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Final Fight

Final Fight

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Final Fight (ファイナルファイト, Fainaru Faito?) is a 1989 beat-em-up arcade game released by Capcom.

The game was directed by Akira Nishitani and Akira Yasuda and originally produced for the CPS arcade hardware. Producer Yoshiki Okamoto considers Final Fight as his company's take on the beat-em-up genre first popularized by Double Dragon, which he cites as an inspiration, and is considered to be a precursor to the numerous beat-em-ups that dominated the arcade and console market during the early 1990s, including some that were produced by Capcom themselves, prior to the fighting game boom started by Capcom's own Street Fighter II (designed by the same team which did Final Fight).

Plot

Final Fight is set in the fictional American city of Metro City "sometime in the 1990s" (1989 in the Japanese arcade version). The story centers around the kidnapping of the newly-elected Mayor's daughter, Jessica, by the dominant street gang in the city known as the Mad Gear Gang, which seeks to bring the Mayor under their control. The Mayor, a former pro wrestler named Mike Haggar, refuses to give in to the gang's demands and sets out to rescue his daughter with the help of her boyfriend, a martial artist named Cody, and his friend Guy.

Game Play

Final Fight is an archetypal scrolling beat-em-up game. One or two player characters move from left to right through each level (most of which are split into 3 or more scenes), fighting with the enemy characters who appear, until they reach a confrontation with a stronger boss character at the end of the level. Once said boss is beaten, the players automatically move onto the next stage. Enemies appear from both sides of the screen and from out of doorways or entrances set into the background, and the player(s) must defeat all of them to progress. If the players try to simply travel through the levels without fighting, the screen will stop scrolling until all current enemies have been defeated, before allowing the players to continue progress. Enemies may move outside the confines of the screen, but players may not. There is a time limit to each stage.

The control configuration is composed of an eight-directional joystick and two action buttons for "attacking" and "jumping". Pressing attack and jump simultaneously will execute the character's "deadly blow" that will strike all nearby surrounding enemies, but will consume a portion of the character's vitality. The player can execute a combination of different attacks, which can culminate with a finishing blow or grab the enemy and perform a throw. The player can also grab enemies by approaching them and deliver a series of grabbing attacks. Haggar is the only character who can grab enemies and perform a pile driver. In addition to the player's basic attacks, the player can also pick up weapons such as knives, iron pipes and masamune blades. Health can be restored by picking up food from the ground.[1]

Main Characters

Final Fight features a strong/fast/average character trinity that has been copied by later beat-em-ups (such as The Combatribes and Streets of Rage): the lead character Cody, is a martial artist who balances strength and speed and is the only character who stab enemies with knives at close range; Haggar, a former pro-wrestler, is very powerful yet slow and vulnerable to attack; Guy, a ninjutsu expert, is very agile, can hit and run, yet has weak offensive power.

Rounds

There are a total of six stages, or "rounds" as they're referred in the game, each taking place in a location within Metro City, which is highlighted on a map of the city shown at the beginning and end of stage. The locations includes the slums, the subway, the West Side district, an industrial area, the bayside and uptown. Each round consist at least two or three areas, with the exception of Bayside stage, which takes place in one long continuous level with three segments. There are also two bonus rounds after Rounds 2 and 4: a car-breaking stage and a glass-breaking stage respectively. The car-breaking bonus stage would reappear in Street Fighter II.

Enemies

As with most games in the genre, Final Fight features a variety of enemy characters the player must defeat in order to progress through the game. Although there are numerous small fry characters thorough the game, only seven of them are actually unique in terms of appearances and fighting style, while the rest are head swap/palette swap counterparts with more or less vitality.

The common enemy characters in the game includes Bred, Dug, Simons and Jake, who are standard thugs; J and Two P., punks in baggy clothing who strike the player from behind; Axl and Slash, a pair of bikers who can block the player's attacks; Holly Wood and El Gado, knife-wielding guerrillas; G. Oriber, Bill Bull and Wong Who, fat men with charging attacks; Poison and Roxy, male transvestites[2][3] with acrobatic attacks; and Andore and Andore Jr., a pair of pro-wrestling brothers modeled after André the Giant. The game also features a red-colored Holly Wood who throws molotov cocktails to the player; as well as three additional members of the Andore clan (G. Andore, F. Andore and U. Andore) who appear as sub-bosses in the West Side stage.

