Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania: Jet Set Radio's Beat, Explained
Jacob Creswell
Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania: Jet Set Radio's Beat
Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania: Jet Set Radio's Beat
The long-awaited new Super Monkey Ball game, Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania, pays homage to another fan-favorite and stylish SEGA series with its first DLC character. Beat from the Jet Set Radio series was recently revealed to be coming to Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania which came as a pleasant surprise to many Jet Set Radio fans. Given that it has been almost 20 years since the last Jet Set Radio game, it's nice to see the series get some recognition from SEGA.
Given the amount of time there's been between Jet Set Radio games, however, there may be plenty of fans who don't know who Beat is and why he's just an iconic character. Given that Jet will be available for free in Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania, now's a great time to learn more about the character, why he's a perfect fit for Super Monkey Ball and why the Jet Set Radio series is so well-loved.
Jet Set Radio
Jet Set Radio
Jet Set Radio originated as a series of Dreamcast rollerskating games that also emphasize graffiti and music. The games center around the different gangs in New Tokyo-to and how their freedom of creative expression is threatened. Beat is the protagonist of the first game, Jet Set Radio, and returns as an unlockable character in the sequel, Jet Set Radio Future.
Beat is one of the founders of a gang called the GGs, which stands for Graffiti Gang. As previously stated, Beat's the main playable character of the original game, where the GGs are attempting to keep rival gangs from taking over their territory across New Tokyo-to. The three gangs the GGs go up against are the Love Shockers, the Noise Tanks and Poison Jam, which each gang having its own territory surrounding the area that the GGs claim as their own.
Jet Set Radio's story has a pretty insane second half, as a corporation called Rokkaku begins to rise in power and take the fight to New Tokyo-to's gangs. The owner of Rokkaku, Gouji Rokkaku, wants to acquire a vinyl record called "Devil's Contract" since he believes that playing the record will summon a demon that'll help Gouji take over the world. Beat and the GGs defeat Gouji at the top of the Rokkaku headquarters on a giant turntable.
With the Rokkaku's plans for world domination seemingly dead along with their leader, they lose any control they had over New Tokyo-to. It's also revealed that "Devil's Contract" was actually just a normal record without any demon-summoning capabilities. The three gangs from the game's first half are said to return to the city at the end of the game, which then leads into the events of Jet Set Radio Future.
Beat's role in the second Jet Set Radio game is a bit more subdued, as he's no longer the main playable character. He's still unlockable and playable since he'll eventually challenge Future's main character YoYo who starts as an aspiring member of the GGs. Since the last game, Beat had left the GGs altogether, leaving Corn to take over Beat's previous role as leader. Players find Beat working alone, having apparently gained a fairly negative reputation for spreading rumors.
After YoYo, or any other unlocked member of the GGs, defeats Beat, the police will attempt to apprehend him. Beat will rejoin the GGs in order to hide out at their headquarters, though it's never fully revealed why he left to begin with. Beat's reputation from his actions in the first game is well-known to the point where a still-alive Gouji Rokkaku created robotic copies of Beat called Zero Beats to wage war against the GGs.
Beat has since appeared as a guest character in several SEGA crossover titles, such as in the Sonic & Sega: All-Stars Racing series and Sega Superstars Tennis. While many fans wish that a new game for the cult-classic series would be announced instead, his appearance in Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania is still a nice nod from SEGA that they haven't forgotten about Jet Set Radio.