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Believe it or not, the King of Fighters Tournaments had a subplot that suspiciously sounded like a bad Kabuki play. Many years ago, a guy named Orochi terrorised the world (specifically, Japan, as always) with his many arms of death. The Yasakani and the Kusanagi Clans were charged with killing him. Like all uber-powerful villains though, Orochi flicked them off like flies off his windshield because the white-haired freak just won't stay down. Another Clan known as the Yattas! (Ok, not yet...), proposed a better solution: get him drunk and smash a mirror in his face. Ok...it sounded a bit unorthodox they said, but what the hey, punching and kicking him the last 108 times didn't work.
During the next Kusanagi/Yasakani vs. Orochi match, the teams each splashed barrels of Grade-A Kushinada Sake at Orochi while he called his attacks with a wide open mouth. The unsuspecting villain got so wasted that he could have sworn there was a guy holding up a mirror over him. That was his only right guess, and the smashed Orochi was knocked into a deep comma.
After defeating Orochi, the Kusanagis were celebrated by the world over (again, Japan nationwide) for dealing the final blow. The Yasakanis however, never got the same credit, thus they lived in the shadow of the flame-fisted Kusanagis for generations. about a century or so later, the jealous Yasakanis made a blood pact with Orochi's minions in his bedroom, wishing for power to equal and even exceed the Kusanagis. Thus the Yasakanis, now named Yagamis, gained the ability to create and control flames like their rival clan.
edit Fighting Career
edit Iori and the Rivals Team
During his training, Iori heard the crazy adventures of Kyo, the current Kusanagi heir, and how he beat up a scary aristocrat alongside Benimaru Nikaido and Goro Daimon. As Kyo seemed to be attracted to large fighter gatherings like these, he joined the next King of Fighters tournament with Billy Kane and Eiji Kisaragi. With the combined powers of a pyromaniac, a stickfighter and a ninja, the Rivals Team seemed to own the tournament. That is, until they faced the Heroes Team...
Apparently, a stick was no match against lightning punches and one-handed top spins, the same way that lightning quickness was useless if your opponent kept catching you and throwing you to the ground. Due to a unanimous voting, the Rivals team was forced to give up. This made Iori angry, so angry that he nearly killed his teammates with his bare hands and marched towards Rugal's basement to kill Kyo.
After descending down over fifty floors, he arrived just in time to see Kyo challenge the host. At that point Iori sensed Orochi's power coursing through Rugal, which made him formidable, so Iori backed away. In the end Kyo gave Rugal a suplex, ending the tournament. The beaten Rugal smiled at Kyo, gave a long speech and proceeded to unleash his Super Saiyan mode, powered by Orochi. Then he panicked as the power ate him up. Upon seeing this, Iori remembered that Orochi's power can only be controlled by those infected by his bloodline. He then gave one of his trademark evil laughs (which shook Kyo) as Rugal wore away. the laughter injected so much seratonin in his brain that he collapsed and drifted to sleep smiling. The confused Kusanagi proceeded to tiptoe out before Iori woke up.
Two weeks later, Iori woke up in the same room and found a note taped on his hair. It dictated Billy and Eiji's decision to quit the Rivals Team. Iori didn't care though, what mattered was that Kyo escaped, and he had two weeks to hide away. So he went back to his Ainu village to train some more.
edit Iori with Vice and Mature
Iori was confronted by two nearly identical women: a skanky one with white hair and a tomboyish redhead. Saying he didn't care for them, Iori told them to go away. The white haired woman suddenly attacked him like crazy while the other convinced him to join them for the next Tournament, given that they too shared the bloodline. With the two ladies Vice and Mature by his side, Iori was once again owning the Tournament.
Iori faced Kyo's Team again, and this time he and his teammates didn't hold back. Beni and Goro lay on the floor with the ladies crushed their skulls as Iori slammed Kyo to the nearest wall. He was about to dive his claws and pull out his heart when the image of a girl pushed Kyo to safety, almost breaking Iori's fingers. Iori, not wanting to lose his quarry like last time, ran like hell towards the girl, only to crash at the Tournament's new host, the Orochi priest Goenitz. Goenitz wasn't angry with this, so he dusted off and shouted to the girl Chizuru that the tournament wasn't over. Kyo dropped away from her and sensing the power coursing in the priest's veins, held out his hand to Iori and asked for his help. Iori was insulted by the gesture, but Goenitz did the decision-making for him as he made a wind column erupt at Iori's feet.
