Capcom’s Red Earth is getting a console version more than 25 years after its debut

In the 90’s, Golfland USA was a magical place. From the outside it looked like any other miniature golf course with an arcade and a ticket table, but it had one thing most didn’t have: proximity.

It is located in Sunnyvale, California and is surrounded by several companies operating video game businesses across the United States. Sega was about 20 miles away. Atari was ten years old. And when these companies needed to test their games, they often left them with Golfland while they were still in development. It wasn’t uncommon to go in and check out games that weren’t just released but unannounced.

For a kid obsessed with video game news, this meant everything. I lived a few hundred miles away but always stopped there when I was in the area. And I’ve often seen games that haven’t been officially revealed yet. X-Men vs. Street Fighter. San Francisco Rush 2049. I was trying to take photos of the hobby site or website I was working on and the staff were yelling at me to stop. It was maybe a bigger responsibility issue, but it always made me feel like I was seeing something very mysterious.

On one of these visits I found Red earth, a new game from Capcom that looked unlike anything you’ve seen before. It was a fighting game, but it featured an elaborate story mode based on boss fights. It had an opposite mode but only four playable characters. It took place in a weird fantasy world but with awesome characters and animations.

As I later learned, this was the first game for Capcom’s new CPS-3 arcade hardware, which allowed for a level of detail unmatched in other 2D games of the time. But most of all, it felt like a game made for people like me who loved fighting game mechanics but invested less in the competitive element that made the genre so successful.

Red earth in Capcom battlegroup
Photo: Capcom

When asked about the game’s origins now, more than 25 years after its initial release, producer Takashi Sado told Polygon that the idea behind it arose out of a desire to level the playing field for different types of players.

When I started working on the proposal Red earth Fighting games were very popular in the mid-1990s,” he says, “Of course I followed that trend and planned the game as a fighting game, but I felt that skill back then [difference] Among the players grew. Closing the skills gap wasn’t easy, so we thought Can’t we compensate for that a bit by changing parameters, equipment, etc.? Because of this, we decided to include a character development component.”

Sado cites Capcom action games in the early ’90s as magic sword And the dragon kingwho shares loose, objective fictional connections with Red earthas inspiration for implementing this type of progression, allowing players to level up their characters and use passwords to pick up where they left off.

However, I only spent about an hour with the match that day in Golfland. I played what I could and snap photos on the way out, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I loved the style and style and felt like there was a lot to see. That was the last time I saw the game in an American playground.

somewhat notorious Red earth It continued to test the limits of what is considered an official arcade release in the United States. was translated – Red earth It’s actually the western address as you walk through it zard war In Japan – but given the small numbers that even established brands like Street Fighter were selling at the time, the difference between an unknown amount of expensive new equipment being officially released or not seems almost a matter of opinion. I reached out to two former sales reps who worked at Capcom for this story, and neither of them remember the existing game.

Despite the limited access to the game in the west, it has held up in various references and appearances over the years and still has fans in Capcom Japan. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Red earth Characters who have made their way Super Gym Fighter Mini-Mix And the Capcom fights against evolution. recently in street fighter 5The psychic Minat holds a crystal ball with her name on it Red earthHalf human and half lion king Leo. There were a number of Red earth Monster Hunter series references thanks to Monster Hunter series director Kanami Fujioka who worked on the series as an artist Red earth Ninja Kenji earlier in his career.

As it turns out, Red earth It also inspired Capcom to put together an upcoming one Capcom battlegroup – Includes the pack due June 24th Red earth In the first console version, the Darkstalkers series, robotand street fighter Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo-SpielAnd the Super gem fighter And the Hyper Street Fighter 2.

The PlayStation 4 box art from the Capcom Fighting Collection features the Red Earth character Leo prominently

as such Capcom battlegroup Producer Shuhei Matsumoto says the set came as old Capcom programmers who had gone to Kobuta and Muumuu came up to him and said, “Matz, bringing time Red earth To the consoles of the current generation! “

One thing led to another and the group filled with other toys. But the team wouldn’t let it Red earth overwhelmed. For example, in the group chest, instead of established characters like Ryu appearing front and center, Red earthLeo gets the majority of the real estate.

A lottery for many Capcom battlegroup It will be the Darkstalkers series or puzzle fighter Games that achieve a certain level of success the first time around and prove their commercial appeal, or at least enough to title a group of beloved holdovers.

But for some at Capcom, it’s a chance to revisit a game that fell victim to difficult circumstances the first time. And for me it’s the perfect opportunity to finish what I started playing over 25 years ago.

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