Videots: Favorite Street Fighter 5 Stages

Today Videots looks at Street Fighter 5.

street-fighter-v

Five for Fighting

More accurately, we’ll be looking at some of the background arenas from the game. From Street Fighter‘s inception, the artwork and animations for the game have gotten progressively more intricate, detailed and beautiful, and SF5 is no exception. I like to just watch the game being played so I can scope out the stages and cool stuff going on in the background (yeah, I’m that person). Today I’ll be spotlighting my favorite arenas from SF5. As is often the case with posts like this, these are just my personal favorite arenas; you may have your own choices…

stuart-smalley

“And that’s…OK.”

And again, these aren’t in any particular order, so they won’t be numbered. That said, let’s press start.

LAIR OF THE FOUR KINGS

lair-of-the-four-kings

Located inside Shadaloo Headquarters, this stage is is an enormous dome-shaped room with various high-tech computers on both ends. In the background, a massive set of Mount Rushmore-style statues can be seen, depicting the Four Kings of Shadaloo.

the_oringinal_kings_ost

You wish.

These statues depict Balrog, M. Bison, Vega, and F.A.N.G (or Sagat depending on the mode), the Four Kings of Shadaloo; Bison is holding the world, positioned near the center of the area, in his hand. Closer to the foreground, there is an ongoing battle between Shadaloo forces and a group of Special Forces agents, with a ninja and spacesuit-clad Shadaloo agents chasing each other.

four-kings-with-sagat

In F.A.N.G’s story mode fight with M. Bison, his statue is replaced with one of Sagat, since it takes place at a time when Sagat had not yet been replaced within Shadaloo.

mr-spacely

“Sagat….YOOOOOOOOOU’RE FIRED!!!”

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When a character is knocked out in the right corner of the stage, the person will fall and hit the face on the hand of a M. Bison statue, which unleashes Psycho Power on the victim. When knocked on the left corner, the character hits a screen that displays data about the one that touched it. And let’s not overlook that massive drop waiting for someone to fall though it.

m-bison

“Watch that first step, it’s a Lulu! Ha-ha-ha-hah-AAA-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!! -Sorry, I just thought of something funny.”

HIGH ROLLER CASINO

high_roller_casino

Let it ride!

This stage, set in front of a casino owned by Shadaloo, is an awesome re-imagining of the Las Vegas stage from the Street Fighter II games. However, the changes made to the stage is the neon sign in the background that used to say “Golden Nugget: Nin-Nin Ball” was changed to “Golden Bullion: Shadaloo Ball”. Some of the other neon signs from the original version are absent.  Don Sauvage and Max can be seen in the background. I like how they kept the young ladies with the top hats.

highroller8

“Say, can ya lend me some scratch so I can get back on the tables? C’mon! I know I’ve lost my empire and I’ve crapped out 20 times in a row tonight, but I’m due for a hot streak! C’mon! I’ll take anything! You like pants? I’ll give ya my pants!!”

KANZUKI ESTATE

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The Kanzuki Estate is Karin’s family estate (duh!) which originally appeared in the Sakura Ganbaru! manga. The stage has two settings, its day setting is called Estate at Noon.

kanzuki_estate_at_noon

It’s 12 in the afternoon. Time to get up.

The manga depicts the Kanzuki family’s estate as so large, it doesn’t just have its own rivers, mountains, and savannas, it has its own climate as well. Even though it’s in the middle of Tokyo, visitors don’t arrive by car, they arrive by chartered plane and land at the private airstrip near the mansion. The estate also has its own train station (a green and red sign can be seen on the top of a building, where a train is moving). The Kanzukis’ enormous swimming pool has a yacht with a pool on the deck in it, like in Karin’s stage from Street Fighter Alpha 3.

The estate’s architecture is a mix of both Japanese and European (possibly French) architecture.

scrooge-mcduck

“Aye, the .01 percent. It’s great to be stupid rich!”

Speaking of…

KANZUKI BEACH

kanzuki-beach

Sun Fun!

Karin’s family is so smegging rich, that she has 2 personal stages. This stage depicts her family’s private beach.

you-dont-say

Several bikini-clad women can be seen in the background; among them are the Judgment Girls from the Street Fighter III games, as well as Tiffany Lords and Hinata Wakaba from the Rival Schools series. I’m not a crossover fanatic, but I do think it’s kind of cool how Street Fighter, Rival Schools, Darkstalkers and Final Fight all take place in the same universe.

johnny-bravo

“Whoa, Mama! Muh Speedoes just got tighter!”

The usage of the Kanzuki Beach stage in Street Fighter V is prohibited in competitive play. This is due to the fact that the water within the stage obscures ground projectiles such as Birdie’s banana peels and pop cans from his Break Time V-Skill as well as Juri’s Fuharenkyaku fireball. It is currently one of the only three stages in the game to be tournament banned, the other stages being The Grid and Skies of Honor.

karin_summer_outfit_laugh_crop

“Even though it’s summer, I just took you to school!”

magilla-gorilla

“Hey, I recognize that gibbon sitting on the turtle there. Now that I know that guy’s tight with the Kanzukis, he can give me back those 50 Banana Fun Bucks he owes me! THAT WAS AN APE JOKE!”

APPRENTICE ALLEY

apprentice-alley

Located in India, was first seen in Dhalsim’s reveal trailer. In the left corner of the stage, there is a poster of an Indian-made film titled The Eternal Ganga (アジョワンの涙 Ajowan no Namida?, “Tears of Ajowan”), starred by Kamal Ali and Tia Sharma. Several people watch the fight, including Dhalsim’s wife Sally and their son Datta in the center of the stage. I’m not sure how I feel about the beard on Dhalsim (it makes him look like Yoga Claus), but the presence of Sally makes me happy because it reminds me of Dhalsim’s stage from Street Fighter Alpha 2, another favorite fighting game stage of mine.

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In it, Sally watches the fray (but only when Dhalsim is one of the combatants). When her husband scores a hit, she smiles and claps her hands…

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…And when Dhalsim himself is struck or attacked, she turns her head away in dismay. You’ve gotta love the devotion.

grumpy

“What?! I’ve got a sentimental side! Big whoop! Wanna fight about it??”

HILLSIDE PLAZA

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Hillside Plaza is is the home stage of new character Laura, the smoking hot older sister of Street Fighter 3‘s Sean, taking place in Rio de Janeiro.

vinnie-rhumba

“Rio? Uh-oh! I feel a rhumba comin’ on!”

Instead of the world-famous Christ the Redeemer statue in the background, a different statue can be seen. This stage also reminds me of one of my favorite moments from the animated film Rio.

linda-gunderson-rio-carnival

linda-gunderson-2

You know the one.

RING OF DESTINY

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The Ring of Destiny is a DLC stage available in Street Fighter V for a limited time, representing the 2016 Capcom Pro Tour. It is available by itself for $10USD in addition to being included in the limited time Capcom Pro Tour package that comes bundled with three other alternate costumes and an exclusive color for $25USD.

scrooge-mcduck

“What did ah jes’ tell ye?”

One thing I like about this stage (aside from the golden Adonis statues at the center) is the wide range of diverse spectators cheering on the fighters. You’ve got an American cowboy, a British guard playing a sousaphone, a lady Rio dancer, a heavy metal guitarist, a floating Indian mystic and even a dancing bear! Just about everybody is represented in this crowd.

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We, are the world.

Finally, a word about Laura.

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Yes, I’m just looking for an excuse to show more images of her.

 

As we’ve established, I find her to be quite attractive for a game sprite.

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Fellas, put on your drool cups!

So why haven’t I said “BOM-CHICKA-WOW-WOW” yet? Well, while I do like Laura and all, doing so would feel a tad off-putting, seeing as how she has the same name as my maternal grandmother.

hello-id-like-to-report-an-awkward-situation

 

Videots: A Salute to Battle Circuit

Today Videots pays tribute to one of Capcom’s lesser known and less celebrated titles, Battle Circuit.

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For those who don’t know, Battle Circuit (or Batoru Saakitto as it’s known in Japan)  is an action “beat ’em up” game developed and published by Capcom for the CPS-2 arcade hardware for Japan and Europe in 1997. Taking place in an alternate future earth, the game revolves around a group of bounty hunters who must capture the mad scientist Dr. Saturn and secure a sophisticated computer disc carrying a program known as the “Shiva System”. The game contains comic-like characters in a futuristic science fiction setting.

