Most combos are chains. Think of a mix between Vampire and 3rd Strike (cr.LK chains). See here.
If you like zoning characters, King has the best fireball game due to her air fireball game, Saiki has a tall fireball and great normals, Robert and Andy can be played shoto style, EX Iori and Kyo can pressure just enough with their fireballs to bait movement, Mature’s fireball is good for getting in on people, and Mai has crazy fireball recovery. There are archetypes - Daimon, Clark, Raiden, Vice, and Maxima would be the grapplers - but they’re also really good at being able to shut down the neutral game. However, many characters have command grabs that actually lead to more damage than from those five, so it’s not always so plainly defined. In terms of ‘balanced’ characters that would teach you the basics of spacing and the general feel for KOF, I’d recommend EX/Claw Iori, Ash/Saiki, Ryo, Daimon, Mai, or Duo Lon. There’s more that I feel I could add, but I think if I mentioned Mr. Karate for a first time character, for example, you’d be able to bullshit around with his j.CD, DP, and EX Ranbu which would initially hamper your understanding of the netural game.