The Unholy War

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The Unholy War
Unholy War cover.png
Developer(s) Toys for Bob[a]
Publisher(s) Crystal Dynamics
Distributor(s) Eidos Interactive
Platform(s) PlayStation
  • EU: September 1998
  • NA: September 30, 1998
Genre(s) Fighting
Mode(s) Single-player multiplayer

The Unholy War is a PlayStation video game developed by Toys for Bob and published by Eidos Interactive. It is a fighting game in which characters fight in a 3D environment using mêlée and projectile attacks. The game features two modes: Mayhem Mode, in which the player fights other characters in one-on-one battles; and Strategy Mode, in which the player fights campaigns on various battlefields. The game came with a demo of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver.


The game is set on the planet Xsarra, on which two powerful forces are at war: the Arcanes (Xsarra's original inhabitants) and the Teknos (cybernetic conquerors who want the planet's resources for themselves). The Teknos crash-landed on Xsarra because they were fleeing from the "Hunters", a mysterious, powerful alien race unusually bent on the Teknos' destruction. The Teknos were hoping that the unusual radiation in Xsarra's atmosphere would mask their ship from the hunter's radar scanners. Finding out that there was Aur on Xsarra, they decided that if they stayed here and mined all the Aur on Xsarra, they needn't worry about the Hunters ever again. But the Natives of Xsarra didn't like this idea, so they formed an allied group, the Arcane forces. They waged war for 20 years, until an uneasy peace was formed that lasted a few years. There was only one common rule: no two people (one from each nation) can have a baby. A few years later a rogue Quicksilver (a human-like creature that can transform into a silver being) and a rebel Dark Angel/Stygian (an experiment gone wrong that created humans with wings) escaped into the wastelands to hide. Eventually they were captured before they could conceive a child. This is what started another war, but if they did have a child, the war would have "destroyed all of Xsarra" (the Observer states this). This is where you start off: commanding one of the sides in the last war between the two nations.


In both modes, the game is based around the taeng arena. Each character has three attack moves that take power from a constantly regenerating energy bar. The arenas have numerous hazards, teleporters and power-ups. Every character has its strengths and weaknesses against other characters.

In strategy mode, the overview map is made of a series of interlocking hexagons (called Hexes). On most maps, both sides have a base occupying a single Hex that can be used to buy or sell units. The aim is to destroy all of your opponent's units and their base. Strategy mode is turn-based; you are allowed to make up to three moves before control switches to your opponent, who then makes three moves before you regain control and so on.

A 'move' consists of either moving a unit, or using a unit's special skill. Buying and selling units do not count as moves. You can only move the same unit once per turn and use its special skill once per turn. Different units move different distances.

To attack an enemy unit, you move a unit onto an adjacent Hex and confirm an attack. The game then enters arena combat mode. Whoever loses the battle has the option of bringing another unit into the arena, provided it is next to the Hex being attacked. Combat ends when the loser surrenders or all of his 'backup' units have been killed.

AUR is a magical resource that can be mined by placing a character onto a Hex containing AUR and as with moving and fighting, some units are better than others when it comes to mining. You will get an extra 20 or 40 AUR at the start of every turn, provided the Hex stays occupied. AUR can be used to buy units or use a unit's special skill.

The enemy base is destroyed when one of your units enters the Hex it occupies, and all units guarding it are killed. The base generates 10 Aur per turn until it is destroyed.

In between each level, you will receive more information on the game's story by an unknown being called "the observer". Reading these will show you how the story develops.

Arcane characters[edit]

"§" Denotes that this character is playable in a demo of the game

  • Dark Angel: Humanoid character with wings. Can fire eye lasers, deliver a shockwave attack or place a crystal that heals him gradually.
  • §Brontu: Resembles a six-legged rhino. Can charge at high speed for a ram attack, roar a shockwave into the enemy, or place toxic gas clouds.
  • Ecton: Humanoid devil. Can place net traps, can spray Baygon to the enemy, drain opponent's health to restore his own and whip a beam that damages and slows the enemy.
  • Fire Witch: Flying woman made of fire. Can place patches of fire, shoot fire balls and dive bomb the enemy. After the dive-bomb she needs a few seconds to get back up.
  • Mogalin Rider: Humanoid woman riding a bipedal monster known as a Mogalin. Only character with four moves; can fire a quick magic beam, switch places with opponent, use a weak tongue attack or swallow a power-up to deliver a homing belch attack when tongue attack is pressed again.
  • Magus Lizard: Humanoid lizard with mage clothes and a sword. Can swipe his sword, summon homing ravens, or summon meteors.
  • §Prana Devil: Demon creature resembling a scrawny lizard. Can bite opponent, fire spit balls and lay eggs that hatch into Prana chicks. There can only be 3 chicks in the arena at one time and they are easily slain.
  • Megaprana (Secret Character): more powerful version of the Prana Devil. Has the same moves, but are all more powerful and can jump much higher too.

Teknos characters[edit]

"§" Denotes that this character is playable in a demo of the game

  • Jaeger: Tank-like droid fitted with arms. Can shoot homing missiles, fire a powerful laser or deliver a heavy punch.
  • §Killcycle: Humanoid cybernetically attached to a flying jetcycle. Can fire plasma blasts, drop bombs, or sacrifice its life to deliver heavy damage.
  • Mantis: Mechanical insectoid robot. Can lay suction-vortices, crush the enemy with his mandibles or launch homing techno-tics that take health from opponent back to Mantis.
  • Quicksilver: Humanoid woman similar to the T-1000. Can fire orbs, deliver a slice attack, or use shield that can protect against any attack and reflect projectiles.
  • Tesla Lord: Humanoid carrying electricity conducting staff and backpack. Can teleport to a random spot, fire a shock beam or plant a crystal that shoots lightning balls.
  • §Razorfane: Human brain in a mechanical body with circular saws and spikes. Can fire ripsaws, place bladewalls (saw-barriers) or spin on the spot for a close range attack.
  • Wasp: Cyborg woman outfitted with hovering wings and blaster. Can hover, freeze enemies, drain their health (giving it to her) and fire a gun.
  • BetaRazor (Secret character): Razorfane with twice the health, bigger energy meter, thrusters, fires energy blade circular saws, razorfane's spin-on-the-spot and energy field slam attack similar to Fire Witch's (but without the slow recovery).


  • Cenotaph (Ecton level)
  • Desert Ruins (Magus level)
  • Factory (Jaeger level)
  • High Temple (Dark-Angel level)
  • Juicer (Quicksilver level)
  • Mystic Glen (Mogalin Rider level) - if the player jumps down the pit at one end of the arena, they pop up out of one at the other end.
  • Proving Grounds (Mantis level)
  • Steel Hallway (Razorfane level)
  • The Depths (Prana Devil level)
  • The Hive (Wasp level)
  • The Lab (Tesla Lord level)
  • Toxic Dump (Killcycle level)
  • The Volcano (Firewitch level)
  • Water Hole (Brontu level)
  • Menhir Circle (Beta-Razor's level) (SECRET)
  • Dark Maze (Megaprana's level) (SECRET)

Secret maps are unlocked by completing Strategy mode on Normal.

Secret characters are unlocked by completing Strategy mode on Hard.


Aggregate score
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 76.58%[1]
Review scores
Publication Score
CVG 3/5[2]
EGM 7.75/10[3]
Game Informer 7.25/10[4]
GamePro 4/5 stars[5]
GameSpot 7.9/10[6]
IGN 8/10[7]
OPM (US) 3/5 stars[8]

The game received an average score of 76.58% at GameRankings, based on an aggregate of 6 reviews.[1]


  1. ^ Even though on the box art it says Crystal Dynamics, it was developed by Toys for Bob.


  1. ^ a b "The Unholy War for PlayStation". GameRankings. Retrieved 2014-03-07. 
  2. ^ Fulljames, Stephen (1998). "PlayStation Review: The Unholy War". Computer and Video Games. Archived from the original on 2007-06-24. Retrieved 2014-03-07. 
  3. ^ "The Unholy War". Electronic Gaming Monthly. 1998. 
  4. ^ "The Unholy War". Game Informer (67): 81. November 1998. Archived from the original on 1999-09-30. Retrieved 2014-03-07. 
  5. ^ Bobba Fatt (1998). "Unholy War Review for PlayStation on". GamePro. Archived from the original on 2005-02-12. Retrieved 2014-03-07. 
  6. ^ MacDonald, Ryan (1998-10-09). "Unholy War, The Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2014-03-07. 
  7. ^ Nelson, Randy (1998-09-28). "Unholy War". IGN. Retrieved 2014-03-07. 
  8. ^ "The Unholy War". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. 1998. 

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