The series began in 1997 under the name Beastorizer. The game's theme incorporated anthropomorphism, where the player has the ability to transform into a half-human, half-animal creature known as a Zoanthrope (the name came from the clinical term, 'zoanthropy', which is similar to that of lycanthropy, but not just with the mindset of a wolf). The game would appear under the name "Bloody Roar" when ported to the PlayStation in 1998, which would become the permanent title thereafter. There are three Bloody Roar sequels, plus a game based on a sidestory set between 3 and 4 on the Nintendo GameCube which was later ported to the Xbox.
The following is a complete list of the games in the series:
Bloody Roar has kept somewhat the same controls over the series. A button each for both punch and kick, the beast (transform/attack) button and a fourth button that has been either a throw button, a block button, an evade button (introduced for some characters in Bloody Roar 4) and a rave button (an early version of the Hyper Beast in the original Bloody Roar only)
The gameplay experience of Bloody Roar is a combination of classic and current style side scrolling fighting games, such as Tekken, Soulcalibur, Guilty Gear and Street Fighter. Although some of the characters have remained almost identical through all four games, others have changed completely. For example, Yugo has a completely different move set in the fourth title compared to his original in the first and Bakuryu has stayed almost the same apart from a few extras which are relevant to the games' evolution over time and generations.
Characters in Bloody Roar have command moves and standard moves. Standard moves are the combination style moves from games such as Tekken, where the player must press different buttons to create "combos", sometimes pressing the directional pad in one of the eight directions at the same time. Command moves are special moves that require a rolling technique and inputting certain commands with the directional pad, like Street Fighter. Each character has around fourteen "suggested" combination techniques listed in the manual, most of these can be varied into many different ways, allowing nearly forty to seventy combination techniques with each character. Every character also comes with at least eight command moves, which can be incorporated into cancel points in these standard moves or combos. These cancel points, from character to character, can be around twenty to forty in each character's combo palette. These cancel points, when utilized with command moves, can then be cancelled once more, allowing the player to begin a new strategy with adequate timing. As well as this, the combat system has three types of dodging techniques: a heavy and light block that spans over three parts of the body, instead of the typical two in most fighting games; and "Scratch" techniques, which can break guards from dead angles and is a series of command counters, throws and vanishing attacks. Bloody Roar 4, the latest game in the series, may be the most complex of the series, with the largest fighter roster of seventeen characters, and the ability to earn more moves by earning experience in "Career Mode".
The following is a complete list of available characters in each game.Uriko was not a starter character in the original Bloody Roar.
Fang is only playable in the Japanese GameCube and Extreme versions.
Voiced by: Mika Kanai (Bloody Roar, Bloody Roar II, Bloody Roar 3), Ruri Asano (Bloody Roar Extreme) (Japanese); Donna Mae Wong (Bloody Roar, Bloody Roar II), Kimberly Forsythe (Bloody Roar 3), Jennifer Hale (Bloody Roar: Primal Fury/Bloody Roar: Extreme), Rumiko Varnes (Bloody Roar 4) (English)
Alice Nonomura (野々村アリス, Nonomura Arisu) (Alice Tsukagami (塚神アリス, Tsukagami Arisu) in Bloody Roar) is a rabbit zoanthrope who was kidnapped as a child by a secret research institution that conspired to use zoanthropes as weapons. After being subjected to physical experimentation, her latent powers were awakened, after which she was used as a test subject and given battle training. However, she managed to escape the institution before being brainwashed, earning herself the freedom she had long sought. While hiding herself to regain her composure, she began to worry about a girl that Alice befriended in the institution. Because the girl sacrificed herself by distracting Alice's pursuers during her escape, Alice decided to come out of hiding and fight against the institution. After the events of the story, Alice is adopted by her aunt Mitsuko and lives a peaceful life as a part of her family.Voiced by: Fumihiko Tachiki (Bloody Roar), Takeshi Aono (Bloody Roar 3, Bloody Roar 4) (Japanese); Erik Bergmann (Bloody Roar), Greg Irwin (Bloody Roar 4) (English)
