Saturday, August 14, 2010

What is the first fighting game?

I'm currently in the midst of trying to compile a guide for people who enjoy playing fighting games, but can't really figure out how to play them, and I asked myself this question; What is the first fighting game?

 Some people say that Karate Champ is the first fighting game. Karate Champ came out in 1984 and was based on the exploits of Matsutatsu "Mas" Oyama, a grizzled martial artist who tested his strength by sparring with Boxers, Wrestlers, Judo Masters and Bulls..Yes, I said bulls!! Mas also founded Kyokushin Karate and is the inspiration for such characters as Ryu, Ken, Ryo, Robert, Dan, Akuma, Takuma., Kushnood Butt, Sean... Let's just say his influence runs deep, and he's a legend in the martial arts community.  The man was referred to as "Godhand" for crying out loud!! But I digress.

above: godhand in action..

Others would say that Yie Ar Kung fu was the first, having an established setup that resembles the modern fighting game hud, and features a tiers of opponents before you can go on to fight Blues, who resembles a shirtless version of your character, Oolong. But of course this isn't the earliest instance of a fighting game.

Do you want to know what the first fighting game is, reader? Without further ado, I present... The prototype to the modern fighting game..

Right now, you might be saying "What the hell are you talking about, Spiracy? This isn't a video game!" Maybe it isn't a video game, but this is what I consider the "heart" of the modern fighting game. This game features two player simultaneous action, that lets the two players battle it out until one loses. There's no lifebar, but you can definitely tell when a character has been defeated (his head pops off !!).Rock em Sock em Robots were created in 1964 by Marvin Glass Associates and manufactured by Marx toy company. This game even predates Heavyweight Champ which came out in 1976 and was according to certain people the original fighting game (Of Course, because of being a boxing game quite a few people dispute this claim).

My point is that when we figure out the origins of whatever it is we're talking about we then begin to gain a deeper understanding of the heart of what makes a certain thing appealing to us. Two kids sitting on a stoop playing Rock em Sock em Robots aren't so different than two kids in an arcade playing Street Fighter II, KOF, or Brawl. So when you read those yearly "Timeline of the modern fighting game" spreads that whatever gaming forum or magazine puts out, you should be sure to point out the great grand-daddy of all fighters, because ReSeR deserves it's due!

1 comment:

  1. Ah, yes, Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots made the hours melt when I was kid. Good to see you give credit where credit is due.