Karateka Pummels PSN Today, From Prince of Persia Creator Jordan Mechner

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Karateka Pummels PSN Today, From Prince of Persia Creator Jordan Mechner

Karateka 2012 for PSN: Brute vs Guard in Walkway

I’m proud to announce the PlayStation Network release of Jordan Mechner’s classic martial arts sidescroller, Karateka! Thirty years later, the 8-bit karate classic returns with all-new graphics and a unique rhythm-based gameplay.

As a college freshman in 1982, Jordan Mechner started work on the original Karateka with nothing more than an Apple II computer and a burning desire to become a published game author. Now, 30 years later, Mechner is back for more karate action, teaming up with Liquid Entertainment for a modern remake of Karateka with beautiful animation and innovative gameplay.

Karateka 2012 for PSN: Brute vs Guard in WalkwayKarateka 2012 for PSN: Brute vs Guard in Walkway

What’s changed in the last 30 years of gaming? In the original game, you beat up a series of thugs to rescue the princess Mariko from the evil warlord Akuma. If you’re defeated, that’s it–game over. Alas, modern gamers aren’t used to the cruel realism of the one-life scenario, so we introduce three different suitors, all attempting to rescue the princess. If you die as the first one (the “True Love”), you continue as the second, then the third, allowing you to have more than one chance while maintaining that only James Bond can live twice. Mariko prefers the True Love, of course, so you’ll get the best ending for beating the game with only one life–so start practicing your karate chops!

You fight using a cool rhythm based combat. The musical score by Christopher Tin, using authentic Japanese instruments, reacts to your actions and reflects the progress of the battle. The number of musical chimes gives you cues for how many hits an enemy will make, letting you block and counterattack. The music reactively tells the story in a way the Apple II wished it could have.

Fight to rescue the lovely Mariko from the evil Akuma and reunite her with her True Love! Or, if you’re not that good, then pick her up and drag her away as the burly Brute.

Check out the game today on PSN for just $9.99 (U.S). Do you remember the old game? Have questions about the new game? Let us know in the comments.

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4 Author Replies

  • This would be a great Vita game.

  • this looks very interesting. atleast its not over priced at 14.99. il look into it.

  • any idea on the length of the game aswell ?

  • $9.99 sounds like a great price but wish you had gameplay footage.

  • Sweet! I’ve been playing this on PC since it came out a little bit ago on that platform, and am looking forward to picking it up here as well (and earning the trophies!) :)

    I second that this would make for a great Vita game. @PainofSarrow – the game is sorta short, in that a typical run will be about 45 minutes. The idea is to play through the game multiple times, which is fun to do, and better your score and outcome until you become a master of it. It’s got a different sort of vibe from a traditional modern game, in that it’s meant to be repeated. Don’t let that make you not get it, though! It’s really fun.

  • A Vita version would be a instant buy for me.
    If there is a demo, I will give it a go for sure.

  • I owned this game on the Atari 7800 back in the 80’s. It was the hardest game on the 7800. I couldn’t get past the fourth guy. And sometimes couldn’t even get past the third guy. This was one of the few games that even my video game prodigy brother couldn’t beat. The controls were so stiff and slow. I can still remember to this day how frustrating it was to time kicks and punches with the delay between the input and the effect of your input showing up on the screen, hoping you’d land one before the CPU flinched and sneaked in a punch of his own.

    Of course, I know you wouldn’t make this remake that hard, otherwise these kids today would cry enough tears to create the world’s fifth ocean.

    I just hope you didn’t go the other way and make it too easy. You didn’t do that, right?!? :)

    • Nice reminiscing. :) Beating the game as the “True Love,” without dying, is still pretty hard. The three-characters scenario makes it more accessible while still letting a more hardcore gamer like you have a challenge. You’d have to hack your PlayStation to get that nostalgic feeling of delayed controls, though., which I don’t recommend…

  • thanks for the info mockduck . that is a bit wayy to short for me personaly though. wont stop me from getting it, but i will def have to do more research first. wish there was a demo.

  • I played it when I was way younger on my brother’s Apple II computer!

    I loved bowing at inappropriate times…

  • @ Goofus (#4)

    Ever heard of a site called YouTube? It’s pretty cool. There’s all these videos and stuff on there. You can search for whatever you want to see and you’ll most likely find what you’re looking for. You should try it!

    After you’re done there, come back here and I’ll give you step-by-step instructions on how to set up an “e-mail” account. It’s this new thing where you don’t have to use regular mail anymore! You can type a letter using your PC (that stands for Personal Computer) and send it to the other person through the “internet”! It like, just goes through the wires, like magic! Pretty cool, huh?

  • One of my favorite games on my Apple II+. I still remember the first time a finally beat the final boss and got to the girl. I walked up to her and got butt handed to me. Took me forever to realized that I had to run to her. Oh the great memories.

  • I remember playing Master Karateka on gameboy back in the mid 90s. Will definitely pick this up. Now waiting for a new prince of persia

  • I played and beat it on an Apple IIe back in the 80’s. That was a tough game. Many hours spent. At least one time I got past all the thugs, the boss, and his bird all the way to the princess, goofed the approach, and she killed me in one punch. Brutal.

  • Thanks Heather. i like that video. really funny. Can’t wait to try the game. :)

  • @10, Primero- haha buddy, you’re cold as ice!

  • Wasn’t this the game where you could step backwards off the cliff and die within a second of starting?

  • @5 only 45 minutes per playthrough? that kinda sucks.

  • @13 She punched you? I remember her kicking us in the jewels!

  • Glad to hear about the three different heroes – the first screenshot had me worried that you’d “creatively redesigned” the hero a little TOO much! :)

    Hopefully it has the five Key Points of Karateka:
    * A cliff to fall off at the beginning (bonus points if you get a Bronze Trophy for it)
    * The ability to break combat stance and bow (and often get kicked in the head and instantly killed)
    * A gate to fall on you and silently raise back up after killing you
    * The hawk (which, given the screenshot and the video seems a safe bet!)
    * A princess that can one-hit kill you if you approach her wrong at the end

    But at the same time, since I’d EXPECT all those things now, they might not have the same impact as they did all those years ago …

    • Ah, I’m glad you enjoyed those fun/deadly aspects of the original. As you’ve pointed out, if we did the exact same thing, it wouldn’t be a surprise anymore, right? As a rather strict anti-spoiler myself, I won’t tell you exactly what’s the same and what’s new, but you can be sure there will be a few surprises. :)

  • Hi Heather!

    We used to have this game on PC back in ’87, give or take a year, and it was on a 5″ floppy disc, drive A. And the version we played only had a few colors: Purple, white, and black (yes, just like the infamous licorice candy Good & Plenty), but we didn’t care at the time.

    The gate of death used to scare the crap out of me. Purple blood would spill out of the fallen hero.

    I always thought I’d get through the original game just by doing high kicks. I couldn’t help it, I was just a kid at the time who thought Crane Kicks were the answer to everything (thanks, Daniel San!).

    Then I saw how the graphics were more colorful on other computers and even the NES, haha. Can’t believe how amazed I was (and jealous, too!).

    My older brother was the only one among us three who ever reached the end of the game, only to face defeat by Princess Mariko. We were utterly shocked. I never realized that you had to run to her until right about now.

    So when I first heard about this remake. I knew I had to purchase this one. And I’m thoroughly enjoying it–I can’t wait to show this to my brothers!

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