YOU'VE BEEN given a stiff neck in the Way of the Exploding Fist, been crippled by Fighting Warrior and slaughtered by Gladiator. Now you can get your own back and kick the living daylights out of Yie Ar Kung Fu.
You play Oolong, a young exponent in the art of kung fu, trying to attain the title of grandmaster. To do that you've got to fight eight honourable opponents, masters in their own right. Your aim is to beat them at their own game, so you'll have to jump higher, kick faster and punch harder.
There are 16 moves ranging from leaping punches, ankle kicks, face punches and roundhouse kicks. The joystick and fire button creates the attack moves and the space bar alternates between punches and kicks. That's a lot to remember, but it's easy to get the hang of and even if you do forget the moves, you'll still have no problems.
You and your opponent each have eight hit credits in a grid at the top of the screen. You lose one of those every time a blow connects. When there are none left, you flop onto your back waggling your legs in the air ? playing dead, Japanese style.
If you score a telling blow - a blue star appears as you connect; a red one appears if you are hit. You have five lives and a bonus life for every 20,000 points.
The game starts with the two fighters facing each other. A few authentic-sounding bleeps of oriental music sets the atmosphere, a mountain backdrop sets the scene.
Suddenly your opponent launches himself horizontally through the air towards you, at head hight. He is Buchu, a flabby giant and master in the art of high flying. You don't need a star to tell you if you've been hit by that first blistering attack - it'll probably knock you sideways. Wait for the right moment and then duck. As he's so much larger, you must get in close to fight, otherwise you don't stand a chance.
With Buchu stranded on his back you move on to meet Star, masteress of the shuriken, the deadly star-shaped weapon adopted by the ninjas. The women seem harder to overcome in Yie Ar Kung Fu than the men - they are petite and should carry a Government health warning.
Star is a specialist in the high kick, so your best bet is to attack her with ankle punches and leg sweeps ? anything to dodge those deadly leg swings. She may also throw a couple of shuriken, but there's plenty of time to jump them.
Next is Nuncha, master of the nunchaku, two short poles connected by a length of chain. It's an uncomfortable feeling when those poles whistle round your ears, so use a high kick or flying kick. If the going gets too rough, you can always leap over your opponent and attack from the other side - that may take him off balance.
A good knowledge of the controls is essential when fighting Pole - another fattie who uses the ancient rod, or Bo. He uses that to block your attacks as well as prod you. A wide range of flying kicks and punches are necessary to avoid the Bo, it also helps to change tactics and get in close - that way the pole is not as effective and you can slug away to your heart's content.
The backdrop changes with your next opponent, and you'll find yourself fighting in the yellow forecourt of a colourful scene, a red temple looming in the background.
And with the change of scenery comes Club. He should be called Club and Shield as he carries the latter to deflect your blows. Try to nip around it to deliver fast kicks and punches to the upper body and face, but remember, the club inflicts more damage than the shield, so you have to carry out both defensive and attacking moves.
Fan is another young, elegant lady, with a deadly kick and near fatal fans. While fanning her face, waiting for you to attack, she will probably chuck one at you. Treat it in the same way as you would the shuriken and jump it. Then get in close and attack her lower legs. She is a difficult opponent.
The final three opponents are even more difficult. Sword, as you might guess, wields a sword, Tonfun fights with tonfa twirling sticks, and then there is Blues, the Grandmaster. Beat Blues and you'll become Grandmaster in his place.
Yie Ar Kung Fu is a replica of Konami's arcade game - from whom it has been licensed - the graphics are colourful and well drawn, and the animation is fluid. However, it is not hard to beat and you should have no trouble in attaining the title. After that, well, just start the game again with harder and faster opponents.
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair
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