Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Thomas (Kung Fu - NES)

Kung-Fu Master tormented me so much as a kid. I liked the look of it and wanted to master it, but whenever I put a quarter into the arcade machine, I would get beaten so badly, that I would immediately mark it off my list of games to keep pouring money into. I don't think I ever made it halfway past the first level. The regular henchmen, called Grippers, would latch on to you and wouldn't let go. I couldn't get rid of them. I would mash buttons, move the joystick, nothing. I would die. And keep dying. Game over. It was miserable. The NES version was much more forgiving, and I actually finished that one after borrowing it for awhile. I kind of want a copy of it now, since it's doubtful it will ever come out on the Virtual Console.

Apparently Nintendo shortened the title to just Kung Fu, without a hyphen for some reason (which to further confuse things was actually called Spartan X in Japan). They also gave the hero black hair and a less attractive girlfriend to save. The game was based on a Jackie Chan movie, although it is terribly similar to the finale of the Bruce Lee film Game of Death. Too bad there's no character like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the game.

So, 20 some-odd years later, I just learned that in order to throw the Grippers off of you, you're supposed to wiggle the joystick back and forth. I tried that. 20 some-odd years ago. It sort of works, but they still kill me. I still hate arcade Grippers....