Bruce Lee (video game)

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Bruce Lee
Bruce lee 01.gif
Commodore 64 title screen
U.S. Gold (CPC, Spectrum)
Comptiq (MSX)
Designer(s)Ron J. Fortier[1]
Artist(s)Kelly Day
Composer(s)John A. Fitzpatrick
Platform(s)Atari 8-bit (original)
MSX, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, BBC Micro, Commodore 64, IBM PC, Apple II, PC-88
Release1984: Atari, Apple, C64, IBM PC, PC-88
1985: Spectrum, BBC, MSX
1986: Amstrad CPC
Mode(s)Single player, Multiplayer

Bruce Lee is a video game designed by Ron J. Fortier, with graphics by Kelly Day and music by John A. Fitzpatrick. It was originally developed for the Atari 8-bit family and published in 1984 by Datasoft,[2][3] along with ports for the Apple II and Commodore 64.[4] Bruce Lee is a platform game hybrid, in which the player controls Bruce Lee. A second player controls either Yamo, or alternates with player one for control of Bruce Lee.

The game was converted to the ZX Spectrum[5] and Amstrad CPC[6] and published by U.S. Gold. An MSX version was published in 1985 by Comptiq.[7]


Screenshot of the ZX Spectrum port. Bruce and The Ninja are fighting at the bottom centre; Yamo is preparing to fall from the left-hand platform.

The plot involves the eponymous martial artist advancing from chamber to chamber in a wizard's tower, seeking to claim infinite wealth and the secret of immortality. There are twenty chambers, each represented by a single screen with platforms and ladders. To progress, the player must collect a number of lanterns suspended from various points in the chamber.

Most chambers are guarded by two mobile enemies; The Ninja, who attacks with a "bokken stick"[8] and The Green Yamo, a large unarmed warrior, visually styled as a sumo wrestler but attacking with punches and "crushing kicks". On platforms with sufficient graphics support, Yamo's skin is actually pictured as green, though in cover art he has a natural human skin tone.

A multiplayer mode allows a second player to control Yamo, or to allow two players to alternately control Bruce. If the player playing Yamo is inactive for a certain time, the computer takes over. The Ninja and Yamo are also vulnerable to the screen's dangers, but have infinite lives so they always return; whereas Yamo is consistently identified as a single person, one version of the manual implies that each reappearance of the ninja is a new individual, replacing the previous one.

Later chambers include more hazards such as mines and moving walls, as well as a "comb-like" surface that has an electric spark racing along it. Skillful walking, climbing, ducking and jumping are required to negotiate them. On the twentieth screen, Lee finally faces the evil Fire Wizard.


Review scores
Sinclair User4/5 stars[11]
Sinclair Programs75%[12]
ZX Computing4/5 stars[13]
CrashCrash Smash

The ZX Spectrum version of Bruce Lee received enthusiastic reviews. Computer Gaming World stated that the game "delivers all the foot kicking, kick jabbing, quick ducking action-packed adventure you'd expect from a good grade B, martial arts movie".[14] CRASH magazine awarded 91%, highlighting zesty graphics, enjoyable fighting action and addictivity.[15] Sinclair User also found the game enjoyable, awarding 4 out of 5 stars, but felt that sound was underused and a larger variety of tasks could have been included.[16] Your Spectrum were more critical, pointing out that it only takes a few games to complete all 20 chambers.[17]

In a 1990 retrospective, Your Sinclair found that Bruce Lee was still too easy to complete and the graphics had not aged well. In addition, it was felt that the fighting moves available to the player lacked impact and were too limited for a beat 'em up. However, it was described as a historically important game, being the first to combine the platform/collection and beat 'em 'up genres.[18] Home Computing Weekly praised the graphics and movement.[19]

On September 9, 2018 a speedrun game completion time of 5m42s was recorded on the ZX Spectrum via a Youtube livestream using the original 128k toastrack, this has been accepted by where some of the fastest completion runs on games are located, the speedrun is also available to see on youtube.


The game was included on the 1986 compilation They Sold a Million II,[20][21] along with Match Point, Match Day, and Knight Lore.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Hague, James. "The Giant List of Classic Game Programmers".
  2. ^ "Bruce Lee (article with Ron Fortier interview)". Retro Gamer. Imagine Publishing (145): 40–43. 2015. ISSN 1742-3155.
  3. ^ "Bruce Lee". Atari Mania. Retrieved 2007-09-26.
  4. ^ "Bruce Lee". Lemon 64. Retrieved 2007-09-26.
  5. ^ Bruce Lee at
  6. ^ "Bruce Lee by US Gold". CPCZone. Retrieved 2007-09-26.
  7. ^ "Bruce Lee (1985, Comptiq)". Generation-MSX. Retrieved 2007-09-26.
  8. ^ Bruce Lee game manual
  9. ^
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  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ Stone, David P. (June 1984). "Bruce Lee" (PDF). Computer Gaming World. Vol. 4 no. 3. pp. 31–32. Retrieved 2016-04-17.
  15. ^ "Bruce Lee review". CRASH (16). May 1985. Retrieved 2007-09-26.
  16. ^ Edgely, Clare (May 1985). "Spectrum Software Scene 2". Sinclair User (38). Archived from the original on 2007-11-05. Retrieved 2007-09-26.
  17. ^ "Joystick Jury". Your Spectrum (14). May 1985. Retrieved 2007-09-26.
  18. ^ "The YS Complete Guide To Beat-'em-ups". Your Spectrum (53). May 1990. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-09-26.
  19. ^
  20. ^ "They Sold a Million II - World of Spectrum". Retrieved 2015-09-05.
  21. ^ "They Sold a Million II for Amstrad CPC (1986) - MobyGames". Retrieved 2015-09-05.