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Video Game / Marvel vs. Capcom

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They surely want to beat the crap out of the other.

"I wanna take you for a ride..."

The Marvel vs. Capcom games are a series of licensed Fighting Games made by Capcom, using the Marvel license. Encapsulating a total of eight games, it is by far the largest Capcom vs. series and the longest-running of them all (so much so that beyond Marvel Super Heroes, Capcom themselves refer to the series as "The vs. Series").

The games of the series are the following:

Capcom also produced a couple of side-scrolling action games for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System around the same time. Namely X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse in 1994 and Marvel Super Heroes: War of the Gems in 1996. Prior to those games, Capcom released the Beat 'em Up The Punisher.

The series made its comic book debut in the 2014 Spider-Verse crossover, where it was given the Marvel Multiverse designation Earth-30847.

Tropes associated with series include:

  • Adaptational Dye-Job: The first and second games have some peculiar choices for some character's color schemes.
    • Venom is portrayed as having a primarily light-blue color scheme as his default skin.
    • Spider-Man's default color scheme is portrayed as orange and blue, rather than red and blue. He does have a more typical red and blue color scheme as an alternative skin.
    • War Machine has some cyan in his default skin, as opposed to a light gray in usual portrayals of this armor. Granted, he is also a Palette Swap and a stand-in for Iron Man.
  • Adaptational Badass: Many characters in the games are far more powerful than in their original comics or games.
  • All There in the Manual: Marvel vs. Capcom 1-3 do share continuity, but you wouldn't know it from playing them. In summary, a rift opens between the Marvel and Capcom worlds after Professor Xavier becomes Onslaught. The heroes eventually return to their respective worlds, but are periodically called upon again to fight bigger threats.
  • Alternate Self: This happens with Nick Fury. In The Punisher, Nick appears based on Earth-616, but his cameo in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 series (in endings of Fate of Two Worlds and Ultimate) refers to Earth-1610 and Earth-199999.
  • Alternate Universe: Marvel acknowledged the continuity of these crossovers (alongside X-Men: Children of the Atom and Marvel Super Heroes) enough to assign them to their own official Marvel universe. Originally this reality was labeled "Earth-96169", but this was only found in the Marvel Wiki and since no proof of being official was ever provided, the wiki eventually removed and replaced it with an unofficial "Temporary Reality Number" (TRN177). This was changed, however, when Marvel finally provided the official designation of this universe (Earth-30847) in "Spider-Verse #2", alongside the death of this universe's Spider-Man... until it was retconned in Infinite.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Apocalypse in X-Men vs. Street Fighter and Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, Onslaught in the first Marvel vs. Capcom, two of Abyss's forms in Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (first and third), and taken up to eleven in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 with Galactus as the end boss.
  • Author Appeal: Shuma-Gorath to this day is an extremely obscure villain who's barely appeared in over 50 issues since debuting 1974, and his nemesis Doctor Strange didn't appear in the series until Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 in 2011. Yet, he's been part of the series since 1997, tangling with the others since Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter. The reason? The dev team were doing research on characters, happened by Shuma-Gorath, and decided they liked his design so much that they just had to include him.
  • Blocking Stops All Damage: Iceman takes no blocking damage from many attacks in Marvel vs. Capcom 2.
  • The Bus Came Back:
  • Characterization Marches On: This happens to the Hulk: from Marvel Super Heroes to Marvel vs. Capcom 2, he's under his "merged Hulk" persona (Hulk with Banner's mind), but from Marvel vs. Capcom 3 onwards, he's portrayed as his more iconic "savage Hulk" persona, complete with Hulk Speak.
  • Composite Character: Quite a few, all for the Rule of Cool.
    • Dante: The demon slayer is clearly his teenaged self from DMC3, with powers and abilities only from that adventure, but he seems to know Trish and his foe Mundus quite well, characters that only his a-decade-older self from DMC1 should've known.
    • Magneto: Capcom pretty much gathered every single power (except Psychic Powers) Magneto has ever had since his debut, so yeah, in the hands of some writers the Master of Magnetism indeed was capable of creating Force Fields that were not limited to deflecting just metal; attacking with Beams and Energy Blasts that were said to be just a Second Mutation of his already powerful control over magnetism. Simply put, Magneto isn't shown to have all these powers in the same continuity.
