Wrecking Crew (video game)

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Wrecking Crew
Wrecking Crew cover.jpg
REV-A box art
Developer(s)Nintendo R&D1[7]
Director(s)Satoru Okada
Producer(s)Gunpei Yokoi
Designer(s)Yoshio Sakamoto
Makoto Kanoh
Programmer(s)Toshiyuki Nakamura
Yase Sobajima
Kenji Imai
Composer(s)Hirokazu Tanaka
July 26, 1984
  • Arcade (Vs. Wrecking Crew)
  • Famicom/NES
    • JP: May 26, 1985[a]
    • NA: October 18, 1985[3]
    • EU: October 15, 1987
  • Famicom Disk System
  • Game Boy Advance
Genre(s)Action, puzzle
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer
Arcade systemNintendo VS. System

Wrecking Crew[b] is an action video game developed and published by Nintendo. Designed by Yoshio Sakamoto, it was first released as an arcade game for the Nintendo VS. System in 1984, titled Vs. Wrecking Crew and featuring a simultaneous two-player mode.[8] It was released as a single-player game for the Family Computer (Famicom) console in 1985, and as a launch game for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) later that year.



The player controls Mario (or Luigi in two-player mode) and attempts to destroy all of a certain set of objects with a large hammer on each of 100 levels. Mario cannot jump because of the hammer's weight. The player can select any level to start on from the title screen. Each level's playfield is divided into an invisible grid, each space of which can contain one object. Objects include these: destructible walls, pillars, and ladders; indestructible barrels and ladders; bombs that destroy all connected destructible objects; and various enemies that Mario must avoid. Doors may be opened to cause enemies to move harmlessly into the background. The game introduced a new character, a construction foreman named Spike, who chases Mario and attempts to disrupt him by knocking down objects and causing him to fall to the bottom of the playfield. The player starts the game with five lives and loses a life whenever Mario comes in contact with an enemy or fireball. The game is over when all lives are lost. The game can also be aborted at any time, and must be aborted if Mario becomes trapped in a barrel.

Because Mario lacks the ability to jump, the player must figure out the optimal order in which to destroy objects—for example, if a player destroys a ladder too soon, a wall may become unreachable and thus the player cannot finish the level. Destroying multiple objects in a row (usually with a chain of bombs) scores extra bonus points, and occasionally bonus items may appear that Mario can collect.

Wrecking Crew features a level editor, which allows the player to design up to four custom levels. They can be saved and loaded using the Famicom Data Recorder, a cassette tape drive. Because this peripheral was only released for Famicom in Japan, other localizations cannot save or load the custom levels. The U.S. manual includes a note stating that the load and save functions "have been programmed in for potential product developments". The feature was reenabled for the game's Wii Virtual Console release using Wii system storage.[citation needed]


Wrecking Crew was designed by Yoshio Sakamoto.[9] Hirokazu Tanaka composed the music.[10]


In Japan, Game Machine listed Vs. Wrecking Crew in its October 1, 1984 issue as the thirteenth most-successful table arcade unit of the month.[11]


Wrecking Crew was re-released in 1989 on the Family Computer Disk System, and was later included as the 14th game of the Famicom Mini series on Game Boy Advance in 2004.[12]

The game has been re-released on Virtual Console three times: on Wii in 2007, on Nintendo 3DS in September 2011 as part of the "Ambassador Program",[13][14] on the 3DS eShop in Japan, North America, and Europe and Australia in September 2012, March 2013, and May 2013 respectively. Wrecking Crew was also released on the Virtual Console for the Wii U system on June 19, 2013 in Japan and on June 20, 2013 in North America and Europe. All Virtual Console versions (except for the 3DS VC version) support saving levels designs, which is not possible in the original NES version of the game.


Wrecking Crew '98
Developer(s)Nintendo R&D1, Pax Softnica
Platform(s)Super Famicom
ReleaseNintendo Power (SFC)[15]
  • JP: January 1, 1998
Super Famicom[15]
  • JP: May 23, 1998
Genre(s)Action, puzzle
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Wrecking Crew '98[c] is an action puzzle game released exclusively in Japan in 1998 for the Super Famicom's Nintendo Power download service, and later on cartridge. This sequel includes the original as a bonus. Unlike the original, in which the player's objective is to find ways to clear each level of all panels, Wrecking Crew '98 takes a more competitive approach, where two opponents are given their own sides to clean up. Each player must try to demolish as many panels as they can on their side, until the opponent's side is completely piled up, to win.

