The TW Network
Fatal Fury Fighters
Fighter ID:
Best sport
February 4, 1973
Blood Type
Fighting Style(s)
Commando Sambo
Full Name
Mary Ryan
Hair Color
168 cm
88 54 85 cm
Blue Mary
49 kg
Personal Treasure(s)
Her leather jacket
Motorcycle touring
Favorite Food(s)
Rice topped with beef and broth

Fatal Fury 3 / Garou Densetsu 3 (JPN)
Neo Geo
Real Bout Fatal Fury / Real Bout Garou Densetsu (JPN)
Neo Geo
Real Bout Fatal Fury Special / Real Bout Garou Densetsu Special (JPN)
Neo Geo
Available in EX mode with code
King of Fighters '97, The
Neo Geo
'97 Special Team
Real Bout Fatal Fury 2 / Real Bout Garou Densetsu 2 (JPN)
Neo Geo
Real Bout Fatal Fury Special: Dominated Mind
King of Fighters '98, The
Neo Geo
'97 Special Team
King of Fighters '99, The
Neo Geo
Women's Team
King of Fighters 2000, The
Neo Geo
Member of Fatal Fury Team
King of Fighters 2001, The
Neo Geo
King of Fighters 2002, The
Neo Geo
'97 Team
King of Fighters 2003, The
Neo Geo
King of Fighters Neowave, The
KOF Maximum Impact: Regulation A
King of Fighters '98, The: Ultimate Match
King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match, The
Playstation 2
Member of the '97 Special Team.
King of Fighters '97 OL, The
King of Fighters 11, The / The King of Fighters XI
King of Fighters 14, The / The King of Fighters XIV
King of Fighters 15, The / The King of Fighters XV

King of Fighters 15, The
Joint Crusher
She currently works as a freelance special agent.
Born from a long line of famous fighters, Blue Mary excels in all fighting styles, and more particularly, in Sambo Commando, a martial art that uses striking and grappling techniques. Blue Mary has a strong bond with Terry Bogard.
King of Fighters II
King of Fighters '97
Geese Tower, the only building that commands a full view of Southtown. Geese regards the immutable view of the city, sunken deep down into his chair. A knock comes at the door.
GEESE: "Enter."
BILLY: "Excuse me, sir."
As if in synch with the pace of the approaching Billy, Geese slowly turns his back to his guest.
BILLY: "How may I serve you today?"
Geese produces an envelope that appears to contain an invitation from a desk drawer and passes it to Billy.
GEESE: "Read it."
Billy takes the envelope and opens it.
BILLY: "Hmm. So it's on again this year, is it? The King of Fighters."
GEESE: "Yup. In spite of last year's incident, it seems to have succeeded commercially. And this year you know the corporations will want a piece of this pie."
BILLY: "Do you plan to enter?"
GEESE: "I think I'll sit it out this time. I don't have time for such trivialities."
BILLY: "And so I..."
GEESE: "You're a quick study. Did you expect me to ask you to go bowling? But I jest. You're going to enter the event. Another entrant has caught my attention...."
BILLY: "And you want me to check him out. Sounds like a plan. So, who is it...? Must be Terry Bogard, right?"
GEESE: "Nope. Iori Yagami. Or, to be more precise, I should say the power that he possesses."
An odious memory comes to mind. Billy just barely manages to suppress his rage.
BILLY: "Iori...Yagami! ...But the power he commands is that of the Orochi, and a pale imitation of it at that.... Why do you want me to watch him now...? I thought your curiosity in the power of the Orochi had been sated, no?"
GEESE: "It may very well be that the power he commands is but an epigone of the Orochi; however, the rage he displayed in the last tournament is something I've never seen in the Orochi, something that may exceed its power. He's a true descendant of the Orochi.... Yagami may be something quite formidable."
BILLY: "Because of his mixed blood...? I see. Then if that's the case.... But as you know he and I aren't exactly drinking buddies. Did you think of that when you decided to enter me? I just may be liable to...annihilate him."
GEESE: "Suit yourself.... If he dies, he dies."
BILLY: "Very well, sir. That's that, then. By the way, who's on my team?"
Geese's grins menacingly and stares at Billy.
GEESE: "One of your teammates is Ryuji Yamazaki. The other, one Blue Mary."

