Stay Cool, Kobayashi-san!: A River City Ransom Story (熱血硬派くにおくん外伝 イカすぜ！小林さん Hot-Blooded Tough Guy Kunio Side Story: Ikasuze! Kobayashi-san! ) is a science fiction beat 'em up role-playing game in the Kunio-kun franchise, published by Arc System Works for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC. It was released on November 7, 2019. Kobayashi Masao, one of the bosses first introduced in Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari acts as the game's main character.
The game is billed as a spin-off of the Kunio-kun franchise, similarly to Riki Densetsu.
The game is a collaboration between Yoshihisa Kishimoto (creator of Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun and Double Dragon) and Hiroyuki "Mokeke" Sekimoto (one of the creators of Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari). It will depict stories previously untold of Kobayashi (probably relating to the stories that would have taken place after Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari EX and in the cancelled Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari 2.
Several months ago...
There was an incident involving Yamada, the student council president of Reihō Academy, a school for the gifted. He threw the neighboring high schools into panic and chaos when he suddenly started manipulating their students with a mysterious power.
Those responsible for the incident where the Shitennō of Reihō, who inspired fear in other schools. Among them there was one who reigned, garnering the title of Mr. (さん san) from even his classmates. His name was Kobayashi. As one of Yamada's underlings, he fought Kunio and lost. However, Kunio knew he was not fighting at his full power.
What on earth is he planning?
This tale begins with Kobayashi and Kunio meeting again...
Up to two players can play the game together. In the single player mode, the second character is controlled by the CPU. The game has no friendly-fire option or difficulty selection.
When first starting the game, players first create Kobayashi's friend. The character has to be named, assigned a gender, and the kind of relationship they have with Kobayashi (Friendship or Love). Following that, the player selects three items that symbolize the memories of Kobayashi with this friend. Players are then taken to the game's prologue. Once the prologue ends, players are placed in a random area to start the game. All areas of the game are open to the player from the start, just like in Downtown Special: Kunio-kun no Jidaigeki da yo Zen'in Shūgō!.
The game's objective is to defeat the leaders of the evil organization and rescue Kobayashi's friend. To accomplish this, players must defeat 30 fighters linked to each leader. Once the player defeats 30 fighters of the same color, their leader spawns. Once all leaders are defeated, the mastermind will be revealed. Once defeated, Kobayashi's friend is rescued and the player gets to see the ending.
Completing the game will probably not unravel whatever scheme the evil organization is planning, the player will need to replay the game multiple times to uncover the truth. While the player is on their adventure trying to find Kobayashi's friend, they will run into different characters with their own secrets and motivations, as well as new enemies. Meeting certain conditions during the game will reward player's with the true ending.
Mizoguchi and Kunio are with Kobayashi from the start of the game. Kobayashi must be on the screen at all times, the player can freely switch between Mizoguchi and Kunio. Players can also choose to control Mizoguchi or Kunio instead of Kobayashi. Both of these actions can be performed with a button press or in the pause menu. In single player mode, players should be aware that if Kobayashi loses all of his health, he will be exhausted and Mizoguchi will be forced to rewind time, regardless of how much health Kunio and Mizoguchi have.
Like Shin Nekketsu Kōha: Kunio-tachi no Banka, the game does not have any weapons for the player to use. This is also the first game in the franchise in which characters cannot hit enemies who are on the ground. It is also not possible to grab and throw stunned enemies, or pick up enemies who are on the ground.
- New Game: Starts a new game. If the player has previously completed the game, they must start a new game for their next playthrough. Players can also begin a new game while another game is in progress and carry over their current stats and stars.
- Continue: Loads the player's last saved game, exactly in the same area where they last saved with the Save Kitty. If the player saves the game after completing it, the last save from the Save Kitty is lost.
- Options: Allows players to configure the game. They can also see the number of times they have completed the game and the number of stars they have collected.
- Character: Displays the profile of the main and supporting characters in the game. This section also allows players to power up the main playable characters with stars and view their available skills.
- Controller Config: Players can configure their controllers and the keyboard here for both players.
- Items: This option allows players to purchase Recovery and Power Up items for Mizoguchi using stars. They can also select which items he will be equipped with.
- Volume & Language: The volume of the game's sounds, music and voices can be adjusted here. Language can also be changed from English, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese (Traditional or Simplified).
- Delete Saved Date: Clears the game's save data, restoring the game to its default state. This cannot be undone.
