World Heroes (video game)

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World Heroes
WorldHeroes arcadeflyer.png
Japanese Arcade flyer
Producer(s)Kenji Sawatari
Designer(s)Kimitoshi Yokoo
Programmer(s)Yuji Noguchi
Artist(s)Akira Ushizawa
Atsushi Kobayashi
Hatsue Sakanishi
Composer(s)Hideki Yamamoto
Hiroaki Shimizu
Yuka Watanabe
SeriesWorld Heroes
Arcade systemNeo Geo MVS
CPUM68000 (@ 12 MHz),
Z80A (@ 4 MHz)
SoundYM2610 (@ 8 MHz)[1]
DisplayRaster, 320 × 224 pixels (Horizontal), 4096 colors

World Heroes[b] is a 1992 fighting arcade game developed and published by Alpha Denshi (later known as ADK) with the assistance of SNK. It was originally released for the Neo Geo MVS arcade cabinet on July 28, 1992. It is ADK's first game in the fighting game genre, as well as their earliest attempt in the fighting game trend of the '90s that was popularized by Capcom's 1991 arcade-hit Street Fighter II. It was even the last game with the "Alpha" logo labeled within the game before the developer became "ADK"; however, the "Alpha" logo was last used on one of the arcade flyers of its sequel.

Due to its success in the market, World Heroes was followed by a sequel released less than a year later titled World Heroes 2.


Gameplay screenshot showcasing Hanzō Hattori performing a throw with Kim Dragon.

World Heroes is controlled with three of the four buttons ("A" to punch, "B" to kick and "C" to throw) used along with an 8-way joystick on the Neo Geo MVS arcade cabinet. The punches and kicks have two levels, weak and strong. In order to get each strength with just two buttons, the punch and kick buttons have to be pressed briefly for weak and longer for strong. This same mechanic even can be performed with special moves. The throw button C, if close enough to the opponent, grabs and throws the opponent across the stage; however, if holding the joystick in the opposite direction at the right time, the opponent would be tossed the opposite direction. Introduced in the fighting game genre by World Heroes are some abilities exclusive to some characters that were used in several later fighting games, such as multi-jumping using Hanzou and Fuuma, and shooting projectiles from the air using Rasputin.

There are eight playable characters in the roster and two different play modes for players to choose from: "Normal Game" and "Death Match". In "Normal Game", players have to defeat the other seven playable characters in a random order, followed by a battle against the final boss Geegus (misspelled as "Gee Gus" in localized English versions), all by using the chosen character. If the player defeats an opponent, the player moves on to the next opponent. After the third battle, the player has a bonus round to carve a block of stone into a statue in ten seconds with repeated hits. After the sixth battle, the player has another bonus round to break falling pots in ten seconds before they hit the ground. "Death Match" acts like Normal Mode with a difference. Players will fight in a ring with environmental hazards such as electrical barriers, spiked walls, oil puddles and others which players must avoid while fighting. Players also can force their opponents against the environmental hazards to their advantage.


In the distant future, Dr. Sugar Brown: a well-renowned and famous scientist is determined to figure out on who the strongest fighter of history is and has gone to great lengths in order to finally gain the answer of his own question. Through the use of a time machine that he had built, Dr. Brown has brought together eight fighters from the distant past (each of whom are based on actual historical figures) so that all of them can compete and take part in a fighting tournament that Dr. Brown has organized, the tournament itself being used as a way to determine on who the strongest fighter of history is. Little does Dr. Brown and the participating fighters know and realize that an unknown threat is secretly watching them during the progression of the tournament and that this unknown threat could easily endanger them and the rest of the world.


  • Hanzou Hattori
  • Kotaro Fuuma
  • Kim Dragon
  • Janne D'Arc
  • Julius Carn
  • Muscle Power
  • Brocken
  • Rasputin
  • Geegus (Final Boss)

Ports and related releases[edit]

World Heroes was later ported to the Neo Geo AES in both Japan and North America on September 11, 1992, which is identical to the Neo Geo MVS version, but designed for home gaming, just like nearly every AES versions of Neo Geo titles. World Heroes was later ported to the Neo Geo CD exclusively in Japan by ADK on March 17, 1995 and then to North America in October 1996,[2] which is the same as the MVS and AES versions, but with arranged background music.


