Red Earth Capcom Fighting Collection
Image: Capcom

Update [Fri 17th Jun, 2022 12:45 BST] A previous version of this article stated that Red Earth had not been released outside of Japan before. This was an error as the game did release in arcades in North America in 1996. The article has since been corrected.

Original article [Wed 15th Jun, 2022 19:00 BST] Capcom Fighting Collection is out very soon, and with it, it's bringing together a couple of lesser-known fighting games along with some bigger releases. One of these is the 1996 fantasy beat 'em up Red Earth, known as War-Zard in Japan. This will also be the first time the game is available in Europe and the game's first home console port.

Launching alongside two Pocket Fighter games and five Darkstalkers games, Red Earth stands out for its RPG inspirations, including its single-player 'Quest Mode' which lets players choose between four characters and fight a series of bosses. Each boss you beat nets you experience which you can use to upgrade character stats and even learn new moves.

In anticipation of the collection's release next week, Capcom's community and social media manager Andy Wong reflects on the upcoming rerelease for PlayStation.Blog. Wong talks about Takashi Sado — a producer on the original 1996 — and his thought process behind releasing a more-unique take on the fighting game genre at the time:

Takashi Sado, one of the producers of Red Earth at the time – and still at Capcom – started working on the proposal for Red Earth in the mid-90s. Since fighting games were growing increasingly popular at the time, he followed this trend and initially planned to make Red Earth just a fighting game. However, he was feeling that the skill level between fighting game players was growing where more casual players couldn’t keep up with more top-tier players. In order to bridge this skill gap, his team wondered if they could get creative and compensate for it by changing parameters, equipment, or other facets of the genre.

Wong mentions that Sado used his interest in fantasy action games such as the 1990 arcade game Magic Sword and the 1991 fantasy beat 'em up The King of Dragons to inspire work on Red Earth. Both of these games have progression systems, which Sado wanted to use in his new game.

Not only do characters level up in-game, but the four heroes, in particular, are also all based on recognisable RPG classes. Leo is a half-lion half-man warrior with a huge sword; Kenji is a fast and nimble ninja; Tessa is a mage or "sorcerologist" specialising in magic; Mai-Ling uses martial arts to take down her foes like a monk.

While Red Earth has made cameos in other Capcom games — such as Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen and Street Fighter V — this is the first time we'll get to officially play the game on consoles, and we're excited.

Please note that some external links on this page are affiliate links, which means if you click them and make a purchase we may receive a small percentage of the sale. Please read our FTC Disclosure for more information.

You can read the whole post on PlayStation.Blog in the link below. In the meantime, let us know if you're picking up Capcom Fighting Collection on 24th June in the comments below.