World Heroes (series)

World Heroes (series)
World Heroes redirects here. For the 1992 arcade game, see World Heroes (arcade game).
World Heroes
WorldHeroes logo.png
Logo for World Heroes, the first game in the series, which is the most commonly used logo in the series.
Developer(s) Alpha Denshi/ADK (assisted by SNK)[1]
Publisher(s) ADK, SNK
Designer(s) Kenji Sawatari (producer, director, planner)[2]
Kimitoshi Yokoo (planner)[2]
Release date(s) 1992-2008
Genre(s) Fighting game
Mode(s) Single player, 2 player Competitive

World Heroes (ワールドヒーローズ?) is a series of fighting games created by ADK originally created for the Neo Geo MVS arcade cabinets with the assistance of SNK, though some of the games in the series were also ported to the Neo Geo AES and Neo-Geo CD platforms, as well as some non-SNK platforms such as the Super NES and the Sega Saturn.

While it was created during the years when Capcom's 1991 arcade-hit Street Fighter II and its revisions were at its peak in popularity, many dismissed the World Heroes series as another generic "SF clone." Though it has some unique concepts, the pressure-sensing controls of the first three titles in the series being considered clunky and its "ripoff" reputation harmed sales. Due to this, the series was discontinued with World Heroes Perfect; however, it has received a cult following mainly around Neo-Geo fans and ADK fans,[citation needed] while a fifth title World Heroes Pocket was announced for release on the Neo Geo Pocket, but canceled due to the handheld system's sales also being harmed.

The general premise is that a scientist, Dr. Brown, having perfected a time machine, organized a tournament for various fighters throughout all of history to combat each other. True to this plot, many of the fighters are based on actual historical figures, while some are fictional ones.



The game plays like many other fighting games, but instead of a 6-button layout, the original World Heroes uses only 3 of the standard 4 Neo-Geo buttons: one for punching, another for kicking, and the last for throwing. The former two buttons can be held down longer in order to deliver stronger attacks, similar to the first Street Fighter control scheme, with only two levels of strength and using standard buttons instead of pneumatic buttons. In the SNES version (and later games, starting with World Heroes 2 Jet), it is possible to assign the 4 basic attacks to different buttons. In World Heroes Perfect, each character had a traditional four-button attack layout, but could also achieve stronger attacks by pushing down two respective punch or kick buttons at the same time.

In World Heroes Perfect, every character has an ABC Special Move that can be activated by pressing the A, B, and C buttons at the same time. Moves vary by character, though they all require strategic use and are easy to activate, allowing for more tactical battles. For example, the character Fuuma's ABC Special allows him to fake a special move; J. Max's ABC Special allows him to catch, hold onto, and throw back projectiles; and Kim Dragon's ABC Special allows him to perform counters while blocking.

Aside from the normal tournament mode, there is also a popular Deathmatch mode (which was removed in World Heroes 2 Jet and World Heroes Perfect). In it, the arenas are filled with different kinds of traps that can change conditions in the bouts or even damage the characters (such as spikes, bombs, greasy or sticky floors, etc.). Deathmatch mode may have been inspired by the growing popularity of deathmatch style professional wrestling in Japan at the time, mostly made famous by Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling.

List of games in the series

Japanese Title English Title System Year
ワールドヒーローズ World Heroes Neo Geo MVS
Neo Geo AES
Neo-Geo CD
Mega Drive/Genesis
PlayStation 2
Virtual Console
ワールドヒーローズ2 World Heroes 2 Neo Geo MVS
Neo Geo AES
Neo-Geo CD
PC-Engine Super CD-ROM²
PlayStation 2
Virtual Console
ワールド ヒーローズ2 ジェト World Heroes 2 Jet Neo Geo MVS
Neo Geo AES
Neo-Geo CD
Game Boy
PlayStation 2
ワールド ヒーローズ パーフェクト World Heroes Perfect Neo Geo MVS
Neo Geo AES
Neo-Geo CD
Sega Saturn
PlayStation 2
Virtual Console

Other/canceled games

Original release date(s):
  • JP October 18, 2007
  • NA March 11, 2008
  • PAL 2008
Release years by system:
2007 – PlayStation 2
  • Released in Japan as World Heroes Gorgeous
  • A compilation of all four World Heroes titles in the series with exclusive features.

