Battle Circuit is a side-scrolling beat 'em up action game for the arcades developed and published by Capcom for the CPS-2 arcade hardware for Japan and Europe in 1997. Taking place in an alternate future earth, the game revolves around a group of bounty hunters who must capture the mad scientist Doctor Saturn and secure a sophisticated computer disc carrying a program known as the "Shiva System". Battle Circuit, which was Capcom's last beat 'em game for the arcades, contains comic-like characters in a futuristic science fiction setting and is considered by some to be a cult classic.
Gameplay EditBattle Circuit's arcade cabinet provided support for up to four simultaneous players who can each assume the role of five possible characters. Players must progress through a number of levels made up of horizontally scrolling screens filled with enemy characters that must be defeated using a combination of attacks
and movement abilities each character utilizes.
Every character is given a selection of these abilities that can be expanded as game play progress by purchasing special "upgrade discs" after the completion of each level using coins obtained by defeating enemies. These techniques are often a combination of either of the two action buttons and the joystick, and can add additional varieties to a given character's arsenal. A player must attack enemies until their health (indicated by a bar under the player's when the enemy is attacked) is reduced to 0 and they are thus knocked out. If a player's health bar is depleted, they will also become knocked out and must use up one life to continue. If all of a player's lives are depleted in this fashion, the game will end unless more credits are purchased.
Special techniques called "Battle Downloads" can be used by pressing both action buttons while jumping, which results in the player and his allies (if any are present) gaining a certain attribute, the effect of which is unique to each character. Cyber Blue, for example, can use his Battle Download "Power Up" to increase the amount of damage dealt by attacks, while Yellow Iris' "Speed Up" increases attack speed. A character will start with a stock of two of these techniques to use per life, and can obtain more from capsules scattered throughout the levels, up to a maximum of five.
Various items can be found inside destructible objects such as barrels and crates, and can provide the player with additional health or add points to their total score. Once a player's score reaches a set amount, they are rewarded with an extra life that will give them another chance to continue from where they were knocked out by an enemy.
Taking place in the future year 20XX, Battle Circuit follows the exploits of a group of super-powered bounty hunters as they apprehend wanted criminals (identified by special serial numbers) in the city of Neo Koba. The game begins with the player attempting to apprehend criminal 9696X, a scientist named Doctor Saturn and his blob-like sidekick aboard a spaceship orbiting Earth. After the battle, the character selected by the player returns to his employer Harry, and is promptly given another assignment to capture the leader of the "Delete Gang", Johnny, who holds a valuable floppy disc in his possession. The bounty hunter then confronts Johnny at his disco hideout, and learns that the disc contains a malicious computer program known as the "Shiva System". This program, it is learned, is capable of controlling all the computerized systems in the world. Players must then travel through various levels and fight through various members of the Delete Gang to obtain the disc and claim their bounty.
- Cyber Blue - Brian Bruno is a seasoned bounty hunter with several cybernetic attachments to his body, giving him the ability to discharge electricity and project energy from his fists. His battle download allows him to increase the damage output of all party members' attacks for a limited time. His Cyber Blast involves a large bolt of energy exploding from his chest.
- Captain Silver - Andrey Mishucin is a highly-accomplished bounty hunter who can stretch and shape his body at will. His powers give him the ability to project ice particles from his body, as well as create a number of objects from his suit. Because of the vast nature of his powers, they will threaten to overwhelm him if he should ever lose concentration. His battle download allows him to reduce the damage taken by the party members from enemy attacks for a limited time. Similar to Cyber Blast, his Freeze Spear has a hunk of ice exploding from his chest instead of electricity.
- Pink Ostrich - is a large, sentient, pink bird with an eye patch and a jeweled necklace. She is always accompanied by her owner, a young girl named Pola. Purported, she is the "only ostrich in the world who can fly", and attacks with an assortment of aerial and spinning techniques. Her battle download allows her to increase the chance of a critical hit when any party member attacks an opponent, effectively doubling the damage inflicted for a limited time.
