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 is a fighting action game produced by Capcom originally released in   as a coin-operated arcade game. The arcade version was planned by game designer Akira Nishitani (Nin-Nin) and character designer Akira Yasuda (Akiman), who both later worked on Capcom s landmark head-to-head fighting game Street Fighter II. Many home versions of Final Fight have been produced since its initial release.


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 Mad Gear, 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, a modern-day Bushin ninja named Guy.

Gameplay

The gameplay of Final Fight takes place in a 2D scrolling environment.
Final Fight is an archetypal side 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 that boss is beaten, the players automatically move on to 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.

Stages

There are six stages in Final Fight, through which the player must advance in order to get to the location at which Jessica is being held captive. These stages include the Slums, the Subway, the Westside District, the Industrial Area, the Bay Area, and Uptown Metro City.

Characters

Main characters

Final Fight features a strong/fast/average character trinity:

  • Cody is the well-balanced member of the group in both speed and power and that he can use knives for close-range combat against his enemies.


  • Haggar is the strongest, yet slowest member of the group, in which he can inflict huge damage against his opponents while using wrestling techniques such as a suplex and a pile driver. He is ranked third in Electronic Gaming Monthly’s list of the top ten video game politicians.


  • Guy is the fastest, yet weakest member of the group, in which he can unleash fast punches against his opponents and use an off-the-wall kick to knock them down.


Enemies

Underlings

  • Simons, Bred, Jake and Dug
The typical thug enemies seen in the game. They attack using either a standard punch or kick. Simons and Jake are the only ones who can do a small jump kick.


  • Two. P and J
A pair of thugs who wear color shades and trenchcoats. They attack the player with quick punches, often using their speed to either attack or dodge the player. Two. P was modeled after the Player 2 character from Forgotten Worlds, hence the name "Two.P" (or 2P).


  • Axl and Slash
A pair of biker enemies who can block the player's attack and retaliate with either a double axe handle or a kick. Named after Axl Rose and Slash of Guns N' Roses.


  • Wong Who, G. Oriber, and Bill Bull
A trio of fat men who attack the player with a charging headbutt, a standing headbutt or a kick.


  • El Gado and Holly Wood
A pair of agility fighters who uses sliding kick attacks and acrobatic knife slashing. A red-clad version of Holly Wood also appears in the game who throws molotov cocktails.


A pair of pre-op transgender women who use acrobatic high-heel kicks. In the English localization of the SNES and GBA ports, Poison and Roxy were redesigned into two male punks named Billy and Sid.


  • The Andore family
A family of pro-wrestlers modeled after contemporary wrestler André the Giant. Their special attacks include a charging smash, a piledriver, and a jumping body smash against a downed opponent. The siblings Andore and Andore Jr. appear thorough most of the game as regular enemies, while Father Andore and Grandfather Andore appear exclusively as sub-bosses in the second area of the West Side stage. Uncle Andore also appears if a second player is present.


Bosses

  • Damnd (Thrasher in the SNES and Sega CD ports)
The boss of the Slum stage. A Caribbeanmarker thug who serves as Mad Gear s informat. He summons his underlings to help him out when he's in danger. Damnd also uses a flying cannonball-style attack.


  • Sodom (Katana in the SNES and Sega CD ports)
The boss of the Subway stage. An American Japanophile who wears a blue kabuto helmet and samurai attire. He attacks wielding a pair of Masamune swords. He is noted for possessing a ridiculously high defense, due in part to his armor, so the player must get in close somehow and use grab moves to defeat him.


  • Edi. E
The boss of the West Side stage. A corrupt Metro City police officer who happens to be a double agent of Mad Gear. He attacks using his nightstick, and will resort to using his gun when almost defeated.


The boss of the Industrial Area stage. A former member of the Red Beret special forces unit. He attacks using a mixture of his military baton, jumping kicks, and grenade tossing. If close, Rolento can also use his own throwing move against the player. Rolento also moves so fast that he has shadow-images following him wherever he goes. When low on health he will constantly run around and throw grenades, eventually blowing himself up when defeated.


  • Abigail
The boss of the Bayside stage. A street brawler who has a bad temper in battle. He prefers brute force to technique, using various punch attacks, and grabbing his foe to chuck them high into the air. When he gets real angry, his face turns red and he charges against the player with a high-damaging punch.


  • Belger
The final boss of the game. A wheelchair-bound millionaire who happens to be the secret leader of Mad Gear. He comes into the last fight of the stage while holding Jessica captive in his lap. The player must throw Belger off his wheelchair so that Jessica can get to safety before the battle against Belger, whose specialty lies from his cross-bow attacks. In the SNES and Sega CD versions of the game, Belger's wheelchair was changed into an office chair.


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. Final Fight was originally shown at trade shows under the title of Street Fighter '89. 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.

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.

Ports

Super NES

The arcade version, on the left, features Poison showing undercleavage after being hit. The SNES and GBA versions, center, replaced Poison with an entirely different character named Billy. In the Sega CD version on the right, Poison has a complete redesign. She wears a longer tank top and longer shorts to make her less revealing.
An initial port of Final Fight for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System was released as a launch title for the console in Japanmarker (December 21, 1990) and later in North America (November 11, 1991) and then in Europe and Australia (December 10, 1992). The 2-player cooperative feature was removed, turning the game into a strictly single-player experience; the Industrial Area level, along with its boss Rolento, were removed; and Guy, one of the main characters, was omitted, leaving Cody and Haggar as the remaining playable characters. Due to the SNES' limited power, only three enemy sprites could be on screen at once (as opposed to seven in the arcade original) making this port easier and less hectic.

