Technōs Japan Corporation (株式会社テクノスジャパン Kabushiki-gaisha Tekunosujapan) was a 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 Technōs Inc.
Initially operating from a single-room apartment, Technōs was founded in 1981 by three staff members of Data East. Their first game was Minky Monkey, released in 1982. Many of Technōs 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 Technōs 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. Technōs would then produced an Nintendo Entertainment System version of the game, which would be Technōs' first game for the home console market. Technōs 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 Family Computer platform 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 and Nintendo World Cup, but none maintain any connection with each other. Technōs 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).
Technōs 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, Technōs 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, Technōs 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, their second and last fighting game Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer and a Neo-Geo sequel to Super Dodge Ball.
Since Technōs Japan's closure, a company called Million has purchased the former intellectual properties of Technōs 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, as well as reissues of the original company's titles via the Virtual Console and other services. As of June 2015, Arc System Works owns the intellectual properties of Technōs Japan.
U.S. subsidiary Edit
Technōs Japan had a subsidiary in the U.S. called American Technōs Inc., which was located at Cupertino, California. American Technōs was formed in 1987, shortly after the release of Double Dragon at the arcades and published all of Technōs Japan's arcade games in North America beginning with Double Dragon II: The Revenge. While the majority of Technōs 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 Technōs 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 Technōs 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 Technōs was still operating after Technōs Japan's demise until sometime during the late 1990s.
List of games by platforms Edit
All games are listed by original Japanese titles unless otherwise noted. The Neo Geo game is 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 port of Double Dragon or games that were produced by Million, the current copyrights holder of Technōs Japan's former properties. Also, all of the following games are listed by their original Japanese release date.
- Double Dragon: 6/1987
- Double Dragon II: The Revenge: 6/1988
- Double Dragon 3: The Rosetta Stone (developed by East Technology): 1/1991
Family Computer/Nintendo Entertainment System Edit
- Double Dragon: 4/8/1988
- Double Dragon II: The Revenge: 12/22/1989
- Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones (Japanese: Double Dragon III: The Rosetta Stone): 2/22/1991
Game Boy Edit
- Double Dragon: 7/20/1990
- Double Dragon II (Japanese: Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun: Bangai Rantō Hen): 12/7/1990
Super NES/Super Famicom Edit
- Super Double Dragon (Japanese: Return of Double Dragon): 10/16/1992
Neo Geo Edit
- Double Dragon: 2/1995