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|Eternal Champions: Challenge From the Dark Side|
|Developer: Sega Interactive|
|System(s): Sega Mega-CD|
Eternal Champions: Challenge From the Dark Side is a Sega Mega-CD fighting game released in 1995 and is the sequel to the Sega Mega Drive title, Eternal Champions. Similarly to Mortal Kombat, this game has significantly gory finishing moves. Aside from the gory finishing moves, blood was not very prevalent. Instead, blood is only shown when a character is close to being fatigued (as in stunned temporarily). Many fans simply refer to this game as Eternal Champions CD or Eternal Champions 2 for short.
The game is considered by many to be underrated and a rarely played lost gem due to the fact that the Sega CD failed to sell well and the fact it was released so close to the end of the add-on's lifespan.
Like the prequel the game follows the same pattern except with what happens next. The following is an exact duplication of the storyline viewed in the "Access Info" option on the game's main menu:
The storyline that is about to appear is one that is ever changing. Until the final chapter occurs, this story will be re-written over and over, changing with each iteration. Its current status is the one that appears here now. As you take responsibility for its ending. The contest you are about to join is one only a few have been allowed to participate in. Once you enter it will not end until time itself has been corrected and the nature of evil stopped. Prepare to meet the maelstrom as humanity now begins a fight that will decide whether it will survive or consume itself by its own passion to succeed at any cost.
The story begins at the first moment of time. The Earth stands in chaos. Life has not begun to occur. Dead rock, steam, and lava flow from all directions. In the Deepest part of the sea there is a sudden explosion. Three bolts of energy rise from the deep sea floor. One gold and purple bolt rises into the sky and streaks towards the North Pole. A red and gray bolt rises into the cloud of steam and fire, then moves towards the South Pole. The final bolt is bright white, and again rises out of the sea, but this time it falls back and the Earth comes alive, driven by this tremendous force.
The gold and purple bolt stops directly over the largest mountain on the top of the Earth. It hovers then smashes down with tremendous force. The resulting explosion leaves a mysterious complex and miles of summer-like trees and streams surrounded by the eternal white of the polar snow. This complex becomes the Eternity Complex, and its master becomes named the Eternal Champion. The Eternal rises into the sky from his newly formed complex. He doesn't know what drives him forward except a sense that time is already running out. He can feel his energy being taxed and drained from the vast length of time. The Eternal Champion begins to circle the globe. Each rotation of the Earth brings greater speed until the Eternal is moving forward through time.
As the Eternal journeys forward in time, he sees certain lives being taken without reason. Some of these losses have a catastrophic impact on the balance between good and evil. Unless the Eternal stops this trend, the loss of these key individuals will result in the complete corruption of the time cycle itself, with the balance residing in infinite darkness. The Eternal Champion must act without delay. It begins with the first champion, Slash, who comes from the era of the Caveman. The year is 50,000 B.C., and Slash is about to be stoned to death by a jealous tribe mistrustful of his mental skills. The Eternal rescues Slash one instant before death, sending him to the Eternity Complex.
Once every few circles around the Earth the Eternal finds a new champion to rescue. In the year 110 B.C. he finds Trident, a genetically engineered warrior created by the people of Atlantis to be the protector of his people. Trident is nearly killed in a battle to determine the fate of Atlantis. Next comes Xavier Pendragon from 1692 A.D., the time of the Salem witch hunts. Xavier was wrongly accused of witchery due to his mastery of science. When the Eternal Champion approached the year 1899 A.D., he rescued Jetta Maxx, a circus performer nearly killed by a terrorist while performing in China. In the year 1920 A.D., the Eternal rescued Larcen Tyler, the best cat burglar in Chicago during the time of Al Capone. Larcen was tricked into carrying an explosive, and was to be framed for his own death as well as the deaths of innocent bystanders.
