|Mode(s)||Up to 2 players simultaneously|
Decathlete, released in Europe as Athlete Kings, is an athletics themed arcade game. On its unveiling, the gaming media generally described it as a modern clone of Daley Thompson's Decathlon. Released in 1996, it was developed and produced by Sega. A home port was released on the Sega Saturn in 1996, largely identical to the arcade version, due to the similar hardware of the ST-V hardware and the Saturn. It was released on the PlayStation 2 in Japan only as part of the Sega Ages 2500 series. Compared to other decathlon based games, Decathlete has a more comic and cartoon like style. A sequel followed in 1997, the winter sports based Winter Heat.
The game play is largely based on quick repeated button pressing for gaining speed, and timed single button presses for jumping and releasing projectiles, in a similar style to the 1983 Konami release, Track & Field. The game differed with a slightly more advanced control system and 3-D graphics.
The player must select one of eight international fictitious athletes. In the arcade version, the player competes in ten traditional decathlon events, requiring a minimum set time, height or distance to qualify from one event to the next. The home console versions also allowed the player to compete in a full decathlon featuring all the events, 100 metres, 110 metre hurdles, 400 metres, 1500 metres, Long jump, High jump, Javelin throw, Discus, Pole vault and Shot put. Despite a potential for multi-player gaming, the game is only two player. In a one player game, the player only competes against at most one other character on screen. The only exception to this is in the 1500 metres, where six other generic athletes join the race along with one main character.
- Rick Blade: known as the "Pennsylvanian Power", 25-year-old American athlete Blade is an all-rounder, making him a favourite in many of the events. He is roughly based on legendary athlete Carl Lewis.
- Karl Vein: a 28-year-old German competitor with long blonde hair and heaps of self-confidence. Although competitive in all events, he is said to be able to jump over anything.
- Robin Banks: a veteran at 38 years old, zebra print leotard clad Banks is the reigning champion from the previous decathlon. The giant Briton is particularly strong in the throwing events. For the home release of the game his comedy name was changed to Jef Jansens.
- Aleksei Rigel: seasoned campaigner and physically the strongest of the eight competitors. This makes the 31-year-old Russian athlete good at throwing events.
- Joe Kudou: at 19 he is the youngest of the male competitors and lacks experience. Japanese Kudou relies on his high skill levels in all the events. He wears a reversed baseball cap.
- Femi Kadiena: A national record breaker in her home of Jamaica, she has come to break records on the world stage. The 24-year-old specialises in jumping events.
- Ellen Reggiani: due to her speed and stamina, she is known as the "French Express". The 20-year-old French competitor also works as a model.
- Li Huang: has silenced her critics saying she is too young, with her tremendous speed. The Peoples Republic of Chinas Huang is just 15 years old.
- Mankichi Kazami: a hidden character available only in the Japanese version of the game on the Sega Saturn. Appears to be based on a character from a Japanese Manga comic, "Decathlon". According to the synopsis of this comic, he is a 20-year-old "yokel" with significant natural athletic ability, but very little knowledge, who simply turns up for trials for the Olympics, having never competed before.
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- "Model 3: Sega Affirms Arcade Supremacy". Next Generation. No. 17. Imagine Media. May 1996. pp. 12–18.
- "And There's More...". Sega Saturn Magazine. No. 6. Emap International Limited. April 1996. p. 17.