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King of Fighters '00
Storyline of King of Fighters 2000, The
A lone man enters the hallowed ground; silent monuments stand vigilant over the lonely field where there's no sign of another living soul.
"So another year has passed since I've visited here."
Every year at this time, Andy comes to visit the grave of his dead father.
The piercing sunlight, the carpet of green that covers one side of the grounds, the gravestones stood in careful order-in this landscape that seems to never change between each visit, something has changed this year.
"...So it looks like I'm all alone this year."
He walks on, resigned to the fact. His big brother should be at his side every year.
But for this entire year, Andy has been unable to discover anything about Terry's whereabouts.
As he mulls this over, Andy arrives in front of his father's gravestone.
"It's been too long, Father. I'm sad to say that this year Andy...."
He stops while trying to complete his sentence. In spite of his one year absence, the gravestone gives off a gleam as if it had just been polished moments ago.
And a single wreath decorates the foot of the gravestone. Surely someone has just been here.
"...Could it be...?"

What time does this make it...? I see the terrible mess as I return to my room. This has been going on for some time.
The beginning of this string of events began the day I received the job....
On that day a clinging sort of humidity infused my room.
An electronic noise shattered the stagnant air and echoed through my environs.
The source of this noise was my laptop computer that failed to function and preserved the silence of my room.
A few weeks later, I noticed something in my mailbox.
"It's been quite a while, huh?"
There was no way I could miss this. It was a single letter there, addressed to me, Mary Ryan.
No new jobs had come my way to a degree that I was beginning to enjoy it.
This job, though, comes as it had been exactly what I was waiting for....
"Just what is this all about...?"
It was an investigation that was carefully spelled out to the last detail. And among the many instructions, one involved me going deep undercover.
The subject of my investigations: the King of Fighters....
"...Considering how long its been, this is way to big for me alone to chew on...."
This was material sufficient enough for my gut to tell me something.
"Well, it looks like I'll need to make a few preparations first."
And the first thing I decided to do was set about investigating my new client.
I thought something was a little fishy, but if I played the course of events out through the King of Fighters, I felt I just might run into a certain someone.
The person I'm searching for now...
But at this point in time, I was not really thinking that something would actually happen to me....

It was obvious that someone was observing me.
But this was no simple surveillance. Even for a specialist at investigation like me, the surveillance on me was so perfect I could find no traces of it.
Since this was my profession, I've learned a few tricks, but this was the first time I had been completely neutralized.
Seeing how things had been escalating recently probably explains why I've been on pins and needles recently.
"There's more to this job than meets the eye. This is probably a warning that I should keep focused, keep silent, and finish my work.... If I don't put all my effort into this, I may end up getting more than burned."
It was then I decided what to do.
"If this's how it's going to be, then I'll have to play the consummate professional myself."
I took my well-worn helmet in hand and left my apartment.
"It's getting a little tough to look for him at the same time...."
I mounted my bike as I always do and kicked the engine on.

"So what does it mean, Andy? You're telling me that Terry is in town now, are you?!"
"It's a strong possibility. Even Mary's having trouble finding any clues, so I was wondering what I would do for a moment there."
"Hmm, I guess my presence, my aura, is what beckoned Terry here."
"...Yeah, yeah, I got it, Joe.... More important than that, I should tell Mary about this incident. Joe, why don't you keep looking for Terry...What the...?
BA-BOOM! ...The sound of an explosion abruptly cuts Andy off.
"What was that?"
Joe rises to his feet next to the surprised Andy.
"...I hear...I hear someone calling my name!"
At the same time, Joe runs away.
"H-Hey, wait up, Joe! ...For the sake of the Shiranui, just what did that clown come here for? That bozo...."
Andy heads toward the direction of the explosion, in pursuit of Joe.

I knew I felt someone was watching me. Even if it's meant to be a joke, I couldn't say it was friendly one.
Something I felt at that time kept me from moving....
And I'm now in pursuit of the man who I felt watching me.
The wave of people between me and the man became gradually stronger. And as I felt that, the figure of the man vanished.
"Tsh, come on. Don't lose the guy now...."
The figure disappeared from my sight in the flash of an eye.
"...Just how much do you know, Terry Bogard?"
The voice didn't even give me time to look around; I heard it come from behind, out of nowhere.
I couldn't process what had happened. While I barely saw the guy, I remained still.
"All you have to do is stay cool, Mary Ryan...."
Mary? That name echoed in my head as I was overcome with anxiety. Then it happened,
The sound of an explosion reverberated from somewhere not so far from where I was standing.
While the people around me were still shaken by the sound, that man and me clearly gave off a different aura than those around us.
At that time during that tense standoff I could not help being able to notice a slight opening.

