|Developer: Sega Interactive|
|System(s): Sega Mega Drive, Virtual Console, Steam|
|Sound driver: GEMS|
|Peripherals supported: Six button pad, Activator|
|Number of players: 1-2|
Eternal Champions (エターナルチャンピオンズ) is a 2D fighting game developed for the Sega Mega Drive by Sega Interactive. The game was pitched as Sega of America's attempt to cash-in on the popular Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat franchises, and was released in 1993.
Welcome to my chamber. I am the Eternal Champion, keeper of this vast fighting complex. It exists in a place and time corrupted by centuries of misuse and destruction.
My purpose in this grand scheme is to maintain the balance between good and evil, light and darkness, hope and despair.
Now this balance has been lost and the very fabric that holds the world together will be torn apart.
Your future, my present, has been destroyed by a cruel and unjust twist of fate.
Nine individuals from various periods in time were killed before their lives could affect this dark existence.
I have observed each of their short lives and have been powerless to stop the chaos.
I have spent the centuries harnessing my power for this very moment. I am the pure and untouched energy of all the great martial arts masters that have lived before me. Their skill, wisdom, knowledge, and inner-strength are at my command.
Even with the force of their collective powers, I can only reward one of the nine individuals with the gift of life. Any of them can have an equally profound effect on the future. For this reason, the contest must take place.
At the end of this contest, only one will remain. The victor will be returned to life a few seconds before his death, allowing him to avoid the past with the knowledge to change the future.
Only one may live so that the balance may be again achieved.
Let the contest begin...
— Intro demo
Much like its highly influential peers, Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat, Eternal Champions is a 2D one-on-one fighting game in which players fight as one of a variety of different characters, in this case dragged from different periods of time to do battle. The player fights their way through a contest, hoping to face the "Eternal Champion" and return to their normal life. Like Mortal Kombat, there is a high level of violence.
If the player loses a round in contest mode, they not only have to fight the person they fought prior to the person they lost to, but also the person before that fighter.
There is also a training room to build up a player's skills with various challenges to try, a two player mode, and a tournament mode for up to 32 people to fight in one-on-one contests with a choice between 3 different modes of tournament play. Characters can perform special moves by inputting combinations.
Each special move costs an amount of inner strength, which is the little Yin/Yang symbol that appears next to the health bar at the top of the screen during a fight. In stages, if an opponent lands on the correct spot, they will be killed by something from the background in a finishing move known as an "overkill".
The CPU is able to attack the player even if it's inner strength is empty. This was fixed in the sequel.
Using a six-button control pad, three buttons are for kicks: snap (weak), thrust (medium) and wheel (strong); the other three buttons are for punches: straight (weak), lunge (medium) and swing (strong). pauses the game, jumps, crouches and / move forward or backward depending upon the direction the characters are facing; / in the opposite direction of the one the character is currently facing blocks.
Using a three-button control pad, much like Mega Drive ports of the Street Fighter games, pressing switches between punches and kicks. However, due to this, the pause game feature is activated by pressing ++, which may interfere with moves that require all three buttons pressed at once). The controls are otherwise similar.
Eternal Champions was also packaged with the Activator in North America, and therefore is compatible with it. The game's manual has a list of moves for the activator.
|R. A. X. Coswell|
|Jetta Maxx initially started life off as a male clown character, who according to Michael Latham, saw his special move ideas recycled for the Senator secret character in Eternal Champions: Challenge From the Dark Side.|
|Mitchell Midleton Knight|
According to the series' executive producer and designer, Michael Latham, the character Dawson from Eternal Champions: Challenge From the Dark Side, was originally planned to appear in this game. Chin Wo and Blast, secret characters from Challenge From the Dark Side, were also planned for the original game as well. These characters were scrapped due to ROM limitations.
Sega of America took great pride in Eternal Champions, with the game selling very well in Western territories and being re-released under the Mega Hit Series, Classic Mega Drive and Sega Platinum Collection ranges, amongst much spin-off merchandise. However, the game was never fully adopted by Sega of Japan, who preferred to concentrate efforts on the Virtua Fighter series (and later products such as Fighting Vipers and Last Bronx). As such, Eternal Champions was sidelined after Sega's US operations were downsized during the late-1990s and is unlikely to make a return in the foreseeable future.
Nevertheless Eternal Champions was followed by the Sega Mega-CD title Eternal Champions: Challenge from the Dark Side, released in 1995 and saw two spin-off games, Chicago Syndicate and X-Perts. A second sequel, Eternal Champions: The Final Chapter, entered production but work was halted by Sega's Japanese arm.
Sonic the Comic included few "Eternal Champions" comics strips, where the champions work together as a team. The story arcs are: "Eternal Champions" (issue #19 to issue #24) and "Larson's Revenge" (#37 to #40). Futhermore, Sonic the Comic had a special issue Eternal Champions Special, that is fully dedicated to the game, containing three "Eternal Champions" stories: "Death Isn't Forever", "Reality Check" and "Brains & Brawls".
|Sega Retro Average|
| Based on|
|Mega Drive, US (Mega Hit Series)|
| Mega Drive, EU|
(Classic Mega Drive)
|Mega Drive, AU (Sega Platinum Collection)|
|Mega Drive, SE (Rental)|
|3MB||1993-10||PAL region locked|
|Games in the Eternal Champions Series|
|Eternal Champions (1994) | Chicago Syndicate (1995) | Eternal Champions: Challenge from the Dark Side (1995) | X-Perts (1996) | Eternal Champions (LCD) (1994) | Eternal Champions: The Final Chapter (unreleased)|
|Eternal Champions related media|
|Eternal Champions Special (1994) | Eternal Champions: Sega Genesis Official Power Guide (1994) | Eternal Champions Adventure Gamebook 1: The Cyber Warriors (1994) | Eternal Champions Adventure Gamebook 2: Citadel of Chaos (1994)|