BILLY: "Yamazaki and Blue Mary? There's a surprise...."
GEESE: "Yamazaki intrigues me, too.... But you won't need to bother with him. That's Blue Mary job, thanks to me arranging an investigation through one of my dummy corporations. Focusing on Yagami is all you need to think about."
BILLY: "Just what's so intriguing about this Yamazaki clown?"
GEESE: "Hmph, you'll know it when see it. If you see it.... I know where he's hanging out. Before you leave, check your hopper."
BILLY: "I understand. Well, then, I guess I'd better get crackin'...."
Billy exits the room. Geese gets up from his seat and stares out the window again.
GEESE: "This year's KOF looks like it'll be more interesting than I had thought."

In the gym. Men dressed in the gym's uniform surround a mysterious figure. A little ways away, Billy stands at a place that affords a full view of the gym.
BILLY: "It looks like it's begun."
Without uttering a word, the uniformed men lunge at the cornered man.
BILLY: "It's no good. With that timing, they'll be putty in his hands...."
The lunging men are abruptly blown every which way.
BILLY: "...The "Serpent Slash" move."
Next barrage of bursts reverberate through the gym. One man after another is blown back every which way.
The "wall" of men vanishes in an instant; a lone figure appears in the center of the gym.
BILLY: "Ryuji Yamazaki.... Just what does Geese find so interesting with him, anyway...?"
Billy's mind races as he scrutinizes the scene. A lone man, apparently grazed by the outburst, pounces at Yamazaki out of nowhere. Yamazaki appears unfazed.
MAN: "You nub! You're going to regret that...! Ah!"
Yamazaki grins. In the blink of an eye, a dagger pierces the attacker's belly. Billy looks on calmly.
BILLY: "This guy's no more than a vicious little punk."
MAN: "You...sneaky...bastard...."
Yamazaki's grin grows larger.
YAMAZAKI: "Sneaky? Hey, it's just a game, isn't it? Who made it serious...?"
He twists the dagger to open the wound further. The man screams out in agony. Yamazaki intones in a low voice:
YAMAZAKI: "...Bada bing, baby."
The man crumples to the floor. Yamazaki sheaths his dagger in disgust. Billy, meanwhile, stealthily enters the gym. Yamazaki takes notice of his presence.
YAMAZAKI: "...! Huh, one of Geese's lapdogs, is it? What do you want with me?"
BILLY: "That was quite a little hissy fit you threw there. Such high jinks in a place like this must mean you have more free time than you can manage."
YAMAZAKI: "I don't know what you mean. What? Do you care to share their fate?"
BILLY: "Hah! That's rich. Me lose to you, eh? Impossible. I'd even bet on it!"
YAMAZAKI: "Why you. Come to pick a fight with me, have you? Eh?!"
BILLY: "Just hear me out. I didn't come here to fight. I have a proposition for you."
YAMAZAKI: "A proposition? What do you got in mind?"
BILLY: "The King of Fighters will be beginning soon. We're going to enter it and win. That's my proposition."
YAMAZAKI: "The King of Fighters? Hmph, that fighting dilletante's ball? I'm not interested. Go get some other sucker...!?"
Suddenly something seizes Yamazaki's feet. He looks down to see the man he'd just carved a new navel for holding on to him. A grin even more vicious than before appears on Yamazaki's face.
YAMAZAKI: "Hoo, hoo, hoo. You're quite a little trooper!"
In an instant, a fountain of blood shoots up. Yamazaki lets out a scream that could be interpreted as madness or a cry for help.
BILLY: "What was that? That was something well beyond his previous homicidal rage...!"
Geese's words pop into Billy's head.
GEESE: "You'll know when you see it. If you see it...."
BILLY: "So that's it...that's what he meant."
YAMAZAKI: "How much...?"
Yamazaki's voice yanks him back to reality.
BILLY: "What's that?"
YAMAZAKI: "I'm asking you how much you're going to pay me. I've changed my mind.... I'm entering. The King of Fighters, that is!"
BILLY: "Double the prize money for the tournament."
YAMAZAKI: "Don't forget your promise...."
Yamazaki leaves the gym alone. Shortly after that, a woman's voice calls from behind.
MARY: "It looks like the plot thickens. Mind if I put my two cents in?"
BILLY: "You? What are you up to?"
MARY: "Nothing special.... I've put out my nets, and I thought this would be a good way to kill some time."
BILLY: "Would we happen to be caught in one of your little nets?"
MARY: "You got it."
BILLY: "...Hmm. Well, whatever. It looks like all our team is here. Do as you like."
Billy exits the gym. As he passes by Mary, she calls to him again.
MARY: "Thanks. I just may do that."
As Billy leaves the gym, a car draws up along side him. Without hesitation, he climbs into the car and shuts his eyes as if to ward off any followers.
BILLY: "All the players are on stage. I'm a little psyched about my little mission. I'm coming for you, Iori Yagami. And you're going down this time for sure!"
The gym. Mary looks over the pile of bodies.
MARY: "It looks like I've established contact with my target. But there's something fishy about this job. It looks like Yamazaki isn't the only one I'll have to investigate. I better find out just exactly whom I'm working for."
King of Fighters '99
An early afternoon in Southtown.

