Developed by Ganbarion and published by Bandai, Grand Battle! was released in Japan on March 3, 2001, becoming the series' second-ever licensed game (preceded only by Become the Pirate King!), and the first for a home console. It met with resounding success, ultimately selling over 400,000 units and launching its first sequel the very next year; several more sequels and spinoffs would follow, creating an entire series under the Grand Battle banner.
In 2003, the game was given a PAL release, featuring text options (with unaltered Japanese audio) in English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German. This made it the first One Piece game to be released outside of Japan, though it remains unavailable in North America.
Combat uses typical 2.5D mechanics, with three-dimensional character sprites interacting on a two-dimensional axis. Player characters can walk, run, jump, double-jump, crouch, block, and pick up (as well as throw and catch) items around the battlefield.
Fighting consists of standard button combinations. Each player character can access 12 standard techniques, along with several Finisher (必殺 Hissatsu?) techniques that incorporate full cinematics. Finishers can only be used when character health falls below a set threshold (marked in notches on the health bar), and follow a numbered level system; higher levels correspond to lower health, and usually greater damage.
There are five classes of Finisher techniques:
- Strike (打撃 Dageki?) finishers are delivered through largely conventional blows.
- Boost (タメ Tame?) finishers are delivered through blows that can be "charged" for extra range.
- Grapple (投げ Nage?) finishers are delivered completely flush with the opponent, and cannot be blocked.
- Counter (カウンター Kauntā?) finishers are delivered by intercepting one of the opponent's attacks.
- Support Summon (手下召喚 Teshita shōkan?) finishers call in a support character to deliver the blow.
Every character can access at least two different finisher techniques; some can access as many as three.
There are a total of sixteen player characters, seven of which are assigned support characters. Note that player characters with multiple support characters are limited to one - randomly selected - in any given match.
|Monkey D. Luffy|
|Buggy||Mohji & Richie||Cabaji|
|Kuro||Jango||Sham & Buchi|
|Miss Wednesday||Mr. 8||Karoo|
|Shanks||Lucky Roo||Benn Beckman||Yasopp|
All player characters can access an "A" and a "B" costume, consisting of their canon outfits and a recolor.
Combatants may be helped or hindered by a variety of items around the battlefield. All items can be picked up or caught, and are generally activated by either direct contact or the impact of a throw. If attacked, most items vanish immediately; if left alone, they generally vanish after five seconds.
Below is a table of items and their respective effects.
|Riceball||Restores a small amount of health.|
|Ale||Restores a moderate amount of health.|
|Drumstick||Restores a large amount of health.|
|Sword||Raises attack power for approximately 10 seconds.|
|Crown||Raises defense power for approximately 10 seconds.|
|Coin||Raises agility for approximately 10 seconds.|
|Diamond||Raises attack power, defense power, and agility for approximately five seconds.|
|Bomb||Explodes to inflict damage. If left alone, usually explodes after five seconds.|
|Lantern||Releases several flames that inflict burn damage.|
|Spoiled Food||Inflicts minor damage, as well as paralysis for approximately three seconds.|
|Gaimon||Fires a pistol that inflicts damage.|
|Tooth Gum||Inflicts damage over a set time. Exclusive to Arlong Park stage.|
Items are generally found by breaking the containers - barrels, crates, and treasure chests - positioned around each stage. These containers can also be picked up, caught, or thrown for minor damage.
There are a total of six stages, each with unique music, features, hazards, and background spectators.
|List of Stages|
|Foosha Village: Consists of grassland, a windmill, and a dirt road leading to a harbor with a docked Going Merry. Spectators include various villagers (including Makino and Woop Slap).|
|Syrup Village: Consists of forests and a rocky slope - half-coated by an oil barrel - leading to the ocean, with the Bezan Black looming in the background. Spectators include various Black Cat Pirates (including Jango, Sham, and Buchi), Ninjin, Piiman, Tamanegi, and Kaya.|
|Baratie: Consists of the three-tiered restaurant and a half-sunken Dreadnaught Sabre, bridged - and surrounded - by ocean. Spectators include various Krieg Pirates (including Pearl) and Baratie staff (including Zeff, Patty, and Carne).|
|Arlong Park: Consists of two narrow walkways separated by a corner of the main harbor, bound on one end by Arlong Park and the other by a smaller gazebo. Spectators include various Arlong Pirates (including Hachi, Kuroobi, and Chew), Conomi Islanders (including Nojiko, Genzo, Chabo, and Dr. Nako), Johnny, and Yosaku.|
|Loguetown: Consists of a small, enclosed area before Gold Roger's scaffold. Spectators include various townspeople and Buggy Pirates.|
|Laboon: Consists of two small islands - one holding Crocus' cabin and the other holding a beach chair - and a constantly drifting rowboat in-between, with the exit gates looming in the background.|
Two modes may be accessed from the Top Menu.
Grand Battle (グランドバトル Gurando batoru?) mode allows players to participate in classic arcade-style battles against each other or against the CPU. CPU opponents may be set at three different difficulties. Time limits may be set at 60 seconds, at 99 seconds, or completely disabled. Stages may be preset or randomly selected.
Event Battle (イベントバトル Ibento batoru?) mode puts the player character through a gauntlet of six 99-second battles against six semi-randomly selected CPU opponents.
Each battle is framed with a short cutscene, generally scripted after canon interactions if possible. The stage for each battle also generally follows canon; Usopp will always be fought at Syrup Village, Arlong will always be fought at Arlong Park, and so on.
To progress, each opponent must be fully beaten; if a match times out with no conclusive winner, both combatants are restored a small amount of health and sent into a Sudden Death rematch. Once all six battles are cleared, a still of the player character (overlaid with a signature quote) is shown, followed by the game's development credits.
Outright losing a battle will present the player with a continue option; a total of five continues are allowed before Event Battle automatically ends.
Treasure (お宝 O-takara?) contains a data file for each player character, collecting the character's sprite model, win record, combat attributes, voice clips, and finisher commands.
These files can be unlocked by clearing Event Battle with the corresponding characters.
- The game's box-art, opening cinematic, and Press Start screen all recreate the cover to Volume 12.
- Oddly, the game mostly labels Igaram as Mr. 8 and Vivi as Miss Wednesday, despite referencing events that occurred well after their real names were revealed in Chapter 110 (with one cinematic even recreating Igaram's farewell to Vivi in Chapter 113).
- Sanji will enter a unique "Mellorine" mode, with different voice clips, if battling a female opponent.
- Nami's Temptation Kiss and Alvida's Who's the Loveliest In the World? finishers will produce a question mark instead of the standard heart if used against Luffy, Mihawk, or a female opponent.
- Miss Wednesday's Come, Karoo! finisher will occasionally feature a gag ending where Karoo tramples both her and the opponent.
- This game sold well even after its initial release; by mid-2002, it and its sequel had sold over 600,000 units together, earning a joint Gold Prize commendation at the 2002 Sony PlayStation awards.