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Interview: Picking and Preparing KOF XV Characters

Interview: Picking and Preparing KOF XV Characters Roster

With KOF XV, SNK put together an entry with a massive roster of characters. Some people returned from the dead. We’re seeing fighters we might not have expected to see again. There’s a lot going on. To learn more about the roster choices and preparing the cast, Siliconera spoke with Creative Director Eisuke Ogura about putting this entry together.

Jenni Lada: How did you determine which characters would and wouldn’t return for the KOF XV roster? 

Eisuke Ogura: We first decided on having all the heroes (and their rivals) from each saga join the fight, including their position in the story. For other characters, we sat down and thought about who we could use to fill up other teams.

B Jenet

Some characters like Garou: Mark of the Wolf members Rock Howard and B. Jenet, ended up as DLC. How did you determine who would show up as paid add-ons, rather than be part of the main KOF XV roster?

Ogura: In the beginning stages of development, we actually had plans to sell Team Orochi and Team Ash as DLC teams, but when we thought about it, it just didn’t seem right, so we added them to the initial roster. But I mean, if you’re making a team for DLC, it has to be something good, right? So, there we decided that Team Garou would be DLC.

So far, Terry and Leona are the two KOF XV characters with custom costumes. What went into making them? Can we expect them for more characters?

Ogura: Like with KOF XIV, we had classic costumes for Kyo and Iori. Now for KOF XV, we want to do the same, but it’s difficult to choose who gets the costumes. For Terry, his costume actually cost us quite a bit of development hours on account we had to completely re-do the animations where he touches his hair. But I think it was worth it since so many people seem to be pleased with it. Leona is also really popular, so I think people also like her new costume, too. I can’t talk about the future too much, but I hope we can continue to provide costumes in some form moving forward.

Interview: Picking and Preparing KOF XV Characters Roster

Dolores and Isla are both new to the KOF series. What led to their development? How much did Shun’ei influence Isla? 

Ogura: We wanted to give some development time to popular characters returning to KOF, so we reduced the amount of newcomers this time. Isla acts like a rival to Shun’ei, and you can see it clearly in her design. She’s very fashionable, and her gas mask contrasts against Shun’ei’s headphones. Plus, she also has similar “phantom hand” powers. Dolores plays a pivotal role in the story as someone who provides exposition. In order to give her a bigger role in the story, we gave her a connection to a character named Kukri.

Krohnen caused quite a stir upon his reveal. What led to his return? How was he picked?

Ogura: I’ve had this thought in my head for many years now that if I were to make my own KOF, I’d find a way to get him in. Finally, for KOF XV, I was allowed control over the roster, so I was able to push my idea forward.

Interview: Picking and Preparing KOF XV Characters Roster

When designing Krohnen’s look, what sorts of design choices guided his appearance for this entry?

Ogura: My first goal was to make sure it wasn’t apparent that it was him at first glance. Though, I don’t think I did a good job here, haha. I wanted a throwback to his original design, and so I kept his glove but made sure that it’s heavily worn down and in need of repair in the story. (K’ and Kula’s gloves were renewed in KOF XIV.) There’s also the color scheme that I feel compliments him, and also, we decided to give him a bike because that also felt like a nice fit.

When creating KOF XV teams, how did you determine which characters would work together? Is there any team you wanted to make, but couldn’t get together or didn’t work? Were any of the existing teams almost very different?

Ogura: There were a couple characters that I wanted to add but couldn’t. First, I wanted to make sure the roster, and by extension team leaders, we had at the end gave off a real SNK all-star cast. So, I had to really think about the composition for each team. The outline for the teams in the roster were decided on at the very beginning, and so because of constraints, there were characters that couldn’t make the cut. It’s a bummer.

SNK King of the Monsters

KOF XV is basically turning into an “everybody’s here” sort of game. Are there any SNK franchises with characters you’d like to bring into KOF XV? Who would be on your dream crossover team?

Ogura: Characters from Mutation Nation or Robot Army, or heck even the creatures and robots from King of the Monsters would have been fun to create in KOF XV. But there are a ton of other popular characters and titles they’d have to contend with, so I don’t think it’d be likely, heh.

The King of Fighters XV is available for the PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC.

Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.