- Ranking: Online rankings displaying the player's shortest time and highest score. Time takes priority over score. Scores are uploaded after the game is completed.
- Ending List: This option is available after completing the game. It displays all the endings the player has obtained.
- Number of enemies defeated: Displays the number of Fighters that have been defeated from each group, allowing players to target a specific group to spawn their leader.
- Status: Displays the HP and Spirit of all characters currently present on the screen. During gameplay, only the status of two characters is displayed, players can monitor other characters here (unless they actively switch to them.
- Select Items: Switches the current items that Mizoguchi is equipped with. This can only be done if there are more items from each type.
- Player Settings: Allows players to change from a single player game to a two player game and vice versa. They can also switch the character they are currently controlling. The Dragon Twins cannot be selected in this menu, even if they are on the screen.
- Controller Settings: The same settings available in Options on the main menu.
- Volume & Language: The same options available in Options on the main menu.
Characters can move in eight directions using the directional pad. Characters can run by pressing the directional pad left or right twice. Pressing the directional pad up or down twice allows characters to sidestep, just like in River City Girls.
The game uses a simplified control scheme. Instead of punches and kicks, the game has a single attack button. The Attack button performs different attacks depending on the direction held on the directional pad. The combo used depends on the starting attack. Once an enemy is stunned, pressing the attack button results in a finisher. The finisher used is different with each direction held on the directional pad as well.
Just like in Super Double Dragon, River City Ransom: Underground and River City Girls, the normal attacks performed are different with each character. Kobayashi has three different normal attacks and combos, and two finishers. Mizoguchi has two normal attacks, combos and finishers. Kunio has two normal attacks, two combos and three finishers. The Dragon Twins have two normal attacks and combos and one finisher.
The other attack button is used to perform Special Moves, like in River City Ransom: Underground and River City Girls. Holding down the Special Move button allows players to charge their Special Moves. Special Moves have three levels (Blue, Green and Red) and use the Spirit Meter. Special Moves vary by character.
Pressing the Jump button a second time in midair will trigger a second a jump. It is not possible to change the direction in which a character is facing during a jump, but the player can target an enemy in the opposite direction with their jump attack. Each character has a different jump attack.
A new mechanic introduced in this game are Pursuit Attacks. After hitting a stunned enemy with a finisher, pressing the Jump button will launch the character towards the enemy with an additional attack. This can be performed multiple times to juggle enemies. Pursuit Attacks use the Spirit Meter and vary by character.
Players can perform an air recovery maneuver by pressing the Special Move Button if they are launched into the air by an enemy attack. The button can also be pressed when knocked down to instantly get up. If the player presses the button while they are knocked down after some time, the character can perform a ground recovery attack. All of these moves use the Spirit Meter.
Pressing the Attack button the moment an enemy attack connects allows the character to block. Pressing the button again will deflect the enemy's attack and leave them wide open for a counter attack. The latter move uses Spirit Meter.
Mizoguchi is equipped with three items, one is used for Recovery, the other is to call in Helpers, and the last one is to Power Up Kobayashi. These items can only be used by Mizoguchi, so he must be on the screen to use them (Kunio can be tagged in while or after this items are used, however).
Items use a Special Item Meter at the top of the screen, which fills up when enemies are defeated. Some enemies allow the meter to fill up instantly. Items are used by pressing a button to highlight them. The player can use the Recovery item three times if they meter is full, or twice if they have two stocks (which allows them to use the Helper item). If the player uses Helper, they can only use Recovery once unless they increase the Special Item Meter. Finally, powering up Kobayashi uses the full meter.
- Recovery: The player starts the game with the Restore HP item, which restores 100 HP to all characters. Using stars, the player may purchase the following items:
- Restore Energy Lv1: Restores 200 HP and 50 Spirit to all characters.
- Restore Energy Lv2: Fully restore HP and Spirit to all characters.
- Antidote: Cure characters of poison.
- Helper: When first starting the game, the Helper item will summon Ryūichi. After defeating two leaders and meeting Tōdō again, he will allow Ryūji to tag along with Kobayashi. When the Dragon Twins are summoned, they join Kobayashi and his friend for a limited amount of time, but the player can control them in the same way as Kunio and Mizoguchi (this cannot be done in the pause menu, however). The player may also choose to summon Ryūji alone once he joins the group.
