Tiger Electronics (Game.com)
|Release date(s)||Sega Saturn 
|Mode(s)||1 to 2 players|
Fighters Megamix (ファイターズ メガミックス?) is a 1996 fighting video game developed by AM2 for the Sega Saturn and Game.com. It combines several characters from various Sega games, from the complete cast of Virtua Fighter 2 and Fighting Vipers to Janet from Virtua Cop 2 and the Hornet car from Daytona USA, while allowing to play the bosses of both games without codes.
Highly advertised, it followed Virtua Fighter 2 as a high-profile 3D fighting game for the Sega Saturn. Intended as an introduction to Virtua Fighter 3 (which was never released for the Saturn), Fighters Megamix utilized the concept originally used by The King of Fighters, whereby characters and styles from different games were mixed together. Not only the open ended rings from VF are present (but now, with no ring-out), but also the closed cages from Fighting Vipers. VF characters have new moves taken from VF3, but the most impressive feature was the dodge move, which allowed characters to sidestep, avoiding a dangerous blow and opening at the same time room for a counter. Sega capitalized on this, calling Fighters Megamix the first "real 3D" fighting game in the market.
As well as having standard "survival", two-player and team battle modes, Fighters Megamix uses an unusual style of one-player play, instead of a standard arcade mode, the one-player mode is split into nine subsections:
- Novice Trial (beginners)
- Virtua Fighter (all characters from Virtua Fighter)
- Fighting Vipers (all characters from Fighting Vipers)
- Girls (female character)
- Muscle (strong characters)
- Smart guys (tactical fighters)
- Dirty fighters (sneaky fighters)
- Bosses (hidden characters played last)
- Secrets (the rest of the bonus characters not fought in bosses)
Each section consists of six fights against currently available characters then a final battle against a hidden character. Once the first four are completed (the 'default' sections) the next three become unlocked, after beating those, the next (bosses), and then the final (bonus).
The player has the option of switching play type between Fighting Vipers and Virtua Fighter, which simply causes both the player's characters and the CPU characters to fight with the style of fighting from that game (the default is Fighting Vipers).
The default cast of characters consist of the entire cast from Virtua Fighter 2 and Fighting Vipers, as well as Kuma-Chan, a bear mascot in a hat that has no points of articulation.
From Virtua Fighter 2:
- Akira Yuki
- Pai Chan
- Lau Chan
- Wolf Hawkfield
- Jeffry McWild
- Sarah Bryant
- Jack Bryant
- Shun Di
- Lion Rafale
From Fighting Vipers:
- Honey (renamed Candy in the American and European versions, as in the original Fighting Vipers.)
There are more than ten hidden characters in the game all based on other Sega games, including some planned, but unreleased for the console, like Sonic the Fighters. They are unlocked by completing all of the 1p mode sections except for Novice Trial, which unlocks a separate costume for Honey (or Candy) that can be accessed by pressing the 'X' button to select her. Each character either plays as a Fighting Vipers character (with armour that can be smashed off) or a Virtua Fighter character (without armour):
Bark the Polar Bear – one of AM2's creations for Sonic the Fighters Bark is a cream bear with large tufts of hair sticking out from the front and back of his 'beanie' hat, he wears a Scarf and Mittens. His alternate costume is a Santa Claus-esque suit. He plays like a Virtua Fighter character and is unlocked by defeating the 'Muscle' section. He retains his home stage from Sonic the Fighters, albeit without the walls and with the background music from Sonic the Fighters's Flying Carpet stage instead.
Bean the Dynamite – the other of AM2's creations for Sonic the Fighters Bean is a green duck who wears a neck-a-chief and Sonic the Hedgehog's famous shoes, without the socks, he is based on an old Sega arcade game Dynamite Dux hence his name 'The Dynamite'. In fact in his alternate "costume" in this game, he becomes blue and looks exactly like the character Bin from that game. His trademark bombs are still present, though changed in appearance and some functions, but he still has his three main bomb-related moves (overhead bomb spread, bomb kick, and tossing a bomb onto a fallen foe and covering his ears). He plays like a Virtua Fighter character and is unlocked by defeating the 'Muscle' section (though he is not fought until the Bonus section). His home stage is not his own from Sonic the Fighters but actually Knuckles', the South Island stage. Bark and Bean appear in the game roughly the same size as the human characters, when Sonic characters are usually depicted as much shorter than Humans, just over half their size
Deku – The only original character created for the game, Deku is a comical Mexican green bean in a hat, when his hat is smashed off, a bird is under it, perched on his head. If you win a match with it knocked off, the bird squawks during Deku's win pose. For his alternate costume, the Sega Saturn logo is on his head instead, which makes a strange vibrating noise if Deku wins a bout with his hat knocked off. (the sound is actually taken from Sonic the Fighters; the noise is heard after the end credits as Eggman is seen hovering in his ship, Metal Sonic by his side-it's SE No.30 on the game's sound test in Sonic Gems Collection) He plays like a Fighting Vipers character and is unlocked by defeating the 'Dirty Fighters' section. His home stage is the same generic arena seen in the training mode.
Janet – Janet is from Virtua Cop 2 and has a fondness for countering. Her moves are those of the character Aoi Umenokoji (from Virtua Fighter 3) and can be unlocked by defeating the 'Girls' section. Her arena, Virtua City, is based upon the first stage from the original Virtua Cop.
Kids Sarah – Sarah Bryant super deformed from Virtua Fighter Kids she is unlocked by defeating the Virtua Fighter section (though she is not fought until the Bonus section). Her stage is actually Sarah's Virtua Fighter 1 stage, (not her Virtua Fighter Kids home stage, presumably as it is not different enough from Sarah's normal VF2 stage to warrant inclusion), now with the addition of neon letters that act as walls, spelling "MEGAMIX."
Hornet – Hornet is a car (number 41) from Daytona USA, the car humorously stands on back wheels and boxes with its front, it plays like a Fighting Vipers character and can have its shell knocked off, revealing body, engine and other parts below. Its voice is sounds of an engine and many other sound effects from Daytona USA, such as screeching tires. Both of Hornet's costumes are a reference to its automatic (Red and Blue) or manual (Red and Yellow) transmissions. Its stage is based upon a racecourse from Daytona USA (the Beginner's course from the arcade game, "Three-Seven Speedway"). Once its armor is removed, it fights using Bahn's move set.
Rent-A-Hero – from two Japan only games, Rent-A-Hero for the Sega Mega Drive and three years after the release of Fighters Megamix, Rent-A-Hero No. 1 for the Sega Dreamcast and three more years later for the Xbox. Rent-A-Hero plays like a Fighting Vipers character, but he also has an additional handicap, battery life, measured by battery shaped red symbols above his health meter, if they all disappear, Rent-A-Hero shuts down. He is unlocked by defeating the 'Smart Guys' section. His stage is the "Chicago" stage from Virtua Fighter 2 (the stage you would get if you had Jacky and Sarah face each other in a match). It is actually unlocked before you unlock Rent-A-Hero, with the original VF2 music, but when Rent-A-Hero fights in the stage, the Rent-A-Hero theme music plays instead. Rent-A-Hero's stage music was changed in the North American and European release. In the Japanese version his stage music was a remake of the title screen music played in the Sega Mega Drive version of Rent-A-Hero, which is similar to that of a Japanese sentai show theme song while the North American and European versions have an instrumental version of the song.
Siba – Siba is from a prototype of Virtua Fighter but was cut from the cast by the time of game's actual release, though an icon featuring him (and mislabelled as "Akira") appears on older Virtua Fighter arcade cabinets. Siba is an Arab in a white and purple outfit equipped with a sword that charges with green energy, he is unlocked by defeating the 'Bosses' section. His stage is based upon Wolf's "desert" stage from Virtua Fighter 3.
URA Bahn – an improved version of Bahn from Fighting Vipers he is unlocked by defeating the 'Fighting Vipers' section. His stage is on the outskirts of Old Armstone town, with the buildings from regular Bahn's arena visible in the distance.
