Streets of Rage 3

From Sega Retro


Streets of rage 3 title.png
Streets of Rage 3
SoR3 iOS icon.png
System(s): Sega Mega Drive, Virtual Console, iOS, Steam
Sound driver:
Sega Mega Drive
Ancient Music Driver MD
Peripherals supported: Six Button Control Pad
Genre: Action

Number of players: 1-2
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
¥7,800 G-4116
Sega Mega Drive
$? 1539
Sega Mega Drive
£59.99More...[1] 1539
Sega Mega Drive
?F 1539
Sega Mega Drive
DM 150 1539
Sega Mega Drive
?Ptas 1539
Sega Mega Drive
$129.95More...[3] FSTR02SMC
Sega Mega Drive
R$? 047060
Sega Mega Drive
? G-4116
Sega Mega Drive
₩? GM94005JG

Wii Virtual Console
Wii Virtual Console
Everyone 10+
Wii Virtual Console
Wii Virtual Console
$2.99[11] 9+
€2.39[10] 9+
$2.99[13] 211206
€2.49[13] 211206
£1.99[13] 211206
$3.49[13] 211206

Streets of Rage 3, called Bare Knuckle III (ベアナックルIII) in Japan, is a side-scrolling beat 'em up released by Sega in 1994 for the Sega Mega Drive. It is third and final part of the Streets of Rage trilogy, and a direct sequel to Streets of Rage 2.


City of Wood Oak recently experienced a catalysmic event. An experimental weapon called "Rakushin" detonated in the city's suburbs, causing the deaths of 30000 people and wounded 80000 more. Alarmed with this terrifying event, Police Department assigns two of their top detectives, Axel Stone and Blaze Fielding, two of the heroes who saved the city in the past, to investigate the incident and bring those responsible to justice.

Meanwhile, tension rises in the Lima Region, inhabited by a number of nations looking for an excuse to start a war. One of the representatives of the Lima countries, General Ivan Petrov has been invited to the White House for peace talks but now he is reported missing.

Soon after these events, Axel and Blaze were contacted by a mysterious man named Gilbert Zan, who claims to be the man who invented the Rakushin. Zan claims that his research is being used by the powers who intend to use it for destructive purposes. But can he be trusted?

Is the horrible attack that took place in Wood Oak City somehow connected to the conflict brewing in Lima? Why General Petrov is missing? Timing is very suspicious. Is someone using the Wood Oak City as a testing ground for their new weapons? Are Lima countries potential buyers?

Too many questions, too little time. Every second wasted brings the city one step closer to disaster. Lives of the citizens under your protection, and possibly, millions of others are hanging in balance.

Bring the situation under control.


Streets of Rage 3 aimed to build on the success of its predecessor, so while the style of gameplay and control scheme is largely identical to its predecessors, significant changes were made to the overall structure of the game. Streets of Rage 3 is a faster paced release with longer levels, a more complex plot (which in turn leads to more in-depth scenarios complete with interactive levels and multiple endings) and the return of traps such as pits. Dash and dodge moves were added to each character's arsenal of moves, and weapons can now only be used for a few times before breaking.

Changes to the fighting mechanics allows for the integration of weapons with certain movesets. Team attacks, absent from Streets of Rage 2 but available in the original Streets of Rage, make a return, and are occasionally used by enemies too. Blitz moves, performed while running, have also been altered and are now upgradable over the course of the game (predicated on how many points are earned per level). Death causes a downgrade, however holding the X button before a series of button combinations can give players access to the upgraded moveset at any point in the game, at the expense of the time taken to perform attacks.

Enemies are also smarter with weapons, and some can even steal health upgrades, and there are also several secret playable characters, unlockable after overcoming certain conditions during the game. Special moves also no longer drain the user's health - a separate, automatically regenerating bar is introduced for this purpose.

Either by design choice or oversight, back attacks (Z button or B+C button) give a very high amount of score in relation to the damage they do. Score focused gameplay therefore focuses on (ideally only consist of) back attacks. This is different from the prequel, where throws gave the highest amount of score.

Playable characters

Axel Stone
Occupation: Police Detective - Special Investigations Division, Karate Master

Age: 23

Height: 1.83cm

Weight: 75kg

Power: 3

Technique: 2

Speed: 2

Jump: 1

Reach: 2

Blaze Fielding
Occupation: Police Detective - Special Investigations Division, Judoka

Age: 22

Height: 1.67cm

Weight: (Don't ask)

Power: 2

Technique: 3

Speed: 2

Jump: 2

Reach: 1

Eddie "Sammy / Skate" Hunter
Occupation: High School Student

Age: 14

Height: 1.47cm

Weight: 40kg

Power: 1

Technique: 2

Speed: 3

Jump: 3

Reach: 1

Dr. Gilbert Zan
Occupation: Former Military Scientist, Syndicate Defector, Cyborg

Age: ??

Height: 201cm

Weight: 151kg

Power: 3

Technique: 2

Speed: 1

Jump: 1

Reach: 3

Occupation: Pet Kangroo


Height: 1.61cm

Weight: 76kg

Shiva (Cheat only, Non-Canon)
Occupation: Syndicate Member, Psychopath

Age: ??

Ash (Cheat only, Non-Canon)
Occupation: Syndicate Member and overall fabulous person

Age: ??


SoR3 MD US Stage1.png
Stage 1: South Pier Warehouse
You barely stopped the second bomb from exploding but there is still a lot of work to do. Fight through warehouse, waterfront and fight back a "fabulous" new enemy. Your nemesis Shiva is waiting for you at the end of the level.
SoR3 MD US Stage2.png
Stage 2: Downtown
Go through the most dangerous parts of the city during the night time and reach the Atlas Disco. Your old "friends", Onihime and Yasha is back for a rematch, this time wearing their own original attire.
Stage 3: District K Construction Site
Axel is framed for the kidnapping of General Petrov, but at least you have a lead. Reach the top of the building under construction. At the end, you will find out that Syndicate's robotic technologies are much more advanced than you imagined.
Stage 4: Underground Entrance
Only way to find General Petrov is to go through the secret underground path Syndicate uses as a supply route. Watch out for small automated wagons that will pass through the area. At the end of the level, a trio of ninja mercenaries will try to stop you from reaching your target.
Stage 5: Mr. X's Skyscraper
You are only few steps away from rescuing General Petrov. Fight back waves of enemies and face off Mr.X. Be careful for last minute surprises from the criminal mastermind.
Stage 6: Prison
Time is running out. You must locate and destroy two switchboards that power up the barriers denying access to General Petrov's cell. First switchboard is located in the cell 3 in the middle floor, while other one is located in the cell 2 in the lowest floor. Quickly reach Petrov who is located in the middle floor. Hurry up! Poisonous Gas will be released soon.
Stage 7A: Syndicate Hideout
You are almost at the end. Enter the abandoned factory in the Green Leaf district and "retire" Mr.X's robot army. Mr.X is waiting for you at the end with his state of the art prototype combat robot.
Stage 7B: White House/City Hall
If you fail to save Petrov, this is where you will end up. Mr.X may have gotten away but at least you can still prevent Syndicate from starting a war that will claim the lives of millions. Find and arrest Petrov's impostor.



Prototype screenshots show that at one point, a motorcycle stage was planned for Streets of Rage 3, with some leftover code being present in the final game ROM. It is unknown why this feature was axed.

In comparison to its predecessors, Streets of Rage 3 takes a radically different approach to its soundtrack. Though still composed by Yuzo Koshiro, it is heavily influenced by Detroit's hard techno scene, popular in Tokyo dance clubs of the time. The soundtrack gathered a mixed reception in 1994, though is retrospectively considered by many to have been ahead of its time, containing elements similar to the "trance" era of dance music which would grow in popularity in the coming months and years.

