Bare Knuckle IV is a fangame conceived by Red Rum, a popular SOR music
remix artist. The game is designed as a true
2D sequel to Bare Knuckle III, intended to not only drive the SOR
universe forward like never before and evolve the series' formula in
true SEGA style, but also revolutionise the 2D Beat-'em-up genre
itself by introducing RPG elements such as multiple branching story
arcs from dialogue choices similar to BioWare titles such as
SW:KOTOR. On paper, it has some fantastic potential.
The complete version of Bare Knuckle IV will supposedly be released on the PC and Macintosh, with a Dreamcast port after that. A release date is yet to be announced by the creators, simply "when it's done", even though it has been in production since around 2008 and very little progress seems to have been made since then. A playable BETA version was supposed to materialise in 2010, but that never happened.
Bare Knuckle IV is supposed to be the second major SOR fangame to be produced with Eve (Evolution Engine). It features an awesome soundtrack composed and mixed in part by Red Rum himself, and an epic, original storyline which introduces several new characters into the SOR universe. Most notably, Amber (Axel's sister, a.k.a. Tina Stone), Enigma, a mysterious new enemy who is the main villain for the game, Red Lamp, another flamboyant and powerful villain, and Anthrax, the right-hand man of Enigma who has a dark secret of his own. The storyline was famously adapted as part of Matthew Drury's Streets of Rage Saga novels. Shenmue's Ryo Hazuki was also slated as a guest (unlockable) character in the game.
Gameplay-wise, the game is proposed to have new features like combo attacks and counter/defence moves (you will have a command list and gain more moves through the game.) The game is meant to be followed by an expansion called Bare Knuckle IV-II, which will add more levels, characters, modes and continue the epic storyline and lead into a potential sequel!
If Bare Knuckle IV ever does see the light of day, you can expect to see it here first!
Check out this official high-quality Bare Knuckle IV artwork, produced by Damion Kendrick exclusively for the game (Click to Enlarge):
In 2014, after being betrayed by Mr. X, Enigma was finally 'killed' by the police force. X told Enigma a lie, and the devil was unleashed in him and he went on a rampage. Police Officers Blaze Fielding and Adam Hunter set him in a trap and killed him, but instead of fading from the world forever, the evil inside his soul kept him alive, albeit in a coma...
Now, in 2022, five years after the events of Bare Knuckle III...
Mr. X is finally dead.
Following the events of Bare Knuckle III, Shiva is now the leader of the Syndicate. Unknown to many in the organisation, Shiva has been waiting for this moment for a long time - he had coveted Mr. X's leadership and wanted to kill him ever since the first encounter with Axel and the gang in the original Bare Knuckle. Shiva finally got his chance at greatness when X's robot facility blew up in the explosion that ended his life..
Shiva has now taken over the 'New Syndicate'. Since his take-over, Shiva has been very politically minded. He has announced several nuclear threats on the world in an attempt to draw out Axel and the gang, but of course, this is just a ploy. And now, the world has been once again overshadowed by Enigma's sinister darkness.
What are Enigma's true motives? And what is the dark secret that will reveal his true identity? Why is Enigma so special? What is so dark and mysterious about him? Who is he? The answers and much more to come in Bare Knuckle IV.
Its up to our heroes to find out the truth, as they once again walk the Streets of Rage! What they don't know is that sinister revelation and secrets await them that will change their lives forever...