Iori Yagami

Iori Yagami

General CVG character

name= Iori Yagami
caption=Official "The King of Fighters XI" artwork for Iori Yagami
firstgame="The King of Fighters '95"
series="The King of Fighters" series
"SNK vs. Capcom" series
voiceactor=Eric Summerer cite web|url=|title=Eric Summerer - IMDb|publisher=Internet Movie Database|accessdate=2008-08-17]
japanactor=Kunihiko Yasuicite web|url=|title=Kunihiko Yasui - IMDb|publisher=Internet Movie Database|accessdate=2008-08-17]
inuniverse=SNK character
birthplace= Japan
birthdate=March 25th
fightingstyle=Yagami style of ancient martial arts|
nihongo|Iori Yagami|八神 庵|Yagami Iori is a character from the SNK Playmore's "The King of Fighters" video game series that first appeared in "The King of Fighters '95" as the leader of the Rivals Team. He is an iconic characters of the series, and regularly appears on publicity material and merchandise. Iori is a central character to the series' plot, and the initial enemy and eventual rival of Kyo Kusanagi. He was created specifically to become Kyo's rival as his name and abilities were designed to relate him with the "Yamata no Orochi" legend. The designers ended liking him so much that they take care how his character is developed along the series.

Iori is the heir of the Yagami clan, who wield pyrokinetic powers and sealed the Orochi demon along with the Kusanagi and Yata clans. However, after betraying the Kusanagi clan, the Yagami are cursed by Orochi giving them powers that cause all members to die young. The character harbors hatred against the other clans, but later becomes obsessed to kill their heir Kyo. Due to that, Iori sometimes helps him in order to have the opportunity to have a final fight against him. Aside from the main series, Iori appears in several other media series such as spin-offs and crossover video games, and comic adaptations of the series.

Video games reviewers have praised the character as one of the most powerful characters from the series. Reviewers also noted Iori as one of the best characters from the games, labeling him as a veteran character and praising his appearance as one of the best creations of SNK. Within Gamest's 1997 Heroes Collection, Iori was voted as the staff's first favorite character. A variety of collectibles based on Iori's likeness have been created, including key chains and figurines.

Conception and creation

A main objective planned for "The King of Fighters '95" was to properly introduce Iori as Kyo's rival. Creators have stated Iori's personality and other aspects to his character "broke the mold for characters in fighting games at that time". Like Kyo, several aspects of Iori, including his surname and abilities, were designed to relate him with the "Yamata no Orochi" legend, which was the inspiration for the plot.cite web | url=| title=Iori Yagami Official Profile | publisher= King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website | accessdate=2008-03-24 ] After observing initial location testing for "King of Fighters '95", several staff members predicted that Iori would be popular on his release. [cite web| url=| title=Remembrances of KOF: An Interview with C.A.C Yamazaki | publisher=King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website | accessdate=2008-03-24] [cite web| url=| title=Remembrances of KOF: An Interview with Mr. Marito | publisher=King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website | accessdate=2008-03-24] Iori is a berserker due to the Orochi demon blood within him. This version of him, officially named "Orochi Iori", is hinted to exist before its debut in "The King of Fighters '97" as one of the game's mid bosses. This form of Iori was specifically designed to easily over power other characters.cite web | url=| title=Orochi Iori Official Profile| publisher=King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website |accessdate=2008-03-24] Series' flagship director, Toyohisa Tanabe, states that the staff was initially reluctant to add this version of Iori to the series' roster—worried about fans' reactions—but did so to add more impact to the Orochi saga's climax. He was particularly pleased to see surprised reactions from female fans to this form during KOF '97's location testing.Cite book | year=2005 | editor=Akihiko Ureshino | title=The King of Fighters Perfect Reader | pages=144 | language=Japanese | publisher=Nikkei Business Publications, Inc. | ISBN= 4-8222-1711-6]

