Eternal Champions

Nine fighters throughout history have met untimely and unjust deaths. They now compete against each other for a chance to face the "Eternal Champion" and reclaim their souls. The victor will return to Earth with the chance to avenge his or her own death and restore balance to the universe.

REVIEWEternal Champions was the first 2D fighting game made by Sega and one of the more popular titles to be released on Sega Genesis. Nostalgic as it may be for some, Eternal Champions is definitely guilty of attempting to ride the coattails of hit arcade fighting games like of Street Fighter II (1991), Fatal Fury (1991) and Mortal Kombat (1992). The main draw of Eternal Champions is its "dark" cast of oddball characters, gory stage-specific finishing moves called "Overkills", and the fact that the game was a console-exclusive title when it launched (notably, a rare occurrence at the time).


Shadow Yamoto Vs. Johnathan Blade.


Eternal Champions was a console fighting game on the 16-bit Genesis in 1993, so it obviously didn't have the graphical prowess or popularity to compete with the top fighting games you'd find in arcades. Not only are the visuals lacking (to put it kindly)... but the gameplay of Eternal Champions is super clunky, especially for anyone who ever played a quality arcade fighting game (or SNES port of one). The animation of Eternal Champions was also below below average and quite choppy in comparison to top fighting games of the era... as most character priority moves are no more than 2 frames (sometimes less). The only animation that the designers seemed to care about was in the disturbingly gory finishing moves. It's obvious that the developers spent a much longer time creating the twisted scenes of death than on the actual game itself.


Weak visuals compared to other '93 fighting games.


Perhaps the most original gameplay aspect of Eternal Champions is the fact that characters have a Special Attack Meter, which decreases over time as special moves and projectiles are performed. Special moves are done by either pressing multiple buttons together or holding back or down to charge. Different special attacks decrease the meter by different amounts. Due to the meter, special attacks can't be abused, because you have to wait for the "inner-strength meter" to refill every time you perform two or three special moves in succession. It was a decent idea for a gameplay element, but I think most fighting game players didn't like the fact that they couldn't perform special moves at will like they could in every other fighting game out there. I'm sure some 90s kids who frequently got their ass kicked at the arcades in Street Fighter 2 and Mortal Kombat 2 loved this idea, though.

FUN FACT Soon after the original 1993 release, two
Eternal Champions adventure gamebooks were released by Puffin books. Like in any nerdy 90's adventure book, the reader controls the fate of the main character, or in this case "champion," traveling through time to assist the protagonists fight against a megalomaniacal artificial intelligence called the Overlord and ultimately change the course of history.


Click Here for all character artwork!


Eternal Champions also had a comic-adaptation (by UK Sega Magazine's Sonic the Comic) as a stand-alone magazine titled Eternal Champions Special. The main protagonists also appeared in two stories in the Sonic the Comic series. In the stories, Larcen Tyler returns to 1920s Chicago and works with Shadow Yamoto to take down the crime boss who killed him. Check below for some images of these comics.


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Page Updated: November 8th, 2022
Developer(s): Sega Interactive
Publisher(s): Sega
Designer(s): Scott Berfield    Creator
Christopher Warner    Director
Michael Latham    Designer / Producer
Mark Nausha    Producer
Artwork By: Albert Co
Julie Bell
    Cover Art
Platform(s): Sega Genesis / Megadrive, Sega CD, Wii Virtual Console
Release Date(s): Aug. 14th, 1993             Genesis
Feb. 18th, 1994
Nov. 20th, 2007
              Wii VC
Dec. 3rd, 2007
                Wii VC
Feb. 15th, 2008              Wii VC
Characters R.A.X. Coswell, Johnathan Blade, Shadow Yamoto, Slash, Trident, Xavier Pendragon, Jetta Maxx, Midknight, Larcen Tyler, Eternal Champion

Featured Video:

Related Games: Super Street Fighter 2, Mortal Kombat 2, Samurai Shodown, Samurai Shodown 2, Fatal Fury, Fatal Fury Special, Fighter's History, World Heroes 2, Virtua Fighter, TMNT: Tournament Fighters, Killer Instinct, Power Instinct

Gameplay Engine

 3.0 / 10

Story / Theme

 4.0 / 10

Overall Graphics

 3.0 / 10


 2.0 / 10

Music / Sound Effects

 2.0 / 10


 4.0 / 10

Art Direction

 3.0 / 10


 2.0 / 10

Options / Extras

 3.0 / 10

Intro / Presentation

 4.0 / 10

Replayability / Fun

 2.5 / 10

"Ouch" Factor

 3.0 / 10


 3.0 / 10


 3.2 / 10

 Review based on Genesis version     


Final Words:

One can't deny Eternal Champions a "classic" console fighter, but time has not been particularly kind to this title. As a young Street Fighter, Samurai Shodown, and Mortal Kombat fan in 1993, I knew Eternal Champions was just a big, fat, ugly rip-off. Even with the hype of this game that popped up here or there, I found absolutely nothing to like about the game. I particularly remember despising the choppy animation and terrible pixilated graphics (I swear could draw better characters on my computer's generic paint program when I was 9 years old). I also concluded that this game would make me worse at SF2, because the gameplay was so crappy. Seriously, this game makes World Heroes look good.... Wow

I also hated the character designs (and still do). I remember watching some kids playing Eternal Champions in 1993 at some game store back in the day (Babbage's I think), and they were acting like it was the best thing ever. It pissed me off to see people actually enjoying this game, because it was simply rubbish compared to the fighting games downstairs at the arcade.

I don't know about you
... but in 1993, I was playing Super Street Fighter 2, Mortal Kombat 2 and Samurai Shodown. All 3 of those games made Eternal Champions look like a silly kids game. In fairness, as a Sega Genesis exclusive, I do realize Eternal Champions developed a small fan base and probably brings back nostalgia for some people, but that doesn't change the fact that the game is pure shit.... It really is.

Eternal Champions
is indeed guilty of attempting to mooch off of the success of SF2, as well as MK's "shock value" by throwing in some blood and gore. It was as if the designers thought "who cares how the game plays, kids will love the blood and guts!" Well, I was 10 years old in 1993 and I didn't fall for that shit. I couldn't get past the subpar graphics, tinny music/sound, and clunky-ass controls. Sorry Genesis fanboys, you can keep this one.
~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen

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