Iori Yagami
Iori Yagami from The King of Fighters XIII
Nome InteiroIori Yagami
Aniversario/IdadeMarch 25; 20 years old
Local de NascimentoJapan.svg.png Japan
Altura182cm (5'11")
Peso76kg (168 lbs)
Tipo SanguíneoO
GostaNothing special
Não gostaViolence
HobbiesPlaying in his band
Comida favoritaMeat
Esporte de DestaqueEverything
Habilidade especialPlaying the saxophone
O que mais odeiaThe sight of Kyo
Música favoritaJazz
Estilo de lutaYagami style of ancient martial arts combined with pure instinct

Iori Yagami (八神 庵, Yagami Iori) is a video game character who made his first appearance in the Neo Geo fighting game, The King of Fighters '95. He is a central recurring character and the initial enemy (and eventual rival) of Kyo Kusanagi.

He is the heir to one of the three clans that sealed the legendary snake entity, Orochi, 1,800 years ago. His clan, formerly known as the Yasakani (八尺瓊, Yasakani), wields pyrokinetic powers. They keep the seal over Orochi intact with help from the Kusanagi and Yata clans using three ancient artifacts. His family's treasure is the Yasakani Jewel (八尺瓊曲玉, Yasakani no Magatama) and his family crest is the crescent moon, which he wears on the back of his jacket. He also wears a plain silver ring around his left middle finger; the significance of the ring, if any, is unknown. His official nickname is Unbridled Instinct.

Aside from the main body of the King of Fighters series, Iori features his own drama CD and character image album. His character is also a member of SNK's character image band, Band of Fighters and he also appears as a regular antagonist in the spin-off manga, The King of Fighters: Kyo.


One of the main objectives 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". In several interviews for their official anniversary site for the series, several creators and developers -such as C.A.C Yamasaki and Mr. Marito- predicted that Iori would be popular on his release - which they admit happened during their observations of initial location testing for The King of Fighters '95.

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's most wild characters because of his hairstyle, with similar sentiments being made by Last Blade illustrator, TONKO. Additionally, KOF: Maximum Impact producer, Falcoon, stated that attempting to change an "untouchable" design such as Iori's put him under severe pressure. He stated that designing Iori's alternate (or Another as it is stated in the Maximum Impact games) outfit almost felt "unforgivable", unsure of fans' reaction to the change. In an interview with a group of the series's voice actors, Kunihiko Yasui, Iori's voice actor, explains that the staff for the games treat their characters as normal people, and are constantly changing their character line-up to reflect this. He adds 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, as well as "protecting", his character's humanity.

Another minor development to his character was his ever changing "most valued possession/valued treasure" information. His bios from KoF '95 until KoF '98 listed various items such as a vintage guitar and chains. A girlfriend was also listed more than once, specifically in KoF '95, KoF '99, and KoF 2000. However, starting in The King of Fighters 2001 and every entry onwards, the space is listed as "None". This has lead to several fan theories as to why this is, many of which surrounds his girlfriend's possible death or disappearance. The issue is briefly touched upon years before in Iori's drama CD, The Sun and The Moon ~ Prologue, though a concise answer concerning this shade to his profile hasn't been made by SNK.

In Gamest's 1997 Heroes Collection, Iori was voted as the staff's favorite character, claiming 1st place out of fifty other characters. He also received the same rank on Neo Geo Freak's website with a total of 3,792 votes. In a 2005 poll made by SNK-Playmore USA, he was voted as the eighth fan favorite character with 145 votes.


Legend of YasakaniEditar

660 years before the game takes place, Orochi's seal began to weaken. The three clans decided to move its vessel into another location. Wanting to disrupt their unity, one of the Hakkesshu killed the leader of the Yasakani's wife. Under a disguise, the murderer then approached the Yasakani head and reported that the Kusanagi clan was responsible, saying that it was "atonement" for letting the seal weaken. To add more fuel to the fire, the corpse of his wife was found in the Kusanagi homeland. Angered by the revelation, the Yasakani made a blood pact with Orochi to gain the necessary means for revenge. Gaining a forbidden technique called "Kin Sen Hyaku Juuichi Shiki: Ya Otome" (Forbidden Method 1211: Eight Maidens), the Yasakani renamed themselves as the Yagami clan.

