Eternal Champions: Challenge From the Dark Side
From Sega Retro
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|Eternal Champions: Challenge From the Dark Side|
|System(s): Sega Mega-CD|
|Peripherals supported: Six Button Control Pad|
|Number of players: 1-2|
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.
- 1 Story
- 2 Gameplay
- 3 Trivia
- 4 Production credits
- 5 Magazine articles
- 6 Promotional material
- 7 Artwork
- 8 Physical scans
- 9 Technical information
- 10 External links
- 11 References
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.
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.
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).
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.
- Overkill: The Overkills featured in the original Eternal Champions title are present in Challenge From the Dark Side. Some have been made gorier and others have been removed for more violent and visually impressive ones. Stage fatality. Activated when opponent lands on a specific spot in the stage with no health left.
- Sudden Death: A Sudden Death is a new fatality introduced in Challenge From the Dark Side. Sudden Deaths function similarly to Overkills. However, Sudden Deaths may be activated if the character lands on the activation spot with 33% health or less, not just if the player loses their health.
- Vendetta: Introduced in Challenge From the Dark Side, each human character has a personal finishing move which is activated with a button combination that varies from character to character. They can only be activated when a specific condition is met. To use a vendetta, the player must stun the opponent with 33% health or less, get in close (not too close though), and enter the combination for the player's character's Vendetta. Then the music stops and the character kills the other one. While this sounds like it may contradict the personalities of characters such as Larcen, it actually makes more sense if one reads the manual. In the manual, it says that the Dark Eternal Champion has the power to influence the Champions to kill each other. Each time this happens, the Dark Eternal Champion gets stronger and the Eternal Champion gets weaker.
- Cinekill: Cinekills are by far the most difficult of finishing moves to activate. introduced in Challenge From the Dark Side, these finishers are only activated when the player lowers the opponent's health the 33% or less, performs a power combo to get Infinite Inner Strength, and stuns the opponent with the other conditions met. If successful, The user's character will be teleported away, then a portal will open up and the Dark Champion will manifest himself, point to the opponent exclaiming "TO YOUR DEATH" and teleport away along with the opponent. Then an FMV sequence starts up where the Dark Champion kills the character with their worst fear inside his Cimmerian Complex.
|Trivia sections are bad|
Try and incorporate this information into the main article. See the manual of style to find out why.
- Eternal Champions: Challenge From the Dark Side is the only official Sega Mega-CD game to use 256 colors.
- A popular myth is derived from the above. It states that the game used clever programming tricks to pull it off. However, this is merely a misconception of the Sega CD's capabilities.
- There is a debate about weather the above is true or not. When asked, the series' Executive Producer and Designer, Michael Latham said both sides of the debate were correct.
- Developed by: Sega Interactive Development Division
- Lead Programmer: John Kuwaye
- Programmers: Hideki A. Ikeda, Ala D. Diaz, Frank E. Lucero, Steven Lashower
- Engine Programmers: Christopher Warner, Mike Terlecki, Kevin Burley
- Lead Artist and Animator: David Russ
- Artists: William Kier, Steve Knotts, Art Wong, Kevin Lee, Kich Ma
- 3D Artists: Herman Cheng, Stephen McClure, D.A. Ruffolo
- Designer and Executive Producer: Michael Latham
