Streets Of Rage 4 Composer Settles Age-Old Debate For The Series' 30th Anniversary

Ground Upper or Grand Upper? Streets of Rage composer Yuzo Koshiro tells you what he really said three decades ago.


Sega's cult classic beat 'em up series Streets of Rage is officially 30 years old today, as the first game in the series launched on the Mega Drive on August 2, 1991 in Japan. Arriving at a time where games such as Final Fight and Golden Axe had been best-sellers on home consoles and in arcades, Streets of Rage would spawn numerous sequels, merchandise, and an ongoing debate as to just what it is that one of its protagonists would shout during his Blitz move attack.

That debate has finally been settled by Yuzo Koshiro, the composer of the first game and the voice of Axel in the original trilogy.

"I see many people on the net writing Grand Upper," Koshiro tweeted. "That's incorrect. Ground Upper is correct, you know what I mean? Usually, the back of Axel's hand touches the ground when he hits an uppercut, therefore I named it Ground Upper."

Streets of Rage was one of Sega's big success stories at the height of its popularity during the Mega Drive era, with Koshiro's original soundtrack being widely regarded as an all-time classic. Fans of the series would have to endure more than 25 years of waiting after the third game in the series to see Streets of Rage 4 arrive in a well-received sequel from developer DotEmu.

Between Streets of Rage 3 and 4, numerous attempts were made to revive the series and all of them fell apart due to a variety of reasons. Core Design's Sega Saturn attempt resulted in an alleged falling out with Sega over publishing rights and the game being renamed to Fighting Force, an attempt to bring the series to the Dreamcast was abandoned, and Crackdown 2 studio Ruffian Games saw its concept leak onto the internet in 2012.

One thing that all of those efforts had in common was a shift towards 3D brawling, something which DotEmu's Streets of Rage 4 avoided by focusing on a more traditional 2D sidescrolling design. The game's Mr. X Nightmare DLC also arrived last month, adding three new characters, customizable moves, a survival mode, balance changes, and a bug that delayed the Switch release of the content by a week.

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