Released in October 2001.
A hack of this game is known as "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon 2003
About Ron : the planners at the time enthusiastically came up with the idea of the Flying Brigands, the idea being to add a thrilling side story to KOF. Ron became the chief of this bunch. His first appearance came in the ending sequence for Benimaru's Team in KOF 2000. This ending sequence got first-rate reviews for its content and presentation, becoming one of the most popular episodes in the history of KOF. From KOF 2000 on, the background story became more complex on various levels, but subsequently SNK had a few problems (sniff, sniff) causing Ron's creators (the planners at the time) to go their different ways... Whenever the current staff who continue to work on KOF run into the original staff on the train to work, they are sure to grill them about Ron's background (thanks for your cooperation, by the way!). As a result of all this, he made a grand entrance as the boss characters' Striker in KOF 2001. The numerous characters who were involved with him, too, continue their exploits in the world of KOF even now. Ron is a character who uses the tricky actions from Chinese boxing and he continues work on reaching his ghoulish objective to be able to manipulate the dead. Just when he'll be able to appear as a player character is a mystery even to us...
About May Lee : one reason of existence for May came from a consideration of the needs of our Korean fans. In addition to that, Eolith, a sponsor at the time, expressed their desire for a character like a 'Korean Athena'. This request asked for an 'idol-like visual fighter', or something along that line, and designers recall that it really threw us for a loop. Through trial and error, designers arrived at a character that was a long way from the original concept, but with this process May Lee, the perky tae kwon do fighter for justice, was born. Designers got her name from the person who was in charge of Eolith (Eolith Co., Ltd.) at the time.
About Foxy : Rumor has it that a lot of fans think Foxy died in KOF 2001, but she's alive and well (LAUGH). Initially there were no plans for her to become a player character, but her presence was needed as the story developed and she got the go-ahead. Originally Foxy was to be a character spun off from Diana, but it seems the plan just didn't work. In the end there just wasn't enough time; the graphics were worked out with great effort, but she got the boot as a result of time constraints.
About K9999 : K9999 is Eolith's homage to Tetsuo from Akira. His voice actor also did Tetsuo. For various reasons K9999 is a scary character to deal with. Of course he's based on 'you know who' and has, well, similarities that we're happy a certain 'you know who' didn't object to. If you count the similarities between 'you know who' and the other 'you know who', you'd be counting from now to St. Swithun's Day. K9999 boasts a big following of fans in Korea and Japan, but no other character has such obstacles against him appearing in KOF again.
About Angel : Angel was realized through the overwhelming passion of her designer (LAUGH). You could say that there was just no stopping him. You can see his preferences in almost every aspect of her. She's a real rascal who has a lot of special moves like the 'Unchained Circle' and is one tough customer to deal with. Designers splurged on the voice for Angel in KOF 2001 and hired Mina Tominaga, a famous Japanese voice actress. Angel's designer was quite pleased with that...
About Zero (The Original) : the supervising designer was dissatisfied with KOF 2000's Zero so he struggled with his disappointment and completed this character. Must have been that little mustache (LAUGH). And the character of Glaugan (King Lion) at his side also got nixed and wasn't used in KOF 2000 either. Talk about not getting your way! Along with polishing Zero, he was tortured with mission to realize his first boss character after leaving SNK that surpassed Krizalid's presence and strength.
About Igniz : since all designer's sponsor had to say to us-about 100 times-about Igniz was "make him hot", "make him hot", and "make him hot", Designers made him, well, a real stud. The standards for handsome characters in fighting games for Asian fans are exacting; and there is a tendency for people here to shy away from ugly and comic characters. Designer think he serves so well as a foil, the lead character comes off all the better.
Yuri's battle start pose is a knock-off of Felicia's battle start pose in "Vampire Savior - The Lord Of Vampire". Besides this, Yuri has the special attack of Gouki, the one that grabs your opponent and then the screen turns black as he gives you 30 hits in 3 seconds. This move is called the 'Yuri Chou Enbu' (means 'Yuri Super Flame Dance'). The move can only be made with the special gauge at max (with at least 1 striker - The sequence is : A, A Forward, B, C). Yuri will get Gouki's 'Messatsu' pose if you finish your opponent with it. It's a parody of Gouki's super finish splash screen (the one with the kanji 'ten' on it when he finishes his opponent with the Shun Goku Satsu).
Athena, in one of her win poses, dances about and says 'Yattai!' in a very familiar way... She's parodying Chun-Li!
The little kid that appears in Terry Bogard's win poses is none other than a young Rock Howard from "Garou - Mark of The Wolves
". Since Garou takes place in 2008, Rock is still a young kid in training during this game.
Leona, Ralph and Clark are playable characters in the Foma 90x Series Mobile Phones game 'Metal Slug Survivors'.
[JP] Dec. 19, 2001; The King of Fighters 2001 - Original Sound Trax [SCDC-00143]