Tōkidenshō Angel Eyes (闘姫伝承 ANGEL EYES Tōkidenshō Enjeru Aisu , "The Legend of the Princesses of Battle") is a fighting video game developed and published by Tecmo for the arcade game market in 1996. It was later ported to the PlayStation game console, being released in December 11, 1997; in 2009, it has been also made available as downloadable content in the Playstation Store, for the PlayStation 3 and the PSP. Both the original arcade version and the PS version were released in Japan only, and the downloadable version for PS3 and PSP remains in Japanese language.
Angel Eyes featured an all-female character roster, in the same way as other fighting games with all-female rosters like Variable Geo, Seifuku Densetsu Pretty Fighter, Arcana Heart and Asuka 120%. In a similar way to Capcom's Justice Gakuen series, most of the characters were teenage students fighting for the honor of their school and to earn the right of becoming the Great Angel. The game sported very high-quality, manga-styled character artwork, vigorous animation and attractive backgrounds. Contributing to the game's uniqueness, its visuals combined two-dimensional and three-dimensional graphics. Angel Eyes has remained mostly in obscurity in the West, due to not being released outside Japan. In Japan however, it gained a moderate success and following, and is still being used in tournaments there.
The game's storyline takes place in Japan. The substance of an angel from heaven was sent to Earth to incarnate in a human. However, there are eight girls holding the potential to become the host of the angel's substance. Therefore, who is worthy of inheriting the substance is to be she who proves herself the strongest in battle.
Tōkidenshō Angel Eyes was as most fighting games of its day, a two dimensional and sprite based (althrough some of the characters were three-dimensional models, that interacted with the hand-drawn, sprite based characters in a two-dimensional environment), one-on-one fighting game, and the objective for the player was to advance by defeating the opponent by winning two rounds out of three in competitive matches.
Following the traditional template of fighting games, the characters had at their disposal and arsenal of normal martial arts moves varied by the characters' posture, complemented by special moves endowed with additional power or abilities. The game also featured certain gameplay mechanics that although by today standards are commonplace, were rather unique and innovative back at the time of its release, such as a mid-air dash, mid-air suspension, mid-air chase capabilities, a homing jump, high jump, and a special ability trigger called Angel Synchro.
The characters were designed following several typical anime-style stereotypes. Some of them attend the Saintly Tehkan Academy (聖・テーカン学園 Hijiri Tēkan Gakuen ), named after Tecmo's former company name. They ranged from a hot-blooded schoolgirl to a kunai-wielding teenage kunoichi. The basic roster is as follows:
- Raiya Mikazuchi (御鎚 雷弥 Mikazuchi Raiya ): A hot-blooded, brawl-loving teenage schoolgirl. As the pun on her name implies, she moved with the speed of lightning. Famous for her record of 49 wins and 1 loss. 17 years old, student at Tehkan.
- Reika (麗華 Reika ): A passionate girl, daughter of a Chinese woman and a Japanese man, a part-time waitress at a Chinese restaurant. Raiya's rival, wielder of the power of flame. Student at Tehkan, bears a grudge with Raiya from their past. Her real name was Lei Fang (麗華 Pinyin: Lí Huá ). 17 years old.
- Chibiko (ちび子 Chibiko ): A shy, mild-mannered sporty girl, wearing the typical, now out of use, physical education uniform of a Japanese schoolgirl . Her real name was Tomomi Yaoi (矢追 知美 Yaoi Tomomi ). Also a student at Tehkan. She lost her mother at a young age, so he helps her sister with a part-time job. She loves cake and her kind father. 12 years old.
- Kiriko (キリコ Kiriko ): A maid that became a kunoichi (female ninja), lover and protector of animals. She used speed and a pair of kunai as weapons. Her real name was Kiriko Kasumi (霞 霧湖 Kasumi Kiriko ). 18 years old.
- Mysterious Power (ミステリアスパワー Misuteriasu Pawā ): Dealer of the "Royal Flush" casino. Serious but kind. Her real name was Fujiko Tani (谷 フジ子 Tani Fujiko ). Her likeness was inspired by Fujiko Mine, a character featured in Monkey Punch's iconic Lupin the Third manga. Mesmerized opponents with her "glamorous body". 26 years old.
- Highway Star (ハイウェイスター Haiuei Sutā ): A school teacher and bike rider. Daughter of an American man and a Japanese woman. Popular among her pupils. Her real name was Michiko Hoshi (星 道子 Hoshi Michiko ). 27 years old.
- Lina (リナ Rina ): A female cyborg sniper. She was turned into a cyborg to avoid death for serious injury. Reemerged as a cyborg assassin and crime-fighter. Her body is covered entirely by a special fiber called "Linaspacial". Her real name and age were unrevealed. A 3d character.
- Marie & King (マリー＆キング Marī & Kingu ): A wealthy, selfish little girl whose companion was a large teddy bear, named King. Student at Tehkan. Her strength lied on throws. Her real name was Marie Arisugawa (有栖川 マリ Arisugawa Marī ) and King's was King Gorgonia the Third (キングゴルゴニア三世 Kingu Gorugonia Sansei ). Marie is 12 years old.
- Angel (大天使): The final boss and the only unplayable character in this game.
The arcade game was later ported to the Sony PlayStation on December 11, 1997. This version included eight additional characters, which were mainly modified, palette swapped versions of the original characters, with special capabilities. The characters were unlocked by meeting certain requirements during gameplay, they are listed as follows: Bin Chibiko, Black Raiya, Hyper Mysterious Power, Lina 2, Maria & Panda, Robo Chibiko, Wounded Highway Star and Akane. The Story mode in this version also further explored the plot. On March 31, 2009, the PlayStation version was re-released through the PlayStation Network.
To promote the game in Japan, Tecmo released an album containing artwork of the characters as well as a music CD containing the game soundtrack. Also, a Drama CD titled Tōkidenshō Drama Album (闘姫伝承ドラマ・アルバム Tōkidenshō Dorama Arubamu , Drama Album of the Legend of the Princesses of Battle), was released in the late 90's, containing songs and storyline narrative.
- Arcade version
- Tōkidenshō Angel Eyes (arcade version) at GameFAQs
- Tōkidenshō Angel Eyes at Museum of the Game
- Tōkidenshō Angel Eyes at arcade-history
- PlayStation version