Sequels To Renegade..or River City Ransom?

The place to talk everything Double Dragon.

Moderators: Steve Halfpenny, Jonny2x4

mechapop
Red Belt
Posts: 144
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:01 pm
Location: Sacramento, CA
Contact:

Sequels To Renegade..or River City Ransom?

Post by mechapop »

We all know that Technos Japan's first beat em up forray into arcades was called Renegade in the US, and "Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-kun" in Japan.

They would later create a chibi version of the Kunio-Kun series popularized in America as the "River City Rampage", "River City Sports" and "Super Dodgeball" series

BUT...in the early 90's they made two beat-em-up games fro the SNES. There's been an argument as to whether these could be considered sequels and part of the River City Rampage series...or...Renegade?

Image
Shodai Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-kun
1992/Super Famicom

Given it's not aesthetically at all like "Downtown Nekketsu", and is given a title to denote a continuation of Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-Kun, I'd say this right here is your first official sequel to Renegade.

Here's where it starts to get a bit...complicated

Image
Shin Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-kun - Kunio Tachi No Banka
1994/Super Famicom

A lot of the characters from the first arcade Japanese version of Renegade are present here, however the characters have a more River City Random-ish look, and there's the RPG/dialogue elements from RCR/Downtown Nekketsu.

To me the REAL sequels to River City Rampage ARE:

Nekketsu Kakutou Densetsu - Famicom (1992)
Image

River City Random Ex
Image

Downtown Special - Kunio Kun no Jidaigeki Dayo Zenin Shuugou!
Image

Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-Kun: Bangai Rantouhen(AKA Double Dragon 2 Game Boy...confusing, I know!)
Image

(not included here are all the street challenge Kunio games nor the Dodge ball series)
article on the Kunio Kun/Renegade/River City Random/Dodge Ball/Sports series
http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/kunio/kunio.htm

AND, if things were not confusing enough...

We have the "American/Unofficial" sequels to Renegade from the late 1980's, made by
Target Renegade 1988
Image

Target III 1989
Image
(what the heckity heck is this game???)

Personally, I feel Target Renegade and ESPECIALLY "Target III" should be seen as how the Strider and Capcom community views "Strider Returns"...ie: it doesn't exist or count,
and Strider 2 is the real sequel to Strider 1. Though...many people and even critics praised Target Renegade, but is it officially a sequel?
Or is Shodai Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-kun the one true Renegade sequel?
http://www.youtube.com/user/badicalpower/videos
(my adult swimlike animated series)
Steve Halfpenny
Moderator
Posts: 180
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:34 am

Re: Sequels To Renegade..or River City Ransom?

Post by Steve Halfpenny »

This has all been brought up in the past one way or another but I like the way you tell it.

First of all, Shin Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-kun - Kunio Tachi No Banka is awesome and should be played by all. ESPECIALLY the fan translation (if you can find it...).

Target; Renegade and Renegade III both originated in the UK by Ocean under their Imagine label. Those guys did the home versions of Renegade for the Spectrum, Commodore 64 and Amstrad CPC, which were all the leading systems in the Europe in the mid 80s (amongst other ports) and did a pretty top notch job. The Spectrum version of Renegade in particular was stunning, especially given the limitations of that machine. One year later, rumor has it that because Ocean failed to grab the rights for a certain popular arcade hit that they went back to the ol' drawing borad and came up with their own sequel for Renegade, namely... Target; Renegade! Oh and that hit I failed to mention? Double Dragon!

Whether Ocean always planned to make their own sequel to Renegade is unknown but it must be said that Target; Renegade is a heck of a lot more like DD than Renegade 1. The original version, programmed on the popular 8-bit computer (in the UK that is), the ZX Spectrum, features 2 players progressing from the left to right through various levels in top class beat 'em up fun. It's probably the best game of its kind on the Spectrum, far superior than the Speccy version of DD and has a very British feel, which is always nice. Because of its popularity, it ended up on a bunch of systems including your pal, the NES.

Renegade III on the other hand was a unimaginative disaster. Nobody wanted to see a back in time theme added with a complete lack of any kind of interesting attack, weapons or enemies for that matter. I tried to make myself enjoy this way back when but let's be honest, it was the absolute pits. What they should have done was converted River City Ransom from the NES and... hey, presto, Renegade III! Oh well.
mechapop
Red Belt
Posts: 144
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:01 pm
Location: Sacramento, CA
Contact:

Re: Sequels To Renegade..or River City Ransom?

Post by mechapop »

Steve Halfpenny wrote:This has all been brought up in the past one way or another but I like the way you tell it.

First of all, Shin Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-kun - Kunio Tachi No Banka is awesome and should be played by all. ESPECIALLY the fan translation (if you can find it...).

