Released on July 22, 1999 in Japan.
The Fatal Fury Team music theme is a remixed version of Terry's theme in "Fatal Fury Wild Ambition
About K' (K Dash) : K' initially sported a slicked back hairstyle, but this was nixed by the powers that be and that's how the 'hairdo' for the hero of the NESTS Chronicles got changed. The reason for his hair being bushier than need be may be a reflection of the conditions around him. "Garou - Mark of the Wolves
" was being developed concomitantly with KOF '99, so the staff learned that MOW's main character (Rock) looked like K' (causing the supervising designer to lose a few pounds from panic).
About Maxima : With the growing influence of teenagers, it seems the concept for Maxima evolved from a desire to introduce a sober and reliable middle-age character (sad state of affairs though when a twenty-something male is referred to as 'middle-aged'). The designers were initially supposed to design a character that used body slams, but the finished character became a fist-fighter. Strange how things happen, isn't it? Maxima was originally modified by the male scientist Dr. Makishima, but in a serialized KOF comic that came out in Hong Kong, he, for some reason, became a 'beautiful woman doctor'. This comic is hard to get your hands on in other parts of the world, but check it out if you have the opportunity.
About Whip : The plan was to introduce this character in KOF '96, but since Leona was already a part of the Ikari Team she began her series of appearances in KOF '99. Since Leona exposes comparatively more skin, Whip sports less revealing but body-hugging fashions that leave a little more to the imagination. The number of dots used on Whip's whip were reduced to express a feeling of speed and power - a daring method of expression. The supervising designer was sweating bullets over this when the design was checked (he feared he'd be accused of slacking off), but in the end the concept was approved without incident. The designers hoped that she would be accepted as an independent, whip-brandishing character rather than just another member of the Ikari Team.
About Pao : Due to circumstances regarding the game structure, a new character had to be added to the Psycho Soldier Team, and various ideas for this additional character were formulated. Some of these included: 'a younger idol from Athena's agency'; 'a love rival pitted against Kensou', 'a mighty male character with a scary appearance but a heart of gold and a love of nature', 'an old woman who looks after Chin Gentsai', and many others. With the appearance of Pao, the average age of the Psycho Soldier Team dropped dramatically...or was supposed to, but things didn't actually change that much (it dropped from 42 to 34 years old).
About Li Xiangfei : When development began for KOF '99, the designers grappled over which character from Real Bout 2 to choose, Rick Stroud or Li Xiang Fei. Giving the reasons that a cute female character and a Chinese boxer was desired, they unanimously selected Li Xiang Fei. Needless to say, the designers who came to this decision were all men. Typical! With the actual execution of this, however, the designers struggled to bring the character into the KOF world without ruining her image created in the Fatal Fury series. As you all know Li's move names in the Japanese version are all derived from place names in Osaka, so the designers enjoyed the work of coming up with names following this rule when new moves were added. Moves like Eiki Shuho (Vanguard Blast, in English) and Daikoku-cho (Big and Ugly Ultimatum) give her twice the appeal for local fans...
About Jhun Hoon : The savior of Chang Koehan and Choi Bounge, an evil fighter who's Kim's alter-ego, a fellow disciple who looks like Kim - these were some of the concepts for Jhun, but as you can gather from the current character he's way different from what was planned. And since he's not an evil character, this naturally meant Chang and Choi would not be saved from their predicament; so, sadly, they continue to walk the slow and steady path to redemption that they've been walking these long 10 years. Jhun is also the first character in KOF history to adopt the concept of the 'pose'. Coming up and creating this kind of move really put the designers to the test.
About Kyo Kusanagi-1 : Actually Kyo Kusanagi-1 and Kyo Kusanagi-2 were not scheduled to appear in KOF '99 at the time. Nor were Kyo or Iori Yagami supposed to either. Designers initially decided to leave them out because of the new storyline and wanted to focus more attention on the new character of K'. But for various reasons, designers came to the conclusion that designer couldn't leave these popular characters in limbo, so they got a reprieve (and a new wardrobe, too). Designers also felt the old Kyo dressed in his school uniform was necessary and hurried to include him in the game (See Kyo Kusanagi-2 for more details).
About Kyo Kusanagi-2 : Production was reaching its climax when the idea for including various Kyos was hit upon... While the staff kvetched - "Should the design for Kyo in a student's uniform come from KOF '94 or KOF '95?"; "We don't have time to think this over!" - the project head said : "Make two designs". The staff objected timidly : "Are you nuts? We don't have time for that!". So the project planner remarked, "OK, then. I'll design them". Having hung up his character-designing clothes years ago, the head planner whipped up designs Kyo Kusanagi-1 and Kyo Kusanagi-2 in no time. Naturally, designers were blown away by his mastery and speed rivaling that of a street-performing sketch artist.
Leona, Ralph and Clark are playable characters in the Foma 90x Series Mobile Phones game 'Metal Slug Survivors'.
[JP] Aug. 18, 1999; The King of Fighters '99 [PCCB-00387] - Pony Canyon
[JP] Sep. 17, 1999; The King of Fighters '99 [Arrange Sound Trax] [PCCB-00393] - Pony Canyon
[JP] Oct. 06, 1999; The King of Fighters '99 [Drama CD] [PCCB-00394] - Pony Canyon