Bakuryū (バクリュウ, Bakuryū), real name Ryūzō Katō (加東竜三, Katō Ryūzō) is a mole zoanthrope and a self-styled master of the traditional ninja arts. His personal details are veiled in secrecy and his existence is a mystery. An expert in assassination, he was enlisted in an infamous underground organization and put in charge of sabotage and the abduction of zoanthropes for experimentation. After the events of the story, Bakuryū's molecules destabilize, causing his body to completely decompose. As a result, the scientists of the Tyron Corporation decide to concentrate their efforts on a new conversion process.Voiced by: Kazumi Tanaka (Bloody Roar II, Bloody Roar 3, Bloody Roar Extreme), Shōto Kashii (Bloody Roar 4) (Japanese); Brian Vouglas (Bloody Roar 2), Paul Lucas (Bloody Roar 3), Dee Baker (Bloody Roar: Primal Fury/Bloody Roar: Extreme), Micheal Rhys (Bloody Roar 4) (English)
As a child, Hajime Busuzima was curious about the internal mechanics of insects, dissecting them just to find out how they moved. His grandmother pointed out to him that the insect no longer moved because it was dead. Eventually, she too 'no longer moved', and Busuzima became very lonely. It was then that he became obsessed with the idea of immortality, beginning his slow descent into madness. Many years later, Busuzima was employed by the Tylon corporation as one of their top researchers. It was during this time that he conducted unorthodox experiments on himself and became a Zoanthrope chameleon. At Tylon he befriended a fellow researcher by the name of Steven Goldberg, with whom he had a friendly rivalry. Eventually Goldberg became uncomfortable with the experimentation going on, enraging Busuzima, who felt his plans were being interfered with. He used his friend as a test subject for creating an insect Zoanthrope, believing that Goldberg would understand things better if he became a Zoanthrope himself. Unfortunately, the experiment was a failure, leaving Goldberg (now called Stun) in an unstable state. Soon after, Tylon fell to a group of Zoanthropes fighting against the company to stop their experimentation. Over the next five years, Busuzima started his own group known as the Zoanthrope Liberation Front - ZLF - using Shenlong, a clone of the former Tylon assassin Long, as the front man, while he stayed behind the scenes, continuing to conduct his experiments and amassing a Zoanthrope army that struck fear into the hearts of confused humans.Voiced by: Tomohiro Tsuboi (Japanese); Cam Clarke (English)
Prince of the Kingdom of Zoanthropes. Childhood friend of Shina. Cronos has several unanswered questions about his father, such as the experiments that his father keeps performing on his people and how his mother died. He feels that joining the tournament will answer these questions. He is the only character to have two beast forms, a phoenix and a penguin.Voiced by: Eiji Sekiguchi
Bonus character from the manga, Bloody Roar: The Fang. Fang is the main protagonist within the manga, joining together with a young school girl, Mashiro, in dealing with other Zoanthropes (and other strange creatures) causing trouble in their area. Eventually he has to face off against a dark creature that was brought to life by the joining of four talismans. Fang, using special gloves, can break the beast transformation—he uses his power to defeat the evil entityVoiced by: Samantha Vega
Hans Taubemann (ハンス・ターブマン, Hansu Tābuman) (nicknamed Fox (フォックス, Fokkusu)) is an English fox zoanthrope with a warped mind and heightened aesthetic sense. He is obsessed with beauty and despises ugly things, boasting of his good looks and publicly declaring all else ugly. Abandoned as a child and raised in the slums, he grew up into a well-known scoundrel. He earned the nickname of Fox from his wariness and cruelty in beating up even the very weakest. He works for the Organization in the same unit as Bakuryū and engages in such activities as kidnapping and murder. After the events of the story, Fox kills another civilian, but is shocked to discover that it is his own mother.Voiced by: Akio Ōtsuka (Bloody Roar 4) (Japanese); Barry Gjerde (Bloody Roar), Monty DiPietro (Bloody Roar II), Chris Wells (Bloody Roar 3), Paul Eiding (Bloody Roar: Primal Fury/Bloody Roar: Extreme), Murray Johnson (Bloody Roar 4) (English)
Alan Gado (アラン・ガドウ, Aran Gadōu) is a French lion zoanthrope, a professional mercenary and military genius who took part in a mission with his best friend and Yūgo's father, Yūji, years ago. On that day, his union of armies was crushed by a combined force of superior zoanthropes and a hostile army that appeared out of nowhere. Gado was seriously injured in the battle and lost his sight in one eye. Afterward, he went off to search for Yūji and discover the identity of the enemy. At the end of the game, he destroys the Tyron Corporation, finally exacting revenge for Yūji. After Gado's arrest, police discover the Tyron Corporation's secret lab and accumulate enough evidence against the Tyron Corporation to drop charges against Gadou. Afterward, desiring the thrill of battle, Gado returns to the battlefield and promises Yūji that they will meet again in the heavens.Voiced by: Shōzō Iizuka (Japanese); Earl Boen (English)
Ganesha the zoanthrope Elephant didn't know what to do. He had won all the local tournaments and qualified for the national competition. But he knew if he beat all the guest warriors, he would be a rival against Cronos. He knew he had to do it. He thinks back, to a chaotic day some time ago. Burning houses... Frightened people trying to escape... A child growing cold in his arms... A monster standing amongst the flames... It was humans to start wars like this, but it was that monster that derived everything. He mutters, 'Prince Cronos' to himself.Voiced by: Barry Gjerde
Gregory Jones (グレゴリー・ジョーンズ, Guregorī Jōnzu) (Greg (グレッグ, Gureggu) for short) is an American gorilla zoanthrope who, in his youth, fulfilled his hope of running away to join a circus. Having a great talent for handling animals, he later took charge of the circus after the ringmaster retired. But with the rapid changes in the entertainment industry, the circus eventually went bankrupt and its members parted ways. After the events of the story, Greg tries to talk Yūgo into joining his circus in an attempt to avert the circus's closure, but is eventually convinced into being the star himself.Voiced by: Takako Kodama (Bloody Roar 4) (Japanese); Michelle Gazepis (Bloody Roar II), Samantha Vega (Bloody Roar 3), Tasia Valenza (Bloody Roar: Primal Fury/Bloody Roar: Extreme), Alison Noonan (Bloody Roar 4) (English)
A woman surrounded in mystery. There are stories about her. Some say that because of an incomplete experiment, she has stopped aging, and others say she is a real life vampire from Hungary. It is known that Jenny Burtory is a top model. Though in truth, this is but a cover for her secret life - her occupation as a covert spy. Her skills are impressive enough for top companies to fight to seek allegiance with her. One day, Jenny is invited by Gado, an old acquaintance of hers, to investigate a suspicious organization. To kill her boredom, she takes up the invite and slips out into the cover of night, using her zoanthrope bat.Voiced by: Shiho Niiyama (Bloody Roar II), Junko Noda (Bloody Roar 3, Bloody Roar Extreme), Akira Ishida (Bloody Roar 4) (Japanese); Blake Shurtz (Bloody Roar II), Michael Naishtut (Bloody Roar 3), Cam Clarke (Bloody Roar: Primal Fury/Bloody Roar: Extreme), Raj Ramayya (Bloody Roar 4) (English)
He was born as the only son of a clan that worshiped the 'Earth God' in an isolated area outside of the urban cities. When he was young, he lost his parents and was taken into the care of an old ninja named 'Bakuryu'. He took the boy and left the village, with the intention to train the boy with the pure blood of the 'Earth Dragon' to become his successor. The boy was taught all the ninja techniques of his teacher and was conferred the title 'Bakuryu', even displaying the power to become a mole. Together, they worked for the Tylon corporation as assassins until its fall. The original Bakuryu died, while his successor was left in a ruined building in a vegetative state because of an incomplete brainwashing. He was saved by Yugo, who'd fought against Tylon's evil