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Video Game / Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes

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After the successes of X-Men vs. Street Fighter and Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, Capcom released Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes in 1998. The game's setting is based on the Onslaught storyline, with Professor Xavier calling for help from within the Capcom universe to help stop that specific villain.

MvC played mostly the same as its predecessors; it also added an extra Duo Team Attack mode (also known as a Variable Cross) where teammates would join together to beat down their opponent at the same time. The game also featured numerous assist partners—characters from both Marvel and Capcom who could be called on for supporting attacks. (This mechanic would be replicated, albeit with actual tag partners, in the following two Marvel vs. Capcom entries.)

Capcom followed this game up in 2000 with Marvel vs. Capcom 2. This puts MvC in the rather unique position of being both the finale of one trilogy (as started by X-Men vs. Street Fighter) and the first game of another (thanks to the Numbered Sequels that follow).


In 2012, the game was re-released for PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade with Marvel Super Heroes in Marvel vs. Capcom Origins before it got delisted a few years after.

The game has the following characters:

Capcom roster:

Marvel roster:

Marvel vs. Capcom includes the following tropes:

  • An Ice Person: Iceman drops a few glaciers on the opponent as his assist attack.
  • Anime Theme Song: Roll's "Kaze Yo Tsutaete", which is a poor MIDI version (in some international releases, at least) of the same song from Rockman Battle & Chase.
  • Assist Character: The game features "Assist Partners" from both Marvel and Capcom's ranks. In the arcade version of the game, the Assist Partner is chosen randomly before each fight (though a little button manipulation will allow a player to choose their partner). In the home version of this game—which did not have the tag-team gameplay—players could flat-out choose an Assist Partner. Aside from this mechanic, there are also these examples:
    • Rush assists Mega Man.
    • The Commando Team (Ginzu, Babyhead and Mack) assist Captain Commando.
    • Jin will often call on Blodia as part of his attacks.
    • Strider Hiryu will often call on the three Options.
  • Attract Mode
  • Audible Sharpness: This is one of the many reasons Strider Hiryu became so popular. SCHWING!
  • Automatic Crossbow: Lou uses one.
  • A Winner Is You: Winning with secret characters Gold War Machine, Red Venom, Orange Hulk, or Onslaught nets you a flashing screen with the character and text saying "Congratulations! You've defeated the game with a Secret Character!"
  • Badass Adorable: Mega Man and Roll.
  • Badass Normal:
    • Captain America and War Machine qualify for the Marvel side, while Zangief, Captain Commando, Strider Hiryu and Jin Saotome qualify for the Capcom side. But only Zangief fights using only his fists and feet, whereas Captain Commando has his various built-in gadgets and weapons from his game of origin, Hiryu is a futuristic ninja-esque assassin with superhuman speed bordering on Charles Atlas Superpower, and Jin can inexplicably produce fire and turn himself into a human tornado.
    • In the Assist Partner ranks, we have U.S. Agent on the Marvel side, and Arthur, Unknown Soldier 1P, Saki Omokane, and Devilotte's Terrible Trio on the Capcom side.
  • Background Boss: Onslaught in his second form.
  • Beating A Dead Player: Pressing the Start button after defeating an opponent allows the player to continue attacking, with a point bonus if the freeze frame is on a particular animation. Point values range from 1,000 points (for basic attacks) to up to 30,000 (for Jin's auto-immolation taunt).
  • BFG: War Machine's PROTON CANNON! and Morrigan's SOUL ERASER!
  • Big Bad: Onslaught.
  • Bowdlerise: One of Morrigan's victory animations—the succubus dressed in a dominatrix outfit that exposes her butt while she looks at Lilith dangling from a chain—was cut from international localizations of the game; Capcom kept it in for the sequel. In a reverse example, Venom's win taunt about "eating your brains" was removed in the next game.
  • Brainwashed:
    • In the first part of the Final Boss fight, Onslaught will sometimes call in one of the playable characters to fight in his place while he moves into the background and slowly recovers health.
