In 1993 the fighter genre saw a huge surge thanks to Streetfighter 2 and Mortal Kombat.
The developers at Sega threw their name into the hat with a gem of a game called Eternal Champions. At the time games would see an arcade release first and then it was ported to the home consoles. Eternal Champions was the first game to skip the arcade and go right to the console.
It received really good reviews upon its release. The plot was great: The Eternal Champion predicts that mankind will soon fade to existence due to the untimely and unjust deaths of key individuals throughout history who were destined for greatness. Seeking to restore balance to the world, the Eternal Champion gathers
these souls from time moments before their deaths to participate in a fighting tournament. The victor will be able to change their fate and bring balance to the universe, and the losers will be forced to live out their deaths just as history intended. Each fighter had a unique fighting style similar to streetfighter. There were also stage based finishing moves called Overkills. The Overkills varied from kicking someone into a fire to being eaten by a dinosaur.
What made Eternal Champions different was that there was no good or bad guys. They were all ultimately good guys.
The characters were from different time periods in history and in the future, spanning from a caveman Named Slash who lived in 50,000 B.C.,a hunter with superior intellect. He actually wasn’t skilled in any type of martial arts, rather he did moves that caused the most pain like eye pokes and throat punches. He was stoned by the elders because of his progressive ways of thinking. We also had a Kickboxing Cyborg named R.A.X. (Robotic Artificial Exoskeleton) Coswell who lived in 2345, who was killed by a corrupted fight promoter that felt he was winning too much. He uploaded a virus into R.A.X.’s main system causing him to shut down during a fight.
I had to choose 2 favorite characters from Eternal they would be Mitchell Midleton Knight AKA Midknight, a British scientist in the 60's skilled in Jeet Kune Do (Fighting Style created by Bruce Lee). He was creating a biological weapon for the Vietnam war. There was an accident that transformed him into a vampire. Even though he was an undead creature that craved blood he refused to kill, he lived until 2100 when he was hunted down and killed with a stake through the heart. The other was an ex cat burglar named Larcen Tyler, who lived in Chicago in 1920. His fighting style was Praying Mantis Kung Fu. He met his untimely death when he received a mission from a mob boss: to plant false evidence in the hospital room of a rival crime boss; however, upon arriving Larcen didn't find a rival crime lord, but instead the Chief of Police. Realizing the package was a bomb, he attempted to throw it out the window, but was not fast enough. Larcen’s storyline spawned a spin-off game for the game called “Chicago Syndicate”.
There was a sequel called Eternal Champions called Eternal Champions: Challenge from the Dark Side for the Sega CD…the best game for the Sega CD (Which isn’t saying much). I think this game deserves a redo, it has huge potential. Especially with today’s technology and people that could elaborate on an already amazing concept and storyline.
The cut scenes and ending for the game could be wonderful Hell. I also think a movie or mini-series of this would be fantastic. I highly suggest this forgotten gem.
Here is a video with some original gameplay.