Fist II: The Legend Continues (Melbourne House) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

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Fist II: The Legend Continues
By Melbourne House
Commodore 64/128

Published in Commodore User #38

Fist II: The Legend Continues

Commodore User are first again. You read the first preview of Fist II in our September issue and now we are proud to present the first full review of this much awaited beat-'em-up. The CU team worked around the clock to bring you this review. So read it.

As surely as Way Of The Exploding Fist was the martial arts game of 1985, Fist II is set to take its place as the definitive Kung-Fu classic for this year.

A whole heap of clones followed the release of the Melbourne House original last year. If they bother trying, it will take the copycat software houses a while to produce anything like this and even then, I doubt they'll come close.

Fist II: The Legend Continues

Fist II: The Legend Continues is set centuries on from the tournaments of The Masters, which set the scene for its predecessor. All that existed of those times has been swept away and the only evidence of its existence are the scrolls which contain the accumulated fighting knowledge of the ancient masters.

Meanwhile, a terrible curse has been placed upon the land by a wicked type with a long moustache. This guy is not nice. He made the crops wither and die, enslaved the people and infested the rivers and forests with 'creatures of the night'.

This wicked warlord lives in a volcano fortress protected by natural barriers and guarded by warriors and mercenaries skilled in just about every kind of Oriental combat you can imagine. This state of affairs can hardly be allowed to continue.

Fist II: The Legend Continues

What is required to stop it is a young novice warrior inexperienced in combat and lacking in strength. Hardly the kind of material to take on an evil warlord and his army you might thing, but what's so special about this chap is that his great, great, great grandfather was one of the Old Masters. So you see, despite being a bit wet behind the ears, he's got what it takes.

It will come as no surprise to learn that you play the part of the young disciple. As well as there being a storyline the game differs radically from Fist I in several other respects. Instead of the action taking place on individual screens which are replaced when a fight is won, Fist II has a scrolling screen.

From the start position you can go left or right and explore - it's up to you. The game is set in mountainous, volcanic territory, so caves are in abundance and you will also discover a pagoda with several floors, early in the game. These locations give you the opportunity to go up and down via ladders.

Fist II: The Legend Continues

From an early stage in the game you will be confronted by adversaries in various guises. There are peasant soldiers - recognisable by their peaked caps, warrior guards bedecked in war paint, Ninjas which look like, well, Ninjas, Shoguns, assassins and mud warriors to name but a few.

Your 'Chi' or energy is represented by a scroll which gets shorter as you become weaker. Which you encounter a bad guy his Chi scroll appears opposite yours, so you get a good idea of what you're up against. The instructions give a few guidelines as to the relative strengths of the different warriors, but my advice is to ignore it as it's completely misleading. The peasant soldier, an 'able, but not exceptional fighter', proved too good a match for me most of the time, whereas the 'bestial, ferocious' warrior guard was a pushover.

Which brings us to fighting talk. You are going to find combat tough going (I know I said the warrior was a pushover, but you have to rememeber I'm a total genius). First, every situation is different. The blurb gives the usual map of which joystick motion results in a particular move, but that is only vaguely helpful. The reason is that up against certain opponents your repertoire is severely curtailed.

Fist II: The Legend Continues

You will find yourself unable to somersault, or do high kicks. It also seems that the same action in different circumstances gives different results. My advice to novices is to learn a few moves and stick with them in the early stages. Also, try a few practice moves before opponents get in close.

The second thing to consider is that different opponents have different strengths and weaknesses. The soldier was virtually impervious to my favourite move, the jump kick, but susceptible to below the belt attacks. Play dirty if you have to.

You will eventually defeat an opponent when his Chi dries up and his scroll disappears off the screen. A more likely outcome is that it will happen to you, in which case you are returned to the beginning. If you see your Chi disappearing fast and there's no hope of victory, the best bet is to run away and wait for it to replenish. Watch out, though, as your opponent will be back to full power when you return.

With each opponent defeated, your strength and experience increases, but there is more to the game than simply wandering around knocking off opponents.

Remember the scrolls? Well, if you managed to find one and take it to a temple (not just any old temple, it has to be the right one) you will assimilate all the knowledge contained therein. What you do with this knowledge is anybody's guess. I don't know because I haven't found one yet (it takes time, even for a genius).

For the record, after about four hours continuous play I've managed to kill a fair few bad guys, get in some meditation, have a good look around and score nearly 10,000 points.

I don't intend stopping until I've found at least one scroll (you get an extra life!) and even then I doubt that I'll give up.

Ken McMahon

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