Intro time:

 

Battle Circuit‘s arcade cabinet provided support for up to four simultaneous players who can each assume the role of five possible characters. The five playable characters are all super-powered bounty hunters who each possess their own unique attacks and Battle Download ability. Though each of the character’s real names are mentioned in their individual character profiles during the opening demo, they are mostly referred to by their codenames, each indicating a physical attribute and corresponding color.

skittles-rainbow

Taste the Rainbow!

They are:

cyber-blue

“No problem!”

Brian Bruno, aka Cyber Blue: A seasoned bounty hunter with several cybernetic attachments to his body, giving him the ability to discharge electricity and project energy from his fists. Cyber Blue makes a cameo appearance in Project X Zone 2 in Captain Commando’s Solo Unit attack.

static2070

“Your other high-voltage hero!”

captainsilverart

“Alright!”

Andrey Mishucin, aka Captain Silver: A highly accomplished bounty hunter who can stretch and shape his body at will. His powers give him the ability to project ice particles from his body, as well as create a number of objects from his suit, morph into a cannon and even transform into a chair and sit on himself. Because of the vast nature of his powers, they will threaten to overwhelm him if he should ever lose concentration.

freakazoid-freaking-out

“Ooooooooh, Freak-Out!”

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Diana Martines, aka Yellow Iris, called Yellow Beast in the original Japanese version): A part-time fashion model whose feral appearance gives her access to a number of clawing and agility-based techniques. She is also skilled with a whip and is accompanied by her pet fox “Fin”.

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Not that Finn.

Yellow Iris makes a cameo appearance in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 as a DLC costume for Felicia.

pink-ostrich

“Oh, baby!”

Pinky, aka Pink Ostrich: A large, sentient, pink ostrich with an eye patch and jewel necklace who is always accompanied by her owner, a young girl named Pola Abdul.

philip_j__fry

“I get it!”

Purportedly, she is the “only ostrich in the world who can fly”, and attacks with an assortment of aerial and spinning techniques. Yeah, one of the bounty hunters is a bird, but we’re not gonna make any lame bird jokes.

OK, maybe one:

 

 

alien-green

Alien Green (real name unknown): An alien creature of unknown origin who resembles a large Venus flytrap with leg-like roots and a large eye in its abdomen. Its attacks mostly center around its vine-like arms, which it can quickly swing to create whirlwinds, as well as grab opponents and slam them against the ground. Sorry, whenever I see this thing I expect it to shout “FEED MEEE!”

geico-girls-2

“Ew.” “Seriously?” “So gross.”

The Plot: Taking place in the future year 20XX, Battle Circuit follows the exploits of a group of super-powered bounty hunters as they apprehend wanted criminals (identified by special serial numbers) in the city of Neo Koba. The game begins with player attempting to apprehend criminal 9696X, a scientist named Doctor Saturn (who resembles Freakazoid! villain The Lobe with a ring around his head and a Dick Dastardly mustache) and his blob-like sidekick aboard his spacecraft orbiting Earth.

drsaturn

Even by super-villain standards, this guy is no looker.

After the battle, the character selected by the player returns to his employer, Harry,

harry-anderson

“Pick a card!”

No, not that Harry, but that would’ve been awesome.

….And is promptly given another assignment to capture the leader of the “Delete Gang”, Johnny Fever,

johnny-fever

“BOOGER!!!”

No, not that Johnny Fever, though that too would’ve been awesome.

…Who holds a valuable floppy disk in his possession. The bounty hunter then confronts Johnny at his disco hideout and learns that the disc contains a malicious computer program known as the “Shiva (Tentei) System”, which is capable of controlling all computerized systems in the world. After selecting one of the available characters, players must travel through various levels- fighting through a variety of enemies from the Delete Gang- to obtain the disc and claim their bounty. Stages like this:

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Kind of looks like a missing stage from TMNT: The Arcade Game, doesn’t it?

And whatever this is.

battlecircuit-5

Seriously, what the actual what??

Players must progress through a number of levels made up of horizontally scrolling screens filled with enemy characters that must be defeated using a combination of attacks and movement abilities each character utilizes. Every character is given a selection of these abilities that can be expanded as game play progress by purchasing special “upgrade discs” after the completion of each level using coins obtained by defeating enemies.

apple-genius-store

“We can give you special upgrades and enhancements, but you can never use any 3rd party software ever again and it’ll cost you the price of a new car!”

