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Ridiculous King of Fighters 15 roster ‘leak’ starts to feel very real after Game Awards reveal last night

Now we have seen some very There are some interesting “leaks” coming to our desktop, but this one for King of Fighters 15 is certainly something never seen before. SNK’s announcement of seemingly newcomer Krohnen at the Game Awards was instructive not only because it unveiled another piece of the launch list puzzle, but it could also have on its own added credibility to a leak. of a supposed list that has been circulating for a few months now.

The leak in question, at first glance, is utterly ludicrous as the creator doesn’t directly list or show who’s added to the game. Instead, they’ve added relative character images to symbolize the real KOF contenders. in their places on the character select screen, and thanks to the decryption of the launch roster, three of the DLC teams and one additional fighter are supposed to be leaked. Of course, potential spoilers await us.

This leak dates back to late October / early November when Twitter and Reddit users started discussing it. The first publication of it seems to date back to a Twitter user named silenthooper.

It doesn’t look like Hooper is the creator of the list mockup as they say with the image, “whoever did this must know something we don’t know lol”. Hooper notes that this leak would have been created somewhere after Gamescom 2021 and before Kukri’s reveal – late August through early September.

As mentioned earlier, the image in question does not share direct images of the characters that are supposed to be added to the roster. Instead, we get references to them – some of them are pretty weird references – but when you look at them through the lens of King of Fighters, it makes sense.

For example, the slot machine now occupied by Kukri features a photo of avid Nintendo fan and founder of the Empire Arcadia competitive gaming team, Isaiah “TriForce” Johnson. The link here is that TriForce is wearing a balaclava in this photo, and as far as the hooded KOF characters go, it has to be Kukri.

All references have links like this, whether they feature an image of a character who shares the same name or look / act like the alleged KOF roster member. The internet has scrutinized and interpreted them all, and before Krohnen’s revelation last night, this alleged leak list looked utterly ridiculous and was written off entirely.

You see, Krohnen is very clearly a reworked version of the old King of Fighters character, K9999. Back in the days of King of Fighters 2002, K9999 was a fighter who was a blatant and shameless copy of Tetsuo Shima from the legendary anime / manga Akira.

Out of fear of legal action, SNK quickly cleaned up the franchise of everything K9999, and they never brought the character back for obvious reasons. Well, the leaked roster mockup included an image of none other than Tetsuo, who inevitably came to be interpreted as K9999 and, due to the character’s backstory, immediately made this roster stacked.

But now, with Krohnen’s reveal, fans are starting to view this list as a potentially very real thing. It’s far too lucky to guess that a character who would never be included in a future KOF title (for good reason) would make his way to the roster as an entirely new and reworked contender.

Other than Krohnen / K9999, other characters on the roster have been correctly predicted, some of which have even been placed in the correct team slot. Angel, who was symbolized by The Rock – which is one of the strangest connections, but I guess that’s because they’re both wrestlers – was officially revealed late last month, and even Heidern was placed in the right team.

If this leak is indeed accurate, it means we might get a glimpse of who the top three DLC teams are. Below is a full list of predictions, their credentials, and potential connections between them thanks to our very own Nicholas “MajinTenshinhan” Taylor.

DLC Team 1
– Reimu from Touhou, has the same ribbon / hair as Nakoruru from Samurai Shodown
– Mitsurugi from Soul Calibur, samurai just like Haohmaru (+ Haohmaru has switched to their game)
– Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean, probably alludes to Darli Dagger since she is also a pirate and has similar hair decorations and the bandana

DLC Team 2
– Feather, a tribute to Rock Howard from Granblue Fantasy. Obviously Rock Howard.
– Nami from One Piece, greedy pirate similar to B. Jenet who is from Garou just like Rock.
– Anavel Gato from Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory. Refers to Gato de Garou.
(the three Garou characters have already been in KOF too)

Team DLC 3
– Todd Howard, the creator of Elder Scrolls, refers to Geese Howard.
– Axl Low from Guilty Gear has similar clothes and hair color to Billy Kane.
– Ryuji Goda from the Yakuza series, refers to Ryuji Yamazaki who also happens to be a yakuza.

Ashes team
– Oscar François de Jarjayes de Rose de Versailles. Refers to Elisabeth because of very similar clothing.
– EMP Triforce. The behavior refers to Kukri.

The K ‘team
– Terminator. Refers to Maxima being a Cyborg.
– Indiana Jones’ whip. Refers to the whip.

Isla team
– A soldier with an eye patch (uncertain of the source). Refers to Heidern.
– Tekken Raven Master. Refers to Dolores.

The Kula team
– Me me me! girl. Refers to Kula Diamond.
– The rock. Refers to Angel in a way.
– Tetsuo d’Akira. Refers to K9999.

Autonomous
– Ray Park as Rugal in an Abomination movie. Refers to Rugal.
– Inverted Verse, the boss of King of Fighters 14.

King of Fighters 15's ridiculous leak starts to look like real image # 1

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While this supposed leak is starting to look more likely, the ending character shown is a bit of a red flag. Next to Rugal, who is believed to be a secret character, we have King of Fighters 14 boss Verse.

For some reason, the image is a negative photo of the character, and we’re not sure exactly what that is supposed to mean. Still, there are several reasons why the verse on this mockup doesn’t make sense.

More importantly, the location Verse occupies here doesn’t actually exist on the character select screen like all the others. The creator simply added Verse alongside Rugal with no real explanation.

Additionally, it was Verse’s disappearance in KOF14 that led to the return of previously dead characters like Shermie in KOF15. Story-wise, that doesn’t really mean Verse would be on this list – especially not as potential DLC.

The inclusion of Verse seems to fall away from the credibility of this list, so take that however you want.

As with all potential leaks and rumors, these things are best taken with a big grain of salt. That said, this particular mockup is really interesting, and KOF fans will certainly keep an eye out for it as more and more characters continue to be revealed for King of Fighters 15.

Heavy contributions to this story were made by Nicholas “MajinTenshinhan” Taylor.