Streets of Rage

From Sega Retro


Sor title.png
Streets of Rage
Publisher: Sega
System(s): Sega Mega Drive, Sega Master System, Sega Game Gear, Virtual Console, iOS, Steam
Peripherals supported:
Sega Game Gear
Gear-to-Gear Cable
Genre: Action

Number of players:
Sega Mega Drive
Sega Game Gear
Sega Master System
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
1991-08-02 ¥6,000 G-4050
Sega Mega Drive
1991-07[1] $49.95[2] 1019
Sega Mega Drive
US (Classic)
1993 $?  ?
Sega Mega Drive
1991-10 £34.99[3][4] 1019
Sega Mega Drive
1991 $?  ?
Sega Mega Drive
199x $?  ?
Sega Mega Drive
AU (Gold)
199x $? FSTR13SMC
Sega Mega Drive
199x R$?  ?
Sega Mega Drive
199x ₩? GM4040JG

Sega Game Gear
¥3,500 G-3313
Sega Game Gear
$? 2417
Sega Game Gear
£26.99[6] 2417
Sega Game Gear
?F 2417
Sega Game Gear
DM 89,95[7] 2417
Sega Game Gear
?Ptas 2417
Sega Game Gear
R$? ?
Sega Game Gear
₩? GH2014JG

Sega Master System
£32.99[8] 9019
Sega Master System
?F 9019
Sega Master System
DM ? 9019
Sega Master System
?Ptas 9019
Sega Master System
R$? 028190
Sega Master System
₩? ?

Wii Virtual Console
600 pts ?
Wii Virtual Console
800 pts ?
Wii Virtual Console
800 pts ?

¥600[10] ?
$4.99[11][12] ?
€? ?

$2.99 ?
€1.99 ? ?

Streets of Rage, known as Bare Knuckle: Ikari no Tetsuken (ベア・ナックル 怒りの鉄拳) in Japan, is a beat 'em up video game released by Sega for the Sega Mega Drive in 1991, before subsequently arriving on the Sega Game Gear and Sega Master System. It was the first in Sega's then-flagship Streets of Rage series.


Streets of Rage takes place in a New York-inspired city that which has been taken over by an evil syndicate, headed by the evil Mr. X. Chaos ensues and out of it comes three brave ex-cops: Axel Stone, Blaze Fielding, and Adam Hunter. Together they are willing to risk everything including their own lives to free the city from the evil syndicate.

This city was once a happy, peaceful place...until one day, a powerful secret criminal organization took over. This vicious syndicate soon had control of the government and even the police force. The city has become a center of violence where no one is safe.

Amid this turmoil, group of young Police officers has sworn to clean up the city. Among them are Adam Hunter, Axel Stone, and Blaze Fielding. They are willing to risk anything...even their lives...on the...

Streets of Rage

— Opening sequence


Gameplay is typical for a beat-'em-up from the era, and shares many similarities to prior Sega game of this nature. B/1 punches and C/2 jumps, and in mid-air, B/1 causes the character to perform a jumping kick. For the most part, movement is two dimensional, however as was the standard for the time, players can walk into and out of the screen, creating a primitive "2.5" style of gameplay. Though it is possible to walk left, the screen will only scroll to the right in most circumstances, making extended backtracking an impossibility.

Like Final Fight, Streets of Rage has a primitive weapon system. If the player is standing over a weapon B/1 will pick it up and, with subsequent B/1 presses attacking with it. Pressing B/1 and C/2 together will trigger a rear attack, and it is possible for the player to grapple close range enemies without taking damage.

Similar to Golden Axe's magic spells, Streets of Rage assigns A to a special attack, which takes the form of a police car that fires a bazookas at enemies on-screen. In multiplayer games the effect is exacerbated for even greater damage. In the Master System version you must pause the game and press 1 to use the special attack, which makes it more complicated to use. Subsequent games would eliminate the police car, possibly in the interests of retaining gameplay flow, but also because the command is unusable in certain situations (such as the last round, where players find themselves on the top floor of a skyscraper indoors.


