What it is

Knockout (aka “K.O.”, occ. “kayo”) occurs when someone’s lifebar is completely depleted. It is usually the most important way to win a round.


Most games take an extra note when the winner has a full lifebar when this has occurred, usually declaring “Perfect!”

Declaring knockout

Most games declare knockout by displaying “K.O.” or “knockout” on the screen and may also (or in lieu of display) declare it with a voiceover of the word.


Some games don’t declare knockout (e.g., Street Fighter II, which just says, “You win.”).

Some games have teams, declaring a knockout separately from victory by knockout (e.g., KOF XI notes, “Down!” when a team member is knocked out, but then notes “K.O.” if everyone on one team gets knocked out).

Some games don’t say anything at all (World Heroes just plays a bell sound).


Declarations for other “victory” conditions vary (e.g., “time over”, and “Double K.O.” / “Draw Game”).

Some unusual K.O. declarations

  • JoJo games
    • In the Japanese version, it displays “Retire” (as furigana over “Saiki Funō”, meaning “recovery impossible”), as well as “K.O.”
  • Samurai Shodown series
    • In keeping with the Edo period setting, English-derived words are avoided in the game system. Declarations (in various situations, in different games) include:
      • Ippon (“one point”)
      • Shōbu Ari (lit. something like “a match is had”, but basically means “we have a winner”, and would be yelled much like “Game!” or “Match!”)
      • Omigoto (“splendid”, “well done”, etc.)
      • Kanzen Shōri / Kanshō (“complete victory”)
      • Aiuchi (“mutual strike”; used for a double K.O.)
  • Last Blade games
    • Issen (lit. “one flash”)
    • Ketsu [perhaps kimari?] (when a match is decided)
    • Kanzen Shōri
  • Tekken
    • Great

Further reading

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Based off the article on the wiki, edited on or before 5 January 2009.
Unofficial translation published by BRPXQZME / Alfie Parthum 9 February 2009. No unauthorized redistribution permitted.