[[caption-width-right:199:TimeTravel at its finest.]]

A series of fighting games developed for the UsefulNotes/NeoGeo by Creator/{{ADK}} and also co-created with Creator/{{SNK}}. Imagine Hattori Hanzou, Kotaro Fuuma, Rasputin, Joan of Arc, Genghis Khan, Bruce Lee, Hulk Hogan, and a Nazi super-cyborg coming together and battling each other for the right to fight an alien shapeshifter bent on taking over the world. That's ''World Heroes'' in a nutshell; a one-on-one fighter built around NoCelebritiesWereHarmed versions of historically famous people beating the snot out of each other.

While initially largely derivative of ''Franchise/StreetFighter'', which explains its complete lack of longevity, it developed some interesting gimmicks later on by ''Jet'' and ''Perfect''. There was also a slew of RuleOfCool involved in the character selection; the sequels added even more thinly-veiled historical personages, including characters based on Captain Kidd, Erik The Red, Joe Montana, [[RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms Lu Bu]] and Jack The Ripper, as well as generic witch-doctor Mudman for some reason.

Unfortunately, cool characters and gimmicks weren't enough to make the series stand out, and it languished into obscurity, during only between 1992 ans 1995. The only appearance it made ever since was in ''VideoGame/NeoGeoBattleColiseum'', where Hanzou, Fuuma, and Mudman were playable characters and ''2''[=/=]''Perfect'' BigBad Dio was one of the bosses (in his form from ''Perfect'', Neo Dio.) This is because after its bankrupcy ADK was bought by SNK Playmore and the series actually become part of the SNK's ExpandedUniverse.

''World Heroes'' series in general is possibly the most know games from ADK, being adapted to various other different consoles than UsefulNotes/NeoGeo, like [[UsefulNotes/SuperNintendo SNES]], UsefulNotes/GameBoy, UsefulNotes/PC-Engine, UsefulNotes/MegaDrive and recently UsefulNotes/VirtualConsole. Actually became with the years in a CultClassic and was compiled by [[Creator/{{SNK}} SNK Playmore]] by the name of ''World Heroes Anthology[=/=]Gorgeous'' for UsefulNotes/PlayStation2 in 2007 as part of his [[CompilationReRelease Greatest Hits Compilations]].

Also see the SpinOff ''VideoGame/AggressorsOfDarkKombat'', an OriginalGeneration FightingGame with a touch of BeatEmUp where Fuuma appears as GuestFighter.

* ''World Heroes'' (1992)
* ''World Heroes 2'' (1993)
* ''World Heroes 2 Jet'' (1994)[[note]]Also has a SuperDeformed port for UsefulNotes/GameBoy in 1995[[/note]]
* ''World Heroes Perfect'' (1995)
* ''World Heroes Anthology''[[note]]called as ''World Heroes Gorgeous'' in Japan[[/note]] (2007); UsefulNotes/PlayStation2 compilation of the 4 games made by [[Creator/{{SNK}} SNK Playmore]].

