Arcade was the only son of an incredibly wealthy man. His father despised him for his childish fixation on toys, resulting in an abusive childhood. Fed up with Arcade's continued self-indulgence, his father cut off his trust fund on his twenty-first birthday. In retaliation, Arcade planted a bomb in his father's car and killed him, setting him on a path of murder and villainy by becoming an assassin, adding to his already vast inheritance. In time he became bored with the methods he used for his craft and decided to come up other ways of killing the people he was hired to kill. Combining two of his favorite past-times, Arcade began designing facilities catered to specific weaknesses and fears of his victims, charging one million dollars as his fee and becoming the most sought after assassin in the world. Naming these creations Murderworld, Arcade hired Miss Locke, a martial arts expert and Mr. Chambers, an engineer, to be his assistants and referred to himself as Arcade from then on.
Arcade is a super-villain character created by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, first appearing in Marvel Team-Up vol.1 #65.
Arcade was an incredibly spoiled and selfish child, traits that remained with him throughout his life. The abuse his father inflicted on him created a deep hatred, resulting in Arcade killing his father with no remorse and a taste for murder. A genius with above average understanding of technology, Arcade was mostly self taught and was solely responsible for the creation and outfitting of each Murderworld he created. Deriving an intense enjoyment of viewing his victims suffer, he would remain in his control room and taunt them, considering it sporting of him to give people he abducted a chance -- albeit a tiny one - to escape. Arrogant and conspicuous, he especially enjoyed creating facilities with the look of fun houses and viewing his victims attempts at escaoe. Although he was well known in the Marvel Universe having come into contact with many superheroes, he never succeeded in killing any of them and in turn, he always managed to avoid capture.
Major Story Arcs
Spider-man and Captain Britain
With his own theme and entertaining way of killing people, it wasn't long until Arcade grew bored again. It was when he had a contract on Brian Braddock who was also known as Captain Britain, he found the entertainment that he had craved for so long. Capturing both Captain Britain and Spider-Man and placing them into his Murderworld, they both evaded the deathtraps and ended up escaping. The first people to ever escape Murderworld, Arcade has found the challenge that he wanted by capturing and killing superheroes.
A New Career
With his new goal on attempting to kill heroes of the Marvel Universe, Arcade led a very unsuccessful career. Arcade ended up becoming a primary enemy towards the mutant teams the X-Men, X-Factor, and Excalibur. One time he managed to turn Doctor Doom's castle into a Murderworld and sold it to the mutant known as Toad, it was this that made Doctor Doom capture Arcade after retaking his castle and thanks to the X-men Arcade was forced to apologize to Doctor Doom. Then Arcade decided to change in capturing minor heroes such as Ghost Rider, Alpha Flight member, Puck, and even the Green Goblin (Phil Uric). Still, Arcade never could accomplish the goal of killing a costumed hero within Murderworld. Teaming up with various villains of the Marvel Universe to help him on his goals, still has proven unsuccessful. Even though Arcade's reputation as an assassin is poor, he is still a serious threat towards the heroes of the Marvel Universe.
Many attempts on Arcade's life by Miss Locke on her birthday as agreed between them failed, highlighting his eccentric behavior and mindset. But one day, she came very close into killing him, causing the left side of his whole face to scar. Arcade killed Miss Locke in a furious rage but realized he still needed someone like her so he began creating duplicates of Miss Locke in Robot form. Later, with facial surgery, Arcade regained his original looks with no sign of a scar anywhere on his face.
As Deadpool swiftly became the world's greatest mercenary, Arcade realized he had lost most of his clients and was becoming poor and weak. One day the demon Nightmare approached him with a proposition: The two team up to take down their mutual foes. Nightmare had found a way to use his magical powers to allow Arcade to create his vicious games with a combination of machines and sorcery. Arcade accepted, and it appeared all he had to pay in return was to help Nightmare take down Hercules. However Arcade could have been kept unaware of any additional cost his new-found power would cost him but he went forward with the plan, both deciding to execute their foes in one vicious trap.
Nightmare entered Hercules and Deadpool's dreams and lured them into a large building where Arcade had built his latest Murder-world. Entering a labyrinth with seemingly no escape, the victims encountered terrors from the depths of their hearts. Hercules saw himself facing a legion of every one he had ever killed (including his own sons), while Deadpool faced his many personalities. The villains nearly mentally killed the heroes until Deadpool managed to gain control of himself and show Hercules a way to break out. Nightmare than fizzled away while Arcade was left to face the two heroes. Swiftly defeated, the duo left Arcade tied up for the police. It is unclear what country he was in, but it is likely he got arrested, unless he cut a deal with Norman Osborn, who was in control of thew US super-troops at that time.
