Articles & Notes, Ideas & Personal creations — April 13, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Game becomes film: “Streets of Rage” trilogy (1991-1994)

I’ve had my share of joy, playing the SEGA video game console, and for what I can remember I’ve always had a few games there, that in my opinion would have made great movies.

So, I’ve decided to write down the two of them, that coincidentally were among my favorite games, “Eternal Champions“, and “Streets of Rage“.

You can check out the previous post on “Eternal Champions” here, and this post is about “Streets of Rage”, a “beat-them-up” game, that was once as popular as “Mortal Kombat” and “Street Fighter”.

WELCOME TO THE STREETS OF RAGE

“Streets of Rage” (also known as “Bare Knuckles” in Japan), is a side-scrolling “beat ’em up” released by Sega in 1991 for the Sega Mega Drive gaming concole. It is the first installment of the “Streets of Rage” series which was followed by “Streets of Rage 2” and “Streets of Rage 3”.

The game was also converted over to Sega’s Game Gear, Mega-CD and Master System. In 2007, the game was released for the Wii’s Virtual Console in North America and Europe, and in 2009 it was released for the iOS via the App Store.

There was also a comic strip series based upon the games which appeared in Sonic the Comic. These three stories are based on “Streets of Rage 2” and do not feature Adam. The game features an acclaimed soundtrack by Yuzo Koshiro, which was released in the Japanese music market.

STREETS OF RAGE STORYLINES

Original Streets of Rage – The story of the first game is rather simple. A city where the story takes place has fallen into the hands of a secret criminal syndicate. There’s chaos, killings and vandalism everywhere, most of the police is bribed, and no one feels safe anymore. As the chaos continued at full strength, three young police officers tried to establish a special attack unit. They were repeatedly turned down by their superiors, most of whom had been bought by the organization or were too afraid to make a stand. So one day, they had enough, and quit the force, to walk out on the “Streets of Rage” full of thugs, criminals, scum of all kind. Theey will put their lives on the line, battling the syndicate, using their fists, knives and drainpipes…

Streets of Rage 2 – A year has passed since the events of “Streets of Rage”. To celebrate the defeat of the mysterious “Mr. X” and his syndicate the previous year, Adam, Axel, and Blaze met at their favorite nightspot in the city and spent their time reminiscing about their vigilante crusade against “Mr. X” and his organization. Axel and Blaze had moved out of the city after the adventure from last year. Axel has begun working as a part-time bodyguard and Blaze teaches dance classes. Adam has since rejoined the police force and lives in a small house with his younger brother.

The next morning, Axel received a phone call from Eddie ‘Skate’ Hunter, Adam’s younger brother. Skate had arrived at home from school and was shocked to find his house in ruin and his older brother missing. Attached to the front door was a picture of Adam chained to a wall at the feet of Mr. X. The criminals began to retake the streets once more. Beatings and lootings took place regularly and in broad daylight. Chaos reigned in the city, far worse than before.

Realizing that “Mr.X” and his syndicate has returned for revenge against him, Skate and Axel waste no time in telling Blaze about the unexpected situation and Blaze herself is determined to help Axel out in defeating “Mr. X” and rescuing Adam. Accompanied by Adam’s young brother Skate and Axel’s “friend,” a professional wrestler named Max Thunder, Axel and Blaze set forth on a rescue mission, which will take them from the city all the way to “Mr. X”‘s hideout on a desolate island.

Streets of Rage 3 – After being defeated twice, Syndicate crime boss Mr. X has started a research company called RoboCy Corporation to act as a cover for his illegal activities. The world’s best roboticist, Dr. Dahm, has been brought in to help him create an army of realistic robots to replace important officials from the city. With the replacements in place, Mr. X plans to run the city using a remote control device. His criminal organization, The Syndicate, has strategically placed bombs around the city to distract the police while the city officials are dealt with.

Dr. Zan discovers what the research is really for and knows the Syndicate must be stopped. He contacts Blaze Fielding with the details of The Syndicate’s plan. Blaze quickly contacts her old comrades Axel Stone and Adam Hunter for a task force to bring down The Syndicate once and for all. Axel quickly joins the task force, but Adam can’t make it (due to his own assignments from within the police) and sends his young brother, Eddie “Skate” Hunter instead.

As you can see, the plots of three games could have been easily compressed into one cool movie plot, with lots of action, martial arts and so on.

 

STREETS OF RAGE CHARACTERS

Since a movie could combine everything that all “Streets of Rage” trilogy has, including characters, there is a lot to chose from, not just the leading characters, but the bad guys and bosses as well. They’re all very different and very vivid too. Take a closer look below.

Adam Hunter (appears in SOR 1, SOR 3) a black ex-cop and an accomplished boxer.

Axel Stone, an ex-cop and skilled martial artist. Seems to be the leading character of the series, appears in all three installments of SOR.

Blaze Fielding, an female ex-cop and judo expert. Beautiful, agile, skilled and fearless female warrior. Along with Axel appears in all “Streets of Rage” series.

Max Thunder – Huge professional wrestler, Axel’s friend. Max looks like he could break “Street Fighter’s” Zangief in half. Appears only in SOR 2.

Eddie “Skate” Hunter (known as Sammy Hunter in Japan), a younger brother of Adam Hunter from the original SOR, appears in SOR 2, and SOR 3. Hardly has any fighting style, yet fast and very agile.

Dr. Zan – a scientist, who looks like a starving Hulk Hogan in a cyborg suit. Not really a fighter, yet uses his cyborg hands to his advantage.

Mr. X – the criminal mind of the evil Syndicate. Appears in all series of the franchise. Not a fighter by any means, usually uses automatic gun as a weapon.

Ash – homosexual idiot who surprisingly looks like younger George Michael. Uses girlish type of fighting style, however does posess some strength.

Shiva – deadly bodyguard of Mr. X. from SOR 2. Also appears in SOR 3. The most skilled martial arts character in the game, equally strong, fast and agile.

Aside from the characters listed below, there are tons of other interesting characters who act as bosses or usual thugs in the francise. Couple of examples below:

* The Stage 4 boss in SOR 2 – Abadede, bears a strong resemblance to that of the former professional wrestler The Ultimate Warrior, who had worked for the WWF in the early 90’s.

* One of the fat thugs in SOR 2 is named “Heart” as a reference to the popular manga “Fist of the North Star” (original Japanese name Hokuto No Ken), which featured an extremely overweight martial artist called Heart.

And, there are many many more minor characters that would be a great addition to the film, if it ever gets made.

Although “Streets of Rage” was created by SEGA (which is a Japanese company), it would have been better if the film would have been made in the U.S., since the characters and the environment are more close to the Western culture.

Personally, I see “Streets of Rage” as a hard-hitting in-your-face 90s action movie with lots of fights, shootouts and bad language.

Kind of a mix between “Double Dragon” (1994) and “Street Fighter” (1994).



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