These techniques are often a combination of either of the two action buttons and the joystick, and can add additional varieties to a given character’s arsenal. A player must attack enemies until their health (indicated by a bar under the player’s when the enemy is attacked) is reduced to zero and they are thus knocked out. If a player’s health bar is depleted, they will also become knocked out and must use up one life to continue. If all of a player’s lives are depleted in this fashion, the game will end unless more credits are purchased.

There are also special techniques called “Battle Downloads”, which can be used by pressing both action buttons while jumping, resulting in the player and his allies (if any are present) gaining a certain attribute, the effect of which is unique to each character. Cyber Blue, for example, can use his Battle Download “Power Up” to increase the amount of damage dealt by attacks, while Yellow Iris’ “Speed Up” increases attack speed. A character will start with a stock of two of these techniques to use per life, and can obtain more from capsules scattered throughout the levels, up to a maximum of five.

batcir

If you’ve never seen, heard of played this game, I wouldn’t be surprised. Battle Circuit saw a speedy translation effort that effectively made the title available in both Japan and parts of Europe on the same day. Though there are no game play differences between the Japanese and other language versions of the game, a few pieces of Japanese dialogue were omitted from the European release. The game was not released in North American arcades or any other part of the world after its initial release. I remember reading about Battle Circuit in an issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly (back when that was a thing) and looking for the game in arcades, only to discover it was harder to find than this guy.

waldo

I would have never played it myself if our brother Chaz didn’t have an emulator. It helps to have a hardcore gamer in the family.

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So here’s to you, Battle Circuit. This game was weird and wacky, but I’m a fan of weird and wacky. BC never received the exposure or fan base that titles like Street Fighter and Mega Man did, but it gave me some hours of enjoyment. It was just goofy, imaginative, dumb fun, and for that, we at Twinsanity salute you.

hee-haw-cornfield-salute

“SAAAAAAAA-LUTE!”

 

Videots: Marvel VS Capcom Stages

Today’s Videots looks at Marvel VS Capcom.

marvel_vs_capcom

LET’S GO CRAZY!

For those who don’t know, Marvel VS Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes  is a crossover fighting game developed and published by Capcom. It is the third installment in the Marvel vs. Capcom series, which features characters from Capcom’s video game franchises and comic book series published by Marvel Comics. The game debuted in Japanese arcades in January 1998. It was ported to the Dreamcast and PlayStation, which were released from 1999 through 2000. The game was re-released in 2012 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 as part of the Marvel vs. Capcom Origins collection.

Players select a team of characters from the Marvel and Capcom universes to engage in combat and attempt to knock out their opponents. In contrast to the series’ previous entry, Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, the game features characters from numerous Capcom video game franchises, rather than strictly Street Fighter characters. While the gameplay is largely identical to its predecessor, Clash of Super Heroes features two distinct changes: the removal of the traditional character assist system and the introduction of the “Variable Cross” attack.

The selectable Capcom characters were Ryu (with the ability to switch to ‘Ken Mode’ and ‘Akuma Mode’ to make up for those characters not being chosen for the game…)

nerd

It DIDN’T make up for it!”

…Chun-Li, Captain Commando, Strider Hiryu, Rockman/Mega Man (freakin’ MEGA MAN! This was back when Marvel still gave a crap about Rockman), Jin Saotome, Morrigan and Zangief, while on the Marvel side we had Captain America, Spider-Man, Hulk, Wolverine, Gambit, Venom and War Machine. There were also a bevvy of Strikers who could be chosen to run across the screen lending a hand temporarily, including Thor, Juggernaut, Jubilee, Psylocke, Arthur (from Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts), Michelle Heart (from Legendary Wings), Devilot & Dr. Stein, Pure & Fur and others, making for a total of 52 characters in all. The final boss of the game was Onslaught, who was the combined negative energy of Prof. and Magneto or a manifestation of their combined ids or the result of a bad plate of ribs they ate or something; it tied into some multi-issue event Marvel was doing at the time, comics are weird.

Intro time:

 

Now that we’ve gone sufficiently crazy, the Versus games sported too many characters for each one to have their own specific stage, so they typically just had a finite set of interesting ones. MvC in particular had 9 stages in all (10 counting the Final Boss stage), each of them unique in their own way. Today Videots takes a look at each of them. NOTE: These won’t be in any particular order, so I won’t be numbering them.

