the end... The very end!"

Voiced by: Sōnosuke Nagashiro, Peter von Gomm (XII, English)

Current protagonist of the series, and the focus of the Tales of Ash saga. His past and motives are currently a mystery, save his connection to Elisabeth (whom he affectionately nicknames "Betty", much to her annoyance). Like Kyo and Iori, he wields flames, although his are green, and it's unknown how he obtained them. He entered the tournament in order to steal the Sacred Treasures (and powers) of Kyo, Iori and Chizuru.


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"Crushed your spine, and your silly pride I hope!"

Voiced by: Kouji Ishii

A practitioner of an assassination fighting style. Gato is searching for a mysterious man who is connected to his past. In Mark of the Wolves, he enters the tournament believing that Kain knows about the man he's after, and sure enough, that man appears and saves Kain from the collapsing mansion. The man is revealed to be Gato's father, who drove his mother to death and vanished without a trace, but not before brutally maiming Gato and leaving him for dead. He encounters Hotaru Futaba, who believes him to be her older brother, but Gato continually denies this for some reason. In 2003, he is hired by Geese Howard to investigate the events going on in the tournament, and in XI, forms a new Garou team along with B. Jenet and Tizoc.

Maki Kagura

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"This is the power of... the Watcher!"

Voiced by: Kazuyo Inosako

The late elder twin sister of Chizuru, and one of the two heiresses of the Yata Clan alongside her sister. Of the two, Maki is actually the more skilled combatant. Years before the King of Fighters tournaments, Maki was killed by Goenitz, the leader of the Orochi Hakkesshu, to weaken the seal of Orochi. The Maki who appears in 2003 is nothing more than an illusionary product of Chizuru's memories created while Chizuru was under the influence of Botan. While serious about their duty to protect the seal, she and Chizuru only serve to do just the opposite.

Duo Lon

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"Those who live in darkness are not ruled by it. Those drawn by the shadow do not live by it."

Voiced by: Tsunehito Maruo, Josh Keller (XII, English)

Duo Lon is also a member of the Hizoku clan, and one of Ron's sons. He is also searching for his father for his betrayal of the clan. He teams up with Ash Crimson for a time, but later joins Elisabeth Blanctorche's team, along with Benimaru Nikaido, after noticing that Ash was manipulating his teammates.


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"And the winner is... the mighty babe, Malin!"

Voiced by: Kazuyo Inosako

An adversary to the Kyokugen school of Karate (specifically Yuri). Aside from that, no one knows much about her. She may not be what she seems...

  • Airplane Arms: While running.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Possibly.
    • Hair of Gold: If the above does not hold true, although she's a bit more mean-spirited than the norm.
  • Cute Bruiser
  • Cute but Cacophonic
  • Fingerless Gloves
  • Flash Step: This is how she impressed Athena and Hinako enough to convince them to let her join the High School Girls Team, stealing their King of Fighters invitations and Hair Decorations before either girl could even blink.
  • Fragile Speedster: As Choi's replacement, she is one of the fastest King of Fighters characters.
  • Hammerspace: Literally. She hides a very large hammer to use as a weapon. She also has knives, swords, deadly yo-yos, concealed claws and blades, electric batons, throwing darts...
  • Hidden Weapons: The basis of her style.
  • Idiot Hair
  • Killer Yoyo
  • Name's the Same: An ambiguous, in-universe example. The name Malin was previously used in the series, belonging to a female member of Athena's fan club who was on good terms with the White Tiger (a.k.a. Jhun Hoon). It's unknown if these two women are one in the same, but it does possibly explain why Malin teamed up with Athena in 2003.
  • Nice Bandana
  • Panty Shot: During her Kagerou DM.
  • The Rival: To Yuri, who called her style "cowardly".
  • Spell My Name with an "S": According to Word of God, her name is supposed to be spelled "Malin". Since the Japanese language lacks an "L" sound, the "Marin" spelling tends to pop up often in media.
  • Terrible Trio: The Anti-Kyokugen Team in XI—consisting of herself (as the leader), Eiji and Kasumi—is presented as this to the Kyokugen Dojo, although their main shtick seems to be comic relief.
  • Theme Naming: Many of her specials reference bugs. Included in her repertoire are Hornet, Yellowjacket, Mayfly, Scorpion, Spider and Queen Bee. Curiously, these moves all involve Malin's blades in some way, possibly evoking the stingers and movements of these insects.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Respectively Malin and Yuri.


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"How does it feel, becoming a living statue?"

Voiced by: Toshihiro Shigetsuka

An earth elemental, and one of the members of Those From The Distant Land. Mukai, unlike Magaki, is more cautious when fighting humans. After his defeat, he vanishes.

Shen Woo

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"Who's truly tough? Now you know, huh?"

Voiced by: Kōji Suidzu, Jeff Manning (XII, English)

A brawler from Shanghai who joins Ash Crimson solely to fight strong opponents. After Duo Lon leaves the team in 2003, Shen sticks around for XI, teaming with Oswald. However, Ash pits the two men against each other, tricking Oswald into believing Shen was someone standing in his way. After this, he grows sick of being jerked around by Ash, joining up with Elisabeth and Duo Lon for the XIII tournament.

Tizoc/The Griffon Mask

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"Tizoc, this wall of muscle, is invincible to the fists of evil!"

Voiced by: Hikaru Hanada

A professional luchador wrestler who fights for charity. After a while, however, he starts thinking about retirement. He recovers, and enters the King of Fighters 2003 tournament with Terry and Joe to promote his entrance into the American wrestling circuit. In XI, he joins Jenet and Gato's team.

The King of Fighters XI

Elisabeth Blanctorche

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"Showing calm in the eye of the storm. That's the mark of a true fighter, no?"

Voiced by: Kayoko Ōshima, Sally Koshinaka (XII, English)

A former associate of Ash Crimson who is out to prevent whatever he's planning, and the heir to the Blanctorche family. She uses light-based attacks and fights with a riding crop. Hates to be called "Betty", a trait which Ash loves to exploit.

Duck King

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"Yes! I am the Duck King!"

Voiced by: Kong Kuwata

A friend of Terry Bogard who's been around since the first installment of Fatal Fury, but only made his playable appearance in King of Fighters in The King of Fighters XI. He's a notable DJ in Southtown.

Hotaru Futaba

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"I won't lose! I've got someone to protect too!"

Voiced by: Yuki Horie

Originally making her debut in Garou: Mark of the Wolves, Hotaru is the daughter of a family of martial artists. Unfortunately, she isn't fond of violence. When her mother dies, both her father and older brother simultaneously disappear. Hotaru enters Kain R. Heinlen's King of Fighters: Maximum Mayhem tournament after hearing rumors that her brother might be there, fervently hoping to reconnect with her family. She appears in XI for a similar reason.

Sho Hayate

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"The name's Sho Hayate! People call me the Funky Fu'un Kid!"

Voiced by: Hiroyuki Inoue

The Hero of Savage Reign, Hayate is an old-fashioned warrior and the sole practitioner of his self-taught combat form Fu'un Ken. He trains non-stop, vigorously hoping to become a true master and show the world the power of his fighting style.

Bonne Jenet

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"Beautiful victory!"

Voiced by: Rei Saitō, Gina Rose (Maximum Impact 2, English)

A Rich Bitch who was ported over from Mark of the Wolves, along with Gato and Tizoc, much to the delight of fans. B. Jenet is the captain of a group of pirates calling themselves the Lilien Knights. Although she's rich herself, Jenet doesn't like mooching off of her parents, so she pretty much founded the Knights out of boredom. She enters the King of Fighters tournament for the prize money.


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"Does it hurt? Hoo hoo hoo..."

Voiced by: Enma Itō

Leader of the terrorist group known as Jaguar, Jyazu is the True Final Boss of Kizuna Encounter, the sequel to Savage Reign. An enigma, not much is known about his past or motives. To date, he is one of two people to have ever bested King Leo, the tyrannical host of the Battle of the Beast God Tournament.


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"You craved a strong opponent, right? You can die satisfied then."

Voiced by: Spicy Yagi

One of the members of Those From The Distant Land. Unlike Mukai, Magaki shows no caution when fighting humans, considering them to be insignificant trash. He traps Shion in another dimension for his failure, and fights the winning team. After his defeat, he tries to escape, but he ends up impaled by Shion's spear and dies. His body ends up in the jurisdiction of Heidern, but two children manage to take his body back.


