SVC Chaos: SNK vs. Capcom (also known as SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos) is a 2D fighting game developed and released by Playmore for arcades (running Neo Geo MVS hardware) on July 24, 2003 and the Neo Geo AES on November 13, 2003. It is the only arcade game for the Neo Geo that was also released with a combined arcade board.
SNK's second fighting game entry into its short-lived crossover series with Capcom (after the handheld SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium), SVC Chaos brings the rivalry to the Neo Geo. Unlike Capcom's entries, this game does not include the "Groove" or "Ratio" systems, restricting the game to traditional one-on-one matches with a singular gameplay style (that is reminiscent of The King of Fighters). The game is known for its pre-fight dialogue, showing banter between both fighters.
The game was originally intended to be released in tandem with Capcom vs. SNK: Millennium Fight 2000, but was canned in development after SNK went bankrupt. It was revived after Playmore's acquisition of SNK and is the last title released under the Playmore name.
It was ported to the PlayStation 2 (in Japan on December 25, 2003 and in Europe on April 15, 2005) and Xbox (in the U.S. on September 28, 2004, in Japan on October 7, 2004, and in Europe on March 18, 2005), with the Xbox version featuring online multiplayer via Xbox Live and both versions featuring bonus game modes (such as Practice, Survival, and Color Edit modes) and a new announcer. The European releases were published by Ignition.
The game uses a traditional Neo-Geo style four-button control scheme, with the A and B buttons as Weak Punch/Kick attacks and the C and D buttons as Strong Punch/Kick attacks. Standard fighting game rules apply.
Basic commands used in the game include dashing (by tapping the Joystick towards or away from the opponent) for quick movement, grappling (by pressing either both Weak or Strong attacks when the enemy is near), and taunting (by pressing the Start button).
While dashing towards the opponent, they can cancel the dash into a higher jump or any attack. High Jumps, which have a better chance of dodging projectiles, can also be performed by tapping Down, Down-Forward, or Down-Back on the joystick prior to jumping. Each character has two unique throws (known in-game as "Body Slams"), which can be escaped if the opponent presses the same button combination while being grabbed. Some throws can also be performed in the air, which cannot be escaped. Striking an opponent as they're making an attack causes a Counter Hit, dealing more damage.
Each player has two stacked life bars: one yellow and one red. Damage is applied to the yellow bar before the red bar. Once the yellow bar is depleted, they can perform a devastating super move (known as an "Exceed"). Exceeds can only be used once per player per match. Underneath that bar is the Guard Crush meter, which depletes as players continuously block attacks and slowly regenerates. Once the meter is depleted, the player's fighter is staggered and is open to a free attack.
Each player has a Power Gauge that, while looking like one long super meter, is split into three Gauge Levels. The Gauge slowly fills up as players perform special moves, take damage, connect with attacks, and gets taunted.
Techniques that use the Gauge Level include Guard Cancelling (see below) and Super Moves (each using one whole Gauge Level). 1/4 of a Gauge Level is also depleted if a player misses a throw.
Once a player reaches Gauge Level 3, they will automatically enter Maximum Mode. During this mode, the Power Gauge is replaced with a slowly-draining Maximum Gauge (that still acts like a normal Power Gauge) and players gain the ability to cancel certain attacks into other attacks (including Special Moves and Super Moves). Once the Maximum Gauge is depleted, the player is reverted to a Power Gauge at Gauge Level 2.
There are two special advanced techniques that can be performed if the player has enough meter in their Power Gauge and are currently blocking an attack:
- The "Gauge Consumption Dash" (better known as the Guard Cancel Front Step), performed by either tapping forward twice (for 1/4 of a Gauge Level) or pressing both Light Kick and Strong Punch buttons (for 1/2 of a Gauge Level), allows players to dash forward. Like a normal dash, this can be cancelled into an attack (allowing the player to easily punish attacking opponents).
- The "Gauge Consumption Attack" (better known as the Guard Cancel Attack), performed by pressing both Strong buttons (for one whole Gauge Level), allows players to perform a special attack that knocks their opponent across the screen. While it does no damage, it breaks combo-heavy moves and adds a significant amount to the Guard Crush gauge.
SVC Chaos includes a roster of 36 playable fighters (eight of which are hidden mid-bosses, two of which are hidden bosses, and two of which are hidden secret bosses), all of which are evenly split between characters of SNK and Capcom properties. Most of the characters have previously appeared in either The King of Fighters or Street Fighter.
All hidden characters (with the exception of the secret bosses) can be played through special cheat codes on the Player Select screen. The bosses cannot be played in the arcade version. The secret bosses can only be unlocked in the console versions by defeating them in Survival Mode. Some bootlegs of the arcade version add the hidden characters to the Player Select screen (SVC Chaos PLUS for mid-bosses and bosses, SVC Chaos SUPER PLUS for all).
All SNK fighters (with the exception of the Samurai Shodown characters, Mars People, and Athena) use their The King of Fighters '98 appearances.
All characters are based on their Street Fighter II appearances (unless otherwise noted). Like Capcom's entries into the series, all of the rival company's characters have been redrawn to match the other company's style.