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In the wake of the success of fighting games such as Street Fighter II, Fatal Fury, and Mortal Kombat, Sega released Eternal Champions, a 2D Fighting Game, for the Sega Genesis late during the system's life cycle.Nine different people from time periods ranging from the time of cavemen to the far future suffer unjust deaths; these deaths each cause disorder in the balance of the universe. The Eternal Champion, the entity that oversees this balance, uses its power to temporarily remove all nine from the timeline. The Champion knows any one of the nine can restore balance through the ripple effects of what their full lives will accomplish — which works out well, since The Champion only has the power to revive one of them. The Champion decides to give the warriors a sporting chance to win their life back: he places the nine in a martial arts tournament where the winner will be returned to the timeline, moments prior to their death, with the knowledge of their fate and the power to prevent it (while the other eight warriors will suffer their original fates).Sega eventually released a sequel — Eternal Champions: Challenge from the Dark Side — for the Sega CD. Dark Side doubled the first game's playable roster and explained their presence by introducing the Dark Champion: he hid the new fighters from Eternal Champion in an attempt to keep the tournament going on a neverending Stable Time Loop and prevent the restoration of balance in the universe. Challenge from the Dark Side plays better than its predecessor thanks to more responsive controls and a (slightly) easier difficulty curve — and it also features gorier stage kills on top of special CGI "Cinekills".Sega had a third and final game — Eternal Champions: The Final Chapter — in pre-production for the Sega Saturn after Challenge from the Dark Side became...well, as much of a hit on the Sega CD as anything really could. Final Chapter would have featured a faction-oriented storyline, with characters supporting either the Eternal Champion or the Dark Champion in an effort to allow good or evil to balance the universe in its favor. Character levels were intended to represent the character's time periods, and victory would lock the opposing faction out of influencing a specific time period forever. Sega cancelled the game, however, when Sega feared it would draw too much attention away from Virtua Fighter.
Eternal Champions and its sequel contain examples of the following tropes: