|“||Checkmate... pretentious bastard.||„|
K' (K' (ケイ・ダッシュ), Kei Dasshu, pronounced as "K Dash") sometimes known as "K Prime", is a character who debuted as the leader of the Hero Team in The King of Fighters '99. He stars as the reluctant hero in the NESTS saga of the series, often letting his partner Maxima handle any social necessities in his stead. To contrast the previous protagonist of the series, K' was made to be the "dark hero".
K' is one of NESTS most impressive warriors, a product of someone being infused with the Kusanagi clan's powers that created K' as the man he is today. On a path to regain his memories and try to reconstruct his life after NESTS, he walks with his team that also want to reconstruct themselves, but most importantly want to help K'.
Born somewhere in Japan, K' (real name unknown) was a normal child who lived happily with his sister, Seirah and had a graceful family. K' lived most of his childhood in happiness and joy, up until one day they were both captured by NESTS, a crime syndicate who had finished cloning the Kyo clones that dealt with drugs, genetics, robotics and biotechnology and taken away from their family, in which the fate of K's family is unknown.
K' was trained to be some sort of weapon for NESTS. He was extensively trained in combat and skill, as he was trying to be made as a warrior of NESTS. In 1998, K' was constantly experimented on with the Kusanagi DNA. K's memories were tinkered with, as any past memory was wiped out and was made to believe he was Krizalid's clone, in which it's actually the other way around. He was finally forcibly and successfully infused with Kyo's DNA, which thus gave him the Kusanagi clan's fire powers, in which the DNA also altered his overall appearance. However, NESTS saw that K' would never have proper control of his unfamiliar ability without some sort of limiter on his power.
K' was then given his iconic red mechanical glove that limited his fire powers to a tolerable degree. As his memory was tinkered with, he believed he was a loyal member of NESTS, and initially started as so.
Under NESTS orders, he and Maxima joined the King of Fighters tournament with Benimaru Nikaido and Shingo Yabuki. The team makes it to the finals and are sent to a place where Krizalid, K's clone, waits for them. He poses as the tournament's host and fights them to gather their battle data energy. He hoped to use the data to activate the thousands of listless Kyo clones around the globe. Krizalid was also ordered to test K's overall capabilities and see if he was worthy of having. However, K' defeats him by removing his glove, and using his absolute full power to finish Krizalid. Afterwards, the team learns that Krizalid was merely a pawn for NESTS. Shortly afterward, Krizalid is executed by his superior, Clone Zero. When the base collapses, K' and Maxima are divided from their team and hunted down by the Ikari squad.
They survive the ambush, and K' questions himself including current events, such as NESTS, his fire powers, why he cannot remember anything prior to NESTS, and why he fought his clone, when he himself is a part of NESTS and witnessed his murder. K' then finally decides to turn against NESTS and disconnects himself with it, as NESTS fails to reach contact with K'. K's personal reason for this is to try to regain his memories.
The next year, K' and Maxima were joined by mercenaries Vanessa and Ramon. They entered the tournament to discover NESTS scheme, but Vanessa and Ramon were there to capture K' and Maxima at the end of the tournament, since they were working for Ling and Heidern. Their team makes it to the finals where they encounter Clone Zero, the one who murdered Krizalid and NESTS' betrayer. Although K' defeats the traitor, they are unable to stop the Zero Cannon from firing. Unknown to them, Kula Diamond and her team destroy it and save the world from further damage. K' and Maxima are once again separated from their teammates after the tournament's climax.
K' is eventually found by Whip and reveals her relation to K', in which K' is shocked but somewhat saddened and empty at the fact she is actually a clone of the real Seirah. K' realizes just how far the reality is he's dealing with, which only further infuriates K' and his desire to destroy NESTS. Nonetheless, K' is forced to accept this as Whip joins the resistance.
They spend the remainder of the year hunting down NESTS's bases around the globe. Though they have stumped some of the syndicate's plans, none of the bases were the main headquarters they were hoping for. K' and company enter the 2001 tournament with Lin, who tracked their movements in his personal hunt for Ron. Once his team makes it to the finals, they are lifted into a spaceship and are confronted by the real Zero. He reveals to the frustrated K' that they are on their way to the syndicate's main headquarters and will meet the real leader to NESTS. Once they reach the satellite, they meet Nests, Misty, and Igniz. Although Nests requests their neutral cooperation, he is quickly killed by Igniz. There, they learn that they are merely cyborgs (or clones) purely created for Igniz's personal entertainment (i.e. to become a new god). K's team faces the villain but are easily defeated by Igniz with no effort. However, all 50 fighters come aboard and join the final battle against Igniz.
After Kyo motivates everyone to unleash their potential and fight for the people they love, everyone fights against Igniz once more who gradually is weakened by the continuous assault. It is not until Kula deals a surprise attack, followed by Kyo and Iori mercilessly beating Igniz senseless with K' dealing the finishing blow with a teleporting flame punch. After Igniz is defeated, he realizes he can no longer use his powers from his suit now that his suit is heavily damaged. He declares himself a demon and cannot accept the fate of his utopia, and activates a device for NESTS to plummet down into Earth's waters. It harmlessly falls in the ocean - apparently thanks to Ron - with all of its passengers safe, including K'. Emerging from the wreck, K' forms an alliance with Kula and Diana. Both of them want to make their own future and make up for the time lost in their lives.
