Ehrgeiz: God Bless The Ring is a Fighting Game developed by DreamFactory and published by Namco and Square in 1998, the title being German for "ambition". Unlike most Fighting Games, especially at that time, Ehrgeiz allowed full 3D movement around an arena which often had several levels and/or obstacles - in fact, the Super Smash Bros. technique took notes from this game a year before its existence.
Ehrgeiz is noted for playing off of the astounding success of the then-recently-released Final Fantasy VII by having a slough of cameo characters from that game. The original arcade release had Cloud and Tifa as secret characters named "Guardian" and "Summoner" which could be fought by beating the first X characters in a certain amount of time. They were playable after one or two months of real time. In addition, the final boss, Django, bears a striking resemblance to Red XIII.
Ehrgeiz was later ported to the Sony PlayStation and increased the cameo characters to include Sephiroth, Vincent, Yuffie, and Zack. The PSX version included mini-games, as well as a brand-new Quest Mode, which was a sort of RPG-Lite (as shown in DreamFactory's previous Tobal 2) starring two side characters and invoking many Final Fantasy VII mainstays including materia. Many of the RPG section's game mechanics were later re-used in Vagrant Story.
The real fun of the game, though, probably lies in getting Sephiroth to lie face down in the sand waving a little flag above his head for winning a shirtless beach race.
Not to be confused with the 1997 anime series of the same name.
This game contains examples of:
- Adventurer Archaeologist: The vocation of Koji Matsuda and his protegee Clair.
- Advertised Extra: Despite featuring prominently in the game's ads and cover art, the Final Fantasy VII characters have almost no presence in the actual game whatsoever. Not only do they not have endings (except Sephiroth for some bizarre reason), but they don't even appear as opponents in Arcade Mode unless the final stage is reached in less than 3 minutes and 20 seconds.
- Animorphism: Jo can transform into a wolf.
- Artificial Limbs: Han Daehan, who has a bionic leg that can shoot missiles.
- A Winner Is You: What's your reward for beating the infamously frustrating Quest Mode? A single paragraph of text scrolling on a black background with no sound or music that leads into a generic Game Over screen.
- None of the guest/bonus characters have their own endings, except for Sephiroth, whose ending is just clips from random Final Fantasy VII cutscenes to the tune of One-Winged Angel.
- Casting Gag: So, Hiroya Ishimaru is voicing someone named Koji. Hang on, has he done something similar before?
- Combat Pragmatist: Once you unlock Clair you may discover she has an affinity for targeting a certain location of the anatomy and carries hidden blades in her arms.
- Creative Closing Credits: You fight the True Final Boss during them.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": In the arcade game, Cloud and Tifa are named Guardian and Summoner respectively.
- Expy: Pretty much the majority of the original cast bears some striking resemblance to characters from Tekken: Godhand and Bryan Fury (although Godhand is actually a Mishima), Han and Hwoarang (plus a metal leg), Lee and Lei (with Lee's 'candle' ending even bearing an extremely striking resemblance to Kazuya's cinematic intro in Tekken), Sasuke and Yoshimitsu. The biggest example by far, however, is Prince Doza, who is a kickboxer in the style of Bruce, but with the famous Mishima studded gloves.
- Fingerless Gloves: Godhand wears a pair. Notable because they are the same sort of gloves worn by Tekken main characters Kazuya Mishima and Jin Kazama (see Tangled Family Tree below for more info on this), having a set of metal studs that form an inverted triangle over the top of the hand.
- Guest Fighter: Final Fantasy VII's Cloud Strife and Tifa Lockhart appear in the game. They are joined in the console version by Vincent Valentine, Yuffie Kisaragi, Sephiroth, and Zack Fair.
- Guide Dang It!: To defeat the bonus boss during the first half of the credits, you break open the cases on the stage containing two swords and throw them at the beast to claim Ehrgeiz for real. Not much to it but a lot of extra points and a poorly translated paragraph about your success. No real loss in losing the fight either.
- His Name Really Is "Barkeep": Quest Mode introduces us to Sommeleeay the sommelier.
- Historical Domain Character: Lee Shuwen is based on Li Shuwen, a Real Life master of Ba Ji Quan said to be so formidable that he does not need to strike an opponent twice.
- Killed Off for Real: In fighting two dragons prior to the Final Boss of Quest Mode, whoever defeats the second dragon is promptly killed by the post-fight explosions as the game explicitly notes that they cannot be restored by the ark, leaving that character dead for the rest of the playthrough. The second character can opt to subvert this by using the Phoenix Down gained from he Phoenix the dragons were protecting at the cost of the entire journey being rendered meaningless, or leave the first character to their fate - only for their selfishness to basically get them nothing and their partner killed for no reason.
- Killer Yoyo: Yoko, whose main costume is a police uniform, if the reference wasn't obvious enough.
- Leg Cannon: Han Daehan.
- Merlin Sickness: Lee Shuwan
- Moveset Clone: The Final Fantasy VII characters are generally clones of existing ones; Yuffie for Sasuke, Vincent for Godhand, and Zack for Cloud.
- Multiple Endings: As well as each character having an ending, Han has two: one where he wins the tournament but doesn't recover his lost leg from Django, and another where he does.
- NINJA: Sasuke and Yuffie. Highly Visible Ninja, at that.
- Nintendo Hard: The Quest Mode is ruthlessly unforgiving. Aside from fending off dozens of difficult enemies and needing to grind experience for two characters separately, you also have to constantly eat to stay alive. Leveling up specific stats requires you to consume a greater amount of nutrients associated with that stat, but due to the randomly-generated loot, you really have no control over what kind of food will drop, and by extension, what kind of build you'll have. Inventory is severely limited with gold and active equipment taking up space, and to top it all off, saving the game costs money, which isn't always in abundant supply, and it gets progressively more expensive the higher your characters' levels are.
- Overly Long Fighting Animation: Koji has a charged grapple that is hard to connect with, but if it does he'll spend about ten solid seconds breaking every bone in your body.
- Overly Long Gag: Dasher Inoba's ending, which is an endless loop of him eating bowls of noodles.
- Power of the God Hand: The protagonist is nicknamed Godhand for his fighting skills.
- Press Start to Game Over: The bottom of the well in town is one of the first entrances to the game's dungeon and is in more immediate access than Level 1. It's also the home of a brutal high level Kraken, and if you enter its lair at the very start of the game, you're basically as good as dead.
- Randomly Generated Levels: The Forsaken Dungeon.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: All endings to Quest Mode are ultimately this. Either the survivor revives their fallen partner with the Phoenix Down, thus losing the secret to immortality forever and rendering the whole point behind the adventure moot, or they keep it but fail to actually learn or accomplish anything with it, rendering the whole adventure moot and getting someone killed in the process.
- Spinning Piledriver: Godhand can do this literally if you do the motion for it. Cloud's grab for this happens to be Omnislash.
- Spiritual Successor: To the Tobal games.
- Tangled Family Tree: Godhand is a Mishima (Ken Mishima, to be precise), meaning the game has a very weak connection with the Tekken series. This was a semi-cameo due to Namco distributing the arcade version of the game, and Godhand himself has moves taken from Tekken characters.