WWF No Mercy
is a Professional Wrestling
video game for the Nintendo 64 that was released in late 2000; it was the last licensed wrestling game made by famed developer AKI (now Syn Sophia), who had previously made the Virtual Pro Wrestling
and WCW vs. nWo
series along with WrestleMania 2000
— and would go on to make the Ultimate Muscle
/Kinnikuman games, the Def Jam
series, and two SimCity games
for the Nintendo DS. It was also (along with WCW Backstage Assault
) the last wrestling game for the N64/PSX era of gaming, which happened to coincide with the end of wrestling's Monday Night Wars
era (and the WWF's Attitude Era
); as such, the game is remembered very fondly by wrestling fans for nostalgic reasons.
That's not to say No Mercy
is simply nostalgia — it's remembered as one of the best wrestling games of all time for good reason: in spite of its age, it remains a benchmark for future wrestling games to live up to even today. The game pretty much filled the N64 cart it came on with awesome: it featured a wide variety of match types, a gigantic roster for its day (bolstered by many hidden characters — including all four McMahons), a greatly improved Create-A-Wrestler mode, the addition of several oft-requested moves (including the Dudley Death Drop), and a surprisingly deep career mode that had numerous branching storylines for every championship (with the story changing based on whether the player won or lost — or, in a few matches, by the extent of their victory or defeat). A very shallow learning curve and a few match types where chance gave less experienced players an adequate shot at winning made the game great for playing with groups of friends and at parties. The easily-hackable nature of N64 ROMs has given it a still-active modding community, with more than a few e-feds still using the game to sim matches featuring modern day wrestlers.No Mercy
is not without its flaws, however. The graphics, though acceptable for the Nintendo 64's prime, are badly dated today. The gameplay, while polished and beloved by fans, can feel slow in comparison to the SmackDown vs. Raw
franchise, especially back then when Smackdown was faster than it is now. A number of moves require ridiculously contrived set-ups (the Dudley Death Drop, for example). While the game was in production, The Big Show
got in such trouble with WWF management that he was removed from the game entirely; his place in the storyline was taken by Steven Richards. Worst of all, though, is that the first few production runs of the game shipped with a defect built into the game's code that wiped all the save data after a set amount of time; as a result, the bug's in pretty much every known ROM of the game
. Fans of the game think it's good enough that the bug isn't too much of a hassle.
THQ published spiritual sequels to No Mercy
for the Gamecube in WrestleMania X8
, WrestleMania XIX
and the two Day of Reckoning
games. While none came close to topping No Mercy
, the gameplay similarities and Nintendo-only exclusivity made comparisons to No Mercy
easy. AKI's Def Jam
games — especially Fight For New York
— are also considered spiritual sequels, since the engine used for those games was remarkably similar to the No Mercy
- Action Girl: Every playable female. Deliberately invoked - see Xenafication below. Lita in particular was given a high flying stat of 4, which made her a decent character to play competitively.
- Announcer Chatter: Averted in that matches don't feature actual commentary, and the only voice heard is that of the referee. The voices of Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler can be heard in the intro.
- A Winner Is You: Unlocking every path to the belt in Championship Mode is hard and takes a lot of time, especially the World Heavyweight Title. All it does is make the victory text crawl at the end a little different, and that doesn't even take effect upon finishing the last branch; you have to get 100% and then play one more time to see it.
- Bowdlerize: When the PAL version of the game was updated to remove the deletion glitch, it also removed visible blood.
- Character Customization: Unique in that you could even edit appearances of in-game Superstars like you would a created Superstar. This means you can turn an in-game superstar into a completely different wrestler - and then this in turn extends to the championship mode and the cinematic intro! Yes, efedders and CAW addicts, you can "paste" your CAWs over top the real superstars and play championship mode with an entirely created roster.
- Just pray your character isn't a Masked Luchador because the mask selection sucks - there's an off-color Rey Mysterio mask, two generic masks, a couple facepaints, and that's it.