NEO ST. PETERSBURG

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This is Strider Hiryu’s home stage, taking place in the first stage from his first game, St. Petersburg.

The stage is set in the red platforms from the initial area, overlooking the capital city and their various mosque buildings while several searchlights waves around in the background, much like in the original game. Original for this game is the inclusion of a zeppelin floating up in the center of the stage, bearing the Kazakh Federation’s half-star symbol, which is also present in three buildings.

Two laser signs can be seen at times in the sky: the first writes “Казахскар CCP” a misspelling of “Казахская CCP” (Russian for “Kazakh SSR”), while the second writes intermittently “A.D. 2048” and “Санкций” (Russian for “sanctions”). The first two are direct references to the intro scroll that opens up the Arcade’s first stage, while the third word is original for this game. The Third Moon can also be spotted high up in the sky, in front of the real moon.

yakov

“In Neo St. Petersburg, ninja throwing stars impale YOU!”

LIVE HOUSE OF THE DARK REALM

mvc-stage2-live-house-of-the-dark-realm

It’s creepy and it’s kooky, mysterious and spooky…

The stage takes place inside a worn-out live house, with the zombie Lord Raptor (aka Zabel Zarock) playing guitar on the stage while two punk skeletons are headbanging to his music and two skulls in the table are opening and closing their mouths while watching. (Also I just now noticed that freaky neon face above the door. Eeeehhh…) In the last round, ghosts approach the defeated fighter. This is considered Morrigan’s home stage. Morrigan’s and Gambit’s endings take place in this stage. (I know Gambit’s been known to hang out in some seedy dives, but I’ve never figured he’d be the type to rock out with spooks. Well, he is from Voodoo country, after all.)

ghost-pokemon

“Hey, you reek of blood and defeat. Tasty! Feeding time, boys!”

ROOFTOP OF THE DAILY BUGLE

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Spider-Man, Spider-Man, fights wherever a spider can…

This stage takes place in New York City, between the rooftops of the Daily Bugle (with the first three letters from its name visible) and a neighbor building, webs connecting the two to avoid the fighters from falling. The background has several buildings, the most notable being the Baxter Building. This is considered the home stage of Spider-Man and Venom. My favorite part of this stage is the Baxter Building/Four Freedoms Plaza, the HQ of the Fantastic Four, in the background.

mister-fantastic-reed-richards

“Greetings. Reed Richards, aka Mr. Fantastic here. I just wanted to pop in here and mention to any prospective filmmakers out there that my team, the Fantastic Four, is still available should anyone be interested in making a Hollywood blockbuster movie about us, just as long as 20th Century Fox stays as far away from it as humanly possible!”

AVENGERS HEADQUARTERS

mvsc-stage-8-avengers-hq

Some Assembling Required

This stage takes place inside the Avengers Mansion, with the Avengers Support Crew monitoring several screens. Psylocke, Magneto, Storm and Wolverine appear in some of the screens. (All X-Men, as it happens.)

gyrichemh

“I’m keeping an eye on those super-freaks! Oooooh, I hate mutants! I hate all metahumans!”

mutant-high-7

“We super-freaks aren’t crazy about you either!”

In Captain Commando’s ending, an Avengers Crew contacts the Avengers to tell them that Onslaught was defeated. Captain Commando appears in the screen and says that he and his team took care of him. Similar to the ending from his game, the Avengers Crew asks who he is, and he says “I am Captain Commando”.

In Captain America’s ending, he is in the HQ with the Capcom characters and explains that Onslaught was the embodiment of the dark emotions of Professor X and Magneto, and his conscience summoned heroes to stop him. With Onslaught’s demise, the Capcom heroes return to their world and Captain America salutes them.

captain_america

“SAAAA-LUTE!”

DR. WILY’S MILITARY BASE

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This stage takes place inside one of Dr. Wily’s many secret bases, with the mad, mad, mad scientist walking around and angrily yelling to the fighters with a megaphone. In the background there is a Metall Potton with several Mettaurs, giant Killer Bullets, Baccones, Mad Grinder, and Dark Man 1 moving back and forth carrying a damaged sack. This is considered the home stage of Mega Man and Roll. Speaking of Megs, one little touch I always liked is when Mega Man delivers the final blow, you’ll hear the signature “You Got a New Weapon” tune from his games instead of the usual Victory music.

rockman

“Geez, how many of of this guy’s robot masters do I have to take out before this nut-cake gets the point? Shade Man? Wood Man? Search Man? Clown Man? I think Wily’s running out of ideas at this point!”

roll

“Seriously bro, when are you gonna let me borrow your Mega Buster? For once I’d like to clean house figuratively instead of literally! I’ve gotta talk to Dr. Light about an upgrade!”

