Welcome to the world of Masters of Combat, a rare gem in the realm of fighting games developed by Sega Enterprises in 1993.
This game, known for its exceptional graphics and gameplay, features four unique characters, including a selectable boss. Despite its modest 2-megabit size for the Sega Master System, it packs a punch with a range of moves including dodges, dashes, and even special attacks, all controlled with just two buttons.
The Enigmatic Tale of Megalo City
In the outskirts of Megalo City, panic ensues as a UFO crashes. The police and even the military investigate, but find nothing. The mayor, however, ventures alone to the crash site and returns with an odd declaration – if a UFO did land on Earth, it certainly wasn’t in his jurisdiction.
The incident fades from memory for everyone but the mayor, who starts exhibiting peculiar behavior. A year later, he organizes a contest to find the Earth’s finest fighter, promising a “spectacular something” as the prize.
You’ll choose among the four top fighters from the four corners of the world: Hayate, Gonzales, Highvoltman, and Wingberger, all showcasing their skills in pursuit of the mysterious reward.
Characters and Gameplay of Masters of Combat
Hayate (the ninja)
Hayate is the swiftest of the characters, boasting an array of moves and variations. His Flash Kicks reach across the screen to strike the opponent wherever they are. He’s the only one capable of doubling up on magic, sending two shurikens simultaneously.
Additionally, he can wall hop and perform a surprise downward strike. However, his attacks are the weakest, and he has the poorest defense in the game. It’s nearly impossible for him to evade Wingberger’s Dodge Jump or the Alien’s aerial assaults.
Gonzales (the powerhouse)
Gonzales possesses the most potent isolated strikes (punch, kick, sweep). His Cannonball Kick is deceptive, as it forces opponents to defend high or low depending on the distance, making it a reliable hit.
He also has throws that send the adversary flying. However, his jumping ability is the worst. Playing as him can be tough if your final opponents are Hayate or Highvoltman, as his speed and jump height (in that order) leave much to be desired.
The shockwave magic doesn’t help much either, being a slow-to-cast ground spell, though it does serve as a surprise element.
Highvoltman (the generic Sagat)
Highvoltman is the sole character with high and low magic attacks. While they don’t deal much damage, they prove to be highly disruptive, disarming jumps, sweeps, special moves – everything! His Highvolt Kick is the only move of its kind (similar to a “shoryuken”) that covers 60% of the screen.
He also has the Hop, in addition to a superior flying kick compared to Hayate. His drawback lies in his slowness, and being quite large, he’s an easy target. The High Volt Hammer is the shortest-range special move, necessitating close proximity to the opponent, which carries the risk of a counterattack.
Wingberger (the cyborg)
Wingberger excels in evading attacks. When downed in a corner, he can swiftly rise with a throw at the opponent. His “Leg” strikes reach the adversary from a distance, thanks to his extendable legs.
The special move, Powerful Shot, is the only one that covers the entire screen, hitting both jumpers and slower players. The catch is that he becomes vulnerable after executing this move, as he falls to the ground.
If the opponent dodged, a blow is almost guaranteed. Apart from this special move, he has no magic that spans the entire screen, necessitating a more closed combat style.
His Aerial Double Kick is the only move of its kind that goes straight up, rather than forward like the others, reducing its attack range.
Masters of Combat Pro Tips
It’s possible to play as the final boss of the game, the notorious “The Alien”. Simply finish the game on Normal or Hard difficulty, go back to the options menu, and select the EXTRA or NO WAIT FOR NTSC difficulty level.
Play Masters of Combat online
Now you can enjoy Masters of Combat online, fully playable in a web browser!