In 2003, Chin Gentsai visits K' and Maxima and requests that they enter the tournament. Chin, feeling a dark wave of energy around KOF that year, wants them to investigate it in his place. K' and company make it to the finals and face Mukai. K' defeats him, but is bothered by his taunts about regaining his memories, as well as reaching his true potential. Mukai's words continue to haunt him in the following tournament, leading K' to wonder if he can surpass his fate as "the second Kusanagi flame".
At the end of the XI tournament, K' and his teammates were invited by Heidern to attend a lecture about the mysterious group known as Those from the Past. Heidern said he had Magaki's body, but they were attacked by two children who took the body away.
K' had absolutely no interest in entering the KOF XIII tournament, and is upset when Chin calls him once more at his apartment with Maxima. Since he soon learns from Chin and Kula that they're in the newest tournament, K' is forced to enter against his own will.
KOF XIV Saga
K' and his team participate in the newest King of Fighters tournament, but are shocked by the birth of Verse in the tournament finals. Most of the fighters fight against Verse, who released all souls of deceased fighter's at the end. K's team depart together, as his current whereabouts are unknown.
K' has a very serious personality but is very easy to enrage due to his more high-strung side. He is starting to treat Whip as a big sister and Kula as a little sister. He often calls Maxima names - like "stupid", "idiot", etc. - but he actually trusts his partner's reliability. He is hardly polite and is always gruff, even to those close to him. Because K' usually expresses his concerns in a "tough guy" manner, Maxima jokingly calls him dishonest or stiff. He sees Kyo as a rival and wants to prove he is better than him, not as only a clone.
In KOF XIII, several fighters often point out K's rather immature personality ("whiny", lazy, anti-social and constantly rude to others) in their pre-fight dialogues against him. It is also pointed out he feels trapped in his life and is also rather very lazy and hates involving himself in most things he finds trivial, making him not unlike Iori Yagami in terms of nihilistic mindset (and the two ironically very much hate each other and are prone to nasty dialogue between one another for little reason). He, of course, despite his laziness to partake in the KOF tournaments, at times often boasts about his abilities to take on anyone anytime, anywhere, which is something not quite far off from his capabilities as he also finds engaging in tasks with expected results to be yet another chore. This was pointed out in KOF XIV, particularly by Hein, who calls K' a "carnivore" because of this.
Overall, K' is arrogant, rebellious, and self-centered.
Before K' was infused with Kusanagi DNA, he was a young Japanese boy who had grown up to a teen who had sharp and pulled back chocolate brown hair. He had a light skin tone and his eyes were gray.
After he was infused with Kusanagi DNA, the DNA infusion caused K's natural appearance to change. His skin altered to a chocolate brown and his hair to pure white. He wears a deep black leather outfit that resembles that of a biker. He wears a white catholic necklace and a red mechanical glove that he keeps to control his fire powers. K' also owns bright orange sunglasses that he occasionally wears.
- Custom Fighting Style - K's fighting style is said to be "Pure Violence", but it has several similarities with Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do. He even uses some of his famous moves, such as the One inch punch and Flying Kicks. As a nod to hinting of said "violence", K's moves tend to show very brutal mannerisms due to his high-strung nature. This ranges from violent elbow strikes, enraged battle cries, and even resorting to throw his sunglasses at his foe and following up with a beatdown, no holds barred.
- Enhanced Strength - K' is considered very strong, as his strength was increased by NESTS.
- Enhanced Speed - K' is also pretty fast, as his speed was increased by NESTS.
- Brief Supernatural Speed - K' can move at the speed of sound in brief flashes, very similar to Iori.
- Limited Kusanagi Pyrokinesis - K' has limited control over the sacred Kusanagi flame. His glove operates as a limiter to his power to make sure his power won't go out of control and potentially harm his own body. K' is shown to have complete power and almost full control over it but has never been shown to have considerable mastery, which makes him lack the proper control over the flames even with the glove on as Kyo Kusanagi himself states.
- Teleportation - K' is capable of teleportation.
- The origins of both K′ and Maxima can be found in the Psikyo arcade game The Fallen Angels (堕落天使, Daraku Tenshi in Japan). This obscure 1998 release stars an emaciated goth in tight leather pants named Cool, along with a brawny, cybernetically enhanced police officer named Harry Ness. The man responsible for the design of both characters, Shin'ichi Morioka, migrated to SNK shortly after The Fallen Angels was released, and elements of Cool and Harry Ness' design were used in the creation of K′ and Maxima. The end result is that K′ looks nearly identical to Cool. His namesake was taken from a clone character in the light novel Blue Knight Berserga Monogatari (青の騎士ベルゼルガ物語), which is set in the same universe as the anime series Armored Trooper Votoms.
- During the early phases of development of The King of Fighters '99, K′'s introduction to the series was meant to remove popular characters Kyo Kusanagi and Iori Yagami from the roster, though this idea was later scrapped.
- In a 2005 poll made by SNK-Playmore USA, he was voted as the fourth fan favorite character with a total of 338 votes.*
- K's yell following his debut - "Dora!" or "Ora!" - was made due to Sha-V's suggestion. He reasoned that these shouts are K's equivalent to Kyo's "Kurei!" or Iori's "Doushita!". Konny jokingly wonders if he's trying to say the word "dry" since the first draft of his yell was "Dorei!".*
- His team's backstory for KOF XI features lyrics from Karl Busse, a nineteenth century lied from Germany. The particular song is Über den Bergen, transcribed in Japanese as "you in the mountain" (山のあなた, Yama no anata).*
- In Neo Geo Battle Coliseum, at the character select screen, when selecting K' with R1+X, he wears red clothes, has blonde hair, and wields green flames, just like Ash Crimson.