Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes (also unofficially known as Marvel vs. Capcom 1) is the fifth fighting game made by Capcom with characters from Marvel Comics, and the third game in the Marvel vs. Capcom series. What makes this title unique compared to X-Men vs. Street Fighter and Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, is that this game features characters from numerous Capcom franchises such as Mega Man, Captain Commando and Strider, rather than just Street Fighter characters.
While the gameplay was typical of the Marvel vs. Capcom series, Marvel vs. Capcom is distinguishable by two features: the ability to summon assist characters, and the Duo Team Attack.
Unlike the later games in the series, the point character of a Marvel vs. Capcom team could not summon the offscreen partner for an assist attack; instead, an assist character was randomly selected before the match began. This character could be summoned a limited number of times in battle to attack the opponent in parallel. Codes could be used to force the system to select a certain assist character.
The Duo Team Attack allows a player to control both characters on his or her team simultaneously for a brief period of time; the characters had unlimited use of their hyper combos during this time. Since some characters have hard-to-avoid super moves that do substantial damage if blocked, the Duo Team Attack can lead to tactics that are oriented around activating it before your opponent could. Since the PlayStation port only allows one character to play on point, a Duo Team Attack would call the assist character repeatedly without cost for its duration.
The storyline is loosely based on the X-Men: Onslaught arc from the Marvel Comics continuity: following an incident in which mutant telepath Charles Xavier was forced to enter into the mind of Magneto, part of Magneto's anger slipped into Xavier's psyche, and after merging with Xavier's darkest emotions it spawned a powerful psychic entity known as Onslaught. The game expands on the story by having Xavier's conscience calling forth heroes from the Capcom universe in order to help stop him.
- Onslaught: Can be selected once the player completes the game once with any team of characters in the Playstation version. Unlocked on Dreamcast version after unlocking all secret characters. Onslaught is located below Wolverine.
- Tomichin: A character found in the game's coding. It is speculated to be a beta testing character.
The PlayStation version of the game, titled Marvel vs. Capcom EX Edition in Japan, differs from the arcade version, in that players are unable to switch characters on-the-fly, reducing the secondary character to an assist role only. Significantly, this removes the tag-team aspect of the game, which is considered by some to be one of its defining characteristics. The PlayStation version instead offers a "Cross over" mode where each player chooses one character, and the second character for each team is a mirror of the opponent's pick. In this mode, the players may switch characters at will, but the teams must always be identical. This compromise is most likely necessitated by the console's small memory size -- the use of identical teams alleviates the memory requirements.
- Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes holds the least number of selectable fighters in the series at 15, followed by X-Men vs. Street Fighter (1996) with 17 selectable fighters and 18 selectable fighters in Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter (1997).
- This game holds second for the most number of characters that carries 4 or more Hyper Combos. There are 7 characters in all and they are: Ryu, Jin, Morrigan, Chun-Li, Zangief, Wolverine and the PlayStation port version of Mega Man (where he was given an extra Hyper Combo exclusively).
- This is the second game in the series that doesn't feature any playable female characters from the Marvel side (all Marvel females who do appear are assist characters), the first being Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter.
- Ryu has the ability to switch between his own movesets and that of Ken and Akuma in this game. Ryu's loading screen image in the PlayStation port dubs him "Complete Change Ryu". In Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes (2000), Sakura is given the ability to transform into Dark Sakura from Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter and Ryu, Ken and Akuma from X-Men vs. Street Fighter are playable characters. In Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (2011), Ryu has a new moveset of his own, Ken being absent once again and Akuma being a selectable fighter once again.
- Several character themes are remixes based on music from their series of origin:
- Chun-Li and Zangief's themes are a remix of their original themes from Street Fighter II.
- Ryu's theme is a remix of the title theme from the original Street Fighter II.
- Mega Man's theme is a remix of the opening title screen music from Mega Man 2. He also has his own unique victory music when he wins a match, which is the same victory fanfare heard when a robot master is defeated in a few Mega Man titles, such as Mega Man 2 and Mega Man 7. Roll shares the same victory theme.
- Roll's theme in the game is a remix of her special ending theme song from Mega Man Battle & Chase entitled "Kaze yo Tsutaete" (Winds, Let Him Know). This is the only theme in the game with lyrics. A karaoke version of the theme also exists, used in the Asian market.
- Strider Hiryu's theme is a combined remix of two themes from his Arcade game of origin: the opening fanfare from the first stage and the stage's first theme song, titled "Raid!". His ending theme is a remix of the Arcade game's original ending theme, "Sarani..." ("After All...").
- Returning characters on the Marvel side, on the other hand, received remixes from previous games in the series.
- Spider-Man, Captain America and Hulk use a remix of their themes from Marvel Super Heroes.
- Gambit uses a remix of his theme from X-Men vs. Street Fighter.
- War Machine uses a remix of Iron Man's theme from Marvel Super Heroes.
- In the PlayStation port Mega Man gets a secret third Hyper Combo based on his ending, Onslaught's "Magnetic Shockwave". To use it one has to win the game with him and then choose him while holding the Select button.
- All characters save Onslaught were given two extra alternative colors in the PlayStation port, selected through the R1 and R2 buttons respectively.
- The alternate costume for The Hulk is based off of Gray Hulk from the Marvel comics.
- The secret Capcom characters (Roll, Shadow Lady, and Lilith-Mode Morrigan) are the only secret characters to have their own endings.
- Mecha Zangief, a hidden playable character in the previous game, becomes a Hyper Mode transformation for Zangief in this game. This would later be followed by Dark Sakura as well in the sequel.
