Eternal Champions is an 1993 arcade style fighting game published and developed by Sega Enterprises. Released shortly after Burning Rival, Dark Edge, and Holosseum, and both during a wave of success of the fighting games bolstered by Street Fighter II (1991) and Mortal Kombat (1992) Sega developed this game for their Sega Genesis/Mega Drive exclusively.
The game features similar death moves to Mortal Kombat's famous fatalities, known as overkills. It featured a heavy emphasis on the story, reflective projectiles, force fields, training rooms filled with elaborate traps, and a novel method of special executing moves. There was also a sequel two years later, Eternal Champions: Challenge From The Dark Side (sometimes known as Eternal Champions 2 or Eternal Champions CD).
An omniscient being known as the Eternal Champion predicts that mankind will soon fade to existence due to the untimely and unjust deaths of key individuals throughout history who were destined for greatness. Seeking to restore balance to the world, the Eternal Champion gathers these souls from time moments before their deaths to participate in a fighting tournament. The victor will be able to change their fate and bring balance to the universe, whilst the losers will be forced to live out their deaths just as history intended.
Unlike most fighting games, or video games in general, there are no characters in this game that are "bad" or "evil". Each character has been chosen because they are either inherently good, or they have the potential to do great good and change the course of history for the better. Despite the ability to kill opponents in this game, this is not relevant to the story. Much like games such as Mortal Kombat (which pioneered finishing moves in fighting games), the game's "Overkills" are not canon and simply a gameplay element for the enjoyment of the player. It is actually revealed in a few character endings that some of the fighters had become allies or friends during the course of the tournament.
Promotion and other media
A Slurpee flavor entitled "Sega Eternal Champions Cherry" was once available in 7-Eleven stores throughout the United States. It came in cups with pictures of the characters on them, and the bottom of the cup contained a temporary tattoo. There was also a special cash & rebate promotion in July 1993 that was featured on MTV. Electronic Gaming Monthly sponsored Eternal Champions tournaments in the United States as part of a roaming video game show. The game, however, was not yet completed so the participants were only given the choice of four characters to play as: Shadow, R.A.X, Larcen and Slash.
Two gamebooks, titled Eternal Champions Adventure Gamebook: The Cyber Warriors and Eternal Champions Adventure Gamebook 2: Citadel of Chaos, were released by Puffin Books. In the books, the reader controls the newest Champion and travels through time helping the game characters battle a megalomaniacal artificial intelligence called the Overlord, who is bent on replacing them with duplicates so that they cannot change the course of history for the better. Both books were released as sticker albums by Panini in 1993.
Eternal Champions was adapted by the UK Sega Magazine's Sonic the Comic in a stand-alone magazine Eternal Champions Special, which introduced the main characters and served as an adaptation to the game. The characters also appeared in two stories in the main Sonic the Comic series, first in Eternal Champions (issues 19-24) and then Larcen's Revenge (issues 37-40) which dealt with the professional thief Larcen Tyler returning to 1920s Chicago and working with the female ninja Shadow Yamoto to take down the crime boss who killed him. Eternal Champions was the only non-Sonic-related Sega property to receive a special issue of Sonic the Comic.
|Slash||A caveman from the prehistoric great rift valley in 50,000 BC.|
|Trident||A green gladiator from the year 110 BC.|
|Xavier Pendragon||Former blacksmith from Salem, 1692.|
|Jetta Maxx||Young russian acrobatic woman from the year 1899. (Note: In the game's instruction manual it mentions her being one of the cousins of Czar Nicholas II)|
|Larcen Tyler||Ex-cat burglar working for the mob from 1920's Chicago.|
|Mitchell Midleton Knight (Midknight)||London born biochemical scientist working for the C.I.A. back in 1967. (Jeet Kune Do Practitioner)|
|Shadow Yamoto||Female assassin from Japan in the year 1993.|
|Jonathan Blade||A bounty hunter (formerly a police officer) born in Syria, raised in africa. From the year 2030.|
|R.A.X. Coswell||A professional Muay Thai fighter from the year 2345.|
|Eternal Champion||A protector of the balance of good. Also serves as the boss in the game. (Unplayable Character)|
- 50,000 BC. (Slash) - Eaten whole by a Tyrannosaurus Rex.
- 110 BC. (Trident) - Pulled under water and mauled to death by carnivorous plants.
- 1692 A.D. (Xavier) - Body burned badly by flaming stake.
- 1899 A.D. (Jetta) - Being swallowed up by an earthquake.
- 1920 A.D. (Larcen) - Killed in a nearby drive-by shooting.
- 1967 A.D. (Midknight) - The falling loser will receive a napalm bomb straight to the corpse.
- 1993 A.D. (Shadow) - Electrocuted and vaporized by an neon sign.
- 2030 A.D. (Blade) - Getting knocked/kicked or thrown into a large exhaust fan.
- 2345 A.D. (R.A.X.) - Gets frozen disintegrated and swept up by robots.