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December 16 2018

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Thread Author: 1983parrothead
Thread ID: 4731
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There are 3 posts in this thread, and it has been viewed 2023 times.
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Fill-in-Cafe appreciation thread
It's been 25 years since Team Cross Wonder renamed itself as Fill-in-Cafe. If you are ignorant about Fill-in-Cafe, then let me introduce it to you here.

It all started in 1987 under the name Team Cross Wonder. Their first and only game under that label was Metal Sight, a Space Harrier-like rail shooter.




Then came another Space Harrier-like rail shooter, Neural Gear, the first video game with the Fill-in-Cafe label. Unlike Metal Sight, Neural Gear is controlled with the mouse.

Gameplay video by Denymentanol

Then Fill-in-Cafe started becoming better with the release of Galaxy Keiji Gayvan (published by Intec), a single-plane field-based beat 'em up with the style of Space Sheriff Gavan.


Stage 1

20 years ago, in 1994, Fill-in-Cafe started gaining popularity when they released Mad Stalker: Full Metal Force, followed by Asuka 120% BURNING Fest. for Sharp X68000 and Fujitsu FM Towns home computers.

Mad Stalker: Full Metal Force (Sharp X68000)

Mad Stalker: Full Metal Force (Fujitsu FM Towns)

Asuka 120% BURNING Fest. (Sharp X68000) (I still couldn't find gameplay videos of the ultra rare Fujitsu FM Towns version, not to be confused with the FM Towns version of Asuka 120% Excellent BURNING Fest.)

But their last efforts where probably their largest, and they were Mad Stalker: Full Metal Force and Panzer Bandit both for the PS1, and Asuka 120% BURNING Fest. Limited for the Sega Saturn.

Mad Stalker: Full Metal Force (PS1)

Panzer Bandit (uses PS1 Mad Stalker's engine)

Asuka 120% BURNING Fest. Limited

Shortly after that, Fill-in-Cafe released their first and only self-published title: Community POM.

Opening + Gameplay

But then, they released their last video game, Makeruna! Makendou Z. If you are familiar with the SNES game Kendo Rage, then this is its second sequel. Fill-in-Cafe had a close relationship with Datam Polystar and Success Corporation back then.



But now for the downfall and bankruptcy of Fill-in-Cafe. Several employees such as Kanta Watanabe later moved to Treasure, some founded their own companies known as Delta Factory and R-U-N.
Sorry to see you had no response to this thread topic.

I'm not a huge fan of Fill-in Cafe or anything but I do own Asuka 120% Burning Fest Limited for the Saturn and I also have Burning Fest Special and Excellent for PS1.

All are very enjoyable games. The Saturn version has the obvious graphical upgrades over the two PS1 titles I mentioned, however, I believe there is a graphically uprated 'Final' which I don't own which is more on par with Limited although, I've heard that Limited is still the best overall version to own.

Interesting and well made fighting games for anyone looking for something a bit different.

I'd still like to pick up Variable Geo 2 (specifically) for PS1 at some point in the future as well, as that too, looks pretty good...
Asuka 120% Limited is the last game in the franchise that was seriously developed by Fill-in-Cafe, while Final and Return were developed by Success Corporation, which is why Limited is arguably the best in the franchise.

If you are a fan of Treasure, you should check out Mad Stalker titles, because Masaki Ukyo (Treasure) and Masatoshi Imaizumi (Fill-in-Cafe) worked together on it. Not only that, but according to former Treasure designer Tetsuhiko "Han" Kikuchi, Fill-in-Cafe's Mad Stalker: Full Metal Force and Capcom's Alien VS. Predator arcade game were the main inspirations for Guardian Heroes' design.

Later on after Mad Stalker, Ukyo went on to become executive director of Guardian Heroes, while Imaizumi later created the PS1 Mad Stalker and Panzer Bandit.

Since December 19th, 2005, Ukyo and Imaizumi joined once again to establish R.U.N and created the fighting game Phantom Breaker, which plays similar to their previous works.
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