Created to be the evil counterparts of the series main heroes Yashiro, Chris, and Shermie, known as the new faces team, and later as the Orochi team were the highlights of KOF 97, the much-acclaimed game where they first appeared.
I honestly didn't expect this article to be this long knowing that these three characters were featured in only one canonical game. That just shows how well developed they are despite their short appearance. Ironically, their popularity got even stronger in the following non-canonical games. As I said in previous articles, they are among my all-time favorite characters. And I'm very glad today to finally have the chance to dive deep into the backstory of these iconic fighters. Without further ado, here's the story of Yashiro, Shermie, and young Justin Bieber Chris.
For a better understanding of these character's stories, a jump back in time must be made again. 1800 years ago, the war between humanity and the Orochi clan was at its climax. I already talked about the origins of this strife in the Orochi saga article but long story short, the entity known as Orochi had the intention to wipe out all mankind from existence.
In order to do so, human sacrifices had to take place. Their role was to give Orochi enough power to achieve his sinister goal. And so, his followers kidnapped 8 unlucky young women and brought them to Orochi's temple, where they were destined to be the sacrificial maidens. One by one, the lives of the poor girls were taken without mercy. But when the turn of the last maiden came, the unexpected happened.
The gruesome ritual was interrupted by the best warriors of the Kusanagi, Yata, and Yasakani clans. The life of princess Kushinada, for that, was the name of the eighth maiden, was spared. With the help of their three mystical treasures, the three fighters defeated Orochi's followers and sealed the demon.
Yet, even after this victory, the constant threat of Orochi remained as his followers kept trying to revive him throughout the ages. One thing interesting about these followers called Hakkesshu is that even though they are mortals, they kept reincarnating each time they die, thanks to the Orochi blood in their veins. But, as time goes on, some of them stopped being enthusiastic about the resurrection of their lord and chose to abandon their mission.
However, the 4 strongest ones among them, named the heavenly kings remained faithful to their cause. In the present time, Goenitz, the leader of all Hakkesshu was doing all he could to accelerate the return of Orochi.
Meanwhile, the remaining Heavenly kings seemed to have forgotten everything about their true mission, for unknown reasons. Born respectively in Japan, France, and Sweden Yashiro, Shermie, and Chris, the other three Heavenly Kings grew up completely oblivious about their mission. It is not known how or where they met, but for reasons that they did not comprehend themselves, they were drawn to each other. Having the love of Rock music in common, they formed a band titled C.Y.S or CYS.
And here's a mind-blowing fact that certainly, no one knew before the name of their band is actually an acronym formed from the initial letters of their names ... You're welcome!
The trio formed a very solid group and was pretty successful in their music career with Yashiro being the guitarist and Shermie taking care of the keyboard. Ironically, it was Chris, the youngest and shy member of the band who proved to be the mature one among them. But sometimes, their true nature, unconsciously, showed in their songs. Composed mainly by Yashiro, These songs often had themes like blood, death, and destruction.
Their Orochi blood also manifested itself in their personalities. Even though they had a carefree life at that time, they couldn't help but feel some disdain and contempt toward pretty much everyone else outside their small group.
Especially, the fashioned designer and seemingly air-headed Shermie who, deep inside her, considered society to be utterly stupid. One day, as they entered the stage where they were supposed to perform one of their concerts They were shocked to learn that their show was canceled in favor of a Jazz band, led by a certain red-headed man. It goes without saying, they did not take this news very well.
Yashiro in particular was extremely furious and developed an immense grudge over the mysterious leader of that band. It was purely by coincidence when he learned the identity of Iori on TV during one of KOF 97's preliminary matches. Yashiro immediately decided to take part in that same tournament just to punish the man with the red hair for his past misdeed. Having no chance to argue, Shermie and Chris followed him.
The small problem, however, the preliminary matches were over. and with no invite, they had no chance to participate in the competition. But that was not going to stop CYS. They traveled to the U.S. and ambushed the American Sports team on a dead-end street. Chris and Shermie took care of Lucky and Brian respectively while Yashiro almost killed Heavy D. They took their invites and finally entered the famous fighting tourney forming the new faces team. When he was asked in an interview about his aspirations in the tournament, Yashiro's answer was "Punch the redhead".
