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Marvel vs. Capcom is a series of crossover fighting games featuring characters from both Marvel Comics and Capcom. The series takes Marvel superheroes such as Spider-Man, Wolverine, Captain America, Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, and Deadpool, and pits them up against characters from Capcom video games such as Street Fighter, Mega Man, Darkstalkers, Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, and Ace Attorney. As of September 19th, 2017, there are six core games in the series, with the latest being Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite.
On December 8th, 1994, Capcom released X-Men: Children of the Atom, an arcade fighting game featuring the X-Men in 2D gameplay similar to Capcom's own Street Fighter series. While technically not considered a part of the Marvel vs. Capcom series, the game does include the Capcom character Akuma from Super Street Fighter II Turbo, a secret character accessible via a code whose presence is considered a precursor to the Marvel vs. Capcom series, and its fast pace and mechanics such as combos, Hyper moves, and Super Jumps would be carried over into future entries.
On October 24th, 1995, Capcom would release Marvel Super Heroes, another arcade fighting game that features other Marvel characters beyond the X-Men and is loosely based on the Infinity Gauntlet storyline, with the Infinity Gems being featured as a gameplay mechanic. Similar to X-Men: Children of the Atom, this game also includes a secret Capcom character, Anita from the Darkstalkers series, further foreshadowing the Marvel vs. Capcom series.
On September 25th, 1996, Capcom released X-Men vs. Street Fighter, the first official installment in the series. The game included characters from both the X-Men and Street Fighter series, and would introduce a tag-team format where the player chose two characters and could switch between them in gameplay, which would go on to become a series staple.
On June 25th, 1997, Capcom followed up with Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter. The game replaced most of the X-Men from the previous installment with other characters from the Marvel universe such as Spider-Man and the Hulk, and would similarly pit them up against various Street Fighter characters, including newcomers Dan and Sakura from Street Fighter Alpha. Along with the previous game's tag-team mechanics, the game also introduced a new mechanic called the "Variable Assist", where the player could summon the other character to perform a special move.
On January 23rd, 1998, Capcom released Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes. The game brought in more Capcom characters from beyond the Street Fighter series, such as Mega Man, Morrigan from Darkstalkers, Captain Commando, and Strider Hiryu, as well as introducing Marvel newcomers Venom and War Machine. The Variable Assist mechanic from the previous game was removed in favor of two new mechanics, "Special Partner" (where the player can summon an NPC to assist) and "Variable Cross" (where the player can temporarily attack with both characters simultaneously).
Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes
On February 24th, 2000, Capcom released Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes. The game expanded the previous entries' tag-team mechanics, allowing the player to choose up to three characters. The Variable Assist mechanic from Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter also returned and was expanded upon, allowing the player to choose from three different assist moves for each character. The roster was greatly expanded to 56 characters, with every character from the previous game returning, as well as Capcom newcomers such as Jill Valentine from Resident Evil, Tron Bonne from Mega Man Legends, Hayato from Star Gladiator, and Marvel newcomers Cable and Marrow.
In 2009, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 was ported to the Xbox 360 via Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation 3 via PlayStation Network. The port was developed by Backbone Entertainment, who previously developed Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, and included online play, widescreen support, and filtering options for the character sprites. In December of 2013, the port was delisted from Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network, due to the expiration of Capcom's licensing contract with Marvel.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds
On April 20th, 2010, Capcom announced Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, 10 years after the previous installment. The game, which was in development since 2008 when Capcom reacquired the Marvel license, was the first to use 3D character models instead of 2D sprites, and retained the tag-team mechanics from previous games. In addition, the "X-Factor" mechanic was introduced, which players could activate once per match to temporarily boost their damage, speed, and health regeneration. Many characters from the previous game returned, along with Capcom newcomers such as Chris and Wesker from Resident Evil, Dante from Devil May Cry, Amaterasu from Okami, and Arthur from Ghosts 'n Goblins, as well as Marvel newcomers such as Deadpool, Super-Skrull, Dormammu, X-23, M.O.D.O.K., and She-Hulk. The game was promoted through "Episode" trailers and gameplay trailers at various events such as E3 and Comic-Con, and was released on February 15th, 2011, on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. On March 15th, 2011, Shuma-Gorath and Jill Valentine were released as post-launch DLC characters.
On July 20th, 2011, an updated version of the game titled Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was announced. It would feature 12 new characters, a redesigned HUD and menus, an optimized netcode, and a new spectator mode for online play. According to producer Ryota Niitsuma, further DLC content for Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was planned, but due to the 2011 Tohaku earthquake and tsunami causing development delays, Niitsuma and his team decided to release the DLC as part of an update, with Ultimate being "about half and half" between DLC content and brand new content. The game would be released on November 15th, 2011, for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and eventually on December 17th, 2011, as a launch title for the PlayStation Vita.
The first four characters to be revealed were Ghost Rider, Strider Hiryu, Hawkeye, and Firebrand. Not long afterward, the remaining eight characters (Doctor Strange, Nemesis, Iron Fist, Vergil, Nova, Phoenix Wright, Rocket Raccoon, and Frank West) were leaked via art files found within Capcom's website servers.
On December 3rd, 2016, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was digitally re-released on the PlayStation Network for the PlayStation 4 to coincide with the announcement of its sequel, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. This version of the game includes all the content from the previous released, as well as a gallery containing artwork from the Marvel vs. Capcom: Official Complete Works book. Further re-releases for Xbox One and Steam followed on March 17th, 2017.
