Pitchfork's KoF Extravaganza (Part 6 of 25) - Page 2
by Pitchfork

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LEOPALD GOENITZ
Appearances: Endboss of KoF '96
Catchphrase: Koko desu ka?

Storyline:
Goentiz used to be a Catholic priest until woke up one day and realized that he was actually Leopald of the Wildly-Blowing Wind, one of the Four Heavenly Kings of Orochi, Goenitz is by far the busiest villain in the SNK universe. He rips out Rugal's eye, murders Maki Kagura and breaks the Orochi seal, invokes an Orochi Blood Riot in the young Leona (who subsequently rips everyone in her small South American village to shreds with her bare hands), and beats the holy hell out of Kyo, all before he even makes his first appearance in KoF '96. (Kyo's severe whipping at the hands of Goenitz, by the way, makes him decide that his fighting style is in need of some serious revamping. And that is why Kyo's moveset gets an overhaul in KoF '96. THE MORE YOU KNOW!)

Goenitz's solitary goal in life is to resurrect Orochi and basically cleanse the earth of all human life. On the plus side, at least he's polite. Aware of Chizuru's intentions, he spends most of KoF '96 lurking in the shadows and watching events unfold until both Kyo and Chizuru are both out in the open together. The opportunity to off both the Yata and Kusanagi heirs at once is too much for Goentiz to resist and he strikes, making what is possibly the most impressive SNK BOSSMAN entrance in KoF history.

Kyo's worthless teammates are quickly floored, leaving Kyo to fight a losing battle against Goenitz on himself. At some point during the fight, Chizuru finds Iori, who is watching the battle from a safe distance. She nudges him and says something along the lines of "you know, if Goenitz kills Kyo, that means you won't get to." Floored by Chizuru's logic, Iori charges into battle, turning the tide in Kyo's favor. Goenitz shouts for his underlings Vice and Mature to come and give him a hand, but neither of them budge: they've already decided that Iori's growing powers would probably serve the Orochi resurrection better than Goenitz's in the long run.

The combined powers of the Kusanagi and Yasakani are too much for Goenitz to handle, and he is defeated by a double flame blast. On the verge of death, Goenitz assures Kyo, Iori, and Chizuru that it is far from over, then raises his hand and disappears forever with a violent gust of wind...but not before invoking the Riot of the Blood in Iori as a parting shot to the traitorous Mature and Vice. As the three of them are walking off afterwards, Iori starts puking blood. Vice and Mature immediately realize what's about to happen, but it's already too late. Iori goes completely ballistic and tears them both limb from limb, because this was back when SNK had the balls to kill off characters and not give a crap about how the fanboys might react.

SNK BOSSMAN Rating:
ABSURD. "Koko desu ka," roughly translated, means something like "here?" Get used to hearing Goenitz say this. A lot. The phrase accompanies the use of his Yonokaze move, in which he makes a tornado appear wherever your character happens to be jumping, running, charging up, throwing a projectile, etc. Goenitz can play keepaway like nobody's business, and it's not a whole lot safer to get in close, either. He has an instant command throw DM which he can use as much as he wants, and will usually do so the very instant you set foot within range. Regardless, fighting Goenitz in '96 is like fighting Gill from SF3: you get your ass handed to you, but you somehow don't get too annoyed about it. He's definitely one of the more fun SNK BOSSMEN to trade blows with -- for the first twenty consecutive tries, anyway.





RIOT OF THE BLOOD IORI/LEONA
Appearances: Midbosses in KoF '97
Differ from their normal versions by: Moving faster, vomiting blood, shrieking like goddamn banshees.

Storyline:
An interesting phenomena exists concerning people with Orochi blood. It's never really given a name within the KoF series, but we'll just refer to it as it the "call." Certain people with a lot of Orochi power -- like Goenitz -- are able to perform it, and it can also come from the consciousness of Orochi itself. If a person has any Orochi blood in their veins, the call "activates" it. When Yashiro, Shermie, and Chris receive the call (we'll talk about them more in a minute), they awaken into their Orochi forms, gaining new knowledge, powers, and completely changed personalities. The same thing presumably happened to Goenitz some time ago.

This only occurs when somebody has pure Orochi blood, which Yashiro, Shermie, Chris, and Goenitz all do. Something quite different happens when somebody with mixed blood receives the call. Their Orochi blood reacts and instantly comes into conflict with their human natures, and the result is anything but pretty. This is known as the legendary Riot of the Blood. Symptoms include vomiting blood, intense and inescapable physical pain (caused by the victim's blood literally boiling inside of them), restlessness, greatly increased physical strength, loss of rational thought, and an allconsuming disdain for human life.

