Red Earth / Warzard

:  Red Earth takes place on an alternate version of Earth sometime in the 14th century (1999 in the Japanese version) where the world did not experience any technological revolutions or Renaissance and was still in a medieval/mythological state. A new country has risen by the evil Scion, who sends out various monsters to take over the world. Four heroes emerge to defend earth.

The Warzard title screen.

ABOUTRed Earth (known as Warzard in Japan) is a sword and sorcery 2D fighting game from Capcom featuring RPG-style elements. The game was released exclusively in arcades in November 1996. Red Earth is the first game to run on Capcom's CPS-3 hardware, the first Capcom system that uses a CDRom instead of expensive EPROMs to hold the game data (about 50MB). While fairly common in Japan, the game saw an extremely limited release overseas and was never ported to any home console.
While Warzard is one of Capcom's lesser-known and obscure fighting games, several of the game's characters have appeared as cameos and playable characters in other (more popular) Capcom fighting games, including: Pocket Fighter, Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, and Capcom Fighting Evolution.


Warzard / Red Earth character selection screen.


In Red Earth, there are 4 selectable heroes and 8 monstrous bosses the player will encounter. Each of the heroes has 2 different color palettes the player can choose from. There are 2 game modes: Quest and Versus. The story-driven single-player Quest Mode has the player select one of the 4 heroes to progress through the storyline.

Tessa has super clever fighting animations... and a cat!

 Players will run into a variety of support characters before each encounter with a boss, making Red Earth a very unique fighting game in the sense that no other comparable title really attempted this (especially in 1996). Each character's storyline features unique dialogue and support characters. In Quest mode, various power-ups will appear onscreen which the player can pick up to either use in real time or replenish health. In Versus Mode, you and another human player can fight against one another, but can only choose from the 4 main heroes. 


Epic and beautifully drawn character sprites.


In Quest mode, players "Level up" their characters to unlock new special attacks for them depending on the skill level that has been reached. Upon leveling up, the next pre-fight cutscene will display the new move command that the character can now perform. Essentially, your selected character will noticeably get stronger as they acquire new special moves and abilities in the later levels (which they will need to stand a chance against the tougher foes of the upper levels).

Battle of the Beasts!

Red Earth uses a Password System that allows the player to play the game later on at the same skill level they reached when it ended on the prior playthough. Red Earth also features "Fatalities" performed by the heroes against the monstrous bosses. These fatalities range from decapitations to dismemberment, such as splitting the opponent in half, cutting off limbs, and even organ removal.









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Page Updated: March 13th, 2024
Developer(s): Capcom
Publisher(s): Capcom
Designer(s): Noritaka Funamizu         Producer
Musasabi Zirou
Artwork by: Akiman, Shoei, Monkey-Chop, Daichan, Ikedai, Sakomizu, Edayan
Platform(s): Arcade
Release Date(s): November 21st, 1996       Arcade
June 24th, 2022     ((in Capcom Fighting Collection)
Characters Leo, Kenji, Tessa, Mai-Ling, Blade, Gigi, Hauzer, Hydron, Kongou, Lavia, Ravange, Valdoll

Featured Video:

Related Games: Capcom Fighting Evolution, Capcom Fighting Collection, Pocket Fighter, Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, Street Fighter III: New Generation, Darkstalkers, Night Warriors: Darkstalkers' Revenge, Vampire Savior, SNK Vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash, SNK Vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash 2, SNK Vs. Capcom: Card Fighters DS, Golden Axe: The Duel, Weaponlord, Galaxy Fight

Gameplay Engine

 8.0 / 10

Story / Theme

 8.5 / 10

Overall Graphics

 9.0 / 10


 9.0 / 10

Music / Sound Effects

 8.5 / 10


 9.5 / 10

Art Direction

 9.5 / 10


 7.0 / 10

Options / Extras

 7.5 / 10

Intro / Presentation

 8.0 / 10

Replayability / Fun

 7.5 / 10

"Ouch" Factor

 8.0 / 10


 8.5 / 10


 8.6 / 10



Final Words:

After decades of wonderment about a this CPS3 game shrouded in mystery... this old school Capcom fighting game fan finally got the chance to play the rare gem known as Red Earth / Warzard. I wish I was able to experience this game in the late 90's when it first released (I'd even settle for the 2000's or 2010's), because I think it would've left an impression on me, but nonetheless... Red Earth is very much still an impressive game as I'm playing it in 2021 for the very first time. Worth the wait! And y'know what? I still feel lucky to play it because most people in the west still haven't. [UPDATE] Over a quarter century after the game's original release, Capcom is finally bringing Red Earth to console in Capcom Fighting Collection. Took 'em long enough! 

Seeing Capcom put so much effort into the story of an arcade fighting game (for example: drawing and animating a variety of non-playable character sprites, who are only there to introduce the monstrous opponent)... is something. Wow. This is certainly a different side of Capcom that fans were used to at the time. Warzard definitely introduced some cool new ideas on paper, but as a 1996 arcade fighting game... it seems strangely out of place and slightly pretentious, in some ways. For one, the amount of quarters / tokens required to play the game in a single playthrough might empty a typical arcade players wallet! The bosses are tough and will take your money!

I'm not one to complain about a game's difficulty... I'm just making the simply point that the game might've been poorly received by some players for that very reason. Otherwise, the premise of a mostly-single-player, story-driven 2D fighting game is definitely innovative and a bold direction for Capcom at the time. As cool as Warzard is, there's an obvious reason Capcom scrapped and never attempted this formula again, doubling down on their classic 2D fighting recipe portrayed in groundbreaking titles like Street Fighter III. Focusing on competition and 2-player gameplay, obviously, offers more bang for your buck as a player (and an animator / developer).

While I knew about the existence of Warzard since the 90's, the first time I actually got to use any of the characters was in Capcom Fighting Evolution (and one of the main reasons to play that game was to use Warzard characters, if I'm being honest). Finally using the 4 heroes in their original source material feels cool and just feels right. "Leveling up" your character as you progress through the 1-player Quest Mode is interesting as it is awkward (and kinda fun), but again, it's more of a novelty that doesn't quite work in the tried-and-true "competitive" fighting game realm. Don't get me wrong, I love the innovation and the fact that Capcom was thinking far outside the box... but... Using all your characters special moves from the start > Using a weaker version of your character and potentially losing money against the CPU AI.

Y'know, if Capcom ever makes a Darkstalkers 4, they definitely need to bring some Warzard characters into the mix because they're simply awesome and likeable designs. How cool would that be? FUN FACT: A crossover manga titled "Maleficarum" released in 1997 and features characters from both series. I have a ton of admiration for Red Earth's characters, art style, presentation, animation, and overall graphics.

Red Earth
isn't a perfect game by a long shot, and it's not nearly as polished as Street Fighter III: New Generation (released the same year), but it's a beautiful 2D fighting game that shows the best side of Capcom's innovation and heart in the 90's. Visually, conceptually, and animation-wise... Warzard outshined so many other 2D fighting games of the time. And just think, this is a game that Capcom "scrapped" and decided not to continue because they had "better" games to make. That's how talented 90's Capcom was.
~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen


mailing-warzard-fix.png (284089 bytes)           kenji-warzard.png (280096 bytes)           tessa-warzard-fix.png (338031 bytes)           leo-warzard-red-earth-art.jpg (188616 bytes)

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