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Release year: 1985 | Players: 1-1 players | Developed by Irem

Kung Fu (NES)

Kung Fu (AKA Kung-Fu Master or Spartan X) was developed by Irem for the arcades in 1984. The game was originally named Spartan X in Japan. It was later changed to Kung Fu Master for the arcade release, and then Kung Fu for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1985. This is a nice action arcade game!

Kung Fu is a classic beat ’em up side-scrolling game with a pretty simple plot: Save the lead character’s girlfriend from the clutches of the enemy. The game is set in the Devil’s Temple where the lead must go through its levels (floors) and face the enemies that try to stop him from getting to the top level where his girlfriend is held captive by the big boss enemy.

The lead character is called Thomas, his girlfriend is called Sylvia, and the big boss enemy is Mr. X. Thomas must go through four levels before reaching Sylvia and face Mr. X. Each level is sprawling with Mr. X’s underlings who are determined to stop Thomas from progressing. Also, there are stage bosses in each level which Thomas must defeat in order to proceed to the next upper level.

In fighting, the players use the directional keys to move Thomas. The right and left buttons will move him forward and backward, the up button will make him jump, and the down button will make him crouch on the floor. The action buttons are used to make Thomas punch and kick. Punches and kicks can be performed in Kung Fu game while Thomas is walking, jumping or crouching.

The challenge of the game is to help Thomas defeat all the enemies in each level before the timer runs out. The timer represents Thomas’s energy level. When it runs out, Thomas’s energy is drained and loses his current life. Thomas will return to restart the game if there are still life points remaining.

Kung Fu is created in primitive raster graphics and looks coarsely pixilated. Though the definition is not impressive, it’s quite normal for the game’s technological era.

Kung Fu animated GIF

This game is quite a primitive game with a simple beat ’em up plot. The only challenge is the timer that pressures the players to control Thomas more quickly. It’s a NES classic worth checking and trying nonetheless.

Kung Fu has been ported to Arcade (original), Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari 2600, Atari 7800, C64, MSX, NES (this version) and ZX Spectrum.

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Kung Fu
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Kung Fu