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Video Game / Fire Pro Wrestling

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Maybe there's NO Fire in this game, but at least there's LOTS OF FIRE in the title screen.
Fire Pro Wrestling is a series of pro wrestling games developed by Human Entertainment from 1989-2000, and then by Spike from then on after Human's bankruptcy. The series is very well-known for having rather large rosters of characters based on real-life superstars as well as having the most customizable AI for created wrestlers than any other game.

This game contains examples of:

  • Art Shift: Iron Slam '96 attempted to use 3D polygons instead of 2D sprites.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Mostly averted, but the game still has some issues, such as the fact that if count-outs are disabled and the wrestlers both end up out of the ring, they will stay out until there's a lucky Irish whip that sends one of them in and the other follows back in before the former's CPU logic makes him come back out. If you sim a hardcore match, we hope you like neverending outside brawls. This seems to be averted in World, where the AI seems predisposed towards getting back into the ring.
  • Big Bad: Dick Slender in Super Fire Pro Wrestling Special.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • The Mexico ring in Fire Pro Wrestling Returns gives us a Conono Extra advertisement.
    • G has the names for the Japanese wrestling promos mostly changed up completely, but the US-based federations and stables are nothing much than a one-letter swap or replacement. WWC, WFW, FWO, EXW: Exciting Wrestling, anyone?
      • After that era, WWE, and then the "all-star" promotion for the US wrestlers got re-christened as APW.
    • K-1 (a kickboxing league) is called S-1 and the Tokyo Dome is called the Human (Spike, after G) Dome.
    • Then there's View Japan Pro Wrestling and Olive Japan Pro Wrestling.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Agetec's English port of Fire Pro Wrestling Returns. BAM! Entertainment's port of the GBA games had a few minor issues here and there but it's like Agetec went in there with zero familiarity with the series or the previous English ports and made massive leaps of logic to reach conclusions to translate certain terms, that don't match in any way the intent the term was meant to be translated in.
    • The two worst offenses are calling finishers "criticals" in each wrestler's bio (the problem being that not every finisher can cause a critical) and reversing the yes/no percentages for some of the AI attributes (so if you, say, want a wrestler with high "entertainment", you would set the "no" percentage high and the "yes" percentage low).
    • World's translation hasn't fared much better, and the fact it's still pretty rough around the edges becomes especially obvious in the Fire Promoter mode. While paragraphs of English text in there feel way more natural compared to Returns, wrestlers are still referred to by their first names which, with such abundance of custom characters, can lead to rather confusing event screens. On that note, one of them confuses the promotion and the wrestler names, which leads us to "wrestler WWE of Mark fame".
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Management of the Ring, present only in the Japanese version of *one* handheld title from two decades ago, comes back as a DLC for World, now titled Fire Promoter.
    • Likewise, the Story Mode, only present in a few games throughout the series, - none of them localized from Japanese, - is also available as a DLC, though instead of offering several ersatz wrestling promotions, World focuses on New Japan Pro-Wrestling instead.
    • A meta example: Suda51 returns to the franchise after 16 years to write the story for the Champion Road Beyond DLC for Fire Pro Wrestling World, which serves as a sequel to Super Fire Pro Wrestling Special.
  • Button Mashing: Almost entirely subverted. Except in a couple situations, all button inputs are based on timing. However, it's completely played straight in Human's arcade game (and Sega Saturn port) Blazing Tornado, as well as the Xbox 360 title.
  • Canon Immigrant: Blazing Tornado was initially a standalone wrestling arcade game from Human, though the move animations were the same as the Fire Pro games. When it was ported to the Sega Saturn, however, it was retitled Fire Pro Gaiden: Blazing Tornado, officially adding the game to the series. The Blazing Tornado characters also found their way into Super Fire Pro Wrestling X Premium.
  • Captain Ersatz / You Wanna Get Sued?: While not a quirk of just the Fire Pro series, real-life wrestlers with fake names are everywhere on the roster, unless at least part of it is licensed. Mainstays whose pseudonyms haven't been changed throughout years include, but aren't limited to Victory Musashi, Axe Duggan, Spike, Giant Rozhmov, Ittetu Wakamotonote  and The Great Shiba.
