BloodStorm is a fighting game released in 1994 in arcade form by Strata and developed by Incredible Technologies. It is considered by some as a quasi-'sequel' to Time Killers. The game had a rather dark storyline as there were few ambiguously good characters as the other ranged from being sociopathically insane or deceptive folk.
BloodStorm was dubbed as a possible “MK-killer” in an attempt to further rival Midway's success with Mortal Kombat, though did not prevail. It was the last game Strata produced before the company went out of business.
As with its predecessor Time Killers, BloodStorm features many of the aspects carried down from it, such as the removal of an opponent’s arms and an ‘instant kill’ attack, as well as a Special Death Move. The button layout is virtually the same. They are labeled as "back leg", "front leg", "back arm" and "front arm" respectively. A button in the center is used to make the character block. As one would suspect, if a particular limb is lost in combat, its corresponding button is rendered useless.
BloodStorm is also a weapons-based fighter, though it differs from Time Killers in that the characters use weapons called "Gauntlets" that also allow them to use particular powers and attacks with them. Other than being able to bash off an opponent’s arms, a technique called a ‘Sunder’ is also in the game. If executed when an opponent is stunned, it will destroy their lower body. The character will not be able to jump or use kicks, but can still move back and forth a little with the leg buttons.
Even after a successful Sunder attack, the fight can still go on, given the character’s life bar is not totally drained yet. However, if both limbs are lost afterwards (given they weren't already torn off prior to the Sunder attack) then s/he is completely helpless. Characters are restored back to normal form after a round is over much like Time Killers as well.
A notable feature in the game is that when an opponent is defeated, the player gains a ‘passable power’ much like in a style akin to the Mega Man series. These powers or weapons can be used at any time to give the player a further advantage. Also, players can save their progress in a game with a password feature by pressing buttons during the player select screen. However, since the data was saved only until the machine was turned off, it was less than beneficial unless used to pick the game back up where it ended.
Hellhound - The fiercest fighter and general of the Fire people of the Southern Province. He takes pleasure in making war with their mortal enemies, the Ice people, Freon in particular.
Freon - Leader of the Ice people in the Northern Province. While he is a noble man, Freon loathes Hellhound and the Fire people, and wants to destroy them. In the end however, he proves to be less than noble as he begins a reign of terror along with a life of decadence and decay.
Tempest - The daughter of the High Emperor who was murdered before the events leading up to the BloodStorm contest. She has the ability to use the winds for her attacks and feels she is the rightful heir to the throne. According to her ending, she is the mastermind behind her father's death.
Razor - A suave and handsome man who was once in love with Tempest, and at the time the feeling was mutual. But her advisers framed him and had him imprisoned and given to Talon, who performed cybernetic experiments on him just before he escaped.
Tremor – The strongest and wisest of a race of people known as Earthians. He has become aware of the destruction going on between the races, and has tried to negotiate with various provinces to get it to stop, but has been unsuccessful. He sees the BloodStorm contest as a chance to destroy the sickness and disease and bring a much needed cure to the planet.
Mirage – The leader of a cannibalistic amazon race who live in a harsh desert in the province of Obsel, having overtaken the male population in many ways. Her plans are to lead her people out of their world and take over the whole planet through the BloodStorm tournament. Her gauntlets can fire deadly grenade bombs at her foes.
Talon – A cybernetic warrior whose steel heart makes him a cold and cruel ruler of Cyberia. He also tortured and performed experiments on Razor, who managed to survive. Originally aiming to find a cure for the disease destroying cell tissue, he eventually grew to see those of flesh and bone as inferior, and aims to convert all into cyborgs.
Fallout – A mysterious warrior who emerged from a radioactive part of the planet known as “The Death Zone”, who wanted to fight in the tournament, his reasons unknown for the most part.
BloodStorm is also notorious for having a surprisingly large amount of hidden secrets for an arcade game. Among these secrets are a large amount of taunt codes (a few of which parody Midway and Mortal Kombat in particular, like one that mocks the "Goro Code" rumor of MK II), "big head" characters featuring the game's programmers (which was derived from NBA Jam), special screens that allow you to fight the hidden secret agents, "taxi" codes (which throw the players into another background), morph codes (which let you change your character), gauntlet codes (changes a character's gauntlet to someone else's), and even vulgar "trash talk" codes. There were also a few backgrounds that were somewhat interactive, and such backgrounds are keys to finding the hidden opponents within the game.
Source: Wikipedia, "BloodStorm", available under the CC-BY-SA License.