    • In terms of story, there is Shadow and Shadow Lady — Charlie and Chun-Li respectively — controlled by M. Bison and turned into cyborg killing machines. Shadow seems to break free of it in Chun-Li's ending, while Shadow Lady does it in her ending and joins forces with Shadow to seek revenge on Bison.
  • Bilingual Dialogue: With Capcom's characters speaking mostly Japanese and Marvel's speaking English all the time, this is to be expected. Especially when switching between tag partners.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Captain Commando has quotes directed at the player.
    "Thank you for playing this game."
  • Blow You Away: Storm's Assist Partner attack is to throw a cyclone at the opponent.
  • Calling Your Attacks: You'd expect this with the Fighting Game characters, naturally. But it even extends to the Marvel Superheroes, among others.
  • The Cameo: Numerous characters from both the Marvel and Capcom universes make an appearance in the endings and stages.
  • Combination Attack: Double Hypers.
  • Composite Character:
    • Ryu in this game is referred to as "Complete Change Ryu", since he has the ability to switch between three separate styles—his own, Ken's, and Akuma's—as a Hyper Move.
    • Zangief also qualifies, as he gains the ability to transform into Mecha Zangief, who was technically a separate character in Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter.
  • Cool Shades: Captain Commando and the Unknown Soldier both have some.
  • Cyborg:
    • Shadow Lady is a non-canon, What If? version of Chun-Li forcibly robotized to become Shadaloo's assassin. Although she retains some of her original moves (including her famous kicks), much of her movelist has been replaced with an arsenal of high-tech weaponry built into her robotic shell. In her own ending, she and Shadow, a similarly roboticized Charlie, manage to break free of Bison's control.
    • In Shadow Lady's ending, Jin undergoes a similar transformation after he is mortally wounded by Bison.
  • Death from Above:
    • The Hulk's Gamma Crush Hyper Combo. Hulk jumps into space, and essentially pulls a passing meteor from space to drop it on his opponent.
    • War Machine's War Destroyer Hyper sends a shower of missiles down his opponent. So does his Smart Bombs special attack, except in a less powerful way.
    • Pure & Fur drop a bunch of huge die upon the enemy.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Rogue, Storm, Juggernaut, Magneto, Cyclops, U.S. Agent, and Shadow were all demoted from playable characters in previous games to Assist Partners. And M. Bison suffered even worse, going from playable to a minor cameo.
    • Counting X-Men: CotA, this also includes Psylocke, Colossus, Iceman, and Sentinel.
  • Desperation Attack: If Jin Saotome loses his partner and drops below a certain amount of health, he will start glowing gold and gain a strength boost plus Super Armor (the opponent must hit him twice to put him into a stun animation).
  • Excuse Plot: Captain America's ending explains that the Marvel and Capcom universes have merged together due to Professor X calling upon more heroes in an attempt to stop him as Onslaught. Why this entails that everyone here has to fight each other is anyone's guess.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: Zangief and Jin Saotome.
  • Flash Step:
    • Strider Hiryu makes use of this in several of his techniques.
    • Akuma!Ryu can use Akuma's Ashura Senkuu.
  • Flight: War Machine has a special move that allows him to fly.
  • Fragile Speedster:
    • Strider Hiryu is a good example.
    • Red Venom is a hidden version of Venom who moves thrice as fast as any character in the game, but has almost no defense or health. Picking him turns any battle in an example of Rocket-Tag Gameplay, as Red Venom's absurd speed allows for "touch of death" infinites... provided he can survive long enough to successfully land an attack on his opponent.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Lilith-Mode Morrigan's ending: Morrigan and Lilith have switched bodies after a collision, and they decide to try it again to fix it. At the last moment, Zangief jumps in, believing they were amidst "head crush training", and crashes into Morrigan head-first. In the end, Morrigan is back to normal, but Zangief and Lilith have now switched bodies.
