The game was developed by Dimps, published by Bandai, and released on July 12, 2002.
Swan Colosseum is - due to technical limitations - the only game in the Grand Battle! series to feature entirely 2D character sprites and environments. Player characters can walk, run, jump, double-jump, 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 around 10 standard techniques, along with one or more Finisher (必殺 Hissatsu?) techniques fueled by a three-tiered "Bombstock" (ボムストック Bomusutokku?) gauge; this gauge is filled by any standard attack that touches the opponent, including blocked attacks.
As in the home-console Grand Battle! games, Finisher techniques follow a numbered level system; a level-one Finisher requires one tier of the Bombstock, and so on.
There are a total of thirteen playable characters.
All player characters can access two costumes, comprising their standard outfits and a recolored variant.
Combatants may be helped or hindered by a variety of items around the battlefield. Items fall under two general types:
- Status items, which contact instantly activates.
- Attack items, which must be grabbed and thrown to activate.
Below is a table of items and their respective effects.
|Sword||Status||Raises attack power for approximately four seconds.|
|Crown||Status||Raises defense power for approximately four seconds.|
|Coin||Status||Raises agility for approximately four seconds.|
|Jewel||Status||Raises attack power, defense power, and agility for approximately five seconds.|
|Food||Status||Restores health - onigiri a small amount, tankards a moderate amount, and meat a large amount.|
|Amiudake||Status||Inflicts minor damage and paralysis.|
|Bomb||Attack||Inflicts damage, traveling in a high arc when thrown.|
|Lantern||Attack||Inflicts damage, traveling straight when thrown.|
|Flask||Attack||Inflicts unconsciousness for three seconds, traveling straight when thrown.|
|Mescal Cactus||Attack||Scrambles directional controls for three seconds.|
|Iron Ball||Attack||Inflicts unconsciousness for three seconds, traveling in a high arc when thrown.|
Items are found by breaking the containers - crates, barrels, and treasure chests - positioned around each stage. These containers cannot themselves be grabbed or thrown.
Note that only one item can exist in a battle at any given time; containers will only re-spawn once the item currently in play has been used or destroyed.
There are a total of ten stages, all based on canon locations. Apart from general layout, the difference between each stage is entirely cosmetic.
- Reverse Mountain (with Laboon and Crocus as spectators)
- Whisky Peak (with Mr. 8, Miss Monday, and the Unluckies as spectators)
- Little Garden (with Dorry and Brogy as spectators)
- Drum Castle (with Dr. Kureha as spectator)
- Nanohana harbor
- Rainbase (with Nefertari Vivi and Pell as spectators)
- Alubarna clocktower
- Alubarna Palace
- Alubarna Royal Catacombs
- Marine Headquarters
Two modes may be accessed from the Top Menu.
Event Battle (イベントバトル Ibento batoru?) mode puts the player character through a gauntlet of seven battles. Each of these is a conventional battle preceded by a short cutscene (most scripted after canon interactions from the Alabasta Saga) with the exception of the fourth, a "halftime" game that tasks the player character with defeating as many Kung-Fu Dugongs as possible within 60 seconds.
(Unlike those of the home-console Grand Battle! games, each character's "path" through Event Battle is strictly preset, with opponents and stages never varying between playthroughs.)
Once all seven battles are cleared, a short victory dialogue - unique for each player character - 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.
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 a CPU opponent; unlike Event Battle, this mode allows the battle stage to be freely chosen, and characters to fight duplicates of themselves.
As in the original Grand Battle!, all matches are limited to one round regardless of circumstances.
More than half of these directly affect gameplay, most often by enabling new characters, stages, or even attacks to be unlocked.
The Option (オプション Opushon?) menu contains:
- Game Setting (ゲーム設定 Gēmu settei?), which allows players to access and adjust:
- Ranking (ランキング Rankingu?), which displays each individual character's win record.
- During the credits, many sprite animations of Karoo are seen. It's not known if he was intended to be a playable character or not.
- Many of the game's assets - including music - were later repurposed for the (American-produced) GBA-exclusive One Piece.
- Official site (Japanese)
- Dimps mini-site (Japanese)
- Reviewer Mansiton (Japanese fan-site, with extensive tips and notations)