Ragnagard, known as Shinouken (神凰拳, God Phoenix Fist) in Japan, is a 2D fighting game that was developed by Saurus and System Vision and published by SNK for the Neo Geo. It was first released in arcades on July 26, 1996. The game uses pre-rendered 3d polygons for their backgrounds and characters, creating a crisp and clear visual difference from other 2d fighters of its time. Fighting takes place on the ground and in the air, a unique fighting system that advertised the title as an "aerial battle action game".
The heavenly world where various gods, fairies and beasts live.
Once upon a time, the Supreme God Arkorion, who was the ruler of the whole world, decided to create another world besides the heavenly world. But to do so, we would have to hand over the rule of heaven to someone else. After thinking about it, the god Arkorion announced that he would hold a "Battle for the Unification of the Heaven" in search of a god who could succeed his traces.
These are the gods of men, the most powerful in the heavens, and their serious fighting was the same as deciding the strongest god in the heavens. It foretold the beginning of an unprecedented fierce battle, and everyone watched over the course of things with a deep sigh. The battle involving all the heavenly men is about to begin.
Meanwhile, the Evil Shadow slowly began to move from the shadows...
In Ragnagard the four face buttons are used for two strengths of punches and kicks, while the player can maneuver with the directional and use dashes and air dashes both offensively and defensively. Ragnagard's gameplay revolves around two major gameplay mechanics:
- The first mechanic is the "Element System". Each character has two elemental affinities from four different ones (Fire, Water, Lightning and Breeze); players can thus charge the power meter in two ways, either by holding ABC or BCD, each of those powering up an specific element. When the power meter is full not only moves of the same elemental affinity become stronger, tokens of that element are dropped which the player can collect in order to perform Desperation Moves.
- The second major gameplay mechanic is the "Aerial Battle System": after striking an opponent the player can press up plus the two weak buttons to juggle the opponent upwards, allowing the player to follow the opponent in the air to do air combos. This maneuver can also be used in the air.