Video Game / X-Men: Children of the Atom

X-Men: Children of the Atom is the beginning mark for the Marvel vs. Capcom series.

Sometime around 1994, Capcom gained the rights to make video games based on the heroes of Marvel Comics, starting with X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse for the Super Nintendo. This being the early 90's, with Street Fighter mania in full swing, they decided to start with a Fighting Game using the X-Men.

The game had six of the X-Men (Cyclops, Wolverine, Psylocke, Iceman, Colossus, and Storm) and four of their enemies (Silver Samurai, Omega Red, Spiral, and a Sentinel) taking each other on in a series of one-on-one battles, before fighting their way through the Juggernaut and facing Magneto in a final showdown. Akuma, from Super Street Fighter II Turbo, makes an appearance as a Guest Fighter Secret Character, thus paving the way for the eventual coming of Capcom vs. Whatever.

The game featured a unique exaggerated and animesque style accompanied by massive screen-blasting Super Combos and the ultra-high jumps needed to avoid them.

Naturally, the game was a hit, and it was followed in 1995 with Marvel Super Heroes.

This game shows examples of:

  • Adaptational Heroism: Colossus was actually a member of Magneto's Acolytes at the point in time in the comics when this game was released, and while the game's code shows references to this story arc were originally going to be included (he was going to have the option of choosing whether or not to join up with Magneto, apparently) they were ultimately Dummied Out and he decisively rejects Magneto in the final product.
  • An Ice Person: Iceman.
    • Also Storm in some of her attacks.
  • Ascended Extra: Sentinel.
  • Attract Mode
  • Barrier Warrior: One of Magneto's most frustrating moves. He can erect an electromagnetic barrier at will which makes him completely invulnerable.
  • Big Bad: Magneto.
  • Blood Knight: Akuma
  • Blow You Away: Storm uses wind attacks as a few of her specials, and combines it with An Ice Person for one of her Supers.
  • Calling Your Attacks:
  • The Cameo: Several:
    • The Acolytes Exodus, Delgado and the Kleinstock brothers Sven and Harlan all cameo in every character's ending. A fifth Acolyte, Anne-Marie, was to be included too, but she was Dummied Out for reasons unknown.
    • Forge cameos in Storm's ending.
    • Jean Grey cameos in Cyclops's and Wolverine's endings.
    • Mojo cameos in Spiral's ending and as an ice sculpture in Iceman's ending.
    • Professor X cameos directly in Colossus's ending, as well as appearing as the last sprite in the credits roll.
  • Combat Tentacles: Omega Red
  • Death-or-Glory Attack: Storm's Hailstorm Super.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Virtually every ending has Magneto question why they fought him and ask to join his Acolytes. When they refuse, Magneto's response is always to leave him to his fate, which is going up with Avalon.
  • Diving Kick: Akuma's Tenma Kujinkyaku actually originated in this game and then made its way back to his home series in the Street Fighter Alpha series.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: This game is often times a completely different animal from every Marvel fighting game Capcom would later make.
    • The game in general is slower-paced and shows more Street Fighter roots in the combat; although it had chain combos, they were much more awkward, and it had many restrictions placed in the combat system as a whole that prevent the game being played quite as crazily as later entries. If one puts a lot of time into the game, a lot of the craziness will be there, but in somewhat different of a fashion than later Marvel games.
    • The Mana Meter is completely different. Whiffing normal moves does not fill it like it does in every pre-MvC3 game (although special whiffs still fill it). Escaping throws and off-the-ground hits, normal abilities in all later games, instead cost meter here; this is particularly dangerous in this game because of how insane the throw damage is at times. Some characters wouldn't even just tech throws, they would instead counter throw the opponent during their throw attempt. Many characters have "X-Abilities" usable with only half of the meter, some of these (such as flight for Storm and Sentinel) later become standard moves.
    • Characters get dizzied insanely quickly; often any even small combo will dizzy. Marvel Super Heroes would also have a dizzy mechanic, and indeed dizzy combos were still possible, but they were made much harder and games after that would generally only dizziness to something of a Combo Breaker mechanic used after utterly long combos.
    • Launchers share very little in common with later games. After hitting with a launcher, you have to input a regular super jump motion to cancel it instead of just tapping up, and they often hit at an angle making a follow-up much less straight forward to do unless you have the opponent cornered.
    • Although some of the later games have weight systems, it is much more significant in this game, making it so several combos only work on certain characters and the effects of launching are completely different.