    • Mega Man (Classic): The classic Blue Bomber has his set of copied powers from other Robot Masters (namely the Leaf Shield from 2 and Tornado Hold from 8), as well as the Mega Ball from 8 and the Mega Upper (seen in Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters). Interestingly, he also uses the Rush Drill, a form of Rush that was intended to have been included in Mega Man 3.
    • Ryu: Basically, Ryu was all of his incarnations into one up to Marvel vs. Capcom 2; placing in order, Ryu's appearance is that of his young self from Street Fighter Alpha: white bandana, but his mannerisms (from his quotes) are that his older self from Street Fighter II and beyond, where he should have Ken's red hair ribbon as a bandana to simbolize Ryu's maturity and confidence in his strength while he was troubled with it for his struggle with the Satsui no Hadou in Alpha (he wears it in the first MvC, even though the animations are still the same as before), and he seems to know Sean from Street Fighter III quite well to offer training sessions in his ending for Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes, a character that Ryu will only meet half-a-decade later. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 came and returned Ryu's red bandana (MvC2 snapped back to his Alpha incarnation) and portrayed him as the full-fledged 30-something everyone came to know him as (his MvC3 model derives from the Street Fighter IV one), pretty much fixing all the issues since those were the only notable changes in Ryu's character during his journey.
    • She-Hulk: Her costume and assertive personality is that of when Jennifer became an established character, but she seems to have some of her early Leaning on the Fourth Wall characteristics, from the time she didn't have a main uniform and was more irresponsible than playful. She even lampshades this when beating Deadpool:
      "You know, if this game was made in 1991note , I'd be the one whacking YOU with a health bar."
    • Zero: While Capcom characters keep their power set mostly reserved from that one game they appear in, Zero's abilities are all over the place; it is a mix of pretty much Mega Man X4 to Mega Man X8 (i.e. at least one special technique from every main game he's been playable in). X in Infinite follows suit with attacks lifted from X to X4.
  • Combos: The Marvel vs. Capcom series is famous for its insanely combo-friendly mechanics. Street Fighter II only allows you to pull off 2-4 hit combos, but Marvel vs. Capcom allows you upwards of 15 hits!
  • Cool Versus Awesome: The whole reason this series exists.
  • Crossover Alternate Universe: Takes place in a separate Marvel universe called Earth-30847.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • The Servbots went from playable Joke Characters in Marvel vs. Capcom 2, to being Tron's helpers in Namco x Capcom, and are subsequently reduced to background cameos in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom.
    • Anita was a secret character in Marvel Super Heroes, then she was demoted to helper in Marvel vs. Capcom.
    • Hayato was demoted from playable status in Marvel vs. Capcom 2 to a prominent cameo in Tekkaman Blade's ending in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom.
      • Including Hayato, 15 other characters were also playable in Marvel vs. Capcom 2, but they only appear as cameos on the Shout-Out poster in the "Days of Future Past" stage from Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3note .
  • Dynamic Entry: Most of the tag-ins.
  • Guest Fighter: Akuma in X-Men: Children of the Atom and Anita (semi-unofficially) in Marvel Super Heroes, which laid the foundation for the full crossover games that followed.
  • Immune to Flinching: Larger characters like Juggernaut or Sentinel have various amounts of Super Armor — there is also "Hyper Armor" status which temporarily renders a character completely immune to flinching and knockback. Boss characters (like Galactus) have this as their default state.
  • Jiggle Physics and Most Common Superpower: Most of the Marvel ladies fall under these tropes, as do a sizable number of the Capcom females.
  • Large Ham: The announcer.
  • Leitmotif: Save for 2, all games have featured this for every playable character. Out of all of them, Captain America and Spider-Man hold the distinction of having the same theme for every game they have been playable in, as well as Sentinel, Gambit, Blackheart, and Shuma-Gorath. The trends have varied in each game:
    • In Children of the Atom and Marvel Super Heroes, character themes played on their home stages, much like Street Fighter II. Notably, the four characters from the former game who returned in the latter - Wolverine, Psylocke, Juggernaut and Magneto - did not retain their older themes.
    • Come X-Men vs. Street Fighter, the X-Men side received new themes whereas the Street Fighters had theirs recycled from Street Fighter II (same as Street Fighter Alpha). The exceptions to this were the Alpha-era newcomer Charlie and Cammy, a veteran from II who received a new theme meant to represent her Shadaloo-era portrayal and carried over to the Alpha games.
    • Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter saw all the Street Fighters get new themes. The Marvel cast was split: Spider-Man, Captain America, Shuma-Gorath and Blackheart gained new rearrangements for their Marvel Super Heroes themes, and similar treatment came for Omega Red, who returned from Children of the Atom. Wolverine, Cyclops, the Hulk and Apocalypse obtained new ones instead.
    • In the first Marvel vs. Capcom, new original compositions were given to a large chunk of the Capcom side sans the Street Fighter representatives and Strider Hiryu, who recycled music from their source games. Ryu in particular did not get his usual theme, but instead got the opening to Street Fighter II itself. On the Marvel side, Spider-Man, Captain America and Gambit got new remixes. War Machine's theme is a heavily remixed version of Iron Man's stage from Marvel Super Heroes, and the same is true of the Hulk. Wolverine and Venom got original compositions.
    • When character themes returned to Marvel vs. Capcom 3, the Capcom characters all got remixes of specific themes associated to them from their source games. Marvel veterans got remixes of the theme used in their last playable appearance, while those newcomers received original ones. Iron Man was a unique case wherein his theme was a remix of War Machine's, bringing their cases full-circle.
    • In an inversion, all of the Marvel representatives in Infinite got new orchestral compositions from a Marvel-approved sound team, with Captain America and Spider-Man's classic themes relegated to the credits. Capcom's sound team provided their own specific techno-inspired remixes for their characters.
  • Non-Dubbed Grunts: For the original 2D era games, sound clips are often reused from older games.
  • Orbiting Particle Shield: Doctor Doom has a Special Attack called Molecular Shield, in which he levitates rocks and causes them to surround him as a defensive barrier, before flinging them at his opponent.
  • Photoprotoneutron Torpedo: Iron Man's PROTON CANNON.
  • Power Creep, Power Seep: Among other examples, how the (mostly) Badass Normal characters from the Street Fighter-verse can last more than five seconds against powerhouses like Magneto. It is particularly shown for the Street Fighter characters as their Hyper Combos are generally Supers they could always perform, albeit with a much more powerful look (e.g. Ryu's Shinku Hadouken is a single strong energy ball in his home series, but here, it's a continuous beam that covers the entire length of the screen not unlike a Wave-Motion Gun).
    • You can take this deeper. By Ultimate 3 you've got guys like Frank West, Mike Haggar, Phoenix Wright, or Chris Redfield throwing down with cosmic entities like Dormammu, Shuma Gorath, or Galactus and, should the player be proficient enough, can solo these transdimensional beings.
  • Put on a Bus: Abyss, Amingo, Anakaris, Baby Bonnie Hood, Blackheart, Cable, Cammy, Captain Commando, Charlie Nash, Colossus, Cyclops, Dan, Dhalsim, Gambit, Guile, Hayato, Iceman, Jin, Juggernaut, Ken, Marrow, Bison, the original Mega Man, Omega Red, Psylocke, Rogue, Roll, Ruby Heart, Sabretooth, Sakura, Silver Samurai, Son Son, Spiral, War Machine, and Zangief haven’t been seen since Marvel vs. Capcom 2.
    • Especially worse for Abyss, Amingo, Ruby, and Son Son as that game was their only appearance outside of a few cameos.
  • Sequential Boss:
    • Final boss Onslaught of the first game is just plain insane.
      The first form is as tall as the screen, will teleport away whenever you try to hit him (especially if you try using a super-combo), and all his attacks are as powerful as super-combos. If you manage to beat the first form, he becomes even bigger, with his body floating at the background. You can't hit the body, you must aim for the small head, which usually requires super-jumps. Also, your health was not replenished after the first form.
    • The sequel game had the demon Abyss, who had three forms to defeat, each with different attack styles and weaknesses.
  • Shotoclone: Besides the traditional representatives from Capcom's end (Ryu, Ken, Akuma, Dan, Sakura and Morrigan), the Marvel side boasted Captain America, Cyclops and Spider-Man.
  • Shout-Out: Check the page.
  • Situational Damage Attack:
    • Magneto's Magnetic Shockwave, Venom's Death Bite, Hulk's Hyper Gamma Wave, and Thor's Mighty Thunder deal more damage depending on far away from the wall the opponent is and how close you are to said opponent.
    • Captain Commando's Captain Sword does more damage depending on how high and how close the opponent is.
    • Most Hyper Combos in general let you strengthen some by Button Mashing; the more it is mashed, the more hits and damage it does.
    • X-Factor in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 has shades of this; it can be triggered anytime, but depending on how many of your teammates you've lost as well as the amount of health left, the effects and duration of the mode will be increased dramatically.
    • Haggar's Wild Swing attack is an aerial grab where he throws the opponent to the ground; the higher in the air he was, the bigger damage it deals. His Giant Haggar Press can also do additional damage if the opponent was in midair and close to your position, depending on their altitude.
