X-Men: The Arcade Game Version 1.0 For my first ever FAQ, I thought I would offer up my insight to one of my favorite arcade games. First, I will detail the game itself and then tackle each player character themselves. This FAQ is based off the Playstation version but I’ve discovered there is very little difference (if any) between the Playstation and Xbox versions. *Copyright* This FAQ is written and copyrighted by the author with permission to be posted on GAMEFAQS.com. You may reprint or post this FAQ as long as credit is given to the author. ------------------------------------------------------------ *Game details* There are two roms of the game, a US rom and a Japan rom. The differences between the two are: · The Japanese rom will play the credits once you defeat Magneto, the final boss, and then go to a “Game Over” screen. The US version will display a message that the game is not over and restart at stage one with the same character you defeated Magneto with after the credits have played. The Japanese rom will allow you to fight Magneto again after the “Game Over” screen with the same character. · In the Japanese rom, using your character’s mutant powers will drain power orbs first before draining your character’s health. The US rom will instead drain your character’s health first and then use orbs for your mutant powers. You need at least three bars of health or one mutant power orb to use your mutant power. The game will not allow you to use your mutant powers if you have three or less health and will never drain you below one health bar. I.e. you cannot die using your mutant powers. · The Japanese rom will have pink and silver Sentinels that begin appearing after stage one. These drop power ups in the form of energy pills, which restore your health to full, or mutant power orbs, which give you one free use of your character’s mutant powers. Use your attack button to pick them up. The US rom has no power ups dropping during the stages. You will get one free mutant power orb for completing each stage on both versions. Both roms will refill your health bars to full after every stage is completed. - The game was available in two cabinets, a standard four player cabinet and a larger six player cabinet. The six player cabinet had a much wider screen with controls that allowed for all six characters to be played simultaneously. The four player cabinet featured a much smaller screen with controls for four characters. However, the picture on the four player cabinet zooms in to show approximately half the screen of the six player cabinet (the online version is exactly the same.) This is annoying especially with enemies that appear on the side of the screen who are shooting at you that you cannot see or even know they are there until firing at you. The online game allows you to pick which cabinet you want to play essentially letting you choose if you want four or six players. - Both roms will also allow you to switch characters in mid-stage by pressing start and selecting the “Switch characters” command. You can only switch to a character that is not already in use and switching your character will reset your score. The online version also allows you to set the difficulty level for normal, hard, or expert for either rom. Higher difficulty settings add more enemies per player and make the enemy reactions a bit faster. Difficulty settings do not add to the health of the standard enemy mobs or the bosses. Boss health is increased normally depending on how many players there are. You may also select the starting stage when you create the game. However, the Japanese rom will still end once you defeat Magneto no matter what stage you start with. There are also options to adjust the screen size and appearance, enable or disable voice chat, create a custom or online game be it public, where anyone can join, or private, where only those who are invited can participate, and displaying or hiding a stage timer. - For every enemy you personally defeat with a melee attack or a mutant power, you gain one point to your score. As far as I can tell, you get no points for defeating a boss. If you take too long to advance in a stage, a warning message saying "Move on!" will flash on the screen. After a few moments, if you fail to do so, bombs will drop on each player and kill them. This is true for both roms. A fine incentive to keep moving if you ask me. ------------------------------------------------------------ *Controls* The controller scheme is the same for all characters and fully customizable for each rom. This section also includes enemy reactions to attacks. - You can use the joystick or four way cross to move around in all directions including diagonally. Your characters will not walk backwards turning to face whichever direction you move them. - One button is used for regular attacks. All characters, except Colossus, have a different opening attack depending on the distance between the character and the enemy and some have more the one. I’ll get in to detail on normal attacks in the character profiles. Your regular attacks can hit multiple opponents. Regular attacks will begin a chain that consists of three hits: your opening strike, a second hit, and a third hit which will knock enemies down. Enemies from behind you, or those using projectile attacks, can hit you on the first two strikes but you become immune to damage briefly while executing your third strike. - All characters have a throw or close-ranged attack. I have tried for years to figure out just how the game determines you are ready to execute a throw by observing whether an enemy offers some sort of visual clue (by leaning over) or if you have to be a certain distance away before hitting your attack button to initiate a throw. Sadly, I have to admit that I have not perfected this. Even the in-game instructions offer no real hint by saying “When an enemy is ready for a throw, hit attack.” The only two things I know for sure is that you must be standing directly next to an enemy to throw them even if the character has an extended attack range. You must also be pressing towards the enemy on the control pad or joystick while hitting the attack button. Just standing in place and hitting attack will not initiate a throw. I have been told that you must also be on the same horizontal plane as the enemy for throw to work. This seems to be correct but it does not appear to be possible to throw every single enemy you fight. Throws are a double edged sword. Tossed opponents will take out any enemies they hit but they will also damage your allies. So, if you are a nice player, you’ll want to watch your left and ride side before closing the distance to initiate a throw. Colossus is the exception