The intention behind their participation, although not innocent either was not nearly as sinister as it turned out to be. With the exception of Yashiro who was very serious about getting his revenge against Iori. Shermie and Chris seemed to have a lot of fun during the early matches.
They were just dragged into this competition and they didn't really have the intention to win the title. That explained the relaxed mood they were in especially Shermie who seemed to dance rather than taking a fighting stance and didn't hesitate to answer her cell phone while in the middle of a fight.
Then it happened. Without warning, the Orochi blood within them awaken and their other personas took over as they remembered who they really were. The cool and friendly new faces team transformed into the cruel and evil Orochi team.
As the remaining heavenly kings of Orochi, they started immediately working for the resurrection of their lord and finding themselves in the middle of fighting competition, eased their task immensely. They gathered the other participant's energy to help speed up the return of Orochi. They were also surprised to find another fellow Hakkesshu member as one of the competitors in that same tournament. They tried to convince him of joining them in their task. but Yamazaki, being... Yamazaki, he was not interested. He turned them down and took off to take care of his own business.
After that, they finally found Iori. But their initial plan of revenge against him did not matter anymore. Instead, they triggered the riot of the blood within him and Leona and let them take care of the champions of the tourney while they left to begin the execution of the last and most crucial step of their plan.
Remember Kushinada, the surviving sacrificial maiden from 1800 years ago? Her lineage had survived as well. The Orochi team tracked it down and found her current descendant who turned out to be Kyo's girlfriend Yuki. They kidnapped her and brought her to the ruins of Orochi temple In order to finish the 1800 years old ritual. Unfortunately for them, it was interrupted just like in the past. Kyo came to save Yuki and ruin their plans.
He was accompanied by Chizuru, the heiress of the Yata clan who was probably the one who showed him the location of this remote temple since she spent all her life studying and learning all about the Orochi clan.
Iori was also with them trying to atone for losing control over himself and going berserk during his last riot of the blood crisis. The three sacred treasures team fought Orochi Chris, Shermie, and Yashiro in a climactic battle. The three heavenly kings used all their powers during that fight causing the entire area to change and morph according to each warrior's unique element.
But it was not enough to vanquish Kyo and his friends. In the end, they fell before them and their plan was foiled. In order for Orochi to materialize in the physical world, Yuki's body was meant to be its host. But, as the ritual failed and the young girl saved Orochi's followers were forced to use their last card.
Instead of Yuki, all three of them decided to use Chris's body as a substitute host. Then Yashiro and Shermie sacrificed themselves to provide all the energy they had to their lord. A selfless but pointless act as Orochi was defeated as well by the combined force of the sacred treasures team. Some may argue that they were able to defeat the evil being only because it was not intended to possess Chris's body and thus Orochi fought using only a fraction of its real potential. If the ritual was successful, then their fight would have a very different outcome.
But I guess no one can tell for sure. As for our heroes, if we can call them as such they died without knowing if their sacrifice was enough for their master And were forever forgotten, never to appear again. Or did they?
Actually, our trio is confirmed to be alive and well currently. No one knows if they were resurrected after Verse's destruction, like many other characters or if they came back to life long before, as it was the case with Mature and Vice. One thing is sure, they are among the living and they seemed to have resumed their music career.
Fighting Style & Powers
With a self-thought and very offensive fighting style, the leader of the new faces team, Yashiro, relies on the strength of his punches and kicks, but mostly his punches, to delivers his most devastating attacks. He uses his incredible speed to empower the said punches. It also helps that he has a big stature providing his limbs an advantageous reach.
Yashiro seems to know some Capoera moves as well and that can be seen especially with his sweeps. His only family is a pet hawk named Tatsuuru, which he calls during some of his win poses. Yashiro hates Iori passionately since the day when his band was upstaged by Iori's. And that was even before he learned that the Yagami heir is his natural enemy. When he was asked during KOF 97 about the person who Yashiro would fight the most, and what is KOF for him Yashiro's answers were red hair and a tournament where he can beat red hair, respectively.
Much like his leader, Chris relies on his speed when fighting. In fact, he is even faster than his friend, to the point that he is actually capable of teleporting.
He also has high acrobatic skills, which he perfectly combines with the aforementioned speed resulting in a fighting style that can easily trick his opponent about his next move. He is the only heavenly king character capable of switching to his other fighting style in mid-combat.
Although he always seems hesitant and intimidated by his opponent's strength, Chris is known to be the kid who can kill with an innocent smile. Though an observant player can tell that his so-called innocence is utterly fake.