- Power Up: Increases Kobayashi's Attack Power and Speed for a limited amount of time. Comes in three levels.
While on their adventure to destroy the evil organization, the player will run into different items and obstacles that they can interact with.
- Hearts: Defeated Fighters drop hearts, which restore some HP for the character who picks them up, and also increases the player's score.
- Save Kitty: A robot cat that Mizoguchi brought from the future. This machine can memorize a specific range in time within the space-time flow once installed. It is unpredictable, like a real cat. This kitty is used during gameplay to save the player's game. When entering an area, the Save Kitty might appear, or not. After defeating bosses, the Save Kitty will appear in the area where the boss was defeated.
- Flying Machine: In some areas, a single UFO will be flying around, which will attack the player. If players jump on top of it, they can ride it. Pressing the Attack button will fire a projectile, the Special Button uses the ship's beam, which can be used to carry objects around. The jump button raises or lowers the ship's position. Attacking enemies with the ship will not increase the player's score, but using the beam will. Characters can jump off the ship or be knocked out of it, at which point the UFO becomes an enemy unless the player jumps back on top of it or destroys it.
When entering some areas, Yugo Yamada will be waiting for the player and inform them of an attack from enemy aircraft. This begins a bonus game in which players ride an UFO and must take down Fighters riding their own UFOs. Once the player succeeds, their HP is restored and their Item meter is fully refilled. If Ryūichi and Ryūji are with the player, they leave during the bonus game and return when it is completed.
- Grenades: A grenade might appear on the ground randomly in any area the player enters. Pressing the Attack button near it activates it. The grenade will then explode after some time has passed, damaging any character near it (including enemies and allies). Grenades can be hit, moving them from their initial position. There are three types of grenades. The normal grenades are colored black and inflict a damaging explosion. Purple grenades will poison players, while star grenades will increase the player's score rewards for a short duration of time (30 seconds).
- Holes: Two areas in the game have hazards that will kill the player instantly if they fall or are knocked into them. Enemies and bosses can also be defeated using these hazards. Moyakun can walk through these hazards. Using a UFO, players can traverse these hazards and they can carry the other player or enemies past these hazards using the UFO's beam (this also allows the player to toss enemies right into holes).
- Keepsakes: When creating the main character (Kobayashi's Friend) at the beginning of the game, the player gets to select three keepsakes, time-lost memorial items that link this character and Kobayashi together. This items are dropped by Markers when they are defeated and only Kobayashi can pick them up. Picking this items up will power up Kobayashi for a short amount of time.
Defeating a leader and completing the game rewards the player with stars. These stars can be used to power up the playable characters and to purchase items for Mizoguchi. Characters are upgraded in the Character section of the Options menu. All five of the playable characters have five skills, which increase their HP, Spirit, speed, attack power and grants them new skills.
The game has returning characters from the Downtown Nekketsu series, along with new characters. Most of the story and characters in this game are adapted from a script written by Sekimoto for Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari 3.
The game has five playable characters. Kobayashi is on the screen at all times, while Kunio and Mizoguchi can be switched freely at any time as long as they have HP. When the Dragon Twins are on the screen, players can also switch to them. They will be on screen for a limited amount of time, but when they are upgraded their timer can extended.
Full name Kobayashi Masao. A senior of Reihō Academy. Coming from an upper-class background, he is somewhat of a prideful person. Due to complicated family circumstances, he goes by his mother's maiden name. Although he gave only a glimpse of his power as the leader of the Shitennō of Reihō Academy, he will eventually show his true power on his journey to destroy the mysterious organization. Voiced by Ryuichi Kijima.
Kobayashi's Special Move is the Mach Chop. At level one, the move resembles his Knifehand Strike from Rival Showdown. At level two, he performs a modified version of his Knifehand Dance from Rival Showdown. At level three, he performs an extended version of the Mach Chop with an additional finishing attack.
Full name Mizoguchi Kōki. A mysterious, handsome boy who came from the future in pursuit of the evil organization. He provides backup to Kobayashi by utilizing numerous strange devices. He throws purification seals and fights although he is not particularly good at it. Even though he has no information about Kobayashi in the future, he recognizes Kobayashi's power and befriends him. Voiced by Mitsuhiro Ichiki. The character debuts in this game.
Mizoguchi's Special Moves is to fire a Purification Seal, a small projectile. The projectile at level one has short range. At level two, Mizoguchi fires a projectile ahead and behind him, which makes more damage. At level three, the projectile is larger and is shot faster, but only forward. These projectiles are the only way to easily defeat Moyakuns.
