Pit-Fighter is a 1990 arcade fighting game by Atari Games, notable for
its early use of digitized live actors. The Japanese arcade release
was published by Konami.
The graphical animations for the player character and opponents were
created through a bluescreen process, where the various poses and
moves of the characters were acted out by hired actors in front of a
video camera. The game's on-screen character animation are replays of
the actual footage, not a rotoscoped (redrawn) animation as was common
in other games.
Pit-Fighter was the second fighting game to use
digitized sprites, after Home Data's Reikai Dōshi: Chinese Exorcist.
6 External links
The gameplay is similar to Taito's
Violence Fight and SNK's Street
Smart. The player must punch and kick their opponent until his/her
energy runs out. If the player presses all three of the buttons at a
time, the character will perform a "super move". The player begins
Pit-Fighter by choosing one of the three playable characters, who all
have different moves, speed, and power. As many as three people can
play at a time, but there will be extra opponents to fight during any
of the game's 15 different matches.
Every third fight is a bonus round known as a Grudge Match. In a
Grudge Match, the player must fight against a
CPU controlled clone of
his or her fighter (if playing alone) or the other players in a
multiplayer game. Getting knocked down three times eliminates a player
from the Grudge Match, the winner is the last man standing. Losing the
Grudge Match does not eliminate a player, but the winner gets bonus
The final battle, the "Championship Match", is between the player and
the mysterious entity that taunts between matches every once in a
while, the Masked Warrior. If more than one person is playing the game
before this match, they must fight each other to the death until only
one becomes victorious and can fight him.
Sometimes during matches the player will come across foreign objects
such as knives, crates, sticks, motorcycles, and bar stools that can
be thrown at you or your opponent. The player may also come across a
power-up known as the "power pill". If the player or the opponent grab
this item, one will become temporarily stronger and take less damage
At times even the crowd will interfere in the fights. Two characters,
known as Knife Man (Milt Loper) and Knife Woman (Dianne Bertucci),
will come out of the crowd and stab the player with their daggers. The
player can take these nuisances out with one hit. Sometimes there is
also a fat bearded man with a stick. If the player knocks him down,
the player can take the stick and use it against the current opponent.
The audience will also push any fighter that ends up among them, and
stays there more than a few seconds. They will be forced back into the
Pit-Fighter features 3 playable fighters:
Buzz (Bill Chase): A big and strong ex-professional wrestler.
Ty (Marc Williams): An agile kickboxing champion.
Kato (Glenn Fratticelli): A quick 3rd degree black belt.
Pit-Fighter also has 8 unplayable opponents. Several of the characters
share the names of the actors who played them:
Executioner (John Aguire)
Southside Jim (James Thompson)
Angel (Angela Stellato)
C.C. Rider (Rich Vargas)
Mad Miles (Miles McGowan)
Heavy Metal (Kim Rhodes)
Chainman Eddie (Eddie Venancio)
Masked Warrior (Bill McAleenan)
Ports of the game were released for the Super NES, Mega Drive/Genesis
Master System in 1991. Ports were also released in 1991 for
various computers - the Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64,
MS-DOS, ZX Spectrum. In February 1993, the Spectrum version was
released as part of the Super Fighter compilation with Final Fight and
MegaTech magazine said the graphics were "badly
defined with rough animation". Mega placed the Mega Drive version at
#27 in their Top Mega Drive Games of All Time. The Super NES port
lacks the interactive audience and weapons, and is missing three
characters (Southside Jim, Heavy Metal and Mad Miles).
Handheld versions were released for the
Atari Lynx and the
Game Boy in
Tiger Electronics also released its own dedicated handheld
version of the game.
An emulated version of the arcade game was featured in the 2004's
Midway Arcade Treasures 2
Midway Arcade Treasures 2 for GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox, as
Midway Arcade Treasures Deluxe Edition
Midway Arcade Treasures Deluxe Edition (2006) for Microsoft
Windows. However, this version ran at a faster speed than the arcade
Pit-Fighter was also included in the 2012 compilation Midway
Julian Rignall of
Computer and Video Games
Computer and Video Games gave the game 90%, calling
it a "thoroughly enjoyable beat'em up which really packs a punch" and
"one of the most enjoyable arcade fighting games in a long time."
Zzap!64 gave the game a more negative review, dubbing it an
"anticlimactic beat'em up" and writing that the attract mode was the
best part of the game. They criticized the limited frames of animation
and compared it unfavorably to
The Combatribes and Final Fight.
Computer Gaming World
Computer Gaming World approved of the
Amiga version of Pit-Fighter,
stating that it "is the arcade game teleported", and concluded that
the game "offers the two-player option missing in many fighter games
and enough roughhousing to suit the most violent gamer".
In 1992, a fighting game called
Guardians of the 'Hood
Guardians of the 'Hood was released by
Atari Games. This game featured the same style of digitized characters
Pit-Fighter and the player could have 3 other players join
simultaneously. The big difference this time around was it played like
a scrolling fighter, beat 'em up game and had a completely new cast of
characters. Despite its digitized graphics and unique gameplay similar
to both Capcom's Final Fight and Sega's Streets of Rage, this game was
overlooked in the arcades and never made it to the home consoles. The
game was badly received by critics and gamers alike.
Issue 49 of EGM (August 1993) had a two-page preview of the planned
sequel which the magazine claimed was over 75% finished and would be
released in the 4th quarter of 1993 on the Genesis. Kato, Buzz and Ty
were returning along with three new selectable fighters: Connor
(Karate Champion), Tanya (Roller Queen) and Chief (Ex-bodyguard).
Pictures showed two
CPU fighters, Helga (level 1) and Jay-Jay (level
2). No further information was ever given about this sequel, but the
screenshots show that the game appeared to be a rehash of the first
game, at least graphically, just with new characters.
Pit-Fighter arcade video game by
Atari Games Corp. (1990)".
Arcade-history.com. Retrieved 2016-10-15.
^ "Pit-Fighter". MobyGames. Retrieved 9 Nov 2013.
MegaTech rating, EMAP, issue 5, page 78, May 1992
^ "Super Fighter". Ysrnry.co.uk. Archived from the original on
2012-08-13. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
^ Mega magazine issue 1, page 76, Future Publishing, Oct 1992
Midway Arcade Origins Review". IGN. 2012-11-13. Retrieved
^ Rignall, Julian (January 1991). "Pit Fighter". Computer+Video Games:
140. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
^ "Pit-Fighter". Zzap!64. February 1991: 54.
^ Wilson, David (October 1992). "Pit-Fighter". Computer Gaming World.
p. 66. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
Pit-Fighter at the Killer List of Videogames
Pit-Fighter at MobyGames
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