SoR Adam portrait.png Adam Hunter
Adam is a black 23 year old male who excels in boxing and is the powerhouse of the three. The downside however, is that he moves more slowly than the others, affecting his handling. Adam does not feature in the Game Gear version of the game.
SoR Axel portrait.png Axel Stone
Axel is a 22 year old white blond male who is skilled at martial arts and loves to play video games. The well rounded option, Axel is one of only two characters to appear in all three Streets of Rage games (the other one being Blaze Fielding).
SoR Blaze portrait.png Blaze Fielding
Blaze is a 21 year old white female, who enjoys lambada as a hobby and is a master at judo martial arts. Blaze is physically weaker than Axel and Adam, however is the fastest, and more appropriate choice for new players.


SoR MD Apple Sprite.png Apple
Refills your life gauge a little
SoR MD Beef Sprite.png Beef
Completely fills your life gauge
SoR MD 1UP Sprite.png 1UP
Adds an extra life
SoR MD Special Sprite.png Special
Adds an extra special attack
SoR MD CashBag Sprite.png Cash Bag
Adds 1,000 score points
SoR MD GoldBars Sprite.png Gold Bars
Adds 5,000 score points


SoR MD Bottle Sprite.png Bottle
Bottle is the most commonly found weapon. After the first hit it breaks, being then used to stab enemies.
SoR MD Knife Sprite.png Knife
It can be both used for stabbing or thrown at the enemies.
SoR MD LeadPipe Sprite.png Lead Pipe
Useful for crowd control as it can hit many enemies with a single swing.
SoR MD BaseballBat Sprite.png Baseball Bat
Very similar to lead pipe, just with a slightly shorter range.
SoR MD PepperShaker Sprite.png Pepper Shaker
Paralyzes the enemy for a short period.


SoR Galsia Sprite.png Garcia/Galsia
This is the first and most common punk encountered throughout the game. Galsia (the more accepted name, introduced in Streets of Rage 2) attacks the player frequently and sometimes has either knives or baseball bats to attack the player with. He has two different knife attacks; the notorious "charging" type in which he runs at players, and a more typical throwing type. The latter version will not drop knives even if you throw him and is more commonly encountered on higher difficulties. Galsia has returned in all of the Streets of Rage/Bare Knuckle games, becoming as iconic to many as some of the main characters.
SoR YSignal Sprite.png Y.Signal
A common enemy easily identifiable by colourful mohawks. Though Y.Signal will occasionally punch the player, he prefers to throw the player or perform sliding kicks to knock them off of their feet, both of which become more common when playing at a higher difficulty setting.
SoR Nora Sprite.png Nora
Nora is a female enemy who carries a whip. According to the Japanese manual, she works for questionable members-only clubs where everyone calls her queen. Nora uses her whip to hit and knock down the player, though if knocked down herself, some Nora enemies may get down on their hands and knees and will be invulnerable until they get up. Throwing Nora prevents her from doing this.
SoR HakuOh Sprite.png Haku-Oh
According to the Japanese manual, Haku-Oh is a student of the 4000 year old Chinese art of Shaolin Kung Fu. The character is a ruthlessness member of the syndicate who uses flying kicks on the player and well as having a habit of jumping from behind scenery in some stages (such as the boat in Round 5).
SoR Jack Sprite.png Jack
Jack is a Juggler who will juggle dangerous things such as hatchets or torches, throwing things at the player intermittently. An alternative type will only attack if the player stands still long enough. Walking into an armed Jack who will knock the player down. According to the Japanese manual, Jack works part time as a circus clown and despite being funny for a living, is quite strong. In prototype screenshots, his outfit is very different and he seems dressed similar to Galsia.

Memory restrictions mean that despite the existence of biographies, enemy characters are frequently recycled. This means that throughout the journey, the player will encounter, for example, multiple Garcias with identical clothing and stats.


(The following names come from the Japanese manual - only Mr. X is mentioned in the western releases)

