Kung-Fu Master, known in Japan as Spartan X, is a 1984 beat 'em up arcade game developed and published in Japan by Irem. It was later published in North America by Data East. The Japanese version was based on the Jackie Chan movie Wheels on Meals, known as Spartan X in Japan, and credited 'Paragon Films Ltd., Towa Promotion', who produced the film upon which it was based. The game is considered by many to be the first beat 'em up video game, and contains elements of Bruce Lee's Game of Death.
The player takes the role of Thomas, a man in a Keikogi and slippers. Thomas's girlfriend, Sylvia, has been kidnapped by criminals, and Thomas must fight through five side-scrolling floors full of enemies to rescue her.
Kung-Fu Master (NES version)
Brutally summarized as 'rescue girlfriend – hit people', the US and UK version opens with the explanation, 'A kung-fu master, Thomas and Sylvia were attacked by some unknown guys. (Sylvia was kidnapped by them.)'
In this early beat 'em up, the player controls the main character, Thomas, with a joystick to move/jump/crouch and separate buttons to punch and kick. Either attack can be done from a standing, crouching or jumping position. Punches award more points than kicks and do more damage, but their range is shorter. Human enemies encountered by the player include Grippers, who can grab Thomas and drain his energy until shaken off; Knife Throwers, who can throw at two different heights and must be hit twice; and Tom Toms, short fighters who can either grab Thomas or somersault to strike his head when he is crouching. On even-numbered floors, the player must also deal with falling balls and pots, snakes, poisonous moths, fire-breathing dragons, and exploding confetti balls. The temple has five floors, each ending with a different boss who must be defeated before Thomas can climb the stairs to the next floor. Thomas must complete each floor within a fixed time; if time runs out or his energy is completely drained, he loses one life and must replay the entire floor. If a boss defeats Thomas, the boss laughs. Although there are five bosses, the game only uses two different synthesized laughs. (The NES port uses a third, high-pitched synthesized laugh for the Black Magician, the fourth-floor boss.) Once the player has completed all five floors, the game restarts with a more demanding version of the Devil's Temple, although the essential details remain unchanged. A visual indication of the current house is displayed on the screen. For each series of five completed floors, a dragon symbol appears in the upper-right corner of the screen. After three dragons have been added, the dragon symbols blink.
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The NES version of Kung-Fu Master (Spartan X) was originally controlled via the NES controller with a cross-shaped joypad and two action buttons. The basic description of game controls is summarized in the table below. Detailed description of how to play this game can be found a in the attached game manual. Please note that individual
gamepad buttons are emulated by different keys on your PC keyboard depending on the settings of your online emulator (see the table next to the game).
Using the D-pad, Thomas can walk left or right (←/→), jump (↑) or crouch (↓).
By pressing A button, Thomas punches.
By pressing B button, Thomas kicks.
Press SELECT on the title screen menu to choose level and number of players.
Use to start the game. Press during play to pause. Press again to resume play.
This version of Kung-Fu Master (Spartan X) was designed for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), which was an eight-bit video game console manufactured
by Nintendo in the years 1983 - 2003. In that time, it was the best-selling video game console for which more than 700 licensed games and a number of non-licensed
games were created. Worldwide, approximately 62 million units of this console were sold at approximately price $ 100 per unit. More information about the
NES console can be found here.
Recommended Game Controllers:
You can control this game easily by using the keyboard of your PC (see the table next to the game). However, for maximum gaming enjoyment, we strongly recommend using a USB gamepad that you simply plug into the USB port of your computer. If you do not have a gamepad, buy a suitable USB controller on Amazon or AliExpress or in some of your favorite online stores.
Available online emulators:
6 different online emulators are available for Kung-Fu Master (Spartan X). These emulators differ not only in the technology they use to emulate old games, but also in support of various game controllers, multiplayer mode, mobile phone touchscreen, emulation speed, absence or presence of embedded ads and in many other parameters. For
maximum gaming enjoyment, it's important to choose the right emulator, because on each PC and in different Internet browsers, the individual emulators behave differently. The basic
features of each emulator available for this game Kung-Fu Master (Spartan X) are summarized in the following table:
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