As Sailor Moon became popular in the nineties, many videogames were developed for a variety of consoles, ranging from puzzles and fighting games, to beat'em ups and RPGs, with different grades of success (or not). In March 22, 1995, just as the fourth season of the anime was beginning in Japan, this Beat'em up developed by Gazelle (one of the offshoot companies of Toaplan) and published by Banpresto (creators of the earlier Denjin Makai and the latter Super Robot Wars) was released in arcades of the time.
Released as Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon (also referred as Sailor Moon Arcade), this game is an adaptation of the Sailor Moon's first season. Once again featuring the Inner Senshi in a Beat'em up following the earlier three games for the Sega Mega Drive and SNES (the SNES got two Beat'em ups, but the second one was an adaptation of the second season). The gameplay was modeled as many beat'em ups, including a special attack inspired by Golden Axe, and the sheer number of enemies in screen at once (up to a dozen!). Naoko Takeuchi supervised the project and the respective Seiyuu returned to reprise their roles from the anime. Junya Inoue (who was the artist for the earlier Knuckle Bash) was one of the artist designers involved in the project (and it shows!).
The Sailor Moon Arcade game provides examples of:
- Big Damn Heroes: During certain boss battles, Tuxedo Mask will appear, throwing his signature rose and knocking out all enemies and the boss. Picking up the rose fully heals the player.
- Cast From Hit Points: Every Senshi has her own animation of the desperation attack, as usual with the genre. You'll need it.
- Logo Joke: Tuxedo Mask launches his...mask towards the screen, where it transforms into the Banpresto logo.
- Nintendo Hard: Up to a dozen enemies can be on screen at the same time, bosses can kill you in three hits in later (as soon as the third!) stages, there's Friendly Fire, and the timer is somewhat less forgiving than even Final Fight, likely due to the increased number of enemies.
- Panty Shot: If you play as Mercury, every time she throws an enemy she gives the player a great view of her leotard bottoms. The same happens with Moon's throw, but not to the same extent.
- Smart Bomb: When you pick a blue crystal, you can use a special attack that wipes out all the enemies on the screen and do heavy damage to bosses. Like Golden Axe, the more crystals you collect, the more powerful the attack will be up to a maximum of five, and using it just once depletes all your supply of crystals.
- Super Move Portrait Attack: When you use a special attack, a full screen animation of the Senshi plays in the foreground, doing heavy damage to all enemies and making the player(s) invincible for the duration of the animation. There're five different animations (one for each number of collected crystals) for each one of the five Inner Senshi. If you use all five crystals, the Senshi will use her Signature Move.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: Kastel and Polx, they have a combined electrical attack that is very fast. Most of the time you have to run and sidestep, because it gets worse, and the boss attacks in general are much more dangerous than your average Beat'em up.
- Wrestler in All of Us: Averted. Unlike the earlier Beat'em ups for the Mega Drive/SNES, the Senshi doesn't have anymore than a standard throw.