Streets of Rage 3, known as Bare Knuckle III in Japan (ベア・ナックル III), is a side-scrolling beat 'em up released by Sega in 1994 for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis. It was originally the last official game in the Streets of Rage series until the series revival in 2020. It was later released for the Japanese version of Sonic Gems Collection for the GameCube and PlayStation 2, and for the Wii Virtual Console. The game also appeared in Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
Streets of Rage 3 is infamous due to the heavy alterations made in the western versions compared to the original Japanese game, with the story being completely changed and many cutscenes removed.
As of Streets of Rage 4 the Japanese version of the story is considered the canon version.
The city of Wood Oak recently experienced a catalysmic event. An experimental weapon called "Rakushin" detonated in the city's suburbs, causing the deaths of 30000 people and wounded 80000 more. Alarmed with this terrifying event, the Police Department assigns two of their top detectives, Axel Stone and Blaze Fielding, two of the heroes who saved the city in the past, to investigate the incident and bring those responsible to justice.
Meanwhile, tension rises in the Lima Region, inhabited by a number of nations looking for an excuse to start a war. One of the representatives of the Lima countries, General Ivan Petrov has been invited to the White House for peace talks but now he is reported missing.
Soon after these events, Axel and Blaze were contacted by a mysterious man named Gilbert Zan, who claims to be the man who invented the Rakushin. Zan claims that his research is being used by the powers who intend to use it for destructive purposes. But can he be trusted?
Is the horrible attack that took place in Wood Oak City somehow connected to the conflict brewing in Lima? Why is General Petrov missing? Timing is very suspicious. Is someone using Wood Oak City as a testing ground for their new weapons? Are Lima countries potential buyers?
Too many questions, too little time. Every second wasted brings the city one step closer to disaster. Lives of the citizens under your protection, and possibly, millions of others are hanging in balance.
Despite having been defeated twice, Mr. X is far from finished in his efforts to take control of the city. He has been laying low, using RoboCy Corporation as a front for the Syndicate Crime Organization's business activites. And he has now brought in a genius, if eccentric, roboticist, Dr. Dahm, to help him with his newest scheme: To replace key city officials with exact robot duplicates under his control, allowing him to run the entire city by remote control. To divert the police's attention, he has his men plant bombs around the city.
However, one Robocy Corporation researcher, Dr. Gilbert Zan, digs a little too far into corporate files and finds the connection between Robocy Corp and the Syndicate. Due to his criminal record, he can't go to the police with this information, so instead, he goes to Blaze Fielding, and tells her that the Syndicate plans to capture and replace the Chief of Police.
Blaze quickly sends word to her friends, Axel Stone and Adam Hunter, about what's going on. Axel quickly responds, but Adam has his obligations to the police force and can't come, though he sends his brother Eddie "Skate" Hunter on his behalf. Together, they will work together to stop the bombings and put a stop to the Syndicate once and for all!
- Apple: Small health refill
- Chicken: Full health refill
- 1UP (Adam icon): Gives an extra life
- Money bag: 1000 points
- Gold bar: 5000 points
- Knife: Knocks enemies down
- Kunai: Same as Knife
- Plank: Swings above the player and to the front; knocks enemies in front of the player
- Baseball Bat: Swings in front of the player; knocks multiple enemies
- Lead pipe: Swings above the player and to the front, knocking enemies
- Sword: Slashes enemies in front of the player
- Grenade: Detonates upon impact or after a while; its explosion can hit multiple enemies and the player
- Axel Stone
- Blaze Fielding
- Eddie "Skate" Hunter (Sammy in Japan)
- Dr. Gilbert Zan
- Shiva (unlocked by holding onto the B button after defeating him)
- Roo (Victy in Japan) (unlocked by defeating Bruce (Danch in Japan) and letting him go free)
- Ash (appears only in the Japanese version; unlocked by holding onto the A Button after defeating him)
Stages and Bosses
|1||South Pier Warehouse||Ash (JP only)
The Poets II
|2||Downtown||Bruce and Roo (Danch and Victy in Japan)
Mona and Lisa (Yasha and Onihime in Japan)
|3||District K Construction Site||Robot Axel (Break in Japan)||Percussion|
|4||Underground Entrance||Yamato||Happy Paradise|
|5||Mr. X's Skyscraper||Robot X (Robo X in Japan)||Beat Ambiance|
|7-A||Syndicate Hideout||Dr. Dahm (Dr. Zero in Japan)
Robot Y (Neo X in Japan)
|The Poets II|
|7-B||City Hall (White House in Japan)||Shiva||The Poets I|
- Goldie/Slum (Stud/Casino, Dick/Harlem)
- Soozie/Garnet (Grace/Ruby, Emma/Diamond)
- Vice/Zack (Sway/Mac, Nasty/Jack)
- Garcia/Galsia (Julio, Carlos)
- Donovan (Z/Muscles, Fernand/Bono)
- Assassin Agent (Bronz/McBride, Silver/MacLean, Gold/MacLeod)
- Big Ben (Heart/Ike, Dwight/Bongo)
- Storm (Typhoon/Wheels, Cyclone/Wings)
- Scarab/Signal (Ice, Jools/Angle)
- Electra (Thundra/Lorena, Gloria)
- Tiger (Dragon/Leopard, Fabio/Phenix)
- Mifune (Kosugi, Chiba)
- Robot/Mr. A-Z (Robot X clones)
Bare Knuckle III (Japanese) and Streets of Rage 3 (International) differ significantly in terms of gameplay, graphics, sound and plotline.
- The difficulty in Streets of Rage 3 is kicked up by a level compared to the Japanese game, with the English version's easy corresponding to the Japanese's normal difficulty and so on. The Western version also prevents players from advancing beyond stage 5 if the game is played on the Easy difficulty.
- As usual, Bare Knuckle II's Sammy Hunter becomes Streets of Rage 2's Eddie "Skate" Hunter, but many more character names differ in both versions of Streets of Rage 3. Bare Knuckle III's enemy names are very similar to the ones found in Streets of Rage 2 (e.g. Galsia instead of Garcia). Sega of America, for unknown reasons, changed most of the names. The weapons are also renamed (e.g. Katana to Sword).
- The main characters in Bare Knuckle III sport their usual outfit colors found in the previous two games (Axel wears white and blue; Blaze wears red; Skate wears yellow and red). In Stage 1, Shiva has a dark green outfit as seen in City Hall instead of his dark blue outfit. Robot Axel's outfit colors match Axel's colors depending on the version being played.
- Electra and Soozie/Garnet are somewhat scantily clad in Bare Knuckle 3 and were covered up by Sega of America for Streets of Rage 3.
- Axel says "Grand Upper" in the Japanese version when he does his special, but "Bare Knuckle" in the American version.
- In Bare Knuckle III, the players face Ash, who rides a boat carrying enemies, eventually fighting them himself. Due to him being a blatant a homosexual stereotype and thought offensive, he was removed from Streets of Rage 3 and Shiva harbored the job of transporting enemies.
- In Bare Knuckle III's good ending, Blaze in her ending picture wears somewhat less than she does in Streets of Rage 3.