As a side-effect of the Orochi's curse, the once crimson flames of the Yagami have a bluish tint. The curse also causes each heir to die young and each mother to die in childbirth.

Orochi SagaEditar

Before the events of The King of Fighters '95 tournament, Billy Kane and Eiji Kisaragi end a sudden duel in a draw. Billy then introduces Eiji to Iori who comes in dragging the body of one of Geese's assassins. Overwhelmed by Iori's strength, Billy invites both Eiji and Iori to form the Rival team to enter the tournament. Iori joins them as a means to meet his rival. At the finals, he helps the hero team defeat Rugal Bernstein. Before Rugal dies, Iori mocks him for trying to use the power of Orochi. Claiming that such power could only belong to him, Iori severely injuries his fellow team members. He then declares Kyo and his clan will be next.

Before the King of Fighters '96 tournament, Iori is visited by two mysterious women who introduce themselves as Vice and Mature. They tell him of Kyo's entry in the tournament and try to coerce him to join as well. After a brief fight, he agrees to enter once the two submit to be his servants, intending to use them to help him kill his rival. When he leaves, Vice and Mature contact their employer, Goenitz, ensuring him everything was going to their plan.

During the finals of the tournament, he helps his rival and Chizuru Kagura, heir to the Yata clan, to defeat Goenitz. The former dies leaving 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. Unable to control this surge of Orochi power, Iori violently kills his companions.

Before the events of the King of Fighters '97 tournament, Iori learns of his rival's entry from the local news. Later that night, he has a nightmare of two women mocking his inability to defeat Kyo. The women disappear with the promise of meeting him again soon. When he awakes, he coughs up blood. Filled with a sudden hate and rage, he declares to defeat his rival. However, at the tournament's conclusion, he joins both Kyo and Chizuru again.

He advances into 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.

NESTS SagaEditar

Shortly after discovering the creation of clones of Kyo, Iori gained word of another King of Fighters tournament, and he began to suspect that the person responsible for cloning Kyo might be there. Iori followed the battles from the shadows, and eventually found an abandoned warehouse where Krizalid had fought the New Hero Team and Kyo.

The whereabouts of Iori were unknown after KoF '99, and it is assumed he cared little about Southtown and the events of KoF 2000, instead focusing on the opportunity for a fight against his rival.

The next year, an agent named Seth invited Iori to join his team for the next King of Fighters tournament, under the presumption that he would get his shot against Kyo if he entered. Iori made it clear from the beginning of the tournament that teamwork was irrelevant, as he could take on whole teams by himself. However, near the climax of the tournament, he assisted K', Kula Diamond and Kyo in besting Igniz aboard a massive space station. He later escaped the destruction of the station before its impact with Earth.

Tales of AshEditar


In The King of Fighters 2003, Iori reluctantly teamed up again with Kyo and Chizuru Kagura at the latter's request, as it seemed that the current tournament might be linked to the Orochi. After their battle with Mukai, Ash Crimson stole Chizuru's powers. He then made an offer of servitude to Iori, who answered with a fiery attack, which prompted Ash to disappear while Kyo swore revenge. 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 The King of Fighters 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 trashed Kyo and Shingo before Ash Crimson appeared and stole Iori's sacred treasure, the Yasakani Jewel, and his power.

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 treasure once Ash disappears. Mature and Vice remark 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.


Iori is a very serious, rude and direct-to-the-point character. In various drama CDs, Iori is frequently tormented by an Orochi identity that resides within him, which mocks and belittles him as its master. Iori answers it with irritated responses until it angers him, causing him to physically react in a usually violent manner. In his KOF XII profile, he seems to have trouble knowing which identity is actually his and suffers from a slight identity crisis. It is due to this personal trait that he doesn't like to associate with others and he lives a lonely existence. However, he still retains pride for his name and won't let himself die under any circumstances.

