Pitchfork's KoF Extravaganza (Part 6 of 25) - Page 5
by Pitchfork

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Appearances: True endboss of KoF '03
What's that? A falling stone pillar about to crush you.

Nobody really knows a hell of a lot about Mukai. He and his cohorts call themselves "those who hail from his distant land" (I've seen it translated elsewhere as "those from the distant past,") and appear to be trying to resurrect Orochi. However, as opposed to Goenitz and his ilk, Mukai and his buddies view it as a means to an end instead of an ultimate goal: in KoF '03, Mukai alludes to an enigmatic "Master" who will somehow benefit from Orochi's awakening.

Mukai and his gang go after Chizuru in order to break the Orochi seal. Since they don't want to or can't harm Chizuru directly for some reason, one of them, a woman named Botan, ensnares her in what appear to be magical puppet strings and takes control of her. Then they have her throw a new King of Fighters tournament and force her to attack the winners (presumably Ash, Duolon, and Shen) with the full power of the Yata mirror. Forced to defend themselves, the team has not choice but to fight Chizuru and the image of Maki into submission, which in turn weakens the Orochi seal. This is about when Mukai and his cohorts step out of the shadows and introduce themselves. Wasting no time, Mukai informs our heroes that he intends to see if they have what it takes to face the "new age," and a battle breaks out within the cavern containing the Orochi seal itself.

A lot of SNK fans (ie: geeks) argue over who it was that defeated Mukai. I think the most likely bet is Ash, Duolon, and Shen, since whatever team is designated as the "Hero Team" usually wins that year (plus, Ash has that special intro against Mukai). Since Kyo and Iori are seen standing around the Orochi seal in their ending, it could be possible that they defeated Mukai themselves, but then they might have just walked into the empty chamber after the battle was already over. And then some people suggest that K' and his teammates were at least present for the battle, since their ending shows that Mukai had spoken to K' directly at some point.

But doesn't make all that much of a difference, since an amused Mukai climbs back to his feet after the battle without so much as a scratch on him. With a hearty laugh, he wishes the fighters (whoever they are) luck and tells them he looks forward to meeting them again before disappearing with his companions.

SNK BOSSMAN Rating: HIGH. Mukai is one of the more popular SNK bosses, since he is earnestly challenging without being outright ridiculous like Krizalid and Igniz. He has two easily exploitable weaknesses in his slow walking speed and large size, making him an easy target. All you need to do to beat him is find a get of getting around his fullscreen LDM, the stone pillars he drops on you whenever you let your guard down, the ridiculous autoguard properties of his basic moves, and a basic throw which petrifies and leaves you open to his next attack. EASY AS HELL, RIGHT?

Appearances: Midboss of KoF XI
Signature Move: Everything he does, basically. Shion definitely has the most complex and varied movelist of any KoF boss I've seen. I've played against him a hundred times and he still catches me off guard sometimes with something I've never seen or haven't noticed.

Let's get this out of the way first: Shion has the Bridget complex, meaning he's a dude that looks and sounds like a chick.

Anyway. I really can't say a whole lot about Shion's background, since I can't read Japanese and have fought him in an English version of the game only once. He's definitely a member of Mukai's group (some people suggest it's him on the far left in the "hand" group shot at the end of KoF '03), but during a mid-game cutscene, Magaki (more on him in a minute) threatens Shion, warning him he'd better not even think betraying him. When introducing himself, Shion remarks that what he and his cohorts are after is the "Orochi Transmigration," which Mukai himself had already hinted at. I looks like they are trying to release Orochi while ensuring that it uses the body of their still-unknown master as the vessel of its awakening.

After the inevitable battle, a bruised Shion kneels on the ground and speaks to our heroes (again, probably Ash and his team), and apparently says too much. A small dimensional rift opens up behind him, and a hand reaches through it and grabs Shion by the back of the head. In particularly gruesome scene, Shion's entire body is forcibly yanked through an opening barely wider than a fist. But is he actually dead...?

SNK BOSSMAN Rating: Moderate. Shion's powerful enough to be very tricky, especially when you don't know what to expect from him. Prepare to be dazzled the first time you tangle with him. He likes hitting low when he's holding the spear, and don't even try attacking when he's using the dart on a string. It gets much easier when you become familiar with his moves and what he's capable of doing, but he can still catch you off guard if you're not careful. And yeah, seriously, he's a dude. Sorry.

Apperances: Endboss of KoF XI.
Basic strategy: Creating a veritable obstacle course of projectiles between you and him, then either teleporting away or blasting you back across the screen when you manage to get close.

After disposing of Shion, Magaki creates a larger dimensional rift and steps through it. He says a bunch of stuff and pulls you into another dimension before morphing from a typical Bisho into a hideous bug-eyed monster and attacking. My guess is that he's trying to pull another "gather enough energy to awake Orochi" move.

Like Mukai, Magaki emerges completely unscathed from the battle. The "Different Space" fades away and turns back to Earth as he reverts back to his human form, mumbling something to himself. Looks like whatever he was trying to do didn't work. He opens another rift and is stepping through it when he abruptly stops and looks up. The screen starts shaking, and Magaki lets out a triumphant laugh -- looks like Orochi might be waking up after all. Then everything goes still and Magaki's expression goes from joyous to shocked as Shion's spear flies out from the rift, piercing him through the chest and embedding itself in the ground several feet behind him. Blue blood erupts from Magaki's gaping wounds and he sinks to the floor and dies. The rift closes shortly afterwards, and the screen goes black and white. Then a whole bunch of Japanese text appears and concludes with "TO BE CONTINUED" as the screen fades to black.

I really need to find an English version of this game.

WHOA. Magaki achieved instant notoriety the instant KoF XI was released. Saying that he hits hard is an understatement, and with the the improved AI, he doesn't fall for stupid tricks like the older bosses. Still, Magaki's difficulty can be likened to Mukai's: defeating him is very tricky, but entirely possible. It's all about timing, even moreso than usual. Here's a YouTube video of somebody doing it while look much easier than it usually is.

And that is that.

Man, all this talk about SNK BOSSMEN is making me want to play some KoF. I'd better get on that right away.

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