Besides SNK's consoles, it was first ported by Sunsoft to the SNES in Japan on August 12, 1993, in North America in September 1993,[4] and PAL regions in 1993. Later, it was ported to the Sega Mega Drive / Genesis by Sega Midwest Studio (then known as Sega Midwest Development Division[5]) exclusively in North America on August 16, 1994. The Neo Geo AES version was also added to the Wii's Virtual Console first in Japan on September 28, 2007, then in North America on October 8, 2007, and in Europe on October 19, 2007. Later, it was added to a compilation of Neo Geo arcade games for the PlayStation 2,[6] PlayStation Portable and Wii titled SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1 as an unlockable game.[7] A port was in development for the Mega-CD/Sega CD by Funcom, under the title World Heroes CD, but was cancelled prior to its release.[citation needed]

On October 18, 2007, SNK Playmore added it with its three sequels to the arcade game compilation World Heroes Gorgeous: Neo Geo Online Collection Vol. 9 (ワールドヒーローズ ゴージャス) in Japan for the PlayStation 2. It was later published in North America on March 11, 2008, and in Europe on November 7, 2008, both titled as World Heroes Anthology. This was created to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the World Heroes series. This compilation was later reprinted as part of a series of best-sellers labeled "The Best" in Japan on June 18, 2009.


Critical reception[edit]

Review scores
CVG(Arcade) 74%[8]
(SNES) 81%[9]
EGM(SNES) 26 / 40[10]
(Genesis) 26 / 50[11]
Famitsu(Neo Geo) 22 / 40[12]
GameFan(Neo Geo) 182 / 200[13]
GamePro(Genesis) 11.5 / 20[3]
Sinclair User(Arcade) 81%[14]
Electronic Games(Genesis) D[15]
Joystick(Neo Geo) 88%[16]

The arcade version was commercially successful upon release. It was said to be one of the first games that brought the attention of SNK's consoles to game players.[17] In North America, on RePlay's coin-op earnings charts, World Heroes topped the software conversion kits chart in July 1992, ranking just above Capcom's Street Fighter II.[18] On the April 1993 charts, it was the fifth highest-earning software conversion kit.[19] On the May 1993 chart, it dropped to number-eight, with World Heroes 2 at number-five.[20]

The September 1992 issue of Sinclair User gave the arcade game a score of 81%.[14] The October 1993 issue of Computer and Video Games scored it 74%.[8]

On release in the home retail market, Famicom Tsūshin scored the Neo Geo console version of the game a 22 out of 40.[12] GameFan's two reviewers scored the Neo Geo console version 92% and 90%. One of the reviewers stated "that it is NOT just another Street Fighter 2 clone", praising the "all new" and "unique" moves and characters, and "the weapons and added Death Match." The other called it "a great fighting game" that rivals Street Fighter II and is "surpassed only by Art of Fighting."[13]

Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the Genesis version a 26 out of 50, commenting that "The Super NES version was a good Neo Geo reproduction, but this one completely misses! The action is incredibly slow (and a bit choppy) and the voices are horrendous!"[11] GamePro criticized the Genesis version as well, citing slow action, mediocre graphics, poor sound, and hapless opponent AI.[3]


Early pictures of the Super Nintendo version of the game were presented at the 1993 Winter Consumer Electronics Show.[21]


  1. ^ Additional work by SNK
  2. ^ Japanese: ワールド ヒーローズ Hepburn: Wārudo Hīrōzu?


  1. ^ "SNK NeoGeo MVS Hardware (SNK)". Retrieved 2018-10-31.
  2. ^ "GamePro - Quick Hits". GamePro. Vol. 1. 1996. p. 108.
  3. ^ a b c "ProReview: World Heroes". GamePro. No. 62. IDG. September 1994. p. 62.
  4. ^ Magilla (August 1993). "Super NES Preview - World Heroes". GameFan. Vol. 1 no. 9. p. 66.
  5. ^ Title screen of the Mega Drive / Genesis port of World Heroes.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Official website of SNK Arcade Classics Vol. 1.
  8. ^ a b
  9. ^ Deniz Ahmet, World Heroes 2, Computer and Video Games, issue 154 (September 1994), page 87
  10. ^ Electronic Gaming Monthly, 1999 Video Game Buyer's Guide, page 129
  11. ^ a b "Review Crew: World Heroes". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 60. EGM Media, LLC. July 1994. p. 34.
  12. ^ a b NEO GEO GAMES CROSS REVIEW: ワールドヒーローズ. Weekly Famicom Tsūshin. No.332. Pg.25. 28 April 1995.
  13. ^ a b GameFan, volume 1, issue 1 (October 1992), pages 7 & 47
  14. ^ a b
  15. ^ Electronic Games, issue 57 (August 1994), page 78
  16. ^
  17. ^ K Lee (July 1994). "Planet SNES - World Heroes". GameFan. Vol. 2 no. 8. p. 93.
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ "More Conversions for Super NES". Super NES Buyers Guide. Vol. 3 no. 2. March 1993. p. 8.

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