He seems to want to kill his rival at every opportunity they meet, but he also can't recall the reasons why he hates Kyo. Like his rival, he doesn't care about the ancient family feud between them and just seems to instinctively hate him. Iori could be judged as a hollow individual - empty inside if not for all the hatred that consumes him. Iori's bitter hatred for Kyo has developped into something of a raison d'etre. In effect, Iori seeks to kill Kyo for reasons unknown even to himself, dedicating his whole life to such an ordeal. It could be theorized that, if Iori were to finally achieve his goal, it would bring him no personal satisfaction and would leave him emptier than before. Killing Kyo has become his reason to live, even though he has withheld that objective more than once in the past in order to team up with his rival.

Iori is also wary of Kyo's father, Saisyu Kusanagi, the man Iori erroneously blames for his own father's death, in spite of his knowledge of his family's curse. Iori is plainly unwilling to accept help from Saisyu despite the latter claims that he wants to save Iori, and not kill him. Unlike Chizuru, the matter of losing his flames has not personally scarred or affected him in any way, as he is still able to carry on and put up a fight nonetheless. Iori also openly despises K', claiming of being disgusted by merely his presence and existence. He does not give much thought on other fighters, and tends to refer to them as "pests".

Ironically, despite having a violent personality, Iori hates violence, though it could be that he sees it as a "necessary evil". As early as SvC Chaos and more recently, KOF XIII, he sternly warns some of his adversaries, whether in intro quotes or win quotes, to run away while able, suggesting a thin veil of morality on his part, unless he is directly provoked, or sees something he despises, especially Kyo.

Even so, when the violent half of Iori takes hold of him, he becomes a sadistic, almost amoral killer. An example of this happens in the The King of Fighters: Another Day anime, when focusing his attention on finding Ash Crimson, he forcefully pushes a little girl aside. Another example is when he mercilessly beats Billy Kane and Eiji Kisaragi with no apparent reason. This conflicting behavior is a lesser image of his personality when in the Riot of the Blood.

Iori has a brooding, conflicted personality that is prone to violent and unpredictable outbursts when incited. Another trait of his personality is reflected in the fact that Iori is a chain smoker. Such a habit, coupled with Iori's sometimes reckless fits of violence, may be considered a case of self-loathing, related to the Orochi persona living in his mind and blood. It could be theorized that Iori takes these acts of self-deprecation - and, ultimately, self-destruction - with the mindset of harming not only himself, but also Orochi - whom he hates, arguably, as much as himself. Notably, this trait has stayed with Iori even during the times he has been completely free of the Yasakani Magatama and its coupled curse.


  • Slashing Hands - Iori specializes in clawing martial arts, and most of his moves are in the form of clawing strikes.
  • Pyrokinesis - Due to his Yagami heritage, Iori can control fire. He can create a bright purple fire from thin air, create fire balls, deliver punches of fire, create pillars of fire and put his own body on fire. His fire also has the sacred ability to put enemies in a stasis-like state. He is not immune to other types of fire. He cannot control other fires that he didn't create. Iori can also occasionally wield crimson flames due to the presence of the former Yasakani clan's power, although he does not have the ability to create them intentionally (they appear at random times, usually when Iori is using his sacred ability to seal Orochi (as in KOF '96 and his LDM in KOF 2003). This power was stolen by Ash Crimson in The King of Fighters XI; however, Iori regained it in The King of Fighters XIII.
  • Riot of the Blood - Thanks to the pact his clan made with Orochi, Iori goes into this state whenever Orochi's presence is strong. While in this form, his eyes are dilated, his back is hunched, and his skin adopts a shade of violet. He is mostly incoherent, frequently screaming "Kyooo!" during fights. He becomes stronger and faster in exchange for his sanity.


  • Musical Instrument - Iori plays the bass guitar very well, and is seen playing guitar as well in some incarnations.

