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The King of Fighters 2003/FAQ

From SuperCombo Wiki


What game versions are there?

  • Arcade
  • Neo・Geo
  • PlayStation 2
  • Xbox
  • PlayStation Network

The PlayStation Network version is the same as the PlayStation 2 version. Both the PlayStation 2, Xbox and PlayStation Network version include arranged soundtrack, 3D backgrounds, access to all boss characters, and an arranged mode, that changes the game balance. Although I am not sure what exactly are the arranged mode differences, it has come to my attention that controls have been improved, since buffers have become much more viable. Leona's famous buffer combo [qcf,u+D,hcb+P], which was not executable through buffer in the arcade release, is then possible. It does not fix some bugs, though. The Xbox release also included a color edit mode, and an online mode thanks to the Xbox Live.


Any secrets/bugs I should know about?


Route Select

  • There are 2 routes in the story mode, which also result in a different ending. The "bad end" route, where you fight Adelheid as the final boss, can be accessed by defeating the Mid-Boss KUSANAGI without a MSA, DM or SDM, while the "Good End" route, where you fight Mukai as the final boss, can be accessed by defeating KUSANAGI with a MSA, DM or SDM.

Play as Kusanagi

  • At the character select screen, input this command: qcb,ub,hcf,uf, and without letting go of uf, press A,B,C or D.

It MUST be input as a special command, without letting go, but there is no need to rush, you can input the command very slowly if you want, but it is very important that you don't let it go. You must keep holding the directional at all times, until you press a button to select the character.

Play as Chizuru

  • At the character select screen, input this command: u,ub,b,db,qcf,uf,f,df,d,db, and without letting go of db, press A,B,C or D.

It MUST be input as a special command, without letting go, but there is no need to rush, you can input the command very slowly if you want, but it is very important that you don't let it go. You must keep holding the directional at all times, until you press a button to select the character.

Debug Dip Switches

  • There are disabled features which can be enabled by using the dip-switches. These are the effects:

NOTE: The first digit corresponds to the row, and the second digit to the number(appearing as 0).

   - |Dip 1-4: Activates collision boxes
   - |Dip 1-5: Freezes clock
   - |Dip 1-6/7: "Change" time recharges fast, plus invincibility for both players
   - |Dip 2-3: Show inputs on screen
   - |Dip 2-7: Zoom in/out effect. Get away from the opponent to see.
   - Boss Code(Unlock every boss): Enable Developer Mode(Glitches online; use the Uni-Bios Enable Boss code instead).


| Ash's pseudo Sans-Culotte:

This is a glitch that allows you to have two A Ventoses[b~f+A] on screen. Throw an A Ventose from fullscreen while buffering a second. After it connects with the opponent or passes through, throw a second Ventose, while buffering a third, and then you will be able to throw the third before the second connects to the opponent, having 2 Ventoses on screen. As long as you keep buffering, you can keep throwing Ventoses. The glitch will be cancelled as soon as you let go of b or db.

| K's Unblockable Ein Trigger:

This is a glitch that will make K's Ein Trigger[qcf+P] unblockable. Uppon knocking down an opponent, use qcf+A/C as a meaty, and cancel into b+B/D to teleport with Blackout. The game will consider K' not to be attacking, and until Blackout ends, Ein Trigger will turn unblockable. On corner, an unblockable A Ein Trigger will allow K' to combo into his qcfx2+K DM or a MSA.

| Tizoc's gravitation:

Tizoc's throw can be followed by a pursuit attack, dfx2+C. If the pursuit attack is input just as Tizoc holds the opponent(before he actually executes the move), the follow up will come out, and the opponent will spin in the air as if the throw were still undergoing. Tizoc recovers first, and if fast enough, can grab the opponent with a free hcb+P or hcbx2+P.

| Jhun's Levitation:

This is a glitch that allows Jhun to levitate until he jumps or gets hit. Use an air dw+B, and just after the hit, when Jhun is starting to recover, try rolling forward or backwards. As a result, Jhun will roll in the air, and stay there. In this state, Jhun's attacks will not push him back, allowing him to use a infinite corner combo with dw.A. However, in this state, Jhun CANNOT block, making him vulnerable to any attacks. Also, if Jhun tries a second dw+B while levitating and it whiffs, Jhun will not be able to fall, resulting in him being stuck until hit by the opponent.

| The Super Cancel Levitation:

Similar to Jhun, this is a glitch that allows other characters to levitate. As far as I know, it works for Joe and Iori. It happens when you try to super cancel Joe's dp+D on the first hit, or Iori's after the second hit while the opponent is high in the air, in a way that the camera will follow them, such as after a jump in or a multi-shift combo. The super cancel comes out but out of time, resulting in the levitation.

| Leona's "Heart Attack"'

If you hit an opponent's character which is not their last with Leona's Earring Bakudan 2, and manages to defeat this very character backturned before the earring explodes, it will be inherited by their next character.

