The Unholy War is a Play Station game that combines fast-paced fighting and turn-based strategy. It was developed by Toys for Bob (the same developers as Star Control, The Horde, and Skylanders), published by Eidos Interactive, and released in 1998. The Unholy War is a full-3D polygonal game, something that was quite new and experimental back then.
In fighting mode, the game is more akin to a Platform Fighter, since the characters are free to move on the map and are not obligated to face each other the whole time.note Strategy mode is a combination of Age of Empires (since you must extract resources and create troops) and Archon, Mortal Kombat: Deception's "Chess Kombat" or Soulcalibur III's "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 examples of 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.
- Black-and-Gray Morality: Most of Arcane are either Heroic Neutral, non-sentient animals or creatures with Blue-and-Orange Morality. Teknos are nearly all Ax-Crazy Obviously Evil Absolute Xenophobes.
- Dolled-Up Installment: In Japan, the game was reworked into Majokko Daisakusen: Little Witching Mischiefs, a Strategy RPG crossover of classic Magical Girl characters (Sally the Witch, Himitsu no Akko-chan, Mahou Tsukai Chappy, Cutey Honey, Majokko Meg-chan, Hana no Ko Lunlun, Mahou Shojo Lalabel), with the creatures from this game and Pandemonium! (1996) used as enemies.
- The Magic Versus Technology War: Ahem. Arkane vs. Teknos.
- Meaningful Name: The Teknos, a band of machine nations.
- Scary Stinging Swarm: There are aggressive beehives in the Water Hole arena. The bees can even damage metal robots.
- 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.
- Title Drop:The Observer: This conflict, which pits the Arcane natives of Xsarra versus the alien Teknos invaders, seems an endless, Unholy War.
- You Require More Vespene Gas: 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.