Yuri Sakazaki is a 20-year-old Japanese-American. Her brother is Art of Fighting protagonist Ryo Sakazaki, while her parents are Takuma and Ronnet Sakazaki. After an incident in which she was captured by Mr. Big, she was taught entry-level Kyokugen karate, which she has used to develop her own style of fighting.
She is first playable in Art of Fighting 2, and is a player character in every King of Fighters game except The King of Fighters XII.
Yuri's fighting style is based on Ryo's, but she utilizes several of her own techniques that distinguishes her from her brother.
- Air Throw: Yuri can perform a throw while in the air.
- En Yoku: A command move that sees Yuri jumping at the enemy butt-first. Acts as an overhead.
- Ko'ou Ken: A standard fireball. Like most fireball moves, it became short-ranged in The King of Fighters '96 and has remained this way ever since. In newer games, she can charge her Ko'ou Ken to create a slow-moving Haoh Sho Koh Ken.
- Chou Upper / Double Chou Upper: A Dragon Punch move. The Heavy version has Yuri sliding forward a bit before performing the uppercut; also, it can be followed up by a second uppercut if the first one hits.
- Raiou Ken: Yuri jumps into the air and fires a projectile towards the ground. Can often be done in the air.
- Hundred Slaps: Yuri runs to the enemy, grabs them, and slaps them several times on their cheeks before knocking them to the ground.
- Saiha: Yuri reaches back, then brings her arms forward, creating an energy barrier that is useful both as a melee attack and as a way to nullify projectiles.
- Haoh Sho Koh Ken: The trademark Kyokugen super-fireball. Yuri charges then fires a rather tall fireball that comes out quickly or travels quickly, depending on the button used to activate it. In later games, she loses the DM version in favor of allowing the move to be performed from Ko'ou Ken.
- Hien Hou'ou Kyaku: Yuri runs at the opponent, then climbs their body by kicking them repeatedly. She finishes the move by knocking them to the ground.
In 1995, Capcom created Street Fighter Alpha; this game featured Dan Hibiki, an over-the-top parody of Ryo and Robert. In KOF '96, SNK retaliated by giving Yuri an altered version of Sakura Kasugano's Shunpuukyaku. From then on, Yuri borrows at least one move from Street Fighter in each of her appearances. Both Capcom and SNK acknowledge this in their crossover games by giving Dan and Yuri a "double thumbs up" intro when they face each other.
- Chou Mawashigeri (Sakura's Shunpuukyaku): Yuri does a spinning kick that travels at a slight arc.
- Hien Rekkou ( Ken's Shoryureppa): Yuri does several Chou Uppers in rapid succession.
- Shin! Chou Upper ( Ryu's Shin Shoryuken): If Yuri hits the opponent at close range, she does two hard punches, followed by a powerful Chou Upper. Otherwise, it becomes a multi-hitting uppercut.
- Yuri Chou Enbu ( Akuma's Raging Demon): Yuri runs at the opponent. If she makes contact, the screen goes black, several unseen attacks are made, and the screen returns to show the victim at Yuri's feet while she displays a double V-sign. Occasionally, the move does more damage, and afterward she assumes Akuma's famous pose.
- Denjin Haoh Sho Koh Ken (Ryu's Denjin Hadoken): An unblockable fireball that can be charged for more damage. Is a guaranteed dizzy after a certain amount of charge.
- Houyoku (Akuma's Hyakkishi, aka "Demon Flip"): Yuri performs a quick forward somersault. From Houyoku, she can hit the opponent with an overhead attack ( Hien Souha), dive kick ( Yuri Raijin Kyaku), air throw ( Tsubame Otoshi), or aerial Raiou Ken.
- Yuri is seen wearing her trademark redhead band in every game she is in (except for alternate costumes.)
- Her first hair style in the braided pony tail has been changed multiple times over the years from that to short hair switching back and forth, in King of Fighters XIII she is seen having both hair styles.
- Always wearing fingerless gloves ready to fight.
- Wearing very tight pants resembling tights or yoga pants.
- She wears shoes resembling Converse Chuck Taylors.
- Like King, whenever Yuri is hit by a special super or desperation move as a match-losing strike, her top is destroyed, revealing her bra. This only occurs in Art of Fighting 2, King of Fighters '94, '95 and XIII.