VS. Wrecking Crew
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VS. Wrecking Crew is a 1984 arcade game for the VS. System and is the first game of the Wrecking Crew series. Unlike its 1985 console sequel Wrecking Crew, this game is focused more on competitive play and is less puzzle oriented. It features a simultaneous two-player mode in which the opposing player is seen on the other side of the construction wall.
Gameplay takes place on a single wraparound screen split into five floors. In the single player mode, Luigi is an opponent that hinders Mario. In the two-player mode, both players compete against each other.
The game was designed specifically for the VS. DualSystem, and thus featured mechanics that were only possible with multiple screens. On each screen, each player will see themselves in the foreground and their opponent in the background; likewise the enemies that can harm them are in the foreground, while the ones dangerous to their opponent are blue silhouettes in the background. If an enemy walks into a door (which are opened by swinging at them with hammers), they will switch the side of the playfield that they are on. This allows both players to compete by luring enemies on their opponent's side, while simultaneously competing for score by demolishing as much of the building as possible before the time runs out. If both players are at the same wall piece, whichever swings first will knock the other down to the bottom of the playfield, as can be done with enemies that are on the other side compared to where the player is. In addition, they will have to dodge fireballs that spawn from the edge of their platform.
After every even numbered phase, there will be a bonus stage. In a single player game, Mario has to find a coin hidden behind a row of walls before the time runs out. With two players, both compete against each other for the coin. There are 10,000 bonus points for finding the coin in the first wall that is smashed.
The game originally had no tie to the Mario franchise, the protagonist being an unnamed overalls-wearing man with no mustache as seen in earlier Japanese flyers and ads. The early screenshots in both sets of flyers also have differences compared to the released version. The doors use different sprites which had a more complicated opening animation. Notably, the HUD has the text "I UP" and "IIUP" instead of "MARIO" and "LUIGI". Additionally, the second player is green or blue-clothed, whereas Luigi wears a lighter shade of Mario's red in the final. During development, Shigeru Miyamoto was shown the game and suggested Mario to be the player character as "he's really easy to draw, and people recognize him."
References to other games