Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Battle Circuit

Go To
Battle Circuit (1997) is Capcom's last side-scrolling Beat 'em Up for the arcades. Sadly, it's pretty much unknown to the public, because it saw a very limited release (and it was never released in the US until it was ported as part of Capcom's Beat 'Em Up Bundle for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC in 2018) in a period when the arcade phenomenon was already waning.

Set in the year of 20XX, it features a motley crew of Bounty Hunters as main characters, and it is a return to the '50s Sci-Fi-inspired settings of Captain Commando, with alien worlds, mad scientists, robots and fantastically weird character designs. Up to 4 players can join the fight, making it a very colorful, confusing and fun experience.

Another interesting feature of the game is the capability of upgrading the characters by buying new attacks, life and resistance enhancements, etc. Since the characters are bounty hunters, it makes sense that the most common bonuses are coins and stacks of cash, that can be used at the end of every level to buy said upgrades.

This is notably the last of 7 old arcade games re-released as part of Capcom's 2018 Beat 'em Up-bundle.

Battle Circuit provides examples of:

  • A Boy and His X: Or in this case, a little girl and her bounty-hunting ostrich.
  • Alliterative Name: Brian Bruno, Cyber Blue's real name.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Yellow Iris/Beast. This depends on the artist as her in-game sprite depicts a slim build, along with some of the other official artwork. There is also Barbara, as well as her sisters.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: If an enemy grabs you, you can use your desperation attack to break free. You'll still lose a bit of health, but it's less than the enemy would've done to you, and you'll damage them in the process.
  • Anti-Hero: Our protagonists are all bounty hunters with a strong moral code for their job. Cyber Blue, for instance, cares a lot about money, but will kill truly vile individuals even for free.
  • Acrofatic: Pluto, the boss of the Delete gang. Obese and can hop all the time. If he uses a speed power up, he's more agile than ever.
  • Badass Biker: A trio of biker babes, Betsy (red), Cathy (blue), and Chris (green) try to stop the bounty hunter(s) from chasing Zipang in Stage 6. They have only a jacket covering their breasts and a thong.
  • Bald of Evil: Dr. Saturn.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: The good guys are bounty hunters who often use very violent methods. Their enemies however, are:
    • An overly ambitious Mad Scientist who is a literal mustache-twirler and Bad Boss.
    • The Delete Gang, criminals who want to use the Shiva System to make the entire world their slaves, have a prison camp with creative executions, and a lot of underworld connections.
    • The Master Program, incarnation of the Shiva System itself, is even more evil than the previous antagonists. Notably, he lacks the comedic quirks of Dr. Saturn or the Delete Gang members, is willing to murder anyone who stands up to him, and sees humans as insects.
  • BFG: Pluto's gun, which is big and shoots rapid fireballs.
  • Body Horror: Alien Green's "Twister" move has him tangle his victims' bodies into a grotesque mess. Pluto can also use this move on the player.
  • Cat Girl: Yellow Iris.
  • The Chew Toy: Dr. Saturn throughout the whole game. He gets beat up five times in total from all rival factions, including the player, the Delete Gang, and the Master Program.
  • Code Name: Your bounty hunters are addressed by these. Their real names are mentioned in attract mode.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Black is associated with Dr. Saturn, red with the Delete Gang. Each player character has their own unique color.
  • Colorful Theme Naming:
    • Cyber Blue
    • Yellow Iris/Beast
    • Alien Green
    • Pink Ostrich
    • Captain Silver
  • Combination Attack: Two players can combine their desperation attack into a full-screen move.
  • Cool Car: Dr. Saturn's car, the Black Elephant. It's heavily armed and has a temporary shield with great priority.
  • Crash in Through the Ceiling: In both endings, the bounty hunter(s) burst into Harry's office through the ceiling with a recaptured Dr. Saturn.
    Harry: Hey, <name>! I'm glad you're back so early, but please enter from the front door next time!
  • Dastardly Whiplash: Dr. Saturn is a sci-fi version of this, complete with a dark outfit, the nose and even the sinister mustache.
