Iori Yagami

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Iori is the born enemy of Kyo Kusanagi. The Yagami clan originally helped seal Orochi, but later made a pact with it. This gave them greater power, but shortened their lives. Iori joins KOF simply to fight Kyo. Before the King of Fighters '96 tournament, Iori is visited by Vice and Mature. They tell him about Kyo entering the tournament and try convincing him to join as well. After a brief fight, Iori agrees to enter, once the two submit to be his servants. Iori intends to use them to help him kill Kyo. Vice and Mature agree, but are still following Goenitz's orders.

Before the events of KOF '97, Iori learns of Kyo entering the tournament from the local news. Later that night, he has a nightmare about two women mocking his inability to defeat Kyo. The women disappear and promise him they'll meet again soon. When he wakes up, he coughs up blood. Filled with a sudden hate and rage, Iori declares to defeat his rival. However, at tournament finals, he ends up joining Kyo and Chizuru to defeat Goenitz. During the battle, Chizuru dies and leaves a warning to not underestimate the power of Orochi or Yagami. Vice and Mature are left shaken by the ill omen. It is then when Iori suddenly undergoes symptoms of the Riot of the Blood (
When Iori loses control of his Orochi blood, he enters a stage called Riot of the Blood AKA Orochi Iori). Unable to control this surge of Orochi power, Iori violently attacks and defeats his companions.

advances to the finals, where he confronts the remaining "Four Heavenly Kings" of Orochi, Yashiro Nanakase, Shermie and Chris. When they are beaten, Orochi possesses Chris' body and attempts to destroy the three clans at once. As was done in the legends of their clans, the trio successfully defeat him. In a last-ditch effort, Orochi causes Iori to enter the Riot of Blood, expecting him to turn on Kyo and Chizuru. Instead, Iori snares Orochi by the neck, and Kyo obliges his rival by crippling the great demon with one last deathblow, allowing Chizuru to reseal Orochi.

In KOF 2000, an agent named Seth invites Iori to join his team for the next tournament, under the presumption that he would get a chance to face Kyo if he enters. Iori tells him that teamwork was irrelevant, because he could take on whole teams by himself. 

In KOF 2003, Iori reluctantly teams up again with Kyo and Chizuru at the request of Chizuru, because it seemed that the current tournament might be linked to the Orochi. After their battle with Mukai, Ash Crimson stole Chizuru's powers. Ash then makes an offer of servitude to Iori, who answers with a fierce attack. With the defeat of Chizuru and the crippled Orochi seal spelling possible catastrophe, it seemed that the Yagami clan would soon be changed forever.

In KOF XI, Iori agrees on Chizuru's request to team up with Kyo and Shingo Yabuki in hopes of opposing Ash. At the end of the tournament, the strengthening presence of Orochi caused Iori to enter the Riot of Blood, in which he seriously injured Kyo and Shingo. Afterwatds, Ash Crimson appeared and stole Iori's sacred treasure, the Yasakani no Magatama, and his power. Iori could no longer wield his trademark purple flames.

Before the KOF XIII tournament, Iori pays a visit to Chizuru to see if she needs her treasure to use her power. Realizing that his predictions are true, she presents Iori with the prospect of ridding the Orochi curse from his bloodline since he is no longer hindered by his treasure. Uninterested in rectifying his family's mistake, he remarks that Chizuru's mirror will return in due time and leaves. With Mature and Vice haunting him to join the tournament with them, they perk his interest to settle matters with Ash.

In the tournament climax, Iori regains his magatama once Ash disappears. Mature and Vice remarks that he can still choose to refuse the treasure, saving himself from the Orochi curse once and for all. He questions what will happen to his teammates if he should accept the treasure again, but they voice that he should choose whatever he thinks is right. Therefore, he mercilessly regains his flames and his teammates disappear once more from the mortal realm. Back in action, he challenges Kyo to an undecided outcome.
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The King of Fighters '95

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The King of Fighters '96, The King of Fighters '97, The King of Fighters '98, KOF '98: Ultimate Match, The King of Fighters '99, The King of Fighters 2000, The King of Fighters 2001, The King of Fighters 2002, KOF 2002: Unlimited Match, The King of Fighters 2003, The King of Fighters XI, The King of Fighters XII, The King of Fighters XIII, The King of Fighters XIV, The King of Fighters XV, KOF: Neowave, KOF EX: Neo Blood, KOF EX2: Howling Blood, KOF: Maximum Impact, KOF: Maximum Impact MANIAX, KOF: Maximum Impact 2, KOF: Maximum Impact Regulation A, SNK Vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium, SNK Vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash, Card Fighters Clash 2, Card Fighters Clash DS, Capcom Vs. SNK, Capcom Vs. SNK: Pro, Capcom Vs. SNK 2, SNK Vs. Capcom Chaos, Neo Geo Battle Coliseum

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Page Updated:  Sep. 15th, 2023

Iori Yagami quickly became a fighting game icon due to his mysterious and brutal fighting style, along with his comical, evil personality. He's crazy and proud of it. Iori is just a badass who isn't afraid to be a little flamboyant... and sometimes he totally flips a lid (which only adds to his coolness factor). There are too many cool aspects of his design to count. One of my favorites? The name Yagami in Japanese means "Night God". 

Iori pretty much defined what's "cool" about the KOF series upon his arrival in KOF '95. Since then, he evolved quite nicely as a design while never losing his trademarks as a design. Iori made his first venture out of KOF in SNK VS Capcom: Match of the Millennium, and later, his best appearance to date... Capcom VS SNK 1 & 2 (Capcom's version of his 2D sprite was just plain amazing). It was pretty shocking when Iori lost his powers and purple flames in KOF 12/13. An interesting "era" for the character. Iori's "white pants" version was an interesting change of pace... very "rock star" which Iori is pretty much is. At the end of the day, Iori is a timeless SNK icon and one of the original characters who set the "tone" of the KOF series. "Yagami Style for life."

Fighting  Style  /  Moveset
Personality  /  Charisma
Outfit(s)  /  Appearance
Effectiveness  in  series
Overall Score

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