Marvel Super Heroes (マーヴルスーパーヒーローズ Māvuru Sūpā Hīrōzu ) is a fighting game developed by Capcom. Originally released in the arcade in 1995 on the CPS-2 arcade system, it was later ported to the Sega Saturn and PlayStation in late 1997. It features many superheroes and supervillains from the Marvel Comics line, including Spider-Man, Doctor Doom, and the Hulk.
The game is loosely based on the Infinity Gauntlet storyline, with the heroes and villains battling each other for the Infinity Gems. The main antagonist is Thanos, who steals whatever Gems the player had collected (at that point, all but the sixth gem, Mind) and uses them against the player, but with each gem having a strange, new effect when used by Thanos.
The game played similar to Capcom's previous Marvel-licensed fighting game, X-Men: Children of the Atom, but with a more simplified use of the super combo gauge, and the addition of the Infinity Gems. Each Gem could be activated in battle, giving the user a different power for a few seconds. In addition, each character had a Gem that they had a special affinity for, and would get additional abilities whenever they activated it.
This game was dedicated to the memory of Jack Kirby, with character artwork based on his old designs.
The unique gimmick in this game are various power gems that are obtained from opponents throughout the arcade mode. When used, these power up the player, either giving him more strength or regenerating some of his meters. In order to win a gem from an opponent, a player must hit him/her with a special attack.
- Gives the character increased attack strength and greatly enhances grabs and throws. Special users are Spider-Man (creates a "Doppleganger" on the opposite side of the opponent), Captain America (alters his special attacks into attacks that would be super-attacks in later games in the series: Hyper Stars & Stripes and Hyper Charging Star), Wolverine (his "Berzerker Rage" speed up move from X-Men: Children of the Atom causes trails to follow him and multiply his hits), and Psylocke (Her "Ninjitsu" move from X-Men: Children of the Atom, creates a duplicate in front and behind her. The duplicates can deal damage but are invulnerable).
- Speeds up the character's movements. Special users are Hulk (allows him to rapid-fire his Fierce & Roundhouse normal attacks) and Shuma-Gorath (normal attacks turn opponents into stone).
- Gives the character increased defense. Special users are Juggernaut (Cyttorak Power Up, from X-Men: Children of the Atom, which makes him immune to all attacks) and Magneto (Magnetic Force Field, X-Men: Children of the Atom, gives him his magnetic shield, making him immune to all attacks).
- Causes elemental attacks such as flames, icicles, and lightning bolts to accompany the character's regular attacks. Special user is Blackheart (turns invisible, in addition to the gem's normal effects).
- Causes the character to regenerate health. Special user is Iron Man (adds extra electric damage to his normal attacks which drains super energy).
- Causes the character to regenerate their super attack gauge. In single-player gameplay, you will not be able to use it until the final battle, as Thanos alone holds this gem. To obtain it, you will have to beat it (and the other five) out of him with Super Combos.
Thanos' Infinity Combos
Thanos' super-attacks are named after each gem he uses for the attack.
- Creates a miniature sun and hurls it at the opponent
- Slows his opponent to half-speed
- Opens up a rift in space and drops asteroid fragments on the opponent
- Creates two stone walls that crush the opponent between them
- Shoots an energy pulse that absorbs the opponent's energy into his own life bar
- Causes the opponent's controls to be reversed for a short period of time.
In reality, Thanos doesn't have to have the gem to use the corresponding super-attack, but his attacks are still named for them, and the CPU won't use the attack without the corresponding gem, though a player-controlled Thanos can. In Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, Time and Mind are omitted from his movelist.
Enterprising players have found a few characters in Marvel Super Heroes who are able to perform infinite combos (i.e. combos that can be sustained until a foes lifebar is depleted) that are mostly unblockable or unavoidable when hit. For instance, Wolverine is able to attack a regular-sized foe with a 5-6 hit combo before launching them into the air for an aerial combo, continue with a 3-4 hit combo that ends with a strong punch/kick that brings aerial foes down to the ground. The instance before hitting the ground, he is able to hit grounded foes and launch them again to continue the barrage, thus starting the infinite combo system. Spider-Man also has an infinite combo move utilizing the Spider Sting. The infinite combo routine is also present in the sequel, X-Men vs. Street Fighter and has become a feature that has returned in future installments like Marvel vs Capcom 2. By that game however, safeguards reduced their lethality using things like Damage buffering to reduce infinites to little or no damage and "Dizzy Outs" which popped a character free if the same chain was used for over 50 hits.
