Tecmo Cup Soccer Game is a 1988 soccer RPG game developed and published by Tecmo exclusively for the NES. Originally released in Japan under the name Captain Tsubasa (of the manga of the same name), it was 1992 before Tecmo eventually released the game worldwide, birthing the Tecmo Cup Soccer Game name alongside a host of other changes.
Overall, Tecmo Cup Soccer Game was popular in its niche, being a strong seller in Japan and reviewed well among local publications such as Famitsu. However, some of its RPG elements prevented it from being a wider hit among those expecting a more traditional soccer experience.
Tecmo Cup Soccer Game Premise
Describing Tecmo Cup Soccer Game as just another soccer game does it an injustice. The game goes to great lengths to be something more, and does a great job of representing the action of a soccer game without allowing you to ever really be a part of the action.
It does this through RPG choices in various areas of the game. It begins with your lineup. You’ve got a starting 11, as well as a substitute bench. Each player has their own individual stats in different areas of the game, such as Dribbling, Shooting, and Tackling. You’ve got to decide where a player is best used, and this will influence how they perform in-game.
Then there are the games themselves. These play out via a series of animated cutscenes, with breaks in between each passage of play. When a player has a decision to make in-game, it pauses, and you actually get to make that choice for them. Will they shoot and go for glory themselves, or make the right pass at the right moment instead? You get to decide that, living with the consequences of each decision at the end of it all. After each decision is made, the cutscene plays out, and more time passes in the game. It’s an extremely unique gameplay loop only really replicated by something such as the Football Manager series in this day and age.
Tecmo Cup Soccer Game Main Characters
As the Tecmo Cup Soccer Game is based on Captain Tsubasa, all of the characters in the game are like-for-like replacements, swapped out due to the license not being used. For example, the spiky-haired protagonist of the Japanese version, Tsubasa Ozora, has been replaced with Robin Field, a blonde prim-and-proper soccer player. This is the case for plenty of other elements of the game but is easily most noticeable with the characters. Here’s the full list of characters in both the Japanese and international versions:
|Elle Sid Pierre
|Karl Heinz Schneider
The exact same thing goes for all of the teams in the game, too, having been swapped for an international equivalent. These are as follows:
Tecmo Cup Soccer Game Titles in Series
While the game was branded as Tecmo Cup Soccer Game in the West, this title is a Captain Tsubasa game at heart, despite the changes made to the main character in the later release. Over the years, plenty of attempts have been made to adapt the Captain Tsubasa manga into a video game, with the schedule of releases often centered around the current popularity of the ongoing anime adaptation.
What makes Captain Tsubasa games so unique is how a lot of them blend a unique RPG style with traditional soccer gameplay. As seen in Tecmo Cup Soccer Game, the gameplay slows down to present you with choices on how to play. This is a stark contrast to the gameplay you’d expect to see from a soccer game such as FIFA or Pro Evolution, where the action is fast-paced and constant. While this certainly sets the Captain Tsubasa games apart within the genre, it’s not a style of gameplay that is for everyone.
The restrictions on the series’ popularity as a result can be seen with more recent releases, which have shifted away from the older style of choice-based gameplay in favor of more traditional soccer mechanics. The newest game in the series, Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions, features entirely active gameplay, while retaining the franchise’s iconic visual style.
- Tecmo Cup Soccer Game (1988)
- Captain Tsubasa Vol. II: Super Striker (1991)
- Captain Tsubasa VS (1992)
- Captain Tsubasa 3: Koutei no Chousen (1992)
- Captain Tsubasa 4: Pro no Rival Tachi (1993)
- Captain Tsubasa (1994)
- Captain Tsubasa 5: Hasha no Shōgō Campione (1994)
- Captain Tsubasa J (1995)
- Captain Tsubasa J: Zekoku Seiha e no Chousen (1995)
- Captain Tsubasa J: The Way to World Youth (1995)
- Captain Tsubasa J: Get in the Tomorrow (1995)
- Captain Tsubasa: Aratanaru Densetsu Joshou (2002)
- Captain Tsubasa: Ougonsedai no Chosen (2002)
- Captain Tsubasa (2006)
- Captain Tsubasa: Gekito no Kiseki (2010)
- Captain Tsubasa Dream Team (2017)
- Captain Tsubasa ZERO: Miracle Shot (2018)
- Tsubasa Plus (2020)
- Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions (2020)
Tecmo Cup Soccer Game Cheat Codes
There isn’t a wide variety of cheats in Tecmo Cup Soccer Game to choose from. As a matter of fact, there seems to be only one that actually works in-game. This cheat allows you to play the final match of the game against Brazil Jr. instantly, with all players at maximum guts.
To use the cheat, hit “Continue” on the main menu screen. When prompted to “Enter your memo!” enter the following code, with the first three representing the top row, and the second three representing the bottom. Note that this is case-sensitive, so make sure you enter it correctly!
- dcK➞W DHc5r -T1qWr
- tqXsg C❤︎Gtd JGKdTT
If the code above has been entered correctly, you’ll begin the game at the final match immediately.
Tecmo Cup Soccer Game Cheat Code FAQs
Does Tecmo Cup Soccer Game Have Achievements?
Unfortunately not. As the first game in the Captain Tsubasa series, it has never received any form of modern rerelease. As a result, there is no way to earn achievements in the game.
Does Tecmo Cup Soccer Game Have Game Genie Cheats?
Actually, yes. By playing the Japanese version of the game (under the local Captain Tsubasa name) via an NES emulator such as Mesen, you can enter a few different Game Genie cheats. There isn’t a ton, but the ones that do exist are listed below:
|Cheat Code Effect
|Gives all players infinite energy, with the exception of the goalkeeper.
|NNAAGK NYPEAK NNLEZK NYZEZK NYLEGK NNZEAK NYGETK NYTAAK NNPATK NYYAZK
|Gives all players on the team infinite energy, including the goalkeeper.
|The CPU’s score is always 0.
|Player One’s score is always 99.
How Do I Enter The Cheat For Tecmo Cup Soccer Game?
To use the one base game cheat available in Tecmo Cup Soccer Game, you need to first hit “Continue” while at the menu. This will then take you to a password screen, where you need to enter the following code:
- dcK➞W DHc5r -T1qWr
- tqXsg C❤︎Gtd JGKdTT
After this, press E for enter. The game should then take you to the match against Brazil Jr., in the Tecmo Cup Final. You should also have 1000 max guts for all of your players, making you near unbeatable in the game’s final match.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Screenshot from Tecmo Cup Soccer Game.