Battle of the Ports – Yie Ar Kung-Fu (イー・アル・カンフー) Show #217 – 60fps


Yie Ar Kung-Fu is a 1985 arcade fighting game
developed and published by Konami. Along with 1984’s Karate Champ, which influenced
Yie-Ar Kung Fu, it is one of the games that established the basis for modern fighting
games. Yie Ar Kung-Fu literally means “One Two Kung
Fu”. In the game you play as a Wong Jack Man-based
Kung Fu master named Oolong (renamed to Lee for the MSX and Famicom ports) Oolong must
fight all 11 of the martial arts masters to win the title of “Grand Master” and honor
the memory of his father. Oolong can make use of a variety of punch
and kick blows reachable by combining the joystick with one of the buttons (punch or
kick). He also has the greatest jumping ability of
all the game’s fighters, with the exception of “Blues”. With up to 16 different moves available, using
a combination of buttons and joystick movements while standing, crouching or jumping can be
quite confusing resulting is a tricky to master game. The Famicom version as you can see looks quite
different to the arcade game. Not only that but it also plays differently. I understand that this is a supposedly a classic
title but I’m sorry, this is a bad game. The collision detection is purely random. It’s as if the game decides when a hit is
counted purely on a lottery system. The controls are also unresponsive which doesn’t
help in fighting the cheap AI opponents. Not a good game by any stretch of the imagination. The MSX port has many differences from its
arcade counterpart just like the Famicom version. In fact the Famicom port is based upon this
MSX game. The first thing you’ll notice besides the
way the game looks is that the main character is now called Lee rather than Oolong. You also only face five opponents in this
version. Hehehe, this is a funny one. While I’m impressed that the Commodore 16
/ Plus 4 version does look like Yie Ar Kung-Fu and kind of attempts to play like it, I also
have to wonder if the developer of this port actually play tested it? The collision detection is mind boggling. I can’t tell if I’m hitting the enemy or if
they are hitting me. The life bar just depletes while I randomly
try any button and joystick direction combination possible. Some of the battles are unbelievably easy
too. The first round can be over in as little as
5 seconds! Commodore 64 fans received a port that looked
very respectable indeed however the same can’t be said about the game play. This is the PAL version of the game running
at 50htz but as you can see it’s pretty fast making the controls rather awkward. The AI is unbalanced and cheats. I ended up having to cheat myself just to
reach the 4th stage. Just check out how Chain man traps me. If I wasn’t cheating there’d be no way in
hell I could survive his attacks. There are two ports of Yie Ar Kung-Fu to the
Speccy so first let’s take a look at the 128k version. This port features some nicely sized sprites
and relatively detailed graphics. The colour clashing is quite annoying though. You will get over that in time and you will
find that this is a lot more playable than the Commodore 64 port. Sure, it’s missing the arcade presentation
but it does feature the first screen boss battle that the C64 omits. And here we are with the ZX Spectrum 48K version. This plays quite like its 128K big brother
however the AI in this port is rather dumb. It’s possible to beat most characters by constantly
hitting the attack button. You may have also noticed that the graphics
and audio are more basic in this port too. Not only that but its missing the end of the
first screen boss battle and Chain man is gone too. The Amstrad CPC port looks lovely with its
vivid colours and nice chunky sprites but as you’ve guessed it there is a problem. The game is awful to play. The controls are totally unresponsive. Even from this footage you can see that the
character looks as if he’s frozen in place at times. The game is also missing the end of area boss
and a few other characters. A surprisingly good looking port for the BBC Micro. Unfortunately I couldn’t get the joystick
to work and there didn’t seem to be any up or down controls via the keyboard. The Atari 8 bit line of computers received
the exact same version that appears on the Commodore 64 and that also means it has the
exact same problems. I imagine that this Acorn Electron port is
based upon the BBC Micro version. It is very similar in looks and sound. I also had the same problem getting the joystick
to work so I had to resort to playing with the keyboard. One thing that did make me laugh about this
version was Pole. He looks like a little kid! As part of Konami GB Collection Vol. 4, Yie
Ar Kung-Fu made its way on to the Game Boy Colour. This 2000 release features a version of the
game based upon the MSX / Famicom version rather than the arcade. It’s a pretty solid port overall although
the screen does scroll now due to the lower resolution of the Game Boy Colour. There are two hidden characters in Game Boy
Advance version which can be found on the Konami Collector’s Series. To access them, the player must input the
famous Konami Code at the title screen. The characters are available in the special
two-player mode found on this collection. The fighters are Bishoo (a woman dressed in
white who attacks with daggers) and Clayman (a living statue who attacks with a sword
bigger than Sword’s). Released for the Nintendo DS as part of the
Konami Classics Series: Arcade Hits, what we have here is an arcade perfect port. Sadly the game runs at an odd resolution which
results in this awful flicker. Playing the game on a real Nintendo DS does
not present this problem. Released on July 18th 2017 with updated graphics,
this Xbox 360 version was developed by Digital Eclipse. As we all know they are not the greatest when
it comes to retro ports. Some may like the new style of the graphics
while others may not. I particularly find the blur effect off-putting. Sadly you will not get to see much of this
port as I am not willing to pay for the full download version.

