The Way of the Exploding Fist

The Way of the Exploding Fist

Infobox VG| title = The Way of the Exploding Fist

developer = Beam Software
publisher = Melbourne House
designer =
engine =
released = 1985
genre = Fighting game
modes = Single player; Two-player
ratings = N/A
platforms = Acorn Electron, Amstrad CPC, BBC Micro, Commodore 16, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum
media = Cassette, floppy disk
requirements =
input = Keyboard, Joystick

"The Way of the Exploding Fist" is a fighting game for the Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, BBC Micro, Acorn Electron, Commodore 64 and Commodore 16. It was originally released in 1985 and was one of the first games to include realistic graphics and movements. It borrows heavily from the Data East game Karate Champ which was released the year previously.


The player takes part in a series of one-on-one karate matches, all overseen by a wise old expert who appears somewhere in the background. Once the player defeats an opponent they move up to the next stage and a more difficult adversary. Fights were not won using the energy bar style found in modern fighting games but instead the player needed to get two complete yin-yangs. Any move that connected with the opponent would end the round, a loosely timed or borderline kick or punch would obtain half a yin-yang icon, while a well executed move would obtain a full icon. Two complete icons ends the bout and the player progresses to the next level.

This system of scoring, known as shobu nihon kumite, is used in real life in many traditional styles of karate. A half yin-yang represents a "waza-ari" (a committed but not decisive technique) and a full yin-yang represents an "ippon" score (full point, decisive finishing blow).

Control works using joystick or direction keys and a "fire" key. You can achieve up to 16 different movements, including jumping kick, roundhouse kick and a variety of punches and kicks, high and low. There are also defensive moves including blocks and somersaults.

The game features a variety of backgrounds, against which the fighting takes place.

After completing a number of progressively harder stages, the player would be charged at by a bull in a (often short-lived) bonus style round. (This was not present on the Spectrum version and some of the early Commodore 64 versions.)

Most notable was the startling digitized kiai (yell) that is heard during the loading screen. It is sampled from the Bruce Lee movie Enter The Dragon during the scene where Lee kills O'Hara.

There were two sequels: "Fist 2: The Legend Continues" and "Exploding Fist +". Of these two, "Fist 2" is not a fighting game, but a scrolling action game. "Exploding Fist +", on the other hand, returns to the style of the first game. It features combat with three characters, an idea followed from "International Karate +", though in this case it is possible for players to control the three characters simultaneously.


Critical reaction

The ZX Spectrum version was placed at number 67 in the Your Sinclair official top 100, with reviewers praising the visceral sound effects. [ [ Oct 1988 YS34] at The Your Sinclair Rock 'n' Roll Years]

The Commodore 64 version was a Sizzler in Zzap!64 magazine, scoring 93% overall. The games sound and graphics were acclaimed. [cite journal | year = 1985 | month = August | title = Zzap! 64 | issue = 4 | pages = 30-32 ]


External links

*Lemon64 game|id=2824
*WoS game|id=0005643
*moby game|id=/way-of-the-exploding-fist

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