What came first, Renegade or Double Dragon? Renegade of course! Renegade was originally called ‘Nekketsu Koha Kunio-Kun’ in Japan, which roughly translates to "Hot-Blooded Tough Guy Kunio". And is solely responsible for over forty other spin off’s including the more popular and unofficial sequel, Double Dragon.
Yep, Renegade is the granddaddy of side scrolling beat-em-ups. Strangely, Renegade in the west did away with the Japanese style fighter backgrounds and sprites, in favour of characters straight out of the cult 80’s American movie, The Warriors.
The game was quite big in the arcades, especially in the west… and this popularity gave rise to home conversions from Ocean software. The 8-bit reception and sales success took Ocean by surprise, and Ocean later released two more sequels known as Target Renegade and The Final Chapter (Final Chapter being a bit naff).
Basically, your mission was to save your kidnapped girlfriend. The warriors had taken her hostage, and with all the originality in the world, it’s up to you to go get her back, or simply cut your losses. Each stage saw you fighting it out with gang members, once only three enemies were left on the screen; a boss battle would commence in order to complete each stage.
The three most popular 8-bit computers each received amazing conversions, with the Amstrad CPC port being a particular favourite of mine. The graphics, scene and music are still memorable today, especially the harbor and knife wielding street gang hideout. However; the thing that made the Amstrad CPC version so special is that it mimicked the three-button control of the arcade original by combining the joystick control with the cursor keys.