    • Amaterasu's Glaive Chop attack has her descending forward with her blade while delivering multiple hits; depending on her initial altitude, this can either do little or big damage. Same thing happens with Dante's Sky Dance.
    • Firebrand's Bon Voyage attack has him grabbing the enemy and dragging it along the ground until he hits a wall; depending on the distance of the wall, it can do little or big damage.
    • MODOK's Hyper Psionic Blaster's damage depends on how many "levels of understanding" (via successful Analyze Cube attacks) he has stacked; it can do from minor damage to massive damage, even rivaling some Lv 3 Hypers.
    • Nova's Gravimetric Pulse and Gravimetric Blaster will deal more damage depending on the amount of the red health he has left.
    • Akuma's Messatsu Gohado/Tenma Gou Zankou Agyo is a rapid-fire spread of fireballs that deals more damage and hits the closer the enemy is to him. The Ungyo variation is a regular Beam-O-War reminiscent of its portrayal from earlier games.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: You've got more or less "regular" fighters such as Captain America and Ryu, mixing it up with planet-busting immortals like Hulk... or even universe-ravaging entities like Shuma-Gorath, who literally makes Doctor Doom seem like less than an insect in comparison. However, he even gives demons chills, and will gladly roast billions alive just to get some snack food, so who cares?
  • Super Special Move:
    • Most of Captain America's Hyper Moves are variations of his standard attacks. His Charging Star special, where he rushes forward with his shield, becomes "Hyper Charging Star", a powerful, multi-hitting rushdown tool. And "Stars & Stripes", his standard uppercut, becomes (you guessed it) Hyper Stars & Stripes, dealing multiple uppercuts and ending with a powerful multi-hit.
    • Doctor Doom's Photon Shot has a Hyper counterpart called "Photon Array". Not only does it have more range and damage, but also hits off the ground and can be mashed for more hits.
    • Wolverine's "Berserker Barrage X" is longer and more damaging, ending with a knockdown that makes for a good combo ender.
    • The Street Fighter characters have Hyper Combos, which are generally Super Moves they can already perform, albeit with a much more powerful look (e.g. Ryu's Shinku Hadouken is a single strong energy ball in his home series, but here, it's a continuous beam that covers the entire length of the screen not unlike a Wave-Motion Gun).
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill:
  • Training Stage: In Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and Marvel vs. Capcom 3, the Danger Room from X-Men serves this purpose, as it did in the original comics. And before them, the Danger Room was already a normal stage in X-Men: Children of the Atom.
  • Two Girls to a Team:
    • Marvel Super Heroes had Psylocke and the hidden character Anita playable.
    • X-Men vs. Street Fighter has two women on each side. Rogue and Storm (X-Men side) and Cammy and Chun-Li (Street Fighter side).
    • Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter had Chun-Li and Sakura playable.
    • Marvel vs. Capcom had Chun-Li and Morrigan playable.
    • The Mega Man characters count as well with Mega Man, X, and Zero being the male characters while Roll and Tron Bonne are the two females.
  • Wolverine Publicity:
    • Wolverine is the only character to have appeared in every single game, all the way from X-Men: Children of the Atom to Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Deadpool lampshades this in 3 upon beating him.
      • In Marvel vs. Capcom 2, he gets two different versions (Adamantium and Bone claws).
      • Marvel vs. Capcom 3 has only one Wolverine, but it also includes X-23, although her playstyle and moveset (by virtue of being a Kick Chick) are quite different.
      • Infinite, however, broke the streak, as Marvel's decision to keep the Marvel characters for whom Fox owned the movie rights (at the time) out of the game means no Wolverine in the game.
    • Aside from him, Ryu and Chun-Li are the only Street Fighters to be featured in all the games of the series, excluding the Marvel-only fighters.
    • Captain America, Spider-Man, and Hulk appeared in all the non-X-Men games.
      • Magneto (only absent in Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter) and Shuma-Gorath (only absent in Marvel vs. Capcom) are next to them.
    • Morrigan appeared in all the games, aside from the Marvel-only games and the Street Fighter crossovers.
    • In the same vein as Morrigan, Strider Hiryu only missed the original MvC3.
    • Another example is Akuma, who has the distinction of being the first Capcom character to appear in the series, as he was a Secret Character in X-Men: Children of the Atom. He was also a Secret Character in X-Men vs. Street Fighter and Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, appeared somewhat in Marvel vs. Capcom as a moveset for Ryu, and was a regular in Marvel vs. Capcom 2, returning to his unlockable status in 3.
    • And Zangief, who appeared in every Street Fighter/Capcom crossover with Marvel, except in 3, where he's replaced by Haggar.