ambition. Yugo took the boy home, naming him 'Kenji' and adopting him as his 'brother'. Slowly, Kenji regained his health and humanity and began to settle into a peaceful life. However, five years after being taken into Yugo's care, the remnants of Tylon go after Kenji and kidnap him. He is re-brainwashed, reviving his memories as the ninja assassin 'Bakuryu'. He serves Busuzima, fighting anyone who opposes the ZLF (Zoanthrope Liberation Front). Even Yugo.Voiced by: Ryō Horikawa (Bloody Roar, Bloody Roar II), Ryōtarō Okiayu (Bloody Roar 3, Bloody Roar Extreme), Naoki Bandō (Bloody Roar 4) (Japanese); Jimmy Nochol (Bloody Roar), Edward McCloud (Bloody Roar II), Dario Toda (Bloody Roar 3), Lex Lang (Bloody Roar: Primal Fury/Bloody Roar: Extreme), Chris Wells (Bloody Roar 4) (English)
Long Shin (Jin Long) (進龍, Jin Ron) is a Chinese tiger zoanthrope who curses his fate and zoanthrope blood. When he was a child, his mother and younger sister died one after the other. Neglected by his workaholic father, Long ran away from his home. Afterward, his great skills in the martial arts and zoanthrope powers brought him recognition, and he was enlisted by an underground assassination unit. After the events of the story, Long seals himself away from the world due to his zoanthrope blood.Voiced by: Ema Kogure (Japanese); Helen Morrison (English)
Mana, a kitsune able to become a small white fox, belongs to a secret temple that supports both the Buddhist and Shinto religions together (it had managed to escape the Meiji Restoration law that separated Buddhist and Shinto religious activities). She took over the role of her sister as her duty to the ninetails family to guard the seal of Gaia's dragon. Ryoho, the dragon vessel whom she is guarding, lost his memories of the events that occurred during the tabula/XGC incident the year before and did not know of his own powers. Mana is taken under his care and, unbeknownst to him, she makes sure that the dragon stays sleeping behind the seal. Before she joined Ryoho, she had been the target of interest of unsavoury types after the power ninetails. The monk's protection warded away any followers who finally left her alone. A year after the XGC incident, Mana feels the seal start to come loose. The power of the Unborn is growing and the dragon is disturbed. Because of the dragon's immense power, earthquakes and Zoanthrope violence begins to occur. The Unborn attacked the secret temple the year before and the dragon appeared, leaving it up to Mana's sister to seal it. Mana pushes aside her doubts, knowing that she must find strong Zoanthropes to help her reseal the dragon. As she and Ryoho set out on a journey to protect their temple, she knows that Ryoho will soon learn the truth about himself.Voiced by: Rin Mizuhara (Japanese); Anet Tarpoff (English)
Mitsuko Nonomura (野々村光子, Nonomura Mitsuko) is a wild boar zoanthrope and everyday housewive with a massive body and generous nature. After her daughter (who is also a zoanthrope) was abducted, she went on a quest to find her, the only clue being the kidnapper's steely eyes and insanely sardonic grin. At the end of the game, she discovers her daughter Uriko and brings her home, where they lead a peaceful life.Voiced by: Nawo Takamori (Japanese); Erica Ash (English)
During the XGC and tabula/crest incident, Nagi was mortally wounded while trying to stop Xion, who was on a rampage against the Zoanthropes to absorb power for the tabula. It was during this time that Gaia copied the Unborn powers and created 'The Spurious' in order to try and seek out the Unborn and absorb it into the body. With this power inside Nagi, she was able to survive the attack, though the power stayed dormant because Yugo and the others overcame the incident. A year later, Xion was taken over by the Unborn and 'The Spurious' began to awake. Nagi wanted to know more about this strange power that had awoken within her and set out on a journey to find Xion.Voiced by: Masakazu Suzuki (Japanese); Eric Kelso (English)
Deep in the mountains, there are four clans of fighting monks known as the 'Yatagarasu'. Within these clans, the power of the beast transformation is passed down, though it is sealed until the inheritor is judged an adult. However, one of the heirs to the families, Reiji Takigawa, had his seal broken prematurely before the coming of age ceremony because of the crest/tabula incident (Bloody Roar 3), and gained the power to become a crow. Reiji, who deep down harboured destructive tendencies, used these newfound powers and killed his father, a member of the four clans, and fled the temple. Reiji went out in search of strong Zoanthropes, finding great pleasure in killing a powerful opponent, though now he is on the run from the remaining Yatagarasu who pursue him.Voiced by: Naomi Kusumi (Japanese); Angus Waycott (English)
Ryōhō belongs to a secret temple that supports both the Buddhist and Shinto religions together (which had managed to escape the Meiji Restoration law that separated Buddhist and Shinto religious activities), and is able to become a dragon. A year before there was an attack by the Unborn though after the incident, Ryōhō lost his memory. Shortly afterward, a young Shinto miko, Mana, appeared. She had the power of the legendary ninetails. When taken under Ryōhō's care, people who were pursuing Mana for her power left her alone. A year later, earthquakes and Zoanthrope violence began to occur. To protect the temple, Ryōhō set out on a journey with Mana to face the evil that had caused these problems.Voiced by: Kenji Hamada (Bloody Roar 4) (Japanese); Philip Mayall (Bloody Roar II), Bill Sullivan (Bloody Roar 3), Michael Bell (Bloody Roar: Primal Fury/Bloody Roar: Extreme), David Schaufele (Bloody Roar 4) (English)
There exists an organization that stands for the liberation of Zoanthropes - for power and predominance over humans. This organization is called the 'Zoanthrope Liberation Front' (Also known as the Zoanthrope Release Battle Line.) Shenlong is their leader, a man who strikes fear into all who oppose him. He forces Zoanthropes to obey him with an iron fist. He is one of the most powerful and dangerous Zoanthropes to ever exist (able to become a white tiger) and the opposing administrations have nothing on him. His background is a complete mystery. But as he comes face to face with opposition against his group, he begins to question his own identity amongst the confusion of strangers who see the face of someone else.Voiced by: Atsuko Tanaka (Bloody Roar 4) (Japanese); RuthAnn Morizumi (Bloody Roar II), Lenne Hardt (Bloody Roar 3), Vanessa Marshall (Bloody Roar: Primal Fury/Bloody Roar: Extreme), Karen Lee (Bloody Roar 4) (English)
Shina was an orphan of war, and a zoanthrope leopard. She was adopted as the daughter of the war veteran, Gado. Influenced by his status as a legendary mercenary, she began to demonstrate great capability for battle during her childhood. When she was 13 years old, she single-handedly obliterated a platoon, earning the nickname 'Fighting Marvel'. Her father however, didn't want his daughter to follow in his footsteps and tried to talk her into leading an ordinary life. Shina wouldn't listen and as soon as she graduated high school, she became a mercenary. One day, her father disappears without a word. There are rumors that he is the organizer behind the ZLF, (Zoanthrope Liberation Front) a group that thrives on vicious terrorism. Shina doesn't want to believe that her father is behind it. She will only make her judgment if she sees it with her own eyes. With that in mind, she follows her father's trail to find out what his real intentions are.Voiced by: Tōru Ōkawa (Bloody Roar 4) (Japanese); Ken Silverberg (Bloody Roar II), Greg Dale (Bloody Roar 3), Dee Baker (Bloody Roar: Primal Fury/Bloody Roar: Extreme), Ward Sexton (Bloody Roar 4) (English)
Steven Goldberg (スティーブン・ゴールドバーグ, Sutīben Gōrudobāgu) was as a young, zealous scientist working for the multinational group, Tylon. He believed his research would contribute to saving people's lives. In the same year that he joined the company, another young scientist by the name of Busuzima entered work there and the two would become good friends, and also, good rivals. Though, when Steven discovered the evils behind the company, he became a part of one of Busuzima's experiments and converted into a man-made insect Zoanthrope. Because of how unstable the experiment had made his genetic structure, he could only survive on a special stabilizer developed to retain his body. Feeling betrayed, Steven (now going by the name 'Stun') plunges into despair over losing his human form. Slowly, his mind and body decayed though his heart yearned for revenge.Voiced by: Eriko Fujimaki (Bloody Roar 3, Bloody Roar Extreme, Bloody Roar 4) (Japanese); Vanessa Marshall (Bloody Roar: Primal Fury/Bloody Roar: Extreme), Donna Burke (Bloody Roar 4) (English)
