AIA USA, the company that published Illbleed in North America, attempted in to introduce North America to Rent a Hero No.1 about four years ago. In the Rent a Hero series you play as Taro, a hired hero that can be rented to solve the town’s problems. When Taro is not finding lost children he can take part time delivery jobs to earn extra cash to upgrade his suit. Two elements make Rent a Hero No. 1 stand out: it’s a comedy RPG and the fighting system shares more in common with Final Fight than Final Fantasy.
Sega internally developed three Rent a Hero No. 1 games, but never published them internationally. The Xbox version would have been the first game in the Rent a Hero series in English, but after it was completed to some degree it got canned due to a lack of retail orders. Shortly after, AIA USA went out of business which meant Rent a Hero No. 1 was dead, but you can play it if you have the proper hardware. Without warning the woefully canceled US version of Rent-A-Hero No.1 percolated. Since this is unsigned code you’re going to need a modded Xbox to try it out. Dust the giant black box off and if you get a chance to play this please share your impressions!
Images courtesy of Sega/AIA USA.