Fighting StyleEditar

Iori fights with the Yasakani style of ancient martial arts, which is a violent offensive style incorporating use of claws. He uses his instincts to fight as well. Like the other two clans, Iori's moves/clan techniques are numbered in a personal "style/method" order. The only moves Iori has ever shared with Kyo are the 108 Shiki: Yami Barai (Method 108: Darkness Sweeper), and the 100 Shiki: Oniyaki (Method 100: Demon Baker); the latter being the move they both share to this day. However, Kyo later discards the Darkness Sweeper in favor of his chain punching kenpou style, making the two vastly different from each other.

Iori's "Riot of the Blood" super in Neo Geo Battle Coliseum looks identical to the scene shown in his KoF '96 ending when he killed Mature and Vice.

His Desperation Move, "Ura 108 Shiki: Ya Sakazuki/Reverse Method 108: Eight Wine Cups", is based off of the Orochi legend when each of Orochi's eight heads drank a cup of wine; each cup would then leave each a head drunk and unconscious (which, in the myth, was part of Susanoo's plan to slay the monstrous serpent). Since it is a "Reverse Method" move, it serves Iori's direct counterpart of Kyo's Ura 108 Shiki: Orochinagi/Reverse Method 108: Great Serpent Mower, as both are derived from the Yami Barai.

His last and most well known super, "Kin 1211 Shiki: Ya Otome/Forbidden Method 1211: Eight Maidens" (affectionately known among fans as the Maiden Masher), is based off the legend when Orochi had eaten eight maidens who were daughters of Ashinazuchi and Tenazuchi. The move often composes of eight blows, barring the finisher. Iori uses it often as his signature DM attack. It is also the very technique which most of the Yagami several years ago used against the Kusanagi.

In terms of gameplay, Iori is a powerful rushdown character with highly damaging combos. Players would need to be careful as failing to master Iori would prevent using him to his full potential. His most popular command normal, Geshiki: Yuri Ori (Foreign Method: Lily Snapper), is a backwards kick that is meant only for crossing up making Iori unique in this aspect. In most games as of KoF '98, Iori can use it in a backdash for a quick getaway. From there, Iori conned the discovery of certain midair attacks being available during a backdash (which was presumed to be a bug at the time), such as Kyo's Geshiki: Naraku Otoshi (Foreign Method: Abyssal Drop) and Robert's Hien Ryuujin Kyaku (Flying Swallow Dragon God Leg). Iori is surprisingly an avid zoning-type character, as his Yami Barai gives him an advantage in keep-away due to the movement styles in KoF.

His Kuzukaze (Scrap Wind, affectionately mistranslated as "Scum Gale") was also a unique kind of attack during its time as it was a throw that did no damage, and allowed Iori for a quick combo and provided massive pressure setups via tick throwing. His moveset was fairly limited compared to Kyo's, but much easier to access. Because of his high potential overshadowing most of his weaknesses if played right, Iori is generally seen as top-tier in several of his appearances, and through his status as top-tier character, Iori can canonically in-universe be regarded as one of the most powerful fighters in the series, as so far any mention of him losing in the preliminaries is a rarity.

The loss of his flames has little effect on Iori's fighting capabilities; unlike Chizuru, who was completely unable to engage in any form of combat without the power of the Yata mirror, Iori's classic moveset is replaced by new techniques from his clan's martial arts (composed of many claw based attacks), even his old flameless attacks. His Neo Max in KoF XIII is called Kin 1218 Shiki: Yatagarasu (Forbidden Method 1218: Eight-Branch Crow), a reference to the legendary creature of the same name. The fact that it is also a "forbidden" technique may be that it was another move conned from the war of the Yagami and Kusanagi, like the Ya Otome. However, it seems to be even more deadly due to Iori's mannerisms from the attack compared to those of the Ya Otome; the latter's XIII incarnation may as well be hints of the true original form of the technique. In gameplay, Iori actually appears somewhat faster (albeit less mobile) in KoF XII, and his combos also seem to have become easier to chain with a slightly higher priority. Iori is still kicking with his high damage and strong combos like before, though he has a different way of how most of his combos work (mostly involving more rushdown and meter).

It is also hinted by Takuma Sakazaki in his fight dialogue with Iori that without the curse of Orochi hindering him, Iori's instinct seems to have made him a more relentless fighter, out of his own natural bloodlust and instinct.

