Got the DOS port of Toshinden up and running, and even managed to beat it with Earthworm Jim/Rungo! If anybody wants to try playing against me in DOSBox, let me know via PM. I can host a server and then give you the deets. :p
It's still a solid fighting game, just a bit barebones! Toshinden 2 is a huge step up, both in terms of visuals and feel. It's hard not to see why this series was briefly popular, as it was one of the first 3D weapon fighters on the market. It even predates the Soul Blade series!
Complete Story Mode without getting touched, whatsoever. Every match must be a "flawless" victory kinda deal.
That, and you have to physically run through all the maps all the way into the well, which can be quite an annoying task. Still, I actually managed to do this with every character back in the day. My secret is that I didn't engage in legitimate fights so much as I abused the running command and played games of chicken with the AI, doing "drive-by" slashes when I found the right opportunity. That's actually how I beat Slash Mode too, heh. Boring and tedious, but it worked!
That's part of it. There is actually more. I think BB has one of the most complicated "good ending" conditions of any fighting game in history. It's not necessarily hard, but you have to:
1) Run all the way to a well and jump in. (Do not kill anybody until you're inside the well. Jumping is f+R2, R1 if you don't know) 2) Do not attack opponents before they have given their introductions. 3) Do not kill opponents as they are climbing up a ledge. 4) Do not lose a match (I think you are allowed to get hit after passing the first boss, but do not lose)
I'd be willing to track down a copy of Battle Arena Toshinden for this. As a kid I was blown away by the game, but I haven't played it since then...so I'm willing to bet that it doesn't hold up to my memory of it. Also, I'm terrible at 3D fighters, but if there is something to play online with others I'd be down for that. This genre has me excited to participate, which is odd considering the conversation recently about people's interest in contributing.
I was blown away by Toshinden too. It was to me a much more impressive tech proof of concept than Tekken, with its faux 3D "Arenas" and its often really ugly chara design (Jack was just ridiculous!). Toshinden on the other hand, had partially polygonal arenas and 3D gameplay to use them, and I much prefered the chara design.
Toshinden was THE game which definitely proved that the Playstation was much more efficient with 3D than the Saturn; that game played an important part in my decision to buy a PSX. Of course, afterwards I actually played the games, and as it happened, Tekken crushed Toshinden, and along with Ridge Racer, made NAMCO the hottest developer around for me, in the beginnings of the 32-bit generation. I still play Tekken 1 on my Vita.
I haven't played Toshinden since more than ten years, at the very least. But it is a very interesting game for its historical relevance. Toshinden is a pretty cool footnote in the Playstation's story.