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Eternal Champions
 

 

STORY
Nine fighters throughout history have met untimely and unjust deaths. They now compete against each other for a chance to face the "Eternal Champion" and reclaim their souls. The victor will return to Earth with the chance to avenge his or her own death and restore balance to the universe.
 
REVIEWEternal Champions was the first 2D fighting game from Sega, and one of the more popular titles to come out for the Sega Genesis. Nostalgic as it may be, Eternal Champions is definitely guilty for riding the coattails of hit arcade fighting games like of Street Fighter II (1991), Fatal Fury (1991) and Mortal Kombat (1992). The game's main draw was a cast of oddball characters, stage-specific gory finishing moves called "overkills," and the fact that it was a console exclusive fighting game when it launched (a very rare occurrence at the time).
 

Pixel-tastic.

 
First of all, Eternal Champions was a console fighting game on the 16-bit Genesis, so it obviously didn't have the graphical prowess or popularity to compete with the top fighting games you'd find in 1993 arcades. Not only were the visuals lacking... but the gameplay was super clunky, especially to anyone who had ever played any of the fighting games mentioned in the last paragraph. The animation found in Eternal Champions was also below below average and quite choppy... most character priority moves are no more than 2 frames (sometimes less). The only animation that the designers seemed to care about was in the disturbingly gory finishing moves. It's obvious that they spent eons more time creating those twisted scenes of death than on the game itself.
 

Now playing.... what?  I can't read that.

 
The most original gameplay aspect of Eternal Champions is that characters have a special attack meter, which decreases over time as special moves/projectiles are performed. Special moves are done by either pressing multiple buttons together or holding back or down to charge. Different special attacks decrease the meter by different amounts. Due to the meter, special attacks can't be abused, because you have to wait for the "inner-strength meter" to refill every time you perform two or three special moves in succession. It was a decent idea for a gameplay element, but I think most fighting game players didn't like the fact that they couldn't perform special moves at will, like they could in every other fighting game out there. I'm sure players in the 90's who got their ass kicked in SF2 and MK2 frequently loved the idea, though.

FUN FACTS:  Very soon after the original 1993 release, two
Eternal Champions "adventure gamebooks" were released by Puffin books. Like in any nerdy 90's adventure book, the reader controls the fate of the main character, or in this case "champion," traveling through time to assist the protagonists fight against a megalomaniacal artificial intelligence called the Overlord and ultimately change the course of history.

Eternal Champions also had a comic-adaptation (by UK Sega Magazine's Sonic the Comic) as a stand-alone magazine titled Eternal Champions Special. The main protagonists also appeared in two stories in the Sonic the Comic series. In the stories, Larcen Tyler returns to 1920s Chicago and works with Shadow Yamoto to take down the crime boss who killed him. Check below for some images of these comics.
 

 
blade-et.jpg (19920 bytes)
     jetta-et.jpg (19170 bytes)     larcen-et.jpg (23745 bytes)     midknight-et.jpg (24664 bytes)     rax-et.jpg (25329 bytes)
 
shadow-et.jpg (16814 bytes)     slash-et.jpg (24743 bytes)     trident-et.jpg (22250 bytes)     xavier-et.jpg (19076 bytes)
 

 

 
      eternal-mg.jpg (170932 bytes)       eternal-champions-promo.jpg (22248 bytes)

eternal-champions-cyber-warriors-adventure-gamebook.jpg (100301 bytes)       eternal-champions-comic-cover.jpg (40873 bytes)       eternal-champions-comic-cover2.jpg (45169 bytes)       eternal-champions-comic.jpg (99862 bytes)

 


 
Page Updated: July 26th, 2014
Developer(s): Sega Interactive
Publisher(s): Sega
Designer(s): Scott Berfield   (creator)
Christopher Warner   (director)
Michael Latham   (designer/producer)
Mark Nausha   (producer)
Artwork By: Albert Co
Platform(s): Sega Genesis / Megadrive, Sega CD, Wii Virtual Console
Release Date(s): Aug. 14th, 1993      ( Genesis)
Feb. 18th, 1994
      ( Genesis)
Nov. 20th, 2007
     ( Wii VC)
Dec. 3rd, 2007
        ( Wii VC)
Feb. 15th, 2008      ( Wii VC)
Characters R.A.X., Blade, Jetta, Shadow, Slash, Trident, Xavier, Midknight, Larcen, Eternal Champion

Featured Video:

Related Games: Super Street Fighter 2, Mortal Kombat 2, Samurai Shodown, Fatal Fury, Fatal Fury Special, Fighters History, World Heroes 2
  

Gameplay Engine

 3.0 / 10

Story / Theme

 4.0 / 10

Overall Graphics

 3.0 / 10

Animation

 2.0 / 10

Music / Sound Effects

 2.0 / 10

Innovation

 4.0 / 10

Art Direction

 3.0 / 10

Customization

 2.0 / 10

Options / Extras

 3.0 / 10

Intro / Presentation

 4.0 / 10

Replayability / Fun

 2.5 / 10

"Ouch" Factor

 3.0 / 10

Characters

 3.0 / 10

BOTTOM LINE

 3.2 / 10

 Review based on Genesis version

 

Final Words:

One can't deny Eternal Champions a "classic" console fighter, but time has not been particularly kind to this title. As a young Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat fan in 1993, I knew Eternal Champions was just a big, fat, ugly rip-off. Even with the hype of this game that popped up here or there, I found absolutely nothing to like about the game. I particularly remember despising the choppy animation and terrible pixilated graphics (I swear could draw better characters on my computer's generic paint program when I was 9 years old). I also concluded that this game would make me worse at SF2, because the gameplay was so crappy. Seriously, this game makes World Heroes look good.... Wow

I also hated the character designs (and still do). I remember watching some kids playing Eternal Champions in 1993 at some game store back in the day (Babbage's I think), and they were acting like it was the best thing ever. It pissed me off to see people actually enjoying this game, because it was simply rubbish compared to the fighting games downstairs at the arcade.

I don't know about you
... but in 1993, I was playing Super Street Fighter 2, Mortal Kombat 2 and Samurai Shodown. All 3 of those games made Eternal Champions look like a silly kids game. In fairness, as a Sega Genesis exclusive, I do realize Eternal Champions developed a small fan base and probably brings back nostalgia for some people, but that doesn't change the fact that the game is pure shit.... It really is.

Eternal Champions
is indeed guilty of attempting to mooch off of the success of SF2, as well as MK's "shock value" by throwing in some blood and gore. It was as if the designers thought "who cares how the game plays, kids will love the blood and guts!" Well, I was 10 years old in 1993 and I didn't fall for that shit. I just couldn't get past the terrible graphics, lame music/sound and clunky-ass controls... and damn, it's still one of the ugliest fighting games in existence. It's true that I neglected putting Eternal Champions on the site for a long time, and that was simply due to the fact that pretty much everything about the game makes me want to throw up.
~TFG Webmaster
 

eternal-champions-screenshot2.png (15160 bytes)

 


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