Growl, known in Japan as Runark (ルナーク), is a video game released by Taito in Japan in 1990, and even though the title screen of the U.S. version of Growl reads it was released in 1990, it was actually released in February 1991. In Europe, it was also released in 1991. Originating in the arcade, Growl is a typical beat 'em up game that is relatively unknown but has seen a port on the Sega Genesis and is part of the Taito Legends 2 collection.
"In the early part of the 20th century,a group of evil poachers recklessly hunted animals to the point of extinction."
At the beginning of the game the player selects one of four rangers: Gen, Burn, Khan, or Jack (these names came from the Genesis port and the four were unnamed in the arcade version). Like with most beat em up games each are balanced out with specific strengths and weaknesses in attack, jump, and life. Although a beat'em up, Growl was known more for its wide variety of weapons than its standard brawling.
The action starts immediately as the four heroes fight after their bar is attacked by evil poachers. The game is continuous through six stages of foes wielding various weapons that the player can freely pick up and use as well. Periodically through each of these stages the player will have to rescue animals from abuse and the animals in turn will aid the player for a certain amount of time, either by damaging enemies or killing them outright. One example of this is when you free an elephant at the end of stage four and it follows you into stage five, running over enemies and even decimating a tank ready to destroy you.
Source: Wikipedia, "Growl (video game)", available under the CC-BY-SA License.