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A giant red sun will go Nova within hours...
12 Star systems inhabited by sentient beings will be destroyed.
An omnipotent race, known only as the Primaries, declare their power to save one civilization from extinction.
To win the right to survive, each race must choose a champion strong enough to compete in a tournament to the death.
Only one warrior can emerge triumphant...
Opening Narration of the US version.
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Fighting Masters is an obscure Fighting Game developed for the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive by Almanic Corp, and published on August 17th 1992 by TRECO, on the wake of other more successful games such as Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat, or Fatal Fury.

The story of the game (At least in the US version) goes something like this: In a distant galaxy, there is a red sun that will soon go Super Nova, threatening to wipe out the civilizations of twelve different star systems. An advanced race of aliens known as the Primaries, have promised to save one, and only one race from extinction, so, they decide to organize a Gladiator-esque fighting tournament, and make each race to choose the strongest of their races to compete in it, and decide which race deserves survival.

This is subverted in the Japanese version, where the story is a bit more complete: The galaxy is in danger, because a powerful warlord and resident Big Bad, named Lord Valgasu, is bent on conquering the entire galaxy, and has brainwashed the strongest champion of eleven races; your character is the last "deinwashed" warrior who fights for justice, and has to snap the other competitors out of their trance, to finally challenge Lord Valgasu in a final bout.

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Gameplay-wise, of the three buttons of the controller, only two are used: there is a button for attack and a button for jump. The game has twelve selectable characters, each with their own statistics. The game has three modes: one for single player, where you pick any character and go against the other challengers, till you get to a final boss; a two player mode, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin; and a Watch mode, to see the CPU fighting itself.

You can see reviews of the game here, here and here, just expect a lot of yelling for the latter.


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TROPES:

  • A Load of Bull: The Final Boss, Lord Valgasu, is a minotaur-like creature, and likes to ram at you.
  • A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away...: At least, the Galaxy Far Far Away part. It's clear thar the game takes place far away from Earth, but the time is not so clear.
  • A Winner Is You: The ending is pretty much the same for all characters: It shows Valgasu lying on the mat, while a message appears on screen, describing the outcome, The Primaries fulfill their promise, and call upon forces to put your race (or better, the race of your character) in a safe place, while the others are condemned to Oblivion by the red sun turned Super Nova.
  • Acrofatic: Rotundo is fairly chubby, and a very agile fighter nevertheless.
  • Action Girl: Morin, the local bikini-clad Amazonian Beauty who fights with Dual Tonfas.
  • A.I. Roulette: CPU-controlled characters tend to throw attacks at random, or just jump all across the stage in an attempt to grab you, making it relatively easy to beat it.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Subverted. The statistics of the characters depict them as gigantic sixty-something-feet gladiators, but sadly, the contrast with the generic backgrounds make them look normal-sized.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space:
    • Nobody seems to have breathing issues in the Space Zone arena.
    • A curious case would be Rotundo who, being a humanoid jellyfish, has no problem breathing and fighting on land.
  • Big Bad: Valgasu. More notable in the Japanese version.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Regardless of your efforts or the character you pick, the Destiny of the races of the remaining eleven characters is total Destruction.
  • Blob Monster: Not exactly a blob, but Rotundo is the closest we have here.
  • Chainmail Bikini: Morin's only wardrobe is a cape, and a combination of metal bikini and breast plate.
  • Cool Horse: Equus, who more accurately is a cool humanoid horse.
  • Cyclops: With just one eye, Uppercut certainly qualifies.
  • Dance Battler: Grinder's moves resembles some sort of breakdancing.
  • Death from Above / Diving Kick: all characters have an attack where they drop into their opponent.
  • Dramatic Thunder: Shown in the intro of the game.
  • Dual Tonfas: Morin's Weapon of Choice.
  • Dub Name Change: The Mega Drive version of the game features for some characters different names than the Genesis version. In each case, the Mega Drive Version appears to the left:
    • Larry -> Dirk
    • Elepha -> Mastodon
    • Flamer -> Equus
    • Morin -> Morin
    • Beowolf -> Grinder
    • Goldrock -> Goldrock
    • Tomahawk -> Phoenix
    • Zrygunte -> Zygrunt
    • Medusa -> Rotundo
    • Drason -> Xenon
    • D I O -> D I O
    • Eyesight -> Uppercut
  • Easier Than Easy / Harder Than Hard: Extra difficulty levels can be unlocked via a cheat code.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Well, the characters are Masters of Fighting... or at least, at intergalactic wrestling.
  • Excuse Plot:
    • If you go for the US version, There's only hours before the red sun goes Super Nova, therefore, twelve warriors compete in a fighting tournament to death.
    • In the end this is both played straight and subverted. See the description above.
  • Extremity Extremist:
    • Uppercut, being a boxer, fights only with punches.
    • Subverted with Equus, despite his boxing stance, he has a kick in his arsenal.
  • Feathered Fiend: Phoenix; he looks like a giant humanoid eagle, with bat wings.
  • Flash of Pain: The characters flash in a weird yellow static when they receive heavy damage.
  • Flight: Upon catching his opponent, Phoenix flies away and smacks him/her hard against a wall.
  • Fun Personified: With his dancing moves, Grinder gives the impression to be this. We even get to see a group of four Grinders dancing in the credits sequence, no matter which character you ended the game with.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • The statistics of the characters depict them as colossal giants, but in-game they look human sized.
    • Goldrock would be a particular example: despite the fact he weighs 9990 lbs (Possibly more), the other characters can easily lift him and slam him hard into the ground.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Valgasu may count as this; he appears briefly in one cutscene describing the plot, but whether he's just another challenger trying his best to save his race from extinction, or a final test by the Primaries to determine if your race is worthy to survive is never explained... Worse, maybe he is the Grand Master behind the tournament. Averted in the Japanese version, where it's made clear from the beginning that he's the Big Bad to be defeated.
  • Half-Human Hybrid:
    • Non-human-like creatures are certainly this, such as Zygrunt, a Humanoid lobster. Equus and Uppercut also look very humanoid, the former is a humanoid horse, while the latter looks like a Cyclops.
    • Also Valgasu, a Minotaur-like creature.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: Apparently the characters suffer from this.
  • Honorable Elephant: Mastodon.
  • Human Aliens: Dirk and Morin are the only human-like characters.
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Dragons!: Xenon.
  • Jungle Japes: Arena 3 resembles a tropical forest, with a lake and mountains in the background.
  • Just Before the End: The main premise of the game, as several races are a few hours from extinction.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Valgasu is extremely fast and agile for someone his size.
  • Limited Animation: Each character has very few in-game sprites, so, some animations might look a little forced. For instance, each character has only two frames of animation when walking (Three in the case of Grinder); they also stand completely still when doing nothing.
  • Man-Eating Plant: D I O is a humanoid dionaea muscipula (A Venus flytrap). He bites his opponent upon catching him/her.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Uppercut, a boxer, has an uppercut as one of his most powerful attacks.
    • And we also have Mastodon (Renamed in the Mega Drive version as Elepha), who is a humanoid mastodon (Actually an elephant, but close enough).
    • Same goes for Rotundo (Medusa in the Mega Drive version), who is a humanoid jellyfish ("Medusa" is spanish for "jellyfish").
    • And Equus, who is a humanoid horse (An Equine).
  • Monster Arena: Arena 1, although it seems to be completely empty, except for the opponents.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: D I O. Justified as he's a humanoid Venus flytrap, and one of his special moves consists on biting his opponent.
  • Nepharious Pharaoh: Goldrock. The 'Nemes' he wears makes him resemble an Egyptian king.
  • Number of the Beast: Valgasu's statistics show that he weighs 6660 pounds. Granted, he's a freaking beast.
  • Perpetual Smiler: Rotundo.
  • Playing with Fire: Xenon. Justified, as he's a dragon.
  • Power Pincers: Zygrunt has them, as knows how to use them. Justified, as he's a humanoid lobster.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: One of Uppercut's grapple moves.
  • Readings Are Off the Scale: Goldrock's statistics show that he weighs 9990 pounds. Whether this is his actual weight or he's too heavy to be correctly measured is unclear, although the latter has been implied.
  • Rock Monster: Goldrock.
  • Rolling Attack: Rotundo has this in his arsenal.
  • Shout-Out: One of Dirk's grapple moves looks suspiciously similar to the Kinniku drive.
  • Shrines and Temples: Arena 2 resembles a Japanese temple, with statues of strange quadrupedal creatures at each side.
  • SNK Boss: Valgasu. His lifebar is slightly longer than anyone else's (Even Xenon), he has long range with his normals and moves very fast, making it very probable that he grabs you; his grapple moves deal unforgivable amounts of damage and, if you're unlucky enough, he'll grab you again without giving you any chance of escaping, effectively emptying your lifebar in a matter of seconds. Compared to him, The previous battles feel pretty easy. Fortunately, he suffers the same AI issue as the other characters, making him relatively easy to defeat if you know how to deal with him.
  • Some Dexterity Required: Averted. You only end occupying two of the three buttons of the controller, but for a Fighting Game, there are no special moves, no combos, no depth or strategy.
  • Space Zone: Where the final bout with Valgasu takes place.
  • Stripperiffic: Dirk with swimming trunks, Morin with a Chainmail Bikini.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: Apparently the competitors are transported to the arenas via one of these. But we only see the light depositing them.
  • The Coats Are Off: Valgasu does this in the last cutscene right before the Grand Finale.
  • The Ghost / The Omnipotent: The race of the Primaries is depicted as omnipotent, but they never appear on screen.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Morin is the only character easily recognizable as a female. The gender of the other (non-human-like) competitors is never revealed.
  • There Can Be Only One: That's right: several warriors fight each other till... well, you know. And that one race is saved from extinction at the end.
  • Tin-Can Robot: Grinder.
  • Versus Character Splash: It's a Fighting Game after all, so this is present. The screen shows the opponents and their statistics, but there are no character portraits, instead, it shows in-game sprites of the characters in their idle animations.
  • Whip It Good:
    • D I O is capable of using his arms and legs as whips.
    • Also Mastodon, who attacks with his trunk.
  • Wolverine Claws: Grinder uses them as his weapons.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: All characters have in their arsenal at least one move such as a grapple, a throw, a suplex, a powerbomb, a piledriver, etc. Apparently this is the main core of gameplay, given how normal attacks do barely noticeable damage, whereas grapple moves do massive amounts of damage.
  • Your Size May Vary: Once again, the characters look human-sized despite the statistics depicting them as colossal sixty-something-feet giants.
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