here in that he will grabble his opponent instead of throwing them. You are immune to damage during your throw animation but enemies are very good at timing their attack so that they hit you just as your throw animation ends. This does not cause the enemy you are throwing to drop to the ground however. They will continue their flight. Thrown enemies, if they are still around when a boss appears, will not knock down a boss. - All characters also have a back attack which will activate if an opponent comes up to them from behind where your character snaps around to hit the enemy with a hard shot. This is a one-hit attack that knocks all normal enemies off their feet. To initiate this move, let the enemy get close and hit your attack button while moving the controller in the direction behind your character. Like throws, I have failed to master this move and I'm not entirely sure I am activating it correctly. In some cases, you can use a back attack repeatedly. Multiple hits with a back attack count as one hit. There is a bug in the game where multiple hits with a back attack occasionally do not knock the enemy down but prevent him from attacking you. In such a case, the back attack still counts as one hit until the enemy is defeated. A back attack will not knock down a boss unless it is their stun hit. See the Enemy AI section for more on this. - While standing over a fallen opponent and pressing the attack button repeatedly, your character will continuously strike the enemy until it is defeated. This, unfortunately, does not work on bosses. Most characters will activate their back attack if an enemy approaches them from either side while you are pounding on a fallen foe provided you are pointing the control pad in the direction of the enemy coming towards you. The sole exception to this is Colossus who will instead grab the enemy’s head and throw them. This throw will hurt allies. Your back attack does not always activate while you are hitting a fallen foe (or can just plain miss.) Enemies can hit you while you attack a fallen opponent. Up to two players can pound on a fallen foe. Teamwork, baby! - Jump. All characters have a standard jump by pressing the jump button one time. This will avoid most projectiles. By pressing jump and immediately hitting attack without moving the joystick, all characters will perform a stationary jumping attack. If you move the joystick left or right and then hit jump followed by attack, your character will perform a ranged jumping attack. You can even reverse the attack direction by jumping left and then moving the controller to the right and hitting attack and vice versa. Some characters are better than others on jumping attacks. You have to be careful while jumping because most enemies, and all bosses, can swat you out of the air. The taller bosses can grab you out of the air and throw you into your allies. - Mutant power. Your mutant power varies depending on your character. Use of your mutant power requires health or power orbs depending on which rom you are playing. The Japanese rom uses orbs before using health where as the US rom uses health before orbs. If you do not have enough health or power orbs, the button assigned to your mutant power will do nothing. Your mutant power will utterly defeat all normal opponents with one charge and destroy any incoming nearby projectile attacks. Bosses take a knockdown when hit with a mutant power. ------------------------------------------------------------ *The Enemy AI* There are only a few types of enemies and each type has its own arsenal of attacks based on its type. When describing damage on enemies, let’s assume that you are playing a one player game with any character. Please note that multiple characters do not ramp up the difficulty or the amount of damage standard enemies take. But multiple characters do increase the number of enemies that will appear on the screen and add more health to the bosses at the end of the stage. It basically works like this: almost all enemies will take three hits before being knocked down or stunned. A stunned enemy will fall to the ground. If you hit your final move in a three move chain (which is your knockdown strike,) any normal enemy will be stunned whether they have previously taken your first two strikes or not. Your standing jumping attack will also knock a standard enemy down. Every character’s ranged jumping attack will knock down any enemy in the line of your attack. Under normal circumstances, it takes six hits in any combination on any difficulty level to bring down a standard enemy. To get a knockdown on a boss, you have to hit them three times if you are the only player and four times with two or more players. So, you would begin your standard three hit combo and immediately try to hit the boss a fourth time to knock them down. Bosses have the uncanny ability of being able to hit you before you can land that needed fourth hit and sometimes after only one hit. So it is often best to hit a boss two or three times and then move out of range before landing additional hits. Using a “stick and move” type of strategy is highly advised. Some enemy mobs, like the mutant lizards, are usually knocked down in one hit. These are easy to stand over and pound on until they are defeated. Sentinels jumping out of the foreground or walking out of a door are considered “in the air” until they start walking left or right and will be knocked down in one hit. You can often take advantage of this by standing directly next to a door as it opens and dropping the Sentinels to the ground as they emerge. All enemies, including bosses, will follow and target the last player that hit them. They will continue in this fashion until they are hit by a different player or the player they are targeting dies. Enemies will target a random player when they first appear on the screen. Here are your enemies and the attacks they have: -Sentinels- Description: Sentinels are a human creation. Giant robots that were manufactured to hunt down and capture mutants. In the comics, they are many stories tall often ripping off the roof of a building to grab a suspected mutant. Many villains have controlled them over the years and each generation has a Master Mold as their leader and from which their forms are based on. Their standard color scheme is red and purple but certain versions have had different colors for those with special powers or unique designs. In the game: The Sentinels in the game are human sized and large in number. Your standard “grunt” Sentinels are purple and red with your basic punch attack. At range, they can turn one of their arms into a missile which travels the length of the screen. They are the easiest and most frequent enemy you will