Karateka, remade

I can’t recall what got me looking around for Karateka information, but I’ve been surprised at how much I’ve found. The first thing I stumbled upon was a page who’s author says he has done a Karateka remake. With the remake, you go from the original graphics:


to the new graphics:


I have no idea how good, if any, this remake is, as I haven’t downloaded and installed it yet. But I’m certainly intrigued enough that I will try when I have some time.  And it’s pretty cool to see a karate based game before all the world knew how awesome Chuck Norris is – otherwise, he would be the star of the game.
Before going on, I should mention that I’ve included a huge gameplay spoiler at the end of this article.  Beware reading, if you want to figure out how to win on your own.

As I continued looking for Karateka information after finding this, and learned that the venerable Wikipedia has a Karateka information page.

The game begins with an impressive graphic of the fortress of the evil Akuma. Akuma is holding the lovely Princess Mariko. The player must defeat the guards of the castle and must eventually face Akuma himself in order to rescue the princess.

Mechner adeptly used character gestures and musical cues to evoke the game’s immersive atmosphere. The animations nearly match the quality of the ones seen in Mechner’s Prince of Persia many years later.

Then, I found this Australian hosted page (written in english) with some more history of the game plus some instructions on how to play it on recent hardware.  That page also has links to other sites with information and even reviews of the game.

And finally, if you really want to try the game out and don’t get in to any of the above options, you can get a portable version at Beiks to play on your Palm OS handheld device for a mere $10.

All that out of the way, here is a bit of a spoiler for the end of the game.  When you get to the end, be careful how you finish…

At the successful conclusion of the game, the hero is reunited with Mariko as he frees her from her prison cell. He must then drop his fighting stance and run into her arms. The game concludes with a musical tribute and description of the player’s success.

Amusingly, if the hero approaches Mariko in fighting stance, she kicks him in the head, killing him in one blow. There were apparently a significant number of players who never figured out how to avoid this fate.

And that’s your retro-gaming fix for the day.

[tags]Karateka, Retro-gaming, Gaming, Classic games[/tags]