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Nintendo World Cup (NES)

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Title Screen

Nintendo World Cup

Also known as: Nekketsu Koukou Dodgeball Bu: Soccer Hen (JP)
Developer: Technos Japan
Publishers: Technos Japan (JP), Nintendo (US/EU)
Platform: NES
Released in JP: May 18, 1990
Released in US: December 1990
Released in EU: June 27, 1991


GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
LevelSelectIcon.png This game has a hidden level select.
RegionIcon.png This game has regional differences.


Hmmm...
To do:
There is an undumped and possibly unreleased Rev 1 ROM in the 2020-07-24 leaked ROM archive

A sports game from the developers of River City Ransom, it's actually part of the same series in Japan (hence the similar character designs). It's a simple soccer game where you're allowed to be aggressive with your opponents without repercussions and perform power shots (like the ones in Super Dodge Ball) that make scoring your goals much easier. It was particularly popular in Europe due to being bundled together with Tetris and Super Mario Bros. in an official Nintendo multicart. In North America, it was bundled with another Technos game, Super Spike V'Ball, as part of the NES Sports Set. Finally, in early 2020, a straight English translation of the original Japanese Kunio-kun version of the game, completely separate from the earlier Nintendo World Cup localization, was released by Arc System Works under the title Nekketsu High School Dodgeball Club: Soccer Story, as part of their Double Dragon & Kunio-kun Retro Brawler Bundle compilation for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.

Debug features

There is a common debug feature in a couple of Technos games. Usually all debug code is controlled by a memory flag, hardwritten at the end of the ROM at address $FFF6 in M6502 CPU address space. Various bits of this variable enable or disable various debug features.

Sample version

The Japanese title with "SAMPLE VERSION" is on

Bit 7 of the debug variable (to set it, use the Game Genie code EKNYVYAA) switches between normal and "SAMPLE VERSION", which enables some debug features. The code also works on the US and European releases, despite the game not showing the "SAMPLE VERSION" text on the title screen. The above code doesn't work with the version included with Super Spike V'Ball. During the game, hold the Select button on Controller 1, then press one of the following buttons:

  • On controller 1
    • A: Win the current match immediately.
    • B : Go to half time. This works even if you're on the second half of a match.
    • Up: Instantly lose the match.
  • On controller 2
    • A / B / Right / Left: takes the control of the goalkeeper when the ball is near the goal.

Additionally, by pressing A on controller 2 you can select the game stage at the level number screen, or select any enemy team at the time out screen.

Script debug

Bit 5 of the debug variable (to set it, use the Game Genie code AXNYVYAA) enables script debugging mode. You can pause any text sequence in the game by pressing B on controller 2 at any animation sequence.

B/W mode

Nekketsu Koukou Dodgeball Bu - Soccer Hen (J) -!--1.png Nekketsu Koukou Dodgeball Bu - Soccer Hen (J) -!--2.png

Bit 0 of the debug variable (to set it, use the Game Genie code PENYVYAA) enables B/W screen mode in the Japanese version.

Leftover Japanese version graphics

International releases of the game still have a few leftover graphics from the Japanese original:

Nintendo World Cup NES Leftovers 02.png

Some Kanji are still present, as is some of Technos Japan's logo.

Nintendo World Cup NES Leftovers 03.png Nintendo World Cup NES Leftovers 04.png

And both of these CHR banks contain tiles from the cutscenes and the ending of the original game.

Unused Player Characters

NES Nintendo World Cup Unused Character A.gifNES Nintendo World Cup Unused Character B.gif

The international version features two unused player characters. They correspond to Masa and Gen'ei, the final two members of Team Nekketsu in the Japanese version, but their faces were also changed like the other characters, suggesting that they were meant to be playable at some point too and were not just leftovers.

(Source: Kunio Dojo)

Regional Differences

Hmmm...
To do:
Add more info. This guide covers many things still missing from this page: [1]

Title Screen

Japan International
SoccerHen Title.png Nintendo World Cup (U) -!--0.png

The Japanese version was titled Nekketsu Koukou Dodgeball Bu: Soccer Hen, which roughly translates to "Nekketsu High School Dodgeball Club: Soccer Edition". The original Nekketsu Koukou Dodgeball Bu was the Japanese version of Super Dodge Ball and this game serves as a sequel of sorts, as the plot involves Kunio and the rest of the Nekketsu Dodge Ball team filling in for their school's soccer team after the actual members are unable to compete in the upcoming tournament due to food poisoning.

