Kung-Fu Master. Data East (1985) Commodore 64/Nintendo


*Deep Breath* Released in 1984 in the arcades before receiving it’s home conversions in 1985. Kung-Fu Master was simply named Kung-Fu on the NES, and was called Spartan X in Japan as a tie in for the Jackie Chan movie Wheels on Meals.

In an unusual twist this review is for the NES and the Commodore 64 version as they are almost completely the same.

Commodore graphics at their finest!


Kung-Fu Master is a sidescrolling almost beat ’em up. I say almost as nobody has a life bar and everybody dies from one punch or kick (except bosses).

You get two attacks in a punch or kick, a punch is shorter range and more powerful, and a kick is longer range but weaker. This is only really useful for highscores as again, all enemies die in one attack.

First boss on C64


There are only 5 levels in Kung-Fu Master, with each boss being a different son of the devil, with the final boss being the devil a dude called Mr X. Beat the game and the game will loop. They can all be killed without taking a hit, which is a good thing as the “Strong Man” on Level 3 can fuck your shit up quicker than one of those fucking dog creatures in Bloodborne.

On the second playthrough assuming have beaten the game and continuing the same game the levels simply loop with slightly harder enemies.

First boss on NES


Other than the colours being slightly different between the Commodore and NES versions and the graphics being that much more bitty on the NES, the ONLY difference I can find is that there is a 3rd synthesized voice sample occurs when the boss defeats you. But I couldn’t be arsed trying to die to find this out.

Actually, scrap that. There does appear to be more enemies on screen on the NES version and the small enemies actually attempt to attack you which they never seemed to do on the Commodore.

The big dude will fuck you up!


I actually don’t have much to say, I beat the game in less than 6 minutes on my first attempt and got bored on my second go.

Kung-Fu Master isn’t bad, it just offers very little to get you excited by, all Beat em’ ups on the Megadrive and SNES are better and games like Double Dragon are also better.

That said, Kung-Fu Master isn’t bad and there really isn’t much of a reason to play it on the Commodore 64. Play the NES version if you find it for 0.50p or given it for free. But ultimately you might aswell watch a YouTube video of it.

Pros: it’s short…

Cons: it isn’t “bad”


Back in the Day:

Legit can’t find any reviews.


Also available on: Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari 2600, Atari 7800, C64, MSX, NES, ZX Spectrum