    • The two GBA installments of Fire Pro go a step further and actually recolor everyone on the roster who was under contract with the WWF or WCW at the time of production, instead of keeping their likenesses as accurate as possible.
    • Bruce Lee Clone: The second GBA game, Final Fire Pro Wrestling/Fire Pro Wrestling 2 had Bruce Lee thrown in under the name Kung-Fu Liu, along with other famous martial artists like Chuck Norris, Mas Oyama and judo expert Kyoko Tamura.
  • Character Customization: The Trope Maker for the wrestling game genre, or Super Fire Pro Wrestling III: Final Bout for Super Fanicom, to be exact.
  • Colon Cancer: Wrestling Universe: Fire Pro Women: Dome Super Female Big Battle: All Japan Women VS J.W.P. Yes, that is a single game title.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: More like the computer has no reaction time. In the early games the moment when the player inputs the desired move is somewhat random (anywhere from almost immediately after the wrestlers lock up to about a second afterwards). On the hardest settings, the computer will pull off its moves as soon as that indicator appears. This lead to the easier AI for Super Fire Pro Wrestling 3.
    • This problem is completely fixed in later games by making the moment of input the same for every lockup, though that moment is different for each lockup situation (the timing for a front grapple is different than a rear grapple, for example).
  • Darker and Edgier: Super Fire Pro Wrestling Special had a story mode that got very dark very quickly, featuring a Trauma Conga Line in which The Hero's closest friends die and a Downer Ending that ends with him Driven to Suicide. This game also featured the directorial debut of Suda 51, which goes a long way to explaining the plot's dark nature.
  • Downloadable Content: Like other games on Sega's last console, Fire Pro Wrestling D on Dreamcast was an early adopter of add-on DLC. Besides offering updated wrestlers in saves available through Sega's "Dream Passport" service, Spike animated several dozen new moves for the game for about a year after its launch, allowing for authentic versions of popular wrestlers from 2001, especially Keiji Mutoh. Besides that, the Steam version of Fire Pro Wrestling World allows players to upload their custom wrestlers to the Steam Workshop and these can be downloaded like mods. Invariably, several Real Life wrestlers have been uploaded already.
    • The paid edition of this trope came into play with the Yoshihiro Takayama DLC which added said wrestler to the game along with his Spirit Punch Rush move. All revenue from this DLC was donated to the Takayamania Charity Foundation, which was formed to support Takayama and his family after he was injured in an in-ring accident on May 4th 2017. Later, New Japan Pro-Wrestling and World Wonder Ring ST★RDOM DLC was made available, officially adding the likes of Kenny Omega, Jushin Thunder Liger, and Mayu Iwatani to the game, while Parts Craft and Entrance Craft's DLC were made available, as well as the free Move Craft DLC.
  • Driven to Suicide: Happens to the protagonist of Super Fire Pro Wrestling Special. You can thank Suda51 for that.
  • Dualvertisement: The PS4 version of Fire Pro Wrestling World features heavy promotion alongside New Japan Pro-Wrestling, with Kenny Omega featuring prominently in the game's trailers.
  • Guest Fighter: Comes in three flavors: characters not belonging to any promotion, real-life personalities who aren't on the vanilla roster but have an appearance preset for the Edit Mode, and fully-featured wrestlers that appear in a specific mode but not on the roster itself. Either of them may or may not have real-life counterparts.
    • Super X Premium: An entirely fictional fed, Human Wrestling Federation. Appearance presets for Bret "The Hitman" Hart.
    • G: Appearance presets for Kyoko Inoue, Shinobu Kandori and Manami Toyotanote .
    • FPW2 and FFPW: Rat Tights and Mask Boy are unlockables exclusive to the US. Appearance presets for Jason the Terrible, Kyoko Inoue, Shinobu Kandori and Manami Toyota are included in both games, with Padme Amidala, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Batgirl being present only in the US release.
  • Hoax Hogan: The series had various Hogan expies under names as Axe Duggan and Ichiban (Hogan's Red Baron when he wrestled in Japan).
  • In Name Only: That game on Xbox Live Arcade may have the Fire Pro name, but no one considers it part of the series.
  • Insistent Terminology: Several examples.
    • Most fans insist on calling created wrestlers "edits" (which is what's used in the game menus) rather than the more common "CAW" (Create-a-Wrestler).
    • With several exceptions, the term "MMA" is replaced with "Gruesome Fighting", though it's not necessarily exclusive to just octagon fights, and can rarely be applied to K-1 rules as well.
    • Suplexes in which the attacker throws the defender rather than attempting a pin are called "(x) suplex whip" rather than the more standard "release (x) suplex". Seems like this might've originally been a case of someone taking the Irish whip and mistranslating 'whip' as a synonym of 'throw', but it's been standard in the series.
  • Lighter and Softer: Fire Pro Wrestling World's Champion Road Beyond DLC. Not only there is No Antagonist, but the conflict between Sumio, his heritage, and his tag-team partner are ended amicably in the end as the tag-team splitting conflict is revealed to be a mere Kayfabe. It might reflect on how professional wrestling itself became lighter and softer in the current era.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Unlike the preset character roster, the edits in every game up until World are limited to exactly one outfit instead of four.
  • Market-Based Title: The official Japanese title of the series is spelled as Fire Prowrestling by the developers and is generally abbreviated according to it, as FP. When it hovered over to the States, even before getting an official release here, the words "pro" and "wrestling" got separated. Renaming Fire Pro Wrestling A and Final Fire Pro Wrestling to just Fire Pro Wrestling and Fire Pro Wrestling 2 is also the case of this.
  • Nintendo Hard: Most of the early games, but Super Fire Pro Wrestling 3 Final Bout was so insanely hard that an updated version with an easier AI was made (Super Fire Pro Wrestling 3 Easy Type).
  • No Fair Cheating / Easy-Mode Mockery: Really, really odd one. You're playing Super Fire Pro Wrestling III Easy Type, huh? No edit mode for you!
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: After Super Fire Pro Wrestling 3, none of the games number their sequels.
    • In fact, the first game in the series wasn't just called Fire Pro Wrestling, no, it's name is Fire Pro Wrestling: Combination Tag. Wouldn't it be fair to say this trope is in the series's blood?
    • For some reason, the only game in the series on the Mega Drive is titled Thunder Pro Wrestling Retsuden.
  • One-Hit Kill: Extremely rare, but if a character has a move that can be done at the start of a match and potentially cause a critical, it's possible to knock out, pin, or force a submission in one move.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: Outside of altering the animation of some moves, there's no technical difference between wrestlers of either gender.
  • A Ring Designer Is You: The earlier games allowed you to use your wrestling promotion's logo for the ring's mats. Returns, however, gives you a possibility to change colors on every detail of the ring as well.
  • Rule of Cool: The reason that a pro wrestling game contains characters which are not pro wrestlers but martial artists and fighters.
  • Shout-Out: Thanks to the overall nerdiness of Kenny Omega (at the time part of DDT), it's possible to assign Burning Inner Strength to the created wrestlers.
  • Spiritual Successor: To the NES classic Pro Wrestling, featuring a very similar fighting system, as well as an assortment of wrestlers very blatantly intended to be existing ones. The lead developer of Pro Wrestling even worked on the earliest Fire Pro titles.
  • Updated Re-release: Arguably every game is basically an expansion of the previous release. Super Fire Pro Wrestling 3: Easy Type, however, is a straight case, being just an easier edition of Final Bout with Edit feature removed. Super Fire Pro Wrestling X Premium is another, being basically the same game as Super Fire Pro Wrestling X but adding more storage for edits (the original game allowed 20 edit characters, the updated one had 80) and support for the Turbo File Twin accessory. G might also count as one of 6MEN Scramble, although G was more of an adaptation for the less powerful console (which is, in this case Sega Saturn to PlayStation).
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: Definitely the pro wrestling example, thanks to all the Captain Ersatz-ing and edit possibilities.
  • Video Game Long-Runners: 26 games have carried the Fire Pro name from 1989 to the present. That doesn't even include similar wrestling games by Human/Spike such as the King of Coliseum games.
  • Wrestling Family: In the two GBA games, the Captain Ersatz' of Chris Jericho and X-Pac were "Preppy" Pepe Pena and "The Crybaby" Cole Pena respectively, and recolored to share hair color and skin tone.