As with the previous Kunio games that were localized for the west, the game underwent extensive graphical changes in order to give it a broader appeal and wasn't marketed as a sequel to anything. This time Nintendo picked up the publishing rights for the international version and slapped their name on the title.

General

The menu font, various graphics and player sprites and sounds have been updated between the Japanese and international version.

The teams in the Japanese version consisted of high school students representing various groups such as fishermen, ninjas, yakuza and monks. The international version changed these teams to represent countries to go along with the World Cup theme.

Passwords are four digits in the Japanese version and are only shown after losing a match. On the international version, passwords are five digits and are shown after winning.

Intro

The Japanese version starts with a "Technos Japan Corp. Presents" screen, followed by an intro cutscene which sets up the premise of Tournament Mode. The international version just starts directly with the title screen without any intro.

|SoccerHen IntroScreen1.png SoccerHen IntroScreen2.png SoccerHen IntroScreen3.png

After waiting 40 seconds on the Japanese title screen, the game loops back to the intro cinematics. The international version just remains at the title screen.

Tournament Mode

On the Japanese version, each match consists of two halves lasting 1:30 minutes each. On the international version it's 4 minutes per halftime.

The international version adds the option to play as any of the game's 13 teams, but it does so in a rather unusual matter, as the Tournament Mode in the Japanese version wasn't designed for multiple teams in mind. The faces of the team members will remain unchanged (unlike their CPU-controlled counterparts), but their palettes and power shots will be changed accordingly. Team USA is the only team with individual player stats and power shots, making them the equivalent of Team Nekketsu.

The international version is fixed to eight players. The Japanese version starts you out with six players, with more joining as you go on:

  • Susumu (equivalent to the international version's Phil) joins after the second match.
  • Atsushi (Fred) joins after the fourth match.
  • Masa joins after the seventh match.
  • Gen'ei joins after the eleventh match.

The Japanese version features different types of fields. The international version uses the grass field only.

Cutscenes

Hmmm...
To do:
Compare the cutscenes and the endings here.

VS. Mode

The international version adds support for the NES Satellite and Four Score adapters, which increase the maximum number of players in Vs. Match Mode from 2 to 4.

A match lasts 2:30 minutes on Japanese, and 10 minutes in the international version.

Team and Player Stats

Hmmm...
To do:
Compare both versions' teams and player stats here.

Audio Changes

The title theme was remade and is longer in the international version.

Japan
International

The pause sound effect was extended in the international version.

Japan
International

Graphical Changes

Japan International
SoccerHen Character.png
NintendoWorldCup Character.png
Hmmm...
To do:
Compare the two versions, one player (or maybe all players) per team. Compare the font, etc.

Play Mechanics

Timer

The timer pauses when the ball goes out of bounds on the international version, as opposed to the Japanese timer which keeps going.

The international version shows PAUSE !! in place of the timer when pausing the game. The Japanese version does not have such an indicator that the game is paused.

Super Shots

The Japanese version features 14 usable super-shots (and 8 ones only the computer can use). The international version features 11 super-shots which are all usable.

There is no limit as to how many times you can use a super-shot in a match on the Japanese version. The international version added a limit of five super-shots per halftime.

Hmmm...
To do:
Compare both versions' super shots in a table here.

Goal-Kick

The Japanese version allows you to approach the ball while the opponent team's goalkeeper prepares a goal-kick. The international version forces you out of the penalty area.

Bugfixes

When scoring a goal in the last two seconds, it won't count on the Japanese version. This was fixed in the international version which pauses the timer when the ball is not on the field.

When using the boomerang super shot on the Japanese version in such a way that the ball goes out of bounds but still hits the goal or the side of the goal, the ball may fly away and cause the game to be stuck until time runs out. This doesn't occur in the international version.