Toshinden 4 (1999)

by Christopher
6 minutes read


This article explores Toshinden 4, highlighting its contributions to the 3D fighting genre with its cinematic visuals, ‘overdrive’ mode, and team battle mode. While it faced mixed reviews, its innovative approach to combat and impressive graphics left a lasting impact.


An overview of Toshinden 4, a 1999 fighting game known for its 3D combat, cinematic visuals, and innovative gameplay features like the ‘overdrive’ mode and team battle mode.


Toshinden 4, also known as Toshinden Subaru in Japan, is the fourth and final installment of the fighting game series Battle Arena Toshinden. Developed by Tamsoft and published by Takara in Japan and Studio 3 in Europe, the game was released on PlayStation in Japan on August 12, 1999, and in the PAL region on June 30, 2000.

Unlike its predecessors, Toshinden 4 was only released in Japan and the PAL region. The game features single-player and multiplayer modes, offering players a chance to engage in intense combat either alone or with friends.

The plot of Toshinden 4 is set ten years after the events of Toshinden 3. Eiji Shinjo, who has become the new leader of an organization called the “Gerard Foundation”, organizes a fourth Toshinden tournament. The tournament revolves around the gathering of four holy weapons that can be used to either save the world or destroy it.

Eiji’s old enemy, Vermilion, is after the four holy weapons for his own malevolent ambition. Many fighters from within the tournament, including Eiji’s own nephew Subaru, find themselves getting caught from within the conflict itself.

Subaru is accompanied by Naru, an adoptive daughter of Eiji’s old friend, Kayin. Naru, who debuted as a child in the third game, has now grown up and is currently trying to find her adoptive father’s whereabouts, following his disappearance.

A significant plot point introduced in this game focuses on the Four Sacred Arms. Each weapon bears a reference to one of the Chinese cardinal beasts: Byakko, Suzaku, Seiryu, and Genbu. The weapons also seem to change appearance depending on the user.

When all four weapons are gathered together, they bestow tremendous power on a person. Most characters in the game have their endings based around uniting the weapons and receiving the power of them. In some endings, they use this power to speak to a parent or loved one. However, Eiji’s ending reveals the true nature of the power behind the weapons: It is the “Toshin”, or god of fighting.

While all characters are brand new, Eiji, Naru, and Vermillion return since their last appearance in the third game. The game features several teams of characters, including Team 1 with Subaru Shinjo, Naru Amoh, and Rook Castle, and Team 2 with Puella Marionette and Lancelot Lakeknight.


The game features a diverse roster of fighters, each with their unique fighting styles and special moves. The characters engage in combat across various 3D arenas, showcasing their abilities in visually impressive battles.


Players engage in 3D battles, utilizing a mix of traditional and showcase moves to outmaneuver their opponents. The ‘overdrive’ mode allows for powerful combinations, while the team battle mode offers a unique twist on the classic fighting formula.


Toshinden 4 remains a noteworthy entry in the fighting game genre, offering a visually stunning and mechanically innovative experience. Despite its flaws, it is remembered for pushing the boundaries of 3D combat and providing a unique battle royale experience.

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