Tetsuwan Atom (SFC)

Pub: Zamuse | Dev: Minato Giken | February 18, 1994
Pub: Zamuse | Dev: Minato Giken | February 18, 1994

25 years ago today, Zamuse released Tetsuwan Atom (AKA Astro Boy AKA Mighty Atom) on the Super Famicom. While the game itself is a mere footnote in the annals of SNES lore, there’s no denying the immense popularity and impact of the source material. Today we celebrate the titular science fiction superhero by looking at his one and only Super Famicom game.



Created by Osamu Tezuka, Astro Boy began as a manga series in 1952. Astro Boy is even older than another iconic Japanese legend: Godzilla. It is the 10th best selling manga series of all time, having sold over 100 million copies.

It began its anime run in 1963
It began its anime run in 1963
And once again in 1980
And once again in 1980
10 years ago in 2009, it even had its own movie
10 years ago in 2009, it even had its own movie
There will even be a live action movie in the future
There will even be a live action movie in the future
Astro Boy will appear in Crystal Crisis April 23, 2019
Astro Boy will appear in Crystal Crisis (April 23, 2019)
Crystal Crisis is a puzzle game akin to Puzzle Fighter
Crystal Crisis is a puzzle game akin to Puzzle Fighter
Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo... a gem
Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo… a gem
Welcome back Kawase!
Welcome back Kawase!

On a side note, Nicalis just announced the 20th and final character for their upcoming puzzle game, Crystal Crisis. It is none other than Kawase from the super quirky Super Famicom cult hit, Umihara Kawase.

Umihara Kawase Fresh hits the Switch April 25, 2019
Umihara Kawase Fresh hits the Switch April 25, 2019

I can’t wait to play both Crystal Crisis and Umihara Kawase Fresh on my Switch this spring. Funny that both releases will be just two days apart. So many good games and not nearly enough time!

Cant wait. The hype is real
Can’t wait. The hype is real
See you soon Astro Boy!
See you soon Astro Boy!



*cue Movie Trailer Voice Guy*

In a time of hostility and turmoil, only one hero has the courage…


… and the will of a nation’s indomitable spirit…



Based off the classic manga and anime series by Osamu Tezuka, this is an action game featuring 8 levels. Some are straight platforming romps while others have you taking to the skies. Let’s check out the first 5 stages.








Typical easy introductory level. His movement is a bit stiff and his punch lacks range so there may be an adjustment period.







Beware of giant boulders! The first boss is a piece of cake. Use the Air Dash to quickly defeat it.








Unspeakable horrors lie inside this fright-filled haunted house. But judging by the terrible lightning outside, you just MIGHT be safer inside…







Perhaps I spoke too soon! Crawl in that little space there so that the chained ball will sail safely over your head.







Luckily, you’re armed with super strength. And staying true to form, your bright eye lamps are put to use whenever in the dark. This spirit boss requires several Air Dashes before submitting to the foul night.








Showing off his flight powers, this stage curves around. Kill everything on the first floor. Don’t bother punching here as the Air Dash proves to be most effective. Once you kill everything, repeat this process on the second floor. The third floor is where you’ll face the boss. His second form is a tough little cookie!








Despite being an android, Astro Boy can brave the waters with no electrical issues. The spike sections are tricky. Occasionally, the water current flows in the other direction and the force is incredibly strong. The school of fish zooming by is a lovely visual effect when these tides occur.







Relying on your Air Dashes much? Well this stage disables that ability so you must rely instead on your swimming and flying prowess to help see you through. The boss of this level is one bad mutha! Watch out for its long limb and electric bolts. Save that energy tank power-up at the bottom there until you’re down to your last heart.








Platforming rule #11 dictates that there must be some kind of auto-scrolling stage. Many hazards attempt to put you down for the count. Later levels incorporate the Super Nintendo’s Mode 7 special effects.


