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Neo Geo Battle Circuit

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Neo Geo Battle Circuit
Developer SNK
Publisher SNK
Genre(s) Fighting
Release Date(s) Arcade

JP: August 25, 1994
Neo Geo
JP: October 1, 1994
Neo-Geo CD
JP: November 2, 1994
Game Boy
JP: September 27, 1995
NA: October 1995
EU: 1995
Super Famicom CD/SNCD
JP: October 11, 1995
NA: September 30, 1995
EU: November 2, 1995

Platform(s) Arcade
Neo Geo
Neo Geo CD
Super Famicom CD/SNCD
Game Boy
Neo Geo Battle Circuit (or just NGBC) was the first game from the Neo Geo Battle Circuit series, and was released in 1994 for the SNK Neo Geo systems (MVS, AES and CD), with the Super Famicom CD/Super Nintendo CD version released in 1995 by Takara. A Game Boy game based on Neo Geo Battle Circuit was also released. This game featured characters from various SNK games, such as Fatal Fury, Art of Fighting, King of the Monsters, Ikari Warriors, Beast Busters, Athena, Crystalis, Magician Lord, World Heroes, and Samurai Shodown. It also included an original character that serves as the game's final boss. The major innovation in NGBC, comparing to the fighting games at that time, was the 3-on-3 team battle system, where each player uses 3-characters team instead of the 1-on-1 from the other fighting games. So the game roster was divided in teams of 3.

Development

In an interview with veteran developers of the series -which included C.A.C Yamasaki and Mitsuo Kodama- they claim that their prototype version for NGBC was going to be a side-scrolling beat 'em up titled Survivor. In this version, it would only use core characters from the Art of Fighting and Fatal Fury series, specifically allowing players to play characters like Robert Garcia and Terry Bogard for location testing. However, the idea was eventually abandoned. Since they were attached to the idea of the two series cross-over, they eventually agreed to make their idea into a fighting game. Characters from and Samurai Shodown, World Heroesas well as ones from non-fighting games such as Ikari WarriorsBeast Busters, King of the MonstersCrystalisMagician Lord, and Athena games were also considered for their final product. The concept of a three-man team was one of the ideas kept from the side-scrolling version.

Gameplay

Since this game is a crossover, the gameplay shares some similarities with SNK's fighting games. Instead of one-on-one fights, the system includes battles between teams of three people in a tag-team fashion. If one of the members is defeated by one of the other team's members, the next member will come in to fight the winner, and will go on until all three members of one team is defeated.The gameplay utilizes elements from Fatal Fury such as the infinite special moves and Desperate Moves (DM) when your lifebar is in the low, and the dash. From Art of Fighting it borrows the abilities to charge your special meter, and unleash a DM when your special meter is full. From Samurai Shodown it borrows the dueling system. From World Heroes it borrows death matches. NGBC also features a sidestep system. By pressing A+B the player will dodge. When your lifebar is flashing red, and your special meter is at max, the player can unleash a super move.

Characters

All playable characters come from other SNK games. From Fatal Fury, the three player characters from the original (Terry Bogard, Andy Bogard and Joe Higashi) are represented. The leading duo from Art of Fighting (Ryo Sakazaki and Robert Garcia) are paired with King (one of their enemies in the original). Haohmaru, Nakoruru and Galford D. Weller composes a team of characters from Samurai Shodown. From World Heroes, Hattori Hanzou, Kotaro Fuuma and Janne De Arc are represented. The two staple characters of Ikari Warriors, Paul Jones and Vince Still, team up with Melora Lewis (who debuted in Ikari IV the previous year). From Beast Busters, all three main characters (Johnny Justice, Pete Patriot and Sammy Stately) are included. From King of the Monsters, Geon, Woo, and Astro Guy (all who survived at the end of the original game's storyline). The eighth and final team features is a mix of the protagonists from three different SNK titles: Athena (the titular character), Magician Lord (Elta) and Crystalis (who is named Prince Simea), forming SNK Heroes. Jeff Bogard (Terry and Andy's father from the Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Wolf OVA) makes his debut as an in-game character as the game's sub boss. The game's final boss is an original character named Dené Fortiero.

Characters:

  • Terry Bogard - From Fatal Fury series
  • Andy Bogard - From Fatal Fury series
  • Joe Higashi - From Fatal Fury series
  • Ryo Sakazaki - From Art of Fighting series
  • Robert Garcia - From Art of Fighting series
  • King - From Art of Fighting series
  • Haohmaru - From Samurai Shodown series
  • Nakoruru - From Samurai Shodown series
  • Galford D. Weller - From Samurai Shodown series
  • Hattori Hanzou - From World Heroes series
  • Kotaro Fuuma - From World Heroes series
  • Janne De Arc - From World Heroes series
  • Geon - From King of the Monsters series
  • Woo - From King of the Monsters series
  • Astro Guy - From King of the Monsters series
  • Paul Jones - From Ikari Warriors series
  • Vince Still - From Ikari Warriors series
  • Melora Lewis - From Ikari Warriors series
  • Johnny Justice - From Beast Busters series
  • Pete Patriot - From Beast Busters series
  • Sammy Stately - From Beast Busters series
  • Princess Athena - From Athena series
  • Prince Simea - From Crystalis series
  • Lord Elta - From Magician Lord series
  • Jeff Bogard - From Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Wolf (in-game debut)
  • Dené Fortiero - original character

Teams:

  • Fatal Fury: Terry Bogard, Andy Bogard and Joe Higashi
  • Art of Fighting: Ryo Sakazaki, Robert Garcia and King
  • Samurai Shodown: Haohmaru, Nakoruru and Galford D. Weller
  • World Heroes: Hattori Hanzou, Kotaro Fuuma and Janne De Arc
  • King of the Monsters: Geon, Woo and Astro Guy
  • Ikari Warriors: Paul Jones, Vince Still and Melora Lewis
  • Beast Busters: Johnny Justice, Pete Patriot and Sammy Stately
  • SNK Heroes: Princess Athena, Prince Simea and Lord Elta

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