HISTORY OF PLATFORM GAMES
Click the flyer thumbnails for its large version (credits due to
The Arcade Flyers Archive).


BATMAN
Atari; Released 1990

Based from the DC Comics character and specifically the 1989 Tim Burton film, the Caped Crusader is pitted in a horizontal scroller beat 'em up to purge Gotham City from scumbags, corrupt citizens, and the Joker. The game faithfully recreates most of the plot elements and key points of the movie, which includes a few first-person levels using the Batmobile and Batplane. Batman himself can use weapons like batarangs, grappling hooks and grenades. Danny Elfman's movie theme was also used as the game's background music.

EIGHTMAN aka EITOMAN
SNK; Released 1991

Based from the 1960s Japanese manga, Eightman follows the quest of Hachiro Azuma, a murdered cop restored into an android of justice after seven unsuccessful attempts to do so, creating renegade cyborgs instead. The game employs simple beat-em-up features to destroy enemies using punches, kicks and special energy blasts. Two people can play as Eightman and Nineman to face the villains from the manga in order to rescue the city of Tokyo from utter devastation of the lawless androids. Despite its source material being the predecessor of the cyborg cop genre, the manga and game were outshadowed by the fame of Robocop with Western audiences.

FLYER US / JAPAN TITLE, RELEASE YEAR & OVERVIEW
GHOST 'N GOBLINS aka MAKAIMURA
Released 1985

One of the earliest side-scrolling platform game employing the the first form of the survival horror genre, players of Ghost 'N Goblins assume the role of a knight who must rescue the princess from the demon Hades and his army of the Underworld. To do this, the knight must survive through the hordes of Hades across the six gates, along with a plethora of monsters, demons and other hellspawn. The knight can also obtain items and weapons to help him throughout the game. This is one of the most challenging and frustrating games which made it into a cult classic and bear a sequel, Ghouls 'N Ghosts.

BIONIC COMMANDOS aka TOP SECRET
Released 1987

One of Capcom's long-lived games till today, Bionic Commandos involves the adventures of the protagonist commando Joe, equipped with a gun-arm and a bionic arm. His gun arm is effective as a ranged offensive weapon; his bionic arm compensates the lack of a jumping ability unlike other games. This Bionic Arm is the one utilized as a grappling hook or climbing tool across gaps and ledges. Joe must trek through five stages and survive against enemies using these robotic arms while collecting various items that will help him in his quest to infiltrate the enemy base to halt their launching of missiles. The game produced various home console ports and even sequels up to this day.

BLACK TIGER aka BLACK DRAGON
Released 1987

Considered the spiritual descendant of Ghost 'N Goblins, a warrior hero known as Black Tiger treks across 8 colorful monster-filled stages from dungeons to rooftops. With his trusty steel ball and knives, the warrior must survive against relentless creatures on his way to destroy the three dark dragons that shrouded the kingdom with darkness: the blue, red and black dragons. Throughout the game, players can find coins called Zennies which are used to purchase stronger whips, more resilient armor, keys and potions from the wisemen he saves throughout the stages.

GHOULS 'N GHOSTS aka DAI MAKAIMURA
Released 1988

An early Capcom hit of the medieval horror-fantasy genre, Ghouls 'N Ghosts pits the player as the knight Arthur to fight the hordes of monsters on his way to destroy the evil Lucifer and reclaim the souls of the villagers and his beloved Princess Prin Prin. It is the sequel of Ghouls 'N Goblins with improved graphics and controls, as well as maintaining its name as one of the most difficult, frustrating but challenging games to play. With little room for error, do you have all what it takes to destroy the demon lord? Arthur also made a cameo as a helper character in the cross-over hit Marvel vs. Capcom in 1998.

