When I think about Kung Fu on the NES, I think of how much time I spent with the game. Around 10 minutes of basicness just flooded my mind. I continued to play it more and more and no matter what happened, I was doing the same thing over and over. Kung Fu was the birth of my love of beat em ups. So why is this game not a moment for me?
Well, that’s easy. Black Belt on Sega Master System was a better game. Moving only to the right with no going back, jumping high in the air, getting energy and invincibility, and actually doing a dropkick on enemies. When I got to bosses, I had to figure out the patterns on how to beat them and it was longer than Kung Fu. It didn’t a lot of music and was quite dull in some areas but it offered enough fun and challenge I never received from Kung Fu.
In Kung Fu, you went right to left and vice versa when you go up to the next level. Respawning thugs and animals would appear and attack you. With using a punch, kick, footsweep, and nut punches, all you had to do was do one of those attacks. You get your points and continue walking. If they touch you, they stick to you and you lose health. You read that right. If they touch you, they stick to you. No Mega Man or Castlevania hit back. They just stick to you.
I would make sure that didn’t happen and when I had my fill of this game, I was done. Forever. I would never return to this game and although there wasn’t an official sequel, I didn’t want or hope for one.
The Arcades gave me Vigilante and I thought it was a sequel. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. Soon, I come to know the evolution of beat em ups with Final Fight, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game, Streets Of Rage 1 and 2, X-Men, Metamorphic Force, Sengoku 3, Dungeons And Dragons, Power Rangers on SNES, and way better and distinct games. Kung Fu disappeared from my memory.
I happen to fall on a Playthrough on Youtube about Kung Fu and I sat there and watch it. It doesn’t hold and I can’t believe as a kid, this game was the reason for me to get into the genre. Something so boring and easy got me into a genre that gave me some of the best games in video game history. We don’t even speak or think about Kung Fu, but if we mention turtles, or Konami, or anything from the 80’s and 90’s, Kung Fu doesn’t even come up in a discussion.
It’s a sad thing but if I have no interest in this game anymore. Kung Fu should’ve been impactful for me as a kid. It was no Double Dragon. It wasn’t even up the quality of Black Belt. It’s a moment in my life that’s faded away and guess what? I’m good with that.