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File:Sega-megadrive-streets-of-rage-pal.jpg

 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 the center of violence and crime where no one is safe.

 Amid this turmoil, a group of determined 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...

Known as Bare Knuckle in Japan, Streets of Rage is a series of scrolling beat-em-ups made by Sega for the Sega Genesis. The games tell the story of three ex-cops and their friends teaming up to take down the crime boss Mr. X and free their city from the massive amount of gang violence. The series includes the following:

  • Streets of Rage, released in 1991. Allows you to play as Adam, a boxer, Axel, a martial artist, and Blaze, a female judo expert. There was very little difference between the three characters beyond aesthetics, with special attacks being player specific rather than character specific. Also, Adam is only playable in this game.
  • Streets of Rage 2, released in 1992. Two new characters were added: Skate, Adam's younger brother, and Max, a wrestler who was friends with Axel. The game had bigger sprites, and the characters' movesets and differences were expanded.
  • Streets of Rage 3, which was released in 1994, is the final game in the series. Axel, Blaze, and Skate are joined by Dr. Zan, a cyborg with electrical powers. Two boss characters are also secret playable characters [1].

The series is seen as Sega's answer to Capcom's Final Fight series since the first Streets of Rage was released roughly around the same time as the Super NES port of the first Final Fight (although Final Fight was later ported to the Sega CD) .

There have been rumors of a fourth installment for years, with Sega of Japan creating a demo of a Streets of Rage 4 running on Dreamcast hardware. But since Sega of America was not aware of the series and its past success, the project was not followed up on. The Eidos brawler Fighting Force was also pitched to Sega execs as Streets of Rage 4, but because of the aforementioned lack of faith in the brand it was passed up, becoming the later independent title.

If you want to try out the series for yourself, there are three options. The second game can be downloaded from the Xbox Live Arcade (complete with online multiplayer), all three games are available on the Wii Virtual Console, and all three games are also available in the Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection compilation disc for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

After eight years of development, Spanish fan developer group Bomber Games released in 2011 their free unofficial remake of the game, aptly named Streets of Rage Remake. It's basically a mish-mash of the three games with a lot of original and remixed content added; to make room for all the levels, the game makes extensive use of branching paths. Highlights include being able to play as any character in the series so far (including Adam) and Multiple Endings. The game was pulled down from the developer's site at Sega's request (although details are sketchy), but not before having received wide coverage and spread.

The series also spawned a ten-story fan-fiction saga, aptly titled Streets of Rage Saga.


The series exhibits the following tropes:

  • One Up
  • Action Girl: Blaze Fielding.
  • Actually a Doombot: The "Mr. X" you fight in stage 5 of the third game. In a way, the "Axel" you fight in stage 3 as well, though he's more like a Robot Me Evil Twin.
  • AI Breaker: In the original game when fighting Mona and Lisa, they may seem very difficult at first unless you know their one weakness: back attacks. By having your back towards them and remaining still, the sisters would approach you and you could do a back attack to knock them down and repeat until both are defeated. They will hardly deviate from this approach if both sisters are alive, but if one is left standing, she will always walk to you as long as you don't move. This makes fighting the twins incredibly easy in both of their appearances. The remake, however, gives them smarter AI and the ability to sprint, so the trick no longer works.
  • Axel Stone Is About To Punch You: The opening sequence of Bare Knuckle III.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Blaze, at least in her depiction on the Japanese cover art of 2 and the American cover art of 3. Stage 2 of the first game also features several posters showing what appears to be a female bodybuilder, although it's unclear if she plays the trope straight or is instead a Brawn Hilda.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Avoided as some mooks grab their weapons with both hands, otherwise played completely straight.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: While the Japanese covers are no less hardcore, though in more "Heroes about to punch you" style, the Western covers are more action packed. The remake uses the cover art of 1 and 2 as route select pictures, but not before fixing them up (see "Covers Always Lie" below).
  • Anti-Villain: Victy/Roo in the third game, Rudra in the remake.
  • Arrogant Kung Fu Guy: Shiva and the martial artist enemies.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: In the first two games, Mr. X, the president of the underground crime syndicate, is the Final Boss. In the 5.0 remake, he gains Asskicking Equals Authority, due to the fact he is WAY more challenging than his original incarnations on the Sega Genesis.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Axel Stone, Adam Hunter, Blaze Fielding, Sammy "Skate" Hunter, Max Thunder/Hatchett, Dr. Zan... need we go on?
  • Badass: Most of the playable characters, as well as Mr. X's Dragon Shiva.
  • Badass Driver: Your back up in the original game, who is skilled enough to follow you into a factory and onto a boat. That he and his improbably skilled bazooka wielding wingman can't help you in the final stage is a good sign of how difficult it is.
  • Badass in Distress: Adam in Streets of Rage 2.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Mr. X (all games) and his Men in Black in SOR3.
  • Badass Mustache: Dr. Zan.
  • Bald of Awesome: Zan again.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Blaze.
  • Batter Up: The baseball bats can be used as weapons. In the Remake, Adam can use special moves with them.
  • Battle Boomerang: SOR1 Stage 1 Boss Antonio's Weapon of Choice.
  • Battle in the Rain:
    • Stage 3 in Streets of Rage, it occasionally rains on the beach.
    • Against the bartender in Streets of Rage 2's first level.
  • The Beast Master: Danch/Bruce in Streets of Rage 3, albeit of the abusive ring leader variety. Defeating him before defeating his Boxing Kangaroo Victy/Roo causes the grateful animal to flee immediately and unlocks it as a playable character.
  • Beauty Mark: Blaze's character select portrait in the first game depicts her having one on the lower left side of her face.
  • Becoming the Mask: Rudra in one ending in the remake.
  • Big Bad: Mr. X.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Adam does this twice in the third game. He first does it in Stage 6 by finishing off the remainder of Jet's goons after he is defeated and then getting the Chief of Police/General Ivan Petrov to his speech to clear Axel's name. He does it again in the seventh and final stage after Mr. X's robot body is defeated by rescuing the heroes before the villain's lair explodes.
  • Black Best Friend: Adam to Axel and Blaze.
  • Blackout Basement: The Disco in 3.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The final version of the remake, featuring copious amounts of blood when guns or a bladed weapon are used, graphic bisections when a foe is finished with a sword, blown up, or run down, and one boss brutally murdering someone mostly offscreen before he turns his attention towards the player(s).
  • Boss Dissonance: Kirby Type, although it's averted in very hard/Mania mode.
  • Boss Rush: Stage 8 of 1 and 2.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Played straight for The Men in Black, Mr. X and the Remake gun-wielding enemies, while you get stuck with Throw-Away Guns.
    • Unless, of course, you turn on the "Weapons Never Disappear" cheat, in which case your ammo likewise never disappears. For full effect, turn on both that cheat and the "Keep Weapons Between Stages" one, and pick up a machine gun. Sure, your end payout will suffer, but you finally get the chance to beat Mr. X at his own game!
  • Bottomless Pits: Appearing in the first game for levels 4 (holes in the bridge) and 7 (getting thrown off a moving freight elevator). Falling into one would cost you a life. Oddly, the bottomless pits never appeared in game 2, but return in game 3 for the construction levels where falling into one had your character jump back up at the expense of losing at least 1/4 of your health bar. The remake has both varieties of these pits in their respective levels.
  • Bowdlerise: The storyline of Bare Knuckle 3 involved a convoluted plot of a powerful thermonuclear material called "Raksin/Laxine", fear of nuclear war between America and the fictional country of Lima, and the disappearance of a respected General Ivan Petrov, who has been replaced by a robot duplicate designed by Mr. X to instigate said war. Streets of Rage 3's storyline changes the game slightly to remove the intro featuring Wood Oak City being nuked by a Raksin/Laxine bomb, changed the General to the Chief of Police, and removed the fear of war storyline in favor of more general lawlessness and disorder in the city, as well as many dialogue changes, resulting in some dialogue making little to no sense. In addition, the dominatrices wore jackets, Blaze, Axel, and Skate swapped colors so Blaze wouldn't wear red, and Macho Camp Ash was Dummied Out (he still existed in the game's code, but you had to use a game enhancer to use him). Oh, and they did a pretty piss-poor job of disguising the White House as a generic City Hall.
  • Boxing Kangaroo: Victy/Roo in Streets of Rage 3.
  • Brain In a Jar: How Mr. X made it to the ending of the third game.
  • Breakable Weapons: In 3. The first use of the Bottle in 1 shatters it, as well, but it remains useable.
  • Bullfight Boss: The stage 3 boss in Streets of Rage 1, whom you have to re-fight twice over the course of the game. On later games, the Jets.
  • Camp Gay: Ash, a hairy guy with a Porn Stache wearing part of a cop outfit and stockings.
  • Car Fu: The Remake's SOR2 route begins with the cop car mowing down three Galsias.
    • Even better, when you call the Police in the remake, enemies outside of the screen to the left also stand a chance of getting run down by the cop car.
  • Cast From Hit Points: Starting with the second game, a special attack replaces your police backup. Using it drains your health, but gives you invincibility during its duration and either is typically stronger than most attacks on the character's moveset, or has increased range. Streets of Rage 3 also features a special bar that charged slowly between special attacks and depleted with its use. How full the bar was determined how much health the special attack drained; if the bar was full no health would be drained.
  • Character Roster Global Warming: The series has had only one slow guy, Max, who was promptly replaced in the third game.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: See the trope above.
  • Combat Stilettos: A must for the attire of most female enemies.
  • Combination Attack: The bodyblow vault technique in 1. Mona and Lisa in 3 have a ground wave Ki Attacks that is more powerful when they use it together.
  • Comic Book Adaptation: In Sonic the Comic. Very dark in tone for a children's comic and written by a certain Mark Millar.
  • Competitive Balance
  • Conservation of Ninjitsu: Openly demonstrated in 3. Of course, they still can kill you (consdering they are more maneuverable than the other mooks around here), but not only they can be easily turned off by the players themselves, they sometimes don't dodge the wagon that passes by and by every 13 seconds, which makes them an even easier target.
  • Corridor Cubbyhole Run: The mine-train sequence in 3.
  • Cyborg: Dr. Zan is the most obvious example, but a close look at SOR2 "Electra" type enemies reveals that they have prosthetic whip-hands. The remake makes note of this with Elle, an unlockable character fitted with the same weapon.
  • Covers Always Lie: Most of the stuff pictured on the western Streets of Rage 1 cover art doesn't exist in the game, not to mention Axel's yellow shirt and Blaze's white gym clothes [2]. The Streets of Rage 2 cover art westernizes the characters, most notably turning Max into a clone of The Rock.
  • Crosshair Aware: In the first level of the remake's SOR2 route, one segment now has you try to avoid a sniper enemy's crosshair before he can shoot you (though you can lure him into shooting mooks). Thankfully (?), he only appears once.
  • Cue the Sun: Subverted Trope in the first game; night falls as you attack Mr. X's stronghold and the sun is rising as you challenge the man himself. The final shot (after the credits roll) is that of the heroes watching the sunset and then a starry sky beneath a bridge by their city's bay.
  • Damage Discrimination: With the exception of Antonio's boomerang, any kind of thrown weapons usually deals damage to both sides. And then Mr. X with his Tommy Gun, moving down everything that moves, including his own minions.
  • Dead All Along: In a way. See "Brain In a Jar" above.
  • Degraded Boss: A few bosses throughout the first two games appear in the middle of later levels in their respective games, and almost all of them (or all, in the case of the first game) return during the final stage.
  • Demoted to Extra: Adam in the sequels. He still appears in the games, but he's been demoted to a non-player role, although he does become a considerable Deus Ex Machina in 3.
  • Descending Ceiling: The machine presses in the industry levels.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Mr. X, of course.
  • Die, Chair, Die!: When the fight goes into bars and dance clubs, the lifespan of the furniture tends to be low.
    • The outside sections tend to have the same thing all over the place: tires, trashcans, and road blocks.
  • Difficult but Awesome: Max in the second game has some very awkward grapples (he cannot vault over his opponents, unlike the others). But then again, they deal about an entire bar of damage when done right (one of them is 1.5 bars). A Good Bad Bug allows him to jump on a pile of enemies and break their backs simultaneously.
    • Later games allow you to input specific button combinations to throw 3-star attacks even without said stars. These attacks are vastly powerful, and accessing them requires either accumulating 120,000 points without dying, or using these combinations, which are rather hard to execute quickly.
  • Difficulty by Region: In Streets of Rage 3, the Japanese version's Normal is the North American version's Easy, Japanese Hard is North American Normal, and Japanese Very Hard is North American Hard. Also, in the NA version, enemies inflict more damage on higher difficulties, which does not happen in the Japanese version. On the flip side, performing special attacks in Streets of Rage 3 costs much less energy than in Bare Knuckle, and the sidestep actually works properly. Astute players eventually start thinking of their lifebar as offensive power.
  • Divorced Installment: There was going to be a Streets of Rage 4 on the Sega Saturn, but it was turned into the unrelated game Fighting Force, and instead released on the Play Station and Nintendo 64.
  • Dominatrix: Most of the female enemies.
  • Doppelganger Attack: Yamato from Streets of Rage 3, Rudra in the remake.
  • The Dragon: Shiva in the second game, and Dr. Dahm (Dr. Zero) in the last one. Shiva returns as the boss of the first level in Streets of Rage 3, is an unlockable playable character via a secret code and if you go for the bad ending in the Town Hall, he re-appears as the final boss.
  • Dual Boss: Onihime/Mona and Yasha/Lisa in 1 and 3. Not to mention that in the first game, playing with two players would spawn two bosses instead of one.
    • Also present with Stage 6 of the first game, where you face Souther (whom you fought in the second stage). Two of him.
    • Similarly, some paths in the remake have you fight two Bongos.
    • The remake also comes with an unlockable cheat to always spawn dual bosses out-of-the-box[3].
  • Dub Name Change: Everywhere.
  • Dynamic Entry: The enemies that spawn above you and have a jumping attack; one of several reasons why elevator sequences aren't particularly popular.
  • Easy Mode Mockery: In the American version of Streets of Rage 3, playing on Easy mode will only allow you to play the first 5 stages. Oh, and the American version's Easy mode is equivalent to the Japanese version's Normal. Take your pick of suck: everything is too easy and deals next to no damage on the hardest setting of the Japanese version, and unlike the 2nd entry, there is no Mania mode. The adjustments to the American version were to compensate for the improved sidestep and added flexibility for special attacks (insomuch that spamming them becomes a valid tactic).
  • Easier Than Easy: Very Easy in SoR2.
  • Kangaroos Represent Australia: Roo/Victy.
  • Elevator Action Sequence: All games have at least one. Certain elevators in 1 and 3 allow you to throw the enemies out of them.
  • Elite Mook: The further you progress, you start running into palette swaps of the basic Mooks you've been busting up. They're stronger, more durable, and tend to show more cleverness in battle.
  • Evil Counterpart: Shiva to the main characters in general and Axel in particular. Onihime/Mona and Yasha/Lisa to Blaze.
  • Evil Laugh: Some enemies (like Big Ben) laugh at you evilly when they score a hit.
  • Excuse Plot: The plots for the first two games. The remake's is intentional.
  • Executive Suite Fight
  • Expy: The final boss uses a projectile weapon like Machine Gun Willy and Belger, Abadede is The Ultimate Warrior, and Zamza is a clone of Blanka (he even has the same spinning attack). Not to forget that Axel is an expy of Cody, or that the Muay Thai-using enemies in SOR2 (the ones with bird names) look exactly like Joe Higashi.
    • Speaking of Cody, the remake features a Cody ripoff that looks like a Galsia in a bad disguise with blond hair. When killed (and not thrown into a pit) he drops an extra life for some reason.
    • The biker enemies in SoR2 look suspiciously like Jagi from Fist of the North Star (aka Hokuto no Ken).
  • Exploding Barrels: In the Remake.
  • Face Heel Turn: In SoR1's 2-player mode, you can do this, if one player chooses to join Mr. X and the other doesn't. This leads to an "evil" ending. Unless you both do it, in which case you just get boned and have to play through some levels again.
    • Possible in the remake, as well, through the same method. This leads to funky situations when you, for instance, unlock Mr. X and defeat Mr.X as Mr.X to BECOME THE BOSS.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: In the remake, no good comes from the route that ends with Robo X. If you somehow get out of the building alive and stop the explosives, you escape the bad endings but get an neutral A Winner Is You ending because the real Mr. X got away.
  • Fair Cop: The Three Amigos in the original game, as well as the squad car carrying your backup enforcer.
  • Fan Disservice: Ash, mostly because he's wearing a skin-tight suit that accentuates one of his assets a little too much. It's exacerbated in the (meticulously) detailed image of him in the remake if he BECOMES THE BOSS.
  • Fan Remake: And how! A really huge remake that runs under Windows, combines levels and enemies from all three games and adds its own, sports remasted graphics plus new ones in the same style, a completely remixed soundtrack, adds gun weaponry, has nineteen playable characters with a powered-up Super Shiva among them, and lots of unlockables, including a level editor.
  • Fan Service Pack: Blaze's character design and fighting style are altered noticeably throughout the series.
  • Fan Translation: Of Bare Knuckle III. Exactly this specific one, not the US version.
  • Fanwork Ban: An unwanted fate, in the face of SEGA, given to the Remake.
  • Fastball Special: Big Bens in SOR3 can pick up Galsias and throw them at you, and Galsias have learned to do elbowdrops in this game. You can do this using your own allies, and can be useful with the throw recovery move.
  • Fat Bastard: Bongo (stage 4 boss) in the first game and Big Ben and his clones in SOR 2 and 3.
  • Fight Clubbing: SOR2. Stage 4. Abadede.
    • The "Boss Rush" mode in the remake, when contending the SOR1 or SOR2 bosses.
  • Fingerless Gloves: All of the heros except Max, and many of the enemies.
  • Fishing for Mooks: You want to hang back and deal with enemies in small groups if possible. Wading into large melees is a good way to kill off your character.
  • Five-Man Band: In the remake:
  • Flunky Boss: Danch/Bruce and the kangaroos. Mr. X, except he keeps mowing them down with his gun when he tries to kill you.
  • Gainax Ending: The easy and bad endings of 3, which show Mr. X in his human form breaking a glass of wine, make sense at first (well, you didn't managed to catch up Mr. X in private after all!), but when you get to the end of stage 7 on a harder difficulty setting and when you fail to save the hostage at level six... Fridge Logic ensues.
    • Also Remake's ending if the game is beaten in Mania mode.
  • Giant Mook: Bosses tend to be much taller than normal mooks, especially in 1.
  • Giant Space Flea From Nowhere: Vehelits. While in the middle of an amusement park in Streets of Rage 2 battling thugs, you suddenly fight an attraction that resembles an undead alien dragon. The Syndicate doesn't seem to have any involvement with it at all.
  • Girly Run: Ash.
  • A Glass of Chianti: The final scene of 3's bad ending is Mr X watching the world's cities blow up with a wine glass in hand.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Max sports a vertical one across his left eye.
  • Graffiti Town: Stage 2 in the first game.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: The bottles from 1 and the remake. The first connected attack is smashing the bottle over something, and all subsequent attacks are stabbing ones with the sharp bits of the now-broken bottle.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: Thrown enemies will bowl over anyone in their path. Becomes a good way of using a boss's flunkies against him.
  • Hair Color Dissonance: According the character select screen in the original game, Blaze is raven-haired, although sprites and artwork elsewhere would instead suggest that she's a brunette.
  • Hair of Gold: Axel.
  • Harder Than Hard:
    • "Hardest" mode on the 1st game. What made it really tough was that enemies could take more hits, bosses have more life, and that most of their attacks could kill you in 2-3 hits on a full life bar.
    • Mania in the 2nd game. Normal mooks will keep their distance, hit you as soon as they can, and will always try to flank you (probably successfully), fast enemies will become even faster, and Goddamned Bats will become Demonic Spiders. The number of enemies will increase ridiculously, as will their health, and trying to hit any enemy who happens to have anti-air attacks with a jump attack will get you grounded in no time. Bosses like Abadede and R.Bear will make you cry in anger... if you play as Axel, that is.
    • Hard on Streets of Rage 3, due to Difficulty by Region. Weep as you meet packs of fast enemies with at least two health gauges each and who can block.
  • Heel Face Turn: Shiva, Elle, Ash and, against all logic, Mr. X himself will beat down the mooks and enforcers of the organization they used to work for or in fact ran in the last one's case when you unlock them in the remake. Rudra doesn't count, as explained in that character's unique ending, and considering Victy/Roo has full police force when playing as the character, it's implied that this particular fighter was never villainous to begin with.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: In SOR2 and 3, the ninjas don't do much to conceal themselves. Their colors range from sky-blue to purple. They also seem to have perpetual grins on their faces in SOR3.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: Suffers a bit from this. The most frequent example would be attacks that miss initially, but hit a target who happens to wander in right before the end of the animation when the attack shouldn't have power anyway.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Apples, beef, and roast chicken immediately heal you.
  • Idle Animation: In the first game, Axel brushes his hand against his chin, Adam wriggles his arms and hands to loosen up his limbs, and Blaze flips her hair back.
    • In the third, Dr. Zan crackles with electricity, Skate beckons to the enemy, and Ash giggles.
  • Improvised Weapon: Bottles, knives, lead pipes, baseball bats, planks, and pepper shakers.
    • Lethal Joke Item: The pepper shaker stuns all enemies. You can dispatch a large group of enemies by stunning them and then Cherry Tapping with the jab. If you do it slowly enough, so that the main character doesn't launch into a full combo, but so the enemies don't recover from the stun, you can send entire groups keeling backwards.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Your backup in the original game and the remake is skilled enough to:
    • Fire at your position without harming you in the slightest.
    • Hit every on screen enemy surrounding you, regardless of how close or far away they are to/from you.
    • In the original only: do all of the above even if you are hundreds of feet in the air above the police car's position, or underneath a roof on a moving ferry ship.
      • In the remake, the former situation calls a police helicopter airstrike with the same aiming skills instead while an indoors area such as the latter disables backups.
  • Inconveniently-Placed Conveyor Belt: The Industry/Lab levels have these.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Some enemies laugh when you are down. Mr. X will even take a look at the camera.
  • I Surrender, Suckers/Wounded Gazelle Gambit: The stronger variants of Nora/Electra have a tactic they like to use on you: kneel down as if they're feigning injury/surrender and then attack you while your back's turned.
  • James Bondage: Adam gets kidnapped in Streets of Rage 2.
    • General Ivan Petrov (or chief of the police) in 3.
  • Japanese Ranguage: Galsia instead of García (common hispanic surname). SOR3 fixed this, minus the accent.
  • The Jimmy Hart Version: SOR2's "Under Logic" bears more than a passing resemblance to The Shamen's "Move Any Mountain". Also, it is sweet as hell. The main theme (S.O.R. Super Mix) does sound much like Enigma's Sadness.
    • SOR1's "Fighting In The Street" has a few elements from Technotronic's "Pump Up The Jam". The remake gives an overt nod to this, even using the same instrumentation in a few places.
    • Here is a video that notes above examples and lot of others. Apparently, Black Box was a major influence on the soundtracks of the first and second games.
  • Joke Character: Ash and Victy/Roo. They're both quite capable of kicking ass, regardless.
  • Ki Attacks: A few of the characters' specials get a little glowy.
  • Kick Chick: Though not as prevalent as in other games, Blaze and the female enemies have powerful kick moves.
  • Lady in Red: Blaze Fielding. Unlike most examples, she's no Femme Fatale and is instead a straight-up Action Girl. Streets of Rage 3 makes her a Woman in White, however. There's a straighter example in Electra.
  • Launcher Move: Adam's normal combo consists of two jabs, an uppercut that launches the enemy high into the air, and then roundhousing said enemy before/just as he/she lands. See "Meteor Move" below for Rudra's.
  • Lennon Specs: Hard to see in-game due to low resolution, but Antonio wears these.
    • His higher resolution sprite in the remake render them both far more visible.
  • The Lethal Connotation of Guns and Others: All the bosses are various types of Badass with various methods of using their fists and feet. Mr. X, being an Expy of the final boss from Final Fight, just packs a cool suit, infinite mooks, and a Tommygun. The front end hurts like hell, and the back end halves your health. This is because unlike that crossbow-wielding loser, Mr. X is made of hair gel, capitalism, and Badass.
    • On the other hand, firearms in the remake don't offer much of a damage advantage over good ol' fisticuffs, and are mainly useful for holding a near monopoly on ranged attacks.
  • Let X Be the Unknown: Mr. X, obviously.
  • Life Meter: Also applied to the player's weapons in the 3rd game and an optional feature in the remake. Once the meter on the weapon was fully drained, it broke.
  • Lonely At the Top: Shiva seems to think so in Ending 1 of the remake. Unlike everyone else, he sits looking bored the entire time, and doesn't laugh evilly or move at all after the credits roll.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Stage 8 if you beat Robo X in the remake. You're on a Timed Mission, 3 minutes to be exact, to either disarm the bomb or ignore it and beat Shiva quickly as possible before the timer expires. The catch? The rooms that contain the keycard to reach the bottom floor and the control console to stop the bomb are randomized in each play through, so it's possible you can wind up finding nothing but trap rooms and get the bad ending for dying in the explosion due to time wasted in getting lost and having to fight mooks every time you leave a room.
  • Magikarp Power: Victy/Roo is one of the weakest characters in the remake in terms of damage potential, until he reaches 3 stars and the damage on his dash attack increases to a ludicrous degree, easily rivaling a few characters' health/meter eating specials and even some of Max's moves.
    • Actually, he's more an example of a Lethal Joke Character (in both the original games as well as the Remake V5). In BK3/SOR3, he was fairly weak due to lacking star moves, as well as having no decent damage throw moves (SOR3 improved him slightly by making his first two jabs hit twice and his jump higher). In the remake, his jabs are single hits like in the original BK3, but he's been given a proper back throw that does quite high damage, as well as the aforementioned star blitzes. The thing that makes him a powerful character in all his appearances though is his back attack; his tail has crazy reach (making it safer to poke with than his normal attack), and if you use it at just the right range (when it barely hits) you can make an infinite combo out of it on several enemies by quickly spamming back attack (moving forward just slightly after each). In the original games, it also hit enemies just in front of him (although the remake removed the Hitbox Dissonance, meaning it's a pure back-only attack). He has a harder time dealing with groups due to poor attack range, but with a bit of practice he's capable of demolishing many bosses without needing to use his special meter, something other characters have trouble with.
  • Martial Arts Headband: Axel. Blaze, too, but only in the first game.
  • Martial Arts Uniform: The Martial Artist enemies. Axel and Adam in 3's good ending.
  • Megaton Punch: Axel's standing/Blaze's moving Special Attack in Streets of Rage 2 and 3; in practice, anyway (technically, Blaze's is more like a Megaton Palm)...
  • Mercy Invincibility: When you lose a life, your character comes back by falling from the sky and all enemies on screen are knocked down to prevent them from ganging up on the player who just respawned.
  • Meteor Move: Rudra's back throw, which consists of kicking her victim straight up into the air, ninja teleporting to catch the him/her, and then slamming them back into the ground using the Izuna Drop.
  • The Men in Black: The hitmen wearing suits and sunglasses and wielding guns in SOR3.
  • Mini Boss: The stronger mooks that don't become regular until one or two stages later.
  • Mirror Boss: Onihime and Yasha in the first game, also serving as Dual Bosses. They are just green clothed (and then purple in the final level) versions of Blaze and use the same moves as her. The remake changes their appearance very slightly but still retain Blaze's fighting style. If they are defeated on the boat level in the remake, Blaze will actually take note on how her own moves were used against her.
  • Mondegreen: Blaze's special move voice samples are clearly "You don't do that" / "But I do."
  • Mooks: The Syndicate goons.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Blaze. Aside from some gams-bearing shorts, she was actually pretty moderately dressed in the first game. Starting in 2, however, she lost her jacket and donned nothing more than a bra and a skirt (complete with Panty Shots; the sprites were edited from Bare Knuckle 2 to some versions of Streets of Rage 2 to prevent this).
    • In the remake, Rudra could well rival Blaze. She wears a vest that emphasizes her stomach, she's got Absolute Cleavage especially in her unique ending, she wears fishnet stockings that help to emphasize that She's Got Legs, her skirt's short enough that you can get very brief panty shots if she kicks high, and the lower half of her outfit gives a subtle outline of her butt if she BECOMES THE BOSS.
  • Multiple Endings:
    • SOR1 had two. One where you beat Mr. X and save the city, and one which could only be reached in co-op mode, by having one player refuse Mr. X's offer to join him, and have another accept. After a fight to the death, the winner fought Mr. X and became the crime boss in his place.
    • While SOR2 lacked multiple endings, SOR3 had no less than four of them.
      • One was reached by beating Stage 5 on Easy, where the robot Mr. X insults you and Zan declares that they must try harder.
      • One had you going to the White House/City Hall to destroy the impostor General/Chief. A final battle with Shiva ensues, and a bad end is shown where Zan attempts to interrogate Shiva as to Mr. X's whereabouts. Shiva doesn't spill the beans, leaving the gang at a dead end.
      • One where you destroy the final boss and save the city from the bombs/prevent general death and destruction around the world.
      • And a bad ending where the final boss is beaten but time runs out. The bombs explode, people die, the city gets ruined and the trust the people of the city placed in Axel and the gang is damaged. BK3 attempts to soften the blow by stating that either way, nuclear war between America and Lima has been prevented. That the bombs wrecked the city is incidental, in time this tragedy will be forgotten.
      • Even the bad ending in Stage 6 got censored, but only for the image that displays behind the text. In the Japanese version, a picture of the bombed city appears. In the U.S. version, it's just a black screen.
    • As of Version 5, Streets of Rage Remake features a maximum of eight, depending on which route you took and what final level you played. Three of them are lifted from the first two games (thus, it's possible to BECOME THE BOSS once again). Variants on the Streets of Rage 3 route involves trying to stop bombs from blowing up the city and the building you're in, with Shiva as the final boss. Regardless of whether or not you stop the bomb and defeat Shiva, Mr. X escapes. And one ending requires a no-cheats completion on Mania mode.
      • One hidden character has an ending made completely for them. Rudra's ending is accessed by beating Mr. X on the final level of the Streets of Rage route or Streets of Rage 2 route by herself on at least the hard difficulty setting. Remember her post boss fight dialogue where she says she's not your enemy? Her reason for fighting shows in her ending, which shows her freeing her little sister that was captured by the syndicate. The post credits scene shows the little girl trying to follow in Rudra's footsteps in being a fighter and struggles to lift a sword.
  • Name's the Same: Souther, the second boss from the first game, is not the guy from Fist of the North Star.
  • Nintendo Hard: The harder difficulties are damn hard. The American release of the third game is pretty tough, but on Hard mode, it is insane, with enemies doing massive damage to you and bosses having at least four health bars (sometimes seven). The Japanese version's enemies do much less damage and it is the same on all difficulties, and there is a Very Hard mode as well (missing from the American release -- Easy is Japanese's Normal, and so Hard on US version is Japanese's Very Hard). Pick your poison -- either Japanese Very Hard is way too easy, or US version even on Normal is tough.
  • No Fair Cheating: Using cheats in the remake lowers your money points at the end. If you steal from the shop, you're forced to pay for it later.
  • No Name Given: The names of the enemies in the first game were only given in the Japanese version's manual, although almost all of them actually returned in the sequels. Notably, the two green-clad Blaze palette swaps are actually Mona and Lisa from Streets of Rage 3 (or Onihime and Yasha as they're called in Japan).
  • Non-Lethal KO: The remake uses this on the boss characters (except the robot types, which explode upon defeat). While standard mooks are implied to be killed by the player (especially when you can cut them in half with a sword, throw a grenade at them, or toss them into a pit or off a moving lift), boss characters are shown in a cutscene to be either out cold or dazed, bloodied, and bruised, no matter what was used to defeat them in the fight previously.
  • Nostalgia Level: Many areas in the second game are reminiscent of areas from the first game.
  • Nuke'Em: In the first game, you were able to call upon another squad car for support. An allied officer then (via either a rocket launcher or heavy-duty machine gun) then provides cover fire, clearing the area with the same basic effect as napalm would.
  • Obstructive Foreground: In addition of obstructing your view, they also hide secret items. The remake makes most of these foreground elements transparent when approached.
  • Offhand Backhand: Some of the playable characters' back attacks consist of this.
  • Orchestra Hit Techno Battle
  • Palette Swap: Loads of the enemies exploit these, considering it's a beat-em-up game, after all...
  • Panty Shot: Streets of Rage 2 has Blaze do this in her jump kick sprite. Some versions censored it.
  • Pipe Pain
  • Pistol-Whipping: Mr. X with his Tommy Gun.
  • Power Trio: First game only. It becomes a Four-Temperament Ensemble in the sequels, whereas the remake brings back Adam to form a Six-Man Band.
  • Precision-Guided Boomerang: Antonio, an early-level boss from the first game.
  • Promoted to Unlockable: Shiva.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Most characters have some version as a moving Special Attack. Axel even ends his with a Shoryuken for good measure.
  • Recurring Boss: Both in the same game and across the series in some cases, with those that become degraded bosses italicized in the game the degradation occurs:
    • Abadede: 1, 2: Was the third boss in SOR1, and was quite pitiful due to his simple pattern in battle. In SOR2, he was the fourth boss, and became one of the toughest bosses to fight because of his high health, strong attacks, and his ability to Counter Attack damage easily with an attack of his own.
    • Bongo: 1, 2, 3: First considered a boss in the original, became a sub-boss in the original as well, and then he had his appearance greatly changed, appearing as Big Ben.
    • Jet: 2, 3: First appeared on the second stage of the bridge in SOR2, where he had low health. He returned in SOR3, but the last battle took a heavy toll on him; he was bald, lethargic, and needed an oxygen mask, possibly being revived as a cyborg. He was much more difficult, however, as he had more attacks and mooks with jetpacks themselves.
    • Shiva: 2, 3: Appeared as the penultimate boss in SOR2, where he was notable for his speed. In the third game, he is the first stage boss, but this battle is only a warm-up for the real boss battle in Stage 7 (if you fail to complete the previous mission in time).
