Technos Japan

Technos Japan

is a defunct Japanese video game developer, best known for the Kunio-kun (which includes Renegade, Super Dodge Ball and River City Ransom) and Double Dragon franchises. The company was also the owner of the American publishing subsidiary, American Technos Inc.

History

Initially operating from a single-room apartment, Technos was founded in 1981 by three staff members of Data East. Their first game was Minky Monkey, released in 1982. Many of Technos Japan's earlier games were often published or distributed by other companies, particularly Data East (as was the case with Karate Champ) and Taito, as Technos at the time did not have the economical resource to distribute their own games at first.

Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun ("Hot Blooded Tough Guy Kunio"), a side-scrolling beat-em-up released in 1986 about a high school student who fought thugs and delinquents from other schools, was the company's first big hit in Japan. Kunio-kun was released in the west as Renegade with the game's graphics changed to make the game marketable in the overseas market. Technos would then produced an Famicom/NES version of the game, which would be Technos' first game for the home console market. Technos Japan's subsequent arcade beat-em-up, Double Dragon, was a big success worldwide when it was released in 1987, which also resulted in an NES version of the game produced, as well as licensed versions produced by other companies for various platforms.

The success of Kunio-kun led to the production of numerous spin-offs and sequels starring the same character produced for the 8-bit Famicom game in Japan and later for the Game Boy and Super Famicom, resulting in more than twenty games starring Kunio by the mid-1990s, many of which were rule-bending sports games. A few Kunio-kun games were localized for the North American market; namely Super Dodge Ball, River City Ransom (considered by critics to be a cult classic) and Nintendo World Cup, but none maintain any connection with each other. Technos would attempt to remedy this by attempting to localize several Kunio-kun under the Crash 'n the Boys label, but only Crash 'n the Boys: Street Challenge was released (the game's ending features a teaser for Ice Challenge, which was unreleased).

Technos also released two arcade sequels to Double Dragon: Double Dragon II: The Revenge in 1988 and Double Dragon 3: The Rosetta Stone in 1990 (the latter was developed by an external development team at East Technology), and produced the respective NES versions of those games, as well as Super Double Dragon in 1992, an original installment for the Super NES. An American-produced Double Dragon animated series and a live-action film were also made as well.

Outside the Double Dragon and Kunio-kun games, Technos produced a few original games for the arcade and home markets such as U.S. Championship V'Ball, The Combatribes and Shadow Force, as well as two WWF arcade games (WWF Superstars and WWF Wrestlefest), but most of these games did not achieve the same kind of success that Kunio-kun and Double Dragon achieved.

By 1996, Technos Japan declared bankruptcy and went out of business. The company's last few games were produced for the Neo Geo hardware, which includes a Double Dragon fighting game based on the movie, the anime-based fighter Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer and a Neo-Geo sequel to Super Dodge Ball (which was officially released only in MVS format).

Since Technos Japan's closure, a company called Million (a company founded by former CEO Kunio Taki and Kunio-kun series producer Mitsuhiro Yoshida) has purchased the former intellectual properties of Technos Japan and are producing new games based on them. Million has produced Super Dodge Ball Advance, Double Dragon Advance and River City Ransom EX for the Game Boy Advance, Super Dodgeball Brawlers for the Nintendo DS, and Super Dodge Ball for Japanese mobile phones.

U.S. Subsidiary

Technos Japan had a subsidiary in the U.S. called American Technos Inc., which was located at Cupertino, California. American Technos was formed in 1987, shortly after release of Double Dragon at the arcades and published all of Technos Japan's arcade games in North America beginning with Double Dragon II: The Revenge. While the majority of Technos Japan's console games were still licensed to other companies such as Tradewest (Double Dragon), Acclaim (Double Dragon II and III), CSG Imagesoft (Super Dodge Ball) and even Nintendo (Super Spike V'Ball and Nintendo World Cup), American Technos also managed to published a few console games: namely River City Ransom and Crash 'n the Boys: Street Challenge for the NES, Super Double Dragon (co-published with Tradewest) and Combatribes for the Super NES and Geom Cube for the PlayStation. American Technos also published Super Bowling (developed by Athena) and Super Pinball: Behind the Mask (developed by Meldac/KAZe) for the Super NES and the helicopter game Strike Point for the PlayStation. American Technos was still operating after Technos Japan's demise until sometime during the late 1990s.

List of games by platforms

All games are listed by original Japanese titles unless otherwise noted. Neo Geo games are listed separately from the other arcade games. This list does not take account licensed versions that were released by other companies (such as the Master System of Double Dragon and the PC Engine ports of the Kunio games published by Naxat Soft) or games that were produced by Million, the current copyrights holder of Technos Japan's former properties. Also, all of the following games are listed by their original Japanese release date.

Arcade

NES/Famicom

  • Renegade (Japanese: Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun): 4/17/1987
  • Double Dragon: 4/8/1988
  • Super Dodge Ball (Japanese: Nekketsu KōKō Dodgeball Bu): 7/26/1988
  • River City Ransom (Japanese: Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari; PAL version: Street Gangs): 4/25/1989
  • Super Spike V'Ball (Japanese: U.S. Championship V'Ball): 11/10/1989
  • Double Dragon II: The Revenge: 12/22/1989
  • Nintendo World Cup (Japanese: Nekketsu KōKō Dodgeball Bu Soccer Hen): 5/18/1990
  • Downtown Nekketsu Kōshinkyoku Soreyuku Daiundōkai: 10/12/1990
  • Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones (Japanese: Double Dragon III: The Rosetta Stone): 2/22/1991
  • Sugoro Quest: 6/28/1991
  • Downtown Special: Kunio-kun no Jidaigeki dayo Zen'in Shūgō: 7/26/1991
  • Ike Ike! Nekketsu Hockey Bu: Subette Koronde Dairantō (announced in the U.S. as Crash 'n the Boys: Ice Challenge, but was unreleased): 2/7/1992
  • Crash 'n the Boys: Street Challenge (Japanese: Bikkuri Nekketsu Shinkiroku: Harukanaru Kin Medal): 6/26/1992
  • Nekketsu Kakutō Densetsu: 12/23/1992
  • Kunio-kun no Nekketsu Soccer League: 4/23/1993
  • Nekketsu! Street Basket: Ganbare Dunk Heroes: 12/17/1993

Game Boy

  • Double Dragon: 7/20/1990
  • Double Dragon II (Japanese: Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun: Bangai Rantō Hen) 12/7/1990
  • Nintendo World Cup (Japanese: Nekketsu Kōkō Soccer Bu: World Cup Hen): 4/26/1991
  • Nekketsu Kōkō Dodgeball Bu: Kyōteki! Dodge Soldier no Maki (Game Boy version of Super Dodge Ball released only in Japan): 11/8/1991
  • Downtown Nekketsu Kōshinkyoku: Dokodemo Daiundōkai: 7/24/1992
  • Bikkuri Nekketsu Shinkiroku: Dokodemo Kin Medal: 7/16/1993
  • Downtown Special: Kunio-kun no Jidaigeki dayo Zen'in Shūgō: 12/22/1993
  • Taiyō no Tenshi Marlowe: Ohana Batake no Dai Panic!: 5/27/1994
  • Nekketsu! Beach Volley dayo: Kunio-kun: 7/29/1994

Super NES/Super Famicom

  • Shodai Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun: 8/7/1992
  • Super Double Dragon (Japanese: Return of Double Dragon): 10/16/1992
  • The Combatribes: 12/23/1992
  • Kunio-kun no Dodgeball dayo Zen'in Shūgō: 8/6/1993
  • Downtown Nekketsu Baseball Challenge: 12/17/1993
  • Shin Nekketsu Kōha: Kunio-tachi no Banka (developed by Almanic): 4/29/1994
  • Kunio no Oden: 5/27/1994
  • Popeye: Ijiwaru Sea Hag no Maki: 8/12/1994
  • Funaki Masakatsu no Hybrid Wrestler: Tōgi Denshō: 10/21/1994
  • Sugoro Quest ++: Dicenics: 12/9/1994
  • Dun Quest: Mashin Fūin no Densetsu: 7/21/1995

Game Gear

  • Popeye: Beach Volley: 8/12/1994

PlayStation

  • Geom Cube (3D puzzle game similar to Blockout): 12/22/1994

Neo-Geo

  • Double Dragon: 2/1995
  • Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer (Japanese: Chōjin Gakuen Gowcaizer): 9/1995
  • Super Dodge Ball (Japanese: Kunio no Nekketsu Dodgeball Densetsu; was only given a limited arcade release and was never released for home consoles): 1996

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