|Developer:||Konami|||||Release Date:||1985|||||Systems:||It's all over the place|
Today's 'Y' game on Super Adventures is arcade classic Yie Ar KUNG-FU!
In Chinese the title means 'One Two Kung-Fu'... or perhaps '12 Kung-Fu' I suppose. I wouldn't really know, as my understanding of Chinese is even worse than my knowledge of Japanese. Though one thing I do know is that this is likely one of the most influential games ever made, as it basically kicked off the 1 vs. 1 fighting game genre when it hit arcades way back in 1985. That's two years before Street Fighter 1!
Okay there were a quite a few other games that introduced important elements of the genre, like Sega's 1976 version of Heavyweight Champ, Data East's Karate Champ and Nintendo's Urban Champion, but Yie Ar Kung-Fu has the proper health bars, the varied cast, the freedom of movement, the punch and kick buttons... nearly all of the basics in one place. I suppose its greatest gift to the fighting game genre though, was to prove that you don't have to have 'Champ' in the title to be successful, because otherwise today we'd be talking about games like Ultimate Marvel vs. Champcom 3, Champgirls, Guilty Champ Xrd, Melty Champ: Champtress Again Current Champ, and Street Fighter II' Champion Edition.
Yie Ar Kung-Fu came out for a million different systems, but I'd hit my arbitrary word count limit just listing them all so I'll be sticking exclusively to the arcade version this time around. My plan is to give it an hour or so, fail a few (dozen) times, then finish off by blaming the game for all my mistakes.
For a second though I assumed this was the character select, but that was apparently an innovation too far at this point. I'm always stuck playing as the same guy, even in two player. It doesn't even do a Ryu/Ken style palette swap; it doesn't have to as the two players would never end up facing each other, instead they'd take turns fighting the AI alone.
Wow, I almost missed the "Hot Fighting History" text on the top of the screen. Seems that sexy historical combat awaits.
I'd give you the blow by blow and explain my strategy, but truth is I was just hammering buttons until the other guy fell over.
Mortal Kombat. Man... I wish they'd called him something like Wulong instead of Oolong. No one should be expected to carry that many 'o's at the start of their name.
I was thrown off by the combat at first as neither of the buttons seemed to do anything. It took me a second to figure out that Oolong refuses to punch or kick unless I also pull a direction while I'm pressing the button.
Oolong's got a surprising number of moves available to him, which should let me send his fists or feet precisely where I want them to be... just as soon as I memorise what each direction combination does (and there's a lot of them). Or maybe I'll just pick one or two moves I like and rely on them instead.
I beat Star here on my first attempt too, but it was a much closer fight this time around as she brought weapons with her! It seems that someone neglected to send Buchu and Oolong the memo explaining that they're apparently allowed (and encouraged) to bring weapons to this tournament. We could've bought an axe!
Next up is Nuncha... I wonder what he'll be armed with.
Alright that's the first three fighters down, time to move up to the next tier and reveal the first mystery boss.
Amazingly my plan (eventually) worked a second time, as I clawed this one back and scored a victory by hammering the button and using the same move over and over. Man I'm going to be in real trouble when I come up against an opponent who can withstand my spam.
Though now that I think about it I've only got Feedle left and I'm done here. You might actually witness me beating a fighting game here for the first time in my site's history, and it's only the start of January.
It might look like I'm spamming moves randomly here, but I'm doing my best to play it properly! It's still using fighting game movement rules though, where Oolong automatically turns to face his opponent, so all my moves come out wrong when he decides to hit the guy behind him instead
And... I'm done here! And done with the game too I think.
Crap, there's a whole other board of fighters for me to defeat! And somehow I get the feeling that Masterhand History is going to be a lot tougher than Sexy Hot History was.
I probably would've done better in that fight against Chain if I hadn't kept kicking the bloody chain! Man, that particular move seems so useless it's almost as if they threw it in to punish players who just hit directions at random. When am I ever going to need to attack the exact spot where my own head would be?
Okay, I need to stop relying on my instincts and figure this thing out. What would a fighting game player be telling me to try if they were watching over my shoulder? Actually better yet, what would Twitch chat be yelling at me if I was streaming this?
Hmmmmmmmm... wow, maybe I should just stand still and let him hit me. Thanks you imaginary assholes!
Hey, does this mean I'm finally learning how to learn how to play fighting games now?
I've got plenty of credits left, but using one brings me back to the very first fight against Buchu, so I think I'll walk away now.
Yie Ar Kung-Fu was an important game back in the mid-80s, but fighting games in the eighties were all (to be brutally honest) kinda crap. Experts in the field of video game design experimented tirelessly throughout the decade, inventing and refining all the components they'd need in order to eventually assemble a proper fighting game, but it wasn't until the release of Street Fighter II in 1991 that we finally saw what they were working towards.
Though saying that, you could probably still get some entertainment out of this today as long as you're not expecting blocks, special moves, unlockable playable characters, playable characters in general, fatalities, babalities, two player versus mode, a story, bonus rounds, round 2, combos, cancels, counters, Kombat Kodes, practice mode, charge attacks, strong attacks, weak attacks, duo team attacks, unmotivated automobile destruction, a timer, stage transitions, interactive backgrounds, QCF+P, sweeps, stuns, super gauges, guard break, post-battle smack talk, air juggling, parrying, throws or an announcer yelling "ULTRAAAAA COMBOOOOO". It does have a stage where you fight your evil twin though, so there's that.
It's fast, responsive, there's plenty of attacks, it's visually appealing (for 1985) and the sound's not all that bad either. The game's just really basic, with tiny little sprites, and I couldn't really figure out what I was suppose to do beyond leaping out of danger and trying to get a hit in when I could. Then again fighting games are a mystery to me in general so please ignore all my opinions.
Or you could just try to guess the next 'Y' game I suppose. Good luck with that though, I've made it nearly impossible to figure out this time.