Target; Renegade and Renegade III both originated in the UK by Ocean under their Imagine label. Those guys did the home versions of Renegade for the Spectrum, Commodore 64 and Amstrad CPC, which were all the leading systems in the Europe in the mid 80s (amongst other ports) and did a pretty top notch job. The Spectrum version of Renegade in particular was stunning, especially given the limitations of that machine. One year later, rumor has it that because Ocean failed to grab the rights for a certain popular arcade hit that they went back to the ol' drawing borad and came up with their own sequel for Renegade, namely... Target; Renegade! Oh and that hit I failed to mention? Double Dragon!

Whether Ocean always planned to make their own sequel to Renegade is unknown but it must be said that Target; Renegade is a heck of a lot more like DD than Renegade 1. The original version, programmed on the popular 8-bit computer (in the UK that is), the ZX Spectrum, features 2 players progressing from the left to right through various levels in top class beat 'em up fun. It's probably the best game of its kind on the Spectrum, far superior than the Speccy version of DD and has a very British feel, which is always nice. Because of its popularity, it ended up on a bunch of systems including your pal, the NES.

Renegade III on the other hand was a unimaginative disaster. Nobody wanted to see a back in time theme added with a complete lack of any kind of interesting attack, weapons or enemies for that matter. I tried to make myself enjoy this way back when but let's be honest, it was the absolute pits. What they should have done was converted River City Ransom from the NES and... hey, presto, Renegade III! Oh well.


Aw you're from the UK? Cool. I've long felt, least for the last good five years that UK video game magazines are immensely better than American magazines. I mean Retro Gamer, Edge...no American game magazine can compare. Speaking of which, I think Retro Gamer even did a feature on Renegade's series. I never played any UK based computer or console system, though I used to buy Spectrum games on ebay in the late 90's...mostly just to have alternate art for games I loved(like the Ocean cover to NARC, which is my all time favorite game) I always thought it was funny how cassette tape based games latest so long in Europe.

Shin Nekketsu is seriously fun, and it's unfortunate it never received an American or European SNES release. What's your thoughts though, does it feel like due to the more serious graphics/theme and the name that "Shodai Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-kun" is more of a sequel to what we know as Renegade? Target Renegade has always been regarded as "unofficial", which confuses me as it was released under the Taito label(which often happened to American releases of Technos Japan games) Why didn't Technos or Taito raise a fuss if they considered it unofficial, and ask them not to use the name Renegade in the title? The "Renegade III" game just looks horrible, and bears no resemblance to the other games. It even looks like it's culled from circa 1984 gaming.

In a way I tend to only think of Technos Japan made Double Dragon games as "official"(hence why I dont count DD3 arcade or DDV), though I will say I did really like Target Renegade even if it doesnt have Kunio-kun roots

By the way, what was that one popular UK computer game system with the weird yellow and or blue graphics? I never got how people could enjoy those graphics.
*edit* never mind, found it...yikes...

Image

No offense, but eeesh!
http://www.youtube.com/user/badicalpower/videos
(my adult swimlike animated series)
Steve Halfpenny
Moderator
Posts: 180
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:34 am

Re: Sequels To Renegade..or River City Ransom?

Post by Steve Halfpenny »

Er, where to begin...

Cassette based games lasted so long because they were just cheaper than the alternatives. Plus it helped costs given that there were some many formats back then.

Target; Renegade is official in the sense of Ocean had the rights to make their own sequel. I'm guessing Taito of America (or whomever) just ported the thing back for themselves much like how Capcom let US Gold do Strider II / Returns as you previously mentioned.

That screenshot is obviously from the Spectrum version of DD, which to be fair, is a poor example on what could be done on the system. To cut a long story short, the Spectrum had a few issues regarding colour clash - a term to mean that when one colorful object comes into contact with another, color blocks appear all over the place or sprites look like they're bleeding. There were two schools of thought. You could make a colorful but blocky looking game, which tended to have lots of problems with color clash (unless it's R-Type, which is frankly, incredible down to some damn good programmers and six months) or you could simply go with one or two colors which tended to result in a much smoother game (at least, sometimes). After the mid 80s, when games started to have bigger sprites and more detail in the backgrounds, usually down to being arcade conversions, it became harder to get around the color clash problem. Programmers tended to get lazy and went with monochrome every time resulting in either black and white games (not so bad) or horrible color attributes (DD is a good example). But it was one solution to the problem.

The Spectrum was very popular for numerous reasons but I think that ultimately it came down to three things. 1) lots of software, including the ability to make your own games (the amount of input from bedroom coders resulted in the reason why the UK became third in the world in the industry), 2) the cost of games (I'll let you work it out for yourself but games were anything from £1.99 to around £10.99 for ports / licensed stuff) and 3) gameplay ruled back then.

