North American 32X cover art
Cosmic Carnage, known in Japan as Cyber Brawl (サイバーブロール?), is a 1994 2-D fighting game released for the Sega 32X add-on for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis developed by Givro and published by Sega. It was one of the few original titles created for the add-on during its short lifespan.
In an uncharted star system, a group of prisoners en route to a celestial space mine overpower the ship’s guards and take control of the ship, but during their breakout, most of the ship’s controls are damaged.
After days of drifting, the criminals realize that their only hope is to hijack another ship and use their distress signal to bring a military ship to their aid. They then trick the ship by ramming their own vehicle into it. The impact, however, badly damages both and destroys all but one of the escape pods, as well as killing all but four from each ship (eight in total). The few survivors fight for the final escape pod and a chance of survival.
The game was designed to use the Mega Drive’s six-button controller, along with Eternal Champions. Also like Eternal Champions, Cosmic Carnage can be very difficult to compete against the CPU characters using the standard three button controller. With the six button controller, the player is given two buttons to kick, two buttons to punch and two to ‘provoke’ (taunt), with the ‘provoke’ attack differing depending on how fast one presses the button.
Four of the characters use armor to assist them in battle; one may choose one of the two options (‘light’ or ‘heavy’) for each of the three armors (body armor, leg armor and arm armor), each providing the character with its own special move. For instance, Zena-Lan can perform a whirlwind kick in light armor and an electric ground pound attack with the heavy armor. The armor can be torn off, however, removing these attacks, a gameplay feature previously used in Allumer's Blandia, while Sega would later use it in the decade for their Fighting Vipers games.
A death move can be achieved by using special moves to win a battle in the final round of each fight (special throws will not accomplish a death move). This gameplay mechanic was previously used by Sega, who had used it in Eternal Champions and was created and popularized by Midway Games’ Mortal Kombat series. In Cosmic Carnage, either the opponents head will explode, their arms will be cut off, or they will be cut in half at the waist. Also included is a ‘zoom feature’ similar to the one used in SNK’s Art of Fighting and Samurai Showdown games that amongst other things, highlights faults with the game’s sprites.
Achieving a ‘good ending’ for a fighter is time based, so depending on how fast the player kills his/her opponents, the more time there is left to escape to the life pod and to drift far enough away from the crashed ships, so the explosion won't hit the player.
All soldiers use Light Armor and can be equipped with Heavy Armor before fights.
- Cylic – An anthropomorphic red ant that is very fast and agile and uses a number of projectile attacks. His Light Armor special attacks are Energy Smasher, Gravitation Crush, and Energy Blast; his Heavy Armor special attacks Machine Gun Knuckle, Energy Thunder, Grenade Attack, Double Needle Kick, and Neck Throw can be used in both armors. In the Japanese version, he is a brown-haired soldier named Jake (ジェイク?).
- Zena-Lan – A female soldier who’s head is constantly on fire. She wears a military uniform and has electric attacks as well as good speed and agility. Her special attacks in Light Armor are Fury Punch, Bloody Spiral, and Riding Crusher; in Heavy Armor they are Lightning Ring, Knee Blast, and Blazing Charge, and in both armor styles, Flying Lariat. In the Japanese version, she is a blond-haired soldier named Ray (レイ?). Her name is very likely meant to be a play on (or derivate) of the name of the homeworld of Marvel Comics character Silver Surfer, which is called Zenn-La.
- Naruto (鳴門?) – Again, Naruto’s portrait is that of a simple shadow being such as DC Comic’s Shadow Thief or Obsidian, yet his in-game sprites dress him in colorful armor with elbow blades and a sword. His forte is aerial moves. In Light Armor Naruto has the special attacks Naruto Slice, Spinning Kick, and Whirlwind Kick; in Heavy Armor, Spinning Double Slice, Whirlwind Blast Kick, and Double Hammer Blast, and both Dash and Drop Throw regardless of which armor he wears. In Japan, he is a brown-haired boy.
- Tyr (known in Japan as Carl (カール?)) – Tyr’s character portrait makes him look identical to Jack Kirby’s drawings of the Silver Surfer, however his in-game sprites are of a man wearing samurai like armor bearing more of a resemblance to the Turrican design. Presumably, his character portrait is how he looks nude. His special attacks in light armor are Atomic Hammer, Dash Hurdle, and Breast Charger, and in Heavy Armor, Mega Buster Drop, Mega Cyclone Wrecker, and Mega Cannon, as well as three special attacks regardless of which armor is chosen: Super Press, Tornado, and Super Whip.
None of the fugitives may use armor.
- Talmac (known in Japan as Bolt (ボルト?)) – A tall, dark, sinister figure with a skull-like face, spiked red hair and sharp claws. Apparently, no one is sure if he wears a mask or not, because no one has gotten close enough to find out. He resembles Megabyte from ReBoot and his character portrait is similar to the Terminator in the film of the same name. His special attacks are Gale Wall, Gale Wave, Pile Dragon, and Gale Arrow.
- Yug (known in Japan as Wishbone (ウィッシュボーン?)) – A gorilla-like humanoid who slightly bears a resemblance to Apelinq from the Transformers Beast Machines comic books and toys; he is possibly a robot who relies almost entirely on his powerful arms for his attacks (punch attacks and throws). His special attacks are Spinning Double Strike, Blaze Hold and Strangle Hold.
- Naja (known in Japan as Stere (ステア?)) – A female snake-shaped siren, with a cobra’s head and a long tail, instead of legs, that she uses as a battering ram. Her design and name are derived from the serpentine nāga of Hinduism and Buddhism, which were often depicted as having humanoid torsos in sculptures and drawn art. Her special attacks are Back Whip, Winder Rush, and Tail Squeeze.
- Deamon (known in Japan as Finisher (フィニッシャー?)) – A vicious alien who bears resemblance to the extraterrestrials of the Alien series of films with large talon-like claws and a scorpion-like stinger attached to the back of his head. His special attacks are Whirling Thrasher, Hammerhead Whip, and Rolling Claw.