The city dwellers have had it with this year's sweltering heat.
With the heat bouncing off the asphalt, there's one shop that people rushing to get out of inferno naturally stop.
The name of that establishment is "Bar-Illusion."
It's a shop with a refreshing and relaxed atmosphere.

Cling, cling rings the bell at the entryway and a lone woman enters the bar.
"Welcome. Oh?! Why if it isn't Mary?!"
The bartender who receives her seems to be an acquaintance.

"Have you come here on another investigation? Nose to the grindstone, eh...?

"The bartender's name is King.
She's the well-known woman fighter who's so famous in Southtown that everyone knows her name.

"Yeah, I guess. It's my job, you know?"
Mary mutters this as she takes a seat at the counter.
"Well, yeah, I suppose. So, how's tricks?"
"Ah, the usual end of the world stuffÑregional conflicts, refugees, famine."
"Yeah, there's not a lot of happy news these days, is there? So, do you have any business with me? You're not the type of person who'd come here on a social call now, are you?"

"A most acute observation. Take a gander at this."

Mary flips her laptop computer open.
"Well, take a look at this."
"What is that?!"
King seems surprised when she sees the message.
Displayed on the screen is an invitation to this year's King of Fighters tournament.
"I knew there'd be another competition this year, but in spite of that there doesn't seem to be any advertisements for it...."
"Yeah, that does seem fishy, doesn't it...And the invitations have been individually sent in all types of formats...."
"And that's what's fishy, is it...?"
"So, you've probably got one then, haven't you?"
"What? Are you telling me to enter with you?"
"What are you talking about? You've got this invitation, haven't you?"
"Whoa, you are quite the investigator, aren't you? You never change...."
"So, are you going to enter?"

"Well, I guess I could. But we can't get enough members this year, can we? It says we'll need four fighters on a team. This time around Mai's teaming up with Andy. And I'm sure Chizuru won't be entering...."
"You don't need to worry about that: I've got some other teammates in mind..."
"You've prepared everything, have you?"
As her words leave her lips, King hopes that this year won't be as "exciting" as previous ones.

The scene changes to the hustling and bustling of Southtown's Chinatown.
A pair of vigorous voice echoes on the streets. Gapers gather as if summoned by the voices.
"Go! XiangFei!"
"Hang in there, Kimono lady!"
It seems that the passers-by are enjoying a little rumble between a waitress from a Chinese restaurant and a young woman dressed in a hakama, a type of Japanese skirt for formal occasions.
"Run away without paying your bill, will you! I'll make you pay!"
"I'm telling you I didn't eat and run! I'm just going to the bank to withdraw some money!!!"
"Do you expect me to swallow a crock like that?! You may not believe it looking at me, but I've never let anyone leave my restaurant without paying, deadbeat!"XiangFei.
She's a part-time waitress/bodyguard who happens to be on the job at her Chinese restaurant today.
She's usually able to subdue offenders in two or three minutes, but today, for some reason, she has her hands full.
Today's deadbeat has been able to defend herself against whatever attack Xiang makes.
It appears that this opponent is one tough customer.
"Huff, just...come quietly with me...."
"W-Who...I didn't do anything wrong..."
The battle between these two seems to be locked in a stalemate.

"Oh, it's over there."
People are gathered haphazardly in front of the place that Mary points out.
"There? It looks awfully crowded over there."
Mary has pulled King out of her shop for a while and the two have just arrived here in Chinatown. Although it's a part of Southtown, Chinatown seems like the other side of the world. And there among the gathered throng...just what is going on?
She goes to check it out with her own eyes.
"Uh, excuse me."
King tugs Mary along with her and they elbow people aside, making their way to the center of the crowd.
They're slightly taken aback when they see the cause of the commotion.
The face of the woman dressed in the hakama looks familiar.
"Kasumi! Just what do you think you're doing?!!!"
"Oh, King! Fancy meeting you here!"
"Now's my chance!"
XiangFei sees her chance and makes a move to striker her opponent.
Her attack seems destined to strike Kasumi. But then...

