Codex Gamicus

Fighting Force is a 1997 3D beat 'em up developed by Core Design and published by Eidos in the same lines of classics such as Final Fight and Streets Of Rage. It was released for the PlayStation, Windows and Nintendo 64.

The game was originally devised by Core as Streets of Rage 4 to be published by Sega exclusively for the Saturn. Sega pulled the Streets of Rage name during development after a disagreement with Core about porting it to rival formats.


Fighting Force is part of the 'beat 'em up' genre. Players control one of four characters. They move through urban and science fiction environments, battling waves of oncoming enemies with weapons ranging from fists and bottles to knives, chairs and guns.

The four characters have various reasons for taking on Dr. Zeng, a criminal mastermind with an army at his command. The action starts with a police cordon around Zeng's office skyscraper, finally ending at the top of his island headquarters.


File:Smasher Tire.jpg

A screenshot of Ben "Smasher" Jackson punching a generic enemy

The player or players can choose from a selection of four characters. The playable characters are Hawk Manson (age 26), Mace Daniels (age 21), Ben "Smasher" Jackson (age 29), and Alana McKendricks (age 17). Hawk Manson and Mace Daniels are two all-around characters. Hawk is somewhat stronger than Mace who is in turn faster than Hawk. Ben "Smasher" Jackson is a large and slow bruiser capable of lifting and throwing the engines of cars at enemies. Alana McKendricks is a fast but soft-hitting teenager with an effective jump-kick.

All four characters have a special move that can be performed with the loss of a portion of health.


While massively hyped, the game failed to attract mainstream attention due to its repetitive and short lifespan. The game received mediocre scores from most of the gaming media.

Ports and Sequels[]

A Nintendo 64 version of the game titled Fighting Force 64 and published by Crave Entertainment was released in North America and Europe in 1999. Insignificant version differences include partially improved graphics[2] and changes in the available number of player lives.

A Sega Saturn version was still developed and eventually completed after the Streets of Rage 4 pull-out, but it was never released because of publishing issues with Eidos first and with Sega Europe later, the latter securing publishing rights of the Sega Saturn version after Eidos dismissed them and stating to release it in Europe in November 1997,[3][4] a release that never happened eventually. An early prototype, with older character designs, was leaked in November 2008.[5]

A sequel, titled Fighting Force 2, was released in 1999 for the PlayStation and Dreamcast. Unlike the first title, Fighting Force 2 focuses on the character of Hawk Manson exclusively, and rewards a more stealthy approach.

A second sequel, Fighting Force 3 was also in development for the Xbox and PlayStation 2, but was cancelled during development, though a video tech demo of it exists on the internet.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Fighting Force for PlayStation. GameRankings. Retrieved on 2009-10-25
  2. Mac, Ryan (1999-04-30). Fighting Force 64 on GameSpot. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2009-10-25
  3. Fighting Force (preview) on Sega Saturn Magazine, November 1997. Retrieved on 2010-06-04
  4. Fighting Force (preview) on Sega Saturn Magazine, November 1997. Retrieved on 2010-06-04
  5. Fighting Force Sega Saturn prototype on Satakore. Retrieved on 2009-10-25

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