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Mushiking: King of the Beetles

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Mushiking: The King of Beetles (甲虫王者ムシキング Kōchū Ōja Mushikingu?) also called Mushiking: Battle of the Beetles, is a Japanese combination of an arcade game and collectible card game developed by Sega. The game involves battles between cards describing various beetle species. The cards can be scanned in by a Mushiking arcade machine, which will both carry out battles and dispense new cards.

The game has started a craze in Japan, where about 20,000 official tournaments have been held, and over 160 million Mushiking cards have been shipped. [1] A Game Boy Advance Mushiking game has also been released, which has sold over 569,000 copies in Japan. [2] There was also a Mushiking anime, broadcast by TV Tokyo, from 2004 until 2006.


A long time ago, there was a forest full of trees that are inhabited with insects and fairies. A fairy, named Popo, was a friend of the insects of the forest. He refers to the Japanese Beetle as "Mushiking" but the Japanese Beetle is modest with Popo's remark.

One day, giant beetles arrived in the forest. No one knows where they came from but they wreaked havoc in the forest.

A Tarandous Beetle approached Popo and Mushiking, Mushiking orders Popo to run while Mushiking battled with a Acteon Beetle. As Popo tried to escape, a Hercules Beetle named Spike blocked Popo's path. Mushiking came to save Popo and got knocked out by Spike.

Popo enlists the help of the insects in the forest to figure out who was the mastermind of the attacks. It was Adder, a wizard who was expelled from the forest probably of evil deeds he has done in the past. He believes that he should rule the forest and doesn't care about anything good as long as his gets to rule the forest.

Popo battles with him in four waves and Popo stood victorious, despite the experimentation that Adder did to make the beetles obey him. It seems that Popo has gotten the upper hand but it seems that Adder still has a chance because men (humans) have actually brought the foreign beetles to the forest. Popo couldn't believe it as Adder promises that he'll be back for revenge. Adder escapes by teleporting while Popo screams out "Adder!".

Popo has decided to protect the forest by searching for Adder's lair and it is only a matter of time before he confronts Adder. The task you're doing is to rescue the forest and help Popo.


Mushiking II

Mushiking II is released with the following features:

  • New beetles and skills
  • New fighting arenas
  • New storyline
  • New Versus Battle Mode "Tag Battle"
  • New battle interface
  • Enhanced graphics and animations
  • Computer controlled beetles (in Ten Player Mode) have glowing red eyes to indicate Adder's influence on them

Mushiking III

Mushiking III is releases with the following features:

  • New beetles and skills
  • New storyline

Mushiking IV

Mushiking IV is released with the following features:

  • The title screen has changed, it tells the new features of Mushiking IV
  • New beetles and skills
  • You can select tag team at one player mode
  • There are two new modes

Mushiking V

Mushiking V is released with the following features:

  • Shows new features while story is told
  • New arenas for both tag and single battles
  • The Battle with Dr. Nebu is released
  • New beetles and skills

Mushiking VI

Mushiking 6 is released with the following features:

  • New Beetles and skills
  • The Battle with Dr. Black is released


Developed in 1998, Mushiking's gameplay is simple yet very challenging (especially against a human opponent). It uses the concept of rock-paper-scissors by pressing a button corresponding to the type of skill. Rock represents "Hitting", scissors represents "Pinching" and paper represents "Throwing". Players scan their cards with the card scanner in the middle of the machine.

File:Mushiking card dispense.jpg

Every time a player inserts their credits in the machine, the machine will dispense a random card of either a skill or beetle card. Rare cards also get dispensed in the machines as well. When the card is retrieved, the player has to decide to play a one-player game or a two-player game. One-player games will pit the player against four computer-controlled beetles in either Easy or Hard Mode. Two-player Mode is divided into Tournament (the original two-out-of-three match) and the Tag Battle introduced in Version 6.

It is important that the player must take the card out as soon as it comes out. If it is not taken out from the machine for a very long time, the machine would register the situation as a "stuck-up card" and halt the game for an attendant to check the machine. Also, the game will not run if there are no cards left inside the machine.

