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Video Game / Breakers

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"Kurenai Sandan Geri!"
Breakers is a 1996 Fighting Game developed by Visco for the Neo Geo platform. It's yet another game influnced by the spectacular success of Capcom's Street Fighter II, though its gameplay is more close to SNK's The King of Fighters. The game was originally annouced in 1993 under the name Crystal Legacy, before it went through a total overhaul to become the game we got. Visco later published an Updated Re-release of the game titled Breakers Revenge in 1998, which added a new character to the roster, made the final boss playable via a secret code, and intoduced some adjustments towards the gameplay balance.

The story is not too dissimilar from other tournament-style fighting games. Somewhere in Hong Kong, a mysterious competition known as FIST (The Fighting Instinct Tournament) is held every year, inviting martial artists around the globe to determine the strongest in the world. However, it's said that the champion gets a chance to fight the organizer of the tournament, only to be never seen again. Unsurprisingly, this turns out to be a trap set by an evil spirit named Bai-Hu, the sponsor of the competition who wants to possess the body of a strong martial artist to raise his dark power. Not knowning what's waiting ahead, another group of fighters arrive at the tournament, and the battle is about to begin once again...

Although Breakers ultimately failed to make a wake against contemporary games, it still maintains popularity in the internet competitive scene and is generally thought as one of the better fighting games from the era. Its cult favorite status eventually led to 2017's re-release for Sega Dreamcast (being based on the original version rather than the Revenge update). It also has a big following in some casual Japanese tournaments such as Mikado Arcade.

Breakers Collection, which includes both Breakers and Breakers Revenge, was released on current gen platforms (PlayStation 4/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch and PC/Steam) on Janurary 12, 2023. The collection features rollback netcode along with crossplay on all platforms.

This game has nothing to do with Dawn of the Breakers, known in Japan as Breakers: Dawn of Heroes, nor does it have any relation to the Synapse Software electronic novel "Breakers".

Breakers provides examples of:

  • Alternate Company Equivalent:
    • Rila is essentially Visco's answer to Capcom's Blanka. Likewise, Condor is the one to the same company's T. Hawk.
    • As pointed out by Fighter's Generation, Tia has elements of SNK's Yuri Sakazaki (converse) and Capcom's Chun-Li (lighting kicks, victory pose, possibly leggings), Guile (firing Sonic Boom-like projectiles), M. Bison (her Psycho Crusher wannabe), and of course, every Shoto to have existed at the time (her dragon punch). She also takes some cues from Terry Bogard with her forward flip kick special.
    • Alsion III can be seen as an analogue to Dhalsim since both characters can stretch their limbs, teleport, and breathe elements to attack (poison for Alsion, fire for Dhalsim).
  • But Not Too Foreign: Dao-Long is supposed to be Korean, but everything about him suggests he's a Chinese character (his given name is definitely not of Korean origin, for one). Seeing that he also practices a Chinese martial art, perhaps he's of Korean ancestry but was raised in China.
  • Camp: The game has many elements that make it look like Affectionate Parody, blending various fighting game stereotypes to create some memorable characters and taking a page from pop culture like Hong Kong action cinema.
  • Captain Ersatz: Pielle is as about the closest to Zorro as he can without actually being Zorro.
  • Funny Background Event: Tia's stage has a monk cheering for the fighters who, once the winner is decided, starts madly bouncing on a lily pad.
  • It's Personal with the Dragon: Inverted: Bai-Hu and Dao-Long are father and son, and Sho has no personal connection.
  • Japanese Ranguage: Pielle is almost likely an alternative spelling of "Pierre."
  • Mirror Match: If the opponent is using the same character as yours (which always happens in arcade mode), their character's name will change into completely different one. For example, Sho becomes "Jin" when he's a clone of the character. Some of these alternative names are based on those from the unreleased prototype Crystal Legacy.
  • Updated Re-release: Breakers Revenge, released two years after the original release, adds a new character named Saizo to the roster while also making the final boss Bai-Hu playable via a secret code.