Streets of Rage Online
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Info about the series, emulating the games, this site and more.

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- Emulation
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The Games

Streets of Rage 4?

Go to Streets of Rage 4 for info on the rumoured third sequel.

Bare Knuckle

Bare Knuckle is the name of the Streets of Rage series in Japan & the Far East. Aside from the name there are few differences between the Eastern & Western versions, with the exception of Streets of Rage 3 which has some major changes in it.

AM7 & Overworks

Sega's internal development teams used to be called AM1, AM2, AM3 etc - the most well known of these was AM2, who were responsible for many of Sega's biggest arcade hits.

AM7 were one of Sega's console game development teams, and created all three Streets of Rage games, as well as the Game Gear conversions of the first two. They were also responsible for the vast majority of the Shinobi series, which explains the shared sound effects & font in Revenge of Shinobi and Streets of Rage. With Sega's re-organisation in 2000, AM7 became Overworks. You can visit their Japanese website here. IGN have a page showing all the games AM7/Overworks worked on.


Ancient are a development group that includes Yuzo Koshiro and I believe that they were involved with AM7 in the development of Streets of Rage 2 & 3. Interestingly, Yuzo Koshiro's sister, Ayano Koshiro actually works for them and designed much of Streets of Rage 2 & 3, as well as new characters for Streets of Rage 4.

Yuzo Koshiro

Who is Yuzo Koshiro?! Only one of the most talented video game musicians ever! He was the guy behind the music in the Streets of Rage series, as well as various others such as Revenge of Shinobi (G/MD), Actraiser 1& 2 (SNES) and Shenmue (DC). His sister Ayano works with him at Ancient as a designer.

Ash in Bare Knuckle 3 & Streets of Rage 3

Ash's appearance in Bare Knuckle 3 is as follows; in the harbour stage in Round 1 he drops off punks via speedboat. When you reach the chicken at the far end of the level Ash gets out to fight you. He is, as another site put it, a politically incorrect stereotype of a homosexual (he minces around dressed up in dodgy clothes and cries when you beat him up). To clear another point up, Shiva is in Bare Knuckle 3; he only appears as the boss and doesn't drive the speedboat.

Sega of America obviously didn't want a character like Ash in Streets of Rage 3 as it would get a lot of unwelcome criticism. So they put Shiva in the speedboat, and instead of fighting Ash at the end of the harbour scene you take on a large group of punks.

Mr. X in Streets of Rage 3

Why is Mr. X a talking brain in Streets of Rage 3? Good question. Presumerably the team fatally injured him or smashed up his body so much at the end of Streets of Rage 2 that the only way for him to live would be to remove his brain and put it into a new robotic body. Improbable I know, but that's videogames for you.

Rumour Killing

  • You cannot play as Shiva in Streets of Rage 2 - although you can bring him up using either PAR codes or savestate hacking, the game will always crash as there was no code written to make him playable.

  • You cannot play as the City Hall Boss version of Shiva in Streets of Rage 3 - I've seen fake non-working cheats that claim to do this, but looking at their description of his extra moves and how to perform them it is very obvious that they were simply made up. Also, why would two different versions of Shiva be included?

  • There is no Brazilian SMS version of Streets of Rage 3 - TechToy did buy the licenses to convert several Genesis/Megadrive games (such as Gunstar Heroes) to the Master System, but Streets of Rage 3 was not among them.

  • There is no code/cheat to restore the characters' BK3 costumes in SOR3 - the actual graphics were redrawn. You can however patch the graphics using my IPS patch.

  • The same goes for restoring Ash as the mid-level Boss in Round 1 - the actual code has been changed, so without some expert ROM hacking it is impossible to make him appear.

The Genre

Streets of Rage is of the side-scrolling beat 'em up genre that began in the mid-Eighties with the Double Dragon series. Games of this type generally tend to involve walking from left to right beating up enemies (usually street punks). It reached the height of its popularity in the early Nineties, with arcades being absolutely full of them at one point. Final Fight, released in 1989, made the game style extremely popular and arguably had more of an influence on later games than Double Dragon. Streets of Rage is clearly based on Final Fight, with a similar plot and levels. Certain parts of Streets of Rage 2 in particular are very Final Fight-influenced.

Sega's classic arcade game Golden Axe also had an influence on the original game, as the engine used in Streets of Rage 1 is apparentely a tweaked version of that used for the Megadrive conversion of Golden Axe. Consequently, the special attack is based on Golden Axe's magic attack ie it wipes out most enemies and can be used only once unless you find powerups to restore it.