The player scans a beetle card first, then the player scans one skill card to each of the three skill type; totalling of four cards to scan. The player may wish not to scan cards when he/she lacks particular cards. When a match begins, a countdown timer will begin counting down to zero while the player decides his/her move. An enlarged skill icon in the screen indicates the beetle's finishing attack. This can cause major damage when the player wins with such move.

The following things can happen during a battle:

  • If a player has a move that beats his/her opponent's move (i.e. Rock beats Scissors), the winning player's beetle shall execute the skill learned for that type of move.
  • If both players pick the same move, a tie will result and both players' beetles lose 10% of their total stamina.
  • If either player has chosen his/her move and the other player has not selected a move within the time limit, the other player's move will be automatically selected to lose against the winning player's move.
  • If a player loses to his/her opponent, the opponent gets to attack the player's beetle.

Whoever knocks out their opponent's beetle to 0 wins the battle.

One player mode

Mushiking IV

When the One Player Mode is selected, the player can choose between Tournament and Tag Team.

Tournament: You only have one beetle and you lose if it dies.

Tag Team: You have two beetles and the enemy have two beetles too.(for more info see Tag battle mode)

After that, you can select between Wasteland Forest and Mutant Beetles (mutant beetles is a bit harder)

Wasteland Forest: There are 4 stages and 1 secret stage(marked with a ?)

Mutant Beetles: There are 5 stages and 1 secret stage

After you beat all the stages, the game will calculate your speed(how fast you press the button) and accuracy(if you win or not)

Accuracy 1st and speed 3rd = 3rd

Accuracy 1st and speed 2nd = 2nd

Accuracy 1st and speed 1st = 1st

Accuracy 2nd and speed 2nd = 2nd

Accuracy 1st and speed 3rd = 3rd

(and vice versa)

If you get 1st, then you will head on to the secret stage.After you have beaten that stage, you will be awarded a secret password that you can use to access the other story lines at the official website of Mushiking(

Two player mode

Prior to Version 6, there are two Two Player Modes available for the players to choose. This includes the Tournament (the original Versus mode with the two-of-out-three rule) and the Tag Battle.

Tournament mode

This is the mode where the original two-of-three rule is applied. In this mode, each player must scan his/her beetle and skill cards before the first round. Once the first round begins, the players must eliminate his/her opponent's beetle. Once a player has lost his/her beetle, that player can scan for a second beetle card with skills as well. However, the player who lost their first beetle cannot use the same beetle they have used previously (i.e. Player 1 used a Caucasus Beetle and makes an attempt to scan it again but receives a notice that the beetle cannot be scanned anymore). Who ever make two wins the battle. Players can win with only one beetle if they are skillful enough.

Tag battle mode

This is the mode where each player can utilize tagging as a means of battling. Each player scans his/her two beetles and skill cards before the battle commences. Once all the beetles have been scanned, an introduction of each player's beetles is viewed with the compatibility screen. A new element added in the mode is a "Tag Compatibility" between the two beetles. The beetles can perform a "Dual Attack" that just deals the same damage as their regular attack with a special animation of two beetles picking on one beetle (the animation will depend on the "Tag Compatibility"). A tag can only occur when a player makes an attack by the 7 or 2 counting mark. When the inactive beetle is wounded (from the battle then tagged with its partner), the inactive beetle will slowly recover stamina each passing turn.

The following can happen when a player attempts a tag:

  • If the attack is successful, the Tag is successful and a "Dual Attack" can occur depending on the Tag Compatibility between the player's beetles. Once the attack is done, the beetles switch places and the battle continues.
  • If the attack is unsuccessful, the Tag is unsuccessful and the player's second beetle will receive a non-damaging blow from the opponent, disabling the player from attempting a tag on the next turn. The opponent's beetle then delivers the attack on the player's beetle as normal.
  • If a tie is encountered, nothing happens as the game continues normally.

Once a player's beetle is defeated, the remaining beetle takes over to continue. The winner is decided on whoever defeats either players' beetles first.

A "perfect tag compatibility" is possible but it can only work under "matching" conditions.


There are different cards to collect and use in order to play Mushiking. The barcodes are located on the long edges of the cards for the player to scan them in the machine. If a player scans a card at the wrong moment, the game will inform them what the error is. New editions and cards get released at certain periods of time for collectors to collect. There are three type of cards that are used in the game.

