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Video Game / Captain Commando

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Captain Commando is an arcade Beat 'em Up created by Capcom in 1991, based on its at-the-time Series Mascot, the titular captain. It was one of many spiritual successors of Capcom's first Beat 'em Up, Final Fight. Among its unique features (back then) were the option for 3 simultaneous co-op play and the ability to control mecha suits scattered on the stages (similar to Mega Man X's Rider armors). The arcade game received a SNES port in '95 and a PlayStation one in '98.

The game deals with the Commando Team, a four-man group formed by the Captain himself, Sho (Ginzu the Ninja), Jennety (Mack the Knife) and Hoover (Baby Head). Together, they stand up against a futuristic world filled up with crime with the intent of cleaning it out, and are faced against a group of Super Criminals terrorizing Earth, commanded by an alien Evil Overlord known as Genocide (Scumocide).

And that was it. Good ol' Captain would fall into obscurity for a good few years, until he was picked up to join the roster of the first Marvel vs. Capcom, which led to subsequent appareances in other Crossover games like Namco × Capcom and the Card Fighters series with SNK. Though unlike Capcom's other forgotten character, Strider Hiryu, he'd not receive any sequel out of this, but his game would later get a re-release through the Capcom Beat'Em Up Bundle and the Capcom Arcade Stadium, the former available for Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Microsoft Windows worldwide and the latter being exclusive to the Nintendo Switch.

