I know I tend to talk a lot about toys, but I do have some love in my heart for a good video game. And much like the choice between Pepsi or Coke, the best times for video games were when the choice was either Nintendo or Sega. I have never been good with making a decision, so I ended up enjoying both brands immensely. Nintendo and Sega both gave us some wonderful video games.
For a time in the 90's though the only video games anyone could talk about were Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat. Technical fighting fans enjoyed the difficulties of Street Fighter II while those in love with a good goofy gore fest fell for Mortal Kombat. I enjoyed both, if only, for the characters and story lines. Seriously, was there anything cooler than finding out that Mileena was not Kitana's twin, but instead an evil clone bent on killing her? Riveting.
There were many fighting games out at that time, all trying to cash in on the fun of a good K.O. One in particular captured my heart. Eternal Champions was a Sega Genesis exclusive and it managed to blend the technical skill of Street Fighter II while adding just the right amount of gore that had found a following with MK. For me though, there was just nothing that could beat the story line. The point of the competition was for a cast of characters each killed at a certain point in the past, present, and future, to fight for the chance to return from the grave and redeem themselves. After the main characters are taken out, the last one standing must fight the final boss, the Eternal Champion himself!
I know, it sounds beyond hokey. But most of us grew up with an Italian plumber running around in pipes and stomping on things called Goombas. The ship of reality sailed away a long time ago. Anyways, enough of the game talk. After stumbling upon more loot in my parent's attic over the summer, my brother and I found this:
I had completely forgotten that I ever owned this thing! I was so thrilled to have it though, because I had stupidly traded in my old Sega Genesis system and games for the original PlayStation when it came out. Such a big mistake. It is nice that I have this little relic to remind me of such a fun game. (Thank goodness for Virtual Console too.) This guide was a little larger than a regular sized paper back. The cover still has a nice glossy look while the pages on the inside have a matte finish.
Flipped around, the guide shows off the characters while also detailing what the guide contains. Let's look at some of the characters!
In 1993, Shadow was a deadly assassin hired by big businesses to take out the competition from other big businesses. (All this madness was in response to all the greed and excess from the 80's. Her bio in the guide gets real historical.) Eventually Shadow changed her mind about her job and once her job performance began to falter, her hires got rid of her. She took a trip off a very tall building. Her goal in the competition was to become an Eternal Champion and expose all the greed and corruption from the businesses that employed her to kill. She was of course my favorite. I thought she was so bad ass and I too wanted to grow up to become an assassin and wear thigh high boots, just like her. Oh goodness, if only my parents had known about the nature of my role models. On a sad dorky side note, I played the clarinet in school, and I nicknamed my clarinet Shadow. The other girls in class were like, "Let's name our clarinets!" (It's just what we did back then before boys became the topic of the day.) I was always bad with coming up with a name, so I named my clarinet Shadow. Yeah. Is it any shock that I did not grow up to be an assassin?
Midknight was just a regular good old bio-chemical scientist wanting to find a way to end the Vietnam War. (His is another bio that really detailed a version of history in the guide.) Instead of finding a way to end the war, he died during an experiment gone horribly wrong. Becoming somewhat of a vampire, Midknight could not go about taking another life to sustain his own. He died trying to cure himself of his vampirism and entered the competition for a new lease on life. His character design was creepy. First off, he looked nothing like someone from 1967. Not that I was alive or anything back then, but he looked more vampire colonial chic than sixties vamp. Know what I mean? His rotted looking legs really added to his overall ghastly look.
Trident! King of the Sea! So did you know that in 110 BC the city of Atlantis was in a war against the Romans? And did you know that the great people of Atlantis made a great fighter by the name of Trident to stop said Romans? Only the Romans somehow knocked a stone pillar on poor Trident and he died along with the rest of the lost underwater city. Oh you don't recall this being taught in world history? Just what in the world are kids gonna learn these days? Trident entered the competition to return to life and bring back his lost civilization! His level in the game was always really cool and had nice music to it.
Larcen. Poor Larcen. Coming up in the 1920's, Larcen got involved with the mob life and did some burglary stuff. He was a thief with a heart of gold though as he never wanted to kill anyone. He only wanted to steal. His allegiances began to shift though once the mob wanted him to kill the Chief of Police. Realizing it was maybe time to change his ways, Larcen found out it was all too late as the Chief of Police and he were both blown up in a building by the mob. This was a fun character to play because he always had tricks up his sleeve, or rather, in his trench coat. His role in the game was to find a way to redeem himself and his past actions.
