Waku Waku 7

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Waku Waku 7
D4 Enterprise
(Virtual Console)
HAMSTER Corporation
(PS4/Switch/Xbox One)
Director(s)Yuichi Ueda
Designer(s)Atsuki Matsui
Kazuhito Terada
Koki Kita
Programmer(s)Shigetaka Inaba
Composer(s)Masato Araikawa
  • Arcade
    • WW: 21 November 1996
    Neo Geo AES
    • JP: 27 December 1996
    Virtual Console
    Nintendo Switch
    PlayStation 4
    Xbox One
    • WW: 22 March 2018
Arcade systemNeo Geo MVS

Waku Waku 7[a] is a 2D fighting game developed and published by Sunsoft initially as an arcade game for the Neo Geo MVS arcade system in 1996 worldwide.

A port for the Nintendo Switch, part of the Arcade Archive collection from the Japanese video game publisher Hamster Corporation, was released in March 2017.[1] A year later the same port was released on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.[2]


Gameplay screenshot showcasing a match between Arina and Tesse.

Waku Waku 7 has an irregular feature set for a fighting game of its time, and includes features common to SNK fighting games (such as four basic attacks and screens zooming).

The game has a roster of nine characters (two of which were available only in the Versus mode of the console ports). Each has a significantly different playstyle and parodies a well-known character from another game. Each character has a powerful special move (referred to as the Harahara movement, or Harahara motion). They have several factors that make them unique, including a need to be charged (during which the character concentrates, says something, strikes a pose or blows a fanfare) and being unblockable and difficult to dodge, but can be interrupted while charging; while charging, the game flashes a warning and sounds an alarm. Characters can be launched through the screen to hit the other corner, and attacked while on the ground, but can also dodge or attack while getting up.


"It is said that the person who collects all seven of the legendary WakuWaku balls will have their dearest wish granted. Those who find one of the balls become obsessed with the ruthless desire to obtain the others, who will be victorious in the bitter battle to become the owner of all the balls. Victory or defeat - it all lies in your hand".


  • Rai Bakuoh is a cocky 13-year-old boy who pursues the WakuWaku Balls to achieve his dream of more exciting adventures. He practices BMX tricks and has an excellent jumping ability (including a double-jump). He is a parody of Sie Kensou from The King of Fighters/Psycho Soldier, and most of his special moves are similar to that of Roddy from Top Hunter and it manifests some sort of dark electric power.
  • Arina Makihara is a 14-year-old girl with bunny ears, clad in a unitard and short-sleeved jacket. She pursues the WakuWaku Balls to achieve her dream to have a nice love. She is said to have learned to fight in an extracurricular compulsory class in high school, and is often seen with her friends and little brother, who are, like her, all parodies of typical half-animal/half-human characters from several shōjo manga and anime.
  • Dandy-J is a treasure hunter hired to go after the WakuWaku Balls, though has no wish to grant in particular, and is accompanied by his friend's daughter Natsumi Hazama and pet cat "Rampoo" (sometimes mentioned as Ramp or Rump) in his quest. Dandy-J uses a whip in his battles, with Natsumi and Rump sometimes making single attacks at the opponent. He is a parody of both the titular character of the Indiana Jones series and Joseph Joestar from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
  • Mauru (known as Marurun in the Japanese version[3]) is a purple forest creature that is a parody of Totoro. He carries a lost little girl named Mugi Rokujoh. He likes fruits and singing.[4] Mauru's play style is similar to the Darkstalkers character Sasquatch, with many moves mimicking near-verbatim.
  • Politank-Z is a tank-mecha of the police department, which is a parody of the police tanks from Dominion. It is piloted by the Chief and his trusty sidekick, the Mechanic, who is a dog. The Politank is large and slow, making it easy to hit, but is able to deal large amounts of damage.
  • Slash is a calm and collected elf with light green hair and a blue trench coat who battles with a laser sword. He has no wish to grant in particular when he obtains the WakuWaku Balls. Though in his ending he says that it is his own destiny to remove a curse from his sword. He is a parody of typical sword-using heroes of certain manga and anime.
  • Tesse is the seventh robot built by Dr. Lombrozo, Tesse was made to be that of a maid (cooking and keeping the house clean). She pursues the WakuWaku Balls to not only cure the illness of Dr. Lombrozo, but to also achieve her dream of becoming human. She fights using an assorted array of cleaning utensils, electricity attacks, and a syringe. She is possibly a cross parody of Astro Boy and cosplay restaurants.

Selectable only in the versus mode:

  • Bonus-kun is a living punching bag whose looks, motives and attacks directly lampoon Ryu from Capcom's Street Fighter franchise. His origins lie in Galaxy Fight: Universal Warriors; he was Rouwe's punching bag, until it became alive and was then trained by him. Due to a lack of limbs, he cannot crouch or grab opponents. In Waku Waku 7, he features more moves than he did in Galaxy Fight: Universal Warriors.
  • Makaitaitei Fernandez (known as Fernandeath in the Japanese version[3]) is an emperor of the demon world, a black sphere with stubby arms, legs and wings, a large grin and an irritating modulated voice. Fernandez is the game's final boss, and is as tall as a skyscraper. Through a variety of magical means, the other characters are enlarged so as to fight him on equal terms, which is a reference to the kaiju genre.


It was Sunsoft's third fighting game after their 1994 Super Famicom spin-off of their Hebereke series, Sugoi Hebereke, and their 1995 Galaxy Fight: Universal Warriors, their first 2D fighting game. Although numbers in titles of games and other types of media are used to tell if they are sequels, the title of the game actually refers to its seven playable characters in the roster. The word "Waku Waku" is a Japanese onomatopoeia for sounds of excitement. Two years later, Sunsoft worked with a small company SANTACLAUS in producing the 1998 airborne-based fighting game Astra Superstars for the Sega ST-V arcade system.

Home releases[edit]

Waku Waku 7 was later ported to the Neo-Geo AES home console, which features easy-to-access difficulty settings and limited credits.

A Neo-Geo CD version was in development, but was canceled due to the Neo-Geo CD failing in the market. This version was later ported to the Sega Saturn instead, but exclusively in Japan. It requires the Saturn's 1 MB RAM expansion cartridge.[3]

In 2008, the original Neo-Geo version was included with the Neo-Geo CD version of Sunsoft's other fighting game Galaxy Fight: Universal Warriors in Vol.11 of the Neo Geo Online Collection series for the PlayStation 2, titled Sunsoft Collection (サンソフトコレクション). While the Neo-Geo CD soundtrack of Galaxy Fight: Universal Warriors was added in this version, the soundtrack of Waku Waku 7 is completely different from the unreleased Neo-Geo CD version that was later ported to the Sega Saturn. SNK was unable to add the Neo-Geo CD / Sega Saturn version of the soundtrack because of licensing issues.

The Neo-Geo AES home console version was ported to the Wii Virtual Console in Japan on April 27, 2010.[5]


  • Arina from Waku Waku 7 was made cameo in the mobile game Shanghai Musume: Mahjong Girls on 2011 in Japan.


Waku Waku 7
Soundtrack album by
Masato Araikawa
ReleasedAugust 21, 1996
GenreVideo game soundtrack
LabelPony Canyon
Scitron Label

A soundtrack album of the Neo-Geo version was released by Pony Canyon and Scitron Label on August 21, 1996 exclusively in Japan under the catalog number PCCB-00215. It contains nearly every background music, as well as sound effects and voice samples from the arcade version. It was composed and arranged by Masato Araikawa.


Waku Waku 7 was met with generally positive reception from critics since its initial release in arcades and other platforms.[15][18] AllGame's Kyle Knight reviewed the AES version regarded the graphical presentation as among the best on Neo Geo, praising the audio design, unique fighting system and character roster but criticized its implementation of the power gauge mechanic.[7] The Sega Saturn conversion was met with a more mixed response from reviewers for being a straightfoward conversion of the original arcade game.[8][9][17][19] However, fan reception was positive; Readers of the Japanese Sega Saturn Magazine voted to give the Saturn port a 7.4692 out of 10 score, ranking at the number 527 spot below Galaxy Fight: Universal Warriors, indicating a popular following.[20]

The Nintendo Switch re-release garnered mostly positive response from retrospective reviewers.[12][13][14][16] The Switch version holds a 76.25% on the video game review aggregator GameRankings.[6] Nintendo Life's Damien McFerran commended the cartoon-style audiovisual presentation, frantic pacing and varied character roster.[10] Nintendo World Report's Zachary Miller noted its diverse and bizarre character roster but criticized the initial Switch release for the "washed" color palette.[11]

In 2012, Complex's Elton Jones ranked this "underrated and virtually unknown fighter" as the 12th best SNK fighting game ever made, commenting: "Waku Waku 7 was a trip. Most of the cast was full of colorful beasts and parodies of popular fighting game characters. Mauru had to be the strangest looking creature on the roster (he was also one of the most fun guys to play with). We appreciate this game’s tight gameplay, super cheery graphics, and hilarious super moves. Do yourself a favor and import a copy of this joint".[21] That same year, GamesRadar's Lucas Sullivan included "this cheery, colorful Neo Geo fighter" among the little-known classic fighting games that deserve HD remakes, adding: "Though the zany roster is only seven fighters strong (not including goofy secret characters like a sentient punching bag), Sunsoft crafted quite the fun brawler that gives you super meter and glitzy special moves as often as modern-day Marvel Vs. games".[22]


