The origins of the mysterious Mukai are unknown. He made a prompt appearance in the King of Fighters 2003 tournament seeking strong opponents and to test his strength. It is also strongly implied he is somehow connected to the Orochi bloodline and the wills and goals of Ash Crimson (and hence the Three Sacred Treasures). He is a member of a secret organization, known as "Those from the Past", Harukeshi Ka no Chi yori Izuru Monotachi). Shadows of his fellow members can be seen resting with Mukai on a giant hand after the game's end. He speaks in very pious, grandiose declarations, but appears to have a cautious attitude toward the potential of humans (much to the chagrin of his ally, Magaki).

Before facing him in KOF 2003, Mukai reveals that his organization was behind the new KOF tournament, and his plans did not involve him directly intervening. He states that the Orochi seal has been broken, and the power of the Orochi has entered his master (who this is has yet to be seen, but it can be surmised that this master is the cloaked figure seen after beating him, who is the only one of his group yet to appear). He then engages in combat with the winning team, seeing if they have what it takes to survive in "the new age". According to the KOF XI backstory, he is defeated by K' and his team.

He reappears in The King of Fighters XIII, alongside the other members of "Those from the Past", in Saiki's pre-fight sequence. While the other members withdraw, Mukai requests his master to pull back and leave the rest to him. However, Saiki instead stabs him and drains his life force completely. While Mukai's dilapidated body sinks to the ground, his master uses his energy to fight the winning team of the tournament.

The King of Fighters 2003


SNK Vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash DS



Page Updated:  Jan. 17th, 2022

Mukai was a solid boss in KOF 2003. I think his visual design was a bit more thought-out than his actual fighting style / moveset (which is mostly annoying "SNK Boss Syndrome" material)... but overall, Mukai one of the better SNK boss designs of the era. He's got the instant "badass factor" with that bod, and some badass moves as well. As usual, SNK did an awesome job with his 2D sprite animations - especially those "light-up" effects. Next-gen stuff for the time!

It wouldn't be a bad thing to see Mukai return as a "more balanced" default playable character in a sequel... or even return as a boss. He's a cool and underrated character for sure.

Fighting  Style  /  Moveset
Personality  /  Charisma
Outfit(s)  /  Appearance
Effectiveness  in  series
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