AM2 Palm Tree – the developer's emblem is available as a playable character by clocking up 84 hours of game time, then selecting the Kumachan character with the Z button.
Mr Meat (Niku) – this odd character becomes available after the game has been booted up 30 times. Mr Meat is selectable by placing the cursor on Kumachan and pressing X and opting to play "course I".
The rendered images seen in the game credits after completing a section of the 1 Player mode are unlocked and can be viewed in a gallery in 'Extra Options'. However, two of these images were altered between the Japanese, PAL and American versions of the game.
At the end of the "girls" course, the second portrait to appear in Japanese releases was Honey in just her bra and thong. In the US, this was replaced by a portrait of Honey (renamed Candy in US releases) fully clothed and sporting her original "player 2" colors (blond hair, blue dress) from Fighting Vipers. A second, lesser known change was made to the image of Tokio with his shirt open from the "Smart Guys" course ending, rather bizarre considering that characters such as Wolf and Jeffry are seen bare-chested in normal gameplay.
Both of these images are retained for the PAL release of the game.
Differences with Fighting Vipers & Virtua Fighter 2
- The Fighting Vipers characters' "player 2" colours in Fighters Megamix differ from the original Fighting Vipers game. For example, in Vipers player 2 Raxel had red hair and a purple guitar whereas in Megamix this was changed to purple hair and a blue guitar. Also, Honey/Candy's aforementioned blond hair/blue dress player 2 palette was changed to auburn hair with a yellow dress. With the exceptions of Kumachan (the "player 2" panda version can be selected with the C button as normal), Honey/Candy (who has a new unlockable outfit she wears instead), and Mahler (who has been given a new design in Megamix to differentiate him from B.M.), the original "player 2" colours for the Vipers can be chosen with the X button.
- Each Virtua Fighter 2 character has their respective stage from that game, except for Dural-instead she has her Virtua Fighter 1 stage. Her Virtua Fighter 2 underwater stage is still in the game but it belongs to the Fighting Vipers character Mahler instead.
- There is a small percentage of critical hit flashes and blood throughout Fighting Vipers matches.
Virtua Fighter 3 previews
- The VF2 characters have some (but not all) of their new moves from VF3 added.
- Janet uses the move-list of Aoi Umenokouji from Virtua Fighter 3.
- Siba's arena is based on Wolf's "desert" arena from Virtua Fighter 3, but the music used is actually from VF3's "attract mode." ("Rowdy")
- Jeffry's Virtua Fighter 3 theme ("Coral Groove") is used for the training mode/Deku's stage.
- Some of the VF2 characters have a VF3 win pose for one of their win poses.
- The announcer is the same as in Virtua Fighter 3.
The game was awarded a 9.25/10 from Game Informer, the highest score any Saturn game received from the magazine. They praised the game's roster and variety of move sets. Sega Saturn Magazine gave the game a 95%, stating that the game was "different enough to VF2 and indeed VF3 to warren immediate purchase. The fact that it has huge depth and gargantuan levels of playability helps too." GamesRadar included it in their list of the best Sega Saturn games, claiming that "Sega AM2’s bash-up mashup offers a staggering array of content for dedicated players to get to grips with." Jeff Gerstmann gave the game a positive rating in a Gamespot review, stating that "if you don't own a Saturn and have even a passing interest in the VF series, this is probably the game you could use to justify purchasing the system."
Commercially, the game would go on to become one of the best selling Sega Saturn games, with over 500,000 copies sold in Japan alone.
- "Saturn release dates". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2008-02-29.
- "game.com release dates". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2008-02-29.
- Michael Donahoe, "Forced Guests: Cameos that make us sceam 'Yessss!'" in Electronic Gaming Monthly 226 (March 2008): 34.
- "Ultimate Review Archive." Game Informer. Issue 100. August, 2001. Page 59. Original review published May 1997.
- "Fighters Megamix." Sega Saturn Magazine. Issue 20. June, 1997. Page 61.
- "Sega Saturn Japanese Ranking". 2008-12-30. Retrieved 2015-12-11.