Retrogaming Spotlight: Kung-Fu Master

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AllenTheAlien
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Retrogaming Spotlight: Kung-Fu Master

Post by AllenTheAlien » Tue Jun 18, 2019 4:35 pm

We’re shaking things up a bit this week by calling out the release of a truly classic video game for the NES. That’s right, party people, Kung-Fu Master hit the shelves in Japan for the first time back in June of 1988! Check out the RetroGamer entry for the game here:
https://www.retrogamer.net/retro_games8 ... fu-master/

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This was one of my absolute favorite arcade games when it first hit my local 7-11. When it finally came to the Commodore 64 I begged my parents to let me pick it up. It took a while, but I never regretted the work put in to bringing this game home.

The enemies were distinctive, the levels were brutal and complex, plus combat felt incredible with the wide variety of moves. Keep in mind that I was 13 at the time and didn’t know any better, but this game opened my eyes to a whole new world of gaming.

Story: The protagonist, Thomas, enters into the den of his enemies to free his kidnapped love, Sylvia. Have you ever heard of such a complex narrative in your whole life? I think Not! But seriously, what it lacked in narrative originality, it made up for in adrenaline pumping action. Think of it as a video game version of the film, The Raid. While that may not be a connection people draw these days, back then, this was truly mind-blowing stuff.

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Gameplay: This is a side-scrolling fighter where you use your mad martial arts knowledge to fight waves of enemies. Fight hand to hand, dodge deadly dagger throwing assassins, perform high flying kicks to the face.

The bad guys could also get hold of Thomas to drain his energy and you had to quickly shake the joystick to break free. This was something I struggled with on the NES version, but was a champ on the arcade cabinet. The NES port is widely considered the most complete version of the game available for home use.

Click here for a video of game play to show off this groundbreaking classic:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Il24F1_TBao

Play: There are browser ports of the game available, but none seem to fully capture the majesty of the original. This one is definitely worth giving a try, for those who are curious. You can adjust the controls to work in the way most comfortable for you. https://www.retrogames.cc/arcade-games/ ... aster.html

Final Thoughts: I just learned today that this game was actually intended as a tie-in video game to a Jackie Chan movie, Wheels on Meals. As the game that kicked off the “beat ‘em up” genre that dominated the market for years to come, it’s impossible to overstate the importance of this mammoth achievement in gaming.

Did you every get a chance to play this one? Let's hear your Kung-Fu Master stories!

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jpishgar
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Re: Retrogaming Spotlight: Kung-Fu Master

Post by jpishgar » Tue Jun 18, 2019 5:14 pm

I'm gonna go ahead and get this in first, because every single one of you is going to be humming this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhUkGIsKvn0

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Big Shoes
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Re: Retrogaming Spotlight: Kung-Fu Master

Post by Big Shoes » Tue Jun 18, 2019 5:40 pm

Kung-Fu Master is one of my all time favourite arcade games, fantastic memories of plying this when i was younger in the arcades.
I have the NES version and it is a great port.

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fredghostmaster
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Re: Retrogaming Spotlight: Kung-Fu Master

Post by fredghostmaster » Tue Jun 18, 2019 5:59 pm

The first time I came across Kung-Fu Master was at a campsite in the south of France in 1985. There was this crappy little hut in the corner of the camp that had about 6 machines in and one of them was Kung-Fu Master. I loved it straight away and spent 2 weeks trying to get as far as possible but think I only made level 3 as it was a tough game. There was this one kid who could get to level 5 and we all used to crowd round to watch him play. I was very excited when it came out on the Spectrum but it turned out to be a complete turd, one of the worst conversions I've ever played in my life!

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arcadez
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Re: Retrogaming Spotlight: Kung-Fu Master

Post by arcadez » Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:09 pm

The sequel that never was........

Kung Fu Master II / Spartan X II Arcade Prototype

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Efr9EQkbCSQ

Irem dumped it and went with Vigilante instead.
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BellyFullOfHell
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Re: Retrogaming Spotlight: Kung-Fu Master

Post by BellyFullOfHell » Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:42 am

That screenshot looks very much like the C64 version though....?
Ah sorry, you mentioned the C64 later on. Great conversion, I thought it played just as well as the NES one. The Speccy version on the other hand.... Oh dear.

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ncf1
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Re: Retrogaming Spotlight: Kung-Fu Master

Post by ncf1 » Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:53 pm

arcadez wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:09 pm
The sequel that never was........

Kung Fu Master II / Spartan X II Arcade Prototype

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Efr9EQkbCSQ

Irem dumped it and went with Vigilante instead.
Damn! That looks great, looks like a decent sequel, and I think Kung Fu Master was definitely a game that would have done well with a sequel, nothing played quite the same. I'd absolutely love to play that!

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ncf1
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Re: Retrogaming Spotlight: Kung-Fu Master

Post by ncf1 » Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:58 pm

This game, and Decathlon, were the first two ports I saw on the C64 that made me realise that my beloved Apple II had been surpassed in all ways, I couldn't believe how good even the C64 version was. And the arcade version of course is the best, still plays great to this day, love trying out all the different emulated versions.

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arcadez
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Re: Retrogaming Spotlight: Kung-Fu Master

Post by arcadez » Sat Jun 29, 2019 1:58 pm

ncf1 wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:53 pm
arcadez wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:09 pm
The sequel that never was........

Kung Fu Master II / Spartan X II Arcade Prototype

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Efr9EQkbCSQ

Irem dumped it and went with Vigilante instead.
Damn! That looks great, looks like a decent sequel, and I think Kung Fu Master was definitely a game that would have done well with a sequel, nothing played quite the same. I'd absolutely love to play that!
Yes so would i, but unfortunately the pcb board is hoarded so much so that even though it's now broken and non functional the owners dont want to get it fixed
for fear the person mending it might dump the roms and release them to the MAME project :)
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peter6168
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Re: Retrogaming Spotlight: Kung-Fu Master

Post by peter6168 » Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:37 am

The caravan park where my grandparents had a caravan had is in the arcade, first machine on the right next to Pac Land. Couldn't wait till Friday's to go down and play in the arcade.

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Re: Retrogaming Spotlight: Kung-Fu Master

Post by Antiriad2097 » Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:11 am

BellyFullOfHell wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:42 am
The Speccy version on the other hand.... Oh dear.
Worry not, for now we have Mister Kung Fu on the Spectrum which shows what could have been achieved.
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BellyFullOfHell
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Re: Retrogaming Spotlight: Kung-Fu Master

Post by BellyFullOfHell » Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:29 pm

My word, that Spectrum version is seriously impressive, is that running on a standard 128k?
Wasn't aware of the existence of KFM2 either, I'd love to play that. Can't understand the attitude of folk that would rather hoard something like that than release it into a community of enthusiasts that gets smaller with every passing year. **** those guys.

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Antiriad2097
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Re: Retrogaming Spotlight: Kung-Fu Master

Post by Antiriad2097 » Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:30 pm

BellyFullOfHell wrote:
Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:29 pm
My word, that Spectrum version is seriously impressive, is that running on a standard 128k?
Wasn't aware of the existence of KFM2 either, I'd love to play that. Can't understand the attitude of folk that would rather hoard something like that than release it into a community of enthusiasts that gets smaller with every passing year. **** those guys.
It runs on a standard 48k Speccy.
The Retro League - Where skill isn't an obstacle
Retrocanteen, home of the unfairly banned
Tom_Baker wrote:I just finished watching a film about Stockholm syndrome. It started out terrible but by the end I really liked it.

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