At the end of each stage, the player must defeat a boss character unique to that level. The first five bosses includes: Damnd (Thrasher in some home versions), a Jamaican thug who summons his underlings to do most of his fighting for him when he's in danger; Sodom (Katana in some versions), an underground fighter decked in samurai gear, who wields a pair Masamune blades; Edi E., a corrupt cop who uses a revolver; Rolento, a former military operative who throws grenades; and Abigail, an Andore-like thug who turns red when angered and rushes towards the player. The final boss of the game is Belger, the crossbow-armed leader of Mad Gear, who comes into the fight riding a wheelchair, while holding Jessica captive.

Game Over

Final Fight featured a continue screen in the vein of the arcade version of Ninja Gaiden. In Final Fight, once the player has lost all his lives, the screen changes to the character tied to a chair with a bundle of dynamite ready to explode in his face. If the player does not insert a coin within the ten second countdown, the bomb will detonate, causing the screen to flash black and white.

Development

Yoshiki Okamoto cites the arcade version of Double Dragon II: The Revenge as his basis for Final Fight, stating that he liked the concept of a game involving street gangs, but was "unimpressed" by the gameplay.[4] Final Fight was originally shown at trade shows under the title of Street Fighter '89.[5]. According to Okamoto, the sales division of Capcom originally requested for a Street Fighter sequel, so his team decided to promote Final Fight as a Street Fighter sequel at trade shows (going as far to refer to one of the main characters as a "former Street Fighter"). The title was changed to Final Fight before its official release after feedback from operators stating that the game was nothing like Street Fighter.[4]

The street gang the player faces in the game, the Mad Gear Gang, takes their name from a 1987 overhead racing game by Capcom of the same name. The game was released as Led Storm outside Japan.[6]

Final Fight - Poison Final Fight - Billy Final Fight - Poison

The arcade version, on the left, features Poison showing undercleavage after being hit. The SNES and GBA versions, center, replaced Poison with a entirely different character named Billy. The Sega CD version, right, lengthened Poison's tank top and shorts to make her less revealing.

Versions and Re-Releases

Super NES

An initial port of Final Fight for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System was released as a launch title for the console in Japan (December 21, 1990) and later in North America (September 1991). Several elements from the arcade game were cut, which includes the 2-Player cooperative feature, one of the playable characters (Guy) and the fourth stage in the game (Industrial Area). The English localization of the game underwent considerable censorship before release: the first two bosses in the game, Damnd and Sodom, were renamed, becoming Thrasher and Katana respectively; the two transsexual enemies, Poison and Roxy, were replaced by male punks named Billy and Sid; Belger's wheelchair was redrawn to look like an office chair; some of the enemies such as Dug and Simons had their skin color lightened; all alcoholic references were removed ("bar" signs were changed to "club" signs, and two health-recovering items, Whiskey and Beer, became Vitamin E and Root Beer respectively); and a punk screaming "Oh! My God" was changed to "Oh! My Car".[7] This version of Final Fight was re-released in 2007 as a Virtual Console title.

A revised version of the SNES game, titled Final Fight Guy, replaces Cody with Guy (the explanation given that Cody is away on a training trip) and features several subtle changes and added features, but still lacks the Industrial Area stage and the 2-Player co-op feature.[8] The Japanese version of Guy was released on March 20, 1992. The American version (featuring the same changes as the first game) was released on June 1994, but was available as a rental-only release.

Sega CD

The Sega CD version, titled Final Fight CD, was ported and published by Sega under license from Capcom in 1993. This version retains nearly all the features of the arcade game, adding voice acting to the game's opening and ending sequences, a redbook soundtrack and an exclusive time attack mode. Like the SNES version, the game also underwent some mild censorship in its English localization, with many of the same changes made in this version. Poison and Roxy were kept this time, but were redrawn with less-revealing clothing.[9]

NES

Main article: Mighty Final Fight

An NES game based on Final Fight, titled Mighty Final Fight, was released in 1993 as one of the system's later game. The game is not a port of the original Final Fight, but a more comical take on the same concept, featuring super deformed renditions of the original characters.

