So it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, all the way back to my Ratchet and Clank article.  But now I feel like I’ve been away from this sort of article for a while, so here we go! Some interesting facts about the Sega Dreamcast game, Jet Set Radio.

Sega Graffiti Contest in America

An entry into the “Graffiti is Art” graffiti contest.
A few weeks before the North American release of Jet Set Radio (then Jet Grind Radio), Sega hosted a contest in San Francisco, CA called “Graffiti is Art”.  The contest aimed to promote Graffiti as an art form rather than vandalism, since their new game had graffiti as a central mechanic.
Then mayor of San Francisco, Willie Brown, attempted to shut down the contest through the revocation of Sega’s permits to host such an event.  However, Sega of America had acquired all of it’s permits to host the event in a completely lawful manner, and the contest went on as planned.  Over 138 entries of graffiti artwork were submitted to the contest.

Tokyoto and Localization

Bantam Street as seen in “Jet Set Radio
The game takes place in a city called Tokyoto, a vibrant remake of Tokyo, Japan.  This was done because the developers wanted to give the gamers in the East a natural feel.  For the Western audience, however, the developers added two additional maps: Bantam Street and Grind Square, which are inspired by New York City and Times Square respectively.
Bantam Street features an intersection below a railroad, several tightly knit buildings, as well as an asphalt park.  Considering Bantam Street is an anagram of ‘Batman Street’, it is widely speculated that the level is inspired from Gotham City.  This is also fueled by unused art found in the game’s code featuring three shadowy figures and text that reads “Darkman Returns”.  The game also features music that is exclusive to both the Eastern and Western versions of the game.

Garam’s Necklace

Although it is not canon and simply an Easter Egg, it is speculated that Garam’s skull necklace looks strangely like Sonic the Hedgehog’s skull.  It is claimed to be Sonic because of the distinct eyes and spikes on the top of his head.

Super Brothers Is About Mario & Luigi

Although Sega and Nintendo were strict competitors at the time of Jet Set Radio’s development, one of the songs in Jet Set Radio, Super Brothers, has lyrics referencing the Italian plumbers.  The lyrics read “Come, we’re going to rescue Peach. We’re Super Boys. 1234567, we like mushrooms.”
It’s been a while since I’ve written a shorter article, and that’s really all I could dig up.  So thanks for reading!

 

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