World Heroes Pocket

Original release date(s):
Release years by system:
  • A World Heroes game was originally planned for release on the Neo Geo Pocket,[3] but the project was discontinued. It was planned for release sometime in 2000.

Related releases

Fuuma Kotaro appeared as a playable character in the 1994 fighting game Aggressors of Dark Kombat, which was also created by ADK. However, some of his moves from the World Heroes series were removed to make him fair enough to fight. Every character from the World Heroes series, as well as some characters from other ADK games were featured in the Neo Geo CD exclusive title, ADK World.

Since World Heroes Perfect and ADK World, and during the Neo Geo Pocket era, ADK suffered enough financial difficulties to file for bankruptcy; however, all intellectual properties and copyrights to their video game and character library were bought by SNK Playmore. Due to the World Heroes series being entirely originally released for the Neo-Geo platform, some characters from the franchise returned in the fighting game NeoGeo Battle Coliseum and the card game SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters DS as a result.


This section lists the characters in the original game, and characters added or removed in subsequent releases.

World Heroes

  • United States Dr. Brown
    The existence of this unplayable character and his connection to the concept of time travel appear to pay homage to Doc Brown from the Back to the Future film trilogy (fully known as "Dr. Brown Sugar" as of the release of Neo Geo Heroes: Ultimate Shooting).
  • Japan Hanzo (Hanzō Hattori)
    Hanzo is the protagonist of the series and uses many moves and commands similar to Ryu from the Street Fighter series, a common occurrence in fighting games of the time. Hanzo also appeared in NeoGeo Battle Coliseum as a playable character. He is based on the legendary ninja of the same name.
  • Japan Fuuma (Kotaro Fūma)
    He is considered the rival of the main character Hanzo Hattori and as such they both share many similar moves (albeit using different names). Fūma also appeared in both Aggressors of Dark Kombat and NeoGeo Battle Coliseum as a playable character. He is based on the actual Fūma Kotarō, who allegedly killed the real Hanzo. In the ADK universe Fūma is portrayed as a fun-loving bandit who is willing to adopt new ideas, sometimes he will stay in the modern era after the time-traveling, a fact not lost on his Aggressors of Dark Kombat appearance.
  • Russia Rasputin
    A philosopher of 13th century Russia, was also a known alchemist and sorcerer. He discovered a way to expand his fists and feet so he could fight at distance. He accepts the chance to fight Geegus because he sees Geegus as a fallen angel. He keeps pleading that loving one another is important and won't give into people who don't listen to his constant persuasion. He is based loosely on Grigori Rasputin.
  • France Janne (Jeanne D'Arc)
    She is a 15th century feminist, who protects the circus who raised her and has proven to be one of the toughest fencers of her time. Accepted the invitation to defeat Geegus, only to prove that women are tougher than men. She puts all her worries about getting married into her blows. She enters the later tournaments to try to seek a husband, but finds out that guys are intimidated by her strength as a fighter. She is loosely based on Joan of Arc.
  • Mongolia J. Carn
    One of the top officers and personal bodyguard of Genghis Khan, he was fierce and merciless in hand-to-hand combat. J. Carn (also called Julius Carn) joined the World Heroes tournament to fight Geegus out of boredom. He's become a tyrant and wants to be victorious by hurling his raw brawn. He and Ryofu respect each other's power. He is loosely based on the actual Genghis Khan.
  • Germany Brocken
    Brocken is an android, and his moveset contains techniques involving mechanically-extended limbs and missile 'fists'. He is loosely based on the M. Bison (Vega in Japan) character from Street Fighter 2. Some other parts of his look were also influenced by the titular character of the first two Terminator films, and (with his name) Brockenman or his son Brocken Jr. from the manga/anime series Kinnikuman. He was also the playable character of the side-scrolling shoot 'em up in the Japan-only, Neo Geo CD exclusive title ADK World.
  • China / South Korea Kim Dragon
    Dragon is a famous martial artist and a star of martial arts films. Accused of lacking real skill, he accepted the invitation to fight against Geegus. He is based on the real life martial artist and actor Bruce Lee, but in the first game, his stage takes place in China, while in World Heroes 2, his stage takes place in South Korea. Due to being in South Korea, he was possibly named after president of SNK's then-Korean distributor Viccom, Kim Kap-Hwan. His rapid punching moves share some similarities with Kenshiro from the manga/anime series Fist of the North Star. In the first game his nationality is indicated Chinese and the Chinese characters used to spell his name in World Heroes Perfect translates to "Gold Dragon".
  • United States Muscle Power
    An American wrestler from the 21st century, was the first competitor to win every Heavyweight Championship from every wrestling association. He accepted Doc Brown's invitation to fight Geegus because he took Geegus as a challenger of his multiple belts. He was based on Hulk Hogan but his looks were slightly altered in World Heroes 2 and subsequent titles to tone down the resemblance and avoid copyright infringement. Despite this, the first World Heroes has been re-released a few times without changing any parts of his look other than adding extra palettes in World Heroes Anthology
  •  Geegus
    Geegus is an cyborg that created by a secret organization called DAMD who can shapeshift into any of the eight fighters and use their moves at will. Geegus wants to destroy the Earth, so the World Heroes tournament was created to stop Geegus' evil plans. Before the final battle, Geegus asks for the Champion to fight him with the threat of destroying the entire planet if he is refused. Geegus appears in World Heroes 2 as Neo Geegus, the sub-boss of World Heroes 2. In this game he is not as vulnerable in his normal form but can only transform into either of the six new characters of this game: Kidd, Erick, Ryoko, Mudman, Shura and Johnny. Also he cannot be harmed while he is shape shifting like he can in the prequel. Geegus' design and abilities may be an homage to the T-1000 liquid metal cyborg from Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Geegus makes a cameo appearance in NeoGeo Battle Coliseum as part of one of Neo Dio's desperation moves known as Geo-Geegus, now Neo Geo Heroes: Ultimate Shooting.