  • Genius Bruiser: The Hulk, where he's in the guise of the Merged Hulk/Professor persona. (Remember, The Green Scar from Planet Hulk and World War Hulk had yet to be created at the time.)
  • Henshin Hero: Captain Commando is one, according to his intro.
    "Henshin, Commando!"
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Captain America in Hulk's ending (itself a Shout-Out to the ending of the Onslaught saga in the comics), Jin in his own. (See Late to the Tragedy for another version.)
  • Hot Blade: Strider Hiryu's Cypher, while commonly mistaken for a Laser Blade, is essentially a tonfa blade that uses plasma to make mincemeat of foes. It also makes a very distinct sound when swung.
  • Hot-Blooded: Jin Saotome is this to the letter. It's even parodied in his taunt: If you keep pressing the attack buttons while he taunts, he literally sets himself on fire.
  • Humongous Mecha:
    • Jin calls on Blodia for some of his attacks.
    • Mega Man and Roll both have Hyper Combos that turn them into this by way of combining with Rush, Beat, and Eddie. Dedicated mecha anime fans may recognize their designs in these forms as a nod to a certain Super Robot show.
    • From the Assist Partners, Sentinel and Devilotte's Super-8 both qualify, though most of the latter is underground/not visible.
  • I Am Legion:
    Venom: "We are Venom!"
  • Japanese Ranguage: Very, very odd inversion. The announcer reads the first word of the name "Strider Hiryu" right, but when it comes to the second, Japanese word, it incidentally slips into "Hilyu." Of course, this may be the fault of audio quality.
  • Joke Character: While Roll shares many of Mega Man's moves, she is set back by low health, almost no useful combos, and a frankly pathetic damage output. She is, however, exceptionally useful against Onslaught thanks to her small size, which causes most of his attacks to fly right over her head.
  • Juxtaposed Halves Shot: This is done to signify the activation of the Duo Team Attack.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: The second part of this trope's name comes from the version of the Shinku Hadoken used by Ryu in this game (and others in this series), which is the best known of many, many instances.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Jin Saotome has one in one of his win poses.
  • Kick Chick: Chun-Li and Ton Pooh.
  • Late to the Tragedy: In Shadow Lady's ending, Bison kills Jin; his body is found by Shadow Lady and Shadow (Charlie). They subject Jin to the same roboticization process that made them Bison's puppets to save him.
  • Leitmotif: With a mix of original and remixed tunes to boot:
    • On the Capcom side, Chun-Li and Zangief get their classic Street Fighter II themes back, but not Ryu; he instead gets SFII's intro theme here as a very special instance. Strider Hiryu gets a remix of "Raid!", the first stage theme from his home game. This leaves Morrigan, Captain Commando, Jin and Mega Man — all of whom get original themes that pay homage to their respective franchises' soundtracks; for example, Mega Man's partially samples the intro to Mega Man 2. Notably, Roll's Image Song "Kaze yo Tsutaete" (from the rather obscure Mega Man: Battle & Chase) not only makes her stand out among the other secret characters from either side due to having a unique theme, but also gives her the distinction for being the first vocal theme in the entire series; a claim which would not be topped until Deadpool, Dante and X-23 matched it in Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
    • For the Marvel heroes, this marks the second consecutive remix for Spider-Man and Captain America's old themes from Marvel Super Heroes. Similarly, Gambit's is a remix of the one he had from X-Men vs. Street Fighter. The Hulk's new theme is a vastly different re-arrangement of his Marvel Super Heroes theme, while War Machine's gives a similar treatment to Iron Man's own from the same game. This leaves both Wolverine and Venom with the only original tracks on their end.
  • Megaton Punch: This is Jin's entire fighting style, exemplified by the Blodia Punch, which is a Megaton Punch by Jin's Humongous Mecha.
  • More Dakka:
    • Mega Man and Roll have a Hyper Combo where they become Mazinger Z expies (Hyper Mega Man and Hyper Roll) that fire numerous types of projectiles at the opponent.
    • Jin's Blodia Barrage is also this, as Blodia comes in with both chainguns blazing.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Much of Onslaught's dialogue comes straight from his comic storyline.
