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Loosely based on a movie, Kung-Fu Master is a side scrolling action game for one or two players, who alternate turns.

Mr. X has captured the pickpocket Sylvia and it is up to Thomas, a kung-fu master who owns a restaurant, to get her back. She is located on the top floor of Mr. X's castle and Thomas will need to fight his way to the top. Of course, this won't be easy as each floor has many opponents to get past and a floor boss at the end of each level.

Thomas is able to move left and right, jump, duck, and punch and kick. Enemy projectiles such as knives can be kicked in the air to rebound them towards the enemy. On the top floor resides Mr. X himself.


Kung-Fu Master Amstrad CPC And the funny gorilla boss. Notice that it can only be killed with low punch. Normally, by using any other move, the player paralyzes but I've noticed a bug that also crashes the game if you try!!!
Kung-Fu Master ZX Spectrum Player kicks a bit too early.
Kung-Fu Master NES Martial arts expert boss.
Kung-Fu Master NES Smack, hit in the head with a boomerang!

Alternate Titles

  • "Spartan X" -- Japanese title
  • "Kung Fu Master" -- Alternate in-game spelling
  • "Kung Fu" -- NES title
  • "スパルタンX" -- Japanese spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

A strange game that's probably valuable only to those who have nostalgic feelings for it NES Feem (45)
Judo Chop! NES Matt Neuteboom (941)
Sideways view arcade beat em up that is quite fun to master! Amstrad CPC Optimus (80)

Critic Reviews

All Game Guide Arcade 1998 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
Game Freaks 365 Atari 2600 Jul 04, 2009 8.5 out of 10 85
Power Play Atari 2600 Mar, 1988 7.5 out of 10 75 NES Jan 04, 2012 15 out of 20 75
Retroage NES Dec 10, 2009 7.3 out of 10 73
VideoGame NES Mar, 1991 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60
Crash! ZX Spectrum Aug, 1986 56 out of 100 56
Digital Press - Classic Video Games Atari 2600 Sep 25, 2004 5 out of 10 50
Digital Press - Classic Video Games NES Sep 11, 2004 5 out of 10 50
The Video Game Critic NES Apr 28, 2003 C- 42


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1001 Video Games

The Arcade version of Kung-Fu Master appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


The original coin-op of this game is based on the Jackie Chan movie Kwai tsan tseh. In Japan, the movie was shown under the name "Spartan X" and indeed the original Japanese name for this game is "Spartan X". In North America, the movie's name is "Wheels on Meals" and the game's name is "Kung-Fu Master" or simply "Kung-Fu".


This game is often mentioned as one of the first beat 'em up's inspiring successful arcade brawlers like Renegade, Double Dragon, and Final Fight.

Windows release

The game was one of the eighteen arcade games included in the compilation Irem Arcade Hits.

Information also contributed by BurningStickMan

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Contributed to by PCGamer77 (3003), RKL (5606), Kabushi (159589), Martin Smith (62959), Servo (55741) and LepricahnsGold (121957)