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"Momoko's no kiddly-diddly-doo!"

Voiced by: Kazuyo Inosako

The newest addition to the Psycho Soldiers. She uses Capoeira as a fighting style.


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"Karnoffel would be satisfied with me. Your hand, sir?"

Voiced by: Toshihiro Shigetsuka

Ash's newest partner in XI. Oswald is a suave Irish assassin who uses razor-sharp cards to attack his opponents. Likewise, he has an expertise in playing Karnoffel, a form of poker. Coincidentally, it's how he joined Ash's team: by a game of poker. He is searching for a rare drug known as the "Dragon Pill", suggesting that Oswald may have a terminal disease.

  • Badass Grandpa: Arguably qualifies as one, even though he's only 53 years old, which is only slightly under the normal senior age.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: He wears just a regular old suit, but he makes it look real classy.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Literally.
  • Career Killers: He's said to be a professional hitman.
  • Cool Old Guy: Though he is described as a "middle-aged gentleman". He is still an agile fighter who oozes class with his moves and outfit.
  • Cool Shades: With a red tint. Was designed to be the "good-looking glasses" character in the series.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: This applies moreso to his sprites, which gives him a pretty noticeable tan. He's lighter-skinned in artwork and endings.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Allegedly. His past is listed as one of his dislikes, while he values trust.
  • The Gambler: Why did it take so long for this trope to be added?
  • Handicapped Badass: Is believed to be suffering from some sort of terminal disease, hence his search for the aforementioned Dragon Pills.
  • It's a Small World After All: Ralf and Clark appear to recognize him. This may become an Aborted Arc. Silber also is somehow acquainted with Oswald, which results in one of the few times Silber will say more than one word in his win quote.
  • Nice Hat: Which he throws off and cuts with one of his cards in his intro, thus subverting the trope... until it ends up as a double subversion when he magically produces another hat and puts it on in one of his winposes.
  • Slasher Smile: Has one plastered on his face while running. It is freaking creepy, especially since his running animation is so odd to begin with.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Chocolate.
  • You Remind Me of X: B. Jenet says that he reminds her of her father. Only Jennie and her mother truly know what Mr. Behrn is like.


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"Warfare is deception. The decieved are at fault, dolt!"

Voiced by: Tokiyo Ogawa

Magaki's servant. He (we think it's a he) challenges the winning team, but gets thrown into another dimension by his master, and later kills him in revenge.


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Voiced by: Hiroyuki Arita

The main antagonist of Buriki One, Silber is a powerful martial artist who constantly travels in search of new challenges. He enters Buriki One tournament, intrigued by the gathering of numerous martial artists and their various disciplines.

Gai Tendo

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"The reason for victory doesn't matter. The strong win, and that's it!"

Voiced by: Nobuyuki Hiyama

The very brash and noisy protagonist of Buriki One, Gai utilizes a free-form style known as Total Combat. Deciding to test his skills, Gai enters the Buriki One tournament and becomes a rival to the American boxing champion and protegé of Silber, Rob Python.

Tung Fu Rue

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"I may be old, but I'll never lose to an inexperienced brat like you!"

Voiced by: Shigefumi Nakai

Master of the legendary fighting art known as Hakkyokuseiken, Tung was the former sensei of Jeff Bogard and Geese Howard who made a vow not to train any more disciples after the latter killed Jeff out of jealousy. He competed in the first King of Fighters tournament held by Geese, but lost. Living his current days in retirement, Tung occasionally enters a competition to keep his body and mind in shape.

The King of Fighters XII

Raiden/Big Bear

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Voiced by: Daisuke Gouri (XII), Iain Gibb (XIII)

A professional wrestler who appeared in the first Fatal Fury game. Originally, he was bribed by Geese Howard into serving him, but after Geese's defeat went straight and narrow, reverting to his kindly Big Bear persona. He doesn't make an appearance in King of Fighters until XII (although he was originally considered to represent England in '94). His Face persona is still Big Bear, but Word of God says that Raiden was chosen over him due to a lack of villains in XII. He eventually leaves Geese's employ to return to his homeland, passing up King of Fighters for many years due to his satisfaction with his Face and Heel personas. While there's a slight misunderstanding about his current allegiance, Raiden decides to join Kim and Hwa Jai, believing that it will help boost his reputation as a fighter.

