Double Take: Eternal Champions

Eternal Championsis probably my favorite fighting game, ever since I was a kid. It’s so unique, and everything about this game is extraordinary. You’ve never seen something like this one folks, and I doubt you’ll ever see anything like it again.

I’ve always loved playing Eternal Champions because of how different it is from a lot of the fighting games released at the time. The characters, the story, the design, the gameplay, the graphics, the music – it all comes together in one great package. The only problem is that I’ve found few people that actually like the game as much as I do. Most that I’ve introduced Eternal Champions to haven’t liked it all that much, and some I’ve talked to have flat-out hated the game.

Click to see some of the stages!

Eternal Champions is a fighting game that actually has a story (+1 right off the top for originality) in which the universe has become imbalanced due to the untimely deaths of key individuals who, had they lived, would have changed the entire world. The Eternal Champion, master of all martial arts and he who lives outside of space and time, rescues these individuals just before their death and brings them all to participate in a tournament. Whoever wins is given a new chance at life and is brought back a few moments before their death, so that they can change the future. These individuals consist of: a modern day female ninja, a 1920s gangster, a caveman, a vampire, a futuristic bounty hunter, a cyborg, an alchemist, an acrobat, and an Atlantean sea creature. Never have I seen such a diverse cast of characters in a fighting game.

The fights made up by these characters could only have been made up by true imagination, from the same type of imagination of King Kong Vs. Godzilla. There are no clones or palette swaps here, and every character is very unique. Each character has such detailed a back story as well, alongside the fact that each of the their fighting styles is based off a real-life fighting technique. It’s not a made up style ala Street Fighter or a karate style like Mortal Kombat. No, each character’s chosen fighting technique is founded in real martial arts, from Hapkido Cane fighting to Mantis style Kung-Fu and Pencak Silat. It gives each character such a unique look and personality, that it gives the game a really great depth. In a sense, it also provides a good amount of replay value. Eternal Champions has one awesome presentation. Who says fighting games can’t have a storyline?

Click to see some of the kills!

The graphics go a long way towards making this an excellent experience. For one thing, the sprites are huge for a fighting game, and all the characters are very well animated. Everything is full of vibrant colors and looks fantastic. And those overkills are gory, this isn’t Mortal Kombat’s cheesy blood-spewing mutilations we’re talking about here, this is true gore in a fighting game at it’s finest!

The gameplay is pretty much Street Fighter II-style combined with Mortal Kombat-esque special moves and stage fatalities (called “Overkills”). It’s like the best of both worlds in fighting games right here! A great fighting system combined with a little bit of violence: the perfect balance. But rather than give each player three different versions of three or four special moves like in Street Fighter, in Eternal Champions you get at least half a dozen unique moves, if not more. There are so many different special moves, and they’re all very relevant to the character. For example, Xavier Pentdragon (The Alchemist) turns people into gold. Shadow Yamato throws Sai. Trident actually has a Trident. And so on and so forth. In Eternal Champions there are no random projectiles and fifty thousand clones of one character. Every punch, every kick, every special move and all the detail for each character has a special significance, and that’s what really makes me appreciate this game.

All in all, Eternal Champions is an awesome fighting game, often overlooked by its difficult premise. So get out there and match up a scientist against a vampire, or an Italian gangster against a caveman.

It’ll be worth your while.

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1 Comment

  1. somemadcaaant says:

    This game had it all, streetfighter mixed with mortalkombat designed for the megadrive controller.

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