A senior at Nekketsu High School. It's widely known according to the Legend of the Hot-Blooded Tough Guy, a violent organization was destroyed by one person. It is said that the Righteous Delinquent will help the weak and crush the strong. Kobayashi sometimes wonders if there's some sort of power that resides within Kunio's fists that will destroy the evil power. Voiced by Satoru Murakami.
Kunio has three Special Moves. His level one Special Move is the Screw, which allows him to travel long distances and past hazards. He stops once he crashes into an enemy. His level two Special Move is the Mach Punch, Kunio performs a flurry of punch attacks on his opponent. His level three Special Move is dance that combines the Mach Punch and the Mach Kick.
The elder and composed for the Hattori brothers, a third year student of Reihō Academy. Before transferring to the academy, he was previously in Hattori Academy, which trains ninjas. His family is well known in the world of ninjas, and the Hattori brothers are expected to shoulder the responsibilities for the next generations. He dislikes dogs. Mitsuhiro Ichiki voices the character.
Ryūichi's jump attack is the Ryūbi Ranpū Kyaku. His Special Move is a Water Jutsu, which strikes all enemies on the screen.
The hot-headed and younger Hattori twin, also a third year student of Reihō Academy. The twins are proficient in the art of ninjutsu and the martial arts, but hide it well near common people. The Hattori family borrows power from the Dragon God, Ryūji is the Guardian of the Fire Dragon, while his brother is the Guardian of the Water Dragon. Ryūji dislikes cats. The character is voiced by Ryuichi Kijima.
Like his brother, Ryūji's jump attack is the Ryūbi Ranpū Kyaku. His Special Move is an Explosion Jutsu, which strikes all enemies on the screen. At level three, the move is guaranteed to hit all enemies on the screen and is the only attack in the game that can hit enemies off the ground.
The Evil Organization from the Future
Kobayashi and his allies go up against a mysterious organization from the future, which use uniformed fighters and advanced technology such as unidentified flying objects.
Members of the evil organization, their colors vary and signify their rank. They have no feelings and are artificially created, carrying negative energy.
Depending on the area the player is located, they will be attacked by a specific group of fighters. Some areas will have a combination of fighters joining forces. Blue fighters are incredibly fast, while purple and red fighters can fire projectiles. Orange fighters can use beam swords.
When a leader spawns and the player begins a fight with them, they can move to another area and continue the fight elsewhere, unlike previous games (the sole exception is the first fight with Slick in River City Ransom: Underground).
Beings created using the negative energy produced by humans. They can be defeated using Mizoguchi's sealing devices.
Moyakun receive low damage from normal attacks. They can be killed instantly by using Mizoguchi's Purification Seal. Moyakun's will not attack the player. Killing one will instantly refill the Special Item Meter.
Humans infused with negative energy. They are powerful and can strengthen Fighters.
When a Marker spawns, the sky will turn into a shade of purple. Fighters will be slightly strengthened as well. Markers will appear in a random area and when defeated, they will drop a keepsake. A Moyakun will also spawn in place of the defeated Marker.
One of the leaders of the evil organization, he was previously a member of the Time Continuum Forces. He is adamant that fights be fair and square, and has doubts on the organization's current actions. His outfit is red.
No. 12 fights Kobayashi and his allies using a beam sword and a pistol.
The Green Leader of the evil organization. Wears a pair of googles with the appearance of a Japanese demon mask. Has a ladylike voice and intonation and wishes to change a tragic future.
No. 21 rides a ball-shaped robot to fight Kobayashi and his group. The robot is capable of firing drill-shaped missiles and lasers.
The Violet Leader. Although he looks composed, underneath he hides a different personality. Due to an incident in the past, he hates women. He tires to get rid of Sayo and when that fails, he sets his sights on Kobayashi.
Just like No. 21, 29 rides a robot to battle. This robot has stretching arms and can teleport. It also has an attack that draws in his opponent, then absorbs their health before throwing them away.
The Blue Leader. An arrogant man with incredible speed who loves to fight. He speaks harshly and most of his details are unknown, but he seems to dislike the youths of today.
Just like No. 12, No. 35 fights Kobayashi and his group mano-a-mano. He fights with a series of dash attacks and kicks, and also uses teleportation to disorient his opponent.