During the early development stages of "The King of Fighters '99", SNK planned to exclude Iori and Kyo to the game, as the story's focus was meant to center on the new protagonist, K'. However, they retracted this decision because of the popularity if the characters.cite web | url=| title=Kyo Kusanagi-1 Official Profile| publisher= King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website | accessdate=2008-03-24] Iori's repeated appearances in the series is due to the marketers and main planners' insistence to add him, Kyo, and other SNK regulars in every game—making it a challenge to decide the story for each title.Cite book | year=2005 | editor=Akihiko Ureshino | title=The King of Fighters Perfect Reader | pages=136~139 | language=Japanese | publisher=Nikkei Business Publications, Inc. |ISBN= 4-8222-1711-6] Because of his popularity amongst fans, some of the main designers for the series have stated that he is "difficult to draw for". Illustrator Shinkiro thought Iori as one of the series' most wild characters because of his hairstyle with similar sentiments being made by "Last Blade" illustrator, Tonko.


Iori is a violent and sadistic teenager who suffers from trauma due to the past of his clan. In ancient times, the Yagami clan was known as the Yasakani. With the help of the Yata and Kusanagi clans, they sealed the demon Orochi. As time passed, the Yasakani, tired of living in the shadow of the Kusanagi, made a blood pact with Orochi. This gave them greater powers, but in return, they and their descendants were forever cursed. They renamed their clan the Yagami and set out to destroy the Kusanagi with their new powers. In response, the Kusanagi declared war on the Yagami, which led to many clan members on both sides being killed.

As a side-effect of the Orochi's curse, the flames of the Yagami have a bluish tint.cite video game|quote=Chizuru: The crimson flame of Yagami came from a part of your long-repressed true essence./Iori: Nonsense! I don't by [sic] that Freudian garbage!/Chizuru: The blue flames you control come from the Orochi power flowing within you. |title=The King of Fighters '96 |developer=SNK |publisher=SNK |date=1996-07-30 |platform=Neo Geo ] cite video game|quote=Spirit represented by purple flame: All is from the Orochi blood! From our blood allegiance. With the Orochi clan!/Kyo: Our clan? Yagami? The Yasakani clan?/Spirit represented by purple flame: A 660 year old error... It can't be corrected!|title=The King of Fighters '97 |developer=SNK |publisher=SNK |date=1997-07-28 |platform=Neo Geo ] The curse also causes each heir to die young and each mother to die in childbirth. Iori suffers from an additional curse named "The Riot of the Blood" in which he becomes more powerful, wilder, and tends to indiscriminately attack anybody near him. Due to this, Iori hates the Kusanagi clan, but later becomes obsessed to kill their heir Kyo, disregarding their clans's past. This sometimes results in Iori helping him to defeat his enemies to finish their battle. In order to find him, he sometimes enters the "The King of Fighters" tournaments and uses his teammates as tools in order to get to him.


