Fighters Megamix has a good number of secret characters and options, but trawl the vast internet and the myriad ways of unlocking these things (mostly the secret options) is enough to confuse anyone. What works? What doesn't? Is there anyone aside from myself who really gives a shit? Probably not. But, having scoured the internet for all the supposed unlocking methods (Hyper Mode and Survival Stage in particular are notorious for being incorrectly documented), I've tested them all and so, for you dear reader, here's the full list of unlockables in Fighters Megamix, and the right way to get them all. Enjoy. Or, if you prefer, click here for a convenient chart detailing everything. Just as a warning, if you're playing this game for the first time, skip down to the Misc. Secrets section first otherwise you might miss something cool!
Most of these are relatively obvious, as they mostly involve beating each Course for the first time.
In lieu of in-game screenshots, we've got actual pictures of the characters. Isn't that lovely, hmm?
Before we start though, one thing to clear up- Pepsiman is not an unlockable character in any version of Fighters Megamix.
To Unlock: Beat Course A - Novice Trial
Just like the extra Honey costumes from Fighting Vipers, this costume has no name. It's usually referred to as Schoolgirl Honey, but after years of playing Japanese fighting games, I have the ability to spot a Japanese schoolgirl costume from 200 yards away. This is not one of them. So! We're calling this one Harajuku Honey for two reasons. First, this costume is almost certainly based on the fashion of Harajuku Station (wiki that shit here or just get an illustrated example here oh god how do i know all this). The second reason is because I like alliteration. Anyway, Harajuku Honey is just a different costume you can get by selecting Honey with X (red with black hair) or Z (blue with yellow hair) and she has no extra moves.
Kids Akira & Kids Sarah
To Unlock: Beat Course B - Virtua Fighter
Although you only fight Kids Akira at the end of this course, you get Kids Sarah as a bonus (you fight her in the Secrets course later) and both of them are just as you'd expect- Akira and Sarah with big heads and tiny little bodies. They even have the same moves. The difference, of course, is that because they're so short, they're slower when running (they've only got short legs, after all) and their reach is absolutely pathetic- you have to be right next to your opponent to even have a chance of hitting them. Good for novelty purposes, but fairly useless, although beating people with either of these two is quite a party trick if you can pull it off. Kids Akira has the same stage as his VF Kids appearance, while Kids Sarah has Sarah's stage from the first VF, a neon night stage with added walls that flash "MEGAMIX".
To Unlock: Beat Course C - Vipers
Poor show, Vipers. Poor show. Admittedly, it'd be difficult to think of another Viper-related secret character (Pepsiman never had a chance of showing up in this game, sadly) but URA Bahn is nothing more than an alternate take on Bahn. He has only a handful of new moves, some of which are useful (his P+K roundhouse punch breaks armour and knocks the enemy down, and his back+P+G neck-throw is good) and one of which is a good example of missing the point- he gains Akira's Stun Palm technique. The thing about the Stun Palm is that you can follow it up with something else to put the hurt on your opponent, but URA Bahn can't do this at all. Rendering it pointless. Aside from that, he has a darker costume and different intro/victory poses, so it's a bit like the clones situation in Smash Bros.- they can be used in mostly the same way, they're just different. His stage is the outskirts of Old Armstone Town (seen in Bahn/Sanman's stage) and, since it's outside, there are no walls.
To Unlock: Beat Course D - Girls
Janet isn't in this game to please Virtua Cop 2 fans, oh no- she's here for the Virtua Fighter crowd. She may be a cop from the tough streets of Virtua City, but her fighting style comes from Kyoto, as she inherits nearly all her moves from Aoi Umenokouji, a character introduced in Virtua Fighter 3. Well, there's at least one move that Aoi didn't have, and we all know what that is! Yes, Janet's pistol (back, forward, P+K) acts as a projectile, and if you do it three times in a row, you'll hear the classic "RELOAD!" soundbite from Virtua Cop (and if you keep doing it, she will indeed reload!) The problem, of course, is that against a fairly competent opponent, you'll never get it to work. Feel free to abuse it against the computer players, though! Her stage is the warehouse level from the first Virtua Cop (walled) with a remix of the music from the first mission of Virtua Cop 2.
Bark the Polarbear & Bean the Dynamite
To Unlock: Beat Course E - Muscle
This is the ultimate 'fuck you' to Sonic fans, as Bean and Bark hail from Sonic the Fighters/Sonic Championship, a game that would never see a home console release until Sonic Gems Collection on the PS2/Gamecube. A Saturn port was promised, but never happened. This is as close as you're gonna get on the Saturn, folks! To rub salt into the wound, while these two are, uh, 'interesting', they're a wee bit crippled in certain ways. Bean may have bombs, a sick teleport move (double-tap down and P+K+G) and his alternate costume is Bin from Dynamite Dux, but he does minimal damage to everyone else in the game. Bark, on the other hand, is powerful and slow, but his movements seem quite glitchy and unfinished (after his standard punch, he'll 'teleport' a step backwards). Finally, neither of them can grab any characters except themselves and the Virtua Fighter Kids. They're a nice novelty, but little else. Naturally, both characters take stages from Sonic the Fighters- Bean gets the South Island stage (walled), and Bark gets the Aurora Icefield stage (no walls) with the music from Flying Carpet, which actually suits it better.
To Unlock: Beat Course F - Smart Guys
Rent-a-Hero (or Taro Yamada as he's known without his armour) is unique among the cast here, as he's the only one to appear from a game pre-1993, and he seems to get a little more attention to detail compared to the rest of the cast. It's mostly the remix of the Rent-a-Hero theme music and the use of cleaned-up voice samples from the original game that lead me to this conclusion. Maybe they felt bad for him. Anyway, he was the star of a Japan-only Mega Drive RPG with a comedic slant- the first person you fight is Taro's dad who's dressed up as Godzilla- where he fights crime to pay for his power armour. In Fighters Megamix, he's still fighting, and even has a cheap-but-avoidable ground fireball (quarter-circle forward and P- feel free to abuse this in Survival Mode) but that suit of his runs off batteries, which are above his health bar. If his batteries run out or his armour gets destroyed, he's Taro Yamada again and loses all but a handful of his moves. His stage is Chicago from VF2, but it'll only play his theme music if he's present. His song is also the only one to not restart at the beginning of the next round.
To Unlock: Beat Course G - Dirty Fighters
Unless you count URA Bahn, Deku is the sole 'original' character of Fighters Megamix and he's certainly, uh, something. I wish I knew what, exactly. Sure, it can be inferred he's a Mexican jumping bean (the sombrero and maraca he holds are big hints, chief, but then again, his hat hides either a bird or a Saturn logo, as you can see, so how does that factor into it?) but precisely what he is and, more importantly, why he exists is a mystery. He's also pretty much useless- his attacks are very slow and have pathetic range, and his sole trump card is a powerful kick that lands him on his back and actually injures him- I think this is the only self-harming character in the game! However, if you want to creep your opponent our, then Deku is the thing (?!) for the job. His stage isn't too exciting- it's just the training stage, but this explains why Deku will randomly replace Balls when you go to the proper Training Mode (at least, before you can change the training dummy yourself).
To Unlock: Beat Course H - Bosses
Now this is going above and beyond the call of duty to appeal to Virtua Fighter fans. Some VF machines had stickers on them showing the cast, but the character labelled Akira wasn't Akira at all- he was Siba (or Shiba, if you prefer), a character who was scrapped during development. You can find more info here about the history of this (and several other odd name changes made to the original Virtua Fighter) but the point is that Siba is a character we were never meant to play as. In his new Fighters Megamix guise, Siba is a pretty powerful character, mostly because of that gigantic sword of his- like Raxel's guitar, use it too much and the enemy can break it, but you'll do so much damage with this thing (if it hits!) that it'll hardly matter. His stage is Wolf's desert stage from Virtua Fighter 3 (no walls) with the VF3 attract music in the background.
To Unlock: Beat Course I - Secret
If this game wasn't confirmed as AM2 trolling the entire Virtua Fighter community by now, then here you go. Hornet is a car. He is a car that fights. He literally gets on his hind legs (tyres?) and tries to beat the shit out of people, failing miserably in the process. Because he has no arms, his reach is pretty lousy and he really doesn't have many moves (although his throw sees him grabbing his enemy and shoving a spinning tyre into their face) but things improve if you decide to shed his armour (available in any mode with Back+P+G)- he gains a few moves from Bahn and Akira, at the cost of having a health-bar made of wet paper. His stage is the Three-Seven Speedway from Daytona USA, complete with rolllliiiing staaaaaaart... Otherwise known as 'The King of Speed'. You know which song I'm talking about.
Mr. Meat & Palm Tree
To Unlock Mr. Meat: Switch the game on 30 times
To Unlock Palm Tree: Play the game for 84 hours.
