Started 2 months ago by PetYuki
Karateka is a 1984 martial arts action game by Jordan Mechner, and was his first published game, created while attending Yale University. It was originally programmed for the Apple II, then widely ported. The game was published in North America by Brøderbund, and in Europe by Ariolasoft. Along with Swashbuckler (1982), Karate Champ (1984), and Yie-Ar Kung Fu (1985), Karateka was one of the earliest fighting games.
The player controls an unnamed protagonist who is attempting to rescue his love interest, the Princess Mariko, from Akuma's castle fortress. The game exhibits a combination of a side-scrolling platform and fighting game elements similar to a beat 'em up. The player uses punches and kicks to defeat Akuma and his guards and make his way deeper into the fortress.
A 2013 remake, spearheaded by Mechner, was released in 2013 as a downloadable title for the Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and iOS.
Karateka uses gameplay elements found in both side-scrolling 2D platformers and fighting games.
The player is introduced to the unnamed hero as he ascends a mountain into Akuma's fortress to rescue Princess Mariko. As the player directs the hero into the fortress, various foes appear and attempt to stop him. Once in a fighting stance, the player punches and kicks at each enemy, while trying to dodge their attacks. The player's health, shown by a bar on the bottom of the screen, loses a notch for every hit taken, though health is recovered slowly by not engaging in combat. Should the player lose all his health, the game is over, requiring the player to start again. The enemy's health bar is shown on the screen as well; once theirs is drained, the player has defeated him and can progress forward.
In addition to human enemies, Akuma occasionally sends his trained hawk to attack the player, which can be deflected with well-timed punches or kicks. There are some environmental hazards that the player can come upon, such as an open cliffside or a falling portcullis, which end the game immediately if not avoided. Throughout the game, cut scenes are shown, displaying such scenes as Akuma ordering his men to attack the player, and Mariko nervously awaiting her fate.
Eventually, the player will reach and face Akuma in a final conflict. Once Akuma is defeated, the player is able to rescue Mariko. If the player gets too close while still in his fighting stance, the princess will kill him in one blow. Once Mariko is freed, she and the player leave the fortress together.
An Easter egg is present on the Apple II floppy disk release. Though claimed to be sold as a single-sided disk, the reverse side of the disk included a full version of the game that would be rendered upside-down on the player's monitor. According to Mechner, this was done as a joke, causing naive users to call tech support and ask why the game was upside-down. Invariably, those users would receive the reply, "take the disk out, insert it right-side up, and reboot".
# Posted 2 months ago
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