Beetle cards

These cards represent the "character" for the player. This is first scanned when a player scans his/her beetles and skills. Each beetle is unique in the following traits:

  • Basic information (name, Latin name, description, location, length and character.)
  • Finishing Attack Type
  • Finishing Move
  • Strength in Hitting, Pinching and Throwing skills
  • Stamina
  • Skill point
  • Base power

The Character affects the beetle's attributes in its strengths and stamina. The base power affects the skill point.

The Finishing Move indicates the beetle's "favored" move. When learned, it can cause major damage to the opponent if the player wins through a Finishing Move.

The rare beetle cards are printed with a holographic background and is colored in either Bronze (for 160 Base power), Silver (for 180 Base power) or Gold (for 200 Base power).

There are also "evil" version cards of the beetles known as the "Adder Collection". They have the red eyes of Adder's beetles and are introduced with Adder's voice instead of Popo's.

Parallel Editions are beetle cards with altered images and designs. All Parallel editions have a special stamp either colored in gold or silver. Common cards (base power of 100 to 140) are the only cards that can have Parallel Edition counterparts. This is to probably make these common cards to have rare versions. Parallel Editions were last seen in Version 7 and is replaced with the "Adder Collection."

Different editions have different information formats that make them look different. Often, new editions may include new beetles.

Skill cards

This represents the "moves" the beetle can do. Skill cards are scanned after a beetle card has been scanned. A player can only scan one skill card per skill type.

In every skill card, there is a number that represents the skill point's requirement. If the number is equal to the beetle's skill point, the result will be a perfect compatibility. If the beetle's skill point is lesser than the skill point of the card, the result will a bad compatibility. If the beetle's skill point is greater than the skill, the result will be a good compatibility.

Compatibility will raise the beetle's base power to show how powerful it can be. An easier way of telling compatibility between a beetle card and a skill card is to put a beetle card on top of a skill card and connect the red "arrows" in the bottom of each cards. The orange-colored block of the beetle card tells which block in the skill card corresponds to. There are three different shapes in the skill card that represent the compatibility.

  • A triangle will lead to a bad compatibility
  • A circle will have a good compatibility
  • A "double-circle" will have a perfect compatibility

Special Skill Cards are skill cards that may give a player the advantage over his/her opponent aside from doing a fancy, damaging move. The skill point of Special Skill Cards is marked with an Exclamation Point ("!") and is between good or perfect in compatibility to certain beetles. Special Skills are activated when the prerequisites have been met, such as pressing a move on the first count of the countdown, experiencing a tie, etc.

Prior to Version 4, there are rare skill cards with "upgraded" versions of the beetle's Finishing Moves if the move matches the Beetle's indicated Finishing Move. If the right skill card is scanned with the right beetle, the result with be a "Super Max" Compatibility and will give the beetle tremendous damage if used. The upgraded skill cards are moves used by beetles with a Base Power range of 100 to 120. This gives the weaker beetles a fighting chance against the rare and (naturally) strong beetles like Hercules Beetle, Saturn Beetle, Blue Hercules Beetle, Actaeon Beetle.....

License cards

These are cards that give the player a "title" while he/she plays. This is scanned before the beetle card is scanned and is optional to scan. Official Mushiking Tournaments hand over License Cards as a trophy for the competitor that wins an official tournament, which means that machines do not dispense these cards.

The following companies can release License Cards:

  • SEGA of Japan
  • Quantum Amusement Corporation[3] - For the Official Tournaments in the Philippines

Card listing

Beetle card listing

Cards in the "Adder Collection" have these card numbers with the letter "A" added at the end of the number designation. Currently, the English version features the phrase "Adder Collection" with a small image of Adder.

