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Video Game / Rushing Beat

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The flyer for the first game.

Rushing Beat was a Beat 'em Up trilogy game series that was developed and published by Jaleco, released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in the early '90s. One of the more memorable features of the series was an "Ikari/Angry Mode", where you became invincible and did more damage. While the series itself has decent games, the overseas versions of the series suffered from questionable localizations.

The series consisted of:

  • Rushing Beat (released outside Japan as Rival Turf), 1992
  • Rushing Beat Ran (released outside Japan as Brawl Brothers), 1993
  • Rushing Beat Shura (released outside Japan as The Peace Keepers), 1994

The first game in the series has two police officers, Rick Norton and Douglas Bild fighting against a dangerous street gang known as Joecal while attempting to help rescue Rick's young sister Maria who was kidnapped by said gang. The sequel would have Norton and Bild once again battle against a returning and vengeful Joecal, with the duo being joined by three new friends in the form of Wendy Milan, Kazan, and Lord J. The third and final game in the series has the now-destroyed Joecal being replaced by an evil MegaCorp known as Douglas Motor, with its leader Kulmbach Lawrencium attempting world domination and it's up to a new group of protagonists (Dick, Elfin, Kythring, Jimmy, and M-Frame), alongside a returning Norton to help stop Douglas Motor and prevent the latter from succeeding with its evil plans.

All three games have been uploaded to the Nintendo Switch's online service.

On September 20, 2023, it was announced that a new title in the series called Rushing Beat X: Return of Brawl Brothers is in development and stated for release in 2024 by City Connection (the current owner of Jaleco's assets), almost 30 years after the release of Shura/The Peace Keepers.

