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Overview

Red Earth (known in Japan as War-Zard) is a 2D fantasy-based fighting game developed and released by Capcom for the arcades on November 21, 1996. Set sometime in the 14th century, the world of Red Earth is invaded by large, unnatural monsters. Four heroes set off to rid the world of the monsters (while investigating the cause): Leo (a warrior king cursed into a man-beast), Kenji (leader of an elite ninja squadron) Tessa (a curious witch), and Mai-Ling (a martial artist). The game is primarily focused on single-player fights (known as Quest Mode) against eight "boss enemies", where players gain experience points and level up their fighter (increasing attack and defense powers, adding new damage resistances, and unlocking new special moves) by fighting the bosses (or other players in Versus Mode). Players can return to their progress on the arcade machine using a ten-digit password system.

Red Earth is the first of the six games released for the short-lived CPS-3 hardware (which include JoJo's Venture, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, and the Street Fighter III trilogy). Although the game is obscure, since it is the only one of the six CPS-3 games to not be released for home consoles or compilations, some characters do appear in other fighting games. Tessa returns as a playable fighter in Pocket Fighter and SVC Chaos: SNK vs. Capcom. Leo and Kenji (as well as the enemies Hauzer and Hydron) later return as playable fighters in Capcom Fighting Evolution. Some characters also appear in character endings for Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All Stars and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.

Gameplay

Characters can level up through two types of experience: Experience is gained from fighting the gigantic monster opponents, and experience from fighting other players. New special moves are learned when the player reaches a certain level. Versus mode experience can make certain special moves more powerful (ex., Tabasa/Tessa's reverie sword.) There is a handicap option for if a player of a higher level is fighting a player of a lower level, but the maximum you can handicap yourself is four levels, so if the opponent is of much lower level it really doesn't work out very well. As a side note, there are a few special KO animations in the game: Mukuro/Kenji has a command throw which, if used to kill the opponent, results in their heart being pulled out. If used at other times, it stuns the opponent. Treasure chests also appear while you are fighting opponents; these can contain life-up items, bonus points, or magic spheres. These spheres have different elemental properties (ice, fire, etc.) and can be broken to cast powerful magic. Each character has multiple endings. In most cases it is simply a yes/no choice at the end, but Leo has a special ending for one-credit clearing the game where he is restored to his human form.

Playable Characters

There are four selectable heroes to play as in Red Earth, each with their own unique abilities and story:

Leo

The warrior king of Savalia, Leo has been cursed into a half-man, half-beast from when an unknown force invaded his kingdom. Returning to his fallen kingdom and slaying the monster Hauzer, he must now investigate the whereabouts of his kidnapped people.

Although Leo does not have as many unlockable special moves as the other characters, he is the only fighter in this game who has upgradable weapons, which give a visual indicator of his attack level (sword) and defense level (shield). If the player unlocks a secret weapon, he/she can switch between them using the sword change command: D, DB, B + K.

  • Sword: Normal -> Bronze (Level 3) -> Steel (Level 10) -> Diamond (Level 19) -> Legend (Level 32 and 5000 VS Points)
  • Shield: None -> Wooden (Level 6) -> Steel (Level 14) -> Diamond (Level 25) -> Legend (Level 30 or higher and 3000 VS Points)

Special Moves

  • Cronos Rush (D, DF, F + P)
  • Mars Slash (F, D, DF + P)
  • Achilles Rush (D, DF, F + K) (unlocked at level 8)
  • Achilles Revenge (B, DB, D + K while Ultimate Guarding) (unlocked at level 20)
  • Gaia Driver (360 + P) (unlocked at level 31)

Mystic Breaks

  • Heracles Rush (D, DF, F, D, DF, F + P)
  • Gigas Driver (720 + P) (unlocked at level 31)

Secret Weapons

  • Elemental Sword (Flaming, Frozen, or Thunder) - Defeat Ravange at level 16 or higher using the Mystic Magic move (fire for Flaming Sword, ice for Frozen Sword, and thunder for Thunder Sword) in less than 80 seconds. The sword is found in the statue of the next bonus stage.
  • Demon Axe - Defeat Ravange at level 26 or higher in less than 100 seconds with Leo's life gauge almost empty. The axe is found in the statue of the next bonus stage.

Endings

  • Ending 1 (Best) - Beat the game without any continues.
  • Ending 2 (Good) - Beat the game with at least one continue, while not performing a finishing move that chops Blade in half.
  • Ending 3 (Bad) - Beat the game with at least one continue, performing a finishing move that chops Blade in half.

Kenji

Known as Mukuro in the Japanese version, Kenji is the leader of an elite ninja squadron who serves the shogun of Zipang. When the shogun, Naosuke, sends the ninjas to investigate the mysterious invading airships, Kenji accepts reluctantly, sensing a different agenda with the shogun.