Story mode features Mario returning to the Mushroom Kingdom from a trip, then discovering that Bowser has started a construction campaign of building new hideouts. The construction is depriving the flora of sunlight and thus, Mario demolishes the new construction sites with his hammer. Along the way, he meets his old enemies from the original Wrecking Crew, including former rival Foreman Spike.

  • Story mode: The main single player mode, where one controls Mario and travels through an overworld, entering each of Koopa's construction sites.
  • Versus mode: A competitive mode where one can compete with a friend or the CPU. The player can choose between Mario or characters that are unlocked from Story Mode.
  • Tournament mode: Available after the player has cleared the main game once. Eight characters compete in a single-elimination tournament until only one remains and is declared the champion.


A piece of music was remixed for the GameCube game Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix.[citation needed] The "Golden Hammer" music from Wrecking Crew was later used in the Wii video game Super Smash Bros. Brawl and plays every time a fighter grabs a Golden Hammer, or on the Mario Bros. stage.[citation needed] Two pieces of music are in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U; a soundtrack medley, and a remix medley, both of which appear on the Wrecking Crew stage. Similar to Smash Bros. Brawl, the Switch game Super Smash Bros. Ultimate also plays the Golden Hammer music when a fighter grabs a hammer.[citation needed]

Spike is set to appear in the upcoming Illumination/Nintendo animated Mario film, voiced by Sebastian Maniscalco. This version will be portrayed as the boss of Mario and Luigi.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Limited release on May 26, 1985.[4] Wide release on June 18, 1985.[5]
  2. ^ Japanese: レッキングクルー, Hepburn: Rekkingu Kurū
  3. ^ Japanese: レッキングクルー'98, Hepburn: Rekkingu Kurū Nainti Eito


  1. ^ Akagi, Masumi (October 13, 2006). アーケードTVゲームリスト国内•海外編(1971-2005) [Arcade TV Game List: Domestic • Overseas Edition (1971-2005)] (in Japanese). Japan: Amusement News Agency. p. 128. ISBN 978-4990251215.
  2. ^ "Flyer Fever - Vs. Wrecking Crew (Japan, Flyer 1)". Archived from the original on July 20, 2018. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  3. ^ Kohler, Chris (October 18, 2010). "October 18, 1985: Nintendo Entertainment System Launches". Wired. Retrieved June 8, 2022.
  4. ^ "Wrecking Crew (Registration Number PA0000287352)". United States Copyright Office. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  5. ^ @Sora_Sakurai (June 18, 2021). "1985年のきょう『レッキングクルー』(Wrecking Crew)ファミコン版が発売!!" [Today in 1985, the Famicom version of "Wrecking Crew" was on sale!!] (Tweet). Retrieved 18 June 2021 – via Twitter.
  6. ^ a b "Wrecking Crew". NinDB. Retrieved October 27, 2011.
  7. ^ やればやるほどディスクシステムインタビュー(前編). Nintendo Dream (in Japanese). No. 118. Mainichi Communications Inc. August 6, 2004. pp. 96–103.
  8. ^ "Vs. Wrecking Crew". iBomb. Retrieved October 27, 2011.
  9. ^ Kohler, Chris (April 7, 2010). "Q&A: Metroid Creator's Early 8-Bit Days at Nintendo". Wired: GameLife. Condé Nast Digital. Retrieved June 8, 2022.
  10. ^ Famicom 20th Anniversary Original Sound Tracks Vol. 1 (Media notes). Scitron Digital Contents Inc. 2004.
  11. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 - テーブル型TVゲーム機 (Table Videos)". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 245. Amusement Press. 1 October 1984. p. 35.
  12. ^ Giffords, Kevin (January 1, 2000). "Wrecking Crew (Famicom Mini 14)". 1up.com. Archived from the original on July 16, 2012.
  13. ^ Thomas, Lucas M. (August 30, 2011). "Nintendo 3DS Ambassadors, Behold Your Final Five NES Rewards". Retrieved November 26, 2021.
  14. ^ Luke. "3DS Ambassador Games Impressions - Super Balloon Wrecking Bros". ForkThisLlama. Retrieved September 7, 2011.
  15. ^ a b "Wrecking Crew '98". NinDB. Retrieved October 27, 2011.
  16. ^ Ditchfield, Jaime (August 9, 2021). "Sebastian Maniscalco will voice 'Spike' in Illumination Super Mario movie".

External links[edit]