"He's pretty serious, it seems."
I didn't think someone had fiddled with the breaks to the motorcycle. Someone emerged from the crowd that seemed to surround me.
"What? Mary, is it?"
"What? Mary?"
"Joe, and Andy, too!"
Of all the things to happen, the timing of this event couldn't have been worse....
"Hmm, looks like I wasn't wrong about the voice that called me."
"...Oh, baloney. What a crock! By the way, I was just about to contact you. Who'd've thought it would have played out like this?"
"Uh, yeah...So just what do you have to tell me? That you found something out about Terry, perhaps?"
As a matter of fact, I couldn't tell them everything I found out then. Since I was caught up in other pursuits, I had to make sure these two concentrated on finding Terry. But I couldn't very well ask them directly to help me out when I had found Terry....
"Yeah, yeah. That's it! Terry just may be in town!"
"No way!"
At that instant, we heard the sound of something falling behind us. There was also another simultaneous noise in our vicinity.
We looked back to see an unconscious man on the ground and a familiar face.
"Fancy meeting you guys here."

Judging from Terry's story, that man was without doubt the very one who had sabotaged my motorcycle.
And as the situation was explained to me, I realized I could no longer ignore the circumstances of my job and the things that were going on around me.
"Terry, just what have you been up to all this time?! Since you didn't call us we were all worried sick!"
"Yeah, I'm sorry about that.... More importantly, just who is this clown, Mary?!"
Terry pulled down his cap hard over his eyes as he asked me this.
"...I don't think you'd be satisfied if I told you that he's no one important."
I couldn't deceive them any longer. I told the three all about the things I had been dealing with.
"Shouldn't you just ignore it and move on?"
"I can't do that either. If they're willing to go to these lengths, what do you think they'll do if I just blow them off?"
"If you keep doing that, Mary, you'll be nothing more than their servant."
Yes, Joe was right. But if my client had done all these things so far, this job was sure to be even more trouble than I had imagined.
At that moment, Terry interjected suddenly.
"OK, I got it! This year all four of us are entering together!"
"H-Hey, it's that simple, is it? I just told you, didn't I? Even if I do my job, there's no guarantee that we'll be in the clear. Not only that, this is my job. If you're doing this out of sympathy, I don't need your help."
"Do you think we'd risk our lives out of sympathy?! It's not that cut and dry...No, sirree..."
It was a while since I saw Terry angry. More than being surprised at his anger, the last thing he said is what really stuck with me.
"No, sirree...?"
"...That's what I said...."
I felt that he had something more to say to me.... But Joe blabbered on, ignoring what had just transpired.
"Well, it would be a waste not to enter the tournament, wouldn't it? And we can't do that alone, can we?"
"Th-That's for sure...but is it really OK with you? There'll be no turning back, you know?"
"Of course I know that! But if we enter, we enter to win, so don't hold us back!"
Again it was Terry's words to me that stuck with me, but, to be quite honest, I was grateful for their cooperation.
Whatever the case may have been, I knew this was one job that I wouldn't be able to do on my own....
I knew I had to change my attitude.
"Leave it to me. If I join up with you, you're sure to have a lot more firepower.... By the way, if I join up with you guys, what about Andy?"
"What? Oh, no, not again...Mai...."
We all fell silent. Finally Terry, his cap tight around his eyes, placed a hand on Andy's shoulders and silently nodded his head.
Joe was his usual self.
"Ah, what the hey? I'll explain things so Mai will understand. Don't you worry your pretty blond head, Andy-poo."
"...No way, you'll do nothing of the kind... You'll just make things worse...."
"I'm sorry, Andy."
"Oh, what am I going to do...."
I saw this coming.... Mai is always the one to blow her top when others enter the picture.
"No, when stuff like this happens, Andy's the one to suffer most. You'll be looking into the maw of hell itself this time, won't you?"
That's a bit of an exaggeration, Joe. A very little bit, though, I believe.

Since 2006
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