Game Boy Advance

The Game Boy Advance version, titled Final Fight One, was released in 2001 as one of the earliest games for the system. Final Fight One features all three characters and the Industrial Area stage that was missing from the SNES version. 2-Player co-op is also featured via link cable. Cut scenes prior to each boss battle have been added and the Street Fighter Alpha renditions of Cody and Guy were added as hidden characters. The English localization of the game still replaced Poison and Roxy with Billy and Sid, although little else was changed.[10]

Capcom Classics Collection

Main article: Capcom Classics Collection

The version of Final Fight included in Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 1 for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox is emulated from the original CPS board and thus, is virtually unchanged from the arcade version. Likewise, the game is also included in the PlayStation Portable compilation, Capcom Classics Collection Remixed.

Final Fight: Streetwise

The original Final Fight is a secret feature available after completing the main game in Final Fight Streetwise. This version of Final Fight is emulated differently from the Capcom Classics Collection version: the framerate is lower, leading to somewhat slower gameplay. Also the audio is somewhat fuzzy. The video quality is also blurred and blocky. Production Studio 8 did not have enough time nor resources for an adequate emulation.

Other versions

  • Final Fight was ported by Capcom to the Sharp X68000 computer in Japan. The game is a direct conversion of the arcade game, with the only notable difference being that the number of enemy characters displayed on-screen is reduced in the X68000 port.
  • European-based U.S. Gold released ports of Final Fight for the Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Sinclair Spectrum and Amstrad CPC.
  • Final Fight was ported to mobile phones and published by Breakpoint in the UK.

Legacy

Final Fight was followed by two sequels for the SNES: Final Fight 2 in 1993 and Final Fight 3 (Final Fight Tough in Japan) in 1995. These games were produced specifically for the home console market by Capcom's consumer division with no preceding arcade versions. An American-produced 3D fighting game spinoff, Final Fight Revenge, was released for Sega's Titan arcade hardware in 1998, which was followed by a home version for the Sega Saturn in Japan only. A second American-produced spinoff titled Final Fight: Streetwise, released in 2006 for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, was a 3D take on the game.

The character Mike Haggar is featured as a wrestler in Saturday Night Slam Masters and its follow-ups, while a few Final Fight characters would re-emerge as playable characters in later Street Fighter games: Guy and Sodom appeared in Street Fighter Alpha in 1995, followed by Rolento in Street Fighter Alpha 2 in 1996 and Cody in Street Fighter Alpha 3 in 1998. Andore appears in 1997's Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact as a playable character, now identified as Hugo, with Poison as his manager.

Since the release of Final Fight, Capcom has produced several similar beat-em-ups for its CPS and CPS II arcade hardware. These includes Knights of the Round, Captain Commando, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, The Punisher, and Alien vs. Predator among others.

References

  1. Capcom. Final Fight. “arcade version's bezel”
  2. "All About Capcom Head-To-Head Fighting Game 1987-2000", page 339. Studio BentStuff, 2000.
  3. Sheff, David. Game Over, p. 225. “With Capcom USA, Phillips's team edited some of the grislier games that came in from its Japanese parent company, although Capcom's own censors weeded out the most offensive touches...When a Capcom USA representative suggested that it was tasteless to have the game's hero beat up a woman, a Japanese designer responded that there were no women in the game. 'What about the blonde named Roxy?' the American asked. The designer responded, 'Oh, you mean the transvestite!' Roxy was given a haircut and new clothes.”
  4. Kent, Steven. "VideoGameSpot's Interview with Yoshiki Okamoto (Waybacked)".
  5. "The Arcade Flyer Archive - Video Game: Capcom Concept Cabinet, Capcom".
  6. "System 16 - 68000 Based Hardware (Capcom)".
  7. "日米ファイナルファイト比較" (in Japanese).
  8. "Final Fight Guy - Final Fight Online".
  9. "Final Fight CD regional differences - Final Fight Online".
  10. "Final Fight One regional differences - Final Fight Online".