Streets of Rage 3 is a 1994 side-scrolling beat ’em up video game developed by Sega and published for the Sega Genesis. It is the third and final installment of the original Streets of Rage trilogy. Almost 30 years later, Streets of Rage 4 finally hit shelves in 2020. In 2023, another installment was announced, so this franchise still has some traction going for it. Streets of Rage 3 was included in the 2005 Sonic Gems Collection that was released for the GameCube, PlayStation 2, and two years later, the Wii. The game was eventually included in Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and in Sega Genesis Classics for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
The Streets of Rage original trilogy is one of those classic gaming franchises that gradually grew more advanced with every new game. Streets of Rage featured a simplistic plot and simple gameplay, but by the time the franchise got to the third installment, it had a lot more complexity. The plot was more advanced, there were secret characters to unlock, the gameplay allowed specific characters to have special moves, and it even incorporated a couple of cutscenes to bring the game together. It also featured faster gameplay and character dialogue, making it the most polished game in the trilogy.
Although Streets of Rage 3 is turning 30 this year, modern gamers can still get ahold of this game. The Sega Genesis Classics bundle is still available on the PlayStation store and the Xbox store. Steam also has a version of the game available, but make sure to check if the specs will work for your setup. If players want to play Streets of Rage 3 without having to pay for it, they can also look online. Retrogames.cz has the original game available to play for free right on the player’s browser. Retrogames.cz is a great resource for any gamer who wants to check out classic games. In addition to Streets of Rage 3, it offers many other classic games of the time, like Super Bomberman.
When the game first came out in 1994, fans and critics were a little shocked by how different Streets of Rage 3 was in comparison to the previous installments. Overall, it still received decent reviews and got a lot of praise for how much it upgraded its gameplay. Today, gamers still seem to like this classic beat ’em up game. 94% of Google users who weighed in on the game claimed to like it.
Streets of Rage 3 Premise
As a side-scrolling beat ’em up video game, Streets of Rage 3 forces up to two players to take on waves upon waves of enemies. The game can be played alone or with one other friend. Each player gets to choose between four playable characters, three of which are returning from the previous games. Players can go on to unlock a couple more bonus playable characters, but they won’t be available right off the bat.
The plot of the game once again focuses on beating Syndicate crime boss Mr. X, the reoccurring antagonist of the series. In Streets of Rage 3, Mr. X has already suffered two humiliating defeats, so he changes tactics. Mr. X creates RoboCy Corporation, a front for his illegal research. Under the guise of RoboCy, Mr. X brings Dr. Dahm (also known as Dr. Zero in the Japanese version of the game), one of the world’s leading roboticists, into the company. Mr. X uses Dr. Dahm’s advanced robotics to replace city officials with robot versions, which he plans to control himself. In theory, this should allow Mr. X to control everything that happens in the city from the comfort of his own home, layer, or facility.
Dr. Zan, the fourth playable character who is brand new to Streets of Rage 3, discovers Mr. X’s plot and tips Blaze Fielding, one of the series’ main protagonists, off about the plan. Blaze immediately creates a task force to deal with the Syndicates. She brings her fellow main characters, Axel Stone and Adam Hunter back to join the team. Axel joins, but Adam can’t due to his involvement with another assignment. In his absence, he sends his younger brother, Eddie “Skate” Hunter to help the task force out.
Streets of Rage 3 technically has four different endings. Which ending the player gets depends on what difficulty they’re playing the game on and how fast they beat each level. Despite coming out over 25 years after the third installment, Streets of Rage 4 is a direct sequel to 3. 4 follows 3’s good ending.
Streets of Rage 3 Main Characters
Streets of Rage 3 features a wide range of playable protagonists. Most of these characters are reoccurring from older games in the franchise, but there are a few new characters as well. Each playable character has unique power levels, techniques, speed, jump height, and reach.
Main Playable Characters:
- Blaze Fielding: Blaze Fielding is one of the main Streets of Rage protagonists. She and Axel are the only playable characters that are playable in every game. Blaze is a dance instructor and a private detective who used to work for the Wood Oak City Police Department. In the original game, Blaze is depicted as the leader of the three former cops (her, Axel Stone, and Adam Hunter) who left the corrupt police department. Although they no longer work for the police, all three of them continue to fight against the Syndicate and its leader, Mr. X. Blaze is the “female brawler” character archetype because she’s tough, determined, and never backs down from a fight. Blaze is quite literally willing to die if it means putting a stop to the Syndicate. In Streets of Rage 3, Dr. Zan contacts Blaze when he finds out about Mr. X’s plans. She immediately pulls her old friends back into the fight, ready to put Mr. X on the ground once and for all.
- Axel Stone: Axel Stone is one of the main Streets of Rage protagonists and along with Blaze, he is the only other playable character to appear in every game. Axel is one of the three original cops who left the Wood Oak City Police Department due to corruption in the system. After leaving the job, Axel worked closely with Blaze and their third colleague, Adam. Now, Axel works as a bodyguard. When Dr. Zan contacts Blaze, Axel is the first person Blaze calls. Axel immediately agrees to join her task force to once again face off with Mr. X.
