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River City Ransom is a NES game that has picked up a lot of momentum many years after its release. This is likely due to little kids' brains not being able to comprehend the significance of BARF! Adults however can appreciate the offbeat humor, solid beat 'em up action, and RPG elements. Alex and Ryan are out to rescue Cyndi from Slick, all while battling gangs such as The Generic Dudes. Showcasing Technos at its finest, River City Ransom is the third game in the Kunio-kun series and undoubtedly the most famous.


Best novice (easiest) difficulty time: Single-segment 0:07:46 by 'Darkwing Duck' on 2014-04-02.

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Author's comments:

Feasel laid the groundwork for this run. I just improved upon it. Was going to make the comments short, but that would mean the good information currently in the Author's Comments section would most likely be lost, so I'll mainly post them and comment on a few things I found in addition or contrary to the statements given before.

Fighting technique:

I found no difference in dash-kicking to dash-punching. Actually, that's not true.  I never did any dash-kicking. I'm contrarian enough to want to use Stone Hands (the technique book that gives you triple punch) over Dragon Feet (the kick equivalent). The punching hit box fit my eye quite well, and I had no problems using it over Dragon Feet. In any case, the technique remains the same for bosses, dash in and hit them as they're getting up and send them back down. This controls the fight and is the fastest way to down them at minimum stat level.

Quoted from Feasel's comments:

"Each boss has a stat that controls how long he stays down. During a fight the boss's recovery time lengthens, and each successive boss begins with a slightly shorter recovery time than the previous. Spatial location of the kick is also important, but the main challenge is the timing."

As you play, this becomes more of a feel and I found to be more important than I think even Feasel realized. The triple hit has a damage value for EACH hit, making the timing critical for the fastest boss fights. Ideally, you need to hit all three times to get the maximum damage. In my run, I have a couple of bosses take fewer knock downs because I did the max damage on the triple punch. One extra knockdown is one to two seconds extra time and can add up over the course of eight bosses fought with the dash-hit technique.

The Dragon Twins fight is very precise. I was able a couple of time, at the cost of way too much time, to defeat the twins after missing the attack pattern which led to them actually acting, but it's very rare and obviously not optimal. If you fail the attack, you're almost assuredly getting one hit KO'd by the spin kick. Positioning has to be near perfect and timing has to be near perfect to get the pattern correct. A player then has to set up the cut scene skip properly as well, described by Feasel as, "If you kill the two of them within a couple seconds of each other (but not exactly the same time) it will allow you to enter the rooftop door without waiting for the monologue." In the run, it was probably only the third time I had the three requirement completely and by far the cleanest one I've had.

Strategy Improvements:

Only one major improvement in the strategy, and it's the reason I went for sub 8 minutes. I was playing casually and had the chain weapon in the warehouse. I proceded to knock out Rocko (the first required boss) in three knockdowns while in Feasel's run it took essentially six, with the first knockdown taking I think six kicks. The weapon strat felt significantly faster. The question was whether the time lost picking up a weapon was less than the time gained using it.

The answer came in how Feasel gets the remaining money necessary to buy the triple hit. In his run, he gets unlucky with the "Jock" gang in the factory. They only drop 60 cents. To buy the triple hit, $6.95 needs to be collected to add to the starting $20. Rocko drops $3, leaving $3.95 to be collected. The "Home Boys" gang is the most common gang in the warehouse, and they drop 75 cents. There are four minor guys to beat up to spawn the boss, so the warehouse generally yields six dollars, leaving 95 cents left to be collected, or two random guys to beat up. With the jocks, Feasel only collect $5.40 in the warehouse, requiring $1.55 to be collected, or three mooks to beat up. He waits until after the warehouse to collect the needed funds, so he has to stop to fight guys. I felt I could do the same thing, beat up two guys, and pick up a weapon in the process, evening out the money collection process, netting me the ENTIRE time gained on beating up Rocko with the weapon, so 5-10 seconds.

The caveat to that is that I absolutely had to have a weapon, leading to more resets. Getting jocks in the wearhouse also likely meant a reset as well, adding to the random factor. The weapon required also was limited to basically two, the chain or the pipe. The stick had a lower damage value and wasn't as much of a time saver. The chain was slightly better, since it was possible to knock Rocko out with three knockdowns. That required four hits on the first knockdown and not three, which seemed to be the pipe's limit. However, four hits with the first knockdown were uncommon with the chain, and I found that throwing the weapon at Rocko was enough with either weapon after the third knockdown to finish him off, equalizing the two weapons. In this run, the pipe is used.

Specific run notes:

With the above paragraph and the good initial luck with the warehouse spawns, I am ahead of Feasel even with the long time to secure the pipe and the inability to jump properly in the warehouse. With the warehouse spawns, you must get the backup two mooks to spawn on the left hand side. Way too much time is lost if you have to backtrack to the right hand side. Instant reset if that ever happens. In this run, two guys spawning on the right is incredibly ideal.

As mentioned, I'd like to be 5-10 seconds ahead upon purchasing the triple hit, but I'm only about 3 seconds ahead in this run. I pick up time in Sherman Park with ideal punches and no throwing of the boss. At this point, I expect to do no better than to keep time with Feasel through Ivan (the guard to River City High). The middle section is the best part of Feasel's run.

Turns out I have an incredibly lucky Mojo screen with the squishy home boys in great spawn patterns. I was up 3 seconds entering that screen and leave 7 seconds ahead.

With luckier spawns and mook kills, previous attempts showed me I could pick up time in the high school. I pick up 5-6 there. I didn't know I could pick up a few seconds on Simon/Slick, but I do.

Ended up happy with the run. The vast amount of luck in the run will make this time hard to beat.


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