Skill card listing

  • 000 King Tornado Throw
  • 001 Banging Smash (for grand stag (every version))
  • 003 Dangun
  • 004 Rolling Smash
  • 005 Finishing Attack Stopper
    • This disables the opponent's chance to perform his/her beetle's finishing attack for the next turn. The winning move must be a move that counters the finishing move the opponent's beetle.
  • 006 Last Resort
    • When this skill is learned, the player's beetle can cause additional damage when the game thinks that the player's beetle is weak against his/her opponent in terms of stamina.
  • 007 Bull Lock
  • 008 Rolling Clutch Hold
  • 009 Kingfisher Hug
  • 010 Running Cutter
  • 011 Tie Breaker
  • 012 Confusion
  • 013 Rolling Driver
  • 014 Sidescrew Throw
  • 015 Tornado Throw
  • 016 Sidelock Bomb
  • 017 Agitation
  • 018 Counter Attack Healing
  • 019 Daisharin
  • 020 Crashing Sleeper Hold
  • 021 Healing
  • 022 Machine Gun Punches
  • 023 Crossdive
  • 024 Cyclone Whip
  • 025 Hayate
  • 026 Special Skill Stopper
  • 027 Tie Bonus
  • 028 Power Drain
  • 029 Defense Up
  • 030 Power of Venus
  • 031 S.A.S.(Saturn's Air Spin)
  • 032 Complete Smash
  • 033 Forest Bridge
  • 034 Earthquake Throw
  • 035 Submarine Attack
  • 036 Falcon Dive
  • 037 Mole Attack
  • 038 Rolling Cradle
  • 039 Reverse Slam
  • 040 Somersault Press (for Actaeon beetle start from version 11)
  • 041 Deception Trap
  • 042 Triple Suplex
  • 043 Illusion Attack
  • 044 Acid Rain
  • 045 D.B.B.(Dancing Backside Bullet)
  • 046 Surfing Safari
  • 047 Heavy Blow
  • 048 G.Neckbreaker(For Giraffe Stag-beetle start for version 13)
  • 049 Dive Bomber
  • 050 Mystic crash
  • 051 Axis spin
  • 052 Big Payback
  • 053 Burning Burst
  • 054 Axel Grind
  • 055 Strike Back
  • 056 Hercules Spiral(For Hercules Beetle start for version 15)
  • 057 G.G.Rush
  • 058 Pinwheel
  • 059 Air capture
  • 060 Mars Hammer
  • 061 The Scythe
  • 062 Backspin Blow
  • 063 Green Arrow
  • 064 Emerald Frosion
  • 065 Shark Attack
  • 066 AAA
  • 067 Buffalo Crash
  • 068 Tornado
  • 069 Spinning Wheel
  • 070 Head Spin Rush
  • 071 Wind Talker
  • 072 Hiding in the mist
  • 073 Ducking Through
  • 074 Courageous Blow
  • 075 T4

Version 1

  • Beetle Cards 001 - 018 were introduced
  • Skill Cards 001 - 018 were introduced

Version 2

  • Limited edition design
  • Introduction of the "Parallel Collection", mirrored pictures of beetles were used for this Parallel Collection set

Version 3

  • Card design are the same from the Version 1
  • Card backs have a background instead of a plain, black-colored background
  • Beetle Cards 019 - 024 are released
  • Parallel Collection design featured mirrored and wireframed pictures of beetles

Version 4

  • Card design format changed
  • New (rare) skill cards are introduced
  • Parallel Collection design featured the beetle's reflected image on the wireframed ground

Version 5

  • Card design is based from Version 4
  • Beetle cards 025 - 030 are released
  • Skill cards 019 - 022 are released
  • More like an "expansion" for Version 4

Version 6

  • Official release of Mushiking II
  • Card design format changed
  • Cards from this version onwards now bear a small icon to indicated it's version, located at the upper left at the back of the card
  • Beetle cards 031 - 033 are released
  • Skill cards 023 - 028 are released
  • Parallel Collection design featured a close-up on the beetle's original image
  • Beetle cards 003, 019 and 020 are removed from the roster onwards
  • Skill card 001 is removed from the roster onwards

Version 7

  • Card design format changed
  • Beetle cards 034 - 036 are released
  • Skill cards 029 - 030 are released
  • Parallel Collection design featured wireframed pictures of beetles
  • Beetle card 001 is removed from the roster onwards

Version 8

  • Official release of Mushiking III
  • Card design format changed
  • Beetle cards 037 - 039 are released
  • Skill Cards 031 - 033 are released
  • Adder Collection is introduced and replaces Parallel Collection
  • Beetle card 004 is removed from the roster onwards