- It should also be noted that you can only edit the default roster's appearance, not their movesets. To edit movesets you need a Gameshark and A LOT of time to enter all the codes.
- Dummied Out: Unlike WrestleMania 2000 and WCW/nWo Revenge before that, entrances are limited to just the stage taunt - the walk to the ring and the ring taunt were cut. This was because the game was getting too big for the cartridge to handle and rather than make the unpopular N64 Expansion Pack required to play they cut some memory-draining bells and whistles.
- Game-Breaking Bug: The memory glitch could result in all of your saved progress going poof without warning.
- Groin Attack: This being a wrestling game, they are plentiful, and are even punctuated with a bell's DING! when a Superstar is struck in the groin.
- Groin attacks are also sold for a longer period of time than any other non-grapple move.
- Head Swap: Or more accurately, model swap. Each character had four different models that could be selected. In a few cases, such as Taka Michinoku/Funaki and Mae Young/Fabulous Moolah, the latter was made into an alternate appearance of the former. And in the case of Taka/Funaki, the moveset the character was given was a combination of the movesets the two wrestlers used in real life.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: The game features an impressive roster that's bolstered by unlockable characters like Vince McMahon and even André the Giant. Headshots and create-a-wrestler pieces were included for a few characters who didn't get included in the game, including Raven.
- Multiple Endings: Considering the story keeps going whether you win or lose there are a lot of them. Also matches where you're not even personally involved in the case where you are the special guest referee.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: The WWF Championship mode follows the actual story lines of Triple H, Steve Austin, Mankind, The Rock, or Chris Jericho depending on what path you take.
- Ring Oldies: Vince McMahon, Linda McMahon, Gerald Briscoe, Pat Patterson, Mae Young, Jerry Lawler, and Paul Bearer.
- Rubber Band A.I.: One of the most notorious examples of the trope. If you beat the computer player up too much, especially on the higher difficulties, it will suddenly start reversing everything and gaining spirit at warp speed. Players who've been on the receiving end for too long do get an increase in how fast their spirit builds, but not the increased reversal chance to go with it.
- Shown Their Work: The difference between No Mercy and the previous Wrestlemania 2000 really is amazing. The championship career storylines are accurate abridged retellings of the hot feuds of the past year such as the McMahon-Helmsley era, and this was one of the games that is greatly improved by having branching storylines depending on your decisions and win-loss record. The midi music is amazing, with full and accurate themes for several wrestlers and really impressive versions for everybody else, and the moves, taunts and outfits are pretty accurate missing only a few months before the game's release.
- Take That: Mae Young and The Fabulous Moohlah were given The Jackhammer as a finishing move. The Jackhammer was the finishing move of WCW star Goldberg. They were also given Sting's Scorpion Death Drop.
- Took a Level in Badass: Steven Richards, in a sort of meta way. In WWF at the time he was mainly a managerial figure who relied on his stable to do his dirty work for him. But due to the aforementioned issues with Big Show being removed from the game, Richards was put in his place in the storylines as a main event caliber wrestler.
- What Could Have Been: A Game Boy Color version of the game was scheduled to be released, but it fell through. Had it been made, players would have been able to connect it to the N64 (like the Pokémon Colosseum games) and unlock another CAW slot, another hidden character (Dude Love), and another story line.
- Would Hit a Girl: One of the last matches for the Women's Title has Triple H fight you for it. The game doesn't restrict your character selection either.
- In the Tag Team storyline, your very first match has you fighting Mae Young and Fabulous Moolah.
- Xenafication: To all the women (excluding Chyna, and only because she didn't need it). In the prequel WrestleMania 2000 all female characters were given the absolute minimum amount of stats and a dumbed down movesets (one shared move between all weak A grapples, one shared move between all strong A grapples, etc...). In No Mercy, the girls were given full movesets which usually included many moves that they didn't use in real life (e.g. Trish Stratus using the koppu kick, and this was back when she was mostly a valet to boot), and in the case of the ones who were more known as wrestlers than valets, enough stats that they could be played competitively.