The Punisher

The Punisher

Retro Coin Op Synopsis

Marvel Comics’ vigilante antihero the Punisher has always been a fan favorite. With his hard-edged attitude, loads of firepower and impeccable fashion sense (all black, white skull on chest), the Punisher converted millions of comic book fans to his no-nonsense style of business. Hoping those fans would follow their raging hero to the arcades, Capcom released The Punisher as a Final Fight-style fighting game in 1993.

In the game, as in the comics, ex-military man Frank Castle was on a picnic with his family when his wife and children stumbled onto a mob hit. Mrs. Castle and the kids were gunned down, and Frank dedicated himself to fighting criminal scum in his new alter ego, the Punisher.

Through six stages of play, the Punisher tracked down organized crime’s heavy head honcho, the Kingpin, to exact a little righteous retribution. Several other familiar Marvel baddies stood in the way as bosses—Jigsaw, Bushwhacker, the Reavers, Pretty Boy and others—but the Punisher also had help (for this game, at least). Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. could join the game as a second player, bringing his special military training to the fray.

Like most games of this genre, The Punisher featured special punching, kicking and throwing attacks, along with an arsenal of power-up weapons along the way. Even furniture and other objects could be used as weapons, but they were no substitute for an Uzi, flamethrower, grenades or an M-16. All this firepower came in handy when facing down the hundreds of thugs who menaced our tough-guy heroes, and especially for the powerful bosses.

The Punisher didn’t really break any new ground in gameplay, but it did spark the beginning of a thriving relationship between Capcom and Marvel. The tandem followed this game’s success with X-Men: Children of the Atom in 1994, kicking off the highly popular Marvel Super Heroes line of one-on-one fighting games.

Arcade Machine Release History

1993 - The Punisher

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