Yie Ar Kung Fu – NES

Once in a while, we need to indulge in the simpler pleasures of life. For me, the Nintendo Entertainment System is the epitome of simplicity. While its games are facile in execution and concept – shallow (and sometimes nonsensical) plots with little in terms of gameplay complexity and without dozens of button configurations to remember; its legacy has not gone unnoticed even in this age and time. It could have been better with a two-player mode whereby either player could choose their respective combatants and it would be a pretty interesting match-up.

Building upon a very simple premise of a kung fu fighting video game, the folks at Konami brought us this trifle called ‘Yie Ar Kung Fu’ for the NES way back in 1985.

Yie-Ar Kung Fu 

The protagonist in this game is called ‘Lee’ – a name as ubiquitous as Billy and Jimmy Lee of the ‘Double Dragon’ fame or Bruce Lee. Just Lee, thanks.

For some reason, Lee chooses to fight topless, which is possibly another homage to Bruce Lee during moments when the latter got his yellow suit torn to shreds by white men with sharp razor claws.

Lee has a rather limited set of skills at his disposal. He could punch opponents for 100 points (not recommended); kick (for 200 points); and jump kick (for 300 points). The last of this is predictably the hardest to pull off and obviously the most rewarding because that’s what kung fu fighting’s mostly about.

yie ar kung fu flying kick

Note that you cannot jump punch in this game.

Lee challenges the following people in order to win the accolade of being able to strike the gong at the top of the arena-

(a) Wang

yie ar kung fu wang 

Deceptively simple opponent for those who thinks that the first stage is probably the easiest. His staff ensures that his reach is further than your kicks (which is also part of his repertoire). You need to rely a lot on the wall bounce technique and catch him in close range. Usually, you do not get to hit him twice in succession and you would have to bide your time to get a piece of him. Or like the above, you can estimate your distance and start jump kicking him at random.

(b) Tao

yie ar kung fu tao

The easiest opponent by far – he spits out a fireball which you could easily dodge. Hit him with kicks when he runs pass you and you would score an easy progress. 

(c) Chen

yie ar kung fu chen

Now this is one tough cookie. His chain attacks catch you wherever you may be, so stay a fair distance from him at all times. Again, you would have to rely on the wall bounce technique to gain some ground on him, but it’s mostly predicting where he might be shifting next. The bulky part of the chain which he wields appear to deal damage and not the length itself. Note that when up close, he doesn’t seem to unleash his chains often, so get in real proximity and show ‘im who’s boss.

Bonus Stage

yie ar kung fu bonus stage

Here, you get to rake up the points and you need quick reflexes in this level as some of those spinning objects will come at you at varying speeds. My personal best is only 5 without the benefit of having  a save state on the emulator. Good luck! 

(d) Lang

yie ar kung fu domestic violence

The only female of the game makes an appearance here. While certainly more agile than her male counterparts, she does not appear to be much different from the rest. Her shurikens are faster than Tao’s fireballs and are somewhat difficult to evade. Still, it’s good practice before the showdown with….

(e) Mu 

yie ar kung fu mu

A warrior who could fly at you. Again, predict his flight pattern first before engaging him head-on. After you have more or less anticipate his movement phases, you could rely on the good old wall bouncing technique to launch your attacks. He’s not a very difficult opponent to beat once you have mastered his moves.

Final victory

yie ar kung fu victory

After defeating Mu, you would get to strike the gong at the centre of the arena. Then, the game restarts from Wang again, who’s back improved and meaner than ever-

yie ar kung fu wang level 6

….but not before succumbing to the jump kick! Hai-yaaa!

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