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Video Game / Marvel: Contest of Champions

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Marvel: Contest of Champions is a 2014 free-to-play mobile game developed by Kabam for the iOS and Android platforms set in the Marvel Universe. The player takes the role of an unseen Summoner for The Collector, who opens the game by abducting Wolverine for his contest and imprisoning him in a crystal.

The game is a standard Mascot Fighter game that has several different modes, including a Story Mode, Duel (where players fight another player's top Champion) Arena and Alliance Modes, with special events frequently taking place. Each player's champions can be leveled up by using ISO-8, gold and catalysts, which are all gained when fighting in story quests and special events.

The game also has a comic tie-in set in the mainstream Marvel Universe that expands on several characters introduced in the game, such as Guillotine and White Fox.

In December of 2020, a sequel game, Marvel: Realm of Champions, was released, a 3-VS-3 MOBA-lite that details the original Championsí self-founded civilizations struggling to fill the power vacuum left by the assassination of Maestro.

    The Champions 

Cosmic class

Mutant class

Mystic class

Science class

Skill class

Tech class


This game contains examples of:

  • Alternate Self:
    • Black-Suit Spider-Man is from a world where the symbiote completely took over its host, and is more sinister and brutal than Classic Spider-Man.
    • Black-Suit Spider-Man, Agent Venom, classic Venom, and Venompool are all bonded to alternate versions of the Venom symbiote.
    • Several versions of characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe show up.
    • King Groot and Civil Warrior mix this with Original Generation, being alternate versions of Groot and Steve Rogers created specifically for the game.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Electro is noticeably darker-skinned than Caucasian characters but not as dark as explicitly black characters like Storm and Luke Cage, presumably referencing how he was played by a black actor in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 but is a white guy in the original comics. Averted by Guillotine, who's explicitly described as half-French and half-Algerian.
  • Anti Poop-Socking: Quest energy depletes as the player moves through the level and replenishes over time, though players in an Alliance can ask for help and certain items can regenerate part of all of it. Likewise champions used in Arenas must cool down and can also be recharged with Alliance help or for 5 units.
  • Artificial Stupidity: CPU controlled enemies will noticeably not use their special attacks even if the bar is full when close to death, when that's the first thing a human opponent would do. The level of this seems to vary depending on the game mode, as Duels play out much closer to what fighting an actual human would be like (and are thus much harder).
  • Assist Character: During Groot's third special attack Rocket Raccoon (who is a character in his own right) appears out of thin air and fires his gun from Groot's shoulder at the enemy.
  • Badbutt: Especially compared to her appearance in Jessica Jones (2015), Jessica's dialog when she talks to the Summoner in the Contamination event is noticeably toned down, presumably to abide by the game's T rating even though the show she's from is definitely not family friendly. The same applies to Luke Cage and the live action version of Daredevil.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Deadpool, as usual, comments on aspects of the game when encountered in story mode. He also complains during the 2015 Holiday special about being classed as a Mutant, which causes The Collector to tell him to shut up. And his "Deadpoolpalooza" event is pretty much nothing but this.
  • Character Class System: There are six classes for the playable characters: Cosmic, Tech, Mutant, Skill, Science, and Mystic.
    • There is also the Combined class, though this is limited to only to non playable characters.
  • Freemium: Real money can be used to purchase units, and daily specials (often containing a class specific crystal and several catalysts) are offered for around $4.99. It's not strictly necessary to purchase but do help on higher difficulties.
  • Funny Background Event: Present in several stages.
    • The New York City stage has a sign for Nelson & Murdock visible on a building. The Avengers Tower can also be seen in the background.
    • The Spaceport stage has moving holographic wanted posters of Rocket and Groot. It also features of an advertisement of The Collector (depicted in Super-Deformed style) hawking items for the game.
  • G-Rated Drug: The Black ISO-8 in the Contamination event (tied in with Jessica Jones (2015)) is treated this way, with characters referring to it and craving it the same way one would become addicted to a drug.
  • Kinda Busy Here: Deadpool's third special attack has his cellphone ring in the middle of the fight and he goes to answer it, while his opponent makes exasperated gestures and looks away while he yammers away on it, only to have Deadpool to shake his head, hang up and offhandedly shoot his opponent.
  • Hammerspace: Used by champions who have weapons as part of special attacks but not normally visible on their model.
    • Winter Soldier and Punisher pull out two handguns and a bazooka for their third special (which inexplicably changes into a rifle when the camera cuts back after showing the shot hitting the opponent, though this was eventually fixed in an update so it's always a rifle).
    • Rocket Raccoon beats them both in his third special attack by first pulling out a handgun, which makes his opponent laugh at him, so instead he pulls out different components of a blaster that when assembled is larger than he is.
    • Notably averted with Drax: originally, he would pull knives out of nowhere for a special attack, but an update changed his character model so that he is always using them.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: Rocket Raccoon has the same size hitbox as all other champions, so as not to give him an unfair advantage due to his relative smallness. This is also why he always floats using his jetpack and only gets down on the ground for his second special attack or his win pose so he's the same height as the other champions.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: Around the time Avengers: Age of Ultron was released Ultron took over the contest, with The Collector repeatedly grousing about this and referring to him as a "parasite".