It is unlikely Arcade and his machines kept magical powers after the incident (and later still after Nightmare's defeat at the hands of the Initiative), but not impossible. It is also unknown what debts he may still owe to Nightmare.
Arcade abducted a long list of teenage superheroes, including members of the Runaways and Avengers Academy, and had them fight against each-other in fight to the death in Murder World. In order to show them how serious he is, Arcade asks them which of the 16 is the weakest link. When Hazmat attacks him again Arcade singles her out. Unwillingly to let her die, Hazmat's boyfriend Mettle steps forward to take her place and is killed by Arcade, leaving Hazmat emotionally devastated. Later on, when Anachronism kills Kid Briton, the first murder of the game, Arcade declares "game on."
A flashback reveals that Arcade gained his new powers from a combination of different kinds of technology, including force fields and hard light projectors, which leave him in complete control of the environment of Murderworld. It is also shown that Arcade had given up on being a villain when he realized that he wasn't as successful as he wanted to be. An attack from Constrictor later on caused Arcade to get back into villainy. With the help of his latest assistant, Miss Coriander, Arcade sets up his new Murderworld in the Antarctic. Once everything is ready, Arcade turns on Miss Coriander and tries to kill her, claiming that she knows him too well. Unfazed by Arcade's attack, Miss Coriander declares that she has rigged a teleporter to steal teen heroes, before teleporting away and stating that she is out of his league.
Powers and Abilities
Self-taught and formally trained, Arcade is an expert in robotics, electronics, engineering, and technology based fields. Proficient in the use of alien Shi'ar technology, Arcade is also an expert computer hacker which assists him in creating environments matched to the fears of his victims. Although capable of hand to hand combat, Arcade makes it a point to avoid physical altercations.
Arcade does not have any extraordinary physical abilities or powers beyond that of an average man. However, when Nightmare teamed up with Arcade, a residue of the demon's fear-creating powers and magic may have remained. Arcade's ability to create Murderworlds tailored to his victims vulnerabilities were what made him most formidable, the environments designed for the express purpose of killing it's inhabitant (s). They can range in size considerably, from the size of a semi-truck to the size of an island and through the use of Shi'ar technology, Arcade was also able to place his victims within video game like worlds.
Arcade utilizes personal weapons and various modes of transportation to defend himself and to capture his victims. His intense need for entertainment has put him in many life threatening situations, making him lose focus and careless.
Weight: 140 lbs.
Earth-295: Age of Apocalypse
In this alternate reality, Arcade was a member of the Marauders (Human terrorists enhanced by Apocalypse), along with teammates Dirigible (Kingpin), Owl, and Red (Norman Osborn). The four villains were sent by Apocalypse to destroy the land of Wakanda. Though he was able to murder Black Panther and destroy much of the land, Arcade's life was cut short by Hawkeye and Iron Man, who piloted a large ship, in the shape of a spider, right on top of the villain. He was equipped with wrist weapons and "air-steppers", boot attachments that allowed him near-flight.
Ultimate Arcade is a stronger, fitter version who is a gaming prodigy. He made the game 'Murder World' which is the very first "first person shooter". Since his sister was killed by an explosion that Magneto triggered, Arcade developed a hatred towards mutants. He joined a reality TV show in which hunters hunt criminal mutants. When he is sent to kill Longshot, he runs into the X-Men. He subdues and almost kills Nightcrawler, when Longshot stopped him. He was last seen getting tied to a tree by Colossus.
This reality has Arcade owning a real amusement park for children, taking on the likes of Mister Fantastic and student Flash Thompson. Spider-Man arrives to save his friend however and Arcade's plans are foiled.
Age of X
Arcade was depicted in this universe as commander of the mutant prison and ended up responsible for the death of Havok at the hands of his brother Basilisk (Cyclops). Basilisk managed to escape incarceration and killed Arcade.
- In X-Men: Evolution, Arcade is a teenage gamer named Webber Torque who stumbled across the controls for the X-Men's Danger Room during a party at the Xavier Institute. Believing it all to be an elaborate video game with the costumed X-Men as characters, Arcade nearly destroyed the students until Rogue was able to knock him out. Arcade wound up leaving the Institute, never to know the truth of what had happened that night.
Arcade appears in the following video games:
- In Marvel Ultimate Alliance he was the boss in the Murderworld levels, even providing an achievement for defeating him.
- X-Men: Madness in Murderworld
- Spider-Man/X-Men: Arcade's revenge
- Spider-Man: Edge of Time