The English localization underwent considerable changes for the game's international releases as well. The first two bosses, Damnd and Sodom, were renamed Thrasher and Katana respectively. Belger's wheelchair was redrawn to look like an office chair. Poison and Roxy were replaced with two male punks named Billy and Sid. All alcoholic references were removed, with "bar" signs becoming "club," while two health-recovering items, Whiskey and Beer, became Vitamin E and Root Beer respectively. A punk's statement of "Oh! My God" (when his car is destroyed) was changed to "Oh! My Car." Also, the blood splash effect when a character is stabbed is replaced by a generic explosion.

A revised version of the SNES port, titled Final Fight Guy, was released on March 20, in Japan. This version replaces Cody with Guy as a selectable character (with changes to the game's plot explaining Cody's absence) and features several subtle changes from the original port and added features such as new power-ups, although the Industrial Area stage and the multiplayer cooperative mode were still missing from this version. An American version of the game (featuring the same changes in the localization as in the first game) was released in June , but as a rental-only game available at Blockbuster stores.

The SNES version of Final Fight was released for the Wii s Virtual Console service in .

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 which were removed in the SNES port, adding voice acting to the game's cut-scenes, an arranged soundtrack and an exclusive time attack mode. Like the SNES version, the game also underwent some 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 longer tank-tops and longer shorts to make them less-revealing.

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 cooperative gameplay is also featured via link cable. Dialogue exchanges prior to each boss battle have been added and the Street Fighter Alpha 3 renditions of Cody and Guy are featured as hidden characters. The English localization of the game still replaced Poison and Roxy with Billy and Sid, although little else was changed (Damnd and Sodom kept their original names this time).

Other versions



  • A port for the Sharp X68000 computer platform was released by Capcom in Japan only on July 17, . This version is a relatively close conversion of the arcade game, with the only notable changes being different music due to different sound chip and a slightly reduced number of on-screen enemies.


  • An 8-bit version was released in for the NES titled Mighty Final Fight. The game is not a strict port of the arcade game, but a different take on the same concept, featuring child-like "super deformed" character designs and an RPG-like character build-up feature.


  • Final Fight is included in the compilation Capcom Classics Collection Volume 1 for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, and in the portable version Capcom Classics Collection Remixed for the PlayStation Portable. The game is emulated from the original CP System arcade version and features very little differences from the arcade game. The compilation includes tips, character profiles, an art gallery and a sound test as bonus features.


  • The arcade version is also included as a hidden feature in the game Final Fight: Streetwise for the PS2 and Xbox. However, the emulation in this version was programmed by Ultracade, rather than Digital Eclipse (the developers of Capcom Classics Collection series).


  • Capcom has announced that they will release the arcade version of Final Fight to Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network in a two-in-one bundle titled Final Fight: Double Impact, which will also include the arcade game Magic Sword. A release date and pricing have not been announced.


Legacy

Sequels

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 NES game entitled Mighty Final Fight was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System and featured cartoonish versions of the Final Fight characters. An American-produced 3D fighting game spinoff, Final Fight Revenge, was released for Sega's Titan arcade hardware in 1999, 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.

Appearances in other games

The character Mike Haggar is featured as a wrestler in Saturday Night Slam Masters and its two sequels, Muscle Bomber Duo and Slam Masters II: Ring of Destruction. A few Final Fight characters would also re-emerge as playable characters in later Street Fighter games: Guy and Sodom appeared in Street Fighter Alpha in , followed by Rolento in Street Fighter Alpha 2 in and Cody in Street Fighter Alpha 3 in . Hugo, a character modeled after Andore, debuted in Street Fighter III 2nd Impact: Giant Attack in as a playable character, with Poison as his manager. Cody and Guy will be featured in the upcoming title Super Street Fighter IV.

In other media

The American Street Fighter animated series featured an episode based on Final Fight and titled after the game, which aired during the show s second season. Adapting the plot of the game, the "Final Fight" episode centered around Cody and Guy teaming up with leading Street Fighter characters Ryu and Ken to rescue Jessica from the Mad Gear Gang. Although, Guy and Cody were both characters in the Street Fighter series, the episode actually predates Cody's first appearance in the series as a playable character in Street Fighter Alpha 3 and depicts him in his character design from Final Fight.

The Street Fighter II Turbo comic book by UDON Entertainment will feature a supplemental story arc spanning issues 6 and 7 centering around the Final Fight characters who were featured in the Street Fighter series.

Similar games

Since the release of Final Fight, Capcom has produced several similar beat-em-ups for its CPS and CPS II arcade hardware. These include The King of Dragons, Knights of the Round and Captain Commando in , Warriors of Fate and Cadillacs and Dinosaurs in , The Punisher and Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom in , Alien vs. Predator and Armored Warriors in , Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow over Mystara in and Battle Circuit in . The SNES games X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse ( ) and Marvel Super Heroes: War of the Gems ( ) were also influenced by Final Fight.

Reception

In the February 1991 issue of the Japanese coin-operated video game magazine Gamest, Final Fight took No. 1 spot as Best Game of 1990 in the 4th Annual Grand Prize. Final Fight also won the category of Best Action Game, placed No. 4 in Best Video Game Music, No. 9 in Best Graphics, No. 2 in Best Direction, and No. 5 in Best Album. The character Mike Haggar was displayed on the cover of this issue, who took the No. 1 spot in the Top 50 Characters of the year, with Guy in second place, Cody at No. 7, Poison at No. 26, Sodom at No. 33, and Jessica at No. 40.

References

  1. Scott Sharkey, “EGM’s Top Ten Videogame Politicians: Election time puts us in a voting mood,” Electronic Gaming Monthly 234 (November 2008): 97.
  2. All About Capcom Head-to-Head Fighting Game 1987-2000, pg. 327


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