"You are cordially invited to this year's King of Fighters."
The invitation is sent to fighters all over the world. The King of Fighters will take place again this year!
But the circumstances this time around are different. There is not a hint of the hoopla surrounding the entrants like that of the previous tournament which thrilled the whole world. For the skeptical fighters, even the new tournament rules for battles bode ill...
"The method of combat will be 3-on-3 battles. The adoption of Striker Matches, however, has been decided for this tournament...."
The fighters cannot hide their surprise at this unfamiliar mode of battle.
Meanwhile, Heidern, who sees through the suspicious tournament, dispatches Ralf and Clark to investigate the truth behind this tournament.
Benimaru Nikaido, as well, receives an invitation to KOF and to join the Special Team consisting of other carefully selected fighters.
Among the pre-selected teammates listed appear two names: K' (K-Dash) and Maxima. Benimaru is confused-he's never seen these names listed at any other fighting events; regardless...
Benimaru heads toward the tournament venue, clearly unsettled by the circumstances, and the other entrants are soon to follow.
WHAT IS THE STRIKER MATCH?
What is behind this year's tournament?
With its myriad of mysteries, the King of Fighters gets ready to begin!