Marvel Super Heroes is a 2D superhero fighting game developed and released by Capcom for arcades (running their CPS-2 hardware) in October 24, 1995.
Capcom's second fighting game set in the Marvel universe (after X-Men: Children of the Atom), Marvel Super Heroes brings together various heroes and villains as they fight to possess the powerful Infinity Gems. It is based on the crossover event comic series The Infinity Gauntlet, which also serves as the base for Capcom's 1996 platformer Marvel Super Heroes: War of the Gems.
Along with spin-off series (the Marvel vs. Capcom series), the game received ports to the Sega Saturn and Sony PlayStation worldwide throughout 1997 (with the European versions published by Virgin), adding the ability to play as boss characters (with special cheat codes) and adding a new hidden guest character (Anita from Night Warriors: Darkstalkers' Revenge).
The original version was later digitally re-released in a bundle (with Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes) for the Xbox 360 (via Xbox Live Arcade) and PlayStation 3 (via PlayStation Network) in September 25, 2012 as Marvel vs. Capcom Origins, including online multiplayer, graphical filters and 3D viewing angles, and a challenge system (where players can unlock bonus content by completing challenges in the game).
The gameplay system used in Marvel Super Heroes is similar to its predecessor, X-Men: Children of the Atom, including multi-screen vertical jumps. Marvel Super Heroes adds Infinity Supers and the Infinity Gem System (below) . Also new for Marvel Super Heroes is the Aerial Rave, which allows the player to continue a combo after the opponent has been launched into the air.
Marvel Super Heroes also introduced the iconic Infinity Supers, such as Iron Man's "Proton Cannon", Spider-Man's "Maximum Spider", and Hulk's "Gamma Crush". Some of the X-Men characters, like Wolverine and Psylocke, have more than one infinity super.
Infinity Gem System
During each fight, players can collect Infinity Gems that can grant special temporary powers for their character. In Arcade mode, players start with all of their possessed Gems (while the enemy may have one Gem of their own), which reset after every match. In Versus matches, players start with no Gems and can only receive them after a player receives the First Damage bonus and when a player's lifebar is almost empty.
Players can activate their currently possessed Gem by inputting a special motion (Down, Down-Back, Back, then all three Punch buttons simultaneously) and can only activate one Gem at a time. Players can swap between Gems by pressing the Start button (provided they did not do the Taunt motion). Once a Gem's effect is complete, it is removed from play.
All of the playable characters have their own special effect when activating their preferred gem.
- Power Gem (Violet) - Increases damage of the character's attacks. Both Captain America and Wolverine also have after-shadows behind them, potentially tripling the effects of their attacks, while Spider-Man and Psylocke also create mirror images to confuse and boost their attack power. In Arcade mode, players start with the Power Gem.
- Time Gem (Red) - Speeds up the character's movement. Hulk can also perform Fierce and Roundhouse attacks much faster, while Shuma-Gorath's normal attacks can also petrify his opponent.
- Reality Gem (Orange) - Adds elemental projectiles to all of the character's attacks. Blackheart also turns completely invisible.
- Soul Gem (Green) - Slowly regenerates the character's health over time. Iron Man also gains electrical damage from his attacks (adding a nerf that slowly steals his opponent's Infinity Gauge over time).
- Space Gem (Indigo) - Gives the character an "armor" (similar to Juggernaut) that increases defense makes them tougher to knock down. Magneto also has a force field that completely negates damage, while Juggernaut also takes almost zero damage from attacks and is nearly-impossible to knock down.
- Mind Gem (Blue) - Slowly regenerates the character's Infinity Gauge over time. In Arcade mode, players cannot use this Gem until the final battle against Thanos, where they would have to take the five other Gems from him before being able to take the Mind Gem.
At the start of the final battle with Thanos, all of the player's Gems are immediately taken by him. The computer-controlled Thanos does not activate Gems and instead has powerful Infinity Combos based on each Gem. When Thanos loses a Gem, he also loses access to that corresponding Infinity Combo. Player-controlled Thanos can still activate all of his Infinity Combos, regardless of Gem possession.
The game includes 10 playable fighters (4 returning from X-Men: Children of the Atom) and 2 unplayable bosses. Japanese home versions of the game include a hidden guest character, who is also available for unlock in the Marvel vs. Capcom Origins version.