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Today in Japan Retro Gaming: Final Fight Guy (SNES)

Fans of Final Fight, Capcom’s genre-defining arcade punchfest, were understandably confused when it was released on the Super Nintendo. Let’s be kind: it, uh, wasn’t as arcade-perfect a port as Nintendo’s hype machine wanted us to believe. Gamers, being the ravenous, predatory species we are, pounced on every weakness.

“What happened to the Factory stage?”

“Why can only one person play at a time?”

“Where the hell is Guy, for that matter?”

“Hmmmm,” said Capcom. “We better do something to placate them…”

Thus was born what can only be described as a bad idea made even worse. Thus was born Final Fight Guy.

Capcom, making sure you know exactly what’s different about this version.

Capcom’s PR representative arrived on the scene with hands raised, asking for quiet. “Rabid gaming hordes,” he announced from the podium, “we have heard your cries of anguish, and we too share your pain. Know this: we shall make things right with the upcoming release of a new Final Fight. A superior Final Fight. A Final Fight to end all Final Fights. We give you Final Fight Guy, which fixes exactly one of those problems by introducing a different one in its place!”

Capcom, hoping if they hit you hard enough, you won’t notice what’s still missing.

Reports of what happened next are varying and inconclusive, but suggest the PR drone was dragged from the stage and violently suffocated in the first portable toilet the mob could find–a fitting end for a person daring to spew so much excrement. The fate of the podium is well-documented, but too horrifying to relate here.

As you might have gathered from the title, Final Fight Guy marks the Super Nintendo debut of Guy, the orange-clad ninja, sparring partner of Cody, and holder of a secret crush on Jessica. Unfortunately, while this game presented Capcom the unprecedented opportunity to fix what was wrong with the original SNES port, Capcom squandered that chance in exchange for making a quick buck off their fans.

Capcom, giving a fan the ol’ heave-ho.

Final Fight Guy does exactly what it suggests on the box by making Guy a playable character. It does this at the expense of Cody, who is written out of the story as “still in Japan practicing his martial arts” because there’s apparently no such thing as a gymnasium in the United States. Capcom swore up and down there was nothing they could do about this, as Final Fight was just such a massive, memory-intensive game they just couldn’t squeeze all three protagonists into it or have more than one player on the screen at a time. We believed them right up until 1993’s release of Final Fight 2 which featured not only three protagonists but also two-player simultaneous play.

Capcom, ruthlessly cutting content from their own arcade port.

To stack the insults even higher, Final Fight Guy received a limited release in the United States as a Blockbuster-exclusive rental title…in 1994, one year after Final Fight 2‘s release, which only served to further highlight Guy‘s own inadequacies. Ah, Capcom, what might have been…

Michael Crisman

In 1979, Michael Crisman was mauled by a radioactive Gorgar pinball machine. After the wounds healed, doctors discovered his DNA had been re-coded. No longer fully human, Michael requires regular infusions of video games in order to continue living among you. If you see him, he can see you. Make no sudden moves, but instead bribe him with old issues of computer and video game magazines or a mint-in-box copy of Dragon Warrior IV. If he made you laugh, drop a tip in his jar at (If he didn't make you laugh, donate to cure his compulsion to bang keyboards by sending an absurdly huge amount of money to his tip jar instead. That'll show him!)

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2 Responses to “Today in Japan Retro Gaming: Final Fight Guy (SNES)”

  1. Paulo Andrés says:

    At the time we did not know, but in fact many ports for SNES and Mega Drive were made precariously or laziness (low cost) couting that us gamers could find normal as we all expected some level of downgrade (less memory, less colors, less sprites, poor sound, etc). How many ports could do better? I do not blame to much developers (workers who had tight deadlines), but the political of the directors of softhouses who preferred (and still prefer) always the shortest way, unfortunately.
    Rare exceptions: hardware developers often put an extra effort to show the best of their console, but rarely do ports.

    • Carl Williams says:

      This is very true. Also, back in the day, we had to rely on gaming magazines for our news so it was quite a while before most gamers in the United States knew Capcom even released Final Fight Guy in Japan. Even longer before we knew they had no plans to release it here.

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