Main series

Iori appears in most of the games from the series, and voiced by Kunihiko Yasui. Iori enters into the "The King of Fighters '95" tournament learns that the heir of the Kusanagi clan, Kyo, is expected to be there.cite web|title=Rival Team Official Story ~ KOF 95 |url=|publisher= King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website | accessdate=2008-08-10] However, the team fails to defeat the Hero and Iori betrays his teammates.cite video game|quote=Iori: What a fool! Such power can only by mine! Well, shall we wrap this up?/Eiji: What?/Billy: Hey! You're... you're Geese!/Iori: Just wait, Kyo. You're next for extermination. You and all Kusanagis! Yah, hah, hah|title=The King of Fighters '95 |developer=SNK |publisher=SNK |date=1995-07-25 |platform=Neo Geo ] In the next video game, Iori teams up with two women, Vice and Mature, servants of the Orochi demon. During the competition, they are interrupted by Chizuru Kagura, heir of the Yata clan, who wants to gather Kyo and Iori in her team to seal Orochi. Together they defeat the Orochi follower Goenitz but neither Iori and Kyo agree with the idea.cite video game|quote=Mature: Are you shaking?/Vice: Yeah, he ain't normal. But, that guy... I mean... He's really tough./Iori: W, what? I can't see! Yaaah! Unnhhh! Gya... GWAAAAH!/Vice: Hey, Yagami, take it easy!/Mature: Oh, my God.../Iori: I, it's the... Riot of the Blood!/Vice: Gah. You mean there's nothing we can do?/Mature: Ooowaaaaah! Ya, Yagami!/Iori: GOOOWAAAAH!|title=The King of Fighters '96 |developer=SNK |publisher=SNK |date=1996-07-30 |platform=Neo Geo ] When Iori leaves with his teammates, he is unable to control this surge of Orochi power, resulting in their deaths. [cite video game|quote=Goenitz: I guess I understimated you. I never thought... but this isn't the end for you./Iori: Hah! "ONE-FOR-THE-ROAD" BLAST!/Goenitz: AHHHHH!/Kyo: Hah! Eat this, pal! SERPENT WAVE!/Goenitz:GYAAAH! Why? Why is there no wind? GYAAAAAH!|title=The King of Fighters '96 |developer=SNK |puslisher=SNK |date=1996-07-30 |platform=Neo Geo ] Iori continued to suffer from multiple outbreaks of the Riot of Blood and during the "The King of Fighters '97", attacks other team members. [cite web|title=Iori Team Official Story ~ KOF 97 |url=|publisher= King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website | accessdate=2008-08-10] Immediately after entering his cursed form again, Iori finds himself along with Chizuru and Kyo confronted by the 3 last servants of Orochi, who are meant to revive him. When they are defeated, Orochi awakes in the body of one of his followers and causes Iori to enter the Riot of Blood state, expecting that he would turn on his allies. However, Iori grabs Orochi by the neck, allowing Kyo to defeat Orochi and Chizuru reseal him.cite video game|quote=Iori: Aaaaah!! /Orochi: Kill Kusanagi and Yata! Break the Shingi troica! Fight, my Orochi son! Listen, Yagami! /Iori:Ahhhhhhh!!!/Orochi: Ah?!|title=The King of Fighters '97 |developer=SNK |publisher=SNK |date=1997-07-28 |platform=Neo Geo ] [cite video game|quote=Kyo: Finish it Kagura! Can you do it? /Chizuru: As a mirror keeper... I must do it! /Orochi: Fools! A waste of time! If I release my remaining power.../Iori: Waahh!/Chizuru: His power... too strong! Kusanagi! Quickly... /Kyo: Heeaahhh! Woooohh!|title=The King of Fighters '97 |developer=SNK |publisher=SNK |date=1997-07-28 |platform=Neo Geo ]

