|Streets of Rage|
|Developer: Sega CS, Ancient|
|System(s): Sega Mega Drive, Sega Master System, Sega Game Gear, Virtual Console, iOS, Steam|
|Peripherals supported: Gear-to-Gear Cable|
|Number of players:|
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. / punches and / jumps, and in mid-air, / 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 / will pick it up and, with subsequent / presses attacking with it. Pressing / and / 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 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 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.
|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.|
|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).|
|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.|
|Refills your life gauge a little|
|Completely fills your life gauge|
|Adds an extra life|
|Adds an extra special attack|
|Adds 1,000 score points|
|Adds 5,000 score points|
|Bottle is the most commonly found weapon. After the first hit it breaks, being then used to stab enemies.|
|It can be both used for stabbing or thrown at the enemies.|
|Useful for crowd control as it can hit many enemies with a single swing.|
|Very similar to lead pipe, just with a slightly shorter range.|
|Paralyzes the enemy for a short period.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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).|
|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)
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|Round 1 - City Street|
|Round 2 - Inner City|
|Round 3 - Beachfront|
|Round 4 - Bridge|
|Round 5 - Aboard Ship|
|Round 6 - Factory|
|Round 7 - Freight Elevator|
|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 Super NES 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.
|Sega Retro Average|
| Based on|
|Mega Drive, US (Sega Classic)|
| Mega Drive, US|
(Sega Classic; newer)
|Mega Drive, AU|
| Mega Drive, AU|
(Sega Gold Collection)
|Mega Drive, BR (red)|
|Sega Retro Average|
| Based on|
|Master System, AU|
|Sega Retro Average|
| Based on|
| Game Gear, EU|
(Classic Game Gear)
|Games in the Streets of Rage Series|
|Streets of Rage (1991) | Streets of Rage 2 (1992) | Streets of Rage 3 (1994)|
|Streets of Rage (1992) | Streets of Rage 2 (1993)|
|Streets of Rage (1993) | Streets of Rage II (1994)|
|Streets of Rage (1993)|
|Streets of Rage 2 (2007) | Sega Vintage Collection: Streets of Rage (2012)|
|Bare Knuckle Mobile (2010)|
|Streets of Rage 2 (2011)|
|3D Streets of Rage (2013) | 3D Streets of Rage 2 (2015)|
|Fighting Force (unreleased) | Streets of Rage 4 (unreleased)|
|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)|