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Interview: Talking About River City Girls 2 Characters and Callbacks

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Interview: Talking About River City Girls 2 Characters and Callbacks

WayForward is often known for both its original IP and work on other titles. With the River City Girls series, it gets to take the existing property and make lesser known characters the stars. River City Girls 2 builds on the original in a big way, with new characters, a new story, and of course more callbacks. To learn more about the sequel, Siliconera spoke with Director Bannon Rudis about Misako and Kyoko’s latest trip around the city to right wrongs and beat up baddies.

Jenni Lada, Siliconera: What kinds of challenges did WayForward face when trying to handle a near simultaneous release for River City Girls 2?

Bannon Rudis, WayForward: Launching across multiple platforms and languages definitely took some effort, especially given the different timelines and needs for the WayForward-published version and the Arc System Works Japanese/Asian version. Like every game ever released, you always hope you found every bug possible. You always see stuff that your entire QA team couldn’t even find. Once brand-new players get their hands on your game, they accomplish things you never even thought of.

Was there any particular challenge in securing Provie as a playable character in River City Girls 2?

Rudis: Not really at all. I did direct River City Ransom Underground, so I hit up my old business partner on that project and asked Arc System Works, and both parties were super into the idea. To me, she absolutely had to be in this game. Her moveset was so special and I loved how well it worked in the RCG setup.

Interview: Talking About River City Girls 2 Characters and Callbacks
Two additional playable characters join River City Girls 2‘s cast. Were any other people who were considered during the development cycle and, if so, who?

Rudis: Marian and Provie were the only ones I really thought about. My backup plan was another Underground character named Chris. Chris’s new design that shows up in RCG2 is cool. I love what Priscilla did with updating her.

How did the balancing process go, to ensure every River City Girls 2 character felt like they were on equal ground, but would still be unique?

Rudis: There was a lot of balancing. That usually came down to making sure that each move felt useful, but also not too spammable so the player didn’t end up not using everything in their arsenal. The sequel really allows players to be creative on the fly with their combos. I also did go back to the original playable characters and gave them updated moves and adjusted their combat altogether.

River City Girls 2 features a number of callbacks to past Kunio games. Which one do you think people might have missed?

Rudis: Well, there is an area that pretty much slams them over the head with a lot of Technos references. It’s basically a history lesson in the company and their games as a whole. For me to list all of the references, it would be an entire novel’s worth of them. I guess one reference that is way more personal to me in the new game is my mom as a shopkeeper in the store “Suzy’s.”

Interview: Talking About River City Girls 2 Characters and Callbacks

With the original River City Girls, which platform proved most popular? What do the early results look like for River City Girls 2?

Rudis: I’m actually not sure. I do know it’s doing great on Steam though.

River City Girls already expanded in such a way that there’s a sequel and a past Kunio game was retroactively included in its “timeline.” What would you ideally like to do next with the series? Would you want to go beyond video games?

Rudis: I would personally love to explore the Kunio sports titles. I’m not the biggest sports fan and I don’t play sports games. But I love when a sports game takes something that’s normally pretty simple like basketball and amps it up with special moves and ridiculous characters.

River City Girls 2 is available on the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.