SoR Antonio Sprite.png Antonio
Antonio is the boss of Round 1. As his name implies, he wields a large boomerang and can sometimes kick. Antonio also appears in Round 8.
SoR Souther Sprite.png Souther
Souther is the boss of Round 2. He has claws attached to his gloves and can lunge at the player from far away. He can also counter the players' flying kicks with a slashing attack that leaves after images (it is possible to hit him with a flying kick but difficult to do and not recommended). In Round 6, two Souther will appear as the boss. He also appears in Round 8. Souther's name is reused as an alternate name for a similar enemy encountered in Streets of Rage 2 named Zamza.
SoR Abadede Sprite.png Abadede
Abadede is the boss of Round 3. He is a muscular brute who can charge and punch from long distances. He also appears in Round 5, and Round 8.
SoR Bongo Sprite.png Bongo
Bongo is the boss of Round 4. He is a big-bellied fighter who can breath fire and walk quickly across the screen diagonally. A player will take damage if he or she attempts to throw him. He also appears in Round 6, and Round 8.
SoR OnihimeYasha Sprite.png Onihime and Yasha
Onihime and Yasha are twins. Because they attack together and are always jumping around, they can be difficult to defeat. Their most common attacks are kicking in midair and grappling. The sprites used for this boss are actually identical to Blaze's set, albeit with different colour palettes.
SoR MrX Sprite.png Mr. X
Mr.X is the final boss and head of the syndicate. He is the main antagonist throughout the series. Generally he carries around a machine gun when fighting or sits on his throne sicking goons on the player.


SoR MD Round1.png Round 1 - City Street
SoR MD Round4.png Round 2 - Inner City
SoR MD Round3.png Round 3 - Beachfront
SoR MD Round2.png Round 4 - Bridge
SoR MD Round5.png Round 5 - Aboard Ship
SoR MD Round6.png Round 6 - Factory
SoR MD Round7.png Round 7 - Freight Elevator
SoR MD Round8.png Round 8 - Syndicate Headquarters



Streets of Rage was developed by Sega as an answer to Capcom's highly rated arcade beat-'em-up, Final Fight (or more specifically, the Super Famicom version from December 1990, which despite cutbacks, was proving a hit in Japan). The fledgling Sega Mega Drive had several beat-'em-ups in its game library at the time (most notably the likes of Golden Axe and Alien Storm), but most were ports of old arcade games and weren't generating as much interest in the system as Sega would have liked. With Capcom choosing to favour Nintendo's machine over Sega's (for the time being at least), the company decided to create a brand new beat-'em-up game from scratch which would be exclusive to their console(s).

Streets of Rage was developed internally by Sega CS2, and was set to address features lacking in the SNES adaptation of Final Fight. Unlike its rival, Streets of Rage was able to provide three playable characters and two-player co-operative play, as well as being able to support more characters on screen.

The music for Streets of Rage was composed by Yuzo Koshiro, who had previously offered his talents for Revenge of Shinobi. Koshiro was influenced by electronic dance and club music, specifically of the techno and house varieties, and intended to be the first to introduce these sounds to video games. The final soundtrack also shows the influence of contemporary R&B and hip hop music - styles which in the late 1980s and early 1990s, were immensely popular, particularly in the western hemisphere.

Yuzo Koshiro claimed the most important element when recreating club music sounds for video games was to emulate the timbre and percussion sounds of rhythm machines, citing models by Roland Corporation (such as the TR-606, TR-707, TR-808, and TR-909). Music is one of the key elements of Streets of Rage, with Koshiro's soundtrack being widely praised by the press of the era and inspiring his subsequent Streets of Rage 2 and Streets of Rage 3 soundtracks.

Like its sequels, Streets of Rage's soundtrack was composed using a PC-8801 computer, alongside an original audio programming language developed by Yuzo Koshiro himself. "MML", or "Music Macro Language" is based on NEC's variant of the BASIC language, but is modified to involve elements from assembly code.

Master System and Game Gear versions of Streets of Rage were produced following the success of the Mega Drive original (curiously this game stands as one of the few occasions where the Master System port is entirely different to the Game Gear one, with different game assets). The Game Gear version lacks stages 2, 3 and 7, has only two characters (Adam is missing) and sports simpler graphics, while the Master System version omits two player co-operative support.


Streets of Rage's success led to the release of two major sequels, Streets of Rage 2 and Streets of Rage 3. Attempts at a "Streets of Rage 4" have been made, but none have yet surfaced as commercial products.

The game has been included in a multitude of compilations spanning two decades, and was also bundled with Mega Drive systems in North America and Europe. Of all these, the Sega Mega-CD version included in Sega Classics Arcade Collection is perhaps the most notable due to its inclusion of higher quality sound effects. Streets of Rage was also released for Mega-Tech and Mega Play arcade hardware and is available through several download services, including the Wii's Virtual Console, iOS and Steam. The iOS version is no longer available on iTunes as of 2015.


Streets of Rage was brought to the aging Sega Master System in 1993, though despite the need for less detailed, lower resolution graphics and simpler sound, the majority of the game remains in-tact. The Master System version does not, however, support two player co-operative play.

Some music tracks are shortened or are moved to different parts of the game. For example, the character selection music is now used in round 2, while the round 1 stage music is used when selecting a character.

Version history

System Version Size Date Comment Ref Icon
0000030000000000000000000000003.0 5.6MB 201212042012-12-04 [13]
0000020000000000000000000000002.0 4.8MB 201011222010-11-22 [14]
0000010000000000010000000000001.0.1 2.8MB 200908022009-08-02 [11]

Production credits

Mega Drive version

Game Gear version

  • Game Designed by: Abadede
  • Programmed by: Nag, AT1000, IK
  • Designed by: Abadede, Honey
  • Music by: Yuzo Koshiro, Mikito Ichikawa
  • Special Thanks to: Mul, Kei
  • Presented by: Sega 1992



Main article: Bare Knuckle (album).

Digital manuals

Magazine articles

Main article: Streets of Rage/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

GamePro US 029.pdf

Print advert in

GamePro (US) #29: "December 1991" (1991-xx-xx)

CVG UK 120.pdfCVG UK 120.pdf

Mega Drive print advert in

Computer & Video Games (UK) #120: "November 1991" (1991-10-15)

HobbyConsolas ES 002.pdf

Mega Drive print advert in

Hobby Consolas (ES) #2: "Noviembre 1991" (1991-xx-xx)


Physical scans

Mega Drive version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
88 №50, p96/97[15]
83 №11/91, p143
91 №1, p54/55[16]
93 №119, p54-56[3]
90 №25, p20[17]
90 №1993, p46[18]
90 №1998, p87
96 №27, p42[2]
60 №18
90 №2, p32/33[19]
90 №6, p36, 38[20]
95 №1, p28-30[21]
96 №19, p128/129
79 №1, p81[22]
89 №1, p64
92 №1, p80[23]
90 №12, p80-82[24]
83 №14, p54/55[25]
75 №10/91, p148
100 №23, p54
91 №26, p30/31
96 №6, p29[26]
93 №13, p23
90 №18, p67
91 №21, p39
Sega Mega Drive
Based on
25 reviews

Mega Drive, US
Sor md us cover.jpg
Sor md us cart.jpg
Sor md us manual.pdf
SoR MD US Cart Alt.jpg
Cart (alt)
Mega Drive, US (Sega Classic)
SoR MD US Box Classic VRC.jpg
SoR MD US Cart Alt.jpg
Mega Drive, US
(Sega Classic; newer)
SoR MD US Box Back SegaClassic.jpgNospine.pngSoR MD US Box SegaClassic.jpg
SoR MD US Cart Alt.jpg
Mega Drive, EU
Sor md eu cover.jpg
SoR MD EU Cart.jpg
Streets Of Rage Megadrive EU Manual.pdf
Mega Drive, JP
Sor md jp cover.jpg
StreetsofRage MD JP CartTop.jpg
SOR MD JP Cart.jpg
Sor md jp manual.pdf
Mega Drive, AU

Mega Drive, AU
(Sega Gold Collection)
SoR MD AU Box Gold.jpg
Mega Drive, BR
SoR MD BR Box.jpg
SoR MD BR Cart Top.jpg
SoR MD BR Cart.jpg
Sor md br manual.pdf
Mega Drive, BR (red)

Mega Drive, KR
SoR MD KR cover.jpg
SoR MD KR Cart.jpg
Mega Drive, CA
SoR MD CA Box.jpg

Master System version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
72 №21, p142/143[27]
74 №18, p98/99
78 №6/93, p106[28]
80 №2/60
63 №8, p56/57[29]
80 №32, p90/91
82 2003-03-16
81 №44, p28/29
80 №46, p101[30]
89 №19, p40/41
82 Sega Pro
81 №17, p32/33[31]
Sega Master System
Based on
12 reviews

Master System, EU
Sor ms eu cover.jpg
SOR SMS EU Cart.jpg
Master System, AU

Master System, BR
SoR SMS BR cover.jpg
SoR SMS BR Cart.jpg
Master System, KR
SoR SMS KR Box.jpg

Game Gear version

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
96 №4/93, p135[32]
85 №133 (Go!), p22/23[6]
80 №48, p34
80 №1998, p90
88 №48, p134[33]
91 №16, p150
80 №2, p82/83[34]
25 №29, p116[35]
83 №38, p78
86 №18, p63
85 №4, p18
81 №12, p78/79[36]
Sega Game Gear
Based on
14 reviews

