Fresh off the foiling of the prison breakers, Tony and Raymond are called in to take care of a bank robbery! With a crime like that, time is definitely of the essence, so our heroes wisely decide to get to the bank quickly, via helicopter.

....or not. For reasons that can't possibly be ascertained by conventional logic, this round starts with you jumping out of a helicopter onto a moving car on a highway. And it doesn't stop there, as you must continually jump from car to car (and one big truck). Of course, the bad guys just happen to be sitting there waiting for you on top of all of these cars. How could they have possibly planned this out? How could they predict a police officer or two jumping from a helicopter onto moving cars on the freeway? And wouldn't it have been easier for Tony and Raymond to just stay in the helicopter instead, if they were indeed taking it to the bank? Yeah, I probably shouldn't be too concerned about these things, huh.

Aaaaanyway, make it to the end of the car parade and the scene abruptly shifts to a parking garage. A really gigantic parking garage. Besides the usual criminals, there's also cars that will appear suddenly to try to run your ass over. It can be kinda cheap, so be ready to do an Up+Jump to sail over it if need be.

Hey look, a third-person shooting mode! Instead of shooting horizontally, you're shooting... INTO THE SCREEN! Yeah!

...actually I don't know why they put this part in either. This is the only stage in the game in which you have to kill the bad guys like this. There's no crosshair either so you don't have a full range of aiming like you would in a game like Riot, but... yeah. The only difficult part is the speed of the enemy bullets if you're not ready for them, but all you have to do is move to the side.

After killing all the bad guys and moving forward, you get... another parking garage scene. Good lord, how fucking huge is this place? And that means more enemies, more cars trying to run you over, and another third-person shooting mode. Oh, and dogs coming out of barrels.

Yeah, you heard me. Barrels drop out of nowhere to attack you (at least it's not instant death if you get hit, right?), and when the barrel slams into one of the stacks of tires... a dog comes out. I don't get it either. The dogs are usually facing the wrong way when they come out of the barrel too, so instead of attacking you they haul ass to the other side of the screen.... if they don't get killed by some of the other falling barrels first. Oh well, I'm sure it made sense on paper.

Oh, and along the way in both of these parking garage sections, you might run into this bad guy. Dude's taken a hostage! Obviously in a situation like this, an officer of the law will want to help the innocent victim in need. If you can kill the bad guy (he takes a few shots to go down) and free the helpless girl, you're given a free recharge of the lifebar. However, watch where you shoot! Because if your aim is careless, you could end up killing the girl instead.

And murdering an innocent bystander you're supposed to protect? A mistake of that magnitude can only be summed up in one word:


Yes, that is seriously how he reacts to it. Tony just murdered a young girl, and the only thing he can do to show his grief over his fuckup is to raise his hands to his head and let out a mildly disappointed-sounding (and strangely Christopher Walken-ish) "NO". And the only serious penalty that comes about from this is getting a smaller bonus when you finish the stage... it doesn't hurt your lifebar at all or anything like that. Obviously behavior like this shouldn't be encouraged, but... the NO is just so damn hilarious. To me it's become the defining moment of the game, probably due in part to it becoming a bit of an inside joke with some awesome peeps that I showed the game to a while back (shoutouts to the SGE Crew, keep it real dawgs). And of course it's such an easily quotable line since... well, there's a ton of things in everyday life that would cause you to grab your head in mild grief. Can't find the TV remote? NO. Stuck in traffic? NO. The price of butter just went up? NO.

Note that everything I said about the NO only applies to Tony though. If you're playing as Raymond on the 2P side and kill the hostage, he lets out a voice sample that sounds more like "NOT!" or "NAH!"... I really can't decipher it. Give it a listen here and see what you think. Sorry Raymond, you might have gotten the best line in the intro, but Tony wins for the best reaction to killing an innocent civilian. Better luck next time.

Now then, where was I? Oh yeah, we're still on the 2nd stage. Man, this stage is starting to feel fucking EPIC compared to the 1st stage. Anyway, after two parking garage sections, you FINALLY arrive at the bank. Good thing the bank robbery was still going on all this time.

The bank is just a single screen, with enemies coming out every now and then, either from the side or by falling from the top of the screen. That's another common occurence in this game, bad guys will just fall from the sky to ambush you. Whatever. Anyway, the boss of this stage has taken a hostage too, but [un?]fortunately, she can't be killed, and will run free if you collide/roll into the boss. Since this dude has a shotgun his bullets are kinda hard to dodge, so I highly recommend rolling him to death if you can. Just watch out for the bottle grenades being thrown by the other enemies.

