Mean, lean eating machine, Phil South took to the streets to beat his way through Imagine's Renegade.
Are you a rebel without a cause? Well, here's one that'll keep you on a knife edge for months to come. Imagine's Renegade is a new breed of game, a type of gutsy, streetfighting action movie set in the gangland ghettoes in which you play the starring role - a tough martial arts expert called Renegade. Based on the chart topping coin-op by Taito, its pure violence in graphic detail is a must for all closet reprobates.
The action takes place in bazzy Brooklyn, where else?, where our hero has to meet his girlfriend, Juicy Lucy, in the seediest part of town. As he steps out of the local subway station, he soon realises what a plonker he is to venture onto this turf. Greasy gangs of vigilantes have control of the neighbourhood, and armed thugs roam around, killing, maiming, butchering, pressing wild flowers and dribbling bits of probation officer all over the shop. Fortunately, Renegade isn't over-bothered about these baddies, 'cos he's a black belt in jitsu, karate, and just about every make of Japanese motorcycle ever made.
So he can bop his way through them, a kick in the teeth here, a knee to he wedding tackle there. If someone grabs him from behind he butts 'em in the gob, if they race motorbikes at him he does a flying kick, knocking them to the ground in a pool of their own ribena.
You, as the Renegade, must first fight off the gang who inhabit the subway station, then the motorcycle maniacs who hang out at the nearby docks, then a few of the working girls down a dark alley, to enable you to get to the street where Lucy lives. And if you think that sounds heavy, you've then got to carve up the gang chief who's holding Lucy captive in her house and this mean dude's armed with a gun! What's more he's posted four of his goons outside armed with razors!
The controls in Renegade are simple to handle, with up, down, left and right moving you around the screen and the same keys in combination with the fire button activating your various kicks, chops, butts and punches. One of the best bits about the game is it's so easy to play. Once you've got the hang of the few simple moves, you can wade into a crowd of thugs and come out smiling. A really skillful Renegade can negotiate the first five levels without any weirdos laying a glove on him! The graphics are so slick you really feel you're part of an action movie rather than just playing a game. Renegade is a must! Be a rebel with a cause and go out and buy it right now! It's hot, it's dangerous and it's yours for the beating!
You start the game at the sleazy subway station. As you step out of the train, you're surrounded by a bunch of beefy villains weilding iron bars, and their chief, a wild guy with a headband. He stands against a pillar, waiting for his boys to soften you up before he moves in for the kill. Don't wait around. Push them to the edge of the platform and use flying kicks, plus the odd high back kick when they're either side of you.
Having chopped the gang in the subway to shreddies, you find your progress blocked by Hells Angels. These chain-whirling drug crazed hippies will try to run you down, so jump into a flying kick at the last second to unseat them. The rank and file members of the gang are pretty easy, but the boss is a hard case - a flying kick or repeated knees to the groin should take the smile off his greasy dial, though.
On to the red light district, where Big Bertha's girls are out on the street to whip up some business, literally! Don't be polite with these ladies, put the boot in first or they'll thrash you to ribbons before you can say "pass the handcuffs, ducky". The only way to avoid Bertha when she rushes you is a defensive leap, then turn and deliver as many flying kicks s you can. Hitting her when she's down will help too.
Outside your girlfriend's house you notice four black guys hanging around looking furtive. Then one lashes at you with a razor, and you realise that the Big Boss has got to her before you! One cut with the blade is fatal, so take no prisoners. Don't turn your back on any of them for a second, or you'll be walking home with your liver in a Jiffy bag. Finish them off quickly, 'cos Lucy is waiting.
Inside, the Big Boss whips out his revolver and cracks off a couple of shots.. One bullet or cut loses you a life, so keep moving and make every kick count! The strategy is to force them back into the corner of the room and conduct the battle at close quarters. Then it's all over, and Lucy runs into your arms. But don't hang about snogging, 'cos nwo the game begins again from the subway, only this time it's harder!
First level in the subway.
On the first level and the next at the docks, the characters can fall off one end of the screen. Make sure it's them and not you, 'cos this loses you a life. You can see how much energy you've got left on this life in the horizontal bar in the centre of the picture. When the Boss of each gang joins the fight, his energy is displayed underneath yours, so keep plugging at him until it reaches zero.
Level two at the docks
Two interesting moves which can get you out of a tight spot may be a bit below the belt. The knee to the groin is made by first stunning the attacker with a kick, then pressing to move towards them and fire. Knee them repeatedly and they'll die first time. The second move happens when someone grabs you from behind. Fire makes you kick the man in front, and left.right makes you butt the man who holds you.