This game series provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer:
    • It becomes The Maze in level 1 of Brawl Brothers.
    • You also fight in a sewer as one of the routes in Peace Keepers.
  • Action Girl: Wendy Milan in Rushing Beat Ran and Elfin in Rushing Beat Shura.
  • All There in the Manual: The U.S. versions of these games have this, save for Peace Keepers, and even then, they're different from the original Japanese games.
  • Badasses in Distress: In Rushing Beat Ran, you choose two characters at the start. The other three get kidnapped and must be rescued.
  • Berserk Button: Tread lightly if you're in the Japanese Castle in Rushing Beat Shura and you come across a golden-yellow Vase. You will get yourself destroyed by Yamaoka, a VERY ANGRY karate master if you actually break that. He's still the level boss even if you pass it by, but he is far less dangerous due to not being permanently in Ikari/Angry Mode - both figuratively and 99% literally!
  • Breath Weapon: Kintark/Big Al, the final boss of the first game has this in the form of a Hadouken. Also, Bild has a fire breathing move in Rushing Beat Ran.
  • Captain Ersatz: Bild/Nelson/Slash is basically M. Bison as a good guy.
  • Cast from Hit Points: In terms of desperation attacks:
    • Rival Turf averted this so executing desperation attacks requires 5 points from your body count, which is located above your life meter and increases by one for every enemy defeated.
    • The desperation attacks in Brawl Brothers all pose as "offensive special" ones from the Streets of Rage series, meaning that they will drain a small amount of your health when performed, whether it hits or misses. However, wait long enough without being hit or reusing the special attack, and you'll get the health back, allowing careful players to use them as a valid cornerstone of their battle strategy.
    • The Peace Keepers utilize the traditional "defensive special" moves, so whenever these hit an enemy, a small portion of life will be sacrificed. Oddly, a few characters have moves that are clearly more offensive-based in nature but otherwise work the same way.
  • Classic Cheat Code: Brawl Brothers has the original Rushing Beat Ran Japanese version included on its cartridge. To access it, the player must press the B, A, X, and Y buttons repeteadly on the Jaleco logo. A garbled screen will show up (actually the failed-to-load Japanese version title screen), so the player must press Start, Down three times, and then Start again to access the Options Menu, upon entering the Menu, the game will be changed to its original Japanese version.
  • Clean Dub Name: The second boss in the original Rushing Beat is a black rollerskater named "Honky". Unsurprisingly, he's renamed to Sledge in Rival Turf.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer:
    • Rival Turf has Player 1 in red and Player 2 in blue, allowing both players to use the same character if they wanted to (officially, both Norton/Flak and Bild/Nelson wear red).
    • Brawl Brothers will allow both players to choose the same character, but only in versus mode. The five main characters each have his/her third color palette for his/her AI-controlled variant.
    • The Peace Keepers does the same with Brawl Brothers, except up to four players, still only in versus mode. Also, using the shoulder buttons at the versus mode character select screen will change the color palette of which character you're deciding on.
  • Damsel in Distress: Rick Norton's sister, Maria, who's kidnapped in the first game. If Wendy wasn't one of the characters you picked in Rushing Beat Ran, you'll need to rescue her in one of the levels. Maria's also kidnapped in Rushing Beat Shura, and Rick can be found on several of the routes, some easier to parse out than others.
  • Darker and Edgier: The first game dealt with a crime syndicate's excess of power and drug trade, and then the second game took a turn for the weird with a cyber clone invasion, complete with comic book effects for beatdowns. The third game, Shura, has the main antagonist, Kulmbach Lawrencium, committing a global takeover with both technology and twisted human experimentation. The tone is overall more serious and the stakes significantly higher, and the bad guys are totally willing to kill innocent people and even wipe out an airport with a plane crash if given the opportunity.
  • Difficulty by Region: The Japanese versions of the games are easier than the American ones, as evident in the following examples:
    • Rival Turf had no difficulty settings unlike the Japanese version, where you could also adjust the number of lives as well.
    • Brawl Brothers had the sewer become a maze you had to navigate, whereas in the Japanese version you just fought straight through to the boss. Likewise, in Stage 3, when you board an elevator, you had to choose a certain floor to continue on in the overseas version, while the Japanese version just took you to the next floor. In both situations in the American version, it's very easy to go into loops if you're not paying attention or not taking notes, and the enemies WILL respawn in already-cleared areas if you do so.
    • The Peace Keepers had 12 continues to clear the game with as opposed to the Japanese version's 30.
  • Double Jump: An ability of Kazan in Ran.
  • Dub Name Change: The two main heroes of the franchise; they changed for the first game, changed again for Brawl Brothers, and then got their original names back in Peace Keepers. On that note, Peace Keepers changed most of the characters' names abroad (Dick to Flynn, Elfin to Echo, Kythring to Al, Jimmy to Prokop, and Metal Frame to Orbot) - Norton gets his original name back, though you wouldn't know this was the case if you're only familiar with the Americanized versions of the first two games. Even the enemies aren't immune to this. The main villains of each game alone become Big Al from Kintark, Dieter from Iceman and Iago from Klumbach.
  • Elevator Action Sequence:
    • Subverted in Rival Turf's third stage, where the boss encounters you in a Rooftop Confrontation.
    • Played straight in the second game, though.
  • Excuse Plot: There's a bad guy crime syndicate, go beat them up. The Japanese versions had slightly more plot, but in the original's case, barely that much more. Shura on the other hand subverts this with a noticeable increase in story to the point of multiple endings, something that was significantly dumbed down but still somewhat intact even in the Peace Keepers localization.
  • Expy: Rick Norton is Cody, Douglas Bild is Haggar, the enemy types correspond to those from Final Fight, one enemy does the Hurricane Kick, one of the bosses is Vega, the final boss shoots out Hadoukens from his mouth, and one of the characters from the later games fights like Guy.
  • Flash of Pain: Player characters in The Peace Keepers blink red while in Ikari/Angry Mode.
  • Groin Attack: Bild has one, and many enemies have a special animation for being hit by it, but it's unfortunately missing in the overseas versions of the first two games. Shura doesn't have Bild as a playable character and thus it's missing entirely in either version.
  • He Knows Too Much: The reason of why Maria is kidnapped in Rushing Beat. The backstory explains that Maria, seeking to be a first-class reporter, has a videotape exposing the secret of "Jeecus", a dangerous drug that's been spreading throughout the entire country, and thus Joecal (the ones creating and distributing said drug) kidnaps her while telling her older brother Rick that they'll return Maria back to him in exchange for the tape.
  • Hit Flash: The gameplay in Brawl Brothers has a slight comic book feel when it comes to enemies getting hit.
  • Hurricane Kick: Two of the enemies in Rival Turf use this attack.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: In Ran, all of the playable characters have a down attack when an enemy is on ground by rapidly hitting the attack button.
  • Level 1 Music Represents: The first stage's theme from the first game has appeared in all of the games. However, the theme plays in the last levels of the sequels instead of the first, and it's extended a bit as well.
  • Life Meter: Everyone's got one. All three games have layered health bars for the enemies, and coincidentally, the way they're used corresponds to each game in Streets of Rage - in the first, you can only see the exact amount of health an enemy/boss has in the final bar, and in the second and third games, you can see exactly how much health is in each bar at all times.
  • Limit Break: Ikari/Angry Mode, which makes you invincible and more powerful after you take enough damage from enemies. The other Limit Break appears to be the character-specific "Termination Skill" in Peace Keepers, which deals about 60% of a full life bar to all on-screen enemies (far more than enough to kill all but three specific Blade/Axes in exactly one place), though a fair bit less to bosses. However, Norton's Termination Skill gives him an instant Ikari/Angry Mode while Orbot doesn't have a Termination Skill at all. Velk/Tybalt has a Termination Skill as well. Hope you were paying attention to the hint that you can block it.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Rushing Beat's final boss, Kintark (Big Al), is Rick and Maria's father.
  • Magic Skirt: Wendy.
  • Marathon Boss: Dieter in Brawl Brothers, the only boss to have more than one layer to his super-sized boss life bar, and the only enemy period to have three life bars.
  • Market-Based Title: It's a mystery what Jaleco was trying to accomplish by distancing games in an established franchise from each other outside of Japan. Rushing Beat X will be the first game in the series to be released outside Japan under its original title.
  • Masked Luchador: The boss Karn/Ice Man in Rival Turf.
  • Meaningful Name: The original name, Rushing Beat, refers to to a rushing attack and the two characters are cops working a "beat". The name Rival Turf refers to the cops and the gang members as rivals trying to claim their turf.
  • Multiple Endings: Peace Keepers has two main endings, and two epilogues for all six characters on top of those - which ones you get depend on the paths you took, how many scientists you saved, who you're playing as, and if you have certain characters in your party by the game's conclusion.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Two of the enemies in the first game is a muscleman named Arnold and a dreadlocked man named Bob (though only in the Japanese version unless you change it back from 'Reggie' with the 'rename everybody' code).
  • Race Lift:
    • Douglas Bild becomes a black guy instead of a white one in the overseas versions of the series. In Peace Keepers, it's Kythring.
    • Funnily, in all three games, the ending forgets to make this change with Bild, though you'll only see it in Shura if you get Norton's good ending.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Rick gets this as a special move in Ran.

  • Ruthless Rooftops: In Brawl Brothers, stage 3-1 is called "Roofs": the player exits a fire escape and walks into a rooftop, being accosted by mooks as soon as he appears. Then, they must navigate the stage by jumping across rooftops, avoiding falling to certain death in the gap between buildings, and walking across red metal beams to reach stage 3-2.
  • Secret A.I. Moves: AI-controlled Wendy in Rushing Beat Ran could jump onto the ring ropes in the background.
  • Shoryuken: Rick’s keepaway move in Rushing beat shura, which launches rick himself into the air via an uppercut surrounded with blue flames.
  • Significant Anagram: The gang in the first two games is known as Joecal.note 
  • Slide Attack: Norton in the original, Kazan in Ran, Dick/Flynn in Shura.
  • Totally Radical: The manual of Rival Turf was obviously written by the same guy who localized Totally Rad.
  • Turns Red:
    • The final boss in Rushing Beat/Rival Turf turns red a few times throughout the battle as you damage him. He becomes more powerful and invincible too, so it's his version of Ikari/Angry Mode.
    • Yamaoka can do this in Shura, and God help you if you broke the Golden Vase to trigger the fight as he'll do so far, far more often.
  • Wrench Whack: One weapon in the first Rushing Beat.
  • Wrestler in All of Us:
    • While Norton's moveset does not feature much in the way of wrestling moves, he can execute a German suplex if he grabs an enemy from behind.
    • The cast in Shura can also pull off wrestling moves as well. Dick/Flynn has the German suplex, Elfin/Echo does a Frankensteiner, Kythring/Al uses powerbombs and Jimmy/Prokop utilises chokeslams and tombstone piledrivers.

Alternative Title(s): Rival Turf, Brawl Brothers, The Peace Keepers