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Characters / River City Ransom

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The various characters of the NES game River City Ransom and its GBA remake, River City Ransom EX, as well as the sequel game River City Ransom: Underground. For tropes relating to their Japanese counterparts, see the Kunio-kun Characters page.

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Characters from River City Ransom

    The Good Guys 

Alex Kun

The protagonist of the game.

Ryan Samejima

  • Mythology Gag: His family name is revealed in Underground to be Samejima, the original surname of his Kunio-kun counterpart, Riki Samejima.


Ryan's girlfriend, kidnapped and held hostage by Slick.

  • Damsel in Distress: Her sole role in the game.
  • Amicable Exes: She and Ryan broke up between the original game and Underground, but they're still on good terms.


Slick's girlfriend, who's had a change of heart after he kidnapped Cyndi. She meets with the protagonist on the bridge to inform him about Cyndi's hereabouts and warn him about the Twins.

  • Anti-Villain: Roxy supports Alex and Ryan, despite being Slick's girlfriend.

    Gangs of River City 

  • Cool Shades: One of the different gang member faces has him wearing shades.
  • Enemy Chatter: They talk a lot during the fights, taunting you and yelling in pain. In EX, each gang has a set of specific quotes that typically fit the gang's theme (if it has one).
  • Gang of Hats: All members of each gang wear clothes of the same color. The gangs also tend to have a more-or-less specific gimmick, reflected by their members' names and/or their quotes in EX.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Exaggerated. After Slick is defeated, not only do they all return to school, but they become honor students.
  • Only Six Faces: Zig-Zagged. Each gang has nine members (ten in EX) who all look different; however, the same set of faces is reused for every gang (EX has more than ten possible faces, but the same faces still recur across different gangs).
  • Theme Naming: The names of a gang's members often reflect a common theme.
  • Weapon of Choice: Many gangs have favored weapons they'll bring to the fight. In the GBA version, this is the only way to get certain weapons, like the Eagles' double-length chains and the Entrees' buckets and ladders.

The Generic Dudes

"Now we fight."

Members (NES): Barry, Cary, Gary, Harry, Jerry, Larry, Perry, Ralph, Terry
Members (EX): Dewey, Fred, Jack, Jacob, Kevin, Pete, Phil, Roger, Roy, Steve
Color: Light blue

  • The Goomba: The weakest of the gangs. Once you've upgraded your stats a little, they're barely worth your attention.
  • Odd Name Out: Ralph in the NES version.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: In EX, they bear no real malice against the protagonist, and in fact admire him; however, they've been intimidated by The Plague into helping Slick in his plans. If you defeat them enough times at Sticksville, you can even get them to join you.
  • Theme Naming: In the NES version, most of their names rhyme with "-ary" or "-erry".
  • Weapon of Choice: Tend to appear carrying sticks more than other gangs.

The Frat Guys (RCR) / The Frat Boys (EX)


Members (NES): Biff, Clark, Drake, Grant, Skip, Trent, Trip, Tyler, Logan
Members (''EX'): Alec, Boyd, Bruce, Chad, Chaz, Clark, Corey, Dean, Tad, Trey
Color: Pink

  • Dirty Coward: According to the NES manual, they run away as soon as they think they're in danger. In-game, they indeed seem to run away more often than other gangs.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The NES manual claims that they're all rich. In the game, only a member of the Generic Dudes drops less money when defeated.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Their color of choice. Of course, you may wonder how much of 'real men' they are, given their propensity for running away.
  • Rich Bitch: The NES manual describes them as a gang made up of rich boys.

The Dragons (EX only)


Members: Ferio, Kunio, Largo, Oni, Pala, Piro, Raika, Riki, Sudou, Tatsu
Color: Orange

  • Theme Naming: Most of them have Asian-sounding names.
  • Shout-Out: To the original Japanese game — Kunio and Riki are the Japanese names of Alex and Ryan, respectively.
  • Weapon of Choice: They tend to carry rocks, which they love to throw at their opponents.

The Jocks

"Time to work out."

