International Karate+ / System 3 1987
Screenshots: play/stop

Call it a sequel... And you'll land up flat on your back.

They called International Karate "the greatest karate beat'em up yet" (Commodore User). And who are we to argue? But Archer Maclean has come up with a stunner: A third fighter. An amazing animated background. New moves (including double head-kick and a spectacular backflip). Re-mixed music by Rob Hubbard. And Balls!

International Karate+™ is a development of the original IK game, the main extra feature being that there are three fighting men on the screen at once (and five in pause mode!).

There are 17 different moves that can be made, all controlled by the joystick, and with practice all these moves can be executed smoothly in a flowing fight sequence without the man pausing momentarily in the standing stance. The joystick system is simple enough for players to learn quickly, but after some experience of how the moves behave, much more sophisticated control can be achieved.

Opponents can be hit in the head, chest, stomach, shins and feet from in front or behind, although an attacker receives only half the score for attacking from behind.

The game gets progressively harder until about Level 25, and players are awarded one of six belt colours depending on their score.

The computer-controlled men adopt a variety of play strategies. For example, they may fight each other, not the human; they may not fight, just avoid attacks; both may fight the human, not bothering to dodge attacks; and so on. All behaviour varies in viciousness as the game gets more advanced.

An animated judge appears at the end of each 30 second round to instruct the players and announce the rankings. If a human player is in third place, he is out of the game. So long as a human can stay first or second, he stays in the match.

Every third round there is a bonus round, where the player has to use a small hand-held shield to deflect balls bouncing towards him from all angles.

Fire with joystick in port 2
If in demo mode, start a one player game.
Fire with joystick in port 1
If in demo mode, start a two player game.
One player against two computer men.
Two players against one computer man.
These controls work at all times, and so can be used to quit the current match.
Turn music on or off.
Turn sound effects on or off.
Shift and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Vary speed of play (1 is fast, 3 normal, 5 slow).
Pause mode (during fight round only). Press Run/Stop a second time to continue the fight.
. (full stop)
Change the colours of the reflected sunset.

Game display
The score and game information is displayed at the top of the screen and comprises three sets of combat points and accumulative score displays. Human-controlled fighters are indicated by a coloured fist to the right of the fighter's score. The white-jacketed fighter is controlled by joystick Port 2, while in two-player games, the red-jacketed fighter is controlled by joystick Port 1.

Movement controls
The game may only be controlled using joysticks. It is recommended that sticks with a firm tactile feel (such as the original Atari ones) are used. Large, wobbly sticks are not as manageable since they move too far and provide less feedback when their switches have closed. Auto-fire joysticks are useless.

Each of the eight joystick positions selects a type of move, and pressing the button gives a further eight. In special cases a further defensive move is available, as detailed later. For a man facing right, the joystick controls the character's movements as follows.

Fire button not pressed
Up: Jump up
Up/Right: Front face punch
Right: Walk forwards
Right/Down: Shin kick
Down: Footsweep kick
Down/Left: Crouching stomach punch
Left: Walk backwards (or block)
Left/Up: Reverse face punch turn around
Fire button pressed
Up: Flying leap kick
Up/Right: Head butt
Right: Stomach kick
Right/Down: High face kick
Down: Reverse footsweep turn around
Down/Left: Back stop fack kick turn around
Left: Back flip
Left/Up: Double face kick

Note that some movements end with your man facing the opposite direction. If the fighter is facing left, the above movements are reversed left/right. For example, when facing right, a front face punch is made by pressing up and right; but when facing left, the same attack is made by pressing up and left.

Holding and cancelling a move
When making an attacking move, you must hold the joystick in position until your man has made the attack. Releasing the joystick any sooner will cause your man to return to the standing stance. If the selection is retained then the stance is held until the joystick is released or another move selected. However, the actual hitting action is only effective on the initial movement – after all, seasoned opponents are unlikely to run onto your fist!

