Pitchfork's KoF Extravaganza (Part 6 of 25) - Page 4
by Pitchfork

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IGNIZ
Appearances: Endboss of KoF '01
Three words: BRUTAL GOD PROJECT

Storyline:
KoF '01 was the first game created after SNK's bankruptcy. Many former SNK staff members worked on the game, but Korean company Eolith was calling most of the shots. This is often cited as the main source of '01's problems, especially in the story department: its plot is vague, confusing, and leaves a whole lot of things unexplained. Just an aside.

Igniz is the CEO of NESTS, but still only second in command to the main man. Igniz was the one in charge all the Kusanagi cloning projects, and as a result, gradually began finding fault with the way his boss was running things. Master NESTS (which is what a lot of fans call him; I'm not sure if this is the official name or not) wanted to use genetically-enhanced agents in order to gain political power for himself and NESTS, but Igniz began thinking it might be wiser to use the fruits of all the genetic research to give oneself physical power instead. Why have genetically modified underlings instead of simply giving yourself super powers? So apparently (god, everything about his story is so unclear), Igniz decides to use all the data every gathered during NESTS's exhaustive super-soldier research to augment himself, giving himself almost unimaginable power. Then he secretly kills off Master NESTS and takes over the organization, intending to rule Earth not as a political leader, but as a god. After his inevitable defeat, he goes even crazier and tries to smash his massive space station into the earth, but is foiled by Kula.

It's basically useless asking why Igniz throws a KoF tournament, where he gets his powers from, who defeats him, etc. It's all very difficult to say. Not a whole lot about KoF '01 makes sense. In fact, the whole game's story has apparently been retconned and simplified to "and then NESTS collapsed, K' and Kula became friends, and Foxy was never killed by K9999 because who's K9999?"

SNK BOSSMAN Rating:
OMFG. Whether he was retconned out of existence or not, Igniz has definitely left his mark within the SNK world as one of the most bloody ridiculous SNK BOSSMEN ever created. Igniz just isn't fair. Orochi only wishes he could put up this much of a fight. In most cases, it doesn't matter what kind of strategy you employ: whatever you do, Igniz will counter by simply KILLING YOUR ASS. Usually with gigantic energy blasts or a pair of whip-like weapons with which he can juggle you almost infinitely. And then there's the BRUTAL GOD PROJECT, his dreaded SDM. Kiss your character goodbye if he pegs them with it, then sit back and try to enjoy the fireworks. Here's a YouTube video of somebody playing around with Igniz in training mode on the PS2 version of KoF '01, demonstrating some of the insane crap he's capable of doing to you if he ever feels like it.





KUSANAGI
Appearances: Midboss in KoF '03; playable character in KoF '02.
Why should I care?: It's '95 Kyo with three lifebars and autoguard on his Oniyaki.

Storyline:
He appeared in the non-canon KoF '02 as the sole surviving Kyo clone from Krizalid's project. His midboss version in '03 has a much different origin, though. A disguised Chizuru uses the power of the Yata mirror to create an image of a younger Kyo to gauge the new participants' abilities. And...that's pretty much the entire story, really.

SNK BOSSMAN Rating:
Low. Kusanagi might be difficult at first because of his three lifebars, auto-guarded anti-air move, and aggressive AI, but he gets pretty damn predictable after you've faced him more than twice. He probably doesn't even deserve a spot on this list, really.





MAKI KAGURA
Appearances: Midboss of KoF '03
Like Chizuru: But her moves are like a billion times stronger and more annoying.

Storyline:
After the conclusion of the latest tournament, its masked sponsor congratulates the winners (presumably Ash, Duo, and Shen) and teleports them to a mysterious underground chamber with an open gate leading into another more ominous chamber. Chizuru removes the mask and tells the winners that it was she herself who had organized this new tournament. When asked to explain what the deal is, Chizuru only makes a few cryptic comments before using the power of the Yata mirror to create an image of her murdered sister Maki. Together, they (not altogether) unexpectedly turn on the winners.

SNK BOSSMAN Rating:
HIGH. You start the battle off fighting Chizuru, who has long since been toned down and stripped of her SNK BOSSMAN status. Think of fighting her as a freebie, since she and Maki share lifebars. If at all possible, do whatever the hell you can to prevent her from switching out. Once Maki takes over, the fight definitely takes a turn for the worse. Maki is Chizuru on some kinda real powerful steroids. If Chizuru had Maki's moves in '96, nobody would ever get to fight Goenitz. I recommend using people like K' or Ash against her and try to just spam projectiles from the opposite side of the screen. You definitely don't want this chick anywhere near you.




ADELHEID BERNSTEIN
Appearances: Dummy endboss of KoF '03; secret character in KoF XI.
Watch out for: The return of the Genocide Cutter. Block low!

Storyline:
Rugal had kids? Who knew? Adelheid and his annoying sister Rose travel the world seeking new opponents in the Sky Noah, a veritable flying fortress left to them by their father. If you defeat Kusanagi with any attack other than a DM or LDM, Chizuru warps you there to square off against Adel.

Interestingly enough, Adelheid doesn't seem like much of a bad guy at all. After his defeat (apparently by the Ikari Team), Rose goes nuts and starts screaming that she won't let the winners leave alive. Adelheid, accepting that he lost, basically tells her to shut the fuck up and let them go. Hm. A lot of SNK fans are hoping that Adelheid turns out to be a hero in upcoming games. He goes at it alone again in XI, and has a cool "DUN DUN DUNNNN" ending which concerns his sister, but I have no idea what goes on because I can't read Japanese. Sucks.

SNK BOSSMAN Rating:
Moderate. He ain't his father, that's fer sure. He's fast as hell and does a lot of damage, but isn't nearly as versatile as Rugal and can only use the Genocide Cutter as a DM (and doesn't have infinite stocks, either). He definitely isn't that hard to take down if you can stay alert and figure out how he works. When he appears in XI as a secret character/sub boss, he almost entirely loses his SNK BOSSMAN powers but is a lot of fun to play as, especially as a leader: when he successfully lands his Gigantic Pressure LDM, a sparkly-eyed Rose walks out and tells him how cool he is. It's real random and sorta cute.




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