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Red Earth (Arcade)

War-Zard CPS-3
Genre: Action
Perspective: Side view
Gameplay: Arcade, Fighting
Setting: Fantasy
Published by: Capcom Co.
Developed by: Capcom Co.
Released: 1996
Platform: Arcade Machine

There are four characters that can be used by the player, and eight those controlled by artificial intelligence; as a game mode there are only the "Quest" and the "Versus".
Quest mode is the one where the player will have to try, once the character is chosen, to bring the adventure to an end, freeing the world of Red Earth from the dark forces that have invaded it; the story is slightly different depending on the character, but it is still composed of eight stages, beyond which you can get experience and related bonuses; different are the places of departure, according to which of the characters you have chosen, since each of them is resident in realms geographically located in different continents.
The Versus mode is trivially the two-player mode against each other, but the choice between the roster of 12 characters is limited to the four heroes of the Quest mode. Red Earth has a password saving system: once a certain level is reached, at a certain difficulty, a password is provided, thanks to which it will be possible to resume the game from the goal to which it has been reached, inserting it in the start screen.
The sprites and backgrounds are very reminiscent of the realistic style of Street Fighter, although there are some differences. First, the opponents' energy is shown at the bottom of the screen, resulting in huge proportions, compared to that of the player.
In addition, Red Earth is one of the few Capcom games to have brutal "finishing moves", which include vertical or horizontal slashes capable of cutting the opponent in two, decapitating him, crushing his limbs, cutting off his organs, tearing him apart . Darkstalkers, another Capcom product, also shows similar content, albeit more moderately.

Setting

Red Earth takes place on an alternative version of planet Earth in the 14th century (in 1999 in the Japanese version); whatever the date, the civilizations of the Red Planet are still in a medieval stage, since there has not yet been any form of Renaissance or technological revolution. The evil Scion wants to subvert the current order and sends monsters to every continent to attempt to dominate the world, but four heroes arise to save it. In the different phases of the game a map of the planet appears several times. It can thus be seen that the Red Planet is made up of several continents divided by oceans and is very similar to the Earth also from a geographical point of view, so much so that you can recognize its continents:
Places attributable to Europe: in what appears to be the European continent there are the kingdom of Savalia (roughly corresponding to continental Europe), home of Leo and occupied by Hauzer, and the Frozen Land of Icelarn (corresponding to Scandinavia), home of Tessa and occupied by Hydron. In the map you can also distinguish the islands that remember, for their geographical position, Great Britain, Ireland, Iceland and Greenland.
Other toponyms: in Icelarn you can catch a glimpse of the word Frost North Plains along the north western coast.
Places referable to Africa: in the one reminiscent of Africa there is the kingdom of Sandgypt (a play on words between sand, sand, and Egypt, Egypt), home of the priestess Clara and Ravange. Between the area attributable to the Maghreb and the one resembling the Iberian peninsula there is an island that does not exist on Earth.
Other toponyms: in place of the Sahara desert is the word Sanada, while along the west coast there is the word Temple of the ancient.
Places attributable to Asia: the continent geographically attributable to Asia is very different. It contains Gora (corresponding to mainland Asia), home of Mai Ling and Lavia, and the kingdom of Zipang (corresponding to Japan), home of Kenji and Kongou. To the north there are islands reminiscent of New Zembla, while to the south east there are islands that, logically speaking, should represent Southeast Asia, despite the enormous differences in design.
Other toponyms: in these continents two mountain ranges are distinguishable, called Uranus (placed in place of the Urals between Asia and Europe) and Evelious (which could represent Mount Everest of the Himalaya chain). Along the northeastern coast is written The Black Plains. Off the southern coast of Zipang it says The kingdom of reece.
Places attributable to the Americas: two different continents are clearly distinguishable, one with the appearance of South America, where the Gi Gi Crypt is located, and one geographically located in place of North America, although it does not have the appearance of it. The latter sub-continent is not playable.
Other toponyms: to the north we see the writing Indeal Land along the southern coast, while to the south we read the writings Zonama in place of the Amazon Rainforest, The Crypt along the east coast and Aundes along the mountain range in place of the Andes.
Places attributable to Oceania: there is a large island geographically located in place of Australia and a smaller one in place of New Guinea. None of these places are playable.
Other toponyms: Auster is written on the main island.
Oceans: the names of 3 oceans / seas are indicated: Mariner between Europe and Iceland, Mislil Sea in south-west Africa and Neword Sea between South America and Australia.

Characters

There are 12 characters in the game, however only 4 are selectable. The player will face one of the 4 selectable characters only in Versus mode (against another player), while in Quest mode he will face the other 8 in random order, except the first (which depends on the chosen character), the seventh and the eighth character ( which are always Blade and Scion, in order).

