NES Fighting Games – Nate’s RetroPlays

In this video, we are going to take a look at some fighting games for the Nintendo Entertainment System. And don’t get confused, I am not talking about ‘beat ‘em ups’ or ‘brawlers’ like Double Dragon.  No, I am talking about 1 on 1 fighting games, similar to more modern titles such as your Street Fighters’, Mortal Kombats’ or Tekkens’. These games were simple in design, and in ambition, but filled a part of the gaming market with fun games of competition.

Urban Champion

Urban Champion was developed by Nintendo and released in Japan in 1984.  The game later went onto be released in the arcade in 1985 as Vs. Urban Champion.  In 1986, North America and Europe were given their release of the game.

The game is a 1 or 2 player fighting game were the object is to knock the other fighter into an open manhole. There is a time limit to each bout and each fighter has a limited stamina count. Every action and hit depletes your stamina which leads bit of strategy when planning attacks.  Additionally, there is an occasional flower pot thrown from window to dodge which when hit, costs the player 5 stamina points and will daze the fighter temporarily.

The fighters are Mike and Mark, and as was common practice at the time, they were just palette swaps of the same sprite. Fighters have a slow and fast punch. The slow punch is telegraphed and easier to block, but does more damage than the fast punch. If the player can win enough fights, they will become the “Urban Champion”!

Karate Champ

Karate Champ for the Nintendo Entertainment System is a port of an arcade game developed by Technos Japan for Data East. It was released in North America in 1986 just as we were riding high on the Karate Kid excitement.

Gameplay consists of two karate fighters, one in a white Gi and one in a red Gi, fighting on a 2 dimensional stage. Different moves are executed via pressing different directions on the d-pad in conjunction with the A or B button. Each fight is a ‘best of 3’ format. A bonus stage is between each fight, where the player had to dodge flying objects.

The game is 1 or 2 players and this port is often considered inferior, often frustrating, when compared to the arcade original. That said, fun can be had with this classic title.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Tournament Fighters

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Tournament Fighters for the Nintendo Entertainment System was released in 1990 by Konami. It is one of their last games released for the system.  It is also notable as it is one of the only true fighting games released on the NES during the fighter game craze of the early 90s.

Game play consists of both single player arcade mode and a 2 player versus mode.  The single player mode revolves around the 4 turtles competing to see who is the best to take on Shredder and his gang. After fighting each other, the turtles take on various characters from the TMNT franchise.

Most of your standard fighting game mechanics are present, but there is an occasional bonus red orb drop from Splinter that allows a special power up to the player that gets it and inputs the correct command.

Overall this game, although not perfect, was well received and is pretty much the closest thing to Street Fighter 2 that you will find on the NES.

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About RetroGamingDev

Follow me on Twitter: #GeekDad who is super into #videogames, most specifically with #retrogaming. Learning #GameDev, developing @100HeartsGame! Contact at: retrogamingdev - AT -

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