|Genre(s)||Versus fighting game|
Toshinden 4 (Toshinden Subaru in Japan) is the fourth installment of the fighting game series Battle Arena Toshinden. Unlike previous installments, it only saw release in Japan and the PAL region. It was released a total of three times in Europe.
It originally came out on June 30, 2000, and it was re-released on The White Label Range on April 12, 2001. It was re-released again by Play It On, November 20, 2003.
Ten years after the events of Toshinden 3, Eiji Shinjo, who is now the new leader of an organization called the "Gerard Foundation", has organized a fourth Toshinden tournament which revolves around the gathering of four holy weapons that can be used to either save the world or destroy it. Eiji's old enemy, Vermilion, is after the four holy weapons for his own malevolent ambition and that many fighters from within the tournament, including Eiji's own nephew Subaru, will find themselves getting caught from within the conflict itself. Can Eiji stop Vermilion before it's too late?
Initially playable characters
- Subaru Shinjo - The main character of the game. The son of Sho Shinjo and Cupido, Subaru is a traveling swordsman who seeks to locate the whereabouts of his missing uncle, Eiji.
- Naru Amoh - Kayin Amoh's foster daughter who was last seen as a playable character in Toshinden 3 (albeit when she was a small child). Now that she's a teenager, Naru joins forces with Subaru and Rook in order to participate in the tournament, hoping that she'll be able to figure out on what had happened to her foster father, who had disappeared after the events of Toshinden 3.
- Rook Castle - A nunchaku-wielding American youth who dreams to meet and test his own fighting skills against his idol, Eiji Shinjo from within the tournament.
- Puella Marionette - A young petite Swiss girl who fights to defend the world's peace while wielding the Suzaku Bow (the same weapon that Uranus had used from within Toshinden 2).
- Lancelot Lakeknight - A noble yet cowardly English fencer who seeks to improve himself after a past battle against Naru.
- Fen Barefoot - A young Brazilian boy/fisherman who seeks revenge against Genma for the death of his grandfather.
- Genma - A mysterious yet malevolent Chinese magician who seeks to gain the four holy weapons for his own personal greed.
- Miyabi - A young Japanese kunoichi who was kidnapped by Genma and brainwashed into becoming his personal servant.
- Bang-Boo - A Cuban cyborg who has been programmed to work for Genma and Miyabi.
- Eiji Shinjo
- Eos - An Italian angel-like altered human who works with Eiji from within the Gerard Foundation.
- Zero - A Greek synthetic human who also works with Eiji from within the Gerard Foundation.
Four Sacred Arms
A plot point introduced in this game focused on the Four Sacred Arms. Though seen in full since Battle Arena Toshinden 2, their relevance was never previously brought up. Each weapon bears a reference to one of the Chinese cardinal beasts, Byakko, Suzaku, Seiryu and Genbu. The weapons also seem to change appearance depending on the user. While the Byakko no tachi (White Tiger Fang) is usually seen as a rather plain katana, the Seiryuu no yari (Azure Dragon Spear) was a long leaf tipped spear while held by Mondo, yet altered to an ornate golden rod in the hands of Eos. As a purely cosmetic addition, when using a certain attack, an image of the beast associated with the weapon will display in the background.
Plotwise, it was said that when all four weapons were gathered together, they would bestow tremendous power on a person. Most characters in the game have their endings based around uniting the weapons and receiving the power of them. In some endings, they use this power to speak to a parent or loved one. However, Eiji's ending reveals the true nature of the power behind the weapons: It is the "Toshin", or god of fighting. This being is definitely not the one worshiped by the main antagonist group of Toshinden 3, Agon Teos, since Vermilion makes a clear distinction between the two in his own ending.
The game was poorly received. OPM said that the "multiple game modes provide no cover for a lacklustre fighting game".
Toshinden Subaru, the New Generation
An anime version for television (Chinese: 鬥神傳 新的産生; pinyin: Toshinden xinde chansheng; literally "Toshinden New Generation") was released in Hong Kong, with a Cantonese soundtrack featuring a number of pop stars.
- Official PlayStation Magazine issue 54, (January 2000)