encounter. In later stages, their color scheme may change to green and silver, red and yellow, blue and red, pure silver, and pure gold. They all act basically the same. In the later stages, many Sentinels add a laser blast to their ranged attack. You can normal jump over the missiles and laser blasts. Sentinels will occasionally hover in from above carrying large rocks. Standing in front of these is a very bad idea and attacking them from the front will have the Sentinel drop the rock on you. Attack these foes from behind. Sentinels that are green and purple will march in from the sides of the screen in formation firing their arm missiles. If left alone, they will march forward stopping at intervals to fire again. Once any of them is attacked, or they reach mid-screen, they will break formation and act like their purple and red cousins. The final group of Sentinels are armored. They come in two types: red with green armor or red with red armor and both carry a large gun. The green armored ones have a bomb attack that they fire at medium range. The bomb flies in a short arc and cannot be jumped over. You can run under it though. The red armored Sentinels have a ranged attack they fire at long or medium range. The shot runs low hitting your character in the legs but you can still standard jump over it. Armored Sentinels will swing their weapon at you at close range and occasionally evade your attacks jumping backwards and swiping you with their weapons (the red armored Sentinels will fire their weapon rather than swing their weapon at you when they evade.) Despite the armor, they have the health of your standard grunt. -Mutant lizards- (or mutant gators, if you prefer.) I don’t recall ever seeing these in the comics. They first appear in stage three. Their only attack is to leap towards you spinning their tail. If this hits, it is an automatic knockdown. It can also knock you out of the air if the timing is right. One hit usually drops them to the ground where they can be pounded on. Three or four hits will otherwise defeat them. The ones that appear in stage four will breath fire at medium or short range. -Bonebreaker and the Reavers- Description: Bonebreaker was the leader of a gang called “The Reavers” in Australia. The X-Men broke up the gang until a man named Donald Pierce changed them into cyborgs, replacing their lower bodies with mobile tanks. They are a complete rip-off of “G.I. Joe’s” Dreadnoks which were led by Zartan (although the “G.I. Joe” versions were not cyborgs.) In the game: These first appear in stage five. They have limited health falling in three hits or so. But their speed makes it difficult to make them hold still long enough to defeat them as they ride back and forth hitting you in the face with their rifles. Jumping attacks work well on them. They have machine guns but only use their ranged attack at targets greater then medium range. -Automated lasers- The Automated lasers come in two forms: ones that move back and forth following a line on the floor, and free moving ones that will lock on to a target and follow you around the screen. They both have the ability to move their guns in front and in back to target you. You can jump over their lasers. They are defeated in a combo attack or one jumping ranged attack. -Mutant moles- (I don’t know what else to call them.) These burrowing creatures first appear before Wendigo emerges in stage three. They easily fall in one combo hit and spit liquid as their only attack. They show up again in later stages. *Boss Villians* A few quick notes on bosses: As mentioned above, bosses have the unique ability to attack even in the middle of your combos often without any kind of notice. I recommend a fast “move in, attack, and move out” strategy on all bosses. All boss attacks can hit multiple players at once. The taller bosses, like Wendigo and Juggernaut, can also grab your character out of the air during jump attacks and throw you into your allies. If one of your allies can hit the boss before he can throw you, the boss will drop you resulting in no damage. You can also use your mutant power to escape a throw. Bosses will begin to flash when you have reduced their health to 50%. All bosses will follow and target the last player that hits them until they are hit by another player or their target dies. Finally, if any Sentinels or other enemies are present when a boss appears, they can be defeated in one hit regardless of how much health they have left. This is true for all difficulty levels. Stage one: Pyro Description: Pyro’s real name was St. John Allerdyce. He originally joined Mystique’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and later as part of Freedom Force under Mystique as well. His mutant power gives him the ability to control any source of heat and manipulate the flames in to any form he desires. He cannot create the fire, only manipulate it. For this reason, he wears a small flame thrower with hoses running up his arms. Even a flame as small as a match or lighter can become a weapon for him. Pyro was killed by the Legacy Virus in front of anti-mutant advocate, Senator Robert Kelly. In the game: Pyro is the easiest boss. He is limited to three attacks: a huge fireball that he throws the entire length of the screen, a medium range fire plume that he shoots straight out, and a flying kick attack he will sometimes use as he flips around the screen. Six pink Pyro clones will appear in the middle of stage five with the health of a standard enemy but the same three attacks. Stage two: The Blob Description: Fred Dukes was discovered by the X-Men working in a freak show in a circus. Encouraged when he learned he was a mutant, the Blob turned to crime and has been the longest standing member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (though he has gone off on his own from time to time.) His solid girth gives him great strength and he can take punishing blows and still stay on his feet. In the game: Avoid touching the electrical bolts as the Blob teleports in. They hurt. As if his massive one handed strike wasn’t bad enough, the Blob swings a heavy mace. “Nothing moves the Blob!” he shouts. But you can knock him on his posterior when stunned. But don’t run. Stay on him while he is down until he starts to get up. Then move out of the way to avoid an attack when he stands. His final move is to throw you. Have an ally hit him while he’s got you in his grip or pop your mutant power to avoid being damaged by the throw which hurts more than using your mutant power does. Your best time to attack is while he is talking but be quick before he recovers and retaliates. Stage three: Wendigo Description: The curse of the Wendigo has been passed to several people over the