Welcome to the Kunio-Kun Wiki. The Kunio-kun franchise was created by Technōs Japan Corp. and has more than 30 games. The first game of the franchise, Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun (released as Renegade in North America) was Technōs' first big hit. The series would become more popular on the Famicom thanks to Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari and Downtown Nekketsu Kōshinkyoku: Soreyuke Daiundōkai (the former was localized in North America as River City Ransom on the NES, an influential cult classic). Veteran Technōs staff continue to work on the series in a new company, Million Co., Ltd, which is now owned by Arc System Works. The series original creator, Yoshihisa Kishimoto, is also involved in the creation of current games.
Though a popular series in Japan, the Kunio-kun series remains a niche franchise in North America. There are multiple reasons for these: the attempt to sell the games to the western market, which required alterations to the games and the fact that Technōs was unable to publish most of their own games (River City Ransom and Crash 'n the Boys: Street Challenge were the only Kunio-kun games they published). The series does have a cult following in some parts of Asia, Europe and North America.
Localizations of Kunio-kun games by Technōs include Renegade, Super Dodge Ball (these two being the only two arcade games in the series), River City Ransom (Street Gangs in Europe), Nintendo World Cup, Double Dragon II (for the Game Boy, was originally going to be released as The Renegades by Technōs before Acclaim got the rights to publish the game) and Crash 'n the Boys: Street Challenge. The Neo Geo version of Super Dodge Ball was the last game released by Technōs in the west which fully used the Kunio-kun characters without making alterations (Nintendo World Cup did use Kunio as a character for the Japan Team).
After Arc System Works purchased the rights to release the series, they started using the Kunio-kun characters and settings in the western market under the River City brand for the purpose of recognition (there are some exceptions, in River City: Tokyo Rumble, some characters use the names they were given in River City Ransom while others use their names from the Kunio-kun series).
The latest releases in the Kunio-kun series have been River City: Rival Showdown on the Nintendo 3DS, River City Melee: Battle Royal Special on PlayStation 4 and PC and River City Ransom: Underground on PC.
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The Kunio-kun series
Prior to the release of Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun Special, the Kunio-kun franchise was split into three sub-series:
- The Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun sub-series, which spawned from the original game and includes Shodai Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun, Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun: Bangai Rantō Hen and Shin Nekketsu Kōha: Kunio-tachi no Banka. Most of these games were directed and designed by the series original creator, Yoshihisa Kishimoto. The games use serious themes of gang violence and the characters have realistic proportions (Bangai Rantō Hen is the sole exception).
- The Nekketsu Kōkō Dodgeball Bu sub-series, which was created when Hiroshi Sato was developing a dodge ball simulation game and Yoshihisa Kishimoto was asked to include Kunio in it. Games in this series also include Nekketsu Kōkō Dodgeball Bu: Soccer Hen, Ike Ike! Nekketsu Hockey-bu: Subette Koronde Dairantō, Kunio-kun no Nekketsu Soccer League and many other sports games. The main designer for Hockey Bu was Koji Kai, who worked on every of the Famicom games afterward until Nekketsu! Street Basket: Ganbare Dunk Heroes.
- The Downtown Nekketsu sub-series, which was designed and directed by Hiroyuki Sekimoto and Mitsuhiro Yoshida. Their intention was to create a game inspired in Double Dragon that even children could play with lots of freedom and this game became Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari. Games in this series include Downtown Nekketsu Kōshinkyoku: Soreyuke Daiundōkai, Downtown Special: Kunio-kun no Jidaigeki da yo Zen'in Shūgō!, Downtown Nekketsu Baseball Monogatari: Yakyū de Shōbu da! Kunio-kun and many others.
With the release of Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun Special, Yoshihisa Kishimoto, Million Co., Ltd and Arc System Works have decided to fuse all three sub-series into a single new series.
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