Pit-Fighter is a 1990 arcade by Atari Games, notable for its early use of digitized live actors. The Japanese arcade release was published by: Konami. The graphic animation for the player character(s) and opponents were created through a bluescreen process, where the various poses & moves of the characters were acted out by hired actors in front of a video camera. The game's on-screen character animation are replays of the actual footage, not a rotoscoped (redrawn) animation as was common in other games. Live-action shooting reached a brief highpoint with later arcade titles such as Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam, before gaming trends shifted away.
Pit-Fighter features 3 playable fighters:
- Buzz: A big and strong ex-professional wrestler.
- Ty: An agile kickboxing champion.
- Kato: A quick 3rd degree black belt.
Pit-Fighter also has 8 unplayable opponents:
- Southside Jim
- C.C. Rider
- Mad Miles
- Heavy Metal
- Chainman Eddie
- Masked Warrior
The gameplay is similar to Taito's Violence Fight and SNK's Street Smart. The player begins Pit-Fighter by choosing one of the three playable characters, who all have different moves, speed, and power. As many as three people can play at a time, but there will be extra opponents to fight during any of this game's 15 different matches.
Every third fight is known as a Grudge Match. In a Grudge Match, the player must fight against a CPU controlled clone of his or her fighter (if playing alone) or the other players in a multiplayer game. Each player has three "knockdowns" - getting knocked down three times eliminates them from the Grudge Match, the winner is the last man standing. This match plays more like a bonus round, in that there is only results are gaining or failing to gain bonus money, and losing the Grudge Match does not eliminate a player.
The final battle, the "Championship Match", is between the player and the mysterious entity that taunts between matches every once in a while, the Masked Warrior. If more than one person is playing the game before this match, they must fight each other to the death until only one becomes victorious and can fight him.
The player must jump, punch, and kick their opponent until his/her energy runs out. If the player presses all three of the buttons at a time, the character will perform a "super move".
Sometimes during matches the player will come across foreign objects such as knives, crates, sticks, motorcycles, and bar stools that can be thrown at you or your opponent. The player may also come across a power-up known as the "power pill". If the player or the opponent grab this item, one will become temporarily stronger and take less damage from hits.
Sometimes even the crowd will interfere in the fights. Two characters, known as Knife Man and Knife Woman, will come out of the crowd and stab the player with their daggers. The player can take these nuisances out with one hit. Sometimes there is also a fat bearded man with a stick. If the player knocks him down, the player can take the stick and use it against the current opponent.
The audience will also push any fighter that ends up among them, and stays there more than a few seconds. They will be forced back into the fighting area.
- Amiga (1991)
- Amstrad CPC (1991)
- Atari ST (1991)
- Commodore 64 (1991)
- Mega Drive/Genesis (1991)
- Sega Master System (1991)
- Sinclair ZX Spectrum (1991)
- Super NES (1991)
- PC (DOS) (1991)
- Atari Lynx (1992)
- Nintendo Game Boy (1992)
- Tiger (19??)
The arcade version of Pit-Fighter was also featured in the Midway Arcade Treasures 2 (2004) video game for GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox, as well as Midway Arcade Treasures Deluxe Edition (2006) for the PC. However, the arcade version, by many gamers, was considered superior to the console version; while the console version was looked down as an inferior to the game, itself.
A prototype of a Pit-Fighter game for the Atari 7800 exists in an incomplete form. It has crude graphics, no sound and poor collision detection.
Issue 49 of EGM (August 1993) had a 2 page preview of the planned sequel which the magazine claimed was over 75% finished and would be released in the 4th quarter of 1993 on the Genesis. Kato, Buzz and Ty were returning along with three new selectable fighters were available Connor (Karate Champion), Tanya (Roller Queen) and Chief (Ex-bodyguard). Pictures showed two CPU fighters Helga (level 1) and Jay-Jay (level 2). No further information was ever given about this sequel, but the screenshots show that the game appeared to be a rehash of the first game graphically just with new characters.
In 1992, a fighting game called Guardians of the 'Hood was released by Atari Games. This game featured the same style of digitized characters seen in Pit-Fighter and the player could have 3 other players join simultaneously. The big difference this time around was it played like a scrolling fighter, beat 'em up game and had a completely new cast of characters. Despite its digitized graphics and unique gameplay similar to Capcom's Final Fight and Sega's Streets of Rage, this game was overlooked in the arcades and never made it to the home consoles. The game was badly received by critics and gamers alike.
- Buzz: Bill Chase
- Ty: Marc Williams
- Kato: Glenn Fratticelli
- Executioner: John Aguire
- Southside Jim: James Thompson
- Chainman Eddie: Eddie Venancio
- Mad Miles: Miles McGowan
- Heavy Metal: Kim Rhodes
- C.C. Rider: Rich Vargas
- Angel: Angela Stellato
- Masked Warrior: Bill McAleenan
- Knife Woman: Dianne Bertucci
- Knife Man: Milt Loper
- Finale Women : Tina Scyrater, Maria Lenytzkyj