years. The superstition is that it affects those who practice cannibalism. Regardless of how it happens, the hairy wolf / human hybrid has great strength, strong regenerative ability, sharp teeth and claws, a huge desire to cause chaos and destruction, and a tremendous craving for human flesh. Wendigo first appeared and interrupted a fight between the Hulk and Wolverine taking both of them on. The beast screams only one word: “Wendigo!” In the game: Wendigo’s two main attacks are a clawed uppercut and a jumping downward swipe. He will use his jumping attack frequently at characters who stay at a distance and will often land, turn around, and jump at another character quickly. He can be a little frustrating due to his speed but if you make quick attacks and then get out of his way, he will not hit you or grab you and toss you away. Stage four: Master Mold Description: Each generation of Sentinels has its own Master Mold, the original Sentinel which all others are based on and recognize as their leader. This particular one is human-sized and has no special origin or story. In the game: This boss may be slow but he makes up for it with a special ranged attack of ground missile fire that travels the full length of the map and hits everything on the way. You can jump over this but pray that he doesn’t fire off a second salvo of missiles because you’ll be hard pressed to successfully avoid them. He also has the standard punch that knocks down everyone it hits and the throw which you can escape by using a mutant power or have an ally hit him before he throws you. He’s not that difficult and his slow speed makes him easy to get away from. Stage five: The White Queen. Description: Emma Frost is a telepath though not in the same field as Professor X. Still, she can read minds and influence people's actions mentally. She’s the epitome of seduction and manipulation and played a key part in the Dark Phoenix saga involving Jean Grey. She owned and operated the Massachusetts Academy where she trained her own mutant group called “The Hellions” and frequently clashed with the X-Men. After she was weakened by Trevor Fitzroy, she signed over control of the Academy to Professor X and actually became a member of the X-Men team. Several years after the game was released, the White Queen learned that she had the ability to turn her body in to pure diamond. She cannot use her telepathy in this form and is totally without emotion while transformed. In the game: The White Queen appears as a mid-boss in stage five. She has two attacks, a wide, spinning chop and a Psionic blast ranged attack. She is not at all hard to beat. Stage five: Juggernaut Description: Cain Marko is Charles Xavier’s step-brother. Cain hated Charles when he discovered his own father favored Charles over him. While the brothers were in the military, they found the abandoned Temple of Cyttorak and the mystic Ruby of Cyttorak inside. Cain used the ruby to become the unstoppable Juggernaut and has used his great strength against Xavier and the X-Men on a number of occasions and has even crossed paths with both Spiderman and the Hulk. Around the time of the game’s release, Juggernaut made peace with his step-brother and even joined the X-Men for a time. With his helmet on, once Juggernaut starts moving, he is almost impossible to stop. Mutant Power: Jughead (as I like to call him) is not really a mutant as his power came from the Ruby of Cyttorak. He is super strong and almost unstoppable. The game creators must have thought Jughead’s solid punch or bull rush were not enough. So they decided to give him a bazooka as well. You can jump over this projectile but Jughead can fire his bazooka and then immediately bull rush so it is best to just get out of the way. Despite his size, Juggernaut is very quick making even the “stick and move” strategy difficult at times. Just before you reduce his health by half, Jughead will lose his helmet but this doesn’t change anything about his attacks. Stage six: Pharaoh statues. This boss has no story behind it. They are merely powerful robots designed to look like Egyptian kings. The first two statues that animate have the same type of attack, throwing their scythes in a wide arc to hit first all enemies in front of them and then all enemies behind them. You can use normal attacks and mutant powers on them. But get out of their way once they are knocked down as they tend to snap upright and whack you with their scythes quickly. Once they are defeated, or you take too long defeating them, or you have four or more players, the third statue will animate and attack. The third statue has the same scythe attack as the first two but will add a long range laser which shoots from his eyes. This laser will target the ground his current targeted player is standing on rendering the statue immobile for its duration. This will allow you and your allies to move in close and attack. The laser ignores distance regardless of whether you are right next to him, on the edge of the screen, or in mid-air. He also chooses a new target with each blast so you don’t have to be the last player to hit him to be the target of his laser. Stage seven: Mystique Description: Mystique learned to master her shape shifting ability as a teenager and blended in to society in Germany. Her real name is Raven Darkholme. She is Nightcrawler’s biological mother but she abandoned him when he was born. The unwillingness by humans to accept mutants has made Mystique a bitter woman and she founded the second “Brotherhood of Evil Mutants” which was later turned in to a government sponsored group called “Freedom Force.” She adopted a young Rogue while she was part of that group until Rogue absorbed the powers of Ms. Marvel. Due to her mutant powers, the art of infiltration and assassination comes very easy to her. She was once forced to work with X-Factor and has teamed up with Iceman and Jean Grey in the past. But for the most part, Mystique is out only for herself. Mutant Power: Mystique has the ability to alter her form and assume the size, shape, and appearance of anyone she has come in to contact with including their clothing. She can mimic voices, fingerprints, and even retina for retinal scans perfectly. She cannot duplicate powers or alter her own mass so she cannot become a giant for example. She does not know how assuming an animal form would alter her human biology. As this could be potentially fatal, she has never tried to take the form of an animal. In her natural form, she has blue skin with red hair. In the game: Mystique first takes the form of Professor X to lure you into a trap at the end of stage five. In stage seven, she appears as Magneto. As Magneto, she does not have a throw but uses his cross