Members (NES): Brad, Curt, Dirk, Jake, Lance, Matt, Mike, Nick, Rex
Members (EX): Ace, Biff, Brad, Craig, Dolph, Ethan, Mike, Russ, Spike, Vic
Color: Light green

  • Jerk Jock: Especially visible in EX, where they use sports-related phrases such as "Play ball!" and "Fumble..."

The Rockers (EX only)

"Let's roll!"

Members: Axe, Chris, Dex, Gavin, Jimmy, Ozzy, Scott, Shino, Trent, Zac
Color: Salmon

The Rejects (EX only)

"Your town's going down."

Members: Byron, Colin, Derek, Gabe, Griff, Perry, Peter, Stewy, Waldo, Yemi
Color: Blue

  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: While they wear different colors, they're very similar to the Squids from the NES version, even dropping similar amounts of money. They aren't quite as powerful, though.

The Home Boys

"Yo yo yo!"

Members (NES): Bobby, Brady, Chip, Doug, Ernie, Greg, Peter, Robby, Steve
Members (EX): 6Paq, BigG, Dawg, D-Jay, Dre, Fiddy, Slim, Snoop, SusiK, Will
Color: Dark yellow

  • Mighty Glacier: At least according to the NES manual, where they're described as slow, but strong couch potatoes.
  • Theme Naming: In EX, their names reference famous rappers, e.g. 6Paq, Dre... The NES version names them after characters from classic television shows, like The Brady Bunch and My Three Sons.

The Eagles (EX only)


Members: Allen, Bart, Cid, Ed, Hank, Joey, Keif, Kevin, Snape, Sorbo
Color: Light teal

  • Weapon of Choice: They tend to appear with double-length chains, which happen to be one of the best weapons in the game.

The Mob

"You talkin' to me?"

Members (NES): Lefty, Louie, Manny, Marco, Max, Mouse, Sid, Tony, Vinny
Members (EX): Blaze, Clive, Guido, Hoffa, Ralph, Ugly, Tony, Viggo, Vinny, Vito
Color: Gray

  • The Mafia: Themed after the mafia, and some of their lines in EX reference it.
  • Theme Naming: Their names sound like stereotypical mafioso monikers.
  • Weapon of Choice: In EX, they tend to appear carrying tires.

The Squids (NES only)

Members: Berni, Byron, Erwin, Felix, Herb, Howie, Linus, Morty, Waldo
Color: Burgundy
  • Adapted Out: They don't appear in EX.
  • Badass Bookworm: According to the manual, they're a gang of "eggheads", but they're still one of the stronger gangs in the game.
  • Theme Naming: They have stereotypical nerdy names.

The Locals (EX only)

"Welcome to our turf."

Members: Angel, Barb, Bill, Carl, Eric, Gail, James, Satou, Taro, Wally
Color: Dark orange

The Internationals

"Get outta' here!"

Members (NES): Akbar, Andre, Boris, Fuji, Hans, Juan, Lars, Wang, Yemi
Members (EX): Baka, Chang, Ein, Faiz, Franz, Hans, Kim, Kurt, Tama, Wai
Color: Green

  • Piñata Enemy: Only in the NES version — they're the gang whose mooks carry the most cash, while they're distinctly easier to fight off compared to the other late-game gangs (the Squids, the Cowboys, and the Plague). They carry less in the GBA version.
  • Theme Naming: They're a gang of foreign exchange students, and thus they all have non-English names.

The Cowboys

"We'll hogtie y'all!"

Members (NES): Bart, Bubba, Duke, Dusty, Jed, Luke, Merle, Shane, Slim
Members (EX): Billy, Butch, Cass, Clint, Earp, Eli, Oakly, Shane, Wayne, Wyatt
Color: Dark blue

  • Deep South: Referenced by their names in the NES version.
  • Stock American Phrases: In EX, they talk like, well, stereotypical cowboys.
  • Theme Naming: In the original NES game they have stereotypical American redneck names. In EX their names reference famous Wild West figures.

The Plague

"We're the new order."

Members (NES): Blaze, Edge, Mooky, Slash, Snake, Stick, Sting, Tonto, Ziggy
Members (EX): Cloud, Duo, Edge, Ikari, Kaoru, Lucas, Pox, Reno, Sars, Spark
Color: Red

  • Theme Naming: In the NES version, nearly all of them are named after painful and sharp things.

The Gamers (EX only)

"It's the next level!"

Members: Akira, Cody, Gordo, Hogg, Jin, Lamin, Meis, Muza, Skich, Skoy
Color: Dark pink
  • Piñata Enemy: After the Entrees, they drop the most money (1.60$) despite not being one of the strongest gangs. They are far less rare and more willing to get their noses bloodied than the Entrees.

The Entrees (EX only)

"Bring it on."

Members: Burg, Franck, Gheti, Menci, Piza, Pocke, Raisu, Soba, Sushi, Takos
Color: Yellow (fitting, huh?)

  • Dirty Coward: They are very quick to run away.
  • Edible Theme Naming: As befitting their gang name, several of their names are puns on food.
  • Metal Slime: They give ridiculous amounts of money, but flee from battle almost immediately.
  • Piñata Enemy: They drop 7$ — each. For perspective, the end-game dominant gang, The Plague, yields $1.50 each. The weapons they drop are also very useful due to their high range.
  • Weapon of Choice: They show up with ladders and mops.

The Zombies

Members: Blade, Mojo, Thor, Turk
Color: Red
A small gang consisting of four members, who are fought as bosses throughout the game. See the Bosses section for descriptions of individual members.


The unique characters you fight throughout the game.

  • Boss Banter: They taunt you or boast about their prowess when they appear, and they keep talking during battle. In EX, attacking them during their introductory speech will cause them to complain (and lower your reputation.)
  • Only One Name: Apart from Ivan Popov in EX, they are known only by their first names or nicknames.


"Hold it! Rocko says punks can't pass."
A member of the Mob, fought at a construction lot in Sticksville. In EX, after his defeat, he can be fought again behind the WSL & Co. warehouse.


"I'm gonna rearrange your ugly face!"

The head of the Mob. Fought in the WSL & Co. warehouse.

  • Opaque Nerd Glasses: Visible on his sprite, and in his portrait in the NES manual.
  • Specs of Awesome: He's quite a badass despite wearing glasses, and in fact heads the entire Mob gang.

Benny & Clyde

"Well look who's come to see us, Clyde."
"Yeah, and it's time you know the rules."

Two out-of-towners who came to River City to seek out a good fight. They're first fought in the Riverside Park, and later reappear outside the sauna in Burb Village.

  • Bonus Boss: Fighting them is entirely optional (although it makes them into a good source of money later on).
  • Dual Boss: They are both fought at once in both encounters.
  • Piñata Enemy: Benny and Clyde's rematch ($3.50 each) is a very fast way to build up funds right before River City High.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: They haven't grown much stronger, if at all, by the time you fight them a second time, which means they'll likely be pushovers.


"You can't go nowhere till you beat me!"

A member of the Zombie gang. Fought in the Sherman Park.

  • Defeat Means Friendship: Defeat him with a very high reputation, and he'll regret giving in to hatred and ask to join you so that he can be a good person again.
  • The Dreaded: Recruit him and Moose and Rocko will run away every time you try to rematch against them for the rest of the game! To put this into perspective, Blade is the first Zombie that you fight. Not even their leader, Thor, commands such respect in the game!
  • Freudian Excuse: He became a deliquent because he felt eveyone hated him and treated him badly all his life.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Someone named "Blade" presumably isn't very friendly.


"I need to know the reason why y'fight... so I can beat you, and prove how wrong y'are."

A member of the Zombie gang. Fought in the empty lot downtown.


"Hey dude, It's party time!"

A member of the Zombie gang, who calls himself the "Flying Turk" owing to his fast moves. Fought at the Armstrong Thru-Way.

