Have a horrifying look at Sega’s answer to Mortal Kombat. Overkills, Sudden Deaths, Vendettas and GORE from the Sega CD’s ill-fated Eternal Champions: Challenge From the Dark Side!
Oh, Eternal Champions… how hard you almost tried! Do we need to remind you how big fighting games were in the mid 90s? You know this already. Sure, the genre was never better represented than during this period, but since the balance and depth of Street Fighter were difficult to emulate, many a ragtag fighting game developer opted to instead crib the violence of Mortal Kombat. And since our subject was exclusive to the Sega CD, most people have never seen it.
Movies confused with Gameplay
And that’s where Eternal Champions: Challenge from the Dark Side comes in, where Sega created a semi-sequel to its notable semi-Genesis first-party fighter, but this time updating the action with a boatload of blood and guts, proving once again there’s no success Sega can’t learn the wrong lesson from. See for yourself!
Rather than improve upon the gameplay in the original Genesis/Mega Drive fighting game, the primary area improved upon for its Sega CD 1.2 sequel, Eternal Champions: Challenge of the Dark Side (EC: CDS… get it?!), they instead took a mild, damn near family-friendly fighting game and upped the violence to an absolutely absurd degree. But hey, the silver lining is that all of these hamfisted executions are unbelievably transfixing.
Without a doubt, these are the most disgusting sequences ever rendered in pixels by a major player in video games who probably should’ve known better. Whatever. Here’s what you need to know: Vendettas are your finishing moves/character-specific Mortal Kombat Fatalities. Overkills are you stage-specific murders that can be pulled off by any character as long as both combatants are in the right proximity. Sudden Deaths are… well, pretty much more Overkills, and the most notable edition to the Sega CD game outside of a couple new characters. However, Sudden Deaths don’t need to be performed as “finishing move” and can be executed while your opponent has health remaining. None of this is important. But the unimportant is our bread and butter, that’s what we do here at Laser Time! And these are the indisputably best unimportant murder moves Eternal Champions has to offer.
10. Monumental Murder
In what should probably go down in history as the greatest fighting character of all-time, Eternal Champion’s secret character, The Senator character tosses numerous political sight gags in your face, and believe me when I saw they renew their relevance with each and every election cycle. The Washington DC stage’s Overkill launches the loser from the parking lot of a fast food burger joint and impales the other side of the aisle on the Washington Monument, which is undeniably awesome if you don’t care about proportion or scale.
9. Stabby Stab Stab
If you absolutely need to know the plot of Eternal Champions, it involves a dozen or so untimely demised individuals, throughout multiple periods of time and from locations across the globe, granted with another shot at life and an opportunity to change the course of history, thus preventing a future apocalypse… via winning a crude and clumsy fighting game? Try not to think about it too hard. Because one of the combatants, Larcen, a prohibition-era gangster who’s Vendetta (Fatality) is a vicious and prolonged jailhouse shivving. If he wins, canonically, he will be the savior of all humanity. Again, don’t think about it.
8. Big Fan
Shadow’s stage prominently features a metallic fan at center stage. I wonder if it’ll ever come into play for a human Spirograph? Subtlety was not in Eternal Champion’s design doc…
7. Pit Stop
This might very well be the longest “Fatality” in history! The GIF doesn’t do it justice. This is almost two minutes of falling dismemberment, employing multiple tiers of skin-ripping palette-swappery. This epic trapdoor pit Overkill would probably rank higher if Sega were capable of producing more than a single skin-crawling saw noise or different saw animations for each round of de-limbing
6. Shot to Death with Kill Guns
If you thought Eternal Champions couldn’t get any less nuanced, please don’t factor in how many times a character whips out a generic gun and fires at point blank range. Such is the case with Drake’s Vendetta finishing move, which only works because he’s an even more graceless depiction of Buford Tannen, who shoots first and asks questions NEVER.
5. A Depressing Future
Just when you thought Eternal Champions had hit peak bleak, out comes the cold and clinical technology of 2345 AD. The Overkill in RAX’s Cyber-Dome stage are sterile, uncaring corpse disposal bots, who both kill and clean. For what it lacks in the shock value department, it makes up for it with a dark and depressing glimpse at humanity’s inevitable future.
4. Scarabed Stupid
For one of the most laughably awesome Fataliti-I MEAN VENDETTAS, Ramses, Eternal Champion’s stereotypical ancient Egyptian character, defies your mummy-based expectations and goes full scarab. Better still, this is one of two “Animalities” associated with Ramses, as his stage’s Sudden Death also features a delightful Zuul moment involving a sentient dog statue dismissively chowing down on the skin of the loser and then kicking dirt at them like a turd on the neighbor’s lawn.
3. NRA 4 EVER
Imagine if one of the soldiers cheering on Guile’s stage got up at the end of a match and ritualistically executed the loser. Well, the Sudden Death in Larcen’s depression-era Chicago stage features just such a surprise, with a formerly lifeless background character (a sexy box office dame!) coming to life and adding starkly violent insult to injury.
One of the longer Sudden Deaths can be found on Riptide’s “Off the Barbary Coast” stage, where the loser can get thrown off a pirate ship and into the jaws of a massive shark. If you were hoping for a gratuitous and lengthy look at a shark chewing a human corpse, I assure you that GIF doesn’t do the kill justice as the sea-bound predator takes so long that Jaws would yawn. Seriously, peep the video above for the entire scene.
1. Klown Kar Kill
Now that the world has finally, justly, turned on clowns, not even Ronald McDonald is safe. You may not like how dismissive I’ve been towards Eternal Champions in this article (it’s not my fault you had nothing better to play) but at least we can all agree clowns are fucking awful, and easily the most terrifying element in a game riddled with gore, murder most graphic and baffling number of man-eating beasts. In a Sudden Death that is anything but sudden, Jetta’s circus stage has an incredibly lethal instance featuring what I think we all just assumed clowns were doing anyway when no one is watching.
Hope you enjoyed! For more murderous video game moments, check out our Top 5 Least Scary Games Based on Horror Movies, our look at Twisted Metal’s endings, or our sizzle of Mortal Kombat’s new Fatalities. For more glorious vidja game montages, peep our 25 Mario Kart clones in Two Minutes! and/or Idol Idle: The Idle Animations of Gaming’s Greatest Icons. And be sure to listen to our game podcast, Vidjagame Apocalypse, each and ever Friday.