An inside look at the creation and fallout of Capcom’s industry-defining fighting game, as told by those who were there. – By Matt Leone
In 1985, artist Akira Yasuda showed up to a Capcom job interview dressed in pajamas and a tie. He left his portfolio at home, saying fans stole his work because it was too good. Asked why he chose pajamas, he replied he wanted to look presentable and that was the only thing he owned with a collar.
Capcom developer Yoshiki Okamoto sat on the other side of the room, amused by Yasuda’s antics. Okamoto, himself known for pranks and outlandish behavior, liked Yasuda’s work. Yasuda got the job.
Without realizing it at the time, Okamoto was recruiting a team that, five years later, would develop the competitive fighting game Street Fighter 2. The franchise would go on to sell more than 30 million units. It would become a cologne.
A fantasy-themed side-scrolling action game originally released for the arcades in 1987 by Taito and later ported to various platforms. The player controls a barbarian warrior who has embarked on a quest to slay a dragon. While on his way to the dragon’s lair, Rastan must fight hordes of enemy monsters based on mythical creatures such as chimeras and harpies. The game was followed by two sequels, Rastan Saga II and Warrior Blade Rastan Saga Episode III.
CADILLACS AND DINOSAURS
A side-scrolling beat ‘em up based on the comic book series. The game was produced as a tie-in to the Cadillacs and Dinosaurs animated series which was aired during the same year. Players select one of four characters each with their own strengths and weaknesses, as well unique attacks. The game’s titular dinosaurs make appearances as neutral characters that may attack both player characters and enemies.
A 1981 arcade game by Atari Inc., originally designed and programmed by Dave Theurer. The game is a tube shooter, a type of shoot ‘em up where the environment is fixed and viewed from a three-dimensional perspective. It was fairly popular and had several ports and sequels. The game is also notable for being one of the first video games with a selectable level of difficulty (determined by the initial starting level).
CAPTAIN AMERICA AND THE AVENGERS
Released in 1991, the Avengers in a side-scrolling brawling and shooting adventure to defeat the evil Red Skull. Choose to play as one of four members of the Avengers: Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye, and the Vision. Each character has the ability to fight hand-to-hand combat or use a ranged special attack to defeat their enemies. Other Avengers, including the Wasp, Quicksilver and Wonder Man temporarily appear to assist players in combat.
Released in 1987, you play as a barbarian hero who jumps and fights his way through a variety of colourful, enemy-packed levels. The sprawling, eight-way scrolling, two-dimensional levels are packed with hidden bonuses to encourage and reward exploration. Currency allows the player to upgrade their weapons and armor, keys for treasure chests, and anti-poisoning potions. Black Tiger was re-released on the Wii’s Virtual Console on January 24, 2011.
Released in 1988 by Nihon Bussan, you are set in a crime-ridden Detroit, Michigan in the near future. You play as RoboCop who advances through various stages taken from the 1987 movie. The bonus screen is a target shooting range that uses a first-person perspective. The intermission features digitized voices from the actors. Two sequels followed with computer and video games conversions done for each film.
Based off the Spielberg Movie, Willow consists of six stages, some where Willow plays his part, others where Madmartigan plays his and one of the stages where either character is selectable. Collect gold for purchasing items including weapons, healing potions, and defensive jewellery. Depending on whether the player is playing as Willow or Madmartigan determines if either the magic weapon or the blade weapon can be purchased.
A Run and Gun-style action game produced by Konami, originally released as a coin-operated arcade game in 1988. It is the sequel to the original Contra and the second game in the Contra series released for the arcades. Like in the original game, the game centers on soldiers Bill Rizer and Lance Bean, who are once again assigned to protect the Earth from an army of alien invaders. The game features standard side-scrolling stages, as new overhead stages.
A side-scrolling run-and-gun style shoot-’em-up released by Konami as a coin-operated video game in 1991. The game is set during the American Old West, where the player takes control of a bounty hunter who is seeking the rewards offered for various criminals. There are a total of eight levels. If the boss is defeated by two or more players, the reward is awarded to the player who deals most damage on the enemy.