While Sega continued milking the Virtua Fighter franchise, at the same time it started many attempts to branch out its fighting game portfolio. Sonic the Fighters allegedly resulted from a programmer putting Sonic in a Virtua Fighter test version as a gag, and the anime-inspired Last Bronx by AM3 pitted gang members in a dystopian Tokyo against each other.
Before all those, AM2 created the over-the-top Fighting Vipers, the only other Sega fighting game that should leave some kind of legacy in form of a sequel, and Fighters Megamix. Sega’s idea of a Dream Match, this game combines all the personnel from Virtua Fighter 2 and Fighting Vipers – and several other Sega characters as unlockables, like Janet from Virtua Cop 2, Rent-A-Hero, the Kids variants of Akira and Sarah, the unused Virtua Fighter 1 character Siba, and even a car from Daytona USA! – into the biggest fighting game roster of its time.
The game allows to switch its basic physics between Fighting Vipers and Virtua Fighter modes, but some attributes are limited to certain characters: Only the Fighting Vipers cast, for example, wears destructible armor for their protection. While the Virtua Fighter portion is mostly based on the second game, it also introduces the sidestep from Virtua Fighter 3, making this the mechanic’s first appearance on a home console. The characters also get some of their added moves from Virtua Fighter 3, and while the new characters from that game aren’t in, Janet’s fighting style is mostly borrowed from Aoi. All stages from Virtua Fighter 2 are in alongside the wall-enclosed Fighting Vipers arenas, but the ring outs are gone. Their place is filled by an infinite vastness of perfectly even floor in all directions.
Even more than Duke Nukem 3D and Mortal Kombat Trilogy, Fighters Megamix is one of the most “WTF?!”-ports to Tiger’s outdated-on-arrival monochrome handheld Game.com (but not quite as crazy as having Resident Evil 2 on there). It contains only 12 of the fighters (Akira, Pai, Jackie and Lion on the VF side, plus Siba and Kids Sarah as unlockables), somewhat defeating the purpose of a dream match title.