One of the first arcade games to digitize actors into its graphics is one of the main reasons I remember Pit Fighter.
The game play is why I forgot it.
The novelty quickly wears off with the “advanced” graphics (which look horrible by today’s standards). You choose one of three fighters and get a set amount of “life” that must last through each subsequent level, with no continues. (You die, you start over.)
The life meter eventually builds back up, but the game can be really tough at times… and it recycles things far too often. The same stage/background is used throughout most of the stages. You will face the same 3-4 fighters including a “grudge match” mirror of the character you selected during each stage.
For some odd reason, when you win, you receive prize money while standing on a pallet which is raised by a forklift as you “ascend” the ranks. You can’t use the earnings to upgrade your fighter at all, and the score is probably a ceremonial type of thing that harkens back to “high scores” of early arcade games like Pac-Man or Space Invaders. (Note: The original Mortal Kombat had a scoring system too, but it went away in the sequels.)
Not sure if this was just a SNES limitation with cartridge size or not, but the same exact music is used for every single part of the game. It gets incredibly repetitive! (And a limitation of the console ports is that the crowd doesn’t interact with the fighters like the arcade version: which was one of the main draws of this game!)
But all of it was worth it for the awesome game ending, shown in my a screen capture in the gallery below.