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Video Game / X-Men vs. Street Fighter

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In both X-Men: Children of the Atom and Marvel Super Heroes, Capcom inserted one of their characters (Akuma in X-Men, Anita in Marvel Super Heroes) as Secret Characters. Street Fighter Alpha featured a hidden fight wherein Ryu and Ken faced off 2-on-1 with M. Bison. Sensing the potential for a moneymaker in those two disparate ideas, Capcom soon developed a full-fledged multimedia crossover with a tag team focus, and in 1996, it unleashed X-Men vs. Street Fighter.

The 17-character playable roster is composed of Cyclops, Wolverine, Rogue, Storm, Gambit, Sabretooth, Juggernaut and Magneto in the X-Men side; and Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Charlie, Dhalsim, Zangief, Cammynote , M. Bison, and (not-that-hidden character) Akuma in the Street Fighter side.

XvSF introduced the tag-team fighting dynamic that became the trademark for the Capcom vs. series of games: players choose two fighters, then switch between them on the fly in the middle of battle. This removes the usual best-of-three-rounds structure started by Street Fighter in favor of a one-round fight, as the fight ends when one side loses both fighters. Each teammate has their own lifebar, and when switched out, the inactive fighter will heal some of the damage they've taken until called back into action. The game also allows players to use a two-person Hyper Combo where both fighters on a team perform a Hyper Combo at the same time for massive damage... provided the team still has both fighters available, of course.

The game had a non-existent story to back up the action; a player's chosen team would simply fight their way through various CPU-controlled teams before facing down a gigantic version of X-Men villain Apocalypse. (Storm's ending implies that Apocalypse has been abducting mutants and street fighters alike for undisclosed reasons, probably to experiment on them or force them to join him.) After defeating Apocalypse, the player fights against the tag partner using whatever character landed the final blow during the boss battle, and if the player wins, they see that character's ending.

Capcom followed this game with 1997's Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter.

X-Men vs. Street Fighter contains the following tropes:

