eternalchampions.jpgReleased during the midst of the fighting game craze of the mid-90s, this game went largely overlooked due to the fact that so many other games came out during the time. Shame too, as it attempted to set itself apart from the many Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat clones of the era with it’s storyline and unique combat system, which was based off real fighting styles more so than other 2-d fighting games.

Playing as one of 9 warriors from various time periods who have been killed before their time, you have to fight in a tournament with the others in order to gain a shot at returning to life and preventing your murder. Characters ranged from the prohibition-era cat burglar Larcen to the cyborg R.A.X. Like Mortal Kombat, the game featured violent killing moves (called overkills) in the game’s stages. It used a special meter for special attacks, but many players found fault with this system.

eternalchampionscd.jpgA sequel/update was released on the Sega CD which added new characters, many of which were hidden (in fact this is the first fighting to feature multiple unlockable playable characters). It also added more detail to the plot, and it increased the gore level by adding 3 new killing moves; sudden deaths, (extra kills added to stages) vendettas, (fatality-like sequences preformed by the fighters) and cinekills (in which the Dark Champion would appear to execute players in a CG sequence). It would be remembered as the only Sega CD game to display all 256 colors on screen at once, and is one of the few games on the system that shows what the system is capable of. Unfortunately, it would also be ignored due to the system’s short lifespan.

A Sega Saturn version was planned, but it was canceled before it even got off the ground. Time hasn’t been very kind to this game, and it’s a crying shame that Sega didn’t put this on the Sega Genesis Collection disc that was released last fall. It’s one of the few gems of the Sega CD, and an underrated fighter. It might not have been the best of it’s kind, but it sure was different.