What's funny is, I had the same reaction to you when I saw the first batch of NES games come to the UK. What's with the tiny sprites, man! Of course, the machine was very late but it didn't help that we were charged around £50 (!) for the cartridges and with 16 bit systems already established with cheaper games (about £19 - £25), Sega already had the Master System on the market with many, many different alternatives out there and everyone else owning a Spectrum or C64, it all looked a bit "meh".
mechapop
Red Belt
Posts: 144
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:01 pm
Location: Sacramento, CA
Contact:

Re: Sequels To Renegade..or River City Ransom?

Post by mechapop »

Steve Halfpenny wrote:Er, where to begin...

Cassette based games lasted so long because they were just cheaper than the alternatives. Plus it helped costs given that there were some many formats back then.

Target; Renegade is official in the sense of Ocean had the rights to make their own sequel. I'm guessing Taito of America (or whomever) just ported the thing back for themselves much like how Capcom let US Gold do Strider II / Returns as you previously mentioned.

That screenshot is obviously from the Spectrum version of DD, which to be fair, is a poor example on what could be done on the system. To cut a long story short, the Spectrum had a few issues regarding colour clash - a term to mean that when one colorful object comes into contact with another, color blocks appear all over the place or sprites look like they're bleeding. There were two schools of thought. You could make a colorful but blocky looking game, which tended to have lots of problems with color clash (unless it's R-Type, which is frankly, incredible down to some damn good programmers and six months) or you could simply go with one or two colors which tended to result in a much smoother game (at least, sometimes). After the mid 80s, when games started to have bigger sprites and more detail in the backgrounds, usually down to being arcade conversions, it became harder to get around the color clash problem. Programmers tended to get lazy and went with monochrome every time resulting in either black and white games (not so bad) or horrible color attributes (DD is a good example). But it was one solution to the problem.

The Spectrum was very popular for numerous reasons but I think that ultimately it came down to three things. 1) lots of software, including the ability to make your own games (the amount of input from bedroom coders resulted in the reason why the UK became third in the world in the industry), 2) the cost of games (I'll let you work it out for yourself but games were anything from £1.99 to around £10.99 for ports / licensed stuff) and 3) gameplay ruled back then.

What's funny is, I had the same reaction to you when I saw the first batch of NES games come to the UK. What's with the tiny sprites, man! Of course, the machine was very late but it didn't help that we were charged around £50 (!) for the cartridges and with 16 bit systems already established with cheaper games (about £19 - £25), Sega already had the Master System on the market with many, many different alternatives out there and everyone else owning a Spectrum or C64, it all looked a bit "meh".


I think it was some documentary I had seen last year, but in it they included a section how a couple of young British boys had managed to create in their bedrooms their own homebrew games that went on to become pretty good sellers. I think that's remarkable. I noticed in my old Nintendo Fun Magazine issues from 1987 and 1988, they let readers comprise several pages of reviews, game hints and cheats, artwork, etc. Everything is so corporate, so sterile. I LOVE hearing stories on how MIT hackers created Ms Pacman, not Namco. Knowing aspiring young British coders were helping to make an industry is very enthralling to hear about. Sadly in today's environment, while people are free to make and submit iphone and droid apps/games, companies are still reluctant to release homebrew games officially.
Right now there's a homebrew game coming out called Sonic Fan Remix which looks immensely more amazing than the official Sonic 4 downloadable game:
http://www.sonicretro.org/2010/12/sonic ... #more-2040

Thanks for explaining the color issue. I always see screenshots in Retro Gamer from the Spectrum, and read how programmers were given just a few months to "port" over popular arcade games at the time...often looking closer to Tiger Electronic handheld graphics.

I'll agree with you, the NES graphics were often rather weak, especially compared to the SMS. For whatever reason, the Sega Master System 8-bit system just had much better graphics than the NES, which is easily seen in comparison shots of Double Dragon, and other arcade titles. The fact Nintendo got away with this ugly blurry monochrome system in the game boy, essentially running of circa 1983 hardware, for so long is amazing. A testament to marketing, as everyone knew the Game Gear and Lynx had much better graphics. There's another system I remember seeing magazines for and reading about in the 90's that seemed popular(and had quite good graphics) in the UK. I think I'm thinking of the Amiga32? Though I take it that was a more expensive system.
http://www.youtube.com/user/badicalpower/videos
(my adult swimlike animated series)
Steve Halfpenny
Moderator
Posts: 180
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:34 am

Re: Sequels To Renegade..or River City Ransom?

