Ash Crimson is the new protagonist for The King of Fighters 2003, in which he makes his first appearance in the series as the leader of the New Hero Team. Ash is designed with the intent of creating an "attractive evil character" with little changes done to him since conception. Falcoon adds that the main goal for Ash was to make him an ambiguous protagonist that purposely makes players "feel bad" for cheering for him. His motives for entering is 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, for unknown purposes. He is successful thus far, leaving Kyo as the last power he needs to steal. Ash is cunning and manipulative, often condescending friend or foe to his whim, and has ambiguous morals in his actions. He often gains his teammates through promises that he can fulfill, though he rarely specifies the means of granting them. Despite seeming frail by appearance, Ash is powerful as he is able to defeat Iori in his Riot of the Blood state seemingly with ease. He also has the unique ability of creating green fire and after defeating Iori he obtains his blue fire. He is voiced by Sōnosuke Nagashiro.