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Star Gladiator - Episode 1: Final Crusade is a 3D fighting game developed by Capcom. It is the first game in the Star Gladiator series. The game was Capcom's first attempt at an arcade 3D fighting game, which at the time (1996) was well received by many Capcom fighting fans as several cast members bore some resemblance to the characters of Star Wars. The System 11 hardware this game ran on allowed an easy home translation to the PlayStation, and it received a better, widespread reception there. However, Star Gladiator was hardly the smash hit Capcom may have hoped for, and their future forays into the 3D fighting genre (Rival Schools, Street Fighter EX franchise) seldom fared much better.

Eventually, the game was released for PlayStation in November 1996 and followed by a sequel, Plasma Sword, which was only ported to the Sega Dreamcast despite much speculation of a PlayStation conversion.

Story Edit

In the year 2348, humans have been exploring the vast reaches of outer space for the past four centuries and have established peaceful contact with various alien civilizations. People now emigrate from one planet to another and life is generally good. However, some problems arise with a couple of alien races, so the Earth Federation begins its research in creating a Plasma-power weapon to help protect the Earth from any possible outside threats.

Dr. Edward Bilstein: a Nobel Prize-winning physicist for the Earth Federation, uncovers the secret to humanity's "sixth sense": a technique for capturing the energy of the human mind and discovers how to use it as an energy source he calls "Plasma Power". The specific Plasma weapon is built, using mental power as its basis and that Bilstein is able to gain fame and fortune for the invention, but it is soon discovered by the Earth Federation that Bilstein had experimented on actual human bodies during his research on Plasma Power and that he's immediately arrested and exiled from Earth, being imprisoned in a floating prison satellite that orbits the Planet Zeta while the development of the specific Plasma weapon is indefinitely suspended.

Word of Earth's possession of a super weapon immediately spreads throughout the universe and that it instantly reduces hostile confrontations while the name Dr. Edward Bilstein is completely forgotten from within the minds of everyone. However, four years later, a report from Zeta states that an Earth Federation army base from upon the planet was attacked and immediately destroyed by a small group of rebels calling themselves the "Fourth Empire" and that Bilstein, who had built himself a powerful cyborg body and managed to escape from the floating prison satellite on Zeta, is the one who's leading this group of dangerous individuals.

With several other similar reports coming from other nearby planets and realizing that the specific pattern of attacks is leading right back to Earth, a panicked Earth Federation has only one recourse: to find people who could utilize Plasma Power in their own given accord and attempt to stop Bilstein from within a last, desperate effort before the mad genius can invade and conquer Earth and the rest of the universe with his nascent Fourth Empire. All of Earth's hopes rest in the project codenamed "Star Gladiator".

StagesEdit

According to supplementary materials, Star Gladiator's stages are more sequential as a timeline to its story's events and are ordered in the perspective of Hayato's witnessing of events.

