River City Girls 2: Introducing Provie

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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.

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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 Way Forward. 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!

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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 simpler 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

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