European box art
Rakugakids (らくがきっず Rakugakizzu?) is a 2.5D fighting video game created by Konami for the Nintendo 64, released in 1998. The name Rakugakids is a portmanteau of the Japanese word rakugaki (meaning "doodle"), and the English word "kids", a reflection of the visual style of the game which resembled children's drawings. It, along with ClayFighter 63⅓ was one of the only 2D fighting games for the N64.
The game is similar in play to a toned-down Marvel vs. Capcom. The button layout is the fighting game standard six-buttons consisting primarily of three punches and three kicks, which combine with various directional commands to produce special secondary moves. All characters have a single-button attack that sends the opponent into the air, where they can then be pursued and aerially attacked. Perhaps to complement this, each character can perform an additional jump while in the air.
Super combos in this game are referred to as "Magic" and a player can have up to three levels of Magic which are represented by three crayons that appear at the bottom of the screen. Super Meter levels can be spent in three ways: offense, where an attack that causes heavy damage with a few hits; defense, where an attack that causes little damage, but sends the opponent far away; and counter, usable only while the character is blocking, causes medium damage and sends the opponent flying away.
- Astronots drawn by Andy: A Buck Rogers-like astronaut and the game's protagonist. He fights using assorted pulp-era sci-fi devices like a raygun and rocket boots. He is like the typical Ryu of the game.
- Captain. Cat. Kit drawn by DDJ: An anthropomorphic cat dressed like a stereotypical rapper. Fights using brass instruments, a basketball and breakdancing moves. Also has the ability to spontaneously combust at will.
- Marsa drawn by Nola: A witch bearing a hat that acts like a chicken. Marsa is the only one who can triple jump, and her 'Marsa Jump' sends her far up off screen. Used strategically, you can avoid danger with it.
- Robot C.H.O drawn by Jerry: The game's heavyweight grappler character. A robot who can transform into various metal objects, like a trashcan or a car. Interestingly, the spinning letters on its hand and head will change depending on its actions.
- Beartank drawn by Clione: A green bear with tank guns on its head and back. It can change its body into a set of tank treads (Leaving only its head exposed.) and fire small copies of itself from either gun. For some reason, it is constantly sleeping. It is the speediest character, the second being Captain. Cat. Kit.
- Cools. Roy drawn by Roy: A cowboy-like character, who fights with honor (his taunt is a bow to the opponent).
- Mamezo drawn by Val: a yellow Cartoon-villain with a green cape. His moves are mostly Jelli-like Transformations in various gadgets and tools (like a fork, an iron, a scissor and more) or summon rockets and other things. He was supposed to be the main villain in the intro.
- Inuzo drawn by Mudgas: The game's sub-boss character. A palette-swap of Mamezo with identical moves.
- Darkness drawn by George: The game's boss character. A ghost dog.
Some references such as characters and music from Rakugakids were later added to other video games by Konami. In Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, Nathan (protagonist of this Castlevania title) can transform into the Beartank character by equipping the Bear Ring and activating the Black Dog and Pluto cards (which normally transforms him into a Skeleton). Beartank makes appearance in Goemon Mononoke Sugoroku. Beartank also appears as a secret character in Konami Krazy Racers. Music from the game also appears in some of Konami's Bemani games, namely Beatmania GB and Pop n' Music.