Super Fire Pro Wrestling X Premium (hereafter SFPWXP) is a technically-focused wrestling game released for the Super Famicom in 1996 in Japan. It features more than 80 wrestlers, most of whom are based on real personalities from Hulk Hogan to Ken Shamrock, but with the names changed to avoid copyright infringement. It developed a significant U.S. following through the use of emulators, including fan-made translation patches to change Japanese text to English and convert the fake names of the wrestlers into their actual names.
Unlike the typical western wrestling games, SFPWXP does not feature “sports entertainment” trappings such as cage matches, ladder matches, folding chairs, breakaway tables, or any strong personality elements for the individual characters (with the exception of taunts). Instead, the game focuses on the more technical aspects of wrestling, including a very deep roster of suplexes and submission holds. SFPWXP contains an exhibition mode, singles and tag team Championship “Quests,” a 4-Man Battle Royale, and an elimination tournament.
SFPWXP uses a fairly unforgiving timing-based system for grappling (unlike other more button-mash friendly wrestling games), where the player must press the button for the grapple they want (weak, medium, or strong) at the exact moment the two wrestlers put their arms together for a collar-and-elbow tie-up. The player with the better timing is the one who gets to execute their attack. Your opponent must be weakened before the medium or strong attacks are possible, otherwise they are automatically reversed.
SFPWXP was among the first wrestling games to feature an in-depth create-a-wrestler (hereafter CAW) program, with a capability of storing up to eighty CAWs on one cartridge. The player can choose the CAW’s appearance, outfit, stats (distributed from a fixed number of stat points, with more stat points available if the single-player Championship “Quest” modes have been completed), and move set.
The amount of moves available to choose from are extensive, and include not only dozens of strike attacks, grapples, running attacks, and diving attacks, but also multiple special grapples from the top rope (including several variations of the Superplex), a wide variety of attacks from inside the ring to the outside (i.e. a Cross-Body Plancha), and many, many more. Unlike more modern games, there were no restrictions on what types of moves could be performed by different sizes of wrestlers, so a light-heavyweight could easily perform a Power Bomb on a heavyweight (assuming the heavyweight was sufficiently weakened).
It was a common practice in the years following SFPWXP’s release for players using an emulator to upload save files full of CAWs to special fan sites. Additionally, players would post step-by-step guides for CAWs, allowing other players to make the CAWs themselves and develop a custom roster, as the existing save files could not be mixed and matched.
Some of the more well-known wrestlers who had unauthorized carbon copies pre-loaded into SFPWXP are: