Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes (マーヴル VS. カプコン クラッシュ オブ スーパーヒーローズ,Māvuru vs. Kapukon Kurasshu Obu Sūpā Hīrōzu?) is the fifth Marvel Comics-licensed fighting game by Capcom and the third to feature Capcom characters. In contrast to X-Men vs. Street Fighter and Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, the game features characters from numerous Capcom franchises such as Mega Man and Strider, rather than just Street Fighter characters. The game takes place within the Marvel comic continuity, as Professor Charles Xavier calls out for heroes to stop him before he merges with the consciousness of Magneto and becomes the being known as Onslaught, the final boss.
While the gameplay was typical of the Marvel vs. Capcom series, Marvel vs. Capcom was distinguishable by two features: the ability to summon assist characters, and the Duo Team Attack.
Unlike the previous game in the series, the point character of a Marvel vs. Capcom team could not summon the off screen partner for an assist attack; instead, an assist character was randomly selected before the match began. This character could be summoned a limited number of times in battle to attack the opponent in parallel. Codes could be used to force the system to select a certain assist character.
The Duo Team Attack allowed a player to control both characters on his or her team simultaneously for a brief period of time; the characters had unlimited use of their super moves during this time. Since some characters had hard-to-avoid super moves that did substantial damage if blocked, the Duo Team Attack led to tactics that were oriented around activating it before your opponent could. Since the PlayStation port only allowed one character to play a point, a Duo Team Attack would call the assist character repeatedly without cost during its duration.
She is the only secret character in this game to have her own unique sprites. She is short enough to be able to duck from most attacks. However she tends to hover in the air due to her dress and runs slowly due to her short legs. Her attacks mimic that of Mega Man, but are weaker and come out slower because of added animation of equipping a Buster weapon.
Onslaught initially appears in his best known form, armed with powered-up versions of moves used by Magneto, as well as the ability to summon Sentinels and brainwashed versions of other characters. When defeated first, he vanishes, and appears screen-sized with mostly new moves. Can be selected once the player completes the game once with any team of characters in the PlayStation version. Unlocked on Dreamcast version after unlocking all secret characters. Onslaught is located below Wolverine. He can only be played in one stage (the stage in which the player would fight Onslaught originally).
The PlayStation version of the game (titled as EX Edition in Japan), differs from the arcade version in that players are unable to switch characters on-the-fly, reducing the secondary character to an assist role only. Significantly, this removes the tag-team aspect of the game, which is considered by some to be one of its defining characteristics. The PlayStation version instead offers a "Cross over" mode where each player chooses one character, and the second character for each team is a mirror of the opponent's pick. In this mode, the players may switch characters at will, but the teams must always be identical. This compromise is necessitated by the console's small memory size -- the use of identical teams alleviates the memory requirements.
Ryu has the ability to switch between his own movesets and that of Ken and Akuma in this game; one of the PlayStation version's loading screens dubbed him "'Complete Change' Ryu". His theme in the game is also a remix of the title theme from the Street Fighter II series of games up till Hyper Fighting and the character select screen from Super Street Fighter II Turbo.
Mega Man's theme is a remix of the opening title screen music of Mega Man 2. He also has his own unique victory music when he wins a match, which is the same victory fanfare heard when a Robot Master is defeated in a few Mega Man titles, such as Mega Man 2 and Mega Man 7. Mega Man can even "copy" Onslaught's weapon; after defeating him in the PlayStation version, the player can replay the game using Mega Man with an extra Hyper Combo move, Magneto'sMagnetic Shockwave.
The opening fanfare of Strider Hiryu's theme is a remix of the opening fanfare in the arcade game he appears in, with the rest of the music being a remix of the level 1 theme. Hiryu's ending also has him remark "Target eliminated. Mission complete" before he flies off on his hang glider. The next screen shows a humpback whale surfacing up to the ocean, then Hiryu jumps off his hang glider and rides on the back of the whale; this is based on the ending in the original arcade game after he defeated Grandmaster Meio.
Zangief can transform into Mech-Zangief from previous installments via the use of Iron Body, an ability retained for his appearance in the sequel.
Captain Commando's ending has him appear on the Avengers HQ's monitor, informing them of his and his comrades' victory over Onslaught. When asked who he is, he simply says "I am Captain Commando." This is a recreation of the ending from his own game. He also has two win quotes that reference past Capcom games:
"Thank you for playing this game!" refers to the ending quote after the end credits roll.
Commando also tells the player the first Capcom game, which was "Vulgus, back in 1984!".
The secret Capcom characters (Roll, Shadow Lady, and Lilith-Mode Morrigan) are the only secret characters to have their own endings.
This is the second game in the series that doesn't feature any playable female characters from the Marvel side (all Marvel females who do appear are assist characters), the first being Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter.
The home versions of the game had an additional two palettes for each character with the exception of Onslaught, who only has one set of colors.