    • There is no Alpha Counter-like mechanic; instead, one of the alternate uses for each character's super is that they can all be used as counters.
    • The characters have much fewer moves in general and many of the fighters that showed up in later games prior to MvC2 have completely different movelist. Wolverine for example only has his Berserker Barrage as a super, has a Healing Factor move all his later incarnations lack, and has a much more limited chain combo system.
    • Characters who could fly (e.g Storm, Sentinel, Magneto) were still able to block while flying. Later games would not allow characters to block in flight mode.
    • Several of the stages can actually change over time, such as breaking floors or having destroyable obstacles, actually significantly affecting the combat sometimes. MSH would make only one stage non-standard and all the other games would generally try to make battles on certain stages indistinguishable from one another.
    • There is a sudden death mechanic activated when a match is effectively tied at the end.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: In Wolverine's stage, Savage Land.
  • Gratuitous Ninja: Psylocke
  • Guest Fighter: Akuma, as a Secret Character.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: Psylocke again. Silver Samurai's stage also has background ninjas in bright purple that periodically Smoke Out.
  • Humongous Mecha: Sentinel.
  • Immune to Flinching: Juggernaut in this game won't flinch unless struck by a barrage of blows or a particularly powerful one. This may very well be the Trope Codifier of this concept in fighting games, or at least where it started to get popularized.
  • Jiggle Physics: Psylocke is quite bouncy.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Silver Samurai.
  • Lady Macbeth: Spiral's ending sees her talk Mojo into launching a new show, "The Fall of Earth".
  • Life Drain: Omega Red could drain the health or super meter of an opponent, doing so would refill his health/super meter.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Sentinel, especially when flying.
  • MacGuffin: As usual, Omega Red is hunting for the Carbonadum Synthesizer to stabilize his mutant death factor. His ending has him find it laying hilariously out in the open in a random Avalon hallway.
  • Mighty Glacier: Juggernaut is as unstoppably strong as he is in the comics, but he moves rather slowly and purposefully here.
  • Mythology Gag: Mojo makes a joke about cloning everyone in Spiral's ending.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Children of the Atom's storyline is a Lighter and Softer retelling of the Fatal Attractions story, reusing its basic premise and adding in a throwaway line in the manual about Magneto recruiting mutant villains to justify the presence of characters like Omega Red and the Juggernaut.
  • Punch Clock Villain: Spiral references this trope directly in her ending, telling Magneto it's Nothing Personal and that she's just doing her job. Is it her fault she enjoys it?
  • Rocket Punch: Sentinel. It even says those two words.
  • Shock and Awe: Storm's primary form of offense, as well as several of Silver Samurai's attacks.
  • Shotoclone: Cyclops.
  • Shout-Out: Check the page.
  • SNK Boss: Magneto. His AI is complete bullshit and seeks to royally piss you off at the worst time possible. He can fly away well out of your characters' reach and assault them with an extremely fast, damaging projectile. He has another move where he sends in four magnetic balls that are unblockable and home in on you, and when he catches them he can do whatever he wants. His super hits off-the-ground and unlike in other games reaches the top of the screen vertically, plus does ridiculous damage and it's very hard to avoid it. He's really fast, does a ton of damage with just a few blows, he is really difficult to get inside of and just has everything, including a rapidly regenerating super meter and a shield that makes him completely invincible, as described above.
    • Puzzle Boss: Then again, if you study him long enough, you will notice that he always follow a strict pattern which you can exploit.
  • Space Base: Avalon, Magneto's space station and stage for the Final Boss fight with him. It was a pretty revolutionary stage for its day too, cycling through four different backgrounds to represent Magneto pulling the battlefield into different levels of Avalon.
  • Stripperiffic: In the ladies' side, we have Psylocke. And in the men's side, if one is feeling crazy, Colossus.
  • Surprisingly Good English: All the characters save Silver Samurai are voiced by native English speakers.
  • Turns Red: Juggernaut's super.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer: Many of Cyclops' moves (in this game and the later ones he appears in) are basically various forms of optic blasts.
  • Wolverine Claws: Wolverine, duh.
  • Zeroth Law Rebellion: In Sentinel's ending in X-Men: Children of the Atom, after defeating Magneto, Sentinel returns to earth. Then, the complete Sentinel line is activated and they start to wipe all the mutants on earth. After the success of the mission... they start wiping out humanity!