Kap-hwan Kim (キム・カッファン Kimu Kaffan, sometimes written as 김갑환 Kim Kap-hwan), usually written surname first as Kim Kap-hwan, is a character in both the Fatal Fury and The King of Fighters series created by SNK Playmore (formerly SNK). He is credited as the first ever fictional Korean character to appear in a fighting game. Kim is first introduced in Fatal Fury 2 as a playable character. In the series Kim is a master of taekwondo, and also considers himself a fighter of justice. Since Kim was young and during his taekwondo training sessions, he was always reminded to fight for justice, and use the martial art as a way to accomplish this. He is also a regular character from The King of Fighters, in which he is the leader of the Korea Team and spends the time trying to rehabilitate his two team mates, Chang Koehan and Choi Bounge, out from their criminal lives. He also appears in the Fatal Fury animated films and comics adaptations from the video games.
Although appearing in most The King of Fighters games, Kim was not originally meant to appear on its first game and was removed from the first Maximum Impact game due to complaints from designers. However, Kim's character has been well-received by gamers, who commonly vote him in popularity polls developed by video games journals and websites. He has also received comments from video games publications, which praised his development in the SNK games, but criticized his absence in KOF: Maximum Impact.
Kim was originally named "Haifon Kim" but that idea was later dropped because it was not a valid Korean name. After a talk with Kim Kap-hwan, the president of the Korean company Viccom, the SNK staff decided to rename the character Kim Kaphwan.
Kim's addition to The King of Fighters series was considered to be forced; the game was meant to have a Fugitive Team composed of Chang Koehan and Choi Bounge and an unknown criminal. However, due to certain circunstances, Kim was the one who had Choi and Chang as his teammates as the leader of the Korea Team. Originally, Kim was going to enter the first entry of the Maximum Impact series under the pseudonym "Mr. Taekwondo" -in the same fashion as Art of Fighting's Mr.Karate. Due to veteran designers' complaints and other difficulties at the time, it was finally decided to leave Kim out of the game's lineup but add another character like him to replace his absence. While several other characters were considered for the spot -including other SNK characters such as Jhun Hoon, May Lee, and Buriki One character Seo Yong Song- a fellow developer voiced interest in creating another female Taekwondo fighter with the same "professional" manner as Kim, which eventually formed the basis for Chae Lim.
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