Video Game: River City Ransom
Kids, if there's one thing you take away from River City Ransom, may it be that violence is the answer to your problems. If you beat a gang member hard enough, he will become an honor student. And if you beat an honor student hard enough, he will give you his lunch money. And the final moral is: it's all about good grades and trips to the mall.River City Ransom
, released in Japan as Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari
(part of the Kunio-kun
series, which also included the Super Dodge Ball
series, Crash 'n the Boys: Street Challenge
, and the original Renegade
) and in Europe as Street Gangs
, is a Beat 'em Up
of a Role-Playing Game
. The story goes that Ryan's girlfriend gets kidnapped by River City High's top gang leader, Slick, who also happens to be the arch-rival of Cross Town High's top punk, Alex. So Alex and Ryan fight their way past gang territories and various malls to get to River City High, take down Slick, and rescue Ryan's girlfriend.
While not the most well-known game on the Nintendo Entertainment System
, it was well received by those who did play it. It offered several different ways to customize your character, was one of the earliest games to blend RPG elements into another genre in a successful fashion, and was noted for its humor in many spots.
Has a Japan only
sequel/spin-off Downtown Special: Kunio-kun no Jidaigeki Dayo Zen'in Shūgō!
, which is practically River City Ransom recycled in historical Japan
. It is less linear, has a proper save system in place of the original's long passwords, allows computer controlled allies in a 1 player game and has a great deal more moves, but replaces the classic "eat food for power" with equipping items and a level up system, restricting food to health regeneration.
A remake, River City Ransom EX
, came out in 2004 for the Game Boy Advance
, which added more moves, more gangs, more weapons, more characters (some of them from later Downtown Nekketsu
games), and the option to have up to three allies fighting alongside you. However, it lacked a proper 2-player co-op mode and while the English version featured an Americanized script like its NES counterpart, the characters were still drawn with their Japanese school uniforms.
A new officially licensed sequel named River City Ransom: Underground
is being developed by the Canadian indie developer Conatus Creative. The project reached its funding
, and is slated for a September 2014 release.
Before River City Ransom: Underground
was announced, the game actually had not one but TWO cancelled sequels. You could say that the sequel, not as a single game, but as a concept
, has been in a long Development Hell
, which Underground
will hopefully fix.
- First one was a fan-sequel to River City Ransom, planned for the GBA by an independent American developer called "Realize Games". The developer even managed to get rights to the trademark "River City Ransom". In 2003, the developer heard that a remake of the original game, River City Ransom EX, was being developed, and the fan-sequel was cancelled out of respect for the original developers. 
- Second sequel, Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari 2, was announced in 2011 by Japanese developer Miracle Kidz. Miracle Kidz includes original Kunio-kun developers and it was supposed to be the official sequel. Sadly, this project was put on hold in 2012 and it seems likely that the game is not going to be made.
This game has examples of: