Kung Fu for the 8-bit Nintendo was a first generation game. It was released in 1985, just before the Nintendo craze of 1986 - and it shows. It's old. But that doesn't mean it isn't fun. While it's not a game that you can play for weeks on end (or even hours) and not get bored, there's something about it that many older gamers love. Maybe it's partly because it's simple. Maybe because it's really easy. Maybe it's just me. I put it in my machine last night (yup - it still works!) and immediately died on the first boss. Less than ten minutes later I had beaten it already. And damn, it was a fun ten minutes!

The plot is typical for early Nintendo games:
The girlfriend, Sylvia, of the hero, Thomas, has been kidnapped by a bad guy (The evil Mr. X) and he must rescue her by fighting through a number of levels (5).

Thomas uses his fighting techniques to defeat the enemies and bosses of each level.
These are:

  • Directional pad: Makes Thomas move left or right, jump straight up, left or right, or crouch.
  • A Button: Punch. Thomas can punch while standing, jumping, or crouching. The jump punch has little practical use since it cannot hit standing enemies. You gain more points by punching enemies because of its short range.
  • B Button: Kick. Thomas can kick while standing, jumping, or crouching. The crouching kick is a foot sweep. You gain fewer points from kicking enemies than you do by punching them, since the kick has a longer range.
Exerpts from the instruction manual
  • Stick Fighter (1st Floor Boss)
    Dangerous to approach unprepared as he whirls his stick around

  • Boomerang Fighter (2nd Floor Boss)
    He throws boomerangs. Work out the flying pattern of the boomerangs

  • Giant (3rd Floor Boss)
    As strong as Hercules. His movements are slow but his power is enormus. Watch out for that killer punch!

  • Black Magician (4th Floor Boss)
    He can grow back parts of his body and perform other amazing tricks. He can even grow another head when severed. Just what kind of attack will work on him?

  • The Gang Leader, Mr. X (5th Floor Boss)
    Master of all the martial arts, he's the strongest man in the castle. As he uses all techniques, fighting with him is a dealy contest

  • The Gripper
    Lots of them come to get Thomas. No specific techniques.

  • Knife Thrower
    He throws knives aimed right at Thomas.

  • Tom Toms
    They come to get Thomas. They are liable to turn in mid-air and attack.

  • Dragon Ball
    Drops from ceiling.

  • Dragon
    Attacks by breathing fire.

  • Confetti Ball
    Drops from ceiling. Before it can burst, attack it!

  • Snake Basket
    Drops from the ceiling.

  • Snake
    Emerges from the snake basket. Jump to avoid being bitten.

  • Poisonous Moth
    When it comes flying toward you, attack it!