Video Game: World Heroes

Time Travel at its finest.

A series of fighting games developed for the Neo Geo by ADK. Imagine Hattori Hanzo, Kotaro Fuma, 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 No Celebrities Were Harmed versions of historically famous people beating the snot out of each other.

While initially largely derivative of Street Fighter, which explains its complete lack of longevity, it developed some interesting gimmicks later on by Jet and Perfect. There was also a slew of Rule of Cool 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, 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. The only appearance it made ever since was in Neo Geo Battle Coliseum, where Hanzo, Fuuma, and Mudman were playable characters and 2 and Perfect Big Bad Dio was one of the bosses (in his form from Perfect, Neo Dio.)

This game provides examples of:

  • Multiform Balance: Any character in Jet can be a Jack-of-All-Stats, Glass Cannon, Stone Wall, or Fragile Speedster, via handicap in two-player games.
  • Multiple Endings: 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.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: Janne's beauty flaw is her ear-grating laughter.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: 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 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 WH 2 J/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 Diesel Punk world of an Alternate Timeline. 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 Fuuma or Hanzo, unfortunately.
  • Pirate Parrot: 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 Finishing Move, it pecks at the hanged opponent...
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Fuuma and Hanzou. They're even color-coded!
  • Rule of Cool and Rule of Funny: The last entry in particular leans toward the latter.
  • Screams Like Mickey Mouse: Kim Dragon does this whenever he gets knocked out.
  • Shoto Clone: Hanzou and Fuuma were the ninja equivalent of Ryu and Ken respectively and even wore the same colors as their Capcom counterparts.
  • Shout-Out: The inventor of the time machine is a certain Dr. Brown... Also, Neo-Dio is an Ultimate Life Form fond of phrases such as "Useless, useless, useless!" and "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 Magician Lord, 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 Stroheim. Like the extra Dio lines snuck into Neo-Dio's win quotes, these were lost in translation.
  • SNK Boss: Neo-Dio of course.
    • Zeus in World Heroes 2 Jet is very strong, but he returns as a Bonus Boss 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.
  • Stout Strength: Erik is probably pound-for-pound the most physically powerful character. He also has an extremely pronounced gut.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: Brocken the German cyborg's profile in the first game mentions that he "has no emotions except that he loves to destroy", though this aspect of his character is heavily toned down later in the series.
  • Time Travel: Why everyone's here. Dr. Brown invents a time machine and... uses it to set up a fighting tournament.
  • Traumatic Haircut: 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.
  • Updated Re-release: 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 Street Fighter II derivatives (specifically Street Fighter II′ Turbo).
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Kim Dragon, Mudman and Captain Kidd
  • Wearing a Flag on Your Head: Muscle Power's Wonder Woman and/or Lex Luger style starry speedo.