  • You begin with 3 hearts. Along the way extra hearts can be gained. Each heart accounts for two enemy attacks. Health refills and 1-UP’s are also scattered throughout
  • The default controls are awkward (B = jump, A = punch, X = charges the flight meter). Thankfully, it’s adjustable
  • The flight meter must be charged before you can fly, and during flight slowly decreases. Pressing A during flight executes the powerful Air Dash. This attack grants you temporary invulnerability. Press A during an Air Dash to cease abruptly. Otherwise you’ll zip across until your meter is fully depleted


A living legend through the ages
A living legend through the ages

Astro Boy has been around for nearly 70 years now. He’s often considered as sort of the Mickey Mouse or Super Man of Japan — that’s how big and influential he has been in the anime and manga fandom. His place in pop culture history has been cemented with a long and storied legacy… one that continues even to this day. Tetsuwan Atom on the Super Famicom is a decent game, if not leaning toward average. It’s nothing special, nor anything you should actively seek out. But for huge fans of Mighty Atom, it might be worth a look if nothing else than morbid curiosity. It’s certainly playable, but it’s nowhere near essential. At any rate, happy 25 years to the Super Famicom game. You may be largely forgotten, but you’re honored on this milestone day nonetheless.

Gundam Wing: Endless Duel (SFC)

Quite possibly the BEST Super Famicom fighting game
Quite possibly the BEST Super Famicom fighting game

Gundam Wing. It’s a famous anime from the Land of the Rising Sun but quite frankly, it was never one of my “things.” You know, growing up my things were Godzilla, WWF, scary movies and Super Nintendo just to name a few. Never got into Gundam Wing. My only memory of it was buying a toy of one of the super deformed version in the mid ’90s rather randomly at this Japanese hobby shop. I say that to say… I would love this game even more if I had a genuine connection with the Gundam brand. And I already like this game a lot. It’s probably the finest Super Famicom exclusive fighting game ever made. So if you love fighting games and Gundam, then this is a match made in Heaven. Let’s take a closer look.







The game opens up with this rather nice cinematic intro. It is very Street Fighter Alpha 2-esque in its execution and style.







You can spot the similarities, right? I almost expect Sagat to come bursting through any second now!







It gets you pumped up to fire giant laser beams and the like.

Select from one of nine fighters
Select from one of nine fighters

Each fighter has his or her own strengths and weaknesses. For example, some are more agile than others. Others are a bit stronger, and so forth. Before we look at the fighters a bit more closely, let’s review some of the core principles of the game.

Ooh, shots fired! Literally
Ooh, shots fired! Literally

When you’re standing more than halfway across the screen from your foe, you can press a button to automatically fire your vulcan shot. This sends forth a series of bullets that don’t do a tremendous amount of damage, but enough to sway the tide of the battle your way. It’s good for a quick long distance attack. But see that 300 bar up there? Each time you perform a big special, it loses some points. Bigger moves drain more points. To fill it back up, you have to attack with your normal moves. This means you have to strategize — you can’t just go in there with guns a’blazing.

Super specials eat up a lot of points
Super specials come at a cost

Each fighter has a super special (double Hadoken motion plus attack). This can be performed at any time in the match provided you have enough points. This is pretty cool since it means you don’t have to wait for your energy bar to be down to 25%. I guess it’s a variation on the old super move meter but somehow it feels slightly different even though in practice it really isn’t.

No rest for the weary!
No rest for the weary!

One of the neat things about this game is the ability to damage your foe even while he or she is on the ground. This also creates new opportunities for combos that aren’t present in other SNES fighting games. There is a slight juggle system at work here, and you can even block in mid-air in addition to dashing forward or backwards. Seeing as how this was released on March 29, 1996, Endless Duel benefits from some of the more modern fighting game tropes.

The not-so-friendly skies
The not-so-friendly skies

All fighters can also double jump or even TRIPLE JUMP. Being giant flying mechs you figured that this game would somehow bring that into play somewhat. And these features definitely do the trick.

Love the versus screens
Love the versus screens







That’s what you get for ripping off the great name of SHENG LONG!







