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King of Fighters '97
Storyline of King of Fighters '97, The
A press conference with Chizuru Kagura about this year's KOF tournament is currently playing on the TV in "Illusion," King's bar in England.

CHIZURU: "...I know this has already been mentioned in the various media, but once again I'd like to take this opportunity to announce the beginning of the King of Fighters '97."
REPORTER 1: "What exactly is the scale of this year's tournament?"
CHIZURU: "We plan a larger scale than last year for this year's tournament."
REPORTER 2: "As the scale of the tournament gets bigger, I think it will be more difficult to handle any occurrences like those of last year, so what comment do you have about that?"
CHIZURU: "We've strengthened security far above that of the previous tournament and are doing our utmost to provide everyone with a safe tournament."
REPORTER 3: "Didn't you fight at the end of KOF '96? According to the rumors, you plan to enter this year's competition as well. Care to comment on that?"
CHIZURU: "As far as that goes, I can't say that the particulars regarding my team have been decided, but, yes, I will most certainly be entering this year's tournament."
Click, click. Mumble, mumble. Flash, flash.
REPORTER 4: "What's the reason for your entering the competition?"
CHIZURU: "I am, after all, a fighter, and I want to see just how I stack up."
REPORTER 5: "You said things haven't been decided, but just who do you plan to team up with?"
CHIZURU: "Let's just say that for the time being I can't give any names, but I'm going to be negotiating with fighters with whom you are all quite familiar."

KING: "Hmm, so Kagura will be entering, too...Doesn't matter to me, though..."
King watches the press conference broadcast from behind the counter. Just then, Sally the waitress comes toward King, holding something in her hand.
SALLY: "King, you have a letter. Here it is."
KING: "Th-thanks."
The air-mail letter is addressed to King, and Mai Shiranui's name is written in the return address space.
KING: (From Mai? What could this be?)
King takes a quick peek at the contents.
KING: (An airplane ticket?)
Inside the envelope there is a letter and an airplane ticket for Japan. The contents of the letter read: "I have to talk to you about this year's KOF. See you in Japan."
KING: (...This is weird. Ah, well, I guess I'll go since I have something to discuss with Mai as well.)

A few days later, King is in Japan. Relying on the map that was enclosed in the letter, King sees that Mai has already arrived at a modest coffee shop and sits at a seat by the window.
MAI: "King, it's been ages."
KING: "It has been a while, hasn't it?"
MAI: "So, have you got the shop covered?"
KING: "Yeah, I left everything to Sally and Elizabeth."
MAI: "Those twin waitresses of yours. Is that so? Well, I'll just jump keep you up to speed about the King of Fighters, then. It looks like I not going to be finding a third member."
KING: "What about Kasumi?"
MAI: "I tried to contact Kasumi, but she said she's still looking for her father so she took off after him."
KING: "...Ah-hah...Is that so?"
MAI: "And Yuri has to team up with her brother, it seems. I tried a number of other possibilities, but they came up empty too."
KING: "Is that so?"
MAI: "So, it looks like this time, I think I'll give up entering."
KING: "That doesn't sound like you. You're always so gung-ho about gathering up teammates and now you just give up?"
MAI: "I'd like to enter, but it doesn't look like we'll be able to find a third member. And Andy'll probably enter as one of the three stooges again, so maybe I'll just go cheer him on."

KING: "Great, then it all works out. I was thinking of sitting this KOF out too."
MAI: "Oh, really?"
KING: "As a matter of fact, I had planned to take the summer off and travel with Jan. Since Jan was, you know, up till now, I haven't been able to take him anywhere. And since I entered last year, my bar got famous and I've just been so busy, so, since Jan has gotten better, and we haven't spent any time together..."
MAI: "I see.... Jan must be excited."
KING: "Well, no, I haven't told him yet¼Óit's still just in the planning stages."
MAI: "Ah, I see. But if you've decided so quickly, wouldn't it have been faster to call me?"
KING: "I suppose. But you went to all the trouble of getting me a ticket."
MAI: "Huh? A ticket? What're you talking about?"
KING: "Yeah, it was in your letter."
MAI: "Letter? But I got a letter from you...."
KING: "Impossible, I didn't send you any letter...."
WOMAN: "I called you two here."
MAI, KING: "?!"
Mai and King turn in the direction of the voice to find the woman who appeared at the press conference on TV a few days ago standing there.
WOMAN: "It's been a while, hasn't it King and Mai?"
KING: "You're...Chizuru all makes sense now. I had a feeling."
King shows the letter addressed to her to Mai.
MAI: "This is it...?"
KING: "That's the letter that came with the airplane ticket. I thought something was queer about it...I'm sure you got a letter similar to this one, right?"
MAI: "Yeah. I thought it was pretty bizarre too."
CHIZURU: "Forgive me. I thought that if I didn't resort to such a ruse, you two would never have come."
MAI: "Well, the last KOF was no picnic, I'll give you that."
KING: "It's doubtful that I would have come without your name written on the envelope. I'm in no mood to get caught up in some freaky blood feud. But since we're all buddy-buddy now...This must be what you were talking about at the press conference."
MAI: "Ah, the story about her team, yeah!"
CHIZURU: "Yes. I was counting on the power that you showed me in the previous tournament and hope you'll enter with me this year."
MAI: "'s all right with me. How about you, King?"
King takes a moment to think it over and formulate an answer.
KING: "...Can't you try someone else? I would have liked to have entered with you, but this year I'd like to devote my time to Jan and give him something special to remember."
MAI: "...Well, if King won't enter, I think I'll pass, too."
KING: "Mai..."
CHIZURU: "Very well.... I guess I'll have to cancel the four sets of tickets I prepared for each venue..."
KING: "Four sets of tickets?"
CHIZURU: "Yeah, an extra set for your brother."
KING: "Tickets for Jan?"
MAI: "Ah, I see. That means you can enter the tournament and Jan can join you, too."
KING: " you think he'd enjoy traveling around for KOF?"
MAI: "Are you kidding? Didn't he tell you how proud he was to see you fight? If that's the case then he should really be glad to actually see you in action."
CHIZURU: "How about it? Will you do me the honor?"
KING: "..."
MAI: "King...."
KING: "...OK...I'm in. I'll enter. But in return we'll have to do our best to win our matches and go on to all of the venues to show Jan around the world. If we don't, it won't be worth it."
MAI: "Leave it to me. We're in this to win."
KING: "OK.... Well, then, Chizuru, it looks like I'm in."
MAI: "It'll be my pleasure to enter with you."
CHIZURU: "No, the pleasure will be all mine."

Since 2006
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