After the peace and quiet has passed with a few rounds of Tetris, it’s only right our attention returns to some real action. What better way to do this that with smacking somebody in the teeth, then following this up with high-kick, knocking them straight off the edge off a train station! Obviously we’re not advocating this in real-life, we’re talking about the game arriving at number No.#48 in the Your Sinclair Top 100, which is the classic game Renegade. Ahhh the days before PEGI spoiled all the fun!
This brilliant beat’em up began life as an arcade game from Taito, released in 1986, designed by Yoshihisa Kishimoto who was also the creator of the other classic beat’em up Double Dragon. Here now is a bit of gaming tomfoolery, though not to stray too far away from our subject matter: Imagine Software who produced the conversion of Renegade, also went on to create the non-arcade sequel Target: Renegade in 1988 which clearly shows a lot of love for Double Dragon in its gameplay. Although Melbourne House released Double Dragon in 1989, this didn’t stop the Target: Renegade programmers placing in the background a few “DD’s” to wave at the classic game from afar.In the sequel, Target: Renegade, Yoshihisa Kishimoto’s other famous game was honoured.
Returning however to the original Renegade, the ZX Spectrum version was released in 1987, created by Mike Lamb and Ronnie Fowles with Fred Gray providing the music [listen to that here]. The game took you through five different locations, beating up numerous thugs from bikers, burly women of the night and gun-toting bosses; all to rescue your girl. At your disposal were kicks, punches, knees to the groin, and over-the-shoulder throws, you just couldn’t pick up any weapons. Though this didn’t stop you dishing out the damage.
Renegade is still excellent nearly thirty years later. The game still requires you to have the ability to control the fighting area, mistakes are not forgiven and you will be taught a valuable lesson if you repeatedly make them. The only bizarre issue within the game was pointed out in a video over at Funky Spectrum – during a later level I always assumed that one set of thugs were wearing a set of balaclavas, it appears these aren’t balaclavas but rather black hoodlums who are being portrayed as some sort of black and white minstrel caricature group with fuzzy hair. I’m sure the sane world will agree this is extremely bizarre, as casual racism strolls into a classic ZX Spectrum game!