Mary grabs XiangFei's hand the second before she hits Kasumi.
"OK. That's enough. I'll pay the bill, XiangFei. More important, we've come to recruit you for our team. How about it?"
"Huh? Do you mean the King of Fighters?"
XiangFei shoots a surprised look at Mary.
"Yup, that's what I'm talking about. You should have gotten an invitation delivered to your place."
"Yeah, but Grandfather Pai stopped me from entering."
"I'll talk to your grandfather. How about it? Will you enter with me?"
"Uh, sure! Yeah, I'll do it! I love a good fight!"
"OK! Then it's decided., too, Kasumi. You got one, didn't you? An invitation."
"Huh? You'll let me join your team? I-I have just happened to be looking for some fellow fighters who would allow me to join their team in the tournament! I'm so happy!"
"Of course! How could we ignore such experienced talent if we plan to enter the tournament?"
"Huh...? You mean this eat-and-run deadbeat, too...?"
XiangFei purses her lips as she makes her chiding comment.
"Look, I told you I'm not a deadbeat!"
"Ah, I've got a bad feeling about this...!"

Just thinking about what's about to unfold is beginning to give King a migraine.
King of Fighters '00
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.
King of Fighters '01
A pleasant breeze blows through a clear blue sky.

The unbroken laughter of children playing football and baseball echoes throughout Southtown's only park-you guessed its name by now, Southtown Park. A man wearing a familiar red cap makes his way to a group of kids playing basketball.
"Hey, kids! How goes the hoops?!"
"Hey everybody, it's Terry! Awesome! You came again, too, like you promised!"
After a quick pick-up game, Terry sits on a bench to chat with the kids.
"Terry! I've seen all the commercials on TV, so you must know there's another King of Fighters this year! Are you going to enter?!"
"Huh?! Hmm, is that so? This year, too? ...Come to think of it, I've entered every year, haven't I...?
"Gee, Terry, I'd sure like to see you fight again this year! You're this town's hero!"
"Me, too. Seeing you fight gives me courage! Since me, heck, everyone here, is all alone, you're all we got...right?"
Terry always keeps tabs on the boys here in the park. Like them, Terry happens to be an orphan. And like his adoptive father Jeff did with him, he wants to provide them with the courage and hope to overcome their circumstances.
If it allows him the opportunity to keep seeing these kids' smiling faces...then Terry has made up his mind.
"All right! I'm in!"
"You mean it? All right!!!"
Looking at the children's faces, Terry recalls those halcyon days spent with his adoptive father Jeff, and looks off in the distance as he waxes nostalgic. Suddenly, a woman arrives and, dismounting her motorcycle, heads in Terry's direction.
"What's the word, Terry?"
"Oh, Mary! Long time no see. How did you find me here."
"I knew you'd be here. Call it woman's intuition. By the way, you seemed to be having a good time a few minutes ago. I wonder what you were you talking about then."
"As a matter of fact, I've decided to enter this year's KOF tournament. I thought I'd show these little tough guys here just what I'm made of."
"Is that so? Well, as a matter of fact, I've decided to do the same. And my new assignment, as usual, has something to do with KOF."
"The Dickens you say. Then I guess I'll have to help you out, Mary. How about cracking a few skulls together, for old time's sake?"
"Ooh, hoo, hoo, in your dreams. It is true that I've got a job, but that doesn't mean I'm just here on business.... But if you say you're going to enter, shall I put my work aside to help you out?"
" really got a mouth on you. Well, then I'll put it more formally: will you enter with me, again?"
"If you put it that way, of course I will, Terry!"
"Did you see that, kids? Looks like we're going to win this year, too!"