78 thoughts on “Battle of the Ports – Yie Ar Kung-Fu (イー・アル・カンフー) Show #217 – 60fps

  1. NES version is not cheap , its just you are not used to it, controls are butter for someone who had played in their childhood. Hit detection is spot on !!!

  2. Yie Er Kungfu, to be honest i dont know this game originally from Arcade, i more familiar with console version specially Nintendo console version.

  3. One i didn't know about….time to fire up mame. Many thanks mark

  4. Had the NES version and actually I didn't really had problems with this version honestly. Yeah, it takes a while to get use to and for the most time it's guaranteed that you'll lose against Tao while first time playing, but then again with a little practice, the rest of the challengers should be a cakewalk. Also, it's funny how in this version, Mu is the last guy you fight with, while in the original Arcade he's the very first opponent.

  5. I love Yie-Ar Kung-Fu Mark. I think I have all the Nintendo versions of it in my collection. I wouldn't made if Konami made another one. I still whistle to myself the music in the game.

    Nice work as always bro. Great choice of a game to start my Saturday.

    Anthony..

  6. I'm sorry, but the C64 version looks the best, and if you give the game more than the 10 minutes you gave it – than it also plays not bad at all…

  7. Woah, look at all those ports. I was a little late to this one but I think my view of it was tainted by some bad ports like the Famicom one. I'm not sure why nobody could make good 8-bit fighting games purely from a gameplay standpoint, seems god awful across the board at jumping, pulling off special moves, and hit boxes. Still if you try the first Street Fighter arcade game, damn is it stiff as hell. So GBA or DS FTW, or MAME heh.

  8. Used to play this on my Game Boy Advance all the time as a kid. It's surprised me how well it held up back then.

  9. Amazing video! Maybe the first 1vs1 beat em up in videogame history. Wow, the Xbox "updated" version is really awful, pixel art always wins.

  10. I remember that that cpc version was not so jerky…it used to be fun playing this game back in the day. So it might be emulator problem! Apart from that…nice video as always!!! 🙂

  11. What does it means exactly on the ZX Spectrum when they say 48k, 128k, etc? Does it refer to the games file size or something like that?

  12. The CPC is strong in the graphics department. Its too bad so many of the CPC games dont show it. This one does, though!

  13. I really liked this on the Andreas back when I was a kid. It was one of my favourite games on the system. I’m a little sad you don’t think much of it but I can see why. I remember being locked in place by consecutive enemy attacks being a pain back then too but outside those situations it feeling fine to play.

    Anyhow, it’s better than most Andreas versions shown on your video series so that’s something I suppose.

  14. Wait, theres still games made for the Xbox 360?

    It would've made sense to release that on the Xbox One instead.

  15. Yie Ar Kung-Fu is one of those strange games where it seems to be popular, but I don't know why – the arcade original looked and sounded cool, but was very hard and that just made it not fun to me.

  16. As always with conversions of japanese games made in England, the C64 versions looks the part but does not really play it. Anyways, I remember somehow enjoying it back in the day. Probably having a lot of time to practice and not using emulators with their inherent input lag helped a bit back then.

  17. Mega like! Finally one of my favourite fighting games of all time. Despite of it's playability, Nintendo included the Famicom version in the Famicom Classic Mini, and I included it in my NES Classic Mini via hakchi2. The hit box of the game is broken, but still love it xD

  18. Poles made (And still are) lots of homebrew arcade conversions for Atari 8-bit computer, it was first computer for many of us, back in late 80's 🙂 Wonder why they deided to make MSX (and Famicom/NES) version so much different than the arcade?

  19. This game was one of the first games i saw when I saw the Famicom for the very first time when I visited Japan and my parents made me go to school there for the summer. A bunch of new friends I just met would invite me over to play the latest games on the famicom – really thought it was a magical machine back then. I remember everyone was collecting erasers shaped like mini famicom cartridges – wish I kept them!

  20. I was waiting for this episode. Unfortunately, I'm extremely disappointed. Some comments on the gameplay are severely influenced by the lack of a proper emulator or a congruous playtime. That's too bad 'cause this show is running for a long time now and I always find it fascinating.

  21. Look for me, the GBA is the best console version… But I think could be a good version or remake in the 16bit consoles, a remake one could be play why the other characters like the actual fighting games.

