From the looks of things, SNK and Atlas appear to be building towards the release of King of Fighters XIV by releasing a team profile once a week. Last week, it was Team Japan with Kyo, Benimaru, and Goro. By the time we get to the sixteenth team, it’ll be days before the game’s release on August 23.
With Kyo’s team being the first one featured, it makes sense that it would be followed up with Team Yagami, captained by Kyo’s rival Iori Yagami, accompanied by Vice and Mature.
Iori Yagami first appeared in King of Fighters ’95, the second of the series. In it, he was part of the Rivals Team with Billy Kane (rival of Fatal Fury’s Terry Bogard) and Eiji Kisaragi (rival of Art of Fighting’s Ryo Sakazaki), basically outright saying that he’s Kyo’s nemesis from the beginning. And yes, Iori is indeed the thorn in Kyo’s side. The two are part of clans with a blood feud that’s lasted centuries and although Iori claims his hatred for Kyo doesn’t come from that, he’s never really gotten into more detail about it. He’s just driven to prove that he’s better by slaying Kyo in a fair fight.
At the end of KOF’95, Iori turned on his partners and beat them down singlehandedly. Iori’s not much of a team player and this happens from time to time.
Mature and Vice are descendants of a god named Orochi, the same god who powers Iori and gives him his sweet purple flame powers. At first, they were assigned to keep an eye on the series’ first big bad Rugal Bernstein, but after his death, they were assigned to partner up with Iori to keep tabs. They took a shining to their new partner (Iori’s insinuated that there may have been some three-way action going on) and betrayed their boss Goenitz in KOF’96.
They were repaid for their deeds when Iori’s cursed blood turned him into a raving, mindless murder machine and he slaughtered the two of them.
Although dead, Mature and Vice showed up in non-canon “dream match” games to be Iori’s partner. Iori usually acted as a loner in other tournaments, though had a tendency to fight alongside Kyo for the greater good. That ended badly when the series’ latest hero Ash Crimson stole their fire powers and Iori had to change up his own fighting style for a while.
Mature and Vice returned as “solid ghosts” or whatever nonsense and showed no ill will for what happened to them. Instead, they became loyal agents of Iori and teamed with him again in King of Fighters XIII. Iori regained his powers due to some time travel headache that I don’t feel like going into.
Mature wore an eye-patch in the last tournament, but I guess her ghost face healed in-between games.
King of Fighters XIV will be available for PlayStation 4 on August 23. Check back for more team profiles.
Gavin Jasper decided it would be for the best not to talk about Iori’s time as “Miss X.” Follow Gavin on Twitter!