- Producer: John Brandstetter
- Assistant Producer: Erik Wahlberg
- Technical Director: Mike Terlecki
- Technical Support: Hooell Monleon
- Music Director: Tristan des Pres
- Music: Tristan des Pres
- Cinepak Sound Effects: Tristan des Pres, Jeffrey Tveraas
- Guitars: Jeff Snider
- Drums and Percussion: Calvin Lakin
- Game Sound Effects: Tristan des Pres, David Delia, Jim Dobson, Jeffrey Tveraas
- Audio Programming: Jim Dobson
- Voice Actors: DMP Studios, Jeffrey Tveraas, David Delia, Carolyn des Pres, Jim Dobson
- Cinematic Sequences by: Kronos
- Cinematography: Albert Co
- Senior Animator: Francis Co
- 2nd Unit Animator: Andy Koo
- Technical Support: Jim Tomasko
- Backgrounds: Stanley Lui, Larry Paolicelli, Ernie Kinard
- Marketing: John Garner
- PR Coordinator: Terry Tang
- Manual: Carol Ann Hanshaw, John Garner, Michael Latham, Erik Wahlberg
- Cinepak Assistance: Katy Weathers, John Brandstetter
- Test Manager: Mike Weiner
- Game Balancing: Rey 'Freako' Alferez, Janine Cook, Jeff 'Freaky Boy' Junio
- Lead Tester: Anthony Lynch
- Assistant Leads: Rick Greer, Mark Griffin, Chris Lucich
- Testers: Dermot Lyons, Emily Albertson, Timothy Spengler, Marc Dawson, Todd Morgan, Mark Paniagua, Atom Ellis, Michael Baldwin, Christine Watson, Blair Bullock, Maria Tuzzo, Jeff Loney, Lance Nelson, Tracy Johnson, Kim Rogers, Matt Underwood, Steve Bourdet, Darin Johnston, John Jansen, Sam Saliba, Gregg Vogt, John Amirkhan, David Wood, Stan Weaver, Mike Williams, Mark Subotnick, Fernando Valderrama, Arnold Feener, John Melchior, Rachael Bristol, Lorne Asuncion, Jeff Kessler, Joel Breton, David Dodge, Michael Weiner, Don Carmichael, Aaron Bandur, Peter Clark, Aaron Drayer, Sean McInnes, Randy Norfleet, Robert Owen, Edward Chennault, Armando Anguiano, Charles Artoux, Renata Bailey, Chris Charles, Robert Deloach, Rob Flores, Steve Rapp, Leonard Sayers, Ken Spalasso, Erik Larsen, Dan Pendergast, Jennifer Vernon, Phil Co, Andrew Stess, Peter Golyn, Jeff Jones, Howard Gipson, Alfred Dutton, Nick Katakis, Jason Friedman, Lloyd Kinoshita, Eric Simonich, Sean Doidge, Sancho Martinez, Edward Riel, Robert Buckingham, Nathan Tan, Dan Webber, Jeffrey Martin, Doug Smith, Nathan Clark, Dana Green, Mike Herauf, Roger Somerville, John Ries, Randy Smaha, Matt Stipicevich, Mark Pentek, Amber Junier, Kerry Kirkham, Morgan Weiss, David Paniagua, Noah Mackenzie, Erik Griss, John Demakas, Len Jung, Jeff Hedges, Mark Vitello, Danny Lam, Tim Turner, Ly Ly, John Maclachlan, Scott Morris, Nicole Tatem, Gerrey Langford, Todd Slepian, Sean Potter, Erik Thompson, Eugene Valenzuela, Nelson Chiu, Niklaus Daniels, Mike McCollum, Abraham Navarro, Dylan Manger, Mike Borg
- Special Thanks to: Mark Nausha, Rod Nakamoto, Nancy Nakamoto, Claude Foucault, Joe Miller, Steve Payne, Bob Lindsey, Sandy Christensen, Fred Weimer, Harry Chavez, Joyce Takakura, Jef Feltman, Larry Loth, Omega Group, James Brandstetter, Anita de Guzman, Richard Garfield, Bruce, Shilo, Steak
- Program Code/Design (C) 1995 SEGA
- All Rights Reserved
- Source: In-game credits
|Sega Retro Average|
ROM dump status
- GamePro, "August 1995" (US; 1995-xx-xx), page 58
- Electronic Gaming Monthly, "June 1995" (US; 1995-xx-xx), page 127
- Mean Machines Sega, "June 1995" (UK; 1995-04-28), page 86
- Mean Machines Sega, "May 1995" (UK; 1995-03-28), page 36
- SuperGamePower, "Outubro 1995" (BR; 1995-xx-xx), page 13
- Sega Visions, "February/March 1995" (US; 199x-xx-xx), page 65
- GamesMaster, "May 1995" (UK; 1995-xx-xx), page 34/35 (34)
- Mean Machines Sega, "June 1995" (UK; 1995-04-28), page 86/87 (86)
- Next Generation, "February 1995" (US; 1995-01-24), page 99 (101)
- Player One, "Octobre 1995" (FR; 1995-xx-xx), page 127
- Sega Pro, "May 1995" (UK; 1995-xx-xx), page 62/63 (62)
- Top Consoles, "Julliet/Août 1995" (FR; 1995-xx-xx), page 124
|Games in the Eternal Champions Series|
|Eternal Champions (1993) | 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)|