Do the Leader Desperation Moves make a competitive difference in character viability?

Yes, they make a big impact in the viability of your team, so much so that the ratio rules for KOF2003 have two separate ratios for characters: one where the character doesn't have access to their LDM, and one where they do have access to it. That said, not all LDMs are equal in viability, and a select few are straight up not worth using.

Sarsen Dyza's LDM Tier List:

  • Awesome LDM: Jhun, King, Kim, K', Iori
  • Great LDM: Chizuru, Tizoc, Daimon, Clark, Malin, Hinako, Terry, Kyo, Shingo, Blue Mary, Chang
  • Situational: Athena, Ryo, Billy, Whip, Benimaru, Kusanagi, Mai, Leona
  • Inconvenient: Gato, Robert, Shen Woo, Ash, Duo Lon, Yamazaki, Joe, Ralf
  • Trash: Yuri, Maxima

What positions should I put my characters in?

You do not have to fret too much over the positions of your characters as KOF in general is a very flexible game for playstyles, but according to Sarsen Dyza, these are the recommended positions.

  • Flex (Anywhere): Duo Lon, Gato, Jhun, King, Iori, Hinako, Kim, Athena, Kyo, Kusanagi
  • Point: Ash, Shingo, Robert, Yuri, Terry, Leona, Ralf
  • Anchor: K', Daimon, Tizoc, Yamazaki, Billy, Mai, Ryo, Blue Mary, Maxima, Chang
  • Solo*: Malin, Benimaru, Whip, Chizuru, Joe, Shen Woo, Clark


  • A strong starting character, meter builder, and can open opportunities for a MSC or a regular swap with dominance. Can peel any opponent into kill range for a MSC. These characters are normally first in Order Select.
  • Ash is a popular point character for peeling HP bars before a MSC.


  • More reliable when swapped in, a cornered opponent has everything to fear versus these characters. They shine best when they can outright bully a downed opponent. Their ability to end a MSC with decent damage is paramount to their successes. This is usually due to a high damaging LDM or super, that will erase the remainder of an opponent’s health bar.
  • A fan favorite anchor like Tizoc shows no mercy.


  • In between point and anchor, able to start and finish combos effectively, making them all around good picks for any team as they’re independent of the team’s synergy.
  • Duo Lon, is the most infamous example of this.


  • A special case of characters who do not normally engage in MSC, but can be an alternative anchor option. These characters would much rather hog meter for their own combos, to make the most of the situation and apply all the pressure they can. Solo characters are as dangerous as you are close to them, so be wary of their pressure and range. Most are played on point because the game gives them 3 bars to start with and they can build meters for themselves, but can take the back lines with a viable strategy.
  • Malin reigns as #1 among solo characters due to her nuanced 8 way attacks, yo-yo and easy bar usage.

What does the ratio list look like?

This info can be found here, on this Google Spreadsheet with a much more detailed explanation than what is on offer here. The gist of the ratio list, as well as the Chinese ratio list, will be provided below, pulled from this link.

Sarsen Dyza Ratio List:

  • NOTE: A Team can only consist of 15 points total.


Chinese Ratio List:

  • NOTE: A Team can only consist of 20 points total.
KOF2003 Chinese Ratio List
Point Cost Character(s)
12 Duo Lon
11 Iori, Daimon, K'
10 Tizoc, Jhun, Gato
9 Ash, Yamazaki, Benimaru, Malin
8 Ryo, Kim, Kyo
7 Chizuru, Robert, Yuri, Leona, King
6 Shen, Clark, Billy, Mary, Kusanagi
5 Terry, Chang, Shingo, Athena, Whip
4 Joe, Mai, Hinako
3 Ralf
2 Maxima

What does the tier list look like?

Gogtv's (China) Tier list (Circa 2018-19)

Note: Gogtv occasionally plays with Boss characters and has them ranked, but they are otherwise banned.

  • SSS: Mukai, Maki
  • SS: Adelheid
  • S+: Duo Lon
  • S: K'
  • S-: Iori, Daimon
  • A+: Gato, Jhun, Tizoc
  • A: Ash, Benimaru, Kim, Kyo, Malin, Yamazaki
  • A-: King, Leona, Robert, Ryo, Yuri
  • B+: Billy, Blue Mary, Chizuru, Kusanagi, Shen Woo
  • B: Athena, Chang, Clark, Shingo, Terry, Whip
  • B-: Hinako, Joe, Mai
  • C+: Ralf
  • C: Maxima

Ariasvil Tier List (Circa 2015; Outdated)

WARNING: Due to the lack of competitive play in over a decade, the only tier list that can be found everywhere is very outdated:

I have built an updated tier list based on my own experience of years of competitive play on FightCade, which I humbly defend as more acurate than the old tier list. It may slightly change over the years, as new data about the characters and the game is found.

The King of Fighters 2003 Tier List by Ariasvil
Tier Character(s)
Banned Mukai, Maki
God Duolon, Gato, Adelheid
Top Iori, King, Daimon, Ash, K'
High Malin, Mary, Yamazaki
Medium Yuri, Billy, Kyo, Benimaru, Terry, Whip, Jhun, Ryo, Robert, Kim, Shen, Shingo, Clark, KUSANAGI, Joe, Hinako, Athena
Low Griffon Mask/Tizoc, Maxima, Leona, Chang, Ralf, Chizuru, Mai


1st: Duolon, Gato, Iori[L]

 - No disavantaged match-up.
 - Very Powerful Okizemes.
 - Good teamwork everywhere.
 - Medium cost Multi-Shift Combos.
 - Difficult Leader 100% combo.

2nd: Duolon, Gato, Daimon[L]

 - Only a few disavantaged match-ups.
 - Good Okizemes.
 - Potential teamwork midscreen, good on corner.
 - High cost Multi-Shift Combos.
 - No Leader 100% combo.

3rd: Duolon, Gato, K'[L]

 - Many disavantaged match-ups.
 - Weak Okizemes.
 - Good teamwork only on corner.
 - High cost Multi-Shift Combos.
 - Easy Leader 100% combo.
 - Includes an unblockable glitch


Are there any KOF2003 rom hacks?

Albeit one of the least hacked games in the KOF series, at least among the Neo Geo titles, there is one hack and two bootlegs of KOF2003 that have been made.

KOF2003 ROM Files
Game Name zipname Notes
1. The King of Fighters 2003 (NGM-2710)
2. The King of Fighters 2003 (NGH-2710)
3. The King of Fighters 2003 (Japan, JAMMA PCB)
4. The King of Fighters 2003 (bootleg set 1) [Bootleg]
5. The King of Fighters 2003 (bootleg set 2) [Bootleg]
1. kof2003
2. kof2003h
3. kof2003pcb
4. kof2003bl
5. kof2003bla
Normal game ROM for KOF2003, plus its bootleg variants.
* The King of Fighters 2003 PlayStation 2 (Hack By EGCG)
* The King of Fighters 2003 - PS2 Style Portraits (Hack By 0 Day-S, Eddids, Hiker)
* kf2k3ps2
* kf2k3ps2sp
Rom hack of 2003 that uses the PS2 UI, makes minor adjustments to the AES training mode, and allows for all bosses to be playable. Kusanagi, Chizuru, and Maki are selectable below K' Team, and Adelheid and Mukai can be selected by holding start above Iori and Kyo respectively. Input reading bug is also fix, thus made more lenient and is less strict like the PS2 release. Must be using an AES bios for the hack to work. What changes kf2k3ps2sp makes are TBA, though on the surface it appears to just take the PS2 hack and apply it to the MVS mode. Needs confirmation.
* The King of Fighters 2004 Plus / Hero (bootleg) [Bootleg]
* The King of Fighters 2004 Ultra Plus (bootleg) [Bootleg]
* kf2k3pl
* kf2k3upl
Bootleg versions of KOF2003 that allow for all bosses to be selectable, albeit arranged in an unusual manner. In-game graphics would suggest they originated from China. Currently unknown what else about these bootlegs is new or changed, if anything at all.

Any useful links I could use?

Game Navigation

Duo Lon
Console/Cheats/Rom Hacks Only