Version 9

  • Beetle cards have a forest background. (Example, the Upright-horned beetle has a background of leaves behind it while it is in a bamboo tree.)
  • Adder Collection card beetles are glowing in red and has a colored purplish background.
  • Beetle cards 040-042 are released
  • Beetle card 002 is lost
  • Skill Cards 035 to 037 are released

Version 10

  • Official release of Mushiking III+
  • Beetle Cards 043 to 045 are released
  • Grand Stag Beetle Is Returned
  • Banging Smash Skill Excised With Grand Stag
  • Name of cards are not in a black headline and are now under the beetle instead
  • Beetle Backgrounds are now green again
  • Skill cards 037 to 039 are released

Version 11

  • Beetle Cards 046 to 048 are released
  • Actaeon Beetle Is Returned With A New Skill " Somersault press "
  • Beetles from previous series have lightning in its card picture.
  • Skill cards 040 to 043 are released

Version 12

  • Official release of Mushiking IV
  • Beetle card 000 is released
  • Skill card 000 is released
  • Beetle cards 049 to 051 are released
  • Beetle card 007, 023 and 031 are lost
  • Beetle card 020 is returned
  • Skill card 007 is returned
  • Gold(034),Silver(037),and bronze(005)are joining Adder collection

Version 13

  • Giraffe Stag-Beetle is returned With a new skill G NECKBREAKER
  • Beetle card 008,024,034 and 034-A are lost
  • Skill cards 003,sp003,014,023 are lost
  • Beetle cards 052-054 released
  • Skills 048-052 released
  • Beetle Backgrounds are now green again

Version 14

  • Official release of Mushiking V
  • Beetle card 004 is returned
  • Skill card 013 is returned
  • Beetle card 005,012,017,037 and 037-A are lost
  • Skill cards 031 are lost
  • Gold(040),Silver(003),and bronze(027)are joining Adder collection
  • Beetle cards 055 to 057 released
  • Skills 053 to 055 released

Version 15

  • Beetle cards 058 to 060 released
  • Skills 056 to 59 released
  • Hercules Beetle is returned with a new finishing attack HERCULES SPIRAL
  • Beetle card 006,014,015,040,040-A are lost

Version 16

  • Skill card sp000 released.
  • Beetle card 019 and 038 are joining adder collection
  • Beetle cards 061 to 067 released
  • Skill cards 060 to 067 released
  • Beetle cards 003,027,041,009,013 and 016 are lost
  • Official release of mushiking 6

Version 17

  • Beetle cards 068 to 072 is released
  • Skill cards 067 to 074 is released
  • Tarandus Stag-Beetle is returned with a new super finishing attack Buffalo Crash.
  • Elephant beetle is returned with a new ultimate finish attack Super Dragon attack.
  • Japanese stag-beetle is returned with a new super finishing attack Tornado.

Version 18

  • Beetle card 073 is released
  • Skill card 075 is released
  • Official release of mushiking 7

Mushiking: Super Collection

On July 24, 2007, to commemorate the five year anniversary of the franchise, Sega released the Nintendo DS game Mushiking: Super Collection in Japan. The package comes with a scanner in which the player can use their existing cards from the arcade game and new and/or exclusive cards to the game. The game also comes with a starter deck which includes 7 cards, three of which give a random beetle in a specialized section every time they are used(rock, paper, and scissors). The game supports all of the arcade modes and includes a Wi-Fi mode to play against unseen players across Japan. Due to a significant difference in power between the Nintendo DS and the arcade machines, there is a noticeable difference in the graphics textures of the beetles and the environment as well as framerate when compared to the arcade version.

Pro Wrestler

Pro Wrestling Noah, a Japanese professional wrestling organization, has given a Mushiking related gimmick, "Mushiking Terry", to one of its wrestlers, Kotaro Suzuki. This trend is not unique in Japan, as popular wrestlers Tiger Mask and Jushin Liger, among others, were also based on anime characters. Mushiking Terry feuds with his rival Mushiking Joker, portrayed by Ricky Marvin.

See also

External links

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