World Heroes 2

  • United Nations Captain Kidd
    A pirate who steals treasures from all over the world. He is based on the infamous William Kidd. His special moves involve ghost sharks, impressive kick moves and even throwing a blue miniature ghost pirate ship at the opponent. He also has a hanging rope for his super move in World Heroes Perfect.
  • Norway Erick
    A Viking who wants to see his family. He is loosely based on the explorer Erik the Red. His special moves invoke names in Norse mythology, including Odin, Thor and Æsir.
  • United States Johnny Maximum
    A devilish American football player who describes himself as a "killer machine". His design is based on the famous football player Joe Montana. In his World Heroes Perfect ending it is revealed that he has a son, who wants to be like him, though Johnny doesn't approve of that.
  • Papua New Guinea Mudman
    A generic Pacific Islander wizard with a large wooden mask and no real historical basis apart from appearing primitive. Also appeared in NeoGeo Battle Coliseum as a playable character. Mudman attacks using blue spirits and flying mask-spinning attacks.
  • Japan Ryoko Izumo
    Ryoko is a 16 year old girl and a master of Judo and wants to prove her power against the rest of the fighters of this tournament. She admires Janne and Hanzo, considering them her role models; Janne for her beauty and strength, Hanzo for his skill. She is based on the famous real-life judoka Ryoko Tamura (now Ryoko Tani).
  • Thailand Shura (Naï Khanom Tom)
    Shura is a 25 year old Muay Thai fighter who has joined the tournament to prove his worth to his feared dead older brother (even though his brother is actually alive and well). He is based on the legendary Muay Thai hero, Nai Khanom Tom.
  • Italy Dio
    He is the boss of World Heroes 2 (then known as Dio) and later reappears in World Heroes Perfect, also as the final boss, with the name Neo Dio. He is inspired by the main character of Baoh and shares similar attacks to him. He is also a boss and playable character in NeoGeo Battle Coliseum. The Super NES version lists his occupation as "Ultimate Being". "Dio" also means "God" in Italian.

World Heroes 2 Jet

  • China Ryofu
    A halberd-wielding Chinese warrior and rival of J.Carn. He is based on the warlord Lü Bu of the Three Kingdoms era.
  • United Kingdom Jack
    A punk serial killer with claws on his hands. He is loosely based on the historical serial killer Jack the Ripper.
  • Byzantine Empire Zeus
    The main boss in this game. He may be based on the Greek god of the same name. He also bears resemblance to Raoh from Fist of the North Star. He also appears in ADK's Ninja Commando, where he is referred to as Spider.

World Heroes Perfect


  1. ^ Closing credits of World Heroes, World Heroes 2, World Heroes 2 Jet and World Heroes Perfect.
  2. ^ a b Closing credits of World Heroes.
  3. ^ "ADK作品総合データ - ADK HEROES". Retrieved 2011-06-08. 

External links

Official sites

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