Kung Fu

Kung-Fu Master is a side-scrolling beat ’em up game produced by Irem as arcade game in 1984 and distributed by Data East in North America. The game was initially released in Japan under the title of Spartan X[a] as a tie-in based on the Jackie Chan film Wheels on Meals (which was also distributed under the name Spartan X in Japan); however, the game has no bearing on the plot of the film outside the names of the main protagonist and his girlfriend, allowing Irem to export the game without the license by simply changing the title.

The players control Thomas, the titular Kung-Fu Master, as he fights his way through the five levels of the Devil’s Temple in order to rescue his girlfriend Sylvia from the mysterious crime boss Mr. X. Kung-Fu Master is regarded as the first beat ’em up video game. It had a NES port titled Kung Fu, which sold 3.5 million cartridges. The arcade game also inspired a 1988 French film of the same name.


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