Ash Crimson (アッシュ・クリムゾン) is the protagonist of the Ash Saga. His first appearance was in The King of Fighters 2003 as the leader of the New Hero Team. His motives for entering are to take the powers of the descendants of the clans who sealed Orochi away 1,800 years ago (Kyo Kusanagi, Iori Yagami and Chizuru Kagura). He has succeeded thus far, leaving Kyo as the last power he needs.
Ash is designed with the intent of creating an "attractive evil character" with little changes done to him since conception. During the initial planning stage for Ash, developers wanted to create a protagonist that has never been done for the franchise. Following this idea, they decided to create a feminine looking and unheroic character to contrast the impact from previous protagonist. Falcoonadds that the main goal for Ash was to make him an ambiguous hero that purposely makes players "feel bad" for cheering for him. His official nickname is The Sneering Blaze.
Ash was the descendant of Saiki. When he was living in France, he spent his childhood years with Elisabeth Blanctorche. For reasons still not entirely divulged, he left her household and the Blanctorche teachings. He enters the 2003 edition of The King of Fighters tournament alongside Duo Lon and Shen Woo. While his teammates left to solve their own vendettas, Ash went to the Orochi seal, where Kyo, Chizuru, and Iori were investigating the Orochi Seal. Ash suddenly ambushed Chizuru and robbed her powers, leaving her unconscious. He taunts that Iori will be next and flees from the scene.
Ash enters the next tournament with Shen and Oswald. After the tournament's events, he reveals to Oswald that Shen is the target he has been contracted to assassinate for a mysterious group, and leaves his teammates to fight each other, a scheme that Ash gleefully set up before the tournament occurred. Due to Orochi's strong presence in the tournament, Iori entered the Riot of the Blood and badly beats his own teammates. Ash appeared in the scene and fought Iori, eventually stealing his magatama. Before he left the tournament grounds, Elisabeth Blanctorche and her team appeared before him. She accused Ash of abandoning "their mission" and fighting for personal gain. To intimidate her, he unleashes his new purple flames and disappears using the Yata Mirror. He chillingly warns them that he plans to target Kyo next.
Prior to the KOF XIII tournament, Ash openly joins forces with Those from the Past and works for their master. During the tournament finals, he waits for Saiki to lower his guard and slay Saiki, robbing him of his soul, while blunty telling Botan that it will be the end of their "bloodline". However, Saiki's essence seizes control of his body and uses it as his own. However, after being defeated again by the winning team Ash regains control of his body. Saiki insists that Ash enter the Time Gate, which will allow them to return to a previous era and begin their entire plan over again. Ash doesn't move however, allowing the gate to close and creating a time paradox, since the act has removed Saiki from both past and present. Revealing disgust for the leader of Those from the Past, Ash explains that he "actually likes this world" before Saiki's essence disintegrates. Ash has a few moments to chat with Elisabeth, apologizing to her while saying that his "plan" didn't work the way he meant it to before disappearing as well. He leaves the stolen sacred treasures behind for Iori and Chizuru to reclaim.
Ash is a very cunning,lazy and sarcastic boy. He is a trickster who seems to side with no one but himself. He manipulates other people as if it were a game and is easily bored with people who don't interest him. He usually hides his true strength and likes to flaunt the superiority of his halfhearted effort. He speaks in a playful and condescending manner, which often irritates the characters he is speaking to. Although he acts as though he is Duo Lon and Shen Woo's good friend, Ash only met them recently and appeared to them on whim with mysterious intentions. He calls Elisabeth "Betty" and notes that she's always "too serious".
He doesn't like members from Those from the Past. According to Magaki, Ash is trying to repent for something (as stated in Magaki's Victory Speech when Ash is K.O.d).
- Pyrokinesis - Ash can create and control special green flames that look like melted wax. The origin of this flame is still unknown.
- Create Fire - Ash can create fire from thin air.
- Fire Projectile - Ash can create projectiles made of fire.
- Fire Attacks - Ash can increase damage of his punches and kicks with fire.
- Fire Aura - Ash can create fire around his body.
- Power Absorption - Ash can steal powers from anybody he chooses. He decided to target the Three Sacred Treasures. He managed to steal two of three treasures leaving Kyo as the next power to acquire. He could possibly kill people during this process, but has a matter of self control considering he could've killed Chizuru and Iori, but didn't.
- Yata Mirror (formerly) - The following are powers shown by Ash when he acquired Chizuru's Yata Mirror.
- Seal Powers (formerly) - Ash can keep enemies from using their powers for a while.
- Teletransport (formerly) - Ash can disappear and reappear somewhere.
- Yasakani no Magatama (formerly) - The following are powers shown by Ash when he acquired from Iori'sYasakani no Magatama, which was later regained by Yagami after Ash's disappearance.
- Create Fire (formerly) - Ash can create purple fire. It's unknown if it comes from the Magatama directly or from the Orochi blood in Iori. Ash's eyes turned yellow when he demonstrated this power.
- Unexplained Powers - Ash can steal the treasures within the Sacred Treasures team as well as Saiki's powers, thus destroying Saiki's original body. He can also enter a state where his eyes flash to black and then his pupils turn red.
Ash uses a soft and somewhat acrobatic fighting style, dubbed by many fans as ballet-looking. Ash may seem like a frail individual, but he is extremely powerful. He's good for people who like to zone and poke their opponents, but he also has many other tools at the players disposal that can be used to rush down efficiently all while keeping the pressure on them. In the newest title, he also employs Iori's and Chizuru's powers into his moveset.
All of his moves refer to the French Revolution; they are named after months of the French Republican Calendar, except for his LDM Sans-culottes, which refers to French insurgents. It should be noted however that Sans-culottes may also be referring to the Sansculottides, which were the last days of the year in that particular calendar.
- Splendid Evil - The King of Fighters 2003
- Joker - The King of Fighters XI
- The Second Joker - The King of Fighters XIII
- Fructidor - Days of Memories
- Sōnosuke Nagashiro - since debut
- Peter von Gomm - The King of Fighters XII (English voice)
- The King of Fighters 2003
- The King of Fighters XI
- KOF Maximum Impact Regulation A
- The King of Fighters XII
- The King of Fighters XIII
- Days of Memories (second, fourth, and seventh titles) - unplayable
- The King of Reversi
- Moeyo! KOF Daiundokai
- SNK Dream Battle
- The King of Fighters '94: Rebout - background cameo
- KOF Maximum Impact 2 - background cameo, Kula Diamond's Normal Outfit-Variaton E
- Ash's character design was not made by Falcoon — in fact, some of the development sketches for Ash's final design look closer to Nona's style than the former. However, he did add extra details to Ash while he was illustrating him to better fit his character.
- KOF Maximum Impact 2: Regulation A earned its title for three reasons: arcade, arrange, and Ash. In a later interview, Falcoon relates that he asked permission from the 2D team to borrow Ash for the game.
- Ash's face can be seen more than forty times during the Regulation A opening.
The King Of Fighters 2003 artwork.The King Of Fighters XI artworkThe King Of Fighters XII artworkKOF Maximum Impact Regulation A artwork.Ash's Another design in Maximum Impact Regulation A.Ash Crimson in KOF Maximum Impact: Regulation A