The Kung Fu



Rah - it's The Kung Fu, one of the very first releases on the PC Engine! This game came like a slap in the face back in 1987 - never before had such massive characters hit the screen of a home console. Even by arcade standards, this was as big as they could (and should) get.
Admittedly, the game itself is a bit shoddy. But it's still a nice technological showcase for the machine - a very straightforward 'walk along the screen and whoop ass' endeavour, very similar to the likes of Spartan X (1984) and Vigilante (1988). It does well given the circumstances - today the visuals strike as laughable and the animation jerky, but the gameplay is still crisp and fun.
The aim is to use your character's (very limited) arsenal of moves to take out waves of oncoming opponents and flying objects. Each of the game's 4 stages is split into three sections, each one ending with a one-on-one 'boss fight', for which the screen will stop moving. Good reflexes will get you through the obstacle course no sweat, whereas only a set tactic will deal with each of the rivals.
Bear in mind that if ever you take two or three straight hits in a row, the hero's next attack becomes a flurry of super-powerful punches. Use this well, and most bosses can be easily reduced to jelly.
Don't think, feel...



The Kung Fu
Format PC Engine
Released 21 Nov 1987
Publisher Hudson
Product ID HC62001
Size (cm) 14.2 x 12.4 x 1
Weight (kg) 0.10
Although stamped 'Vol.1', The Kung Fu just missed the PC Engine's 30th of October launch date.
Punch, kick, it's all in the mind.

Standard PCE case, 2Mbit HuCard, monochrome booklet.



Throughout all 4 stages, the best trick is to hold back and slow down the screen: flying objects become a lot easier to deal with this way, and it's really worth picking them all off: many of them contain secret 'Power Up' energy boosts.
Each stage is divided into 3 areas that are ended by a one-on-one 'boss fight' - follow the tactics listed below to dispatch them easily.
Between stages you'll also be presented with a quick 'Bonus Game': earn extra energy by hitting the vase with accurate timing (right).




BOSS 1-1

The first boss is very easily defeated.
Simply hold RIGHT and the II button set on autofire.





BOSS 1-2

The second boss is very similar to the first.
Stay somewhere in the middle of the screen,
Hold RIGHT, and both the II and I buttons on autofire.





BOSS 1-3

Stage 1's third boss is a complete pushover.
Immediately head for the far right of the screen,
Hold RIGHT, and the II button on autofire.





BOSS 2-1

A bit trickier now for the first kung fu girl: immediately walk straight up to her, literally pushing her against the wall, and hit her with a punch from the I button on autofire. The second it hits and pushes you back a little, step immediately back up to her and hold the (autofire) I button again. It's a very fast strategy, that beats her in no time at all.





BOSS 2-2

Harder still is the first 'clone' boss: this trick is quite hard to do, but deadly when it works: quickly place yourself in the middle of the screen, but take one step to the right (the image above right illustrates the perfect place). If the placement is correct, holding the I and II buttons on autofire nails him each time he tries to kick. If you fail the placement, try to push him back, taking hits, until you get the right spot - otherwise there's no real other strategy.





BOSS 2-3

Back to basics for the boss of Stage 2-3:
Immediately push her into the right corner,
Hold RIGHT and both I and II buttons on autofire.
On the off-chance that she might get out of it, push her back in straight away and repeat.





BOSS 3-1

The 'Jackie Chan' boss of Stage 3-1 is one of the first opponents for which there doesn't seem to be a 'guaranteed tactic'. The best technique seems to be to take two direct hits (without attacking) and unleash a 'Super Punch' counter (see picture). This takes care of him in 4 blows, at the cost of 8 energy blocks - and those are the best odds you'll get.





BOSS 3-2

The 'Black Clone' of Stage 3-2 can be dealt with in the same way as the first kung-fu girl from Stage 2-1. Walk straight up to him against the right corner, and punch him in the face with the I button (with autofire). After the hit, walk quickly back up against him and immediately repeat. The idea is to be super-quick, and stay close to him. If he escapes, punch him back into the corner. You might take a couple of hits here.





BOSS 3-3

The Jackie Chan boss returns at the end of Stage 3, and he's just as hard to beat as in Stage 3-1. In fact the best tactic remains the same: take 2 direct hits without attacking, and let rip a 'Super Punch' counter attack (see picture). Again, there doesn't seem to be a better way of taking care of him without taking licks. If anyone has a better trick, please let us know!





BOSS 4-1

The 'Grey Clone' of Stage 4-1 is relatively easy to beat, but you need good reflexes: stand still, and wait for him to kick (see picture). His kick will miss. He steps forward afterwards to come in with a punch: stop him by immediately by slapping him in the face with a I button punch. Wait again for another kick, and repeat.





BOSS 4-2

The 'Peroxide Jackie Chan' of Stage 4-2 is another opponent with a tough, reaction-based strategy. Stand in the far left corner, and wait for him to approach. The second he raises his knee to attack (see picture), strike him with a I button punch. After getting hit, he will take 1 step forward, 2 steps back, 2 steps forward, and attack again: nail him the second he raises his knee. It sounds tough, but once you get the rhythm it becomes quite easy - and fun.





BOSS 4-3

The final boss, the 'Drunken Master', is an absolute monster: not only do all of his strikes take 2 damage points, but he can also replenish his energy during the fight by drinking from his gourd. To make things worse there seems to be no real strategy to take care of him... So go for the usual 'take 2 hits and counter attack' strategy, and try to take him out as quickly as you can - before your energy runs out, that is. Good luck!




'The Kung Fu' and 'Hudson' are registered trademarks of Hudson Soft Ltd.
'PC Engine' and 'NEC' are registered trademarks of NEC Corporation
The Kung Fu TM & © 1987 Hudson All Rights Reserved
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