- Captain Commando has two win quotes that reference past Capcom games.
- "Thank you for playing this game!" - Reference to the ending quote after the end credits roll
- "The first Capcom game was Vulgus, back in 1984!" - Self-explanatory.
- Both Captain Commando and Strider Hiryu's endings are similar to the ones in their respective games.
- Captain Commando appears before The Avengers headquarter's monitor, informing them of his and his comrades' victory over Onslaught. When asked who he is, he simply says "I am Captain Commando." This is a recreation of the ending in the Captain Commando Arcade game.
- Strider Hiryu remarks "Target eliminated. Mission complete.", then flies off on his hang glider. The next screen shows a humpback whale surfacing up to the ocean, then Hiryu jumps off his hang glider and rides on the back of the whale. This is the same exact ending in the Strider Arcade game after he defeats Grandmaster Meio.
- While Jin's ending doesn't resemble his ending from Cyberbots, it is based off the ending of fellow character Gawaine Murdock instead. Gawaine's ending has him sacrificing his life to stop the final boss and Jin looking up into the sky (showing an image of Gawaine) and reassuring himself he's alive while holding Gawaine's sword; Jin's ending has him sacrificing his life to stop Onslaught, with Ryu reassuring himself of Jin's survival while holding Jin's scarf and an image of Jin appears on the sky.
- Each character has a graphic in the select screen displaying their names in a style imitating their series' logos, a detail which was first used in Marvel Super Heroes.
- Mega Man and Strider Hiryu are the only two whose graphic is different depending on the language, as their games were rebranded during localization ("Rockman" to "Mega Man" and "Strider Hiryu" to just "Strider")
- The Special Partners cast is uneven, with Marvel having two more characters than Capcom. According to the Secret File booklet, the Capcom side planned to include Ravel the Elf from The King of Dragons and Lancelot from Knights of the Round to even the roster out.
- The announcer is voiced by Sally Cahill, who also voiced Ada Wong in Resident Evil 2 (1998).
- This is the first of only two Marvel vs. Capcom games (the other being Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite) to not feature Akuma as a playable character, aside from Marvel Super Heroes (1995); however, in this game, Ryu can use Akuma's fighting style via "Complete Change" mode. When using Akuma's fighting style, Ryu is very similar in fighting style to Evil Ryu, the form he takes if he ever succumbs to the Satsui no Hado, the same dark power that Akuma uses. However, when giving his victory quote at the end of the match, it is the same regardless of which fighting style he is using.
- For those who are curious about the opening movie back in the arcades, here is how it happened. There are 30 different types of opening movies and each opening movie has 2 scenarios. The first scenarios consist of an exhibition combo of 15 selectable fighters but only one is selected randomly. Here is the playlist from the first scenario:
- Ryu uses his new Hyper Combo to Ryu-Ken and use his Shoryu-Reppa against Wolverine attempting to use his Berserker Barrage.
- Captain Commando calls Mack the Knife when Captain America jumps and follows up with an air combo.
- Chun-Li uses her air combo against Morrigan with the Hyakuretsu Kyaku as a finisher.
- Zangief turns to Mecha Zangief when Hulk uses his vertical Gamma Charge and Mecha Zangief uses his Siberian Blizzard on him.
- Jin calls Blodia for the Blodia Vulcan when Hulk uses his vertical Gamma Charge.
- Morrigan uses her air combo against Chun-Li, with the Shadow Blade as a finisher.
- Megaman uses his Hyper Megaman against War Machine, who accidentally uses Repulsor Blast instead.
- Strider Hiryu uses his air combo against Gambit.
- Spider-Man uses his air combo against Venom.
- Captain America uses his air combo against Captain Commando, who calls Baby Head before the attack takes effect.
- Hulk uses his new Hyper Combo, the Gamma Quake, against Jin using his standing heavy kick before it hits Hulk, and finishes it with a Gamma Charge. On against Zangief on the other hand uses his Spinning Piledriver before he grabs Hulk.
- Wolverine uses his air combo against Ryu with the Drill Claw as a finisher.
- Gambit makes an air combo launcher against Strider Hiryu and uses his Royal Flush on him by surprise.
- War Machine uses his air combo against Megaman with the Shoulder Cannon as a finisher.
- Venom uses his air combo against Spider-Man with the Venom Fang as a finisher.
- The second scenario related to the opening movie is an exhibition of the new feature, the Duo Team Attack. Like the first scenario, only one of the two exhibition scenes is selected randomly. Here is the playlist from the second scenario:
- The team of Jin and Gambit take on Zangief and Venom using the Duo Team Attack. Jin and Gambit take advanage of the situation by using Jin's Blodia Punch, pummelling Zangief and Venom into the corner.
- The team of Wolverine and Strider Hiryu take on Zangief and Venom using the Duo Team Attack. Wolverine and Strider Hiryu use their combo advantage against the other team.
- Half of the sound effects of this game is recycled from previous non-Marvel vs. Capcom titles like Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors (1994) and Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors Dreams (1995). Even the drumset used is the same from the latter game except for the added instruments and even beat loops.
- Onslaught's teleport sounds is very similar if not exactly the same as the one Scion (or Valdoll) uses in Red Earth (or WarZard in its Japan release).
- Similar to Children of the Atom, the endings are sprite-based rather than having new illustrations like in the two previous games of the series.
- Thor's attack is extremely similar to the one he performs in Avengers in Galactic Storm (1995, Data East). Interestingly, that was also the first fighting game ever to include assist characters.
- Wikipedia: Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes