Downtown - Nekketsu Monogatari
|Downtown - Nekketsu Monogatari|
BARF! River City Ransom is a classic old school beat-em up for the NES that also allows free-roaming and the ability to upgrade character abilities by visiting shops scattered throughout the city. It's a localized version of the third Kunio-kun game for the Famicom and like its predecessors (see Renegade and Super Dodge Ball), it was graphically modified and Americanized to become something else entirely for the west.
Alex and Ryan (Kunio and Riki)
These graphics of Kunio (Alex) and Riki (Ryan) crouching appear in all versions of the game, though they are mostly removed in the US and European versions. Notice they're wearing their original Japanese school uniforms, not the T-shirt and jeans found in the international versions.
Kunio and Riki shaking hands.
Note that these graphics may not be assembled as intended. The tiles that make up these graphics can be put together in a multitude of combinations and this is just one. Kunio and Riki's head can fit on either body, there are three leg parts to choose from, and one of the bodies even needs to be flipped to face the other. Note that a similar animation is used in the Japanese version of Renegade.
Slick / Simon (Yamada)
This graphic of Yamada seemingly slumped over in defeat is found only in the US and Japanese versions.
Unfinished or partially deleted graphics of what appears to be a character slumped over. It's assumed to be Yamada due to the graphics appearing right below the above one.
This graphic is found in all versions of the game. It was planned for Yamada to have telekinesis, allowing him to pick up all the weapons in the area and throw them at you.
Though he doesn't have this ability in the NES game, he does have it in the GBA remake River City Ransom EX, which uses an updated version of the same sprite. Jūkichi, Yamada's counterpart in the Famicom-only sequel Downtown Special, also has this ability (using a similar sprite).
Unlike every other unused graphic, this one was actually given the T-shirt and jeans makeover for the English versions.
This is the girl you meet on the bridge. She was going to have a unique design, but instead is just a generic girl you find in malls. Okoto, Hasebe's counterpart in Downtown Special, uses the same face.
And she was capable of walking. In the final game, you find her just standing there. After you meet her, she just disappears.
Here she is waving.
Here she is winking while handing someone a letter and bowing nervously. This was possibly a love letter meant for Kunio since she talks to him with many hearts in her dialogue in the Japanese version.
All of these graphics are in the Japanese version, and only partially in the US version.
This is the girl you're trying to rescue. Like Hasebe, she was going to have a unique design too, but instead is just a generic mall girl. In fact, she's the same generic mall girl as Hasebe, just with a different color skirt.
And like Hasebe, Mami was capable of walking too.
Here she is sitting sadly, possibly how you found her in the classroom she was being held in. Like Hasebe, you instead find her just standing there in the middle of the room. She would later use this sprite in River City Ransom EX.
Here she is giving someone a hug (maybe?) and bowing. Since this is Riki's girlfriend, she was possibly going to hug him if he was the one to rescue her, and bow to Kunio if he was the one.
All of these graphics are in the Japanese version, and only partially in the US version. You can tell these graphics are supposed to be Hasebe and Mami by looking at the game's official art. Compare the characters' hair in the second flyer here.
A naked lady found with the shop graphics. You were most likely meant to find her in the sauna.
A number font is used in the VRAM bank normally used for storing character sprites. Presumably this would be used to show the amount of damage done to the enemy, similar to the numbers used in the game's precursor, Super Dodge Ball (Nekketsu Koukou Dodgeball Bu), and in its semi-sequel, Downtown Special.
This smaller set of coins are never used; only the larger ones are.
This small sign appears in both the English and Japanese versions of the game. It translates to "Reihou", the name of the school you go to at the end of the game. A bigger, more legible sign is used outside the school gate in the Japanese version.
Whatever this thing is, it was erased from the Japanese version of the game. It appears with the graphics for Sherman Park and the area just outside it. Similar graphics are used outside the entrance to the park.
This is track 13 of the NSF file. This was going to be used during the ending, but the music that plays during Slick's letter at the beginning of the game is used instead. However, this song does play in the GBA remake, River City Ransom EX, at the "The End" screen.
This is track 14 of the NSF file. A similar tune was used previously in Super Dodge Ball when your team travels across the screen before a match.
This is track 15 of the NSF file. Some sort of short fanfare.
This is track 16 of the NSF file. Another short fanfare. Perhaps it would have been used for a "game over" screen if this game had one.
Finally, this is track 17 of the NSF file. This song would later be rearranged for the ending cinematic in Nekketsu Koukou Dodgeball-bu: Soccer-hen, the Japanese version of Nintendo World Cup.
Sound effect 23 is a "super" attack effect, very similar to the super shot in Ike Ike! Nekketsu Hockey-Bu. It may have been intended for Slick's special attack.
check JP version
At 0x5441 in the ROM is a line of spoken dialogue simply saying, "My name is Shin." This text is referenced in several locations in the dialog text table (06B8 = 10).
A "Shin" is credited as a programmer for the localised versions of the game (the name does not appear in the Japanese credits) so this line was likely inserted by them as a placeholder while working on the localisation.
Also in the dialog text table, messages 84 and 85 are "Ooof!" and "Ugh !" that appear alone, without attribution to a character. Perhaps some kind of cutscene?
There's a fair amount of unused text in the item table (06B8 = 01). Many strings have grammar and/or formatting errors.
- 07 : "was equipped with" - suggesting a more advanced equipment system than was used in the final game.
- 0D : "has already been uses" - suggesting that consumed items might have remained in the inventory.
- 1D : "thanked fermers deeply" - if you could use a Smile item in the inventory, this is what would be displayed.
- 1F : "GUAA" - if you could use a Sauna item in the inventory, this is what would be displayed.
These mugshots of the characters only appear in the US version of the game. Although these graphics are not encountered in normal game play, they are part of an Easter egg triggered by going to the Status screen, then holding down Left on controller 2, and pressing Select + Right on controller 1. The boss fight music for the Dragon Twins (aka the Double Dragon theme) will play during this screen. Press the A or B buttons on either controller to return to the pause menu.
The Hiragana text underneath the pictures translates to "Kunio" and "Riki", appropriately. Notice they are also wearing their original Japanese school uniforms.
It's also possible to trigger this in the European version, but it doesn't display properly since the mugshot graphics were overwritten with the title screen graphics.
In addition to anglicizing all of the characters' and locations' names, as well as the game's dialog in the English translation, the characters' sprites were also redrawn, replacing their Japanese school uniforms with T-shirts and jeans. JP has a full white/blue color for Alex/Ryan, yet in the US version, Alex/Ryan have a white/blue T-shirt with blue/white pants.
JP version has three difficulty levels: Easy, Medium, and Hard. (In the NES version the easiest difficulty setting was removed and the Medium setting in the Famicom version became the Novice setting in the NES version)
The password system in River City Ransom is slightly expanded (three lines of 11 characters each) from the password system in its Japanese counterpart (one line of 5 characters, a line of 7, then another of 5). However, the extra spaces are used to keep track of which bosses have been defeated.
The Japanese version comes with a "save" system alongside the password system. Because the Japanese version features support for the Turbo File, a peripheral released only in Japan that allows the player to save and load game data.
There are two 2-player options in Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari, a mode with "friendly fire" and a mode without. River City Ransom only has the "with" mode.
In the JP version some items have different prices. For example, Mach Punch and Mach Kick (Stone Hands and Dragon Feet respectively) are a bit more expensive than before.
There is a special hard-coded secret password in the later Western versions of this game. Enter the following words either for the first or the second player's password. Note that the underscores would be blank spaces.
MShin______ Technos____ Japan______
This is completely maxes-out all of your stats, gives you $999.99, places all six technique books in your inventory, and changes the first player name to "Shin" (the second player's name stays the same). However, that alone doesn't really set it aside from any random password the player can generate.
This password uses the Japanese password system layout of 5, 7, and 5 characters, but still houses the whole 11 characters per row system of the western versions. The Japanese version of this game has no such password at all, meaning it was added in the course of localisation, probably by the same programmer "Shin" referenced in unused dialogue.