With Yagami and Kusanagi united (for awhile), they punched Goenitz so hard it almost turned his hair black. The priest underestimated Iori's power, but he said that as long as Yagami was alive, Goenitz will still stand. Iori responded to this revelation the only way he can: by flinging a Yo Mama! insult. Goenitz cringed, but still he smirked, raised his hand and pulled onto a ladder from a chopper that took him to safety. After that, Kyo thanked Iori. The Yagami rejected his thanks though, and vowed to kill him again should they ever meet. He ordered Vice and Mature to stop torturing Beni and Goro and leave the battlefield.
Unfortunately for Iori, the large presence of other Orochi agents in the vicinity made him collapse as he walked away vomiting blood. The two women's constant questions on what was wrong unleashed his crazy alter ego: Orochi Iori. He mindlessly shredded the women to blood-soaked ribbons and hopped around Japan the next few months looking for more things to kill.
edit Iori with "Team Susanno"
During the start of KOF'97. Iori was forced to fight his former teammate. Remember that guy with the stick two years back. Billy Kane. This time With Billy's revenge plan. He decides to bring two blondies to fight by his side. Iori's cousin Ryuji Yamazaki and some cop Blue Mary. However,Before the match began,Billy pulled off the first move before the match.But little did he know, Billy's team was automatically disquallified.But however, His stick was no match for Iori's Purple flames and sent Billy flying. And what happened to Billy after that is unknown.Though Iori and Yamazaki does their laugh together,as a family.
Half-way through the KOF'97 Tournament, Kyo's Team jumped as Orochi Iori landed in the ring, still huffing and puffing after a body count of over a million. Through hisses and snorts, Iori challenged the Team. The judges, thinking that this battle would promote the tournament worldwide, refrained from disqualifying him.
He flawlessly defeated Kyo's teammates thanks to his speed, strength and Magatama Shockwave move. And once again he slammed Kyo to the nearest wall to slay him. As Iori was about to sink his claws again, Kyo sensed that was on his last sliver of strength and defeated Iori in the last minute with the cheapest shot in fighting history: a slap in the face. This knocked away the enraged Yagami, who came back to his senses.
With Kyo's teamates incapacitated, the New Faces team (a band trying to promote their album by beating everyone else up) seized the opportunity by revealing their true identities: they're servants of the long dead Orochi and were planning to revive him by cutting themselves (after everyone else is gone, of course). Their energy merged to form the same white-haired freak with deadly arms.
Once again, Iori had to reluctantly team up with Kyo and Chizuru (the girl from last year), a member of the Kagura clan. Together they formed the Sacred Force Team in the last minute to challenge Orochi. It was a tough battle, but the team finally defeated him. but he was still standing. Obviously, like Goenitz, Orochi can't die as long as his bloodline survives. He commands Iori's alter ego to kill Kyo (seriously this time), but Orochi Iori knew better and strangled his master instead. Igniting his fist, Kyo launched a straight towards Orochi, resulting in a powerful supernova that blinded all spectators and cameras.
When the flash dimmed, the three figures were gone. Chizuru, as the tournament's host, declared victory for her team (cheater!).
edit Iori and the NESTS project
Contrary to popular belief, Iori didn't cease to exist on that climactic event of the King of Fighter's Tournament. The tournament committee simply covered the redhead and Kyo's tracks to ensure that the rivals go off with a bang, seeing as that Orochi Saga gimmick was getting old, and that they wanted more money through advertisements. Their ploy resulted in that first videogame adaptation of the Tournament (dubbed KOF'98, which was coincidently released in the same year the tournament was put on hiatus as they built up for the new plot), with every team that participated so far trying to get a piece of Rugal, again (Yep, even Vice and Mature and that Band who died last year. Dang, those guys can never die).
Anyway, Iori was "back home" in that Ainu village way up north, still beating up the locals and being a generic scourge in a koropokkur's butterbur field (That's where he practices his Killer Comb move, you see). One day, while he was drinking Sake at a farmer's bar, he did a spit take when he heard from some Ainu who's working in Osaka that they've kidnapped Kyo and planned to make clones out of him. The idea of someone stealing his rival to multiply the targets for his rage was one thing, but Iori can't stand the fact that they didn't kidnap him instead. And yes, he was having a moment there.