Heroes

  • Leo (voiced by Daisuke Gōri), king of Savalia (Greedia in the Japanese version of the game) and undisputed warrior, confronts the unknown invaders of his kingdom who, although defeated, curse him, transforming him into a being with the appearance of an anthropomorphic lion (body for men, head and lion hair). Three wise sorcerers tried to help him, but failed. Despite his appearance, Leo continued to fight, however, thanks to the superhuman strength obtained, to save his people, including all the soldiers and civilians kidnapped by the dark forces of the powerful Hauzer, a monster guarded by his kingdom.
  • Kenji (Mukuro in War-Zard, voiced by Yukimasa Kishino) is the foreman of the Oniwabanshu ninja, the most powerful and skilled in the service of the Shogun of the Zipang kingdom. After the invasion of the kingdom by an unknown dark ship from heaven, Kenji sets off in search of clues that may be helpful to the Shogun and the liberation of the kingdom, despite his trust in his superior starting to falter.
  • Tessa (Tabasa in War-Zard, voiced by Tomoko Naka), witch and scholar of ancient magical arts, lives in the Frozen Land, a place where she has been able to increase her powers and knowledge without causing harm to other living beings . At a certain point, numerous flocks of birds take off and flee to places unknown to her. Certain of an unnatural phenomenon, she begins to travel the world to search for possible causes. He meets Hyron almost immediately and, once defeated, realizes that the strange presence of a sea monster in his lands is certainly linked to the unnatural phenomena observed; hence the decision to continue investigating. Tessa also possesses the faculty of premonition, instantly inferring the character of a person or a supernatural being.
  • Mai-Ling (Tao in War-Zard, voiced by Megumi Urawa), is a young and talented martial arts practitioner from Gora. Returning from a martial arts tournament, held elsewhere and simply won, he discovers that his village is on fire. Lavia, an incandescent harpy, the cause of the fires, violently attacks the girl. She, given her superior speed, manages to get rid of the monster and, angry, decides to wander around the world, in order to take revenge on those responsible for the destruction of her village.

Bosses

  • Hauzer is a tyrannosaurus-like monster and is the leader of Savalia, the kingdom that rightfully belongs to Leo. It was originally a fossil which was brought back to life by Scion.
  • Hydron (Nool in War-Zard) is a sea monster who attacked the Frozen Land where Tessa lives. Half fossil mollusc (ammonoidea), half giant squid, was created by Scion. He uses the larger tentacles to move, while with the smaller ones he wields the trident with which he fights.
  • Ravange (Secmento in War-Zard) is a cross between an Egyptian sphinx and a Greek chimera and resides in Sandgypt. He is animated by an Egyptian priestess, Clara Tantra, who combines her power with that of the lion, the goat, the eagle, the dragon and the snake. A specific move is tied to each of its heads.
  • Lavia (Luan in War-Zard) is a harpy who attacked Gora, the birthplace of Mai Ling. She was originally a benevolent and mild winged being, but is transformed by Scion and becomes cruel and ruthless. Defeating her returns to her initial state.
  • Kongou is a Japanese oni, who resides in the kingdom of Zipang, where Kenji came from. At first glance it looks human and pretends to be a certain Tanuma, but later it transforms itself and presents itself for what it is. Giant in size and red-skinned, it is armed with a heavy spiked mace.
  • Gi Gi is a statue / automaton chavín that resides in a crypt, in a continent far from all the previous ones. It has four arms and wields a sword in each hand. His sprites are an example of an asymmetric color scheme. When looking to the left, the main parts of his body are red, while looking to the right they are blue. Capcom will use this advanced technique, further developing it, with Street Fighter III's Gill.
  • Blade (Jihad in War-Zard) is Scion's lieutenant, and is the penultimate opponent to face. He was once the commander of Leo's guards, before Scion turned him into a magical emerald; this gem is now able to animate an empty armor, thanks to which Blade fights. It features a very special sword, called the Adrayer, made up of rotating notched cylinders, which give it the appearance and the perforating power of the tip of a drill. Blade is rather arrogant and confident, and faces the player with an uncomfortable red cloak on his shoulders; when he has received a certain amount of damage he gets rid of the cloak. He fights on the deck of the flying ship Darminor.
  • Scion (Valdoll in War-Zard) is a very powerful wizard, the final opponent of the game. He claims to be the messiah of the world and wants to destroy the human race to create a new and better one. He fights in the castle of the flying ship Darimor. Two flying dragons participate in the fight with him. Scion is able to use a technique called Ouke no Sabaki, used by Anakaris in Darkstalkers, thanks to which he manages to shrink his opponent by changing its shape: Leo becomes a lion, Kenji an insect, Tessa a little penguin and Mai Ling a little monkey . If you can defeat him for the first time, the player will have to face him again in an even more monstrous and powerful aspect.