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Yie Ar Kung-Fu Kicks Into Arcades – Today in History – January 2nd, 1985

Wow what a trip down arcade gaming memory lane this is. Yie Ar Kung Fu video arcade fighting game turns 31 years this month. It is credited by many in the industry as “THE” fighting game,  the one that all other karate, kung fu and fighting games have followed since. Translated, Yie Ar Kung Fu means “One Two Kung Fu”.  It was developed and published by Konami in 1985 and was an instant video arcade game success.

You play the Kung Fu character “Oolong”, your objective is to defeat with your bare hands and feet, all kung fu styled enemy who stand in your way of becoming the Grand Master. Weekend trips to the video arcade saw me standing in line for hours just to have a couple of games of Yie Ar Kung Fu, it was the only arcade game you wanted to be seen playing at the time, yup it was that much of a “rush”.

Simply put playing Yie Ar Kung Fu “Rocked” the whole arcade –

Coolest kung fu character sprites of the time.

One on One fights held behind a background.

Smooth fast gameplay.

Lots of levels of difficulty with a variety of enemy to defeat.

Flying through the air just as in famed asian kung fu movies to surprise your enemy.

Upto 16 multiple maneuvers at fast speeds, using combination of buttons and joystick.

Many of the character moves were incredible, never seen before 1985 in arcade gaming.

Enemy characters that included women and enemies with different skill sets such as “chain”, “tonfa”, “Sword” had never been fought one on one before 1985.

The “perfect” score if you defeat your enemy without being hit yourself.

A tune that stuck in your head after you stopped playing it.

and of course that one more go addiction to complete it.

Such was the success of Yie Ar Kung Fu at the video game arcades, it was quickly adapted and converted to home computers by Ocean / Imagine in the same year, appearing on all major platforms of the time – Amstrad CPC, MSX, BBC, Sprectrum, C64, Famicom / NES, and Acorn.

It received critical high acclaim from home computing gaming magazine reviewers at the time, issue 4 of Amstrad Action gave it an overall 92% and issue 3 of Amtix even higher overall rating of 96%, however most home computer versions were not 100% accurate of the arcade version.

Yie Ar Kung Fu, reached number 2 on the overall U.K. home computer sales charts of 1986. With its success, it spawned a sequel called Yie Ar Kung Fu – Shao Lin’s Road, this however was a home computer only release, taking a different approach to the original arcade game style of play, resulting in a very poor game.

In 2010, Yie Ar Kung Fu arcade was made available on Microsoft’s Game Room service for its Xbox 360 console and Windows-based PCs.

If you are wanting to relive those great arcade memories with Yie Ar Kung-Fu then why not check Ebay for a great deal?  Your purchase helps us keep moving forward and writing.

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