Difference between revisions of "River City Ransom"

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River City Ransom - NES - Manual.pdf|NES manual, North America.
River City Ransom - NES - USA - Manual.pdf|NES manual, North America.
River City Ransom - NES - Japan - Manual - Digital.pdf|Famicom manual, Japan (digital).
River City Ransom - NES - Japan - Manual - Digital.pdf|Famicom manual, Japan (digital).
River City Ransom - NES - Nintendo Power, Page 42.jpg|[[Nintendo Power]], 1.
River City Ransom - NES - Nintendo Power, Page 42.jpg|[[Nintendo Power]], 1.

Revision as of 08:35, 20 May 2019

North American NES box.

River City Ransom is like a mix between a beat-em-up and an RPG so much that, even though it's technically not a platformer, it even feels like a Metroidvania. It was developed and published by Technos for the NES on 1989-04-25, but has since been ported to various other platforms.

In the game's story, you play a student at Cross Town High, but gang members from River City High have kidnapped your girlfriend. In order to get her back, you must fight your way through the turf of various other gangs, beat up their leaders, and finally infiltrate River City High. In order to become powerful enough beat the rival gangs, you must beat up weaker gangs, steal their money, and buy food and training to increase your stats.

My mother bought us River City Ransom along with Dragon Warrior from a garage sale somewhere in the early 1990s. I enjoyed both games, but I like RCR more.


I own this game on the NES and have beaten it. I've also maxed out a character, and hand-wrote out the results of every item in the game.


Video Game Review Icon - Enjoyment.png Video Game Review Icon - Control.png Video Game Review Icon - Appearance.png Video Game Review Icon - Sound.png Video Game Review Icon - Replayability.png
6 6 7 6 7

Best Version: 64%

— This section contains spoilers! —


  • The game has nice colorful cartoon graphics and good music by Kazuo Sawa.
  • Player controls are responsive and fluid.
  • The various moves you can learn really make the game more interesting as you go.
  • There are a lot of weapons to use, and you can use them in various ways. In addition to being able to swing and throw each weapon, you can also kick crates and trash cans, roll tires, and even use fallen foes as weapons. These are really cool additions!
  • Two-player simultaneous play really adds to the enjoyment of the game, and I like that you can "accidentally" beat up the other player.
  • The animation in shops is hilarious, and there are tons of items to buy.
  • The things gang members say are hilarious. BARF!
  • The hidden shop under the bridge is a nice bonus.
  • I like that you can turn off and on special moves after you learn them so you can go back to doing older-style moves if you want.
  • The ending has a hilarious line, "The gangs returned to class and became honor students." See? If you want your child to get good grades, all you have to do is beat the crap out of them!


  • It's pretty much impossible to guess what type of stat bonuses you'll get from items, and the manual doesn't list them, so you're forced to buy every single one to find out.
  • There seems to be a bug with the Frat Boys. They are much more powerful than their location and money reward suggests. They should be placed around the Homeboys and the Mob rather than down by the Generic Dudes.
  • The Javelin Man and Fatal Footsteps moves are not very useful.
  • There are only two female characters in the game, and they're not even animated. Slick's girlfriend warns you to train hard, your own girlfriend whom you rescue is a stereotype only interested in shopping.
  • Because there are so many stats and inventory possibilities, the password is insanely long!


  • The game is very monotonous. You have to do a lot of grinding to be able to afford the power-ups you'll need to get strong enough to defeat the later bosses. A larger map could have helped a little.


Box Art






Language Native Transliteration Translation
English (North America) River City Ransom
English (Europea) Street Gangs
Japanese ダウンタウン熱血物語 Dauntaun Nekketsu Monogatari Downtown Hot-Blooded Story


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