  • Adaptational Wimp: Akuma's Shun Goku Satsu uses only one level of the super bar and does a normal amount of damage compared to its other versions.
  • All Just a Dream: Dhalsim's ending. He actually dreamed the whole thing while he was neck deep in meditation, and wakes up when Sari and Datta call out for him.
  • American Accents: Rogue's winquotes are written with Southern accents.
  • And I Must Scream: In Charlie's ending, he's kidnapped by Shadaloo and gets attached to nasty experiments. Then we see Guile, who is searching for him. This is foreshadowing for Charlie becoming Shadow in later games. It also serves as the basis for Charlie's much darker characterization and enhanced abilities in Street Fighter V, though there it is the result of betrayal (as per his Alpha 2 ending) and Charlie's subsequent revival at the hands of the Illuminati.
  • Assist Character: With a snap of his fingers, Sabretooth can call for Birdy ("Birdy!"), his partner at the time in the comics whose telepathy had a pacifying effect on him, to step into the fray ("Yes, Boss!") and light up Sabretooth's opponent with her oversized firearm. He even has a Hyper variant where Birdy fires off a volley of rounds.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Downplayed. Apocalypse grows to a gargantuan size for his boss fight, large enough that his fist is now approximately the size of your character while and his arm and head serve as his only weak spots (a setup reused for Onslaught and Galactus), though he's not quite a Background Boss.
  • Attract Mode: Par for the course for games of the era, it shows small parts of some matches along with images of two of the default character pairings (Ken/Gambit and Cammy/Rogue) facing off before ending with the very iconic shot of Ryu and Cyclops shaking hands. For the home ports, the game's intro also reveals the identity of the final boss via lightning.
  • Badass in Distress: Apocalypse's stage has several of the X-Men and Street Fighters who aren't playable trapped in People Jars around the edges of the stage. Storm's ending explains that several X-Men and Street Fighters were captured by Apocalypse, though the exact reasons aren't known. (One bets that he intended to use them in experiments or try recruiting them for his cause.) Storm herself is tending to her then-boyfriend Forge, while Sakura befriends Gambit and Dan Hibiki runs around in the background.
  • Badass Normal:
  • Big Bad: Apocalypse.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Some of Gambit's winquotes are written in French:
    "Je suis le meilleur!" Translation 
    "La tournament est fini." Translation 
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: A number of the translations here are a bit spotty.
  • Blow You Away: Storm uses wind attacks as a few of her specials, and combines it with An Ice Person for one of her Hypers.
  • 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: Many characters from both universes make appearances in the endings and stages.
  • Combination Attack: Double Hyper Combos, known in-game as a Variable Combination. In the original arcade release and Saturn port, these moves would also cause the player to tag out to their partner on standby.
  • Composite Character: Akuma's intro is the same used by Shin Akuma in Street Fighter Alpha 2.
  • Counter-Attack: Variable Counters. Like the Alpha Counters of Street Fighter Alpha, they require the player to input a certain command while blocking at the cost of meter, though this will call in the second member of a team to jump in to deal the retaliatory blow. As with Variable Combinations, all versions sans the PS1 port allow the player to swap places with their teammate in the process.
  • Deep South: Rogue, sugah.
  • Dueling Player Characters: In the single-player story mode, after defeating Apocalypse, the player takes control of whichever character landed the final blow and must then fight their tag partner in a one-on-one match. This turn of events goes unexplained.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: This game introduced Shadaloo-era Cammy (aka Killer Bee) before the Street Fighter Alpha series did.
  • Excuse Plot:
    • Random... ahem... street fights due to the interdimensional rift. The instruction manual for the PS1 version expands on this by stating that various mutants and street fighters have mysteriously disappeared, with rumors placing the blame on either Bison or Magneto, so many of the playable characters have teamed up to investigate, though not without some teamwork issues. See Badass in Distress for the closest to a concrete excuse aside of that.
    • The bios from the action figure line claim that Apocalypse opened a portal to the Street Fighter universe in hopes that the street fighters and the X-Men would destroy each other, allowing him to conquer both worlds without resistance.
  • Fighting Your Friend: In the event that the two characters in the above Dueling Player Characters scenario have some kind of positive rapport with one another (as suggested by several of the endings), the final battle with your CPU teammate after defeating Apocalypse becomes this.
  • A God Am I: M. Bison and Magneto's endings have this. In the latter's case, Sagat, Vega, and Balrog join him, switching from Shadaloo to the Acolytes.
  • Husky Russkie: Obviously, Zangief. Exaggerated in his ending, where he teams up with Piotr "Colossus" Rasputin to capture a recently escaped Arkady "Omega Red" Rossovich... meaning that we have three Husky Russkies suddenly in the same place...
  • I Just Want to Be Normal:
    • In Rogue's ending, Bison promises her that he will make her human if she joins him, something she rejects. Then, Rogue has a talk with Chun-Li, where she asks how it feels being human. Chun-Li answers that she can throw fireballs, and asks what's normal about that.
    • Similarly, in Gambit's ending she tells him about her woes, but Gambit hugs her and says "You're perfect Just the Way You Are".
  • An Ice Person: Storm in some of her attacks.
  • Incoming Ham: Apocalypse's pre-fight intro consists of him dramatically announcing "I AM APOCALYPSE!", followed by an Evil Laugh as he disappears, only to suddenly take up half of the screen.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: The second part of the trope's name comes from the version of the Shinku Hadoken that made its debut in this game, which is the best known of many, MANY, MANY instances.
  • Kick Chick: Chun-Li and Cammy.
  • Kiss of Death: One of Rogue's special attacks, it allows her to steal an opponent's special attack (or in Akuma's case, the Shun Goku Satsu itself).
  • Leitmotif: As stated below, none of the returning X-Men have their themes carried over from Children of the Atom or in the case of Wolverine, Juggernaut and Magneto, Marvel Super Heroes. By contrast, the Street Fighter representatives have their themes taken from Street Fighter II or, in Charlie's case, the Alpha series. The only exception is Cammy, who has a brand-new theme to represent her Shadaloo-era portrayal which would follow her into Alpha 2 Gold.
  • Mechanically Unusual Fighter: Rogue has the unique ability to copy other fighters' special moves through her Power Drain attack and keep them for the rest of the match or until she gets K.O'd. As a bonus, she can also perform Akuma's Shu Goku Satsu along with his midair Zanku Hadoken.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Rogue gets this the most out of all the female characters. One of her special moves is kissing her opponents, and her win poses consist of her blowing a kiss at the audience, quickly changing into one of three sexy outfits, or showing off her rear for the camera.
  • People Jars: In Apocalypse's stage, several captured characters from both franchises are seen locked in pods. The "roster" includes Psylocke, Blanka, Dan Hibiki, Forge...
  • Power Copying: Rogue has this as a unique ability — using her Kiss of Death, she can copy another fighter's special move and use it for the remainder of the match.
  • Power Creep, Power Seep: Invoked. Capcom intentionally altered the fighting styles of the Street Fighter side to put them on par with the X-Men cast, resulting in changes like Ryu's Shinku Hadoken becoming a literal Kamehameha-style laser beam or Chun-Li's Kikosho turning into a Sphere of Destruction.
  • Powered Armor: Apocalypse.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Though his sprites are lifted from the Alpha series, Bison's normal stance is changed for this series to always wear one of these.
  • Recurring Riff: While none of the assorted X-characters have their themes from that game carried over, the character select music is a remix of the one found in X-Men: Children of the Atom. In turn, Storm and Magneto's themes in this game would get carried over into Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
  • Secret Character: Sort of. Akuma's icon on the character select screen isn't normally visible, but becomes selectable simply by taking the cursor to the top row and pressing up. Super Gem Fighter would later do something similar with its character select screen.
  • Shock and Awe: Storm's primary form of offense. Many other characters have at least one shock/stun move.
  • Shotoclone: Ryu, Ken, Cyclops, and Akuma.
  • Shout-Out: Check the page.
  • Show Within a Show: In Ken's ending, we have him and his son playing the game before having dinner.
  • Spectacular Spinning: Zangief. Exhibit A: Double Lariat. Exhibit B: Final Atomic Buster.
  • Stripperiffic: On the ladies' side, Cammy. On the men's side, Dhalsim and Zangief.
  • Tag Team: It's the first game in the series which incorporates this feature, predating a lot of future games. Also unique to this game is the CPU uses set teams rather than the randomized teams of the future games. These include:
    • Ryu & Cyclops
    • Ken & Gambit
    • Chun-Li & Rogue
    • Cammy & Rogue
    • Cammy & Wolverine
    • Charlie & Storm
    • Dhalsim & Sabretooth
    • Zangief & Juggernaut
    • M. Bison & Magneto
    • Akuma & Wolverine
  • Take That!:
    Sabretooth: "This ain't no street fight! You lose..."
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Some of the game's Hyper Combos will have an opponent take all the hits, even if KO'ed by the first hit.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Rogue and Storm on the X-Men side, Chun-Li and Cammy on the Street Fighter side.
  • Ur-Example: For Tag Team Fighting Games.
  • Worthy Opponent: What Wolverine considers Ryu as. As it turns out, Akuma considers Wolverine to be this for them and seeks Weapon X out for a Duel to the Death in his ending.