Xavier was probably my favorite male character. I loved that he looked like something from Final Fantasy or He-Man. Anyways, the year was 1692 and Xavier was a blacksmith in Salem who dabbled in alchemy. Becoming quite the alchemist and tinkering with all his supplies in a secluded area while making a few people around him nervous, his story would be chronicled into a series called Breaking Bad Alchemy. I kid. I kid. But seriously, all his interest in alchemy would lead to his demise as the people of Salem thought he was a Warlock. Burning him at the stake, poor Xavier died with the knowledge that he had found a way to harness a limitless source of energy that would help the world. So sad. Also, each character in the game would speak a taunt to the other player, and his taunt was always a favorite of mine: "Simpleton!"
Speaking of simpletons, Slash was a bit slow and not one for words, but he was certainly smarter than the other cavemen in his tribe. With a face that only a sabertooth could love, Slash wanted to find a better way to gather food for the tribe. The tried and true method of hunting and gathering proved to be dangerous all too often. Sadly he couldn't get the other people in his tribe to reason with him, and thus being incapable of thinking it through, the tribe stoned him to death. Sucks to be Slash. Though the game may have had a slight morbid tone to it, what with everyone dying and fighting to come back to life, there were some humorous stories involving some of them.
At first glance, Blade looks like a mix between Havok from the X-Men and a buff version of Hollywood from Mannequin, but out of all the characters, it feels like he is the main character of the game. Blade hails from the not too distant future, 2030. He starts out as a police officer but loses his job thanks to a beat down given to a suspect that tried to kill him. Things get pretty convoluted. He leaves the force and heads to his native Syria where he tries to hunt down a deranged scientist with a vial filled with chemicals that will wipe out 95% of the Earth. As if this plot to the Expendables 5 couldn't get any worse, the government shoots and kills both the deranged scientist and Blade while also damaging the vial in the process. The implication being that 95% of the world ends up getting wiped out. This means Blade must win the competition so he can prevent the world from being wiped out.
The other female character in the game was Jetta. Descended from a noble Russian family, Jetta wanted to rebel from her family name. So she did what any rebellious Russian girl in 1899 did, she joined the circus. Leaving her country and performing throughout China, Jetta realized that growing tensions and fighting in the East were causing a problem with the Russian government. Doing her best to ease the tensions and stop the spread of what would become full blown communism, she performed an act of sabotage in front of the Chinese Emperor. Her act fell flat though as she literally fell to her death during a high wire stunt. Her noble goal in winning the competition would be to change the fate of Chinese and Russian history.
Aside from Blade, R.A.X. is the only other character from the future in the game. He is from the far future in the year 2345. That seems like a good year. Anyways, in this future world, the masses want to watch violence. Regular humans boxing it out in a ring loses mass appeal and instead, humans become cyborgs and fight until their systems shut down. R.A.X. stands for Robotic Artificial Xoskeleton and once he becomes a cyber-fighter, R.A.X. finds himself overjoyed by all the success. The success flops pretty quickly though once a promoter sells him out and introduces a virus into his system right before a match. The virus kills R.A.X. and if he can win the Eternal Champion competition, he will go back and finally get a second chance to win the match. His bio is one of the more weaker ones. He is going to fight up against 8 of the best dead fighters in the world, not counting the Eternal Champion himself, only to return to his former life to fight in yet another match... Right. If I were him I'd be like, "After this crazy Sega game, I don't need to prove a damn thing to anyone. I'm goin home to eat some Gold Fish crackers."
So that is the story line of Eternal Champions. It was an incredibly fun game. As it stands, fighting games tend to lose their fun quickly, but this was a game that always kept a level of coolness. The story lines were slightly cheesy, but there was so much effort and detail put into them. I almost walked away feeling like this was really stuff that happened throughout the history of the world. Sega would also release a sequel for the Sega CD. I wish I had managed to own a Sega CD back in the day as I would have enjoyed checking the sequel out. All I really have of the sequel is a spread in a Game Informer magazine. The sequel seemed really cool. There were new as well as returning characters. I wish it had picked up more in popularity. An action figure line would have been awesome too.
That's about it though for the Dorkette Book Club! Did anyone else like Eternal Champions? How about the naming of musical instruments? Are there any former band nerds that named their stuff Shadow? I think I'm the only lame one on that end. Anyways, don't go too far! I've got some great stuff coming up! Get ready as the toy version of me finally goes out on her first date with Michelangelo! This special two part piece of mess cannot be missed! Hope you are all doing well.