Where do I start with Provie, one of the new playable characters in River City Girls 2? For players discovering the River City series recently or through the first RCG in 2019, this is most likely their first time ever seeing her. For me, though, Provie has been a very near and dear character of mine for about eight years or so.
My name’s Bannon Rudis, and I designed and animated a video game a whole bunch of years ago called River City Ransom Underground. Like, many bunches of years now. Feels like forever! In that game, most of the main playable characters were based on people I knew in real life at the time. One of these characters happened to be Provie. She is a friend and was a fellow coworker at the restaurant that we used to work at together in Los Angeles. Provie would probably punch me on some part of my body at least three times a day and give me endless amounts of sass. If sass could be converted into a clean, sustainable energy source, the whole planet would be a utopia from her alone. She had to go in my game, no doubt about it. I asked her what kind of fighting style she would like, and she said dancing. Good enough for me! I was pushing for Muay Thai originally and left in her Muay Thai hand and foot wraps.
In that game, Provie fights with multiple different breakdancing moves that can all chain into each other in some form or another. This made her fighting style very unique and allowed the player a great sense of creativity. Ironically, the real-life Provie got motion sickness doing anything remotely stimulating like spinning around, going on roller coasters, or generally moving around too fast, so if you used her spinning specials too many times in a row, she would let out a projectile barf! that could hit enemies.
After three years of intense development on the game, I was offered a job at WayForward. I had only a couple months left to wrap up River City Ransom Underground as I began working as an animator and director-in-training at my new job. Eventually they tasked me with designing their new and wildly different take on the River City series, River City Girls, which turned out to be a pretty big success in the end. Huzzah!
When we got to work on River City Girls 2, we definitely wanted to add to our roster of playable characters. We needed two more girls to join in the fight. In my head, the only two I could ever imagine were Marian from Double Dragon and Provie from River City Ransom Underground.
Arc System Works, the license holder, ok’d both characters and I got to designing. I mainly wanted to keep Provie intact but update her for the new style of gameplay. Her moves would be much more simple to pull off and not as complex as her previous iteration. The controls needed to be accessible enough for anyone to pick her and get to dancing. Yet, she still needed to give players that creative freedom again from Underground. Luckily, she was incredibly easy to design for the RCG series from having a good, solid foundation already. Most of her moves carried over and felt right at home.
Like before, her dance special attacks can flow into each other. She even got an upgrade to a couple of her moves. Her Coin Drop anti-air attack can send her at an angle instead of straight up if she performs it while moving forward with one of her other specials. This move can cancel into her air combos as well.
Her Flare spin-kick attack is great for starting any of her combos and is her bread-and-butter special move. It can cancel into any of her other specials. Once you get her spinning though, it’s hard to stop her, so don’t go thinking it’s spammable!
Her Back Spin is a great move to get some quick distance from an idle position. This move can combo ground enemies and still allow Provie to combo into other dances.
Her Broken Propeller is one of my favorites. This allows Provie to get a mid-air boost that goes into a devastating spinning attack. It’s great for enemies above her, in the air with her, or below her as she comes crashing down into a split-kick landing, which can knock fallen enemies back up into the air. She can also combo into another Broken Propeller and even change the direction of it if the player holds the opposite direction she is facing.
Spin Cycle is an area-of-attack special that is supposed to clear some space for the player if they get surrounded. Unlike other AOEs, though, this move will have her do another spinning dance move but in the opposite direction she was facing. This can be done from the start or in the middle of a combo, allowing her to change direction and continue her dance routine towards the enemies that were sneaking up behind her. You can cancel into her other dance moves from this backwards-moving maneuver.
Provie is character who allows for a lot of creativity, and I hope you have as much fun coming up with her various dance routines as I did designing them. I absolutely love that we got her into River City Girls 2, because it bridges the gap even more between all these different Kunio-Kun games in what I fondly refer to as the Technos Universe. Please give her “a spin” when the game launches later this year!