- Eddie “Skate” Hunter: Eddie “Skate” Hunter (called Sammy Hunter in the Japanese version) is the younger brother of Adam Hunter, the third former cop who joined Blaze and Axel. When Blaze learns about Mr. X’s plans to take over the city with advanced robots, she immediately calls Axel and Adam. Unfortunately, Adam is unable to make it due to prior commitments, but he doesn’t leave his old friends hanging. To make up for his absence, he sends his little brother, Skate, to join them. Skate is known for his street smarts and trendy fashion. Skate idolizes his brother and wants to be just like him. Adam and Skate practice martial arts together. In Streets of Rage 2, Skate joins Blaze and Axel in a fight to save Adam’s life. After saving Adam, Skate became incredibly close with Blaze and Axel.
- Dr. Gilbert Zan: Dr. Gilbert Zan debuts in Streets of Rage 3 as the fourth and final playable character (not including the unlockable characters). Dr. Zan was once a scientist working for the Syndicate Crime Organization, but after the Syndicate led to him becoming a cyborg, he turned against them. Out of all the playable characters in the third game, Dr. Zan is the most unique thanks to his cybernetic design. Due to his robotic enhancements, Dr. Zan can move incredibly fast. He also has several shock-based abilities that the rest of the team could only dream of. He converts weapons into balls of energy when he picks them up. Dr. Zan is a calm and well-seasoned researcher who can come up with a solution to just about anything. He also discovered the element Rakushin.
Unlockable Playable Characters:
- Shiva: For a time, Shiva was Mr. X’s right-hand man and an important member of the Syndicate. Shiva was a major boss fight in Streets of Rage 2 and the first boss fight in Streets of Rage 3. After defeating Shiva early in the game, players can unlock him. However, Shiva doesn’t leave the Syndicate until after the events of Streets of Rage 3. Since, at the time, he’s loyal to Mr. X, Shiva being a protagonist isn’t considered canon.
- Roo: Roo (called Victy in the Japanese version) is literally a kickboxing kangaroo. Roo is a trained circus performing animal used by Bruce, his trainer, to fight the main characters. Roo is an animal, so he doesn’t have a lengthy biography, but he is a hard-hitting playable character.
- Ash: Ash is a first-stage mini-boss specifically in the Japanese version of the game. After defeating Ash, players can unlock him as a playable character. He was not included in the American version of the game because he was too “offensive”. Ash’s exclusion, especially by today’s standards, caused a bit of controversy because he was deemed offensive due to him being a “stereotypical and flamboyant gay man”. Since Ash wasn’t included in the American version and he’s not considered a canon protagonist, his playable moves list is severely lacking in comparison to every other character.
Other Prominent Characters:
- Mr. X: Mr. X is the Streets of Rage’s main antagonist. Every game features Mr. X as a prominent crime lord in control of the Syndicate. No one knows Mr. X’s true identity, but he is a crime lord determined to take control of Wood Oak City. In Streets of Rage 3, Mr. X has already suffered two humiliating defeats in the first two games. This prompts him to take things to the next level and create an elaborate scheme that involves replacing all of the important city officials with robots. To do this, Mr. X creates a research company he calls RoboCy Corporation and uses it as a front to hide his true intentions. With RoboCy in place, Mr. X brings the world’s best roboticist on board to create convincing robot doubles. Once he replaces the city officials, he can control the entire city from a remote.
- Dr. Dahm: Dr. Dahm or Dr. Zero (his name in the Japanese version) is the world’s best roboticist. Mr. X brings him to RoboCy Corporation to create life-like robots that can replace Wood Oak City’s public officials.
Streets of Rage Titles in the Series
For many years, Streets of Rage was an early ’90s trilogy. In recent years, it’s received a revival. Streets of Rage also inspired a hand-held mini-game, a comic, and a few spin-off games. Allegedly, a movie based on the games is also in the works.
- Streets of Rage (1991)
- Streets of Rage 2 (1992)
- Streets of Rage 3 (1994)
- Streets of Rage 4 (2020) – This game picks up 10 years after Streets of Rage 3. It considers the third game’s good ending canon.
- Streets of Rage Revolution – A fifth Streets of Rage installment that’s still in the works.
- Bare Knuckle Mobile (2008)
- Streets of Kamurocho (2020) – A limited release of a crossover between Streets of Rage 2 and the Yakuza series.
Streets of Rage 3 (and other Streets of Rage games) have been included in various bundles throughout the years. Some of these bundles include Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection and Sega Genesis Classics. Both of these bundles feature Streets of Rage 3. Streets of Rage 2 is available through the SEGA Genesis™ Nintendo Switch Online bundle.
Streets of Rage 3 Cheats, Unlockable Characters, & Endings
The first release of Streets of Rage 3 came out during a pique time when many games, especially platformers and side-scrollers, featured cheat codes. Many classic games were quite challenging and required players to beat the game in a certain amount of time or with a certain number of lives. If they failed to do so, they would receive an automatic game over and have to start over.