The Eternal quickened his pace as he felt the imbalance growing. The world was changing for the worse. Mankind was losing its human spirit and allowing technology to do all its work. This shift was weakening the Eternal, so he had to hurry towards the end of time, where the contest was to occur. When the Eternal approached the year 1993 A.D., he found a remarkable young lady named Shadow Yamoto about to fall to her death. He rescued her, since her survival would mean the destruction of a corporate assassin program that had been growing for years. After several more rotations, the Eternal Champion got to the year 2100 A.D. and found Mitchell Midleton Knight, better known as Midknight. Midknight was unlike the other champions. He had a disease that made him appear to be a vampire but he refused to kill like one. He was a brilliant scientist, and had created the vampire -like virus. He is the only one, if he lives, who can stop it.
The Eternal Champion grew weaker still during the final portion of his travel. Concerned that he may not be able to complete the journey, the Eternal could take time to save only two further champions. In 2030 A.D. the Eternal found Jonathan Blade, a bounty hunter whose temper matched his huge size. A betrayal by the government that he had served all his life would have killed him had it not been for the Eternal's intervention. The final champion was taken from the year 2345 A.D., during the last days of man's existence. R.A.X. Coswell was the perfect example of the loss of human spirit. He was the best kick boxer of his generation, but the crowd thirsted for more. R.A.X. was forced to get cybernetic enhancements that left him more cyborg than human. The Eternal spared his life because R.A.X., even in his robotic form, refused to have his human spirit broken. After R.A.X, the Eternal grew too weak to continue. He returned to the Eternity Complex with all the champions he had collected.
The contest begins just frozen seconds before the end of time, where the result will decide the final balance. The Eternal has only the strength to restore one Champion to life seconds before his or her death, where they can use this foreknowledge to survive and build a different and better future. The contest is the Eternal Champion's method of ensuring that the strongest champion is chosen for the gift of life, since all the others will return to their prior fates. So the contest begins.
The problem is that each time the contest was held and a noble winner chosen, the future remained in imbalance and the contest was forced to begin again. this infinite loop would have gone on forever had it not been for the appearance and intervention of the Dark Champion.
The Dark Champion always had the advantage. Since he manifested after the Eternal Champion had departed the complex, he had the exclusive knowledge of their coexistence and used this to his advantage. The first imbalance he designed was to hide four champions from the Eternal so the contest would never be complete. As with the other Champions, each person was killed before they could fulfill their destiny.
The first hidden champion was Ramses the III, a Pharaoh from the year 151 B.C.. Ramses died under mysterious circumstances, which, unlike the others seem to implicate the Dark Champion. The second victim ruled the sea in 1566 A.D. as a famous female pirate named Riptide. The third victim was Raven Gindar, a Voodoo priestess from the year 1802 A.D., who had the power to control time and aging. Despite this power, Raven was slain and hidden by the Dark Champion. Finally, the last hidden champion was Dawson McShane. Dawson was a successful Scottish gambler and western sheriff from the year 1849 A.D., traveling the globe to find his fortune and fight for justice. The Dark Champion claimed his life right before Dawson would have found his place in history during the gold rush of the Old West. As single lives their effects were minimal, but as a collective force they kept the Eternal Champion's contest in infinite ruin.
The Dark Champion allows the Eternal find the missing four champions needed to hold a proper and true contest, thereby freeing himself to use his power more forcefully than a mere deception. The Dark Champion applies his power to distort the Eternal's contest to one of hate and evil rather than one of noble attempt. The code of Bushido, a practice of respect and honor, is perverted into a battle of blood and ego.
This major shift won't go unnoticed by the Eternal, and after many destructive battles the contest finally gives way to the first face-to-face confrontation between the Eternal and Dark Champion. Each of them, though weakened by the other, can manifest considerable power. The Eternal Champion calls upon the energy of animals to battle in many different forms; including a tiger, dragon, shark, falcon, and many others. Unlike the Eternal, who taps into the beauty of nature, the Dark Champion uses the dark side of nature by tapping the forces of natural disasters. This includes tornadoes, earthquakes, tidal waves, blizzards, and many other violent forms. Even the imminent power of both beings, their private battle only leads to their mutual destruction. Just as it was with the contest, the struggle occurs over and over with the two champions facing each other in mortal battle, infinite and unresolving. They must both exist in balance of the other; the resolution must come from other means.
