A very popular developer and publisher of videogames, originating from Japan. Here are some of their major works.

2D Fighting Games

Capcom are best known for their huge stable of sprite-based fighting games, the most famous of which is Street Fighter 2. Prior to this they created several successful arcade fighting games, including Street Fighter, Final Fight, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, Captain Commando, Knights of The Round, and Saturday Night Slam Masters.

Since Street Fighter 2 became an arcade phenomenon, they have mainly concentrated on revising the same formula, resulting in the Super Street Fighter 2, Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter III, Vampire Saviour (Darkstalkers), Rival Schools, Street Fighter EX (3D!), and "Vs." (Marvel Vs. Capcom, Capcom vs. SNK, X-Men Vs. Streetfighter) families of games. These generally appear first as a coin-op and then get ported to various console formats. Capcom's most recent foray into 3D fighting is the Power Stone series.

Survival Horror

Capcom's Resident Evil series ("inspired" by Alone In The Dark) showed that they could create games in new genres with new technology. The games incorporated cinematic techniques to heighten the atmosphere. The Dino Crisis series followed. (And now Devil May Cry.) Shinji Mikami is the mastermind of this department.

Platform games

Capcom's other great legacy, ported with great success to the NES and practically all subsequent consoles, is of course Megaman (or Rockman in Japan). The little android boy has featured in dozens of games and compilations over the years, including two recentish coin-ops (Rockman The Power Battle and Rockman The Fighters) that transposed boss battles from previous games into a Streetfighter-esque format.

Capcom's other classic platformers include Bionic Commando, Strider, Ghost 'n' Goblins and Ghouls 'n' Ghosts - the last of which is possibly the high water mark of arcade platformer design. The overarching theme of these games is ridiculously high level of difficulty, prompting the player to have "just one more go..." until broke or exhausted.

Capcom also publish some of Blizzard's games in Japan.

Additional Capcom titbits (Nov 2002)

Capcom have reportedly bowed out of the arcade market, their final arcade title being Capcom Fighting Allstars. They are currently supporting all of the current generation of consoles. Some forthcoming attractions:-

Devil May Cry 2, Auto Modellista, Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, Red Dead Revolver, Chaos Legion, Breath of Fire V and several other products on Sony Playstation 2;
The Resident Evil/Biohazard series (five titles) and four new products (P.N. 03, Viewtiful Joe, Dead Phoenix and Killer 7) on Nintendo Gamecube;
Tekki (Steel Battalion) and Genma Onimusha on Microsoft Xbox.

In space shuttle terminology, capcom also stands for capsule communications (even though the transport device is not called a capsule anymore). They are responsible for most of the talking to the shuttle during the missions. They relay all the messages to and from the shuttle. It's a very important, very stressful position in the space flight system.

If you watch the movies Apollo 13 or Armageddon carefully, you will see the capcom position in the ground control. "Houston, we have a problem", was first heard by CAPCOM.

Capcom began in Tokyo Japan in 1979 as an arcade game manufacturer. They have since expanded dramatically and have offices in Tokyo, Osaka, Sunnyvale, California, London, and Hong Kong. They are currently active in all areas of the video game market, and even own a chain of arcades known as Nickel City.

Capcom is one of the true success stories in the arcade world. They are one of the only manufacturers left from the original late 70s arcade boom, and are stronger now then they were then. They are known for such revolutionary titles as the Street Fighter series, Mega Man, and Strider. Most manufacturers have a few excellent titles, but Capcom has a ton of excellent titles, and only a few bad ones. Their PAL console conversions leave a little to be desired, something Capcom Europe has issued an official apology for. Porting titles to PAL consoles requires extra work to get the to run the proper speed (this is because PAL televisions run at a different refresh rate than NTSC televisions), something Capcom had not been doing).

I do have one major problem with Capcom, and no it isn't the fact that the Street Fighter series spanned 24 games without ever being labled higher than 3. The problem with Capcom is that they build game boards that self destruct over time. They purposely equip almost everything they ship with a suicide chip (a suicide chip is a RAM chip powered by a small battery, if it loses power, or detects an abnormality, then it is erased, rendering the game useless). They do this as some sort of copy protection, but the fact is that the bootleggers and hackers alway manage to break this protection eventually. The end result is that bootleg Capcom games are still produced (although not often, as the industry has slowed down, and bootlegging is not as popular as it used to be), but thousands of law abiding owners of Capcom hardware are stuck with a product that will self destruct in 5-12 years.

Capcom Arcade Titles

CAPCOM is an abbreviation for "Capsule Communicator." It is a term used by NASA to describe a specific Flight Controller position for NASA manned spaceflight missions. Starting with the first NASA manned spaceflight of Alan Shepard in the Freedom 7 spacecraft on May 5, 1961, NASA operations procedures dictated that all voice communications with astronauts in space must be either performed or controlled by a single person. That person is designated CAPCOM, and their callsign on all voice transmissions is the now-iconic "Houston" - so the familiar "Apollo, Houston..." phrase indicates that CAPCOM is beginning a transmission to an Apollo spacecraft.

Through the end of the Space Shuttle Program, CAPCOM was always a trained astronaut as NASA believed that that would help maximize understanding between ground and the spacecraft, which might be critical in emergencies. As of 2011, however, non-astronauts have begun filling in as CAPCOM for ISS duties. On longer flights, flight controllers work in shifts, and each shift has its own CAPCOM.

Note that CAPCOM is not the team leader at flight control. That position is held by the Flight Director, known as FLIGHT (as in, "Go, FLIGHT!" during countdowns).


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