From the shadows appears a figure before the fighting Zoanthropes. She is the strongest Zoanthrope, the Chimera, created by Tylon when they converted Uriko. Uranus was cloned from Uriko and became a perfected form of both her Chimera and her synthetic body. She is known to be the perfect zoanthrope, but cannot hold her chimera form very long, so she tends to go without transforming. Uranus has the fate to be both the wife of the God of the Sky and the mother of the God of Time, Cronos.Voiced by: Marina Ōno (Bloody Roar 3, Bloody Roar Extreme), Yūki Hamano (Bloody Roar 4) (Japanese); Mo Mellady (Bloody Roar II), Bianca Allen (Bloody Roar 3), Jennifer Hale (Bloody Roar: Primal Fury/Bloody Roar: Extreme), Lynn Harris (Bloody Roar 4) (English)
Uriko Nonomura (野々村宇理子, Nonomura Uriko) was kidnapped by Tylon as a child to be used in an experiment that created super beast soldiers. She was brainwashed and converted into the body of a woman that stored the power of a synthetic transformation known as 'Werechimera'. While brainwashed she was forced to fight against her mother and her friend, Alice, whom she had helped to escape from Tylon. But it was thanks to their efforts that she was freed from Tylon's influence and she changed back to her normal self, returning with her mother and Alice home.Voiced by: Mitsuaki Madono (Bloody Roar 4) (Japanese); John Nuzzo (Bloody Roar 3), Quinton Flynn (Bloody Roar: Primal Fury/Bloody Roar: Extreme), Walter Roberts (Bloody Roar 4) (English)
The 'XGC' mark gives Zoanthropes the power to possess the Tabula of a Thousand Beasts, which has been sealed to prevent calamity breaking free and gathering into one being. He is able to become an 'unborn' (an animal that doesn't exist yet) Xion wishes to break the seal of the Tabula to revive the power that lies within. His goal is to completely exterminate the Zoanthropes with the 'XGC' one by one. Once the Tabula is integrated, the world will change its form. Xion walks his path alone to free the Unborn from a distant dimension. He killed his sister, whose heart was attached to the 'trivial' world. He sees it all as a useless waste that must be eliminated to create a new and better worldVoiced by: Nobutoshi Canna (Bloody Roar), Hideo Ishikawa (Bloody Roar II, Bloody Roar 3, Bloody Roar Extreme), Akimitsu Takase (Bloody Roar 4) (Japanese); David Babich (Bloody Roar, Bloody Roar II), Barry Gjerde (Bloody Roar 3), Michael Gough (Bloody Roar: Primal Fury/Bloody Roar: Extreme), Rob Narita (Bloody Roar 4) (English)
Yūgo Ōgami (大神勇吾, Ōgami Yūgo), the series' protagonist, is a young wolf zoanthrope on a quest to uncover the circumstances of his father's death. His father, Yūji Ōgami (大神勇二, Ōgami Yūji), was a mercenary said to have died in combat in a South American country. Yūgo also seeks the mercenary Gado, the sole survivor of Yūji's combat unit. Yūgo and Gadou eventually meet in a secret Tyron Corporation laboratory, where Gado reveals that Yūji was a zoanthrope who fought against the Tyron Corporation's mind control experiments and conversion process. Yūgo then promises his father that he will destroy their enemies with the powers that he inherited from him.
Bloody Roar was adapted into a manga drawn by Maruyama Tomowo. It was originally published in Monthly Shōnen Jump. A few themes were used from the games but the scenarios and characters in Maruyama's version were completely new, though a few of his characters looked a lot like the original game characters. The main stars of the manga were a loner wolf zoanthrope, Fang, and a rabbit girl named Mashiro. Their adventures had them fighting out of control beast men and trying to stop an evil creature being released by the gathering of talismans. The manga was released in two volumes during 2001.
In the first three games, artwork by artist Naochika Morishita, also known as CARAMEL MAMA, was used for concept artwork and in game cut scenes.
For their 2000 single "My Console," the Italian eurodance group Eiffel 65 include Bloody Roar along with several other popular PlayStation titles in the song's lyrics.
Yūgo appears as a playable character in the 2003 crossover fighting game DreamMix TV: World Fighters.