His old "With Flames" version appears again on the console versions of KoF XIII, though some of this version's original touches have been stripped off for somewhat better balance compared to his default, flamless version.

Also, Iori's San Shingi no Ni (The Divine Arts No. Two) is the very attack used to pin down Orochi in which Kyo manages to followup the finishing blow in the Sacred Treasures Team's ending of The King of Fighters '97. The very sequence is seen in Kyo and Iori's Special D-Assault in Neo Geo Battle Coliseum. Also, the technique is often named "?????" in Orochi Iori's moveset.


  • Arashi no Saxophone (Stormy Saxophone) - The King of Fighters '95, The King of Fighters '98, The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match, The King of Fighters XI (Iori goes first, console version), The King of Fighters XIII (when the music is set to "Type B", console version only, shared with Mature and Vice)
  • Arashi no Saxophone 2 - The King of Fighters '96, 2002, XIII (as EX Iori in console version), Real Bout Fatal Fury Special (Gameboy only)
  • Cool JAM ~Arashi no Saxophone 3~ - The King of Fighters '97, The King of Fighters '98 (Iori vs. Kyo, the former as opposing player), SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium, The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match (Iori vs. Kyo, the former as opposing player), The King of Fighters R-1, The King of Fighters R-2
  • Esaka Forever - The King of Fighters '98 (as Kyo's opponent), The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match (as Kyo's opponent),
  • Sadistic Eyes - The King of Fighters '99
  • Stormy Scream ~Arashi no Saxophone 4~ - The King of Fighters 2000, The King of Fighters EX2 (the latter being shared with Jun Kagami and Miu Kurosaki)
  • The Immortal Mirror of The Sun - The King of Fighters 2001
  • Cool Jam 2 - The King of Fighters 2003
  • New Order - The King of Fighters XI
  • Arashi no Saxaphone 5 - The King of Fighters XIII
  • Tranquilizer - The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match
  • Aquamarine (Luv and Sax Mix) - K.O.F. Dance Trax
  • Stormy Black (Black Mix) - K.O.F. Dance Trax
  • Cool Jam (Saxophone Storm 3 Mix) - K.O.F. Best Collection ~since '94 to 00~
  • Ura Kusanagi (Reverse Kusanagi) - Days of Memories

Image SongsEditar

Voice ActorsEditar

  • Kunihiko Yasui - since debut
  • Eric Summerer - KOF: Maximum Impact series (English voice)
  • Jack Merluzzi - The King of Fighters XII (English voice)
  • Sho Sudo - King of Fighters movie (Japanese voice)

Live Action ActorsEditar

Game AppearancesEditar

Mobile AppearancesEditar

  • Days of Memories - (second, fourth, seventh, eighth, and ninth titles) - unplayable
  • SNK’s DARTS: Three In The Black
  • NeoGeo Tennis Coliseum
  • The King of Fighters Mobile R-2
  • The King of Millionaire
  • The King of Fighters Volleyball
  • The King of Fighters Mahjong
  • Moeyo! KOF Daiundokai
  • SNK Dream Battle

Cameo AppearancesEditar

Anime AppearancesEditar

Similar CharactersEditar

See alsoEditar


  • In Neo Geo Battle Coliseum's fan Q&A section, a fan wished Iori happy birthday. When asked what he wanted in an "interview", he answered with a death threat on Kyo's life.
  • According to his KOF XIII team story, he smokes frequently.


SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters' Clash SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters' Clash 2 Expand Edition SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters DS


King of Fighters R-2 Shinsetsu Samurai Supirittsu: Bushidō Retsuden The King of Fighters '95 The King of Fighters '96 The King of Fighters 2001 The King of Fighters XI Neo Geo Battle Coliseum Capcom vs. SNK: Millennium Fight 2000 The King of Fighters XII The King of Fighters XIII (Console Version) SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos (Midnight Bliss) SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos (Makai Spell) SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos (Heaven Spell)


Includes CC-BY-SA content from Wikipedia's Iori Yagami article (authors)

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