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Streets of Rage 4 retro level locations: How to unlock all secret retro stages

How to get every 16-bit inspired level.

Streets of Rage 4 retro stages are some of the best secrets in the game - four scenes from arguably the most iconic game in the series, Streets of Rage 2.

As a result, they are very well hidden - chances are, even after your first Story Mode playthrough, you didn't see a single one.

We explain how retro levels in Streets of Rage 4 works, and how to find all retro level locations.

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If you've yet to sample the game yet, our Streets of Rage 4 review might be able to convince you.

How to unlock retro levels in Streets of Rage 4

Nestled within the 12 stages offered in the story campaign are a handful of super-cool secrets, with four scenes from Streets of Rage 2 unlockable and playable - complete with a CRT filter and cameos from old characters just as you remember them.

You'll get a Trophy or Achivement for the first Retro Level you encounter in Streets of Rage 4.

They're ostensibly single-screen boss encounters, and you'll need to beat them in a single life or you'll be booted back out of the secret level. Successfully complete them, though, and you'll be rewarded with a useful item such as a star or a piece of health-replenishing food.

It's not much of a reward, but on higher difficulties those items come in handy - and the real reward is getting to explore these retro levels with the new moveset offered by Streets of Rage 4.

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Streets of Rage 4 retro stage locations

Unlocking the retro stages in Streets of Rage 4 is a straightforward task, as is finding them - just keep an eye out for arcade cabinets bearing the 'Bare Knuckle' name (a neat reference to Streets of Rage's Japanese title) and then look for a taser nearby.

To access a retro stage, you'll simply have to strike the arcade cabinet with the taser, upon which you'll be transported to a 16-bit world. Here's exactly where to find the four retro stages in Streets of Rage 4.

Retro level location 1 - Streets of Rage 4 Stage 2 (Police Precinct)

The first unlockable level you'll come across is also one of the trickiest to unlock, as you'll need to grab the taser from one of the beefy cops soon after you've busted out of your prison cell.

We'd advise quickly disposing of the beefy cops and then getting to work on the additional enemies that appear, all while doing your best to not pick up the discarded taser - it breaks after a single use, and without it you won't be able to access the secret level.

Get it right and you're treated to Streets of Rage 2's first boss encounter.

Retro level location 2 - Streets of Rage 4 Stage 4 (Old Pier)

The predator-esque boss from Streets of Rage 2's fairground stage is one of its most iconic moments, so it's a delight to revisit it in Streets of Rage 4's second secret retro level.

At the end of stage 4's pier you'll find an arcade - simply pry a taser off one of the big cops, enter the arcade from the door to its right and strike away to unlock the secret stage.

Retro level location 3 - Streets of Rage 4 Stage 5 (Underground)

The third retro level is fairly straightforward to unlock, provided you don't bust up the arcade cabinet as you're clearing out enemies. In the bar, the cabinet is hanging out towards the back, while you'll find a taser by breaking a nearby table.

Do that and you'll be taken to Streets of Rage 2's encounter with Abadede - a wrestler with more than a passing resemblance to another 90s icon, WWF's the Ultimate Warrior.

Retro level location 4 - Streets of Rage 4 Stage 8 (Art Gallery)

The art gallery is one of Streets of Rage 4's most eye-popping stages, and it's where you'll be taken to a climactic fight in Streets of Rage 2.

Just before the Art Gallery's final boss you'll find an arcade cabinet sitting in storage - the taser you'll need to unlock the level is hidden just below it, shining away in the dark.

That's how to get access to Streets of Rage 4's secret retro levels, but that's not the only unlockable in this brilliant new game - if you want to know how to get hold of all the characters, including those in their original 16-bit style, check out our Streets of Rage 4 unlockable characters page.