KOF ‘99 marked the beginning of a new saga in the series, with a more sci-fi thematic probably inspired by movies such as Blade Runner (1982).
Kyo Kusanagi was kidnaped by an organization known as NESTS and used as an object of study and guinea pig in various scientific experiments involving, among others things, cloning and trying to inject his DNA in other people.
The developers decided to include 2 Kyo clones in the roster to reinforce that idea, since the cloning thematic was an important background for various new characters including K’, the saga’s protagonist.
A scared clone doesn’t know what to do after his friend is abducted; fromReplica.
Although they aparently don’t show emotions and their few lines are crack copies from Kyo’s phrases, their artworks and profiles show some small differences between them:
Kyo 1 wears a dark blue school uniform. He likes to choreograph new fighting moves and his favorite food is melo, a kind of fish. He usually looks more serious. The japanese fandom often refers to him as “Mero” (メロ), a name inspired on his favorite dish.
Kyo 2 wears a brown school uniform. He likes to imitate fighting moves and his favorite food is hoki, also a kind of fish. He usually shows a cocky smile in his portraits, what gives the idea that he’s more confident and underestimates his opponents. The Japanese fandom named him “Hoki” (ホキ), also referring to his favorite dish.
Kyo 1 and Kyo 2 were playable again in KOF 2002: Unlimited Match. In that game they had their own team together with KUSANAGI (who debuted in the original KOF 2002, but with an uncertain background – another kind of clone maybe? In 2003 he was revised by the developers and became a creation from Chizuru’s mirror).
Their theme song’s name “Antinomy ~Mutually Exclusive Dichotomy~” can make room for theories.
- Antinomy – the conflict between two different ideas where both of the outcomes are rationally defensible and/or valid.
- Mutually exclusive – refers to events that can’t occur (be true) at the same time. Example: the outcome of throwing a coin will either be heads or tails, but can’t be both.
- Dichotomy – the division of something in two or more parts; can also refer to the separation of two opposite or contradictory things. In botany, it refers to the division of cells in two, creating new ones.
In both Kyo 1 and Kyo 2 profiles it’s stated that they hate Kyo, and the song name may refer to a inner conflict about the fact that even if they were created with the same DNA as Kyo, there can’t exist more than one “original” Kyo Kusanagi.
Iori finds an unconscious and injured clone in the trash; from Blind Guardian.
It isn’t clear what happened with them after NESTS fall, so fans often portray them lost in the streets like abandoned kittens because since they grew up and spent all their lifes following orders, they probably don’t know much about the world outside the laboratories. Fans also come with scenarios where the clones start to question their own existences, such as how much their feelings and thoughts are their own instead of echoes from Kyo’s memories?
But there’s also plenty of more lighthearted and happy content about them as well, like other characters trying to confort and help them have normal lifes from now on; them acting like young children pestering and praking Kyo and other characters, or even Iori and Shingo getting their own clone harem.
Iori catches two pesky clones; from Wonder Imitation.