The Dark Champion has hidden more than the Eternal could have guessed. There isn't just a single evil being waiting; instead, a direct person to person match exists and each must fight their battle apart and together. It has come time for not just the Eternal and Dark Champion to face their final battle but for the final determination of mankind and a future of either darkness or light.
The game plays similar to other fighters of the day. The player has a selection of immediately playable characters, and many more unlockable ones. Players must fight their way through a series of matches with different opponents in order to face the Eternal Champion in a long match. When certain requirements are met they can perform finishing moves and stage specific finishing moves.
After defeating the Eternal Champion on the default difficulty setting or higher, the player must face the Dark Eternal Champion. On the Neophyte difficulty, the player only has to face the Eternal. On Champion difficulty, the player faces the Dark Eternal Champion as the Eternal Champion. Considering the broken status of both the Champions, it is a fair fight for the most part.
Basic controls are the same as the first Eternal Champions game. Once again, the game can be played with a three-button gamepad but a six-button gamepad is recommended. There are three kick buttons: 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.
The original character roster from the Mega Drive game is present. Many of the characters have entirely new or graphically enhanced stages from the original.
|A cave man of superior intelligence from 50,000 B.C. His fellow Tribes men see his intelligence as a threat and they stone him to death.|
|A genetically engineered hero of Atlantis in the year 110 B.C.. Sealing that island's fate, when defeated by roman treachery.|
|An alchemist from 1692, during the time of the Salem witch hunts. He is mistaken as a warlock and burned at the stake.|
|A circus acrobat trying to end conflict with China. She dies due to a terrorist sabotaging the assets for her high wire act, including the safety net that would have saved her life when she fell off the high wire.|
|An ex-cat burglar and Praying Mantis Kong Fu expert from 1920 Chicago. Unlike most members of the mob, Larcen didn't want to kill. He only fought for the knockout. He is killed when his mob tricks him into taking a small but powerful time bomb to kill a police chief. Larcen realized that it was a bomb much too late and attempted to throw it out the window but it went off before he could and he, the target in the hospital, and many others including many children in the nurseries were killed in the blast and he was framed for doing it.|
|A corporate assassin from Tokyo, Japan in 1993, who's change of heart ended her career and her life at the hands of another corporate assassin. She is thrown off the top of the building of the company she worked for, the Black Orchid, by the very same assassin she learned her skills from. She gets a new outfit in this game.|
|Mitchell Midleton Knight (Midknight)|
|A scientist turned into a vampire by a virus he originally created for warfare during the Vietnam war. However, he had a change of heart and stole the dangerous virus back from the government. However, while running from government officials, he accidentally falls into a vat of chemicals and the vile containing the virus and he is turned into a vampire by the vat mixing with the virus. The government retrieved this mix and unleashed it on parts of Vietnam where the people infected with it became vampires. As a result, Vietnam was running rampant with vampires. Due to his eternal life, Midknight spent nearly 200 years trying to find an antidote. All the while avoiding draining anyone. As a result, most of his body is decaying. He is killed in 2100 A.D. before he has a chance to find a cure.|
|A bounty hunter from 2030 A.D.. Sent to track down a deranged scientist and his poisonous vile of chemicals. He is set up by his own government and eliminated.|
|A destructive combination of man and machine from 2345 A.D.. He is killed to insure a winning wager.|
|The Eternal has been around since the beginning of time. As a result he has seen everything through the course of time. Including the destruction of the human spirit. He sees that certain individuals throughout time have had their lives taken before they were to fulfill their destiny which would have changed man kind in some way. He rescues these key individuals in hopes of restoring the balance of good and evil. He has the power of taking the essence of animals. His primary forms are a Falcon, Tiger, Shark, and Dragon.|
The Dark Eternal Champion was born after the Eternal. As a result, he had an advantage. While he was aware of the Eternal's existence, the Eternal was not aware of his. He used this knowledge to speed through time ahead of the Eternal and hide four champions from him. Without these, the contest would just repeat itself over and over.
