Presentation Screens

As usual the Japanese version's title screen is far more detailed.
There is an intro before the title screen that shows a bomb blast in the city. This is not featured in Streets of Rage 3 in any way. However, the intro sequence showing Blaze's letter to Axel (which you get if you leave the game on the title screen) is present in both games.
The next screen shows a nuclear explosion!

If you are wondering what this intro is supposed to be about please visit the Bare Knuckle III Translation for full information on the Bare Knuckle III storyline, or download the English Translation IPS Patch.

The title screen is obviously going to be different, but in Bare Knuckle III there is a cool animation of Axel smashing the screen that is missing in Streets of Rage 3.

Axel puts on his bandana...

Turns around...
And punches the screen!


On the main menu, a completely pointless color edit to the in-game font for "1" and "2" players. Also, Options is just "Option" in the Japanese version. (SOR3 on the left, BKIII on the right)


More pointless color edits.

At the start of the game before the bomb is defused this screen appears, which isn't in Streets of Rage 3 at all. Again, please see our translation or download the English Translation IPS Patch for full information on this screen and the rest of the Bare Knuckle III storyline.
The cut scenes feature sound effects - eg. you can hear Skate running towards the bomb in the cut scene at the very start. These sound effects are missing in Streets of Rage 3.

Character and Enemy Graphical Differences

 


For some very daft reason the colors of three characters were changed. In the Japanese version, Axel has the same colors as in the previous game. In the other versions, he gets black denims and a yellow shirt, which seems to be paying homage to what Adam was wearing in the first game. Also, the stats bars are measured differently, as are the measurements for a character's weight and height. The characters' height & weight is given in metric in Bare Knuckle III. Also, the blocks that represent the fighters stats are shown using the star sprite (as in SOR2) rather than the yellow block used in SOR3. The fighters stats are given using 10 stars (as in SOR2) instead of the bizarre system used in SOR3. The in-game font is slightly different also, with the numbers being blue instead of yellow.


Blaze gets silver clothes in SOR3 rather than red in BKIII. SEGA allegedly said that the colors were changed so they were "gender sensitive".



Skate/Sammy.



Roo, one of the hidden characters, is known as Victy in Japan.



In the battle mode, even the alt colors for characters were changed.



Again.



And finally Skate/Sammy. Zan was the only character not to get affected by this, possibly because he's a cyborg and nobody is sensitive to those.


Swapped around words.

 



The Japanese version has character specific win and lose quotes in the battle mode, which were removed entirely from Streets of Rage 3. Bonus points if you can spot the typo in the above image. 



Score points are in different colors, there are also a couple of other minor text color changes. The female enemies got covered up in Streets of Rage 3 whilst they showed off a lot more skin in Bare Knuckle III

 

 

 

More edits to show less skin in Streets of Rage 3


 
The first boss, Shiva, has green clothes in the Japanese version and black in any other.

Character and Enemy Name Differences

As usual BK's Sammy becomes SOR's Skate. But this time around the Japanese and Western names are quite different. BKIII's punk names are very similar to those of SOR2, with Galsia instead of SOR3's Garcia. Sega of America for some reason saw fit to rename them all pretty badly. The weapons are also heavily renamed, this time for the better. Anyway if you're really interested, check out the complete list of character and weapon names extracted from the two ROMs:

Bare Knuckle III Character Names Streets of Rage 3 Character Names
AXEL AXEL
BLAZE BLAZE
SAMMY SKATE
ZAN ZAN
VICTY ROO
ASH ASH
VICTY ROO
DANCH BRUCE
ONIHIME MONA
YASHA LISA
NEO.X ROBOT Y
BREAK AXEL
YAMATO YAMATO
ROBO X ROBOT X
JET JET
MR.X MR.X
SHIVA SHIVA
MR.A-Z ROBOT
GALSIA GARCIA
DONOVAN DONOVAN
SIGNAL SCARAB
VICE ZACK
SLUM GOLDIE
BONGO DWIGHT
ELECTRA ELECTRA
TIGER TIGER
GARNET SOOZIE
P-1 XP-1
STORM STORM
MIFUNE MIFUNE
BRONZ MCBRIDE
DR.ZERO DR.DAHM
GENERAL CHIEF
CARLOS CARLOS
FERNAND BONO
ICE ICE
NASTY JACK
HARLEM DICK
HEART IKE
THUNDRA LORENA
DRAGON LEOPARD
RUBBY GRACE
P-2 MARK2
CYCLONE WINGS
KOSUGI KOSUGI
SILVER MACLEAN
JULIO JULIO
Z MUSCLES
ANGLE JOOLS
SWAY MAC
PHENIX FABIO
CASINO STUD
BIG BEN BIG BEN
TYPHOON WHEELS
CHIBA CHIBA
GOLD MACLEOD
ROCKET ROCKET
SWITCH1 SWITCH1
SWITCH2 SWITCH2
WALL WALL
Bare Knuckle III Weapon Names Streets of Rage 3 Weapon Names
PAPER.K BLADE
FRUIT.K BLADE
KNIFE.K KNIFE
ARMY.K MACHETE
DAGGER DAGGER
OLD PIPE OLD PIPE
TIN PIPE TIN PIPE
PIPE PIPE
HEAVY.P HEAVY.P
TOY TOY
TAKEMITU TAKEMITU
NAMAKURA NAMAKURA
KATANA SWORD
KOTETSU KOTETSU
MASAMUNE MASAMUNE
MURAMASA MURAMASA
KUSANAGI KUSANAGI
KUNAI KUNAI
GRENADE GRENADE
TOY BAT TOY BAT
BAT BAT
METALBAT METALBAT
BRANCH BRANCH
WOOD WOOD
STICK STICK
LUMBER PLANK


(Above) A lot of the weapons have different names depending on the version.

 

Technical Differences

Instead of being called Stages the levels are called Rounds in Bare Knuckle III.


 

Exactly why they would change "Round" to "Stage" is not clear, but it's possible they didn't want to cause confusion with the Duel Mode's Rounds. Also, they were called stages in every regional variant of Streets of Rage 2 (although the High Score and Option screens calls them rounds). [Lorenzo the Comic]

When an enemy dies it flashes in BKIII (like the previous games) but just disappears in SOR3. The motorcycles' sparks are always the same color as the bike sliding in BKIII. In SOR3 this has been fixed and the sparks are always yellow. In addition, sometimes the bikes in BKIII defy the laws of physics and slide backwards. This bug appears to have been removed for SOR3. Thanks to Anton Berglin all for these.

Significantly, Bare Knuckle III is much easier than SOR3. It is comparable to SOR2's difficulty - though arguably even easier than that. SOR3's bosses often have several life stars more than their BKIII counterparts. Bare Knuckle III also features a Very Hard mode which is missing from SOR3. Clearly this shows that Sega of America decided that the game was too easy, and moved all the difficulty settings up one, so Normal mode in Bare Knuckle III is the equivalent of Easy in Streets of Rage 3 (this is proven if you load a BKIII save state into SOR3). This was a bad move in my opinion, as SOR3 is just too hard and the difficulty prevents you from keeping the special blitz attacks for any length of time.

More info on the difficulty differences; in SOR3 enemy attack damage rises with difficulty levels, whilst in BKIII it remains the same. Example - the damage done by Galsia's punches in BKIII is 2 on all diffciulty levels, whilst in SOR3 it is 2 on Easy, 4 on Normal and 12(!!) on Hard. Cheers to Anton Berglin for figuring that out.

However, not everything is easier. The health penalty for using a special attack without a full power meter is much heavier in Bare Knuckle III compared to Streets of Rage 3.

In SOR3, Blaze's throws and quite a few other of her attacks are stronger that Axel's, in spite of him having a higher strength rating (this is never so in SOR2). [Anton Berglin]

All the playable characters roll much further in SOR3 than in BKIII. Roo also jumps higher. Unconfirmed: Shiva and Ash. [Anton Berglin]

After a Duel in BKIII, there is Japanese text (a taunt?) under each of the characters, kind of like after a match in SFII. This is not in SOR3, instead there is an animation with stars. [Anton Berglin]

In BKIII's Duel the winner is free to move after he has won. I haven't found any reason as to why they changed this, but it could be something like you can kill your opponent when the time has run out. [Anton Berglin]

Sound and Graphical Changes

Many sound effects are different. Axel's blitz attack is the most noticeable, as in BKIII he says "Grand Upper!" (as he does in Streets of Rage 2) rather than "Bare Knuckle!" as he says in SOR3. Also the ninjas have the sound effects from Rage 2, which were changed in SOR3. Annoyingly they removed Shiva's "Final Crash" sound as well...Several moves were re-recorded for the English version:

