Eternal Champions

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EternalChampions title.png
Eternal Champions
System(s): Sega Mega Drive, Virtual Console, Steam
Publisher: Sega
Sound driver: GEMS
Peripherals supported: Six Button Control Pad, Activator
Genre: Action

Number of players: 1-2
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
¥7,800 G-4114
Sega Mega Drive
$69.99[1] 1145
Sega Mega Drive
(Mega Hit)
Sega Mega Drive
€? 1145-50
Sega Mega Drive
£59.99[3] 1145
Sega Mega Drive
?F 1145
Sega Mega Drive
DM 149 1145
Sega Mega Drive
?Ptas 1145
Sega Mega Drive
$139.95[5] FETE00SMC
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Mega Drive
R$? 047010
Sega Mega Drive
? 1145
Sega Mega Drive
₩? GM93041JG

Wii Virtual Console
Wii Virtual Console
ESRB: Teen
Wii Virtual Console
Wii Virtual Console

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.

Although the game can be played with a standard three-button control pad, it will leave the player at a major disadvantage, with the updated six-button control pad being the preferred option.

Using a six-button control pad, three buttons are for kicks: A snap (weak), B thrust (medium) and C wheel (strong); the other three buttons are for punches: X straight (weak), Y lunge (medium) and Z swing (strong). Select pauses the game, Up jumps, Down crouches and Left/Right move forward or backward depending upon the direction the characters are facing; Left/Right in the opposite direction of the one the character is currently facing blocks.

Each character has a taunt (X+Z), which decreases some of the user's inner strength, though decrease the opponent's Inner Strength by an even larger amount.

Using a three-button control pad, much like Mega Drive ports of the Street Fighter games, pressing Select switches between punches and kicks. However, due to this, the pause game feature is activated by pressing A+B+C, 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.

Playable characters

px Shadow Yamoto
px R. A. X. Coswell
px Jonathan Blade
px Jetta Maxx
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.
px Slash
px Trident
px Xavier Pendragon
px Mitchell Midleton Knight
px Larcen Tyler



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.

Eternal Champions has since been re-released on the Wii's Virtual Console service.

Comic adaptation

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). Furthermore, 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".

Production credits

Program Code/Design (C) 1993 SEGA
All Rights Reserved
Source: In-game credits

Source: US manual[14]

Digital manuals

Magazine articles

Main article: Eternal Champions/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Main article: Eternal Champions/Promotional material.



Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
65 №1994-03, p17[15]
66 №, p85[16]
92 №147, p64-65[17]
62 №54, p44[18]
65 №271, p38
90 №54, p40-44[1]
80 №14, p42-44
81 №55
50 №1994-03, p61
95 №28, p56-61[19]
71 №17, p22-23
82 №2/94, p72-73[20]
82 №25
97 №16, p60-65[21]
78 №38, p80-82[22]
95 №1, p94-95[3]
72 №51, p60-61
94 №29, p36-37
85 №2, p32-33[23]
85 №17, p10
81 №2/94, p46-47[24]
Sega Mega Drive
Based on
24 reviews

Mega Drive, US
EC MD US Box.jpg
EternalChampions MD US Cart.jpg
Eternal Champions MD US Manual.pdf
EternalChampions MD US Poster Back.jpgEternalChampions MD US Poster Front.jpg
Mega Drive, US (Mega Hit Series)
EternalChampions MD US Box Front MHS.jpg
Eternalchampions md us cart MHS.jpg
Eternal Champions MD US Manual (Mega Hit Series).pdf
Mega Drive, US (console pack-in)

EternalChampions MD US Cart NFR.jpg
Mega Drive, EU
EC MD EU Box.jpg
EternalChampions MD EU Cart Blue.jpg
Mega Drive, EU (Classic Mega Drive)
EC MD EU Box Classic.jpg
EternalChampions MD EU Cart Blue.jpg
Mega Drive, JP
EC MD JP Box.jpg
EternalChampions MD JP CartTop.jpg
EternalChampions MD JP Cart.jpg
Mega Drive, AU
EC MD AU Box.jpg
EternalChampions MD AU Cart.jpg
Mega Drive, AU (Sega Platinum Collection)
EternalChampions MD AU Box Platinum.jpg
EternalChampions MD AU Cart.jpg
Mega Drive, Asia
EC MD Asia Box PAL.jpg
EternalChampions MD AS Cart.jpg
Mega Drive, BR
EC MD BR Box.jpg
EternalChampions MD BR Cart.jpg
Eternalchampions md br manual.pdf
Mega Drive, KR
EC MD KR Box.jpg
EternalChampions MD KR cart.jpg
Mega Drive, SE (Rental)

Mega Drive, ES (Special Collector's Edition)

Eternal Champions MD ES Manual.pdf
Mega Drive, FR (Special Collector's Edition)

Eternal Champions Master Moves MD FR Leaflet.pdf

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 48f1a42e
MD5 bde8b2396241aa27463ca875e604b8d3
SHA-1 5e978217c10b679a42d7d2966a4ccb77e1715962
3MB 1993-10 Cartridge (US)
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 b9512f5e
MD5 c8e1cd8e715e92f19f91e073ca9ffae1
SHA-1 578475a736bef8c76ba158110cebadf495c2f252
3MB 1993-10 Cartridge (EU)
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 66aa3c64
MD5 9f72a583823d839d6e2d68a8d418fc5f
SHA-1 1b115e64e138ca045acfe64e2337fc68172be576
3MB 1993-10 Cartridge (JP)
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 c486b439
MD5 b61eab3ef7055625e5dcbc1ecb12b8b3
SHA-1 ba82947bef2c42021cc35512c21d91430c6fc55c
3MB 1993-11-17 CD-R disc[25] Page
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 e0665f06
MD5 1f6621e0892cbd3705e8d2157013b69b
SHA-1 c06f2d9ff29b6e6ec2dbec06eab2eac21e80e423
3MB 1993-10 PAL region locked Page

External links


Eternal Champions
EternalChampions title.png

Main page | Comparisons | Development | Magazine articles | Promotional material | Region coding

Books: Eternal Champions: Sega Genesis Official Power Guide (1994)

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)