BLUE AREA OF THE MOON

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This stage takes place in the Blue Area of the Moon, an artificial, Earth-like environment in the Moon containing the ruins of the Inhuman city of Attilan and the citadel of Uatu the Watcher. The background contains some alien ruins and an old American flag. The blue planet Earth is visible far away. Ryu’s ending takes place in this stage, where he starts training Sean.

dark_side_of_the_moon

Hey, Dark Side of the Moon. You knew someone was going to say it!

HEADQUARTERS OF EVIL

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Boo! Hiss!

This stage takes place in the headquarters of an unknown evil group. In the background, the Forgotten Worlds bosses Whodin and Laidin are holding an Earth and a Moon, and in the top center in a gigantic version of the evil god Bios.

mvc-stage5b-hq-of-evil

The stage also has many other unknown characters that were apparently created for this game.

Chun-Li’s ending takes place in this stage, where she tries to face M. Bison but is defeated by him, and he plans to make her a member of Shadaloo (This stage presumably having links with the organization). Fortunately, Shadow appears and saves her.

lex_luthor_superfriends

“Say, I like that design. I’m going to start holding our Legion of Doom meetings via Skype from now on. Solomon Grundy’s got a weird odor, and when Gorilla Grodd isn’t crossing his legs, I can see his junk!”

THE CLIFF OF DESOLATION

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This stage takes place in a cliff at an unknown location. As the rounds pass, the stage changes from day to sunset and to night with lightning.

bad_luck_schleprock

“Oh, wowsy-wowsy-woo-woo. Miserable stage, isn’t it?”

HONDA’S BATHHOUSE

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“I see London, I see France, I see….eeeww.”

This stage takes place in E. Honda’s bathhouse in Japan, his stage from Street Fighter II. This stage has 2 parts: the guy’s bathhouse, which you see here, and if you scroll to the right and manage to break the wall…

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…You get to see inside the ladies’ bathhouse. Rowr-rowr!

e_honda

“Don’t give me that look! The bathhouse is a respected piece of my country’s culture! We don’t just use it as an excuse to get naked and ogle hot bods…well, not entirely.”

So there you have it. My little tribute to Marvel VS Capcom‘s stages.

rockman-thumbs-up

YOU GOT AWESOME VIDEO GAME MEMORY FAN-WANKING

Videots: Favorite Fighting Game Stages

Fighting games are awesome, even a clueless gamer like myself can attest to that. However, as an artistic geek, one of my favorite elements of fighting games are the stages the bouts take place in. Often so much care and detail goes into the stages, arenas and kick-ass background music of fighting games that I find myself paying more attention to them than the fights themselves, usually resulting in me getting my butt handed to me. Today’s Videots pays tribute to some of my personal favorite fighting game stages and their music. Once again, these won’t be in any particular order, so I won’t be numbering them. Also again, these are just my personal favorite fighting game stages; others will have their own picks, and I welcome any feedback. Now, let’s do this!

BALROG (M. Bison in Japan) STAGE – STREET FIGHTER 2

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While I like this stage, this one is a particular favorite of my twin brother Jason (aka our very own Goldstar); those who know him personally can attest that this stage is so him! This is easily one of the most eye-catching stages in all of SF2; I personally dig the twin bikini babes in red and blue. The music’s cool too.

FEI LONG STAGE – SUPER STREET FIGHTER 2

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While Fei Long is basically another “I wanna be like Bruce Lee!” fighting game character, his stage immediately caught my eye when I first spotted a SSF2 arcade machine in some chintzy little shopping center somewhere in Columbia, MD. It’s really breathtaking, I like the music and as added surprise, at the end of the bout(s), the exotic bird and dragons start cheering their approval. That blew me away, because up to that point I thought they were just statues. So mythical birds and dragons are real in the Street Fighter universe? Rockin’!

CAMMY STAGE – SUPER STREET FIGHTER 2

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Our younger brother Chaz (aka CJP from the Otaku Gamer Spot) is fond of this stage, as am I. I’m not sure if the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) can really be seen in the skies of the United Kingdom, but the stage is cool anyway.