- Captain America uses his shield for most of his attacks. His stage is a post-apocalyptic New York harbor with the Statue of Liberty partially submerged and ruined in the background.
- The Incredible Hulk (Based on the "Professor" persona) is a slow, but powerful character. His attacks involve the use of gamma energy and strength. His stage is a desolate carnival.
- Iron Man uses energy attacks that include beams and blasts as well as explosives. He can also fly. His stage is the headquarters of his alter ego's company, Stark Industries.
- Psylocke uses ninjutsu and telepathy ("psi-flash" projectiles, telepathic illusions, and psychic blade attacks) like her incarnation in the previous game. Her stage in this game is the top of a moving train in Tokyo.
- Spider-Man's attacks are based on his web abilities as well as his great amount of agility. His stage is on a scaffold that is going up and across the Daily Bugle infinite building.
- Wolverine also has a lot of agility. Like in X-Men: Children of the Atom, he has moves related to his powerful brawling and clawing skills. Wolverine's stage is a wooden bridge somewhere in Canada. The bridge is breakable and will float on the raging river below, going down until reaching a waterfall which the loser of the bout will fall into.
- Blackheart is tall and somewhat slow, but he has powerful dark magic and demon-summoning attacks. His stage is Mephisto's Realm.
- Juggernaut, unlike his previous incarnation, is faster in this game but has lost much of his strength and invulnerability. However, he is still slower than the other characters, he usually ignores the first hit of any combo, and his attacks can still devastate the opponent. Like in X-Men: Children of the Atom, Juggernaut can still pick up objects from the ground that he can use against enemies. His stage is an American port.
- Magneto is also much weaker in this incarnation than in X-Men: Children of the Atom. A number of his attacks that he had when he was a boss have been taken away. However, like Juggernaut, Magneto is still very powerful. He has a great amount of agility, and his attacks are mainly magnetic and energy-based. He can also fly. Magneto's stage is Asteroid M as it approaches the Sun.
- Shuma-Gorath mainly uses magic attacks as well as attacks that take advantage of his unique shape. He can also absorb life energy from another character with one of his attacks. Shuma-Gorath's stage is his own domain, the chaos dimension. Shuma-Gorath's stage also has the distinction of having no walls once the small stage barrier is broken, preventing corner traps.
- Doctor Doom (sub-boss) takes great advantage of his armor's abilities and uses magical attacks as well. His armor grants him the ability to do beam and energy attacks. Doom also has the ability to fly with his jet packs. His stage is a submarine of his that starts out at the bottom of the sea and makes its way to the surface.
- Thanos (last boss, main antagonist) has a great number of attacks, mostly centered around the gems. While he can use his titanic strength to do normal attacks against opponents, he can use the gems to devastate them. Thanos can perform a super move for each of the six gems. He also has great agility, which is surprising for a character of his size. Thanos's stage is his shrine to Death where the Avengers can be seen as frozen statues. Once Thanos is defeated by any of the superheroes, the statues are unfrozen and the heroes are saved. If any of the villains defeats Thanos, the ending screen will appear.
On the arcade version of the game, Dr. Doom or Thanos can be chosen via a code at the selection screen. However, if the game is completed with Thanos, Magneto's ending text will be displayed. Artwork unique to this ending suggests that a true ending for him was planned, but not completed. Thanos has a correct ending in the console ports.
- Anita (from the Darkstalkers series) appears as a hidden character in the Japanese version of the game. She appears to be unfinished, since she has no name under the lifebar, her name isn't announced at the end of rounds (though it is printed on the screen), she has Thanos' portrait, win screen, and win quotes, and she's called Thanos on the vs. screen. Furthermore, she has no ending. Instead, if the player beats the game with her, the credits will be shown twice. Her attacks are very incomplete. Most of them do not have audio, and one uses the sprite of Akuma from Super Street Fighter II Turbo. She also uses Dylec, the sword that Donovan uses, in her attacks. Since this game used a similar game engine as the aforementioned game, it is speculated that Anita might actually be a leftover from the game engine code.