River City Ransom: Underground’s Kickstarter finally launches

Tuesday, 10th September 2013 05:06 GMT By Ewan Miller

Conatus Creative have launched their Kickstarter campaign to make an officially licensed sequel to the classic NES beat’em up River City Ransom. The project is seeking $180,000 Canadian dollars and targeting a PC release in about a year’s time. Check out some great chiptunes and pixel art beneath the jump.

River City Ransom sequels have had a troubled development history, with another game named River City Ransom 2 in development back by Miracle Kidz in 2011 for WiiWare before being suspended indefinitely.

Now Conatus Creative, a small Ottawa based team are giving it a shot via Kickstarter for the PC and if you’ve watched the video above, you’ll surely agree that the art and animation they’ve created so far look amazing.

While the initial pitch is for a PC only release, Conatus Creative writes that should they receive funding considerably in excess of their requested $180,000 they’ll consider bringing in outside help to port the game to the consoles, portables and other operating systems. However, as a team of five they’ve made the choice not to explicitly build that possibility into their initial Kickstarter pitch and to instead deal with that possibility only when the funding comes around.

The team is looking to expand mostly on the scope of the original game and not its functionality, adding more shops, enemies and expanding the scope of the game’s open world, something the designers consider key to the original’s enduring possibility. The team have also put a lot of work into making the enemies’ AI more sophisticated, to defeat some of the cheaper strategies you could employ in the original, such as standing on a bench. The game’s story revolves around the original cast aged 25 years, in a way that evokes the developers having dreamed of making a sequel to River City Ransom for the last twenty years. More than any other Kickstarter project I’ve seen, the teams intense reverence for the original really comes through here.

The game will support local co-op as well as potentially online co-op, depending on how the game looks when it comes around to launch in September 2014.



  1. conatuscreative

    Hello VG247,

    Thank you for covering our reboot of River City Ransom: Underground, but we need to clear up inaccuracies in this article so others are not unintentionally misled. First, our core team is not comprised of ex-Technos staff. Million Co. Ltd was the team we mentioned on our page, who are indeed ex-Technos staff and purchased all rights to their IP in 2001. We acquired a license to make our game from Million Co. in April.

    Second, in this article you equate our game, River City Ransom: Underground with Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari 2, a sequel effort led by the original game directors by the doujin group Miracle Kidz. This game was, unfortunately, put on indefinite hiatus, but our team is based in North America and is not affiliated with Miracle Kidz in any way. These games are completely separate efforts.

    Thank you, and I hope you can correct the article.

    Daniel Crenna
    Conatus Creative Inc.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Ewan Miller

    Quite sorry, that’ll be fixed up in a jiffy! How embarrassing. I think I’ve corrected the errors there. Again, really sorry about that one. All the best of luck to you guys.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. AngryConsumer

    loved the first game of river city ransom. i hope there will be a retail disc version to buy for the ps3. with trophy support and a online 4 player coop, not sofa only. that would be so awesome…

    #3 1 year ago
  4. DSB

    Oh my god, I love it. Look at that dude boxing that other dude. Brilliant. Take my fucking money!

    Kinda scared by that guy speaking Canadian though.


    Wait, wait, wait…. Is CAD what I think it is? Canadian dollars?

    What is a Canadian dollar? How is anyone supposed to know what they’re pledging?!

    #4 1 year ago
  5. TheWulf

    Immediate reaction: The dialogue is yes.

    Okay, that may sound strange, but the best way to look at RCR is not only as a mechanically superior 2D side-scrolling brawler, but also as something of a co-op party game, as those were big back in the era of the 8- and 16-bit consoles. See, the dialogue was so completely random, superfluous, and ridiculous that it made the game work.

    It was so silly that it encouraged silliness and goofing off. It was the spice that really made for a delicious meal, whereas otherwise it might have been a bit bland.

    That, coupled with just how random it could be, and also shopping because why not, made RCR a fun game. And sometimes a genuinely amusing game. It’s sort of the Bomberman of side-scrolling brawlers. It’s not as good or complex as, say, Streets of Rage II, but it worked as what it was.

    So, yeah. I’m very okay with what I see.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. TheWulf


    #6 1 year ago
  7. TheWulf

    Seems like there’s a huge amount of variety in this, too. That’s good. That’s something a 2D side-scroller needs is a good amount of novelty as it goes on. In regards to new settings, characters, weapons, and all. I think that’s especially important in introducing the genre to a new audience, too.

    So… definitely looking good.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. conatuscreative

    @Ewan Thanks for the quick and quality edits. Great article, and thanks for taking the time to let people know!

    #8 1 year ago
  9. Ewan Miller

    Thank you for bringing this GIF into my life.

    #9 1 year ago

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