Before we start, we get a brief intro, showing the ladies in peril...

... And this nasty Geshita bloke, taunting us with COME ON! COME AND GET ME.

Let's go rough these guys up.

Opening gates with your hands? That's for punks.

If you're gonna go into Paradise City, you gotta do it with style, and that calls for a kick of justice.

Round 1- South Paradise City- introduces the two most common thugs of the game, the grabbers and the bombers. The grabbers are apparently on-loan from Irem's Kung-Fu Master, as their main attack is grabbing you for a nice hug... Shortly before headbutting you repeatedly. The red ones give you plenty of hug time before they actually attack, so you need to shake the joystick (hitting buttons won't help!) to get free. This will become a pattern in this game. The bombers, on the other hand, seem to have stepped off the set of Fist of the North Star with that get-up, and throw bombs that split into four projectiles that split off diagonally. The bombers mostly hang out at the top of the screen and, if you don't take them out, will leave by themselves, so feel free to ignore them.

Oh, spoiler by the way- I've just taught you 80% of the game.

Kick grabbers before they grab you, avoid and ignore bombers. That's it.

The remaining 20% is divided between items & bonus rooms, and the bosses, so let's talk about the former. Each stage keeps the items in different containers, so in South Paradise City, it's trash-cans. Knock them over to reap the benefits- in particular, you'll be looking for the Speed Up icon as it speeds up your attacks too, and mashing the kick button with Speed Up activated is completely hilarious. You'll also find shurikens in one of the bins later in the stage, but follow my directions and you'll get some right mow. As for the bonus rooms, all rounds except the last one have a secret room that you find by busting a door or entryway to the side. The first stage has two of these- the first is in the first vertical area, behind a brown door to on your left. Kick the door open, and...

It's a bar. The enemies in here won't attack you, so feel free to lamp 'em for easy points.

Kick the guy behind the bar to free him... Then he'll transform into some shurikens...?

So yeah, South Paradise City is a pretty gentle introduction to the game's basics. Just march forward, beating up any grabbers along the way. The only wrinkles here are the runners who try to ram straight into you from the top of the screen (kick or dodge them) and a guy with a shotgun at the top of the first section (get up close and kick him). Once you reach the shotgun guy, you'll scroll left a bit before heading up again, and it's on this last stretch we get another bonus room. As you move upwards, you'll see a red door to the right- bust it open...

... And we enter another bar.

Use your shurikens to take these guys out- one drops grenades, the other has nunchaku.

I'd take the grenades if I were you, as they're much more useful than the 'chuks.

Once you're out, it's not a long walk until the boss area. However, each round has an odd 'prelude' before the boss, where the screen gets swarmed with grabbers and you have to fight them off before proceeding. It's a bit like the parts before each stage's end in Commando where soldiers try to rush you, but it's with dudes trying to grab you instead. Although the roundhouse kick can be useful in these sections, especially with the numbers If you're really struggling, throw a grenade at the top of the screen and the explosion will clear 'em out. Also, the two bins in this area have energy bonuses, so if you need a health boost before facing the boss, leave one guy alive and grab 'em.

We now approach the boss... Oh, and notice the grenade icon's disappeared.

We want to be sporting, don't we? So we can't use weapons against the boss.

Not that this stops him, of course- the first boss has a mace a flail. Now that's hardly fair! On the bright side, this guy isn't too smart, so he's got an easily exploitable pattern. Stay away from him when he swings his flail around, then when he stops, get in close and punch/kick him, then back off. Usually after two flail swings, he'll throw it straight at you- this is easier to dodge and he'll be open for a few seconds too, so again, close in and smack him a bit before backing off. You might think you can get away with pelting him while he's swinging the flail around, but it'll cut through your meter like butter, trust me. Best to hang back and wait for your opportunity to strike- such is the essence of fighting as an Avenger!

At the end of each round, you get this inspirational message to keep you going.

Here's the lady we've rescued. That's us in the middle, obv.

Round 2 is Paradise City itself- presumably the middle part.

You'll notice it's totally different from the South end of town. Maybe it's a bit like New York and we're in China Town, I dunno. We also get a new enemy, the most irritating in the game- the ninja hoodlums who jump from the water on the right. They'll throws what I'm guessing are sais towards the middle of the screen, sit in the middle for a second, then jump again, firing sais behind them towards the centre as they go. Their projectiles cover the screen pretty well, so what you need to do is hug the wall to the right and run, kicking ahead of you as you go. Some grabbers might catch you on your way, just try and shake them off- if your timing is right, the sais won't hit you. You'll know your timing is wrong if, well, you die quickly. Very quickly.

Once you kick the second flame-bottle-thrower, wait for the last ninjas to jump across, then smash the door on the left.

Uh... This is different.

Yes, this is a whack-a-mole game. It's exactly as it appears here. Bop thugs, get points.

Let's just take that animated gif in for a second... And continue.

Once you're done, you're told how many enemise you hit. Sadly, this is my best score. It's tough.

On your way out and across, watch out for a runner on his way to ram you. In the next vertical section, smash the pot in the bottom-right for a Speed-Up icon, and get ready to run again, because the ninjas come back! What you'll want to do is go up the middle this time- just slightly left of centre, like in the screenshots about- and keep kicking, ignoring any grabbers behind you. If your timing is right (it's tricky) you'll either miss the ninjas entirely or actually smack them before they make it to the left side of the screen. Once you're at the top, it's another grabber session as they pour in from the top left/right of the screen.

The boss here is a swordy bloke who splits into three when he first appears.

Two of these are fake, one is real, and after a few seconds, the two fake ones will flash. There's not much to this boss, as he doesn't have much health. You'll probably get hit while you're waiting for him to flash, though, and he can get a few hits in when you're wailing on him... If you're patient, one strategy- picked up from one of the leaderboard super-plays on Capcom Arcade Cabinet- is to avoid them until the real one is revealed, then lure them into the top-left corner and spam the roundhouse kick attack until they die. It's a safer way, but it takes half an age to actually do. Rushing him might cost you a few blocks of health, but if you'd rather get the job done as quickly as possible, it's a viable option.

Two ladies saved! Not that you ever see them in-game beyond this little screen. Not like Crime Fighters.

See? We're making our way through the city- this is North Paradise City.

Apparently North Paradise City doubles up as the set for Capcom's Gun.Smoke. This really is a weird town, eh? The main challenge in this round is the introduction of the green-shirt grabber guy (what a mouthful). Unlike their red counterparts, these guys don't mess about when they grab you- the moment they latch on they'll be headbutting you and sapping your health, and you'll be lucky if you can shake out of their grip before they take a block of health away. In this case, prevention is better than cure, so knock seven bells out of 'em. You also might encounter the sickle thrower in this stage, as he'll walk out of the houses on the right side of the screen and throw sickles at you- you can kick/punch them out of the air, but they throw a lot of them, so take them out as they walk out the houses. Finally, swarms of red grabbers will appear from gaps on the right and houses, and they will grab you. Learn where they spawn and avoid them.

As for the town itself, an unusual hazard here is a bridge over a small lake about halfway through- walk over the bridge and it'll collapse behind you. Walk into the water, lose a life. Pretty simple. Also, I'm classing the FOTNS-reject mole-man as a hazard rather than an enemy- he'll tunnel to the surface, make a half-hearted attempt to swipe at you, then burrow under again. If you can nail him, he's worth 500 points.

The first house on the right in the second vertical section is where our bonus room is.

Kick the walls, grab the grenades (seriously the nunchaku are useless) and duck out.

After the standard here's-a-load-of-grabby-guys-so-fend-em-off section, we get to the boss...

He's in his private arena. As Paradise City is fuelled by violence, you gotta smash that door down!

Anyway, the boss is Mr. Heart from Fist of the North Star some big ol' guy... And he really doesn't put up much of a fight. He's the easiest boss in the game! This guy spits out blue orbs that bounce around his little arena, but you can attack them to make them disappear. Make your way towards him, kicking/punching any orbs in your way, then get right up to one of his sides and pummel him. If you're attacking fast enough, then any orbs he spits out will be destroyed before they can become a threat. He has no way of stopping you from this angle, so keep at it and he'll go down.

Three ladies, saved from emergency situations.