The Chief Leader, a man with a characteristic facial hair. A self-made swindler from the criminal underworld in the future. Although he has a frail appearance, he is actually an evil mastermind.
Unlike the previous leaders, No. 47 is not actually fought. Instead, the player faces a gauntlet of five battles, first with a group of Fighters, followed by flying orbs. These orbs decrease the Spirit Meter of a targeted character, but can be defeated easily and they refill the Special Item meter completely. Another group of Fighters attack again, then No. 47 sics square-shaped drones at the player. This drones are difficult to defeat and make high damage, but escape after their initial attack. A final group of Fighters then attacks the player and when they are defeated, No. 47 flees.
Since No. 47 flees, a Moyakun does not spawn after he is defeated, unlike the other leaders.
Full name Kusuhara Koya. A member of the Time Continuum Forces who was believed to be dead. He is a mentor to both Mizoguchi and Yamada, and seems to be manipulating the latter.
Kusuhara can be fought by meeting Yamada on the bridge near the abandoned school or on the roof of the abandoned school after three leaders are defeated.
The game's final boss, Hirukesu will appear after all of the leaders are defeated. He is the one holding Kobayashi's friend. When fought, he has a powerful armor, which the player needs to destroy to make additional damage.
Described as the game's main character (named Arc in the Japanese version and Yu in Western versions, the character's name can be changed). This character is created by the player. It can be male or female, and their relationship with Kobayashi can be one of friendship or intimate. This character is kidnapped by the evil organization and needs to be rescued.
Full name Otonashi Kyōsuke. A first year student of Reihō Academy. A lone wolf who can perceive a person's personality based on their image. He looks up to Kobayashi and enjoys hanging out with him whenever he gets the chance, and sees him as a brother.
Otonashi acts as a messenger to Kobayashi and his allies, and warns the player when Markers spawn in the game.
Mamoru's older brother who holds a very important position in the Tōdō Group. He has dubious people working behind the scenes for him. He knows better than most about the risks that await those who have no power, and he looks down on powerless people. He always exudes an air of calm and speaks coldly. New character.
A third year student of Reihō Academy, the current president of the academy's Student Council. He is the youngest son of the president of the Tōdō Group, a giant global empire. Rich and skilled, there are rumors that he is the leader of a mysterious organization. Once, he tried to defeat Kunio, but his current intentions are unknown. Tasuku Kida voices the character.
After defeating two leaders, Tōdō reveals that Ryūichi has been spying on Kobayashi, but not with ill intentions. He then allows Ryūji to tag along with Kobayashi and his group. This meeting with Tōdō also refills the player's health.
A cheerful and energetic high school student with a passionate heart who does not allow anyone to see her cry. A girl who likes Kobayashi, she one of the few people who truly understands him, as they are childhood friends. Nakae Mitsuki voices this new character.
Sayo will appear after all leaders are defeated to warn Kobayashi about Hirukesu's armor.
A kind youth from the future who has Yamada's bloodline. He is a colleague and close friend of Mizoguchi. He is adverse to conflict. He mysteriously disappeared in front of Mizoguchi one day. New character.
Codes, Secrets & Bugs
The game has multiple endings, 20 in total. What ending the player receives depend on various factors. At the beginning of the game, the player creates Kobayashi's friend. Their gender and relationship to Kobayashi are tied to the game's ending.
The player's final score is also tied to the game's ending. Endings are separated by ranks, from A to E. The A Rank ending is the game's true ending and is not tied to the player's score. The player simply needs to fulfill a simple requirement. Each leader must be defeated in a specific order. Takeru will give a hint to the player about the order after defeating Kusuhara (their names).
For endings B through E, the player must beat the game with a specific score and they cannot defeat the leaders in order, as the A rank ending will take priority.
Kunio's Nekketsu Power Up
If the player loses to Hirukesu a few times and enters a time distortion area while playing as Kunio, Yamada will have a conversation with him. After the conversation ends, Kunio is granted a power up similar to the one that Kobayashi receives when he uses the Power Up item. This is permanent and is carried over to subsequent playthroughs.
- The English trailer erroneously states that the Double Dragon brothers first debuted in Renegade, when they actually first appeared in River City Ransom.
- Official site
- Web manual
- English trailer, screenshots (Gematsu)
- Gameplay and System Details (Gematsu)
- Launch Date (Gematsu)
- Official Announcement from Gematsu
- Original Gematsu article