CAFFEINE NICOTINE STAGE – SAMURAI SHODOWN 2

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The character of Caffeine Nicotine (get it?) immediately got my attention when I first read about SS2 in Electronic Gaming Monthly (there I go, dating myself again). I thought they couldn’t be serious, adding this little old man character who looks like he couldn’t hurt a fly, to a fighting game; I figured he must be a joke character or something, but Nicotine quickly became a favorite of mine as he combines 2 things I’ve always liked: deceptively powerful characters and mystics. His stage is at the floor of temple steps shrouded in mist (nice touch), and his music is pure Asian goodness–it sounds like something out of Noh theater (which theater? Noh theater! Insert your own “Who’s on First?” routine here).

GALFORD STAGE – SAMURAI SHODOWN 1 & 2

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One of my favorite Samurai Shodown charcters has always been Galford. He’s an American in a Japanese setting, and I sort of fancy myself an Eastern/Western hybrid, a weirdo in 2 cultures) and he’s flashy and showy but a heck of a nice guy and devoted to justice–again similar to me, though I’m considerably more snarky and lazier. I like Galford’s harbor based stages with the rowdy seagoing types watching the fray (I always felt particularly bad when Galford would get wasted by a fatality move and you had to see his dog Poppy bow his head and face losing his master–what?! I have a sensitive side!), and his music rocks hard. Galford also has two of my all-time favorite win quotes:

“Forgive me. I possess power you can only dream of.” and

“Maybe I should get back to basics and stop the flash…naah.”

Here’s the music for Galford’s stage, Tuna. (No kidding, that’s really what it’s called.)

KEN STAGE -STREET FIGHTER ALPHA 2

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You probably figured this was going to make the list. No surprise there, it’s awesome. Ken tossing a birthday bash for his lady Eliza aboard his own massive luxury yacht with a ton o’ Capcom characters in attendance as his guests–how can anyone resist? FTR, here are the other characters who cameo in this stage:

  • Pure from Capcom World 2
  • Felicia from Darkstalkers (in the pool)
  • Morrigan from Darkstalkers
  • Lord Raptor (Zabel Zarock) from Darkstalkers (in human form strumming on his guitar)
  • Lei-Lei & Ling-Ling (aka Hsien-Ko and Mei Ling) from Night Warriors
  • Unknown Soldiers 1 and 2 from Forgotten Worlds
  • Michelle Heart from Legendary Wings
  • Linn Kurosawa from Aliens VS Predator (climbing out of the pool)
  • Biff and Ortega from Saturday Night Slam Masters
  • Strider Hiryu
  • Captain Commando
  • Ginzu from Captain Commando
  • Kenzou Sujimoto, Capcom staff member (as a butler)

DINER STAGE – STREET FIGHTER 4

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Not much explanation needed here. It’s a 50’s style diner at night. Cool tunes and bouncing cars. Grab a burger and a chocolate malt and enjoy the brawl.

OVERPASS STAGE – STREET FIGHTER 4

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Even I’m not sure why I like this stage so much. It’s not very showy or flashy; it’s just the underside of a bridge somewhere in Japan, where a small group of kids have gathered to watch the fight, run around, goof on each other and well, just be kids. Sometimes understatement is the best statement. The music’s decent as well, kind of J-Pop, and strangely fitting to the stage.

ASGARD STAGE – MARVEL VS CAPCOM 3

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Anyone who regularly follows this site knows that I like me some Asgard. I just love the idea that there’s this magical dimension of myth, might, advanced space technology and mysticism with a Rainbow Bridge, Pegasi and giant flying fire chickens just hanging a stone’s throw away from Earth.

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And the place really lights up at night, literally!

I’m going to cheat a little with the music for this one. No characters in MvC3 have their own personalized stages, and I like Thor’s personal theme more than the designated theme for Asgard itself, so I’ll be going with the former instead of the latter.

-And there you have it. Some of my favorite fighting game stages and background tunes.

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Whut, mate? No love fer my stage? I’ve got got me stage in a public loo! That’s classy!

Videots: Norimaro – The Man, The Myth, The Legend

Today, we’re going to spend some time talking about….this guy.

