Streets of Rage 3, known as Bare Knuckle 3 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.

Story[edit | edit source]

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.

Japanese version[edit | edit source]

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 General Petrov is 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.

English version[edit | edit source]

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!

Pickups[edit | edit source]

Items[edit | edit source]

  • Apple: Small health refill
  • Chicken: Full health refill
  • 1UP (Adam icon): Gives an extra life
  • Money bag: 1000 points
  • Gold bar: 5000 points

Weapons[edit | edit source]

  • Knife: Knocks enemies down
  • Kunai: Throwing weapon
  • Lumber: 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
  • Katana: Slashes enemies in front of the player
  • Grenade: Detonates upon impact or after a while, it's explosion can hit multiple enemies and the player

Playable Characters[edit | edit source]

Stages and Bosses[edit | edit source]

Stage Name Boss
1 South Pier Warehouse Ash (JP only)
2 Downtown Danch and Victy
Yasha and Onihime
3 District K Construction Site Break
4 Underground Entrance Yamato
5 Mr. X's Skyscraper Robo-X
6 Prison Jet
7-A Syndicate Hideout Dr. Dahm
Neo. X
7-B White House Shiva

Enemies[edit | edit source]

Regional differences[edit | edit source]

Bare Knuckle 3 is significantly different from its Western counterpart in terms of gameplay, graphics, sound and plotline.

  • The difficulty in SoR 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 easiest difficulty.
  • As usual, BK's Sammy becomes SOR's Skate. But this time around the Japanese and Western names are quite different. BK3's punk names are very similar to SoR2 ones, with Galsia instead of SoR3's Garcia. Sega of America, for unknown reasons, drastically changed most of the names. The weapons are also heavily renamed (e.g. Katana to Sword).
  • The main characters in Bare Knuckle 3 sport their Streets of Rage 2 costumes, so Axel is blue and white and Blaze is in red. Also, some the enemies have different costumes; in Round 1 Shiva has the dark green costume that he wears as the final boss in SOR3 instead of his normal one.
  • Electra and Garnet,the new woman punk enemy, 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 BK3, 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 for SOR3 and Shiva harbored the job of transporting enemies.
  • In BK3's good ending Blaze wears somewhat less than she does in SOR3.
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