The original Japanese version of the game was partially inspired by the films by Hong Kong action star and martial artist, Bruce Lee. The creator combined elements from Lee's Enter the Dragon with that of his own life to create the game's concept.
The game's title, graphics, and story were completely changed for the international version. The original Japanese title, "Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun", was changed to "Renegade". The retooled western version took inspiration from the films Enter the Dragon and moreso The Warriors, and the story altered from a high school student rescuing his friend, to be about an adult man rescuing his girlfriend.
The original Japanese version of the game is a semi-autobiography based on the teenage high school years of the creator, Yoshihisa Kishimoto, with the protagonist Kunio-kun loosely based on himself. A self-proclaimed rebellious youth, Kishimoto says he got into fights in school on a daily basis, which, he explains in retrospect, was partially the result of a rough break-up. "There were family reasons as well, but there was a girl and she dumped me, which pulled the trigger," he says.