Ehrgeiz: God Bless The Ring


REVIEWEhrgeiz is a 3D fighting game made with a joint effort from Squaresoft and DreamFactory, a subdivision of Namco. It was first released in arcades in 1998 and later ported to the Sony Playstation in 1999. One of the game's most notable aspects is the inclusion of many characters from Final Fantasy VII, including: Cloud Strife, Sephiroth, Tifa Lockheart, Vincent Valentine, Yuffie, and Zack.

offers a very unique 3D fighting game experience, with characters that can move freely in 3D inside of various closed-in environments. Many stages vary in elevation, with multi-level platforms that characters can jump onto, and also various interactive elements. Instead of the camera being "fixed" on the characters like in most fighting games, the camera in Ehrgeiz zooms in and out with the action. Ehrgeiz's free-roaming 3D engine borrows concepts from wrestling games and Dream Factory's own Tobal series, giving the game a unique look and feel among other 3D fighters of the era. 

Godhand... the forgotten Mishima.

3D gameplay engine gives players the option of circling their opponent in 3D, or freely running in any direction. While some "traditional" fighting game players might scoff at the game's lack of depth, Ehrgeiz's unorthodox gameplay engine offers a very unique experience to players able to open their minds to it. Characters have a variety of attack options at their disposal, including: high attacks, mid attacks, low attacks, special attacks, projectiles, jumping attacks, and ground attacks. There's also a targeting button, a jump button, and combined button commands for other special move variations. Along with the token priority attacks, throws, and special moves, fighters can also pick up weapons from the ground and use them.

Graphically, Ehrgeiz is a decent looking PS1 game. Character models and environments are on the blocky side, but they were considerably better rendered than some other well known PS1 character models of the time. The game's frame-rate, resolution, and textures were also fairly impressive when compared to other PS1 titles. The animation of Ehrgeiz is one of the game's strong points, with many cool-looking attacks and hard-hitting throws to check out. Ehrgeiz's animation style also resembles that of the Tekken series... which clearly shows some of Namco's influence (not to mention on a few of the character designs).

Early Tekken animations? Check.

was a halfway decent arcade fighting game in 1998. It certainly managed to stand out at any arcade it appeared at (it was pretty rare in North America). However, it also felt like it was missing something, and couldn't really compete with the top competitive arcade fighting games. Thus, the later PlayStation version added new characters, tweaked gameplay, and also packed an interesting "RPG style" Quest Mode (similar to Tobal 1 & Tobal 2's).

Bustaaah Wolf!!!

Ehrgeiz's Quest Mode was one of the most ambitious and interesting bonus modes seen in a fighting game to date, and featured a respectable amount of depth. Quest Mode is basically a "Hack and Slash" style action-RPG which begins in a dungeon in a parallel universe, and later moves to a nearby inn. The player can explore the town and enter the dungeon, which contains randomly generated maps, in search of artifacts and power-ups. It's pretty addicting the first time through, though it lacks any real storyline. Ehrgeiz also features an entertaining (but random) Mini Game Mode, including track & field events, as well as a version of the board game, Othello. These extra modes added a lot of personality and replayability to the home version of Ehrgeiz.

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Page Updated: June 15th, 2019
Developer(s): Dream Factory
Publisher(s): Namco   (Arcade)
Square    ()
Square Electronic Arts   ()
Square Enix   (PSN)
Designer(s): Seiichi Ishii
Platform(s): Arcade, PS1, PSN
Release Date(s): Feb. 26th, 1998          ( Arcade)
Mar. 19th, 1998        
( Arcade)
Dec. 17th, 1998         
( PS1)
May 30th, 1999         
( PS1)
Feb. 8th, 2000            
( PS1)
July 9th, 2008            
( PSN)
Characters Godhand, Yoko, Prince Doza, Koji Matsuda, Sasuke, Lee Shuwen, Wolf Girl Jo, Dasher Inoba, Clair, Han Dae Han, Django, Cloud Strife, Tifa Lockheart, Vincent Valentine, Yuffie Kisaragi, Zack Fair, Sephiroth

Featured Video:

Related Games: Tekken 3, Tobal No. 1, Tobal 2, Bushido Blade 2, Soul Blade, Soul Calibur, Toshinden 3, Bloody Roar, Mace: The Dark Age, Fighting Vipers 2, Fighting Layer, Street Fighter EX2, Power Stone

Gameplay Engine

 7.0 / 10

Story / Theme

 8.0 / 10

Overall Graphics

 8.0 / 10


 8.0 / 10

Music / Sound Effects

 8.0 / 10


 9.0 / 10

Art Direction

 9.0 / 10


 6.0 / 10

Options / Extras

 8.5 / 10

Intro / Presentation

 8.5 / 10

Replayability / Fun

 7.5 / 10

"Ouch" Factor

 8.0 / 10


 8.0 / 10


 8.2 / 10

 Review based on PS1 version


Final Words: Ehrgeiz was an unorthodox and interesting fighting game project from Namco & Squaresoft. While the free-roaming gameplay didn't appeal to everyone, it was respectably ambitious and innovative. The diverse character roster, the stylish CG intro, and the entertaining bonus modes made the console version of Ehrgeiz a quality fighting game package.

Of course, the fact that Final Fantasy VII characters were playable definitely added hype to the game. For any sort of FFVII fan, it was surely epic at the time to see FFVII's well-known characters in an actual fighting game. The Ehrgeiz exclusive character designs aren't half bad themselves, but some are a bit underdeveloped. In retrospect, Ehrgeiz was a pretty innovative title that stood on its own, and no doubt a good game to have in your fighting game collection. By the way, "Ehrgeiz" means "ambition" in German.
~TFG Webmaster

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