Sequences of moves
It is possible to make moves in quick succession without the fighter first pausing in the stading stance, thus allowing a smooth, free-flowing sequence. This is done by selecting the first move, holding it until the attack has occurred, then quickly selecting the next move before the man returns to the standing position. This will allow such actions as a series of back flips across the screen (select back flip, wait for move to commence, then select it again and again for dance-free motion).

Blocking move
A blocking move is also available for defensive purposes. If you are being attacked at close range from in front, and you select the "walk backwards" action, your man will stand in a blocking posture for the duration of the attack and deflect all kicks to the head, chest and stomach. However, it is not possible to block shin kicks and footsweeps. The only way to avoid them is to jump out of the way, or return the attack with move like the flying kick.

Game object
A match consists of a sequence of two fight rounds and a bonus round. In the one-player game, there are two computer-controlled opponents. The match ends when the human comes third in a fight round. The two-player game starts with two humans fighting each other and one computer-controlled opponent. A player who comes last in a fight round goes out of the game, leaving one player against two computer men as in the one-player game.

The object is to fight on for as long as possible. As the score builds up you are awarded one of six belt colours, the highest being the black belt. At the end of the match, you have the chance of entering your initials, score and belt colour in the Hall of Fame.

During a fight round, if a man successfully hits an opponent while facing him, he gets two combat points (displayed as coloured discs) and a numerical score. Attacking from behind earns one combat point and half the score. A fight round lasts either for 30 seconds, or until one of the fighters gains six combat points. In the latter case, the player who scored the six points is awarded a time bonus of 100 points for each second left in the round.

At the end of each fight round, the judge decides who is first, second and third (or equal), initially on the basis of the combat points, and then, in the case of a tie, on the numerical score obtained during that round (not the accumulated score).

When a player is hit he falls down and is momentarily dazed, as shown by the stars above his head. When these disappear he has a few seconds to wait or make an instant move. Otherwise, after a short waiting period he is forced to stand up anyway.

The length of time a fighter is knocked out depends on the type of blow, and as the game speeds up the wait allowed decreases, but you can't get hit until you are actually up and fighting again.

Move Frontal hit Hit from behind
Front face punch 800 400
Shin kick 400 200
Footsweep 400 200
Crouching stomach
400 200
Reverse face punch 800 400
Flying kick 800 400
Head butt 1,000 500
Stomach kick 200 100
Face kick 800 400
Reverse footsweep 400 200
Back-step face kick 800 400
Double face kick 1,000 1,000

Bonus round
If a player stays in for two consective fight rounds, he is able to go through a bonus stage. Here, you are shown holding a small shield, with which you must deflect the balls that come bouncing towards you. At any one time you only have one ball to deflect (otherwise the round would be impossible). You may also duck under some of the high balls.

As the game gets more difficult, the maximum speed of the balls increases. There are also flashing balls whose bounce height alternates. For each deflection you score 100 points, and if you survive all the balls you get a 5,000 point score bonus. Since there may be up to 60 balls, highly skilled players can add over 10,000 points to their score in a single bonus round and get to black belt status more quickly.

Hall of fame
At the end of the match, players whose accumulative score is high enough are given the opportunity to add their initials, score and belt colour to the Hall of Fame. Up to three initials are permitted for each one, move the joystick left or right to select the required letter, then press the fire button to enter the letter.

If using a 128, first select 64 mode.

Cassette: Ensure the cassette is fully rewound. Press the Shift and Run/Stop keys together, then press Play on the recorder.

Disk: Insert the disk into the drive, label side up. Type Load"*",8,1 and press Return.

Product information and credits
System 3 Software reserve the right to alter any aspect of this, or any other future products without prior notice. Manufactured in the United Kingdom. Fabriqué en Grand Bretagne.

Game design and C64 programming by Archer Maclean. Spectrum and Amstrad versions by Dan Michek Copyright 1987 Archer Maclean.

Copyright 1987 System 3 Software Ltd. A Software Studio Production in association with Marjacq Micro. Distributed by Activision (UK) Ltd.

System 3, 23 Pond St., Hampstead, London NW3 2PN. Tel: 01-435 8448.

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