STRIDER aka STRIDER HIRYU
Released 1989

Based on Moto Kikaku's manga, Strider is easily one of Capcom's beloved classics. Innovative features with sharp graphics, responsive controls, multilingual intermission voice-overs and stages of fast and furious action made Strider Hiryu quite a popular character. The futuristic ninja wields a powerful Cypher, a tonfa-sword hybrid named Falchion. His acrobatic skills, climbing abilities, agility and his buddy robots are all it takes in his quest to destroy the evil Grandmaster Meio. Hiryu resurfaces in Marvel vs. Capcom as one of the most powerful and popular characters.

WILLOW
Released 1989

Based on George Lucas' medieval fantasy film ala Lord of the Rings in 1988, Willow is one of Capcom's best movie-to-arcade game adaptations. Featuring vivid and colorful graphics, great controls and a plot loyal to the movie made it a great game. Players can play as Willow and Madmartigan, switching roles between stages through familiar characters and locales on their way to rescue the holy baby Elora Danan from the evil General Kael and Queen Bavmorda. In lieu of popular in-game shops, Willow also has a cool shop interface to purchase items throughout the stages to upgrade your characters' skills.

MAGIC SWORD: HEROIC FANTASY
Released 1990

Even though Magic Sword does not quite qualify for a real beat-'em-up, it's one of the cooperative sidescrolling genre and considered as one of Capcom's earlier versions of Dungeons & Dragons where you hack-and-slash across relentless demons and mythical creatures. Up to 2 players can assume the roles of warriors who will ascend the black tower of evil to destroy the Dark Lord Drokmar and his Black Orb. As you traverse each floor of the tower, you can employ various imprisoned character classes to assist you in your quest. These character classes and henchmen development can be related to most computer RPGs nowadays.

MEGA TWINS aka CHIKI CHIKI BOYS
Released 1990

One of the most brilliantly colorful platform games to grace the arcades, Mega Twins is played in a child-oriented fantasy setting. Players assume the role of 2 unnamed twin princes destined to be heroes in a medieval-fantasy Kingdom of Alurea and fight a great evil who threatens the land. The twins are armed with magical swords to hack across several stages before the showdown with the final boss. Mega Twins features the use of a stock of magic pearls which can be used to bombard a screenful of monsters or devastate a powerful boss. Despite the weapons, the graphic violence is still minimized, with cute and humorous touches to enemies and bosses.

NEMO
Released 1990

No, he's not Pixar's tiny fish nor the ship captain from Jules Verne's novel. Nemo is a 2-player coop sidescroller game based on the comic book Little Nemo authored by Winsor McCay. Nemo is brought to the dreamworld Slumberland, where a clown named Flip dared him to open a grotesque door. Nemo unwittingly did so and released the Nightmare King who in turn kidnapped Slumberland's King Morpheus and Princess Camille, as well as releasing a myriad of monsters under his command. In order to correct the misdeed, players must control Nemo or Flip, using their magical scepter and cane respectively to travel through Slumberland. Destroy the Nightmare King and rescue the King and the Princess before it's too late!

THREE WONDERS: MIDNIGHT WANDERERS, QUEST FOR THE CHARIOT
Released 1991

One-third of the multigame title Three Wonders is called Midnight Wanderers. Two nomads Lou and Siva go into an adventure to battle the demon Gaia to retrieve the Chariot of Light and save the world from utter chaos. The game plays more like Ghost 'N Goblins style since it emphasizes ranged weaponry but with more unique character maneuvers like climbing up or sprawling along ledges. Different power-ups and allies are available, as well as gaining extra lives by collecting heart cards. The game's sequel is also included in the multigame, entitled Chariot but it used a shooting game genre. Lou appeared as a cameo helper in Marvel vs. Capcom.

All of the arcade games in this site as well as all characters and trademarks are properties of their respective owners. No copyright infringement is intended. When saving images from the shrines, save on your favorite image hosting service and credit/linkback to the site will be greatly appreciated. The images, profiles, descriptions covered in the shrines are derived from the official flyers or manuals as well as the opening demonstrations from the games.

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