Yie Ar Kung Fu
Copyright/Publisher: Imagine, Programmer: Dave Collier,
Graphics: Steve Wahid, Musician: Martin Galway, Release Year: 1985,
Genre: Fighting Sports, Number Of Players: 1 or 2
After many months of delay Imagine's conversion of the Konami arcade game Yie Ar Kung Fu finally makes
it to the Commodore. All the features of the original are included, with the same ten opponents, control
method and backdrops.
Like most arcade games, the scenario is a very simple one. Taking the role of Oolong the kung fu fighter, you
have to salvage the honour of your family by becoming a master of the martial arts. This is achieved by taking
on and bettering ten vicious opponents, who are all rather weird and range from a petie, but very violent
fanthrowing female to a chainwielding jellified fatty.
Oolong, being rather good at kung fu bit, has 16 special moves to confound, confuse and generally damage his
opponents. These are all accessible via combinations of joystick directions and the fire button, a similar
method to that used on Way of the Exploding Fist.
Some of the moves like roundhouse, flying kick and leg sweep will be pretty familiar to kung fu fans, but
others such as the flying punch, stride punch and ground kick open new grounds in fighting tactics. For every
kick of punch on target points are awarded, 500 points for the most simple moves up to 2.000 points for a well
executed flying kick. Every 20.000 points a new life is awarded.
When a round starts each fighter is given a certain amount of energy, shown on-screen as a bar. When you get a
hit an eighth of your energy is lost. After the eighth hit poor old Oolong loses one of his five lives and has
to face the same opponent again.
The opponents' energy bars work in the same way and if you manage to hit them eight times then Oolong is
declared the winner, his energy level is restored and he goes on to fight the next, more vicious opponent.
Each of the ten combatants has an individual fighting style and different fighting strategies are needed in
order to win. On later levels the opponents carry weapons - swords, chains, clubs, fans, sticks and throwing
stars which have to be avoided, either by jumping or ducking.
All this while trying to beat off the usual melee of kicks and punches thrown at you!
The final opponent is a real toughie - he's your clone, only faster and stronger that you! If you manage to
bash him in then Oolong finally becomes a kung fu master and his family's honour is restored once more. Then
he has to challenge the same ten opponents, only this time they're meaner and faster.
This has all of the features of the arcade game, but unfortunelately it doesn't play as well as the original.
The graphics aren't particularly brilliant and only just capture the atmosphere of its arcade counterpart.
In terms of playability Yie Ar suffers, sometimes Oolong seems to have a mind of his
own and doesn't perform the move you want him to.
It's certainly a difficult and challenging version, and becoming a kung fu master will take
some doing. If you like the sound of this game, or liked the arcade version then it's worth
taking a look at.
I expected the 64 conversion of the superb arcade original to be better than the rest,
but it's not - the Amstrad version is superior without a doubt. Admittedly, comparisons
shouldn't be made, but Yie Ar Kung Fu on the 64 is not a good game to play.
I didn't enjoy it at all. Graphically, it isn't too hot either. The sprites look small
and puny and I don't like the way they 'slide' across the screen. However, the
backdrops are quite pleasant. Mr Galway's soundtrack is neat, although not
outstanding and the sound effects are very nice.
Yie Ar Kung Fu could quite easily have been the best of the genre, but unfortunelately it
isn't. Basically, disappointing.
Yie Ar Kung Fu is yet another conformist safe money spinner designed to cash in on
the latest lad for the beat em up. And it's just as dull as all the others. As games
of this type go I suppose it's all right, if offers new challenge for all those into
The graphics are of an average sort though the sprites seem to float about as opposed
to realistically moving. Sonically it's all very competent as well, though it really
is a bit naughty to take a chunk out of Jarre's 'Magnetic Fields' for the title screen
music. Do Rocksoft know? I don't like this game though I'm sure most Fist devotees will