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Kung Fu (Spartan X) Review (Nintendo Entertainment System - NES)

Updated: Nov 20, 2022

Game Name: Kung Fu (NES), Spartan X (Arcade)

Developer: Nintendo

Publisher: Nintendo

Release Date: 1985


I remember renting Kung Fu and being instantly addicted. It was simple and easy to pick up. The game was just difficult enough for a kid like me. There were other games in the genre such as Karateka and Shinobi, but this one has stuck with with me through the years.


The game was originally an arcade game that was released in 1984 under Kung Fu Master. In Japan however it was released as Spartan X. It would seem that the game was released as a tie-in for a movie called Wheels on Meals with Jackie Chan. The game and the movie have no similarities other than the main character's name.

The game was also re-released for the Gameboy in 1990.

Gameboy Kung Fu Master

In 1988 a follow-up was created called Vigilante. It was released on a number of systems including an arcade game. The one console that is missing would be the NES. The game play was similar but the storyline was drastically different. The player would be fighting in New York City.

Vigilante (Arcade)

Then the official sequel for the NES was released in 1991 under Spartan X 2.

Spartan X 2 (Kung Fu 2)


The plot of the game is very simple. You have 5 floors to fight various enemies such as leechers, elves, and knife throwers. At the end of each floor is a Boss.

Floor 1: Stick Fighter

Floor 2: Booerang Fighter

Floor 3: Giant

Floor 4: Black Magician

Floor 5: Mister X

In the end you must save your love Sylvia from Mister X.

The controls are as follows. The right and left buttons of the D-Pad are used to move left and right. The down button is used to crouch and the up button is used to jump. The B button is used to kick and the A button to punch. It was one of the first fighting games that used the up as a jump instead of just a high punch or kick.

The story or feel of the game has many similarities with the Bruce Lee movie Game of Death. Different levels with various bosses and in the end you fight the big boss. I have never seen a confirmation that this was the influence for the game.

Kung Fu (Spartan X) Gameplay


As is with many games on the NES, this game is simple and easy to pick up and play. The controls are very easy to manipulate. You always want to go back to improve your timing. The only downside is I am not sure if this game ever ends. All it does is start up again at a higher difficulty but I was never able to actually finish the complete game. It will always restart. All in all if you have an emulater or you own an NES, this is a great game to pick up. You can pick it up for less than 5$ at your local second hand store.

Rating: 9.5 Karate Chops out of 10

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