In a time when the minds of youth should be happy and free, a war is about to explode! High school students have become the victims of random attacks and kidnappings. With police proving to be no match for the villains, the students themselves now rise to take matters into their own hands!
—The opening quotes from the arcade intro of Rival Schools: United by Fate
Rival Schools, known as Justice Gakuen (lit. "Justice Academy") in Japan, was one of Capcom's attempts to make a 3D Fighting Game. It was notable for having a continuous plotline, in a genre where the plot was often secondary to the fighting. Students from all around Japan have mysteriously been disappearing, and teams of students from various high schools wind up fighting to figure out the person(s) behind it all. Players formed teams of two (which could be switched between rounds), and could call their partners in to assist them with an extra hit or energy boost (a feature borrowed from Marvel vs. Capcom that would also later make its way into a few of The King of Fighters games). The PlayStation port added many Mini Games alongside the main fighting game, as well as a character creation mode based off of Dating Sim games. The latter, however, never made it outside Japan thanks to how much of an undertaking it would be to translate to other languages, but all the other home version extras made it. In Japan, the game later got re-released with two new characters, as well as a revamped character creation mode.It was later followed by a sequel on the Dreamcast, Project Justice, which introduced new characters, expanded the team size to three, and brought on even more school fighting mayhem. In this go around, there aren't as many kidnappings, but students start acting completely wacky, so the same students and teachers (as well as new ones) set out to find out what's going on. The Japanese version again had a character creation mode, this time in the form of the digitized board games (in the vein of Mario Party) that were all the rage at the time.The games are rather obscure, so there is not likely to be a sequel any time soon. Despite that though Capcom doesn't seem to have forgotten about it though as characters can be seen in the Capcom VS Whatever games (namely Capcom vs. SNK 2, Namco × Capcom, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom and Project X Zone). However, in 2012, the PlayStation version of United By Fatewas re-released as part of Sony's PSN Classics program in Japan, leaving hope that the series might not be finished just yet...
This series provides examples of:
All There in the Manual: Zig zagged; the games clearly explain the story and most characters' motivations, but if you want to know more about the characters, you have play through the character creation modes only available in the Japanese versions.
Amazon Brigade: The Seijyun High team of Akira, Yurika and Zaki in Project Justice. Zaki's all-female gang, the Ladies Team, also might count, but not all of them fit the trope's requirement of being attractive
Animated Actors: One of the animated endings in the PlayStation version has the characters portrayed as actors filming a movie, with Raizo as the director of the production. Rivalries aside, their actor personas are still surprisingly in-character.
Bootstrapped Theme: Long after the games' releases, the themes for "Classroom of Taiyo High" became the Leitmotif of the games themselves. Batsu tends to use "On the Rooftop of Taiyo High" when he appears in crossover games.
Brainwashed and Crazy: Daigo (twice) and Raizo. Also in terms of the in-game story Kyoko, Hideo, Roy, Boman, Tiffany and Shoma also fall victim to this. However...
It's not just them. Ultimately it's the whole basis of the plot (especially for the first game) and depending on who you do NOT choose to be your partner from the three characters from each school ALL the major characters can theoretically fall victim to this trope just before the end of the game. After the other two characters fight said character they snap out of the brainwashing by The Power of Friendship.
Character Customization: Both games have this feature but neither of them made it outside of Japan, due to the sheer volume of text that would have to be translated from the simulation mode. The US versions of the games simply omitted this mode altogether, but Project Justice made up for it by including over a dozen pre-made custom characters to unlock.
Combination Attack: Each character has a specific attack you can use when calling them for a Team-Up. Most deal damage, and some restore health or fill up your Burning Vigor gauge. In the sequel, it's possible to get all three characters in for a Party-Up attack to pile on even more damage. Team-Ups depend on who you call in, but Party-Ups depend on who you're playing as.
Crossover: There are numerous references to Street Fighter in Rival Schools, most notably Sakura's inclusion in the first game. However there are also a few inconsistencies (like Sakura's blood type) that prevents Rival Schools from fitting neatly into the Street Fighter continuity.
Embarrassing Middle Name: Edge hates being called by his real name, Eiji Yamada. Likewise, the masked gang leader Zaki does not answer to Aoi Himezaki (due to the "Hime" part of her name, which translates to "Princess").
Gang War: A war is brewing amongst Gedo and Seijyun High Schools' respective gangs. The whole mess turns out to have been orchestrated by Kurow.
Gang of Hats: Seijyun High's students wear surgical masks, a cliché of all-female gangs in anime.
Grapple Move: in addition to normal grabs, crouch, and back grabs. there's Combination Attacks, which are initiated by a telegraphed, blockable attack and then cuts into a sequence of attack (just like a normal grab move) unique to your partner character. some of these can heal or increase your Mana Meter.
Gratuitous English: Roy (as noted above) and Tiffany both exhibit this at times. Their fellow countryman Boman avoids it by speaking Japanese all the time.
Grievous Harm with a Body: Some of the team-up attacks: Raizo throws his partner at the enemy. Zaki grabs her partner and swing-slams them into her opponent after her initial stomping. Wild Daigo punches and throws his opponent right at his own partner them beats the both of them down. Kurow's party-up involves his two partners whaling on the opponent on both sides, then Kurow impales both his own partners and repeatedly hammers them on the opponent. HARSH.
Guest Fighter: Sakura Kasugano from Street Fighter shows up in the first game. She doesn't figure into the main storyline very much, but she is said to be good friends with Hinata and Natsu.
Hopeless Boss Fight: Can be subverted — most of the Stage 3 battles in Rival Schools are designed to be impossible to win (due to AI damage and health increases), but if you can manage to win, you get to skip straight ahead to the final boss.
Hot-Blooded: Batsu...all the way. So much that he turns into Burning Batsu.
Don't forget Hayato. He's the model of Hot-Blooded PE teacher that Naruto's Might Guy could have been molded after him. That's even his surname for God's sake! ("Nekketsu" means literally "hot blood".)
I Know Madden Kombat: Pretty much the shtick of the Gorin High characters. At least the ball sports (baseball - Shoma, volleyball - Natsu, football - Roberto, tennis - Momo) make sense; but taken to very ridiculous levels with a character (Nagare) who fights with swimming moves!
I Know You Are In There Somewhere Fight: If you play as Kyoko and Hideo in the Arcade version of the first game, you get brainwashed after losing the Hopeless Stage 3 battle. After awhile, one of the two snaps out of it and tries to convince the other to do so by fighting him/her.
Jerkass: Roy is very condescending of the Japanese and has a huge superiority complex when it comes to the respective countries. This was toned down a LOT in the western translation which makes it rather odd for gamers who can understand Japanese since only the translation is different. The dialogue is still the same as the original making it somewhat strange to read one thing and listen to something completely different. It should be noted that towards the end of the game Roy has changed his outlook on Japan considerably and seems to view the country with a lot more respect.
This is probably because she uses Dan Hibiki's own Saikyo style... and learned it from weekend correspondence courses, meaning she isn't as skillful at it as him...
Ki Attacks: Every single character in the game, thanks to Batsu's and Hayato's assists.
Left Hanging: The end of Project Justice. Yes, Kurow's plan has been foiled but he's escaped custody and Kyosuke disappeared from school after the death of Hyo as well. And what of the Darkside Society that both Kurow and Yurika defected from?
Let's You and Him Fight: EVERYBODY from the different high schools, without exception. It isn't until the last stage of the game that the characters find the real culprits.
Look What I Can Do Now: In the Taiyo storyline in Project Justice, if Batsu loses in the second battle, he leaves the party for a while, but returns a few battles later as "Burning Batsu", complete with powered-up attacks and a Battle Aura.
Also, the legal trouble with the V As and music that's kept the games from being re-released sooner. Specifically, Capcom is required to pay them all for every release version of the game, however Capcom has lost contact with a good number of them (and some have stopped working in the industry altogether). The PS One Classics re-release necessitated Capcom having to contact a number of companies to renegotiate those rights - some of them not even being the original owners of those sounds and voices.
Title Scream: United By Fate does this for both the English and Japanese titles. Project Justice does this with only the Japanese title.
Tomboy and Girly Girl: Natsu and Hinata; disregarding the fact that they are from different schools, they've been friends since childhood. Akira and Yurika is another example, though they've only known each other for a short time prior to the events of Project Justice.
Translation Convention: Despite all being Americans, Roy, Tiffany and Boman speak Japanese almost to the exclusion of their native language. Never mind that Roy's Japanophobic (at first) and Tiffany's grasp of the language is broken to the point of near-total incomprehensibility.
Two-Teacher School: Most of the schools in the series. In the case of Gedo, Pacific and Seijyun, they're all No Teacher Schools as far as the players are aware.
Updated Re-release: Shiritsu Justice Gakuen: Nekketsu Seisyun Nikki 2, a update of the first Rival Schools, for the PlayStation. Unfortunately, a lot of people mistake it for a sequel.
Wrestler in All of Us: Boman actually does a Kinniku Buster in his Team-Up Attack. That aside, most grapples are wrestling-inspired; even little Momo can bust out a piledriver!
Yamato Nadeshiko: Seijyun Girls Academy trains its students to become this. However it's also home to an all-female gang led by Aoi "Zaki" Himezaki. Ironically, the girl who suits the archetype the most is Yurika, The Mole from the Darkside Student Council.