Arcade game flyer
|Release date(s)||July 1984
|Mode(s)||Up to 2 players simultaneously|
|Display||Vertical orientation, Raster, standard resolution (Used: 224 x 256)|
Karate Champ, known in Japan as Karate Dō (空手道 "The Way of the Empty Hand"?), is a 1984 arcade fighting game developed by Technōs Japan for Data East. It is credited with establishing and popularizing the one-on-one fighting game genre. A variety of moves could be performed using the dual-joystick controls, using a best-of-three matches format like later fighting games, and it featured training bonus stages. It went on to influence Konami's Yie Ar Kung Fu and other fighting games.
Gameplay consists of a two dimensional fight between Karate characters wearing white and red gi, followed by various bonus rounds for the successful player. This pattern repeats itself in the next, more challenging round set against a new background. Unlike most later fighter-type games, there are no health bar or hit points. A hit successfully landed ends the round and earns the player or his opponent either one point or half point (along with a numeric score for the top ten but this has no effect on winning a match per se). The first to score two points is the winner. If the player loses a battle, the game ends. The game also featured some early speech synthesis, in which the judge would call out such phrases as "Fight!" or "Winner!" It's also spoken in Japanese in the Japanese version.
Player vs. Player edition
Karate Champ — Player vs Player (対戦空手道 美少女青春編 Taisen Karate Dō: Bishōjo Seishun Hen?, "The Competitive Way of the Empty Hand: Pretty Maiden Edition") is a sequel to Karate Champ that was released for the arcades shortly after the original during the same year. Like its predecessor, it was published by Data East, but it is unclear if it was developed by Technos or by Data East.
The sequel is very similar to the original in the sense that they use the same hardware, have the same sprites and title screen, and the play mechanics are essentially the same although the computer AI is greatly improved along with control and hit detection. Whereas the original game started with the first level taking place at a dojo and all the following levels taking place at a tournament stadium, Player vs Player has the characters fighting it out over girls at locations around the world.
The NES version was developed in-house by Data East USA and released in North America on November 1986. This version was inspired by the Player VS. Player edition of the arcade game. The port was later released in Japan for the Disk System on July 22, 1988, but never made it to the cartridge-based Family Computer. Data East published this version of the game, both in North America and Japan.
Publisher Data East brought suit against Epyx alleging copyright infringement for its game World Karate Championship. The case went to the ninth circuit court. It was held that the typical purchaser of the games would not find them substantially similar.
According to Twin Galaxies, Jack Gale, of North Miami Beach, Florida, USA, scored a world record 259,800 points on Karate Champ, on June 28, 1987, during the 1987 Video Game Masters Tournament.
Ahoy! wrote that the Commodore 64 version "isn't quite as electrifying as the arcade version, but it's an entertaining action-strategy test". The magazine concluded that "The learning curve is steep, but ... When the joysticks are in the hands of two practiced gamers, it is one of the most exciting games to hit the computer screen in a long time".
- Data East v. Epyx, 862 F. 2d 204, 9 U.S.P.Q.2d (BNA) 1322 (9th Cir. 1988).
- Ryan Geddes & Daemon Hatfield (2007-12-10). "IGN's Top 10 Most Influential Games". IGN. Retrieved 2009-04-14.
- "Data East and Capcom Settle their Disputes". Electronic Gaming Monthly (Ziff Davis) (66): 68. January 1995.
Data East created the one-on-one fighting game genre in the 1980s with Karate Champ ...
- Hodapp, Eli (2010-05-07). "Classic Fighter 'Karate Champ' Gameplay Video Released". Retrieved 2010-05-07.
- Katz, Arnie (January 1986). "Karate Champ". Ahoy!. pp. 53–54. Retrieved 2 July 2014.