For those who don’t know, it’s Norimaro from Capcom’s Marvel Super Heroes Vs Street Fighter. Norimaro is an original character created and owned by Japanese comedian Noritake Kinashi (one half of the comedy duo known as “The Tunnels”) who represents neither Marvel nor Capcom. He appears as a regular character only in the Japanese arcade and console versions of the game, but was removed in all the overseas versions. He portrays a nerdy, cowardly schoolboy-type guy armed with a camera, who throws common school items like mini-Gouki (mini-Akuma) dolls and plushies as projectiles, and would attempt to ask for his opponent’s autograph mid-battle (can be seen when the player presses the START button during a match). Occasionally if this is done while facing the computer controlled Dan, his taunt will be done where he signs an autograph and throws it at Norimaro. He uses the comical “Hyper Strong Miracle Treasure” Hyper Combo, which has him throwing a massive amount of school supplies and other objects, and the equally-comical “Ultra Variety Private Memories” Hyper Combo, where he rushes his opponent and inflicts a multi-hit combo while wearing costumes. He is playable on the US version via hacking or if a cheat code is done with an emulator, and even has English dialogue in the Apocalypse and ending scenes, as well as win quotes, which indicates that he was intended for the overseas versions as well in the development stages of the game. Likewise, while he has been removed from most of the game’s overseas promotional materials, some overseas gameart still contains him, such as the game cover art above.

Here’s a taste of Norimaro in action:

 

Norimaro’s special movies include:

  • Tourist’s Treasure: Norimaro panics and turns around, which swings his bag and causes a doll or a school item to fly out, which acts as a projectile. The many items tend to vary, from a protractor to an Akuma figurine.
  • Personal Victory Jump: Norimaro leaps into the air diagonally body first, yelling “Shouryuuken” in what he probably thinks is a deep, serious voice. Works as an anti-air, has some recovery time, but sadly is the weakest anti-air in the game.
  • Fierce Hand Current: Norimaro cries while flailing his arms about while moving forward a distance, then falls over. Is a good move and sends the opponent flying if connects and does multiple hits, but has a lot of recovery time.
  • Banana Slip: Norimaro slips with a banana peel, launching the opponent in the air. This is Norimaro’s hard kick and technically isn’t a special move, but it has a special feature: if the banana hits the opponent, he will slip as well, and the peel can hit OTG.

Hyper Combos:

  • Hyper Strong Miracle Treasure (Level 1): Norimaro panics and throws thousands of school supplies and toys out of his bag.
  • Ultimate Grand Champion Jump (Level 1): Norimaro charges and then does a body-first diagonal high jump that hits multiple times.
  • Ultra Variety Private Memories (Level 1): Auto-combo/ranbu super. Norimaro dashes forward, and if this hits, he rapidly switches between a variety of silly poses which recount his memories, such as taking a bath, hiding behind his father, drawing on the floor, flipping an egg, dressing up as Rockman, playing with a teddy bear, being bit in the leg by a dog, playing in a cardboard car, and singing karaoke.

Unbenkownst to us Yanks, there were some additional Norimaro animations which didn’t make it to the final cut, such as the one below, in which Mr. N spots something interesting and jumps to the ground. This animation would have been used for victories against the game’s female characters, Chun-Li and Sakura; instead of his usual win animation of heading over to the fallen form of his opponent and snapping a photo of himself, Norimaro would take this opportunity to sneak a peek under his defeated opponent’s skirt. You dirty dog, you!

“Ooh, what do we have here??”

There is also what appears to be a unused Hyper Combo depicting our guy fantasizing about a particular Capcom character, triggering an explosive nosebleed. Several variants of this animation exist, specifically for Chun-Li, Sakura, Cammy, Morrigan and Felicia, as well as Anita (a little girl) and Zangief (a man). Clearly, this silly otaku’s fandom isn’t limited to just the ladies!

        

BOM-CHICKA-WOW-WOW!

One final point of confusion (for us Americans, anyway) is Norimaro’s game ending. Bizarrely, beating the game shows Norimaro’s ending images with Dan’s ending dialogue and Captain America’s nametag. Norimaro’s ending is basically him conquering the world, dying, and becoming a tedious subject for history books. Living proof that nerds rule.

“Oooh! I’ve got to get me one of those!”

Go-Go

“Norimaro = HAWT!”

These remarks come as a surprise to no one, since it’s well known that Mr. N rocks the sexy!