The Hakkeshu (in Japanese: 八傑集 or 八傑衆) is a cult group formed by the eight strongest warriors from the clan who serves the divine being known as Orochi. Their main goal is to one day release their master from the seal which binds him.
Orochi was sealed away 1800 years ago by the clans of Kusanagi, Yasakani and Yata. The ancestors of the Hakkeshu pitted these clans against each other to weaken the seal and thus free Orochi. They framed the Kusanagi for killing the wife of the Yasakani's leader, so the Yasakani made a blood pact with Orochi and changed their name to Yagami. On the present day, the Hakkeshu used the King of Fighters tournament to get the energy necessary to release their master.
Although Hakkeshu's physical body can be destroyed, their essence of existence cannot be. They are born and reborn through reincarnations cycled by the Wheel of Samsara. So all that can be done to stop them is to have them sealed away.
The Four Heavenly Kings
The Four Heavenly Kings are the most powerful of the Hakkeshu, who wield supernatural powers.
- Goenitz: He is the leader of the Hakkeshu, living as a priest. He wields the power of wind.
- Yashiro Nanakase: He plays in a rock band along with the other two Hakkeshu. He wields the power of earth.
- Shermie: She plays in the same band of Yashiro. She wields the power of lightning.
- Chris: Also plays in Yashiro's band, despite his age. He wields the power of fire. In the end, Orochi uses his body as a vessel for entering in our world.
- Mature and Vice: The two were sent by Goenitz to keep an eye on Rugal Bernstein, working as his secretaries. Later, they enter in KoF with Iori Yagami, who kills them while possessed by the Riot of Blood.
- Ryuji Yamazaki: He is said to be one of the Hakkeshu, but he doesn't care about Orochi or whatever mission he have.
- Gaidel: He lived a peaceful life and had no interest in resurrecting Orochi. Goenitz made his daughter enter the Riot of Blood, killing him and his entire village. The girl was adopted by Heidern, who named her Leona.