Mushiking: The King of Beetles

From Sega Retro


Mushiking: The King of Beetles
System(s): Sega NAOMI
Publisher: Sega
Genre: Simulation

Number of players: 1-2
Release Date RRP Code
Arcade (NAOMI)
¥? 840-0150C

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Mushiking: The King of Beetles (甲虫王者ムシキング Kouchuu Ouja Mushiking) also called Mushiking: Battle of the Beetles, is a combination arcade and collectible card game originally released by Sega for the NAOMI arcade hardware in 2003. It is housed in a small, 130cm tall cabinet originally designed for the Kids Medal series, and features simple, child-friendly controls. Mushiking dispenses cards of various beetle species, which can be scanned in by a Mushiking arcade machine to carry out battles.

As the first collectible card-dispensing/scanning arcade game, Mushiking saw massive success across Asia and created an entire new game genre, inspiring over 50 similar children's card games, including Dinosaur King and Love and Berry: Dress Up and Dance!, other Sega products which share Mushiking's cabinet design. Over 20 million Mushiking cards have been shipped, and as of 2009, the game holds the Guinness World Record for the most official tournaments held on a single arcade game series, with over 110,000 tournaments held by Sega since the game's release.[2]

Sega Logistics Service announced it would end service on the machines on March 31, 2017.[3][4]


A long time ago, there was a forest full of trees inhabited by insects and fairies. A fairy, named Popo, was a friend of the insects of the forest. He refers to the Japanese beetle as "Mushiking". One day, giant beetles from parts unknown arrived in the forest to wreak havoc, under the control of Adder, a wizard exiled from the forest who wishes to conquer it. Popo enlists the player's help to fight against Adder.


Mushiking is a rock-paper-scissors-style battle game that can be played by one player against CPU-controlled beetles, or with two or more players against each other in Tournament mode or Tag Battle mode. The game is played with cards representing beetles and skill cards related to three move types-- "Hitting", "Pinching" and "Throwing". At the start of a match, players may scan one beetle card and up to three different skill cards with the card scanner in the middle of the machine before choosing one of the three move types to execute within a given time limit. The first player whose beetle reaches 0 stamina points loses.

The following things can happen during a battle:

  • If a player chooses the winning move, the winning player's beetle shall execute the skill learned for that type of move.
  • If both players pick the same move, a tie will result and both players' beetles lose 10% of their total stamina.
  • If a player has chosen his/her move and the other player has not selected a move within the time limit, the other player's move will automatically lose.

Tournament mode is a 2-out-of-3 match between two players, and Tag Battle mode allows players to cooperatively play two beetles as a tag team against an opponent, where they can perform joint attacks if they are compatible types. Press one of these skill buttons: Rock to hit the opponent's beetle, Paper to throw the opponent's beetle or Scissors to pinch the opponent's beetle.


The cards for Mushiking have lengthwise barcodes for players to scan into the arcade machines, and come in several types. Later versions, however, changed this to a single crosswise bar code at the bottom of the card, before the bar code was removed from the front entirely. This was presumably to prevent people from simply printing out an image of the card online, and scanning the bar code on the reader.

Beetle cards represent the beetle characters the player can control. Each beetle card is marked with information on the beetle's species (name, Latin name, description, etc.) as well as the card's stats such as strength in the three move types and stamina as well as their base power, which is usually determined by the size of the beetle and rarity of the card. The Finishing Move indicates the beetle's "favored" move, which can cause major damage to the opponent if the player wins through a Finishing Move. Rare beetle cards are printed with a holographic background and is colored in either Bronze (for 160 Base power), Silver (for 180 Base power) or Gold (for 200 Base power). Several different editions, such as the Parallel Edition cards and the Adder Collection, have been released of the same cards.

Skill cards represent the abilities a beetle can use. A player can only scan one skill card per skill type. Every skill card requires a certain skill point number; if the number is equal to the beetle's skill point level, the result will be a perfect compatibility. If the beetle's skill point is greater than the skill, it results in a "good" compatibility. If the beetle's skill point is less than the skill point of the card, it will worsen the effectiveness of the skill used by that beetle.

Special Skill Cards are skill cards that may give a player the advantage over his/her opponent aside from an elaborate, damaging move. The skill point of Special Skill Cards is marked with an Exclamation Point ("!"). Special Skills are activated when certain conditions have been met, such as pressing a move on the first count of the countdown, experiencing a tie, etc. There are also rare, "upgraded" skill cards with certain low-level beetles' Finishing Moves. If the right skill card is scanned with the right beetle, the result with be a "Super Max" Compatibility and will deal tremendous damage if used. The upgraded skill cards are moves used by beetles with a Base Power range of 100 to 120, which gives them an advantage against rarer, stronger cards with a higher Base Power rating.

License cards can be scanned prior to the battle, which cause the machine to read off a certain title for the scanning player. These cards are normally awarded by Sega and other official bodies to winners of major Mushiking championships or tournaments, and are not dispensed by machines.

Localised names

Also known as
Language Localised Name English Translation
English (US) Mushiking: The King of Beetles Mushiking: The King of Beetles
Japanese 甲虫王者ムシキング Kouchuu Ouja Mushiking

Production credits

Special thanks to:
  • Design: Kazuhiro Takayama
  • Program: Motohiro Umeki
  • Supervising: Kazuhiko Iijima
Official website[5]

Digital manuals

Promotional material

Main article: Mushiking: The King of Beetles/Promotional material.

Photo gallery

Physical scans

Mushiking NAOMI US WiringDiagram.pdf
Wiring diagram

External links


Mushiking: The King of Beetles


Main page | Comparisons | Hidden content | Magazine articles | Reception | Promotional material

Books: Kouchuu Ouja Mushiking Zakku no Boukenhen (2004)

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Games in the Kouchuu Ouja Mushiking Series
Kouchuu Ouja Mushiking (2003) | Kouchuu Ouja Mushiking II (2005) | Kouchuu Ouja Mushiking III (200x) | Kouchuu Ouja Mushiking IV (200x) | Kouchuu Ouja Mushiking V (200x) | Kouchuu Ouja Mushiking VI (200x) | Mushiking Battle Gacchu Guts!! (2010) | Shin Kouchuu Ouja Mushiking (2015)
Game Boy Advance
Kouchuu Ouja Mushiking: Greatest Champion e no Michi (2005)
Nintendo DS
Kouchuu Ouja Mushiking: Greatest Champion e no Michi DS (2005) | Kouchuu Ouja Mushiking: Greatest Champion e no Michi 2 (2006) | Kouchuu Ouja Mushiking Super Collection (2007)
Sega Pico
Kouchuu Ouja Mushiking: Atsumete Asobou Kouchuu Zukan (2005)
Advanced Pico Beena
Kouchuu Ouja Mushiking: Mori no Tami no Densetsu: Minna de Tanken! Kouchuu no Mori (2005) | Kouchuu Ouja Mushiking: Nebu-Hakase to Kazu Katachi ni Challenge! (2006)
LCD handheld game
Sodatete! Kouchuu Ouja Mushiking (2006)
Kouchuu Ouja Mushiking related media
Kouchuu Ouja Mushiking Zakku no Boukenhen (2004) | Kouchuu Ouja Mushiking (2005)
Kouchuu Ouja Mushiking: Mori no Tami no Densetsu (2005) | Gekijou-ban Kouchuu Ouja Mushiking: Greatest Champion e no Michi (2005) | Kouchuu Ouja Mushiking Super Battle Movie: Yami no Kaizou Kouchuu (2007)