    • Hulk's ending has Captain America sacrifice himself to destroy Onslaught, just like in the original story. Jin's ending also references it, with Jin directly giving his own life to stop Onslaught.
    • The two Hyper Combo announcer cries from Marvel Super Heroes return when Marvel characters perform their Hyper Combos: the "X!" sound-byte plays appropriately for X-Men Wolverine and Gambit, and "Infinity!" plays for Spider-Man, Captain America, Hulk and War Machine (standing in for Iron Man). As Venom is the sole true Marvel newcomer, none of those sound effects play for him.
  • Non-Fatal Explosions: Upon being summoned as an Assist Partner, Devilotte will issue her subordinates to attack... but instead, all three just blow up on the spot (with the explosion being the attack itself).
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Gambit doesn't even have a pretense of a Cajun accent, instead he just says things in a harsh whisper.
  • One-Winged Angel: Onslaught becomes a gigantic menace, figuratively and literally, after his first form.
  • Paint It Black: Shadow and Shadow Lady (the roboticized versions of Charlie and Chun-Li) both appear as if they are painted completely black. The same thing happens to Jin in Shadow Lady's ending.
  • Palette Swap: Like the previous game, there are hidden alternate versions of existing characters, albeit with odd color schemes. In the case of the Capcom characters, it's in reference to in-story changes made to them, while the Marvel characters reference other Marvel characters, though without actually claiming to be them.
    • War Machine counts as a replacement for Iron Man, and even has his own palette swap (see below).
    • Lilith-Mode Morrigan is Morrigan with Lilith's color scheme and most of Lilith's moves; this version is less effective than the normal version. Caused by an unexplained "Freaky Friday" Flip.
    • Shadow Lady is a cyborgized and brainwashed Chun-Li in the vein of Shadow from Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter. She is heavier and has Shadow-esque takes on all Chun-Li's moves — as well as a few unique attacks of her own.
    • U.S. Agent is one of the Assist Partners. He uses the same sprite as Captain America and performs Cap's Charging Star as his Assist attack.
    • Hyper Venom, also known as "Red Venom", is a secret version of Venom who is constantly in Berserker mode. He has huge offensive potential and insane speed, but is incredibly fragile as a tradeoff. The color and Glass Cannon status obviously reference Carnage.
    • Orange Hulk, also known as MSH-Perfomance Hulk, is an orange-colored Hulk who uses his old Marvel Super Heroes moveset, has faster speed, and lacks super armor. Added in reference to the Thing.
    • Gold War Machine is a variant of War Machine who is Immune to Flinching and fires missiles instead of beams for all his projectiles. He is also incredibly sluggish, and he cannot block anything. His design references Iron Man, Mark 1, gold colored.
  • Playing with Fire: Captain Commando's Power Glove uses fire and electricity on his attacks. Jin's punches and attacks are all fire-covered; one of them even sets Jin himself on fire.
  • Power Copying: True to form, Mega Man's ending sees the Blue Bomber gain a Hyper Combo from Onslaught—Magneto's Magnetic Shockwave—and in the home console ports, you can actually unlock a secret version of Mega Man that uses the Shockwave. note 
  • Powered Armor:
    • War Machine and Captain Commando count.
    • Gold War Machine is a hidden version of War Machine that moves slowly, can barely jump, and cannot block any attack whatsoever—but he has incredibly high defense, an infinite hit buffer that allows him to continue moving forward against enemy attacks, and much more powerful projectile attacks. Hyper Combos that rely on a first hit to continue (e.g., Spider-Man's Maximum Spider, Wolverine's Weapon X) will stop after the first hit because Gold War Machine's armor repels them. He can still be thrown, though.
    • Onslaught has this as well.
  • Power Floats: M. Bison (in his ending cameos) and Onslaught both demonstrate this.
  • Ramming Always Works: This is the style of attack used by U.S. Agent, Colossus, Sentinel, Psylocke, Rogue, and Juggernaut when summoned.
  • Reforged into a Minion: Shadow Lady is a What If? Brainwashed variation of Chun-Li forcibly turned into a Cyborg by Shadaloo. Before her robotization, Chun-Li routinely foiled Shadaloo's plans at every turn, and in retaliation, they kidnapped and experimented on her for the sake of turning her into a pawn against Interpol, complete with a new name, quickly becoming M. Bison's top operative. Unlike Shadow — a brainwashed Charlie, who escaped shortly after being transformed — Shadaloo added a Restraining Bolt to Shadow Lady's programming so she would remain fully obedient to Bison at all times, essentially becoming a Robot Girl. In her non-canon ending, she manages to overcome Shadaloo's brainwashing and regain her original memories, and joins forces with Shadow to take down Shadaloo.
  • Schrödinger's Player Character: The endings of Spider-Man and Venom, where they interact with their teammates. Spidey takes a picture with them to celebrate Onslaught's defeat, whereas Venom proposes they fight crime together... by crushing criminals' skulls and eating their brains.
  • Secret Character:
    • The Marvel side's secret characters are different palette swaps of Hulk (gives him his Marvel Super Heroes movelist and properties — trading super armor and health for speed and faster attack recovery), War Machine (has incredible defense and armor but cannot block, now fires missiles instead of lasers), and Venom (becomes the fastest and weakest character in the game), while the Capcom side has Shadow Lady (Chun-Li transformed into a brainwashed Cyborg), Lilith-Mode Morrigan (Morrigan with Lilith's color scheme and properties), and Roll (a Joke Character who has Mega Man's movelist).
    • In terms of Assists, Sentinel and Shadow can only be accessed by way of held-down button combinations, as they cannot be chosen by the game's usual random select.
  • Shock and Awe: Captain Commando's power gloves use both electricity and fire as attacks. Assist Partners Saki and Thor shoot out a lightning bolt as well.
  • Shotoclone:
    • Spider-Man, Captain America and Morrigan qualify for this.
    • Ryu becomes the ultimate Shotoclone by way of the Complete Change ability that lets him use the fighting style and movelists of Ken or Akuma.
  • Shout-Out: Check the page.
  • SNK Boss: Onslaught.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Expect to see the subtitle written as "Clash of the Super Heroes" quite often.
  • Spread Shot: A three-way shot is fired off by assist Michelle Heart, based on the third level weapon from the arcade Legendary Wings.
  • Stripperific: On the ladies' side, we have Morrigan, who technically doesn't even wear clothes. On the men's side, we have Hulk, Zangief, and Colossus.
  • Surprisingly Good English: All Marvel characters are voiced by native English speakers.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Due to legal issues, Iron Man was unavailable for this game, so War Machine was selected in his stead (and basically acts as a Palette Swap of Iron Man). As a result, War Machine's theme in this game is based off of Iron Man's Marvel Super Heroes theme. The theme came full circle when Iron Man used this theme in Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
  • Tag Team
  • Terrible Trio: The Devilotte team.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill:
    • As usual: "HYPER COMBO FINISH!"
    • The Duo Team Attack mode lets the player control both characters simultaneously; it also gives the team an infinite Hyper bar for the duration of the attack. The Hyper Combo Gauge must have at least two levels full to pull this off, though pulling it off at Level 3 gives the player twice as much time (with varying percentages based on how much of the third bar was filled before the command is executed).
  • This Is a Drill:
    • One of Mega Man's/Roll's Hyper Combos (Rush Drill) has Rush becoming a Drill Tank controllable by the player, based on a scrapped idea from Mega Man 3.
    • Shadow Lady can turn her hands into drills for certain attacks.
    • Jin's HK attacks.
  • Transforming Mecha: Mega Man's Rush Drill and Beat Plane Hyper Combos, which are both controllable.
  • V-Formation Team Shot: Captain Commando and his team does this after the Captain Storm Hyper.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifter: Venom does this a lot. Morrigan can likewise change the shape of her bat wings into several different forms during battle.
  • A Winner Is You: While the hidden Capcom characters have their own unique endings, the secret fighters on Marvel's side get a generic congratulations message upon completing an arcade run.
  • Winged Humanoid: Morrigan and Michelle Heart.

Alternative Title(s): Marvel Vs Capcom 1, Marvel Vs Capcom Clash Of The Superheroes