Wising up from three years of playing the tournaments, Iori stayed his hands and watched from the shadows this time, to see how the competition fared. He was disappointed at how KOF felt like it was reduced to an episode of the 60s Batman, what with a kickhappy Tae Kwon Do guy, a Chinese waitress, a deadweight shota, a girl named Whip, Shingo, and Mark Hamill allowed among its contenders.
Once the climax of the tournament took place at an underground facility, the surprise finalist Mark Hamill (under the alias K') and his team were challenged by Krizalid, who looks like Urien from Street Fighter III (Some tournament from a faraway dimension) if he hung out at a Goth Convention too long. To Iori's amazement Hamill and his amazing Kusanagi-style moves easily defeated Krizalid, with and without his shiny jacket.
Putting two and two together, Iori stepped off from the shadows and kicked Krizalid's twitchy corpse aside. By killing Hamill, there will presumably be one less Kyo in the world and everybody wins. Mark didn't like the idea, since he entered the tournament to face "That Person" I mean Kyo. Fortunately, there was no Chizuru to interrupt their fight now so they went all out. Instead, the facility began to cave in before Iori had the chance to murder everybody in Hamill's Team. He went out ahead through a conveniently placed mine tunnel. As Iori saw the winning team crawl out of the place, he muttered something in his breath along the lines of "The Force is strong in this one".
Miles away, while watching Chris Rock gratuitously tapdance on the set of Dogma, Kevin Smith let out an ecstatic groan unrelated to the filming. Jason Mewes was speechless for the first time in his career, and he wasn't faking.
edit The SNK/Capcom Period
One day Iori was walking home after a hard day's work, when he was lifted up instantly by a wind column and transported him into the middle of nowhere. When he landed butt first on soil, who else came to meet him but that bastard Goenitz? In the most sickeningly polite manner, the priest requested that Iori returned the Orochi power inside him. Knowing that the process can kill him, he slugged Goenitz's face and moved along. Holding his jaw, Goenitz laughed, for he knew well that Iori was a long way from home and he was bound to crack sooner or later.
So Iori wandered this uncharted land trying to get out, and met many new friends along the way, most of which he almost refused to offer death threats to. Almost.
- Not wanting to hurt Chun-Li, he told her to join the nuns. She refused. Cue the censor bars.
- He busted Sagat's chops and questioned the way he ruled his empire.
- In turn, he was criticized by Vega for his fashion sense. Iori showed him...
- Poison offered him a job as Hugo's wrestling partner. M. Bison also offered him a job as an agent of Shadowloo. Iori simply offered to bash both their heads in.
- Poked with a stick a number of times by Tabasa, who kept denying she's a witch, and claimed she wanted to examine him.
- Pulled Megaman Zero apart for calling him "irregular".
- Beat the crap out of Takuma Sakazaki for not acting his age.
- Flabbergasted at the sight of a MarsPeople, but killed it anyway.
- Killed a rabid guy who looks exactly like him. Instead of laughing maniacally the way he always does, Iori simply looked disgusted.
- Met his idol Genjuro Kibagami, with whom he exchanged pleasantries:
Genjuro: "Vermin, die!" Iori: "Vermin, die!"
Finally, at the stroke of midnight, Iori met Takuma again. The Kyokugen Master had completely lost his mind and kept giving him invisible Kou'kens and kicks at lightning speed. Iori attempted to beat him up three times, but each time Takuma had a sliver of strength left, he unexpectedly rushes to Iori and does his Super Furious Fandango (The most violent version of this Hispanic dance), which pwns him every time.
Iori was lucky the fourth time, and after giving Takuma the 108 Maiden Rap, Takuma actually screamed for mercy and fell to the ground. Then the heavens opened up and showered Iori with holy light, which pulled him over to the realm of angels. He bumped into Athena, who looked shorter and whose outfit was skimpier than usual. Not wasting any time, she nagged Iori for causing a ruckus down below, and proceeded to punish him with her many outfit-based powers. Unknown to her, Iori learned to parry from watching Hugo get stiff seizures and timed his blocks right, enabling him to absorb her blows and give her a good backbreaking.