Other cool arcade games in the genre include X-Men (the 6-player cabinet is great fun), Cadillacs & Dinosaurs and The Punisher. I also remember The Simpsons and Turtles had game in this style at this time. Cadillacs & Dinosaurs and The Punisher were released by Capcom using a much upgraded Final Fight engine and are fine examples of good beat 'em ups. The Punisher, released in 1993, is one of my favourite games in the entire genre for its innovative ideas and extreme violence.


Genesis/Megadrive emulators

Although I still use Genecyst occasionally for screenshot work, I would only recommend one emulator for actully playing your games. Gens supports just about every game there is and has no emulation bugs. As a Windows-based program the emulation is fast and smooth, and also features a net-play mode! Go to its homepage it now.


There are ROMs of the games on the Internet, but to download them without owning the game itself is illegal. I'm legally entitled to use the ROMs because I actually own copies of all 3 games.

This site does not carry ROMs and never will. Do not contact me asking for ROMs or ROM websites; your emails will be ignored.

Bare Knuckle ROMs

  • To play Bare Knuckle load a Streets of Rage ROM into your emulator and change the emulator version to Japanese.
  • To play Bare Knuckle 2 load a Streets of Rage 2 ROM into your emulator and change the emulator version to Japanese (this only works with the hacked ROM version)
  • To play Bare Knuckle 3 download the "Bare Knuckle 3 (J)" ROM.
Note: The above technique of changing to Japanese will work on the proper console versions if you have a switch on your Genesis/Megadrive to allow you to play import games.

Trying to play Bare Knuckle 3 on a Streets of Rage 3 ROM won't work. Try it and you will be confronted with a message saying that the SOR 3 ROM is for use only with NTSC systems (ie US Genesis only). This is due to the introduction of chiplocking by Sega & Nintendo in 1993 to stop people using games from different territories on their machine. Even if it wasn't chiplocked I'm not sure it would work anyway, as Bare Knuckle 3 and Streets of Rage 3 are very different.

Beta ROMs

Beta ROMs are unfinished versions of the game from the beta stage of development, although the term is often used to describe pre-release version of a game. There is a beta copy of Streets of Rage 2 on the Internet that allows you to play the first level and has different artwork - check it out here.
The Site

Who runs this site?

That would be me - Jonny Hughson. I'm 21 and I live in Chester, England. I don't receive any money for maintaining the site - those adverts make money for Gamespy - so please email me if you enjoyed the site. I do try to reply to all emails I get from running the site, but I am busy sometimes so try to be patient waiting for a reply.

I also run Alisia Dragoon, which is tribute site to the Genesis/Megadrive game.

Being English I spell "colour" etc. with a "u" in it, so my US readers will have to get used to seeing words spelt properly :-)

How/why did I set it up?

Long story. I've liked the series since 1992, when I saw footage of Streets of Rage 2 on a video that came with the Xmas 1992 edition of Mean Machines Sega, and though it looked amazing. I managed to borrow a copy of the original from a friend, and then bought both of them. I never bought Streets of Rage 3 when it came out, due to the very average reviews it got and the 45 price tag. I finally managed to track down a copy a few years ago.

Back in 2001 I noticed an advert on ClassicGaming for their hosted sites service. Having previously been to Sega Forever's SOR page I decided on doing a Streets of Rage page, especially since there was a real lack of them. And so SOR Online was born.

Favourite Streets of Rage game

Tough decision between Streets of Rage 2 & 3, but I'd probably say Streets of Rage 2.


The site gets updated whenever I can... which these days isn't very often at all :(

Can I help you maintain the site?

I'm too much of a control freak to lose my creative control over the site, so the answer would have to be "no". But you can always send me things to put on the site.

Can I take something from Streets of Rage Online to use in my website/FAQ?

Make sure you ask my permission before you use anything. A link back to the site would be much appreciated as well. It is very annoying when I see people blatantly copying content from the site without crediting me and sometimes even passing it off as their own work; please don't do this.

What things do you want for the site?

Apart from any info I don't already know about, I'd very much like the following:
  • Scans of beta screenshots and/or info, particularly for SOR3. If anyone has the Mean Machines Sega preview of SOR3 from late 1993/early 1994, I could really use a scan of the page showing Axel riding a motorbike on the Round 1 Harbour (along with the text next to it).
  • Scans of the Streets of Rage comic, which ran in the UK's Sonic the Comic sometime in 1993/1994.
  • Scans of the Streets of Rage mini-novel (there was a Street Fighter II novel in it as well) that came free with Sega Power (UK) in 1993/1994.

What program was this site made in?

I write my own HTML code in Arachnophilia 4.0, which is like a text editor specially designed for writing HTML code (it highlights the tags amongst other things). The code was written for Internet Explorer 5.5 and above; other browsers such as Firefox can use the site but some parts don't quite look as theyn should.