International Karate / System 3 1986
Screenshots: play/stop

The game
International Karate is a simulation game where one or two people can compete against each other or play the computer. Depending on your level of skill, you will fly around the world to eight different international locations. You will also have to compete in two special rounds dodging various weapons and smashing a stack of tiles with your head.

At all stages of the game, you will be watched over by a wise old judge who will make decisions and instruct you accordingly. As you fight your way up through the various levels, you will be awarded a belt colour, and high achievers can enter their initials into the Hall of Fame. As well as the fights sounds, competitors can listen to the oriental background music.

Players don't have to read all the rules below as they can be learnt very easily just by playing the game straight away.

Game controls
Rearmost joystick port for while jacketed player in one player game. Frontmost joystick port for red jacketed player.

F1: Begin a one player game against the computer.

F3: Begin a two player game, with the winner fighting the computer.

F5: Disable/enable the sound effects.

F7: Disable/enable the background music.

There's other keys to perhaps change game speed or maybe...

Joystick movements
Only the joystick is used to play the game. The best to use are the ones with a firm tactile feel to them such as the original Atari joysticks. The large wobbly ones are less manageable since they move to far and give little feel as to when their switches have made contact. Auto-fire joysticks are of no use.

Each of the eight positions of the joystick gives a different type of move, and pressing the button gives another eight moves. However, some moves end up with your man facing the other direction. When this happens, all the move positions will be mirrored from left to right.

Controlling your man

Without button pressed
Up: Jump
Up/Right: Front junge punch
Right: Walk forward
Right/Down: Chest kick
Down: Foot sweep
Down/Left: Crouch punch
Left: Walk backwards
Left/Up: Back lunge punch
With button pressed
Up: Flying kick
Up/Right: Front somersault
Right: Front kick
Right/Down: Front side kick
Down: Back crouch punch
Down/Left: Back side kick
Left: Roundhouse
Left/Up: Back somersault

Holding and cancelling your move
When making an attacking move, you must hold the joystick in position until your man has made the attack. If your release the joystick before this happens, then your man will return to the standing stance position. However, if you continue holding the joystick, your man will stay in the attacking move until you select another move or release the joystick.

Quick move changes
It is possible to make moves in quick succession without the man pausing in between. This is done by selecting your first move and holding it until the attack has occurred, and then quickly selecting your next move before your man has a chance to return to the standing position. This allows you to do, say, two or three somersaults to get out of trouble.

Blocking moves
It is possible to block stomach and head attacks made by your opponent. To do this, you select the walk backwards move, then if you get attacked at close range, your man will go into a block move for the duration of the attack. It is not possible to block chin kicks and footsweeps. The only way of evading them is to jump out of the way or attack back with a flying kick or whatever.

Game object
Whether you have won a two player game or have started on a one player game, you will eventually end up fighting the computer. It is then your task to fight on for as long as possible. As your score builds up you are awarded one of six belt colours, with the highest being black belt. Then at the end of the game, you have the chance of entering your initials, score and belt colour in the Hall of Fame.

One player game
To start a one player game, you need to press the F1 button. In this game you play the white man fighting the computer controlled red man. The game consists of a cycle of three bouts of fighting followed by either a weapons stage or a smashing tiles stage. (The level you are on is shown to the right of the time, in the middle.) But the game ends as soon as the computer beats you in a bout. Each bout lasts 30 seconds, during which you must beat the computer. For each successful hit you make, the judge will decide how good the move was, and award you a half point or a full point. You also get a score depending on the complexity and accuracy of the move.

The first man to score two or more whole points within the 30 seconds, wins that bout and receives a score bonus for the remaining time on the clock. If time runs out, the winner of the bout is the person with the most points, or if equal, it is then the person who has scored the most in the round, or if equal, the judge decides on who made the best attempt. If you have not done anything, the game will reset to demo mode. The game ends when the computer beats you and if your score is good enough, you enter the Hall of Fame.

Two player game
You select the two player game by pressing the F3 button. In this game mode, you and a friend battle it out over the best of three bouts with the winner going on to fight the computer in a one player game. The game consists of up to three 60 second fighting bouts with either a weapons or tiles stage in between each bout. The scoring is different to the one player game. Instead you will see a line of six white and six red points symbols representing a Tug-of-War. Every time someone knocks down their opponent, they win a point and the middle of the line moves up one accordingly. If someone's colours reach their opponents end of the Tug-of-War line before time runs out, then they win that round and get a score bonus. You also get a score for each hit, but the amount depends on how many seconds from the start it took. The quicker you are, the more you score.

There is also another line of three blue dots above the Tug-of-War display. This lights up in white or red to show who has won the preceding bouts. The first person to win two bouts, wins the two player game and enters the one player game against the computer. Depending on how big your score is, you can enter the one player game up to level three. If a player can win two bouts in a row, they are awarded a 5,000 score bonus as will as winning the two player game. If at the end of a bout, both players have equal points on the Tug-of-War display, then the scores for that bout are used, and if these are equal, a draw is declared.

Smashing tiles stage
This is one of the special stages where you can build up your score depending on how quick your reactions are. On entry to this stage, you will see your man standing in front on a stack of ten grey tiles separated by bricks. The judge will tell you to get ready for his signal to go, and then a few seconds later will shout GO! Then as quick as possible, make any move with the joystick and you will smash your head down on to the tiles. For each tile smashed, you get 100 added to your score, and if you break all of then, you get a 2,000 score bonus.

Weapons stage
This is another special stage where you must dodge a fixed sequence of stars, spears and swords that cross the screen. As soon as one touches you, you are knocked out. For each weapon dodged you score 100 and score 2,000 bonus if you survive the whole stage.

When fighting in bouts, you are awarded full score for a full point hit, and half the score for a half point hit. The actual score for the various attack moves are as follows:

Move Full point hit Half point hit
Front lunge punch 800 400
Reverse lunge punch 800 400
Front stomach punch 800 400
Reverse stomach punch 800 400
Front chin kick 200 100
Reverse chin kick 200 100
Flying kick 1,000 500
Roundhouse kick 1,000 500
Stomach kick 200 100
Face kick 800 400
Footsweep kick 400 200

Hall of fame
At the end of a one player game, you can enter your initials in the Hall of Fame if your score is high enough. The letters are selected by moving the joystick left to right, and are entered by pressing the button.

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