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I, for the longest time have been a fan of fighting games - in fact, when people see me master them oh-so-easily, they know this is a complete truth. Recently, a person asked me what my favorite is, and to that I was puzzled - I considered the SNK vs Capcom's of the world, and then the Mortal Kombat's. I came to the simple conclusion of Yie Ar Kung-Fu, in my view the first *Real* fighting game.

Relased in 1985 by Konami Yie Ar Kung-Fu featured 12 (Including Oolong, the chacter you play) fighters, 2 of which were of the female sex - a beat'em-up first (or so Konami says). Yie Ar Kung-Fu featured two histories (two sets of fighters); "Hot Fighters History" and "Masterhand History". Hot Fighters had 5 fighters, Masterhand had 6 fighters, and each fighter required a different technique to win. Heres some stratagies I've found that are useful:

  • Hot Fighters History
    • Buchu: Walk upto him and hit him. Plain and simple. Also, if he gets traped in the corner, just keep punching, he'll stay traped.
    • Star: Keep jumping from side to side to avoid her stars, once she moves close to you do some quick kicks on her, then jump away and repeat.
    • Nuncha: When you jump he'll move in such a way that he'll end up directly behind you when you land. Out think him by attacking in the opposite direction (eg: If you land facing right make your first attack to the left). Once you've made your attack quickly jump away and repeat.
    • Pole: I've found the best stratagey for Pole is to mix it up a bit, sit and wait for him to come, and hit him low, jump over his head and kick him - He seems to dislike non-liner fighting styles.
    • Freedle: This is what I like to refer to as the 'gang bang', Basically just wait for them to come and hit them, there quite stupid.
  • Masterhand History
    • Chain: Basically anything will take him down, he falls for just about every exploit you can think of. Just make sure you jump before his chain for air assults, and duck a lot for ground assults.
    • Club: You must hit him low or else he blocks, it really dosent matter how you go about gitting to him, just make sure you use low blows.
    • Fan: Think star with fans. Just jump alot, dont worry about the fans, there really just an illusion, when you jump you WILL not get hit by them.
    • Sword: Kind of dynamic, mixing it up works best with him (Ie: Jump, hit, jump away, sneek behind hit, walk up to him, hit him some times, jump away, etc).
    • Tonfun: Luck, lots of luck. He is DEFINATLY a hard dude to kill, but luck and determination will alow you to beat him.
    • Blues: I've beaten him once, and frankly, nothing works with him much in the same way as Tonfun. Just hope and pray, and perhaps you can beat him.

You have a drop of waters chance in hell of finding Yie Ar Kung-fu in your local arcades (unless your lucky enough to have an arcade in your area that supports the classic titles, and they just so happen to have it), so you best chance to play it is to grab MAME, then hop over to mame.dk and grab the roms.
One of the earliest beat em up computer games, by Konami. The main character, Oolong, went up against a motley assortment of enemies ranging from some fat bloke who was probably a Sumo wrestler to a woman with a lethal fan, to an evil version of the main character (a ploy used regularly by beat-em-up games ever since, presumably to save work on creating new characters or, uh, symbolise confrontation with our inner demons, or something).

As a rule all the characters were named after their weapons - Pole, Star, Sword and so on. The logic of this is obvious, but leads one inexorably to the surprising conclusion that our hero's secret weapon is a delicious and healthful bronze-hued Chinese tea, while the Sumo guy (Buchu) attacks with a minty herb used in South Africa for flavouring wines and treating urinary tract infections.

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