Koshiro developed a composition system for this game, called the "Automated Composing System". Using features such as a random note generator (programmed in C++) , the soundtrack has a much more experimental tone, particularly noticeable in tracks such as "Bulldozer", whose composition is almost entirely randomised.

Like its predecessor, Motohiro Kawashima also contributed to the game's soundtrack.

There are several inside jokes in the game. In the overseas versions, Axel screams "Bare Knuckle" during his blitz (running attack). Bare Knuckle is the original japanese name of the Street of Rage.

Boss of the 4th level, Yamato yells "Mijin" when defeated and blows himself to pieces. This is a reference to a ninja magic in Revenge of the Shinobi and Shinobi III, which has same animation and name. Unlike its Shinobi version, Yamato's Mijin does not help him to defeat the heroes.


Streets of Rage 3 is a controversial game among many thanks to Sega of America's heavy-handed localisation policies of the era. Unlike previous releases, the differences between Bare Knuckle III and Streets of Rage 3 are extremely obvious, involving the removal of features, a vastly different story (riddled in plotholes and missing scenes) and a higher level of difficulty (made worse by the fact that on the "easy" setting, the overseas release will stop after stage 5). Reasons for this massive spike in difficulty for overseas versions is unknown.

Of particular note is the use of "gender neutral colours" (whatever that means) amongst the character sprites, which leads to inconsistencies with both Streets of Rage's cover art (in all regions) and the designs in previous games. Scantily clad female characters were covered up an entire miniboss (Ash) was removed due to his perceived homosexuality. These and other changes ultimately hurt critical reception in Europe and North America, with some reviewers urging Streets of Rage series fans import Bare Knuckle III or skip this title entirely.

An interesting thing to note is the cover of the EU version, which is actually used by Mean Machines Sega magazine which featured the game. Sega of Europe loved the cover art so much, they purchased the rights to use it for the EU version's packaging.

Today, an unofficial fan translation is available for the Bare Knuckle III ROM, whose script was used with the permission of the original author. Other hacks bring back the lost motorbike stages and additional areas of round 6 which were originally removed in the western releases of the game.


Compared to its prequels, Streets of Rage 3 is a less common and more expensive game to find in its original Mega Drive form. It has, however, been released for the Japanese version of Sonic Gems Collection for the GameCube and PlayStation 2. The game also appeared in Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The game has also been released on the Wii Virtual Console, iOS and Steam. The iOS version was removed from sale on iTunes in 2015.[15]

Version history

Main article: Streets of Rage 3/Changelog.
System Version Size Date Comment Ref Icon
0000020000000000000000000000002.0 9.5MB 201211292012-11-29 [16]
0000010000000000000000000000001.0.0 8.3MB 201104282011-04-28 [11]

Localised names

Also known as
Language Localised Name English Translation
English Streets of Rage 3 Streets of Rage 3
English (US) Streets of Rage 3 Streets of Rage 3
Japanese ベアナックルIII Bare Knuckle III

Production credits

Bare Knuckle III


Streets of Rage 3


Digital manuals

Magazine articles

Main article: Streets of Rage 3/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

VideoGames US 66.pdf

Print advert in VideoGames (US) #66: "July 1994" (1994-xx-xx)
also published in:

CVG UK 153.pdf

Print advert in Computer & Video Games (UK) #153: "August 1994" (1994-07-15)

BeepMD JP 1994-03.pdfBeepMD JP 1994-03.pdf

Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1994-03: "March 1994" (1994-02-08)

BeepMD JP 1994-04.pdf

Print advert in Beep! MegaDrive (JP) #1994-04: "April 1994" (1994-03-08)

