Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Shuma-Gorath eats you up and spits you out

Feb. 07, 2011 | 2:56 p.m.

Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds

A great deal has changed since gamers last pitted villains and heroes from the Marvel and Capcom universes against one another in Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes. That fighting game debuted in arcades — yes, arcades — in early 2000. Now, more than a decade later, Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds is about to arrive for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Here at Hero Complex, to prepare for that Feb. 15 release, we’re doing a series of posts looking at the game’s Marvel villains, their history and their combat moves. Today: Shuma-Gorath

For a demon known as “He Who Sleeps But Shall Awake,” Shuma-Gorath sure winds up in a lot of video games.

Marvel vs. Capcom 3 marks the fourth Capcom fighting game that the tentacled foe of Dr. Strange has appeared in as a playable character, a run that began with Marvel Super Heroes in 1995.

“These games have defined him more than the comics have,” says Chris Baker, manager of licensed games at Marvel Entertainment, of the seemingly omnipotent entity who has appeared in roughly a dozen comics in nearly four decades. “There were 12 characters in Marvel Super Heroes and, for whatever reason, Capcom chose to include Shuma-Gorath.”

Shuma-Gorath in action in the pages of “Marvel Knights” (Marvel Comics)

The one-eyed demon definitely works in mysterious ways. Created by Robert E. Howard of “Conan the Barbarian” fame, Shuma-Gorath was first mentioned in a “Kull the Conqueror” story in 1967 (published years after Howard’s death). He then lay dormant until 1973 when, after being teased for seven straight months in the pages of the Dr. Strange-starring “Marvel Premiere” series, he finally appeared in issue No. 10, a story titled, appropriately enough, “Finally, Shuma-Gorath!”

In Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Shuma-Gorath only appears as a downloadable character — perhaps no optical disc can contain him? — but his moves are as deadly as ever. To send your opponent into a world of dizzying madness, enact his “Chaos Dimension” attack. “Shuma-Gorath grabs you with his tongue, wraps himself around you, and slides you into a nightmarish portal,” says Seth Killian, Capcom’s special advisor to the game, describing the move. “It’s spinning, hallucinatory and gives you a taste of what’s going on in the Chaos Dimension, which is where he hails from. And then he spits you out.”

With Dormammu and Shuma-Gorath both included in the game, Marvel fans might wonder, why not show even more Dr. Strange love and include the master of the mystic arts as a playable character? After all, wouldn’t these demons be more easily defeated with the help of the Rings of Raggador, the Vapors of Valtorr or the Crimson Crystals of Cyttorak? “Dr. Strange is like Iron Man or Thor, the type of character we could see being a bigger deal than he is now,” says Baker, who says he’s not aware of any Dr. Strange movie in the works, but teases that fans of the master mage have another reason to be happy. “Every character in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 has their own unique ending. That’s something we worked very closely on with Capcom. And Dr. Strange will appear in one of the character’s endings.”

Shuma-Gorath in action in the pages of "Marvel Knights" (Marvel Comics)

– Mike Winder


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One Response to Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Shuma-Gorath eats you up and spits you out

  1. alharron says:

    "Created by Robert E. Howard of “Conan the Barbarian” fame, Shuma-Gorath was first mentioned in a “Kull the Conqueror” story in 1967 (published seven years after Howard’s death). "

    Howard died in 1936, so that would be 31 years after Howard's death, not 7.

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