Iori Yagami is a descendant of the Yasakani clan, which defeated Orochi 1,800 years ago alongside the Kusanagi clan. Some time after the battle, the two clans fell into a feud, and the Yasakani made a blood pact with the Orochi tribe in order to gain more power. As a result of this ancient mistake, Iori possesses Orochi blood. Leona, on the other hand, is simply the child of a human woman and an Orochi pureblood. Towards the end of the latest tournament, both of them mysteriously vanish. Shortly afterwards, all hell breaks loose.

SNK BOSSMAN Rating:
Low. It's just Iori and Leona with drastically increased speed. Usually you fight Iori, unless you have him on you team. In that case, you fight Leona instead. (Though I don't know what happens if you're using both of them.) There's one of them and three of you. Find the nerve.






CHRIS OF THE FLAME OF DESTINY
SHERMIE OF THE INSANELY VIOLENT LIGHTNING
YASHIRO OF THE PARCHED EARTH

Appearances: Midbosses in KoF '97; playable characters in KoF '98 and '02
Bizarro! Bizarro!: Their DM's (which means "Super Moves" in SNK) are "dark" versions of Kyo and his teammates'. Chris has a dark Orochinagi, Shermie has a dark Raikouken, and Yashiro has a dark whatever the hell it is Daimon does when he slams you into the ground like eight thousand times.

Storyline:
Rock band members Yashiro, Chris, and Shermie enter the tournament as the innocuous "New Faces" team in order to punish Iori for upstaging them at a concert...or so they think. They are actually the remaining three Heavenly Kings of Orochi, and have been subconsciously guided by Orochi their entire lives without ever knowing it. Their joining the tournament is no exception.

Near the end of the tournament, the call goes out. Iori and Leona go ballistic, while Yashiro, Chris, and Shermie awaken into their Orochi natures. As it turns out, their real reason for entering the tournament was to gather enough energy to awaken Orochi. (I guess it makes some sense. I mean, what with all the fireballs and energy blasts that get thrown around in these fights and all.) They also reveal that they've kidnapped Kyo's girlfriend Yuki -- who is a descendant of Kushinada, the final sealing maiden -- so Orochi can have a little snack when it awakens.

After being defeated by Kyo, Benimaru, and Daimon, Yashiro informs them that because of their battle, they've managed just about enough energy to awaken Orochi by now. He proceeds to kill Shermie and rip out his own throat as a final sacrifice, and then Chris begins to levitate off the ground and speak in a different voice. Uh-oh.

SNK BOSSMAN Rating:
VERY HIGH. There's three of them, and you always fight them in the same order. First comes the blazingly fast Chris, who plays one of the most annoying games of keep-away I've ever seen. It's not hard at all to lose to the little prick by time-out. Shermie holds you at bay by hurling lighting bolts and blowing electrified kisses which act like mini-Yonokaze's. Yashiro just grabs and tosses you around until you stop moving. They're only slightly stronger than normal characters, but again, there's three of them. It can be a difficult battle, but is probably the single most exciting and fun boss fight I've ever seen in a fighting game.





OROCHI
Appearances: Endboss of KoF '97
Godlike powers: "Blinding light" move which was probably the first fullscreen attack in a fighting game. Oh, and HE RIPS OUT YOUR GODDAMN SOUL.

Storyline:
The man/god/serpent it/Himself sent by heaven to wipe out humanity and restore the natural order to the Earth. That's right. He's one of those Chrono Cross "HUMANITY IS THE REAL MONSTER" type villains.

So anyway. Orochi wakes up and escapes his dimensional prison by using Chris's body as a vessel. (In his pre-battle intro, Orochi says something that translates to "tearing the chrysalis, the butterfly flutters," which means Chris is pretty much as dead as you can get.) If you haven't guessed by now, it's Kyo, Iori, and Chizuru who square off against him. Fortunately, it's one of those "the reawakening ancient evil hasn't yet regained his full power so we still have a slim chance" video game situations, so our heroes are able to fight him to a stalemate. Then Orochi decides to pull another tried and true video game villain trick: charging up to full power and then releasing it in a single devastating blast. To buy himself time, he activates the Riot of the Blood in Iori and sics him on Kyo and Chizuru.

But Iori fights it and charges Orochi instead, grabbing him by the neck and lifting him off the ground, enveloping them in a column of paralyzing flames. Kyo sees this opportunity and slams Orochi with his Mushiki move, weakening him enough for Chizuru to perform the sealing rite and send the evil bastard back to his prison. (And Yuki says something at some point too, for no real reason.) Thus the 1,800 year-old battle repeats itself. Cool, huh?

SNK BOSSMAN Rating:
Surprisingly low? Orochi has a huge arsenal of effective and deadly attacks, but his AI is about as smart as a goldfish bowl. If you were able to defeat Chris, Shermie, and Yashiro beforehand, Orochi should be a snap. Kinda anticlimactic, huh? Try fighting his "Mizuchi" incarnation in NeoGeo Battle Coliseum, though. Christ. You might as well just walk away from the game when you get up to him.




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