|A pharaoh from 151 B.C.. He has a fear of water. His murderer pushed him off of a cliff into the Nile river and he drowns to death.|
|A famous female pirate from 1566 A.D. She steals treasure from a greedy pirate and is killed for it. However, what makes this a problem is that the pirate goes to where her family lives and kills and robs them out of revenge. Certain art works were stolen that would have otherwise changed the world. However, their disappearance resulted in the knowledge not being attainable or known.|
|A Voodoo priestess from 1802 A.D.. She had power over time and aging but was blind to her own dark fate when the spell was reversed on her by an evil witch doctor. The result of the spell rejuvenated his severely decrepit and wrinkled body and killed Raven in the process.|
|A cowboy from 1849 A.D. Old West. A lone wolf with a taste for gold and an eye for justice. He is hanged by the town's local group of outlaws after capturing one to take to court. Dawson originally was planned for the first Eternal Champions game but was scrapped due to ROM limits.|
|Eternal Champion 2|
|He is not a new, more powerful version of the Eternal. Eternal Champion 2 is the Eternal with new animal abilities that were created to use against the Dark Eternal Champion. These new forms are the Millipede, Unicorn, Elephant, and the Electric Eel.|
|The Dark Eternal Champion|
|He is the exact opposite of what the Eternal stands for. He is determined to make sure evil is never destroyed. He uses his opponent's fears against them and kills them with the said fears. When in a fight, he can call upon the destructive forces of nature such as Meteor Showers, Tsunamis, Hurricanes, and Tornados. He actually has two versions like the Eternal but only one of these forms is unlockable for play in duel mode due to his second version having devastatingly powerful and game breaking attacks.|
In addition to the ones above, there are other characters that are unlocked by special means (or through in-game cheats). Three of them are omitted as they were previously listed: Eternal Champion 1, Eternal Champion 2 and Dark Eternal Champion. They can only be played as in duel mode however. Many of the secret characters are animals. As a result, they are unaffected by Overkills, Sudden Deaths, and Vendettas. The Eternals are all also invulnerable to the finishing moves. However, the animal characters and Eternals may trigger Overkills, Sudden Deaths and Cinekills on human opponents (though secret characters all lack Cinekills).
|A chicken who died in 1967 A.D.. He vowed he would never become part of the dinner table without a fight. He practiced Egg Fu, an ancient barnyard martial art. He was killed while attempting to rescue some other Chickens from becoming someone else's dinner. Clearly this character is a joke but his size and attacking style make him somewhat more formidable than some of the other animal characters. He shares the same stage with both playable versions of the Eternal, the Dark Champion, and Blast.|
|A pet snake of the owner of a bar from the Old West of 1820 A.D called the Snake Bite.. He picked up his brawling martial art, brawling from seeing bar fights. he was the Bar owner's favorite pet and was raised from a baby and treated like a son by the bar owner. Once Slither got bigger, he helped maintain order in the bar and could take on a whole barroom if necessary. He is killed while trying to stop an outlaw with a gun from robbing the register late at night. The last image he remembers was the bar owner taking a shot from the criminal between the eyes before dying. His stage is the same one as Dawson's.|
|Originally the Greek God of Death, he dwelt with his brother, Hypnos (Sleep) in the Underworld. He operated at his post until 1692 A.D., when during a routine pick up of a soul he was confronted by a force that was neither good, nor evil. This force seemed to exist in an indescribable middle that gave it powers that Thanatos was no match for. This force turned him into a mortal named Vespian, a mortal that was thought to be a warlock and was hence killed during the witch hunts of Salem. The force then took his post as god of death and has been performing the role ever since. This force changes the rules of death and taking lives that aren't meant to be taken. He uses edited and recolored versions of Xavier's sprites as well as his stage too.|
|This owl is the familiar of Thanatos' human form, Vespian. When Vespian was killed, Hooter spent all of his time observing the witch burnings, hoping he would gain revenge on the closed minded people that continued to this cruel act. One of the fanatics noticed that Hooter was always around when the witch burnings were occurring. This fanatic captured Hooter after a witch burning and threw him into the still burning fires of the warlock they had just killed. Like Thanatos, Hooter shares his stage with Xavier.|