When the dust cleared, Athena's body dropped softly on the clouds, then God appeared before Iori and demanded an explanation for beating up his champion. Iori was in the moment that time, and tried to attack God, who grabbed him by the neck. Recognizing Iori immediately, he threw him back to his Ainu village before he got the chance to pull a Chuck Norris and beat him up.
Iori woke up from the impact-induced coma after four days (a new record) at the front of his village. The elder came by and told him that he has been away for a month. Still groggy, he ignored the elder and staggered to the village, as for the first time in his life, he didn't feel like giving Kyo what's coming to him.
edit Iori's Mad Skills
- Demon Scorcher 100 - Flaming uppercut similar to Kyo's, only better (Why else would it be called D.S.100?) It's only downside is sporting that sissy purple color.
- Exorcism - Iori's favorite move where he bowls purple fire at his opponents "to purify them of sin and demons" (At least, that's what he says). Still, as part of the Yagami Curse, Terry Bogard's wafers are much cooler.
- Blue Blossom - Causes Iori's opponents to blossom black and blue patches if they're close enough. His favorite sneak attack against his Ainu "friends".
- Winds Of Waste - Not associated with flatulence (Thank goodness), but is useful when Iori needs some space.
- Killer Comb - A move where Iori grabs his opponent by the back of the neck and forces him or her to kiss the floor. Then blows up his or her face either way. The name is based on how finely Iori combs any head hair for extra grip.
- Rage Of The 8 Maidens - His signature move where he trash talks his opponent while beating him up, then blows him away with a compressed litany consisting of the Miranda Rights, a verdict, a sentence, and an issue of execution. Followed by a spectacular explosion. Named after the time when Iori barged into a nunnery dressing room which was, hard to believe, the worst half hour of his life (Who knew nuns could do hit that hard?).
- Bloom Of The Wolf - If you get Iori mad enough, not only will he do the 8 Maiden Rap at you; he'll fling you up in the air and vomit (Yes VOMIT!!!) a geyser of fire and blood from which you'd only get third degree burns (if you're lucky...)
- Killer Comb Filleter - Originally this crazy move involved a potato peeler, a few cleavers and a meat grinder. Then Iori found that he can have the same results if he grabbed his opponent's face and spun around in a flurry of purple flames.
- Toast to The Eight - Aka the Infamous Magatama Shockwave, it's something he made up to top Terry's "power" moves cause frankly, no one can dodge this.
- Blood Rage - The only people who have witnessed this forbidden technique firsthand were Vice and Mature, away from a number of cameras and witnesses. The details of what happens when Iori does this died with those ladies, which was for the best.
- ???? - I don't know what this other forbidden technique is, or what Iori calls it. Heck, not even Orochi Iori knows, he just dishes it out. One lucky survivor though described a feeling of being jettisoned to outer space and probed by a thousand needles when Iori grabbed him.
The others things you need to know about Iori whenever you face him are as follows:
- The redhaired Yagami is good at sports. ALL sports. this means he's equally comfortable with clawing and/or kicking you.
- His idea of going easy on you is grabbing you violently with your face and pushing you away, like a bowling ball.
- His tone is blunt, and very effective. Plus unlike normal martial artists, Iori is one of the select few people who don't call out the names of their attacks for more power. He instead follows them with quips that show his contempt for you (That's gotta be something).
edit Why I should I care about him?
Jerkass with A Heart of Gold - Despite his menacing appearance, Iori is a pacifist. This means that he'd rather not kill people if a.) he knows he's better than them or b.) a simple statement like "get lost, you worthless git!" in his chilling deep voice is enough to send them crying home to mommy. The only fly in his ointment is Kyo Kusanagi and his clones. Mentioning him in Iori's face blurs his judgement and composure and drives him insane during which he dances like John Travolta in heat and pounces at you.
His Sense of Style - Iori is one of those guys who can don a lewd suit in a fight and still look cool. He also made having red hair cool and not dorky. Maybe that's the reason David Bowie stole his look.
Originality (Kinda) - At least he's not a white-haired half-breed bishounen freak who's loud and proud.
His Name - His name backwards is Imagay
edit Iori's Enemies
Hey, just because Iori seems to be ticked off with Kyo the most doesn't mean he's his only rival. It just so happens that the red haired kid has a life outside of King of Fighters.
- Socks, If you look closely enough, Iori does not wear socks