SNK Playmore rebuilt KOF ’02 in 2009, transforming the prior Eolith pseudo-mess into a masterpiece. KOF ’02 UM is the definitive King of Fighters, with 58 characters, updated game speed, extensive overhauls for old characters, and a sleek visual makeover.
Among all characters in the game, there are some who are just more powerful than the other. Of course, the more powerful your character is the more likely you win the game. And we have compiled the complete KOF 2002 UM Tier List.
For you who just want to know the KOF 2002 UM Tier List without knowing the reason, we got the Summary of KOF 2002 UM Tier List down here.
Summary of KOF 2002 UM Tier List
Now let’s head to the full explanation about KOF 2002 UM Tier List.
KOF 2002 UM Tier List – S
K’s fighting technique is described as “Pure Violence,” and it shares numerous parallels with Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do. He even employs some of his most well-known techniques, like the One-Inch Punch and Flying Kicks.
Due to his high-strung personality, K’s motions tend to show insanely brutal characteristics as a nod to such “violence.” His attacks include anything from furious elbow blows to heated battle cries to even tossing his sunglasses at his opponent and then pounding him mercilessly. With this level of damage K’ deserve to the top of KOF 2002 UM Tier List.
Except for a few visual differences, his combat style is quite similar to K9999’s. He concentrates far more on his flames by removing his glove for small moments merely to access them for a single assault, and he depends on instinct rather than his glove. His techniques are all stated in the standard technique-name format, rather than the quotation style used by K9999, with names that are rather long and systematic.
Todohryu Aikijutsu is a style that combines Kendo, Kobudo, and Aikido. Her movements rely on her father’s counter grabs, the Kasaneate (Piling Hitter), and her high-priority kicks. She had received multi-input moves by The King of Fighters 2000, allowing her to chain multiple assaults.
KOF 2002 UM Tier List – A
King employs a unique style of Muay Thai. She uses acrobatic leaps and high kicks that Muay Thai kickboxers don’t utilize nearly as much. Her fighting style is quite similar to the Korean kickboxing style Kun Gek Do. This fighting style combines Muay Thai elbows, knees, and low kicks with a touch of Taekwondo kicking skills.
Her combat style as the Anti-K’ is essentially based on K’s (with her sharing his One-inch punch as an example), but it has been altered to her ice-based powers. She also fights with her ice skates, which can slice through the skin with ease.
She has a lot of flexibility, which helps her kick high and efficiently, allowing her to get the most out of her skates. Kula is a highly acrobatic and nimble character that relies on her speed and ice skills rather than brute strength. Yet, she can still focus her might on a single target.
Andy uses the Koppouken combat technique. Koppouken is an ancient Japanese martial art that incorporates elements of Karate and ninjutsu but focuses on shattering bones and attacking susceptible areas of the body. Andy traveled to Hanzo Shiranui to learn the Shiranui-Ryuu Ninjutsu after learning Koppouken.
His combat technique is primarily unchanged; of course, he now modifies it to fit his flaming strikes, except for his special moves and DMs. He imitates aspects of Kyo Kusanagi’s techniques, notably the Orochinagi, which is his signature move.
Benimaru excels in shooting techniques and electricity, but his fighting style emphasizes agility over submission and sheer strength, relying on nimble kicks and a good range.
Yuri is taught just the fundamental and low-level movements in the Kyokugenryu Karate discipline, the lowest degree. She individually adjusts the style to better match her size and attitude to establish her own value. She even manages to construct her own version of the Kyokugen-famous Ryuuko Ranbu in KOF 2002 UM (Dragon Tiger Wild Dance). A flying swallow-naming pattern appears in several of her strategies.
Hinako engages in a sumo wrestling combat. Takedowns, tosses, slaps, and even headbutts are all part of her fighting technique. Her moves are all based on genuine sumo maneuvers.
Heidern uses a combat technique that he created himself. Said fighting style is an influential martial art that focuses on cutting hand punches. He is a master of violent self-made martial art, which entails cutting with bladed gloves that appear to contain explosives and an energy generator (used in his signature strike, Storm Bringer).
KOF 2002 UM Tier List – B
Bao mostly fights using his abilities, although he, like his colleagues, is familiar with the Kung Fu discipline. Some of his movements may be based on Tai Chi. Despite his “beginner-friendly” idea, Bao’s moveset is notable for its numerous different instructions in gaming.
Kim’s Tae Kwon Do style is similar to Jhun’s, but not identical. Jhun is an unusual character who can actively switch between three combat postures, including his default. Jhun may execute specialties specific to these postures in the other two, known as Hawk Style and Eagle Style. In The King of Fighters 2000, an unfinished design of Jhun appears as Kang Bae Dal, a Striker. He hasn’t used his fists to attack anyone yet, unlike Kim.
Mature and Vice designed the image of a “ruthless lady” and a “cruel woman,” respectively. Before The King of Fighters ’96, their origin tale was primarily based on the idea of Rugal hiring secretaries. Her combat style emphasizes quickness and the utilization of her cutting abilities. She can also perform some acrobatic feats.
