#353 – Kung-Fu

Punch and kick with honor.
Warning: does not contain any actual kung-fu.
I predict certain death.

PLAYERS: 1-2 alternating



GENRE: Action/Arcade

RELEASE DATE: October 1985

Kick, punch, it’s all in the mind. Or in Kung Fu‘s case, it’s all that you do. Kung Fu is one of the original NES launch titles, so don’t go into this expecting a wide array of technically impressive attacks. ‘A’ is punch, ‘B’ is kick, ‘Up’ is jump: be content with this and you will go far. Each stage sees you progressing either to the left or to the right, while piles of guys run at you, begging to be embraced by the lightning within you. Most guys you simply knock away with one hit, like so many abused punching balloons. Others, like the knife throwing guy and the short elven folk, require extra hits and a keen eye. To keep the game interesting, occasionally baubles filled with snakes will fall from the sky and dragons will appear, blow fire, then disappear. Each level has a boss whose difficulty ranges from “wait, that was it?” to “that bugger just took all my life with one hit!” The background graphics, music, and all-around gameplay are the same in every level, which is awesome if you’re a fan of repetition. I personally get sucked into Kung-Fu every time I play it, even though it’s incredibly dated and not that good of a game. For me, the speed at which the enemies advance towards you keep the game (mildly) interesting. I also have a score to settle: I have yet to make it past the large black guy at the end of the third level. There’s still two more levels! I want to save Sylvia from Mr. X! Even in ’85, Kung-Fu wasn’t Nintendo’s finest hour, but it was another solid addition to a surprisingly varied original lineup.


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7 replies on “#353 – Kung-Fu”

Nice review. BTW to kill the giant in level 3, first make sure you have at least 75% of your lifebar when you encounter him. Then walk towards him and hit him with a flying kick. If you do this correctly, you will damage him and landed very close to him, making him within the range of your punches. Immediately duck down and punch him repeatedly on the groin. Goodbye giant. Good Luck!

Thanks Ben! Yeah, I’ve noticed in previous bouts that a flying kick is key to getting a chunk of his life down, but he’s always killed me before I could hit him anymore. I guess I should train harder.

that depends on what is the Giant’s next move after you hit him with the flying kick. If he attack you with a punch, then you’ll KO him for sure with the groin punches, because your position will be lower than his punches, thus he will miss. But if he opt for a kick, he will catch you because you’re too close to avoid the kick. That’s why you need to have at least 75% of your lifebar when meeting this guy. Good luck!

Here’s the pattern to defeat the big strongman that I have yet to fail with: let him chase you until he eventually reaches his limit and waits for you, approach and give 1 regular kick followed immediately by a barrage of low kicks. The boss of level 4 (the old wizard) is much harder, (beat him with low punches)

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