 

Axel's blitz move

English

Japan

Blaze's blitz move

English

Japan

Blaze's special move 2

English

Japan

Shiva's special move

English

Japan

Yamato move 1

English

Japan

Yamato move 2

English

Japan

Yamato move 3

English

Japan

Zan's grunt

English

Japan

 

Several of the cut scene pictures have been slightly redrawn as well as recolored. This is most noticeable on the picture of the team shown at the end of Round 1:

 

When playing as Shiva in SOR3, a shock from Electra's whip shows his bones; in BKIII this doesn't happen. Electra's whip also causes more damage in SOR3. Thanks to Annette for this.

Round 1 and Ash

Round 1 is noticeably different. Firstly, a smashed door in the warehouse (which leads onto the harbour area) was removed for Streets of Rage 3.

 

The level features Ash (see screenshot). This guy drops the punks off from the boat rather than Shiva, and then fights you himself. Ash was replaced by a group of punks for SOR3. I wonder why...

Ash is available to play as a secret boss character in Bare Knuckle III - he can only be accessed in SOR3 through some technical trickery. See Cheats & Tips to see how to play Ash in both the emulated and cartridge versions of the game!

Round 2

The girl punks dancing in Round 2 disco fluff their hair in BKIII, in SOR3 they do some strange thing with their elbows instead. [Anton Berglin]

In Round 2 of BKIII's disco there is a table containing an apple - in SOR3 this was replaced with an extra girl punk. [Anton Berglin]

Round 3

In Round 3's bulldozer stage the barrel that hits the punk driving the bulldozer remains on screen - in SOR3 it doesn't.

In BKIII, the barrels in Round 3 drop slower than the barrels in SOR3. Also, in SOR3 Sega of America added one more place where barrels drop - this place is located right after you get the chicken between the 2 pits. Cheers to Annette for this.

The bulldozer in BKIII retreats after one hit; in SOR3 it requires several attacks to stop it advancing again. There are some slight changes in wall layout in this stage. For example you can reach the second wall with a jumpkick before the screen has scrolled in BKIII, in SOR3 that wall has been moved further away. Credit goes to Anton Berglin for these.

The bulldozer stage has more walls to break in BKIII than in SOR3. The count for each is: 14 walls (BKIII), 11 walls (SOR3). Credit to eggbandicoot6 for this.

Round 4

The ending cut scene is extended to show the bomb blast from the intro while Axel and Zan talk.

Visit the Bare Knuckle III Translation for full information on this cutscene and the rest of the Bare Knuckle III storyline.

Round 5

No discernible differences.

Round 6

When you meet Adam at the end of Round 6 in BKIII his top is orange, in SOR3 (and SOR1&2) it is yellow.

In Bare Knuckle III, instead of rescuing the Police Chief you rescue a General, and you must stop his duplicate speaking at the White House instead of City Hall - see Bare Knuckle III Translation for full information on the Bare Knuckle III storyline. As well as the plot, the dialogue is often altered. In BKIII Adam greets the team in Round 6 with "Yo!" (in Japanese of course) but in SOR3 says "Well, well, well. If it isn't the old gang in trouble again."

Round 7(A)

In Round 7(A)'s factory BKIII has 3 crates at the beginning (containing points & 2 chickens) - in SOR3 only the points crate remains. [Anton Berglin]

Round 7(B)

Round 7(B) is the White House instead of City Hall. This is pretty obvious even in Streets of Rage 3, despite the conversion team's lame attempt to hide it with a sign reading "City Hall".

Visit the Bare Knuckle III Translation for full information on the Bare Knuckle III storyline.

Endings

In the ending where you find Mr X but do not defeat him in time to defuse the bombs, the pictures are different. A shot of the devastated city appears, and the scrolling text found in SOR3 doesn't appear. Also, you still get the see the credits and pictures of the characters with this ending - in SOR3 the credits are only seen if you beat Mr X and defuse the bombs.

Visit the Bare Knuckle III Translation for full information on the Bare Knuckle III storyline.

 

 In BKIII's Good Ending Blaze wears somewhat less than she does in SOR3. All you Blaze fans out there can thank Skate's Twin Sis for this one.

 

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