!!This game series provides examples of:
* AllAmazonsWantHercules: Janne laments how she can't find a suitor who's stronger than she is.
** And then she meets J. Carn and falls for him, of course.
** And then there's Ryoko fawning over Hanzou.
* AlternateCompanyEquivalent: Hanzou and Fuuma were clearly modeled after ''[[VideoGame/StreetFighter Street Fighter's]]'' Ryu and Ken, from [[ShotoClone their basic moveset]] to [[ColorCodedForYourConvenience their respective colors.]]
* {{BFS}}: Janne.
* BadassLongcoat: Captain Kidd
* BestHerToBedHer: Jeanne seems to be of this type, as her endings usually have her lamenting her victories as a still-single woman.
* BruceLeeClone: Kim Dragon was one of gaming's first takes on the man of legend.
* CampGay: Rasputin, complete with MarilynManeuver.
* CaptainErsatz:
** Geegus is essentially the [[Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay T-1000]] if he was in liquid metal form every time.
** While he does bear a strong resemblance to Marvel comics villain Blackheart, Neo-Dio is actually an [[CaptainErsatz Ersatz]] of Baoh, the protagonist of the manga of the same name, with a few traits of [[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure Dio Brando and Kars]] (created by the same person as Baoh) thrown in for good measure.
** Simlarly, while Brocken appears to be a riff on [[StreetFighter M. Bison]], he's actually based on Brocken, Jr. and Brockenman from the anime ''{{Kinnikuman}}'', the characters Bison was also partially inspired by, along with a liberal sprinkling of Stroheim from ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure''.
*** Because of his extendible arms and legs, he also bears some resemblance to [[VideoGame/StreetFighterII Dhalsim from]] ''VideoGame/StreetFighterII''.
** Interestingly, the most obvious ersatz (Janne for Charlotte of the ''VideoGame/SamuraiShodown'' series) [[OlderThanTheyThink predated the character she seems to be ripping off.]]
** Zeus' heavy resemblance to [[Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar Raoh]] is obvious. Right down to some frighteningly similar attacks.
** Dr. Brown. [[Franchise/BackToTheFuture No Relation]].
* CallingYourAttacks: Not as often as you'd think, but you still get things like Rasputin's "ICEU BALL!" and Captain Kidd's "PIRATE SHIP!"
* CatSmile: Ryoko does this frequently in ''Perfect''.
* TheComputerIsACheatingBastard: The AI reads your controller inputs and moves far faster than you can.
* CuteBruiser: Ryoko Izumo.
* DamnYouMuscleMemory: In the first three games, you gently press the punch or kick button for a weak attack. By pressing and holding either button, you'll execute a harder attack. The fourth game has ''two'' punch buttons and ''two'' kick buttons, plus the ability to execute stronger basic attacks by pressing both punch or kick buttons a la early ''VideoGame/SamuraiShodown'' games.
* DeathCourse: One play mode in (at least) the first two games replaces the standard character-specific stages with an arena full of traps, such as landmines and electrified ring ropes.
* DesperationAttack: Every character in ''Perfect'' can do this whenever their {{Life Meter}}s have less than half energy remaining.
* DittoFighter: Geegus, final boss in the first game can transform into any of the eight original fighters. In ''World Heroes 2'', he goes by [[PunnyName Neo Geegus]] and can transform into any of the six new fighters as well.
* FinishingMove: World Heroes Jet has a literal variation--at the end of each of the first four rounds, the deciding move of each individual fight is noted, like after a Japanese wrestling match. Non-character-specific normal moves are dubbed 'Standing Blow of Ba-Boom', 'Standing Kick of Chaos', 'Killer Crouch Kick' and the like.
* FlamingSword and WhipSword: Janne's sword predates [[VideoGame/SoulSeries Ivy's]].
* FlawlessVictory: Your character's VictoryPose changes if you score one. The last game is called "Perfect" for a reason.
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: Shura's stage in ''2'' has two Buddish monks doing silly things and jumping whenever a character falls to the ground. Additionally, a Siamese cat is trying to climb on a column and will fall to the floor alongside any character that lands there.
* HeroWorshipper: Ryoko admires Janne for being strong and pretty and also has a ''huge'' crush on Hanzo.
-->'''Ryoko''': "Janne! When I grow up, I want to be just as beautiful as you. And even stronger!"
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Everyone except Brocken, Mudman, and the bosses.
** Brocken was originally conceptualized as a cyborg Hitler. Yeah.
* HijackedByGanon: [[spoiler:At the end of ''Perfect'', following the first round of the final boss fight, Neo-Dio murders Zeus and attacks you.]]
* HollywoodCyborg: Brocken, obviously.
* IHaveTheHighGround: The player's character is first shown atop a skyscraper at the start of Jet's tournament mode.
* IKnowMaddenKombat: Johnny Maximum is based on Joe Montana (check out his default uniform colors!), and fights using his American football skills accordingly.
* ILoveNuclearPower: Zeus' desperation move which is [[ShoutOut based loosely on]] the [[VideoGame/FatalFury Kaiser]] [[VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters Wave]].
* ImprobableWeaponUser: Captain Kidd ''throws sharks and ghost ships'' as projectiles.
** These appear to be [[MakingASplash made of water]].
* UsefulNotes/JackTheRipper: He's a mashup of the Ripper and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring-heeled_Jack Spring-heeled Jack]], an UrbanLegend from the same era, who was said to have metallic claws, a devilish face, could breath blue fire and (hence the name) [[{{In a Single Bound}} jump incredible distances]].
* {{Kiai}}: Well, it is a fighting game, but some of them become [[MostAnnoyingSound annoying very quickly:]]
** Fuuma: "ORA!"
** Kim Dragon: "WHOOO!"
** Mudman: "WHOOOO-HOO!"
** Neo-Dio: "CHOUUUU!" and, in a literal ShoutOut to [[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure the other Dio]], "WRYYYYYYY!"
* KnifeNut: Jack, in ''Jet'' and ''Perfect''; Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet-style.
