Packaging of the Japanese Mega Drive version, titled Power Athlete.
|Genre(s)||Versus fighting game|
|Mode(s)||Up to 2 players simultaneously|
Power Athlete (パワーアスリート?), known outside Japan for the Sega Genesis as Deadly Moves and for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System as Power Moves, is a 1992 fighting video game developed by System Vision and published by Kaneko. It was first released for the Genesis in North America on August 14, 1992, and in Japan on November 20, 1992. The Super NES version was later released in Japan on November 27, 1992, North America in January 1993, and in Europe on October 4, 1993.
The gameplay is that of a traditional head-to-head fighting game. But unlike most games of its type, the single-player mode is limited to one character, Joe, who is the protagonist of the game. One of the game's most distinctive aspects is an RPG-like system which enables the player to boost Joe's various attributes, such as strength, speed and endurance. Another gimmick is the use of a two-plane fighting area (similar to that of SNK's Fatal Fury: King of Fighters).
- Joe - The main character, his special moves include a fireball and an airborne dash attack.
- Warren - A Hawaiian grappler. Warren's technique names are patterned on surfing terms - "Big Wednesday", etc.
- Reayon - The token female fighter.
- Vagnad - A huge wrestler with onyx skin. The game manual for the Genesis version refers to Vagnad as a survivor of The Holocaust.
- Nick - An arrogant, lightning-quick matador. His fighting style uses a combination of break dancing moves and knife throwing.
- Buoh - A kabuki-style fighter who can teleport and attack with his hair.
- Gaoluon - An acrobatic Chinese martial artist, wielding a pair of Deer Horn Knives.
- Baraki - A tribal warrior with a bestial appearance.
- Ranker - The non-playable final boss.
- Despite the difference in name for the Genesis and Super NES versions, there was no actual difference in gameplay, content or characters. However, it is widely believed that the game's box cover and title were renamed only to keep up with Nintendo's stringent no-violence policy, as the Genesis version features a closeup of a character being punched in the face, with a torrent of blood erupting from the impact. The Super NES version's packaging featured the same image, with the red blood re-colored to look like sweat .
- Ranker, the final boss of the game is playable only on the Genesis version.
- Although the Genesis/Mega Drive version known as Deadly Moves featured a blood-spattered cover, there was no blood nor death moves of any kind in the game.
- The US magazine ad for the game, while detailing its features, did not feature any actual screenshots from the game, but crudely drawn ones that did not resemble the game at all.