Streets of Rage 3 was similar in that respect and it does feature a few codes and/or exploits. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have nearly as many as some other games of the time. Most of the old codes and methods are specifically for the Sega Genesis version of the game. This means that modern players playing on Steam or a console like a PlayStation 4, may not be able to take advantage of these exploits. Streets of Rage 3 does feature several endings and unlockable characters, though, so this guide will cover all of it.
How to Get the Unlockable Characters
Streets of Rage 3 features three different unlockable characters. Each character requires something different to unlock.
- Shiva: Shiva is the first boss fight in Streets of Rage 3. To unlock him, players need to defeat him first. After defeating Shiva in the first round, players need to hold down the B button + start. This will interrupt the player’s progression to Round Two. The continue menu should pop up after a few seconds, which indicates that Shiva is now playable. It’s important to keep in mind that Shiva’s stats are lower than the four main playable characters.
- Shiva has an infinite combo attack that prevents enemies from attacking back. Hit Z (6-button controller) or B and C together (3-button controller) repeatedly. This will continuously attack the enemy quickly enough that they won’t be able to hit back.
- Roo: Players need to focus on Bruce during Roo’s boss battle. Bruce is a clown and animal handler who whips Roo to get the kangaroo to keep fighting. If the player defeats Bruce before knocking down Roo, they’ll be able to play as Roo at the next continue. Roo cannot pick up items. Some guides say that players can also unlock Roo by holding up and B, then pressing Start on the title screen.
- Ash: Ash is an unlockable character only available in the Japanese version of Streets of Rage 3. Players need to defeat Ash during his boss battle to unlock him and then press and hold A. At the next continue screen, players will be able to choose Ash. His kit is extremely underbuilt due to him being excluded from the American version, so players should use him at their own risk.
How to Get All 4 Endings
The Good/True Ending – Ending 1:
- In Stage 6, successfully save the Chief before his health runs out
- Defeat Robot Y at the end of Stage 7 before the time runs out
2 of 4 – Ending 2:
- In Stage 6, successfully save the Chief before his health runs out
- Defeat Robot Y at the end of Stage 7 but make sure the time runs out
3 of 4 – Ending 3:
- Fail to save the Chief in Stage 6
- By the time players get to the end of Stage 7, it will be completely different
- Get to the game’s final boss and defeat him
4 of 4 – Ending 4:
This ending is only available on international versions of the game.
- Set the game to easy difficulty
- Defeat Robot X in Stage 5
Codes & Other Useful Tips
- 5,000 Points & 1 Level-Up: In the Warehouse Area of Stage 1, go to the bottom left to find an area blocked off by crates. Press B while standing in this area.
- 1 Level-Up: In the Construction Site of Stage 3, go to the bottom left to find some white blocks. Go behind the white blocks to receive the level-up.
- Various Items: At City Hall in Stage 7, there are many hidden items around the area. Check behind pots, lamp posts, and other background items.
During Stage 5, players have several opportunities to find hidden passages that lead to secret rooms. These rooms contain bonus items and more items than the normal route. To access these areas, players need to kill all the enemies in the area first.
- Passageway 1: While following the normal route, players will come across a white wall covered in cracks at the top. Punch the wall to reveal the first secret passage.
- Passageway 2: At the bottom of the area, there’s another secret passage. Go to the bottom of the room and stand in the middle of the wall. Start punching to break a hole in the floor.
- Passageway 3: Towards the top of the screen, players will find red walls. One of these walls has a few cracks. Punch it to reveal the final secret passageway.
- While on the Options screen, hold B and up, then press Start. This should open the Stage Select menu so players can jump to their desired starting point.
- Open the Options Menu
- Press and hold up + A + B + C on Controller 2
- Press left or right on Controller 1 to decrease or increase the number of lives you start with
- Players can select up to 9 lives, which is four more than the normal 5 lives max
To do this, players need to have earned 10,000 points during their game.
- Enter “K W” in the name entry (leave a space between the letters)
- Click “End”
- A noise notification will sound if the cheat code is input correctly
No Fall Damage:
While falling, hold up and jump until the player character hits the ground. The character should land on their feet, which will keep them from taking damage.
Play as Super Characters:
- Super Skate: Start the game as Skate and lose a life before earning any points (points should be 0). When players continue, they’ll be playing as Super Skate.
- Super Axel: Select Axel and then press the D-PAD in clockwise circles. This unlocks Super Axel, who has a new powerful special attack.
- Super Zan: Hold C on both gamepads when selecting Zan from the Character Select screen. Hold the buttons until the game starts.
Streets of Rage 3 Cheats FAQ
How do you get unlimited lives on Streets of Rage 3?
There is no way to get unlimited lives in Streets of Rage 3. Players can get up to 9 lives and a bonus continue, but there are no cheats or exploits to get infinite lives.
How many endings does Streets of Rage 3 have?
Streets of Rage 3 has four endings. The good or “true” ending is the only canon ending that Streets of Rage 4 acknowledges.
How long to beat Streets of Rage 3?
According to HowLongToBeat.com, Streets of Rage 3’s main story takes about two hours. The main and side quests will take about three and a half hours and seeing everything the game has to offer takes about seven and a half hours.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©NintendoComplete / Sega.