If Hornet didn't spell it out clearly enough, here's the real evidence that AM2 were dicking around with this game. Mr. Meat and Palm Tree are simply alternate costumes for Kumachan, and both are a bit of a chore to unlock. Mr. Meat is easy enough- just make sure you get to the main menu before switching your Saturn off and on again, and when the Power On count in Book Keep gets to 30, play as him by selecting Kumachan with X. As his name suggests, he's a giant piece of meat with no apparent game origin (some people say that he's a reference to the meat you pick up in Golden Axe, but this is what's known as 'grasping at straws'.) Palm Tree, on the other hand, is a much more painful endeavour. 84 hours! While you could potentially rack up the majority of the time required by clearing every course with every character, your best bet is to leave the game idle in Vs. Mode with infinite time on for a while- I wouldn't leave your Saturn on overnight though, as it might take its toll on its life-expectancy- and you'll get this entirely pointless extra costume by picking Kumachan with Z. It's just the AM2 logo palm tree and he has such bizarre collision detection and movement animation that, even though he has the same moves as Kumachan/Sanman, you might as well be playing as a jumble of polygons.
To Unlock: N/A
There's a few extra costumes for some characters that don't require unlocking, but they're not documented either so it's easy to miss them. First, all of the Fighting Vipers (except Kumachan, Honey and Mahler) have three costumes, with A being their original 1P colours, C being a new set of colours just for Fighters Megamix, and X being the original 2P colours. Additionally, Siba has a special, super-blocky Virtua Fighter 1 costume that you can use by picking him with X. If you want to see every costume for every character in the game, then click here.
As with Fighting Vipers, you can unlock more options. How do you do it? Well, just listen...
To Unlock: Complete any Course.
Hidden in the normal Options menu, Extra Options are, as the name implies, extra options that you can unlock. The first time you unlock it, you'll find the following options unlocked: BGM (switch the music on/off- switching it off also removes the rare bit of slowdown you'll encounter in-game), Ending BGM (listen to the ending music for each course once you beat them), Portrait (explained here) and Book Keep (you can look at records such as Training Mode OK count, hours played, all-clear characters, etc.). Five of the options are locked away initially, and just like Fighting Vipers, the requirements aren't very well-documented on the rest of the internet. Allow Gaming Hell to illuminate your path. In the order they appear on the Extra Options menu, here they are:
1P/2P No Damage
To Unlock: Play 500 matches in any mode.
This one's just monotonous. 500 rounds is a tall order, and so the best way to do it (aside from finding a very understanding friend to play with you a lot) is to grab a second controller and get ready to press buttons. Start Vs. Mode, set the round number to 1 and the time limit to 10, and mash on the C button for a while. If that sounds like boredom incarnate, you can just mash the C button on both controllers with your feet while doing something else. I actually had to do this while emulating the game to get the completed game file, because if I'm not suffering while researching for this site, I'm not doing it right! Why you'd want to put this option on is beyond me, but one thing to bear in mind is that you won't be able to put your name on the records page for 1-player mode if you use it.
To Unlock: Play 100 matches in any mode.
There's about a dozen different ways of unlocking this option listed on the vast internet- beat Team Battle Mode against the computer, beat 11 characters in Survival Mode, clear every course with one character... Most of these don't work. There is but one way that's been confirmed without a doubt, and that is to play 100 matches in any mode. Do this (either via legitimate means or just playing a lot in 2-player mode as described above) and Hyper Mode is yours. Switching this on simulates the Hyper Mode from Fighting Vipers, which basically translates into removing the recovery time between certain moves, letting you string combos together that aren't normally possible. However, as far as I can tell, the Back + P + K move present in FV that lets you rip your armour off doesn't work here.
To Unlock: Beat every course and get 500 OKs in Training Mode.
The Training Mode is a streamlined version of the one found in Fighting Vipers- successfully perform a move and you'll move straight on to the next one, moves that require the enemy to do something (reversals, mid-air throws) have the computer performing the action automatically, etc.- and naturally, a few unlockables are tied to the OK count. If you're only willing to do the bare minimum, then 500 OKs is roughly seven characters worth of moves. However, that counts as pussing out- play as every character in Training Mode so you know how to play well! The Training Enemy option allows you to select which character you get to beat up (including the standard Balls dummy), but be warned that some characters (the Kids and Bean & Bark in particular) won't be totally suitable for training on.
To Unlock: Get over 4 wins in 3 Minute Survival, over 6 wins in 7 Minute Survival, and over 11 wins in 15 Minute Survival, but survive until the end!
OR fight every character in Survival Mode, maybe?
