back, we were obliged to bring you
news of the death of the fat black
from Kung Fu on the NES. Little did we realize, however, that the story of
Fu didn't end with our hero, Thomas, rescuing his little chickadee,
Sylvia. No, I'm not referring to the endless repeating of the same
tower that you rescued her from; you see, there was a sequel made to
Kung Fu that never made it out of Japan.
I just happened to stumble across it the other day during one of my
rom hunts. You see, in writing some of these game articles, it becomes
necessary to supply so that you, the viewing public (or as I like to
say in the case of the rom hacks, the "eww-ing" public. Ha ha), can
experience the games firsthand. As I was scrolling through a list of
games starting with "S", I came across a Japanese game called
X. "That sounds interesting," I thought, and so I downloaded it and
fired it up. Imagine my surprise when the game that came up was none
other than Kung Fu. Even more surprising, I found a sequel, the
aptly-titled Spartan X 2, and better still, some enterprising young
translators had translated the game into English.
away, I was confronted by the obvious question which you all must be
asking yourselves right now: why the hell does the title screen read
"Kung Fu 2" when the rom was called Spartan X 2? Well the short answer
is, "I don't know," and the long answer is, "I don't know, ask you
father." Furthermore, why is the series called Spartan X when there is
no sign of that ancient enemy of the Romans? That question, at least,
was answered in the game, when the final boss explains that the
original hero, Keiji Thomas, has actually changed his name to "Jonny
Spartan." I'm guessing
that in order to protect his identity, as well as the kidnap-prone
Sylvia, he decided to change his name to the vaguely
pornographic-sounding Jonny Spartan.
supplement his new name, Jonny has swapped out his drab kung fu
vestments for some nice red overalls, making him look less like a
dangerous kung fu warrior, and more like a festive kung fu janitor.
Seems like kind of a bad switch, but I'll defer to the judgment of Mr.
Spartan on this one.
The gameplay is just like that of the original Kung Fu; you walk
through the stage and fight past any obstacles you may come across and
any thugs that may get in your way. Thugs like this guy:
new "guy who tries to grab you". Don't let the leopard print on his
pants fool you; he's one persistent…
guy-who-runs-at-you-like-an-idiot. Get used to seeing him, though,
because most of the other enemies are just palette-swaps of this guy.
Sure, they may be able to perform tackles, or swing from ropes, or fly
jetpacks, but they're still just clones of the original
Through some unexplained circumstances, Jonny has become a member of
an unnamed crime-fighting unit. I don't know much about it, except
that it has at least two other members, a helicopter, and a set of
video communicators so HQ can keep him abreast of his mission. In this
case, his mission is to foil a smuggling ring. Step 1: catch a low-end perp riding the subway.
is Flamey Joe, aka: David Lee Roth. Despite being fairly muscular, Joe
sticks entirely with his namesake by exhaling a short stream of fire.
Not a bad strategy, except when confronted by my
"kick-and-kick-and-kick-and-kick" strategy. Unfortunately, Jonny
informs HQ that he is unable to ply any info from Joe and his 80s hair
metal 'do. Luckily, he somehow knows that a drug deal is going down at
the docks, and that a magician is doing the buying. However, this is
no ordinary drug-dealing magician...
Though not nearly as dangerous as the dreaded midget magician from
Kung Fu, Chin Gen Sai still has a few... tricks up his sleeve. Whereas
the original magician could fling deadly fireballs and conjure up
snakes to stop Thomas, this magician prefers to trap Jonny in a set of
green rings, and then bombard him with m80's and beach balls. The
m80's do slightly more damage. Once he's out of the way, it's off to
your next destination: the boat full of drugs that Jonny was supposed
to let Chin buy. No worries, though; as long as he can beat up a
shipload of drug dealers, everything will be ok.
man on the ship, however, is Billy Bailey, aka The New Black Guy.
Billy's crotch is not as vulnerable as the original black guy's. If
you try to work that area over while he's chucking boxes at you,
you're liable to get kicked by his stubby, but powerful, legs. More
importantly, though, Billy bears a striking resemblance to Popeye's
arch nemesis, Bluto.
swear they were clones, if only Bluto did a few more sit-ups in the
After defeating him, Jonny radios HQ to tell them that he's got yet
another drug tip, this time about a circus troupe smuggling drugs
aboard their plane. Now, the drug-dealing magician is starting to make
sense. Anyway, Jonny has a plan that calls for a helicopter. To pick
him up and drop him off so he can catch them at the airport? Close...
Brilliant! They'll never see it coming! Except that they do see it
coming, and the top of the plane is packed with dozens of bad guys
who, like you, have the amazing ability to walk on top of a plane
flying several hundred miles an hour (or kilometers per hour, if you
like). Even more unusual is that you gain entrance to the plane
through an open hatch in the roof. I'd have thought that rather than
go in and fight the boss, Jonny could just wait outside for the boss
to be sucked out through such a hole, but no such luck.
circus-themed boss, I was thinking strongman, juggler, or maybe even
bearded lady. Instead, you fight animal tamer "Mr. Benjamin" and his
trained gorilla, but not in that order. After warding off the amorous
hugging of the gorilla, you'll have to brave Ben's whip and its
incredible ability to make tiny waves when it strikes the floor. After
him, you must fight the ringmaster! No, not really. Instead, Jonny is
free to sit back and enjoy the rest of his flight to Hidden Druglab
Island. Therein, he'll battle his way through the mansion of the
druglord, Shi Son.
at his luxurious home, complete with thug-braced doors and
Olympic-sized swimming pool (note: pool is filled with ninjas). Gasp
in feigned awe and then whisper quietly amongst yourselves about the
owner's choice of a long hot pink rug with matching doors and lion's
heads. And at the end of your tour, admire the hospitality of Shi
Son's personal assistant, Madda "Hari" Lin.
her dossier says "smuggler," but they all say that. I'm sure she was
supposed to be the head bad guy's tough-as-nails bodyguard. Or rather,
his "tough-as-knives" bodyguard, because she throws those things at
you like she thinks if she keeps doing it, she'll win something.
Unfortunately for her, all she won was a beating. Get it? It's like, a
pun, or something. Anyway, with her down, that just leaves Jonny and
the big man.
he was considerate enough to inform the audience that the reason you
play as some guy named Jonny in this sequel to Kung Fu is because
Thomas decided he needed a newer, crappier name. He goes on to say
that it, "wouldn't be very interesting just to shoot you." No,
certainly not. That's why he has to lead you through a "special stage"
before your one-on-one showdown like some lame Bond villain. That
stage: a slow, left-to-right elevator, followed by an underwater
battle. Luckily, Jonny can control his chi well enough to allow
himself to breathe underwater. Simply amazing! Anyway, that just
leaves the main event:
Spartan vs. Shi Son! Good vs. Evil! The Man in Black vs. The Crimson
Custodian! Winner take all! Forty seconds later, after you've uppercut
him to death, it's game over. Time to radio HQ and tell them that
you've completely dismantled the drug ring. With that, you are treated
to a "199X: Jonny Spartan destroyed the drug ring," as well as a
slightly discouraging message about how his job isn't over as long as
"crime exists." Ouch. Looks like he's in it for the long run. Well,
surely the entire world can be persuaded to give up crime if it's
known that good ol' Jonny Spartan can't retire until everyone else
starts behaving themselves. It could happen...
Questions or Comments about this piece?
email Dr. Boogie
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