Lin and the Flying Brigands storyline were constructed without the entire staff’s knowledge, causing other developers to be surprised by his team’s result. Considering he employs multiple hand blows and acrobatic moves, his fighting style is most likely based on Kung Fu, either Bajiquan or Piguaquan (both of which originated in Hebei). He is both silent and lethal.
Chris fights with a combination of speed and acrobatic techniques, creating a mixup-pressure fighting style. He plays mind games with his opponents.
His moveset was initially judged substandard in his debut appearance, prompting a majority of it to be revised in KOF ’98. In 2002, he received a traditional system mechanism as one of his remarkable techniques, similar to Blue Mary.
Ryo was trained to be the “tiger” of Kyokugenryu Karate, even though his nickname is “dragon.” In Buriki One, he appears to be doing regular Karate. His greatest strength is his ferocious punching assaults, which are similar to those of his father. His famous Tenchi Haou Ken (Heaven & Earth Supreme Sparkle Fist) could frequently put opponents in a state of shock. Despite the minor damage it dealt compared to other DM’s (KOF XIII amps this up with a more robust version of this technique as his Neo Max).
Kusanagi fights using a refined version of Kyo’s original KOF ’95 fighting style. Unlike the other two Kyo clones, Kusanagi’s attacks are constant style/method theme naming. His shared techniques with the original Kyo are nearly identical, with slight damage variations. Kusanagi was also given elements of Kyo’s techniques from KOF ’97 and beyond, such as the 910 Shiki: Nue Tsumi (Method 910: Nue Plucker) and its counter-based moves, which were never seen in the basic moveset.
She wasn’t supposed to be playable at first. She was supposed to join the series roster alongside Diana, but time limits prevented that. Although she looks to be murdered throughout her team’s scenario, developers tell players that Foxy is still alive. During her playable debut, she was primarily regarded as one of the top-tier characters. Her fighting technique is based on fencing, but she uses kicks and paralyzing darts to defeat her opponent.
Daimon uses Kodokan Judo skills as well as his own unique hitting style in his battles. Many of his techniques have a minor earth motif, which can produce earthquakes (such as his famous Jiraishin/Mine Quake move). Daimon’s playstyle centers on one-hit kills, brilliant evasion, and dynamic grappling, with the Jigoku Gokuraku Otoshi being his hallmark DM (Hell Sukhavati Dropper).
KOF 2002 UM Tier List – C
Iori utilizes the Yasakani style of ancient martial arts, a powerful, aggressive method that uses claws. He fights with his instincts as well. Due to his clan’s history of deviations, the Yagami-style has a more significant number of “Ura Shiki” (Reverse Method) moves than the other two clans, with two of Iori’s regular attacks being “reverse” versions of Kyo’s respective crouching heavy punch and heavy kick (and Iori’s far standing serious punch being a “reverse” version of his own close standing heavy punch).
She ignores some of her wrestling maneuvers in favor of relying on her electric strikes. In this form, her combat style is similar to Benimaru Nikaido’s.
Choi used to fight using his super-speed and claws before joining Kim’s project, but he learned Taekwondo from Kim. Hishoukyaku and Hienzan are two of his own modifications of Kim’s techniques. Thanks to Kim’s training, he even has his own version of the Hou’ou Kyaku.
Choi frequently misspells the Hienzan in certain movelists as a joke since the kanji is wrong; instead of “Flying Swallow Slash,” the move is translated as “Grieving Monkey Confession.”
Her style is similar to traditional ninjutsu but with more beautiful and majestic movements, reminiscent of old Japanese dancing. She also employs paper fans as weapons, incorporating them into her combat technique and employing them in various movements and combinations. Her ninja outfit, notably the tassel on the tassel, is also utilized to attack the enemy.
She’s also an expert in hand-to-hand fighting, employing a variety of throws and tactics to gain an advantage. Mai has demonstrated incredible strength by lifting and toss opponents several times her own weight and using her powerful elbow strike to break through her opponents’ defenses and effortlessly incapacitate them.
Seth’s fighting style is primarily made up of self-defense tactics, as he admits.
She appears to imitate Ralf’s moves and shares numerous movements with her adoptive father, Heidern. Her CD/Blowback technique, for example, is quite similar to Ralf’s. As the game’s progress, her moves appear to become more explosive, identical to Ralf’s, and her running style shifts from Heidern’s to Ralf’s while still maintaining her more agile techniques taught by Heidern; unlike Heidern, however, she has more visible differences in her styles via extra variations that focus more on speed and acrobatics.
Clark has been trained in the Ikari Warriors’ mercenary fighting tactics, but he is also a skilled wrestler and grappler.
Kyo is a powerful combo character that takes a long time to learn. His moveset from KOF ’96 and subsequent games explodes to absurd heights. On the other hand, mastering it makes it easier for players to switch to other characters with more diversified movesets. Kyo paved the road for archetypes with techniques that had many inputs and had distinct attributes for each follow-up.
