Ehrgeiz (1998)

by Ji-yeong
7 minutes read


Ehrgeiz (1998) delivers an exceptional fighting game experience with its revolutionary 360-degree movement and inclusion of iconic Final Fantasy VII characters. It stands as a unique blend of genres, appealing to fans of both fighting games and the Final Fantasy series.


Ehrgeiz stands out as a pioneering 3D fighting game from 1998, celebrated for its groundbreaking integration of characters from Final Fantasy VII and its unique approach to combat mechanics.


“Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring” is a unique 3D fighting video game that was developed by DreamFactory and published by Namco in 1998 for the arcade platform. The game was later ported to the PlayStation and published by Square Co. in 1998, and then to Japan’s PlayStation Network by Square Enix in 2008.

The game stands out for its inclusion of characters from the popular RPG, Final Fantasy VII. Notable characters such as Cloud Strife and Tifa Lockhart are playable in both the arcade and the PlayStation versions. Additionally, the PlayStation version expanded the roster to include Sephiroth, Yuffie Kisaragi, Vincent Valentine, and Zack Fair.

Ehrgeiz distinguishes itself from most 3D fighting games by incorporating elements from wrestling games and DreamFactory’s own Tobal series. This approach allows for full 360-degree movement and does not require fighters to be facing one another at all times. The camera maintains a more or less fixed position, zooming in and out with the action, but not tracking around the arena as would be common in most other 2D and 3D fighting games.

The game’s stages are 3-dimensional and filled with many interactive objects and changes in elevation. This design allows characters to leap on top of crates or use them as weapons. The game features four action buttons: guard, high attack, low attack, and special. The special button triggers a weapons-based attack that varies for each character.

The PlayStation version of Ehrgeiz also includes a Quest Mode, similar to Tobal No. 1 and Tobal 2, titled “Brand New Quest: The Forsaken Dungeon”. In this mode, players fight through an extensive dungeon crawl, reminiscent of the Blizzard title Diablo, and can equip different weapons and items. The Quest Mode is a hack and slash action RPG mode of gameplay in Ehrgeiz. It 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.

The main characters in Quest Mode are archaeologists, and the goal revolves around going as deep in the dungeon as possible in the hopes of finding great artifacts. Compounded by his urge to obtain the stone and uncover the mystery behind his master’s investigation, he is determined to get his hands on the legendary weapon.

In addition to the main fighting and quest modes, Ehrgeiz also features several smaller minigames. These include a race mode, where players run laps around a course while engaging in combat to slow down their opponent, and a board game similar to Reversi.

Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring offers a unique blend of fighting, questing, and minigames, all wrapped up in a package that includes beloved characters from the Final Fantasy VII universe. Its innovative gameplay mechanics and diverse modes make it a memorable title in the fighting game genre.


The game features a diverse cast, including original fighters and renowned Final Fantasy VII characters such as Cloud Strife, Tifa Lockhart, Sephiroth, Yuffie Kisaragi, Vincent Valentine, and Zack Fair. Each character brings their own unique fighting styles and moves to the arena.


Ehrgeiz distinguishes itself with full 360-degree movement and a fighting system that doesn’t require characters to face each other at all times. This, combined with elements from wrestling and the Tobal series, offers a rich, strategic combat experience unlike any other.


Ehrgeiz remains a noteworthy entry in the fighting game genre, remembered for its inventive gameplay and the thrilling crossover of Final Fantasy VII characters. While opinions on its departure from conventional mechanics are mixed, its contribution to the evolution of fighting games is undeniable.

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