Marvel vs. Capcom Origins
On July 5th, 2012, Capcom announced Marvel vs. Capcom Origins, a compilation release for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 that includes Marvel Super Heroes and Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes. Developed by Iron Galaxy Studios, the gameplay of both titles remained identical to the originals, with the release adding online multiplayer and an in-game challenge system where the player could unlock concept art and secret characters.
In December of 2014, Capcom announced that Origins would be delisted from all platforms, due to their licensing contract with Marvel expiring.
Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite
On December 3rd, 2016, Capcom announced Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite at Sony's PlayStation Experience event. The game would streamline the previous entries' tag-team mechanics back to two characters, along with bringing back the Infinity Gems from Marvel Super Heroes, now called Infinity Stones. Players can choose two characters and an Infinity Stone, which were compared by Marvel and Capcom to the "Groove System" from Capcom vs. SNK 2. The game's visuals also changed from the stylized comic book-like visuals of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 to a more modern and cinematic style, with many of the Marvel characters being redesigned to resemble their Marvel Studios film counterparts. The game's roster infamously excluded a majority of characters from the previous game, including those a part of or related to the X-Men and Fantastic Four. In their place were Marvel newcomers Captain Marvel, Gamora, Ultron, and returning veteran Thanos, as well as Capcom newcomers X from Mega Man X and Jedah from Darkstalkers.
In addition, a "2017 Character Pass" was announced, which would include six additional DLC characters, including Monster Hunter, Sigma, Black Panther, Winter Soldier, Black Widow, and Venom.
Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes received positive reviews for its frantic gameplay, backdrops and visuals, and enormous roster of playable characters, though many cited the jazz-inspired soundtrack as its biggest flaw. The game is frequently mentioned in critics' lists of the best fighting games ever, including ScrewAttack's "Top Ten Fighting Games" (where it is ranked second) and Virgin Media's "The top 20 beat 'em-ups of all time" (where it ranked third).
Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds sold over 2 million units and was positively received by critics for its simplifying of the series' mechanics and control scheme, but criticized for its online and lack of modes. Its Ultimate update was also received positively for its additional characters and improved online.
Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite received mixed reviews, with critics praising the gameplay, but criticizing the presentation and character roster. The game sold under Capcom's expectations, failing to sell 2 million units by December 2017. As of November 11th, 2020, the game has sold a total of 1.6 million units.
The Marvel vs. Capcom series would go on to inspire future crossover games between Capcom and other companies, resulting in what is referred to by fans as the larger "Versus Series".
In 1999, SNK (developers of The King of Fighters) released SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium, a crossover fighting game pitting Capcom's fighting game characters against those of SNK. In 2003, SNK would release a follow-up, SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos. Capcom would also develop their own entries in the SNK vs. Capcom series, with Capcom vs. SNK: Millennium Fight 2000 releasing in 2000, and Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Milennium 2001 in 2001.
In 2008, Capcom released Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Cross Generation of Heroes, a Wii-exclusive fighting game that pits Capcom's video game characters against the anime characters of Tatsunoko Production. Initially released only in Japan, the game would eventually receive an updated version under the name Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, released in 2010 both in Japan and internationally. The game uses tag-team mechanics with two characters, similar to earlier Marvel vs. Capcom games. It would also feature a simplified control scheme of light, medium, and heavy attacks that would be utilized in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 instead of the previous games' controls of separated punch and kick attacks.
In 2014, the Marvel vs. Capcom series would be referenced in Spider-Verse, a Marvel comic book by storyline written by Dan Slott, featuring multiple versions of Spider-Man and his supporting characters from alternate universes. One page has the main antagonist Morlun visit the Marvel vs. Capcom universe, where he proceeds to kill its version of Spider-Man.
Marvel vs. Capcom has a large presence on sites and forums such as Reddit, Tumblr, GameFAQs, Shoryuken.com, and The Fighters Generation. The art website DeviantArt contains multiple Marvel vs. Capcom-related groups, as well as over 15,000 search results worth of fan art. The Marvel vs. Capcom Wiki contains over 1,000 articles related to the series.
Mahvel Baybee! is a video that was edited from footage of Marvel vs. Capcom 2 being played at the Seasons Beatings II fighting game tournament, with a focus on the commentary by infamous tournament competitor and smacktalker Michael "IFC Yipes" Mendoza.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds contains references to the video. Magneto and Sentinel both respectively have the same light blue and blue/orange palette swaps from the video. In addition, Deadpool will paraphrase the video if he wins a match against Magneto, saying "I just beat Mag-freakin'-neto! Where's yo' curleh mustache at?!"
When's Mahvel? is an intentionally misspelled quote popularized by streamer and Let's Player Woolie Madden during his time with the Super Best Friends Play channel. The quote, an offshoot of Mahvel, Baybee!, was used as a running gag as Woolie begged to play Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 on the channel, originating in an episode of their Machinima series.
MODOK Theme goes with trolling
MODOK Theme goes with trolling is a series of videos which consists of using M.O.D.O.K.'s theme song from Marvel vs. Capcom 3 in a situation where someone is trolling someone else. The music was first heard in M.O.D.O.K.'s NYCC gameplay trailer, and would go on to be used in various videos as a signifier of trolling, mainly due to the controversial reception M.O.D.O.K. received upon his reveal.
 Destructoid – SDCC Interview: Niitsuma on Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3