This game has examples of:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Sho's katana, Lightning Light, said to cut things at an atomic level.
  • All There in the Manual: Bios released by Capcom reveals that the titular captain's real name is Mars Carlisle, and is a billionaire who uses a gadget-laden suit to fight crime. Capcom's designers admits that the backstory is more or less inspired by Iron Man (sans helmet). Also, Sho / Ginzu the Ninja commando hails from the same dojo as Guy from Final Fight, while the baby's full name is Hoover J. Estefan. Also, the Mummy Commando is an alien named Mack the Knife.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Carol and Brenda, two scantily clad palette-swapped enemies that use electric attacks. The in-game sprites have huge arms, but the enemy is shown to have a feminine figure, not to mention the dress and high heels.
  • Art Evolution: The '86 Commando (when he appeared on NES manuals as Capcom's mascot), '89 Commando (ditto SNES manuals) and final Anime-styled game Commando look completely different from each other.
  • Artificial Limbs: Sorta. Blood got his two arms replaced with those of a black man. Oddly enough, he's almost exclusively a kicking boss.
  • Automatic Crossbows: Rapid-fire harpoon guns are the weapons of Shtrom Jr., Shtrom, and Druk.
  • Bank Robbery: The Commandos step in their first Boss Fight just as the boss (Dolg) was robbing a bank.
  • BFS: The missile launcher counts as this. It's one of the weapons that can deal massive amounts of damage for players.
  • Bald of Evil: Genocide/Scumocide is the main villain of the game and does not have a strand of hair.
  • Blue Means Cold: The blue mechas have iceballs that can freeze enemies.
    • Scumocide will turn blue when he's about to launch ice balls.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Carol and Brenda, the smaller female enemies, cannot be sliced in half or melted into goo like everyone else. Although they are susceptible to the animation of being reduced to a pile of ash if killed by a flame attack.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Hoover's robot has a missile production FACILITY on one of its legs, that's constantly supplying ammo for the robot's attacks.
  • Bowdlerise: For the SNES port, as usual: the special kill animation for bladed hits (which sliced foes in half) and Jennety's poisoned daggers (melted foes) were removed, the boss Blood was renamed Boots, the Mardia enemy "acid puke" attack (which also had the melting effect on deathblow) was replaced by bomb tossing, and the female mook graphics were touched up a little to cover more.
  • The Brute: Among the bosses, there's Dolg. In the Mook variety, we have Organo and Samson, who dress like cavemen.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Not in the arcade game, but done in the Vs. Series to the point it has become a trademark of his.
  • Dub Name Change
    • Sho to Ginzu (Ninja Commando).
    • Jennety to Mack (Mummy Commando).
    • Hoover to Baby Head (Baby Commando).
    • Genocide to Scumocide (the Big Bad).
  • Empathic Weapon: Sho's katana may be this, as it's said to serve no one but him.
  • Excuse Plot: There is a plot hidden somewhere in this game, but nobody really cares when there's a whole city of enemy punks they can massacre.
  • Expanded Universe: The 2-volume manga gives further background to the Captain Commando characters, such as the backgrounds of the enemies and commandos alike. It also introduces a few characters who never appeared in the game like Sarah Kisaragi.
  • Extra Eyes: Monster has 3 red eyes.
  • Genius Bruiser: Hoover is a super-intelligent baby piloting his own robot.
  • The Goomba: The green-clad Wooky mooks are the first enemies faced in the game. They're as weak as they're incompetent, and only serves as practice for new players before moving on to tougher enemies in later stages.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Any character who suffers a deathblow from a bladed weapon (such as Sho's katana) will be sliced in half at the waist, complete with requisite gore. That is, aside from Carol and Brenda for unknown reasons, and Hoover, due to his physical size (his robot mount suffers the effect instead). Jennety's daggers are the sole exception to this, having their own special deathblow animation.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Carol and Brenda.
  • Henshin Hero: While not mentioned in the actual game, Marvel vs. Capcom gave Commando an introduction sequence where he changes from civilian clothes to his Captain armor, all while screaming "Henshin Commando!!"
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: Among the three ninja Mooks, the worst offender is Kojiro (red), with Sasuke (green) and Hanzo (blue) following behind. Sho is a moderate example with his purple uniform.
  • Hollywood Acid: Mardia's acid puke and, technically, Jennety's daggers leave enemies Stripped to the Bone.
  • Humanoid Aliens: Jennety is actually an alien resembling a mummy (his bandages apparently serve as a spacesuit). A crime-fighting alien mummy commando.
  • I'm Melting!: Jennety landing a killing blow with his daggers causes his victims to melt. Same deal with Mardia and her acidic spew attack.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: It's impossible for Baby Hoover to "die" in combat, if Hoover's health bar is spent, his suit will simply rip apart without hurting Hoover in any way. If "killed" by Mardia's acid puke, the suit suffers the melting, leaving him unharmed, and crying on the ground.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Sho's preferred weapon is his katana.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr T.W. (Tea Water) who mutates people in unethical experiments.
  • Meaningful Name:
  • Meta Mecha: Happens whenever Hoover, riding a Mini-Mecha, commandeers an enemy walker.
  • Mini-Mecha: Besides the one Hoover has, there are three that can be hijacked throughout the game: a green mech that punches, an orange mech that shoots fire, and a blue mech that fires blasts of ice.
  • Mirror Boss: 8th boss Doppel, together with Doppelgänger Attack when faced in multiplayer (or injured enough in single player).
  • Ninja: Sho and the various ninja Mooks of his own corrupted clan.
  • Omniglot through Upgrade Artifact: Hoover's pacifier is actually a device that allows him to speak the 3 million languages of the cosmos...
  • Painful Transformation: The poor experimented guy that becomes the 4th boss, Monster.
  • Playing with Fire: Combined with Shock and Awe, Commando's gauntlets employ both fire and electric attacks. Genocide also makes use of fire attacks, alongside ice powers.
  • Poisoned Weapons: Jennety's daggers have a substance that melts enemies on the killing blow.
  • Powered Armor: The Captain's power suit, aptly named Captain Protector.
  • Power Fist: Commando's Gauntlets amplify his strength 48 times.
  • Power Floats: Genocide never walks, he flies.
  • Punny Name: If you haven't been clued in by now "Mack the Knife" is an old-time jazz standard, performed by many artists, including Louis Armstrong.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Shtrom Jr. and his "parents" Shtrom and Druk are theriantropes with a mostly reptilian appearance.
  • The Rival: Yamato to Sho. He joined Genocide just to confront him.
  • Shared Universe: With Final Fight and therefore Street Fighter.
  • Shock and Awe: The good Captain can electrocute his enemies thanks to his gauntlets capable of discharging electrical bolts. Also the Carol and Brenda mooks uses tasers. Expect to see X-Ray Sparks whenever this happens.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To Final Fight; Sho is the successor of Bushin-ryu Ninjitsu, the same style Guy practices. The setting of the game is Metro City as well, and there are Haggar busts that can be picked up for points. Also, in Namco × Capcom, Sho was partnered with Guy as well.
    • Hoover/Baby Head can also do a piledriver attack that none of the other three can do, similar to Haggar.
    • Near the later stages, there's a type of Elite Mook clad in armour that resembles the titular monsters from the Alien movies.
  • Smoke Out: Sho, obviously. His special attack is a lethal version of it.
  • Spectacular Spinning: Jennety's special attack and Hoover's dashing attack.
  • Spin Attack: Jennety's special move have him spinning around in circles, dealing damage to unfortunate mooks surrounding him.
  • Stripperiffic: Carol and Brenda. How they got away with them dressing like that we will never know.
  • Superpowered Mooks: Most Mooks are Super Criminals, said to be gifted with a secret evil power (likely Bio-Augmentation) which grants them abilities beyond human limits.
  • Time-Limit Boss: Dr. T.W.'s boss battle. Failing it just lets the doctor escape, to be never seen again.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: 2026 to be exact.
  • X-Ray Sparks: Commando's electric attacks, as well as those used by the Carol and Brenda Mooks.
  • The Voiceless: Jennety, at least according to Namco × Capcom.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Stage 2 boss, Shtrom Jr., ups the challenge considerably with his rapid-fire projectile attacks (which he can death blossom with), his aggravatingly fast movements, and ability to break combos. For many, he's That One Boss.
  • Wolverine Claws: The Z enemies wield metal claws that can extend.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Hoover/Baby Head has an air piledriver grab and a dropkick.

"Thank you for playing this game!"