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
67 More...[18]
75 More...[19]
78 More...[20]
89 №32, p84-86
82 More...[21]
73 More...[22]
90 №0707
83 More...[23]
59 №17, p56-57
50 №1994-04, p61
72 More...[24]
72 More...[25]
75 More...[26]
83 №10, p43
90 №29, p64-67
83 More...[27]
85 More...[28]
84 More...[29]
83 №55, p38-39
82 №32, p64-65
85 №29, p10
90 More...[30]
77 More...[31]
Sega Mega Drive
Based on
24 reviews

Mega Drive, US
Sor3 md us cover.jpg
Sor3 md us cart.jpg
Sor3 md us manual.pdf
Mega Drive, EU
Sor3 md eu cover.jpg
Sor3 md eu cart.jpg
Mega Drive, JP
Sor3 md jp cover.jpg
StreetsofRage3 MD JP CartTop.jpg
SoR3 MD JP Cart Back.jpgSOR3 MD JP Cart.jpg
Sor3 md jp manual.pdf
StreetsofRage3 MD JP Poster.pdf
Command List
Mega Drive, AU
SoR3 MD AU cover.jpg
Mega Drive, BR
SoR3 MD BR Box.jpg
Sor3 md br manual.pdf
Mega Drive, KR
SoR MD KR Box.jpg
SoR3 MD KR cart.jpg
Mega Drive, Asia
Sor3 md as cover.jpg
Mega Drive, SE (rental)
SoR3 MD SE Box Rental.jpg

External links


  1. Computer & Video Games, "August 1994" (UK; 1994-07-15), page 50
  2. Computer & Video Games, "May 1994" (UK; 1994-04-15), page 34
  3. Gamestar, "June 1994" (AU; 1994-xx-xx), page 55
  4. (archived: 2018-03-05 23:22)
  5. (archived: 2007-10-14 01:08)
  6. 6.0 6.1 (archived: 2010-11-23 02:21)
  7. 7.0 7.1 (archived: 2017-07-04 15:25)
  9. (archived: 2012-04-03 02:25)
  10. 10.0 10.1 (archived: 2011-05-01 14:30)
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 (archived: 2011-05-07 08:53)
  12. 12.0 12.1
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 (archived: 2013-05-22 20:15)
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 (archived: 2017-05-25 00:45)
  15. (archived: 2017-11-08 17:39)
  16. (archived: 2014-08-03 18:04)
  17. EGM², "July 1994" (US; 1994-07-19), page 19
  18. Aktueller Software Markt, "November 1994" (DE; 1994-10-04), page 20
  19. Beep! MegaDrive, "April 1994" (JP; 1994-03-08), page 17 (19)
  20. Sega Saturn Magazine, "September 1995" (JP; 1995-08-08), page 83 (85)
  21. Computer & Video Games, "July 1994" (UK; 1994-06-15), page 55
  22. Electronic Gaming Monthly, "July 1994" (US; 1994-xx-xx), page 34
  23. GamePro, "August 1994" (US; 1994-xx-xx), page 42-43 (44)
  24. Joypad, "Mai 1994" (FR; 1994-xx-xx), page 66/99-101 (66)
  25. Mega, "May 1994" (UK; 1994-04-21), page 36-37 (37)
  26. Mega Fun, "06/94" (DE; 1994-05-18), page 100-101 (92)
  27. Mean Machines Sega, "June 1994" (UK; 1994-04-30), page 42-45 (42)
  28. Player One, "Mai 1994" (FR; 1994-xx-xx), page 104-105 (104)
  29. Play Time, "7/94" (DE; 1994-xx-xx), page 134-135 (128)
  30. Sega Force, "6/94" (SE; 1994-09-14), page 10-11 (10)
  31. Video Games, "7/94" (DE; 1994-06-29), page 87 (83)

Streets of Rage 3
Streets of rage 3 title.png

Main page | Comparisons | Maps | Changelog | Hidden content | Development | Magazine articles | Region coding

Music: Bare Knuckle III (1994) | Streets of Rage 3 (2018)

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 3 (2018)
Streets of Rage: Bad City Fighters (1994)
Other List of Streets of Rage merchandise