    • Onihime/Mona and Yasha/Lisa: 1, 3: Both incredibly hard bosses due to their fondness for highly damaging moves and the fact there's two of them against you.
    • Mr. X: All games.
  • Respawn on the Spot
  • Rewarding Vandalism: Objects in the background can be smashed for items, weapons, or points.
  • Robot Me: Axel and Mr. X get one in 3.
  • Rollerblade Good: Skate.
  • Say My Name: In Bare Knuckle 3, if the player fails to save General Ivan Petrov in Stage 6 (or the Chief of Police, though this is averted in the U.S. version): "IVAAAAAAAAANNNNNNN!"
  • Self-Deprecation : 2 allows you to crush its' own arcade machines in Stage 3 (which weren't existing for real, although the text "BARE KNUCKLE" written on them clearly points that this trope is in work). Like any other breakable scenery, in just ONE punch, with additional health given as a reward. Counts as Biting the Hand Humor performed on itself as well.
  • Schrodinger's Player Character
  • Scoring Points: Cash bags and gold bars exist to grant bonus points, and a high enough score earns you an extra life. In Streets of Rage 3, earning 40,000 points on a single life grants you a star, which upgrades your blitz attack. The harder the difficulty, more points you get at the end of each round. This applies to all of the games.
  • Secret AI Moves: Averted in the remake. The developers put a lot of work in improving Mr. X's Gun Fu and working in additional animations (none of which are displayed during his boss fight) to make him as playable as the initially available characters, all while avoiding making him too game-breaking. Granted, he can be more powerful than other characters of the cast, but not by much, which keeps playing as him interesting.
    • Played somewhat straight with Rudra, but then again, how would you control her Doppelganger Attack?
  • She Fu: To an extent, Blaze and some of the female enemies.
  • She's Got Legs: Blaze and the female enemies.
  • Shock and Awe: Dr. Zan.
  • Shoplift and Pay: In Streets of Rage Remake, there's a shop (staffed by Blaze, of all people) that unlocks after you beat the game, enabling you to buy secret characters, cheats, and extras. Should you access the shop while your computer's clock is between 5 and 7 AM, Blaze will be asleep, and you can attempt to steal an item. The chance of successfully stealing an item is 50/50, and the computer decides this at random. If you fail, Blaze wakes up, screams in your face, and you get banned from the shop until you beat the game again. If you succeed, however, you can get any one item - even the super-expensive ones like the SOREditor and the infinite lives cheat - for free...and you still end up locked out of the shop. And this time you have to pay Blaze back for the item you stole by beating the game. Did you steal the SORmaker? Have fun playing through the game 10+ times!
  • Shout-Out: Right off the bat, the title "Streets of Rage" may well reference the movie Streets of Fire (which served as inspiration for Final Fight, which, in turn, inspired SOR). Adam Hunter and Axel Stone may be named after City Hunter and Axel Foley, respectively. Also, see "Theme Naming" below. Looks like someone was a Berserk and Fist of the North Star fan...
    • The remake adds many of its own. Not only do other Sega games get references, homages and cameos, but other beat 'em ups and fighting games as well.
    • The final fight in Streets Of Rage 1 co-op play allows the two players to fight each other to death by choosing different answers from each other's, which is a reference to the duel between the two players after defeating the final boss in Double Dragon.
  • Smart Bomb: In the first game, the player can summon a police car, and its driver will fire a missile or Gatling gun that damages onscreen enemies, but leaves the players unharmed.
    • The remake gives one of these to all but three of its 19 playable characters, though some are special fighting techniques that don't actually involve summoning the police. The three that don't get one are Mr. X, who taunts you for trying to call the police (he is a crime lord, after all) and both the SoR2 and SoR3 versions of Shiva, for whom the "police call" button simply does nothing.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": A lot of Mooks names are obviously misspelled. Galsia should be García, among other names. See also Theme Naming. The third game fixes this.
  • Spies From Weights And Measures: The various places owned by The Syndicate. The beginning of the Remake's plot consists of the Heroes raiding these for leads and evidence.
  • Stripperific:
    • Blaze's outfit in games 2 and 3.
    • The boss Electra, who looks like a dominatrix, complete with Whip It Good. There are multiple versions of her sprite.
    • Electra, Blaze, and mook Soozie wear markedly more clothing in the American release.
  • Strong Flesh Weak Steel: How do you break through concrete barriers and keep that bulldozer from squashing you? Simple. By punching them. You also routinely punch robots to death, while taking a whirling spiked ball on the chin.
    • An special attack or even a well timed jab can deflect thrown knives, kunai, axes, lit torches... Pretty much everything except bullets.
  • Stop Helping Me!: In the remake, playing with an AI partner will invoke this, especially if their setting is set on aggressive. If you have an enemy in your grasp and you start to combo them, your partner may decide to wander into the fray and and try to help out by attacking your target, which will usually break your hold on the enemy and wind up doing less damage than you had intended. If friendly fire is turned on, this will just get worse.
  • Suplex Finisher: A lot of characters use the German suplex.
  • Sure Why Not: Prior to the release of version 5.0 of the remake, it was very common for newcomers on Bombergames' forums to ask for its release date, to the annoyance of every regular. One such lucky user was teased with an animated GIF of one of the basic enemies, its name the same as the user in question's forum handle, getting sent flying Super Smash Bros style into the ocean by Blaze and the massive medieval Banhammer she was wielding. The image was enough of a hit to warrant a special playable event in its honor once 5.0 came out, sans the name of the user that spawned it.
  • Surprise Creepy: The last section of stage 3 in 2. In the Remake, some might find the mutilated corpses of enemies dispatched in particularly violent ways this as well.
  • The Syndicate
  • Team Shot: The intro to the first game (see above).
  • Theme Naming: Lots of the enemies have themed names.
    • The masked biker punks from SOR2 are all named for weather conditions (Fog, Mist, Storm, etc.)
