Capcom Fighting All-Stars: Code Holder (lost build of cancelled fighting game; 2003)
Capcom Fighting All-Stars: Code Holder is a cancelled crossover fighting game that was being developed and set to be published by Capcom for arcades and the PlayStation 2.
Synopsis and Characters
A mysterious man threatened Metro City with a bomb codenamed Laughter Sun. To help thwart the game's antagonist and defuse the bomb in time, the city's mayor, Mike Haggar called upon some of the best fighters. Those were: Ruy, Charlie Nash, Chun-Li and Alex from Street Fighter; Haggar himself and Poison from Final Fight; Batsu and Akira from Rival Schools; Strider Hiryu from his titular franchise. Three new characters: dubbed "Code Holders", were joining the fray: D.D. AKA Ogre, Rook AKA Fallen Angel and Ingrid AKA Isis. In 2017, Capcom's Shadaloo CRI revealed that Akuma from Street Fighter, Demitri from Darkstalkers, a character from SNK's King of Fighters franchise (whose identity was not revealed) and the game's antagonist, Avel AKA Death would be secret characters.
The game, for the most part, is on a 2D plane, with the standard punch and kick button layout, and super moves, A feature from 3D fighters, sidestepping, would get its own button. It introduced new mechanics, like the Dramatic Counter, a dodging counterattack that slowed the game down upon activation, the Dramatic Finish, which is similar to Mortal Kombat's Fatalities, and the Declaration of Victory, which would give extra points, but if the player lost a single round, the player would lose the whole battle.
Work began on a sequel to Capcom VS SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium 2001 in the same 2D style before they decided to change it to a 3D game. But SNK being unavailable due to a major restructuring and being fresh out of a bankruptcy, it was decided that a crossover game featuring Capcom franchises would begin development, with 20 SNK staff member joining to help. This would also be the first time Capcom would develop a 3D fighter in-house, before Street Fighter IV. The game was announced on September 2nd 2002 on the Japanese digital magazine Impress Game Watch as being in development. On September 19th of the same year, the game was revealed as Capcom Fighting All-Stars: Code Holder at the Amusement Machine Show, or more commonly called JAMMA, of that year. They revealed some of the playable characters, its plot, mechanics, and even demonstrated some gameplay. Reactions were mixed: praise went to the character roster, mechanics and 3D backgrounds but the game's animations, character models and lightning were negatively compared to Tekken 4 and Virtual Fighter 4. IGN reported that the arcade version would be released that winter, but they were likely referring to location tests.
Sometime between the game's presentation at JAMMA and February 2003, Capcom would hold location tests in various places, including Japan and United Kingdom. These tests were very negative and performed badly. On February 26th, 2003, the Japanese magazine Dorimaga reported that the game was removed from publishing schedules. Half a year later, in August 2003, Capcom would formally announce the game's cancellation. The idea of a Capcom crossover fighting game remained, and Capcom Fighting Jam, a 2D fighting game recycling several ideas from its predecessor, was released for arcades, the PlayStation 2 and the original Xbox from October 2004 to June 2005, mostly to negative reception.
No arcade cabinet with the arcade version installed nor PlayStation 2 builds were found as of this writing. In June 2017, Takayuki Nakayama, an art director at Capcom, decided to post unreleased promotional artwork, screenshots from the game, including the final roster, and the final boss in action. It's assumed Capcom still has either version in their archive, but it's very unlikely it would see a release nowadays as it is unfinished.
- ↑ Fighters Generation: Capcom Fighting All-Stars.
- ↑ Polygon Interview with former Capcom and SNK employees.
- ↑ Capcom Announces New 3D fighter.
- ↑ CFAS:CH set to debut at Tokyo JAMMA 2002.
- ↑ Tokyo JAMMA 2002: Capcom Fighting All Stars Review.
- ↑ Capcom Fighting All Stars Cancelled.
- ↑ Official Interview with Toyohisa Tanabe.
- ↑ Mementos Special Part 1: Images from Capcom Fighting All Stars.
- ↑ Mementos Special Part 2: Images from Capcom Fighting All Stars.