Yie Ar Kung-Fu

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Yie Ar Kung-Fu
Yie Ar Kung-Fu flyer.png
Promotional sales flyer
Developer(s) Konami
Publisher(s) Konami (arcade)
Imagine (PC)
Composer(s) Miki Higashino
Platform(s) Arcade, Famicom/NES, MSX, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Electron
Release date(s) Arcade
Genre(s) Fighting
Mode(s) One or two players (alternating turns)

Yie Ar Kung-Fu (イー・アル・カンフー Ī Aru Kanfū?) is a 1985 fighting game developed and published by Konami. It is considered to be the basis for modern fighting games.[2]

Gameplay[edit]

A screenshot of the arcade version

Yie Ar Kung-Fu (Chinese: 一二功夫; pinyin: yī èr gōngfū; literally: "One Two Kung Fu") features the protagonist Oolong (Chinese: 烏龍; pinyin: Wūlóng, Japanese: ウーロン Ūron; see oolong), controlled by the player. Oolong must fight all the martial arts masters given by the game (11 in the arcade version; five to 13 in the home ports) unarmed to win the title of "Grand Master" and honor the memory of his father. On his side is a variety of punch and kick blows reachable by combining the joystick with one of the buttons (punch or kick). He also has the greatest jumping ability of all the game's fighters, with the exception of "Blues".

The player faces a variety of opponents, each with a unique appearance and fighting style.[3][4] The player can perform up to 16 different moves,[5] using a combination of buttons and joystick movements while standing, crouching or jumping.[6] Moves are thrown at high, middle, and low levels. Regardless of the move that defeated them, male characters (save Feedle) always fall unconscious lying on their backs with their legs apart (players flail their feet), and female characters always fall demurely lying on their sides. Feedle disappears. There are only two female fighters, and the rest are male. When a player gains an extra life, the word "xiè xiè" (Mandarin for "thank you") is heard.

Characters[edit]

The martial arts masters are listed below (in fight order):

  • Buchu: With an appearance resembling professional wrestler Abdullah the Butcher, Buchu is a big sumo wrestler who 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. Buchu does not use weapons to fight. He is the first opponent in the first gauntlet and when gets hit in the crotch, his eyes bug out and the game says "nǐ hǎo" (which is Mandarin Chinese for "hi" or "hello").
  • Star: The first female opponent Oolong faces. Star is a young girl in a pink outfit who throws shuriken at all levels, and uses fast punches and kicks.
  • 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 Bruce Lee's role in the movie Game of Death.
  • Pole: Pole is a short man who carries a large bo and uses it on Oolong. Pole also uses it to pole vault for 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. In some ports, like the Commodore 64 one, he/they are absent.
  • 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 which swings a giant chain with a claw-like attachment at the end.
  • 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 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.
  • 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. Oolong has to time his attacks and hope that Tonfun makes a mistake to survive.
  • 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. Since none of his clothes are blue, his name could be another Bruce Lee reference, 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 (in the BBC Micro version, Blues is replaced by a second round with Feedle).
MSX version of Yie Ar Kung Fu

The MSX and NES port has many differences from its arcade counterpart. The hero is called Lee and faces only five opponents:

  • Wang: Armed with a pole. Unlike Pole, he doesn't use his pole to gain momentum.
  • Tao: Throws small fireballs in the same way as Star.
  • Chen: This port's version of Chain. After Chen's defeat, there is a bonus round where the hero must hit objects thrown at him to score points.
  • Lang: This port's version of Star, but with quicker shots and moves.
  • Wu/Mu: Called Wu in the MSX and Mu in the NES, he is similar to Buchu (though Mu is white and seems bearded, while Buchu is black and has a shaven face). Once he is defeated, the challenge starts again with Wang.

There are two hidden characters in Konami Collector's Series: Arcade Advanced for the Game Boy Advance. To have access to them, the player must input the famous Konami Code at the title screen. The characters are available in the special two-player mode found on this collection. The fighters are Bishoo (a woman dressed in white who attacks with daggers) and Clayman (a living statue who attacks with a sword bigger than Sword's). A hidden character in the mobile phone version is Katana, a samurai who attacks with a katana.

Ports and related releases[edit]

Yie Ar Kung-Fu was subsequently widely ported to platforms including the MSX, NES, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC and BBC Micro.

An emulated version of the game was released in 2005 for PlayStation 2 in Japan as part of the Oretachi Geasen Zoku Sono-series.

It was released on Xbox Live Arcade for the Xbox 360 on July 18, 2007 with updated graphics[7] and for the Nintendo DS in Konami Classics Series: Arcade Hits.

In recent years, this game was re-released on some TV game products. In 1987, the game was included on the compilation Konami Coin-op Hits with Hyper Sports, Green Beret and Mikie.[8]

The Game Boy Advance version was relaunched for the Game Boy Color (as a part of Konami GB Collection Vol. 4), Sega Saturn and PlayStation.

The arcade version of Yie Ar Kung-Fu was made available on Microsoft's Game Room service for its Xbox 360 console and for Windows-based PCs in July 2010.

The MSX Version of Yie Ar Kung-Fu was made like EGG Project for Windows Store on October 28, 2014 in Japan.

Reception[edit]

The game went to number 2 in the UK sales charts, behind Commando.[9]

Reception
Review scores
Publication Score
Computer and Video Games 34/40[13]
Crash 92%[11]
Sinclair User 3/5 stars[12]
Your Sinclair 8/10[10]
ACE 5/5 stars[14]
Awards
Publication Award
Crash Crash Smash

Sequel[edit]

A sequel, Yie Ar Kung-Fu II, was released a year later. The sequel was released only for home computers and was never ported to the arcades. Another fighting game by Konami, Martial Champion, was originally planned to be released as Yie Ar Kung-Fu 2. In fact, Jin, the protagonist of Martial Champion, was modeled after Lee, the protagonist of the NES and MSX versions, and after Ryu from the 1987 Street Fighter arcade game.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.arcade-history.com/?n=yie-ar-kung-fu-model-gx407&page=detail&id=3229
  2. ^ GameCenter CX - 1st Season, Episode 09. Retrieved on 2009-09-19
  3. ^ Ryan Geddes & Daemon Hatfield (2007-12-10). "IGN's Top 10 Most Influential Games". IGN. Retrieved 2009-04-14. 
  4. ^ Hjul, Alison (March 1986). "Yie Ar Kung Fu" (3). Your Sinclair. p. 19. 
  5. ^ Game of The Week: Yie Ar Kung-Fu, GameSpy, accessed 2011-02-27
  6. ^ Yie Ar Kung-Fu at the Killer List of Videogames
  7. ^ Burg, Dustin (2007-07-16). "Yie Ar Kung Fu received a makeover | Joystiq". Xbox360fanboy.com. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  8. ^ "Archive - Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  9. ^ http://ysrnry.co.uk/ys3.htm
  10. ^ "Yie Ar Kung Fu". Ysrnry.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  11. ^ "Archive - Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  12. ^ "Archive - Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  13. ^ "Archive - Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  14. ^ "Archive - Magazine viewer". World of Spectrum. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 

External links[edit]