  22. Nice video as always, man! Yet, I can't help but feel bugged at how bad at the Famicom/MSX/GB release you are, it's just that you said that the hit detection was off made me question how the game works because I had no problem with it, but it IS hard as hell

  23. Its really funny How the ports developed by the creators of the game (Konami) are the ones that most differ from the original game.
    That said, the collisions detection on NES and MSX versions isn't random. I haven't played the nes version too much, but I could reach level 25 of the MSX and I can tell you it wasn't a random mash of buttons. There is a certain distance you need to hit each one of the moves.
    MSX also got Yie-Ar Kung-Fu 2, which was also ported for other systems. It adds a few more stuff to the game, but Lee now has LESS moves and the difficulty is really ramped up, I like 2 less than I like 1 (but it was a fav among my friends because of the welcomed 2 players mode 🙂 )

  24. Another one of my favs, my cousin had this compilation cartridge for the nes with like 250 games on it and this was one of the games that I use to play all day. Also use to play mappy and city connection on the same cartridge. The konami collection for gba has a good port.

  25. there was also a coleco vision port made by opcode games. It's basicly the msx port with some extra polish including a versus mode. quite impressive considering the hardware.

  26. Im heard this game on C64 was quite buggy in the cracked version release. Im (or brother) did do have the original tape version (which im newer heard about the arcade in its time at all). Yes, some enemies can been hard, but they are all possible to beat and even become quite easy (and you get a lots of extra lives in this game). Its not the best game, no, but its does have a great soundtrack.

  27. Great comparisons! Yie Ar Kung-Fu for the Xbox 360 also contains the original arcade graphics and this game is also available in Konami Arcade Classics for the PlayStation.

  28. Was my first taste of Japanese gaming period, and my first Msx computer game and my first time experiencing a fighting game ever, thanks for the amazing video as it really made my day and brought up so many good memories.

  29. I really loved this & Karate Champ back then.. Street Fighter def gets way too much credit.. Konami needs to bring the series back..

  30. Famicom version, my childhood ;______; thanks! Keep it up!
    Question: name of the song at the end of the video?

  31. The first "real" fighting game. You had to master the technique for each character. Each one had a unique style and weakness which you had to exploit or you were dead after a round or two. It was really popular when it came out in the arcades. I remember people lining up to play it. Not sure what happened to the famicom / msx versions.

  32. Wow, I used to play this on my Electron, so it was great seeing it again over 30 years later. And now you've ruined my day by reminding me how old I am haha!!! (I was born in 74) Love your channel, it's so great for nostalgia plus no one ever includes the Acorn Electron in comparison, so it's great that you do.

  33. You are very wrong about the NES version.
    Its a very good and enjoyable game and always included in famiclone collections along with Super Mario,Galaga,Contra etc.

  34. That's right Mark. Sadly, when to deal with the public, there's bound to be negativity lurking around.

    Anthony..

  35. HIYAAA! THERE, HERE'S YOUR KUNG FU WORD EVERYONE CALM DOWN, YOU HEARD IT DON'T ASK AGAIN! (Kicks a 500 feet tall brick wall by 1 kick without damage)

  36. That one I played A LOT on the arcade and NES 🙂 but yeah, both had strange controllers and they were good for that time, but they didn't aged very well, especially the controllers.

  37. The Speccy port of Yie Ar Kung Fu is something I hold close to my heart as it was the first ever game I had ever played and I was 4 years old at the time. The Speccy port is the game that introduced me into the world of Computer and Video games and I am still a gamer to this day. What is your first ever game you played?

  38. I could be mistaken, but I seem to recall getting to the second set of fighters on the C64 version without cheating.

  39. Hey Mark,

    The Neo-Geo Mini has been officially announced. Have a look bro.

    http://atariage.com/forums/topic/223548-the-official-neo-geo-thread/page-588

    Anthony..

  40. Interesting feelings you have about it Mark. I really hope its not going to be a NGX all over again….Welp, wishing it the best. But preparing for the worse. *^)

    Thank you for looking Mark. Keep it up.. 8^)

    Anthony..

  41. Many say this and Karate Champ arcades were influential to Street Fighter series. Karate Champ was developed by former Data East employees working at Technos Japan for Data East before they became independent, then merged with Arc System Works.

    The one designer who created Street Fighter was also responsible for Moon Patrol and Kung-Fu Master arcades.

    Bruce Lee was very influential to not just video games, but anime and others as well. One or more of his films was used as the basis of Mortal Kombat's setting and theme. Even Liu Kang was the protagonist, but many die hard MK fans prefer the ninjas Scorpion and Sub-Zero just for their iconic moves.

    A possible spiritual successor to Yie Ar Kung-Fu was Konami's Martial Champion. In fact, Jin the protagonist, resembles Lee as he appears in Famicom and GBC versions, but with a headband and similarities to Ryu from Street Fighter series.

  42. Obviously the arcade version is best, but I used to love this on the C64 back in the day. I was even able to beat it; you just need to git gud. ;). The AI did cheat though, especially Pole.

    I didn't know this got a DS release either. I might have to pick it up. And finally, like a lot of modern remakes of retro games, the 360 version looks bland and soulless.

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