Post by Steve Halfpenny »

The Amiga 32 was Commodore's last effort in taking on the Nintendos and Segas of the world, who had pretty much taken over by that point. It was a 32 bit system that used CDs and tipped to be a big deal but ultimately failed due to lack of interest and absolutely appalling software (edit - actually it was the generation after the SNES and MD and made to compete with the 3DO and all those other failed CD systems) . It was based on Amiga home computer technology. Perhaps you're think of the Amiga computer, which came out in 85 and was pretty much the most amazing thing on the market until the Sega Megadrive (Genesis) came out.

The 16 bit Amiga was capable of arcade quality graphics and by far the most technically advanced machine on the market for years. Cost meant that it wasn't initially popular and there were some rotten conversions in the early days, mostly posts from its closest rival, the Atari ST (they shared similar hardware). However, piracy killed the ST and with the Amiga being technically superior, eventually programmers started making games directly onto the Amiga and it became a big hit in the late 80s up until around 95, long after Commodore went under.

A lot of British games started their origin on the Amiga and were then ported to the Megadrive or SNES and were just never as good (off the top of my head, stuff like Desert Strike, Syndicate, Cannon Fodder... these were all way better on the Amiga).

I had an Amiga and absolutely loved it. I mention original games but some of the best arcade conversions I've ever seen were on this machine... Rainbow Islands, Pac-Mania, Midnight Resistance, Ghosts n' Goblins... all wonderful. Beat em up wise,stuff like Golden Axe and Shadow Warriors were well done and Final Fight wasn't bad. Street Fighter II was a bit iffy but much better if you got yourself a Sega pad, which worked on the machine.
Swainy
Brown Belt
Posts: 83
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:36 am

Re: Sequels To Renegade..or River City Ransom?

Post by Swainy »

mechapop wrote:
Image

No offense, but eeesh!


Don't worry, I thought exactly the same when I first loaded up Double Dragon on the Spectrum. The thing is, a really crap graphic artist worked on that game. Don't get me wrong, the Spectrum was very limited graphicly but take a look at another screen shot:

Image

Same system, better graphics (even if I do say so myself - I drew them)

As for Target Renegade, it's a great game. Here is a screen shot from the Spectrum version, but with a lot of added colour:

Image
mechapop
Red Belt
Posts: 144
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:01 pm
Location: Sacramento, CA
Contact:

Re: Sequels To Renegade..or River City Ransom?

Post by mechapop »

Wait, you worked on ZXS game design? Very cool! I didn't even know there had been two spectrum versions, usually I just see retro coverage of the other one.
What other systems did you design for? Looking at screenshots for the DOS and Amstrad DD, there's this almost acid flash nausea look to them, while others like the MSX look like just a mess.
The Spectrum in some ways has a game boy look to it, and I can see why people would think the more monochrome look has more detailed(as I hate to say it, the super yellow other version reminds me
of Tiger electronic handheld graphics)

And wow, that Target Renegade almost looks 16-bit. (one of the baddies in that screenshot almost looks like the level 3 1986 Renegade arcade boss)
http://www.youtube.com/user/badicalpower/videos
(my adult swimlike animated series)
Steve Halfpenny
Moderator
Posts: 180
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:34 am

Re: Sequels To Renegade..or River City Ransom?

Post by Steve Halfpenny »

mechapop wrote:Wait, you worked on ZXS game design? Very cool! I didn't even know there had been two spectrum versions, usually I just see retro coverage of the other one.


There is only one official DD for the Spectrum; the crummy one you brought up. Swainy was / is working on a new version just as a fan

mechapop wrote:What other systems did you design for? Looking at screenshots for the DOS and Amstrad DD, there's this almost acid flash nausea look to them, while others like the MSX look like just a mess.


As I say, Swainy is a fan, just like ourselves who has taken it upon himself to rewrite history. I doubt that MSX version you speak of is even official (watch the video on youtube. It just ain't right).

mechapop wrote:And wow, that Target Renegade almost looks 16-bit. (one of the baddies in that screenshot almost looks like the level 3 1986 Renegade arcade boss)


That's because that's who it's based on. This is another fan project by Swainy; a PC remake.
Swainy
Brown Belt
Posts: 83
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:36 am

Re: Sequels To Renegade..or River City Ransom?

Post by Swainy »

Yep all fan work. I reckon that if I had been about 5 years older, then I might have stood a chance doing some professional graphics for the Spectrum.

The Target Renegade graphics are simly coloured in versions of the Spectrum version. Double Dragon though is my own work. The trouble is, I have to rely on programmers as I can't actually code.
Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: BobbyUriff and 2 guests