JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 JoJo no Kimyō na Bōken ) is the commonly given name to any one of the versions and ports of a fighting game developed by Capcom based on the Japanese manga of the same title. The games were developed by the same team who are responsible for the Street Fighter III series.
It was originally released in the arcade in 1998 on the CPS-3 arcade system; this version was known outside Japan as Jojo's Venture. An updated version of the game was released in 1999 as JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Heritage for the Future (ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 未来への遺産 JoJo no Kimyō na Bōken Mirai e no Isan ), becoming the sixth and last game released for the CPS-3 board (the second-to-last being the third revision of Street Fighter III, Street Fighter III 3rd Strike, released only a few months earlier). Console ports for the PlayStation and Dreamcast were also released that year.
The game combines Capcom's trademark anime-inspired graphics, as seen in the Darkstalkers Series, with the colorful characters and events of Hirohiko Araki's creation, resulting in a highly stylized and detailed visual style. It also features many of the gameplay mechanics seen on previous Capcom fighting games, such as the use of power gauges for super moves, as well as a brand new Stand Mode, consisting on a guardian spirit that accompanies each character and can be summoned or dismissed at will by the player, resulting in variations on the character's move list and abilities.
Original author Hirohiko Araki served as a consultant for the game and created exclusive pieces of artwork for its promotion and packaging; most notably, he developed from scratch a new character design for Midler, since Capcom was interested in using her in the game and she had been only vaguely shown in the original manga.
Story and Setting
The story follows the adventures of a Japanese teenager Jotaro Kujo, who, after developing the bizarre supernatural abilities known as the "Stand" and learning from his grandfather Joseph Joestar of its relation with their bloodline and with the ancestral enemy of his family, the vampire Dio Brando, embarks on a quest to defeat Dio and save his mother, whose life is threatened as she's been unable to control the power of her own stand.
The game's events and characters are based on the third part of the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure manga series, usually titled Stardust Crusaders. Many of the events featured in the game (as well as some character designs) directly contradict the depiction of the story in the OVA adaptation, so the game should be considered to be specifically based on the original manga.
The basic rules of the game are those of a standard fighting game : one-on-one battles consisting of two or three time-limited rounds, in which the goal is to deplete the adversary's health bar using both regular attacks as well as character-specific special and super moves, which require the input of button combinations and/or spending accumulated energy, outputted in a power gauge which fills with every attack.
The game uses a simplified 4-button control scheme, consisting of three attacks (light, medium and strong) and a Stand button, which switches the character's stand On and Off (see Stand Mode below)
Fighting with the Stand Mode "On" enhances both the character's offensive and defensive abilities; these improvements heavily depend of the character and stand, but some common ones are for example double jumping, absorbing residual damage when blocking special attacks, powered-up special moves, etc.
Most of the game's specific mechanics derive from the introduced Stand Mode. For example, attacking the physical manifestation of the enemy's stand will cause damage on both of them; this is a crucial strategic element, since many of the special moves and attacks send the stand away from the user, adding the difficulty of protecting both of them at the same time. On top of the usual health bar and power gauge, there is a third meter, the Stand Gauge, which decreases when the stand is damaged and refills when the Stand Mode is switched off; if this gauge is depleted, a Stand Break is caused, and the character is paralyzed and wide open to any attack for an instant.
Other features of the Stand Mode include summoning the stand with an instant attack, the possibility of "programming" attack patterns on the fly and unleashing them at will, "releasing" the stand and controlling it directly, and so forth.
Some characters lack an "active" stand, though; some of these "passive" stand users introduce even more complex and specific mechanics into the game, such as Hol Horse's gun-stand or Mariah's magnetic stand.
The stands create strong differences between the characters, and force often radically different offensive approaches for each one; this "character-dependent gameplay" style would be present in posterior fighting games, such as the latter entries of the Guilty Gear series; insterestingly enough, both that series and JoJo's Bizarre Adventures include many Rock music references.
Bonus Stages and Special Battles
Across the game and if certain conditions are met, the player will have to clear special stages and face secret opponents in which special rules apply and which reenact certain chapters of the manga that were less "translatable" as regular combats. Among these special events are a sidescrolling sequence in which the player has to overcome a water stand and find its user N'Doul, or a special battle against the Death 13 stand.
Similar to Guilty Gear's system, if certain attacks of the same strength and same intensity occur and collide at the same time, clashing occurs. This only happens with characters with an Active Stand. It is hard to see this system in action as it happens very seldom. Currently, it is unknown if the new Active Stand-wielding characters introduced in the 2nd JoJo game can cause attacks to clash. In some cases, clashing can lead to a Blazing Fists Match. (see below)
Blazing Fists Match
One of the less known features of the game, but also one of the most impressive, it's caused when two certain opposing special moves performed by certain characters at the very same time collide; the player/s are then prompted to quickly bash the attack buttons to win a Blazing Fists duel and decide who will receive the damage, a feature first seen in Samurai Shodown.
- Jotaro Kujo
- Joseph Joestar
- Young Joseph
- Mohammed Avdol
- Noriaki Kakyoin
- New Kakyoin
- Jean Pierre Polnareff
- Dio Brando
- Shadow Dio
- Devo the Cursed (or D'Bo)
- Rubber Soul
- Hol Horse and J. Geil
- Hol Horse and Boingo
- Gray Fly
- Mannish Boy
- Enya Geil
- Daniel J. D'Arby
- Chaka and Anubis
- Khan and Anubis
- Black Polnareff and Anubis
- Pet Shop
- Vanilla Ice (or Iced)
The initial arcade release of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure was released on December 2, 1998. An English-translated version was released in Asia under the shortened title of JoJo's Venture, which predates the officially licensed English adaptations of the original manga and anime (hence the name change). It was followed by a fully revised version titled JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Heritage for the Future, released on September 13, 1999, which featured eight additional playable characters. An English version that was released in Europe retained the full Japanese title of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
Two console versions were produced. The 1999 PlayStation version is based on JoJo's Venture, but features some of the additional characters from the second version of the arcade game and an exclusive "Super Story Mode". The Dreamcast version, also released in 1999, features both, the original and revised versions of the arcade game in their original forms.