Namco × Capcom (ナムコ クロス カプコン, pronounced Namco cross Capcom) is an action/tactical RPG released for the PlayStation 2 in 2005, exclusively in Japan. As its name implies, the game is a massive crossover between franchises from both Namco and Capcom.
The game is an hybrid of tactical and action role-playing. The player has a set number of characters or "units" during each chapter, which can be moved in a square grid or field map to either attack enemy units, use items or perform character-specific skills. Once the player enters battle, the game switches to a side-view perspective similar to a 2D fighting game: here the player must input several moves (consisting of a button and a direction) in order to combo the enemy character. There are a limited number of actions or Branches to use, but the player can both gain more of them alongside bonuses and experience points by extending Aerial Chains (hitting and keeping the enemy in mid-air). Each character also has a more powerful Special Attack, which can be done after filling out the Special Gauge, and some unit combinations have access to a Multiple Assault, a combined cinematic attack performed on the field map which strikes any enemy unit within a range.
An official soundtrack and manga anthology were also released.
The game centers around two original characters: Reiji Arisu and Xiaomu, agents of a secret organization known as "Shinra", a group that deals with supernatural occurrences. Before the game's story, Shinra stopped a plan from the "Ouma" organization to create "fluctuations" and open up portals between worlds, albeit at the cost of Reiji's father life. Ten years later, Reiji and Xiaomu are investigating new fluctuations happening in Shibuya, Tokyo; and soon discover characters and locations from different worlds and times are converging together, and "Ouma" agent Saya, related to the death of Reiji's father, is involved.
The game's story is split into 50 chapters (5 Prologues and 45 numbered chapters), and has a cast of mroe than 200 characters selected from several Namco and Capcom franchises, separated in different home worlds:
- "Material World" (物質界): The central world in the game, based off real-life Earth but set in the year 20XX. Characters from Bravoman, Dino Crisis, Final Fight, Resident Evil: Dead Aim, Rival Schools, Street Fighter, Tekken and Wonder Momo originate here.
- "Distant Future" (超未来): The highly advanced future of the Material World. Characters from Baraduke, Burning Force, Captain Commando, Dig Dug, Forgotten Worlds, Mega Man Legends, Strider and Xenosaga originate here.
- "Illusion World" (幻想界): A world set around medievial-styled fantasy and magic. Characters from Klonoa, Tales of Destiny, The Tower of Druaga and Valkyrie originate here.
- "Spiritual World" (魍魎界): A world similar to the Material World's past. Characters from Genpei Tōma Den and the Soul series originate here.
- "Demon World" (魔界): Also known as the "Makai", the Hell-like world inhabited by demons. Characters from Darkstalkers, Ghosts 'n Goblins and Shadow Land originate here.
|Chapter 22, 23, 24, 27, 29 (cutscene), 30, 31 (cutscene), 33, 34, 35, 37 (cutscene), 38, 40 (cutscene), 43, 44, Epilogue||Special-A Class Strider, member of the intelligence group "Striders" which claims descendance from the ninja. Wields the light sword Cypher, which generates plasma to cut through any material in a single strike.|
|Chapter 19 (cutscene), 22, 27, 35, 38, 44||Originally a Special-A Class Strider and former comrade of Hiryu. Following the destruction of the Striders, he joins the side of the Grandmaster and becomes an obstacle in Hiryu's path. Though details are unknown, it's said he has took part in the annihilation of the Striders.|
|Chapter 20, 22, 35, 38, 44||One of the Grandmaster's subordinates. Her murdering technique is a form of martial arts equal to Hiryu's. Her kicks can create an arc of plasma energy identical to that of the Cypher.|
|Chapter 35, 40, 44||One of the Grandmaster's subordinates, a human clone of Tong Pooh. She uses the same murdering techniques as Tong Pooh. Her kicks can create an arc of plasma energy identical to that of the Cypher.|
|Chapter 19 (cutscene), 22, 27, 38, 44||One of the Grandmaster's subordinates. An assassin wearing a mechanical suit with flight capabilities. Holding his Giant Beam Cannon in hand, he pursues Hiryu.|
Solo Mass Produced Model
|Chapter 18, 21, 22, 27, 38||One of the Grandmaster's subordinates. Mass Production Combat-type android created based on Solo's battle date.|
|Chapter 19 (cutscene), 44||The "Lord of Darkness" who has conquered the world in no time, and manufactured the artificial city "The Third Moon" above satellite orbit. He has the power to freely fly through the sky, and to even create life. Hiryu's assassination target.|
Two stages from the series appear during the course of the game: The Third Moon and Flying Battleship Balrog. While their exterior appearance is taken from the original game, their interior areas are closer in look to their Strider 2 incarnations. Some of these areas also feature elements from other game series.
The Third Moon - Anti-Gravity Corridor
|The Unknown Soldiers (from Forgotten Worlds) suddenly appear inside the Third Moon, and are quickly confronted by Tong Pooh. The whole area is actually turned upside-down, with all characters standing on the ceiling. The area is based on the reverse-gravity sections found in both Arcade games, although visually it loosely resembles the gravity-switching corridors seen in the final stage of Strider 2.|
The Third Moon - Entrance
|MegaMan Volnutt and Roll find themselves crashing into the entrance port of the Third Moon, and are soon confronted by some of Meio's allies. The area is inspired in part by the first scene in the Third Moon stage from Strider 2, specifically the final section leading to the spaceport's exit. The area also incldues the Flutter (from Mega Man Legends) crashed in the middle of the docking area.|
The Third Moon - Unified Earth Control Section
|Hiryu arrives at Grandmaster Meio's chamber, only to find it empty besides Hien. Eventually other characters join in the battle, and Solo sets the Third Moon into self-destruct in an attempt to kill everyone present. The area is a faithful recreation of the second-to-last scene in Strider 2, including the platforms at the sides, the same hovering holographic screens and even the same name.|
Flying Battleship Balrog - Deck
|After the Balrog assaults the Tower of Druaga in the Makai, all the characters decide to board it and destroy it from the inside, splitting into three teams. The first team stays behind and deals with the enemies on the Balrog's deck. The area is designed after the back area of the original Balrog, including two of its Catapult traps, which are used at the end of Chapter 40 to escape the doomed warship.|
Flying Battleship Balrog - Lab
|Finding a lab where Gnosis (from Xenosaga) are being cloned, the second team destroys the machine tubes and deal with the released monsters as well as enemy reinforcements. The area loosely resembles the 2nd scene from Strider 2, the "New Life Development Section", with its stacks of tubes lining its backdrop. The containment tubes seen in this area, however, are in-game stated to be technology from Captain Commando, and their designs are taken from the one tube holding "Monster", the 4th stage boss in the game.|
Flying Battleship Balrog - Central Engine Room
|The final team arrives at the core of the Balrog, where M. Bison is channeling his Psycho Power to allow the airship's inter-dimensional travel. The area is loosely based off the Anti-Gravity Device's system room from Strider, and includes a faithful 3D rendition of the device in its center and the Psycho Drive from Street Fighter Alpha 3 installed beneath it.|
Additional Notes and References
- Hiryu's movelist is a mixture of moves from Marvel vs. Capcom and Strider 2, including three special moves (Gram, Vajra and Ragnarok) and two basic attacks (crouching and jumping HK) from the former, and the Boost and Savage Slash techniques from the latter.
- When using Gram, Hiryu performs a standing then a crouching slash. Both versions are separate techniques in the first two Marvel vs. Capcom games.
- During Hiryu's Ragnarok Special Attack, the same Hyper Combo background effect from Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is used. This trait is shared with Tron Bonne's Special and Captain Commando's Multiple Assaults.
- Also, much like Marvel vs. Capcom, Hiryu's individual theme is a remix of the intro fanfare and theme from Strider, "Defense Line - Raid!".
- While missing as actual techniques, Hiryu's signature "Sliding Kick" and his Marvel vs. Capcom series "Legion" Hyper Combo both appear as names for two of his Skills.
- Tong Pooh is mostly inspired in her Strider 2 self, and uses attacks from her boss fight: her signature Flying Back Kick is her basic attack, while her Special is the "Somersault Kick", the first of the sisters' shared attacks used once one of them is taken down.
- The "Nang Pooh" clones seen as grunt units are inspired in the second Kuniang fight from the first Strider.
- Hien's design is the long-sleeved uniform seen in artwork and cutscenes in Strider 2, different from his sprite which is a simple head and palette swap of Hiryu's. Outside of his Special Attack and evasion move (Vajra), all his techniques are based on moves from his boss fight.
- Solo is designed entirely after his original Strider self, and borrows the corresponding attacks (missiles and giant laser beam) from that incarnation.
- Solo's evasion move has him flying away from an enemy's attack. This is based on his behavior in the original game, where he'd instantly fly away when attacked while in mid-flight.
- The "Solo Mass Produced Model" grunt unit is a stage enemy from Strider 2. Their armor and face were slightly redesigned to more closely resemble Solo's original design.
- Grandmaster Meio's design is based on his original appearance. The lower half of his face is covered in bandages as a nod to Strider 2, where his face appears fully bandaged.
- Several references to the entire series can be spotted during the game:
- In Chapter 19, Meio and Solo have a reprise of their dialogue from the Stage 2 cutscene in the first Strider, only changing Eurasia for the Third Moon.
- After being defeated in Chapter 20, Tong Pooh mentions how Grandmaster Meio has enough power that he has the "entire world in his palm". Similar lines are spoken by Captain Beard Jr. in the first game and by Tong Pooh herself in the second.
- Solo usually announces his presence by saying "Target confirmed", which is the same line he speaks before his first boss fight in Strider 2.
- Chapter 22 includes several such references: Hiryu opens the chapter up by requesting to be "taken to [their] boss", just like in the first Strider. Hiryu and Hien later have the same conversation from the epilogue of Mission 00 in Strider 2, and Hiryu at one point calls him a "servant of your masters"/"whipped dog" just like he does to Tong Pooh at the end of Mission 01.
- During Solo's introduction in Chapter 22, one of his dialogue art puts him in the exact same "guns ready" pose seen in his Strider portrait.
- Grandmaster Meio uses his well-known "Sons of Old Gods" speech from Strider during his introduction in Chapter 44. His plan to burn down all life on Earth and repopulate it is what he sought to achieve in Strider, except in this instance he plans on doing it on a multiversal scale.
- Sometimes when attacking, Meio will say the enemy shall behold "the power of science". This is a reference to the first game's backstory, where Meio is said to have gained his life-creation powers through the extensive research of ancient lifeforms.
- Hiryu and Meio's last exchange during Chapter 44 is borrowed from the original manga, when Hiryu confronts Faceas Clay in Chapter 6. The dialogue is slightly edited to fit the different setting: for example, while in the original Hiryu talks about all the innocent deaths (Sheena and his sister included) Clay is responsible for, the game replaces it with all the planets and lives Meio has claimed.
- Two chapters titles are references to the series:
- Chapter 22 is titled "He Who Runs Across Fields" (野を馳せる者), the official meaning of the word "Strider" according to both the manga and source material for the first game.
- Chapter 44 is titled after Hiryu's line from the Arcade game: "Are you sending a toy into battle?"/"You don't need a toy like that" (貴様らにそんな玩具は必要ない).
- According to a Japanese website, there's leftover code within the game which indicates that Pei Pooh and Sai Pooh, the missing members of the Kuniang team, were at one point planned to appear as enemies.
- Monolith Soft; Namco (2006, PlayStation 2). Namco × Capcom (Japanese). In-game Character Profiles.
- PS2 Save Data Analysis Results - Namco x Capcom (Japanese). Retrieved from Archive.org. Accessed August 19, 2017