Yuri Sakazaki (ユリ・サカザキ or ユリ 坂崎, Yuri Sakazaki) is a character introduced in the Art of Fighting series as a damsel in distress and eventually as a playable character. Since then, she has appeared in many SNK fighting games, alongside her older brother,Ryo Sakazaki . She is the first female practitioner of Kyokugenryu Karate. In the character popularity poll on Neo Geo Freak's website, she was voted as the nineteenth favorite character with a total of 726 votes.
As a child, Takuma dedicated more time training Ryo to be next family heir rather than raising Yuri. When she was six years old, her mother died in a tragic caraccident. Sensing his family was being targeted, their father leaves in order to protect them. With the loss of both parents, she becomes fearful and heavily dependent on Ryo for the rest of their childhood. When she first meets Robert, she does not trust him but eventually warms up to him.
When she was 17, Yuri was kidnapped byMr. Big on behalf of Geese Howard as part of a ploy to blackmail her father. Ryo and Robert search Southtown to find her whereabouts and rescue her. While held hostage, she finds out the identity of Mr. Karate. When Ryo defeats her captors, she reveals it to her brother and the family is reunited.
In order to protect herself in the future, Takuma teaches her how to fight much to Ryo and Robert's chagrin. He trained Yuri in secret, but only taught her enough to defend herself.
She becomes worried about Robert when he doesn't appear for their date before Art of Fighting 3. Setting out with her brother, they search for him in Glasshill. During their trip, she is wounded bySinclair and briefly hospitalized. If the player plays through Robert's story, a strained Yuri appears to assist his plight against Wyler. She is healthy enough to leave with Robert by the end of the game's events.
According to Ryo, she and Robert are still single by the time Buriki One takes place. She likely stayed at home to help the family business, as she is close enough to her brother to tell him to shave off the hair from his chin.
Yuri, now confident in her fighting prowess, decides to enter the tournament, but is denied to enter by her brother. She defies his wishes and enters with King and Mai. It isn't until the 1996 tournament that they finally form a team together to represent the prestige of Kyokugenryu to the world. She is forced to join when Takuma gives her an ultimatum to either enter with Ryo or leave the house.
After the 1999 King of Fighters tournament, Yuri wanted to once again show her independence. She begs King to take her place for the year and joins the Women's Team. In 2001, Robert reveals to the family that his family business is in trouble. They decide to all enter together to win the prize money and help out Robert's situation. Since 2001, Yuri then has been a regular for the Art of Fighting team alongside Ryo and Robert. In The King of Fighters XI, Yuri has a rival in the form of Malin. She stuns her father with her whimsical haircut before KOF XIII and is upset by her family's eccentric reactions. Since the rising skill of martial artists in the tournaments outclasses her basic training, Robert informs her of her brother and father's wishes to quit Karate for her own safety. Optimistic in her attempts to improve herself, however, she teams with Mai and King for the newest tournament.
Yuri Sakazaki is a friendly young girl who always cares about her family and friends. She is a strong believer of innovation and trends, constantly finding ways to improve herself through change. She is often arguing with her father and Ryo over matters regarding her newly found sense of independence.
In the Art of Fighting series, it is heavily implied that she has a romantic interest in Robert after her kidnapping. As of Art of Fighting 3, she is confirmed to be in a relationship with Robert. Thought still present to a certain degree, this attraction and relationship is downplayed in the King of Fighters series.
- Gather chi: Yuri can gather chi from Gaia, the mother-earth.
- Energy Projectile: Yuri can fire the Kouken and Haoh Shou Kouken blast normally.
- Energy Reflector: Yuri can create a ball of energy in her hands to reflect projectiles.
Yuri uses the lowest-grade version of the Kyokugenryu Karate discipline, and is taught only the basic and low-level moves. To prove her own worth, she personally arranges the style to better fit her physique and persona. Among her own moves are the Slipstream Handslap/Hyakuretsu Binta (Hundred Rending Face Slaps), the Big Butt Press/En Yoku (Swallow Wing) and the more popular Yuri's Chou Upper (Yuri's Super Upper).
