Retronauts Micro 78 explores Square's fightin' history

Before Dissidia, there was... the PS1 fighting lineup.

We're just a few weeks out from the release of Square Enix's latest role-playing/fighting game hybrid effort, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT. Although Dissidia is only kind of a fighting game in the traditional sense, thanks to its convoluted systems that move the goalposts for victory into even more outlandish territory than Smash Bros., it definitely descends from the one-on-one combat genre.

By no means are the Dissidia games Square Enix's first foray into fighting games, though. Decades ago, long before Tetsuya Nomura was applied tortured Latin-derived appelations to his games, a pre-Enix-merger Square published five different fighting games on the original PlayStation: Tobal No. 1, Tobal 2, Bushido Blade, Bushido Blade 2, and Erhgeiz: God Bless the Ring. None of these games played much like Dissidia, but they still feel like spiritual antecedents of sorts. All of Square's PS1 fighting games incorporated RPG-inspired play features, for one thing. And with Erhgeiz, we saw the first wave of players ignoring the entire roster in order to play as Cloud Strife. The more things change, eh? Ben Elgin joins me this week for a one-on-one duel through Square's first forays into fisticuffs.

As one might expect, the music in this episode comes from Bushido Blade (that's the stuff that sounds like a modernized take on traditional Japanese music) and Tobal No. 1 (the high-energy polyethnic techno music).

MP3, 25.9 MB | 58:54
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Episode description: Ah, yes, Squaresoft… the company that only made RPGs. Right? Well. During the PlayStation era, the company's output was all over the place — and that includes the FIVE fighting games it published. All good, all unique! Just in time for their newest fighter, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT, Jeremy Parish & Ben Elgin look back at them all.