Codex Gamicus

Fight for Life is the title of a video game developed and published by Atari for its Jaguar system in 1996. The game was given the T or 13+ rating by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board. It was the last game that Atari released for the Jaguar platform.


In 1994, Atari hired SEGA AM2 programmer Francois Bertrand to work on a 3d Fighting game for the Jaguar.[1] Bertrand's previous experience was in developing the camera and collision systems for Sega's Virtua Fighter polygon fighter, and he served as the lead (and only) programmer on Fight for Life.

The 3D format and polygon graphics were intentionally modeled after Sega's Virtua Fighter and Sony's Tekken arcade games that were scheduled to be translated for the companies' respective home systems.

The game was completed in December 1995, approximately 19 months after development began. Atari released the game in 1996. Fight for Life was the first and only 3d fighting game to appear on the Jaguar console.


In the single player mode, you control one of the eight deceased characters in a tournament battle to escape from hell and get a second chance at life.

The characters in the game are:

  1. Kimura, a ninja
  2. Ian, a soldier
  3. Kara, an American mom
  4. Pog, a dock worker
  5. Mr. G, a professional boxer
  6. Muhali, an Arabian fighter
  7. Jenny, a worldwide girl
  8. Lun, a Kung Fu master


Fight for Life is a 3D polygon-based fighting game. The gameplay mechanics were very similar to Virtua Fighter's, but with two notable exceptions. First is that the player begins the game with no special moves. The player has the ability to "steal" two special moves away from defeated opponents. In this way, the player is able to build a unique fighter.

Second, unlike most if not all fighting games available at that time, fighters could actually maneuver in 3D. The characters accomplish this by sidestepping, allowing them to move around the arena in a counter-clockwise direction while still facing their opponent.


Most video game magazine critics panned the video game for its weak graphics and sound; Electronic Gaming Monthly's Seanbaby put it as #3 in his "20 worst games of all time" feature.[2] It did not help that the original Jaguar controller was entirely inappropriate for usage in arcade or fighting video games (although it should be noted that Fight for Life was specifically made to be used with the Jaguar Pro Controller).


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