  • Defeat Means Friendship: In EX, if you defeat him with a high reputation, he will admit that he's been "tricked" and wrong about you, and offer to join you.
  • Flash Step: In EX, he has the "Nitro Port" technique, which allows him to quickly teleport to an opponent and instantly deliver a powerful kick.


"Welcome to your worst nightmare!"

The leader of the Zombies. Fought in the Vacant Tire Factory after the three other Zombies are beaten.

  • Defeat Means Friendship: It's possible to recruit him after you beat him, assuming your reputation is very high and you have no other Zombies in your party.
  • Rich Bitch: According to the NES manual, he's a son of a rich banker.

Ivan Popov

"You want in? First survive my headbutt!"

The leader of the Internationals. Guards the gate to River City High.

  • Husky Russkie: He is a quite badass Russian.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: In the GBA remake, he has a score to settle with the Dragon Twins for getting too close to his sister, Abby.
  • Named by the Adaptation: His last name is only mentioned in EX.
  • Poirot Speak: Downplayed — in the NES version, one of his lines is "You are worthy enemy." Assuming it's not a typo, it's presumably a reference to a common stereotype of Russians dropping articles before nouns. In EX, he speaks perfectly good English.
  • Reluctant Warrior: The only reason he is in the conflict is to keep his sister safe. He would like nothing more than to just rest. But until then...
  • Signature Move: His famous headbutt.
  • Worthy Opponent: His NES defeat quote:
    You are worthy enemy. You may get lucky.


"Yo, no dirty shoes on my clean gym floor."

One of the bosses guarding River City High. Fought in the gym. In EX, he will also show up to help out the Twins if you come with a Zombie in your party.


"Howdy! I can't believe y'all got this far."

The leader of the Cowboys. Fought on the 3rd floor of River City High.

The Twins (Randy and Andy)

Randy: "We are the infamous Dragon Twins."
Andy: "Don't plan to leave here in one piece!"

Slick's most trusted henchmen, the feared Twins guard the rooftop door at the top floor of River City High.

  • Co-Dragons: They're both Slick's strongest allies.
  • Dual Boss: They're both fought at once, and they can be a pain.
  • Expy: They are based on Billy and Jimmy of Double Dragon fame, complete with their leitmotif. They even get Billy and Jimmy's shifty eyes from the NES version (¬_¬). In the GBA version, their hair colors were even changed to match Billy's and Jimmy's.
  • Punny Name: The Dragon Twins in Japanese are named Ryuuichi and Ryuuji. The names basically mean "Dragon One" and "Dragon Two."

Slick / Simon

"Long time no see ALEX. Remember me?"

The Final Boss, the one behind it all. Fought on the rooftop of River City High.

    Characters unique to EX 


The leader of the Generic Dudes. After you defeat the whole gang three times at Sticksville, he appears and pleads for you to let them join you.

  • "Yes"/"No" Answer Interpretation: If you choose "Don't know" or "No answer" after he asks if you let them join, he'll interpret your answer as "yes" and join you anyway.


Alex's classmate, who looks up to him. He can be recruited in front of the Cross Town High after clearing out both Cross Town High and 3rd Street as Alex.


Ryan's friend, who can be recruited in Sherman Park when playing as Ryan.


Encountered at the Burb Village, he loves to test his "mad skillz" against people. Depending on how many allies you have, he may offer to join you, or attack you.

  • Cool Shades: He wears these, as part of his street punk persona.


Encountered at the Burb Village if you turn down Rex's offer. An expert at karate, he would love to join you in your quest.


Turk's friend, who fights you alongside him if you defeat Turk at the WSL & Co. Entrance a couple of times.






Characters from River City Ransom: Underground

    Player Characters 


  • Does Not Like Shoes: She wears wraps around her bare feet.
  • The Smurfette Principle: By default she's the only female character available at the beginning. You can eventually access other female characters once you unlock them.

    The Bad Guys 


The Cameo from the Double Dragon series.

For tropes that apply to his home series, check out that series' own character page.

  • Mythology Gag: His love interest looks awfully like Misuzu, a character from the Kunio-kun series.

Alternative Title(s): River City Ransom Underground


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