- Alien Green - is a creature of unknown origin that resembles a large venus flytrap with leg-like roots and a large eye in its abdomen. Its attacks mostly center around its vine-like arms, which it can quickly swing to create whirlwinds, as well as grab opponents and slam them against the ground. Its battle download allows it to heal all party members. Its Poison Gas ability releases a cloud of noxious poison that temporarily stuns enemies.
- Doctor Saturn - A literally big-headed scientist with a metal ring around his head (to resemble the namesake planet). His extraordinarily devious intelligence enabled him to build powerful machines like the Black Elephant and the Octopus Mark models. He challenges the bounty hunters several times in an attempt to gain possession of the Shiva Systems Disk.
- Johnny - Johnny is one of the gang leaders of the Delete Gang, wearing an Elvis Presley costume so tight that it compresses his fat abdomen. Barbara is his lover.
- Barbara - An electricity-aligned nine foot tall villainess who can summon rings of jellyfish to attack the player. She can also perform Chun-Li's Spinning Bird Kick.
- Zipang - The right-hand of Pluto (mastermind of the Delete Gang), Zipang is in the form of an armored midget samurai. He rides a giant slug (which spits out petrifying mud). Zipang holds a long red lance and his chariot (which is the slug's shell) also holds various arsenal of weaponry.
- Cyber Samurai - Boss twins that ride in a single fighting mech.
- Pluto - the penultimate boss.
- Master Program - the true final boss. To reach him, one must attain 3200000 points.
Battle Circuit was developed by producers Noritaka Funamizu and Yoshiki Okamoto of Capcom's arcade production team in early 1997. While structurally very similar to the company's early scrolling action games like Final Fight and Alien vs. Predator, Battle Circuit is set apart stylistically by employing a manga-style sci-fi approach to story and character artwork. The art staff, overseen by Ohnishi Hiroki and Yamamoto Kouji, created an assortment of characters with features reminiscent of older Capcom characters and superfluous comic book elements.
The game saw a speedy translation effort that effectively made the title available in both Japan and parts of Europe on the same day. Though there are no game play differences between the Japanese and English language versions of the game, a few pieces of Japanese dialogue were omitted from the European release. The game was not released in North American arcades or any other part of the world after its initial release.
Battle Circuit's background music was composed by Syun Nishigaki of Capcom Arcade Sound Team, and has a recurring pop and electronic theme present throughout the game. The music was recorded using only synth-based computer generated sound, a common recording medium for arcade games on the CPS-2. An official soundtrack entitled Battle Circuit Original Soundtrack (catalog number VICL-60056) was released commercially in Japan by Victor Entertainment on July 2, 1997 and retailed for ¥2,205.
- The background music from the second part of stage 6 was the basis for the amusement park stage in Marvel vs. Capcom 2.
- Cyber Blue makes an appearance as a card in the Heroes and Heralds mode of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Yellow Iris is also Felicia's DLC costume in the game.
- Cyber Blue appears at the end of Captain Commando's Support Attack in Project X Zone 2 using his special moves from Battle Circuit.
- Captain Commando - Similar futuristic sci-fi beat 'em up game.
Planner: 'Burns' FUJI, Dave.Matumoto, Ryozo Tsujimoto, Satoshi.M
Program Director: T.Ueno, Batayon, Hdo, Dress
Character Graphic: Nakamu->, Pinopu, Ino, Hana Kimo Komo, Shinya Kitamura, M Nakatani, Yorio, Dekao, Dai, T.Ohsumi, Takep, Michiru
Title Design: Shoei
Arts: Hiroki Ohnishi, Kouji Yamamoto, Takao Nakamura, Hirokazu Yonezuka, Asae Nissui, Nukeo, Hiro, Tokio.N
Sound Effect: Hachibee
All Sound Produce: Arcade Sound Team
Voice: Toshiyuki Morikawa, Takashi Nagasako, Kouji Tobe, Miyuki Yamamoto, Jin Yamanoi, Miki Yoshino
Producer: Sadamoto, Ken Kun
General Producer: Noritaka Funamizu, Yoshiki Okamoto
Special Thanks: S.Yasuki, Takuya Shiraiwa, Matt Taylor, Erik Suzuki, Rita Rokos, Jesus Rodriguez Bueno, Harumi Yamashita, Sakomizu, Ikedai, and All Capcom Staff