This features the return of Hwa Jai, a character who hasn't been playable since the original Fatal Fury. He was intentionally added to surprise longtime fans.
This game features the reappearance of Mature and Vice as playable characters, both of whom were killed by Iori at the end of The King of Fighters '96. They are still dead, but their spirits haunt Iori.
This game marks the death of Ash Crimson and the ending of the Ash Saga arc in the overall storyline. Due to endgame events, the entire arc is retconned out of the series timeline.
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