  • Dual Boss: Dr. Saturn in the Black Elephant and Octopus 3 in your final encounter with them. You only have to beat Saturn.
  • Dub Name Change: Yellow Beast became Yellow Iris.
  • Degraded Boss: Barbara returns as a mid-boss at the first part of the final level, along with Palette Swapped versions of her. Notably, she actually uses different special attacks than she did the first time.
  • Doppleganger Attack: Doc and Jennifer will do this after losing half of their health.
  • Elevator Action Sequence: On giant plate platforms.
  • Elvis Impersonator: Jonny, the second boss, is one of these. He even turns into Fat Elvis upon defeat!
  • Expy: Cyber Blue is an expy of Captain Commando and Yellow Iris is an expy of Felicia.
  • Extremity Extremist: Pink Ostrich uses mostly her legs and beak. It makes sense, because she is a bird after all and mainly uses her wings for flying. The only time she uses her wings for attacking are for her upper cut and desperation attacks.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Pink Ostrich sports one, because she is a real badass who surpassed the limit of other ostriches.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: Alien Green has a single eye lodged in his chest. It seems to be purely decorative, since it drags on the road behind him during the shooter segment.
  • Feather Flechettes: One of Pink Ostrich's upgrades gives her an areal attack where she fires feathers at the ground. Which somehow can set enemies on fire.
  • Femme Fatalons: Yellow Iris is a heroic version. Her claws can even rip through robots with ease.
  • Fragile Speedster: Yellow Iris is categorized as a Speedy. Her speed is the fastest and so are her hits, but Iris's attacks are weak. She is also the one with the second least amount of health (Pink Ostrich beats her in that department). Iris's power-up gives her and everyone the ability to go faster too.
  • Genki Bird: Pink Ostrich.
  • Glass Cannon: Pink Ostrich. She has fairly high damaging moves when used right. In fact, her power-up gives her higher chances to dish out critical hits (called Death Blow), making her moves even more damaging. But she can only take a few hits with a (non) upgraded life bar. This is especially true against bosses.
  • Girly Run: Yellow Iris runs like this.
  • Gratuitous English: Pretty much every character that speaks in Earth languages invokes this trope.
  • Helpful Mook: The blob thing on the gold saucer drops food when attacked. If you attack it more, it'll drop bags of money. It appears Every 250,000 points.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: As usual for Capcom's beat'em-ups, you recover life by eating food scattered around the level. Special mention goes to the chicken and beef dishes you find, which you can eat at various times, each one the sprite changing to show the food losing more and more meat.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Zipang is clearly not using half of his strength in the first phase of his fight. He also ran away and sent minions, despite being able to capture the protagonists and Saturn himself earlier, to give a false image of a coward.
  • An Ice Person: Captain Silver has some ice-based attacks, including a charged attack he can upgrade twice. So does the True Final Boss.
  • Jack of All Stats: Cyber Blue fits the bill with balance in health, speed, and power. His power-up gives him and everyone else the ability for stronger attacks.
  • Kick Chick: Yellow Iris and especially Pink Ostrich. See Extremity Extremist for the latter.
  • Killer Rabbit: Yellow Iris' pet fox is just as lethal as her and deals the very destructive charged attacks.
  • Killer Space Monkey: The "Doc & Jennifer" boss. "Jennifer" is some kind of Giant Space Baboon!
  • Lizard Folk: The Reptails, Dr. Saturn's henchmen, who also serve the Delete Gang sometimes.
  • Living MacGuffin: The Shiva System actually has an incarnation, the Master Program. He is more malevolent than even the criminals who seek the System for their ambitions.
  • MacGuffin: The Shiva System disk, capable of controlling all of the computers in the universe, and the thing everybody is looking for.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Saturn. Since he's a parody of this trope, he also indulges a lot in Evil Laughs and Mustache Twirling.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Alien Green resembles a Venus Flytrap. And one of its moves turns people into eggs.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Half of the enemies.
  • Metronomic Man Mashing: One of Alien Green's grapple attacks.
  • Mighty Glacier: Alien Green is described as a strong type. He is the slowest out of everyone, the only bounty hunter that doesn't have an aerial upper or air combo, but is really strong with his grappling moves, making him the Haggar of the game. Green also can heal himself and everyone else with his power-up, and has the largest life bar before and after fully upgrading it.
  • Mook Promotion: Betsy, Cathy, and Chris are the mid-boss version of the regular biker girls. B.O.B. is the mid-boss version of the fodder R.O.B. enemies.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Most female characters are this, but special mention goes to the Biker Girls enemies.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Some mooks are huge, muscular aliens with four arms.
  • Multiple Endings: One where you recover the disk and another where you face the True Final Boss. Both are happy, but the former has the protagonist complain his adventure was boring, while the latter doesn't, and has the hero's bounty being doubled and the Shiva System being shattered even more explicitly.
  • My Brain Is Big: Dr. Saturn. He even has a metal ring around his huge head, making him look like his namesake!
  • Natural Weapon: The PCs all have their own weapons and there are no weapons to pick up in the game. Ever. This is justified considering out of the group there is a Cyborg, Cat Girl, Plant Alien, a Superhero of sorts, and a little girl riding an ostrich. They do pack a bunch of moves, making weapons kind of redundant.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: Yellow Beast/Iris wears a corset and is full of fanservice.
  • Plant Aliens: Alien Green is one.
  • Power Copying:
    • Pluto has the ability to use the same powerup abilites as your playable characters. All of them, but only one at a time.
    • The Master Program can use their elemental abilities.
  • Prehensile Tail: Yellow Iris' pet, Fin, can pick enemies off the ground with her tail and throw them.
  • Recurring Boss: Dr. Saturn, whom you face a total of three times, not including Octopus Mark 2 and the last time he tries to get the Shiva System in the true ending.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Dr. Saturn's little blob sidekick, Yellow Iris' pet fox-squirrel critter, and Zipang's tiny followers.
  • Save the Villain: An optional thing to do in Stage 4, but after escaping the Death Trap, the player can break the prison containing Dr. Saturn to free him before defeating the area's enemies. This will earn you a Life Extender powerup.
  • Sexy Cat Person: Yellow Iris/Beast, especially in the out-of-game art.
  • Shapeshifter: Captain Silver.
  • Shoryuken: Cyber Blue has a corkscrew version called Hyper Tornado and Yellow Iris has a clawed version called Ariel Dance.
  • Shock and Awe: Cyber Blue has some powerful electric-based attacks. His Giga Crush is one of the strongest.
  • Shout-Out: There are some:
  • Stalked by the Bell: Some segments would be easy if not for the very tight time limit.
  • Stone Wall: Captain Silver. His power-up deals with him and everyone getting a huge defense boost, as it doesn't advance his nor anyone else's attack in anyway.
  • Stripperiffic: The biker girls are wearing what looks like thigh-high boots, thongs, and open jacket — no shirt.
  • Theme Naming: The main characters are code-named after colors: Cyber Blue (Brian Bruno), Yellow Iris (Diana Martines), Captain Silver (Andrey Mishucin), Pink Ostrich (Pinky, which is an ostrich), and Alien Green (real name unknown). Two enemies are also named Dr. Saturn and Pluto.
  • Toilet Humour: Sort of — on Dr. Saturn's spaceship, all the seats look like toilet seats...
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Pink Ostrich and Yellow Iris.
  • Too Many Belts: Averted with Yellow Iris. She actually wears a belt around her waist to support her one-piece corset.
  • Toothy Bird: Pinky is an ostrich with teeth.
  • True Final Boss: The Master Program. You need 3,200,000 points and either 1000 coins or at least 6 upgrades to face him. Win and your score is doubled.
  • Warmup Boss: Your first encounter with Dr. Saturn. The time limit is the only threat on paper, and you can still beat the boss and his crooks under sixty seconds with ease in practice.
  • Weapon Specialization: Although Yellow Iris mostly fights with her claw and kicks, she's also skilled with a whip for some of her rapid attacks.
  • Wings Do Nothing: Averted with Pink Ostrich, as she can fly for a few seconds.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Alien Green specializes in grapples and wrestling moves. He has a few purchasable grapple moves, including the requisite "360 input" one.