* LadyOfWar: Janne, as well as what Ryoko aspires to be.
* LightningBruiser: Muscle Power: Fast. Strong. Dominating... but he has no way around projectiles.
* LoveFreak: Rasputin... in a [[DepravedBisexual decidedly]] [[AnythingThatMoves R-rated]] way.
%%* MightyGlacier: J. Carn, Ryofu.
* MultiformBalance: Any character in ''Jet'' can be a JackOfAllStats, GlassCannon, StoneWall, or FragileSpeedster, via handicap in two-player games.
* MultipleEndings: ''World Heroes 2 Jet'' employs an unusual variation of this, the ending is determined by how much health you have left after beating the final boss.
* {{Ninja}}: Hanzou and Fuuma were from competing clans - the Iga and Fuuma Ninja.
* NoblewomansLaugh: Janne's beauty flaw is her ear-grating laughter.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: All the characters except Hanzo, Fuma, Captain Kidd, and Rasputin have their names changed. Jack is arguable, since he's based on Jack the Ripper, but that wasn't the guy's ''real'' name... far as we know. Mudman and Brocken, as noted above, are the only characters who aren't based on any specific figures from history.
** Early concepts for the game featured Brocken as a cyborg [[NotMakingThisUpDisclaimer Adolf Hitler using Zyklon-B gas]]; this was dropped early in development for obvious reasons (World '''Heroes''', indeed!), though he retains his toxic gas attack and "Heil, Brocken!" win quote in the Japanese versions of [=WH2J/WHP=] (text only, likely a reference to Brocken Jr.'s theme song in the {{Kinnikuman}} anime). Brocken also stars in 19YY, one of the minigames in {{ADK World}}, where it is implied that he is a flying cyborg soldier, fighting ''literal'' airships for a Reich-esque Germany in the DieselPunk world of an AlternateTimeline. But since this game takes place inside a movie, it's probably not canon.
*** Many characters also got their background heavily altered. For example; Janne is the guardian of a traveling circus she grew up in, J. Carn is one of the top officers and personal bodyguard of the actual Genghis Khan and Erick is a friendly family man who himself decided to become an explorer, while the real Erik the Red was exiled for murder. Brocken, having his initial background concept dropped, does not have much of a background at all.
* {{Pirate}}: Captain Kidd, of course. He does not have a rivalry with [[PiratesVersusNinja Fuuma or Hanzo]], unfortunately.
* PirateParrot: Captain Kidd's pet bird seems to be more of a ''condor'', but it really just represents a more badass version of a parrot. During Kidd's FinishingMove, it pecks at the hanged opponent...
* RedOniBlueOni: Fuuma and Hanzou. They're even color-coded!
* RuleOfCool and RuleOfFunny: The last entry in particular leans toward the latter.
* [[ScreamsLikeALittleGirl Screams Like]] MickeyMouse: Kim Dragon does this whenever he gets knocked out.
* ShotoClone: Hanzou and Fuuma were the ninja equivalent of RyuAndKen respectively and even wore the same colors as their Creator/{{Capcom}} counterparts.
* ShoutOut: The inventor of the time machine is a certain [[Film/BackToTheFuture Dr. Brown...]] Also, Neo-'''Dio''' is an Ultimate Life Form fond of phrases such as "Useless, useless, useless!" and [[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure "WRYYYYYYY!"]] and uses sabers coming out of his arms just like Baoh and Kars.
** The theme of the final boss of the first game is lifted straight from ''VideoGame/MagicianLord'', another game by ADK.
** The Death Match mode was almost certainly inspired by Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling, a Japanese promotion popular at the time due to its outrageous hardcore matches (barbed wire ropes, electrified ropes, explosions, etc.). Much more pronounced in the first game where all the matches take place in wrestling rings.
** Brocken's speech pattern in text was modeled after [[Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure Stroheim]]. Like the extra Dio lines snuck into Neo-Dio's win quotes, these were [[LostInTranslation lost in translation]].
** Brocken and (Neo) Geegus were adapted from ''Franchise/{{Terminator}}'' movies, being [[Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger T-800]] and [[Creator/RobertPatrick T-1000]] respectively.
* SNKBoss: Neo-Dio of course.
** Zeus in World Heroes 2 Jet is very strong, but he returns as a BonusBoss in World Heroes Perfect that you aren't required to beat. In Perfect, his moves have absolute priority and no startup, as well as being extremely overpowered. One of his super moves is a ordinary-looking punch that hits five times for 20% damage each hit. If it connects perfectly, it [=KOs=] the player regardless of how much health he/she has.
* StoutStrength: Erik is probably pound-for-pound the most physically powerful character. He also has an extremely pronounced gut.
* StupidJetpackHitler: Brocken the German cyborg's profile in the first game mentions that he "[[BloodKnight has no emotions except that he loves to destroy]]", though this aspect of his character is [[LighterAndSofter heavily toned down]] later in the series.
* SuperDeformed: UsefulNotes/GameBoy port of ''World Heroes 2 Jet''.
* TimeTravel: Why everyone's here. Dr. Brown invents a time machine and... [[MisappliedPhlebotinum uses it to set up a fighting tournament.]]
* TraumaticHaircut: One of the Death Course fights takes place in a fully normal arena. However, the character portrait of the loser will be shown with all of their hair shaved.
* {{Unicorn}}: Ryofu summons this one in his desperation attack. It is perhaps a Chinese unicorn.
* UpdatedRerelease: Subverted by ''World Heroes 2 Jet''. The game plays nothing like the previous game aside from having the same character roster. The title was simply a jab at Capcom with its numerous ''VideoGame/StreetFighterII'' derivatives (specifically ''Street Fighter II′ Turbo'').
** Played Straight with ''World Heroes Anthology[=/=]Gorgeous'' CompilationReRelease, which title also has UnlockableContent and the option of fight online any of the games, ''2 Jet'' included.
* WalkingShirtlessScene: Kim Dragon, Mudman and Captain Kidd
* WearingAFlagOnYourHead: Muscle Power's Franchise/WonderWoman and/or Wrestling/LexLuger style starry speedo.