The King of Fighters XIII

Hwa Jai

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Voiced by: Sōnosuke Nagashiro

Yet another fighter who debuted in the original Fatal Fury, Hwa Jai is an arrogant Muay Thai fighter and early rival of Joe, he becomes a more formidable fighter after getting a little tipsy. He was defeated by Joe and became his friend and sparing partner. Now he teams up with Kim Kaphwan and Raiden in King of Fighters XIII, seeing the tournament as a chance to revitilize his career and get another shot at besting Joe.


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Voiced by: Sōnosuke Nagashiro

The leader of Those From The Distant Land and the mastermind behind the events of the most recent tournaments. Looks suspiciously like Ash Crimson.



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The fourth member of Those From the Distant Land, she has the ability to control the actions of anyone she chooses through invisible puppet strings. Botan established herself as quite the Magnificent Bitch as early as 2003, when it turns out she was controlling Chizuru the entire time. After Mukai's failure, she sets her sights on Rugal Bernstein's daughter Rose.

Rose Bernstein

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Voiced by: Kazuyo Inosako

Adel's little sister and a Rich Bitch to the hilt. While Adel got Rugal's fighting skill, Rose got his sense of unfair play. She's a noncombatant (although skilled at fencing, according to supplementary materials), but very fond of her brother.

  • Annoying Younger Sibling: And HOW. All she does is yap, yap, yap all day long.
  • Arms Dealer: Though never directly stated, it's strongly implied the Bernstein family continues to maintain their source of income. The only reason Botan mind controlled Rose was because she possessed the influence, power and wealth to host the King of Fighters tournament on such short notice: up to and including the quiet construction of a lavish colosseum with secret magic relics underneath.
  • Big Brother Worship: Gets too extreme at times, and sometimes Adel himself has to put his foot down. Her devotion for Adel (as well as her possible Berserk Button when Adel is defeated in 2003) seems to border on Big Brother Attraction.
  • Brainwashed: How she spends the entirety of XIII. She is freed in the end.
  • Cute but Cacophonic
  • Hair of Gold: Really, really stretching it though...
  • Japanese Sibling Terminology: Calls Adel "onii-sama".
  • Mix and Match: Her usual dress (seen to the right) is half-red, half-black. Possibly symbolic.
    • These are the two dominant colors of her father's tuxedo attire.
  • Narcissist: Loves herself, absolutely loathes ugly and weak people.
  • Neutral Female: Despite her haughty nature, Rose doesn't do much other than sit on the sidelines and play the piano. XI even pokes fun at this with one of Adel's moves: Rose is summoned, but only so that she can taunt Adel.
  • Not Herself: When Rose begins doing things without telling her brother and ignores whatever he tells her, Adel instantly knows something is wrong. She always does what he says and always tells him what's on her mind.
  • Ojou: Type 2. Oh yes.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: To up the ante, Rose is seen sporting even more extravagant clothing in XIII.
  • Princess Curls
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: She's not "evil" per se, but she's definitely more of a selfish brat than Adel, that's for sure.
  • Requisite Royal Regalia: For some strange reason, she wears a tiara despite not being of noble blood.
    • The Atlus translation for XIII called her bloodline the Bernstein Family. However, the original Japanese text could also be translated as House of Bernstein. Given their influence and wealth, it's possible the Bernstein are fictional German nobility.
  • Rich Bitch: Hoo boy.
  • Right-Hand-Cat: Is seen playing with a baby panther, which is apparently Rodem's offspring.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them
  • Sore Loser: Like father, like daughter, even though it's her brother that does all of the fighting.
  • Symbol Motif Clothing: Nearly all her outfits have roses or feature decorative rose flower patterns.
  • Tagalong Kid: To a degree (see Annoying Younger Sibling above).
  • Yandere: Adel's ending in XI reveals that Botan, a member of Mukai's group, is trying to use this side of her against Adel. And she's already under Botan's influence.

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