Codex Gamicus

DecAthlete, released in Europe as Athlete Kings and stylized as Decathlete in North America, is an athletics themed arcade game. Released in 1994 it was developed and produced by SEGA. A well-received home port was released on the Saturn in 1995, scoring mainly positive reviews for its arcade faithful conversion, due to the similar hardware of the ST-V arcade and the Saturn. It was released on the PlayStation 2 in Japan only as part of the Sega Ages 2500 series. Compared to other decathlon based games, DecAthlete has a more comic and cartoon like style. A sequel followed in 1997, with the winter sports based Winter Heat.


Screen shot of DecAthlete during gameplay.

The game play is largely based on quick repeated button pressing for gaining speed, and timed single button presses for jumping and releasing projectiles, in a similar style to the 1983 Konami release, Track & Field. The game differed with a slightly more advanced control system and 3-D graphics.

The player must select one of eight international fictitious athletes. In the arcade version, the player competes in ten traditional decathlon events, requiring a minimum set time, height or distance to qualify from one event to the next. The home console versions also allowed the player to compete in a full decathlon featuring all the events, 100 metres, 110 metre hurdles, 400 metres, 1500 metres, Long jump, High jump, Javelin throw, Discus, Pole vault and Shot put. Despite a potential for multi-player gaming, the game is only two player. In a one player game, the player only competes against at most one other character on screen. The only exception to this is in the 1500 metres, where six other generic athletes join the race along with one main character.


  • United States Rick Blade: Known as the "Pennsylvanian Power", Twenty-Five year old American athlete Blade is an all-rounder, making him a favorite in many of the events. He is roughly based on legendary athlete Carl Lewis.
  • Germany Karl Vein: A twenty-eight year old German competitor with long blonde hair and heaps of self-confidence. Although competitive in all events, he is said to be able to jump over anything.
  • Great Britain Robin Banks: A veteran at thirty-eight years old, zebra-print leotard clad Banks is the reigning champion from the previous decathlon. The giant Briton is particularly strong in the throwing events. For the home release of the game his comedy name was changed to Jef Jansens.
  • Russia Aleksei Rigel: Seasoned campaigner and physically the strongest of the eight competitors. This makes the thirty-one year old Russian athlete good at throwing events.
  • Japan Joe Kudou: At nineteen he is the youngest of the male competitors and lacks experience. Kudou relies on his high skill levels in all the events. He wears a reversed baseball cap.
  • Jamaica Femi Kadiena: A national record breaker in her home of Jamaica, she has come to break records on the world stage. The twenty-four year old specializes in jumping events.
  • France Ellen Reggiani: Due to her speed and stamina, she is known as the "French Express". The twenty year old French competitor also works as a model.
  • Li Huang: Has silenced her critics saying she is too young, with her tremendous speed. Huang is just fifteen years old.

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