Way of the Exploding Fist

Way of the exploding fist was the first beat 'em up even though, being the first, the term was not invented at that point.(In fact beat 'em up is an addaption of shoot 'em up). When it came out WotEF was way ahead of it's time. In a gaming world where one or two weopons were the norm WotEF gave you several attacks:
  • reverse punch
  • rabbit punch
  • nealing punch
  • low kick
  • mid kick
  • high kick
  • front sweep
  • back sweep
  • round house
  • high back kick
  • jumping kick

It also featured auto blocking and somersaults.

Unlike Street Fight, which came along later, in WotEF the idea was that if you got a minor hit on your opponent then you would get one half of a yin yang symbol . If you hit them hard then you would get a whole one. After each hit the game stopped while the players composed themselves. When you got 2 complete yin yang symbols you could proceed to your next belt and a harder opponent.

Why, then, is Street Fighter so much more well known? Well, SF had more gimmicks(it gets the credit for inventing special moves and the power bar and intoducing various different characters) and better graphics, WotEF being a home computer based game while SF was based firmly in arcade machines.

WotEF lives on in the hearts of ex ZX Spectrum owners everywhere(particularly those with emulators)

Released for C64 by Beam Software and Melbourne House in 1985.

I had two karate games for Commodore 64. International Karate and The Way of the Exploding Fist.

Personally, I thought IK was better what came to the way the moves worked. (But then again, maybe I was just more used to IK's moves.)

Yet, TWotEF was very, very good graphically - even though IK was pretty nice too. It was one of the most beautiful C64 games I've ever played - Last Ninja 2 went easily past it, though, both graphics and sound-wise. Speaking of sounds, TWotEF easily beats IK - it has sound samples. The screams of the combatants didn't sound too good, but the impact of a perfect kick was a joy to ears. *THWACK* *thump*

TWotEF has a lot of interesting subgames: dodging thrown objects, fighting a charging bull, and stuff like that.

TWotEF had an endorsement from Jeoffrey Thompson, a world karate champion, in the packaging backside. The game was programmed by Gregg Barnett¹.

(With games as good as these, I wonder why the heck I thought NES version of Kung Fu Master was so cool? Some things don't make sense later on...)

¹ This may be speculation, but this may be a case of "last letter doubling syndrome" that was going on in the golden age of C64. (A more famous person who did this was Benn Daglish.)

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