In "The King of Fighters '99", after discovering the creation of clones of Kyo, Iori enters the annual tournament where he finds those responsible, an organization named Nests. [cite web|title=Iori Team Official Story ~ KOF 99 |url=|publisher= King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website | accessdate=2008-08-10] Iori follows the battles from the shadows and fights against the Nests agents to continue his fight against Kyo. [cite video game|title=The King of Fighters 2000 |developer=SNK |publisher=SNK |date=2000-07-26 |platform=Neo Geo |quote=Kyo: Consider that payback for the way you used us!/Zero: "'Used' you? The strength of your Mushiki move... was used to power the Zero Cannon. It's the ultimate compliment!/Kyo: In your sick fantasies! You conceited freak!.../Zero: Chill out. I'll soon be dead. Instead of me, think... of the one who awaits you.../Kyo:...Someone awaits me?/Iori: Enough prattle..../Kyo: Don't you think? Here's 'someone'! Let's rumble, dude!] In "The King of Fighters 2001", an agent named Seth invites Iori to join his team for the next "King of Fighters" tournament, under the presumption that he would get his shot against Kyo. [cite web|title=Iori Team Official Story ~ KOF 2002 |url=|publisher= King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website | accessdate=2008-08-10] In "The King of Fighters 2003", Chizuru appears to both Kyo and Iori, requesting that they form a team and investigate suspicious activities concerning the Orochi seal.cite web|title=Sacred Team Official Story ~ KOF 2003 |url=|publisher= King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website | accessdate=2008-08-10] During the investigation, the team is ambushed by the fighter Ash Crimson who plans to get the power the descendants of the clans who sealed Orochi and steals the ones from Chizuru. [cite video game|quote=Ash: Where... is... it... now?/Chizuru: Ah.. ah.../Ash: Oh, oh, oh, here we are. With this my objective has come to fruition.|title=The King of Fighters 2003 |developer=SNK Playmore |publisher=SNK Playmore |date=2003-12-12 |platform=Playstation 2 ] In the following video game, Iori and Kyo form a team once again with Kyo's student Shingo Yabuki to fill Chizuru's spot to stop Ash. [cite web|title=Kyo & Iori Team Official Story in KOF XI |url= |publisher= King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website | accessdate=2008-08-03] At the end of the tournament, the strengthening presence of Orochi causes Iori to enter the Riot of Blood state, in which he attacks Kyo and Shingo. Ash Crimson appears afterward and defeats Iori, stealing his powers. [cite video game|quote=Iori: Grrrr.... I'll kill you... Kyo.../Shingo: Damm it... My body is... But I have to help. Kyo... is in danger...!/Ash: Well now. What are you doing here without an umbrella?/Shingo:A-Ash... Iori's just gone crazy.../Ash: Oh dear... you are all dirty, aren't you?/Shingo: Watch out. He's different than usual./Iori: Kill.../Ash: Those eyes... I see... If it's this advanced, then that means... Hehhheee. So much pressure!/Iori: Ugghhhghgh... |title=The King of Fighters XI |developer=SNK Playmore |publisher=SNK Playmore |date=2007-11-13 |platform=Playstation 2 ] cite video game|quote=Ash: You're as scary as ever, aren't you? But don't think that you can bully me. You want to know why? Because... I'm not the person I used to be./Elizabeth: !! That color! Iori Yagami's flames? No, it can't be... Orochi?!|title=The King of Fighters XI |developer=SNK Playmore |publisher=SNK Playmore |date=2007-11-13 |platform=Playstation 2 ]

Other media

Aside from the "King of Fighters" series, the character is featured in his own drama CDcite web | url= | title=Iori Yagami Original Drama -Sun and Moon- ~ Prologue| publisher=VGMdb | accessdate=2008-03-24] and character image album.cite web | url= | title=SNK Character Sounds Collection Volume 11 ~ Iori Yagami| publisher= VGMdb| accessdate=2008-03-24] Iori appears in the spin-off manga story based on his adventure in "The King of Fighters '96" entitled, "The King of Fighters: Kyo". [cite web|url=|title=The King of Fighters: Kyo (manga)|publisher=Anime News Network|accessdate=2008-08-08] A role-playing game was also created under the same name in which he appears as an enemy.cite web|url= | title=PSP家庭用ソフト:SNKプレイモア ゲーム情報総合サイト NEOGEO WORLD| publisher= SNK Playmore Official Homepage | accessdate=2008-03-26 | language=Japanese] cite web |title=ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ 京 | url= | publisher= | accessdate=2008-03-26|language=Japanese ] Iori appears in the spin-off video games of the series "Neowave" [cite web|url=|title=The King of Fighters Neowave official website|publisher=SNK Playmore|accessdate=2008-08-08] and . [cite web|url=|title=The King of Fighters: Maximum Impact 2 official website|publisher=SNK Playmore|accessdate=2008-08-08] In the North American editions of "Maximum Impact", Iori is voiced by Eric Summerer.