|A circus performer monkey from 1902 A.D. at the Blue Dragon Circus. One day, Zuni noticed a gas lamp had tipped over and started a fire near the edge of the circus tent. Zuni tried to cross over to his trainer but was unable to make it because while trying to make it past the flames, he was accidentally stepped on by a circus elephant. The crowd was horrified by this turn of events so much that they did not see the fire that broke out of control, burning down the tent and killing everyone. He shares the same stage as Jetta.|
|An acupuncturist from China in the year 1815 A.D. who practiced Monkey Kung Fu. Chin Wo was one of the best fighters in China but spent most of his time healing. One day the cousin of the ruling class challenged Chin Wo to a fight. Chin refused knowing that if he won the fight it would surely mean his death. Being a proud man, Chin wouldn't lose either. This left him with only one choice which was not to fight. The cousin made life very hard for Chin but he wouldn't budge on his decision. Finally the cousin killed an innocent street beggar and framed Chin for it. The cousin promised to drop the charges if Chin fought him. Seeing death in either situation, Chin chose to take the charges for the murder rather than give the cousin what he desired. He was beheaded in a public execution as a result. Chin Wo was planned for the first Eternal Champions game but was scrapped due to ROM limits.|
|A Shi Tzu dog that once lived a life of luxury in the year of 1995 A.D.. He was owned by a rich woman who lived in a penthouse in New York City. When she passed away, she willed that her fortune be used to keep Yappy living in the same style that he was used to. An evil relative instead threw yappy out onto the street and took the money for herself. It was street life that gave Yappy his hard edge. He was killed while attempting to get revenge on the evil relative by chewing on her car's break line. Unfortunately, Yappy was crushed when the car slipped out of gear and rolled over him. Even though he is from New York City, Yappy strangely shares the same stage with Senator.|
|A politician from Washington D.C. in the year 1995 A.D. that practiced that martial art of dishonesty. The Senator made a living by voting the ways of special interest groups and creating issues to make himself popular. He was surprised when he wasn't supported by his party for reelection. He once voted for a human rights issue and his party was angry that humanity was considered above their personal profits. When he lost in a land slide election after losing millions of his own money, he died of a massive heart attack. His character's sprites are actually edited Larcen Tyler sprites. Despite this, he is his own character with some unique attacks and animations. His character seems to be making fun of the politicians involved in the video game trials for some of the violent games of the 90's since many politicians are often considered as corrupt as some video games.|
|Thomas 'Blast' Chavez|
|He was a Green Beret soldier from 1955 A.D.. Blast was one of the first special forces agents to perform gun and weapon running to Vietnam. During this time, the U.S. was only supporting the French effort. Blast was a chopper pilot, tasked with the duty of making clandestine drops of weapons over enemy lines. Blast made many of these runs with a man named Redux. During his final run before being scheduled for service in the United States, he ran into trouble. His final drop went fine and he was about to take off when Redux surprised him. Redux was a double agent for Vietnam. Redux pulled the pin off of a grenade and ran off the helicopter that was about to lift-off. Because Blast was strapped in for take-off he was unable to remove his harness in time and was blown up in the resulting explosion. Blast was planned for the first Eternal Champions game but was scrapped due to ROM limits.|
The original Eternal Champions title only featured Overkills. Challenge From the Dark Side has the return of the Overkill in addition to other new fatalities. The finishers have much more gore than the first game which slapped an M for Mature rating on the box. Some argue that many of these finishers, although not pre-rendered, are far gorier than any of the ones featured in the Mortal Kombat series at the time. Unlike the original, when a finisher is activated music stops playing, and (except for Vendettas) the activator of the finishing move teleports away. After teleporting away, the opponent then unfreezes and the finisher kills them. With Vendettas, both characters remain on screen, then the character whom used the vendetta kills the opponent themselves.
|Sega Retro Average|
| Based on|
|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)|