**Credit to BLYAST for some of the tricks and tips in this Solution**
The first thing to remember is that Arcade is about Survival , it is not about extra lives. You need to change your mindset and only consume health items to survive not to get extra points.
You will earn an extra life every 30 000 points
. I completed Arcade on 181 426
earning 6 Extra lives
. Now to think you basically have 9 lives to complete it , then it doesn't seem too difficult.
Step 1: Play through the game a few times to get familiar with the game play rather than going for this first. Attaining this is really just a matter of knowing how to deal with each enemy type, so this will help you tremendously.
Step 2: Select Streets of Rage 1 - Axel.
The reason for this choice is his standard X punch combo has a very high base damage to compensate for the lack of moves. On top of that, it has a great reach, you can hit enemies from a bit farther, essentially saving you from getting hit on multiple occasions. You can also freeze punch enemies (example press
, wait, then
) with bigger health bars. This will net bigger damage combos which means bigger points. Points gained from combos seem to be tied to total damage rather than total hits. This is where SoR1 Axel makes life easier for you. Although he cannot run and moves slowly, you will be killing enemies quick.
Enemy based tips:
Here are my tips for handling the enemy types that gave me the most trouble, this is not an extensive list as I found others to be manageable.
Shield Guy - Jump over him up close, to his other side, attacking as you do, back and forth as he is about to hit until you break his shield. Alternatively hit him twice , back off and rinse and repeat until the shield is broken
Cop with taser (Barney) - He will lunge at you quickly and do bad damage. Jump kick him immediately when you are in range, and only engage with regular punches when his taser is disarmed.
Fat dudes (big red) - Move out of their attack and follow them, as soon as they stop, attack hard and fast and be ready to repeat after knocked down. Do NOT stand over them when they are down.
Mohawk Girl - Her Jump kick is vicious. Attack quick when you see them or bait her, move backwards and diagonally when she kicks. This is not foolproof as their kick has some homing ability. DPS fast and make use of freeze punching when you have an opening.
Thick Biker Girls - When you see they are flashing, move back and away, making sure you are not directly across from them. After their attack, kill in the same manner as Mohawk girl as fast as possible.
Flying knee and Karate Suit Guys - With both these enemies, I recommending using only grapple attacks. Approach from the top or bottom of their position and repeat. It is possible to hit them normally, but it is more possible for them to smack you across the screen when you try.
I did not find bosses in this game to be too problematic once you have fought them a few times. Always keep the health items available in case your health runs low. If you have a good run consume the health items getting score when the boss is close to being defeated. Another important thing is to not immediately rush down the bosses, and be aware of their get-up attacks. Think of it as a turn based battle, as in when you see them flash, move out of the way and punish them after their attack has finished, utilizing the corner when possible for juggles, and repeat. SoR1 Axel has great damage for bosses, so the battle should not take long when you do spam his X attack.
Level Specific Tips:
Stage 5(Underground) - Take your time on this stage. You can bait enemies ahead by throwing weapons of them and then dealing with them in smaller crowds. When you get to the boss fight bait him close to the bikes and use a star special move to destroy the bikes revealing an extra star move and 2 extra healing items.
Stage 6(Chinatown) - The dojo is going to end many runs unless you know what you are doing. As soon as you enter the dojo kill the enemy and grab the spear. Back up in to the middle of the dojo and use the spear on enemies left and right until it breaks. Now focus on getting another spear to repeat the process. I highly suggest using a start here when you are over run with enemies. Do the same for the next room except with a sword or bat. The meat clever is also a great weapon to throw as it knocks down everyone and can give some breathing space. Be sure to take a meat clever with to the next room. As soon as the enemies charge you throw it and go and heal up with the 3 health items in the top of the room , then use grapple to defeat the enemies easily.
Stage 7(Skytrain) - Time your jumps by listening to the beeps, after the 3rd beep, jump. Remember to jump attack the cop with the taser before punishing with x attack. When you get to Ester, focus on killing her as quickly as possible so you do not have to deal with the commissioner.
Stage 9(Y Tower) - Use your throw on the large enemies as they will counter and do large amounts of damage. When you get to the elevator stay in the middle when possible. Do this especially when the fire breathers spawn as they can hit you out the elevator taking many of your lives.
- Make use of weapons. Throw them often to extend combos, avoid taking damage and interrupt attacks.
- Keep star attacks for when you are over run or battling enemies which consume a lot of your health. There is no need to use them on the bosses. Use them on every stage as they do not carry over between stages and it resets to 1 star at the start of each stage.
- Avoid all retro levels unless you are desperate of health. If you die on a retro level you do not lose that life in arcade mode. you can access these by hitting the arcade machines with the taser for extra points and a star (you will get full life and points even if you use).
- If you have a big combo going, it is sometimes better to go to a corner and bank it, rather than getting hit in your ass by a basic enemy and losing those important points.
- Use food items when your health is low, and after you have cleared out a section on screen to help stay alive longer. Just be careful not to go too far as you cannot go back in some areas.
Here is a Video of my successful run using the methods above. I Finished it and still had 5 lives left.