  • Stage 1: Earth Federation Army Headquarters' Contact Elevator: An orbital elevator that is directly linked to the Earth Federation Army Headquarters, suspended off of the ground. The distance of the elevator from and to the base is approximately 3000 m (1.864 miles), and is equipped with a flux field motor that can move the platform at a rate of 200 km an hour. Hayato, June, Gamof, and Saturn travel on this elevator before being inducted into training by the Japan Army Forces managed division of Star Gladiator.
  • Stage 2: Downtown Neo Tokyo: Atop of a building in downtown Neo Tokyo. In the city's current state, Neo Tokyo's entirety was bought out by a prominent overseas megacorporation due to Japan's current economic recession. With a wave of foreign economic outsourcing and takeovers, unemployment is at an all time high and the once peaceful city is now a warren of desperation and crime. Hayato and his team train further and kill free time here before assignment.
  • Stage 3: Federal Military Spaceport: An Earth Federation Military installment dual air base and launch center. Hayato, June, Gamof, and Saturn celebrate graduation into the Star Gladiators unit, and formulate strategies and tactical calculations before the operation begins.
  • Stage 4: Planetary Space Craft Launch Station: One of many orbital relay stations that gather travelers from Earth by shuttle, and are the transitory terminals into spacecrafts headed for other planets. Here, being an Earth Federation Military installment, simulated dogfights and battle exercises for low gravity and space battles are conducted here. Hayato's party boards onto a spacecraft to be stealthily inserted into Planet Zeta.
  • Stage 5: Interstellar Spacecraft's Cargo Bay: The cargo bay of an unmanned and seemingly deserted large spacecraft, left out in the vicinity of Planet Zeta. Though its doors are open to outside space and its cargo scattered in zero gravity, the containers are connected with strong flux wiring that is invisible to the far eye. Hayato's group is stowed away within one of these containers, where the cargo will be intended to be procured by the Fourth Empire's scouting troops.
  • Stage 6: Fourth Empire Imperial Reconnaissance Plane: Upon stowing away into the ship, Hayato and his group subdue all crew and enemy forces within its depths, and hijack it into Planet Zeta. It is a Fourth Empire spaceship capable of making space to planet transition without difficulty of planetary reentry and terminal velocity.
  • Stage 7: Fourth Empire Radar Base Center: Upon making foot onto Zeta, Hayato and the Gladiators set out for a second achievable directive, to destroy the radar base for the entry of the Earth Federation Forces. This base is most crucial, as it is capable of detecting outer planetary activity of Zeta within a very far distance.
  • Stage 8: Fourth Empire HQ Army Base: Located in the deserts of Zeta, Hayato makes a lone mission to infiltrate a major Fourth Empire army base to destroy and disarm the anti air defensive weaponry within the vicinity of Bilstein's center of command. However, despite going into the rear by a ventilation vent, the deserts of Zeta are much different than Earth's, where its sands carry a greater amount of heat due to its differentiating consistency, and are constantly blown up by the strong frequent gusts, making this operation potentially extremely dangerous and difficult.
  • Stage 9: Fourth Empire HQ Bio Laboratory: Deep within the Fourth Empire's center of command exists this laboratory of Edward Bilstein's, for his incessantly depraved experiments. Many subjects of his atrocious curiosities are countless scores of imprisoned civilians of Planet Zeta and POWs of the Earth Federation Forces, and Hayato's group make it a priority to rescue the people held captive inside.
  • Stage 10: Fourth Empire HQ Summit: At the top of the Fourth Empire's headquarters is a specially constructed platform that can suspend itself by a Plasma Power fueled anti gravity engine. As Bilstein attempts to get away by flying away on this construct, Hayato manages to catch up to Bilstein and confronts him to a final showdown.
  • Special Stage: The Spirit World of Bilstein's Mind: Upon seriously injuring Bilstein and incapacitating him enough to take away his ability to fight, the mad scientist however pulls the last resort of phasing Hayato's mind and sending his conscious to a higher level of existence. As the battle now squares the two off with the core souls and pure essence of each fighter, the stakes are now higher as defeat here can only mean death.

Characters Edit

Fighters
Hayato
June
Gamof
Gore
Saturn Dyer
Franco Gerelt
Vector
Rimgal
Zelkin Fiskekrogen
Kappah Nosuke (Sub-boss and secret character)
Blood (Sub-boss and secret character)
Bilstein (Final boss)

Trivia Edit

  • The vocals in Star Gladiator vocals are unique in a sense that it uses both English and Japanese voice acting. This unique vocal feature is also present in the sequel.
  • Capcom's former senior manager of community, Seth Killian, mentioned in an interview that Star Gladiator was originally supposed to be a Star Wars game.[1]
  • According to older material found on Capcom's main site, there is a great deal of background story and detail on the 24th Century of Star Gladiator and its cast.

