Laundry, Snakes, and the 2D Side Scroller That Changed My Life…

(I promise you the things in the title are related, it isn’t just some garbage I made up for interest’s sake.) Now that I have your attention…

When I was younger, I spent a lot of time in laundromats. I can’t remember how many different laundromats my Mom and I went to but, they knew what was in store for the day. Dirty clothes and young, bored, energetic, mischevious kids like myself.

I can hear the owners now…

“Carl! We better put something in here before a kid gets trapped in one of these machines and dies!”

Thanks to, “Carl”, I spent the majority of my free time in laundromats playing, “Kung Fu Master”.



The first thing I would like to point out is that, even though I know I went to more than one laundromat during my childhood, it seemed as if, Kung Fu Master was always there.

The sounds and graphics didn’t leave much of an impression but, looking back at this game it was the Godfather for many video¬†game trends.

It was a 2D sidescrolling beat-em-up, years before Double Dragon was released.

It scrolled in both the left and right direction.

The high and low striking mechanics are still being implemented to this day in fighting games and it also features punches and kicks.

Are you ready to have your minds blown into tiny little pixels?

The storyline was about the hero’s girlfriend being kidnapped even before Super Mario Brothers used it.



It inspired so many mechanics of modern video games. It is a precursor to Final Fight, Streets of Rage, Mortal Kombat, Tekken and the list goes on.

The producer, Takashi Nishiyama went on to develop the original Street Fighter after he left Irem for Capcom. After he left Capcom, he went on to SNK to develop their videogame¬†division, working on the titles Fatal Fury: King of Fighters, Art of Fighting, The King of Fighters ’94, and Samurai Showdown, and eventually created the Neo Geo arcade system board itself.

I’m not sure why Kung Fu Master isn’t talked about more when it comes to video game history. Knowing the reach and influence in contemporary video games puts it in a rare category. I wouldn’t mind having a cabinet of my own.

Oh, and one more thing. It had snakes…







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