punch and lightning-fast kick which can hit you up to the three times. She does not, however, use his mutant powers. Once she is defeated, Professor X sends you to fight the real Magneto. Final boss: Magneto. Description: Erik Magnus Lenscherr was the first mutant villain to make himself public. Lenscherr met Charles Xavier in Isreal revealing their powers to each when they were attacked by a terrorist group. Lenscherr does not believe that mutants and humans can live together since humans have difficulty living together by themselves. Calling himself the “Master of Magnetism” (or “Master of Magnet” as he says in the game,) Magneto wants a world where humans are ruled by mutants or just plain wiped out altogether. Every plan he has made to further this scheme has been defeated by the X-Men. While he respects Professor’s X’s attempts to have mutants and humans live in peace, he believes they are utterly futile in the end. Mutant Power: Magneto has absolute power over magnetic fields and as a result, can affect anything made of metal. His mastery is so powerful that he can stop a bullet mid-flight and turn aside some forms of mutant powers. By placing metal throughout his costume, he can levitate himself through the air. His helmet blocks all forms of telepathy and shields his mind from psychic attacks. In the game: Magneto is one tough cookie. While shielded, he is immune to regular attacks. So as he comes through the wall, you’ll want to get out of his way. Your mutant powers can knock him out of his shield. But anyone who uses their mutant power as a projectile, such as Storm’s tornado, will sometimes find it reflected back. The magnetic bolts he fires will also cancel out your mutant powers and pass through them so be wary when using your mutant powers on him. You cannot jump over his magnetic bolts. He can even stop dead Nightcrawler’s teleport. While shielded, Magneto will float about firing magnetic bolts which you can avoid until his shield dissipates and he becomes vulnerable to attack. His regular attacks are a right or left cross punch and a lightning- fast kick that can hit up to three times. Magneto does not have a throw. He doesn’t need one as his other attacks are more the capable of taking out any foolish “X-chickens” that face him. Even if you dart in to land one attack at a time, expect your character to be defeated many times before you bring Magneto’s health to zero. ------------------------------------------------------------ *The X-Men* The character descriptions will be in the following format: Name: the character’s name. Description: a brief description of the character. For a more detailed overview, you should read the X-Men comics or go to Marvel.com. Mutant power: this will detail the individual’s mutant power as it is applied in the game. Many powers are different from those the characters have in the comics. Attacks: This will detail the character’s standard attacks, throws, back attacks, and jumping attacks. All of these attacks vary depending on the character played and some depend on how far outside the attack window the enemy is. ------------------------------------------------------------ Name: -Cyclops- Description: Scott Summers, aka Cyclops, was one of the first mutants to join Professor Charles Xavier’s “School for Mutants” (or “School for Gifted Youth” as it was known publically.) He is the team’s leader and currently married to Jean Grey in the comic books. Cyclop’s mutant power comes from the sun manifesting as a concussive blast of energy. Due to a head injury as a child, he is unable to control his powers which are always turned on. To compensate, he wears a visor that is designed to control not only the intensity of the beam, but the size ranging from a wide area sweep or a single focused, narrow beam. When not on missions, Cyclops wears a pair of ruby quartz glasses instead. Cyclops is immune to his own power. Mutant Power: Optic Blast. In the game, Cyclops uses a straight blast that travels the length of the screen until it hits an enemy. At that point, it spreads out into an area explosion effecting all enemies within the explosion. It is powerful enough to kill all normal enemies regardless of health and knock bosses off their feet. It is not as useful as many of the other character’s powers in that once the blast hits an enemy, it stops instead of going through them like Storm’s tornado would. Attacks: Cyclops has two attacks depending on how close the enemy is. Outside of arm’s length, Cyclops will kick his target. Inside, he will use a swinging punch. Cyclops will throw his opponent in the direction he is facing and kick fallen targets. Both his back attack and standing jumping attack are a spin kick. As a back attack, the spin kick hits opponents both in front of and behind Cyclops. Cyclops ranged jumping attack has him dropping down at a 45 degree angle so it is useful out to medium range. Strange as it may seem, I personally find it much easier to throw an enemy playing as Cyclops then most other characters. Name: Colossus Description: Piotr “Peter” Raspuntin had been a member of the X-Men for some time. His heart is as big as he is tall and throughout his career, he has always remained true to himself and his sister, Illyana, who later became the mutant Majik in the “New Mutants” series. Colossus was killed when he volunteered to be the carrier for the antidote to the Legacy Virus which had killed many mutants including Majik and Colossus’s brother, Mikhail. The powerful antidote overwhelmed his body but it was a sacrifice Colossus was willing to make to save lives. Mutant Power: Colossus has the ability to change his flesh to steel. This also grants him increased stamina and strength allowing him to lift over one hundred tons and withstand incredible punishment. His trademark move was the “Fastball Special” where Colossus would pick up Wolverine and hurl the mutant towards enemies with great speed. In the game: Colossus uses a power in the game he never had in the comics, generating a large energy field around himself. This will instantly defeat standard enemies for a large radius all around him and knock bosses off their feet. Attacks: Colossus has the worst attack range of any character in the game. His opening jab is surprisingly short; even Cyclops has a larger opening attack range with his kicks then Colossus has with his jab. As this is Colossus’s only attack, he will have to walk right up to enemies in order to hit them. His standing jump attack is a slow kick and is not very useful. Even worse is his ranged jumping attack: a double hammer shot which has almost no distance and is best avoided. His back attack is a throw and can be used while he is pounding on a fallen enemy. This throw is in front of Colossus and this hurts your allies as well as enemies so be careful with it. Instead of throwing opponents, Colossus will grapple enemies using a wrenching headlock or pulling them into a headlock and punching their head with his free hand. Either way, the grappled opponent will be defeated and fall to the ground without hitting an ally. When playing as Colossus, stay in the center of the screen and let enemies come to you. Avoid jumping if you can and try for a grapple. If the area fills up with Sentinels, hit your mutant power to wipe them out…all of them. Use his mutant power sparingly as he can quickly be reduced to one bar of health if you use it too many times. -Storm- Description: Ororo Monroe was the daughter of a Kenyan princess and an American photojournalist. She lived for six months in America before moving to Cairo, Egypt. During a violent conflict when she was five years old, her parents were killed when their home collapsed and buried Ororo alive before she was rescued. Even to this day, Storm is incredibly claustrophobic and will panic and lose control of her powers when she is in a tight space. She returned to her native Kenya as a teenager where her mutant powers had many believing she was a goddess. This is where Professor X found her and recruited her to the X-Men. She has been one of the group’s leaders ever since. Mutant power: Storm has absolute control over the weather including temperature, wind, rain, hurricanes, fog, lightning, etc. Her mastery over wind allows her to fly. She can only control local conditions; she could not make it rain in Africa if she was in Canada, for example. In the game: Storm summons a powerful tornado that travels the length of the screen wiping out any enemy in its path. This travels in the direction Storm is facing and will not stop when it hits an enemy like Cyclop’s Optic Blast will. The tornado will stop if it hits a wall or a large rock though. Attacks: Storm carries a scepter in the game which is something she has never had in any comic or anime she has been featured in. The scepter gives her a longer attack range then other characters. Storm’s knockdown strike is a kick which is the same as her standing jumping attack. Depending on where the enemy is in front of her, Storm will sometimes make a third strike with her wand instead of a kick. The resulting knockdown is the same for both attacks. Her throw is behind her and her back attack is a wide swing with her scepter. On fallen foes, she has a unique animation where she reaches down and sears an enemy with a lightning charge. Although it looks continuous, keep hitting the attack button until your foe is defeated. Storm’s jumping ranged attack is second only to Nightcrawler in distance and if timed correctly, Storm can hit a boss twice with a jumping attack as she lands. -Wolverine- Description: Probably one of the most popular X-Men characters, Wolverine was born James Howlett in the early 1900’s. He discovered his mutant powers, and bone claws, during a family feud and was forced to flee. He took the name “Logan” from his childhood friend, Rose. Wolverine’s healing factor instantly heals him of wounds that would outright kill a normal man. This same healing factor has slowed his aging to a crawl and can even cause him to forget incredibly painful memories. A somewhat fortunate side effect as Logan’s life has not been a charmed one. Wolverine's senses are on par with most animals and he can track a human soley by their scent. Recruited by Weapon X in Canada, the metal adamantium was bonded to his skeleton and claws. The process drove him insane and had him wandering the wilderness for a year. Professor X gave him a chance to join the X-Men once he had cleared his head. Wolverine often rubs Cyclops the wrong way and had a romantic eye for Cyclop’s girlfriend at the time, Jean Grey (she liked him too but refused to allow herself to admit it.) Despite his many enemies (Sabretooth, Deadpool, and the Hulk, just to name a few,) Wolverine is a solid part of the team and has been a father figure to more than one young X-Men, particularly Jubilee. Mutant power: As stated before, Wolverine can heal normally fatal wounds instantly. And until recently, this made him virtually immortal. The adamantium bonded to his very bones makes him strong and his berserker rages turn him into a living weapon. His claws are retractable and hurt him every time Wolverine extends them. A pain he blithely ignores. In the game: Wolverine uses a power he does not have: an Adamatine Laser which travels the length of the screen and like Storm’s Tornado, penetrates enemies to mow down every enemy in his path. Sadly, his healing factor is not present. Attacks: Like Storm with her scepter, Wolvie has a longer attack range with his claws. At extreme range, Wolverine will jab with both claws at enemies. Closer up, he will make two swipes before knocking enemies down with a kick. Wolvie has one extra attack animation where he will do a low jab with his claws. I have not determined how or when this attack appears but it functions as a standard hit and a knockdown. His back attack has him spin around on one foot to hit enemies both in front of and behind him. Fallen foes get hammered with one adamatium claw. On normal attacks alone, Wolverine is the best melee fighter in the game. Wolvie’s weakest attack is his standing jumping attack. This dropkick is more flashy then useful. But his ranged jumping attack has slightly more distance then Cyclops and is straight out rather than down at an angle. It’s not as long as Storm’s ranged jumping attack but Wolvie can still get two hits on a boss if he has enough distance on his jump. His throws will go behind him. On a final note, Wolverine is the only character who has an animation if he stands still "popping" his claws again and again. -Dazzler- Description: Allison Blair was aware of her mutant powers but never put much thought in to being a super hero. She wanted to be a disco singer (which was popular when she was created in the late 1970’s.) But after finding herself in the middle of a battle between the X-Men and the White Queen’s Hellfire Club during the Dark Phoenix saga, her life was about to change. Winning a singing contest and defeating an Asgardian immortal named “The Enchantress” brought her even closer to that life. There, she met Longshot, a genetically created gladiator and moved to his universe called “Mojoverse.” After a series of bad experiences, including a miscarriage, Dazzler returned to Earth joining the X-Men and continuing her music career. Mutant power: Dazzler has the mutant power to turn sonic vibrations that reach her body in to light. She began using this in high school