CreditsEdit

Arcade Version [Staff]Edit

Director: Hideaki Itsuno, Eiichiro Sasaki
Character Design: Akiman, Motokazu Sakai
Title Design: Shoei
Computer Graphics: Blbon, Monkey-Kick, Tako, Sensei, Nezumi-Otoko
Motion Design: Hitoshi "T" Nishio, Nɐoki Fukushima, King Joe, Naoki Fujisawa, Shinya ♨ Kitamura, Ball Boy, Jun Matsumura (28), Toru Takaoka, Kazuko ♥ Kawanaka, Masaru Nishigaichi
Stage & Effects Design: Fukumoyan, Yasuto Takahashi, Takuji Mishima, Kouichi Takeda, Takayuki Kosaka
Main Program: Yuichi "Gamof" Kagawa
Player Program: Morimichi Suzuki, Katsuhiko Sometani, Atsushi Fukushima
Enemy Program: Panda
Visual Effects Program: Kohei Akiyama, Hero Hero
System Program: Dome, Meijin, Chabin Type-M
Music & Sound Effects: Isao Ave, Yuko Kadota, Michio "XTC" Sakurai
Voice Actor: Hisao Egawa, Megumi Ogata, Daisuke Gohri, Kazumi Tanaka, Nobutoshi Hayashi, Osamu Hosoi
Special Thanks: CBX, Yuuya, Futoshi Kuwahara, Hiroaki "X68K" Kondo, Kin, Sakomizu, Ritsuko Naka, Mr. Shiraiwa, Steve Lee, Mr. Matt Taylor, Mr. Eric Suzuki, Ms. Magdalena Viloria F. (Capcom Mexico), Ms. Harumi Yamashita (Romstar Brazil), Capcom All Staff
Producer: Furoboh Aoki
General Producer: Noritaka Funamizu (Poo), Yoshiki Okamoto
Presented by: Capcom Co., Ltd.

PSX Version [Staff]Edit

Arcade Director: Hideaki Itsuno, Eiichiro Sasaki
Consumer Director: Yoichirou Ikeda
Character Design: Akiman
Title Design: Shoei
Computer Graphics: Blbon, Monkey-Kick, Tako, Sensei, Nezumi-Otoko
Motion Design: Hitoshi "T" Nishio, Nɐoki Fukushima, King Joe, Naoki Fujisawa, Shinya ♨ Kitamura, Ball Boy, Hiroki Tsuru
Stage & Effects Design: Fukumoyan, Yasuto Takahashi, Takuji Mishima, Takayuki Kosaka
Main Program: Yuichi "Okaz" Kagawa
Player Program: Morimichi Suzuki, Katsuhiko Sometani, Atsushi Fukushima
Enemy Program: Panda
Visual Effects Program: Kohei Akiyama, Hero Hero
System Program: Dome, Meijin, Chabin Type-M
Music & Sound Effects: Isao Ave, Yuko Kadota, Michio "XTC" Sakurai
Voice Actor: Hisao Egawa, Megumi Ogata, Daisuke Gohri, Kazumi Tanaka, Nobutoshi Hayashi, Osamu Hosoi
Special Thanks: CBX, Yuuya, Futoshi Kuwahara, Hiroaki "X68K" Kondo, Kin, Sakomizu, Ritsuko Naka, Mr. Shiraiwa, Kouichi Takeda, Steve Lee, Mr. Matt Taylor, Mr. Eric Suzuki, Ms. Magdalena Viloria F. (Capcom Mexico), Ms. Harumi Yamashita (Romstar Brazil), Capcom All Staff
Producer: Katsumi "Furoboh" Aoki
General Producer: Noritaka Funamizu (Poo), Yoshiki Okamoto
Presented by: Capcom Co., Ltd.

Gallery Edit

Box Art Edit

Merchandise and Advertisements Edit

Videos Edit

References Edit

  1. http://www.destructoid.com/bit-transmission-episode-6-with-capcom-s-seth-killian-172324.phtml Zimmerman, Conrad: Bit Transmission Podcast, Episode 06

External Links Edit

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