I love Wing’s Dragon Punch variant. It gives you a chance to string together multiple strikes as he savagely swipes down at his opponent mid-air. Nice!








Heavy Arms lives up to its name. It’s got a whole lot of fire power backing it.







Wing proceeds to show Heavy Arms the finger. Then Wing backs up the trash talking with a CLUTCH victory that is far too close for comfort.


Neat little stage
Neat little stage








Sandrock’s stage is absolutely gorgeous, with that blazing sun popping up over the horizon. I love taking to the air with a double or triple jump to show off the sun in all its burning glory.







Wing’s blast rivals that of the sun’s power. Doesn’t look too good for ol’ Sandrock here…








Sandrock’s beautiful stage is second only to this, which shows off the captivating Northern Lights.







Wing polishes off an amazing 9-hit combo with his super special blast. I love how the colors of the beam and the Northern Lights in both pictures magically match!







Tallgeese (who is unsurprisingly the tallest mech in the game) puts up a good effort, hitting me with his devastating super special move even, but in the end he’s no match for Wing. Mechs flash orange during the final blow. Nice touch.








Mercurius has some nifty special moves, and proves to be a formidable foe.







Well GOT DAMN!  [It’s actually Gundam… -Ed.]








You do know that I am PURPOSELY letting the computer pound on me so that I can capture their special moves, r-right? [Yeah, uh huh, sure thing… -Ed.]







Yup, I really had to hold back from opening a can of whup ass on his, er, ass. [Right, of course… -Ed.]








Whew, another tight battle goes down to the wire. The vulcan shot comes in handy when you need a little push to get you over the edge and nab that W.








And you thought SNK bosses were cheap! Epyon is cut out of a similar cloth. He’s got high priority strikes and easy combos that will turn you into a crying meme.







Please, make it stop. I may or may not be in the fetal position right now. I can neither confirm nor deny.

Gotta love the HUGE text
Gotta love the HUGE text







WHO’S YER DADDY NOW, BITCH!? [Did you tell the readers how many save states and retries you had to go through? -Ed.]. Uhhh, well would you look at the time! It’s a wrap!


Well done, Natsume. Well done
Well done, Natsume. Well done

Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Duel, or Shin Kidō Senki Gundam Wing: Endless Duel (to give it its full proper Japanese title), is an impressive fighting game for the Super Famicom. The anime ran for 49 episodes — it aired on April 7, 1995 and its final episode aired on March 29, 1996. Fascinatingly enough, the same day it went off the air was when Bandai released the Natsume developed fighting game. It must have been a bittersweet day for hardcore Gundam fans. Their favorite anime ended but they received this little treasure to enjoy.


Endless Duel is a sophisticated “modern day” fighting game. It feels like a “versus” fighter in a very elementary sense. From the little details such as the humongous screen text to the combos and double jumps, it feels like you’re playing a beta version of the first wave of Capcom’s “versus” fighting games. It’s impressive to see such a clash of titans on the Super Nintendo running as smoothly as it does. But that explains why there is ZERO speech samples in this game. They had to save the memory to devote it to the frames of animation. So you won’t hear any announcers screaming “ROUND ONE, FIGHT!” or even the fighters themselves talking trash. It’s just the music and sound effects of steel connecting on steel. It’s not a big enough issue to harp on, but once I noticed it, I felt like something was off, or missing. But you do get used to it, and it was for a good cause: the game looks incredible and moves so fluidly it has to be seen to be believed. It makes me wonder what a port of Darkstalkers or X-Men: Children of the Atom would have looked like on the SNES.


So ask yourself these three questions:

1. Do you like playing the Super Nintendo?

2. Do you like fighting games?

3. Do you like Gundam?

If you answered yes to at least two of those questions, you’ll really like this. And if you answered yes to all three, then you probably already own this game and mastered at least half the roster by now. At any rate, Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: Endless Duel is a fine fighting game, and quite possibly the best one to never hit SNES American shores.