Meanwhile, back in Japan. Andy is focused in his training with a young lad in the hometown of the Shiranuis. The name of Andy's young charge is Hokutomaru.
Andy is practicing hard and shows no mercy toward Hokutomaru, although the kid looks like he's, well, just a kid.
As the day inevitably turns to dusk, training draws to an end and Andy begins to address Hokutomaru.
"You've heard of KOF, haven't you, kiddo...?"
"Of course. You're always rambling on about it, Master."
"Uh, yeah. About KOF then...I got a message from my big brother. And this time I'm going to be on my brother's team again,'re coming with me, too. At long last you're going to get a real taste of actual combat."
"OK...Sounds cool!"
"Uh, and one more you think you could use your wiles and break this news to Mai? If I tried to tell her, well, you know how it goes...don't you?"
"Aw, Master, do I have to go through that again? I always have to smooth things over with you and the Shiranui maiden...Hey, that reminds me: You opened a training gym in Southtown, right? Why don't you keep yourself under wraps there for a while?"
"That's no good. I'm positive Mai already has that place staked out."
"Probably. Tough break, Master. I think you'd better handle this matter yourself. Later!"
In a flash, Hokutomaru scrambles up the trunk of a large pine tree near by, jumps from branch to branch, and in no time disappears into the forest.
"Hey, hold on there! Hey!"
For an instant, Andy looks like he's at the end of his rope, but then a smile comes over his face, as if approving of his little disciple's progress.

Meanwhile, Joe has been devoting his time, day in and day out, to participating in kick boxing matches in Thailand. One day, he takes a break to drop by his old gym.
But returning after a long absence, he finds the gym in a pitiful, run-down state, only a few athletes in residence. Joe spies the Chairman ringside and strikes up a conversation.
"Hey, Chairman, it's been a while. What's going on with the gym? What happened?"
" Oh, Joe! Where have you been keeping yourself...? It's an honor welcoming the Champ here, but our village has had some tough times recently...I wish all my boxers could earn a living doing the old Muetai, but when it comes to merely making a living, there are so many other speedier ways to do it these days. If things keep up like this it'll be just a matter of time before I have to close up shop."
As the Chairman finishes explaining his predicament, a well-worn boxing glove rolls along the floor; he picks it up and strokes it tenderly.
Joe's heart breaks seeing this scene and he cannot suppress a scream of rage.
"Get a grip, Chairman! I'll do anything I can, just promise you won't close the gym."

A few days later, Terry, illuminated by the early morning sun just peeking over the horizon, stands before the gravestone of his dead adoptive father.
Two men approach as Terry places the flowers before the gravestone.
"How's life been treating you these past months, Terry? Landing all your punches?"
"Lookin' good, Andy. So Joe's with you, too? How's it been? I've been hearing a lot of rumors about you."
"Hey! You look the same as ever! I guess it's just not the same without us three together, huh?"
"You said it. And we're supposed to meet up with Mary at the tournament."
With each of their own thoughts in mind, the three set their goals for this year's KOF before Jeff's gravestone.
King of Fighters '03
"Mai, King, sorry to have kept you waiting. So let's have some fun."
A baseball field on the outskirts of Southtown.
Although the baseball season has already ended, the double "A" league is playing a tournament to appeal to the local baseball fanatics.
The one who has asked Mai Shiranui and King here is none other than Mary Ryan. She's a female agent who's known for her considerable talent in the field.
"Both of you have no objections to a dog and some suds, do you? The hot dogs here are legendary."
"You sure are all worked up today, Mary."
"So what's with those clothes? Are you planning to play catch in the stands or something?"
King and Mai are mutually impressed. Looking around the stadium, it's questionable whether there are even a thousand or so fans in attendance. So it's close to a miracle that a hot dog stand is open for business.
And Mary is no slacker either, decked out in her usual leather jacket, baseball cap, and even a broken-in glove in her left hand.
"Oh, this thing? It's to snag those home runs. Hey, some hot dogs over here please."
There are no seats in the outfield of the ballpark but a well groomed lawn instead. The fans sit her on sheets laid out to their liking. Among them are some who have removed their shirts, enjoying a bronzing session along with the ballgame. It's well into autumn, but today is a paragon of an Indian summer day.
Mai loses no time sinking her teeth into her hot dog.
"Wow, this is really good - just the right amount of onions."
"I told you so. These are the perfect accompaniment to a tall glass of beer."
"By the way, Mary, although I do know my pool, baseball's all Greek to me."
"Don't worry about it. It's fun enough just watching the players throw, hit, and run the bases."
"Hmm, I guess so. How many points do you get for a homerun?"
"All I know is battledore and shuttlecock, myself, so, come on, teach us the rules. How many points for an out?"
"Uh...Oh, don't sweat the details now. Watch and learn"

The batter smacks a fly ball, high and deep.
The white sphere shoots into the serenely blue Southtown sky, but the centerfielder snags it with barely a move. It's the third out and the sides change. King tries to strike up another conversation once the play comes to a halt.
"By the way, Mary."
"That was an out. You don't get points for that."
"That's not what I was trying to say..."
"We're surrounded."
Mai seems to be aware of the situation too. There aren't too many of them.
But some clearly well-conditioned individuals around the stairs to the seats, in the shadows of the billboards, and behind the light posts have them encircled and are gradually closing in.
"Five, no I'd say six. Mai?"
"At least in the immediate area I'd say so. There may be more waiting in the wings."
"I'm sorry, looks like I got caught with my pants down here."
With that remark, Mary shoves the last bite of her hot dog into her mouth, washes it down with a swig of beer, and then licks the ketchup off her fingers.
The eyes of the three remain on the action on the field.
"They don't seem too anxious to use guns. I say we let them move closer into range, sound good to you?"
"It's your call, Mary."
With the previous change-up the match completes the top of the third and the visiting team is now looking at a man on first with no outs. The clean-up batter is at the plate.
Along with the short bang of the dry bat smacking the ball, Mai backhands the nose of the man who has approached her from behind. She takes his right hand and it no more than a couple of seconds she twists it up behind him.
In a flash King swings her feet along the ground to trip up the feet of another man coming to the aid of Mai's assailant. The man falls flat on his back onto the grass. King's heel then lands in a flowing motion down on his unguarded solar plexus.
The baseball meanwhile bounces into left center and the runner makes a beeline towards home.
The small crowd erupts in cheers and applause for the runner.
Still another man witnesses the unfavorable series of events unfolding before his eyes and tut-tuts his accomplices in spite of himself, then glances backward.
"What are you doing? Malin!"
"You're busted!"
The moment he lets his guard down, Mary seizes his arms.
It's a brief and speedy action that appears as if she shook her arms up and down just a few times. And with that, there is a disagreeably dull snap accompanying the dislocation of his shoulder.
The final brawl is drowned out by the cheers for the batter just making the slide into third base. The home (visiting?) team has just taken the lead with a three-base hit. A flashy display appears on the scoreboard and the screaming color commentary of the announcer from a radio of one of the fans echoes in the area. No one appears to be aware of the action taking place in the stands.

"I suppose this is a warning for me. They're telling me to go home. But Blue Mary doesn't give in to threats."
"Damn, no one told me something like this would happen. So it wasn't just him?"
"You're not very up on your intel for someone in your line of work. Just try pulling something like this with my pals here. You'll have to answer to me, Mai Shiranui!"
"And your friendly neighborhood bouncer, who wishes to remain anonymous."
"?! ...Y-you're those fighter chicks from KOF, aren't you? Tch, I'm out of here!"
In spite of the shape of their bodies, the men retreat in a right quick and orderly fashion.

"My precious hot dog is ruined!"
Unlike Mary who managed to gulp hers down in the knick of time, King and Mai's superlative sausages rest on the lawn, splotches of ketchup and mustard color the grass.
The three are not at all fazed by their predicament, nor are they in the least afraid or jittery. They are seasoned fighters, pros who have survived scuffles more severe than this.
"I'll go get us some new ones."
Mai gets up and makes her way to the singular stand that served them before.
"I'll take two hot dogs (Hmm, Mary could probably use one more too). No, make that three."
"Hey, you were just here, weren't you? You don't need to pay."
"Huh? But why?"
"It's already been covered. Here you go, three hot dogs."
"Covered? By who?"
"What? Don't you know her? She's a petite, cute little thing. Her name was, uh, was Maria, or, something like Marie, maybe? Nah, I think it was Mariko?"
"Do you mean, 'Malin?'"
"Yeah, yeah. That's it! It was 'Malin.' She left me a message for you, too."

Mary and King immediately sense that things aren't right with Mai.
"What's up, Mai?"
"It looks like someone already knows of our plans to enter this year's KOF."
"So what's the big deal, we're in it every year? Was she scrounging for an autograph or something?"
"No, just the opposite. She sprang for our hot dogs."
"What's all that about!"
"And she left us a message. It reads, 'This competition looks like it's going to be a blast, so you'll be seeing more of me later. Your pal, Malin.'"
"Malin? ...Didn't that bunch of thugs mention that name?"
"Oh, whatever. We'll find out all the details once the tourney starts. Look, another hit!"
The dull roar of the crowd emanates from the baseball stadium on the town's outskirts.
And the sun has begun its westward descent.
King of Fighters XI
In a certain bar in Southtown, just as the clock struck 6:02, the back door opened. Though the bar had just opened, the refreshing scent of lime and gin wafted through the air.