to perform light shows with music. If not controlled, her power causes her body to radiate light. But when she focuses, she can control the direction, color, amplitude, and duration of the light she creates. She often directs her power with a single finger, firing a coherent beam of light like a laser. With training, she learned to create holograms while a member of the X-Men. In the game: Dazzler gathers a handful of sound and flings it forward to land an area-effecting bomb. The radius is the same size as Colossus’s energy discharge so it is very effective against large groups of enemies. Attack: Dazzler is similar to Wolverine and Storm in the melee combat department. Her horizontal chop has a long reach with a straight front or spin kick as her knockdown. Her back attack is an elbow strike. Dazzler’s throw is unique. First, she doesn’t have to be right next to her target to initiate the throw. Instead, it appears you need to be just out of range to make her do a cartwheel, grab her opponent’s head with her legs, and throw them forward. This works great as you can start the throw and the enemy cannot hit you before you grab them. Both of her jumping attacks are a spinning kick with her jumping ranged attack having about the same distance as Wolverine’s. The only downside is that her ranged jumping attack has more height and it is often easy for bosses to grab Dazzler out of the air. On the other hand, the height of the jump makes it easy to avoid groups of Sentinels if you are surrounded. Fallen opponents are kicked repeatedly. Dazzler's back attack is an elbow strike. -Nightcrawler- Description: Kurt Wagner was born with his demonic appearance. His birth exposed his mother, Mystique, as a mutant and she abandoned him. He was adopted by a traveling circus and excelled as an acrobat with his mutant powers to shock and awe. While following one of his circus brothers to investigate a murder, the townspeople accused him of the murder, biased against his demonic form. Professor X stopped the townspeople from lynching him and helped to declare Kurt innocent before offering him a place with the X-Men. Placed in a coma due to injuries from an attack that he thought had killed his fellow X-Men, Nightcrawler founded the group Excalibur with Kitty Pryde. But later rejoined the X-Men when the group revealed they were still alive while pursuing a post as a Catholic priest. Mutant Power: Nightcrawler has superhuman levels of agility, balance, and flexibility. His hands and feet are adhesive allowing him to climb walls ala Spiderman. His most notable power is his teleport which allows him to enter another dimension and move where he wants within two miles. The “BAMF!” sound and smoke that appears are from the dimension he enteres as he moves from place to place. And with practice, he has learned to take individuals with him when he teleports. But the strain on both him and the one that teleports with him is enough to make them pass out if the distance is too great. Nightcrawler has a sixth sense that prevents him from teleporting into solid objects. In the game: Nightcrawler’s teleport has him zipping across the screen passing through all enemies. It doesn’t even go “BAMF!” But it will wipe out about 75% of all standard enemies on the screen and he will finish the teleport on the same spot he begins on. Try to avoid getting carried away using his mutant power so you do not lower his health down to the point where one punch will kill you. Attacks: Nightcrawler’s attacks are low so he can attack and avoid projectiles while doing so. He crouches down and repeatedly punches at close range and uses low kicks at extreme range. His knockdown is a double-fisted hammer blow. Nightcrawler has the fastest attack speed of any character and only when you are moving around is Nightcrawler vulnerable to projectiles. His standing jumping attack has him flip in place to knock down enemies in front of him but the range on this attack is very short. His ranged jumping attack has the longest distance of any character and he can take out an entire line of enemies from one end of the screen to the other. For a back attack, Nightcrawler uses a mule kick. His throws go behind him. -Non-playable characters- Professor Charles Xavier Description: Charles Xavier was a child prodigy, the son of two nuclear scientists, and graduating from college at the age of sixteen. His mutant powers make him the most powerful telepath on Earth. He can read minds, modify memories, communicate telepathically, and even create illusions. When his mutant powers first activated, he read the mind of his step father and learned that the man only married Charles’s mother for her money. Even though his step father favored him over his own son, Cain, he was abusive to both boys. Xavier met Erik Lenscherr while overseas in the military where his experiences set him on the course to use his mutant powers to help mankind. Lenscherr, born during the Holocaust, did not believe this was possible. Though the two respect each other, they have been at odds ever since. Xavier was crippled by an alien named Lucifer who dropped a large boulder on him in retaliation for Xavier thwarting his plans and is bound to a wheelchair. As a brilliant geneticist and scientist, he attracted the attention of the Grey family to help their catatonic daughter, Jean. Shortly after, he founded his “School for Gifted Youths,” a safe haven where mutants could hide and develop their powers for the good all mankind. - Kitty Pryde aka Shadowkat – Kitty Pryde is the youngest person ever to join the X-Men. She was recruited by both Xavier and Emma Frost for their schools. She choose to join Professor X’s school due to a budding friendship with Storm and the fact that Frost made her extremely uncomfortable. Kitty has the ability to phase through solid matter and even bring those she touches with her. During an event with Wolverine, she was possessed by a demon named Ogun. Before he could be removed, Ogun imparted a virtual lifetime of martial arts training on her mind. Freed from the demon, she was no longer the innocent girl everyone knew and took the code name “Shadowkat.” Storm considers Kitty the daughter she never had. ------------------------------------------------------------ *Brief stage overview and tips* Stage one: This is pretty much a “walk-down-the-street-fighting- Sentinels-until-you-reach-Pyro” stage. Remember not to stand in front of or attack in front Sentinels that carry large rocks. The rocks will fall on you and hurt just as if they Sentinels had thrown them. On the plus side, the rocks will hurt other enemies. Stage two: The flame jets that shoot out of the vents on the floor can hurt you but they can also hurt enemies. Use