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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 ZX Spectrum 2nd level - "confetti ball" vengeance (Saturday Night Fever)
Kung-Fu Master ZX Spectrum The loading screen
Kung-Fu Master ZX Spectrum 5th level - completed - (Bruce Long lowering his hand into her bu...)
Kung-Fu Master ZX Spectrum 3rd level - The Way of the Intercepting FIST! I (cut this frame and the other two and make your own animated GIF!! PUZZOW!!)

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

The Atari Times Atari 2600 Aug 25, 2004 92 out of 100 92
Your Sinclair ZX Spectrum Sep, 1986 8 out of 10 80
VideoGame NES Mar, 1991 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60
Tilt NES Dec, 1987 12 out of 20 60
Digital Press - Classic Video Games NES Sep 11, 2004 5 out of 10 50
Digital Press - Classic Video Games Atari 2600 Sep 25, 2004 5 out of 10 50
Just Games Retro NES Apr 08, 2002 2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars 50
Power Play NES Dec, 1987 4.5 out of 10 45
Sinclair User ZX Spectrum Sep, 1986 2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars 40
Computer Gamer ZX Spectrum Sep, 1986 6 out of 20 30


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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 (3004), RKL (5606), Kabushi (153793), Martin Smith (63001), Servo (55746) and LepricahnsGold (115470)