Iori also appears in SNK's hand-held game, "SNK Gals' Fighters", as a comical interpretation called Miss X. The character insists he is a female to participate in the game's "Queen of Fighters" tournament, though several female fighters easily see through his disguise. During Yuki's ending, Yuki: It's wish time! This Talisman will turn you into Ms. X forever.../Miss X: Argh! You're a sneaky tart!/Yuki: Tart? You asked for it! O, Talisman.../Miss X: Ah! Wait! I take it back! Curses... cite video game|title=SNK Gals' Fighters |developer=Yumekobo |publisher=SNK of America |date=2000-02-19 |platform=Neo Geo Pocket Color] In the crossover video games "Neo Geo Battle Coliseum" and "SNK vs. Capcom" series, Iori appears as a playable charcter; the latter includes his Riot of the Blood state. [cite web|url=|title=Neo Geo Battle Coliseum official website|publisher=SNK Playmore|accessdate=2008-08-08] [cite web|url=|title=Capcom VS. SNK official website|publisher=Capcom|accessdate=2008-08-08] In the anime "", Iori is seen searching for Ash to regain his powers. [cite web|url=|title=The King of Fighters: Another Day (ONA)|publisher=Anime News Network|accessdate=2008-07-28] The character appears in the manhua adaptation of "The King of Fighters: Zillion" created by Andy Seto. He also stars in further manhua for the games, starting in "The King of Fighters 2001" through "2003" along with the "Maximum Impact" series.cite web |url=| title=Remembrances of KOF: An Interview with Eiji |publisher= King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website | accessdate=2008-07-28]


Iori's character has received a mixed reception from several video game publications and other media. IGN considered him as the one of the most useful characters from the games and one of the best ones for the "veteran players". [cite web|url=|title=King of Fighters 2000/2001 Review|publisher=IGN|author=Sparrow, A. E.|date=2003-12-11|accessdate=2008-08-08] In another review, they praised Iori's appearance in "" as one of the best designs from the game, but complained his lack of bloody scenes considering his action in previous games. [cite web|url=|title=King of Fighters: Maximum Impact Review|publisher=IGN|author=Dunham, Jeremy|date=2004-10-14|accessdate=2008-08-08] The character's ending in "The King of Fighters '97" has been considered by as one of the strangest parts of the story. However, they considered his winning quotes and appearance as one of the bests creations of SNK. [cite web|url=|title=History Of... The King of Fighters, SNK's classic team-based 2D fighting series||accessdate=2008-08-13] Eurogamer praised Iori, along with Kyo, as having one of the most unpredictable appearances in the series, and considered him a veteran character. [cite web|url=|title=King Of Fighters XI Review|publisher=Eurogamer|author=Albiges, Lucke M.|date=2007-07-14|accessdate=2008-08-15]

In an interview with a Iori's Japanese voice actor, Kunihiko Yasui comments that he feels responsible as a voice actor for his performances as Iori, taking care to sound different in each installment as a means of developing and "protecting" his character's humanity.Cite book | date=September 20, 2005 | editor=Akihiko Ureshino | title=The King of Fighters Perfect Reader | pages=160 | language=Japanese | publisher=Nikkei Business Publications, Inc. | id=ISBN 4-8222-1711-6] In Gamest's 1997 Heroes Collection, Iori was voted as the staff's favorite character, claiming 1st place out of fifty other characters.Cite book | year=1997 | editor=Gamest | title=Gamest Game Hero Collection 1997; issue 208 | pages=1 | language=Japanese | publisher=Shinseisha ] In a 2005 poll made by SNK-Playmore USA, he was voted as the eighth fan favorite character with 145 votes.cite web | url= | title=ウレユサ日記03 | work= [ ureshino chronicle akihiko ureshino official web site] | accessmonthday= September 16 | accessyear=2008 |language=Japanese] Merchandising based on Iori has also been released including figurines, key-chains and puzzles. [cite web|url=|title=Capcom vs SNK2 - Action Figures Series 1: Iori||accessdate=2008-08-17] [cite web|url=|title=Capcom vs Snk : King of Fighters Iori 3D 2"-3" Action Figure Key Chain||accessdate=2008-08-17] [cite web|url=|title=King of Fighters Iori Yagami Puzzle||accessdate=2008-08-17]

ee also

*List of "The King of Fighters" video games
*List of fictional characters who can manipulate fire


External links

* [ The King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website]

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