If the pressure was adequately set up, this would also allow for solid mixups and combinations. Kyo altered his technique into a more aggressive focus with his original follow-ups from the Aragami and Dokugami, presumably owing to his initial defeat against Goenitz.
Terry combines boxing, Karate, kung fu, kickboxing, and street fighting maneuvers with chi methods learned from his Hakkyokuseiken guru, Tung Fu Rue, to produce a highly unique fighting style. Jeff Bogard, his adopted father, had taught him martial arts as well. According to some reports, he obtained his combat skills through brawling on the streets for years to refine his correct tactics. He tried out various fighting ways to suit his preferences.
Blue Mary uses the combat Sambo style of fighting, which originated in the Soviet Union. This martial art incorporates striking and grappling techniques. It is especially noted for its flying joint locks, which she employs frequently.
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His fighting style is substantially changed and features the Aragami (Wild Bite) and Dokugami (Poison Bite) chains based on Kyo’s fighting style from The King of Fighters ’96 and ’97. Most of Kyo-2’s techniques are similar to Kyo-1’s, except for different twists on the attacks (such as the ability to conduct a guard-breaking Nue Tsumi/Nue Plucker during a Yanosabi/Eight Rusts). Kyo-2 lacks the original attacks that Kyo-1 possesses, and he also abandons the three clans’ method numbering font for all of his techniques.
Li Xiangfei uses a variety of Northern and Southern Kung Fu forms, commonly known as Nam Pai Chuan, to fight, which frequently include shoulder leans and traces of Drunken Fist.
Joe employs conventional Muay Thai techniques as well as hurricane summoning.
KOF 2002 UM Tier List – D
He imitates a few of Kyo’s techniques without the use of flames. He isn’t perfect, though, since he frequently checks his guidebook if he looks to have forgotten a move.
Chin Gentsai taught Kensou Kung Fu, particularly the more acrobatic styles such as Northern Shaolin. He, like Athena, mastered the use of Psycho Powers.
Despite having the same degree of strength as the Dragon Spirit, he doesn’t seem to rely on his psychic abilities when fighting, instead of depending on his fighting technique (however, the contrary is occasionally reported to happen, pointing to Kensou’s dislike for training). Though he lost access to the Dragon Spirit at this time, he was compelled to change his style to focus more on his kung fu.
Takuma is the Kyokugenryu Karate grandmaster (black belt). He mostly uses his arms and legs to deliver robust and targeted attacks. He can ultimately throw his invisible ki to his enemies in The King of Fighters series, making him the first practitioner to do so.
Ralf mainly employs the Ikari Warriors’ mercenary combat style. He knows at least one striking martial art and some wrestling maneuvers. On strike, his blows are usually followed by explosions. He’s also known for not having any command normals until KoF XII (not including the Maximum Impact series).
Robert’s fighting style concentrates on devastating kicks, with his signature move, the Gen’ei Kyaku (Phantom Leg) from Neo Geo Battle Coliseum and KOF XI, serving as a probable feint strike. However, he uses some of the same techniques as Ryo, such as the Haou Shoukou Ken.
Billy fights with a three-sectioned staff to light a fire and divide into three parts connected by a chain. He mainly practices Bojutsu, although he may also be proficient in Kung Fu to employ his Three Section Staff.
Yashiro’s fighting style emphasizes attacking strength. He is an all-around fighter who mixes his tremendous hitting power with incredible quickness and skill. His fists are forceful and straightforward, in contrast to his acrobatic kicks, which sometimes resemble Capoeira.
Yashiro gives up his striking strategy in favor of a jiujitsu approach, relying on his newly gained super strength to aid him in a fight. He imitates Goro Daimon’s movements to some extent while yet being agile.
Angel’s fighting technique combines Muay Thai and professional wrestling (as seen by her posture and some of her kicks). In terms of a multi-input sequence of strikes, her “Unchain Circle” combo attacks make her one of the more unique characters in The King of Fighters series.
Shermie’s combat style is grappling when she isn’t employing her Orochi abilities. She is also quite handy, and some of her actions are gymnastic. She does a variety of body slams, most of which involve acrobatic techniques, counter throws, and a couple of face-sitting throws.
Vice will frequently belittle her opponent during battles, either by sarcastically commenting on the harm she will cause or by telling her rival to surrender. Vice’s hyper-desperation maneuver in 2002 UM further strongly suggests she is prepared to devour her opponents alive.
Athena prefers a sword and a heart-shaped buckler for one-on-one combat, although she can also fight with clubs, arrows, or magic wands, or fight unarmed if necessary.
Her fighting technique is inspired by Soubenjutsu, one of the Japanese martial art. Her whip technique can morph into a sword or a rifle. She also carries a Desert Eagle that she may use to attack the opponent.
It’s worth noting that in the context of KOF 2002 UM Tier List, certain attacks work on some or all, while others strictly follow the tier classification. Selecting characters from top KOF 2002 UM Tier List doesn’t grant you a victory, but it depends on how well you know the characters.