Game Gear, US
SoR GG US Box Back.jpgNospine.pngSor gg us cover.jpg
Sor gg us cart.jpg
Streets of Rage GG US Manual.pdf
Game Gear, EU
SoR GG EU Box Back.jpgNospine.pngSor gg eu cover.jpg
Sor gg us cart.jpg
Game Gear, EU
(Classic Game Gear)
SoR GG EU Box Back Classic.jpgNospine.pngSoR GG EU Box Front Classic.jpg
Sor gg us cart.jpg
Game Gear, JP
SOR GG JP Box Back.jpgNospine-small.pngSor gg jp cover.jpg
SOR GG JP Cart.jpg
Bare Knuckle GG JP Manual.pdf
Game Gear, BR

SoR GG BR Cart.jpg
Game Gear, KR
SoR GG KR Box Front.jpg

External links


  1. File:EGM US 024.pdf, page 108
  2. 2.0 2.1 File:GamePro US 027.pdf, page 60
  3. 3.0 3.1 File:CVG UK 119.pdf, page 54
  4. File:CVG UK 120.pdf, page 83
  5. File:SegaVisions US 10.pdf, page 93
  6. 6.0 6.1 File:Go UK 14.pdf, page 22
  7. 7.0 7.1 File:SegaPro DE 06.pdf, page 55
  8. File:SegaForce UK 17.pdf, page 33
  9. File:GamesMaster UK 006.pdf, page 18
  10. 10.0 10.1 (archived: 2010-02-03 07:34)
  11. 11.0 11.1 (archived: 2010-02-17 22:20)
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2
  13. (archived: 2014-08-03 05:06)
  14. (archived: 2011-02-14 14:02)
  15. File:ACE UK 50.pdf, page 96
  16. File:ConsolesPlus FR 001.pdf, page 52
  17. File:EGM US 025.pdf, page 20
  18. File:EGM US BuyersGuide 1993.pdf, page 46
  19. File:HobbyConsolas ES 002.pdf, page 32
  20. File:HobbyConsolas ES 006.pdf, page 36
  21. File:Joypad FR 001.pdf, page 28
  22. File:MDAG UK 01.pdf, page 81
  23. File:MegaTech UK 01.pdf, page 80
  24. File:MeanMachines UK 12.pdf, page 80
  25. File:PlayerOne FR 014.pdf, page 54
  26. File:SegaPro UK 06.pdf, page 29
  27. File:ConsolesPlus FR 021.pdf, page 130
  28. File:MegaFun DE 1993-06.pdf, page 90
  29. File:MeanMachinesSega08UK.pdf, page 56
  30. File:SegaPower UK 46.pdf, page 101
  31. File:SegaForce UK 17.pdf, page 32
  32. File:ASM DE 1993-04.pdf, page 137
  33. File:GamePro US 048.pdf, page 128
  34. File:MeanMachinesSega02UK.pdf, page 82
  35. File:PlayerOne FR 029.pdf, page 108
  36. File:SegaForce UK 12.pdf, page 78

Games in the Streets of Rage Series
Sega Mega Drive
Streets of Rage (1991) | Streets of Rage 2 (1992) | Streets of Rage 3 (1994)
Sega Game Gear
Streets of Rage (1992) | Streets of Rage 2 (1993)
Sega Master System
Streets of Rage (1993) | Streets of Rage II (1994)
LCD handheld game
Streets of Rage (1993)
Xbox Live Arcade
Streets of Rage 2 (2007) | Sega Vintage Collection: Streets of Rage (2012)
Windows Mobile 6
Bare Knuckle Mobile (2010)
PlayStation 3 PlayStation Network
Streets of Rage 2 (2011)
Nintendo 3DS
3D Streets of Rage (2013) | 3D Streets of Rage 2 (2015)
Related Games
Fighting Force (unreleased) | Streets of Rage 4 (unreleased)
Related Media
Bare Knuckle (1991) | Streets of Rage 2 Original Soundtrack (1993/2000) | Bare Knuckle III (1994) | Bare Knuckle Original Soundtrack (2012) | Streets of Rage (2015) | Streets of Rage 2 (2016)
Streets of Rage: Bad City Fighters (1994)