The next game in Konamivember has the distinction of being one of the first arcade fighters- but it’s also the first with a life bar! Prepare for battle in Yie Ar Kung Fu!
This game was beat to the punch (pun intended) by a few months by Data East’s amazing Karate Champ- which is the world’s first arcade fighter. But Konami took the genre leaps further a a full fight roster, different fighting styles for each enemy, your ability to leap over the opponent, and the first life bar!
What made this one so different- It was for one player alternating. I wish they could have made this on a competitive play game. It would have made it just a little bit better.
Before we battle- let’s go over the different opponents you will fight! The 11 martial arts masters are listed below (in fight order):
“Hot Fighting History”:
- Buchu: Buchu uses a leaping motion to fly over Oolong, and as a middle level attack against him. Buchu may be big and powerful, but he’s also slow. Much like Oolong, Buchu does not use weapons to fight. He is the first opponent in the first gauntlet and when he gets hit in the crotch, his eyes bug out and the game says “nǐ hǎo” (which is Mandarin for “hi” or “hello”).
- Star: The first female opponent Oolong faces. Star is a young girl in a pink outfit who throws shuriken (that can be punched or kicked for extra points) at all levels, and uses fast punches and kicks. Star bears resemblance to Taiwanese martial arts actress Angela Mao.
- Nuncha: Nuncha is a man in a yellow gi-swinging nunchaku at Oolong at high and middle levels. His outfit and weapon are a homage to John Saxon’s role as Roper in the movie Enter the Dragon.
- Pole: Pole is a short man who carries a large bo and uses it on Oolong. Pole also uses it to pole vault to gain extra momentum for his moves.
- Feedle: Feedle is basically an endurance test for Oolong. Numerous enemies (or the same enemy who can replicate himself) attack from both sides of Oolong, punching high and low.
- Chain: Chain awaits Oolong at the start of the second gauntlet (at the end of the first one in the Commodore 64 version). He is a large man who swings a giant chain with a claw-like attachment at the end (that can be punched or kicked at the extended end for extra points).
- Club: Club is another large man who attacks Oolong. Club swings a giant spiked club (chúi) and bears a shield on his right arm to block Oolong’s attacks at middle level.
- Fan: Fan is another female warrior who wears a cheongsam and is more feminine than Star. Fan throws steel fans at Oolong like shuriken (that can be punched or kicked for extra points but only for a limited time before three at a time are thrown) and kicks very swiftly. The fans fall in a feather-like pattern.
- Sword: Sword is a dangerous warrior who comes ready to pounce on Oolong with a Dao and impressive aerial moves. He is also capable of warping around to the other side of the screen.
- Tonfun: Tonfun is the final opponent Oolong must face before meeting his ultimate challenger, Blues. Tonfun attacks with two tonfa and fast-paced martial arts.
- Blues: Blues is almost a mirror image of Oolong without a shirt on and can match him move-for-move. Oolong has to find some weakness on Blues to win (Blues can often defeat Oolong with a series of speed kicks to the body if trapped). Since none of his clothes are blue, Blues is modeled after Bruce Lee with his name being another reference to the martial arts actor, based on his first name’s pronunciation when said by a Japanese speaker.
When Blues is defeated, Oolong is the winner and the game begins again with Buchu. Characters start to move more frequently and have more difficult attacks (e.g., Buchu flies more frequently, Star often throws three stars at a time, Nuncha starts jumping in response to Oolong’s low kicks, Pole makes multiple hit attempts with the pole and not just one per charge motion at Oolong).
Enough jibber jabber- let’s fight!
I loved this game the fighters, the backgrounds- everything.
There were a lot of home ports for this game!
Yie Ar Kung Fu was released on the Arcade Archives for modern systems. No relation.
Did you ever play Yie Ar Kung Fu? Did you ever defeat Blues?
Let me know in the comments!
Keep Playin’ Like it’s 1981!