Thunderbolt logo

The King of Fighters XIII – NESTS Kyo, Micro Guide

King of Fighters


The ‘NESTS’ in the namesake stems from this Kyo’s chosen attire – sported during the ‘NEST Saga’ story arc (KOF ’99 – ’01). Like with Classic Iori, NESTS Kyo addresses fan desires to continue playing Kyo in all his OG glory with a return to his KOF ’98 movelist. Here we break him down, discuss differences and provide gameplay tips.


A – light punch
B – light kick
C – heavy punch
D – heavy kick
P – any punch
K – any kick
PP – hit both punch buttons at the same time
KK – hit both kick buttons at the same time
d/f – diagonal down + forward
s./c. – standing/crouching
qcf – quarter circle forward (fireball motion)
dp – forward, down, diagonal down+forward (dragon punch motion)
rdp – back, down, diagonal down + back (reverse dragon punch motion)
hcb – half circle back


Unlike XIII Kyo, NESTS Kyo can connect close s.C to f+B. However, unlike the XIII Kyo, he cannot cancel the first hit of d/f+D. Fortunately, given that he can perform c.B, c.A, d/f+D, like the default Kyo, he already has an accessible way to combo into an HD activation.

One of the biggest differences is NESTS Kyo’s exclusive moves. Instead of a ground fireball, NESTS Kyo brings back the signature chain punch combos – Aragami (qcf+A variations) and Dokugami (qcf+C, hcb+C, f+C, dp+C). Doing the EX version busts out his Dokugami variation which ends in a multi-hitting ender, however the starter, qcf+PP, allows you to follow up with an Aragami chain, without spending Drive.

Rdp+K now busts out R.E.D. Kick – a jumping overhead. In certain situations, a whiffed light RED Kick can open up mixup options. The EX version grants tracking capabilities allowing the kick to find its mark no matter where the opponent may be on the screen. This makes it a viable tool against projectiles.

NESTS Kyo also brings back the flexible Final Showdown super (qcf, qcf+P). Unlike the Neo Geo Battle Coliseum/KOFXI version, mashing the buttons after the super doesn’t procure anything interesting.

NESTS Kyo’s NeoMax, Totsuka (qcf, qcf+KK) is an epic version of his 182 super punch, however you can’t charge it up. Also worth noting is the fact that, because of its odd winding start up, it can miss if you attempt to juggle with it as an HD Dream Cancel.

Aside from the above, both Kyos share a number of moves:

Kai Kicks (qcf+K) – XIII Kyo’s version automatically does two kicks. However, NESTS Kyo’s requires a second kick button press to produce the second hit. The EX version automatically produces two launching kicks.

Crescent Slash (hcb+K) – NESTS Kyo’s is much slower (can’t even combo into a light version from s.B), but still acts as a reliable option for finishing combos due to its initial auto dash. The EX version, similar to XIII Kyo’s, does not have him dashing, but rather than going straight into the choke, he’ll do a fast elbow strike for range before the grab.

Demon Scorcher (dp+P) – Anti-air that carries super armor, see next section.

Super Armor

Aside from chain punches, what really sets NESTS Kyo apart from the default is the super armor property into certain moves. If the opponent tries to hit you (even with a super) as you are performing these moves, the initial startup will absorb the attack, negate the damage, and the move will still come out. This doesn’t mean that Kyo can plow his way through everything – super armor only occurs during certain frames of animation so some timing is involved. Also, the super armor only absorbs one hit – pointless against multi-hitting attacks. Super armor is found in the following:

Aragami starter (qcf+A) – Due to the fact that it’s a quick move, timing is never an issue. Viable for snuffing out projectiles.

Dokugami starter (qcf+C) – Much slower in comparison to the Aragami, thus timing is required.

EX Dokugami starter (qcf+PP) – Quick, and as mentioned, you can follow up with an Aragami chain.

Demon Scorcher (dp+P) – The light version oddly requires more timing than the heavy version.

EX Crescent Slash (hcb+KK) – Tends to be a more reliable anti-air option compared to the Demon Scorcher, at the cost of meter.

Though they do not have the super armor property, EX Kai Kicks and EX Demon Scorcher has an initial frame of invincibility, meaning they can go right through one hitters.

The super armor property for Kyo provides the option of not only forcing your way into your opponent’s face, but you can bait strikes and burrow right through them.


c. B, c. B, s. B, qcf+A, qcf+A, B – Your go-to combo; hits low, quick, and its decent reach adds to its verifiable nature.

Close s.C, qcf+D, D, hcb+D – Reliable at midscreen. You can also choose to end with a light R.E.D. Kick instead of the Crescent Slash.

At the corner, close s.C, qcf+D, D, qcf+A (must hit at the highest point of the punch), qcf+A, hcb+A, A – Decent damaging corner combo that ends with a hard knock down

Close s. C, f+B, qcf+PP, qcf+A, hcb+A, A – Back in the day, you could connect Dokugami from close s. C, f+B, but if you’re a mere few pixels away the Dokugami will whiff mid-way. Going into EX Dokugami starter guarantees all your follow up hits. Plus, if you have the Drive to spare, you can cancel into hcb+D if at midscreen. At the corner, you can opt to do a Dream cancelled qcf+D, D after the combo – scooping up the opponent for any number of follow ups.

HD Combos

Close s.C, f+B, activate, close s.C, f+B, [qcf+C, hcb+C, qcf+A]x3, qcf+C, NeoMax – 662 damage, basic combo for 2 meters.

Close s.C, f+B, activate, close s.C, f+B, [qcf+C, hcb+C, qcf+A]x2, qcf+D, D, qcf+A, dp+C, cancel first hit into Final Showdown, cancel second to last hit into NeoMax – 721 damage, decent 3 meter midscreen/corner combo.

Close s.C, f+B, activate, close s.C, f+B, qcf+C, hcb+C, qcf+A, qcf+PP, qcf+A, hcb+A, A, qcf+D, D, qcf+A, dp+C, cancel first hit into Final Showdown, cancel last hit into NeoMax – 767 damage, more damaging midscreen/corner combo at the cost of 4 meters.

In a nutshell

Between the two, XIII Kyo is the fastest and most accessible. NESTS Kyo still comes with his own variety of versatility – immediately accessible to KOF veterans. Those new to the series may need the time to adjust but his rushdown factor is present with help from his vast array of super armored specials. In short, while Classic Iori is easy on the beginners, NESTS Kyo can be considered an intermediate alternative.


NESTS Kyo also comes with the remake of the classic Esaka stage from KOF96, the best stage in the entire game, complete with Haohmaru cameo at night. This also explains why we keep only seeing it online before and not knowing how to unlock it.

The author of this fine article

is a Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in August 2010. Get in touch on Twitter @S_Chyou.

Gentle persuasion

You should check out our podcast.