    • Also Played for Laughs with the tie in to Deadpool, which has Deadpool making his own series of quests titled "Deadpoolpalooza" but with blatant copying such as taping his face over the graphics for the story quests and the "Deadpooloids" being regular Symbioids with his mask and boxers with his logo on them.
  • Immune to Flinching: The "Unstoppable" ability of Juggernaut and Unstoppable Colossus allows them to not be knocked back as long as it is active.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: Planning to gun your way through a chapter in the campaign? Hope you've packed enough patience for a ton of loading screens. For each opponent you face in a chapter, you'll have to go through at least three loading screens: one to bring up character selection, another for the actual fight, and a third to take you back to the map once you win (and more if the character you picked gets KO'd). Do the math and you'll be looking at having to go through over a dozen loading screens to finish up the chapter - but unfortunately for those who are aiming for 100% Completion, that's just the beginning - virtually every chapter has multiple unique routes that have to be cleared to be fully "explored". That means that you'll have to get through dozens upon dozens of loading screens, not to mention two additional loading screens that you must go past to exit and re-enter the chapter map between each unique route cleared, which will be more than enough to rile up anyone who's short on patience.
  • Mirror Match: Referenced by champions in Story Mode when they mention that they may end up fighting themselves. The colors of the champions do not change, unlike in most Mirror Matches, but because the camera is fixed the side of the screen they're on and how they face during special attacks stays the same.
  • Moveset Clone: Common among champions of the same class, for instance Winter Soldier and Punisher both have identical movesets and special moves. Both versions of The Vision, Deadpool and Captain America also use the same movesets since the characters are just Palette Swaps of each other. Eventually averted with Iron Fist, who at first used a standard Skill attack set but after an update gained unique animations (and lost the gloves on his model).
  • Mythology Gag: Anti-Venom's "Time Travellers" synergy with Spider-Man 2099 and Doctor Octopus is a reference to Spider-Man: Edge of Time.
  • No Flow in CGI: Mostly averted by the cape physics of many Champions, and while the hair on certain characters like Captain Marvel and Storm's mohawks used to be stiff as a board and prone to clipping, later updates added jiggle bones to it so it moves more naturally.
  • Normally, I Would Be Dead Now: The Punisher has a special ability called Defy Pain that gives him a change to endure an otherwise lethal blow for several seconds, the exact length determined by his level.
  • No-Sell: Bleed damage does not affect most Tech champions (i.e. Vision, Ultron, or others who are robots) or certain other heroes like Colossus with his metal skin and Luke Cage with his Super-Toughness. Robots are also immune to Poison damage.
  • Only One Female Mold: While the male heroes have several different body types (including "Beast" like Hulk, Juggernaut and Abomination, "Heroic" like Captain America, Black Panther and Electro, and "Slim" like Spider-Man) all the females have the exact same body type and Painted-On Pants style clothing. Eventually averted in the update that added Spider-Gwen, who has a noticeably smaller and thinner frame than the other female characters, and Kamala Khan, who's shorter and less curvy than most of the other females. She-Hulk is also much taller and muscular than other female models and has a different winpose than the standard.
  • Original Generation:
    • Guillotine is a wholly original character created for this game and its tie-in comic.
    • Downplayed with King Groot and Civil Warrior, who are based on canon characters, but are alternate versions not based on any specific incarnations from the comics or films. King Groot is a Groot who never met Rocket and rose up to become a Galactic Conqueror, and Civil Warrior is a Steve Rogers who became The Atoner after his Accidental Murder of Tony Stark.
    • Venom the Duck is a version of Howard the Duck using the Venom symbiote as a Lovecraftian Mini-Mecha, created by the Symbiote Supreme.
    • The Symbiote Supreme is a Spawn-esque version of Dr. Strange bonded to a powerful symbiote, channelling the power of the dark gods Chthon, Set, and Null.
  • Palette Swap: Several champions are obvious palette swaps for each other, often an alternate version of the same character. For instance, X-Force Deadpool has the exact same power set as regular Deadpool with a different colored uniform, and WWII Captain America is this for regular Captain America. The Vision also has both a comics version of his costume and one based on the movie version in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Ms. Marvel and Captain Marvel also have the exact same attributes.
  • Poisonous Person: Abomination's ability Irradiate has a chance to inflict poison on his opponent.
  • The Power of Friendship: Having heroes who are friends, allies or lovers on the same team will often grand them boots and bonuses to certain abilities. On the flipside, pairing up rivals or enemies will have similar effects.
  • Power Floats: Magneto (both versions) and Doctor Strange both float by default. Magneto always did while Doctor Strange had this added in an update. Rocket Raccoon floats too, but he's just using a jetpack.
  • Reliably Unreliable Guns: Star Lord's third special attack has him kick back his opponent then level his gun at them, only for it to fizzle and spark when he pulls the trigger. He then frantically starts hitting it and finally manages to get a shot off just as the opponent rushes at him again.
  • Special Attack: Each champion can have up to three, with the 3 star or higher champions having access to the highest immediately while lower starred players need to unlock them by leveling up.
  • Stealth Pun: During Rocket & Groot's Holiday Special the first level has The Collector refer to Groot as a tree, and the first map is laid out like a Christmas tree. What makes this stealth is one has to zoom out on the map in order to see its shape. And by extension the entire quest can be seen as a hunt for a Christmas tree, since one of the prizes for completing it is a 3 Star Groot.
  • Super Mode: Agent Venom's Signature Ability, Klyntar Rage, has him randomly lose control of the Venom symbiote after being attacked once he hits 50% health, greatly increasing his damage output.
  • Use Your Head: A default forward attack for several "brute" types champions including The Hulk, Abomination, Drax and Luke Cage.
  • Wham Shot: The fourth anniversary trailer ends with the Silver Surfer creating an energy trail... in the shape of a four.