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The Unholy War must be one of the most overlooked games for the Play Station ever. It's a game that combines fast-paced fighting and Turn-Based Strategy (making it a game very difficult to categorize and find a market for), and was created by the same producers of Soul Reaver and Legacy of Kain. Created in 1998, The Unholy War is a full-3D polygonal game, something that was quite new and experimental right then.
In fighting mode, the game is more akin to a Mascot Fighter (without the mascots), since the characters are free to move on the map and are not obligated to face each other the whole time . Strategy mode is a combination of Age of Empires (since you must extract resourses and create troops) and Mortal Kombat: Deceptions "Chess Kombat" or Soulcalibur IIIs "Chronicles of the Sword", where the collision of pieces triggers a battle (in fighting mode) between them.
The story of the game is about two alien factions who hate each other to death, and of course, are in war. One is called Arcane and the other Teknos, the former being the natives and very fantasy-like creatures, and the latter being high-tech humanoids. The Teknos are trying to exploit the resources of the planets and, of course, the Arcane are not happy about it... one decade later, that sounds somehow familiar.
The fights are made between sides (not between single characters, since they are all generic individuals from a species), and each species is strong against something, and weak against another thing. It's quite an original twist from the usual Fighting Game formula, since it's faction-centered and not character-centered. For tropes about each unit see the characters' page.
The Unholy War contains the following tropes:
- After the End: In the Arcane campaign, it is hinted that the Teknos originated from Earth.
- Applied Phlebotinum: AUR. Powers magic spells, is a source of technological energy, and can be used to produce units.
- Death World: Xsarra.
- Everything's Worse with Bees: The only possible reason there are aggressive beehives in the Water Hole arena. The bees can even damage METAL ROBOTS.
- The Magic Versus Technology War: Ahem. Arkane vs. Teknos.
- Frictionless Ice: Or metal, in the Juicer arena.
- Meaningful Name: The Teknos, a band of machine nations.
- Power-Up: Includes but is not limited to:
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Between Katrina, a rogue Quicksilver, and Andrus, a Dark Angel. Because of the law that no child from the two factions can be conceived, this creates quite a stir in the cease fire between the factions.
- Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors: Not as clear cut as most examples of the trope. It's safer to consider on an individual match-up basis.
- Title Drop: Said by the Observer's narration:
The Observer: This conflict, which pits the Arcane natives of Xsarra versus the alien Teknos invaders, seems an endless, Unholy War.
- You Require More AUR: AUR is needed to build units and use Warrior Map Powers. You get AUR by having a base (10 per turn) or having a unit rest at an AUR load (+20 per turn). Brontus and Jeigar units gather twice as fast.