There is still an awful lot about King of Fighters 15 that is being kept a mystery, but SNK has managed to release new character trailers consistently since the official reveal. So far, between the very first trailer and the character centric trailers, nine characters have been shown off, with the latest being Kyo Kusanagi.
Kyo’s inclusion is hardly surprising. Even if the initial reveal trailer didn’t confirm his inclusion, he was basically guaranteed to make a playable appearance since he’s been a series regular since the very first King of Fighters game in 1994. He’s arguably the closest thing the series has to a mascot and was the main protagonist for awhile. Starting with King of Fighters 14, though, that role has been passed to Shun’ei.
After the last game saw his design take a somewhat drastic deviation, he boasts a more classic appearance here that closer resembles his school uniform, though it retains some elements from his King of Fighters 14 look. The trailer, like all the previous ones, is criminally short, providing very quick glimpses at some of his moves. His attacks seem to have a lot of impact behind them and he even has new flame effects for his fire moves that distort the scenery around them to emphasize their strong heat.
The trailer may also show some scenes from the game’s story mode, as there are what could be snippets of cutscenes involving Kyo and his arch-rival Iori. Considering their history, it’d be no surprise to see them get wrapped up with each other throughout the course of the story. But perhaps the biggest question on fans’ minds is what team Kyo will be a part of.
Usually, Kyo has served as the leader of a team comprised of himself, Goro Daimon, and Benimaru Nikaido. But for King of Fighters 15, Benimaru is instead teaming up with Shun’ei and Meitenkun to form Team Hero. As the last two trailers were for Iori and Fatal Fury character Joe Higashi, some fans wondered if maybe Kyo would team up with those two, which would be a very bizarre and surprising team composition. However, since Kyo’s trailer doesn’t end with a team confirmation, who he will partner up with remains a mystery for the time being.
SNK did state that team compositions would be very different this time around and the recurring tagline of Shatter All Expectations may point to Kyo having a far less traditional team. Or maybe Benimaru will simply be replaced with another ally of Kyo’s, like Shingo Yabuki, who has sometimes appeared as a part of Kyo’s team in previous games.
King of Fighters 15 will release in 2021.