Perspective: Side view
Narrative: Martial arts
Published by: SEGA of America
Developed by: SEGA Interactive Development Division
Platforms: SEGA Genesis / Mega Drive, SEGA CD / Mega-CD
Fighting with a story. Sounds incredible already, doesn't it? No, Mortal Kombat had a story, but for the most part it was just a reason to bring all the fighters together. After the third part, the plot went downhill, so much so that in the last part, released in 2011, they made a massive retcon. However, there was a fighting game in which the plot was from the very beginning, moreover, not bad. It was Eternal Champions, a 1993 game released by Sega herself, who thought it was time to have her own fighting game franchise.
So the plot is this: a being known as the Eternal Champion gathered nine people from nine different points in time who died before they could change history forever. He trained them in martial arts and organized a championship, the winner of which would be sent to their own time to prevent their own death and yet change history.
- Shadow Yamoto: A ninja assassin from Japan in 1993. Her fighting style is a mixture of jujitsu and ninjutsu. She was a member of the Black Orchid Corporation during her lifetime and quickly rose to a high position. After successfully completing many missions, she asked the management about what would happen to her if she failed. The penalty for failure was death. The shadow was frightened, decided to run away and tell the world about the corporation, but did not have time - she was pushed from the 101st floor of the corporation's skyscraper.
- R.A.X. Coswell: A professional kickboxer from the year 2345 (R.I.K. - Robotic Artificial Exoskeleton). He was born at a time when the popularity of martial arts began to fade. Martial artists began to be combined with machines and the era known as "Cyber Fights" began. Wanting to stay afloat, Coswell underwent a painful surgical procedure to transplant implants and became a cyborg. He began to quickly win battles and earn fame, but his manager betrayed him and infected his cybernetics with a virus, as a result of which R.I.K. blacked out just before delivering the final blow.
- Jonathan Blade: A former cop from 2030. Kenpo master. Became a bounty hunter in his home country of Syria and pursued a mad scientist who was about to wipe out humanity with a deadly virus. Although on several occasions he nearly succeeded in killing the scientist, he was ordered to take him alive. Finally, he cornered the scientist in a dark alley and tried to take the virus. Suddenly, both were pierced by laser beams and the scientist dropped the test tube with the virus. It was clear that Jonathan had been framed by his own government.
- Jetta Maxx: A Russian aristocrat from 1899 turned circus acrobat. Master of Pencak Silat and French boxing. She was killed by a Boxer Rebellion revolutionary who cut the rope she was walking on. Cousin of Nicholas II.
- Slash: A caveman from the East African Rift Valley, born 50,000 BC. He fights in his own style with the eloquent name "Pain". Being the smartest of the tribe, he always found new ingenious ways to hunt, which attracted the attention of the elders of the tribe, on whose orders he was stoned to death for condemning their actions.
- Trident: A gladiator nicknamed for the trident he used to replace his lost arm. He was a hero of Atlantis in 110 BC. Master of Capoeira, represented his race in battle against the Romans. If he won, then his people would receive a piece of land next to Rome. However, due to the cunning of a Roman gladiator, the Trident was killed by a fallen column and his race was banished under the water forever.
- Xavier Pendragon: A former blacksmith from Salem, 1692, when the famous Salem Witch Case was taking place. Hapkido master and wand fights. After he failed to become a blacksmith, he tried his hand at alchemy. Succeeding, he discovered a source of pure and infinite energy. He told his fellow citizens about this, but they, mistaking him for a sorcerer, burned him. Although his abilities look like magic, they are actually achieved through science.
- Mitchell Middleton Knight: A London-based biochemist and Jeet Kune Do master who worked for the CIA. Was hired to create a biological weapon that would poison drinking water in Vietnam during the war. However, in an accident, he was poisoned by his own virus and was turned into a vampire in 1967. Despite his hunger, he refused to drink blood. He spent many years trying to find a cure, but was killed by a vampire hunter in 2100.
- Larcen Tyler: Former 1920s Chicago windowman, master of the praying mantis style. Worked for the mafia, Completed many tasks for his boss, Mr. Taglialini, although he refused to kill. His last assignment was to deliver false evidence to the hospital in order to frame Mr. Taglialini's rival. On the spot, Tyler found not another criminal, but the police chief and realized that he was given not fake evidence, but a bomb. He tried to throw it out the window, but failed. The explosion killed Larsen, the chief of police, and most of the people in the hospital.
The graphics are quite good, neat, the sprites are quite large, there are more sprites of fighters in the Sega ports of SFII and MK, the character design is also pleasing - none of them are similar to the other, there are no palettes and head swaps. Although it still could have been prettier, especially with the choice of colors on the backs - it was too much graininess.
The sound is good too, some of the themes are even good (especially the main theme and the Xavier and Tyler themes).
The gameplay is interesting, but harder. There are six types of punches - three punches, three kicks. Kicks are hung on the lower (A-C) buttons, punches on the top. There are no show offs - the faster the blow, the weaker and vice versa. Much more fun is the case with superblows. Firstly, there are no usual for the Forward-Down-A genre here - strikes are performed either by pressing several buttons at the same time, or by holding the "back" button and then pressing "forward" or "up" along with any button. Secondly, super strikes can only be performed if there is energy in the super shock scale (represented by the yin-yang symbol on the interface). If you run out of energy - beat manually. Moreover, there are taunts that reduce the energy of the enemy. Energy is restored over time, but still, just pinching the enemy in a corner and hitting fireballs until you lose your pulse will not work. Further: in all the fighting games that I know, the opponent starts to make attempts to resist in the third or fourth fight, and this can only be called a fight in the fifth or sixth. This is clearly not the case here - if you do not know the tricks of your player and are unfamiliar with the EC combat system, then you should not even meddle in the championship - the computer will kick your ass in two minutes. Fortunately, the developers have foreseen this too - there are a great many training modes, so you can train properly before you fight back against the computer with due perseverance. Next: keep in mind that, just like in MK, the computer is a cheating bastard and its scale of super blows is not instructed to it. Further: in case of defeat, you will not be returned to the same battle, instead it will be thrown back two battles, so it's better not to lose. In case of defeat to the Eternal Champion, the game will end immediately.