This- an option to select what stage you play Survival Mode on (walled arenas only, chaps)- is the reason I wrote this guide. The one option that seemingly unlocks when it damn well feels like it. Not any more! For this one, you need to get at least the required number of wins in each Survival Mode as listed above, but the important thing is that you don't get knocked out- you don't have to do this at the same time as beating the record, but at least once, you need to get through each Survival Mode and still be alive when the timer runs out. This is the single detail that every cheat website misses out! For the 3 and 7 minute modes this is pretty easy, but the 15 minute mode might be taxing for some. There's a sneaky way out, though- pick a relatively fast character (I've got this trick to work with Honey and Janet) and play as normal until you get to Shun. Here, constantly jump over the old crone and make your way to the opposite end of the arena, preferably just as he starts a combo. If you're fast enough, you'll confuse him, and rather than turn around and chase after you, he'll stand perfectly still. As long as you don't move any closer, he'll stay that way. At this point, go make yourself a nice cup of tea, then wait until the timer starts to get close to the 3 minute mark. When that happens, wail on the old codger and continue until you run out of time- Shun is always the fourth character you fight, so that should give you enough to beat up seven more characters if you want to beat the record while you're here.
There is another possibility, however. If that doesn't work for you, then play 15 Minute Survival and encounter every character. There's 32 in total, so you'll need to either pick a character you're very, very comfortable with, or pick Janet or Rent-a-Hero and spam their projectiles (Back-Forward and P+G for Janet, Quarter-Circle Forward and P for Rent-a-Hero) until your thumbs are numb. Janet is probably the better choice, as while Rent-a-Hero is powerful, if he loses his armour, he's screwed. I'm not 100% sure if this is necessary, but every time I've unlocked this option, I've done this task beforehand. Only do it if you've done the first method and you've had no joy.
Hilariously, the option this unlocks is almost completely worthless, and you'll never play Survival Mode afterwards.
There's a couple of other weird cheats in Fighters Megamix- here they are, for your perusal.
To Unlock: Beat every course except Course I, and get over 1000 OKs in Training Mode. On the Course Select screen, highlight Course I and press L.
Probably the most infuriating unlockable, once you beat Course I and unlock Hornet, you lose your chance to play this mini-game. Hopefully, you were paying attention at the top of this page. If you weren't, then delete your save file and start again. Getting 1000 OKs in Training Mode isn't as bad as it sounds- if we assume there's 1 or 2 moves that you can't pull off on each character's moves list, then OKing as many as you can nets you about 70 moves per character, so clearing one 'side' (Virtua Fighter or Fighting Vipers) and then two other characters from the opposite 'side' should be enough. Besides, it's good practice.
Anyway, once you've got that done and Course I is ready to select, press L and you'll be taken to the screen above. Lots of question marks! In case the name doesn't make it obvious, this is a simple matching game- pick two question marks; if they're the same character, they're taken off the board, repeat until the board is cleared. When that happens, you'll be shown the picture of Janet that appears at the end of Course D, and you play again. Beat it a second time to get the same picture but with Janet missing her body armour, and you play again. Beat it a third time and you'll get the same picture, but with Janet showing a bit more leg this time, and you'll play again... From here on, the game repeats endlessly, showing the same pictures. The only way out is to reset, and these pictures will never be added to your Portrait Gallery. Good thing Gaming Hell is on the case, eh?
After Burner Cameo
To Unlock: Hold down X on both controllers before a match on B.M.'s stage begins.
It's the plane from After Burner for absolutely no reason! Yay! This works in any mode, by the way.
To Unlock: Play a match on B.M.'s stage with either player as Pandachan.
This is just as strange as it appears. Probably a nod to the 'replace B.M. with Pandachan in FV's intro' secret.
Ack, Pandachan scares me.
(Credit goes to Liam Ashcroft, who pointed out the After Burner trick posted here was wrong)
Training Mode Secrets
To Unlock: N/A
If the Training Mode music is starting to grate a little (as it should, because it's not the great Fighting Vipers Training Mode music), then you can change it. While you're looking at the move list, press the L and R buttons to cycle through the music, or press B to switch it off entirely. Also, before you unlock the Training Enemy option, the Ball dummy will sometimes be replaced with Deku.
Japanese Version Differences
Unlike Fighting Vipers, the differences between the Japanese and Western versions are pretty negligible. Barring three of the Portrait Gallery images being changed for less risqué ones in the American release and the obvious Honey/Candy change, the only major change is to one of the songs. Originally, Rent-a-Hero's theme song had vocals in Japanese- that's why, unlike every other song in the game, it doesn't cut off at the start of every new round, so you can hear all the lyrics. This is presumably why Rent-a-Hero's Portrait pic has Japanese writing on it in the Japanese version- it's giving you the name of the song (Can You Become a Rent-a-Hero for Mankind's Sake?) and the singer (Takenobu Mitsuyoshi, of course). However, in both the US and PAL versions, it was replaced with an instrumental version. We'll let you be the judge as to whether this was a change for the better.
Now you know, and knowing is half the yadda yadda yadda go back to the guide.