  1. ^ Japanese: わくわく7, Hepburn: Waku Waku Sebun, "Exciting 7"


  1. ^ "Aca Neogeo Waku Waku 7". Archived from the original on 2023-10-14. Retrieved 2017-03-06.
  2. ^ "Bizarre '90s fighter Waku Waku 7 comes to PS4 and Xbox One today". 23 March 2018. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Big in Japan: Waku Waku 7". Sega Saturn Magazine. No. 23. Emap International Limited. September 1997. pp. 56–57. Retrieved November 4, 2019.
  4. ^ "Untitled Normal Page". Archived from the original on 2009-02-20. Retrieved 2008-10-23.
  5. ^ "Japanese Wii Virtual Console Line-Up". Archived from the original on 2008-01-12. Retrieved 2016-07-24.
  6. ^ a b "ACA NeoGeo: Waku Waku 7 for Nintendo Switch". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. 2019. Archived from the original on 2019-12-09. Retrieved 2020-07-26.
  7. ^ a b Knight, Kyle (1998). "Waku Waku 7 [Japanese] (Neo Geo Advanced Entertainment System) - Review". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on 2014-11-16. Retrieved 2020-07-26.
  8. ^ a b "NEW GAME CROSS REVIEW: わくわく7 (セガサターン)" (PDF). Famitsu (in Japanese). No. 445. ASCII Corporation. June 27, 1997. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 26, 2020. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
  9. ^ a b Szriftgiser, Gregory (July–August 1997). "Japon Zoom - Waku Waku Seven - Saturn". Joypad (in French). No. 66. Yellow Media. pp. 102–103.
  10. ^ a b McFerran, Damien (March 24, 2017). "Waku Waku 7 Review (Switch eShop / Neo Geo) - Seventh heaven". Nintendo Life. Nlife Media. Archived from the original on 2020-07-26. Retrieved 2020-07-26.
  11. ^ a b Miller, Zachary (March 11, 2017). "Waku Waku 7 (Switch eShop) Review Mini". Nintendo World Report. NINWR, LLC. Archived from the original on 2020-07-26. Retrieved 2020-07-26.
  12. ^ a b Pritchard, Liam (March 23, 2017). "ACA NEOGEO WAKU WAKU 7 Review". bonusstage.co.uk. Bonus Stage. Archived from the original on 2020-07-26. Retrieved 2020-07-26.
  13. ^ a b Barry, Tomas (March 26, 2017). "ACA NeoGeo: Waku Waku 7 (Nintendo Switch) Review". Cubed3. Cubed3 Limited. Archived from the original on 2020-07-26. Retrieved 2020-07-26.
  14. ^ a b L., Harvard (April 6, 2017). "Short & Sweet Reviews: Nintendo Switch Neo Geo Edition". Digitally Downloaded. Digitally Downloaded Media Australia. Archived from the original on 2018-10-24. Retrieved 2020-07-26.
  15. ^ a b "NF編集部にまる - ネオジオゲームㇱインレビュー: わくわく7". Neo Geo Freak (in Japanese). No. 25. Geibunsha. June 1997. pp. 124–128.
  16. ^ a b Paxton, Matt (June 8, 2017). "Review: ACA NEOGEO Waku Waku 7 (Nintendo Switch)". Pure Nintendo Magazine. Pure Media, LLC. Archived from the original on 2020-07-26. Retrieved 2020-07-26.
  17. ^ a b "Sega Saturn Soft Review - わくわく7". Sega Saturn Magazine (in Japanese). No. 57. SoftBank Creative. June 27, 1997. p. 154. Archived from the original on July 27, 2020. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
  18. ^ "Feature: AM Show - JAMMA — Sun Soft - Waku Waku 7". Computer and Video Games. No. 181. EMAP. December 1996. p. 57.
  19. ^ Fernandez, Lázaro (September 1997). "Made in Japan - Waku Waku Seven (Sega Saturn)". Japanmania (in Spanish). No. 17. Grupo Zeta. p. 20.
  20. ^ Dreamcast Magazine [in Japanese] (March 2000). セガサターン (Sega Saturn Magazine): 読者レース Final (PDF) (in Japanese). SoftBank Publishing. pp. 8–15. ISBN 978-4-79731173-0. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-10-30. Retrieved 2021-01-18. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  21. ^ Jones, Elton (September 18, 2012). "The 25 Best SNK Fighting Games Ever Made: 12. Waku Waku 7". Complex. Complex Networks. Archived from the original on 2020-07-27. Retrieved 2020-07-26.
  22. ^ Sullivan, Lucas (October 20, 2012). "29 obscure fighters that deserve HD remakes". GamesRadar+. Future US. Archived from the original on 2014-01-16. Retrieved 2020-07-26.

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