Time travel is an idea that is a staple in movies and television shows. This idea has also played a major role in video games here and there. Eternal Champions by Sega for the Genesis is just one of the many games that feature some sort of time travel. A being that lives outside of time and space sees that the human race is in serious trouble due to some mishaps over time. Certain people have met untimely deaths and caused ripples in the time line that will end humanity if not fixed. This being pulls several people from the timeline just before their untimely deaths and offers them a deal. If they survive the tournament, they will be able to change their fate in life. Saving just one of these people will set the timeline back on track. At least Sega had a knack for the unique storyline in games.
Unfortunately, Eternal Champions was not met with the same fervor as say Street Fighter II did. Sega released their one-on-one fighting game with the unique storyline at the end of 1993; right in the middle of the early days of the fighting game craze. Looking to capitalize on the craze, Sega went all “Sega” on Eternal Champions.
Characters in Eternal Champions are not inherently good or bad; they are just people from different timelines hoping to change their fate. This allows for an Amazon woman to fight a 40’s gangster or a fish man to fight a cave man and many other weird combinations of opponents.
What Sega did do right was to expand on the idea of ‘The Pit’ from original Mortal Kombat. Stages feature ‘Overkills’ that are specific to the area. Defeating your opponent and having them land in the correct spot will lead to additional animation of them being killed in different manners: dinosaurs eating opponents, a clown car complete with clowns falling on them, and more.
Sega did release a Sega CD version of Eternal Champions in which they fixed a lot of problems with the controls. If you have a choice, get the Sega CD version as it also features ‘Cinekills’. These are full motion video animations of the death sequences and are, at least, cool the first couple of times you see them.
Grab your copy off of eBay and have it by the weekend. Tell us your favorite fighting game in the comments below.