Yuri's moveset is a running parody of various special moves from the Street Fighter series. This is very noticeable in King of Fighters '96, when she received her Yuri Chou Mawashi Keri (Yuri's Super Roundhouse Kick), which was similar to Sakura's Shunpuu Kyaku. Yuri has since then received various moves that are parodies of these:
Sakura's Flower Kick: Senkai Kyaku (Swiveling Kick) in KOF 2000-2001
Ryu's Shin Shouryuuken (True Rising Dragon Fist): Shin! Chou Upper! (True! Super Upper!) in KOF NESTS Saga, KOF: Maximum Impact 2, and KOF XI
Ken's Shouryuu Reppa: Hien Rekkou (Flying Swallow Rending Rainbow) in KOF '98 (UM) and Capcom vs. SNK series
Akuma's Tenma Kuujinkyaku (Evil Spirit Air Blade Leg) and Hyakki Shuu (Hundred Demons Assault): Yuri Raijin Kyaku (Yuri's Thunder God Leg) and Houyoku (Phoenix Wing) in KOF XIII, respectively
Chun-Li's Senjou Shuu (Drilling Cane Kick): Shouyoku (Rising Wing) in KOF 2002-XI/Neowave
Ryu's Denjin Hadouken (Electric Blade Surge Fist): Denjin Haoh Shoukouken (Electric Blade Supreme King Flying Roar Fist) in KOF 2003
Iori's Geshiki: Yuri Ori (Foreign Method: Lily Cage): Yuri Ori (Yuri Cage) in KOF 2003-XI (notice that the "yuri" on the latter is not in written kanji but in katakana, as in her name)
Terry's Burn Knuckle: Yuri Chou Knuckle (Yuri Super Knuckle) in KOF '98 (UM)
- Diet: Art of Fighting 2, The King of Fighters 2002, SNK Gals' Fighters, SNK vs Capcom: Match of the Millenium, The King of Fighters XI (Yuri as leader, console version)
- Ne!: The King of Fighters '94, The King of Fighters '98 and Ultimate Match (when teamed with Mai and King)
- Tsuchi o Hau Bass: The King of Fighters '95
- Kamikirimushi: The King of Fighters '96
- Art of Fight: The King of Fighters '98
- Ryu-Ko: The King of Fighters '99
- Come up Smiling: The King of Fighters 2000
- Fight to the Limit: The King of Fighters 2001
- Kyoku-gen: The King of Fighters 2003
- After a Long Absence: The King of Fighters XI (Normal Team theme)
- Who is Queen? - The King of Fighters XIII
- ART OF FIGHT ~ Ryuko to Tsubame - The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match
- Cho Smile - Days of Memories (Kaze Maou Miyako de Tsukamaete!)
- The Song of Fighters '95 - shared image song from The King of Fighters '95 Arranged Soundtrack
- Heavy Baby's - Neo Geo DJ Station shared image song
- Harumi Ikoma - Art of Fighting
- Kaori Horie - Art of Fighting 2~present
- Amy Walls - Maximum Impact series (English voice)
- Ayumi Hamasaki - Art of Fighting anime
- Veronica Taylor - Art of Fighting anime (English voice)
- Sakura Tange - Dengeki Bunko drama CD
- Art of Fighting - damsel in distress
- Art of Fighting 2
- Art of Fighting 3 - NPC in Ryo and Robert's story modes
- The King of Fighters '94
- The King of Fighters '95
- The King of Fighters '96
- The King of Fighters '97
- The King of Fighters '98
- The King of Fighters '99
- The King of Fighters R-2
- SNK vs Capcom: Match of the Millenium - secret character
- Capcom vs SNK
- Capcom vs SNK Pro
- SNK Gals' Fighters
- The King of Fighters 2000
- Capcom vs SNK 2
- The King of Fighters 2001
- The King of Fighters EX - striker character
- The King of Fighters 2002
- The King of Fighters EX2
- The King of Fighters 2003
- The King of Fighters: Neowave
- The King of Fighters: Maximum Impact
- The King of Fighters XI
- The King of Fighters 2006
- The King of Fighters Maximum Impact Regulation A
- The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match
- The King of Fighters: Kyo
- The King of Fighters XIII
- Quiz King of Fighters - damsel in distress
- Days of Memories (first, fourth, fifth and eighth titles) - non-playable
- The King of Fighters Mobile
- The King of Fighters Mobile R-2
- The King of Fighters Volleyball
- SNK Gals Fighters
- SNK Gal's Open ~Cutey Shot~
- KOF Gals Mahjong
- SNK Gals Island Dokidoki Puzzle Shock!
- SNK Gals Rhythm Combo Yudanshinaide!
- SNK Gals Island Senkan Battle Gekichinshichaouzo!
- SNK Gals Island Beauty Dungeon Mimi to Kimashita!
- The King of Fighters XII - passing mention
- Neo Geo Battle Coliseum - in-text cameo in Robert's win quote against Mr.Big and another in-text cameo in Mr. Karate's win quote against Robert
- The King of Fighters: Battle de Paradise
- Shinsetsu Samurai Spirits: Bushidou Retsuden (Neo-Geo CD version only)
- SNK vs Capcom: SVC Chaos - cameo in Ryo and Mr. Karate's ending
- Koi no Iroha ~Momiji Iro Tsuku Aki~ mobile game
- The King of Fighters: Maximum Impact 2 - Ryo Sakazaki's Another Outfit-Variation E
- In some games, when Yuri is knocked out with a special move, the top of her costume flies off. This happens in Art of Fighting 2, The King of Fighters '94, The King of Fighters '95, The King of Fighters XIII.
- In Capcom vs. SNK 2, when Yuri finishes a fight with a "Dramatic KO" (finish with a super move as a counter to an opponent's special or super move), she will attempt to tie her gi tighter. However, the belt becomes completely undone and her top opens, revealing a semi sheer undershirt. Yuri will then blush in total embarrassment and immediately cover herself. This victory pose first appeared in Art of Fighting 2 when Yuri scores a Perfect victory.
- Yuri notably breaks the fourth wall in KOF XI: in her win pose against Gai Tendo, she suggests he try saying "Hurricane Upper!", referencing that Gai and Joe Higashi have the same voice actor.
The King of Fighter 2002 artworkThe King of Fighter 2003 artworkThe King of Fighter XI artworkKOF 2006 renderYuri's Another outfit in the Maximum Impact series.KOF Gals Mahjong screenshotYuri in the third episode ofKoi no IrohaYuri in the Art of Fighting TV special