them to your advantage. Oddly enough, on the Japanese rom, these vents will not fire and you (and enemies) can walk over then with no harm. If you fail to destroy the missile turret that blocks your path (one mutant power charge will destroy it,) the elevator will activate and take you to the top floor. Both ways lead to the Blob but the enemies that appear from behind the door to him are different if you go to the top floor. The top floor enemies are all red armored Sentinels. The ones on the bottom are a mix of red and green armored Sentinels and normal grunt Sentinels. Stage three: Beginning with this stage, you really need to start paying attention to the Sentinels that emerge from the edges of the screen. Many will walk in and fire off projectiles and they can become quite the pain if you do not watch your back. The giant mutant flowers should really be taken out with a mutant power. They have two kinds of attacks: the first is to whip nearby players with their tendrils and the second is to spit red liquid at those outside of melee range. If you choose to melee them, they can be defeated with a three hit combo. The mechanical bee mid-boss by itself is not difficult but the smaller robot bees that fly out of the skull rock surround you making it difficult to focus on the boss. After four hits, the main bee will begin to fire it’s repeating stinger starting first at close range and then going out to long range. Just avoid the stinger and stay on him. The boss will fall in a few combos. When you reach the cliff edge, you will need to have defeated all nearby enemies before Magneto will appear to “Welcome you to die” and blast the cliff, letting you fall to the boss encounter. If you are at the edge and Magneto is not appearing, there is still an enemy left and walking towards you. Keep an eye out for them. You cannot be knocked off the cliff but you can be blindsided by a projectile or spinning tail attack. Stage four: So, Kitty has been kidnapped, eh? The mutant lizards (gators?) here will breathe fire at medium range so watch for them sneaking up behind you while you attack the Sentinels. The mid-boss here is a flying creature like the mechanical bee from stage three. He fights in the same manner releasing smaller versions of himself that can be destroyed. After a few hits (it is difficult to hit a full combo on him,) he will release a sonic beam. He is fast but weak and will fall quickly. The sled carrying the armored Sentinels cannot be melee’ed but your mutant powers can destroy them. This will lay flat the Sentinels riding them but will not otherwise harm them. They also stand up too quickly for you to hit them while on the ground. Stage five: "You must rescue the Professor!" Well, let's go get him. Yes, you can fall to your death by walking off the lower or upper parts of the bridge. The flame jets that pop out of the ground can be destroyed with one mutant power blast but they will stop firing briefly for you to get close enough to melee them. Once the elevator drops you to the next level, the White Queen will appear. Once she is defeated, small robots dropping bombs will fly out of the hole at the top of the screen. Nightcrawler's low attack make him perfect to be right beside the hole and take them out. Other characters will need to find a place further down the screen where the robots will move high enough to be hit. Be careful you don't find a spot where the bombs the little robots drop explode. After the sleds drop off the armored Sentinels, be sure you do not walk off the top of the screen where the purple and red Sentinels will fly in. A giant Master Mold will appear and open his mouth to drop off some Dreadnoks. Try not to let them overwhelm you. After the Dreadnoks are gone, a large group of Sentinels will fly up and attack. Take them out before you engage Juggernaut. Stage six: You have one second to move out of the way before the lasers and small projectile guns engage once you land. Once again, it is possible to die falling into the pit just in front of the flame jets. But so can enemies. They won't walk in and fall on their own but if knocked or thrown there, down they go. Depending on how many players there are, a number of Pyro clones will appear at mid-stage. They do not have the stage one boss's health and will fall to one mutant power blast. A cadre of Dreadnoks will charge you before you reach the statue bosses. Stage seven: The gold Sentinels that appear here are very keen to fire projectiles. And those annoying automated lasers do not help matters. After a large wave of lasers, you'll be treated to a wave of Dreadnoks before you have to defeat the first of five stage bosses...again. The first to ramble forward will be the Blob but if you keep moving to the right, Wendigo and the White Queen will show up forcing you to fight all three at once. Their health is slightly less then before but their attacks are all the same. Fortunately for you, the game will not bring in Master Mold or Juggernaut until one of the other bosses is defeated. By keeping one player at the right side of the screen at all times, you can prevent the screen from moving and fight one boss at a time if you want. You will face off against Mystique in the form of Magneto before moving on to the real Magneto. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- *Achievements* There are seven Bronze, four Silver, and one Gold achievement that can be earned by playing an online game on the Playstation Network or Xbox live. I: "Grounded" - Complete level four without jumping. I: "Kidnapped!" - Learn that the Professor and Kitty Pryde have been kidnapped by watching the cinematic at the end of stage two. I: "Largest Party" - Play a six player game with five other players. I: "Super Mutant" - Pick up a power up while playing the Japanese rom. I: "Turn Pyro to Toast!" - Defeat Pyro on stage one without any player using a mutant power." I: "Xavier would be proud." - Use your mutant power five times in one game. I: "Welcome to die!" - Let the White Queen invite you to die (even though it is Magneto that says this.) You just have to defeat her to earn this. II: "Bamf!" - Complete the game in less then twenty-five minutes. It does not matter what rom, difficulty level, number of players, or how many times you die to win this one. II: "Score Inflation" - Earn 250 points in one game. You can die as many times as you like. II: "X-pertise" - Complete the game on Expert level. III: "Master of Magnet" - Defeat Magneto in different play sessions with all six X-Men. *-Credits and thanks-* Thanks to Marvel Comics and Marvel.com for information on our heroes and villians. Thanks to Konami and Backbone for bringing us a great game. "LONG LIVE THE FIGHTERS!"