Yep, you saved the day again. What's next?

A suitcase full of guns. This could only be... SMUGGLING! Although I have to wonder why this smuggling case is so special seeing how all the other criminals seem to already have easy access to guns, but whatever. Maybe they were smuggling drugs too, but the game isn't very clear on this. The important thing is, a crime is being committed and thus you must kill the people that are doing it.

Round 3 begins in a junkyard. Because that's the most logical place to go when smuggling is involved, you see. Occasionally there's a piece of machinery trying to crush your head, but nothing in this part of the level poses more of a threat than the usual enemies. Nothing else new in this section other than the aptly named "Stick Weapon Master" enemies, who are almost completely pointless enemies... being the master of a stick doesn't help much when the other guy has a gun. For some unknown reason they're worth 15,000 points though, which is odd since pretty much all of the other regular enemies in the game are only worth around 100 to 1000 points. I don't think they put much thought into the scoring system anyway.

Oh look, and there's another opportunity for a NO. Hee hee.

The second half of the stage is in a warehouse. Lots of platforms, lots of conveniently stacked boxes and tires. There is one neat thing you can do in this stage though, sometimes an enemy will be perched under a light fixture, and you can kill them by shooting the fixture and dropping it onto their head (which also makes the stage dark for a little while). Nice touch.

The boss is a fat guy who shoots cannonballs at you. Although he's hiding behind some boxes that you can't get into through a conventional jump, if you do a mid-air somersault you can totally invade his space (get it? invade space? Taito? oh never mind). And then you can roll him to death, just like the previous bosses.

Taito, I love you. Don't ever change, baby.

Hahahaha wow. This wonderful cutscene shows us that the mayor of Crime City has been kidnapped! Obviously the best part of this is the mayor's reaction to the whole thing. You wouldn't think an old man like that would say "OH! MAAAAAAAN" when his life is in danger... or at the very least you wouldn't expect him to stretch out the MAAAAAAAAAAAAN part. This mayor is obviously very "hip" and "with it".

Thus begins the epic second half of the game. Round 4 finds our heroes back on the streets, with some new enemies added into the mix... namely, punks. Yeah, punks with machine guns and punks with chains. You can tell they're punks because they have MOHAWKS. Otherwise this round is pretty unremarkable and almost as short as Round 1.

And then you've got the usual boss, this one wielding a flamethrower. But ah, you're not going to be able to roll this guy to death! Mainly because he's a pussy who stands at the edge of the screen and refuses to move. Oh sure, he'll duck to torch you with his flamethrower if you decide to use the cunning strategy of ducking before you start firing, so... you better be prepared to jump away if you see him duck too. Unfortunately, the bottle grenade-throwing assholes keep coming from the left side and usually show up to peg you with one when you try to jump away, so this fight can be pretty tough if you're not paying attention.

There's no Daily Taito newspaper screen for finishing this stage, mainly because you haven't found the mayor yet. Instead you get this charming cutscene with Tony at his most handsome. Presumably they get the information on where the mayor is, and so it's off to... whereever/whatever that building is. That screen on the right confuses me a bit too, since it's just that one screen, it's not animated or anything. And yet for some reason one of the mad dogs appears there, along with one of the mask-wearing enemies hiding near the top of the screen. Why? Did they think this cutscene was lacking a little extra oomph, so they just slapped in some random enemy sprites here and there?

Thus Round 5 takes place in some random huge office building. It's not just any random office either, it's an office with frickin' LASER CANNONS attached to the ceiling. Yeah, seriously. Luckily they don't track where you are on the screen, they just fire at predetermined spots. Nail the cannons with 5 or 6 bullets and you can send them crashing to the floor, and the resulting explosion can take out any nearby bad guys. You might go through ammo pretty quickly on this stage, but it's highly advisable to take your time and get rid of any laser cannons before rushing forward. You should still have plenty of time to finish the level.

Eventually the screen stops scrolling, and enemies slowly come out one by one, either from the side of the screen or by dropping from the ceiling, as usual. Not very difficult at all. They've gotta be setting you up for a boss though, just like they did at the end of Round 2. Keep waiting, keep killing the underlings, and...

...buh? That's it? No way, it can't be that easy. They're just setting us up for something else. Okay guys, bring on the boss...

...really, no boss? Gee, you'd think they would have put a little more effort into guarding the guy they were kidnapping. So, seeing how you saved the mayor, you should be getting a congratulatory message, and...