    • The Signal Gang Members in SOR2 are named after the colour of their jacket (Y. Signal for yellow jacket, B. Signal for blue jacket, etc). In SOR3 they are named after other things (Ice, Scarab).
    • The guys with jetpacks have aircraft names (Jet, Comet, etc.)
    • The Fat Bastards in SOR2 have names reflecting their girth: Big Ben, Big Go, Buffet, etc.
    • The ninja mooks are named after Japanese action stars: (Sonny) Chiba, (Toshiro) Mifune, and (Sho) Kosugi to name a few.
    • The kickboxers are named after birds (Ibis, Phoenix, Eagle).
    • Some of the Shaolin monks are named after mythical Asian creatures (Suzaku, Seiryu, Byatcko), while others are named after Buddhist terms (Ashura, Rakan, Kongoh). There are even monks named after the birds represented by the Nanto Seiken branches from Fist of the North Star (Ko-Shu, Suicho, Ko-Kaku, Hakuro and Ho-Oh).
    • The robots, in SOR2, after chemistry-related terms (molecule, particle, isotope, uranium, hydrogen, etc).
    • In BK3, The Men in Black are named either after various types of metal or as McNames.
    • Several Mooks in SOR2 seem to be named after Manga/Anime Characters. For example: Veherit, Caska, Griphis, Souther, and Heart.
    • The baseball stadium stage, which introduces the Big Ben enemies, tells us in flyers in the background that he's "like Boo."
  • Third Person Seductress: Blaze. She even winks at you on the character select screen in 1.
  • Throw-Away Guns: In the remake the heroes can pickup guns (imported from the Capcom's Cadillacs and Dinosaurs arcade Beat'Em Up) which the heroes throw them in the Mooks faces when out of ammo.
  • Timed Mission: While the clocks in the first two games tick rather slowly, you will lose a life if the clock runs out. The third game gets rid of the clock altogether, except for Stage 6 when attempting to save the Chief of Police (General Petrov in Bare Knuckle 3); if the timer runs out, gas floods the building, and you later fight an alternate Final Boss and receive the game's Bad Ending.
  • To the Bat Noun: The cutscenes in the remake don't do much to explain progression between levels besides "There's a door here." or "Our helicopter/bike/yatch will arrive to our destination soon". They do even less for the story anyway.
  • Token Trio: Adam (black dude), Axel (white guy), and Blaze (token woman).
  • Turn in Your Badge: What Adam, Axel, and Blaze did prior to the events of the first game.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Axel, Adam, and Blaze.
  • Unique Enemy: In most stages of SOR2 there are unique variants of punks which will give you 10000 points if defeated, such as Mc. K and Altet (Donovans) in stage 1, and Axi and Mavin (Signals) in stage 3. The remake gives us a Jason variant of Jack, a trucker, a sniper, and a few more.
  • Urban Legend of Zelda: There was a rumor that locking Streets of Rage onto Sonic 3 and Knuckles would allow you to play as Knuckles in SOR1.
  • Variable Length Whip: SOR2 Electras and their cyber whip-hands. Elle's profile outright states this to be a feature of the weapon.
  • Vice City: And it's your job to clean it up.
  • Victory Pose: In the remake, everyone performs a victory pose at the successful conclusion of whatever mode you're playing.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Mr. X in the remake.
  • Villain Exit Stage Left: Shiva and Yamato do this in the third game. However, Shiva is fought as the final boss if you fail to save the Chief of Police/Ivan Petrov in Stage 6. Mr. X himself does this in most of the bad endings of Streets of Rage 3 and in the neutral ending of the Streets of Rage Remake.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Some enemies are just doing their thing (resting, playing arcade, partying in the disco etc.) before you drop in.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Max. Also some Mooks and bosses like Donovan and Abadede.
  • Washington DC: In Bare Knuckle 3, this becomes the final stage if you fail to rescue General Petrov. In SOR3, it's poorly censored into being a town hall.
  • Wasted Song: "Up and Up" from the first game, a slower mix of "In the Bar", another variant of "Go Straight" and "Little Money Avenue" in the 2nd, and, for the US version of the 3rd game, "Kama de Coco", all found in the sound test but never heard in the games proper. Version 4 of the remake had a remix of "Spin on the Bridge" used in the dance club stage in place of a mix of the original song, which proved popular. When Version 5 came out and they went with a remix of "Dance Club" instead for that same stage, they kept the "Spin on the Bridge" remix... as a song that plays in the twenty second cutscene following the bosses' defeat.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: While both Shiva and Yamato escape after being defeated in the third game, there are no signs of them returning or even being mentioned after the plot is resolved. (Although you can have a rematch with Shiva, if you fail to save the Chief of Police/General Petrov in stage 6.)
  • Whip It Good: Electra and other dominatrix ladies.
  • With This Herring: One of SoR2's weapons is probably supposed to be a kunai, but it's much more fun to think of it as "the fish".
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Axel, Blaze, and Adam list their fighting styles as kickboxing, martial arts, and judo, yet their rear throws consist of German suplexes and overhead belly-to-belly suplexes. Skate features some flying grapples ala Rey Mysterio, and Max is, well... a wrestler.
  • Yellow Brick Road: A variation takes place in the remake. Version 5 has you begin on one of four starting points, but all routes lead to Mr. X's headquarters...though not to the exact same ending.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle: All the games have at least seven levels. So, when you confront Mr. X in Level 5, don't be surprised if it's not over (and try not to snap your controller if you're playing Easy Mode...).
    • Done a bit more convincingly on one route in the remake, which has a similar setup to the above in stage 8. You might assume that you would get a neutral ending after the fight with Robo X, until he delivers his Final Speech.

Notes

  1. Three, actually, if you're lucky enough to play the Japanese version and wish to play as the guy with... not very usual temptations.
  2. Still, they reoccur in the localization of 3, in-game.
  3. probably more fitting to say "out of the zip"
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