Rival Schools: United by Fate (known in Japan as Private Justice Academy: LEGION OF HEROES) is a 3D fighting game developed and released by Capcom for arcades (running PS1-based Sony ZN-2 hardware) in November 1997.
It is the second in-house 3D fighting game (after Star Gladiator) by fighting game legend Capcom and is known for its Team Up system (where players pick two characters for their team, one of which is used for special team attacks).
The story takes place in the fictional Japanese city of Aoharu, where several students and staff members from various local high schools have been victims of kidnapping and unprovoked attacks. Several students from each of the targeted schools investigate who is behind it.
It was later ported to the Sony PlayStation worldwide in 1998 (July 30 in Japan, September 30 in North America). Along with the secrets unlocked and two additional characters, this version includes a second disc, the Evolution Disc, which adds several bonus mini-games and new features. This version was later digitally re-released for the PlayStation Network (both for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable) in Japan on February 13, 2012.
The game later received a Japan-exclusive update for the PlayStation, titled Shiritsu Justice Gakuen: Nekketsu Seisyun Nikki 2, that expands on some of the new features from the Evolution Disc while adding two new playable characters. It also received a full-fledged sequel on arcades and the Dreamcast, named Project Justice. Some of the characters also make appearances in other games, such as Kyosuke in Capcom vs. SNK 2 and Batsu in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom.
Rival Schools is a four button fighting game; there are two buttons for punching (light and heavy) and two buttons for kicking (light and heavy). The player selects two characters as a team and fights other teams of two (with the exception of the boss characters). Matches are fought one-on-one, however, if the player's vigor (super meter) is high enough they can call their partner in for a Team Up attack which can be executed by pressing both light or heavy attack buttons at the same time. Team Up attacks would involve both characters of a team attacking their opponent, or in some cases, the partner would replenish the main character's health or vigor.
In between rounds, the player can choose which member of their team they would like to use in the next round; they can keep their main character in play or switch to their partner. The Vigor meter is similar to the super meter in the Street Fighter Alpha series; Vigor can be gained by deal or absorbing damage during a match. Team Up attacks would use 2 levels of vigor and an individual character's special move would cost 1 level of vigor. The combo system in Rival Schools is similar to that of Marvel vs Capcom in that each character has a simple launching attack that allows for air combos.
The arcade version of the game includes 14 playable characters (and two unplayable boss characters) from the start, split into five High Schools. During the first few weeks of each arcade board's playtime, players can only pick two characters in the same High School. After that (or if the arcade operator enters a special operator code), players could pick any combination of characters (which removes the game's story cutscenes if both are in a different High School).
After the Free Select mode is activated, waiting an additional week (or through another operator code) unlocks the two boss characters for play. After that, waiting another week (or through yet another operator code) unlocks both a hidden character (Sakura from the Street Fighter Alpha series) and an alternate outfit for Akira.
The arcade version included with the PS1 port unlocks the Free Select mode and all characters from the start, adding two new characters (Hayato and Daigo). The Evolution Disc version also adds unlockable alternate outfits and custom characters (or pre-made characters in the international versions).
A standard small-scale academy for carefree students.
Focuses on elite athletic training.
Foreign exchange students from the U.S.A. are enrolled here.
Filled with gangs and other delinquents.
A super-elite academy with a rigid and mysterious curriculum. Rumored to have kidnapped its students and teachers.
Tamagawa Minami HS
While the Japanese version of the PS1 Evolution Disc included a custom character mode (called School Life mode), the international versions scrapped it in favor of 24 pre-made unlockable custom characters:
- Aki (Taiyo)
- Hide (Taiyo)
- Maya (Taiyo)
- Rika (Taiyo)
- Saya (Taiyo)
- Teru (Taiyo)
- Yuji (Taiyo)
- Eri (Gorin)
- Goro (Gorin)
- Jiro (Gorin)
- Koji (Gorin)
- Mai (Gorin)
- Saki (Gorin)
- Taro (Gorin)
- Amy (Pacific)
- Ben (Pacific)
- Beth (Pacific)
- Eric (Pacific)
- Jill (Pacific)
- Judy (Pacific)
- Will (Pacific)
- Ban (Gedo)
- Sho (Gedo)
- Taku (Gedo)
Bundled with the game was a second disc titled: “Evolution Disc.” Similar to what was on the first disc, it also included modes like the single player story mode and the two player versus mode. However, this second disc contained many more additional modes to select from.
Hayato will teach players the skills they need to know to become a master!
Two players cooperate to defeat the opponents. Play with up to four players.
Select two to four characters and fight in a group battle.
Choose two to six characters and then fight in a league battle.
Tournament battle with up to eight characters.
In addition to the above there are also some mini games that can be unlocked. One has Roberto with a soccer shoot out. Another includes Shoma with a homerun derby type game. The third features Natsu playing a volleyball/bowling type mini game. There was also a life simulator, but that was only included in the Japanese version.