He has the most murderous intent in the team and appears to enjoy inflicting pain. In fact, the smile on his face seems more perverted than innocent during an attack.
Last but not least, Shermie is the grappler of the group and a pretty agile one at that. Her specialty is German suplexes. She even mimics wrestling fighting style when she starts counting to three during one of her supers.
She's an easygoing woman who looks to have fan more than anything as witnessed with her stance, that looks more like dancing than actual fighting. But her opponents would be wrong to underestimate her as their necks would be in great danger if they ever get too close to her.
Shermie doesn't shy from adopting a flirty approach with handsome male characters. In more than away, she really is the female counterpart of Benimaru. She also has a hilarious interaction with Brian in KOF 98 Ultimate matches where she doesn't hesitate to slap him in the face.
This could be either a throwback to their past story when she stole his invite to KOF 97 or she just doesn't like noisy people. In her interview prior to the aforementioned tournament, Shermie expressed her desire to team up with Clark and Diamon. Because, according to her, they are all grapplers who like to throw and break stuff.
I guess by the stuff she most likely meant spines and bones. I personally love her style. Despite giving the impression that she is just another air-headed fighter, there is one small detail that makes her design genius; her eyes, or the lack thereof. Shermie's eyes are always intentionally hidden beneath her long bangs. and there is a reason for that. As goes the saying "eyes are the mirror of the soul". When you can't see someone's eyes, you can't help but feel unsettled because you can't guess what their intentions are. This why Japanese ghosts are scary by the way. their faces and thus their eyes are always hidden beneath the hair.
But back to Shermie, it is clear that her design is supposed to convey a feeling of uneasiness. She is an attractive woman for sure but since we can't see her eyes, we can't help but feel that she's hiding something. A terrible secret that she doesn't want others to know about it. Of course, we already know that her secret is being a member of a clan that aims for human annihilation.
But this small detail is what makes Shermie's design one of the best. Rumors say that those who managed to catch a glimpse of her eyes met an unspeakable murderous glare.
Chris Orochi Form :
Now forget all I just said about the new faces team in this part. Because when they switch to their Orochi form, Everything about their personalities and fighting styles changes. Good boy Chris completely drops his innocent mask and shows his true cruel nature. With the power of Pyrokinesis, he can now create flames out of thin air. Much like Iori, the color of his fire is purple and has the ability to put the opponent in a stasis-like state. He can also engulf himself with a barricade made of fire and use it to charge his opponent multiple times. And there is that one time when he can literally transform into Orochi and use his return to nothingness super.
Shermie Orochi Form :
Shermie shocks her opponents with her ability to control electricity. Gone are the days when she used to blow kisses to her adversaries. The only thing they will get from her now has condescended electric balls that she can blow toward them and make them explode when they reach the distance she wants.
She can infuse her attacks, especially her kicks with electricity, and summon thunders from the sky, as seen in her impressive secret super in 2002 UM. Shermie is also the best member to demonstrate the change in personality upon adopting the Orochi form as she goes from playful and seductive, to cold and menacing. Seeing her with electricity running through her body also reminds me of Gohan during his fight against the cell.
Yashiro Orochi Form :
Finally, Yashiro becomes the grappler of the team. He gains control over the earth element, giving him superhuman strength that allows him to lift anybody with one single arm and repeatedly slam them on the ground like it's nothing. He has the ability to absorb energy from the earth and use it to blast his opponent.
He also has a similar version of Ralf's Galactica Phantom, named Armageddon. And of course, it's unblockable. Let's not forget that, in this form, Yashiro can create earthquakes and volcanoes willingly. Seriously, this guy can make the earth shake just by stretching.
As said in the beginning, It is known that the Orochi team was created as a dark version of the Japan team. But many seem to believe that since they are the evil counterparts of Kyo, Benimaru, and Daimon, therefore Chris, Shermie, and Yashiro were defeated by the Japan team at the end of KOF 97. Which is not the case. Canonically it was the sacred treasures team who reached and vanquished them.
With their confirmed revival, it's very likely that we'll get to see them again in future games. It remains to be seen, however, if they also abandoned their Hakkesshu's duties, as others did or if they're just keeping a low profile, waiting for the right time to strike back. I hope you enjoyed this article. Thanks for reading.