"...You're two minutes late," said a beautiful young woman, as she sat looking at the clock with her elbow propped on the counter.

Not even a full day had passed since these three agents had been called upon to participate in KOF and investigate it. The actual client was unknown, but since the request had been delivered through Seth, it seemed to be on the up-and-up, and was therefore worth investigating. A few minutes ago, Vanessa and Ramon had arrived, followed shortly after by Blue Mary, a.k.a. Mary Ryan.

Ramon gave Mary a stern look, which looked thoroughly out of place on him. "Come on, now, chica," he said, "We could've been killed in those two minutes."

Vanessa nodded in assent. "I'm not fond of being overly serious, but you're cutting it kind of close, you know?"

Though she was unused to being reprimanded, much less by two people at once, Mary removed her jacket and sat on the stool next to Ramon. "I'm sorry. It won't happen again."

On hearing that, the two both seemed to relax. As free agents, it wasn't their place to interfere with the work of others, but each of them had duties to fulfill. This particular job could prove life-threatening.

Even so, after confirming a few things and a light toast, the conversation slipped into idle chat. Seth had conveyed the particulars of this investigation to each of them earlier. Each also understood the others' fighting styles. They were to participate in the tournament as a team, with the tacit implication that, once the job was done, they would be free to go about their respective business. In other words, they were all adults here.

Vanessa had already had more than few beers, and she had called the bartender over, explaining to him the recipe for a cocktail. It was an interesting sight, since she typically drank nothing stronger than beer. "You take three ounces of gin, one ounce of lemon juice, two teaspoons of sugar and blue Curacao. Then, get the sparkling wine and..."

"That's a ‘Blue Mary,' right?" replied the bartender.

Though she wasn't really listening in, Mary heard it anyway, and she recalled the recipe. Or rather, she more remembered the cocktail itself...

"You know that one?" she asked Vanessa.

Behind the counter, the shaker was already giving off a cool, refreshing sound. Vanessa returned a cheerful smile as she replied. "Yeah, someone taught it to me at school back home. His name was--"

Mary finished for her. "...Butch."

"Yes, Butch," Vanessa continued, slightly startled. "You know him?"

The bartender poured the contents of the shaker into a wine glass full of ice, then filled it to the top with sparkling wine.

"He was young, but he was a great teacher for his age," Vanessa went on. "Always wanted to join the Secret Service, as I recall. I wonder how he's doing these days."

"...He's dead." Mary said flatly.

The room suddenly grew very quiet. The only sound was the faint popping of the bubbles in the wine, leaving the atmosphere dark and cold.

"Butch used to work with my father," said Mary. "They were chief bodyguards of the President."

Mary spoke in a barely-audible whisper, reciting the old newspaper story. The assassination attempt on the President several years ago. The parade where it was almost carried out. How the two Secret Servicemen had given their lives that day. And how close Mary had been to them...

"Oh yeah!" interjected Ramon. "I remember that. It was all over the papers in Mexico." The condensation on the glass in his hand slid down its surface, soaking the coaster.

Mary continued, barely noticing his comment. "Butch was the one who gave me this leather jacket. He taught me Commando Sambo as well. It took me a long time to get over it."

Mary smiled, but even the most cursory glance from a casual observer would reveal that it was forced. The bartender silently continued polishing the glasses behind the counter, but turned an inquisitive ear toward the conversation.

"...I think I've been slacking off a bit lately," Mary muttered after some time.

"Hey, don't worry about earlier," Ramon said. "We're not Japanese, so it's not like two minutes is a big deal."
Vanessa nodded. "Yeah. We were just picking on you... you know, to lighten the mood a bit."

Mary silently shook her head. She hadn't forgotten how to smile like she did back then. But even so... "I think I've still got a little way to go before I'm back to normal."

The front door suddenly opened with a mighty clatter, and several customers came in, filling the place with the sound of footsteps. Gradually, the bar grew ever more crowded. The agents' moods were still just a little too dark from the stories of the evening. The three spoke to no one as they stood up.

As they left, they saw that night had fallen completely, and the street was dark. The walls everywhere were crowded with lamps which lit the way.

"What say we work on getting you back to normal tomorrow morning?" Ramon said. "I know a place nearby where they sell some honest-to-goodness authentic tequila."