Special Moves

  • Ichi-Monji (D, DF, F + P)
  • Rasen-Kyaku (D, DB, B + K)
  • Tsumuji (B, D, DB + P) (unlocked at level 3)
  • Kumo-Gakure (U while in the air) (unlocked at level 6)
  • Baku-Ryusho (F, D, DF + P) (unlocked at level 10)
  • Enma-Zuki (F, DF, D, DB, B + P) (unlocked at level 14)
  • Kagerou (B, D, DB + K, finish with P) (unlocked at level 19)
  • Utsusemi (F, D, DF + K) (unlocked at level 25)
  • Kimo-Yaburi (B, DB, B + K while Ultimate Guarding) (unlocked at level 28 or higher after earning 2000 VS Points)
  • Rasetsu-Jin (B, DB, D, DF, F + K) (unlocked at level 32)

Mystic Breaks

  • Jyuu-Monji (D, DF, F, D, DF, F + P)
  • Homura-Tsumuji (D, DB, B, D, DB, B + P) (unlocked at level 16 or higher after earning 1000 VS Points)

Endings

After defeating the final boss and watching a cutscene, the player can make a decision that affects the game's ending.

Tessa

Known as Tabasa in the Japanese version, Tessa is an intelligent magician from the Icelarn who, after noticing unnatural flurries of thunderstorms, investigates the sign of approaching danger.

Special Moves

  • Chakura Wave (D, DF, F + P) (improved at level 22 or higher after earning 2000 VS Points)
  • Reverie Sword (F, D, DF + P) (improved at level 28 or higher after earning 2500 VS Points)
  • Air Chakura Wave (D, DF, F + P while in the air) (unlocked at level 3) (improved at level 22 or higher after earning 2000 VS Points)
  • Glace Cannon (D, DF, F + K) (unlocked at level 6)
  • Fiasma Cannon (B, D, DB + K) (unlocked at level 10)
  • Electron Cannon (F, D, DF + K) (unlocked at level 14)
  • Jamming Ghost (F, DF, D, DB, B + P) (unlocked at level 25)
  • Death Phenomenon (F, DF, D, DB, B + K) (unlocked at level 32)

Mystic Breaks

  • Tricicle Edge (D, DF, F, D, DF, F + P)
  • Hyper Cannon (D, DF, F, D, DF, F + K) (unlocked at level 19)

Secret Weapons

  • Sun Wand - Defeat Ravange at level 30 or higher in less than 100 seconds with full health. The wand is found in the statue of the next bonus stage.

Endings

After defeating the final boss and watching a cutscene, the player can make a decision that affects the game's ending.

Mai-Ling

Known as Tao in the Japanese version, Mai-Ling is a skilled martial artist from Gora. After returning from winning a martial arts tournament, she finds her home village in ruins. She must now investigate the "black shadow" streaking across the land while rescuing the children of a nearby village.

Special Moves

  • Kuujin-Ken (D, DF, F + P)
  • Enryuu-Kyaku (F, D, DF + K)
  • Koukaku-Shuu (B, D, DB + K) (unlocked at level 3)
  • Idaten (F, F while in the air) (unlocks at level 10)
  • Koen (F, DF, D, DB, B + K) (unlocked at level 19)
  • Kokuu-ha (B, DB, D + K while Ultimate Guarding) (unlocked at level 22 or higher after earning 1000 VS Points)
  • Kuugeki-Shou (F, DF, D, DB, B + P) (unlocked at level 25)
  • Tentsui-Ga (360 + P) (unlocked at level 32)

Mystic Breaks

  • Cho-Kuujin-Ken (D, DF, F, D, DF, F + P)
  • Cho-Enryuu-Kyaku (D, DF, F, D, DF, F + K) (unlocked at level 14)

Endings

  • Ending 1 (Good) - Beat the game without continuing more than four times.
  • Ending 2 (Bad) - Beat the game continuing more than four times.

Bosses

The various Boss characters the player faces in the game.

As previously stated, the object of the game is to defeat a number of giant monsters. Depending on which character you pick, you fight them in a different order, although the final two are always Blade and Valdol.

  • Hauzer, a dragon who resembles a tyrannosaur
  • Kongou (aka. Kongoh), a gigantic Oni
  • Hydron (aka. Nool), a squid-monster from the Northlands
  • Ravange (aka. Secmeto), a statue of a sphinx/chimera hybrid brought to life.
  • Lavia (aka. Ruan), a Chinese harpy.
  • Gi Gi (aka. Gigi), an Aztec robot with faces on both sides of his body.
  • Blade: An animated suit of armor. Blade is really nothing more than the green crystal in the chest. He wields a giant, rotating lance/club... thing.
  • Scion (aka. Valdol), an evil wizard responsible for Blade's creation and Leo's curse. After being defeated once, he mutates in to a large brain-like being. He is accompanied by two dragon familiars; their properties are seemingly random each time the game is played (fire/ice/lightning/etc.)

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